Antonio Fernandez Carriedo was just a simple guy.
If you count rising movie stars as being simple, of course.
He'd been acting since before he could remember. Back when he had been a cute, gangly teenager with a killer innocent smile. First, the roles were simple; waiter in the diner, a small scene, a few lines. Simple. Then it became the hero's only son, lines almost as often as the leads themselves, but not as major. Small things eventually led to bigger ones, and, well...now he was starring in his first blockbuster as the main antagonist.
The only difference now was that he was really determined, more so than ever. Even after all these years of acting—all the short films, commercials, occasional television shows, all that and more—he still had never won anything in the HETALIA Entertainments Awards.
Which, at this point in his career, was really all he wanted.
So he set up a list of goals, things he desperately needed to do to make him stand out among all those other amazing actors. He'd gotten his lines down by heart, giving everything a hundred-and-ten percent. He stayed up until early hours of the morning, standing in front of a mirror, practicing facial expressions. He perfected his 'American' accent despite always being encouraged to "Show off that sexy Spanish voice!" He worked his hardest, kept his focus. He was going to shine and he knew it.
But then he'd been assigned a new coffee boy and suddenly, everything else—especially winning that award—hardly seemed all that important.
Lovino Vargas had a mouth like no other.
He said what he wanted, when he wanted, without a thought about anyone else. He swore as often as he spoke, and when he did, it was vitriolic and insulting. He was rude, stubborn, and very cranky.
But so fucking cute.
"Took you long enough," he grumbled while tossing Antonio a small hand towel. Wiping his wet face gingerly—he really loved water stunts—the taller of the two grinned.
"Was I good, Lovi?"
"Tch. Fuck no."
Rude. Like he said.
Wincing from the harsh comment, the Spaniard quietly asked for a can of tomato juice. For some reason, whenever the young Italian criticized his performance, it hurt him more than when the actual director pointed out his mistakes. At the same time, whenever he received some form of approval—the tiniest "Eh, not as pathetic as yesterday" or "Congratulations. My eyes and ears didn't bleed that much this time"—nothing could describe how…elated he felt. The way his heart swelled and soared when Lovino only nodded at his work could never be achieved by any of the greatest compliments thrown at him from the cast, crew, and even the freaking director.
"What-the fuck-ever, bastard."
And so he left. Behind him, Antonio wistfully stared at his retreating back, twisting the hand towel in his hands.
Already he knew the drink wouldn't come until later—much later it should. It would be warm, and gross, and he really shouldn't accept it.
But he would. Just like he always did.
"That sucked ass."
Tugging feebly at his ten-thousand dollar tuxedo (bad guys apparently always wore them, even if the weather outside promised a heat stroke), Antonio sheepishly offered a smile.
"Can't you be nice to me for once?"
"I bring you your shit whenever you ask," replied Lovino with a scoff, arms crossed, leaning against the almost-empty food table. "Do you know how fucking annoying it is to get your coffee every fucking hour of every fucking day?"
"The coffee room's not that far from here..." How long had it been? Almost half a year already and they still hadn't gotten along as well they should have. Then again, why should it matter if they did get along? Lovino was just a coffee boy, another unimportant face he was forced to see every day. Who cared if they liked each other or not? Not Antonio. Definitely not him...
"Fuck off. And here's your stupid water."
Lovino was part of the many perks of being a lead in a big movie.
When Antonio had been assigned a coffee boy, he was absolutely thrilled; why wouldn't he be? He'd get someone who'd be always at the ready to get him whatever he wanted. If he craved some random, unspecified Columbian meal with a banana, then he'd get his random, unspecified Columbian meal with two bananas. In other words, his coffee boy would fulfill even the most ridiculous of his requests. That was their job.
His was none of that.
Lovino got him coffee only three out of ten times. He got his water once in a blue moon. Tomato juice was a rarity since the boy refused to go all the way to the vending machine to obtain it, and when he did, he took his sweet time coming back before finally presenting him with a shaken, ready-to-explode, lukewarm beverage.
Antonio had admittedly been frustrated. (He still was, if he were being completely honest.)
He gave Lovino a thousand more chances than he deserved. He hadn't complained to his boss yet, either, since he didn't want the boy chastised.
Lately, however, there had been a small, subtle change. Something he couldn't exactly pinpoint, though he knew it was there. He didn't know if it was him or if it was Lovino. All he was aware of was the fact that he was slowly staring to enjoy his daily interactions with the pissy coffee boy. Slowly beginning to look forward to his annoyed scowl every morning. Slowly anticipating his name-calling, insults, and unnecessary critiques with excitement instead of otherwise.
He was slowly falling in love.
One day, Lovino brought him biscotti.
He claimed, with a full-on tomato-red face ("Aww! You look so cute~!" "FUCK OFF.") that they were merely leftovers from last night's gathering and he refused to waste good, home-made Italian cuisine. Delighted, Antonio literally dragged him away from the set and into his green room, where two cups of steaming-hot coffee were waiting for them.
That was the first time they ever really talked.
Though the cheery actor mostly kept the one-sided conversation alive (he was practically babbling his whole life's story), Lovino had also willingly shared some tidbits of information about himself. Which, considering his personality, was quite a feat for the both of them. Antonio would have liked to hear more about the boy but unfortunately, he was called back in to wrap up that day's scene before the sun set.
As they parted, he couldn't help but notice the small smile on the Italian's face as he turned away and walked off.
It took all of his willpower not to run after him.
He'd never had such a terrible performance.
Everything refused to turn out right. He ripped his expensive suit when he tripped over the other actor's foot. He forgot his lines halfway through a scene that could only be done once a day. His hair could not be controlled; he kept sneezing in the middle of a monologue; he knocked over half the props when he ran into a table in the middle of the confrontation with the protagonist, which in turn angered his fellow coworkers who had been working relentlessly on the same scene for the past five hours.
All because of him.
At the end of the day, Antonio was receiving more dirty looks than he did that one day in New York City when he had caused a traffic jam. The director even told him to take the day off and get his act together because he was just so bad.
Already he felt like shit, felt like the lowest of the low. He had definitely lost whatever chance he had at getting an award. Hell, he probably wasn't even going to be invited this year when everybody heard of what a shit performer he was.
And what did Lovino say?
"Fuck. That was so…fuck."
Antonio let his anger get the best of him that night. When Gilbert Beilshmidt, one of his best friends and fellow movie star, visited his green room, he found himself loudly complaining about what a fucking brat that Lovino Vargas was, what an antisocial and moody asshole that kid could be. He ranted on and on and on until a sweet, auburn-haired boy with a curl like Lovino's came in to check what all the noise was about.
"Ve~ do you want me to bring you a drink, Mr. Antonio~?" he asked politely, smiling like a thousand suns. It shocked the Spaniard that a coffee boy could be so…nice. And happy. A pleasing contrast to ever-cranky Lovino.
"Ah. Si, if you don't mind…"
"Okay~! Ve~ is there a kind you want?"
"N-no, uh, whatever's okay…"
"Alright. Be back soon~!"
The moment he was gone, Antonio immediately rounded on his albino friend. " See, that's how a coffee boy's supposed to be! Por favor, amigo, you need to switch with me!"
"Was? Hell no! I don't want your pissy emo-demon from hell!"
"Gilbert, please! I can't handle him anymore! He's driving me loco!"
"Uh-uh!" The 'Prussian' shook his head vigorously. "'Side's, Feli wouldn't want to. He's too in love with Westen."
Undeterred, Antonio stayed a few more minutes, simply begging his friend to ease his pain. It was a futile act, considering Gilbert refused to even consider the idea. Feliciano soon returned with an assortment of drinks, delighting the Spaniard to no end. In fact, he was too busy cooing over the younger boy to notice a pair of olive eyes glaring at him from the open door.
In the end, Antonio took Ludwig's sudden arrival as his cue to give up and go home.
The next day at work, things improved significantly. It seemed that spending time with Feliciano and Gilbert was all he needed to get back in track. He was once again showered with praises, given admiring looks, and patted on the back by the head director. That afternoon's performance was his best yet.
Something felt off, though.
Something was missing.
He didn't get to realize what exactly was missing until after they finished the fighting scene, when he was sitting by himself off to the side, watching the crew adjust the props. It came to a surprise to find a stony-faced Lovino dangling a can of tomato juice in front of his eyes. Gingerly, he accepted the drink, and was completely taken aback to find it cool to the touch, fresh from the vending machine.
It took a moment for it to process that Lovino had just brought him a proper can of juice without being asked to.
What the hell, right?
"Oh! Thank you so much, Lovi, you didn't have to get—"
But there was nobody there. He was alone, talking to air. To nothing and no-one.
The next few days were some of the worst in his life.
It had nothing to do with the work.
Lovino was acting differently. That much was certain. He stopped with the insults, the name-calling, and the swearing. He stopped staying on the set to make fun of Antonio even after handing him a terrible excuse for a drink. He just stopped talking to him in general.
It was weird not being told he "looked retarded in that outfit" or "those other fuckers look so much better than you, bastardo." It was weird receiving what he actually wanted. He got his hot coffee and his tomato juice. He got cold bottles of water and warm cups of hot chocolate.
He got what he wanted and he was absolutely miserable.
He didn't even know why. Surely he must feel relieved. Lovino was finally acting like the coffee boy he always wanted, wasn't he? It was perfect!
Why was he so lonely all of a sudden? Why did it hurt when the Italian left him with his drink in his hand without a word or single glance? Without stopping to say 'hello'?
Why was he suddenly always on his mind?
Lovino. Lovino. Lovino.
Antonio's entire brain screamed that name. Twenty-four-seven.
Luckily, the sudden downpour prevented them from filming that day.
((He didn't think he could handle another "What's wrong, Tonio?" or "Something on your mind?"; the one who he desperately hoped would ask him that didn't seem to even acknowledge his existence anymore.))
Lately, he'd been spending his time just sitting away from everyone else in hopes that Lovino might decide to approach him while he was all alone. So far, his plan had been an unmitigated failure.
Antonio nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard the very voice that he had been deprived of the past week. He stumbled over his words as he was handed a very warm cup of coffee. His heart exploded in his chest as Lovino met his eyes briefly, his stomach twisted uncomfortably. There was a blush in his cheeks, no doubt, and his stuttering only intensified until he was sure he sounded like a total idiot.
"I—thanks, Lovi, you—coffee's really nice on a cold day, huh? It's so—do you like rain? It's raining right now and I—I mean, the coffee. Thanks for that, gracias, grazie, danke—"
"Yeah…okay. I'm going now…"
"E-eh? Oh, n-no, I mean, yes. I mean—where, ah, where are you going…?"
Lovino shrugged, and only then did Antonio notice a second steaming cup in the boy's hands.
"'S not for you."
Not for me? he thought as he watched the Italian stroll pass him and around a series of tables and chairs. He stared as Lovino made his way over to a blonde man leaning against the wall beside the double doors. Narrowing his eyes, Antonio frowned deeply when his coffee boy handed the stranger the other cup, joining him in his spot against the wall.
Why does he get to talk to Lovi and not me?
He remained sitting there, glaring at the two men, until one of the stagehands told him that there was no chance at all that the rain would let up.
"Go home, Antonio. Tomorrow again, yeah?"
He probably wouldn't show up anyway.
"What do you mean they moved him?"
"Like I said, Lovino was switched to a different set. We'll get you a new kid soon, don't worry."
"Didn't you want a new one? Gilbert said the boy stressed you out."
"I—no, he's fine, I—I don't mind...I..."
"Regardless...I've already moved him. Sorry."
They finally finished filming after two more months.
After the last scene was recorded, the entire crew threw a celebratory party. Antonio, of course, did not attend. Instead, he snuck out and decided to take a stroll down the store-littered streets by the studios.
It was nighttime, close to twelve, actually. There were hardly any people roaming the town like he was. Since he had forgotten his jacket (again), he figured he'd warm up a bit in the nearby café. Ducking inside the store, he was met instantly with the strong stench of roasted coffee beans and baked goods. Thankfully, the heaters were all on full blast.
The line was still relatively long (why was people always drinking caffeine?) and his tired body begged for a rest. He plopped down on a soft armchair in the corner, closing his eyes…
"You look like shit."
His eyes snapped open.
Then he grinned.
Antonio was just a simple guy, trying to take a simple siesta on his boyfriend's couch.
((He would've slept on the bed, but said boyfriend was busy changing the sheets due to, ahem, that morning's relations.))
The movie's been out for almost a year. Like they had predicted, it was one of the greatest in the century. Money poured in everyday, his fame growing by each passing second. He was in the position most actors would kill to have.
But he didn't care.
Because he was with Lovino now, and to him, that meant more than winning all the awards HETALIA Entertainments had to offer.
"Oi," whispered a soft voice, snapping him out of his thoughts. Smiling he held his arms out expectantly, and was rewarded by the feel of his lover's body flush against him. Pulling him down until they were both comfortably tangled in the couch, Antonio indulged himself with a sweet kiss from the Italian. They remained in that position for quite a while, kissing and snuggling all at once.
Lovino suddenly pulled back, eliciting a tiny whine from the Spaniard. Rolling his eyes, he leaned in close to his face and whispered in his ear:
"Congratulations on your first HETALIA Award…Bastard Actor of the Year."
A/N: Plot bunnies. I hope you're happy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia, I never will, etc.