Originally posted: Here.
Length: 1,800 words.
Characters/Pairings: S.Italy, Germany/N.Italy.
Premise: Mafiatalia comes home and has to face the music for his rash behavior.
Time period: 1953
Wrist slashiness: 0/10
Would I like it?: Since it's the wrap-up, Feliciano becomes the POV character and there's a dramatic shift in tone. Also, there's no makeouts with Germany. If that's going to break your heart, skip the ending and imagine your own hot Mafiatalia/Germany sex scene instead.
"I need you to come over right now."
"I have things to do."
"Just do it, dammit, it's important." A beat. "It's about Feliciano."
With concern, then: "Is he all right?"
"I'll tell the staff to let you in. When you get here, just head up to his office and stay there, si?"
A note of impatience entered Germany's voice. "I don't have time to play games with--"
"It's not a game, you stupid bastard, and no, my idiot brother is not all right."
The funny buzz in his ears was fading.
Italy didn't know why sometimes it was there but then most of the time it wasn't. Normally, when bad things happened, he just got sad and ran to somebody for protection (usually Germany). Or, sometimes, he would eat too much, and then go to sleep, to see if things would be better after pasta. Or maybe he would paint, and stop thinking about anything at all for a while. Those were his problem solving skills.
But then, sometimes, Italy would take something personally. Well, he took everything personally. He was a personal kind of person. But...there was personal, and then there was personal, and the second kind was mostly when bad things happened to his friends. Then there would be that buzzing, like bees in his ears, and Italy would realize that he had a lot more problem solving skills than he remembered, and really, fixing everything would be simple.
So incredibly simple.
When those times came, he called up a few guys he knew, and he changed his clothes. He took his Beretta from where it was taped to the back of his dresser, where Germany never looked, and he fixed things. He kept fixing them until he stopped being angry and the bees in his ears went away.
His driver parked the car (a black ice Maserati, and come to think of it, where did this car go when he couldn't hear that funny buzz?) in front of the villa he shared with his brother. The sky was low, and grey, and cold. Romano waited for him by the door. He wore a dark silk blend suit and his surliest expression.
"Come to my office," he ordered when Feliciano approached. He turned his back to his brother and stalked into the house. Feliciano trailed behind him, working the cold out of his fingers.
"Is everything okay, Romano?" he tried.
He said nothing. Feliciano felt the tips of his ears turn faintly red.
His brother didn't look at him at all until they reached his office (adjacent to Feliciano's own, not that he ever used it) and shut the door behind them. He studied Feliciano for several seconds, as if he were waiting for something. Feliciano opened his mouth to speak again, and Romano slapped him across the face.
"Have you lost your fucking mind?" he demanded.
The younger Italian raised a hand gingerly to his cheek. "What do you mean?"
"I had some of my guys tailing you. Half your people, they report to me. So let me ask again. Have you lost your fucking mind?"
"I don't under--…I was just…"
"Russia? That was you, wasn't it?"
"You beat him halfway to hell?"
"Wh-what do you care about Rus--"
Another slap, harder than the first. Feliciano froze with his head struck to the side. His hair fell in his eyes. The left side of his face burned scarlet.
"Don't you dare talk back to me, you stupid bastard," Romano snarled. "Not after you put the whole family in jeopardy. You beat Russia into commie soppressata?"
Despite his brother's warning not to talk back, he retorted, "If you already know, why are you ask--"
"I want to hear you say it," Romano snapped. He grasped Feliciano by the jaw and twisted him back to face him. "Tell me you betrayed me. Tell me you betrayed the famiglia."
Feliciano jerked up to meet his eyes. "I never--"
"You beat Russia?" he demanded again.
"And France? That must have been a very long flight of stairs he fell down, si?"
"Yes, I, I did that to France also--"
"And America? And England? Nobody's seen England for a few days, and my friends in Congress tell me there's suddenly a big push to reopen talks about Germany's war debts--"
"Yes, I did all that!" Feliciano flushed. "But, why are you so angry, Romano?"
"Why am I so--because you're gonna blow our fucking cover, estupido! You ran off without permission--"
"I don't need your permission," he protested.
This time Romano didn't just slap him; he backhanded him into the desk. Feliciano cried out and caught himself. A shower of pens and ink-stained ledgers clattered to the floor. "You do need my permission," Romano shouted. "La famiglia is based in Sicily, or are you too stupid to remember? You compromised I don't want to think how many of our guys, countries now know we exist where we'd kept them totally in the dark before this--"
Feliciano pulled himself to his feet. He bit his lip hard over the first hiccup of a sob.
"--And for no good fucking reason!" Romano ranted on. "For that fucking potato bastard? Was that all?"
"He…" he swallowed. "Th-they were so mean to him…"
"He's a fucking kraut! You can't use resources from our thing on him!"
Feliciano stood a bit straighter, although he shook like a flag on a windy day. "Th-that kraut is mi amore," he insisted.
"And do you think he would thank you for what you've done for him?"
Feliciano lowered his eyes. He felt too small in his ash grey suit.
Romano strode past him. "Did you drag his name into it? Do they know they got worked over because of him?"
The younger Italian's brow furrowed. "Why would you care about--"
"I don't," he announced, and threw open the door which separated their offices. Feliciano finally looked up. And…
Germany, too thin and overworked these days. He gave the Italian a long, remote look, and for once, Feliciano's voice died. He could think of absolutely nothing to say.
Germany pivoted and stormed out of the room. Feliciano jumped when the door from his office to the hallway bounced on its hinges.
He blinked once, then again, then turned slowly to his brother. His eyes stung. "Romano," he said: "Why would you let him find out?"
Romano folded his arms and stared at the far wall. "Because I can never let you make a mistake like this again," he muttered.
Feliciano took a step back, then another. Then he turned and raced out of the office. Too far away already, he heard the outside door open and slam shut.
He skidded when he hit the gravel that paved the driveway--these shiny shoes were not made for this. Germany was halfway to the street already, his fists clenched, his shoulders riding stiff at ear level. Italy called, "Germany! Germany, wait! Wait up!"
The other nation slowed and stopped, but didn't turn around.
Italy ran to his side and caught his arm. He flinched when Germany instantly shrugged him away. "G-Germany," he stammered. "I, I, um…"
He wilted under that frigid stare. "You what?" Germany ground out.
"Ah…don't be mad," he tried.
Germany's lips thinned.
"I-I mean, they're all going to be okay," he went on hastily. "And, um, I just wanted to do something nice!"
A muscle in Germany's jaw shifted and the back of his neck knotted tighter.
"It's just…" he blushed looked down at his shoes. "It's not fair what they all did to you."
"Not fair…" Germany whispered. He turned to face the Italian and gripped him by the shoulders. "Do you remember why they did it?"
Italy squirmed. "Stop it, let go, that hurts."
He shook Italy once, hard. "I am…trying to rebuild my reputation, and you…did this?"
"I--I just thought--"
"Where did this even come from?" he demanded. "Why did you never tell me about this? You've always been so…gentle." His voice cracked.
He knew he should have felt guilty. Instead, a curious, warm calm settled over his shoulders. He relaxed under Germany's glare and held his eyes. "Um...this has always been here. Even when I was…just little, I…hated to see my friends get hurt." He reached up and took one of Germany's hands, held it between his own. Germany blinked slowly at him. "Ahh, you are my friend, aren't you?"
The other country started back to himself and pulled back, but Italy held on tight. "Even if I am," he muttered, "You can't do things like this."
Italy stroked his fingers. "But we said we would look after each other whenever we got in trouble, didn't we?"
Now Germany snatched his hand away. "That doesn't mean you can--I didn't think you ever would," he snapped.
Italy gave a soft little smile and shrugged his curl away. "I, ah, I'm not strong like Germany is strong. I may not be good at…umm…"
"Anything," Germany supplied.
"But I have ways to look after you, too, you see?" he finished, still smiling. "It will all be okay! You'll see. Let me take care of you for once, okay, Germany? I can handle everything, um, sometimes." He curled his fingers into Germany's sleeve. "I'm the same person! I just…isn't this good? You don't have to worry about me so much! …Ah, and you should have seen Russia's face--"
"Enough," Germany said sharply. "I don't want to hear about it." He brushed Italy off again, but it was a visibly halfhearted attempt.
Italy pouted. "Please don't be mad, Germany? Please, please, please? I just wanted to do something nice for you! You always have to look after me. It was my turn!"
"You thought it would be nice to attack--" he blew out a sharp breath. "Just…let me go, for now. I need to--think."
Italy's face fell. "A-all right. But…you don't hate me, do you?"
Germany blushed a shade at that, just like always. He turned away and closed his eyes. "No. I don't--hate you."
A smile lit up his face. Italy threw his arms around the other nation's shoulders. He was forcibly pried off, one hand to his shoulder, the other to his forehead.
"Get down! I'm still angry!" Germany snapped. "Don't do anything like this ever again! Don't beat people up for no reason!"
"But it wasn't for no reason, and it was good! America is even--"
"Don't--don't!" he massaged his forehead. A second later, "…What your brother said, about war debts…"
Italy's eyes widened, and he nodded enthusiastically. "I took care of it! America said he'd forget about half the Marshall Plan money!"
"Half…" Germany looked at a loss. He peered at Italy. "How did you get him to agree to that?"
He brushed his curl out of his face and felt a satisfied smile spread across his face. "I made him an offer he couldn't refuse."
Germany shook his head a little, plainly bewildered. "I have to think about this," he repeated. He turned and stiffly resumed his walk down the driveway.
"You know, if you wanted, I could teach you how to organize a--"
"Okay...but, Germany? Don't be mad, okay? …Do you think you'll be done thinking by tomorrow? I wanted to get dinner…Germany? I promise I won't do it again! At least, um, not without my brother's permission...is that good? ...Germany, are you listening? Germanyyyy…"
He continued until his lover reached the corner and disappeared, and then he smiled.
He took a slim silver cigar case out of his inside pocket and tapped out one Tuscan cigar. He thumbed out the guillotine-style cutter and clipped the end, then made a mother of pearl lighter appear in its place. He lit the cigar and savored a mouthful of smoke.
It would be all right.
Gently overhead, the clouds opened up, and he felt the first warm drops of an autumn rain.