Guess what I finally did? You guessed it! I finished this fic! I finished it good, too! I hope -_- I had to actually rewrite this one because the first draft was just awful. .. it was terrible and was going no where o.O

Anyway, Mochikyan! This has been a great story I got to work on! It was much different from what I usually write, which tends to be fluffy blah! I hope you all enjoy and I'm sorry if they seem a little out of character in this chapter -_-

Learing the Lesson

Chapter Four: Reminder

Spain leaned against his door, feeling his heart twisting in pain. He twisted his fingers into a hard fist. It was all he could do to not go hunt down Romano and beg for forgiveness. He'd remembered all too clearly, waking up from a dark haze to find Romano lying on the floor as he had.

Those images were the haunt of his every waking nightmare. Sometimes, he even heard whispers in his head, the voice of Romano begging and pleading and screaming out in pain. It was always way too much. He'd hoped that with him disappearing, the younger man would go on living a better life. He would not have to be reminded of whatever horrors took place in that hidden room.

Spain walked to the bathroom, his hands shaking badly. He never, ever thought he'd run into Romano here of all places. There were a million places Romano hated to go, natural forest like areas, filled with woodland creatures and the possibility of bears or wolves was just one place he wouldn't go.

Green eyes looked up into their reflection, but what stared back was not himself, or at least not the him he'd grown used to looking at.

Acid green eyes blinked. The Spain he looked at was still him. He still moved the way Spain did, but he just … it wasn't the same.

"What the?" he reached out and ran a hand over the reflection, wondering if his eyes had really always been dark sick color.

"Miss me?" he heard himself say.

Confusion reigned free in his mind as he fought to figure out what the hell was going on, "What?"

"Oh, you poor thing. You've been hurt again by that little brat. I thought for sure I'd taught him to bow down to you and respect you, but I guess I was wrong."

"What the hell?" Spain groaned, clutching his head.

A dark laughter filled the air around him, "I forgot you wouldn't remember what happened that wonderful night when I tamed that beast." Spain felt a shiver run down his spine. Was this voice … was he the one who hurt his precious Romano?

"Very good, Spain! Of course I am~ aren't you glad? He knows better than to insult you now~ all you really have to do is find him and make him understand his place in the world. Shall I show you what wonders befell the man while you were unconscious? I think I should! Oh, you'll enjoy this!"

Suddenly, Spain found himself standing in front of Romano, who was panting, tears running down his face. Spain raised his arm and brought the crop down against the Italian's back. Romano screamed out.

'NO!' Spain yelped, trying to stop himself from hitting Romano again.

'You can't stop it. It will continue on. This is just a memory.' His darker voice echoed in his head.

"Are you done?" Romano whispered, tensing up really quickly.

"Ahahaha … Romano … do you know what I did to men like you on my ship when they back talked or smarted off? Do you know what I did to the crew members who thought they could stand up to me? Do you?" Spain felt his voice say. He couldn't stop it, he couldn't scream out an apology. He was forced to watch Romano's face twist in horrific realization when this past Spain threatened him with sharks and rape.

He then watched further, disgusted with himself as he had sex with Romano. It didn't seem unwanted, but it still felt so wrong. It felt wrong to finally have him in such a terrible way.

Then the world around him began to fade as the memories slipped away.

"That wasn't all. You also slapped the hell out of him for punching you~ that brat has a very strong punch."

"Gah! Go away!" Spain yelled, pushing himself off the floor. He ran through the house and grabbed an old phone from the wall and with shaky fingers he dialed the Italy house. He couldn't think straight, but for now, at least, the voice had faded away. He couldn't hear him or feel him there.

"Um, hello! Venni speaking!"

"V-Veneziano?" Spain whispered, "I-is Romano okay?" he silently cursed himself for his shaky voice, but he was nervous.

Silence took a good portion of the next ten minutes or so as Veneziano muttered a few things, "He's doing fine. His ankle is swelled up like a balloon, but he said the pain reliever kicked in and it doesn't hurt! I haven't talked to you in ages big brother Spain! How are you?"

Not really wanting to stay on the phone for much longer, Spain smiled softly, "I've been better Veneziano … do you think … it's okay if I come over for a few minutes? I haven't spoken to either of you in so lo-"

"Of course! Anytime! I think I'll make some pasta!" he hung up the phone, leaving Spain sitting on the device, listening to a dial tone.

He slowly hung up the phone. If the memories he saw were real… a simple apology would never do.

Spain slowly changed from his dirty work clothes and then walked to the Italy residence. His heart raced quickly as he approached the small home. He wanted to turn and run. The entire walk over, the dark spots in his memory were filling up quickly with everything that had been missing. All the people he'd killed, all the things he'd done and worst of all, his breaking point. He'd been forced to remember just why he hated England in the first place.

He felt the hatred boiling over some more, but he couldn't find himself caring to hunt down the man as much as he wanted to find Romano.

Raising his hand to the door, he made to knock on the wood, but it flew open, revealing a bright eyed Italian with a spoon in his hand.

"Oh … hi … um … is it alright if I go see Romano?" he asked quietly to Italy.

Veneziano hugged Spain tightly, "I've missed you! I think Romano has, too! So um… he's upstairs in his room watching TV. I'll bring the pasta up when it's done~"

Spain nodded and chewed his lip. He didn't want to face Romano, not after seeing what he … no, that darker Spain had made him do to Romano. Thirty years and Romano was still suffering for it. It was terrible.

Yet, he had to do this. He had to.

He slowly made his way up the stairs and finally stood in front of Romano's door. The TV blared in some Italian cartoon show Romano probably just had playing randomly. He took a deep breath and slowly opened the door.

The Italian was leaned against his pillows, clutching one knee to his chest, since the other was propped up on more pillows. His cheeks were stained with tears. It was obvious he wasn't paying any attention to what was on the TV, but rather, he was busy looking out the window.

Spain took a final deep, steadying breath, before sitting down on the edge of the bed. Romano looked at him. His eyes seemed slightly fearful, but for the most part, he didn't react at all.

"Veneziano told me you were coming over."

The Spaniard nodded, "Roma …"

There was a pause of silence. Romano turned his head away, his eyes full of thought. He twisted his fingers together and wrung them and generally fidgeted around while they sat there.

Spain finally stood up and walked around to the other side of the bed and knelt down to the floor, his head bowed to Romano, "Up until today … I could not remember a moment of what happened all those years ago … but … after you left, I remembered … I remembered everything … and like I said before, Roma, my sweet little Italian … Nothing, but nothing, can forgive what I did … I know now just how badly my stupidity hurt you. I lost control and something darker within me came out and took over. I never want to hurt you or anyone else again. I'm so sorry … I've never been more sorry about anything in my entire life and if there was anything I would do if I could would be to go back and just take you into my arms and apologize for whatever made you so mad that night and just sit in front of the fire and read stories. I don't deserve your forgiveness, nor do I deserve to live. I'm giving you permission over my life, Roma … do with me as you please. All I ask is that in the end, you feel better."

He continued staring at the floor, letting the tears of his pain and guilt fall to the floor. Hopefully Romano would make everything quick and painless and just cut him to pieces.

What felt like an eternity passed, but no one said anything. Finally, the man sitting on the bed shifted his weight and he placed both of his feet on the floor before Spain.

"I hate you." Romano whispered, "I hate you, you stupid bastard. That's all you are! A stupid idiot! Look at you … pathetic. You won't even look at me when I speak to you."

Spain instantly looked up into Romano's hazel eyes. Yet … they weren't filled with hatred, nor contempt … they held cautiousness.

"I'm cursing you out, asshole … what do you have to say? Are you going to hit me? Punish me?"

"Never!" Spain felt the guilt rise up again, "I will never raise my hand to you again! I should never have done it in the first place … that man that hurt you … that was a different me. He was someone from a different time and place … where things like that may not have been right, but it was just how things were done. I remember everything I've ever done and Roma, it's not pretty, but I know better now ... I can control that part of me."

Romano just tilted his head with a slight glare and he crossed his arms, "Do you remember how you told me you loved me then? Why is it someone who claimed to love me so much hated me at the same time?"

"I never hated you … everything you did was so cute … every word made me happy because you spoke them to me and me alone … even when the things you said were hurtful, I knew you didn't mean them! I … I do love you, even still … it tears my heart out to know something like that happened … and my hands were the ones doing it. I don't know what happened that night, Roma, but it will never happen again. I swear on my life."

More silence.

"You're stupid. Everything is your entire fault. I hate you, bastard. You should die. I should kill you." He continued spewing forth very hurtful things.

Spain, however, could only fight back laughter. He deserved every word, but he was overjoyed to hear Romano saying such … Romano-ish things to him again. He let loose the laughter, "I'm so sorry, Roma … but you're just too cute when you call me bastard~"

The laughter was cut short when he was knocked back against the wall with a slightly heavy pressure weighing him down.

He was shocked, but he looked down at the man lying in his lap, arms tightly wrapped around his neck.

Carefully, he placed a hand on Romano's back and began rubbing softly, "You're ankle won't get any better if you don't keep it propped up."

"Don't care!" Romano growled, burying his face into Spain's shoulder and neck area, "I-I … I really fucking missed you, okay! I really do hate you for what you did to me that night … but … th-that wasn't you! That wasn't the real you … not the you th-that I … l-love …" Romano groaned at his own gushy words. His face was red, "I was f-fucking testing you … you snapped when I called you bad names like that and called you stupid …" Romano sat up in Spain's lap, "But everyone has bad days, asshole … earlier that day I'd been told that my economy was turning to shit. I was in a terrible mood and I was h-hoping th-that you would …" his face lit up red and he turned away, "that I … would … finally confess and then you could have cheered me up … but …" he said no more.

"Roma …"

"I'm not finished!" Romano snapped, turning his attention to Spain, "I hate you for what you did, but … I forgive you … I know that … I was also way out of line that night and … it wasn't your fault … we can't change what happened, but we can move on and learn from it. I promise to try not to be a fucking asshole to you all the time if you promise to never, ever leave me."

Spain sat shocked. A smile made its way onto his lips and he laughed lightly, "I promise. It's so unusual my little tomato~ you sound all mature and grown up!" he raised his hand to Romano's face. Romano flinched, much to Spain's dismay, but the man did close his eyes and lean into the touch.

"I'm still not used to being touched or touching …" he whispered, "But I'm trying, damnit, so don't say a fucking word …"

"It's okay." Spain whispered back. Romano rested back down against his chest and let his eyes slip closed. Spain began humming softly, "I am so glad you've forgiven me, Roma. I … I really do love you. I always have."

"Mmhm ..." Romano mumbled, "I'm not an overly gushy guy, so yeah, but … I love you … too …" Romano muttered, letting his eyes open again, "It was … one of the reasons I was so confused then … I loved you and you … and then after I tried to force myself to hate you … I really fucking did … but every day, I wanted you to come out of nowhere, smiling like you usually do with a big, juicy tomato … Don't ever fucking leave me again!"

"Never." Spain kissed his cheek a few times before Romano turned his head slightly catching Spain's lips with his own. He still felt a bit wary about trusting the man so soon, but … he knew things were better now. He knew he could trust him. He also knew things were going to be better from then on.

And they were. Romano rarely cursed Spain out anymore. He tried to be more understanding as a new found lover. Spain also kept all of his promises. He never once yelled at Romano, nor did he say anything remotely hurtful. Romano still had occasional relapses on his phobia and would lock himself in a room or closet for hours, not wanting anyone to touch him, but Spain remained by his side, softly speaking to him through the door. He would not let anyone but Spain or his brother touch him, either. It wasn't much progress, but it was still a lot better than it had been before.

The past remained a great reminder of their mistakes and neither forgot, but both learned to live with it because they were stronger for it. Romano never held it above Spain's head, knowing that every time they crawled into bed with each other, Spain would see the scars across his body. He always spoke calmly at times like that, convincing Spain that it was okay, that he had forgiven him.

It was a lesson that neither man would ever forget.

Glad I can mark this as finished and know that I at least completed it -_- It's been a good run, but now you guys know why I try and finish everything before I post the first chapter of it XD It either doesn't get finished or takes forever! Also, I know the editing is crap on this -_-

~Lady Pyrien, who hopefully can stop being so lazy and finish I Dare You as well XD