One More Chance
Lovino smiled secretly to himself as he handed the cashier the rest of his payment on the new watch he bought Antonio for their first anniversary. He couldn't believe an entire year had passed since he'd given in to Antonio's begging for him to date him. He'd only been apprehensive because there hadn't been a man or woman to date that hadn't broken his heart or chosen his brother over him after a week or so.
His heart leaped for joy at the thought of his Spaniard being the one.
"Would you like it gift wrapped?" the cashier asked, holding up the gold band watch with a tomato face. The minute and second hands were painted a dark green to look like the leaves and stem of the tomato. He'd had Antonio's name and the Spanish flag etched into the face and he knew Antonio would love it.
"Yes, please~" he smiled. He watched as the woman grabbed a few different papers and let him choose the silver and white paper with the words 'Happy Anniversary' scrawled in fancy lettering all over it. She wrapped it and decorated it, under his request, with long, curly red and yellow ribbon. It was perfect.
"Thank you so much~!" he grabbed the little gift and walked out into the streets of the city. Since he'd gotten off work earlier than planned, he was going to surprise Antonio for lunch at his work. As he walked, his excitement growing with each step he took.
"Yo, Lovino …" he looked up to see Gilbert walking up to him. Lovino had to admit, he didn't hate Gilbert as much as he hated his brother. He still couldn't stand him, but he could stand him more than Ludwig.
"What the fuck do you want?" he growled out.
Gilbert looked less 'awesome' than usual and actually seemed pitying, "Hey, you aren't heading to the office are you?"
Lovino tried to walk passed him, but he stopped him, "Because … maybe you and I could go get some lunch- not as a date!" he laughed, "Just to talk about how your life has been?"
"No, now fuck off." Lovino muttered, pushing passed Gilbert.
"Just … I'd go somewhere else if I were you, Lovino …" the albino offered a half smile, "See ya."
The Italian rolled his eyes, but his heart sped up. What was so bad about him surprising Antonio for lunch?
He stepped into the office only for his heart to stop, fall and shatter on the floor.
Antonio was there, but his lips were locked with no one other than Lovino's younger brother, Feliciano. Feliciano pulled away and smiled, looking up at Ludwig whom was walking through the lobby.
"Oh, Lovino …" Ludwig said, his voice strained lightly, "What are you doing here?"
Lovino didn't hear him as his eyes were trained on the two at the desk. Antonio and Feliciano snapped up. Lovino tossed the present forward, letting it hit the floor with a thud, "Happy anniversary …" he whispered, turning around and leaving the room.
His vision blurred and he tried to wipe away the tears that refused to stop flowing. His legs just carried him. How could he have been stupid? Of course he and Antonio wouldn't have lasted. There was nothing special about him, especially compared to his brother. Who had he been kidding? Why had he thought that he would ever find happiness?
Lovino rubbed at his eyes again and stepped off the curb, ignoring the shouts from behind him. He heard screeching and he looked up through his tears just as his world faded to black.
Antonio sat at his desk, head in his hands. What was he going to do? Feliciano looked at Ludwig.
"I hope you're happy now … Feliciano …" Ludwig whispered.
"Ve … Luddy … wait!" the Italian jumped up and grabbed Ludwig's sleeve, "I'm sorry … I was only trying to make you jealous … I love you!"
The shocked Spaniard was even more so. The younger was only using him? He should have seen it coming with the way Feliciano stared at Ludwig and only kissed him when the blonde was in the room. And now … he'd lost the one Vargas that loved him … or had loved him. He stood up and grabbed the present from the floor.
It was their one year anniversary, wasn't it? He'd never felt so awful. He even knew Lovino had a self consciousness that was brought about with his brother … why had he been so selfish to think Lovino hadn't been enough? Had the temptation of being with the sweeter of the two been that great?
He ignored the police sirens sounding through the city streets as he sat down and ripped the paper away from the gift, each second passing was bringing more and more guilt. His heart was torn and his mind confused. Why hadn't he called out to Lovino? Why hadn't he brought himself to say anything? Lovino was probably out changing his locks and phone number now …
Antonio growled lightly. If what had happened wasn't giving him a headache, the sirens down the street most certainly were. The Spaniard finished opening the gift and his heart skipped a beat. The watch glinted under its protective plastic case, his name shimmering beneath the lights. He popped the case open and pulled it out, his fingers carefully moving over the leather band. A note fell out of the case and Antonio picked it up.
This passed year has been the best of my life. I never once thought I could find someone who chose me. It's always been Feliciano. Thank you … for everything. For being there when I was sad and holding me, for being there when I was happy and you were making me smile.
This is hard for me to say … which is why I wrote it down … I hope you like the watch! I've been saving for months!
I love you, Antonio … I really do. I hope this is only the start of many years to come …
God, I sound like a sappy girl …
Time stopped for Antonio. He read the note a hundred times and each time made his heart break again. Lovino loved him? Sure they'd been together an entire year, but Lovino had never once returned the endearment. Never. It was just one of the reasons he'd gotten with Feliciano … Feli was never afraid … even if the words were fake.
Lovino loved him … loved … there was no way the Italian was going to love him now. He'd taken Lovino's one insecurity and thrown it in his face ten fold. He'd been the one to make Lovino's worst nightmare come true.
Tears slipped down the man's face, landing on his hands, on his new gift, on the floor. He couldn't stop them from falling.
Later that night, at his apartment, the door opened and his roommate walked in. Antonio looked up to see Gilbert. He looked worn and angry and sad. "Hey Gil!"
"Toni … I'm your best friend and you know me and Franny will always be there to back you up … but … I hope you know how disappointed I am with you …" Gilbert avoided eye contact, "I may not be the best guy in the world, hell, I'm probably one of the worst," his eyes locked with Antonio's, "But I sure as hell am not a fucking cheater.
"For the last month, I've watched the kid fall even more in love with you, each passing day and I've had to know that he wasn't getting a completely faithful boyfriend. He … he may be a dick and an ass, but even I know that for the first few months you two dated, he cried himself to sleep believing he was being used. Feli told me this. I was the one to reassure Feli that you were good for Lovino, that you wouldn't break his heart.
"Remember a month ago, when I caught you and Feli at me and West's place, making out in the kitchen? Remember I told you this would backfire? Yeah … well here you go. Feli wins. I love that kid to death, but he gets West. What does Lovino get? Two broken arms, fractured spine, concussion, broken leg, and the inability to talk."
Antonio stared in shock at the man who had just lectured him, "What?"
Gilbert glared at the floor, "He's in critical condition. Apparently, after he left the office … he stepped out into the streets and got hit by a car. It wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't been pinned to the car in front of that one."
The Spaniard felt his heart fall and even more guilt washed over him, "But … he …"
"I just spent the last two hours telling Feli to basically get lost because Lovino doesn't want to see him. I'll bet Gilbird he doesn't want to see you either, but I think … despite my better judgment … he needs you." the albino sat down and leaned against the arm of the couch.
Antonio had no idea what to say or do. Lovino … his Lovino … was in the hospital … because he'd been unfaithful. If he hadn't been sneaking around with Feli … Lovino would not have run away and he would not have been hit by the car.
He slowly rose from his seat and grabbed his car keys and walked out the door. His mid was numb as he drove. Nothing came to mind except Lovino. First thing he would do if he got to see him would be to beg for forgiveness. He would do everything in his power to make Lovino know that he was wanting to make amends.
The man knew Lovino would not forgive him for a long time, possibly never, but he would apologize everyday until he died if he had to.
Then he would take Lovino on a much needed vacation … possibly to Italy where Lovino had been born. He must miss it, right?
Hopefully … hopefully, Lovino would forgive him and give him a second chance.
He parked in the visitor's parking and quickly locked up his car before walking into the lobby and right up to the front desk, "Can you please tell me Lovino Vargas is going to be okay?"
The nurse looked up, "Visiting hours are over."
"I know," he said, his expression full of desperation, "I just need to know if he's going to be okay …"
She sighed, tapping away at her keyboard, "Lovino Vargas … his condition is stabilized and he's out of ICU. Come back tomorrow at eight in the morning and you can visit him."
Antonio's heart fluttered and relief washed over him, "Thank you …" he walked from the counter and sat down in the waiting room.
He looked up, "If I can't be by his side in the room, I'm going to stay as close as possible."
The nurse looked at him sadly but continued her work. As the night wore one she continued stealing glances at him, "Who are you to him?"
Antonio looked up from his watch, "H-his boyfriend …" he muttered. It was technically true since they hadn't broken up. She looked at him with a soft smile, "I see."
Not long after, Antonio found himself dozing off. It was two or three in the morning. He hadn't bothered to look back at the watch since every time he did he remembered the look on Lovino's face as he tossed the box to the floor.
He awoke sometime later, the sun shining in through the hospital windows and doors. People sat in the waiting room, reading magazines and watching whatever thing had been turned on the TV. He looked around confused, but the memories of the night before came flooding back and he looked down at his watch. Eight twelve. He jumped up and walked to the desk, "Can I go see Lovino Vargas now?"
The nurse chuckled lightly, "I'll take you back there now … I suppose he's still asleep, but he has to be woken soon to change his IV."
She led him back to a room marked with Lovino's health information. The nurse opened the door, "Knock, knock, Mr. Vargas, you have a visitor."
Antonio stepped into the room, his heart racing. There was a large curtain partially pulled, blocking his view of Lovino, but he could here the beeping of the machine that kept track of the Italian's heart beat.
The nurse walked behind the curtain, "Ah~ he's still asleep~" she whispered, "Try and let him get some rest. Don't wake him and I'll be back in an hour with his new IV." she left the room.
Antonio swallowed hard and walked passed the curtain and his heart stopped. Lovino was lying in the crisp white sheets, his head resting in the bright white pillow. Bile rose in Antonio's throat as he saw the sickeningly yellowed and blackened bruises on Lovino's exposed skin, the cuts and scrapes and of course the three casts on his body. There was a neck brace on him and his head was wrapped with bandages.
"Oh … Lovi …" Antonio whispered, walking up to his bedside. The beeping of the machine was drowned out as Antonio felt his heart pounding his his chest. His heart was filled with so much regret. Maybe if he'd called out to Lovino … maybe if he hadn't invited Feliciano to his office … maybe if he hadn't dated Feliciano behind Lovino's back … it could have all turned out differently.
He gingerly reached forward and ran his fingers over Lovino's hand. It was interrupted by the rough material looped around the Italian's thumb and fingers.
There were a few words written on the cast already and he read over them.
Get well soon, hon – Nurse Lacey
Such a cutie deserves to get better~ - Nurse Linda, and there was a little heart over the 'I'.
Yo, dude, the awesome me says you need to get well soon! -The Awesome Gilbert
"Tweet" - Gilbird
Antonio sighed, reading over several more from the nurses and one from Lovino's best friend, Matthew and another from his other friend Lukas. It seemed like everyone had visited him the day before.
The man looked around and found the marker sitting on the table beside the bed. The table also sported a get well card from Matthew and a balloon set from Tino and Lukas.
He sighed and snatched the marker up. After popping the cap, Antonio walked to the other side of the bed and began writing on the cast. He smiled and signed his name and set the marker down. Antonio leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss to Lovino's forehead.
Lovino shifted in his bed and his eyes fluttered open. Antonio's heart skipped a beat as he stared into those hazel eyes. Said hazel eyes widened with anger and Lovino moved his hand to grab the remote by his bedside.
"Lovi … please … just hear me out …" Antonio muttered, resting his hand on Lovino's.
The Italian glared and shook his head. He opened his mouth, but only a strained noise came out. Antonio felt tears rising up in his eyes, "Lovi … I'm so sorry … I know you'll never forgive me … hell, I don't expect you to." he ran his thumb over Lovino's, "I took your worst fear and made it reality … and for what? For something I should have seen you were already giving me: Love.
"I thought I needed Feliciano for that … I … I felt like you didn't love me … like I was wasting my time trying to make you happy. I slipped and let this longing inside me cloud my judgment." the tears began falling and his voice grew more strained and constricted. Antonio's throat began hurting just trying to speak, "I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am … how awful I know I've been, but if one thing, if anything you can believe me on is that I do love you … I just … I don't know what happened …"
Silence filled the room, minus the beeping of the machines. Antonio smiled sadly, "I'll get out of your hair now, Lovi … good bye." he turned to walk away, but fingers hooked into his shirt. Antonio turned around and looked at Lovino.
The Italian looked pissed, but his eyes were holding something more … confused. He held up one of his hands to attempt to make a phone symbol and then held out his hand. It took a minute to click, but Antonio pulled out his phone and handed it to Lovino. The man brought up a blank text and tapped away at the keypad the best he could with his forefingers.
Dont go yet jerk. Im not done yellin at u
"Why what, Lovi?" Antonio asked, reading over the text.
Y u cheat
Antonio's heart twisted painfully.
Y w him Y Feli
"Lovi … Feli chose me …" Antonio started, "About a month and a half ago, I went over to Gil's. Feliciano was there and he looked rather upset about something … apparently he'd made a rather large dinner for Ludwig, but Ludwig had eaten dinner beforehand and went strait to bed … he kissed me … and I couldn't stop myself from seeing him again and again …
"I thought I was finally feeling that affection I longed for … but … he used me to get to Ludwig … he was trying to make him jealous …
"In the end … he broke my heart and … I broke yours …" he wiped away his tears, "My god, Lovi … I'm so sorry!"
Lovino stared at him, his mind racing. Part of him wanted to just forget the whole thing and forgive him, but how could he be sure Antonio wouldn't go running off again? How could he be sure that he could count on Antonio to stay by his side? There was no assurance.
"I'll be right back, Lovi … I have to use the bathroom …" Antonio started doing a little dance, "I forgot to go last night when I got here …" he took off.
The Italian frowned. He'd been there all night? Lovino glared at the wall. He didn't care! He wanted Antonio to go die! However … he also wanted Antonio to kiss him and run his fingers through his hair.
"Hello~ morning Mr. Vargas!" his nurse walked in, "Are you enjoying the company of your friend?" he didn't answer as she took down his old IV and put up a new one and connected it, "There~ I'm adding a pain killer to this so you might feel a bit sleepy here in a few minutes~ just press the button if there is anything you need!" she checked his catheter and smiled, leaving him.
With nothing to do but wait, Lovino looked down at his cast, the words of his friends helping him get through this. He felt so stupid having been hit by a car. Matthew's words made him smile as did Lukas' and the nurses'. Something caught his eye and he lifted his other arm. New, unfamiliar words were scrawled onto the cast.
Lovi~ querido … I love you. So much. I'm sorry all this has happened to you … but know … that even though I haven't been the best, there is always someone here for you. I'm always here, Lovi, I'll always love you.
P.S. You're so cute when you're sleeping peacefully like that.
Along with that, Lovino found a small drawing of a turtle, another of a tomato and a few hearts decorated the large space Antonio had taken up.
A small smiled crept onto Lovino's face. He hated the man for hurting him so badly, but he still loved the man. Maybe he could … maybe he could give Antonio one more chance. Just one.
Antonio came back into the room, a smile on his face, "All better~" he walked over to Lovino and grabbed up his phone to see if Lovino had written anything else. He set it back down, "So … when are you getting out of here?"
Lovino just stared.
The Spaniard grew nervous, "Um … I guess … I guess I'll go now, okay?" he made a move to kiss Lovino, but stopped himself. Lovino didn't want him like that anymore, "Uh … I'll come back later? Bye …"
Fingers reached out and grabbed his shirt again. He looked back at Lovino and Lovino gripped the shirt and tugged lightly, bringing Antonio down to let their lips meet. Antonio stared at his face surprised, but quickly melted into the kiss, letting his mind enjoy the bliss of Lovino's forgiveness.
"You forgive me?" he asked, pulling away. Lovino shook his head, but kissed Antonio again, letting one of his cast arms rest against Antonio's, his fingers brushing over the watch.
"I'm confused …" Antonio laughed lightly.
Lovino rolled his eyes and kissed Antonio once more, trying to convey that he was giving him one more chance but that he didn't forgive him, he couldn't … not yet.
Antonio smiled softly, kissing Lovino back. He'd get Lovino to tell him later.
.oO~-~Oo. Several months later.
Lovino glared from his wheelchair as Antonio stood in front of him, "Come on, the doctor said you had to start walking now that your cast is off~"
He held out his hands to help his boyfriend stand up. Lovino stood on shaky legs and held onto Antonio's shoulders for support.
"Okay … now, take a step." Lovino nodded and took a step. His legs felt weak since he'd mostly stayed in his chair, against his doctor's wishes.
After a few steps, he felt tired and Antonio smiled lightly, helping him to sit down on the couch in their living room.
"Still can't speak?" Antonio asked, kissing Lovino's neck. Lovino shivered and shook his head. He liked his life now. After he had been released from the hospital, he ordered his job to be transferred out of town … far out of town. He loved his brother, but he hated him for taking the one thing that Lovino had claimed.
Antonio was more than happy to leave his old life behind, also moving far away from their past and old lives.
Lovino was still able to do his job perfectly fine and Antonio managed to find a new job as a preschool teacher in their new town.
"That's too bad …" Antonio smiled, kissing Lovino softly. He knew Lovino still was not over what had happened, not by a long shot, but he had come a long way and they were slowly building trust and what not. Antonio was feeling good about his life with Lovino. Things were looking up and Lovino was getting better.
He touched his pocket where a small black box waited for him inside. Antonio licked his lips and pulled it out, "Lovi … you are doing so well … at this rate, you'll be able to walk with me down the aisle … what do you say?" he saw Lovino's eyes widen in shock as tears began to form, "Will you marry me?"
Lovino nodded vigorously and threw his arms around Antonio's neck, kissing him deeply.
Antonio felt a wave of relief wash over him and a spike of joy. He took the ring from the box and slipped it onto Lovino's ring finger, taking his hand and kissing it softly.
"I promise to love you forever~" he whispered, kissing Lovino softly.
Lovino pulled back and signed 'I love you, too' back to him. He leaned forward to place his lips to Antonio's ear, "Always." he managed through his underused voice.
"Your voice!" Antonio smiled, "It's back!"
"Y-yeah …" the voice was scratchy and weak, "Doctor said swelling went down not long ago …"
Antonio laughed softly, hugging Lovino tightly, "Now you'll be able to say 'I do'!"
"Better yet," Lovino muttered, his face going dark red, "I can tell you I love you …"
Lovino leaned against Antonio, contentedly. He wanted to take a few more minutes and enjoy the moment. While he didn't think he'd be able to fully trust Antonio again …
He rose and stumbled with Antonio by his side.
… everything just needed to take small steps.
I hope this is what you were looking for lol