This is only in italics 'cause it's the prologue. If it actually bothers you, let me know, and I'll change it to normal text.

I don't know if the other chapters of this story will be so short; they may or may not, depending on how much I like the flow from scene-to-scene. I'm not exactly known for short chapters...

What I do own: I will hopefully soon own a letter of acceptance to study abroad in Japan for a full year :)

Enjoy! If all the chapters are this short, it'll have to be in moderation!

They stood at an oasis in a war-torn sea. An oasis of pain, both physical and emotional, but this was, at least, the place where it was supposed to get better. Comrades comforted each other in the wake of the loss of their friends, and nurses ran busily about, bandaging lost limbs, cutting off forsaken ones, and tending to even the most minor of wounds.

Things were supposed to get better here, but morale was abysmal. The Italians, while not their best ally, had been just that: Their allies. Allies were supposed to have your back until the end.

That being the case, there were two for whom this place was especially terrible.

Hidden away, far from the bustle of the camp, Germany had just said something to a certain incognito Italian. Something he'd regret for years to come.

His regret began the second the sentence came out of his mouth. He hadn't meant for it to sound so harsh. All the man had come to ask of him was forgiveness, to know if they could still be friends when the was was over.

Without the circumstances, it could have easily been a joke. But this was not the time for humor.

"Just... leave me alone for a while, okay? If you're not going to fight alongside me... Well, I do guess I deserve some sort of a break from you-"

Once his mouth closed again, he realized Italy had taken it in the worst way possible.

Italy's response should have been something along the lines of begging Germany not to stop being his friend, and he opened his mouth with that sort of intent, but instead of pleading, a loathsome heap of emotion came up his throat and spoke its mind.

"Well, if that's how you feel... maybe it is best for me to see if I can find true friends in the Allies..." The delivery was flat, emotionless. The raw truth left no room for sugarcoating.

But when the truth is built off of a misunderstanding...

As Italy turned and began walking away, his reply set something alight inside of the German. He'd misspoken, but Italy... Was he really ready to throw away their friendship at the drop- no, fumble of a hat? He wasn't even going to ask Germany if he really meant what he said? When did Italy become so fickle?

"Are you serious...?"

He stopped, and, keeping his feet in place, swiveled back around just enough for him to be able to make eye contact with Germany. His eyes were steady, and his gaze slightly darker.

"What, did you expect me to cry and beg you to take me back?" he challenged. He didn't need to ask. Of course Germany expected that. The jerk thought he knew everything about him.

Germany wanted to stop himself, but he couldn't. Italy was saying thing in a way that invited responses, and that manner of speaking teased the growing flames of anger inside. Any twinges of regret that arose from his retorts were quickly burned away.

"Well," Germany upper lip curled into a scowl, "It's all you're good for most of the time."

Italy's jaw clenched. This was playing out as if scripted by all of those nightmares, all of those demons whispering "truths" in the shadows of his mind. Just thinking about how Germany might really think about him was always enough to bring him to tears, but now that it was actually happening, the whole thing seemed surprisingly simple: If Germany thought so badly of him, he wasn't a real friend. And if he wasn't a real friend, Italy didn't need him.

He turned back around, and continued on.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"I'm going to the English barracks."

"You think you can just march out of here like that!?"

"I have my own legs and my own brain, don't I? What's stopping me?"

Italy heard footsteps behind him, but didn't think to react until a hand roughly grabbed his right wrist

"Like hell I'd just let you go like that!"

Italy smirked, and thought to himself, 'You didn't seem to have a difficult time a few second ago.' But he knew that that wasn't what Germany meant. He knew it instantly. And also instant, was his response.

He swiveled. He caught the German off-guard. He caught himself off guard. He swung his arm, realizing moments later that he was swinging his balled fist with it, but doing nothing to stop it. It connected hard with Germany, square on his right eye. The surprise and rapid influx of pain was enough to shock Germany into releasing his hold on Italy's wrist.

"If you ever touch me, or talk to me again, you're going to regret it much more than you'll regret that black eye." And he kept marching, not looking back again as he disappeared into the tree line.