In the Closet
Italy wandered the halls of Germany's house looking for pasta. There hadn't been any in the kitchen, so he had to assume Germany had left it somewhere else and forgot to tell him because there was no way any house could not have pasta in it, am I right?
As he searched every room without his pasta senses tingling once, Italy contemplated if Germany would mind him going through his house while he was out training with his own military.
"Oh, I'm sure it will be fine!" Italy giggled to himself as he checked the bathroom. No pasta. "Germany won't mind if he comes home to a big bowl of pasta! That always makes me feel good, right?"
So he continued his search. While some might get discouraged after the first and second floors yielded no pasta, Italy knew that Germany had a dark scary basement. He had been avoiding it in the hopes the pasta would be somewhere less cob webby, but when one is desperate for pasta, sacrifices must be made!
Flipping on the light switch, Italy gulped and looked down the stone steps. It was strange that these steps were stone, the rest of Germany's house was done up in wood. Italy had never been to Germany's basement before, and he only knew it was there because Germany's brother Prussia showed him once when he had expressed interest in a tour of the house (though Prussia seemed very intent on getting Italy to go into the basement with him that day Italy had refused in fear. It was really scary! But today there was pasta on the line!)
Italy hesitated on the top step, but after a moment his head perked up. Something deep inside him seemed to buzz to life in a sort of inward glow and his mouth began salivating. There was pasta down there- he just knew it.
Resolved, Italy knew he had to suck it up and go and get the pasta. Still, he crept down the stairs in echoing slowness, frequently shivering as he did so. But... didn't Prussia say he lived in Germany's basement? He was out today, but you would think it would be nicer looking down there if that's where Prussia lived. It was so dark and musty.
Italy shivered. It was cold too.
Still, the pasta tingle grew stronger as he reached the bottom of the stairs and looked around. Immediately he felt a little better, as he could easily see now where Prussia lived. The room still had a creepy stone motif, but there was a bed, television, video game system and a small adjoining sitting-room type area. There was even a mini fridge, no doubt stocked with German beer, and a computer where Prussia updated his blog. It was dark down there, but it wasn't so scary with Prussia's stuff lying around and Italy breathed a sigh of relief before continuing to look for his beloved pasta.
He was about to check in the cupboards near the mini fridge when he suddenly froze. His head turned to one side and he noticed a strange black, wooden door in the wall next to an open door housing a bathroom. The closed black door was engraved with a large cross that for some reason seemed familiar to the Italian, though where he'd seen it before he wasn't quite sure.
But there was one thing certain about that door, and that was that his pasta senses detected his food of choice beyond it. His pasta was hiding inside there.
With a nod of determination, Italy hurried to the door and tried opening it, but found it locked. He pulled on it, pushed on it, shook it, tried sliding it, but nothing could make the door budge. Italy was not a strong nation.
But when it came to his beloved pasta, he could become very fierce.
"PAAAAASTAAAAAA!" Italy screamed, rushing at the door head first from across the room. His brother could summon up strength when his tomatoes were in danger and Italy could always summon strength for pasta. The door smashed.
In the middle of the training ground where Germany was barking orders at his soldiers the man froze, his eyes wide and he began to shake.
"G-Germany? Are you okay?" one of his soldiers asked, noticing that the blond haired commander had broken out into a sweat and his eyes were bugging out of their sockets.
Suddenly his jaw dropped and he screamed, "!"
"Germany?" Italy's head perked up a little, thinking for a moment he heard his muscular companion but shrugged it off quickly as his imagination and scoured the room, or rather, the little walk in closet. There were crosses adorning the walls much like the one on the door. Hanging on a hook was a piece of black material, perhaps a children's robe. There were some canvases turned towards the walls and everything was covered in a thick layer of dust.
"Ve~ how strange... oh, PASTA!" Italy said gleefully noticing several packages of pasta sitting in the corner. He skipped toward it in happiness, but suddenly felt the ground give away under him as his foot struck something that snapped. He flailed a bit before falling and turned to notice he had tripped over a small push broom.
"Ve~ but why would a push broom be in the center of the floor?" Italy asked in confusion. Before he pursued the mystery, Italy inspected the pasta. "Oh... this is very old pasta, I cannot make anything with this..." Italy make a sad face and sighed. Apparently Germany had been really hungry earlier and had eaten all the pasta in the house! It was the only explanation that made sense.
Turning his small attention span back to the now-broken push broom on the floor, Italy wondered if Germany would be mad that he had snapped it.
"Where did Mr. Germany go?"
"He just started screaming 'Italy' and ran away; I think he's going home for the day."
"So... we can break for beer?"
"I... I think so."
"AWESOME," said the soldier who was obviously of Prussian decent.
Italy was about to take a curious peek at one of the canvases in the closet when he heard doors slamming and running upstairs.
"Veeee~?" Italy questioned when suddenly there was a motion blur and Germany stood before him, breathing hard and very red in the face. "Germany? Where did you come from?"
"Why are you in this room? How are you in this room? It's been locked for... I don't know how long... I forgot it was even here!" Germany ran his fingers through his hair, which had become dishevelled during his race.
"Weeeeeell, I came over to visit you Germany! But Prussia told me that you were out training and said I could wait here but he was going out with Spain and Big Brother France! Then I got hungry and went to make pasta but I guess you must've eaten all your pasta before I got here because I checked your whoooole house and didn't find any! But then I braved the really scary basement that turned out not to be so scary and I saw this room and knew there was pasta in here! So I broke down the door and here I am! But the pasta was old. We should go get some pasta, Germany!" Italy explained cheerily. Germany grimaced.
"Italy... you know as well as I do how the houses of nations work, right?" Germany sighed.
"Ve~ of course I do Germany! They hold relics and memories from our pasts! Each room usually holds special memories, especially closets! Oh... oh this room was locked, right Germany?" suddenly Italy looked very apologetic, "I'm sorry, was this a painful memory I unlocked for you?"
Germany winced. "W-well I... I guess a little... it seems to have faded a bit since it opened, so I guess it wasn't so bad just... what's that on the floor?"
Italy glanced behind him. "Oh, it's just a little broom I accidently stepped on. Sorry!"
Germany gaped. "WHAT?" He pushed Italy aside and fumbled to pick up the pieces of the broom, hands shaking as he did so.
"G-Germany? It was only a broom... are you mad at me?" Italy asked worriedly.
"Th-this broom... this broom was... important... damn it, I can't remember why but it was definitely important!" Italy stared at Germany's back and then slowly walked around the larger nation to see his face. A look of shock passed over the Italian's face.
"Ve~ G-Germany? Are you crying? You have tears in your eyes... I'm very sorry, don't cry Germany," Italy said softly. He wasn't quite sure what to do. He was always the one crying, he didn't know how to comfort someone else who was upset.
Germany was merely silent, though he did reach up and wiped his eyes fiercely with his shirt sleeve. They were quiet for a moment before Germany stood, leaving the broom pieces on the ground.
"Well I... I guess now that it's broken I'll never know what it was for," Germany shook his head, seeming to be getting over his momentary overwhelmed feeling. "It was a long time ago anyway."
Italy looked relieved that Germany had gotten over whatever was making him so sad. "Ve~ I'm glad you're alright Germany! So we can go get pasta now right?"
Germany sighed. "Sure, why not?"
"YAHOO!" Italy yelled and threw a triumphant fist into the air. He bolted from the room and hopped up and down outside the doorway.
"Hey, slow down!" Germany snapped, marching out after Italy. He had to remember to get a door for this room since Italy broke the one that had been in place for so long. Honestly, most of the memories in that room were best left locked away and forgotten. Sadly, some part of him thought that the broom might've been one of the few good memories left there. But it was too late now.
As they were climbing the stairs to the first floor, Italy turned around and asked, "Hey Germany? What was that room for anyway?"
"Oh?" Germany blinked, "Well I'd forgotten until it was open, but that room has my things from when I was the Holy Roman Empire. But that was a very long time ago, it really doesn't have any bearing on my life now so I just shut up the memories about it."
"Holy Rome? That sounds familiar for some reason..." Italy said with a frown.
"Well... I suppose you might've been born at the time... maybe you heard of me? But really, it wasn't a time I'm especially proud of, you can forget about it," Germany said firmly as they ascended the last step and began heading for the front door.
"Ve~ okay Germany!" Italy said agreeably dropping the subject. He really just wanted some pasta after all.
Germany sighed as the two headed for the nearest restaurant that served the Italian's favourite food. Honestly, that kid had to stop nosing through his things all the time. He really didn't need that room open, there was too much pain. Wars and battles that didn't need remembering of course, but there were also some paintings in there that brought to mind feelings he never wanted to experience again. For some reason the name of that little girl he loved so long ago was lost to him, maybe it was in that broom, he didn't know, but those paintings... he remembered that girl that rejected him no matter what he did to pursue her.
He would have to replace that door. Memories like that should just stay in the closet.
"Hurry up Germany!" Italy called from ahead. Germany was jerked from his thoughts to see Italy smiling and waving a ways in front of him. Why did that boy only become faster than him when running away or when there was food involved? It was just idiotic.
"I told you to slow down! This isn't a race!" Germany snapped. For a second he remembered he had left his soldiers on the training field alone, but he reasoned that his men would know to continue drills until he returned or until it was the set time to quit.
"WOO! PASS THE BIER NUTS!"
"HEY! ROLF TOOK HIS PANTS OFF!"
Yes, Germany's troops were diligent, they would be fine. Contenting himself with that thought, Germany followed his ally into the restaurant and the two sat in one of the booths in the corner. Italy quickly ordered one of the endless bowls of spaghetti while Germany ordered steak and mashed potatoes, thanking God for diverse menu options.
As they waited for their food however, Germany noticed that Italy was strangely quiet. He glanced at his one and only friend and noticed with alarm that there was a strange expression on his face that he'd never seen before. It took him a moment, but it slowly dawned on the German what that expression meant.
"I-Italy, are you... thinking?" Germany asked, bemusement evident. He didn't mean to sound so insulting, but the tone was lost on the boy who couldn't read the mood if his life depended on it.
"Huh?" Italy's head jerked up and his face fell into the much more familiar expression of confusion. "Oh, well, yes! S-sorry, I know you said to not worry about it, but I'm trying to remember why the name Holy Rome is so familiar."
Germany looked suddenly uncomfortable. "W-well like I said, you probably heard it before, I don't know, even with the closet open I don't remember everything. I mean I'd probably remember more if I actually looked at the objects in there but I really don't think that's necessary."
"Ve~, well if you say so," Italy still looked like he might be thinking though, which was rather disconcerting to Germany. It was highly unusual.
They sat in silence until the food arrived and Italy was quick to devour a bowl full before asking for a second. Germany was glad he'd worked out with Italy that he would stop ordering pasta when the German was finished his meal. It was only polite, not to mention it was the only thing that would prevent them from getting Italy banned from every restaurant in Germany that offered endless pasta bowls.
Once finished eating, the two headed back to Germany's house. Germany offered to brew some coffee for the two of them and Italy quickly agreed. As Germany began taking out mugs however, Italy excused himself for the bathroom.
As strange as it was though, Italy did not return to the kitchen after visiting the facilities. No, instead he found himself inexplicably drawn back to the basement steps.
"Ve~ I don't know why, but I really want to visit Germany's Holy Rome room again. Maybe if I do I will remember why I know the name!" Italy hurried down the steps. "I'm sure Germany will not be angry, after all, perhaps he and I were friends and forgot about it! I'm sure it will only make us closer! Except..." Italy's run slowed as he approached the gaping doorway into the room he sought. "What if we... what if we weren't friends though?"
If they weren't friends... what if Holy Rome and he were not friends at all? Would that hurt Italy and Germany now? No... no they were friends now, Germany said all this was long ago, he wouldn't hold any grudges so long! Italy didn't think anybody had a real grudge against him from back then anyway, he always did his best to do what everyone else told him so as not to get hurt!
So Italy bluntly walked into the room and immediately went to the canvas in the back corner. There was no way it could hold anything that would ever change Italy and Germany's friendship! He flipped around the canvas and looked at the image. His normally closed eyes flung wide open.
"Wh-what?" Italy looked back down at the canvas, his child self imprinted upon it in a perpetual doze. The Italian boy wondered what this could possibly mean. Why would Holy Rome have a picture of him as a child? "Oh, perhaps we were friends! Oh, but I really want to remember now! Maybe if I show this to Germany he will remember us being friends and he can tell me so I'll remember too ve~!"
With that, Italy dashed upstairs to the kitchen, clutching the painting to his chest.
"Germany! Look what I found!" Italy said breathlessly.
Germany groaned. "You took long enough, I thought you'd gotten your foot stuck in the toilet and I'd have to rescue you again. What it is?" he looked at the picture Italy was holding and suddenly went very red in the face. "Wh-why did you go back to that room?"
"Oh no! Germany's scary!" Italy screamed, hiding his face behind the picture. "I'm sorry! I-I'll go put it back, I just... I wondered if you remember why you had a painting of me is all!"
Germany was about to yell again but stopped before a sound could pass his lips. His jaw worked soundlessly a few times before he managed to squeak out, "A-a picture of... you?"
"V-ve... yes..." Italy peeked out from behind his make shift shield.
"But Italy, that's of a girl, you're a boy, th-that doesn't make sense!" Germany said, his cheeks still very flushed.
"Oh no Germany, that's what I looked like back when I lived with Austria! He thought I was girl and had me wear girl clothes and I guess Hungary also dressed me in them too but I didn't know everyone thought I was a girl until waaaay later, it's crazy right? Only it was all okay cause when my voice broke Austria got me boy clothes so he wouldn't look like some kind of perverted freak!"
Germany simply stared, dumbfounded, unable to figure out how to put all the thoughts going through his head into words. Italy was that girl? But that girl was... he had loved... but she didn't love him back... and... Italy was that girl? Useless Italy? The pain in the neck who h-he'd hit on multiple occasions? Who he'd forced to train harder than he'd likely trained in his life? Italy didn't seem to remember Germany chasing him as Holy Rome. S-so... what should he do now? Did he tell Italy he couldn't remember and then maybe burn the picture, or at least wall it up again so he wouldn't need to remember? Only... only he would still remember now, it was out of the room, staring him in the face, connected to present to day- to ITALY. I-Italia. Oh... he remembered. He remembered her name. Italia. Italy.
"Mein Gott..." Germany breathed finally, still having no clue how to respond properly.
"U-um, it's okay if you don't remember, Germany. M-maybe I'll ask Austria! He might remember, he remembers more about me when I was little than even I do!" Italy said with a sad smile. He had been hoping Germany could tell him, but Austria worked too.
"N-nein!" Germany gasped out. Austria? No, he couldn't have Italy find out like that! "N-no I-I remember! I... we were... friends! Y-yes, I was Holy Rome and we were friends! Th-that's all! That's all you need to know!"
"Ve~ I'm glad!" Italy said cheerfully. And he was glad. Him and Germany would be friends forever now!
"Y-yes... I'm glad too..." Germany said softly. Though he was far from glad. Yes... friends... they'd be friends forever... he supposed that girl he knew would be forever lost now. If she didn't love him then, how could Italy love him now? "Um, how about we put that picture away now?"
"Okay Germany!" Italy said and the two headed back to the basement. Inside the room, Italy leaned the canvas back against the wall he'd moved it from. However, this time it faced the room.
"Er... it wasn't facing that way before Italy," Germany tried to said this with more ferocity, but couldn't seem to find any will to yell at Italy right now. In fact, he found the idea of it almost sickening to him. He couldn't understand why. Even if it turned out in some strange twist of fate that Italy had been his first love (and in truth, his only love... but still!) then Italy now was a very different person. He shouldn't connect the two... though now that he had he was noticing the similarities. He could not recognise Italy's signature curl on his Italia's head. The same drooping eyes, the same cute expression when sleeping- did he just think of Italy as cute?
"Oh, but I thought it could face the room, don't you think I look cute as a child, Germany?" Italy looked at Germany with a rather self conscious face. Germany was horrified to find himself blushing again.
"N-no I... yes I... you were... w-well all children are cute! Just leave it as it is then!" Germany managed to stammer out.
Italy nodded looking happy again and looked down at the floor where the pieces of broom were still lying. With a frown he leant down and picked them up. He paused and frowned. "Y-you know... Germany... it's weird. I know this is your memory room, but this broom almost feels like it's a memory for me too you know? Now that I'm holding it I mean. Crazy right?"
"J-ja..." Germany said slowly. A memory he shares with Italy? Or... Italia... why had he kept a push broom so long?
"I wonder..." Italy looked at Germany and handed him one piece of the broom. "Let's fit them together and see if we remember anything ve~!"
Germany's eyes widened. Remembered... what if Italy remembered him pursuing him? What would that mean for their current friendship? Well... it was Italy... maybe he wouldn't think anything of it, but even Germany knew Italia had been terrified of him as a child...
Still, he could think of no way on such short notice to refuse Italy's innocent request and took the broom half with sweaty hands. "J-ja."
"Hooray!" Italy smiled and the two nations held out their halves of the broom, slowly fitting the two together perfectly.
The two stared at each other.
A cobblestone path outside Austria's house came to their minds. A broom passing between their hands. A plea. A confession. A... a kiss.
Germany's cheeks flushed bright red. Italy began trembled. The broom pieces fell from their hands and onto the floor, breaking apart but the memory remaining.
"Y-you..." Germany brought his hand up to his mouth, ghosting his fingers over his lips as if he could still feel Italia's there.
"G-G-G-G-Germany?" Italy stumbled backwards, swallowing fiercely. "I-I... H-Holy Rome you... w-why did you never come back?"
"I-Italy I..." Germany stumbled over his words, "I always wanted to come back but... the Holy Roman Empire dissolved in the wars and my only hope was to be instated as the forming country of Germany, if I didn't then I would've vanished but that meant that I... that I had to lock Holy Rome away for good. Prussia helped me through that, that's why I gave up some of my strength and let him become East Germany when his country dissolved, I owed him for then but... I really did mean to come back Italy!" Germany's hands shot out awkwardly and gripped Italy's shoulder's a tad too tightly, earning a small 'eep' from the shorter nation.
"O-oh well... I guess I forgive you then..." Italy said softly, a slight pink shade tinged his cheeks. "U-um, so... what happens now?" he looked at his blond friend imploringly, cocking his head to one side.
"I-I don't know," Germany admitted, removing his hands from Italy's shoulders. "I-I thought you were a girl when we were young... and I was different too so... I don't even know if it would work now, I mean, d-do you even still... er, I mean..."
"Do I still what Germany?" Italy asked in confusion, "I know I'm a boy now, if that's what you're asking..."
"N-no of course not!" Germany snapped harshly, causing the other boy to wince. Germany closed his eyes and forced himself to calm down. He didn't need to keep reminding Italy of how scary he knew he could be. "I mean... you don't... still want to wait for Holy Rome do you? Now that you... now that you know it's me?"
Italy stared at Germany for a moment, and a rare moment of comprehension seemed to dawn on him. "Oh! You want to know if I still love you? Of course I still love you Holy Rome! Even if you are Germany, I promised I'd wait didn't I? And I did! Well, I did sleep with a lot of women, but never another boy, or another nation, because I waited for you!"
Germany growled. "Dating human women still counts as cheating you know!" Italy looked heartbroken and Germany immediately felt like an ass. "Er... though I suppose you did still wait a long time and forgave me so... I forgive you too."
"Oh good!" Italy said clapping his hands. "So we can pick up where we left off now right? Just like old times!"
Germany's face lit up brighter than before. "Wh-what? J-just like that? B-but Italy we haven't seen each other for so long, er, well we've had a very different relationship for a long... I mean, p-pick up from where exactly?"
"From here silly!" Italy laughed and leapt at Germany, pressing his lips tightly against the blonde's. The two stayed together like that for a long moment before Italy drew away, beaming. Germany on the other hand looked highly embarrassed though not in the least unhappy about it as the tiny smile tugging at the corner of his mouth was telling him.
Suddenly a harsh voice ripped from the other room. "FINALLY! It's about time you got Italy into that damn room, I've been trying to get him down here for ages, now you can finally get laid and quit being such an uptight workaholic am I right? Obviously I'm right, cause I'm that awesome."
"B-bruder? What are you doing here?" Germany jumped and turned to see the albino smirking at them from the doorway.
"Ve~, hello Prussia!" Italy waved, earning a bright grin back at him.
"I live down here, thanks to you, duh," Prussia rolled his eyes, "Now get upstairs and get to fucking, France and Spain will be here in a bit for a good old fashion threesome and I don't need you two awkward love birds in the middle mucking up our sync okay?"
"W-we're not going to go that far just yet!" Germany croaked out, still in shock.
"Oh, sorry to disturb you! Come on Germany, we should get out of the way ve~!" Italy grabbed Germany's wrist and pulled him out of the room and up the stairs. In the kitchen, Italy quickly wrapped his arms around the waist of the still stunned German.
"I-Italy, w-what are you doing?" Germany hissed, completely out of his element and trying to figure out if he liked it or not.
"I'm hugging you silly, I do it all the time! Only now I guess it's different... I'm just really glad you're back! We can be together now, I'm so happy! Oh, remember when you proposed to me in world war two? That was crazy right? And I said no and you were all sad... oh I'm really sorry about that by the way, I was just still waiting for Holy Rome right? Only I didn't really remember it was Holy Rome, I only sort of remembered his face, that's why I didn't get it with just the name, only it was you all along Germany! I'm so glad it was you, because I was scared for a while I would end up giving in and loving you and then Holy Rome would come back and I wouldn't have waited and I'm so sorry!" Italy's excited speech turned into tears and Germany had no idea how to react to this outburst.
Well, he had one idea, but it was more France's thing to implement it, he wasn't good at this kind of thing at all really...
But still, Italy was worried, and he'd been really hurtful to his Italia now that he thought about it. He'd promised never to bully her... him... again, now that he thought about it. He had a lot to make up for.
So, he threw his normal embarrassed nature to the wind and pulled Italy's chin up, pulling him into a fierce kiss before gently licking the tears away with his tongue, surprising even himself at trying such a thing. It was a little spur of the moment, he'd only meant to kiss him.
"Th-there's nothing to be sorry for," Germany said softly, so softly, the tiniest of smiles on his lips. Yes, he decided, he liked it.
"Oh good, I'm happy!" Italy said, once again looking cheerful. Germany sighed at the mood swing and pulled the Italian to him in a hug, earning a surprised squeak from him which wasn't long followed by two arms encircling him as well.
Germany decided he was pretty happy too.
((Joyful Note: This feels cliché and disjointed. But I had to write it because... well I had to. It was bothering me even though I knew I had no time to give it the multi-chapter story it deserves. If anyone wants to steal this idea and make a multi-chapter fic of it go ahead, don't even bother to tell me, I just know it deserves more than this... *sigh* And I swear, manual fic update is coming by the end of the week, PROMISE.))