Germany couldn't help but stare at the lump of frozen organ in Japan's cupped hands, his mouth closing and opening in shock of not honestly knowing what to say at first. Italy meanwhile loosened up his own bandaging to try to take a peek into his insides.
"I… I-I don't understand… I still have my heart… so why does he have it!?" Italy exclaimed, looking from in-between his incision to Germany a few times until rebinding the bandages. Germany dryly gulped, gripping the piece of fabric in his hands even harder before hesitantly taking a step forward, the motion making Japan bring the heart close to his chest.
"Japan… wh-what are you doing with that? That can't possibly be Italy's I mean, we both agreed to leave it in." His tone grew as he took another step forward, this time Japan just staying still and staring warily at the German, "It was still in his chest when we went to sleep, that can't be his!"
"It is," Japan said bluntly, his gaze slowly falling and landing upon the still heart, very gently caressing it as if it was a fragile treasure. "We did leave it in originally when we went to bed. But sometime after you were asleep I realized something could try to eat Italy's innards since it was exposed. It was a low chance of course seeing that we hadn't seen an animal for weeks, but I still was concerned." He looked up to Germany once more, taking a very subtle step backwards to try to make some distance between them, "So I took it out of him and hid it in my jacket. I would have put it back, if his body was still there in the morning."
Italy perked at this, looking down to his bound chest one more time before tapping Germany's shoulder in a sudden strike of clarity coming to him.
"I died before he took it out… that's why it seems like I still have it… but it hasn't been with me at all."
Germany glanced over to the Italian only for a moment before back to Japan, wanting to step closer, to just charge and grab it from him, but he had to think about this thoroughly. After all it was a very fragile situation.
"But, why didn't you tell me?"
"After how torn up you were about him being gone, I didn't want to burden you with its presence. I decided to keep it for myself." Japan very slowly started to smile looking up to Germany once more, "I need it, after all."
Germany raised a hand as if preparing to grab it, shuffling forward only a little to try to not scare him off.
"Why… why do you need it?"
At the simple word of 'need', Japan's eyelids drooped very lightly to look down at the heart in a cherishing way, very gently squeezing it before just pressing it closer to him, carefully of course.
"His heart… it is so very pure. It is so much cleaner than my twisted blackened heart. Mine is just a lump of decaying tissue with impure sins. I need it, Germany. I need his purity."
Simultaneously, Italy and Germany looked at each other, both with a look of disbelief on their face before just looking back to Japan incredulously. It was pretty obvious at this point Japan was losing his mind.
The three of them were in silence for a moment before Japan's smile grew, his teeth finally being shown as he took one step back, but stumbled into a few more steps back, his back facing the stairs. He chuckled a bit, mostly to himself before it bubbled outwards into a giddy laugh.
"Germany, Italy is never coming home! He is never coming back! He's dead! We killed him! He's never coming home!"
Japan shook his head quickly, going back to petting the organ, only this time at a faster rate.
"This never beat once for me since I had it, if he was alive it would beat for me! He's gone! Gone gone gone gone gone gon—"
"Shut your god damn mouth, Japan!"
Without another word, Japan suddenly spring boarded backwards, seeming to just willing fall down the stairs, but quickly did a flip in mid fall to be able to land on his feet at the bottom. Germany opened his mouth to tell him to wait, but was suddenly interrupted as Italy flew right by him to head down the stairs.
"Forgive me, Japan! It's for your own good!"
Japan didn't get farther than running out a few steps from the stairs before the ghost suddenly ran through him, making the Asian's legs lock up and crumple down to the ground, all traces of his once gentle smile vanishing for the moment. Germany gulped as he saw this, remembering how Italy once told him about that effect on Japan, but also what the effect did to him in general.
Once again, Germany skipped down steps to get down there quicker, going to Japan's side. As he reached out to try to touch his shoulder, he stepped back as Japan jerkily pushed himself to stand again. Even Germany let out a quiet surprised yelp as Japan turned to him, the smile he had earlier having twisted to a very deranged grin.
"Iiiiiii Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed iiiiiitttttt~~"
Japan turned on his heel to try to sprint away, but this time Germany didn't hesitate to grab him, putting one arm around his tiny waist and the other under his arm to cross over his chest so to keep the nation still. This was quite a task however, as the instant Japan was detained he began to thrash around violently in hopes of escape.
"Enough! We are ending this! Give me his heart!"
"NooooOOOO! I NEED IT! HIS HEART IS PURER THAN MINE. MUCH BETTER. MUCH CLEANER. I NEED IT. I NEED IT WITH ME. I NEED ITS LIGHT."
"JAPAN YOU'RE FUCKING INSANE!"
"I NEED HIS PURE HEART. I NEED IT. MINE IS BLACK AND TWISTED. IIIII NEEEED IIIIITTTT!"
"Tch! You can't have a pure heart by keeping it to yourself!" Germany quickly said, trying to lower his tone so that the two of them would stop having a shouting match. His eyes darted around the room, trying to think of the best way to convince Japan to knock this off. "Give it back and your, uh, karma can be restored when it's back in him!"
At this, Japan suddenly froze in his thrashing, being paused in his strange position for a while before making his arms go limp. Germany leaned up at this, hope slowly growing that he might have finally gotten to him.
"… You're right. Just having it beside me won't solve anything, will it?"
"That's right." Germany sighed quietly, smiling lightly as he slowly let Japan go, smiling just a bit more as he seemed to stay still. "Now you understand. Having it on hand won't solve anything."
"That can only mean…" Japan looked at the ground for a moment, keeping both of his hands over the heart at all times. He paused for a moment before his head jerked up, a spark of enlightenment hitting him. "I need it in me."
Germany didn't get the proper time to react before Japan slid by him and darted into the kitchen. The blond nation spun on his heel to see the other all ready vanishing. He cursed under his breath before running out to the kitchen, faltered as he saw Japan pulling out a kitchen knife and pointing it to his chest.
He took no time in running out and grabbing the hand Japan held the knife in, trying his hardest to try to force it out of his hands. Japan lightly growled as he struggled to keep it in his hand, setting the heart aside on the counter quickly to take Germany's other hand to try to force him away. At the motion, Germany looked back down to Japan, his eyes widening in almost horror as that drugged up sick Cheshire grin returned on Japan's lips once again.
"'CAAPPTAAAINNN, DONT YOU WANT YOUR BEST FRIEND BAAACK? I WILL BE YOUR BEST FRIIIENNDDD!?"
"J—JAPAN! YOU CAN'T BE ITALY!"
"YOU NEED MEEEE CAPTAAAIIINN!~~"
The struggle remained at a stalemate for a minute or so, Japan knowing pretty well he was going to lose this battle. He looked between the knife in their blood stained hands and the German towering above him. But suddenly, his eyes widened, another sick idea coming to mind.
"IF I CANNOT POSSESS HIS PURE HEART," Japan suddenly let go of both the knife and the German's hand, ducking out of the way as the lack of force against him made Germany go forward a bit. As he slid away, Japan took back the heart from the counter, holding it closer than before, "THEN I SHALL MAKE IT IMPURE LIKE MINE!~"
Germany staggered for a moment before turning around to actually face him.
Germany froze in place, staring in both disbelief and shock as Japan sunk his teeth into the delicate organ and ripped a piece off, flinching as he heard Italy screech in absolute terror beside him. Did… Did he just… eat Italy's heart?
Japan chewed the piece of heart with a satisfied grin on his face, but his motions soon came to a stop, his smile fading off and even his mouth going ajar, the chewed up piece slipping out of his mouth and falling against the ground along with the bitten heart slipping out of his hands. He blinked once, twice, three times as something just seemed to hit him, not even being aware of his eyes dilating in and out at a fast pace. His knees buckled, almost falling to the ground but just managing staggering for a moment before keeping up right still.
Japan's ears perked at the voice of concern coming from Italy, quivering for a moment before looking up, a soft gentle smile appearing on his face.
"A-ah… Italy… how k-kind of you to come by to see me again…"
At once, Germany's head turned to look at the Italian, whom jumped with a tiny yelp at actually being looked at and acknowledged. So he actually could see him?!
"Y-You can see me?"
Slowly, Japan's stained arms rose up and gripped his own forearms again, giving himself a self contained hug to try to keep himself together. He nodded, sighing very quietly as he just seemed to try to manage his body slowly shutting down on him.
"Yes… I always see you when I am to die. Every time." He chuckled lightly, trying to stand up straight to try to look presentable for the spirit. "How f-fitting, isn't it? When I feel… how you felt that night... that is the only time I can s-see you again…" He grinned only enough to show his teeth, blinking as he felt hot tears accumulate in his eyes, letting them freely escape down his cheeks. "You are truly… truly a better friend than I… Italy…"
"J-Japan…" Italy bit his lip, taking a few steps forward and reaching out a hand in wanting so desperately to console his friend. "Don't… Don't talk like that! W-We're still friends! Always! F-friends forever right?"
At that moment, Japan just seemed to beam warmly, almost looking like his old self again.
"H-Hai…" he murmured for a moment giving a very slow nod, he sharply inhaled quietly as if holding back a sob before he closed his eyes. "G-Gomenosai… Italia…"
With that, Japan collapsed on the ground, his chest no longer moving up or down as he just seemed dead to the world, literally.
Germany ran over to the nation and skidded onto his knees, turning his head lightly and lifting up on of his eyelids to see his eyes. "Shit, I think he finally overdosed. We need to get him the hell out of here!" Germany quickly scooped the smaller nation in his arms bridal style before running out, using his foot to open the door.
Italy stood there, left in his same stance he was last addressed to by Japan. His arm lowered to his side again along with his gaze lowering to the floor. He wanted to cry, he wanted to just sit there and feel bad about himself, about how useless he was. He clenched his fists however and looked back forward, sprinting forward to try to catch up with Germany.
He saw it. He saw Japan smile in death.
If both of them can be strong, so can he.