Hello again loves! A friend reminded me that it had been Gerita's anniversary (the Pact of Steel), the other day and I just had to write something to celebrate it. So, with her help on the plot, I spent hours typing what you will be reading. I hope it's adorable enough for you! And you can thank my friend for choosing YES to the maid! You'll see! This is dedicated to my friend Katherine!

A sigh broke through the silence of the German's home. Soft rays of sunlight streamed through the partly closed blinds, lighting up the room more than it had been previously. Sitting half secluded in the dark was the blonde haired nation, pouring over the paperwork in front of him. A newspaper was folded neatly on the far end of the desk, having been abandoned in favor of finishing the mountain load of reports and papers he had to sign. A picture of a crow on the front page of the newspaper caught his attention as he glanced up from signing one report. Furrowing his eyebrows, he retrieved the paper, scanning through the article.

'Aggressive crows attack Berlin.'

"What is this?" Germany muttered, staring intently at the crow in the picture. This had to be some joke. The more he read the article, the less amused he became. Shaking his head, he set the paper aside in favor of refocusing his attention on what had to be done. However, after signing only three documents in five minutes, he found himself unable to do anything else. Shrugging off his military jacket and laying it over the back of the chair, he hoped that he could get back on track, but that was when he noticed something. The house felt too quiet. Unusually so. Glancing to the doorway of his study, he wondered exactly where his three dogs were. As if on cue, one of them stuck their head in, but didn't come any further. The German Shepherd panted slightly with a lazy grin, waiting for the signal to come in. As soon as the cue was issued, the dog immediately trotted up to its master, nudging his leg for a pat on the head.

"Blackie, where are Berlitz and Aster? And on a more important note, where is mein bruder? He wasn't here last night." The dog titled his head to one side, staring at him as if he was crazy for asking. Rubbing the dog's ears, Germany looked up at the opposite wall, briefly noting how someone said it was rather plain. Focusing his attention on the only wall decoration on there, his eyes traced the smooth and fine paint strokes in the painting. Anyone could see the dedication and love that was involved in the beautiful masterpiece. The painting was of a wolf and a black eagle reaching for each other, but not in a threatening gesture, but one more…

He cut himself off, not daring to finish that thought. It wasn't as if he was denying the fact. The Italian was incredibly affectionate and at time overbearing, but… even after everything he had been through, he still wished to be near the German. It was touching and unexpected, as he still felt an incredible amount of guilt for what he had done. Blackie licked his master's hand to draw him out of his thoughts before he turned and left, leaving to bother the other two dogs in the house, and possibly the cat as well. Watching his dog run off, he wiped off his hand and leaned back in his chair, staring at the painting once more, immersing himself in his thoughts.

It had been unusual for him to wake up that morning without the Italian having sneaked into his house and, ultimately, into his bed. He had given up trying to force the cheerful nation out of his bed every single night, instead just rolling back over once he crawled in. Year after year it was the same, although there were times in which the Italian didn't come. At first he never worried, but it always passed over. This was another one of those times. Leaning forward to massage his temples, he closed his icy blue eyes, wondering exactly why he was so worried about not seeing the Italian.

"Why would I care? With him gone it means I could get more work done."

A glance towards the waiting paperwork disproved that theory. This worrying wasn't going to lead him anywhere. Cautiously, he glanced towards the phone, as if expecting it to start ringing. It brought him back to the many times he had to drop everything and go save Italy from their enemies. The nation kept getting himself captured or found himself unable to tie his shoes. No matter how much training he implemented, the Italian always messed up.

It was then that he realized a crucial thing he had forgotten. Snatching the paper next to sign and reading it carefully, his eyes settled on the title. It was to send help to rebuild the destroyed buildings in Italy after the earthquake a few days ago. Running a hand through his gelled hair, he cursed himself. No wonder why Italy hadn't been around his house. He was too busy trying to help his country. Quickly signing the document, he threw himself into finishing the rest, making a mental note to go and visit Italy to see how he was doing. His pen never ceasing its movement, he told himself that it would be a political visit, not… personal.

He was nearing the end of the monstrous stack when a smell tickled the tip of his nose. Pausing halfway through his signature, his eyes traveled from the ink on the paper to doorway, trying to decipher the smell. Before he could decipher it, his brain finally locked onto the idea that someone was in his house. Without him noticing. And somehow without alerting his three dogs. Slowly standing up without a sound, he followed the scent, through the long hallway, and into the kitchen. There, on the oven, was a pot with what looked to be pasta inside of it. To the left, on the counter, was a bottle of Amarone wine, fresh wurst, and homemade tomato sauce. Sitting near the table were his three dogs, who wagged their tails at him as if asking why he was so late. The more he stared at the scene in front of him, the more it was clicking that his trip to visit Italy didn't need to be done anymore. But the Italian never leaves his pasta on the stove, so where was that cheerful nat-

A silky fabric nestled its way around his face, obscuring his vision. Immediately the trained soldier grabbed the hand that was trying to tie the offending object tightly, forgetting who it might be. A yelp was heard behind him and the arm tried to pull away from his unyielding grip. Recognizing the voice, his grip quickly lessened, but he held onto it still as he ripped the long strand of black silk away from his face.

"Italy, what are yo-"

Whatever he was about to say was cut off when he saw the Italian nation. He let go of Italy and covered his nose and mouth, trying to contain himself. The other male was wearing a short sleeved maid's dress, green with a laced white apron tied around his neck and waist. Around his head was a white bandana, his curl peeking out of it to bob happily in place. Failing to keep his eyes from wandering even lower, he saw white breeches underneath the folds of fabric and brown laced boots. Briefly he wondered if Italy had gotten someone else to tie them for him. He quickly shook that thought out of his head and turned away, missing the taken back expression of the other nation's.

"Mein gott. Italy, what the hell are you doing in that outfit?" It took a lot of determination to keep his voice straight. Italy looked like a girl in that dress. Did he enjoy cross-dressing or something? No, he would have known about this right? He was simply over-thinking this situation. The other nation was recovering from the rather odd response he was getting from his friend. But it wasn't as if he knew that he liked maid outfits… Unless Prussia told him. That little-

Chasing a small blue butterfly, the girl with the curl giggled, having left her bucket of water behind her. Thousands of wildflowers surrounded her, the wind catching a few of them in a dance.

"Come back Mr. Butterfly! I would love to paint you!"

Blinking, Germany stared in front of him, dropping his hand. What was that he just saw? That dress, it was the same one that Italy was currently wearing. No, again he was over analyzing things, that or he needed more sleep. Only now was he aware of Italy speaking, feeling those small hands clasped around his arm.

"Veh? Germany, you went all quiet and your face went as red as one of Lovino's tomatoes!" Innocent amber eyes stared up at him, for once completely open instead of closed shut. His mouth opened but he was having a hard time speaking. Italy was in a maid's dress! How was he supposed to act?

"You don't like the dress? Hungary made it for me just for fun. I used to wear one just like this when I was little!" To show it off again, he pulled back and turned in a circle, his smile wide and carefree. The ends of the dress fluttered enough to reveal the breeches, a glimpse of the long legs that were hidden within them. Germany had to cough and look away, feeling his cheeks start to heat up again. He felt Italy lead him over to the table, pushing him down into a seat before skipping off to finish the pasta, humming to himself, unaware to how Germany was feeling.

'Hungary… I should have known…' Germany closed his eyes and kneaded his forehead and risked a glance over to where Italy was. He was swinging his hips side to side as he stirred the pasta, rattling on about something. It was a tantalizing view, impossible to tear his eyes away from.

"Everyone thought I was a girl when I was little, even Austria thought so! I think it's funny, but I never minded wearing the dresses, they were rather comfy!" Italy giggled, his eyes closed as he watched the pasta, making sure that it was perfect before he went to strain it. That was when Germany noticed that he looked a bit paler than normal, not by much.

"Italy. Are you alright?" The red drained from his cheeks, remembering that the smaller nation did just suffer an earthquake, and although it hadn't killed too many people, it did destroy quite a few historical landmarks. Italy paused in straining the pasta, the smile flickering before it returned full force, turning slightly to face him while finishing the rinsing of the pasta.

"Veh, of course I'm alright. We're starting the restoration soon. It will take a while, but we can manage. Thank you for your concern Germany!" Scooping the pasta onto two plates, placing the wurst evenly upon both piles, and dripping just the right amount of tomato sauce, he walked over to the table and sat next to Germany, immediately chowing down on his plate. Germany inhaled the scents of Italy's cooking. The flavor of wurst would go amazingly well with the tomato sauce and pasta. Taking a bite out of the homemade meal, he found himself right, not that he thought it wouldn't be. He had so many of the Italian's cooking that he found himself always looking forward to being treated to a meal.

"Besides, I'm here because Germany works too hard! Plus, it's our anniversary!" Germany paused in eating, finding the sentence strange. It must have shown on his face because Italy stopped, glancing over at him. Racking his brains, he couldn't figure out what he meant. He didn't want to think of that horrible disaster of St. Valentine's day, and it couldn't have possibly been about that anyways.


A giggle from Italy caused him to look over at him, finding their faces now uncomfortably close. Italy held out his pinky, as if that held all the answers. He waited until Germany hesitantly held his own out, forming a pinky promise.

"When we formed the Pact of Steel."

"So it is…"

The Pact of Steel. Of course. Was it really that day? A small smile appeared on his lips. He felt happy that the Italian managed to remember it every year without fail. It was as if that day meant so much to him, ranking high on his list of dates to remember. He noticed that there was a drop of tomato sauce smeared on Italy's cheek and withdrew his hand to grab a napkin, before he felt an unusual urge. Holding out his hand to cup the opposite cheek, he leaned in to lick the food away before pulling away, his face red. Italy had paused in mid sentence, blushing when he felt Ludwig's warm palm against his cheek. That blush had deepened when he felt those soft lips on his cheek.

"G-Germany?" he asked, hopefully. The German refused to meet his eyes, as if nervous to what he did. They finished their lunch in almost silence, the Italian talking about a new painting that he wanted Germany to see. Once their dinner was done, Germany took their plates to the sink, getting ready to wash them when he felt his arm being grabbed. He looked back to see Italy's eyes open and his lips set in a firm pout. He looked determined and, surprisingly, looked as if he wasn't going to let anyone stop him.

"No! You can clean the dishes later! Same for that paperwork. You need to relax." With that being said, the Italian turned and dragged him to a waiting room, the blinds half drawn and a huge couch tucked away in a corner. Germany didn't resist, but went along with him. He sat down without a struggle and didn't have the heart to tell Italy to move from his position on his lap, feet propped up on the plush cushions and his head leaning against his left shoulder. Being this close to Italy in that dress, it was hard to resist the urges, the ones he had been trying to repress for years. He admitted to himself years ago that he had feelings for the Italian, but there had been no way that he could tell Italy. The only one who knew was Prussia.

"You don't like the dress, do you?" the Italian asked, looking sad as he toyed with the iron cross necklace hanging from Germany's neck. The iron cross necklace of his own was underneath the dress, to which he drew it out of its hiding place, holding the two identical pieces up side by side as he waited for his answer.

"Nein… I like it." To say those words caused his embarrassment to rise even further, but it was worth it to see the smile flicker back onto his Italian's lips. Wait, his Italian's? Icy blue eyes glanced down at him once more, studying him. He couldn't even consider Italy as his own… Italy was affectionate to everyone and anyone he came across, even though Italy said before that he liked him, he-

"Do you like me?" It was a question Italy proposed to him a lot. Each time he said the same thing, but for the past few times, he really meant it. Underneath long lashes, those eyes opened fully, hope dwelling beneath those light eyes, begging for the answer he craved. He didn't just want to hear him say yes like always, he wanted him to mean it, in the way that showed you really cared for someone. More than a friend…

"Yes." Italy smiled and then shifted so that he was straddling the German, drawing patterns on his tank top with his fingers, the necklace rocking side to side. The same necklace that Germany had given him so many years ago, on this exact day. It was his treasure, always kept in pristine condition, no blemishes marking it.

"Then kiss me." He leaned in to kiss him on the cheeks the way he was taught by the Italian, but Italy stopped him, looking down.

"Ludwig…" Germany drew back upon hearing his human name spoken through those tantalizing lips. No one ever called him that, except his brother, but to hear it being said so softly and trembling… He wanted to hear it more, especially if it was Italy the one saying it.

"Feliciano?" The Italian looked up, responding to his own human name in surprise. Italy bit his lips, as if trying to gain the courage to speak again. Would he comply with what he was going to say? So many questions were flowing through his head. Germany waited patiently his eyes staring into pools of honey. Slowly a finger was raised, pointing to his parted lips.

"Kiss me here." The hope was easily seen in those eyes, and he didn't have the power to resist. After so many years of longing to taste those lips, he leaned in, placing one hand on the back of his neck as his lips descended upon the Italian's. Italy's eyes widened when he felt Germany actually respond correctly to what he asked of him. His eyes watered with joy as he closed them, kissing back happily. Wrapping his arms around the German's neck as they pulled apart, he gave a sigh of happiness, running a hand through those gelled locks, freeing a few of them so that they could fall across his forehead.

"You won't leave me, will you?" It was a silly question in Germany's eyes, but in Italy's, it meant so much more. He held his breath, awaiting the answer. All those years ago, someone special had left him, with promises that he would return… He never wanted it to happen again. Germany kissed his forehead in reassurance.

"No, I won't. I made that pact with you for a reason, didn't I? Plus, our necklaces are twisted together and I have an Italian stubbornly sitting on my lap. I'm not leaving anytime soon." Sure enough, the necklaces were entwined, but Italy didn't seem to care, nuzzling Germany's neck as he shifted to get comfortable, content not to move from that spot. He only briefly remembered that the wine hadn't been used. Oh well, there was always dinner with his Ludwig. Yes, his Ludwig.

"Ti amo…" Italy muttered into his neck, closing his eyes. The blonde knew enough Italian to know what it meant, and he placed a kiss on his cheek. He did love the Italian, even when he had been too busy to notice.

"Ich liebe dich, Feliciano."

"Ever since the 900's, I'll always loved you Italy. I promised that I would return to you, didn't I?"