Another morning, Alfred thought as he, with coffee in one hand and the newspaper in another, sat down in front of the telly. The news wasn't that promising, but he needed something to pass his time and distract himself.

From his nightmares.

Alfred had been having them for a week now, and it was always different. Once it was a voice, haunting him by recounting his worst memories. Sometimes it was a force, trying to kill him. The only recurring thing was that a shadow, a figure, was always there. He couldn't see who it was, how they looked like, but in all of those dreams, he was on the side. Observing him, it seemed.

He shuddered at the thought, and went back to reading. Hopefully it wasn't something bad. Probably some scary movie he watched.

"If you don't, I will take your place, and the Teikoku, the Empire, will reign once more."

Kiku heard Kuro's voice ring through his head as he opened his windows. Sunlight filled the room, and his eyes were filled with tears. He didn't understand what was going on, and what was going to happen.

"What was he trying to say? And what does he plan to do?" He questioned himself, but couldn't come up with an answer. He then decided to try and forget the encounter, and hope it was nothing but a delusion.

He could see them in his dreams. Hourglasses, some almost empty, some still filled to the brim. Some flowing slow, some not. The names of all the people he knew- and also the ones he didn't, were engraved on the base of each one, one by one.

And there were the certain few. The personifications. The sand in their hourglasses wasn't moving at all.

Yongsoo couldn't stand it. Not like he could tell anyone about his nightly visions, for fear of them thinking he was insane.

Yao looked around the room as the world meeting was in progress. He, bored as hell with Germany's commentary, decided to take a look at each of their thoughts.

Italy was thinking about pasta.

Germany was thinking about his dogs.

France was thinking about the economy.

India was thinking about...punching China? ("Better get away from him.")

England was planning to shave his eyebrows. ("Nah, won't work." Yao thought.)

The rest of them were either listening, dozing off, or just worrying about their respective countries.

Except three.

Japan, America and South Korea were acting strange. He couldn't really put a finger on what they were thinking about.

America was thinking about a shadow.

South Korea was thinking about hourglasses.

Japan thoughts were hazy, but yet it looked like he was worried. Like that one day.

" haven't been visible lately..." Yao began recalling one of his own memories, and began slipping into a reverie as the nations continued talking, and the bosses continued watching, and his curiosity...