Author's Note: Welcome back to Gakuen Hetalia. :) This is taking place during the timeline of The Hetalian Fame, during the winter break (so it's during the time Vash get his waitressing job in "Money Honey").

Title: Hetalia's Christmas Tree

You and Me Could Write a Bad Romance Underneath the Christmas Tree

Ludwig was so used to being alone that the very notion of it didn't bother him anymore. He had been alone for most of his childhood, as he had always had a very hard time making friends. From a young age, he had been more interested in more mature matters than other kids. While most of his classmates wanted to play outside, he would rather read a book inside. While other kids had no problem getting dirty or making a mess, Ludwig always enjoyed cleaning and keeping things neat. And whenever the friends he did make wanted to blow off homework and go party, he wanted to stay at home and study. Naturally, he had not been the most popular guy growing up.

That was why he had decided to go to Hetalia Academy for high school. Gilbert would call home in Berlin every so often to chat and tell his little brother about his awesome high school, and Ludwig dreamed of going to a school where no one knew him so he could potentially make new friends. After all, all of the kids who went to Hetalia Academy were from different places around the world and did not know each other, so they were all in the same boat when it came to making friends.

But there was one thing Ludwig had forgotten when he finally began his education at Hetalia Academy. He didn't really have to worry about Gilbert tormenting him, because the albino was busy with his own friends and studies. The two lived together in one of the rental homes that belonged to the academy, but they didn't look alike, so most kids who didn't know Gilbert or Ludwig didn't associate them as related, let alone brothers. So Gilbert wasn't the problem.

He was the problem.

His start at the academy had not gone smoothly. He was mistaken for an upperclassman several times by other students because of his height, and teachers mistook him for a student teacher or a new employee, despite the uniform all the students had to wear.

But all those assumptions were made by the people who were brave enough to approach him.

"Who's that big brute?

"Oh, my God, he's so scary-looking!"

"I bet he's a thug looking for a fight."

"And his voice is scary, too!"

"He sounds so angry when he talks."

"Does he really have to look so stereotypically German?"

"I bet everyone in his family is a Nazi. He probably is, too."

Nothing had changed between Hetalia Academy and his old schools. Sure, the teases were different, but it was all teasing nonetheless. The harsh comments, the eavesdropping, and the talking behind his back hadn't changed, and he tried to understand why. Growing up, kids had avoided him because they thought he was weird for his interests. Now they were avoiding him because he was German? No, it went a lot deeper than that. Gilbert was German, too, but he didn't look German.

Ludwig had already hated himself, but he began to hate himself even more at the start of that first year. He couldn't help his face; he couldn't help if he always looked angry even when he wasn't. He couldn't help his pale skin, blond hair, and blue eyes either. While it was true that some of his relatives had been Nazis during World War II, they had all been punished for their crimes, and no one in his family was proud of them at all. He also couldn't help the fact that his voice had changed early in his life as a teenager. While most boys' voices were just beginning to change, his was already deep and low like a fully grown man's. In general, he had hit puberty much earlier than other boys, so his body already looked like a man's even though he was still just a teenager.

He was scary.

And no one wanted to be near him.

"Ve, why are you eating lunch all by yourself?"

Looking up from his lunch of sausages and sauerkraut, Ludwig made eye contact with a small boy who looked to be a first-year student. He seemed naive and oblivious and sort of silly, based on looks alone. Ludwig hated that he always judged people based on their looks, but he had been the target of such practices all his life, so he couldn't help that either.

Ludwig looked back down at his lunch and then looked back up at the boy. "Uh...I always eat alone," he replied. What was going on? No one ever tried to talk to him!

The boy frowned. "That's so sad, ve," he said. "I would be so sad if I ate alone every day."

Ludwig cleared his throat, unsure of how to continue this conversation. Being alone for so many years had caused him to become extremely socially awkward. "I'm used to it," he sighed, looking back down at his lunch. "It's okay, really. Go on. I'm sure you have friends who are waiting for you."

The boy shook his head, smiling. "No, they can eat without me today, because I'm going to eat with you!"

And he sat down on the opposite side of the picnic table.

"I'm Feliciano Vargas! I'm from Rome, Italy. What's your name and where are you from?"

Ludwig could hardly believe what was happening. Someone was actually talking to him! And if that wasn't enough, this Feliciano Vargas was sitting at a picnic table across from him, wanting to eat lunch with him! He had even asked for his name! Somewhere inside him, Ludwig wondered if this was a prank. He had a feeling that, somewhere nearby, some group of kids was giggling and mocking him. But the little Italian seemed too innocent and genuine to do something like that. He seemed like he legitimately wanted to be around Ludwig, that he was truly interested in getting to know him. If that was true, it was too good to be true! But to have something like this, to have this moment, to have a potential friend, well, that was worth the risk.

"I'm...Ludwig Beilschmidt. I'm from Berlin, Germany."

"Beilschmidt? Oh! Are you Gilbert's little brother?"

"Little Brother." As far back as he could remember, even though he had once been smaller than Gilbert (he now towered over him by several inches), he had always been mistaken for the older brother. He was much more mature, much more responsible, and, nowadays anyway, looked older than Gilbert. Feliciano was the first person to ever say that Ludwig was indeed the younger brother. In fact, he was the youngest member of his family.

Ludwig slowly nodded. "Yeah...you know my brother?"

"Oh!" Feliciano laughed. "My older brother has a crush on one of Gilbert's friends, so I've always heard of him a bit. My brother is a junior! His name is Lovino, and he's kinda got a bad temper, so you might want to avoid him, ve. By the way, the vice principal here is my grandpa! Oh, and since the other vice principal is Gilbert's grandpa, that would make him your grandpa, too, right?"

"Yeah..."

"I knew it! Oh, by the way, what's that stuff you're eating? I've never seen anything like it before. Ve, I would offer you some of my yummy pasta, but it's so delicious that I wanna eat it all by myself! But...you're my special friend, so I guess you can have a little bite if you want. Do you want to try a bite of my lunch, ve? I made it from scratch last night and cooked it this morning!"

That had been their first meeting. Feliciano had, in that moment, become Ludwig's first true friend.

As soon as Feliciano had become his friend, things started to change for Ludwig. He no longer heard rumors about him and whispers behind his back. Kids started to respect him, and some of them even took some time to talk to him. Gilbert introduced him to his friends Francis and Antonio, who both took the time to introduce him to their friends. Being around Feliciano helped, too. The Italian was quite popular throughout the school, so when students saw him and Ludwig together, they began to realize that Ludwig wasn't such a bad guy.

Feliciano had done more than become his friend. He had become his savior.

And then they had somehow transformed into being more than friends. Ludwig still wasn't quite sure how or why it had all happened. He wasn't even sure if he truly loved Feliciano. He had never loved anyone other than his family members before, so he wasn't sure if the feelings he had for the Italian were true love. All he did know was that he didn't have these feelings for anyone else, nor had he ever had them for anyone, so he decided that they were love.

He loved Feliciano.

And Feliciano, he knew, loved him back.

So that could probably be why the little Italian had showed up on his doorstep at his home in Berlin earlier that day. When he had opened the door to reveal his boyfriend covered in snow, he probably shouldn't have been so shocked.

After he had wiped the snow off and brought Feliciano inside to warm up, he couldn't help but ask his boyfriend the obvious. "What are you doing here, Feli?"

Feliciano giggled as he snuggled underneath the cozy blanket by the fireplace. His cheeks were pink from the cold, and his face glowed from the fire. "Ve, I remember you telling me that you were going to be alone on Christmas Eve. That's not very happy!" he giggled. "So I asked Grandpa if I could spend Christmas with you, and he got me a flight to Berlin! Wasn't that nice?"

Ludwig rolled his eyes. Feliciano could be so simple-minded. "It's not like I'm completely alone," he replied. "My brother is just out with his college friends tonight, so he'll be back here tomorrow morning. My grandfather was out on business until the last minute, so he's taking a train tonight and will also be here tomorrow morning."

Feliciano frowned. "But you'd still be alone tonight."

"What about your family?" Ludwig shot back, the question sounding a lot harsher than he meant it to be. He instantly regretted his tone. "I thought Italians spent their Christmases together with their families."

"Oh, Lovi and Grandpa have each other, so they're not alone," Feliciano replied, smiling again. "And they both said it was okay if I was here with you. Well, Lovi didn't say it was okay. He mostly shouted about how you were a stupid potato bastard, but that's okay, because Grandpa locked him in the basement to keep him from preventing me from leaving. Ve, wasn't that nice of Grandpa?" He giggled and scooted over so he could rest his head against Ludwig's shoulder. When he was comfortable, he let out another giggle and latched himself onto the German's arm. "Ve, Ludwig's muscles are so big and warm~"

Ludwig gave up trying to make sense out of his boyfriend. As much as he loved him, Ludwig couldn't understand Feliciano. Make that "Italians in general."

Sighing, Ludwig released his arm from Feliciano's grip and instead wrapped it around his boyfriend. Feliciano let out a little squeal of happiness and cuddled up to him, wrapping his arms around the German's torso. He loved the feel of Ludwig's body. Even though his muscles and skin were covered under a thick, warm sweater, Feliciano could still feel them move underneath him. He loved that.

Feliciano looked up past his boyfriend to observe the Christmas tree. It was huge, bigger than any other one he had ever seen. Granted, he had never seen one in Germany, where the tradition had originated, so he had never seen a true Christmas tree. It was covered in bright, multicolored lights, sparkling tinsel, and several ornaments. At the top was a bright, glowing star. Next to the tree, on the shelf above the fireplace, were several small statues of angels and saints. Below the tree, next to the fireplace, was a nativity scene. Feliciano smiled at these things. To see them in Ludwig's home made him inexplicably happy.

Suddenly though, Feliciano lost his smile. He looked up at his boyfriend seriously. "Ludwig?"

"Hmm?"

"I...have something to ask you."

Ludwig looked down at the little Italian surprised at just how serious he was. "Yes? What is it?" Whatever it was had to be extremely important.

Feliciano blushed a bit and further snuggled up to his boyfriend. "Well, ve, my big brother is graduating this year."

"Yes, I know."

"And...your big brother graduated last year."

"Yeah..."

"So you've been living here alone."

"That's right."

"...I don't want to live alone next year."

Ludwig's eyes widened. All of a sudden, he knew what Feliciano was talking about, and he knew what he was going to ask him. He wasn't expecting it. In retrospect, knowing Feliciano, he probably should have seen it coming, but he couldn't help it.

"...Ve, Ludwig, can we...live together...next year?"

"Feli..."

"Oh, please say I can live with you!" Feliciano begged, taking his arms away from Ludwig and clasping them together in front of his face. "Please, please, Ludwig, I don't want to live all alone in that big, scary house! Grandpa has his own apartment, but it's only made for one person, so I can't live with him. Please let me live with you, Ludwig! I promise to keep the house clean. In fact, I'll do all the chores and make all the meals and be quiet and not bother you and-!"

"Feliciano!" Ludwig interrupted. "Feli, calm down! Don't get so upset over this. I haven't even said anything yet!" He took in the desperate look in Feliciano's eyes and sighed. "You don't have to do anything like that. I would expect you to be responsible for your own things and doing your fair share of the housework, but there's no need for you to act like a maid or a housewife. I wouldn't make you do that."

Feliciano's eyes widened with hope. "So...does that mean...?"

Ludwig blushed and looked away. "Yes," he murmured, feeling shy and embarrassed, "you can live with me next year...and the year after that, too, if you want."

Feliciano squealed and wrapped his arms around the German, bouncing excitedly in his spot. "Oh, Ludwig, thank you, THANK YOU!" he cried happily. "Thank you so much! I promise to be the best housemate ever!" He squealed again and squeezed Ludwig with all his strength. He was so happy. He was going to be living with the man he loved more than anything else in the world! Even more than pasta!

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Ludwig pushed Feliciano off his body and attacked his mouth with passionate kisses. Feliciano blinked in surprise but quickly melted into the kisses, wrapping his arms around Ludwig's neck. He kissed back, bringing his hands to the German's hair. The blond strands fell through his fingers as he brought his bangs out of their slicked-back position and down to his forehead, where they belonged. He always thought Ludwig looked better when he left his hair down. Feliciano smiled into the kisses when he felt Ludwig's fingers thread through his own auburn locks.

Eventually, they broke away for air. They both panted a bit, breath mingling between them. Ludwig's cheeks were stained an adorable shade of pink, and Feliciano brought his hands to them to feel their warmth. This was perfect. It was Christmas Eve, and he was sitting in his boyfriend's home, making out with him by the fireplace, the two of them all alone. Nothing could be better.

At least Feliciano thought so.

But Ludwig had different plans. He glanced at the side of Feliciano's head and twirled his finger around the little curl of hair there.

The reaction was immediate and quite pleasing. Feliciano let out a gasp and a moan as he began to shake. He clung to Ludwig and panted as his boyfriend continued to tease that little bit of hair.

Ludwig smirked and leaned down to the Italian's ear. "Feli," he whispered in a low, husky voice, "want to see my Christmas tree?"

"Huh?" Feliciano panted, genuinely confused. "But, Ludwig, I can see your Christmas tree right there in the corner. It's really big and impressive, and I like it a lot, and...huh?" Suddenly, Feliciano felt something poke him. "What?" he gasped, still panting. "What's that? It feels like a sausage and...OH!" Feliciano's eyes snapped open in realization, and his cheeks flushed bright red. He clung to Ludwig and tried to hide his face in his boyfriend's chest. "Oh," he repeated, this time softer, "well, ve, THAT Christmas tree is really big and impressive, too. And I like that one a lot, too...ve..."

Ludwig chuckled a bit, the sound rumbling low in his chest. Feliciano shivered, feeling that strong rumble against him. He allowed himself to be lifted up and out of the living room, down the hall, to Ludwig's bedroom.


It was amazing. That was the only thing Feliciano could think as he cuddled up next to Ludwig, who had fallen asleep. The Italian rested his head on his boyfriend's chest and listened to his heartbeat, loving the sound. Such a beautiful, perfect, comforting sound it was. Feliciano loved it.

He loved Ludwig, too, with all his heart. Making love to the one person he loved more than anything, even more than pasta, was the greatest feeling in the world. Ludwig held him and loved him and made him feel special and was more concerned with satisfying him than satisfying himself. Feliciano loved it. He loved everything about Ludwig.

"I wish I were a girl, Ludwig," he whispered. "Then we could get married, and I could become your wife. And I could have your children. I want a big family. I want lots of little boys and girls with blond hair and brown eyes running around. Or maybe with brown hair and blue eyes, ve." He snuggled deep into his boyfriend's embrace and sighed, letting his eyes close. "That's my Christmas wish, Ludwig. I want to marry you and be your wife and have lots of babies and give you a big, happy family so you'll never be lonely again, ve. Because..." He yawned and closed his eyes.

"...because I love you so much."


The next morning, Gilbert was the first of the family to arrive. "HEY, WEST!" he shouted as he slammed the front door open. "YOUR AWESOME BIG BROTHER IS HOME! YOU BETTER HAVE GOTTEN HIM SOMETHING AWESOME FOR CHRISTMAS! Kesesesesese!" He laughed and ran to the Christmas tree, loving the stack of presents underneath it. There was a big one with his name on it! Laughing triumphantly, Gilbert ran to the kitchen, expecting to find his little brother making him breakfast, but the room was empty.

Confused, Gilbert walked throughout the rest of the house, looking for his younger sibling. "West!" he called. "West, the awesome me is not pleased that you are not here, wishing me a Merry Awesome Christmas. Come on, West! Get your un-awesome ass out here so I can open my presents!"

Finally, Gilbert came upon his brother's room. He knocked a few times and, when he got no answer, reached for the knob. He opened the door, expecting to see his brother's bed made and neat.

Instead, he found his brother and Feliciano, sleeping together, probably naked underneath those blankets, in each other's arms as they peacefully dreamed the morning away.

Gilbert automatically smirked and reached for his phone. "Kesesesese," he laughed. "Time to update my blog." He reached his phone out to take a picture but stopped when he saw his brother stir. But he didn't wake up. Instead, Ludwig only moved to bring Feliciano closer to his body. Then he went still, continuing to sleep.

Smiling softly, Gilbert put the phone away and walked out the door. "Just a few more minutes, West," he murmured as he shut the door. "I wanna open my presents soon. But, heh, it looks like Feli already got his. Kesesesesese!"

With the door shut, Gilbert walked back to the living room to wait for his grandfather.

"Merry Christmas, West."

Light me up; put me on top.

Let's falalalalalalalala!

Light me up; put me on top.

Let's falalalalalalalala!

Ho, ho, ho, under the mistletoe,

Yes, everybody knows we will take off our clothes.

Yes, if you want us to we will.

You, oh, oh, a Christmas,

My Christmas Tree's delicious!

Oh, oh, a Christmas.

My Christmas Tree's delicious!

END

Merry Christmas, Everyone. :)