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?"]
Roderich nodded a little as Vash said he was fine eating down stairs. It wasn’t really an issue to bring him food but Roderich didn’t want to push the issue. Instead he would silently accept it. He really needed something to do so he didn’t get sucked into his thoughts and the only thing he could think to do was help Liechtenstein. Giving Vash one last glance his heart stung a little bit from seeing him in this state. Roderich really wished Ivan wasn’t interested in him but more importantly he wished he was strong enough to take these hits. Either way these were thoughts he needed to dismiss and dismiss fast or else he would do something stupid.
“I’m going to help your sister with setting up. Take your time coming down,” He told Vash before making his retreat down the stairs.
He made his way into the kitchen to see Liechtenstein staring at the pot of stew. Said stew smelled delicious but that wasn’t important at this moment. How to get the pot off the stove was going to be interesting. Even Roderich could see it as a potential problem which wasn’t good at all. Roderich didn’t know about Liechtenstein but he didn’t have any upper body strength. Roderich was pretty weak.
“Do you need help?” He asked as he eyed the stew. Roderich wasn’t too sure about his abilities to carry the pot but he was going to try.
Vash sighed quietly, keeping the ice over his eye and part of his face. This was the bruising he was most concerned about and wanted to decrease as quickly as possible. It wasn't the worst one by far, other dark blue and purple spots on his torso were worlds worse than that one, but it was the most visible. The others he could hide simply by throwing a shirt on. Not this one. He didn't want to worry his sister any more than she already was; Roderich was a bit too late for that ship as he had seen and cared for the damage.
He kept the injured eye closed as the other flickered over to Roderich, the brunette moving back to his side after cleaning up the remains of the first aid kit. Vash didn't want them to put any extra effort into dinner nor did he want them to think the damage he received from his spat with Russia was serious so he decided to join them for dinner instead. [+green "I'm fine, I can eat downstairs,"] he responded. [+green "I'll head down in a few minutes, I just want to rest with the ice for a little bit longer. You should see if Liechtenstein needs any help with dinner."]
The smaller country had finished the bread by this time, the confection sliced and sitting neatly in a basket on the table. Butter also accompanied it, sitting close by with the salt and pepper. The stew was almost ready to eat and bubbled noisily in its pot, Liechtenstein taking the ladle and stirring it once more before extinguishing the flame under it. She bit her lip faintly as she looked at the giant pot, not quite sure how she was going to transfer it from the stove to the table. It was incredibly heavy and Vash always made it look easy.
Roderich stood awkwardly besides Vash’s bed and watched as Vash put the ice pack on his face. They probably needed five more packs for all of Vash’s bruising but they would have to make do. Looking around Roderich had the undying urge to bust himself lest he let his guilt get to him. The only thing he could find that needed any semblance of attention was the first aid kit.
Walking over to the kit he began to put away the items they used while listening to Vash’s reply. “If it’s too much to go down there you don’t have to. I’m sure it won’t be any extra work for her or me,” Roderich told Vash. He was willing to bring the food up and back down for Vash if he really didn’t want to bother his sister. It was Roderich’s fault, after all, that Vash was black and blue.
That thought caused Roderich to pause and purse his lips. He knew that he was going to have a hard time not thinking about Vash’s condition but he didn’t think he would have this hard of a time. Knowing himself he was going to feel guilty for a while. With a soft mental sigh he went back to putting away the rest of the supplies. “It didn’t look like she had much longer. Ten? Twenty minutes at most,” Roderich added. Putting the last few items away he closed the kit and was back to awkwardly standing there. He didn’t know what to say or what to do. Having spent way too much of his time with instruments really degraded his ability to talk to carry a conversation. Despite that he didn’t want to leave Vash either.
Vash sighed quietly as he lay flat, focusing on keeping his body still to bring the ache down. He could admit that what he did wasn't very bright but it got the point across: Russia couldn't have him. Roderich was in the blonde's care once again and he would care for the brunette until he could get back on his feet, just as he did before. The days of the larger country intimidating and beating other countries into submission in order to get what he wanted were done when it came to Vash. He could be just as stubborn as Ivan and twice as crafty. He wasn't going to win this time.
He opened his eyes again as he heard Roderich enter, looking up as the male approached his bed and held out the bag of ice. Slowly Vash took it and rested it over his head and part of his eye to reduce the swelling there. It was most noticeable and he didn't want to worry his little sister too much. She had enough to fret about, Liechtenstein didn't need this, too. [+green "I'll come down, she doesn't need to work harder than she already is,"] he groaned quietly as he shifted a bit. It was the best move to prove that he was actually okay and not lying about it. The bruises and contusions on his flesh begged to differ, but as long as he could do most of the things he could before, he didn't consider it a brutal beating. [+green "How much longer until she's done?"]
Roderich nodded as Liechtenstein pointed out where the bags were kept. Walking over to the cabinet he paused only for a moment as he heard her question about her older brother. He wasn’t too sure on what to say to her about Vash’s condition. He didn’t want her to worry too much but he also didn’t want to lie to her. After a quick second of thought he opened the cabinet. “Vash will be fine eventually. He needs some rest and some ice for the swelling,” he vaguely replied as he grabbed the bag and turned back to her. Roderich would let Vash tell his full story about his injuries to his sister if it ever came to that.
“Thank you,” Roderich added once he saw that she had grabbed the ice. Opening the bag he carefully filled it with ice and closed it back up once it was completely full. “I’ll see if Vash is interested in dinner while I’m up there. The bread smells amazing,” he added.
Roderich wasn’t really hungry after finding out what happened but knew he needed to eat. Him not eating wasn’t going to help him when it came to his people. At least with him being fed it was easier to ignore his people’s hunger. Roderich didn’t want to ignore their suffering but there was nothing more he could do. They would just need to ride it out until the food Liechtenstein and Switzerland was providing got evenly distributed.
Sending Liechtenstein a weak smile he picked up the ice bag and he went upstairs, back to Vash’s room. Once he was in the room, having no issues with barging in this Tim, he offered the bag up to Vash. “What do you want me to tell Liechtenstein about dinner? Do you think you’ll be okay enough to come downstairs and eat or do you want us to bring your food up?” He asked.
Roderich may have been correct about a few things but Vash wasn't about to admit that to his face. He was honestly surprised he had convinced the brunette not to disappear in the middle of the night. Even though the blonde had made sure Ivan wouldn't appear anytime soon, it was likely that he would recover at a faster rate than Vash due to his size and resilience. Still it gave Switzerland some time to rest and think about the offensive and defensive moves he would need to take to ensure Austria's safety as well as his own. He decided he would do that later once the aspirin kicked in and he didn't feel as if he were run over by a tank anymore.
Once Roderich finished his first aid, Vash slowly moved to lay down and closed his eyes as he did so. Everything ached, even parts of him he didn't know he had, and didn't plan on moving from his bed for a while. It was easier to lay still and much less painful. Liechtenstein looked up from the kitchen once Austria entered, biting her lip as he asked her about their ice bag. What happened to her big brother?
[+purple "It's in the first aid chest next to the china cabinet,"] she responded quietly. As Austria moved to fetch it, the small blonde headed over to the freezer to pull out some ice to fill it with. [+purple "Is Switzy okay?"] she asked quietly, part of her afraid to hear the answer.
“Unless Ivan is dragging himself back to his house because he can’t walk I doubt he will be out for long,” Roderich pessimistically replied. Ivan had a way with survival. His resilience probably had something to do with how large of a country he was and how frigid his lands could be. Whatever it was Ivan could never be stopped for long. The only way Roderich could see this ending was Alfred intervening, which he was too busy to do, Ivan getting bored and losing interest in Roderich, or giving himself up to whatever cruel plans Ivan had. Until then it was probably going to be a constant back and forth. Ivan may have even learned not to fight Vash head on but he most likely wouldn’t stop. This fact was what Roderich dreaded the most.
Roderich grabbed the tube of cream again and stepped up to Vash. He poured a generous amount onto his hand and carefully began to spread it across the bruises. “It’s going to hurt no matter what I do,” he said as he covered Vash. Falling silent he concentrated on the task and after a minute or two he nearly depleted tube of cream was spread across Vash’s bruises. Roderich hoped that it would help heal Vash up a little bit faster. “Lay down for a little bit. I’ll bring up an ice pack to help with the swelling and tell your sister that you will eventually show your face,” Roderich told Vash as he took a step back and put the cap on the tube.
With that said Roderich made his way to the door. Before his hand could touch the doorknob he glanced at the bruised image of Vash. “Thank you.... by the way,” he awkwardly said before he made his retreat. Leaving the room he quickly went and washed his hands before going down the stairs. “Liechtenstein, where do you guys keep your ice bags?” He asked once he was down he stairs.
Vash sighed heavily, watching Austria for a moment longer. He couldn't tell if he really meant his promise to stay or if he was simply saying those words to silence the blonde and drop his guard. Either way, he planned on keeping an eye on his once-friend to make sure he didn't do anything stupid. He knew how Roderich functioned, even after all of these years apart, and knew that he wanted to take the shortest road to other's recovery. Unfortunately that often led to the Austrian taking the hardest blows and making his situation much worse than it began. Vash could understand, Roderich was trying to make up for lost time. He wanted to be strong enough that he could at least take care of his demons on his own, if not help others with theirs. The brunette couldn't see that he wasn't at that point yet, at least not with this demon. He would need as much aid as he could get.
[+green "I'm sure it'll be quite some time before anyone not already involved sticks their noses into your situation again,"] he promised quietly and hoarsely, dumping out some aspirin into his palm before shutting the bottle again. He tossed it back over to the kit before popping them into his mouth and swallowing, slowly making his way back to the bed and sitting down after. A soft groan sounded, Vash closing his eyes for a minute before allowing them to slowly open again. [+green "Just...try to be quick, okay? It fucking hurts."]
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