PHASE SIXTY-FIVE

Alfred panicked as he opened the door to the staircase, only to become engulfed in a cloud of smoke that burned his throat as he breathed, he could only imagine what had happened to Arthur.

As he ran up the stairs, he tried his best to not picture the worst, despite how long he knew Arthur, he wasn't willing to give up on him, the American was never willing to give up on anything or anyone, despite how many people had given up on him…
As a child he dreamed of using his powers to become a hero, however, he only seemed to create misery for the people who were kind enough to adopt him. His powers wouldn't let him help, it would only make him disrupt and destroy, he scared people instead of saving them, he didn't know why he was going so wrong…
This pain and disappointment drove Alfred to become something so great that no one would ever want to leave him again, thus, he was determined to be a hero, and now: he had to be Arthur's hero.

He had become attached… He always did that to himself: becoming attached to the people who showed the slightest of interest in him, begging them to not hurt him as he fell hopelessly to their mercy. He would do all he could to not disappoint, however, his powers always managed to do that for him, and drive the people he cared about most away from him.

He pushed open the door to the second floor, feeling the burn of the intense fire in the air, as fire had engulfed the entire level. Alfred looked up to see the roof struggling to hold itself up, considering the damage that Arthur did to the third floor during his first attack on the building.

He could imagine Arthur breathing fire with a powerful rage, like an unstoppable dragon, setting alight all that stood in his way.

He ran through the level, trying his best to avoid running into the flames, he felt his skin burn and the smoke burn his throat. He took the collar of his t-shirt and held it over his face, to provide some kind of filter. The search began to feel pointless, and Alfred's anxiety grew as he pondered about where Arthur could be, and what that doctor did to him… He knew that this fire was a result of Arthur's fury, so he had to be here… Something went wrong.

Alfred opened the door to one of the rooms, and was confronted by the sight of a figure lying in the centre of the room, surrounded by a circle of powerful and angry flames.

"ARTHUR!" Alfred cried.
When Arthur didn't respond, Alfred froze when he realised that he couldn't see the rising and falling of Arthur's chest. "ARTHUR!" Alfred stood back and contemplated his actions, if he could get a running start he knew he could jump over the flames. Bracing himself, Alfred positioned himself to run, wasting no more time; Alfred sprinted towards the flames, before jumping over it, feeling the burning sensation over his legs. Alfred did not land gracefully and crashed to his knees, he crawled towards Arthur and gasped at the sight of multiple bloody cuts across the Brit's neck. "FUCK! NO!" Alfred cried as he pulled the Brit's limp body onto his lap, "COME ONE, DUDE! DON'T PULL THIS ON ME! PLEASE!" Alfred's eyes became clouded by the presence of tears as he patted his hands on Arthur's face, before moving to his blood-soaked neck then down to his chest. Alfred whimpered incoherently as he stared at Arthur's blank face. "Come on, please..." Alfred pressed his ear to the Brit's chest, desperately trying to listen for a sign of hope, he tried to block out the noise of the raging fire behind him and the beating of his own aching heart.

Boom … boom-boom … boom-boom... boom-boom...

Alfred gasped with relief at the sign of a faint heartbeat coming from Arthur's chest, a sign of hope. Alfred smiled widely at the sign of life as a tear ran down the American's cheek. "THANK GOD!" Alfred gasped as he pulled Arthur's body towards him, scooping him off of the floor and holding him in his arms. "Come on, we're gonna get you out of here, I promise!" With one arm scooped behind Arthur's knees, and the other arm cradling his shoulders, Alfred rose from the ground, listening to the building's foundations moan, this building was going to fall, and it was going to fall soon. Alfred jumped through the flames again, struggling to avoid burning his legs because of the extra weight he carried, the buildings structure roared as Alfred watched the walls crack and break to the power of the flames.

Alfred jumped down multiple stairs at once, only to slip and fall on his back, banging his head on the metal base of the stairs, he felt Arthur lay on him, and Alfred tightened his grip, desperate to not lose him now. His vision blurred as his head ached in pain along with his chest as the smoke air scorched his throat, making it harder and harder to breathe after each breath. However he was determined to not let his clumsiness slow him down, he rose from the staircase, feeling the burning heat of the heated metal burn the palm of his hand. He ignored the buckling of his knees as he continued to carry Arthur down the stairs, careful to not take any more dangerous shortcuts. Suddenly as he opened the door to the lobby, he heard the noise of the upper levels crashing down, and dust began to fill the entire lobby as the roof collapsed. Alfred dropped to the ground, laying himself over Arthur, if he wasn't going to be a hero, he was prepared to die trying.

Alfred eyes glazed over with a white hue, as he felt his powers form a barrier around himself and Arthur, protecting them from the oncoming assault of rubble and fire.
It became impossible for Alfred to keep hold of all of the pressure, and everything went black.

PHASE SIXY-SIX

Feliciano watched with horror and instinctually grabbed onto Ludwig's arm as the group watched the building fall, well aware that Alfred was still in there with Arthur.

"Come on!" Matthew cried as he ran towards the rubble, as the sky became engulfed in the thick dust, "we need to get them!"

"How do you know they're still alive?!" Yao asked, shocked by the sight of what just happened.

"Alfred wouldn't let himself die…" Francis pointed out, "he is much more capable than what he lets on."

"He's right," Ivan agreed, "we should at least look for them. We all saw the door to the staircase open, there is hope."

It was Feliciano who ran first, running over the sharp and dangerous rubble, and Ludwig ran after him, pickup up the largest pieces of rubble and moved it out of the way with the goal of creating a safe path for the others.

Kiku could no longer find the strength to move in his legs, instead looking down at the body of the doctor, seeing the copious amounts of blood form a puddle around him. He couldn't believe that he had gone so quickly, with one swift movement, Kiku had taken back the honour the man before him stole. A threat that had taken away so much was easily taken away himself, proving that despite his abilities, his life was still precious and fragile.

"Come on," Gilbert mumbled, taking Kiku's free arm and hooking it over his shoulder and helped him walk towards the van as Lovino opened the back door for him, "you need to rest the most."

"I see you found the carpark…" Kiku murmured as Gilbert helped him walk into the back of the van, where seats lined the sides, keeping a small space free in the middle.

"It took us a while," Gilbert chuckled, "the map wasn't much of a help, but at least it gave us a plan."

"Good…" Kiku murmured as he clumsily fell back onto the seat, taking a deep breath, as though his heart wasn't prepared to accept the fact that the fight was over.

"Do you want some water? Something to eat?" Gilbert asked, "Mattie and I found the breakroom and emptied the fridge."

"Mattie?" Kiku asked, Gilbert smiled; enjoying the nickname he had used for the Canadian, "yes, some water would be great."

Meanwhile, Francis and Matthew carefully made their way across the rubble, carefully keeping themselves upright.
Francis' goal was to hear someone's thoughts, or a sign of life… he could hear something in the back of his mind, another itch, however it wasn't an itch to destroy or manipulate, it was an itch that begged for Francis attention. The itch grew worse as Francis journeyed further into the rubble, and the itch turned into a noise, like a cry for help… in an American accent.

Francis froze as he listened to the thoughts as they grew louder as Francis got closer to the source, until he stood before a slab of rubble, where the source of the thought came from beneath.

"LUDWIG!" Francis cried, catching the Germans attention from the other side of the disaster sight, as well as everyone else's. "I HEAR HIS THOUGHTS! HE'S OVER HERE!"
Ludwig ran over quickly, grabbing onto the piece of rubble as Francis instructed, before lifting the large and jagged piece of concrete. Revealing two unharmed, but unconscious figures underneath. Alfred laid on top of Arthur, effectively shielding him, without the rubble and destruction, as well as the blanket of dust that covered him, it would have appeared like the two were sleeping.

PHASE SIXTY-SEVEN

Arthur wasn't expecting to take in a breath of fresh air as he drifted back into consciousness, in fact, he wasn't expecting to wake up at all. He felt a sudden jolt, and his eyes opened with surprise. He was nearly blinded by the bright lights and the eyes of all of his friends gathered around him, they all sat either next to him, or sitting across from him, in what appeared to be in the back of a van.

"Arthur…" A familiar voice whispered, sounding like a peaceful chime of bells in the Brit's ear, Arthur looked to his side to see Alfred glancing up at him from Arthur's shoulder, where Alfred's head laid. Alfred's eyes were red and sore from crying, despite this, Alfred smiled as Arthur frowned at him.

"You…" Arthur stuttered, unable to put together what had happened, however, Arthur knew that the reason he was still alive was because of the man who rested his head on his shoulder.

"I did…" Alfred whispered.
Arthur stared down at Alfred, unable to deny that whilst he would have been contempt with the idea of dying… he was glad that he had a hero to thank for saving his life…

Suddenly the sliding window to the front seat of the van slid open, revealing Matthew and Gilbert, "has anyone thought about where we could actually go?" Gilbert asked.

"Where are we?" Ludwig asked.

"Luckily for us, the van as a GPS," Matthew pointed out, looking at the screen that sat next to the steering wheel. "It says we're in Eastern Europe… We're in Romania right now, really remote Romania."

"Great." Ivan sighed, "We're far from anywhere."

"So, does anyone have any ideas?" Gilbert asked.

Feliciano looked at Lovino, to see his older brother already looking at him, as though they had the same idea.

"Do you think we could go back to Italy? Grandfathers mansion has more than enough room for everybody, and we'd still have the funds he left for us, if Capo hadn't figured out the password or fought his will." Lovino explained quietly.

"But the Mafia, won't Capo have us attacked if we appear in Italy again?" Feliciano asked.

"Fratello…" Lovino chuckled as a dark smile curved his lips and narrowed his eyes, "if anything, he should be afraid of us…"
Feliciano returned this smile, before turning to face Gilbert and Matthew, "We have an idea."

PHASE SIXTY-EIGHT

The GPS estimated-13 hour journey took nearly two days, as the group had to continuously stop and steal supplies and food, and were only able to get away with it because of the abilities of Francis, Matthew and Gilbert.

Eventually they arrived in Rome, where the shining sun greeted the group, welcoming them to freedom. Lovino and Feliciano instructed the group on how to reach their former home; their grandfathers mansion. Of course, the grand house was run by their former boss: Capo. Using their powers as a team, the group managed to take over the mansion in less than an hour, and began to dream of the new life they could all have together, pondering at the possibilities of their power and what wisdom the horrible experience had given them.
Many had accepted the fact that their lives would never be the same again, as Francis warned that the power of the company that took them is not dead, and they needed to keep each other safe, as they took them so easily when they were alone.
They had all accepted that the memories of their experience was going to haunt them forever, the atrocities they had committed in the pursuit of freedom was something they were all going to live with until the day they died, however, they all accepted that, as they knew that they did what they could to survive: and they won.
As a team, they knew that they could survive anything, and with the help of the Italians, they had found something that they had all longed for, ever since the days that their powers changed their lives forever: a home.

As time passed, the team could beat down any force that threatened their peace, and they learned that despite their threat still being active, that they were going to beat them and escape every single time. When they stood together and fought as a team, nothing could tear them apart.