You never really believed in reincarnation. The thought of your soul returning in another body, all your previous memories long gone, replaced by new ones of a new life.
It never struck you as something significant.
Stopping to think of it now, a small smile crossed your weak lips. The rhythmic beeping of the many machines hooked up around you was soon tuned out by the soft, welcoming flood of warm memories.
Your first encounter with the handsome blonde man you were proud to call your fiancé, Ludwig Beilschmidt, took place at a park, when your dog had gotten loose. You were just barely eighteen then. The man coaxed your hyper hound to him, and quickly returned him to you, though he was too flustered to say much.
You being the helpless romantic you were, thanked him with a kiss of the cheek. That was what had changed what would have been an ordinary encounter, and turned it into a beautiful, blossoming relationship.
Things were much more simple then.
The years went by, and you began to mature into a young woman, though your dear Ludwig stayed the same, not a day added to his age, and you had begun to wonder why. Ludwig decided it was time to finally explain to you why it was that he was always traveling, and the tender kisses, the loving touches between the two of you, were bittersweet.
Ludwig, was the personification of the Great German country, therefore, he could not age. The first time you had ever seen the love of your life cry, was when he came to the realization that one day, he would have to go to sleep without you.
You held him in your arms, murmuring loving words of nothingness into his ears, and reassuring him that you would stay, even though both of you knew that it wasn't true.
A girl could dream.
You knew that your time with Ludwig would be short, in his point of view at least, but neither of you had anticipated the speeding car that took a sharp turn, ramming itself directly into your side of Ludwig's car.
The next thing you remembered, you were here.
Life has a cruel way of giving us surprises.
You shut your eyes for a moment, only to open them in surprise once again when the glass door of the ICU room you were occupying were thrown open, allowing Ludwig, clad in several bandages, into the room. His face contorted from worry into disbelief, to horror.
He collapsed to his knees, holding your frail hand in his trembling ones. His pale blue eyes were red, tears making tracks down his cheeks. He opened his mouth to speak, but his teeth clenched together in misery.
"Leibe, mein Liebe I'm so sorry, I'm so so sorry," he whispered in a trembling voice, cradling your cheek with one hand and planting a fragile kiss onto your forehead. You flashed him a smile, that quickly turned into a wince as a sharp pain from your back shooter up your spine.
"Is not your fault, Ludwig, I'm going to be-" you convulsed violently, causing an involuntary gasp to leave your lips.
"I'm going to be fine," you managed quietly.
"Please don't leave me, I can't do this without you," he begged, holding both of your hands in his own. "_____, you can make it through zhis,"
You gave his hand a gentle squeeze, the words he was saying became quieter, and quieter, until they ceased all together. You felt your body shake with tremors of silent coughing, before you collapsed back onto the bed. All the air in your lungs seeped from your parted lips. You were gone before you could have seen the way Ludwig's eyes contorted into pain and despair.
You couldn't hear the cry that escaped his lips as he reached out to cling to your lifeless body, and you certainly couldn't feel the shaking sobs that racked his body. You couldn't see the way his heart shattered when he saw the light leave your eyes.
You witnessed none of this when you passed away.
Gilbert rushed into the Intensive care unit ____ was moved to, quickly passing nurses, doctors and other patients until he found the glass door slid open. He stopped abruptly at the scene before him, and his breath left his lungs in a rush. He hadn't seen his younger brother in such a state in decades; his usual strong, independent nation of a brother was a broken man, not physically, but emotionally. It broke Gilbert's heart.
Suddenly, he was moved quickly out of the way by several nurses, who had to practically pry Ludwig from your still body. Gilbert quickly grabbed his younger brother and pulled him into a tight hug, allowing the man to cry into his shoulder.
"She can't be gone, she can't leave me like zhis," Ludwig cried out thickly through tears. His shoulders were heaving with ragged breathing, and Gilbert did his best to calm his distraught brother. His jaw clenched and he shut his eyes tight as tears leaked from his own ruby red eyes. The memories of all the playful teasing, all the silly stuff the two of you would do, usually just to piss off Ludwig.
Gilbert had completely forgotten how fragile mortal humans were.
"Vest, we have to go," he said softly, holding his brother tightly. Ludwig shook his head furiously, refusing to leave your bedside. Several nurses placed a white sheet over your body, and began to remove you from the room, leaving Gilbert and Ludwig alone in the empty room, where you had been smiling only moments before.
"Ludvig, she's gone." He whispered. "She's gone."
Ludwig couldn't go on. That was the simplest way to put it.
He, the strong country of Germany had survived war, religious oppression, and nearly being torn apart. But when it came to the death of one small, insignificant woman, the man couldn't bare to go on.
His country still stood strong, that was true, but he personally had become a hollow of his previous self. He couldn't sleep, only ate because he forced himself to, and spoke even less than usual. He no longer tried to obtain order at the world meetings, and didn't bother to chastise his brother for the petty things he did.
He found himself walking, though he didn't know, or care, where that was. He supposed it was the disputed territory that the Czech Republic and Slovakia had been arguing over for unite some time.
There were more than likely dangerous people in the area, waiting to attack.
If it was a fight to the death they wanted, than a fight to the death they'd get.
Ludwig's brain had already begun to go back into war mode, even though this wasn't his fight to begin with. Though, the area was strangely quiet.
He couldn't let his guard down.
The walk that had originally been out of self-loathing and bitter thoughts was quickly replaced with stealth and alert senses, waiting for any traces of sound.
A rustle in the bushes directly to the left of him caused him to jump, and he quickly sprung around to look at the possible target. The leaves rustled once again, but to his surprise, a marksmen was not what he found.
It was a small girl.
She had (h/l) (h/c) hair, that framed her round face, with bright, round (e/c) eyes. She looked up at Ludwig in alarm, but all the defenses he had built washed away like a tidal wave.
He fell to his knees, looking at the small child with wonder and disbelief. This couldn't be true, it couldn't!
But how could they look so similar?
"Vhat is your name?" He asked softly, stretching out a hand to offer it to her. The girl shrunk back in distrust, quickly moving her hands behind her back.
"I am (country name)," she said timidly, "and I can handle myself!"
The way she held herself, posture erect, and eyes narrowed at him almost made Ludwig smile. It reminded him so much of you when you'd get scared, or irritated.
"I vill not hurt you, Liebe," he promised, keeping his hand held out for her to take. She looked at the strange man questioningly, but slowly took her hand from behind her back and placed it into his.
"Promise?" She questioned carefully.
"I promise, little one."