Hai gaiz :) So there I was, sitting in warm, sunny Spain when an idea came to me. "Why not add some extra chapters to Lovino and the Conquistador like before and after and during? But I'm not giving you a choice because here's an idea, so write it, bitch." yeah, my ideas are kinda scary sometimes. So my mind handed me this and I might add more if I get ideas. And also there's a poll on my profile I'd like you to check out please (: Warning, there's a mention of past m-preg but you can take as adoption or something if you don't like m-preg. And Agapito means beloved. :)
Disclaimer: *Spins around in a meadow in the Swiss mountains* LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS I DON'T OWN!
Ciara wound her scarf tighter around her neck and breathed in the still December air. She glanced back at the brightly lit ballroom window. Antonio and Agapito were jumping excitedly around the Christmas tree, waving their arms widely. She smiled; sometimes it was hard to tell who the child out of the two of them was.
She sighed, it felt like a lot longer than ten years since Antonio had been a beast and they had all been furniture but at the same time it felt like a lot less. She knew that her brother had accepted that he would spend the rest of his life ticking and honestly, she had been starting to believe it too. She had tried to keep hoping, it was just deeply ingrained in her nature, but hope can only live for so long.
Then Hurricane Lovino arrived. Lovino who had thawed Antonio's frozen heart and broken the spell. They had gotten married the year after and had been blessed with an adorable little boy three years later. Ciara was still trying to wrap her head around that. But, hell, who was she to question? She'd been a teapot for an entire decade. Besides, the little leanbh was too cute to question how he'd gotten here. She shivered and sat down on the cold stone step.
"What's my wild Irish rose doing out here, blooming alone on Christmas Eve?"
Ciara looked down the steps to see Francis ankle-deep in snow, holding a bunch of Christmas roses.
Francis walked up the steps and sat down beside her. "About?"
"How much everything's changed. It doesn't seem like that long ago since Arthur ticked wherever he went or Feliks being stuck in the one room because he was almost too bulky to move, or... Or you were constantly burning Jeanne accidentally..."
Francis' eyes misted over slightly. Ciara fidgeted awkwardly.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to... I just... I'll just shut my big mouth now."
Francis shook his head. "Don't. It's alright. It's just... still so hard to believe she's really gone. It's already been five years and I still expect to see her in the halls, waiting for me."
Ciara took Francis' hand and gripped it comfortingly. They sat there in silence, staring at the snow-filled grounds.
"So..." Ciara glanced back up at him. "How's Peter?"
Ciara laughed slightly. "Fine, or so he tells me. He writes every so often, but I wish he'd come and visit, or at least make contact more often. Last I heard he's got a job in a shipyard with his friend Ravis and he managed to get himself a girlfriend called Michelle."
Francis chuckled at that. "Ah, to be young and free!"
Ciara hmmed in response. Francis pushed her shoulder lightly. "Chérie, stop worrying. He is twenty one, an adult. He can look after himself."
"I know! It's just..." She sighed again. "In my mind he's still a little boy, hanging on to my skirts."
Francis smiled sadly. "Ah. We must both learn to let go. Years must fly, tears must dry."
Ciara snorted. "What the hell did Gilbert put in your wine, Mr Philosopher and where can I get some?"
Francis stuck out his tongue at her. "What, I can't be serious sometimes? I was doing some thinking earlier... while I was at Jeanne's grave."
Ciara frowned. "Wait, so those flowers aren't for Jeanne?"
Francis shook his head. "No. They're for... someone who stole my heart without even trying and will probably slap me when I give them these."
Ciara wrinkled her nose in thought. "Arthur? Because I'm pretty sure he and that American kid have a thing. Besides, he's at that beach house he bought years ago."
Francis laughed. "Le petit lapin? He'd knock me out! Besides, he's not my type. I enjoy spreading some of my amour to him, but non, not him."
"Then who? And I thought everything was your type."
Francis bit his lip and turned his head away, the mirth dying from his face. "It doesn't really matter. I'm going inside."
He stood up and walked towards the door. She scrambled to her feet and latched onto her hand as he reached the doorframe.
"Tell me Francis. We've been friend since we were kids, you can trust me!"
Francis looked down at their joined hands then up at the doorframe. "Mistletoe."
Ciara glanced up, there was indeed a sprig of white berries above their heads. Francis visibly swallowed and handed her the bunch of flowers.
He walked back inside without a second look.
He glanced back over her shoulder at her.
"Aren't you supposed to kiss someone under the mistletoe?"
Francis ran back to her, beaming. He grabbed her by the waist and spun her around in the air. He lowered her back down, still smiling widely.
"Do you really mean it? Really?"
Ciara punched him lightly in the arm. "Yes. Now shut up and kiss me."
Francis wrapped his arms tighter around her waist and did just that. Ciara smiled against his lips and kissed back with everything she could muster, winding her arms around his neck while still clutching the bunch of flowers.
Francis moved his head back slightly and smiled at her. She smiled back then slapped him lightly on the cheek. She threw back her head and laughed at Francis' look of utter confusion.
"That was for making me wait and also because you said that the person you'd give the flowers to would slap you. So it's your own damn fault."
Francis quirked one eyebrow. " 'Making you wait'? Tell me cherie, how long were you waiting for the gorgeousness that is moi?"
Ciara's cheeks, already a light pink from the cold, darkened rapidly.
"I...It doesn't really matter."
"Come on, tell me." Francis began tickling her. "I won't stop until you tell me."
"Stop! Stop! Stoooop!" Ciara shrieked between laughs. "Alright, alright! You wore me down!"
Francis grinned. "Bien."
"Remember when we were kids, I was ten and you were almost nine and we were running an errand for your mother in the nearest village? We were just after buying some sweets and some older crotch-heads ganged up on us and they started pulling my hair and pushing me around. You went all knight in shining armour and tried to protect me. Then you got your ass kicked." Francis winced, he remembered alright.
"I thought you were so brave standing up for me, even though I didn't need it. Brave and stupid. That's when I fell in love with you, though I didn't realise it until much, much later. I didn't tell you because... I didn't want to be just another girl who threw herself at you and then you met Jeanne and you were just so happy with her and I..."
Francis pressed a finger to her lips to silence her. "You never were and never will be 'just another girl' to me."
Ciara pretended to bite his finger."Glad to hear it." She broke free of his hold but intertwined the fingers of the hand that wasn't holding her flowers with his. "Come on, let's go inside. It's freezing out here and there's a couple of bottle at the staff party in the kitchen with my name on them."
"Of course. Couple o' naggins, be grand, shure."
"Out of all the girls in the world, I had to pick the one who could drink anything under the table."
"Says yer man with 'the awesomest drinker in the world' for a best friend!"
Lovino stuck his head in the ballroom door. "Are you two idiots done?"
Agapito turned and his whole face lit up. "Mama~!"
Lovino folded his arms. "Don't you 'Mama~!' me, kid. It's way past your fricking bedtime."
Agapito latched onto his 'mother's' waist and began whining in a mix of Spanish and Italian.
"I'm serious. Bed. Now."
Agapito pouted up at him.
"Five more minutes?"
"Four more minutes?"
"Two more minutes?"
"One more minute?"
"Three more seconds?"
Lovino pretended to think for a moment. "Fine."
Agapito released his 'mother' and began dancing happily. "Yay~!"
Lovino held up three fingers. "One. Two. Three. Time's up, bedtime now." He took his son's hand and began leading him out of the room.
"No fair, Mama! You tricked me!"
Lovino smiled slightly at him and tapped the tip of his nose. "yeah well, you snooze, you lose, mio tesorino. Besides, what if Babbo Natale sees you awake and thinks you're being naughty? You won't get any presents then."
Agapito 'eep!'ed and dashed out of the room. Lovino felt a familiar pair of arms curl around his waist.
"You wouldn't really not give Agapito his presents, would you mi amor?"
Lovino scoffed. "Fuck no. But I knew he'd fucking believe it and go to bed."
Antonio laughed. "That was smart! But still mean, Lovi~!"
Lovino turned his head to face Antonio's and elbowed him in the ribs. "Shut it, bastard."
Antonio chuckled. "Feliz Navidad, Lovi."
Lovino tilted his head up to kiss antonio. "Yeah, buon Natale to you too, stronzo."
Agapito stood hovering in the doorway, already dressed for bed. "I know I'm supposed to be in bed but I can't sleep. Can you tell me a story?"
Lovino took one of his son's hands and Antonio took the other.
They walked along to his bedroom. "What kind of story would you like, mi hijo?"
Agapito thought hard as he climbed into bed and Lovino pulled the covers up to his chest.
"Can I have one about you when you were younger? Not one about Mama and uncle Feli or one of those stories. I want one about how you fell in love~!"
Antonio and Lovino shared a look and smiled.
"Well." Lovino sat down on the edge of the bed. "Once upon a time in a faraway land, a young Conquistador lived in a shining castle. Although he had everything he wanted, he was a really big bas... jerk."
"Lovi! That's mean!"
"Shut up, you know it's true. Anyway, one winter's night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and offered him a single red carnation in return for shelter from the bitter cold... "
A/n: d'awww, I love Mama Lovi. And FranceXIreland is one of my favourite pairings, whether it's romantic or just friendly. It's historically accurate too, they have fought together in a fair few fights and there were the Irish Brigades in Europe and we've gotten miltiary help in rebellions before (except in the 1916 Rising when France was allied with England and so we asked Germany instead) Anyway, hope you enjoyed and I'll see you nest time I write something :)