berseker: (ninja)
[personal profile] berseker
Title: The Flying Heart of Love 12/?
Rating: ... Pgish, sort of. Maybe not.
Characters: Luciano, Martín, Maria, Portugal!OC, 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 eavesdropped on Maddie and heard her having a mysterious conversation, Luciano had fight with his father, Martín had a fight with Maria, who then had a moment over an Italian song. And Alfred was there being cool.


Thanks to Zu for reading it over for me ♥







*~*~*

Episode 17

*~*~*





Luciano looked wary.

“What are you doing here?”

“What were you doing with my sister?”

They faced each other. It was a little unbalanced, because Luciano was still a mess, strangely fragile in the hospital bed, and Martín looked proud and harsh and on top of his game, but Luciano made his best to look like he hadn’t noticed it. Martín waited, trying to stare him down, and he was about to snap at him to go look at something else, when the dumb journalist finally gave up.

“Whatever, I don't have time for this bullshit.”

“Great,” Luciano said, relieved, “But my question stands, I never said you could come and- what do you think you're doing?”

Taking pictures, that's what he was doing. Luciano was so shocked that he didn't react.

The next second he was trying to press the button to call the nurse, and then Martín got more insane and grabbed his hand.

“Let go, you psycho-”

“Talk to me,” he said, “You can do that, right?”

“Let go if you want to keep your job, you asshole.”

Then Martín kissed him.

He grabbed his chin and held him tight enough to bruise, and the kiss was harsh and almost violent and it pressed his head against the pillow. His lips ached when Martín let go.

Martín straightened his back. He seemed to be struggling too, to find something to say. Luciano stared at him, too shocked for words.

“Don't mess with me,” Martín said, but it came out weird and defensive and Luciano started to shake his head, not knowing exactly what he was denying.

“Get out. Now,” he said. His voice was strange too.

“You started it.”

“Get out!”

“No, you started it, and now you keep treating me like- like this, when I did nothing to deserve it, and you're acting like you did me a favor that night when you started the whole thing and I just went along with it-”

“Then get out, Martín. God, is that so hard to understand? I don't want to talk to you, or see you here, that was a one night thing only-”

“See, see, you're doing it again, did you hear me asking you for anything? You keep acting like I'm desperate and you refuse to see that I don't want you either-”

“Then why the fuck are you fucking here? I don't want your explanations and I don't care about what you're thinking and-”

“No wonder you only have one night stands, if that's the way you treat your lovers.”

“You're not my lover, you're a mistake that won’t go away! And anyway don’t be stupid, did you see the line outside waiting for a chance to see me? No, forget that, I’m sure you didn’t, you’re the worst journalist I’ve ever seen, now will you go away by yourself or will you wait for security?”

He pressed the button. Martín was struggling to find a way to answer, to come on top, but then Sebastián opened the door.

“Is everything ok? What’s all this noise-”

“Get him out,” Luciano said, but the pair didn't have to do anything. Martín left on his own, making a point of rudely bumping the guy's shoulder on his way out.

“Also, that was the worst kiss I’ve ever had in my life,” he shouted at his back. He would have said more, but Sebastián shut the door. He came to the bedside and started to fuss, checking his temperature and fixing the blankets and Luciano let him, but it didn't help him feel any less miserable.

“He's like that,” the nurse finally said. “I mean, he's a great guy, but he can be trying too. Just- it would go better if you didn't say-”

“What, were you listening? That was a private conversation!”

He regretted it right away, and Sebastián's eyes had this flash of hurt that made Luciano feel like he had slapped him.

“Of course. I'm sorry.”

“No, I'm sorry. He just- I’m sorry, anyway we were shouting, so it doesn’t matter, and I'm not like this. I swear I'm not. He's wrong. I'm just- being here makes me- I'm sorry. It's this... everything.”

“I think it's him,” Sebastián said. “You were okay with Maria. And me before. And your father. Maybe he just gets on your nerves.”

Luciano snorted, but he was still too depressed for it to look like anything but... well, a depressed snort.

“I wasn’t ok with my father, we had a fight too.” He sunk in his pillows. “I’m having fights with everyone.”

“Sorry, I didn't know. If you want to- well, anything. To talk to me about it, I'm here.”

He was smiling again, kind and compassive. Luciano sighed.

“Thank you. I'll remember that.”

“I mean it. Anything. Like the reason why it was so insanely hard to find out where your father was. It was like he didn't want to be found. I'd like to know why. If you want to talk about it.”

“Maybe one day,” he said. Then he tried to smile, and it turned into a pout, “I'm sorry. Are you- how do you know him?”

“Your father? I don’t. Why would I? I’m just very willing to listen if you ever feel like talking about him. For some reason. I’m just saying.”

“No, forget my father. Martín. And Maria. How do you know them?”

“Oh. From the Orphanage. We grew up together.” One look at Luciano's face, and then he smiled softly. “You didn't know that.”

“Hell no. What orphanage? What? What?”

Sebastián laughed.

“It's not like you're thinking,” he said, and then patted his shoulder, “You should rest now.”

“I don't want to! Just- how-”

“I'll tell you tomorrow, if you do as I say. Go to sleep.”

“I'm not tired,” he said, but he was lying. He was exhausted, just like always.

“And then,” Sebastián said, “We can share family secrets. Sweet dreams.”



*




“I hear you, kid, but you need to understand my side of things. Things are happening too fast, and I might have to gather my things before this thing gets even worse, you understand. Not that it will, I have things under control. But just in case. So where's my money?”

“I told you, I don't have it yet,” Miguel almost wailed. He had been going over the same crazy loop for the last thirty minutes, “But you didn't give me time, like, come on, not even a month? I know I can do this, uh, thing, but-”

“Miguel. My dear. My cherry, as a friend would say. That's not the right answer. You don't want me to go there to discuss it personally, do you? Now, where is my money?”

“Please! Just one month? I'll have it all, I swear!”

What he wanted to say was more like oh God please don't kill me I'm too young to die I have so much to give oh God- but he thought a businessman needed some self-respect.

On the other side of the line, the mysterious white-haired man tut-tuted at him, and Miguel could almost see him shake his head, as if he were already mourning the loss of his young precious life.

“Please?”

“Tell you what,” he said, “I'm not a bad guy. I'm a great guy. In fact, I'm an awesome guy. You wouldn't believe how awesome I am.”

“I'm sure you are,” Miguel said, cautiously.

“I'm so awesome that I'll give you fifteen days. How about that?”

“That's not even-”

“How about that, Miguel?”

“Fifteen days is perfect! Thank you! You're- really awesome.”

The white-haired man hung up.

Miguel cursed, and then he kicked the table and seriously considered throwing the phone against the wall. But he might need it to pay part of his debt, so he didn’t.

Ah, well. At least he had handled that with dignity. That would be a comfort when he died.






*~*~*

Episode 18

*~*~*





Henrique's second visit turned out to be worse than the first.

And the worse thing was, Luciano had considered talking to him. The same way sometimes he'd pick up the phone and call him on a whim just so they could fight again, but he had. He still wanted to rant about Martín, and he wanted to ask if he remembered the Italian songs - after Maria he had thought a lot about it – but the first idea was stupid because Henrique had told him to sue him so he'd just say 'told you so', and the second was even worse because he hated those videos.

He had tried to throw them away years ago, when they were still dusty VHS tapes. Luciano had always assumed it was because watching mom was too painful. Now he wasn't so sure anymore. And if he asked about it, he might have to mention how he had rescued them, and Henrique would complain, and by the time they were done with what was bound to be an incredibly boring discussion, he wouldn't be in the mood to say anything anyway.

So when his father opened the door, Luciano glanced at him, and went back to the Solitaire game he was playing with real cards to make the time go faster. Sebastián had mocked him for cheating, but everyone knew live-action Solitaire was impossible to win.

Henrique nodded at him, and then sat by his side again.

This time, Luciano was determined to not speak first. But Henrique didn't seem to mind the silence and Luciano knew he could stay silent for hours, while he was bad at letting silence linger, especially a heavy awkward kind of silence like this one, so after five minutes of staring at the cards, he finally said:

“You never told me where you're staying.”

“I know.”

“Ha.”

“Is it important?”

“Of course not, I'm just trying to be civil. But if you don't want to talk, fine.”

Henrique looked away. After a few moments, to his surprise, he said:

“It's safer if I don't tell you.”

“... right.”

“You asked,” he said, mildly, “Now your turn. You never told me what the doctor said.”

“He didn't say anything, of course. They're still trying to figure out what happened. And I'm just waiting for the medicine to wear off so I can leave.”

“Wear off?”

It was Luciano's turn to look away.

“So you're still not well.”

“It makes me dizzy, okay? So I'm waiting. It makes sense.”

“It doesn't. You know it’s not the medicine. Did you try to leave? Didn't I tell you-”

“Tell me what?”

Henrique stopped. This time, Luciano let the silence linger.

“Fair enough,” Henrique said, “I suppose I don't have the right to tell you anything. I’m just your father, what do I know? But I'm worried, and I wish you'd take better care of yourself-”

“Why?”

They had gone through this before, more than once, but maybe Henrique had forgotten about it, because he insisted:

“Because you're my son? Isn't that reason enough?”

“How touching. No, really, why? If they hadn't called you, it'd be months before you even started to notice I wasn't around. Why are you here, dad?”

“God. You make this so damn difficult. If you could get over yourself for five minutes, you'd see at least I tried to take care of you, and I did a better job at keeping you alive than you're doing right now-”

“Hey, I'm not dead yet,” Luciano said, brightly, “Sorry to disappoint you.”

“Is that what you're thinking now? That I want my own son to die to prove me right?”

“No, you're too pragmatic for that, but don't tell me you didn't think about my will. Come on.”

“Luciano!”

“What, you didn't? At all? Not even a little bit? Wow, I'm so lucky to have such a loving family, and you know, I’m really happy, because I wouldn't want to disappoint you again.”

This time the silence was heavy enough to almost crush them, it was like being under a million tons of water with the darkness growing and the cold spreading and the pressure increasing and-

“And now you want to ask why.”

“I don't care about your will, stupid child. I don't care about all-”

“Right, I believe you. I'm so glad.”

Henrique got up. He looked very old.

“I don't know why I still bother,” he muttered, and Luciano watched him leave, shaking his head.

And that was it.

Luciano’s hands were trembling, when he got back to his game. Henrique would come back, whenever he decided it would be appropriate to investigate this. Because he did care, and both of them knew it.




*




Maria was in her bed, staring at the ceiling, and having an extremely disconnected conversation with Alícia. Right now, the room was theirs. It had two bunk beds, but there was no one else to occupy the extras, which meant they had privacy to vent, and Maria was trying to figure out her own reactions to that stupid song.

And the minor detail of Luciano being related to Don Antonio. But mostly the song.

“So, you're saying you agree with Alfred, that I must have heard that stupid song before?”

“No.”

“Then what the hell happened there? I've never felt something like this before in my life.”

“Oh, his theory makes sense. I'm just disagreeing with him on principle.”

Alícia was still unwilling to forgive that ideological mishap. And she wasn't exactly interested in the problem, either, her mind was somewhere else. Namely, in her creepy thoughts about Maddie.

They had been seeing each other, apparently, and Maddie had casually mentioned some modeling jobs she had done in her weirdly adventurous past.

“Look, I'm not going to... tell her or anything. It's just that she mentioned those pictures, and I'm curious, that's all.”

“Why? Ask her to wear a fancy coat and expensive jeans, and then you'll see it. Anyway.”

“It's not coat and jeans, she said it was lingerie!”

“I'm sorry, but I can't see her modeling lingerie.”

“Me neither,” Alícia wailed, “But I'm sure it must be online somewhere! It must be, how else would they sell it? And I'm sure I heard the name before. Lovina. Italian brand. Does that sound familiar?”

“Sure it does, everything is Italian today, just to annoy me. Stop being creepy and ask her to wear it for you in your next date.”

“Date? What date? We're not dating. We’re friends. Did she call it a date? We never said it was a date. Did her brother mention something?”

“God, I can't even remember the lyrics! Do you think I’m going insane? Like, I can recall some random words and that’s all. It was about a mother, and a baby, and... did I tell you the singer?”

“I guess?”

“Good. Who was it?”

“I don't know, Gioconda, or something. I don't think she thinks of it as a date. She's so... so incredibly sweet. She probably thinks she's doing me a favor, like, befriending the poor orphan and all.”

“That's not sweet. That's, like, the total opposite of sweet. And I’m sure it’s not Gioconda.”

“But she's not like that! Shut up, Maria, you don't even know her. I'm sure she likes me. I mean, as a friend. And she's very lonely, too. She says Alfred gets on her nerves, and there's a third brother too who is always getting the job she wants even if she’s more inconspicuous than he is.”

“Alfred is cool. And I couldn't care less if- a third brother who does what?”

“Yeah, I thought it was weird too, but she's always like that. She says Alfred never lets her have cool lines, and sometimes she's perfect for one job but then this other brother goes and takes it even if he's, like, really tall. I assumed she meant... something. I don’t know. But it seemed very important to her.”

“It must be some weird Canadian stuff. I knew I should have written the name. And the name of the song.”

“We should go to the lab. Then you can look it up, I can find her pictures. Come on, how mad can he be?”

He was Don Antonio, of course, who believed they were sleeping like two little angels. And what Alícia wanted to do was visit their Internet room behind his back. It wouldn't be the worst thing they had ever done, of course. Getting the key was easy enough, and they were allowed to use the computers.

Just not in the middle of the night.

“And then, if we do that... I guess I could check the Luciano thing.”

This got Alícia's attention, because Antonio's personal life was fascinating no matter what.

“I think it would be easier to ask him.”

“Yeah, but ask what? I don't even know what I want to know. It's just so confusing. I mean, he could have mentioned it. Why wouldn't he tell us, and brag about being related to a star? Or ask him to visit us? The boys would have gone insane.”

“I suppose,” said Alícia, who had never cared much for boys anyway. Or for visits.

“I mean it, Maria. It's just five minutes. We can do it. And it's worth it.”

“I don't know. I'm not sure I want to do it.”

“Come oooon what's wrong with you?”

“Nothing! I'm just- it's weird.”

She couldn't explain it right, because she didn't understand it herself, but this had been bothering her the whole afternoon. She had the feeling she was forgetting something important.

So she had tried to trace back what it was, but so far hadn't found anything. She knew she hadn't solved the watch thing, but Luciano had said he'd do it. So it wasn't that. Alfred hadn't done anything weird yet.

There was the fight with Martín, but there was so much going on that this didn't seem too important. They had fought before and would fight again, and if she lingered too much on that she'd feel angry again.

So what was it?

“Well, I'm going,” snapped Alícia, “If Don Antonio catches me, my blood will be in your hands.”

Maria waved her off.

Let's try again, she thought, from the moment I woke up. What did I do then?

She was almost asleep when it hit her. It was so obvious that she sat down, wildly awake, and then she couldn't sleep anymore.



*





“You said you had videos,” she panted, “Right? Of your family? Where are they?”

Luciano stared at her.

Today was not really being a good day. They had done more exams for nothing, and he had snapped at everyone, including the super tall new nurse who looked very familiar – and who had just grinned at him – and then they had decided that since he was dying anyway they'd help finish him off and had started to give him this gray porridge that wasn't worth the effort to bring the spoon to his mouth, and when he had said that Sebastián had smiled kindly and asked if he wanted him to do it.

Which wasn't the point at all, and then Luciano had snapped at him too and now he was feeling bad about it.

Also, Martín's new article was out. He hadn't read it yet, but he was sure he wouldn't like it.

So the last thing he wanted to talk about was his old family videos.

“They're kinda personal. Why?”

“Because you said it had your whole family and if that includes your cousins and if this is Antonio's family then I need to see it, please, I won't say anything even if you look really weird and I'll never mention it and it won't make any difference to you but it would mean the world to me so please-”

“Antonio?”

After a long and somewhat confusing explanation, he had some idea of what she wanted. He was also relieved he already knew about the orphanage, or he might have gawked at her.

“But, Maria... well, yes, of course you can, there’s one with everyone, but… it’s really short, and everyone there was drunk, and it will make you dizzy because it keeps… spinning around the room. And- look, I-”

I don't remember a girl, he wanted to say. Because that was obviously what she wanted to find. I remember my uncle and his wife and a kid but I'm almost positive it was a boy and you're setting yourself up with this.

What he said was:

“But you'll have to get my notebook at the hotel, but I'll call Manuel and ask him to let you in.”

“Could you do it now?”

“Sure,” he sighed, “If you can find my phone. It's... somewhere.”

He closed his eyes as she looked for it. He was still tired.

“Erm. Luciano? Are you awake?”

“Hm, yes,” he said, without opening his eyes. “Can you call him?”

“Sure! What's his number?”

“No idea. Can you find out?”

To his surprise, she laughed, a nervous, anxious sort of laughter. And in the end he couldn't tell how long it took her, because time seemed different when he had his eyes closed and it could have been thirty minutes or two seconds, but he heard her talking to someone who called someone else who called a third person, and then she started to complain about how hard it was to find the hotel's manager for fuck's sake and he smiled at the ceiling.

“You're good at this,” he said, when she gave him the phone. Held it against his ear, actually, but he opened his eyes then and forced his hand to pick it up.

She grinned at him.

Manuel wasn't too happy about it, but he didn't complain much. He had no reason to.

“There you go,” Luciano said. “You can watch it there, if you can find it. I don't remember where I saved, it's been a while. Or bring it here, and I'll show you.”

“I will, don't worry. Thank you so, so much!”

She left without explaining what exactly she was going to do. He could hear her bumping into someone in the hall.

Oh well.

He tried to remember the last thing dad had said about this uncle, and couldn't come up with anything. He was almost dozing off when someone knocked.





tcb...


Who’s the mysterious tall nurse? Why is Sebastián so curious about Luciano’s family? Will Alícia ever get to see Maddie in lingerie? Can Maddie come up with cool lines to say? Where is Henrique staying and, more important, do they have wi-fi there? And who’s the mysterious person knocking on the door? Dun dun DUN~

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