A/N: Oh gosh...this is so late...I...just...don't kill me...
Disclaimer: Do not own
"So, mon ami, I see you are having love troubles, non?"
After Antonio's frantic call, the two decided to meet up at Café de Luxe, a small, French coffee shop that was near town. It was small, peaceful and was exactly what Antonio needed at the moment. The Spaniard sipped his coffee and sighed. "I don't even know anymore Franny," he said, "All I know is that Lovi is keeping something from me and it's something big!"
Antonio nodded, "Sí, and I don't know why he's keeping it from me in the first place!"
"Mon cher, have you even tried to talk to Lovino?" The blonde asked.
"I did try! Like this morning," he replied, "I tried talking to him but then he was really...happy. He didn't even swear or anything and he gave me a goodbye kiss! A kiss! Well, I enjoyed that...but still! I was caught off guard!"
Francis chuckled, sipping his French Vanilla. "Mon ami, why not enjoy it while it lasts? I know I would be thrilled if Lovino did that to moi!" Francis smiled, allowing bits of his imagination to play in his mind.
"Francis," Antonio warned, "I'm serious. Plus, he's not always like that! Half the time he isn't even that happy! Sometimes he gets mad-"
"You mean as always?" Francis stated.
"No, it's a different mad! I don't know how to explain it, but something is going on and...I need your help."
"Of course you do," Francis said smirking, "Who better to come to than the country d'amour!"
"So you are going to help me?" Antonio asked hopefully.
"Bien sûr, mon ami." Francis replied, "Though, I really would need to understand the situation, non?"
Antonio sighed, rubbing his temples from frustration. "But I already told you that I don't even get what's going on! I wouldn't even know how to explain it!"
Francis nodded, holding his warm drink between his hands. "Then, mon ami," he said, eyeing the Spaniard, "What you would have to get is proof...you know, something to prove that he is hiding something. Evidence –"
"Ah! That reminds me!" Antonio exclaimed, cutting of the blonde before he could continue any further. Though it irked Francis that he was completely interrupted from explaining his plan, it made him curious when he saw Antonio turning to the back of his chair to reach in the satchel that he had brought with him to the café. "I found this in Lovi's room yesterday," he explained, bringing out the red journal. "I guess it's a clue, it didn't help me with anything though, but anyway, here."
Antonio handed the journal over to Francis, who kept smirking the entire time Antonio was explaining. "Let me guess, you went searching in his room without him knowing, non?" Francis chuckled when the brunette didn't respond. "Oh, mon cher, since when have you been the sly one, hmm?"
"Just read it Franny..."
Francis nodded, opening the first page of the book. His smirk fell from his face as he skimmed through the pages. He turned to the next page and then to the next. He furrowed his brows as he kept flipping through the pages. It couldn't be? Could it? The more he flipped, the more he realised that this wasn't actually a journal. No...It was more like a tracker. Though, Francis couldn't believe what it was suppose to keep track of. The dates...the symptoms...it made sense. But then again, it didn't. It was impossible. Not only because the Italian was male, but he was also nation...so it shouldn't be possible...it isn't...
Finally, Francis had flipped to the last page. Antonio, who was watching the whole time, stared at the blonde, wondering what he was thinking. "...Franny...?"
Francis glanced up from his book, his face serious as he handed the book back to the brunette. "Antonio," He said with no teasing or humour left in his voice. "I am not the one who should be telling you this, nor should anyone else but Lovino."
"But I told you-"
"Antonio, trust me," he warned, "You need to talk to Lovino. So listen, because I am going to tell you how."
Romano sat quietly on the couch, a cookbook on one hand and the other laying gently on his stomach. Though it seems as if his eyes were glued to the book, not a single word on was being read. His mind was elsewhere, too deep in thought to even bother with the words printed on the page.
The appointment today went as usual as any other. Checkups, questions, warnings and there were still no findings or an explanation on why he was even in this state. Doctors were sent by his boss last week to help with the research. But of course, they still had nothing. It didn't help that this was the first time in history that this has ever happened. So there were no clues or evidence to help back up their research, only theories that some came up with. Though, of course, there was barely anything to help support those theories so they were shot down anyway.
Romano thought that they should all give up. He was already pregnant. What was done was done. He didn't want to be a subject of research. He just wanted to get by.
Of course, no one bothered to listen and kept on with their research. Dr. Gracía tried to reassure him, telling him that this was like a once in a lifetime opportunity. That he started a new branch of research. That he was a miracle.
Romano felt more like a rodent worth experimenting on.
So they kept on with their research. They called him whenever they thought they discovered something new, but it would always, even a couple of hours later, be replaced by another discovery and the cycle would continue. It was getting annoying, to be honest. He didn't really need to know and he really didn't care. He told them this, but just like before, they would dismiss is commentary and carry on.
Romano would say that it was also getting beyond tiring, being under constant study that is. Sure, he had always craved for some kind of attention, but this? It wasn't really the attention he really wanted. He'd rather go back to the way it was. Being left alone and ignored. Back to the when it was just him and Antonio. Just the two of them.
Speaking of which...where was he?
Romano put the book down, scanning the room. It was obvious he wasn't there, but it he looked around anyway. Getting up, he rubbed is slightly aching head. He was starting to feel a little sick. The doctor told him this week he was to take it slow. Something about stress levels and dizziness and who knows what. He didn't bother trying to remember. He knew how to take care of himself. He didn't need a damn doctor to remind him constantly.
Ignoring the throbbing from his head, Romano picked up his cellphone from the coffee table beside him and checked. There was only a text from Feliciano saying that he was out with Ludwig and Kiku. That's it. No message, no call, no nothing from the Spaniard himself, which was extremely odd considering that he was Antonio to begin with.
Romano frowned, it was already the evening, where the heck could he be? The Italian walked to the kitchen to where he had last seen Antonio earlier today. He blushed upon memory. Damn baby hormones, making him act like...that. He remembered Antonio's face when it happened. It was nothing but pure shock and Romano couldn't really blame him. He was freaking out after his mood swing episode too. But that wasn't really the problem, no, it was more of that fact that unless Antonio was a bigger idiot than Romano gave him credit for, then Antonio must be suspecting something even more!
Romano groaned loudly.
This was not helping him with his headache.
Romano sat on the stool by the kitchen island* and bit on his thumbnail. This was not good. He began to mentally panic as he wondered what the hell the Spaniard would be doing...or even thinking for that matter. However, his thoughts were immediately cut off when he heard the front door slam. He jerked from the sound and hopped of the stool to see who it was.
When he did, Romano wasn't sure to either be relieved or pissed. "Where the hell have you been?"
"Out." Came Antonio's short reply. Romano frowned, crossing his arms across his chest as he watched Antonio dropped his satchel and casually took off his shoes. When Antonio looked up, he gave a small dry smile. It pissed Romano off. "What about you?"
"Somewhere." He replied angrily. The response was then followed by silence. No words were spoken. Romano just glared at the Spaniard while Antonio just kept smiling as he placed his keys on the coffee table. He was being oddly silent. It was getting on the Italian's nerves.
"Oh, cut the crap!" He yelled, "Where the hell did you go, damn it?"
"I already told you, out."
"Out where, you dumbass?"
Antonio turned to face Romano, smiling wryly at the seething Italian. "Nowhere."
Romano let out a frustrated groan, he was not in the mood for this. "Stop giving me bullshit! Why the hell didn't you even call?"
"Well..." Antonio began, "I thought that since you never tell me where you go, I thought that I could do the same."
Romano flinched, "What the fuck to do mean by that?"
Antonio frowned, placing his hands in his jacket pockets, "Well, you're always out and you never seem to tell me where you're going."
"That's because it's none of your damn business!" He yelled. He was starting to panic.
"Oh really, then why do you have to know where I'm going? Huh? Explain that!"
Romano clenched his jaw, having nothing to say. Antonio gave a small smirk, though it wasn't out of pride or satisfaction, no, he was just angry. "Huh...so now you have nothing to say."
"Why then?" He yelled. "Why?"
Romano gritted his teeth, head throbbing even more from the sudden outburst, still he ignored and glared at the Spaniard. "Why what?"
"You know what the hell I mean by what!" He screamed. He slammed his hand on the kitchen table, causing Romano to flinch once again. Antonio noticed, but he didn't care. He wasn't finished. He was losing his temper. He wanted to yell. To shout and scream. He wanted to get rid of all this frustration of being helpless. Of being left in the dark. Of not being able to do anything.
But all in all, he just wanted some answers. "I have been silent for days Romano! Weeks even! Alright! I have been keeping my fucking mouth shut for weeks! I haven't said a word. Not a single damn word because I knew that whatever you were hiding I could trust you on it. But do you really think that I am that stupid? That I wouldn't have a fucking clue that something is going on? Did you really think that I could sit around and do nothing?
Do you have any idea what I feel when I hear you cry in the night? And don't you dare deny it! I hear cry every single damn time! Do you know what I feel? I feel worthless! Worthless! Why? Because all I could do is listen from afar while the one I love doesn't trust me enough to help!"
He took deep breath when he finished, glaring angrily at the Italian. He knew his temper was getting the better of him, but he couldn't help it. He was stared fiercely at Romano, his tears were unshed but he felt like crying nonetheless.
Romano mouth drew into a thin line as he cast his eyes away from Antonio's glare. He knew it wasn't fair. He knew it, but he was still scared. He closed his eyes, trying to make the small pounding in his head fade and the tears to stay within. It was stupid to cry and he could just blame it on the hormones, but he was frustrated. He wanted it to be over, to pretend life was normal. That he was normal. But reality always defeated dreams, he learned that from childhood. Though, he was angry because when he was just about to accept who he was, that he was in fact a person of some use, not just Lovino, but Romano, The Southern Territory of Italy, he became the freak he is now. Some freak for experiment. Some freak that was different, strange to the world that for fact wouldn't be accepted. Life wasn't a fairytale and that was what he feared. Acceptance, something he craved for his entire life. Acceptance...especially from Antonio.
The silence enveloped the room once again. Both just stood there, not sure of what to do.
Antonio lost most of his anger from the rant, calming himself down, he took a big breath and began once again. "Lovi..." He said, "Why? Why aren't you telling me what's wrong?"
"Because nothing is wrong." It was barely above a whisper, but Antonio heard. He heard it clearly. He frowned. "Oh really?" He said, voice dripping with sarcasm. He felt his irritation rise once again. He knew that he needed to remain calm, though, just like France had told him earlier today. But Francis wasn't here to guide him now. And with the frustration he was getting, he doesn't think Francis's advice would reach to him now. "Then look at me."
Romano didn't look.
Antonio stepped closer to Romano. "Lovino, I said look at me and tell me that nothing is wrong."
Romano just kept his eyes downcast, brows furrowed and twitching, jaw clenched and his arms remained stiffly folded across his chest. He would not look.
Antonio took another step, voice getting higher and more demanding. "Romano," he said again. "I said look me in the eye!"
The response was the same, though now, Romano was twisting his neck over to the side. He didn't want to see, because if he would, then he knew he wouldn't hold back. He didn't want him to find out. Not now, not yet. Though he knew it was inevitable.
"Tch..." He could feel Antonio staring intently at him. It felt uncomfortable...and strange. He knew of Antonio's rare tendencies to act out, something from his inquisitor days and though it was rare, it still happened. He didn't know whether or not it would be happening now or in a couple of minutes, but the only thing he was sure of is that he was frightened. Frightened of what Antonio would say or do if he found out.
So he would have to keep stalling.
He would find out sooner or later.
Romano preferred the latter.
So he would remain silent, feeling Antonio's glare as if it was burning a hole through his chest.
Antonio was now close, eyes narrowing when he knew he wouldn't get a response. "Fine..." He said angrily. "Fine."
He walked back, Romano's narrow eyes still lingering on him. His shoulder's we shrugged up and his face was a menacing smile, one that wasn't too pleased. He reached back to the front door and grabbed the satchel he brought with him. "Then explain to me this." Antonio brought his hands inside the bag and threw Romano a red journal. His red journal.
The book skidded on the wooden floor and landed sprawled at Romano's feet. He stared at it with wide eyes and went on to glare at the Spaniard. "You went through my stuff?"
"That's not the point!"
Romano grabbed the journal from the ground, angrily securing the book to his chest. "You went through my things! You fucking bastard!"
Antonio was seething at this point. He didn't care that Romano was glaring at him. He marched up to Romano and hastily grabbed his shoulders. "Listen to me! Just listen to me for one goddamn second!"
Romano glared up at Antonio, inwardly cursing as his saw Antonio's eyes beginning to water. It made his head hurt more than it did before. He ignored it though, trying to concentrate. "Why? Why should I, after you went through my stuff? Some things just don't concern you!"
Antonio tried not to look hurt. He tensed and squeezed Romano's shoulders harder. He saw Romano wince but he kept his hold just as much as he kept his glare. "Doesn't concern me? Who am I to you Romano? Who am I to you?"
"I-I..." Romano stuttered. Antonio's grip was hurting his shoulders more than he would like to admit and his head was starting to pound against his skull even more.
'Ignore it," he thought, but he knew it was only going to get worse, 'Relax...' But Antonio's gaze was making it hard to concentrate, he was yelling, he was angry.
And of course, it was his fault.
He always just made things worse.
Antonio kept glaring, grip tightening as he heard Romano stutter. He didn't want to hear it, the sounds of Romano's uncertainty. The sound of what Antonio was to him because it hurt. It hurt so much to know that the last year of being together could have possibly meant nothing.
Nothing at all.
Tears finally spilling from his eyes, he began to yell.
It was getting worse. Romano winced, clenching his teeth as if the pain would go away from that single action. Of course it wouldn't, but at least he tried. He felt dizzy and cursed that he didn't take a painkiller when he first felt his head beating at his skull. He couldn't concentrate anymore. He heard Antonio starting to yell, it was fuzzy, but he heard it. He saw the tears that came out from his eyes. But that was all.
He felt lightheaded. Maybe it was because of what that doctor said. What was it? Taking it easy or something... He really couldn't remember and his head hurt too much to care.
Heh...he could see Antonio stopping in his rant, he could faintly feel his grip loosening. Romano figured it took him long enough. With another wash of nausea, Romano felt the world blur, fuzzy objects that used to be so clear. He glanced up again to Antonio's face, clear, close and full of concern.
That was before he saw the floor.
He couldn't feel the ground. He wouldn't know if he actually hit the floor or if Antonio caught him.
He hoped he hit the floor though.
He would deserve it at least. For all the problems he caused. It made sense. But at the moment, he didn't really care, he was tired and dizzy and he wanted to sleep.
And that's what he did. He closed his eyes, ignoring the faint yells and shaking. He wanted to sleep, hoping that when he wakes up, everything was just a horrid nightmare.
He was getting restless.
Confused was on the list too, not to mention he was also worried and scared out of his mind.
Antonio heaved a long breath, running his hands through his brown hair. He glanced at Feliciano, who let out a small whimper as they both sat quietly in the waiting room. Feliciano looked like a total wreck, but Antonio couldn't really blame him, he probably looked worse. In short, they were both panicking, whether or not it was showing.
Antonio's foot tapped restlessly against the white tiled floor and his hands were giving out small trembles. He gave out another long breath as he closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the wall, his mind recalling what had happen moments ago.
It gave him bits of the scene. It was a blur really. All he remembered was Romano fainting and time seem to quicken its' pace. He remembered calling the ambulance and Feliciano; however in which order...he really couldn't remember. He remembered the sirens, Feliciano's crying and Romano's still face.
He could see the paramedics put his Romano on a gurney and rush him into the van. Antonio remembered running into the van as well. From there, a tan-looking doctor kept asking him dozens and dozens of questions. He could only nod and shake his head in reply, his eyes constantly set on the Italian's quiet face. He tried, to be honest, to answer the questions in hopes of helping, but there was only one thought that took over his mind.
This...could possibly be his fault.
Antonio opened his eyes slowly, feeling a tear roll down his cheek. Hastily he rubbed it away, but it was soon replaced by another and then another.
He felt stupid, quite pathetic really. He let the anger get the best of him and this was his consequence.
But what was he supposed to do?
He was getting frustrated and hurt. Being left in the dark for so long, there was only so much he could take. However, Francis warned him to stay calm, gave him instructions on what to do, and of course, he screwed up.
He screwed up big.
He chuckled sadly. He really was clueless. Francis, who only took just a book and a couple of minutes, somehow managed to link the clues together. Sure, he even said he wasn't a hundred percent sure of what was going on...but at least he had a clue.
In the midst of his thoughts, a doctor, the one from the ambulance, came out of a room with a clipboard in hand and a small smile. "Ah, Mr. Vargas and Mr. Carreido, I have good news."
Both Feliciano and Antonio jumped out of their chairs, a small sense of relief washed over Antonio as he waited anxiously to hear the news.
"Mr. Lovino Vargas is fine. It was just stressed induced. He will be waking up in a few moments," the doctor, who Antonio faintly remembered as Dr. Gracìa, said.
Antonio breathed a sigh of relief and slumped back into his chair. Feliciano clapped his hands repeatedly, content with the news. Antonio smiled, everything would be alright. Everything would be okay again...somehow.
"Mr. Vargas," Dr. Gracìa said, breaking the silence and bringing a halt to Feliciano's clapping. His smile was now gone and was replaced with grim look. He spoke again: "Mr. Vargas, if you don't mind, I need to talk you for a moment. It is highly important."
Antonio looked up at the doctor, face still grim and gloomy.
Feliciano nodded, warily getting up from his chair to follow the doctor. Antonio frowned.
"Is there something wrong with Lovino?"
Dr. Gracìa paused and turned back to Antonio. "I'm sorry, but I can only give out this information to family members. Now please, if you could excuse us." With that, the doctor turned back and walked away with Feliciano following his steps.
Antonio scowled. He suddenly really disliked the doctor.
He waited for a few moments before getting up and following the path that the he saw doctor took.
It took a few minutes, but he managed to find the doctor and Feliciano standing out in an empty hallway. The doctor was hunched over, his voice low as if he were worried that anyone would hear his words. Feliciano was hunched over as well, a sad frown on his face and his head nodding every couple seconds.
They didn't notice Antonio and he wasn't going to let them, so he hid behind a wall and strained his ears, hoping to catch just bits of information.
What he heard wasn't what he was hoping for.
Antonio's eyes drew into a knot. Fatal? He thought that the doctor said that he was going to be okay! He frowned even further and continued listening in.
There was that word again, what did it have to do with anything? Antonio had to suppress the urge to groan from frustration. He felt like he had all the pieces he needed, he just needed to solve the damn puzzle. Raking his hands through his hair, he started to think of any clues he could remember. Anything that could help. He stood there, going through everything that he could think of.
And finally, after weeks of confusion, it hit him.
The nausea, the mood swings, the damned red journal that the Italian kept and now this.
He finally figured it out.
Now he stood there with his mouth was agape. He was shocked, but to even say that was a large understatement. But even with the shock he still felt angry, confused and even more hurt. He felt angry tears beginning to prick his eyes, but he held them back. He was not going to cry.
Not even if he desperately wanted to.
Instead, he pushed himself of the wall and headed towards the only two figures standing out in the hall. As soon as he came closer, both of them noticed and they closed off the conversation they were having a couple seconds ago. It didn't faze Antonio though, not now. All he needed was a confirmation, to see if what he pulled together was somehow a stupid mistake on his part.
"A-Antoino?" Feliciano squeaked, noticing the man walking up to them.
He didn't reply. His face was stony, except for the tears threatening to fall. He stared at them both, waiting for the bulge in his throat to vanish so that he could speak.
Finally, after what felt like hours, Antonio asked what was on his mind. "I-I need to know," He said, clearing his throat before he could start again. "I-Is Lovino...is...is he pregnant...?"
Both Feliciano and the doctor flinched and that was all the confirmation that he needed.
And without a second thought, he ran out of the hallway.
...and now Antonio finally found out.
WOOT. Though I admit, it's kind of a depressing chapter, I AM SO HAPPY THIS IS NOW FINISHED.
Sorry if this somehow sucked. :/ I tried.
Anywhoo, it's time to work on the next chapter...