Afraid of Love

Chapter Nineteen

AN- I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry! *throws update at readers* It's late I know! The next one might also be late, sorry!

"Ready, Roddy?" Eliza whispered in his ear.

He nodded. "Ready, let's do this." They both stood up from their kneeling position and strode casually away, Roderick towards the tables and Eliza around the back to duck inside the place. They were stalking Tino and Berwald at a café. It had been a week since Tino had finally been able to leave the hospital and Berwald had offered to take him to get some coffee today. Roderick scoffed. Yeah right, this was so a date in disguise. It was a bit pathetic that they were still trying to hide their feelings from each other. Well, Eliza and he had come up with a plan, several plans, to get them together. He took a deep breath. Plan A, go!

"Hey, guys." He greeted, casually sliding into a chair across from them. "I was just walking by and I saw you two. How's it going?" he asked, looking meaningfully at Tino.

Tino gritted his teeth. He knew something like this was going to happen. This wasn't a coincidence, Tino had already told him where he would be! Roderick was up to something, and Eliza was sure to be close by. "Hi, Roderick. Everything is great. You can leave now."

Berwald was a little confused about how confrontational Tino was being. It wasn't like Roderick was doing anything wrong, was he?

Roderick leaned in, as if he was getting ready for a long gossip. "So, Tino, have you told him?"

Tino glared. "Told him what?"

Roderick grinned. "About your little crush."

"Who?" Berwald asked immediately."

"Roderick," Tino warned. He refused to play his game, but Roderick was stepping on a dangerous line! "shut up. Now."

Berwald rounded on Tino. "Who is it? Francis? Is it him?"

"What!? Ew, no, he's my boss! What the hell!?"

Roderick snickered. "You too, Berwald, tell Tino about your little crush."

Tino's mouth snapped shut. "You have a crush?"

Berwald's face burned. "No," he denied. Somewhat guiltily, Tino felt a little relieved. That meant he still had a chance.

Berwald continued. "I'm in love." He stated matter-of-factly.

Tino felt his stomach plummet, and he swallowed difficulty. He forced a smile onto his face. "That's great Berwald, who is it?"

Roderick felt like slapping his forehead. Was Tino really that stupid!? Or maybe he just had really low self-esteem? "Yeah, Berwald tell us who it is. It isn't polite to withhold things from your friends like a joker would." Roderick finished loudly, while Tino looked at him suspiciously. That didn't even make any sense.

"Yes!" Eliza hissed. 'Joker' was their code word! Quickly, she snuck into the bushes just behind the two 'lovebirds', as she put it, and pressed play on her IPod. '

"But if I had you, that would be the only thing I'd ever need

Yeah if I had you, then money, fame and fortune never could compete

If I had you, life would be a party it'd be ecstasy

Yeah, if I had you

You y-y-y-y-you

You y-y-y-y-you

You y-y-y-y-you

If I had you."

There was silence. Berwald looked a little confused whilst Tino glared holes into Roderick's skull. Dammit, Eliza had played the wrong song! They hadn't agreed on this! Hey, she had changed the song, maybe it was… no, no, it was the wrong song again.

"I wanna kiss you

But if I do then I might miss you babe

It's complicated and stupid

Got my ass squeezed by sexy Cupid

Guess he wants to play,

Wants to play

A love game

A love game."

"Roderick," Tino hissed. "What the hell are you doing?"

"I-I'm not doing anything!"

Roderick denied frantically. Dammit, this plan was supposed to set the mood for them. A romantic mood, not an angry one. Oh thank God, she changed the song. Wait…. Dammit, Eliza! Why did she never listen to him?

"You and me baby we ain't nothin' but mammals

So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel

Do it again now

You and me baby we ain't nothin' but mammals

So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel

Gettin' horny now"

Tino's face burned. "Roderick!" he squeaked. "Turn it off!"

Roderick looked horrified. "I'm so sorry, I-"

Tino, not waiting for his reply, spun around and ripped the IPod out of Eliza's hands, quickly shutting it off. He then tossed it back to Eliza, who was still frozen in the bushes, before grabbing Berwald's wrist and pulling him away. "Come on, Berwald, let's go do something else."

Roderick, now sitting alone at the table, held his head in his hands. Eliza came and sat next to him, wrapping an arm around him casually. "Sing us a song, you're the piano man. Sing us a song tonight. Well, we're all in the mood for a melody. And you've got us all feelin' all right." She sang, grinning cheekily.

Roderick rolled his eyes. "Well, we tried. Plan B?"

Eliza nodded. "Plan B."


Francis flattened himself against the statue. Sure, he looked a little strange doing do in the middle of a busy place, but it was worth it. Like usual, he was spying. Yet again he had lost his brother, so he had been forced to follow Tino himself. He had discovered something interesting. Unfortunately, Tino was walking around with that lump of a man, but this time he wasn't the only person stalking them.

There were two others, a man and a woman, who were chasing them too. They had hidden themselves just opposite of Francis, both of them with their eyes locked on Tino, grinning like devils. Curious, he remained where he was and watched them.

Eliza straightened herself and strutted towards Tino and Berwald, holding a plate high in her right hand. She was dressed in Roderick's waiter uniform, complete with a sticky-taped on moustache and a short brow wig. She thought she looked quite the part.

Tino raised an eyebrow at her. "Eliza, what are you doing?"

"Vat?" she asked, pretending to be surprised and attempting a German accent. "Who iz zis Eliza who you zpeak of? I am ze… uh, I am Wolfgang! That iz my name."

Tino snickered. "That's the best name you could think of? And stop with that accent, it's ridiculous and offensive."

Eliza lowered the plate. On it was a red flower she had stolen from someone's back yard and a sandwich they had bought from a nearby shop. "I am Wolfgang, your waiter!"

"….You do realise we were just at a café, right?"

Eliza pursed her lips. "Here, why don't ze two love birdies have a romantic lunch, okay?"

"Are you even German anymore?"

"Just shut up and eat ze food!" Eliza snapped, dumping the plate on Berwald's lap. "Here, you hold this," she said, shoving the sandwich into a perplexed Berwald's hand. "And, you feed it to Tino, okay?" she began guiding towards the Finn, who stood up abruptly.

"Eliza, go do something else!" He demanded, pointing towards- oh, dammit! He was pointing at Francis! The French pervert quickly ducked behind the wall, only to peak out a few seconds later. He watched as the woman walked sadly away, Tino shaking his head.

Tino looked at Berwald. "I am so sorry, really, they are so embarrassing. Just ignore them."

Berwald shrugged. "It's okay. I think it's funny."

Tino raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure? You don't look like you do."

Berwald focused, and slowly his eyebrows raised a little, making him appear to look slightly less… angry. "Better?"

Tino snorted. "Perfect. Come on, let's go somewhere else."

A few moments later, a defeated fake-waiter and a man sat where Tino and Berwald used to be.

Eliza turned to Roderick. "Plan C?" she asked half-heartedly.

"Yeah, plan C."


Tino and Berwald through the park. I know, how girly does that sound? Actually, they were heading towards the shopping centre as Tino had promised he'd pick up some things for Eduard. Also, Tino had to buy a new phone (apparently before he had fallen asleep that night at the hospital, he had thrown it at the wall for unknown reasons. Tino was pretty sure it had something to do with a penguin).

"TINO!"

The man mentioned grabbed Berwald's wrist and began dragging him forward. "I heard nothing!"

Berwald glanced over his shoulder and saw Eliza and Roderick racing after him.

Eliza flailed her arms. "TINO! Wait!"

"Why don't we jog?" Tino suggested sunnily.

"I know you can hear me!"

Tino sighed and let them catch up. Roderick, panting heavily, collapsed on Tino.

"I… am never running again. Ever!"

Tino shrugged him off. He had no pity for him at the moment. "What do you want this time?"

Roderick straightened up and smiled. "Oh, well, Eliza and I just wanted to accompany you and Berwald, right Eliza?"

Eliza nodded enthusiastically and strode beside Berwald. Tino frowned at them suspiciously. "What are you guys up to?"

Eliza grinned easily and drew Berwald a little away from them. "Nothing, Tino! Hey, Berwald-o? I would like to tell you something. Is that okay?"

Berwald, after glancing over at Tino who had a concerned look on his face, shrugged.

Eliza wrapped an arm around Berwald's shoulders. "Well, first, if you hurt Tino I will rip off your balls and fry them with a side of rice. Second, doesn't Tino look nice today?"

Berwald, not for the first time lost for words, nodded quickly. "He's b'utif'l."

Eliza squealed. "Aw! Now, look at his cute face. Look at his… erm, nice legs! Look at his, uh, sexy hips!" Meanwhile, Roderick was doing the same thing to Tino.

Roderick nudged him. "Hey Tino, look at Berwald."

"I already am." Tino replied dryly.

Roderick snickered. "Of course you are. Anyway, focus on his huge muscles. And look how tall he is. And what a handsome face!"

"Roderick, you do realise you're married, right? I think it's a little late to start batting for the other team now."

"Shut up and focus!"

Tino scowled "Can you two just leave us alone for today? I know I'm being really shitty about it, but I am getting ready to slap a bitch and guess who is the closest?"

Roderick sniffed daintily. "Fine, we were just trying to speed up your relationship, but if you don't want my help then fine!"

"There is no relationship." Tino hissed, his eyes glinting dangerously. "Got it?"

Roderick rolled his eyes before strolling off. "Yeah right, Tino. Who are you kidding?"

"Shut up. And stop trying to get us together. It's not going to happen, trust me."

Roderick laughed. "It will, trust me."

Tino sighed and strode a little ahead of him. When would they give up? Wasn't it obvious that he didn't want their help? Unknown to Tino, though, things were about to get so much worse.

Like, right now.

"Tino! How are you?" A certain blonde, froggie called.

"M-Mr Bonnefoy!?" Oh come on! This just wasn't fair!

Francis smiled cockily and held Tino's shoulders lightly. "I told you, call me Francis."

"Right, um, why are you here?" Tino shook his head quickly. "Sorry, that came out wrong. Um, when did you get here? No, that's not it. Uh…"

Francis wrapped an arm around the smaller blonde. "Francis, Tino, call me Francis. I'm not just your boss, I'm also your friend, oui? As for your earlier question, I was just taking a simple stroll that is all. Just look at how beautiful the park looks today! But it's beauty is nothing compared to a certain blonde, am I right?" Francis winked, making Tino's face burn in embarrassment.

"Oh, do you mean Berwald?" Eliza asked innocently. She was not stupid. She was a matchmaker herself and she could see when someone was moving in on her client- er, friend.

"No." Francis answered, deadpanned. He looked down as his phone began to vibrate. Sighing he answered it. "Bonjour? Oh, hello Mattie. What do you want? I'm a little, uh, busy." Francis face suddenly went pale. "Sh, sh! It is okay, calm down. I'll be right there. Good bye, Tino! I must go!" Francis shouted before he took off running. Tino frowned. That didn't sound good. He hoped Mathew was okay.

Eliza scoffed. "Thank God he's gone. I don't like him!"

Roderick nodded. "He isn't known for being subtle. Oh. Berwald that reminds me, I need to tell you something." He quickly led the Swede away from the other two and sat him down on a bench. Folding his arms, he looked down upon him, the sun's glare reflecting brightly on his glasses.

"Berwald, we need to have a discussion." At Berwald's nod, he continued. "Let's talk about sex." Berwald's eyes widened but Roderick quickly rushed forward before he could interrupt. "I just want to make sure your educated when you and Tino finally become a couple- but I'm pretty sure Tino would be waiting until marriage. Oh, don't give me that look it's obvious you like him, I'll help you out with that in a moment."

Berwald nodded. "I… I like Tino. I love him. I want him to be my…"

Roderick clapped. "Okay, you can share the mushy feelings with Eliza and some ice cream. Now, let me explain sex to you. Don't worry, Eliza taught me this when she thought I was after this Gilbert boy. Now, make sure you have plenty of lu-"

Berwald stood up abruptly. "I know." He walked briskly back to Tino, a poker face in play.

"B-but, I didn't finish…"Roderick scowled. Dammit, he needed to be properly educated!


The Next Day

Berwald's P.O.V

Berwald began hammering the wood into the framework. To most people, being outside on a windy Saturday wouldn't be good to them, but Berwald could easily withstand it. Australia's 'cold' was nothing compared to his country's.

I'm bringing sexy back (Yeah!)

Them other boys don't know how to act

I think you're special, what's behind your back?

So turn around and I'll pick up the slack.

Take 'em to the bridge

Berwald inwardly winced and hurriedly answered his phone. Somehow, Felix had changed ringtone to a popular song. He had yet to earn how to change it back. "Hello?"

"Berwald!" Roderick's calm voice answered. "Hi, how are you? That's great, now let me tell you something."

Berwald was a little confused, he hadn't answered Roderick's question. "Um… okay."

"Good, now, you like Tino, correct?"

"…Yes." Berwald was a little suspicious of where this was going. "Am I on speaker?" He asked suddenly. It wouldn't do for Tino to hear him say that again. That would be embarrassing.

"No, I'm not that cruel. Now, let me give you a few tips on how to win Tino's affection…"


Berwald knocked on the door of Tino and Eduard's apartment. He had planned it carefully. He knew for a fact that Tino was at work now and would be for the next couple of hours, courtesy of Roderick.

Eduard opened the door, only to have Berwald walk straight past him and start pulling up pillows and then just as quickly placing them back. "Um, hi? What are you doing?"

Berwald didn't answer and instead headed into the kitchen. He began opening drawers, placing a small piece of paper inside and then moving onto the next drawer.

Eduard cleared his throat. "Again, what the hell are you doing?"

Berwald finally looked up at Berwald. "Hiding notes." He answered simply. He wandered over to the curtains and tugged them. Maybe he could paperclip one? He quickly shook his head at the stupid idea and moved on.

"Where is Tino's room?"

Eduard, still perplexed pointed to a room past the lounge room. Heading over there, Berwald planted three notes on the coffee table. One under a coaster, one in the drawer and the last next to a cup.

The first thing Berwald noticed was the roses on the bedside table. Glaring, he stuck quite a few in between the petals.

Eduard scowled. "Why are you 'hiding' notes everywhere?"

"They're for Tino." Berwald answered from underneath Tino's bed.

Eduard scoffed. "Well that's obvious. Why are you hiding notes for Tino?"

"So he can find them."

Eduard gritted his teeth. He got enough of the bull from his students, he didn't need it from anyone else. "Why!?"

Berwald didn't answer. Eduard eventually got sick of waiting and peaked at one of the notes stuck on the ceiling fan- wait, when the hell had he stuck it up there!?

You are beautiful.

'Oh God, is he really….' Eduard shook his head.

"Berwald, are you hiding…. love notes?"

The big man nodded. "Roderick said Tino would like the surprise. But I'm not allowed to say they're from me. They're from a secret admirer."

Eduard paused, thinking. "So… do you want help?"

Berwald almost smiled.


"Hello, my good friend!" Tino called cheerfully as he entered their place. "Whatcha doi- huh?" He had stumbled over something. Looking down, he picked up the object and studied it.

"Um, Eduard," he began, walking into the lounge room. Eduard was sitting on the couch, barely containing his excitement. "Why do I have a love heart box… of chocolates. And a… poem?"

Tino rubbed the back of his neck. "Um, Eduard, I know we're close but I thought it was pretty clear that I wasn't interested in you."

Eduard slapped his arm. "Tino! They're not from me!"

Tino snickered. "I know, I think I have a pretty good gues who they're from, though."

"Dipshit."

"You love me." Tino plopped himself down on his seat, unwrapping one of the chocolates. He held up the piece of paper and began to read it out loud.

"Dear Tino,

Roses are red

Violets are blue

You are very pretty

I love you.

Dear Tino,

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Why don't you trust me?

I trust you.

Dear Tino,

Your lips are as red as roses

Your skin is as white as snow

You must be Snow White

So I'm Prince Charming.

Signed, Ber- um, you secret admirer, "

Tino giggled. "These rhymes are so weird, but cute!" He raised an eyebrow at Eduard. "You wouldn't happen to know who left these, now would you?"

Eduard shook his head. "Nope, I never saw them. I didn't even know the box was there."

"The box was inside. Either they broke in or you let them in."

"I guess they broke in then."

"You were here all day! Why would they break in!? Why not just leave it outside?"

Eduard shrugged. "I don't know. Well, I got to sleep now, night Tino!" Eduard fled to his room, Tino shaking his head. The Finn looked back at the clumsy poem and smiled. 'Oh, Berwald, why are you so cute?' he asked himself. Why was even bother to keep it a secret?

He could ask himself the same question. Why not just tell Berwald how he felt? Why not just get it over with, for better or for worse? Tino sighed. Oh, yeah, he was a freak. He was scared. He was dirty. He was tainted. Tino had a string of problems following him. Once Berwald found out about them, he wouldn't want to be with him.

Tino straightened suddenly, an idea forming in his head. Well, there would be some problems that couldn't be ignored, but he could still be with him, right? I mean, what he didn't know wouldn't hurt him, right?

With that almost comforting thought, Tino hugged the poem to himself and curled up with his chocolate, totally not dreaming of a shirtless Berwald reading him poetry.

,


Okay, he was going to do it! He was going to ask him! Berwald was going to ask Tino out on a date! Well, not technically a date. More of an unofficial, off the record, keep the details to yourself going to a fun place thing. Oh, geez, it sounded like it was about to kidnap him!

Berwald sighed, calming himself and knocked on Tino's door yet again. The cheerful blonde himself answered the door with a smile.

"Hey, Berwald, I've been meaning to see you." He giggled and swung on his heels. "It must be fate! Oh, come in!"

Berwald swallowed nervously and followed his friend inside, sitting on the couch. "Uh, Eduard's gone?" Berwald asked after a long silence.

"Uh, yeah, he's at the school."

So much for meaning to see him, Tino wasn't saying anything at all. Now that he thought about it, Tino was being really quiet. Tino was never quiet, not unless something was wrong. Berwald studied him carefully. There were heavy bags underneath his eyes.

"Have you been sleeping okay?"

Tino looked startled. "Um, fine, more or less. Just a nightmare or two, it's no biggie."

"Nightmare?" he questioned. "What was it about?"

Tino gritted his teeth. "I said it was no biggie. It's nothing."

"It doesn't sound like nothing." He quickly countered.

Tino stood up, anger colouring his cheeks a little. "It's none of your business!" he snapped. Then, his shoulders slumped. All of his fight seemed to leave him. "Just… just stay out of it, okay?" Tino collapsed on the couch next to him, hiding his head in his hands. Alarmed, Berwald managed to regain enough composure to wrap an arm gently around Tino. To his dismay, though, he was quickly pushed away.

"I-I'm sorry, I don't want anyone to touch me. I'm sorry, I've got so many problems. I'm sorry… I…"

Berwald raised a hand to stop his babbling. "Tino, it's okay, I don't care about your problems. We can work through them together."

Tino's eyes widened. "Really?"

"Of course, you're my friend." Berwald smiled.

Wait, what?

Berwald smiled.

Tino couldn't help but smile, too. Berwald just looked so kind, so cute, so caring when he smiled. He wished that he could always see him smile. But then, would it still be so special in moments like this? No, he decided. That was Tino's own special smile, and he had no guilt in claiming it.

"Aw, Berwald, you look so cute when you smile." Dammit, he shouldn't have said anything! Now Berwald had turned away, his usual glare/stare in place.

Berwald cleared his throat. "Uh, Tino, can I ask you something?"

Tino's ask instantly came down. "Sure, what is it?"

"I saw a sign that said there was a carnival on. Fisher's Ghost, or something. I was wondering if you wanted to go."

Tino squealed and clapped his hands excitedly. "Oh my god, I love festivals. Well, it's not really a festival, but its close enough! Oh, I'm so excited! I'll totally go with you! It'll be so much fun!"

Berwald felt his insides glow. Success! Tino had just agreed to his unofficial keep-to-himself date! Now, all he had to do was hint that he liked him on the date, just like Roderick said!

AN- Dear Anon for reasons

I'm sorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorry! I just- Um, I….

I don't have an excuse :(

My best answer is: I'm an idiot and did not think that through properly. I know in real life, people would not let themselves be touched if they have that fear. But, in my fanfiction, I just wanted to show that, for a second, Tino trusted Berwald and have a cute moment. I was mainly focusing on Berwald for that scene.

I don't how to fix this now! A-and it IRKED you!? Why, why is whenever someone calls out my mistake when I'm writing, they say it irked them!?

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRRRKKKKKKKKKKKNEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS! I swear, that word is following me! *shifty eyes*

Erm, do you forgive me? Please? I-I'll do anything! Most of Tino's reactions are guesswork, really. *crawls into pit of shame*

Okay, you asked for it! I have to give out a little spoiler to save myself. Tino's fear of being touched is amplified much much more if he is touched by- You know what? No! NONONONO! I am not giving out that spoiler for anyone!