(i'm actually still hesitant to publish this, but whatever) i've always wanted to make a spamano fic like this or something like this; i hope you guys enjoy this!

"Te amo."

Spain whispers it when the lights are off, when they are underneath the heavy covers, when Romano is almost asleep. The South Italian nation stiffens next to his ex-boss, and he pulls the covers over his head. "Don't say things you don't mean," he tiredly grumbles, and ignores Spain for the rest of the night.

The older nation, however, doesn't argue because he knows that Romano knows, but they don't mention it. They had deemed it a taboo subject, something they will never touch for, perhaps, the rest of their nonhuman lives.

He imagines the lighter hair of the younger Italian nation, imagines his sweet and carefree smile- and feels his heart twitch in agony. Marrying Italy has always been his dream. But that's it; simply a dream. He watches as Romano- his partner for life, really- sleeps peacefully on his side, back turned on Spain while the older nation sighs to himself.

It isn't like he doesn't love Roma or anything, but he really, truly loves Italy in a less platonic way, and more of a romantic way. Why Romano even agreed to marry Spain is beyond him. Maybe Romano enjoys living with him, or enjoys Spain spoiling him.

Well, whatever it is that made Romano agree to marry him, Spain's rather grateful for his presence. At least he's a little less lonely now.

"Te amo," Spain says again, sometime next week.

Romano is busily making lunch when Spain enters the kitchen and leans on the counter. He watches Roma work, watches the way the cooking utensils slip from his fingers. They are very unlike Italy's, which are delicate and deft, but Spain finds Romano's fingers amusing and a little bit endearing.

His partner grips the wooden spoon tighter, and he doesn't turn around when he says, "Don't say things you don't mean, damn it." He continues to make the sauce, allowing the silence to fill the kitchen as he works on the pasta.

Spain doesn't argue again. He never does. He doesn't want any tears in Romano's eyes, but whatever he does nowadays always brings Romano to tears.

He eats the pasta with a gracious smile, yet he secretly wonders if he's the cause of Romano's tears.

"Te amo."

Spain knows that he says this to convince himself that he is, indeed, in love with Romano. He theorizes that if he says this enough times, lies to himself enough times, then maybe he can finally believe that he loves Roma the way the south Italian nation is rumored to love him.

But despite a year into their marriage, he can't say that he feels anything more than platonic love for his husband. On the bright side, he got used to calling Romano his husband.

"Don't say things you don't mean, bastard," growls Romano. He looks at Spain, fists clenched, and he storms out of the room they share, bewildering the Spanish nation into speechlessness.

He doesn't argue, as usual, because he knows he doesn't mean it the way he wanted to mean it. Spain slept alone that night- dreaming of the happier, cuter Italian, while Romano stayed up in the living room.

"Te amo."

Romano stops stroking his hair, but continues a moment later. He doesn't say anything, but allows Spain to curl up to his side and hide his sorrowful expression in his neck.

Italy and Germany got married yesterday in Madrid, and it broke Spain's heart. He got drunk with France and Prussia in a nearby bar, and four hours after midnight, Romano came around to pick them up. He let France and Prussia sleep in the living room, too tired of carrying them- too tired of worrying about his stupid husband- to drop them off at the hotel they're staying at.

He makes a surprised noise when Spain tightens his arms around him. "Te amo," repeats Spain, breath hot against his neck. His long eyelashes are hitting the side of Romano's neck, and it tickles, but the younger nation is so damn tired. So damn tired to even put the typical fire in his next words.

"Don't say things you don't mean." He lets his eyes fall shut, though Spain continues to stay half-asleep until the sun peeks through the curtains. The older nation only moves closer to his husband, no arguments leaving his lips.

"Eat up," orders Romano. He places a dish of pasta in front of Spain and puts a glass of wine next to him. His eyes are hard, and his frown is visible, but Spain smiles at Roma.


"I won't be home for a little while," Romano tells him while he slips his coat around his shoulders. "So don't freak out if I don't come home by tomorrow morning."

"How long are you going to be gone?"

"Dunno," he shrugs his shoulders and takes his keys out from the pocket. There's a handsome smirk on Romano's face, and there's an odd thudthud in Spain's chest. "Well, ciao-"

"Te amo," cuts Spain. He looks to Romano and the odd thudthud of his heart becomes a redundant pattern.

But his response is automatic. "Don't say things you don't mean." Romano leaves in a bad mood, and Spain doesn't see him for days.

"Te amo."

His heart races when Romano turns his gaze on him. They're on the plane back to Madrid, after the world conference in Germany's place, and they're both exhausted from another meeting. Romano didn't want to spend another day in Germany, and Spain probably spoils Romano too much, so they packed their bags and took the next plane going to Madrid.

Romano lets out a sigh, turns away, and says, "Don't say things you don't mean."

Spain doesn't argue, but he feels . . . upset. As if . . . as if Romano's turning him down! He furrows his eyebrows when he thinks that, and lets Romano fall asleep on his shoulder as the plane flies through the night sky.

Now why would he feel like that?

"Te amo."

Lately, Spain has been feeling weird around Romano. It has been three years since Romano said yes, three years since Spain's dreams of marrying Italy shattered, three years since Romano began living with Spain again.

Sure, the affection is still there- but it's . . . different. It's different now. He feels lighter when he's with Romano, happier, stronger. He doesn't understand it.

"Don't say-"

"But," Spain interjects. It startles them both; Romano's eyes widen and Spain's heart beats an unusual design. He doesn't say anything for a moment, and so Romano continues.

"Don't say anything you don't mean, damn it," Romano says. He leaves for work with a soft slam of the door, and Spain is left watching, thinking. What was he going to say? Why did he interrupt Romano? Why did Romano look like that? Was he hopeful for something?

Spain runs a hand through his hair and figures that he should start working too.

Romano is laughing.

Spain looks up from the slippery ground, and grins toothily at him. His laugh makes his spine tingle, makes his spirits high. The way his eyes brighten and the way his lips form an amused grin causes Spain to forget how to breathe. He shakes his head and attempts to get up, but he slips once again, making the younger nation laugh harder.

"Spain, you stupid bastard," he clutches his sides and tries to calm himself down. A few moments later, still chuckling, he offers a gloved hand and Spain takes it happily.

"Te amo," he sings, breath creating tiny clouds of warmth.

Romano's smile disappears, and he looks away, slipping his hand out of Spain's larger one. He stays silent, and then, "Don't say anything you don't mean."

Spain doesn't see Romano smile genuinely anymore.

"Welcome home Roma-"

"Big brother Spain!" Italy comes running into the house a few months later, and Spain waits for the familiar pounding of his heart and the familiar heating of his face- but neither comes. Only a strange, brotherly fondness appears in his chest when Italy tackles him with a tearful expression. Spain firmly grips him by his shoulders.

"What's wrong? Wh-"

"Romano's gone!"

His heart shudders and his blood runs cold. Spain's grip slacks, and he stares at Italy in bewilderment. "What do you mean? He just left for work this morning- he's not gone," Spain tells him. He has been waiting for Romano's arrival for over an hour now, but that still does't mean that Romano's-

"You don't understand," cries Italy, wiping messily at his face. "Romano works with the mafia and he," a hiccup, "he's gone! They took him away," another hiccup, "I don't know where-"

The mafia? Spain's mind spins. Since when did Romano work with them? If he had known . . . what would he have done? He can't stop Romano, especially if it's his boss' orders. Even if they're married, Spain can't . . . he can't-

"-Germany's trying to help but Romano told us not to interfere!" finishes Italy. His eyes are red from crying, and his voice is hoarse from sobbing. "I don't know what to do!" Another hiccup surfaces, "He told us to- to wait for him," hiccup, "and not to tell you but I can't!" His shoulders shake- his whole body shakes, but he continues on, "You're his husband, and I'm his brother, and I just can't not do anything!"

"I don't- what should we do?" asks Spain, truly bewildered. This hasn't happened before, and the way this cold feeling is clutching at his heart feels terrible. He lets go of Italy and grips the ends of his hair in worry, in fear, in frustration. What can he do?

They don't do anything that night, but await for Romano's return. They can't do anything, not without their bosses' orders, though Spain can't help but walk by his old artillery room every now and then.

Romano stumbles into their home a week later, weak and injured. His face and limbs are filled with cuts and bruises, and his left eye is so swollen that the older Italian nation is forced to squint through it. His clothes are battered, and his left shoulder is wrapped as well as his right leg. He must've came from his boss before getting back.

Spain feels his heart stutter with shock when he sees him, and then suddenly, he's holding Romano gently- delicately- in his arms and crying. He cries a lot, and when he finishes, he lifts up Romano's face and kisses him. His tongue swipes at the fresh cut by the corner of his mouth, swipes at the other cuts inside Roma's mouth, accidentally reopening some, and then he's being weakly pushed away.

The older nation stops, and stares, and he wonders why- Dios, why- he never realized it. Why he didn't realize earlier on that he fell in love with Romano some time after their marriage, that he fell in love with his frown and his unskilled fingers and his beautiful eyes and his scent-

"Te amo."

Romano, surprised, stares at him, and scoffs with a shake of his head. "I'm not in the mood, Sp-"

"But I mean it," Spain urges, swallowing loudly. He watches as Romano looks at him; he looks like he's ready to cry.

"N-no you don't," his voice shakes, and Romano attempts to walk past his husband- his stupid, moronic husband that he can't help but adore with every damn fiber of his immortal being. "Shut up, don't say anything you don't-"

"I mean it," Spain repeats, taking Romano's wrists in his hands. The younger nation flinches and tries to retract his limbs from the Spaniard. Spain panics when he sees tears in Romano's eyes and he steps closer to kiss the tears away. "Roma, I-"

"Don't," cries Romano silently, "don't say it. You don't mean it. You-"

"I mean it," Spain hears himself repeating again. Romano doesn't look at him. How the southern Italian nation manages to appear majestic in an injured state boggles Spain's mind.

"You don't understand," Romano says quietly, swallowing around the lump in his throat. He feels the back of his nose burn, not because he was punched, but because- because- "You don't love me the way- the way I," he doesn't finish the sentence. Neither speaks, and Romano silently lets a few tears fall before he steps away and wipes at his face gently. "I'm going to bed."

"Romano," Spain follows him a moment later, when everything clicks, when he finally understands that Romano said yes because he loves Spain; he said yes because he doesn't want him to be lonely; he said yes because he actually wanted to be Spain's other half- "Romano, I'm serious," he says, catching his wrist again when they're at the staircase. He carefully coaxes Romano to face him, and he sees more tears running down his cheeks.

"Just shut up," he bites without venom, tired, exhausted.

"I will- just, please- understand that I," Spain pauses, puts Romano's hand in his, and takes a step up, closer to Romano. Romano bites his lower lip when Spain brushes his soft lips against his cut-up knuckles. His heart races and he hears it in his ears, feels it in his throat. "I love you. The way you love me."

He cries then, sobs leaving his lips, and Spain places his arms around him and carries him into their bedroom. Romano doesn't argue or complain- he simply cries, buries his face in the soft cotton of Spain's shirt until he falls asleep.

"Te amo," Spain whispers it against his forehead, holding him firmly in his arms.

The next morning, Romano wakes up in Spain's arms. He startles, and the pain in his body makes him grimace. Spain opens his eyes and blinks tiredly, but he smiles and leans forward to kiss the corner of his mouth. Romano holds his breath, staring wide-eyed at Spain. W-what's he doing? Why is he in Spain's arms-?

"Buenos dias," the Spaniard greets.

"S-Spain, what are you-!" Spain cuts him off and presses his lips on Roma's.

"Te amo, Roma," Spain mumbles against his lips, "te amo," kiss, "te amo, te amo," kiss, kiss. He continues until Romano gives up trying to say anything and gives in to Spain's persistent soft lips. Romano's hands tremble, and he can't find it in himself to bring his arms around Spain. Why is Spain doing this? He doesn't mean it, he never does, so why would this be different?

But Spain never kissed him excessively like this, Spain never repeated te amo like this, Spain never let his hands roam around his body like this, Spain never-

"-mucho. Te amo mucho." Spain suddenly stops kissing him and tightens his arms around him, throwing a leg around his thighs- and Roma flinches again when the bastard accidentally touched one of the stupid wounds he has. Exhaling shakily, Spain buries his face on the top of his head. "Roma."

Romano doesn't say anything, though his mind is filled with dizzying thoughts. He swallows dryly and doesn't move. This is a dream, surely this is dream-

"I'm sorry, Roma," murmurs Spain. "I didn't know that you-" love me, "but I'll . . . I'll make up for it. If you let me."

It takes a while for Romano to believe Spain, to finally allow his walls to fall down and crumble around his feet. He doesn't regret it. They go on many dates, many nights out, many trips; Spain showers him in affection while Romano lets himself show affection through actions (and sometimes words).

It's their fifth wedding anniversary, and Spain takes Romano out to Venice. It's when they're on a gondola in the Venetian lagoon that Spain takes Roma's hands in his and gazes in his eyes with a soft smile, asking, "Will you marry me?"

Romano's breath hitches, his stomach churning pleasantly, and all he thinks is yes, yes, YES- but he remarks, "W-we're already married, stupid."

"Then let's get married again," Spain says warmly, moving closer- though Romano has finally gained back a little bit of his strength to keep a foot's distance between them at the very least (to spare the gondolier). "I've already made my vow," he continues. Because, this time, I mean it, is what Spain wants to add; but he knows that Romano knows, because his Roma blushes and looks down, and says yes to him for the second time.

"My vow will remain the same, though," he mutters. They know why- Roma has always meant his vow, right from the beginning.

"Te amo," Spain tells him, bringing Roma's knuckles to his lips. "So much. Always and forever, Roma."

Romano scoffs and turns his face away; he doesn't take his hand back, since, this time, he knows Spain means it.