I do not own Hetalia.

Summary: Italy has never been able to sleep alone. He always needs someone there to drive away the nightmares and keep him safe.

This is chapter one of a three shot. This chapter is a fluffy moment between little Italy and Rome. The next chapter will consist of a scene with Hungary and Austria with child Italy and in the third it will be with Germany.

Author's Notes:

1) I don't know if there were clowns in ancient times, but it's Hetalia so nothing would be considered too absurd. Right? Anyway, I was trying to think of something that would be scary to a child, heck, perhaps even scary to an adult.

2) I got the Italian words from a textbook, but if anyone actually knows Italian and it's not correct, please feel free to correct me.

Warnings: Some horror at the beginning (reason for the K+ rating). Oh! And loads of fluff!

Hope you all enjoy!

His face was painted with white powder, a most unnatural skin tone, contrasted deeply with large crimson lips and a grotesque, round nose matching in color. His bulging eyes, the color of sewer water, glared down at the child. Above the eyes were giant semicircles of various shades of blue, getting darker the closer it reached the brow. The eyebrows themselves were extremely thin in an exaggerated arch. The creature tilted his head back to release a laugh that mixed between a shriek and a rabid dog bark.

The boy, who appeared to be a toddler in terms of human age, sat there, the incessant shaking being the only movement he was capable of. The creature stepped forward with his fingers spread apart, the nails of each formed into blades. The clown monster grinned, revealing shark-like teeth. Fresh saliva dripped from each of his canines, quickly licked up by an inhumanly long tongue.

"What a crybaby. I'll give you a real reason to cry," the monster said with a shrieking laugh. He waved his knife-like fingers in front of the boy's face. Feliciano could see his blurred reflection in the blades.

Little Feliciano curled himself into a shuddering ball. Tears fell freely from his eyes. He clamped his tiny hands over his eyes, but somehow he was still able to see the clown through the creases of his chubby fingers.

The clown grabbed Italy's white garment. Feliciano opened his mouth to scream, but the sound became trapped within his throat. Despite how hard he struggled, his arms would not move. He shut his eyes tightly, awaiting for the creature to consume him. He could already feel the hot breath beating down on him and all he could do in defense was cry.

"Nonno!" Italy screamed to the top of his lungs. "Help me, Nonno, help me!"

The sound of feet pounding echoed through the hallway. Light from a single candle guided the rescuer through the dark hallways of the villa. Upon reaching the desired location, the older nation knelt down beside the much smaller, shrieking one, wrapped up in a cacoon of blankets.

"My precious Feli, what's wrong?" Rome asked as he reached out to stroke the child's face. He placed the candle down on the table beside Feliciano's bed before reaching for the toddler.

Italy screamed at the sudden touch and yelled something about clowns. Rome sported a confused look for a moment before it dawned on him. He could have kicked himself for taking the boy to the circus earlier that day. From what he could tell from observations many children loved the circus, and Feliciano was rather excited when he received the news. At the beginning everything was going great, but when the clown emerged, something about him frightened the little one causing Rome to escort the crying child from the building.

Feliciano realized he was safe in his bed and the face staring at him was the kind one belonging to his beloved grandfather. The boy began to sob and buried his face into Rome's chest. The older nation cuddled the smaller one close to him. He spoke soothing words while rubbing Italy's back. Even during a state of distress, he found Feliciano to be adorable.

"It's okay, it's just a nightmare," Rome said in a soft voice, continuing to physically comfort the boy.

Feliciano stared up at him with those large amber eyes.

"He twied to eat me," Italy said, wiping a falling tear from his eye.

There was no use to tell Italy that the creature lurking in his darkest nightmares were merely a figure of his fears. He would continue to see that gruesome face for the next few nights.

"Tried to eat you?" Rome asked.

"Uh-huh," Italy said with a sniffle. "He had big, pointy teef an—an' he was mad 'cause I cwied at t'e ciw—ciwcus." A few more tears fell followed by a loud sniff.

"Well, that will never do," Rome said. He stood, keeping one arm securely around Italy's back while allowing him to sit on the other. Feliciano kept both hands clamped tightly to Rome's shirt. "I won't have any scary clowns eating my grandson."

"Pwomise?" Feliciano asked.

"I give you my word," Rome said with a wide smile. He could tell that the boy was still somewhat uneasy. No doubt that image was still fresh in his mind.

"Can I sleep in your bed?" Italy asked.

Rome nodded. "Of course you can," he said. "No clowns will dare come in there."

Feliciano smiled in response. "That's 'cause you'we big an' stwong."

"That's right," Rome said. He poked his grandson in the stomach making him giggle. "And someday you're going to be big and strong too." He grabbed the candle then began the walk towards his bedroom.

"Really?" Feliciano asked.

"You sure will," Rome replied. "And all those scary clowns will be running away from you in fear." He gave the boy a smug grin. "No one will dare pick on you."

Feliciano smiled at the thought and snuggled against his grandpa.

In no time they entered Rome's room. It was somewhat untidy as he had little time to spend cleaning. Italy was gently placed on the comfortable bed. Rome blew out the candle then tucked his grandson under the covers before taking his spot beside him.

Feliciano scooted closer to the source of warmth. Rome could not help but smile at his adorable descendant. He ran a hand through Feliciano's auburn hair causing the child to smile.

"Buonanotte, Nonno," Feliciano said in a drowsy voice. In less than a minute the child was already fast asleep.

"Buonanotte, Feli," Rome said with a chuckle.

Thus ends chapter one. Cute, no?

Just curious, did the toddler talk work, or was it distracting?