Summary: He wasn't a saint and neither was Arthur, and yet he looked like a fallen angel. Could he save him from himself? Or would he fall too, addicted to his poison? - AU - RomanoxEngland - Mafia and drugs drama.

This was supposed to be a oneshot, but then it was too extensive; then I couldn't decide on an ending, so, it's a 4-shot (I know that's not such a thing). I want to thank my girl July for being my "gamma reader" and "Blood Dark Sun" for being my beta. I blame her for every Engmano I write from now on.

English is not my first language but I tried so hard not to think as a Spanish speaker!

¿Y por qué cresta escribo en inglés? Porque en español no aprecian en el engmano, porque quiero practicar mi segunda lengua y porque me dio la gana.

Bittersweet Poison

Part I

"join the dance of the leftover

no one will ever take care us

no one really wanted to help us"

(Los prisioneros)

Gilbert was stumbling. It wasn't his fault really; carrying his unconscious friend had much to do with it. He knocked three times more, starting to get pissed off.

"Come on, Vargas! It's an emergency!" he yelled. After five minutes that appeared eternal to him, Feliciano opened the door, sleepy. Gilbert, without further ado, made his way into the house, throwing his friend on the couch. The Italian, seeing the blond in such a state, gasped and cried.

"Oh, Dio mio...what happened to him?"

"He had an overdose," said the albino, "with that heroin your brother sold to me. I can't take him to the hospital; they would interrogate me, and then what explanation could I give?"

"Oh no! Is he dead?" exclaimed Feliciano, seeing that the friend was not reacting to his constant poking.

"He's not dead, he's just too fucking wasted...Hey, listen, call your brother. He will surely have adrenaline or something for these cases."

"What the fuck is the albino potato doing in this house at this damned hour!" the brother yelled. He was standing in the middle of the stairs, with a frown, bed head, and a gesture that promised the pains of hell. And then suddenly he saw the moribund blond lying on his couch and his rage went even further. "And who the fuck is that junkie?"

Lovino Vargas was the older brother's name. He was twenty-seven years old, ten of those working in the 'family business'; he wasn't proud of what he was but he certainly liked the power, the respect he obtained from it. He was very religious, so he had a ritual of donating part of his money to a good cause to clean it, and to clean himself. He knew it was wrong to sell this stuff; he knew things like heroin or cocaine could lead people to ruin and death.

That was why he was so fucking angry about having this man on his couch, in his house in the middle of the night, the only time he could rest and get a little peace of mind.

"He's my friend, and he's like this because of the shit you sold me," Gilbert accused, as if he expected that his words would arouse some effect.

"Not my fucking problem," Lovino stated, and turned his back to his brother and the albino. "Take him to a hospital."

"I would, but then what would I say? It's heroin, not child's play like weed. What do I tell them when they ask me where I got this shit from?"

Lovino stopped on his way to his bedroom. The albino potato had a point. If this was a regular situation - and what he meant by that was an anonymous man - he could just solve it by shooting both of them and throwing their bodies into the ocean where no one would ever find them. Nobody cared about punk junkies anyway. But this was the albino potato, the macho potato's brother, and that one was his brother's boyfriend, even if he hated the idea.

"Per favore fratello, we cannot just let him die, it's Gilbert's friend and Gilbert is like my brother-in-law and..."

Fuck it all. He was screwed.

The brunet took a deep breath and started his 'rosary.'

"First of all I didn't sell you that shit! It was Antonio...Second: How many times do I need to tell you that the stuff I get is full quality? You can't always just apply the same doses you do when you use your cheap crap..."

"I know! I told him! And don't scold me! I'm not one of your men!"

"And you are so fucking lucky you're not, 'cause if you were and you caused me this trouble I would fill your body with lead!" Silence stood between both men at this statement. Lovino wasn't tall or muscled but he could be damn scary if he tried. Then, as he if he hadn't just been sending death threats seconds ago, he approached the unconscious man, checking his vital signs. Lovino was not proud of knowing how to deal with these issues, but when working in a field like this, overdoses, shootings, poisoning and car crashes were daily occurrences.

"He's not that bad," he stated, and then headed to his studio to find the suitcase with the things he needed for occasions like this one.

When Feliciano saw the size of the syringe, he looked as though he could faint right where he stood. Lovino, calm as a surgeon, set the things ready, put in the amount of adrenaline required and handed it to the albino, saying, "He's your friend, it's your duty."

The German looked at the big syringe in confusion. "And where do I put this?"

Lovino snorted a laugh and said sardonically, "You junkies are amazing. You can get all kinds of shit in your bodies and then not handle a shot of medicine." He opened the blond's jacket and raised his shirt, exposing his bare chest, pointing to the middle of it. "There, straight to his heart, soldier, and do it quickly, 'cause I'm fucking tired."

Feliciano fled from the room, screaming "Oh my God, they are going to kill him!"

Gilbert's hands trembled with indecision, like he could not decide when or how he was going to stab his friend with a motherfucking needle. Lovino started to get more and more pissed. He was surrounded by morons and pussies.

"Give me that!" he demanded. He took the syringe out of the albino hands, and then, with a heartless precision, stabbed the blond's chest with the huge needle. Just two seconds later, the body under his hands started to shake and, with a terrified scream, the blond opened his eyes. He stood up suddenly, pushed by an unnatural force and looked confused, alternating between the two men beside him and the syringe still sunk into him.

Lovino wasn't very much aware of this last fact. If he were, he would have recommended getting that needle out immediately. But he was somehow bewitched by those wild emerald eyes.

And then he was so glad he'd saved the junkie bastard's life.

When Arthur applied the shot, straight to his veins, he felt a strong wave of pleasure. He couldn't describe it as an orgasm, 'cause it was beyond that. He was flying free and in that moment it didn't matter to be so lonely in this sodding country. The walls became so wide, tall and blue, like a false sky..."Blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies, do I see." Arthur laughed at the memory of that old song; his mother loved it, he missed being under her wing, her floral perfume. The blue sky around him became colorful, like someone had just vomited a rainbow and, just there, he saw the house where he grew up, the garden. It was so green; the scent of the fresh grass was intact, just as the smell of the Sunday meat pie. He moaned at that, unconsciously.

He felt something grainy under his feet, like sand. Maybe that was 'cause the first time he'd danced with the white lady, he had been on the beach, and every sensation was so intense... feeling every grain of sand in every skin pore, so strong that every time he takes a new ride, he feels the same gritty sensation. Sometimes, if the dope is good enough, he can also be reminded of his former hallucinations, the time he got obsessed with the guitar sound of a Floyd song. The bass was multiplying with a sempiternal twang and he sang "Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun..." Now he was invaded by some old sensation of sand, guitars, flowers, colors... all mixing in a whole new symphony.

The sand grains became balloons, he was surrounded by them, and it was tingly and soft. He flew between those balloons but then, suddenly, he fell and felt so much despair... he was received by a crowd, like a rock star, he was being carried by all those people, all those hands around him, the fingers...the fingers felt so weird, like snakes or something worse: worms. They were sticky and wet, just like those sodding maggots he used to collect when he was little, and they were everywhere, in the room, in his skin, surrounding him, tickling his nausea, he was naked and under their control. He wanted to scream but no matter how much or how many times he forced his throat and lungs nothing came out of them but more silence; he was trapped by their swarming…

And then a beautiful color, hazel...

"Bloody hell!" He screamed as his body was pushed by an unnatural force, he stood up and ran a little; He had not even realized he'd been lying down. His eyes traveled downward to look at himself. His jacket was open and his shirt rolled up, and in the middle of his chest a huge syringe was sunk. He looked around to see Gilbert and some other man he never saw before and…

That! That was the first thing he'd seen when he'd woken up: a beautiful pair of hazel eyes. And they belonged to the brunet man seated next to the couch where surely he'd been lying before.

And, when he saw the handsome features facing him, he thought for a moment that he was still hallucinating.

They looked at each other for a while. Gilbert had to clear his throat to remind them of his presence. They split their attention violently to face him.

"How do you feel, Artie?" the albino potato asked his friend.

"Bloody fantastic," Arthur stated with a thick voice, still numb and dizzy.

So he was British; there was something very rebellious in the tone of his voice, in the way he stood, the way he wore those skintight jeans with those leather boots. He also had a leather collar with metallic pins, his blond hair was messy and had colorful dye stains, he had a piercing in one of his bushy eyebrows, another in his lower lip, an iron rod through his left ear and...

"You are the worst junkie i've ever met," the albino potato stated as he held his friend to avoid his fall.

"Don't mock me, you bleached git." To add more fury to his utterance he stuck out his pierced tongue.

"You need to eat something to stabilize yourself," Lovino pointed out. His brother Feliciano had just returned to the room to see what happened so he heard clearly. "Feliciano, go to the kitchen and get the pizza left from dinner."

The younger Italian obeyed, resigned. Gilbert turned his attention to the gangster, and said curiously, "I was under the impression you would kick us out just when we resurrected my blondie."

"I'm not your blondie," the British man snorted, and then he faced the brunet, adding, "and by the way, thank you. I was having a hell of a time there in Neverland."

There was a clatter of pots and dishes in the kitchen and then a squeal. Lovino thanked the distraction because the Englishman with his wild aura was making him feel strange.

"My stupid fratello, he can't do anything right by himself, Dammit." Lovino stood up and fled to the kitchen where Feliciano was trying to pick up the pans he had launched accidentally. The older brother shook his head in disapproval and put the leftover pizza in the oven.

The smaller of the Vargas' waited to be called on the mess he'd made in the kitchen. He even closed his eyes to receive the impact of his older's brother hysteria. He was infinitely surprised to not receive that impact. It seemed like Lovino wasn't himself as he silently went back to the living room where the two guests were sitting.

"Here," he said sharply, leaving the plate close to the Englishman.

"I want pizza, too," Gilbert complained, looking resentfully at the Italian.

"If you want some, then go and buy one, fucking bleached potato."

The Brit laughed so hard that he almost choked himself with an olive. Lovino smiled at that. He waited until the blond finished and then, with an unexpected politeness coming from a punk, Arthur thanked him. "That was delicious. Please, excuse any inconvenience I may have caused you."

Gilbert opened his eyes wide, turning to his friend, asking "Who are you and what the hell did you do with Arthur?"

Lovino didn't feel himself. Normally he would have shouted a bunch of insults at anyone who dared to speak to him in such a snobbish way. Instead, he ignored Gilbert's comment, scratched his arm and muttered, "It was nothing."

The Englishman winked at him in response, all flirty, before saying "So long." Gilbert followed him out.

"What the hell is wrong with me?" Lovino asked himself. He began to think he was too tired.

Lovino disliked being present in places where people traded his "merchandise." That was Antonio, Martín & Elizabeta's job; his was to manage his cheerful accounts in his office, to solve the problems that could arise in the shipments, to "settle disagreements" with other groups. And yet, there he was, arriving in the north of the city, in one of the pubs in his territory. He sat down, ordered a dry Martini and looked around, not knowing exactly for what, until he saw the same wild boy he'd met three days ago.

He'd been looking everywhere. Lovino knew what 'the lad' was searching for. He sells "the thing" after all. The so-called Arthur seemed to have a nervous tic by the way his hands were shaking and squeezing each other with insistence.

He wondered where the hell Antonio or Martín were at this time. And then, as if summoned, the Argentinean appeared beside him with his trademark cocky smile.

"Hey there, big boss! Sales have been good today." The Italian rolled his eyes. If Martín loved something more that the sound of his own voice or staring at his own reflection, that was to show off his achievements, in anything.

"And it would be fucking better if you worried more about selling, and stopped talking for once," said the Italian, annoyed. Martín made a pout, resentful, and then faced where his boss was watching.

"Che! Boss, look at that blond, he looks all anguished...I assure you I could sell him all my shit at twice the Price."

"Stop right there!" Lovino ordered his subordinate who was just heading there. "I'll take care of this. You go and take charge of those girls."

Lovino knew that was the weak spot of the Argentinean. Martín wore his best conquering face. He went towards them and talked with his most exaggerated Latin accent. It never failed. Girls love accents.

Meanwhile, the Italian gave himself some encouragement before walking to the Englishman. He did not greet, he never knew how to be polite, never needed to be either. He collapsed on the chair next to him and waited for the boy to notice. Arthur looked distracted, almost desperate; Lovino knew those symptoms well, and that is why he felt a little sick to have new evidence of how needy the blond was.

"Hiya... aren't you Vargas? The big boss?" Finally, the punk was noticing him. Although, by the way he addressed him, Lovino could guess where the main interest was.

"You have a hell of a problem if you think you can ask something like that so directly."

"Well, I've been a whole bloody hour waiting for someone to 'take my order'; I must say I never expected to receive attention straight from the manager."

Lovino chuckled. No matter how long he'd been working in this field, he always was amused by the euphemism level displayed to talk about it. 'Sleeping with the fishes', 'Reaching a fair agreement to both parts', 'white horse', 'snowball', 'special-K', 'C', 'Coke', 'Dots' ... a world of invented words to describe moral destruction.

"And what are you looking for exactly?" the brunet asked stoically.

"Just a 'dime bag', the same the Spaniard sold us last time, I want to 'cook' something when I get home.

The Italian frowned. So the boy was into the hard stuff. He had suffered an overdose not long ago and now, just three days later he was looking for another ride.

"Che, I think you had enough for the entire week." Lovino folded his arms like when he was telling his subordinates, "If you dare to argue this, you'll get fucking shot." But Arthur wasn't one of his minions, so he didn't realize that.

"I decide when I have enough."

"And when's that gonna be? When you are six feet under?"

"Okay, no more snow, give me a bloody sticker," the Brit gave in, while searching in his pockets for money.

"Oh no. You are not getting any acid from me today."

Arthur stared at the "capo" in disbelief. Hands in his waist, wild defiant green eyes, so needy...

"You are a terrible businessman; you are supposed to sell to me without question!"

"I want to sell, not kill my clients, dammit. If you die I'll lose a client. You will not have any hard stuff from me today."

Arthur groaned in frustration. "Okay. Give me what you think is suitable for me, big boss." The addict was playing dirty, winking, smiling in a provocative way, playing with his tongue, showing that motherfucking piercing.

Lovino got flustered at this. Oh, how he would love to give something special to the wild blond. He calmed himself and offered, "I have 'Coke', just one line for you. You'll get wasted, and you'll go home, get it?"

"Yes, mom, whatever you want ," the Brit accepted playfully, although still pissed. He handed the money to 'the merchant', adding, "just give me the sodding line."

Lovino went back to the bar on Saturday. He convinced himself that it was just to watch out for his interests. If Antonio was wasting his time being himself, and Martín was more worried about picking up girls, maybe he should keep an eye on them. If he was looking around, it was only to monitor his employees. He was not searching for anyone in particular. The nerves in his stomach had no reason to be there; if he had to blame something for that, surely it was the Bloody Mary he ordered.

The punk bastard appeared finally. In fact, he looked more like a pirate. The blond was staggering erratically with a beer bottle in his hand. He seemed to be insulting a bunch of guys. Lovino couldn't concentrate on the taste of his drink while watching the movements of 'the lad' who seemed determined to pick a quarrel. And he got one. One of the guys gave him a warning slam and just that was enough for the punk to jump on him with fists.

Lovino had to give some credit to the bastard: he was not a terrible fighter, but there were four of them against his slender figure and obviously he was way too drunk to stand up properly. The Italian convinced himself he wanted some action and intruded, hitting one of the guys in the nose. Now, watching them closely, he noticed they were giants, Slavs maybe. It had been a long time since his last street fight. His specialties were shootouts and surprise bomb attacks, but he couldn't care less. He was a gangster, a stud, the big boss after all.

The second thing that Lovino noticed was that the damn Vikings were pretty drunk too. With a few punches to the jaw, he left them numbed enough to grab Arthur's arm and drag him out of the bar.

Without worrying about it, he launched the blond into his Audi. The punk let out a complaint but soon relaxed on the car seat. He chuckled; everything seemed so bloody funny to him, especially the rabid expression of the Italian. Lovino expected anything but that proud attitude, so he scolded him. "Che, your idea of having fun is to get wasted or, if you can't, to get drunk? What a genius you are, bastard..."

"What can I say? I'm suffering a hell of a withdrawal 'cause some bloody dealer doesn't want to sell me his shit."

"Hey! I'm not a fucking dealer, dammit!"

"Of course not. You're the big boss, aren't you?"

A big silence settled again between them.

"And you keep messing in my bloody business," Arthur added with his rebel voice, looking out of the window, trying to be indifferent and deceptive.

"I didn't know that starting a fight in a pub was a business," the Italian snorted with an all-knowing smirk. He did not get an answer to that, so he got pissed off. What the hell did he care what the blond believed? He was just a fucking junkie with a terrible attitude, and he should just shoot his brains out and throw his body to the street dogs to eat him.

"Turn to the right. There is a parking lot," Arthur demanded suddenly, interrupting the course of his thoughts.

"For what?" asked the Italian, almost barking.

"Do you want a shag with me or not?"

Of course he wanted to. Lovino didn' t say a word, just turned his car into the parking lot.

Note: I just realized you might get confused with Martín. He's a character we invented in Latin American fandom for Argentina; Argentineans use "Che" a lot too. I like the idea of Lovino bossing around Latin people.