HetaOni inspired. Italy x Reader
"Ita. . .ly. . .so. . .tired. . . Let me. . .catch. . .breath. . ."
"Veh?! N-No! Not yet! Don't give up yet, _________!" Not yet. Oh please, not yet. "We're almost there, _________! Hold on, just a little longer! Please!" He wasn't sure if he could handle anymore. He wasn't sure he could go on like this repeating this cycle of watching them all die before his eyes again. And it was just the two of them now Italy and _________. They had done well to make it this far by themselves, after everyone else was gone. _________ had made it a point to keep Italy going they had to keep going for everyone else. They didn't give all they had just for them to fail now, she would tell him. And, honestly, that's what gave Italy some semblance of hope. Hope that he could uncover some new hint for the next time loop because he was going to get all of them out. All of them.
". . ._________?" Italy called, looking at the female country before him. She had paused to lean against the wall to catch her breath, and her eyes were closed. "_________," Italy tried again, reaching for her shoulder. She would doze off occasionally like this, but she would always perk back up and continue with her 'never-say-die' attitude. This time though. . . "Oh, God, not yet," Italy breathed, as he gripped her shoulders, "_________!"
"Sh-Shhhhh-Shhhhhh," was the barely audible sound that came from her, as her eye lids slowly lifted and Italy was able to see her eyes again. The look in them, though, made his heart twist in all different directions. He could see the life practically fading away from that normally vibrant gaze. Not yet, please not yet. "It'll hear you. . .you know. . .," she murmured, giving him a half-hearted smile, "And. . .if it catches us now. . ." She didn't have to finish that sentence. Italy already knew what would happen if that monster caught up with them now. "We. . .have to. . .keep. . .moving. . ."
"Right," Italy agreed, giving her a nod, "Here. I'll carry you. . .erm, sort of." He gingerly took one of her arms and slung it over his shoulders, before wrapping an arm around her waist to help her stand. She glanced at him with a small grin, grateful for the assistance.
"Thank you. . ."
"Veh~ Don't worry, _________. We're in this together, right? So, that means I've got your back."
". . .right. . .and. . .I'll always. . .always have yours too. . ."
That's what he was supposed to say here, right? It was getting harder and harder to say the same things over and over, knowing exactly what was going to happen next. He knew all of the right lines to say to _________ to keep her going to keep her from losing hope. Even if he already had. But, that was okay, really. He would just have to try again in the next time loop. Just try again, and hope that things would work out. At least he managed to write down what mistakes he had made this time around they were getting fewer and fewer. Was it because he had been through this enough times? Or because there were simply less and less mistakes to make because he had done them all already?
He could feel his heart breaking with every step he took toward the next room. Where that wait. If he remembered correctly, they managed to outrun that monster faster this time and _________ managed to deal some damage. That didn't happen in the previous time loop. Maybe, just maybe she would last a little longer this time. Maybe she'd be able to see this through until the end this time, instead of having to die like all the other times. Would this time be any different? Italy glanced down at _________, seeing the tired yet determined look on her face. Even if her vitality seemed to be draining away with each passing moment, she was determined to keep moving forward. And that was why he. . .his heart. . .his heart was. . .
"Ita. . .ly. . .you're crying. . .," she pointed out, after glancing at him and looking back at the hallway before them. Italy blinked, surprised at that statement, and within moments felt the unmistakable sensation of a fat, salty tear dropping from his chin. He wanted to say something in response, but all that came out was a hiccup and a strangled cry that threatened to erupt into a sob. . . .was his resolve suddenly fading? He heard _________ chuckle, then sigh tiredly, "Don't cry, Italy. . . It's. . .not over yet. We can. . .still. . .do this. . .some. . .somehow. . . So. . .so don't cry and don't be afraid. I'm. . .I'm still here, aren't I? And I. . .will always have your back."
In response, Italy gave a small, choked sob and nodded. _________ would always have his back. How. . .he wished that were true. . . He just wanted her to conserve her energy right now, instead of wasting it trying to comfort him. There was no use in that, but thinking that what she said was working seemed to bring her some solace. And that was the least he could do for her in this time loop. Now. . .they just needed to get to the next room. . . Which room was that again?
They were moving slowly down the hallway Italy taking small steps while _________ limped along with him. She was dragging her right leg, and though she was trying to hide it Italy could see that it was hurting her. M-Maybe she needed some rest. Yes. A quick breather and then they'd keep going. Maybe that was the key to having _________ last longer. Oh, who was he kidding? He was just trying to fool himself now.
"Let's. . .try that room. . .over there," _________ said, sounding a bit out of breath as she pointed to one of the doors in the hallway. Had she gotten to the point where her energy was completely drained? It looked like it. Nonetheless, Italy nodded and led them to the door. He carefully opened it and led _________ inside. Oh, looks like it was the library. He glanced down at _________, seeing her laboring to breathe now. She must be tired. . .tired and in pain. The thought tugged at his heart, but he had to find a way to remedy it for now. He began to lead them deeper into the room, until he found a large table with chairs around it.
"Veh! There, you can sit on one of the chairs, _________," he said, a bit relieved.
"Ah. . .," she agreed, as Italy began to lead her toward one. He gingerly assisted her as she let her tired body down, and she let out a drawn out sigh once she was seated. "Thank you. . .Italy." He nodded, and watched as she leaned back into her chair to get some much needed rest. She began to breathe easier after a few moments, and Italy scanned the room anxiously. This wasn't the same room they entered last time. Was that a good thing? Maybe. . .
"Italy. . .on the. . .table. . ."
Surprised, Italy turned his gaze back to _________. He watched as she weakly gestured to something lying on the table, and he shifted his attention there. Various different sheets of paper were lying across the surface, along with different books. Some were open flipped to random pages. Others were lying opened, but were turned page-down on the table. Oh, right. Italy found the journal here, but what -
"Do. . .Do you see it?"
There. Something just glinted in the light. Italy reached over, knocking a few books and stray sheets of paper aside. There it was. He didn't believe it. A piece of metal but not just a piece of metal. It was the other part of the key that he had been looking for. Was it here the entire time? Still, he had found an important clue. He couldn't let himself get too excited, though. He may have found the other metal piece, but he still had to go back in time so that he could use it correctly.
"Wow, _________, you're amazing! I would have never seen this," he praised her, showing her the item she managed to spot. She may not understand its significance now, but she didn't have to. Italy would use it to save her later. And it would all be because she found it in this time loop.
"Heh. . .I'm. . .I'm not that great, Italy. . . But, it may be of some. . .some use later. . .right?" she said, looking up at him with a smile.
Their celebration was cut short, however, when a large thud was heard at the door. Italy froze instantly. No. Not now! Not yet! His gaze snapped toward _________, who was still sitting and looked eerily calm. Italy's first thought was to grab _________ and run out when they had the chance, but the look in her eyes told him that she wasn't going to run this time. Oh, God, no. Please don't fight!
"Italy. . .," she said, looking toward him. He didn't like the expression she was wearing the one that said she was ready to fight. The one that said she was ready to make her last stand. The one that said she was going to protect him whatever the cost. And Italy didn't want that. He didn't want her to die for him again.
"___ - _________, we have to get out of here," Italy murmured, inching closer to her. He wanted to grab her and carry her out as fast as he could. Anything to get her to last longer. Anything to keep her alive. Anything to not end up alone again.
"Italy. . .I'm. . .staying," she declared, as she shakily got to her feet much to the Italian's horror. _________ saw the look on his face, and her expression softened, "I'm going to hold that. . .thing off as long as I. . .can. You. . .You can run. Get out. . .Italy for all of us."
That. . .That speech. It is _________'s 'last stand' speech. The same one from a few time loops ago where she also gave her life for his. Italy could feel the tears streaming down his face, holding back his sobs. He could hear _________ making gentle shushing noises, as she moved toward him and cupped his face in her hands and brought his head closer to hers. Italy brought his hands up, covering hers and clutching them, as he slowly broke down and his body shook with his silent sobs.
"Italy. . .you're going to get out of here. . . You're. . .You're going to get out. . .and make pasta. . .and drink. . .drink wine at home. . . You're not going to cry. . .because we all cared about you. . . I care about. . .you. . . You're. . .You're going to be. . .okay. . .," she told him, gently, pressing her forehead to his, "Don't cry. . .anymore. It hurts. . .to see you. . .you cry. . . It hurts. . .more. . .more than my wounds. . .because it hurts. . .my heart. . ." In the background, they could hear the thunderous footsteps of that monster the one responsible for the deaths of all of their friends enter the room and slowly, steadily making its way to their location. "Get out. . .Italy. . . This is. . .the least I. . .I can do. . ."
But, but it wasn't! She was going to die because he failed again! The least that Italy could do was carry _________ out of here! If he could save even one person from this time loop, then he. . .then he. . .
They heard a growling noise, and instantly knew that the monster had found them. Italy lifted his head and saw those soulless eyes staring at them the grotesque head towering over the room and its grey body lumbering in their direction.
"_________. . . _________. . .," he pleaded, as if he could get her to change her mind.
She smiled at him, before leaning in to leave a soft kiss on his forehead. Stunned, he didn't even protest when she slipped her hands out of his. "Run, Italy," _________ whispered, before she whirled around and grabbed the chair she had been sitting on. With a cry that snapped Italy out of his daze, _________ ran toward the monster and threw the chair at its face. The chair broke and splintered against its forehead, causing it to give an awful cry. "Go now!" she shouted, glancing back at him, before turning her attention back to the monster as it brought its gigantic fist down on the floor. _________ managed to dodge it, though barely, and stumbled before running back toward the table probably to grab another chair to throw at it.
Italy stood, unable to move. She was. . .she was really fighting. But, she had no energy left! There's no way she could last! This. . .this can't be. . . "_________!" Italy shouted, as _________ grabbed yet another chair and hurled it at the monster's face. This time, as it splintered, it looked like some of the wood got into its eyes. He noticed _________'s face brighten up at this turn of events, and darted over to him.
"C'mon, Italy! You have to get out!" she cried, grabbing his arm and yanking him along with her as she made her way back to the door. Italy thought that _________ was done that her energy was shot. But she was proving him wrong. _________ had dug up some hidden energy reserve inside of her her eyes were alight with a flame of determination. Something was willing her to keep going, keep fighting. It truly touched his heart. _________ hadn't given up yet. From her tugging on him to keep with her how she kept a firm grip on his arm so she wouldn't lose him he could tell that she had found her strength again. It was as if her injuries meant absolutely nothing, and really they didn't mean a thing to her at this point.
Adrenaline was pumping through her veins, and the singular thought of getting Italy out was the only thing keeping her from collapsing right there and then. Italy meant so much to _________. She wasn't about to let that blood-thirsty monster get his damned mitts on Italy. Not Italy. She had already lost everyone else. She watched them all die, one by one, despite her best efforts. And Italy was right there with her the only person keeping her together, keeping her from breaking. She wasn't about to let that thing get the last person she was clinging to her dear Italy. Her precious Italy.
She heaved a sigh of relief as they closed in on the door, but she was quick to sharply inhale when she heard those booming footsteps again. "Tch. . .we're gonna cut it close," she hissed.
"Don't give up, _________!" Italy encouraged her, picking up the pace as well. He wasn't going to let her down this time. If he managed to pull her out, maybe she could make it to the end. It was better than watching her die again. Anything was better than that. Italy reached for the door and threw it open. Almost there. Almost. As he began to run through the doorway, he felt _________'s hand slip away from his arm. Confused, Italy turned his head to look back at _________, only to find her smiling at him and waving her other hand. His heart dropped.
Too late. She slammed the door before he could turn fully turn around. There was a click signifying her locking the door from the inside. Still, Italy reached for the door knob and tried to wrench it open.
"_________!" Italy screamed, resorting to pounding his fists on the door. No. Oh, God, no. "_________! _________, please! _________! Open this door! _________! You have to get out! _________!"
"Italy. . .," he heard her voice, faintly, from the other side. Italy swallowed, hard, and pressed himself against the door to try and hear her better. "Italy, run. Run and don't look back. I won't let that monster lay a finger on you, you hear me? I would rather die than watch you you of all people get killed by it. Italy. . .I. . ." She paused, and Italy could hear her voice hitch, as if she was trying to keep from crying. How he wanted to desperately to be there with her! To hold her, to wipe those tears away! "Italy. . .I. . .I love you. I love you, and I want you to live. So run. Run as fast as you can. . ."
There was a thunderous cracking noise and it caused Italy to jump back from the door. "_________!" he shouted, running back to the door. He could hear the sounds of some sort of a struggle the sound of something making contact with the wall, the floor. What was going on in there?!
Back inside, _________ had managed slip past the monster as it prepared to attack her by the door. If that thing managed to break the door down and see Italy, there was no doubt it would go after him. And _________ couldn't allow that. No, not in a million years. Not Italy. She ran back to toward the open area of the library where the table and the chairs were. She was running out of options. She knew she didn't have enough energy left in her to keep using the same attacks she had been using alongside the other nations when they were all fighting as one. She would have to save whatever energy she had left for one, last big attack. Right now, she had to whittle down her opponent. Though, that was easier said than done judging by the thunderous steps right behind her.
_________ reached for the nearest chair, and turned to throw it at the monster. She got it in the space between its eyes which didn't please it much. No matter - _________ could feel herself smirking. It looks like aiming for the forehead was a good idea after all. The monster gave a bellow, before _________ ducked off to the side and around one of the bookshelves. She was running out of chairs to throw, after all, so she needed to try something else. An idea popped into her head, and she quickly ran around the bookshelf to the other side of it. She made sure that the monster was at her previous position before she pulled her arm back and focused her energy into her fist.
Like the other nations, _________ had her own set of skills. She didn't constantly carry a weapon around (like Japan with his katana, or Russia and his water pipe, or even America and his gun) but she was a tough nation that learned how to get by on the strength of her hands quite literally. With a shout, _________ gave the bookshelf a good punch and sent it toppling over. She could hear the monster on the other side making some sort of noise, but she didn't want to be that close to it when it fell over. She jumped back a good few feet before holding her ground and waiting. She knew it wasn't this easy to take down this monster it killed her friends, for pasta's sake! As if on cue, there was a rumbling before one of the monster's arm shot up from the rubble. . . Kind of like those horrific zombie scenes from one of America's movies where they were rising from their graves. . .
_________ chuckled to herself. Damn, was she really thinking about something like that right now? She watched as the monster made a hole for itself in the debris that was the bookshelf and the books that sat upon it to climb out. Despite the feeling of impending doom descending upon her, _________ couldn't help but smile to herself.
America. . . England. . . Canada. . . Russia. . . France. . . China. . . Germany. . . Prussia. . . Japan. . .
She idly wondered what their last thoughts were, as the monster got back on its feet. She could tell that the thing was angry angry at her for putting up a fight. But, that didn't seem to faze her. Not at this moment, anyway. "Come at me, you bastard," she challenged, smirking at it. This was suicidal. There was no way she would be doing this in her right mind. That must be it she finally broke. And there was no turning back no fixing the damage this time. She had finally cracked from the stress of it all. And she was ready to end it.
The monster charged at her, lifting one of its massive hands to squash her into the ground like a bug. But, _________ managed to duck to the side before jumping up onto the back of its hand and racing up its arm. Once at its shoulder, she jumped toward its head, drew one of her arms back, and delivered a power punch to the area right between its eyes. It gave a shriek, and _________ grinned triumphantly to herself but forgot about the other hand. That one came crashing down from above, swatting her toward the table like a fly. She coughed up a mouthful of blood as her body fell through the table due to the force of the smack. The table itself cracked and splintered away and was naught but a heap of wood with her lying on top. She was gasping for air, painfully, and forced herself to sit up.
"Oh, shit," she cursed, as the monster advanced on her. She could barely get to legs to work again her fatigue finally catching up to her. She scanned the floor around her, frantically, looking for something that would help her. The only thing within reach was one of the table's legs cracked in a way that one end was sharp and pointed. She made a mad grab for it as the monster stopped in front of her. _________ forced herself to calm her breathing, as she stared up at it and it gazed down at her. There was a defiant look in her eyes, as she forced a smirk. This was it, wasn't it? The end. At least. . .at least she could say that she lived a full life. . .right? The monster opened its mouth, and _________'s eyes widened.
Eat her. It was going to eat her.
"Oh, hell no!" she shouted, as it suddenly lunged forward with its mouth agape and seeking her body to take a bite out of. "Like hell. . .I'll let you eat me!" In one, final adrenaline fueled attempt to defy the monster, _________ took the splintered table leg and attempted to stab the monster somewhere, anywhere! She ended up thrusting her arm into its mouth, and shoving the wooden piece up into the roof of its mouth just as it began to close its mouth in an attempt to take her whole arm off. She found herself grinning, madly, when she heard the monster make a grotesque, gurgling noise, and felt her arm being covered in some warm liquid the monster's blood. It pulled its head back, as _________ quickly pulled her arm out, and shook its head wildly. Before _________ could congratulate herself, though, the monster made one final attack on her by sweeping its arms around and smacking _________ - sending her flying against the far wall. Her back hit the wall with a sickening crack, her eyes widening as she coughed up even more blood. She then hit the floor on her stomach, and lay there panting for air. She didn't notice the monster as it faded away from the room. . . She was in too much pain. . . And her vision. . .it was starting. . .to go. . .black. . .
"_________!" Italy's desperate screams came through the door. How could she have missed it? He was screaming for her the entire time. . .to the point where she could hear his throat going raw. . . "_________! Please! Don't leave me!"
"Ita. . .ly. . ." She could hear the anguish in his voice. . . She could only imagine how much of a mess he was by now. . . She propped herself up on her arms, finding that she no longer had the strength to get to her feet not that she could feel her legs anymore anyway. Slowly, but surely, she began to drag her broken and bruised body back toward the door. One last time. . . If this was it for her. . .she wanted to see Italy. . . One last time. . . She didn't remember the door being this far from the table, but whatever. Her vision was plagued by black spots here and there, and she was starting to feel dizzy. Still, she could hear Italy's screams and now sobs and that was enough to keep going. Italy. . . Italy. . .
"_________!" he shouted, his fists stinging from his attempts at breaking the door down not that he could anyway. He slowly slid to his knees, clenching his eyes shut as hot, salty tears streamed down his face. He didn't fail to notice that all had gone quiet on the other side of the door. There were no more cries from _________, no more thuds. She was gone, wasn't she? He had lost her again, didn't he? "I'm. . .sorry," he sobbed, "I'm sorry. . .I'm sorry. . ." He covered his face with his hands, and began to shake. This was too much. . .too much. . .
Italy perked up, instantly. The door. . .was being unlocked. He immediately got to his feet and reached for the door knob but stopped himself. What if it was the monster? What if it had done away with _________ and this was a trap to get him? Surely it had heard Italy's cries. This must be
"Ita. . .ly. . .," he heard _________'s soft voice. All of his worries were thrown out the window and he threw the door open one more time. Almost immediately, he wished he hadn't. There _________ was, lying on her back on the floor gasping for air. She was lying in a shallow pool of her own blood. Italy wanted to cry. He raced to her side, dropping to his knees, and gingerly raised her upper body in an attempt to get her as comfortable as possible moving one of his arms to cradle her upper body and support her head while the other held her close to him. She gasped, audibly, her chest heaving, and moved her head to look up at him. "S. . .ee. . . I took. . .c. . .are of it. . .," she said, attempting to smile but finding she didn't even have the energy to do that.
Italy hiccupped, loudly, before the sobs began anew. _________ regarded him softly, before raising a hand to try and wipe the tears from his cheeks. She stopped, though, when she noticed how stained her hand was with blood. No, there was no sense in replacing Italy's tears with blood. As she began to lower her hand again, Italy suddenly reached out to it and grabbed it pressing her bloody palm against his cheek. "_________," he sobbed, "_________. . . Why. . . You. . . You. . ."
"Be. . .cause. . .I love you. . .," she said, softly, "Shhh. . .shhh. . . You're. . .all right. . .now. . ." She slowly began to caress his cheek with her thumb, as he sniffed pitifully and tried to calm himself down. She gave a half smile, as the Italian's bottom lip began to tremble.
"_________. . ."
"Ita. . .ly. . . D. . .on't cry. . . I will. . .always have. . .your back. . . Always. . .," she said, her voice sounding broken and distant. Slowly, her eyelids began to close and the light in her eyes dimmed. Her breathing became quieter and quieter. . . And her thumb slowly ceased to move. . .until her hand had gone limp against his tear-stained cheek.
"_________. . .?" Italy called to her, hesitantly. She didn't move. Feeling a prickle of fear run up his spine, Italy gave her a shake and tried again.
"_________?" Still nothing. No. Not now. Please not now. . .
"_________! _________!" Italy shouted, dropping her hand and hugging her body to his chest. His tears streamed down his face, dropping from his chin onto her cheeks. She was still warm. . .still warm. But she wasn't. . .she wasn't. . . "I'm sorry! I'm so. . .so sorry. . . I failed again! I failed you, _________! I'm sorry! I. . .I. . ." He sobbed, wrapping a gentle hand around her head and tucking it under his chin. He buried his face in her hair, his tears causing her hair to dampen. His heart was shattering into tiny pieces again. He was sitting here, holding her limp form to his chest again. He had failed again. "I. . .I never told you that I. . .I love you, too. . ." Again.
After what seemed like an eternity to him, Italy's tears had dried. He slowly brought his head up, and turned _________'s face toward him. She looked peaceful like she had fallen asleep. All traces of the pain she had felt while alive were gone. For that, Italy was somewhat thankful. But, she was still dead. And she had died protecting him. "I'm going to make this right, _________," he whispered, placing a soft kiss on the top of her head. He laid her down on the ground, and arranged her hands on her stomach. With one last kiss on her forehead, he got up and turned toward the door. Before he left, though, he looked back at her. "Watch my back, _________. I still have much to do."
Steeling his resolve, Italy ran out the door and raced back up the stairs of the mansion. He had to find the clock. He had to go back one more time. He failed this time, but now he had one more piece of the puzzle for next time. The metal piece that _________ had found will definitely benefit them next time. And, hopefully they'd be able to leave together. Just like they had all said. Just like _________ had said. Italy choked back the sobs in his throat. He couldn't cry now. He had already taken the time to do that and he was sure that he didn't have any more tears to cry anyway.
After running up the last flight of stairs, Italy ran for the door he was seeking the one that led to the clock. He had found it earlier when he was exploring the house when everyone was still alive. While he didn't like the thought, he knew that he might need to know its location for later. Well, for now. He pulled the journal out of jacket, along with the metal piece. He felt a lump in his throat. _________ . . .
"I will. . .always have. . .your back. . . Always. . ."
"Always," Italy whispered, clutching the journal to his chest, reaching for the clock to rewind time. One more time. For _________. For everyone. For not giving up. For the hope of getting out together. One more time.
"Are you guys ready to go in?" _________ asked, standing before the imposing mansion. She had a grin on her face, her adventurous attitude contagious as Prussia stepped up next to her.
"All right! Let's make one quick round through the place and head out before sunset. West might get cranky if he hasn't had his daily fill of wurst by dinner," Prussia said, his confidence practically oozing from him as he stared up at the mansion. He began to laugh, though, as Germany barked some sort of displeasure at his verbal jab at him. As the argument began to escalate, Japan said a few words to try and calm them down. Though, that didn't help much as _________'s laughter seemed to drown out whatever the Asian nation was trying to say.
Now, _________ was a newly recognized nation. She had been around for a while, but was dependent on other countries for help being an island nation herself and was, more or less, just another territory. A recent economic boom in the past decade allowed _________'s nation, and people, to prosper. With this new confidence, _________ and her boss were able to announce independence and everything grew from there. She had just started attending the World Meetings, but it was clear she could hold her own in the debates over various subjects. And, _________ was very set on assisting the nations who had assisted her in the past. "I've got your back since you had mine," _________ would say. Maybe that's why Italy was so drawn to her in the first place. . .
She got along well with the members of the former Axis Powers; _________ and Japan had many similarities when it came to taking care of their respective nations. Both were island countries, both were still getting used to the 'Western' train of thought (even though the United States of America was one of her biggest sources of aid in the past), and both had a way of clinging to their traditions and history. Not to mention _________ seemed to have warmed up to Japan rather quickly due to the fact he was soft-spoken and didn't raise his voice like the other countries at the World Meetings (in fact, that was the main reason she liked Japan's company). His polite mannerisms always seemed to take her by surprise, but she accepted them and was quite curious to learn more about them. Maybe it was because she was still learning about the other nations. . . Still, they just seemed to get along rather well and _________ was quite taken with the tea that Japan could prepare (she claimed it was because she didn't have anything as bitter tasting as the tea he made anywhere on her island).
Germany had been impressed with how well-kept and orderly she was. _________ would say that all those years of hardship had molded her into the nation she was today; one that never let her resources go to waste, and was always working to better the lives of her people. And she was strict on herself making sure that she continued her training so that she could jump to her peoples' aid at a moment's notice. On top of that, _________ was almost always tending to the farmlands. Germany always assumed that _________ was skilled with her hands because of this work, and it was part of the reason why many of the other nations said that _________'s greatest asset was her ability to get her work done by her own hand. Let's not forget the ever-awesome Prussia, now. _________ didn't seem to mind him so much, mainly because she found him amusing. She laughed at his antics, and fluffed his ego for him albeit unwittingly and Prussia didn't mind having another nation bask in the presence of the 'awesome-me.' She seemed to be one of the few nations that could stand his obnoxious demeanor, a trait that not too many others were envious about.
Then, there was Italy. And Italy enjoyed her company from the start. _________ accepted his warm and open gestures in stride, matching his offers of pasta with offers of food from her house. She would often bring little snacks for the meetings and Italy's favorite was the sweet rolls with fruit tucked inside. _________ always said that they were made using the fruits native to the trees growing around her house since her island country prided itself on its ability to grow its own food. Aside from the fruit trees growing around her yard, _________ had her own garden where she grew her own vegetables and herbs and Italy said that he would like to visit her house one of these days to see the vegetables that she grew and see if he could incorporate them into a special pasta for her. Now, though, Italy wasn't so sure if he'd ever see her house. . .or his for that matter. . .
"Italy," _________ said, snapping Italy out of his thoughts. He turned toward her, to find her smiling at him, "C'mon. Prussia, Germany, and Japan have already gone inside. We wouldn't want to keep them waiting, right?"
Italy looked a little confused, before looking past _________ to see that the front door was open and the three mentioned nations were nowhere to be seen outside. Oh. He must have spaced out. . . "Ah, r-right," he responded, with a nod. _________ looked at him, quizzically, tilting her head a bit.
"Hey, you all right?" she asked, sounding a bit concerned.
"Hmmm? Oh, y-yeah! I'm just a bit. . .nervous to go inside, you know? Who knows what we'll find in there."
_________ grinned, "Oh yeah? I guess you have a point. But, you don't have to worry, Italy. I'll be there. And, I'll always have your back no matter what."
Italy felt his breath hitch at that statement. The memories of the previous time loop flooded his mind, but he willed them all away as quickly as he could. He could hear his heart shattering into little pieces and he wasn't even in the mansion yet! Why was it that whenever she said that to him he wanted to just curl up into a little ball and cry? That same phrase that used to bring him comfort now only prompted heart ache and sadness.
He swallowed, hard, as he forced a smile. He was supposed to say something here he was sure. "Always, _________?"
She nodded, her grin now a warm smile directed at him, "Always." She then held a hand out to him, and Italy gladly accepted it. _________ was alive, and she was here for now. He swallowed the lump in his throat, and began to walk with her side-by-side into the mansion.
'I'm not going to fail this time.'