Your breath hitched in your chest, the sound of your footsteps on the ground beat furiously like a drum. Trees swiftly passed by you as you sprinted, helplessly searching for shelter. Behind you the dark purple aurora grew closer and closer, it's mist poisoning every living thing in it's path. It reeked of death, something all too familiar to you. The forest seemed endless, showing no signs of an exit. Sweat poured down your forehead, your hot breath coming out in short, dry heaves. Finally, your legs as heavy as lead, you fell to the ground in defeat. Struggling for air, you opened your eyes to the awful sight of the poisonous gas quickly approaching you.
You screamed, it completely engulfed you and your surroundings, and you could no longer breathe. Tears flowed anew as you felt your body convulse. Your chest tightened and you wailed in pain. All of a sudden you hear yelling in your ear, "_____!! _____! Wake up, verdammt!!" Your eyes shot open, and to your relief you could breath once more. And the familiar, comforting face of Germany stared you down, his eyes clouded with worry. You sat up and rubbed your misty eyes.
"Good Gott, you scared me half to death, frau." Germany sighed, looking a bit shaken. Your mind wandered, it was just a dream… You sighed in relief, but the anxiety still furiously pounded at your chest, making a chill creep down your spine. You held your head in your hands and groaned.
"I'm sorry, Germany… I just had another bad dream, that's all." You forced a smile, feeling weak with fright.
"Just another bad dream? Liebling, you vere screaming at the top of your lungs.." Germany held your hand tight. Your smile was quickly washed away. You were known for talking in your sleep, so it wasn't a surprise that you screamed as well. You've suffered from depression your whole life, it wasn't until now that it was really affecting how you lived. You have had several panic attacks in the past, usually you'd handle them on your own in your house, but once you had an intense one at a World Conference and your dear friends Germany, Italy, and Japan were forced to rush you to the hospital, that was it. Germany insisted that you stay with him (and Italy) so you'd be safe.
You yourself were worried about your own safety as well, considering when you had an episode that bad, you couldn't breathe at all. So you couldn't decline. It had now been about three weeks, and almost every night was the same. You'd have a nightmare, start screaming in your sleep, and Germany would rush in to comfort you. It was almost a routine, Italy could set his alarm by it if he had any reason to get up at three in the morning. Germany always found you, writhing around in a pool of your own sweat, screaming and crying. It ripped him apart inside, he felt so helpless. Most of the time, after you had calmed down and Germany retreated back to his room, he found it impossible to go back to sleep.
"I'm sorry…" was all you could muster.
"Vhy in the vorld are you sorry?" He only squeezed your hand tighter.
"For waking you up all the time, I know it must really stress you out." You paused, and sighed. "How about this? Tomorrow, I'll move back into my own house, that way you can get some sleep an-" your words were cut short with Germany putting his hand to your mouth.
"Nein. I von't be able to sleep if I can't be sure you're safe." He adverted his gaze from you to the floor, and patted your head gently. "I vorry about you, _____."
You felt a blush creep up into your face, and you snuggled back underneath your covers, still shaking. Germany gently stoked your head at a slow, comforting pace. You sighed contently, the soothing feeling of the German's soft palm to your cheek made you smile, and tears threatened to escape the corners of your eyes. Slowly, you drifted back off to sleep, lulled by Germany's touch.
Once he was sure you were asleep, Germany gingerly stood up from your bed, and headed for your bedroom door. He was about to push the door open just enough for him to slip through, but stopped in his tracks when you stirred, once again groaning in your sleep. Concerned, Germany quickly strode back to your side and kneeled down. Your face was strained, obviously in the mist of another nightmare. Germany once again soothingly stroked your hair, and your features relaxed. He sighed in relief, and once again, stood up to leave.
Again, your face twisted in discomfort, and you unconsciously scooted closer to where Germany's hand once was. You winced, and Germany swiftly kneeled back down to your level, this time taking your hand in his and holding your face in his other. You pressed your cheek into his palm and sighed contently. Germany blushed once again, his slight grin betraying the warmth he felt in his gut. He realized that tonight, he'd be sleeping with you. Carefully, not letting go of your hand, he nudged you over just enough for him to slip under the covers next to you. Embracing you tightly in his arms, he looked down to see you slightly grinning, face bright red. He returned the grin, and his eyes fluttered shut.
That night was the first night you've slept in peace for months.