Luciano woke to the clunking and clanging of heavy boots marching against the dusty ground outside. He immediately tore off his covers, racing to the window, his expression turning from annoyance to horror at the sight of an army, all wearing the all too familiar colours of the Holy Roman Empire, heading through through the open kingdom gates row by row.

He snagged a red dress as his passed, and threw it on, and wasted no time in storming outside, scowling. "Holy Rome! Where are you going?! Why are you leaving without me?!" he screeched in anger, though his voice shook ever so slightly as he spoke, revealing his sudden uncharacteristic vulnerability.

"Oh." Claude glanced over his shoulder with his usual blank expression, not even bothering to bring his horse to a halt. "Good morning, Italy. I didn't know you were awake."

The young nation had to scurry along beside him to keep up. "Bastard! You woke me up! And don't avoid my question! Why didn't you inform me that you were leaving for war?"

"I didn't feel the need." He replied simply, turning to face forward again. "I'll be back soon."

"But- But-" Luciano glanced around desperately. Eventually he gave a high-pitched growl of annoyance. Then he paused, smirking a little as he settled on a (granted, immature) idea. He reached a hand up above him, past the saddle of the of horse, firmly clamping his fingers around Holy Roman Empire's arm.

"What- What are you-?!" The older country cut off, giving a yell of surprise as Italy gave a sudden, determined yank, effectively dislodging him from the saddle. He fell to the ground in a heap, landing on top of Luciano. "Idiot!" He screeched, clambering to his feet as quickly as he could. "Look what you did!" He turned to a passing solider, giving a quick order of "Catch my horse!" (With a responding "Yes, Sir.") and then turning back to the boy in front of him with a glare.

"Stay here, Holy Rome, with me!" Italy begged, unconsciously grabbing hold of the other child's hands and holding them close to his chest. "Don't leave, bastard!"

"Why should I, Italy? I need to protect my people, and your people, too."

He was then caught completely off guard when Luciano launched himself forward, pressing his lips firmly to the unsuspecting nation's. He pulled back after a few moments. "Because, I…" Luciano's voice cracked as he spoke. "I love you."

Claude sighed wearily after a moment, regretting what would have to come. "I'm sorry, Italy. I could never love you." He turned his back to the distressed country, taking the reins of his horse from a solider. Before he left, though, he hesitated. "But… If I don't come back…" He pulled back his sleeve, tugging a bracelet off with his hand. He thrust it out toward Luciano, still not meeting his gaze. "Here. You can hold onto this."

Luciano slowly took it, blankly staring ahead, silent.

With that, the Holy Roman Empire pulled himself up into the saddle, giving the horse a firm kick, urging it into a canter to catch up with his army beyond the gates.

Leaving Italy behind, numb to the world.

Several years later, in 1806, a French messenger arrived, delivering the news of the Holy Roman Empire's death.

That year was the last time Luciano Vargas wept.

This was actually written quite a while ago. Hope you enjoyed anyhow! There may end up being a WWI omake of the first time Lucie and Lutz meet.