Title: Promise
Pairing/Characters: OT4 and Alejandro
Summary: Alejandro is leaving for college in the morning and Romano is the only one being reasonable about it. Because everyone else is an idiot.
Notes: GOD REST YOUR SOUL, JAVIER. Rory is also a cat. A really grumpy, fatass cat. Gisella named him, don't question this shit. I feel like this was long enough for its own story whatevs whatevs.


Lovina was actually cleaning all the dishes at the café. Antonia had baked enough pastries to feed all the armed forces in America and was still baking more. Antonio was nowhere to be found, but Francine hadn't shown up for her normal 5 o'clock Bother Romano Hour, so he assumed those two idiots were out drinking and drowning Antonio's sorrows.

Sorrows that were totally unfounded in Romano's not to humble opinion, but apparently he was in the minority.

"Lovina you've been washing the same damn cup for fifteen minutes."

"Maybe it's really fucking dirty. Shut up."

"Whatever. I'm not staying here all night while you take longer to wash the cups than a dishwasher."

Lovina scowled and went back to scrubbing at some invisible stain on the mug in her hands, that is until a loud crack sounded through the café and half the mug fell into the sink while the other splintered half remained in her hands.

She just stared at the ruined mug for a moment before tossing the rest of it into the soapy sink. "Shit, I don't need this right now."

Romano turned off the faucet and grabbed Lovina's hands, mostly to make her stop ruining their dishes but if he secretly checked them for any cuts nobody else needed to know about that. "I don't either, those mugs are expensive."

"They are not, we bought the cheapest ones we could."

"And the price still sucked. We're going home."

"But—"

"Antonio can drag his hungover ass over here in the morning and clean the rest of the dishes when Antonia comes to overfill the pastry cabinet again."

"She really needs to stop doing that, we can't sell that many."

"We can try." Romano shrugged and grabbed Lovina's wrists, leading her out from behind the counter and toward the front door.

Five minutes later, the roar of an engine that had seen better days let them know Alejandro was back with their car. "Sorry I'm a little late, Mamá needed more flour and Papá keeps calling me, I think we should go get him he said he stubbed his toe and he sounded really upset about it. I bought the new mugs you wanted though Mamma, did you ever figure out who broke the other ones?"

Romano scowled at Lovina, who just scowled right back before shrugging at Alejandro. "No idea. Maybe Romano sat on them while he was hiding from me again."

"That happened one time."

"And that was me, Mamma."

"It was still Romano's fault." Lovina climbed into the passenger seat, leaving Romano to take the back. And the duty of dealing with Antonio when the went to pick him up, no doubt.

"Hey Romina. Lovano." Antonio stopped and tried to hold himself up on the side of the car while Romano and Lovina gave him matching looks of aggravation. "Romano. Lovina. And Alejandro!"

"You know all our names, good job."

"I know Antonia and Celio and Gisella's names too! And Javier." Antonio crossed himself like he always did when he mentioned their long-gone cat. Romano hated it. "And Rory! Did we feed him today? You know he hates it when we forget, just like you gu—"

"Antonia left out loads of food for your fatass cat, yes." Romano reached over and tugged Antonio into the car. "Where's Francine?"

"Alfred got her."

"Good. One drunken moron is enough."

"I'm not drunk!" Antonio flopped out over Romano's lap and pouted up at him. "I just had… what is it Antonia always says… one glass! Yeah!"

"They don't refill the same glass over and over when you go to a bar, stupid."

"…Oh yeah."

"Are you okay, Papá? Should we stop for some food or water or something?"

"Nooo, you stay right there, angelo."

"He's not going anywhere, dumbass."

"But he is."

"I'm going home?" Alejandro sent a worried glance in the direction of the back seat before returning his gaze back to the road.

"But then you're leaving me. Us."

Alejandro looked horribly guilty and didn't say anything, but Romano didn't care if he upset Antonio (or Lovina, who was dusting off the dashboard and was damn near breaking that too if she didn't knock it off soon), so he swallowed that horrible sinking feeling in his stomach that wouldn't stop coming back and pinched Antonio's shoulder. "He's only going to be three hours away, chill your tits. Both of you, Lovina leave the dashboard alone."

"Three hours on an airplane." Antonio rubbed at his shoulder and gave Romano his best despondent look.

"So then you can't drive over and creep on him all the time, all the better."

"That's not—"

"I'll visit all the time!" Alejandro interjected. "And you always take trips to Naples anyway."

The conversation was momentarily interruped when Alejandro pulled into their driveway and had to help Romano get Antonio's fat ass out of the car.

"Aw look how big you are," Antonio cooed, drunkenly patting at Alejandro's cheeks.

"Same size I was when you said that this morning, Papá." Alejandro grinned and looped one of Antonio's arms around his shoulder while Romano the other and Lovina went to get the door.

"Much, much too big," he replied, slumping into Romano's side and causing him to stumble and curse. "Don't you think so, Lovi?"

"You're all too damn tall."

"No, you're just short," Romano adjusted his grib on Antonio while he and Alejandro maneuvered him through the doorway. "And you two need to stop this bullshit. He's going to come home for holidays and work in the café over his breaks."

"And I'll write all the time and call everyday!" Alejandro added.

"He'll call twice a day," Romano corrected and Alejandro laughed. "And email you morons because it's dumb to waste so much money on postage when it takes forever."

"Okay Babbo, I'll call you twice a day and send everyone emails each night."

Romano unceremoniously deposited Antonio onto the couch. He rolled his eyes when the tell-tale smell of baked goods wafted in from the kitchen. Antonia was going to bankrupt them with all her damn baking. "I'm not the one you're consoling here, it's them."

"Mhmm, of course. But I will, I promise."

"You better, do you know how much these three will whine at me if you don't?"

"So much, I know."

"So fucking much. And I don't want to deal with it."

"And they'll whine if I don't come home for birthdays and Mother's Day and Father's Day, I know."

"You beter know."

"I do. I'm not going away forever, I'll be back all the time."

Romano nudged Antonio, who appeared to have finally passed out. "See asshole, nothing to worry about."

"Not at all. I'll go help Mamá pack up."

"You should take some of it with you tomorrow. Get it out of my house."

Alejandro nodded and quickly hugged Romano before rushing off into the kitchen. "I will. Don't sleep in tomorrow, you're taking me to the airport!"

"Yeah yeah. You picked an early as shit flight, I know." His response fell on deaf ears as Alejandro was already in the kitchen helping Antonia clean up her mess.

Antonio shifted around on the couch and Romano shoved his feet aside so he could sit down too. He picked some non-existant lint off his shirt while he listened to the sounds of Antonia and Alejandro loudly chatting in the kitchen, and when the conversation went silent for a moment he shouted. "Three times a day, Alessandro!"

"You call me as much as you want, Babbo!"

"That's not what I— oh fuck it. You're a little shit, Alessà."

"Love you too."

Romano just rolled his eyes and went back to listening in on some of the last sounds of Alejandro in the house he was going to hear for awhile.