[Disclaimer] Hetalia and all its likeness does not belong to me. No profits are being made off this story.
A Tomato Whose Name I Don't Know Yet
A long time ago, a nation named itself the country of love.
It happened long before there were the cute brothers of Italy to own, or the Americas to teach how to become fully grown. It happened before there were voyages across the seas, or even Britain to tease.
It happened even before there were many other countries to love, or gods above; when the world was old and the people in it had very little knowledge beyond what they saw, tasted and felt. Before all that –
There was France.
"You're looking a bit wistful, aren't you?"
"Ah," France looked away from the window of his house to rest his blue eyes on his most current boss. It was important for a nation to pay attention to what the president wanted, no matter what the point in time. Otherwise, it would be far too easy for a country to get stuck.
The president sat behind his lavish desk and was paused in the signing of a huge stack of papers. "It's, well…" He stopped himself short and ducked his head with a slight frown as he concentrated on his papers once more. "Pardon."
France cocked an eyebrow at the behaviour. "What is it?" He asked, setting his glass of deep red wine down on the finely carved wood of the desk. Sensing his boss' unrest, he grinned, mouth curving into his usual genial expression. "You cannot hide much from your country, no?"
He poked his boss' cheek in a cute fashion and the man scowled then, a slight blush overcame his middle-aged cheek.
"And you cannot hide when you are feeling amorous, can you?" The boss sighed in retaliation.
France grinned even harder, his eyes squinting shut. "I would never want to hide my love! Love is the feeling that pours. If I kept it bottled up, why— I'd be wet all the time." He paused, and then his grin became lecherous.
The boss of France pushed back his chair at that. His country waved was waving his hands in glee, tiny hearts that fluttered around his head trying to dodge him.
The man looked out the large window behind the desk, the same his country had been using just a moment ago. The same window his country had been staring out of since before his presidency. He didn't know for how long; it could have been years, decades, or even centuries.
The house of France had hundreds of windows, none of them more special than the last. Except for that one on the side which backed onto North Italy's house. France could sometimes get a great peepshow in if he was lucky. And France definitely knew how to get lucky.
France joined his boss by the sill, sipping his wine idly and chattering about how many roses he needed cut from the bushes for that day. The boss watched and then sighed, returning to his papers. He shook his head with a bored sort of look but an amused smile was fighting to spring free when his country began to hum a bit off-key.
"You will have to tell me one day— that object out there that you love so much." The president began signing again.
France spared his boss one last glance before he scanned the scenery, searching for something a mere human couldn't see.
Spain was moping.
When Spain moped he became more oblivious than normal. Not that many people saw his depressed side, but that night more than half of Europe had him wandering through their homes.
He groaned something about Romano, tomatoes and marriage. One by one they kicked him out, forcing him to wander over to the next house. It took a good amount of lead in his rear from Switzerland to land him at his next haunt.
"What... are you doing here?" Germany asked wearily. Spain showing up on his doorstep was not something the blond country was prepared for.
"Oh…" He slipped easily into the house between Germany's arm and the strong door. He ambled his way over to the couch, somehow leaving wet footprints on the floor.
Germany took a quick look outside; it wasn't raining.
He had heard the details about the failed marriage proposal Spain had incurred, over and over again from North Italy. He cringed.
"Er," Germany said awkwardly, then tried to say something more sympathetic. "Hmm."
That didn't work. Spain was already curled up in a ball on his couch and muttering something about tomatoes.
His own failed proposal to the north of the Italian nation had left him crippled from feelings he hadn't felt in a long time. There were no books that worked on Italians, and he wasn't even sure Spain could read one in the first place so that did make the matters a bit grim. Germany understood in a weird sort of way what Spain was going through, but he definitely didn't have a book on 'How to Console Spanish Men' lying around.
"Of course!" He smacked his fist into his palm. "Don't get too comfortable," The blue eyed nation ordered and grabbed Spain by the scruff of his neck.
Spain didn't seem to notice as he was hoisted up over Germany's shoulder and carted off through the house until he was unceremoniously dumped (again), this time on Austria's doorstep. Germany rammed his fist on the door a couple times; three as was customary. He immediately marched away.
An irate country appeared behind the ornate wooden doors. "Why do you insist on banging my—Ah." Austria looked down his nose at the nation on his doorstep.
"Oh…" Spain said gloomily as he shuffled in around Austria, unaware that the other brunette was slightly red in the face and already wore an annoyed look.
He dragged himself over to the most well-worn surface in the room, Austria's piano bench, and sat down. His head hit the keys in an unflattering sound of gloom.
"Hm," Austria looked at Spain with even more consternation than normal. "What do you want?"
Spain didn't seem to even hear him.
"Hey!" The vein on Austria's head ticked and he chopped Spain on the back of the head with his violin bow. "Wake up!"
"Oh…" Spain said, his head rolling up, creating a disastrous melody on the keys. "Hi Austria, I didn't see you there."
The beautiful and musical country gave Spain a once over, concluding he was a wreck. There were bags under his eyes, a squashed carnation in his shirt pocket, random dirt smudges – and Austria didn't even know how he'd managed to waterlog his shoes.
"Don't tell me you're still upset about the other day." He adjusted his glasses and sat down next to Spain.
"The other day?" Spain actually had the decency to sit up and Austria took the opportunity to start playing a calming song.
"It's been seventy-two days." Spain clarified.
Austria's eyes widened in slight horror. "How… How very observant of you."
He eyed an escape route just in case the apocalypse began at that very moment.
"Yeah…" Spain said, oblivious to Austria's sudden tension. "I guess being rejected puts some stuff into perspective…"
Austria's delicate eyebrows lowered as he thought, his fingers slowing down as he came to a calm in the song. He was curious what Spain thought, but was unnerved that the country had managed to piece together an idea at all. Spain had never been the brightest crayon in the box when it came to reading other people's feelings.
Austria was ninety percent certain Spain had come up with some tomato-brained reasoning. It wasn't like Romano had out-rightly rejected his proposal after all. Though it was probably one of the worst proposals Austria had ever witnessed.
How to be sensitive about this situation…
"You're a fool." Austria said.
Spain fell off the bench in dismay.
"You do realize that marriage between countries doesn't happen on a whim, right?" Austria lectured.
"T-There was no whim about it." Spain replied, unsure.
Austria glowered and pushed up his glasses. "Marriage is a political course of action. Don't you remember being married to me?"
Spain laughed uneasily and rubbed the back of his head. He crossed his legs and sat on the cool marble floor under Austria like some sort of young student who'd monumentally screwed things up.
"Well, yeah, b-but that was different." He grinned and gave a little chuckle.
"Do you really think to marry another nation just because you have made it possible for… ehem.."
"For gay marriage?" Spain said absentmindedly.
"Right." Austria schooled his features to try and will away his blush. "It's definitely not the same thing."
Spain opened his mouth to counter but Austria held up his hand. "And you simply cannot ask another nation for something more."
"Huh?" Spain was genuinely confused.
Austria sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose above his glasses.
"Hey! Spain!" A loud and obnoxious German accented voice said, reverberating through the perfect acoustics of his house.
Austria grit his teeth, imperceptibly.
"Prussia!" Spain actually cracked a somewhat pleased expression, which was a vast improvement on his previous gloomy-eyed stare.
"Heard you got dumped big time." Prussia immediately blurted.
Spain's face fell.
Austria let all pretences slide and rubbed his face in his hands. "Prussia, I don't have time for this."
The white haired nation replied with a shit eating grin and swung his arm around Austria's neck, crushing his cravat.
"Oh I'm sorry," Prussia soldiered on in complete disregard. "I forgot. You guys weren't even dating in the first place!"
The underside of Spain's top lip quivered.
"Enough!" Austria shouted, which shut up the unbearable country.
"Relax four-eyes," Prussia wearily let go and then set his sights on Spain, who looked like a sad and un-watered plant rooted to the spot.
"What I'm saying here is, you're better off without a ball n' chain. And you could do so much better than South Italy."
Spain groaned. "Veneziano doesn't want me either."
"Woah, tough luck." Prussia looked genuinely concerned.
"In any case," Austria said, playing Chopin angrily on the piano behind them, "I was trying to explain to Spain that just because his citizens have…ehem.."
"Even more ways to make themselves miserable?" Prussia supplied helpfully.
"Yes, well, it doesn't mean that the same rules apply to us."
"But I'm already miserable. I miss Romano." Spain crooned softly, somehow he had found a classical guitar and was strumming a sad tune.
"What happened to him?"
"He doesn't visit me, he doesn't call me…"
"Sounds just like any other day." Prussia rationalized and Austria gave him a cold look.
"Countries don't get married based on love. Also, love between countries is hard to come by." Austria said as bluntly as he could, severely hoping it would get through that thick Spanish skull.
The two German-speaking countries stared down at Spain, wondering what he would say.
"Oh…" He started in an unsure tone, "So… Romano might still love me!"
His audience groaned. That wasn't quite the point Austria was trying to make…
End Chapter One