Italy breathes in, a labored sound, and Germany gives him a lazy smile.

"S'been a while, hasn't it?" he says, trailing his lips down his breastbone, feeling the hammering of Italy's heart against his ribs.

"W-wait," stutters Italy, from beneath him, and Germany snorts. "We shouldn't," Italy adds, shakily, but Germany kisses the words from his mouth and begins to loosen his belt.

Usually, normally, Italy is full of talk.

It all starts in the morning—that's when Italy first comes down stairs and starts complaining, grumbling about a lack of sleep, a hangover, a nightmarish dream. "It was really weird too, want to hear about it?" he'll say, as he's pulling on his uniform, as he's straightening his tie, and Germany will reply, patiently, between the crisp turning of a page in the morning paper, "no, not really."

In the afternoon, when Italy comes back from the battlefield with a hole or two in him, this is the time for stories. Italy will go on at length about his battles, his strategies, the local girls he and the soldiers met, how he wooed them all and was offered a blowjob (or four). Germany will roll his eyes as Italy keeps going, sometimes getting a little satisfaction out of the hiss of pain he hears when he applies the antiseptic.

In the evening, when the day's work is finished, when Germany is settled down on the sofa with a book in his hand and Italy in his lap, that is when he begins to ask. "What are you reading?" is a common question; "are we going to see Japan tonight?" has gained popularity as well. When Germany doesn't bother to answer, doesn't bother to even acknowledge the sound of his voice, Italy will keep pressing, asking whether he's in a bad mood, whether he's tired, whether he'd rather be with anyone but him. Germany will never respond except to kiss him into quiet and bring him up to bed.

It's strange, Germany thinks, because usually, normally, Italy is full of talk, and right now, even when he wouldn't mind, even when he's trying to talk to him, even when he wants to hear some indication of pleasure, he's being unbearably silent.

"Italy?"

Even with his lips pressed to the inside of his trembling thigh, even with his fingers pressing in and making him squirm, even with his mouth on his cock and tongue swirling, Italy does not speak, he does not make a sound.

It's isn't a cry, a moan, a gasp that tells Germany that he's close, just the tensing of his thighs and the spasms that rack his body. Italy comes down the back of his throat, hips shaking and bucking—he throws an arm over his eyes as Germany, ever the gentleman, spits delicately into a tissue.

"Italy, what's wrong?"

"Nothing."

Germany moves so that he can pull Italy's arm back away from his face. Italy doesn't quite meet his eye.

"What?" he says.

"You're so quiet," Germany murmurs, and leans down to kiss him at the side of his mouth.

"There's not much to talk about," Italy answers, softly, looking away, "when you're doing that."

Germany finds himself unamused.

"You know that's not what I mean. I'm just saying—you're supposed to make noise, you know."

"What? Will it turn you on if I scream?"

Germany shoves Italy down against the mattress, kissing him fiercely because he's annoyed, pinning him down because he's tired of it, but Italy only pushes up to meet his lips, urgently, fervently. Germany reaches under and pushes his fingers back up into Italy, stretching, teasing, enjoying the arc of Italy's hips, the way his breath hitches, the flush in his cheeks.

Italy isn't even half ready when Germany enters him; he knows it must hurt because it's painful even for him, it's so tight he can feel the strain around his cock. He looks up again, hoping for a reaction, any reaction, but Italy's got his hands over his mouth and eyes and he doesn't make a sound even now.

"Oh, fuck," Germany mutters, as politely as he can, considering the circumstances, and grasps at the headboard as he thrusts, because it hurts, it fucking hurts, and he still isn't saying fucking anything.

And then he finally sees it, the trembling hand reaching out, the way he's shaking the head, the fingers that touch his cheek as if to say, I'm sorry.

"Please say something," Germany whispers, against his neck. "Say something," he begs, against that shivering body, but still he does not say a word.

In the morning, there are complaints, and in the afternoon, there are stories. In the evenings are the questions, and in the dark there is silence, desperate, pleading silence, the most terrible sound in the world.