I was like, sobbing, when I wrote this. If you don't like character death, you probably shouldn't read this. It contains character death in a VERY FREAKING BIG WAY. *breaks down*

Hetalia doesn't belong to moi.

He dodged a bullet and ducked behind a wall, breathing hard. All was chaos and confusion; in the mass of blood and bodies, through the screams and explosions, how could he hope to find one petite brunette? But he must. He must make sure that that one, small, innocently aggravating, naïve, silly, pasta-loving fool whom he loved so much was safe. An image rose, unbidden into his head; a thin, broken body, wide, brown, puppy dog eyes staring unseeingly at the bleeding sky…He shook his head fiercely to rid himself of the haunting vision; he would not-must not, let that happen.

He had promised himself he would keep Italy safe. He had too. He felt he would die if the boy did. Desperately, the tall blonde dashed back into the fray, firing at enemy soldiers half-heartedly, all the while searching, looking…

"GERMANY!" A shrill cry rang through the dying yells and howls all around. Only one voice was like that; only one voice that could make him colour and smile, be angry at while dying of love for, only one voice he couldn't deny…he twisted sideways as shrapnel flew and bullets whizzed, and began rushing to the direction of the voice. A shard of rock grazed his shoulder, slicing through his jacket and drawing blood, but all he could think of was that voice…his Italia…

Please, he prayed, please let Italy be alright. Let him be safe. I'll do anything…anything…

He smiled wryly, even as he panicked. It was usually Italy who was begging anything in exchange for his life, or wellbeing…

"Germany…?" A tiny whisper…so close…

There. Behind that rusted frame of…something. A small, brown haired boy. Germany ran to him, glancing behind himself to make sure no one saw where they were sheltering.

"Germany!" The boy cried, seeing the blonde, "I was looking for you! I was-"

"ITALY!" Germany cut him off, "DUCK!"

A hand grenade was flying through the air. Germany dove at the Italian, grabbing him in a bear hug and wrapping his big frame as much around the small figure as possible. The explosion sent rock, dirt, and twisted metal everywhere. Germany managed to get the two of them safely behind a boulder, but all the same a chunk of rock sliced his cheek and a large piece of something hit him in the small of the back, taking his breath away. Italy's face was buried in his chest, tears staining the front of his green jacket. He looked up anxiously. "Germany…?"

"Are you alright?" Germany asked, hoarsely, trying to regain his breath. Italy nodded, and then noticed where the rock had cut the blonde. "You're bleeding, Germany!" He reached up and wiped away the beads of scarlet on Germany's cheek.

The blonde waved away the Italian's ministrations. "That's the least of our worries." He said, brusquely. "We need to get to shelter; the Anglo-American forces are too strong for us."

Italy gasped. "Are we-we're surrendering?"

Germany gritted his teeth. "Tactical retreat," he said, bitterly, but he knew deep down that this was it. This was the end. His boss would not be pleased.

Italy was quiet. If Germany is surrendering, erm, retreating taktikly, things must be bad, he thought, worriedly. He peeked around the corner, but quickly pulled back. "Ah! It's not good out there! I don't wanna move!" He protested, clinging to the German's arm.

The taller man looked down. "It'll be okay," he told Italy, as reassuringly as he could. "I'll make sure you get to shelter. Safe." Germany had never been great at comfort; in fact, he was awkward with any emotion asides aggravation, severity, gloom, and downright rage. He was a military man, not a nurse.

Even so, Italy looked up at him so trustingly it nearly broke his heart. "Okay, Germany, we'll go," Italy slid his small hand into Germany's, and held it tightly. Normally Germany would have objected to this, but today he just gripped Italy's hand closely and whispered to him, "I'll make sure you get home safe, even if it kills me. Don't you worry."

Italy's eyes widened. "Germany…please get home with me, too!"

"Of course I will." Germany glanced around, making sure England or America weren't hiding anywhere near, and then ran, dragging Italy with him.

The Allied forces were all around, suddenly, firing rapidly. Germany let a few shot loose from his pistol, but right now his main priority was getting Italy to his house safely. Briefly, he wondered where Japan was, but he didn't really have the time for that now.

The concrete bunker he was aiming for loomed through the smoke and fire. Germany flew towards it. He glanced back at Italy, who was still clutching his hand.

And his heart nearly stopped. America, in the bushes, taking careful aim with a sniper rifle at the oblivious Italian.

Germany acted fast; it was what he was trained to do. He grabbed Italy's shoulders and spun him sideways at the same time, effectively twisting him out of the way of the bullet that America had just fired. Italy let Germany spin him without resistance; he trusted the German enough to direct him. Germany appraised the brunette as the bullet flew clear. "Are you alright?"

Italy nodded. He wasn't sure what had just happened, but from the hard look in the German's eyes, it was something important.

"Okay." The blonde gripped Italy's shoulders a moment longer. He opened his mouth as though to speak, but closed it again. What could he say? America had missed; Italy was alive. There was no reason to dwell on what might have happened if he had been a second slower. It was too devastating to imagine.

Germany ducked around a huge twisted frame of what might have once been an aeroplane. The bunker was right there. He could just…

He pulled Italy in front of him. "Okay," he told him, seriously, "You run in there, and get hidden away where they can't shoot you. I'll be right behind you."

"O-okay. Germany…"


"…come quickly, 'kay? You will come, right? Promise?"

A promise. Germany thought of all the broken and unfulfilled promises he had ever made; to his brother, Prussia, to Austria, to Poland…to his ally of a mere year, Russia…all the pacts and treaties and peace agreements and laws he had broken, crumpled, and thrown away. He nodded. "Of course I'll come. I promise." He grasped Italy in a brief hug. "Now; go."

Italy obeyed. He ran quickly to the bunker; if there was one thing he was good at, it was running away.

Germany watched him go, pistol locked and loaded and ready to blast away anyone who tried to take a pot shot at Italy.

Nothing. A distant scream as someone died, and Germany crossed himself silently.

He took a deep breath. Maybe they were waiting…

No, it was no good thinking like that. He breathed out, and made a dash for it, gripped the handgrip of his gun tightly, seeing Italy's frantic face in the door…waving…

A far off pop and something cold and small and cold, terribly cold, buried its way into his back, right between his shoulder blades. Through his jacket, through his skin, right down, just below his heart.

Germany's back arched, the world seemed to halt in front of his eyes; he tumbled painfully slowly to the ground. A spear of ice, and frozen spike was lodged in his spine…Mein Gott, he thought, no pain was ever like this pain, not even that stupid Valentine's incident.

From the bunker, Italy saw Germany fall. For a moment, his mind couldn't- wouldn't- wrap itself around the phenomenon that had occurred. Then it locked in and Italy realized what it all meant.

Germany has been shot.

The brunette screamed out Germany's name and rushed out, forgetting all warnings to stay inside that the fallen blonde would surely have hollered if he had been able.

From the bushes, the sniper saw Italy run out to the dying man. He considered taking out the Italian too, for neatness sake, but decided against it. After all, Germany had been running the whole show. Without him, what was Italy? And in any case, from the look on the Italian's face, the mental shock alone would pretty much do the job itself.

The nation smiled grimly. "Damn Nazi," he muttered, and slipped away. Italy would never know who had fired the decisive bullet.

"Germany! GERMANY!" Italy tripped, slid, fell to his knees by the blonde, tears flowing freely down his face.

Germany's blue eyes wandered a little before focusing, with difficulty, on Italy. His features almost immediately arranged themselves into his customary frown. "Italy…? His normally brusque voice was raspy and soft. "I thought I told you…to get to the bunker and…stay there. You really should do…what I tell you."

This familiar Germany-ism made Italy smile a little through his tears, but then Germany choked a bit on some blood which splattered on his uniform jacket, and Italy began sobbing afresh. "Germany! Don't die! Germany! You promised!"

Germany frowned. He had promised. Oh dear. Another to add to the list of unfulfilled promises. "Who said anything about dying?" he hissed, with an effort to seem assured of his own words. But even Italy wasn't buying that. "Germany…" Tearfully.

"Please, Italy," Germany's heart was breaking, and it wasn't just because of the 6 millimetre lead bullet stuck in it. "Please…don't cry…I'm sorry I couldn't keep…my promise…but don't…cry," He hacked out; more blood, more tears. Italy clung to Germany's hand for dear life.

"Just don't cry…Feliciano…" Germany whispered Italy's real name, a name he had only used once before…

Italy's eyes went wide. "Germany…?"

"Trust me…I didn't want to break this one…maybe I can make up for it, though…" Germany levered himself into a sitting position and pulled Italy close. He pressed his lips gently against Italy's, and wrapped his arms around him. Italy leaned up and crushed his lips onto the dying man's. He tasted the salt of the blood from the German and of his own tears, and then Germany's tears.

Germany was crying.

He clung onto the blonde, who pulled his stiff fingers through Italy's hair, rubbing that one unruly curl between his fore and middle fingers. "Don't cry, Feliciano," he murmured, breathing growing ragged. A glaze covered the blue eyes and he crumpled forward a little over Italy, who clung to him even tighter. "Ludwig," he sobbed, quietly, into said man's jacket.

A last, warm breath on the Italian's face, and…

But Italy didn't need to look at the blank gaze or feel the dead heart that no longer beat in Germany's chest. Some presence in his own heart had lifted; some sense of protection and loving that had been there for the longest time had gone…

Italy twisted his fingers into the dead man's hair, and cried into his friend's cold chest, tears mingling in the dirty, blood soaked uniform.

Oh. My. God. My friend Sophie and I were talking about whether Deen will kill off Germany in the end of the show, (hey, they DID lose the war) during soccer practice...*wails* THEY BETTER NOTTTTT!

Sorry it's rather angsty. I was feeling the doom, gloom, and what have you in anticipation of my upcoming history test on the French and Indian War. I have a bad feeling I'm going to lose my mind and write 'well England and France were fighting over who was going to be America's big brother and then they were like 'oh no Sweden get outta here' and england beat up France and Canada-san needs to be more confident and blah blah blah PRUSSIA WHUT'.

And I will fail.

(And no, I'm not telling you who killed Germany. I can't make myself do that!)