Lovino Wants To Retire
"This is the last straw."
Gilbert looked up from his cereal, managing to swallow before he spoke. "Uh... okay? Vhat are you talking about?"
Francis sighed, running his hands back through his hair, tugging at it as if that pain would keep his anger in check. It did not appear to be working. Gilbert got up and put himself behind his chair. "The. Turtles."
Now that he knew the anger was no longer directed at him, Gilbert sat back down in his chair. "Vhat about dem?"
"They have to go."
"There are too many of them."
"I'm vith you on dat."
"I don't care what Antonio has to say about it anymore."
Gilbert pulled a turtle out of his bowl, looking with irritation down at his food. So much for that. "Broken de news yet?"
Francis clicked his tongue against his teeth. "I'm telling you, Gilbert. If you haven't convinced Antonio to call someone before I get home from work today..."
"I'm in trouble?"
"Pas des tortues plus!" Francis snapped. "Pas!" With that exclamation, he stomped off.
"Good luck vith dose fire flowers!" Gilbert called after him, nearly setting his elbow on another turtle. Francis made a noise which sounded like a scoff. "Don't get caught by your girlfriends!"
Francis slammed the door shut. Gilbert moved the turtle.
Tell Antonio he had to get rid of the turtles and they had to cut off their pipes? Yeah. Yeah right. Gilbert needed to keep the lines open. Still... Francis appeared to be on his last legs, so he might as well pretend he was going to do something about the matter. And getting rid of the turtles would be liberating.
I know a guy who knows a guy, Gilbert thought with a shrug. After all, he was not asking his brother. Sure plumbers were expensive, but... it was Antonio's fault and Francis wanted it. The two of them could pay.
Time to convince Antonio that the turtles had to go.
"I think it's time to start talking about retiring," Lovino spat out pieces of toad. His brother, wiping toad slime out of his eyes, stared at him as though he were insane.
"Lovino! I'm only twenty two!"
"That's ancient, in plumbing years!" Lovino snapped at him, hitting the side of the pipe they were in with his plunger.
Actually, that was a lie. Thirty was ancient in plumbing years. Twenty four was when most of them kicked the bucket. Lovino was twenty four. He was not going to goad fate. Plus, they had not found any gold coins. Aka: it was not worth every other shitty thing that had happened.
Feliciano pouted. Lovino wondered whether the toad had done any lasting damage to Feliciano's brain. Lovino was always wondering that. Which made him wonder why he even had to think about it now, like it was something new to bring up. That was just silly. Feliciano was really dumb, by Lovino's standards.
Climbing out of the pipes, for the millionth time in his career Lovino knew he had returned at the wrong time. The couple that lived here were in a conversation he did not want to hear.
"Arthur, either you tell him or I tell him. I can't see him running from this!"
"For the last time, no. I will not."
Lovino hit the side of the pipe loudly before he stuck his head up, hoping they would have at least heard that. "The toad is gone."
Both of them sighed. "What a relief," Arthur said, actually lending Lovino a hand.
He seemed to regret it afterward, with all of the toad he got on his hand, but did not withdraw. Still, it left Lovino to hold a hand out to his brother and Feliciano nearly slid back down the pipes before he got out.
"I really wish to know when the mutations started toads on eating aquarium fish, but..." Arthur cut that thought off, Angelique behind him slightly teary eyed at the thought of all of her fish that had been eaten. Lovino had thought it a bad idea to mention how much he personally liked seafood. Not from pipes though.
"No more toads through these pipes!" Feliciano proclaimed proudly. "You have the Vargas' word on that!"
"We'll close this up and get out of your hair," Lovino continued, managing to refrain from spitting. There was still toad in his mouth. Damn.
"Would either of you... like a shower?" Angelique queried.
"But brother... the pipe..."
"After we finish up, if the offers still open," Lovino added.
"Of course!" the girl (obviously from some faraway island, for who else would have that tan and walk around here with bare feet when they were getting toad guts on her hardwood floors?) smiled. Lovino guessed she really wanted them out of here. Lovino could appreciate the sentiment. Four years ago, Lovino had dragged his brother into the profession of plumbing. The pipes were the place to be. One could get rich off of what could be found there and only plumbers could go in. It seemed the perfect get-rich-quick scheme. What were the chances that they would be the ones coming across everything that could go wrong in the profession?
A million to one. Lovino hated the stupid man who came to his high school on Career Day and had put the idea in his head. Alfred Jones could go to hell. As soon as they were out of the apartment, Lovino said so.
"Stupid Jones, he can go to hell. Retirement, Feli. We've gotten by on little already, might as well continue to do so."
"I'm only twenty two!" Feliciano wailed. "And we're stretched tight as it is! If we go, who will take all the calls?"
"Some new, stupid, young people who think for some reason it's a great idea to become a plumber!"
"Lovi! I'm only twenty two!"
Lovino grumbled. If he had to hear his brother tell him how old he was again, Lovino might just push him back in the pipes. Their life insurance policy was excellent, Lovino could live like a king if his brother did not come back out of the plumbing.
By the time they were done there and heading back home, Feliciano was rambling about what he was going to make for dinner and Lovino was planning what he would do with the rest of his life. They just were not successful enough to buy more lives, they each only had one. And Lovino wanted to do a lot more with this one. He was not quite certain what yet, but he wanted the time to think about it.
Then his cell phone went off. Lovino took it out and tried to throw it off the bridge.
"I'm not answering it!"
"You have to! It might be grandpa!"
Lovino glowered at his brother before answering. "The Vargas Brothers. We're retiring tomorrow, so this better be quick."
"They're forcing me to do this!"
"I promise that I'd never get rid of them willingly!"
Lovino stared at the phone for a moment before putting it back to his ear. "You're calling for some plumbers, right?"
"They're my babies, I can't just evict them!"
"What the fuck?"
Whoever the idiot was on the other side of the phone seemed to stop rambling about whatever it was he was talking about and finally breathe. "I suppose I have my hands full... The turtles keep coming in through the plumbing."
He had heard of that one before. Never that reaction though. Lovino felt like hanging up. "Turtle infestation? We can take care of that." Fuck yeah.
"Infestation? You make it sound like a bad thing~!"
"Just give me your goddamn address," Lovino said, ignoring anything else the man could possibly say. After all, how weird could one man be?
"Gilbert? What's our address?"
Lovino was dreading this one.
"Wow brother... that's a lot of turtles."
"Are you sure you're not letting them in!" the elder brother barked.
"By having pipes?" Antonio asked.
That was the last either of the brother's spoke to him. Not the the younger had not tried to, but the Vargas in charge was insistent on their job. Antonio kept peeking in to check on them, ask if they were thirsty, make certain Lovino would not step on any of his turtles, the works.
He was not certain what exactly they were going to do to make certain the turtles stopped coming up either. Honestly, he was curious.
"What are you doing now~?"
"Trying to work, dammit! Do you want us to do this or not?"
"Of course! I didn't just call you to have two cute young men working in my apartment~"
Feliciano giggled. Lovino looked scandalized. "You're about to have a lot more turtles in your apartment if you don't shut up."
Antonio smiled. After all, he did not mind either way. It was Francis who was going ballistic. Perhaps trying to go out with two different women at the same time was too much for him now that he actually had a steady job. Either way...
"You like your job?" he asked Lovino cheerfully, the brother in question slowly lowering something into the pipes to Feliciano who was not in view.
"No," Lovino said flatly. "We're retiring tomorrow."
"Really?" Antonio asked whimsically, wondering what it would be like to retire so young. Then again, plumbers got all the breaks in society. Made up for the fact a lot of them liquefied or were crushed or fell down pits. At least, society liked to say the perks made up for that.
"What d'you think?" Lovino shot back. Antonio smiled.
"I used to wonder what it would be like to be a plumber, but a friend of mine quickly dissuaded any interest."
"Good for him."
"His name was Roderich. He was very good with numbers and so tallied up how much I would likely loose in a year and how much time I would have wasted."
"Do I sound like a care?"
"Your personality doesn't match your face."
Lovino instantly reddened at that, whether from embarrassment or embarrassment and anger Antonio could only guess (his money was on the former). "And your face needs to shut up!"
"Dat de plumber?" Antonio turned around to look at Gilbert, who had poked his head into the room.
"His brother's down in the pipes~!" Antonio nodded. Lovino scowled again and went to ignoring the both of them.
"How long vill dis take?" Gilbert asked Lovino. Lovino ignored him.
"I don't mind it taking a while," Antonio admitted. Whether it was because Lovino was funny to bother or because it meant the turtles could come and go as they pleased for longer he decided not to pinpoint. Once again he moved one aside before Lovino could step on it.
"Will you people just let me work?" Lovino snapped. Gilbert rolled his eyes and left. Antonio settled himself against the wall.
"How long have you been a plumber for?" he asked Lovino.
Which was right when some sort of alarm went off. Lovino blinked a few times before sticking his head down the pipe. "The hell is that, Fel?" Feliciano yelled something in response, but not even Lovino seemed to be able to understand what it was he had said. "What?"
Antonio blinked as the plumber faced him with his face. "What's that?"
"You're under arrest for the possession of illegal substances," Lovino said, sounding (and looking) a little too pleased to be saying that. "I guess I might not retire... just yet."
"You can't arrest me for something I'm not actually possessing," Antonio tried to protest as Lovino turned away once more to pull out some cuffs.
"Well... I suppose because I have two roommates, both with records," Antonio shrugged as the handcuffs were slapped on his wrists. "You just met the worst of them~"
The other hesitated, staring at the irons. "Then why are you so fucking happy?"
"Huh?" Antonio asked cheerfully. After all, what would be the point in getting upset? This was a misunderstanding and he had not done anything wrong... being upset would be pointless.
"Ugh," Lovino shook his head, as if he were trying to forget he asked the question. Antonio could not fathom why. Did he really want to know?
"It's just that–"
"Feliciano! What's taking you so long?" Even Antonio knew that when someone did not respond when they should from the pipes, there was something wrong. Lovino let out another curse (though this time it was quiet enough Antonio could not pick out which particular one he had decided to use) as he pulled out his radio. "Why are you going further in, idiot?"
The echo of his words came up the pipes.
Lovino swallowed, then stuck his head into the pipe.. "...Feli?"
"The turtles could have distracted him," Antonio suggested helpfully.
Lovino did not bother to glare at him this time.
"Fuck! I paid you guys! You aren't supposed to do dis! Hey!"
Feliciano 've~d'. He really wished he could have said this was the first time he had gotten kidnapped while on the job because one of the clients happened to be involved in shroom trafficking. Actually, he could say this was the first time. Both had happened before, but never together. So that made it a new experience in its own!
"You look like someone I know!" he said cheerfully to his fellow captive.
"Dat's great, but I'm busy here, kid."
"Kid? I can't be too much younger than you..." Feliciano tried to think about how old the other man looked, but simply became distracted by the fact he looked familiar. "You're not related to Beilschmidt, are you?"
"I am Beilschmidt!"
"Ludwig! You've changed!"
"Vhat de hell? He's my bruder."
"I've worked with him a couple times," Feliciano reminisced happily. "He and Honda are really good! They've got me and my brother out of a lot of tight spots – they're like my heroes!"
Ludwig's brother groaned. "Don't remind me."
"Is he your hero too?"
"No! Vhat's vrong vith you? Ve've been tied up by turtles!"
Feliciano could not be too bothered. Lovino would save him. Lovino was good at saving him. And if all else failed, maybe another plumber would show up. Ludwig and Kiku might be the plumbers (other than Lovino, of course!) that he liked the most, but it did not mean the rest were incompetent. There had to be others around here somewhere!
So he was not worried.
"I'll admit, I was surprised they were able to knot the ropes!"
Feliciano thought he heard Gilbert start to sob.
Today was turning out to be a pretty terrible day.
"Kidnapped?" his stupid client asked. Certainly he would get himself in trouble somehow otherwise (as he appeared to be like his brother, someone who needed help tying his shoes), Lovino decided to leave the handcuffs on him. For his own safety, of course. "Why?"
"Just stuff that happens in the business, dammit. Nothing to do with you." Quickly, Lovino went to look through their supplies. Cape feathers? They still had those? Too bad he did not know if that would even come in handy. He hoped not, if he did not have to use them he could sell them after today. Tomorrow was retirement. He would just keep looking forward to that. ...Lemon candy? Pasta? Why was Feliciano carrying this crap? The lemon candy, that is. Lovino pocketed the container with the pasta.
"So... what are we going to do?"
"You're going to stay here. Out of the way." He did not have any fire flowers. Damn.
"...but with Gilbert gone and Francis at work I'm the only one at home. So if they come back they'll take me too, right?" Antonio still sounded cheerful. Lovino's eyebrow twitched.
"...I wish they would take you..."
"Shut up!" Lovino snapped. He went looking through Feliciano's wallet, which he had thankfully left up here. Not thankfully enough, because there was not much in it. "I don't care, I'm going in for my brother. I don't care about your roommate."
Antonio stopped to think about it. "What about your paycheck?"
"I can't give it to you if I'm kidnapped~!"
"Why are you so happy about saying that?" Lovino exclaimed.
Antonio smiled. "Because you'll have to take me with you."
"SO?" Lovino glared.
"I think you're cute."
Lovino opened his mouth to retort when it sunk in. "Gu– whu– hu– you–" Antonio's smile widened and Lovino managed to get past his mental block. "Sh-shut up! No I'm not! Go away! I'm leaving."
"So... am I going away or are you leaving?"
"I said shut up!" Lovino shouted, picking up his bag and heading into the pipe. Time to follow after whatever path he could find down here.
Lovino shut his eyes. He did not have to turn around to know he would see Antonio, who had fallen into the pipe since he could not climb down with his hands.
"Wow... I've never been down here before!"
"Because it's illegal, moron! Now you should be under arrest!"
He was not taking it seriously, but Lovino certainly was. Those handcuffs were going to stay on. In fact, if he could leave the Spaniard behind he would do so. Really quickly. Lovino quickly made his way down the pipeline, hearing the sounds of Antonio struggling to his feet behind him. He quickly left him behind.
And stopped. Dammit. Dammit, dammit.
"Are you keeping up or not?" Lovino shouted back at him. Just because I don't want to deal with him doing something really stupid while I'm not looking and have that mess up my retreat or something.
"Coming!" Something bumped against his foot. Peering down, Lovino rubbed something fire petals together (all he really had left) for a bit of light. It was just another turtle. Wait a second...
Meanwhile, somewhere a little more competent...
They both picked out a straw. Ludwig had the short one. "Sorry," Kiku smiled softly. Ludwig shook his head.
"It vas eider you or me. I'll just get dis done vith."
It was probably best that Ludwig was the one who had to go. Kiku had not been paying much attention to anything since he had gotten his Yoshi egg. It was likely going to hatch soon as Kiku spent more than half the day staring at it as if that would make it crack faster. Ludwig was not looking forward to when it actually hatched. A Yoshi would be useful, but a baby one... with Kiku... Kiku with something small and cute...
So Ludwig found himself at the Braginski's mansion door, ringing the doorbell and patting the fire off his pant leg which had brushed by one of the many fire flowers. Ivan Braginski, the biggest producer of fire flowers, one of the most important supplies for a plumber, among other professions. They dealt with him on a regular basis because of this. They dealt with him even more because someone had to watch over the strange events which tended to happen around him.
"Ah... Beilschmidt?" Ivan asked, looking through his cracked door. "Can I help you?"
"I'm here to talk to you about Natalia," Ludwig sighed.
Ivan frowned, a long squiggly line on his face. It was rather impressive.
"She's been sending turtles into de pipes. I don't know vhy, but dey have been taking people. I'm sick of rescuing dem. Can you...?"
"Talk to her? Da." Ivan sighed. "...probably vants 'nozer trip or somezing..."
With that, the door shut. Ludwig patted his shoe out. He did not know how someone could deal with such an annoying girlfriend.
Then again, he dealt with Kiku and he had his moments.
"Pas des tortues plus!" = "No more turtles!"
I made up my own world based on Mario. Hetalia has made me do a lot of things I never would have thought of doing. Wow. Anyway, I hope this was satisfactory, DeLurk. I took everything more overboard than I had planned on, so I hope it was still humorous. I hope to have the second part finished soon.