A/N: This was written as a fic exchange on the Itacest LJ community. Dedicated to couryielle. And despite the title, the fic is actually quite PG.
Disclaimer: I own Axis Powers Hetalia? Hahaha. Good one.
There he goes again.
It was quite late at night. The curtains were tightly drawn over the bedroom window, but the full moon still managed to cast a dim silvery light across the bed. It was a perfectly peaceful night as well; crickets could be heard chirping in the dark and the even the traffic noises from the large streets had died down. It was a calm night, no thunder or malevolent weather, nothing but the gentle breezes over the green lawn. Everything pointed to a wonderful night's sleep.
And Feliciano would have gladly seized the opportunity if it weren't for his brother sighing inches away from him.
The sound couldn't really be completely described as sighing. It was more of a grumble, a low growl, and an irritated sigh all rolled up and scrambled together to make a sound that clearly conveyed dissatisfaction. And it wasn't just one drawn out sound and that was the end of it, oh no, but a sound that repeated itself at frequent intervals. Complete with some tossing and turning.
Now Feliciano prided himself on being able to sleep through earthquakes. He prided himself on being able to sleep through thunder and distant cannon fire. And he was most proud that he could sleep through Ludwig's alarm clock.
But there was one noise that could never lull him to sleep and woke him up faster than the smell of almost-burnt pasta sauce on the stove: Lovino's dreaded sighs at night.
Feliciano would be awake for hours on end, curled up on the far side of bed, and staring sightlessly at the blank bedroom walls with bloodshot eyes until Lovino would quiet again. Long nights would be spent waiting like that, unable to fall asleep, but too timid to turn around and ask what was wrong. It was a noise he was acquainted with very well. It meant that Lovino was either extremely dissatisfied or angry, his ill temper bubbling beneath his olive skin and just waiting to be unleashed in the form of verbal abuse.
Lovino's face always seemed to put him at unease. It was a face that looked so similar to his own, yet couldn't be more different. For one, that mouth of his always seemed ready to turn down, spouting profanities from the same lips he used to flirt with the ladies. His eyebrows were almost always drawn into a tight scowl, though it didn't look quite as intimidating as Ludwig's. Those hazel eyes never seemed to brighten in happiness whenever they were together, always cloudy with disdain.
His insecurities when it came to his sour-faced brother were something he tried his hardest to keep a secret from the other nations, even from Ludwig and Kiku. It was something that truly unsettled him, how he could let his relationship with his brother become so estranged. Lovino wasn't his friend or ally, but his brother, and yet Feliciano had better relationships with his friends.
Without meaning to, he released a small sigh of his own, letting a rare look of discontent to settle on his face. If only he had enough courage to wrap his arms around Lovino and declare how much he loved him, instead of quivering on his side of the bed. He knew Lovino probably didn't even like him as much as Antonio or even share the same tastes, but he did agree to be unified all those years ago, so there must be at least some room in his brother's heart for him.
Feliciano squeezed his eyes shut, his head pounding. He couldn't sleep and he was afraid that if he confronted his brother, Lovino would start to strangle him again. Dimly, he wondered if Ludwig ever strangled Gilbert. Or if Alfred ever strangled Matthew. Or if Yao ever strangled Yong Soo. He almost grinned at the comical images in his head, but his expression quickly fell again.
His agony would have continued long into the night if it wasn't for Lovino suddenly speaking.
"I can't sleep."
His brother's voice startled him, but he quickly rolled over until he was facing Lovino. As usual, the southern Italian lay rigid on the bed, on his back, and with a scowl planted on his face.
"Eh? Why not?" Maybe Lovino wasn't as angry as he led on. Maybe he could finally get him to talk.
Lovino cracked open one hazel eye, fixing it on Feliciano's dim face in the dark. "How should I know? Today was just a horrible day."
Feliciano inched closer, almost feeling his brother's warm body heat under the covers. "Don't worry!" His mouth split into a wide smile, though he knew it was too dark to see. "We can go to the store tomorrow and buy some cheese and parsley and cook a delicious lunch together! Pasta and risotto and tiramisu for dessert and…"
Feliciano almost flinched at the words. Distress smothered him once more and Lovino's body heat suddenly felt suffocating. He buried his face into the blanket, softly murmuring, "Why do you hate me?"
His face burned, and he wished he hadn't said anything. His heart felt like it would burst from his chest. At least Lovino wasn't sighing anymore.
Quite unexpectedly, he felt a warm weight on his open palm underneath the covers and it took him a minute to realize that Lovino was holding his hand. "I don't hate you, Feliciano." The words were spoken through clenched teeth, but the tone held no spite. "And you're a dummy for thinking that I do."
Feliciano lifted his face from the blankets, unsatisfied. "Then how come you're never happy around me?"
"How can I be happy when I don't know when you'll be running off to your friends and leaving me all alone?" The sudden burst was accompanied by a firm squeeze of his hand.
So that was it. Feliciano froze in shock. All this time that he thought Lovino disliked him when his brother was just as insecure as he was. The simple explanation almost made him burst out in a fit of laughter. He should have known! They were very alike after all, except for the fact that Lovino couldn't paint to save his life. In one fell swoop, all the rainclouds were cleared from his mind and his heart felt as light as a feather, sailing towards the clear blue skies over the beaches of Liguria.
"And even that bastard Spain can get boring or running around with France doing God knows what. It wouldn't have been half as bad if it was tomato season, but the fields have long been harvested already and I – oof!"
Before he could finish, Feliciano had pounced.
He literally jumped into the arms of his brother, trapping him in a bear hug that bordered on awkward since Lovino was lying down. His full weight caused all the air to be squeezed out of the southern Italian's lungs, leaving them both breathless. He could already feel small tears of joy gathering at the corner of his eyes, and he inhaled deeply, relishing in the comforting cotton smell of his brother's tank top. He buried his nose further into Lovino's collarbone, and the scent of nutmeg and eggplants assaulted his senses. His brother's body heat encased him fully, wrapping him in a cocoon that he never wanted to leave.
When he raised his head again, his breath caught in his throat as he realized his face was only inches away from his brother's. Suddenly, he became painfully aware of how close they were, the soft cotton of Lovino's top rubbing against his own skin and the scrunched elastic waistband of Lovino's boxers indenting themselves into his waist. Lovino's eyes glittered in the dark, almost completely green, and staring into his own brown ones with such intensity that a flush crept into his cheeks. The warmth within his heart flared like a freshly stoked fire.
He would have continued to lay on top his brother, lost in his verdant gaze, if he wasn't suddenly interrupted.
"Che. You smell like pesto sauce." Lovino punctuated his statement with a quick wrinkle of his nose.
Feliciano couldn't help but giggle at that, his mouth blooming into a wide smile. "Say you love me, Lovino!" He all but gushed, all traces of his previous trepidation thrown out the window.
As expected, Lovino's countenance morphed into a scandalized expression. He gripped Feliciano by the shoulders, pushing. "Now look here, Feliciano! Just because I said that doesn't mean anything! You're just going to run off with that potato bastard and then Spain will get on my nerves agai– … Ch-chi-chigi!"
Lovino degenerated into a loud screech as he felt his hair curl tugged. A flush suddenly ran its course through his cheeks, leaving him flustered. He opened his mouth wide, about to unleash a thorough verbal abuse upon his brother when another tug left him speechless. He suddenly felt hot, too hot underneath the warm weight of Feliciano.
The northern Italian was grinning as if he had his face split in half. He had the audacity to let out a string of giggles, gripping his brother's hair curl in a tight fist. There was something ridiculously funny and cute seeing red bloom beneath Lovino's face, just like the color of his beloved tomatoes.
"Feli… What are doing…?" All fight left Lovino, but his shoulders became tense and his eyes turned glossy. "You know you shouldn't pull on that…"
Feliciano's face loomed in the dark, dangerously close. His brown eyes were wide open, tenderness pouring out from them even as he clutched his brother's hair curl like a hostage.
"If you won't say you love me, then give me a kiss."
Lovino's eyes widened to the size of saucers. The flush on his cheeks turned a shade darker and a strange tingling feeling flittered within his gut. His eyes zoomed onto the curve of Feliciano's mouth, capturing all the details of his soft and firm lips. It was just a kiss, one small peck and no big deal. But Lovino knew. He knew that nothing was ever a small deal when it came to him and Feliciano.
Those warm brown eyes beckoned him, and he squeezed his eyes shut, leaning forward until their lips touched.
Feliciano instantly let go of his brother's hair, pressing himself even closer against the body beneath him. He blushed as he felt himself deepening the kiss, his hot breath mingling with his brother's.
Finally, finally, a sigh of contentment escaped from Lovino and Feliciano knew he would never again curl up on the opposite side of the bed whenever he heard his brother's nighttime sighs. Gone were all the fears and insecurities that had constructed a barrier between them. Gone were all the doubts he had about his brother secretly despising him. Instead, he would happily let his brother grumble to his heart's content as he lay cuddled underneath Lovino's chin. That was how he was going to sleep from now on.
And even if Lovino had the urge to strangle him afterwards and call him a dummy in three different southern Italian dialects, the sunshine that was now glowing within his heart still didn't fade.
A/N: Cue the d'aww.