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[personal profile] berseker
Title: The Flying Heart of Love 11/?
Rating: ... Pgish, sort of. Maybe not.
Characters: Luciano, Martín, Maddie, Alfred, Maria, Portugal!OC, Francis, mentions of many others and one or two surprises.
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, in the last chapter Martín and Luciano had this... something, Martín was mad, Luciano was sick, Miguel is a blackmailer, Manuel is sulking, the football match was a disaster and everything that could possible go wrong just did.

Thanks to Zu for reading it over for me ♥


Episode 15


A few hours later, Martín was sitting alone in the waiting room, staring at his shoes and trying to decide if he should just go home and make up something to write.

The rest of the game had been insanely boring. Not even the players cared about it, and as soon as it was over, most of the commentary was about how Luciano's collapse had killed their mood and concentration and general will to live, and then everyone tried to guess what the hell had happened to him. His teammates had no idea, the coach – and the doctor - insisted he was just fine before the match and had insisted to play anyway and it was just an accident and nobody's fault and then Martín got tired of it.

And now here he was, staring at his own shoes, wondering if you could actually die of boredom.

It was an improvement. Manuel and Miguel had followed him, so ten minutes ago he was also trying to filter out their bickering, and that was slowly driving him insane. But now Manuel had had enough and had left after announcing some people actually had work to do, and Miguel had followed him outside so Martín didn’t know if he had made it to the hotel of if they were just fighting in the street.

He didn’t care, either. So this was Luciano’s secret? The reason why he was thinking about retiring? He wasn't completely convinced it wasn't just an epically strong hangover. Typical. The idiot had gone out to drink and party, had insisted in playing anyway and, because he was a star and no one could say no to him, they had gone with it and it had blown up in everyone's face.

And anyway Martín still wasn't willing to forgive him. Not after that kiss. So he was still mad and Luciano had this coming and that was the end of it. Fuck him.

He was wondering if he should forget about this and leave when he saw a blonde woman entering the hospital. She looked vaguely familiar, and after a few seconds of struggle it finally dawned on him – the girl from the restaurant, the one Maria had befriended. What was her name again?

She went to the reception desk as if she expected someone to get up and slap her any minute now. Then she sat down, her pale cheeks flushing with the attention of the receptionist.

Martín got up. Maybe she'd need help with the translation but, to his surprise, she was speaking in Spanish. A heavily accented Spanish, yes, and she messed up a few verbs here and there, but Spanish nonetheless.

And she was talking about Luciano.

Maybe she was another one on his list.

So he stood there and tried to look invisible, because after all he was a reporter and the hospital had been ignoring and sending away everyone who wanted to talk to Luciano, or ask about him, or anything related to him on the grounds that it was a fucking hospital and they should all fuck off and wait and the only reason he was here was because Sebastián was a nurse and he knew him from the orphanage and he couldn’t deny him anything.

Well, he had. But he couldn’t reinforce it.

So anyway why were they putting up with her?

“I’m not asking to see him” she was whispering, “It’s just that you should get his family to come, they can’t find out about this by the TV news, that would be really stressful, and I happen to have his home number here with me, hang on-”  

She looked into her purse. The receptionist couldn’t look more skeptic if she tried, but she waited patiently and then the girl gave her a paper with a long number that included the international code.

“Just try it, please? I mean it, their last names are all different so you’ll never find it on your own, and-”

“If this is real, why don’t you call them yourself?”

“Thank you! I knew you’d understand. Thank you so much. Merci. Gracias. Tchau.”

She got up, still beaming, and left as fast as she had come.

Martín followed her. He saw her stop at the sign, conscientiously checking both sides of the street before crossing it, and then she turned left and then right again and then crossed back to this side and went to the little alley right the side of the hospital, and that was the dumbest path Martin had ever seen someone follow even considering what Maria did when she wanted to be late for school,  and he was almost going back to the waiting room when he heard voices.

“I thought you weren’t coming,” said a dark male voice.

“Really?” she sounded confused. “Why?”

“I don’t know, it sounded like the right thing to say. So, how did it go? What did you find?”

Now the voice sounded a lot more cheerful. Martín frowned. He came a little closer, as stealthy as he could.

“We might have to call him ourselves,” she said, gloomily, “If he’s not coming here already, but better safe than sorry, eh? Anyway what is Alfred doing?”

“Probably reporting,” said the cheerful guy. Now Martín could see him. He was insanely tall, and vaguely familiar. If it weren’t a little crazy, Martín would think he was the one driving the taxi that night at the restaurant.

But that was crazy, so he didn't.

“Arthur is getting tired,” he was saying, “The last meeting was... not so good. Maybe you should do it, Maddie, he’s nicer to you.”

“He told me we’re a bunch of sloths and that we have only one neuron between the three of us.”

“That’s nicer than what he says to Alfred.”

“If Alfred stopped riling him up that wouldn’t happen, so let’s do our jobs, alright?”

“Whoa, someone is touchy today!”

She stopped. Martín had to hold his breathe so they wouldn’t notice him there.

“I’m sorry,” she finally said, “You’re right. It’s just that I’m late for… this… thing I have, and this is making me- anyway.”

“Is it a date?”

“Anyway, you’re right, I’m sorry about all that. So you get our collective neuron to check things here, and I’ll see what I can do at the Orphanage, right?”

“Don’t worry too much, Mads, you know it will work. As soon as Henrique gets his butt here, that crazy Spaniard will come out of his hole, and we’ll get him.”

Henrique, who the hell was Henrique? And was that Antonio? Or another random crazy Spaniard?  How many of those a city could have? Alfred was probably the other one, right? Who were these people and why had they befriended Maria and what was going on?

But then Maddie turned to leave the alley, and he had to run back to the safety of the hospital.


Luciano was hungry when he woke up.

His room was full of people and they wouldn't let him get up and the nurse pushed him down and made him promise he wouldn't try to leave, so he asked them for food and then he remembered he couldn't go to the restaurant because he needed to eat at the hotel, and he was explaining them why they should ask for spaghetti when he remembered the match.

That he was supposed to be having. And he was. Not now. Had been, then. And now he was here.

The nurse patiently explained that this had been more than twelve hours ago, the game had ended on a draw, everyone was worried about him so he should be a dear and rest until he was feeling better.

This completely failed to calm him down.

“But I'm fine,” he wailed, “And you can't keep me here! I already went to the doctor this week – last week, I mean - and I'm fine!”

“Did he say that?”

“... no, but he was going to,” Luciano sniffled, “So I'm fine. I want to go home.”

The nurse nodded. He was young, maybe about Luciano's age, with light brown hair and a thick pair of glasses, that he pushed up his nose.  

“Soon,” he said, “We just need to figure out what was wrong with you in the first place, but I'm sure it won't take too long.”

“It will take ages and you'll never find it, and it's pointless. I can leave if I want to, right?”

He shoved the covers aside, and the nurse rushed to his side.

“No, wait, please. Come on, you'll get me fired if you keep doing that. Lay down, yes, like this. Come on...”

When he had him tucked in again, he let his hands linger on Luciano's shoulders.

“That's better. Of course we'll find it. Now, rest.”

Luciano didn't even try to smile. He watched miserably as the guy did something with the IV stand.

“No you won't,” he said, “They've been trying for years. But it's under control now. I just-”

Then he stopped, because he would cry if he tried to explain it, and that was too stupid even for him. And he was sleepy. He wondered if the nurse had added something to whatever they were giving him to make him drowsy.

“Just rest,” he said, with a nice, sweet smile, and then patted his shoulder again. This time Luciano had the chance to read his name – Sebastián – on the  name tag.

Then he fell asleep again. The next time he woke up, Sebastián was there too.

“You have a visitor,” he said, cheerfully, “Well, you have a huge line of visitors, but we're not letting all your fans in. Anyway. I'll bring him in.”

“... him?”
For a crazy second, Luciano thought it could maybe be Martín, coming to apologize. But of course it wasn't, he could tell from the sound of steps on the hallway and then he sat on the bed, the blood rushing from his face.

The door opened, with an ominous sound that totally wasn't there before.

And then he entered.

“We talked by phone just last week,” he said, without even a hello first, “Why didn't you tell me?”

“Because I was perfectly fine that day,” Luciano snapped, “Also, hi, dad. How was your trip?”


The incident took a considerable space in the evening's news. They showed the clip of Luciano falling down over and over and over, and then interviewed everyone they could find, and then people who weren't even looking when it happened. Then they moved to the hospital and did the same thing with everyone around it.

Francis squinted at the screen, slowly taking a drag from his cigarette. They were in the middle of the interview with a kid going on about what a great cook he was and how the hotel had probably infected Luciano with contaminated sheets, when he got tired of it. He turned it off, and pondered about the latest events.

Then he picked up the phone.

“Beilschmidt,” he said, “We need to talk.”

And then, after a few seconds he frowned and said, “Yes, I know you want money, now shut up and listen. He told me his father had a watch just like mine. I say we should wait for him to visit his poor child, and then we go there to...  pay our respects, what do you say?

He listened for a few moments, and then he finally smiled. A slow, sensuously threatening smile.

“Hmmm yes, my dear. I'll wait for it, then. I knew I could rely on your... resourcefulness. ”


Henrique looked at Sebastián, who just stood there looking awkward for a moment, and then left as fast as he could. Then he pulled the chair near the bed and sat down. It took years. Centuries. Ages.

And then, after one or two eons of waiting, he finally said:

“Can't I visit my own son?”

Luciano glared at him.

Henrique didn't seem to mind. Or notice.

“How long have you been feeling ill?”

“Where are you staying? When did you arrive? How did you even know? How the hell did they find you? I can't believe they had your number!”

He thought his father would repeat the question – and then he'd repeat his and they would be stuck in a loop forever forever – but Henrique sighed, and said:

“I'm not sure. I assumed you had told them. Now tell me, when did it start?”

“Why would I tell them to call you?” he said, glumly, “I didn't notice it. Or I did, but didn't know I had. Apparently, I talked about it when I was drunk, but I wasn't even thinking about it. Then I went to the doctor just in case. And then this happened.”

The drunk part was on purpose, since Henrique had never let him drink before when he had a say in his life, but he didn't react to it. He just nodded, lost in his own thoughts.

Luciano tried to ignore it, but the silence got too heavy.

“I still think I'm perfectly fine. And anyway what's the point? We know they won't find anything.”

This made Henrique raise his head. He stared right into his soul with those dead eyes of his, and said, “You'll have to be patient. What did the doctor say?”

“Nothing. And I don't want to be patient. I'll leave as soon as I can.”

It was meant as a challenge, and that was how Henrique took it, because his eyes flashed that old familiar anger, but then he remembered himself before he could say anything, and looked away again. He sighed.

“Fair enough. I'll leave you to rest now.”

Luciano watched as he got up. Then, when Henrique was almost at the door, he said, “Dad, what are you up to? Why did you come?”

“I'll come back when I finish unpacking,” he said, ignoring the other question, “Try to rest.”

“You know you're not getting anything, right? Even if I don't recover. So you're wasting your time.”

He sighed again. In that way that clearly meant he was tired of Luciano being a dumb kid and he wanted to go away. That was very familiar too.

“I just want to be sure you're not destroying yourself,” he said, “I'll see you tomorrow. Goodbye.”

“Don't bother. It's none of your business.”

He stopped, and looked at Luciano, and Luciano stared back, as hard as he could.

“Very well,” Henrique said.

“Will you go back home?”

“That's none of your business, is it? Goodbye, Luciano.”


Henrique heard the snort when he closed the door, but he didn't mind. Much.

And Luciano was wrong, by the way. The hospital had called him, yes, much to his surprise, and he planned to look carefully into it to find out how they had manage that. But by the time they reached him he was already on his way to the airport. He had been watching the game, had been the only one to see the spectacle of humiliation for what it was and by the time Luciano passed out, he had his flight booked and was packing the few clothes he wanted to take.

He had spent the last few hours counting all the reasons why he shouldn't have bothered, and that was why he didn't have any enthusiasm to show when he entered the hospital. The nurse led him to the room with a kind smile, saying Luciano would be pleased to see him, and Henrique smiled back, because the kid was obviously new and still had to learn a few things about minding his own business, and because Henrique knew perfectly well how wrong he was.


Episode 16


Martín waited for another thirty minutes, but Sebastián refused to talk to him, claiming he had to work, and anyway Luciano was sleeping so he wouldn't let him in even if he could.

So he left. And, by leaving when he did, he missed two things.

One was, of course, Henrique's arrival.

The other was an extremely tall dark-haired young man entering and explaining he was the new nurse and was just starting and someone called for Sebastián to explain him the ropes.

But he missed all that, because he had important things on his mind. He couldn't make sense of the mysterious conversation he had just heard. The thing about going to the Orphanage was a little chilling, considering, so he drove there instead of going back to work.

He didn't look for Antonio, because in the last few days the man had filled his cellphone inbox with crazy messages and he wasn't in the mood for the avalanche of accusations he'd get for not replying. He tried the girls' dorm, but it was empty, of course, so he had to look everywhere and when he finally found Maria, sitting under a tree and watching kids playing on the playground, he wanted to strangle her. Or chop down the tree. Or anything.

“So, what's that Maddie person up to?”

Maria looked at him.

After a while, she said:


It took him ten minutes of ranting, but when he was done, she had a clearer picture of the whole situation and Maddie's general weirdness.

“I knew she was a bit... off,” Maria mused, “But I have no idea what she might be wanting. I mean, right now she's with Alícia. It's so unfair, because Alfred came to visit me, but Antonio not only kicked him out, he also turned on the electric fence, but she can come in as she pleases just because she stutters and he thinks she's cute and harmless. What I want to know is-”

“I don't think you're seeing the point here! Who the hell is Alfred? Those two can be dangerous.”

“I didn't see you worrying when you left me alone with them with no money and no way to come back home,” she said, a little colder than she had to considering that it wasn't true, he had checked. “Also, thank you for not asking if I wanted to see Alfred or if we're getting along or anything about how I might be feeling. Find Maddie if you want, she's probably somewhere around.”

“This is not fair and you know it. I'm trying to see if you're safe!”

She shrugged.

He waited for an elaboration, but she didn't say anything and he knew he should drop it now or it would escalate and they'd end up fighting, but Martín was tired and anxious and still angry and he had never tried to avoid a fight before in his life.

“Fine, then tell me how you're getting along, is he hitting on you? Why do you want him to visit? If they're trying to find a way to enter the place for God knows what, you know this is the easiest way to do it?”

“What, so he's being friendly because he wants... what exactly? We have nothing worth stealing, and nothing to find out either, but since the idea that they might be interested in me and Alí is so unthinkable I'm sure there must be something I'm missing, right?”

“That's not what I said, but if you're not going to listen to me, then I won't waste my time.”

“Of course you won't.”

“And what's that supposed to mean?”

She didn't answer again.


“Fine. Fine, I came here to see you, but if you're going to be like that, then I'll leave.”

He waited for her move, but she shrugged again.

Sometimes he really hated teenagers.

Fine, then. This is turning out to be a great day. First that idiot and his fucking watch and then I have to wait for hours for nothing and then I try to visit my sister and have a civil conversation and-”


Oh, now she was interested.

“Luciano's watch, remember? That we accidentally stole because you couldn't stay home like I told you to.”

“Go to hell, Martín, if I wanted to stay home I wouldn't have bothered to go visit my brother in the first place, and anyway I gave it back already. Didn't you say you were leaving?”

“Gave it back? How? When? Why wasn't I informed?”

“Because you don't care!” she got up, slapping the dirt from her skirt, “You don't care about me and what I do and about how much he wants that thing back either because you only care about yourself and now I have homework to do, so bye.”

She left, and didn't even look back when he called her.


Maria wasn't as much as angry as hurt when she left. She meant every word – Martín was a total jerk, but he was also being even more uncaring than usual lately.

But as the time passed, she started to think. So the watch hadn't reached Luciano. Why? It would take Manuel less than five minutes to take it to him. Maybe it was a misunderstanding and Martín was being stupid. As usual. Or maybe something weird had happened. Maybe Manuel was even weirder than she had thought.

And that was why the next day she went to the hospital instead of going back to the orphanage when her classes were over. Alícia would cover for her if anyone asked, and she'd be back before dinner anyway. Probably.

It took her a lot of charm and threats and emotional blackmail, but in the end Sebastián finally – grudgingly – agreed to ask Luciano if he'd see her.

He said yes.

Maria's smile was the smuggest thing ever, when an extremely surprised Sebastián led her to the room.

Luciano, on the other hand, looked forlorn and thinner than she remembered. He was very pale, too, no color on his lips and his cheeks, and his eyes were dull and then she forced herself to stop counting all the differences. At least he was alive, and anyway anyone would look like this after passing out in front of a million people.

She could see the similarity, because the TV was on and that was the scene they were playing.

“Maria-with-the-super-long-name,” he said, smiling weakly, “Don't make that face. I'm not that bad, am I?

“Eh, no, sorry, of course not. It's the smell. Hospital smell. It makes me kinda- anyway. How- how are you doing?”

At least his eyes were as warm as she remembered, and gestured to the chair near the bed. She sat down, wondering if this had been a good idea. The sounds from the TV helped to hide the silence, and she tried to find something to say. They weren’t exactly friends. Or anything. The last time they had talked, she had been trying to get his autograph and he was being his flirty fun star persona, until stupid Martín decided to come out of the closet. So to speak. And then he had kicked her out.

There was someone bawling on the TV now, and going on about how Luciano was probably dead and how much they would miss ogling his butt during the games.  

“They're overreacting. I still say it was that guy. I think he broke my kidneys.”

Maria forced a smile.

Then she thought, well, fuck it.

“You shouldn’t watch this crap. It will make you depressed and that will ruin your immune system.”

“There’s nothing else,” he said, but turned it off anyway. “Well, nothing else I want to watch. I think I’ll ask them to get me a DVD. Or something. This silence is driving me crazy. Can you get me my Ipod?”

It was on the bedside table, and she thought he could get it himself if he wanted to, but fine. And then she reconsidered, when she gave him the thing and it seemed to be hard for him to lift his hand to get it.

Luciano noticed it.

“It’s all the medicine, it’s making me dizzy. I keep dropping things. Hang on, I might need your help to turn it on.”

“Right,” she said. She hoped it was. Watching him struggle like that was painful. “Still, hospitals are supposed to be silent, you know.”

“Not when it's making me crazy, and anyway I promised them I would keep it down, so it's okay. I think my father told them to not bother me too, which is stupid because I’m the one paying for all this, not him, so why should he throw his weight around, but it doesn’t matter, because at least I can- what is with this stupid thing-”

“Hm, yeah, anyway. I wanted to ask you something. About that watch, remember, Martín said you asked, and I thought it was weird because I-”

“Got it,” he said, triumphantly, and the music started.  

Maria had never heard it before in her life. It took her a few seconds to figure out it was Italian. She had no idea what it was saying, she only picked up a few words and it was something about a child and a mother and stars and... a war? A cricket? The singer's voice was strong and cheerful and it hit her like someone had punched her stomach.

“Ask what? Maria? Maria?”

She looked at him. She didn't even blink, trying to hold it back, but the music was still going and then the tears spilled out.


It took her ages to stop, and Luciano had no idea what to do. In the end he just waited it out, because he couldn't even get up to hold her or anything, not with the IV thing stuck to his arm, and there was nothing here to use as a handkerchief so, when she finally stopped, she had to go to the bathroom to wash her face.

“I'm so, so sorry,” she said when she came back, “I have no idea what happened, just- what- what was that song?”

“It's ok,” he said, still dumbfounded, “It's, ah, an old Italian song. Do you know Gigliola Cinquetti? Do you, uh- find her- particularly touching?”

“Never heard of her,” Maria said, sniffling, “I don't know. I really don't know. It's just. I'm sorry. I think I'm going crazy. I'm sorry.”

“Don't worry, it's okay. I, uh, understand. It's a... a really nice song. Honestly, I feel kinda weird when I hear it too, because we used to love that stuff, when I was a kid. My family, I mean. There's this old video with the whole family and my aunt sings that stuff all that time. She was Italian. My aunt, I mean.”

“Is she, like, super famous? In Italy? Not your aunt, the singer.”

“I have no idea. She was, in the sixties. I don't even know if she's alive. I have more here. Hers and some other's. Wanna hear it?”

She nodded. He picked someone else this time, just in case, and the song was pretty good too, but he could tell Maria wasn't paying attention. He still let it play, because talking was making him weirdly tired. Must be that dumb medicine they kept giving him.

When it ended, he turned it off and waited.

“I just wanted to say I got your watch,” she said, without any preamble, as if the last minutes hadn't happened. Or if she wanted to get this over it so she could leave. “I gave it to the hotel guy. Manuel. He said he'd give it to you.”

“Did he? Uh. Weird. Maybe he forgot about it. I'll call him, them.”

“That was ages ago. I don't know what's up with him. But we didn't steal it.”

“It doesn't matter, I think... maybe he was busy with his cooking. Or forgot. It's ok.”

“I'm sorry.”

“No, that's fine. Good to know. This means I don't have to see Martín again. Finally, some good news...”

Then someone knocked. From the inside, because the door was already opened and the person had knocked just to signal that he was there.

Luciano groaned.

Martín smiled at him, the ugliest darkest smile Luciano has ever seen.

“Hey, you two. Talking about me?”


Maria wouldn't say she ran away from there, but that was only because the floor was really slippery and she didn't want to risk breaking her leg and getting stuck there forever.

But she still got away as fast as she could. The last thing she wanted to do now was talk to Martín, especially after that mini-fight, especially after bawling for five minutes over absolutely nothing, especially when they both knew she was supposed to be back at the Orphanage hours ago.

So she left Luciano to deal with her brother – and her brother to deal with him – and then rubbed her eyes because her heart was still hurting.

And another time because Alfred was there. Leaning on a lamppost and looking really cool, yes, but here.

One look at her, and his smile dropped.

“Oh my God,” he said, rushing to her side, “Is it that bad? Is he dead? Did he die when you were there? I'm so sorry you had to watch it!”

And then he just – he put his arms around her and pulled her near, and Maria found herself burying her face in his chest and hugging him back.

“He's fine,” she said, trying not to sniffle, “It's me. I'm going insane. What are you doing here?”

“I came to check on things,” he said, holding her shoulders. He seemed to think the hug moment was over, because he pulled away. Maria sighed.


“Well. You. Mostly. But I wanted to know what was going on, I mean, people would ask, right? When I get home. Since I'm here anyway. And this is a major event. So they'd ask how it was, and I thought I should come to check. It makes sense, if you think about it.”

“Martín says you're up to something.”

He didn't even flinch.

“Martín doesn't know me, so how would he know? And I'm not.”

“I don't know, you are pretty weird. Are you following me? How did you know I'd be here?”

“Well... he's- hm. I know you said that about Antonio not being your- erm- I thought maybe you'd still be close enough to visit. And I was right, so there.””

“Antonio? Close? What are you going on about?””

“Uh? About him being your cousin? Only not really because you're not related but close enough?”

“Alfred, are you drunk? Who's my cousin?”

“Luciano!” now he seemed frustrated, “I mean, you know how his father is Antonio's brother, and that would make him your cousin if you two were actually related? Forget it, it's clearly not the case. Do you want to eat something?”

Maria stared at him.

Well, of course Don Antonio had to have a personal life, somehow. He just happened to be a very private person who never shared much of anything and she had somehow assumed he was alone in the world except for them – even if she had never believed he had actually murdered his family to make meatballs, as some of the old newspapers insisted he had - but this was still too much for her to process and Alfred was looking worried and she knew she had to say something, so she said the only thing she could think:

“What did you just say?”


Where is Henrique staying? Does Maddie and CO really have only one neuron? What was up with that anyway? Is Sebastián the nice nurse hiding a dark secret? Is the song Maria heard a pretty song (spoiler: yes, you can find it here)? What's going on here?


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