I don't own Hetalia! end/AN/

It was the longest night of Italy's life. He wasn't handcuffed to the bed this time, but he still feared leaving the house.

What he had been staring at all night was the telephone. He could call Romano, or the Allies; they'd come to save him. Romano wasn't the most protective big brother, but he had to be worried about him.

Italy's hand stretched out slowly, touching the cool black phone. Just one phone call. Germany would never now.

And yet, it felt as though he would. Germany could come thundering down the stairs at any moment.

Italy felt like a banana deprived of its peel; he could be smash into nothing at any moment. His fingers faltered on the phone. He stared at it, with its dial and wooden box.

He had to call. He had to. Romano would never know that he was alive if he didn't.

The number for their home was easy enough to remember; cringing at the loud sound, Italy dialled it.

There were a few rings, and then it was picked up.

"Who the fuck is calling in the middle of the night?" came the surly, half-awake demand from Romano.

"Fratello, it's me. It's Italy," he barely breathed into the phone. Any moment now, Prussia or Germany could come down the stairs or check in his room. And then it would be something unpredictable, or just plain cruel.

"Italy? Where are you? Are you injured?" Romano's voice had switched from grouchy to wide awake and alarmed.

"I'm in Germany's house; he annexed me," Italy explained, adding, "Are the Allies still helping? Are they going to come?"

"Yes, they're still here. Good god, Italy, how'd you get yourself captured like that? Are you stupid?" Romano's voice was rising, anger clear in it.

"I was outside, and he kidnapped me. I didn't do it on purpose, I promise!" Italy clutching the phone, his fingers getting sweaty on it.

"You love that potato bastard, how do I know you didn't do it on purpose?" Romano demanded.

"He's not… the same. He's cruel and cold; besides, it was my idea to leave the war, remember?" It was hard to keep his voice quiet enough, when it felt like his throat was tightening and he would burst into tears at any moment. What he would give to be with Romano, even if they were arguing.

"Right," Romano said. "Let me go get one of the Allies; we're coming after you, I promise."

Italy waited a moment. It felt like ages, and he kept looking at the cuckoo clock on the wall, slowly ticking towards morning.

"Hey, Italy?" It was America. That optimism that oozed from him was instantly recognizable.

"Yes, I'm here," Italy said, and he heard the creak of the floor upstairs, making his heart jump.

"You need to tell us everything you know; what are Germany's battle plans? How many troops has he got in your land? Spill it!" America was obviously looking for the chink in Germany's armor.

"I don't know," Italy said with defeat. He knew nothing of all of Germany's plans, and he'd barely paid attention back when he was allies with Germany and Japan. He could the uselessness worming around in his gut, wishing that he'd at least found out about something.

"What do you mean you don't know? Italy, do you realize how serious this is?" America's voice was too loud, and Italy said,

"Sh! They'll hear you!" Italy's stomach plummeted as the stairs began to creak. "I have to go!"

"Wait! Italy-!" America's voice was abruptly cut off.

Italy hung up the phone, but couldn't quite get it on the hook until three tries in. It was loud, too loud, and oh god, he was going to die…

"What's going on down here?" It was Austria.

Italy was ready to sob in relief, and his eyes began to water. He wiped at his eyes, saying, "It's nothing, Austria, just nothing…"

Austria was in fleece pajamas, and he looked at Italy like he was crazy. "What were you doing on the phone?" He seemed to have heard the phone.

"I wasn't on the phone, I was just thirsty," Italy insisted.

Old time Austria would let it go. Old time Austria would say, 'Well then, hurry to bed and stop this nonsense.'

But this was the new Austria, and he grabbed Italy's arm. "Come with me; I must report you to Germany."

"No, Austria, please!" Italy would do anything to avoid Germany at this point, but Austria's grip was too tight, and he couldn't pull free. His stomach felt like it had been left behind on the floor, a bottomless abyss inside of Italy instead.

"You shouldn't be working to undermine us; I can't do anything that would jeopardize our victory. And I can't allow you to do it either." He dragged Italy along.

"Please, I didn't tell anything important, I swear! I just wanted Romano to know I am all right!" Italy pleaded, trying to drag his feet.

Austria sighed. "If that's all you did, I will let you go. You're too dimwitted to give anything away anyhow. But you must promise never to touch the phone again, understand?"

"Yes, yes, I do!" Italy felt, once again, like sobbing for relief.

"Get to bed," Austria said, and he shepherded him up the stairs and into his room; he locked the door, and Italy was trapped.

He didn't know for sure, however, what would happen in the morning; he didn't know anymore if he could trust Austria.

He pulled himself onto the quilt, and unexpectedly the tears burst forth. He wanted Romano. He wanted to be safe and eating pasta. But he was going to get none of those things, so long as the war persisted.

He shut his eyes tightly, and dreamed of a safer time…

/AN/ I don't know that I'm still doing the same style of writing now, but I hope to continue this story. Not the most exciting chapter, but I can't remember what my original plans were…