"Man what a strike of luck." The young Danish man in his twenties thought through the hazy cloud surrounding his brain. He felt funny. Not that it was something strange, anyone would do having been crushed by a falling branch. Thus ends walking through the alley full of old trees trying to think of something to talk about with your love, something that will not piss him off more.

Yes, Matthias may love Lukas all he wants, that doesn't mean Lukas loves him back at all though.

They so happened to be walking home from a party that Tino, Berwald, Emil and Matthias had thrown for Lukas for it was his birthday today. Lukas did not want him to "guard" him to his house but the Dane was persistent.

Lukas was irritated. Matthias could feel that radiating from his companion despite his blank face. He tried talking about random things but that only made it worse. And just as Matthias halted his talking to think of an appropriate topic, maybe he'd even confess- "no, that would be stupid. Idiotic Dane, Lukas hates you." Right then they heard a loud crack above them.

Matthias whipped his head up and what he saw frosted the blood in his veins. Huge, ugly branch had been thorn from the trunk by the crazy wind and was now falling right at them.

The only thing he could see in his mind was his Lukas being hit by it.

That awoke him from his stupor, the horrible image scaring him more than anything ever had before. Matthias pushed not expecting this Lukas with all his strength as far forward as he could.

He only saw the angry Norwegian turn around, presumably to yell at him, when the branch reached the ground - reached him.

It smashed him to the ground and he could feel something snapping inside his chest. He laid on his back under the huge, heavy piece of wood and thought "Man, what a strike of luck. I managed." The image of Lukas being killed by the branch will not come true, that was good.

Just then the pain came. It was excruciating. He wanted to howl but that would take too much breath he now realized he was lacking. He couldn't breath!

Suddenly he heard someone screaming. He pried his eyes open (when did he close them?) and the Norwegian's panicked face entered his vision.

'Matthias! Matthias! A-are you okay?! Are you hurt?! Matthias do you hear me?! Answer me! MATTHIAS!' He felt tears gather in his eyes. Lukas was so scared. He shouldn't be! He should be happy! And if not that, then at the very least content with his life. It was his birthday today!

But Matthias could only stare into those huge, dark-blue, almost violet eyes he was so hopelessly in love with. He had something blocking his throat. He coughed.

'Matthias!' Lukas screamed horrified. 'Y-you are- t-this is b-blood! Oh my God Matthias!'

So he coughed up blood? No good. That would mean... the thing that snapped in his chest was a rib and it punctured his lung. Ah why was thinking so hard right now!

A nasty wound to repair, a punctured lung. Deadly, if not taken care of quickly.

And as he was crushed by a huge branch, late in the night in a quiet alley all alone with Lukas only, he assumed it wouldn't be tended to in a long time.

So... he was going to die?

His blue eyes widened in fear. He didn't want to die! Not yet! He hadn't told Lukas yet!

Well, seems like there won't be any romantic flowers or restaurants.

Lukas was shakily stuttering something to the phone at his ear. His other hand somehow ended up on Matthias' pale cheek.

Matthias coughed again and felt warm liquid trickle down his chin.

Lukas started to cry.

He finally finished his call and snapped his phone shut. He stared fearfully at the Dane as he attempted to talk but choked on the blood in his esophagus.

He coughed again, more violently, which made his whole body hurt worse.

'L-lukas,' he got out shakily.

'Matthias, d-don't s-strain yours-self. I-it's okay, i-it'll be o-okay!' Lukas cried anxiously.

'No, L-lukas. Let me... I... d-didn't im-imagine... it t-to look l-like t-this...' He was choking, crying and couldn't breath but he was determined. This may be his last chance to confess to Lukas!

'... b-but I... l-l-love you... L-lukas.' He stuttered finally. Lukas gasped and more tears slid down his face. 'M-matthias... I-'

'I k-know... Lukas... I'm s-sorry...' he was apologizing for everything now. For being obnoxious, for drinking, for bothering Lukas.

For walking him home today.

For loving him.

Now there was too much blood blocking his throat and mouth and windpipe to breath and talk at all. His damaged chest shook with the intensity of his chokes and coughs. Lukas tried to help but couldn't do much besides telling him to stay strong, help is on it's way! STAY WITH HIM BECAUSE HE LOVES HIM TOO!

Matthias cried when he heard this. Or maybe it was his imagination? Lack of oxygen made it hard to focus. He just wanted the pain to end. For his body to stop hurting already!

He fought to take a breath. At least one tiny breath!

/txtbreak/

Lukas was panicking.

How did it happen that his walk home from a great birthday party ignoring the charming Dane beside him suddenly changed to a fight for Matthias' life! Why Matthias was lying, crushed by a huge fallen branch, and, more importantly, why did he not run away but pushed Lukas destroying his own chances for escape!

Why instead of the dazzling smile there was pain along with blood all over the Danish man's face?

Lukas was horrified, like he never had been before in his life. He caressed Matthias' pale face with one hand, the other fishing his phone from the pocket of his jeans, shakily dialing the number for help. Three times before he got it right. He stuttered where they are and what happened crying openly when he saw Matthias choking on the blood flowing from his mouth.

They said help is on it's way and not to worry but keep Matthias awake and everything will be okay. Firefighters to remove the branch and an ambulance are already near them.

Matthias was keeping himself awake. He was attempting to speak. It broke Lukas' heart so he begged him to stop but Matthias was stubborn as always. He finally managed to choke out the three most important words Lukas always wanted to hear from him.

"I love you."

Lukas sobbed. Matthias was barely whispering through the blood, he couldn't breath!

He hurried to assure Matthias that everything will be okay.

He loves him too.

But Matthias was suffocating, there was too much blood for him to breath and he struggled but was clearly failing. Lukas didn't know what to do, he couldn't just seat and do nothing besides screaming at Matthias to fight, for him. He wanted to ease that pain, to clear his throat and mouth of blood and heal his chest, to move that damned branch out of Matthias' body but he couldn't, he couldn't touch Matthias in fear he'll hurt him more, the branch was too big and much too heavy for him.

Suddenly he realized how pathetically weak he was. How utterly useless when it came to things really important. He didn't even look up hearing the crack of wood, it would've killed him if it wasn't for the Dane beside him.

And now that Dane was dying instead of him.

He could only stroke Matthias' hair and cheeks and brokenly whisper reassurances he didn't believe in himself, waiting for help to come.

And time ticked, and with every second Matthias was closer to giving up.

With every second Matthias was closer to death.

Finally he could hear the sirens and tires' screeching and soon two trucks stopped nearby. First the firefighters quickly got the tree off of the damaged body. Lukas wasn't sure how that happened, the only thing he could really see was Matthias in his horrible state.

As soon as the branch was taken off the medics rushed to get Matthias to the hospital. Lukas followed them into the ambulance and no one said anything to stop him. They were feverishly trying to keep Matthias alive.

It wasn't working.

By the time they got to the hospital Matthias' heart was barely beating; it was stuttering a lot and Lukas' own heart stopped each time there was a longer break.

The medic asked him several questions and he tried to answer each question as best as he could. He was shaking and stuttering but he got everything out and gave his best to help. The least he could do.

They admitted Matthias and immediately took him in for the operation. Lukas had to stay in the waiting room. Soon a nurse came to ask him if he was okay. Besides being shaken he was physically okay so she only gave him a cup of hot chockolate and a blanket and left him alone after reassuring again that he was okay.

Finally he recovered a little from his panic to the point he could think clearly. He felt sick from worry about Matthias but the operation was on and he couldn't do anything.

The only thing would be phoning Tino and Emil. He debatated if it'd be okay to phone them but he decided he needs their presence so he quickly grabbed his phone again and dialed Emil's number first.

'Hello?' His brother's voice came. He could hear the other two talking in the background. 'Lukas? What's up?' Lukas swallowed thickly and took a deep breath.

'Emil... I need you to come to the hospital. Bring Tino and Berwald. I'll tell you here. Please.' He got out shakily.

'Okay, give us twenty minutes.' Emil said hearing something serious happened and hung up.

Twenty minutes later the three of them found Lukas curled up on the bed, hugging his knees to himself, and rocking back and fourth, his eyes damp and showing his anxious restlesness.

'Lukas!' Tino exclaimed making the Norwegian focus on them. 'Oh my God Lukas what happened?!'

Lukas sniffed and closed his eyes.

'It was a b-branch... a branch was thorn from a tree in that alley we were walking through and he... he...' Lukas choked feeling tears slid down his face. Emil came up to him.

'It's okay, brother.' he rubbed small circles on his back reassuringly.

'He pushed me out of the way. A-and it fell onto him. H-he was... ch-choking and b-blood and I c-couldn't do anything!' He cried pathetically.

Three exclaims of shock and horror reached his ears but he didn't pay any mind. He was too scared and busy praying to every god that ever existed or not to save Matthias.

The operation lasted for six hours an those were the longest hours in Lukas' life. He sat in that room with Emil, Tino and Berwald and the only thing he could do was revive that scene in the alleyway beating himself up for not being any help. If only he payed more attention! Then Matthias wouldn't be like this!

His friends tried to reassure him, from what he told them they got the picture, but thy were scared as well, nobody knew if the Dane would survive the operation and how bad exactly his injuries were.

When six hours later a tired doctor came into the room they all shot up expectantly.

/txtbreak/ happy ending

'Are any of you Matthias Køhler's family?' the first question came. Tino huffed angrily anxious to hear about Matthias, not that crap!

'We're all his family. The only family he has here. How is he?!' He almost jumped at the doctor, luckily Berwald held him back.

'Okay. The operation succeeded though barely. The question is if he survives this night. If yes, then he'll make full recovery. His ribcage was smashed by the tree, almost every rib had been broken, three of them punctured his lungs. We managed to fix that and he'll b able to breath on his own - if he accepts help tonight. There were also cuts on his arms but those were not dangerous and will heal quickly. He's asleep now and won't wake until the medication wears off. Do you want to see him?'

'YES!' Tino burst. The doctor winced and Berwald mutely apologized for his fiancé.

'Come with me then.'

Matthias was on the ICU connected to bloodbags and IV and so many wires and machines... He looked very pale and... fragile. Lukas wanted to touch him, kiss him better, but at the same time he was afraid he'll damage him more with the mere ghost of a touch so he stayed away until Emil dragged him into the chair besides the bed and sank into another one, sniffling.

They stayed loyally beside Matthias' bed silently praying for him to get better, anxious because he was unstable and could get worse any moment.

Finally, after several long hours in which three times Matthias was was slipping away, somehow to be brought back from the verge of death by the staff, and another doctor came again to check on Matthias. He analyzed the machines and the sleeping man closely and straightened with a sigh of relief.

'It seems he will be alright from now on.' He announced to the three man around the bed.

Tino cheered, Berwald nodded and blinked to get rid of the dampness of his eyes, Emil silently thanked gods and Lukas...

Lukas passed out.

/txtbreak/

It was another two days for Matthias to wake up. Tino, Berwald and Emil visited everyday. Lukas took a break from work and stayed in the hospital as long as he was allowed to and left only when made.

He wanted to talk to Matthias, to apologize and thank him, right away when Matthias wanted to hear him.

He was dozing off holding the cold hand wrapped in bandages when suddenly that hand twitched. He shot up earning himself a whine - Matthias enjoyed the warmth of his body. Lukas' eyes widened.

'Matthias? Are you awake?' He asked almost fearfully.

The Danish man just hummed and slowly opened his blue eyes, squinting them in the sunlight. Lukas stood up and quickly closed the blinds dimming the light.

'Thanks.' Matthias said, his voice screechy from not being used.

'Anytime.' Lukas whispered inaudibly.

'Norge? Is that you?' the Dane exclaimed surprised.

'Yes, moron, who else did you expect?' Lukas shot back annoyed at the pet-name.

'Ugh, sorry, Lukas, I forgot how you hate that name...' an awkward silence followed those words.

'So... you okay?' Matthias attempted starting a conversation. He was incredibly happy to be alive and to have Lukas beside him when waking up.

'Yes... I am fine. How are you? Are you in pain?' Lukas asked, his voice soft.

'No...' Matthias replied slowly. Okay, this was strange. Lukas was being really nice. Something was wrong.

'Oh, good. You... were not really in the best of conditions so we were kind of scared for you. I mean for a full 24 hours you were about to pass away and... you made Tino and Berwald worry. Emil was worried too, you know.'

'And you, N-Lukas? Were you worried?' Matthias whispered quietly looking intently at his companion.

'Of course I was. I still am, idiot.' Lukas answered truthfully. 'After all, I don't lie.'

'What?' Matthias asked surprised, apparently he hadn't heard Lukas confessing, or maybe forgot it having more important matters on him mind at the moment, such as surviving?

Before Lukas could explain the door opened revealing Matthias' doctor.

'Oh you're awake! That's good! I'm dr. Morrison and you're, obviously, under my care. Now, lets check on your wounds, shall we?' The doctor said with a small smile and a nod to Lukas.

'Um, yeah, hi.' Matthias said, a little surprised, letting the doctor examine his chest. 'So... what exactly... was wrong with me?' He asked seeing quite a nasty pattern of bruises and stitches above his ribs under a shitload of bandages.

'Oh. Well, your ribcage was smashed and we had to fix your lungs before restoring it and stitching you back; you were also bleeding profusely and we had to give you a transfusion.' the doctor explained.

Matthias didn't really know what to say to that so he stayed silent.

Lukas stared at the bare chest that, once beautifully toned and muscled, now was adorned with multiple stitches. Matthias will have scars.

'Okay, it looks nice, you'll make a full recovery in no time! If you need anything just call the nurse but I'm sure this young man here could help you as well, he's been here the whole time. I bet he could even change your bandages all by himself, right, Mr. Lukas?' dr. Morrison laughed and bid them farewell.

Lukas' cheeks were dusted pink and he locked his eyes on the boring white wall, avoiding the questioning gaze he received from Matthias.

'Lukas?' Nothing. 'Lukas is that true?' Still nothing. 'So... you really said what I thought you did when I confessed?' Lukas gave him the tiniest of nods, his eyes still trained on the plain wall.

Silence.

'Oh gods. You mean... you love me as well? Me?! For real?!' Matthias exclaimed shocked.

'Why are you so shocked? I have for a while...' Lukas finally muttered.

'Really?!' Matthias exclaimed and coughed cringing. Seems like his chest didn't like to be abused whilst so tender; shame, Matthias always was very loud...

'Yes, for real. Now stop injuring yourself!' Lukas exclaimed exasperated and embarrassed.

'But...' Matthias looked lost.

'What.'

'But you hated me...'

WHAT.

'Where did you get that from? I never said anything like that!' Lukas was shocked. Was he really too harsh for the other man?

'Well... I... you haven't...' Matthias muttered finally with wide eyes, browsing through his large collection of memories featuring Lukas. Not even once had Lukas told him something more than that he's annoying or stupid.

'I... I'm sorry I made you think like that...' Lukas choked out finally, hating himself for acting so out of character but more for being an ass to Matthias and making him think that Lukas hates him when he was just angry the Danish man never took anything seriously and made him think all his flirtatious comments and actions were just a joke while Lukas desperately wanted them to be genuine and true.

'I should probably tell Tino and the rest that you woke up. They were really worried and you know what Tino is like when he's worried.' He added before Matthias could say anything and ran out of the room to splash his face with cold water and make a phonecall.

/txtbreak/

As expected from Tino once he heard that Matthias woke up he immediately came to visit him with Berwald and then proceeded to make a big fuss out of everything making Matthias immensely guilty for endangering himself like that. Berwald just stood there and had a silent conversation with his best friend that consisted of some looks being thrown. After the school ended Emil came to visit and stayed really shortly. He was clearly happy and relieved that Matthias was okay but being an awkward person he was he expressed that in some strange mix of harsh words and teary face and ran away.

Lukas was there the whole time, just relaxing, holding Matthias' now much warmer hand and being content. He didn't have enough energy to struggle, besides he was feeling quite nice and he finally was with Matthias, as a couple, on which the other three congratulated with a comment of "finally".

Those bastards.

Nevermind, he had Matthias and was nice and all comfy...

The nurse that came to change Matthias' bandages saw both males asleep next to each other with expressions of joy and calm.

She giggled and decided that Mr. Køhler won't necessarily need new bandages for another twenty minutes, as she quietly switched the light off and closed the door.

/txtbreak/ sad ending

Lukas stood in front of the stone of Matthias' grave. It had been two months since that accident.

Two months since his birthday.

Exactly fifty-three days since Matthias passed away during the operation. It took too long to get to the scene and Matthias' heart stopped to never beat again when they were trying to fix his lungs.

Lukas came everyday but the first, the actual funeral. He was too scared.

He remembered when the doctor delievered the dreaded news. Tino cried. He'd never seen the little Finn cry like that before. Berwald also sobbed. His expression was heartbreaking. Emil took it really hard. Matthias was as close as Lukas to him and they both practically raised him. Lukas embraced his little brother and held him close, comforting him. Emil shook in his arms uncontrollably.

Lukas hadn't shed a tear. Not there. He came back home refusing anyone's presence, took a shower and crawled into his bed.

He had never cried harder than then. He sobbed, he screamed, he howled and weeped. He prayed, he begged, he blamed and hated.

But nothing could bring Matthias back to him and nothing could heal his broken heart.

He never was the same as before. None of them were, loosing someone as close as Matthias was to them, but Lukas changed the most among them. He became a mere shadow of his old self.

No wonder though, if such a vital part of himself was Matthias.

And Matthias was no more.

Such as himself.

Feeling a hand on his shoulder Lukas lifted his sad eyes to see Emil looking at him. He gave his brother a half-smile and gazed back at the cold stone. He dragged his fingers across the letters

Matthias Køhler.

1989-2013

Best friend, caring brother and unconditional lover.

His eyes dampened a little and he closed them, preventing any tears from falling.

'I'll be back tomorrow, Matthias, love.' He whispered before turning and walking away.

Just to come back faithfully. Matthias gave his life for him. Lukas decided he'll stay devoted to him until they meet again.

They will meet again.

And Lukas will be waiting for that day to come.

The wind caressed their faces and he closed his eyes feeling the ghost of tender fingers running across his face.

He'll be back tomorrow, in two days, in two weeks, in fifty years. He'll always come back. Until that day he can finally meet with Matthias again.

Until then...

'I'll be back tomorrow, Matthias...'

/txtbreak/

So it was a big branch from a big old tree okay? Really big, like, enormous and heavy. Thank you.

That's the end. I felt like giving in to my sick desires and killing Denmark. Then again I hate just killing my dear babies so I decided to let them have a happy ending.

I honestly hope you enjoyed this... thing.

Thank you for reading. I'd be grateful if you send me a review.

I don't own Hetalia. Hidekaz Himaruya does.