Author/Artist: chromatic_coma @ animusia
Character(s)/Pairing(s): (in this chapter) Germany/N.Italy, Spain/S.Italy, OC
Genre: Friendship, Romance, Slice-of-Life, Angst
Warning(s): Kissing, Swearing, Homosexual Relationships, Original Character,
Summary: A lot has happened in the past ten years, and for some it was impossible to keep promises that were once so central and vital. As their high school reunion captures them all by surprise, the Bad Touch Trio will have to re-learn the meaning of friendship and love.
x-posted @ hetalia, inthreesome
Part I Chapter I - Part I Chapter II - Part I Chapter III - Part I Chapter IV - Part I Chapter V - Part I Chapter VI - Part I Final - Part II Chapter II - Part II Chapter III - Part II Chapter IV - Part II Chapter V - Part II Chapter VI - Part II Final
Scarred Heart in Hand, Part II Chapter I
It was a quiet afternoon, the mid autumn crisp flowing in through the slightly opened window and filling the room with a gentle frost. Sunlight streamed in with it, filling the room with warmth and shadow; Feliciano wanted nothing more than to sprawl out on the couch under the window and take a nice, long nap.
He couldn’t do that, however, because he was in the middle of a painting and he had to keep focused. Ludwig had reminded him on more than one occasion that whenever he took siestas after setting up his paints and canvas, the paints always dried and became unusable, and that was a waste of material.
So Feliciano closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, wiggling on his stool and opening his eyes once again. He was graced with the interior scene he had deliberately set up; the sofa with their kitten, Nudeln, sleeping on it, the sunlight pouring onto him, and the large windows behind it, blinds wide open to show Feliciano the bright red rainbow of leaves outside and the cool blue sky barely visible off in the distance. It was beautiful.
Then Feliciano turned to his canvas; thus far he had only started to get in the reds and oranges of the leaves outside in the center, the rest of the canvas around it still white as fresh snow. After eight years of art school and hundreds of canvases completed, Feliciano still found it exciting to see a composition in this incomplete state, a hint as to what the final product would look like, but still so much that was left to be seen.
The young Italian looked back out the window, picking up his brush and dabbing a rich yellow-orange shade onto the composition with quick presses of the brush, childishly enthralled with the new life that had brought to the image. If only he could preserve that all the way through, this could be his best still life yet.
Of course, that is what he said every time. But then, he did love every new canvas a little bit more than the ones he’d done before. Ludwig, though he was not an artist, decided that this must be a good thing, because as long as Feliciano always loved what he did he would always be inspired to do more of it. And, luckily, Feliciano really loved what he did; after all, he did have a Masters degree in Fine Arts that came with many years of sleepless nights and pasta-less days, which for him was no small feat.
There were, in fact, very few things that Feliciano loved more than art; his father and brother, for one and two, and all of his friends as well. It was why he had insisted that he and Ludwig not move away from the small town they had grown up in, so that they would always be where their friends could find them.
Most of all, though, he loved Ludwig.
It had taken them a long, long time to reach this stage in their relationship, far longer than Feliciano had liked. He had, after all, liked Ludwig since elementary school, and been in love with him since their freshman year in high school. Ludwig was such a cute boy, always trying so hard to stand out and be acknowledged for his hard work, but still able to let go every once in a while, especially at the coaxing of his friends, Feliciano, and Kiku Honda, who despite being a school year older than them, had spent a lot of time with them in high school.
It wasn’t until their senior year, Feliciano remembered, that they had stopped being just friends. Ludwig had started acting differently around him, much more reserved and shy and distant; at first, Feliciano had been worried he was about to lose his best friend and biggest crush.
So, Feliciano had done the first thing he could think to do; he called his big brother to ask for advice. Lovino cursed colorfully at the idea of Feliciano having feelings for Ludwig, and told his brother to give up because “there’s no way that anal bastard would ever make a good boyfriend to you, Feli,” and Feliciano was about to cry. But then Antonio took the phone and told him that Lovino was just in a bad mood and mentioned that Ludwig had been in love with him for years and years, or at least that’s what Gilbert had told him.
Feliciano, significantly more cheerful, had pulled Ludwig aside a month before graduation and laid his head on the other’s chest.
“I love you,” he’d murmured, and then underneath his ear he heard Ludwig’s heart skip a beat. “And I think you love me too.”
Then he had looked up, and seen how wide Ludwig’s beautiful blue eyes had become, like a deer caught in headlights (that was the saying, right?), and added,
“Do you love me?”
Feliciano sighed, remembering the choked, tense way Ludwig had mumbled “Yes,” and how he hadn’t wasted a moment wrapping his arm around the other’s neck and kissing him senseless, even though Ludwig was so shocked he couldn’t move.
Feliciano giggled, then, and the stool he was sitting on teetered. He shook his head and caught himself before he could fall, but in the process he knocked his water cup over. Orange water spilled all over the floor, and not for the first time Feliciano remembered why Ludwig had insisted on hardwood floors, not carpeting.
Slowly the brunet padded into the kitchen grabbing the roll of paper towels and ripping a few off, tiptoeing back into the living room and getting on his hands and knees to mop up the water.
It was to this scene, of his boyfriend slash domestic partner on the floor, his ass wiggling in the air as he stretched his arms out to wipe the floor, that Ludwig came home.
“Ah, Ludwig! You’re home!” The other jumped up, and Ludwig saw the wet spots on each of his knees. Feliciano, apparently didn’t care, because he scurried over to the door and hugged the other tightly. “How was your day?”
“Good,” Ludwig answered curtly, “What happened here?”
“Oh, I got distracted while I was painting, and the cup fell over. But I didn’t fall this time!” Feliciano answered proudly, and Ludwig shook his head, patting the other’s head despite himself.
“Congratulations… ah, how about I clean this up? Ludwig offered, noticing how much water was still on the floor, and how little of it was on the long train of paper towels. Speaking of which…
“You only need one paper towel for this, Feliciano. And put it on the spot and let it soak up the water, don’t use it to push the water around.” Ludwig explained, doing just that as he spoke. Feliciano smiled at him sheepishly.
“Sorry, I forgot. I was too busy thinking about you!”
“I was remembering the day I became your boyfriend! You were so cute because you were so shaky and nervous and all red and-“
Ludwig sighed, walking up to the other and using his thumb to brush some paint off of Feliciano’s face, wondering if the other was intentionally messy whenever he set out to work, and also wondering when he had gotten so close to the other that Feliciano’s compliments that often turned into rambles no longer affected him.
Like magic, the feel of Ludwig’s thumb against his face, even gloved, quieted Feliciano instantly. The blond smiled, however subtly, and gestured to the pile of mail he had placed on the side table when he first walked in.
“There a few letters for you today,” he said, pulling away and heading for the kitchen, going for his usual after work drink, a cold beer. Feliciano nodded, scampering excitedly to the table and picking up the pile before padding into the kitchen after Ludwig, sitting in one of the chairs at the small table in the corner.
“Oh, look, it’s the new issue of Pasta Lover’s magazine!” he squealed. “Ludwig, can we have pasta for dinner today-”
“I’d rather not,” Ludwig responded flatly, placing his beer on the table and sitting in the chair across from Feliciano’s. “We’ve had pasta everyday this week.”
Feliciano pouted, holding out the magazine in Ludwig’s face to show him one of the spreads, “But there’s a recipe for cheesy orzo! You like cheese!”
“What if I put wurst in it?” Feliciano offered, waggling his eyebrows. “Can I make it then?”
“But you don’t like wurst.” Ludwig countered, giving the other a quizzical look. This offer was becoming tempting…
“That fine,” Feliciano replied, “I don’t mind it sometimes, since you love it so much!”
Ludwig remained silent for a moment, not wanting to cave in. He’d already eaten enough pasta to last him a lifetime, and Feliciano wasn’t going to get him to change his mind…
“I’ll let Aster sleep on the bed, even though it’s Nudeln’s turn!”
“…Fine,” Ludwig sighed heavily; curse Feliciano for knowing his weaknesses so well.
The brunet cheered, leaving the magazine open to the page with the recipe and flipping through the rest of the mail.
“Oh, here’s a bill, this is for you,” Feliciano said, sliding the letter over, and then he cheered up, “Look, it’s the check from the person that commissioned me!”
Ludwig nodded, thumbing the closed bill he’d been passed; they could use the money from that pay check to pay their bills, and the rest would go into their savings account. Ludwig had to make sure Feliciano wasn’t the one to cash it, because he had a bad habit of making impulsive purchases that they didn’t really need. He took another calm sip of his beer.
“Oh, oh, Ludwig, look!”
Just as suddenly as Feliciano had said it, a letter was being waved millimeters away from Ludwig’s face; he immediately pulled his head back to avoid a paper cut, before snatching the letter away.
The letterhead indicated it was from their high school.
“Yes!” Feliciano squealed, snatching the letter back, “A ten year reunion! Can you believe it, Ludwig, it’s been ten years since we graduated!”
“We only graduated eight years ago, Feliciano.”
“Oh, but we’re invited too, right?”
Ludwig took the letter back and skimmed over it, “Yes. Probably because the class sizes were so small, they’ve invited everyone who graduated between eight and twelve years ago.”
Feliciano was beaming, “We get to see everyone again! Oh, I wonder how they’re all doing!”
Ludwig shrugged, standing and marking the date off on the calendar.
“I guess we’ll find out soon,” he said simply. He grabbed a pen from nearby, marking off the RSVP and placing it in the included envelope.
“We will,” Feliciano agreed. “And we’ll get to see Lovi and Antonio and oh, do you think they’ll bring Bella with them?”
Ludwig shrugged. They probably would, considering they never went anywhere without her, but he did not really think it mattered much.
“Oh, and we’ll get to see your brother, too! And Francis! And Kiku and Arthur and Alfred and Matthew and…”
Feliciano continued to list the names of everyone he had every befriended in high school, which, because he was Feliciano, was pretty much everyone in their school, while Ludwig tried to recover from that thought.
He was going to see his brother again. He and Gilbert were not on bad terms, but that was because ever since Gilbert had left home, they had not been on any terms at all. He had heard, through Feliciano who heard from Lovino who heard from Antonio, that Gilbert was quite successful at engineering (and that his designs were rather over the top, as expected). He had not meant to lose touch with Gilbert, but their lives had carried them apart and neither of them was the sentimental type who would make the effort to keep in touch.
In fact, now that he thought about it, Ludwig realized he hadn’t seen Gilbert since Lovino and Antonio’s wedding, four years ago. And now he was going to see him again…
He wondered, as he took another swig of beer, how this reunion was going to work out.
“Antonio! Antonio, where the fu- Where is the baby bag?!”
From the kitchen where Antonio was preparing a few baby bottles, the Spanish man could hear his husband’s roar as clearly as he would have if he’d been upstairs in the same room as him. He finished screwing the nipple of a third bottle onto the top, musing on how endearing it was that Lovino was trying so hard to wean himself off of cursing, especially when he knew the baby could hear.
And then Antonio realized that the baby could hear them screaming and prayed it wouldn’t wake her up.
“I have it, Lovino!” he called up, much more softly. There were no sounds of crying, which was a good sign. But, Lovino was stomping down the stairs, which was a bad sign.
“Here,” he snapped, dropping a few clean diapers down on the dining room table beside it. “Be sure to pack these too.”
Antonio stepped out of the kitchen, taking in the sight of Lovino; his shirt was hanging open and still wrinkled, his hair was a mess, he was only wearing one sock and had no pants on, and there were was a little bit of stubble on his chin. He moved in close to his husband, wrapping an arm around his waist and nuzzling the other’s rough chin with his nose.
“Is this a new look for you, querido? It’s sort of sexy.”
Lovino grumbled, but yielded to Antonio’s touch nonetheless, relaxing into his chest.
“You’re so oblivious,” he murmured. “I didn’t get any sleep at all last night.”
“Oh, Lovi… But you said you would come in once you finished your illustration.”
“I did,” Lovino affirmed, “But once I got into bed Bella started crying. I think she had a stomachache.”
“Poor Bella,” Antonio cooed, “Is that why she’s sleeping now?”
“Probably,” Lovino agreed, yawning. “How long ‘til we have to go?”
Antonio looked up to the clock on the microwave, “Uh, well it starts in 2 hours, and it will take about an hour to get there.”
Lovino nodded and pulled away from the other. “I’m going to shave. And iron. You get Bella ready, okay?”
“Sure thing, Lovi.” Antonio grinned, smacking the other’s ass as he turned away and relishing in Lovino’s yelp.
“Don’t do that when the baby’s around,” Lovino growled, “I’d hate for you to contaminate her with your perverseness.”
Antonio giggled, and Lovino turned back to head up the stairs, leaving him to tend to the big pink baby bag on the dining room table. Diapers, check, bottles, check, extra formula and a thermos of warm water, check, baby wipes… not enough. He also needed that he had to remember to pack a spare change of clothes, just in case.
Grabbing the bag and hoisting it over his shoulder, Antonio started back up the stairs, tiptoeing into the nursery. Lovino had put a lot of effort into designing Bella’s room, picking a pale yellow color for the walls (they hadn’t know what the gender of the baby they were going to adopt was), and complimenting it later with light pink curtains. The walls were decorated with framed drawings of friendly, cartoony baby animals, a series Antonio had watched his husband work months to perfect.
Antonio had contributed to the room a set of books, placed in a small white bookshelf that matched the crib in the center of the room. They were the picture books that he loved to read to his kids the most, the ones that his kids had loved to hear the most, and already Bella seemed to love them, a few of them quickly becoming her favorites.
He stepped into the room quietly, and walked over to her crib to check on her; a smile spread on his face when he saw her, tiny lips parted as she breathed, curled up on her belly with her hands balled up into itty bitty little fists. He brushed a finger gently over her cheek, and as excepted one of her fists moved to grip the finger tightly.
Antonio chuckled, pulling his finger away and replacing it quickly with Bella’s stuffed giraffe, a gift from Uncles Feli and Ludwig that had become her favorite toy. She gurgled and curled more tightly into the toy.
Antonio hated that he was going to have to wake her in a bit, to clean her and dress her up. But, after all, today was a big day; she was going to get to see her whole family.
Padding over the chest of drawers and packing a new box of wipes, another dress, and a clean white onesie, Antonio smiled softly to himself; today was the day that, for the first time since his wedding, he was going to get to see Francis again, which meant that it was going to be the blond’s first time meeting his beautiful baby girl. And, if their email correspondence was anything to go by, Francis seemed to be excited for it as well.
There was a creak by the door, and Antonio turned around to find Lovino standing in the doorway, whisker-free.
“Do you need any help?”
“No, Lovi, I’ve got it.”
“Alright. Don’t forget to get Bella dressed… and to get yourself dressed, too.”
Antonio frowned, looking down at himself. Black slacks, and indigo dress shirt, like he thought.
“I am dressed…?”
Lovino scoffed, “Your shirt is dirty, idiot. I can see the stains from over here, go put something else on. Like that green shirt…”
Lovino’s favorite of his shirts, Antonio remembered with a grin. “Oh? Are you sure, Lovi?” he teased.
The other flushed, “Yes, I’m sure. That’s the only shirt that makes you look even halfway decent.”
“Heh, I’m sure I look more than decent in it.” Antonio sing-songed, and Lovino flushed harder, muttering “idiot” under his breath as he walked away.
Antonio, still smiling, walked over to the crib once again and lifted Bella out gently. Immediately she clung to his shirt, making soft noises of discontent in her sleep. Antonio felt guilty for having to wake her up, she was just too cute!
Still, he had to do what he had to do; Antonio carried her over to her changing table and laid her down, murmuring in her ear in a soft whisper, “Bella. Bella, baby, it’s time to wake up.”
She roused softly, making soft noises as she awoke and grabbing onto Antonio’s nose with her fist.
“Ow!” he yelped softly, and she giggled, wiggling happily on her changing table and pulling herself up to sit and stare at him.
“Papa!” she squealed, letting him go and holding her hands out, asking to be carried. Antonio laughed, pressing a finger against her hand gently.
“Not yet, Bella. We need to change you first, so you can be pretty and clean for when we go see everyone.”
She blinked her wide hazel eyes, squirming unhappily and sticking her arms up higher, making a soft pleading noise.
Antonio shook his head and eased her back down, undoing her little footie pajamas, “Relax, baby, I’ll carry you. But first we need to clean your dirty diaper.” He made a face, wrinkling his nose and shaking his head, pantomiming someone who had smelled something stinky, and Bella laughed.
That made it easier for Antonio to get her diaper changed, tossing out the old one and changing her into a clean pink onesie with “Daddy’s Little Princess” embroidered on the front. He chuckled, leaning in and gently blowing a raspberry on her tummy, causing her to erupt in a fit of giggles that filled the room.
And, apparently, attracted Lovino’s attention; he was back in the nursery, still pantless, but with both socks on and his shirt ironed and buttoned.
“Don’t do that, Antonio, that’s probably why she gets stomachaches!”
“Don’t worry, Lovi,” Antonio reassured, “She likes it!”
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean you should do it!”
Antonio pouted, “You worry too much, Lovi.” He reached out to pat Lovino’s head, but Lovino slapped his hand away.
“She’s my daughter, I’m supposed to worry!”
“She’s our daughter, Lovi,” Antonio corrected, and they both fell silent for a moment. Bella, obviously unhappy with the tension she sensed, screeched “Papa!” and held her hands out once again. Lovino gently lifted her up, and she clung to him tightly.
“Lofi Papa!” She cooed, snuggling into his neck. A soft smile graced Lovino’s lips and he comforting circles into her back.
“That’s right, Bella, it’s me. Do you want me to help you into your dress? You know that Toni Papa is useless, right?”
Bella giggled at Lovino’s high pitched voice, and Antonio pouted deeply. “Lovi, don’t teach her things like that!”
Lovino smirked, quirking an eyebrow and leaning in to peck Antonio on the lips. Bella watched the gesture in awe, and when Antonio grinned happily she squealed again.
“Papa!” she smacked herself on the lips with her palm, and Lovino chuckled, giving her a soft kiss as well.
“Go get dressed, Antonio, I can take it from here.”
“Are you sure?”
Lovino did not have to answer; just the way he was looking at the baby in his arms was enough for Antonio to know he would not rather be anywhere else.
“I’m sure,” he nodded, and Antonio left the room, standing in the doorway silently and watching as Lovino cooed at Bella, placing the dress in her hands and teaching her the color (“This is green, Bella, can you say green?” “Gre?”), letting her run her fingers over the fabric like any curious child would want to, and then asking softly, “Do you want to wear this dress, Bella?”
Bella seemed content with the dress, and so Lovino undid the zipper and starting to ease her into it. She squirmed a bit, and Lovino chided her with the same gentle tone he’d used to relax her, as he fit her chubby arms into the sleeves. Once the dress was zipped up, she started to pat its smooth, silky skirt happily.
“Now, should we brush Bella’s messy bed head?”
Antonio slipped away then, not wanting to be caught by his husband, but the warmth that filled his chest then did not leave him as he went off to get ready.
to be continued
A/N: I am back, and here is the start of part 2! I opted to start it off with these two couples, but everyone will appear in time. Ludwig and Feliciano are domestic-partners, and Antonio and Lovino are a married couple with a 12 month old daughter, Marina Isabella Vargas-Carriedo.
I hope you all enjoyed this! Please tell me what you think~ <3