Author's Note: Ha! As I said (if you've been following Toxic Toast) that I could be coming up with a Hetalia FanFic- and here it is! This is my first attempt to write anything that I purposely wanted to weave romance into, but it's the "distance makes the heart grow stronger" mixed in sort. So! Give me feedback as to how you think it's going. Loosely based on history (very loosely). I do not own Hetalia.

The Chronicles of the Aftermath

Chapter 1: Separation

His home had been destroyed. But it was his own fault. If he hadn't been swayed by the wild dreams of that madman, it wouldn't have come to this. His people, broken and homeless, and if only he had seen the monster for what he was, they may have been poor, but they would have had a roof over their heads.

This is what he saw: rubble. Rubble that had once been welcoming homes that offered refuge from the cold. Crumbling remains of workshops that once secured meals for the families of his hardworking people. All gone. And it was all his fault. He became too begrudged, too proud, too greedy, and he lost it all. He asked too much of his people, and in his vengeance, ordered his people to give up their humanity and turn on each other, and then on the outside world.

And that is when Germany's eyes were open but blinded by tears. It was when he saw his people covered in their own blood and searching for any memory of what it was like before all of this that Germany realized how much it took to stand up. His shoulders and the muscles of his back were fluttering like a moth with tattered wings. Thirsty, so thirsty, Germany swallowed saliva that may have as well been watery, drying clay. Arms that could have been melded with lead and legs giving out like the tresses of a forsaken barn.

"Prussia… Bruder?" Germany's voice was so cracked that although he called for is older sibling, it was little more than a whisper.

"Bruder…" He was worried… what had happened to that albino lout? 'Surely,' Germany prayed, 'They wouldn't think of Prussia's lack of pigmentation as an impurity?' Unaware of himself, Germany brought the fingernails of his right hand to the underside of his left wrist, and began gouging away at the heavy scab he created for himself ever since those places began. Gouging away where the serial numbers had been tattooed on his innocent people, trying to hide the darkening strip of skin from his own guilt, and trying to preserve it as a scar to permanently remind himself of what he did. 'Please, DEAR GOD, not my Burder. Don't let him be taken from me. Please don't- please, just don't-'

"West, stop it." A strong, frightened grip snapped Germany out of his torment. Germany stared at the appearance of his brother in silence. "West," his Bruder spoke in softened tones, "You shouldn't hurt yourself like that." Prussia pried Germany's left had from his right and held it as though it were made of tissue-thin glass. "Sit down; at least let me bandage it."


"No," Prussia's voice turned stern. In the silence that followed, the elder brother dug around in his jacket for a clean handkerchief. Germany watched, dimly holding up his hand where his brother left it, vaguely aware of the trickle of blood sliding down his arm. He began to feel lightheaded. When Prussia spoke again, it was again tinged in melancholy as he wrapped the younger brother's wound. "There's nothing we can do about them now, West, and you scarring yourself won't help." Germany watched with fascination how a hand could encircle something with a white cloth, how that cloth never completely overlapped on itself, and how the red of the blood spread across the weave. He barely registered the quiet whizzt as his brother tied off the bandage. "Get some rest," Prussia whispered, and Germany nodded in obedience as his brother guided him to a bit of fallen wall that was relatively clear of debris.

Prussia sat in silence next to his brother, watching as the younger Nation's breathing slowed and deepen in the refuge of sleep. He cursed himself for being such a lousy older Bruder. He hated himself for not being the grown up one when it was Germany who was so much more naïve than he. He was the older brother who never bothered to learn from his mistakes, and if he had, he could have kept his little Bruder from making this Hell-born mistake. He should have picked up on all the warning signs.

From behind him, he heard the scatter and scrape of rubble beneath two heavily-booted feet sliding over them and the clatter as the debris bounced off a metal pipe.

"Russia." Prussia said, not bothering to turn around.

"Ah, so you recognize me, da?" The giant, half-mad Nation chirped. "Funny, because it was not you whom broke the non-aggression pact they signed with me."

Scarlet eyes flared angrily as Prussia spun to face the triumphant man. "Don't you dare hurt him," he snarled.

Russia swaggered closer, swinging his pipe to and fro in the dust. "You want me to not crush his head in, da?" He was looking everywhere but at Prussia, humming to himself what could have been the tune of a child's song.

Russia was by far the bigger nation, which meant that in a one-on-one, Prussia would have more agility, but behind him lay Germany, who couldn't have protected himself if he wanted. Prussia stood his ground and braced for the onslaught. "Don't you dare…"

Russia charged, wildly flailing his weapon over his head. For a moment Prussia stood paralyzed as saw the rabid eyes and a grin that stretched across the Nation's face like a chasm in the earth. It was only when the pipe was swung down that Prussia acted to block it. He crossed is arms above him, and heard the crunch of the bones in his forearms before he felt the impact. The blow knocked him backwards, shocking Germany as he accidently elbowed his younger brother in the gut.

"Bruder…" Prussia heard his brother gasp through the pain, disoriented himself. Cold steel was looped around the back of his neck, and Prussia's field of vision was consumed by the presence of the insane Nation's feral face.

"I am not to touch your brother, da? Then what will the penitence be? He lied so cruelly to me, da."

Prussia swallowed hard, but he didn't think twice about his answer. "Take me, then, you bastard. I'm not letting West be your dog."

Russia then patted Prussia hard on the head. "Ahh, really? What a courageous big brother little Germany has." The pat turned into a seizing of white scalp, and Prussia was lifted off the ground before being hurled toward it once again. Russia smiled innocently. "But your eyes still betray your fear. It is good, then. It's time to say good-bye, dog."

"No! Bruder!" Germany staggered up and attempted to tackle the Russian, who knocked him aside with a single bone-crushing crack to his right arm. Germany stumbled to his knees, weak from blood loss and pain as Russia delivered several more blows with the pipe.

Prussia rose shaking to his feet, and attempted to jump Russia in the hopes of making the larger man loose balance. It only barely worked and the Russian recovered, who knocked the smaller Nation off him and turned, violet eyes burning with fury. "Stupid man, don't you know your place?" Prussia couldn't register the speed at which the pipe was brought down on his skull.

Something was happening. Germany's head pounded. His eyelids were sealed shut. "Mon Dieu…" "Shit, man, this is bad…" "Watch out, we'll all have to lift him at once…" Germany groaned and tried to move, but his body was too heavy. "Easy, Dude. Don't move." "The stretcher, it is ready…" Germany's head swam, but could hear the shuffling of many feet. "All ready? On three. One, two…" As strong hands lifted him from the ground, Germany's body sagged limply, and he let out a weak whine from a new wave of dizziness. He was settled back down, a warm hand pressed against his forehead. Germany flinched a little. "Dude, he's so cold…." Germany felt the tug of sleep take him again, but as he sunk into the darkness, he could still feel a coat being tucked around him.