Hetalia - Axis Powers Fan Fiction ❯ Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità ❯ Chapter 7 ( Chapter 7 )

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There are just some things better being unknown after all.


"Ve~! Look here Nihon!"

Architecture of unmatchable grandeur was at every corner as Italy and Japan traversed the streets of Florence, the blithe eagerly pointing out all sorts of sights to his companion, full of life and energy. A fond smile graced the raven's lips the entire time; he deeply enjoyed every moment he spent with his beloved from the very bottom of his heart, relishing every second he was with his precious person. Everything was simply beautiful; from the celestial stars twinkling in the clear night sky to the majestic municipal he had the honor to step foot in, beauty surrounded the Asian no matter where he went. Of course, nothing could compare to the sheer beauty of the one who was beside him...

The addressed chuckled at the enthusiasm. "Could you please tell me what this is, Italia-kun?" The pair stood before a magnificent basilica which bore a plethora of intricate designs carved into its walls, copper domes placed throughout—with an especially large one surrounded by four much smaller hemispheres—in addition to several towers which stuck out from the building at one end.

"Hai! This is the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the main church of Florence." The auburn beamed. "It was originally called the 'Il Duomo di Firenze' and was first created in 1296 in Gothic style by Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi." He smiled. "Did you know that until the development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome on this building was the largest in the world?" He giggled at the shocked expression he received. "Well, it was." He shrugged. "However, it remains the largest brick dome ever constructed."

The listener nodded. "Sokka." The edge of his lips curled up. "Sugoi desu ne, Italia-kun."

"Aww! Arigato Nihon!" Italy sheepishly scratched the back of his neck, face flushing. Once he had regained his composure, he resumed. "The inside is extremely exquisite as well...but I don't want to show it to you right now." He waved his hands in a defensive manner at the incredulous look shot at him. "I mean that it will take too long to tour all of it! We might end up missing the fireworks!"

Realization dawned on the raven. "...You're right."

"Hehe...sorry." The hazel gave a nervous chuckle. "Maybe some other time?"

Oh Japan liked those implications. Very, very much. "That sounds great, Italia-kun. I love that." That? Or something else? Namely the brunet beside him. That's beside the point though...or is it?

"Then it's settled!" The cheerful cheered, clapping his hands together as he beamed brightly. The blithe abruptly grabbed his friend's hand once again, intertwining their fingers once more as the brunet dragged him along. "We don't have much time! I still have so much more to show you!"



A sumptuous edifice made of maroon bricks accentuated by golden lights all around its base and had a myriad of windows—a single giant tower of elaborate design attracting all eyes to it—was before the pair as Italy brought them to it, Japan enraptured by the incredible sight.

The brunet beamed. "This is the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence. It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria—" he gestured to the L-shaped square in front of the building "—with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue—" he pointed to a marble sculpture of a young man in the nude, the Asian quickly turning away—must not think inappropriate thoughts! Must not imagine that youth as Italy! Must! Not! This is not honorable! Not honorable at all! "—and the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi—" the explainer swept a hand toward a nearby structure characterized by its three grand arches "—you know." He gave a nervous laugh as he sheepishly scratched the back of his neck. "That isn't the real Michelangelo's David statue though; it's been in the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze since 1873." He sighed. "I'd like to take you there too, but it'll take too long. Gomen."

"It's alright, Italia-kun." The raven smiled as he had finally gotten himself under control. Finally. "This place is breathtakingly beautiful, like every place in Florence and all of Italy."

Seriously, Italy was blushing! "Grazie! Grazie!" He giggled. The sable's heart warmed at the melodious sound, his lips quirking up. The guide then continued. "The Palazzo Vecchio was originally called the 'Palazzo della Signoria', named after the Signoria of Florence which was the ruling body of the Republic of Florence. This place was also given several other names such as 'Palazzo del Popolo', 'Palazzo dei Priori', and 'Palazzo Ducale' in accordance with the varying use of this palace during its long history." The Japanese couldn't help but admire the Italian's face as it scrunched up in concentration as he counted on his fingers while speaking. "The building acquired its current name when the Medici duke's residence was moved across the Arno to the Palazzo Pitti, which is located downriver."

"I see..." The listener trailed as he absorbed all the information given, nodding his head slowly.

Japan's eyes widened in shock as a hand suddenly clapped onto his back, the owner of said hand taking his hand, dragging him towards the entrance. "Let's go in Giappone!"

"Eh?!" The addressed cried out. "I thought you said we don't have enough time to tour the insides of the buildings!"

Italy shook his head. "We aren't going to be touring the inside though!" The raven was subsequently dragged along faster. "I'll just show you how it looks like!" And then they burst through the doors, a spacious plaza crafted from the most refined of materials with grand pillars connected together by a series of arcs—tons of intricate etchings within the stone—lining the sides as several octagonal platforms—one on top of the other—showcased a bronze statue of a cherub carrying a cetacean in the middle with four hedges surrounding it. "This is the first courtyard in this building and was designed in 1453 by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo Michelozzi. The crests of the church and city guilds lie in the lunettes surrounding the courtyard." He swept his hand, referencing the arches. "In the center, the porphyry fountain is by Battista del Tadda. On top of it lies a copy of the Putto with Dolphin by Andrea del Verrocchio with the original now on display on the second floor. The water, flowing through the nose of the dolphin, is brought here by pipes from the Boboli Gardens." He sheepishly scratched the back of his neck. Again. "Sorry for going so fast; this must be a lot to take in, what with all the Italian names and stuff." Red tinted his cheeks. "They must be confusing to foreigners."

"Īe! Īe! Don't apologize Italia-kun!" Japan cried. "It's fine! I can understand you just fine!" A blush ignited his cheeks as he shyly looked away. "...Your lessons helped me out."

A smile made its way onto the blithe's face. "...I'm glad." He then took his companion's hand once more, leading him out of the plaza. "Let's go! We still have so much more to see and not enough time!"



The brunet had dragged the raven all around Florence, showing him every landmark they came across, explaining each one. From the grand Basilica di Santa Croce to the commanding Piazzale Michelangelo, they saw it all. Of course, they couldn't go inside any of those buildings or stay too long; they have to see as much as possible yet mustn't miss fireworks after all...yet Japan didn't mind in the slightest. All that mattered was that he was spending time with his precious. Alone. Touring the town—a beautiful part of his beautiful beloved—was only a bonus. A bonus with high rewards. However, one could only go at the speed of Italy for so long...

The auburn stopped in his tracks, glimpsing at the sable who trailed behind. "Nihon? Daijōbu?"

"...Hai." The addressed gasped out. "It's just that...all this walking has made me...tired."

The hazel's eyes widened. "...Oh." Italy turned around, speeding towards Japan before abruptly stopping before him and turning back around prior to crouching. "Get on."

"Eh?!" Confusion was evident in the bemused's features. "What do you mean by that?!" He exploded into flames.

The brunet glanced back at his friend once more. "I'll give you a piggyback ride. Get on and hold onto me. I'll hold onto you too."

"W-Wakarimashita!" Burning hotter than the most infernal fires of Dis, the flustered complied, moving to sit on the taller's back. As he wrapped his arms around the auburn's neck—trembling wildly as he did so—said auburn reached his hands behind himself before grasping onto the back of the raven's legs, holding them in place as he got back up.

Italy beamed as he stood, friend in tow. "Ikuyo!"

"H-Hai!" The brunet began walking once more, supporting his companion as he continued on. At last comfortable, a content sigh left the Asian's lips; this was a dream come true, a very pleasant dream indeed.

As the hazel traversed through the streets of the city, a sudden thought flashed into his mind. "You know...as much as I love The Divine Comedy and all, there are just some things I can't agree with."

"Like what?" Curiosity piqued.

The addressed shook his head. "Actually, I don't like how all the sinners had to suffer so much for all of eternity; I feel so bad for them, no matter what they did. But that's Tophet for you." He shrugged. "However, there are punishments I especially disagree with. It's horrible how Dante had treated those who took their own lives; The Wood of the Suicides is such a disturbing place, what with all the poor souls turned into gnarled thorny trees and bushes, being attacked by odious harpies for an indefinite amount of time. It makes me so sad that the only way those souls can talk is while they bleed after being hurt..." Melancholy radiated from the speaker. "...and on Judgement Day, they will be reunited with their true forms...but can never actually get back into them; their bodies will just hang off of their branches. That's so upsetting...to think their offense is greater than those who were violent against neighbors, those who shed blood." After a long moment's pause, he continued. "The Virtuous Pagans didn't do anything wrong; they just didn't know about Christ and his teachings...yet they have no hope of ever getting into heaven." His voice lowered to a whisper. "Also, the Heretics didn't realize the soul doesn't die with the body, yet they are still punished in the Sixth Circle within Dis in burning tombs and on Judgement Day, they will be sealed in forever." What he said next was barely audible. "...But the one I hate most is how Dante treated the Sodomites; they could be the kindest people on the planet yet are still cursed with being forced to run on the scorching sands in the third round of the Seventh Circle naked for all eternity, the raining fire forever keeping them ablaze just because they're gay." Tears rapidly slid down his cheeks. "Even Dante had cast his own mentor, Ser Brunetto Latino, into there just because he liked guys, even though he was such a great man. I feel so terrible for Jacopo Rusticucci, Guido Guerra, and Tegghiaio Aldobrandi as well." The tears flowed faster as he became almost mute. "And I would be there too; I'm bisexual after all, not straight." Sobs tore from his throat. "Dante would have placed me in that scorching desert if he ever knew about me!"

"Don't cry Italia-kun!" Hands reached from behind the brunet, wiping at the continuously flowing streams. "Don't forget that all of the Inferno is just a part of Dante's imagination!" The auburn turned to face the raven, meeting blazing ebon orbs. Although at the eye contact, red tinted Japan's cheeks. "...And even if you somehow managed to end up in that scorching desert, I would be there to protect you."

Limpid brown eyes became saucers. "EH?! Why would you?!" His mouth dropped wide open as realization dawned on him. "Nihon, are you bi too?!"

"No, I'm just gay." A frown formed on his face. "Why didn't you realize this—" Among other things, but that's beside the point...or is it? "—earlier?!" Pout. "I told you that I always thought you are very handsome, and you're male."

The hazel quirked a brow. "You don't need to be gay to find another guy attractive you know."

"G-Good point." How could his beloved not see it?! How?!

A head nudged into the onyx's own, snapping him from his thoughts. "You were saying..."

"Sumimasen!" Face ignited! "S-Since I'm gay, I would have been damned to that scorching desert as well!" Heart throbbing! "A-As soon as I would find you, I would do whatever is within my power and more to keep you from harm!" Redder than rubies! "I-I would take the flames with my own body and carry you if you got tired from all that running!" Even though it would be the other way around, but that's beside the point. "...Even if I would end up increasing my own torment."

The listener was rendered breathless. "...Why would you bother, Giappone?"

"I-It's because you're very important to me." Don't confess. "You're the light of my life." Don't confess! "My life would be so dark and desolate without you in it." Do. Not. Confess! "You mean the world to me." DO NOT CONFESS! "I can't stand to see you hurt in any way, shape, or form." Why wasn't his mouth obeying his brain?! STOP IT ALREADY!

Luckily—or unluckily, the brunet did not seem to pick up on the obvious implications. "Arigato Nihon! I'm glad to have such an incredible best friend!"

"Yes...best friend..." Why were those words so painful?! Desperately attempting to avoid the pain, the agonized changed the subject. "By the way, if Dante would have dared so much as to place you in Hell, I would travel back in time to damn him to the Ninth Circle for betraying his own country and within the coldest depths of Antenora, I would kick his a—"

A hand immediately clasped over his mouth. "Whoa! Whoa! Language! Language!" Italy sighed as he returned his hand to Japan's thigh. "I wouldn't want you to do that to Dante. Please don't. It's not even possible."

"...Fine." Or was it?

A soft snickering could suddenly be heard, attracting the Asian's attention. "I appreciate the thought though, no matter how scary it is." He chuckled. "You know, I never told Doitsu this, even after I told him my first love is a guy all those years ago." He smiled. "You're the only one." He leaned up, rubbing their cheeks together.

"...I'm glad." A surge of pride washed over the raven; finally he had something Germany didn't! Finally!

The brunet then commenced his advance, strolling through the streets of the city. As the hazel walked, the sable glanced down, discovering that the blithe's skin no longer held any blemishes; the bruises had at last vanished. Of course, as they were both countries, that was to be expected. However, that didn't lessen any of the relief Japan felt. All was well in the world.

"NEKO!" What the?! And then he saw it; a tan cat could barely be seen as a tiny dot in the distance, licking its paws, completely unaware of the pair. The question is how could the auburn have spotted it so easily?! "NEKO NEKO NEKO NEKO!"

The brunet abruptly took off with the Japanese in tow, running at the speed of Italy. "GENSOKU SHITE KUDASAI! ITALIA-KUN!" The poor guy's soul was leaving his immortal body as the rushing failed to comply, only speeding up. This is worse than being in a car with a reckless driver behind the wheel! Who also happened to be the same nation who was carrying him. That's saying something.

"NEKO! NEKO! NEKO! NEKO!" Seriously, it was a miracle upon miracles the misshapen had not flown off, barely clinging on by a not-so-figurative thread as the Italian had at last stopped—thank god—before the feline, beaming brightly as he picked it up. "NEKO!" The kitty purred loudly as it was held, affectionately nuzzling the country's cheeks. "Hey, that tickles!"

The hyperventilating clutched onto his chest as he got off the other's back, heavy gasps of air that were too close to each other to be considered healthy taken in in rapid succession. "W-Watashi wa shinzō hossa o motte iru tsumoridatta to omoimashimashita!"

"EH?! Shinzō hossa?! I wasn't trying to give you a heart attack!" The accused whined, crying out toward the sky. "Boku wa Kira janai!"

Oh the irony; Italy was currently dressed as Light Yagami, the actual Kira. Who killed mainly by heart attacks. "I know you aren't Kira. You could never be Kira." The sable huffed out. Oh the irony! Ironic indeed! "It's that...you were running too fast for my liking." Or anyone else's liking. Italy could outrun a cheetah. Or even a falcon. No human or country could keep up with him. Ever. Let's just say if he had decided to compete in the Olympics, he would be taking home all the gold medals in every running event. Every time.

"G-Gomen. Sorry about that." The hazel flushed, embarrassed beyond belief. "I wasn't really thinking." Worry became evident. "Are you okay? Are you mad at me?! I'm so sorry!"

The addressed rapidly shook his head. "No! I could never get mad at you! Never! I'm okay! You don't need to apologize!" He didn't know what was disrupting his breathing more: the fact that the nation had run so fast...or the nation himself. It's hard to tell.

"I'm glad!" The brunet beamed. Not helping matters at all! The European—with cat in hand—smiled, holding said cat out to the raven. "Neko?"

Warmth filled the normally stoic nation's heart; two of his most favorite things were right in front of him. "Arigato gozaimasu, Italia-kun."

"Matte." The instructed paused as the auburn placed the kitten on his head, leaning down once more. "Get back on." He gave a nervous laugh. "I promise I won't run again."

Japan just couldn't find it in himself to refuse. Like he even wanted to. "...Okay." He did as he was told, once again on Italy as he was given a piggyback ride. One arm wrapped around the brunet's neck, the other reaching towards the kitten as it curled into soft auburn tresses, stroking its fuzzy fur. The creature leaned into the touch, purring becoming louder and louder in volume. The countries exchanged a glance, laughing heartedly. It was a truly beautiful sight...

"How about 'Pookie' for this kitty's name?" The blithe suggested, grinning.

The raven smiled. "That sounds wonderful, Italia-kun." Said kitty mewed, as if agreeing.

"I'm glad Pookie likes it too!" The two shared another laugh at that. As the Italian resumed his walk, he surveyed their surroundings; a large meadow stretched on for some distance, filled with verdant grass and other luscious plants. "You know, I come to fields like this to practice fencing."

Shock could not even begin to describe what flashed past the listener's features. "You fence?! As in swordplay?!"

"Yeah. I'm actually pretty good with a sword." A melancholic glint entered limpid brown eyes. "...I just don't like using it on people; I don't want to hurt anyone."

An ache clenched the Japanese's heart. "...I see." He couldn't stand to see the depressed look on his beloved's face. "Do you want to spar with me some time later? We'll both be wearing protective gear and be using kendo sticks instead of actual blades. In that way, neither of us will get hurt." He smiled. "What do you think?"

"That's...a great idea!" The bright beaming was worth more than the most precious of stones to the raven. "I can't wait!" He grinned. "I'm pretty strong you know!"

The sable chuckled. "I can't wait to see." Once again, everything was perfect; the cat's fur was incredibly soft, the hair it curled in heaven to the touch. The content purring was music to his ears. The steady steps were soothing. The brunet's warmth was nice and cozy. The rhythmic beating of that strong, beautiful heart was the best lullaby there ever was and will be. All of those elements surrounded the raven as his eyes slowly closed, the nation dozing off.

Italy couldn't help the utter joy that filled him at the sight; Japan was truly beautiful...


"Nihon, wake up."

That harmonious voice stirred the raven from his rest, ebon orbs opening to the scene of a large lake which spanned a few miles, the clear rippling waters reflecting the innumerable twinkling stars and bright full moon.

The tired rubbed at his eyes, trying to dispel the sleep from them as he got off. "...Where are we?" Yawn. "Is this another part of the Arno?"

"Īe, this is the Lago di Bilancino." He smiled. "Did you know that although it may seem like a natural lake at first sight, the Lago di Bilancino is Tuscany's largest artificial lake?" The stunned expression he received was more than enough to answer his question. "It's located in the Mugello area and is the main source of fresh, clean water for the surrounding cities of Florence, Prato, and Pistoia." He beamed. "It's home to the 25-hectare Gabbianello WWF Oasis where flocks of mallards, storks, cranes, and pink flamingos live." He giggled. "Cool, huh?"

The addressed nodded as though in a trance. "...Hai." He gave a content sigh. "Italy is such a beautiful place. The natural beauty of this country is unmatched as well as the beauty of its intricate architecture." Bliss overtook his features. "No other country could possibly compare."

"Stop it! You're embarrassing me!" The auburn became redder than the tomatoes he loves eating so much.

The raven smirked. "Why should I stop telling the truth, Italia-kun?"

"Just stop it!" This must be revenge for all of the times the blithe flustered him. Well, two can play that game. The red faded from the brunet's cheeks as a devious smile graced his features. "What you said isn't completely true; Japan is an incredibly beautiful place too what with all its grand mountains, ethereal shrines, the elegant bloom of sakura petals in the spring, and so much more. The Pacific Ocean never looked better from the shores of this exquisite country."

Said country combusted. "I-Italia-k-kun!" Boom. Boom! BOOM! KABOOM!

"It's the truth." Payback.

Pookie meowed, drawing their attention to the cat as it jumped off of Italy's head, trotting towards a red ball by the shore, sniffing at it curiously. "What have you got there?" He picked up the object, tilting it to the side. "You know, long ago...I once had a dream involving a red ball."

"I did too." Ebon eyes widened. "Should we tell them at the same time?"

Limpid brown eyes equally wide, the brunet nodded. "Yeah, here goes..." Deep breath.

"A young boy with black hair who was playing by a lake dropped a red ball and I handed it back to him."

"I dropped a red ball I was playing with by a lake and a little girl with brown hair handed it back to me."

It was a wonder how they could understand each other. A real wonder indeed. Two mouths dropped wide open. "Wait..." Both reached into the magical space all anime characters have, extracting black notebooks—Japan's having unidentifiable symbols on its cover as Italy's had 'Death Note' clearly printed on it in gothic letters—before taking out pens and colored pencils as well, opening the pages before scrawling in them. No Light Yagami or Teru Mikami cosplay would be complete without their Death Notes after all. Good thing they aren't real though. After several moments of noisy scratching, the pair simultaneously turned their spirals around, black and brown eyes widening at the same time; a sketch of a young Asian boy with piercing black eyes and short black hair who wore a loose kimono and had sandals on his feet was in the brunet's as a picture of a small child with their eyes closed and short brown hair—a long curl on the left side—who was in a frilly nightdress and had no shoes on was in the raven's.

"...Sore wa watashidesu!"

"...Sore wa bokudesu!"

Jaws dropped even further. "Sore wa omaedesu?!"

"Sore wa kimidesu?!" Japan was especially shocked. "But the child in my picture is a girl!"

Italy sheepishly scratched the back of his neck. "Actually...before I hit puberty, everyone thought I was a girl." He flushed horribly. "In fact, Austria-nii made me wear girls' clothing until he figured out I'm a guy."

"Osutoria-san? He did?" Eyes nearly popped out of their skull at the nod he received. "So that really is you?!"

Another nod. "Sì. Even my first love thought I was a girl. I never bothered to correct anyone since I thought no one would believe me and I didn't realize that..." A deep crimson color ignited his features. "...boys and girls have different things in between their legs." He looked away, shame plaguing his features. "...Are you sickened by that, by me? I...a guy...was pretty much raised as a girl for most of my life."

"DON'T SAY THAT!" It was as though all the air had been knocked out of the Italian's lungs; he was absolutely astonished by the fury blazing within normally stoic charcoal depths. "That doesn't change who you are! You could've been raised by a hippo for all I care! Nothing will change what I think of you!" The rage died down as the raven took several steps forward, standing right before the brunet, looking up into stunned caramel hues. "...In fact, I'm glad that child is you; that means we have met before, even if we didn't know it. And..." Red tinted his cheeks. "...us seeing each other means we must have had a shared dream; fate has great plans for us." He blushed. "Sore wa watashitachi no unmeidesu."

The European quirked a brow. "Unmei? As in destiny?" Confusion was more than evident. "I don't know about that, but what I do know is that we have more in common than I thought!"

"Eh? What do you mean by that?" It was the Asian's turn to be confused.

Italy smiled. "We both like literature, anime, manga, fencing, food, and cats." Pookie mewled in response, a laugh leaving both nations' lips. "See?" The blithe beamed. His eyes swept over the pictures. "And art! Especially the art!"

"You're right!" Japan chuckled. A sudden bout of courage rushed into the raven. Face your fears; it's now or never. "Italia-kun! Watashi wa kimi o—"

Footsteps could be heard rapidly approaching, the pair's heads turning toward the source. "AHEM!" Moment. Ruined.

"Doitsu!" Of course Germany would know where they would be, having traversed the land so often; as expected.


"AAAAHHHH!" The kitten yowled, covering its ears at the shrill shriek.

Death glare. "There's nothing wrong with that Doitsu-san." Japan gritted out. "'Doitsu' is how you say 'Germany' in Japanese after all—that language as you put it." All warmth that had been present only seconds before vanished completely. "What's wrong with Italia-kun speaking my language?! He can speak in whatever language he wants to." Hiss. "Italia-kun isn't under a dictatorship anymore. Neither his nor yours." He will pay. He will pay. Oh he will pay so dearly! So dearly—

"Calm down! Calm down!" Italy wrapped his arms around Japan, embracing him. "Calm down. Calm down." Of course, under the Italian's influence, said action took only a matter of moments. Upon catching sight of the blond's jealous leer, he let go of the raven, moving to hug him too. "Mi dispiace Germania! Perdonatemi per piacere!"

The fulvous just could not stay mad at the brunet. Ever. "...Okay."

"YAY!" Oblivious to the envy flooding from the ebon, the auburn grinned, limpid brown eyes beaming up at the larger nation. "What have you been up to while I was showing Giappone around?"

Pointedly ignoring the mentioned, Germany sighed. "Well..."



A vengeful woman could be seen dashing along the banks of the river, in hot pursuit of the barchetto speeding away from said vengeful woman. Prussia cried out in absolute terror the entire time, screaming in a not-so-awesome not-so-masculine manner.

A blond brow twitched. "You mean she's gaining on YOU. She isn't after me you know."

"SAME DIFFERENCE!" Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

A primal screech tore from Hungary's throat as she at last found a vessel to embark, leaping onto it before grabbing the oar, swinging it in overdrive. "I'M GOING TO TEACH YOU A LESSON YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO FORGET YOU ABSOLUTE PERVERT!"


Tick mark appearing. "After what you said about wanting to seize Italy's vital regions, I want to murder you too."


Fist clenching. "YOU'RE the insane one bruder." Blue eyes narrowed. "I'm perfectly sane for your information." Yeah. Sure.

"PRUSSIA!" Oh so closer.

Tears escaped proud red eyes. "PLEASE don't let me die!"

"...Fine. Only to keep my promise." And the chase continued for more than one hour, Hungary in hot pursuit of a certain Prussian. Who knew a lithe 5'3" female could keep up with a bulky 5'11" man? That's the power of vengeance for you.

Maybe the woman would give up? "PRUSSIA!" Or not. If anything, she was more determined than ever; frying pan in hand, she leapt from her boat, landing right beside the platinum in the other barchetto.

"AHHH! SPARE ME!" No such luck.


"...Hungary, please don't kill my foolish brother." So enthusiastic.

The maiden giggled. "Oh sweetie, but HE DESERVES IT!"


The fury instantly dispelled. "Get Ita-chan and Germany together?" Hearts formed in her eyes. "SQUEE!" Fangirling. Huh, guess her murderous tendencies had vanished without a trace. What a relief. What a relief indeed.

"W-What are you talking about bruder?!" The blond stuttered as he stopped paddling, the vessel coming to a halt.

Prussia cackled, his coolness returning to him as soon as he realized his life was no longer in danger. "Kesese! That's what I'm talking about!" He gave a crazed grin. "We all know you're head over heels for Ita-chan!" He squealed. "And I can see why!"

"But don't you have feelings for him too, bruder?" Please. Don't. Sound. Jealous!

The guy sighed. "Yeah...I mean, what's not to like about him?" He shook his head. "But I know you love him, and I want my precious little brother to be happy."

"Then why did you make that obscene comment earlier?!" Blond brow twitching.

Hands held up in a defensive gesture. "Whoa! Whoa! I said that without thinking you know! My mouth just ran on its own!"

"Keep your mouth under control next time, okay?" Green eyes narrowed.

Blue eyes narrowed as well. "Yes bruder, watch what you say...or else." Knuckles cracking.

"Or else..." Frying pan back out!

Gulp. "Okay! Okay! I swear!"



Land finally came into sight, the German operating the oar once more. "I have to get back; I've been gone too long."

"See you West!" Prussia waved. "We wish you the best of luck! Capture Ita-chan's heart for us!"

Hungary grinned. "See you Germany! Bring him on a double-date with Austria and me, okay?"

"Y-Yeah." As soon as the boat docked, the largest got off, waving as his brother went to the paddle, heading back toward the middle of the Arno.

Now it was time to find Italy...


"...And there you have it."

Of course, Germany did not tell the entire tale; he substituted some parts with a...similar story.

Italy gasped. "So England came and magically calmed Hungary-san down?!" He beamed. "That's so cool!"

"Yes...cool..." Japan saw straight through the fibber's obvious lie. Of course, he would never point that out, not wanting his beloved to realize the German's feelings for him.

The blond sighed. "...Yeah." He then happened to glance at the notebook in the brunet's grasp. "What is that?"

"N-Nothing!" Yeah right.

Yoink! Scan. Glare. "WHAT IS WITH THIS PICTURE OF HIM ITALIEN?!" Of course Germany just had to see the sketch of the younger Japan.

"We were discussing a dream we both had." Upper hand taken back. The older version smirked as he revealed his own drawing. "We had a shared dream. You know, one which ties destinies."

The enraged roared, stalking towards the raven. "YOU PERVERT! WHY DID YOU DRAW ITALY IN A DRESS?!"

"No! No! You don't understand!" The auburn cried as he intervened, going in between the two. "Austria-nii used to dress me up in girls' clothing while I was living with him! I'm telling the truth!" Hmm...why did Italy not tell him the reason why? Why did he tell Japan and not Germany? Just why?

Blue eyes narrowed dangerously. "That guy..." Uh oh. Things were seriously about to get worse if nothing intervened...

"WHOOSH!" Three sets of eyes were drawn up to the single light as it soared up into the atmosphere, exploding in a burst of vibrant colors.

Italy beamed. "Yay! The fireworks have started!" He cheered, repeatedly reaching on the tips of his toes as though to reach for the sky. "Aww man! I wish I could be closer!"

"Italien..." The brunet glanced at the blond as he crouched down, blushing. "...Get on. I'll lift you higher."

Oh Japan definitely could not let that brute win... "Italia-kun?" The auburn faced the raven as he stood before him, cheeks ignited. "...Could you please carry me up? I have an even harder time seeing the fireworks, seeing as I'm shorter than you."

"Only by like three inches. You're still too short though." Scoff.

Scoff back. "You're only three inches taller than him. You're still too tall though."

"At least I'm taller than him, not shorter like a certain Asian shrimp over here."

"Asian shrimp?" Said shrimp sneered. "Oh, you hulk over him alright. Hulk over him so much you terrify him."

"Excuse me?! I was actually offering him to be closer to the fireworks, not for him to stay on the ground while he helps you instead."

"I beg your pardon?! You aren't gentle at all; you would just drop and hurt Italia-kun in the end. And besides, who says I wouldn't help him up too? We could take turns."

"Take turns? You mean force Italy to carry you the entire time as you're too weak to carry him?"

"Heh. I'm stronger than I look you know." Japan took an aggressive step forwards. "Would you like to see for yourself?"

Humph. "I would like to see you try. You'll just be a bloody pulp when I'm through with you."

"GUYS! STOP IT ALREADY!" The pair immediately ceased as the Italian intervened once again, standing in between them once more. A figurative light bulb flashed above his head. "I have an idea!"


"Ugh. I can't believe I agreed to this."

"Would you be so kind as to shut your mouth, Doitsu-san?"

"Why you little b—"

"Germania! Giappone! Pay attention to the display!"

Germany stood on the ground, Italy sitting on his shoulders and Japan on the brunet's with Pookie in the raven's arms to keep it calm as a myriad of flares were shot into the air, joining the first in their predetermined fates; explosion upon explosion followed, filling the clear night sky with the most exquisite of colors. Boom, boom; the purest of scarlet burst in the blackness as orange shot up in diagonals and crisscrosses, arcing down in elegant curves. Magenta joined in shortly, green and purple sparkles raining down as well as more rockets flying up in parallel lines, in a straight formation. Unique designs began to appear as well; ovals scattered across the atmosphere, a myriad of other shapes such as rings including themselves too. Of course, the fun had just begun; it seemed as though some divine being was throwing glowing confetti into the air as the next round launched up, akin to a swarm of fireflies lighting up the darkness. Azure flowers bearing golden filaments and ruby stamens blossomed. Pristine white brilliance gushed. Blooms of verdant and violet burst forth in a timed procession. Golden pom-poms opened up. Saffron streams waved about like tentacles, the ends a luscious lavender. Emerald clouds detonated, showers of tawny sparks sprinkling out. Incarnadine glitter—along with mint—fanned out in gigantic circles. Shining dandelions reared their heads. Swirls of luminescent sand rapidly ascended. Particles multiplied, as though reproducing by the second. Twos, threes, threes were cannoned forth, going out in a show of brilliance. Christmas colors predominated as they flew up at an incredible rate. The entire spectrum was present as flashes of every wavelength were brought up. Topaz sparks created another day as they topped off the entire performance, lighting up the entire night sky. Fourth of July looked like an utter joke compared to the exquisiteness of this display. Nothing could compare to the beauty of this event as it occurred above such a beautiful land. Absolutely nothing.

The hazel giggled as he was brought down, helping the Asian off as well. "So you two...what do you think?"



"Uh...guys?" The pair was frozen, trapped in the most reverent of awe. The most reverent indeed. "Guys?!" Fingers were snapped in their faces.

Germany was the first to reanimate. "I...have never seen anything so wonderful in my life."

"Grazie! Grazie!" Italy flushed, sheepishly scratching the back of his neck.

Japan followed shortly. "...Utsukushii. Zettai ni utsukushīdesu. Watashi wa seikatsu no watashi no sansen nihyaku hachiju yon-nen ni wa yori utsukushī mono o mita koto ga arimasen. Zettai ni nanimo nai."

"Sansen nihyaku hachiju yon-nen?!" Italy's mouth dropped wide open. "Sonna!"

Blond brow twitching. "Ahem. Not everyone here can speak Japanese." How annoying.

"Oh right!" The brunet snapped his attention to the fulvous. "I can't believe Giappone is 3284 years old!" The guy threw his head back in a dramatic fashion. "Aww man! I'm only 2484 years old and stopped aging at 20!" He pouted as he faced the raven. "I always thought you were younger than me!"

Chuckle. "Now you know." Shrug. "I also stopped at 20 though."

"Zum Teufel?!" All eyes glued onto the German. Shock couldn't even begin to describe what took over the blond. "What the heck?! You're that old?!"

Brown brow arched. "Well yeah." The brunet crossed his arms. "How old are you Germania?"

"U-Uh...well...you see...um..." Why was he so reluctant to tell?

A devious glint entered black eyes. "Well Doitsu-san? Care to tell us?" Smirk. "We told you ours, so it's only fair you told us yours."

"I'm also 20 physically but, well you see..." WHY YOU LITTLE! "Germany was founded in 1871 so—"

Hunch proved right. "You're only 144 years old Doitsu-san?"

"WHOA YOU'RE YOUNG!" Italy exclaimed, shocked beyond belief. "No wonder you couldn't recount anything Giappone and I could!"

Hunch proved right indeed. "We are only 800 years apart while you and Doitsu-san have 2340 in between you two."

"Wow Germania." A mischievous smile crossed the auburn's face. "So we've been taking orders from someone that many years our junior for so long?" Snicker. "I had no idea." Grin. "You look like the oldest and Giappone the youngest but it turns out it's the other way around; Giappone is oldest, I'm second, and you're the youngest!" Sinister laughter. "I would have never guessed!" Why did Italy resemble Light so much in that moment?!

Tick mark forming. "It's not that amusing."

"Of course it is!" The hazel simpered. "To think someone who's almost a baby compared to us in age has been giving us orders! It's really really amusing—" YOINK!

Germany had stalked over to the smug, reaching his hand up before yanking on a certain part of the Italian. "What were you saying?!" Tug! Tug! Tug! "Would you like to repeat that Italien?!" Tug! Tug! Tug!

"..." Silence. Utter. Silence.

Japan walked over, curiosity evident in ebon orbs. "Well, I always wanted to touch this..." He took the end of it in his fingers, pulling gently. "It always reminded me of vegetables." Uh oh...both nations were touching that part.

"Well?! Do you have anything more to say?!" Tug! Tug! Tug!

"..." Tug! Stroke. Tug! Stoke. Tug! Stroke.

The bulky humphed. "I thought so." He stared at that part which was in between his and the Asian's fingertips. "It's just as I thought; this must be an Italy's shut-up button." He rolled it between his digits, observing it more closely. What neither of the two noticed was how increasingly scarlet the victim was becoming. "So if anyone were to pull on this—"

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Their attention instantaneously snapped onto the brunet, astonished. When had Italy become so red? "I DON'T WANT JUST ANYONE TO TOUCH MY CURL!" This could not end well...

A blond brow quirked. "Why not?" TUG! TUG!

STROKE! STROKE! "I would like to know too Italia-kun."

"Aww man! Do I have to tell?!" It seemed as though all the blood had rushed to his head. "It's so embarrassing!"

TUG! "Ja!"

"Hai!" STROKE!

Gulp. "Well you see..." He couldn't hold it back. "MYCURLISMYEROGENOUSZONE!"



Could they have heard wrong?! "As in..."

"The reason I stop talking is because the sudden jolt of pleasure shocks me into shutting up!" Uh oh... "Um, guys?! GUYS?!"

Oh no. Nothing could even come close to describing the utter shock that overtook the two as realization crashed onto them, the magnitude of what they had just done slamming into them in full-force.



The twain jumped away from the Italian as though burned, crouching down into the deepest of bows. Pookie mewled: what the heck was happening?

Italy shared that sentiment. "Guys?!"


Japan was no better. "THAT WAS SO DISHONORABLE OF ME! PLEASE FIND IT IN YOUR HEART TO FORGIVE SUCH A HEINOUS ACT!" Or even worse; he kowtowed repeatedly, looking as if he wanted to sink into the ground and disappear forever. Which he did. Man would Light Yagami be jealous of Italy; he was able to get people to bow to him as though he was a God of sorts. He would be jealous indeed.

"Whoa! Whoa! Calm down! CALM DOWN!" The two stopped instantly, stunned as they raised their heads, meeting the limpid brown eyes of their beloved who sighed. "I'm not mad you know. I never was." He shook his head. "It was really surprising and a bit embarrassing..." Two heads hung in shame. "But I didn't hate it!" Raise straight back up in shock! Italy giggled, grinning as he knelt down, offering his hands to his friends who took one each, speechless as he pulled them back up. "In fact, for some reason..." He tilted his head innocently to the side, beaming brighter than the sun. "...I liked it."

KABOOM! "ITALIEN!" Seriously, volcanoes must be going off in Germany right about then.

"What?!" The addressed shrugged. "I'm telling the truth!"

However, there was one who was far worse off. "Ga-ga-uh-uh-uh-uh..."

"NIHON?! DAIJŌBU?!" Japan was frozen in place, stiller than the most still of statues. Just how much had that one sentence jolted the normally stoic nation?! Don't answer that question. "NIHON! NIHON!"

Veins bursting. "ITALIEN! ENOUGH WITH THE JAPANESE!" Stomping over to the two, the blond observed the inanimate. The fulvous sighed, rubbing his temples. "...You broke him." And stay that way.

"I DID?!" Panic time! "NO! NO! GIAPPONE!" The brunet frantically waved a hand in the raven's motionless face, further and further disturbed as nothing changed. At. All. "GIAPPONE! GIAPPONE!" An idea spontaneously popped into the auburn's mind. "Oh! I got it!" Brace yourselves. "Giappone! Food prices are soaring through the roof!"

That did it. "WHAT?!" The sable snapped out of his trance, the fury which overtook him reviving him instantly.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!" Blazing ebon orbs flicked to the brunet who brought his hands up repeatedly, making placating gestures.

Of course, the fury died down in an instant. "Italia-kun..." The onyx sighed. "Don't apologize. In fact, I should be doing so instead for my dishonorable act." He bowed. "Sumimasen."

"Oh! I'm so glad you aren't mad!" Taking the shorter in his arms, the blithe did the unimaginable; leaning in close, he brought his lips to the Asian's cheek, the second one meeting the same fate seconds later.


"ITALIEN!" Something a little more than just pure unadulterated rage overtook the German at what he had just seen. "WHY THE HECK DID YOU JUST KISS HIM?!" Of course some intense envy had to have been sprinkled in. Yep.

Uh oh. "You know how Italians are more affectionate than other people in most cultures! I was so happy I wasn't thinking!" Italy cried. "I didn't mean for this to happen! I swear!" His eyes snapped to the limp body in his arms, their owner panicking. "Giappone?! Wake up! Wake up!" No reaction. "Uh...food prices are soaring through the roof?" Nothing. Shock. "Here's Pookie?" The kitten climbing onto the raven's head had no effect. "All the cats and dogs in the world are dying?" Nada. Zilch. Zero. Goose eggs. "...Giappone?"

"To think you actually made him faint..." Suffocating jealousy so didn't color his every word. Yeah. However, as much as he hated him, he couldn't bear to see his beloved in distress. Sigh. "Desperate times call for desperate measures."

Gulp. "Desperate?" Whimper. "As in that?"

"Yes, that." Germany didn't like this either. For more reasons than one.

Double gulp. "Here goes..." Triple gulp. "GIAPPONE! WE'RE UNDER ATTACK BY RUSSIA!"

"NNNNAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII?!" Back to life. In a flash. The Asian was practically frothing at the mouth as he frantically scanned his surroundings, an immeasurable fury possessing him completely. "KARE WA DOKO NI IMASU KA?! DOKO NI ROSHIA IMASU KA?!" No honorific?! Wah oh...

Absolute terror automatically seized the blithe, the feline bolting from the area. "AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!" The poor boy almost jumped out of his skin. And he wasn't even the target of the enraged's ire. "I'M SO SORRY! THERE IS NO ATTACK! RUSSIA ISN'T HERE!" He tightened his grasp on the wrathful, nearly constricting him in an impossibly tight grip. "I'M SO SORRY! I JUST COULDN'T FIND ANY OTHER WAY TO GET THROUGH TO YOU!" Tears poured out in rapid succession. "PLEASE FORGIVE ME!"

"Italia-kun..." Once again, fury dispelled. Instantly. The normally stoic nation calmed down. Whew.

The addressed groaned, further tightening his grip on his companion. "Why did you suddenly black out anyways?!"

"Uh..." How could he not realize it?!

The oblivious pouted. "Don't scare me like that again!"

"H-Hai." The red from the intense anger immediately changed into another kind of red. Italy's hugs are so nice.

Snarl. Sneer. Glare. "Japan, we need to have a 'talk'." Everything snapped. Just snapped. The thin fiber which had prevented utter catastrophe from being unleashed at last snapped. Sapphire fires burned with lethal flames, charcoal pits blazing with equally intense fervor as all signs of previous flustering had vanished into thin air.

"I was thinking the same thing." All rational thought went out the window; those green-eyed monsters made sure of that. Common sense had been their latest meal, the two countries now completely deprived of that.

A chill ran down the brunet's spine. "Guys?!" He was truly scared.

"Go look for Pookie, Italia-kun." Ebon depths devoid of all emotion stared at him, a glint of green visible.

Flecks of green could be seen mixed with blue as well. "Go after the cat, Italien."

"O-Okay!" It would not have been wise to stay a second longer; even absolute zero seemed warm and inviting in comparison to the sheer cold which had plagued the atmosphere. It definitely would not have been wise.


"Pookie? Pookie?!"

The cream kitten meowed in response to its name, purring contently. The feline lain perched on a tree, licking its paws in peace.

Italy approached the creature. "I'll get you down!" Climbing the trunk, he gently grabbed the cat, taking it into his arms. As he got down, his head quirked to the side. "Is their talk done by now?" If only he knew...



What was that?! Panic seeped into the brunet at those words; he could swear he heard 'die'. In Japanese. He had to get back as soon as possible! Pookie in hand, the auburn turned around, heading back towards the lake. He must hurry!

The breath was knocked completely out of the Italian's lungs as though he had been suddenly thrown into a vacuum as he returned, taking witness to the scene before him. What he saw would haunt him for the rest of his life...



•German: Italien=Italy, bruder=brother, Zum Teufel=What the heck, Ja=Yes, Was=What, Es tut mir leid=I'm sorry, Umkommen=Perish

•Japanese: Nihon=Japan, Italia=Italy, Hai=Yes, Sokka=I see, Sugoi desu ne=That's cool, Arigato=Thank you, Subarashii=Wonderful, Gomen=Sorry, Īe=No, Daijōbu=Are you alright, Hai=Yes, Wakarimashita=I got it, Ikuyo=Let's go, Sumimasen=Sorry, Neko=Cat, Gensoku shite kudasai=Please slow down, Watashi wa shinzō hossa o motte iru tsumoridatta to omoimashimashita=I thought I was going to have a heart attack, Boku wa Kira janai=I'm not Kira, Arigato gozaimasu=Thank you very much, Matte=Wait, sakura=cherry tree, Sore wa watashidesu/bokudesu=That's me, Sore wa omaedesu/kimidesu=That's you, Osutoria=Austria, Sore wa watashitachi no unmeidesu=It's our destiny, Watashi wa kimi o=I—you (Come on, use your imaginations!), Utsukushii=Beautiful, Zettai ni utsukushīdesu=Absolutely beautiful, Watashi wa seikatsu no watashi no sansen nihyaku hachiju yon-nen ni wa yori utsukushī mono o mita koto ga arimasen=I have never seen anything more beautiful in my 3284 years of living, Zettai ni nanimo nai=Absolutely nothing, Sonna=No way, Nani=What, Kare wa doko ni imasu ka=Where is he, Doko ni Roshia imasu ka=Where is Russia, Shee-Nei=Die

•Italian: Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore=Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, Il Duomo di Firenze=Florence Cathedral, Palazzo Vecchio=Old Palace, Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze=Gallery of the Academy of Florence, Grazie=Thank you, Giappone=Japan, Basilica di Santa Croce=Basilica of the Holy Cross, Piazzale Michelangelo=Michelangelo Square, Lago di Bilancino=Bilancino Lake, Sì=Yes, Mi dispiace=I'm sorry, Germania=Germany, Perdonatemi per piacere=Please forgive me, Che cosa=What

Oh yeah, the ages are arbitrary except for Germany's...or is that his actual age? Who knows? ;)

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