“Frau!” I looked up from my book and out the window of the house. “Can you come help me, bitte (please)?” I saw Ludwig climbing out of his car and looking at me through the mesh window protection. I nodded my head and set the small book down on an in table. I opened the front door and saw Ludwig throwing his hands frustrated.
“I’m fine Vest! It’s just a little pink, nozing to vorry about!” I could hear Gilbert yelling at Ludwig. The German growled in frustration and gave up on his older brother and went to pulling beach stuff out of the trunk.
“Did he get wasted again?” I asked as I walked towards them. The blonde shook his head, setting the towels and such on the ground.
“Nien, but he fell asleep in ze sun. He’s already turning ved,” Ludwig said, looking worriedly at the albino. I sighed and looked at the Prussian. I swallowed and winced in sympathy. His very, very pale skin was red. Not lobster red, but very red none the less, and it was still darkening.
“Gil,” I said, looking him over. His whole body, except for where his swimming trunks were, was bright, cherry red. “Did you where sunscreen?” I asked. He grinned sheepishly and scratched the back of his head.
“Ze awesome me doesn’t need sunscreen!” he proclaimed, wincing slightly as he moved. I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms over my chest.
“Mhm, lemme hear you say that in about another hour and half,” I muttered. “Come on. Let’s get you inside.” He carefully climbed out of the car and I helped him to the house, Ludwig trailing behind us. “Was it worth it at least? Did you have fun?” I asked, looking at him as we walked downstairs to his room.
“Kesesese, of course! Francis continually pulled ze strings on girls bikinis, Toni almost managed to get caught up in some guys fishing line, and I vas awesome! As usual!” I rolled my eyes and told him to sit on his bed.
“That’s gonna hurt real bad in few hours. Sleeping would keep it a bay for a little bit, but you can do as you please. When it does start to burn, tell me and I can make you a vinegar bath. Don’t ask me how, but it helps. It’s an old thing my daddy taught me,” I said, watching as he tried to keep eyes open. “You look tired hun.”
“Ze awesome Prussia doesn’t get tired,” he said, forcing back a yawn. I chuckled and kissed his forehead. I could feel the heat just rolling off his body.
“Sleep Gilbert. Come get me when you wake up,” I said. He groaned but fell back into his pillows, sighing at the cool sheets on his flaming skin. I could already hear him snoring as I walk out. I giggled and shut the door behind me. I walked back upstairs and saw Ludwig sitting in the living room. “Do you have any vinegar or aloe?” I asked.
“Nien, I don’t zink so. Vhy?” the blonde asked as I sat in an arm chair across from him.
“I can make a vinegar bath which will help with burning. It shouldn’t sting as bad. I can rub the aloe on and it’ll help too. Aloe’s a natural burn healer. I’ll call Toni and Francis and tell them to bring some over.” Ludwig nodded and looked at his hands.
“_______, is he going to be alvight?” he asked. I looked over at the blonde and smiled. As much as Gilbert got on his last nerve, he still loved and cared about his older brother. I nodded and stood up to get the phone.
“He’ll be okay Lud. He’s gonna be in quite a bit of pain for a day or so, but he’ll live,” I replied, dialing Antonio’s number. “Hey, Toni!” I said, grinning.
“Hola chica! What’s up?” the Spaniard asked happily.
“Nothing much. Gil just got back home from the little beach trip you guys went on though and he’s redder than your tomatoes. I was wondering if you and Francis could get some stuff from the store for me and bring it over,” I said, wandering back to the hall and looking for some unscented lotion.
“Sure! Anything for mi amigo. What does he need?” I listed off the few things, a bottle of gel aloe to refrigerate, a couple of large bottles of vinegar and a bottle of unscented lotion. “And make sure to not let Francis get anything fancy, it has to be unscented, okay?” I heard Antonio chuckle.
“Si senorita! We’ll get it. Hasta luego!” I hung up and cracked Gil’s door open. He was tossing lightly and I could hear him grunting slightly. It was all in his sleep but I could tell he was in pain. I closed the door and tried to wait as patiently as I could for Antonio and Francis to get back from the store.
“Hola chica! Bonjour ma chérie!” Ludwig and I both looked up at the same time as the two members of the Bad Touch Trio. I smiled as I looked at the grocery bags in their hands.
“Hey guys! Thank you so much!” I said, standing up and walking over to them. I grabbed the bottle of aloe and headed towards the kitchen. Francis grinned and draped an arm over Antonio’s shoulder. “Now, you two aren’t allowed to lay a finger on him. I know you’d like to joke and tease and slap him on the back, but he’s really hurt right now. I’m guessing Gil’s never been burnt,” I said, looking over my shoulder at Ludwig as I put the aloe in the refrigerator.
“Ja, zis is se first time ze idiot has been sunburnt,” he replied, looking back towards his book. I nodded and looked back to the two men.
“No touching him at all unless it’s to help him, understood?” I said, motioning for them to follow me to his room. They both nodded and walked down the stairs with me. They each carried two bottle of vinegar while I held the fifth. I held the large bottle in my hand and kept the lotion in the crook of the same elbow. I opened the door to Gilbert’s room and nearly cried. The Prussian was sitting up, gritting his teeth and wincing as he moved around. I could see tears bubbling in his ruby eyes at the pain.
His skin was so much worse. It was bright, deep and practically glowing. He honestly looked just like a fresh tomato out of Antonio’s garden. I could see small swells in skin where it had blistered. He was red all the way from his head to his toes. He was lucky he’d gotten off that easy. I swallowed and stepped in quietly, motioning for the men behind me to set the bottles down by the wall.
“Gil?” I said softly. His head whipped up to look at me. It looked like he was blushing all over, but I knew it was just the burn. “Are you alright?” I asked. I could hear the two behind me snickering and I sent my leg back, managing to kick them both in the shin. Gilbert nodded, wincing again.
“Ja, ze awesome me is fine,” he said, throwing his legs over the edge of his bed and gasping loudly. I hurried over and knelt down next to him. I wanted to hug him so bad but I knew it would only make it worse.
“C’mon, let’s get you to the bathroom,” I said, watching him carefully. My heart ached as he hissed, standing up and walked to the bathroom. Well, it was more of a waddle, and as much as my heart ached, I had to bite my lip to keep from giggling. I followed him in, turning beforehand to tell Francis to put the aloe in the freezer instead. He nodded and hurried back upstairs.
Antonio followed us into the bathroom and I walked to the bathtub and turned the cool water on. I grabbed the stopper and pugged the tub, letting the water slowly fill up the tub. Gilbert sat down on the toilet seat and watched me. I grabbed the vinegar and poured the whole bottle into the water.
“So what is this supposed to do?” Antonio asked, sitting and leaning against the wall. I shrugged my shoulders and set the bottle down.
“It helps take the pain away. I’m honestly not sure how, you’d have to ask a chemist, but my daddy used it on me when I was younger and it works,” I said simply. By the time the tub filled up, Francis had come in and Gilbert was doing his best not to whimper in pain. I shooed the other boys out and shut the door. “Alright hun, slip out of your swimming trunks and get in.” I cringed at the pain he was going to go through to get them off. I had seen the Prussian nude before so this really didn’t bother me.
I did my best to keep the fabric from touching him as he slipped it off his hips and down his legs. He sighed in short lived relief as the fabric was no longer rubbing against his terribly burnt skin. He stepped into the cool water and sunk in slowly. He was floating slightly to keep from touching the porcelain.
“Does it feel any better?” I asked, cupping the water in my hands and pouring it carefully over his face and hair. He nodded slowly, closing his eyes.
“Ja, it doesn’t sting as bad,” he replied. I smiled and ran my fingers through his snow white hair. I sat there, gently stroking his hair and pouring water on his burnt cheeks and forehead. I continued, hoping it would take his mind off the pain. I don’t know how long I sat there, but eventually his breathing evened out and could tell he’d fallen asleep. I called softly to Antonio and told him to go get Ludwig. He ran off and returned with the tall German shortly after.
“Lud, can you lift him and get him to the bed? Be as gentle as you can. I want him to get as much sleep as possible before the pain wakes him up again,” I said. Ludwig nodded and walked over to his brother. “Be careful, he’s really hurting,” I warned, ready to cry as I watched Gilbert twitch noticeably as Ludwig carefully dipped his arms into the lukewarm water and picked him up.
Francis and Antonio stood back so Ludwig could get through the bathroom door. I drained the bath water as he walked to Gilbert’s large bed and set him down softly. I sat next to him, brushing his silver hair out of his eyes. Ludwig pulled a single, cool silk sheet over his bright red body and placed a hand on my shoulder. I looked up and he had a small smile on his face.
“Mein bruder’s tough, he’ll be okay. Come upstairs and I’ll make supper,” he said. I nodded, wiping quickly under my eyes and standing . The four of us went upstairs and for once, Antonio and Francis didn’t cause too much trouble. They left before Ludwig finished cooking and we had to eat alone. I thanked the German for cooking and told him I was headed to bed. Normally, I shared with Gilbert, but I figured it was probably best to sleep in the guest bedroom tonight. I flopped into bed and was out like a light.
I groaned, wondering what could be making such a horrible sound. I tried tuning it out, but was unable to. I finally sat up, trying to figure out what it was. I rubbed my eyes sleepily before I realized what it was. I leapt out of bed and stumbled down the stairs to Gilbert’s bedroom. I threw the door open and saw the once albino writhing on the bed, gasping and clenching he is teeth in pain.
“Gil!” I cried, flipping his light on and running over to him. He hissed through his tears and looked up at me. “C’mon, try and sit up,” I urged. I wanted to help him, but I knew touching the enflamed skin would only hurt worse. He struggled for a moment before he succeeded in tossing his legs over the edge and sitting up.
“Mien Gott,” he breathed heavily. I swallowed hard and felt tears in my eyes as my bottom lip trembled slightly. “Vhat are you crying for liebe, you’re not ze one in pain,” he said, reaching out to touch my cheek. I shook my head and gently grabbed his hand to keep him from touching me. Even the palm of his hand was cherry red.
“I hate seeing you in pain and hurting,” I said softly. He chuckled and I looked up.
“Trust me, I’ve been zrough a lot vorse zan zis. I vas a Teutonic Knight after all,” he said, smirking at me. I chuckled softly and wiped my eyes. “Let me guess, you’ve got to put somezing on ze burn,” he said, looking at me with pursed lips.
“It would help. There’s an aloe gel that’ll really help,” I said, hoping he would let me put the stuff on him. He sighed and nodded his head. “Alright, I’ll be right back.” I kissed the top of his head and hurried up stairs. I checked the freezer, worried when I saw it wasn’t there then checked the fridge. I grinned and realized Ludwig must’ve switched it over. I grabbed the cold bottle and rushed back to Gilbert.
“Vhat is zat?” he asked, eyeing the gel. I smiled and told him to stand up. He did so, still looking at the bluish gel distrustfully.
“It’s going to help, I promise.” He grumbled something and turned his back towards me. I put a large glob of the aloe gel on my hands and set the bottle down. “It’s gonna be really cold,” I warned and quickly spread the stuff across his hot back. He gasped loudly and jerked forward.
“Verdammt!!” he yelled, rounding on me. “Zat vas not awesome!” I grinned cheekily and motioned for him to come back.
“I told you it was cold,” I said simply. He narrowed his eyes and turned back around again. I continued spreading the gel on his back. I rubbed it into his arms and chest. I ignored his vital regions when he waggled his eyebrows suggestively and continued to his legs. “Feel any better?” I asked, putting the cap on the bottle and looking at him.
“Ja, not enough to let me sleep, but a little better,” he replied. I smiled and placed my hands on my hips.
“Well, then what do you want to do?” I asked. His red eyes widened and he stared at me blankly. “I’m not going back to bed being so worried about you and there’s no point in arguing. So, what do you want to do?” He blinked several times before grinning.
“Zat’s vhy I love you frau,” he said, walking over and pressing a kiss to my cheek. I felt him jerk back slightly.
“No touching until you get better,” I said, resisting the urge to poke his nose. He groaned and dropped his head backwards. “You’ll be fine, now come on. Let’s go watch TV and annoy your brother.” Gilbert laughed and followed me, albeit slowly, up the stairs.
It was like that for nearly a week. It was a routine I was glad didn’t last long. I would alternate between lotion and the aloe gel during the day, making him sit completely naked with s silk sheet over him. He couldn’t lean against anything; all he could do was sit up straight with only his upper thighs touching the surface of what he was sitting on. When Francis and Antonio came over, they always brought more vinegar and lotion and aloe. I’d make him a vinegar bath in the afternoon and I’d pet his hair and wet his face until he fell asleep and then Ludwig and I would put him to bed. The whole process would start all over when awoke in the middle of the night groaning in pain.
Around the fourth or fifth night, I realized daylight was actually waking me up instead of Gilbert’s grunts and moans. I walked down stairs, rubbing my eyes tiredly, and saw Gilbert was lying, spread eagle, on his back. I could see where the skin was peeling away from his chest and legs. I walked in and poked his shoulder. It was still a light pink, but not anywhere near as bad. The Prussian grunted slightly and cracked a red eye.
“Vhat?” he asked, trying to push me away. I giggled excitedly and poked him again.
“Can you feel that? Does it hurt?” I inquired hurriedly, bubbles building in chest. He swatted my hand away and sat up.
“Ja! I can feel it! Why are you…” he trailed off, realizing what I was getting at. He looked down at himself and began poking random parts of his body. “It doesn’t hurt anymore! Kesesese!! Ze awesome me has been restored! Zank you _______” I laughed and quirked an eyebrow when he suddenly slumped dejectedly. I gave him a curious look and he huffed. “Now I have to vear unawesome pants again.” I laughed and tackled him, happy to finally be able to wrap my arms around him again.
A few days later the pink was completely gone and Gilbert was back to his normal, pale skin tone. We sat on the sofa, well I sat and he laid with his head in my lap. I was playing with his hair as he hummed softly in appreciation. He opened his eyes lazily and reached up to cup my cheek.
“You know frau, I haven’t been able to kiss you for a veek,” he said, tracing the contours of my face. I giggled softly, rand my fingers over his lips. “Bitte?” he asked softly. I smiled and leaned down to kiss him. He managed to wrap an arm around my neck, making me gasp slightly so he was able to slip his tongue into my mouth. I laughed and tried to fight the slick muscle but he won in the end anyhow. Just as he was starting to run his hands up my shirt he gasped and jerked back. “I almost forgot!!” He turned and tumbled from my lap, landing with a thud on the floor before scrambling up and running to his room.
“What are you doing?” I shouted after him, chuckling. I heard him banging around his room before he came bounding back into the living room.
“Close your eyes,” he instructed, walking behind me. I quirked an eyebrow but did as I was told. I felt something rough slide around my neck and I resisted the urge to look. “Okay, open.” I looked down and grinned. At the end of the leather cord wrapped around my neck was a simple, medium sized shell.
“It’s prefect Gil,” I said, turning to look at him. He smiled and leaned against the back of the sofa. Ze perfect gift for ze perfect girl,” he murmured, pressing his forehead to mine. I repressed giggles and kissed him.
“You know, you really are awesome,” I said, leaning forward and kissing him. I felt him smirk and pull back quickly.
“Kesese, told you I vas awesome liebe,” he replied before kissing me deeply again. I rolled my eyes and wrapped my arms around his neck, relishing the feel of his now cool skin under my touch. “Ich liebe dich.”
“I love you too Gil.”