Italy knew it was going to be a good day when the first thing that registered in his consciousness that morning was a muscular arm draping around his waist and a solid, well-built body shifting closer to him. He let his eyes ease open lazily, and let out a quiet chirp of happiness as the handsome, sleeping face of Germany greeted him. Italy yawned and stretched luxuriously before settling back on his pillows again to just gaze at his companion. As Germany usually awoke before him, it was unusual that Italy got to appreciate this side of him.

His fair hair had been washed out of its habitual severe, slicked back state by Germany's evening shower and now fell lightly across his forehead. Germany's cheeks were kissed with a mild flush of warmth, his expression uncharacteristically unguarded, but still serious. Times like these, where he could see his normally tightly-wound friend like this, relaxed, asleep, and unconsciously cuddling him made Italy glad to be alive. Not that it was unusual for him to feel that way, but it was the few quiet, calm moments that he was allowed with Germany that really put the icing on the cake.

Italy smiled, bringing a slender finger up to gently brush the blond bangs aside and fiddle playfully with his exposed sideburn. The blond man's brows furrowed slightly at the disturbance and dazed blue eyes fluttered open sleepily. There was a brief silence between them as Germany's still sleep-addled brain struggled to gain its bearings on reality. Italy's grin widened as he leaned in and touched a light kiss to the other man's cheek.

"Ve~ Good morning, Germany!" he said cheerfully.

"I-Italy…!" Germany's eyes widened in horror, a spectacular blush erupting on his face and scrambled away from the little Italian with such haste that he fell out of bed with a rather graceless flailing of limbs. "W-What the hell are you doing in my bed?"

"But today's the first day we've both had off in a long time," Italy pointed out, peering over the edge of the bed at his fallen comrade. "I thought it'd be fun to have a sleepover and then spend our free day together. I have it all planned out and everything! First, we'll stay in bed for a while and hug, then make a picnic lunch and find a nice sunny place in the park to eat, and we'll play football and have some gelato afterwards-"

Germany wasn't really listening as Italy yammered away excitedly. But though the meaning of the smaller man's speech escaped him, the way his eyes sparkled enchantingly with anticipation and how soft and delicious his lips looked as they formed each word did not. Before he could stop himself, Germany wondered what those lips would taste like. He shook his head; he had already decided that he wasn't going to think about those things anymore. Italy was now looking at him expectantly as if awaiting a reply to a question Germany hadn't even heard. His face reddened slightly.

"Yes, fine," he said vaguely. "But please, Italy, for the love of God, if you're planning on spending the night at my house, at least call ahead so I can prepare a bed for you. It's bad for my heart to keep waking up and finding you randomly in my bed."

Italy looked puzzled. "Eh? Wouldn't it be kind of hard for us to cuddle if we're in separate beds?"

Germany stared blankly. "Cuddle?"

"Yes, Germany always holds and touches me so gently during the night," the smaller man elaborated happily. "He wraps his big, strong arms around me like this…"

Italy took Germany's arms and wrapped one around his own waist and the other around his shoulders.

"And he hugs me nice and close, like this," he nuzzled against Germany's muscular body, laying his cheek against his chest. "Mm, and he always smells so nice because he's just had a shower…"

The blond reddened again spectacularly as Italy hid his face in his shirt and inhaled. Surely Italy was mistaken; Germany would never hold him that way. Not that he had never considered it before, but it would just be way too embarrassing. And he already knew that Italy didn't reciprocate his feelings, so doing something like that would be awkward. The last thing he needed was a repeat of Valentine's Day. Germany put his hands on Italy's shoulder's, preparing to push him away and give him a stern lecture about respecting personal boundaries and not being so freely affectionate with someone he didn't have actual feelings for, but Italy began to speak again quietly, cutting him off.

"I feel so warm and safe when Germany holds me," he breathed. "Sometimes I wish it would stay nighttime forever because when morning comes, you always push me away when I try to cuddle you. I just want to be close to Germany all the time."

"Italy…" Germany looked down at the sweet little Italian clinging to him, not sure what to do. That accursed warm feeling was fluttering and expanding in his chest, flooding him with all sorts of strange emotions that he didn't know how to handle. A little voice in his head was nagging him to return his ally's embrace. Germany took a deep, steadying breath, trying to calm the heat in his face and the pounding of his heart so that he could logically weigh the pros and cons of such an action.

Italy shifted so that he could turn his captivatingly innocent and honest amber gaze on him. "I'd really like it if Germany would hold me for a little while. I know it's not nighttime right now, but maybe just this once…?"

As if Germany could even consider refusing when Italy was looking at him so hopefully. The strange balloon of warm feelings was expanding rapidly in his chest until he feared that it might burst. He squeezed his eyes shut and swallowed hard, willing himself to calm down. A little cuddling was nothing to get so worked up over, he snapped at himself. The taller man cleared his throat in embarrassment and very gently pulled him closer, as if Italy would break if he applied any pressure. Italy's face broke into blinding smile and he hugged him back eagerly.

"Yay! I'm so happy!" the Italian cheered, nuzzling the man in his arms joyfully.

"The awesome me is pretty happy, too, Ita-chan!"

Germany's heart nearly stopped, his eyes flying open at the sound of that all-too-familiar voice. Unfortunately, the sound of that voice was not just the product of his stressed, overworked mind. Lying there under the covers, wedged in between him and Italy, was one of the last people he wanted to see him during such a vulnerable moment: Prussia. How on earth had he weaseled his way in there without Germany noticing? Germany let go of his brother as if he was on fire.

"B-brother!" he growled, his face going scarlet. "Get out of my bed! Don't you even have the decency to knock before barging into someone's room?"

"I thought I heard Ita-chan's sweet voice coming from in here and I was right!" Prussia declared unabashedly. "You were trying to keep him all to yourself, weren't you, West, you jerk! That's beyond unawesome!"

"Oh, does Prussia want to cuddle, too?" Italy asked.

"If it's with Ita-chan, then hell yeah!" Prussia blurted, hugging the Italian possessively. "Seriously, if it was cuddling you wanted, I don't even know why you bothered asking West. There's no way that muscle-head is any good at that sort of thing!"

"Germany is great at cuddling!" Italy chirped. "He's really warm and gentle and since he's so macho, you won't feel scared even if England or France show up!"

"Really?" Prussia said dubiously. "Well, there's no way he's as awesome at it as me, but if Ita-chan says he's good, then I'll have to give it a try."

Prussia shifted and wrapped his arms around Germany's broad shoulders, hugging him tightly and nuzzling his face into the crook of his brother's neck. That did it. Germany grabbed Prussia by the back of his sleeveless nightshirt, hoisted him out of bed by his scruff, dropped him outside the bedroom, slammed the door shut and locked it securely behind him. Germany ignored his older brother's complaining from beyond the door as he returned to his bed where Italy was waiting.

"West, you stingy bastaaaard, open the doooor," Prussia whined. "I promise I won't hog Ita-chan all to myself unless you insist on being a pansy-ass school-girl! Weeeeeest!"

Germany bristled at Prussia's words as Italy made himself comfortable in Germany's lap again. "Honestly, Brother has no concept of privacy. I'm willing to share a lot of things with him but at some point I just have to draw the line."

"Germany doesn't want to share me," Italy giggled. "For some reason that makes me really happy."

The blond cleared his throat awkwardly, taking Italy into his arms again and pulling him closer in hopes that he wouldn't notice the flush on his cheeks. Italy sighed contentedly as he settled himself in against the other man's warm, solid body, his ear pressed against his chest so that he could hear his soothing heartbeat. The sound of his beloved ally's healthy, lively heart pounding nervously beneath his cheek was quite possibly one of Italy's favorite sounds in the world. Germany's fingers began to hesitantly stroke his hair. It was meant to be an innocent gesture of affection, it really was. But the problem about stroking Italy's hair is that unless one is paying close attention, it's only a matter of time before the fingers graze a particular curl.

Italy gasped and jerked, his suddenly reddened face yanking back from where it had been pressed against Germany's chest. Germany was oblivious to what he had just done, but when he saw Italy's expression, his instincts immediately took over. He cupped Italy's cheek in his hand and captured his lips in his own. Italy's eyes widened in shock for a moment, but when Germany's tongue ran lightly over his bottom lip, he allowed them to flutter closed in bliss.

His fingers came up to tangle into the golden hair as he kissed his ally hungrily. Italy was slightly surprised to realize just how much he had wanted this. Sure, he'd known for a long time that he liked Germany and being with him brought him joy like few other things could, but he hadn't noticed that he had long since crossed the border from affection into actual love.

When Germany finally released him from the kiss, they were both flushed and panting. Italy kept him close, though, touching gentle staccato kisses to his lips as he caught his breath.

"Did you mean that kiss just now, Germany?" Italy asked softly.

Germany fidgeted uneasily. That kiss, despite being mind-blowingly wonderful, had been an act of impulse. He certainly hadn't meant to kiss Italy so brazenly. It had been rude of him to steal that kiss without considering the fact that Italy didn't return his feelings. But a true German man always took responsibility for his actions, and truth be told, he really had meant it. And was his mind playing tricks on him or was there hope shining in Italy's captivating chocolate-brown eyes?

"Hmph… Well, I… Yes," he stammered. "I… I suppose I did mean it… No, 'suppose' sounds too reluctant and I… Well, what I mean to say is that I, er… I l-love you…I'm so—"

"Yay! Me too!" Italy trilled, cutting off Germany's apology as embraced him ecstatically. "I love Germany so much!"

"Italy…Really?" he asked, hardly daring to believe what he'd just heard.

"Yep! I love Germany with all my heart!" the Italian chirped unhesitatingly.

Germany wasn't entirely sure who initiated that second passionate kiss, but he suspected that it might have been him. Italy's lips tasted, if possible, even sweeter and more delicious than they had the first time. The smaller man responded enthusiastically, slipping his tongue expertly into Germany's mouth. Each time one of them would pull away for air, the other would quickly pursue him, engaging his lips again greedily.

When they were finally able to break apart, the two of them lapsed into a contented silence. Germany stroked Italy's flushed cheek gently with his thumb, his mouth curved in a rare, soft smile. Italy extended his slender fingers in wonder, tracing that smile lightly as if trying to permanently capture it's every subtlety in his memory.

"Germany has a really cute smile," he breathed. "I wish I could see it every day."

Germany blushed a bit at the compliment as he touched his lips gently to Italy's once more, thinking that such a request no longer seemed so outrageous now that he knew the one he wanted to give that smile to was willing to receive it.