Fandom: Axis Powers Hetalia
Pairing: Implied Italy/Germany
Disclaimer: APH belongs to Himaruya, and the countries factually belong to themselves. Or their bosses and the people that live there, rather.
Summary: "Unconditional armistice?" he murmurs. He clamps his bottom lip between his teeth. He doesn't want to cry, but his eyes tell a different story.
A/n: title is from The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King O.S.T. It's a bit too apocalyptic for this, music-wise, but the title was perfect.
"So, you accept?"
Italy is sitting on the edge of his seat, his hands clenched on his knees, rigid as a rod. He's staring at the piece of paper on the table in front of him fiercely, heatedly, but he can't really see it. Germany is going to hate him for this.
"Unconditional armistice?" he murmurs. He clamps his bottom lip between his teeth. He doesn't want to cry, but his eyes tell a different story.
England and America sit opposite him. England is sitting up straight, arms folded. America is lounging with his right ankle on his left knee, one arm slung over the back of his chair and the other across his stomach. Both are watching him intently.
"Unconditional armistice," England repeats. Italy moves his gaze to the sleek black pen next to the sheet of paper. He looks up, smiling a smile he doesn't feel. It feels like clay on his lips. He picks up the pen, trying to stop his hand from shaking and his eyes from leaking.
"I'm good at surrendering," he says, and the false cheerfulness in his voice sounds disgustingly fake, wrong, an abomination, dirty. He stares down at the line he must sign on, imagining each dot a bullet with Germany's name on it, a bomb on Berlin.
"We'll take care of you, don't worry," America reassures him. He smiles encouragingly.
Italy doesn't acknowledge his words and signs his name. Every letter is a dagger to his heart. Every stroke of ink is a stab to Germany's back. His hand is shaking worse now, and his signature threatens to become illegible. His tears fall silently down his cheeks that, once rosy and cheerful, are now pasty and wan. He meticulously places the lid back on the pen and sets it down again. His arm his trembling so much it won't stay in one place for more than a moment.
England takes the agreement and folds it precisely. He stands and America follows suit.
"It's the best thing, Italy," murmurs the British nation. "For you, for Europe, and ultimately for Germany."
His words cut like a knife, even though he means well. Italy coughs back a sob, his head bent. He can't do this anymore. He lets his head fall forward on his arms, folded on the table. He sobs brokenly, his shoulders heaving.
England and America exchange a look of pure pity. France pokes his head around the doorway, looking just as sorrowful. America makes to comfort him, but England stops him with a hand on his arm, shaking his head. They both leave Italy to weep.
"Germania... Germania, perdonami… Perdonami..."
Germania, perdonami = Germany, forgive me.