"Doitsuuuu~, I'm off to big brother France's house for a few days!" Italy sang.
"Nn..." Germany muttered, sorting through the paperwork on his desk with a irritated look on his face. Italy stood next to Germany with a pout on his face, upset that Germany wasn't replying. Italy stormed off to where Japan was making lunch.
"Nihonn!!! Doitsu's ignoring mee....~" Japan glanced round.
"Ah, Italia, Doitsu's been very busy lately. I'm afraid he hasn't got time for you right now. I'm sorry." Italy looked at Japan who was leaning on his crutch. Whenever Italy saw Japan's injuries from the earthquake he felt sad that he couldn't help him. Japan could see this on his face. "Italia, please, don't worry. Go to France's house and have fun, I'm sure Doitsu will be finished by the time he gets back." Italy smiled slightly.
"OK Nihon, I'll be back in four days, can you pick me up?"
"Of course Italia." Japan smiled as Italy ran out the door, heading for France's house.
"Veh~ veh~ veh~, visiting big brother is so much fun! I wonder if he'll take me to see the Eiffel Tower again..." Italy hummed as he skipped up the path to his big brother's house. He reached the front door and noticed it was slightly open. Italy immediately felt something was wrong. He gently pushed the door. It creaked open, revealing a pitch black room with a chair in the center. Italy gingerly stepped into the room. "Big brother? Are you there?" Italy never saw the glinting steel pipe being raised behind him. Or the rose that fell next to him as he slipped into unconsciousness.
Four days later
Japan looked at his watch. 'I'd better go pick up Italia...' He thought. "Doitsu, I'm going now. Can you tidy up your paperwork for when Italia gets back?" He asked. Germany only grunted in reply. Japan sighed. "Doitsu... I think you're working too hard. You haven't slept for seven nights straight, you only-"
"Nihon, I'm OK. Just go get Italia."
"But Doitsu, I think-"
"JUST GO!" Germany's sudden outburst startled Japan, who turned and picked up his crutch. After walking three steps with it, he decided he had had enough and leant it against the wall. He walked out the door to France's house.
Japan reached France's house without any troubles. Then a sudden breeze picked up and a few leaves brushed against his face. Japan felt something was wrong. Usually France's house was alive with music and there were girls everywhere- but the house was quiet- too quiet. Japan opened the door- and what he saw made his blood run cold.
Italy was slumped on a wooden chair with blood running down his forehead. His curl was limp and lifeless, and through the blood on his arms Japan could see the his left arm was broken and twisted.
"Wha... Italia?" Japan stumbled towards Italy's still form. He put two fingers on Italy's neck and could feel a faint heartbeat through the cold skin. He was still alive. Japan's expression turned grim and he picked Italy up and put him on his back. Then he turned to go out- and a shadow fell upon him.
"Mon chers amis, I'm afraid it ends here. I would rather not do this, but my orders are absol-" He stopped talking abruptly as the shiny metal of a katana sword was pointed at his throat. His eyes crossed, then he looked at Japan. The smaller man had a snarl on his face and he was glaring at France.
"This is your only chance. Move."
"I SAID, move." Japan gently pressed the pointed end of the katana to France's throat. France fainted. Japan walked out the door, being sure to step on France's vital regions and face as he went out. When he got out into the open he took a deep breath- and ran.
Germany sat at his desk staring at the papers in front of him. He could hear someone approaching the door- fast. Italy was probably racing against Japan, but Japan was too sensible to run, especially as his scars weren't completely healed, they could open any minute. He heard a banging on the front door and turned around- then saw the door fly clean off it's hinges and straight across the room, slamming into the bookcase and causing half the books to fall off the shelves. Germany jumped up and grabbed his pistol, only to see Japan walk in with Italy on his back. Germany's first thought was Italy was tired out from being with France, then he saw the look on Japan's face- and the blood dripping from Italy.
"Doitsu, I don't care what you say or how much you shout. Italy's badly hurt and he needs help, so you call a doctor and I'll-" Japan suddenly felt a shadow fall on him. He turned round and saw Germany standing over him, his eyes glinting with rage.
"Who... Who did this..." Germany said slowly.
"Doitsu..." Japan said. He had never seen Germany so angry.
Germany grabbed Japan by his collar and screamed "WHO DID THIS TO MY ITALIA????" Japan was shocked.
"Fr... France... What are you going to-" Germany dropped Japan with such force the ground shook. Japan flinched and clutched a hand to his chest. His wounds had re-opened. He looked up and saw Germany shaking with rage. Germany's eyes changed from light blue to black. Japan had only seen this once before- many many years ago when Japan had sealed his dark side into the depths of his mind. Was it possible... Germany had a dark side that he kept hidden?
Germany turned and marched out the door. Japan watched him go, silently praying for the safety of anyone he came across. Then he remembered Italy. He set about attending to Italy's wounds. He bandaged Italy's arms and leg after setting Italy's broken arm into the right position. He would call for a doctor later, he had to make sure Germany didn't hurt anyone. He grabbed his katana off the chair where he had cast it, and made for the door. Then he heard a voice behind him.
"N... Nihon..." He turned and saw Italy had regained consciousness. "T... Take me with you... We've gotta... stop him..." Japan stood in the doorway, stunned. After all Italy had gone through, all he wanted to do was help.
"Italia, you mustn't move. You saw what happened when I got ill, and-"
"Nihon! Please..." He coughed. "Take me with you." His eyes flickered shut. Japan sighed. And picked Italy up.
Japan ran through the forests trying to find Germany. He didn't know how he was finding him- he just could. He could feel Italy twitching on his back. He knew that something bad was going to happen, something very bad... But he would try and stop it. Even... Even if he had to kill.
'Hmm, you may need my help there, mightn't you my little one...' Japan heard a voice in his head, a smooth, cruel voice. He knew who it was.
"No. I will stay calm and I will sort this out. I swear on my life." He said out loud. Seconds later he reached a clearing. Then he saw what he had been dreading.
Russia, France, Britain, America and China were in the clearing- and so was Germany. The allies were lying, unconscious against trees and rocks, blood running down their faces and uniforms. Japan knew what he must do.
Japan set Italy down behind a tree, took his jacket off and placed it over Italy.
"Italia, please listen. You must stay here, don't make a sound and trust me." Italy's eyes opened slowly, then widened into a look of pure terror. He was staring behind Japan and Japan turned round- and saw Germany's glaring black eyes. Germany drew back one of his arms to punch Japan, but Japan blocked it with his sword. He jumped over Germany and ran into the clearing, away from Italy. He couldn't get him involved.
Japan turned and jumped out of the way of Germany's punches. He drew his katana and they started fighting. As they exchanged blows Japan started analysing Germany. There were definite changes- his muscles were more pronounced, the veins on his arms and face were standing out like worms under his skin. And of course, his eyes. They had turned black and soulless.
'Ok, whats going on?' Japan asked his dark side. 'Is this similar to me?'
'Kukuku...' The laugh was so cold it made Japan's skin crawl. He switched his attention back to his fight as Germany ripped a tree from the ground and threw it at him. Japan jumped and narrowly avoided his ankles being broken. He focused on the fight.
China's eyes fluttered open. He was lying against a tree... What happened? Then it all flashed back. The allies had been having a conversation, then France had charged in and started rambling on about Japan trying to kill him. Then Germany had arrived... They had tried their hardest to fight him but... Germany was like a monster. He had torn through their defences with mere punches, then... Then everything went black. China glanced to his left side and saw his wok. His ladel was snapped in two but the wok had survived.
Then he saw it. Japan, his little brother was fighting Germany. And it looked like he was winning... China grabbed his wok and heaved himself up- then charged.
Japan slashed at Germany's fist with his katana and drops of blood spattered on his face. His scars had opened and he was losing blood fast. He had to defeat Germany.
Japan's eyes widened as he saw China using the last of his strength to hit Germany with his wok as hard as he could.
Germany's black eyes swivelled around- and without even turning, he flung his arm back, sending China flying across the clearing and hitting a tree with a 'crack'.
Japan stood at the edge of the clearing. Seeing the allies beaten up but unconscious he could deal with... But to see one of his closest friends harm his big brother... That... That was UNFORGIVABLE.
China fell to the floor and Japan's brown eyes followed him.
"What... Have you done..." Germany's face split into a grin. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY BROTHER????" Japan's eyes expanded and changed from chocolate brown to red. His white uniform was torn off by a strong wind and was replaced by a black and gold-fringed one. The wind gathered around him then dispersed. What was left... Was just as terrifying as Germany.
Dark Japan stood in the clearing opposite Germany. His lips split into a grin revealing blinding white shark like teeth. His eyes narrowed. He stared at Germany.
"Well well well... Hello there my little friend." He purred. Germany snarled like an animal. "Hmm, so you're not a mix of feelings... You're just pure rage. No wonder you can't even speak. You're like a demon." Germany charged at Dark Japan, who vanished in blur. "Round here..." Germa- No, Hate. Hate turned around and Dark Japan kicked him in the face, sending him crashing to the floor. Dark Japan's grin widened.
"Kukuku... Hate cannot keep up with me. Why, I'm hate, loathing, loneliness, you cannot name even half of them. I can kick your ass any day." Hate stood up, blood running down his face. Dark Japan disappeared in a haze, then appeared in front of Hate. He made his hand straight and started jabbing Germany on his shoulders, stomach and legs. Hate's muscles gave in and he collapsed. Dark Japan's eyes widened and his grin spread so much it looked like his face would split in two. He drew his arm back to deliver the finishing blow- thrusting his hand through Hate's chest and cutting his heart in two- then he saw him. Italy.
Italy had managed to stand up and was leaning against a tree. He looked horrified at what he saw- Germany on his knees in front of Japan, who was about to kill him. For a second, Japan overcame Dark Japan in his mind and screamed "GET OUT OF HERE ITALY!!!" That second had given Hate his chance. He drew back his massive fist and punched Japan in the chest. Japan's eyes widened and returned to brown. The black uniform he was wearing faded to white and he flew backwards screaming in pain. The wound on his chest split open and blood ran down his chest and chin. He could feel his ribs crack and splinter.
Japan forced his eyes open and he looked up. He saw Hate standing over him with Japan's katana in his hand. He was smiling. He placed the tip of the katana to Japan's neck.
"Heh... I guess I ended up being killed by my own sword in the end after all." Japan coughed and more blood trickled down his chin and he stared into Germany's eyes, trying to find a spark of sanity amidst the swirling mists of madness- but he couldn't. He sighed and looked at the sky, bidding a silent farewell to his brothers and sister, and all his friends. He watched the katana come down- then it stopped a millimetre from his throat.
Japan looked at Germany. Two tiny bloodstained arms were wrapped around his waist. Italy had thrown himself forward at the last moment, distracting Germany. Germany's head was twisted round and he was staring at Italy.
"Please... Please Doitsu..." Japan could hear he was crying while trying to speak. "PLEASE STOP THIS!!!" Italy screamed. "I don't want this! I want you back to the way you used to be, when we were happy together and we had fun times, I don't like this you! Please turn back!" Italy sobbed into Germany's back. Germany released one hand from the katana and moved it to Italy's head.
Japan remembered that he had taught Germany how to crush someone's head with one hand... This couldn't be happening... Japan knocked his katana aside and heaved himself up.
"NO GERMANY! DON'T-" Germany placed his hand on Italy's head- And ruffled his hair. Italy looked up and he saw Germany's brilliant blue eyes looking down at him, smiling. Japan saw it too. Germany was back to normal... Thank god. Italy's eyes filled with tears and he buried his face in Germany's back. Germany looked at Japan, who smiled. "I'm glad... You're back... Doitsu..." Then he collapsed.
Four days later
Japan awoke to a breeze on his neck. He turned his head to one side and saw Taiwan, asleep by his head. He smiled at her and brushed a lock of hair from her face. Her eyes opened slowly and she smiled at him.
"Yaaaaay, Nii~chans up!~" She sang, lightly hugging Japan. Japan raised his arms and hugged her back.
"Wheres China?" He asked.
"China Nii~chans still in hospital. He's got a concussion and a broken wrist, but he's better off than Russia~san. The others have been discharged and I kicked up a huge fuss to get you back home!" Taiwan said, feeling very proud of herself.
"But... This isn't my home..." Japan said.
"Hehee, I didn't say your home! I meant my home!" Japan smiled. She hadn't changed a bit.
"Nene, Doitsu, come on! Taiwan Nee~chan said she was taking care of Nihon so lets go see him!" Italy had been healing faster than expected and Germany barely had a scratch on him.
"But... What if Nihon doesn't want to see me? I mean, after what I did to him... What if he hates me?" Germany felt so, so ashamed of what he had done, not just to Japan, but to the allies... He couldn't forgive himself.
"Veh~, Doitsu, is that what you've been quiet about? Silly Doitsu, Nihon will forgive you! Nihon's kind and patient and-" He remembered the man he'd seen trying to kill Germany. 'He's... He's not evil." Germany sighed. "Come on Doitsu!" Italy grabbed Germany's wrist and pulled him out the door.
Japan heard footsteps come up the stairs so he turned his head towards the door. It swung open and Italy jumped in, followed by Germany who looked embarrassed. Taiwan spun round. She saw Germany and stomped over to him.
"WHY ARE YOU HERE?" She yelled at Germany. "Look what you did to my Nii-chan!" She pointed at Japan, who looked surprised at her outburst. "Thanks to you, he's gotten ill again, just as he was getting better from-"
"Taiwan! Stop it." Japan said sternly from his bed. Taiwan immediately stopped yelling at Germany and stomped off to sulk. Italy sat down next to Japan and patted the chair next to him to signal Germany to sit down. "Germany, its OK. I know you couldn't help it."
Germany looked up. "I'm sorry Japan. Its just..."
"I understand. You see... What you saw... That was my dark side. Years ago I killed a lot of people. I... Enjoyed killing. I don't know why..." Germany and Italy looked at Japan. "But then... I hurt someone I loved. I hurt them very badly. Then I came to my senses. I used almost all of my spiritual power to seal all my negative emotions deep inside my mind. Thats why I cannot get angry... But then, after the earthquake, I was dying. The only way I could live would be to release the seal on Dark Japan. I knew I didn't deserve it, after all I had done, after all the people I'd hurt, but... I didn't want to leave." Tears started to run down his cheeks silently.
"Germany..." Japan said quietly. Germany looked up. "I think its the same with you. I heard Dark Japan say that your dark side was just manifested hate. I just wanted to say... Please be careful." Germany nodded. Italy smiled and wiped the tears from Japan's cheeks.
"Don't worry Japan, I'll take care of both of you!" Japan smiled and nodded, knowing that, in his own way, Italy would stay true to his word.