It started out as a summer cold. Prussia would cough occasionally and have a sneezing fit every now and again, but it hindered nothing in his life besides his ability to talk (though to him, this was one hell of a punishment). Nothing was especially concerning about the fact that the albino nation had caught this mild illness.
Except, of course, for the fact that he was a nation.
Nations generally do not catch illnesses without a proper reason - their economic state, their people, their land, etc.; these were all ways that a nation could become ill, since they did not seem to catch normal human illnesses. Prussia was almost an exception, however, since he had actually experienced the "death of nations," dissolving, once in his life. He had only been back for a short time, less than two human years, but in that time, he had done everything he'd wanted to do before he dissolved. He had mended his relationship with his brother, which led to a sort of "truce" between him and Romano, he had asked Canada to go steady (in which the blonde nation happily accepted), and he had spent much more time with Spain and France, bringing their Bad Touch Trio back up to 3 once more.
Everybody in Prussia's little 'friend group' was visiting at Spain's house for some sort of gathering, as they'd been doing a lot lately - countries that tended to fight with each other were starting to get along, and other countries would pop up here and there just from sheer coincidence (though Romano swore that the BTT had some sort of psychic powers to interrupt at the most awkward times). So, over at Spain's house were Prussia, Spain, France, Romano, Italy, Germany, and Canada, all simply mingling around and doing whatever they felt like at the moment.
"Ay, don't get me sick, amigo, you're sneezing up a storm over there," Spain said with a little grin aimed Prussia's way, "You sure you're up for being here today?"
"Kesese!! Of course! The awesome me can handle a tiny little case of the sniffles. I'll kick this bug's ass all the way back to where it came from," Prussia said after blowing his nose quite loudly. He always had this air of confidence around him, even when he was obviously suffering from this cold. His voice sounded congested, but he puffed out his chest and even offered to help Spain cook, to which Spain politely declined after witnessing another four or five consecutive sneezes. Prussia soon went over to the couch and laid upside-down across the cushions.
"This is so not awesome, being sick," Prussia moaned to the leg of the coffee table, as if he was expecting it to speak back. He heard a quiet giggle from behind him, and he smiled.
"What're you doing down there?" asked a whispery voice, which he knew all too well belonged to Canada, "You should be lying either on the couch normally or in a bed, shouldn't you?"
Prussia smirked, and wrapped his legs around Canada's neck, something he had always sort of wanted to do from this position. He heard Canada squawk, which meant that he had succeeded. Prussia laughed a little bit, which prompted a quiet laugh from Canada in response.
"I'm just fine down here, Birdie," Prussia answered heartily, "It's comfier than lying on my back; and all the snot stays in my head this way," Prussia snickered, in his easily amused manner, "And now, I've captured you. So it's even more awesome."
"C'mon, Prussia, let go!" the flustered man shouted (or, in Canada's case, whispered a little bit louder than normal) through a fit of laughter while at the same time trying to get Prussia's legs untangled from around his neck. Eventually, he released Canada, and flopped back against the couch, sitting up normally. He smirked over at Canada, and Canada smiled back. "Are you feeling any better?"
"Nope, but that's fine. I'll get better," Prussia responded with a toothy grin, "As long as you take care of me, I'll be fine. You're a lot gentler than West is." Prussia protruded his lower lip out in a stubborn little pout, aimed at Germany, who was sitting in a chair across from Prussia and Canada. He seemed to miss that entire statement, and simply cocked an eyebrow at Prussia. Canada held back a giggle.
Italy, however, seemed to catch that conversation, and laughed in an airy manner from the hallway. He must have just returned back from a different room and caught the end of the conversation. Italy gently brushed past Canada and plopped down onto Germany's lap with a small noise of satisfaction, prompting Germany's face to flush pink and his blue eyes to avert to his left. Prussia pointed and laughed at the two of them, which was quickly followed by a rough coughing fit. Prussia shrugged it off, though, his pride never failing him. He didn't have the heart to admit that he felt terrible.
Prussia joined everybody at the table for dinner that night, but honestly, he didn't feel like eating, and everybody took notice of this.
"Don't you like it, Prussia? Ah, you're always the one to eat the most when I cook," Spain said concernedly, "You still not feeling well?"
"Yeah, Prussia, Spain is right. You're usually the one who eats all the leftovers too," Canada chimed in, "Maybe you should rest a little bit."
Italy also piped up with a little worried 'sí' through a mouthful of food, and Germany said nothing, but gave Prussia a concerned look. Prussia blinked a few times, and glared tiredly at everybody.
He finally decided that it would be best to eat a little bit, so he swallowed hard and choked down a few bites of the normally-wonderful Spanish cuisine, smiling a fake smile and putting on an act so that nobody would be worried about him anymore. He was about to try and eat a little more before his stomach lurched once, and then again. He shot a hand over his mouth, dropping his fork in the process. Everybody's head whipped around to meet Prussia's pale face as he stood quickly up, knocked over his chair, and sprinted to the bathroom. Canada and Germany both hurried after him after retching was heard. Everybody else at the table turned pale-faced and dinner was silently brought to a close.
Germany knelt down next to Prussia and rubbed his back comfortingly as he emptied what little was in his stomach into the toilet. Once Prussia's coughing and hacking had ceased, Germany carefully leaned his older brother against the wall and started cleaning up the mess. Canada had frozen in the doorway; his mind spiraling with what he could do to help in this situation. There were little tears in his violet eyes as he stared at Prussia's face - a sweaty look of helplessness and pain and humiliation. His eyes were shut, his brow was furrowed, and his lips were parted slightly as he panted and weakly let out a few coughs. His breath came fast, and it worried his brother and his boyfriend both. Germany soon had the bathroom cleaned spotless, and he gently moved over to Prussia and asked if he could walk. The only response he received was a small shake of the silver-haired man's head. So Germany lifted up Prussia's body into his arms, and Prussia did not resist, or even move at this gesture. Canada moved quickly out of the way as Germany carried Prussia back over to the couch and laid him down, where he was almost immediately surrounded by everybody else in the house.
Prussia's body was shivering violently and his face was pale and sweaty. His breath came in shallow gasps, his hands were clutching at the couch material, and his teeth were gritted, making small hissing sounds as he attempted to catch his breath. His eyes remained tightly shut during all of this, and he did not want to open them.
Germany left his brother’s side briefly before returning with a blanket and a trashcan, which he draped over Prussia and left by the side of the couch respectively. He then stood up, and looked at everybody else with a bitter expression. He moved in front of Prussia, forcing everyone else surrounding him to back up a few paces.
"Everybody, stay back. He needs air and space. Just one person at a time around him, alright?" Germany said in a voice that sounded less-than-powerful, unlike his usual booming voice he used at world meetings. The obviously-worried German then moved away from his brother, mumbling something about getting a thermometer before leaving the room in silence. Italy's eyes widened, and he quickly followed Germany down the hallway, leaving the rest of the household there with the sickly Prussian.
As expected, Canada was the first one to approach Prussia. His knees were shaking as he knelt down near the side of the couch, close to his boyfriend's pale face. He brushed three fingers across Prussia's sweaty forehead, his bangs sticking to the damp skin there. Prussia swallowed hard, and slowly opened his eyes, crimson meeting lavender in a gunshot of negative emotions. With much more strength than he thought it would, Prussia smiled up at Canada reassuringly. Canada bit his lip in response. He was not convinced.
"Are you sure you're going to be okay...?" was all that Canada could force out of his throat. He really was worried, for he knew that Prussia had only recently been reintroduced to the world of being a nation, and that new countries often had a period of hardship while they got adjusted. Prussia nodded in response when his voice failed him. This still didn't seem to satisfy the worried young man, as he lowered his eyes a little bit, and looked quite sad. Prussia gave him another sympathetic smile, and wished he could reach up and stroke Canada's cheek without feeling nauseous again. So instead, he exhaled the words he'd shared with Canada many, many times over the year they'd been together.
Ich liebe dich.
Canada had to leave the room after that. Nobody else seemed to have the heart to follow him (after all, what do you say in this type of situation?), and nobody approached Prussia for a while after that. He soon fell asleep there on the couch, unmoved from where Germany had laid him, and nobody dared to say a word about it.
When Canada was looking for somewhere to escape to, he passed by a door that was slightly ajar and heard muffled voices coming from behind it. He froze and swiped at his eyes before turning towards the door and peeking inside. His eyes turned wide as dinner plates and his breath caught in his throat. He couldn't watch for more than about a minute before he had to back up, away from the door, and curl into a tight little ball against the wall of the entryway with his hands clasped over his ears and his face buried in his jeans.
Inside that room was where Germany had disappeared to earlier, and Italy seemed to have stumbled upon him in there. The red-headed young man was sitting on his knees, holding Germany's head close to his chest, mumbling phrases in his native tongue even though he knew Germany didn't understand any of it. Germany's shoulders were slumped and he had his arms wrapped around Italy, his large hands clutching at the fabric of Italy's shirt as if the world would end if he let go. He said nothing, only sobbing bitterly for his brother.
One week dragged by, and Prussia hardly moved. Every time he had gotten up, he'd been almost immediately sick. He resorted to carrying around a trashcan every time he got up, and the only two reasons he would get up were to use the bathroom or to bathe, with Germany's assistance. He hadn't eaten anything since he became couch-ridden, and he only drank liquids if he was feeling up to it. He was getting thinner; his eyes becoming dulled and his body listless. Everybody was gravely worried about his condition, and they all stayed at Spain's house to keep an eye on Prussia and his worsening state.
And then, a week and a half into this illness, it peaked. Halfway back from the short walk from the bathroom in the evening, he passed out. He lost consciousness and fell, winding up sprawled out in the middle of the hallway floor, face-down. Everybody heard the loud thump from the hallway but, as always, Germany was the one to go and investigate. Canada wished that he could bring himself to go see what was wrong, but as he expected, Canada lacked the physical strength to lift up his boyfriend. So the sad nation stayed quiet, and he stayed invisible. Everybody else could only look at each other with drained expressions as they watched Germany carry Prussia over to a bed instead of the couch. Prussia was still unmoved. And slowly, very slowly, everybody shuffled in to join Germany and Prussia in that bedroom.
It was about a half hour after Prussia had been moved to a bed when his eyes flickered open. The area was kept at a dim light, with only two small lamps to give the room a warm, orange glow. He didn't move at all except for his eyes, but he managed to look at everybody surrounding the bed, and they all glanced worriedly back at him. Prussia smiled; he felt a warmth beating deep inside his chest, even though he found that his body was stiff and unwilling to move. He loved being with the people he was close to, his family and his friends, more than anything else in the world. But he also knew that something he had always dreaded was going to happen.
And it was going to happen for the second time.
"Ah..." his voice was raspy in his sandpaper throat, "...did...I pass out?"
"Ja. You passed out in the middle of the hallway. I carried you back in here," Germany answered in a quiet voice. That quiet voice always meant he was upset, Prussia internally noted. He turned his head with a wince, and gave Germany a little appreciative smile.
Prussia gasped roughly as he turned his head back to face everybody else, the little smile still pasted to his face. His eyes were half shut in sheer exhaustion. But he kept smiling, and his eyes flickered from one person to the next. He took as deep a breath as he could, and began to speak again; those words that he never, ever wanted to say. Especially not now, not to these people who meant the world to him. It would hurt too much - it would hurt everybody too much.
"Hey...everybody? I need to tell you guys something...really important. So you'd better listen...I won't be able to say it twice. Got it?" Prussia said, trying to project his voice, something he never had any issues with in the past. Everybody nodded silently, and Prussia mumbled a faint 'alright' in response before continuing. The silver-haired nation opened his mouth to speak once, then twice, then finally the third time, his voice came to him.
"...I won't be here for...much longer. I...I know this feeling," he paused to look around at everybody as his smile faded away, "...I'm dissolving again."
Everybody's faces fell. There was a sickening silence that nobody dared to break, and it lasted for almost five minutes before quiet sniffling and shuddering breaths were heard. Nobody really cared who it was; all eyes were on Prussia right now. And he gave his best laugh that he could, which was only a little more than a cough.
"Stop...crying for me, you guys...I can still hear you, I'm not dead yet," Prussia's smile faltered as he spoke, still trying to incorporate bitter humor into his speech, "West, I know it's you. But I don't wanna turn my head anymore that I have to...so stop crying, dammit. Your awesome...big brother told you to."
Sure enough, Germany was pinching his brow to hide his eyes, his cheeks already tear-stained. Italy would be comforting him, if his face weren't buried in Germany's chest at the moment. Prussia sighed a little bit, the smile on his face turning sad.
"I don't think...my country was meant to come back. It died back then...and it's going to die again. It's getting harder to move..." Prussia's voice wavered a little bit, but he still used all his energy to look around at everybody there, and to keep what little of a smile that was still on his face. He sighed, mumbling to no one in particular, "But...I've got enough time...to say goodbye to all my awesome friends, don't I?"
Prussia's eyes scanned the perimeter of his bed, and finally stopped on Spain and France after what seemed like a longer time that it should've been. France's eyes met Prussia's, but Spain's didn't. His bright green eyes were downcast, and he looked like he had no intention of looking back up.
"First...you guys," Prussia's voice had died down to a weak one, barely more than a whisper to speak, "I guess it'll be down to the Bad Touch Duo now, won't it...? That's not quite as awesome without me...but I bet you guys'll do just fine on your own, ja?"
France nodded silently, and Spain lifted a hand to hide his eyes. He took in a sharp breath, opened his mouth to say something, but all that escaped his lips was a shuddering sigh. France looked down at Spain and put an arm around him, holding his shoulder in a sort of half embrace, which Spain promptly leaned into. Romano was in that crowd as well, but he decided this was a matter best left to the Bad Touch Trio while they were still, in fact, a trio. He'd help out Spain a little later.
"Mon frère..." France began, then paused for a second after feeling Spain's shoulders shaking, "...I believe what Espagne wants to say is something along the lines of, 'Adios, we'll miss you, and the Bad Touch Duo will continue on for you.'" France felt a shudder through Spain's body, and looked down at him with a small smile. "Am I right, mon ami?"
Spain nodded, but said nothing and did not look at Prussia. He felt like screaming. He couldn't bring himself to say goodbye, not after everything they'd done as the Bad Touch Trio. Prussia had dissolved once before, and that was the worst day of his life that Spain could remember. However, today was rapidly taking the cake, and for the moment, all Spain could do was lean against France, think of churros and ice cream, and resist the urge to break down crying any more than he already was.
"C'mon, Spain, stop it...you haven't even cried over Ita's brother dearest this much..." Prussia said with a weak little laugh afterward, "Can you at least look at me one more time...? Is that so hard?" Prussia gave him a tired puppy-eyed stare before mumbling once again, "Can't you try and smile at me like you always did? Por favor?"
Spain hesitated, but finally did as he was told, and looked up at Prussia. He had tears streaming down his cheeks, and he was biting his lip almost to the point of breaking the skin, but he looked at Prussia. However, he couldn't bring himself to smile; not now. He simply could not. And Prussia smiled warmly in return. Spain promptly hid his face from view again with one hand, then both hands, and eventually into France's chest, hoping to muffle any sounds escaping his throat.
Prussia's dark red eyes slowly looked around, and next, they landed on his brother, as well as Italy. He let out another quiet, coughing laugh.
"Dammit, West...what did I just say...? No crying...everybody else already is," Prussia said with a smile as he looked over at Germany sympathetically, "I'd give you an awesome hug, but I can't really...move anymore," Prussia hesitated, and his smile flickered before he mumbled, "...entschuldigungen, Bruder."
Germany took a deep breath, and exhaled quickly, swallowing hard before nodding, and looking at Prussia with watery eyes. He normally wasn't this emotional. However, he was holding up a lot better than he thought he would now, most likely thanks to Italy's help earlier on in this ordeal. Italy, however, was positively soaking Germany's shirt at the moment, as Germany sort of expected. One of his large hands was resting on Italy's back, and he could feel every shuddering breath that came from the Italian man. Germany almost did not mind it.
"It's alright, Preussen...it's not like you knew this was going to happen," Germany mumbled to his older brother, "I mean...you'll get to see Opa again, won't you...?" Germany could feel his voice crack with those words, and he turned his head to the side in mild embarrassment. Prussia simply smiled.
"Ja, but it's not like...I really want to spend time with him. He was kinda boring...I'm more excited to see Old Man Fritz again..." A smile lit up his face as he spoke that name. "...I won't be completely alone...so don't worry about me, West. I promise...I'll be okay there."
Germany felt his throat tighten as he nodded silently. Prussia then looked turned his gaze towards Italy's trembling form.
"C-Cosa...?" Italy answered, his voice thick with emotion as he released his iron grasp around Germany, wiping his eyes with his fists and sniffling every few seconds, "Wh-What, Prussia...?"
"Take good care of Bruder for me...okay?" Prussia asked earnestly, "He's a handful...he needs attention just as much...as you do. I know he does," he paused to take a breath, "And he loves you...more than anybody. So don't be breakin' Bruder's heart or anything. Or I'll come back to haunt you forever."
"I-I know...! I-I promise I will...!!" Italy choked out, and as soon as Prussia was finished talking, he whimpered audibly and threw himself into Germany's chest and promptly began crying again, quite a bit louder than before. Germany looked a little bit flustered at this point, as if he didn't quite know what to do when someone was crying hysterically into your chest. Everybody was looking at the two of them, and Germany felt his face heat up.
Soon enough, however, Romano decided he had had enough of this, and he walked over and shook Italy's shoulder gently. He knelt down and whispering something into his ear that must've calmed Italy down at least a little bit, because Italy immediately froze. He stopped sobbing, and looked up at Romano with a sticky, tear-stained face. Romano helped peel Italy off of Germany, put an arm around his younger brother, and led him out of the room and shut the door, with Italy sniffling and hiccupping the entire way out. Germany simply blinked a few times in response, then continued looking at Prussia, as did everybody else. Prussia looked a little bit sad for a moment, but he soon smiled again.
"Poor Ita...I wish I could give him an awesome hug too. And his brother dearest...I didn't know that he could be that nice. All big brothers should be like that..." Prussia rambled on for as long as he could, simply wasting time and avoiding his fate he knew was rapidly approaching.
Everybody else looked down slightly, not wanting these goodbyes to end, but they were running out of people and Prussia was running out of time. Prussia looked around the bedside for almost a minute, looking for somebody specific who he couldn't see at the moment.
"I-I'm right here...right here."
Canada had walked over from near the window; he couldn't stand to watch Prussia become weaker and weaker and had resorted to watching the breeze jostle the leaves of a nearby oak tree and the streetlights glow in the dusk. However, after hearing his name, he shot up and quickly moved over to Prussia's side. Canada couldn't bring himself to smile right now, not even to return Prussia's - all that he managed was a small wince.
"Hey, Birdie...y'know, I don't think...you ever thought this would happen again, did you?" Prussia asked, prompting a slow shake of Canada's head, "I guess I owe you an apology. I'm not gonna...be able to be there for you, from now on." Before Canada could even open his mouth to respond, Prussia shushed him.
"But, and I know this sounds cheesy as hell...but I'm gonna be watching, from wherever I end up. I'm gonna find you again, I'm gonna watch after you, and I'm gonna try and be there, in your dreams at night...so that you don't ever, ever miss me. Okay?"
Canada had one hand over his mouth at this point, and he was crying silently into it. His eyes were shut tight, and his cheeks were tinted pink, and he nodded. And, as always, Prussia smiled, but this time, his smile was bitter, and full of regret.
"Küss mich, bitte? Einmal mehr?"
"Wh-What...?" Canada looked up tearfully, removing his hand from in front of his mouth. Prussia had forgotten to teach Canada any German. That was one more thing to add to the list of things on his bucket list he would never accomplish.
"Can you kiss me one more time...before I go?"
Canada sniffed and dried his eyes before leaning over the side of the bed and gently pressing his lips to Prussia's. It was a slow kiss, a painful one, a war's end type of kiss where it wasn't meant to be happy. Everything hurt; nothing felt right. But Canada fulfilled Prussia's dying wish, and kissed him, as much as it tore both their hearts and souls into pieces. Prussia wished nothing more than to stay and Canada wished nothing more than to die. And when their lips finally and hesitantly separated, those tired and weary red eyes had welled up with tears. Canada quickly brushed them away with his thumbs, but more rapidly formed and fell, and he simply gave up, and leaned back a bit to look the dying man in the eye once more. Prussia sniffed, and suddenly wished he could bury his face into his hands. He kept his gaze on Canada for only a few seconds before shutting his eyes tightly and holding his breath for a few seconds before having a coughing fit. He was suddenly realizing that this was a bad idea, saying goodbye; it was far too painful, both physically and emotionally, and he dearly wished that he did not have to go. Not now, not again, not forever. A few stray tears rolled down Prussia's cheeks as Canada stepped back once more.
"W--Well, then..." Prussia said in a shaky voice that was barely a whisper, "I think...I have to go now...so everyone...? Could you guys come a little bit closer, bitte...?" The very weak nation's voice was thick with emotion, and it made heavy hearts heavier, and turned feet to lead as they crowded around him. Romano and Italy had reentered the room again, since Italy had calmed down to the point of being relatively quiet. Romano followed him closely, his eyes red, matching his brothers. They quickly followed suit, and quickly joined everybody else in surrounding Prussia.
Prussia said nothing, but all of a sudden, a hand shakily placed itself over his chest, where the aching heart was still weakly beating. The hand belonged to Spain, who looked determinedly at Prussia, despite still being in tears. He still was completely silent, and void of any emotion besides pure sadness. But his hand rested there, upon the silver-haired man's chest, and he did not make any move to withdraw it.
And then, the Spanish nation finally spoke.
"If..." he immediately regretted talking, as his voice was shaking and cracking as if he was going through puberty again, but he cleared his throat and continued, "If Prussia's going to die, then we should at least...stay with him like this. He wanted us to stay close to him during this, and I know how he hates being alone and god dammit; I'm going to stay here until he's gone!!" His voice sharply rose as he continued talking, the words escaping his throat faster and faster until he had to stop and catch his breath, and swipe at his eyes, "...and I suggest that all of you guys, all of his best friends, do the same!"
So they did. Their hands were all placed over Prussia's heart, and Prussia smiled ever-so-bitterly in return. He was filled with a happiness that was entirely unfamiliar; never before had such a powerful and eternal comfort spread through his body. He relaxed, and in an instant, all the pain he felt was gone, and replaced with warmth - just warmth. He wondered if he had finally accepted his own death, his real death. He felt no such emotion during his first death, and he could only assume that this one was real. And perhaps, this wouldn't be so bad after all. He blinked, and everyone's faces but Canada's blurred out. He couldn't feel the hot tears rolling down his cheeks; he didn't feel anything but warmth from everyone's hands on his chest.
Prussia soon found that his voice would no longer come, so he slowly mouthed out a "thank you," and then a "good-bye," and then his eyes felt heavy and began to shut. He was glad that as they slowly fell closed, Canada's eyes were the last things that he saw. Prussia's chest rose for what everyone knew was the very last time, and suddenly, everyone felt just a glimmer of that same warmth Prussia had felt shoot through their hands, and into their bodies. While most of them could only stare at Prussia in disbelief, not one of them daring to move their hands, Canada leaned forward and rested his forehead against Prussia's side, only a little ways away from all the hands resting on his now-stilled chest. A few words were moaned and shuddered into the sheets, but Canada did not even hear them; this was too much, he couldn't handle losing the one person he loved that loved him back. His body would break, his heart would shatter and his mind would go insane, but before everybody's eyes, despite all the disbelief and desperation, Prussia's body began to die.
At first, it was subtle. The lines on his face became deeper, and his hair became thinner; his cheekbones becoming more prominent and his lips releasing that final breath. However, soon enough, his face was all wrinkles and his hair was turning from silver to dusty gray nothingness. And after no more than a few minutes, his body simply crumbled away into dust, and disappeared into the air with absolutely no trace of life whatsoever, except for six horrified, tearful faces.
None of them had the heart to point out how similar Prussia looked to the one he called Old Man Fritz as he died. None of them had the heart to point out that they heard his voice, whispering "auf wiedersehen" as he died. And certainly none of them had the heart to point out that a small, yellow chick had flown in through the window that Canada had left open earlier. The chick had landed on the pillow Prussia was lying on, and it was carrying something in its beak. The fluffy thing dropped a necklace onto the pillow, an Iron Cross, something that Prussia had worn every day he'd been alive for his entire two lives as a nation. And there it lay, right where Prussia had died, right next to the fluffy yellow chick that would not budge from the pillow, even after everybody had cleared out of the room and gone their separate ways to mourn for their friend, or their brother, or their love.
It wasn't until a few months later that anyone dared to open that door and enter the room again. And the little yellow chick was lying dead on the pillow, with the Iron Cross right underneath it. Canada buried it in Spain's backyard, along with the necklace. He had named it Gil.
It wasn't until almost a year had passed that Canada returned back to his home instead of staying with Spain. He simply couldn't bring himself to leave the one he loved; he spent most of his time there in the small garden, lingering behind the tomato vines and kneeling by Gil's tiny little gravestone, marked by the Iron Cross. Canada wished that he could bring himself to take the necklace, but he decided against that, and buried the chain with the bird that delivered it, leaving the actual cross as the headstone. He had eventually learned to stop showing emotion when he went out there to mourn, and he had resorted either to speaking to the dust or singing softly in French.
Canada knew that Prussia had a funeral; America wondered why Canada did not attend. Mass amounts of phone calls and emails were being sent Canada's way, but all were ignored. He didn't want to talk to anyone about Prussia - not yet, at least. He didn't want to know that Germany had knelt down and draped his own Iron Cross over the altar in front of the casket containing only Prussia's picture. He didn't want to know that Italy and Romano held hands as they prayed together, all dressed in white, glowing in the light of a thousand candles. He didn't want to know that Spain had get France to go out and help him purchase a new outfit, because he had no need for black clothing until this day. He didn't want to know that even Austria had even been shaken by this loss, sitting stoically in the pews of the near-empty church, his head slightly bowed in what could only be seen as respect. He didn't want to know that Hungary had sung her heart out for Prussia; her normally-cheery voice lacking its spirit and its soul, and instead, echoing across the walls in such a melody that it brought tears to every set of eyes in the church. Canada simply did not want to know. So he didn't attend.
On his last day visiting the tiny gravestone behind the tomato vines, he said absolutely nothing, his violet eyes filled with a deep sadness; sadness that could no longer be expressed, but was simply embedded into a soul so deeply that it becomes part of someone's entire being instead of simply an emotion. For the young man, the memory of Prussia gave his eyes a sadness to them that would never fade, even when he would speak and when he would smile and when he would laugh. Canada's happiness dissolved the moment Prussia did. He didn't say goodbye as he left Spain's house, since goodbyes would only drive Canada to an even deeper depression. No one noticed him leave.
After a long trip back home, Canada walked in the door and was immediately met with a letter - it appeared to have been slipped under the door. The letter wasn't from America, though - in fact, it did not even have a return address. It only said "Canada" on it, written in wobbly crayon letters. Canada cocked an eyebrow, and opened the letter out of sheer curiosity. The envelope had two papers inside, one of them lined and the other white. Canada opened the lined paper first, and all this one had written on it was "Do yo reemebr me?" written in that same red crayon, in the same large, childish handwriting, complete with a backwards question mark.
"...does that say remember? 'Do you...remember me?'" Canada mumbled to himself after examining the lined paper carefully, soon flipping it over to the back, where nothing else was written. He eventually gave up trying to figure out that paper, and unfolded the white paper in the envelope. As he almost expected, it was a children's drawing - it was something entirely different that took Canada by surprise.
This drawing, made entirely in crayon, was much too familiar to just be a coincidence. Upon the page was a little drawing of a person, next to another much taller person. And what shocked Canada the very most about this picture was the detail on both the figures - the smaller figure had silver hair and red eyes, while the larger one had blonde hair and purple eyes. The paper seemed to have been torn in half, right between the two drawn out figures, and taped back together with clear tape. There were little yellow circles surrounding the silver-haired figure, and the other figure had an enormous tuft of hair curling down the paper. Both figures were smiling, and on the back of the paper, there was a tiny handprint made from paint inside of a traced outline of a much bigger hand. Canada held his hand to the traced outline of the hand, and it was just a little bigger than his. Canada's mind was sent reeling as he stared at the two papers intently.
Canada continued scrutinizing the contents of the envelope for a few more seconds until a knock at the door was heard. The frazzled nation walked over to answer it, and there, rocking on his heels in the doorway, stood a red-eyed, silver-haired child, with a large stuffed chick in his arms and a huge smile on his face. Canada's eyes widened and he dropped the letter, the child promptly picking it up and pulling out a crayon from his pocket.
"Oops, forgot to add somethin'." The child spoke, as he carefully wrote something on the front of the envelope, his brows knit in concentration as he wrote. He soon handed it back to Canada, who took it gingerly with a shaky hand. His violet eyes became misty after reading the four misspelled words written there.
"Prush. I am awsom!!"