Italy panted as his footsteps slowed to a halt, his knees bending as he set his hands on them, “ah... ah… I-I don’t know how.. ah… much I more can run…” he breathed heavily as he wiped his forehead to clean his flesh of any beads of sweat. He glanced up vaguely to the cloudless sky containing the relentless sun whom today was not his friend before back to the track, almost unable to see his commander anymore while he continued to run. How the heck could a man be so fit??
But of course it’s Germany so he can always do this so greatly!
Germany looked over his shoulder with a disapproving frown, raising his voice as he spoke, “Keep up, Italy! We still have one more lap to go!” Germany looked forwards once again, mentally adding ‘If I didn’t keep slowing down for you, you’d be four laps behind’.
The German watched the track fly by beneath his military boots, the brim of his hat helping in shading his eyes from the merciless sun’s rays. He reached past the sound of his own hard, steady breathing and beating of his boots against the pavement, trying to hear if Italy was catching up or if he were even still on the track. He could still hear the Italian’s pitiful footfalls and heavy breaths, often accompanied by a small ‘fweh’ sound as well.
Germany mentally sighed, tempted to fall back a bit in order to encourage the Italian some more. However, he stayed firm this time, seeing that the startling line painted on the track was coming up quickly. Certainly that would be enough to get the weaker nation to the end – He’s not stupid enough to stop just a few yards from the finish line.
At least, he hoped he wasn’t.
“Is.. isn’t this good enough for a pasta break though??” Italy called back with what little strength lingered in the weak Italian, which wasn’t enough. Seeing the form of the German seeming to just float away, he gulped dryly before pushing his hands off his knees to begin running once again. “fweh.. fweh..” he panted as he ran, the sounds of his motives helping him along just a bit as his habit was. One lap was pretty hard enough but why push to five?? Couldn’t there be some sort of compromise?? Like some sort of Pasta at the finish line of each lap, or a choice of siesta! Surely the troops would be in top fit condition if that was to be offered… but no.
That Germany had always chosen the hard path in training plus practically everything else. Never quite listening to what the brunette had to say, no doubt passing it off as some sort of nonsense, and that personally saddened the Italian more than anything else.
Germany stepped over the line ahead of Italy, slowing to a stop and catching his breath. He turned around and watched Italy stumble down the track, scowling softly.
“Come on! It’s the last lap – There’s no reason for you to not make it!” A flicker of worry gave itself away in Germany’s eyes, the man watching Italy anxiously in hopes that he would make it.
When Italy didn’t make it through these kinds of things, he couldn’t help but feel a little hurt and betrayed as well as a bit disappointed. Germany considered this his life: following the books, staying in pique condition, working hard …. And because he loved the Italian, that increased his desire to share this part of his life with the smaller nation and show him its many rewards. Despite his efforts, Italy often ended up not finishing or finishing his tasks very poorly, which made Germany feel both irritated and let down.
Of course, he loved the Italian, regardless of how much he often failed at life. That was something that always remained constant between them.
“I.. I’d.. ah… fweeeh..” Italy spoke in broken exhausted words as he tried to push his very limited boundaries, deciding not to really speak as that had stolen away breath used to power himself to move. It didn’t take much too long for the brunette to make it over the line, but in seeing that Germany had stopped, he had stopped too, breathing heavily as his legs felt ready to give in at any moment. He glanced up to Germany for only a moment before back down to the pavement, chanting his one wish in his mind at the time,
Siesta/pasta break, siesta/pasta break, siesta pasta breeaaaak… pleeaseeee…
Germany wiped away a few beads of sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand, gazing down at Italy as his heartbeat returned to normal. He contemplated making Italy do a few small chores around the house before finally turning in but decided to give the Italian a break for once.
He sighed quietly to himself. “Go and get changed. I’m allowing you to take a break.” Simply uttering those words made his insides squirm uncomfortably. Ooh, he better be damn thankful ….
Italy spread a tired smile, “y-yes, commander!” he exclaimed with the utmost happiness he could gather. Though tired as he was, he easily pushed himself to head back to the house quickly. The sooner I can change the sooner I can nap! And pasta too… I’m so hungry. His pace slowed as his stomach grumbled, placing a hand over it while he went inside. What I wouldn’t give for a good plate of pasta~
The Italian sighed through his nose, inhaling deeply but oddly, more than just air… but a scent. He blinked as the delicious smell itself began to make his mouth salivate. Sweet pasta! Was his prayers answered?? But where was it coming from?
He poked his head into the kitchen in extreme curiosity… no… no pasta there. His head cocked to the side, heading into some of the other rooms to try to find the source. No pasta either! Where could it be other than… outside! Quickly, Italy sped his pace to the side door, ears perking as he saw right there was a plate of hot and delicious pastaaa. “Grazie! Grazie!” He exclaimed in unclaimed joy to the unknown source that brought this to him. Without any thought of caution, Italy quickly went to the plate, using the fork there to quickly shovel what he could in.
Not allowing the Italian another second of freedom, a rope seemingly from nowhere tightened around his ankle and pulled him upwards with tremendous force. The rest of the rope was wrapped around a strong branch on the tree the pasta had been set up by, the end of the rope hidden in the bushes until a young man hopped out with the other end. He smiled victoriously, blue eyes shimmering with glee as he held up his hand in thumbs-up.
“Ha ha! America has come out as the hero once again!” He proclaimed proudly, pulling on the rope in order to dangle the Italian ever higher in the air. He approached the smaller nation with a triumphant grin, poking him gruffly in the forehead one time. “Ha ha! Couldn’t help but fall for my CLEVER trap, eh!?”
“Ugh, America, you’re an idiot. You only cooked the food and were only able to pull the rope because you kept whining that you wanted to.” England scowled as he slid out of the bushes behind him, slipping a handkerchief out of his pocket as he approached the Italian.
“A-ah!! GERM—“ Italy’s cry for help was cut short as the older nation tied the handkerchief around his mouth as a gag. Despite this though, he still kept trying to call for his other, efforts proving fruitless.
England shook his head as he picked up the plate of pasta, “now would you mind lowering him so we can cut the rope and bind him? Sooner we get out of here, the better.”
“Ha! I can do that!” America said as if this were a large feat, letting go of the rope without a second thought. The Italian dropped to the ground like a rock in water, landing on the grass with a soft thud, the tail of the rope landing beside him. America blinked, approaching the Italian and nudging his side with the tip of his boot.
“…. S’he still alive?” He asked, a little worried he may have killed the weakling.
As his side was nudged along with a blistering headache, the world spinning wildly as his head throbbed. Italy whimpered behind his gag, that being the most he could do at the moment.
England rolled his eyes, “no, he’s alive.. but just leave the binding to me, don’t need you to kill off the bait.” He noted as he went down to cut the rope into pieces, the longer piece being taken over to tie the Italian's wrists behind his back, the other pieces went to tie Italy’s ankles securely. England picked the whimpering brunette up with somewhat ease and set him over his shoulder, “clean up the mess here, I’ll take him back to the headquarters.”
“Ooh, why do I have to clean up? Why can’t I take him to headquarters? I’m the one how caught him!” America whined, giving England a frown as an overwhelming sense of pride made him feel as if he were the hero in this situation – as usual.
“Italy! Where are you?” America jumped at the sound of the German’s deep voice calling out for the Italian, not willing to face the brute now or ever.
“Here! I’ll take ‘im off your hands!” America whispered in a rush, grabbing Italy out of England’s hands and throwing him over his shoulders, turning on his heel and running at top speed over the bush and as far away from the enemy territory as possible.
“I—hey!!” England looked around quickly, in hearing Germanys voice he knew he didn’t have much time. Seeing a small white flag that had fallen from Italy’s pockets, he quickly pushed it over to the half eaten past and bits of rope left. That’ll have to do! And just with that, he quickly picked up his pace to follow after the younger country, his thick brows furrowed in anger of the others incompetence. No way in hell that America was getting credit for this one!
Only moments after America and England had retreated, Germany entered the small clearing, looking around at the patches of grass, trees, and bushes. He frowned in confusion, kneeling down in order to look at the grass more closely: the blades were bent, dirt scuffed up around the tips and falling down the indented centers.
Someone had been here recently … So it wasn’t just Germany’s imagination.
Germany stood up and looked around a few tree trunks, sure that he had heard voices other than Italy’s. He at least wanted to make sure the Italian was okay considering his feeble demeanor. He parted a few bushes, stopping when a scent caught his attention. Brow furrowed, the German pushed through the small foliage until he came upon a plate of pasta hidden beneath the brush.
Germany’s nose wrinkled, sure that this was Italy’s doing. He wondered idly where he had gotten the pasta from ….. It was then that he noticed the rope and white flag that were beside the half eaten plate. He pulled the items out from beneath the bush and examined them carefully, frown deepening.
The pasta was just beginning to grow cold and there was a good amount of strands falling off the edge of the plate. The rope looked fresh and hardly used, only one small loop of it looking a bit frayed. Germany looked at the flag next, recognizing it immediately. It wasn’t like Italy to just leave his white flag abandoned on the ground …. He held it close to his person at all times.
Germany let out a soft grunt as he stood up, holding the flag and rope in one hand and the plate of pasta in the other. Something didn’t seem right about this scene …. His instincts told him something was off.
Germany decided to take the safe route and try to find Italy as fast as possible, it not being too out of his league to get in trouble so soon after drill.
Within roughly thirty minutes, Italy was pushed to the phone, finally freed of the bonds the others put on him and luckily a certain sibling of his had been nice enough to offer an icepack for his throbbing head. The Italian knew this routine far too well… he was to call Germany up and be sent to a jail cell, waiting for his response of either a no, in which he’d mess something up and be sent home in a box or Germany would come and be interrogated, himself being at gunpoint. A soft ‘sho’ passed through his lips, moving the ice pack on his head before using the circular dialing method to get to Germany’s house.
Germany was just about to leave his office, prepared to go out in search for Italy when the phone rang. He looked over his shoulder with a slightly irritated frown, turning in order to go back to his desk and pick up the phone.
The thought that it might be Italy didn’t even register in his head.
“Hello?” He said, voice low and slightly impatient.
“Germany!! Germany!!” Italy quickly called in his usually panicked tone, wincing a bit as his flurry of emotion caused his mind to ache once more. He glanced over to England, glaring him down as he expected him to lie again to have Germany try to come rescue him, “I-I was hungry and found some pasta.. but then England and America came so I ran.. and… and now I dunno where I am!! There’s no one around and I’m just at a pay phone! The two are nearby I know it! Come help me, please!”
Germany frowned in irritation, letting out a sigh as he began to rub the bridge of his nose. “All right …. I’m coming to get you. Where are you?” He asked, gloved fingers rubbing hard into the crease between his brows.
America grinned excitedly beside England, giving Italy a triumphant grin as his faith in their plan grew with every passing second. He could hardly restrain himself, watching the Italian speak with baited breath.
“I’m not too sure.. but uh… from what I can see.. there’s a.. uh…” Italy trailed off as he looked out the front window, trying to see what could be there for a hint, “um.. a yellow Victorian house with triangle/square windows. No one’s home so I don’t know much else bout it…” Italy frowned as he had to lie to Germany for... the umpteenth time. Why did he have to be so useless? Why couldn’t they just live in a world full of peace and love?
Probably because it’s too much to ask.
“All right. I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Germany replied, hanging up the phone without a good-bye or even an ‘I love you’. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to say either of those things – he desperately did. However, his German heritage and rigid personality hardly allowed him to so. Combine that with his irritation with having to pick up Italy around some Victorian house and it made it even more difficult to speak his mind.
Germany didn’t hesitate to leave the office in order to leave his home, prepared to save Italy from whatever trouble he’s gotten himself into now.
“Victory!!” America shouted happily, giving a victory sign with his hand and shoving it right into England’s face. “Ha! Told ya you needed me on this mission!”
The corners of Italy’s mouth curved downwards, disappointed in not even getting a ‘goodbye’. If they loved each other.. wouldn’t it make sense to show it once in a while? He himself always did but… was Germany just taking them one ear and out the other? “sho…” he mumbled quietly before adjusting his ice pack.
England looked to America with a raised eyebrow, “You barely even did anything! If you showed more initiative in more than just the easy work, you could do just more than be a letdown.” He pinched the bridge of his nose for a moment before turning on his heel, “I’m going to get the rope to get Germany, you just… watch Italy or something.”
Italy glanced over his shoulder to the bickering countries, seeing how the two interacted in silence, definitely seeing a similarity between them and him/Germany. He turned his head to the side just slightly to look like he wasn’t looking towards America’s direction, while actually he was still watching with the curiosity of a cat.
America frowned in England’s direction, sticking his tongue out momentarily before he grabbed Italy’s upper arm and began dragging him off in some random direction. “Come on – Gotta put you in your cell now.” America explained, glancing down at Italy with a slight smirk. “Don’t think about trying to escape! I can catch ya in a heartbeat!”
Italy nodded, feeling a slight quiver in his muscles from being in the presence of the stronger enemy. He waited as they headed to his usual cell before speaking up, “.. does he always treat you like that? England, I mean.”
“Aww, yeaaah! But I know he secretly wishes he was like me!” America replied confidently, giving Italy a large grin in response. “He only acts mean ‘cause he’s jealous and has a stick stuck up his ass!”
Italy smiled for a brief moment before fear washed it away once more, looking to where he was going, wondering if he had the same cell, “… he reminds me of how Germany acts towards me most of the time.”
America blinked down at Italy, silent only for a split second before another grin broke out across his cheeks. “Ooh, he’s probably just like England! He’s just trying to hide that he secretly wants to be like you and has a stick up his ass.” America said with a nod, not giving room for disagreement.
Italy stared up to the younger country, eyebrows raised at the younger country’s talking. Certainly Germany couldn’t have a stick up his.. ass, but the first part did make a little sense even if it was maybe false. It didn’t very long until he was back into the same cell he was usually held in, not fighting being put in there as he usual did before slinking over in the corner, curling up while he adjusted his ice pack.
Meanwhile, England kept his back against the tree trunk near the house Italy described on the phone. He raveled the rope in his hands as he waited for the older country to come around for the bait that Italy placed so well.
It was perhaps thirty minutes to an hour before Germany arrived at the house Italy had described to him. He walked around the house and scanned the area around it, searching for the payphone Italy had used in order to call him.
“Italy!” He called out, beginning to feel a bit uneasy. What if this was a trap and Italy had been used as bait again ….? It was very plausible and definitely possible considering it had happened before. Germany turned this way and that, searching for his weaker ally with keen eyes.
England gripped onto the rope as his target finally arrived after so long of waiting. I have to make this right… I don’t want him to beat me up if I mess this up. He took a silent deep inhale from his nose as Germany finally came around to where he was hiding.
Three… two… one!
As the man’s back was turned, England quickly leapt out, quickly grabbing hold of the back of Germany’s arms as he tried to hold onto the other long enough to try to tie him up. “Just don’t give a fight and this will go smoothly without you or a certain someone else being hurt.”
“Ngh!” Germany’s body tensed, immediately going into fighting mode as he began to twist and turn around, prepared to pop the Englishman right in the jaw. However, he stopped short of doing so, a thought occurring in his head.
If he knocked England out right now, he’d have a much smaller chance of finding Italy any time soon. Considering what England had just murmured in his ear, it was obvious that the Italian had been captured and was used as bait. Germany scowled in annoyance, stilling himself slightly and allowing England to tie his hands behind him. The German was confident in his ability to escape the allies, having done so before, so he figured being brought to where Italy was and then breaking out would go much faster than trying to find Italy himself.
“Good man,” England noted quietly before taking the rope he had and binding Germany’s wrists together tightly behind his back. Keeping one hand on his binds while the other against his back. He pushed the larger man towards the headquarters, a smug grin on his face from having succeeded in his mission, “we’ll put you in Italy’s cell before we decide what to do with you.” He informed the other before they headed inside, pretty confident America couldn’t screw up the only mission he was given.
Italy sighed through his nose as he waited, the pack on his head having been half melted at this time but in return, his throbbing head began to at least become less painful. His ears perked as the sound of the door opened, glancing up to see Germany pushed inside, arms bound behind his back. “a-ah…” he murmured in a little surprise, adjusting the ice pack as the door closed behind him.
Germany was silent, his lips in a tight frown as he quietly entered the cell and turned to look at both England and America. The youngest nation grinned triumphantly, giving England a thumbs-up as he laughed out loud.
“Ha ha! I told you that plan would work!” America said with a beam, getting close to the bars in order to look on at the two victoriously.
England opened his mouth to object for the umpteenth time, but closed it, knowing it’d just be fruitless to try to drill into the naïve nations the logic of the situation. But the only action he did show was a small frown with a shake of the head before he started to head out, “I’ll tell the others.”
Just let him dream, Arthur, let him dream.
Italy waited for the two to disperse before he turned his attention to Germany, “… um… I… erm…” he tripped over his words as he didn’t exactly know what to note. He however noticed the ropes behind his back, “… want me to help?”
Germany gave a curt nod, turning around so that his back was facing the Italian, hands going limp so that he could untie him. “I’m not sure how long we have until they get back so we have to work quickly.” He said, already looking around for some miniscule escape route that was actually possible.
Germany was quiet for a few moments, allowing Italy to mess with the ropes around his wrists before he got the courage to ask the one question that had been nagging at him since he last saw his ally; “Are you all right? Did they hurt you?”
Italy gave his usual goofy smile as he pushed himself up from the corner, he balanced the ice pack on his head as he began to work on the rope work, “I’m fine! I got dropped on the head from up a tree branch though so my head kinda hurts, but big brother France let me borrow this ice pack though.” He motioned to the pack on his head before back to the binds, trying to undo the knot, making it looser the more he worked on it.
Germany nodded a bit, glancing over his shoulder at Italy, trying hard to disguise the worry in his eyes and appear cold and stern as usual. “Will you be all right?” He asked, shifting his hands as he desired to rub his fingers across the Italian’s head in search of any bumps or flesh wounds.
“Yeah, I mean I’ve suffered worse injuries. It’s okay,” Italy assured, his smile widening before fading at the hard work of the knot. His brow furrowed just slightly as he pulled on it, the last bit of the knot being the hardest to undo. He leaned forward and pulled on the rope with his teeth in a desperation method, “veeeeee… veeeee” he murmured in his attempts before perking, his head suddenly drawn back, “ah! Got it, Germany!” the Italian exclaimed happily as he pulled back the untied rope.
Germany brought his hands in front of him, rubbing his wrists gently as he turned around and looked at the cell entirely. “Good job. Now, look for something that will help us escape.” He ordered, looking about with a focused gaze.
He strided towards one of the cement walls and began to brush his palms against it, searching for a loose brick, a cord, something. He went over to the bars and examined them as well, trying to see if there was some way to slip beneath or to jiggle the lock open.
As Germany tried to find their escape route, Italy didn’t hesitate to lie down, laying his head down on the ice pack as a somewhat pillow. With Germany here… he’ll help us out, he does it without my help usually, so he probably wouldn’t mind if I took one small siesta. He yawned quietly as since he was allowing himself to rest, the exhaustion from earlier quickly took hold, it not being long until the Italian was cut off from the conscious world.