AN: I haven't written anything in awhile, so here! 8D;;
I've really wanted to do one of those fun AU series, so I tried my hand at one. GerIta is so adorable, hnghh. ;; (When did Italy get so wise?)
I don't know how long this series will go for, I guess it depends on the feedback. Expect at LEAST 2-3 more chapters though.
ACHTUNG! INCLUDES MILD SWEARING AND GAY CONTEXT.
Hetalia: Axis Powers is a product of Hidekaz, not of my own. Characters belong to him.
Ludwig more or less stomped into the little cafe. He forced the door open with little care whether it was really supposed to be a push door or not, walked past the podium with no regard to the sign that requested customers to wait to be seated, and plopped himself down at a lonely little table next to the window.
Being a college student preoccupied with paying for his classes, he didn't have much time to lounge around and slack off, or much money to do so. But he had put up with so much shit today, he decided to let go and treat himself to something nice. Ludwig had had his eye on this quaint little Italian cafe for sometime, and he decided early that morning that he would try it out.
Though at this point, he was a bit too irritated to really care about the restaurant or its food. Not even the curious waiter who looked equally irritated and had a rather odd curl coming off of his head.
When the waiter came by and asked him what he wanted to drink, Ludwig barked out a list of beers, completely ignoring the bewildered look the waiter gave him before proceeding back into the kitchen. Manners were something he generally prided himself on, but he couldn't be damned to care this time around. After having around 8 beers brought out to him, Ludwig began to chug his way through them.
At this point, the waiter stormed back into the kitchen. "I told you! Germans are monsters! Rude drunkards, bastards and..." Lovino fell back onto Italian slurs, a bit too fast for his brother to follow.
"Hey now," Feliciano said, smiling softly and making soothing motions with his spatula. "I'm sure he's just having a bad day or something!"
"Doesn't mean he has to be such an asshole to the rest of us," the older sibling spat, crossing his arms and wearing his signature pout. Feliciano only laughed.
"Just take his order and I'll take care of it. You can leave early, alright?" Lovino paused, thinking it over, then decided it all worked out for him and it was almost closing time anyways.
After lounging around in the kitchen for a bit longer, both brothers watching the angry German go through half his beers, Lovino finally came back out, with a rather forced smile. "Are you ready to order, sir?"
The blonde customer looked at him, eyes starting to haze over a bit. "Mm...? Ah...Just get me anything with potatoes or something." With that, he turned away, reaching for the fifth bottle.
Lovino, after twitching a bit, finally managed to respond with an "alright," then hastily tore into the kitchen. "Just boil a potato for the bastard!" he called out, tearing off his uniform. Before Feliciano could try to get a clear response from his brother, Lovino had already bolted out the door and out of the restaurant.
Feliciano scratched his head. Sure, he was a rather talented cook, but he didn't have the faintest idea what to serve the angry man. Shyly poking his head out, Feli silently watched the German.
Ludwig gazed out the window, eyes furrowed as if remembering something annoying. Then he gripped the beer glass in hand with sudden ferocity, as if trying to crush it, before easing his fury and letting out a long sigh. Then he took a long drink from the glass and repeated the process.
At some point, Ludwig began to feel a bit paranoid, so glanced to the kitchen on a whim. He quickly spotted the man watching him and tensed up, locking eyes with the small chef. Feliciano let out a small 'eep!' and briefly retreated into the kitchen before managing to work up enough courage to peek halfway out beyond the door, flashing a sheepish smile.
"Um, sir...?" The German barked a curt response at him in his native tongue, causing Feli to wince a bit. "I...Is there...anything in particular you wanted...?" Feliciano could feel his body physically trembling, but the blond man paid no attention.
"I said anything would work fine," Ludwig responded, pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration. The chef began to stutter out a weak apology before Ludwig cut him off. "Look, it doesn't matter, alright? Just cook whatever you feel like." The Italian nodded before retreating back into the kitchen. Somewhere deep down, Ludwig felt a little bad about how he seemed to scare the poor fellow, but he didn't exactly care all that much at the moment.
He kicked back in the chair, beginning his mission of downing the rest of his beer. He slowly made his way through each of the glasses, eventually relaxing and kicking back in his chair. It was silent save for the clinks and clangs coming from the kitchen. Slowly closing his eyes, Ludwig fell into a half-asleep state, lost in his own thoughts and the smell of delicious food slowly making itself known.
He wasn't quite sure how long it took, but the chirping voice of the Italian shocked him out of his state. "Ve! Your food, signore!~"
Feliciano came twirling out of the kitchen with food in hand, his hat halfway off his head and apron spinning with him. The German watched the cheery boy, almost wanting to punch him for looking so happy. He quickly changed his mind when the plate was set in front of him, however.
Schnitzel and mashed potatoes.
Ludwig looked up to the chef, his confusion evident. "Isn't this an Italian restaurant?" The question itself was a bit dumb, seeing as the only two workers he had seen were clearly Italian. Feliciano simply smiled though, understanding.
"It is sir, but I pride myself on being able to cook a variety of things. And I wasn't sure what you would like from my culture..." The brunette looked away shyly, wringing his hands together in the folds of his apron. "So I just picked something from yours. Is that alright?"
Truth be told, it looked damn delicious. Ludwig hesitantly picked up his silverware, setting his napkin on his lap. Feliciano watched intently, carefully observing as Ludwig took the first few bites. The corners of the man's lips twitched upwards into a soft smile. Ludwig turned to the man. "Es ist fantastisch."
The Italian's face absolutely lit up. "Grazie," he said, bowing slightly before returning the kind smile. "I'm glad you're enjoying it. I'll go fetch you some more beer, alright?" Before Ludwig could object, Feli was already bounding back to the kitchen. Ludwig smiled a bit more to himself, proceeding on with his meal. All of his worries and anxieties melted away. Well, they got pushed to the back of his mind, at least.
When Feliciano came dancing back out of the kitchen with a beer in one hand and a wine in the other, his apron and hat had disappeared. He pranced over and sat himself down opposite his muscular customer, pushing the beer over to his side and then pouring some wine for himself. Ludwig raised a brow in curiosity, but his question was answered before he asked. "You looked like you needed some dining company, and you're my last customer for tonight, so..." Feliciano bit his lip in hesitation. "Do you mind? I can go back into the kitchen if you want, I just-"
"It's fine," the German responded, shaking his head and wiping his mouth. "I don't mind the company really." Sitting by himself, he probably would have started brooding again.
Accepting the Italian's company turned out to be a very wise decision after all. While the naturally quiet blond savored his meal, he listened to the naturally chatty brunette go on and on about anything and everything; the weather, favorite kinds of pasta, kinds of cars, fashion styles, music, forks and spoons, types of knives...
By the time Ludwig finished his meal, Feliciano looked like he was going to turn blue in the face. He took a breath, finally realizing that he had been having a one-sided conversation with himself with the amused German spectated. "B-But enough about me!" he said, waving his hands in front of him. "What about you, signore? I haven't even gotten your name!"
Ludwig paused for a moment, taking a sip of his last beer before responding. "...I'm Ludwig."
"Pleased to meet you, Ludwig!" The enthused Italian took Ludwig's hand into his own, shaking it vigorously. "My name is Feliciano Vargas!~"
"Nice to meet you as well," Ludwig mumbled out, nearly overwhelmed as the Italian began spewing out random nonsense again. "Excuse me, Feliciano?" Feli quickly stopped talking when he heard the German's deep voice. "If you don't mind me asking...how old are you?"
Feliciano blinked and furrowed his brows in confusion, then laughed. "I'm 24, sir."
"20..." Ludwig frowned. "That's rather young to be running your own business, isn't it?"
"Ah, not at all," the Italian quickly replied, a small smile spreading. "I enjoy it a lot, actually. It's never too busy, plus my brother is here to help me too!"
Ludwig shook his head. "Shouldn't you be going to school though?" Feliciano had already noted the university logo on the German's jacket, but disregarded it.
"I used to go to school." Feli kept the same consistent smile. "I used to be an art student. My grandfather passed away though, and there was no one left to take care of his restaurant...so my brother and I dropped out so we could take care of it."
"I...I see." Ludwig's cheeks burned. He felt bad about asking something so personal of someone he had just met, and had been so kind to him; but Feliciano smiled nonetheless, the same kind smile he had been giving Ludwig all night.
"What do you study, Ludwig?" Feliciano smoothly changed the subject, pouring some more wine for himself. Ludwig slightly envied the boy's charisma.
Ludwig smoothed back his hair. "I...I'm majoring in Physics and Mathematics." When the Italian started chuckling, Ludwig's cheeks burned again. "W-What's so funny?"
"It's nothing," Feliciano said between giggles. "You just...look like that kind of person."
"Like what kind of person?"
"The kind of person who works really hard all the time and is super smart and intimidates all his classmates and..." Ludwig blinked, but Feliciano just shot him another heartwarming smile. "I'm sure you'll go far, Ludwig."
Ludwig was just getting all kinds of embarrassed. He tried to look away, to hide his reddening face, but Feliciano just continued to smile. It was...different for him. He was used to his brother and his brother's friends constantly mocking him. With this man, this almost complete stranger...he didn't feel judged at all. He felt oddly content with just sitting here with him, relaxing and eating delicious food and...
"So what's on your mind?" Snapping back to reality, Ludwig blinked. Feliciano smiled all the same. "I mean...you were really upset when you came in. Do you want to talk about it?" The German let out a small groan. "I-I'm sorry! Scusi! I just-"
"Nein,it's nothing," Ludwig mumbled, shaking his head and stopping the Italian's apology. "It was just...my older brother."
"Is he sick or something?" Feliciano laid the question with honest intentions, but received a curt laugh in response.
"Sick in the head, maybe. I swear, he can't get anything together...he's failing a few of his classes, all he does is get drunk and hang out with his friends all his time, and all he can do is harass me all the damn time-!"
Ludwig paused when he felt the Italian's hand on his own. He hadn't even realized he had gripped the nearby knife to the point of his knuckles whitening, but Feliciano had and tried to ease his tensions. It worked.
"I suppose that's what older brothers are for," Feli said, pondering and tapping his chin with his unused hand. "Sometimes my brother says some really mean things and does stuff that isn't particularly kind to me...but I know it's never on purpose. I'm sure your brother cares about you Ludwig, maybe he just has a bad way of showing it."
The German's hand finally let go of the knife, shyly pulling away from the Italian's. "...You're probably right." Ludwig sighed to himself. "I wish he would just calm down a little sometimes though."
"Does he get angry a lot?"
Almost as if they had asked for the devil himself to arrive, the platinum-haired German came crashing though the doors of the cafe, completely and utterly ignoring the sign that had been flipped to 'closed' much earlier. "HEY LUDWIG~!"
Suddenly, Ludwig wished the ceiling would crash upon his head and kill him. His brother walked over, smacking him rather roughly on the back. "Oh man, I thought I would never find you!" The Prussian's obnoxious cackle quickly filled the air. "After you stomped off like that, I thought you were going to murder somebody! You're really scary sometimes, you know that? Kesesese!" Ludwig looked up to Feliciano, afraid of how he would react. Feli's eyes were wide, but otherwise he seemed a bit unphased. Until the newcomer turned his attention to him.
"Ach? You going around picking up young men, Ludwig?" Feliciano opened his mouth to correct him, but the albino intervened, grabbing the Italian's hand away from his little brother's and planting a small peck on it, smirking wide. "Pleasure to meet you, sir. I am Gilbert Beilschmidt."
"A-Ah..." The young brunette couldn't help but blush a bit. Ludwig's grip returned to the knife, wondering how effective it would be to stab his brother at this angle. "I'm F-Feliciano Vargas...it's nice to meet you too...!"
Ludwig abruptly stood up, pushing his brother away and propelling him to the door. "I'm sorry, we must be going now, Feliciano."
Without another word, Ludwig departed, forcing his brother with him.
Feliciano frowned and furrowed his brows a bit. He didn't even get a proper goodbye.
...Nor did he get paid.