Author's Note: Welcome back! Yup, I'm writing more Hetalia/GaGa one-shots for all of you. This time, however, things are a bit different. Instead of a series of one-shots for individual songs on an album, I'll be writing a series of one-shots for one song: "Christmas Tree." It's my holiday gift to all of you Hetalian Monster and Hetalian Fame fans! :D These one-shots will each go along one of the eight timelines begun in The Hetalian Monster. We're going to start with "Alejandro" first though and end with "Bad Romance," because I always have to end with "Bad Romance" in one way or another. XD
So sit back, relax, turn on a Lady GaGa CD, eat a plate of pasta, and wonder what your holiday present will be. It's time to continue with Hetalia's Christmas Tree!
On another note, what should I call this project? "25 Days of Hetalian Monsters?" XD
Title: Hetalia's Christmas Tree
Meet Me Next to Alejandro's Christmas Tree
"Ve~ ve, ve, ve~ Hee hee~"
Romano glanced over his shoulder at his little brother as he set the rack of biscotti down into the oven. "What are you so damn happy about?" he snapped as he took the oven mitts off his warm hands and set them down on the counter. He set the timer and made a note to come back to the oven in half that time to flip the biscotti so they'd bake evenly. The whole time, Italy kept giggling. In all honesty, Romano didn't care about what was making his little brother so happy, but the little squeals the young man was making were starting to get annoying. He just wanted Italy to shut up.
Italy looked back at his older brother with a sunny smile. "Ve! Prussia invited me over to his and Germany's house to go to a Christmas market in Berlin! I'm so excited, ve. I've never been to a German Christmas market before. They're supposed to be the best in the world!"
Romano's face turned red with rage. "There is no way in hell you're going to the Potato Bastard Brothers' house for one of THEIR potato-filled Christmas traditions! The markets there only sell potatoes and wurst!" He was close to screaming as he nearly kicked the oven door in.
"Ve, Big Brother," Italy murmured, this time a bit sadly, "you don't have to come if you don't want to, but Prussia said you could come in his letter, see?" He tried to pass the paper and envelope to his older brother, but Romano refused even to touch it, claiming it was covered in wurst grease.
"I'm not letting you go either!" he continued, shouting as he slammed his fist down on the kitchen counter. "Those bastards are corrupting your mind, dammit! And...and...and I'm working so damn hard to make you biscotti. Before I know it, you're only going to eat stupid potato cookies!"
Italy frowned. "Ve, Romano, I'm only going to Germany's house for a few days later this month. It's only the beginning of December! There's plenty of time for me to eat your biscotti as soon as it's done this afternoon." The little Italian smiled again and walked over to the oven. "I'm sure they're delicious!"
Romano looked as though he could break down crying at any moment. He rubbed his reddening eyes and turned away from his brother. "You're just saying that, you jerk..."
"Ve, Brother," Italy began again, "are you feeling okay? You don't seem to be very happy even though Christmas is coming. Not that you're ever really that happy..." He stopped when his brother started to shake. "But I'm just wondering if you're angry at me...because I'm going to Germany and Prussia's house."
Romano spun around and glared angrily into his brother's closed eyes. His cheeks were bright red and puffed out, and his eyes were glazed with rage. "OF COURSE I'm angry at you for going to the Potato Bastard Brothers' house! I just SAID that, Veneciano! Are you THAT MUCH of an idiot?" He panted heavily in hopes of calming his crazed heartbeat.
Italy shook his head, frowning. "That's not what I meant, Big Brother. I meant...are you angry because I have someone to go to...and you haven't been invited anywhere?"
Romano paled, taking a step back. His hands shook violently as he tried to ignore the little voice in his head saying that Italy had nailed it. Biting his lip, Romano turned away from his brother a second time and stared out the kitchen window. Snow had not yet come to Rome, but some of the northern towns of Italy had started to see some of the white stuff, so it couldn't be too far away. It didn't matter to Romano though. After all, he was part of the southern part of Italy, which was warm all year round. It wasn't to say that Romano never got snow, but it was rare.
Just another thing Italy got that Romano didn't.
"That has nothing to do with it."
"I'm going out."
Romano snatched his winter coat from the nearby closet and stormed out of the home, slamming the door behind him. Italy winced at the loud sound and looked at the oven.
"But Prussia invited you, too, Romano," he murmured sadly, staring at the oven window. "And...if you leave now, your biscotti won't get flipped. Ve..."
Romano could see his breath as he came to a stop, panting heavily from running all the way from his and his brother's home to the middle of Rome. He fixed the collar on his coat and stared at the people gathered around the Barcaccia Fountain, walking, standing, sitting, eating, smiling, laughing...What the hell? What gave them the right to be so damn happy? Romano thought bitterly, tearing his eyes away from the crowds. He trudged along, sitting down on one of the bottom steps near the fountain.
He stayed like that for several long minutes, trying not to look at the people enjoying the sweet life on that slightly cold evening. Stupid tourists, he thought, though the people there were actually both tourists and locals. They were an easy crowd to blame though, and Romano was angry enough to blame even the locals at the time.
He didn't need to go to anybody's house for Christmas. It was better if he stayed in Italy, preferably in his southern half. Maybe he'd go to Sicily.
But that wouldn't work. People from Sicily considered themselves Sicilian before they considered themselves Italian. It was like two completely different countries.
And yet all the people in the northern half considered themselves Italian.
"Not like I care," Romano muttered curling his legs towards his chest and hugging them. "If they don't consider themselves Italian, it's their loss." He glanced up again to see more happy people gathering around the fountain. Their bright smiles matched Italy's, and it made Romano sick.
Italy was way too happy to leave Romano for other countries, especially Germany. If it was someone else, it might not be so bad, but Romano couldn't understand why Italy loved Germany and his brother so much. They didn't make delicious pasta or pizza, and the food they did make was covered in thick meat sauces and came with mushy potatoes. Every single damn meal! And Romano didn't even want to think about all the beer. Wine was so much better, so much more refined and elegant. Beer tasted disgusting and was what unsophisticated drunkards shoved down their throats right before getting into bar fights. Romano couldn't find the appeal in it.
No, Romano didn't like Germany at all. He didn't really like anyone at all, but Germany was the worst.
And yet Italy...
Romano shook his head. "Dammit, you are NOT jealous of him!" he shouted at himself, scaring a few tourists who were sitting by him. He glared up at them and shouted a string of insults and curses in Italian, to which the tourists exchanged nervous glances, got up, and left. When Romano finally stopped, he realized that they were gone.
The Italian's eyes snapped open, and he turned his head towards the top of the steps. Spain smiled, waved to him, and hurried down to the bottom level. "Buenas tardes, Romano. You remember your Spanish, si?"
"Bastard!" Romano shouted, pushing Spain away. "Shut up! I don't belong to you anymore! I haven't belonged to you for years!" He turned away stubbornly and buried his face into his arms crossed over his knees.
Spain smiled again. "Yes, yes, I know, you and Italy have been on your own since 1861. I remember, Romano, I remember! It was a very special day." He sat down next to the little Italian and looked up at the darkening sky. "I can't believe that it's already December! The Christmas traditions are beginning! Oh yeah, I just remembered. Prussia told me that he invited you and Italy to his house to go shopping at one of the Christmas markets in Berlin. Are you going?"
More tourists got up and left.
Romano turned to Spain and glared into his eyes. "Shut up, Tomato Bastard," he repeated. "There is no way in hell I would ever, EVER go to the Potato Bastard Brothers' country, not if you paid me all the euros in Europe and got me out of this damn recession. Not if you supplied me with a lifetime of the best tomatoes ever grown."
Spain just smiled some more. "Well, unfortunately," he began cheerily, "I can't help you much about your recession because my own is pretty bad, much worse than yours. But don't worry! I'm sure it'll get better soon! And I already supply you with as many delicious tomatoes as I can, because I know how you love them so. So...maybe you would go to Germany if I gave you a lifetime's supply of kisses?"
"YOU PERVERTED TOMATO BASTARD!" Romano's cheeks lit up bright red, flushing and puffing out so they were round and juicy-looking.
Spain found it all very tempting. "You always look like a tomato when you're mad, Romano." He laughed a bit and reached into his pocket. "I was going to go to your house to give you this, but since I've found you here, you can have it now. Merry Early Christmas!" He pulled a big, bright, flawless tomato out of his pocket and set it down in Romano's shaking hands. "Do you like it?"
Romano's head dropped. "Stop..."
"Hm? What was that?"
"Stop, please!" Romano begged, looking up at Spain with teary eyes. "Just let me go, Antonio, just let me go!" He stuck the tomato as well as both hands into his pockets and wouldn't look at him. "Antonio Fernandez Carriedo...I'm not yours..."
Spain smiled gently and his eyes softened as he inched closer to Romano. "I know you're not," he replied casually. "However, I can still love you."
"After all, we're at the Spanish Steps here in Rome. A Spaniard in the middle of Italy isn't so strange, now is it?"
Romano desperately wanted to scream at Spain. "Don't call my name!" he wanted to cry, but the words wouldn't come. And if they did try to come, they hurt Romano so badly that the only thing he could do was swallow them. "I wish I didn't love you," was what he really wanted to say, but those words never came.
Strange, because they were very true.
Spain wrapped an arm around the little Italian and smiled, leaning the boy's head against his shoulder. He turned to Romano's ear and whispered, "Why don't you come to my house for a Christmas celebration?"
Romano's eyes popped open.
"I'll make you mantecados cookies and everything."
"I'll bring biscotti."
Notes: Biscotti are traditional, Italian cookies that are twice-baked and very hard. They're usually served with a hot drink, like coffee or hot chocolate, so that you can dunk them and make them easier to eat. I don't really know if Italians make and eat them a lot during Christmas, but my mom makes fantastic biscotti, and she only makes the cookies during the holidays, so I figured it was close enough (But don't take my word on that at all. My family is Norwegian, not Italian.). XD Mantecados cookies, on the other hand, are traditional, Spanish pastries made and eaten during the holiday season. I've never had them, but I want to try them!
The Barcaccia Fountain was constructed in 1598 by order of the Pope Urbano VIII. It was made in memory of a disastrous flood (from the Tevere River) earlier that year. It lies at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, which were built between 1723 and 1726. They were designed by Francesco de Sanctis. The area surrounding the Spanish Steps is where to find all the high-end designer stores like Gucci and Prada. It's a popular place for tourists as well as locals to gather. And I can tell you from my own trip to Rome that it's quite a spectacular sight.
And you probably know this, but Italy was unified in 1861, on March 17th.