MW: Done! Well people, welcome to this little one-shot. It was a contest prize for Rebel-AK.
SEK: That's right; she requested a story about "Romano going on an outing with his granddaughter. Make it both sweet and funny and random." I believe Wolf did her job right with this one.
BFTL: That's right. As a Romano fangirl, I fully support this story.
MW: Right. . . As a little warning for you guys, you will not understand anything that happens in this if you have not read "HETA". Keeping that in mind, this does contain spoilers for said story. Please read it before reading this one. Thank you.
Please enjoy. Tell me if you like this Rebel.
Story Summary: On a whim, Annie decides to take a small vacation in Italy to celebrate Lovino's birthday. But can one week in Italy bring them closer or draw the grandfather and granddaughter farther apart?
Warnings: Language, Blood, Violence, Religious Themes
Disclaimer: I own Annie, and that's about it.
~Buon Compleanno, Nonno~
"To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right."
March 3, 1947
Ludwig's House, Countryside of Berlin
"Gilbert!" I shrieked as I quickly covered myself with the shower curtain and threw the bar of soap at his head. This was the fifth time that week ghost-Gilbert had decided to stick his head through the wall and watch me bathe. I hate my life. So freaking much.
Laughing, he stuck his tongue out at me and declared loudly, "Keseses~! You know you like it!" I threw a bottle of shampoo at him. Like always, it went straight through his silhouette and banged harmlessly against the white tiled wall. I really wish he was solid, and then I could wring his pathetic little-
"Annie!" Ludwig pounded his fist on the bathroom door. "Get out!" He ordered. "There's a phone call for you!" There was hoarse sound in his voice, as if he was sick and having difficulty yelling. Poor guy, how many times did I need to tell him that he needed rest? Especially with all the paperwork he has to do.
The ghost gave me one last triumphant smirk before ducking his head back through the wall. Something in his red eyes told me that he would do this again. While I was on the loo. Great. "I hate him so much," I thought, hurrying out and wiping away the droplets of water. "He wasn't half as obnoxious when he was actually alive." I ruffled my chest-length brown hair with a towel before pulling a long blue dress on.
I know I've said millions of times that I hate dresses, but at that that moment, I could care less. I had a phone call. AKA: a chance to talk to somebody who isn't either dead or wanting me so. In fact, it was most likely from my brother, David. "I wonder how he and Elda are working out," I mused, rushing down the hallway to Ludwig's office. Elda was an Italian woman he'd met only a month ago. Already, he was declaring her the 'love of his life.'
Ludwig's office was cleaner, more crisp than the color white. It almost seemed as though the nation had some phobia of dust. Sitting at his desk, said man was swiftly writing a report on the typewriter. The phone's receiver was placed on the table top, awaiting me to use it. I noted dark shadows developing under his eyes. Note to self: make sure he gets more sleep.
Smiling at my boss (and receiving an annoyed frown in reply), I took the receiver and gave a polite 'hello'. "What the fuck took you so damn long to answer?" I held the phone away from my ear. Okay, was not expecting an extremely pissed off Lovino to be on the other end. I hadn't seen or heard from the nation for a long time. What could he possibly want?
"Well hello Lovino," I responded irritably. I got out of the shower for this? "How has your day been?"
"Fucking fantastic." His sarcasm was obvious. What had him so ticked off? Knowing him, Feli probably did something cute and adorable- and in "Lovi~ World", that's the second worst crime of all. Right next to being German.
I leaned into the desk (causing an evil glare from Ludwig) and twirled the wire. "Well I guess you're always this unpleasant," I sneered. "Call me back when you can play nicely-"
"Wait!" Admit it; I would make an excellent mom- Annabel Milano Henson: raising the world's greatest children with sarcasm.
There was a moment of silence as I waited for Lovino to speak. When he did, his voice was nothing more than a mumble. I pressed the receiver closer to my ear, saying, "I'm sorry, but you're going to have to speak louder." He did, but it was still an incoherent mumble. "Lovino, by louder I meant clearer. Speak clearly."
"DO YOU WANT TO FUCKING SPEND MY FUCKING DAMN BIRTHDAY WITH ME?" I dropped the phone. Was it his goal to ruin my ear drums or something?
Ludwig banged his fist on the table. "Knock it off," he ordered. "I need to work."
"Sorry," I quickly apologized, bending over to pick up the phone. I pressed it close to my head and debated whether I should scold him for getting me in trouble. But I'm a 'nice' person, so I was just going to that one slip. "Your birthday?" I repeated, speaking into the receiver. "Why me?"
Lovino bitterly spat, "Because no one else fucking will." I imagined him looking down at his feet and crossing his arms angrily. Well I guess that explained his terrible mood.
"No one?" I asked.
His bitter voice came: "Fucking no one." I found that hard to believe. Sure, he may be an insufferable twit, but there are some people who like him. Emphasis on the 'some'.
Like his boyfriend. "What about Antonio?" I inquired. "There is no way he'll abandon him on his birthday," I thought. "He's just too nice of a guy."
"His boss wouldn't let him take the week off," he grumbled. Damnit Antonio! If you weren't so nice, I might actually be mad at you. God, why must I have a weak spot for him?
But there had to be someone else. His Northern half did share a birthday with him, so it would make sense for the two brothers to celebrate it together.
I asked him and the anger in his voice rose tenfold. "He's planning on spending the fucking day with the Goddamn Potato Bastard and his damn Shorty brother!" I had forgotten: Ludwig had told me a few days before that Heilrich and Feli were coming to visit this month. On the same day. The perfect opportunity for a lover's squabble.
I was left dumbfounded. There was one last personification- one I highly doubted would succeed -that could spend the day with Lovino. Rather hesitantly, I asked, "What about Arsenius?"
"HE'S FUCKING MISSING AGAIN!" Thank God I'd gotten the phone away from my ear in time. Still, Ludwig and I had to wince at the sheer volume. I was going to be scolded for this later. Great. "AND WHEN THE BASTARD ACTUALLY DECIDES TO SHOW HIS DAMN FACE, HE INSISTS ON SPENDING THE FUCKING DAY WITH VENEZIANO!"
I sighed. I guessed he really was alone. You know, if the guy wasn't such a bastard, then we wouldn't be having this problem right now. But no, he had to cuss out every person he runs into- especially me. Which reminds me, why is he asking me? It would have made more sense for him to call someone like Denmark instead. I took the risked and asked, "But why, out of the whole world, why me?'
Lovino mumbled again before giving me a straight answer. "Because out of my two damn bastards, you are the only one who doesn't give me a fucking headache every five damn minutes." Did I forget to mention the fact that David and I are the bastard grandchildren of Lovino and Francis? I did? Well now you know another reason for me not to like him. I could always see Francis doing something like that (which, in my case, was nearly a century ago), but not the Italian. The guy pretty much caused the death of my mother because he couldn't keep his hormones straight. In fact, I could blame every problem in my life because of him.
I considered my options. Lovino really was an okay guy when you got to know him. It's not as though I didn't want to take a week-long vacation out of Germany. Conveniently the same week Heilrich and Feli were going to be here. Those arguments were always bad and hard on Ludwig.
I was worried that the German- know what? Heck with it. He's a big boy; he can take care of himself. Plus, he had his ghostly older brother, lovable boyfriend, and laconic love-rival to watch over him (even if they spend the whole time fighting). What did he need me for? "When and for how long?" I asked.
"My birthday is on the seventeenth," he said. Was it just me, or was there relief in his voice? "You came come to my house on the fifteenth and stay till the twentieth." Wow, no swears. He must have been really thankful- a first for him.
I smiled and continued to twirl the wire. "Sounds good, see you there." We said our goodbyes and I placed the phone back on the receiver. The click noise was oddly satisfying. Now I just had to tell my boss what I was doing. "Ludwig, I'm going on vacation," I said.
The blond looked up from me, pausing in his work. "To where?" he asked before continuing to type.
I dropped my elbows on his desk (an action that caused him to scowl). "Italy. Lovino and I are spending his birthday together."
"I didn't know you were that far along," he muttered. I resisted the ever-strong urge to punch him.
"He's my grandfather," I snapped, feeling red in the face. "To even imply that-"
"I used to date my bruder." My mouth dropped to the ground. Ludwig met my eyes and mockingly smiled at me.
I recovered and quickly frowned. "You're joking."
"I'm not. It was before I met Italy. Prussia and I-"
I slammed my hand over my one remaining ear, yelling as loud as I could, "No! I don't need to know the details of your love life!" Ludwig winced and rubbed his temples. I automatically felt bad. I probably just made his headache worse. "I'm sorry," I said, much softer. "I didn't mean to-"
He raised a hand, immediately hushing me. "Nein, its fine." For a moment, he just rubbed the pressure spots, trying to ease the pain. "Who's going to be there and how long are you going to be gone?" He asked, returning to our point of discussion.
If he didn't have a headache, I would have scolded him for acting like my dad. Like he had any power over me. Instead, I grudgingly gave him his answers. "I'll be gone for less than a week and as far as I know, it's just him and me."
The blond told me bluntly, "You're not going."
Seriously? I am a grown adult. I didn't need him to control my social life. "Why?" I demanded, placing my hands on my hips. "As far as I'm concerned, it's not your problem."
"It is when Turkey has been sending us death threats again." My heart dropped. Sadiq and I never had a good relationship. He insists that I am the cause of everything bad that has happened to the nations. I bet he could find a way to prove that I started the war. Needless to say, the man's current goal is to kill me.
"How does that make a difference?" I drummed my fingers on the desk. "I'm just about as safe there as I am here."
"No, you're not." Ludwig stood and moved to the window behind him. In an awfully dramatic way, he gazed at the yard below him. Gilbert was laughing as he played with the German's three mutts. "Romano and Turkey have a past with each other. There have been multiple occasions where Turkey has tried to invade him."
I sighed. "And what does that have to do with now?"
"If Turkey finds out that the two of you are with each other- alone -then there will be no reason for him not to attack," he said. "Both you are Romano are too weak to fight him off yourselves . . ."
At that point, I just tuned him out and dreamed about my homeland. Dolce Italia, sweet Italy. I thought about the little fishing village I grew up in. I wondered if I could somehow find the time to visit it. I wondered how it has fared over the years. Did the war affect it too much?
Maybe I could see my old house and what the new owners did to it. But they'll probably not want to let a strange foreigner into the home. Then I could at least stand on the beach where my mother died. Has it changed since I last been there?
"Annie!" I popped away from my musing to see Ludwig scowling at me. Something told me he finished his 'important' rant. "Do you understand?" he asked, daring me to say no.
I dared. "Nope, I'm still going."
He frustratedly banged his head on the typewriter, ruining the document he was working on.
March 15, 1947
Somewhere in Italy
"Why must the Lord torture me this way? What have I done to offend you God? Was it for cross-dressing my way across Germany back in '41, because I believe I've already been dealt my punishment for that." I made the sign of the cross and finished my prayer. Yes, I know in normal circumstance, this would be considered overly dramatic. But normal circumstances does not involve being stuck on a cross continent trip with: ". . . and that, ma chere, is why you should never eat a croque-monsieur before spending a wonderful night with a very lovely mademoiselle."
Oh yes. I was stuck on a eighteen hour train ride with Monsieur Francis Bonnefoy. Oh joy, would someone please kill me now? I never wanted him to come with me in the first place. Earlier today, when I was preparing to leave for Lovino's house on the outskirts of Rome, Francis popped his head in and insisted that he escorted me. "I can get there by myself," I had snapped, pushing him away.
"As your grand-pere, I just want to make sure you're safe," he defended. Great, he was playing that card. Sadiq telling me he'll protect me in order to kill me later would have been more convincing. "And besides-" here his blue eyes darkened and his voice grew soft. "-we have to make sure Germany isn't sending you on a secret mission- if you get what I mean." Actually, said German was still angry at me for ignoring his warning and wouldn't even dream of trusting an important message with moi. But that didn't matter and I was stuck with him.
It was the longest train ride of my life. I had nothing to do but listen him rant about improving my love life. With every passing minute, I could feel my headache worsen. There were so many disturbing images in my head I would have preferred to have lived without. Welcome to hell on earth.
Francis rubbed his hand on his pants. "Any questions?" he asked, opening the blinds to the quickly passing Italian city. We were only a few minutes away from the station in Rome.
I gave a long groan. "Why are you telling me this?" I asked, leaning my head into the uncomfortable seat. In moments like these, I was thankful that we had our own compartment. No awkward glances when people wondered how disgusting things could spew from such a beauty's mouth.
He ran his hand through his wavy, blonde locks, saying, "Because, as your grand-pere, I must give you the wisdom I have learned over the years."
Cue the eye-roll. "Like I care to know about that," I growled, extremely annoyed with the whole situation. "As far as I'm concern, the only reason you would care about my love life was so that you could be part of it." I immediately regretted my words when a low 'ohonhon~' left Francis's mouth.
He stood and trapped me between his arms. The Frenchman leaned in so close, I could feel his breath on my skin. "Is that an offer?" He asked, mischief dancing in his blue eyes.
I felt my will melt with fear. I don't know what exactly happened, but I think the master of love thought I was flirting with him. "Dear God- No!" I pushed him away. He actually seemed willing to step away from this one.
Then, to my utter misfortune, the train rocked to a stop. Francis 'lost his balance' and 'fell' right on top of me. "Get off of me!" I yelled, attempting to once again push him off.
"I don't know, ma chere, I think the universe is trying to tell us something, non?"
"It can tell it to my face, now get the bloody hell off of me!"
"I will, but first . . ." This time, he leaned in so close, I could feel his stubble. His red lips brushed against my ear as he started to whisper something. I didn't hear it. Someone pounding on our window covered the noise.
He loudly snapped at us to, "Hurry the hell up!" Francis and I looked up and- to my great embarrassment (not his- Frenchmen never get embarrassed for any reason) -there was Lovino.
He looked like his usual self: scowling with his eyebrows knitted in irritation. Though today, even his single, defiant curl bounced in anger. If the vein popping from his forehead wasn't enough indication, his face was a mad red. Shit. "Hurry the hell up!" He repeated. "I'm fucking sick of waiting for you, bitch!"
The blond smiled slyly and started to say "Mon ami, it looks as though-" I took the opportunity and shot my palm upward and into his nose, breaking it. He howled and jumped away, giving me time to grab my single piece of luggage and flee the room.
If I had any qualms about my actions, I didn't pay any heed.
In fact, I still don't feel guilty for what I did.
The train station- even in the late evening -was crowded with beautiful Italian men and woman, greeting their extensive families with kisses of the cheeks. I found Lovino sulking against a pillar, seemingly eyeing every woman whom passed by. The ceiling lamps cast a shadow over his face, creating an irresistible aura of mystery for any woman. But not to me.
You see here, he has a boyfriend.
I used to wonder why he and so many other nations would flirt with women if they were 'curved'. But then Gilbert explained it to me as: "We're all too awesome not to play on both teams." I guess living for hundreds of years would do that to a person.
"Buona sera," I greeted, trotting up to him. This did not discourage a posse of giggling woman nearby. Stupid skanks, he's taken! By a man! A gorgeous one! You have no chance!
Lovino regarded me nonchalantly. "Finally finished with your fucking make out session with the wine bastard?" He demanded, low enough for only me to hear.
I grimaced, resisting the strong, incessant urge to smack him. "You know it's not like that," I growled, feeling a vein of my own pop.
He rolled his eyes. "Like I will fucking believe that," he muttered. Before I could snap in reply, he started to strut away. "Andiamo. It's late already and I want to get my ass home already."
I trailed after, feeling annoyed at his cold shoulder. "He better get friendlier," I mentally grumbled. "Or else this is going to be a long vacation. Why did I even come here in the first place?" I patted my pocket. Inside was the gift I bought for him. It wasn't much, but I figured he would (at most) thank me for it. At least, it gave me a reason to be here.
"Annie~!" We both glanced back at Francis. He had his upper half out the window, waving to us excitedly. There was a thick blood stream leaving his nose. "Au revoir, mon amour~!" I smacked my forehead as Lovino walked faster.
No matter how many times I asked him, he did not stop until he reached his car. I could only guess that it was out of embarrassment.
March 15, 1947
Countryside of Rome, Italy
Lovino's villa was similar to that of Feli's. It was large, mansion-like, with white brick walls and red tiled roofs. There were Roman pillars of support throughout the house. Though, unlike his brother's, there was no homely feel. The large labyrinth of rooms all seemed cold and deserted. There were a few decorations, mostly of Italian paintings. Nothing personal, like pictures of family and friends. Not even a single image of himself.
There was one decoration, however, that appeared on every wall. "Why are there so many crosses?" I asked as Lovino gave me entrance inside. Inside, I was secretly gleeful. This meant that my present wouldn't seem out of the blue.
"None of your damn business," he huffed, slamming the door behind him. I winced. Wow, what was his problem? "Come on, I'll show you the guest room."
Up a staircase and down two halls took me to an airy bedroom. There was a single bed, laden with white linen sheets. I had my own bathroom, but there was no mirror. Instead, just a cross over the sink. "Why is there a cross there?" I asked.
"None of your damn business," he repeated, glaring daggers at me. I frowned. There was definitely something wrong with him. He was the representation of Italy, therefore he had to be very religious, but to go this far?
"There has to be a personal reason," I thought. "I doubt he'll tell me." Lovino placed my suitcase on my bed, muttering about how useless I was. "There's no harm in asking." Actually, there was. If he took it the wrong way, I'll be cussed back to Germany. Then Ludwig would laugh mockingly at my failure. At least I can laugh back at his failure of a love life. Actually, I think I'll do that once I see him again. Fun.
"Um Lovino?" I asked, waving a small hand at him. That drew his attention. The ember of his eyes stilled and glared at me. "I was wondering-"
The phone rang.
The nation cursed and held his hand up. "Hold that thought," he ordered, already leaving the room. "That's the Tomato Bastard." I gawked at him until he left, wondering what in the world just happened. Then I realized the meaning of his words.
"Aw, he was expecting that call!" I cooed it mentally, falling onto my bed. The blankets conformed around me, cradling my body. "That's so sweet!" The temptation to creep up to the door and press my ear to the wood was strong, but I resisted. There was no way in hell Lovino would say sweet nothings to his lover. Anything he had to say would just be insults.
Right on cue, I heard him scream into the phone. It was something along the lines of "you are a fucking idiot to do something so fucking stupid!" In Spain, I guess, words like that were romantic. Sometimes, I believe Antonio deserved so much better. What could he possibly see behind the man's wrathful facade? Maybe it was similar to the day Lovi and I first met.
The memory was old (which in turn made me feel old) and hazy in my mind, but I could still recall the basic events. He said something to upset me. I ran away to a room I was cleaning. At the threat of Commander Grease Head, he followed me to apologize, but ended up knocking over the book case. The two of us cleaned up and we shared life stories.
That day, I discovered that he really wasn't all that bad of a person. Sure, every time we met afterwards he always acted indifferent towards me, but I always have to remind myself about that one day.
I wanted to barf over how cliché it all was. There was still the fact that the guy's a total douche bag. One day of being mildly nice did not change who he was and what he did. I could never ever forget that.
"Ohononon~!" I tensed and shot my gaze at the window. To my utter relief, it was still closed.
"That was definitely Francis," I thought, rising slowly. "Lord help me." With the most caution possible, I crept to the glass and pushed it open. Sure enough, at the base of the villa wall, was Francis. By the blood stains on his shirt, it was plain he had just arrived from the train station. "What are you doing here?" I demanded, glaring at the rapist.
He smiled broadly and suggestively at me, out stretching his arms up at me. "I am still in the neighborhood," he said. "And I just wanted to say 'bonjour' to my petite-fille."
My hand met my forehead. Like I was going to believe that. "Then say it and leave," I snapped. "No one wants you here."
He responded easily with, "Non, the universe wants me here."
"Like hell I'll believe that."
"WHAT THE CRAPOLA! WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO, BASTARD?" Lovino's sudden scream into the phone caused me to jump and fall out the window. One two-story fall later, I was caught in Francis's rock solid and waiting arms. The underside of my legs bruised and my chest ached. Don't ask me how, but I say he planned that. Or he really had the universe on his side. Great.
The Frenchman grinned at me. "The universe says otherwise, ma chere," he said.
And there he goes, mentioning the universe. Was he out of pick-up lines or something? I sighed and struggled in his grasp. "Can you put me down now?" I asked, trying to pry his hands away.
"Because we're going to have fun ce soir!"
This time, I punched him straight in the face. "No way in hell!" I yelled. "If you're horny, go fuck Michelle."
Francis's blue eyes looked ready to burst into tears. "But Seychelles is mad at me," he cried. "And now she refuses to talk to me and spends all her time with Iceland!" I may never have met this Iceland, but I already felt sorry for him. Whoever he is, I pray he doesn't fall into the skank's trap. On the brighter side of things, at least the disturbing Bonnefoy incest was at an end.
"Like I care," I replied, once again attempting to pry his hands off of me. "Would you let me go now?"
The Frenchman placed a thoughtful look on his face. There was something about it that told me to be extremely wary of him. "I'll let you go," he said. "But you have to kiss me first, d'accord?" He had to be kidding me. He had to just crack up laughing and tell me that this is just a joke. There could be no way he was serious. The look in his face told me otherwise. At that point, I just had enough of his little games.
So, I just jabbed him in the stomach and let myself fall to the ground as he moaned in pain. "Ma chere, why did you do that?" he demanded, clutching his middle section for dear life. Drama Queen; I didn't even hit him all that hard.
"You know why," I said, picking myself off the ground. I dusted the dirt off my trousers, saying, "Go away, you got all that I'm going to give. Leave Lovi and me in peace."
The blonde's beautiful features melted with anger. The last time I ever saw such a sneer on his face was during Pearl Harbor. "Why do you deny treat me like I am some scum to be rid of?" he demanded. "All I want is to help you."
I gave a cold laugh. "Help me? Since when was sexual harassment 'helping me?'" My remark only made things worse.
"I'm trying to help you Annie!" He repeated, yelling this time. "You're not safe with Romano. Turkey is-" He did not just bring that back to life.
I stabbed my finger into his chest and pushed him back. "I'm not safe at Ludwig's house, yet I stay." My voice was nothing more than a growl. "I can defend myself- even against Sadiq."
The nation's eyes went dark. His aura was similar to Ivan's when he was mad at me. Wow, I really did push it this time. "You are an idiot," he growled. The man stuffed his hands into his pockets and strutted away. "Something bad is going to happen," he called. "Turkey is going to come and kill you. And I won't be here to help you."
"Since when were the French of any help anyways," I replied, moving to the door inside. "Last I checked, you surrendered after two weeks."
"The Napoleonic wars lasted twelve years," he defended. "And I've fought with Britain for a hundred."
I took a step inside and gave him one last thought. "That was then. This is the 1940s and everything is changing. And quite obviously, you are changing into the weaker." I slammed the door behind me and released a long groan. "I just ruined that one," I thought sourly. "It'll be a miracle if I could ever get him to talk to me again. Then again, that also means that he wouldn't flirt with me." My world immediately brightened. "Actually, this might be a good thing."
Footsteps pounded down the stairs. Lovino ran up to me, looking completely furious. Something told me he finished his call with Antonio and heard our little argument. "What the fuck is going on?" he demanded. "I heard yelling."
I sighed and brushed him away. "It's nothing," I said, lightly grabbing his arm. Lord help if the Italian he ever discovered he was here. "Let's just go to sleep."
"No." Lovino firmly planted his feet into the ground. Rather determinedly, he ordered, "You are going to tell me the damn truth or else I'll. . ." He trailed off, trying to find a worthy threat. "I'll feed you to the damn Tomato Bastard's turtles."
That threat- it left my mind blank of a single comeback. Seriously, who would threaten to feed you to a bunch of Spanish turtles? Either way, it did its job and made me tongue tied. For a moment, I stuttered a few 'um's before deciding to give up and tell him. "W-well you see. . ." I searched for a nice way to tell him. The grumpy man was definitely going to take this the wrong way. "Francis was here-"
"The Wine Bastard was here?" I winced at his volume. I swear all of Rome was able to hear him. Worse, Lovino looked ready to kill someone. "I'm going to-"
"Stop!" I took hold of his arm again and held him back. True, I did hate Francis, but the man already had his ego destroyed. He was in enough pain- for now. "He didn't do anything wrong!" I explained. "We just had a friendly argument."
The Italian whipped his hand towards me. "About what?" he demanded. My lips sealed shut. Nope, I was not going to tell him. If I did, France would be cussed off the map. "Goddammit! Tell me Annie!"
Sighing with exasperation, I told him. "He didn't want me to be here. Both he and Ludwig don't think I'm safe here."
It was as if hell froze over. He was frozen in place, but simmering below the surface. There was a stunned look on his face. I either imagined or saw his hands shaking. With what? Furry? Hurt? Shock? For a long moment, I stared at him as his wide ember eyes stared out mindlessly. When he found his voice again, it was nothing more than a low, ridged growl. "Why?" he asked. "Why the hell is it not safe here?"
At this point, I was deeply regretting my decision. "I shouldn't have told him," I thought. "I should have just refused. In matter of fact, I should have never come here in the first place." I took my guts in hand and told him flat out. "Sadiq" was all I had to say.
This time, I could guarantee the shaking. Cold sweat soaked his brow and fear danced across his eyes. "I-I . . ." Lovino's trepidation made me uneasy. Was he really all that afraid of him? "Leave."
That set me back. He went through all this trouble to get me here just to send me away? "Excuse me?" I asked.
"The damn bastards are right," he snapped with a pain-laced voice. "You are not safe here."
I scowled and felt the gift in my pocket. Did I just go through two rants from Ludwig and Francis just to be told to leave? Hell no. I was going to be the better person and suffer for a few days with Lovino. And perhaps visit my little village. "Says who?" I demanded.
"Says me!" Lovino's voice rose to a yell immediately. "That stupid bastard will fucking find you and he'll fucking kill you-" I slapped him; it was the only way to get him to shut-up.
"What the hell is everyone's problem and not understanding something?" I gripped the collar of his shirt and pulled him forward, forcing him to look at me. "Everyone seems to think that I am some weakling person who cannot defend herself? I can fight- or did everyone seem to forget that?"
Lovino wasted no time in barking, "You're a fucking human. Humans die. End of the fucking story!"
"So can you. It's just harder to, remember?"
"Turkey will not hesitate to fucking kill you!"
"Neither did Japan." That made him pause. Had he really forgotten about my duel with the island nation? That fight nearly did kill me, but I survived- by sheer luck. But he didn't need to remember that. "I am not leaving," I said, staring him straight in the eye. My look dared him to speak again. "And if it comes down to it, I can and will defend myself. Capire?"
Lovino grudgingly accepted my deal. Past midnight, we parted and went to bed in bad moods. Neither of us got up until noon. When I did come downstairs for dinner, the Italian was in an obviously fake good mood. Have you ever seen him in one? Didn't think so.
"We should go to the coast," he said, taking a large bite of his raw tomato. The forced smile on his face was obvious. It twitched at the corners and did not match his angry eyes. "The weather down there is nice right now."
I frowned. Even I knew that it was obvious that the only reason he wanted leave was to hide from Sadiq. If the Turk did discover that I was with him, he wouldn't expect us to be in that part of Italy. Was he really that much of a coward and running away?
And that was how I ended up packing my bags and joining him on an overnight train ride to the tip of the boot.
March 17, 1947
"The beach is okay," Lovino said as we walked along the sandy coast. It was early morning, the day of the nation's birthday, and we had just gotten off the train. Sleeping on a train is never a good idea. It always left me with a terrible ache in my spine. Our remedy was taking an early walk on the warm beach. We sent our luggage to our hotel and headed off to the nearest ocean side. As always, the Italian spring weather was pleasant with a slight breeze. It reminded me of my old home here.
I kicked a bit of the hot sand up as I swung my shoes in my hand. My present laid safe in my pocket, awaiting to be given. But I was going to wait for the absolutely perfect moment. Because I'm like that.
I listened to his opinion of the coast and shook my head. His words did not match the happy look in his eyes. "That's a lie," I said, smirking to myself. "You love the beach."
He scowled and look down. "H-how so?" he demanded. "You don't know a damn thing about me." I wanted to pinch his cheeks. As embarrassing as it was to admit, his shyness was so damn cute. Maybe this was one of the traits Antonio adored. But it still didn't make him a better person. Nope, that changes nothing.
I whistled, feigning innocence. "I know because you're the southern half," I explained. A rather large wave crashed onto the shore and brushed our feet. "And you have most of the Italian coast under your control. Why shouldn't you like to be here?" I loved and hated it here.
The weather was beautiful, but there was an eerie, nostalgic feel to this area. Just a few miles out was the small fishing village my family used to live in. I yearned, craved to run from Lovino and see my old home. How long has it been since I had last been there? A little over a decade. I took the temptation in my hands and quelled it. I had to stay here with Lovino. What kind of a person would I be to just leave him behind?
Annoyed, Lovino sighed. "Fine," he spat. "I like the beach. Happy?"
I threw my head back and laughed. "Yes, I am." I scuffled his hair (an action that caused another scowl) and grinned. "Now, was that so hard?"
"I hate you," he muttered. I thought a silent agreement. He simmered for a while, calming the popping vein on his forehead. "Let's get some damn food," he suggested. "I'm starving."
After a long debate ("It's too early for lunch" "I don't want to eat a damn quiche"), we found ourselves taking a seat at an Oceanside cafe. I took a seat in one of the iron wrought chairs, beckoning for Lovino to come join me. "I don't want to eat a damn quiche," he muttered, resurrecting the argument.
I resisted the strong urge to groan. "Stop your moaning," I ordered. "We'll get breakfast skewers."
He frowned at me. "Fine," he spat. He was already walking away when he added, "I'll go order our damn food." I watched him go, wondering why he always was in a bad mood. It was his birthday after all, he should be happier.
Resting my chin on my hands, I sighed and looked out at the sea. The Mediterranean always did look so pretty in the early spring. It wasn't like summer when the waters were a clear blue or like winter when they were a darker shade. No, this was the transition between; an array of colors crashing onto the white shores.
I sighed again and absently twirled my hair. "I love Italy."
"Me too." I groaned and rolled my eyes as Francis stole Lovino's chair for himself. What was he doing here? He looked better than the last time I saw him- nicely dressed and ready to flirt. The blonde leaned into the table, saying, "He is very cute, non?"
That was the problem with nations: they always presume you are talking about the personification. "I mean the land idiot," I growled. I glared daggers at him, snarling ever so slightly. "What are you doing back here?"
An overly dramatic sigh sang from his throat. "To apologize," he said, swooning in the wind. I few lovely ladies nearby sighed in longing. Gullible munters. "The way I acted was inappropriate and I hope that you will be able to forgive me."
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that this is the first time the man before me has ever begged for forgiveness- from me. This deserves a silent moment of appreciation.
. . .
"Why should I forgive you?" I demanded. My mouth was drawn in a scowl as deep as Lovino's. "You've caused nothing but trouble." World War Three broke out as the two of us stared at each other. My eyes dared him to pull one of his tricks whereas his blue ones dared me to do something about it.
Francis smiled and pulled a ring of keys from his pocket. He placed them in front of me, saying, "Here you go. My car is parked further down the street. I do not have any more use of it, but I have a feeling you do, non?" I frowned. Did the French have a seventh sense of knowing other's desires? "Keep it and go somewhere you really want to be, d'accord?"
I slid them back towards him. This had 'trap' written all over it. He was going to lure me far away and rape me. Because he's a stupid French bastard (oh dear God, I sound like Lovino). "No," I said. "Why would you-"
"Because I am a nice person." He blew me a kiss, winked, and pushed them back to me. The same girls as before sighed. "Excuse me, ma petite-fille, but I must depart now. Au revoir." Handsomely, he strutted away, suggestively raising his eyebrows at the on lookers. All of them swooned and greedily followed him.
I stared at the keys. They looked harmless enough, but what could I possibly do with them? "Go home." To that little town a few miles off? That just crazy, why would I want to do that? "Because it's my home. It's where Mom died." I don't need to bring ghost back from the dead. And besides, it probably has completely changed by now. "But I still want to." Yes, I do 'little voice inside of my head', but that doesn't mean I should. I'm here with Lovino, remember? "He could understand." Bullshit. "Well, when was he ever considerate to me?" Well he did want me to leave. "Truly considerate."
"Alright! I'll go!" I slammed my hands on the table, disturbing a few diners nearby. I smiled apologetically at them. May I get an awkward? I made my decision. I'll just leave him a note and promise to be back before evening. That way, we can still spend his birthday together and he'll have no strong reason to hate me. "He's going to be pissed. . ." When was he never? And besides, I already convinced myself to do it. "Fine, I'll go ahead and get myself killed." Alright, fine then.
Damnit, did I really just take part in a full length argument with myself? Dear Lord, what have I squandered to?
Armed with the keys, I scribbled a note on a discarded napkin, promising to be back soon. I marched determinedly to Francis's car, reminding myself not to look back. A small part of myself felt guilty for abandoning Lovino today of all days, but it was drowned by the need to see the town. I had to see it.
March 17, 1947
Romano carried a platter of breakfast skewers outside. Stupid chef took his merry time preparing the damn food for him. Jeeze, Greece could have made them faster than him- even with his constant sleeping breaks. Of course, if his 'delightful' day couldn't have gotten any worse, it did.
"What the fuck?" He nearly dropped the food. Where the hell was Annie? He looked around hastily, trying to see if he could spy her anywhere. Nope, not at all. But he did see someone much, much worse. "WINE BASTARD!"
The nation dropped the platter and marched straight up to the flirting blond, surrounded by a crowd of easily-pleasable men and women. Mostly men; the women weren't biting today. France looked at him seductively. "Mon aim," he greeted, extending his arms in a warm hug. "What brings you-" Romano's fist burrowed its way into his face.
"What the fucking hell did you do?" The Italian wrapped his tanned hands around the other's neck, shaking his head back and forth. The crowd around them fled, some threatening to call the police.
'W-what do-o yu-uo m-mean?" France choked, trying to shove his attacker off.
Romano released him and punched again. The victim stumbled back. The Italian only half cared when he snapped, "Where the fuck is the bitch?"
With hardly any other choice, the Frenchman coughed up the truth. If he didn't, who knows what the Italian might do? And besides, he never did anything wrong because in the end, this was Sadiq's fault.
After France's rather harsh argument with the missing girl, he had marched over to Greece to- quite simply -seduce some citizen and get his way. But the personification himself was napping in the same bar he had been hunting in. Muttering in his sleep, Greece revealed the latest of the world's gossip. Including that Turkey was traveling to Southern Italy for some unknown reason. Being the loving grand-pere he is, France came up with a plan to win favor in Annie's eyes. And- perhaps -something else. Something a bit more . . . personal. A plan that involved giving her a car and allowing her to leave.
His story finished, Romano immediately raised his fist again. "I was just trying to help, mon aim!" France defended, raising his hands in defense.
"How the fuck was that suppose to help?" The brunette demanded red with rage, but not striking. "What the fuck made you believe that she would be a hell of a lot safer fucking alone?" He didn't have an explanation.
Romano sighed and stormed off. The blond fell to his knees, hands over the developing bruises on his face and neck. His legs felt too heavy to chase after him. "Where are you going?" he called.
"What the hell does it look like? I'm going to fucking find her."
March 17, 1947
My Old Home
The car was nice and inconspicuous. It would easily blend in with all the other cars in Italy. From experience, I knew that my hometown was barely a thirty minute drive. The ilex-lined roads weren't fraught with tourist nor civilians, giving me clear passage all the way.
I drove quickly, reminding myself not to feel guilty. "I need this; he deserves this. I need this; he deserves this. . ." The sign pointing me to the town was rusted and unreadable. I looked at it curiously as I drove by. Odd, why would. . .
I received my answer soon enough. The beautiful Italian village I knew and loved was- in one look -deserted. There was not a single soul insight. The roads were ridden with weeds and imperfections. Most importantly, there were boards covering all the windows and doors, forbidding entrance to anyone and everyone.
I pressed my foot on the brake and stared. This was my town? How did this happen? I turned off the ignition and climbed out of the car. Meandering down the streets, I gazed at the ruins of my memories.
There was the florist shop Signorina Teresa ran. She used to give me flowers whenever I was having a bad day. There was Signor Dino's butcher shop. He was a nasty fellow, always cursing for David and me to hurry past his window before we caused any trouble. The empty memories left ghosts to occupy the memorials. Or, so I wished.
When I peered into both of them, I saw the remains of refugees taking shelter for nights on end. Lucky for my broken heart, I saw no other person, but that did not matter. There was probably more here, lurking behind me to see if they could steal anything from me.
Not in fear of being mugged, but for the most important place of all. My legs stretched as far as I could, carrying me down hills towards the beautiful ocean. I slid on the sand and continued with my reckless pace until-
I stopped, nearly falling onto my face. My old home was boarded up, looking just as weathered and abandoned as the rest. Panting, I placed my hands on my knees and tried to catch my breath. When my family moved to England, we sold this place. The interior was probably completely different from what I remembered, but I didn't care.
Placing two hands on the boards, I ripped away at the rotted wood. Splinters dung into my hand and mold found itself under my nails. Little by little, I ripped away the barrier, seeking the prize underneath.
The last board ripped away and I stumbled back. I felt my breath restrict. How did I get here again? How did I find myself breaking into a house that was no longer mine? What right did I have? "You came this far Annie, you have to push forward." I took a long, deep breath. It filled my whole being and resurrected my courage. "You can do this."' I took a weighted step inside.
The interior was as different as it was the same. The layout was the same- walking straight into the living room where I celebrated my eighth birthday. However, the wallpaper was wrong. It was a dark green color, not the pleasant white I loved. The rug, covering the wood floors I played on, was eroded by weather and moths.
I took a long, dust filled breath. This was still my home. I could still see Mom sitting on the couch, mending the clothes David and I ripped as Dad told us stories about a land called England. Sighing, I shook my head. I should leave. Lovino probably noticed that I was gone by now. No doubt he was throwing a fit.
The very thought of him made me guilty. I really shouldn't have left. Everything here is dead. The minute I realized this, I should have turned around and gone home, not play detective and walk around. This town was most likely abandoned because of the war anyways. To protect themselves from the Allies (and later the Germans), all the citizens abandoned this place for better strongholds.
"Let's get out of here," I muttered, turning to leave. Expect I couldn't. Standing outside the door was Sadiq.
He stood tall and proud, his turban complimenting his white mask perfectly. In his hands were two curved swords. The seed of panic Ludwig and Francis planted inside of me sprouted. I frowned. My mouth tried to form words, but it refused to make anything coherent. My hands shook and my legs were jittery with anticipation.
The nation smirked, knowing quite well the effect he was having on me. "I knew I'd find you here," he said, raising his weapon towards me. "Though I was looking for two jackasses, not one. Where is the other?"
I gazed around the room from the corner of my eye. There was no weapons and only one easy way out- the front door. "Elsewhere," I growled, taking a few steps back. "So tell me, why are you here? Looking at the real estate? I heard the homes in Turkey were shit piles."
I'm going to tell you all a very important lesson right now. If you ever want to deeply insult a nation, aim for their culture. It would most likely cause a deep gash in their ego. In Sadiq's case, it would also cause him to attack with pure wrath.
He yelled and lunged forward, slashing down with both his weapons. I ducked to the side and scraped along the floor just in time. I felt the skin of my palm tear away to an open wound. I cursed, scrambling to my feet to only miss his swords again by chance.
I ran straight into the nearest wall. Deep breaths filled up my panic being, calming myself ever so slightly. Plus points for me: I had him inside. The masked man jabbed right at my face. One sword clipped the side of my cheek while the other hit where my missing ear would have been. "Sorry Sadiq, but David beat you to it," I mocked, smirking madly.
This made the man more enraged. Roaring, he pulled the swords from the walls and slashed at me. I ducked and rolled past him. Without looking back, I dashed out the front door and into the open- hopefully to a fairer fighting ground.
I bent and scooped up one of the discarded wood boards. More than anything, I needed a weapon. It may have been rotten, but it would have to do. I had to defend myself. Still running, I ran out to the middle of the beach, trying to gain some land. That was my mistake.
Sadiq ran back into the open. He took a different wood board off the ground and threw it at my head. It hit its mark. One of the corners cut a shallow cut in the back of my head and I fell. My mouth met with the sand, suffocating my breathing. Groaning, I tried to pick my head off the ground.
Laughing cruelly, the nation placed his foot on my head and forced me down. "That was easy," he sneered. "I thought you would have put up a better fight."
Against my better judgment (but for my better amusement), I fought my face free and gave him a smug grin. "My father taught me not to punch other girls." He stomped his foot on my head, forcing my back down. Ow, that really hurt.
The flames I had fanned fully ignited his furry. There was a 'swish' as the Turk raised his swords off the ground and high into the air. Shit, was I really going to die on the same beach my mother did? "I've been waiting a long time to do this," he said. "Any last words before you die?"
"FUCK NO!" I could hear Lovino kicking up the sand as he marched across the beach to us. If the tone of his voice matched his face, then this man was extremely ticked off. In a matter of seconds, the sound of a hard jab met my ears and all the force on my head was gone.
Stiffly, I lifted myself up and saw Sadiq clutching his face. Lovino punched him. He punched him. But why? I thought that if he didn't despise my being then, he surely did now. "What the fuck is your problem?" he demanded, raising his fist in the air.
"My problem?" The Turk threw his head back and laughed. There was a mad happiness in his voice- like the Queen of Hearts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Spinning his swords in the air, he said, "I'm surrounded by a bunch of jackasses who don't see the problem when it's right in front of them."
I moved my hand on the ground and found my rotten wood board. "Says he who's trying to kill me," I growled, firmly holding it in my hands.
He scowled and brushed past Lovino. The Italian lost whatever gut he had and just stood frozen in place wide eyed. Casually, Sadiq grabbed my shirt collar and lifted me back into the air. I choked- one hand to his hand and the other on my weapon. "You are the problem," he snarled, lifting a single blade to my neck. "And I'm going to kill you-"
Using the remains of my energy, I stabbed the board into his stomach. He yelped and released me. I fell onto my butt and crawled back a few feet, trying to get far away from the enraged look in his eyes. I was screwed. He spun the two swords in the air and raised them high.
Lovino came to life. He lunged and wrapped himself around the nation's arm. Roaring, the he threw him off and into the sand. Sadiq aimed the two weapons at both of us. "You both are really getting on my nerves," he said. "I'm having a hard time deciding who to kill first." He smirked and pointed them both at his fellow nation. "I'll kill you first, then her, then you again."
He took a step forward and I scrambled across the ground. He saved me, now it was time I saved him. Desperately, I stretched my hand towards my grandfather. "No-"
"No." That voice was not mine. Sadiq fell back as a very familiar man stepped between them. He swung his ax around his head before planting it firmly in the ground. "What do you think you are doing?" Our rescuer, Antonio, asked. There was a bright smile on his face, a sharp contrast to the deathly tone of his voice. I stared. Lovino and I looked around their slender legs and shared a mutual look: since when was the Spaniard here? Wasn't he supposed to be with his boss?
Sadiq glared at him, looking ready to maul his face off. "Piss off Spain, this doesn't involve you."
"Yes it does." He brought his ax back into the air and pointed the tip at the Turk's neck. "You hurt my Romano and his granddaughter on his birthday." He slashed downward, aiming for the heart. His weapon met Sadiq's at a stalemate just above his chest.
For a long moment, the two nations of the Mediterranean glared at each other. There was a glint in their eyes, telling me that they were ready to kill each other. There was no way this was the first time something like this happened. These two must have had a lot of conflict in the past.
Sadiq struck, kicking his leg into the other's stomach. Antonio stumbled back, yelping in pain. He had only a split second to raise his ax back in the air before the two swords came down upon him. He grunted and pushed the Turk away.
Sadiq willing backed away before changing his target. In a blink of an eye, he was slashing at Lovino. The smaller man, rolled to the side. "Damnit, help me bastard!" he yelled.
Filled with the most furry I've ever seen, Antonio dashed up to him, swinging his weapon erratically. He jumped in the air, drawing his weapon to the ground. If I had a clear view on the masked man's face, I would have seen his smirk as he grabbed the staff of the ax and threw Antonio to the ground.
He collided with Lovino, moaning as he hit his head on the sand. "That was easy," Sadiq said, spinning his swords in his hands. Chuckling, he aimed them at the two nations.
Without thinking, I threw my rotten wood board at him. If smacked harmlessly on his back and flopped into the yellow sand. He paused mid swing. Slowly, he turned around and changed his target.
"Shit," I cursed, seeing him strut calmly towards me. I had him away from my allies, but what was I supposed to do now? Fight him? This man was going to cream me. I really do need to start thinking these things through.
I jumped to my feet and searched around me for a weapon. He was drawing closer- I didn't have much time. Now only an arm's length away, Sadiq took the time to regard me cruelly. His smirk only grew wider. "All out of ideas?" he asked. "You may as well just give up while you have the-"
The Turk's voice stopped dead sentence and turned into a cough. He fell onto his knees, revealing to me what had happened: the Spanish ax was stabbed into his back. The attacker, holding said weapon, was Lovino.
The Italian was panting, sweat pouring down his face. There was a hard, cold, determined look on his face. He kicked the other, forcing Sadiq to turn towards him. "Get the fuck out of my house, bastard," he growled. I hadn't seen him like this since that time in the alley.
The Turk glared at him as well. He coughed, spitting out a little spurt of blood. "Make me." I saw his hands creeping to his swords. I stole them from him, frowning at his slyness. Bastard.
Lovino, glared at me, silently telling me to let him deal with this. In a completely Mafia-like manner, he swooped his head closer to him and growled, "How would you fucking like it then? Would you like rats eating away at your damn stomach? Or how about cementing your pathetic feet and throwing you into the Mediterranean? It's your goddamn choice."
Bloody hell, the crazy look in his eyes was scary. Even Sadiq looked scared, though he did a fabulous job of hiding it. He didn't respond, forcing the dominant one to answer. I prayed that Lovino would have the heart not to attack him, but the thought wasn't rational. If he didn't, the Turk might attack again.
My grandfather, threw the ax aside. "Why bother?" he asked, striding away from us. There was a pompous air in his chest as he added, "You are not worth the shit. Get the fuck out of here!"
Sadiq, defeated, gave the last word, "Jackass." He spat more blood on the ground before slithering away, leaving a trail of blood in the sand behind him. He swayed slightly, having trouble keeping his balance. We watched him go, not easing ourselves until he was a small figure among the Italian ghost town. And like that, he was gone, probably going to go take his anger out on Heracles.
"This is your damn fault!" Lovino yelled, automatically pointing an accusing finger at me. "If you just stayed at the fucking cafe-"
"My fault?" I mimicked his action. "If you just manned up and stayed in Rome, then we wouldn't be here right now!"
Lovino: "If you weren't such a bitch, then Turkey wouldn't want to fucking kill you!"
Me: "If you just kept it in your pants, then none of this would have happened!"
"Mis amigos, this is neither of your faults," Antonio said, attempting to ease our anger. He stiffly rose to his feet, holding his head. It would take less than an hour for his concussion to go away. "Turkey can be irrational at times- it's his fault."
Lovino frowned and turned his finger against him. "What the fuck are you doing here?" he demanded. "You told me that you had to work!"
There was an unnaturally happily look on his face as the Spaniard replied, "I lied. I wanted to surprise you for your birthday~!" Wow, he really was oblivious to everything bad in the world.
Still, we Italians wasted no time in yelling, "This is entirely your fault!" That caused the loving man to cry. He crouched into a ball and muttered something to his imaginary tomato friend. I felt my hate melt. How cute. Lovino, however, refused to waver.
"Serves you right," he spat, folding his arms over his chest. He held his pose for a second before looking at me. "Are you alright?" he asked edgily. "Did Turkey hurt you?"
I rubbed a finger down the scrape on my hand. "Nothing serious," I said, feeling blood seep down my neck. I looked down at the sand. This was the same sand my mother died on. It seemed like a completely different place. "I'm sorry," I muttered. "I should have stayed."
"Yeah, you should have!" I resisted the urge to glare at him. I was trying to apologize for once and he just had to ruin it. I ignored his presence and ran my hand over the grains. There were warm and delicate under my touch. As I took a large fist full, a shadow darkened my world. I looked up and saw Lovino standing over me.
He was scowling, looking off to the side instead of me. "Get up," he ordered; looking the most mature I've ever seen him. At that moment, he was the adult, and I was the child- the two most imperfect granddaughter-father combos.
Hesitantly, I took his hand and he pulled me up. I stumbled a few steps and lightly knocked into his chest. The nation placed his hands over my shoulder and caught me. "Are you alright?" he asked again, still not looking me in the eye.
I nodded. "Yes . . . are you?"
"Fucking fine." The two of us were silent for a long moment. What in the world could we say to each other? It's not as though either one of us had enough integrity to ignore our pride and apologize for being douche bags to one another.
Antonio was still moping, trying to regain his confidence as a good person. Poor guy. Lovino took my hand and started to lead me away. "Let's get going-"
"Wait." This moment was as good as any. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a small, black velvet jewelry case. "Buon Compleanno, nonno."
He snatched the box from my hands. "Don't call me that," he growled, before turning it in his hands. There was an odd look on his face as he opened it. Inside was a simple rosary made of a silver chain and wood beads.
"I know it isn't much," I said. "But you are a Catholic, so I thought-"
"Shut-up," Lovino snapped before slamming the box shut. There was a sick feeling in my stomach. He didn't like my gift? His face turned red and he looked down. "It's perfect," he whispered. "Grazie."
I smiled and wrapped my arm around his shoulder. "I'm glad you like it, nonno."
Lovino groaned. "Don't call me that, nipote!" he yelled. So I couldn't call him grandpa, but he could call me granddaughter? I laughed and ruffled his hair, an action that caused him to scowl.
Antonio stood and awed at the scene. "You two are so cute together~!" he cooed, eyes sparkling in excitement.
The Italian's scowl only grew deeper. "What the fuck are you implying bastard?" he demanded. I sighed, gently took his arm, and led him away.
"Nothing." The man placed his arms behind his back and swung his body innocently. "It's just about time we go have a fiesta~! I wonder if we can go get a tomato flavored cake. . ." I smiled as the Spaniard rambled, occasionally interrupted by Lovino. I guess that this was the best family I was going to get.
Yes, I was still mad at him for taking advantage of my grandmother, but who am I to question his actions? Maybe he regretted it as well. Either way, it didn't matter anymore. What did was helping Antonio find Lovi a tomato flavored cake.
MW: Is it just me, but did that fight scene have a lame ending? (and the fact that Annie seemed really stupid and Mary Sue-ish?)
BFTL and SEK: Yes, it was. And why is Sadiq always evil?
MW: Well I had it all set up in "HETA" so I figured that I might as well finish it here. But have no fear, he shall be a good guy in my next story.
SEK: Good. Here's a cookie.
BFTL: Remember to review~!
Funfacts and Translations
Grand-pere" Grandpa. French.
"Petite-fille" Granddaughter. French.
"Croque-monsieur." French version of a grilled cheese sandwich.
"Why he and so many other nations would flirt with girls" I never got to explain that in the original story, but now you know.
"Buona sera" Good evening. Italian.
"Andiamo" Let's go. Italian.
"Au revoir, mon amour~!" Goodbye, my love. French
"ce soir!" This night. French.
"And now she refuses to talk to me and spends all her time with Iceland!" SeychellesXIceland are a legit pairing.
"d'accord" Understand. French.
"Capire" Understand. Italian.
"quiche" A French/Italian dish. It's a pie crust filled with eggs, vegetables, and cheese. It can be either a dinner or breakfast dish.
"breakfast skewers." Italian breakfast dish. Self explanatory.
"Munters" British insult meaning "unattractive person".
"Ilex" A type of common Italian tree.
"all the citizens abandoned this place for better strongholds" The town may be fictional, but that is true for many German/French/Italian/Dutch/Russian towns.
"rats eating away at your damn stomach? … cementing your pathetic feet and throwing you into the Mediterranean?" True Mafia forms of death
"Buon Compleanno, nonno." Happy Birthday, grandpa. Italian.
"tomato flavored cake" I wonder if there really is a cake like that.
Next Chapter: Wait, this is a one shot, so there is no new chapter. YAY!
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