I can't apologize enough for disappearing like that. To make a long story short, I had a craptastic summer and only recently (since classes started back up) have things calmed down enough that I've been able to write again. I can't promise you that I will be able to update regularly since I'll be graduating this year and probably going into grad school which means even more homework, but I will definitely try to warn you guys next time I have to take a hiatus. I have already said I'm going to finish this story and I will even if it kills me.
I would really like to thank you all individually for your reviews as I usually do but frankly, there are just too many reviews to sort through after such a long break. Regardless, I would like to thank you for your lovely reviews and PMs, I didn't get a chance to reply to most of them, and I probably won't, but from now on I will try to get back to responding to you guys so you don't think I disappeared off the face of the planet. Also, next chapter I should be able to get back to thank you reviewers. As usual, thanks to all my wonderful readers who stuck with this story, I can't thank you enough.
I really hope you enjoy this chapter after such a long wait.
Needless to say, Spain and I had had words as soon as I got home. The bastard tried to convince me that Bella just found out on her own, which, granted might be true, but I'm sure Spain let something slip, so he was banished from my room. Again. Spain had pouted, but seemed happy to have been let off the hook so easily. Besides, knowing him he'd just invade my room, just like he did last time, until I relented and let him share my bed again.
Speaking of bed, Antonio and España were with me at the moment; Spain had been forced to a different room not too long ago. España had one arm around my hips and the other under my waist so that I was completely enfolded in an embrace. The hand of the arm underneath me was holding mine, our fingers intertwined, as he cradled me close. His face was pressed into my back, lips just brushing my spine and our legs tangled together. Antonio on the other hand was at the other end of the bed, facing me, but not touching. He hadn't really said a word to me since I got back from dropping Bella off. He had just stared into space, looking contemplative.
I reached across the space between us and laid my hand atop his. Antonio gave a quiet murmur, releasing his hold on the sheets and automatically turning his hand over so I could lace our fingers together.
"Lovi?" He whispered and for a moment I was afraid I had woken him, but he just smiled and buried his face deeper into his pillow, curly hair falling to cover his eyelids. He continued to mumble nonsense into his pillow as his fingers squeezed mine every so often.
"Bastard," I huffed with too much affection. I freed my hand and strained to reach him. I gently brushed the curls back from his face and was unable to pull away as my hand came to rest on his cheek. "You're a confusing, bastard. You know that?" I muttered as I freed my other hand from España's grip and took Antonio's questing hand again. España did not seem to notice the sudden absence but instead used the now free hand to grasp the front of my shirt and pull me closer to him. This meant that I was just out of reach of Antonio and only my fingertips touched his cheek. I struggled against España for a few moments before relenting to his unyielding arms. I poked Antonio's cheek sort of, but not really, hoping that it would wake him, but finally I resigned to just holding his hand.
"Romano?" The whisper in my ear had me yanking my hand back as if bitten, hoping España hadn't seen. "What are you doing, amorcito?"
"N-nothing," I stammered as I tried to squirm out of his arms so I could run away and hide my embarrassment.
"Were you trying to wake Antonio?" He asked even as he leaned over me, practically squishing me into the mattress, and reached to grab Antonio's shoulder.
I squirmed some more until I could get my arm free, then I latched onto España's wrist and stopped him from waking the sleeping tomato-bastard. "No, I wasn't trying to wake him. Let the stupid bastard sleep, España."
He didn't move; his hand hung suspended over Antonio's shoulder. "Then what were you trying to do?"
"I told you, nothing!"
España didn't say anything for a long while and I was beginning to wonder if perhaps his brain had checked out, but he then grabbed onto Antonio's shoulder anyways and pulled. I was about to start snarling curses at him when he just pulled Antonio up against me, Antonio's head coming to rest on my chest. España let him go and then wrapped his arm around both of us.
"Is this what you wanted, Romano?" He murmured into my ear, a yawn quickly following. He nuzzled along the shell of my ear when I didn't answer. "You should go back to sleep, mi amorcito."
I may or may not have let my arms encircle Antonio's shoulders. I certainly didn't nuzzle the curls on the top of his head though. It would also be preposterous to think that I let my fingers card through his hair and support him as he curled into my chest while wrapping his arms around my waist.
"Mmm, te amo, Lovi," Antonio mumbled into my shirt. I quickly checked to see if he had woken up but that stupid, sweet, bastard was just talking in his sleep. Even in his sleep we couldn't escape this conversation.
"Ti amo anch'io," I whispered slowly into the top of his head, hoping his thick skull would muffle the noise.
Dammit, I loved this bastard. I mean, I've always loved him, but not like this. I had loved him as a friend, maybe even as family, but now I had to admit it was something more.
"Damn you all," I grumbled even as I ran my fingers through his hair. "You all are responsible for this. If you could have just gotten along with England and gotten over your stupid feud, then none of this would have ever happened and you and I could have just lived our lives ignoring that there was anything between us."
"No we couldn't have, Romano," España whispered, making me jump again. Eavesdropping asshole. "Things had to change and I am glad that they did." He pressed a kiss to the back of my neck. "Te amo." I could feel my ears heating up. "Now, I thought I told you to go to sleep. We can talk about this in the morning, Romano." He kissed my temple. "Go to sleep,"
I grudgingly did as he said, or at least I tried to. My brain was all geared up and I had a hard time quieting it down enough to sleep. I was sure España could hear the buzzing sound of my brain rattling around with thousands of thoughts because he unwound his arm from me and Antonio and instead started rubbing my back.
I could feel my eyelids getting heavier and I knew I was lost when he started humming a lullaby. Damn bastard used to pull this trick all the time when I was a kid. Eventually, all I was able to do was cuddle up to Antonio and let my eyes fall shut. "Buenas noches, mi amorcito."
"Lovi?" I flinched at the sound of Antonio's voice. After waking up this morning, he had first snuggled closer to me, cheerfully wishing me a good morning, but not even three seconds later it was like something had clicked in his brain and he all but flew from the room, not looking back at me as color flooded his cheeks. If he was searching me out now, he had either gotten over the incident from this morning or he was here to 'let me down easy'.
Antonio rounded the corner, entering the living room and plopping down on the couch beside me. He set his head in my lap and took my book from me. Dammit, what could he possibly want?
"Lovi, I'm bored," He whined as he held my book just out of my reach and pouted up at me.
"So? I don't see how that's my problem, bastard," I grumbled, reaching for my book even as I resisted the urge to run my fingers through his hair.
"But, Lovi!" Damn that whine was irritating. "Aren't you bored too?"
"No, I was reading."
"But that's boring, Lovi. Sitting by yourself and reading a boring book is really no fun at all."
"Like you're one to talk, bastard," I groused, giving up my futile attempts to retrieve my book.
"Fine! Fine. For fuck's sake, what exactly am I supposed to do, bastard? Do you expect me to just wave my hand and poof you're no longer bored? There's not a whole lot I can do, dumbass." Antonio just grinned.
"Let's play fútbol, Lovi!" He suggested excitedly, quickly sitting up and grabbing my shoulders. "You like fútbol, sí?"
"Of course, dumbass, but there are only four of us in this house and neither Spain nor España know anything about the game."
"We could teach them!"
Good luck with that," I scoffed, finally snatching the book back from Antonio and shrugging off his grasping hands so I could lie back on the couch.
"You're just afraid I'll beat you. Just like I did at the World Cup."
"Bullshit!" I snarled, practically snapping back up into a sitting position and then shoving him off the couch. I leapt to my feet, flinging the soon-to-be forgotten book down on the couch, and stomped from the room. "Feli and I have kicked your ass numerous times."
Antonio was quick to regain his footing and gave me a happy grin as he followed me through the house. "So you will play, Lovi?"
I nodded, "Just don't cry when I kick your ass, Tonio."
"Hey, tomato bastards! Get your asses outside!" I yelled out after stopping briefly at the foot of the stairs then continued down the hall and out the front door. Antonio was practically skipping after me.
"So, Lovi?" That voice was too smug for Antonio, it sounded out of place. "Aren't you worried I'm going to beat you again next World Cup?"
"Like hell," I growled. "2014 will belong to me and Feli."
"I don't know, I think I might win again."
"You will not! Feli and I have won the cup four times already, next year we'll win for the fifth."
Antonio just shook his head and chuckled. Infuriating bastard.
"My Lovi is so cute."
"Fuck you!" I snarled, attempting to slam the front door on him. Again, he just snickered at the attempt and pushed the door back open with his hip.
"What exactly is going on?" Spain asked. He must have followed the sound of our bickering out onto the porch. "Are you kicking Antonio out?" He sounded hopeful.
"After yesterday, you're the only one I'd think of kicking out of this house, bastard," I grumbled as Antonio ran around to the back of the house, no doubt to get any gear we'd need from the shed.
Spain winced. "I am really sorry about that, mi amor. I did not intend for her to find out. Bella figured it out on her own."
"Uh huh." I stepped off the porch and into the yard, going to the big cork oak tree to stand under its shade. Spain pouted as he trudged after me.
"I mean it, Roma," He whispered, leaning into me and forcing me to back up against the tree trunk. He invaded my space, pinning me in with a hand on either side and touching our foreheads together. He ran the tip of his nose along the length of mine, his eyes half lidded as they stared into mine. "I would never do anything to make you mad like that."
"You're making me mad now, bastard," I said (probably less than convincingly), trying not to stare at that teasing smirk.
Spain pressed against me, his hips molding to mine, he moved from leaning on his hands to his whole forearm, his elbows now beside my shoulder. "I do not believe you, mi amado. You keep watching my mouth and wetting your lips." As if to provide an example he slowly swept the tip of a pink tongue along the expanse of his upper lip, ending by drawing the pale flesh along an incisor.
Our breathing seemed to synchronize until we were almost sharing the same breath and all I could think about, other than my rapidly beating heart, was the way that smirk seemed to be getting closer. As his lips gently touched mine, so far only pressing minutely, not demanding more, I pondered how I always managed to get myself into these situations and how I seriously needed to stop letting myself get pinned in. If I did, then none of this would happen.
"Te quiero," He breathed, our lips brushing with each syllable until he pressed them together again. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the one to initiate the second kiss and even if I was, Spain was the one who all too quickly deepened it; pressing forcefully, tongue drawing an identical path along my upper lip before attempting to plunge past my lips and twine itself with my own. He threaded his fingers through my hair, one hand at the back of my head, the other just at the base of my hairline, his thumb stroking along my neck.
"Spain," I gasped as he twirled that damned curl around a finger and slid a knee between my legs. "You bastard," I moaned right before his tongue finally swept past my open lips and traced my own; stopping only to sweep along the inside of my teeth as if to memorize, and then going back to encouraging my own tongue to respond.
I had to hold onto his shoulder to keep my knees from wobbling when he unwound my curl only to rewind it the other way. I shyly reciprocated, moving my lips against his. He tasted like coffee and blackberry jam and something that was entirely Spain. (España tasted the same so this must me what kissing the original would have been like). I whimpered at that thought, winding my arms around Spain's neck to pull him closer. Spain pulled back enough to nip at my lower lip and then began to trail kisses down my chin, my throat, and my neck. One of my hands grasped onto the back of his shirt as the other played with uneven locks of hair (I had still not fixed his damn hair) as I craned my neck back to give him room.
Why was he so good at this? I didn't just mean the kissing, but also the ability to make me lose all rational thought. Dammit, I was supposed to be angry at him. "I love you so much, mi tesero," He whispered into my throat, kissing even as he spoke. Maybe that had something to do with it.
Spain rolled his hips against mine, causing me to dig my nails into his back and making him moan. I don't think he did it intentionally because he stopped to just rest his head on my shoulder for a few seconds to catch his breath before renewing his quest to kiss every inch of my neck and shoulders. His hips once again pressed insistently against mine and Dios did it feel good –
"Fuck!" I shoved him away, trying to think of unarousing thoughts. England's cooking. Germany's face. France and the perverted rose – yep, definitely gone now. Spain stared down at my lips, his eyes still half lidded, pupils dilated with lust and obviously having the same issue I was if the beginnings of a tent were any indication.
"Umm…Spain." I forced my eyes away, looking instead at the house, hoping the others hadn't seen. I didn't see them, Thank god. "I – uh – I think you – we – should – uh, dammit." I backed away from him moving out from under the tree. "We should just not, er…touch each other. Just – stay over there." I blushed.
He was also flushed, but I think that had more to do with his current state of…arousal, rather than any embarrassment he might feel. His gaze roved over me, unconsciously licking his lips.
"Spain!" Something in my voice must have alerted him to…certain things because he shook his head, took in his surroundings: the rumpled shirt riding up my midriff, the swelling to my lips as well as the swelling of his – anyways, as soon as he took complete stock of the situation he truly blushed, his ears turning scarlet.
"Oh! Lo siento, Roma." He stumbled back from me, almost losing his footing. "I wasn't…it wasn't my intention – I'm going to go inside to cool off for a bit." He ran to the house, kind of awkwardly but swiftly.
"Dammit, that was too close," I muttered as I decided to go see what was taking Antonio so long. When I got to the back of the house, the shed door was wide open, gardening tools being thrown outside and grumbled Spanish pouring through the door.
"Antonio?" I called, peeking through just in time for a ball to come flying through the air directly at my face. It was only decades of practice that allowed me to catch it before it broke my nose.
"I found it!" Antonio shouted, emerging from the shed and grinning victoriously. "I found – Lovi?"
"You almost hit me in the face, bastard," I snarled, throwing the ball to him. Predictably, he caught it and his smile turned sheepish and apologetic.
"Lo siento, mi tomate." He gave me a tight hug, before he took my hand and started to lead me back to the front of the house.
He needed to stop touching me. It was reminding me too much of being caged in and thoroughly snogged by Spain and I really didn't need to make Antonio feel even more awkward around me, which would happen when I grabbed him by the front of his shirt and kissed him breathless –
Fuck! Stop thinking these things!
I twisted out of his grip and lengthened my stride to walk ahead of Antonio. Spain, hell, even España, would take advantage of my moment of insanity, but it would freak Antonio right the fuck out.
"So, Lovi, did the others show up yet?" I blushed glad my back was to him. There was no way I was going to tell him about that thing with Spain.
"I don't know." I sped up again, practically power walking to the front of the house. España was standing on the front porch leaning on the railing. Spain had yet to reappear. Shit, I had still not spoken to España about all the stupid mushy things I had said last night and I honestly hoped he would not remember and want to discuss it as he promised we would.
"What is going on, Romano?"
"We're playing a game, España!" Antonio interrupted. España gave me a dubious look but I eventually confirmed Antonio's enthusiastic reply.
"What sort of game, Romano?"
"Fútbol!" Antonio once again cheered, passing the ball to España who skirted around it and glared at it suspiciously as it continued to roll away from us and into the driveway.
"It's not dangerous, España – well, not usually," I muttered, remembering quite a few cleats to the back of a leg or elbows and sometimes even knees in the back (Not that I hadn't given back as good as I got), but it's not like I had ever minded.
"What do you mean by usually?" España grumbled as he walked over to the ball and gave it a nudge with his toe. He then slowly bent over and picked the black and white ball up for further inspection.
"Well – "
"It is not dangerous, España. It is a lot of fun. Lovi and I used to play all the time. Not recently. It has been too long," He pouted at me.
"Will you stop interrupting me, dammit? He's asking me questions. Not you, tomato bastard." Antonio just gave me a silly grin.
"So why did you call for Spain and I?"
"Because," I shot that loud mouth bastard a glare fast enough that he shut his mouth again and continued giving me that stupid grin. "Antonio wanted to play and thought we needed more people."
"But Spain and I do not know this game."
"That's what I told him, but you all are stubborn bastards," I growled, about ready to smack that grin off Antonio's face. As I moved to do so, Spain stepped back out onto the porch. His hair was dripping and the front of his shirt was soaked with water. Probably cold water if the state of his – erm…his chest. Damn was that a tight shirt – not that I was looking or anything, but damn. I certainly wasn't remembering what it was like to be pressed up against it while being kissed so thoroughly I couldn't see straight; neither was I imagining what it would be like to run my fingers through those soaked locks. Son of a bitch, I had just calmed down and so had he seeing as his face was nowhere near as flushed as it was prior. That and he was no longer sporting a boner (Dios, I still can't fucking believe it). He did however look me over, pupils still a little dilated, but he quickly turned his gaze away when our eyes met.
"What's going on?" Spain asked, voice still a little husky at first before he cleared his throat. Probably for the best, that deep gravelly voice was doing nothing for my self-control. España looked between the two of us as Spain purposefully avoided looking at me. Of course España would pick up on that. Observant bastard. Just had to be smarter than the other two.
"Look, do you two want to play or not, because I can always go back inside and finish my book. It's not like I need to prove I'm better than this lazy bastard." I smirked over at Antonio. "We both know the truth."
Antonio actually stuck his tongue out at me before replying. "Maybe in the past, Lovi, but I'm pretty sure I'm the one with the FIFA Cup right now." Damn him and his perfect, smug face.
"You were just lucky. It's not like you were actually any good," I sniped.
"If that's true, then why would Feliciano say that you cheered for me in my match against Germany?"
"Because he's a fucking liar, that's why!" I was going to kill Feliciano next time I saw him. "I did not cheer for you, you bastard." I also had not worn one of Spain's old jerseys as Feliciano and I watched the game. That sure as hell did not happen. I may however have jumped a bit when Germany lost, but that was just because it filled me with immense joy to see the potato bastard taken down a few pegs, it had absolutely nothing to do with Spain's winning.
Antonio did not look convinced. "What?! It was either cheer for you or for Germany and there was no way in hell I was going to root for the macho potato, so don't look so pleased with yourself, bastard."
Antonio hugged me, as per usual. "You're so cute, Lovinito."
"Yeah, yeah. So fucking cute," I hissed, shoving his face away from mine when he tried to brush our noses together. He was not going to fucking Eskimo kiss me. That was not going to happen when I was still unsure whether I wanted to headbutt that stupid smile off his face or kiss it. "Are we going to play or not?"
"Of course, Lovi."
"Are you two going to play?" I asked España as I took the ball back from him. He looked as if he was done inspecting it for witchcraft anyways.
"I think I'm just going to watch for now," España answered, walking up to the porch, glaring at Spain as he went.
"I will observe as well, Roma" Spain said, watching España warily as the conquistador came up to the porch.
I knew within the first five minutes that this was fucking pointless. Antonio had not once hip checked me, had not even tried to knock me off balance, and was all around acting like a fucking wimp. As much as I hate to admit it, he was still a good, but he wasn't great anymore. He could still dance circles around me when it came to footwork, but it didn't take much for me to steal the ball back from him or knock him flat on his ass. Even Feliciano was more aggressive than Antonio. Then again that's probably not a fair comparison since Feliciano was fucking terrifying when it came to football.
It was only after I had scored a third point on Antonio that could have easily been prevented had he just slammed his damn hip into me, that I couldn't put up with his pansy ass any longer. The slide tackle that then happened would have gotten me a yellow card if not expulsion from a real game since it was obvious, probably even to the other bastards on the porch, that I had not been going for the ball. That and I took too much enjoyment in the sound of Antonio's back slamming onto the ground.
"Okay, what the hell, Antonio?" I growled as I stood over him, my hands on my hips. He propped himself up on an elbow and rubbed the back of his head.
"What are you talking about, Lov – " I kicked the football, sending it sailing past Antonio's head and into the makeshift goal as Antonio ducked for cover.
"Don't give me that bullshit! You're going easy on me - don't try and lie to me and say you're not because at the rate this match is going I'm not going to have any bruises afterwards, not a single damn one, you bastard. Why the fuck are you holding back? I bruise like a fucking peach and I'm going to leave this farce of a game without a single bruise to show for it. So what the hell do you think you're doing?"
"I just don't want to hurt you, Lovi." He sat up but didn't make a move to get back on his feet.
"You never had a problem with it before and it's not like it actually hurts. This was supposed to be fun, dammit, but you're letting me win too easily."
Spain and España finally came over to investigate seeing as I was still glaring down at the sitting bastard.
"It is probably for the best that he didn't hurt you, Romano. I would not allow it," España said as he helped Antonio to his feet.
"Stay the fuck out of this," I hissed before turning my anger back on Antonio. "Stop treating me like I'm fragile. We're not even wearing cleats. It's not going to hurt all that bad if you trip me up or at least try to win."
"I-I don't think I can do that, Lovi."
Obviously the original Antonio did not get his aggression or competitive spirit from this wimp or there would have been no way in hell he'd ever have won the FIFA Cup. I'm not sure which one of the three that the aggressive part came from, but the encouragement Spain had been yelling at Antonio in the short time we had been playing was probably answer enough; that and he kept 'asking' Antonio if he was just going to let me walk all over him like that. If I wanted an actual match anytime soon, I'd have to teach Spain how to play or force those bastards to just accept each other already so I could have my Antonio back.
"I'm going to take a shower," I sighed tiredly, just giving up at this point.
"Can I join y –"
"No, Spain. You cannot." I slammed the front door behind me. I may have left the field with a few bruises but not a single one was from Antonio, they were all from Spain and his damn mouth.
"Great, just another fucking thing that England's damn spell has ruined." I tugged my shirt up over my head. It wasn't like I actually needed a shower after that serious let down, but maybe it would help me clear my head. Plus, I could avoid that conversation with España for a while longer. What the hell was I going to say to him? I love Antonio, but I don't think it's this one that I love. I love this Antonio, but he's not the same, he's not…enough? That doesn't make any fucking sense. I threw the shirt down on the floor as I entered my room and kicked the door shut behind me.
Maybe I should go find España and just talk this all out with him. I'm not going to figure this damn mess out on my own. I stepped into my bathroom before slipping off my shorts and throwing them back to join my shirt. I locked the door behind me before stepping into the shower. I was just lathering shampoo into my hair when I heard my bedroom door open.
"I'm taking a shower, what do you want, bastard?"
Whichever one it was walked up to the bathroom door and, well it sounded as if he slumped down in front of it. "Romano, you did not need to be so cruel to Antonio."
Seriously? This was what he wanted to talk about? I mean, I did feel bad for yelling at him, it's not his fault he just didn't have it in him to be aggressive, but there was no fucking way I was going to apologize. "I don't want to talk about this. Just leave me alone, I'm trying to take a shower."
"Fine, we can talk about something else, but I am not going away and if you don't answer me I'm just going to kick the door down."
"You wouldn't dare, you bastard." I could hear him start to stand up and I was sure any minute the door would come flying off its hinges. "Okay! Okay. Jesus. What exactly is it you want to talk about?" España, as I no longer had any doubt as to who was on the other side of that door, seemed to settle himself back down against it.
"What about me, bastard?" I asked as I continued with my shower, trying to ignore this guilty, twisting feeling in my gut. Why did he have to make me think about Antonio when I was trying so hard to just forget about him? About everything? "We practically live together. There's not much you don't already know about me."
"There's a lot I don't know about you, amorcito. Antonio probably knows you better than I do and even he is never sure about what you're thinking. I never know how you're feeling or what you actually want." After rinsing the shampoo out of my hair, I let my head rest against the wall, unable to focus any longer. "So what is it that you want, mi precioso?"
"I want you to let me take my shower in peace," I grouched quietly. There was a vast silence in which neither of us said anything. "I don't know, España," I admitted, more than exasperated when the silence became too much and I was no longer sure if he was even still there or not, that he hadn't grown bored and left. "You all probably know me better than I know me." I turned the shower down from blisteringly hot to warm then sat under the spray with my arms circling my knees. "I don't – what exactly is it you want me to say?"
"I want the truth, Roma. I want to know if my affections are even wanted. Sometimes I feel like I'm forcing you to accept my affections and I don't want that. I want to know if you want this. If you want me," He said, his voice tired but impassioned. "I want to know if you care about me – about all of us. Last night you said that you loved Antonio, but how so?"
"I can't…" Shit, he was not going to make me cry. This bastard was not going to get me to think about all this. He was not – fuck. "He doesn't feel that way about me, España!" It would be hard to convince anyone that the watery tone to my voice was from the shower. "I – I'm not sure if any of you actually love me – I mean, how could you?"
"Romano, let me in." I didn't think he was talking just about the door.
"Just leave me alone, España."
"I can't do that, Romano." His voice was right against the door, and the handle jiggled slightly.
"Why the fuck not?" I yelled, hugging my knees tighter, and pressing my face into my knees, letting the water rush over me, all thoughts of washing up long forgotten.
"Please, just open the door, mi cielo. Just try and tell me."
"I don't know how –"
"Just try. Please, mi amor."
"I want him back," I screamed, as my shoulders began to shake and the water running down my face was more salt than shower. "I just – I want – I miss him, España." I had known that it was the original I was missing, that I'd lost, but having to actually face the reality of his absence hurt more than anything I'd ever experience. Even more than being abandoned or replaced, because there was nothing I could ever do to bring him back.
The handle twisted all the way, the lock broken under España's strength, but I couldn't bring myself to care as he stepped into the room, grabbed one of the towels from the rack and turned off the shower. He stepped into the shower and I found that I didn't give a damn about being naked in front of him. It's not like we hadn't taken baths together before. Then again, that was in the past when I was just a child and couldn't be trusted to not drown myself if left unsupervised. España wrapped the towel around me and scooped me up into his arms. He carried me just far enough from the shower that we were on the bathmat before sinking to his knees and just holding me tight and close.
"I know, Romano, and I am so sorry that I cannot be him. I wish I could be, but I just can't accept – I'm sorry."
I grasped the back of his shirt like a lifeline and just hid my face in his shoulder. I'd be embarrassed about falling into the a-shoulder-to-cry-on cliché later. "I-I would miss you too though. If he came back. I – I'm not saying that I love you or that pirate-bastard, but I…"
"Shh. It's all right. I understand, amorcito."
"It's just- it's all fucked up! I don't want to lose any of you, but I want the original back and I know you're all the same, but I, I've gotten so used to you all that I can't decide. How fucked up is that? Antonio is too damn confusing and Spain is – I don't even know how he feels. Does he love me?" I didn't give España a chance to answer. "I feel like he just wants me. You…well you," I blushed all the way up to my ears. "I l-care about all of you. It's just so fucked – even Spain's hair is fucked up and I still have to cut it and there's just so much I don't know how to feel about. I really am sorry to Antonio, I wasn't really mad at him, but I just…he made me realize just how fucked up this all is and how it's all fucking England's fucking fault and why couldn't he have just fucking left well enough right the fuck alone and then maybe, eventually, Antonio or I or both of us would've fucking manned up and just gone for it, but probably not and now I'm not wearing any fucking pants, but I just can't give a shit, plus I know you won't molest me, or whatever – not that the other two would. Spain might have made a joke, but despite all his sexual tension bullshit, he wouldn't have pushed me and – why is that?"
"He loves you." I just stared at him unblinking as it finally clicked. "He loves you just as much as I do."
"H-he does…doesn't he." I looked down at his tear stained shoulder. "Why didn't I notice – why the fuck does everything make sense when you say it?" He shrugged. "Can you make sense of Antonio?"
"I don't think so, amorcito. I think he has to make sense of himself first." He kissed my temple carefully. "I do think he loves you though." I nodded mutely. "Come on, I think we could both use a siesta right now." He stood up, lifting me as if I weighed fucking nothing. Showoffy bastard.
"But I already had one."
He cautiously pressed his lips to mine, giving me ample time to turn away or simply tell him no. He hummed contentedly as I let our lips meet and even pressed back slightly. I did not, however, wrap my arms around his neck or some girly shit like that as I leaned into that kiss in order to deepen it. I did, however, wrap my arms around him so I wouldn't slip from his arms (not that I thought he would drop me) and so what if it actually did pull me close to him? It was just a side effect.
He carried me to my bed, setting me down and keeping the towel around me, all while continuing the kiss. As soon as I was settled on the bed he pulled away and walked to my closet. He pulled out pajamas which he then handed to me before politely turning away.
"Romano," He whispered as he crawled into the bed beside me once the towel was in the hamper and I was situated comfortably in my sleep pants under the sheets, well, as comfortably as one can be alone in a bed when used to being surrounded by others. "You do not mind when I kiss you, do you?" He lay down and just looked at me.
I flushed and rolled away. "Don't just say shit like that!" I spluttered. "Of course not."
"Romano," He wrapped an arm around me and pulled me close, dropping a kiss down onto my shoulder blade. "Please tell me the truth. I don't want to make you uncomfortable. Same applies for Spain. If he ever pushes you too far, just tell me, I'll stop him."
"I…I don't mind." Not at all actually. This was too damn embarrassing, Why did he have to bring this up? Spain never asked for my permission, but he still never pushed the boundaries. At least, not too much.
"You do not mind, but do you like kissing me and Spain?"
"I – y – Don't make me answer this," I whined as I hid my face in my pillow.
"Romano, I have to know."
"I already said I care about you all, so can't you take a fucking guess?" He turned me over and rested his head on my chest.
"So is that a yes?" He smirked, nuzzling into my t-shirt clad sternum. Shit, that just made me think of Antonio again.
"Don't push it, asshole," I growled even as I played with his hair. What?! It was a habit by now. "It might be a yes…but don't think that means you can kiss me whenever you want! Spain already does that and it gets annoying."
"Is that what happened earlier?" He murmured, his voice muffled by my shirt and with sleep, but was still mildly threatening."
"That's none of your damn business!"
He raised himself up to stare down at me. "You enjoy kissing me too, so I think it might be."
"I never said I enjoyed it, bastard. Where the fuck are you getting that idea from?" He got that glint in his eye that always spelled trouble for me; though I usually saw that particular glint in Spain's eyes. "Don't even think about it," I hissed but was, regardless, pinned down by his weight and suddenly had a Conquistador in my face, his lips close enough to ghost teasingly along mine, but never actually touching. "Hey! I thought you didn't want to make me uncomfortable, you jackass."
"On the contrary, I think you are very comfortable right now, mi amorcito," He rumbled, brushing the tip of his nose along mine. "And if you enjoy being kissed by both Spain and I, I think I have a right to know who you enjoy kissing more."
"The fuck you do," I snarled, trying to squirm my way out from under him. His laughter was surprise enough to stop me. I don't think I'd ever heard him laugh like that.
"Alright, amorcito," He chuckled again. "Alright. I do not have to know who you prefer. Just get some rest, we can talk about this more later or you can apologize to Antonio."
"Fuck you and your ultimatums," I growled, rolling over so my back was to him. "If I apologize to Antonio it'll be because I want to. And we are not talking about this again, dammit. So you can just fucking forget that."
"If that is what you want, amorcito," He said amusedly. He grasped my chin lightly and turned my head to look back at him. "Sleep well, my love," He murmured as he sealed our lips together and ran his finger once through my hair.
"Yeah, yeah, you too…bastard," I muttered, maybe pressing a lazy kiss of my own to his mouth before rolling back over and closing my eyes, his warmth and the safety I felt in his embrace lulling me to sleep.
A/N: Thank you all for sticking with me. Next chapter shouldn't take that long since I'm already halfway done with it.
Right now I'd like to take time to point out an artist on DeviantArt who made me some lovely fanart for this story: edwardsuoh13 I suggest you take a look at it as well as her other stuff: edwardsuoh13 . deviantart (remove the spaces)
Other than that, I'd just like to let those of you who are following me that I'm probably going to be posting some non-Hetalia related one-shots in the coming months if you're interested.