Behind the Mask

The city of Venice blazed with color and light. The night sky was crystal clear and beautiful and the air was crisp and felt distinctly of Spring. People in elegant clothes trimmed with extravagant ribbons and frills danced through the streets, their identities kept hidden behind masks of different shapes, colors, and textures. Music echoed throughout the city, drums sounding out the beat, tambourines clanging joyfully, bells chimed, and pipes called the merry makers to the Piazza, to the heart of the celebrations. And they came. A crowd of men and women accompanied by clowns, performers, and dancers.

Some faster than others.

"Hurry fratello! We'll miss the fireworks!" a young man hollered over his shoulder as he raced over the bridge following the sound of music and laughter. His golden bird mask bounced slightly as his body absorbed the impact of his rushed steps. His long violet cape billowed behind him accompanied by blue silk ribbons.

He rounded a corner and caught a glimpse of the celebrations just beyond when he was suddenly jerked back behind the corner and pushed against the stone wall. He blinked in surprise before blushing at the sight of his furious brother's amber eyes, so like his own, framed by a golden bird mask identical to his own.

"Wait, Feli," the newcomer gasped. "You can't just run out there like some lunatic! Your mask's coming off. If we're caught we'll never have this chance again. I'm not going to give that up just because you made a stupid mistake, damn it!"

Feli's face warmed at the reprimand but nodded and allowed his brother to retie the silk ribbon behind his head, straightening the mask so it sat comfortably on his face hiding all his features except for his eyes and lips. The process didn't take longer than a few moments but it felt like forever to both brothers, for different reasons of course. Feliciano wanted so badly to join the party while his brother wanted to be sure they weren't caught at the party.

When he felt his brother's fingers stop moving, Feliciano turned around. "Does it look alright?"

The older boy nodded. "Does mine?" he asked, a light blush creeping into his cheeks.

Feliciano hummed thoughtfully, then brightened as he dug around in his many layered costume. Finding what he sought, he smiled and brought out a pair of slender white candles lighting them on a nearby torch. He handed one to his brother, keeping the other for himself. Then he smiled brightly. "Perfect, Lovi."

He giggled at the delicate blush that spread across what was visible of Lovino's cheeks. "Don't worry. We'll be fine. They were drunk when we left them. We have the whole night to ourselves. Ve~ They probably won't even realize we're gone till after we're already back."

"Idiota, then they would never realize we're gone because we'd be there," Lovi corrected amusedly.

"Ve~ Oh."

Smiling indulgently, Lovino straightened and met his twin brother's eyes. "Ready?" Feliciano nodded and they joined hands, turned the corner together, then stared awestruck at the view. The Piazza was lit by windows, torches, candles, and makeshift fire pits. The lights reflected beautifully off the water.

"Remember, Feli. Meet back at the Basilica at midnight."

Then they both went their separate ways.

A/N: I wrote this a while back and finally got around to posting this. It's going to be Spamano and Gerita, with some brotherly Itacest on the side. Please let me know what you think and give me some ideas of where you would like to see this go. Since I left it alone for so long and am just now coming back to it, I have a fairly new idea of where I want it to go, but I'm always open to new and better ideas. ^_-

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