Disclaimer: If Axis Powers Hetalia were mine, I wouldn't need to write fanfics. If any of these songs were mine, I wouldn't be writing fanfics.
Background music: Track 1 – Song of the Century
Minimal fluff 09!
21st Century Breakdown!
One – Song of the Century
Sing us a song of the century…
It had been a difficult four years. Austria had been the first to scream foul! and the whole world exploded. Hungary had immediately backed up her partner after the assassination, while Russia supported Franz's death and frowned upon the couple. Of course, that started a tizzy, what with Russia being an unstable land-hungry nation after all, and instantly the two built a defense in case a certain white haired male appeared on the door step, eager for unification. Germany, a close friend and neighbor, was included in this Dual Alliance and together, the two (Austria and Hungary could be considered one and the same) stood defiant.
It was partially France's fault. If he and Germany didn't get in an argument about Morocco, perhaps the Alliance wouldn't have happened. But Germany had been pressured to avoid another confrontation. No one wanted any more groping than necessary.
They were afraid of France too. Well, that wasn't totally true…they had all used to be young nations together but France reached puberty that brought along the desire to conquer, and they had been stepped upon one too many times. Italy would support any part of him, and if Romano thought it was a good idea, it was a good idea.
It was a long four years.
What made it worse, maybe, was how they had turned in the middle of the action. One moment, Italy was standing behind Austria and Hungary as they started advancing on the home front and the next, Romano had pulled him into an alliance with England, France, and Russia. How ironic was it they supported the very nation they had been trying to avoid? But wartime was wartime, and although traitors were dishonored, the Allies supposed their new turncoats, on the borders of their enemies, would deliver a swift victory.
Caporetto had been a long fight. Italy stood by his brother's side as Hungary pushed Austria away, shooting a look of disappointment at their direction. It was hurtful to see someone he considered a big sister to look at him like that. He reached for Romano's hand and gripped it.
The Allies' reactions weren't too different. "Useless," England spat, angry to waste troops to protect their new ally. "Completely useless."
"Stay out of the fight and let France-nii-chan take care of it, okay?" France said, winking. Italy felt the same shame Romano felt, standing tall even as Romano squeezed his hand tighter. They were a completely capable nation. The others didn't have to talk as if they were only five.
Yes, it had been a long, agonizing four years.
And what did they have to show for it?
"Stupid," Romano hissed, glaring at the scars from the war in the morning, "Paris Peace Treaty." Italy watched his brother silently from the bed, ignoring the stale bandages on his own wounds as he observed his twin wrap the scars in fresh white. "Stupid," Romano continued, taking his anger out on the bandage that wouldn't rip, "England, France, and America. We fought too. We worked hard too. And what do we get?"
Italy winced as the roll of bandages bounced off the wall and hit the lamp next to the bed, knocking it onto the ground but not breaking it.
"I'm angry," Romano announced, to no surprise. "I'm angry, and I want what we deserve."
"We did get something," Italy ventured, silenced when his twin shot a glare at him.
"Not enough," Romano said bitterly. "Not nearly enough for what we suffered." And Italy knew what he meant, knew what their people were feeling, and it was all the same. And now, with their tiny ill-gained land, they were suffering from some stupid economical mistakes America, stupid young America, had gotten the whole into.
Italy understood, but what could he do?
New times called for new bosses. When Il Duce first approached the northern Vargas, the brunette had been hesitant of the change, but there were words of nationalism and Italian pride. They were words Italy liked to hear, and was sure Romano would want as well, but that didn't stop Il Duce from storming to Rome and demanding the south agree. Romano, noticing the work of the north, quickly agreed, but scolded his brother's ear off that night.
"But this is what we want, isn't it?" Italy asked quietly, holding his brother as Romano released the last of his nerves. "This is what we deserve, right?"
"That's right," Romano whispered. They were hidden from the big bad world, sitting small next to their bed as if they were still small and scheming childish plots. "This is what we want." Italy kissed his brother on the forehead.
"France dropped off a crate of tomatoes," Romano said one morning, sitting at the kitchen table. "Go pick it up."
And Italy went, it being closer to his border. And here he was, wandering around a forest, lost as always. Useless. But he wasn't useless. They had only looked out for themselves, only made a few bad decisions. Now was a time to make good ones, to not only look out for themselves but to provide for themselves. It was what their boss said. And bosses knew these things.
By pure chance, Italy stumbled upon the box, but it was empty.
An empty box. Empty promises. Italy had enough. He never showed his anger, never wanted to provoke his brother into more tantrums, but Italy kicked the box, the lid rattling and flying through the air onto the ground. They had waged the war, lost the fight. But they were more than that.
"I want me and my brother to be happy. I want us to be happy right now!" He was aware no one could hear him and was slightly satisfied to hear the call of birds as they took flight in sudden alarm. He wanted the other nations to understand, but he couldn't help it if their battle record was less than adequate.
Taking a breath, he supposed he couldn't have blamed France. Anger was unbecoming of him. Thinking rationally, maybe this wasn't the tomato crate Romano was talking about; maybe he stumbled upon a used crate. Feeling instantly stupid, Italy went to fetch the lid and started to put it on, willing to forget this instant of irrational thought and go on his way, when he heard a rustling nearby.
Panic flooded in him and he fought against the instinct of escape. Wasn't he just telling himself he was more than a useless nation? But there were lots of scary things out in the woods, be it bears or wolves or a perverted France. Gulping, Italy scanned his settings, seeing nothing but green and brown all over.
There it was again. Another rustling.
Italy cursed inwardly at his forgetfulness to bring a weapon. Nowadays, it was unwise to go out defenseless. Instability and government strife was hinting toward another major conflict in the development. A crack of a tree branch underfoot startled the peninsula and Italy found himself standing in the crate.
Now how can a box protect me? Vee…~ Whatever was lurking nearby was coming closer. Italy squatted down, holding the crate lid above his head. Ah! He could nail himself in. Quickly fitting the lid back in place, Italy watched quietly as he stayed in the stuffy box. His only regret was poor Romano would never know what had happened to him. There were only a few cracks in the box and Italy bit his lip to avoid crying out when someone appeared from the bushes.
…sing us a song for me.
To be continued
Note: Hi! Calling all capable, interested writers! I would love, love, love to collaborate with someone for this multi-fic! I am aware my collab record is like the Italies, as we never ended up finishing my last collab (but I love you anyway, G!), but I'm willing to give this thing another shake. In case you haven't read my previous fic, Pretty. Odd., I'm doing an Album Fic, where I take all the songs of a certain album and use them as inspiration for each chapter. This fic in question will be using the new Green Day album 21st Century Breakdown, so fans would be greatly appreciated. One with more time than I (and that's not much) to write and an adequate knowledge/willingness to research WW2 preferred. This is hopefully going to be more of a Gertalia, Sparomo, JOKER, etc. flavored fic. If you're interested, please drop me a PM!
Otherwise, a review for this first chappie would be greatly appreciated!