His eyes were widened in shock, the pain so intense that his body shut off his pain receptors, rendering him unable to feel anything at all, not even the blood running down his skin. The sword had been run all the way through his chest, sticking out the back. His murderer still had a grip on the sword; not letting go as Rome's eyes lethargically lidded themselves half way as he stared at the blonde.

Rome had known this was coming, known it was only a matter of time before his blonde friend had become fed up with the way Romulus had been treating him. But it still hurt, his heart breaking at the sight of the deep sorrow reflecting in Germania's eyes as he stared at his victim, his lover.

"Alderick, do you remember when we first met, and you hit me in the head with that arrow? Do you remember?" Rome wheezed, blood dripping down his chin as he coughed some up. It was Alderick's turn to widen his eyes. Why would he bring that up now? Wasn't there anything else he wanted to say? Didn't Romulus want to curse him to the depths of hell for betraying him?

Still, he replied, "Yes, I remember. You looked quite stupid with that arrow sticking out of the side of your head. I remember wondering just why the hell it didn't kill you. It briefly crossed my mind that you were so stupid that you didn't have a brain to damage, why else would you have been waving your arms around like a maniac in a stranger's territory, spouting random things about becoming the strongest empire in the world, one who would never fall." Germania tried to conceal his anguish at having hurt his best friend despite how necessary it had been. Rome had brought this on himself. But that didn't mean that Germania had wanted to do this, wanted it to turn out this way. He loved Romulus, he truly did. He tried to make his voice out to be cruel, callous, and uncaring, but he failed, the trembling of his lower lip and the slight shake of his hands and in his voice gave him away. Romulus simply smiled at him.

"Yes, Alderick, I admit that I am stupid, I've always been stupid; and what makes it even worse is that I didn't even realize it until recently. You have always been the most intelligent of us all, Germania. A genius and a warrior… How perfect you are…." The last part was said slightly under Romulus's breath, as if he meant to say it only to himself. Alderick could fight back the tears no longer. How could Romulus say something like that? He had just given the man a death sentence! He was far from perfect!

"Don't cry, Rick, please… Do you remember when we first met Greacia? How she hit me over the head with her cross for hitting on her? You hit me afterwards too. Was that just for being stupid, or were you jealous then?" Germania didn't answer. He pulled the sword from Rome's body, tears falling freely as his best friend fell to his knees before him. Years ago, he had wanted nothing more than this. Now, he wished he had never done it. He wished Rome hadn't let all of the power go to his head. Suddenly, his sorrow was overpowered by anger. This was Rome's fault! He made him do this! If he wasn't such an idiot, they could have gone on like they had forever, they could have been happy together! But no, Romulus just had to go and fuck it all up, just like he always had!

Alderick was still shaking, but now from pure fury. "Damn you, you fucking moron! We had everything! You had everything, and you fucked it up! Why? WHY? Why did you have to go and do all of this? Greacia and Egyptia are dead because of you, and it's only a matter of time before the people riot and I end up dead too, you idiot, you've doomed us all!" Romulus looked the blonde in the eyes, showing that he saw everything the blonde had said as truth. He blamed himself. He never wanted Greacia or Egyptia to get hurt. He hated himself for what happened to them. And God, did he hate himself for putting Alderick through all of this. Rome's eyes glistened as he reached out for the blonde. Germania slapped his hand away with much more force than what was necessary. Rome lost his balance, his knees too shaky, and he fell on his back in the dirt, trying once more to reach towards his lover, tears now beginning to fall, cascading down his cheeks.

"I love you Alderick, I have since we were children. When I first saw you, I remember thinking how beautiful you were, how I would give anything to make you mine, to get you to love me. I wanted nothing more to approach you as you walked through the steppes, hair billowing in the wind. Before I could reach you though, you had heard me walking behind you and fired an arrow at my head before I knew what happened. You asked me who I was, and I stumbled over my words, just trying to figure out what to say to someone as pretty as you. I ended up making a fool of myself in front of you, and you have been calling me an idiot ever since. But no matter what has happened, I have always… loved you Alderick. Do you… love me? Even after all that… I've done, do you… still… love me like… you used to?" At these words, Alderick fell to his knees in front of Rome, sobbing as he leant over the dying man.

"Yes. No matter what you have done, what you almost did, who you killed, I could never stop loving you. I'm sorry…" He leant down further to give Romulus a kiss, one hand caressing the brunettes face.

"Please… Alderick… don't apologize…I'm the one who should…be… sorry…" It had become much more difficult for Rome to speak. He reached out once more, this time for Alderick's face and he held the blonde's cheek in his palm before moving it down to the other's hand, which he gripped as tightly as his now frail muscles could manage. A few moments passed, the two clutching each other's hand for dear life, chocolate orbs never leaving cerulean. Rome could feel it. At most, he probably only had around sixty seconds or so left before he bled out. He had to let Alderick know, one last time, that he loved him more than life itself.

"I love you…Alderick… Thank you…for…loving me…too…" Chocolate eyes were slowly concealed from view as tan lids covered them. Rome's head fell back and he breathed out, never to inhale again. Germania sat there, Rome's body in his arms. He sat there, petting his hair, whispering words of love and apologies over and over again.