Title: Six in One
Pairing and Characters: Romano/Fem!Romano/Spain/Fem!Spain
TL;DR TL;DR. I wrote this for counterheist on LJ because she is my classy lady buddy FOREVER. Also I didn't want things to be too matchy-matchy so everyone's name are as such:
Antonio Fernández Carriedo (Spain, duh)
Romano Vargas (Romano)
Antonia Hernández Castillo (Fem!Spain)
Lovina Vella (Fem!Romano)
Also Edmée = Belgium, Francine = Fem!France, and Felicia = Fem!Italy
Lovina stood in front of the building that would be her new home for at least the next few months, cursing loudly as she attempted to drag her insane amounts of luggage all by herself. Her parents had been more than happy to send her on her way with any amount of things she might want or need, but they had been unable to actually accompany her on the long trip from Palermo, so she'd been left to deal with the fact that her suitcases didn't seem to want to go up the stairs of the residency hall by herself.
"Fucking pieces of shit," she grumbled, kicking the heaviest suitcase, which had the audacity to topple down the stairs just when she'd finally made some progress. She almost wished she had asked the driver who took her from the airport to help, almost, but not quite, because he'd had a creepy look about him and she didn't need that sort of person knowing where she lived.
"Did you want some help, bella?" Lovina jumped and cursed when a voice came from behind her and a hand reached out to take the suitcase from her. "Or were you wanting to keep blocking the stairs all day?"
She spun around to face the main, who appeared to be a fellow Italian judging by the faint accent he spoke with, the accent that got thick and heavy when he'd used the one Italian word. She narrowed her eyes at him. "All the sluts around here might fall for that random use of Italian you've got going on," she replied, scowling. "But it isn't going to work on me, cretino."
She smirked in triumph when the man's face was soon flushing just as red as hers felt.
"Whatever, lady, do you want my help or not?"
"Not. I can handle myself, thank you very much."
Another suitcase chose that moment to toppled down the stairs, narrowly missing Lovina.
"Sure you can."
"...Whatever, just don't break anything." Lovina stomped back up to the top of the stairs to where the rest of her bags were waiting for her, Wearing-an-Obnoxious-Pink-Shirt (Lovina was trying out different names for him in her head, since the two of them combined still had less manners than the average person, apparently) following behind with the other two suitcases. She gave him a dirty look when he beat her to the door, but stepped inside nonetheless, secretly thankful because she wasn't exactly sure how she would have opened it herself given all the things she was carrying. "I'm in room 1302," she told him, glancing around the inside lobby. "I'm assuming there's an elevator somewhere around here? No way in hell I'm walking up thirteen flights of stairs."
She didn't have to wait for an answer, as she spotted an elevator to her left and made a beeline for it. Her plan was foiled, however, when Needs-To-Stop-Looking-so-Smug started heading off in the other direction. "Where the hell do you think you're going?"
"You don't want to take that elevator," he replied, continuing to walk down the hall, not even bothering to look back and see if Lovina was following. "It's on the wrong side of the building from your room, and it'll be hell trying to carry all this shit through the hallways up there."
Lovina followed, because this asshole didn't seem to be stopping and he still had her bags. "How would you know? Isn't that floor only for girl's rooms?" She walked a little faster to catch up with him, thankful that she'd had the forethought to wear flats while she was travelling. Running after people in heels was a bitch. "If you're some kind of pervert, you can fuck off right now and give me back my bags, I don't need your help."
The "correct" elevator dinged as Seriously-Stop-Giving-Me-That-Smug-Look pressed the up button. "Of course you don't."
"That's what I said."
The elevator ride was silent, save some huffing from Lovina, but the second they arrived at her floor, Lovina understood why they hadn't taken the other elevator. Bags and boxes lined the hallways, waiting to be taken in through all the doors left ajar as students and parents ran back and forth from the stairwells and elevators, into the rooms and back out, carrying more bags and boxes and suitcases and anything else that might be needed to settle into the dorms. Cutting through the crowd trying to get from one side to the other would have been near impossible, judging by the annoyed looks of the students trudging through without bags. No doubt they had finished unpacking earlier, but were still fated to have just as much difficulty getting around as everyone who was currently arriving.
Fortunately for Lovina, Walks-Too-Damn-Fast quickly cut a path for them, arriving right outside room 1302 in no time. Her bags were promptly dropped onto the floor beside the door (he was so lucky nothing breakable was in those ones). "I'm not helping you unpack, think you can get everything inside okay?" Coming from any other person who actually, you know, had some manners (not that Lovina was one to talk about that), that might have been a sympathetic, caring sort of question, but coming from this man it was clear he was teasing her.
"I'm not some damsel-in-distress, bastard, fuck off." She too placed her bags down, gently, thank you very much, and reached for the door handle, but Needs-to-Fuck-the-Hell-Off beat her to it, opening the unlocked door and peaking inside for some indiscernible reason before shrugging, an action that confused Lovina.
"I'm Romano, by the way," he said. Her, "Like I care," was swiftly cut off before she could even utter the first syllable as he continued. "Yeah yeah, you're tough shit and I'm a "pervert". But you'll be seeing a lot of me, might as well have something to call me that you don't have to mutter under your breath."
Romano tossed a small brown box onto the pile of bags, much to Lovina's confusion, and made his way back through the crowd. "Tell Antonia I'm not making her anymore tiramisu. Ciao."
Two hours and a ridiculous amount of unpacking later, Lovina still had no idea who Antonia was. She was guessing she was probably her roommate (she wasn't stupid, she could determine that much), or at least somebody who lived in a room nearby, but nobody else had shown up to the room yet. She flopped out on the newly made, entirely too small for it's own good bed she'd decided was hers (well, the other one was already made, but she hadn't wanted that side of the room anyway), and glanced over at the box of apparently homemade dessert when her stomach growled.
"If this Antonia bitch doesn't show up in the next ten minutes, I'm eating it myself," she mumbled, rolling over onto said growling stomach.
"Eating what?" For the second time that day, Lovina found herself jumping in surprise, and she was really hoping this wouldn't be a common occurrence, because dear lord was it embarrassing. "Oh, hi! You must be my new roommate!"
"I'm guessing you're Antonia?" She sat up and pointed at the brown box she'd placed on the counter of their pathetic excuse for a "kitchenette". "Romano says he's not making you anymore of that, and if he's not even going to bring anymore stuff, I hope he's not going to stop by very often because he's an asshole." An asshole who helped his friend's (girlfriend's?) roommate carry her things to their room, but an asshole nonetheless.
Antonia just laughed and grabbed two forks out of the a cupboard before making herself nice and cozy on Lovina's bed and passing her one of the utensils. "Roma's a lot nicer once you get to know him." She opened the box and started digging in, as if it was totally normal just to start eating tiramisu on your roommate's bed without even asking. "Well. More like you get used to him more. He's a little rough around the edges but if he said anything mean to you, he probably didn't mean it."
"You're on my bed."
"He used to say all sorts of mean things to Anto-Hm? Oh, sorry!" Antonia scooted to the edge of the bed. "Do you have enough room now? I forgot how small these things are, my bed at home is so much bigger. Here," she held the tiramisu under Lovina's nose. "It's really good."
Lovina gave Antonia a dirty look, but she scooped up some of the tiramisu nonetheless.
"...Mine's better." She couldn't exactly make tiramisu in their room to prove this to Antonia, or to treat herself with its superior taste, so she went back for another bite. But only because it was the only tiramisu around.
"I'm sure yours is really good too," Antonia paused. "Sorry, what was your name? Obviously you already know mine, but I totally forgot I don't know yours yet."
Lovina swallowed another mouthful of tiramisu. "Lovina."
"Aw, what a cute name! Can I call you Lovi?" Antonia reached out and Lovina was expecting some sort of awkward handshake, but was instead surprised to find two arms around her in a squeezing hug.
"What? No!" Lovina attempted to shove Antonia off, but she was a lot stronger than she looked.
Antonia eventually pulled back. "Sorry, sorry!" Lovina rolled her eyes, glad the other woman had finally taken a hint. "I forgot I was holding the tiramisu, don't want to squish it between us." Or not.
"This is going to be a long year," Lovina mumbled, quickly stuffing another bite of tiramisu in her mouth to avoid having to repeat herself when Antonia gave her a confused look.
Unfortunately for Lovina, Romano was indeed dating Antonia, and he was a near constant presence in their room. Whenever Lovina asked why the two of them couldn't just go to Romano's room, Antonia would say something like, "Oh, Antonio's really busy this term," or Romano would mutter something about some stupid bitch teacher "Antonio" had, but in the two weeks Lovina had been asking them to go somewhere else, who exactly Antonio was had never been explained to her. She'd never asked, but it wasn't her problem if some people didn't have enough manners to tell her exactly who the fuck they were talking about was.
Certain people were also apparently so rude that they mixed up their laundry with hers on a frequent basis, which was how she came to know that the man's shirt currently occupying her laundry basket did not belong to Antonia's boyfriend. Romano, Lovina had quickly learned, always dressed nicely, and his wardrobe consisted of many a pair of slacks and dress-shirts (most of which were pink, for some strange reason). Even when he was just bumming around their dorm, he looked nice (Lovina would deny she was looking, though, she wasn't some slut who looked at other people's boyfriends... or at the girls with said boyfriends, for that matter), and this shirt, well. Didn't look quite so nice. It was a ratty old yellow t-shirt with a smiling tomato on the front. It was much too big to be Antonia's, and even though Lovina had only known the man for a couple of weeks, she didn't think Romano would be caught dead wearing a shirt with such a creepy looking rendition of his favourite fruit.
Antonia looked up from folding her worn laundry and grinned. Lovina ignored any happy fluttery feelings the grin induced, because Antonia always grinned like that, at everyone, it wasn't anything special. "Did my clothes get mixed up with yours again? I don't know how that keeps happening!"
"Not your clothes this time."
"Romano's?" Antonia walked over to inspect the garment Lovina was holding. "Romano hasn't left any clothes here recently- Oooh. That's not Romano's either."
"Nope." Lovina scowled at Antonia, and she suddenly felt a little like a parent, about to scold their child for some unknown crime until the child just admitted to their wrongdoing on their own. In her eighteen years of life, she'd become quite the expert on being involved in those sorts of conversations, though never from this perspective. Usually it was her admitting that she'd been doing certain things with certain people her parents thought she ought not to.
"It's Antonio's." It wasn't any of her business who or what Antonia did, but if she was going to be parading random men in and out of their room Lovina did not want to have to deal with it. She may not have noticed before, because her evening classes probably left Antonia with a lot of alone time in the room, but- why did she care about this at all again? "I'll just give it to Romano next time I see him, he'll pass it along to Antonio if I don't see him first."
"Romano grabbed it instead of his own pajamas when he stayed over the other night." Antonia plucked the shirt out of Lovina's hands and started sloppily folding it. "It was so cute, I wish he'd wear Antonio's clothes more often."
Lovina raised an eyebrow at that remark, but chose not to comment on it. "So Antonio didn't leave it here?"
"Of course not, Antonio hasn't been to our room yet this term, he's been way too busy."
After a month of listening to Antonia talk about Antonio, Lovina still hadn't met the guy. She'd occasionally see his clothes pop up in either hers or Antonia's laundry, and while she seriously didn't believe that Romano was the one leaving them in their room, she'd stopped asking about it. She'd also somehow managed to learn quite a bit about him- he was studying to become a pre-school teacher, she'd learnt that after overhearing (not eavesdropping on) a conversation Antonia'd had with him over the phone, he apparently really liked tomato sandwiches with pecorino romano if all the sandwiches Antonia kept having Romano bring to him were anything to judge his preferences by, and he was so totally banging his roommate's girlfriend. She had no proof of that, but she'd somehow convinced herself of this ever since she'd first found that t-shirt of his in her laundry.
She didn't know if she was jealous of Antonia for having two guys when she was having problems getting to know anybody at all, or jealous of those two guys for having so much of Antonia's constant attention. All she knew was that the familiar envy she'd felt all growing up whenever somebody ignored her in favour of her sister her was there, and she didn't really know why.
Perhaps that's the reason she'd found herself at a frat party on a Friday night, when she'd normally never go anywhere near the things. Parties had booze, booze was really good at drowning out uncomfortable feelings, and Lovina was sorely in need of some of that, so there she was, standing alone in a corner with a bottle of wine, curiously eyeing up some tanned, dark-haired, green-eyed stranger. Her drunken self ignored the fact that he looked a bit like Antonia.
Her drunken self could not ignore that fact that Antonia herself appeared next to the man, passing him a drink and giving him a kiss on the cheek before she noticed they were being stared at. Instead of looking like she'd been caught doing something bad, or looking ashamed, or something Lovina might have expected, Antonia's slightly flushed face just split into a wide grin when she saw who it was that was staring at her and the nameless man.
"I'm pretty sure I said no calling- not to call me that." She added a half-assed, "Bitch," to the end of that, to make sure Antonia knew she was being serious. It didn't really work at all.
"But it's such a cute nickname! Way cuter than the nicknames you have for me."
Lovina had no idea what she was talking about. "I don't have any nicknames for you."
"You just used one!" If Lovina didn't know Antonia, she might have thought she was joking. Well, Lovina really didn't know Antonia, not all that well anyway, but she still knew her well enough to know that she really must have thought all the rude names Lovina kept calling her were some bizarre attempts at nicknames. That or she was teasing her, Lovina really couldn't tell.
"Stop teasing me, Antonia," she said with a huff. "Who was that guy you were with?"
"That's Antonio! Haven't you met him before? Oh, I suppose you haven't. This is the first party he's really had time to come to since school started. I'll introduce you two." Antonia turned around, seemingly to wave Antonio over, but the space he had previously been occupying was not empty. "When I find him again," she added with a laugh. "He probably found somebody else to talk to, I'll keep you company instead."
"You don't need to do that."
"Of course I do! You're sitting over here all alone, that's no fun at all."
Lovina put her feet up on the only other chair nearby, but this didn't deter Antonia in the slightest. The other woman just lifted Lovina's feet up and placed them in her lap after taking her seat. "Do your feet hurt?" she asked, continuing to be the bizarre, inappropriate sort of person she always proved herself to be and taking off one of Lovina's heels. "You should get some of those cushiony pads for your heels, it'll make your feet feel a lot better probably."
"My feet don't hurt."
"You don't have to lie to me, we're friends, sí?" Antonia pressed her thumbs into the ball of Lovina's left foot and Lovina let out a hiss of discomfort. "Sorry! I'll be gentler." True to her word, Antonia continued to massage Lovina's foot, her touch firm yet gentle against the sore muscles. Lovina wandered how many other people out there had been on the receiving end of a drunken foot massage from Antonia.
"Shouldn't you be massaging your boyfriend's feet or something?" A soft cracking noise came from Lovina's ankle when Antonia rotated it slightly and the slight pain caused by the movement quickly faded into a dull sense of relief as the joint relaxed. Maybe Antonia shouldn't have been massaging anyone else's feet right at that moment, because Lovina was drunk and Antonia was pretty and damn her feet had been bothering her for weeks.
"Naw, I think you're the only one who needs one right now." Both Lovina and Antonia fell silent as Antonia continued her massage, stopping only to place Lovina's left shoe back on and move onto the right foot to repeat the process all over again. "You must be really drunk," she spoke up after what felt like an eternity of silence. "I thought for sure you'd kick me or something."
"I have never kicked you before, why the hell would you think that?"
Antonia shrugged, a soft smile on her face. "You kicked Romano when he complimented you on your dress last week."
"He wasn't looking at my dress," Lovina insisted. "It's not my fault if your stupid boyfriend can't keep his eyes where they should be."
Antonia just kept on massaging away, her fingers occasionally straying up Lovina's calves and it was surely a testament to the amount of alcohol flowing through her veins that Lovina didn't make Antonia keep her hands to herself, because any other time kicking her would have sounded like a good idea as soon as those bitten-down nails started scraping lightly across her knees. If anyone had bothered to ask, she would have claimed the blush staining her cheeks was from the alcohol, but she knew what was really causing it, and truth be told, even at her drunkest she was extremely vocal whenever somebody was doing something she didn't like.
"Well," Antonia had apparently decided to continue the conversation at some point during Lovina's musings. "I'm sure he wasn't looking at you inappropriately, he actually did like the dress, but I really couldn't blame him if he was, you are way too cute, you know that?"
"...Just finish my foot massage and stop saying weird shit, Tonia."
Lovina woke up the next morning in Antonia's bed, with Antonia's lipstick on her cheek, and when Antonia laughed it all off, saying they hadn't been able to figure out the thermostat the night before and that's why they'd shared a bed, she most certainly did not feel a little disappointed.
After that incident, Lovina decided to avoid both stupid parties and Antonia for awhile until she could look the other woman in the face without blushing horribly. This turned out to be fairly easy, because Lovina had mostly evening classes so she could sleep in, and Antonia had mostly morning classes so she could take a nap in the afternoon and have her nights free. Antonia was already gone by the time Lovina woke up, and Lovina was usually leaving as soon as Antonia came back, if she came back at all.
The whole blushing horribly thing was a bit harder to avoid, especially when a certain green-eyed man suddenly ran up to her, shirtless, while she was outside eating a late lunch before class.
"C-can I help you?" she managed to stutter out after nearly choking on her tomato sandwich.
"Are you okay?" he asked in return, patting her on the back until she shoved his hand away. This apparently had no effect on him. "You're Lovina, right?" The man clapped and sat down next to her when she nodded. "I thought I recognised you! I saw Antonia with you the other night, but I got distracted and by the time I went looking for you two, you were both gone already."
"Oh, right. You're Antonio."
Antonio nodded. "That's me! Antonia's told me a lot about you."
Lovina tried to will down her blush, but it didn't work. It never did. "Has she now?"
"She talks about you all the time, every time we go out it's Lovina this, Lovina that." Antonio may have meant something completely innocent when he said "going out", but Lovina was still semi-convinced the two had something going on, so of course she took it to mean that she was a topic of conversation during their illicit dates.
"Good for her," Lovina responded dryly. "Is there a reason you're running around shirtless?"
Antonio's look of confusion was so akin to Antonia's it was almost comical. He looked down at himself, then back up to Lovina, a sheepish look replacing his confused one. "I was just at the pool, I guess I forgot to put my shirt back on. I'm really tired, I was up all night writing a paper."
"You should go find your shirt, then." She glanced at her watch, hoping it was time for her to leave so she'd have an excuse to get out of this awkward conversation. For once, time seemed to be on her side and she was due to be heading off to class. "I need to go, good luck with that."
She stood up, and before she could make a quick getaway, Antonio grabbed her by the wrist. "Hold on! Before you go, here's my number." He snatched the paper bag out of her hand and quickly ripped a piece off before writing his number down in red ink. "We should hang out sometime. I feel like I already know you, from Antonia, but it'd be nice to get lunch or something."
Lovina wanted to smack Antonio, call him a pervert, tell him to stop dating his roommate's girlfriend and stop making it sound like he was asking her when he obviously wasn't and to stop being so damn attractive and just . Stop. But he was gone in a flash, off to find his shirt hopefully, and all she could do was pocket the number with a huff and walk off to class.
Lovina never bothered to call Antonio, despite Antonia bugging her to after she found the piece of paper with his number sitting on Lovina's bedside table, and the next time she ended up seeing Antonio, she'd given up on avoiding any and all parties, and may have been halfway to completely plastered. He may have been more attractive without a shirt than with a shirt, and he may have been a total sleaze in her mind, but Drunk Lovina was willing to look past any issues she had with him apparently, as she stumbled sauntered over to him with a bottle glass of wine in hand.
There appeared to be an echo in the room, because Lovina wasn't the only one who deigned to address Antonio in that particular fashion.
"Oh, hey Roma! Hey Lovina!" Antonio pulled them both into a hug and kissed their cheeks. "I didn't know you two were coming to this party!" Lovina also wasn't the only one who'd apparently had a little too much to drink that night.
"I told you I was coming, stupid." Romano pulled himself out of the embrace and grabbed Lovina's arm, saving her from the drunken man's hugs as well. "And Antonia told you Lovina was coming, you were just too busy staring at her tits to pay attention."
"I wasn't staring at Lovina's tits!" Antonio protested. Lovina flushed. And felt offended. What was wrong with staring at her tits? (Okay, maybe she was more than a little drunk...)
"...Antonia's. You were staring at Antonia's tits."
"Oh." Antonio laughed and nodded. "Was she wearing that new red dress?"
"The one that's way too small in the chest? Yes."
"That's what I keep telling her, but she says it's her favourite," Lovina chimed in. She'd seen quite a few fights started when one guy thought another guy was checking out his girlfriend, and she wasn't exactly keen on witnessing another. She wondered if Romano knew about what Antonio and Antonia were totally doing behind his back, and she couldn't decide if she'd feel more pity for him if he did and just pretended not to, or if he honestly had no idea.
Romano and Antonio continued to chat, moving on from the topic of Antonia's dress, and it made Lovina feel a little sick to her stomach, seeing them being so friendly with one another. Well. As friendly as Romano could be. While the two men were distracted with "arguing" over whether or not something Antonio had just done was perverted, Lovina stumbled away with her bottle of wine to go sulk in a corner.
An hour later, Romano found her there in the corner, the first bottle of wine empty at her feet, having been replaced by a second, decidedly more full one. "You should probably stop drinking all that wine, idiot, one of these perverts here is going to stop just leering at you and try something." Lovina lurched forward when the wine bottle was stolen out of her hand, nearly falling out of her chair, but Romano quickly caught her. The green shirt he was wearing felt nice and soft against her flushed face, and if she didn't immediately pull back away from him and shout at him for daring to touch her, that was the only reason why. "Ugh, I don't see why Antonia likes you so much, you're more of an idiot that she is."
Lovina meant to protest against being called an idiot, because Romano was the idiot here, he was the one just letting his girlfriend go messing around with his roommate. She had half a mind to tell him so, but all that would come out was, "Antonia likes me?"
"Antonia likes a lot of people, don't get too excited." The wine bottle was long gone by the time Lovina managed to pull herself away from Romano, which was probably a good thing because the second she wasn't being held up by the wall or the jackass boyfriend of her roommate, she was toppling face first into the sticky-with-alcohol floor beneath her.
Again, Romano caught her. "You are so lucky I'm a fucking gentleman. I'll take you back to your room in a minute, stay here." Lovina was gently placed back into the chair, and Romano cut his way through the crowd to where Antonio was standing, happily chatting away with some blonde girl Lovina had seen around her and Antonia's dorm once or twice, Edmée Something-or-Other. She felt light-headed and sleepy, and she was sorely tempted to just fall asleep in that chair. Romano would drag her back to her dorm, she wouldn't have to listen to his bitching or worry about accidentally saying something stupid herself, it was a win-win situation. The only thing keeping her from dozing off right then and there was the fact that she didn't know how long Romano was going to spend talking to the other man, and the only person who was more wary of all the perverts running around at that party than Romano appeared to be was Lovina. She snapped awake when she felt herself falling asleep and glanced at the pair of men, only to be met with a sight that she definitely was not expecting.
Perhaps she really was an idiot, because it looked like Antonia wasn't the one running around with other men.
Everything else after that was nothing more than a blur. The next morning when Lovina woke up, she couldn't quite remember what had happened after Romano finally came back to retrieve her from her chair. She did, however, remember, quite vividly in fact, what took place before Romano had taken her back to her room.
She rolled over onto her side, ignoring her body's protests against movement, and looked over to see Antonia laying on her side as well, looking back at her. "Morning," Antonia whispered. "Are you feeling okay? You seemed pretty upset when Romano brought you back last night, you kept mumbling to yourself in Italian- no, Romano said it was Sicilian, because he couldn't quite understand it all- anyway are you feeling better?"
"No," Lovina replied, holding a hand up to silence Antonia when the other woman tried to say something in response. "Just be quiet for a minute, I have to tell you something."
Lovina and Antonia had only been roommates for a couple months now, and Lovina didn't exactly like her (though perhaps that wasn't justified, and maybe she actually liked her a bit too much), but she was pretty sure there was some unwritten code somewhere that said you should probably tell your not-really-a-friend/roommate when you saw her boyfriend macking on another guy at a stupid frat party. Especially after you'd spent the better part of the short time you'd know her silently accusing her of things she probably wasn't really doing.
She expected her to get upset (it would be a nice change of pace from all the happy and cheer, maybe), or to accuse her of making things up or just being confused about what she saw. What she hadn't expected her to do was laugh and go, "Oh, Antonio? He's our boyfriend, silly." Lovina could do nothing more than blink in response. "Didn't you know that? I could have sworn I told you."
Lovina definitely would have remembered something like that. "You never told me that!" The sound of her own voice reverberating in her already throbbing head caused her to cringe "Ugh."
"I'm sorry if that's what you were upset about." Antonia stood up and made her way over to Lovina's bed, sitting on the edge and running a hand through Lovina's messy hair. "Though that might explain why you punched Romano after he wrestled you into your bed. Were you worried about me?"
"No," Lovina mumbled, trying to move her head away from Antonia's hand before deciding maybe moving wasn't the best of ideas. "Romano put his hand up my dress, that's why I punched him." Lovina actually had no recollection of punching Romano, but she was sticking to her story no matter what Antonia said.
"You wore pants last night, Lovi."
"...I hope I bruised his stupid face either way."
Apparently the idea of her boyfriend (one of her boyfriends?) having his "stupid face" bruised was hilarious, because Antonia just giggled in response and kept petting Lovina's hair. "You're sweet. You should probably say sorry to Romano later-"
"-but it's kind of sweet that you'd punch him because you thought he was cheating on me. You're a good friend." Lovina tried to kick Antonia but she only ended up getting her foot stuck between the mattress and the footboard. "...Did your foot just twitch? Do you have that problem too? Romano's feet and hands twitch sometimes, but not as much as they did when he was a kid."
"Antonia, what the hell?"
"Shh, Roma! Lovina's head hurts!"
"Yeah well my face hurts, and you're not supposed to tell anyone about that!" Romano closed the door to their room behind him and stomped over to Lovina's bed. Lovina steeled herself for more yelling, but was pleasantly surprised when all Romano did was reach under her blanket to pull her foot out of the mattress dip. "Her foot was just stuck, Antonia, pay attention and stop telling random people shit about me."
Antonia pouted and grabbed Romano by the front of the shirt, pulling him in for a kiss with the same ease Romano had pulled Antonio into one the night before. For what wasn't the first time since meeting the couple, Lovina had no idea who she was jealous of when that familiar ache stirred in her chest. "Get a room, assholes," she mumbled.
"You didn't seem to care about anyone getting a room last night when you were getting all cozy with my girlfriend." Despite the fact that the bed was barely big enough for one person, Lovina felt a second dip in the bed when Romano sat down next to Antonia. She thought about attempting to kick him too, but decided against it because that damned dip between the mattress and the footboard was still way too close to her toes.
"Aw, don't make fun of her, Roma, she had a bad night." Romano snorted in response. "She did! You should have brought her home before you and Antonio decided making out was a better idea, or called me, or had Edmée bring her, or something."
Lovina wasn't looking at them, but she could practically hear the amused look on Romano's face. "You never cared when your last roommate came back drunk after parties."
"You didn't. You hated her, that's why she switched rooms after a term and you didn't have another roommate until Lovina showed up." Lovina couldn't imagine Antonia hating anyone. She tried to, but then the memory of her clinging to Antonia on her bed the night before suddenly assaulted her instead and she was blushing beyond all belief while Romano and Antonia bickered in the background. She was so busy being embarrassed and exhausted and not hungover that she didn't notice when the background noise stopped and suddenly changed to Antonia calling her name.
"Lovi? Lovina? You okay? You're really red." Antonia leaned down and kissed her forehead, which only increased Lovina's blush. "You don't feel like you have a fever."
Lovina felt eyes on her and she looked up to see Romano giving her a knowing look. She scowled at him and he just shook his head, obviously amused by something that wasn't entirely apparent to her. "She's not sick, stupid, just leave her alone." He stood up and pulled Antonia with him, ignoring the woman's protests.
"Why don't you both leave me alone," Lovina muttered, pulling her blankets up tighter around herself. "Go bother your boyfriend instead."
"Actually, that's why I stopped by." Romano knelt down by Lovina's bed and pulled the blankets back from her face. "Call him or something when you're not so hungover."
"I'm not hungover." Lovina didn't get hangovers. Just sometimes alcohol made her very sleepy the next day. And have a headache. But it wasn't a hangover. "Why would I do that?" Lovina tried to grab the blanket back but Romano kept a tight grip on it.
"Because you were being a bitch to him last night and now he's all upset thinking you don't like him. And when Antonio's upset, shit sucks for the rest of us, so go apologise or I'll," Romano faltered. He'd threatened a lot of people in his life, but most of those people were just his little brother or Antonio himself, and they were easier to threaten than anyone else on earth. They also didn't have quite the right hook Lovina had. "Or I'll eat all your tomatoes."
"Bastard, stay away from my tomatoes, it's bad enough Antonia keeps eating them all." She finally managed to yank the blanket back out of Romano's hand. "I'll call Antonio later if you'll just let me sleep, okay?"
"I'll tell him to expect your call, so you better not blow him off."
"Yeah yeah." Lovina pushed at Romano's shoulder, hoping he'd fall over on his ass and finally leave her alone. He didn't. "Fuck off, I want to sleep."
Antonia looked at her phone and gasped. "C'mon, Roma! We're late for getting breakfast with Francine, we should go."
Romano sighed exasperatedly and mumbled something to Lovina about how she should never, ever meet Antonia's crazy French ex-girlfriend, no matter how much Antonia insisted otherwise, but Lovina didn't quite catch it because she was already drifting back off to sleep.
Four hours and a shower later, Lovina was feeling much better. She was also feeling extremely grateful that she didn't quite remember everything that had occurred the night before, because from what she did remember/what Romano and Antonia had said, she'd made a right ass of herself. It was obviously all their fault, though, for not telling her about their weird threesome relationship. Why on earth would she assumed that's what was going on?
Hey, you've reached Antonio! Well. Not really. You've reached his machine. My machine. It's not really a machine, this is a cellphone, they don't have the machines with the tapes in them, but- right! Sorry, Roma! Romano says leave a message and I'll call you back later! Antonio will call you back later, not Romano, he never calls anyone ba- bye! Wait for the beep!
And why on earth had she assumed Antonio would answer her phone calls after being told she was going to make one?
She decided against leaving a message because she got the impression that Antonio didn't quite know how to use his own damn cellphone. Instead, she fired of a text that simply read Pick up your damn phone. She jumped when a reply came only seconds later.
sry lumbe w my sis cal l8r?
"...What the fuck is lumbe?" Lovina stared at the atrociously typed text for a moment, before deciding he probably meant lunch, since it was about that time of day.
Learn how to text. Call me when you're done, I guess.
thas wut roma sys 2 haha! l8r 3
Lovina stuffed her phone in her pocket, deciding against responding to the text again, if only to save herself from having to decipher what it was Antonio was saying. She contemplated going out to grab something to eat, but settled on eating one of the many tomatoes she and Antonia had laying around the room instead. Somebody knocked on the door, and she thought maybe Antonio had decided to stop by instead, so she ignored it. He could call her back like a normal person, she wasn't in the mood for company.
Apparently company was in the mood for her, though, because a grumble came from the other side of the door before a key was being inserted into the lock and she was met with, not Antonio, but Romano. "Who said you could have a key to the room?" Lovina scowled at him when he stole one of her tomatoes instead of responding. "That's mine, put it down."
"S'mine now." He sat on the edge of Antonia's bed and took a bite out of her her tomato. "You gave me a black eye, I can steal your tomatoes if I want to."
She'd been too tired to notice it earlier that morning, but yes, there was indeed a dark, nasty looking bruise that started underneath Romano's left eye and extended down to his cheek. Romano turned away from her with a huff when he noticed her staring and continued to eat the tomato, a slightly sticky hand coming up once or twice to rub at the large bruise. "I'm never helping you again, you're on your own at the next party."
Lovina probably should have apologised, but she was already being made to apologise to Antonio later and by the time she was done with that, her quota for the year would surely be met. A change of subject was in order instead. "I thought you were out with Antonia?"
"...So why are you here?"
"You've never met Francine, obviously, or you'd understand."
Right. Antonia's ex. Lovina was a little surprised that somebody who currently had two boyfriends had an ex-girlfriend, but she wasn't exactly one to talk about that particular matter, much to mother's chagrin. "Doesn't explain why you're here. Or why you'd leave your girlfriend with a perverted ex you hate, but whatever."
"I don't have to explain why I'm here. You gave me a black eye." Lovina was going to give him another black eye if he didn't stop using that as an excuse for being an asshole. "And Antonia's not going to do anything. If the French bitch touches her I'll just call her boyfriend and he can deal with it." A buzzing sound echoed through the room and Romano paused to check his phone. "...Apparently your name is 'Loth' now."
She was glad to know the horrendous texts from Antonio weren't only reserved for her. "And he eats lumbe instead of lunch. Got yourself a keeper there, bastard."
Romano was silent for another moment as he responded to whatever it was Antonio had said about Lovina. "Oh shut up."
"You shut up."
The sound of laughter and the door opening cut them off. When Antonia got back later, Lovina was going to need to have a chat with her about these stupid boyfriends of hers who just entered rooms without permission. "I'm sure you two are in the middle of a very important argument right now, but can I steal Lovina, Roma?"
"Go right ahead," Romano got up and started rummaging through the fridge in the small kitchen. Lovina sent him a dirty look, but didn't otherwise protest because none of the food in there was hers anyway and if Romano ate all Antonia's food, that was Antonia's problem, not hers.
She did throw a pillow at him when he went back for more of her tomatoes, though.
"Hey!" Romano picked the pillow up and tossed it back at her. "Knock it off, woman, seriously."
"You knock it off." Lovina crossed her arms, a habit she'd picked up as a small child that she'd never really grown out of. "I told you to stay out of my tomatoes! You already had one, leave the rest alone."
Romano defiantly picked up two tomatoes and licked them both before setting them back down in the bowl. Lovina had half a mind to chuck another pillow at him, but Antonio quickly made his presence remembered when he looped an arm through hers and passed her her purse. When he'd grabbed it, she had no idea. "C'mon, Lovi, I'll take you out for a coffee, okay?"
"No." She looked up at Antonio's hesitant smile and that was probably a mistake, because really, that look made her feel worse than a frown and she'd maybe already been feeling a little bad about apparently upsetting him the night before. "Fine. Romano owes me a new bowl of tomatoes."
"I ate one."
"And licked two," Antonio reminded him. "He'll bring some over next time we go shopping, don't worry."
"Bye bye Roma, love you!" With that, Antonio was dragging Lovina out of the room and down the hall, the door closely softly behind him. "The best way to finish an argument with Romano is just to stop having it," he told her.
"Good to know." Lovina fell into step with Antonio as he started walking out of the building and toward the coffee shop down the road. "Um." Lovina was suddenly at a loss for words and thought maybe she'd continue with this whole apology thing later, but Antonio had apparently heard her false start, since he glanced down at her curiously as they continued to walk along the street. "So I guess I might have acted like an ass last night." Smooth, Lovina, smooth.
Antonio laughed and the smile he gave her this time was the real, full one she'd seen before in their handful of meetings. "It's okay." A crowd of people were coming down the sidewalk heading the opposite direction, and Antonio took full advantage of the fact that his arm was still linked with Lovina's to steer her around them. "Antonia told me what happened. I'd probably hate me too if I really were off stealing Romano from Antonia, she's much to sweet to do that to."
"I don't hate you, stupid."
He laughed again and shook his head. "If I had a cent for every time I've heard that particular sentence, I'd be able to buy us all new apartments so we wouldn't have to live in these silly dorm rooms."
She didn't know why, but being included in that ridiculous sentence Antonio had just uttered made those damned butterflies start fluttering in her stomach again. Lovina was seriously going crazy, there was no other explanation.
"You'd probably blow any coins you got on more tomatoes before you managed to save up enough for that."
Antonio just shrugged and their conversation was temporarily put on hold when they reached the same coffee shop that Antonia and Romano had taken Lovina to a few times. As much as she complained about Romano and Antonia, and Antonia and Romano together, she'd somehow found herself spending more and more time with them as the months went by. Odd.
Her train of thought was broken when Antonio pulled out a chair and motioned for her to sit down. She sat there awkwardly while Antonio went up to the counter to order their drinks, and from the sounds of it he'd probably absorbed enough information about her from Antonia to know how she liked her coffee (strongest brew they had, no sugar, just a splash of milk).
"They'll have it right out," Antonio told her after he'd finished paying.
"Thanks." Antonio smiled at her and she looked up at the ceiling, suddenly finding it fascinating. "So..."
"How'd you three meet anyway?" she asked suddenly, before she could think better of it. At least she'd asked something like that, and not any of the other questions swirling around in her head.
"Romano and Antonia have known each other since they were kids," he started explaining. "I met Antonia at a party Francine was throwing, and we became friends right away. Obviously I met Romano through Antonia. He's a year behind us in school and he didn't know anyone else here except for Antonia, and since my old roommate went back to Germany after our first year, she suggested me and Roma be roommates. And then, well."
"You became more than roommates, got it."
"It wasn't really quite that simple, but yeah, eventually."
"I can't imagine it was, no. It's not everyday you start dating your roommate and his girlfriend."
"You probably think it's weird, a lot of people do," he said. "But after the three of us managed to work things out and start dating, I just really couldn't imagine not dating them, you know? It's like we were meant to be together from the start." Had that statement come from anyone else, Lovina might have laughed at them, but the look on Antonio's face, a look of complete sincerity as well as love for the two people he was talking about, kept her from doing so. She was sure she'd have plenty of other opportunities to laugh at stupid things he said, she'd leave him alone this time.
A waitress came by with coffee for the two of them and Lovina picked at her glass for awhile before asking just one of the many other questions she'd been wanting to since that morning. "Don't any of you ever get jealous?"
Thankfully, Antonio appeared to be more than happy to keep answering her questions. "Of each other? Of course not." He leaned in conspiratorially after that, an odd twinkle in his eyes. "Though I think Roma's been a little jealous of all the attention Antonia's been giving you."
Lovina shoved his face away from hers. "Stop joking around with me, bastard."
"I'm not, really! She likes you a lot. I think Romano does too, but it took him years to ask Antonia out so he probably won't be admitting it anytime soon."
"And why are you telling me this?"
"No reason." Lovina didn't believe that for one minute. "Just making conversation. Anymore questions I can answer for you?"
If Lovina hadn't known about Antonia, Romano, and Antonio before, she would have definitely clued in their next term at school. Their first term, Antonio had been far too busy to stop by or go out too much, a fact she was only aware of because Romano and Antonia complained about it constantly, but his course load was lighter the next time around and this lead to him becoming yet another constant guest in her and Antonia's room. She insisted this bothered her, but she was pretty sure the fact that she was always tagging along with them on outings when asked to gave away the fact that she really didn't mind so much.
Well. She didn't mind so much when they were doing perfectly innocuous things in the room. Now was not one of those times, and she certainly minded very much.
"Shit!" Her eyes were flying up to cover her face the second certain parts of Antonia and Antonio were in her line of vision. The very second that happened, she didn't linger for even a nanosecond.
"Oh, hey Lovi! What're you doing home so early?" Lovina kept her eyes covered as the sounds of Antonia and Antonio running around getting dressed replaced the previous sounds the dorm room had been filled with. Lovina was guessing, she hadn't actually heard anything prior to opening the door. "We're dressed now, sorry."
"My last class got cancelled for today, the teacher's sick or something." Lovina tentatively removed her hands from her eyes and only opened them fully when she ascertained that yes, the two previously naked people were indeed no longer in such a state. "I told you that this morning."
"Aw, I forgot, sorry!"
"Sorry, Lovi, it won't happen again." Lovina looked over at Antonio just in time to see he was tossing a tomato in her direction and she caught the fruit just in time to avoid it falling to the ground. "We were in my room, but Romano kicked us out."
"How come it never works when I kick you out?"
"Usually never works when he tries either, but he has a headache so we thought we'd leave him be for a couple hours."
"Lucky me." Lovina would have to remember to fake a headache next time she wanted the room to herself. "If I get a headache too will you guys leave us both alone?"
"Never," Antonio and Antonia said in sync. Their twin looks of surprise made Lovina laugh, and the two quickly joined in, their giggles only subsiding when Antonia began speaking again.
"It's Friday, let's go do something since we're all done with class for the week!" Not waiting to see if the other two people in the room thought this was an acceptable idea, Antonia took Lovina's bookbag away from her and tossed it onto her bed. "I'm sure Romano won't mind as long as we take him something to eat later."
"You two can just go out without me, I don't feel like it."
"Aw, no, you have to come too!" Antonio grabbed one of her wrists and Antonia grabbed the other, the two of them working together to drag Lovina out of the room. "Edmée says they've opened up a new pizza place nearby, we want you to come check it out with us."
Pizza did sound good. Pizza sounded very good, actually, so long as it was good pizza, and not some nasty, sorry excuse for pizza. Nasty, sorry excuses for anything never sounded good. "Fiiine." Lovina wasn't giving in, they'd just made a very good case for themselves what with the whole pizza thing. They were dirty, bribing cheaters and that wasn't Lovina's fault one bit. "But I'm not staying out all night. We'll get some pizza and then I'm coming back here."
Countless hours later, Lovina was finally walking back to her room, Antonia and Antonio skipping along behind her. The pizza place, it turned out, not only served pizza, but an assortment of wine as well, and after a couple glasses staying out seemed like a very good idea, despite her initial plans.
"I said what?"
"Oh, hehe, didn't hear you!" Antonia ran up to Lovina and after some stumbling and some laughter from Antonio, she was walking side-by-side with her. "You've got Roma's pizza, right? I don't have it and Antonio doesn't either!"
"For the billionth time," Lovina hiccuped a bit before continuing. "Yes. And for the billionth... billion-and-third time, it's ridiculously late. He's sleeping. He can have the damn pizza tomorrow."
Also for the billion-and-third time, Lovina found herself wondering why Antonio was going back to their room with them, instead of just taking the pizza and going to his own damn place, but she was pretty sure that had already been answered too. After spending the whole short walk from the pizza place to their room yelling at the two of them for not listening when she answered their questions, she'd been damned if the fact that she hadn't bothered to listen when they'd answered her questions would make a hypocrite out of her.
Once they were back in the room, Lovina shoved Romano's pizza in the fridge and went to get into her bed, not caring that she was still in her clothes. What she did care about was the fact that somebody else was already in the bed.
"Antonio." She shoved at his arm. "This is my bed, fuck off."
The demand was met with a snore.
"Antonia, make him go away."
Another snore, this time from the other side of the room.
Antonio just mumbled and hugged her pillow when she tried to wake him up. Lovina was not going to spend the night on the floor when she was in her room, and a quick glance at Antonia made her decide against stealing her bed, since she was currently drooling all over the pillow.
"Don't hog the covers," she mumbled as she slid in next to Antonio and yanked most of the covers over herself. He just snored in response once more and the obnoxious noises both him and Antonia made in their sleep were what eventually lulled her off to dreamland as well.
Lovina had been in her room for the past two hours talking to her younger sister on the phone, and she'd spent the last hour and fifty minutes contemplating just hanging up and letting Felicia ramble to herself for awhile. It would probably take her awhile to notice, and it would certainly save their parents from having to pay a ridiculously high cellphone bill. Again. The last time she'd tried that, though, Felicia had called in a panic thirty minutes later, crying about the call being dropped and asking Lovina what the last thing she'd heard was, and she'd been forced to listen to the younger girl ramble on anyway, so she'd resigned herself to just dozing on her bed while the girl gabbed about school and pasta and what universities she was thinking about going to and pasta and Germany (Lovina really hated that place, she had no idea why Felicia liked it so much) and had Lovina made any other friends? Did she have a boyfriend yet? A girlfriend? Oooh, how was a Antoni- Or how about a cat?
"...Why the fuck would I have a cat?" was the first thing she'd said in over half an hour.
"Ve, I don't know. Cats are cute! Does Antonia like them?" Antonia did. "Oh oh, right, you can't have pets in your room I forgot. How about I get you a cat and keep it here and send you pictures and then you can come see her over the summer?"
...At least Felicia had gotten fixated on the cat thing and not the Lovina's love life thing. "You do that."
"Oh, I will! I'll find you a really cute one right now!" The sounds of Felicia scrambling off whatever she'd been sitting on came over the phone and with a quick, "Ciao!" she was gone.
And then Lovina's phone was ringing again.
"What do you want now?" she said in place of a normal greeting. "I thought you were going to look for a cat, did Mamma tell you no?"
"I wasn't going to look for a cat?"
"Oh." That was definitely not her sister. Somebody who was definitely Antonia giggled in the background and a very Romano-like shhh followed, but there was no mistaking who was actually calling her. "Ciao, Antonio."
"Hey Lovina! Hold on a minute," his voice got fainter and Lovina guessed he had pulled the phone away from his mouth. "Tonia, can I have my pants back? Lovina finally answered her phone!"
...Lovina didn't want to know.
After some shuffling noises that were hopefully just Antonio putting his pants back on, he was once again on the line. "Sorry about that. Are you busy right now?"
No. "Maybe. Why, what do you want?"
"We want you to come over! We've been wanting to talk to you about something."
"Can't you just talk to me over the phone? I don't want to come talk to you while you're pantless, I've met my quota of seeing you three pantless for the rest of my life."
Antonio laughed and Antonia's echoed in the background. Bitch was probably eavesdropping on their conversation. "Please just come over? Pretty please?"
"Why should I?"
"Well Antonia and Romano really like you-"
"I do not!"
"Yes you do~!"
"And I do too, so we want to spend time with you! We really need to ask you something too. Please? We'll make you some pasta, the stove in our kitchen got fixed so we won't even need to go out to eat if you don't want to."
Pasta was tempting. Seeing Antonio inevitably burn himself on the stove again was also tempting. "I spend enough time with you morons, but whatever. I'll be over in a few minutes."
Antonio and Antonia had quickly learned that the best way to get Lovina to agree doing things with them was to offer her a free meal. Romano had also learned this, but he preferred to just show up in Lovina and Antonia's room when Antonia wasn't around and steal Lovina's tomatoes. Lovina wasn't quite sure if this was because he wanted to hang out with her, or if he just had an awful time of keeping tomatoes stocked in his own place and spending time with her was only an unfortunate side effect of his tomato stealing endeavours, but she liked to pretend he was secretly desperate for her company. She liked to pretend a lot of things like that, but just as Romano might never admit she was the reason he was stopping by, Lovina would never admit any of the things she liked to pretend.
"Guys, guys, she said yes! She's coming over right now!"
"Aw, yay, that's great!"
Lovina was about to hang up when a rustling came over the line followed by Romano's voice. "Make sure you knock first, Antonia somehow managed to lose her bra agai- Get dressed, morons, knock that off!"
"So how exactly are you not completely insane after dating both of them?" Lovina asked, phone still to her ear as she exited her dorm.
"Ugh, I think I'm already insane, I'd have to be-"
"To be dating them in the first place, right." Lovina was probably just a little bit insane herself.
"You'd know, I suppose."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Nothing but the click of Romano hanging up answered her question. "...Fucker." Lovina pocketed her phone and quickly made her way down the street to where Antonio and Romano's dorm was. She wanted to punch Romano in the arm for hanging up on her, and this single-minded plan was what lead her straight to the front of Antonio and Romano's building, as well as straight into Antonio, who was waiting for her outside the frotn door. "...Antonia couldn't find her bra in time?" She stepped back from Antonio and rubbed her now sore nose.
Antonio shook his head. "No, she found it. I just realised you've never been to our room so I didn't know if you knew which one to go to. Is your nose okay, should I go find some ice?"
"No, I don't want ice. And Antonia has the room number written down on the fridge. Romano made her put it there the last time she showed up drunk at the dorm one floor up." Romano hadn't even been home at the time and Lovina had been forced to go retrieve Antonia after some very confused, shaky boy had called her on Antonia's phone. Antonia had laughed and insisted Lovina would too later after Lovina had yelled at her, and she was a little peeved to realise Antonia had been right.
"We lived in that room last year," Antonio explained. "But it's got a draft, so we're glad we got a different room this time around." Lovina followed Antonio over to the stairs and stepped into the drafty area where they were when he opened the door for her. She and Antonia were nearly at the top of their floor, but Antonio and Romano were just on the second floor, a fact she was very jealous of when the elevators in their building were crowded or just plain not working.
She opened the door at the second floor and quickly made her way to room 218, showing Antonio that she hadn't been lying when she said she knew which room to go to. Not wanting to walk in on anything awkward, she waited for Antonio to catch up.
"You can go in," he assured her. "Everyone is fully dressed and there are no stray bras hanging from any of the lamps, I promise!"
"...Are there usually bras hanging from the lamps?" She opened the door anyway and peaked in cautiously, finding nothing more than Antonia and Romano gathering up ingredients for dinner in the kitchen.
"Thankfully no," Romano answered her. "Make yourself useful and come chop these tomatoes, Antonia keeps pretending to cut herself and I'm sick of it."
"That was the last time, I swear! It's just so cute how you freak out every single time." Antonia waved over at Lovina before turning back to her cutting board. "You just have a seat Lovi, we've got this all under control! Your sister emailed me a tomato sauce recipe and she says it's your favourite, so I'll do my best to make it right, okay?"
"How the hell do you know my sister, tomato bitch?"
"I tried to call you when we had our last break and you were back in Palermo, but remember Antonio accidentally took my cell home? So I called all the Vellas in Palermo looking for you and when I finally got your house Felicia answered!"
"And then I told her she could have just got your number from me," Romano added.
"Oh well, I ended up getting to talk to Lovi so it was okay."
"Right. I remember." Lovina had been waken up oh so rudely at the crack of 1 PM by her sister shoving the phone in her face and then running off to tell their parents that Lovina "finally has a friend, she called asking for her and everything!". "You're an idiot."
Antonia pouted in response but said nothing as she turned her attention to carefully making the sauce. She'd been practicing the recipe for the past two weeks, unbeknownst to Lovina, and wanted everything to be perfect, though even if Lovina had known that the reasoning behind it would also be lost on her at the moment.
While Antonia was busy with the sauce, Romano was cooking the pasta and arguing with Antonio about the wine he'd chosen for after dinner. "I don't care what we usually drink, stupid, get out the Marsala I bought."
"You hate Marsala." Lovina's eyebrow raise in Romano's general direction was met with a foul gesture. "Well you do. Stop doing that, you rude bastard." The last time she and Antonia had been drinking wine in their dorm and Romano had come by to join them, he'd immediately left and gone to the store when he saw what the only bottle Lovina had was, and he'd spent the rest of the night drunkenly arguing wines with her, so him buying one of his own made absolutely no sense.
"So rude, Roma," Antonio chastised, handing him the bottle of wine he'd asked for. "It's your favourite though, right Lovina?"
"Good! We'll drink this after dinner then. Sorry for grabbing the wrong one, Romano."
Dinner was eventually served without further argument, on a pair of red ceramic plates Lovina knew belonged to Antonia, but that had never once been used in the time Lovina had known her.
"What's with you three?" she finally asked when Romano of all people was the one to pull out her chair at the small table in his and Antonio's kitchen.
"Nothing is with us," Romano snapped back, taking his own seat.
"Yes there is. Didn't you say you wanted to talk to me about something?" She'd temporarily forgotten about the reason Antonio had asked her over, but she hoped whatever they wanted to talk to her about would explain their more odd than normal behaviour.
"Uh, well." Lovina had never known Antonia to be a shy woman, but she definitely looked something akin to it at that moment.
"Not to be too forward, Lovi," Antonio cut in. "But we were all wanting to ask you out. "
That was definitely not what she'd been expecting. She didn't know what she'd been expecting, but that. That was not it. "Ask me out?"
"On a date, idiot."
"Roma shhh, no talking, you're too mean when you're nervous."
Lovina decided the whole "butterflies in the stomach" metaphor made no sense, because it didn't feel at all like anything was flying in her stomach, it felt like her heart was about to burst out of her chest and somehow that damn thing would be the one flying, not some stupid bugs. She looked from Antonio's smiling face, to Antonia's hopeful one, and over to Romano, who was blushing and looking at some spot to his left. "...With all three of you?"
Three nods (two of them eager, one of them reluctant) answered her question and the room filled with silence.
If one were to ask Lovina how exactly she got into this whole... "mess", she would be quick to blame Antonia, because Antonia was one of her very favourite people to blame for everything, anything, and nothing at all (unless Antonia was asking who had stolen something of hers, then her favourite person to blame was Romano, especially when the something in question was a dress). She could also blame her parent's insistence that she study abroad, because had it not been for that, she'd have just gone to university in Italy, and never would have been anywhere near Antonia or Antonio or Romano (well maybe Romano, he was originally from Naples, after all) in the first place. Perhaps whoever had made the roommate assignments and put Lovina in the same room as Antonia could also be found at fault- given all four of their different ages and completely different majors, maybe they still wouldn't have met even if they all did go to the same school.
Maybe the universe itself was at fault for putting her in this bizarre position.
All four of them, Lovina included, knew completely who was to blame when Lovina eventually answered the question with a nod of her own. The tension that had previously filled the room vanished as they continued their meal and the normal conversation that typically took place when the four of them were together resumed.
She had no idea how she was going to explain this one to her mother.