One Of Yours

"Do you know what heaven is like?"

The sentence seems in poor taste. The entire situation seems in poor taste. Switzerland however, knows better, and so he thinks about it. Of course he has his thoughts as to what heaven might be, but from the sound of his friend, this is an excuse to talk. Switzerland finds it difficult to talk right now, so he decides to let it be.

"What do you think?" he asks, voice low so no one can hear the rasp in his throat. If he clears his throat, his feelings will become too obvious.

"My mother sometimes calls it... . He once thought that people were the servants of heaven. He once thought many things. He would become confused... or maybe I was the one becoming confused... because sometimes he made it sound as if heaven was a being, even though I remember him saying gods lived there. I know more about it then that... but not from listening to him. Just practising it myself."

That is fair enough. If Switzerland thinks far enough back, he can remember something similar. Switzerland has put himself together piece by piece – the languages, cultures, and religions of the lands which joined him simply becoming him. So many forms of Christianity.

"My father calls it a kingdom... when he is not busy cursing it. A place of eternal life. They talk a lot about resurrection from the dead. So zombism. That religion is all about zombies, if you think about it."

That is part of Switzerland's religion. He knows the other was saying it to get a laugh, but Switzerland cannot laugh. Not when the words come out as if it is a question.

Switzerland should laugh. It will make his friend feel better. It will make it seem as if life is not slipping away. That is why the other spoke, to pretend everything is fine. To pretend, though the subject is still what will happen when death comes.

When, not if.

"Maybe we will both turn into zombies," Switzerland says listlessly, wishing for the black-haired man to pick up on that subject and run with it.

He does not. The other Nation stays silent. When he does speak, it is not about zombies.

"What if there is no heaven?"

Switzerland prefers this to they subject they could be speaking about. He knows too well the question which has arisen for other countries. Even if there is a heaven, can people such as we be allowed? They are the masses, all the good and bad of Human beings, of birds and canines and felines and equines and trees and roots and stones and... They are ideas and actions, earth and sky, microbes and organisms, mind and absence. There are Nations who wonder if it is possible for their kind to step foot in any religion's idea of heaven, afterlife, peace.

"I... would like to think rebirth is an option," his friend decides, voice low, his monotone consisting of a small waver which might have been more noticeable if he had been speaking more loudly. "What would you like to become? I want to be a red panda."

Now that is funny. Switzerland cannot help the smile which surfaces on his face as he lightly squeezes the hand he had taken maybe an hour ago.

"I used to think about becoming a raccoon... but I think I would rather be a red panda. Because I am cute. You think I am cute, do you not?"

"I thought Buddhism thought animals were on a lower level than people," Switzerland comments, ignoring the last statement by habit.

"I am radical." Perhaps that motion Switzerland feels through the hand is a shrug, but Switzerland does not know, cannot tell. "What about you?"

"I am neutral," Switzerland responds.

"I meant what would you want to be," the statement is clarified. "I think you would make a cute hedgehog."

I want to be one of yours, Switzerland decides, out of nowhere. One of your people, one of your animals... connected to you. Then we will not have lost each other. You would take care of me. I would live through you, you through me.

Instead, he says: "I am not cute."

"Becoming a hedgehog would solve that problem," his friend reminds him.

"If I get the chance to decide, I will keep that in mind," Switzerland says. He wants to ask what time it is, but he refrains. It must still be near noon. It had been the last time he asked.

Yet it is dark. So dark. Switzerland will never see the light again. Not with these eyes.

He tightens his grip on his friend's hand, wishing to hang on for a little longer. His sister will be back any moment. Austria had demanded he wait to do anything stupid until he arrived. Earlier, someone had mentioned Japan would be arriving in the evening.

Did it matter?

"I will keep that in mind..." Vash breathes.

Can I become one of yours, Maddox?

And then not only is it dark, it is silent.

"Smile for me, please."

Before feeling leaves him, Switzerland knows Hong Kong's face against his cheek. Through the thin sheen of wetness, there is his friend's elusive smile. A small upturn at the corner of his mouth. Lips moving, just barely, in words he could not hear.

"Thank you."

And then not only is it silent.