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Title: The Flying Heart of Love 9/?
Rating: ... Pgish, sort of. Maybe not.
Characters: Luciano, Maria, Manuel, Miguel, Antonio and Alfred.
Pairings: Br/Arg, Pe/Chi, and many many others.
Warnings: This is an AU, so you'll have to ignore everything you know about family relations and things from what passes for canon at Latin Hetalia. I MEAN IT. BE WARNED.



Recap: So, the North-American twins casually asked to visit the Orphanage, Maddie may or not have fallen in love with Alícia, who may or not be a communist, and Francis really wants his watch back. Martín found healthy ways to cope with his broken heart, Luciano still feels a little under the weather, Manuel is busy and Miguel is not doing much of anything.


Thanks to Zu for reading it over for me ♥




*~*~*

Episode 11

*~*~*


“I said socialist, not communist, and by now Alicia is probably harassing her, okay? What mission?”

“Our mission to- to see the... organization of this place, and learn as much as possible from foreign cultures, obviously,” Alfred said, with an air of affronted dignity, “What else would it be? Anyway same thing.”

“No, it's not! And I think you don't know anything about communism, either. So there.”

Alfred's eyes widened. For one second, she almost thought he would run away.

“Oh my God! So you’re one of them?”

But she didn't have time to properly discuss this, because Antonio chose this time to materialize from nowhere right behind her and grab her shoulder.

She shrieked. Luckily, she didn’t have time to be embarrassed over Alfred seeing her shrieking face. Unluckily, that was because Antonio had thrown his arms around her and was currently holding her tight against his chest, almost sobbing in relief.

“My baby!” he was saying, over and over and then, before she could decide how to deal with this, he held her shoulders and put himself between her and Alfred as if he wanted to hide her from him, “Who are these people? What do they want? Is Martín still alive?”

“Erm,” she said.

He was wearing a fake mustache. And glasses. And a beret.

Again.

“How could you two do this to me? Making me worry like that! I thought they had got you! And you-” he turned to Alfred, “Who the hell are you?”

No, really. First Martín, then Alícia, and now this.

“No one got me!” Maria said, trying to be the voice of reason, “You knew where I was, he's just visiting, and why are you using this stupid moustache?”

“Don't ruin my disguise, young lady, and no I didn’t, because he should be taking care of you, and now you’ve been gone for two days and I don’t see him anywhere, do you? Don't think you can get away with-”

“Ahem,” Alfred said, “Mr. Carriedo? Is that you? Why are you wearing a disguise, sir? It's not like you have anything to hide from your visitors... is it?”

This sent him into another fit.

“Carriedo? Who’s that? That’s not my name. My name is not that, do you hear me? Who told you that’s my name?"

“No one told me… Mr Carriedo. But maybe we could talk about it now?”

Antonio blanched. “They found me. You brought my enemies to my door! Maria, how could you-”

“Gaaah what's the matter with you? And Alfred, will you please stop being-” she almost said vaguely threatening but that would be lame, so she went with “-an ass? You’re both embarrassing me!”

“Hey, I don't mean anything by it, I'm just asking. Because we can help, if he's really hiding relevant information from-”

“Get out of my house,” Antonio said, and Maria had the terrible feeling he was planning to push Alfred away. Alfred, who just happened to tower over them. Why her? Why wasn't this happening to Martín?

She grabbed his arm.

“Ok, let's calm down, right? I'm just showing him the place and this is allowed, so-”

“Visitors are allowed! Spies are not!”

“Spies may not be allowed,” Alfred said, proving you could always find a way to make things worse, “But what about international criminal masterminds?”

Antonio froze.

For real.

After ten long, awkward seconds, Maria let go of his arm.

“Well, thank you for this. I think you broke him.”

Antonio looked at her. Not frozen, then, what a relief. But his voice still sounded hollow when he said:

“Maria, please go inside.”

“What? Why?”

“Please,” he said, in that very familiar voice that meant that the please was just for show and dire consequences would follow if he was disobeyed. Maria was way too used to it.

“Wait, so now I'm grounded? I didn't- I'm actually the only one here who didn't do anything weird-”

“Go, Maria.”

“You know what, I hate you both! I hate you all so much that- uuugh I don’t even know how much I hate you!”

She stomped out, but didn’t go inside either. Just to make a point.



*




Luciano found Manuel in the kitchen, harassing the cooks.

“Sorry to interrupt,” he said, when he finally got him away from the poor crew, “It's just that I had another visit today and I was wondering if you could maybe check the security, because it's not that I'm complaining and they were all hot people and some of them I invited later, or before, like in this case, but that doesn't mean that they can just waltz in as they - are you listening to me?”

“Hm, yes, yes, I am. Of course. You were talking about... eh...something about hot people? Waltzing?”

“… yes, that’s exactly what I was talking about.”

Manuel looked a little embarrassed, but then he hid it behind the usual briskness. He led him out of the kitchen, with a last glare to everyone there, and then, when they entered his office, Luciano tried again.

“Anyway, my point is that I don't want my bedroom being invaded by random people. It’s getting old.”

“Invaded? Who invaded it?”

Ok, this wasn't working. Luciano tried to work up the energy for a different approach, but he wasn’t really that upset and Manu was starting to shuffle papers around and he wanted to get this over so he could go back to bed.

He was still tired.

“Ah well, forget it, at least they were hot. Listen, do you know where Martín lives?”

This got his attention.

“Unfortunately, yes, but why would you go there? If you want him to stop coming you should stop encouraging him and-”

“I don’t, I just need to get my watch back.”

Manuel's reaction was not exactly what Luciano had expected. He seemed to freeze where he was and then he laughed the weirdest, most forced laughter Luciano had ever heard in his life, and that was a lot of fake laughter there and then he turned away from him and dropped a huge pile of paper on the floor.

“Ah, the watch, yes, I see,” he stammered, falling to his knees behind the table, “There was one, right? Yes. Listen, maybe you should just buy another and forget that one, I mean, it will have his... cooties all over it, don't you think? I can even buy one for you, since you're being such a considerate host with all the invasions and all, would you like that? I just don't think-”

“Whoa, calm down, man. Don't worry, I'll just ask him, I'm not planning to have a fight or anything. Or bring him back here.”

“... right,” Manuel said. Or rather, the table said, because Luciano couldn’t see him from where he was picking the fallen papers. He waited for more, but Manuel seemed to realize he had used up all the words he could use on a single day. Luciano was almost sorry for him. It must be hard to be so weird.

… and, you know, he was really tired now. Not sick tired, just normally tired, thank you, and he would be completely fine after a few seconds, he just happened to want to sit down. Or lie down for a while. So he could be his healthy energetic self again later to train for the upcoming game. Because he was fine.

“So... the address?”

“Ah. That. Look....” Manuel finally got up, shoved everything inside a drawer, and then paused for so long that Luciano wondered if he had forgot what he was going to say. “Thing is, I don't think I can do that. It’s personal information. Even if it’s Martín. What about the newspaper's address?

Oh, so he couldn't know where his stupid house was but Martín could just march into his bedroom all the time? Talk about being fair.

But Luciano wasn't in the mood to fight, he just wanted to rest.

“Fine, whatever, where is it?”

Manuel got a copy of the Daily Bullshit or whatever it was, and gave it to him with an apologetic look that Luciano made a point of ignoring.

“It has his email too,” Manuel said, trying to be helpful, “So there's also that...”

“I'm not going to send him an email,” Luciano said, “I'll go there and just get it back so we can finally- oh.”

He had found Martín's column. It had his picture, looking stupid with his stupid hair and his stupid email with his stupid name all under the very stupid and pretentious title of El Gol Del Siglo.

It was about Luciano.

After a few seconds, Manuel said:

“Erm... do you need anything else?”

It had a picture of Luciano, too. The caption was 'Just another rich spoiled brat? Or something far worse?'

“Luciano?”

“That bastard! How- how dare he?”

“I-”

“What the hell, I never get drunk, it was just that time, and I think saying it was a scandal is a hell of a stretch and what does my family has to do with anything? And he clearly got all this from Wikipedia because I know I never told him and- what the hell is this supposed to mean?”

“Oh, that's Martín for you. He wrote about me once, and it was just the same. Just ignore him. Now if you’ll just-”

“Damn right I will, look at this, he says I'm skipping my training to go partying and there's this bit here where he implies I went to jail? That never happened! What is he trying to do? All this because he thinks I dumped him?”

“I suppose you can always sue him for slander and-”

“Did you read this? He even says I don't have all that much to show, well, it's not what you said last night, is it you asshole, I mean, he couldn't even take it all inside his-”

“Oh God I just remembered something I forgot somewhere else,” Manuel said, running back to the safety of the kitchen, and Luciano snorted because he hadn't been planning to give him details or anything, obviously, he just wanted to point out that this was way, way uncalled for and it had nothing to do with anything and if Martín was going to imply he wasn't good at it then he should at least come clean and tell his readers he was totally biased because he still wanted it so bad that -

Right, the address. Now he was so totally going to go there, and shove this piece of crap down his throat. Or up his ass. Or both.

No, he wasn't. He was going to go back to his training, and then he'd play the greatest match of all time and then he'd shove this in Martín's face, and make him swallow every word.




*~*~*

Episode 12

*~*~*




Maria was sitting under a tree, holding a cat in her lap while another tried to climb her, quietly thinking about how much she hated everyone in the world when Alfred finally found her.

That was surprising. She had assumed Antonio would kick him out.

“He did,” Alfred said, when she asked, “But I climbed the wall, jumped over the electric fence and got in again. I can't leave without my sister.”

“Oh. Right. Well, she's not here.”

And then, when he startled, she snapped, “I mean not here with me. I'm sure she's still here somewhere.

“Is she with the communist girl?”

This time, Maria didn't bite it. She pointedly looked away, and went back to petting the cat. And sulking.

“Are you mad at me? Because that was totally not my fault. He attacked me.”

“No he didn't, and you didn’t help with the criminal thing. What was that all about anyway?”

“Hm, what? It was a valid point, right? I was... pointing out that... uh, you know, spies are not fun, of course, but neither are criminals? Logical thinking. To break the ice. That’s all.”

“That doesn't even make sense! Why didn’t you just told him you weren't a spy?”

“That goes without saying, of course.”

Maria glared at him.

To her surprise, Alfred laughed. His laughter was funny, kinda dorkish and childish and it almost made her smile too. A little. Almost.

“So,” he said, brightly, “Has he always been like this? Insane?”

“He's not insane, come on. Everyone has their little… uhm… I’m sure he has his reasons. There's always something weird going on.”

“Weird, how?”

“Weird like politically weird- and don't say anything about communism, it's not that. There's always news about how he's stealing our funds or using the place for money laundering and how he’s starving us all, stuff like that, so he gets paranoid. But that's all. He's not, like... drinking shampoo or tearing money or anything. Or actually starving us.”

“I'm sure he isn't,” Alfred said. Maria frowned, but then he added, “It's just weird, that's all. I mean, letting a person like that take care of children?”

“I just told you it's not like that! I know it sounds like he's totally deranged, but he's not, it's just that some days he doesn't like visitors. You wouldn’t, either, if you had to deal with people accusing you of abusing like more than thirty children and killing your family to make meatballs. We used to say he was running from some dark part of his past, but that was just a joke.”

“Family? I thought that was you!”

Maria looked away.

Even the cat could tell something was wrong, and it showed its sympathy by scratching her hand so she wouldn’t stop the petting.

“I, hm… sorry?”

He didn't seem sorry. Just a little intrigued.

“I’m not, if you really must know. I was here from the start, okay? We’re first generation, me and Martín. He even remembers when they built this place, and the opening party. I was a baby, but yeah, so he raised me and all. But we’re not related.”

“But I thought-“

“God, Alfred! We all do that sometimes, alright? We call him like that and then when we grow up we stop because it’s stupid but I never did, and he doesn’t mind anyway and this is none of your business!”

“No, no, that’s not what I mean, I swear, I was just going to say-”

“Don’t, okay? This is bad enough as it is and I don’t want to talk about it anymore, just... just go find your sister and go away!”

This time he was silent, for what seemed to be a long time. She refused to look at him, so she had no idea what his eyes were like – if he was finally a little regretful for dredging up painful memories of if he was just intrigued at this new touristic event that she was proving to be – but when he finally spoke, his voice was warm and almost soft.

“Ok, I will. But if you ever get curious- about what I meant, there is – then you can ask me. I promise it’s nothing bad. And- I’m sorry for all this.”

And then he left – he squeezed her shoulder when he was getting up – but she didn’t raise her head to see it. She kept looking at the cat until he was far away.


*




After three days that Miguel was finally forced to admit that things weren't nearly as great as they had been before.

He couldn't imagine why. The food was still perfect. Same for the place, the service and everything else, so what was going on? Most of the seats were empty, and some people only wanted drinks and wouldn’t even try the dishes and why was this happening?

He found out later, when they had closed and he went to the bar himself for some comfort. Miguel was good at optimism, and he was sure this was just a one time thing, it's just that in the remote possibility of it being something else – of people actually not liking his food all that much - then... then he really had to do something about it, because otherwise he'd be so totally screwed it like it wasn't even funny, and drinking seemed like a very good option right now.

So that was where he was when one of the bartenders gave him his cellphone, and showed him the video.

It was a random record by a random person and it had the football player from before, Luciano da Silva. And Manuel. It had a zillion views. Miguel’s eyes widened, as he watched Luciano looking at a hospital like he was going to drop dead right there in the street, and Manuel shouted to the world that the food, Miguel's food, Miguel's very own perfectly sanitary food, had made him sick.

Well, no wonder no one was coming!

Manuel had – again – completely ruined his life.

But no. This wasn't going to end like this. Miguel wouldn't let that creep kill all his dreams again – and himself too in the process, since he still had to pay the mysterious white-haired man or else – without a fight. This time, he was going to face him, and Manuel would have to fix this or... or Miguel would do something really, really drastic just see if he wouldn't.








tbc... What is Miguel planning to do? Will Manu listen? Will Luciano win his game? Will he ever show up naked again? Does Antonio look hot with his fake moustaches (spoiler: no)? Is Alfred as innocent as he seems (spoiler: yes)? All this and more in the next chapter of TFHOL!

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