All That Remains


"You don't wear your cross anymore," Romano accused, after he lifted his head from sucking the skin at Spain's neck.

"Neither do you," Spain pointed out, sprawled out on his bed.

Romano snorted as he undid the buttons of his black shirt. "Not with this, I don't."

He slid his hands beneath Spain's shirt and began to move them up, pulling the shirt up as well.

"Wait," Spain gasped, clutching Romano's arms.

Romano froze for an instant, until he realized what exactly Spain was protesting. Frowning, he dug his fingers into the fabric. "Shirt off."

Spain might have protested more, but Romano looked very insistent, and also the way his thigh stroked against Spain's crotch was a good enough distraction. He lifted his arms to allow the shirt over his head before it was flung to the side.

In the dim light, Romano could see – most of it was familiar, he had known those since he was a child. But the new ones were enough to contort his face in horror.

"Jesus!" he breathed.

Spain gave a little laugh. "I knew it was gonna upset you." Because Romano only liked violence when it was implied. But there was little left to the imagination when faced with the spider web of scars that sprawled across Spain's chest, the slashes and burns that spread throughout his sunken belly. Romano brought the back of his hand to his mouth, muffling the curse he muttered as he turned his head away.

Spain sat up, wrapping an arm around Romano's waist and nuzzling his neck. "Hey, don't get upset. It's all right." And it was! Spain did not particularly like the scars, but he didn't really mind them either. Most of them were only distant memories, reminders of what happens when you sit atop the world and try to bend it to your will for too long. That was most of them.

Romano slowly ran his fingers down Spain's chest, bringing them to rest on one of the largest burns on his stomach. Spain did not quite feel the touch there, where his skin was numb and dead.

"You did this to yourself, didn't you?"

Spain shrugged. "It was hurting. I wanted it to stop. It's okay, there's nothing there anymore."

A choked, guttural sound tore from Romano's throat, and he shoved Spain back onto the bed. He pinned Spain's arms down and braced himself in that way as he lowered his head to Spain's stomach. His mouth pressed against Spain there with such intensity that he was forced even further into the bed, little welts forming where Romano's lips drew the skin up and between them. He marked Spain with kisses until he reached the large burn, when he moved his hands to hold Spain's side as he brushed his lips against the ruined flesh and then bit down, hard. Spain arched his back towards the pain, gritting his teeth against the resurfaced ghost, that sepulcher within himself, where even the blood had dried and turned to dust, all that remained scattered amidst the ashes.

"You're hurting." Romano's breath was hot against Spain from where his mouth still hovered over the scars. "Fucking acknowledge it."

"And that'll help?" he inquired with a smile. "We're not human, remember? We can feel what it's like to be killed over and over again and in all kinds of different ways, but we don't' get to die in the end. We just get to deal with it! Funny, huh?"

Romano didn't move or reply, but Spain could feel new moisture on his stomach that wasn't from sweat or tongue.

"Ah…" He laced his fingers through Romano's hair. "Don't' cry. I didn't mean to upset you, I was just—"

"I'm not crying, asshole," Romano grumbled; but he kept his face lowered.

Spain propped himself up on his elbows, stroking Romano's hair and smiling sadly. "You're hurting too, huh?"

"Of course I'm fucking hurting." Romano still did not look at him, but he crawled up to lay atop Spain, burying his face in the bend of his neck. "He's making us go to war, and it hurts. My brother's going along with it, and it hurts. Veneziano cares more about how Germany feels than how his own people feel, and it hurts. No one's bothering to ask how I feel about anything, and it fucking hurts."

"I know." Spain cupped Romano's face, and Romano finally looked up at him while Spain drew his thumb across his cheek. "Believe me, I know." He brought their lips together, sliding his hand down Romano's neck until he grasped his shoulder, and slowly he reversed their positions and settled atop Romano.

"Don't think," he murmured. He brought his hand down to wrap around Romano's cock, and Romano threw back his head with a gasp. "Just don't think."

Romano was only too happy to consent. He also let Spain apply the oil inside him, and Spain was thankful. It had never really mattered before to him, but Romano was usually adamant that Spain be the one getting penetrated.

"Fuck it," he panted as Spain circled his fingers around his opening. "We're all damned now anyway."

Spain laughed, and laughed again as he pushed inside Romano with the thought that at least he was still whole enough to fill someone else.

Romano wrapped his legs around Spain, lifting his hips to meet Spain's thrusts, grasping at him with a primal urgency. Spain felt a fierce ache on his scalp when Romano tugged at his hair, making him moan, reveling in the exhilaration of letting himself feel. He wrapped his arms beneath Romano, clutching his shoulders and tugging him close with each thrust.

A sharp breath hissed between Romano's teeth as Spain moved one hand to stroke his cock none too gently, squeezing and clawing while he bit at Romano's curved neck. He ran his tongue up Romano's throat, tasting the reverberations of Romano's loud, shameless groans.

When a shudder coursed through Spain, just on the verge of his climax, he leaned in to whisper in Romano's ear, "I need you."

Romano let out a cry, low and mournful, as he came in Spain's hand. Spain, too, soon came inside Romano – but he remained inside him even afterwards, pressing down atop him, warm for the first time in years and knowing it couldn't last. And Romano still clung to Spain's hair, gasping in a broken voice, "—dammit, goddammit."