A/N: Well, guys, looks like this is the end. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing, and I'm glad at least a few people got some laughs out of my rambling! :)
"So…" The pitcher turned toward Spain, who was at home plate. "Do we need to give you a head start or something since we already found the ball…?"
"Oh, no, I'm fine," Spain replied. "I already ran around all the bases while you were arguing."
"No way!" Romano responded. "If you passed my base, I would have noticed!"
"You don't notice most of the things I do," Spain countered with a faint laugh.
"So…" America, brows furrowed, turned to the umpire. "Did he really…?"
"Yeah, he scored a run," Switzerland replied. "I announced it, but someone was shouting too loudly for anyone to hear."
After a "wha-a-a-at" from America that lasted about ten seconds, Switzerland rolled his eyes and announced the run again.
"Spain scored a run. That's twenty-seven runs total for Team Japan."
America felt the urge to check the scoreboard. It already said 34-27. He was still way in the lead. No worries.
"Well, fine, then," the pitcher finally announced. "We'll just have to get the next two batters out!"
Back in the dugout, Spain had finally returned, a certain three players were suddenly a lot less sure Russia was going to stay out for the rest of the game, and England was looking over those who hadn't batted yet. The remaining countries were Italy, who wasn't going to bat; the Baltics, who weren't going to bat; France, who definitely wasn't going to bat; and Hungary.
"Would you like to bat for us, then, Hungary?"
"I guess so."
Germany threw the ball back as Hungary, unsettled, got back into a batting position.
America, meanwhile, was simultaneously relieved at the easy out sure to come but a bit disappointed things weren't accelerating towards an exciting final battle to the death or anything. He threw the baseball again, anyway, and Hungary failed to hit it.
"Three strikes—you're out! That's two outs for Team Japan."
Hungary walked back to the dugout with a slight frown.
"So… What now?" China started as the dugout reassembled."We're still seven runs behind, aru."
"Yes, and we're certainly not going to get through the rest of you without a strike," England added, his glance resting on Italy a bit longer than some of the others.
Italy scooted a little bit farther away from England.
"The last out, huh?" Spain mused to himself.
"Ooh!" Italy suddenly exclaimed, apparently forgetting he was in the process of cowering from England. "We should have Japan hit it!" He got a few weird looks. "Well, it's his game, right? So he should get the last hit!"
"One problem: Japan's still unconscious, aru."
"Oh." Italy paused for a moment in which anyone that didn't know him would assume he was thinking. "Well, let's wake him up!" He immediately hopped over to where Japan was resting on the bench and began repeatedly calling the Oriental nation's name.
"I don't think he's going to wake up for a long while yet," sighed England.
"Hey! Are you guys going to actually bat anytime soon?" America hollered from the pitcher's mound.
France raised his hand a bit. "I could always bat—"
"No!" England snapped immediately. "You'd just hit the ball into foul territory fifty times… anyway…" The island nation hesitated. Was this last out worth letting France win an argument?
But since winning the game would be major bragging rights over America, and it wouldn't really be France's doing if there was enough time for Japan to recover and win the game for them, England eventually tossed France a bat.
"Foul," the umpire called for the fifth time this at-bat. Germany, grumbling, went to fetch the ball yet again and tossed it back to America.
"C'mon, Francey-pants!" Prussia yelled from first base. "Hit the ball right! You're making me and Spain look bad for hanging out with you! Not cool!"
"Why are you cheering for him?" the pitcher responded, wheeling around on his heels to face Prussia. "You're on my team!"
"I'm not on your team. I'm on Team Awesome. It consists of only me."
"I'm totally on Team Awesome!" America objected.
Prussia pondered this for a moment. "You're on a Team Awesome, but not the Team Awesome."
"Quit squabbling and get back to the game!" interrupted Germany.
"Oh, right," America responded. "Sorry. He turned back around.
"…Am too!" He threw the next pitch before Prussia could counter him.
Meanwhile, everyone left in Team Japan's dugout was trying to figure out a way to wake Japan up. Italy's name-calling and poking didn't seem to do the trick, nor did Hungary's whispering something—she wouldn't tell the others what—in his ear. England was pondering whether or not another kitten would do the trick, while China had decided to try flicking Japan's forehead repeatedly.
Nothing seemed to be working just yet.
"Okay, this is ridiculous," America complained as the baseball was tossed back to him for the twelfth time. "Is it possible for you to suck this much?"
France laughed. "Well, unlike you, I don't have enough time to spend my days whacking a little white ball with a stick. I have far too many women after me. Of course, I completely understand that you won't be able to comprehend this… Being you and all."
America couldn't come up with a decent comeback, so he just insulted France's playing skills again and threw the next pitch.
Though he was still fairly convinced Japan wasn't waking up any time soon, England found himself flipping through his spellbook to summon the kitten again. After a bit of incantation, the adorable black kitten reappeared in all of its adorableness. This sufficiently pulled Italy away from Japan, but the Oriental nation didn't seem to be waking up yet.
England set the kitten down on Japan's chest. The adorable little cat immediately wandered up towards Japan's neck and starting mewing adorably. This still didn't change anything.
By now, America had completely lost track of how many fouls France had hit. All but one strike, that's all he knew. But he was starting to get seriously ticked off at how horribly France was butchering his beloved sport. Because apparently nothing else in this game reeked of that.
"Can we have a new rule?" he started, impatiently spinning the baseball in his hand.
"What rule would that be?" Switzerland sighed.
"More than ten fouls is an out."
Switzerland shrugged. "Okay, but the other team has to agree to it—"
"I don't agree!" called England from the dugout before he resumed whatever he was doing.
"Okay, then. No new rule."
"Urgh!" America stomped the ground before firing off the next pitch. At last, it wasn't a foul.
It was a ball.
America didn't catch the baseball thrown back to him because he was too busy facepalming.
The adorable kitten had begun to sweep its adorable little tongue over Japan's chin. The nation seemed to stir a little, but he wasn't awake.
England was just about ready to call this a lost cause. Then he started to wonder if he was forgetting any spells in that book of his…
He flipped back to the Table of Contents, but before he got as far as the basic levitation spell, he was interrupted.
"I think you're forgetting something important, England!" sang Flying Mint Bunny, swooping down land in England's arms. "He's not just asleep; he needs healing."
"England looked at Flying Mint Bunny for a moment before getting on the same wavelength.
"Do you think you could fetch Unicorn?" he said quietly, remembering for once that other people were around to hear him.
"Yes, sir!" Flying Mint Bunny piped, taking flight again. "I'll be straight back!" He circled his friend once before zooming off.
England, slipping his ruffled spellbook back into a pocket, turned to check how France's stalling was going.
By this point, no one had been able to keep track of all the fouls, especially since Liechtenstein couldn't find anywhere on the scoreboard to display it. The scoreboard still read one strike and one ball. And America was about to explode of impatience.
England smirked. America must have been so frustrated at the lack of strikes, but England supposed that was just because he had beaten the other nation soundly in their scuffle.
This, of course, had nothing to do with the fact England actually got out of that fight with more injuries.
"Strike two!" Switzerland finally called. America immediately broke into a victory dance, which irritated Germany, who was waiting to toss the baseball back.
"We haven't won yet," the catcher growled.
"Yeah, but it's impending," the pitcher responded, finally slowing down in his dance and preparing to catch the baseball.
France, meanwhile, wasn't looking as good. He sure wasn't hitting hard enough for home runs, but he'd certainly been swinging that bat around for a while.
He hesitated as America got the ball back from Germany.
"Can we take another break?" the batter finally proposed.
"And let you rest just because you suck? Uh, no. We can take a break once you finally strike out. Which is totally going to be right now."
France begrudgingly got back into a batting stance, wondering if the fellows in the dugout were even making progress.
"Sorry I took so long!" Flying Mint Bunny gasped, nearly divebombing England as he came in for a landing.
"No worries," England assured his friend. He heard clip-clopping and turned to look over his shoulder. Unicorn was finally trotting over the field and approaching the dugout.
"Unicorn!" England greeted enthusiastically. He was a bit too excited by all of this to notice all of the stares this remark got him.
"Good to see you," the enchanted horse panted, clopping into the dugout.
"I already told him everything," Flying Mint Bunny said as Unicorn approached Japan.
"Good job!" England responded with a smile. He turned to watch Unicorn
The horned horse was trying to find a space not occupied by one of the team members attempting their un-magical ways of waking Japan. He finally found a gap large enough and bowed his head down to rest his horn on Japan's chest.
With a blaze of magic so bright and sparkly everyone in the dugout could notice a bit of it, Japan stirred. He sat up, confused expression on his face, before finally opening his eyes.
"You're awake!" exclaimed Italy, apparently thinking this was exciting enough to warrant a hug-attack on Japan.
The newly-awakened nation was still too disoriented to overreact to someone hugging him.
"What's going on?" the Asian finally muttered, almost to himself.
"We're in the last run of the baseball game," China answered, "and we're going to have you bat it, aru. Well, once America throws another ball and gives France a walk, aru."
Japan knitted his brows together. "We're still in the game? How long have you been playing?"
"Long enough," England answered.
"All right…" Japan stretched his arms, still confused at how he wasn't suffering any repercussions from his mad batting streak earlier.
"You will be able to bat, right, aru?"
Japan rolled a shoulder.
"Yes, I think so."
"Good!" interjected England before turning to see how France and America were doing.
"Ball four!" the umpire announced. "That's a walk!"
A flabbergasted and very irritated America wondered how France could have gotten through all of that with just two strikes.
France didn't quite know, either, but he was more aware he probably wouldn't be able to move his arms for the next couple of days. But, hey, it worked.
"Okay, then," the pitcher started, rubbing his throwing shoulder, "who's batting next?"
Japan walked up to home plate.
"Oh, hey, you're up!" America reacted.
"So it seems." Japan cracked his knuckles before resuming a batting stance.
"Down to the two of us, huh?" said America with a grin as he began to wind up for the pitch. "Then I guess it's time to settle this once and for all!" He sent the baseball flying toward home.
Japan, fully refreshed from his destructive run earlier, swung hard. The ball soared towards left field and over the back fence.
"Home run," Switzerland called as France started jogging the bases. "Two more runs this inning for Team Japan."
His team now only five runs behind, Japan geared up to bat again.
"So, uh…" America, upon being tossed a fresh baseball, hesitated. "You just gonna… keep hitting?"
"If you do not cause me to strike out first," Japan replied simply.
Taking this as the closest thing to a diss Japan would produce, America growled to himself and coiled up to pitch.
"I'll just have to strike you out, then!" he roared as the ball flew from his hand.
The tension in the air immediately skyrocketed.
"Uh, hey, Japan!" China called. "It's all right to go back into that crazy hitting mode, aru!"
Japan looked back towards him skeptically. "I'm not sure if I could manage that again. I've only just recovered from it."
"Try anyway!" England interjected, figuring this was a much better way to go about things than telling Japan he was actually perfectly fine because a unicorn had healed him. That might have been a little harder to swallow.
This method seemed to work to some extent, though; Japan geared up to bat again, and he sent the next pitch flying.
But it didn't quite clear the fence.
Japan took off sprinting as the baseball thumped onto the last stretches of center field.
"Who's got that one?" America started excitedly, turning around.
"Um, I don't think, like, anyone's even in center field anymore," Poland said, glancing over his shoulder uninterestedly.
"How about you go get it for once?" spat back America.
"No way. The other outfielders are, like, totally way closer to it than I am. I'm not, like, running that far. My hair would get all sweaty and grody. Like, ew."
"You're such a girl."
"Never mind." America didn't take long before deciding to run after it himself.
Meanwhile, one of the outfielders was still asleep, but Canada was trying to get to that ball in a hurry. Wouldn't it be great if he threw the tag that got Japan out and won the game? The others would surely remember him then!
Canada reached the baseball before America did. The younger nation pivoted and started running towards the infield.
That's about when America caught up.
"G'job, Canada," he started, keeping up with him and holding out a hand. "Now give it over."
"No way," Canada panted, keeping the ball in his grip. "You always get to make the winning throw. I want to do it for once."
"But you're not the hero!" America protested, continuing to wave an arm over by Canada's hands. "Come on! It's my team! I have to do it!"
"Well, if we argue too much, neither's going to get it!" retorted Canada, nodding towards where Japan was crossing the shortstop's path.
"Right. So give it to me already!"
The two finally reached the dirt of the infield area.
"Hand it over, Canada! Don't make me make you!" threatened America.
"You can't make me!" Canada gasped, turning away from second base in his pursuit of Japan, who had crossed third.
"Oh, yeah? Watch this!" America lunged for his neighbor and just caught his non-baseball-holding arm. Canada gave an indignant yelp at the force, but he wouldn't stop running. America kept up before suddenly wrenching his teammate's arm around behind him. Canada was forced to thump back against America, but he still held the baseball as far out in front of him as he could.
It proved to do no good, though. America twisted it out of his grasp with relative ease and went sprinting after to Japan, who was halfway to home base.
"Run, Japan, Run!" Italy called cheerfully, while a few others in his dugout joined in cheering the baserunner on. There wasn't much of a response to this in the outfield other than Prussia yelling that if America's un-awesomeness lost him the game, he'd never forgive him.
America seemed to be closing in either way. Japan kept his best sprint up, but so did America.
Home plate approached. Japan dived. America lunged. The result was a sizeable cloud of dust that obscured the vision of all but the umpire. For a few tense moments, the cloud hung in the air. Then it settled, revealing Japan with one foot on base and one baseball touching his shoulder.
Everyone looked to Switzerland, who continued to gaze evenly at the scene before him.
"I got him, right?" America panted.
"Oh, no, you didn't," Canada put in bitterly, though America ignored him and the others didn't notice. No calls but Switzerland's mattered now.
At the sound of the umpire inhaling to speak, most everyone held his breath.
"Japan," he started, "did not reach the base in time! That's three outs for Team Japan, end of inning, end of game."
The area was still breathless for a moment as the players took in the information.
Then America starting whooping and jumping around. A few others on his team ran over to congratulate him, while Canada continued to sulk and Greece continued to sleep.
Team Japan was a bit less enthused. Though the Baltics were relieved they could not in any way be pinned as making Russia's team lose, the rest of the team was fairly disappointed. That is, if "fairly" can be taken to mean "punching walls at random and on the verge of a riot".
While the other nations were arguing, Switzerland quietly slipped away.
By suppertime or so, things had settled down. Japan's team had convinced he didn't have to commit seppuku for losing them the game—he was the only one that gave them a chance, anyway—America and England had finally beaten each other to a pulp after the former did some excess gloating, and China had banged his head against the wall enough times he wasn't quite capable of doing it again.
Of course, after finding out from Japan that the competition for his friendship was a lie, Turkey and Greece took out a bit of their anger on the liar himself, who, between that pair, England, a little bit of strangling from France, was about ready to get the crap out of there.
Though the Baltics had to make a shaky side trip to pick up the still-unconscious Russia, the whole group was soon headed for the exit.
The huge doors of the entrance and quite possibly the only way out were shut tight. And the owner of the stadium was leaning against them expectantly.
"So," Switzerland started with the barest grin, holding his hand out, "who's got their playing fees ready to pay?"