Title: Death the Kid's International Incident
Summary: Several nations of the world arrive at Shibusen for some friendly negotiations with Lord Death. Too bad no one thought to tell Kid about it.
Notes: Gift for a friend.

It was a strange assortment of people that arrived at Shibusen one Friday morning, causing quite a stir among the students. The group was made up entirely of men - men who made the girls giggle together delightedly and the boys sulk because of it. The strangers did not stop to chat with anyone (except for one man with lengthy blonde hair, who winked and waved and elicited several quiet shrieks; he was immediately told off by another blonde with large eyebrows). The group was soon met by Spirit Albarn, who lead them to the Death Room and left behind a disappointed crowd in their wake.

Lord Death knew who they were, as evidenced by the jovial greeting that broke out when they entered his dwelling.

"Yo, Death! Long time, no see!"

"Hey!" Death exchanged a rather disproportionate high-five with the United States of America. "I'm so glad you could come!"

Others who knew him delivered their own greetings, perhaps a tad more respectfully. Japan bowed, murmuring, "It is an honor to see you again, Shinigami-sama," to which the Death God responded similarly, and each one of his acquaintances thanked him for hosting them. America enthusiastically made introductions for the countries who had not yet met the Lord Death, and their neat little expectations were promptly shattered.

Finally, everyone settled around the elongated table that had been set up specifically for the occasion, and they got down to business... sort of.

"I'd like to thank you all for coming!" Death began cheerfully. "As I can't leave this city, meeting here makes things easier. Now, we need to discuss an extension of international immunity for the meisters under my command. As it stands now, the processing is rather tricky, and that makes it more difficult to protect-"

"Wait," a thickly-accented voice interrupted suddenly. Germany's eyes were scanning the table rapidly, and he looked grim. "Where's Italy?"

Startled, the other nations took in their surroundings and realized that the pasta-loving country was nowhere to be found. A few murmurs started up, slightly ominous in tone.

"I thought he was bothering you."

"He was. And I thought he went back to Germany."

"We need to find him," Germany said urgently.

"I'm sure he'll show up soon," Lord Death said reassuringly. "Maybe he just took a wrong turn."

"No, you don't understand," England said, shaking his head vehemently. "You do not want Italy wandering around your school, particularly not if he got lost. We need to find him."

Vocal agreement followed this, leaving the Death God to wonder exactly what sort of nation Italy really was. He sighed. "I guess we'll have to hold off just a little longer, then," he said. "Ah, Spirit... you go with them, show them the general layout, okay?"

The Death Scythe nodded and took charge of the volunteering nations, which was most of them, actually. Spirit had remained uncharacteristically silent since arriving in the Death Room and had been too distracted to point out the fact that he'd noticed Italy was missing... because there was not one, but two less nations than he recalled being invited.

Oddly enough, he could not remember who the second one was supposed to be.

Death the Kid was starting to have a very bad day.

It began with the organizing of his room. Making sure everything was in its symmetrical place took longer than normal; it was like things had mysteriously moved overnight, and he was having to straighten pictures, shift furniture, and generally triple-check to be sure of where he had placed things. By the time he had finished, he let loose a great sigh and felt the mounting frustration leave him. Finally, everything was where it was supposed to be. Everything was perfect.

He twitched.

Something was suddenly out of place.

He checked again. No - there was nothing he could see.

But the room was still unsymmetrical.

After scanning every inch, uttering every swear word he knew, and scrutinizing his room one more time, Kid threw his hands in the air and gave up, storming out of the room.

And poor, bemused Canada, who'd been trying to ask him for directions, clutched Kumajiro tighter and wondered what he should do.

"Who're you?" the bear's tiny voice piped up.

"I'm Canada," the nation sighed.

Kid didn't quite know where he was heading, so frustrated was he, but he definitely wasn't expecting to run into a lost-looking young man in one of the hallways. The man had brown hair with a weird, lengthy curl coming off the side, and his eyes seemed almost closed. "Germany!" the man was calling out, accented voice weak and shaky. "Germany, where are-? Oh, hello~!" He started waving energetically at Kid, despite the fact that Kid was barely a few feet away.

"Can I help you?" Kid asked. He'd never seen this man before, and it was a bit disconcerting to find him wandering around in Shibusen, calling for... Germany, was it? Weird.

The man nodded vigorously. "Yes, yes, I'm lost! I was with Germany and the others but then I got distracted by a pretty girl so I started talking to her and then when I looked around everyone was gone so I tried to find them but I couldn't and then I was here and-"

"OKAY!" Kid had to shout to interrupt, holding up a hand. "I think I get it." He actually didn't; it was impossible to decipher babbling in what was probably an Italian accent. But if this man was a visitor to Shibusen and had gotten lost somehow, then all that remained was to find a teacher and let them know. "Just... come with me. Why are you here, anyway?"

The man grinned. "Ve, I'm here for a meeting! I hope there's pasta!"

"A meeting?" Kid had to coax him to get moving. "With who?"

"A person named Lord Death!" The man suddenly frowned. "But that's a little scary, so I really need to find Germany so he can protect me! I also have these, just in case!"

He started waving a white flag in Kid's face, but Kid was too distracted to notice. "You're coming to meet my father?" he asked. Why on earth would his honorable father hold a meeting with this... strange person?

Apparently, the man didn't hear this, because he was suddenly staring at Kid and poked a finger at Kid's head, much to the young Reaper's dismay. "Why do you have stripes on your head?" the man asked.

Kid batted his hand away, stiffening. "It doesn't matter," he said sharply. He didn't need to be reminded of those hideous white lines that marred his otherwise perfect symmetry.

"But why are they only on half of your head?"

"I said, it doesn't matter."

The man giggled. "But they look funny!"

"They do not!" Part of Kid knew it was ridiculous to be arguing with an odd stranger about his hair, but he was just a little too worked up from earlier to pay any attention to the rational part of his mind.

"Yes they do~!" the man sang.

"Gah!" Kid said, rubbing a hand over his hair to straighten it, even though it was already as straight as it was going to get. "And they don't ruin my symmetry!" His useless denial, usually uttered only in his mind, slipped out of his mouth instead.

The man appeared quizzical. "Symmetry? But you aren't symmetrical!"

That did it. Kid clenched his fists and narrowed his eyes. His normal reaction to such an accusation was to curl up in a corner somewhere, but right now, he was already too frustrated and it wasn't even noon! The man started to back away nervously, waving a little white flag. "Hehe... you look very mad. I think I will be going now." And with that, he turned around and fled, calling for Germany once more.

"Hey!" Kid shouted, running after him. "Take that back! And you're trespassing, anyway! Stop!"

They made quite a spectacle as they ended up in the entrance hall, with the man running and yelling, "Germany~!" in a panic while Kid chased after him in a rage. It was a surprise to the angry little Reaper when the man ran straight for a strange group Kid had never seen before. The man cowered behind a larger, much more intimidating man with slicked-back blonde hair, sobbing about crazy little boys chasing him for hours. Kid skidded to a halt, conscious of the fact that they'd drawn spectators.

"What's going on here?" Spirit Albarn demanded, appearing from around the group of strangers, who were watching with a mixture of curiosity and amusement. "Kid?"

The young Reaper sighed, all his anger evaporating, and now he felt acutely foolish. "Well, you see," he began. "I... lost my temper a little. He, ah... insulted my hair and brought up symmetry and well..." Kid trailed off. "I apologize."

Spirit did a theatrical facepalm. "Kid," he groaned. "That's Italy you were chasing. The country himself! You might have just killed negotiations!"

Kid's eyes grew wide. "Wh-what?" He remembered, some time ago, his father explaining to him the concept of countries personified, saying something about holding a meeting with them to improve meister protection around the world. "Wait, wait... Father is meeting with them today?" Damn! He should have realized it with Italy's frantic shouting for 'Germany'. "Why didn't anyone tell me?"

"You didn't know?" It was Spirit's turn to look surprised. "You mean, no one told you? Oops." Now he looked sheepish. "I was supposed to tell Stein to tell you, wasn't I? My bad."

"Your bad? This is your fault!"

"Hey, I've got a lot on my mind, alright!"

"Yeah, women..."

"Watch it!"

"HEY!" a different voice bellowed. The man to whom Italy had run, most likely Germany, loomed over them. Both Kid and Spirit paled, Kid even more so. But Germany didn't look angry. He just looked exasperated. "It is not a problem," he said. "From what I heard, Italy did the provoking. Your reaction is understandable. He is..." here the nation trailed off, and he sighed, rolling his eyes. "Can we please just drop this subject and get on with the meeting?"

"That's the first good idea I've heard all day!" a man with a British accent called from the rest of the group, looking mightily annoyed. England, probably.

Spirit nodded, not about to argue. "Kid," he said. "Just... go to class. You're probably late already. And so are the rest of you!" he called to the onlookers, raising his voice. They dispersed slowly, unwilling to leave the scene. Kid saw Liz and Patti among them. He winced at Liz's highly disapproving look, and Patti... well, she was laughing away, but not alone. Some blonde, bespectacled guy in an old bomber jacket was laughing with her. The two seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Well, that was odd.

Spirit and the others, who Kid realized were all actual nations, began to leave, and suddenly Italy was standing before Kid, fidgeting and looking at the ground.

"Germany said I should apologize," the nation said. "I'm sorry for insulting you. Please, don't hurt me!" He cowered slightly.

Kid sighed. Were all Italians like this? "I'm sorry as well," he said grudgingly. "I might have overreacted."

"Friends?" Italy asked, suddenly much more cheerful as he offered a hand. His moods changed so fast.

"Uh... sure?" And so Kid shook Italy's hand.

"Yay!" Italy ran back towards the others. "Germany, I made another friend!"

Germany shook his head and gave Kid an apologetic look that seemed to say, What can you do?

Kid could relate already.

"America!" England called sharply as Spirit and the nations departed. The man who was laughing with Patti gave her a high-five before running to join the group. Kid did a double-take.

Were they all insane?

It was when all the nations were once more comfortably settled in the Death Room that Spirit suddenly jumped up from his seat. "Aha!" he crowed triumphantly. "I remembered! Canada's the other one not here!"

Canada was still lost, by the way.