Dinner passed quickly, nostalgically. Romano complained the whole time, about the roads and the people and the inns, about Germany and his brother and the "prissy-bastard and his fucking crazy maid or something with a frying pan". Antonio smiled and let the room be filled up with sound for the first time in years.

Staring at him from across the table, Antonio felt as if there were something hammering at the inside of his chest. Romano, his Romano, was no longer a child. His manners were better – he ate with a napkin in his lap, for God's sake. He spoke with a kind of insight and awareness, though his language had only been enriched by a few choice German curses that sounded rather excoriating. And his body… all lean muscle and tanned skin. He had finally grown into himself.

And now it was Antonio who was feeling gawky and awkward because he really didn't know how to treat the nation in front of him.

"Oi, oi, Antonio!"

Antonio looked up, plastering a smile back on his face. "Si, querido?"

"I'm tired, idiot, and I'm dirty and the road was all muddy and I haven't had access to a proper tub in forever." Romano was frowning and glaring but there was something different about his expression, something Antonio couldn't quite place

"I ran you a bath! If you want to wash, then you can go to bed, si?"

Romano stared at him oddly from across the table. Antonio smiled back.

"…what? Did I say something wrong?"

"Aren't you going to ask to get in the bath with me, or something equally perverted?"

"Umm…" Actually, he'd wanted to ask, but he didn't want to make Romano angry at him the moment that he got home. He'd been restraining himself throughout dinner – awkward or not, he wanted to hug and kiss and cuddle Romano all night. So he hedged his bets. "Well… can I?"

"Whatever, bastard."

Madre de dios, Romano had said yes.

The smile stretched wider across Antonio's face, and he danced around the table, gripping Romano by the wrists. Only a few curses were muttered as he was dragged up to the room where the tub had been set, steaming, dried lavender floating on top. Almost immediately, Romano stripped off his tunic, looking Antonio straight in the eye. Antonio shivered at the intensity of his brown eyes.

"Well? Are you coming, tomato-brain?"

Antonio did not answer, just undressed as well and slipped into the tub, offering Romano a hand in. Romano slapped it away and fumbled into the high-sided basin himself. He slipped halfway in, falling into Antonio's lap. Smiling at the little blessings, Antonio grabbed his waist firmly and pulled him into himself. Romano was stiff, but did not resist. Antonio pressed his nose into the smaller nation's back, smelling lavender from the bath and sweat and dirt from the long, long ride home and Romano, Romano, Romano, right here, right next to his chest, after so long. He kissed the warm shoulderblade in front of him. It was soft and smooth and he felt Romano relax, slightly, so he did it again, and again, trailing his lips along his shoulder, to the back of his neck, every bit that he could reach. Romano shivered and relaxed more, sinking into Antonio's arms, his eyes closed.

"Oi, Antonio…" his voice was soft, the malice gone.

"Si?" Antonio grabbed a cloth from the edge of the basin to rub over the nation's back, lips following his every movement. There was silence for a moment, and Antonio moved from Romano's back to his arms, then around to his chest and stomach.

"Antonio." Small, but oddly powerful fingers wrapped around Antonio's wrists, not hard, but firmly. Antonio blinked in surprise as bottle-brown eyes met his and Romano twisted in his grip to face him. There was a fraction of a hesitation, then full, pink lips met Antonio's own, not for long, but long enough. "Antonio, am I old enough?"

Antonio could do nothing else but laugh, a quiet giggle that the tried to muffle in Romano's shoulder, but it ended up bubbling out of him, echoing around the room. Romano growled, growing immediately tense again. He shot out of Antonio's lap and clambered out of the tub. "Fuck, fuck, forget it, I get it. Forget I said anything, you stupid shithead. Cazzo, I thought –"

Antonio stood and hopped out of the basin, grabbing Romano around the shoulders and immobilizing his arms. "Ah, you are so…" He wanted to say "cute", and though it was true, that wasn't the word that Antonio was looking for. "Beautiful. Wonderful. Yes, yes you are old enough. It has been too long, too long…" Romano let out a small whine as Antonio kissed his neck. "Do I take it that means you want to make love to me?"

He could feel the blush radiating off Romano's skin as he nodded curtly, silently. Antonio took his wrist and led him from the bath chamber and towards the bed.

The skin of Romano's chest was bare and warm and softer than his shoulder had been. Antonio ran his hands across the plains and valleys, his tongue following the patterns his fingers traced. He could feel every heave and hitch of Romano's breath as his chest expanded and contracted under him. The nation's eyes were shut tightly, and he was biting his lip. Antonio kissed him, running his tongue along his lips

"No hagas eso," Antonio murmured. "Are you trying to be quiet? I promise, I am the only one who will hear you."

Romano shook his head. "Embarassing…" he mumbled back. "I can- Ahhngh!" A strangled, half-moan left his lips as Antonio's fingers twisted one of his nipples, and his back arched to allow Antonio's hands fuller access.

"Not embarrassing. Eres guapo…" It was true. The way that Romano was spread out underneath him – Antonio saw every fleeting emotion that scribbled across his face, the way his mouth parted in a small "o" when Antonio's fingertips ran along his collarbone, the curve of his jaw when he nipped at his pulse point. His hair was half-damp from the bath, his whole body glistening in the light of two candles that had been lit on the bedside.

"Mi amor…" Antonio said reverently as Romano's back arched again, their bare hips brushing. He ran a gentle hand through Romano's hair, resting his palm on his cheek. Romano's desire-clouded eyes opened, catching at Antonio's gaze with a friction that mimicked that of their skin. "My Romano. Are you ready?"

"Che… che cazzo stai dicendo? I've…ah… I've been ready since… you married me," Romano gasped out, fire in his voice, fire in his eyes.

"Then wait, just a moment," Antonio said, kissing Romano's forehead and crawling off of his stomach to rummage in a wooden cabinet near the bed.

"I've waited enough. I'm sure I can take a little more," muttered Romano, panting on the bed. Antonio smiled, pulling a small glass decanter from the closet. Inside, was mineral oil, infused with cinnamon and spices. Unstopping it, he poured a little into his palm, placing the bottle on the bedside table and kneeling back on the bed. Romano's eyes were closed again, and Antonio ran his free hand across his lips.

"Look at me, mi cielo," And to his surprise, Romano did. He looked panicked. He looked needy. Oh dio Antonio wanted him. "Now, relax." Eyes still locked together, Antonio kissed him softly on the lips, using the momentary distraction to push his first slick finger inside of his lover.

Romano made a small whimpering noise into the kiss, eyes widening in surprise. Antonio winced, but forged on, adding another figure. It was difficult already, and his first movements were hesitant and shallow, thrusting a little, twisting and beginning to stretch. Antonio pulled away from the kiss long enough to ask. "Does it hurt?"

Romano shook his head. "N-no. I mean… ah…. A little, but… merda, just keep going." Antonio locked their lips again, going deeper with his preparation, sliding in a third finger. Romano's mouth parted into a deep whine this time, swallowed by the kiss, but he brought one hand up to tangle in Antonio's hair, to keep their lips together, to signal that it was alright to keep going.

Antonio could not believe how warm that Romano was, how slick and loose he was slowly becoming. Romano was beginning to rock his hips shallowly, in time with Antonio's finger-thrusts. It was hard to keep his own excitement at bay, and finally Antonio removed his fingers altogether. Romano gasped, biting Antonio's lip as a sort of retribution.

"Mmm… Romano…Necesito sentirte… I'm going to enter you." Antonio grabbed the bottle of oil again, dumping a generous amount into a palm that was shaking slightly.

Romano still had his fingers in his hair, and was now pressing kisses to Antonio's cheeks and forehead. "Y-yeah, I get it. Just hurry the fuck up."

Antonio lightly slicked his erection, shuddering a little as he touched aching flesh, but he could not get distracted; instead, he positioned himself so his straining tip rested at Romano's entrance, and began to push in.

"Nngh… anh…" Romano let out small sounds of strain as his body was invaded, and he tensed up, but Antonio had expected this, fingers going to the curl on the side of Romano's head and tugging it lightly. Romano cried out again, but inside, his muscles relaxed and Antonio pushed in a little more, until he was fully sheathed. He took a moment for Romano to adjust, letting himself feel. It was beautiful. Finally, finally, he was inside the one he had loved for so long. Tonight, they were closer than two peoplenationshumans could ever be and Antonio relished the feeling.

Romano nipped at his wrist impatiently, to which Antonio replied by tugging the curl a little more forcefully, before beginning to move.

The first thrusts were shallow, accompanied by small whimpers of pain that Antonio tried to smooth away with attention to the curl, showers of kisses on Romano's cheeks and chest. And then Romano let out a full-throated cry, one not of pain but pleasure and Antonio could not stop the smirk that graced his lips, angling so that he would hit that spot again and again. He sped up his hips, feeling heady with warmth and tightness and pleasure. He greedily drank every sound that dripped from Romano's mouth, an incoherent puzzle of half-formed curses and Antonio's own name.

"Romano, I'm – ah – I'm the only one… hhhnn… who has ever heard the way you cry out."

"I-Idiot. Y-you're my first and onl-ly." His breath hitched softly at the end of the sentence. "I-I… I love you, Antonio…"

Antonio smiled and kept up the movements of his hips and committed every detail of Romano's flushed face, his slightly-open mouth, slick with shared saliva, all of it to memory.

There was no other warning but a soft whisper before Romano came against Antonio's chest. "Ti amo..."

Antonio sped up, a little harder, a little faster, stopping himself from slamming into Romano completely as he let him ride out his own orgasm, before falling over the edge himself. "Romano!" he called out. Romano gasped at the sensation of being filled, limp and trembling as Antonio pulled out.

Antonio only let his own shaking limbs collapse when he was free of the tangle of Romano's body. He rolled over to the bedside table, grabbing a rag he had placed there before, cleaning up him and his lover as best he could. Romano's face was bright red, radiating heat, his eyes closed in fatigue, in contentment, but he half-unconciously arched into Antonio's cleansing touch.

Finally, knowing he could do little more, he dropped the rag to the side of the bed and pulled Romano into his arms, scooting them both so that they were underneath the blankets. "Are you alright, Lovi?" he asked, lips brushing his hairline, fingers stroking a line from his temple, down his cheek.

"Yeah. That was… affanculo… Antonio, I missed you. When I was gone, I missed you," Embarrassed, Romano hid his face against Antonio's sweat-slicked chest. "I was afraid you'd forgotten me or something stupid and I'm just glad I got to finally do this with you, okay? So shut up."

"I didn't say anything," Antonio said, smiling. "I love you."

"I said shut up!"

Antonio kissed his hair again, and tugged him closer, closing his eyes. As he drifted off into a sated sleep, the last thing he heard was a tiny voice murmuring:

"And I love you too."