This is dedicated to ma England, but not to make her feel awkward! She liked (or she's good at lying) this one-shot especially, so I dedicate it to her. Je t'aime, ma très chère amie.
This was supposed to be a single story with just a bunch of One-shots centered around the end of WWII and how each pair of countries dealt with it, however England (We've had the nicknames since Eleventh grade, leave me alone...) pointed out that it's a pain in the ass to find the pair you like. So Instead I am uploading them individually. This is to quench the thirst I have for World History, and had I not chosen the Nursing Profession, I would probably be an English or History teacher/major. I adore Shakespeare and the wars.
Fandom: Axis Powers Hetalia
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN OR PROFIT FROM HETALIA, THIS IS PURELY FANMADE FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES
Rating: M for Mature
Warning: Smut and romance, human names, different languages, references to the second world war.
The Waking Up is the Hardest Part- Germany/N. Italy
Not the Storm Before the Calm- France/England
Crawling Towards the Pillowcase- Cuba/Canada
Push it in and Twist the Knife Again- Russia/China (May or may not be written)
But All I Feel is Alone- America/Japan (May or may not be written)
The Waking Up is the Hardest Part- Germany/N. Italy (Ludwig/Feliciano)
"He had no choice."
He heard Lovino whisper-talking to Antonio in the hallway just outside of his dark bedroom, having locked himself away the moment Germany officially surrendered. No one could coax him out of the pitch black space, not even his brother. The two nations stood outside dutifully discussing the possible reasons for Feliciano's reaction.
"I don't understand why he doesn't just blame me and get it over with." Lovino's voice was rough and bitter, with a very tired undertone that they all have been carrying since the start of the war.
"He couldn't hate you; you are his brother." Responded the older nation softly, and even from his place curled up on the bed, Feliciano knew the Spanish country had just tried a reassuring gesture- perhaps putting his arm around his sibling?
There was a defeated sigh, and then the muffled reply, "I didn't expect him to take it this badly. Then again, all he did was sit there when we surrendered… and he had nothing to do with the declaration of war on that potato freak." Lovino must have turned his face into Antonio's shirt; far too exhausted to even begin resisting the other country's advances.
There was silence and Feliciano thought they may have moved away and into another room, but his ears prickled in awareness when he heard something that sounded distinctly like a sniff.
"Damnit, he's in there… Probably bleeding to death and he hasn't eaten in days!" There was a loud bang, but the northern section barely batted an eyelash, instead numbly turning his head to the side; he was staring at the poorly done bandage. Blood-soaked and wrapped haphazardly around his left forearm; he knew it was a matter of time before it became infected. He didn't even care; maybe that would be his repentance, maybe then he would be able to know half the pain Ludwig was feeling.
"Dio, I hope that stupid bastard is getting what he deserves! I swear if I ever see his face again-"
Before Lovino could finish his threat a loud knocking sounded from the front door, confused and muttering obscenities the two nations walked towards the sound. Their voices faded into the downstairs, and then once the door was opened the natural tones turned into background fuzz as they attempted to keep their conversation private with whoever it was.
Feliciano felt his hope quickly snuff out; why would Ludwig have come for him? He must hate him by now and never want to see him again.
Tears prickled at his eyes for the millionth time, and his stomach turned unpleasantly. He suddenly felt the urge to throw up but couldn't find the strength to locate the bathroom. The nausea passed and without thinking he slowly wobbled to his feet. He didn't know where he was going, but the room had just become suffocating. Lovino and Antonio weren't paying attention, and he didn't want to see anybody or hear any more harsh words about Ludwig.
So he left.
The back door swung shut ominously, and for a split second the remaining Italian wasn't sure what he had heard. Then it clicked. He spun around mid sentence and pushed his way past Spain. He thundered his way up the stairs to check the now empty room. Antonio also ran to the stairs, but just as he was half-way up them Lovino's face appeared at the top.
There was an unspoken conversation but neither Antonio nor Arthur, who had been their guest, had expected the southern Italy to suddenly slump forward and begin sobbing.
Yet, they knew why.
It was days of searching before Lovino finally gave in and called Ludwig. The sheer emptiness and fatigue stopped him from snapping when the distinct voice of the person he hated most in the world answered the other end.
"Where is he?" There was a pregnant pause on the German's side, before he deduced that it was South Italy speaking to him.
"What do you mean? He's… Er verließ?" No one could fake the surprise in the blonde's voice and then the dread that seemed to seize both men on the phone. Ludwig had been his last chance and now the search seemed hopeless. Meanwhile the blonde nearly dropped the phone when he realized that Feliciano was probably outside somewhere with no one to protect him.
Without even a goodbye the phone call ended; Germany was still clutching the phone for a minute after wards before he snapped out of his daze. He ran past his new boss, who hollered after him; screaming something about bleeding and wounds. Ludwig ignored him and instead he focused on putting one foot in front of the other. The frenzy that somehow, somewhere Feliciano was probably near death drove him on.
May showers were harsh against his face as he raced down the streets; all around him people huddled for warmth and shelter from the rain. His cities and people were miserable, and so many people had perished foolishly. The cuts and bruises littered across his body were proof of that.
That day Feliciano had come to him; his normally warm brown eyes were filled with helpless anger and such sadness that it had surprised Germany speechless. The words that flowed from his mouth were daggers piercing into both of them, but Ludwig had turned away to hide his emotions. He had nodded curtly and asked his once most precious ally to leave him in peace.
The retreating Italian, probably, is what started the spiraling downward end. From there the troops lost their fervor, and he could no longer stop the events that were about to occur. Now Kiku was in the hospital; in a coma and suffering from third degree burns all across his normally unmarred body. They had allowed Ludwig one visit, but it was all he needed to feel the intense guilt and hatred towards himself and his late boss.
He had done this, looking around to the decrepit state of the world, he had done everything. First Kiku, then Arthur and Francis, and now Feliciano.
He had done it all.
He stumbled like the weight had finally fallen upon him. In reality he simply had no more strength to move. He fell to his knees and for a moment he could hardly breathe. He realized how stupid it was for him to have run out the door without a single plan or thought as to where the Italian was.
Water splashed down, dripped into his eyes and off his angular features as he bent over in pain. He simply stared at the ground. As if to mock him, there lay the patch of an Italian uniform. Had this been from when they were allies? Or when they were enemies?
He took the material into his hands and clenched his fist around it.
Feliciano, mein gott, what had he done to the person he loved?
The sound of uneven footsteps alerted him that he was not alone, but he knew it was pointless to fend them off. They would take him back and lock him in that dreaded room again; all in the sake of him 'healing'.
He wanted to go home, to his house, where his desk and his bed were. He closed his eyes and tried to remember a time when he had been at peace there. A searing pain shot through his heart when he remembered walking into his bedroom to find the brunette sleeping peacefully on the immaculate covers.
Had he really been there? Had he been standing in his room? He felt his whole body sink when he realized he would probably never see him there again.
The footsteps stopped just in front of him. Wait, wouldn't they be behind him?
He caught sight of the tell-tale boots first and he didn't even need to look up. Feliciano fell into his line of sight, slumping to his own knees and becoming level with the German. They were exactly where they had assumed they'd end up when this war started, but now it seemed so much worse. They sat there with nothing but the rain to console them.
Ludwig tried not look at his face; he tried not to be drawn in by those chocolate eyes that had once calmed him with a single look. He kept his eyes stubbornly off his features and instead watched his knees, realizing that the Italian was still wearing his uniform; the attire he had worn when he was still Ludwig's ally.
Two chilled, clammy hands cupped his face and he gasped softly when his chin was raised. What he saw in those eyes created a ghost within him; he knew that expression would haunt his dreams until he went mad from it.
With eyes still somehow producing tears Feliciano's red, swollen lids fluttered closed and then opened with much effort. His skin was pale and sickly; it had nothing to do with the rainy weather. The once naturally full contours of his face were now hollow with hunger, and the blackened bags under his puffy eyes were a tell-tale sign of his internal torture.
His hair was plastered to his face, and it was slicked across his forehead with a smear of mud across his cheek. Ludwig had never wanted to pull him close like he did right then. Years of strict training stopped him, and instead he waited for what the boy before him would do next.
"Ludwig…" He whimpered softly, shifting closer and then gingerly tracing his fingertips down to the edge of the blonde's jaw before letting them drop. Ludwig caught sight of the bleeding arm, but he tried to ignore the urge to fix it until what needed to be said was said. "Ludwig…" The same pitiful tone repeated and tears splashed down Feliciano's face to mix in with the grit and rain.
Feliciano rested his hands on Ludwig's knees and slowly brought his face closer. The normal reaction of the German would have been to reel back and swat him away whilst blushing furiously. But somehow he knew this was different; so instead he sat there rigidly and watched him nervously. The last inch ended with the Italian's forehead resting against his. Now he could feel the tears dripping across his own cheek and the shallow breath against his own mouth. He felt the small tremors through the skin where they were connected and absentmindedly wondered how the Italian had made it this far.
"Ludwig…" The whisper that was a mere inch away from his face made it feel even more painful. "I'm… I'm so sorry… So, so sorry." Those small hands were on the sides of his skull again; one entwining in his drenched hair, and Feliciano angled his head downward so there was more space to breathe between them. He was shaking even more now, and the weak hands fruitlessly curled and unfurled against him. "I'm so sorry…" He choked out again, sniffing loudly.
Perhaps this some sort of sick illusion, they both wondered. Maybe one day they would wake up and realize they had been talking to some inanimate object. Delirious in pain and anguish they'd somehow managed to conjure up exact replicas of the other in their minds.
But Ludwig couldn't believe that it was Feliciano who was apologizing. He wanted to shake him; to demand why the Italian would do this to himself when it was the blonde who should be on his knees groveling for forgiveness.
He could find no words, nor voice that he could reply with. Deep within him he knew he had forgiven him even more the betrayal had occurred. He couldn't stay angry with him; he never had. Even now he felt like he was in so much more pain than he had ever been in alone as he saw the brunette before him crumple.
He reached up and awkwardly petted the back of Feliciano's neck. He was listening to the other hiccough as he tilted his head to break the contact, only to press a gentle kiss to the smaller man's forehead. Please, he begged internally, please stop crying. It's not your fault, it's mine…
"Lud… I… I can't…" He was starting to hyperventilate, and in one swift movement the blonde brought Italy to his chest and picked him up. Holding him there for a moment before he slowly stood, ignoring the strain on his tired legs and arms and the lacing pain that was emitting from his cuts.
"No," groaned Feliciano, "you… You should hate me…" Yet he still clutched the black shirt the other man was wearing and let himself be carried away.
It was a few minutes of silence except the pitter patter around them and intervals of sniffing from the Italian before the German found his voice. He thought of a million things to say, many involving his own apology. However one look down into the darkened face of the once bright nation made him decide his words easily.
"I could never hate you."
This only succeeded in making the northern section cry even harder, but soon they were in the warmth of Germany's home. Or rather, the dark and emptiness that he called one. He hadn't been there in what felt like years, and he somehow managed to cradle Feliciano to him as he turned on some lights. It wasn't until he was near the fireplace that he realized he would need to put the brunette down.
"Feliciano." Was all the warning he gave the other nation before he gently set him down. Much to his surprise he wasn't being clung to like he had first expected.
Feliciano sat there obediently and watched him work, unable to believe that he was actually staying in this house again. He looked down at his hands and twitched them slightly. He felt Germany leave the room, but didn't look up until he was draped in a warm, thick- wasn't this his favorite one? He stared at it; it was the green blanket.
And without warning he was hefted up again; one arm was behind his back and the other under his knees. He was watching Ludwig dumbstruck; the strain he knew he must have been feeling instantly made him feel bad, and he mustered up some strength because of it.
"Ludwig put me down, I can walk- you're injured." To make his point he gestured to the patch on the blonde's shoulder that was bleeding again. He was ignored, and he then realized they were walking towards the bathroom.
The next time his feet made contact with a floor it was against a tiled bathroom one. He reached down to take off his muddy boots. Ludwig would be angry if he had to clean the floor, but much to his displeasure he saw that he had already made a mess. He looked around for a place to put them, but Germany reached over and took them away.
He still held the blanket around his form as he watched Ludwig take off his own boots, and then turned towards him with a calculating look on his face. He walked around him and outside, making Feliciano wonder if he was leaving him to strip or have a shower or something. But just as he was about to let the blanket drop from his shoulders the door opened again and Ludwig emerged with two sets of pajama pants and the bandage kit.
Italy tried to protest, but the towel was pulled away from him gently and Ludwig was slowly peeling away his uniform. With a start he realized what was happening, and he snapped out of his depressed daze. He grabbed those hands and halted the process; he didn't deserve this kindness. He should leave and never speak to Germany again; he was such a horrible person, such a horrible friend.
"Feliciano," the tone was a warning one, and he looked up into the other's face. Hard blue eyes were frowning at him. For once, he didn't feel at all intimidated.
"You shouldn't be doing this." His voice sounded dead, "I betrayed you."
Without either of them knowing why or what had just happened, something snapped. Germany's hand reached forward and cupped his jaw, without suspicion or a warning he placed his chapped lips against Italy's. He only rested like that for a moment before his mouth moved against his; he pulled Feliciano closer and held him there. At first the Italian didn't move and he tried to defy him, but that resistance quickly faded and in its place Feliciano mindlessly snaked his hands into Ludwig's hair and surrendered. Fresh tears began prickling at his eyes.
Neither of them knew exactly why they were kissing, but now it seemed natural that Ludwig's large warm hands were sliding under his shirt and gliding it up over his head. Somewhere inside his muddled mind a voice told him that reciprocating would probably be allowed at this point and he did the same for the German. At the moment when the black article cleared the blonde's head, he slammed his mouth back against his with renewed fervor. This time he opened his mouth to let Ludwig's tongue slip in.
What were they running on; did either of them know? Perhaps this was long overdue, and it was about damn time one of them did something about the smothering tension that they had ignored until then. It could also be the post-war stress and trauma that was making them crave something human and tangible. Maybe it was how vulnerable Italy felt, or how short Germany's patience was. Either way, neither of them remembered a time when anything aside from this actually mattered. And all the pain of their wounds melted into the background until they had to part for air.
They almost jolted away from each other when their minds cleared enough for them to realize what they were doing. Yet Germany made sure Italy was still within arm's reach. Feliciano touched his lips and sighed against his hand; it wasn't supposed to get this far out of hand.
Ludwig worked in silence, his face dusted pink, as he opened the bandage kit and gently directed the brunette to sit so he could disinfect and redo his dressing. They both tried to calm their breathing and forget about the lust that had just controlled their actions. Never before had it been that hard; it was like a single kiss opened a floodgate. Every time the German's hand brushed against his skin it took him fisting his own hands against the material of his pants to not tackle him and continue where they left off.
Which would probably involve the removal of said pants.
"Done…" Germany cleared his throat awkwardly, and he went to put the things away when another hand stopped his actions once again. He watched in wonder as Italy switched places with him. He had never done this before, but he had watched Ludwig do it enough times to get the jist. He started on his shoulder wound then worked his way to his back, and finally finishing up with his arm. There were probably others littered across his legs; but he wasn't about to suggest him taking them off- he'd never be able to keep his mind on track.
"You must be hungry." Ludwig's voice snapped him back to reality, and Feliciano actually colored. He didn't know why his face was reddening, but with a meek nod he backed away from the sitting German. "I don't have much, but we can get you some bread or something."
The brown eyes sparkled hopefully, and Germany rolled his eyes before the question popped out. "Pasta?"
And it was like both apologies were wordlessly given and accepted. Things became just a little less suffocating and a lot more normal.
Ludwig handed him the pajama pants and then took his own before making his way to the door. "Get changed and I'll meet you in the kitchen." He didn't turn around, and the door clicked shut behind him.
Without trying to think about what had just occurred Feliciano stripped off the rest of his clothes and put the checkered red and black pajama pants on. He was a little confused to find that they were his size; had Germany bought them for him?
He threw his clothes in the basket Ludwig had put the rest of them in and then all but skipped down to the kitchen. He was so hungry; why hadn't he noticed before? His mood had brightened considerably, but it was probably the fact that he was more focused on the kiss than his own betrayal that everything felt lighter.
The blonde was already there in his own, oh the irony, matching green and black pajama pants. His naked chest was turned towards the counter cutting away at something. Italy, for the first time in his life, felt underdressed, and subconsciously began rubbing his uninjured arm and coughed to make his presence known.
Germany didn't have much; his house hadn't been used in quite some time. He was only able to scrounge up some things he had went out and bought a couple days ago for necessity. His economy was shot, and he was able to afford some bread, cheese, and meat.
He had cut up everything and made makeshift sandwiches.
Without a word the Italian's hand shot out a grabbed one before the plate hit the table. He sheepishly looked at the German as he bit into it. And Ludwig simply offered half a smile and grabbed one himself.
Soon the plate was empty and they sat there in a strange compatible silence. Both lost in their own little worlds. Italy knew his, at least, consisted of replaying the kiss over and over again in his head until he felt like he was going to burst. Everything felt weightless now that he was here with Ludwig, and the past fear and depression felt like a smothering blanket that was still there, but not weighing him down anymore.
"We should get some rest." Offered the blonde carefully, he avoided eye contact as he stood up and disposed of the dishes.
"Okay!" Feliciano tried to sound like his usual chipper self, but the butterflies in his stomach made the normally innocent task of sleeping in the same bed as Ludwig seem much dirtier than he would have liked. He led the way up the stairs and made the familiar trek to the master bedroom. Normally at this point Ludwig would be protesting; asking him what the hell he thought he was doing.
But Ludwig wasn't upholding his end of their normal act; he was way too quiet and failing to protest.
Feliciano swung open the door and walked to the middle of the room, he spun around and was about to say something from his normal air-brained nature but the words died on his lips. He simply watched as Ludwig ran a hand through his hair, walked by him and turned on the bedside lamp. The house was still warming up, but it felt like a million degrees in the room now that they were alone in it together.
Oh, Dio, why had he looked at the shirtless chest and let his eyes rake down to stare at the hips those pants were resting on? He flushed and turned away; bad Italy!
"Feliciano?" The voice came from right behind him, and he jumped at how close it was and the way he suddenly noticed his name falling out of that mouth, with that voice, in that tone.
"Yeah?" He slowly turned, and then tried to plaster the happy smile on his face again, "what is it?" He even tilted his head to the side to feign innocence. He still was a bit hopeful when he saw that Ludwig was staring at him.
"I… Wie soll ich sagen… About that…" He was turning red.
"Oh…" Italy knew exactly what 'that' the other man was talking about, and he began fiddling with his hands to try and distract himself. Here it goes, he thought, please don't say you didn't mean it.
Germany cleared his throat, "perhaps we should talk about it in the morning instead…"
The frown appeared on his face and the words slipped out before he could stop them, "Che cosa?" He backpedaled when he saw the German's surprised look, "I mean, w-what did you mean?" He took a hopeful step forward, and now they were getting close enough that personal boundaries were being pushed.
Italy took another hopeful step; now he was staring up into the reddening face of his 'friend'. He reached up and mirrored the actions Ludwig had done before in the bathroom, except he angled his chin down so he could look up into the German's face.
"Was there anything wrong…?" He built up a little bit of courage and stared into his eyes, "… with it?" He then pursed his lips and waited for the answer.
It was several moments before Ludwig let out a quick puff of air in a sigh in what appeared to be defeat. "Yes," before Feliciano's heart could even begin to sink Ludwig quickly murmured something else. "I want to do it again."
Considering this to be an invitation, the Italian reached up with his other hand and wrapped his arms around the taller man, lifting himself up onto the tops of his toes. "Good," he whispered softly against Ludwig's cheek, "anche a me."
And just like the first time Ludwig swooped down and captured his lips in a kiss, quickly bypassing the split-second awkwardness and instead cupping the back of Feliciano's head and deepening it. All the past few years of war and torment, of pain and suffering, they were gone. They had dissipated into thin air the moment their lips met.
They had never felt more aware of how human they were until they were holding onto each other, tongues dancing, and their breaths becoming heavy.
Feliciano giggled when they pulled apart and Ludwig tried to sputter out some sort of question to do with neither of them sleeping for the next hour or so. So he simply grabbed Ludwig's hand and yanked him forward so he could push him onto the bed before climbing onto his lap and latching their lips together.
Seconds melted into minutes that then slipped into hours. The last articles of clothing removed, with hands slowly exploring each inch of skin and mouths soon following. Feliciano gasped into the German's mouth when Ludwig's hand gripped his thigh, thumb dangerously close to the building heat. Then the tables turned when the blonde groaned as the brunette gently grazed his teeth down his throat. They ground down onto each other until it was unbearable, and Ludwig finally pushed Feliciano into the comforter.
After adorable, according to Feliciano, fumbling on Ludwig's part they managed to tangle themselves and rock their bodies together. It ended with Ludwig pressing his moan into the love-bruised shoulder of the Italian, and Feliciano arched his back, cried out breathily, and almost painfully dug his nails into his lover's back.
They fell together in a heap of rapidly beating hearts and sweat-soaked skin. They were still kissing in the fading afterglow, when the brunette nipped Germany's chin affectionately. The blonde responded by pushing the hair from Feliciano's forehead and then running his thumb across the reddened lips.
"Hey, Feliciano…?" He whispered, as if speaking any louder would ruin the privacy between them. "I could never hate you, or stay mad at you because I…" He rested his forehead against the smaller man beside him and pulled the blankets up further around them. "Ti amo…"
The brunette almost felt like crying in absolute euphoria, his body lifting up in the lightest he'd felt in months, but he fought down the urge and pressed another kiss against the corner of Ludwig's mouth. "Ich liebe dich..." They both shared a smile, and then Feliciano tucked his chin under Ludwig's and snuggled up to the body warmth.
They both slept for the first time in years, and then woke up feeling just as sore and exhausted as any other day- but they were happy. It was a long, winding road to recovery for everyone. No one questioned it when they saw Ludwig and Feliciano together, whispering sweet nothings to each other… Everyone except Lovino, who tried to murder Ludwig when he finally figured out what happened that night. Rest assured Antonio put a stop to that. And maybe Francis had something to say about it, but he was FRANCE after all.
It was disgustingly sweet, to be sure, but no one had the heart to tell them. It did, however, give some other countries hope that maybe they'd all get through the aftermath and live to see a more peaceful life ahead of them.
These are so dramatic... O_o, talk about getting your inner-depressive-tendencies out...
It's supposed to be a one-shot, but I don't like how short it is.... I don't like the ending at all, I've tried to re-write it a bazillion times but I find that I'm probably just going to leave it for now. Maybe one day I'll strike a fancy and have an awesome idea to fix it… England loves it, apparently- I think she's lying to make me feel better like the good wife she is-, so I hope you, as the reader, do too.
If anyone hasn't figured out by now, yes, I am stealing a certain person's lyrics.
The others will be posted soon, in fact, at this point the France/England and Cuba/Canada's are almost finished (need tweaking). The Russia/China has a plot, and I'm not sure where or if I'd like to try an America/Japan. I don't ADORE the couple like I do with the first four, but if I write the Russia/China then Alfred will need some closure in the storyline