Romano knows what he is to others, he knows what they think when they see him; if only he were Veneziano. He should not hold it against his brother, and usually he doesn't. Despite this, there are days when he can't help it. These are the days when Spain is around.
Seeing his brother and his old boss smiling and joking always causes a sort of bitter feeling to build in the pit of his stomach. The man he loves getting along better with the brother he is always compared to. Of course even that is nothing compared to the horrible twist to his heart when Spain and Veneziano talk about seeing each other in the past. The days when Spain had Romano in his house, desperately wishing he was Veneziano.
His hands begin to tremble as Spain teases Veneziano about being cute. It's not fair, it's never fair. He loves Spain more than anything, but he hates them both when they do this. Rather than get furious and blow up at them like usual, however, Romano decides to get up from his spot on the couch and go outside. Belgium recently told him it was best to leave rather than blow up at people, so he might as well try it.
"Roma~! Where are you going?" Spain asks curiously, receiving a dark look from the boy.
"Out." Is his simple reply before leaving.
When he was young, he knew the reason so many people were after him; he's not an idiot after all. It wasn't his looks, attitude, or any sort of skills he had. No, it was his grandfather's legacy. The riches, prestige, all of the titular things that came with having a piece of Italy. As he suspected, this was proven when he and Veneziano became off-limits. It's Veneziano who goes to meetings, Veneziano people flock around and ask to talk to. Who pays attention to Romano? The bad friends trio, Belgium and Netherlands.
Of course he knows why France and Prussia do; France has an Italy-fetish for him and his brother, and Prussia desperately wants friends. Then there's Spain. The man he loves who only spends time with him to be nice or be near his brother. It hurts, it hurts more than he can ever say.
As that painfully familiar tightening in his chest surfaces, Romano sits down on a bench in an empty park. "Spain didn't come to look for me…" He mumbles, placing his head in his hands. "Veneziano didn't either…I guess they just think I'm being my normal self…" His voice begins to tremble as he keeps speaking. "A-and why would Spain want to leave Veneziano's side to find me? The only reason he visits is for him anyways…" The trembling hands covering his face are now wet with the tears he can no longer hold back.
"Romano, you couldn't be more wrong!" A familiar voice calls from behind him. Turning to the voice, Romano sees Spain standing there, trying to catch his breath.
"What? Did you decide to come look for me since Veneziano ran off to be with that macho Germany?" Romano asks bitterly and Spain shakes his head no.
"He's still at home…I came for you." Spain says, walking up to the bench and sitting next to Romano. "You do this every time I come over…do you really hate seeing me this much?"
"Yes." Romano says without missing a beat.
"Wha-? Roma! Don't be so mean!" Spain whines. "Besides…" He places a hand on Romano's head and smiles gently. "You're the one who I want to see most. I always want to see you, to be with you period."
"Liar! You're always with Veneziano when you come over!"
Spain nods. "Yeah, I know, but only because…" A frown comes to his lips. "Only because…since you left to be with your brother…I figured you didn't want me around…and…with that in mind being near you hurts too much."
Romano blushes a little and glares at him. "That's stupid! It had nothing to do with you! What country doesn't want to be all it can be? I wanted to prove myself…I wanted…you to know I'm not useless…"
Spain smiles at him. "I know you aren't. It took a while for me to catch on back then, but I realized you tried. I know you were clumsy and stopped trying out of frustration. Really, you're too cute."
A flustered look comes to Romano's face and he looks away. "I'm not cute! Veneziano is the cute one! Don't be stupid!"
"Oh no…" Spain reaches forward and cups Romano's face. "You're cute, Romano. Cuter than Veneziano."
"That's not what you used to think!" Romano yells, slapping his hands away. "You wanted to trade me in for him! Like I was some lame animal! Just because I'm not the most flattering person, or the most affectionate…and I curse a lot…and…I don't ever say I lo…ve…s-someone…doesn't mean I can just be tossed aside for what everyone thinks is the better model!"
Spain looks at the Italian's newly flowing tears and sighs. "Romano I made a mistake back then. I wanted something simple and easy, like Veneziano, but I'm glad I had you instead. Veneziano would have been easier…but it doesn't feel right unless it's you." He grins. "Veneziano loves everyone…but you only love a special few, one of whom I hope is me. It feels much more special to have earned your friendship than Veneziano's."
Romano stares at him confused. "…Does that really make sense in your head?"
Spain nods, gently wiping the tears from his eyes. "Yes, it does."
Romano pouts. "Idiot."
"Te amo tambien!" Spain teases and Romano goes bright red.
"Th-that's not what I said at all!" Romano yells.
"Really? That's strange…I could have sworn I heard 'I love you, Spain!' a few seconds ago."
"Don't push your strange dreams onto me, idiot!"
Spain shrugs. "I guess it could have been that…or perhaps…you're just being shy about it. You said yourself you can't say 'I love you'!"
"B-but that's-! But I-!" Romano groans. "Shut up!"
Spain ignores his embarrassment and leans forward, placing a kiss on his forehead. "You've grown so much, Romano…I just wish I could have seen it all first hand."
Romano glares. "Maybe if you would have left Veneziano's side for five seconds you could have."
"Come on, Romano. I really do mean it when I say you are my favorite. Not just between you and your brother either, but out of every country and human I know." Spain explains. "You will always be my favorite. I love you the most."
"Yeah…as a henchman." Romano grumbles.
"Well, yeah, when you were younger!" Spain laughs a little. "Of course when you were small I loved you as a little brother of sorts, like I do Veneziano. I like kids but I'm not attracted to them!"
Romano looks at him surprised. "Attracted to…?"
"That's right!" Spain grins, a small shade of pink dusting his cheeks. "When I say I love you…I don't mean in an innocent, platonic sort of way."
"WHA-?" Romano quickly stands up. "H-how could you-? I mean, when did you-? Why isn't it Veneziano?" He asks, trying to process it as he rambles.
Spain stands next to him and places his hands on Romano's shoulders. "I've always felt closer to you than Veneziano. We've been through so much together, Roma. I don't really know when it started…one day when I saw you I thought to myself 'wow, he's become really handsome' and it just escalated from there." He goes silent, waiting for Romano's reaction.
Romano swallows hard, he's never had what he truly wants so…obtainable before. What's he supposed to do? Say he feels the same? Well, yeah, that has to happen when his voice returns. However, Spain is waiting for a response now. He wonders what kind of face he's making as Spain looks at him so intently, does it look as happy as he feels? Probably not, judging from Spain's increasingly unsure look. He probably looks on the verge of tears, again. It pisses him off how much he has been crying tonight, all because of Spain.
"I'm sorry, Roma…I made you uncomfortable." Spain says, moving away awkwardly. "We can just pretend I didn't say that…okay?" He asks, smiling weakly.
"N-no!" Romano gasps, grabbing the collar of Spain's shirt and pulling him down into a small, chaste, kiss.
"Roma…?" Spain asks, staring at the boy confused.
"I do, too…" The Italian says in a trembling voice.
"You do what?"
Romano twitches. "How stupid are you? I-I'm saying I feel the same!"
"That we should forget it?" Spain asks and Romano fumes.
"No! That I-!" He stops himself, noticing a mischievous smile coming to Spain's lips. "You're doing this on purpose!"
"But, Roma, I don't understand. Can't you explain yourself a bit more?" Spain asks, the smile growing.
"T-Ti amo!" Romano stutters out. "Happy now?"
Spain smiles widely and pulls him into his arms. "Yes! I'm so sorry I made you think you were second best, Romano." He mumbles into Romano's shoulder. "I'm really sorry."
"You should be." Romano huffs. "And I expect something in return for my troubles!"
Spain laughs a little. "Of course, Roma. What would you like?"
"I need a minimum of three meals and a nap with pasta. Every day." Romano says and Spain blushes.
"Why, Roma, that sounds awful familiar! Are you trying to propose to boss already?" Spain teases and Romano tenses up.
"Wh-who would want to propose to an idiot like you?"
"Alright, alright, don't worry. I can provide you with those things." Spain says, tilting Romano's chin up. "I will give you anything you want."
Romano rolls his eyes. "Yeah, I know…try not to go broke doing it this time."
"I'll do my best!" Spain promises before pulling Romano into another, deeper kiss.
A little while later they return to Veneziano and Romano's place, seeing the former on the couch with a plate of pasta.
"Welcome back!" Veneziano says, smiling at the two. "Are you two alright now? You both ran outside pretty fast." He asks before taking a bite of his food and staring at the two curiously.
"Yep! Everything's all better! In fact, if you don't mind, I'm going to be kidnapping your brother for a while!" Spain says, receiving a shocked look from Romano.
"Not at all! Go right ahead!" Veneziano smiles.
"Wha-? Don't just toss me to Spain!" Romano yells. "Don't I get a say?"
"Nope!" Spain takes his hand. "Better go pack some clothes. I plan on keeping you to myself for a while."
"Have fun~!" Veneziano calls out as they head to the stairs.
"Damnit Veneziano! You're a horrible brother!" Romano hisses, allowing himself to be dragged up the stairs by Spain. Despite his complaints, a small smile comes to Romano's face. "Well…I guess it won't be awful."
"That's the spirit!" Spain cheers, kissing him on the cheek.
A/N: A commissioned piece. It's supposed to be sad...and then have a happy ending. I'm really sorry! I guess I'm not that good at sad...or endings...:I