Series: Axis Powers Hetalia
Summary: Spain remembers a lot of things. Spain is also a mess of a lot of things.
Note: A lot of very random, very un-betaed, and very silly thought tl;dr that I did to avoid being productive. Also, my knowledge of Spanish history and culture is mostly horrible, so my apologies to anyone who actually bothers reading this mess.
Spain's always felt a little sick. Not exactly sick, but it's always been just something in the back of his head - something itching, something burning, something loud that he can't quite place. Like a headache that doesn't go away, or a stomach bug that hangs around long after the symptoms fade.
That itching used to be a lot louder when he was young - and it was easier to act on it. To kneel down and ask forgiveness in a church, blood still fresh on his hands, and a weight still heavy in his heart. Now, he just sits in the church pew, and his mind wanders and there's not as much salvation to be had as he remembers. He reckons he's just getting old, and that all old people lose something as they go on. But that sickness doesn't fade, and it never really quiets down now.
Spain still remembers the high heat and the weight of velvet on his skin. He remembers the quiet water fountains in Andalusia, and the hushed whisper that something was still sacred about it, even though he chased those beliefs out many years before. He remembers the heat in the plains, and standing before Madrid as she grew and grew. He remembers Rome meeting him on the shores of what would become some part of Catalonia, and looking up to the strange man that took his lands.
He remembers his sister telling him he needed to be stronger, that his grip on his own land was weak, and not just the land he had across the sea. He remembers killing his sister one night, but her voice was still in his head, and it was still there. (And maybe she was still there, but it was hard to tell when his grip was still loose, and things were still bad in his own home.)
It's still hot, but there are low overhangs full of shade, and the cold breeze of air and hum of air conditioning now. The heat still calms his nerves, but it's quieter now, and the lack of it almost makes it harder for him to focus. Especially now when the girls walk without much on their skin, and he can stare up at the sky and dodge his bosses a little longer than he could in the courts so long long ago.
Sometimes, when he's had a bit too much to drink, Spain can remember his marriage bed with Austria. Their lovemaking had always been quick - Spain was too young then, and Austria too shy to accept that they were men in a marriage bed. They were too covered in linens and silks and gold then, and that cross over Spain's heart had always made Austria stumble when they tried to speak openly about the finer workings of a bed.
Sometimes, Spain thinks Austria can remember too, when his face gets funny and red when he has had just enough beer to remember more than he cares to and less than he wants. Spain just laughs and kisses him sloppily on his cheek - those feelings are long gone for both of them, but he still finds himself with the desire to kiss and tease and laugh, maybe just for old time's sake.
"Stop that," is all Austria will say, and Spain just laughs and agrees, and they end up talking about old politics instead.
That itching sometimes makes him think of things he wants to forget, but he doesn't focus on it. Long long ago, he always thought that moving on was a better choice overall - he wouldn't be eaten by his guilts, he could forgive and forget, and things would work out much much better in the end. Grudges always got nasty, and the few he kept were more for his own amusement, not his anger.
But still, sometimes he sits outside what used to be a destroyed little town, and wonders if he should have really decided forgetting was a good idea. That scar on his neck still hurts when he thinks about it, and he can only grow his hair so much to cover it. But, Basque is always yelling at him, and he could never really understand what they were saying to him anyway.
When he was a young man in body, he had fancied himself a father. Now he knows he wasn't much of a father at all, but he still sighs and leans heavily into his hands, even as his "children" yell at him still and slam their doors in his faces. He still thinks like a father, even if playing house was never his strong suit, and he was always too angry to take care of them like he should have.
But, Romano still comes around, all fire and bickering, and he's the only one Spain doesn't sigh and scold still. Being "boss" is different than "father," Spain decides, and he can still tell Romano when he is being a brat but get a kiss for his troubles besides.
But mostly, Spain is glad when his friends come over, and they're lost a little to the drinks and the laughter all around him, and that itch seems far far away from his mind.
France has always called himself a friend. Spain can't quite remember where they really were friends - he always remembers the hair pulling, the broken bones, and the wars. He remembers fighting with France, and being very very angry when suddenly he couldn't play father anymore because France made him lose all that money he needed.
But, he remembers being a little boy and falling in love for the first time with the blond beauty that was his neighbor. And how sheepish he became after he realized that "she" was a "he." But that little heartbeat still stayed around, and Spain wonders if that's why France is his friend and he doesn't push him down the stairs when he visits and dredges up old things Spain would like to forget.
Prussia only laughs and teases them, even as Spain finally realizes that France has a hand up his shirt and the wine made his head fuzzy. Spain can't remember liking Prussia either, but the laughter and the easy buzz of drinks that Prussia offers makes him easier than France's friendship is.
Spain is mostly glad that Romano will sometimes pick him off the floor after he's had too many drinks and he forgot that sleeping on the floor hurts his back.
Belgium will still make Spain hot chocolate when he comes to visit. When he had first let her taste the chocolate he had brought back from the New World, she had kissed him silly on the cheeks. Since then, she still makes it like she always had - no mixes or powders like modern invention has made it into - and each finely crafted cup of drink still makes his toes warm and a smile curl onto his face. And the pretty little smile she still gives him when he says thanks makes it all very worthwhile in the end for him.
Even when Netherlands comes over too and promptly kicks him out, and Spain still razzes him over the silver that he still thinks is owed from all those ransacked ships long ago.
Even the door slamming in Spain's face doesn't dim the grin.
When he was very very little, he thinks he remembers a faun telling him he would be a great man. But that was silly, since fauns didn't exist (England was just mad, after all), but Spain sometimes still thinks he remembers a pool of blood and his little hand grasping away at air while the faun laughed. He feels like a little human child and all he can think of is the promises the faun made for him while he dies on a stone floor.
"You'll be a very great man."
He woke up, the stones long cold, and he didn't feel very much like a little child anymore, and that faun was never in his sight again.
Spain wasn't sure he liked remembering that.
Portugal still hates Spain, but they can sit at a dinner table civilly long enough, even if she's being cold and angry at him and his teasing is as ineffectual as always. Their shared table in Galicia is always open for them, and even when she complains about his Castilian, she complains more when he tries to talk like her.
"Galician is not Portuguese," she'll snip, his accent messing with her ears.
"But it's similar enough at times, you agree," he'll tease, sipping the water. She just frowns, and tears back into the seafood they both ordered out of habit.
But, sometimes Portugal understands the itching Spain still has in the back of his head, and the long silences are a mutual understanding between them. That, and the same gold cross still nestled beneath both their shirts.
When it's quiet, Spain feels like he's back all those years ago, and he feels a little better. The modern world is still a little too dazzling, too fast paced for someone as old as he's becoming. He's still a young man, still moving forward, but sometimes he thinks back to when there wasn't the roar of cars and the bright lights and loud clubs. Sometimes, he wishes he still could walk out on the sea with creaking wood beneath him.
Instead, he swirls his wine in his glass a little, a sleepy sort of smile tugging on his lips, thinking of the Sunday mass next morning and the itch that will quiet a little once he goes back home and curls up in his bed alone.
Halfassed fact time:
the quiet water fountains in Andalusia, and the hushed whisper that something was still sacred about it - slight reference to the importance of water in the time of Moorish Spain, and how it was nearly heaven on earth when there was hardly any water in the rest of their lands. That and a nod to the Reconquista.
remembers killing his sister one night, but her voice was still in his head Castile? Spain becomes what essentially was Castile, but maybe she's still around anyway. I don't know, Hetalia is goofy.
sometimes he sits outside what used to be a destroyed little town Guernica.
he thinks he remembers a faun telling him he would be a great man A nod to Pan's Labyrinth, which I am half in love with. That, and the image of the faun messing with little Spain scares the fuck out of me.
And I have a lot more in here, but I can't find a decent way to work out all that tl;dr.