"Why...?" It was a breathless whisper, a plea. Yet it did not come from you.
Italy's hands slowly began to vanish from around your neck. You gasped and panted for breath, wanting to cry with relief at tasting oxygen again. You coughed and choked, trying to regain air flow through your lungs. Above you, Italy remained still, his hands clenching beside your head.
Something dripped onto your face. You froze, slowly looking upward at the Italian.
Although Italy's thorny bangs covered his eyes, you could see the trails of tears that snaked their way down his face towards his chin, where they pooled and dripped off. The man that you had gotten to know over the past few days, so calm and composed, was crying in front of your very eyes.
Italy leaned backwards, coming to kneel over you. He held a hand against his face, pressing his hair into his damp cheeks. You slowly sat up, careful not to make any sudden movements, as if Italy was a cornered animal.
"Why won't you sing for me, songbird?"
The question came as a whisper, a murmur like a voice on the wind. Yet even in its silence, it shocked you. You sat, frozen with indecision. Now was your chance. It was fight or flight. This would be your only opportunity to escape, to go home.
'Go home to what?' You couldn't help but think. 'Back to a town where I could be killed on a daily basis, scrounging for food and trying desperately to survive? What kind of home is that?'
Yet you knew, you had to fight against this man at his weakest now, or run so he could not catch you. But which to choose? You hesitated, fumbling in your mind for the answer.
You chose neither.
As soon as Italy had spoken, you began to realize how alone and sad this poor man was. You wanted to reach out to him in that moment, all of his intimidation gone from him. Even if there were consequences, you wanted to help this man.
So it was with careful hesitation that you reached a hand out to the tyrant, gently brushing away his bangs from his face. He noticed the gesture and looked up, his violet eyes rimmed with red from the tears he had already shed.
No words were needed here, nothing needed to be said. Ever so carefully, ever so gently, you crept closer to him, until your lips almost touched his ear. Only then did you begin the tune that started as the faintest of whispers, growing to a steady melody with each spoken word.
"Every time you kissed me
I trembled like a child
Gathering the roses
We sang for the hope
Your very voice is in my heartbeat
Sweeter than my dream
We were there, in everlasting bloom
The secret is inside the pain
Winds are high up on the hill
I cannot hear you
Come and hold me close
I'm shivering cold in the heart of rain
Darkness falls, I'm calling for the dawn
Silver dishes for the memories,
For the days gone by
Singing for the promises
Tomorrow may bring
I harbor all the old affection
Roses are the past
Darkness falls, and summer will be gone
Joys of the daylight
Shadows of the starlight
Everything was sweet by your side, my love
Ruby tears have come to me, for your last words
I'm here just singing my song of woe
Waiting for you, my love"
The final words were finished as a whisper. Italy sat still, his hands bracing himself behind him. You slowly sat back, expecting him to stand abruptly and walk off, but instead, you suddenly found a pair of arms circling your waist and pulling you close. You blushed but made no move to get away.
Italy rested his head on your shoulder, holding you in his lap. You blushed brilliantly, and opened your mouth to speak when Italy silenced you.
"Please, I just want to stay like this for a bit." he murmured against your collarbone. You hesitated, but nodded almost inperceptibly, letting your hands rest on his head. You began to hum the same song again, not saying the words, just letting the melody wash over you both.
You closed your eyes and rested your head against Italy's.
"Please." came your silent prayer. "I want to help this man."