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
Hm...Canada and Prussia are mentioned...and they show up eventually. I wonder if I should add them to the tags. Probably not until they turn up. (Yes, I am obviously a fan of BAMF!Canada)
Entering the restroom, Romano was surprised to hear America's voice, speaking loudly. What the hell? What was the idiot doing in here? He was supposed to be waiting at the table. The sound of the other's voice made something inside him warm, and the fact that just hearing the moron's voice made him feel a little better irritated him to no end. He debated just leaving, but...he really needed to clean up.
"I can't help it that Romano's got better taste than you, England~." Romano huffed a little at that, amused. He could hear the shouting coming through the speaker from here.
The sound, quiet though it was, made America turn around. Seeing Romano, his brows furrowed in concern. "Gotta go, Iggy. Catch ya later." He said, and hung up, effectively halting the stream of profanity from the other end. "You okay, Romano? What's wrong?"
For some reason, his concern made the ache in Romano's chest well up again, and he blinked back tears. To his embarrassment and frustration, he sniffled. "Nothing's wrong, idiot. I'm fine." he muttered brokenly, looking anywhere but at the other nation.
"...Okay. If you say so." America responded gently. Quietly crossing to the Italian, he reached out to an arm to pull him close. Romano clutched the idiot's lapels tightly, forehead pressed against America's chest. (Just to catch his balance, not because it was sort of comforting. And America's warm hand on his back wasn't calming at all.) He forced himself to breathe slowly, trying to swallow the lump in his throat. After a few moments, he felt sufficiently balanced, and pushed the blond away.
"Don't touch me, idiot." he said half-heartedly, voice hoarse. He stomped over to the sink, washing his hands, splashing his face. America stood silently nearby, but instead of being unsettling, it was strangely...nice to know he was there.
After shaking the water off his hands, he turned, leaning against the counter with a sigh. "Do you...do you and your brother ever fight?" he asked hesitantly, looking off to the side.
"Me and Mattie? Oh yeah, all the time."America answered with a wry smile. "In fact," he added, coming over to crouch down next to Romano, leaning back against the cabinets,"we had a pretty big one not too long ago. A real doozy."
"...Yeah? What did you fight about?" Romano asked, looking down at the tall blond.
"Well,"America started, letting his hands drape across his knees, "Mattie's been dating this guy. Prussia." he added, and the Italian snorted. "Yeah, right? Not that I mind Prussia too much, he's an okay guy. We've hung out sometimes, and usually get along pretty good. But liking him enough to hang out with him now and then is one thing, but letting him date my brother is another thing completely."
"So what'd you do?"
"Hm, well...I didn't know they were dating until I sort of walked in on them making out on Mattie's couch," he made a face, "so of course, I wasn't very happy. I may have beat the crap out of Prussia and thrown him out of the house." he admitted.
Romano huffed in incredulous amusement. 'May have'? He almost felt sorry for Prussia. Almost. If only he could do that to the other potato-bastard.
"Needless to say," America continued, "Mattie wasn't too happy about that. He wanted to go right after Prussia, but I stopped him. He actually punched me, which he hasn't done in decades. Then we shouted at each other for hours. I told him that Prussia was no good for him, and would only hurt him, and he argued that he was old enough to think for himself, and told me I was an overprotective asshole with delusions of heroism. Then he punched me again, and left. I had a black eye for two weeks after that." he said, almost proudly.
The half-nation rolled his eyes. Trust America to be proud of his brother's fighting skills even if they were turned against himself. "Not that I can't guess, but why didn't you want Prussia dating your brother?"
America rested his chin in his palm, elbow propped on his knee. "Mattie...well, Mattie has a bit of an inferiority complex. People don't always notice him, 'cause he's quiet and polite and all that stuff. So sometimes he feels like he's not as good as other people, or that nobody cares about him. Which isn't true, of course, 'cause Mattie's awesome. He's my little brother, after all! He's just not very outgoing, and he's always well-behaved, so it's hard for people to see that."
"But since he feels overlooked all the time, he tends to get attached quickly to anyone who pays attention to him. He falls hard and fast," Romano frowned, wondering if he was responding so quickly to America's attentions for similar reasons (crap, was he that pathetic, dammit?), but pushed that thought aside for later contemplation as the other went on, "so it's really easy for him to get hurt. And you know Prussia." he glanced up at the Italian, mouth twisted into a wry grimace. "He's not exactly Mister Considerate."
"He's an asshole, you mean."
"Basically, yeah. Cool 'n' all, but still an asshole."
"Did the potato-bastard have anything to say about you beating up his brother?"
"Germany? Surprisingly, no. He said something to Prussia, though. Prussia came by a week or so after and, well, not exactly apologized, but explained that he really cared about Mattie, and didn't intend to hurt him, and stuff. Mattie told me later that Germany told Prussia that it was his own fault for not letting me know his intentions as soon as they started dating."
Romano frowned, absently rubbing a thumb across the countertop, remembering how Germany had come to him early on in his and Feliciano's relationship- right after they'd gone from friends to, well, dating. The stupid bastard had just shown up one day, stiffly informing him that he was now in a romantic relationship with North Italy, and explaining that his intentions were serious. Romano, of course, had thrown a fit, but Germany had been unfazed. He'd just said what he felt needed to be said and left, the bastard. "Huh. Did your brother do that? Talk to that Germany jerk about his involvement with Prussia?"
America chuckled. "If there's a polite thing to do, you can bet Mattie's done it. He has more manners than a southern belle."
Romano gave the blond an odd look, wondering what bells had to do with anything, no matter where they were from. Dismissing it as the younger nation's tendency to spout nonsense, he asked, curious, "So you're okay with them dating now?"
"I'm not really okay with it," America confessed. "I still don't like it. But after Mattie and I made up, we had a long talk. He says Prussia makes him happy, and after watching them together...that seems to be the case. I'm not sure I'll ever be entirely cool with it, but I want Mattie to be happy. So I'll give Prussia a chance, for my brother's sake. Though," he added, smiling wickedly, "that doesn't mean I didn't let Prussia know that if he hurt my brother in any way, his nation wouldn't be the only nonexistent thing about him."
"Heh." the Italian almost smiled. "Wish I could do that to the potato-bastard."
"Oh? Is that what this is about? Germany and your brother?" America asked, leaning his head against the half-nation's leg, looking up at him curiously.
"Don't touch me, bastard." Romano barked, whacking the moron on his empty head.
"Hey, I was using that!" America grinned, as he resumed his previous position, rubbing the spot where he'd been struck.
"Cheh, as if you've ever used it in your life, idiot." Romano scoffed, nudging the other with his foot.
"So mean!" the blond held a hand over his heart with a mock-hurt expression, then rested his chin back in his hand. "So, did you have a fight with North Italy about Germany?" he asked.
"Not that it's any of your business," the half-nation reluctantly answered, looking down and rubbing at a spot on the counter, "but yeah. We fight about him a lot."
"Yeah?"America again looked up at him curiously, chin still in hand."You don't like Germany? He seems like a nice enough guy. A little stiff, but not bad."
Suddenly pissed, Romano kicked the blond's shoulder so that the taller nation lost balance, sprawling sideways on the floor with a startled yelp."Shut up, jackass!" he growled, "You don't know what that loser's like! He's a musclebound moron with a stupid face and potatoes for brains! That jerk is a terrible influence on Feliciano! All he talks about is Germany, Germany, Germany! All the time! I hate that potato-bastard!" he flailed his arms, and started to pace. America watched wide-eyed from where he lay on the floor, brows raised in surprise.
"We were finally supposed to be together again after all this time, and he's always with that asshole! I hardly ever see the idiot! And when I do it's always 'Oh Germany said this' and 'Germany said that' and 'Germany is soooo wonderful' and shit! What the fuck! Who wants to listen to that?" he snarled, kicking one of the stall doors so hard that it swung loose on its hinges. He stood, flushed and panting, hands clenched tightly at his sides.
"Woah, hey." America said, getting up from the floor and grabbing the wrist of the Italian's injured hand."Careful, you're going to make it worse." Romano struggled to pull away, but gave up when it was obvious that the other nation remained completely oblivious to his attempts. America gently pried his fist open, examining each finger carefully, manipulating them individually to check their range of motion. "Does that hurt at all?" he asked, glancing at the half-nation.
"O-of course not, moron." Romano replied, looking away.
"Did you get some ice on it?" he asked, prodding the bandages gingerly.
"I said I would, didn't I?"
"Yep! That's good. You should get some more, though- we should ice it at least 15 minutes every hour or so." he turned it over, stroking his thumb across the bandages wrapped around Romano's palm.
"Don't tell me what to do, asshole."
"Just sayin'." America grinned."Well, the bandages look good at least, so all you need is the ice." Despite having apparently finished his examination, he didn't release the half-nation. Instead, he returned his attention to the hand he held, and started gently massaging Romano's knuckles, just above the bandages.
"You know, Romano," the taller nation interrupted the oncoming protests, focused on his task,"your brother pretty much adores you."
"Cheh, what would you know about it, jackass?"
"No, really." America insisted. "Sure, he cares about Germany, but you're his brother. You'll always be his brother. That's something no-one can take from you two."
Romano snorted, but didn't otherwise respond.
"Y'know," the other continued, moving his attentions to the Italian's fingers, "Mattie and I set aside time every two weeks or so to get together and hang out, just the two of us. We have a hockey night once a month (totally his idea, by the way), and other times we catch a movie or just hang out. And sometimes when we both have some spare time, we get together and play catch or something. We're both pretty busy most of the time," he added," but since we make it a point to set aside time for each other, we don't have to worry about losing touch or anything. Maybe you could do something like that with your brother. You know, set aside a night to hang out, like a soccer night or something. You guys like soccer, right?"
"You mean football, idiot?" the half-nation corrected drily.
America shot him a surprised look, and smiled widely. "I didn't know you watched football, Romano! We should totally get together sometime and hit a game! Oh, oh- watch the Superbowl with me!"
The Italian rolled his eyes and knocked the blond on the head (and damn that was alot harder to do when he was standing, why did the bastard have to be so freaking tall?). "Soccer is football, you moron. It's the same damn thing. Your stupid country just can't get the name right."
"Pffft, our football is way more awesome. Just 'cause the rest of the world calls soccer 'football', doesn't mean they're right."
"...Just when I think you can't get any stupider, you go and say something that proves me wrong."
"I can't help it if you can't handle my awesome." the American smirked.
"...Did England drop you on your head when you were a baby? 'Cause that would explain so much."
"A few times, yeah." the taller nation admitted easily."Something like that wouldn't hurt a hero, though!"
Romano just dropped his face in his palm and groaned. That brow-bastard had a lot to answer for.
"Don't worry, Romano!" America went on cheerfully."You're pretty awesome too, even if you can't tell the difference between soccer and football!"
Right, that was it. Yanking his hand out of America's grasp, Romano growled, "I'm going back to the kitchens, jackass." He stomped to the door, grinding his teeth.
"Okay~! Don't forget the ice, Romano~."
"Don't tell me what to do, bastard! Chigi!" Romano yelled, giving the blond the finger as he left. He could hear the idiot's laughter behind the door, and oddly enough, despite his annoyance he still felt a lot better. The ache in his chest had faded almost completely. He still wasn't sure that talking to his brother would work, and Germany was still a bastard, but for now it was okay.