Thanks to Iroyuki, Little Bird 8060, Time Turner, EllaAwkward, Minimandy125, Olivia Kirkland, Zaaze, BTT, ToolboxHDR, ScandinavianTrash, Adorable Reader and PorcelenaRota for reviewing.
Now, on to the last chapter.
Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia.
Time seemed to stand still. Vlad's eyes were frozen wide, and a burning pain came from his chest. It was worse than any other pain he had ever felt before.
Ivan smiled at him.
"All these years, wasted," Ivan said. "So I would need to get rid of the waste."
Ivan pulled his sword back. Vlad gasped, before he fell to the ground.
"Vlad!" Lovino shouted the moment he landed, hovering over him. "You… you can get better, right? Like those other times?"
Vlad shook his head.
"I-Ivan is one of the few that can k-kill me," Vlad said.
"No…" Lovino said. "I won't let you die, you jerk! You can't do this to me!"
Vlad reached out and cupped Lovino's cheek. Lovino leaned into the touch.
"A-after all this time," Vlad said. "I'm glad that I could f-find you. And… About earlier. I-I love you too."
Lovino's eyes widened, and Vlad's closed. The hand that had been cupping Lovino's cheek fell to the side. His chest was completely covered in the silver liquid that was his blood.
"Vlad?" Lovino whispered. "Vlad, please."
He hadn't even been aware of the fact that Feliks had launched himself at Ivan and was attacking the demon mercilessly, but Ivan simply laughed, as though he found everything to be funny.
Ivan then landed next to Lovino, and Feliks screeched indignantly. Only then did the Italian realise what was going on, and he looked at Ivan with wide eyes.
"You know, this is all your fault," Ivan said cheerfully. "If you had told him that you hated him, like you should have, then he wouldn't have had to die. He'd still be alive, and he'd be serving me. Just like how you would. So even if you lied, you could have still been with him."
"Bastard," Lovino whispered.
Ivan patted his head, making Lovino flinch.
"I cannot kill you yet," Ivan said. "But… I've decided that letting you live with the guilt is a suitable punishment. And I'll take you as soon as you mature into a demon. But for now, I think I'll leave."
Ivan disappeared, and Feliks landed beside him. He turned back from his true form, before falling to his knees.
"I'm sorry," Feliks said. "I would have attacked, but you were too close, and…"
"Don't blame yourself," Elizabeta said. "I didn't attack for the exact same reason."
Tears were gathering in Lovino's eyes as he looked down at Vlad. He didn't stop the first tear from falling, and once it did, he couldn't stop the other tears either.
"It's all my fault," Lovino whispered. "Vlad's dead because of m-me…"
That nightmare room was right. He was poison to everyone that he met. And Vlad had suffered the worst because of it.
"Lovino," Feliks said. "Don't…"
Lovino ignored him, sobbing loudly as he buried his face against Vlad's chest, ignoring the blood now staining his face. He cried into Vlad's chest, feeling as though his heart had been ripped to shreds.
They were surprised when the vampires suddenly disappeared. It wasn't as though they had retreated. They had just… vanished.
Natalia cackled, causing Katyusha, who was fighting against her, as well as the other angels (and a fallen angel and Nephilim) to pause and stare at her.
"The battle is over," Natalia said. "Brother has won!"
Natalia then narrowed her eyes at her sister.
"We will finish this another time," Natalia said, before she vanished.
"Vlad…" he said. "And what about Lovino?"
"The prophecy!" Nora exclaimed. "If it's realised…"
"We need to see what's happened," Alice said, before she ran in the same direction that Vlad had disappeared to earlier.
Raivis cocked his head to the side.
"Looks like the battle is over," he said. "And looks like I'll be leaving now. Send my regards to Jack."
Marcello's eyes widened as Raivis disappeared, and the final taunt seemed to echo around him. He had the feeling that something bad had happened. He jumped out of the bed in hopes of being able to see what happened, and he immediately tensed when he felt the cold air.
"No," he muttered. "I can't. Lovi…"
In spite of the cold, Marcello made his way to the door, and he opened it. He was a little disturbed by the fact that his fingers were already numb, but he gritted his teeth and forced his way out of the room.
He was a little surprised by the fact that the door wasn't locked, before figuring that they had probably counted on the fact that the room had been so cold to keep him inside.
Hugging himself and rubbing his arms for warmth, Marcello started walking in a random direction, hoping that somehow, he would find his way to Lovino.
"I think we're getting close," Jason said, looking at the arrow of light.
The group heard a gasp. Alfred and Jason shared a look, before Jason ran ahead. Since Alfred was still carrying an unconscious Matthew, he couldn't do the same.
The others ran ahead, with Alfred following at a slightly slower pace. They rounded a corner to see Jason hugging a shivering Marcello. Bella immediately approached, seeing the bluish tint to the Italian's lips, as well as the pale skin.
"What happened?" she asked in alarm.
"C-cold r-room," Marcello said.
The others were confused by the statement, but Alexandru looked thoughtful.
"I think I heard my brother mentioning once that there's a room here that they keep extra cold," he said. "That's probably where he was."
Marcello nodded his head, and Jason held him tighter.
"We need to get you warmed up," Jason said. "Where's Feliks when you need him?"
"W-wait," Marcello said. "L-Lovi…"
"He has a point," Fletcher said. "We need to find Vlad and his heartwing right away. Who knows what Ivan had done to them?"
When they finally arrived at the throne room, they were shocked by the sound of Lovino's crying, with Elizabeta and Feliks standing over him, looking completely lost. Feliciano ran forward, before he dove down to hug his brother.
"Fratello," Feliciano said. "W-what happened?"
"H-he's dead," Lovino whispered. "He's dead, and it's all my fault!"
Alice and Nora ran up to them. Alice brought her hand to her mouth, while Nora looked shocked.
"Why would Ivan do this?" Alice asked. "After all this time…"
"It's all my fault," Lovino repeated.
"Elizabeta, explain," Nora said.
"When we arrived here, Vlad and Ivan were already fighting," Elizabeta said. "I never saw him fight like that. It was impressive."
"Go on," Alice said.
"I think it has something to do with Vlad's wings. And…"
"Lovino said he told Vlad something that Ivan totally didn't like," Feliks said. "Like, what was it?"
Lovino sniffed, his face red, but that could be due to the crying.
"I l-love him," Lovino said.
"Oh, Lovi…" Feliciano said sadly, rubbing his brother's back.
"The curse was averted," Alice said. "That would definitely set Ivan off."
"Ivan probably thought that there was nothing he could do to change the situation in his favour," Elizabeta continued. She then turned to Alice and Nora. "I hate to say this, but… Could you two bring him back?"
Lovino snapped his head towards the two, looking hopeful. Alice and Nora exchanged a look before they hung their heads.
"I'm afraid that we can't," Alice said. "The touch of life and breath of life… It doesn't work on other angels of life. Even the blood of life isn't as effective. If Vlad was still dying we might have been able to save him, but as it stands…"
"There's nothing we can do," Lovino said, before he started crying even more harshly.
They heard running footsteps, and the rest of the Nephilim, along with Fletcher and Alexandru, could be seen. They stared at the scene mutely, except for Alexandru, who ran forward.
"Brother!" he shouted.
He stopped just short of the corpse, tears in his eyes.
"No…" he whispered.
The others approached cautiously, forming a circle. Lovino wasn't the only one crying, as most of the others had tears streaming down their faces. No one said a word.
And no one noticed how the few black feathers that remained became pure white.
Lovino was startled when the chest beneath him suddenly moved, accompanied by a loud gasp. Lovino stared with wide eyes as Vlad breathed deeply a few times, before opening his eyes.
"V-Vlad?" Lovino whispered.
Vlad turned to Lovino and gave a small smile. Lovino immediately launched at him.
"What the hell, you jerk!" Lovino shouted. "What did you think you were doing?! Don't you dare die and then come back! I have half a mind to kick your ass!"
Vlad's face was twisted in pain, as Lovino had started pounding on his chest. He was only stopped by Heracles, who pulled him away.
"I'm sure Vlad would be able to explain this," Heracles said. "Right?"
Vlad was panting, and after a while he nodded.
"Lovino possesses the tears of life," Vlad explained. "It's the one thing that Lovino doesn't easily surrender. And our heartwing connection made it stronger, allowing it to work on me, though it took a while. What did I miss? Where's Ivan?"
"Ivan left," Elizabeta said. "We don't know where he's gone."
"But, like, there's something else you need to see," Feliks said.
Vlad frowned in confusion, before Feliks gestured to one of his wings. Vlad's eyes widened, and he slowly sat up.
"How is this possible?" Vlad asked.
"I think it was because of your heartwing," Alice said, glancing towards Lovino. "His influence allowed the light to return to your heart, and all of the bitterness you've been harbouring had disappeared."
"Or it could be because you were never meant to fall in the first place," Dimitri said. "We all know that you didn't deserve it, and then the curse that Ivan placed on you…"
"My guess is that he helped you get rid of the curse," Nora said.
Lovino's eyes were wide, and sensing that he had calmed down, Heracles released him. Lovino felt something on his hand and looked down, seeing Vlad's hand clasping his.
"See, Lovino?" Vlad asked. "You were worried over nothing."
Lovino blushed slightly, before he looked down.
"I know I should be mad that you didn't tell me," Lovino said. "But… I understand. You told me about the curse. About how you were doomed to have your heartwing – me – reject you. And… I think that if you had told me at the beginning, when we learned all of this shit… I might have. I-it wouldn't be personal, just… me being in denial."
"Which is why Alfred is staying quiet," Jason said, looking towards his brother.
"Huh?" Alfred asked. "What do you mean?"
"Admit it. You would have been calling Lovino out because of how sappy he's being. And then you'd tease him, and he'd get so angry that he would yell 'I hate you' and storm off. Like every time you found out he had a crush on someone."
Alfred chuckled sheepishly, while Lovino was glaring at him, a blush on his face.
"I'm glad you're not mad," Vlad said, pulling everyone's attentions back to him. "I couldn't stand it if you hated me. And simply being around you was enough for me."
Lovino's blush darkened, and he averted his eyes.
"You're lucky you're already hurt," Lovino said. "Otherwise I'd be kicking your ass for saying something like that."
Everyone chuckled at that.
"Could someone please help me up?" Vlad asked. "I seem to be suffering from a case of diminished strength, after suffering from another affliction called 'dying'."
"I can relate," he said.
Lovino and Heracles helped Vlad up. It escaped no one's notice how Vlad would wince in pain, and the other two tried very hard to be careful, neither wanting to hurt Vlad more than he already was.
In the end, Vlad was leaning against Lovino, breathing heavily with his arm draped over the latter's shoulder. He had retracted his wings in order to make it easier for them, but Lovino was still suffering a little under Vlad's weight.
It had been a long night for everyone.
"What do you say we all go home?" Vlad asked.
"What the hell?!" Alistair shouted. "We could have…"
"Silence," Ivan said.
He had brought the vampires to one of his fortresses on earth, and luckily Toris, Eduard and Raivis were smart enough to follow. Natalia had also followed.
He had also brought Kasem, who looked a little irked, since he was still bound and Ivan had no intention of letting him out anytime soon. Yong Soo and Leon looked worriedly towards their brother, but they knew that they wouldn't be allowed to go against their master's orders.
"Vlad is no longer able to become a demon," Ivan said. "So I killed him. And Lovino will most likely wallow in his grief, and then mature into a demon. I will take him back then."
Antonio and Francis were a little sour that they had lost Lovino.
"What are you going to do now?" Natalia asked.
"This world isn't toxic enough," Ivan said. "I think that can change. We want to make this a second Hell, do we not?"
"How do we do that?" Toris asked.
"Breed new vampires."
The vampires perked up at this.
"You are no longer limited to invitations," Ivan said. "So you can sire as many people as you want. Without hunger interfering. And there are other Nephilim in this world. We just need to find them before the angels do, da?"
Raj and Michelle jumped slightly in surprise when a portal appeared in the living room. They watched as one by one the ones that had gone to Hell, as well as the ones they had gone to rescue, stepped out. And they also noticed Vlad's predicament.
"What happened?" Michelle asked in concern.
"Long story," Vlad said. "I'll tell you in the morning."
"Jack!" Marcello cried out, rushing towards the unconscious angel on the couch. "W-what's wrong with him? W-why is he still…?"
"He was rejected by his heartwing," Jett explained. "You."
"I-I didn't mean to. It was that demon. I like you, Jack. I-I don't hate you. And I don't blame you for what happened. I-it's my fault, anyway. If I wasn't so weak…"
Lovino swallowed thickly, recognising himself in his younger brother. He turned to Vlad.
"Is there something we can do?" Lovino asked.
"Considering I was the one that dragged him back," Alice said, "no. The touch of life didn't heal him. But I don't think this has ever happened before."
"There's also the issue of him letting the demons in in the first place," Fletcher sighed. "Why don't we leave him here for now, and after we spoke with the others…"
"Do you have to go?" Jason asked.
"We kind of have to recover from our time in Hell," Jett said. "But we have a lot of explaining to do."
"I'm just glad it's not me," he said.
"Yeah," Elizabeta said dryly. "Lucky you…"
Hans yawned, and Roderich looked down at him.
"I think it's time you return to bed," Roderich said, before scooping the boy into his arms.
Hans snuggled against his father's shoulder, and a few of the others smiled at the endearing scene.
"I think we all need to go to bed," Vlad said. "It's been a long night. For some, I get the feeling it was longer than others."
"Sounds about right," Lars said, stretching his arms.
Fletcher was looking at Matthew, before he turned his attention to Alfred.
"Take care of him for me," Fletcher said. "And when I get back, we'll talk about this properly."
Alfred frowned, before he yawned and reluctantly nodded.
"I'll just take Mattie to his room, and then I'll hit the hay," he said.
There were general nods of consent, and one by one they left. Marcello was staring at Jack, a sad look on his face. Heracles sighed, before he picked up the comatose angel.
"I think there's still an empty bed available," Heracles said. "We can't leave him on the couch."
"Could you please take him to my room?" Marcello asked. "I don't want to leave him alone."
Heracles nodded, and they went along with Feliciano.
Soon, the only ones in the living room were Vlad and Lovino, with Vlad having settled in an armchair.
"Aren't you coming?" Lovino asked.
"In a while," Vlad said. "There's something I want to do first."
"It would seem that Vlad was successful in his endeavour," Ludwig said.
"Great," Miguel said. "Do you think he'll keep his promise?"
"Of course he will. He's bound by it. But if he doesn't deliver within a week, we'll start making demands."
Vlad had been sitting in the clearing for a while now, simply staring ahead of him. He had a small smile on his face. Everything had gone better than expected.
He heard footsteps behind him and turned around. His smile widened when he saw Lovino approaching him.
"What exactly are you doing out here?" Lovino asked.
"There's just one last thing I want to check out," Vlad said. "Why aren't you in bed?"
Lovino sat down next to him. He sighed.
"I can't sleep," Lovino admitted. "I guess I'm still trying to process everything."
Vlad nodded in understanding, and the two lapsed into silence.
"Are you still going to do it?" Lovino asked.
"Do what?" Vlad asked.
"Find and train others like us?"
Vlad sighed, before he nodded his head.
"I want to train you and others like you," Vlad said. "Too many demons have showed interest in you. I don't want anyone to fall to them."
The two lapsed into silence again. Vlad smiled when he saw the first rays of the rising sun. Lovino sighed.
"Let's get you inside then," Lovino said.
"No," Vlad said. "Not yet."
Lovino was perplexed for a moment before his eyes widened.
"You want to see if that curse is broken too," Lovino said in realisation.
Vlad nodded his head in response.
The two simply sat there for a while. Vlad brushed his hand against Lovino's, and the latter blushed, before accepting the hand.
Finally, when the first rays of the sun reached them, Vlad took a deep breath. And when it passed over him without hurting him, he laughed in relief.
"It's over," he said. "It's really over."
"Y-yeah," Lovino said. "Um… I love you."
Vlad turned to him with a smile, before he pecked the other on the cheek, causing Lovino to blush darkly.
"I love you too," Vlad said.
And it's finished. I'm kind of sad to see it end. And I think I ended another story with a possibility for a sequel, which is completely unlikely. But I think I'd be willing to do oneshots on request.
I also posted the prologue for Enough, so go check that out as well.