BlackLynx17: I know I said I wouldn't write another Hetalia fanfiction, but I was reading a fanfiction and just... thought of it. I thought of it and couldn't stop writing this. I'm not going to say this is my last Hetalia fanficiton because I might be inspired again, I'll just say not to look forward and hold you breath for it. I probably sounded conceited right there, sorry.

I've always loved the saying a picture is worth a thousand words so I hope you enjoy this one-shot. I could imagine this being a full story, but I don't have the time so I squished it to a one-shot. Hope you like it.

And for those who read the summary, I just wrote down some of my favorite sentences from the story there. Yeah, not so good at summaries so thanks for reading even with the sucky one this story has.

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HETALIA AXIS POWERS

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a picture is worth a thousand words

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A picture.

A picture is worth a thousand words. How much is a thousand pictures worth then? Not that Italy would know, he's never drawn a thousand pictures, at least not yet. He was in the 100's and though that didn't seem anywhere close to a thousand, if things kept going the way they were... Italy was sure he would reach it soon. If a thousand words could be said about a single picture then those thousand words, for Italy's paintings, would all be sorrow.

A picture for each rejection. That's what Italy agreed with himself though that wasn't how it always was. In the beginning he was just depressed and sulk somewhere eating pasta when he wasn't around. He thought the happiest day would be when he finally was able to confess his feelings, and it was. He had finally been able to do it, he was finally able to confess.

It truly was the happiest day of his life, even when he didn't know the answer.

And after he gave this long speech asking if he was kidding, telling him it wasn't funny, yelling at him about being an idiot and finally accepting it when all Italy would do was smile and return his feelings... that was the young Italian's happiest day in existence. Things... life-... since life never turned out as planned, of course things wouldn't turn out as well either. A lot of things changed in their life and while some were for the better, it seemed that a lot was more over for the worst.

A positive thing that changed, they kissed! And it wasn't just an Italian on the cheek kiss, but a French on the lips with tongue kiss!

A negative thing, Germany had made Italy stop hugging him in public... completely.

Italy didn't understand why he had done that. At home behind closed doors and secure walls Germany would let the Italian hug and kiss him as much as he wanted but out in the open... it was like they weren't even friends. Only they were, the German just treated Italy like he would Japan. Not being able to hug his most favorite person in the world left a... a gap in his heart. In the beginning he filled with pasta, but after he saw a paintbrush and some paint just lying in the corner of his room Italy found out that painting filled the gap much better.

So the young Italian would paint a picture every time the German would deny his feelings.

It helped at first, but as the paintings started piling up it did more damage then good. Italy couldn't believe how many pictures of paintings he had painted in a week and they were all about him. Various pictures of Germany doing various of things, smiling, yelling, him in his uniform, him in his pajamas, him eating, him sleeping. Italy loved drawing his sleeping face the most, it looked like he could do no wrong when he slept.

The hugs were only the beginning. Soon the German stopped hanging around him so much and wouldn't even look at him for a week when they had world meetings. It was only that week, but it still hurt. At home though the German would become his Germany. He would smile, he would laugh, he would kiss him, hug him, stroke his hair, cook him pasta, love him. His eyes would come to life as he stared down at him like he was the only person who existed, only person that mattered in his life. Italy would feel so special he wouldn't know what to do with those feelings. He'd fall asleep right in his arms and wake up the next day in them, he'd cook him a mixture of pasta and wurst for breakfast and would hold his hand all the way up to the moment before they'd leave the home.

Then the hand would be missing and the hole in his heart would return. It was like he took a piece of him everyday before they went out into the world and taunt him with it, not returning it until the day was over only to repeat the same process the next day. He got gotten better with his paintings. At first he couldn't grasp every detail about Germany so some things would be missing in his paintings but now, Italy could do it with his eyes closed. He actually had drawn one with his eyes closed... it didn't come out as well as the image in his mind.

One day the Italian was feeling daring and ask Germany why he did what he did, why they couldn't be together in public. The German had told him this.

"I don't want anyone to know we're together."

Italy had painted a full body painting that day. It took him hours to get every detail about his uniform and the way his boots shined just right but he was able to do it. He cried when he stared at the finished portrait. The paintings were beginning to multiple and the young Italian's room wasn't big enough to store all of them so he had to move them all into another room. He had named the room Germany's room because of all the pictures of Germany that hanged on the wall were laid out all over the place though he told everyone else that was just a painting room or a pasta storage... they believed pasta storage more.

It continued like this for a long time, months in fact. Italy would try to hold his hand, his shoulder, hug him, kiss his cheek, mess with his hair, tease him, steal his wurst just to make him pay attention to him but the reaction he'd get from Germany wouldn't be what he'd want. Even accidently brushing against his shoulder would make the German yell at him. He would always apologize, hundreds of times he'd apologize when they'd come home making up with kisses and pasta.

Kisses and pasta, no matter how great they were, they wouldn't work forever.

"Italy? Is there anything wrong?" Japan asked him one day.

"Ve?! Whatever do you mean?" Italy would play off, trying to hide his true feelings.

"You seem... sad." Japan told him, frowning lightly himself.

"Do I? Well I'm not, I just have a slight problem I don't know how to fix." He would tell him.

"Oh, if there's anything I can do to help your problem then I'll be happy to."

"Thanks, but it's not really a problem, more like a situation."

"Regardless, problem, situation, I'm here for you Italy. A word of advice though, if you're in a bad situation you don't like then maybe you should get out of it."

It was there thanks to his second best friend that Italy decided he would paint a thousand pictures. He would paint a thousand Germany's and only a thousand, after that he would... he would leave him. That seemed far off into the future though and maybe the Italian was giving him too many chances but Japan was right. If you're in a bad situation, and Italy didn't know how else to describe it as, then you should get out of it! Italy loved Germany though and couldn't give up on him without giving him a chance. So he decided on a thousand chances. A thousand words, one picture.

Italy could write several books about how Germany makes him feel.

When the day finally came when Germany told him he loved him out loud, though Italy knew he did without voicing it, he kind of hoped things would change on the outside.

Thinking about all of this was making the Italian depressed. Italy sniffed as he dabbed in some paint, stroking the brush against the canvas where Germany's bright blonde hair would be. He could spend hours painting Germany's hair, has in fact when he was lost in thought. It was just so different from other blonde hair, it was Germany's. They didn't sell Germany's hair color in the store so the he had to make it up his own, it was challenging though. It wasn't just yellow, or yellow mixed with white paint. It was mustard mixed with a little buff and cream and a dap of sunglow with a pinch of white to give it that certain glow. Italy didn't know how else to explain it. It was because of Germany's hair though that the Italian's secret had almost been revealed.

He hadn't heard someone knocking on the door or entering him home, calling out his name or walking up the stairs. The paintbrush fell out of his hands when he heard the doorknob start jiggling though.

"Italy?! Are you in there?!" Germany called through the other side.

"Yeah! Just hold on, I'll be right out!" Italy called picking up his paintbrush from the floor.

The young Italian pouted, there was a big yellow stain stuck on his carpet now. That was the least of his problems though, the most was how he was going to hide all these pictures of Germany... from Germany. Germany raised an eyebrow when Italy cracked the door open just enough for his frame to squeeze through then shut it right behind him. He would remember the Italian blushing and sweating, smiling at him shyly.

"Hi Germany."

"What were you doing? What's in there? I don't think I've ever been." Germany said looking up at the door.

"Nothing! Really, it's just my pasta storage room."

Germany knew he was lying, not because of the lie though because that sounded very convincing, but because of the paint that lingered on his hands. It wasn't his business if Italy was keeping a secret from him so he bent down and did what he's been wanting to do all day, kiss him. Italy's eyes widened and he smiled into the kiss, reaching his hands out to grab his cheeks so he could pull them closer.

Italy was able to last a little longer. It wouldn't last forever though and one day...

Painting 167 was of Germany playing soccer. Italy smiled and was proud of his work as he looked over. The pictures got bigger and bigger and now the Italian was able to paint life size, full body pictures of Germany. Each one looking more real than the other.

He had been rejected a hundred and sixty-seven times.

Italy cried as he knocked over the painting, just as soon as he finished it. It landed on it's back so nothing messed the painting up and that's why Italy was mad. He pouted as he leaned over the painting, gripping his paintbrush. It had to be his best piece yet and he wanted to destroy it. Italy couldn't just shove his foot through the painting of his boyfriend though so instead... he drew Germany with a mustache.

He did not look good in one.

This had temporarily made the Italian forget about his troubles and laugh, hard. Germany would remember looking for his boyfriend once again and finding him in the pasta storage room, laughing for some reason. He'd knock and walked downstairs, waiting for the Italian to finish whatever he does up there and come down here to him.

... It couldn't have been drugs, right?

Maybe he was training, nah that was impossible.

So while Germany would try to come up with what he did in that room all alone, Italy would put his painting supplies away and run downstairs to meet him. Germany would always forget his train of thought when he kissed him.

It was late one night when Italy was cuddled up against Germany's chest. He was feeling courageous that night and had asked again-

"Germany, why can't I hug you in public anymore or kiss you?"

Germany sighed, "because I don't want you too."

"But you let me hug and kiss you when we're home?"

"That's different Italy, it's only us when we're at home."

"I don't get it."

"Yes you do-"

"No I don't! I don't understand, I don't get it!" Italy yelled.

Germany flinched and Italy gasped, neither of them saying anything for the rest of the night. Germany would wake up alone the next morning and would somehow have a feeling that Italy would be in that room again. Something was wrong with his boyfriend, something had always been wrong with him, but this time something was really wrong so Germany quickly got dressed and drove over to his house. Arriving though he found the door locked, which was strange because Italy would never lock his door if he was inside the house.

He must have beat him there somehow which was actually perfect for Germany but bad for Italy who was picking up more canvases from an art shop. Germany would remember his heart racing as he climbed the stairs, him licking his lips as he arrived at the door and reaching for the knob, only being able to hold the handle for a few minutes before finally turning it and opening the door.

For a second he believed this room was filled with mirrors and Italy was a secret narcissist, but when he walked deeper into the room he noticed that these weren't mirrors, they were paintings. Paintings of him and only him, everywhere around the room. Germany walked over to one of them and touched the canvas, feeling the rough paint underneath it. These were all hand painted, hand sketched, and probably drawn by memory because Germany didn't remember posing for any of these pictures.

"Why Italy?" He'd whisper to himself as he admired them all.

So shocked in seeing so many of himself that he hadn't heard the footsteps down the hall or the humming until Italy dropped everything he was holding when he spotted Germany in his secret room.

"Germany?!" He yelled.

Germany froze, his heart nearly leaping out of his chest as he turned around and... and...

Waved. And waved.

"W-wh-what are you doing in here?!" Italy cried out.

"I-I-I-" There wasn't an excuse good enough to get away with this so instead he asked.

"Why are there so many pictures of me?"

Italy blinked.

"I'll, I'll forget I saw you here if you-you forget what you saw in here."

"Italy, this is not something I can forget easily."

"Well try then!" Italy shouted stomping his foot.

Germany just stared at him and Italy picked up his things, throwing them anywhere inside the room and reaching for Germany's arm. He gripped it tightly and started tugging, which did nothing for the German.

"Come on, let's go! You came to see me right? Well see me in the other room."

"Italy! This isn't funny, why are there so many pictures of me?!"

"It's none of your business!" Italy started crying.

Germany flinched, "Italy-"

"No! Get out, get out, get out! Get out Germany." Italy sniffed.

Instead of obeying and leaving though, Germany reached out and wrapped his arms around him. Italy's eyes widened and he started struggling against him, Germany would not let go of him. Not now, not ever.

"Tell me what's the matter Italy, I can't fix it if you don't tell me." He whispered to him.

Italy sniffed and started crying louder, reaching out his arms to cling to the man.

"It's your fault!" He cried.

Germany's eyes widened slightly, "it's my fault you drew so many pictures of me?"

"Yes." Italy said stubbornly.

Germany blinked, was it because he was handsome? That the Italian wanted to paint his face because he was handsome? That wouldn't explain him crying though, if anything he should be embarrassed or flaunting around right now.

"Well... I'm sorry for being so handsome."

Italy snorted. He snorted and his hair strand twitched as he started giggling right after. Alright so that couldn't have been true Germany thought and blushed due to embarrassment. The young Italian felt so much better laughing out his worries though then crying about them. He sniffed and took a step back from Germany, wiping his tears away.

Italy took a step towards one of his many painting of Germany and picked one up. It was him just out of the shower, his blonde hair down instead of its usual slick back.

"You know Germany, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. When you look around this room, what words do you see?"

Germany took a wild guess, "words that describe how much you love me?"

"I wish." Italy whispered to himself.

Germany didn't seem to hear him whisper as he took looked all around the room.

"How many paintings are there of me?" He asked.

"168."

"168?! When have you had the time to paint 168 pictures of me?!"

"Germany, these word aren't filled with love. They're filled with sadness." Italy whispered.

The Germany blinked.

"I paint because I couldn't come up with a thousand words of how you'd make me feel when you, every time you'd... reject me."

Germany felt his heart stop.

"Ita-"

"It's nothing though Germany, really! They're just paintings, a hobby re-"

"168 paintings of me is not nothing Italy! Why didn't you tell me sooner?!"

"I did! And you know what you told me?! I don't want anyone knowing we're together!

"Italy-"

"How could you have thought that I'd just be okay after hearing that?!"

"I thought you knew Italy."

"Knew what?! That my boyfriend was ashamed to be around me in public! That he only wanted to be around me in the privacy of our own homes?! That he-"

"Was only trying to protect you." Germany interrupted.

The young Italian blinked, "... what?"

"God Italy, I knew you were stupid but really? Have I ever said such a thing to you before?!"

"Well, you've said some mean things before to me-"

"Italy, verdammt. The one and only reason I would ever tell you such a thing would only be to protect you. We made a promise didn't we? I'd always come to help you, I'd always protect you Italy."

"Protect me? From what?"

"Everyone. Italy not everyone is as open to gay people like you and me. Some people are, but most doesn't understand it and they treat people differently because of it. I didn't want, I-"

As Italy hung onto his every word and Germany felt his face heat up.

"I didn't want anything to change for you. I didn't want anybody to treat you differently or hate you or try to hurt you because, because you fell in love with me. I didn't want anything happening to you because of our love."

So all this time, Germany had never been ashamed. All this time he was only doing what he's always done for him, he's only been trying to... protect him.

"You." Italy said.

Germany sighed out and stared away, "I thought you would have known this Italy. Did you really think of me as such kind of a person?"

"Oh Germany, I'm sorry!" Italy cried glopping onto him.

"I'm so sorry! I had no idea, I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Italy cried over and over.

"Ja, it's alright Italy! It's alright! Stop crying!" Germany ordered.

"But I'm been painting depressing pictures of you for months now! I've lied and made you feel bad when all this time you've been protecting me!"

"I forgive you so just stop crying!"

Italy sniffed, wiping his tears away.

"Really?"

"Yes really."

"Aw Germany! Ti amo!" Italy cheered kissed his cheek.

Germany blushed, "ich liebe dich."

"What was that?"

"I said, ich liebe dich Italy. I'm just glad we solved that problem."

"Aw Germany, our problems are not solved though. We haven't figured everything out yet. I understand you want to protect me but I, I can protect myself! I want everyone to know that you're mine Germany and I don't care what everyone thinks about it. If you're scared about people bullying you then I'll protect you Germnay! I just... I don't like how we are right now. Every time we're together I feel so complete and when we leave... you take a piece of me with you. And I don't get back until we're back home. It's a horrible feeling Germany and-"

"Okay."

Italy blinked, "ve?"

"Okay. I didn't know, I'm sorry you've felt like this for so long so alright. I was only looking out for you Italy but if you believe you can handle it then we can do it. There's no going back though, there's no running when times get tough or hiding. If we do this we have to commit-"

"Of course! I'd never run away from us Germany! Do you mean it though? Like really? Really?"

Germany smiled lightly and reached out his hand.

"Let's go find out."

Italy cheered and grabbed Germany's hand, tugging him out the room and out the door to the outside world. He took a deep inhale of oxygen and breathed it all out, staring at Germany and their still intertwined hands. They took their first step down his steps and then their second and soon the two of them were walking hand and hand down the street.

"You see Germany? Nothing's bad happening." Italy smiled walking closer to him.

"That's because we haven't met the other nations yet." Germany mumbled.

"But even so, we're going to be just fine!"

And for some reason, Germany really believed Italy when he said it. So instead of continuing arguing, he sighed and started scratching the back of his head.

"So, do you think you're finished painting pictures of me?" Germany asked.

Italy hummed, "I don't know. I rather like painting you, maybe you could pose for me sometimes." He smiled.

Germany blushed and Italy laughed.

"You already have so many pictures of me though."

"That's true, maybe I'll hang them around all around my house now that you know about them!"

Germany paled, "that would not be a good idea."

"Or maybe I'll sell them at an art show so there'll be Germany's all over the world in every home."

"Italy, that's even a worse idea. Maybe you could just... burn them?"

Italy gasped, "but those are all my masterpieces! Why would I burn them?"

"Because you don't need them since you have the real me. Aren't I better than a painting?" Germany asked.

Italy thought about it, "... yeah. You're right. Beside all those paintings have negative feelings etched into them, I'll make a whole new Germany collection filled with happy ones and they'll be all for you!"

Germany should have just kept his mouth shut. Italy actually laughed and pulled Germany down, stealing a kiss from his lips.

"Love you Germany." He said.

"Ja, love you too Italy."

If a picture is worth a thousands words, how many words is a moment like this worth?

"Italy... why in one of the pictures did I have a mustache?"

"Ve, hehehe. I was just... wondering how'd you'd look in one."

"Oh... so how did I look?"

...

"Ti amo Germany!"