disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: Emily Deere, Meghan, Thomas.
notes: so my WWII history prof was talking… and I started writing.

title: enemy of my enemy
summary: A conversation over tea. — Germany, Japan.

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"I do not like you."

"You don't need to like me."

"I do not trust you."

"Trust is not easy in a war."

Kiku drew a slow breath and set the cup of tea in his hands on the low table they sat at. It was not kotatsu, but it would have to do. Knees folded beneath him, he eyed the fair-haired, fair-eyed man in from of him with distaste.

No, he did not trust this man, his people, his motivations.

"That does not address my concern," Kiku said. "We are not friends."

"I do not ask friendship."

"You do ask friendship."

The man sipped his tea of out white bone-china, patterned in indigo in the fashion of the ancient Chinese. Kiku stared straight ahead.

"I ask that you do not get in my way," Ludwig said.

"That is the same thing."

Germany's avatar said nothing. He sipped his tea again and swept his hair back from his eyes.

Kiku knew the look in his eyes. Lust was something every being understood—lust for power, land, women. Lust was explicable. Lust was hunger—hunger to consume, hunger to control, hunger, hunger, hunger.

And Germany was so very hungry.

He would swallow the world if he could.

Kiku did not want to be caught up in the tide. "Go now."

"That is your answer, then?"

"Yes."

"Kiku, don't forget," Germany said, very softly. "The enemy of my enemy—"

"Is not my friend," Kiku finished.

He would not allow an ancient proverb to dictate the fate of his culture.

A dark little smile lit Germany's face. "I suppose not. I am expected in Berlin."

He rose to leave. Kiku did not respect him enough to rise with him; he sat, and watched as Germany slipped away. Long after the closing of the door sounded, Kiku sat in silence.

On the table, the tea grew cold.

fin.