Disclaimer: So yeah, I still don't Hetalia. But I guess I can say that wintercandyapple owns this plot and her OC! Cool. :P
Note: Well, this is it! The very last update of Double Vision: To the Darker Side of Me. Thanks again for all the support! Thanks for reviewing, favoriting, alerting and even just reading this far! Since I uploaded this along with the last chap, feel free to review both, or just one if you'd like. But anyways, enjoy this last little piece of writing! It has been my pleasure writing for all of you, you've all been a great audience! This had been wintercandyapple, your humble writer. Over and out!
Chapter 14: Epilogue
Maria was in high spirits as she walked into the German conference room. Most of the other nations were already seated, but there was an open chair next to Kiku, and she beamed as she met his eyes, knowing he had saved it especially for her. As she made her way to her seat, Alfred entered the room, being the last to show up, which was saying a lot since all the nations had been invited and most accepted the invitation. Across the table from Maria sat Toris (Lithuania), who looked flustered as he tried to calm down Feliks (Poland), who was showing off his new pink blazer. Unsure whether to laugh or cry, Maria just exhaled, trying to hold the memories back. A few seats over, Erika (Liechtenstein) spoke quietly with Vash (Switzerland), who appeared aloof as usual, but Maria knew better. When she realized that it was Elizaveta (Hungary) who sat on her right, Maria could not stop herself from giving her a surprise hug.
"Oh!" Elizaveta said, "Didn't see that coming. Thanks, Maria, but what's the hug for?"
"Oh nothing really," Maria replied, "I just needed one." The Hungarian's expression softened and she hugged back.
"Well you came to the right nation!"
"Okay, time to begin vith the meeting!" demanded Ludwig, silencing all other side conversations. He began listing global problems, and calling on anyone who raised their hand to give a meaningful suggestion, trying to find any reasonable solutions. While the overall atmosphere of the meeting was lighthearted, Maria noticed how cooperative everyone was being. She was amazed how sane Alfred stayed, or attempted to stay, and Arthur did not argue with Francis once. When someone came up with a stupid answer, Ludwig just waved them off, but did not demean them. Even Feliciano managed to keep his topic away from pasta. It was because they were all sick of arguing and fighting, Maria realized. Even though nothing was really accomplished by the conference, the fact that it did not dissolve after fifteen minutes was a feat in itself. Then Alfred took a turn holding everyone's attention.
"Okay dudes, I just want to reestablish some basic human rights with this little document here," he began, showing the nations the packet of papers he held. On the very last page, there was a place for all the nations to sign. "So if everyone would just sign, agreeing to these accords…" The document was passed around, and soon the last page was almost filled with signatures. By the time Maria put down her own name, her heart swelled with pride for her friends. She was so glad that this Earth was her home.
When Yao finished signing his name, he handed Alfred back the accords, saying, "You have it in there that rack torture is forbidden, right?"
"Da, it's there, I checked," Ivan answered for Alfred.
"And I double checked," Kiku confirmed.
"Then I guess that means I tripled checked," Maria giggled. The look of relief on Yao's face was priceless. Then she couldn't help herself. Suddenly she burst out laughing, for the sake of just laughing. She let all the tension leave her body and all the worries leave her mind. Startled, Kiku fell out of his seat at her random laughing fit. That was it. Alfred could not control his own guffaws and Gilbert cracked up. Yao, Feliciano, Matthew and Antonio also began to laugh as well, while Francis gave his trademark "honhonhon" as Ivan and Arthur chuckled. Even Ludwig and Lovino cracked a smile when Kiku sat up, embarrassed, but still wearing a small smile at his own blunder. All of the other nations stared at them, confused at Maria's initial uncontrollable giggles.
"O-okay guys," Alfred said, still catching his breath from laughing so hard, "Now that the official business is over, I'd like to announce that I'm holding a party at my place this Friday! And all of you are invited!" Almost everyone's faces lit up in delighted smiles. They all knew that the American knew how to throw a good party, and it was rare that ALL of them were invited at once.
"What's the occasion?" asked Roderich (Austria), who was still puzzled.
"Hmm…" replied Alfred, not sure what to say, since they had not told anyone else about their recent adventure, "It's for my first place in the International Science Competition!"
"Like I said earlier, you wanker, you can't award yourself first place!" Arthur said angrily.
"Suck it, dude! You're just jelly," Alfred stuck his tongue out. To her surprise, Maria had never been happier that they were back to normal and bickering again. Better than waging a war any day.
Maria had to admit, Alfred sure knew how to have a good time. The party was held at an enormous mansion, with the entire ballroom decked out with strobe lights and an awesome DJ. The music playlist was a bit odd, but that's because the nations had put in requests for their own type of music, so the songs seemed to be a random mix of genres from different cultures. But nobody really cared. They just danced to the beat and enjoyed the party like they should. Francis was busy wooing all the ladies and rubbing it in Arthur's face, while Ivan was busy avoiding Natalia (Belarus), who persistently demanded to have a dance with him. Erika was trying to pull Vash onto the dance floor while he shot daggers with his eyes at anyone who tried to hit on his sister. Feliciano enjoyed the food while Ludwig sipped his beer. Gilbert was trying to show Alfred up with his awesome dance moves. Maria was having a wonderful time herself. But after spending a few songs with her Asian neighbors, she needed some fresh air.
Sipping a glass of punch, she made her way to the wide balcony with a white marble railing. The sun was about the set, leaving a beautiful orangy-pink tinge in the sky. She stayed like that for a moment, staring off into the sunset and leaning on the rail, until someone came up next to her. Kiku did not say a word, just leaned on the rail with her and smiled. Maria tried to force herself not to stare, but in his sleek suit and with his hair fixed so nicely, it was hard not to. What was harder was forcing herself not to blush. Then she thought back to when he had saved her on that beach. As she recalled that memory, more memories surfaced to her mind, and she grew sad.
"Sometimes, I just want to say that everything that happened on that Earth was a dream, but the images are too vivid, too real for it to be just a dream," Maria murmured softly.
"I've been thinking about it too," Kiku said, "But we're home now. We did it."
"I know, and I happy, don't get me wrong," she tried to explain, "But I can't seem to forget everything that happened."
"Do you want to forget?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Of course I want to forget!" When she realized she had shouted, she looked away, a little ashamed that she had gotten hysterical in front of him. With her voice lowered, she continued, looking down at her hands, "I-I killed someone...I shouldn't have done it. I didn't want to kill him. But there was nothing else I could do. Now I'm just as bad as him. Now I'm a monster."
"No!" Kiku looked her in the eyes to show how serious he was, "Don't say that. You're not a monster. You had to do it. It was justified."
"You don't understand," Maria shook her head.
"Yes, I do. Don't forget that I killed someone too. But I don't regret it. If I hadn't killed him, he would have killed one of our friends. Then I would have never forgiven myself for letting that happen. And I don't want to forget what happened in that world," he said gently, "I don't want to forget who it was that saved my life." At this, Maria glanced up, shocked. But this time it was Kiku who broke eye contact nervously. "Look, Maria. I have to tell you something. When they brought you back from the Greek city, there was so much blood. I-I thought you weren't going to make it. I thought I'd lost you. That's when I...I realized...how much I..." His voice grew shaky, and Maria could not believe this was happening to her. But he struggled to explain what he was trying to say. "If you don't feel the same way, I understand," he tried again, "but I just need you to know-"
His sentence was cut off when Maria wrapped his tie around her hand and pulled him into a passionate kiss. Her whole body tingled at the overwhelming sensation as he kissed back, caressing her cheek. It was what she had been waiting for all this time, and it was well worth the wait. The only reason she pulled back when she did was because she could no longer breathe. When she opened her eyes, he did as well, giving her that perfect smile of his with red cheeks.
"Very nice!" Both Kiku and Maria turned around at the Frenchman's voice. They were all standing there, every nation who had gone through the portal with her, with ridiculous grins on their faces.
"Finally! They're so adorable!" gushed Feliciano, causing Maria to blush like crazy.
"Is there no privacy?" she exclaimed.
"Good job, dude," Alfred said as he patted Kiku on the back.
"Yeah, get some, Kiku!" Gilbert cheered, whooping with laughter.
"You're all immature..." Kiku replied, sighing.
"I'll say," Maria muttered as Yao and Matthew chuckled. That's when she heard the DJ play a slow song. Finally, an excuse to get away from the balcony. She grabbed Kiku by the wrist and led him to the dance floor. "This is one of my favorite songs!" she giggled as she pushed past her nosy friends.
As he put his hands on her waist, she draped hers on his shoulders and rested her head on his chest, moving to the music tenderly. When she lifted her head in the middle of the song, she leaned into his ear, whispering, "I won't forget, promise."
"I promise I won't either," he whispered back, then met her eyes once again before pulling her into another sweet kiss. When he kissed her, everything else faded away. It was just the two of them. And she loved it that way.
Maria knew that peaceful times like these didn't last forever. Maybe tomorrow, another war would spring up. Maybe tomorrow, they would be fighting for their lives again. But that didn't matter. All that mattered was right here and right now, this moment. Because these were the moments worth fighting for.
War doesn't determine who's right- only who's left.