Okay, so I have been procrastinating like a mofo, and for that, I am truly madly deeply sorry. D: I should be smacked with bananas and thrown off of a plane, but I'm back and ready to post the rest of this hoe! *makes pterodactyl noise and flies into the sun* All right, so hopefully we can make it to 260 that way 13 people can ride their mighty unicorns into the great beyond. Not to mention that my lovely RP partner Jetsir is having a rough week, and every review you guys send makes her ridiculously happy.
I don't own Hetalia and America was not written by me but by the lovely Jetsir.
Romano winced as the door slammed and he stared helplessly at empty air. What had just happened? America looked so utterly devastated when he'd asked. Why though? It was just…his throat tightened in on itself. Oh God, America loved him. Not the other Romano, or at least he didn't think so. His hands clenched the sheets as he shook, his lips trembling. He…wanted to love this America too…
The sound of the door slamming had woken the other nations in the apartment. Italy, though terrified that there might be a robber or axe murderer in the apartment, immediately went to go check on his brother. He entered the bedroom, Germany hot on his heels. Upon taking in Romano's look of misery and his state of undress, Italy winced. Without a second thought, he placed his hand on Germany's face and pushed, sending the larger nation tumbling backwards in surprise as opposed to any real strength the Italian had. Italy closed the door and locked it.
"Don't come in!" he called. "It's fratello time!" Turning on the lights, taking the time to cry out at how bright they were, he bounded onto the bed and sat on the mattress in front of Romano. He took one of his hands. "Roma, what's wrong?" he asked. "Where's Alfredo?"
"I did it again," Romano said to the sheets. "I did the wrong thing again." He felt sick to his stomach and he hurt everywhere, not just physically, but literally everything.
"Tell fratello what happened." Italy moved to sit next to the older nation, wrapping his arms around him.
Romano stiffened for just a fraction of a second, but then relaxed. This Feliciano had such a comforting aura that it was almost impossible to keep his guard up. It didn't matter if his other self was a so damaged he could be mistaken for a lunatic. Still, Romano missed his Feliciano more than he could put into words.
He ended up telling Italy everything, how he heard America say he loved him, and how he sounded almost exactly like his America. In the back of his mind, he knew his mind was beginning to construe anything this America did into something his America would. "I heard it, and I couldn't take it. I've been so confused these past few days, and I thought…No, I didn't think, but after it I convinced myself he wanted your Romano."
"Oh, Lovi." Italy breathed, saddened for both him and America. He stroked Romano's hair, thinking of what to say. This Romano had been through so much, and America, oh America, was young and in love and confused. He couldn't really find himself to be angry or disappointed in either of them, so he was going to try and fix this."Perhaps he does love our Romano," he said slowly. "But he loves you, too, Lovi." He frowned, trying to think of a good way to explain it, continuing to run his hand through Romano's hair.
"Maybe I should just go." Romano moved out of the bed to pull his clothes back on. He let out a sigh and realized he had probably botched any chance he had to go home. He used America. It didn't matter if it was mutual or not, or that Romano had been too overcome with emotion to grasp rational thought, it shouldn't have happened. This world was making him weak, and lulled him into letting his guard slip. It wasn't just about slitting throats and forming treaties out of necessity here. Nations cared for one another, and the look on America's face when he said those four words, 'I love you, Romano'…it was too much. He had been right before. He poisoned what he touched here. Without looking at Italy he placed a hand on the doorknob.
"No, Lovino!" Italy yelled, running forward and shoved himself between the older Italian and the door. He had a white flag in his hand, but his face was serious, more serious than it had ever been, and his eyes were wide open. "Alfred cares for you and you care for him, too! Not just your him, but our him!" he spoke quickly, as if afraid that the other would just push him away and keep walking. "Yes, you hurt him, you hurt him bad, but if you just go away, you'll make it so much worse! You think you are punishing yourself, but you're punishing him, as well. He'll feel so bad if he shows up and you're not here. It's because he worries about hurting others, too. I know it's hard to understand, fratello, but here we're open about our feelings. If we shut them down and bottle them up, it kills us inside. If you want things to get better then you need to find Alfred and talk to him, not just assume things. He won't want to burden you with his problems, he likes to help others, but not accept help, you just need to push, you have to make him talk about it. And I know he will if you just try. But please, Lovino, don't just give up! That's the worst you can do!"
Romano took a step back. The look on Feliciano's face was so much like his own brother's. He radiated with authority, but not with paranoia or fear, just confident authority. "Feliciano." Romano lowered his head for a moment and gripped his upper arm, irritating the bruises there. "I don't know what I could possibly say to him." His grip tightened and the pain worsened. "I'm probably the last face he wants to see."
"But after this, you're the only one that can make him feel better." Seeing Romano's white-knuckled grip on his arm, Italy reached forward and gently pried the hand off, taking it in both of his. "And you just need to be honest with him. I know things are very confusing, but he's confused, too, fratello. And I know you think you were trying to use him as a replacement," he squeezed the other's hand, "but I'm not too sure." Italy bit his lip in thought. "When I was a little boy, I fell in love, but then my love disappeared. When I was grown, I met Luddy, and he was so much like my first love that he could be a grown version of him! He'd do little things that only served to remind me…and I was so sad, and desperate, that I started to cling onto him. Every time he got closer to someone else, I panicked, thinking I would lose him. again…
"Then, I stopped thinking like that. I began to think of Luddy as Luddy, and love him as such. I realized that even though they were so similar, they weren't the same person. I love them both dearly, both my first love and Luddy, but it's for their own special reasons. I think that's how it is with you and Alfredo. No matter what, your Alfredo and our Alfredo are not the same person. Just like you and my Romano. Me and your fratello. They've lived different lives, grew into different people. Lovi, we're not what your world could have been just as much as your world is not what ours could have been. We're different things entirely. I believe that Alfredo knows this. It's not about who he loves best or if he's trying to find my fratello in you, he loves you both as separate people, for your own qualities, and while that's still not entirely right, I think it's true. The heart can hold more than one person in it, you know." He pulled Romano into a hug. "Lovi, you can't let that be the last time Alfredo sees you, it'll break your heart as much as it'll break his."
"I can't love him," Romano said. "No matter how much I want to." He thought of his America again. How was he going to explain this if he ever returned home? What would he think? Romano loved him with every fiber of his being, though that didn't count for much in his world. That dark hair, those deep crimson eyes, and that smirk, Romano loved all of it, including how their fingers interlocked when doing what he and this America had just done. America, who hadn't trusted him for the longest time, until Romano had risked his life to touch the other's upper arm. Funny how poisoning birds was how the relationship between he and his America began, just as with this one. He didn't belong in this world though. It was why he kept making things more difficult on this America without meaning to. It didn't matter how much he wanted to or did care for the blond counterpart to his lover, it was doomed. "I'll apologize," he said. The words rang hollow. There was only so much an 'I'm sorry' could do. For things like this, he imagined that they had the some effect as smacking a raging bull with a wet fish.
Italy sagged with disappointment. "If you say so, Lovi." Moving aside, he opened the door, where an eavesdropping Spain, Prussia, and a very red-faced Germany sprung back, trying to look innocent. Italy turned to them, a bright and false smile on his lips. "Lovi has things to do, so he can't talk to you right now. C'mon everyone, I'll make pasta!" With that, he ushered the trio into the kitchen. He could only do so much convincing. Romano had to make his own decisions.
Romano watched them go and returned to the laundry room. He didn't want to talk to America while wearing America's clothes. He looked at where he hung it and touched the fabric. It was still a little damp, but it would do. He shucked off America's shirt and realized he was still a mess from their previous activities. Gathering up his uniform he headed to the guest room's bathroom to clean himself up before putting on his gray jacket and pants. He pulled on his boots and laced them up before retying the blue sash around his waist. Then came the ascot that draped behind his shoulders, the knot placed below the collar. Finally he put the beret on and walked down the hall to the front door, ignoring the chatter of the other nations. He left the apartment, not sure where he was going to look. It still hurt to walk, but he didn't limp. Limping was a sign of weakness and as a child he had been quick to kill the urge.
America had ended up at the place by the water where he and Romano had shared a kiss. Past the railing that separated the water from the sidewalk was about a foot of concrete, enough room for him to sit. Still panting from his sprint, he climbed over the railing and sat, placing his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. Somewhat calmed by the slap of the water against its barrier, he let his mind run wild. He only had himself to blame. He knew the turmoil Romano was feeling. He should have pushed Romano away.
No, he shouldn't have allowed Romano to sleep in his bed in the first place, and made him him sleep with Italy regardless of Germany's griping. He should have thought more things through. Now he had just given his virginity to a man he loved, and that man didn't love him back. He and the other America were two different people, he'd come to realize. Just as the Romano's were two different people. He hated to admit it, because it made him feel like a dirty cheating bastard, but he loved both Romano's. It wasn't a matter of replacing one for the other; it was about loving two different people for the different ways they made him feel. But Romano didn't think that way, and he'd just have to deal with it. He shivered, his sleeping clothes not much protection from the chill of the night.
Romano walked through the city, looking at all the clothes on display, even so late in the night. After awhile he wandered into the park to where he and America had kissed, back when they could have held their hands up and stepped away like strong, responsible people. America was young, that was his excuse, but Romano wasn't. Sometimes he even felt older than he actually was. Finally, he came across America and stopped in his tracks, unsure what he was going to do. America might very well throw a punch hard enough to knock his head off of his shoulders. The thought terrified him for a moment, but then he deserved it. Whether it would bring him eternal peace or damnation was up in the air. He cleared his throat, hoping to get the other nation's attention.
America didn't need to look to see who it was. He sat up, staring off into the water, though it was more like a black abyss with how dark it was. Too hurt and ashamed, America couldn't bring himself to look at Romano. "Hey," he said weakly. He didn't want to talk, yet he must have. If not, he wouldn't have gone to a place where he would be found so easily by the other nation. This was his city, after all. Had he wanted to disappear, he could have done so without effort. He sighed. "I'd like to apologize. I should have had better control of myself, and I shouldn't have run off. You didn't deserve that."
"Yes I did," Romano whispered. "What happened wasn't fair to you. None of this has been fair to you." He took a breath. "I feel like we're going in circles, but you've been so kind to me." Romano looked down and toyed with the knot of his ascot. "I've given you nothing but trouble, but that…that was on a completely different level." He felt as if someone had knocked the wind out of him, and he placed a hand over his eyes. "I want to love you so badly."
America hunched over, folding in on himself. He couldn't deal with this. He felt like he was a colony again, young and inexperienced and scared, wanting to be mature, but not knowing how. A loud sob escaped his throat, his body shaking. He'd thought he could handle this, to control his own feelings, to help Romano with his guilt, to be the hero he'd always claimed so loudly that he was. He'd failed on all counts. He felt terrible, Romano felt terrible, and he'd managed to add more onto the other's endless slate of supposed sins. Now Romano said he wanted to love him, setting them up for another round of heartbreak, and he was terrified. America cried harder than he had in years, decades even. He clutched onto himself, holding on for dear life as something crumbled within himself. He failed, failed horribly, and he was too scared to try again.
Romano watched the other break down and took an alarmed step back. The last time he'd seen a nation break down like this was when Feliciano had overtaken Belgium. She had remained strong for so long, but within five minutes of occupation, with only words, Feliciano had broken her down into a sobbing wreck. America looked very much the same, and Romano figured it was fitting. He was the one who taught Feliciano all he knew, but he hadn't wanted this, and he had no idea what he was supposed to do. "I don't know much about things like this. It's not something I grew up knowing, but I feel you…and him. I…I don't know what it means."
"I t-tried so hard!" America sobbed. "I wanted t-to help you s-s-so bad…and I couldn't! I can't!" In a sick way it felt good. He didn't have to pretend that he knew what he was doing, that he was wise, that he knew just what to say. He didn't have to pretend anymore that he was a hero. Because he wasn't. The other nations had been right about him all along, he was just a little boy with too much power. Useful if you needed some muscle but not for much else. If only Romano had showed up in one of the older nation's countries, his country. Italy would have been able to help him, he was kind and loving and even though he wasn't much of a fighter, he had years of experience and wisdom that America just didn't possess. "I'm sorry I f-failed you…I'm sorry I'm so useless!"
"No." Romano took the chance to sit next to the weeping nation. He figured he should have tried to hug America, perhaps pat him on the back, but his arms remained stubbornly in his lap. Instead Romano looked off into the harbor where the Statue of Liberty stood. "You're not useless. You've bent over backwards to try and help me. It's just that I'm not part of this world. I'm from somewhere terrible with only war and bloodshed to its name. I can only poison things here. You have so much. Your history was so beautiful and diverse, because you accomplished things. What I did back there, that was disgusting. You deserve more than that." It was true. America was so kind and thoughtful, willing to take him in and do whatever it took to make sure he was comfortable, and Romano had thrown it back in his face by killing one of his people and sleeping with him to quell his own loneliness. "I'll leave…if you want me to."
America's sobs had stopped, leaving behind a bad case of the hiccups. Tears continued to roll down his face. He shook his head, slumping with emotional and physical exhaustion, "I don't want you to leave, but I'm scared." Scared of what would happen if Romano stayed. Scared that he wouldn't be able to control himself. Scared that if he continued to act like this, all the progress he'd made with Romano would become undone and he'd revert to how he'd been when he first found him. Scared of more failure. He looked down at the black water, a part of him wanting to slip off the edge of the concrete and into the water's depths. Let it swallow him up so he wouldn't be able to let anyone else down.
Romano wanted to pull America out of this, but who was he to do so? He was far from stable, but he had to try. He owed it to America to try. He thought back on what Italy said and swallowed. "Alfred, look at me."
At first, America didn't move, but then, slowly, he turned and did as he was told. His vision was blurry from the dark, his tears, and his lack of glasses, but he could see the determination in Romano's eyes.
Romano hesitantly reached up and clumsily brushed away Alfred's tears, reminded of how Feliciano had looked at him all those years ago. This was his chance to do the right thing, to figure out what he needed to say and say it. He would not create another monster. "I'll be as clear as I can. I," he licked his dry lips nervously, "I've felt more in just four days here than I have my entire life in my world." He breathed deeply, trying to keep hold of his English. Then again, what he wanted to express to the other was just as impossible to say correctly even in his own language. He continued to wipe at America's tears. "Feliciano said you can love more than one person…
"I didn't know that. I want to let myself love you, because it would be easy." Romano's voice was strained and weak, just like the rest of him. "There's so much to love, but…I don't want to hurt you anymore than I already have." He touched his own chest. "I still love him too, but you…you're kind, honest, brave, and willing to make sacrifices for someone like me, someone who's so…so…fucked up, dammit!" He closed his mouth with a snap. Those words hadn't been his own. He wasn't one to use vulgar language. It took a certain kind of silver tongue he didn't possess to make them sound intelligent, and the ones that just flew from his mouth felt like a habit, a mechanism he couldn't help. "I want to hold you right now, to tell you that you're the only one I could ever love, and that I want to stay here with you, but we both know that would be a lie."
At his words, America leaned forward and kissed Romano's lips softly and pulled back, for once have the control to do so. He gave the other a broken smile. "we're both fucked, aren't we?" He loved this Romano and the other Romano. It was obvious Romano cared for him, but also had an America waiting for him back in his world. He chuckled hollowly. "I honestly have no idea where to go from here, but I know I'm going to burn for it, later." Another empty laugh. He looked to the sky, the sun had risen without them noticing. "We should get back. I'll bet the others are worried."
Whelp, that was still depressing on Romano's part. Points for honesty though? He's so bad at this. I feel like he's flailing, the poor babu. To 260? Also, I'm going to update this daily again. Don't you worry. Meanwhile, I have a question. How bad are your shipping compasses screwed up? And show Jetsir some love, she was really down when I last talked to her.