A/N: Long time no see everybody. Sorry about the hiatus but I am feeling motivated for the time being to write as much as I can. I have been updating everything slowly but surely and really want to finish some stories. I just miss writing and want to let you all know that I miss you too. :] You should all message me and review and tell me what you have all been up to in the past year. I have been traveling and getting ready to move and dating the most amazing boy and getting accepted to a university. Anyway, hiatus is momentarily over and I am filled with renewed vigor and I just want to write. I love all of you and I hope I still have some readers. That would be so nice. :]
Meanwhile somewhere in Switzerland..
Vaduz rushed through the usually crowded halls of the Swiss capital building. They were now empty of course and only the sound of his shoes on the hard wood floors rang through the vacant hall. Nearly everyone had been evacuated from the city and those who were left behind were struggling to remain uninfected.
"Pardon me.." He murmured as he made his way through a small group of men in suits talking quietly about something that sounded really important. Nervously he checked his watch and shook his head. He was running late and was sure a lecture was waiting for him when he delivered the reports clutched in his arms, the reports on the spread of the infection that he had been sent to retrieve almost two hours previous. Bern was even more high strung than usual today because Switzerland had disappeared with a small arsenal to find a safe place for Liechtenstein, and a few wayward citizens as well that had been extensively tested to be sure they weren't infected.
"You're late." Bern muttered as Vaduz tried and failed to slip unnoticed through the door. His dark green gaze flickered between a news report that played quietly on a small screen sitting on the coffee table beside his propped up feet and laptop balanced on his knees. This arrangement had become the norm for the Swiss capital.
"I know I'm sorry, I came as fast as I could." Vaduz cleared his throat as the blonde's eyes switched back to the keyboard.
"It's getting worse by the hour. Spreading like wildfire." Bern glanced up briefly, his hard gaze falling on the capital standing on the other side of the room. "You got those lab reports I asked for?"
He held up the folder and handed it over. "Yes. Every single one inconclusive like every time before."
Bern flipped through the pages quickly and then let out a frustrated sigh, tossing the folder to the couch to sit on top of another pile of discarded papers. "Not even a hint. Nothing is effecting it's spread, nothing is killing it, nothing is denting it." He let out a deep sigh and let his head fall back against the couch. "No answers. Just nothing at all."
"Don't be so negative.. ?"
"Did you just attempt to encourage me in the form of a question Vaduz?" The Swiss capital asked after a moment.
"Er.." Vaduz's pale eyes fell to the sleeves of his sweater, but before he had time to stumble into more forced words of comfort the phone on the end table beside the couch rang.
"Go ahead." The Swiss capital answered sharply.
"Oh is that Bern? I was hoping Switzerland would be around but if I've been put through to you he is predisposed." Austria sounded tired, but as always purposeful.
"I'm afraid not sir but is there anything I can do for you?"
"Yes well, I was just going to inform you all that things have gotten, oh exponentially worse here." There was a shuffling somewhere beside him and he paused, muttered something to someone just out of earshot, before clearing his throat and speaking again. "We've been evacuated, Hungary, Budapest, Vienna and myself. No one is healthy I'm afraid."
"No one at all?"
"I suppose I should rephrase, we were able to save barely a few and are being moved now to a safer location. At present we are unable to do anything for those still inside the nation."
Bern's gaze met Vaduz's only briefly. "Safer location where exactly?"
"Berlin apparently. Someone had the peace of mind to put the entire city on lockdown when all of this started. It's the safest place in the world right now."
"Yes, you know Germany. Always ready for anything. So if you have anyone safe I suggest you move there in a hurry. Talk to Germany and he will tell you all the details. Relay the message along to anyone you think needs to hear it will you?" Austria let out a long sigh and rubbed at his tired eyes.
With that the dark haired nation pocketed his phone and leaned his head back against the car seat. They had been loaded quickly into the back of a large van with three or four citizens, who were being tended to by Budapest and Vienna. So few had escaped so far and they were all hurting, but Austria could still feel those being left behind and even though he told himself there was nothing to be done about it now, no way to save them, it still stabbed at his insides like a hot knife. He jumped slightly as a hand wrapped tightly around his. His violet eyes slipped open and he met Hungary's warm smile with a weary one of his own.
"Try to relax for me will you?" She asked quietly. "Everything will get better soon enough, for now there's nothing we can do but help those we've managed to save."
He kept his eyes on her. Hungary looked tired too. Her usually vibrant eyes were just slightly duller and even her smile was a little weak but she was strong, as always. Nothing was going to keep her from doing everything she could to save at least a few more of her citizens.
"Once we get to Berlin we will figure this mess out and you and I will go back out and save more people." She nodded with confidence.
Austria managed a smile, a genuine one however small it was. A light blush stained his cheeks and he let go of some of the tension that had collected in his shoulders. "Yes I know. Thank you Hungary."
"Of course. You know I'll always be here if you need me."
And so their hands rested, twined together on the seat between them. Budapest and Vienna eventually fell asleep against one another as the citizens were checked out as healthy and the car rolled on towards Berlin, the safest place in the world. Apparently.
High above North America…
The plane that the whole of North America had found themselves in was a small private jet that Canada had brought them too. Lucky for them they didn't need to pack their citizens in it as well as the virus had remained fairly isolated a manageable in the America's. However, the nations and capitals had to get to Europe and Asia to help everyone else. They couldn't ignore what was happening in the rest of the world and hope their home would remain safe for much longer.
DC was staring at her phone after another failed attempt to contact Italy. She couldn't stand not knowing what was going on with her friend and she was starting to assume some terrible things. "Straight to voice mail again." She muttered. Usually she texted Italy all day every day and it had been nearly a week now since she'd heard even so much as a 'Hi' from the perpetually cheery nation. She chewed nervously on her lip and shoved her phone back into her bag. "I just don't understand why he isn't answering. I must have blown up his phone with message by now.."
"Who DC?" Canada's quiet voice brought her back into the present and she looked up suddenly.
"Who what?" She answered quickly, feeling herself flush.
"Who are you trying to talk to? You've been muttering to yourself and checking your phone for a while." He smiled softly, a little embarrassed. "I didn't mean to eavesdrop."
"She's muttering kind of loudly." Ottawa agreed from the chairs across from them.
The American capital let out a breath. "I just want to make sure that Italy is safe, but it's been a while and his phone has been off or something. We usually talk all the time, I mean all the time and I'm just worried. You think he'll be in Berlin though?"
There was an awkward pause before Ottawa sighed and rubbed at the back of his neck. "Ah.. DC about that.."
Her blood ran cold. "About what?" She glanced between their grim expressions as they also exchanged looks. "Tell me now." She demanded as she stood up, but missed intimidation by mile as a worry flooded over her.
"America really didn't tell you? DC, Italy is where all of this started. No one's heard anything from the whole peninsula in over a month." Canada explained carefully.
Ottawa hesitated before adding, "And no one's allowed to go down there because of how contagious the disease is. It's ground zero and whatever this is, is way worse down there. No one's come out alive who's gone down for recon and no one has escaped-"
"Ottawa." Canada cut him off.
"What?" He silenced himself when he took notice of DC's distressed expression. "Oh I am so sorry DC I didn't-"
She was taking a moment to compose herself. The anxiety that had been present before had turned into pure fear. "So you're telling me, that Italy is in trouble and no one.." Her voice caught and she looked up. "Why aren't we allowed down there? We have to get healthy people out. We have to help Italy, what if.. What if he's.."
"I told you not to tell her till we got there man.." America emerged from the cockpit with an exasperated sigh. "Listen DC-"
She rushed to him, suddenly furious. "You knew about all of this? You knew he was in trouble and you didn't tell me? What if he needs me? What if he's hurt? What about his people America?"
"DC get ahold of yourself." America said sternly. "I didn't want you to go running off without thinking. I made a decision and there's nothing either of us coulda done until we touch down in Berlin anyway. If we could have just waited then you wouldn't be so upset. I was just trying to help you feel less scared then you had to." He took hold of her shoulders and forced her to look up into his blue eyes. "Are you listening to me? This is serious."
Honestly the brunette was half listening. Her hands had clenched into shaking fists and she was already thinking in worst case scenarios. ""I can't believe you did this. The second this plane lands-
"The second this plane lands we are going to meet up with England and France and whoever else and head to the quarentine do you understand?" He was the most serious he had been in a long time and the cabin was completely quiet. "I said do you understand me DC? This isn't a joke. If you run off and do something reckless.. How will I protect you?"
She met his now guarded gaze. He was scared too, and there was nothing he could do to help everyone who was in danger. She knew that if she put herself in danger as well she would just worry him more, but nothing was going to stop her getting to Italy. He needed her and America needed to understand that. DC knew when they all got to the quarantine she would be gone. America would have to understand. She needed to see Italy safe, just like he needed her to get to Berlin.
"Answer me DC please. We'll get to him, and we'll do it together."
Her mind was still running a million miles an hour. She needed to get to Berlin and understand the gravity of the situation. She had formulated a plan for herself. "I'm scared." She admitted to the nation in front of her.
He set his hands on her cheeks. "Yeah me too. But just keep it together a little while longer okay."
Inside he was a wreck. She was torn now. She knew America was right, she would be going straight into the lion's den if she went alone, but Italy was alone now fending for himself with whoever was still alive and most likely Romano and Rome as well. She needed to be where they all were and she wasn't going to let anyone convince her otherwise. With her heart set she took a calming breath.
"There's my girl." America muttered planting a kiss on her temple.
"My hero." Came DC's automatic response.
Canada and Ottawa let out a breath. Ottawa knew DC too well to not see the plan behind her eyes and he noticed America choosing to ignore it. He knew the blonde nation knew her better than anyone, and couldn't except she wasn't listening to him right now. This, he realized, was going to be a real test for all of them. The plane continued to zip over the clouds towards the storm that was waiting for them and everyone present in the plane knew there was going to be nothing good waiting for them once the plane touched down.