Hey guys. It's been a while. D:
Sorry I took so long to update. A bunch of... stuff happened. And I was going to save this until I'd finished writing the next chapters for all of my fics, and then have an update-fest, but last night I had a nightmare about one of you coming to kill me because it was taking so damn long, so... y-yeah. Pl-please don't really kill me...
Hooray, a disclaimer that's actually not redundant, for once. This one has to do with Italy and Romano's boss. I was really hoping not to use a name, but due to issues with the rhetoric I ended up using one anyway. The figure known as "Italy's boss" is not meant to reflect any real politicians, past or present. I wanted a sort of comical outtake on this guy, and I'm pretty sure the real Berlusconi isn't like this, so just imagine a half-bald plump guy in his place… or something. "Italy's boss" is not meant to insult Italians or the Italian government, so please have a sense of humour about this…
In short, the mistake is not in writing Berlusconi as a goof, it's in calling this goof I've made up, "Berlusconi." 'Kay~? ^^
Silvio Berlusconi was about as happy as a boy who'd received My Little Ponies for Christmas. In fact, Romano mused, the look on his boss's face was exactly like the one he himself had had that time America sent him the exploding pie. (Said American was later seen head-walling in frustration after hearing England's voicemail thanking him for the wonderful pasta.) He took a sip of coffee and waited while Berlusconi gathered his thoughts. Beside him, Italy was huddled in his chair, hugging his knees to his chest while making weird whimpering noises. Germany (bah, why'd the potato bastard have to show up too?) sat in the corner with his arms folded. Berlusconi looked from Romano to Italy to Germany to the aspirin bottle on the shelf and back again. Finally, he spoke. "This… how exactly did this happen, again?"
"England said it was 'cause of a shooting star," Italy replied, turning to Germany, who nodded in confirmation. "Ve, I thought shooting stars were supposed to be good!"
"Well, apparently you thought wrong," Romano muttered under his breath. Berlusconi just sighed and buried his face in his hands.
"Ve, please don't be mad at us, boss…" Italy gave him a kicked-puppy look.
"I'm—not. Not yet, at least," he said, disdainfully eyeing the brothers' sloppy attire. "Now, why don't you two go and—and file paperwork or something? I've got a lot on my plate as it is." Without waiting for them to reply, he ushered them to the door and hurriedly closed it behind them. Then, with a sigh, he massaged his temples in an attempt to stave off the migraine he felt coming. "Good lord, what is going on with the world these days?"
He whirled around and almost had a heart attack when he found himself staring into a grumpy-looking German face. "DIO MIO! I'm sorry! Don't hurt me! What do you want?" he blurted, cowering against the wall. Then, when he'd gotten over the initial shock, "Haven't you ever heard of personal space?"
Germany blinked. "Oh. Sorry," he mumbled, backing away awkwardly when he realized how uncomfortable he was making the prime minister.
Berlusconi coughed. "A-anyway, why are you still here? Aren't you going with Feliciano?"
"Actually…" Now it was Germany's turn to look uncomfortable. He really didn't like talking about such matters, but it would have to be done sooner or later, and since he was here already, he might as well get it over with. He cleared his throat. "Well, sir…
"There's something I'd like to discuss with you…"
Romano and Italy stood by the door, looking uncertainly at each other. Italy opened his mouth. "Ve—"
"Don't—even—say it," Romano growled, crossing his arms over his chest. Damn that stupid Spain for making him wear this stupid bra! As though he wasn't self-conscious enough as it was! Still, he supposed, it was better than having his nipples show through his shirt—wait, why was he agreeing with the tomato bastard? "A-anyway," he mumbled, feeling his face grow warm, "I guess we should get—huh? What's wrong?" Italy's eyes had gone as wide as dinner plates and he was whimpering again as he fidgeted in distress. "Feli, are you okay?"
Without warning, Italy seized him by the shoulders and started babbling hysterically.
"GYAAAAAAAAHHHH! WHAT THE HELL, VENEZIANO!"
"N-Nii-chan! Help me! I-it's coming out! My blood is coming out! I'm s-scared!"
"Your WHAT? WHAT?"
"Veeeeeee, it's all warm and gross and stuff! Wh-what if it leaks? I don't want Japan's flag on my undies! Ve, what should I do?"
"Do I go to the men's room or the women's?"
Romano stood there, stunned, his jaw hanging agape in astonishment. "Wh—"
"Ve, Nii-chan, come with me, I don't wanna go there alone!" He grabbed Romano's hand and started dragging him in the direction of the restroom.
"Whuh… I don't… What on earth… B-blood?..."
Berlusconi coughed. "You want to what?"
A flustered Germany struggled to repeat himself. "I-I want—er, that is, F-Feli and I—we—um—"
"Never mind, never mind; I heard you the first time." The prime minister leaned back in his chair with a sigh. "Oh, you nations… I swear, you're becoming more and more human every day. First marriage, and now…" A dejected look crossed Germany's face. "I'm not saying you can't! It's just…" He sighed again. "Look, having children is a huge responsibility. Feliciano just doesn't seem like the kind of person who'd be able to handle it." He paused. "Mentally or physically."
"Wh-what do you mean, sir?"
"I'm saying I couldn't care less about his childish idiocy—he's improved over the years, you seem to be a good influence on him—but having a baby would put a lot of strain on his body. Perhaps too much, especially with the economic crisis right now." He looked Germany in the eye. "I just don't want him to put his health on the line, that's all. I really think you should give this a lot of thought before deciding to do anything."
Germany nodded. "I understand."
"Remember, I haven't disagreed," Berlusconi continued, dropping his formal tone of voice. "What you do from here on is entirely up to you. But you'll be sure to tell me the good news, si?" He grinned. Germany's blush deepened. "Va bene, Signore Beilschmidt, if you'll excuse me, I have a ton of work to get through today. I'm glad we had this talk, though." He began ruffling through a stack of papers on his desk. "…Signore Beilschmidt?"
"Those idiot brothers have been awfully quiet. That usually means they've landed themselves in some kind of trouble. Would you mind keeping an eye on them?"
Germany sighed as he headed for the door. "No, sir. That's why I came here today, after all…"
"Oh," said Romano. "That blood."
"V-ve," came Italy's voice from the bathroom stall. "Sorry…"
"You should be, jerk," Romano huffed, folding his arms. "You could've just told me you were h-having your p-p-period..." He gulped. "I-instead of screaming in my ear like a moron." Right, he thought. And bringing me all the way here without explaining what the hell was going on. And then deciding you were too good for the women's side, and making me chase out all the men that were in here. And then having me stand outside here as though I have nothing better to do than make sure poor ickle Veneziano doesn't get peeped on while he does… does… wh-whatever he's doing. He paced around outside the cubicle, muttering oaths under his breath.
"B-but Doitsu told me not to tell anyone," Italy protested. Then, more cautiously, "Ve, are you mad at me?"
"Of course I am! Now hurry up or I'll kick the damn door down!" He banged on the door to emphasize his point, eliciting a frantic squeal from Italy.
"I'm hurrying! I'm hurrying!" The toilet flushed, and a moment later the younger nation emerged, a disturbed expression on his face. Romano scowled as his brother sent him a strange look while washing his hands.
"…Nii-chan, y-you're not having yours?"
Italy looked away awkwardly. "Your, um… you know…"
Romano's face turned red. "Well—no," he mumbled, suddenly finding the tiles on the floor very interesting. "Sh-should I be?"
There was a pregnant pause. The brothers stared at each other uncomfortably. A full minute passed, the silence broken only by the sound of water from the tap.
Finally, Italy said in a small voice, "L-let's go do work, ve?"
Romano nodded jerkily. "Y-yeah." His blush deepened. "Please."
As he and Italy headed back outside (Italy looking a little more deflated than usual), he couldn't help but cast a suspicious glance down at his stomach. His brow furrowed.
To Germany's surprise, Italy wasn't the cranky, whiny wreck he thought he'd be. In fact, apart from being a little gloomier than usual, he barely seemed affected at all—except for a certain reluctance to get up from his seat, but then again, Germany wouldn't be so keen on standing up either if he kept feeling warm wet stuff between his legs. The Italian spent his morning chattering incessantly to Romano (who, judging by the weird way he kept looking at him, had probably found out about Italy's, er, condition) while the two sorted out paperwork. "Ve, Doitsu, look what I found! It's boss's pictures he took while he was on vacation!"
"Good grief, put that away!" Romano snapped, snatching the photos from him. "Don't you have better things to do than giggle at someone's photos of… him in a tacky Hawaiian shirt… screaming his head off on a roller coaster…" He riffled through the pictures, an eyebrow raised in amusement. "Pretending to lean against Big Ben… canoeing… throwing paper airplanes from the Eiffel Tower…"
"Ve! Here's one of him on a camel!"
"Psh, camels are boring. Look at this! He's tanning on the beach at Thailand's place!"
"That's boring too, ve!"
Germany sighed. "Shouldn't you two be doing work?"
"Ew! He's picking his nose in this one!"
"Ve, let me see!"
"…Or not." Germany facepalmed.
Eventually, their sneak glimpse into their boss's personal life was cut short when the prime minister himself stormed in and confiscated the offending photos, trying not to appear too embarrassed when Romano made snide remarks about his Superman pose in front of the Parthenon. Italy tried to hug him in apology—which only ended up with an even more flustered Berlusconi and a comment from Italy about how his breasts were sore—would Doitsu please massage them after work? At which point Germany blushingly mumbled something and pretended not to hear, Romano smacked his brother on the head for saying that so publicly, and Berlusconi… apparently vanished into thin air.
They were having lunch in the courtyard when a group of men (and here Germany immediately went on full alert) came by. "Feliciano! Lovino!" one of them greeted, as Romano gasped and turned his body away from them. "Hey! We heard about what happened. Are you guys doing okay?"
"Ve!" Italy chirped. "Of course I'm fine!" Romano just sent them an ugly look.
"Haha, well, that's good!" The man caught Germany's eye and gave a small wave. Germany inclined his head in reply. "Actually, we were just talking about how we haven't had a proper conversation with you two in such a long time! You don't come to work very often, after all. But hey, since you're here: we're heading to Alberto's after work today. If you want to, you can join us, and we'll catch up over a drink or two! What do you say?" He looked at Germany and Romano. "Signore Beilschmidt? Lovino?"
A dark look crossed Romano's face. "I have… business to take care of," he mumbled, looking strangely perturbed. "Sorry."
"But it sounds fun!" said Italy. He turned to Germany. "And Doitsu likes beer, right?"
Germany didn't like where this was going one bit. He thought about flat-out refusing their offer, but those were Feli's colleagues, after all, and he didn't want to seem like a control freak by making Italy's decision for him. Still, he wondered if he should remind Feliciano of all the reasons he shouldn't go… like the fact that he would draw stares in his ill-fitting uniform… or that he'd end up doing something unladylike, like flirt with other girls… not to mention, he was on his period… goodness knew what kind of complications that would bring…
He snapped to attention as Italy turned to him. Silently, he prayed that Feli would miraculously have one of those rare Moments of Actual Common Sense and realize why going would be a bad idea. O-or maybe becoming female would somehow magically make him think more responsibly (fat chance; wasn't that an American stereotype?). This last hope promptly took a running leap out the window when the Italian suddenly started grinning like a five-year-old being offered a lollipop.
"Ve, let's go drinking tonight!"
Germany facepalmed. Ohhhhh crap.
Still scared of you guys, s-so I'll refrain from s-saying anything. o_o