xxx

In July of 1943, Italy was hit hard with the bombing of Rome the American and British forces managed to take hold of Sicily from Germany and Italian soldiers… in October 13th of that year, an secret armistice was put in full effect between the nation Italy and the Allies Italy had surrendered…

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"I'm declaring war on you, Germany…"

There was no hesitation. No mumbling or scrambling for the right words. And no uncertainty or fear in this matter. In the doorway he stood, leaning forward with his hands planted to rudimentary wood that made it, between the yard and the kitchen of their little cottage they were sharing just outside Trieste.

From behind him, the yard's tree chirped softly with a nest of hatchlings.

"Your bosses had you do this?" Germany asked calmly with a dirtied, amber-colored rag in his mouth, placing the gun polish and his pistol in his lap, and removing the rag from the grip of his teeth. He grunted to himself, appearing deep in thought as a hand absently combed his slicked hair. "That Stück Scheiße… I should have had Badoglio shot ages ago…"

When his companion did not respond, Germany finally met his gold-brown eyes. They were dry. Deadly serious.

"I suspected that you were talking negotiations to the Allies." He asked him, grimly, "You think they will take care of you?"

Italy's breath hitched in sharply.

"…When were you planning on telling me that your SS troops were assigning my people into your camps?"

When Germany's blue eyes glanced away sheepishly and he returned to polishing, the other nation stepped through the threshold with determination, and grabbed Germany's chin, tilting it up and the blond did not pull away. With his other hand, Italy yanked open the sheer window curtain, revealing in the distance a fringe of black smoke from the Riseria di San Saba concentration camp.

"I knew them!" Italy's voice shook with the passion of his outburst. "I knew their lives and their families, where they went to school, what they wanted to do with their lives… who they wanted to marry and grow old with…" An lasting and beautiful feeling kindled with his anger in his stomach and he let his fingers slide gently from Germany's chin.

"Now the only thing left of a memory I can associate with them is the smell of their flesh burning."

Germany explained, setting the pistol to the kitchen table, not sounding too sure himself, "…It is for the cleansing. My boss believes this."

"Whatever it is… it is wrong… My brother and I have chosen our side to this war—"

The heavy, wooden stool Germany sat on knocked over to the floor as the taller nation stood up too quickly and held Italy in place when he moved towards the door, his military gloves cupping Italy's face. "You are truly going through with this then, Feliciano?" At the use of his true name with such concern and indulgence, in such a way that he knew it would hurt him, Italy's tears he had been fighting back since he entered pushed harder for release. He denied them by closing his eyes.

"Si, sono." Italy's own hands touched Germany's face lightly and he moved in to kiss him callously, as if bestowing a bacio della morte, and murmured against his mouth, "…Jetzt sind wer getrennt."

Out the doorway, he heard Germany fix the stool/

Italy blinked into the blinding sunlight of a world he was once blissfully ignorant of, eyes now able to understand the smoky blotch of the crematorium.

xxx

He returned to the Fairfield Camp. Where else could he go? Waiting on the outskirts for him was England and Romano. While his brother observed his pale and dazed appearance with silent consideration, the blond nation from beside him asked curtly and impatiently, "And was the declaration of war received by Germany?"

Italy nodded, his reddening eyes lowered.

"It was."

Satisfied, England congratulated him and returned to the rest of his troops.

Romano gave a particularly nasty glare to England's back and reached out to squeeze Italy's shoulder in a rare gesture.

"Calmati, mio fratello. You have done right. Even that shithead can see it." Italy buried his face into his hands with a whimper, chest heaving with noiseless sobs. Romano removed his hand from the other's shoulder with a sigh and accepted the slight impact of Italy throwing himself to his brother, curling his fingers into the back of his beige-colored uniform shirt.


xxx

After Germany discovered the armistice, they began taking Italian Jews into the Nazi camp officially… along with this, German troops tried to disarm the Italian troops that sought to drive them out… and though southern Italy was easily won with Allies, the fascist side of Northern Italy still had conflict… but only for so long...

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Alone together on the battlefield, they bled.

A few gashes leaked slow down Germany's temple and neck. Blood escaped Italy profusely, from his arms and legs, from the wounds on his back, and it coursed and coursed to blur the sight in his right eye. He bent down, wiping his eye clean, and picked up Germany's pistol. He grasped it into both of his hands and clicked off the safety.

"Mi fa male. Everything hurts. What you've done." Italy choked out, pointing it at the blond nation who did not step out of its line, "…I always hear my people. Can you? They are crying."

"As are you…" Germany offered him a mild and comforting smile as the other sniffled. "I was afraid that you had changed from how I knew you before. Your tears are a relief to see."

As he approached Italy, he did so but carefully. The pistol in Italy's hands shook harder.

"Kiku tells me that it is not the same with you, Feliciano. The meetings go too smoothly." Germany chuckled as did his companion, mixing the laughter with his sobs, and Italy let the pistol lower as his companion pushed it downwards. He let the edge of Germany's thumb stroke his tear-stained face. "You do not have to be in pain anymore. We can create another pact and you can forgiven in time if you are willing to surrender to our authority and provide information. You can always come back."

Timidly, Italy wrapped his fingers around that thumb, crying again too hard to form words. So close to him, all of the familiarity of their living together wished to rush back (the spicy odor of freshly cooked wurst; Germany's sweet-icing cakes littered the top of the oven and most of the available tabletops, the masculine nature of his musk after training that even seemed less repulsive over time). Italy's head began to ache. His people screamed louder in agony. The children. The women. The sangue innocente spilling…

Italy leveled the gun again, letting his tears mingle with dark blood on his face.

"…Get out. Get out of my home and take your soldiers with you."

Germany's expression became stony. "Operation Achse has been ordered. It will be finish," he stated.

"I want you GONE!" Italy hollered, his once always cheerful features distorted with barely restrained rage, "NOW!"

The blond nation spread out his arms and presented his broad chest to the other.

"You will have to shoot me..." His blue eyes narrowed slightly.

"...Because I will not withdraw."

"Perché?" The rage that had overwhelmed Italy lessened, as it did his voice, as mourning replaced it, "...Why are you doing this?"

When his companion did not indicate any answer, or lower his arms to his sides, he cringed and shut his gold-brown eyes as the trigger pulled back. When Italy looked up, Germany was still standing, only grazed by the bullet, the new scratch clotting on his chin.

"We are separated," Germany recited with his blue eyes so hollow. Italy raised the pistol again.

"…We are."

xxx


PROMPT FROM THE HETALIA KINK MEME:

"Germany/Italy

13 October 1943: "Italy declares war on Germany"

Please have Serious!Italy.

Must be angsty and sad, oh please, sweet Anon: BREAK MY HEART."


HISTORICAL NOTES:

Badoglio: General Badoglio led the new Italian government with King Victor Emmanuel II

Riseria di San Saba: The first and possibly only concentration camp in Italy to use a furnace and situated right outside Trieste

Fairfield Camp: Where the secret armistice was signed

Operation Achse: A codename for a mission for German troops to disarm Italian troops


TRANSLATIONS:

Stück Scheiße: "piece of shit" in German

Si, sono: "Yes, I am" in Italian

bacio della morte: "Kiss of death" in Italian

Jetzt sind wer getrennt: "Now we are separated" in German

Calmati, mio fratello: "Calm down, my brother" in Italian

Mi fa male: "It hurts" in Italian

sangue innocente: "innocent blood" in Italian

Perché?: "Why?" in Italian