~This. Is. Me: the story of a normal boy~

This is my story condensed. This was then, and always will be, entirely me.

"I've lived a good life.

I have a father, and I have a brother. I must have had a mother too, but I never think on her, nor do I ever miss her. I live in a nice house, in a nice street, in a good city, and I have my talents. Unremarkable, but there.

I'm not ugly. I'm not stupid. I've never been harassed, never had to work particularly hard to be or do anything, and I've never been treated any different to how I look on the outside: a regular, sixteen year old Italian kid with a backpack and a iPhone. Just like everyone else.

That was always my brother.

Feliciano was always the odd one. The dreamy one, the one who was somehow unanimously 'not-all-there' and entirely 'there-too-much'. He was the child who accomplished things, somehow. Who turned heads, and stirred people, wherever he would go. He was the one who was loved, and hated. I was the kid who stirred not an iota of emotion in anyone I met. I didn't make an impression. I was treated with indifference.

I was seven and Feliciano was five, when he came home from school one morning with tears in his eyes. When dad asked him what was wrong, he told him simply; dad, the girls in my class wear such pretty dresses. Why cant I?


"Ve~ Lovi can I check my Facebook while you're on?" Feli dropped beside me and I jumped, clicking of my own Facebook profile and its meagre friends list and instead opening my porn tab, Before realising that it was the other way around, idiot, and I should have just left it as was.

"Fuck… um, sure." I closed the tab hurriedly, hoping he hadn't seen 'small-boobs bitch gets hammered by two gangsters at gunpoint' and shoved my shitty laptop his way. "But hurry up, I'm trying to talk to someone."

"Someone who?" he peaked at my chat bar, tucking a lock of light hair behind his ear, and raised his eyebrows. "Oh, right… I should have guessed."

I grumbled, and pulled my legs up to my chest.

"Shut up."

"What? I'm proud of you Lovi, he's your first real friend, isn't he? Everyone needs a best friend. Now can you move over so I can get more comfortable."

I shuffled over on my bed, giving him more room to put his legs up and lean against the headboard beside me.

"Thankies…" his light, sing song voice made me angry, I balled my fists and tried not too look at him tap the keys on my keyboard so lightly it was inaudible. How did he do that? If I wanted my keyboard to work, I had to hammer the bloody things.

"Oh!" he seemed surprised to see twenty notifications, two messages, and six friend requests on his dash. "Wow, and I just checked it this morning."

"Yeah well." I pouted and cast my eyes out the window, taking in the happenings on the street beyond. There wasn't much. Just his lover's car, and a kid playing marbles on the driveway over the road. "hurry up, I'm kind of busy."

"Oh right, well, hang on, let me just add these people." He clicked through all the requests and added them without even looking at their names. "Aaaannnnd… done! Tada!" he passed my computer back with a flourish. "Do you want to help me make tea tonight? Its pasta~"

"no." I deadpanned, logging him out and bashing the keys hard to log myself back in. "I'm not hungry."

"You don't have to eat-"

"No." I shuffled away from him some more and tilting my screen from him reopened my porn. My Facebook had one message, from the conversation I had been having before he interrupted:

I think training is on Thursdays… oh. Ur offline.

No. I tapped back I'm here. Keep talking.

Feliciano sighed heavily and hopped off my bed, edging back toward his own and grabbing the cardigan he must have come in here to fetch.

"Ve, Lovi, it will be fun though!"

"Go away."

He hesitated, looking at me with soft concern on his face, and switched his hip without even noticing. I could feel him, about to say something, preparing to argue… but in the end he said nothing, and left the room, and I was left alone with shitty sex videos and typed conversation with my annoying as hell, football obsessed, excuse for a best friend.


My father was one of those liberal Catholics. You know the sort, born again, but unwilling to forfeit a tendency to womanize and a fondness for great wine. He was a good man, generous and kind, but he was not a man happy to allow his five year old son to wear skirts. The agreement was made. Feliciano could grow his hair, and play with dolls, so long as he kept it in the house ad kept it a secret. I supposed dad thought he would grow out of it, and eventually he did, but right up until the age of twelve Feliciano was more or less a girl. He listened to n*sync, he played Barbies with his best friend, a pretty girl called Liz I used to have a crush on, and on one occasion, when dad was out and I was too busy watching the Scooby-doo movie, he appeared with make up on. Make up, he confided, he had bought from the dollar store with three months pocket money without dads knowledge.

He looked like a little harlot, although I didn't know that word at the time.

His hair was long, longer than mine, to his shoulders almost and he used to like it braided or clipped up with pretty hair accessories. Pale blue with glitter, was his favourite. And it was because of him our bedroom is the colour of the sky, decorated with silver stars along the ceiling borders.

I wanted white walls, and posters of cars.

He reached puberty before me, despite my being older. At thirteen, his voice began to break, and it was so unusual dad took him to the doctor, who called him a 'bright young man'. Dad sat us both down, and told us about sex.

He cut his hair after that, so it was the same length as mine. He stopped playing with dolls. He drifted away from Liz…

But I think by then he knew what he was. He was just pretending, because he knew that was what dad wanted.


Antonio sat next to me despite me telling him every day it was alright, he should go sit with his teammates, because I was going to the library after I had eaten anyway and he didn't need to come with me.

"No, I want to sit with you." He smiled brightly and bit into his sandwich. "Besides, here, I brought you this." He dug around in his satchel, finding a small plastic lunch bag and passing it over. "They are those ones you like. The ones my mum grows."

"Oh." I looked into the bag, and plucked one of the tomatoes out. It was egg-shaped, and perfectly smooth. A little yellower than the average tomato, and I knew that when I bit it, it would be sweeter than usual, slightly creamy. "Thanks. I guess…"

His grin was so bright it was almost blinding.

"You are more than welcome, Lovino."

Antonio was someone who, at the start of this year and a little before everything began unravelling, had entirely by accident sat next to me in biology and asked to borrow and eraser. Somehow, after that, he would not disappear. He sat by me in all my classes, he sat by me in lunch. He brought me tomatoes, after discovering they were my favourite, and in a futile exercise he even tried teaching me Spanish, clearly under the impression I liked or tolerated his company.

But no matter what I called him, or told him, or did, he simply would not go away!

I accepted him eventually, and here we were. Unlike most of my other acquaintances, he seemed to show enthusiasm toward me. It was strange. A little discomforting. What made it even more startling was that Antonio Carriedo was a pretty big card in the school, I had known his name for at least three years before he knew mine. Attractive, fun, great at sport… there were horrid moments I preferred not to think on when I wondered if he actually liked me, or if he was just being superbly cruel.

But then he would say something, his eyes glittering wildly, his smile so genuine, I couldn't doubt him. Hell, I couldn't even resent him, and I forgot for a moment the differences, drastic and ignored, between us.

"hm." I looked away, to the far side of the café where Feliciano sat with his friends. They were a loud group, made up of students from every grade, and not one of them seemed to be having a bad time. They laughed, chatted, discussed whatever it was people like that found important, and sighing I swivelled my eyes back to my own table. Me an Antonio, the quiet Canadian exchange student, the big browed asshole excuse for the 'school punk' giving Antonio filthy looks of disapproval as he ate what may have been eel pie, and Feliciano's ex best friend Liz, probably texting her boyfriend and looking plainly pretty, with daisy ties in her hair.

No-one remarkable, then. No-one worth being, to seeing, or knowing.

No one at all.


When Feliciano started at the same high school as me, come age 13, there was definitely something wrong. He was very twitchy, very anxious. He didn't like crowds, or people in general, and he did poorly in school while somehow, for some reason, maintaining a perpetual carefree smile. He made a new friend, a boy in the year above me who had since left, called Gilbert. Gilbert was his first openly bisexual friend, and more harm than good came from this union because it was then the rumours started. People started teasing him, calling him all sorts of names.

His started pulling his hair out, and it was awful. He would sit there curled on the sofa, text messaging Gilbert and plucking his eyebrows, lashes, and bangs without even noticing. I noticed though, when I was writing a book report, or studying chem at the kitchen table. I bought him a hat for his birthday, a little black one like a beret, and he thanked me with deadlight eyes and a hug that seemed rigid now that I reflect, but didn't bother me at the time.

He was bullied endlessly. I didn't know until much later, until recently, actually. Hate messages, texts, notes from people who had always been sensible and decent enough to me, with perfect poker faces and respectable smiles. And I remember the day he told me he had gotten a girlfriend well. She was a strange girl, I didn't like her, but I said nothing because I was glad for him. I thought it was a good sign that things were all okay, despite the constant disease in my stomach.


Antonio walked me home, he had been doing so for months, and he always took me right to the front door, even though we passed his house on the way.

It was a June, the last day of school and the day I knew Feliciano and his boyfriend would be fucking before he left in the morning to England, (he had won a place that spring in the London youth arts review,) that I stopped Antonio outside the small picket fenced cottage and said,

"Bastard, I'm thirsty."

He paused for a second, bending down to pick up the football he had been kicking as he walked, and grinned.

"You wanna go in and get something from mine?"

"… whatever." I shrugged, and followed him as he bounded excitedly up the path.

It had been a frustratingly average day. School, four classes, I did my work, I ate my lunch, I didn't cause any controversy or get any stares. That being said, I didn't get any smiles of support either, or any claps on the back of praise. Everything was average, and I was utterly drained. My thirst was only partially true, and maybe, on some level, he knew that, but obligingly playing along, he lead me through his small entry hall and into the surprisingly large, cheerfully peach walled kitchen. It smelled of some kind of delicious food. I couldn't place it but it was tangy, garlicky and perfect seeming for the warm summer day we were experiencing. My mouth watered a little and I wiped my hand over my lips discreetly as he busied himself in the fridge cleverly disguised as a wooden panelled pantry.

"Sit down." He told me, rustling around among cans and various others. "What would you like?"

"Um…" I dropped my bag and took a seat at the breakfast bar, beneath a bright painting of a church in a wheat field. "Anything is fine."

"Orange juice?" he held up a large carton of orange juice "or Cola." He waved a can of light vanilla coke.

"Orange juice." I told him, and he hummed, nudging the door shut with his hip and setting both the juice and can of soda I assumed he was going to have himself on the smooth granite countertop.

"I suppose you want it in a glass?" a sideways lip quirk, and I rolled my eyes, trying not to smile.

"That would be nice."

He chuckled and busied himself in the cupboard behind him, looking for some kind of vessel. It gave me time to glance around the room properly, and take it in.

It was about as wonderful a kitchen as it is possible to have, with a bay window overflowing with potted herbs above the sink, quaint farm-style decoration, and golden woodwork cupboards, doors and window frames. There were jars of pasta, bowls overflowing with tomatoes and other lesser fruits. A thousand wonderful things in containers on the spice shelf behind the stove. Antonio looked nice in the kitchen, comfortable, I studied his back as he reached around, and the way it was described so eloquently by his tight white tee. It was a little damp under the arms, and a faint spread of sweat fanned his back as well. I could smell him, musky and suntanned, from here.

"Antonio, you smell."

"I do?" he picked a glass and turned back to me, raising an arm to sniff underneath. "Oh, ya, I guess I do." He plonked the glass down and unscrewed the juice carton. "Bummer."

I took my glass of juice and took a mouthful. It was very sweet. He smiled, and leaned forward on the counter top.

"So." He asked me, after four or five awkward moments and a half a glass of orange juice later. "Got anything you wanna talk about?"

I shrugged non-committedly, not wanting to meet his eyes.

"Feliciano is going to London tomorrow…"


Feliciano and his girlfriend were not together for long, and broke up at age fifteen on his part, seventeen for me, in the worst possible way. That is to say, she had, after pressuring him to have sex with her, convinced him that he wanted to kill his stupid, manipulable ass by over dosing on, of all things, the codeine pills I had been given by my doctor to treat my occasional migraines. He didn't know shit about how to do it, and five pills wasn't really an overdose, but it was still scary having him fall asleep halfway through dinner and land face first in his spaghetti. He slept it off pretty fast, and after bawling his eyes out and spilling everything, I promised him I wouldn't tell dad and then slapped him, because what an idiot, trying to commit fucking suicide just because his girlfriend had been a bossy whore. I still don't get it. My mind still utterly boggles, and I swear, it tries me not only as the stupidest thing ever but I couldn't help feel, for the first time, pity for him. Because I had my life sorted. Simple, straight forward, no shit. I was finishing school in two years, going to college, moving maybe to London or Rome and perhaps, a few years later, getting married and having kids. And there he was, stuck in this whirlwind of hormones and too dense to see that if he just got the fuck over it, head down, shut up, and took what he got, he would survive, just like everyone else.

But Feliciano didn't, obviously, want to survive, did he. Oh no… surviving was too easy. He dumped his girlfriend, and went on what can only be called a mad bender of rebellion. He started fucking Gilbert, started making scenes and enemies, and learned something I had never had to before: how to stand up for himself.

He was terrible at it. Hiding behind Gilbert for the most part and shouting weakly to 'leave me alone!'. It was better than I had ever been capable of, or than what I thought I would ever be capable of, but it was kind of weak...

At least he tried. And he made a mess, and he was stupid and never sure if he was running away or sticking around, and he let people trample all over him but at least now he struggled about it. His life was like a rollercoaster, with dizzying highs, and heartbreaking lows, and yet despite it all when he had days of rest, his tired red rimmed eyes spoke of a contentment I would never know. Of a cause, maybe. A passion.

He started painting, and found he had a knack for it. He passed his junior year well.

He and Gilbert talked about running away together, to a different life, when he turned sixteen.


"Oh wow… he's good, isn't he?" Feli swung on my arm, huddling close for warmth as we stood on the sidelines of Antonio's football game in the blustering wind. Dead leaves, ones that had bronzed and fallen, were everywhere. It was cold, and swaddled in wool and jackets we had braved the cold. I told him I didn't want him to come with, but he had been insistent. I couldn't help but be a little put off by the stares we were getting… everyone in the town knew who Feliciano Vargas was. If I had come alone, I would have been ignored.

But, he was right. Antonio was good. What had originally began as me watching him train when I went to his house became a deep appreciation for the sport, and the way he was so passionate about it, which then became a reluctant acceptance to his offers of 'come see me play for proper, when the summer ends.'

The first time, I hadn't liked it. The way everyone seemed to admire him and flatter him in that uncomfortable societal way made me self conscious, unsure of my standing around him. He was so different, after all, when he was with me and when he was with his loudmouth asshole friends. The second time though, when afterward he had passed by the strangers to give me an unexpected victory hug, had been better. Though I had kneed him in the balls for it, and shoved him away.

"Not in public!" I hissed, and he laughed.

Why Feliciano had decided to take with me today, I didn't know. The way he was acting lately around me was strange, like a doting mother, and the way he spoke about Antonio was heavy with a knowing tone that frankly sometimes I wanted to punch out of him. If it wouldn't void him of artistic talent and hence make me a total pariah in the town that never usually got a single iota of attention from any society, let alone a national artistic one, I would have snapped his silly little wrists already. Instead, I stood there rigidly, ankle deep in squishy ground and leaves, watching two teams of muddy young men kick each other over a little black and white ball.

Antonio was a mess, covered in mud and his shirt torn, but he was passionate. He put every scrap of his strength of his game and I couldn't keep my eye off him, even if it was only the corner, when he played. He scored goal after goal, and the small handful of supporters down from us went wild every time. He smiled so brightly, and moved so confidently. Sometimes, it made my stomach physically ache.

The game was in the last thirty seconds, and the two teams were tied. Everyone was screaming his name except me, but inside my pockets my hands were trembling. Would he make it? Would he not?

The final goal was scored, and met with an uproar, but not by him. The ball was passed last minute to a teammate, who was immediately struck by an onslaught of glory as the final whistle blew. Antonio ducked out, laughing and cheering like everyone else but heading toward me. Me.

Feliciano smiled and tugged my arm excitedly.

"He's coming over."

"I can see that!" shitty, I yanked my arm from him and stepped far enough from so that he would be discluded in the little circle of intimacy Antonio was about to draw.

"Hey…" he approached, a muddy, glowing mess, and unconsciously I took a step forward to meet him.

"Hey." I reached my gloved hands forwards to cup his frozen face. "Congrats."

"Mm." he smiled, nosing my palm discreetly and reaching for my body. "Yeah." He hugged me, and I blushed, wishing desperately that Feliciano wasn't there to see it.

"I'm so glad you came." He murmured in my ear, his breath warm against the side of my face, "it made my game. Thank you."


Leaving though, was not meant to be.

Gilbert's interest in him was failing, taken by someone else, and Feliciano too. He was so utterly besotted with Gil's younger brother, Ludwig, he couldn't see straight. They decided it was best if they went their separate ways.

By then, he had found a footing of sorts. He was skyrocketing in the modern art world, already being state recognised, and as well as that he was working in a project with Ludwig, gilberts brother asshole I mentioned earlier. A presentation on putting a stop to teen bullying in schools. Ludwig was the student representative on the state school board, and held a lot of sway in the educational political world.

Feliciano took to leaving his hate letters (which he was still receiving) lying around our room, having long since stopped caring, and every time I saw one I threw it out because it made me feel hated and victimized, which made no sense, really. At all.

He had found a stance, now. A person he had wanted to be. The fog had cleared.

He was a kind, passionate kid, who didn't like conflict, and loved being praised. He didn't just like attention, he fed off it. He wanted the whole world to be like him, so happy it was creepy, and so wildly pro-human rights it was scary. And gradually, one by one, he was gaining followers.


The two of us sat side by side on the park bench, my body tucked against his against the soft dusting of snow that fell. We shared an ice cream, in an ironical 'fuck you' to the weather. Pistachio, because it was his favourite.

"Is it good?" he asked, licking his lips and passing me the cone. I nodded non-comittedly and took it, running my tongue over the creamy surface.

His hand was laced with mine beneath the folds of his coat.

"Lovino," we rarely spoke anymore, more just kind of… were, and so his serious tone startled me. I looked to him wide eyed, and he squeezed my hand affectionately.

"… What?"

He smiled, dropping his gaze to where our hands were linked, and rubbed his thumb over my knuckles with love.

"What's your favourite colour?"

"Huh?" I was bewildered by the question.

"Your favourite colour. I was thinking about it today, I've known you for over a year, but I know hardly anything about you. As in, you you."

"Me me?" I echoed him, and he nodded.

"Yep. Like, favourite colour, what sort of TV you like… all I really know is that you like tomatoes, you come to my games, and you have a brother."

"… I have a brother." I said the words bitterly, and he sighed.

"I didn't mean it like that."

He shook his hand free of mine and lifted his arm instead, to wrap around my shoulders. He was warm, and he smelled like that wonderful, wonderful smell that I had come to associate with no-more pressure, no-more inferiority.

"Then what did you mean it like?" I tipped my head up, finding his face right by my own. We were nose to nose, forehead to forehead. All I could see in that moment was his eyes.

"Well," the soft green glimmered brightly, and I was taken by a powerful, indescribable pull. Like magnetism, the need to collapse against him erupted in me, and an excited tremble slid down my spine. "I meant it like…" soft fingertips caressed my shoulder, he nipped the ice cream from me with his other hand and took a big mouthful. "Mm. Good ice cream."

"… Jerk!" I snapped, face flushed with heat, and he laughed.

"What?" he asked, chewing on his bottom lip and glossing it wonderfully. "It is."

I glared at him, and he crinkled his nose in teasing.

"Oh god Lovino… you are so cute…"

"I'm wha-"

I didn't get the opportunity to finish that sentence.

Antonio had never kissed me before. There had been the rare moment in which I thought he would, but he didn't, and moments in which he should have, but didn't, and moments even in which I could have, but chickened out half way there. So I was pretty startled when without warning, he didit. He kissed me, on the mouth. And his lips were cold and wet from the ice cream.

"Antonio!" I jerked backward, hand leaping to cover my mouth in shock. "What are you doing?"

He laughed again and sat back, cheeks pink with merriment.

"What?" he asked, "aren't I allowed to kiss my love?"


It was earlier this year it happened. Feliciano and Ludwig's paper made national honours (that was two things my brother was now well known for) and he was rocketed to activist fame at the age of just seventeen. This was the turning point, I suppose, the pivotal moment where he realised that he should probably tell dad.

"Dad I'm gay." He said, one day totally without care or warning. And that was that. And dad didn't seem to mind a bit.

And then there was me. The one at the back, who had almost finished my teenage journey, just starting my last year in school and not having done anything admirable with my life so far besides exist. Feliciano has it made, he has friends, he makes people feel things. People admire him and appreciate him and… and then there is me."

Antonio is looking at me from his pillow, a faint frown visible in the shadow of his brow, curls falling carelessly across his forehead. He is thinking very hard, obviously, about the story I just told him, and when he finds his voice he does not, as I am so used to hearing, remark on how admirable my brother is, and how worthy he is of the way everything he touches turns to gold…

Instead he says 'Lovino, I asked you to tell me about you."

I realise that I have absolutely nothing to tell.


"Why?" I hissed, yanking my hand away from him. "You bastard."

"Lovino, come on!" he was pleading, trying to pull me from the ring of the audience. "Dance with me!"

"Dance with your queen."

I couldn't believe my night. I knew I shouldn't have gone to the school ball, but he had been so insistent and whydidIalwayscavetohiswisheseverytime? And now, like an idiot, here I was looking at him wearing a STUPID homecoming king crown and carrying a glittery stick like an asshole. And his queen was sort of off behind him looking bewildered as to why he wasn't simpering to ask her to dance, well maybe it was because she was a fat bitch and I didn't like her. Yeah. That must be it.

"I don't want to dance with the queen Lovi, I want to dance with you."

The ballroom (gym) had fallen silent. Even the music had lulled, in waiting for the king to sort his shit out. I could feel the eyes of everyone on me, and it was an alien, almost scary feeling. It was like being naked in public, like people were judging me, hissing at me, or giving me supportive pats on the back in their heads. Antonio shrugged his shoulders and wagged his hand in front of me insistently.

"Please?"

"Bastard." Flushed all over, threatening to tear up under everyone's harsh eyes, I took his stupid hand and let him pull me onto the dance floor. My knees almost gave under me when a wolf-whistle echoed from the other side of the hall. I whipped around to find the culprit, but Antonio had guided me back around calmly before I could and laced his fingers between mine. The glittery king stick was pressed between our right palms, but from the left I could feel his familiar skin, warm, soft, and a little light with sweat. He smiled at me, and it looked strange in the dropping lights. High heals clicked in panic as the flustered and I suspect a little bit pissy queen hurried to find a dance partner. Antonio loosed his stick holding hand and slid the arm around my waist.

Besides the football games, I swallowed anxiously, this was the first time Antonio had been so… casually obvious about the exact nature of our relationship.

A partner was found for the queen, the DJ was signaled…

And I realised a very startling something.

"Oi!" I yanked his hand. "Why am I the chick?"

He frowned, not hearing me over the opening notes of 'forever young'. And I was just about to ask again when a stray voice flew above everyone.

"FuckyeahAntonio!Woooooo!"

And all hell broke loose. Cheering lifted the roof, I mis-stepped but he held me up. All I could hear was his name. And mine. A chant that swelled over the music and made Antonio grin. He twirled me, but my world kept spinning long after he had taken me back. I couldn't believe it. I just… my heart was wild, my stomach filled with bubbles and oh my… it felt like I was floating. For the first time in my life, everyone was looking and making judgements about me. And Antonio. And I felt like someone. I felt… precious.

"Lov, can I kiss you?" he nosed my cheek and I quivered a little, sweeping back as he guided me. I flushed, trying to ignore the sounds of classmates rooting or booing.

"… I guess."

He breathed a giggle and nudged my face up, pressing a light and sexy little kiss to my lips.


The sound of his breathing is all I am aware of, and sat up in his bed, fists balled in the duvet, I try as hard as I can not to cry in frustration. The sheets murmur as he moves closer and pokes me kindly in the hip.

"Well?" he asks, "I'm waiting to hear about Lovino…"

"There's nothing to tell about Lovino." I sniff and look at his ceiling. It is shadowy, and tacked with posters of actors in 'the Pirates of the Caribbean'. Antonio likes pirates…

"He's just a normal boy who never made a big deal out of anything."

Antonio sighs, and pulls my arm, trying to get me to lie down. Grumbling, I flop backward, and he slinks his arm around me.

"Lovi I'm sure that's not true…"

"How would you know?" I hissed. "You weren't around for most of my life. I'm nineteen. And in nineteen years, you are the most remarkable thing that happened."

"You mean to imply," he wiggled closer to me and rested his cheek to my shoulder, "that through all your teenaged years, you never felt hard done by, or ignored, or rejected, or anything?"

I scoffed. Because hello, yes, of course I had. But who hadn't.

"Duh, dumb bastard. Everyone's had those moments." I huffed and turned to face him. "And stupid Feliciano… the way he acts, it's like he's the only one. It's like his life is built SOLEY on those moments of extraordinary normality that everyone forgets about because they aren't attention seeking over dramatic brats."

I said far, far too much. Antonio's eyebrows fly up, and I immediately regret it.

"That's a bit harsh Lov…"

"No, its not." In for a penny, in for a pound, now the floodgates are creaking I may as well open them up. "This is how it is."

It's hard to say, how long I had harboured this resentment toward my younger, more respected and well known brother. My inspirational brother, my experienced brother. My wise, kind, deserving brother who had only ever been fucked over, never ever fucked up someone else. My holy brother. My brother who didn't hate or shit or blame… the list of things my brother was went on for almost an eternity, but the list of things I was, and the list of things I would forever more be, that was a short and simple as his love for tags and recognition was big.

"Feliciano is not special, just because he's gay. He doesn't deserve a parade for that, or a Radio interview, or a scholarship to some bullshit school, for just being him. No-one does. Not if they are straight, trans, bi, gay… liking men DOESN'T make him any different from any one else, and people shouldn't glorify him for that. He was bullied, so what? I was bullied too. Everyone's been bullied, okay, but if everyone tried to codeine themselves every time such a thing happened where would humanity be. He was in shit relationships, lost his virginity to a dick, so what? I lost MY virginity to a girl I don't even know by name. We didn't use a condom, for all I know, I could be a father. He's a good painter, so are a hundred or so million others. He has a boyfriend, so do I. He's not different, and he shouldn't be treated specially."

Antonio is ominously silent for a moment. And then he asks,

"So, nothing about you or him makes you distinctive from me, or Liz, or that weird American kid in chem?"

No! It doesn't! Because I, he, and they still feel, and we think, and we are… but I don't feel the need to prove that to anyone! I don't demand attention about it, I don't stand out and make myself a pariah on purpose. I don't glorify myself! I'm me, Antonio. No labels, no fucking 'gay rights' or shit about it. I'm me. I'm just me. I've always been me, I always will be me, and everyone else should just sit down, shut up, and be themselves as well."

Antonio sighs heavily and kisses my shoulder. I edge away from the contact, inflamed with indignance.

"Poor Lovi." He murmurs. "You've lost yourself in his shadow…"

I growl softly, but he eases me with a squeeze of his hand.

"It's okay though. I think you are special."

the end

SO! thanks for reading, sorry for lack of porn. i hope fluff is sufficient.

i dont own hetalia or the characters. love~~

OH MAH GAWD! so i was getting comments about how it was a choppy as fuck fic, and i was like 'huh?' but then i went back and realised fanfiction had had a hernia or some shit and rendered my story run togtether and UNREADABLE and i was like 'oh bitch you SO did not' but it had so i was like 'it is so on' so i fixed it and now its better. im sorry. i am ashamed... OTL