Antonio rubbed the back of his hand over his forehead, adding yet another grease stain to the collection that was quickly gathering on his face. He cringed as he turned to Lovino, dreading what he was about to say.
Lovino's head snapped up and he glared at Antonio, "broken? What do you mean broken?"
"I mean broken," Antonio replied, "I can't get it to start."
"Let me look," Lovino demanded. He pushed Antonio out of the way and bent over the car engine. A moment later, he straightened, "okay. It's broken."
"I told you," Antonio sighed. He glanced around, taking in the night sights and sounds. The trees around him rustled with the wind and the sounds of night insects chirping their tunes. Above him, the stars were out and the moon was new. The gentle breeze brushed his hair and chilled him. Any other night, he would have enjoyed this and tried to seduce Lovino. But tonight...tonight was different. He had just spent two hours trying to fix a car in the dark without any source of light only to find out that it couldn't be fixed right here and now. He hadn't showered since that morning and he had played soccer earlier, so his body was caked with dried salt from his sweat. He still wore his soccer jersey (and a warm jacket) and he was positive that he stunk (if Lovino's eagerness to get out of the car when it first broke down was any indication).
There was nothing around for miles, and Lovino had spent the entire time complaining. And, of course, on any other night, Antonio would have put on a smile and simply taken it, but not tonight. He was tired, he was sweaty, he was covered in grease, neither of them had their cell phones (due to a rather unfortunate incident in the parking lot earlier, but that's a story for another time) or any money of any kind, they were in the middle of nowhere and Antonio was having a very hard time being the cheery Spaniard that everyone came to know him as.
With a small groan, Antonio slid down the side of the car and rested against the tire. He rested his forearms on his knees and his head fell foward. He wanted nothing more than to go home, shower, and go to bed. But no, the car had to break down.
"So...what now?" Lovino asked grumpily. He shut the hood of the car and leaned against it.
Antonio glanced up at him, then sighed and returned to his original position.
"What, no ideas?" Lovino mocked, "I thought you were the kind of guy that looked at the bright side of everything."
Antonio rocked his head back to rest against the car and remained silent.
Lovino stared at him for a moment, then crossed his arms and stared off down the road, "this is your fault, you know."
Antonio's eyes opened and he slowly turned to face Lovino, "mi...culpa?"
"Si," Lovino didn't look at him.
"Because I needed a ride back from soccer...somehow, all of this...is my fault?" Antonio asked incredulously. Was he seriously hearing this?
"Si," Lovino answered simply.
"My fault?" Antonio asked again.
Now Lovino looked at him. His brown eyes were tired and worn. He didn't answer.
Antonio laughed bitterly at the sick humour he found in being blamed for this. He stood and rounded on Lovino, "how is any of this my fault? This is your car. If anything, this is your fault. Don't go pinning the blame on me because you're too immature to realise that!"
Lovino blinked in surprise. Antonio was always so calm. "Antonio..."
"No! Don't even try, Lovino," Antonio saw Lovino cringe and realised that he hadn't used the Italian's full name in years, but he couldn't stop himself, "none of this is my fault! I am dead tired and ready to collapse! The last thing I need is some stupid Italiano blaming me for some dumb accident! You know, all you ever say to me is what I do wrong! I never hear any kind of apology or any nice words from you!" He was shouting now. Lovino opened his mouth to respond, but Antonio held up his hand, "how can you even be related to Feliciano? He's so nice and cheery all the time. You know what? I don't even know why I still put up with you! I don't have to! I could walk out on you any moment, and yet here I am! Why? I don't know! I don't know, Lovino! Why don't you tell me why?
"Come on, Lovino! Tell me! Why am I still here? Why did I even call on you for help in the first place? Because you know what? I shouldn't have. I should have called Francis or Gilbert, not you! At least they respect me! But you? No! You don't do that! That's too much to ask from you, isn't it? You just can't do it! You can't do anything but tease me and insult me! Did it occur to you that it might, on occassion, hurt me? No, it probably didn't!
"So you know what? As soon as we get out of this mess, I'm going to leave! And don't expect me to come back because I won't! I don't see any reason why I have to put up with you when I have two perfectly good friends who will listen to me. And then there's you. You! Who does nothing! Look at me! I'm covered in sweat and grease and you still somehow manage to find the heart to tell me that I'm to blame! What the hell, Lovino? Who does that? How can you honestly be that insensitive to others?"
Throughout his rant, Antonio had slowly been moving closer to Lovino and now towered over him. Lovino stared up at Antonio's angry green eyes with terror written on his face. His arms were uncrossed and his back was arched over the car, trying to get away from the furious Spaniard, who, despite all odds, continued getting closer.
"Antonio...I..." Lovino began.
Antonio finally stopped yelling and glared down at him, "what?"
"Fine," Lovino said quietly, looking away, "if that's how you feel..." He then turned and walked off into the woods.
Antonio stared after him for a moment, then a cold breeze blew and he shivered. He suddenly realised what he had done. He yelled into the air and his fist landed with a loud thunk on the car hood and he was surprised that it didn't dent the metal.
"Estupido!" he yelled at himself, "hijo de puta! What's wrong with you?"
He sank to his knees in front of the car and rested his forehead against the bumper.
In the woods, Lovino had heard Antonio shouting at himself, but it hardly registered. He ran through the bushes, tears in his eyes, as he tried to get away from the Spaniard. Antonio had never spoken to him like that before. Never! What had changed? How had he snapped?
Lovino realised with a shock that...it was his fault. He had been what caused Antonio to snap. Everything Antonio said...it was all true. His breath hitched with sobs and hiccups and he ran out of breath quickly because of it. He finally stopped when he tripped. He fell and his knee scraped something hard.
He hissed in pain and crawled to the closest tree. He leaned against it and tried his best to see his injury. He felt his knee and something warm and sticky covered his hand as sharp pain stung him at the contact. He winced, then pulled his shirt off to dab away the blood. It was just a scrape, nothing serious, but it had broken the skin.
Once the blood was cleaned off, he wrapped his arms around his knees, buried his face and cried in hard, wracking sobs.
He wasn't sure how long it was, but he thought it was a long time, when he heard footsteps. He had long since stopped crying, but the salt of his tears was caked on his face, which was still buried in his arms, and he was shivering from the cold night air.
The footsteps grew louder, then stopped. He heard a sigh he knew well and a gentle voice said, "Lovi..."
He cringed and turned away from the voice. Antonio sighed again and sat down next to Lovino. He set the flashlight he had found between them, and it provided just enough light to see the Italian without straining.
"I, uh...found a flashlight," Antonio began awkwardly, "that would have been nice to have before, no?" He chuckled nervously, but stopped upon receiving no response. He licked his lips nervously and held out the thing he was holding in his other hand, "te trajé un tomate."
Lovino still didn't move.
"No?" Antonio rested his hand on the ground, letting the red fruit roll onto the grass, "I didn't think so."
They sat in silence for a moment, then Antonio cleared his throat. He moved to stand up and reached for the tomato, "I'll just go, then."
A gentle hand landed on his. He followed the arm up to Lovino's sad brown eyes.
"No...stay," Lovino pleaded.
Antonio blinked in surprise, then settled back onto the ground.
Lovino looked away again, staring out in front of himself, "what you said before...you were right. It's my fault."
"What?" Antonio asked, "no! I came to apologise! You were right!"
Lovino shook his head, "no. I...I shouldn't have said that. Mi dispiace."
"No, no," Antonio shifted onto his knees and turned to face Lovino, placing his free hand over Lovino's, "don't apologise! I shouldn't have said all those things. I-I didn't mean them."
"But they're true," Lovino countered, looking at Antonio again, "you were right. I don't say anything nice to you. I really do appreciate you, but I don't tell you that. But I should."
"Lovino..." Antonio truly looked shocked.
"I guess...I just needed someone to put me in my place," Lovino confessed.
"Pero..." Antonio sat back on his ankles, "it shouldn't have been me. Not like that."
"But it worked, so who cares?"
"I care! It's just...today has been so hard and I'm tired and...having you...say...that...was just the straw that broke the camel's back."
"I know. But I still think I needed it."
"Well, maybe, but..." Antonio stopped himself, "sorry. I shouldn't have said that. I don't think you needed..."
"Yes, I did!"
Antonio sighed, "Lovi...tengo sueño. Can we not fight anymore?" He mimicked the way Lovino was sitting and rested his head against the Italian's shoulder, then closed his eyes.
Lovino blinked, then gave a miniscule smile, "si."
"Um...Lovi..." Antonio began, "just out of curiosity...why aren't you wearing a shirt?"
His eyes then settled on said article of clothing, which was draped over Lovino's hurt knee. He sat up and tentatively removed the cloth. He picked the flashlight up and shined it on the broken skin, wincing.
"It's just a scrape," Lovino argued when he saw Antonio's expression.
"That doesn't mean it didn't hurt," Antonio replied.
"Yeah, well...the bleeding stopped already, so don't worry," Lovino took the shirt from Antonio. He cocked his head when he noticed something, then cupped Antonio's chin with his hand. Using a part of the shirt that didn't have any blood on it, he wiped the grease off first Antonio's face, then his hands.
Antonio smiled, "gracias, Lovi."
Lovino returned the smile slightly, then looked away and sneezed into his elbow.
Antonio frowned and removed his jacket, "you'll get sick if you stay out here any longer." He draped the warm material over Lovino's shoulders. Lovino revelled in the warmth and breathed in the smell of Antonio (even if it did smell slightly sweaty).
Suddenly, Antonio cocked his head, "did you hear that?"
Lovino listened, then heard it. In the distance, someone was calling.
A high-pitched voice he knew well called, "fratello! Dove sei?"
Another voice, lower in pitch, yet still very recognised, called, "Antonio! Lovino!"
"That sounds like..." Lovino began.
"Feliciano and Ludwig!" Antonio finished for him. He stood, then offered his hands to Lovino, "vamos!"
Lovino paused just long enough to pick up the tomato Antonio had brought (since it obviously couldn't go to waste), then took the proferred hands and stood. The two of them walked as quickly as they could (Lovino was limping slightly) back to the road, where another car was parked next to theirs and a small Italian and a blonde German were calling into the woods.
"Fratello!" Feliciano cheered when Lovino and Antonio emerged from the woods, "I was so worried about you!"
"Get off me, Feli!" Lovino commanded, though he really was glad to see his brother, too.
"Where were you guys?" Ludwig asked, "don't you know that in the even of an emergency like this, if you can't call for help you should wait in plain sight?"
"We got...distracted," Antonio shrugged.
Feliciano and Ludwig shared a look and Feliciano smirked knowingly.
"No!" Lovino protested, "not that kind of distracted!"
"Sure..." Feliciano eyed the jacket Lovino was wearing and noticed the fact that he wasn't wearing a shirt underneath.
"No! I swear!" Lovino continued, "tell them, Antonio!"
Antonio just laughed.
"Uh...anyway," Ludwig cleared his throat awkwardly, "we came to pick you up."
"Muchas gracias!" Antonio thanked, "I didn't exactly want to spend a night in the woods."
"Even with fratello?" Feliciano asked.
Antonio seemed to think for a moment, "well...that might make it tolerable..."
Lovino punched his arm. He laughed as he rubbed the sore spot.
"Well, come on," Ludwig said, "we called Gilbert to pick up the car."
Antonio and Lovino crawled in the back seat while Ludwig got in the driver's seat and Feliciano got in the passenger seat.
The drive to Antonio and Lovino's house was quiet, which was surprising considering both Feliciano and Antonio were in the car, and neither of them were known for being quiet for any meaningful period of time. But when Feliciano opened his mouth to talk, Ludwig silenced him with a look and a quick shake of his head. Feliciano glanced over his shoulder at the men in the back to see Lovino, chin planted firmly in palm, resting his elbow against the arm rest, pretending not to care that Antonio was leaning against him, fast asleep. But Feliciano saw the bright blush that covered his older brother's cheeks and smiled brightly.
I have another Spamano story completed, but I lost the paper I used to edit it. It was supposed to be online, like, the day before the day before yesterday...? Or something. So, yeah, my bad. I'll try to find it, but even if I don't that'll be up this weekend for sure! :)
In other news, this story's been floating around in my head for a while and I finally typed it out last night. I'm really happy with it! But I probably won't be by tomorrow. Ah, whatever. If I don't like it, I'll just rewrite it later...
And last but not least, I saw a video on YouTube for Franada that I officially ADORE so expect a new Franada fic soon because I've got all kinds of fluffy situations in my head at the moment! Unfortunately, that might be a while since next week is the last week before exams at my school. This means that next week, no home work, tests, etc. However, it also means a buttload and a half of studying and I still don't know for sure which exams I actually have to turn up to. So, with any luck, the next two weeks will actually end up being pretty easy and I'll be pumping out stories like no one's business (and by that, I mean oneshots and updating my multi-chapter stories...hopefully).
Bleh, long AN is long. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this! Don't forget to review! Any and all feedback is welcome (even if you just want to tell me it's crap).
Until next time!