It was a peaceful morning. There was little sound save for the wind and leaves skipping across the pavement. The sky was a cool blue. You took in a deep breath of chilled air and pulled your scarf a little tighter around your neck. What a nice morning it was.
The blare of a car horn right behind you made you scream and duck.
"Hey! Watch where you're goin' you fucking asshole!" cried a young man.
You turned around to see who it was. Once your eyes fell on him you turned away and started walking again. Romano. The most vulgar Italian boy you had ever met. It was amazing that he and the sweet Feliciano were brothers. You could hear Feli trying to calm his brother down and talk him out of punching the man's lights out. Your heart went out to the young man but you didn't turn around to help. There was no way you would have anything to do with that guy.
Even though you did find him attractive.
NO- you wouldn't think like that. There was no way in Heaven or Hell you would even think about going out with him. While you walked you shook your head of all the images of him. He was known for his strength despite his seemingly small size and could back up his words. Even though you hated yourself for it, there was more than one occasion where you had fantasized about him protecting you. He was known for being popular with girls, despite treating them like dirt, and you found yourself thinking about, what if he was nice to the person he was with? You shook your head again. No, that wasn't going to happen. You cursed yourself for even thinking it would happen.
Another car horn. You turned in the direction and realized all too late that the car was going to hit you. Covering your face you screamed. There was nothing you could do to stop this. It was going to hit you. The only thought then was if you would die or not.
Something hit you from the side. Strong arms wrapped around you as you and another person rolled along the pavement. There was a screeching of tires and some curses thrown before you opened your eyes. At first, all you saw was a red button up with rolled up sleeves, showing tanned and toned arms. Then your gaze moved up to see deep brown eyes looking at you. The eyebrows were scrunched and he would have looked angry if his eyes hadn't looked so panicked and worried.
"Are you alright?" he asked his voice careful and quiet.
You nodded. Little did you realize that there were tears in your eyes. It didn't register because of the pure shock of the moment. Only when his expression turned a little softer and his hand touched you tear streaked cheek did you realize you were crying.
You're safe," he reassured you.
Despite all that you had thought before about this boy all you could think about was holding him and not letting him go. Your hands came up and gripped the fabric of his shirt. His arms came around you and lifted the both of you so he knelt with you in his arms. Instinctually you buried your face in his shoulder. A gentle hand petted your hair. You could hear the distant voice of his brother panicking over what he should be doing. Finally there was a second set of hand trying to sooth you.
Once the shock wore off you stood up. The man came over with the cops and paramedics that had arrived on the scene. He was about to apologize when Romano started yelling at him again. The language was more colourful than you had ever heard it. A mix of Italian and English curses shot out from him. The driver was quite literally reeling from the verbal assault.
A sudden pity for the man filled you and you grabbed Romano's arm. He looked at you, his expression going form fuming to frustrated and back down to the soft, worried look. You shook your head. "I'm alright Romano
There's no need to do that
"But he-," Romano growled then huffed, "Fine
The paramedics checked you over and did everything they needed. Finally, after being poked and prodded they gave you the okay. They warned you that if anything should start feeling nauseated to lie down on your side and relax a little. One of them talked with Romano and Feliciano. He wrote something up on a piece of paper and gave it to them. It appeared that Romano wasn't too happy with whatever it was. The two boys came over and took her hands.
"We get to spend the day with you~" Feliciano cheered.
You were dumbfounded but relieved. There was no reason for it but you felt as though some weight was lifted off your shoulders as they walked to school with you. Perhaps it came from the worry about if anyone would help you. You weren't exactly popular in the school, Hell, people hated to look in your direction if they didn't know you. Maybe you had been worried that you would end up passed out on the floor or something and everyone would just leave you there alone.
It was not an uncommon occurrence for you to be left alone. You had a few friends in the school, the other outcasts but you rarely had classes together. One day, in gym class, the 'popular girls' had locked you in the storage room, the lights out. You cried and screamed for anyone to come and help you but you knew there would be no one. School was over; no one would be in the gym. The best chance you had was if the janitor heard you. You sat in the darkness, which you were admittedly terrified of, until you heard a click.
The door to the storage room opened.
You rushed out looking for the one who opened it, but all you saw was a dark gym. Whoever had unlocked the door had vanished. As you stood there, wondering who it was that saved you, you smelt something. It was a strange mix of spices and tomatoes. Never had you smelled something like that save the one time your family had been to an Italian restaurant. You never forgot that smell. There would be times when you would walk through the halls and smell that smell, but you couldn't see who it came from. To this day you wondered who to thank but you wouldn't say anything until you were sure.
Feliciano wouldn't stop talking but you didn't have the heart to tell him to be quiet despite the headache that was developing. Thankfully, Romano did. Only after you took in a deep breath of fresh air did you notice something; a mix of spice and tomato. You looked at the two Italians. They had been in your school ever since 2nd grade which meant that they were both in your school that day that you got stuck in the storage room.
The two turned to look at you.
"Are you feeling alright? Do you feel nauseous_____?" Feliciano asked.
Romano just watched you.
"I- no, it's nothing. I'm alright
I just thought of something. You two have been in the same year as me since grade 2 and we've never talked at all
Feliciano looked at Romano astonished. "It's true! We haven't!" He looked at you with a bright smile. "Better late than never!"
Your hand was grabbed and you didn't even realize you were being dragged until you stumbled over Romano's feet who was being dragged as well. You looked at him and he looked at you. A smile came across your face and you giggled. For a moment, you almost thought that you saw a smile on his face but it was just a flash of something, nothing more than that. Even so, it made you even happier.
The rest of the day was much the same. Romano and Feliciano were told to stay at your side the whole day and walk you home. Over the day you really got to know each other. By lunch, you were all laughing while Romano fumed. You got to meet all of their friends and family, like their older brother Antonio and cousin Francis. Then there were Antonio and Francis' friends, like Gilbert the bad boy that everyone was falling head over heels for and his brother Ludwig, oh, and Ivan the very sweet but supposedly homicidal Russian exchange student.
Overall, it was a very eventful day.
Once you got home, Feliciano said goodbye and ran off. Romano hung back a little the two of you talking about little things. Finally, you decided to ask the question that had been in the back of your mind all day.
"Romano?" He hummed and looked up at you. "There was a day two years ago, I got locked in the storage room in the gym
I was there for a really long time and then suddenly, the door was opened by someone. I don't know who
but i remember smelling
Spice and tomatoes
?" the questioned died slowly.
Romano was looking at the porch beneath his feet. He didn't say anything for a long time. Slowly, his eyes came up to meet yours. "_____... I
I I'm sorry-," with that he ran off.
You went to grab him but you thought better of it. If he didn't want to tell you he didn't have to. That reaction was more than enough proof to get your answer. Under your breath you whispered a thank you before walking into your house. That night, you slept well.
For the next few weeks, life went on better than normal without any complications. Romano didn't avoid you like you thought he might; you found that Gilbert, Antonio and Francis were extreme perverts but funny all the same; Ludwig was really nice to be around when you just needed someone who works quietly and helps you out when you need it, even though he seemed really awkward the first couple of times; Gilbert introduced you to the sweethearts Roderick and Elizaveta Roderick was very quiet and strict but his musical talent was amazing and Elizaveta made up for his cold demeanor by being very sweet but strong (you also heard about her tendency to hit Gilbert over the head with a frying pan).
Then came the day when you decided to be off on your own. Little did you know that all the girls around you hated your very presence and were just waiting for the moment to pounce. You were alone in the gym, sweeping up after school and a group of them entered. You knew, the moment you saw them, that this was a bad situation. Before you even got a word in they started insulting you.
"I bet you're bribing them to be your friends with that shit ass body of yours!"
"How much a night? One day of friendship?"
"Why don't you just back off?! They don't like you!"
"You're just some ugly ass bitch looking for attention!"
"You have no friends!"
It wasn't long before your back was against the door to the storage room. They closed in and started pulling on your hair and clothes, tossing you around like some little toy. Dizzy and disoriented you didn't see one of the girls' the fists until it hit your face. You hit the ground before the pain even registered. Then you were being tugged back up by your hair and tossed around again before someone else hit you. They did this until you couldn't even stay standing long enough to toss around. That was when they threw you in the storage room.
"You better stay away from them when you get out of here or we'll do this again!"
The door slammed shut and was locked.
You stayed where you were on the ground sobbing both in pain and fear. Why did this have to happen to you? Everything was going so well. You had made friends and were enjoying your life in the sun and now this.
Suddenly, someone yelled. Your thoughts were cut short when you heard the girls chattering and one man just yelling. There were other male voices but one stood out. The door clicked and light flooded in. A smell followed it spice and tomatoes.
" you managed through your sobs.
"_______!" the Italian was at your side, lifting you carefully. "You're going to be alright. I'll take you to the hospital and I'll stay with you. Everything will be alright."
You could hear the girls outside. "But she's just an attention whore!" one cried.
"I'm sure they only one striving for attention is you Hure!" Gilbert announced quite viciously.
The girls were taken aback. "How could you?"
"Because it's true! To do such a thing to mon chere just because you are jealous of her is downright unforgivable!" Francis explained passionately.
"You should really learn how to deal with rejection better chica's before you end up used and alone!" Antonio warned.
"Everyone get out! Bruder! Hurry up and get the car started you Dummkopf!"
With a scoff and a disgusted expression Gilbert ran ahead of you and Romano. Ludwig offered to help the obviously struggling Italian and Romano finally relented. You switched arms but Romano kept a tight hold of your hand. Even in the car, he sat with you, holding you close, your hand in his. In the right light or shadow it seemed, he looked very old. The worry creased his face with many wrinkles and his eyes were dark. It almost scared you, if you didn't feel so honored to have him worry about you so much.
It wasn't long before you were at the hospital. After getting checked out you sat in the hospital room for a while before your parents arrived. They fretted and worried until your father remarked that he was hungry and that you looked alright. Mother finally allowed her husband to pull her out of the room to go and get some food.
The silence that fell over the room was lonesome and heavy. The smell of antiseptic and cleaning agents was overpowering. You lay in the bed feeling ten types of miserable. The silence was finally broken by the sound of Romano's footsteps. He came into the room silent and sat down. His hand took yours again.
You looked over at him. His face took on that worn old look. "I'm alright Romano, really
" though the pain was probably obvious in your face and voice.
you'll be alright
but I just wanted to talk to you about that day, two years ago
the last time you were locked in that storage room
" his voice faded out.
"What is it Romano?"
It was me though you probably already figured that." He was stuttering and looking everywhere but you. "I've been watching you for a long time not in a creepy way like Antonio or something but
What I mean to say is I really do You're very pretty and Gah! Fuck it!"
He rose from his chair suddenly and stepped to the bed. Moving quick, he kissed you. You didn't move for a long while after he pulled away. His eyes were trained on the floor, and yours were on him. He just Romano kiss you
It took a moment for it all to sink in.
what does this mean?" you asked dumbly.
"It means that I like you!" He looked you in the eye and repeated, "I like you ___."
The two of you just stared at each other for a moment. Then you smiled a small smile.
"I'm glad," you whispered. "I like you too Romano."
"You- you do?"
"I do. Did anyone ever tell you that you blush as red as a tomato?"
" he said pathetically, looking at the ground.
You both laughed. And all you could smell was spice and tomatoes.