Greetings one and all~ This is for my technically 802nd reviewer Ernie1042 who won a one shot for 800th reviewer of You and I due to various reasons -laughs-

Prompt: GermanyxItaly, Something to do with music or dancing. Maybe Italy trying to share the love for classical music he got from his childhood with Austria.

The song I used for the inspiration of this was "Kaiser-Walzer" by Johann Strauss as performed by André Rieu. (You can find it easily on Youtube) Written in 1889 for King Franz Josef of Austria's visit to German Kaiser Wilhelm II. It's truly a lovely song.

Sorry it's so short... ah, I can't even begin to capture what I imagined for this piece which makes me quite sad.

Disclaimer: Hetalia and Kaiser Walzer are not mine.

Italy knocks enthusiastically on the door. "Germany! Germany! Open up quick, I have something I want to share with you!"

There is a pause of about three seconds and he starts banging again. "Germany! Where are you?"

The door opens and Germany looks down at him with exasperation. "Hello Italy. How may I help you?"

Italy beams up at him. "Can I come in Germany? Oh please? Do you have a moment?"

Germany sighs and rubs his forehead. He hopes he won't regret this. "Ja, come in."

Italy bounces through the door energetically. He spins around, holding something behind his back. "Germany, I got a gift from Austria and I thought you might like it so I wanted to share it with you!"

A gift from Austria? Share it? Curious but weary, he proceeds cautiously. "And what might that be?"

Italy pulls a record from behind his back, grinning. "Ta da!"

He passes it to Germany. It's a record of Johann Strauss's "Kaiser Walzer". Italy rocks back and forth on his feet. "Austria says that it was written especially for a meeting between your boss and his so I thought you might remember it!"

He raises an eyebrow. "I suppose I do... Why did he send you this though?"

Italy smiles softly. "I really like music from Austria a lot. When I lived in the same house as him he used to play music all time and it was always really pretty. I used to just stand there and listen to him. The music made him seem so gentle and calm. Recently I told him that so he's been sending me music from time to time ever since."

His brother's music is remarkable. Still... "Ah... Well why do you want to share it with me?"

A small frown appears. "Ve? W-well I just thought because it was written for Germany..."

Now he's upset him... "Mm, I guess it's fine. I mean I don't mind listening."

Italy seems a little put out by his lack of enthusiasm. Germany takes him to a sitting room where a phonograph sits on a table. He starts to set up the record and Italy suddenly stops him. "Wait Germany, let me! You can get ready!"

Germany frowns. "...Ready for what?"

"To listen to the music of course!"

Germany can't help but snort. "What sort of preparation could one possibly make to listen to music? Music is music."

Italy looks appalled by the statement. "That's not true at all Germany! To properly listen to music one has to listen with one's entire body! I mean, well..." He seems flustered. "Listening to music requires listening with your heart. That way it can properly invoke emotion in you. If you don't do it right you're just hearing and that's not the same thing at all. It's like missing the point of what the composer wants to say. No, even more so what the music is trying to convey. At least... Um, at least that's what I learned from Austria."

Germany stares at him in amazement. That is probably the single most intelligent sounding thing Italy has ever said in his presence. It leaves him a bit startled. "I...I see. W-well tell me what I should do."

Italy smiles up at him. "Okay! First of all, sit down."

It takes a moment for him to register the command. "Ah, right."

He sits, posture stiff and awkward.

"Now close your eyes."

Eyebrow furrowing uneasily he closes his eyes. He would never tolerate this kind of nonsense from anyone else, let alone indulge in it.

"Now try to let the music paint a picture for you. It will tell you a story unique to your heart, if you'll let it. Okay Germany? I'm going to start it."

He hears the needle being lowered. Winces at the initial hiss of sound. He tenses as he feels Italy's weight next to him on the loveseat.

"Try to relax more Germany. It's fun, promise!"

Taking a few deep breathes and focusing his concentration, he tries to do as Italy asks feeling a little bit silly.

As he allows himself to slip into the music it triggers memories of the first time he had heard it. The trumpets, a grand room, the entrance of King Josef...

The music is majestic and light with people falling into a waltz. Elegant gowns and suits. The occasional flash of jewelry.

Suddenly the music changes and there are more strings. The memory bleeds into something completely new. A river, cool and deep. Floating beneath the sun, a soft breeze in the countryside. Flowers swaying softly...

A pickup in the music and suddenly he is back at the ballroom, an elegant masked figure asking him to waltz. He can practically feel the hand take his own as he is lead onto the floor. And for once he is not stiff or awkward but falls into step just as easily as anyone else.

For a moment there is pure serenity in the sound, the cheer and joy of it swelling in his chest.

Something slightly frantic. Sharp violins. He and his partner are waltzing among the clouds, light as a feather.

The music is a gentle caress. The dance changes, becomes more lively. He keeps his partner close as they spin and move across their blue and white ballroom. The wind blows softly around them, a balmy breeze. His heart is filled with feelings he can't describe.

The music slows, as does the dance. It becomes intimate and with it so does his partner. How much more aware he is of that small hand in his own. He feels his face grow warm as he stares at smiling lips, so familiar...

The sky is now dark, surrounded by brilliant stars that shine in his partner's eyes. There is something almost romantic about the music, the moment. The final swell of the music and his partner is reaching up, removing his mask. So very slowly it falls away to reveal the face of-


With a start Germany opens his eyes and looks down into Italy's face. There is something immediately striking about it. His partner... the dance partner he imagined himself is...

His face starts to flush bright red and Italy raises his eyebrows. "What's wrong Germany? Did you like it?"

He looks down and he feels even more dizzy as he realizes they are holding hands. He drops it like it's an active grenade. "A-ah! When did I-?"

Italy takes his hand again. "What's the matter Germany? Don't worry, I don't mind!"

He clears his throat, face terribly warm. "R-right..."

He squeezes his hand, looking up at him expectantly. "So what did you imagine Germany? I mean... you felt it right? The music? You saw something?"

"Ah I..." He coughed, turning his head. "A b-ballroom. Waltzing. S-sky..."

Italy looks pleased. "That sounds nice Germany."

"I-it was..."

"Was there anything else?"

Germany coughs again. "I- um, not really."

Italy tilts his head. "No? Well you looked really happy, so I'm glad."

He looks so sweet in that moment it sends Germany's heartbeat into overdrive. "Ve? You okay Germany? You keep getting all flushed."

Germany shakes his head and looks down at Italy's hand holding his own. He quickly looks away. "...It's nothing. I wonder...Is there, er, anything else Austria has sent you that you might be interested in sharing?"

Italy's face brightens with excitement. "Yes! I have lots of things I'd like to share with you!"

"I... would like that very much... I think."

Italy laughs and Germany smiles slightly. It seems his lesson in music appreciation is about to begin. And maybe, somewhere in Austria's music, he will find his waltz partner again and confirm the face that hides beneath.

AN: I actually listened to the song and wrote the imagery that occurred to me when writing the part where Germany initially does the same. So... that's why it's so strange -laughs-

I really do think that music is a very essential part of humans. There's something about it. It effects everyone on a global level and can invoke so much emotion... I find it a fantastic phenomena.