Author's Note: Written for the prompt "Romano taking Spain clothes shopping with Italian fashionista action." on the APH Fluffathon Challenge over on Livejournal. Please review~!
The Life And Times of Dating An Italian Fashionista
"What are you wearing."
It wasn't really a question, but Spain turned to address Romano anyways. "Do you like it? I decided that I really needed a new suit for meetings. My old ones were getting kind of worn out in places."
Romano was surprised Spain had even noticed. Spain was oblivious to just about everything and clothing was definitely not an exception. He hadn't minded the old suits, however. Or, to be more precise, he hadn't been so bothered over them that he'd waste time on making scathing remarks about them when there were so many other dumb things about Spain that he could make scathing remarks about. Despite the worn bits at the elbows and knees, the suits were good, classic cuts, from strong Italian fashion houses, and in colors that suited Spain. Romano had been with Spain when he'd bought the suits, so he'd made sure of it. Not that he really cared how the idiot dressed, but it was embarrassing when Spain showed up to meetings looking like... well, like this.
The suit was in the right size at least, or so Romano thought. It was difficult to tell since the suit was such an unflattering cut. It fit around the shoulders and the waist just fine, but the pant legs and the sleeves were just a bit too long and there was something about the jacket that made Spain look like a giant block person with no shape or definition. Not that Romano paid any attention to Spain's ass, but the pants even made Spain's ass look terrible. It was an amazingly terrible suit.
"What? But I just bought-"
"Burn it. It's creepy and ugly and why did you buy a purple tie and wear it with a brown suit? Why did you buy a brown suit in that particularly awful shade of shit brown in the first place? Burn it now, idiot. We're going shopping."
Spain had just enough sense to look worried at those ominous words. "Shopping? Romano, if you don't like this suit, I can just return it and get a new one. I kept the receipt. They had a whole bunch of great suits like this one. I'll just find a different one!"
"Don't bother," Romano said. He manhandled Spain until he could peek at the label on the back of the jacket. "Zara? Are you serious? You're wearing a suit from Zara? They're like the fast food version of fashion, and you think it's okay to wear that to a world meeting? You're supposed to be looking professional! Zara doesn't say professional. Zara says 'I'm a lazy bastard who likes to get my shopping done fast with as little effort as possible, and also, I'm colorblind.'"
"Where does it say that?" Spain asked, straining his neck to peer over his shoulder to the back of the jacket, as if expecting to see it written there.
Romano hid his eyes with his hand and groaned. He wasn't sure if Spain was being dumb on purpose to get him to laugh, or if he really was that dumb. Either way, it was going to be a long day trying to get this idiot into something presentable.
Of course they were going to do their shopping in Italy. As a matter of pride, Romano decided to avoid Florence (which was outdated anyways) and Milan, in favor of Rome's Via dei Condotti, which was his favorite place to shop anyways. Spain, of course, liked it because it had the Piazza di Spagna and random things like the metro station named after him. Spain was an idiot, but at least he was easy to please. There were lots of big cafes, but Romano didn't waste time with indecision and went straight to the crowded Antico Caffè Greco, an old favorite. From there, they made their plan of action.
It wasn't at all like a date, Romano told himself as he stole the last few bites of Spain's tomato and mozzarella sandwich. Italians took fashion very seriously, and he would need sustenance. Just because he and Spain had technically started being almost kind of not quite but maybe sort of more than friends, not that it was his idea or that he liked the bastard or anything... Just because he and Spain were like that now didn't mean that every time they went out together had to be a date.
"Prada first," Romano said decisively. "Hopefully we can get most of what you need there." Romano decided not to add that Spain looked really nice in Prada because the idiot would probably take it as a compliment when Romano clearly just meant that Prada was such a fantastic fashion house that they even managed to make a dumbass like Spain look halfway decent.
"Last time you said Armani was the best place to shop," Spain said. "I liked those suits. Can we go back there?"
"No," Romano snapped. "Armani sucks. I hate Armani. I gave all my Armani suits to Veneziano, which is probably just fine with Armani because all Armani could talk about last year was how much fashion in South Italy sucks in comparison to North Italy and that Rome should stop trying to be a fashion capital when Milan is already doing such a good job of it."
Spain wrapped his arms around Romano. "I'm sorry Armani hurt your feelings," he said sincerely.
Romano shoved him off. "They didn't hurt my feelings," he said. "They just made it clear what they thought of South Italy and so I decided to hate them back."
Spain smiled at Romano's adorable pouty face. "Okay, Romano!" he said cheerfully. "If you don't like Armani, then I won't like them either. You're the fashion expert, after all!"
Romano rolled his eyes. Spain was such an idiot. "Come on. Let's get to Prada."
The Prada store was a long, tan and white building with huge storefront windows displaying headless mannequins in expensive suits. Romano dragged him in and completely ignored the racks and the mannequins and just stood there, tapping his foot and looking impatient. Within seconds, a sales associate was at their side.
"Signore Vargas," the associate said, with a wide, practiced smile. "Welcome back. Is there anything we can to do to assist?"
Romano shrugged. "Try to make this idiot look decent, alright? Nothing from the Spring 2011 collection. I hate all the boxy shapes and the candy colors would look dumb on him. Just something classic and professional."
The sales associate's eyes ran up and down Spain more than was probably necessary, before he darted off to find something appropriate. He came back in what seemed like an impossibly short amount of time carrying what seemed like far too many clothes, and led the way past low wooden tables, huge glass walls, and mannequins wearing far too little until allowing Spain into a small room with a modern looking cream couch and white walls with enormous mirrors mounted on them. About a third of the room was curtained off with plush looking cream curtains that matched the couch.
"We've redone the fitting rooms," the sales associate said. He gestured at the lights. "We fixed those to better represent sunlight, and we opened things up more, so that you can better see how the garment moves on your body and have someone in with you."
Romano nodded. It was a nice improvement, but he was still jealous over the SoHo and Beverly Hills dressing rooms, which were outfitted in the latest technology, with computerized call systems and camera mirrors and, Romano's favorite, walls of glass that you could turn opaque while you changed outfits, then reclear to show off what you tried on. Of course, knowing Spain, he'd probably accidentally make the walls clear partway through changing, or something equally dumb. Romano's face turned a slow pink and he tried to erase the very nice - not that ihe/i liked them, of course - mental images that accompanied that thought.
The click of a door behind him stirred Romano out of the thoughts that he was trying his best not to think. "Which one first?" Spain asked, holding up a black suit with pale pink pinstripes consideringly.
"Not that one," Romano said, rolling his eyes. "I told him to stay away from the candy colored stuff."
"But you always look so cute in your pink shirts! If I wear this, we'll almost match!" Spain said. "Here, let me just try it on."
"No!" Romano snapped. "I refuse to be mistaken for one of those matchy-matchy stupid couples that go around all color coordinated."
"But it'd be adorable!" Spain said. He began taking off his pants and Romano's argument short-circuited.
"What are you doing?" Romano squeaked. It was a manly, angry squeak, Romano reassured himself.
"Trying on the pants," Spain said as his khaki pants hit the floor.
Romano covered his face with his hands. "Not with me right here!"
"Well, this is the fitting room, isn't it?" Spain said. "And the salesperson said that they're made for lots of people being in here, so it's alright."
Romano attempted to shove Spain into the curtained off area. Spain, idiot that he was, was too confused to comply. "It's not like we've never seen each other naked before. Why are you getting so upset? Just last night-"
"Because I said so!" Romano said, attempting to hide the blush on his face in Spain's shoulder, pushing again to get Spain to the back of the room so that he could draw the curtains and block Spain from view. He'd forgotten that Spain's pants were still around his ankles, however, and his own foot ended up tangled in Spain's pants and the next thing either of them realized, they were on the thankfully plush carpeted floor.
Romano froze, staring at Spain below him. Spain stared back, smile growing. He wrapped his arms around Romano's neck and pulled him down for a kiss, then another. "You're cute," Spain said, after the third or fourth kiss.
"You're... not terrible," Romano muttered, turning his face up so that if Spain wanted to kiss him again, he could. Spain did exactly that, pressing another quick kiss to Romano's lips. Romano buried his face into Spain's shoulder again, not to cover his blush, but to cover the tingling smile that was threatening to break out over his lips. Stupid bastard, always making him do embarrassing things.
There was a polite knock at the door. Romano startled, remembering suddenly that he was on the floor in a Prada dressing room, which was pretty high on his impressively long list of places that it was inappropriate to cuddle Spain.
"Excuse me, Signore Vargas?" the sales attendant's voice came through the thin door as Romano struggled to stand up and disentangle his legs from Spain's legs and Spain's pants. He tripped again, landing hard on Spain, who let out a pained whoosh of air as Romano's weight forced all the breath from his lungs. "Signore Vargas?" the sales attendant repeated, sounding concerned. "Are you and your friend all right?"
"We're fine. What do you want?" Romano snapped, harsher than he'd really intended. He normally tried to be at least moderately polite to his own people, but as anyone who knew him, politeness wasn't something he put much effort into even at the best of times.
"I just wanted to know if there was anything I could take back, or find in another size?" the sales assistant sounded nervous, and it made Romano feel a little bit better to know that he could intimidate impeccably dressed Prada sales assistants.
"Come back in five minutes," Romano said, finally pulling himself free of Spain. "And you, try something on. I told you to skip the pink pinstripes. Just try on the black with the charcoal pinstripes." Romano flushed bright red again and took a moment before getting the next part out. "...I like you in pinstripes. Just not pink ones! Now go."
Spain gave Romano a blinding smile and disappeared behind the curtain. By the time the salesperson came back, Romano had a stack of discarded and rejected suits to give him, and a line of hangers with suits that he planned on Spain buying. As the salesperson carried them out to the check out station, Romano noticed that a lot of the sales associates were looking at him and Spain. Nothing unsubtle. Just... looking. They kept sort of glancing at him out of the corners of their eyes and it was driving him nuts.
Spain caught Romano's glances and disgruntled frown. "It's okay," he said, offering up a reassuring smile. "They probably just think we had sex in the dressing room or something."
Romano's frown deepened into a scowl. He reached for Spain's hand, not because he liked holding the bastard's hand, and definitely not because he was embarrassed and needed some reassurance from Spain. Nothing like that. He just wanted to make sure Spain didn't get lost. It was a pretty big store.
His hand met air.
Romano turned, half-expecting to see Spain wandering aimlessly around the store, making dumb comments about fashions he didn't know anything about, but instead he was holding up a moss green-brown coat, looking contemplative. It was a nice coat. It was dramatic, massively flared at the waist with thick lapels, thick cuffs around the sleeves and black military buttons. Romano bit the inside of his cheek hard. That was a beautiful coat.
"Hey, Romano!" Spain called, his voice seeming much too loud for the muted, professional store. "Look what I found! Isn't it neat looking?"
On one hand, Romano didn't like it. It wasn't a featured part of the 2011 collection. It was what was called a reaction piece. Prada heard that Dolce and Gabana were really pushing the military theme, and so they put out a few military styled coats just to compete with the Dolce and Gabana ones.
On the other hand... that was a really nice coat
Spain brought the coat to Romano and slid it over his shoulders, chuckling as he tried to help Romano into the sleeves. Romano scowled and pushed him off. He stuck his other arm into the sleeve himself and pulled the coat into place. It fit really, really well. The cut was pure Prada menswear at it's finest, all strong lines and bold accents.
Romano looked up at Spain, and much to his frustration, he could feel a blush making its way across his cheeks.
"It matches your eyes," Spain said with a slow smile.
Before Romano could comment on how that was almost really sweet, Spain continued.
"And it looks kind of like the jackets I used to wear in my pirate days! I always looked so cool back then!"
Romano wanted to facepalm. Spain had his moments, but they were mostly accidental. "Come on, idiot. Let's get this stuff paid for." He pulled the coat off and held it tight, clearly intent on purchasing it. He almost turned to move towards the cash registers, before Spain's smile caught him in his tracks. That stupid smile, with it's white teeth and little dimples in the corners.
"Damnit," Romano muttered disgustedly before taking a step forward and planting a quick kiss on the corner of Spain's mouth. "Stop looking so..." Adorable. "Idiotic."
It wasn't often that Romano initiated kisses, and Spain's mouth grew even wider. Instead of cooing over how cute Romano was, however, he laughed.
"What's so funny, bastard?" Romano asked, his cheeks going pink once again.
"I was just thinking about the salespeople," Spain said. "You probably just convinced them that they were right about us having sex in the dressing rooms."
Romano's face went from embarrassed pink to mannequin white to bright, furious red in what must have been record time. He opened his mouth to say something, snapped it closed, and turned on his heel and stomped off in the direction of the cash register. Spain just grinned and followed after.