England struggled against the wires constricting him, the pouring rain depleting his energy as blood steadily flowed out of his wounds. Stretching and straining every one of his muscles, England lost his balance, landing face-first into the overwhelming cold of the mud, still writhing in his binds as his actions continued to slow.

England wasn't stupid. He knew what was coming. He closed his eyes in frustration, not sure if the wetness on his eyelids was from the rain or his own tears.

Dammit, he was so close to getting out--!

"E-England…England!!!"

He heard the sound of sloshing boots before a hand pressed his back, turning him over with much difficulty.

"England, it's gonna be okay! I-I'll get you out of this, just hang on!!" America tugged at the barbed wires with all of his strength, doing nothing but increasing England's torture as he groaned in severe pain, the sound barely above a whisper.

"A-America…please, stop…" England croaked, the order sounding pained and desperate more than anything.

"No, England, I won't let you die! We'll get out of here and we'll win the war, together!!" America tried to channel courage into his voice, but it only continued to tremble, his despair evident. Small trails trickled down his cheeks as he clenched his fists around the wire, red liquid leaking from his hands.

England's breaths came in slow, shallow puffs as he pushed words past his lips. "America, I've fought for my people…and I'll…I'll die for them. It's my honor."

"S-Shut up, England, shut up!!!" America's exclamation was barely understandable, choked sobs wracking his entire being.

But England understood.

"I…Americ-ca…I'm so proud of you…You'll always be-…be my boy…" England forced his eyes open, taking a long look at America's face. His muscles ached as he managed to quirk the corner of his mouth.

A smile. A tired, very hurt smile. A barely visible smile. His last smile. Then it all stopped.

No thoughts.

No pain.

No emotions.

No feeling.

Nothing.

America collapsed on the unmoving England, his father, his enemy, his friend, his brother, his comrade, his love his everything, crying in agony as he gripped England's soaked uniform.

"America…"

America mutely turned his head, staring through stinging eyes at Germany. "He's…dead…"

Germany's eyes widened in sheer horror as America removed himself from England, revealing a mangled and bloodied England lying dead in the mud.

"I…we didn't know…we never meant for it to end like this…"

America struggled to keep his composure as he shook in a mixture of fury and sorrow. "He's dead, you son of a bitch, and he's never coming back!" America began to tremble violently, no longer able to act as the brave hero he always was. His face was stained with mud and tears, his cries drilling into Germany's steeled heart.

Germany sunk to the ground, moving closer to America and giving him an awkward embrace. "I'm so sorry, America…I…I never knew that it might end like this…I'm so sorry…" As Germany attempted to soothe America with empty words and ashamed, unsure apologies, his eyes remained trained on England's body, completely devoid of the fighting spirit he always carried, now gone, replaced with a blank picture of what used to be, what never would be anymore.

America clung desperately to Germany, only able to tremble and cry out in his suffering.

Germany, so engrossed in the picture before him, did not notice one arm slither from his back, nor did he notice cold metal prodding his skull.

Time seemed to slow as a shot rang out over the battlefield, Germany's eyes widening, his body registering the immense pain before it shut down, slumping against America as his head dripped crimson.

Tears still pouring down his face, America pocketed his gun and gently laid Germany on the ground. Turning to England America began to cautiously unravel him from the wire, taking care to remove the barbs without damaging the body further.

America hefted England into his arms, retreating to the Allies' base.

"See, Iggy? We're going home together, just like I said."