Afraid of Love
AN- Uh oh. 13. 13! I'm on Chapter 13! That's a very unlucky number! Oh God, I have a very bad feeling now. *touches wood*
"Honestly, you people are so immature." Roderick abolished.
"Shut it, Roddy!" Eliza instructed cheerfully as she skipped past arm in arm with Felix.
"You're not the only one who thinks that." Eduard muttered to the older man.
"Hey Eduard, come look at this!" Tino called. "I found the coolest park ever! It has this thing that you hold onto and it spins! It spins!"
"Really!? Wait up!" Eduard called back as he chased Tino over to the deserted equipment. Hey, you could never be too old for parks. Besides, they still had an hour or two to kill before the movie.
Roderick snorted and shook his head at the two younger men as they swung themselves around. It was a little odd to find a park smack in the middle of the city, especially just around the corner from work buildings and such.
Felix turned to Toris. "I'm hungry." He said, batting his eyelashes. "Can you please go and get me something to eat. You can do it, can't you, Tor-Tor?" He began curling a strand of Toris' hair around his finger, flirting with his boyfriend.
However, Toris wasn't that easily hoodwinked and wizened up after his initial blush. "You just want me to pay, don't you?"
Felix dropped the act. "Aw, come on! I'm broke and I need food! Need it! Please, don't you want to make me happy?"
"Yes, but won't you feel so much better once you can pay for things yourself and be independent."
Toris sighed. "I'm already paying for your ticket."
"Do you want me to meet your parents again?"
"Nevermind!" Toris said quickly. "What would you like?"
Felix beamed and began to list things that he wanted. Berwald turned to Tino, wary of him and his roommate as they continued to swing dangerously around. "Uh, Tino?"
Tino smiled and hopped off, making Berwald wince at how easily he could have fallen. He felt like a parent would if their child was on that thing. They would have both reacted the same way if the person they had been watching had fallen: holding them and smothering them in kisses.
"What's up, Berwaldo?"
Berwald shook his head. "Nothing. Um, would you like something to eat, also?"
"Now that I think about it, I'm starving! Hey guys, do you want me to go to the café around the corner and get everyone something in one go?"
The others nodded in agreement. "Sure, Tino. I'll go with you." Toris said.
Tino's easy going smile vanished abruptly, and was replaced with an uneasy one. "Uh, you don't have to, why don't you stay here with Felix?" He liked Toris, but he was still a little uneasy around him. This was really only the second time he had met him. He didn't want to be alone with him.
"No, it's okay, I have to pay for Felix and myself anyway." Toris persisted.
Eliza elbowed her husband in the side. "Why don't you pay for us, huh, Roddy?" she asked sweetly. 'Roddy' looked like he had just sucked on a lemon then had to eat it after he'd thrown it up. And also rub it in his eyes.
"P-pay?" he repeated with genuine fear.
"Yes, like a gentleman should."
Tino laughed. "It's okay. I have money, I can pay it myself." He started walking away before Toris had the chance to argue. Toris tried to catch up with the blonde, but he stopped when an even bigger blonde placed a hand on his shoulder. Berwald shook his head at Toris and hurried to fall into step with Tino.
The Finnish man looked up in surprise as he saw Berwald. He frowned, but chose not to say anything. He liked spending time with Berwald. Even when they were along, he was almost comfortable! It seemed the more the big man was around him, the closer they became. Tino blushed. Well, they didn't have to become too close.
Berwald and Tino sat at a table hidden in the corner of the café as they waited for their order. The Swede cleared his throat and looked at his friend. He opened his mouth, yet said nothing and stared at Tino. He had drawn blank on what he was about to say. Tino raised his eyebrows, as if he was asking him what he wanted.
Well, this was awkward.
"Can I ask you something?"
Tino paused before answering. "Uh, sure." He said warily.
"Do you have any family?" Berwald asked abruptly.
"What?" The suddenness of Berwald's question had thrown him off. "Oh, family." He smiled brightly. "Of course I have family! I have an auntie, and a cousin, and... Yeah, that's really it."
"What about your parents?"
Tino glared slightly. "What about them?" He asked, beginning to get aggressive. Unfortunately, Berwald could sometimes be totally oblivious and didn't realise how uncomfortable Tino was becoming.
"Well, what are their names?"
Tino sighed, and relented slightly. "My dad's name is Aulis. He left when I was little, so I never knew him well."
"Oh, I'm sorry."
Tino smiled thinly and shook his head. "Nah, it's okay. I barely knew the guy."
"Uh, what about your mother?"
Tino's face turned stony, and his body language showed Berwald how closed off he was becoming. "Oh, her. Her name is Tuuli."
"Do you talk to her often?"
Tino shook his head. His eyes were guarded, wary. "No, I haven't seen her in years. Anyway, I lived with my Aunt Anfisa- she's Russian- and my older cousin until last year."
Berwald was curious as to why he hadn't seen his mother in so long, but Tino seemed like he had finished sharing now.
Tino quickly stood up as he saw the cashier look around the café with their order in his hands. He strode off, collected his order and waited by Berwald at the door, before walking off with him. He made it clear that he wasn't going to talk by striding just in front of Berwald with a rigid back.
"Hey, Tino! Did you get my vanilla coffee?"
"Felix, that's rude!" Toris berated.
"Aw, come on!"
Tino smiled and shook his head at their antics. "Here you go." He said as he began handing out everyone's order. He sat beside Berwald on a bench and started picking at his croissant. Their friends all chattered around them, but Tino and Berwald were silent. But wasn't of the uncomfortable sort, no this silence was friendly, and calm. They were both fine just like that, comfortable with being in each other's company.
"Run! Come on, Toris!"
Eliza started skipping. "It's raining men! Hallelujah, it's raining men! Amen!"
Roderick groaned and tried to shield his hair from the rain with Eliza's jacket, which he had stolen from her a few moments earlier. "How is that song appropriate!?"
"Fine. I'm siiiiiiiiiiiiinging in the rain! I'm siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiining in the rain! What a glorious feeling, I'm haaaaaaaaaappy again!"
Tino started laughing and grabbed Eduard's wrist. "Come on, hurry! We'll miss the start."
Eduard stumbled after his friend, grinning. Oh, if his students could see him now. Here he was, soaked to the skin, running through the rain to get to a movie on time. Then they'd see who the uptight one was!
Tino giggled and shook the water from his hair as best as he could. Not like that would do much good; they were still a block away from the IMAX theatres. He looked up in confusion as a shadow fell over him, only to see Berwald holding his wind jacket above him to shield him from the rain. "Oh, you don't have to do that. You'll get even wetter." (AN- THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID! No regrets!)
His big friend (AN- Probably another that's what she said!) shrugged. "It's okay, I don't mind."
Tino opened his mouth to argue, but changed his mind and smiled gratefully instead. Well, if he wanted to help Tino, why not let him?
"Oh, thank God, we're here!" Felix exclaimed, throwing his hands up dramatically. The large group huddled underneath the overhang together and tried to squish through the door with the other people. Because of that, Tino was pressed very tightly against Berwald, who ended up switching places with him. Somehow after that, Tino got through the crowd just fine in Berwald's wake. Maybe it was something to do with how Berwald kept murmuring 'excuse me' to the nearby people, and they quickly scrambled away in what might have been fear.
"Hey, back off, sister!" Felix snapped at an unfortunate lady who was shoved into him by mistake. Felix carefully smoothed his hair. "Do not touch my hair." Toris quickly muttered an apology to the woman behind Felix's back and returned to him with a raised eyebrow.
Felix shook his head in disbelief. "God, people are so rude these days. No sense of personal space!"
Toris snorted as he followed them all into the theatre. "Right."
Time Jump (Yep, I cheated)
"Ah! Hold me!" Felix squealed as held onto Toris' arm. Toris chuckled and patted his boyfriend's shoulder. "It's okay, why are you scared? This isn't even a scary movie."
Felix looked at him in horror. "Not scary!?" He gasped dramatically. "Have you no heart? Her dress has been ripped!"
"Felix, that happened almost five minutes ago. You're still going on about that?"
"But look at what's happening now. Iron man is about to-"
"Shh! Stop talking during the movie, I can't hear anything."
Toris rolled his eyes. He couldn't tell if he was joking, or just being hypocritical. He looked around and saw Tino grinning at him in the darkness. Obviously, he had overheard everything. But who hadn't? It wasn't like Felix was a quiet person.
Tino sighed and snuggled into his seat. It was dark in the theatre, and besides the woman (or was it just Felix?) talking loudly, he was actually having a nice time. Maybe most of his enjoyment was due to Berwald sitting next to him. Because Berwald emitted a happy aura! Yeah, that's it! It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that their arms were side by side, and that their hands were almost touching. And he was certainly not overanalysing that at all. Eliza might be, but not him, no not at all. Tino glared at Eliza as she looked meaningfully at Berwald, then Tino and winked.
Why would she wink? Tino had stressed the fact that he didn't like Berwald. Now, that might not have been the complete truth, but still. The woman never listened to him. Tino slowly snuck a glance at Berwald and nearly jumped when he saw Berwald staring/glaring back. He quickly whipped his head away and stared blindly at the screen. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Berwald blush faintly and look away quickly. Tino smirked. Had Berwald been… checking him out? Tino blushed furiously at the thought. But somehow, that thought didn't make him feel sick like it usually would have. Maybe there had been some truth when Berwald had said that he had loved him?
Or maybe, as Tino realised a few minutes later, Berwald had just been staring at the chocolate on the side of his face.
"See ya later, guys!" Tino waved cheerfully at Eliza and Roderick as they left the movie theatre. Felix wrapped an arm around Toris' waist and bid Tino and Berwald goodbye and the two head for their own car.
Eduard turned to Tino. "So, I'll meet you back at the apartment, right Tino?"
"Yeah, sure." Tino agreed, deadpanned.
"Why is Tino not allowed in your car?" Berwald asked confused. Both Tino and Eduard had mentioned this, but neither had said why.
"Uh, no reason!" Tino stammered, stepping in front of Eduard. "Nothing, it's not important!"
"Not important!?" Eduard said, offended. "That car is my baby, Tino, my baby."
Berwald raised an eyebrow, amused.
Eduard scoffed and stepped around Tino. "The last time Tino was in my car, he spewed everywhere. Literally, not one chair was spared. I don't even know how he reached the back! And I had just picked him up from work, too. Couldn't he had at least have been considerate and had his spew-a-thon there? But no-o, he had to go and ruin my poor car!" He huffed and glared at Tino, whose head was hanging miserably.
The truth was, that had been the first time Tino had been alone with his boss, and the experience had been incredibly traumatizing for him. Tino mentally kicked himself. He was too fragile! Francis hadn't even done much. He'd only broken his personal bubble one too many times, winked at him creepily, and had held him around the waist. Actually, maybe he had reacted just fine!
"I'm sorry, okay? I had felt a little sick all day."
"Why didn't you take the day off then?"
"Because I had only worked there for a week! I couldn't have taken a day off already!"
Eduard sniffed. "Fine, fine, but you're still not coming in my clean car."
Tino rolled his eyes. "Whatever."
"Uh, I could give you a lift, if you want…" Berwald offered shyly.
"Really!? Thank you!" Tino beamed. "You're the best, Berwaldy!" He grinned as Berwald blushed at his new nickname.
"It's no problem, really."
Eduard snorted. "We'll see. Anyway, I'm off. I have to stop by the shops first, so I'll be late. Bye."
The drive back was quiet, with Tino very much aware that they were alone together. But why should he worry? He absolutely didn't like him at all. Nope, not at all. He just thought he looked very cute in a completely non-weird way. Y'know, since they were just friends. Right? Right? With those helpful thoughts in mind when they reached Tino's apartment, he graciously invited Berwald in. For coffee, of course! It most definitely wasn't because he wanted to spend more time with the big, cute, lovable- ahem, anyway….
"Uh, just sit over there." Tino pointed to their scruffy couch. "I'll be back, I'm just busting to pee right now. Be right back!" Berwald nodded and laughed inwardly as Tino dashed out of the room. He sat somewhat awkwardly on the edge of the couch and looked around him. And that's when he noticed them.
Those dreadful, horrid things.
Dread clawing at his stomach, Berwald reached out and carefully held up the card attached. 'My dear little Tino,' It read 'always know that you are special. Love, your secret admirer.'
What!? Tino had a secret admirer!? But- but- that wasn't fair! A glare slowly etched its way across the Swede's face. He felt spite fill him. Who dared to look at Tino this way. And they did it secretly? The creep. Who was it? He swore, the moment he found them, and he would, they would wish they had never decided to go after his innocent little Tino.
He buried the urge to scrunch up the paper. Whoever they were, Berwald would just have to up his game and beat them! He would win Tino's affection!
"So Berwal- OYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAH!"
"Oh, right, Tino I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you-"
"OYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! YOUR FACE IS SO SCARY!"
Berwald sighed. This was going to take a while.
AN- Sorry about the cheating with the time jumps. I'm going to upload this chapter in a few hours, so I was rushing it. And yes, I know Tino's family member's names are weird. I used Google! I'm sorry!