Germany and the Bad Touch Trio looked on in horror as a single comment set fire to the tense blanket that had wrapped itself around the two Italians. The six nations had sat down to lunch after much bickering and mischief, but when Spain served Italy a plate of sausage pasta Romano spoke.
"So that potato-eater got to you, fratellino..." Said the southern half of the Mediterranean nation as he absentmindedly munched on a churro. "Now you'll get just like him."
Italy –who had been in mid-bite- slowly closed him mouth and looked at his fork. Why couldn't he have pasta with sausage chunks? It was good! Looking into his older brother's eyes, Italy saw a blind hate as Romano eyed Germany and stiffened; Romano was always like this!
"Ve~, at least if I'm like Germany, I won't be mean and hateful all the time." Italy said quietly, taking his bite and cooing to Spain at how good his cooking was. He felt heat rise in his face –he was blushing hard- but didn't regret his comment even as Romano spluttered in shock. Germany and France looked surprised, but not unhappy with him, and Prussia laughed loudly as he kept eating.
Spain leapt in, hoping to mediate: "Romano, here's your-"
"Well," Romano snarled, interrupting Spain. "I'm just happy I didn't get born so fake and stupid." The reply was vicious, laced with barbs that cut into Italy's tender heart and stuck tight. He took a breath –the gasp echoed in the room's instant silence- and pressed a hand to his mouth. "I was better at handling something that was important! Italia would have fallen to ruin if not for me!"
"You never let me try, fratello!" Italy objected, tears in his wide golden eyes. "How could I learn to help Italia when you wouldn't let me?! You were cold, fratello, and I will never be like you want me to be! I'm not like you!" Italy's last sentence came out in an astoundingly agonized scream. He was suddenly on his feet, palms flat on the table, and weeping at his older brother.
This new side of Italy was shockingly dramatic to see and the other nations saw a new side of Romano rise to meet the tidal wave at his little brother's emotional outburst.
This Romano gave Spain chills.
"You were weak," Romano growled, lifting his eyes from the table to sneer spitefully at his little bother's tears. "You're still weak, Veneciano- look at you! Weeping and whining about how it's''my fault''!" Romano's sneer curled into an angry snarl. "You always knew how to play senseless and get Grandpa on your side. I'm Romano! I should have been his favourite!"
"Look who's whining now?" Italy spat, wiping his eyes on his arm. He looked up from his sleeve and glared at Romano for the first time. "You couldn't paint or sing! That's why Grandpa Rome chose me! We were different, and he liked me more!"
Romano flushed with embarrassment and bit his lip. Hurt washed briefly across his eyes, but hate rushed in to replace it in an instant.
"You hogged him! I would've been good too if he'd had time to teach me like he did you!"
"Ve~, I was better! You wouldn't have been as good, even with practice!" Italy's gloat seemed to give him the upper hand in the argument and a smile crept across his lips. It wasn't cheerful smile everyone knew; this smile was dark, wicked, and seemed to speak of cruel words gone unsaid. Germany flinched at the sight of it, going to speak, but Prussia and France both silenced him with grim faces.
"You always were such an arrogant bastard!" Romano said, eyes filling with tears. "It's no wonder I moved in with Spain! I couldn't take living with an asshole like you!"
Now it was Italy's turn to recoil.
Italy flinched as if he'd been struck and whimpered, his eyes closing and staying closed. Obviously Roman's insults had broken whatever primal rage had settled over the little Italian, and it made all the difference. Once again, Romano dominated and Italy was reduced to tears and hiccups of misery.
"We-Well I don't care!" Italy snuffled, out of jibes and sharp phrases. "I'm better off on my own anyway! Now I won't be like you, and I can do what I want!"
"You wish you were like me!" Romano shouted hoarsely, "Without you, I'm doing great! I don't need someone who's only baggage!" Italy gasped, sobbing, and left the table. He stumbled a little as he ran for the door, but didn't fall, and tossed the last word over his shoulder like a knife.
"You're so mean, fratello! Ti odio!"
Romano deflated, wiped his wet face, and left as well.
Fratellino = (Italian) Little brother
Fratello = (Italian) Brother
Ti odio! = (Italian) I hate you!