Danse Macabre

The clock stuck midnight as Death stalked through the rows of gravestones, his long black cloak trailing behind him menacingly. He stopped in front of the endless rows, and looked up at the full moon, his violet eyes glinting behind his glasses.

"A perfect night to play," he thought as he drew a black violin from the folds of his cloak. This was a ritual he had repeated every year since his beloved passed away. All Hallow's Eve was the night that spirits roamed free, and Death had always enjoyed their dance as he played. Now he lived- as much as he could, anyway- for this evening. He tucked the violin under his chin and began to draw out an ominous, almost playful melody. His eyes closed in concentration and his brow furrowed as the music flowed around him and into the cool air.

One by one the earth in from of each gravestone cracked open as the skeletons climbed out. They staggered over to where Death stood. Once they were lined up in front of him, the skeletons began to dance as if powered by the music itself. Their bones rattled as they swayed, and Death's song took on a more solemn tone. He opened his eyes and smiled a bit, content that his subjects found joy in his playing. But there was still something missing...

Death strolled away from his place, the violin hanging in the air and still playing as if he had never left. The skeletons parted as he crossed their ranks, searching for one stone in particular. The dirt in front of this one hadn't been dug up, and he felt relieved. He couldn't bear it if his lover had joined the rows of mindless, dancing corpses. The grave was simple, made of gray stone and only reading a name.

Elizabeta Hèdervàry.

He muttered a few words and smiled as a white mist billowed up. The mist solidified into a beautiful young woman, with long, wavy brown hair, green eyes, and clothed in a dress the color of starlight.

"Elizabeta... My dear Elizabeta." Death murmured, taking her hands and kissing them. Elizabeta smiled up at him, unafraid.

"Roderich, my love," she said. "I have missed you."

"As have I," Death replied. "But now we are reunited, though only until the sun rises."

Elizabeta cupped Roderichs face in her hands, and leaned up and kissed him. "Then let us spend this time together, and forget the dawn." She whispered, "we are beings of night, after all."

Roderich smiled at his lover, "As you wish, my love."

He bowed deeply and held out his hand. "May I have this dance?"

She curtsied, "Yes, my lord." Elizabeta took the hand of Death and they danced. They waltzed to the music of his violin, while skeletons danced around them. The two lovers gazed into each others eyes and lost themselves in each others touch. Death dealt like he was falling in love all over again with Elizabeta.

He never thought he would feel an emotion such as love. He had always been a cold, unfeeling force, simply going about his existence collecting the souls of the dead and bringing then to their next life. This had all changed when he saw Elizabeta, or rather Elizabeta saw him. He had come to collect her dying husband, and she somehow saw him. There had been some conflict between them at first, but they ended up falling in love. Death's entire world had been turned upside down by this woman, and he had felt things he had never dreamed he'd feel. But that happiness did not last forever.

Death had always known Elizabeta would die eventually, but he never thought it would come so soon. While he was away doing his duties, her house had been broken into and the culprits stabbed her multiple times. He found her laying in a pool of her own blood.

~Three years prior~

"ELIZA!" Death screamed. He rushed to her side and kneeled down, brushing her hair away from her face.

"Death...? Has Death come to take me away?" She whispered, reaching up towards him. She thought he was the other side of himself, the cold, unforgiving Death.

"No, Eliza, it's Roderich," he said, clutching her hand.

"Roderich..." She smiled weakly, then coughed, a bit of blood staining her pale cheek. "What happened... It hurts so much..."

"Shhh..." He whispered in a soothing tone. "I'm here Eliza, please, just stay with me a little longer, stay with me."

She coughed more. "It hurts... Please, Death, make it fast..."

The words shattered his heart but he had no choice but to comply. He leaned down and kissed his lover one last time. "I love you, Elizabeta Hèdervàry."

She smiled at him. "I love you too, Death... Roderich Edelstein..." Her eyes closed as she breathed her last breath.

An unearthly wail tore through the house as Death wept over the body of his beloved. Hot tears streamed down his face as he still held onto her hand, his body shaking with sobs. What made it worse was that there was nothing he could do about it. Rules had been set by things greater than he, and there was no hope in breaking them. The only thing he could do now was escort her to the next life, where he will surely never see her again.

"Roderich?"

He snapped out of the memory, and saw Elizabeta looking up at him worriedly. It took him a bit to realize that there was a single tear rolling down his cheek. He smiled apologetically.

"I am sorry, my dear. I was just thinking about... When I lost you."

She kissed his cheek and caressed it lovingly. "I'm here now, and you'll never lose me again."

Death took comfort in her words, but he still wasn't sure. "And when the sun rises?"

"Then know that I am happy, and that I love you."

Tears welled up in his eyes as he finally broke. "Oh, Eliza," he murmured as he pulled her into his embrace. He buried his face in her hair and wept softly, only the second time he ever had. He felt her crying against his chest. "I love you so much. What did I ever do to deserve you?"

"You did so much, Roderich, and I love you too."

They stayed in that position for a long time, just absorbed in each others presence. Over the distant hills Death could see the sun starting to rise, painting the sky a brilliant gold. He would have thought it was beautiful if he hadn't been dreading it. His grip on Elizabeta tightened slightly.

"It's time, Elizabeta."

She turned and glances at the sun, a forlorn look on her beautiful face. She turned back and kissed Death passionately on the lips. She wrapped her arms around his neck to pull him closer as he held her waist. They broke away after a bit, and gazed lovingly into each others eyes. He kissed the back of her hand as a rooster crowed softly in the distance.

"Until next year, my love," Death said.

"Until next year, Roderich... Death," she replied. Around them the skeletons frantically rushed back to their graves and reburied themselves, while Elizabeta dissolved into mist and sank into the ground. The violin hanging in midair finished its tune and floated motionlessly. Death walked away from the cemetery, grabbing his violin and putting it back in the folds of his cloak. He left a bright red tulip on the grave of his beloved and disappeared, the sun shining on the grave of Death's lover.

For those that don't know, the tulip is the national flower of Hungary. I hope you guys liked this! Please review, all criticism allowed, just nothing nasty please, since this is my first fic. Feel free to PM me if you have questions! And I do not own Hetalia.