Romano Lovino Vargas, the representation of South Italy, was sitting in the park and thinking. Nothing special, someone could say. Wrong.
The weather was bad. Rather chilly wind was blowing making his hands stiff and pale. It was very early, too. But Romano was okay with that. He came here exactly because it was chilly and early. He wanted to be alone.
What was he thinking about?
Lovino Vargas was recalling his past.
He couldn't sleep tonight, haunted with unwanted memories. So he came to the park. He felt a little guilty that he didn't leave a note, nor he said anything to his host and best friend - Matthew Williams, the nation of Canada. But the park was near and he desperately wanted solitude. And that's how he spent the dark hours of new day until the sun rose and people came. Then he decided it's time to go back.
Suddenly his phone buzzed signaling one coming message.
Matthew, 9:16 a.m.
Where r u?
Lovino sighed guiltily and quickly typed back
Lovino, 9:17 a.m.
Park. Back in 2 min.
Matt opened the door and looked at him expectantly.
"I had to be alone for a while. Couldn't sleep." Lovino muttered and came inside not looking him in the eye. Remembering his past always made him sad. Okay, maybe not his past in general but some selected memories. Matthew saw.
"Wanna talk?" he asked handing his freezed friend a cup of hot coffee. Lovino looked surprised but then he shook his head.
"Not now." He said and Matthew understood. Of course. He has been depressed many times in his long life, he could recognize it when other people were.
"Okay." He said and left his friend with the coffee.
On the first look Canada and South Italy had nothing in common. Canada was a quiet nation, always polite and timid, living on the North. Romano was grumpy and sweared horribly making most people dislike him. He was occupying the south part of Italy, the land of which his younger brother was main representation. How did they meet and become friends? That's because Mattie's boyfriend and Romano's former caretaker are friends. The infamous Bad Touch Trio members: Prussia and Spain. Both like to drag Canada and Romano with them and that's how the two met. Canada remembered it very well. It was one warm Spanish night and he had been dragged with Prussia to drink and have some fun together. When they met with France and Spain, Canada was introduced to an irritated man with lightly tanned skin, hazel eyes and chestnut hair with one huge curl sticking out. At first Romano was not very nice companion due to his demeanor but sitting in the bar and drinking they managed to overcome first shyness and somehow get to know each other better.
That night they learned that they both know what is it like to be forgotten and that bonded them. Canada was forgotten by almost everyone, exception of France and, later, Prussia. Sometimes he asked himself why he even is here. No one ever notices him means he isn't important to anyone. If so... why is he even alive? Maybe, if no one needed him, his people could do without him as well?
Romano was a half of the country and even though he was the older brother, Veneziano was more important. He sometimes felt that he's unnecessary, that his little fratello could run the whole country just fine, seeing how he was usually making decisions for both of them, for whole Italy. In fact when someone wanted to talk with Italy, he went to talk with Veneziano.
That night they shared their burden and decided to bear with it together.
That night they became closest friends.
Now though, Lovino had a secret, a problem that kept him awake the whole night and made him depressed. Matthew wanted to help. But first, Lovino had to confess to him.
Lovino knew he made Mattie worried and that his friend wants to help him. But... could he? Then he realized that Matt trusted him, told him about everything, even his childhood. He should repay him likewise. So when Mattie was passing the couch he was contemplating on, Romano called him quietly and asked if he wants to listen to him. Matthew just sat down and looked at him expectantly.
"You are probably wondering what kept me up the whole night. Well... You know that I was raised by Spain. He took me and Austria took my fratello. Spain was a very good caretaker, I loved living in his house. But... you know how I am. I swear, am selfish and can't do anything right." Canada wanted to say something but before he could Romano shot him the look that said "shut up and let me finish". He knew that if Mattie started to comfort him now he wouldn't be able to finish the story. Talking about it was tough on him. He never told anyone about this. It was his darkest secret. Mattie understood and shut up muttering "sorry". They could be so open only to each other.
"So, I was like that when bambini, too. I caused him more trouble than I was worth. But I loved him. I still do." Lovino confessed and Matthew nodded. He saw how Romano acted around the Spaniard. He insulted him always calling him "pomodoro bastarde" but never when he was alone with Mattie. Then he always called him "Spain" or "Antonio". Also all his swearing was an act. Lovino was incredibly shy. Only with Matthew he dropped that act and was himself. He sweared badly only when really angry or flustered.
"And one day, when he was fed up with me... he went to Austria to ask him for advice. I was horrified. He'd see my little brother, I thought, he can't because if he does he'll hate me. I was so afraid of it that I came after him. Maybe Veneziano would not come out, I prayed. But, unfortunately, Feli was out. And he was sweeping the floor. He was working, so doing something I always refused to. More, when he saw Antonio he immediately cheered and went to hug him. If I went to him, it was to hit him. When he was awake. I sometimes went to him when he was napping and watched him. I liked watching him. Sometimes, after his wars, I came and bandaged him. He was such a deep sleeper." Romano's face was blank. He was talking calmly but Matthew could see his clenched fists.
"When Feliciano called him 'big brother Antonio' he looked stunned. I knew this was the end. He patted Feli's head and ran to Austria. And he asked him-" Tears welled up in his eyes and Lovino had to take a break for a second to stop them from falling, stop himself from breaking down. He needed to share this secret with Mattie, he needed to divide his pain. Canada mutely put his hand on Lovi's shoulder and gave him an assuring look. Lovino took a shaky breath and continued.
"He asked Austria to trade Italies. He ran to him and flung himself at him crying and begging him to exchange me for Feli." He said and one single tear escaped his eye. Mattie's grip on Lovino's shoulder tightened. He was shocked. How? How could Spain have done something like that? Granted he hadn't known that Romano had been there but still. What had been the little nation feeling? He had loved Antonio with all his little heart! Like a big brother back then but still loved! And watched as his beloved brother begged so desperately to give him to Austria and in exchange take his little brother! Now it was clear why Lovino had such a problem with being compared to Feli! Matthew was so shocked he could only sit and watch, wide-eyed, as Romano calmed himself down and with emotionless voice and expression kept talking.
"I was... heartbroken. Austria, of course, refused. He liked Feli better too. Honestly, who wouldn't like him better? I was hiding and listening to their conversation. Spain was desperate... Finally he decided it's time to go home. I realized that I should get there before him, because if he knew that I was there... he'd hate me even more than now and maybe even throw me out as it was. So I ran and waited for him trying to stop tears. No such luck. It was obvious that I was crying for everyone that looked at me. Finally he came home and started to look for me. At first I didn't want to come out. But then... then I thought that if he hates me so much... maybe it'd be better if I just gave him a final reason to throw me out. I didn't want to be such a burden to him. So I came out, and still teared up, I yelled at him calling him an idiot. He looked... guilty for a moment and I couldn't stand it, so I hit him and-"Lovino's lips twitched and he smiled a little, sadly. "-and asked him where the hell is the bathroom because I need it. Honestly I was living for so long with him, how could I not know? But I couldn't think straight and he never caught that. I got what I wanted though. He immediately stopped being guilty and became angry. He yelled at me to go outdoors if I must." Romano managed to chuckle a little. But it wasn't happy. It was a broken laugh that revealed how really painful this memory was for him.
"But he never threw me out, after all... I spent many nights thinking why..." He finished and looked from the wall in front of him at his companion. Mattie's look surprised him. Because Matthew was crying. Lovino was enveloped in a hug.
That's when he finally broke down too.
They stayed like that for a long time, just comforting each other, dividing the pain carried for centuries between two.
They were still sitting on the couch and wiping their tears when suddenly the door to Mattie's house burst open revealing two people.
Prussia and Spain.
Both Gilbert and Antonio knew that Romano is going to stay with Matthew for a couple of days. At first they wanted to give them some time but after two days they got bored and decided to pay them a visit. However, they never expected that after coming into Canada's house they're going to see Matthew and Lovino, sitting on the couch and crying!
When they came inside, both Lovi and Matt jumped, startled, and cried with anxiety.
Gilbert immediately ran to his boyfriend and gathered him into his arms. Yes, he was awesome, tough and all but he couldn't stand it when his little Birdie was sad. Matthew hugged him back and placed Gil beside himself on the couch nestling in his warm embrace. Then he turned to observe the poor Italian.
Said Italian was currently too broken to curse but if he wasn't he'd curse the whole world with Antonio on top. The fuck was that?! For once he was sitting and finally getting rid of a burden he had to carry for centuries and now the very one who was partially responsible for it was here! Not that he blamed Spain for anything. He understood perfectly. He was not worth all the trouble he caused and yet Spain did not throw him out. That just added to the huge list of things that Lovino loved him for.
Spain too, hurried to his little Lovi and asked him frantically what happened, what is wrong, Lovi, why aren't you talking? But Lovino couldn't, just no. Antonio hugged him and he just let him, leaning into the soothing touch of his beloved one.
They stayed like this for a couple of minutes. Matthew calmed down finally in Gilbert's arms and Gil repeated Spain's question: What happened?
Matthew looked him in the eye and said "We were recalling." sadly.
"What?" Spain asked desperately wanting to help Lovino. Lovi was drained and didn't respond to anything. He just sat in Toni's embrace and completely limply held his hand staring into space, far away from here and then.
"This is a secret I can not tell you. Lovino trusted me with these memories and I won't break his trust. He has to tell you himself." Matthew said and rose. "I'll show you were his room is. You can stay with him or take another one. Do as you wish." And with that he took his boyfriend's hand and motioned for Antonio to follow him into the house.
Antonio gathered Lovino, who had fallen asleep, in his arms delicately and went after Canada. Once in Romano's room he gently placed the sleeping nation on the bed.
"I'll stay with him for now, okay?" He said looking at their host. Canada nodded his head and left the room to give them some privacy.
"What the hell you were recalling from Romano's past that made you both cry like that? The awesome me was worried that you were hurt or something!" Prussia exclaimed once they reached Canada's own room and Mattie pulled him with himself on the bed to cuddle. Mattie loved cuddling with the albino.
"Like I told you earlier - Lovi told me something from his past." Matthew sighed, tired from all the crying.
"It must've been something totally unawesome. A war? Why were you even talking about something like that, Birdie?" Gilbert pressed.
"Not a war. I just didn't want him to bear with a depression alone. You know that before you came I had depressed a lot. It's horrible."
Gilbert murmured something too quiet for Mattie to hear. "I know. I'm glad I made it better for you, Birdie." He said and Mattie smiled at the pet-name. Once he asked Gil where did it come from and he said that Mattie is just like a bird - little and cute. That, and the fact that Gilbird wasn't scared of him when they first met and sat on Matthew's shoulder chirping happily at Gilbert, shocking him. The little ball of fluff never made friends with anyone so fast.
"I'm just surprised because Romano had spent most of his past as Antonio's charge and Toni would never let anything happen to him... Nevermind the awesome me understands that you can't tell." Gilbert said and Mattie smiled snuggling up to him. Gil always knew what to say and do and understood him perfectly.
"Sleep tight, Mattie." Prussia murmured into his boyfriend's hair seeing as he yawned sweetly.
Spain was sitting on the sofa in Romano's room and intensely thinking. What was it that made his little Lovi and Matthew cry? Lovi's memories. But of what? From the day one Spain got his Roma he made sure that he was happy and healthy. There was even that time when he gave all the money he got from voyages to New World to him! When had his Lovi been suffering enough to be haunted to this day with memories? He couldn't think of any occasion.
Suddenly he heard a whimper from the figure on the bed. Romano's whimper. Spain realized that it's very late now, the world outside the window dark. Before, he was thinking so intensely that he didn't even realize the time's flow but now he felt his lids drop. Hearing another whimper from the one he loved Spain hurried to the bed and crawled under the blanket.
"It's okay, mi Lovi. I'm here." He whispered to him like when Roma was little, and circled his arms around the sleeping nation. Lovino unconsciously snuggled into his chest and Antonio drifted into sleep still thinking when did he let his little charge suffer.
Lovino was waking slowly. He had a strange dream. It was his usual nightmare he had as a bambini after that day - he was alone surrounded by coldness and darkness. He couldn't even see himself, he just was. The only thing he could see was one scene. That cursed image of his little fratello hugging Spain and exclaiming 'big brother Antonio!'. That moment in which, he was sure, Antonio started to hate him truly.
Sometimes he saw only that one scene. Sometimes it was the whole story with crying and begging. Once he heard a woman's voice that blurred the image thought he still could see the main scene. In the morning Belgium was scolding Antonio for not realizing that his charge had had a nightmare.
Now thought he saw Feliciano hugging Spain... and then Spain turned to him and smiled sweetly. Romano was stunned. There and then in the dream he was his little self once again. Suddenly he felt Austria's floor under his little feet and warm breeze on his face. And he was crying. Spain left little Feliciano and walked up to him, then enveloped his little body in a soothing embrace and whispered 'It's okay, mi Lovi. I'm here. Everything will be okay now, I promise.'
Then the modified nightmare faded and for the rest of the night Romano had only dreamed nice dreams. The whole time he felt that warm arms wrapped around him, defending him from any bad and bringing good things, with the echo of Spain's promise.
Romano didn't want to wake up at all. He wanted to stay in his dream and bask in the warmth Spain was giving him. No such luck. As he slowly came to his senses he thought that Spain's presence was going to fade. Nothing of the sort. It just became more real. What the fuck?!
Lovino snapped his eyes open and the first thing he saw was... Spain. Antonio was sleeping soundly with Lovino in his arms.
"Oh no. No! How did he- Why did he- What the hell is this fucker doing here?!" Romano yelled in his mind horrified, secretly pleased and very embarrassed. And angry with himself for cursing again. Spain always made him loose control over his mind.
Romano took a deep breath to calm himself down and slowly locked his gaze back on Antonio's sleeping face. "He looks content." Romano thought. "Although there is something. Is that worry? He has furrowed his brows in his sleep. Something must be bugging him. What could it be?"
Poor South Italy, it never crossed his mind that the Spaniard worries so much that even in his sleep over him. Because why would he?
Romano shifted slightly in Antonio's arms making himself more comfortable and went back to staring creepily. Only upon sniffing breakfast (Matthew's pancakes) did the Spanish man finally stir and slowly open his emerald eyes, yawning widely. Then he noticed Lovino who pretended to be asleep again. He did not want to be caught at staring at the sleeping face of the older man. Out of the question.
"Good morning, Lovi~!" Antonio whispered lightly into the smaller man's ear and kissed his forehead. Lovino struggled to keep his breathing even and not to shudder with delight. He loved it when Spain was so affectionate. Sure he acted like he hated it because it made him SO DAMN EMBARRASED, especially in public. He still loved it though.
Spain, thinking that his tomatito was still asleep, happily cuddled him nuzzling his face in Romano's copper hair (being extra careful not to touch that cute curl Roma had) breathing in it. Romano couldn't help himself and 'subconsciously' cuddled closer to the Spaniard burying his face in his chest and enjoying the warmth Spain's embrace gave him.
They stayed like that for a while before someone knocked on the door an opened it slowly. Gilbert poked his head into the room and scanned it before his eyes locked with the ones of his friend.
"Shhhh. Out." Spain whispered as not to 'wake' Romano. Gilbert raised his eyebrows and chuckled earning himself a halfhearted glare.
Finally the albino left to join his Birdie in the kitchen and report to him how Lovino and Antonio were doing.
Spain sighed returning all his attention to the nation in his arms.
"What is it, Lovi? What did I do? Tell me, please, so I can fix it!" He pleaded sorrowfully in a whisper and felt the body in his arms quiver.
"Lovi...?" Spain tried to pull away surprised so he can look at him but two fist-fulls of his shirt prevented him from doing so.
"S-stop..." Romano breathed out shivering.
"Lovi? Lovi! Mi querido what is it? Please tell me! Don't cry, Lovi, it's all okay! Just tell boss what happened?" South Italy just clutched his shirt tighter and sobbed once. "It is something I did, right? Please, Lovi!"
"N-no… I-it's not y-your fault… i-it never was… it is m-m-my fault!"
"Lovi! What is your fault! Whatever it is I'm sure you've done nothing bad! Just tell me! I want to make you feel better! I can't stand to see you cry! Lovi!"
Lovino was, however, unable to do anything besides wetting Spain's shirt with his tears so Antonio focused on calming his former charge. He had quite a good experience with the task so it didn't take long for Romano to stop sobbing and shivering and instead lay somewhat still in his loved one's arms, his head buried into his chest.
"Now, mi Lovi~" Spain said gently "Will you tell me what is making you so unhappy?" Getting only a sniff in response he pressed some more. "Lovi! Lovinito! Please~! I need to know!"
"It-… it's nothing." Romano muttered. "It's okay now so stop this pleading."
"But Lovi-" "We should get going. Matthew is making pancakes for breakfast." "But Lovino-" "I'm going to take a shower first" Romano wiggled out of Spain's arms and sat at a bring of the bed when a hand shot and grabbed his arm.
"LOVINO!" Spain yelled exasperated having had enough of being ignored whilst trying to help the man. Romano flinched and fought to hide his hurt expression and tears threatening to fall down his cheeks again. No such luck.
"Lovinito, I'm sorry that I yelled at you but don't ignore me when I'm trying to help you! It's so obvious that you're far from okay it's insulting my intelligence even trying to pretend otherwise!" Spain said and brought his tomate back on the bed.
"Now tell me. Everything. And I mean everything." Spain said firmly. Lovino suddenly felt anger rising inside of his chest. He wants to know? So he'll tell him! That bastard! What the hell he thinks he is?!
"You want to know?" Spain nodded vigorously noticing how dark Romano's voice got. "Then I'll tell you.
"It's you." Lovino spat viciously. "It's all your fault you fucker! You wanted to trade me for Veneciano and you prefer fratello over me because I'm useless and curse and a fucking not needed part of his Italy! Now let me go you bastard! I SAID LET ME GO!" Lovino fought with the bigger nation to release his arm but Spain was stronger and even in the state of shock and panic he managed to keep firm hold on the hand in his.
"Y-you knew…?" Spain uttered in astonishment.
"Ha! Better! I SAW it! Every damn tear and plea! And I saw it, with Feli, that's how I know you hate me! And you know what? I FUCKING HATE YOU TOO!" Romano screamed, angry tears in his eyes. He just told Spain his darkest secret knowing full well that this would be the end of their relationship.
"Oh no! I'm so sorry, Lovinito! It was a mistake! But I could never hate you!" Spain shouted desperately and Romano froze.
"Lovino, Romano Lovino Vargas, I could never hate you! I… I admit, there was a short time that I didn't know what to do with you, you were so angry and didn't want to listen so I went to Austria to ask him how is your hermano doing and when I saw Feli it just… happened. I don't know, probably because he was so happy to see me while you always prayed I won't come back! I thought that you hated me!"
Romano hung his head low, his hair hiding his eyes and expression from the Spaniard.
"I never hated you. I love you." South Italy whispered. It was Spain's turn to freeze in shock. "But I know I'm not good enough for you. I never was and never will."
"What are you talking about, Lovi!" Spain snapped back into reality hearing how his love is talking about himself. "When, where did you get that!? You're not like that at all! You're perfect! You are beautiful and considerate and so caring! It was you who treated all my wounds when I came back from a war, wasn't it, when I was sleeping! And you may not like doing chores but if you set your mind on something no one can do it better than you! Even Feliciano! And what if you swear a little I love you the way you are! I love you, not Feliciano!" Spain ended his rant panting and his eyes met with the ones of his former henchman.
Romano was speechless. Spain is WHAT?! But! Wait a minute!
His inner turmoil was interrupted by a warm hand on his chick.
"Lovino, I love you." Spanish eyes locked with his confirmed the words, the confession finally clicking in his mind. Spain LOVED HIM BACK!
All the emotions were too much for the distressed nation and he fell into Spain's chest crying with relief, joy, ridding himself of the tension and hatred he was holding in for whole centuries and Spain just held him and whispered sweet reassurances into his ear stroking his hair: everything is okay now, I'm here, Lovi, I always was and I always will, I love you, I love you so much! You are my everything, you are such a great person, I'm so happy I have met you, I would never ever trade you for anyone, I wouldn't stand anyone else because I want only you, I love your blush, you are so cute Roma~!
They stayed wrapped in each other, giving and taking comfort and finally both being happy.
Canada released his breath and relaxed returning his attention to the stove.
"Seems like they resolved everything, ja?" Gilbert said from his place at the table where he was devouring his boyfriend's marvelous pancakes.
"I'm so happy for them. Lovino was so depressed over this and I can understand him perfectly! He's such a good man and so unhappy. He deserved to finally get this solved and be happy with Spain." Canada said flipping the pancake he was currently working on.
"Ja, that was quite shocking – I never thought Toni would be able to do such a thing." They were downstairs while Spain and South Italy upstairs so even not wanting to they heard something. Granted, not much, but still.
"That is a secret, what happened here, you know that, right, Gil?" Matthew said and looked at the albino.
"Of course! I'll never tell anyone anything! Well, maybe France, he's-"
"No one. Ja." Gilbert knew this tone of Matthew's and it promised unpleasant things. Sometimes even featuring a hockey stick. The mere thought made the Prussian shudder.
"Good." Matthew said and moved to make another fluffy disk.
So here! It was my first time writing Spamano but once I got this idea it wouldn't go away so I had to write it down. I hope you like it. Thank you for reading.
I don't own Hetalia. Hidekaz Himaruya does.
REVIEW PLEASE for my undying love and Mattie's pancakes!