He sat up, wincing, ignoring the pain in his arms and legs and sides-looked around and stared in shock at the destruction around him. Buildings were destroyed, burning, people were wandering around, crying and yelling and searching among the fallen buildings.

He stared in horror.

Standing up was painful, and he could barely stand for long before he fell back again. Nonetheless, he stood up and forced himself to remain standing. He forced himself to walk, stumbling a little before managing to walk semi-properly.

He couldn't help but notice that among the people searching, no one was searching for him.

Pushing that thought out of his mind, he saw everything go fuzzy before a hand was thrust into his face. Blinking slowly before glancing up, his eyes met blood red ones. A slightly taller child stood in front of him.

His first coherant thought in all this mess was the fact that his brother had come to save him.

"There you are, West." The child said simply, relief in his red eyes. "I've been looking for you." The smaller boy opened his mouth, but was silenced when a slightly bigger hand grabbed his and his big brother shook his head slightly. "Don't worry about anything right now, Ludwig." The taller said seriously. "Big brother Gilbert will take care of everything for you."

The last thing he felt before the enveloping darkness was the bleeding but strong arms of his big brother wrapping around him as he fell forward.


He woke with a start and looked around. Next to him, there was a soothing hand on his arm. When he turned to see who it was, he relaxed when he saw Gilbert.

"It's ok, now, West." Gilbert promised. Blinking slowly, he looked around to find himself in a shelter, or the remenants of a large building. Lights were flickering, and he could see a large table that was pushed to the far right wall, underneath a line of flags. Frowning, Ludwig noted that the room they were in seemed vaguely familiar, but he couldn't place why. Makeshift beds were set up, all along the room, and a majority of them were empty.

A tall feminine-looking male was balancing two kids in his arms while a third one climbed on his back.

Two blondes, one with green eyes and one with blue, each had a twin in their arms, comforting them.

A brown-haired boy with glasses held a softly cooing child while a smaller girl smiled at the baby.

Next to them, a black haired boy with green eyes was singing something in an unfamiliar tongue to a screaming child that looked like the one with the girl.

A tall girl, shaking lightly, was saying comforting words to a small boy holding a scarf around his neck as a smaller girl hung onto his arm.

Ludwig blinked and turned back to Gilbert.

"Where are we?" He asked softly. "Who are they?"

"We're safe." Gilbert assured him. Hesitating slightly, Gilbert gestured to the others. "The girly one is Yao, the one singing is Antonio, I'm not sure who the chick is, but the blondes are Francis and Arthur, and that kinda-sorta-maybe-couple there is Roderich and Elizabeta."

"Kinda-sorta-maybe-couple?" Ludwig questioned. Gilbert shrugged.

"She says they're married, but he insists that they broke up." Gilbert rolled his eyes. "Don't ask either of them about it, because all they do is argue, it's crazy."

"What about the younger ones? Who are they?" Ludwig asked. Gilbert shrugged again.

"Don't know and don't care." Red eyes locked on blue. "At the moment, my main focus is you, Ludwig. I'll worry about them when I know you're fine."

After glancing around for a few more seconds, Ludwig nodded firmly, falling back to sleep under the watchful, protective stare of his brother.