The exciting conclusion! This was actually the first Hetalia fanfic I'd started. :D Come to think of it, it might have led me into writing Hetalia fanfiction... Long before I'd considered returning to the world of fanfic writing, I came across a Japanese fanart of the Hetalia cast with BR uniforms and collars, and I thought "Dude, that'd be interesting..." lol So yeah. My thanks to all the readers and reviewers! It's been... fun? XD
Disclaimer: Hetalia's not mine.
Canada curled his aching, trembling body into a ball, mind trying to shut down as it couldn't take any more. Everyone was dead. Almost everyone. And he would be next. The announcement had just piped up over the hidden speakers to announce that only two nations remained. And unlike all the previous times, the casualties were left unsaid. Two left. Just him and... well, he knew who was left. Who had to be left. America—that big horrible fucking idiot—had run off unarmed to confront Russia. Russia, who had taken everyone else out with ease. Even the great self-proclaimed hero America would be no match for him, unarmed and as upset as he was.
"I'm sorry," Canada whispered to his only companion—England, lying stiff and still in the grass, the blood that had long since stopped flowing crusted and congealing on his head. Canada stared at him for a long moment before tearing off a piece of his own shirt and using spit to try and clean the pale face off as best as he could. Why hadn't he thought to do that sooner, while it was still wet? "I'm sorry. I should have protected him. But now you're together again, eh? And soon I'll be with you, too... soon..." He drew in a shuddering breath.
By the time he heard the sound of somebody approaching behind him, Canada's fear had faded. What did he have to fear, anyway? The pain would be hopefully brief, and then he could be with them all. Everyone. They would be waiting for him. He would no longer have to worry about any of this...
That figure in the distance was not Russia. Definitely not. It was shorter, thinner, not be-scarfed, and it definitely had a cowlick.
"Oh my god," Canada whispered. He hadn't even considered the possibility that Russia had been the one to die. How was that even possible? And why did it matter at that point? He shoved his body upright, stumbling the first few steps like a child just learning to walk, and then flung himself at his brother. "Al... my god, it's you." He clung to America, tears seeping out from between his scrunched up eyelids.
"It's me." America held him close. "Did you hear? Just the two of us."
"I heard... How in the world did you kill Russia?"
"A bit of trickery, I guess. I don't know. The whole thing's a blur." America finally stepped back, smiling through his tears. He was covered in blood, but none of it seemed to be his. "So... now what?"
That was a good question. Now what? "We still have a couple hours left."
"Before we both die. Yeah."
Canada swallowed. "Any ideas?"
His brother shook his head. "It took England all night to figure the collars out, and he is... was the only one familiar with weird magic shit." His eyes grew pained as they flicked past Canada to focus on the body on the ground. "I could have all the time in the world, I'd never be able to figure out some weird combination of state-of-the-art technology and magic."
"Me either..." Canada's legs refused to hold him any longer, and he dropped back to the ground. America sat down beside him. "One of us has to die."
"One of us..." America sighed. "Right. Or the whole world is fucked."
"Whoever lives needs to get revenge..." That much was certain. However long it took, they would pay. "Needs to... pretend to go along with them. For as long as it takes to gain their trust. And then..."
"Right." America barked a laugh, devoid of humor. "And once they're out of the picture, whoever's left gets to be one bigass country..."
Canada forced his lips into a smile. "Yeah..." America was a bigass country now. Canada wondered if he felt any different.
America slowly turned to him, and Canada unconsciously shied away. Oh god, no... there it was. That mad gleam he had seen in others' eyes when they lost it. The look he had seen in France's eyes... "A-Al...!"
"I have no intention of dying here," America said, slowly, and oh god, that was not his voice! He lurched forward; strong hands were wrapped around Canada's throat, squeezing harder and harder. Canada struggled, trying to twist out of his grip, but couldn't. They tumbled to the ground, rolling over and over, both trying to gain the advantage. Canada desperately scratched at the hands around his throat, unable to cause any damage. He struggled, squirmed, tried to hit or kick his brother, anything to get him off. Nothing worked. Canada finally fell back, too weak to fight anymore. America hovered over him, lips twisted into a sick smile. Canada's vision grew dark and his lungs screamed for air. This was it. He was dying, by his twin's hands.
He reacted without thinking, some primal instinct that still wanted to live. He didn't even know what he was doing, until America toppled away from him with a hoarse cry, hands reaching for the knife sticking out of his gut. The very knife America had been given at the start of the game. He pulled it out and let it drop, dark patch of blood rapidly spreading over his already blood-crusted shirt. "M-Mattie..."
Canada stared at his brother as he fell. America groaned, conscious still but not for long. The wound was fatal, that much he could tell. Canada stared in open-mouthed shock at what he had done. He had really done it. He had killed America. He couldn't very well say he felt like celebrating for being the winner. He had caused the deaths of the two people who had meant the most to him...
Something fell from America's jacket as he curled up on the ground. Canada stooped over to pick it up. A gun. It was loaded. Trembling, understanding now what had happened, he knelt down, fishing in America's clothes. Another gun, a knife... weapons he must have stolen from Russia. "You... you idiot," he gasped, tears returning. "You could have easily killed me if you wanted to."
America smiled. A genuine smile, for the first time in what felt like forever. The gleam of madness was completely gone. He could be a damned good actor when he wanted to. "Or I could have opened your collar, like I did to Russia." A pained grimace that passed quickly. "I wouldn't have strangled you, stupid."
"Shut up..." Canada gathered his brother in his arms. "Why? Why do you want me to be the winner?" He couldn't believe he had fallen for it.
"Aside from the obvious reason of not wanting you to die... because you'd be a better winner."
Canada frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?"
It took him a moment to answer. "They'll trust you. You're the quiet, forgotten little good boy. Me, they'd expect me to start some shit. They'd keep a much closer eye on me, waiting..."
"I don't want to be the winner!" Canada burst out, tears rolling down his cheeks.
"Shh." America weakly reached a hand up to trail his fingers over Canada's wet cheek. "Stop."
Canada drew in a shuddering breath. Getting upset and protesting would help nothing. It was already done. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry..."
America smiled wanly. "That's better."
"And wh-what would you have done if I hadn't fought back?"
"Stopped." A trickle of blood dribbled down America's chin. "Maybe tried to reason with you about killing me."
"That would have gone over well..."
"Doesn't matter. You did what you were supposed to." He grimaced in pain when Canada abruptly stood, America still held in his arms. "What...?"
"There." Canada set his twin down beside England.
"Oh. Thanks." He took a deep breath, and grimaced again. "Dying sucks."
It was so absurd, Canada couldn't help but laugh a little. "I'm sorry. I should have made it quicker."
"Nah. Not your fault." America lay back, eyes drifting shut. Canada felt a wave of sadness, knowing he wouldn't see their bright blue again. "Hey..." America said, voice barely audible.
"Yes?" Canada leaned closer.
"Make me proud."
Canada smiled, reaching down to take America's hand. "I will."
He remained sitting that way, even after America was dead. It was funny, he mused. He had always assumed losing his brother would be more... painful. Something he would physically feel the loss of. But, he figured, it was probably different when nothing happened to the land. The United States was now a part of him. As was Russia, and England, and... and, well, everyone who hadn't killed themselves.
With a weary sigh, the winner, the largest and most powerful country in the world, settled back and waited to be picked up.