Dro: First fic in four years. Let's see if I remember how to do this.
Chapter Summary: England makes a grave mistake that could cost everyone their lives. And Italy is the poor soul that bears the brunt of it (at this point, anyway).
Chapter Warnings: Swearing, Violence
Disclaimer: Hetalia, of course, belongs to Himaruya Hidekaz, not little Dro on a fanfiction site. The only things that belong to me are my OCs and this particular plot.
Francis rolled his eyes, tuning out Arthur's irritating chanting. He couldn't understand why the man insisted on practicing his "black magic" all the damn time. There was absolutely no use for it in this day and age. And even if there was, Arthur was just plain terrible at it. He'd watched the British country nearly blow himself up twice today alone. One time his arm had caught on fire.
He sighed. When will he ever learn?
Arthur had his eyes closed, and his furrowed brows twitched with each syllable. This time, he was determined to perform a spell correctly. He'd been working on this for over six months: summoning a creature from a parallel universe. It'll be my crowning glory. People will speak of the amazing England and his amazing magic for centuries to come! He chuckled inwardly, peeking at the bored Frenchman in the corner. I'll teach you, Francis. I'll teach you to take me seriously.
The circle on the floor lit up, casting a red glow across the dim room. Arthur turned to the next page in his notes. This is it. He started chanting the final incantation.
Francis looked up again, wondering what Arthur's goal was. He'd been secretive about the whole affair despite his insistence that France be there to witness it. He thought back to the Summit Meeting earlier that week, where England had first asked him to come to his little "show." The dark bags around his eyes had worried Francis at the time, and he'd only agreed out of fear that Arthur was straining himself too hard. He wanted to watch and make sure the country didn't seriously injure himself.
The symbols on the summoning circle pulsed a bright white, and Francis let out a nervous cough. Please don't blow up in his face and kill him… How would he explain that to America? He noticed the room had started vibrating, a deep thrum shaking his ribs. Arthur didn't seem to notice. His eyes were open, pupils dilated, lips forming words at a rapid pace. Like he was in some kind of trance.
Francis rose. "Um, Arthur?"
He didn't respond.
He kept his gaze glued to the brightening light. Francis realized the man's body was trembling wildly, muscles twitching out of control.
"Merde." He rushed over to Arthur, shaking him. "Snap out of it, mon cher. You're starting to scare me!"
Arthur wanted to "snap out of it." He really did. But he couldn't. Something had control over him. He'd realized after the fifth word that he'd lost command over his body. Something inside the light…something on the other side had hold of him now. He tried to speak, tried to tell Francis to run. But the only thing that spouted from his lips was the incantation. Louder. Closer to the end. There were only two lines left until…he didn't know what.
"Arthur!" Francis smacked him.
Arthur's voice rose to a deafening volume. The last five words slipped off his tongue. No! He screamed, but his vocal chords didn't respond.
Francis hesitated, fist raised, as Arthur stopped talking. "Arthur?" For a moment, the only sound in the room was the dull thrum of the circle on the floor.
"Francis…" Arthur regained control of himself. "Run!"
The circle exploded in a wave of energy. Francis barreled into the wall, cracking his forehead open. Arthur screamed as his back slammed into the door, the knob biting into his spine. Smoke consumed the room, and Francis frantically made his way to the limp Arthur, who had collapsed onto the floor. His lungs choked with each breathe. Have to get out of here!
He pulled Arthur clear from the door and forced it open, turning around to hoist the man over his shoulder. Sharp cold tore through abdomen, forcing him to a complete stop. Confused, he looked down.
A thin sword protruded from his side. He felt the other end flush against his spine as it exited his back. A thin stream of blood slid down the blade as his shirt absorbed the bulk of it, staining the fabric red. Wha… Stunned eyes followed to the blade back to its owner, a hand gloved in black. Through the smoke, Francis could just make out the man's features. Short, dark hair. Glasses that framed dark eyes. Pale skin. And a satisfied smirk.
"So s'rry, boy-o. But ve kinda need y'r little fr'nd, you see?" The man's thick accent rang out against the crackling of the fire. "So, it seems I may hafta kill you, no?" He tugged his arm back, sliding the blade from Francis' body.
Francis stumbled back, his legs refusing to work. He hit the ground in searing pain, panicking to stop the rush of blood that poured from the wound in his side. He groaned as the blood coated his hands, oozing through his hands. I'm going to die…Mon Dieu.
The man chuckled, pulling a white handkerchief from his pocket and wiping the blood from the blade. He sheathed it and bent down, pulling Arthur over his shoulder. With a wave goodbye, he walked through the open door, leaving Francis to bleed.
"Merde. Merde. No…Arthur. Damn it!" He crawled toward the door, his abdomen gushing blood with each movement. The fire had spread throughout the room, heading toward the door with increasing speed. Francis heaved his body out the door, nearly fainting as shooting pains surged through his nervous system. The fire closed in on him. I've got to get out of here.
The stairs were several feet away, but Francis shuffled toward them on his knees and elbows. The fire ate at the door frame, peeling away the paint and blackening the wood. A few more feet. He cringed, biting into his lip as another wave of pain over took. Keep going.
He peered over the edge of the steps, unsure of how to proceed. I have to get up. Leaning against the wall, he hauled himself into a standing position. Biting back the overwhelming pain, he took a step down the stairs, using the railing as a crutch. One step. Two. Three. Four. He counted with each breath. Five. Six. S—
The entire house shook on its foundations, sending him tumbling down the staircase. He screamed with each impact until he landed on the floor. A whimper broke free from his throat. The floor dampened with his blood. This is it, then… He thought of Arthur and the man who'd stabbed him. What's happened to you? Dieu, I'm sorry. I can't…I just can't get up. I don't have it in me. Please, Arthur. Please forgive me.
The door of the house broke free from its hinges and hurtled across the room. "Arthur! Hey! You in here? You have to come outside! Now! We're being attacked! These freaky alien sky machines are dropping bombs on London! Arthur?" Alfred, worried, slowly entered the house. He was trying his best not to panic, but the giant sky-ship thing that had appeared out of thin air and attacked the city was getting to him. Whose was it? What country dared to attack them? What country had that kind of weaponry? That kind of technology?
He stepped over the threshold into the darkened house, windows broken and tables overturned by the bombing. "Arthur?"
A weak groan sounded off from around the corner. "Arthur?" Alfred broke around the corner in a run, his boots sliding as he came to stop, only to see… "Francis?" He dropped to his knees. "Oh my God! Francis? Can you hear me? What happened? Say something, man! Anything!"
"What?" He cradled Francis in his arms, trying to put pressure on his profusely bleeding wound.
"Took Arthur? Somebody took Arthur? Who?"
Francis weakly shook his head. "They took…him…They took…him." He tried to keep his eyes open, but his vision began to fail him. He let out a shaky breath before losing his grip on consciousness.
"France? Francis? Hey, wake up! Wake up! Don't you fucking die on me!"
"Ve, Germany, isn't it pretty?" Feliciano held the door open to let the group inside. Lovino sauntered in and flopped down in the last pew, Gilbert following him. Ludwig paused as he entered, marveling at the elaborate painted ceiling and stained glass windows.
"Yes, it's quite beautiful." They had gone off the beaten track of Rome for the Italies' shared birthday, picking quiet attractions and restaurants on their little sightseeing venture. Ludwig had been surprised when Italy had phoned him, asking for a small birthday get-together as opposed the enormous "pasta party" he'd had the year before. But this, he glanced at Gilbert and Romano, this is fine too. And it's the kind of thing bruder needs.
Gilbert had gotten better—a lot better—since the initial dissolution of Prussia, but he still had moments where Ludwig feared for his life. What was stopping him from disappearing like the Roman Empire? Ludwig shuddered. Nothing. Nations were apt to disappear when their countries ceased to exist. It didn't always happen. But it did frequently. If the nation in question lost his sense of purpose…If he slowly spiraled downward, and no land ever claimed him as a representative again…If…
Ludwig shook his head, trying to clear out the grim thoughts. Not the time. Today is for celebration. He put on a smile as Italy tugged him along toward the alter. It was a beautiful cathedral. Italy feverishly blurted out the entire history of the small church, pointing out the meaning behind every little detail. Ludwig continued to smile as he looked around, his eyes lingering on the stained glass. One of them depicted Jesus on the cross. A martyr. A savior.
"Oi! West! I'm going outside to get a drink from that vendor down the street. I'm thirsty." Gilbert's knees cracked as he stood up, and he groaned. He was getting stiffer and stiffer as the days wore on. Damn, I feel so old now!
"All right." West nodded, still seemingly engrossed in little Italy's rant. Gilbert snickered as he headed out the door, shuffling by a pouting Romano. "What's wrong, kid? Jealous your bruder gets all West's attention?"
Romano snapped at him. "Hell no! Why would I care about the potato bastard's attention?" He glared, fingers impatiently tapping on the Bible he'd plucked from the pew.
Gilbert barked out a laugh. "Right. Suit yourself. Stew in your bruder-envy all you want, but it ain't going to go away if you don't do anything about it." He headed out the door and back onto the sunny street, shaking his head. So in denial. So not awesome.
He felt around in his pockets for some spare change as he headed toward the vendor. He pointed to the drink he wanted. Still can't speak Italian worth shit. He paid the man and turned back toward the cathedral, looking across the wide square lined with buildings. Just as approached the cathedral, a flicker of red caught his eye.
A shockwave rushed past him, hitting him in the stomach and nearly sending him backward. He stumbled, confused."What the hell was that?" He glanced around, realizing many of the humans in the area had been knocked down and were struggling to stand. "Shit." He whipped around, seeing the shockwave continuing on its way unhindered, tackling everybody in its path. "What the fuck?"
Inside the cathedral, the trio stood frozen. Ludwig looked around for any sign of another wave. Italy shook were he stood, unsure of what was happening. Romano just gaped. "Look, let's just keep calm and exit the building. Maybe we can find out what happened." Ludwig beckoned them to follow him as he made his way out the church, a frantic Gilbert meeting him as he opened the door.
"Did you feel that shockwave, West?"
"Yes, what was it?"
Gilbert eyed the humans outside. "No idea, but it hurt the normal humans. And it kept going too."
"The hell?" Romano trudged up. "Was it some kind of weapon? Did someone attack us?"
"I don't know." Ludwig replied. The German brothers were at a loss.
"Let's just get out of here and to the embassy. We need to call a world meeting immediately." Ludwig turned to call Feliciano, only to find another man standing in between them.
Italy cowered against the alter, the dark-haired man's sword pointing straight at him. A white coat shifted as the man turned his head, revealing deep brown eyes framed in wire-rimmed glasses, arrogant and smug.
"Ah, d'r me. It seems I've come up'n s'vral of you at the same time. This is prolly gonna be messy."
Ludwig took three steps toward the man, Gilbert flanking him. The latter motioned for Romano to stand back. Ludwig growled. "Who the hell are you?"
"Not of too much imp'rtance. My name's Dr'vich."
"Drovich? I can barely understand what you're saying, and that's not awesome!" Gilbert snapped.
"So s'rry. Seems I come fr'm a diffr'nt backgr'nd of sp'king, no?"
"Personally, I don't give a fuck how you speak as long as you take a step away from Italy."
"Italy? Ah, the cow'ring form in the corner here? Is that y'r nation's name?"
Ludwig's breath caught, and his eyes met Gilbert's. He cleared his throat. "How do you know about us? Nations as people?"
Drovich smiled. "Well, 'cause I'm one, of c'rse."
"Huh?" Gilbert asked. "There's no country called 'Drovich.' Unless that's your human alias?"
"No, it is my nation name. Well, p'rt of it. I am 'Rep'blic of Dr'vich'."
"Like I said, that's not a country."
He grinned. "Not in y'r w'rld, it isn't. Not yet, anyway." He lunged at an impossible speed, and Gilbert had to drop to avoid it. He hissed as his elbow slammed into the hard floor, but he managed to roll as the man's sword came barreling downward, striking the wood. Gilbert forced himself into a standing position, drawing his pistol. West mimicked him, and they aimed from both sides. Drovich just keep grinning.
"You all are f'rly weak, no? Small nations. So small. 'Cept you." He eyed Gilbert. "You are a dead nation, b'ding y'r time, no?"
Gilbert's rage spiked. He shot off a whole round, only to find the man was no longer standing there. He sensed him too late. The man's sword came at him. He tried to dodge, but he wasn't fast enough. The blade bit into forehead and cut down his face. Directly through his right eye.
He screamed and grabbed his face, sensing the sword coming down for the death blow. Shots rang out, the sound of bullets ricocheting off metal stung his ears.
"Ah, you want to fight too, then?"
Gilbert turned his bleeding face. West dodged, faster than Gilbert but not fast enough to evade the blows forever. From the view beneath the pews, Gilbert caught the crawling form of Italy shuffling toward the trembling Romano on the other side of the room. He made it to the gap between the pews and the back wall and faltered, unsure of how to make it to his brother.
Drovich spotted him.
"Nein! West, Italy!"
Ludwig saw him a fraction of a second too slow. Italy fell backward, trying his hardest to escape. Drovich appeared next to him, but West got off two shots, allowing Italy to escape for a brief second. Ludwig rushed toward Italy, trying to put himself between the terrified country and their new enemy.
Drovich chuckled. "You think my only w'pon is a sw'rd?" He placed his hand on the wall, a small glowing crystal around his wrist pulsing. A pulse of violet shot toward the ceiling, the massive beams collapsing over Italy's head.
Feliciano could only stare as the tons of debris dived for him. Ludwig… A force threw him backward several feet, his head smacking into the wall. A strangled scream filled the room. Gilbert's scream of anguish. Grimacing, Feliciano pried his eyes open, trying to figure out what had just…
In front of him, a pile of rubble still settled, bits and pieces tumbling down the mound. And beneath it was a unmoving Germany.
Fear seized him. "Germany? Germany?" His voice rose in pitch. "Ludwig?"
He didn't move.
Drovich laughed. "Can't say I didn't see that c'ming." A hand grabbed him, forcing the sword from his grasp. He evaded the blade as Gilbert struck at him, enraged.
"You motherfucker! I'll kill you!"
Drovich dodged, bored with the ease of his impending victory. He punched Gilbert in the stomach, causing him to lose his grip on the sword. Drovich snagged it as it fell and set it against Gilbert's head. "This time I'll dr've it into y'r br'n."
A pressure at his hips lost him his aim, and he looked to see Italy knocking him off balance. Annoyed, he kicked the boy off him and slashed at his face, dragging the blade down unmarred skin. Italy shrieked, his scream echoing through the church. Gilbert went for him again, his rage searing through his veins.
Drovich scoffed and raised his sword, ready to end the fight. Two hands grabbed his free wrist and pulled at something. He whipped around and kicked Romano, who had snuck up behind him, but the boy had already grabbed his crystal. He struggled, bringing the sword down to strike the boy before he managed to pull his power source free. Another set of hands stopped him, the force of Gilbert's impact sending him off balance and the three of them tumbling to the floor.
Drovich groaned, sending a pulse of energy out around him. Gilbert flew backward and landed on top of the pews, cracking bones sending waves of pain through him. Romano never lost his grip. Instead, energy shot through him, and he screamed, trying to pull away from it. But he couldn't let go.
"Shit!" Drovich cursed, trying to pry Romano's hands from his crystal. It pulsed, sending Romano sprawling backward several feet. He didn't rise. Drovich watched him for any sign of lingering energy. Good, must not 've transferred. A whimper to his left got his attention. Italy writhed with his hands on his face, his blood leaking through his fingers. He grinned. Suppose I'll be m'rciful and put the poor kid out of his mis'ry.
He trudged over to Italy and raised his sword high, ready to slip it right through the boy's ribs and into his heart.
"Don't you fucking dare."
Drovich turned to see Romano, standing limply as if his body was a puppet. Shit. Romano raised his hand, a pulse of violet electricity gathering at his fingers. Drovich met his green eyes, pupils ringed in purple. Deep shit.
Romano released the pulse. The stained glass windows imploded, a kaleidoscope of a billion shards cutting into everything in their path. Romano directed them at Drovich, and they whirled around him, trapping him in place. Oh, fuck. Lucast'rs' gonna give me hell for this.
He raised his right hand, summoning as much of his energy as possible. Back to base for me. He snapped his fingers, the energy engulfing him. The shards crashed into each other before raining harmlessly to the ground, Drovich no longer amidst them.
Romano's limp body fell face-first to the ground. Gilbert looked on in awe as he tried to stand. He fell between the pews, cringing at the waves of pain permeating his every nerve. Got to get everyone out of here. He staggered over to where Romano lay dead to the world. Still breathing, thank Gott.
Feliciano's whimper caught his attention. He made his way over to him as fast as his haggard body could manage. Italy had curled himself into the fetal position, blood pooling around his head. "Kid, you okay?" Gilbert knelt down beside him, trying to coax the man's hands off of his face to assess the damage. But Feliciano wouldn't budge. "Hey, Feli, listen, you're gonna be all right? See, everything is gonna be awesome. I'm sure it's not that bad. Just let me see it, okay?"
Italy's grip on his face loosened, and Gilbert was able to guide his hands away. He was barely able to contain his horror. A weeping gash ran from Feli's left temple, across his face, over the upper bridge of his nose, and faded off near the edge of his cheek. Gott, what a wound. It'll never heal all the way… "Like I said, it's not that bad." He lied. But Feli didn't seem to notice. His blood-stained eyes were wide and focused on Gilbert's face.
Gilbert bit his lip, unsure of what he looked like now. Horrifying probably. He had no desire to see what was left of his mutilated eye, and he berated himself for letting Feli do so.
"Don't worry about it. I'll be fine, okay? We just need to get up and out of here. You, me, Romano, and…"
They realized it simultaneously. Both of them looked toward the unmoving form of Germany trapped partially beneath the massive broken beams from the ceiling. Gilbert swallowed as he stood, pulling Feliciano up with him. The shaking country leaned into his chest, never taking his eyes off his fallen friend. Something metallic pressed into Gilbert's chest. He looked down.
West's iron cross hung from Feliciano's neck.
"Is Ludwig dead?"
Dro: Ah, that felt good. Been a while since I've stretched the creative muscles like that. Let's hope I've done the fandom justice. By the way, please leave me a review. If I don't see this story is getting attention, I may drop it in favor of other projects. I need to see a response in order for me to continue. As it stands, I have the next two chapters written, so I'll be editing those for now and working on the fourth. I'll post Chapter 2 in a few days or if I see enough attention, sooner. Motivate me!
Next Chapter: The world reels from the massive air assaults of the mysterious attackers while the Italy brothers and Gilbert try to recover from Drovich's attack.