A/N: This was supposed to be a birthday present for my girlfriend… her birthday is in July. *failure*

The storm just kept getting worse, the rain hitting the roof like marbles falling from a bag, banging persistently on the house as if aware its only occupant wanted nothing more than to sleep. But the persistent drumbeat was not what was keeping the man awake; the impossible chill that had the usually proud and noble man curled up under his blankets in a desperate plea for warmth was not the cause of his insomnia. On the contrary, his inability to sleep had caused the storm. His insomnia had given him time to think, something he could not do if he expected to stay sane in this state. He'd felt wonderful—physically, anyway—for such a long time, ever since that charismatic man had come to power and cured him and given him back his pride and optimism. Now, the recession was returning and it was getting bad enough to make him ill. While he was out on the battlefield, he could ignore the nagging voice of morality—which sounded suspiciously like a certain Italian he knew—telling him he'd made a mistake in putting so much faith in this man, that the evils being committed for his betterment were far from justified and worth it. Now, alone in his bed after being sent home to rest off, or at least adapt to the financial conditions, he could hear it loudly and clearly, screaming at him over the insufferable wind.

He was losing; there was no way to deny it at this point. The allies had too much man power, too much financial stability, and too many weapons. There were rumors America had even succeeded in splitting an atom and would attack him with the ensuing weapon if he did not surrender. It couldn't come to that, it would wipe out so many of his people, blow him off the map in this state. He couldn't take it now.

But how could he surrender? He'd started this war of his own will, gone out of his way to attempt to restore what had been taken from him and lost so many good human men in the process. How could he just give up after all of their sacrifices? But another question loomed at the forefront of his mind: how could he continue to fight in a war for a human who's ulterior motive was so ghastly? His boss had kept it a secret from him for years, knowing his motherland would be unwilling to continue these heinous acts being carried out in his name. By the time the conspiracy reached him, it had evolved into such a large scale, past his borders and he was nearly powerless to shut it down. So he pretended he didn't know, acted as if he was completely unaware of the goings on in his own property in order to save face and in doing so, had forfeited the most important rule of nationhood: A Nation's first priority is to his people.

The house began to tremble with an impossible crash of thunder overhead as Germany wondered aloud "Am I dying?"

It was a legitimate possibility: his economy was bad, he was losing a war, and killing his own people. His people surely hated him. The world surely hated him.

"Don't be so dramatic."

Germany yelled in the most undignified way the intruder had ever heard, whipping the covers off from over his head, jumping to his feet and spinning around to see who had spoken. He was met with the sad smile of the person he had longed to see most in the world for the last two years. And the last person he ever wanted to see again.

"What are you doing here, Italy?" The coldness in Germany's voice rivaled the bone-chilling ice outside.

"'Italy?'" He repeated. "I thought we knew each other better than that."

They had once; much better. It still left an odd tingly feeling in Germany's mouth to use Italy's political name over his human one. But that was before. They weren't like that anymore.

"That was a long time ago," Germany whispered, staring at the cold hard wood beneath his bare feet.

"Two years hardly counts as a long time to a country."

When had he become the logical one? That just didn't make any sense. Germany's eyes remained trained on the floor, glaring, refusing to look up at Italy. How dare he be here after what he had done? How dare he look at him like that?

"Ludwig-"

"Don't call me that. You lost the right to use my human name when you betrayed us."

"I didn't betray you."

"You did!" He had intended his voice to remain so much more composed but this event had wounded more deeply than he had thought possible. "You surrendered. You even started to fight on your own, you were doing so well and then you surrendered."

"I had to, Luddy." A vein popped on Germany's forehead at the nickname that got under his skin at the best of times. Italy, whether completely oblivious or indifferent, continued on. "We were losing. You're losing. I had to do what was best for my people. And I don't regret it now that I know what you're doing."

He would not stand here and be told off in his own home; he turned his back on Italy and looked towards the window, fogged with cold and blurred from heavy rain, acting as if there was something at all interesting outside. There wasn't, just torn up land and the scenery of a broken nation.

"Do you really hate them?" Italy whispered, barely audible over the clack of his boots on the floor as he approached the wasted country. "Do you really think you can fix the world by eliminating the people that are different?"

"They're not people," he spat, shocking even himself. When had he started believing that?

"Is that what you think? You hate Jews? You hate blacks? You hate the disabled? You hate non-Germans and people who can't work?"

He was closer now, but Germany would not turn around nor would he answer.

"There's blood on my hands," he whispered. "If it takes some spilled blood to save the rest of my people so be it."

"Do you really think their presence in the country is what's causing your problems?"

Germany couldn't bring himself to think much more about that.

"Do you hate gays too?"

"Yes," he didn't even have to think about this one. This one was a hundred percent true; he hated gay people, he always had and Italy knew why.

"You hate me too, then?"

Against his better judgment, Germany looked over his shoulder. The look in his eyes could have frozen fire but, to his surprise, Italy looked back unfazed, close enough to him now for his body heat to be shared.

"I hate you, Feliciano," Germany whispered coldly.

"You're lying." He sounded so confident, so sure of what he said. When had he changed so much? Had his people suddenly gotten impossibly mature? "As a matter of fact, I think you still love me."

"I never loved you."

"Liar," his voice was barely more than a whisper. "For what it's worth Ludwig, I do hate you now. I hate what you've done and I hate who you've become."

"Then why are you here?"

"Because, unbelievably, I'm still in love with the man I know you are underneath all of this."

"You're sick."

"Then so are you. Because at the very least there was a time you loved me. There was a time you wanted me and a time I wanted you and a time I wouldn't think twice about coming here."

"Well that was a long time ago."

"Like I said, two years isn't a long time."

"Step back," Germany demanded, turning back to the window, pretending he could see out of it as the rain and hail grew harder.

"No." A soft hand had come to rest on his shoulder, bringing with it warmth and an unbearable chill.

"Move away from me, Italy."

"I won't."

"Step back or you'll regret it."

"Go ahead; hit me. Shoot me. Kill me if you must. If you can live with yourself, go ahead and do what you have to. But I won't leave you. Because I still think I save you."

"Save me from what, you gullible weakling?"

"From yourself." Italy said simply. "This hateful, despicable person isn't you. You're strict and serious and a little scary, but you've never been this hateful. I know this isn't who you are… and I know you're not okay with what's happening."

"Shut up."

"You want it to end but you're scared because you don't know how to end it."

"Shut up, Feliciano."

"You don't want to humiliate your people again or go back into recession but you can't allow what's been happening to continue and you're scared."

"SHUT UP!"

Germany wasn't sure how it happened but the next instant his hand was around Italy's throat, squeezing it tightly as the smaller man struggled to move out from against the wall Germany held him to. The fear in the brown eyes gave Germany a sick sense of satisfaction and for several more seconds, he held the Italian there, watching him squirm and panic, proving to him coming here had been a mistake. Then, as Italy began to slow down and his face turned blue, Germany moved his hand back as if he'd been electrocuted and Italy fell to his knees, coughing and gasping for breath, a shaking hand moving to his throat where a red bruise was forming. Horrified with himself, Germany looked down at his hand, unable to believe he'd really done such a thing. But it had served to prove his point: there was no saving him. He was a lost cause.

"You shouldn't have come…," Germany said softly, unable to look at the Italian on the ground in front of him. "I'm not the man I was before. You should go."

Germany's eyes were void of any emotion as he watched Italy get shakily to his feet and met his gaze with a determination he had never seen.

"I knew you wouldn't be able to do it."

Germany turned from him exasperated.

"You're even dumber than I remember."

"Maybe. Or maybe I just have faith in the person I know you are."

"You're faith is misplaced."

"I don't think so."

"I do."

The brown eyes met the blue for a moment before Italy huffed in irritation.

"And people say I'm the weak one."

"I'm not the one who surrendered."

"And I'm not the one who can't admit I've made a mistake."

"I'm warning you, Feliciano."

"Going to put me in a death camp too? Go ahead. I realized how deep the bonds of friendship were when Japan attacked me."

"You betrayed us. What did you expect?"

"I guess I was hoping you'd stand behind me like a lover should."

"We were never lovers, Italy. We were an alliance. Nothing more."

"Did you sleep with Japan too, then?"

"Shut up."

"Did you ever tell Japan you loved him?"

"Shut up, Italy!"

"Is that why you rushed us? You didn't want your boss to know the motherland he's purifying is a 'faggot'?"

"SHUT UP!"

He had him pinned to the wall again, his strong hands slammed against the plywood on either side of the Italian's head, their faces inches apart, cold glares silently challenging the other. For several moments, neither or them moved, simply stood, icy stares boring into each other, the bitterness and tension between them mounting. Then, Italy did something he'd sworn he'd never do again. The brown eyes never left the blue as a slender hand rose to the back of Germany's neck, running over the sensitive skin, causing a shiver to run up his spine and further musing his bedhead as Italy's fingers tangled in the greasy, blonde locks. This gave him the leverage he needed and, with a strength neither knew the little Italian possessed, Italy pulled Germany into him, meeting his lips with a fierce kiss.

In the back of his mind, Germany knew he shouldn't let this happen, knew this would be a very painful mistake, but he couldn't find the will power to stop. His hands moved to the Italian's hips, pulling them, roughly into his own, pulling a moan from Italy and compelling him to wrap his arms tightly around the German's broad shoulders and opened his mouth for their tongues to engage in a fierce battle until Italy surrendered allowing Germany victory.

"Ah…"

Now Germany's hands were on his skin, touching his stomach and chest, the cold feeling some how erotic as his shirt was forced open so quickly the buttons tore off and scattered across the hardwood. Italy let out a needy cry when the hands moved to his backside and squeezed. Knowing he'd have the support necessary, Italy jumped, wrapping his legs around the German's waist, the new position forcing their excitement to grind together.

"Take… me…." Italy moaned as teeth assaulted his neck, biting just hard enough to be painful.

"As if you had a choice in the matter," Germany groaned out. "You started this, now we'll finish it."

The emotionless tone of his voice broke Italy's heart.

"Who are you?" he murmured as Germany let them fall onto his bed. "Who are you and what have you done with my Luddy?"

"Your Luddy is dead," was the emotionless reply. "He's been killed along with the rest of the weaklings."

It was purely out of spite that Italy pulled Germany's undershirt off, his own guilty desire to touch his muscles compelling him to run his hands over his chest. The soft, hastily-repressed moan did not go unnoticed and Italy leaned up to press a soft kiss to where his heart used to be, hoping to hear the sound again. He didn't. All he did was prompt the German to move his rough hands down over the Italians' waist, teasing at the band on his pants.

"Just take them off," Italy demeaned, emotionless. "We both know you're not doing this for me."

"You're getting smarter," was the husky replay as Italy's pants were pulled roughly from him and discarded over the side of the bed.

"And you're losing what little humanity you have, homo."

Italy gagged as a hand closed around his throat again, tighter than before.

"Don't call me that."

Italy could feel Germany's breath on his ear.

"Do you know how easy it would be for me to kill you?" Germany whispered. Italy could only gurgle in response. "You think you're strong now, Italy? You're as weak as ever."

Italy could barely hear him over the sound of blood pounding in his ears.

"Take it back."

"G…German…"

"Take it back, Italy."

"C-can't… can't…,"

Italy gasped when the hand came away from his throat, his own hands moving to protect the spot from further attack.

"Take it back," Germany demanded again, lifting his head for his dead, emotionless eyes to meet Italy's. Italy simply stared at him before muttering, "You're as straight as you are boring."

"I would strongly advise you not to push me."

"Why not? Maybe if you fall off that pedestal, you'll go back to normal."

"You mean weak?"

"No…," Italy murmured, running his fingers through the German's hair, "I mean wonderful… like you used to be before you became this monster."

The glare he received was icy but Italy thought he saw, just for a moment, a touch of regret in his features. It was gone in an instant however as Germany pinned him to the bed, trapping Italy's hips beneath his own.

"You're as sensitive as ever," Germany commented lightly, reaching into the drawer on his bedside table.

"I am still Italian."

Italy started as a bottle was shoved into his hands.

"Put it on me then. I don't want to deal with blood."

"Gee, thanks…."

"We don't have to use it, you know."

"Fine, strip."

"Do my fingers first. I imagine it's been a while for you."

"If I didn't know better, I'd say that was thoughtful."

"Don't flatter yourself," Germany murmured as Italy slicked his hand with the lubricant. "Like I said, I don't want to deal with your blood."

"I'm sure."

Germany spared him one last aggravated look before leaning forward, forcing Italy to lie back, his eyes never leaving the brown.

"You're staring," Italy pointed out.

"So what?"

"That's something you typically only do when you're in awe over someone."

"I'm not typical."

He furthered this point by choosing this moment to shove his finger into Italy, burying it all the way to the knuckle. Italy squeaked in pain and surprise but moaned as the rough movement became noticeably gentler; almost loving, but not quite. He remembered the nights they used to do this when Germany wouldn't pretend he was selfish and didn't care. In spite of his better judgment, Italy's arms snaked around Germany's broad shoulders, holding tightly, longing for those days, those sweet moments back.

Please come back to me, he thought, desperately, as he gave a small cry of pain when another finger was added inside him. He shifted uncomfortably, trying to better accomedate the intrusion. He sighed as he adjusted and the pain turned to pleasure.

"Ahh… more…," he whispered. Germany didn't hesitate in slipping in another finger. "Yes…. Ow…."

"Did that hurt?"

"In a good way."

"Ja?" He moved his fingers faster, pressing harder against him, forcing Italy to bite his lip to stifle his moans.

"Don't do that," Germany whispered. "I want to hear you."

At his request, Italy groaned, whispering Germany's name when he added a third finger, stretching him to nearly his limit but the pain giving him an amazing sense of pleasure.

"Aww… yes… dio, yes…."

"You like that?"

"s-sì…."

"Gute… because that may very well be all I offer you."

And his fingers were withdrawn, so suddenly Italy gasped at the loss of contact. Surprised, Italy moved his head from the pillow, looking up at the man he used to love from his venerable vantage point, watching as he impatiently shed his pants, freeing the arousal Italy had once been so familiar with. Mentally, Italy cursed himself for going red at the sight. It wasn't as though he'd never seen it before. Hell, it wasn't as though he'd never touched it before, and under better circumstances than this, he might add.

"How cute. You still get flustered," Germany said climbing on top of him, his large hands pinning Italy's shoulders to the mattress.

Dammit. And he'd noticed. Fixing Germany with a determined glare and never letting his eyes leave those of the man above him, Italy felt blindly around him for the bottle he had dropped. His fingers closed around it, slipping slightly as the slippery substance that had spilled over coated his fingers. Without a word, he shoved the bottle into Germany's hands, still staring at him, challenging him silently. Germany only pushed the bottle back to Italy.

"You do it," he muttered.

"Fine. Sit up."

Germany did so, the old mattress creaking as he sat back on his hunches, allowing Italy to move out from under him. Their eyes were still locked in a silent battle, neither of them willing to acknowledge the conflicting, passionate emotions swirling in the others' eyes beneath the loathing and the desire. The staring contest did not end when Italy, flipped the bottle open, when he turned it upside down and squeezed a sizable amount into his palm, or when he rubbed his hands together, to spread the lubrication evenly. The eye contact did not break until Italy scooted forward on his knees, his left hand snaking down to Germany's arousal and closing around it. Here, Germany finally allowed himself to close his eyes.

Over the course of eternity, it had not been an explicitly long time since their last tryst. Yet Germany could not help but be surprised at how amazing this still felt, how Italy had somehow managed not to lose his touch after their months apart. Germany's hand closed into a fist around the duvet as he attempted to suppress a moan deep in his throat. The sound did not go unnoticed.

"Guess I still remember what you like, sì?" Italy murmured, tighting his fist and pumping faster for a few more moments before he dropped the member and laid back down, his legs apart, waiting.

Germany seemed to need a moment to recompose himself at the sudden loss of contact: he held stock still, breathing heavily, his eyes still closed, before meeting the brown gaze of Feliciano again, and positioning himself between the smaller man's legs.

"You'll find I haven't forgotten anything either."

And that was all the warning he got.

It hurt. It really hurt. He was wrong; he had forgotten everything. This was not the Ludwig he had shared his bed with so many times before. This was not the sweet, caring man that had once been so gentle and loving with him. This was a monster, a monster wrapped up in the body he had once loved, adored, longed for. But he would be lying if he said a part of him wasn't enjoying this, finding a sick sense of pleasure in being in so much pain. It was what he deserved, he thought cruelly. After failing his lover and his people in this war, he deserved this pain and more.

"Is that all you've got?" He moaned, tempting the demon above him. "Come on. Give me something real."

And the monster picked up his speed, going fast and harder and it hurt and Feliciano wanted to scream and he loved it and he wanted more. Feliciano was clawing his back, wanting to move closer and increase the sensation that was already building his stomach while at the same time his body begged him to make this torture stop. But he wouldn't. He deserved the pain and he liked it. And he liked the sounds Ludwig was trying not to make and it was all too much and this was going to end much too quickly, at least for him.

Just as he thought it, he finished, mistakenly calling out his former lover's human name.

"Ludwig!"

It wasn't him. Feliciano knew it wasn't him. This thing wasn't anything like him. Ludwig wouldn't have disregarded him like this when they made love; Ludwig wouldn't have continued this brutal assault on him for his own pleasure; he wouldn't have been silently begging Ludwig to finish so he could escape this, escape this mistake, this shame.

It took far too long, in Feliciano's eyes, but finally, Ludwig finished with a strangled cry, emptying himself into his former lover, before collapsing on the bed beside him. The silence that followed was agony, neither sure whether to say something or not, to sleep or to leave. Finally, with an exhausted sigh, Feliciano sat up, got to his feet and began dressing. Germany watched him, never speaking, never moving. So focused was he on the movements of the Italian, he did not notice the hurried footsteps outside of his door.

"West! We've-"

Of course, Prussia would never knock. He simply burst through the closed door and stopped, taking in the scene in front of him; Feliciano, still with his shirt off, and Germany, still naked in the bed. For a moment no one spoke, even breathed. Then, it seemed Italy composed himself again, put on his shirt and left the room without another word, leaving a silence hanging in the air until the brothers heard the slamming of the front door.

"You insane?" Prussia finally asked.

"I didn't ask him to come here."

"Regardless," Prussia said, raising a hand to silence his younger brother, "are you insane? This kind of thing doesn't look good given our current situation."

"Our current situation doesn't look good!" Germany shot back.

Prussia took a deep breath to compose himself and continued.

"West… our boss is dead."

"What?"

"He killed himself. I just got the news. Looks like we weren't the only ones feeling the strain of an obviously lost battle."

Germany could only stare at his brother, not exactly surprised but still unsure how to react.

"What do we do now?"

"What can we do?" was Prussia's reply. "When news of this reaches the Allies, they'll double their attacks. I honestly don't think we have too many options."

"We can't surrender," Germany almost pleaded. "After everything we've given up for this war, we can't surrender."

Prussia only shrugged.

"You're still in charge," he said, resigned. "I'll be behind you no matter what you decide to do," he turned to exit the room, but paused with his hand on the door, glancing over his shoulder to speak one final thought to his brother. "But West… one day we are going to have to admit our mistakes."

And the older brother left, leaving the younger to wallow alone in all the wrong he knew he would never be able to undo.

A/N: Not sure if decent or fail…