It was raining.
It seemed to always be raining. At least now. Fat wet drops pelted down on the shoulders of two soldiers, trudging through a marshy environment combed with tank tracks and fallen trees. The great holes in the ground were now filled with muddy, swirling water, causing the ground around them to become swampy and hard to navigate.While one looked considerably younger, they were both about the same age, at least in human years. The two were the living images of countries; Germany and Italy.
The war was over now, which meant that they needed to run. Japan had already surrendered, but Germany would not give up. He couldn't, because he knew that as a nation he would be hated and scorned upon, or worse, dissolved. Much less could he let that fate fall on the shoulders of Italy, who was seemingly too innocent for his own good.
The German soldier's hand was wrapped around the wrist of the Italian soldier, dragging him along. Mud squelched under his worn boots, his short, slicked back blonde hair falling from it's place and getting into his mud caked face. He pushed on, his wounded chest heaving as his other hand fought to keep the bandages in place. The metallic, tangy scent of blood filled the air around him, and his throat felt like an icy fire was penetrating it. The air was cold and wet, his military jacket draped over his shoulders firmly, the only thing keeping him warm in the musky environment.The Italian was rasping audibly, every once and a while letting out a quiet, tired, even sad whimper. His blue uniform was ruined, the knees and elbows torn away. His once pure, smiling face was now beaten and bruised, a gash on his forehead making his face seem clammy. His amber eyes were cracked open, though only barely, keeping a wary eye out for the enemy. He shook, letting himself be dragged along, stumbling; since he wasn't as athletic as his larger and stronger counterpart.
Finally, the Italian spoke.
"Doitsu?..." He rasped, digging his heels in the mud to stop his companion.
The blonde haired German turned around slowly at the familiar nickname, something Japan had taught him.
"Piacere... we need to-a slow down, no? It's not... not-a good for your wound."
The German could feel his face grow hot, his eyes flashing angrily. Italy flinched away, covering his read haired head protectively.
"Do you hear zhose armored cars, Italia!?" The German roared, though still not loud enough for many to hear the two. "America, Russia, England, China... even France is after us! If they catch us, zhey vill try to kill us. Zhey vill beat us and zhen leave us to rot, or maybe vorse!"
Italy wormed his wrist from Germany's tightening grip.
"Maybe we can-a get somewhere safe, at least for a little while..." Italy murmured to himself quietly, shaking as the rain continued to beat down on the two.
There was a long pause, Italy standing silently; prepared for another bout of shouting. Germany stared for a moment, breathing heavily. His gaze softened, and he put his hand on the Italian's shoulder.
"Fine. But vee vill only stay for a few hours, ja?"
Italy glanced up. A small smile splayed across his face. "Ve~... Grazie, Germany."
This time when the two resumed their trek, Italy followed voluntarily beside his larger companion. After a long while, the two came across the remains of a small town and were able to find shelter in a crumbling alley. It was by far one of the only suitable places to rest in the entire ruins of the town. The two huddled in the corner, arms wrapped around each other for warmth. After a while, Germany realized that Italy had fallen asleep, gripping onto him as if for dear life. From that point on, he tried to remain awake, but soon found his awareness began to slip. Any adrenaline he had possessed before began to fade, and his world became a warm and welcoming black.
When he once again awoke, the world was no longer silent, but instead filled with the mechanical whirring of machinery. He glanced up to see a large tank rolling by outside, led and followed by armored cars and caravan trucks, the occasional group of soldiers walking alongside them. He held his breath stiffly as a pair of soldiers drew uncomfortably close to the alley.
As his consciousness returned fully, he became aware of a quiet whimpering from just below him. He glanced down to see Italy staring, wide eyed and seemingly terrified at the two men talking and slowly walking just outside. He was aware that a low, shallow gasp was slipping out of the Italian's throat. Germany quickly slapped his hand over Italy's mouth, prying his vision away from the Italian's glassy amber eyes to see one of the soldiers tossing a rock in the air absentmindedly, as one would a playing ball.
He snapped his eyes shut automatically as the soldier turned and forcefully threw the rock into the alley. He could hear Italy let out a muffled yelp, and he himself tried to bite back a shout as the rock collided with his wounded shoulder. Italy's breathing grew ragged and stiff, as was his own at this point. He peeled his eyes open, his joints locked and ready to pounce up and run at any moment.
One of the soldiers was now gone, the other aiming a gun into the dark shadows of the alley were they sat. Suddenly, Russia and England came careening around the corner. Germany felt his heart sink. Russia had a gun slung over his shoulder, his heavy scarf swinging damply in the wind, England's unkempt hair now matted and wet.
Within moments, at a near indecipherable speed, Russia had lunged forward and had taken Italy by the hair, wrenching him from Germany's protective grip with enough force to pry a door from its hinges. Italy began to sob, Russia working quickly to tie his hands behind his back, and took a ragged strip of cloth to serve as a blindfold.
Germany found himself confused. It was going too fast. Much too fast.
Italy screamed, shouting vainly and fighting helplessly against Russia's grip.
"Germany! Germany help-a me-a!"
"Italia!-" He shouted back, his voice contorted angrily. He fought to his knees painfully, the wound on his chest searing, but England sent a well aimed blow to his side and knocked him down.
"You will pay for your crimes!" England spat angrily. The slightly older man's face was red hot with fury as he sent another kick into Germany's side.
Germany's head collided forcefully with the brick wall behind him, and he could feel England's sweaty hands wind around his wrists, tying them back behind his back. His eyelids fluttered as a blindfold was lowered over his eyes as well, leaving him sightless.
He didn't know who lifted him to his feet, which he stumbled onto and dragged for a few moments, but after a minute he was thrown down onto a tin-plastic surface. He could hear Italy's quiet whimpering and sobbing near his face, though he didn't know where from exactly. His head pounded as the heavy rumbling of an engine clouded his hearing, and the surface he lay on vibrated slightly. After a moment he came to realize that the floor was wet and hot. He screwed his eyes shut, trying to clear his head. It felt like hours until he could think again.
His thoughts where blurred, somewhere between 'this can't be happening', and 'mein Gott...'. He tried to regain any control over his reeling mind that he could, and it felt like ages before the agony slowly began to fade.
And true hours later, a small, weak voice broke the silence of his world.
"Doitsu... Doitsu, are-a you there?""...Ja...""Ve~... good." Italy said after a pause.He heard a slight shuffling, and then felt something warm and soft, yet still wet and damp press against his chest. Italy's head readjusted to become more comfortable. He heard Italy open his mouth, but instead only a croak escaped, and he whimpered again, burying his head deeper into Germany's wounded chest. Italy began to cry.
"I'm scared." Italy whispered.
Germany felt his voice crack as a lump formed in his throat. Though he couldn't see it, he knew Italy was crying because of the shudders nearby and the shaky breath he new belonged to his friend.
"I am too." He admitted softly.
He didn't know what would happen next, but he knew he had to stay strong. For Italy.
For both of them.