sticks & stones (and maybe words) | Drabble, Latin Hetalia | fem!Chile/Perú
Manuela keeps her hair short and Miguel wonders.
She always seemed so easy to crush. The last one in a long line of colonies, small and apparently frail, completely isolated. He always thought he had to protect her, as if she were any different from the rest of their brothers and sisters. Maybe it was the slight frown on her temple, or the way she pursed her lips when she didn’t approve of something. It was, maybe, in the subtle curve of her waist, or the ghost of that single kiss he had stolen from her once, her mouth small and quick under his lips, her cheeks coloured red in embarrassment.
But the thing he admired the most in her, the thing he so longed to touch, was her hair. It was long and silky, a dark chocolate color. If he begged enough, sometimes, she would let him brush it. His fingers always were too clumsy, too rushed, so he never could braid it the right way.
(and so, she scowled and called him dumb, blamed his fat fingers and ran her hand through her hair, braiding it on a matter of seconds, so quick and so graceful, so young and small)
He used to love her hair.
(it was the first thing she cut)
There’s fire and then there’s smoke; there’s screaming, he knows, and violence, he knows. It’s a war, it’s their war and it’s destroying them in ways that neither of them could ever imagine. Her window seems so far away from him now, the fresh memory of him standing under her balcony still alive inside his mind. He liked to see her in frilly dresses because it made her look more womanly.
(women should be women, woman should smile like the sun and laugh like the rain, women should smell like flowers and twirl in never ending silk)
Instead, the battle uniform looks ugly on her. It makes her look to sharp.
(and when she commands him to surrender, he thinks she looks ugly)
(and when she sets fire to his world, he hates her)
“You should grow your hair again”, says Miguel, picking up his notes (more like doodles and scribbles) after the meeting has ended. “You’d look good with longer hair.”
“It’s too troublesome”, answers Manuela, already pursing her lips. She doesn’t like the idea, because long hair would require a lot of care and she doesn’t have time for it.
(she misses that weight on her shoulders, sometimes, she misses the afternoon’s warm on top of her head and silly fingers messing up her tresses, until they become mazes)
Miguel can’t help but wonder at her answer, and he remembers why did she cut it in the first place. He feels a slight tingle of hatred, already fading away with time, and pushes away the sour memories.
(he’s bigger now, and wiser and pushing and growing and stronger)
Manuela notices his silence and blushes a little bit, ashamed but too proud to admit it. She places her hand on top of Miguel’s and looks away for a tiny moment.
“Maybe just a little.”
Miguel smiles at her.
“Just a little would be fine.”
His hand on her waist.
Her hand on his chest.
It’s only them, now, healing. It’s only them and the promise of never looking back, but honoring the important pages of their history.
Miguel steals another kiss from her, and this time Manuela doesn’t look away.
(and that’s the best feeling in the world)