torn flag

check | ivar ragnarsson

third part in a series

first part: see the whole board

second part: middlegame

The ground was sodden underfoot. The mud had been churned up by boots and wheels and hordes of men battling. Bright pools of blood lay in the hollows, growing as they progressed deeper into the field. More men lay here too, and you slid about them, grasping your dampening skirt hems up about you as you pushed on through the scatter of bodies.

The corpses made for a morbid forest, trunks laying where they fell, mottled and twisted from the storm. Some lay with their eyes open, leaking their death breaths from their lungs, which were often pierced with snapped off arrows, pointing high to the sky.

You tried not to look at their faces but in your haste to move across the field you found yourself having to pay attention to the footing you took. Limbs lay like brambles, tangling up the ground, making your progress slower than you would have liked. Your breath heaved from the effort and the worry and you buckled over, hands braced at your knees, eyes to the earth.

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fo4 companions as aesthetics
  • Cait: broken toothed smiles, shattered vintage liquor bottles, torn lace and bite marks, winter mornings at cold harbors, old tattoos with new ink crossing over and through.
  • Codsworth: freshly mowed grass, beds with mounds of fluffed pillows, apple pies cooling on windowsills, songbirds perched on telephone wires, photo albums added to since childhood.
  • Curie: fresh bouquets in glass vases, bay windows with sea views, fine china filled with herbal tea, old bicycles with wicker baskets, barefoot walks down rainy streets.
  • Danse: swords cast into mountaintops, metal bunkers hidden in dark woods, waves washing over jagged rocks, freshly fallen snow at daybreak, dark clouds with silver linings.
  • Deacon: out of context stills from 90s cartoons, roadside diners lost in the desert, second hand tie-dye shirts, endless horizons with wild skies, empty amusement parks at dusk.
  • Dogmeat: warm slippers, homemade cookies fresh from the oven, burning log fires, legs and paws tangled in fleece blankets, light spilling through drawn curtains.
  • Hancock: torn paintings and broken statues, anarchistic graffiti on monuments, ornate knives and quills, after-parties in palaces, handwritten letters with fingerprint marks.
  • MacCready: comic panels on cork boards, blurry photos of sappy drunks, dollar bills with false promises written on, walking highways at midnight, crumpled pictures of ex-lovers.
  • Nick: neon signs reflected in puddles on city streets, title cards from old movies, stars above skylines, smokey jazz bars with dimmed lights, partners rushing into an embrace.
  • Piper: old books and rumpled sheets, polaroids tinted with age, black coffee spilled onto hastily scribbled words, lipstick stains on cigarettes, clothes abandoned at the door.
  • Preston: patchwork sewn coats and quilts, campfires fading on forest floors, overgrown treehouses, flying burned and torn flags, wooden swords and old toys hidden beneath beds.
  • Strong: broken chain links, abandoned buildings with rusted walls, bandages pulled taut against skin, thorns and vines wrapped around wire fences, vandalized warning signs.
  • X6-88: leather cloaks and silk scarves, towers with mirrored windows, clean cut diamonds, geometric statues in stark colors and fine lines, skyline pools reflecting full moons.
Powerless (El Diablo x Reader) Part 2

A/N. So I decided to split part two in half, which means the fic will be 4 chapters instead of only three, so that’s some good news for you guys :) Also, this chapter takes place one year after the first part. I’m so glad you guys are liking this fic so much, you have no idea how much all the feedback means to me. Tags are at the bottom, everyone let me know if you want or don’t want to be tagged. There is a quick author’s note at the end of the fic. Alright, I think that’s it, enjoy!

Part 1, Part 3, Part 4

Word Count: + 4,000

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The deluxe version

I found life before it came to find me. I have picked at it and now I can speak and boil over its bite. Soured milk in the torn and flagging skin of my fingernails. Felt the heat of The mid-life crisis; catch light like flannel over one hot bulb. Met the men trapped in flats wanting houses. Wanting balconies, wanting clean diets and mean rides. Found grit in London car parks and lone bandstands. I want flavours like gristle and bone. Landscapes supped by hungry lifesome apparitions- some I should call my friends. Sold it all until they began selling it all back to me. My words sound silly read back to me; all heart, no brain. But I’ll still call for the deluxe version, and run homeward, back into the arms of your overpackaged good-clean-fun- Hello Mr. Right, I’m done playing now. 

I don’t particularly care abt posts but I just noticed someone removed my caption from the torn up Russian gay flag post thus completely removing the context and power behind it and their blog is this super straight collection, you know the one and like…

L i k e

“Today me and some other fellow queers of KJHS walked around with pride flags. People had theirs taken and thrown at them, having them taken and torn up, gotten homophobic slurs yelled at us, gotten told to kill ourselves, gotten told we’re going to hell, etc. Every week I sit in GSA listening to my friends stories about their unsafe communities. At the end of the day, a lot of the local queers broke down in tears about being repeatedly told it to kill ourselves and go to hell. One of the strongest people I know started crying herself. Yet we still all remain optimistic and prideful. We are not hiding who we are and people need to except that they live in a place where people are different. They need to stop harassing someone who is different from you. And remember in sad or depressing times, stay prideful 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈❤️💛💚💙💜 “

“Hard day at school for the community. I don’t know if anyone noticed the parade of us. We had our flags torn, taken, shredded and vandalized. We were called names and hurt, put down and yelled at. Told to burn in hell or kill ourselves. At the end of the day, we all had a moment where we broke. Though it was brought to my attention how much support we were given compared to the hatred. Sometimes it sucks to be us, Yknow? We don’t get socially accepted a lot of the time, but that’s okay. Because the people who deny us refuse to see the light in our hearts. We’re here for those in need. I love you all so much and Thankyou for walking with me today. I hope and know we all learned something today, that we are all here for eachother and in the end who cares about what others think? Who cares about what society’s qualifications are? We are here. We are queer. Get over it.🏳️‍🌈 Stand with me, Mother Gay is here.🏳️‍🌈💓💓 “

“🏳️‍🌈 “

“If you were at school today you would know how bad of a day it was for the lgbtq+ community. Just a whole lot of blatant homophobia just because of these small little flags. People screaming at us, ripping up our flags and throwing them at us, and just straight up telling us to kill ourselves and making us feel like shit. But we are all in this together and I am still proud to be. I love everyone who has been supportive and understanding thank you for being there for us “

“I wish I had a flag but at least this can’t ripped off as easy :D “

“So proud of everyone who walked around with these flags and showed their pride!!! Some people who aren’t even LGBT (me and some others) did cuz they wanted to support their peers, friends, and class mates and everyone had to deal with the hate of some people who decided to discriminate”

“A lot of my friends at Knox junior high, including me, had these little gay pride flags today. We have had homophobic slurs directed at us, people have ripped up our flags and threw them at us, we’ve had people judge us for who we are proud to be, and today we decided to show people who we are and what we’re proud of.
I’m guessing you noticed I’m wearing a dress in these photos, yes I’m a male, but I can be whoever I want to be and noone can stop me”

So today me and so friends rampaged through the halls of our homophobic school with pride flags. We may or may not have started a riot but we came out on top and we are showing pride more than ever.

*Mistory stood in a large open fall grass filed, the sun was out, a lake not to far from where he stood. He had a smile on his face as he walked around, he stopped suddenly as he looked down, a sword was lying on the ground glancing back up he spotted various weapons, armor, and torn flags within the tall grass. The angels smile did not deter, he continued walking until he came to a small area with shorter grass, it had a nice view of the lake. Sitting down he closed his eyes taking this moment in*

Nice place for a picnic.


What I’m wearing to see TAB in theaters on Wednesday. 😂 Gotta rep the Johnlock trash life. Totally wearing those buttons on my deerstalker and jacket (buttons courtesy of MistyFigs on etsy) and also I should make a TJLC sign and carry a pride flag too! Torn between which shirt to wear though…

Anyway please validate my trash status, darlings XD

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Hetalia Fics: I promise (GerIta/Itager

So this is a fic about what would happen if maybe Italy got hurt on the battlefield and how Germany would react/feel. With appearances from some other characters.

This is also kind of a re-write of an old fic, but only the general idea was kept.

TW: Serious blood and violence, death mention, etc.

(FYI I’m making up a future war or something)

It was over.

The war was over.

The white flags in the distance showed that the enemies had surrendered. All the fighting, hatred, killing, all of it was over. At least for now.

Germany could have cared less about the fact that this time he’d been on the winning side. Okay, maybe he cared a little, but mostly he was just glad it was over. So many people had died. There had been so many bombings, in every almost country that had been involved with the war, and even some that hadn’t. He liked to think that at least this time, his country hadn’t started the war and were on the, as his ally America liked to call it, the ‘hero side’.

Germany hated to think of it like that, especially after seeing so many people on the other side die at his hands. Sure, maybe the government on the other side controlling the people was doing sick things, but that didn’t mean that the people should have to suffer for it. He’d learned that in the last World War.

The fact that is was over….it wasn’t enough make him smile. No, too many had died for that. But the fact that no more would die, that many would be going home to their families soon, made him sigh with relief. Thick smoke from the tanks still filled the air and the smell of blood almost made him want to puke, but at least it was over.

He knew that his next task would be to help find wounded and bring them to the hospital. If he went back to camp, they’d just send him back out to just that, so he saved himself the trip back by looking for them anyway. Sadly, most of the soldiers that were lying on the ground had already passed. He wanted to give each and every one of them a proper salute, but there were way too many. Instead, he focused on the task at hand.

He found one soldier that had been knocked unconscious and that had a bad cut on her face, but she was nevertheless fine. She told him that she could make the trip back to the hospital just fine, since her legs still worked. Another soldier was just on the verge of dying. He had at least three bullet holes in his chest, and simply asked that Germany pray for him. Even though Germany wasn’t sure if he believed in those things, he did anyway. He saw a few up and looking for wounded just like he was, and he gave them a slight wave when they went by.

One person he could not find, which was puzzling, was Italy. The nation would would usually have found him by now, being the nervous country he was and always scared something would happen to him. Of course, Germany was nervous too, but if he got distracted from fighting, he would lose his concentration, and more people could get hurt that way.

Now, he was growing a bit anxious, not finding the nation anywhere. The last he’d seen him was when they’d separated at the beginning of the battle. Italy had expressed his absolute hatred of war to Germany many times, and while at night Germany often had to calm Italy down from nightmares of the war, he’d surprised Germany this morning by putting on the bravest face and most stern face Germany had ever seen him put on, commanding his soldiers with a voice that was strict and demanding respect. He could tell that Italy was completely, utterly finished with this stupid war.

Then, almost as if on cue, he heard someone call out to him. He whirled around to see his friend standing about thirty feet away from him, waving his arms.

“Germany!” He yelled, racing towards him. Germany started walking towards him as well, and when Italy reached him, he threw his arms around the German, almost tackling him to the ground. Germany stumbled back a few feet.

“Germany!” Italy said breathlessly. “You’re okay! You’re okay….”

“H-hey, Italy. Yeah, I’m fine. ” Germany said. He pulled away from him a little, still keeping his hands on Italy’s shoulder’s but looking him over. “Are you okay? Did you get hurt?”

“Only a couple of scratches. I’ll be fine.” Italy said, trying to dismiss the topic, but Germany saw that he had more than a couple. His face was covered in them, and the rolled up sleeve’s of his uniform revealed that he had even more on his arms. There was a bruise covering about half his face, an Germany instinctively reached out a hand to touch it. Italy flinched, and Germany drew his hand away.

“Sorry.” He apologized.

“No, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it.” Italy said, shaking his head. “Are you okay? Your head is bleeding!”

Germany wasn’t used to this. He wasn’t used to Italy being so calm about himself being hurt. He wasn’t used to Italy worrying about him. It was always the other way around. Still, he nodded. “Yes, Italy. I promise I’m fine. Regenerative powers should kick in soon, and my head will be back to normal. Right now we need to go look for any survivors.”

Italy thought about it for a moment, as if deciding if he really thought Germany would be okay, or if he was going to make him go back to the hospital base. Finally, he nodded. “Yes, okay.” He said, “Where should we look? Everyone around here looks dead.”

He said the words with such simplicity, lacking such sadness and concern that Germany was a little shocked. But then he realized that Italy was right. All the soldiers around here were most definitely dead. All the soldiers that had been around Germany when the battle had ended had already gone back to the base or started looking for wounded, like him. And it looked like if there had been anybody hurt around here that had had any chance of surviving, somebody had already helped them.

“Let’s walk a bit.” Germany suggested, “If you see anybody move, even just a little bit, tell me. There’s a chance they could be alive.”

Italy nodded again. “That sounds like a good idea.”  

They walked in silence for a while, staying in a close proximity with each other. After a while of still not finding anyone who was alive, Germany began to think that anybody who’d been hurt had already been helped. He hated to think that every body lying on this battlefield meant a letter home, a torn family, a folded flag. He didn’t know what he would do if that had happened to someone close to him. Looking over at Italy revealed that he was most likely thinking the same thing. He looked at the dead soldiers with a devastated expression, tears forming in his eyes.

It was best not to dwell on it, for doing so could put you in a rather depressed state. He decided to focus on the task at hand. He watched everyone they passed, enemy or not, but none of them moved. Germany was about to say that they should just head back to the base, until a small bit of movement caught his eye.

“Hey, Italy.” He said, nudging the other nation and pointing to the human that lie on the ground. It was an enemy, who was very obviously beaten pretty badly, but he was breathing.

“Oh!” Italy exclaimed, kneeling down next to the man and grabbing his wrist, checking for a pulse. He looked up at Germany. “He has a heartbeat, but he’d unconscious.” Then, he looked past Germany, to a soldier that was lying about thirty feet away. “Go check over there and see if that one’s alive. If this one is, he might be too.”

Germany nodded, walking over to where the other soldier lie and kneeling down next to him. He put two fingers on the soldier’s neck, feeling for a pulse. When he didn’t find one, he stood up, calling out to Italy, who had stood up as well, and was now looking down at the unconscious enemy.

“He’s dead.” Germany called.

“Oh,” Italy said, looking around, “Well maybe-”

Suddenly, a hand shot out and grabbed Italy’s ankle. He let out a yelp, and was pulled to the ground. The enemy soldier who they had thought to be unconscious scrambled to his feet, whipping out a gun from his belt. Italy scrambled to his feet as well, but when he turned around, the soldier’s gun was pointed straight at his head.

“Don’t. Move.” The soldier growled. Italy stared up at him with wide eyes, frozen in fear.

“H-hey,” Italy got out, his voice terrified and shaky"J-just calm down, okay? I’m not going to-“

"SHUT UP!” The man yelled, shaking with either anger or fear, Germany couldn’t tell. “I-I know those uniforms! You’re the enemy! Y-you killed my people!”

“N-no!” Italy stuttered, shaking his head, “W-well, I-I mean, we-”

“I SAID SHUT UP!!” The man screamed. He looked like he was crying. “Y-you’re bad people! I should kill you!”

Germany was frozen. He couldn’t think. He couldn’t move. All he could see was the gun that was a mere inches from Italy’s head.

“P-Please, just listen!” Italy pleaded, trying to reason with the man, “The war’s over! There’s no need for us to fight anym-”

Suddenly the man moved the gun down, away from Italy’s head and towards his lower chest.

Then he pulled the trigger.

The next few seconds happened in slow motion. A terrible sound ripped through the air, a loud boom that was deafening to the ears. The gun jumped back in the man’s hand, and the bullet flew so fast Italy didn’t even have time to move. It hit him so hard that he stumbled back, gasping, his hands flying to just above his stomach, right where it had hit him. Italy just looked down, starring at the growing spot of red on his chest. Then he let out a cry, his legs crumpling beneath him.

At first, Germany could only stare in shock.

First a whisper.

“No….no, nein....

Then a scream.


Then, before Germany knew what he was doing, he ran towards the them.The man whipped the gun around and pointed it at Germany, and Germany stopped dead in his tracks. The man pulled the trigger almost immediately, and Germany closed his eyes, bracing himself for the pain. But it did not come, and in place of where another deafening shot should have been, there was a small click. The soldier was out of bullets.

He stared at the gun almost as if in disbelief that it had not worked. Then he looked up, staring at Germany with wide, helpless eyes, as if he had done nothing wrong. As if he hadn’t just shot Germany’s best friend.

Suddenly, that terrified look mixed with anger, pointed right at Germany. “F-fuck you!” The soldier screamed at him, “I hate you! I’m glad I shot your friend!”

And that was when Germany snapped.

Germany ran at the soldier full-speed. When he reached him, he slammed his fist into the man’s head, who cried out. Germany punched him again, and he was on the ground. He kicked him. Then he did it again, and again, and then he punched him again too. Fury coursed through his veins. He screamed at the man, his German and English overlapping each other as he didn’t even know what he was saying. He just kept hitting him, until finally the man stopped moving all together.

He was either unconscious or dead. Germany didn’t know, and he didn’t particularly care. He backed away from the bloodied, unconscious man, panting and shaking.

Turning around, his heart dropped into his stomach. He blinked once or twice, shaking his head in hazy confusion. Italy lie on the ground only a few feet away, a pool of blood beginning to form around him. Germany dropped down on his knees next to him. “No….No nonnonono!!!” He said, shaking his head. This couldn’t be happening. This wasn’t real.

Italy whimpered, tears running down his cheeks. “G-Germany….”

“Oh, my god.” Germany breathed, shaking his head, trying to compose himself. Oh God, Oh God. This wasn’t happening. No, no, no. “Italy. Italy, look at me, open your eyes….”

There was blood everywhere. It stained the entirety of Italy’s jacket. It was all over Germany’s hands. It was forming in a pool underneath Italy. How could there already be so much blood?
“I….I can’t…..” Italy whimpered, “…it….hurts….”
“I know, I know.”  Germany said frantically. He was trying to keep his voice calm, but it wasn’t working. Everything that he had learned about caring for a wounded person was suddenly gone from his mind. “I know it hurts Ita. But it’s going to be okay. Just keep your eyes open.”
But Italy’s eyes started drifting shut. He looked like he was desperately trying to say something, but he couldn’t get it out.
“It’s going to be okay, Ita. Cmon…. Please, Feli, PLEASE open your eyes…”
“Italy? Germany?”
At the sound of another voice, Germany whirled around, expecting the worst. What he found was the opposite. Japan was standing there, about  thirty feet away, his eyes wide. Germany looked at him with desperate, pleading eyes. “H-help!” Was all he could manage.
Japan ran to them with lightning speeds, dropping down next to them. “What happened?” He asked.
Germany shook his head, trying to piece it all together. His heart was pounding, and it was suddenly hard for him to breathe. “W-we were looking for wounded. There was an enemy soldier. H-he shot Italy, a-and-”
“Okay, okay.” Japan said, nodding quickly, “We need to stop the bleeding. Italy, can you hear me?”
Italy’s eyes shifted over to Japan, and he gave the slightest nod. His face was scrunched in pain, and his whole body was tense. He was still clutching his chest, his arms shaking.
“Alright. Listen to me, Italy.” Japan said, in the calmest voice he could muster, “You’re going to be okay. We’re going to help you, okay?”
Italy nodded again, and Japan started taking off his jacket, turning to Germany. “I need something sharp. Do you have a knife?”
Germany just stared at him for a moment, surprised by how calm he was. Of course, he sounded terrified, but he was handling this a lot better than Germany was. Realizing that snapped him out of the shock he was in, and made him see that he needed to pull it together. Italy needed his help.
He nodded, pulling his knife out of his boot. He unsheathed it, handing it to Japan. In return Japan handed him his jacket, which had been folded.
“Germany, you’re stronger than I am. I need you to put pressure on the wound with this.” Japan instructed, “Do not stop the pressure. Understand?”
Germany nodded, turning back to Italy. “Move your hands, Italy.” He said gently, moving his hands off his chest. Then, he undid Italy’s jacket, placing the folded up one over the shot wound.
“This is going to hurt, Ita.” Germany warned. Italy nodded, and Germany pressed down on the jacket. Italy suddenly screamed in pain, almost sitting bolt upright.
Japan pushed him back down. “Shh, stay down Italy. It’s going to be alr-”
“No!” Italy cried, “P-please, stop……”
“We’re sorry, Italy.” Germany said. He was sweating. He was shaking. He absolutely hated this. He hated seeing his best friend in so much pain, where he could do nothing about it.
“Please,” Italy pleaded, “Please…..”
“I-I know you’re scared, Italy.” Germany said, “J-just keep your eyes on Japan, okay? Just look at him.”
“Italy, I need you to stay awake for me.” Japan said, reaching out and taking Italy’s hand. Normally Japan wouldn’t even dare hold someone else’s hand so casually, but desperate times called for desperate measures. “Do you think you can do that?”
“I….I don’t know…..” Italy mumbled.
“I think you can.” Japan said, “Can you talk to me? Tell me something.”
“….I don’t….I don’t know…..”
“C'mon, Italy.” Japan urged, “Tell me something. Like…..what’s your favorite color?”
Japan thought he could see the slightest smile on Italy’s face. “It’s……it’s green.” He said weakly.
Germany pressed down on the wound again, and Italy cried out again. He began thrashing around, letting go of Japan’s hand and pushing him away, still crying. Both Germany and Japan held him down, trying to get him to stop.

“Italy, please,” Japan pleaded, “You’re going to make it worse!”

Italy let out a strangled, tortured scream that tore both their hearts in two. He started shaking his head and struggling against their grip, trying to escape their grasp and screaming incomprehensible things in both English and Italian. He was almost deathly pale, and his skin was cool and clammy. He was hyperventilating, and Japan noticed that his pupils were dilated. Suddenly fearing the worst, he grabbed Italy’s wrist, checking his pulse. It was incredibly weak.

“Shit.” He cursed, “I think he’s gone into shock.”

Germany was a little more than surprised to hear Japan curse. He couldn’t recall him ever doing so in front of him. But it didn’t matter. There were much more important things to worry about at the moment.

“Shock?” Germany asked. He tried to recall what he had read on the subject. He knew he’d read about it somewhere, but he couldn’t remember what it was or where he’d read it.

“It’s like a physical shutdown. It happens when you’ve lost too much blood or you have an allergic reaction to something.” Japan explained quickly, grabbing the now blood-soaked jacket from Germany and pressing it against the wound again. “It also means we need help. Fast.”

Quickly, Germany nodded, grabbing his radio out of his back pocket and pressed the button, speaking into the microphone. Japan turned back to Italy, trying to calm him down.

“Italy please, you need to calm down.” Japan begged, but Italy didn’t listen, he just kept thrashing and screaming, “Come on Italy, shh. It’s going to be okay. Please, Italy-san.”

“Hello, base nine?” Germany stated into the radio, amazed he could keep his voice even a little bit steady, “This is Officer Ludwig Beilshmidt. I’m here with officer Kiku Honda and Officer Feliciano Vargas. We are about two miles west of the base. Officer Vargas has been shot in the lower chest, and we are in need medical attention immediately. I repeat, we are in need medical attention immediately.”  

A couple of seconds later, the radio cackled and a woman’s voice responded, “Message received. Sending an ambulance your way now.”

Germany then dropped the radio on the ground, turning back to Italy. He was still shaking, and now he was coughing violently, blood dripping down his chin. Japan still held the cloth against the wound, not letting up on the pressure. He was sweating and shaking too, his arms now covered in blood.

“C-cold….” Italy mumbled weakly in between coughs, “….’m….really….cold….”

Germany quickly shrugged off his jacket, lifting Italy up and wrapping the jacket around him. Then he set Italy down again, letting Italy’s head rest on his lap. Italy slowly and shakily reached out his hand to him, and he took it, drawing it close to his chest.

“The ambulance is going to be here soon, Italy.” Germany promised, “You just need to stay awake for a little longer, okay?”

Italy looked up at him with dull eyes. “I don’t…..I don’t know if I can….”

“Yes, you can.” Germany told him, “I know you can. You’re strong.’

Italy smiled weakly. He was silent for a moment, then his smile faded, and a couple of tears rolled down his cheeks. "A-am I going to die?”

Both Germany and Japan quickly shook their heads. “No!” Germany said quickly, “No, you’re not going to die. You’re going to be fine, okay? Everything’s going to be fine.”

Italy nodded, his eyes dazed and confused. “….good. 'Cause I can’t die yet….Holy Rome hasn’t come back yet….”

“Holy Rome?” Japan questioned, desperate to keep Italy awake, “Who is that?”

“He’s….he’s m’ friend…” Italy mumbled happily, “He went off to war….a long time ago. But he….he promised to come back. So I know he will…..”

Where was that ambulance? Germany thought. They had to keep Italy awake, at least until the ambulance got there.

“Your friend, huh?” Japan asked, “What does he look like?”

“Mm. He’s got b-blonde hair…..and blue eyes.” Italy murmured, “And….he….he looks like Germany….”

At this point, Germany wasn’t sure if this Holy Roman Empire guy was real or someone Italy he’d made up in his head, but he sounded familiar. He recalled his brother talking about someone who sounded similar, long ago when Germany was very young….

“…and…and I used to have a crush on him.” Italy smiled for a moment as if remembering the boy, until his smile faded. His eyes focused on Japan next.

“Hey, Japan?” He asked.

“Yes, Italy-san?’

"I….I don’t think Holy Rome is coming back….” He said, sniffling a little.


“Y-yeah….and I don’t….I don’t think I have a crush on him anymore….”

“Why not?” Japan asked.

“….'cause I have a crush on someone else now…” Italy admitted, his words slurring together as they became quieter.

“And who is that?” Japan questioned. Germany knew that Japan would usually never ask such intrusive questions usually, but they were trying to keep Italy awake.

Italy gave a small smile again, and Germany could tell he was really out of it. He wasn’t aware of half the things he was saying.

“….It….it’s Germany,” He admitted.

Germany’s eyes widened, and he sat upright, and ice shiver running down his spine. Had…Had Italy just said what he thought he’d just said?

“….But…you can’t….you can’t tell him….” Italy added, “You can’t tell Germany that I like him or….or else he won’t…” He trailed off, forgetting what he was going to say.

Japan looked at Germany with wide eyes, probably expecting him to say something. But he didn’t. He didn’t even get a chance to, because that was when the wail of sirens sunk into their ears, and everything was thrown into chaos and confusion.

The ambulance pulled up, along with another car beside that. Paramedics hopped out of the ambulance and rushed over to Italy. Germany and Japan were pulled away from him, and it took a moment to realize that it was by his own brother. Prussia, along with Italy’s older brother Romano, had come in the car that had been behind the ambulance, having heard the message that Germany had sent over the radio.

Everyone was shouting, and Germany had no clue what was going on. He could hear Romano yelling, trying to get to his brother, and he could hear Prussia trying to talk to Germany, trying to snap him out of the daze he was in. Both Germany and Japan simply stared at the scene, shocked and numb.

Before they knew it, the ambulance and Italy were both gone, and Prussia was trying to get them to the car. Since Romano had been a family member, he’d been allowed to ride in the ambulance. Germany and Japan got into the backseat, not saying a word. They were both too distraught and too confused to say anything. As they rode back to the base, none of them spoke. They were all too shocked to.

Nausea and anxiousness filled Germany’s chest until it was hard for him to breathe. Had they made it to the hospital yet? Would Italy be okay? What would happen if he wasn’t?

Germany shook his head, refusing to think anything other than the thought that Italy would be okay. He had to.

He knew that both him and Japan both looked like a complete mess. Both of their jackets were missing, and their arms and clothes were covered in blood. They were both pale and sweaty, both looking like they’d just seen a ghost. Not to mention their own wounds that they’d sustained in the battle. Germany’s head was still bleeding, and there was blood caked onto part of his hair and his head. A nasty cut on his right arm stung like fire, but he barely felt it. As for Japan, there was a large bruise forming on his forehead, and a cut on his cheek forced his eye to remain somewhat closed. He was clutching his stomach as if one of his ribs hurt, his head leaning on the seat in front of him with both his eyes shut tight.

When they finally reached the base, Prussia pulled up to the doors of the medical wing. They exited the car in and walked inside in complete silence. When they got inside, they found it the opposite. There were nurses bustling in and out of the doors of the waiting room, taking patients who need serious medical attention inside and bringing bandages to the ones who only had minor injuries. Others sat in the waiting room, some with their heads in their hands, some praying, some crying.

It only took a moment for them to locate Romano, who was sitting in a waiting room chair with his head in his hands, elbows on his knees, being consoled by Spain. Next to them was Hungary, who had her hands clasped together and her head down as she mouthed a prayer. Next to her was Italy’s younger brother Seborga, who sat back in his chair, staring into space and looking utterly defeated.

In a matter of seconds, Japan was ran at and tackled in a hug. America was the one hugging him, exclaiming how glad he was that he was okay. For once, Japan did not push him away, and instead hugged him back, burying his face in America’s shoulder. A few tears rolled down Japan’s cheeks, and when America noticed that he was crying, his eyes widened, and he looked to Germany. But Germany was as distraught as Japan was, his arms crossed over his chest as he stared at the floor. Prussia offered no explanation, just shaking his head and looking down at his shoes.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” America asked, his voice full of concern as he pulled away from him and held him by the arms.

“I-Italy…..” Japan stuttered, sounding completely shaken, “He….he is….he was…”

“Hey, it’s okay.” America said comfortingly, putting his arm around him as they began to walk away. He looked back at Prussia one more time, who nodded and led his brother over to Romano and the others.

When they reached them, Romano looked up and glared at him. This was of course, nothing new, but this time Germany felt it was more than just a petty dislike. He dismissed it, figuring that there were worse things to be worried about.

Hungary stood up, pulling Germany into a hug. Then, when she pulled away, she looked him over, shaking her head. “Oh, sweetie. You look like hell. Come with me, I’ll get you bandaged up.”

She looked at Prussia, who nodded, sitting down in a seat across from the others. Hungary then led Germany away, past the secretary desk and down the hall, into a doctor’s office that wasn’t being used. She then went to work cleaning Germany’s head and wrapping a bandage around it.

Next, she went over to the cupboard and pulled out a bottle of peroxide. She got a cloth and put some on it, before holding it above the cut on Germany’s arm. “This might sting.” She warned.

The chemical felt like fire on the cut, but he bit his lip to keep from saying anything. A few seconds later, he heard Hungary curse. When he looked over at her, she was shaking her head. “This cut is too deep. It needs stitches.” She concluded, “Stay here, I’ll be right back.”

Germany stood still, staying in that exact spot. He could not get the burning image of Italy out of his mind. Italy lying there, crying and screaming because he was in so much pain. Italy looking so weak and tired as he smiled, admitting to Japan that he had a crush on Germany….

Just then, Hungary returned with a need and thread. She began stitching Germany’s cut, trying to be as gentle as possible. Germany did not flinch or move the entire time, just stood still and stared off into space.

“I’m almost done.” Hungary said as she finished up the stitches. She looked up at him, a sympathetic expression written all over her face. “Oh sweetie, you look so shaken up….”

Germany only nodded, still staring at empty space. Hungary shook her head, once again picking up the bandages and beginning to wrap Germany’s arm. “You’re also freezing.” She noted, “What happened to your jacket?”

“….gave it to Italy….” He mumbled, his voice barely audible, “…he was cold.”

Hungary stared up at him, looking like she was trying not to cry. Then, shaking her head once again, she finished the bandage and tied it off. Then she led Germany over to the sink, helping him wash off the blood that was caked on his arms. After that was done, they finally left the room, Hungary holding his arm like he was a small child.

When they got back to the waiting room, they found everyone huddled around a doctor, listening intently to what she had to say. They quickly rushed over. When they got close, Romano, who was crying, glared at him with hatred.

“This is all your fault!” He yelled, storming over to where Germany was. Germany could only stare at him in shock.

“Hey!” Prussia shouted.

You were supposed to protect him!” Romano screamed at him, “He counts on you for everything! And you let him get SHOT! He’s in there dying because of you!!!

Germany had no clue what to say. He was right, of course. This was all his fault. If he had been a few seconds faster, or if he hadn’t been frozen in shock, he could have helped Italy. It could have been him in that operating room instead of Italy. Germany would do anything to go back and change it so that it was him who had been hurt. But he could not go back and change time. Italy was wounded, possibly dying, and it was all Germany’s fault.

Romano.” Spain said, sounding more serious than Germany had ever heard him, “Stop it. This is not Germany’s fault, and you know it.”

Romano turned around, looking as if he was about to go off on Spain, when the doctor interrupted him. “Excuse me,” She said, “But can I finish what I was saying? Time is of the essence here.”

With one final glare at Germany, Romano nodded, gesturing for her to talk.

“As I said before,” She continued, “We’ve removed the bullet, but he’s lost a lot of blood. We need to give him a blood transfusion. Now, I’ve been informed of our…special situation, and….”

At first, Germany didn’t know what she was talking about. But then, he remembered: They were nations. They didn’t have the same blood type as humans.

“…we need two of you to give blood, seeing as you all have the most similar blood to him.”

“Why two?” Hungary asked.

“He lost about a liter and a half of blood.” She told them, “We’ll need a bit more than two pints, and at most we can only take one and a quarter from each person.”

“I’ll do it.” Germany immediately spoke up, but Romano shook his head, rolling his eyes.

“No, you idiot. Seborga and I are going to do it, seeing as we’re his fucking brothers.” He said, looking over at his younger sibling. Seborga, who had been silent the whole time, nodded, walking over next to Romano. Germany lowered his head. Right.

“Alright, good.” The doctor said, “Let’s go, we need to hurry.”

She led the brothers away, and Germany walked over and slumped down in a chair. Prussia sat next to him.

“Hey, you know it wasn’t your fault, right West?”

Yes it was. He thought, but he didn’t say anything.

“West?” Prussia repeated. Still, Germany said nothing. He just sat back in his chair, his arms folded across his chest, staring up at the ceiling.

He wished he could fall asleep. That way, this guilt he felt in his chest would go away. That way, he could stop worrying if Italy would be okay. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t, because every time he closed his eyes, he saw that soldier pulling the trigger. He saw blood fly from Italy’s chest, saw him crumple to the ground. He saw Italy bleeding out as he held him, saw Italy’s blood soaking Japan’s jacket as he tried to stop the bleeding. Saw him screaming as Japan tried to calm him. He could still feel Italy’s hand in his, gripping it tightly at first, then losing it’s grip as he lost his strength.

But most of all, he could see Italy, lying on an operating table, pale and lifeless…..

“West.” Prussia’s voice shocked him out of his daze, and he looked at him, startled.

It took him a moment to realize he was crying. Quickly, he wiped the tears from his face before anyone else could see them.

“West, are you okay?” Prussia asked carefully.

That was a stupid question, Germany thought. “….No…” He replied, his voice hoarse and rather weak. God, he was pathetic.

It wasn’t long before Romano and Seborga returned. They both had juice in their hands, which Germany knew was something they gave you so your blood sugar wouldn’t drop too low after giving blood. Seborga sat down in his chair without a word, but Romano glared at Germany for a moment before giving him the finger. Germany just sighed, and Spain pulled him down into his seat, giving him a dirty look.

“What?” Romano asked.

“You know what.” Spain said, crossing his arms.

“He fucking deserves it!”

“No, he does not.” Spain said, then turned to Germany. “Lo siento, Germany.”

“It’s fine.” Germany muttered, waving his hand.

“Shut up, you bastard!” Romano yelled, “It is not fine-”

“Stop, it, R-”

“No! It’s his fault my brother is like that!” Romano shouted, tears forming in his eyes.

“Romano,” Spain sighed, shaking his head, “Shut up and drink your juice. ”

Romano huffed, sitting back in his chair. He crossed his arms over his chest, refusing to look at anyone. The group was then thrown into another silence, not so much awkward as it was nervous.

It seemed like forever that they sat there in the waiting room. No one said a thing, and Germany could practically feel the anxiousness clawing at everyone. He, for one, felt sick to his stomach, as well as exhausted. He didn’t want to fall asleep, in case he missed anything important. But with everything that had happened that day, and just the sheer exhaustion of it all, before he knew it, he’d fallen into unconsciousness.


He couldn’t remember most of what happened, but he could remember the pain. The white hot searing pain that tore through him the moment the bullet his his chest.

Everything had been fine at first. He’d been with Germany, looking for people that needed help. There had been a soldier, an enemy soldier, and they’d thought he’d been unconscious. Then suddenly, something had grabbed his ankle and yanked him down to the ground. Then, as he’d scrambled to his feet, there’d been a gun pointed at his head.

He’d been frozen, paralyzed with fear, unable to move. He could see out of the corner of his eye that Germany was in the same state. The soldier had screamed at him, telling him that he was a bad person and that he was evil. Italy had tried to explain, tried to calm him down. But the soldier wouldn’t listen, and before Italy knew it, the soldier had lowered the gun to his chest and pulled the trigger.

He didn’t feel any pain at first. Then it exploded in his chest, spreading like fire until it engulfed all of him and he couldn’t breathe. He gasped, his hands flying to his chest. His legs weakened, and the ground suddenly rose up to meet him. He slammed into it, crying out from the pain.

Everything hurt. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move. He heard someone yell his name, then lots of more yelling after that. Germany. Where was Germany? Was he okay? Had the soldier shot him too? He wanted to sit up and look for his best friend, but every bone in his body hurt to move.

Then Germany was there, standing over him, looking more terrified than Italy had ever seen him. “Oh my god. Italy. Italy, look at me, open your eyes….”

Italy tried to, tried to keep his eyes open, but it was hard. Everything hurt, and his head was spinning. He could hear Germany talking to him, trying to keep him awake, but he could only make out half of the words. He said something too, but he wasn’t quite sure what it was.  He saw Germany turn to look at something, saw him yelling at someone.

Then another person appeared over him. Japan. Since when had Japan been here? He heard Japan’s voice sink into his ears. He asked if Italy could hear him, and Italy gave a small nod. He could hear Japan and Germany talking. Something about stopping the blood. They sounded so far away, despite the fact that they were right next to him. Then, Germany was opening his jacket, placing something else there. He warned Italy that it would hurt, and Italy wanted to tell him that nothing could hurt more than the excruciating pain he was in right now.

He was wrong.

Germany pressed down on the wound, and it felt like a million fires exploding in his chest. His vision blurred so he could only see white and he screamed, jolting up into an almost sitting position. Japan pushed him back down.

“P-please…..stop…” He begged.

He could hear them apologizing. He could hear Japan trying to keep him awake, asking him questions. He tried to answer them the best he could, but it felt like there was a huge anvil on his chest. Coughs violently overtook him, and he could feel blood dripping down his chin.

Germany pushed down on the wound again, and it was even worse this time. He couldn’t help it, he started thrashing around again. He just wanted it to stop. He heard Japan say something about him going into shock. Shock? What was that? Why was he in it? He wasn’t really sure of anything anymore. Everything was so confusing.

Eventually, he stopped thrashing, looking up to see Germany’s face over him, begging him to stay awake. He tried, but his eyes were slipping farther shut by the second. And he was cold. God, he was cold. He tried to tell Germany, but he could only manage to get a few words out.

However, Germany seemed to get the message, because in a couple of seconds he could feel himself be lifted up and Germany’s jacket be wrapped around him. He was then set down, his head resting on Germany’s lap.

“Am….am I going to die…?” He asked weakly.

“No, no!” Germany said quickly, “You’re going to be fine, okay? Everything’s going to be fine.”

Suddenly, a certain someone popped into his mind. His best friend from a long time ago. He didn’t know exactly why he was thought of Holy Rome in that moment, but it could have just been him missing his friend. He didn’t remember much about him, after all he’d been very young when he’d last seen him, but he did remember one distinct thing: His promise to wait for him.

He couldn’t really understand much anymore. Words and sounds were blurring together, and colors were becoming distorted. All the words that were being said to him weren’t making sense. Who was saying them, again? Where was he, again?

He looked up and saw someone with black hair and brown eyes looking down at him. Japan. That’s right, Japan was here. Who else was there?He mumbled something about Holy Rome, and Japan asked who the boy was. Italy weakly told him about him, how nice he was and how he looked very similar to Germany.

Germany. Where did he go? He was there just a second ago, but Italy hadn’t heard his voice in a while, and everything hurt too much for him to look around. Italy could only assume that he wasn’t there anymore. He wanted to ask Japan where he’d gone, but he said something else instead. He couldn’t quite remember what it was, but Japan looked rather shocked to hear it.

The wail of sirens sunk into his brain, and then Japan was gone too. Then some new faces, ones he didn’t recognize that were trying to get him to talk to them. They sounded far off, and he couldn’t quite understand what they were saying. There was a scream, made by a voice that sounded familiar, but he couldn’t quite place who it was. There were flurries of motion all around him, and people were pulling at him and pressing down on the wound, making his whole body scream in pain. Everything was confusion and he was terrified. He just wanted Germany. Where had he gone? He wanted to ask for him, but no sound came out when he tried to talk.

Then, he was being lifted up into a vehicle with bright lights. Someone strapped a breathing mask to his face. He could hear crying. It sounded like his older brother.

Finally he shut his eyes, not being able to keep them open any longer. He heard someone talking to him again, felt someone take his hand. His head hurt like hell, as did the rest of him, and before he knew it, he fell unconscious.

The next few hours were a blur as he drifted in and out of consciousness. The next time he opened his eyes, he saw his older brother standing next to him. There were tears streaming down his face. Italy wanted to ask him to stop crying, because Romano never cried and he was scaring him. But before he could, unconsciousness overtook him again.  

The next time he awoke, he opened his eyes into slits only to be shocked by blinding white lights. He could see the blurry shapes of people above him, with masks over their faces. The piercing pain in his chest was unbearable now, and every time the people would touch it in any way he would scream, crying out for Germany or his brother or anyone to come help him.

Just then, he felt a pinprick on his arm, and the strangest thing happened. The pain went away. It melted away until it was almost as if it had never been there at all. Then, an overwhelming tiredness came upon him, and before he knew it, he had fallen asleep.

“Hey, west. Wake up.”

Germany yawned, slowly opening his eyes. Prussia was shaking him, trying to wake him up. For a moment, he couldn’t remember where he was, then it all came rushing back to him. War. Hospital. Italy.

He felt like absolute shit. His joints ached, and he felt more exhausted than he had when he’d gone to sleep. Romano, Spain, and Seborga were all missing, which was weird. Where were they?

“Wh…what’s going on?” Germany asked groggily, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.

“West, I….” Prussia trailed off, looking the other way. He looked utterly exhausted, and just the look on his face alone was enough to let Germany know something wasn’t right. Hungary was gone, too. Where had she gone? A sudden panic rose in Germany’s chest as he feared the worst.

“There’s really not any way of saying this.” Prussia said carefully, “Italy’s not….he’s not doing so well.”

Germany’s eyes widened, his heart dropping into his chest. “Wh-what do you mean he’s not doing well?!” He asked immediately, “He’s a nation! I-I mean, he has to be okay. He’s not…”

“H-hey, don’t panic, alright? Look, I’m sure-”

“No! How can I not panic?!” Germany almost shouted. “Italy’s in there dying, and I…..I….” He trailed off for a second, at a loss for words. “Wh-where’s Romano and Seborga? Are they with him?”

Prussia nodded. “Yeah, but-”

“Then I have to go in there too.” Germany stated, standing from his seat.

“West, he’s not awake-”

“I don’t care.” Germany cut him off. Prussia grabbed his arm and attempted to pull him back into his seat, but Germany pushed him away. People were starting to look at them now.

“West, you can’t.” Prussia gave a low hiss, trying to avoid any more attention.

“Watch me.” Germany muttered, starting to make a quick exit for the door.

“They’re only letting family family in there!” Prussia said, rushing after him.

“Italy is my family.”

Prussia stood in front of Germany, holding his arms out so he couldn’t get past. “West!”

“Let me go!” Germany exclaimed, trying to push him out of the way.

“SIT DOWN, GERMANY!” Prussia yelled, shoving him back. Germany stumbled back a few feet, very caught off guard. Prussia looked at him with a stern expression he hadn’t seen on his brother’s face in years. “Listen to me,” He said angrily, “You cannot go in there. Now sit, dammit.”

He probably wouldn’t have, if he hadn’t been so shocked at Prussia shoving him and calling him Germany. But his brother hadn’t shouted at him in so long, it was quite a surprise for him. Normally he was the one doing the shouting. So he sat down, crossing his arms over his chest. Suddenly, he realized he was crying again. He quickly wiped the tears away as soon as they came. Damn, what was wrong with him?

“I’m sorry, West.” Prussia said gently, all anger from his voice now gone, “We can’t do anything now but wait.”

So that’s what they did. They waited for what seemed like hours on end, but in reality was probably only about two. Every minute of it was torture. Hungary came back; she had only gone to get coffee. He heard Prussia and her talking about him. Prussia was saying things like “I’ve never seen him like this,” and “I don’t know what to do,” but Germany didn’t say anything. He couldn’t even bring himself to lift his head, just staring at the floor for what seemed like forever.

Anxiety and worry consumed every part of him, eating away at him to the point where he was physically shaking. He clenched his fists, trying to stop himself, but it didn’t work. Fear gripped at him, clawed at him, filling his chest until it was hard to breathe. His vision swam with tears once again, and he quickly wiped them away with the back of his hand before anyone could notice.

God. Italy wasn’t doing so well. What the heck did that mean? Italy was a nation. He couldn’t die. So what was the problem? He had a million questions. Part of him wanted to ask, but another was too scared to. The former was the part that won over, so he stayed quiet.

Suddenly, a terrible thought hit him. He desperately wished it hadn’t, partly because it was so horrible, and partly because it made perfect sense. Could Italy really be dying….because he was only half of Italy? Technically, there didn’t have to be two Italies…

Wait, no. Yes there did. There had to be two Italies, at least in Germany’s mind, because he needed Italy.

He needed Italy. Germany almost laughed at the thought, considering how other often it was the other way around. Italy was always the one who needed to be saved, not him.

It was strange, really. Germany didn’t often think of all the times he needed Italy. He thought about him quite often, and really did miss him when he was gone. Italy was his best friend, and the only person who could genuinely make him smile.

What Italy had said earlier, about him have a crush on Germany, had shocked him, stunned him into silence. At first, he had been sure that it had just been Italy saying something he didn’t even mean. He had been really out of it at the time after all, not even remembering that Germany was there.

Germany almost wanted it to be true. He wanted it to be true that Italy had a crush on him. Germany had definitely felt something for him, it was just that wasn’t quite sure what it was. Or rather, he knew what they were, he didn’t want to have them unless he knew that Italy was going to return them.

Suddenly, someone put a hand on his shoulder, and Germany looked up to see his brother standing over him.

“I’ve got news.” He said.

Anxiety filled Germany’s chest, and for a split second, he didn’t want to know. If Italy was okay, then yes, he wanted, needed to know. But if he wasn’t, Germany did not want to know. He would rather live his whole life not knowing than hear those dreadful words, telling him that his best friend was-

“Italy’s going to be okay.” Prussia said, giving a small, tired smile.

Relief flooded through him, crashed down on him like a tidal wave. He put his hands over his face, sinking down in his seat and letting out a long, shuddering breath. He repeated the words again in his mind, trying to convince himself of them. Italy was okay.

“He’s just barely hanging on, but nation regenerative powers finally kicked in. He’ll make it.” Prussia informed him, sounding almost as relieved as he was.

“Can I see him?” Germany asked, sitting back up in his seat. Prussia shook his head.

“He’s still asleep. But they said they’d tell us as soon as we can go in there.”

Germany nodded. That was good enough for now.

Because as long as Italy was okay, so was he.
Five hours later, a nurse came up to them, asking them if they were with Feliciano Vargas. When they said yes, they were shocked to hear that he had apparently already woken up. Germany was surprised; He thought it would be much longer.

When she told them that they could visit them, Germany jumped up almost too enthusiastically. The nurse gave him a strange look, but Germany didn’t particularly care. He was eager to see Italy.

The nurse led them from the waiting room and down a series of confusing hallways that Germany would have surely gotten lost in if not for the person guiding them. As they got closer to the room, he could feel the anxiety in his chest rising. By the time they got close, his heart was pounding, and he was sweating.

Finally, they turned a corner, and saw Romano, Seborga, and Spain standing outside one of two doors in the small hallway. Seborga kept his head down once again. However, Romano and Spain both turned to look at them, and Germany was surprised to see that Romano’s eyes were not filled with hatred. He looked at Germany with an expression that was almost…ashamed? Sorry? Germany couldn’t tell, but Romano didn’t say anything.

“Only one person at a time is allowed in the room.” The nurse informed them.

Prussia looked at Germany and Hungary warily, “So…who’s gonna-”

“Germany goes first.” Romano suddenly interrupted, his arms crossed as he stared at the floor. Germany eyes widened, and he looked at him in surprise. Had Romano just said what he thought he’d said?

Romano noticed that he was looking at him, and scowled. “You heard me, bastard. Now head in there before he passes out again.”

Germany was still a little confused, but he decided not to question it. Instead he walked towards the door, but just when he reached for the handle, Seaborga grabbed his arm.

“Hey, Germany.” He said, pulling him a little to the side, “Just a tip: Don’t speak to loudly when you go in there. He’s still really weak, and loud noises will hurt him. Also, he doesn’t….he doesn’t look that great. Just a warning.”

Germany didn’t know much about Seborga, other than he was a lot like Italy. All the times he had been around him, Seborga had been generally a very happy and upbeat person. Right now, he looked the opposite of both those things: Exhausted and dead serious.

Germany nodded. “Thank you.” He said.

“No problem.”

Germany reached for the door, his hand shaking slightly. Part of him didn’t want to go in there. But both the guilt and the anxiety in his chest pushed him forward, making him open the door and step inside, shutting it behind him.

The room was rather small, with only one window and two doors, one of which Germany could assume led into a bathroom. The window was covered by a blue curtain, blocking any light from the outside. The only light in the room came from a dim light that hung from the ceiling. There were a few chairs by the door, and the only other furniture in the room was the bed and everything attached to it.

There, in the bed, was Italy. When Germany saw him, he drew in a breath, his heart turning in his chest. Seborga was right. He didn’t look good.

The first thing that surprised him was how weak Italy looked. His frail form looked deflated, almost broken. He was sickly pale and the bruise from before was the only bit of color on his face, being a dark blue purple. Bandages wrapped around parts of his arms and his head, thought Germany wasn’t exactly sure why. Maybe he had hit his head when he fell?

He was hooked up to all sorts of machines, including an three types of IVs and something that went under the blanket and attached to his chest. A breathing mask was strapped to his face, and the heart monitor next to his bed gave a weak but steady heartbeat.

His chest rose and fell in a slow steady motion, and his eyes were shut. Figuring he had gone back to sleep, Germany started to leave, but then stopped himself. He turned back around to look at his best friend, guilt rising in his chest. God, he looked so awful, so weak, and it was all his fault. Maybe if he had been just a little quicker, or hadn’t been frozen in shock or….

He sighed, shaking his head. There wasn’t any use dwelling on this, not now. He walked back over to the door, putting his hand on the handle again, but stopped himself once more.

“Hang in there, Italy.” He said, even though he know the other nation could not hear him, “I…..I can’t lose you too.”

“And you won’t.” Came the reply, and Germany nearly jumped out of his skin. He turned back around, only to see Italy now with his eyes open, if just barely.

“Hey Germany.” Italy said weakly, giving him a small smile.

For a moment, Germany could only stare in shock. Then, despite himself, he gave a small laugh, wiping away a few tears that had come to his eyes. “Hi Italy.” He said, remembering only to talk softly.

“Sorry, I wasn’t asleep, I was just….” He trailed off for a second, “I was just resting. I though you were Romano, so I…”

“No, no. It’s okay.” Germany assured him, walking back over to the bed, “How are you feeling?”

“I’m doing okay. Well, sort of. They sure do have me hooked up to a lot of machines.” He said, giving slight tug at the the breathing mask, “How are you? Are you okay? Did that guy hurt you?”

Germany was a little surprised to see him so worried about him. “N-no, I’m alright. You look exhausted.”

“So do you.” Italy pointed out. His voice sounded weird with the breathing mask on, different.

“Duly noted. But seriously, maybe I should go, let you get some r-?”

“No!” Italy said quickly, maybe a little more loudly than he should have. He started coughing, and it took him a moment to calm down. “Wh-what I mean is…please stay, if you don’t mind. I really don’t….I don’t want to be alone in here anymore. When I first woke up, there wasn’t anyone in here, and I couldn’t move or talk and….” He trailed off, shaking his head.

Germany nodded. “I’ll stay with you, then.” He pulled one of the chairs from the door over to the bed, sitting down in it.

“Thank you.” Italy sighed in relief. He was quiet for a moment, as if thinking about something, then he gained a slightly fearful expression. “Hey….did I, uh….did I say anything….stupid before I passed out?”

Germany looked down at the ground. Should he tell him? Maybe, but probably not the best idea to do so right now, when he was already so weak. It would only trouble him. Besides, it wasn’t particularly stupid……

“No, no worries.” Germany told him, “Nothing stupid was said.”

Italy relaxed a little, letting out another sigh. “That’s good. I thought I….” He shook his head, “Never mind. What about Japan? Is he okay?”

“He left with America after we got to the hospital.” Germany informed him, “He was….he was really shaken up, so…”

“Oh.” Italy’s face fell, filled with guilt.  "I didn’t mean to scare him.“

"I think you scared all of us.” Germany admitted, “But that’s alright. You’re okay now, and that’s all that matters.”

Italy smiled at him again, before his lips turned downwards in a frown and his brow furrowed slightly. “That was really….really scary.” He said, clutching at the blanket that lay over him.

Germany down at the ground again. “You’re telling me.” He mumbled sadly, and when he looked up again, there were tears formed in Italy’s eyes. He instinctively reached out and wiped them away. “But it’s over now, okay? I promise.”

Italy nodded, reaching out and taking a hold of Germany’s hand. Germany let him, rubbing his thumb on the back of Italy’s hand comfortingly.

“Romano was really mad at you.” Italy said softly after a moment of silence. “He thought it was your fault I got hurt. I heard him yelling about it outside the door. Seborga had to calm him down. When he came in, I told him he was wrong, that you and Japan were the ones that saved me. He was really surprised.”

Germany shook his head. “Thank you, but it was really Japan that helped you mostly. At first I was too shocked to do anything.”

“That’s okay, I would have been too.” Italy admitted, “But….I’m really glad it was me that got hurt instead of you. If you got hurt, I wouldn’t….I-I wouldn’t…..” He was thrown into another coughing fit, and this time Germany comforted him, rubbing his back and saying “Shh, it’s okay. Breathe.”

Finally he was able to calm down, his breathing a bit more shallow and erratic. He lay his head back down on the pillow, looking exhausted.

“I’m really tired….” He admitted, “And I wanna….sleep, but….”

“Then get some rest.” Germany told him, “You really need it.”

“Will you….stay with me?” Italy begged, his eyes already beginning to close, “Please.”

“Of course.” Germany assured, “I won’t leave you. I’ll be right here when you wake up again.”

“Promise?” Italy asked weakly.

Germany nodded, shifting his hand and wrapping his pinkie around Italy’s, just like they had long ago. “Promise.”

Italy gave one last weak smile, his eyes finally drifting shut. Then, just before he drifted off into slumber, he let out a soft hum, then mumbled something in a sleepy daze even Germany could barely hear.

“…..Ti amo, Germany.”

Germany’s eyes widened, then he closed them, soaking in the words. He then opened them and looked back at Italy, looking at him for a moment before giving a small smile to the nation who was now sleeping peacefully. A piece of hair had fallen in his face, and Germany tentatively reached a hand out to brush it back, still holding Italy’s hand with his other.

“I love you too, Italy.”

Savage women warriors terrifying the jihadis, who believe if they're killed by a female they won't go to heaven

“You wouldn’t know it from her sweet smile, but the reason why Nesrin Abdi carries a rifle is in case she needs to shoot herself dead.

This, she explained matter-of-factly, would be preferable to being captured by the monsters of Islamic State.

Nesrin, a 20-year-old medical student, is by all accounts a happy, well-educated, middle-class young woman with an infectious joy for life.

In her home town of Kobane on the Syria-Turkey border, moments of joy are rare, but a photograph captures the triumphant moment three days ago when she was among Kurdish fighters who recaptured a strategic hill from the Islamic State invaders.

The jihadis’ sinister black flag was torn down and replaced with a fluttering Kurdish red-and-yellow banner, marking what may well prove a symbolic turning point in the life-and-death struggle for the besieged town.

But Nesrin, a doctor’s daughter who has joined an army of women battling to defend Kobane, is aware that every day could be her last.

She told me: ‘Everyone knows what happens if IS catches you. For a woman it is rape, followed by beheading. We have all seen the videos of the American and British hostages beheaded in the desert. They will treat us the same.

‘I carry a Kalashnikov and if I am cornered face-to-face with an IS fighter, I don’t know exactly what I will do. Maybe I will kill him or maybe I will kill myself.’

The battle for Kobane has raged for a month and the stakes could hardly be higher. On Nato’s doorstep, it has become a litmus test of the resolve of America and its allies to crush the growing menace of Islamic State.

The bloodthirsty fanatics are pouring in reinforcements and have the town in a deadly stranglehold, with up to 13,000 civilians trapped inside, including the elderly and babies hungry for milk. The United Nations has warned of ‘another Srebenica’ — like the massacre in Bosnia in 1995 — unless the world acts.

Photographer Jamie Wiseman and I have been witnessing the struggle unfold from a Turkish hilltop overlooking the town. In the past four days, cheered by Kurds on the hilltop, the U.S. has stepped up the coalition bombing campaign of IS targets, claiming its warplanes have blown up 600 jihadis along with American tanks and artillery that they pilfered from the Iraqi army.

The U.S. blitz is welcome — one Kurdish couple have named their newborn son Obama in gratitude — but the battle cannot be won by air power alone.  

On the ground, resistance troops have taken advantage of the air raids to mount an unlikely comeback and retake some parts of the town. They are commanded by a woman, and dozens of female fighters swell their ranks.

When I spoke to Nesrin Abdi yesterday, she explained why the all-female wing of the Kurdish force defending Kobane — the YPJ — is striking fear into the hearts of the jihadi men.

‘For Daesh [an Arabic term for IS], to be killed by a woman means he will not go to Heaven. When we fight them, we are fierce and we let them know they are being killed by women,’ she said.

In the heat of battle, the female Kurdish fighters issue a chilling war cry — a shrill warble — to announce their presence to their black-clad foes.

‘It is so, so important that it is women fighting IS,’ said Nesrin. ‘In their culture, women are slaves. They treat them as objects whose lives are worth nothing.’

In the warped world of the Islamic caliphate, which has stunned the world with its sweeping victories across Syria and Iraq, girls and women lose all rights and forgo their education. Some are even sold into slavery.

Nesrin said: ‘Kurdish women have fought hard to prove their equality, and fighting Daesh is a symbol of our freedom.’ About a quarter of the fighters in the Syrian Kurdish army — some 10,000 — are women. Of these, at least several hundred are currently believed to be fighting inside Kobane. They speak of being ‘closer than sisters’.

Recruitment to the YPJ is voluntary; women join up because it is in their blood. They have been fighting alongside men in Kurdish ranks since the 1930s — and even before they were allowed on the front line, some dressed up as men to enlist.

Kurdish activist Hatice Cevik said: ‘Not all women fighting right now were fighters before the war started. They were working or studying. Some of them were housewives. Women in Kobane are fighting for their freedom and Kurdish men are proud of that.’

Nesrin’s mother (her father died when she was young) has fled to Turkey but is also full of pride, though she is gripped with terror at what might become of her.

‘Of course she worries all the time,’ said Nesrin, who also has an elder sister. ‘But what can I do? I cannot make her feel relaxed. I always tell her this is my duty. I am a girl from this town and I need to defend it. My father and mother were born here, our ancestors are buried here — these things make me strong.

‘It would be better to die for freedom here than to live anywhere else.’

Nonetheless, it is a wretched existence. The exhausted, battle-weary fighters snatch sleep when they can, often for no more than an hour at a time.

Clutching their rifles and hand grenades, they drift off knowing that a mortar bomb landing nearby might mean they never wake.

The nights are particularly cruel because then there is no hiding from the jihadis, who gleefully brag on social media that they can see in the dark with their looted American night-vision goggles.

The street fighting rages around the clock. Propaganda videos released by the Kurds show women and men fighting alongside each other against the jihadis, blasting away with their battered Kalashnikov rifles through slots in walls.

Nesrin feels afraid every night, but says she is ‘getting used’ to the bone-shaking booms of the shelling and airstrikes.

Speaking to me from across the border on her mobile phone, with the help of a Kurdish translator, she described how the fighters keep their spirits up.

‘We listen to songs and we sing songs. In spite of the death around us there is also love of life, and love of free lives,’ she said. ‘This gives us moral support. To be defending your home town is life itself.’

I asked if she dreams of the future to keep her spirits strong, and she said: ‘I will go back to my university to become a doctor. I was only in the second year.’

She also wants to document the battle unfolding around her so the world can see what is happening.

What about a husband and children? She laughs. ‘In this situation, I don’t know. I cannot think about these things at the moment. I think I am too young.’ In Kobane, those old enough to carry a gun — and even some who are not — are armed.

‘Everybody is fighting. There are women my age who have been given hand grenades to throw,’ says a 63-year-old woman called Alife Ali at a hospital in Suruc, just across the border in Turkey. ‘We will fight to the last person.’

Behind the front line, mothers whose sons and daughters are fighting organise meals for everyone, using tinned food topped up with stocks of tomatoes and cucumbers. In the stricken town money is no longer worth anything, so the dwindling supplies of food can be obtained for free.

But medication is in short supply and doctors warn that after this weekend they will be out of antibiotics, bandages and anaesthetic. Powdered baby milk has run out.

Some joke optimistically that ‘when the war is won by women’ they will make men do the washing-up for evermore.

Local politician Imad Shahin, from the Kurdish PYD party, said: ‘Islamic State are trying to commit genocide against us.

‘We are being attacked by these monsters because we have equality between men and women. In a Muslim society some think it is shameful for a girl to fight, but our fighters have broken all the rules to show the world that our women are free.

‘The bravery of the women makes the men fight harder because they don’t want to be outdone by a woman.’

Indeed, a woman is leading the battle to save Kobane. With the nom de guerre Narin Afrin, and described as ‘beautiful, innocent and strong’, she is general commander of the troops defending the town.

She has been lionised on social media. Maajid Nawaz, of the counter-extremist Quilliam Foundation think-tank in London, wrote on Twitter: ‘Hero. Remember her name.’

Earlier this week Narin Afrin appealed for heavy weapons, saying in a statement posted online: ‘IS are using tanks. Unfortunately we don’t have anti-tank weapons.’

After a month of horror, the desperation on both sides is mounting. Gains made by the Kurds this week, with the help of American airstrikes, have given them hope of being able to sweep the jihadis out of town. But for how long?

We can only wonder what will happen to Nesrin and the women fighting at her side when IS — which still commands all the Syrian territory around Kobane — regathers its strength and launches another murderous assault.”


devil may care, heaven will weep.

summary: Marinette throws Ladybug away to protect her friends, her partner, and her home. Adrien watches the rest of the aftermath unfold through uncertain eyes. 
a/n: This idea has been playing on my mind all day, and I decided to write it up. It’s been a little while since I’ve done a non-prompted piece, and this one will certainly be longer than my usual fics. Also, this is my first attempt at a semi-action scene. Any criticism will be welcome! I hope you enjoy this piece, and I hope I got the tone right.
warnings: mentions of injuries, blood, and self-harm (though not due to depression).
[PART 2]

“Ladybug!” Adrien ran around the rubble, frantically turning his head and trying to spot his partner amidst the aftermath of the chaos. 

The entire plaza had been turned on it’s head. Stones had been unearthed, glass made the ground glint with the red of the sun, and the whole area had been evacuated. It was like searching for phantoms in a ghost town. 

He didn’t care what person had been infected with the Akuma this time. All that was business said and done. 


The entire thing was a blur. Ladybug had been pinned against the wall. His arm throbbed white-hot pain. They were close to blinkering out, and she had…

Adrien shook his head. “Can’t think about that now. Can’t… Ladybug!” Trying to keep his mind focused, his feet pounded against the ground, and he ignored the shooting pains coming from his left arm. 

Everything was grey. Dusty. Nothing was there aside from ruined rubble and torn flags. 

Adrien’s lungs screamed at him to stop running, and his body forced him to take a few moments to try and catch his breath. He bent over, hands on his knees, trying to steady the labouring wheezes from his throat. 

It was when he went to take another step, that the colour caught his eye.


Underneath a broken piece of debris, he saw it. A tiny, bloodied hand, curled out and unmoving. 

His stomach lurched as he took a closer look.

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