A/N: Whew, it's been a while, but I'm back. I've been lurking around on the Hetalia kink meme, doing GerIta fills like a beast but I knew that deanonning with one of these would mean deanonning with some of the fills I'm not so proud of as well. Well, my review whorish nature got the better of me so I suppose I'll probably eventually deanon here with the ones I didn't hate.

It was hard to pinpoint the exact moment when he started feeling that way about Italy, but if Germany had to take a guess, he would say it had started that day about seven months ago. The day itself hadn't been anything special, besides the fact that it was the first time that the two of them had ever spent time together purely for social reasons. True, they had had lunch and drinks and sweets together many times, but it was always after work or between meetings.

Today was different though. Germany had awoken on his day off with the sun shining brightly in his face through the crack in the curtains. Sniffling and rubbing his eyes groggily, he went to the window and looked outside. The sight of the beautiful autumn day beyond the glass filled him with contentment and he opened the window to let in the breeze. Sunlight streamed through the brilliant red and yellow-leafed trees, casting ethereal colored patterns on the ground below. He could see children playing in the park nearby, their laughter ringing through the crisp fall air. Germany closed his eyes, letting the gentle breeze ruffle his hair, thinking it was the perfect day to take his dogs out for a walk. He'd just have a shower and be off.

It was while he was in the shower, of course, that Italy decided to drop in on him. This was by no means the first time this had happened, so while Germany was shocked by the sudden interruption, he wasn't shocked that his friend had the audacity to do such a thing. He finished washing the last of the shampoo from his hair before turning on Italy with a scowl.

"Italy!" he barked. "What have I told you about bursting in on me while I'm in the shower?"

"But Germany!" Italy babbled excitedly. "Have you seen how nice it is outside? It's warm and sunny and all the leaves have changed color and it's really pretty! I brought some food from my house! Let's go have a picnic!"

Germany briefly considered that proposal. Admittedly, it did sound pretty appealing. Regardless of the amount of trouble Italy usually ended up causing him, he did have an innocent, earnest sort of charm about him and Germany did enjoy his company sometimes. Spending the day outside with a friend in such nice weather would be a good way to unwind after a stressful week. Then he remembered that he still wasn't wearing anything and put on his stern face once more.

"Before we do anything, get out of here and let me finish my shower!" he ordered. "Don't ask me questions when I'm naked!"

Germany threw his towel at Italy's face, chasing him out of the bathroom.

…And that was how Germany found himself in a quiet part of the park near his house, sitting on a blanket next to Italy, watching the smaller man pull an impressive array of dishes from the basket he had brought. The blond looked on in amazement and even anticipation as Italy laid the food out in front of them. He wasn't especially good at giving compliments so he wasn't sure if Italy was aware of it, but he had always really enjoyed the Italian's cooking. The rich, mouthwatering scents of basil, tomatoes and garlic crashed over him and made his stomach growl loudly. Italy looked over at him with a grin.

"Hee hee! Are you hungry, Germany?" he giggled.

Germany cleared his throat, his face coloring slightly as he put a hand over his noisy stomach in a weak attempt to quiet it. "Sorry about that."

Italy waved his friend's apology aside cheerfully. "I'm glad! I made this food with lots of love so I could share it with Germany! I would be sad if you weren't even hungry!"

Germany stared at the little Italian in wonder. He hadn't really noticed it until this very moment, but Italy really seemed to be in his element right now. Chattering happily about the different foods he had brought for Germany to taste, explaining which wines complimented them the best, expressing his feelings so freely and fearlessly… It almost made him forget Italy's usual uselessness.

Germany's awareness of the situation deepened as he took in his friend's appearance in addition to his actions. Now that he thought of it, he had never really looked at Italy before. Of course he could give a physical description of him if needed but he had never truly looked at him. The dappled early afternoon sunlight peered through the trees and caught his silky chestnut hair, giving it a pleasant luster, that one stubborn curl fluttering in the wind. His lively chocolate-brown eyes sparkled with vitality as they fixed on the plate of food he was preparing for Germany, and at this proximity, he could see delicate shades of amber in them as well. Italy's round cheeks were touched with a healthy hint of pink, and his lips were full and soft-looking. It had never occurred to him before, but Italy was really quite beautiful.

Italy looked up from the plate he had just finished preparing for his friend with a sunny smile. "I think you're really going to like the manicotti today!" he chirped. "I made the noodles from scratch and bought the cheese fresh from the farm this morning!"

"It smells good," Germany admitted, willing his stomach not to growl again.

Italy took a fork in his slim fingers and expertly scooped up a bit of the manicotti before holding it up to Germany's mouth. The sight of Italy's eager eyes and soft smile as he offered to spoon feed him caused a curious, unfamiliar tugging sensation in Germany's chest. What was this feeling? Germany could honestly say he had never experienced it before. It made his heart race and his cheeks feel warm. The blond accepted Italy's assistance uncertainly. His eyes widened in shock as the taste of the manicotti spread across his tongue in a burst of expertly blended bold and subtle flavors. The mild creamy cheese flawlessly complimented the rich, earthy essence of the tomato sauce. The lovingly homemade noodles were perfect in texture and consistency. In short, it was heavenly. Italy had really out done himself this time.

"What do you think, Germany?" the smaller man asked hopefully. "Do you like it?"

Germany swallowed, almost reluctant to let that heavenly flavor leave his mouth. "It's delicious. I've had manicotti before, but never like this."

Italy hummed joyfully, his cheeks pinked with pleasure at his friend's compliment. "Wah, I'm so happy! I worked really hard to make it just right for Germany so I was pretty nervous just now! Oh, and wait until you've tried this wine! It's just perfect for manicotti!"

Germany felt that strange sensation in his chest again when their fingers brushed as Italy passed him a glass of wine. What a curious feeling. Surely it wasn't normal for a person's face to feel hot and their heart to suddenly speed up for no apparent reason. Perhaps he would have to stop by the doctor's office sometime this week. He made a mental note of it as Italy finished filling his own plate and scooted over to sit closer to Germany.