Imagine if you can
A world where dreams come true
And fading butterflies
Fly on twisting breezes
That wrap around you
And caress your tired heart
Oh, you poor soul
Italy sat up in his bed with a gasp. A small whimper escaped his lips, and he slowly got out of his bed. He walked over to the mirror that hung on his wall, placing his hand on it as he tried to slow his breathing.
The circles under his eyes were getting darker… He sighed a little, gaining control of his rapid heartbeat. He had been experiencing strange dreams for a while, which made it harder and harder for him to sleep.
“Maybe I can slip into bed with Mr. Germany…” He thought out loud. “It’s always easier to sleep when I’m with him!” Italy smiled, laughing a little, trying to return to his usual cheery demeanor.
Italy tiptoed out into the hallway, trying his best not to wake anyone in the house up. It was, after all, the middle of the night. He stopped in front of Germany’s door, listening carefully. Italy heard the blonde’s quiet snores, signaling his Captain was fast asleep.
With little hesitation, Italy twisted the doorknob, pushing the door open wide enough to slip in and closing it quietly. He tiptoed across the floor, slipping into the warm, unoccupied area of Germany’s large bed. He buried his face into the pillow, breathing deeply and giving into sleep one more time.
Alone and tired
Days on end
Passing by your eyes
And as you reach to seize
Control of passing time
The ticking hands of clicking clocks
Are nipping at your fingertips
They watch you bleed with glee
Italy blinked open his amber eyes. He was in a field, and pale golden butterflies fluttered around him. Italy trembled, clenching his fists. Mr. Germany would protect him… Mr. Germany would protect him… Mr. Germany would protect him…
If only this world was not
So cruel as people tend to make it
Escape into the safer places
And count the stars that fall
Making wishes, making dreams
Making time stand still for me
So that maybe together we
Can get the slightest bit of rest
Italy dropped to his knees beside a tree, watching a clear river flow past. A few sparkling fish skipped about, one or two occasionally jumping to take a bite of the bugs that played on the tense river surface. Italy held his hands together, nervously awaiting a meeting he knew was coming.
But Mr. Germany would protect him… He was right next to him, after all, even though Italy couldn’t see him. Nothing bad could happen to him as long as Germany was around. They had pinkie promised, they were best friends!
Italy smiled at the memory. A fish hopped out of the water, nearly doing a flip in its desperation to catch itself breakfast.
A sudden chill went down Italy’s spine, and he whispered, turning around to face what he knew would be standing there, it’s crooked grin bearing down on him to haunt his sleep once more.
Fields of flowers have
Little compare to the smile
Of a little boy who dreams
Of wishes on stars that he knows
Deep down just have to come true
Because really, what are wishes for
If not to bring broken hearts hope
And sore souls peace?
“Italy, look how big you are!”
Holy Rome blinked his big blue eyes at Italy. The Italian simply sat under the tree, trembling and staring at his old friend. The Holy Roman Empire tilted his head to the side a little, smiling wide.
“You can’t fool me anymore…” Italy murmured, a tear slipping down his cheek. Holy Rome seemed startled, his smile faltering.
“This… Is the perfect dream.” Italy ran his hands through his hair, looking down. He was in a light green dress and white apron now. It was just like old times.
It was all he had ever wished for.
To go back, to play with Holy Rome again, relive those beautiful memories they had had…
“A perfect dream. How terribly, utterly cruel.” Italy let out a choked sob, looking up again.
Holy Rome wasn’t smiling anymore. Pieces of his clothes and face were fading away, turning a deep black color. As the black spread across one of his eyes, the eye was enveloped and glowed a brilliant white. His other eye, which had been a beautiful blue, was now a faded off-violet. Sharp teeth peeked out from behind a confused, forced smile.
Nothing but the shadow of a memory.
“What are you talking about Italy? Don’t you want to play with me?” For a moment, Holy Rome seemed normal again, holding out his hand cheerily towards Italy. “Let’s play together, Miss Italy!”
“Stop!” Italy shrank away from the hand. “Stop, please, it hurts!”
“But we played together just yesterday, and you didn’t seem to mind! What’s wrong, please tell me so I can fix it!”
“No!” Italy covered his ears. “I can’t take this torture any longer! You smile up at me as if everything is just fine, but it’s not!” Italy lost his fight against his emotions, tears freely running down his cheeks now. “No matter what I do, no amount of wishing will bring you back, Holy Rome!”
Do you wish for riches
Or love that spans the seas
And touches tenderly upon
Those who wish for peace
And those who wish for strength
So different are our wishes
Yet we are all the same
That we wish something would change
“Leave me alone!” Italy screamed, sitting up.
“Mein Gott!” Germany started awake, practically falling out of the bed. He looked over at Italy in surprise, his eyes narrowing to squint at him in the darkness.
“M-M-Mr. G-Germany!!” Italy hugged his Captain, crying. “Y-You’re here!!”
“I’M here?” Germany unlatched Italy from his torso. “Of course I’m here, it’s MY bed! Why are you in it?!”
“I-I had a bad dream!!” Italy whimpered piteously, and Germany sighed.
“Really Italy, I wish you would just man up. For God’s sake you’re a country! You should be able to deal with a bad dream!” Germany rolled over, wrapping the blanket back around his shoulders. He was obviously too tired to deal with Italy.
Italy blinked, rubbing his hands together. Germany was probably just upset because Italy had scared him awake, and he was being snappy because he was tired.
Italy slowly pulled himself out of Germany’s bed, exiting as quietly as he had come. HE went back to his room, kneeling in the middle of the floor and putting his head in his hands, stifling more whimpers.
It was terrifying. Why wouldn’t it leave him alone? Why did no one understand?
Once again, Italy felt himself questioning what was so bad about having perfect dreams every night. He got everything he could wish for in the little world in his head.
Maybe… The fact it was not real. Italy reached out for that feeling of peace in his sleep, but he could only find the empty hopes and wishes of his childhood.
How many nights had he prayed to God he would get to see Holy Rome again? Too many to count, too many to count…
It hurt. The emptiness that the Holy Rome had left him with was being filled with a shadowed memory, a lie, a guile. And when he woke up, all Italy could think about was the pain he felt, that over time he had covered in layers and layers of smiles and laughter. But now it fought itself back.
It wasn’t the perfect dream. It was the perfect nightmare. And it was all inside of him.
Changes make our world go
Round in spinning pirouettes
Changes position every second
And do we not move through
Each and every day, changes
In our mood and in our thought
As the world’s cold cruelty greets
Us with toothy, smiling faces
A wave of nausea came over Italy, and he glanced up.
Holy Rome looked down at him, his shadowy flesh letting off wisps of smoke so purple it was black. The Holy Roman Empire gave Italy a smile filled with pity. Somehow, Italy had fallen asleep again, exhaustion from crying taking over.
“Why… P-Please, leave me alone…” Italy murmured.
“Poor, poor Italy.” Holy Rome whispered in an echoing voice. He sounded hollow, his small body suddenly a large shell. “Isn’t this what you wished for? Isn’t this what you prayed for?”
“I can’t take it. It’s torture.” Italy sniffled, and Holy Rome tilted his chin upwards so they were looking eye to eye. The white slit that constituted Holy Rome’s left eye cast a pale light on Italy’s face, who stared at this nightmare creature in fear.
“Italy, stop! You’re just hurting yourself…” Holy Rome kissed Italy’s forehead like a loving parent, holding the older man’s face in his small hands. “Why can’t you accept your wish has finally been granted?”
“B-Because when I wake up, you’ll just be g-gone…” Italy whispered.
“But Miss Italy…” Two, big, beautiful blue eyes stared into his. “There’s nothing to wake up to.”
Be careful what you wish for
Because when your wish comes true
It may be too beautiful for
Your fragile, hopeful heart to bear
Under the weight of all your joy
Turn upon disbelief and
Reject all that made you smile
A pitiful day when your heart is silent.
“This is the real world, can’t you see? Can’t you see that?”
“But… Mr. Germany…”
“Who? Silly Miss Italy, you’ve been sleeping for so long, you’re getting the real world confused with the fake one!” Holy Rome dropped his hands to his sides, blinking. “There’s no such place nor person as Germany!”
A young boy blinked at Holy Rome, his amber eyes wide. A small curl stood off a mess of curls that were half covered by a white cloth. His green dress and fluffy apron made him look like a girl, though. But he didn’t mind. He was just happy to live under Austria and Miss Hungary with Holy Rome.
“See, don’t you remember now, Italy?” Holy Rome took the little boy’s hand in his. “Come on, let’s go swimming in the river!”
“Okay, Holy Rome!” The little boy giggled in a girly voice, letting the blonde pull him along. “That sounds like fun!”
They were the only two people in the field.
Surely it’s better to be happy
Than live in a pitiless world of heartless
Hearts that tear yours apart
In pursuit of their own pleasure
Why not let your dreams come true
And embrace that blissful
Ignorance that blesses your
Fading butterfly wings
Germany sat up, scratching the back of his neck. Glancing to the side, he noticed Italy had left.
Germany sighed, getting out of bed. He must have hurt Italy’s feelings for telling him to man up. Though he did wish Italy could be a little stronger sometimes.
The poor kid was probably curled up in a ball in his room or the kitchen, sleeping with a bowl of pasta, his favorite comfort food. Germany walked down the hallway, knocking heavily on Italy’s door.
“Italy! It’s time for training, get up!” Germany waited for the reply he knew wasn’t coming, frowning. Italy never woke up when told to. Would it hurt for him to listen every once and a while?
Before he could slam the door open, a fully dressed Italian swung the door wide open with a grin.
“Good morning, sir!” Italy greeted the surprised German. He was dressed in a clean, pressed uniform, not a dot of pasta sauce on it. “I’m ready for training!”
Germany could only stare in disbelief. Italy was up early and READY for training?
Maybe wishing on stars really did work…
“Um, alright then. Let’s go.” Germany turned to lead the way to the training grounds, but something disturbing caught the corner of his eye.
A shadowy shape loomed behind him, sharp teeth shining through its grin, black wisps rolling off dark flesh and clothes. An icy blue eye shone out from under reddish brown bangs.
Germany whipped his head around, but there was nothing there but Italy, who tilted his head to the side at Germany’s sudden movement.
“Something wrong, Captain..?” He asked innocently. Germany slowed his heart beat down, looking around a little confused.
“N-Nein… It was just my imagination.” Germany assured him, quickly turning and leaving the room.
Italy paused in the doorway, looking back in the empty room.
For a second, he had suspected Germany had noticed his… Lack of a shadow… But it seems like Germany was just being paranoid.
Italy turned towards you, giving you a shark-tooth grin. He put a clawed, black finger to his lips, his blue eye narrowing to match the white slit on the left side of his face.
“You’re next. Ahaha~!”