Title: Educating America
Characters/Pairings: America, Romano. Some background pairings in passing.
Ratings/Warnings: PG13 for language, I guess. Rapid tense change. Awkwardness!
Summary: America wants to get to know Romano better. Romano just wants to fix the idiot's tastebuds.
Notes: Again, I'm not sure how this works yet, so if I screw anything up, just let me know
Inside, the restaurant exuded elegance and beauty, but not pretentiously so. Instead, the atmosphere was warm, intimate. So rather than feeling as though one should be on their best behaviour, it encouraged patrons to relax and enjoy both their evening and company. Still, America's a little glad that Romano had thought to dress him up. Not that wearing his fatigues in here would have phased him, but somehow his current attire seems more...appropriate.
Their dinner companions are, of course, already seated, and as they approached the table, they could hear the tail end of what sounds like a lecture from Germany. "As long as you understand, it's fine. Just remember that you have me, so there's no need to keep on flirting with every pretty face you see."
"Hey, you guys!" America greeted excitedly, interrupting with every bit of the impeccable insight into the mood which he was renowned for. Romano scowled, both at the nation's heedlessness and Germany's words. How dare that bastard potato-sucker tell his brother what to do!
His irritation was forgotten completely as the two at the table looked up to greet them, and froze, eyes wide in shock. Two sets of jaws went slack. Realizing what they were staring at and why, he crossed his arms, gloating victoriously. That's right little brother, mine is way better-looking than yours. Suck on that, potato-bastard. (Not that America was his, exactly, but it was the principle of the thing.)
"Sorry to keep you guys waiting," America continued, smilingly oblivious to the nations' astonishment. "Have you been here long?"
"Nrgh." croaked Germany, and blushed. Clearing his throat, he pulled himself together and admitted, "Uh, no. We just arrived a short while ago."
A wide, beaming smile crossed the other Italian's face. "Mr. America! You look so good~!" he praised, rising from his seat, intending to examine the new-and-improved nation closer. Without taking his eyes off the other blond, Germany reached out and pulled him back down. "Ve~," North Italy protested."I just wanted to see~."
"You can see from here." Germany answered shortly.
Feliciano pouted a bit, but it quickly turned into a smile as he turned to his brother. "You did a wonderful job, big brother~! The cut and colors suit him perfectly. He looks so much better, ve~."
"Of course! I have great taste, moron." Romano huffed proudly. "I can even make this idiot look good."
"Yes~! You look amazing, America! That suit really looks good on you! You should dress this way more often~." the younger Italian effused. Romano shifted, feeling both gratified and somehow inexplicably irritated.
America laughed. "Thanks! I'm thinking about it." Romano looked at him, surprised.
"Yep! Nino gave me his card." he pulled it out of his pocket, waving it. "I don't know anything about suits, but he said he'd help." Romano frowned. When had that happened? He hadn't known about this. And why would America want suits all of a sudden?
"Why would you need more suits, bastard?" he demanded.
"Uh," America glanced at the others, recalling Romano's earlier warning. Would 'so you'll like me more' count as something he shouldn't say? Better play it safe. His gaze slid to the side, "no reason." he answered, blushing slightly. Romano's eyes narrowed. Feliciano looked between the two of them, smiling.
"I think it's wonderful idea, America~. You'll look so good!"
Romano thought about all the other nations seeing the other looking like... this (and why wouldn't the moron say why he wanted them?), and his frown deepened. Was America stupid? That was a terrible idea. Didn't the idiot know that would cause nothing but trouble? Oh right, this was America. The bastard probably didn't think past the next meal.
"Romano? You ok?" the subject of his thoughts inquired, leaning down to check. Romano pulled back, disgruntled and slightly embarrassed to have been spacing out.
"Cheh, d-don't get in my face, idiot. I'm fine." he huffed and looked towards the kitchens. "I'm going to go talk to the head chef about tonight's menu."
"Okay! Don't forget ice for your hand, ok?"
"As if I would! I'm not an idiot like you, dumbass!"
"Why does your hand need ice, Romano?" his little brother spoke up, craning to see his elder brother's hands. He gasped. "Romano~! You're hurt! What happened?" he rose and went to take the injured hand in his, examining it closely.
"Door." the two replied in unison. They glanced at each other quickly, and looked away. America shifted uncomfortably.
"Ve~, you should be more careful! You could have been really hurt! Let's get you some ice, now~." Feliciano fussed, dragging his protesting brother off to the kitchens. The two blonds watched them go, then turned to each other, sharing a slightly hesitant glance.
Noticing the tension building as they neared the table, America's first instinct was, of course, to jump in and solve the problem, whatever it might be- but he'd learned long ago that interfering in other couple's relationship problems was rarely a good idea (except in extreme cases). This seemed to be something they were working out just fine on their own, anyway. They really didn't seem too upset, so he'd just ignore it.
But then Romano's expression darkened, and America decided he'd have to do something after all. If the half-nation was worrying about his brother and being angry with Germany, then he wouldn't be able to enjoy himself, and America really, really wanted Romano to have a good time tonight. So, time to be the hero. He'd have to change the mood, which wouldn't be too hard. A loud, cheerful entrance should shatter the tension, no problem.
It worked even better than he hoped (mission success! High score for the hero~). Germany and North Italy were completely distracted, and Romano was...well, scowling, but it looked like it was just his default 'I'm surrounded by irritating idiots' scowl, so that was okay.
Actually, Germany and Romano's brother were staring a lot more than he'd expected. Come to think of it, this might be the first time he'd ever seen Germany fazed. Interesting. Wearing suits might have more than one purpose (though getting close to Romano was still his number one priority by far). He'd have to remember that for the next time he wanted to propose something important ( or crazy, by others' standards, anyway) at a world meeting.
Romano seemed happier, too; at least until he refused to explain why he wanted the suits. That was okay, though, 'cause he could always tell the half-nation the reason later, if he really wanted to know.
Then the Italian brothers left for the kitchens, and he and Germany were alone together. Which wasn't a bad thing, but America wasn't sure what they'd talk about, since neither of them knew each other very well. He hoped it wouldn't be too awkward.
After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, Germany cleared his throat. "Why don't you sit down?" he suggested. "This will probably take a while."
"Haha, alright." America dropped into the seat across from him, and grinned."So, do you know when we'll get to eat? 'Cause I'm really starving."
"Oh well. Hopefully it's soon."
Germany drummed his fingers on the table.
America shifted in his seat.
"...You look...good." Germany offered after a while, somewhat awkwardly.
"Thanks!" America smiled. "So do you. Did your Italy dress you, too?"
"Actually, yes, he did." the other confessed, shifting slightly in his seat.
"Well, he did a good job." Leaning his elbows on the table, America grinned wryly. "They seem to put a lot of emphasis on style, don't they?"
"They do appear to have a passion for fashion." the nation offered a half-smile in return.
"I don't really get it, but if it makes 'em happy, I guess." He shrugged, grabbing the pepper shaker and absently batting it around on the tabletop. "I don't usually worry about how I look, so much as whether what I'm wearing is practical and comfortable."
"I tend more toward functionality in clothing, as well." Germany agreed, folding his hands on the table and relaxing slightly.
"I know, right? But still, these Italian suits are way more comfortable than the ones England tries to make me wear." America said, looking down at his suit and tugging lightly on his tie.
That's because England's a country of masochists, Germany thought privately. Wasn't their food alone proof of that? What he said was, "Perhaps you should mention that to England, the next time you see him."
"Oh man, he would flip!" America laughed. "That's awesome, I totally should! In fact, I think I'll call him later and let him know."
"Why wait? You could call from the restroom." Germany suggested, the corners of his mouth twitching up as fought a grin of his own.
"That's a great idea! You sure you wouldn't mind? I don't want to leave you hangin' here by your lonesome." the younger nation asked, already reaching for his cell.
"Not at all. It's for a worthy cause." the other blond waved off his concern, looking amused. "Just tell me what he says."
"Deal! I'll be right back, then. If Romano gets back before I do, let him know where I am, 'kay?" America grinned, saluting Germany with his cell as he left to find the men's room.
AN: I just realized that I call Feliciano by his 'human' name, and everyone else by their nation name, most of the time. How odd.
Oh- and for those of you who think Germany doesn't have a sense of humor, remember- he's the country who came up with schadenfreude. Oh yes.