Vash was glad to hear that Roderich was beginning to feel better. The hot meals and better care made him look a lot better, more color was beginning to fill into his skin and his eyes had lost some of their dullness. It would be no time at all before the Austrian was back to feeling like himself and finding things to lecture his blonde host about. Switzerland didn't mind it as much, really, as it would be good to see his once-friend back to the way he used to be.
[+green "Go ahead in, I'll close these three up for the night."] Roderich seemed okay with that idea, beginning to leave the enclosure and make his way back to the house. He looked tired, it must have been quite the day for the brunette. Vash whistled a low note as he began to walk to their small but sturdy shed, standing beside the open door. The goats jumped and bleated as they obeyed their master's command, entering their little home for the night for some much needed rest. Since they were such trouble seekers, Vash couldn't leave them out with a simple fence as they jumped it frequently. He didn't want to risk them leaving their pen and something catching them. Quietly he closed the door and secured it to keep them inside, then went into the house for the night.
He could hear Lichtenstein in the parlor with the radio again, most likely working on another sewing project, so he decided to use this time to get a shower. Vash grabbed a set of pajamas from his room and headed into the larger bathroom that he and his sister were sharing before shutting the door and stripping down. Slowly he looked over his form in the mirror after turning the water on to warm up, inwardly frowning at the various colors that covered the peach flesh. It may be uncomfortable, but it was worth it. Once steam began to rise from the shower, he stepped in and carefully cleaned up.
After he was finished he went upstairs and into his room, leaving the door open a bit. He wanted to read some more tonight but decided against doing so downstairs for fear he would fall asleep on the sofa again. Sitting on the large bed, he picked up one of his favorite books and decided to read a couple chapters before settling in for a good night's sleep.
Roderich had to keep himself from his rolling his eyes as Eiger took the bag from his hands in search for more carrots. The goat was absolutely adorable but absolutely ridiculous all at the same time. “I don’t have any more carrots,” he seriously informed all three of the goats as the sniffed at his pockets. Looking away from the three creatures he dully looked over at Vash. “Your goats are ridiculous,” Roderich bluntly informed Vash as he gave the little creatures some scratches. He only stopped petting them when they rushed off to go play a little.
Roderich turned all of his attention over at Vash as he responded to his question. He was somewhat glad that the aspirin was working for the other male. “That is good,” Roderich commented. “I’m feeling better. I felt when you got injured and I haven’t checked to see if there was a bruise but I’ve been okay. It seems like my people are starting to do a little better. I didn’t wake up in pain this morning from hunger so that is a plus,” he said as he looked down at the needy little goats that returned to him. These goats were really growing on him. It was going to stink when he went back to his empty home.
Petting the two that were nudging him he looked back at Vash. “Should we go in? It’s getting pretty cold and dark,” he asked as he gave the goats one last pat. Roderich was also feeling a little bit sleepy and could take a good shower and go to bed. He also had a letter to write to his boss but that could wait until the morning. A soft yawn escaped his lips as he walked out of the enclosure. He was definitely ready to go to sleep. For a split second he even contemplating skipping the bath but decided against that.
Vash couldn't help but give a small smile as Roderich gave one of the goats a look that he had seen plenty of times in the past. It had mostly been reserved for Feliciano when he was up to his usual antics but the Swiss had earned it a couple of times. It brought back so many memories that he had tried hard to forget. His form leaned back as he recalled the last time he had been given that scolding look; he had told the Austrian after a long conversation that he had been skipping meals in order to place his money into other things, such as sustaining his people. He was certain that if the brunette had the power to ground him, he most certainly would have. Vash had been doing better as a country at that time but still didn't have enough money to spread it equally in each place it needed to go, food for himself was typically the first to be skipped. He also remembered the tongue-lashing he had received and how Roderich immediately sat him at the table and gave him a nice, hot meal.
Life was so much simpler in those days.
Bright eyes watched as the Austrian doled out the carrots, explaining to them why each goat was fed in the order they were, a fact that amused him a bit. It wasn't as if they could understand. Once they finished, he watched as Eiger snatched the empty bag from Roderich's hand, chewing on it briefly before dropping it on the ground and returning to the male. He didn't seem to understand that Austria was simply the giver of the carrots while Switzerland was the keeper, though it wasn't as if he had anymore with him. Jungfrau nosed Roderich's pockets, seeing what was inside, before jumping over to Vash and doing the same. He pulled out a pen which the blonde quickly pulled out of his mouth and lightly rubbed his head afterwards.
[+green "Better now that some of the aspirin had a chance to work,"] he answered quietly, continuing to rub the goat's head. Jungfrau closed his eyes, Vash then moving to scratch behind his ears. [+green "Mostly just a dull pain but I'm fine. I've had much worse. Are you feeling any better since you've been here? Hopefully you've felt a difference in your people."]
Roderich was doing his best to keep petting all three goats. The greatest flaw in his anatomy, however, was that he had two hands and there were three goats. At least Mönch was understanding and just leaned against him. Taking a seat on one of the barrels he listened to Vash talk about them liking the attention and Jungfrau taking things out of pockets. “He will be very disappointed with what he will find in my pockets. There may be a lint ball or two,” Roderich said as Jungfrau jumped back over to Vash. This freed up a hand to pet the very patient Mönch who was rapidly becoming Roderich’s favorite. Not that he would have a favorite goat... that would just be silly.
As Vash pulled out a bag of carrots Roderich sent the other nation a dirty look. All three goats were very interested in the treat. “See I didn’t have the treats,” he told the three as Vash handed over the carrots to him. When Eiger tried to take the bag of carrots Roderich pulled it away and fixed the goat with the same look he gave Feliciano when he destroyed something. “Naughty Eiger,” he said, scolding the creature, as he pulled out a carrot.
“Mönch gets the first one. He was patient and a good goat,” Roderich informed the other two like they could understand him. The second carrot was given to Jungfrau because he was also being slightly good and the last to Eiger. “I have no more carrots,” he informed the three as he showed his hands and the empty bag. He had a feeling that they didn’t care or understand him but it was worth a try.
With the carrots all gone he went back to petting the three. “How are you feeling?” He asked. Roderich doubted Vash was feeling good but he figured he would ask now that some time had passed from the attack.
[+green "I think they'll like you regardless,"] Vash answered quietly, watching as the three creatures stood around Roderich as they waited for their pets and ear scratches. Eiger seemed the most impatient, always trying to follow the Austrian's hand when it moved to pet one of the others. If he decided he had gone too long without attention, he would jump up on one of the crates near Roderich and lightly headbutt his side until he got what he wanted. Mönch seemed to be the more mellow of the three, resting against Roderich's side and waiting until he got the attention he so rightfully deserved. Jungfrau seemed torn between the two males, jumping between them to get attention from both of them. They were all so different and Vash loved them all equally. [+green "They enjoy attention just as much. They are very curious, though, and Jungfrau has been known to take things out of my pockets."]
Vash moved over to them slowly, sitting down on an overturned barrel next to the brunette, and unbuttoned the top of his coat. Reaching inside, he pulled out a bag of carrots and handed it over to Roderich so he could give the goats the treats they so badly wanted. Little tails wagged as bright eyes caught sight of the orange vegetable, all three of them moving closer in order to get the first carrot. Eiger, the little devil, tried to snag the entire bag from his hand but was pushed back gently by the blonde. It seemed Vash had seen this behavior before.
[+green "They just like company, I think,"] he answered quietly, folding his arms loosely over his chest as he watched Roderich dole out the carrots to the eager goats. [+green "They're much calmer in the morning, sometimes I'll take my tea out here with them. Mönch will sometimes lay in my lap if I sit in the grass with them."]
Roderich couldn’t help but roll his eyes at the goat’s antics. “There is nothing in there,” he calmly informed Jungfrau when the little fella started nosing around his pockets. Of course Roderich’s words meant little to the goat who decided instead to shove his snout into his pocket. Jungfrau was only set up for disappointment when he found nothing in Roderich’s pockets. The silly creature should have really tried Vash’s pockets instead because there was a better chance that he was hiding something. As Eiger also got in on the action Roderich looked overly Mönch who was butting his hand gently. Scratching Mönch’s head he gave the other two an exasperated sigh. “There really isn’t anything there. I don’t have any more treats,” Roderich added knowing that it was no use. Goats would be goats.
The attention and blatant begging ended rapidly as Vash opened up their food container. Almost instantly they were surrounding Vash and Roderich thought he was finally safe up until the three sucked down their meal and surrounded him again. “Like I said earlier I have no treats,” he softly informed the three as he gave all of them pets. He looked up at Vash when the other male mentioned that he should come out and play with them sometime. It wasn’t a bad idea. Roderich actually found himself enjoying these silly creatures company. They didn’t expect much out of him besides pets and occasional treats and they were kind of cute. He may have to take Vash up on that suggestion.
“They like me until they find out I’m not the one with treats,” Roderich replied as he continued to pat the goats. Eventually they would get bored of him when they realized that he had nothing else to offer them. “Are they always this needy?” He asked Vash out of curiosity. Roderich wasn’t really complaining about it though because he was more than happy to pet the goats. he was just more curious if this was normal behavior for the three.
Vash watched quietly with a faint smile as Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch raced up to the happily to enjoy their company and, even more importantly, the treats. He allowed Roderich to give them their before-dinner snack, observing as they jumped on each other and pushed once they saw the orange vegetable. Little tails even wagged a little bit as they were fed. [+green "They enjoy company,"] he responded quietly, watching as Jungfrau began nosing the Austrian's pockets to see if he were hiding anything else in there. After all, pockets equaled treats. His snout eventually disappeared into the pocket, emerging when Eiger pushed his nose in as well to examine as well. Mönch seemed to take a different approach, nuzzling Roderich's hand and hoping cute antics would get him extra food. After all, it worked with Vash.
The Swiss moved over to a sealed barrel with three metal bowls around it, pulling open the top with a loud pop. It caught the attention of the animals quickly, immediately running and jumping over in the excitement of dinner time. Vash picked up a scoop that was already inside, filling their bowls with enough nutritious food for them, then sealing it shut. They seemed to be little vacuums, taking no time at all to consume their meal, before they ran back over to Roderich to beg for more carrots and attention. [+green "They are taking rather well to you,"] he told him quietly, watching them stand around the Austrian happily. [+blue "You should come out and play with them sometime."]
Liechtenstein beat Roderich to clearing the table. He had just been about to get up when she swept in and cleared it. Since she cleared the table he had full intentions and helping clean the dishes in a few minutes.
“Thank you,” Roderich said as Liechtenstein returned and brought out some carrot cake. Roderich was rather full but he had a weak spot for sweets and he was going to give in. There was no way he would be able to say no. Taking a bite of the cake he was glad that he gave into his desires because it was absolutely amazing. “This is delicious Liechtenstein,” Roderich said to the smaller nation all while savoring the dessert. When the last bite was consumed Roderich completely regretted his choices. He was disgustingly full at this point but the food wasn’t too bad so he really couldn’t regret his decisions too much.
Once everyone was finished Roderich stood up to help Liechtenstein clear the rest of the table and do the dishes when Vash stopped him. Feeding the goats was acceptable. “Okay,” he replied before leaving the dinning room for his room. Once he had a coat he came back downstairs and met back up with Vash and trailed after him as the man went to feed the goats.
“They are rather eager and happy to see you,” Roderich commented as he watched the goats jumping all over each other in joy. They were rather adorable in their antics. Slipping into the enclosure behind Vash he took the carrots offered to him and watched the goats for a few seconds, letting them duke it out for a few seconds, before offering up his carrots. “Such silly creatures.” He added as the goats started nuzzling his hand while searching for more food.
Vash kept a watchful eye on his sister as she ate her dinner, occasionally letting his gaze drift over to Roderich as well. He knew they were worried about him, something he understood but still felt they were being silly about. He had come home with much worse injuries than this, Liechtenstein could attest to that. These weren't something he would die from nor would they hinder him longer than a couple of weeks. Still, he knew how they thought and knew they were just worried about him and wanted to help. It was why as soon as dinner was over, Liechtenstein picked up her dishes as well as the others and took them to the kitchen so they could be washed. She returned shortly after with a small piece of carrot cake for all of them, something that caused the blonde male to smile. He knew how hard she worked on it and loved that she thought enough of him to bring him something sweet. His sweet tooth wasn't near as bad as Roderich's but it was still known to appear from time to time.
Once finished, Liechtenstein again got up to clear the table and work on the dishes. Vash stopped Roderich before he could join her, gently nudging him towards the doorway. [+green "You can help me feed the goats,"] he informed him quietly. [+green "It's still a bit chilly out, you should grab a coat. I'll get some treats for them and be out in a minute."] He left the Austrian to do as he instructed, heading into the kitchen to pick up some carrots before going to retrieve his coat. After pulling it on slowly as not to agitate his injuries, he headed out into the backyard to the goat pen. They were happy to see the two humans, jumping and bleating until they approached the gate, immediately running over as it was opened. Vash smiled at this, leaning down and rubbing their heads before nudging them back so he could close the gate once they were both in. Afterwards, he handed Roderich a few carrots in order to feed the happy goats.
Roderich gave Vash a small nod as he listened to how stews kept well and were filling. He already knew that information but he was willing to humor the injured male. He was also planning on humoring the other nation by eating. He wasn’t too hungry right now especially after seeing all of Vash’s injuries. The only other reason besides humoring Vash that Roderich was willingly eating was because Vash was right about needing to put some meat on his bones. Ever since the war ended Roderich noticed a small but steady decline in his weight and Roderich really didn’t have much weight to work with in the first place.
Taking a piece of bread he gently dipped it into the stew in carefully ate it. As expected the food was absolutely delicious which is what he would expect out of these two siblings. He was pretty sure they could make an old shoe taste good if they wanted to; not that Roderich wanted to test that theory out.
Before Roderich knew it he was finished with his food and was completely full and content. Roderich had originally doubted his ability to even eat but he was proved wrong. It really did help that the food was delicious. Looking over at Vash he watched the other male eat for a few seconds before looking away. He really didn’t like the fact that Vash took a beating for him but there wasn’t much he could do about. And by much Roderich really meant nothing.
Taking a sip of water he pondered his next course of actions. He knew Ivan wasn’t going to do anything for awhile which may give Roderich enough time to get Alfred to pressure Ivan out of his country. The most important thing to Roderich at this moment was that Vash didn’t get hurt again.
Liechtenstein kept her arms loosely around her brother, letting go only when she felt Vash's hand run through her hair. She knew he had to be hurting, certainly whatever was in the first aid kit wouldn't be strong enough to handle the discomfort the older country was in. She vowed to dig around in the medicine cabinet after dinner to see if she could find something to help. She knew Vash very well by this point and knew it wasn't something he would ask for. He was the older brother and he was supposed to take care of her, not the other way around. She had heard such statements before but it didn't mean she couldn't help a little. Besides, she doubted he'd go looking for them on his own, anyway. At least not for a few more hours. Liechtenstein lifted her gaze up to her brother's face, giving him a small smile as he gently tousled her hair and nudged her in the direction of the table.
Vash sat slowly, focusing on keeping as much discomfort from his face as possible. The aspirin was working some, keeping the smaller bumps and bruises from annoying him but did little to quell the aching around his torso. The table was uncomfortably quiet, even for him, and he knew he was the cause of it. Picking a fight with the mad Russian wasn't the brightest idea he had acquired in his life but it was a necessary evil. Most countries knew what the small blonde was capable of and steered clear of him and his anger streak for that very reason. Ivan, on the other hand, didn't understand things unless they were beaten into his brain. That's exactly what Vash did. It wasn't easy but it reassured Vash that Roderich wouldn't be accosted or intimidated by the large country for a long time. He and Austria may not be friends anymore but he promised his sister that he would take care of him.
He began to serve them, as he had done the previous meals, and looked up when the brunette finally spoke. Carefully he set the last filled bowl down and picked up a piece of bread to pull apart. [+green "Stews last for quite some time and they hardly lose flavor,"] Vash informed him quietly. [+green "They're also quite filling and the potatoes will put some more meat on your bones, which is exactly what you need right now."]
Roderich gave Liechtenstein a nod when she told him that the water pitcher was all that was left. “I’ll go fill the water pitcher then,” he replied as he left the dining room. The pitcher was exactly where Liechtenstein had said it was and the quick and easy task was rapidly completed, leaving Roderich back to his previous predicament of nothing to do. Returning to the dining room he sat the pitcher down when he heard some rustling in the kitchen. It was most likely Vash banging around in the room. Before Roderich could go and check on the other male Vash came into the dining room.
Roderich couldn’t help but cringe at the sight of Vash. Even though he had helped Vash with his injuries and seen them Roderich just couldn’t help it. They looked so bad and the change of lighting wasn’t helping at all. The dining room just illuminated other bruises that hadn’t looked as bad in the bedroom. No matter what room there were in Roderich just couldn’t help but feel guilty for Vash’s state. The worst part is that Vash was right earlier. Roderich leaving would make Vash’s actions for nothing. Though what hurt the most was seeing Liechtenstein’s reaction. It made Roderich feel a whole lot worst and he had to look away as the two hugged. Roderich would really like to disappear right now.
Taking a deep breath he sat down at the table while avoiding looking at the two siblings. Was he hungry? Absolutely not. He lost his appetite when the pain had set in on his side and even worst when he saw Vash’s injuries. He didn’t want to eat at all but he knew he had to. It was for his own good that he eat to keep up his strength for the demand of his people. Trying to think of something to say he commented on the food. “The food smells good,” he said. It did smell good he just had no interest in eating it but he would try.
Liechtenstein bit her lip as she carefully lifted the large pot from the stove with a potholder she had grabbed from a nearby counter and carried it to the table with Roderich's help. She was certainly grateful he was here to help her as she knew she never would have been able to carry such a large and heavy object on her own. The transition from stove top to table was incredibly smooth and soon the two countries were standing and admiring their teamwork as their meal sat steaming on the table's surface. Emerald eyes flickered over to her guest as he asked his question before looking back to the table and eyeing it carefully. Bread, butter, plates, and silverware all seemed to be in place, sitting beautifully in their usual spots. [+purple "I didn't have time to get the water pitcher filled,"] she admitted quietly after a minute and looking up at the tall male beside her. [+purple "It's beside the sink if you'd like to fill it."]
Vash slowly made his way down the staircase, holding onto the banister with one hand and the ice in the other. He still looked a horrid sight and knew so but imagined his absence would worry his little sister more than his appearance. If it weren't for her he probably would have remained in bed to allow his form to rest. Quietly he entered the kitchen, setting the melting ice back into the freezer to be used later, before making his way into the dining room. The table had been set and awaiting use, Vash wondering how long it had been sitting this way. It didn't appear to be long as the stew seemed rather hot still and neither of the other two were sitting at the table. Liechtenstein, however, was standing nearby and turned as she felt someone behind her. The sad and somewhat upset look she gave him hurt whatever soul he had left and caused him to move over to her and carefully brush her hair back.
[+green "Everything's fine; I see that look and you don't need to worry,"] he told her quietly. He gently pulled her against his chest to reassure her, the smaller country biting her lip as she hugged him back. [+green "I'm well taken care of and I'll heal in no time. Now let's eat, I'm sure the two of you are starving."]
Liechtenstein’s suggestion was a rather good one. Roderich was dreading the idea of trying to move the hot pot by himself. He was and has never been the most physically strong nation in the world and he could move the pot but it could be a rather large pain. He also was worried that he would
somehow, someway, spill the soup on him. Which would be a rather unpleasant experience.
“That would be the best way to move the pot,” he softly replied as he eyed the heavy pot for a few seconds before moving over to the stove. Grabbing a pot holder he waited for Liechtenstein. Once she was there with him he carefully moved the pot off the stove and together brought it to the table. The pot wasn’t as heavy as he expected it to be but it wasn’t by any means light either. He would have been able to move it by himself but it wouldn’t have been as smooth as this transition.
Taking a step back he looked over the table. It looked like Liechtenstein had set up the tables and everything looked good to him. “Is there anything else you need me to do?” Roderich asked as he turned his attention over to the smaller nation. Asking just in case there was something he just so happened not to see. Also he asked because they were still waiting on Vash to come down. He didn’t expect Vash to be fast down the stairs either.
Vash stared up at the ceiling as he heard Roderich speak, followed by soft footsteps exiting the room after. He imagined that a few more minutes with the ice on his eye and it would be acceptable enough to be seen by the others. He knew it wouldn't be a pleasant sight but the swelling would be reduced a bit. Emerald eyes closed for another moment, a quiet sigh filling the room for a brief second. This was such a strange and a bit of an uncomfortable position to be in; for years he had spent his time protecting Roderich and taking care of him, now the tables had turned a bit and the one who was once cared for was taking care of him. He didn't regret what he did, in fact he would do it again just because of who he was fighting. There was no way Austria was strong enough to endure what Russia had just done to himself, not in his current state, and Vash knew the brunette would have been annihilated. Even though the two didn't get along well right now he would still protect his once-friend for as long as he could.
After five or ten more minutes, Vash slowly sat up and groaned quietly. His torso ached despite the aspirin while his back and neck felt quite stiff. Still, he pushed himself to stand while pulling the ice away from his face. Quietly and slowly he made his way down the stairs and into the kitchen to put the ice back into the freezer.
Liechtenstein turned, hearing Roderich, and gave him a soft smile. He always seemed willing to help, even if he wasn't sure if he could. He was such a nice person and seemed to care deeply about his friends. She wasn't sure if even he could lift the huge pot since he lost so much mass. She'd help if she could. [+purple "That would be wonderful, Mr. Austria,"] she said softly. [+purple "How about we each take a handle and carry it in to the table?"]
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