DESCRIPTION: Lovino hates the beach, but maybe a certain hot, Spanish lifeguard can change that.
GENRE: Romance & Humor ('cause that's all I ever write, really)
INSPIRATION: So I was at the pool with my friend Hannah (a.k.a. chibianimefreak and the Spain of our friend group) when she suddenly came up from behind me and grabbed me. Needless to say, it totally freaked me out. After that, I started calling her a jellyfish … And, since she's our Spain, it became 'Antonio the Jellyfish' … And she started doing this weird jellyfish dance … And the idea for this story was born.
WARNINGS: AU, Fluff.
DISCLAIMER OF THE YODA VARIETY: Owning Hetalia I do not.
I hate the beach.
I hate the sands that burn my feet, the tyrannical overlord of a sun out to blind me, the cackling seagulls out to laugh at everything I do, even if it isn't funny, the saltiness of the ocean, the unpredictability of the waves, and the wind that always picks up just in time to blow sand in my face. I hate how my family always forces me to come here, insisting that I've just had some bad experiences, I'll like it if I just go with them one more time, I'll love it, they swear. I hate how they never leave me alone – how Feli always wants to build a sand castle with me, like we're fucking four-year-olds or something, how Nonno always wants to help me pick up some hot beach bunnies, how Francis always tries to get me to swim nude. I hate the little kids that scamper around like so many poisonous ants, never failing to get in my way while somehow enjoying themselves too much to be genuinely mad at. I hate the rocks on the ocean floor, popping up out of fucking nowhere to sting my feet.
But of all the things I loathe about this goddamn place, the one I hate the most is the lifeguard.
His name is Antonio Fernandez Carriedo. An-to-ni-o Fer-nan-dez Car-rie-do. I've lost count of how many times he's told me that fucking name. It's like he thinks his very name has sex appeal or something. (And, sure, the way he says it isn't exactly unattractive, but … It gets tiring, okay? And he has to have more than a sexy voice for me to like him, anyway! Shut up!)
See, every time I go to the beach (which is, thanks to my fucking family, waaay too often) he'll come up to me and introduce himself. He has to introduce himself every time, because every time, I pretend I don't know him. He's an idiot, a bastard, and definitely not hot, so why the hell would I want to know him? He seems to think differently, though, and never fails to spend all of his break with me, chattering to me about something or other. I don't even listen to him – I just pull out a book and tune him out. Doesn't make him any less fucking irritating, though. I mean, maybe if he could find some decent conversation topics, I wouldn't mind as much, but all he talks about are turtles, tomatoes, and me.
He wants to find out more about me. Why the fucking hell would he want to do that? I'm not worth knowing. I'm not funny or smart or handsome or kind or any of that stuff. He's just wasting his time.
I don't need some fucking lifeguard hitting on me, for Dios' sake.
And I definitely do not enjoy it. Nope. Not one little bit. I do not enjoy being called cute or being smiled at or being called nicknames like Lovi and tomate or being given offers of dinner dates or flowers or serenades with a guitar under moonlight or … or any of that fucking romantic shit, damn it!
My family, however, has other ideas. For some inexplicable reason, they actually like this Antonio guy. They think he's the best person ever~ or something. He and Feliciano have hit it off particularly well – they're, like, airheaded-idiot-best-buddies-for-fucking-life. Feli seems to think that I should like Antonio too. He says the bastardly Spaniard would be a good influence on me.
He says I should go out with the bastard.
Right. Like I need a boyfriend. That would definitely go well.
Oh, and I'm not thinking about Antonio as I paddle out into the ocean, a safe distance from any kids frolicking in the water or playing Marco Polo or pathetically attempting to swim or whatever it is kids do in the ocean these days. I'm not thinking about his bright emerald-green eyes that twinkle when he laughs, or his smile that seems to absorb the light and warmth of the sun and reflect it onto me, or his hair, curly auburn locks that simply fall into perfect disarray, or his handsome, aristocratic – but somehow kind – features, or … or anything. I'm not thinking about any-fucking-thing.
I'm just swimming along, letting the tide carry me father out into the ocean. I stop after a while and flip onto my back, spreading my arms and legs out like a plant trying to catch as much sunlight as possible. My eyes close, almost of their own accord, and the sound of the ocean suddenly becomes louder. It's not a bad kind of loud, though – more of a mind-filling kind of loud, a thought-numbing kind of loud.
This feeling, with the sound of the ocean and the warmth of the sun filling me up like a slow trickle of water down a stream, is so … peaceful. I could get used to this. No family, no seagulls, no rocks, just … aah.
And then, my world abruptly turned upside-down.
I mean that literally, by the way.
Someone – or something – grabs me by the stomach and flips me around so that my head is in the water and my feet are in the air, flailing for ground that they'll never find. I struggle as I've never struggled before, not even when a drunk Francis once attempted to rape me, but it's hopeless. Whatever is holding me is much too goddamned strong.
I'm going to die here, aren't I? I'm going to fucking drown and I'll never get to eat another tomato or play another video game or fucking find out what Antonio tastes like or …
What. The. Hell.
If my spirit is going to pass away into the Great Big Tomato Garden in the Sky, I really did not want my last thoughts to be about that stupid bastard.
Fuck my life.
Well, actually, it's already fucked, isn't it, since I'm dying and everything …
Why aren't I dead yet?
You'd think I'd have drowned by now, honestly …
I open my eyes.
"You. Stupid. BASTARD!"
I headbutt the bastard in the gut and swim away as fast as I can.
"Wait! Loviii! Don't be mad! Why are you mad, tomate?"
He's swimming after me.
Of course he's fucking swimming after me.
"Don't swim after me, bastard," I snarl at him.
Of course he grabs my arm, latching on like a vine or a cobra or something unpleasant like that.
"But, Lovi, I was just being a jellyfish," he says, confused.
I turn around to look at him. The emerald orbs that are his eyes are wide open, filled with bewilderment. Huh. Maybe he didn't actually mean to drown me.
Encouraged by my lack of chastisement, Antonio begins to do a sort of strange dance in the water next to me, jumping up and down on the ocean floor and waving his arms in the most goddamned ridiculous manner I have ever seen – and that includes the time Feli attempted to invent a secret handshake.
"See? I'm a jellyfish!" he explains. "I was swimming around, being a jellyfish, and I saw you in the water and decided to test out my jellyfish powers by kidnapping you, jellyfish style! Fun, right~?"
Oh, hullo, forehead, how've you been this fine summer day?
Oh, you know, pretty good, until you had to go and fucking slap me like that. It was pretty painful.
"A … jellyfish," I repeat.
He nods enthusiastically. "A jellyfish~!"
"A fucking jellyfish."
"Si~! Not a fucking jellyfish, exactly, though … I'd rather do much nicer things with my amazing jellyfish powers …"
"Like what?" I ask. I can't imagine anything much nicer than fucking with him – I-I mean, than fucking killing him, of course. Dios, don't be so perverted.
"Like …" He considers my question for a moment – it appears to be very difficult for him. (Bet he never got past high school, the idiot.) "Like taking over the world~!" he decides.
I stare at him, like, the fuck?
"Yeah~!" Antonio says. "Taking over the world! I'd make sure everyone had enough tomatoes to eat and a pet turtle to keep them company, and I'd rule with peace and love and there would be no more wars or taxes or annoying British people who try to poison you with their burnt scones and … And you could be my queen~!"
I'm getting ready to re-introduce my hand to my forehead when that last line sinks in.
"Why, exactly," I say slowly, mentally preparing myself for heartbreak (not that I'm romantically invested in him or anything), "would you want me to be your queen? You don't even know me."
Antonio Fernandez Carriedo steps closer to me in the water and I'm suddenly very aware of his well-toned, well-tanned body clad only in a short, tight Speedo and those eyes – eyes staring into my soul, eyes that I could dive into, never come up for air, and discover the meaning of happiness somewhere in their emerald depths.
… N-not that I'd want to, or anything.
"Because, Lovino," he says in a low, husky, definitely not sexy at all voice, "I know that you come to the beach with your family even though you don't want to. I know that you're always willing to help Feliciano out with his sand castle or join Roma in hitting on pretty girls, even though you complain about it. I know that you pretend to be a bad boy, but you always have a cheap romantic comedy stuffed into the bottom of your bag. I know that when you smile, I feel like everything is all right with the world. I don't know you very well, but I want to get to know you more, because I know that even though you pretend to hate the world, your anger and apathy is just a shell protecting an inner core of kindness and generosity. And the fact that you are the most adorable – and sexy – person I have ever met doesn't exactly discourage my desire to get to know you more."
Don't blush, Lovino. If you blush, he'll think you're interested, and you're definitely not interested … R-right?
My face probably looks like a ripe tomato right about now.
I look down at my feet – or, well, I would, but I can't see the fucking things, covered as they are by a couple feet of murky saltwater.
"W-well, you're a really bad jellyfish, anyway," I say, mentally kicking myself for awkwardly changing the subject so badly. "I mean, you weren't even able to fucking kidnap me or whatever it was you were trying to do without saying that idiotic little 'Gotcha~!' That is most definitely not manly. Or jellyfish-ly. You did get the scary bit, though. I wasn't really frightened, of course, but that would have seriously freaked out someone not as manly as me …"
Antonio's hand is suddenly on my chin, raising my head so that I look him in the eye.
"I'm sorry I scared you," he tells me. "I want to make it up to you."
I snort. "Good luck with that. How do you plan on doing it?"
"Can I take you out to dinner tonight?"
I'm blushing again … Dios fucking damn it.
Why am I always so stupid? Why did I let myself get so emotionally invested in this stupid, ignorant, airheaded … kind … funny … b-beautiful … bastard?
I'll only get hurt in the end. That's how it always happens for people like me.
But … It's worth a try, right?
Yeah. It's worth a fucking try.
"S-sure," I whisper.
His grin is so happy and so contagious that I can't help smiling back.
And then, all of a sudden, I'm not seeing his smile any more – I'm tasting it.
I didn't think life could ever feel this awesome – Shit shit shit shit what am I doing?
I headbutt him and start heading off to shore as quickly as I can.
"You shouldn't kiss until at least the third date, bastard!" I call over my shoulder at him.
"Does that mean there will be more than three dates~?" he asks in return.
I give him the finger.
I wonder if he'll take that as a yes.
I fucking hope he does.
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