Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia.
AN: Pairings include Den/Nor, Spa/Bel, Hung/Aus, Can/Ukr, FrUk, Greece/Japan, Liet/Pol, Ger/Ita, and a lot more that honestly will take too long to list. Basically if a country is close, either geographically, historically, or economically, to another it has the potential to be shipped. Fair warning.
Alfred F. Jones did listen. Sometimes. When he thought the advice worth listening to.
"To love is to lose control."
The personification of America could remember France telling him that when he'd been caught crying during his revolution. The older nation told him that just because he was trying for his independence didn't mean he had to hide his love for his brother. That love meant losing control over whether they got hurt or not. It meant not having a choice but to care when they saw the other sad, no choice but to feel.
Of course, there was also the whole perverted aspect of that explanation, but he preferred not to think about that.
"Being on top of the world means being alone."
England had told him that after the war was over in Europe. The UN charter had just passed in San Francisco, and unlike the previous world war he intended to join the group. He knew what that meant. He'd always known, in some way, that he was going to become a very powerful country. Why else would he have superhuman strength if not to bring the world together the way no one else had?
He was the world's superpower in a way no one else had ever been.
He was alone in a way no one else had ever been.
He was fine with that. Really. He couldn't afford to give up control, so he couldn't fall in love. He didn't want to give up his spot as the world's superpower, so he dealt with their resentment, their hatred. They all needed each other, he could deal with not being wanted.
When one is single and has every intention of staying single, it puts things into perspective.
Mainly, that others were in love, and they had nothing stopping them from being together.
Contrary to popular opinion, he could read the atmosphere. He just didn't let it change how he was going to act. He sat back at meetings sometimes, watching how others interacted. He could see why France made all the insinuations he did, but France always went about it the wrong way. Pointing out the obvious was not going to get things done, it only embarrassed them.
America was home to Hollywood. He had watched too many movies, and romcoms were his guilty pleasure. As the years went by, and nations still didn't take advantage of the changed times, he thought he might have to do something.
Seriously, how could only Finland and Sweden have their shit together?
The fun part was that no one would suspect him. They didn't think he picked up on romance, and they certainly had never seen him flirting with anyone. Which meant he could get away with doing things no one else could and if he was caught…
Well, that wasn't going to happen. No one would see this coming from him.
America was flirting with Denmark.
Norway wasn't sure how he felt about that. The superpower had never shown an interest in anyone before. Everyone thought he was such a child at heart that he'd never be romantically interested in people. Not that there was a lack of interest towards him, just a lack of response. He had never asked Matthias if he was one of those interested. He'd always felt the two of them were just friends.
But the way America was dancing…
That was not in the realm of friends. He didn't think his little brother could turn that red.
"Who knew America was such a good dancer?"Finland asked, watching in amazement.
Sweden resolutely stared at his drink,"Hm."
"I mean wow."The Christmas lover gaped,"I wish I was that flexible. I'm almost jealous."
Norway was not jealous. Denmark could dance with whoever he wanted, however he wanted. He did not wish it was his hands wrapped around the slightly taller man's neck. He did not want it to be his hips the idiot was holding onto. He did not want to be the reason for that stupid, pleased smile on his face. He was not angry; he was not jealous. At least, he wasn't before he made eye contact with America.
The bastard deliberately ground back. He was certain of it.
The magic user downed his drink and started rolling up his sleeves. Emil's eyes widened,"Norge, what are you doing?"
"I'm not losing him to America."Anyone else, maybe, if he thought they could make the man happy. But in that moment, he knew that the superpower was just playing. He would not let his Matthias be hurt by that greedy capitalist. He could tell he sounded possessive, but he was past caring.
No one had ever tried to take Denmark before. It was an unspoken thing that the Dane was his. They had to have been separated by force. The acceptance of their type of relationship was new, but he knew it was an eventuality that they ended up together. No one had ever threatened that, but of course America would be enough of an idiot to do it. He lived to be frustrating.
"Back off."He growled when he was close enough for the younger nation to hear.
"Hm?"He stepped closer to him, and he refused to be intimidated,"Why should I?"
"Denmark is mine."He glared, prepared to curse him if necessary, international politics be damned.
"Really?"A glimmer of a challenge,"Cause we've talked about this, and he's pretty sure you're not interested."
Why was Matthias such an idiot?
"Not interested."He turned to the watching nation and grabbed his tie. Matthias stared at him in shock as he pulled him closer into a kiss. Why did he have to love such a kind dumbass? He always had to be told everything, when some things didn't need explanation. Those arms, strong from centuries of wielding weapons, pulled him closer, and this, this was what he'd been waiting for.
"Dance with me."He ordered when they broke apart.
Denmark nodded, then smiled apologetically at America,"Sorry-"
"I get it."He held up a hand, shaking his head,"He's the one you've always wanted."
"It would have been fun."The other former Viking kept a hand around his waist, squeezing to ensure him that it would not have been fun.
"But not permanent."The superpower huffed,"Whatever, I'll see you around."
Norway glared at his back until he was at the table with the other Nordics. Then Denmark turned him to face him,"I'm yours, huh?"
"Don't be an idiot."He smiled slightly.
He couldn't dance like the younger nation, but he was a better partner for the Dane.
They'd have to have a conversation about this later, but for now, he was going to enjoy this.
Belgium twirled in the beautiful dress. Americans were so weird, but in a funny way. Not that she was complaining if it meant she could have outfits like this. The superpower had said it was a gag gift from some of the celebrities he was friends with. He explained that it was because so many of his patriotic songs used feminine pronouns when describing him and he was giving the dresses to them because he didn't have another use for them.
Hungary laughed as America did her hair,"Where did you learn to braid hair?"
"I'm an eagle scout."The superpower chirped, completely focused on his task.
The coastal nation was always surprised at how sweet America could be when he wasn't trying to win something. She leaned forward,"Are you sure we don't owe you anything?"
"Oh yeah, you definitely don't."The teenager grinned,"Last time I donated them to a bunch of charities, and the time before that…"He trailed off.
"What happened?"Hungary instantly picked up on his embarrassment.
"France found them before I could figure out what to do with them."He shrugged,"I mean, I have nothing against wearing dresses, but when Prussia and Spain showed up…"
"Oh, those three."Belgium never understood why Spain was such good friends with them. He was nice. Not that France and Prussia couldn't be nice, but they tended towards insane stunts and general mischief.
"Do you have pictures?"The brunette asked.
"Of course!"America beamed, passing her his phone after unlocking it. Belgium leaned over her shoulder, whistling in appreciation. Even if they were kinda jerks, they were attractive jerks. She could see that the superpower had also done their hair, and it was beautiful. Especially what he managed with Spain, who was blushing from the alcohol that had to be involved to get him in that red dress.
"We should have invited them."Ukraine leaned on his other side.
"I did."He rolled his eyes,"But Spain got all weird when I said Belgium would be here."
She blushed, and was glad Hungary was having her hair done so she couldn't look at her. She'd always had a soft spot for Antonio. She'd seen him at his best and at his worst and admired the way he would smile through it all. He ran halfway across Europe to save Romano from the Ottoman Empire. He married Austria for the wellbeing of his people, and she'd heard first hand from Hungary what a task that was.
He was sweet, but almost as oblivious as America when it came to romance.
"Did he now?"Ukraine smirked.
"Yeah. I shouldn't have been surprised."The blond man turned to look at her,"He's always been like that about you."
She blushed deeper. If it was obvious enough that America noticed…
"Trust me, America,"Hungary grinned,"Belgium's the same about Spain."
"Then why don't you ask him out?"The superpower wondered,"He's not gonna say no."
"I couldn't."She bit her lip.
"Why not?"The teenager frowned,"I'm pretty sure he hasn't asked you cause he doesn't think the Netherlands likes him, but if you ask him then he has to respect your choice."Really? Was her brother being scary again without her knowing? She stared at the former British colony, who tilted his head,"And if you ask him in that green dress, I'm sure he'll say yes. You look beautiful in it."
She beamed,"Maybe I will."
"Do it."America beamed back,"He looks at you the same way Austria looks at Hungary."
She was glad she wasn't the only one embarrassed by his bluntness. Ukraine giggled,"Any revelations for me, America?"
To her surprise, the blond young man contemplated the question,"I mean, my bro's crushing on you pretty bad, but you're way out of his league."
"You have a brother?"Hungary tilted her head back to look at him.
"Oh!"Belgium suddenly remembered,"He's such a sweet man."Even if it was weird to see him in her brother's garden,"I think you two would be cute together."He was almost as shy as her friend. Possibly the only nation that had gotten powerful without becoming a dick, now that she thought about it. Though he could use a bit of his twin's confidence.
Still, he'd initially been raised by France, so who knew what he was like behind closed doors?
"He's a huge dork."America shook his head,"It's hard to believe he was raised by France and England sometimes."
"I think he's sweet."The eastern European defended, then blushed.
"Didn't say he wasn't."The superpower smiled,"I've always been jealous of him for that, people always like him so much better."
Only when they remembered him.
"But he'd never make the first move."He nudged Ukraine,"So it's up to you."
Her blushed deepened, and Belgium wrapped an arm around her shoulders,"How about we make a deal? I'll ask out Toni, and you ask Canada. We can even make it a double date if that'll make it easier."
"Make that a triple date."Hungary finally had her hair finished,"I wouldn't mind being in a relationship with Roddy again. It was fun the first time."
"Sounds like a good time."America laughed.
"Do you have anyone?"Belgium inquired.
"Me? Date someone?"He guffawed,"Nah. France's pretty much scared me off romance."
That was…probably true.
"Let's hope Canada doesn't share that."
"Where's Matthieu?"France leaned onto America's desk, purposely putting his hands on his papers.
The superpower paused in his work to look up,"Oh, Ukraine asked him out so they're getting lunch."He said, like it was no big deal. Where had he gone wrong with this one? His brother picked up on romance with ease, but America? He either did not care at all or he was truly oblivious. The teen tried to grab his papers out from beneath his hands.
"Details, my boy."He slapped it,"Your brother did not tell me he had a date, much less with the most beautiful Ukraine."
"Ugh."Alfred groaned,"I heard Ukraine, Belgium, and Hungary made a deal. Part of it was that Ukraine would ask Mattie out."
"Thank you."He had been dealing with Spain's excitement, though he recalled Prussia mentioning another raid of his house by Austria who had wanted a specific shirt for an upcoming date with Hungary. He had been focused on his two friends, he hadn't noticed his little brother. Though the boy had not mentioned his date at all. He certainly did not know it was an agreement between the female nations.
"No sweat, my dude."America grinned, and he finally released his paperwork.
"Denmark and Norway also got together."He hummed.
"Did they?"The superpower wrote in a correction,"Good for them."
"Ah, you are such poor gossip, mon amis."He fell into the chair next to him,"How you can be with your interfering ways is beyond me."
"Thanks, Francis."Blue eyes rolled,"And is it really that surprising? You've been wanting them to get together for decades."
"And I am happy for them. Love is a beautiful thing."He sighed as his gaze turned to a certain island nation.
"Have you ever been in love?"The superpower asked.
He looked back at America, who was watching him curiously. He pondered his answer. He had been in love with England…it felt like forever. Whenever they fought he couldn't help but admire his strength, and then smile at their banter. Whenever they were at peace, sitting with him as his did needlework was the closest he felt to being human, to normalcy. Even if he had to act annoyed so the Brit wouldn't push him away.
"Oui."He said softly.
"A human or one of us?"Someone should have taught this boy tact.
"One of us."He could never lie to the earnest young man,"Do not worry yourself over it."
"Come on, man."He set his pen down,"If anyone deserves love, it's you."
He smiled,"Merci, Alfred, but I do not think my love is returned."
"You know that for sure?"The glasses wearing nation raised his eyebrows,"Cause I already had to listen to Mattie doubt himself over nothing and I want ice cream if I have to do it again."
Francis chuckled,"No, I do not know for sure."
"Then why don't you just ask?"He leaned back in his seat,"I mean, I know I've called you a coward a lot, but I did mean it when I said you deserve love."He smiled that genuine smile, the one that made it impossible for him to flirt with him,"You're the one always going off about how love is worth any pain. Take your own advice."
"When did you get wise?"He looked away.
"When Mattie literally woke me up last night to freak out about his date."Ah, no wonder he had been so quiet. Now that he was looking, the man did seem tired,"If you need a pep talk I've been told I'm good at them, if not, then go do it."
He did not need to know what America's idea of a love pep talk was. He got up, dodging a pat on the back, and walked over to where England was talking with Germany. He sidled up to his side,"Do you mind if I borrow rosbif for a moment?"
"No."The man checked his watch,"I am late to lunch as is."
"What do you want, frog?"England huffed once the other nation was out of hearing range,"This better be good."
"My cooking is always the best."He smirked,"If you would allow me to cook for you tomorrow night."
Eyes narrowed,"Are you asking permission to come to my house? That's different."
"I'm hoping that this will be different."He stepped closer to kiss him on the cheek,"A date if you would, mon amour."
He had pondered many times what Arthur's reaction to his genuine advances would be. The Brit turned red with embarrassment, as expected, but his eyes widened with surprise instead of narrowing further in anger. He took a step back, but that was also out of surprise, not disgust. He could read his potential lover well, and he relaxed when he didn't see any negative signs. The silence though, was unnerving.
"Just say yes!"America shouted from across the room.
"Mind your own damn business, yank!"England yelled back.
He'd never thought he'd think this, but thank you, Alfred. He laughed, and took the other's hand in his own,"Is it a yes, amour?"
"Yes, you bloody cheesehead."He squeezed.
Definitely not a negative reaction.
"Is America drunk?"Poland asked. He would have laughed if he wasn't slightly concerned. He'd never seen the superpower drunk. He'd always complained whenever France gave him wine, preferring the sweetness of his own carbonated beverages to the burn of alcohol. Yet there he sat in his friend's hotel room, nursing a near empty bottle of Jack Daniels.
Lithuania bit his lip,"Yes?"
"And you, like, want me to watch him?"Babysitting the global superpower was not what he expected when Liet called him for a favor,"What if he gets violent?"
"He's not a violent drunk."The Baltic promised,"He's actually easier to handle when drunk. Just please, don't let him out of this room."
Poland worried his bottom lip. It wasn't like he had anything against America. He was a good friend to Lithuania, and he had helped Estonia when someone hacked his blog. He also wasn't intimidated by Russia, and they needed more nations who weren't scared of that jerk. Another point in his favor was he hadn't been a part of his partition, nor did he threaten him with it.
"Fine."Maybe it'd be fun. No one knew what America was like when drunk, this could be some good gossip,"But why is he drinking?"
"I don't know."Lithuania looked at him in concern,"That's why I don't want to leave him alone."
He placed a hand on his best friend's shoulder,"Don't worry, Toris. I can totally handle this."
"Thank you."His smile was worth any future trouble that night,"If you have any issues, call Romano."And then he was off, not explaining why he should call the angry Italian.
Poland closed the door and flopped on the bed, grabbing the remote. The noise of the commercial that came on startled America out of his stupor,"Whoa."He looked up at him with totally unfocused eyes,"I thought I was in Toris' room."He slurred, then tried to get up, stumbled, and slid back down the side of the bed,"Sorry, Poland."
"You are in Toris' room."He didn't know he was on a human name basis with Liet, though the actual use of names by America was rare.
"Oh."He tilted his head back to look at him with a grin,"Shoulda known."
What was that supposed to mean? Did…did he think that he shared a room with Liet? Did he think they were sleeping together? He narrowed his eyes,"What makes you say that?"
"Say what?"America frowned back, taking another swig.
"Do you think that…like, Liet and I are together?"Wouldn't that be nice? Lithuania was always there for him, always protective. The man had held a knife to Prussia's neck to save him. He'd never held the partition against him, or his failure to stand up to Russia back when it was happening. Those had been the good days. Him and Liet against the world, when they were considered very powerful.
"You aren't."The superpower fell to one side to look up at him,"Toris wants to be though."
"He does?"He'd thought…after his failure to protect him…his general weakness when he had always been strong. Liet had survived living with Russia and living with America. He was so incredible…he deserved better than him. Actually, he had never met anyone who deserved his best friend. Maybe if God sent one of his angels down that might be a worthy partner for Toris, but that was still maybe.
"Totally."America tried to drink while laying down, and he quickly took the bottle away before he could choke. He whined, but didn't fight him,"He loves you."
Poland took a drink. The burn was welcome. Was America an honest drunk or was he gone? Romance was not one of his strengths, but he doubted alcohol would make him any better a liar. He'd actually never seen him lie. Like, ever. He sighed,"No, he doesn't."
"Duuuude."The superpower grinned,"We spent a lot, a lot, of time together, and he spent a lot of that talking about you."
"He just doesn't like talking about himself."He rolled his eyes. Typical Toris,"He's unselfish like that."
"But when he talks about you."America closed his eyes he was smiling so wide,"It's like…it's like when he's praying, ya know? He looks…he looks…"
"Complete."Poland said, getting an enthusiastic nod.
"You complete him."The blue eyed man reached into his pocket and pulled out a flask,"If that's not love France's been lying to me."
He was too sober for this. He finished the whiskey before taking the flask as well. He did not know what that drink was, but it made his head spin and soon he found himself sliding onto the floor with the superpower. They didn't talk so much as laugh at each other, and soon they both remembered he had turned the television on and they were laughing at that.
Time passed way too quickly.
The door opened,"Thank you, Romano."
"Whatever. Where's the dumbass?"The gruff voice of the Italian made him look up.
Why was Lithuania walking on the ceiling? He turned over to push himself up. Oh, that was better. He grinned, remembering what America had told him,"Heeey, Liet."
"Oh, Feliks."He murmured, kneeling. He latched onto him in a hug.
"Oi!"Romano kicked at America,"Get the fuck up."
"Nooo."The younger country complained as he was forced to his feet,"Why you gotta be so mean, Lovi?"
"Why do you have to be drunk, shithead?"Poland looked over his shoulder to see the Italian almost crumble underneath the others weight,"And heavy. Jeez, what have you been eating?"America just laughed as he was half dragged out of the room. Huh, he thought that would be harder.
Lithuania laid him out on the bed,"Where's your keycard? I'll just sleep in your room."
He caught his hand and tugged him onto the bed with him,"Why don't we just sleep together?"
Liet blushed,"Feliks! You can't just ask that."
"Why not?"He whined,"America says you love me."
"He said what?"Aw, some of his hair had fallen in front of his face.
He couldn't have that. It was almost blocking one of his beautiful eyes. He tried to brush it out of the way, but his hand just seemed to slide down the side of his face,"You love me."He crooned,"He said I complete you and you loooove me."A part of his brain knew he was making the other uncomfortable, but the larger part wanted to know,"You calling America a liar?"
"America doesn't know how to lie."Toris murmured.
"Then stay."He let go, and the other didn't move away,"You can, like, be my boyfriend."
He passed out soon after that, but when he woke up, Liet was still there.
Japan could see what America was doing. He knew how manipulative the other nation could be firsthand. The fact that he kept being convinced to come to every party the man hosted was evidence of the success of his tactics. He recognized the signs of when the younger nation was planning something, but he wasn't going to say that to another until he knew more.
He did hear from Italy that Romano had to bring America back to his hotel room after he'd been drinking.
America didn't drink often. The superpower tried his hardest to never be caught in a compromising position, which meant abstinence from many things. At least, that was the official reason. If he had to guess, he'd say the man stopped because he knew that alcohol made weight gaining easier, and he was always slightly concerned about that. Either or both could be right.
Romano had the patience to get him to the room, but not to deal with the hangover. So he woke up early to help his friend.
To his surprise, America was perfectly fine. He smiled at him as he went about picking his outfit,"Morning, Japan."
"Ohayo, America-kun."He averted his gaze from the bare chest,"My apologies, I was under the impression that you might need help with a hangover."
"I don't get hangovers."He laughed,"I think it comes with the superstrength."
"Oh."He should leave. He no longer had an excuse to stay. He sighed, then sat down at the desk,"What are you planning?"Direct for him, but he was curious. It wasn't often that America used his acting skills.
"What makes you say I'm planning anything?"He asked with false innocence. Or he thought it was false.
"You have been acting out of character."He glanced over, seeing him having decided on a light blue shirt, which he was buttoning up.
"How so?"America grinned.
"Hong Kong showed me the video of you and Denmark."He blushed at just the memory of that video. He wasn't sure who else had seen it, but South Korea had been whispering about organizing a night out at a club for the sole purpose of seeing those dance moves in person.
Another laugh,"That would seem out of character for me."He moved to the closet to grab his jacket,"Promise you won't tell anyone?"
"I'm trying my hand at matchmaking."America admitted.
"Nani?"He was glad he was sitting down. He knew his friend wasn't as oblivious to romance as he let on, but to interfere? He scrunched his eyebrows together,"Why?"
"Because no one seems to be getting with the times."He threw the jacket on, checking how it looked in the mirror,"And you know, with the current administration, there hasn't been much I've been able to do in the ways of making others happy."He reached into his open suitcase to grab a tie,"Honestly, I thought it would be harder than this, but nope. I'm six for six."
"Six?"He thought about who he knew who had gotten together. The triple date yesterday was obvious, but he didn't know he had caused that. Denmark and Norway had announced their relationship soon after the video. France and England had a date planned for after the world meeting, though he was certain he'd seen them together last night. That was only five. Unless getting drunk had been part of the plan.
"Six."He tossed his phone over, and there was a post by Poland,"Soon to be seven."
"Who's next?"He was almost afraid of the answer.
"You, actually."He froze, the phone slipping out of his hand.
Did he plan this? No, he couldn't have. Granted, he had never understood his strategy before, if he even had one. He tended to depend on luck and opportunity,"I do not need help, America-san."
"Well, you're not helping yourself so I'm getting involved."His grin was downright devious. This was the man who had fought a half century Cold War against the incarnation of evil himself. The island nation shuddered, but didn't make a move to leave. America took a seat on the bed facing him,"Do I need to spell it out to you or are you not that emotionally constipated?"
"I presume you are referring to my friendship with Greece-san."He would not let his friend convince him to do anything. They were just friends.
He kept his expression neutral,"Hai. We are friends."
"Don't act like I haven't seen your sketchbook."
"You've seen my sketchbook?"
"You literally sit next to me at world meetings."He chuckled,"And it's not like I don't break into your house on a regular basis where you have a lot more sketches just lying around."
He blinked, then sighed,"I do not wish to be in a relationship."
"You don't want to insult Turkey by picking Greece."America corrected,"But you should know that Turkey isn't interested in you that way. He wouldn't be hurt if you started something with Greece."
Japan blinked again. That wasn't the whole reason, though it was a part of it. He clenched a fist,"He is European. He will expect…more than I am comfortable with."America had been called a prude by them enough to understand.
He still didn't fully understand their social norms. He probably never would.
"He's used to taking things slow."The superpower countered, leaning closer,"He cares about you, Kiks. He honestly puts more effort into interacting with you than he does about literally anything else. Besides, with the talk me and China are gonna give him he better take it at your speed."
He blushed,"Are you sure?"
"You're one of my best friends."America's grin dropped to a more serious expression,"And I promised I wouldn't hurt you again."
The western nation had. Japan couldn't think of another argument, and he'd rather his friend come to him instead of talking to Heracles. He bowed his head,"I will ask him."
A chuckle,"Seven for seven."
Germany had no idea why there were so many couples. Normally, he wouldn't be bothered, but they were messing up his seating chart. The sudden romance meant hostile, overprotective siblings, and he did not want a fight to break out between Russia and America if the Siberian nation tried anything on America's twin. Nor did he want a fight between Spain and the Netherlands. Not to mention his own brother's teasing of Austria.
He wasn't sure if China had noticed Japan and Greece holding hands, but that would be another distraction in the near future. At least Turkey had only reacted with mild teasing. He sighed, why couldn't all the new relationships be like Poland and Lithuania? No one was bothered by it, no one was distracted by it. Though the smug smile on Poland's face was rather irritating.
"Don't let it bother you, Doitsu."Italy patted him on the shoulder,"Love is a wonderful thing."
No, it wasn't. None of these relationships had been serious a week ago. All the nations were content in not having anything official, but now that there were so many he felt pressured to do something about whatever existed between himself and Italy. He was not good with relationships, but he knew there was more reason for them to be in one than many others.
Italy slept in his bed, in various stages of undress.
They cooked for each other, and vacationed together.
Italy would kiss him on the cheek every morning, and in return he would make his coffee. He had spent years perfecting that skill so the Italian would consume it.
He put up with Romano's threats. He tried to make the bitter man like him.
Many nations assumed they were together already.
He wanted them to be together.
His idea of paradise was spending the rest of his life with Feliciano.
The meeting passed quickly in his state of near panic. Italy had to miss their lunch because Romano didn't want to third wheel Belgium and Spain. He frowned as he gathered his things. He had many opportunities to make their relationship an official relationship but had let them pass. He'd also found out a few decades before that his love had been (and might still be) in love with a nation long faded.
Feliciano was a lot older than him, and it always felt like he was learning something new about his friend.
He feared he would never catch up, would never fully understand.
That he would never have his heart.
"Yo, Germany."An arm slung over his shoulders,"Heard Italy bailed on you for lunch. We should totally get something since everyone's bailed on me too."
"You too?"He thought about it, and yes. Almost all of those near the superpower had recently gotten together. His brothers, his best friends…he felt a pang of sympathy for the other man, and he nodded,"Might as well."
Lunch with America wouldn't kill him, and his inane rambling was a welcome distraction from his thoughts.
"Weird how everyone's pairing up, huh?"Or maybe not.
"It is strange."He agreed,"I do not see a reason."
"Iggy joked that they're scared I'm gonna instigate nuclear war."The superpower laughed, skipping forward to open the door,"But that can't be true otherwise everyone would have gotten together in the sixties."The fact that it had happened twice was not something to joke about, but he said nothing,"I think it's nice, though. The world could use a little love right now."
"Are you planning anything?"Germany asked.
Another laugh,"I don't have time for a relationship. Turns out being a superpower is a lot of work."His shoulder bumped into his,"You get it, right? That's why you haven't asked Italy out yet?"
He found himself blushing,"Nein. That…that isn't why."
"Really? That's what France's always saying."America shrugged.
"You talk about my love life?"He avoided the question.
The other nation scrunched his face up in disgust,"You act like I want to talk about your love life. It just comes up and I want to know who's going to be single at the next world meeting so I can avoid having to see other's love lives."
He could respect that. He frowned,"Should I ask Italy?"Why would America have an answer? He must be losing his mind.
The nation snorted,"I know you're emotionally constipated,"He narrowed his eyes and he rolled his,"Prussia sends me pics of the books you buy, dude. It's a running joke."He would have to speak with his brother later,"But really. If your first reaction to Italy possibly flirting with you isn't to friendzone him, you're interested."
"That isn't the issue."He sighed,"I…am not Italy's first love."
"Nah, that would be Holy Rome."America sat down across from him,"But Romano wouldn't hate you like he does unless he thought you could break his heart like HRE did."
"That's a nice way to look at his hatred."The European shook his head.
"Hey, Romano's lived with me before. I do try to understand my housemates."He spread his hands out,"But if you don't want to ask Italy, that's your decision. I don't care."He opened the menu with a thanks to the waiter.
Germany stared at him. Italy had mentioned that Romano had gone to America after the first world war. Romano had also surrendered to the enthusiastic man in the second world war and been in his custody for a time. Not to mention the Mafia Incident…America wasn't anymore airheaded than Spain and the irate personification put up with the latter on a weekly basis, why wouldn't he put up with the former?
"If I were to ask Italy out…"He laced his fingers together,"Would you mind making sure Romano didn't interfere?"
"No problem, dude."He gave him a thumbs up,"I need to pay him back for getting me back to my room last night anyways. Just text me the details."
Lunch after that was nice and that night he decided to lay his cards on the table.
He didn't want to know what the superpower did that it took Romano a week to hunt him down, and he was too happy by then to care.
America smiled to himself as he grabbed a plate of food. Austria had decided to host a Valentine's Day Ball, and he was enjoying the fruits of his labor. There were a multitude of couples on the dance floor, making it one of the least awkward versions of this type of social events in recent memory. He hummed along to the song, enjoying the pastries provided by the nations that could bake.
It made him happy to see so many happy faces.
Even if they spent a lot less time with him now that they were in a relationship.
He also hadn't been thanked, but the point was that he didn't need thanks. He kept smiling.
No, this was good enough.
At least, he thought it was.