Romano's Super Awesome Scheme That Didn't Go Quite As Planned

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Contrary to widespread belief, Lovino Vargas was not a grouchy Italian man who hated a variety of things that included but were not limited to: Spain, pedophiles (including Spain), his dunce of a brother, Potato-Bastard, Potato-Bastard's brother, potatoes, Spain in an apron, love, anything remotely German, and Spain. No, in actually, Lovino Vargas was a grouchy Italian personification of a Nation, who hated a variety of the things previously listed but, of course, not limited to such.

As of right now, in fact, Lovino had just finished with the deed of kicking a kitten off a street in Naples. Why? Because Lovino was a grouchy Italian personification of a Nation and I don't know many southern Italian cities. Well, that aside, Lovino looked into the distance where Mt. Vesuvius was somewhere, and he quietly willed it to erupt...with his will. Alone.

Nothing happened, of course, but it's still pretty cool that he can will something like that, with his will. But, Lovino let it slide this one time because he knew Mt. Vesuvius was going to erupt some time soon and burn everyone's asses. It hadn't in the last sixty tomato-forsaken years, after all. It was due for one.

Speaking of which...

"Shit! I need to get back the Potato-Bastard for making my dunce of a brother smitten with him for reasons entirely not his fault and in actuality against his will!"

This realization brought Lovino to the plot. Oh joy. Oh rapture. E= mc^2. Wait. Wait, that's remotely German. Oh, man. Fucking Einstein! Argh! At this thought, Lovino began frantically thinking of great Italian scientists. Because, sure, there were a million billion. Like, um, DaVinci. And Galileo. Sure, Kepler was right in a bunch of things he wasn't, but...

Kepler, a German.

Oh, shit.

"No one will recognize me like this," Lovino declared, astounded at his own genius. Wearing a stereotypical Italian mustache as a disguise! No one's ever thought of that! "Mamma mia!" he exclaimed originally as he leapt over an old, ugly dog. It was actually a chupacabra, but let's not get into that right now. He approached Germany's house because even though it was somewhere in Germany, two countries away, most authors enjoyed acting like it was just down the street so we'll just go with the flow, m'kay?

Inside sat that...that macho potato Nazi and his Goddamn brother, talking about something or other, drinking kraut beer with the radio presumably on. It was dark outside. Lovino crept onto the porch, leering from behind his mustache of glory. (I don't know how he understood them for they were presumably speaking German and, since he hated all things remotely German, didn't know German. I dunno. No other author explains it, so I won't try to break any new ground, heaven forbid. I'll just make it as generic as possible because I know you know I don't know my German very well, so...)

"...But, just think, Ludwig, if we still had that Super Car, we could use it to reintroduce-"

"No." He shook his head. "No. We tried to before, Gilbert, but the world simply is not ready for the glory of the Super Car. You remember what happened to poor Roderich when we confided the true secret of the Super Car to him? Think of that on a larger scale. It would be disaster!"

"But the car can solve world hunger, poverty, and stop animal abuse, West! Tell me that's not something we need!"

He was about to object and to explain that the Super Car could actually solve more things (the meaning of life was one of them, and it could recite to the end of Pi), but before he could, there was a loud knocking at the door.

Gilbert groaned and set down his beer on the table. "I'll get it; we're going to discuss this later, Brother." Leaving his brother to tune into some radio drama involving his favorite series ("Pony Love" or something like that), he reached the door and opened it a hair.

"Hello, I am looking for one Mister Ludwig."

Staring blankly at the so wittily disguised Romano, Prussia thus said, "This house doesn't trust the Mustache-People." and promptly shut the door in his wittily disguised face.

"Damn it!"

Ludwig looked up. "Who was that?"

Gilbert shrugged. "No idea. Don't worry your pretty head over it, though, bro. Now, as I was saying, I know that car was used to protect You-Know-Who, but just think if we could use it to..."

Lovino ground his teeth in frustration as he stalked away. "Damn it, damn it, damn it all..."

Then he got an idea. An ingeniously genius idea.

"Hello, I am looking for one Mister Ludwig."

"Look, dude, we don't trust the Mustache-People."

"I have beer."

Pause. "What brand?"

"Erm... Heineken?"

Gilbert scoffed. "Dutch beer. Get out of here, you sick freak."

And thus Lovino failed once more.

"I brought Molson."

"Who?"

"Canadian beer."

"...Who?"

"Forget it."

And thus Lovino failed once more.

Germany was calmly listening to an excerpt of "Sparkle Rainbow of Love and Ice Cream" while working on his latest thesis report on the economy and the recent European theory of prosperity in limited growth. He was just getting to the part where he explained what stagnant economies could mean when the door slammed open. Lifting his head, he adjusted his reading glasses before saying, "Yes?"

"You bastard!"

Changing to English in a flash, he said, "Lovino. What is it?"

Huffing and panting as though he had run a half-marathon (which he couldn't do anyhow. 13.1 miles simply would not work for a man whose daily activities were limited to yelling and trying to kick small animals-and Spain-while living on a wide diet of tomatoes. Now that I have completely thrown you off from the sentence in a way I totally didn't mean to...) Roma Italia glared daggers at the German nation.

"Imma gonna kill you, you macho Potato-Bastard!"

Switching off the radio, he sighed. Man, Miss Cherry was about to find the source of Dreams and Hope with her companion, Happy the Dachshund! This had better be good... "Romano, have a good reason to be here and quick. I have some things I must attend to."

Romano shook his head. "Sorry, I was just running from Spain because he's a bastard and wanted a...a hug...ugh...and- Why am I apologizing to you? What the hell?"

"I think you suffer from esteem issues, Romano," Germany stated.

He paused. "You know..."

"I think, that because you feel inadequate from your failures throughout your life, that you think you can protect yourself by seeming bigger than you really are when deep down inside you are hurt and alone and very sad."

"You know what... Maybe..."

"You have a bark worse than your bite. It is worse because, deep down, you know you have no bite. That makes you even more scared than with it. You feel unprotected, naked to the world, and you're ashamed. You're ashamed of yourself and your brother and while he covers it up with smiles, you feel you must do so with snarls and lies and anger. You block your true emotions because you know without your anger, you have no guard at all."

"You know... I think..."

"You fear your life will come crashing down around as it always has, that your world, essentially, which is always coming down, will do so permanently and you won't be able to pick it up ever again. You're afraid no one will have any respect for you or your nation. You feel as though Feliciano is the true representation of your nation, for that matter, and that you are becoming obsolete, that you will wake up one day and find that your worst nightmare will be realized as a reality and you will truly be as you perceive yourself. Useless."

"You know... I think I... I think..." Lovino took a deep breath. "I think I really fucking hate you, Doucheland."

Germany continued to mull in his philosophical mood, now going onto the truth behind Veneziano, then onto Japan's pushover attitude, then onto himself and his repressive behaviors, finally onto Miss Cherry and if she would ever obtain that Shiny Bicycle she wanted. What that Shiny Bicycle represented...

"That's it," he said flatly. "I'm just leaving. You're stupid." And so Romano left, slamming the door behind him.

Ludwig stopped suddenly. A small chuckle (?) emitted from his throat and he gazed around. Then he turned the radio back on and went back to work.

"Something is up with Germany."

Feliciano smiled. Smiled as wide as someone who had a last name for a first name could. "Of course, brother! Germany's so nice, ve..."

He looked at his brother. "You're stupid. Just...wow. He's the representation of a country that has a history of extremist expansionism and, worst of all, his leader is currently a woman-" He shuddered at that. Ugh, women! "-and he's the biggest fruit I have ever seen in my life."

"I love Germany, ve... He's sooooo nice! He gives me presents all the time and says he loves me too and we sleep together and he bakes me nice cakes and tells me funny stories and reads lots of books and he's so amazing."

Romano nodded to all this, rolling his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, yeah..."

"And he's so handsome! And nice, did I mention he's nice, ve? And he lets me ride on his back and he lets me skip out on training more often nowadays and he..."

Let him prattle on, Lovino thought. Yes, prattle on, little Feliciano. Big Brother Lovino will take care of it...

"...and he's nice, if you ever hire a hit man from the mafia to dispatch Ludwig, I'll personally rip off your testicles, and Japan says that we're all going to go out some time soon for a picnic and..."

He frowned. And stared forward. And frowned some more. Looking awful disturbed. He was sure he couldn't be blamed.

"I brought Bud...weiser?"

"American slime. Get out of here. You disgust me."

And thus Lovino failed once more.

He could have sworn there was a quote about attempting the same thing over and over, expecting different results, was insanity. By Einstein or something.

Einstein. German. Damn it.

As Germany was trying to burn the latest letter by France, claiming that he had right to Germany's vital regions because Strasbourg was their love child or some other sort of ridiculous (and disturbing) notion, Venezia Italia slammed the door opened with a greeting of "Ve! Good day, Ludwig!" before sitting down on the desk.

"Feliciano," he ground out, "please. I am trying to work. It is very counterproductive of you to sit on my workspace."

"But then Germany doesn't pay attention to me."

"Okay. I'll pay attention to you if you do this: get me a magnifying glass. I need to burn this letter and my previous methods failed to provide success."

"Okay..." He slid off the desk, scattering several reports on the economy, forest preservation, and one by his foreign ambassador in Turkey. "But... What were your other attempts, ve?"

Ludwig looked at him gravely. "I tried to burn it with my will. Alone. Which is fairly remarkable, if I do say so myself. That I can will something. But, unfortunately, it didn't work. My eyes started to burn instead and I developed a twitch. See?"

Feliciano saw. "Interesting, ve... Um, I'll go get that stapler, don't you worry! Germany can count on me, yes sir!"

Before he could correct the carefree man that it was a magnifying glass he required, he was out the door. Of course Italy was swift when he did one thing: retreating.

However, the door opened again. In slunk someone who not-quite looked like Feliciano. So, pseudo-mysteriousness aside, of course it was Lovino. Are you dense?

"Lovino," Ludwig greeted. Because he knew it was Lovino, too. Remarkable.

"Potato-Bastard," Lovino greeted. Because he knew it was Ludwig. No way.

"What brings you here without a scheduled appointment? ...Again?"

"I know you're up to something!" It burst out of his mouth. Well, crap. There goes six more paragraphs of dialogue and suspense leading up to the deciding moment where disposition will be challenged. My former English teachers are weeping in despair.

Ludwig sat up. "What are you referring to?" he snapped. His tone was very defensive, but-then again-Lovino had been very accusing.

"You...know. You know."

"No. I don't."

Lovino struggled with his words, thinking. Finally, "You bastard!" came out and then he fell silent again.

Ludwig leaned onto his propped up hands. "Romano, we had this conversation, remember? You don't need to project your insecurities onto others. You need to find your own inner strength first, then logic and stability will find itself back into your life and you will eventually accept yourself. It's a healing process."

"Oh, and you know?"

"I do."

Awkward silence. But Lovino sniffed inwardly. What did Germany know? His peoples' pride in their nation had increased significantly for reasons he didn't really care about because it was Germany and no one understood those stupid Germans. So Potato-Bastard had nothing to worry about. He wasn't ignored all the time, stupid bastard.

"You... You don't even know!"

"Don't cry, Romano! Please, I'm not good with this... Um... It's okay!"

And Lovino certainly was not crying. He was snarling in rage and intimidation and masculinity, not crying like some babbling brook. "No one...u-understands me!"

"It's okay, Romano. Listen, I'm going to call up Spain and-"

"No! Not that bastard, I can't stand listening t-to him ri-riu-right now!"

"Romano, it'll be okay. It's alright, just-"

"Shut up, stupid asshole!" he shrilled in Italian before leaving very gracefully, the door slamming shut behind him before he collapsed on a potted plant and fell asleep because he wanted to. He wasn't crying on it or anything. Fuck no.

And for some reason, Feliciano never returned. With a stapler or otherwise. One could argue that there was a cuuuuuuute cat outside the break room sitting on a window of an apartment and that could be a possible reason, but it's still up to debate.

Some man in Bulgaria was weeping right now. He didn't know why, but he had a hunch. A damn good one, at that. Just as great as Mt. Vesuvius erupting within the next several decades or so. Just as monumental as that fucking Germany trying to...um...

Take over the fucking world. AGAIN. That's what.

And he was going to stop him because, well, America was too busy being a fat ass and random street chupacabras be damned if he was going to live in a world ruled by fucking Germans. Stupid idiots, what with their better economy and Oktoberfest and shit. He meant, well, their banks were pretty fucking corrupt (point for Romano!), too, and like, um, they had a woman in charge, too. So you knew they were pretty fucked up epople. What kind of country was it when beer was cheaper than juice, damn it?

...Not that he knew that personally or anything. He'd only been to Germany when regarding crushing that macho Potato Bastard. But, well, Spain (the bastard) had told him of an experience. And, seriously, that's crazy. Beer isn't even that good!

More tangents and rants aside, Romano was planning his next awesome strike. Something original. Something that would strike fear into that kraut's very soul(?). But first...

"Argh! You bastard, leave me alone!"

Spain smiled and attempted it again. "But, Lovino-"

"Don't do that! It's...it's sick and wrong."

"What? When I do this?"

"Y-yes, that! In public no less, you sick fuck!"

Of course, he tried again. Lovino flushed. "Come on, Lovi, it's not so bad. No one cares."

"You're a pervert, damn it." Then he head butted the man and stalked off to execute his next plan.

Antonio got up, rubbing his hurt chest. Hugging Lovino always had to be so difficult, didn't it?

"Guinness. I brought Guinness."

"..."

"Well?"

"That's Irish beer."

"So?"

"It's dark beer, but it's...it's Irish."

"And that means?"

"Get out of here."

And thus Lovino failed once more.

It was getting intense now. Ludwig could just tell. He leaned forward in anticipation. Miss Cherry and Happy were about to find the source of good dreams! Oh, the painstaking seconds ticked by on the cuckoo clock that rested above his door frame as the two contemplated if they could find the source through the dark forest (no, don't do it, Miss Cherry! Remember? Happy smelled something mean there!) or the rainbow river (that was by far more sensible, of course. For they could use the giant marshmallows as rafts as they had two nights' ago episode and rainbow rivers totally beat dark forests) and swapped options.

The door slammed open and Feliciano bounced in. "Good day, Ludwig! Veee! What are you listening to?"

"A very important broadcast." His face was grave, words stone cold.

"Ve... Sounds boring. Doesn't sound good at all." He sat down on the table. Not wearing...any shoes. Of course. How typical. They were in the house, anyway, though, so Germany let it slide. This once. "Maybe we should change it." And just as his hand reached for the dial, it was seized by a much larger, gloved one and North Italy could hear a light snap as wrist bones were popped by the pressure.

"No!"

Looking at his friend's distressed face, he cocked his own head. "Ludwig?"

"Just...get out of here."

Feliciano slipped off the table. "Oh...okay, Ludwig. But..." He paused, hearing the radio. It was on commercial. "Hm. Oh well, ve. I know! I'll make you pasta... That makes everyone feel better!"

Ludwig shook his head, clearing his eyes. "That is quite alright, Feliciano, I am more than capable of-"

"I'm making the fucking pasta, Ludwig." Then, with a giggle, he leapt out the room like he was in some Broadway production. Like, I dunno, Rent. But with more sparkles and homo-ness and less AIDs and sad shit.

The man sat there for a moment, radio white noise (it was still on commercial, don't worry, he didn't miss much) against his thoughts. Which was composed primarily of white noise on its own anyway.

The clock winked. He swore. He had no questions of how. It just did. It was almost as though it were fucking mocking him, the little shit. Well, he'd show it. He would. He could do this. He could, he would, and he would rhyme the whole fucking way.

Well... Maybe not that last part, but still.

And, obscenities and rhyming aside, he was sick and tired of being thwarted-thwarted, not just stopped-at his every attempt. He was going to make it some time soon. He didn't care how long it took (well, actually he did, he had to pick up dinner supplies at eighteen o'clock) justice would be served.

Man, and now he was starting to sound like America. Stupid Americanism, with their cheap, watered down blend of all the cultures until they're lost and the cheap food and making life so damn easy to be the same.

N-not that he was hating on America or anything. No. He had bigger problems with, erm...Germanism. Why did America get his own word on the spellchecker? Not fair, in Lovino's opinion. Italianism. Eh... Um...

You know what? Forget it.

And he did. Anyways, tapping his pencil against the desk, the droning voices of the meeting flew over his head and into some other idiot's. Poor lad. Skewered on the spot.

Maybe, just maybe... He could make this work. Blackmail. Serious blackmail where Ludwig would hang his head in shame for centuries to come.

He'd already tried those infamous "magazines" Ludwig supposedly kept. To his dismay, they had turned out to be titled "The Joys of Baking" and involved various intricate cakes and others. (He took one of them for reference to a delicious cannoli filling that sounded absolutely decadent.)

Gilbert wouldn't say any dirt on his brother, and as of recently, would not allow him into the house for extenuating circumstances of utmost consequence. An oxymoron doesn't matter when you're using big words. Whatever. No one noticed that.

Yet, and Lovino was positively sure of this, there was something dark about that kraut nation. He was hiding some awful secret.

And Lovino would figure it out, damn it.

"Damn it, Gilbert, turn it back on!"

Prussia looked up absently before returning to his occupation. "Naw, thing gives me a headache, Wessie, and this is a delicate work."

"It's a plastic model car, Gilbert, please."

"You sound like a crack addict on withdrawal."

"Gilbert."

"Fine!" He threw up his arms. "Listen to your 'Rabbit Sugar' or whatever. Fine. Keep it low, though, West. I'm busy."

Ludwig promptly turned it back on. "And it's 'Sparkle Rainbow of Love and Ice Cream,' " he corrected his brother.

Gilbert grunted in reply.

He listened in rapture as it turned out, yes, Miss Cherry had chosen the rainbow river! An old hag or whatever had tried to convince her of the dark forest, but Happy had revealed her to be lying with the power of truth and love. (Thank God for the power of truth and love.)

"There! Got that wheel on-"

"Shut the fuck up!" he yelled.

Gilbert stared.

Anyways, yeah, Miss Cherry and Happy were on their marshmallows just chilling out when-things were never simple!-a rock came up in the middle of the river. (Steer, Miss Cherry! Steer the marshmallow at a 42 degree angle!) No worries, though, because they steered around it using sticks lying in the river at a very convenient location.

"Whoever wrote this were Gods," Germany muttered.

Back to square one in many circumstances, Lovino had to say. Not admit. He was admitting nothing.

Prussia burst through the door of his office however. Romano gave a start, "What the hell?"

"Listen to what I have to say," he told the angered Nation. "This is important. More important, even, than me completing my next level in Assassin's Creed. Which, typically, means it is very important."

Grumpily lying his head on his hands, he spat, "What?"

"Something is wrong with Germany."

"You just noticed?"

"No, I mean seriously wrong. He's starting to creep me out."

Okay. So maybe not square one.

"What? Was it the slicked hair? The grouchy expression? The muscle-y massiveness? The tube socks with the sandals? His accent? What?" he droned, interested but trying not to appear to be so. He failed. Hard.

"Naw, that's all natural of West." He looked him dead in the eye. Which, as one would suspect, was very fatal for at least one party. "No, I'm talking about that crackpot radio show he listens to. He won't even..." Gilbert was not giving shuddering breaths right now. "...he won't even bake strudel with me anymore..."

Romano stared.

Gilbert stood up. "Wh-what? It's a family tradition! He's done it with me since he was seven."

"I don't see what that has to do with anything. Your brother's finally growing some balls, which, obviously, you don't have. That's great. Now let me return to this, okay?"

"Five meters, bitch!"

He rubbed his temples. It only seemed to bring his headache on worse. Probably because he was practically stabbing his temples with his fingers, but hey, he was stressed. "This conversation is going nowhere. In fact, it's just filling in the word count that authors cherish ever so much for reasons I cannot comprehend."

Gilbert shrugged. "Eh. The school systems tries to make them think quantity is the essence of quality."

"Please, don't even get to that with me. This is a mindless humor, not a debate on the concept of education as a whole, William Blake."

He paused, thoughtfully. "No one's going to get that."

"Stop acting intelligent; it's starting to scare the fuck out of me."

"It's just because I'm awesome."

Romano couldn't wait until the author found a way to close off this scene, fourth wall breaks aside. (Wherever that fourth wall happened to be.) He sat there, waiting oh so patiently for the page break. Which was...well, now.

"What. The fuck. Are you wearing?"

"It's leisure clothing, okay?" He ran a hand through his hair, perplexed.

Romano had managed to find Germany, his eternal foe, on the porch of his house, eating...something. He couldn't tell. "Okay. Tell me, since when was lederhosen and tube socks leisure clothing, Potato-Bastard?"

"Since the beginning of this culture," he informed him.

Well, damn.

"And you're eating intestinal sausage. That's cute."

Germany's eyes widened. "B-but it's fancy sausage! Leftover fancy sausage. That I cooked in my backyard yesterday evening. Over an illegal fire."

He didn't even know what would cause a cooking fire to be illegal in question, and he was pretty sure he...didn't want to know. That aside, "Anyway, kraut, I've come to get back at you for reasons I cannot quite recall."

He set aside his leftover fancy sausage cooked over an illegal fire in his backyard yesterday evening. "Very well. What do you intend to do to exact your revenge?"

Lovino stuttered in his motions. "I... I never actually got that far," he admitted. "This is kind of awkward. I don't know."

"Oh. Well, I was just about to tune into the radio if you care to join me."

"You're inviting me inside." It wasn't a question. He was in such disbelief that he was past questions.

Ludwig shrugged. "I suppose. I want to mend this relationship with you, Romano. We don't need to be enemies. We can work together. We can strive..."

Lovino scoffed. "To what? Blow up Israel?"

"...to make the world a happy globe of alternative energy and show our peoples the joys of Miss Cherry and Happy."

"...What."

"And we can show their morals of love and equality to everyone! And we can all hold hands and sing in undulated joy."

His eye twitched. He stared. Then he simply said, "You used to be cool."

He turned on heel and left.

"You turned down a meeting with Merkel to listen to this thing."

Ludwig shushed him.

"Chancellor Merkel."

He shushed him again.

"But-"

He turned up the radio. Gilbert huffed, turning away.

"Fine! You don't wanna deal with my awesomeness? Your loss... Brother." He stalked out of the room. What I won't tell you is that he collapsed outside and started sobbing, saying, "I thought what we had was special, Brother!" and "I-if you ruh-really loved me, you wou-wouldn't ignore me!" and "I h-ha-hate myself!" all the while stroking that creeper bird he owned and mumbling how only Gilbird understood him. Only Gilbird loved him. And-sniff-he didn't need those people. He was fucking Gilbert Beilschmidt, most awesome person in the world, and he didn't...didn't... Oh God, he's such a failure!

Oops. You didn't read that. Seriously.

Anyway, Ludwig was very busy tuning into "Sparkle Rainbow of Love and Ice Cream" because it was getting über good now. See, it was so good that it even gained that title. Über. Pretty intense. You see, Miss Cherry had just clambered up the Pyramid of Healthy Living with Happy to confront the monstrous weasel named Wiesel Wizard, who was making the woodland creatures stop loving each other and starting quarrels amongst each other (imagine!).

Germany thought that was just heartbreaking.

Feliciano looked up from Physics Every Aspiring Megalomaniac Should Know to raise a brow. He was there for reasons unknown. Some claim they saw him vault through the window to get into the third floor office. "You realize that radio show is a subliminal communist message, right?"

Wat. That was all Ludwig could think. The ever so classic "wat." He was so shocked he forgot the "h" entirely. Then he turned around. "How do you know?"

He shrugged. "Everyone knows that, I thought. North Korea tunes in every Friday to catch the episodes she missed, ve."

Ludwig pulled a very interesting face and sat there in thought while his friend returned to his book.

"Corona! I. Brought. Fucking. Corona."

"Now you're just being irritating."

"How?"

"That's Mexican beer."

"Wh-what is it with you and imported beers, dammit?"

"Get out and don't come back without some real beer."

And thus Lovino failed once more.

"Spaten. I brought Spaten. Happy?"

"..."

"What now?"

"Spaten's German."

"Oh, Jesus... What's wrong with it?"

"Nothing. I'll take it, sure."

The door closed after the exchange and no matter what he did, it wouldn't open.

And thus Lovino failed once more.