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A Forgotten Anniversary: Or, a Story in the Cold War through the Nations' Eyes.

Somewhere near Sopron. 1967.

The morning was still young, if rather cloudy when a small house finally came into view. Thankfully, there were no patrols, guard dogs or searchlights anywhere in sight. In most other circumstances, Austria would have found the effort of getting out here, let alone slipping through the Iron Curtain unseen much more than a mere inconvenience. Still, he thought. This must be worth it. Today was, after all, the 8th of June. Has it been that long since the Ausgleich?

The day had been planned in advance for some time now, the Nation knew as he turned towards the cottage. But whether it was over radio, personal telephone lines or even handwritten notes, everything had to be done in utmost secrecy. Granted, it helped that his aide managed to keep the authorities in Wien off his schedule. Or that I've gotten them off my trail. He allowed himself a faint smirk, bemused by the fact that his issues with direction actually helped. Or perhaps they were paying more attention to that odd new record from the Beatles. England must have gotten peculiar for such music. Still, although tensions were no longer close to starting World War III, what he was doing and about to have were violations of not only his so-called neutrality but also the very nature of the Cold War itself. East vs. West. Capitalism vs Communism. Me against her….

Taking a deep breath, the aristocrat walked up to and opened the front door. Calmly walking down the hallway, he couldn't help but notice just how much of the house was just as he, or rather they left it, right down to the simple yet elegant furniture. It was very tempting to think, apart from a battered-looking SOKOL radio and some odd tools on the table, just how much hadn't changed. Even though the world around it has. It almost seemed like a miracle that the small resthouse he and his former-wife shared had survived two Great Wars and those damnable Communists.  All that was left now was to look for her.

But just as he was about to turn towards the rest of the cottage, there was an audible sound of a rifle being raised from right behind him. Even though the Nation had centuries of discipline and experience behind him, it still wasn't enough to keep back a startled gasp, which nearly caused his glasses to slip off. Only to hear a strangely familiar chuckle.

"Hold right there, "Herr Edelstein!" the figure barked in accented German, though her voice sounded as playful as it was intimidating even if somewhat coarse. "Don't think you can escape from this one! Now put your hands up where I can see them."

Austria's shock turned into a faint sigh of relief upon putting two and two together. "It appears you have caught me by surprise," he replied calmly in formal Hungarian. "Though what would happen if suppose I don't follow your orders?" He could hear her chuckle, which sounded tired yet still with a hint of song.

"Why simple, dear. First of all, you'd really have to shape up your skills a bit. I can't believe that you would slack off on something like this! But more importantly…" Her voice grew gentler as the sound of a gun dropping to the ground echoed. "For being here, there is a very special penalty just for you."

The Nation finally turned around to find a figure in a drab military uniform that did nothing to hide the traces of scars and bruises left over from her fight against Ivan. Nor did it hide the fact that her people were officially Communist. That she looked even thinner and wearier than before only served to make matters more uncomfortable. Despite all the diplomatic mending between their governments, the Iron Curtain with all the ideological meddling meant that it could all go to hell at a moment's notice. And if the aristocrat were honest, a part of him wanted to leave right there and then. Instead, he shook his head and smiled. You never cease to amaze me, my lady.

"I'm willing to pay for that, Meine Liebe." Roderich slowly moved forward only to be brought in to a soft kiss. After God knows how many times they had done this over the years, the woman's scent still seemed to feel fresh, even if only for a short while. As they parted he could see a gentle, familiar yet enigmatic glint in her green eyes, the flower in her hair reacting almost in unison. It was silly, they both knew. Officially, they had long since been divorced. And yet here they were, still feeling the same affections they had only a century ago.

After a few moments, Hungary broke the silent air between them, a gentle though bittersweet smile on her lips. "I've…missed this, Roderich. To think that we could pull this off…"

"I know," he whispered as he held her in his arms. "Alles Gute zum Hochzeitstag, Elizaveta."

----

Roderich spared no expense when it came to expressing himself through music. The piano before him seemed to come alive has he began playing entirely from memory. It wasn't so much one suite but a medley of pieces, shifting ever so subtly from Mozart to Beethoven, Chopin, Lizst and Brahms. Each part was as different as the long-dead composers who first made them. Yet they all managed to come together in a way that only centuries of practice could pull off. The melody was soothing to his ears. And glancing for a moment at the lady sitting beside him, so was it to her. Although something about her eyes seemed somewhat troubling for a moment before all his attention went to flourishing the final section, which was coincidentally a waltz they knew all too well.

"That was wonderful," Elizaveta sighed as the last notes continued to echo about the room. "It really has been a while since I've heard you play so spontaneously. Is it true by the way that you have a new music festival in Salzburg?"

"Ja, my dear," the Nation replied back, letting slip a soft smile. "It was Herr Karajan's idea to start off such a new Easter tradition. And frankly, it might be more to your liking than even my performance. Perhaps one day I could take you…" He suddenly stopped upon realizing what he had just said. Such things are no longer possible anymore. "Forgive me. I should have been more conscious of our present…predicament."

The smile on Hungary's face vanished as she stood up, even though her voice remained gentle. "Don't worry yourself too much about it. I know how tempting it is to act as though there isn't a blasted stand-off going on out there. Then again, it's been hard getting any reliable news lately. Heh...I'm doubt even your so-called neutrality is any consolation in all this mess."

The bespectacled aristocrat shrugged as he stood up to meet her, his mind trying to think of something else to say. "I'm sure you must know the price paid for gaining peace. But I could only imagine what is really happening to you or your Warsaw Pact. And Prussia…I mean, East Germany. How has he been coping with this?"

"Gilbert…I'm surprised you still give a damn about him. Not many even care to remember now."  There was a spiteful if weary tinge in her voice right then. "His bosses got him under lock and key again. You've probably heard about those recent additions to the Berlin Wall by now. And to think that damn thing started out so small…" He could hear her cringe in frustration, yet something in it sounded more like despair. "They keep saying that this is merely the status quo until our so-called victory. That everything's just fine! But tell me: what's normal about having an Iron Curtain? Or having my people live with the Party's antics day in and day out?! It pains me…but I…we all deserve better than this!"

Austria could only nod in agreement. She had every right to be upset over this whole situation. She, just like that pompous albino, may have been reduced to being little more than Ivan's puppet. Though then again, most Nations were either on America or Russia's beck and call these days in this blasted Cold War. And as much as his leaders would deny in public, he too was a toy in this game of world politics. None of us should even be in this situation at all. They were great powers less than a century ago, only to not just fall from glory but also be torn apart. Almost as though we were fated to be divided. But what could they do?

Finally, the Nation closed his eyes as he took Elizaveta's hands in his, which seemed colder and more calloused than before. Glancing outside, he noticed the sun beginning to set. "It's not like we could just break the Curtain right here and now, ja?"

"Roderich, te bolond," she smirked bitterly. "We both know our leaders would have us kill each other before they let us rebuild our Empire." The enigmatic glint in her eyes returned as he looked back. "Don't get me wrong. I'm still grateful for what you've done for my citizens. But just as much as I would like us to be together again…as a family…they remain first. And I'll do everything to make sure they see the day…"

"I understand." Carefully, he moved closer to the Magyar, lifting one of his hands to stroke her face. To his surprise, she didn't move away. "It will take time. Surely the Iron Curtain is not bound to last forever. But for the sake of our peoples, for us…we have to find a way through this. And perhaps one day, we may not have to pretend being separated."

For a moment, it looked like Hungary was about to say something, except the words never came out. "You always did have a way with words," she replied softly. "I'm sure we can think of something together. Just…promise me that you'll live up to your end, right?" She simply smiled, almost as she did during their wedding so long ago before holding him tight. This was after all, the same spirited lady he fell in love with despite all that transpired. Nation. Fighter. Friend. Wife. Lover.

Yet even as he took her in a deep, passionate kiss, with each lingering moment growing harder to pull away, Roderich knew at the back of his mind that their time together would not last for much longer. Sooner or later they would both have to part. Neither of them had any real idea when they could see each other next, whether it was a week or years from now. But no matter… At that small cottage, there were no minders, soldiers, ideologies or pestering superpowers in the way. The Cold War could burn out for all he cared. As long as we're together…

"Boldog évfordulót, Szerelmem," she whispered wistfully as they finally parted. For a moment, it looks like there were faint tears in her eyes. "Indivisibiliter ac Inseparabiliter. Here's to another hundred years."

The smile he returned to her was soft. "As do I, Meine Liebe. As do I."
It's taken a while and some rewriting, but here's a new fic that's not set in the Doomsday-verse AU itself but closely related to it. Mainly, this one is more about the Ausgleich (aka Austria and Hungary's wedding) centennial...set in the backdrop of the Cold War in the late 1960s.

As a result, this is a heavily historical fic. It took some effort trying to make its as "Cold War" and "1960s" as possible while keeping the focus on Austria and Hungary, especially given their position along both sides of the Iron Curtain. Still, there are some rather bittersweet tones and foreshadowing to :icon1983-doomsdaystories:. Especially if you look closely at the settings, characters and the the unspoken words. ;)

With pairings, it's pretty much AustriaxHungary/AusHun, with hints of a sort-of-mutual Frying Pangle and references to Prussia as East Germany.

That said, this is not meant to be taken as a propaganda/ideological tool or even a 100% historical article. This is purely a work of fiction, albeit with historical context. Still, I hope you enjoy reading! :)

EDIT: Made some very last-minute additions and editing. Hope the improvements are better now!

----

As for some reference:

The Ausgleich ([link]), also known as the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 was the series of reforms that formally made the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary a reality. Depending on the sources, it's normally dated to either March 30 (the beginning), May 29 (the formal ratification) or June 8 (the final declaration and coronation). I guess headcanon and Hetalia make use of the June 8 in particular as Austria and Hungary's "Wedding Day," explaining why that date means so much to the Nation.

The SOKOL ([link]) was a radio model from the USSR that was first produced in 1963. It was apparently made outside Moscow and in parts of Lithuania.

Relations between Austria and Hungary in the mid/late 1960s onwards ([link] , [link]) were described as largely of economic and civil cooperation, although the Iron Curtain constantly hindered their ties and at times strained them along opposing ideologies.

The Beatles reference is actually in relation to the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band ([link]), which was released on the 1st of June, 1967. Coincidentally, the band also toured in Austria back in 1965.

Herbert von Karajan ([link] ; 1900-89) was one of Austria's most distinguished conductors in the 20th Century. He was among other things, responsible for establishing the Salzburg Easter Music Festival in 1967 ([link]).

The Berlin Wall symbolized the Iron Curtain's divisions (between East and West) and the Cold War in general. More specifically, it split through Berlin, separating the Allied and West German-controlled half from the East German/"Prussian" one. In April 1967 ([link]), the Wall was further upgraded to coincide with a meeting with the Soviet Politburo.

The allusions to the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and Austria's involvement in it are a nod of sorts to :iconchaneljay:'s They Were Once His ([link]).

Indivisibiliter ac Inseparabiliter was one of the old mottoes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was meant to signify the strong bonds and unity of the Dual Monarchy. In English it means "Indivisibly and Inseparably."

...and yes, the cottage is the same one seen in A Wasteland Melody onwards ([link]).

Meine Liebe - "My Love" (German)
Alles Gute zum Hochzeitstag - "Happy Anniversary!" (German)
te bolond - "You fool" (Hungarian)
Boldog évfordulót - "Happy Anniversary!" (Hungarian)


----

I neither own Hetalia. All rights belong to their respective owners.

----

This fic, while not in the Doomsday-verse proper is directly followed up by this:

A Distant Anniversary: [link]

* The deleted scene/epilogue can be found here: [link]
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:iconobiwanlives4ever:
Obiwanlives4ever Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
"But no matter… At that small cottage, there were no minders, soldiers, ideologies or pestering superpowers in the way. The Cold War could burn out for all he cared. As long as we're together…"

Just so beautiful. Damn. I love this series so much. :')
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:iconmdc01957:
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
Wait till you see the deleted scene! ;)
Reply
:iconobiwanlives4ever:
Obiwanlives4ever Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
I did~
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:iconmdc01957:
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
A little lemon wouldn't hurt anyone. ;)
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:iconkiramaru7:
kiramaru7 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
LOVED this! I'd like to check out your Doomsday'verse. Do you have a link to the first story in it?
Reply
:iconmdc01957:
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012
Sorry for the late reply, but you're in luck! :aww:

Here it is! [link]
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:iconkiramaru7:
kiramaru7 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012
It's okay, I'm late with mine. :XD:

Thanks!!
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:iconmdc01957:
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012
Sure thing! :la:
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:iconkiramaru7:
kiramaru7 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012
:D
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:iconibiteu:
IbiteU Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Very good job on the history factor here.
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