After sending a quick I'll see you at home text message to his younger twin the next afternoon, Romano made his way towards the Magic club, and entered the room quietly.
"Alice?" he called, cringing a little at how loud his voice sounded in the quiet place. He hesitantly followed the candlelit path and stood at the same spot from yesterday.
"You're back," Alice smiled widely, appearing from the room's closet. She was holding something hidden underneath her cloak, and when she pulled it out and gave it to Romano, her smile turned softer. "This will help you come to terms with your feelings, as well as express them easier- if you wish to do so, that is. You have complete control over whether or not you express your emotions."
Romano looked at the vial with some oddly-colored substance. He couldn't even distinguish the color! It looked downright poisonous. Like a snake's venom. Mio dio, he was so nervous. "This won't kill me, will it?"
"It shouldn't," Alice replied lightly, and when Romano paled, she chuckled a little to herself. "Of course it won't. It's very safe."
"D-don't joke like that, Alice," Romano frowned, and the older student laughed.
"You're so cute and fun to tease," she told him. The other member appeared out of the closet as well, carrying a heavy book out. He smiled at Romano, and the latter gulped. "Anyway, I advise that you use it soon. Don't want it to expire."
"Potions can expire?" Romano asked with incredulity. He looked at the vial, and wondered- for the millionth time since he requested for this- if he should really get help from this black magic stuff. But, surely, without it, he would never come to terms with his fucking feelings! All he needed was a little (a lot) more push, and he would accept his feelings- admit it to himself and tell it to Antonio's fucking stupid face!
"Indeed," Alice replied. "They're just like medications."
"Are there any side-effects?" Romano asked. If he was taking this damn magical potion, he might as well know everything about it. He didn't want to wake up with an extra limb or a fucking tail or turn into a fucking rabbit. "How long does this last?"
"There are no side-effects," Alice answered, "and, hmm." She paused and shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know how long it lasts. It can probably last for a whole week. A minimum of three days, since that vial is a little small," she explained. "Surely, you'd have your feelings figured out by then."
"When I drink this, do I get affected immediately?"
Romano examined the tiny container in his hand, twirling it around so that he could see the what kind of weird things the substance did. It looked normal. "How can I trust you?" After all, it was clear that Alice didn't particularly like Antonio and Francis, and she had definitely butted heads with Gilbert at one point or another during their years in high school.
"Oh bloody hell, Romano," Alice exhaled, rolling her green eyes. "Just take it! I'm not some witch out to get innocent victims!" He didn't comment on that, and she placed her hands on her hips. "Alright, I may look like it, but I'm definitely not! I assure you!"
Romano chewed on his lip and stepped back, placing the vial in his coat's pocket. "Okay," he said, nodding his head, "thanks."
"You're welcome," Alice replied, annoyance instantaneously leaving her tone and body language. She even walked him to the door. "Good luck on whatever you're planning to do," she added before shutting the door behind Romano.
"Thanks," Romano said under his breath. He needed that luck.
That night, the substance in the vial looked even stranger.
It seemed to shine whenever the light passed through it, and the color was dark blue-green. Romano placed it on top of his bedside table, right next to his digital clock, and sighed heavily.
If he died because he drank this potion, he would probably be content with it because he would've finally admitted to himself that he . . . l- he . . . Antonio . . . ugh, damn it. Why couldn't he even fucking think it? At times like these, he despised his stubborn quality.
With a groan, he turned his light off and buried himself in his bed. It was only in his dreams that he openly expressed his feelings for the damn bastard, but Romano would never remember a thing in the morning.
Antonio hadn't had the chance to talk to Roma for the whole week. The Italian was very skilled at avoiding him, and even mastered the art of ignoring the Spaniard. Even so, though his spirits were damped, his friends continued to encourage him to pursue Romano. Francis, Gilbert, Feliciano, Emma- they were all very supportive.
Friday ended like any other day this past week- with Romano escaping his sight as soon as Antonio spotted him and only responding when Antonio got too persistent- and he felt . . . a little more deflated than usual. Francis and Gilbert could see it, and suggested that they have some kind of Bad Touch Trio get-together at Francis' place.
They preferred Francis' place because a) Ludwig was always busy at home and they didn't want to distract him, and b) Antonio's place was far too near Romano's, and that little Italian had been the hot topic among the trio these past couple of days.
Anyway, Gilbert and Antonio decided to spend the night at Francis' place that Friday to discuss what Antonio's next step should be. They were sitting around in Francis' room, eating ordered-pizza with the TV on but with a low volume. It was showing some action movie, but they weren't interested.
Usually, all three of them would only be in their boxers whenever they had their get-togethers (otherwise known as sleepovers, but Gilbert thought it was a girly term to use), but the weather had them wearing their t-shirts.
"I still think you should serenade him," Francis said, wiping the fatty oil from his fingers with a napkin.
"And if that doesn't work?" asked Antonio, turning to the TV and thinking of Roma. He doubt that serenading Romano would woo him. Especially with the treatment the Spaniard was receiving from Roma, he was highly certain that Romano didn't tolerate his presence anymore.
"Don't be pessimistic," Francis reprimanded gently. He touched Antonio's shoulder lightly, and startled when Antonio turned hard green eyes on him.
"I'm being realistic," Antonio replied. He placed the pizza down and wiped his fingers on a few napkins. He stared at the floor, expression filled with unhappiness. "I really don't think Romano likes me. A-and he probably doesn't want me to be his friend anym-"
"Fine," Francis cut, making Antonio look up at him in surprise, "As long as that makes you happy."
"Oh come on, man!" exclaimed Gilbert, reaching out to clasp Antonio's back with his non-greasy hand. "Don't give up! You never give up!" whined Gilbert.
"Does giving up on Romano make you happy?" Francis asked.
"No- but-" The hardness in his eyes went away, and Antonio looked more like his typical self- confused and gentle-hearted.
"Then don't give up!" Francis exclaimed. "Feliciano and Emma even said that Roma returns your feelings! All he needs is a little push-"
"More like a fucking lot," Gilbert commented, shaking his head.
"-and you two will be good," finished Francis. He took a bite out of his pizza once again. "This Thanksgiving break is the perfect time to push Roma into Antonio's arms! What do you think, Gilbert?"
Gilbert grinned, red eyes shining brightly. "Hell yeah!"
Okay. Today was Saturday, the fucking day Romano might die.
There wasn't anyone at his home, what with his nonno and fratello leaving to tend to the business in the city's downtown, and the vial he had been staring at seemed to inch closer and closer each minute that passed. With shaky hands and a fast-beating heart, Romano sent a quick prayer to God and hoped that this would help him with his, er, feelings for Antonio. He didn't know if God would forgive him, but damn it, he just wanted to get his feelings out of his chest, and maybe make Antonio smile that smile he hadn't seen in a while.
He untwisted the cap, and stared at the vial anxiously. This. Is. It. The vial wasn't bubbling with magic, nor was it doing anything out of the ordinary. It simply looked . . . well, murderous. Dangerous. Poisonous. He screwed his eyes shut, pinched his nose because he didn't want to taste the damn thing, and placed the tip of the vial to his lips. Okay, just-
Romano pulled it away before he could tip it over. His heart was pounding viciously in his chest, and his hands were shaking. He was terrified. What if he never got to tell Antonio what he felt?
"Mio dio," Romano growled at the vial in his hand. It taunted him a little, and he was tempted to shake the contents out and forget about the whole damn thing. He swallowed, thinking of Antonio and his sweet lips and his stupid handsome face and his annoying happy personality. His heart swelled, and he glared at the potion in his grip.
"Alright, Romano," he talked to himself, standing up from his bed as he paced around. "Alright. Alice said that it was very safe. This is very safe. Magic is very safe," he chanted to himself. "Black magic is very safe. Alice is a safe person. She made a safe potion."
He paused. Should he write a note to his family? To Antonio?
"Safe potion equals no death. Safe potion equals happy and maybe expressive Romano," Romano added instead. He lifted it back to his lips and pinched his nose. Screwing his eyes one last time, he tipped the potion over and let the substance wash over his tongue, heading straight down to his throat.
He waited for his heart to constrict and stop beating, waited for his throat to burn, waited for something painful to happen- but none came. After a minute, he let go of his now-red nose, opened his eyes, and licked the inside of his mouth.
It tasted sweet. Like sugar.
"Okay," Romano said, relief surrounding his once-tense body. "I'm not dead." His voice echoed a little in his room. He rested back on his bed, waiting some more. So . . . was there something weird that was supposed to happen?
Well, besides the quick beating of his heart and the bizarre heating of his face, nothing odd happened. What was he going to do now? How was he going to come to terms with his feelings? Would it just suddenly click into one piece? Ugh, fuck it! Whatever! He was going to talk to himself out loud. He just hoped that this would work.
"Feelings," he started hesitantly lying down on his bed and folding his arms behind his arms as he stared up at the ceiling. He couldn't believe that he was addressing abstract subjects. "Come to me now!"
Nope, nothing happened.
"Er," Romano tried again, squeezing his eyes shut. What now? Would it just come out naturally? He didn't know! Damn, was this magic real or just a fucking rip-off?! But Romano was already saying his next words before he even became aware-
"Um, I . . . guess . . . I like Antonio," he said slowly into the silence. The air appeared to stop, even the quiet humming of his sleeping laptop abruptly went silent, like they were astonished to hear the Italian say such affectionate words. The words, however, felt foreign in his mouth but he felt his chest go lighter. His mind was suddenly at peace, and everything clicked into place, and he wondered- really wondered- why he found it so hard to admit his own feelings.
"Damn it," Romano buried his fingers in his hair, turning around in his bed to bury his face into his pillow. "Fucking damn it, I really like that bastard." His heart was doing those fast thudthudthud in his chest, and he could feel his whole body warm up at the thought of telling Antonio. But, surprisingly, he found that he liked hearing his feelings out loud, because it meant that he didn't need to keep it buried deep inside.
Seriously, why was it so difficult to come to terms with his emotions? It wasn't that fucking hard!
This was probably the potion's doing, and perhaps when the potion wore off, he would be back to his old self but at least . . . at least Antonio would know that he liked him back, right?
God, he hoped Antonio didn't resent him for treating him like shit this past week (and the week before that).
It was one o'clock in the afternoon when Feliciano returned home. He left his nonno to go check on his brother, who was probably still asleep. Romano liked to sleep in during the breaks, and usually helped out at the restaurant during the middle of the week when he finished catching up on his sleep.
He was about to shut the door when the doorbell rang, and Feliciano slightly pulled the door back. Surprised to see a familiar face, Feliciano clumsily stepped aside and opened the door wider. "Big brother Toni! What are you doing here?" Feliciano glanced at the guitar hanging on the back of the Spaniard, and then flicked his eyes back to the taller individual.
"I'm here to see Roma," he laughed nervously, playing with the edge of his hoodie. He was only wearing a pair of jeans and worn running shoes, along with his favorite Vamos Espana hoodie. "Is your brother here?"
"He's probably still asleep," Feliciano motioned for Antonio to step inside the warmth of the Vargas residence. Antonio smiled gratefully and moved inside, twisting his hands anxiously once again. The younger Vargas hoped- he dearly hoped- that Romano was awake and in a good mood. He hoped and prayed in the previous night that some miracle would happen between Roma and Antonio, so that the two could go back to their nice and easygoing relationship. He really hated seeing Antonio brokenhearted, and Roma calloused.
"Ve~ come with me," he said softly. Though he knew that Antonio knew where Romano's room was located, Feliciano wasn't prepared for any bloodshed, so he needed to be there just in case. "I just got back from the restaurant and I'm just checking on Roma," he explained as they went up the steps. They headed to the end of the hallway; Romano's room was silent.
Antonio's heart was thudding eagerly- troubled and edgy, ready to explode. If Romano turned him away today, he wouldn't give up. He wouldn't! He would try another way to woo Romano, another way to capture his heart, another way to show Romano that he had strong feelings for him. Don't give up, Francis told him earlier this morning before he left the Bonnefoy's household.
Feliciano placed a finger on his lips, signaling that Antonio should keep quiet, and then turned the doorknob to peek into Romano's room. He jumped. "Fratello!"
"What are you doing, creeping around like that?" Romano asked. The door was abruptly pulled wide, and Antonio faced Romano with a bright smile, covering what uneasiness he felt. "Antonio? What the fuck are you doing here?"
"A-Ah, Roma! About that, I was-"
"Never fucking mind." He surprised Antonio by grabbing his arm and pulling him inside his room. He sent a glare to Feliciano, daring him to comment, but the younger Vargas had already stepped back and let the door fall shut. When Feliciano stayed outside the room, with the intention of eavesdropping (he wanted to make sure that nobody got hurt, okay! Not just to satisfy his curiosity!), he heard Romano growl, "Feliciano, you better not be listening on us! If you are, I'm going to fucking pour tomato pudding all over your damn room!"
"I'm not!" squeaked Feliciano, moving away from Romano's room as quickly and smoothly as possible. He went down to the living room, and then left a note on the table before he headed back to the restaurant. He didn't want to be a witness or suspect to second-degree murder that his twin might do. Just kidding- Romano couldn't even hurt a fly!
Back in Romano's room, Antonio shifted restlessly in front of the older Vargas. He placed his guitar down on the side, carefully adjusting it so that it aligned with Roma's wall. And then, he adjusted it again. And again. And- there.
The silence was tense, awkward- they both hated it. But Antonio didn't know what to say. He couldn't just abruptly whip out his guitar and start serenading Roma- the Italian would probably sock him in the face!
Romano, on the other hand, was wondering how he was going to go about his, er, confession. He wasn't prepared for the early confession; he was planning to repeat I like you Antonio to himself for the rest of the day to get used to saying it! But here the bastard was, showing up three hours after Romano admitted his feelings to himself aloud.
He took a deep breath. Antonio looked at him, attentive. The Spaniard was chewing on his lower lip, rocking back and forth on his heels.
"Antonio," Romano began, heart in his ears. He could hear the pounding of his heart. He glared at the floor. He thought of the potion, and then looked at Antonio, and then his pulse increased a little more and his lips started working easily. He looked at the bastard's chest. He was wearing his stupid Vamos Espana hoodie. "Antonio, you fucking bastard. If you think I hate you, you're damn wrong, because I-" a pause, "I-" another pause, and he lifted his gaze to meet Antonio's wide green eyes, his shocked expression, "I like you, damn it."
His reaction wasn't fast. In fact, it was rather slow. Antonio's body stopped showing his nervousness, and even appeared like he froze. And then he moved: first, it was his lips, and when no words came out, he moved closer to Roma, wrapping the younger male in his arms. He tucked Romano's face into his neck and buried his fingers in Romano's hair. He placed his chin on top of Roma's head and tightened his arms around him. "You mean it?"
Romano breathed deeply, fisting the front of Antonio's hoodie in his hands. He nodded quietly.
"Say it again," Antonio urged, smile evident in his voice. Romano didn't like Emma! Romano liked him- Antonio Fernandez-Carriedo! Oh dios, he was so happy!
"Please?" Antonio asked, fingers dancing dangerously close to that curl that Romano told him to stay away from.
With a burning face, Romano mumbled, "I like you . . . bastard."
"I like you, too," Antonio replied. Was this how it felt like to be elated? He felt like he had all the energy in the world! He felt like lifting Romano in his arms and spinning him around, but he wouldn't because Romano would definitely stop being cute like this. His heart was ready to- to burst! He felt so happy! So ecstatic! Romano liked him back!
"You're hugging me too tightly, stupid," Romano muttered, letting his arms slide around Antonio's back. He pressed his ear against his chest and heard the fast thumping of Antonio's warm, warm heart. He smelled nice, and he was so comfortable to hug, and-
"Hey Roma?" Antonio pulled away a little to look down at Romano. The bastard was blushing! Romano wanted to laugh at him, tell him he looked silly, but he knew that he probably looked the same- maybe even worse. "Can I kiss you?"
"It's too fucking late to ask questions like that," Romano remarked, rolling his eyes. He pulled Antonio's lips down on his, tasting a little bit of Antonio's lunch (tomatoes?) when Antonio opened his mouth to protest.
"It's just that," kiss, "you've," kiss, lick, "been the one," kiss, kiss, "mm- initiating it, and I thought-"
"You talk too fucking much," Romano frowned and pulled away, without any irritation lacing his tone or features. Antonio smiled sheepishly and pressed their foreheads together.
"But you like me, right?"
"Yeah, yeah," grumbled Romano. And just for the heck it, because the potion was still working, "I like you."
This time, it was Antonio who captured Romano's lips in a searing kiss.
"What the bloody hell do you want, you frog?" asked Alice as she answered her phone. It was the Tuesday of the break, and she was busily studying a new set of spells and potions when a French frog called and disturbed her peace. She would've ignored the call, she really would've, but she and Francis were good friends. On the down-low.
"So I heard that you gave Romano a potion, eh?"
"Uh huh, and?" she sighed. "It shouldn't have killed him," Alice added. After all, the ingredients were mundane!
"Nothing. I just wanted to congratulate you for actually doing something right," Francis replied on the other end, laughing that one annoying laugh. "Apparently, you didn't charge him for anything. How come you charged me for that one potion I requested from you? That isn't fair, you know."
"I'll let you in on a secret," Alice smiled, leaning back on her chair. "What he drank wasn't a potion. What I gave you was a potion. Plus, I like Romano better anyway."
"Wait a minute! Romano didn't drink any potion?" asked Francis in disbelief.
"Nope," hummed Alice happily. "I didn't want to waste my precious ingredients on him. It was just sugar water and some food coloring."
"That's mean," Francis cried. "What kind of nonsense did you feed that young boy?!"
"I just told him that if he drank it, he'll 'come to terms' with his feelings and express it better," she explained. Alice stretched her arms over her head. "It's all psychological." She paused when she heard her phone ring with another call. She checked the caller I.D. and her cheeks flushed. "I'm hanging up now."
"Hey- wait a-" Click. Alice stared at the phone in her hand, and then answered the call, leaning on her desk with her hand gripping her phone tightly.
"What is it, Alfred?" she asked, feigned annoyance present in her tone.
"Hey Alice! 'was just wondering if you wanted to watch the movies later! I heard that that creepy show you really want to watch is still playing in the theatres!" His loud voice made her pull the phone away from her ear, but she replied. With irritation, nonetheless.
"As long as you're paying."
"Cool! I'll stop by your place soon!" Click. Alice sighed and rubbed at her temples. Why the did she agree? Why was she such a twonk around that stupid dumbass?
Romano Vargas had a huge problem.
He scowled at the pasta plate in front of him. His boyfriend, Antonio Fernandez-Carriedo, had graduated and was going to move away by the end of summer. Every single time his friends- Emma and Kat, who had a relationship that was almost similar to his and Antonio's- tried to steer him away from that thought, he would sigh and sulk. The stupid bastard was moving away! And Antonio had promised multiple times that he wasn't going to be too far away- but he was! He was going to be four fucking hours away, damn it.
"Don't look so down, Roma!" Antonio told him. They were in Romano's room, sitting in front of his laptop as they watched useless but funny YouTube videos. He nudged Roma's shoulder. "I'll try to visit you as much as I can. And you should visit me, too!"
"I don't want to meet whoever your roommate's going to be," Romano growled. He stabbed his pasta and took a forkful.
"You know," Antonio started a moment later, "I think Ludwig's graduating early this year. By the end of the semester or something."
Suddenly, Romano turned to Antonio, amber eyes lighting up. "I have a plan."
Antonio smiled, letting his fingers run through Roma's hair, lightly touching that one curl that stuck out on his head. Ever since he learned what happened when he touched that curl, Antonio wouldn't stop "accidentally" caressing it. "Can you tell me all about it after I kiss you?"
"Fuck you," growled Romano, but he allowed Antonio to kiss him anyway. He liked the bastard too much.
Thanks to Shan, my awesome fairy godmother for the great tips hahaha! I don't know if this chapter would suffice, but i'm on a time crunch and I still need to study for bio! thank you so much to those who read and reviewed and favorite-d and followed! Thanks so much guys! i love you! i don't think i'll be back for a few weeks bcz i'll be busy with other things :'( but anyway, thanks again and i love you guys soOooo much! :*