Lovino awoke to the sound of sweet chirpings from the birds outside the window. Sunlight peeked through the curtains and landed on the grumpy Italian's eyes causing him to pull the covers over his head. Wait...covers? Lovino immediately sat upright, wincing slightly from the pain that coursed throughout his entire body, but he tried to ignore it. His eyes scanned the area. He was in a room with sky blue-painted walls. A bookshelf sat across the bed which lay against the wall with the window. The bed was soft and comforting accompanied with fluffy pillows and a warm blanket. Beside the bed was a small dresser with an alarm clock sitting on top. It was a fairly simple and empty room, and it was completely foreign to the mafioso.
Lovino swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood up, only to find his legs to feel weak and fail him. The Italian quickly grabbed hold of the dresser to keep himself propped up. He let out a soft curse before hearing a soft gasp and looked up towards the doorway where you stood.
"You shouldn't be up!" you chided the man as you walked towards him to help. "You should rest; don't overexert your—“
Your words were cut short, and you stopped in your tracks as you stared down at the barrel of a gun. Lovino was holding a gun and pointing it at you. You were completely shocked, and you wondered where he got the gun and why he had it.
"Who the hell are you, ragazza?" Lovino growled at you. His voice held menace and murderous intent.
You opened your mouth to answer, but no sound came out. You never had a gun pointed at you, and you continued to stand there paralyzed.
Lovino's eyes widened upon hearing his sibling's voice, and his expression faltered, but the Italian's grip on the gun stayed firm and absolute. Soon enough, Feliciano had entered the room. He stood between you and Lovino's gun.
"It's okay fratello. This is [Name]," Feliciano explained, "She's my friend."
Since Feliciano stood between the both of you, you were unable to see what Lovino was doing, but you heard grumbling before Feliciano moved to the side so that both you and Lovino could look at each other. Lovino had put his gun away—you had no idea where, and to be honest, you didn't really want to know—and was now staring at you with intense eyes as though examining you and seeing if you were worth anything. He merely let out a grunt and looked away.
"Well, that's awfully rude," you thought to yourself. You would've said it out loud, but he had a weapon on him. No way were you going to take your chances.
"Um, yo-your brother has told me lots about you. It's nice to finally meet you," you said as you offered your hand out towards the male for a handshake.
Lovino just glanced at your hand before his eyes travelled to stare at the wall again. He didn't say anything, and it looked like he wasn't going to make any move to shake your hand either. A small frown marred your lips before letting out a dejected sigh.
"I'm...going to go make breakfast," you said, turning on your heels and heading downstairs to the kitchen, leaving the two brothers alone.
Feliciano watched your retreating figure before directing his attention towards his older brother. The bed dipped slightly as the Italian male sat down on the edge of the bed.
"You shouldn’t have pulled out your gun on her," Feliciano scolded his sibling.
Lovino scoffed, "The last thing I remember was being in a fight with that bastardo of a boss, and I wake up in some place I don't know, so excuuuuse me for pulling out my gun in self-defence!"
"Still!" Feliciano argued with Lovino, "She's only a ragazza; you never point your guns at them!"
"They're just as capable of being demons," Lovino spat.
Feliciano's eyebrows knitted together in frustration and concern as he thought, "He still hasn't gotten over'her' yet..."
The younger Italian's thoughts were cut off when Lovino let out a frustrated growl, "Damn...I can't believe that bastardo was able to beat me up this badly..."
"You should rest," Feliciano said, "[Name] worked really hard to treat your wounds after all."
Lovino raised an eyebrow. "That ragazza did this?" he asked curiously. Feliciano nodded. "I take it these are her clothes as well?"
"You're lucky she had some male clothes that fit you," Feliciano answered. "...I helped you change into them, and I made sure you had your gun with you since I know how important it is to you."
There was a brief silence. Lovino gave a harrumph and crossed his arms over his chest and muttered, "Don't expect a 'thank you' because you're not getting one."
Feliciano smiled, "You should thank [Name] since she was the one to treat your wounds, give you clothes and a bed, and she's willing to take care of you until you recover."
"...Does she know?" Lovino asked with serious eyes, "About you? ...About us?"
Once more, a frown made its way to the younger sibling's lips. His eyes reflected the same seriousness as Lovino. "...No, but I'm planning on telling her soon."
"I see...She's your friend, right? You shouldn't have brought me here," Lovino said in a condescending tone. "She's already in a lot of danger with just knowing your name alone."
Feliciano shifted around uncomfortably, "I had no choice...I couldn't bring you to a hospital—it was too dangerous—and well, I trust her."
Lovino looked at Feliciano and his apologetic expression. The male let out an exasperated sigh. "Whatever!"
"Let's go downstairs for breakfast," Feliciano said. "Oh, and fratello?"
"What?" the older male snapped as he gingerly got up from the bed.
"Try not to point any more weapons towards [Name], okay?" Feliciano said as he helped his older brother stand up. "Anyone would get pretty shaken by something like that; she's no exception."
Lovino didn't say anything and the two Italians slowly but surely made their way downstairs to the dining room where you had already finished setting the table. There were three plates set out along the table with three glasses and eating utensils. In the middle of the table were plates full of eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Orange juice, milk, and water sat at the table as well.
"Oh, hey," you greeted the two as they sat down. Feliciano helped his older brother out. "Good; I was just about to call you two that breakfast was ready."
"Veh~ This looks really good bella!" Feliciano complimented.
You smiled as you took your own seat between the two brothers who sat at both ends of the table, "Thanks."
You glanced over to Lovino; he didn't say anything, and he wasn't eating anything either. Feliciano was already gobbling down a plateful of pancakes. You tilted your head slightly to the side and asked, "Is something wrong?"
"Did you poison anything?" Lovino asked bluntly.
Your eyes widened slightly and you let out an incredulous gasp. Such rude manners! Feliciano kicked his older brother from under the table causing him to glare daggers at Feliciano. Feliciano mouthed the words 'be nice'. Lovino merely rolled his eyes as he picked up his knife and fork and took one pancake from the pile. He had cut it and placed a small piece of the food in his mouth and chewed it slowly. You saw his eyes light up slightly, but he didn't say anything. Instead, he just continued to eat in a slow manner.
"This is really good bella. You're quite skilled with cooking," Feliciano said, trying to lighten up the atmosphere.
You shook your head, "I'm really not. I just know how to cook basic things."
"Can you cook pasta for tonight?" Feliciano asked.
A light laugh left your lips. You knew just how much Feliciano loved his pasta; it didn't surprise you—he was Italian after all. (How stereotypical thing of you to think that). "Of course; I'll try."
Feliciano beamed, "Yay! I can't wait!"
You smiled at him before bringing your attention back to the plate in front of you. You ate in silence as you replayed the events from before. It made no sense to you as to how and why Lovino had a gun. Feliciano still hadn't explained anything to you, and your thoughts were running wild with various imaginations of just what kind of dangerous matters the two brothers were involved in. You tried to push the subject away; Feliciano will tell you when he's ready. You trust him, and he promised after all.
"How did the two of you meet?"
You were snapped back to reality upon hearing Lovino's voice. It took you a while to register what he had asked you.
"O-Oh!" you said, completely surprised to find Lovino actually talking with you since he seemed so unsocial, "Um...well, it was about a year ago..."
Feliciano was sitting alone at a crowded restaurant. It was full of buzz and chatter, but Feliciano wasn't paying attention to any of it. Instead, he was staring intently at a burly man who sat a few tables away from him. Feliciano was on an espionage mission right now, and that man was his target.
"Good afternoon. I'm [Name] and I'll be serving you today. What would you like?"
Feliciano tore his eyes away from the man and looked up at you. You wore a rehearsed smile and had tired [e/c] eyes. Things have been really busy for you, and you were unable to find enough sleep during the night—or even day for that matter, but even so, it was part of your job to be friendly and to put on a charming smile for the customers.
Feliciano figured it would be suspicious and rude if he didn't order anything, so he quickly placed an order. You wrote it down on a notepad and nodded. You turned around and went to get it. Feliciano's eyes travelled back to the man. He was accompanied by two other men, and they were currently chatting about something. Feliciano was unable to hear their conversation over the buzz of the restaurant, but he was still able to hear their obnoxious laughter.
Soon enough, you had returned to Feliciano's table with his order. You placed it down in front of the male and flashed another rehearsed smile at him. "Enjoy!"
"Grazie bella," Feliciano thanked you as he handed you a twenty dollar tip.
Your eyes lit up and you graciously accepted it. You gave another curt nod and walked away, placing the tip in your pocket. As you were walking to your next table to take orders, you heard a crash. Your attention, along with everyone else, turned towards a burly man who sat at a fair distance from you—the same man that Feliciano was spying on.
"Look at what you did, you bitch!" he yelled at one of the other waitresses that worked there, except it wasn't just any waitress; it was your best friend, Kathy.
"I-I'm sorry!" Kathy apologized as she pathetically picked up knocked down glasses.
"This suit was damn expensive, and you ruined it!" the man continued to yell at your friend.
The restaurant had gotten awfully quiet, except for a few whispers amongst the customers and your co-workers. Everyone's attention was on what was happening with the man and your friend. You quickly walked over to them. It didn't seem like anyone was going to help anytime soon.
"What seems to be the trouble?" you asked coolly as you walked over to the table.
You stopped just in front of the man, and flinched slightly. He had such an intimidating aura and stare. Even though he was sitting down, it still felt like he was towering over you. "This bitch here was a total klutz and knocked our drinks over! Now it's all over my expensive suit!" the man explained.
One of the two men who sat with him spoke, "Why, if I didn't know any better, you'd think she did it on purpose!"
You spared a side glance towards your friend and saw that she was close to tears. Even so, she didn't say anything to defend her case and just continued to clean up the mess.
"I highly doubt Kathy would do that on purpose," you said directing your attention back to the taunting men. "But we sincerely apologize for the mess. Why don't you leave us the bill for your dry cleaning?"
The burly man scowled, "Don't mind if I do." He stood up from his seat, followed by the two men. He then left the restaurant, leaving everyone else in complete awkward silence. You let out a small sigh of relief, thankful that there was no longer anyone there to intimidate you. The restaurant remained quiet for a few more seconds before the usual loud conversations resumed again.
You placed your hand around Kathy's shoulder. You tried to comfort her, "Hey, it's okay..."
Kathy didn't say anything. Instead, she looked up at you with terrified and apologetic eyes. A co-worker of yours had approached the both of you and suggested that you take Kathy to the back to clean up while the co-worker would fix things up in the restaurant.
You then led Kathy to the back, all the while reassuring her that she didn't do anything wrong at all. After that incident, the remaining time of your work was uneventful and boring. You heaved a sigh as you changed out of your uniform, grabbed your stuff, and then left for home. You lived fairly close to the restaurant, so you always walked to and back from work. As you were heading back, you accidentally bumped into someone.
"O-Oh, I'm sorry!" you apologized before realizing who you were apologizing to.
"It's okay bella."
It was the same Italian whom you served back at the restaurant. He had left quite an impression on you with his weird hair curl sticking out on the left side of his hair, so you were able to recognize him unlike the rest of your customers.
"What you did at the restaurant back then was really cool," the male said.
You shrugged, "Anyone else would've done the same."
The Italian—he looked Italian to you—shook his head, "You're too modest bella. Everyone was really scared, but you were pretty brave there."
"...She's my co-worker and friend. I couldn't leave her alone," you replied, "But if you're complimenting me on how I helped with that scary brute, why didn't you do anything?"
"I had my reasons," the man shrugged.
Then, without having anything else to say, the man left you alone. You walked back to your house without a second thought.
The next day at work, you recognized two familiar faces—the man that caused a ruckus the previous night, and the young Italian whom you had bumped into last night. The brute was alone, you realized, but that didn't make him even the less bit intimidating. When you first approached him yesterday, you were terrified. His hateful eyes and permanent scowl made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. He was a man to be feared and best stay away from.
It seems like your co-workers recognized the man as well since they were too afraid to approach him and take his order. You didn't know how it happened, but in the end, you were the poor, unfortunate soul that had to converse with him. To your relief, you were able to take his order as well as bring it to him without much trouble.
You breathed out a sigh of relief as soon as you got away from him. You asked your co-workers, "Why couldn't you do it?!"
"You dealt with him before, so you do it!"
You couldn't help but knit your eyebrows together in frustration. You then threw up your hands in defeat. At least you were done with him and didn't have to deal with him ever again.
Once the day was done, you were taking your usual route back home when you couldn't help but feel as though someone was following you from the shadows. Perhaps you were just being paranoid, but that feeling was very intense. You stopped walking and quickly spun around as your eyes scanned the area. There was no one there. You resumed walking, except this time, your pace was much quicker. Every now and then, your head would turn around, but every time you did, you saw nothing and that nagging feeling just kept on festering inside of you.
Someone had placed a hand on your shoulder, and your initial reaction was to scream and run for your life, but your eyes landed upon the same Italian from the restaurant, so you stopped mid-panic. The Italian shot you an apologetic smile.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you," he said.
You shook your head and replied shakily, "I-It's alright."
"It's dangerous to be walking all alone like this. I could accompany you if you'd like."
At first, you were reluctant, but the male in front of you didn't seem bad. He seemed trustworthy, and you were far too tired to make any rational decisions, so you agreed.
"Great! My name's Feliciano, by the way," he introduced himself.
"I'm [Name]. It's nice to meet you Feliciano," you replied.
"Feliciano helped me out at that time by getting me home safely, and ever since then, we would occasionally bump into each other. After that, the two of us would start to hang out and soon enough, we became good friends," you finished explaining.
Just as soon as you finished your little story, everyone had finished with their breakfast. Lovino nodded and didn't comment on anything. The chair let out a soft scraping sound as Lovino pushed away from the table, getting up from his seat.
"Feliciano, I need to have a word with you," Lovino addressed the young man. His tone was sharp and stern; similar to that of a parent getting ready to scold a child. Maybe that's why Feliciano wore such a sullen face and was hesitant.
You stared curiously at the two males who left the room for privacy before turning your attention back to the table in front of you. You then started to clear everything, but all the while, you couldn't help but let your thoughts wander to Lovino's upset expression. Why did he look so disappointed at Feliciano after you finished your story on how the two of you became friends?
Meanwhile, Lovino was going full out and cursing at his younger brother. "Mi dispiace!" Feliciano tried to apologize to Lovino.
"Sorry isn't good enough!" Lovino yelled, "I remember that mission well since I was the one that assigned it to you! My specific orders were 'don't get involved with anyone' but you did!"
"She was in distress; I had to help her!" Feliciano tried to reason.
Lovino ignored his younger sibling’s reasoning, "You weren't supposed to be get involved with anyone! It just makes things much more dangerous!"
"Veh...fratello, I know you were just trying to keep me safe but—“
"Wh-who said I was just trying to keep you safe you idiota?!" Lovino interrupted him.
A small smile made its way to Feliciano's lips. He knew that despite what Lovino says, he really does care for the younger male and looks out for him and his safety. Lovino let out an exasperated sigh.
"We're in the mafia, Feliciano! We have to be careful about these things!"
The two males turned their heads and saw you standing in the doorway with a look of disbelief on your face. Lovino let out a frustrated groan followed by mutters of curses, and Feliciano gave you an embarrassed smile. You impatiently crossed your arms over your chest and tapped your feet against the floor. The two Italian brothers have a lot of explaining to do.
"Well? I'm waiting," you said with your eyes full of determination. You wanted an explanation and you were going to stop at nothing to get it.
The Vargas brothers sat on the couch across from where you sat on a chair that you pulled up. The two brothers had contrasting expressions and attitudes towards having to explain things to you. Feliciano was willing, albeit a bit hesitant, whereas Lovino looked like he'd rather die than tell you the truth.
"I have a lot of time to spare," you lied, glancing towards the clock that hung on the wall. It was awfully late and you had to get up early for work tomorrow, but even so, you wanted to hear what the two Italians had to say.
"Is it really true that you're in the mafia?" you asked for confirmation. Maybe you just heard things wrong. Feliciano was such a sweet guy, and Lovino sounded like such a caring person from the way Feliciano told you stories. You found it hard to believe the fact that they were indeed in the mafia.
"...Si," was the hesitant and quiet response.
You stared at the brothers dubiously. You sunk back in your chair and tried to process the information. Your mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water, wanting to say something but came up empty. Your thoughts were either an incomprehensible mess or it was just slate clean.
"Hey ragazza!" Lovino snapped his fingers in front of your face to bring you back to reality. "You still with us?"
You blinked a couple of times and nodded. Words still refused to come to your mind. Lovino rolled his eyes as he slunk back on the couch and crossed his arms over his chest. His eyes travelled to the side of the room, glancing at your semi-messy bookshelves.
"Maybe we should start from the very beginning," Feliciano suggested.
You nodded your head, "...Yeah. That sounds like a good idea." You adjusted yourself in your seat so that you were comfortable. Something told you that this might take a while.
Feliciano smiled and started, "It all started with our nono. At first, he started out as a vigilante helping trouble citizens. At some point, he started gathering 'recruits' who held the same ideals and morals as him. Nono then expanded on things and the likes. Eventually, he became the boss for the mafia; the Vargas famiglia started with him."
Feliciano paused in his explanation. He wanted to make sure that you understood everything, so the pause was probably to give you an opportunity to ask any questions that you may possibly have. You didn't have any at the moment, so you gestured for him to continue. The younger mafioso looked towards Lovino to see if he would like to continue, but Lovino was too busy observing your house; you couldn't help but start to feel a bit self-conscious.
You lived by yourself, so you pretty much did anything you wanted with the house. It was pretty average; it was nothing compared to what you imagined a mafioso's house—or maybe even mansion—looked like. Well, even if your house was full of expensive things, you were certain that it would still have the same mess. You weren't a slob, but you weren't a neat-freak either. You could've been "average" when it came to how messy or clean you were, but you leaned a bit closer towards a slob.
"Please do go on," you told Feliciano as you tried to ignore Lovino's scrutinizing stare of your house.
"Alright, well...after Nono died, our parents took over. They were really good bosses from what we've heard; they were headstrong, brave, and rational. Unfortunately, they died in a mafia war three years ago."
You bit your lip and shifted around a bit uncomfortably. Feliciano had told you before that his parents had passed away, but you never knew—or suspected for that matter—that it was because of a mafia war.
"So how did you guys get involved in the mafia?" you asked.
"Like our parents took over for Nono, we took over for them," Feliciano answered simply.
You mentally slapped yourself; duh! It was such an obvious reason. You couldn't help but feel stupid. Feliciano sensed this and flashed you a considerate smile.
"Actually...technically speaking, fratello is the one who took over. I'm more like his right hand man," Feliciano added.
You were taken by surprise from this information. "Really?"
"Si!" Feliciano replied proudly. "He's the older one, so it's only natural. Plus, I didn't really want to be a boss for the mafia. It just doesn't suit me."
You were going to say that being in the mafia alone didn't suit the young Italian, but you bit your tongue instead. The conversation then went dead as Feliciano finished his explanation; it was much shorter than what you had expected. The silence was deafening, and you struggled with yourself on whether or not you should ask this one question that's been gnawing at your mind for a while now. In the end, you decided to ask.
"...Am I safe?"
You saw both of the Vargas brothers tense up upon hearing your question. Lovino, who was already avoiding your gaze, tried even harder to do so. Even Feliciano's eyes started to travel across the room, refusing to meet your eyes. You repeated the question once more.
"Fratello needs some time to recover, but we'll be out of your way soon," Feliciano said.
You shook your head, "I don't mind; I promised to help after all, but that doesn't answer my question."
"Veh...well..." Feliciano was at a loss for words, and he had started to twiddle with his thumbs.
Both of the brothers flinched at your sudden change in tone; it was stern and demanding, though Feliciano flinched much more out of the two since it was he who was being addressed. Lovino shot his brother a somewhat apologetic look.
Feliciano sighed and managed to look at you reassuringly. "Don't worry bella. We promise to keep you safe."
Lovino got up from his seat and exited the room, heading upstairs without a word. Feliciano followed suite, leaving you all alone. You replayed the answer over in your mind. You didn't know how to interpret it. Did Feliciano mean that you were safe as long as the Vargas brothers were there, or did it mean that you were in so much danger that Feliciano just said that so you wouldn't worry? In any case, you were already starting to worry about your current predicament, and you were slowly starting to regret ever asking.