Character(s) or Pairing(s): Spain-centric; Spain/Romano; Spain/France; Spain/Prussia; Spain/America; ...anything goes, i guess.
Rating: um, pg-13/r
Warnings: naughty words, sensitive imagery.
Summary: Spain is living a fractured lie. The Spain he knows is not the Spain he is.
If there is one truth about himself, Spain likes to believe, it is that he is a liar. And a damn good one. He revolts in an ecstasy of fraud and fornication without violence, drugs, or sex.
America had offered him heroin once, in a back-water town-shed in the seventies; he had been high on bullets and sex, and had, between glassy eyes, told Spain, “Nothing makes you fucking feel so alive. I’ve got bombs’ll blow you to helln’ back, but that shit ain’t real, motherfucker. It isn’t real like I know it is.” America had snubbed his nose like Germany’s wind-swept Red Baron had after dismantling a spray of bullets into metal dogs of war. America had chortled, in the way Spain imagined England might have done while promenading under the sharp angles of the Crystal Palace and celebrating in the bits and pieces of the world‘s flaunted technology (except instead of clunky fax machines and barometers, America had only Kleenexes and discarded clothes to immerse himself in), “Fuck this nuclear scare, fuck this cold, cold war.“
And in a theatre of laugh-less comedy and tear-less tragedy, he continued, “I’m so doggone, goddamned tired of this hell. It’s a fucking joke that’s gone sour, that’s lost its punch-line to a scared-ass audience in the forties. It’s a fucking joke and I can’t stop laughing.”
If there is one truth about himself, Spain likes to believe, it is that he is a liar. When Romano has to remind him in blurry early mornings that the year is not 1492 or 1848 or 1936, Spain smiles magnanimously and whispers Oriental myths diffidently into Romano‘s ears because Spain enjoys lying to little, naked, vulnerable children. And he likes to believe that he can love them because they are so sad-eyed and innocent. He likes to believe, Spain does, that he can deceive himself.
Spain likes to believe there is a romantic gilt in their relationship. He knows this is a lie, too. He likes to believe that he can hide the tears under a mirth of jingoism and a pageantry of passion. That behind the fraud and guilt there may be a hint of cavalry.
“Boss,” Romano whispers, “you know I love you, right? But I really, fuck, I really hate you, too, sometimes.”
Spain is humming a lullaby to Romano, “And when you were just a chubby little tomato, the birds would croon and coo over you. They loved you because your forehead was set too high and your wrists were too limp, and -”
“I think I hate everyone. I just hate you less.”
If there is one truth about himself, Spain likes to believe, it is that he is a liar. It is why France hated him before Germany became an Empire. France, with his bohemian idolatries in truth and love, who could defiantly love criminals and whores, could not love Spain with his petty lies.
But when Europe had been blinded like a regiment of boys in gunpowder, France had smeared his cigarette under his sole like an insect, “Les jeux sont faits. Nous sommes fucked.”
He had pulled Spain by the collar and kissed his sweaty lips.
And a week later, he had invited Spain to view Duchamps in his Dada exhibit.
“Humans are such wretched beasts, aren’t they?” France had cooed into Spain’s ear. “Sordid, naked little creatures that fall with such little wind.”
And years later, there was a generation of Beat poets and existentialists and short-lived prosperity and American renaissance, and Spain wondered how far to the depths he could lie to himself.
If there is one truth about himself, Spain likes to believe, it is that he is a liar. Prussia and Germany, too, are liars. Spain does not believe this, he knows this.
He and the crackling Basque town theatre both know this. They masturbate with dynamite. They shake the mountains when they dance.
Spain lies in the limestone and ash, and instead of sobbing, he crackles. He crackles like a cheap, red-wrapped cardboard tube of China Town dynamite. It sparks and stings the limp-wristed arms of the shantytown children. The last time Spain cried was in 1492. Laughing is a good substitution. He’s heard that it contributes to a healthy, longer life.
That’s funny, Spain laughs. Laugh so you’ll have more seconds, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries to laugh even more. Millennias could stroll by under a fit of laughter, he decides.
And when Prussia with his hardened heart and fisted mouth stole away to visit Spain in a four-walled restroom in a four-cornered court room in 1946, they both could only laugh.
“So the motherfucker goes, ‘These are Americans? Well fuck me hard and call me Nancy, we were afraid of these pussies? Miserable lot of wankers, eh?’ And the other man, he goes, ‘Yankees. They‘re called Yankees, not wankers.’ Fucking hilarious load of men. These were the West‘s Dogs of War?”
Spain remembers not finding it very funny. War with guns and bombs has made Prussia go funny. Spain finds himself wanting to comfort Prussia, who he likes to believe is lost without swords and horses.
Iron horses, now. Bullets, now.
And when Prussia yanks Spain’s zipper down towards him, Spain remembers wishing he hadn’t tried comforting him.
And then Prussia sobs.
Spain doesn’t need to ask.
“Dresden,” Prussia answers plainly. “Dresden.”
And forty-somewhat years later when Prussia and Spain meet in another four-walled restroom, Prussia’s jagged smile is broken and he laughs again with a mirthless sort of ring, which Spain remembers thinking was like the relentless, jeering drill of the alarm clock, “Fucked me up against the wall, the fucking Commie.
If there is one truth Spain likes to believe, than it is that he is not Spain. Rather, Germany is Berlin and Prussia is Dresden. England is truly always London. France’s heart is buried in German soil. America’s heart is somewhere in the Pacific, oft a-ways in Vietnam. Italy’s mourns in St. Anna. Greece’s is in Constantinople and Turkey’s is in Istanbul. Russia’s flitters between Afghanistan and the wall that he fucked Prussia up against.
And Spain is Guernica, a quaint Basque town that had masturbated with dynamite.