Disclaimer: I do not own Axis Powers Hetalia.

Crane of Japan

Epilogue

He gazed down at the jewellery in his palm. Suddenly, it disappeared. Kiku lifted his chin a little, directly meeting Yao's eyes.

"There-aru." The Chinese man slipped the jewellery into Kiku's silken hair. "Perfect."

Tentatively, Kiku brushed his fingertips over the hair ornament before he rose to his feet. It was the first time he wore his mother's gift. And it was the first time he felt truly proud to be himself, both as Honda Kiku and as Xiaodan.

He turned his head and found the other man had already seated himself on the floor, waiting. Closing his eyes, Kiku smiled to himself and inhaled deeply.

A caged bird.

His movements were short and rigid to begin with. Awkward, small steps and jerking of his elbows and shoulders. It was as though he were trapped in an unseen cage, trying to break through the obstructive bars.

Lost and helpless, the tiny bird lamented.

Delicate tilts of the neck and twists of the wrist expressed the sorrow and longing for happiness.

Within the maze of darkness, there was a flicker of hope.

His movements were now gaining fluidity, his sleeves flowing.

Gradually the bird found its way out of the cage, gliding inbetween the bars.

He sucked air into his lungs, the curve of his neck long and distinguished. Arms stretched out above him, his palms facing the Heavens, his eyes gazing far beyond.

Spreading its wings to their full length, the Crane finally showed its real self.

No longer trapped, it flew freely into the world.

Weightless,

With glory,

And with peace.

Fin

-)-)-)

NOTE: Breathe iiiiiiin, breathe oooooout—Yaaaaay!

Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you! It has been a long (approximately 5 months) since I started writing this story. And you've stuck by me the whole way! I know (and I'm so sorry) this is super cliché but I have to say this. Without you all this story would never have come this far, ever! Honestly.

Let me apologise because, well this story wasn't proof-read by anyone, and I realise there's loads of typos and careless mistakes. Thanks so much for baring with me!

I just sincerely hope that this story wasn't a waste of your precious time. Moreover, I really hope you were able to find some joy in reading it!

Thank you! (am I annoying you yet?)

And lastly, (you know it's coming!),

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease review! It would mean so, so, so much to me if you review!

The very last thing I'd like to say is, I hope you all have an amazing day!

Take care!

Love you all!