5 and one half inches of chocolate dipped biscuit stick separate you from Italy. You can feel the eyes of so many around piercing through your space bubble, but not as much as the eager Italian who’s waiting impatiently for the American referee to give countdown. In fact, America seems to enjoy this mounting apprehension from you, because he picks out the dirt from under his nails with the edge of the Pocky box without a care in the world. It is only when there’s an excited and inhumane noise from Italy that he pretends to see you two waiting for the first time.
“Oh! We’re ready to start!”
You have no choice but to stare at Italy, and he’s opened his eyes for once to stare back, his lips pulled back into a wide grin with the candy balanced between his pretty, pearly teeth. You don’t smile back; you’re too nervous for that.
“Hands on the floor or in your lap,” America demands particularly to Italy, whose hands have begun to slowly float forward towards your body. He puts his hands onto the floor and blinks twice.
It takes nearly a millisecond for Italy to chomp centimeters away from your face, whereas you haven’t even taken a bite. You close your eyes and quickly forfeit the game by pulling away with a squeal. America claps excitedly and the rest of the room shares a small laughter. You open your eyes to see the last of the Pocky disappearing behind Italy’s lips.
Italy is nearly trembling with excitement, “That was fun!”
“You’re such a chicken,” America teases you with a grin as he offers the red, rectangular box of Pocky to the winner. Italy pulls out another stick and balances it by the biscuit end.
“I am not,” You insist and sit forward to begin the next round, closing your lips around the chocolaty surface.
The flavor rubs off onto your tongue as you glance over at America, wearing a determined expression on your face. You plan to make Italy be the one to squeal and shy away, but you also wonder if he’ll even do that or will he just accept your lips against his. The thought of your lips touching his makes your face begin to boil.
Without thinking, you take a large bite forward, making it halfway across the Pocky, but Italy does the same, and you retreat yet again.
“Italy wins again,” America sings and laughs a little.
You swallow the Pocky you obtained and watch as he pulls out another piece.
“I don’t bite~!” Italy reminds you with a smile before positioning himself again.
You think you’re going to faint. “I know.”
America gives you a nudge and holds the out the box. “We’re gonna play the British version now. Two Pockys.”
“We do not play like that in Britain, you liar! Stop spreading your seductive rumors, America!” England crosses his arms and frowns while the slightest pink comes across his face.
“But we played it that way!” America snorts.
England’s mouth opens and closes like a fish’s. “Wh-Wh-what are you talking about?!”
“There’s no need to be embarrassed, mon ami,” France throws an arm around England’s neck. “We all are lovers here.”
Tsundere Mode; Activated!: “We certainly are not!”
“I agree,” Germany says with a frown. “That would be disturbing.”
“I’m too awesome for all of you! Now, PLAY!” Prussia shouts and points a finger at you from his place on the sofa. “Und no chickening out!”
You and Italy take the other Pocky while steadying the first so that two Pocky sticks are bridged from one person to the other.
“It’s called the London Bridge,” America whispers as he checks you both to make sure everyone’s playing fair. You want to give him a smart reply, but you can’t: you’re focused on Italy, who looks joyful and excited still. He’s jumping slightly, as if he can’t wait to start.
“Ready, set, GO!”
You take the widest leap you can and bite down, breaking the sticks. You turn to America, wearing a smile of satisfaction; you won that round.
“Oh no, I lost!” Italy giggles while his cheeks flush.
“You played dirty,” America tells you and offers you the box again. “Kinda like how England plays.”
“Oh please,” You say between your winning Pocky devouring. Then you pull out a fresh stick. Only one remains.
“We’re running out of Pocky.” You enlighten America before balancing the Pocky between your teeth and sitting forward to Italy. The Italian gently takes the chocolate side and winks at you playfully. Your face grows even hotter and you glance over at America in order to calm down a tad.
“We aren’t running out of Pocky,” America insists and checks you both yet again. “R.S.G!”
“Whut?” You blurt out. Italy doesn’t waste a second; he launches forward, coming closer than ever to you since you weren’t paying any attention. But you pull back just in time.
“Pfffft- nice one!” America congratulates Italy.
The amber-eyed Italian bashfully asks, “You think so? It was pretty cool, right?”
You frown slightly, “That was playing dirty,” and cross your arms.
“London Bridge again,” America nods in agreement with himself and pulls out a box of strawberry Pocky from his right coat pocket. Italy opens up the soft pink strawberry packaging while you take the last chocolate Pocky from its home.
The mixture of the strawberry and chocolate flavors make your taste buds go wild.
You wonder if Italy is experiencing the same sensation…
Italy’s face is determined now, as if he wants more than anything to touch your lips, regardless of what he has to do.
You both attack the poor, delicious Pockys, disregarding the fact that they might not want to be eaten. But when you’re almost close enough to kiss him, he draws away. You stare in bewilderment, wondering what went wrong.
“Whoa! We’ve got a game changer!!” America hoots and pumps a fist in the air. Italy still smiles sweetly at you, as if nothing ever happened.
“Alright, now things get serious, guys!” The blonde pulls out another box of Pocky, this time it’s blue and white; it catches everyone’s interest instantly.
“I’ve never seen that kind before,” Italy gasps in awe.
“Everyone except for Japan and I haven’t seen it, I know. But trust me, it’s amazing. I swear, it tastes like England!”
“WHAT!? YOU BLOODY IDIOT—!” America laughs loud enough to drown out England’s cries of disbelief and anger. You ignore them and take the box from America. Unsealing it and looking down into the package, you see a brown end looking up at you. So you pull it out. The biscuit is coated in a snowy white, whilst the end looks brown like chocolate.
“Winter white,” Japan breathes.
Prussia rolls the name on his tongue. “Vinter vhite…?”
You hesitantly put the end in your mouth. The chocolate’s sweet, caked end makes your taste buds resonate and you can’t help but wonder if the white chocolate tastes the same or even better. The chocolate is thicker than the normal Pocky, making you curious. By looking at Italy’s face as he tastes the opposite end, it must be worthy of taking the plunge.
“It’s heaven, isn’t it? Alright then, ready…steady…go!”
Your teeth munch forward rather slowly, savoring the taste of the Pocky. Italy seems to be having the same issue. It’s almost as if a vanilla chocolate fairy bitch slapped you across the face and filled you with a flavor that you’ve never tasted before. And it takes a while, but you finally become within touching distance of Italy. You look at his face to find that his eyes are closed again while his eyebrows are raised, his lips basically puckering. So you creep up just a little bit forward, graze his lips and pull away.
“Italy wins again,” America jumps to his feet and cries melodramatically, “Will this be the final round!?”
Germany rolls his eyes while Prussia chants “KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS!!!!!Kese.”
France joins in so now they’re loud enough to count as everyone chanting KISS…even though they’re the only ones doing so. You shoot a dark glare over at Prussia and then gaze up at America.
“So what’s the next challenge?” you inquire.
“The San Francisco Bridge!!” America pulls out a gigantic box of Pocky from his endless pockets. This time, the box is rainbow colored and says “CANDY LOVE” across the front.
“Here’s how you do it; you both reach in and pull out two, so that you’ll have four in total—“
“—They know how to count you blasted idiot—!“
“—and you play it like the London Bridge, except the San Francisco Bridge is much better looking and more awesome.”
“You slimy git! How dare you insult—“
“Pick, pick, pick,” America holds the box out to Italy and then to you. Italy picks green and pink with great consideration, whereas you blindly pulled out brown and purple. America sits back down and opens a blue giant Pocky for himself. He chews it steadily while watching you two prepare.
“I wonder how this is supposed to work…?” Italy frowns slightly while trying to wrap the side of his mouth around your two.
“I have no idea,” You say, trying to do the same and feel like an idiot while doing so.
But Italy, with his arms braced against the ground, manages to fit them all, his mouth opened fairly wide. And now that the candy is steady, you can take them up. But with the way the Pockys fit, you feel as if you’ll choke trying to swallow them. However, there’s no time to question the American’s safety concerns, for he raises his hand high.
“On your marks…!”
You shift a little, trying to make yourself more stable. Your knees press against Italy’s. He notices this and attempts a smile at you but it looks ridiculous…and even a little sweet. You breathe in one good time through your nose and focus, wanting to win this.
You stare at the Italian, wondering what he’s thinking at this moment…
“Don’t choke and GO!!”
Italy bites down with his side teeth instead of the front, making the strawberry Pocky waver between your teeth and he wraps the other side of his mouth around the other three biscuit sticks expertly. You, on the other hand, rub your tongue against the Pocky ends with coating, making them melt away and leave a rainbow on your tongue. Then you are able to bite them away with your front teeth. You don’t want to choke. But your progress is slow and Italy’s is much more efficient; he clears the half-way distance within seconds and progressively continues onward.
You spot this and impulsively want to jerk away, but something anchors you down. Your eyes dart to the pressure. Italy’s hands are pushing down on yours with all of the strength he can muster, which, surprisingly, is more than enough to keep you from going anyplace else.
Your eyes widen as you realize how near he is. Italy is leaning closer and closer and closer, crushing your space bubble completely. You barely inch forward, but there just isn’t enough to take without hitting his lips. And besides, he’s taken more than half, which means you’ve already failed. But then, Italy halts his omnomnomnoming on the rainbow and closes his eyes slowly.
His lips are dangerously close to yours, and he could easily push them against yours if he wanted to, but why did he stop?
You grasp that the room has gone completely hushed. America observes you two with anticipation, forgetting to eat the blue Pocky that hangs out of his mouth uselessly.
Bit by bit, you decide to bite a little more, but then Italy mirrors you, taking in the exact same amount! You accept defeat and finish the job, making the last of the San Francisco Bridge disappear into your mouth while unifying your lips with his. Italy smiles and slides his hands further up your arms, pulling you closer and kissing you. And you take it; bubbling up inside and feeling like you’re going to explode into rainbow Pocky. He appears to love this even more than you are. He embraces you a little tighter. His lips—that taste deliciously like different flavors of Pocky—shift slightly, matching the movements that you hadn’t even noticed you were creating.And all the while, the room starts to gain noise; Prussia’s laugh, France exclaiming how proud he is, America’s hooting of encouragement, Germany’s sigh, Japan saying something quietly, and England’s scoff.
Italy unhurriedly pulls away from you, releasing his tight grip on you. He doesn’t say anything and he doesn’t have to.
“It’s a draw,” America shouts and spazzes. With your face ablaze, you stare at Italy, wondering what you should do next.
“D-do you want to break the tie?” He asks in his happy, friendly voice as he licks a bit of Pocky from his lips.
“Maybe we should—“
“No. The party’s over.” England interrupts you.
“Awww, don’t ruin the fun! Do you want to play again?!” America scrambles to his feet desperately, leaving sky blue Pocky crumbs on England’s floor.
The British man’s face turns scarlet. Tsundere!!Level UP! “I have never played that stupid game. And I’m sick of you soiling my carpet! The party’s over.”
“You’re no fun,” France calls.
“Will you shut up!? I don’t care to entertain you, froggy!”
“Whoa, calm your boner, bro.”
“WH-WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, YOU BLOODY DIMWIT?! I’LL CURSE YOUR ARSE TILL KINGDOM COME IF YOU DON’T GET OUT NOW.” With that, England stamps his foot on the floor and points to the door, his face looking quite serious in his horrid scowl.
“Come on, Italy, it’s about time we left anyway, we’ve got training in the morning.” Germany says and stands. Prussia groans and stands, too.
“B-but I want to stay with [Name]…” Italy whines.
“I’m not staying,” You say with a small giggle. “When England gets like this, the party is officially over.”
“Well, it isn’t late…do you want to hang out for a while?” Italy asks you hopefully. His eyes are still open and catch a bit of lamplight rays.
“Yeah, we can hang out,”
Germany frowns. “No more kissing, that’s enough for one night.”
“B-but—“Italy sniffles and grabs your hand tightly.
“Nein. [Name], we’ll take you home since it is dark out. You two can do whatever it is you kids do in the morning, after training.”
“You make it sound like you’re so old, West! If you’re old, that means that I’m old. I’m too awesome to get old!” Prussia makes his way for the front door around France and England who are brawling in the walkway while America cosigns.
You come to a stand at Italy’s side. He smiles at you cutely and pecks your cheek. Then he drags you out the front door, saying “Caio~” to America, France and England. The two Super Street Fighters probably didn’t hear him but America gives you all the “gotcha” fingers. You wave and America puckers his lips and moves them around in a grotesque manor, mocking the kissing scene. It really wasn’t like that, but you stick your tongue out at him anyways and pull the door closed tightly behind you.
“I want to have a party at my house tomorrow!” Italy sings dreamily, gazing up at the glittery night sky.
“JA! LET’S DO IT!! I’LL GET THE BEER AND—“Prussia agrees loudly. There’s a sound of discontent from Japan.
“Nein,” Germany puts his foot down in the calmest manor to date. The simple rejection is more effective than if he were to shout.
“Well, at least we had fun tonight,” You whisper to Italy.
He nods enthusiastically, looking like a kid in a candy shop. “I had a lot of fun, Pocky Queen! I get to be the Pocky King, right?”
“Sure, you can be the Pocky King.”
“Ve~! That means we’re married!”
“Yup! You can be the Pasta Queen, too!”
“Ve,” Italy locks his fingers in between your own, making a cage. And without actually knowing it, you smile.