Character(s) or Pairing(s): HRE/Chibitalia, some GerIta if you squint, but it's really focused on the Italian family and friends
Warnings: human names used, dark themes such as war, war atrocities and death
"Penalty shoutout?" Feliciano whimpered. "I can't take it!" With a high-pitched whine, he buried his face in Lovino's Del Piero jersey with the number 10.
When Fabio Grosso scored smack dab in the centre of the goal as if scoring the decisive goal in a World Cup final was something he had been doing all his life, the whole Italian fan block exploded into pure joy. Feliciano and Lovino Vargas were right there in the middle of it, screaming the loudest.
"Aw, cute little Italy has grown up to be such a cradle-robber, kesesese!" Prussia wiped away an imaginary tear from the corner of his eye. "I'm proud of you!"
Feliciano's blush equaled the shade of red of big brother Antonio's tomatoes. That, however, was nothing compared to Ludwig's blush.
Feliciano ran like only an Italian nation in full retreat could run. Unfortunately, he was being chased by an Italian father hell-bent on catching the man who had desecrated his only daughter's innocence. He didn't stand a chance.
He was right there in the middle of history in the making, yet there were times he felt as if he were locked away in a tower, forced to do nothing but watch.
It was a choice between what he wanted and what his people needed. Although it hurt, it was a surprisingly easy decision to make.
"Germany! Germany! War imprisonment was horrible! England cooked for me!"
His children, his precious children, led like lambs to the slaughter for yet another boss's dream of glory. Feliciano wanted to weep, so he smiled.
58. Kick in the Head
"You kicked me."
Feliciano blinked innocently at Ludwig. "Ve?"
"You kicked me!"
Feliciano grinned unabashedly. "I told you not to play striker when I'm defending!"
59. No Way Out
His breath came in sharp little gasps, his legs burnt from exertion, but no matter how fast he ran, he could feel them coming closer – once he awoke, he didn't go back to sleep all night.
Ludwig called it Italian stupidity to waste drinking water in the desert on cooking pasta; Feliciano called it kindness. The least – the only thing – he could do for his boys was not to send them to their deaths on an empty stomach.
61. Fairy Tale
When he was young, he waited for Holy Roman Empire to come riding on a magnificent steed and sweep him off his feet.
Prussia and Lovino were glaring at another like they would best like to stab the other's eyes out with a hot needle. Feliciano pressed a hand against his mouth to stifle his squeal of: "Ve, how cute!"
63. Do Not Disturb
Austria hated to be disturbed by loud, clumsy children when he was playing music, but Feliciano would risk his wrath anyway to listen.
The sun shone mercilessly on Rome, heating up the air until not even open windows brought any relief. Lovino twisted on the bed and groaned; that small movement had already sapped all his strength. "I told you we should have gone to our summer house, idiot!"
Feliciano hummed cheerfully as he continued to throw paints and brushes into a bag. "I told you, silly, I want to capture Rome in the summer light!"
Feliciano buried his face against Ludwig's chest and whimpered. It was the last time Ludwig gave in to Feliciano wanting to watch a scary movie.
Feliciano may have looked silly with a bobble hat and mittens in the Italian colors, but nowhere near as silly as Lovino looked when the snowball hit him smack dab in the face.
To the sound of rolling drums, the army marched under the banner of their flag.
Feliciano felt his heart beat in synch with his brother's, pounding to the tune of 'freedom, freedom, freedom.'
For all his talks of being one, Feliciano thought Alfred didn't understand what being a hero truly entailed. In real life, heroes didn't get the girl and the happy ending, most of them fell into oblivion or disgrace. That is why Feliciano remembered them in the name of all his children.
"You're annoying," Lovino snorted and turned away. "I don't want to unite with a weak child like you!"
Feliciano smiled. Lovino hadn't said he wouldn't.
Feliciano was 67% certain he would get away this time with painting a moustache on Austria's favorite portrait.
With furrowed eyebrows, Feliciano watched Lovino's search for the perfect tomato and concluded that Ludwig was so lucky he didn't have any odd quirks like his brother.
When surrender became inevitable, Feliciano worried if Ludwig would think he had misled him. When he told Lovino of his fears, he snorted and said that they had both been misleading themselves all the time, pretending nations could be friends.
73. I. Can't.
He wished he could have made Holy Roman understand why he had to reject him. Other nations thought their people deserved to be at the top of the world, Feliciano thought of it as cruelty rather than a privilege.
It was when they tried to convince him that he would be better off without his brother that they learnt that Feliciano never backed down on the things that truly mattered to him.
Feliciano looked at the smiling face in the mirror and wondered why no one ever remembered that Venice was well-known for its masks.
Once, when he was small, he found a dove with a broken wing. He sneaked it into his room. Austria wouldn't approve of Feliciano bringing what he considered vermin into the house. Holy Roman caught him, but he begged and cried until he agreed to keep his secret. Feliciano would later learn that some things were beyond repair, but first, he would learn the joy of mending what was broken.
Feliciano thought it was a testament to the Italian brothers' strength that they bent, but never broke.
They drank wine until late into the night and made love in the first light of dawn.
Lovino cursed up a storm about some imaginary slight, Feliciano laughed at nothing in particular, Seborga was lost in daydreams. They met no conventional idea of a perfect family outing, but they wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else.
He talked and talked and talked even when he had nothing to say because there ere too many thoughts and feelings in him to keep them all confined within his own human body.
81. Pen and Paper
Treaties were nothing but ink on paper to the bosses; they never realized that they were signed with the blood, sweat and tears of their nations.
It was always "Veneziano and Romano" and Feliciano thought others might be bothered by always being mentioned in the same breath with someone else – he knew Lovino was – but he took comfort in it.
"Play for me, Austria," he would beg and let the music carry him back to simpler times.
When Lovino had a cold and Feliciano didn't, he would stay at his brother's bedside and fret and cry until Lovino grew tired of his theatrics and kicked him out. Lovino thought he was being melodramatic; Feliciano remembered that Grandpa Rome's decline had started innocuous, too.
The first time he witnessed a massacre he cried and puked his guts out until he fainted from exhaustion.
86. Seeing Red
Osman Empire shouldn't have mocked his love for Holy Roman.
He was so hungry, hungry for life and love and companionship and when he met Germany and Japan, he knew, though they didn't know it yet, that they were, too.
Feliciano cried the loudest over the smallest of pains.
89. Through the Fire
Sometimes he wondered if they had all lost their minds, to treat war like a game and laugh while their people were dying.
Feliciano owned a Stradivarius Antonio Stradivari had made just for him, but if he had to choose his favorite instrument, he would have picked his battered old triangle – the only instrument Austria had trusted him not to break.
He used to be afraid of drowning. That was before Holy Roman promised to save him.
Feliciano was a virgin, but he knew all about this most insidious weapon of war, for when the people suffered, the nation suffered as well.
"Iron will" was a funny saying. Everyone knew that iron would rust. It was a cold, dead thing. He preferred to be a tree, bending in the wind, green and alive.
There was nothing soft to Lovino's scowling features, but Feliciano preferred to look beneath the surface anyway.
When Feliciano came home with ten bottles of rose-scented bath salts and a complimentary yellow rubber duck, Lovino first had a conniption, then picked up one of the bottles and hit him over the head with it.
Feliciano danced in the storm until he was soaked from the rain. Ludwig scolded him, Kiku looked politely puzzled, but Lovino understood that he was trying to wash off the war.
He knew there was no true safety anywhere in the midst of a war, but when he was with Ludwig, he felt safe anyway.
Sometimes Ludwig would watch him for hours. Feliciano used to squirm under his gaze, until he realized that Ludwig was trying to figure out the puzzle he presented to him.
They had talked of old times and said their goodbyes, but now he stood here all alone, watching the murky grey sea, and feeling like having lost Holy Roman all over again.
A solemn promise: "I'll never stop loving you."