Kind!Prussia x Abused!Reader:
(name) sighed and pushed a strand of (h/c) hair out of her face. As it fell back, she sighed again and crossed her (e/c) eyes. Just wonderful. She grasped a hair tie from her wrist and messily bound her hair back. Then her gaze returned to the old graves. This was her place of peace... well as peaceful as her life could get. She could not flee from her own thoughts after all. But a moment without any screams, yells, attacks... yeah. A place of peace. Just an old, probably forgotten graveyard. Somewhere in the woods. Trees in between the graves. It was almost tranquil, like a stop in time.
If she would be able to choose where she'll die, it would be this place. Her last minutes should be nice ones. No kidding though, if life went on as it was right now, she would be able to choose her dying place.
She sighed again and watched as the sun slowly disappeared through the branches of the forest.
It was the usual time of day he went to the old cemetery in the woods, to visit the graves of the soldiers that fought for him. It was a weekly ritual and he knew he could wear a face no one would usually see. No one would be there, no one knew of the cemetery. As far as he knew. But this time he was shaken from his mood as he noticed the figure there. Watching the graves and the trees. Silent, quiet. Almost... dead. He barely could see the chest rising and falling. But he immediately noticed that it was a girl. Young, a bit thin perhaps.
Slowly he stepped closer, seeing that the girl with (h/c) hair was deep in thoughts, not even noticing him approaching.
The clearing of a throat shook her from her thoughts, and somehow she was glad for it. She quickly turned and gazed at the man. Albino, was her first thought. And then... kind? He smiled apologetically.
“Sorry.” he said and scratched his neck. “Didn't want to startle you.”
“It's fine.” she softly said and met his red eyes before looking away, afraid of what she would see. “Not many come here.”
“No, not many do.” he said and nodded, looking at her curiously, but noticed her discomfort and then looked away.
She nodded as well and then gulped. “I'll be going then.” Just the thought of going back there made breathing difficult. But she had to return anyway... so she might just as well go now.
“I don't mind.” he softly said. “I don't mind, and I hope you do not either.”
She looked up and he was surprised by the shock and surprise in her eyes... as if it had been the first time since long ago that someone cared about what she wanted and thought.
“No...” she softly answered and this time her (e/c) slightly softened as they stayed on his. “I do not.”
“Good.” he said and smiled.
Together they sat down on an old stone bench and shared a silence. While Gilbert was watching the graves, (name)'s eyes were focused on the sinking sun, counting the time until she needed to go. She wanted to continue this. It was comfortable.
Then she stood and cleared her throat. “I need to go.”
He smiled at her softly and then grinned, holding out his hand. “Gilbert's the name.”
“(name).” she softly answered and shook his hand. “Nice to meet you.”
He smiled wider. “See you again?”
She looked at the horizon and her heart lurched. “Maybe.” she answered and then waved as she disappeared into the woods.
Cowering under the covers of her bed, she counted the injuries numbly. 14 new bleeding scrapes from her mother's fingernails, bruised ribs on both sides from her brother's kicks and a ring of imprinted big hands around her neck. She could barely talk and breathe thanks to her father's choking grip. Apparently he hadn't wanted to hear her screams of pain and whimpers, pleads to stop this time around. Sometimes he did. Not this time around.
She coughed weakly and combed her shaking fingers through her hair. She got out of bed as soon as she stopped shaking and searched for the clothes she would wear the following day. A scarf or turtleneck to cover the hand-prints. And long-sleeves. She swallowed and regretted it a moment later. Her throat hurt so much. Without any tears she fell back down onto her bed, knowing her brother would add some new marks to her body in the morning and she might as well try to sleep, despite the always present nightmares. But maybe this night she'll dream about Gilbert and how nice he had been to her. Maybe she'd see his red, kind eyes and the way his slightly silvery white hair gleamed in the setting sun and how the shared silence had been so comfortable.
With an almost non-existent smile she burrowed herself under the covers and drifted off.
Gilbert stood at the back door and looked at the woods not so far away from the house. The woods that hid the cemetery. And apparently that girl. He had been there just yesterday, but somehow wanted to go there again. He stood there for minutes, the wind ruffling his silvery white hair as his red gaze went into nothing.
“Bruder?” came from the inside. “What's wrong?”
He looked back to see his younger brother, Ludwig and smiled softly, without a word turning his gaze back to the woods.
Ludwig frowned slightly. Was an anniversary coming up he did not know about? He went through his memories. No, all the time his brother had behaved normally around this time of the year. So what was up now?
“I'll take the dogs out for a walk.” Gilbert suddenly said and whistled through his teeth. A few seconds later, three dogs sat in front of him, tails wagging. Patiently, he leashed them and then put on his boots and his jacket.
“Be careful.” Ludwig called as Gilbert went out through the garden.
(name) held her cheek as she stumbled to the old graveyard, hoping that Gilbert was not there. He could not see her this way. Surely, he had been kind. But once he realized how everyone treated her, he was sure to do so as well. They all bow to the pressure. It's easier that way for them. Her cheek stings as the tears rush down her face. Normally they avoided her face. Normally they never went past the throat, the neck, which was bad enough. As it was, her (h/c) hair hung messily around her head, she shivered in the cold without any shoes or jacket. Only jeans, thin socks and a thin top covered her. She shuddered and sniffed slightly, stumbling further along the way. Maybe she would freeze to death tonight. Or her heart would just stop beating. Yeah, that would be great. Just to die, in the peaceful place she loved. She stumbled further through the dark post-sunset woods. Once every while she stumbled over a root or stone and fell, scraping her skin even more open. But she didn't notice it.
Salvation was so close, she only wanted to reach that place and finally leave. She didn't belong here anyway. And no one would miss her, so why stay?
Gilbert had waited from late afternoon to sunset for her, but she did not turn up. Maybe she had to do something today. Maybe she had been there before he came. Maybe she only came here once a week or so. But something told him to stay, something told him that there was something wrong and he should stay. Stay and wait for her. The girl with the sad (e/c) eyes. The one he didn't know, but somehow still did. Like... he knew her.
He sighed and looked at his watch. The sun had set a while ago and he resigned himself to coming back tomorrow, maybe.
A short whistle and the dogs, who had been all over the place came to his side. “Come on, boys. Let's go home.”
Berlitz, the golden retriever, wagged his tail furiously, as he followed Gilbert and Aster and Blackie away from the graveyard, but then stopped.
“Berlitz!” Gilbert called. The dogs were trained, so they always listened to their commands. He didn't have the energy to get why this dog was behaving weirdly. Berlitz sniffed the air and then turned, whining. He looked back at Gilbert and then towards the treeline at the other side of the graves, and then back at Gilbert.
“What is it, Berlitz?” the golden retriever whined again at Gilbert question and the slowly walked forward to where he had been looking. That spot also seemingly got the attention of Aster and Blackie now, as they followed Berlitz.
Gilbert sighed and went after them, to leash them again, when he noticed what the three dogs had found.
A bruised and bleeding figure with (h/c) hair lay slumped against a gravestone, unmoving. Gilbert slowly stepped closer, recognizing the girl.
“(name)?” he asked softly and went to shake the girl awake. “(name)?” louder then, as she didn't move, didn't twitch. He quickly knelt down in front of her and moved the curtain of (h/c) hair hiding her face. He gasped in shock at the cuts among her face, and the big bruise on her left cheek, the tracks of tears on her face. Trying to wake her once more, and failing, Gilbert made a decision. Quickly leashing the dogs, he carefully lifted (name) into his arms and took the leash's of the dogs into the hand grasping her knees.
The dogs stood at attention, nervous about the scent of blood, and quickly Aster, Berlitz, Blackie and Gilbert made their way through the forest towards their home. Gilbert did not know where else to bring her. And he was concerned. Who would do this to such a sweet girl?
“Bruder?!” Ludwig saw them from afar, having looked for his older brother. He had taken far too long and now he returned after sunset with a bloody girl in his arms?
“I found her in the forest and couldn't wake her. She is barely breathing.” Gilbert commented as Ludwig took the dogs from him and let him inside the house.
“Can you prepare the guest room and some first aid? We need to help her.”
(e/c) eyes slowly blinked open and saw a white ceiling. Looking around, it seemed like a homy room inside a nice house. Clearly not her home, though. She was not really awake yet, but felt the pain and soreness of her whole body. Why didn't she die? She had been alone at the graveyard, had lost consciousness just as she reached the edge of it, sinking down next to a gravestone. Clearly, she should have died.
The door creaked open and her panicked (e/c) eyes flew to the figure entering as her mind caught up. They would hurt her. They always did, no matter who. Her breath quickened. Why hadn't she died? Why hadn't she been freed from this pain?
“Hey, shhhh. Relax.” a soft, slightly accented voice came. It was kind, calm and familiar.
Slowly (name) realized that it was Gilbert kneeling next to the bed and softly talking to her in comforting words.
“Everything is fine. You'll be fine.”
“Gil-” she croaked out and reached a shaking hand towards him. She noticed the bandages and shivered as he took her hand in his and intertwined their finger. “Shhh. You're safe here.”
Gilbert smiled sadly as she cried and kept holding her hand, talking softly to her. She was so very afraid.
“Please...” she whispered now and then between sniffles. “Please...”
“What do you need?” he softly asked, aware of his younger brother in the hallway.
“Please don't hurt me.” she finished softly and cried harder. “Please... Please.”
Gilbert frowned. “Hey, hey. Shhh. Why should I hurt you? You're safe here, I promise.”
A few minutes of crying and pleading later, after Gilbert had gotten her to take some medicine for her headache and her immune system, she had gone back to sleep.
Meeting his brother in the hallway, they wordlessly walked to the kitchen.
“Do you know what might have happened to her?” Ludwig asked curiously after a short silence.
“She was beaten to a pulp, with no defense of her own. They aimed for most hurt, it seems.” Gilbert said and began making coffee. It was early morning, and he had stayed close to the guest room all night, ready to be there for her when she woke. “But it wasn't the first time. She has scars all over her body.”
“And in her heart. She seems so afraid.” Ludwig added. “What do you think we should do, brother?”
“We will nurse her back to health, find out who did this to her. It must have been connected to her family, or she would not have run away.” He paused. “I cannot let her go like that. She is vulnerable and fearful. It would be best she stayed with us.”
Ludwig sighed at the determination in his older brother's voice. When Gilbert got like that, there was no stopping him. And he actually agreed. To give her over to the government who would probably give her away... no. Gilbert was right. It was best she stayed with them and let them heal her heart and soul. And protect her. She would never be hurt again with them by her side.