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What She Forgot

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The first thing Hungary noticed when she entered the meeting was the girl. Ever since the Great War world meetings had been a consistent blur of horrible sameness, being forced to sit away from her beloved husband (ex-husband, as the stupid former entente loved to remind her) at meetings and endless talk of more and more territorial concessions or punishments for Germany. The divorce wasn't official yet, but it was only a matter of time. If that wasn't enough to send her into the depths of despair, the combined misery of Germany and Prussia was practically contagious as they took punishment after punishment, resigned to their fate.

Thus, the presence of a new face was a welcome change from the depressing repetitiveness of the meetings. What was even better that it was a female face, something that Hungary had not seen very often since the Great War had begun, entrenched in battle with and fighting alongside men. The girl timidly followed Switzerland into the room, her small hand gripped tightly in his. She was painfully thin, and bore the pain of the war's devastation on her body as Hungary herself did. The pain was not a physical one; it was an emotional one that manifested itself in a stunted stature, a hung head and a weary expression. Hungary's heart went out to the girl as she took in her sad face and hollow green eyes. Hungary knew that look. She saw it every day in the reflection of her looking-glass.

The meeting's proceedings had very little to do with her - although she did feel bad for the German brothers, who was the focus of this meeting that was designed for revenge - since they had already decided to split her from Austria. She therefore spent the entire meeting studying the girl who sat beside Switzerland, taking in every detail of her small, delicate face. The girl was in fact stunningly beautiful under the heavy layer of war-sorrow she wore, and Hungary could not help but feel that she recognized the her from somewhere.

Her curiosity piqued, Hungary found herself following the little blonde out of the room when they broke to take a break, hoping she could catch up to her before Switzerland noticed. He had declared in no uncertain terms that he would not allow harm to befall this girl at the beginning of the meeting, and she knew that he still saw her as a threat from all those years ago when she would beat on Austria for fun. When she noticed that the girl was heading to the bathroom, Hungary almost ran to get there first so Switzerland would not see her following his new charge.

"Who are you?" Hungary asked as the girl entered the bathroom after her, turning to look her directly in the eye. The blonde looked up at Hungary in confusion.

"I am Liechtenstein," the girl said, her lower lip trembling slightly. "Don't you remember?" Liechtenstein? Hungary thought to herself. Liech... oh

"You were one of our subjects. Mine and Austria's, that is," Hungary breathed. Liechtenstein nodded. The faint sense of recognition Hungary had been feeling bloomed into full remembrance, and for a moment she could not help but smile as she remembered the other's perpetual cheer. Then her heart dropped.

"We were supposed to protect you," Hungary murmured, guilt slamming down on her with the weight of a hundred wars. That dead look in Liechtenstein's eyes, that tiny, frail body, all the result of the devastation to the Empire. To the Empire that she along with others had failed to defend properly. "I'm so sorry."

"It's okay." Liechtenstein offered Hungary a weak smile. "I have Switzerland now. He's promised to be the best big brother I could ever have. He saved me."

He saved you because we couldn't, Hungary thought bitterly. On a sudden impulse, she reached out and took the smaller girl into her arms, wincing at how brittle she felt under her own still strong body. "It's not okay," she breathed into the smaller girl's hair, hoping her actions could convey the regret her words could not.

Liechtenstein stiffened, and for a moment Hungary feared she had said the wrong thing. Then the girl relaxed and leaned into her, and Hungary could hear muffled sobs.

"It was... so... hard... Miss Hungary..." she gasped through her tears.

"I know sweetie. But I've got you know," Hungary assured her. Liechtenstein didn't respond, so she pushed the girl away from her chest to look her in the eye. "I know you have Switzerland, but us lady nations have to stick together, okay? If you ever need anything, not as a country, but as a person, you let me know. It's the least I can do." The least I can do after letting all this happen to you.

"Thank you," Liechtenstein replied, and for the briefest moment Hungary thought she saw something reawaken in those big green eyes before the girl leaned into her chest and cried herself out.