Antonio held Feliciano in his arms as they watched the tv. They were no longer watching the news, but some cartoons instead. Feli seemed happy enough, curled up in his arms, but Antonio felt a knot forming in his stomach. If Romano looses his job...
Romano was in the phone, talking with Alfred... But judging by his tone, the news weren't good.
Finally, Romano hung up, and with a pale face, dropped in the sofa next to Antonio.
"So? How did it go?" Antonio asked softly, not wanting to distract Feliciano from the TV. Romano shook his head, his eyes glazed over with unshead tears, "I... The restaurant was flooded... Arthur, Alfred and Peter are okay, and that's wonderful, but... I... I don't..." Romano inhaled deeply and let his head fall back, not daring another word.
Feliciano, hearing the distress in his brother's voice, turned to look at him.
Romano covered his face with his hands, trying to take deep breaths to keep the tears from falling, but his shaking shoulders gave him away. Feliciano's face dropped and he left Antonio's lap to climb into Romano's and snuggle with him. "It's okay, Lovi. We're okay, we'll stay together and-"
Romano leaned down and held Feliciano tightly and closely to him, hiding his crying face on his brother's shoulder, "I'm s-sorry, Feli. I'm so sorry... I don't have a job and... a-and they'll... we won't..."
Feliciano's face froze in shock and the tiny smile fell instantly, "But... but you promise we'd stay together... You promised. A-And Antonio said so too." the child demanded, slightly pushing his brother away, trying to see his face.
Romano simply looked down, evading his brother's eyes.
Feliciano, panic stricken, turned to look at Antonio, fear and panic refleted in his eyes. "It's not true, right, Toño? You said we were okay, right?"
Antonio bit his lip, Feliciano's stare making him feel the most horrible person in the entire world. "Feli, I did, but things have changed. I-" but Feliciano didn't want to hear anything else.
"You lied, then. Y-You both lied. You both lied!" the child said accusingly as he jumped off from the sofa to stare at both of them.
"It wasn't a lie, Feli, we-" Antonio was saying but his voice failed him as Feliciano's wide eyes filled up with tears.
Feliciano seemed to want to say something, but he bit his lip and ran out of the room, not even turning around when Romano called out for him to wait.
Antonio could clearly see how Romano's strength and heart broke in a matter of seconds.
"Damn it, damn it, damn it all! Fuck, shit, damn it!" he yelled furiously, throwing the nearest cushion across the floor. The Italian jumped up from the sofa and started pacing back and forth.
Antonio slowly stood up and walked up to Romano. "Listen Lovi, I-"
"Don't you dare say a fucking word, you bastard! This is all your fault! You said we could stay together! You-!"
But before Romano could continue his rant Antonio had wrapped him in his arms. Romano struggled, pushing against Antonio, but the Spaniard didn't let go.
After what seemed to be all of the curses in the Italian lenguage and some in English, Romano deflated, silently crying as he leaned on Antonio's shoulder.
Antonio gently lead Romano back into the sofa, where he carefully sat him down.
"Do you want a glass of water?" he asked, as the Italian coughed, his throat dry from yelling and crying. Romano nodded very slightly, without looking at the other.
However, as soon as Antonio tried to stand up, Romano's hand quickly held him in place. "...Changed my mind. Stay."
Antonio could've sworn his heart melted there and then, not able to hold that much love for one person. He gently leaned back and held Romano in his arms, kissing his forhead, eyes and tear striken cheeks.
"I'm sorry, mi amor. Lo siento tanto..."
Romano finally gathered the courage to look up at him and, to his surprise and horror, found that Antonio's eyes were looking down at him, tears falling silently from them.
Romano softly hugged him back, clenching Antonio's shirt as if it was his lifeline, "I-I... Mio dio... Antonio, I'm so sorry, I... I-I know it's not your fault." the Italian mumbled, hiding his face on Antonio's chest. "I didn't mean to yell..."
Antonio sighed deeply, kissing the top of Romano's head. "I know, Lovi, I know." he muttered, gently burrying his fingers in Romano's messy chocolate hair.
They stayed like that for a moment, holding each other, regaining strength for what was definitely going to come.
Antonio was the one who broke the hug, holding Romano at arm's length to see his face. "You have to talk to Feliciano..." the Spaniard whispered as he gently cleaned the other's face with a tissue.
"What can I tell him? That I'll manage to keep us together? Antonio, that's impossible and we both know it." Romano muttered saddly.
Antonio looked thoughtfully at Romano for a moment. The younger's eyes were red and puffy from crying... but there was trust in them too. Romano trusted him. And, although he still hadn't said it out loud, Antonio knew. He knew Romano loved him too.
That was the kind of person Romano was. He didn't have to say the things he felt or thought, you could just tell by looking at his eyes. Antonio mused on how different Romano was from Bella, although both of them...-
And that's when it clicked.
Antonio's face suddenly lit up, a smile slowly forming in his face.
"W-What are you smiling about, you creep?" Romano asked, trying to sound annoyed, but hope had started growing in his heart.
"You're pretty good with children, aren't you, Lovi?" Antonio asked as his smile grew.
"I... guess?" Romano replied confused, wondering if Antonio had completely lot his mind.
"Oh, I'm a genius!" Antonio exclaimed delighted.
"I'm starting to think you're a madman." Romano said, looking suspiciously at the Spaniard, although he couldn't help smiling just slightly. Antonio's stupid cheerfulness was contagious.
"Feli? May I come in?" Romano asked, peeking in slightly at his brother's room. Feliciano was sitting in his bed, his eyes looking down at the drawing pad he held in his hands.
"Listen... I know you are very disapointed at me. It's okay, I just-"
Feliciano just shook his head, still not looking up at his older brother.
Romano held his breath and turned sideways, he was used to being rejected by everyone, and disapointing Feli had been almost too painful... But what if Feli didn't want to be with him anymore? Could he actually let him go with his Aunt?
Feliciano's small voice made him look up to see his younger brother's face twisted with regret and with tears falling from his hazel eyes.
With a tender smile, Romano understood. He walked up to Feliciano, but he was already being clinged to even before he could say anything.
"I-I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so so s-sorry."
Feliciano sobbed against his brother's shoulder, shaking softly as tears stained Romano's shirt.
Romano softly shushed him and rocked back and forth, one small tear falling from his eye, "It's allright, Feli. Everything is all right." he muttered in his brother's hair.
"It's not allright, Romano! I was a-awful and mean... I didn't mean to!" Feliciano whimpered, tightly hugging his brother, "I am so sorry."
Romano shook his head with a small smile, "I forgive you fratello. Of course I forgive you. Io ti amo, Feliciano, and I always will. No matter what you do and no matter what happens." Romano gently pried Feliciano off of him and cleaned his brother's face with his shirt's sleeve.
Feliciano frowned anguished, "... But I was really mean." he muttered worriedly.
"It happens sometimes. But I forgive you. I allways will. That's what big brothers do, Feli. When you were born I had to sign a contract to be an older brother. I swore to always look after you, make sure there are no monsters under your bed, and share my bed when you don't want to sleep by yourself. And I will always prepare pasta when you want me to, even if you ask for pasta-abominations."
Through the tears, Feliciano couldn't help a small giggle. "White sauce rottini and meatballs are tasty."
Romano smiled, "Yeah, they are. But they are still a pasta-abominations, fratello."
Both of them laughed softly.
"Am I going to have to go live with auntie?" Feliciano asked after a few seconds in silence.
Romano inhaled and exhaled deeply. "Well, I'm still gonna get payed for this month. I have until the first week of December to find a new job. If I do, you can stay... But I might not-"
"You will." Feliciano said, without hesitation.
Romano looked down at his younger brother questioningly, "And how are you so sure?"
Feliciano smiled up at Romano "Because it was on the contract you signed. You have to take care of me, right? And make sure I'm always happy."
Romano chuckled and smiled, "Of course I will."
For a second, however, Romano's face fell, Antonio's voice echoing in his mind, from a conversation that seemed a lifetime ago.
He was serious back then, he would always look after what was best for Feliciano. Even if it meant having to let him go.
"Hi, Bella. How are you?"
Bella smiled, as she held the phone between her ear and her shoulder. "Dear me, if I wasn't absolutely sure you were head over heels with Romano I would start suspecting you have a crush on me, Tony."
Antonio spluttered embarassed and coughed slightly. "Yeah... Hey, how are you and Thomas? I hope the storm didn't get to you."
"No. We're fine. We had a slight flodding in the garage, but nothing got wet, thank god I got Thomas to clean that last week."
Antonio smiled, "I'm happy to hear that." he said honestly as Romano and Feliciano walked back to the TV room.
Feliciano ran directly to him and hugged his legs, repeating once and again how sorry he was.
Antonio smiled, and leaned down to carry him, taking the phone off of his ear to be able to. "Sorry, I'm here." he said as soon as he picked it up again.
Bella laughed, "Let me guess. You were too worried about your two Italians so you braved the storm to check on them! That would be so you, Tony!" she exclaimed delighted.
Antonio chuckled softly, "Well, I... No! Wait, Bella I need to a favor from you. And it's really important."
Romano slowly drank from the cup of tea he had made for himself. It was nothing fancy, just a simple chamomile tea, but he couldn't keep still as Antonio talked through the phone.
Asking for a job as an assistant teacher in the same school in which he would enroll Feli was actually a good idea, but there was a chance it might not work.
And if it didn't... well, he still had one more month to figure out what he could do.
"Mhhm. Yeah, okay." Antonio said into the phone for the thousandth time. Romano was so stressed that he felt like strangling the Spaniard for taking that long.
Antonio was pacing up and down, and even if he had carried Feliciano for a bit, he had let the child down after a while, and Feliciano had distracted himself by watching TV.
"So then... Uh-huh, okay." Antonio murmured, listening carefully.
Really, Romano felt like he was just going to explode from sheer nervousness.
Antonio turned his back on him, to watch out the window, the phone still on his ear. "All right. Okay then. I'll tell him." Antonio said something else after that, but it was too low for Romano to distinguish.
To his utter horror and relief, Antonio finally hung up, but he still didn't turn around. Romano placed his cup on the small coffee table, and looked expectantly at Antonio's back.
"...Antonio? What did she say?" Romano finally asked, his voice betraying the nervousness he felt.
Slowly the Spaniard turned to him, his green eyes seemed to shine, and his lips were stretched in the warmest and loveliest of smiles Romano had ever seen.
"You have a job intervie-" but before Antonio could finish his sentence, Romano had jumped off from the sofa and leaped into his arms, kissing him fully on the lips.
A.N.: I'm sorry it took so long! I had to re-write this thing like a thousand times and I was just never completely satisfied with it... until now! And at some point my English just stoped working, for some reason or another *annoyed sigh* but oh well! It's done! And I know exactly how the story will flow from now on! Again, thank you so much for staying with this fic and believing in me even when I didn't myself! I hope to update the next chapter sometimes in the next weekend!
... I really have to fix my writing schedule ; w ;
I hope you like this chapter! *dies in a corner*