This fact did not terrify him. He had months - no, years - to accept it. Death was not something he believed should be feared or something we should run away from. No matter who you are or what your status is, there's one thing we have in common. We. Will. Die. The sad thing is that even countries aren't excluded.
And the embodiment of Prussia thought that sucked.
He had gone on tears for the first month he had discovered that the end was near. Glasses had been shattered, items he had no use for were flung across the room. He hooped, hollered, and screamed at the ones who cared the most about him. West, Francis, 'Toni. None of them were sparred. They each had their turn with his fist.
Did he feel guilty?
You have to have lost all your humanity if you don't feel something after abusing your brother and best friends.
The acceptance of his self-diagnosis was shocking. Gilbert woke up one day and stared at his ceiling. 'I don't have much time left,' He thought. 'I can either man up or I can continue to act like a child.' That day was his new beginning. His first day of healing. He finally could look at the world, not with hatred, but with the same zest for life he once held. Yes, the "awesome" Prussia had redeemed himself.
He had made it a point to make up with everyone. Say the things that he had hungered for years to say to all the others. He wanted Ivan to know exactly how much he hated him. Arthur to know that Gilbert didn't truly want bad things to happen to him, he just thought he was amusing when angry. That Mathias was nothing more than an annoying asshole who was good to catch a couple of beers with. The list could go on and on. They hardly fought back. These were the words of a dying man. They considered him to be a lunatic. Completely out of it. "Take what he says with a grain of salt!" They exclaimed to one another.
And little did these bastards know that this was the truth. His blunt opinions on all of them. They could either take it or leave it.
There were few who actually believed what he said to them. Those were the ones who actually had a better understanding of Gilbert. They had been with the albino through thick and thin. Or they had been stuck with him for some many years, you begin to understand when the other is being sincere and when they're just trying to get your goat.
Roderick was the first one in his little group he talked to. His words were harsh and bitter in the beginning. They stung with words of hatred that could only be bottled up for so many years. Years of that priss - that aristocrat who had hardly felt the torture he'd been through and dared to call himself his equal! - one upping him in the little ways, the ways that went beyond war and land. Ways that really made Gilbert want to beat the Austrian to death with his own piano. But as the years went on, and they had been forced to live together, there was more of appreciation for his cousin. Did he still hate him? Yes, but it wasn't the loathing he once felt.
Gilbert grouped Francis and 'Toni together. They were the Three Musketeers They would be grouped together as they should've gone down together. The Prussian saved his friends the details of their long histories together. Each knew the tale of the other, it would've been the waste of his valued breath to go on about it. He right of the bat addressed the elephant in the room. Bringing back the pain and denial he felt months ago, he mused about how this could've been prevented. He ranted at Francis for how dissolving his country did no good. Had he been the country that birthed Hitler and advised his mother to not get an abortion? No, Austria. Which country started World War Two with said Austrian? Germany. His country was forced along the ride because he had kicked everyone else's ass throughout history. He smiled. "It's alright though. I get to see my Vater again. I got to spend so much time with the Bad Friends Trio. Everything makes up for it."
Elizaveta was harder to speak to. Gilbert had such a long, personal history with her. Where did he begin? "I hated Roderick because of you. I beat his ass because of you. I won wars because of you." Ah, yes. That was the way to begin it. The tears in her eyes caused him to frown. She shouldn't be crying yet, not while he was around. "Chin up. I'm not done." He was sharp to her. Gilbert knew she despised it when people sugarcoated things to her. She wanted the truth, even if it tasted bitter on her tongue. That's how he gave it to her. The only thing to him that made the USSR worthwhile was her. He would've gone crazy trapped behind that wall if it wasn't for her. Yet, she denied everything. He told her everything. He spilled his heart out and when she reached out to hug him, he extended out an arm towards her. "It's amazing how you can be here for me when I'm dying, but when I'm perfectly healthy you flock towards the Austrian." The cruelty in his words made him feel good because they both knew it was the truth.
West. Ludwig. Germany. Bruder. This was not the one he wished to speak to. How he longed he could've just slipped away from this world without seeing those hard, blue eyes one last time. But the life was fates bitch and thats just how things always had to happen. There was hardly a exchange of words between the two. The bond siblings share can't be compared to any other. They know what the other is thinking and feeling. They know what each others actions mean and how they can say more than words that'll be forgotten in a day or so. The only thing Gilbert said - and could even manage - was, "You'll be fine. You're always fine." He firm grip he had placed on Ludwig's shoulder was as if to say, "you haven't needed me in years. What's a permanent leave to you anyway?" But how the German had ruined his normally perfect posture gave a heart wrenching response of, "you always need your older brother. No matter how old you are."
It was a typical Thursday. It was July seventeenth. The amusing thing was that this was the exact day Old Fritz past on along with being a whole month before the actual date.
It was painless. He wasn't asleep, oh no. That would be too kind for a man who had caused so much bloodshed and killed so many people. He had been awake and fully aware. They say your life flashes before your eyes, but for him, it was just the highlights. The best of times and the worst of times. When Ludwig found him later that day, he had a smile on his face and his eyes were still twinkling with that mischievous look of his.
Gilbert Beilschmidt was dead. And this fact didn't terrify him.