Note: Prequel to C is for Classy Lady. Also written for Superman, Merry Christmas man :)
Antonia always (just barely, though) felt out of her element when working events instead of at the bar. They had some familiarity, depending on the occasion, but the venues just weren't hers- the attendees weren't any of the groups she normally interacted with, the top of the bar wasn't the dark green laminate she'd cleaned so many times, sometimes the supplies weren't even hers, depending on the job. She didn't let it faze her too much, oh no, because the people were all very much what she was used to. Even if she had never met a single soul in the room, by the end of the night she'd know enough life stories to write an encyclopedia, and she never, ever had any complaints about the drinks she mixed up.
"This is shit."
Well. Almost never. Francine snorted with laughter and Antonia flicked her shoulder before turning to the source of the insult. She smiled when she saw who it was.
"Something wrong?" Antonia asked the man when he slammed his empty glass down on the counter. She'd been meaning to get his name, but the room was filled with people who clearly loved the fact that the drinks were flowing freely all night long and she hadn't had a chance to say more than a few words to him so far. Which was a pity, really, but at least Francine was in a similar position and hadn't been able to steal him away first.
"Everything," he slurred, waving a hand around the room. Antonia looked around, at the dancing couples, at the people happily chatting away around their tables, at the bride and groom having drinks at front of the room, before shifting her gaze back to the man.
"I've only made you two drinks tonight," she said. "You pre-game or something?"
"I'd fucking have to, wouldn't I? To sit through all this." He nudged his empty glass toward her. "Refill?"
"Are you sure?" At least he hadn't actually be insulting her before, not if he was asking for more drinks. She'd have to tell Francine that later.
He didn't answer right away, so Antonia looked him up and down, trying to figure out how he might be involved in this whole wedding business. His suit didn't match Gilbert's or Roderich's (she'd met them earlier, while Roderich had been telling Gilbert to stop sneaking beers), so he wasn't a groomsman. He looked rather like the bride, though, and his tie matched the bright green of the bridesmaids' dresses. She didn't think that was a coincidence at all. He was glaring over at the groom in a way only a brother or father could, but he looked far too young to be the girl's father.
Antonia continued to watch while she waited for him to answer her question. The bride must have noticed her brother's (?) glaring, because she waved over at him, her face breaking out into an even wider grin when he waved back.
"I'm sure," he finally said and Antonia shrugged, grabbing a new glass to make his drink. He wasn't anywhere near being on his ass yet and Antonia could easily keep an eye on him if he planned to stay at the bar.
"She's your sister?" Antonia asked. "The bride, right?"
"My idiot little sister," he responded. "At least she got an open bar, I guess."
"They seem happy." Antonia held her hands up when he turned his glare on her. "Just saying. Go easy on the drinks, let me know if you need to talk or something."
She thought he mumbled something like, "You can't tell me what to do," and Antonia laughed.
"Oh, I so can. You behave yourself, mister."
She'd obviously not been meant to hear that, by the look on his face, but he quickly recovered and gave her the first grin she'd seen on his face all night. "Tch. If you weren't so pretty I'd tell you to bite me."
"That could be arranged."
Lovino opened his mouth to respond, but before he could Antonia was called over by another wedding guest and she walked over to see what they wanted. A small crowd had gathered up while she'd been chatting with Lovino, and she soon lost track of their conversation while she helped Francine get all the drink orders made up.
Just when she was about to go back and see if her new friend was still at the end of the bar, a familiar man came over carrying a few glasses. "Hey there Antonia!"
"Romolo, hi!" Antonia waved and took the empty glasses from his hands, depositing them into the nearly full container beneath the bar. "How's it going?"
"I think everyone's having a good time." He winked at her. "Partly thanks to those strong pours of yours."
"I'm not having a good time." The bride's brother (Antonia still hadn't caught his name) lifted his head up from where it was pillowed atop his arms and gave Romolo a dirty look.
"Come now Lovino," There it was. "How can you not be having a good time? Your sister is married-"
"-to a very respectable young man, the night is young, and a cute young woman is serving you drinks. Nothing to complain about!"
"Actually," Antonia said, looking over in time to see Lovino grabbing a bottle from behind the counter. "I think he's serving himself."
"Lovino," Romolo chastised. "Don't be rude."
"That doesn't mean you can just help yourself." Romolo took the bottle from Lovino and handed it to Antonia. "Ask her for something like everyone else."
"Gilbert's been grabbing beer from behind the bar all night."
"Has he?" Romolo patted Lovino's shoulder. "Then I'll just have to go have a chat with him while you chat up this nice lady here, won't I?"
"I'm not- oh fuck it." Lovino pointed at the bottle of limoncello in Antonia's hands. "Just give me another shot of that."
Antonia tipped the bottle and frowned at Lovino. "This was almost full last I saw it. How much did you drink?"
"Not a lot," he lied. Antonia shook her head and put the bottle back with the others behind her.
"Let's go for a walk," she said. She hopped over the bar, careful of stray glasses, wet spots, and the stools on the other side. She mouthed, "Need to cut him off," to Francine, who smirked and mouthed back, "Sure you do," before returning to her game of Wrestle the Beer Away From Gilbert.
Lovino stumbled a bit when Antonia grabbed his elbow, but she easily caught him and slipped his arm over her shoulders before he could fall. "There's a nice garden behind the reception hall," she told him as she led him out of the room, quickly slipping through the crowd and ignoring a few lewd comments (from Gilbert, of course) about how Lovino was "totally scoring with the bartender".
"Shut the fuck up, asshole." Lovino clearly wasn't ignoring him, but soon enough Antonia had him out of the hall and into the fresh night air.
"I am not trying to score with you," he said. "I mean. Not saying there's anything wrong with you, I just-"
"You're drunk," Antonia replied. "I wouldn't let you score with me anyway. No matter how cute you are."
"I am not..." Lovino trailed off. "Maybe a little."
"Mm. I'd say a lot."
"You an expert or something?"
Antonia nodded, her head bumping against the inside of Lovino's arm as she did so. "I've met a lot of drunk people, honey."
"Oh. Right." He shuffled along beside her, frequently making slips that nearly caused them both to fall over, but Antonia was thankfully also used to carrying the weight of people fall taller and heavier than either herself or Lovino. "I shouldn't be leaning all over you. I can walk."
"...There's a bench."
Antonia deposited Lovino down on the bench and sat herself down next to him. "Are you really that upset about your sister getting married?" Antonia asked after they were both situated. "Or just get a little too excited about her open bar?"
"I'm not fucking up-" Lovino cut himself off and rushed to put a hand over his mouth. "I'm gonna be si-"
"There's a trashcan!" Antonia shouted, jumping up to rip the lid off a large bin situated in the grass next to them. "Get up, get up." She grabbed Lovino by the shoulders and helped him to get upright and over to the trashcan.
He narrowly missed both their shoes the first time around, but after that mishap he made it to the trashcan. Antonia rubbed his back and murmured the same comforting words she had on so many other occasions. "You'll be fine," she said. "When you're done I'll go get you some water." After a round of dry heaving, Lovino finally leaned away from the trashcan and wiped his mouth.
Antonia reached into the apron she was wearing and pulled out a small bottle of mouthwash. Lovino gave her an odd look, but took it anyway. "You're staying at the hotel like everyone else?" Lovino nodded as he swished the mouthwash around. "Okay, I'll help you to your room. Here." She reached back into her apron pocket and handed Lovino a couple sticks of gum. "That should make you feel better until you can go brush your teeth."
"Do you have a whole kit in there or something?"
"Something like that. Mouthwash, gum, tissues. Those sort of things."
"Give me one of the tissues, then." Antonia handed the pack over to him and waited for him to blow his nose before they continued on down the sidewalk. Despite having emptied the entire contents of his stomach, he was still stumbling along and Antonia kept a hand on his elbow as they made their way up to the hotel's guestrooms.
"Never thought this is how a pretty woman would be going back to my hotel room with me, but you know."
"Call me up some other night when you don't have dried drool on your cheek and we'll see what happens."
Lovino tripped over his own feet. "I wasn't trying to-"
"You can hit on me all you want, you know." Antonia slipped her hand into Lovino's pocket to see if she could find his cardkey. She couldn't figure out if the red in his cheeks was from his current state or from the fact that her hands were on him, but there was always a possibility it was a little bit of both. She continued to drag Lovino along even after they successfully made it into his room. "According to your grandpa, you're quite the catch."
"...What the fuck did he tell you about me. Did he bring out the baby pictures? I told him to stop doing that, I'm going to fucking kill him."
Antonia just shook her head as Lovino continued to mumble about his dirty, traitorous grandfather. "He said you were shy."
Lovino tumbled face first to his bed as soon as Antonia released her grip on him. She thought it looked like it might hurt, but Lovino didn't show any signs of being in pain. "I'm not shy."
"I can tell. He also said you were very sweet and polite when you want to be, but I guess you didn't want to be tonight." Lovino obviously couldn't tell by looking at her she was teasing, but that was half the fun.
"Hey!" He struggled to sit up and face her, his protests staying on hold until Lovino just gave up and rolled onto his side. "I'm plenty polite. You just caught me on a bad night."
"Stealing booze, cursing at all the wedding guests, threatening the groom behind his back," Antonia listed off. "And you didn't even say please after the first drink. Tsk tsk, your poor Nonno has no idea how rude you are."
"I'm not ru- oh fuck you. I mean. Shit." He rolled back over and shoved his face into a pillow. "Can you just meet me a different night?"
"I've already met you, Lovino."
"Have not," he argued. "I have no idea who you are, strange woman. You can meet me when I can properly woo you."
"You want to woo me?" Antonia tapped her foot against the bristly hotel carpet and watched Lovino for a moment, trying to decide if she should stay or if she really should just leave and come check on him later. She was supposed to be working, after all.
"No." Lovino paused. "Maybe. Not tonight."
"Of course not, tonight is not the occasion for wooing." Antonia fished her phone out of her pant, not apron, pocket when it buzzed at her and pouted at the screen.
Need you to stop personally cutting off the bride's brother and come back here, lady ;)
"Francine says I need to go back down to the bar."
"Fuck Francine... which one was she?"
"Blonde. Grabbed your ass a couple times."
"Ah." Antonia couldn't see Lovino's face, but he sounded very much like he was scowling. "Well, before you leave-"
"You'll need my number," Antonia finished for him. She had no idea what he was actually going to say, but he was getting her number either way. "Give your phone over, I'll put it in there in case you need to call me."
"I don't need you to take care of me."
"You might need to call me for other reasons." Antonia snatched his phone up when he lazily held it out in the general direction of where she was and (with only a bit of difficulty!) entered her number into his address book. "You'll need to thank me for being so nice and walking you up here, after all."
"You should sleep."
"I'll get right on that."
She called her own phone from his and saved the number. "I'm calling you in the morning so you can go say goodbye to your sister before her honeymoon."
"Before her wh- ugh. I almost forgot why I was here."
Antonia would have loved to stay and chat with him, she really would have, but he needed to get some rest and Francine was texting her again and it really just wasn't in the cards right at that moment.
"Bye, Lovino!" She patted his shoulder on her way out. "I'll talk to you later."
"I'm sure you will."
After being up until nearly 3 am dealing with drunken, chatty wedding guests, waking up at 8 am was not really something Antonia had planned on doing, but she'd heard from Romolo that Felicia and Ludwig were leaving at 9, and she wanted to call Lovino just as she promised to make sure he was up and ready to see his sister off.
Though it appeared that if he remembered the promise at all, he seemed to think he was supposed to be calling her instead.
"I'm already up," Lovino said. He sounded worse for the wear, but not nearly as bad as some people Antonia had spoken to after a night of drinking. "So you don't need to wake me."
"Ah, good! How are you feeling?" Antonia held the phone away from her mouth to yawn into her palm. As soon as Lovino was done speaking with her she was definitely going back to sleep.
"Like a jackass. Did I wake you up? Go back to sleep."
"No no, I was already up."
"Fine." The line went quiet for a minute and Antonia stifled another yawn while she waited to see if Lovino was going to continue. "So. I know you were just being nice last night-"
"Don't interrupt me." Antonia zipped her lips before realising Lovino couldn't actually see her, but she kept her mouth she as he continued. "I'm sure you take care of drunk people like that all the time, so just tell me to fuck off if you don't want to talk to me again."
"I do want to talk to you again," she said after making sure he wasn't going to continue. "Actually, I do believe you said something about wooing last night? I'd be more than okay with some of that."
She could almost hear the smirk in his voice when Lovino answered her. "I'm going to woo the fuck out of you, just you wait."
"How long should I be waiting?"
"Well I need to go say goodbye to Felicia, and then I'm going back to bed because it's too damn early right now, but I'll get started on it later tonight."
"I'll text you my address, pick me up at 8?"
"Too early. I'll get you at 9."
"Where are you going to take me?"
"I don't know yet, but I am not drinking again tonight."
"I can see why you would say that," Antonia said with a laugh. "But if this goes well, you definitely need to come by to the bar I work at, okay?"
"Yeah okay. If this goes well."
They hung up after that, but Antonia had a feeling they'd be talking a lot more later.