Another one-shot about American history. If I write anymore of these, they'll probably be centered on the US simply because I live here and have the most accurate knowledge about, not because I'm biased. I like a lot of other characters in Hetalia, but I'd have to do quite a bit of research before feeling confident enough to write about them. Nevertheless, this story includes Japan, who I have heard is quite a favorite. So now that that's out of the way, enjoy!

Dobby's Polka-Dotted Sock

Second Guessing

They pushed at each other, uncompromising frowns etched onto haggard faces. He was tired, but slowly and surely, Japan's dug in heels were starting to shift backwards. He had the brown eyed man's left fist stopped in his open palm, while his own hand was caught in the right hand. Each was putting up fierce resistance.

He was caught off guard by the island nation pulling back, and stumbled forward unable to completely dodge the thin blade. It was a graze at the worst, his battered aviator's jacket taking most of the blow, but still the blood spurted and then spilled down his abdomen.

The sword was stopped on the down swing, a black gloved hand catching the wrist. His frown deepened and his eyes hardened. He broke away and the loaded pistol was brought up just short of the black hair. Glares under sweaty foreheads met; he cocked the gun.

But, could he do it?

oOo

America shot up from his bed, wide eyes staring at nothing but the blurry wall on the other side of the room. A hand reached for his glasses while legs untangled themselves from pale sheets. Everything was dark and still, it was the middle of the night. But he couldn't sleep. The glasses resumed their usual spot and he pulled his favorite jacket back on, the only part of his uniform he had bothered to remove before attempting sleep.

He left the bedroom for his office the third time that night, one hand sweeping light bangs back from his sweat-drenched forehead; the only lingering evidence of his troubled dreams. Reality was encroaching into his subconscious, reminding him of the problems he was trying to be fresh and alert for in the morning. He sat at the desk and mulled things over.

Not everyone had troubles, though. The majority of Europe was enveloped in happiness and good cheer, with a small amount quietly sulking over another loss. Germany and Italy would be getting new bosses, and America was hopeful as usual; but he didn't like the way Russia, or rather, the Soviet Union had claimed the war was a race, and since he reached Berlin first Germany should become one with Mother Russia. England hadn't been too comfortable either, let alone the Germanic nation. There was nothing for it but a compromise, however undesirable. America wanted this peace to be a lasting one, unlike the brief half-time between these two World Wars. Partitioning Germany was not going to help achieve it.

He had other looming problems to deal with at the moment, though. He and Japan were still squared off at each other. America, along with the rest of the Allies he assumed, had thought that Japan would surrender along with his fellow Axis Powers. The proud country had stuck to his ancient Bushido Code, and was refusing surrender. The only way to end this war would be to fight the Asian nation off of each of the islands he had gained control of, before finally reaching the homeland itself.

He thought of the long, hard battles already fought, rounding up every last defiant enemy soldier, a task difficult even for the brilliant MacArthur, and heaved a sigh. The question wasn't whether he could win—it was how many more men he would lose to this unendurable task. The American people were tired; they didn't just want a V-E Day, they wanted a V-J Day, too.

And yet he knew a way to bring it to a close. The American troops could come home and resume their daily, safe lives and no more of them would have to die. The war could end. But he hesitated.

It would have been so much simpler if Japan had accepted the Potsdam Declaration. But he had refused, and America was running out of favorable options for his country. The Manhattan Project had been successful, beyond what anyone would have thought possible. But was it right? To actually use the atomic weapons on civilian towns?

He was a hero, not God. It wasn't fair he was being made to decide. But a country's primary concern was its own people. Japan's military leaders had seemingly forgotten that in their stubborn cling to captured territories. Expansionism was too sweet a drink, he knew. Japan did not flinch as his men were rooted out and killed one by one, on America's slow march to the main island. But America did; and his decision was made.

"I'm sorry," he breathed, and hoped that across land and ocean, Japan would hear.

So there it is. I was planning actual dialogue, but this was getting a bit longish, and I didn't want to confuse people with flashbacks. So yeah, I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with Truman's decision, just trying to show both sides in the Hetalia universe. If you like it, review! And maybe check out my other stories: One other Hetalia, a bunch of Harry Potter and Fullmetal Alchemist, even a crappy Lord of the Rings parody from years ago! A variety for your reading pleasure. Thanks for your time.