Author's Note: Ok, I'm a little nervous posting this chapter because a major event happens and I really hope I did alright writing it. After going over it 20+ times I still don't feel that I quite pulled it off… but that's for you lovely readers to decide and tell me. Like I said before, I don't have a beta reader looking over this for me so all of this is straight from me and my going over it a bajillion times. Hopefully you all aren't disappointed. *becoming even more nervous just thinking about it*

So anywho… stuff goes down. Big time!

Enjoy!

Also, have fun with the text block known as the Author's Note at the end. :D

Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia or the characters of the manga/anime.

XXX

Chapter 10: Truths Discovered and Confusion Abounds

XXX

Canada was panicking, and there was nothing he could do about it.

He had been frantically searching for his sister for about ten minutes or so and was already beginning to lose hope that he would ever find her in the huge mass of people. He didn't even know where to begin looking for her. The ballroom was huge with multiple hallways easily accessible to the party guests. She could be out on the dance floor, at the buffet, hiding out in the hallways, or even just in the bathroom for all he knew. It was equally likely that someone who would recognize America could be in any of those places as well.

Where is she!?

He had been dodging past a clump of giggling girls when he suddenly heard a loud CLANG!

"You did WHAT!"

Canada gave a gasp of relief at his stroke of luck. He was certain that was Hungary's angry yowl he just heard. Like a ninja the Canadian quickly navigated the sea of bodies and came to find a group of onlookers circled around two very familiar people, watching the fight with undisguised interest.

Hungary was fuming, practically foaming at the mouth, her trusty frying pan raised above her head as she clutched it with white knuckles, ready to slam it again on the head of the figure currently lying on the ground, who was probably one of the only people who could get her that mad. Prussia looked like he was going to have a massive headache from the size of the bump making itself known on his right temple.

"Mien gott woman, why do you even have that thing with you!?"

Hungary ignored him in favor of smacking him again to which he gave a yelp.

"How could you be so stupid!? What do you think you're playing at!? This is awful! How, how.. GAH!" She looked like she was about to explode. "Do you even realize how much is at stake right now!?"

"How could I? Easy. I figured you of all people would understand the awesome power of love. I was just setting up two people that obviously belong together."

Maybe Hungary had hit him too hard and finally cracked his brain. Either way, Canada needed her help if he was going to find his sister. So, braving a possible concussion, he quickly took off his mask and called out to hopefully get her attention, "Elizabeta!" He didn't normally call her by her personal name; but he couldn't call her by her country name in front of all the staring people.

Hungary whipped around on him, frying pan raised and eyes blazing, but stopped when she noticed whom it was that called her name. She looked confused at first, as if not sure who he was. After a brief moment, however, she recognized him. "Matthew? What are you doing here?"

Canada, feeling elated that someone recognized him for once, pushed aside her question. "It doesn't really matter right now why I'm here, the fact is that right now Arthur is here and trying to find Al. We need to find her and get out of here quick."

At this Hungary whipped back around on Prussia, grabbed him by the front of shirt, and yanked him up from off the ground. "Just how many people did you tell!? You idiot! How many other coun-people are here?"

Prussia looked confused at this. "I didn't talk to Arthur at all about this, I swear. And I didn't actually tell anyone anything. I just told West we were going to be coming here tonight. I didn't actually tell him about Alfred or Feliciano. Besides, Yao and Kiku invited themselves, and no one knew Im Yong would stalk Yao all the way here."

It was then that Canada realized that somehow Prussia had figured out the truth about both America and Italy. Then he realized, resulting in more panic, that for some reason Germany, China, Japan, and South Korea were also all there that very same night. This just keeps getting better and better…

Hungary was getting impatient and she shook Prussia as she demanded, "It doesn't matter right now. Just take us to where you last saw Alfred. We need to find her before Arthur does." At this she finally let go of Prussia's shirt and he mumbled indignantly while he brushed himself off.

"Fine, fine, just calm down. She's probably still with Kiku anyways. They were somewhere over there." And with that he started off in the direction he had come from, Hungary and Canada following close behind.

Canada felt some relief knowing that he was headed in the right direction, but couldn't help but still feel worried that something was going to go wrong. I wish there was an easy way to get America (and Italy) out of here as soon as possible. If only there was someone who could help us find them quickly!

It was then that he remembered that he did know someone who could help. Someone who was very good at finding and chasing down women. As reluctant as he was to admit it, he might have to ask him for his help in this situation.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. If I run into him then I'll ask him for his help. Hopefully my Papa hasn't gone too far.

XXX

What on earth is my bruder thinking?

Germany didn't know what to think of the entire situation he now currently found himself in.

His brother had blackmailed him into coming to a masquerade ball. Dragged him all over the dance floor looking for someone. Harassed some young lady and set him up with a random stranger to dance with. Why on earth was he forcing him to dance with some mortal human girl in the first place? Granted, she was very pretty, even with a mask covering part of her face. Her chestnut brown hair and eyes actually reminded him a lot of Italy. The fact that she was obviously Italian also made it seem as if she were Italy reincarnate, except as a girl. However, it wasn't unheard of to run into citizens who were surprisingly similar to their country's personification with slight differences in appearance or personality. There were even some citizens who would happen to have the same name as their country's personification, which always created issues. It just happened sometimes.

However, what really struck him was that she reminded him of someone else other than Italy, but he couldn't quite place who. He felt as if he were having déjà vu. Something about her entire appearance seemed to be striking a cord in his memory. A green dress, brown hair, it all seemed so familiar. Either way, she seemed happy enough dancing with him.

They had actually been dancing for a while and neither had spoken yet. It had been slightly awkward in the beginning since he had been so tense, but his dance partner had been relaxed and seemed comfortable dancing with him, so he had slowly relaxed as well.

Still puzzled as to why she seemed so familiar he finally decided to break the silence. "I'm sorry about my bruder's behavior. He can be quite a handful. I know he introduced me already, but my name is Ludwig. I don't think I caught your name though."

She smiled as he talked and he was once again reminded of Italy. "It's nice to meet you Ludwig. My name is Felicia."

Who does she remind me of? Other than Italy… Maybe I could find out more about her.

"If you don't mind me asking, are you from Italy? I have an Italian friend and the two of you talk in very similar manners."

She giggled a little at this, although he wasn't sure why. "Si, I am Italian. Are you possibly German? One of my best friends is German, and has an accent very similar to yours and your brother's." At this he nods, and she smiles. "I've been to Germany quite a few times before. I really like it there, even if the people can be kind of intimidating. I think's it's a lovely country."

At this Germany couldn't help the feeling of warmth and pride that swelled up in his chest that always came with compliments about his country. It was one of the greatest feelings for countries to have another person compliment the land they represented, especially if it wasn't one of their own citizens.

"I have visited Italy as well, and find it to be a very pleasant place." At this her smile grew and she seemed to glow with a sense of pride. She must feel a strong connection to her homeland.

"It makes me glad to hear that. I always love it when people visit. It gives me the chance to show off my artwork! Ve~" Germany was a little surprised by this. She really was a female version of Italy.

"You're an artist?"

At this she seemed to realize what she said. For a moment she didn't respond, as if thinking, before smiling again and replying, "Si, I am actually. A painter. I've always loved painting. It's so much fun. I've been told I'm quite good at it. So, I love it when I get to show my art to others, especially those not from Italy." She paused, before giving him a fond but somewhat sad look. "Maybe someday I could show you some of my artwork."

Despite the fact that he would most likely never see or meet her again, Germany couldn't deny her imploring look, "I would like that. Maybe I'll see you the next time I'm in Italy."

At this she smiled the widest yet and moved closer to him and startled him with a hug. "I would love that."

Germany normally avoided situations like this. He normally avoided becoming emotionally attached to humans, even just a little. But already he knew that he had somehow developed an attraction to this girl. This strange mysterious girl who reminded of someone he wasn't sure he even remembered. It was strange. This was the first time he could ever remember being interested in a girl other than the one in his dreams. It was almost as if she had jumped out of his dreams into reality, and was suddenly hugging him. But that was impossible.

Finally she let go of him and looked away, as if distracted by something. They realized at the same moment that the current song had ended. Germany was surprised to find he was disappointed that their dance had come to an end, meaning she would go find her blond friend.

"Ludwig." Suddenly, Felicia seemed very nervous, and what she asked him next made him realize why. "Before I go find my friend again, do you mind, if I kiss you… as a thank you for the dance?"

Germany felt heat suddenly rise up to his cheeks and felt a little flustered by the thought of kissing her. But he saw no harm in it. After all, it was just a kiss. It wouldn't actually mean anything. He nodded his head saying, "If you want to you may. I wouldn't mind it."

Emboldened by his response she reacted much more quickly then he expected her to. However, the moment their lips met he realized just who she reminded him of.

He sees her as a young child and knows he is a child again as well as they share their first kiss. She is wearing a light green maid's dress and holding a push broom. The girl from his dreams…

Germany's mind is in a haze and when he finally comes back to reality he realizes that he is alone and that she's already left.

It's ironic, how the first time they kissed he was the one leaving her. Now, however, she had left him.

For a moment he just stood there, uncomprehending of what just happened, until his brain started to make connections. That girl, the girl he just danced with, was the girl from his dreams, the one he had been unreasonably in love with for centuries, and he had just let her go!

Germany felt confused, lost, sad, elated, heartbroken, and hopeful all at the same time. A mess of emotions and thoughts clogged up his thinking and he didn't know how to respond at all other than just standing there like a statue.

Should I follow her and try and find her again? Should I pretend it never happened… no I can't do that. But how is she still alive? Where has she been all this time and what has she been doing? In my dreams she loved me, so why did she leave just now? Does she not remember me? Why do I know her at all? I never thought she was a real person… How can I find her again?

It was then that he realized that he hadn't actually been the one to find her and he suddenly felt very angry. Had his brother known she was here the entire time.. and not told him!?

I need to find Gilbert.

And with that thought in mind the tall blond left the dance floor in search of a certain white-haired ex-nation that had a lot of explaining to do.

XXX

Japan had absolutely no idea what to think anymore.

He was almost certain that he was currently dancing with America, but that was impossible, because the person he was dancing with was without a doubt a woman.

After they had reached the dance floor it had taken them both a little while to figure out how to actually dance. But after some failed attempts and lots of observing of other dancers they finally figured it out and had gotten into a decent rhythm. Once they had reached the point where they could dance and talk at the same time Amelia had been talking almost non-stop.

However, the entire time she had been talking Japan had been observing and thinking and was becoming more and more confused.

Everything about this girl reminded him of America. Her mannerisms and speech patterns, her enthusiasm, her disregard to his personal space, she even looked like him despite the fact that she was wearing a mask and didn't have the glasses. Her hair was the same shade of blond, her eyes the same shade of blue, she even had the same skin tone. Japan had also discovered they were the same height when he noticed that she was wearing flat shoes instead of heels!

But all of these things could have been coincidence. However, it was the more subtle things that really made Japan question her identity.

First off, was the fact that she had mentioned a friend named Tony who, as she put it was, "short, kind of weird, and really rude but totally cool." She had only mentioned him in passing, and only briefly to explain some story or another, but he was certain she had mentioned him.

Secondly, she had an awful lot of friends from other countries. This was something most countries did while talking with humans. If they mentioned another country it was usually in the form of, "a friend of mine who just happens to be from _." She had been doing this an awful lot. It was possible that she either traveled a lot or worked with people from foreign countries, although the more 'friends' she mentioned the more suspicious it all sounded. Including the fact that she apparently had a brother from Canada and an estranged brother/father figure from England.

Thirdly, was the fact that she had now called him 'Keeks' three times since they first met. America was the only person to have ever called him this and was the only person Japan allowed to call him by that nickname. However, the more time he spent with Amelia, the more he felt like he was actually spending time with Alfred. But that didn't make sense. She was clearly not Alfred. And yet at the same time she was. Everything she did was the same as how he imagined Alfred would act. It was as if they were the same person. But she couldn't be, because she wasn't America!

Or was she?

Suddenly, Japan thought of a memory. It was of a movie he once watched during one of his all day movie marathons with America. Alfred had been in the mood to watch Disney films, something he loved despite his age, and they had had a Disney movie marathon. One of those movies had been about a Chinese girl, Mulan, who had disguised herself as a man and joined the army in place of her disabled father. Alfred had told him that it was one of his favorite Disney movies of all time and thought Mulan was a real hero. Japan hadn't given it much thought at the time, but now it gave him a new perspective.

Is America, is Alfred, really… a girl?

It was as if he had just found a puzzle piece he hadn't known was missing. So many things about America that hadn't made sense (and granted, there was a lot about America that confused Japan) suddenly seemed to fit. There had always been things that Japan had never been able to explain away as being just normal cultural differences. Things that had confused him and that he could never quite explain suddenly made sense.

But this revelation brought more questions then it did answers.

He wasn't given much time to think about it though as there was suddenly shouting and cursing coming from a short ways away among the crowd of dancers.

"Let go of me! Bloody frog, I never invited you to come in the first place!"

Both Japan and America froze, shocked by who they were certain they had just heard shouting in the crowd. America, who had gotten lost in her train of babbling and was unaware of Japan's revelation, suddenly became very tense and she felt herself freezing up with fear. "Oh no, what is Arthur doing here!?"

Japan, who was now certain that this was in fact America, began to do some very quick thinking. Since he was now sure that she was America he could understand just by her body language that England being here was very bad. So, taking charge, since America was looking very much like a deer in the headlights, he grabbed her hand and led them both away from the dance floor simply saying, "Follow me."

Together they fled the dance floor. Japan quickly led them to one of the many hallways leading off from the ballroom to other parts of the huge building. There weren't quite as many people hanging out in the hallways, but there were still a lot of people hanging around. There were many doors lined along the sides of the hall and, not wanting England to catch up and find them, Japan quickly chose one, checked to see if the room was empty, before they both hid inside and he quickly closed the door.

Japan stood there for a moment, listening at the door to make sure he couldn't hear England. When he was sure he wasn't coming he turned to look at America who was now pacing back and forth, obviously panicking. He watched her for a moment before sighing in exasperation and removing his mask so he would be able to better talk to her.

America couldn't get herself to calm down and was as a result talking to herself in her panic. "What is England doing here!? Why would he be here of all places and on tonight of all nights!? This is bad, really really bad. I need to get out of here. I need to find Lizzy and Feli! I have to let them know I have to go. Oh, but how will I find them in the crowd of people and avoid England at the same time. Oh, and France too. This is so not cool. I knew this was a bad idea. I should've listened to my gut." She continued talking to herself, becoming more and more panicked, her pacing picking up with her emotions.

She was stopped, however, when a hand reached out and grabbed hold of her wrist.

"Alfred-kun, would you please stop pacing and calm down?"

She froze. She had completely forgotten about Japan. Now icy dread sunk into her stomach, because she realized that it didn't matter anymore what she did.

Japan knew the truth now.

Slowly she turned and looked at him. She expected anger, distrust, something along those lines, so she was a little surprised when she didn't see it. He gave her a calm reassuring look, one he always used whenever her paranoia was getting the best of her and panic starting overruling her rationality.

Neither moved for a moment, until Japan, sensing the fact that she was still panicking on the inside, led her to one of the couches where he sat, having her sit next to him. She didn't say anything, and neither did he. Then she finally gave a defeated sigh and took off her mask and Japan finally saw for certain that it was America, even without the presence of Texas.

America didn't know what to say. She had tried planning for this moment hundreds of times, but now that it was here she had no idea what to do or say. Japan was the first to speak however.

"I am assuming England-san doesn't know."

She couldn't help but flinch at the statement. He hadn't meant it maliciously, but somehow in her mind it was like an accusation. "No... he doesn't. The only one who's known from the start is Canada. I never told England, or France."

Japan mulled this over, still trying to wrap his brain around it all. He had many questions he wanted to ask, but decided to settle on one and hope it would get her talking.

"Why did you do it?"

She had obviously been expecting this question and gave a tired sigh. "It's kind of a long story."

Japan didn't move, but merely nodded for her to continue.

She took a deep breath before beginning, "It actually wasn't originally my idea. My mother, Gaho, or rather Native America, was the one who decided to do it. She had seen the way Western society worked and how women were treated back then. Even then she knew that Mattie and I were going to replace her, and that we would become part of this New World without her. But she was worried about both of us. With Mattie she was afraid he would be forgotten, as he always seemed to be even with her people. And with me, she was afraid that the Europeans would take advantage of me and deny me my rights as a personification since I was girl. For Mattie she gave him a gift, a polar bear that would always ask him who he was, so that he would never forget himself even if others did. And for me, she basically taught me how to be a boy and taught me what I would need to do later to stay that way, so that I would be respected by the other nations."

At this point she had this faraway look in her eyes, as if she could actually see her mother there in front of her. She paused for a moment, and Japan sensed she was lost in her memories. So, he stayed quiet and waited for her to continue, which she eventually did.

"She taught me what I needed to do and.. I did it. Not long after that she left me to be found by the European countries and from that moment on I was a boy. I didn't understand at first why she wanted me to pretend to be a boy, but I soon figured it out as I grew up. Women just weren't treated the same, they didn't have the same power or rights. I wouldn't have been treated the same. Sure, I would have gotten more respect than the other women since I'm a personification, but I still wouldn't have been given the same amount of respect simply because of my gender. I couldn't give anyone a reason to look down on me if I wanted to have any say in what happened to my own people. I just wanted to be strong, so I could protect my people. I didn't want them to suffer because of the prejudice women faced in that world."

She didn't look at Japan the entire time she talked, opting instead to either look at the ground or the wall in front of her. But she knew that he was listening attentively.

"I did get stronger and, as you know, I eventually became an independent country. I thought about it then, maybe telling England the truth, just to put salt on an open wound. I was still pretty worked up about everything that had happened at the time. But, I realized quickly that despite being my own power I still couldn't let everyone know that I was actually a girl. It was bad timing. My government was still trying to figure out what to do and how to run a new country without the use of a king. There were also nations who still didn't acknowledge me as a free country and treated me like some rebellious child. I couldn't risk losing what little ground I had gained. So, I kept the secret still."

She was getting towards the end of story, and she suddenly seemed to be showing her true age. Japan felt like he was seeing the weight of the decades spent keeping this secret pilling up on her shoulders. He could see now just what a toll this had taken on her, to hide whom she truly was from the world and he felt sympathy for her.

"I kept the fact that I was a girl hidden for decades. Whenever I thought that I might be ready to reveal the truth something would happen or the timing just wouldn't be right. So, I've just… kept up the act, and kept pretending to be a guy."

A grim look crossed her face. "I've been living as a man for so long, I'm not sure if I could ever learn how to be a regular woman anymore." She gave a humorless laugh that didn't fit her at all. It was too sad. Japan was reminded of the fact that he was one of the very few people who ever got to see this side of America, one of the few she would show it too.

She wasn't quite finished yet though; "The only countries who know the truth are Canada, Mexico, Hungary, Italy, Romano… and now you. Oh, and Prussia too I guess. Although I have no idea how he found out."

She stopped here, and didn't say anything for a while. Japan sat there silent, thinking over all that he had learned and all that she had said. It made sense. But there were still some things he didn't quite understand.

"If it was only Canada-san who knew, how did the others find out?"

At this question she laughed again, although this one was much more lighthearted. "Well… Mexico was the first to find out. It was completely on accident too. It was sometime during the big mess with Texas. Either way, Canada and I threatened him pretty fierce and he hasn't told a soul. Although, he has slipped up a few times, but nothing major." Then a much more sincere smile graced her features, "As for Hungary and Italy, I actually told them myself."

At this Japan looked confused and she picked up on his unspoken question.

"It was Mattie's idea. See, I've never had the chance to really be myself all my life. I've never had a close female friend. I mean, I've got the best guy friends I could ask for, and you and Mattie are great and I love you guys, but," at this point she looked a little embarrassed, but she kept going, wanting to tell him everything before she lost her nerve, "I've never really just had the chance to be a girl with other girls. So, Mattie thought it would be a good idea if I told another female nation. So, I told Hungary the truth and she in turn told me about Ita-"

Japan looked at her confused. Her eyes were wide and she had clamped her mouth shut quite suddenly, as if she had said too much. He then realized there was a piece to this story that didn't quite fit.

"Alfred-kun, how did Italy-kun figure out the truth?"

America looked everywhere except at Japan, and she began to fidget and play with the folds of her dress. "Well… um, you see, he.. uh.."

There was another beat of silence before Japan suddenly gasped.

"Was that girl that Germany-san danced with Italy-kun?"

Crap…

America felt like a traitor, but there was no way she could lie to him anymore at that point.

With a defeated sigh she nodded, "Yeah, that was Italy. After I told Hungary my secret she me told about how I wasn't the only female nation pretending to be a guy. Italy had been keeping her gender a secret longer than I had with only Hungary and her brother knowing the truth. (That's also how Romano found out by the way.) That's how Italy and I became such good friends so fast. We realized that we had a lot more in common then we ever realized and kind of bonded over that. For the past couple months Hungary, Italy, and I have been hanging out and just doing whatever we wanted to, but as girls. It gives Italy and me the chance to just be ourselves without all the hiding. That's actually why we're here tonight."

Japan thought about this for a moment. He had always had his suspicions about Italy. He had always been so… feminine, to be completely honest. Japan had also had doubts about his (now her) sexuality and questioned his (her) reasons for being so 'attached' to Germany.

"That actually makes more sense now. I had always wondered about Italy-kun's strange, er, habits…"

America suddenly gave him a pleading yet serious look, "You can't tell anyone. About Italy or me. Neither of us is ready to tell the other nations the truth yet. Please Kiku, promise me you won't say anything."

Japan looked at her and could see just how much his answer could potentially break her if he chose to tell.

And why shouldn't he?

The other nations deserved to know the truth, didn't they? She had been lying to everyone about who she really was for decades. Wouldn't it be better to just get it out in the open since it was bound to happen sooner or later? It would be like taking off a band aide, ripe it off fast so the hurt stopped sooner.

But he would never do that.

He didn't even have to think about his answer. He had already decided when he helped her get away from England back on the dance floor.

"Yakusoku. I promise."

Her bright blue eyes looked hopeful, and he realized just how pretty they really were. He had always admired America's eyes and their clear sky blue color. But now, it was if they were even prettier than before. Maybe it was just his new perspective on things.

"Really? You're not… mad or anything?"

He was slightly confused by this question. Why would he be mad? Because she had kept a secret from him? Sure, he might feel a little upset over the fact that she hadn't trusted him with the truth. But that didn't mean he didn't understand why she hadn't.

All nations had secrets that they would carry with them forever, secrets that they would never tell a living soul. He himself had secrets he would never speak of and would keep from ever telling anyone, including America. That was just a fact of life.

After all, it was risky to share that kind of secret with someone who could potentially become your enemy with humans being as fickle as they are.

"No, Alfred-kun, I am not mad. I understand why you did it. It makes sense to me and I don't fe-gack!"

He was suddenly cut off and left incapable of breathing by the grateful (and strangling) hug America was now suffocating him with. It was fortunate that he was lacking oxygen intake into his brain, otherwise he might have gotten a nosebleed from America's now larger chest area being so close to his face.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are seriously the best Kiku! You have no idea how relieved I am. I thought for sure you would.. well, it doesn't matter. Gosh, I lov-ve how awesome you are!"

She finally let him go and he was able to breath again. Despite the fact that he almost passed out, Japan couldn't help but return his own smile to the childlike grin on America's face.

However, before either of them could do anything else there was the sound of some kind of commotion outside in the hallway. America, a person of action, jumped up and hurried over to the door to investigate. She put her ear to the door, listening, before suddenly looking slightly ill.

"It's England… he's searching the rooms!"

Japan, thinking quickly, picked up her mask from where she had left it on the couch and rushed over to where she stood. "Here, put it on." After handing her mask back to her he put his own back on quickly. Once they had both their masks back on, Japan relayed the plan he had just thought up, "I'm going to go out there and distract England-san. While I'm misleading him you can leave and go find Italy-kun and Hungary-san."

America gave a nod, "Sure thing. I'll text you when I'm clear of this place."

Japan was about to leave when she suddenly grabbed his arm, causing him to look back at her. She had a look on her face that he hadn't seen before. It looked appreciative and relieved, but there was something more in it, almost affectionate. Maybe it was just the absence of glass in front of her eyes. He was so distracted by the strange look that he almost missed her words.

"Thank you, for understanding."

He smiled back at her.

"Of course."

Out in the hall it was not hard for Japan to spot England. He was in the process of checking the rooms, just as America said, and the sounds of disgruntled lovers could be heard as he barged into each room, disregarding the people (who had been seeking privacy), who had been taking refuge within them. Japan, although not yet having thought of an excuse as to why he would be there, quickly walked up to the irritated Brit.

"Arthur-san, I was not expecting to see you here."

England quickly whipped around, a shocked look on his face. "Ja-er, Kiku. What the bloody hell are you doing here? Actually, never mind, have you happened to see Alfred somewhere around here?"

"Sorry, I have not seen him. I did not know he was here." At this England scowled, it was obvious he was becoming very frustrated. "This is ridiculous. I haven't been able to find the git all night! Honestly, this place isn't that big!"

Japan pretended to think for a moment. He then spoke in a voice he knew America would hear, he said, "Maybe he's at the buffet? It is getting a little late. If he has been dancing then he would be hungry by now, right? Why don't we go look there?"

England seemed to give this some thought, before nodding. "True, he always seems to be stuffing his face all the time. I don't understand how that git can eat so much in the first place."

Japan didn't look back to check for America as he walked away with England. He only hoped that she would be able to find Italy and Hungary and would be able to get away safe without any other country bumping into her.

XXX

"I hate these types of things. They're stupid."

"Oh, don't be so gloomy Romano! It's a party, you're supposed to smile and laugh and dance with cute girls. If you keep scowling no girl will want to dance with you."

Romano glared at the oblivious Spaniard. Under normal circumstances he wouldn't have been so bad-tempered and would have been flirting with the pretty young ladies; however, he was not in the mood tonight.

He appreciated what Hungary had done for his sister, and was glad she could help her so much, but that didn't mean he liked just how much time they had been spending together recently. Romano felt that Hungary just made it harder for Italy to keep up the act of being a guy. Because whenever she returned home from one of her outings with Hungary she acted like a complete and total girl. Which, granted, she was one, but it was made annoyingly obvious after she had spent time with Hungary, and Romano wasn't sure if he could take much more of it.

Plus, there was the fact that now she was spending time with America. He hadn't believed Italy when she first told him that America was actually a girl too. He just didn't see it. She acted too much like a man. But he was finally convinced when Italy showed him pictures she had taken will going out with Hungary and America to one of Hungary's major landmarks. Of course, the camera was accidently maliciously burned and destroyed beyond repair later that night.

Just because America was a girl now didn't mean that Romano trusted her any more than he did before. So, knowing that his sister was currently hanging out and doing girly things with the demented Hungarian and American lunatic put the grumpy Italian in a less than stellar mood. Plus, that fact that the infuriating Spanish bastard had forcibly dragged him to some fancy-pants party put him in an even worse mood.

It was while he was standing there sulking that Spain suddenly said something that caused him to startle.

"Roderich! Hola amigo, I didn't know you where going to be here!"

Romano turned to the direction Spain was looking and sure enough, there stood an equally startled Austria, who was easily recognizable with his simple, yet regal, mask.

The hell?

"What the hell are you doing here?"

Austria sniffed a little at the Italian's rude greeting. "Antonio, Lovino. I'm surprised to see you both as well. I didn't realize this was that big of an event. As for me, I am here with Elizabeta and two of her lady friends. I'm just their escort for the night."

"What!"

Both Spain and Austria, startled by his outburst, looked at the now white-faced Italian. "What's wrong Roma?"

Romano didn't reply, instead opting to shout curses while running off into the crowd.

"Romano! Wait up!" Not wanting to be left behind the Spaniard dashed after him, confused about his strange behavior.

Austria just stood there wondering if he was one of the only truly sane nations.

XXX

Author's Notes: Ok, so lots of stuff going on and plot really coming around. But don't worry, there's a lot more to come. We get even more drama in the next chapter! Seriously, I just love messing with these characters. It's so fun! ~

Translations:

* Yakusoku (Japanese) – Promise/I Promise – I researched this a bit and it seems to be that just simply saying the word, "promise," in Japanese is synonymous with the phrase, "I promise." Who knew?

Language Note: I'm sorry guys! I'm not a true otaku and got my information on Japanese honorifics from Wikipedia. And I just realized that it would have been more appropriate had I had Japan address America as –kun instead of –san all along since he considers her a close personal friend… I don't know how to Japanese! *flops on floor and dies over a insignificant detail* Although, I'm really indecisive of whether he should call her –chan in the future now that he knows she's not actually a guy. Hmmm… I'm thinking just Alfred will do. I feel like if either of them were to call each other –chan it would be in a joking/teasing manner.

Notes:

* Headcanon: Prussia is a closet shipper.

* The reason they mention everyone by personal names instead of country names at the beginning: because they are surrounded by humans and know better then to do that.

* Headcanon… sort of: I think that it would not be uncommon occurrence for there to be citizens who look or act similar to their nation's personification. Like Alternate Universes within the canon universe or some freaky thing like that. I don't know, it just sounds cool and gives me a convenient loophole as to why Germany didn't notice it was actually Italy.

* Headcanon: countries love being complimented about their land, culture, people, etc.

* America is wearing flat shoes because she's tall. Guys are generally intimidated by women who are taller then them. (Apparently not Kiku though, but I guess he's used to it since he's already kind of short… It's ok though, Alfred doesn't mind. :)

* Headcanon: America loves Disney movies.

* Headcanon for story: America loves the movie Mulan since it reminds her so much of herself. She loves how it has a happy ending and she wants that for herself. Hey, she can dream can't she?

* America shouldn't worry about Feli keeping up her disguise, she should have worried about herself more. Also, why she ended up giving herself away so easily was that she let herself become too comfortable around Japan. She already lets her guard down when she's around him, so she did so without realizing it when she should have watched herself a little more closely. Silly America, you should have known better. But hey, it worked out in the end.

* Also, minor note, but I originally had "Like an invisible ninja" at the start of this chapter, but figured it was redundant since all ninjas are invisible until they strike.

* Headcanon: Kumijirou asks Canada, "Who are you?" so that he won't forget who he is even when others forget. (Yeah, I really like this headcanon a lot… so many feels…)

* Headcanon: Related to the last headcanon. I think Native America gave Canada Kumijirou as a gift for that reason. (Right in the feels!)

* Japan always had his suspicions about Italy's gender… and his/her sexuality…

* Was that foreshadowing I left in Canada's last thought? Hmmmm…. (bet all of you are going back to read it again since I mentioned it…)

* Poor Germany, so much emotional confusion. I feel bad for Prussia when Germany finds him. *evil laughter* It's fun to be in control.

Just what is going to happen in the next chapter? All you lovely readers will just have to wait and find out! :D

Also, I haven't really said anything yet about this so I'm going to do so now.

Thank you to everyone who has left a review on this story. I love reading every single one and that has become motivation for me to continue this story. Without your reviews this story would have certainly died and I wouldn't have ever gotten this far. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

You all are fantabulous! ~ 3