Disclaimer: The only thing I own is the story idea and only some of the witty remarks. I own so little; so please don't steal.
Background music: -
My Soul to Take
Feliciano crying was nothing new. He cried about anything at any time anyway. But when he rushed in, thick tears dropping from his eyelashes, Romano's heart stopped and nearly did not start again. Words traveled through the air around them and did nothing to shake the air back into his lungs. Spain, Feliciano was babbling, Spain. Feet that did not belong to him stood and a hand he couldn't quite feel reached out for his coat and he felt his body move through the room, past Feliciano, and out the door.
When he stumbled through the door, Portugal stood and shifted from the bed, and Romano felt the heavy weight thrown back against him when he saw Spain, lying on the bed, listlessly, still, and very much asleep.
"He spoke to me on the phone yesterday," France said, as Romano sat in Spain's living room, "and he seemed completely fine…he mentioned lately that he was feeling tired, but it was nothing new. He's gone through fatigues before."
"He won't wake up," Romano mumbled in a low voice.
"It's a curious circumstance," France agreed, stroking his stubble. "For a nation to go to sleep…and just not wake up no matter what the impetus." They lingered in silence before France cleared his throat, sounding unclear. "Although…he had mentioned something…" Romano glanced at him, eyes dry and clear. "Last night, he said that he had been cleaning out his room and reorganized some journals. He told me he wanted someone to read them soon."
"I thought it would be obvious," France said, smiling bitterly. "You."
Spain was not responding to any alarms, any amount of shaking, or even physical attacks like slaps or water. Even still, Romano felt it imperative he stay quiet. Padding silently through the room, keeping his eyes away from the bed, where the slumbering nation's chest was rising and falling gently with each breath, he sidestepped the clothes on the ground that would have to be picked up later, over piles of overturned papers, around an awkwardly placed chair. There, a couple feet from the end of the bed, was a cardboard box.
Romano lifted the flaps and blinked at the volumes of journals lying before him. They were organized by date, written in red marker on the battered spines.
He felt a little like he was reading a personal diary and glanced over his shoulder, not enough to fully see Spain. But he had never felt any sort of qualms getting into Spain's business, and really, the idiot brought it upon himself for leaving his secrets out in the open like this. Taking a breath, Romano plunged his hand into the box and plucked out the first journal.
If you really want to know, I guess I should say I've been here for a while. I'm not sure what one does when writing things down, but I think they're supposed to say what's going on.
It was cold for a while but then the ice went away and everything was happy.
Recently, some people from different places have been colonizing the coast. I'm happy to see people like my house. I've been building it for a while now. Humans come and go. I met another person like me. He's alright even if he doesn't really speak a lot. He has a lot of cats. He said his name is Greece. He's been trading with my people along the coast. Actually he's been telling most of the cities what to do. He says he knows what he's doing and that I should just continue being happy in my house.
I mean, that's nice, I guess. I want to tell people what to do too.
There's been some fighting nowadays. I'm not sure what to do, but fretting around doesn't seem to be working too much. Why can't we all be happy? I like just sitting around in the sun and taking naps~! All this fighting doesn't sit very well with me but my people are getting involved and it's hard to separate my house from their grievances.
This big guy came to my door the other day. He says his name is Rome and he owns my house now. I'm not too certain what he means, but he seemed like a real nice guy. He brought me over to his house and showed me what he's got. Actually, it makes me feel like I want to be big and famous too! Rome has two little grandsons who are really cute~! They look like twins but they're actually really different.
Rome's depending on me to keep all the coastal ports alive. He says it's so that the whole Mediterranean society can survive. My people have been adopting Rome's ways and they seem pretty happy. My house is being rebuilt and it looks better than before. I have a balcony I can sleep on now~ I'm so excited. Some of Rome's people are talking about some God who is supposed to be the one we should all depend on to save us after we die. Apparently there's this guy called Jesus who went around promoting this God. This whole religion is something that my people seem to like. I guess it's pretty cool. We're building churches and they're peaceful. Maybe I'll like whatever this Christianity thing is. I'm going to have to try it out sometime.
I found out that Rome is dying. There are some people from the North who have been fighting and he's weakened a lot. Some new people are setting up stakes in my house, which is rather annoying. I liked it how it was for a while. Now things are changing again, I guess. Rome told me it was common for things to change for nations.
These people who believe in this religion called Islam have come up from Africa and are preaching that belief. I'm a little confused, really, but they've been picking up the pieces since Rome's death. They're doing a pretty good job. The Christians and the Jews aren't too happy about it, but at least they're not fighting. Not yet, at least.
Today, the Christians came into my house and threw the Muslims out. They were talking something about a Reconquista. I like that word. Conquest. I never really thought about it, but I think maybe nations all have this innate sense of conquest. It's not like I want to suddenly go out and conquer the world. But it would be nice. Making the whole world a place where we can just get along. People would like it. My house is always sunny.
When Romano awoke, he was aware that he was stiff and sprawled out on the box of journals. Surprisingly he was no longer clutching the first volume in his hand; but he was not surprised since Spain was still Spain and still babbled incessantly when he was younger. Romano had skipped lengthy passages detailing about how he had discovered good napping places and cooked new food.
He glanced over at the bed, hoping maybe Spain might have moved, but no; he had merely turned on his side and was still sleeping.
"Idiot," Romano grumbled, feeling irritated for some reason. He didn't have to go to sleep to make Romano read some boring old journals that had no literary purpose whatsoever. He was going to go make coffee and eat some food and go home and let Spain sleep until whenever he decided to waste away. It was a good plan.
It wasn't until Romano was pouring the coffee into a mug he had fished out of the cabinet when he realized it would not surprise him if Spain had wrote about him in one of his stupid journals. And while he didn't care what Spain said or did, he wanted to know what the stupid bastard had written about him in hopes he would never see it. It was probably all sorts of bad things like 'Roma ran away, what a nuisance'. Then he would shove it in Spain's face when he woke up and said that all those years of talk was cheap, and see, he hated Romano all along.
(Romano hopes this isn't the case, but it's not like he really hopes it isn't…)
When he entered Spain's room again, Spain was tangled up in the blankets like he had just gotten into a fight with them. Exhaling, Romano took it upon himself to save Spain from a choking death (even if he deserved it) and shook out the blankets. Spain was not awake to say any thanks and slept on.
"Bastard," Romano said, throwing a journal at him. Spain hummed in his sleep.
The next few journals were much more ornate, as if he had finally got around to buying worthy books to write in instead of the old string bound papers. They looked much more appealing and Romano hoped to gleam some dirt to perhaps use as blackmail in the future (which would really depend on Spain waking up, it would be no fun to have all sorts of secrets and have no one to inflict them upon).
Yay! A lot of things have changed since my last journal. I'm a real nation now. Now that Ferdinand and Isabella have gotten married, I'm finally a really cool guy! I'm getting into battles now and winning! England's being a total bastard, but I've been beating him cause he's stupid. I'm not sure if France is my friend or not, because he always takes my side if I go against England but sometimes he gets into fights with me too. He's really weird~!
Anyway, I've got some cool people in my house with me now! Belgium's this really cute girl who is really nice and she always greets me whenever she sees me. Her brother Netherlands is kind of cold, though. He tried to trip me one time when we passed me in the hall. What a mean guy. I've got to make sure I keep him in line.
Austria said I could have one of the Italies! I'm so happy! I can get a mini henchman of my own! I guess I could say Belgium and Netherlands are my henchmen, but Belgium sort of blends in with the background and Netherlands can be really annoying. So I'm hoping I can have someone who can support me and be my backup and I'll be the best Boss ever~!
Romano is a little difficult. He doesn't want to learn anything I teach him. He doesn't even clean the house. Actually, I think he doesn't clean at all. I go out, sail around and take land and fun stuff, and I come back and the house is messier than before. Belgium does her best, I suppose, but Romano isn't making it better. He likes to swear at me and kick me. I'm doing my best as a Boss, but it's hard~! I'll go see if Austria wants to trade with me~! Feliciano is much cuter.
I decided to keep Romano. He's cute in his own way, I guess. Sometimes he will do things to make me happy, in a strange way of his. Today as I was talking with some German soldiers, he suddenly went and attacked them! I totally don't understand him sometimes.
Today Romano went to visit his brother and I got worried. He's still so young and I think I should have offered to accompany him even though he said I didn't have to go. I saw France and he tried to take Romano away! Of course I wasn't going to let that happen. But when I fought with him, I lost sight of Roma! When I found him, that awful Turkey had gotten him! So I fought and won him back! But then Turkey declared war on me…my boss wasn't very happy about that. But then Romano came and said thank you! That was so cute~!
Things aren't really working out so well now. I don't get it! It used to be so good! But now there are lots of wars and I can't win them all anymore. I'm giving parts of my house to France, and even though he thanks me and tries to take off my shirt, I don't think he really is thankful at all. Now the royal family is all up in arms about the Succession and we should be focusing more on how to make things better…
Roma's getting older. He doesn't fuss about little things anymore and he actually is cleaning house better. After I cleared him of chorea, he doesn't really break things anymore. Sometimes when I wonder why I still bother putting so much effort, I see him outside sweeping the courtyard. He's still so young and his shoulders are so skinny. I can't just fall apart and leave him to be taken by France or England. England's gotten so irritating since he can't seem to let me forget he beat my Armada.
I got into a big fight with France. He can really hit hard, even if he drinks wine and acts weird all the time. He had a little man with him called Napoleon. Apparently the guy has been attacking everyone. I heard he wants to try and invade Russia. I don't think that's a good idea, but I'm not going to tell him. The whole argument took Romano from me. He can burn in hell for all I care.
Romano opened the windows of the room now and then to let some fresh air in. While he knew he could always move rooms, he felt awkward reading Spain's thoughts in a room without him. Sunlight always looked better in the room. Feliciano checked up on him now and then and brought to his attention that he had not been home for a while.
"What have you been doing here?" Feliciano asked when he visited once. "I couldn't imagine tending the house would make you stay for this long."
"There are other things," Romano answered vaguely. He didn't need Feliciano to know about the journals and stay with him to read over his shoulder. The journals were his private business. He had been Spain's henchman, not Feliciano, not France, not anyone. Feliciano opened his mouth but closed it and accepted it.
Spain's journals get lengthy and melancholic. Reading them reminded Romano of listening to sad songs. There were pages of loose paper with what read like love letters to an unknown receiver. They started out short and curt, with allusions to loss and frustration, but mellowed out to longing and regret. Romano did not want to think they were for him, because the idea made him curl a little inside, but eventually he cannot pretend he did not know after Spain ends one with a curly Romano.
I see you sometimes, sad, and I know I have to let you go sometime, but I never feel right when I see you hurt. I'm proud that you and Feliciano are becoming a nation of your own, but I always wish you did not have to leave me.
How did Spain ever start falling in love with such a useless nation like himself, Romano wondered. He perused the older journals but the line where Spain cared for him, and where Spain loved him blurred somewhere. The appearance of the love letters did not quite mark the date, as there were slight mentions and suggestions before. Romano did not remember feeling that sort of emotion toward him. He browses more recent entries, detailing bickering with America, "England's stupid ex-colony" and unrest in his own house.
When Romano can't stand sitting on the floor or curling up on the chair, he climbs into bed with Spain and holds the book over his head, reading as Spain sleeps next to him. When his eyes got tired, he let the books fall onto the bed and lay there. Spain's snores are low and soft.
"Why did you want me to read these?" Romano mused aloud, albeit in a whisper, as if he could really wake Spain. "Did you think I didn't know? That I've thought about it for a long while already." He scoffed. "I'm not like you; I noticed how you looked at me."
Spain concedes his quietly.
"You were too afraid to see my reaction, right?" Romano asked. "So you went to sleep? Coward." He wished Spain would say something, a hurt rebuttal or anything defensive. But Spain just slept on next to him, peaceful and satisfied. Romano scowled and scrambles out to take a shower.
I think Romano looks to me as a good Boss nowadays. He always comes to check up on me. Even though my economy is broken and other nations don't really look at me anymore, he always comes on Fridays to make sure I'm still alive, and if I'm eating fish during Lent. I'm so touched he still cares about Boss. He is a good henchman.
I saw Romano today at the World Conference~! He was wearing this cute black suit. I mean, we all wear suits now, but he looks really cute in it. There's only two ways you can look in a suit: professional, or good. I like to think I look like both. Because I'm the Boss. But Romano looks like he's in charge, or at least he can pretend he does (Romano scoffed, of course he is). He's changed from my little charge. I think that's a good thing.
Today Romano came over to help me with my tomatoes. He says he only comes by because of the tomatoes. Well, that's good, because I only grow them so he comes.
I've been thinking, that after all these years, I haven't told Romano really anything about us. He knows, and I know, everything that's happened to us. Sometimes you can never really stay away from the ones you grew up with. Look at America. "Special relationship" indeed. I don't know if I could tell Romano. Things would be different then. I like sitting around, eating and having siestas. If I told him, what if we couldn't do things like that anymore?
I've been tired lately. I don't think I'm dying. I hope not. Rome said that nations don't get tired when they die. They just feel it in their bones, the process of rotting. I feel completely fine. I wonder what this means~.
I can't really get through the day without sitting down often. Am I really that old? I should talk to China. He's much older than me. But he always seems so full of energy. I haven't really told anyone really about this because I don't want them to worry. If I keep smiling, maybe people won't notice.
And in fresher ink, Wow, I hadn't thought about how much I've been writing these centuries. It's kind of nostalgic. I thought I burnt all those letters. I was so stupid back then. I can't believe I haven't gotten all these logs into one place. I'd better do it. I'm feeling really tired! I think I'll go to sleep after I finish this entry. Hmm, I feel like I should say something important! What should I say? I don't want to waste a page on stupid England, or how Prussia should sometimes drink by himself. Or maybe how France should stop running around naked. Oh, I know!
Romano, I love you.
"You're stupid. You're so stupid, I don't know how you could have gone through all these years being so unequivocally stupid."
Spain almost nodded in his sleep. Romano smashed the journal page in his face.
"Why didn't you just tell me, you stupid fool?" When Spain doesn't respond, Romano continued. "I mean, I noticed. How couldn't I notice! You owe me lots of dinners for going through all this nonsense and wasting my time. Jerk." Throwing the book back into the box, he heard it make a final plunk into the rest of the books. "And…it's not like I like you back or anything, so don't get a stuffed head!"
It was siesta time, and Romano did not have to justify himself curling up and stealing the pillows. Spain of all people should have known that naps come without warning or need of explanation. "When I wake up, you'd better be up too or I'm going to kill you, bastard." Yawning, Romano turned away and activated his professional skill of becoming unconscious at will.
Beside him, Spain murmured something and shifted, throwing his arm over Romano's waist.
Note: I missed writing Spa/Roma! I couldn't get this idea out of my head, though. Haha, condensed Spanish history for the win. I still need to write my Nordic Xmas fic. Ho hum. Thanks for reading.