In which Flightangel has given up all hope trying to establish a long story and is reduced to filling out short ones.
I am frightfully out of shape when it comes to writing. It is quite sad. In any case, I still found the will in me to write this short piece for a request on the hetalia_kink!meme. Spain and Romano are one of my favorite pairings, so I suppose I had enough motive.
Summary: In which one of France's more brilliant ideas leads to his imaginary asphyxiation. Spain/Romano
In which France has a Brilliant Idea...
...Lovino is in Denial
It wasn't really that attractive.
Then again, he disliked thinking anything belonging to a man was too attractive, instead choosing to feign nonchalance whenever someone even barely suave passed his way. It was—how was it? –unmanly, dammit, admitting other men good-looking, but he really couldn't help it. The bathrooms didn't allow too much personal space, after all.
"You like, cheri?" chattered that infuriating Frenchman over the phone, pride evident high in his voice. "I found it in one of my albums and scanned it in. And then I thought maybe you'd like to see it."
He ground his teeth, feeling the blood rush into his cheeks; it didn't take a mirror for him to know the exact hue of his face at the moment.
"Why the hell would I want something like this, you fucking pedo?" His voice was harsh and raspy, yet even under his—fluttering—control he couldn't hide the slight edge to his voice, that—stupid—wanting—tone—"Asshole."
Francis only laughed, and something in it made Lovino want to strangle him, to reach into that receiver and throttle him until those ugly manipulative Antonio-ogling eyes rolled up into his head and he collapsed. He would never do it, of course. It would mean actual conflict, actual fighting, and no matter how much bravado he had, the Italian knew somewhere inside that he would never be able to summon up the courage to do so.
He could fantasize about it, though.
"You are as cute as ever, mon lapin," that baritone voice sang from the other end, "but I must be going now. Enjoy yourself!"
En—Enjoy himself! He cursed colorfully into the phone despite knowing the other man had hung up, and, after slamming it down, stared madly at that image plastered over his screen with such a glare he was surprised it hadn't melted.
It had been a moderately good day.
That is, if dealing with his vacuous brother and that fucking potato-idiot-bastard-German with little more than a vicious glare and a boot out the front door was considered "good". Lovino was even considering dropping by Antonio's house for a bit, just to see if that bastard hadn't accidentally chopped off a finger or fallen off the balcony sleeping like he done a couple years back or something equally ridiculous, because God knows what the Spaniard was up to without Lovino looking after him—though, really, it was always the older man looking after the Italian, but he wasn't about to admit it—and, well.
He had decided to take a peek at his email, and therein lay his dilemma.
It was gorgeous.
No—it wasn't, not really, not as good-looking as his, because—well—it wasn't that great. There wasn't anything that could compare to a curvaceous female behind, he knew that. But this would come pretty damn close.
Perfect, muscular contour—lovely white pants, lighting just so—it made him drool.
It was because of the pasta in the kitchen, he had convinced himself, because he had just finished cooking when he had decided to get in touch with his technological side. Antonio was never disappointed in his cooking. It was because the Spaniard had somewhere sometime become too lazy to cook, Lovino had grumbled to himself once when rolling out the flour, and if he didn't come and drop in with food every now and then the older man would probably die of starvation.
(Never mind the countless times Antonio had arrived at his door step with paella and embutidos and jamòn cerrano and hmmmm, arroz con leche, laughing and inviting his former charge to a Spanish dinner. He only ever went along because Lovino felt sorry for that idiot bastard, who couldn't even eat all his cooking by himself—never mind that the Italian liked these dishes, that these were the kinds of things Antonio had served to him when they had been living together, all those years ago—it wasn't as if he wanted to.)
But he was digressing.
It was gorgeous, and he couldn't look away, and dammit all Francis had sent it—he knew it, that pervert; only he would be sending out emails of people's behinds on the world wide web—and that wasn't even the worst part.
It was Antonio's ass.
He didn't know what frightened him more: the fact that he thought it was gorgeous, or the fact that he had recognized that flawless piece of ass. Did he really look at that kind of thing that often?
(No, it was not gorgeous nor flawless, his damn mind was tricking him—it was Antonio's! Stupid, idiot, bumbling, Antonio, with those dark curls so soft and fine, bronzed skin, beautiful smile, warm chest, so comforting to press against—and these were all objective observations, mind. He was an idiot, and Lovino wasn't stupid enough to spare some care for an idiot).
"You like, cheri?"
No, no, he didn't like, he never would. Antonio, the bumbling idiot, was not attractive. Neither was his behind.
The stupid man laid about his bed all day sleeping—he slept too much, Lovino would think whenever he fretted, too much, as if trying to escape from reality, shouldn't he wake up?—and picking his nose, and scratching his (lovely, God-given, most likely bronzed and shapely—no, no, no, this was wrong, dammit!) ass while stirring stew in the morning.
His face was hot to the touch now, Lovino knew, his hands clasping his cheeks as he stared at the picture, still unable to tear himself away. Damn Francis.
It angered him, suddenly, knowing that that Frenchman had had this delicious—no, not delicious—picture hidden in that rather dirty photo album of his. He could feel himself tensing, lips thinning in a line, thinking of Francis crouching down behind Spain, no doubt distracting that oblivious bastard with some talk of saving the world or some other ridiculous notion, camera zooming on in that perfect shape, drooling as he did so—
No, he would not be drooling.
Because Antonio's ass was not attractive, and if Lovino didn't look somewhere else soon he swore his eyes would burn into ashes (because it was so ugly he could barely stand it, not because it was so hot he couldn't keep the blood out of his face, not because it enticed him, beckoned at him and—God, this was so wrong).
The pasta was probably cold by now.
The idea of reheating the dish was so unacceptable Lovino decided not to visit Antonio at all (not because he wouldn't be able to keep a blush off his face, not because he wouldn't be able to not glimpse at that behind all throughout dinner—) Let the asshole starve himself to death, see if he cared.
In fact, he was so resolved in this course of action he was shocked when he heard the front door click open, and a voice sing out: "Lovi, are you in?"
Time stopped. Literally.
He wasn't sure if it was because the man was here interrupting him or the fact that he was here that made his heart stop, face redden, hands tremble (goddamn it, they weren't trembling, he was manlier than some stupid sissy trembling, no, no). Because that voice was unmistakable.
He whirled back to his screen and minimized everything within reach, because dammit all if he was going to let him see what he was doing, though it was all his fault because what the fuck was he doing in his house at this hour—never mind he was about to drop by his house, but he'd given up on that after the pasta went cold, he'd went over this—
(Go away, go away, damn blush—but it wasn't fading, that red tinge that reached up to his ears, and he knew this but couldn't hide it and—and—he was too big to fit under the bed. It was the damndest thing, the most fucking worst thing possible, at this moment, thinking of this—it made him feel guilty, made his illusions more real—not that he had illusions. He couldn't even think straight. Goddamnit.)
"Go away, bastard!" He said sharply, because it was too annoying to deal with this right now, what with him trying to hide. Or at least pretend he wasn't here, that the pasta on the counter just happened to appear there, that the little traces of his presence around the house didn't give him immediately away. "I'm not here!"
There was a bit of shuffling, the pitter-patter of feet, and he stepped into the office, looking faintly puzzled at Lovino's strange reaction.
(Lovino, who was caught like a deer in headlights frozen at the computer, mouth open, eyes wide, looking increasingly incredulous and guilty and dammit go away right now).
His hair was tousled, shirt messily buttoned—it was buttoned wrong, a few holes here and there, and the chest revealed made the Italian's mouth dry, though really, not because of, well—and there was a tomato stain on his left pant-leg. A hand was casually tucked into a pant pocket, green eyes genuine as always—oblivious, oblivious, idiot, unsuspecting, stupid Antonio.
It was like a fairytale, the object of his fantasies—no, no, no, they were not fantasies, they were musings, because never in his would he fantasy about Antonio's ass because he just wouldn't—appearing suddenly out of the blue. Then again, perhaps it was just a cruel coincidence.
It was a common enough sight, the slightly ruffled looking Antonio. Yet when he managed to move his jaw again, Lovino said, shrilly (no, he was not shrilly, he was never shrilly, why was his mouth lying?)—"W-what are you doing here, dammit? How did you get in?"
The bastard dared to laugh, a soft chuckle that sent an excited chill up the Italian's spine—guilty, guilty, guilty, this was wrong—"I was just walking past and decided to stop by. And you never lock the door, Lovi. Are you alright? You look strange."
He was concerned, that stupid idiot, and he was walking closer, oblivious as always of Lovino's strange blushing gaze and figeting.
"I'm fine," the Italian said tightly. "Go away, you stupid bastard. I'm not here."
"Of course you're here."
He felt Antonio touch his shoulder, genuinely anxious, emotions so evident in his face. He was gentle, his hands slightly calloused from years in war and agriculture and work, and he could feel the texture through the cloth, imagine them running down his skin—
The younger man flushed.
"What's wrong? Lovi, is something the matter?"
Of course something was fucking the matter, dammit.
The image of the perfect behind flashed across his mind and he felt his entire body boiling, especially with Antonio standing right here, so close he was almost pressing against him, hand warm and comforting and—this was stupid and wrong, and damnit what was wrong with him? This was Antonio.
He slapped the man's hand away.
The Spaniard looked a bit stunned, if not slightly hurt. Lovino resolved not to let this bother him. "It's nothing! Don't barge into people's houses without permission, bastard. It's none of your business what I'm doing."
"But you were about to go to my house, weren't you?" Antonio pressed, and he leaned in to wrap his arms around Lovino, who immediately stiffened against him. He could feel his chest pressing up against his back, firm and strong and reassuring—how many times as a child he had hidden in Antonio's arms, not because he was afraid of something but because Antonio insisted on hugging him? The carefree Spaniard, who easily let him in his bed when the damn lightning kept him awake, who despite that uselessness of his was still somehow so comforting, who Lovino did not care about because—well, because—it was unmanly.
"I was not," he squawked, face no doubt a deeper shade of red than it was before (stupid, stupid, why was he so red?) "Why the hell would I want to visit a stupid bastard like you? Idiot! Dumbass!"
"But Lovi," He was teasing him, he could tell. There was a chuckle at the edge of his lips, his voice humming against him. He could feel the smile against his neck, the warm breath, the gentle words: Antonio's gestures only innocent (and that was what made him so guilty, but Lovino did not want to think of that right now), "Lovi, you only ever make that much pasta when you're visiting me. Don't you? It's so cute."
He couldn't deal with this goddamn attack anymore: he attempted to hurl himself off the chair and onto the ground, but despite his casual composure Antonio was still strong. He was laughing, that idiot, arms in a lock around his waist as unyielding as stone, even as the Italian felt his eyes grow a bit wet with embarrassment.
"But why are you so red, Lovi? Do you have a fever? The pasta was cold—why didn't come over right away?" Nosy, stupid nosy Spaniard.
"I just didn't feel like it!" He snapped, frantic. The younger man clawed against Antonio's arms, to no avail, trying to hide his face away from the other. "And it's no business why I'm red—I'm not, you jerk, you're just teasing me, dammit—!"
"No, no, I can always tell when something is wrong," Antonio did sound concerned, truthfully. Then again, the man was only ever honest and Lovino knew more than any other that it didn't mean anything (if only it did, but Lovino didn't care, because—)
"I said it's nothing!"
His head collided with Antonio's jaw so hard his head rung for a good moment afterwards. Surprised, either by the intensity of the attack or the fact that he'd attacked him in the first place, the older man loosened his hold enough to allow Lovino to scramble into the hall.
He grappled with the lock to his bedroom for a few moments while cursing violently, face so red, feeling so dirty—thinking all those thoughts of Antonio, with that idiot right there, the bastard, idiot France, it was his fault. After a few moments of trying to control his shaking (he wasn't shaking, dammit, he wasn't) he found his way into the small bathroom included in the main suite, splashed his cheeks with cold water and took deep, steady breaths.
He could hear Antonio knocking on the door, apologizing, asking Lovino what was wrong—everything, everything was wrong, dammit, why couldn't he see that?—and he sank into his covers, ashamed.
Ashamed because, the entire time Antonio was questioning him, touching him, asking him questions, he could only think of that picture, of that damn picture—and really, why?
...and Antonio actually has to make an effort
It was a good picture.
The right angle, that good lighting—it was impressing, especially since Antonio had no recollection of Francis ever taking such a picture of his behind, which wasn't that unusual as Antonio usually had no idea how anything was ever done. It wasn't a surprise anymore, finding strange images on the internet, because he knew of his own uselessness in detecting subtlety and, no doubt, he'd let France get a hold of his camera while he, the victim, was being distracted somewhere else.
It was so easy to be distracted. When it really didn't matter anymore—it really didn't matter.
This should bother you, Lovino had once shouted at him after finding pictures of a naked Antonio scattered all across the internet. The boy had been red, mouth thinned in a line, fists trembling by his side in that classic tantrum-like fit he'd throw every so often, and Antonio remembered being mildly touched by the cuteness of it all. Why don't you care, don't you have any decency?
It puzzled him, Lovino's strange obsession with keeping him locked away, private and innocent, when Antonio was, really, none of those things. He had committed a host of terrible acts in his pirate days—killed, raped, killed, pillaged, killed, enslaved, killed some more—and Lovino knew of these things, knew them as surely as he remembered Antonio stumbling back home one night, shirt drenched in blood, smiling wanly before collapsing in bed without sound.
He knew these things, and yet the Italian still tried to preserve some shred of Antonio's illusory innocence. The Spaniard found it adorable, really.
So the picture didn't worry him.
What did worry him, however, was Lovino, who at the moment had locked himself in the bedroom and had refused to come out for the past two hours. He'd begged, he'd chided, he'd attempted to pry the door open with a rusty screwdriver, and even attempted to call up Feliciano, but the younger Italian was off somewhere with his precious Ludwig, and, really, it would be terrible to interrupt them.
It was after traipsing about the house worriedly and rearranging some of the furniture—sloppily pushed aside every which way and no doubt something that would send Feliciano into tears—that he'd returned to the office, curious as to what had caused Lovino's strange case of forgetfulness. Thus, the picture.
"Lovi," he called out, cheek pressed up to the bedroom door, "Lovi, come out!"
A violent kick at the door from the inside answered him.
It was one of Lovino's more infuriating habits, locking himself up in his room. The boy—no, man, he was a man now, Antonio chided himself, but some recollection of a bed-wetting Lovino teased him on the side—had always been dodgy, never openly coming out with his issues, worrying the older man until he'd force an answer from the Italian or have it told to him slowly and carefully by a delighted Francis (who always seemed relatively happy whenever he and Lovino had some sort of spat; he probably fantasized it easier to snatch the younger country away, then).
What confused Antonio most at the moment was the fact that his Lovi was so embarrassed. It wasn't the first time he'd seen strange pictures of Antonio online—God knows how many naked pictures of him there were on there (how they got on there, he never really knew; no, he did, but it was too much effort to think about it)—and it wasn't the first time he'd seen Antonio in a compromising position, either.
Then again, his ass did look pretty fine in that picture.
Even he had to admire it for a good moment.
"Lovi, I know what you were looking at!" Might as well spit it out. He could imagine Lovino's shocked, blushing face behind the door, and the silence that responded to his declaration confirmed it.
"Loviiii—" Antonio leaned against the doorframe, feeling frustration tingeing his mood. The Italian had always been difficult, rambunctious, capricious, saying one thing and meaning another, yet Antonio really was having the most difficult time wrapping his mind around this new phenomenon.
"Lovino, why are you so embarrassed?" After a moment of thought, "Si quieres màs fòtos de mì, I can show them to you!"
"Who would want pictures of you, you idiot!" came a—embarrassed, guarded, defensive, vague—screech from the other side of the door.
He could imagine the other man crouched on the floor, face flushed crimson, his knees curled up to his chest protectively; he could imagine the slight tremble in his voice (he wasn't imagining that, actually) the slight yearning in those hazel eyes, because Antonio may be dense but he always knew somewhere that Lovino always looked forward to their visits to one another's houses; and he could definitely imagine the self-loathing the Italian was cursing himself with, for being weak and showing such an unflattering side of himself to the Spaniard (he didn't mind, really, because Lovino was never unflattering, but the Italian never did believe that).
It pained him, a bit, but that was just the way the younger man was. It was the way he always was, so guarded and mistrusting; without Antonio taking care of him, God knows what Lovino would be doing. Locking himself up in that house of his, maybe, sulking, his brother flouncing around Europe with little care for his more socially awkward counterpart.
It was a sad thought, something he pushed immediately from his mind whenever he happened to stumble across it. His Lovi deserved better than that.
"Do you not like me, is that it?" He called out, sounding as injured as possible (he was injured, a bit, a little—why didn't Lovino simply tell him what was wrong? Why was he still hiding? Didn't he trust him enough?) "I can tell Francis not to send pictures of me to you again. I can go away now, if you want?"
There was an uncharacteristic silence from the other side—guilty, he can sense Lovino's guilt, that silence, he's always been like that—and finally the other man spoke, voice uncertain: "No—no, that isn't it, stupid Antonio. It's nothing to do with that, okay?"
"Then what is it?" He asked, quite innocently. "It's okay, Lovino. Maybe you think my ass looks good? It does, in that picture."
Sputtering and protests flooded in from the other side, and Lovino responded, after a moment of unintelligible curses: "W-what are you talking about? You're ass is ugly! You have the ugliest ass I've ever seen! Who wants to see your ass?"
"It's a very nice ass, though! It's perfectly understandable," He was very serious, ignoring the other's protests because the Italian was always protesting, always hiding, and frankly he could tell the lie in his voice. "If Lovino likes my ass, then that's fine."
"I don't like your ass!" the Italian warbled back (he was lying, he knew). "Go away! I want you to go now!"
He was probably red, red like those tomates they both loved so much, hair untidy and face scrunched up in dissatisfaction. He was adorable in any scenario, cute, someone whom Antonio itched to wrap his arms around and snuggle with all day, but he was too "grown up" for that now, Lovino. It saddened him, really—he missed the boy curled up against his side, holding his hand when he was frightened, emotions flickering in earnest across his face whenever faced with a dilemma.
It seemed almost alien to him, Romano's sudden leanness, the obvious adult-aspect of those limbs that had once been so gawky and awkward. They had grown up too fast.
"But if you like my ass," He was persisting doggedly, ignoring the other once again, mind slowly activating the machinery of his brain—though there was no rush, really, because it wasn't as if Lovino could hide even further inside his room, and he had no intention of leaving—"Does that mean you like me? Hm? Do you like me, Lovino?"
"I—do—not!" he squawked, and Antonio was again startled by a kick to the door. The ringing silence after such a heartfelt declaration hung between them for a moment.
"If you like me," the Spaniard said, quite slowly, with consideration. "If you like me, I will be very happy. Because I like you too, you know."
(It was only the truth, because he had always loved his charge, exchanging food and visiting his house often. It was difficult to get the other to understand, probably because his heart was so large, so vast, it seemed silly to think it particular if he loved you as well, but he did. And Lovino was cute, with his tomato-face and loud voice, handsome face and talented hands, so feisty and untamed, though it bothered him a little, because he was his charge—like a son to him, and that was strange.)
Antonio heard the blessed sound of the door unlocking.
It swung open a crack, revealing the mussed hair of a fidgeting Lovino and those lovely hazel eyes of his, trained on the Spaniard with a suspicious glint.
"You bastard," he said softly, and Antonio laughed.
The bedroom was a mess. Feliciano would dissolve in tears if he saw those magnificent bed-sheets tossed every which way, the tabletop kicked askew, the blinds falling pitifully off of their nest. Lovino was a bit red-eyed though had a stern, determined look on his face, arms crossed protectively over his chest as he backed away from the Spaniard.
"I-It doesn't mean anything!" he finally burst out.
"What doesn't?" He was teasing him now, and they both knew it. Lovino attempted to skitter further away but something in those green eyes made him hold.
"The—" He broke off sharply, face flushing red—how it could get even redder, Antonio didn't know—"Well—you know! It's—well, really, it's only natural, dammit! And—well, it's not that great."
"Really?" Antonio took the unguarded stance to suddenly nuzzle up to the younger man (happy, it made him happy, to realize Lovino was flustered because of him, because Lovino still cared about him and yes, though he was denying it, he always was, and what he really meant was—); Lovino yelped when he felt an arm loop around his waist and, legs giving way, fell in a heap with the brunet onto the ruined bed.
Immediately curses flew out of his mouth, though he didn't make a real effort to push the Spaniard away—
(Even Lovino knew when to give up, really. Antonio was so persistent, so doggedly persistent, and he knew that was what Lovino thought of him, and he didn't mind. Pure, innocent—it wasn't innocent, they were long past that)
—and Antonio laughed, again, because that's what Lovino made him do:
"If you want, I can show it to you, Lovi," He was teasing him, again, because Lovino was the cutest when he was like this, confronted and flustered and in denial. "Then you can judge if it's natural or not, sì?"
The other man was quiet, mouth pressed in a thin line, so close to Antonio's own face he wanted to claim it in a kiss (but resisted, with great self-control). Jerking his head away, Lovino said, "Bastard."
He laughed because that was just who he was, and, leaning forward, allowed himself his kiss with those soft, stubborn lips.
End: In Which Francis Receives an Email
The email was short and abrupt. When Francis had merrily pulled up his browser—in the middle of brushing his hair and singing his favorite song under his breath, half-dressed and too-chipper for anyone, really—he'd been instantly alerted that his email to Romano had a new reply.
With a smart click, he pulled up the new message, and was pleasantly surprised when he realized he'd received a picture in return.
It was a tomato. It wasn't a remarkable one, not any more luscious or red or well-shaped as any other tomato. It was lying on an island counter next to a bowl of leftover pasta, a mess of sauce, everywhere, but still. It was a tomato.
Grinning wolfishly, he exited out of the browser and returned to brushing his hair.
If Antonio was replying Lovino's emails, something damn good must have happened last night.
- the Spanish dishes I listed don't really have any actual Italian connection... I just chose a bunch of common Spanish dishes I feel Antonio's most likely to make.
- On the same note, my Spanish is horrid. Please forgive me any mistakes I made in the sparse Spanish in this part- I-I didn't put any Italian into this piece, despite the spotty Spanish and French. Unfortunately, languages aren't really my thing.
- Predictable ending is predictable, but I hope this fill is still acceptable.
Thanks so much for reading this fill, if the ems and parenthesis and crazy tangents haven't discouraged you yet. My own style of writing drives me crazy. It was fun, though, since I am so out of practice a little Spain/Romano writing doesn't hurt.
And yes, dat ass is sexy.