On the edge of summer
“I missed you.”
The words shocked Liechtenstein. To hear Austria say such things… it warmed her heart. It was all she had ever wanted as a child; his attention and love and affection. And while she was much older, she was still a child in so many different aspects. She was still that little girl who wanted nothing more than for Austria to love and dote on her. And after hundreds of years, they were finally there. She wanted to cry, sob on his shoulder, but decided to hold back. “I-I missed you too…” She said, her voice muffled due to her burying her head in Austria’s shoulder.
Liechtenstein eventually regained her composure, and slowly pulled away. She peered over at her gift and gasped lightly, utterly elated by the content. She had never been able to play the piano too well, Austria knew, but the fact that he thought she was decent enough to own a music book was absolutely flattering. “Th-this… it’s so lovely!” Liechtenstein once again tried desperately not to cry. She spent so much time moping over how she wasn’t close to her family, and yet… here she was, back in Austria’s house.
Holding the book in her hands, she shook slightly, before she finally gave up and let loose. Crying was awfully undignified, but it was her birthday and she was so, so happy and just couldn’t hold it in any longer.
“You’re… are you all right?” Austria leaned forward. “Ach, don’t cry—your brother will never let me hear the end of it if he finds out.”
Gently taking the book from Liechtenstein’s hands, he propped it on the stand, handing the ribbon back to her. “Do you want some water or something?” He asked, unsure of how exactly to respond to the sudden outburst. Producing a handkerchief from his pocket, Austria gently sat her down on the edge of the bench and handed it to her.
“You know,” he suggested, “when I’m overwhelmed by anything, I find it helpful to play. Then again—” he laughed a little “—everyone is different, I imagine. But why don’t you give one a go?” One hand rested on the smooth surface of the piano as if to emphasize his point. “I know you haven’t played in a while… If you get stuck I’ll help you out, yes? Birthday gift.”