This is a bad idea, considering the fact that I have… five fics (maybe six) that I'm supposed to be working on and another one or two that I'm starting in on just for fun. But… but plot bunnies are eating me and I wanna get this started. I'm sorry, but I know for sure that updates are going to be sporadic, but I'm going to try to get them up. I hope that you enjoy it for what it is.

Written for the kinkmeme, prompt is that Spain is finally convinced that Romano really does hate him. But Roma doesn't! And he has to convince Spain of this. Bonus if Spain cries, bonus if Romano has to admit it out-right, because really his little "hints" aren't getting through Spain's head. This will follow the prompt, I SWEAR. Its just gonna… take a bit… in for the long haul, guys?

Warnings for language, so far.

It was cold in the theatre, at least in the back. It was also dark, but the seats were less worn out and not completely uncomfortable to curl up in. Not to mention, no one could see him, but he could see the whole stage. So that is where Romano sat, setting down his bookbag and twisting so that his back rested on the seat arm and his knees were up to his chin. He was always good at getting into small spaces, into linen closets and under beds. One time, he'd been found in the laundry basket, sleeping like a cat. It was helpful when hiding from the housework.

He tilted his head so that he could see the stage, lit up by bright spotlights and footlights and other lights that probably had names but fuck if he was going to remember them. A clusterfuck of students sat in the first and second rows, hanging over seats and chatting and doing homework.

And then a boy walked onto the stage, a senior, smiling brilliantly with eyes that crinkled at the edges and sheer optimism bright and citrusy enough to melt paint. Slowly, the kids in the front quieted; helped, most likely, but the smouldering gaze of the blonde boy on the edge of the row. The blonde turned back to the boy on stage, signaling with a wave of the hand and a flirtatious wink that he may begin.

"Hola! My name is Antonio Fernandez-Carriedo," he said, rolling his r's in a way that got most of the girls' attention, if they hadn't already been focusing on his perfectly tan skin or his perfectly white teeth or his perfectly confident bearing. "And I will be performing a piece by Neil Simon." A few giggles, there; he pronounced it the Spanish way, Neil See-MOHN. Romano briefly considered finding whoever was laughing and punching them in the face. But he was too comfortable, here. He didn't move.

"Ah, so… I've never done this in front of an audience before... Can I start?" he stage-whispered down the blonde. Francis grinned back at him, nodding.

And so Antonio began.

Romano never listened to the words. He wasn't here to listen to the words. He didn't care about the words. He cared about the way they were said, dropped from bronze lips like every syllable was wine, dribbling from the rim of a glass. He cared about the way they crawled up the sides of his brain, tripping over themselves, rising and falling and undulating their hips as Antonio kept his hands at his sides and breathed life, was life.

He was good. Romano knew he was good. He knew because he was the one that had to listen to the fucker practice his monologue every fucking day after school while he was trying to bull-shit his chem homework. But even after a hundred, thousand times Romano wasn't sure what it was that Antonio had said. Only that he liked it.

And then it was over and there was a smattering of applause, including an enthusiastic wolf-whistle from Francis and Romano made a mental note that yes, that one ought to be punched in the face; but then again he made that mental note at least once a week and so far had only fulfilled it two or three times.

The interesting part was over; Antonio had aced his audition, judging from the lecherous, pleased way that Francis was grinning. Of course Antonio had aced it. Francis was the fucking president of the stupid, defunct drama club. There really hadn't been a doubt; only in Antonio's abnormally empty skull.

So Romano took advantage of the darkness and the small chairs and the hour that he'd have to spend waiting and he fell asleep.

"…vi? Lovi? Cariño, what are you doing back here?"

Romano sat up, rubbing his eyes. His neck kind of hurt from the odd position he had been in and he let it put him in a bad mood. Otherwise, he might pass out from embarrassment. Antonio's face was right in front of his nose, almost close enough to feel his breath and to go cross-eyes from looking at him.

"Sleeping, what does it look like bastardo?" he said with a glare. Antonio backed off a little, swinging his backpack onto his shoulders.

"But… umm… why?"

God, that boy was thick. And that was okay. Because otherwise, Romano might die. And that wasn't him acting like a dramatic teenaged girl, no way.

"Forget it; worry about something else, like keeping Francis' hands off you now that you're in the club." He had meant it to be a biting comment. But Antonio smiled.

"So you saw that I got in! You were here for my audition, weren't you? You came to watch my audition!"


"Did not! I came because it was dark and I was tired and –"

"You came, you came, thank you so much!" Romano was wrenched into a rather painful hug. He winced and growled because merda, it hurt, but not as much as it should have because he also felt pleasantly warm and numb and tingly. Double merda.

"I had a feeling that I had a guardian angel watching over me today, and look at you! Thank you, Lovi!" Antonio was beaming, and damn how could a simple twitch of the lips look so damn gorgeous?

"If I'm an angel, your version of heaven must be so fucking screwed up," muttered Romano, trying to lessen the damage by swinging his schoolbag up to his shoulders and stalking out. He called over his shoulder.

"You're driving me home, bastard!"


Because that just meant that Antonio was going to stay for dinner. It was a game that they had played for a long time. A game where none of them pretended this was happening. A game that they were both very good at.

Of course, people are not always aware that they're playing a game.