originally written on tumblr for my friend Sylvia, who requested a fic in her askbox. (even though i used fanmail).
she's not familiar with AC, so i stuck some Hetalia in there.
takes place in Brotherhood, 1501-1502.

i don't own either of them, sadly.

Romano always dreaded the times when Spain left for the New World.

Not because he was jealous, though that was a factor. No, most of his fear came from being sent back to Rome.

Now, you would think, why would he be afraid of going back to his own country, what he was named for? Normally, Romano wouldn't; normally, he'd rejoice and be happy enough to almost sing his praise to the heavens. But in the last few months, something had changed. A shadow had fallen over Roma.

An assassin had arrived.

The killer had come to murder the Pope and his family, and even though Romano wasn't entirely fond of them, either, he disliked the mysterious, faceless assassin more. He had dealt with terrible governors plenty of times before, and though he still wore the appearance of a child, Romano possessed the mind of an adult and was well-accustomed to the abuse. But the thought of watching someone who so near to his nation's heart die chilled him to the core.

So, when he walked the streets, he was careful. Rarely now did he slip away from his caretakers to roam the city he knew by heart, and he kept an eye on everyone who passed near him. He only had the name of the assassin- Ezio Auditore da Firenze.

It was a sunny, beautiful (albeit increasingly warm) day in Roma, and Lovino was panicking.

He had been separated from the woman appointed to look after him, a kindly aging woman named Theresa, and he cast his eyes about frantically, trying to catch a glimpse of her pastel dress among the darker colors of the Roman citizens. He couldn't.

The boy-nation dashed about the square, hoping to see her, scarcely paying attention as he dashed between legs and skirts. Of course, this was a recipe for disaster, as he crashed into someone and suddenly found himself looking up at a hooded face and scarred mouth, of which was quirked in the tiniest of smiles.

The man offered him a hand, and Romano felt dizzy. His panicked gaze took stock of the stranger's armor and surplus of weapons, and the boy scrambled away, crablike, quickly pulling himself to his feet.

"Are you alright, amico mio piccolo?" Lovino could hear the words faintly through his rising hysteria, deep and low and accented with something distinctly Florentine.

He backed up more, bumping into others, his eyes still glued to the strange man. "Assassino!" Romano cried finally, stirring a panic in the crowd around him. His shouts were echoed. "Assassino! Guards, he's here!"

The man, this assassin, Ezio, set his mouth in a firm line and gave him a look that was decidedly Not Pleased. The mod of people congealed around Romano in their haste to escape the palazzo, and by the time the Borgia guards arrived, Ezio was gone.

Romano fled on shaky knees, breath coming in quick, anxious bursts, and didn't notice the pair of amber eyes trained on him from the rooftops.