Author's Notes: Okay, really hoping I don't offend someone with this. Eep. This involves a lot of history references, but mostly widely-known ones so don't worry.
Warning: This contains a good deal of referencing/alluding to what happened in WWII; Fascism, Nazism, etc. Be careful
Germany doesn't talk to him very much anymore.
"Doitsu," he ambushes the man after the EU meeting ends, and everyone is starting to leave. Belgium is glaring at them like get out of my house already, but Germany makes no move to do so. He doesn't even look up.
"What do you want, Italy?"
"Ve, I wanted to say hello!" he says, throwing his arms around Germany.
Who pushes him away.
"Hello. You can leave now."
Italy frowns. Germany's grumpy, but he hasn't been this grumpy in decades. "Doitsu, is something wrong?"
"Nothing in particular." Belgium is starting to look annoyed, so really they should go soon.
"Then, ah, why don't I walk with you to your house, ve? It's the same way and everything. We haven't talked properly in decades!"
"We have had plenty of diplomatic interaction." Italy is about to say something about how stupid 'diplomatic' interaction is and how that's not talking, but Germany continues. "Besides, I won't be leaving for awhile. Belgium and I have an individual meeting."
"It's okay, I'll wait!" Italy grins. Germany sighs.
"There's no reason to. I will still exist in the morning; we can talk later, Italy."
He's struck dumb. "Uh... okay then."
He heads towards the door, half-expecting Doitsu to call for him to come back anyway. That's what he does, right? It doesn't happen though, and when he reaches Belgium at the door, she looks really sad.
"Sorry," he says. "I hope you have a good... meeting-thingy."
"...Indeed," she says, sounding confused. "Sorry."
He shrugs, and suddenly she pulls him into a hug. Italy smiles, and relaxes into her. Belgium's hugs are nice.
Eventually, she pulls away. "Anyway, really must stop everyone being in my house."
He grins. "Goodbye, Miss Belgium! Your waffles are really nice!"
She smiles and he kisses her on the cheek before leaving. He thinks Germany might be staring.
By the time he gets home though, he's been thinking about stuff. It's weird. Why won't Germany talk to him? They were friends, and Germany always put up with him when he was being annoying, so why's he changed his mind?
"You." Romano throws a bit of pasta at him, which – hey, that's good pasta! "You're not babbling like a lunatic. Start talking; something's up."
"Do you know why Germany won't talk to me anymore?" he asks.
"...Why would I know? And – oh god. Really, Feliciano? Really? You're meant to be over the Nazi bastard by now!"
"He's not a Nazi anymore!" Italy protests.
"Not the point! Okay, we have no reason to need the potato eater anymore. You guys haven't really been even friends for decades, get over it. He's crazy anyway; why would you even want...?"
Feliciano pouts. "He's not crazy; he's just dumb and stuck up, but he's still my Germany, and..."
"And your Germany had the most infamous fascist mass-murdering regime in history. Yeah, I'd wanna win him back."
"...We kind of started the fascism thing."
Romano sighs and rolls his eyes. "Fucking hell, would you just come to dinner? Don't think about all that."
Feliciano frowns, but does so. Then he realizes there's a piece of paper in his pocket, one he didn't put there, and pulls it out.
He lied. We didn't have a meeting after the EU conference.
Be careful, Italy.
The man in question looks towards him, breaking into a beaming smile. "Ah, Italy!" he calls out. "How are you this fine evening?"
Italy thinks, if it makes France this happy, he should try entering people's houses through the windows more often.
"I'm... uh..." He doesn't actually know how to answer that, so he climbs inside the window. "Can I ask you for something?"
"Anything for you, mon cheri." Big brother France is wearing that look again, the one Romano said meant Feliciano should stay least at a three foot distance.
"Can you talk to Germany for me?"
...Well, the look goes away. "What about?" France asks.
"Why he won't talk to me! We barely interact anymore, and I tried to talk to him after the last EU conference, but he went and pretended he had a special meeting with Belgium just to get me to go away, but he didn't and I have this note she smuggled me to prove it! And you guys are like, joined at the hip now because you're kind of in charge of this whole thingy, which really isn't fair because about six of us created it and we do everything in Belgium's house, but anyway, can't you figure out what's up with him? Is it a scary thing? Or does he just not like me anymore?"
France sighs and leans back against the couch. "I highly doubt it's you he doesn't like."
"Nevermind. Of course, I will talk to him for you," Francis leans forward again. "I just... I can't make any promises, of course. Germany can be... well, you know him."
"Yeah." Silly Doitsu was always so stubborn. "I just want him to be happy."
"Indeed. Well, I am sorry to say some people may not agree with you."
"Who do you think?"
"...I don't know, that's why I just asked!"
France chucks. "Run along, Feliciano; if your brother finds out you were here too long, he'd probably aim something fiery and deathly at my house, and I'd really rather that not happen, oui?"
"Oh!" Italy grins and stands up. "Well, thank you France!"
"Anytime." Italy heads back towards the window. "Er, there is a door. It's actually a rather attractive door..."
Italy ignores him and slides down the drainpipe. Yeah, he has a plan now!
Italy turns to the side and grins when he realises who is talking to him now. "Germany!" He jumps and drags the man into a big hug. "Ve, you haven't spoken to me for so long! I was scared!"
"Um. Yes. Indeed." Italy can't help but chuckle when he pulls back and sees Germany's embarrassed face. "So, erm, I assume I owe you an apology?"
"...Hm. It's okay. I'm used to Germany being stupid, really."
"...Thank you, I suppose then."
There's a very, very awkward pause and Italy frowns. "Doitsu? Are you okay?"
Germany sighs. "Sorry, it's just..." he smiles, sort-of, but it doesn't look right. "You didn't have to wait on me like this, you know. If I treated you like that... I would forgive you for just forgetting about me."
"You're so mean to yourself, Germany!" Italy says, and Germany winces. "I like you, remember? I mean, things went sort of bad but..."
"Indeed." Germany coughs and looks uncomfortable again. "I would rather we not define ourselves by everything that happened back then, though."
"...Germany!" he jumps into the man's arms again, catching him by surprise. "I just want what will make us both happy, ve? You weren't happy."
"...Really?" Italy looks up at him, and Germany looks weird. Somewhere between embarrassed and entranced. Is this one of England's spells?
"Of course! There's no point to anything if we're not happy, right?"
Germany looks confused. Italy really hopes he's not going to have to explain the whole concept of happiness, because it is Germany and all, but really? Then something kinda-sorta strange happens.
Germany kisses him.
And proper kisses him; all movie-style with tongue and everything (which Italy is kind of grateful for, because he does kiss people a lot for a lot of different reasons so he could probably make a very stupid mistake there). He can't help but grin as he pours himself into Germany, and finally Germany's gotten a move on and done something he wants to, and Italy's probably still missing something (he's always missing something) but he now just guesses Germany really does want to be with him, and they can go from there.
Germany pulls away and Italy's still grinning. "Ve... Good Germany. You took your time there." He reaches up and curls a little bit of Germany's hair through his fingers (although he makes sure to avoid anything that seems a bit stand-outish, because, uh). "Love you."
Then something goes wrong again.
Germany's eyes are wide and he pulls away, covering his mouth with his hand. Italy frowns. "Germany – Doitsu, are you okay?"
"...You need to leave, Italy."
"Leave. Now." Germany won't look him in the eye and almost looks like he might faint. Italy's confused and kind of upset.
"What? Why? You – you just kissed me like that, and I thought it meant you did like me after all and things were going to be good and – and we might even be together, you know, which we never were but... and now, and now you're just being mean again! And if you really have to be mean, I would really like it if you'd just explain because you know I'm not very smart and I don't understand–"
"FOR THE OF GOD, ITALY. JUST GO."
Italy jumps back at Germany's outburst. Everything goes quiet and Italy really has no idea what that look on Germany's face is even meant to mean.
"...Fine then," he says, heading for the door.
He bursts out crying before he's even gone, and he knows Germany can hear him, but Doitsu doesn't bother to run after or anything.
Stupid, stupid Germany! Italy punches his pillow a couple of times for emphasis, because what's his pillow doing being all fluffy and pillowy anyway? That doesn't make any sense, but nevermind. Italy's angry now.
"Fratello? What's going on?" Italy sends his brother a look, where he's watching from the doorway. Italy punches the pillow once more for emphasis. "Okay, you're actually expressing emotions like a normal person and not some kind of blob of sunshine; what the hell, you bastard?"
"Stupid Germany!" Italy hits it once more, and Romano's eyes go wide as he darts forward and grabs Italy by the shoulder.
"I – shit, Feliciano, is this about the potato bastard? What did he do? Are you okay?"
"He kissed me!" Italy exclaims. "He's been so mean and avoiding me for ages, but then he said sorry and he kissed me, and I thought things could be okay and – I don't know, we might be together or something – but then he kicked me out and became mean again and I don't understand and it's not fair."
Italy hits the pillow again and Romano grabs him harder. "Feliciano! I – shit, Feliciano, are you... don't you think you should just let him go already?"
"...I love him."
Romano rolls his eyes. "Well, yeah, I know that. I've always known that; doesn't mean that's a very good idea."
"...Ve, what do you mean?"
"Look, if he's telling you to back off maybe you really should," Romano suggests. "Fuck if I know what the potato bastard is thinking, but – dammit, I just don't want you getting hurt, fratello. Far as I remember, your whole alliance thing with him didn't end all sunshines and lollipops, right?"
"...That wasn't all his fault..."
"Doesn't matter. Look, thing is – maybe it's time everyone fucking move on, right? Maybe that's what the potato bastard's trying, anyway. I'd be surprised if he'd be that smart, but..."
"But we make each other happy," Italy pleads. "I know everything that happened when he met was stupid and shouldn't happen again, but – I loved him and I know he loved me, and that itself isn't wrong, si? I just want us both to be happy."
Romano sighs. "Fine. Just be careful," he says. "And come downstairs and help me with dinner; I've had to do it on my own for the last week, you know."
"I'll definitely come see you when this fight is over."
They will see each other when the war is over.
There's another international conference thing – to be honest, Italy barely pays attention to what any of them are, but he decides it's an opportunity to confront Germany. Even if Romano tells him he's being stupid, he's getting some sort of answer for all this. It's hurting his brain.
"Now when all representatives–" Germany cuts himself off when he sees Italy walk into the room, and swallows heavily. "Ah, Italy; you're finally here."
"Mm-hmm." Italy folds his arms over his chest and tries to look all tough and strong like Germany. He probably just looks cold, or like Ukraine when he can't find a bra that fits well enough. Poor Miss Ukraine.
"Good, now, to the business of–"
"Actually, Germany, I really wanted to talk to you."
Germany gives him a look. "...Can we do it after the meeting?"
"I don't think so," Italy says. Everyone else is staring at them, but that's probably a good thing. "Because you're just going to lie to me, or run off, or kick me out or do something crazy and generally be unhelpful and confusing and make things worse! So if I make you have this conversation in front of everyone then you have to tell me the truth because they're going to be all confused and annoyed with me! Because, Germany, this isn't fair."
"Italy, stop being inappropriate," Germany hisses, looking away. "This is not a discussion for an international conference; this is–"
"You're a nation, I'm a nation, good enough. Germany, you have to tell me stuff. If you just don't like me anymore and don't know how to say it, fine; I'm silly and irritating anyway, but you have to say that because I'm very confused, and why did you ki–"
"Italy, shut up!" Germany barks. "It – it's not like that, I just – we haven't been allied for seventy years, and–"
"I know, but that's not how it's meant to work, Doitsu! Mr. Finland and Mr. Sweden act like they're married, but their countries haven't been one for centuries and I don't even think they're meant to like each other anymore! We do kinda-sorta have free well, although it's a really bad version, so that's not really an excuse?"
"Wait, we have something to do with this?" asks Finland.
"No, I was just using you as an example."
"Italy." Italy expects Germany to have that embarrassed look he has – well, most of the time, and he kind of does but not. There's something else to it, and Italy wonders if he's being too selfish. "Italy, I cannot just be what you ask me for – independent of my country's actions, I still make choices and I have to understand my own feelings before–"
"You kissed me, Germany!" Italy says. "You kissed me. Look, I know you don't think I'm very smart, because... I'm not, but I'm not that stupid, Germany! You feel something, even if it's just a wish to annoy me, which... by the way, if it is, it's working, but really I just want us to be happy again and I know you're not and everything you're doing is making me not, because I'm confused and hurt and that's not right–"
Someone has caught his hand, and Italy looks back to see France behind him. "Ve... Francis...?"
"Ah, I think you are frightening our dear Allemagne, Italy," France tells him, squeezing his hand. "I would try to calm down."
Italy blinks, and looks back at his fellow nations. They all seem confused, sad or bored. Germany looks upset – almost to the point of tears, and Italy's split on whether to feel guilty about that or to wonder about just how ashamed of him Germany really is.
"...Doitsu, are you okay?" he asks. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to–"
"Indeed, I, uh, think I must leave."
As Germany storms out the door, he rushes past the other person who, like Italy, was late. Poland.
"Whoa – okay, what did I miss?"
Italy goes home. Their international conferences never work without Germany anyway, and he kind of distracted everyone with his Germany issues. Oops.
He's still halfway between being sad and guilty (and Romano keeps nagging him to get off the couch and stop sulking) when he hears a knock on the door and his brother opening it. "Yeah, who the hell – okay, what the fuck are you doing here, you bastard?"
There's an uncomfortable cough and Italy sits up straight. "Erm, may I... speak to your brother?"
Italy goes all prickly at the sound of Germany's voice (and not in the nice way), and there's a pause. "I really, really shouldn't let you in, you know, but he probably does actually want to speak to you given how much he's been whining about it so fine. Hold on a second. FELICIANO, IS IT OKAY IF I LET THE POTATO BASTARD TALK TO YOU?"
Italy winces at his brother's yelling voice. Too many people he knows yell too much. "Ve, that's okay! Just please don't listen in!"
Soon, Romano is leading Germany to the doorway and looking around awkwardly. "I'll, uh, go to my room and do... something. Do I have to bother coming up with a creative threat for you, Germany?"
"I understand perfectly well your attitude, Romano." He seems satisfied and walks off, leaving Germany to Italy.
It's kind of uncomfortable.
"...Italy, I'm sorry; I owe you an apology."
"No, I, ah, I went yelling at you in front of everyone when I know you don't like everyone knowing things, so–"
"No, but I owe you more of an apology. And, well... an explanation."
Italy hesitates. He doesn't really want to make Germany feel that guilty, but, well, he does really really want an explanation.
"Italy, I... I do have feelings for you. I have for almost a century now. And that day I kissed you, I did it because I wanted to. I'm sorry."
Italy wants to smile, because Germany does love him, but frown, because Germany's still being sad and confusing. Why is this so hard? "Then, ah... why having you been acting like this for so long? Why won't you talk to me? Why did you get so upset after you kissed me?"
"Because, to be blunt, you terrify me."
Germany sighs. "When were we allies, Italy?"
"Well, uh... during the war, or least until I went and switched sides, which I'm sort of sorry about but you know, we were the–"
"Villains. I know. That's the entire problem." Germany sighs deeply and heavily. "Italy... The things I did then... Well, everyone knows the things I did then. I really don't need to go into detail. I don't think I can ever make up for it. My people live and die with all that hanging over them. And that's something I just have to live with."
Italy still doesn't fully understand, but he thinks he's getting there. "And... ve, I'm all associated with that. I did come up with the whole fascism idea. But Germany, I would never...!"
"I know! And it's not your fault, what happened. I am responsible for my own actions. It's just..." Germany takes a breath. "When I look at you, I see everything I've done. I love you, Italy. Ich liebe dich. But I can't be with you... it's frightening. And it hurts. And I'm sorry."
"...Oh." Italy wants to cry, but he thinks he understands. He can't be angry with Germany. "Than... what will we do?"
Germany steps forward and cradles Italy's head between his hands. "We... shall simply have to wait, until I can... if you still want me by then, of course."
"Of course I will!" Something is pricking at the back of Italy's mind. "Just... how can you know you'll still want me then, if you can't even look at me?"
"Do you not think, given that, I tried to stop loving you?" Germany asks. "It didn't work. Italy, I have loved you since the nineteen-twenties, and will continue loving you no matter how many years pass."
Something shoots through Italy, sharp as a–
I have loved you since the nine hundreds, and...
"Italy! Are you alright?"
Italy finds himself bent over; Germany holding him to keep him upright. He smiles.
"Si. I... I will wait. Ve, I will wait another nine hundred years!"
"...I think you mean ninety."
Italy simply leans up, and kisses Germany on the cheek.