"Are we done yet?" Lovino moaned, dropping a box on the floor and leaning his back on the plaster wall, letting his legs sprawl before him as he slid to the floor.
"Yup, that's the last one," Antonio smiled, setting down his own box and stretching his arms over his head. "Now we just get to unpack," he winked, laughing when a string of curses escaped the smaller Italian's mouth. "Hey, the sooner we get this place set up, the sooner we can stop working our odd jobs," Antonio reminded, pulling a box cutter from his pants pocket and slicing it through the thick tape of the nearest package.
"Yeah, yeah," Lovino mumbled, tilting his head to the side to watch the Spaniard work before sighing and pulling himself to his feet. "How did I let you talk me into this, anyway?" He groaned, walking to where his bubble-wrap covered prints lay stacked against the wall.
"That's funny, I thought it was a joint decision," Antonio laughed, pulling a few framed photos from the box and smiling at them lovingly before placing them on the nearby counter.
"You have an unfair advantage," Lovino insisted, "that puppy dog face of yours, how the fuck am I supposed to say 'no' to that?"
"You're not getting soft are you, Lovi?" Antonio teased, walking up to the boy's back and wrapping his arms around his waist, sending warm breaths across his neck.
"Of course not, bastard," the Italian managed, blushing madly at the contact.
"Look, baby," Antonio whispered, voice heavy with delirious contentment. "This is all ours."
Lovino quirked his chin up and smiled despite himself. It was admittedly nice, it was everything he wanted. He had been so secretly excited when the Spaniard proposed the idea to him one night over dinner. Antonio had stumbled across the abandoned storefront on one of his many random excursions in search of new obscure produce stands, he told Lovino that it called to him, and the Italian could see why. The structure was perfect, the front door leading to two decently sized brick-walled sections, one side exiting into a slightly smaller plaster coated room. The pair had always dreamed of starting a joint restaurant and gallery, but they hadn't imagined that it would ever be possible, or especially that they'd find a building already so perfectly customized to their needs.
The best part though, Lovino thought, was the narrow staircase leading to a loft apartment nestled over the store. When he saw that, he knew he'd be willing to take out a loan, to be in debt forever, if it meant owning this place. He could just imagine it: decades down the line, him and Antonio wrinkled and old and still madly in love, living comfortably in their cozy apartment, filled with so many happy memories. It felt good to dream that way, he had only just started to do it, coaxed from his shell day by day just from basking in the glow of Antonio's warmth. He felt lucky, the realization had sneaked up on him, and shocked him when he put a name to it. 'Lucky,' who knew? Who knew that feeling would ever find its way back in his heart?
"Did you remember to call and get the electricity turned on?" Lovino asked finally, watching the dark shadows descending from the deepening orange sky.
"Of course," Antonio smiled, kissing the Italian's jawline before releasing his hold and returning to the bar. "I can finally try out my new equipment tonight!" He cheered happily, slicing the tape on the brightly colored packages littering the counter.
"You're not really going to make coffee at night, are you?" Lovino asked, quirking an eyebrow in disgust. It had shocked him initially when Antonio admitted to wanting to start a café, claiming that the size was perfect and that he liked the small and friendly crowds that such establishments provided. It had taken some coaxing to get the Italian to agree to it, he had made so much progress and was scared of what might happen if he was constantly surrounded by painful memories. But eventually he grew used to the idea, those negative reflections overpowered by the positive ones, a testament to how much he'd grown.
"Of course I am," Antonio replied, his beaming smile squashing the argument in Lovino's throat. "Have you heard from your dealer recently?"
The Italian shuffled over to the bar and leaned his elbows against it, "yeah," he nodded, fingering the picture resting on the surface, features softening at the four smiling faces: himself, Feliciano, Antonio and even Ludwig, his new little family. "I sold two more pieces."
"Ah, wonderful!" Antonio beamed, "I'm so proud of you."
"Oh shut up," Lovino chastised, ducking his head to hide a grin, "but it will help out with payments for this place." He sighed, letting his eyes wander around the dusty corners.
"We'll be okay," the Spaniard replied wistfully, "we have each other, after all."
"Ugh," Lovino groaned, playfully rolling his eyes, "stop being so sappy, bastard."
"Yeah," Antonio laughed, glancing from his work to stare at the Italian, illuminated by the early evening light.
Lovino squirmed under his stare, "wh-what is it?" He croaked, cheeks filling with heat.
Antonio only smiled and walked around the bar, cupping the Italian's cheek in his hand, "hey, Lovi?"
"What?" the younger boy demanded, heart pounding in his chest, "you're weirding me out, bastard, stop it." He gaped with wide eyes as the Spaniard sunk to the floor on one knee, digging in his pocket and pulling out a velvet black box. "Oh fuck, no. No," Lovino pleaded, tears pricking in his eyes, flames shooting through his body.
"Lovino," Antonio whispered, clearly enunciating every syllable, staring meaningfully into the Italian's glistening golden eyes. "I love you so much, I want to be with you forever."
"I-I want that, too," Lovino nodded, fat tears rolling down his cheeks. "I want it more than anything."
"Lovi," Antonio tried again, knot forming in his throat, eyes stinging with wetness, "will you marry-"
"Yes, yes, fucking yes," Lovino cried, crumpling to his knees and grasping his arms around the Spaniard's shoulders, back shuddering as he cried into his neck.
"I'm so happy," Antonio choked out around tears, pulling the Italian away so he could plant warm kisses to his inflamed lips. "I've never been so happy."
"Me too," Lovino agreed easily, furling his fingers around the Spaniard's soft hair, holding his face so close to Antonio's that their noses touched. And it was true, he was happy, and it was incredible, and it was paralyzing, and he was so grateful he had finally allowed himself to be open to it. "Me too."