I hate this war.

I really, really hate it.

I don't even know who I'm fighting anymore. France, England, America? All I know is they're they enemy, and I've got a gun. I've got a gun, and my back is pressed against a dirt wall while I wait for the grenades to stop falling, and I pretend I can't hear the sound of my men dying.

I hate this war.

There's blood on my face. It's dripping down into my mouth from a cut right below my left eye. It tastes like iron. I wonder if it tastes like the tiny iron ball imbedded in my leg? Or the one that grazed my shoulder not two minutes ago.

You can't die when you're a nation. Our military calls us the 'immortal soldiers of hope', while I fight and they plan our strategy in comfort. If only they knew this was a curse, not a blessing. I can fight, but never die with my men. I can feel the burning pain ripping through my body like an animal's claws, but never feel the cool release of that endless slumber. No matter how badly I'm hurt; I will not leave this place. I may never heal; but I will not die.

Charging forward, I sometimes wonder who I'm fighting for. My brother fights for Germany, and in the end that potato-bastard ended up fighting for Veneciano too. Prussia just likes the war, and Japan's a natural loner.

But who do I fight for?

Who do I fight for?!

And the answer hits me as a bomb goes off in my face, and gunfire rings through the smoke-filled air.

I fight for no one, and no one fights for me.

I'm alone, always and forever.

I'm so alone.

That last hit sends me flying into a tree, where I slide down to the ground. Its covered in blood and shrapnel, and soon my own life's water adds to the mix. I think bone in my arm snapped or shattered. Maybe in more then one place. I don't really want to look; if I do I may throw up. I don't have my gun anymore. It must've gotten blown away, and now lies broken somewhere. Lying broken like me.

The woods around me are burning, and I can hear grown men crying themselves to death. Those lucky bastards. They can go up to heaven, be with loved ones in the clouds of bliss and white, while I stay here. Trapped in a living hell. The weight of the cross is heavy around my neck. With the last of my energy I raise my good arm and rip away the leather that holds it there, tossing it to the fiery earth. If I can never have what they've been promising, why should I bother to believe?

I hate this war. And the tears burning at my eyes I lack the ability to push out. There's so much pain. My whole body is covered in it and there's no way for me to escape. Its like I'm lying in a bed of needles, and covered with a blanket of thorns held together by hot wax. I want to cry out, but I can't do that either. Can't even move anymore.

There's a hint of blackness tugging at my conscious mind. I want it to come. I don't want to be in this place anymore! This goddamn place that stinks of the war. I want to be safe. I want to be home. I want to be held tight in someone's arms.

Spain… Antonio…

Maybe when the nightmare is over I'll tell him. Tell him all of the things I've thought and I've felt. All of the things my stupid pride has stopped me from saying. The things I'm feeling as I wish for a death that will never come. I'll tell him if I can still speak, if the smoke and the fire hasn't burned out my throat. I'll tell him that I love him, and I'll pray to the god that won't take me away that he'll love me back.

So many people say 'a fate worse then death', is my last thought as the unconsciousness finally overwhelms me, At this moment I can think of no greater gift.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Ro…!"

What? What was that?

"R…mano!"

Someone calling me? Out here?

"Romano!"

I can't see anything. The pain that refuses to go away won't let me see, won't let me smell or taste anything but my own blood. It hurts… it hurts… It…!

"Romano, thank god!"

I scream bloody murder as something or someone grabs my shoulder. The contact is skin upon skin, but it feels like someone jabbing a red-hot fire poker into my body. It hurts to scream but I do it anyway. I do it because I can, because it's the only thing.

In a second whatever it was is gone but I still scream. I'm fully awake now which means every ounce of pain has once again landed on top of me, smothering me, tearing me apart.

"Romano, please calm down!"

I hear my name but I don't answer. Instead I lash out, yelling even louder as I land on my broken arm. It could be the enemy and I can't allow myself to be taken. At all costs anything but that. I have to fight. I have to-

Another scream erupts from my raw vocal chords as someone ties my legs together so I can't move, and another tapes my arms to my sides. Ally or enemy, did they have to be so ruff? Wasn't I in enough pain?

A pair of strong arms lift my broken body from the ground, "Shh… Romano… Its okay. You're going to be fine. I promise, you're going to be fine."

No, I want to say, its not going to be fine. Because that voice belongs to Spain, and he can't join the war. It's too horrible. I struggle and struggle, every warning sign imaginable going of in my head, No no no no no no.

"Romano…"

But the voice is so strong, so sure. It brings me down, until I no longer have the energy to scream. After such a long time the tears finally come, washing the blood from my skin.

I love you, I think.

"I've got you, Romano. You don't have to be scared. It's okay to cry. You deserve the tears. You're going to be fine, I promise, I promise, I promise," he says.

I love you, I think.