America hummed happily to himself as he made his way to the lobby for another cup of coffee. The meeting was as fun as usual, with everyone arguing and yelling. He'd finally gotten to use those insults for England he'd been saving for when the whole world could hear him and yet England still asked him for dinner, which meant that they were gonna go drinking afterwards, which meant that he was still getting laid. America smiled to himself It was a good day.

"America! America!"

The superpower turned to see who was calling his name. He paused for a moment to marvel at how Italy could run with his eyes closed before saying anything.

"Yo, Italy! What's up?"

"I just have a request for you," he smiled sweetly.

"What is it?" America asked, thinking it would be something like tying his shoes or letting him borrow some money to buy pasta.

"Can I paint a picture of you?"

"What?" America blinked. He'd forgotten that Italy painted. Although, that did explain why he'd changed out of his suit and into normal clothes.

"I was looking through my gallery before the conference, and I noticed that that I've painted every nation except for you. So can I, pretty please?"

His smile was so sweet and innocent that America just couldn't say no.

"That's wonderful!" Italy said, beaming, "Come up to my room with me. I have the paint and canvas and everything!"

For a moment America thought that maybe he was trying to seduce him. Nah, it couldn't be. He was Italy for Christ's sake. America had just been spending too much time with England and France. He allowed himself to be led into the elevator and up to his friend's room. Damn, Italy did have everything all set up.

"Alright," the smaller nation said, "Now take off your clothes."

"What?" America demanded, "Not cool! That wasn't part of the deal, dude!" Holy shit, Italy was trying to seduce him. Fucking Europeans!

However, Italy just backed up and held up his hands, "But America, I just want to paint you! Grandpa Rome always said that you can't see the true beauty of the human forms with clothes on and I wanted to respect that and paint you as good as possible and don't hit me please!"

"I wasn't gonna hit you, bro," America said waffling because it looked like Italy was about to cry, "I was just surprised I guess."

"So can I paint you?"

"Sure," America said, taking off his suit jacket and placing it on a chair, "You don't show these to anyone, right?"

"No," Italy said, smiling, "Well, sometimes I use them to try to get an art-loving pretty girl into my house, but they've never gone with me."

"Aw, that sucks. I know what that's like," He smiled reassuringly and started on his shirt.

"Really? You do?"

"Yeah. I've never gotten a girl to come home with me either."

"But you're so charming and handsome!"

If it were anyone but Italy America would have been embarrassed. As it was, he just took the compliment and said, "Thanks, I try. But it's true. The only people I've ever slept with are Lithuania and England."

"Oh, yes, what is actually going on between you and England? I know you are in love, but-"

America sputtered, stopping in the middle of taking off his pants, "We're not- we're not in love! Who told you that?"

Italy just smiled, "Well, if you're not in love, what are you?"

"We're sworn enemies who just happen to like to get together to like to have sex sometimes. Arch-nemeses with benefits, that's all we are!"


America let out a sigh of relief. Finally someone who believed him!

"So where do you want me?" America asked, pulling down his boxers.

"Sit on the side of the bed, yes, just like that. Now lift the leg furthest from me. Beautiful, America."

"Glasses on or off?" America asked, trying to distract himself from the fact that in his current position Italy would be painting his junk.

"On, please. And take this," Italy tossed him a book.

"Journey to the Center of the Earth," he hadn't read that one in a while. He smiled, "No cracks about me not being able to read?" He asked, opening the book to what he considered to be the best part.

"I know you can read, America." Italy was fiddling with something behind the canvas, most likely his paint, "Remember how when you were in charge of my house during World War Two you would read me a bedtime story every night? That was wonderful. I miss it sometimes."

"Hey, just call me," America said, "you probably go to bed at like five or six my time. I'm usually home by then and I could read to you over the phone."

"I would like that. Germany and Romano won't read to me anymore. They say I need to take care of myself more."

America looked at him and frowned, "Not cool, dude! At my place all six of us get together at least once a month."

"Please don't turn your head, America," Italy said.

"Sorry," America turned back to the way he was.

"Thank you. But what did you mean by six?"

"You should come visit more often," America said, smiling, "There's three of us at my house and three of us at Canada's Usually we sit around and play board games and drink beer. Sometimes Mexico comes too, but there are six of 'em down there, so there's not as much we can do."

"Ve, and I thought it was complicated with just me and Romano."

America just shrugged, "Well, it's pretty much always been that way for us. I can't remember a time before I had Canada and Virginia. During the winter we'd go down south to keep warm and in the summer we'd live with Canada. Sometimes the two of us who are visiting for game night sleep over and we'll share a bed, just like the old days." He smiled fondly to himself, remembering all those nights when he would wake up between his brothers, so warm and so right, "Why am I telling you all this?" He asked.

"I don't know." Italy said, smile still on his face, "Probably for the same reason that you stopped using so much of your slang."

America stiffened, "You noticed?"

"I did. You don't normally talk like that, do you?"

"No," America admitted, "No I don't."

Thankfully, Italy didn't press further.

America spent the rest of the time reading. Italy was focusing too hard upon his painting to say anything, probably, even though his eyes were still closed and he had a beautiful carefree smile on his face. He was almost done with the book by the time that Italy set his brush down.

"I'm finished," Italy announced.

"Finally," America said, letting the leg that was propped up slide down so that he was in a more natural position. He rolled his neck, stiff from having been bent so long.

"Would you like to come look?" Italy asked.

"No," America thought, "I don't need to see myself naked, especially since Italy's probably really accurate."

However, he got off of the bed and walked over so that Italy wouldn't get upset. However, to his surprise, he looked fantastic. All of those little details he hated about himself, like his horrible tan lines and that his bottom two ribs showed, were still there but there was something about the way that they were painted that didn't make them look so bad. They were crafted with such love and attention that they couldn't seem ugly. Even his stomach looked good, even though he barely had a waist. It probably helped that it was pretty much profile so that it was hard to see how broad he was.

"Thank you lots, America," Italy said, grabbing his hands, "I had a lot of fun!"

"You… uh… didn't do the background," America said, trying to change the subject so that he could take his mind off of the painting itself.

"Backgrounds are easy," Italy said, "Besides, I don't like to paint people so that they're inside. I think I'll put you outside, somewhere in a forest. I think with a waterfall in the background."

He kept talking, but America wasn't listening. He was too busy thinking. He thought about Italy, why he had made him look so beautiful when he wasn't, why the thought of him painting anyone else like that made him angry, why he wasn't going to paint the background now, how the hell he even painted with his eyes closed like that. He looked hard at the other nation. However, instead of getting answers from staring at him, he got further distracted. Italy's face was such a nice, soft shape and his cheeks were so nice and pink. His eyelashes were so long that maybe his eyes were open just a bit after all. America had never noticed the different colors in his hair, either. He'd always just classified him as a brunet and left it at that, never caring about the red overtones or the chestnut undertones. It looked so soft; America wanted to run his fingers through it.

"Is that really how you see me?" He asked softly.

"No," Italy said, frowning slightly.

"Yeah, that's what I thought," America said, turning away to pick up his clothes and start to get dressed.

"I am not talented enough to paint you as beautifully as I see you."

America straightened and looked back to see Italy's pure, innocent smile.

"You've always been beautiful, America. You were so cute when you were a baby. I tried to paint you when England brought you to Europe, but you squirmed too much, and now that you've grown… You're pretty, America, so pretty."

"I'm not pretty," America said, scowling to hide his embarrassment, "You can call me handsome or sexy or something like that, but I don't do pretty."

"But you are," Italy said, taking a step closer, "You're prettier than anyone I've ever met."

"You can't just come onto a guy when he's already butt-naked." America said.

"I can't?" Italy asked, frowning.

"Nope, but," America grabbed Italy's wrist and wrapped his other arm around his waist, "Since you still have your clothes, I can tell you that I like what I see all those times you walk around in just an unbuttoned shirt and your boxers. Wouldn't mind seeing more," He let his eyes slide half-closed and gave Italy his most alluring smile.

"That's not fair you can say that and I can't," Italy said, pouting.

"Well, then," America released him and pulled off his glasses, "Why don't you strip and then words won't matter."

Italy smiled and by the time that America was sitting on the edge of the mattress with his glasses safely on the bedside table his clothes were already in a little pile on the floor.

"Damn, I thought only France could get naked that fast."

Italy giggled and straddled America's lap. America tipped his head up to claim Italy's lips in a searing kiss. Italy groaned and America took the opportunity to push his tongue into Italy's mouth, exploring. His hair really was as soft as he thought it would be. He rubbed the other nation's teeth and glided along the edge of his tongue. Did he not know what to do or something? America slid his tongue under Italy's trying to get it to tangle with his. Italy whimpered and started to shake.

"You okay?" America asked, breaking the kiss and stroking Italy's spine.

Italy started speaking quickly in Italian, and America didn't understand what he was saying. He thought he heard the words for "fast" and "don't know" (he knew those well, he often had to tell Italians that "You're talking too fast. I don't know what you're saying!").

"Italy!" Oh, what was his first name? "Veneziano!"

Italy stopped talking, and actually opened his eyes, such a pretty golden brown, America thought.

He regained his senses enough to say, "What happened there?"

"You called me Veneziano."

"Yeah. You were babbling and I needed your attention."

"Not even Germany calls me Veneziano. Say it again."

Well, he was smiling again, so apparently whatever happened hadn't had a lasting effect, "Veneziano."

Italy closed his eyes and leaned his head on America's shoulders, "I love how it sounds in your accent. Call me that from now on while we're not at a meeting, okay?"

"Only if you tell me why you flipped out."

Italy blushed, "Well, I've never gotten this far and I got scared."


"No…" He looked away, ashamed.

"Don't worry about it," America said, "I'll go slow and be gentle, okay?"

Italy nodded and America kissed him again, this time just leaving his mouth open. Italy rose to the bait, timidly reaching in and running his tongue between America's teeth and his lips. America let out an appreciative moan to let him know that he was doing a good job. Italy seemed to be spurred on by his reaction and got a little bolder, going so far as to stroke America's tongue. Smiling into the kiss, America tangled his tongue with Italy's. He didn't start shaking this time, so he was doing okay. America carefully caressed him both with his mouth and his fingers. Italy began to tremble and America pulled away, but the brunet dragged him back, beginning to trace America's chest with his hands.

Usually, this would be the part where America would shove his lover down into the mattress and start ravishing him, or where his partner would do the same. However, it didn't feel right to do that with Italy. He broke the kiss and just looked at him for a moment. The smaller nation was panting and flushed with arousal already. America stroked his side and Italy shuddered and mewled. God, he was so sensitive…

America carefully set him down in the middle of the bed and kneeled above him.

"How do you want it?" America asked.


"How do you want it?" America repeated himself, thinking Italy just hadn't heard, but he just received a blank look in return, "You really are innocent, aren't you?"

Italy fidgeted.

"No, it's okay," America cupped his cheek and smiled, "Just means I get to play around a little more."

He gave him a gentle kiss on the other cheek and then licked down his neck and nibbled at his collar bone. Italy whined and shivered. America sighed into his skin. He would be a happy man if he could do nothing but listen to that sound for the rest of his life. He began to lick and suck on Italy's chest, hoping to get more noises.

What he got instead was something wet and hot over Nantucket. Then it was his turn to shudder and moan. Italy was good at that, he was really good at it. He knew just how much pressure to put on and, oh God, he was wrapping it around his tongue and-

"You- you really know how to treat a man's hair," America said.

Oh, Fuck, Italy was laughing against it. Oh fuck, oh fuck. But then Italy's mouth was gone, leaving America's hair feeling cold. The larger nation whimpered.

"It's because I practice on my own sometimes."

America looked up to see that long curl sticking out of the side of his head. How had he not realized what it was before? He imagined Italy rushing back into his hotel room after a meeting, slumping against the door, taking the single strand of hair in his fingers and rubbing it. A huge blush would spread across his face, and he'd just stand there gasping for breath. Then he'd carefully bring the edge down to his mouth and give it a little lick and-

A shudder ran down America's spine. He couldn't get distracted. He pulled his head away to smile down at Italy. Then, for good measure, he laid down, pinning the smaller man with his weight. Italy let out a little moan, happily accepting it. America nuzzled his cheek and then licked his curl, all the way from his scalp to the very tip. He felt Italy's cock dribble a little bit of precome. Part of America wanted to just keep licking his hair (he wondered what the Italian would do when he got it down his throat), but, on the other hand, would Italy mind finishing so much more quickly than America?

That happened to America his very first time. Liet had spent so long on foreplay that as soon as he lowered himself onto America's cock, America had gone and blown his load before Liet was even all the way down. It was the most embarrassing moment of his entire life, and he didn't want the same thing to happen to Italy.

"Veneziano?" America asked, "Do you have any lube?"

Italy nodded and reached over to grab a small bottle from the drawer in his bedside table. America rolled back onto his knees and took the bottle from the smaller man.

"Alright," he said, "So we've got a couple of options." Italy opened his eyes to look at him and America felt himself start to blush, "If you'd rather do something easy, we don't have to do penetrative-"

"No!" Italy said, "I want you inside me and I want to be able to see you."

America blushed even harder. He wished that he had the balls to talk like that. So he just weakly said, "Okay." He covered three of his fingers and guided Italy's legs open with his clean hand. He cupped his partner's balls while a finger traced his entrance. "Alright, so this is gonna feel weird for a while, but tell me if it hurts. I swear it feels good after a while."

"I trust you, America," Italy said, smiling.

America smiled back and slid his finger up and into Italy. Oh, he had to be a virgin. America didn't think that he'd ever felt someone so tight. He couldn't wait to be buried hilt-deep in that.

"It does feel really funny," Italy said, scrunching his face.

"Yeah, but you need to relax, okay?"

"Okay." He took a deep breath and America felt the muscles around him unclench.

As it turned out, even though he was softer now, Italy was still snug even around one finger. Oh, tonight was gonna be fun.

"I want to hear your voice," Italy said.

"My voice?"

"Yes," he opened his eyes all the way, "Your voice is so pretty like this. It's so mellow and soft."

America swallowed. If there was one thing he'd never had complimented, it was his voice, "Well, what do you want me to say?" He slid another finger into Italy and just let it sit there for a moment.

"Anything," A shuddering breath, "Everything."

"That doesn't give me much to go on there," he said, starting to carefully slide his fingers in an out, making the brunet groan.

"What's your name?" Italy asked.

America laughed, "I'm America, remember?"

"No, your first name."

America blushed, "I like America better. You can just call me that. It's okay."


America spread his fingers and Italy arched his back and let out a loud moan. He found Italy's spot and started to harass it mercilessly, delighting in the noises his partner was making, the occasional bursts of Italian words and half-words. He slid his third finger inside and started to spread again. Italy was being highly receptive, taking everything and repaying America with his reactions.

"Alright," America said, pulling his fingers away, "I think you're about ready." He lowered himself down over his partner and aligned his cock with Italy's entrance, "May I?"

"But you never answered my question," Italy said frowning.

"Really? Come on, man."

"You didn't," Aw, his hair was drooping. How could he not answer?

"Plymouth. I started as Plymouth," He winced. He hated that name. It just doesn't roll of the tongue, now does it?

Italy smiled again, "Thank you, America."

America, relieved that Italy still addressed him as such, smiled back and slowly pushed in. Oh fuck, he was just as tight as America thought he would be. Going so slow was torture, but he had to let Italy adjust. It wasn't easy for anyone the first time they had a cock up their ass. Italy seemed to be taking it well, though. His face was barely scrunched up, and his insides were still soft and workable.

"You're doing great, Italy. You're doing really great."

Italy muttered something in Italian, but it didn't sound like there was anything wrong, so America pushed forward until he was fully inside. He tried his best to make sure that he was at the right angle, but he couldn't be sure.

"It's okay, baby," America said, kissing his temples, "No more. Just relax for a minute."

He watched Italy's face untwist itself slowly.

"Are you ready?" he asked.

"Yes," Italy said, "Please, America, Please."

He sounded so plaintive, so needy. America began thrusting, slowly and gently at first. At the moment his job was to make sure that Italy had a good time. He was taking these cute little breaths and was as bright red as if he was getting fucked hard and fast. America started experimenting with different angles, trying to find the right one to reduce the Italian to a little puddle of jelly. He let out a yelp and America knew that he found it.

America started to increase his pace and his force. He still kept himself in check, though. It would only make it better once they were near the end and he couldn't stop anymore.

"Ti voglio; ti amo. Ti voglio, ti amo."Italy said those two phrases over and over like a mantra.

"Need you, Veni, need you so bad-"

He put his head in the crook of Italy's neck and panted while Italy kept repeating those four words. Then, all of a sudden, right while America was starting to let loose, his brain remembered that it learned a good amount of Italian back in the forties.

"I need you," Italy was saying, "I love you."

That word he was using for need was more romantic too, wasn't it? America couldn't remember, but he found himself hoping it was. The thought surprised him so much that his thrusts faltered for a moment. He'd never really paid attention to Italy. He was always just that funny guy who made him feel like he was solidly grounded in reality. But now Italy was- he was-

America threw his lips over Italy's in a messy kiss. Italy groaned and threaded his fingers in America's hair, bringing their tongues together to dance. Both of them were oddly quiet. America normally vocalized throughout sex, and Italy hadn't exactly been mouse-like so far. And yet, for some reason neither of them made a noise. Maybe, America thought, it was because it was loud enough as it was. His blood was pounding in his ears, racing faster than the slapping of skin on skin could even hope to go and that was more rapid than the harsh sounds of both of them breathing hard through their noses. And they were both just pushing to go faster and faster and-

He couldn't hold out. Not for much longer. Italy was still going, though. America saw that stupid hair bobbing up and down in his peripheral vision and pulled away from the kiss. Italy whimpered at the loss, but America didn't care. He craned his neck and managed to catch the curly end and sucked hard.

Italy came with a cry. The way that his already-tight muscles clenched was enough to make America spill himself all over his partner's insides. He let his head fall onto Italy's shoulder as he caught his breath and let his world stop shaking. When he opened his mouth to breathe easier, Italy's hair came free. He couldn't help but smile as it popped right back into its normal position.

"A- America," Italy said.

"I'm right here," America said, running his hand through Italy's hair.

"Thank you," he said, "You made me really, really happy."

"I can see that," America said, tracing the other man's smile with his finger, "You made me happy too. But," he propped himself up on his elbows so that he could look at the other man, "Next time let's do this right."

"Next time?" Italy asked, curl bouncing.

"Yeah," America said, "How about on the last day of the conference you come with me? We can go out to dinner, or maybe just back to my place and you can show me how to cook some of your great food. Then I'll put on some music and we can dance for a while until we decide that we wanna just sit and listen to the radio. Then we'll just touch each other like this," he brushed his knuckles against Italy's arm, "Until it's too much and we have to go upstairs."

"Did I just get a second date?" Italy asked.

America smiled, "You got whatever you wanna call it, babe."


One year later

England still didn't get it. He was happy for them and all, but he didn't understand how on Earth America and Italy managed to have a relationship. However, he was absolutely certain that that was all there was to it. There was no way that the two of them would be able to get over the wall of idiocy keeping them from intimacy.

Maybe America liked extremes in his relationships, going from no-strings-attached fantastic kinky sex to fluffy and cuddly with absolutely no sex. After all, when England had asked him why he was dating Italy in the first place, his response was a dreamy smile and "He just really gets it, England" (Italy had said "Well, he's so smart and strong and pretty," so maybe he understood that America had an ego the size of his debt and that, much like his debt, needed to keep getting bigger).

They were still in the honeymoon phase, too. There was a lot of hand holding and nuzzling and playing footsie under the table at meetings. Everywhere they went they held hands. England wasn't sure whether to smile or throw up.

Because of the clear innocence between the two of them, England had no problem barging into their shared hotel room to demand that America return England's nice umbrella, which he had stolen because he couldn't handle the rain. That was his mistake.

As he grabbed the handle, he noticed that America was speaking perfect Italian.

As he started to push, he noticed that America saying things that made him turn bright red when he translated them.

As the door swung all the way open, he was greeted by the sight of America fucking Italy against the wall.

Italy looked mortified and tried to hide behind America as best he could. America just grinned.

"Hey, wanna come in? We still have time to make this a three-way."

England slammed the door and ran away. Fucking America, having the nerve to wreck his hypothesis of a perfectly chaste relationship. And to make it worse, he had the nerve to be every bit as arousing as when England had been sleeping with him. And England had to admit that Italy looked rather nice like that too, blushing and sweating and-

Well, bollocks. Now he needed to find Japan.

And possibly talk to him about trying to get America to expand his offer.

Possible-four-way end!

A/n: If you're wondering, America himself is the northern half of the country and Virginia is the entire south except for Texas (who has its own personification). Canada is Eastern Canada, there's a Western Canada and, of course, a Quebec. Also, yes, the title is taken from the ending theme because the rest of the line is "through the stroke of a paintbrush."