"'Hoist the sails and get me my brown pants!' Ha ha ha!"

Giggle-snorting, Kiku clapped a hand over his mouth to stifle his laughter as Antonio doubled over with stomach pains, still grinning and choking back a giggle fit. Alfred smiled, laughing along with his friends before tearing into a piece of pizza he'd bought for lunch. Halfway through his second slice, someone tapped on his shoulder; turning around, he came face to… petal with a red rose.

Blushing furiously as Alfred looked up, Lovino Vargas maintained his seemingly permanent scowl and muttered, "Friday. Six o' clock. My dorm room. Don't be late," flushing a deeper red as he stalked off to go sit with his little brother and the Beilschmidt boys.

While poor Alfred was still in a confusion-induced trance, Francis came sauntering over with his lunch and sat down next to Antonio. Normal pervy smile on his face, he said, "Ah, l'amour," and made a big-ass spectacle of it. "It is in ze air, non?"

"Huh?" Alfred said as he blinked and shook his head, coming back to reality. Looking down at the rose in his hand briefly before he glanced back up at his friends, he said, "What was that all about?"

Antonio shrugged. "No sé, pero es bueno, ¿verdad?" he replied, biting happily into his tomato.

"I don't know whether or not it's good. I'm still trying to get over the shock."

"Arfred-san," came Kiku's voice, soft and with a hint of humor, "perhaps you should just take the situation at face varue; it's not every day that Rovino shows that much affection, not even toward his ritter brother."

. . .

americanpie how do u tell if some1 actually likes u? i'm so confused lol

americanpie lovi is so complex haha i nvr no wat he's thinkin

ajkirkland (a)americanpie:Your grammar is laughably atrocious, Alfred. Lovino isn't as complicated as you think.

americanpie (a)ajkirkland: lol artie ur funny haha of course lovi is confusing he's italian lolololol :)

ajkirkland (a)americanpie: Stupid American… such a racist bastard…

americanpie (a)ajkirkland: lol u stick in da mud u

ajkirkland (a)americanpie: At least I know I will be contributing positively to society when I graduate. You, on the other hand…

americanpie (a)ajkirkland: god ur worse then my dad! haha

ajkirkland (a)americanpie: Your father must not have done a bang-up job.

americanpie (a)ajkirkland: hey! i resent tht remark!

ajkirkland (a)americanpie: No, you resemble that remark.

americanpie (a)ajkirkland: ='( meanie.

. . .

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

You win.

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

OMG. You did it? 8D

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

Yes. Don't remind me.

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

*3* I'm so proud of you, Lovi~! What did he say?

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

nothing. I just told him what was going to happen and walked off. Was that wrong, or something?

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

*le sigh* Yes. Very, very wrong. Have you no romantic bone in your body?

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

I gave him a rose. That's romantic, right?

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

You're hopeless, Lovino. Absolutely bloody hopeless.

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

You've been hanging out with Arthur again, haven't you? And I thought that roses were supposed to be romantic.

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

Sometimes I wish we could've been accepted to the same college. You really need my help. A dozen roses with chocolate, a handmade card, and a confession of love is romantic. A dozen roses with chocolate and a handmade card is romantic. A dozen roses with chocolate is romantic. A dozen roses is romantic. Handing someone a single rose without saying anything even remotely fluffy is NOT romantic. What the hell kind of an Italian are you?

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

Apparently, the unromantic kind. Is there some sort of stupid ass rule that says all Italians have to be fucking fantastic lovers?

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

Well, it's a generalized statement, but ideally the British would be the police, the cooks would be French, the bankers would be Swiss, the mechanics would be German, and the lovers would be Italian. Or, in my case, 'Prussian.'

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

WHY are you dating that loser, anyway?

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

Because I love him. ;D

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

He's retarded.

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

It's endearing. Stop trying to change the subject. Do you at least have a time and date set up for your 'outing' with Alfie?

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

Friday at six, but Idunnowheretogohelpmeplease.

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

Dinner and a movie.

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

Too cliché.

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

How about a concert? Isn't there one tonight?

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

First of all, that concert's been sold out since fifteen minutes after sales opened. Second of all, I wouldn't have been able to afford tickets anyway. Thirdly, there's no way I'd ever take Alfred to a fucking Lady Gaga concert. I have a reputation I need to uphold.

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

What about a simple walk in the park or something?

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

Hell, it's worth a shot.

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

That's my wittle Wovino. Always such a trooper. *Hollywood tear*

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

God, I hate you. And your boyfriend's being a jackass right now. Where's his off button again?

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

Just tell him that I've been perusing the internet for a new frying pan and Farberware is looking pretty promising. He'll stop. And send my love~

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

Surprisingly enough, he stopped. Anywho, I think a walk in the park is fine; it's not like we'll be doing anything disturbing.

From: Hungarian_Horntail

To: Buono_Tomato

If you guys have sex, send me the tape. *wink wink* *nod nod* *nudge nudge*

From: Buono_Tomato

To: Hungarian_Horntail

*dies a little inside* You are unbelievable, Liz.

. . .

"There is absolutely no fucking way I can go through with this," Lovino deadpanned, curled up on his side with his head in his brother's lap as Feliciano petted his hair. "Something is going to go irreversibly wrong, Alfred will hate me, and I'll end up dying alone with nothing but the company of dozens of Maltese and a plethora of Italian wine."

Feliciano frowned. "Fratello," he murmured, sticking his bottom lip out in a pout, "you need to be more positive and see the good things in life! I'm sure that the date will go fine and you'll have a lot of fun, plus I'm sure you and Alfred will live happily ever after and get married and die after a long, happy life together! And if Alfred isn't the right guy for you, you can always try again with someone else, like… Toni!"

"Tried that, didn't work, now he's happily in a relationship of questionable origins with Arthur. Next."

The person on the webcam sighed, running her fingers through her light brown hair and pursing her lips. "Feli's got a point, Lovi," she said matter-of-factly, adjusting her camera. "You either give up too quickly or are hesitant to start, but I can one-hundred percent guarantee that there's someone out there that's perfect for you. It may be Alfred, it may have actually been Antonio, or it could be someone you haven't met yet. But they're out there; you just have to make an effort to find them."

Lovino scoffed. "Easy for you to say. Elizabeta Héderváry, age twenty: in a committed relationship for four years, no known relationship-inhibiting personality flaws, cute face, pretty eyes, slim figure—"

"Nice ass," Gilbert interjected, winking at Liz. She rolled her eyes.

Kicking Gilbert in the shin, Lovino continued with, "Do you get my point? You've never had problems with getting a date or keeping up with a relationship. I, on the other hand, have nothing but problems when it comes to relationships."

"Ve, stop being so damn cynical, Lovi!" Feliciano cried out, standing up and knocking his brother to the floor with an 'oomph.' "Oops, sorry, fratello." Smiling sheepishly, he extended a hand and pulled Lovino back up onto the bed, patting his head apologetically.

Liz looked at something off-screen, saying, "Alright, it's four o' clock right now. Everybody get out; I need to help Lovi pick out clothes for his date."

. . .

Alfred nibbled on his thumbnail, pacing back and forth in front of his computer while muttering something unintelligible. On the screen, Lars followed the blond with his 'eyes' and said, "Is there something bothering you?"

"Yes," he replied, and the computer program 'blinked.' "Lovino Vargas asked me out a couple days ago, and our date is in just a few hours. My problem is mostly about my feelings toward him and what I should do to avoid fucking up tonight."

Lars made a humming sound and responded, "Let's start with the first problem. Are you aware of how you feel about him? Or are you just following along?"

He stopped pacing, biting the inside of his cheek. "I like him, but I just don't know if it's as a friend or as more than a friend. But if it's any consolation, it's rather obvious how he feels about me. If it's a yes or no question, I'd have to go with yes, I do care about him as more than a friend."

A beep. "Now your second problem. Do you know where you are taking him tonight?"

Shaking his head, Alfred said, "No, I don't. That would be part of the problem."

"What about dinner and a movie?"

He shook his head again. "Too overdone. It's our first date, so maybe something smaller would be better."

"My records show that a walk on the beach or in the park would suffice."

"I'll try the park. Damn, you're a great program."

Lars 'smiled.' "I try."

. . .

I'm_the_Hero: oh god mattie i'm so scared! TT_TT

Pancake_Fiend: Why? Did someone threaten you with Arthur's cooking again?

I'm_the_Hero: no but tht would suck. lovino asked me out on a date and i just don't wanna fuck it up can u help me plz?

Pancake_Fiend: I'll help you when you can write an IM in complete sentences.

I'm_the_Hero: Fine. You suck ass, by the way.

Pancake_Fiend: I know. I take pride in it. Now what do you want help with?

I'm_the_Hero: My date with Lovi! Lars and I already worked out that yes, I do like him as more than just a friend, but I'm still afraid that I'll act like an idiot and fuck it all up forever. Heeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllp meeeeeeeeeeeeee! :'(

Pancake_Fiend: …Lars? Who's that?

I'm_the_Hero: My computer program. It stands for Linguistic Analysis and Response Software. Kiku helped me write code and work out all the kinks. It's like having someone to talk to that doesn't give snarky answers (yeah, I'm talking about you).

Pancake_Fiend: Oh. Well, where are you taking Lovino?

I'm_the_Hero: Walk through the park. Where did you take Katyusha on your first date?

Pancake_Fiend: Dinner and a movie. But a walk in the park sounds like an okay choice to me. Are you planning on stopping to get anything to eat while you're out?

I'm_the_Hero: Maybe, maybe not. Depends on what's there. We might stop at, say, McDonald's.

Pancake_Fiend: Don't. Trust me. Lovino has good taste in food and most likely wouldn't appreciate being dragged along to a crappy fast food restaurant. If you do stop for food, try to find someplace Italian; you'll thank me for it later.

I'm_the_Hero: If you say so, bro. Is there anything else I should remember to do? I haven't been on a date in forever.

Pancake_Fiend: Dress nicely, respect his personal space, and you should probably kiss him goodnight.

I'm_the_Hero: Are you fucking CRAZY? I can't kiss him goodnight!

Pancake_Fiend: Yes, you can, and you should. I've known Lovino since we were ten-ish, and he's sort-of-kind-of liked you since he was fourteen. Kiss him.

I'm_the_Hero: No.

Pancake_Fiend: Yes.

I'm_the_Hero: No.

Pancake_Fiend: Yes.

I'm_the_Hero: No.

Pancake_Fiend: Yes.

I'm_the_Hero: No.

Pancake_Fiend: Yes.

I'm_the_Hero: No!

Pancake_Fiend: Yes.

I'm_the_Hero: No!

Pancake_Fiend: Yes.

I'm_the_Hero: No!

Pancake_Fiend: Yes.

I'm_the_Hero: No!

Pancake_Fiend: No.

I'm_the_Hero: Yes!

I'm_the_Hero: …damn it!

Pancake_Fiend: Ha ha. =)

. . .

Hand shaking like a tub of Jell-O on a rollercoaster—he'd have to kick himself later for the shitty ass similes his brain was coming up with—Alfred stopped about two and a half inches away from knocking on Lovino's door. Taking a deep breath to try to calm his erratic nerves, he inhaled and held his breath as he rapped on the door with his knuckles.

"I'm coming, damn it! Fucking bastard…"

His heart jumped at the voice and he found himself speechless when the scowling brunet opened the door and glared at him, and suddenly he felt very underdressed for the occasion—Lovino, ever the fashion-conscious Italian he was, was wearing a nice pair of jeans, a button-up shirt of the powder blue variety, and black Converse. "Uh… hi," he said dumbly, mentally berating himself for being such a fucking idiot.

"You're early," Lovino observed, crossing his arms over his chest and raising an eyebrow at his da—activity companion. "Well? Aren't we going to leave, bas—Alfred?"

Shaking himself out of his own little world, Alfred replied, "Are you sure you don't want a coat? It's gonna get pretty chilly out there. I can wait a minute or so if you want to grab one…"

"I'm fine."

He shrugged. "If you say so."

. . .

Must not jump him, must not jump him, must not fucking jump the bastard…! Lovino repeated to himself, fingers twitching as his and Alfred's hands brushed on their walk toward a comfortably quaint-looking hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant. Which was aptly named "Il Foro Nel Muro."

Lovino snickered.

Alfred didn't get the joke.

. . .

"Benvenuti, signori, a Il Foro Nel Muro! Sono Alberto, tuo server. Posso prendere tuo ordine?" a cheery waiter asked, confusing Alfred while Lovino simply nodded and starting rattling off in Italian about something the blond was clueless about. "Sì, sì, e quale sarà tuo amico mangiare?"

Busying himself with turning his menu every which way in some strange attempt to understand what the fuck was written on it, Alfred missed Lovino rolling his eyes and saying, "Smorgasbord."

It wasn't until a few minutes after Alberto had left that Alfred noticed he and Lovino were alone again. "Hey, I didn't order!" he whined, dejectedly taking a sip of his soda.

"I ordered for you. I… hope you don't mind," Lovino muttered, cheeks pinking and pointedly looking away from the American. "I really, uh… a-appreciate you taking me out, Alfred… It really means a lot to me."

Alfred smiled widely, flashing a thumbs-up. "No problem, Lovi! That's what heroes do, anyway!"

Hiding the lower half of his face behind his glass, Lovino gave a tiny, barely noticeable smile.

. . .

Fully sated from the damn large meal at dinner, Lovino and Alfred continued their walk around town, eventually finding the park they'd deemed their original destination. Wrapping his arms around his torso, Lovino tried to ignore the way Alfred's hand was slowly but surely migrating toward his and quell the excitement that came with it.

He shivered, hugging himself tighter and feeling his knees shake. Before the next round of tremors started, something large, warm, and rather heavy was draped over his shoulders; looking up, he saw Alfred, now jacketless and smiling down at him with so much care and affection he thought he might just burst. "Feeling better?"

Not trusting his voice to stay level, he just nodded and allowed the other to wrap an arm around him from then until they were back at the dormitories, standing awkwardly outside Lovino's room. Lovino was still buried inside Alfred's jacket, while the blond shoved his hands in his pockets and stared at an interesting spot on the wall.

I love the great conversation we're having right now, he mocked mentally, inhaling the scent wafting pleasantly off of the bomber jacket he was snuggling into. "Thank you," he finally said, glancing away from Alfred and trying to force his blush down.

One short silence later, Alfred replied, "You're welcome."

"Do you… do you want your jacket back?"

He shook his head. "Nah, you can keep it. At least until the next time you see me." Scratching the back of his neck, he said, "Well, goodnight!" before turning around.

Now or never, Lovi. "A-Alfred, wait."

"Yeah?"

Sucking in a breath, Lovino leaned up and connected his mouth to Alfred's, squeezing his eyes shut and lingering for a moment before pulling back, bidding a hasty 'good night,' and scurrying into his room. Once the door was closed, he leaned against it and sighed, heading toward his bed and hopping into it without bothering to change his clothes.

Burying his nose into the collar of Alfred's bomber jacket, he closed his eyes and allowed a ghost of a smile to hijack his lips as he drifted off to sleep, thinking of breathtaking smiles, kind eyes, and perfect kisses.

. . .

A hand to his lips, Alfred wandered back toward his own dorm room with a stupid grin plastered on his face and a spacey look in his eyes. He has really soft lips…

. . .

To: Emma Vandenberghe (belgian_waffle431(a)aph . net)
From: Lovino Vargas (buono_tomato356(a)aph . net)
Subject: Status update + help needed

Em,

I'm fucking dying here.

As I'm sure you know, no doubt from Liz and her big fucking trap spilling any and all she knows about my personal life, I finally, after many years of pining away and watching from the sidelines, asked Alfred out on a date. Said date happened last night, and overall was nothing really out of the ordinary.

Herein lays the problem.

It was too perfect—he picked me up early, took me to an Italian restaurant, fucking gave me his damn jacket when I was cold, and walked me all the way back to my dorm room. I'm scared that it was just a one-time thing, since he really pulled out all the stops last night.

(Even if it wasn't a one-time thing, I may or may not have fucked it up tremendously by doing something I should probably regret but don't.)

Also, could you proofread my short story assignment for Creative Writing? I don't trust Gilbert with my grade and I need a fresh pair of eyes to look it over.

One (1) file attached:
short_story_assignment . doc

– – –

To: Lovino Vargas (buono_tomato356(a)aph . net)
From: Emma Vandenberghe (belgian_waffle431(a)aph . net)
Subject: Re: Status update + help needed

Lovi,

It's been too long since we've last spoken! You don't email me anymore, or even bother to text! It makes me sad. :'(

But, on a happier note, I'm so glad that you and Alfred finally went out on a date! When Liz told me, I didn't want to believe her since I knew that you'd wanted to ask him out for years but never had the courage to do so.

From what Katyusha has heard from Matt, and subsequently told me, is that Alfred is very, very serious about things like dating and romance. He's only had a handful of serious girlfriends and one or two boyfriends, but I know that he really does like you. Kat said that Alfred only calls, texts, IMs, or emails people the morning after a date if he wants to call the relationship off.

You're in the clear, Lovi. :)

What did you do that you think ruined it?

I've attached your story with some markings and notes.

One (1) file attached:
short_story_assignment_MARKED . doc

– – –

To: Emma Vandenberghe (belgian_waffle431(a)aph . net)
From: Lovino Vargas (buono_tomato356(a)aph . net)
Subject: Re: Re: Status update + help needed

Em,

Leave it to Liz to open her big fucking mouth and spout to the world what ought not be spouted. Oh well. At least she's not spreading rumors like she did her senior year of high school… poor Roderich will never be the same. I feel sorry for him simply because he's her cousin.

If what Katyusha said is true, then I may just be happy enough to strip down to my birthday suit and break dance in a public place. I've wanted to be with Alfred since I was about fourteen, and I really don't mind that it took me five years, many counseling sessions, a pervy best friend, and a hell of a lot of guts to make it happen.

And the thing I did that I should regret but don't was kiss him. He didn't kiss back, though I think it was because of the shock factor of it all, but still. I kissed him. Was I supposed to?

Thanks for reading my story for me. I've made the revisions.

One (1) file attached:
short_story_assignment_REVISED . doc

– – –

To: Lovino Vargas (buono_tomato356(a)aph . net)
From: Emma Vandenberghe (belgian_waffle431(a)aph . net)
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Status update + help needed

Lovi,

It's not like Liz was necessarily lying; after all, Roddy and Basch got together eventually, right? That aside, anyone could see the severe unresolved sexual tension going on between the two of them. It was just so obvious.

As for getting nekkid and break dancing… please don't.

Daww! You kissed him! That's so cute! There's no reason to be worried, though, because I'm totally sure that he'll eventually stop dancing around the issue and just snog your cute little Italian mouth into oblivion! :D

Whoops, you've got a few grammatical errors. I'll mark them.

One (1) file attached:
short_story_assignment_MARKED (2) . doc

– – –

To: Emma Vandenberghe (belgian_waffle431(a)aph . net)
From: Lovino Vargas (buono_tomato356(a)aph . net)
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Status update + help needed

Em,

Damn it. Fucking grammar. I just can't win, can I?

It's like, close to noon here and I promised Feli I'd take him and the German bastard out to lunch, so I'll just quickly fix those errors, send it off, and leave. I'll email you again when I can.

One (1) file attached:
short_story_assignment_REVISED (2) . doc

. . .

"You 'ave to be kidding me, mon ami," Francis deadpanned, poking absentmindedly at his salad as he stared at Alfred disbelievingly. "Zere is just no way… I don't believe it. Zat can't 'ave 'appened. Not wiz Lovino."

The corners of Alfred's mouth quirked upwards as a light blush settled on his cheeks. "I'm not lying," he said dreamily, resting his cheek on his hand and sighing. "He really did kiss me. It was perfect~"

Francis speared a crouton. "You do realize zis is Lovino we are talking about, non? Zat boy doesn't 'ave a single romantic bone in 'is body, zerefore I find it 'ard to grasp zat 'e willingly kissed you wizout coaxing or somezing of zat sort."

"Look, Frenchie," Alfred snapped, scowling at his crouton-munching friend, "if you can't accept that I'm in love, kindly get the fuck out." Eyes widening as he realized exactly what he'd just said, he clapped a hand over his mouth and turned bright red.

His companion looked pleased at his outburst, though. "Ohoho~" he chuckled, forking a few pieces of lettuce and pointing the fork at Alfred, "I knew it. You are in love wiz mon petit Lovino, are you not? Five years is a long time to wait for someone, regardless of 'ow important zey are. Why did it take you so long to realize your true feelings toward 'im?"

Estoy aquí!" Antonio announced, sliding into the empty seat next to Francis with a goofy grin, setting down his paella in front of him. "What did I miss?"

Before Alfred could answer, Francis cut in and said, "Alfred 'as realized zat, after being on ze receiving end of a kiss from Lovino last night, 'e is in love wiz ze resident angry Italian. Unfortunately, zough, 'e's an idiot zat can't read ze damn atmosphere and should 'ave known since day one zat Lovi was in love wiz 'im, too."

Antonio's eyes lit up gradually. "That is so cuuuuuuuuuuuuute!"

Groaning, Alfred dropped his head onto the table and wept out of embarrassment.

. . .

As both time and Feliciano's babbling wore on, a vein in Lovino's forehead was starting to make itself very, very prominent. But he just didn't have the heart to lunge across the table and strangle his idiotic brother to death, nor did he want to face the pissed off Feli that was likely to occur if he strangled Ludwig instead.

So he sat there, seething, irritated, and glaring at Ludwig.

"All eyes on me in the center of the ring, just like a circus; when I crack that whip ev'rybody gon' trip, just like a circus!"

Snarling, Lovino fished his cell phone out of his pocket, made a mental note to throttle Gilbert for once again changing his ringtone, and answered it with a nasty, "What?"

The person on the other line was silent for a moment, no doubt shocked and-slash-or offended by the Italian's rude greeting. "Lovino? It's me, Alfred."

Well, shit. "O-Oh… sorry about that, then. My Caller-ID is kinda fucked up right now, so I didn't know it was you. What do you want?"

"Are you busy tonight? I thought we could get together and, you know… talk some… things… over… yeah…"

Hmm… spending time with Alfred, or wasting my evening with Gilbert… "No, I'm free. Where do you want to meet?"

He could hear Alfred sigh and make some clicking sounds with his tongue before replying, "How about the courtyard behind the dorms? Just make sure to bring my jacket and one of your own, 'cause it's cold as shit out there right now and it'll only get worse."

"Um, okay. Eight-ish?"

"Eight-ish. See ya then."

. . .

Cursing, Alfred sped out of his dorm room and blew past Kiku; knocked over Heracles, Sadik, Eduard, and that trembly kid Raivis; narrowly avoided being stabbed to death by Natalya with a pen for running into Ivan, which Natalya didn't like very much; and tripped and fell on his face thirty inches from where Lovino was standing. "Ow."

He rolled over on his back to see narrowed green eyes and a disapproving frown. "You're late, bastard," Lovino said flatly, stepping back and allowing Alfred to haul his own ass to his feet. "It's eight-forty. Where the fuck were you?"

"My mom called," he answered, taking his bomber jacket from Lovino's hands and putting it on. "I couldn't just hang up on her."

Lovino scoffed. "The least you could've done was let me know you were going to be late so I wouldn't have to wait out here in the freezing fucking cold for your stupid ass and worry that something happened to you even though I don't really care." Taking a deep breath, he huffed and sat down on the grass.

Alfred shrugged and joined him, stretching his legs out straight while the other pulled his knees up to his chest. "I'm sorry, Lovi, I really am. But I'm here now, so we can talk. Do you have anything you wanna talk about?"

"Yeah. Us."

He cocked an eyebrow and tilted his head. "What about us?"

"Was last night a one-time thing, or are you actually serious about being with me romantically?" Lovino asked, burying the lower half of his face in his knees.

Why would he ask that? "Lovi, why is this so imperative?"

Sighing, Lovino looked away and dug deeper into his little cocoon. "Because I've had an off and on crush on you since we were fourteen, but somewhere along the way it turned into something more. I honest to God think I'm in love with you, because whenever I'm around you I don't know what to do, say, or how to act.

"When I was dating Toni, the only time I thought about him was when I was with him. With Emma, when I realized I wasn't eating alone. And Ludwig? That was just a mistake that we ended mutually. But with you, you're all I think about, even if we're far away from each other. You're the only person I've ever wanted to beat senseless and hug at the same time; not even my own brother makes me feel that way."

He sighed again, moving his arms and leaning back on his elbows before continuing with, "I probably sound like an idiot, but it's the truth."

Unable to stop himself, Alfred leaned over and dragged Lovino into a tight hug, despite the indignant squeak and rampant string of curses he received for his actions. "You don't sound stupid," he said, holding him tighter. "That may be the most romantic thing anyone's ever said to me. And I wanted you to know that… I feel the same way about you." He pulled back, smiling at Lovino's embarrassment and touching their foreheads together.

They sat there, foreheads touching lightly and holding each other, for the better part of half an hour before Lovino opened his mouth and muttered, "Are you going to kiss me, or not?"

Laughing quietly, Alfred held his face with one hand, rubbing tiny circles underneath an expectant green eye and leaning in to slowly, gently, press their lips together like he'd been doing it his whole life, like it was the natural thing to do. Humming contentedly, he gave one last little peck, the period at the end of the sentence, before pulling back.

Cheeks flushed pink and eyes closed, Lovino frowned momentarily at the loss of contact and opened his eyes to see Alfred grinning at him. "So, whadda ya say?" Alfred started, sliding his hand to the back of Lovino's head and playing with the hairs on the nape of his neck. "Do you wanna be my official boyfriend?"

"Alfred," he replied in a low voice, "shut the fuck up and kiss me again."

He complied.


Author's Note: Hey, like my profile says, anyone/everyone. :D

Translations (anything other than what's listed should be easy to figure out):

Benvenuti, signori, a Il Foro Nel Muro! Sono Alberto, tuo server. Posso prendere tuo ordine?—Welcome, gentlemen, to Il Foro Nel Muro! I am Alberto, your server. Can I take your order?

Sì, sì, e quale sarà tuo amico mangiare?—Yes, yes, and what will your friend eat?