Summary:

Italy keeps having dreams where his childhood friend, the Holy Roman Empire, visits him, claiming that he and all the other Nations are in danger, and that Italy's the only one who can save them. Italy isn't sure he can believe the dreams at first, but then Nations start disappearing. [Human and Country names used]

Multiple pairings, including GerIta, PruCan, USUK, FranLux, RoChu, Giripan, SwissAus, LietPol, SuFin, and DeNor, maybe some others.

It had been years since Feliciano Vargas had had that dream.

He stirred gently for the state of unconsciousness he had only just assumed, a bright light shining through his eyelids. Something soft tickled his cheek, a warm, gentle breeze brushing downy auburn hair across his forehead. The air smelled nice, clean, almost... floral. There were no birds chirping, nor the sounds of any people or animals near by. The only thing he heard was the rustling of wind stirring leaves up in high branches, and blades of grass brushing gently against one another.

It was so peaceful.

Eyelids slid black, revealing to the world a pair of warm, honey-colored eyes, framed by long, reddish-brown lashes. For a moment he just lay there, staring up at a brilliant azure sky, its surface smudged here and there with pleasant, tiny clouds. He couldn't see the sun, but everything was still bright and serene. It was truly a beautiful sight to take in.

Feliciano pressed his palms into the soft viridian grass, the muscles in his thin arms tightening as he pushed himself to his feet and took a look around. Ah, yes! He knew this place, though he hadn't been here for many years. He recognized the flawless ringlet of trees encircling the clearing; the small, budding flowers in beautiful, pale pastels. He remembered the smell of the air and the brightness of the sky. This place had been his home away from home, where he had been able to catch fleeting moments away from his harsh life as a servant in that often unfriendly, pasta-less house. It was here he had once whiled away the days with Holy Rome, teaching him how to draw rabbits and flowers.

The thought of his friend brought a pang of sadness to the young Italian's heart, awakening a dull, throbbing sadness that had never really gone away. How many years, centuries had it been since he had last seen Holy Roman Empire? His mind took him back, through many, many years of memories, to that day outside of Mr. Austria's house. The fleeting kiss, the promise that one day Holy Rome would return, and the two would see each other again. That 'one day' had never come, and after so many years Feliciano had forced himself to come to the realization that Holy Roman Empire was gone, that he had fallen along with his nation.

At least, Feliciano was sure, it must have been a noble death.

"Italy,"

He closed his eyes, a sad smile touching the corners of his mouth. Sometimes, when he came to this place in his dreams, he could hear the voice of Holy Rome softly calling out his name, though that was all there had ever been. Just that voice. Even in his dreams, Feliciano was destined to never be reacquainted with his friend. His friend and... possibly his first love.

"Italy," it came again. Feliciano felt his heart give a squeeze, something hot and wet sliding between the gaps in his eyelids, clinging to russet lashes.

"Holy Rome," he whispered, clenching his hands into tight fists, his lips trembling as he held back whatever had decided to lodge itself in his throat, trying to get the right words out. "I... I really miss you. I still want you to come back like you promised, so that we can eat pasta together and I can teach you how to drawl." some of the warmth collecting in his eyes managed to slip past the tightly clenched lids, and soon slow, silent tears had begun to race down his cheeks. They slipped into the crevasses on either side of his nostrils, into the corners of his fluttering lips. Some made it farther, tracing the outlines of his jaw and tickling as they fell down his slender neck and soaked into the fabric of the black button-down beneath his cobalt jacket. "I want you to bring me food like you used to, and even though it sucks, I promise I'll eat it, b-because it'll be from you." his breath hitched in his throat, and he started to sob quietly. Nations distanced themselves from humans and were very careful not to get attached because- compared to them -humans lived very short lives. Therefore, the permanent loss of a friend was something foreign and hard for a Nation to comprehend. Feliciano doubted that thinking about his friend would ever be easy.

"Italy," the voice was close. Always before, it had been a whisper from the distance, carried to him on the gentle breeze, so quiet he could have even imagined it. Not this time, however. This time his name was spoken so clearly, Feliciano could have sworn that it came from directly behind him. In fact...

His heel dug into the soft grass, slowly pivoting his body around to face the other direction. He waited a moment before opening his eyes, praying for all his worth that when he did so, his friend would be standing there. Eyelids drew back slowly, immediately assaulted by a burst of bright, heavenly yellow light that momentarily turned the whole world to one blur of a thousand different shades. He blinked rapidly several times, his golden eyes narrowing to focus of the smear of black standing only inches in front of him.

"H-H..." sound was pulled from the little Italian's mouth. "Holy... Holy Rome." once again tears welled up in Feliciano's eyes, threatening to spill down his bronzed cheeks. He held out his arms and propelled himself forward, pressing his face into the chest of a grown-up personification of the fallen Empire.

"Italy," he said a forth time, though this time his voice was filled with emotion as he wrapped his arms around the smaller boy, moisture gathering in his own startling electric-blue eyes. A small, stray piece of blonde hair fell out from behind the rim of his tall black hat, coming rest at the center of his forehead. "Italy, I've missed you."

Feliciano tilted his head up slowly so that their eyes could meet, staring into into the face of his former friend. Even though he hadn't seen Holy Roman Empire grown up like this, something about the sturdiness of his jaw, the furrow of his brow and the intensity of his eyes seemed really familiar. Oh well, it could have just been the fact that he had once known this face as well as his favorite pasta recipe. "Holy Rome," he managed to say again, brushing the piece of yellow hair back into place. "You never came back..."

"I know, Italy." his expression was remorseful and even a little anxious. "But we... can't talk about that now." he reached up and cupped the smaller boy's face in his hands, momentarily biting his lip before he spoke again. "Italy, you're in danger. Not just you. Your friends, the other Nations. The world. Italy, you're all in danger and you're the only one who can help me stop it."

"Ve!" Feliciano squeaked, his eyes wide with confusion and fear. Why did his friend have to say such scary things when they had only just been reunited? He didn't want to think of sad things! He wanted to sit down and draw and talk just like they used to! "No, Holy Rome! Please don't say such sad things!"

"But its true, Italy!" the ex-nation said firmly, sounding a little exasperated. "Please, Italy, do this for me! I know I haven't always been kind for you, and that it wasn't fair of me to have you wait all these years, but I have people I want to protect too! I have friends, a brother, people who are still alive and could get very hurt if you don't help me save them!"

"A... fratello?" Feliciano's eyes widened. "Who!"

"You mean he never told you?" Holy Rome asked, then sighed and shook his head. "I suppose it would be hard for him to bring up. Prussia never handled these kinds of things well. He would act like he doesn't care, but he really just internalizes things and lets them tear him up."

The Italian's eyes stretched even wider. "Prussia!" he repeated incredulously. "Prussia is your fratello!"

The taller man nodded solemnly.

"So that means Germany is your fratello too!" Feliciano exclaimed with excited realization. "Ve~ That's so magnifico! I really love Germany!"

Holy Roman Empire only stared at him for a long moment, then looked away. "Italy, you keep changing the subject." he pointed out with a sigh. "I really need you to help me."

"But Holy Rome," Feliciano said quietly, looking down. "All I am good for is making pasta and waving my white flag."

The other boy smiled slowly. "Maybe that's all you need to do." he leaned down and kissed the Italian's forehead. "You're strong, Italy, and a loyal friend. I know you can do this, but it doesn't have to be alone. You will always have your friends to back you up, and me." his silhouette began to shimmer with a gold reminiscent of the sun, fading him around the edges, as though he were disappearing into thin air. "I don't have long, Italy." he said, suddenly urgent as the gold shimmers crept across his skin. "Promise me that you'll protect everyone!"

"From what, Holy Rome!" Feliciano asked frantically, reached out to take his hand, trying to get him to stay, but his fingers only slipped through the other boy's as though they were made of air, the molten shimmers slowly eating away at the image before him. Another tear spilled down his cheek. "Holy Rome, I'm scared. What can I possibly protect my friends from?"

The ex-nation was almost completely engulfed now, only a small portion of his face remaining. "From themselves, Italy." was all the Holy Roman Empire could manage to say before he was completely swallowed up into thin air, a few stray tawny flecks of light disappearing into the heavens, leaving no sign behind that Holy Rome had ever even been there in the first place.

Feliciano watch them go, warm droplets of water falling freely down his face until the dream eventually faded into black.