SOY: I didn't think I had yet to post this one here, since I've written it months ago. Anyway, please enjoy the strange, unusual but still not–crack pairing. ^^

……………………………………………

Rating: MA (for lemon at the end)

Warnings: a bit of implied violence and angst. Switzerland's guns.

Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia. But I love working through fanfics of it.

……………………………………………

As sweet as Swiss chocolate

One–shot

1506

"Wh–why are you crying, you wimp!"

Italy let out a yelp of surprise and curled more onto himself, more tears rolling down his eyes. He'd been hiding under the bush in the garden since early in the morning, sobbing pitifully, but no one had been able to find him out yet, and now…

"Come out from there" the same gruffy voice called out, clearly pouting in mounting anger. "You're a nation! Well, you're small, but you'll grow up and you shouldn't cry!"

Italy curled even more, trying to make himself smaller. Maybe, if he kept silent, the other person would go away and leave him alone. He didn't want to be there at all. He just wanted to go back to how things were before. To his own house, with his grandpa, and…

"Uwaaa! Gr–grandpa Roooome!"

Memories resurfaced quickly again, bringing out a fresh batch of tears, and Italy let out a long wail, unable to stop.

Outside of the bush, there was a small noise of surprise, then the leaves parted and a shape appeared, sneaking inside at Italy's side, until Italy had to scuttle back in order not to be squished by the other presence.

"Wh–who are you?" he whined, shivering in fear. "You here to hurt me?"

The figure let out an exasperated sigh. "No, you stupid. I was sent here to look for you" he muttered. "I'm Switzerland. Now, why are you crying?"

Italy sniffled, rubbing his eyes with his dirtied sleeves and glancing at the other Nation. The feeling was obvious, this was no human. He was there to look for him?

"You're going to take me to Austria… right? He's fighting hard for my territories" he sniffled more. Austria scared him, because he was so strict and never smiled. He missed his grandpa so much…

The other small nation hesitated, and Italy let out a pitiful whimper, shifting away from him.

"It's ok, though" Switzerland muttered, looking away. "Austria might seem bad, but he's actually nice. He's been really trying to grow strong. He was weak once. He's still a bit wimpy but he's trying. He doesn't get arrows in his ass anymore, at least".

Italy didn't really get the meaning of what Switzerland was saying, but still understood that the other was trying to somehow calm him, so he turned to the blond nation with a small, hesitant smile.

"Yeah, so anyway, why are you here crying" there was a light blush on Switzerland's cheeks, and Italy's smile turned a bit more watery.

"M–my grandpa left me alone… he was so strong and loved me so much and now he's… he's…" he sniffled hard, trying not to cry again, but it was hard, and the tears rolled down his cheeks anyway.

Switzerland, who had once done just the same to another similarly wimpy nation, patted Italy on the head. He had heard of the disintegration of the Roman Empire, as he had once been part of it, as well, and it was clear this little girl had been very close to him. Switzerland didn't exactly know how to cheer her up for such a painful loss, as he wasn't exactly the warmest person around.

"It might hurt now, but it'll be ok. Just… be strong, for him, ok?" he coughed, unsure of what to say more than this. "He wouldn't want you to cry because of him, would he? He would want you to be strong".

Italy sniffled again, grabbing Switzerland's hand in his own chubby ones, and smiled up at him. "Thanks, Switzerland~ you're so nice!"

"Ah! No! I'm not nice! I just… I was… I have to be your guard for a bit, ok? Until things settle down" flustered, Switzerland rushed out of the bush, blinking at the sudden light that had been partially shielded by the leaves. "L–Let's go now, ok?"

Italy sniffled again, but shuffled out of the bush, clinging to Switzerland as the slightly older Nation took him home.

2009

"Swi~tzerland!"

Vash was startled out of his daily cleaning his guns by a yelling Italy. He twitched, almost in annoyance, but his twitch quickly twisted in some sort of half–smile. There he was again, passing in front of his house on his way to see Germany.

It was a daily happening, of course, and Vash had learned all the telltales that warned him of Italy's arrival. First there would be, obviously, the sound of chaos coming from outside, as Feliciano loved to ram into any unnatural object he left around –buckets, shovels, you name it, he fell all over it.

Then there were the calls.

Affectionate as he was, Italy loved to make himself known.

"W–why are you shouting! He might come out to shoot at us!"

Switzerland's small grin turned downwards as he heard another voice, hushed, recognizable as Germany's, reach his ears. It looked like this time, Ludwig had met up with Italy already, and they were passing through his house's garden, directed who knows where.

Vash wasn't jealous. He had nothing to be jealous about. After all, even if Italy was a very affectionate, cuddly person, he was also proper, and despite his tackling around and his being nice with others, Feliciano was with him, although no one knew.

Yes, it was the truth. Somewhere in–between the end of the Second great war and the present time, he and Italy had hooked up. Vash wasn't sure how that had happened, but it had been a gradual thing, until they had fallen into a relationship and barely noticing it.

It had started with Liechtenstein inviting Italy in for cookies, after Switzerland had attempted to shoot him –they were not in war anymore, he wasn't justified in wanting to protect his privacy anymore, it seemed.

That, and Liechtenstein loved chatting up with people.

Then, the younger girl had realised Italy knew her brother, and that they had met when kids, and had asked for information, sucking up on everything about her adored older brother.

Italy had agreed, telling old stories of meetings and battles dated back when they were barely child–nations, and since then, every time Italy popped up to go to Germany, Liech had invited him in for a bit.

Switzerland had never joined in their talks, content in pressing his back against the wall outside the room, reminiscing as well of a time filled with wars, but that had also been simpler.

It was also strange, because Italy was considered an idiot by everyone, and yet he remembered so well, names and dates and everything, and brought everything alive with his stories –maybe it was part of his literary culture, after all.

His voice took a different quality when speaking of that time –of his grandpa, who had just died, filling his tone with clear pain, of another person of whom he didn't want to say the name, but that Vash knew was Holy Roman Empire, and his voice had an even deeper shade of pain.

Switzerland did remember of that time.

He remembered of having being appointed guard of the younger nation. They had been chubby and small and cute, and Switzerland had thought Italy to be a girl at the time.

Everybody had.

He'd protected him through the start of 1500 onwards, and it was quite a bit of time, at least until that wuss Austria had taken it upon himself to show his strength and get Italy under his control and into his house.

Then, Switzerland had stopped protecting Italy, and retired, busy with his own problems, and later on, with the Holy Roman Empire and wars and everything, they had not been on friendly terms anymore.

Even back then, Switzerland had not treated Italy that nicely, acting more like a guard than a friend.

World war had placed them on opposite grounds, with Italy sticking close to Germany all the time, and Switzerland being neutral and proud of it…

After months of listening Italy talk with his sweet sister, watching them bond, and spying on them, observing their interactions, sharing those memories and knowing he was standing there, Switzerland had invited Italy in his house himself.

Without Liechtenstein, as she was busy sewing something cute, they had talked of lost times and lost people and wars and friendships, and it had been fun. Vash had appreciated it.

It wasn't often he could do that.

The next day, Italy had presented himself in front of his house. Switzerland had been a bit embarrassed because of their talk, and had shooed Italy towards German borders, but Feliciano had smiled up at his window, and had stated, as if it was the most obvious thing ever, "Ve~, I'm visiting Switzerland, this time!"

"B–but Germany, Switzerland is~"

"Don't be an idiot, Italy, let's go! Don't you remember during the war? Aren't you scared anymore? Did you perhaps forget, with that head of yours?"

Shaken out from his thoughts, Vash cracked his shoulders and moved to the table, picking up his rifle and moving to the window, smirking and taking careful aim at the German, who had grabbed Italy's arm and was pushing him away.

Ok, maybe there was something he could be a bit jealous for, though –being friends with Germany, Italy liked to spend time with him, being affectionate and cuddly, and of course, Germany didn't know of Vash's status with Feliciano.

No one knew.

Thus, Ludwig wanted to keep Italy safe and away from Switzerland's guns.

Ah, that German idiot.

Switzerland fired, hitting a can next to Germany's head, who froze and pushed Italy further away, disappearing behind a couple of trees. Italy waved up at him, smiling cheerfully, and yelled out a parting as he was dragged away "Switzerla~nd, see you later~"

Vash shook his head in amusement, and closed the window.

Italy would probably pop back around dinner anyway.

………………

Italy did pop back around dinner, bringing over some of his traditional foods (and no, it was not pasta) and some good wine, and Switzerland smirk remained for the whole evening, as he tasted some of the foods Feliciano was so good at cooking.

Italy loved to cook for others, and had no qualms about sharing his various dishes with someone who could appreciate them, after all.

Liechtenstein fussed over both, as usual, pining for Italy to tell her more about his brother, and was granted her wish as Vash did what he used to every time those two started going down the memory lane –he left them in the house and had a walk around.

He got embarrassed at the things Italy could dig up on him, both by first–hand memories and by having listened to Prussia, Austria and Hungary telling him about it, and he didn't want to end up blushing and throwing a small fit with those two laughing so cutely at him.

The Swiss territory was calm at this hour of the night, no one was around, and it was silent; he knew he had no more to worry about stupid Italians running around in the nude, like he had during war…

Mostly because said Italian had a better place to be naked in now. Blushing fiercely at the improper thought, Vash hurried back home, knowing Liech and Feli would be waiting for him.

In the kitchen, he found Feliciano and Liech playing cards. Without speaking, Italy shifted to the side and Vash sat down at his side, accepting the offered deck as he started shuffling it.

It was comfortable, how fitting Italy looked, sitting next to him, laughing happily as he won every play, and how good it felt to spend an evening playing cards all together. This feeling of family, of belonging, was something Vash had rarely felt before and he welcomed it completely, especially when Italy sneaked one hand over his and Liech smiled brightly at them, hopping up to prepare some coffee.

Switzerland watched his adorable sister busy herself with the coffee, and turned to Italy, who was leaning on the table and peeking at his cards.

There was something he needed to speak with the Italian, and he knew he wouldn't be able to do it later, in bed… Italy preferred actions there, and so did he.

"… you know what day tomorrow is, right?"

Italy blinked and looked up at him, tilting his head to the left and folding his cards, placing them down on the table. He easily heard Switzerland's serious tone and graced the other nation with his undivided attention –something else Vash knew Italy was able to give.

"Ve~?"

Feliciano scrunched up his face, and Switzerland fought the urge to lean over to kiss him. to hell with his surge of spontaneous fluff attitude.

"It's… uh… domenica?" Italy looked really clueless about the date, and Vash refrained from sighing in exasperation.

"Try again, Feli" he murmured, hand moving to intertwine fingers with one of Italy's, who brightened up and purred in happiness.

"Well, it's…" again, his pensive face "wait, did I miss our monthly anniversary or something? Because I swear it was the eleventh of this month! Ve~!"

Switzerland shook his head, grinning despite himself. "No, you didn't… Italy, does the date May 6 remind you of anything?"

By the clueless and vaguely confused expression he got as a reply, Vash had to admit defeat –Italy was terribly bad with dates and numbers, after all, and he wouldn't probably remember that particular one, either.

Unfortunately for Switzerland, he did, and this year that date held a particular meaning that for the first time in centuries, actually brought forth a pang of pain.

He could remember as if it was yesterday, and yet, so much time had passed. The wars, his slow growing, the Pope, asking for help, asking Switzerland's best mercenaries to protect him, to stand against the Holy Roman Empire…

And his first meeting with Italy.

He'd been cute, just as now he was something more. He had been sweet yet pained, balancing between the death of the person who meant so much to him, and his attempts at trying to stand up and keep on living.

And then, the war had gotten stronger. In a few years, things had escalated, and Switzerland had been, in the end, unable to protect Italy, just as his guards had died so that the Pope could escape from Rome and be safe.

That day, of so many years ago, when he had fought, with his younger, smaller body, and had tried to make Italy run away, to protect her, and she had refused.

"Switzerland has been protecting me for so long, I cannot just run and leave you alone… besides, I will not die, not yet".

Remaining there against the Holy Roman Empire's army that was so bent in getting those territories.

Why? The Holy Roman had been at his side once, they had fought together. Then, Switzerland had been asked to protect Italy instead, on the other side.

Vash had asked himself the same question over and over, during his service of Guard –what made this Italy worth protecting? What made this Italy worth owning?

Switzerland now knew. He was older, stronger, knew far too much of war to even want to get into one again.

He'd grown, gained respect and power and responsibilities, and yet, he had never met someone who was so crystalline clear on his feelings like Feliciano was.

Who had once avoided Holy Roman Empire, and later on, fell in love with him, only to lose him to a war he had not even seen, let alone accept. Who had lost so many people before, that he tried to cling to the people he still had around.

Who despised war for what it was, and yet, for his friends, had forced himself to get into war.

Switzerland now knew what had attracted him of Italy, and wasn't willing to let him go.

"I'll be coming with you to mass tomorrow morning" he shook himself out of his memories and smiled at Italy's surprised and yet happy face.

"Ve~! You will? Really! Yay!"

Switzerland smiled, and nodded as his sister came back to them with three hot coffees.

"I'll stay here and bake you a chocolate cake!" she chirped happily, grabbing her cards. "We'll eat it when you get home~!"

Vash nodded gratefully and Italy smiled brightly, and the three of them resumed their play.

Switzerland found himself staring at the door of his closet, that he could see from his seat, and wondered if he could ask Liech to sew him a new Swiss guard uniform by the next morning, then shook his head in embarrassment.

Tomorrow was going to be a bitch.

……

His hands, small, chubby, had a hard time holding the sword, but he had inside the knowledge of thousand guards and knights, and that was enough.

Around him, sounds of fight, of blades falling on naked skin, on wood, footsteps of running people and screams and sound of bursting fire swallowed any other sound, making his skin tingle with tension, worry and a vague fear.

"Why are they attacking! It hurts!"

Switzerland turned around, his heart constricting in pain at the sight of the cute, smiling girl that he had protected until then, curling on the ground and dirt, trying to look as small as she could, tears streaming down her cheeks.

Switzerland knew she was hurting badly, he could see it, and it was even stronger since they were in Rome, hiding away in one of the fallen houses, hoping no one would attack. The Swiss Guard was protecting the Pope as well, and Switzerland would be damned before he allowed his own protégé to fall under the Holy Roman Empire.

No matter what happened.

"It'll pass" he wanted to reassure Italy, but it was hard. He wasn't sure they were going to protect the Pope, he wasn't sure if things would really end well…

But how could he delude her? What kind of guard was he, unable to reassure her?

"I–it hurts…" she sniffled, holding out one hand towards him.

Switzerland grabbed her hand in his free one, trying to convey some sort of comfort, and straightened. They would all stand, until the very end…

……

"Ve~ Fratello Lovino!"

Italy bounced towards his brother, smiling at him and hugging him close, ignoring the way Romano spluttered and tried to push him away; Spain, who was at Lovino's side, waved at the younger Italian cheerfully, opening his arms and expecting a similar hug.

"Ita!" he chirped in happiness. He was always glad to see his sweet Ita, especially since the older brother was always so mean to him~

Then he felt something heavy set in–between his shoulder blades and froze, slowly turning his head around; his eyes met dark, green ones, and he felt his blood turn chilly. He knew those eyes far too well.

"Sw–Switzerland! H–hello there!" Spain gulped down his uneasiness and backtracked, not knowing why Vash was there in the first place, and why he was looking at him this darkly. "fancy seeing you here…"

"Stay. Away" Vash growled under his breath, itching to actually press the trigger.

He was not in a good mood. This day held more meaning to him this year than it ever had, and after dreaming of back then…

Switzerland was definitely not happy.

Italy's smile turned into a pout, and he bounced towards Switzerland; Spain gasped in shock, watching the usually cowering Italian actually get closer to Vash, and shut his eyes close, praying for Feliciano's safety… only to gasp in shock when, daring a look, he saw Italy's hands wrapped around Vash's arm, almost tenderly.

"Don't be so mean to Brother Spain~" he stated, apparently completely at ease. "Ve~"

The sight shook Antonio to the core, and did the same to Lovino, frozen at his side; their surprise doubled when Switzerland, instead of shooting at Italy, simply grimaced and lowered his gun.

"Uuh…" Spain was left speechless.

"Sorry~" Feliciano turned towards them, feeling a bit sheepish "I don't know what's up with him… say, brother Spain, Lovi, were you going to mass too?"

His cheery attitude washed away the shock, and Spain tried to ignore those green eyes still fixed on him, almost like daring him to…

To do what, exactly?

"Of course we are, you dolt" Lovino murmured, looking to the side. "Let's go, we're definitely not going to be late!"

They started moving again, and Antonio had to take a moment to observe Switzerland as he walked not at Italy's side, but some feet behind him, tense and with one hand always on his gun, almost as if ready for anything to happen.

He looked like a guard, or something…

Shaking his head, he turned his attention to the street and the two chatting Italians in front of him.

They had barely reached the church (one of those beautiful, majestic buildings the Italian people were so fond of) that another visitor popped up, strolling down the street with no apparent direction or purpose.

Spain cheered up all at once, waving at the other Nation. "Gilbert!" he yelled, taking a step towards his friend.

Maybe they could have a bit of a chat before and after mass!

"Antonio!" Gilbert smirked, waving and changing directions to get to them, then his eyes noticed Italy and the smirk turned wider. "Feliciano~!"

A series of loud explosions echoed through the street and Prussia was suddenly jumping high in the air to avoid the incoming bullets courtesy of Vash, who was staring in deep, unadulterated hatred at him, gun pointed at Gilbert and fuming.

No Nation had attacked Rome, back then, no Nation had been present at the sack, other than the two of them, and only human soldiers had brutally devastated the beautiful city, but Switzerland didn't care –at this point, only the rage, the memory of that day, persisted in his mind.

The clear reminder of Italy's pained tears as they hid away, of how Feliciano had prevented him from attacking, keeping him close, fearing he'd lose someone else…

"Ve~! Switzerland! Stop!" Italy stepped forwards, panicked and determined in placing himself on front of Prussia, who had done absolutely nothing wrong, but Vash's free hand warmed around his chest and gripped him tightly, bringing him flush against his body.

Italy could do nothing about that as he was held close and away from the Prussian, who was spluttering towards Switzerland.

"The hell! No one can treat the awesome me like this! Switzerland! Explain yourself!"

Vash growled at him, gun still pointed at him, and Gilbert deemed it safer to back away some more, and stared in wariness as Vash positioned himself better, pushing a confused, blushing Italy behind himself.

"Just keep away, bastard Germanic descendant!" his green eyes flickered maliciously. "Today, you keep away and you won't get shot for real".

"Switzerland~ stop this~"

"No!" Vash just knew he wasn't acting completely rational, but the moment he saw Prussia moving closer to Italy, something inside him had snapped out of anger, resentment and worry; it might have been just jealously, but he wasn't going to allow any descendant of Holy Roman Empire to get close to Feliciano.

Not before passing over his dead and battered body.

He couldn't protect Italy from the pain of his past, and he could not make up for the loss of the person that Italy had once loved, in whose name many had perished and hurt others, but this jealousy, this need to protect the other…

He wouldn't feel this way, had their relationship not deepened in the course of the last few months, but it had.

He repented his actions of violence and anger towards the Italian, and vowed to remedy.

"Ve~… It's just Prussia, come on~" Italy tried to make Switzerland reason.

Vash felt heat rush to his cheeks.

"It's not just Prussia! You might not remember, but I do! I remember that day! It was them! It was in his name that they assaulted your city, burning the houses, killing and robbing! Don't… don't tell me to stop on this day! Because I was there, too! I fought too! And I could not fully protect you!"

There was some kind of raw pain in Vash's tone and eyes that could not be hidden.

Switzerland pushed Italy away from him, but still kept him hidden behind him, and away from Prussia, who had yet to understand what was going on, as well as all the others present, who was now staring at Italy and Switzerland in shock and confusion.

Feliciano stilled, as recognition flashed through his eyes.

May 6.

It was not the actual day that brought forth the memories and the pain, as back then Italy had too much going on to even remember the date… it was Switzerland's words. His attitude, his strange sort of protectiveness that had increased in the last few weeks.

May 6, 1527.

So many years before, that the wars of that time all blended together; things were a bit clouded, but Italy could still remember the pain of that day… his small, weak body having to endure the searing pain, and the burns…

Switzerland had remained at his side all the time, protecting him from wandering soldiers, compassionate, even though in the end it had amounted to nothing, but Italy still remembered this warmth, and now more than ever before, he could understand what had caused him to fall in love with Vash.

That warmth, since back then, had never been forgotten.

"Vash…" Italy shifted forwards, feeling truly moved by the dedication shown to him. The same dedication no one had ever spared to him, because he was so useless.

And yet now someone deemed him important.

Quietly, he pressed his forehead on Switzerland's chest, making him fumble at this open show of affection and falter. Prussia, catching the opening, hid behind Spain, hiding from view and peeking from above Antonio's shoulder.

"Thanks" Italy murmured, smiling in the folds of Switzerland's jacket. "But it's in the past. Prussia… Germany… won't hurt me. That was back then, and now is now… and now they are my friends… and you are even more important" he added, in a softer voice that sent shudders through Vash's body.

"Feli…" he tried, but of course Italy was being reasonable.

And yet… and yet…

Clenching his fists, Switzerland slowly lifted his arms, to embrace the Italian who had a far too big heart for his own good.

"Oi! Feliciano! What is happening here?!"

"Ve~" Italy flinched when he felt Switzerland's body tense against his. For once, he was not happy to see Germany… and he truly pitied both Germans now.

Switzerland's eyes narrowed in anger. Him. oh, him. So similar, in appearance and attitude to the one Italy had loved so long.

The one whose memory had remained with Feliciano for so many centuries, the one who had died in a long, useless war, leaving behind broken promises and a hurt heart.

The one whom Switzerland had taken Italy from, in the end.

He was not jealous, because he knew Italy loved him, and not Germany, but he couldn't stop this anger, even though Ludwig knew nothing. Italy was his. Part of his family. And Switzerland protected his own.

"What is this shooting about! Bruder, what did you do!" Ludwig quickly assessed the scene, taking in how Gilbert was cowering behind Spain, and how everybody was staring at Switzerland (and Italy) in shock and confusion.

Ludwig just knew something was going on, and didn't want Vash to make it worse.

"I did nothing! I just greeted Feli! He's so cute and nice to me all the time, West!" after this heartfelt speech, Gilbert cowered behind Antonio again.

"Feliciano!" that imperative voice turned to him, and Italy felt Switzerland push him back again. "I demand a proper explanation! And get away from Switzerland!"

"Yes! Besides, you're far too touchy–feeling there, I want to know about that!" Gilbert saw fit to add.

Oh, that was the wrong thing to say, for both of them.

"I'm sorry, Ludwig~" Italy smiled sheepishly "you're on your own now…"

And as he watched Switzerland empty load after load of cartridges on both Prussia and Germany and chasing them across the streets and the plaza in front of the church, Italy, though attempting to feel guilty or at least a bit embarrassed by what Vash was doing, couldn't but feel terribly happy.

Switzerland loved him and worried for him, and Italy felt tears prickle in his eyes. In all the years after Holy Roman's death, nothing had managed to give him such a wonderful, comfortable feeling.

"Damn it, brother, you've got some scary people around again" Romano whined, cowering behind an equally worried Spain. "He acts as if he's your guard or something".

"Swiss guard" he corrected his brother, smiling. "He's my Swiss Guard…"

Antonio blinked, feeling a creepy suspicion sneak up inside him.

"Do I really want to know?" he asked, trying not to sound too scared.

"Wait, wait, does this mean you two…" and suddenly, as comprehension hit him, Lovino lost all fear and started to laugh loudly in appreciation. "He still speaks that horrible potato–lover language, but I share his attitude towards the kraut–bastards!"

Italy's smile in reply was enough of an answer to both of them; his grabbing Switzerland's arm and kissing him on the lips made things just even.

And damn, even though this way Feliciano managed to allow Ludwig and Gilbert to dignifiedly retreat (they had gaped at the kiss, and Spain had tactfully shoved them away), Vash fully took the opportunity to parade around.

The kiss was short, but intense, and conveyed enough of what Switzerland felt, his feelings and his warmth, to settle things down without further violence. Or shooting.

And during all mass, Vash remained still at Feliciano's side, not showing particular guilt in having chased away two of his boyfriend's friends and caused a pointless ruckus he would have been ashamed of until some weeks prior, proudly standing there, head held high and all the while, holding Italy's hand in his own.

The other hand hovering on his gun, just in case the two Germans tried to get close again.

………………

"Welcome back, brother, Italy!" Liechtenstein smiled brightly at the two and moved from the door.

The moment they stepped inside, they were welcomed by a sweet, fragrant scent of freshly–baked chocolate cake. The smell promptly put Vash in a better mood –he had to make silent threats at Ludwig for the rest of the morning, after Italy made him promise not to shoot at him anymore and just allow him to tag along after mass, and he had not liked it much.

"Liech~ it smells awesome~" Italy sniffed appreciatively and bounced to the kitchen, leaving behind the two brothers.

"How was mass?"

Vash rolled his eyes, placing his gun on the nearby trail and taking off his jacket. "Tiring" he muttered in reply, and Liech simply giggled.

"How many cartridges?" she asked again, eyeing the gun with a knowing gaze.

Vash felt his cheeks redden at this, but he couldn't just outright lie to his sweet little sister "… six" he murmured, feeling a vague hint of embarrassment.

Liech's eyes brightened up considerably, and she hid her growing grin behind her hands. "How cute~!" 'I have to phone sister Hungary later…' Her brother was so cute, especially when he went all protective over someone.

"I'm off to shower" he muttered, taking his leave in a haste "I'll be eating some cake later on" he added, trying not to make his sister disappointed.

She simply nodded happily and disappeared in the kitchen as well.

Vash went upstairs to get a change, determined in relaxing; the morning had not started out well, and now Spain, that loud–mouthed nation, knew about his and Italy's relationship –give it a week, and every nation through the grapevine would find out.

Not that he truly cared, because he had never tried to hide their relationship to anyone, and Italy certainly didn't know the meaning of 'being reserved' but it was unsettling, and Vash hated being in the centre of unwanted attention.

Maybe it'd keep the fucking French from groping his Feliciano, though.

Stripping of his clothes and placing them neatly on the side table in the bathroom, Vash quickly entered the shower stall and opened the water to mild heat, feelings his shoulders finally loosen up.

Being together with Italy brought forth a good deal of stress and emotions to sort through but, he added with a grin, it was worth it.

"Ve~"

Startled out of his thoughts, Vash felt two arms sneak around his frame and Italy's much naked form press against his back. He shivered both at the feeling and at the water streaming over his frame.

"Ti amo, lo sai?" Feliciano murmured, holding him close.

Vash turned around, flushing when he noticed that Italy was just as naked as he was, but gulped down the blush and held the Italian against him, pressing his face in the now wet brown hair; he couldn't get enough of this closeness, not even holding hands was enough at times.

Slowly, he let a small trail of kisses from the top of Feliciano's head to his lips, tongue flickering out to taste them.

Sweet, smooth and with some sort of fresh aftertaste, like the best chocolate, Italy's lips were pliant against his, a taste he could not get enough of.

His and his alone.

"I love you too" he mumbled, flushing even harder. He wasn't one to easily say these things aloud, but the Italian had changed this of him too.

"Ve, You were pretty sexy back in the streets, chasing Germany and Prussia away from me…" Feliciano massaged Vash's tense shoulders, looking to the side with a coy smirk.

"Weren't you against me shooting your friends?" Vash lifted one eyebrow, allowing his hands to trace Feliciano's ribs, smirking at the soft shivers running through the Italian's frame. "You did stop me, in the end…"

Italy let out an appreciative moan when Switzerland's fingers trailed to his tights, lightly caressing them.

"Yes, but… you were sexy doing it anyway…"

"I'm sorry for losing my temper like this" Vash had to add then, pressing another kiss on Feli's temple.

"No… thank you… it was a bit strange, but I really appreciated it…" Italy met his searching stare, and he was smiling with such honesty that the Swiss couldn't but feel his own heart soar.

"Ve~ Switzerland, do you think we could…" to illustrate his point, one of Feliciano's legs pressed upwards between Vash's, who let out a hiss.

"No!" he replied, blushing hard and fighting against the sudden desire with just as strength. "Liech is–"

"–out buying milk" Italy finished, coy smirk back on his face.

Vash closed his eyes.

"You just asked for it" he muttered.

He ate away Italy's smile with his lips, hungrily devouring any expense of skin he could reach as his hands boldly caressed lower and lower, touching where he had longed to reach all morning.

Italy moaned unashamedly, hands brushing over Vash's nipples, stroking them, whilst their tongues battled for supremacy.

Slowly, with hot water showering their bodies, Switzerland pressed Italy against the shower wall, feeling his body twitch and shudder, legs parting to allow the blond nation to grind against him, setting an enticing rhythm.

"Ahn… please, Vash…"

Demanding and overpowering, Switzerland's hands touched everywhere, caressing every spot on the Italian's body that he had learned to worship and play like an instrument.

It was the kind of loss of control that Italy only experienced with Switzerland, and he loved each moment of it.

"Vash…" meeting brown eyes darkened in lust, Switzerland gulped down and kissed him again. "I need you… inside…"

"Don't whine if later it stings" he breathed in Italy's hair, as he grabbed the bottle of body soap and poured a generous amount on his fingers, reaching lower and pushing them inside.

"Uh… ah…"

Italy stiffened but pushed his legs apart, trying to brace his body to the intrusion, and started licking a spot on Vash's neck that made his breathing itch and his finger twitch inside him.

With a gasp, Feliciano clutched at the strong body against his, erections brushing together, sliding easily thanks to the water, and pushed down on the probing fingers, eyes flickering close and face buried in the Swiss' chest, his moans rising in tone.

It always made him breathless –to feel Vash's body against him, erect because of him, in need of him, and he needed Vash back just as strongly– and the way their lovemaking was, hot and fast and slow all together, coiling and growing stronger…

"Va–ahnn… Vash…"

Grinding faster, Switzerland pushed harder and deeper, three fingers stretching and thrusting inside, his own eyes falling shut, enjoying the warmth and the pleasure flashing through his body, skin against skin, water on them–

"T–too close…"

Feliciano's hands came to stop the probing fingers, and the Italian gasped out, shivers racking through his body in waves of burning flame; he was so close already… he needed…

Slowly, Vash pushed his fingers outside, paying attention to brush as much inner skin as he could, and forced himself still, watching in rapture as Italy squirmed between his body and the wall, gasping out.

"P–per favore…" he pleaded, biting on the tasty, wet juncture on his neck. He wasn't sure he would last enough, but he needed more

Switzerland hoisted Italy up in his arms, legs tightly wound around his midsection, and prepared to shove in, at the same time holding and pressing on a spot under Italy's leaking erection and lowering his head down to take the elusive curl of Italy in-between his lips.

Italy felt the spasm of his orgasm burn his conscience away as Switzerland pushed in with a single, drawn out thrust, but the other's hold on his erection prevented him from coming all the way.

His body bucked wildly, demanding to finish, constricting his walls around Vash's arousal, and he threw his head back, riding the incomplete pleasure with a long, drawled out groan.

Everything was burning, heating up, slipping through his fingers like sand and water, except the delicious white skin, his fingers holding onto it with the last of his sanity–

"Vash… p–please… let me… let me…"

It was then that Switzerland started to move, far too close himself, slamming hard inside and aiming his thrusts to mercilessly hit on Italy's prostate, pumping his still erect member at the same time.

They kissed again, sloppily, messily, Italy's nails in Vash's back, pressing just as hard, tongues dancing together, bodies glistening in sweat and water meeting with every thrust, closer and closer and–

And then they reached their climax, orgasm washing through them like molten lava, and both stilled, riding through the pleasure and allowing it to eat them away.

"Uh…"

Vash slipped out, nipping at Feliciano's neck and supporting him when the other's legs, weakened by their orgasm, gave up under his weight, and pressed their bodies flush together, water cleansing them as they tried to regain some sort of coherence.

"Remind me to let you do this more often" Feliciano snuggled closer, kissing the side of Vash's mouth with a small sated smile.

The Swiss' cheeks flushed crimson "What? Shower sex?"

The smile on the Italian's lips turned vaguely feral "no, the shooting".

Switzerland rolled his eyes. "Idiot" he muttered. "And now we need to cleanse up" he ordered, in a no–nonsense tone.

"Sissignore!"

They did end up doing it two more times in the shower before the over–sexed Italian was completely sated (and it did say something about Vash, too), and then they had cake and movie time with Liechtenstein (who kept muttering something about meeting Hungary neither of them understood).

And later in the night, Italy and Switzerland spoke a bit about how they'd explain things to the other nations at the next meeting, and how things were just about as perfect as they could be.

Maybe Switzerland was not the first Italy ever loved. And Holy Roman's presence would forever hold in the Italian's heart a strong presence, but it meant nothing.

Italy was right… it was in the past. And this was the present. It was enough.

………………………………………

SOY: that's it. Liked it?

'Ti amo, lo Sai?': I love you, you know?

Per favore: please.

Sissignore: yes sir.

http: // en. wikipedia. org/ wiki/ Sack_ of_ Rome_ (1527)