Gloved fingers gently caressed each key, their
extenuated movement mocked by the gentle rocking of the body they belonged to. Arms covered by soft, blue fabric, the kind found only in Austria, connected to firm, broad shoulders. Sitting atop
these gentlemanly shoulders sat a golden-brown haired, fine skinned, glasses wearing head, that held bold, proud features. Pools of oceanic blue remained focused on something not of this world, as
if lost in themselves... Alas, the Austrian was merely entrapped by his heart's song.. Moonlight Sonata. A simple, yet beautiful tune.
The sharp interruption shocked the dark haired pianist from his feverish playing. It was German he had been housing... A rude sort with a stocky, overbearing look to him. Black as night hair with the furriest brows the Austrian had ever set eyes upon. Under normal circumstances, the Austrian never would have allowed such a bombarding fellow into his private abode, but of course, these were not normal circumstances. This was the doing of the WWII. Their pitiful leader, Chancellor Schuschnigg, and his cabinet had left, giving the power to the sole remaining cabinet member, Seyss-Inquart. The man, an Austrian Nazi, had welcomed the soldiers, as had a good majority of Austria's people. Chancellor Schuschnigg was not all that bad in his final days in power, really. The man had tried hard to keep Hitler's grip away from Austria. But then Italy joined sides with Germany, and Austria lost her protector. From there, it was all Chancellor Schuschnigg could do to keep Hitler at bay, even proposing a plebiscite. Hitler used threats, which worked well enough. But then, most everyone knew the story... In the end, Austria was now part of Germany's Greater Reich and simple Austrian civilians now housed soldiers.
Such was the case now. The Austrian turned his torso to face the bearish German, whose face held a sly grin. "How beautiful," he chuckled in German. The Austrian's fingers curled tightly into themselves, his brows furrowing sternly as his jaw clenched. Still, the German continued to prattle on and on.. "So, Frederick. How do you like being a part of our Reich, hmm?" It's a test, Frederick. Do not give this Oaschloch what he wants.. The Austrian, Frederick Schutzhauer as it were, stood and straightened his navy coat.
"It gives our little country the prestige it needs, after hiding so childishly behind Italy." It burned his throat, just spitting that nonsense out. However, it seemed to do the trick. The German roared with a laugh Frederick could only guess was his pleased laugh, for the man smiled and nodded.
"Yes, but we will take care of you poor little children, will we not?" Germans, rude and belittling people. The Austrian scoffed and turned back to face the elegant Grand Piano behind him, the light coming in from the windows reflecting softly off the shined, black body of the instrument. Lovely, it was. The Austrian’s fingers glanced across the keys, gentle and slow, as to not disturb the awkward silence left by the German’s ignorant comment. It wasn’t peaceful here anymore. It hadn’t been since the war started. But at least he’d had this beautiful alcove all to himself, or, well, he did, until this German demanded to live here for the time being. The Austrian smiled and whirled around, the end of his jacket swaying about his waist.
“If we Austrians are children needing cared for, then why, if it is not rude of me to inquire, are we taking care of you? Why are we allowing you and your fellow Germans take over our homes?” A wicked grin, full of spite and a mocking gleefulness radiated off the Austrian’s face. The German merely sputtered, his face growing to acquire a deep purple/red shade. “But of course, Sir,” the Austrian started sweetly, “I am merely asking in the most respectful way I can manage, as the child I am..” Frederick Schutzhauer, the Austrian who housed one of the most powerful Germans, turned on his heel and slid onto the piano bench, raised his wrists, and resumed playing, as if the German had simply disappeared.
Ripping at his hair, the German’s fingers curled around the Austrian’s neck and the crown of his head. It was a funny thing, the way a German was ruled by his emotions. It was almost inspiring to see the way they moved so surely, so confidently, when they were angry. The Austrian was almost amused as he was pulled from the piano bench and slung to the ground, his glasses clattering to the floor and sliding away. He was almost on the verge of laughter as the German’s leg, the end of his pants tucked into this knee-high boots, entered his blurry field of vision, ending in a loud stomp right next to his face. In fact, he smiled a little, and flicked a bit of dirt off the top of the German’s boot with his index finger with a soft chuckle. “My, my,” the Austrian cooed, glancing up at the blurred redness of the German, “You don’t mind dirt much, do you? These boots are filthy...” Crunch. “Oof,” his breath left in an instant, scared away by the sudden impact of the German’s fist into the side of the Austrian’s face.
“Shut up, you little shit,” the German growled, standing directly over the Austrian. His finger jabbed at Frederick’s chest, thumping hard against his collarbone. “You are nothing compared to the great power of Germany. You need us.” A sick grin spread across his face, it’s intensity almost comparable to the contempt swirling in the Austrian’s deep, blue glare. “You have already become our property... Our Great Reich.” As the German straightened, the Austrian used his own pant-tucked-knee-high boot to aim a sufficiently hard kick to the groin. Away the German staggered, landing in a childish heap beside the Austrian, who now stood and started for his glasses.
“Wenn überhaupt, dann sind Sie der Dreck, dass Coats Ihre Stiefel. Und ich habe Mitleid mit dir.” He rubbed his jaw and adjusted his neck scarf. Luckily, no blood managed to dirty its pristine cleanliness. The German looked up at him, tears threatening to spill out from his hate filled eyes. “Don’t look at me like that, you dog. You are in my house.” The Austrian turned and left the musical alcove, his boots and the German’s painful moans the only noise in the otherwise silent mansion.
("Wenn überhaupt, dann sind Sie der Dreck, dass Coats Ihre Stiefel. Und ich habe Mitleid mit dir" is a phrase I used google translate for. It's supposed to mean “You are the filth that coats your own boots. And I am sorry for you.")
It was only a few hours later when the Austrian had to go find the German. It was time for supper, and the cooks had made a wonderful German meal. Frederick had only seen the German twice after the incident in the alcove, and yet, the German did nothing to show aggression. It was a bit frightening, to be honest. All the same, if he were to be the proper host, he’d need to go find the man and show him to the dinning room.
Music reached his ears, slow and child-like. If he concentrated hard enough, he could make out the tune the notes belonged to. It was Moonlight Sonata, slowed down and chopped up roughly, as though a small child were plucking the black and white keys. Slowly and quietly, the Austrian shuffled to the door of his music parlor. Sitting quietly on the piano bench, the German seemed to be attempting to play the piano. But why? Why was he treating the Austrian’s favorite possession like it was a jewel to be admired? “God dammit,” the Austrian jumped mildly as the German cursed roughly, “How can such filth produce something like that? I am just as good as he, no? I am better than him! I should be able to play you, you damned instrument.”
The Austrian chuckled lowly and silently slid into the parlor. He was lucky the German liked to yell at inanimate objects so intensely, otherwise he would not have been able to slide onto the piano bench without being noticed. “You cannot win over the piano’s love by yelling at it, you know,” he murmured, tone meant to do nothing but mock the German.
“Gott Verdammt!” The German fell backwards off the bench in his surprise, his arms flailing desperately for something to grip onto for support. With a sigh, the Austrian grabbed a hold of the German’s jacket front and pulled him back onto the bench. “H-how long have you been in here?” The Austrian shrugged and stood, walking back towards the door with a wicked grin.
“Long enough to know you need piano lessons badly. Come, supper is ready and the cooks require a meeting with me later.” Out the door and down the hall he went, whistling softly as the sound of hurried footsteps followed behind him. It would be a quiet meal, one ate in almost total silence. But that’s how most meals went nowadays. If the Austrians weren’t playing host to German soldiers, they were busy being soldiers themselves or, if they were of higher class, attending meetings with the German and Austrian government.
Down in the kitchens, Frederick conversed lightly with the head chef about their supplies and meal plans for the coming weeks. It seemed they were running low on quite a few of their crucial items. Frederick sighed, his hands shoving the flimsy frames of his glasses up as he rubbed his face. He was doing well off economically, but, especially during war times, it could be hard to find good, quality items. “Sir, I can ask around... see if any of the others know where to find what we need,” the head chef sighed, leaning against the counter tops with a worn out posture. Frederick shook his head.
“No, no.. I’ll think of something.” Stretching, he frowned at the man, weighing their options carefully. “Hell, if it comes to it, we’ll try the Underground.” The Underground, otherwise known as the Black Market; a secret, illegal trade route for those desperate enough to get the goods they need or want. Like most men of his social standings, the Austrian liked the finer things in life. He wasn’t willing to give up his standards of living just because of another world war. In fact, he was almost more determined to go against the laws and find the best Underground goods he could.
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