I feel like I'm… floating…
Italy opened his eyes slowly, heavy sleep still tugging at his eyelids as he struggled to keep them open. He blinked, furrowing his brows lightly at seeing only blue around him, the top surface filtering distorted sunlight through.
I'm… under water?
He lightly pushed his arms upward and kicked his feet downwards, pulling himself to the surface. It wasn't very long before his head broke through to the top, mostly a bright blue void being all he could see. Most likely the sky. He noticed however, he wasn't even holding his breath. It was as if he didn't need to breathe at all…
He disregarded this thought and began to swim forward, knowing he had to get to land soon. Was he out playing in the ocean and he was just carried away? He would have remembered that happening, wouldn't he? But then again, he couldn't remember a lot of things at that moment, just that he and his friends were stuck on that deserted island. He could recall falling asleep next to the fire… then what happened?
The stray hair on his head curled inward slightly as he spotted land some meters away, motivating him to pick up his swimming pace. It didn't take long until his bare feet met with a sandy slope under the water, becoming shallower and shallower until he was even able to stand on his own two feet. He kicked out his feet above the water, trying to shake it off before taking off his partially buttoned black shirt to ring out the water, soon enough doing the same with his boxers.
"Whew! That was close!" Italy exclaimed, almost as a greeting to show that he was back. As he slid his boxers back on, he looked around, seeing that this was the same beach he had been on for months but.. none of his friends were around. Not only that, it didn't even look like they had been there at all. The fire pit, the SOS and even the pile of widdled white flags were gone. Was it possible that they were rescued while he was away?!
"…Germany? Japan?" He called out, going over to where their base camp used to be near the ocean, looking for any sign of movement. But there was nothing there, just untouched sand. Panic slowly began to swell as he started to hyperventilate, afraid that the worst had happened. Maybe... maybe this wasn't the right spot! He was just on a different section of the island that only looked exactly like where their base camp was! Yea! That was it!
He took off running at first to the west, wanting to find his friends as soon as possible. As he went on, he slowed to a walking pace, not feeling so good. Maybe it's because I haven't eaten in so long, he thought to himself. He knew he had to save his strength, so he kept himself in a casual walking speed as he walked down the coast line.
It wasn't clear how long he really had ended up walking, it could have been several hours, it could have been only one, but it was hard to tell with the sun just staying in place. Italy smacked his lips uncomfortably, his throat feeling dry from dehydration. Oh, what he wouldn't give for just the smallest bit of water, or even Germany's beer if it meant quenching his painful thirst.
Just as he thought so, he stopped, hearing something… very odd. Laughter.
Italy practically double-taked as he swore he heard it again. It didn't sound like Germany or Japan, was he hallucinating things from the lack of water? That had to be it… there was no one else here… was there?
Keeping to near the edge of the forest near where the sand cut off, he snuck behind tree to tree to get closer to the laughter. The closer he got to it, the more it actually sounded familiar to him. It almost sounded as if it was from someone he hadn't seen in a long time but, who on earth would be there that he knew?
"Aaah~ You ladies are so good to me~ I sure am the luckiest man alive~ Ahaha!"
..Che cosa? Italy thought, skipping to one more tree before he finally found the culprit of the noise. It was a brunette man sitting in a long chair on the beach, two pretty ladies sitting next to him fanning and feeding him grapes. Though really all he could see was the top of his head. But still he was just so familiar, why couldn't he put his finger on it?
He had no choice, he had to ask and pray that it wasn't some sort of enemy.
"Ah… Ciao?" Italy called out, still hiding partway behind his protective tree just in case something went wrong.
The brunette perked at the sudden voice, the two ladies looking over their shoulder to the Italian and both giving a soft smile as if unnerved by his presence. The man sat up and turned around as well, lowering his shades to see the boy hidden in the shadows. Though once he saw him, he grinned and hopped out of his seat.
"My boy! Ciao, ciao!"
Italy's eyes widened at the reveal, his frightened frown splitting into an excited smile. "G-Grandpa! Grandpa Rome!"
"Aah, come, give grandpa a hug!" Rome exclaimed happily, spreading his arms out for the other. However, when Italy came out from behind it, his smile dropped completely and his eyes went round in horror.
Italy didn't notice the sudden change in his face, more concentrated in running forward and putting his arms around his long lost grandfather. He could actually feel him! This wasn't a dream! "Grandpa! Grandpa! Vee! I missed you so much, grandpa!" He exclaimed, excited Italian babble following after soon turning into gibberish as he nuzzled his head against the man's scarred chest.
Rome faltered for a moment, blinking a few times to get back to his senses before hugging his grandson back tightly. He knew it was too good to be true that his grandson could finally see him just so suddenly. "I missed you too." He said, almost in a solemn tone as he rested his chin on top of the Italian's head.
Italy's excited demeanor began to fade as he was finally registering the saddened shift of mood his grandpa was giving towards him. This wasn't right.. something was wrong… "..Grandpa?" he asked hesitantly, looking up to him. "Is.. everything okay?"
With a small sigh, the older man pulled away, setting his hands on the boy's damp shoulders. "My sweet... sweet grandson… what has happened to you?"
"What… are you talking about?" Italy asked, a tentative smile coming to his face. He felt absolutely fine, he wasn't sure what he was mentioning the fact that they were talking to each other maybe? "Nothing's happened, everything's fine!~"
Italy's eyebrows perked at the request, now wondering if there was something on his shirt. But following the others direction, he looked down. At seeing it, he opened his mouth to scream, but he couldn't will any sound to come out.
From his collar bone to his bellybutton, there was a large incision down his torso along with two horizontal cuts so to show the inside of his body. And inside there was nothing, nothing but his bones, heart and lungs.
The sight of his own disfigured body became blurred as hot tears gathered in Italy's eyes, beginning to shake furiously as terror swept over him.
"Italy? Italy!? Stay with me, boy!"
Italy could feel his grandfather's large warm hands grabbing his forearms to keep him up, knowing that his legs were giving out under him as shock was still ravaging his system. But he just couldn't look away.
But it was then he remembered.
He remembered everything that his best friends did to him.