Title: Galeotto Fu Il Libro, E Chi Lo Scrisse
Character(s)/Pairing(s): RomexPrussia (yes I am serious), Germany, Hungary.
Rating: Overall T+ with the exception of Part III which is NC-17
Summary: A chance encounter at a coffee shop leads to Gilbert becoming a protagonist in Rome's pornography novel – after that, well, it pretty much turns into a pornography novel. Rome/Prussia.
A/N: This was written for a friend of mine, because we both managed to make ourselves fall in love with this cracked pairing. Plus, this was sufficient procrastination from my exams. I hope you all enjoy.
Gilbert was well known to be an odd sort of guy by anyone who knew him. His brother, Ludwig, would say that he was horribly absent minded, forgetting to bring an umbrella or waterproof coat with him if the sky looked a bit grey, or if he was going out on a grocery shopping trip and didn't buy anything because he got distracted by street performers, or even losing the television remote when he had it in his hand moments before. His friend, Francis, would say that Gilbert had no sense of fashion whatsoever; with his neon green shoes, black and red checked scarf, faded blue jeans and a long sleeved coat open on a graphic tee of the day, Gilbert was a fashion abomination. His other friend, Antonio, would say that Gilbert was too friendly with beer and laughed at the strangest things – and cracked even stranger jokes that only he seemed to get.
His rival, Elizaveta, merely said that Gilbert was a depraved pervert.
All those things about him were true. Gilbert was absentminded, he was fashionably retarded, he did have an odd sense of humour and certainly, he was a pervert. But to him, all of those were unique qualities that made him an eccentric person. To him, being deemed insane by the general public was better than being a neurotic, anal retentive member of boredom like his brother.
How Ludwig had not died of high blood pressure related circumstances, it remained forever a mystery.
But the only downside was that being part of the eccentric population of society meant that Gilbert was usually barred from shops and cafés due to unfortunate misunderstandings. His favourite coffee shop, for example, had now banned him for life due to a little incident involving a barista, a bad morning, and a face being repeatedly smashed into a till. So he was now in search for another.
He trudged through the high street in his battered neon green shoes, idly looking from side to side as he searched for refuge in a good coffee shop that would accept him from the rain. He had no money, but he was certain that in one of the few coffee shops that had not yet heard of his awesome eccentricity they would let him loiter by the gurgling appliances that heated up water to dry off. Or lend him an umbrella.
Eventually, he found a small café at the end of the street. It had the friendly cosiness that all coffee shops aspired to have but somehow fell flat in their attempt. Gilbert grinned, pleased, and stepped into the small café, dripping water on the floor and looking about at the soft muted colours of the interior. Gilbert immediately gained a liking to the place.
He marched up to the small counter – everything in the place was small in some way, which added to the cosy atmosphere, the only exception were the large squashy leather armchairs crowding around their respective tables – and grinned down at a pretty brunette girl.
"I have no money, but you'll give me a coffee, ja." Gilbert phrased it as a roundabout demand, grinning wider as the pretty girl began to frown. She was obviously irritated and it amused Gilbert so he let out a small snicker before saying, "At least, let me stay here until I dry." He waved a hand at the window where the pouring rain was still thundering down, "You wouldn't want someone as awesome as me to get hypothermia, right?"
"I'm sorry, sir, but only paying customers can stay," the girl said, and even though she looked a bit irritated, she did look slightly sympathetic – or so it seemed to Gilbert.
Gilbert plunged his wet hands into his jacket and jeans' pockets, searching for some spare coins that would be enough to buy a small tea. But alas, he turned his pockets inside out and shrugged sheepishly at the girl. He found only lint and an old bus ticket in his pockets. "I'm skint."
"Then you can't stay here…" The girl began, but she was interrupted.
"I'll buy a coffee for the young man," a voice said behind Gilbert, and the albino turned to see who was kind enough to offer such a thing. It was a man who seemed to be in his early forties, with light stubble on his tanned cheeks and chin, and curly brown hair, with the corners of his tawny eyes faintly creased into a cheerfully kind smile.
Never before had anyone done something as insignificantly kind like that before, and with a wide smirk, Gilbert exploited it ruthlessly.
"Ah, you will? Great. So you can buy me a large black coffee then." Gilbert stepped aside for the Good Samaritan to purchase his coffee, "And maybe a muffin too."
The girl looked at him disapprovingly, but the man didn't seem to mind. The corners of his eyes crinkled more, and he gave a deep bass laugh that sounded very loud in the small coffee shop. "You're very demanding."
Gilbert grinned, baring his teeth, "I deserve the best."
The man laughed again, before turning to the girl and relaying Gilbert's orders even though she had heard them already. The girl just huffed and shook her head in exasperation, but went about her task. Gilbert inhaled deeply at the scent of fresh coffee that rose up minutes later.
"You forgot your umbrella?" The man asked, distracting Gilbert from the scent of coffee. He turned to the taller man, giving him a once glance over before addressing him, supposing that while he waited he may as well engage in conversation.
"I didn't forget, exactly," Gilbert shrugged his shoulders lightly, and lifted his pale fingers to peel where his checked scarf was clinging to his neck. "I didn't think I'd need an umbrella."
"I forget my umbrella," The man said, smiling at Gilbert with that strange, friendly expression. "Constantly. My friend reminds me before I go out to take one with me though."
"My brother does that," Gilbert scoffed, eyes sliding over to the counter at seeing the girl place a muffin on a small china plate while the coffee gurgled in it glass pot. "I still don't take one. It'll weigh me down."
"So you rely on the kindness of strangers?" The man asked in amusement.
"I rely on my charm to make strangers be kind to me," Gilbert parried, looking back at the man and his slightly crinkled eyes with a smug smirk. "It worked on you, ja?"
The man laughed – it was a nice rich noise, now that Gilbert was accustomed to the sheer deepness of it – and gave a slight shake of his head in amusement. Gilbert smirked just a bit wider, and turned to the pretty girl who called for their attention.
"Oh, that's a big cup," Gilbert noted in delight at the bowl sized cup of coffee the female barista put before him. He picked up the cup and the muffin and turned to go hunt for an unoccupied armchair – for the coffee shop, though not crowded, did have a few people.
The man stopped him though, "You can sit there," He pointed over at a comfortable looking armchair in the corner of the shop, a nice cosy looking spot, but the table it was set before had an opened laptop and an unfinished flapjack and coffee. "I'd like to talk to you some more."
Gilbert smirked in amusement at the friendly demand, but rolled his still wet shoulders into a shrug and made his way over there. He sat down, putting his coffee and muffin down on the space available, and took off his damp scarf so it wasn't attempting to strangle him so.
The man sat down with that wide – almost goofy looking, really – smile, ignoring his open laptop in favour of peering silently at his wet companion. Gilbert stared right back, taking a pointed sip of his coffee (with some manhandling as it was awkward to manage the bowl sized cup and look cool at the same time).
"My name is Rome," The man said after a pause.
Gilbert spluttered into his cup, and quickly put it down before he spilt the scalding coffee directly onto his lap. "Rome? Like, the city?"
The man just smiled at Gilbert's reaction. "Like the city."
Gilbert stared then snickered quietly, "You're a bit too old to fit in with the fashionable generation named after cities," He pointed out as he picked up his coffee again.
The man – Rome – merely smiled that wide, slightly goofy but at the same time endearing, smile and lifted his broad shoulders into a shrug. "My parents were ahead of their time in the field of fashion trends."
"Ah, so you were doing it before it was cool," Gilbert's wide grin softened into a relaxed smirk, and he fell silent, sipping his coffee.
Rome just chuckled lowly, and he turned to his forgotten laptop and tapped on the keys with his thick calloused fingers. Gilbert watched them methodically press the keys with idle curiosity, a companionable silence falling over the two strangers with only the gurgling of the coffee machines, the soft hubbub of the other occupants of the coffee shop talking, and the rain acting as background noise.
It was when Gilbert was picking out the chocolate chips from his muffin and eating them that Rome spoke again. "The rain doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon. Do you need an umbrella?"
Gilbert paused, blinking at the brunet man for a moment, before giving a wide, smug grin, "Ja. I do. You got one for me?"
"I have one. You can borrow it if you wish."
"You're so kind~" Gilbert mock-gushed, and ripped off a good chunk off of his muffin and popped it into his mouth. "What's the catch?"
Rome looked faintly bemused at the question, looking away from his laptop to smile slightly at the albino. "None. It's just that you're wet enough already. Going back out in those damp clothes would most likely finish you off."
"I have a strong resistance to getting ill," Gilbert sniffed as if offended, and tilted his nose up slightly. "But I will take the – there's no stupid design or pattern on it, is there?"
Rome turned and leaned down slightly to pick up the umbrella that had been lain down next to the armchair he was in. It was plain black. "No. No pattern or design."
"Then I'll take it," Gilbert said, holding out his hand and taking the black umbrella. He draped it over his lap atop of the checked scarf and smiled in a manner similar to that of a contented cat. "You probably won't get it back."
Rome shrugged lightly and turned back to his laptop with a small, pleased smile, "I frequent this place often," Was all he said as an answer.
Gilbert snorted and returned to picking his muffin into bite sized pieces. Nothing else was said between the two until Gilbert stood up to leave, smirking in a self-satisfied way and drawling a smug farewell.
"It was nice meeting you," Rome replied, smiling as Gilbert gave another mocking snort and exited the coffee shop into the rain with his borrowed umbrella.
It was clear, but slightly cold, day a week later. Gilbert whistled to himself as he strolled down the high street, hands buried into his pockets and a black umbrella hanging from his wrist by a thin but strong black cord. It bumped against his thigh rhythmically with each step.
He was going to meet that odd old man, Rome, to maybe return the umbrella. Why? Well, the main reason could be boredom. There had been nothing to do lately, especially as he had been banned from nearly every shop in town for being his unique, eccentric self, and that Ludwig was trying to goad him into getting a job by cutting him off financially. There were maybe other small reasons as well, but Gilbert did not bother thinking about those, and focused more on alleviating his boredom.
He retraced his steps from seven days ago, and almost missed the small coffee shop. He lit up when he saw it, and immediately entered into it, looking about with a wide smirk. His smirk faltered, however, when he did not see the tall, dark haired man sitting in any of the armchairs.
Lips tugging down into a slight frown, he spotted the same pretty girl at the counter from last time, and with swift steps he walked up to her.
"Hey, you seen that Rome guy today?" He asked before the female barista could ask what he wanted this time. People never liked him after first meeting for some reason, bar a rare few. He supposed that they didn't appreciate his eccentricity enough.
"Rome?" The girl – Gilbert looked at the nametag, "Giselle" – repeated. "Yeah, he was in earlier. You just missed him by an hour – why, did you want to mooch from him again?"
Gilbert's frown deepened, and he slipped the umbrella from his wrist and put it down on the counter. "You seem to know him. So you can give this back." And feeling incredibly put out, he turned away and stepped out of the coffee shop.
And right into the very person he had been looking for.
"Oh!" Rome's deep bass voice exclaimed in surprise, and before Gilbert could stumble to the floor in the most embarrassing way possible, the man's large hand gripped his arm tightly and steadied him. "What a surprise! I didn't hurt you did I?"
Gilbert shrugged his arm away and brushed himself off with a small frown, "Nein. I was just looking for you."
"Oh?" Rome smiled, looking pleased. "You were?"
"To give back your umbrella. I gave it to that broad, uh, Gretchen-"
"Ja, her. Well, yeah. So your umbrella," And for once, Gilbert's silver tongue failed him. He stood there awkwardly under Rome's wide goofy smile, unsure of what to say exactly, then shrugged and walked past him without another word.
"Thank you for returning it…" Rome called, the brunet pausing when he realised he did not actually know the name of this strange young man with neon green shoes and a checked scarf.
"Gilbert. And whatever. No problem." And without looking back Gilbert hurried down the high street until he stopped, realising that he had been heading in the wrong direction to home in his haste to get away.
Gilbert grumbled as he pushed the trolley through the aisle of the supermarket. He had to pick the trolley with the wonky wheel, didn't he? Growling he shoved the trolley so its wheel spun jerkily and he nearly pushed the death trap into a shelf of cheap DVDs.
Ludwig had landed him with grocery shopping, and all but stapled a shopping list to his sleeve so he wouldn't forget a thing. Gilbert was only obeying his younger brother's wishes because he had been bribed with money to carry out this quest. A month after placing the financial restriction on him, Ludwig finally took pity on him and offered to pay him for doing chores. It was all well and good, but he made the decision to demand extra for the torture this trolley was putting him through.
"And…" Gilbert muttered as he looked at the crumpled list in his hand, "Now, he wants laminating paper. A4…" He scowled and looked about, unfamiliar with the layout of the supermarket, and wandered about aimlessly. He didn't ask for help from the staff, he never did.
He found the laminating paper when he stumbled into the correct aisle, between the photograph printing paper and inkjet cartridges. Gilbert scowled when the only pack there was a compilation of A4, A3, and A5 sized laminating paper that cost an arm at most.
"Have to be awkward, don't you?" Gilbert picked up the pack anyway, and pushed the trolley out of the aisle into the next, consulting the list. "Vegetables…carrots and potatoes…ugh, cabbage? Ew…"
Looking up from the list in disgust at seeing cabbages on the list – he had a dislike for them after a somewhat traumatising event with a Russian called Ivan; he couldn't look cabbages, beetroot or vodka the same ever again – he found he was in the small 'library' part of the supermarket. On the left were the 'bestselling' books, and on the right were all the pulp fictions and pornography cleverly disguised as romance novels.
Gilbert went for the right.
He wasn't a reader normally, but with the banning from shops, lack of funds, and a television restriction (Ludwig had become a tyrant of the household), books were the last resort to entertainment. And if he had to read, it may as well be pornography.
He browsed through the bodice bursting romances, the overly cheesy romances, and the romances that didn't bother disguising the fact that it was just porn porn porn, and eventually came across one named "The Silver Fox". He read the blurb, and raised a brow at the fact that it openly admitted it was homosexual pornography.
Even more interesting was that the main character's name was Gilbert.
And even more interesting – when he turned the book over to see who the author was – was the fact that the person who wrote the book was called Rome Vargas, and that a quick flip through revealed that not only was this book barely a week old, the setting of the first chapter was very familiar.
Set in a coffee shop, in fact.
"Son of a bitch."
There was a perk in being friends with Elizaveta. Mainly being that whenever Gilbert made a house call, he always felt like a young lord with how the butler would usher him to a small but grand drawing room and offer him drinks while he waited. Of course, the butler always looked in disdain at his scruffy, obviously lower-middle class clothes, but Gilbert blissfully ignored that.
This time, however, he was a bit too irritated to smirk smugly as he normally did when entering Elizaveta's home (well, technically her husband, Roderich, owned the house, but Elizaveta ran the household so it was her house). He sat impatiently in the expensive looking sofa of the drawing room and pulled at a fraying thread from his scarf until his childhood friend-cum-rival entered with a faint frown.
"You're not here for money, are you?" She demanded as soon as she sat down across from Gilbert, her brows furrowed into a disapproving expression.
Wordlessly, Gilbert reached into his jacket and threw a small, obviously thumbed through book on the coffee table separating them as an answer.
Elizaveta blinked, then frowned even deeper as she leaned forwards to pick up the book. "What," she began as she turned the book over in her hands. The front cover was slightly creased with the title "The Silver Fox" on the front, and a picture of a pair of green shoes similar to those of Gilbert's. She looked at the author, Rome Vargas.
"Oh!" She exclaimed, brightening up, "He has a new book already?"
Gilbert's face twitched. "You know him?"
"Of course. He's a very talented writer," Elizaveta's cheeks pinked, and Gilbert wrinkled his nose at the slight faraway expression on her face. Yes, talented indeed, Gilbert thought, jiggling his knee in agitation. Very talented at writing gay porn scenes where the protagonist – Gilbert – gets fucked three ways to Sunday by a man who was described similar to Rome's own visage.
"You read his work?" Elizaveta asked once she returned to reality, giving her friend a curious look like she never seen him before. Immediately Gilbert caught the insinuation, and with an indignant flush – that went right to the tip of his ears – he snapped a "No!" and pointed at the book in her hands.
"Read the beginning," He ordered.
Elizaveta looked affronted, but did not dish out a violent and painful punishment. She opened the book and scanned through the first chapter. She then looked up at Gilbert with a small smile. "It's only a coincidence," She laughed, obviously thinking that Gilbert was annoyed at the shared name and odd likeliness between him and the character.
"No, it's not. You see, that? The beginning? Happened to me," Gilbert's expression darkened, "I met Rome exactly like that."
"You met Rome?" Elizaveta got a disturbingly fanatical gleam in her eyes, and Gilbert unconsciously leaned back in his seat. "What was he like?"
"Like the character Julius."
Elizaveta paused, and looked down at the book. Then everything clicked, and she looked up at Gilbert's disgruntled expression with a look that clearly said she was holding back laughter. "I suppose he took a liking to you."
"I don't think it was just a liking."
Elizaveta gave a very unwomanly snort of laughter, and flipped through the book until she came across the first sex scene in the book. She let out another snort, and Gilbert began to flush in indignation again. "It's not funny!"
"Oh, but it is," Elizaveta giggled, then cleared her throat and assumed a breathless, submissive voice, "O-Oh, oh, it's…it's so big…!"
"Elizaveta!" Gilbert barked, scandalised as she read out the dialogue and leaned over to try and snatch the book from her hands. Elizaveta merely tugged it out of his reach and continued reading, her voice trembling from the effort of not bursting into laughter.
"-moaning in pleasure, his nails digging into Julius's back, "Nngh~ yes, please, more!" Gilbert gasped, bucking-"
"Stop reading it you perverted bitch!"
"Julius!" Gilbert cried-"
"Gah!" Gilbert managed to snatch the book back and shoved it deep into his jacket with a scowl of embarrassment. "Bitch."
Elizaveta was far too amused at how red her friend had gotten to smack him for the insult. "You're reading too much into it," She laughed after they settled back down into their seats. "He probably already had the story written before meeting you…you just offered the…last bits of motivation."
"Like my name and appearance?" Gilbert grumbled, "Because I sure as hell don't act like…" He reddened again and scowled, "That."
Elizaveta smiled teasingly, "If you say so…"
"Oh, shut up," Gilbert snapped, seeing the smile, "This is creepy."
"It's just a coincidence and funny," Elizaveta laughed, "Stop being so arrogant in thinking that he saw you and suddenly had to write a book about his sexual fantasy he had immediately after meeting you. He just used you as inspiration."
"As if that makes me feel any better," Gilbert muttered, although his pride was slightly stoked at being used for inspiration – then he remembered that it was for porn where his character was a submissive gay man, and his pride soured.
"If it annoys you so much then find him and tell him," Elizaveta smirked, "I mean…you probably have his phone number or something, right?"
"Nein, I didn't think-" But Gilbert paused, and remembered that little coffee shop he hadn't been to since last month and stood from the sofa. He was still burning with vexation, and right now, the suggestion of finding Rome and showing him exactly on how he felt in being inspiration in person was very tempting.
"Before you go!" Elizaveta said, standing up with Gilbert, "Can I have that book?"
Gilbert glared, but obligingly threw the book at Elizaveta who quickly caught it before it hit her in the face. "Don't mention it to me ever again," Gilbert snapped as he stormed out of the drawing room, startling a passing maid from her cleaning.
Elizaveta chuckled, shaking her head and sitting back down, cracking open the book. Roderich was currently having one of his musical practises, so she had plenty of time to see exactly how Rome wrote Gilbert.
"Gilbert was a man who was always the opposite of 'normal'. If normal was to be polite, he would be rude; if normal was to blend in, he would wear bright green shoes and mismatched socks…"
Gilbert stormed into the coffee shop like a human hurricane. He flung open the door, stomped in, and stood at the doorway for a moment, ignoring the wide-eyed stares of the patrons of café as he stood there with flaring nostrils and narrowed eyes. He spotted his target – sitting in the same armchair as before – and made a beeline to him, his anger flaring up at how tawny eyes crinkled slightly in oblivious amusement when they landed on him.
"Bad day?" Rome asked, smiling that stupid smile (how he thought it attractive and endearing before he didn't know) of his.
Gilbert seethed silently for a few seconds, then snapped, "You wrote a book about me."
Rome blinked. "Ah?"
"You heard me! The Silver Fox or something!" Gilbert hissed, barely keeping his voice at indoor volume. People were already attempting to eavesdrop in their conversation.
Enlightenment came to Rome then, and he "ahh"d softly, nodding and smiling again at the obviously furious German, "Did you like it?"
"Like it?" Gilbert's voice pitched slightly, "You made me into-" And realising the fact that he was making a scene – and for once did not want a scene – he sat down across of Rome and leaned forwards, lowering his voice, "You made me into a submissive little bitch in it!"
Rome frowned slightly, "Did I? I'm sure I didn't…"
"You did!" Gilbert insisted, and flushed as he remembered the sex scene. Now, he can get behind a good sex scene, no matter if it was straight or homosexual, and the sex scene in "The Silver Fox" was very well written, but the fact that it was him embarrassed him to near swooning. He finally knew how Ludwig felt whenever anyone mentioned the word "sex" around him.
Rome just smiled at him after a moment, "Did you actually read it? I don't think Gilbert was submissive at all. He was quite the spitfire in my opinion."
"Not in the sex scene!"
"Did you think he was submissive because he bottomed?" Rome asked, sounding genuinely surprised at this, "That isn't-"
"Anyway," Gilbert interrupted, "I want to know why you…why you put me down in that!"
Rome still had that wide, simple smile on his face, "I already wrote the character, but I still had trouble over the name and his appearance Then you came along…you fitted him perfectly." He shrugged, "I'm sorry if you thought it was personal."
"Sounds a bit too coincidental to me," Gilbert snapped abruptly, his German accent, which had been thickening as the conversation dragged on, was now almost making him incomprehensible in his agitation.
"But that's all it was," Rome said, smiling a bit wider, "A very strange coincidence."
"And pigs fly," Gilbert practically snarled, banging the heels of his palms on the table separating them, and making the cup of coffee on it bounce slightly.
Rome was silent for a moment, staring at Gilbert's scowl and narrowed crimson eyes. Then his wide smile softened into a very small, but somehow different, smile and said, "Your accent is very cute."
Something in Gilbert snapped.
He punched Rome right in his stupidly smiling face.
Gilbert discovered that he was now banned from every café in town.
Ludwig said he was disappointed in him for losing his temper again – why couldn't he just be normal for once? Gilbert always scoffed in response to Ludwig's age-old lecture on acting normal and restraint, but this time it almost hurt a little. Ludwig looked genuinely embarrassed to have him as a brother, which didn't help any with the foul mood he was in.
So it was with a curt bark of "shut the hell up" and throwing on his jacket that he left the house, storming down the street to the closest park, upon which the threw himself on the first bench he came across and glowered. He must've been exuding a massive amount of anger and foulness since everyone gave him a wide berth, not even daring to walk on the path in front of him.
Fuck them. He didn't care.
As he began to cool off, however, he noticed that it was quite cold out, and he only took his thin jacket that was more for temperate days than the biting chill that he was suffering from now. He growled and jammed his hands under his armpits, trying to keep them warm as his breath puffed out before him in angry bursts of white.
"You look cold," A very unpleasantly familiar voice said, and Gilbert looked up from his green shoes to Rome standing over him.
The man was well equipped for the cold, in a thick coat and a red scarf with red gloves to finish the ensemble. He was also holding a steaming cup, filled with a wonderfully hot beverage. What Gilbert would do for that hot cup right now.
"You look beat up," Gilbert retorted sharply, nodding with a small vicious smirk at the vivid purple bruise overtaking Rome's left cheek. Rome only smiled – somewhat painfully – in response.
"You have a very good left hook," He laughed sheepishly, and smiled wider, "Is this seat taken?"
"Oh, too bad," Rome looked sincerely put out by the rejection, but he immediately perked back up and held out the steaming cup. "A peace offering," He said as Gilbert just squinted at him suspiciously.
"What is it? It's not tea is it?"
"Hot chocolate. With cream and marshmallows."
"…" Damn. How did Rome know his one true weakness? "You can sit down for ten minutes."
Rome beamed, and as he sat down he passed the cup over to Gilbert's frozen hands, giving him a slightly concerned look. "You don't have gloves on you? Or a better coat?"
"I left home in a hurry," Gilbert snapped, nursing the cup between his numb fingers and trying to warm them back into feeling.
Rome wisely said nothing else on that. "Is it warming you up?"
"Ja," Gilbert wrenched the lid off of the cup – he loathed those lids – and carelessly tossed it over his shoulder. Lifting it to his lips, he swiped his tongue over the cream settled atop of the hot chocolate and got some on the tip of his nose somehow. He wiped it off. "So what's the reason of his peace treaty?"
"I just felt bad for upsetting you," Rome said with a sheepish smile and rubbing the back of his head. "It wasn't anything personal."
"It's still creepy."
"Ah, well, perhaps from a certain viewpoint…" Rome's smile faltered slightly at Gilbert's coldness, but firmed it after a moment. "It is a coincidence. You were just so much like my character that I had to, well, name and make him look like you."
"You could've asked," Gilbert frowned; flexing his fingers around the cup as feeling began to rush into them. "It was weird reading myself get hit on by…"Julius"," Here, Gilbert gave Rome a narrowed look that clearly said he knew who Julius was supposed to be.
Rome fell silent at that, and Gilbert turned back to his hot chocolate. He took a sip, "You make much money writing porn all day?"
The man blinked at being addressed, and his smile widened in happiness, "I don't make millions, but enough to get by."
"The most awesome job in the universe…" Gilbert muttered into his hot chocolate. "Think I can get in on it? It's annoying being Bruder's slave in exchange for money."
"Wouldn't that make you his servant?" Rome corrected in slight amusement, and reclined back against the bench. He obviously thought he had been forgiven for his 'transgression'.
"He doesn't pay me enough to be a servant. I'm his slave." Gilbert grunted insistently, and squinted at Rome. "Your ten minutes are almost up. How hard is it writing porn?"
"Good pornography needs writing experience," Rome said, "And the readers are interested in the romance too. How good are you at writing?"
"I dunno. I was told I was very creative when I wrote an essay about Jane Austen," Gilbert smirked in fond memory of that paper in secondary school English literature. He only took that class because Ludwig urged him to. "I outlined a perfectly good theory on why she was a time-travelling space-whale scrubber sent from the year 2095, and was also England's most sought-after prostitute. Does that count as good writing?"
Rome erupted into laughter, tilting his head back as that deep bass laugh echoed around them. "Honestly?" He chuckled, the corners of his eyes crinkling.
"Honestly, honestly. The teacher pitched a fit about it. As if I care what Jane Austen did or wrote or whatever." And Gilbert paused, realising he was being friendly against the man he was supposed to be furious with, and scowled. "Anyway, it shouldn't be that hard to shoulder into the porn industry."
"It isn't only about the porn," Rome said with a small smile, "The romance is what's wanted as well."
"You mean those gay "I love you with all my heart" speeches?" Gilbert wrinkled his nose.
"They don't have to be like that," Rome explained. "There're different ways of proclaiming your love to someone."
"Poems, songs or notes?" Gilbert grinned, raising a silvery eyebrow at the older man.
Rome grinned back, and shrugged his broad shoulders, "Those, and others. It depends on the person."
"Mm. Well, your ten minutes are up. Shoo."
Rome obediently stood, but remained for a few minutes more. He pushed his hand into his pocket, and held out a spare pair of green gloves. "That hot chocolate won't keep your hands warm for much longer."
"I won't be able to give them back. I'm banned from your favourite coffee shop." Gilbert said – but took them anyway and put the cup down between his legs as he pulled the first one on.
Rome smiled and shrugged, "You'll get them back to me somehow." And then he left, humming something softly as he walked down the park path and out of sight.
"Crazy ass pervert," Gilbert muttered as he pushed his other hand into the gloves, and paused. He frowned, pulling his hand back with a crumpled up piece of paper between his fingers. He put it down quickly, pulling the glove on, and picked it up again, smoothing it out.
When you want to give them back: 01248 910 875
Gilbert stared at it, and then crumpled it up, intending to throw it over his shoulder like the lid. But, he kept a hold of it. After a moment, he shoved it into his jacket pocket and picked up his hot chocolate, taking a sip from the now lukewarm drink.
"Son of a bitch," He muttered, staring down the path where Rome had vanished. "What would he have done if I did bring my own gloves?"
Gilbert had decided to become a writer after that.
It was all well and good in deciding this, but when he had stolen Ludwig's work laptop a week later and easily solved the password (It was "Aster" for fuck sake, their pet dog), he realised that he had no idea what to write.
He stared at that blank document for an hour until it was burned into his retinas, and then he closed the laptop and hid it under the sofa – claiming to Ludwig when asked about its whereabouts that he had sold it to some desperate university student for money.
Ludwig had banished him outside then, and threw a sandwich at his head.
Gilbert ate the sandwich as he roamed the streets, bored out of his mind and peeking up at the darkening sky. It was almost twilight, the sky splashed with pink and gold and if Gilbert was a poetic person, he'd spout some flowery shit on how it looked like the sky was on fire. Instead, he thought that it looked like someone spilt paint all over the place.
It was when he was patting through his pockets for money, to see if he could see a movie or something (through luck he had not been banned from the cinema yet), and came across a crumpled piece of paper. He smoothed it out between his green gloved fingers, and stared at the name and phone number on it.
Oh, he forgot he had this.
He toyed with the paper for a few minutes, and then made his way to the closest payphone. He had enough money for that at least, thankfully, and he slotted in the coins before punching in the numbers. He leaned against the grimy, graphitised glass of the phone booth and stared at an ad for a sexy girl hotline while it rang.
He may give them a call afterwards.
Gilbert blinked at hearing Rome's voice over the phone, and was silent for a moment, suddenly struck with how he had no clue what he was going to say. Rome repeated his greeting (Salve? Was that…Italian or something?), sounding a bit confused, and Gilbert decided to just wing it, like he did with everything in life.
"Gimme an idea!" He barked into the phone, and immediately resisted the urge to smash his head into the grimy glass at the stupidity of it. What the hell?
Rome had similar thoughts. "Excuse me? What- Gilbert?" He recognised the voice, and gave a small confused laugh, "What are you talking about?"
"I decided to do what you do. For money. But I don't have an idea on what to write, so give me an idea. You owe me one, old man."
"I can't just give you an idea!" Rome laughed, and Gilbert could almost see the dark haired man's eyes crinkling in amusement as he did so. "You need an inspiration. Think of something that's happened to you once, experience is a good starter."
"Experience?" Well, Gilbert did lead an interesting life of being banned from shops and living under the tyrannical rule of his brother (he knew he was being unfair there, Ludwig worked two jobs and did all the house chores, but he was still an unforgivable stiff). "Ja, that can work…"
"There, see?" There was a pause, then Rome asked in a somewhat casual tone, "Is that all you called for?"
"Well," Gilbert began but didn't finish. He looked out of the phone booth, where nightfall was beginning to claim the sky, and drummed his fingers atop of the phone where the gloves muted the noise. "Want your gloves back?"
"Do you want to give them back?"
"Hey, answering a question with another question is rude," Gilbert grinned, turning away from the glass to stare at the sex hotline. Now that he was looking closer at the blonde woman sexily posing on the poster, she didn't seem his type. Shame. He liked brunettes.
"My apologies," Gilbert could almost see the amused smile on the dark haired man's face, "Yes, I would like them back…but only if you want to."
"Which means you don't want them back."
"I didn't say that…"
"I'll bring them back then," Gilbert laughed, not even knowing what he was saying anymore. "Where do you live?"
"If I tell you should I expect something unpleasant to turn up on my doorstep?"
"The only thing turning up on your doorstep is me and your gloves," Gilbert drawled, rolling his eyes at Rome's very mild caution. Although the thought of leaving a flaming doggy bag on the older man's doorstep was very tempting… maybe some other time. "And if you think that's 'unpleasant' then don't expect anything."
"In fact, I think it would be very pleasant. Wonderful, even."
"Flattery will get you nowhere. Now, your address."
The interior of Rome's apartment seemed to be a mix of a museum and a study – until you hit the kitchen, then it was like the man had stolen a tiny coffee shop and fixed it into his apartment. The whole place smelt like coffee and spices, and Gilbert could not help sniffing now and then as he stood in the middle of Rome's crowded living room.
There were the sofas and the armchairs, and the coffee table, television set and the bookshelves, but it was crowded because the room actually wasn't big enough to accommodate them. The bookshelves were wedged so tightly together they seemed to loom over the living room, and squash the television – and they held no books. They were filled with ancient looking heirlooms of rusted swords, amulets, brooches or even scripts. Gilbert spotted some Latin, and presumed Rome to be a bit of a Roman freak.
"A bit of a history buff, huh?" Gilbert asked as he leaned down to pick up a pornographic magazine on the coffee table and shoved a few books off of the sofa to sit down. He opened the magazine and quirked a brow. Well, those were obviously fake…
"My Roman ancestry interests me!" Rome called back from the kitchen, and minutes later he returned with two cups of coffee. "And I have a lot of spare time. Oh, that's my favourite edition."
Gilbert paused mid-flick of the page, and closed the magazine before tossing it aside. "You know I'm only here to return these," He held out his still gloved hands, "Not sit around and have coffee."
Rome smiled as he put the cups down on the coffee table, and carefully moved a pile of romance books off the armchair to sit down. "I'm sure you have time to have one."
Gilbert did. "Whatever."
There was silence for a while then. Gilbert drank his coffee, still keeping the green gloves on, and Rome drank his own coffee and smiled. The room got quite hot after Gilbert got through half of his coffee, and he tugged off his scarf and opened his coat. "Do you have a furnace hidden somewhere?"
"No." Rome chuckled a little, "It's because you've bundled yourself up like that. You'll be cooler if you take your coat off."
"You just want to see me strip, pervert," Gilbert accused, but he took his coat off anyway. He felt a little exposed without it, as he never really took his scarf and coat off unless in the comfort of his own home, but he took another sip of his coffee – it had a strong but addicting taste, he couldn't place it – and ignored it.
"I do. From what I see you have a beautiful figure," Rome said once the coat was off, nodding to Gilbert's slender body.
Surprised by this statement, Gilbert choked on his coffee and spent a minute discreetly coughing into his hand to clear his airways. "W-What?" He gasped, and wisely put the coffee down.
Rome had half risen out of his seat, probably concerned about his guest choking to death, and reluctantly sat back down again on his armchair. "You have a beautiful figure." He repeated.
"Yeah, I mean, I heard that," Gilbert snapped, sharply waving a hand as he gave a final cough. "I mean…what? What type of thing is that to say?"
Rome looked unsure on how to respond, "…A nice thing?"
Gilbert stared, "A nice thing."
"A nice thing – and the truth."
"…Couldn't you have used…"sexy" or "hot" at least? Beautiful…" Gilbert shook his head, pressed his gloved fingers to his temples in an action eerie similar to Ludwig, before picking up his coffee. "Nevermind. Let's just ignore the creepy moment."
Rome just smiled quizzically, and after another lapse of silence, he asked; "Do you like the coffee?"
"Ja. Nice." An understatement. It was glorious, far better than that paint stripper his brother always bought from the shop. He looked about the bookshelves full of the old Roman antiques, and after another sip of coffee said casually, "So, why didn't you become a historian or something if you like history so much?"
Rome's face brightened, "I was too lazy."
"…Too lazy?" Gilbert repeated, giving Rome an amused look before he grinned, "Fair enough."
"I suppose you understand that?"
"Laziness? Ja, of course I do," Gilbert's grin widened, "I'm lazy too."
Rome gave that booming laugh, "Well! Birds of a feather flock together!"
The laughter was infectious, and Gilbert couldn't hold back a snicker of his own as he swirled the remains of his good Italian coffee in its cream mug. "Then again, lazy or not, you make a living. I'm too lazy to hold down a job."
"You wanted to do what I do though?"
"Well I can take as long as I want with that, ja?"
"Well, there are deadlines…" Rome began, but didn't elaborate as he watched Gilbert drain the last of his coffee. "Want another?"
"Ja," Gilbert answered, handing the empty coffee mug over to Rome. He pulled at the green gloves on his hands while Rome made a fresh batch of coffee, and peeled them off when the older man returned.
"You wanted them back?" Gilbert held them out.
Rome smiled, put the coffee down on the table, and then wrapped his large hand around Gilbert's holding the gloves. Gilbert frowned. "You can keep them."
Gilbert felt his cheeks warm, and perturbed he said "Okay" and pulled his hand back slowly. Rome merely smiled at him and sat down, sitting back-straight in his chair and folding his large hands in his broad lap. Gilbert pulled the green gloves back on even though they made his palms sweat.
"So," Gilbert said after a long pause, and he picked up his coffee. "It's getting late."
Rome's brown eyes shifted to his wristwatch, "It is. Shall I walk you home?"
"I'm not a defenceless maiden," Gilbert muttered sharply, and took a sip of that glorious coffee before lowering it and suddenly pulling on his scarf and coat. "Well," He said, and stood as he zipped up his coat. "Thanks for the coffee I suppose."
Rome looked put out as he stood, "It was no trouble."
"And thanks for the gloves," Gilbert said, already stepping around the sofa and over a pile of books to the living room doorway. He heard Rome follow him to the door, but he didn't wait to be politely led out; he opened the door himself and stepped out onto the front doorstep which was bathed in an orangey glow from a nearby streetlight.
"No trouble," Rome repeated, smiling and looking a bit like a confused puppy. "Are you sure you don't need me to accompany-"
"I'm fine. I said that, didn't I?" Gilbert rolled his eyes and stepped off the doorstep. Rome moved as if to unconsciously follow him. "I'll see you when I see you, I guess."
"You have my phone number," Rome reminded him.
Gilbert didn't reply – he was already walking down the street back home.
"Gilbert," Ludwig said sternly.
Gilbert groaned into his pillow. "Go awaaaay, Bruder."
"Not until you get up," Ludwig growled, pinching the bridge of his nose firmly to squeeze away the impending headache. "It's past two in the afternoon, Gilbert! At least move!"
"I am moving," Gilbert muttered, even though his body remained a prone lump under his thick duvet. "I'm flipping you off from under the covers as we speak."
"Gilbert," Ludwig hissed, "Get. Up. And out of this…this rut you're stuck in. You're acting like a pining widow."
"I am not."
Ludwig's eyebrow twitched and he gripped the ends of Gilbert's mattress and hoisted it up. Gilbert squawked as he rolled and tumbled out of his bed in a tangled mess of blankets and pillows, and Ludwig lowered the mattress and placed his hands on his hips.
"Gilbert, this has to stop," Ludwig sighed suddenly, walking around the bed to help his cursing brother unwrap himself from the blankets. "For a week you've been shuffling about looking like Francis took the main lead in the school play from you again."
"Tch!" Gilbert growled, flailing his arm when it was free and almost smacking Ludwig on the nose. "One! The director was biased. And two! I have not been 'shuffling' about!"
"Forgive me," Ludwig drawled dryly, yanking the blankets roughly from Gilbert's legs and standing up, throwing the blankets over the bed and making his brother's bed for him. "You've been pouting in bed – the only time you crawl out is to use the bathroom or eat. My mistake."
"I don't pout, shut up." Gilbert grumbled, climbing to his feet and running a hand through his heavily dishevelled hair. "I've just been feeling…melancholy lately."
Ludwig's eyebrow arched.
Gilbert scowled at him, "You're not the only one that gets to mope about the house."
"Whenever I 'mope', you end up smacking me over the head with one of your pornographic DVDs and ask if I "want a good time"," Ludwig deadpanned, tucking the blankets neatly over the edge of the mattress.
"Actually, the bestiality DVD was yours," Gilbert smirked. His shot aimed true and Ludwig flushed.
"No matter," Ludwig said with all the dignity he could muster and gave Gilbert a stern look, "Get out of the house. You haven't been out at all this week."
"It's cold," Gilbert protested without much effort.
"Then put on a coat," Ludwig snapped. "Phone one of your friends or something, Gilbert, and leave so I can clean your room. It stinks."
"Fine," Gilbert snapped back, and made a shooing gesture with his hands, "Leave then! I'm not getting changed in front of you, perv."
Ludwig looked suitably affronted, but he only gave a narrowed glare before he prowled out of the room, possibly to arm himself with his cleaning utensils and amount an assault on Gilbert's room. Gilbert gave a small sniff and shrugged. His room didn't smell that bad.
He shambled over to his closet, throwing off his rumpled chick patterned pyjamas along the way. He opened the closet and was promptly smacked in the face by his coat tumbling off its hanger. "Gah! Fucking thing…"
It didn't take long for Gilbert to grab the first thing his hands landed on, and as he pulled on his coat, he crammed his hands into his pockets to check if he had money and pulled out some green gloves instead. He paused.
After a minute of staring at the innocuous gloves, Gilbert realised he had been worrying his bottom lip and scowled angrily at himself. He shoved the gloves back into his pockets and pulled on his matching green trainers. Just in time too, as that was when Ludwig stormed in brandishing a broom threateningly.
Five minutes later, Gilbert had been chased out of the house by his broom wielding brother, and sullenly walked down the street as he turned on his mobile phone. He could phone Francis and Antonio and go out for a few beers, but he didn't feel like it, strangely. He could go round to Elizaveta's and mooch off of her, but that would end up with him concussed and possibly bribed into dressing in female clothing again.
Outside was cold, and Gilbert ended up putting the green gloves on despite the fact that looking at them made him feel oddly squirmy inside. He scowled at his mobile again, looking at the four numbers he had stored there, Francis, Antonio, Elizaveta and Ludwig. Neither who appealed to him.
But he didn't put his phone away. Instead he patted his pockets down, and one old bus ticket and gum wrapper later, he had a severely crumpled piece of paper in his hand. He chewed his bottom lip again, and then scowled and let his thumb clumsily tap in the new number.
He threw the piece of paper away into the gutter after that and put his phone away which now had five numbers stored in it as he decided on his destination.
Upon reaching Rome's modest house, Gilbert spent a few minutes dithering on the doorstep uncharacteristically before mustering up the courage to knock on the front door. He waited, and waited, but after five minutes had passed and the door not opening to reveal Rome's widely smiling face in that time, it was obvious that the brunet was not in.
"Gyaah…" Gilbert kicked the door irritably, leaving a nice footprint on the wood. "Trust him to be out. Fine, I'll go and get trashed or something."
But Gilbert didn't leave to get trashed. He instead sat down on the doorstep and played Snake on his mobile until its flagging battery gave. By then the sun had begun to crawl towards the west, and Gilbert sighed heavily, feeling strangely disappointed.
"Great. A wasted day," He muttered to himself, standing up from the doorstep and brushing the seat of his jeans clean. His growling stomach prompted him to abandon his waiting attempt, and he turned away from the door and walked a little ways down the street before he was halted by a familiar call behind him.
"Gilbert? Ah! Wait!"
Gilbert turned around with a faint frown which immediately, and unconsciously, softened into a small grin when he saw Rome jog down the street with grocery bags in hand. "Rome!" He called back, raising an arm in greeting before suddenly frowning and walking back. "I've been waiting for ages!"
"I'm sorry!" Rome grinned sheepishly when they met up directly in front of his house, and the brunet jostled the bags in his arms pointedly. "I went shopping."
"I sorta gathered," Gilbert grumped.
Rome's sheepish grin widened, "I owe you a coffee then, as an apology."
"Make that a coffee with a meal and I'll accept your apology."
Rome laughed loudly, and he moved to his door, juggling with his grocery bags to fish his front door key out of his pocket. Gilbert didn't move to help him and pulled out his mobile under the pretence of checking his text messages even though it wasn't even on anymore.
"Do you have any preferences?" Rome asked once he had succeeded in unlocking the door.
"Not really," Gilbert muttered as he stowed away his dead mobile. "Anything's fine."
Rome practically beamed and they hurriedly entered the brunet's house to escape the cold. Gilbert tugged off his green gloves but held them in his hands still as he was directed to the living room.
"I'll be but a moment," Rome assured his impromptu guest, "Let me put these away and I'll bring you your coffee." And with another wide smile he vanished into the kitchen where immediately afterwards the clatter of cupboards opening and closing sounded.
Gilbert sighed and made room for himself on Rome's sofa. The room, if anything, had gotten even more cluttered since last week, and he had to heave off a pile of thick books – historical by the looks of it – off the sofa and onto the floor. "You need to clean!" He called over the clatter of cupboards, propping his feet up on a magazine on the coffee table.
"I do!" Rome agreed with a loud laugh, and the clatter stopped only to be replaced a minute after by the gurgle of a kettle.
Gilbert picked up one of the magazines, a different edition from last time, and casually flipped through it until Rome appeared with a cup of coffee served with a smile.
"About time," Gilbert said with a frown, putting down the magazine. "Did you go out and collect the coffee beans yourself or something?"
Rome did not seem affronted at Gilbert's standoffishness, and carefully handed the coffee over before taking a seat beside him on the sofa. The springs creaked loudly and Gilbert grunted as he dipped towards the brunet slightly. "I make coffee the old-fashioned way," Rome explained once he got himself comfortable.
Gilbert furrowed his brow and took a sip of the glorious coffee. "No coffee machine?"
"Weirdo," Gilbert grunted, unable to think of a morning where he had not shambled into his brother's kitchen and clung to the coffee machine as it gurgled sweet nothings to him. His attachment to the machine was so much that Ludwig usually voiced his concern that one day Gilbert was going to elope with the coffee machine to Switzerland.
"Hmm, perhaps…" Rome said, smiling a little as he watched Gilbert sip his coffee. "…Are you alright, today?"
"Ja," Gilbert put the coffee down on his lap and pressed his gloved thumb against the rim. He felt the steam rising from the beverage dampen the green fabric and he pulled it away after a moment. "Why?"
"You seem…" Rome began but shook his head with a small grin, "Ah! How could I forget?" The brunet suddenly hoisted himself from the sofa and turned to his guest, "I'll make us a quick meal, hm? How about some Gnocchi?"
"What the hell is that?"
"Pasta," Rome laughed as he stepped over a pile of magazines and back to the kitchen, "Potato pasta!"
"Sure, whatever," Gilbert muttered, even though the brunet had walked into the kitchen already, and sighed at himself. He rubbed a hand over his face, wanting to smack himself for his…strange behaviour, but instead took a large, punishing gulp of coffee and scalded his tongue.
He put the coffee down on the table with a soft curse, cheeks red and eyes watering a little as he pressed a hand against his mouth and took a moment to weather the pain. Dammit what the hell was with him today?
"Do you want to eat in the living room or the kitchen?" Rome's voice called, and Gilbert coughed before answering in a flustered tone; "Ja! Wherever, the kitchen I guess!"
If Rome noticed something wrong with his guest, he said nothing of it, and the sounds from the kitchen were the clatter of cupboards and gentle but deep humming. Gilbert, having composed himself from his embarrassing incident with the coffee, peeled off his gloves and stuffed them in his pockets before standing.
He blatantly snooped the living room, picking his way over piles of books or magazines, and raising a brow at the sheer contrast between them. Aside from Playboy magazines, or other skinmags, there were rather intense looking books on Roman history, the Greeks, the Pantheon, Christianity and philosophical books that made Gilbert confused just looking at the title. A perverted professor seemed like a more likely profession than a harlequin romance writer for the man.
When Gilbert was intently looking at a series of coin collections Rome had on his bookshelf, the man himself appeared at the doorway with a wide smile. "Like them?"
"Ah?" The albino turned, stuffing his hands into his pockets and feeling like a child caught with their hand in the cookie jar. "Yeah, I guess they're pretty cool."
Rome laughed, "Food is ready," He said, gesturing behind him into the kitchen. Gilbert nodded and rubbed his cheek, stepping his way over to the kitchen and hoping to God that the warmth on his cheeks was merely due to the heat coming from the kitchen.
"I hope you enjoy it," Rome said as he ushered Gilbert to the small dining table stashed in the far side of the kitchen. Gilbert merely grunted vaguely, and sat down in the rather comfortable seat before a plate of what seemed like dumpings in a type of sauce. Gilbert thought they looked like a miniature version of Klöße. "This is the, the uh, gunochi?"
"Gnocchi," Rome corrected with a smile as he sat down across from the albino, picking up his cutlery with his thick fingers.
"Huh," Gilbert dug in without another word and…it was delicious. Gilbert practically inhaled the whole meal within minutes and finished just before Rome who ate with equal vigour.
"Pretty damn good," Gilbert purred as he stuck in finger into some of the sauce smeared about his plate. He lifted his finger to his lips and lapped the sauce off, catching Rome's eyes staring at him with a strange look. "What?"
"…ah? Nothing," Rome shook his head and beamed, standing up and picking up his plate.
Gilbert frowned, but said nothing and held up his own plate for Rome to take. The larger man whisked them off to the sink, and Gilbert reclined in his seat, wondering if Ludwig would let him back in the house now since the kitchen clock said it was nearing five o' clock until Rome's voice snapped him from his thoughts.
"Do you want another coffee?"
"Nein, I probably have to go home now…" Gilbert began before changing his mind, "But I guess one more won't hurt."
Rome smiled as he turned away from the sink, opening the cupboard over the cutting board and taking out two mugs. "I'm very glad you decided to drop by, Gilbert."
"Mm, really," Gilbert yawned. He didn't pay that much attention to his host, and idly drummed his fingers on the table as the strong smell of coffee filled the kitchen once more. He must've dozed off staring at the clock, because Rome's voice was suddenly much closer and a mug of coffee was set before him.
"-at I was wondering…Gilbert?"
"Ah? Yes, yes to whatever you said," Gilbert mumbled, sitting up in his chair and rubbing his eyes as Rome moved back to sitting opposite of him.
Rome's eyes crinkled as he looked at the younger man, and he lifted his own mug to his lips. "…You weren't listening?"
"Not really." Gilbert admitted after a few sips of coffee to rouse himself.
The large man chuckled, the noise a deep rumble that filled the kitchen, "Do I bore you that much? My apologies."
"You don't bore me, I'm just sleepy," Gilbert rolled his eyes and rested his cheek on his hand. "If you were boring I'd never try to see you."
Rome's goofy smile softened into a different sort of smile. "Really?"
Gilbert felt a thread of…something off with this situation then, "…yes, really." He said hesitantly and sipped his coffee until only the dregs remained. Rome just sat there smiling, staring at his guest with a strange light in his tawny eyes.
"I think it's time for me to really go now," Gilbert said, standing up abruptly. His skin tingled with Rome's eyes staring at him so intently. "Thanks for the coffee and food."
"Oh, you're leaving now?" Rome stood as well, picking up his practically untouched coffee before putting it back down on the table. "Here, I'll walk you home?"
"I said no last time," Gilbert reminded Rome, and as he walked he tugged his green gloves from his pockets and onto his hands. It was still cold out, so he was unwilling to give them back just yet.
"You did," Rome sighed, and followed Gilbert through the living room to the front door. "Well, it was nice to see you again. Please, come by whenever you wish."
"Mm," Gilbert paused by the door, and turned around to face the softly smiling Rome with a faint frown. "…"
Rome blinked in bemusement, "Ah?"
"Lean down," Gilbert demanded.
Rome leant down without hesitation, his large frame looming over the much lither and shorter man even then. Gilbert frowned even more, now practically nose to nose with Rome, and made a quiet "cha" noise before turning away, then turning back round.
"Okay, let's see, this…" He said, then suddenly pressed his palms against Rome's unshaven cheeks and leaned forwards. He crushed a rough kiss against the man's lips; he felt Rome jerk in surprise then hold still for the brief moment their lips had contact. It was when the shock had subsided and Rome began to kiss back – with an almost alarming hunger- that Gilbert drew back and released his cheeks.
"…crap." Gilbert panted and turned around, wrenching open the door, and he all but fled.
Ludwig sighed, drawing his hand back from the locked door of his brother's bedroom door, and crossed his arms. "Gilbert. You've been hiding up here for two days – not even pancakes tempted you out. What did you do?"
He received no answer. Big surprise.
"Gilbert," Ludwig's tone sharpened, "I will kick down the door unless you open it, and it will be coming out of your allowance."
Ludwig grimaced and stared at the door. It wasn't that thick, really, and one solid kick of his would easily bash it open, but… he didn't want to ruin the doorframe because of his brother's stubbornness. He would have to replace the hinges, and the door, himself because God knows Gilbert would not do it under his own power.
But making sure his brother did not starve was probably higher priority than the condition of the door frame. So it was with a soft sigh that he cracked his neck and then lifted his foot.
"I can't believe you kicked the door down," Gilbert muttered sourly, looking heavily rumpled in his creased pyjamas and dishevelled hair. He was sitting at their kitchen table with a plate of toast before him and a cup of coffee before him, idly picking the crust of the toast with an apparent lack of enthusiasm.
"I warned you," Ludwig muttered just as sourly, his normally slicked back hair in slight disarray. "And you're going to replace it."
"Like hell. You broke it. You replace it."
Ludwig's eye twitched. "I'm not going to replace it. If you want privacy, you will replace it yourself."
Ludwig scowled, looking ready to lean over the table and smack his older brother (who acted like such a brat) across the head. He didn't though, through sheer force of will, and instead calmly leaned back in his seat, narrowing his eyes at how Gilbert was not ravenously inhaling his breakfast as per usual.
"…What is the matter with you?" Ludwig finally demanded. "Are you sick?" And his scowl began to soften into a look of shrewd concern, one step away from brandishing a thermometer at his brother.
"I'm not sick…" Gilbert grumped, looking up from his picked apart toast with a frown. He smoothed his hair down, grunting when his fingers caught on the snarls and knots in his hair.
"Well what is it then?" Ludwig snapped, patience splintering. "You're not inhaling your food with the grace of a starving animal for once – which although is a nice surprise, it's highly uncharacteristic of you. And you were hiding up in your room like a wounded dog, so, what's wrong?"
"…" Gilbert looked back down at his toast, picking up a piece and popping it into his mouth. "…Nothing."
Ludwig scrutinised him closely in silence for a long moment. "Fine then, sulk." He sighed, standing up from the kitchen table and gathering up Gilbert's untouched coffee and whisking the plate of toast away. Gilbert was only playing with the torn up chunks. "But you're going out instead of moping about the house. Get dressed."
Gilbert narrowed his eyes, "Where're we going?"
"To the library. My shift starts soon and you're coming with me."
"What?" Gilbert growled and crossed his arms, looking up at the ceiling stubbornly. "No way. The library is boring."
"Then tell me what's wrong and get out of your slump," Ludwig drawled challengingly, dumping the coffee down the sink and the toast in the bin.
"…tch. Fine, I'm bringing my DS though," Gilbert grumbled, rising from the table.
"Yes, because God forbid you try to improve your intellect through reading," Ludwig muttered under his breath.
The library that Ludwig worked at was always deathly quiet. It made Gilbert itch uncomfortably, so after giving his brother a sour look for dragging him to such a place, he retreated to the most secluded corner he could find, popped in his headphones, and played Pokemon on his DS.
Because he was cool like that.
His heart wasn't exactly in the game though. His attention kept wandering (as it had been doing a lot lately) to a certain perverted porn writer that he had embarrassingly fled from. He scowled at his DS at the memory. Gilbert didn't /flee/.
He, he merely made a tactical retreat. That was it.
He then sighed and closed the lid of his DS, frowning at the shelf of books across from him. Oh, who was he trying to kid? Gilbert had run away from Rome because he had been spooked. Why he was startled by the results of that kiss though…
Gilbert raised his sleeve to his mouth and gnawed on it absently, a horrible nervous habit he had since childhood, and one that Ludwig loathed. He had chewed through several sleeves of his clothes in the past years.
Now then, Gilbert hadn't freaked because it was a guy that this whole mess was happening around. Gender didn't really stop his libido. But he felt that this was not going to be the same as his friendly one-night stands or fuckbuddy stints. He didn't know how he knew this, but he just did.
He didn't feel all weird around fuckbuddies, for one.
Gilbert sighed and lowered his sleeve, taking off the headphones and unplugging them from his DS. Well, Gilbert wasn't one to let things fester, was he? He might as well confront Rome and…figure this weird shit out before he drove himself insane.
Stuffing his DS into his jacket pocket along with his headphones, he lurched up from his chair and calmly told Ludwig that he needed to take care of something. Ludwig let him go with surprisingly little protest.
Stepping out into the chilly air, Gilbert hesitated and then took out those damned green gloves that started the whole thing and pulled them on. He was definitely returning these now.
With that done, he took off for Rome's house.
This was the most awkward moment of Gilbert's life.
Gilbert's determination had lasted him to Rome's doorstep and almost pounding his door down. Then, as he had waited for the Italian to arrive, his determination dwindled, and he had gnawed on his sleeve once more. What was he expecting out of this? Well, he was expecting to sort out this weirdness of course!
Then Rome had opened the door, and Gilbert found that all thoughts had politely thrown themselves out of his head to commit suicide on the pavement below.
"Uh," Gilbert had said eloquently.
"Gilbert?" Rome had responded, equally eloquently.
Then Gilbert just stared at him, mouth hidden behind his sleeve and looking like a right idiot. The awkwardness filled the air between them, as Rome didn't look like he was going to say anything soon, and Gilbert found that he had no idea what he was going to say.
Finally, the silence won, and Gilbert blurted, "I- here!" And with that he lowered his sleeve and pulled off the green gloves, holding them out to Rome.
Rome blinked at him, looking very much like a puzzled puppy. "Here?"
"Gloves! The, you know, you borrowed them to me ages ago, and it's like, not that cold anymore, so, uh, here."
Rome blinked again, his puzzled look becoming more intense. "I…you can keep them," He said carefully, his brow furrowing a little in confusion. "I told you that before, I think."
"Yeah, well…" Gilbert trailed off, fidgeting with the gloves in his hands. "Well," He began again, "Fine. You're never getting them back then," He declared louder than necessary, stuffing them into his pocket and crossing his arms tightly across his chest.
Rome ran a hand through his dark hair, still looking puzzled, but amusement was beginning to light up tawny eyes. "Do you want a coffee?" He asked after several minutes of nothing but silence.
"Eh? Uh, sure. Whatever," Gilbert shrugged jerkily, his expression set into a firm scowl.
Rome stepped aside and gestured Gilbert to come in, looking unaffected by the scowl the younger man was sporting. He closed the door after the albino, and ushered them into the kitchen.
"You haven't tidied up from last time," Gilbert commented absently as he sat down at the kitchen table and watched Rome bustle about the kitchen with narrowed eyes.
"I'm still a lazy man, I'm afraid," Rome laughed in response.
"Hm," Gilbert drummed his fingers on the table, his anxiety calming somewhat at the soothing scent of coffee that was probably a permanent fixture of the Italian's kitchen. The humming coming from Rome himself was quite pleasant too, and the stiffness in the albino's shoulders had relaxed from their defensive hunch.
"Aren't you hot?" Rome's voice suddenly broke into Gilbert's mild doze.
Rome looked over his shoulder, raising a dark eyebrow at Gilbert still bundled up in his outdoor clothing. "You must be sweltering."
"…kinda," Gilbert shifted in his seat and made no move to unzip his jacket.
Rome didn't press, and a few minutes later he returned with two cups of coffee. He placed one before Gilbert with a small smile and sat down across from him with his own. "So," He hummed after a brief pause where Gilbert did nothing but stare into the dark depths of his coffee. "Aside from coming to return a gift, was there any other reason for visiting?"
Gilbert looked up sharply from his coffee, his shoulders hunching again. "…what makes you think that?" He muttered accusingly, picking up his coffee and taking a small sip.
Rome's whole posture screamed casual, and his smile widened almost lazily, "Well. I was wondering if this visit was related to that kiss you gave me."
That weird noise was Gilbert spitting out his coffee whilst still taking a sip. He coughed, lowering his cup as he lifted his sleeve to wipe his chin clean of coffee before sheepishly wiping up the coffee he had spat onto the table.
"Blunt," Gilbert remarked gruffly, his face burning in embarrassment.
Rome's smirk was almost feline. "No less than you usually are."
Gilbert's eyes narrowed a little. Was that a jab? He let it slide though and rubbed his chin again, a frown pulling down at his lips. "So, what if this visit's about that?"
Rome shrugged one broad shoulder, "I was merely curious. It is not everyday a handsome young man steals a kiss from me."
Gilbert leaned back in his seat and chewed on his coffee-damp sleeve. "…I was just testing waters." He said simply, "you're obviously in to me."
Rome chuckled, then laughed loudly. "I was transparent," he admitted, and tapped a thick finger on the kitchen table. "Then why did you run away…?"
"I didn't run!" Gilbert barked indignantly, ruffling up like an angry water fowl, "it was a tactical retreat! I needed to think about…stuff."
"Stuff," Rome repeated in good humour.
"Stuff," Gilbert repeated firmly. "You're the harlequin romance writer here. You know people need to think about stupid shit like this."
Rome paused, and then said quite casually, "are you implying that you have feelings for me?"
Gilbert had been about to pick up his coffee again, and snatched his hand away from it when Rome spoke. "I implied no such thing."
"My apologies," Rome shrugged, resting an elbow on the table and his chin on his palm. His tawny eyes practically stared a hole in Gilbert's head, or so it felt, because Gilbert was scowling down at his coffee mug again. "Then why are you here?"
"To, sort it out," Gilbert said uncertainly.
"Sort it out?" Rome pressed patiently.
Gilbert looked up from his cup with the scowl firmly in place, only to look away at the clock above Rome's head. The Italian looked so calm and cool and it made Gilbert even more flustered at knowing he was acting like some stupid inexperienced teenager.
"This is out of my element," Gilbert admitted without a smidge of embarrassment in his tone, "I'm more of a 'wham, bam, thank you ma'am' kinda guy. But I get the feeling it's not gonna be like that with you."
"Hmm…" Rome's feline smile was back, "how will it be like with me?"
Gilbert frowned and looked down from the clock to meet Rome's gaze. The strange glint he saw in his last visit to the Italian was back in tawny eyes, and Gilbert's stomach did medically unhealthy flipflops. "Different."
"Ja, different, like…" Gilbert trailed off, unsure of how to phrase it, "just different."
Rome said nothing for a long moment, then hummed and leaned back in his seat. "You're young," he said in amusement, his feline smile turning into his goofy grin, "isn't youth where you sample 'different' things?"
"Isn't middle-age where you're supposed to settle down?" Gilbert shot back.
"You're only as young as you feel," Rome parried with a smirk, "is that what's making you anxious?" He asked curiously. "The gap in age?"
"Pfft," Gilbert waved a hand wildly and almost upset his coffee. "I'm not bothered by age – unless you're like, really old."
"I'm forty one," Rome hummed, "is that your definition of old?"
"Huh. You aged pretty well," Gilbert mused. "And my definition of old is if you're twice as old as me." A pause, "you're not." He was gathering his confidence again, and it showed by how he straightened in his seat, a wicked smirk playing on his lips.
"Oh?" Rome smiled and leaned forwards again, "and how old are you? Around…twenty four?"
"Good guess," Gilbert drawled, "I'm twenty six."
"Really." Rome's eyebrows raised before lowering into a thoughtful frown, "I thought you were younger."
"Hn," Gilbert deemed it safe to drink his coffee again. "…but anyway," he continued after a brief moment of silence, "I've only met you a handful of times."
"It sounds like you're making excuses," Rome commented idly.
Gilbert shrugged a shoulder, "I probably am. Hm." He frowned intensely.
"How about, we start it with something you're comfortable with?" Rome suggested, smiling soothingly at the albino. "What are you comfortable with in these situations?"
"Sex," Gilbert responded bluntly. "You up for it or do you need Viagra?"
Rome paused before smiling devilishly in response, "I'm not that old yet."
Gilbert stared at his coffee for a moment, and then raised his eyes to stare at the Italian instead. "…sure. I guess I can try out new things."
Rome laughed richly and rose from his table, "Then give me a few moments. My bedroom is a mess…"
"Nah uh, that's just an excuse to sneak a few blue pills," Gilbert teased, rising from his seat and unzipping his jacket. "I don't mind the state of it. Mine's apparently a pigsty."
"Well then," Rome picked up the cups and took them to the sink as Gilbert shrugged out of his outdoor clothing. "I suppose there is no need to delay then, hm?"
"Nope," Gilbert dumped his coat and scarf on the kitchen table. Yes, this is what he was comfortable with – friendly banter and friendly sex. No weird feelings plaguing him and making him want to curl up in a ball.
But, when Rome came back from the sink to kiss him, his stomach and heart did do those weird flipflops again. He didn't complain though, as he returned it, because, it was in the end a sort of nice weird sensation.
That…and Rome was a mind-blowingly good kisser.
Gilbert quite liked Rome's bed. The man obviously enjoyed comfort as the mattress was the right firmness and the quilts thick and comfortable – the springs were a bit loud though, but the sound of them creaking was a strangely pleasant background noise, a nice little tempo to keep in time with.
Aside from the bed though, Gilbert also liked the man himself. He knew with age came with experience but wow. Gilbert certainly had been around the block and knew a few tricks but he felt like a young teen compared to the stuff Rome rumbled in his ear as his hands touched this and that. He supposed it came with the job description – one has to know quite a bit on how to fuck if they wrote about it all day.
"I never expected you to be so complacent in bed," Rome's voice hummed roughly, and Gilbert broke out of his foggy pleasure daze to fix the smirking Italian with a fiery glare. He tightened his fingers in thick, curl hair and yanked none-too-gently.
"I'm assessing you," he growled breathlessly, pulling Rome's hair again for extra measure.
Rome merely laughed, not minding the hair tugging, and smiled mischievously as he tilted his head. The Italian trailed his fingers down Gilbert's quivering stomach, dangerously close to his 'vital regions', and asked casually, "how am I scoring?"
"A B grade at the moment," Gilbert said just as casually, although the slight hitch in his throat betrayed him.
"A B…? That won't do," Rome hummed playfully and his hand dipped even lower. Gilbert gasped loudly.
"B…plus," Gilbert groaned, tightening his grip in Rome's hair, and the other grasping onto the Italian's broad shoulder. Rome leaned in and pressed a kiss against his bare collarbone, and Gilbert groaned again when the man's hand moved, sending a jolt of pleasure through every nerve in his body.
"M-Maybe, an A," Gilbert amended, his body twisting to the side a little as Rome's hand slowly stroked his sex. His breathing quickened, becoming brief, shallow pants, and he bent his legs as the pleasure made his limbs tremble, toes curling into the bedsheet beneath him.
Rome was chuckling, lazily trailing his lips from Gilbert's collarbone up the pale column of his throat. Gilbert tried to growl in response to the laughter, but he could only manage a strangled moan which was immediately cut off by a soft cry of ecstasy when Rome pressed his thumb against the head of his arousal and rubbed.
"An A, hm?" Rome murmured playfully into Gilbert's ear before ruthlessly teasing the lobe. Any response Gilbert may've had died in his throat.
Yes, Rome certainly knew how to make Gilbert's brain melt into a puddle of mindless goo, but he wasn't complaining. He gasped, moaned, and purred in response to Rome's touches, and he spread his legs wider, his hips almost bucking off the bed to thrust into Rome's hand.
"You're energetic," Rome observed, and it took Gilbert a moment to process the words.
"Mngh," He responded, throwing his head back when Rome gently squeezed his arousal, a shudder going through him. The pleasure was building to almost unbearable levels, and he knew, by how white spots flashed in his vision, that he was close to cumming.
"I…'m, y-young…" Gilbert forced out, squeezing his eyes shut as Rome squeezed again. The man apparently liked the reactions he was getting from doing that. "Nn, l-lots. Stamina…!"
"I suppose that's true," Rome's composed voice mused, and he slowly pulled his hand away from Gilbert's arousal and leaned to the side, rummaging about in his bedside table.
Gilbert took those moments to gather his composure, chest heaving and looking a little annoyed. He was torturously close, and he resisted the urge to reach down at finish himself off, more curious in what Rome was doing. "What-"
"This," Rome answered, leaning back to kiss Gilbert briefly on the lips before showing him a small, clear bottle of lube.
"Ah," Gilbert ran a hand through his sweaty, dishevelled hair, and squirmed, his arousal throbbing almost painfully. "Couldn't you do that after I came? I'd be more relaxed then."
"I like teasing you," Rome chuckled, squirting some lube on his fingers and putting the bottle aside. He leaned down to kiss Gilbert again, his fingers gently prodding at the albino's entrance experimentally.
"Grrnph…" Gilbert growled in mild irritation, and grasped Rome's hair again to tug. "Just stick 'em in."
"Hm," Rome did just that, grinning at the loud gasp that wrenched from the albino, and wriggled his finger inside of him deeper. "Is that fine?"
"Ja, ja…" Gilbert groaned, closing his eyes and shuddering. His legs bent even more before spreading as wide as he could. The brief burn was there from the intrusion, but he ignored it and tilted his head back, feeling Rome nip at his throat again.
"S-So," Gilbert gasped once he adjusted to the intrusion, "After. This," He groaned when Rome's finger pressed against a sensitive spot, "w-what next?"
"Hm?" Rome pulled back to peer at Gilbert's flushed face curiously, "What do you mean?"
"Well, this, is new, ja?" Gilbert explained, twisting his body again when Rome gently pushed in a second finger. "D-Dates?"
"Hm, possibly…" Rome chuckled. He pressed their foreheads together and gently scissored his fingers, stretching Gilbert and keenly noting each gasp and shudder from the smaller man. "I'm old-fashioned. I would want a date or two."
"F'ya old-fashioned…" Gilbert moaned, "Then, this would've happened, on…third date."
"It is the third date," Rome teased softly, "The third time you have come to my home, anyway."
Gilbert conceded that point, and licked his lips when Rome's fingers retreated from him. He watched the older man lean back, squirting more lube onto his hands and slick his own neglected arousal in preparation.
"You're bigger than I thought," Gilbert murmured absently as he stared at Rome from between his spread legs.
"Does it intimidate you?" Rome teased as he leaned over the albino again, bracing himself on the bed with his hands.
"Hardly," Gilbert scoffed, his pride pricked. He rolled his hips temptingly, raised an eyebrow, and smirked wickedly. "C'mon, ya old goat. Let's see if you've aged well where it counts."
Rome's eyes gleamed at the challenge and Gilbert barely had time to brace himself before he felt the Italian begin to push into him. He let out a strangled noise and gripped tightly at Rome, breathing harshly. He felt Rome gently rub his stomach with a large hand, his low, strained voice murmuring something (some nonsense) to him and Gilbert could only groan in response.
Rome was big, and it hurt a little, but Gilbert weathered through it until the Italian was full sheathed in him, where he released the breath he was holding.
"Da~mn," Gilbert hissed, pressing a hand over his eyes as he felt the burn of being stretched to his limit throb irritably. "You are big."
"Alright?" Rome asked roughly, the man's breaths a bit uneven, although his voice carried a concerned tone.
"Ja, ja…gimme a moment…before, ya…do anythin'," Gilbert grunted, and was pleased when Rome obeyed (probably out of sheer force of will judging by how heavily the man was breathing). "…right."
"Ready?" Rome asked patiently even though his hips gave a small rock.
"Ja," Gilbert moved his hand away from his eyes and grinned cockily up at Rome, placing his hand behind the bigger man's neck and dragging him down for a brief kiss. "Go on. Fuck me into the mattress."
Rome leapt into action, and after a few experimental thrust of his hips, he found a comfortable tempo and began to thrust into Gilbert. The albino sucked in a breath at the quick pace and he tilted his head back with a low moan of pleasure, rolling his hips in time with Rome's.
"Ah…" Rome was releasing low, growling moans in his throat, louder than the steady thump of the headboard of the bed bumping against the wall. Gilbert found it extremely erotic.
"Ja…~" Gilbert moaned, his hand shifting from the back of Rome's neck to clutch at his dark hair, his back arching when Rome's mouth ravished his neck again (which was probably already a minefield of love bites) and crying out when that slight shift let the Italian thrust against a very nice spot.
Rome grunted against Gilbert's neck when the albino's lower muscles spasmed around him, gripping the man's narrow hips tightly and angling them just a little more to allow him to hit that discovered sweet spot with more ease. Gilbert cried out again, and released a burst of nonsense German as Rome hit it again and again with deadly accuracy.
"Mein Gott…!" Gilbert moaned, barely able to catch his breath between mindless words, his lips parting and eyes squeezing shut as he felt himself being shoved right to the edge of endurance again. His ears were deaf to everything but Rome's soft, growled noises of pleasure, the squeaking of the bed springs and the banging of the headboard. Light flashed in his vision.
"F-Fick!" Gilbert heard Rome gasp something but he didn't know what it was, too busy writhing as he felt his orgasm begin to crash down on him. "Fickfickfick- R-Rome-!"
Then Gilbert's whole world went white as his orgasm finally hit him hard. He cried out, feeling himself cum messily onto his quivering stomach and a faint dull pain when Rome gave him a harsh bite on his shoulder. He let out choked noises of mindless ecstasy, squirming and gasping, shuddering when he felt sudden wet heat fill him and heard Rome groan something.
The banging stopped and the squeaking slowed, and Gilbert grunted when he felt Rome rest some of his heavy weight on him, breathing hard into his neck. He didn't protest, feeling too light-headed and fuzzy to care, and idly pulled at Rome's hair (pulled, not stroked).
"…ow," Gilbert said flatly after a long moment of comfortable silence. "You bit me."
"Yes, I got a bit passionate," Rome panted unapologetically, lifting his weight a little and smiling widely at Gilbert. "It's left quite the mark."
"Bastard," Gilbert sighed and lifted a shaky hand to rub where the stinging was. "…is it bleeding?"
"Hm, only a little…"
Gilbert yanked hard on Rome's hair again. "I should bite you, you old pervert."
Rome just continued to smile goofily at the annoyed albino, "I think I would enjoy that very much."
"…" Gilbert's eyes narrowed before a wicked smile coiled around his lips. "You would, huh? Then," he grinned, "let's switch positions."
Rome's eyes lit up, "another round?"
"Oh, but of course~" Gilbert purred, and with surprising strength he managed to overbalance Rome and roll them over a few short inches from the edge of the bed. He loomed over the bigger man and laughed arrogantly. "I'm energetic after all, huh? S'my turn to tease you anyway."
"That sounds fair," Rome hummed, and he smoothed his large hands down Gilbert's sides to his thighs. "Then, let there be no delay…"
Gilbert snorted but obligingly leaned down, snatching a kiss from Rome's lips with a small smile.
Yeah, this was something new, but Gilbert found he was enjoying it. It played out a bit too much like a romcom for his tastes, and he didn't know how it was gonna end, but, that weird feeling told him it was gonna be fine. A bit strange to rely on a weird feeling, but, Gilbert was eccentric like that.
Plus, Rome was awesome in bed.