Those who step across time.
Author: Sailor Shipper
Paring: Germany/Italy, Ender and Italy friendship
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, they belong to Orson Scott card and Hidekaz Himaruya.
Spoilers: Pretty much all of the Ender series.
Warring: Crossover series, mentions of same sex relationship, human names used for Germany and Italy.
Throughout the ages they met only a handful of times, yet despite that they left a lasting effect on each others lives.
The first time they met all that Italy knew is that a small boy looked like he didn't have a friend in the world. At first the red haired nation just watched as the five year old scrubbed at his eyes with a fist.
It was clear the boy was trying to be strong, though every so often sniffles could be heard.
Italy couldn't stand unhappiness for long, not wanting to startled the small boy he walked up and said in his most friendly voice. "Vee, want to go get some gelato?"
Blinking and scrubbing at his face again, the young boy looked up at Italy. It was clear the boy was thinking about it, and Italy had the oddest felling the boy was also studying him.
"Who're you?" The question was more cautious then rude, and the boy met Italy's gaze as he waited for an answerer.
"Feliciano," Italy responded, still smiling at the boy, it was true enough in a manor of speaking, they hardly used their country names anymore, even their bosses had forget about them by this point.
"Do you care that I'm a Third?" The boy asked, though it seemed his sniffling was over with, though his cheeks were still a bit wet.
Italy's head tilted to one side, and a confused expression crossed his face. It was hard now to keep up with all the new phrases.
"Third what?" He finally asked, as a slight frown marred his normally cheerful expression.
"A third child," Again the boy pushed at his cheeks, scrubbing them with his sleeve. "Thought everyone knew about that."
"Vee," Italy responded, his confusion still in his voice. "I third, fourth, who cares." To prove that point the gave a careless shrug. "So still want that gelato?" The he made a face again. "And what should I call you any way, hey you doesn't work, and its just rude."
That seemed to do the point, and instead of frowning the boy gave a laugh. "Andrew Wiggin." He finally responded. "And I'll take you up on the offer, just don't tell my parents. It might make them mad."
The second time they met Ender was watching Earth slowly shrink through as the ship left orbit. For a time he was lost in his own thoughts, but he couldn't help but notice a familiar figure also watching the Earth vanish from view.
"Feliciano?" He couldn't help but be unsure, after all it had been several years. Yet when the red headed man turned Ender was certain it was that strange Italian. Ender couldn't help but notice that Feliciano hadn't seemed to have changed much, he still had that half awake expression, and a small stubborn curl that refused to join with his other hair.
Feliciano studded him for a few moments, then a smile crossed his face. "Andy,"
The next thing knew Ender was rushed and enveloped in a huge hug. It seemed strange, that his man he had only met once was so friendly.
"You've grown." Feliciano grinned, holding Ender out and studying him. "I heard that they didn't want you back, that was rude after all you did."
Ender managed to extract himself from the Italian's grasp, though Feliciano kept on chattering away, as if they had know each other for years, as opposed to just the one meting.
"Are you traveling to the Shakespeare colony also?" Ender finally inquired of the prattling man once he was able to get a word in edgewise.
Once again Ender saw that almost vacant expression cross Feliciano's face, and then finally there was an answer, a strange one but an answer none the less.
"So many people were leaving, I had to leave also," There was a slight frown. "It was impossible to stay, though Ludwig wanted me to. I didn't want to leave him, but the pull was to big."
Ender chose to go with the less confusing question, though he remembered Feliciano mention this Ludwig before he hadn't shown interest. Now he saw the look on Feliciano's face and wondered what the man meant to him.
"And Ludwig is?"
"My love," Feliciano responded, his cheeks coloring as the talked. "I asked if he wanted to come to, but he wasn't ready to leave Earth, he didn't feel the pull."
Ender heard that strange sound again, the little vee, this time it sounded dejected.
"You make me think of him," Feliciano said, before Ender could ask more. "Your both so serious, but a lot nicer then you want people to know." There was that grin again. "And you both got blamed for stuff that wasn't your fault."
And then Feliciano grabbed one of Ender's hands in both of his and smiled. "Don't worry though, vee. You'll see, people will forgive you and it will all be better again."
Ender found himself shuffling a bit, he had never met anyone quite like this Feliciano, and didn't quite know what to make of his enthusiasm.
"Thank you," Ender found himself saying. "And I'm sure everything will work out with your Ludwig also."
He gave Feliciano what he hoped was a friendly pat on the shoulder with his free hand.
The third time they met over three thousand years had passed. Even for Italy that was a long time. Despite Andy's reassurances Germany had not yet come with him. Then again Italy hadn't made any real attempts to re unite with his love. He was to afraid of wounded feelings, because of this their commutations had been short, though words of love had still been spoken.
During that time Italy had traveled from world to world, unable to find a place that felt like home. Part of him knew it was because there was no Germany waiting for him. Still as his people spread across the stars Italy felt himself pulled by their will, unable to settle until they did.
Italy was surprised to see Andy in the space port, after all it had been thousands of years. Though nations didn't age, Italy knew that most mortals did, then again something about a lot of space travel did something to humans. Italy didn't understand it himself, and always got a headache when some one attempted to explain it.
Still it was good to see Andy again, though these Andy was a grown man now. It didn't stop Italy from yelling out "Vee, Andy." And rushing to greet his friend.
"Italy," Andrew responded than, allowing the smaller man to hug him. Though his hug back was more restrained, there was still a kind smile on his face.
"Vee, silly." Italy responded. "My name is Feliciano, its been a long time, but I'm sure you remember that."
Italy attempted to laugh that away, not sure how Andy knew his real name, after all no one knew about them now humanity was to spread out.
"Nice try," Feliciano noticed that though Andy was chiding him, it was friendly, not like when Germany use to lecture. "You haven't even aged a day since we last met, not even spending every day on a ship could cause that. I've had time to think over our meetings. I don't know how its possible, but the only answer is that you are some how the embodiment of Italy."
Italy brought a hand up to scratch the back of his head.
"Vee, Andy is to smart. No ones known about us for generations. Please don't tell they might hurt us." How Italy's hands itched for a white flag, something he hadn't used for thousands of years. To his relief Andy just chuckled, and smiled..
"So there are more, I take it your Ludwig is like you?"
Italy nodded. "Vee, he's also known as Germany. We don't exactly hide, its just no one remembers us, and after the buggers it seems safer not to remind anyone."
Italy couldn't help it, he was starting to shake. Any moment now he knew he would start crying and begin begging Andrew not to tell. That never came about, instead Andrew reached out and gave Italy's shoulder a reassuring squeeze.
"Don't worry, Feliciano." He assured Italy, once again using his human name. "I'm good at secrets, one more won't hurt."
A relived smile crossed his face, and once again Italy reached out and gave Andy a huge hug. "Thank you, thank you my friend."
He could feel Andy patting his back, as well as hear a found chuckle.
"I still don't see your Ludwig," Any commented once Italy had released him. "Don't tell me you're still not speaking after this long."
Again Italy scratched the back of his head.
"Vee, we do sometimes. I've just not asked him to join me." Italy admitted.
There was another chuckle, and Andy gave Italy a knowing smile. "You should, hopefully if we meet again I'll get a chance to meet him."
"Vee, you're going away?" Italy asked sadly, he never seemed to get enough time to spend with his human friend.
"Yes, I never could stay still for long." Andy responded, even he looked a bit sheepish. "I have been called to do a Speaking on Lusitania."
Even Italy had heard that name, and he found himself worried about his friend. After all there were those scary pig aliens, aliens that killed some one. Though they didn't sound as scary as the bugs, even if people were now saying the bugs shouldn't have been killed.
"Please be careful, vee." Italy said in a low voice. Then he though about something else, a small portion of his brain not dedicated to pasta, sleeping and Germany suddenly burst to light.
"A speaking, you're a speaker for the dead." The another though. "You wrote it, didn't you?"
Italy's voice was low enough that only the two of them were in on the conversation. "About the hive queen and everything, your old enough to be the first speaker. Vee, I knew you were good and shouldn't have gotten that nasty name Xenoside. Don't worry we both have secrets about each other."
It was clear that Andy was a bit lost by Italy's thought process. Though he struggled to keep up.
"I thank you for that," He finally said, though still sounded a bit confused at the turn the conversation had taken.
"Vee, I'll miss you while you're gone Andy." Italy gave him a sudden hug. "And just you watch, I'll listen good and next time we meet you'll meet my Ludwig."
Italy couldn't help his confident smile, despite the fact that Andy didn't look quite as convinced.
The last time they met it wasn't in person. Feeling more tired than he had in years Ender waited until his long time friend's smiling face appeared on the view screen. Soon Ender would be cut off from all outside contact, yet he at least wanted to check up on Italy one last time.
"Vee, Andy its been to long. I was worried, about what's happening on Lusitania. Please tell me you've left. They are being mean again, all because they are scare of some virus."
Ender couldn't help but chuckle at Italy, for such an ancient being he was so childish. For a moment Ender found himself regretting not getting to know the nation more.
"It's a bit more complicated then that," Ender chided the man. "Not that it matters now, I'm tired and its in younger hands then mine. I don't think we can meet again, but I wanted to know if you kept your promise from last time."
Italy's face cracked into a large grin at the question.
"Vee, Ludwig and I are back together, we found a nice world to settle. He wasn't to mad, though I did get a lecture about waiting to long."
Ender gave a small grin at that. "Sounds like a smart man, I would have liked to meet him."
Ender saw as Italy's grin vanished, and a look of worry crossed his face again.
"You still can, Andy. I'm sure they won't really blow up Lusitania, after all they were mad at you for what you were made to do. I'm sure they don't want to make people mad again."
"I'm tired, my friend." Ender admitted. "Though the ages need nothing to you, it has been hard on me. So many people, so many problems. Its time for others to take on the burden. I want to thank you for the kindness you gave a third child, and I hope that you find joy once again. As for me, I'll going away. Maybe I'll find peace, maybe not, for me three thousand years is a long time, and though you do not age I did."
"Andy, don't talk like that." Ender saw the tears in Italy's face as the older, but younger looking man spoke. "You've still got years, and I want you to meet Ludwig, to see the world we are creating."
Ender gave a sad smile. "Andy, I use to hate that name so much. Such a carefree name, but I like it now. You never saw me as anyone other then a friend, I wasn't a Third, or a speaker of the dead, or even the Xenoside, I was simply Andy friend to Feliciano. Still I was so much more to others, and that is why I just wish to rest. Be happy Feliciano, Italy and thank you."
Germany was woken up to the sound of sobbing. His eyes snapped open in the darkness and one had reached out for Italy. He was met with still warm sheets, but no small nation. Italy had been that way ever since he had received an unauthorized message. Even now Germany wasn't sure how it had happened, after all Lusitania had been cut off from the network for years.
With a quick wave of his hand Germany activated the lights, making sure they were not fully bright, he then went in search for his sobbing lover. It didn't take long, Italy was leaning against the window frame looking out at the stars.
"Vee," Italy's voice was raw from crying, though he leaned gratefully against Germany's chest as the younger nation pulled him into a warm hug.
"I can't find where it should be, he's gone now, I felt it he just faded. Why do humans fade so quickly?"
Even after all his years knowing Italy, Germany was still unsure at times about how to comfort him. After all he would always bee a man of action, not of words. So he simply held the sobbing nation.
"I wish you had met him," Italy turned, and snuggled his face against Germany's strong chest. "He kind of reminded me of you,"
Germany had often wondered about this Andy, or Andrew Wiggin, his lover's friend. True there was plenty of public records of the man that became known as the Xenoside, but Italy had spoken of a different person. Part of Germany had been jealous, though Italy never spoke of loving that man.
Possessively Germany pressed his lips against Italy's hoping to erase such feelings, after all Italy had waited for him for over three thousand years. It would take time to erase that many years of loneliness.
"Hush, my Italy." Germany whispered against his lover's lips. "I'm sorry about your friend, but great full at the same time." Gently he nibbled against those soft lips.
"Had it not been for him, we would still be separated. And from what you say, he wouldn't want you to be sad about his passing."
Italy started to respond then, his little lover was always so responsive to his caresses.
"Vee, you're right. Its just unfair, we live so long, and they pass so quickly."
Germany felt as Italy's hand came up to thread in his blond hair.
"Still maybe we can help one last wish of his, like he encouraged mine." Italy licked at Germany's ear, then pulled away. It was clear he wasn't completely caught up in the act. Still numb from the death of a friend.
"Some of us must have some sway still, maybe enough push to save Lusitania, a way to avoid another Xenoside."
Germany pulled away, surprised at Italy. It was rare for his lover to be that thoughtful, usually the older nations mind was filled with pasta, sleeping and now himself, a spot once reserved for girls.
"Tomorrow we will contact our old friends," Germany assured him. "Though this should be a human mater. They forgot us ages ago, any influence will be slight if at all. We are their will after all, not the other way around."
Germany pushed Italy down against the cushions of the box seat then. "For now, my little love, let me remind you of what your fear caused us to miss out on for several thousand years."