"You should've said 'yes' when I asked."
"We could've been journal buddies… Y'know?"
Prussia looks to the heavens. The clouds heavy with tears yet shed. The crimson glare of his gaze seeking the answer he would not get from the still boy beside him.
"But now… Now it's too late…"
In his hand, worn and callused from hard years of battle, was a book. A leather-bound book fallng apart at the seams. The pages were tattered with edges frayed. Bold, cursive words written in ebony ink…
"Cause you died..."
A whisper of mist blanketed the bloodied ground, the shroud of death for all who have fallen.
What was one boy, one broken-hearted boy, in the sea of the dead?
"Such a shame."
There was nothing even remotely unusual with it. It was just a journal. A plain, old journal. Germany could get up, right now, and walk to the nearest store. Chances are, they would have a journal exactly like this one. Really, the only thing special about this one was its age. It was very, very old.
Since the 900s...
About 1100 years old if Germany was to guess. And it was only a rough estimate. He couldn't after all be sure if it originated from the 900s. Was paper even invented then?
Well, whatever. The age of the journal was none of his concern. It truly wasn't. He shouldn't even be handling it. Journals fall under the category of private property. As in, what the hell was he doing? Sitting at the dining table with the journal laid out before him?
This journal was not his! It belonged to Prussia! Or if not, maybe to one of his old friends! Spain or France to name a few. For all Germany knew, it could've been from one of Prussia's bosses. Old Fritz, perhaps, and then Germany would be really dead. Brother or not, Prussia was touchy when it came to Old Fritz.
He really needed to return the journal back to where he got it. It was not his!
Or so Germany kept telling himself.
The journal was not his.
But it belonged with him...
No! No, no, no! That wasn't right at all!
But it wasn't wrong either...
Argh! Germany massaged his temples. His headache, which had not abated since this all started (thank you very much), worsened. This was getting him nowhere! And time was wasting. He still had so many things left to do. He needed to take out the trash, clean the kennel, weed the garden! He had to return the journal before it got too late.
Except... He was curious. Oh, he was very curious.
... A little peek wouldn't hurt. Just a small one. And then he'd put it right back. He promised. Just one tiny, insignificant peek. After all, what did Italy say...?
"I'll wait for you! I'll always wait for you!"
Geramny winced. No. That didn't even make sense. He was pretty sure it was 'live a little'. Or was that America? Either way...
The pads of his fingers ghosted over the covers. As if guided by an invisible force, Germany slowly opened the journal.
Live a little.
PROPERTY OF HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
DO NOT READ
(that means you Hungary)
Stamped across the entirety of the first page was this solemn statement. Encouraging, really.
But the name... "Holy Roman Empire". That rung a bell. Germany heard Prussia say that name in passing. But only in passing. If he ever prodded, Prussia would just wave him away. It wasn't any of his concern. Besides, "he was just some love-sick fool, West." And that was that.
But it seems it wasn't just that. There was more to his story, the story of a young empire, that Prussia refused to reveal. And here was Germany, holding that forbidden tale in his hands. If anything else, it fed Germany's curiousity.
Who was the Holy Roman Empire?
And so, Germany began to read.
Hours passed. The sun quietly setting, as the skies blushed a golden pink. And still Germany read on.
It was... strange. Truly the journal's contents were not so erapturing. Merely tales of a young empire's exploits, his failed attempts to winning the heart of a certain nation.
Truly, it was nothing more than a diary of a boy in love.
But... the words... The passages... Germany was not reading it. He was living it.
I don't need a journal, so I won't be writing again.
And he felt the reluctant compliance as he wrote for the first time in the journal, believing he would never use it.
Italy is in my house! ITALY is in my house! Italy is in MY HOUSE!! I just can't say that enough.
And in his mind, he saw a little girl in servant clothing. Sweeping away as joy and euphoria, unlike any he had ever felt before, swept through him.
I saw Romano smirk smugly behind her. He was gloating, that bastard!
Frustration and anger. A living room dripping with remnants of luscious tomatoes. His beloved crying. And the sticky paste still fresh in his hands. Romano's face still irked him, even 1100 years later.
"I...won't. I won't leave you." Not like the Roman Empire, I had meant.
He remembered a little girl, crying all by herself in the back gardens. He remembers her smile as he gave her the flowers. He remembers how truly important her happiness was to him.
I snuck up next to her and slowly began to sketch her features. Carefully adding color. I just had to get her likeness right.
And he remembers the painting. He remembers painting it. Because maybe, just maybe, he would not come back.
Italy loves me.
And he remembers their kiss. Her lips were soft and sweet. And how much it hurt...
How everything just...
"No matter how many hundreds of years go by, I'll always love you more than anyone in the world."
The bitter taste of betrayal. The anger and pain of realizing... He had failed her. He had failed the most important person in his world. He had broken their promise.
Except... It wasn't his promise. It wasn't his promise to keep.
He wasn't Holy Roman Empire. He was Germany! Deutschland!
He was the younger brother of Prussia. He was a young country.
He was not the Holy Roman Empire.
He couldn't be...
Blood-covered phrases. Sorrowful words behind a veil of mortal pain.
Holy Roman Empire died.
Germany inhaled the familiar scent of gunpowder and smoke. The marks of war having never left.
He turned to the last page. An empty page. Not a word written.
It still hurt...
"I love her! I can't leave her! She's... She's the most precious person on this earth... to me... I love... her."
Germany clenched his ears. He wasn't in the kitchen anymore. He was in a battlefield. Soldiers falling left and right, and he in the center of all the chaos. A sword was firmly in his grip, and yet he did not move. He was not fighting.
For all he could see was a certain nation's face. A cheerful smile. Memories of times past. Long ago past.
"I want to see you! I want to see you, Ita-!"
"-lia. Italia. Italia." Germany murmured.
It felt broken, even to his ears.
To him, Italia was a pasta-loving boy. An irritable, useless boy that served as a hinderment, and nothing more. He always had to be saved, and he could not be counted on. He took siestas even in the middle of training, and had to be naked while he slept. He always had pasta wherever he went, even in the dry desert. He grated on Germany's nerves. Forever smiling, and cheerful, always greeting him with tiny hugs and kisses. Trusting him so completely and totally, never straying from his side.
He wore his heart on his sleeves. If nothing else, Italy was the vibrant expression of emotion. And he was...
Well, he was a fool, and a coward, and as useless as can be...
But he was... someone very dear. At some point in their tumulous relationship, Italy wormed himself into his heart and nestled comfortably there. And Germany realized he could not and did not want him to leave. He...
Germany stared at the final page. The last page. Still untouched despite all these years.
And he was writing.
He had no idea if that pen had always been there beside him. Or if he had picked it up before sitting down. All he knew was that, it was in his hand now. The pen. And he was writing.
I am not your beloved Holy Roman Empire. And I never will be.
So, I know I have absolutely no right to tread upon your pages. I have no right to write my thoughts.
But... I think, despite being an inanimate object, you deserved to witness the end of this tale.
Forgive me, since I have not properly introduced myself. My name is Germany. Deutschland.
First off, I would like to state that ITALY IS A BOY. I have absolutely no idea why for the most part of his childhood he decided to cross-dress, nor do I wish to know. I have my suspicions it has something to do with Hungary, but I am not sure. In eiher case, I assure you, Dear Journal, that Italy is part of the male gender. He has run to my house naked enough times for me to affirm it. Don't ask me why he runs around naked, especially to my house, but I personally think it is an Italian thing.
Secondly, I would like to address, that though I am not the Holy Roman Empire... I have inherited his body... His memories... Unfortunately, I am a completely different person. I have different experiences, a different family (though perhaps not so much different), and a different personality all together... I am not the Holy Roman Empire. Perhaps I once was... But he died... And I was born.
But know this, Dearest Journal. Know that one thing still remained. A remnant of your beloved Holy Roman Empire still resides with me. I am... even after all these years... still very much in love with a certain Italian nation. I still... love Italy. With all my heart and soul.
Take comfort in this, Dearest Journal. Take comfort in the knowledge that Holy Roman Empire's final wish and promise continues to be fulfilled to this very day.
I promise to you, that I will take care of Italy to my fullest capability. Italy is in good hands. He need not wait anymore.
Putting the pen down, with a quiet sigh, carding a hand through his hair. Germany felt a huge weight be lifted from his chest. A burden, long ago placed on his shoulders, now relieved. And he was free.
With a goofy-looking grin, Germany stood up. He dashed to the coat rack and hurried out the door. Not even bothering to explain as a drunken Prussia stared confusedly after him. He simply hopped into his Mercedes and revved up the engine. Not stopping to appreciate the purr of the motors as he backed out of the garage.
Despite the time, despite the late hour, Germany had to see Italy. He needed to see Italy. He needed to hold the other in his arms and never let go.
Because he had finally realized. After all these years... The feeling that had resided in his heart since the moment they have first met, in that comical time when Italy jumped out of the tomato box...
He loved Italy...
Of course in true German fashion, he probably wouldn't know how to say it... But he'll deal with that when he absolutely had to. After all, what was that saying again...
Live a little.
Back home, as Prussia stormed up the stairs in a drunken huff, the journal still lay on the table. Wide open for everyone to read.
And in the watchful gaze of Mother Moon and the stars up above, a chilled evening breeze floated into the kitchen. Carefully turning that weathered page.
And on the back cover, inscribed in that same ebony-ink were two words.
A/N: Lame ending is lame. Sorry. But thank you so much for reading this story. I hoped you liked it... Because finally! It is over! I am starting several new stories. De-anoning from the kink meme and stuff, so get ready!