There was a pain, deep inside your chest. Though you weren't awake, you could still feel it. Almost as if someone was holding your heart in their hand and squeezing it until you could hardly breath.
Deep inside your thoughts, you could see a face. Though it was usually marred with a strange predatory grin, or a sly smile, it was now contorted with absolute distress and despair. Tears fell from Italy's face, and his eyes were wide with shock, or anger, you couldn't tell.
Vaguely, you could see a hand stretched out to you. It was a gesture of hope, of desperation.
His lips seemed to move. At the same time, you could hear a voice. "_______! ________!!"
Your head began to shake. Your thoughts bounced into each other and your entire world seemed to spin.
Italy's face blurred, the hand vanished.
You groggily opened your eyes, familiar dark hair and a distinct curl standing out from the whiteness of the room. the person was calling your name, you were sure of it.
Instantly the figure went silent and stiff. Your eyes focused, and you found it was Romano, not Italy who stood in front of you. His eyebrows were drawn together and his lips were taut, in an expression you could easily define as anger.
Romano was perched above you, his hands on your shoulders. You were laying with your back against a bed. You blushed as you realized how close Romano was to you.
Romano straightened abruptly, sitting at the foot of the bed. He faced mostly away from you, but the part of his face you could see was tinted red, like a tomato.
"Stupida." he muttered. "You were-a crying in your sleep, I thought you were-a hurt or something."
You lifted a hand up to your face, to find tiny tear trails on your cheeks. Why were you crying? You weren't sure you could answer the question yourself.
Romano's shoulders were still hunched together, in embarrassment or frustration, you weren't sure. Perhaps a bit of both.
You looked down, a bit embarrassed yourself, of having mistaken him for his brother, knowing how much he hated him.
He stood suddenly, walking over to a side table near the bed. As he did so, you swung your legs over the side and sat up with a stretch.
"Here." A bowl of something warm was pushed into your hands. You looked down and blinked with surprise, then back up at Romano, who was looking away from you with a grimace. "I thought-a you'd probably be hungry...so I-a made you some pasta."
You were silent for a moment, then your face erupted with a smile. "Thank you Romano!" You laughed, and began to eat.
Romano sat down in a chair opposite of you and crossed his arms, watching you with the same grimace he had earlier. You took no notice of him, busy devouring the best food you had eaten in months, maybe even years. You looked up at him and gave him a laughing smile. "Romano, this is so good~!"
The Italian bent his head so that his bangs covered his face. "Lovino..." he muttered almost inaudibly.
You stopped and stared at him with curiosity.
"That's...my-a real name." He muttered.
It took you a moment to realize what he meant, but after a pause, you smiled. "Okay, Lovino."
Romano, Lovino, looked up at you, a satisfied grin spreading across his face. He was silent for a moment, watching you eat. After a few more minutes, you sat back and gave your stomach a satisfied pat. "That was the best meal I've eaten...ever maybe."
Romano's face fell a bit, and you could see what looked like sympathy in his eyes. "I bet it was-a hard, wasn't it?"
You looked over at Romano curiously.
Romano continued. "Being all alone, by-a yourself like that, struggling to-a survive. It musta have been-a very hard."
After a pause, you gently straightened up and folded your hands into the material of your dress. "Yes." You muttered. "It was kind of hard. My family was killed years ago, and I don't have any cousins or siblings with me. I had to depend on myself for a lot of things, but sometimes I got help. I learned the hard way that not everybody could be trusted."
Romano nodded, running a hand through his hair and looking away from you.
"And yet..." You looked up at the ceiling, remembering your old life. "I felt...free. Even though each day was a struggle, I still loved the fact that I could go sit on a roof somewhere and just, be myself without anyone noticing or caring. Singing was one of the only things that kept me alive. But..." You looked down at your hands again, folding them. "Not having anyone to help you, and depending only on yourself was very lonely, and very hard."
A silence settled over the room, but only briefly for Romano had gone rigid at that last sentence and now stood abruptly, walking across the room to where you sat. He knelt and, with a bit of hesitation, grabbed your hands in his.
"You aren't alone, Ragazza. Even-a though you might be trapped, I can assure you-a that you aren't alone. Not while I'm here."
You blinked and drew back a bit in surprise. Then, slowly, softly, you leaned down and drew Romano's head closer to you. You rested your chin in his hair and smiled. "Thank you Romano." You mumbled. "I can't remember the last time I had a friend like you."
Romano smiled gently and drew back, still holding your hand. "No, ________, Thank you."
After a few moments, Romano stood to collect the empty plate by the bed. At which point, heavy bootsteps could be heard coming down the hall. Romano frowned and you tensed instinctively, ready to fight.
It wasn't much to your surprise that a familiar blonde-haired man appeared in the doorway. He glanced at you for a moment a glint in his eyes, then turned to Romano.
"Ve have a problem."