"For God's sake, would you shut up already? You've been talking nonstop ever since we set out!" Lovino shouted, highly annoyed with his brother Feliciano.
"But Lovi! I haven't finished my story yet!" Feliciano protested, pouting slightly.
"Maybe I'd be more inclined to listen to you if you weren't talking so fast, and you weren't shouting at the top of your lungs!" Lovino hissed.
"Alright, I'll go slower," Feliciano agreed, and then continued rambling; albeit slower and quieter than before.
As Lovino listened half-heartedly to his brother's tale, his eyes wandered to a young woman who was sitting under a tree a little ways away. Something about her intrigued him, though he couldn't quite put his finger on what it was.
She wasn't the prettiest thing he'd ever seen. In fact, quite the opposite. Her (h/l) (h/c) hair was frizzy, messy, and looked like it hadn't been brushed or washed in days. Her tired (e/c) eyes had dark circles under them, and she was wearing a very dirty (once) white t-shirt and equally dirty skinny jeans. She looked like she'd just washed ashore on a deserted island.
The reason for all of this, he guessed, probably had something to do with the sign she was holding, weakly. WILL WORK FOR FOOD/SHELTER/CASH was written in large black letters on the creased, dirty cardboard. Lovino felt sorry for her, which was a very rare thing for him. He wished he could do something to help her, but what?
"Eh...? Lovi? Wazza matter?" Feliciano asked, noticing that his brother had completely stopped in his tracks.
"What?! N-nothing, I'm fine!" Lovi shouted back, crossing his arms indignantly.
"Hey, look at that poor ragazza over there! Aww, we should help her, don't you think?" Feli asked, also noticing the girl under the tree.
"Y-yeah, whatever," Lovi agreed, trying not to sound too relieved. The boys began walking towards the girl.
Life had never treated you particularly well. As a kid, you were an only child whose mother died when you were ten, and whose father was a drunk and a drug addict. He abused you, both physically and verbally, to the point where it eventually didn't hurt anymore. Fortunately, your father had never explained the concept of suicide to you, or you would've committed it before you were fourteen.
By the time you were twelve, you had pretty much learned to do everything for yourself. You were practically living on your own, for your father was never sober enough to provide you with the care that he was supposed to. To be honest, you never really cared. You liked being independent. It made you think that when you were old enough to live on your own, you'd already be a pro.
Your school life was actually pretty nice. For the most part, you kept to yourself and were able to hide the bruises from your father pretty well. No one asked about your family life, and if the teachers ever asked to see your parents, you had somehow managed to convince a young couple who lived near you, with no kids of their own, to play the parts.
Despite how you were brought up, you knew how to be respectful and have manners, and you were all in all a pretty smart kid. You had good grades, almost never got in trouble, and no one ever picked on you. You loved school way more than home.
Come your eighteenth birthday, you took the first chance you got to move out of your father's house, and you never looked back. That meant that you had been homeless for the first part of your completely independent life, but a year later, you had found a steady job and a nice apartment to live in. You finally felt like your life was shaping up.
That was, until, you had been laid off from your job, along with several other people, and couldn't afford to pay the bills on time anymore. Your jerk of a landlord had, of course, taken the first chance he had to evict your butt from his building. You two had had an unspoken hatred for each other ever since you first stepped foot inside the building.
The main reason for that was that you were complete and total opposites. Despite your rough past, you had somehow managed to become a laid back, happy-go-lucky and loud person, versus your landlord, who was stern, strict, and was only loud if he was yelling at you. He was also a neat-freak, versus you, who liked a little clutter. He also didn’t like that you were better at fixing things than he was. He hated you with a burning passion, (whereas you hated him, but it was more like being highly annoyed with him, and you enjoyed making fun of him) and he'd been looking for a legit reason to get rid of you for the better part of two and a half years.
So here you were, homeless again, living in a city park and digging half-finished milkshakes and burgers out of the dumpster outside of the McDonalds across the street. You made a small amount of cash from the cardboard sign that you carried around with you everywhere, but it wasn't enough to do much with. You had been used to a life like this, but now you missed having an actual home more than you'd ever missed anything in your life.
As you sat against the back of a tall tree that you now called your "house", you noticed two men who looked very alike walking towards you quickly. One had light brown hair and yellow eyes, with a strand of adorable curled hair on the bottom left side of his head. He was wearing a blue uniform and he had a big grin on his face.
The other man, who caught your attention much more than the happy man did, had darker brown hair and yellow eyes, and the same strand of curled hair, only on the top right side of his head. His uniform was khaki brown, and he was scowling somewhat. You thought he looked kinda cute.
“Hey, ragazza! It looks like you need some help. Maybe this will do you some good?” the happy one asked as they approached you, pulling his wallet out of his uniform pocket and setting twenty dollars next to you. The other man looked away from you, looking like he was trying to hide a smile or a blush. The happy one elbowed him in the rib cage and he shouted something in Italian that sounded like it might be something mean.
Sighing, the grumpy one pulled his wallet out of his pocket as well and set another thirty dollars on top of the twenty that you had already been given. You couldn’t believe what was happening. These random strangers had just come up and given you fifty bucks. That could easily buy you food for a week, at least. “Th-thank you, so much,” you stuttered, your eyes watering a little. You weren’t used to such kindness, especially not from complete strangers.
“Nessun problema! No problem!” the happy one replied, laughing. He waved to you before running off again. The grumpy one turned around and flashed you a fleeting smile before quickly returning to his former scowl and walking off after the other guy.
Once they had left, you smiled and picked the money up. You flipped through it to see if it was really there, and make sure the men hadn’t just been screwing with you, but much to your surprise and absolute delight, the money was all real. You laughed as happy tears streamed down your face. You looked around to see if the men were still there, so that you could at least try to thank them properly, but you couldn’t see them.
You frowned, disappointed, and your stomach growled. You smiled again, putting the cash in the pocket of your dirty jeans and walking towards the grocery store for the first time in about two weeks. Tonight’s dinner of bread and peanut butter was going to seem like a feast to you.
Lovino watched from behind another tree as the girl fingered through the money, crying happy tears. She looked around, probably to see if she could find him and Feli, and he half felt like stepping into her view, but he held himself back. She frowned slightly, but then pocketed the money and walked away. Lovino smiled slightly, making sure that no one could see him. He almost never smiled in front of other people.
Still, he wished that he could do something else for the girl. That fifty dollars wasn’t going to last her long, and it certainly wasn’t going to buy her a house. He wanted to help her more, but how? And how would he find her again? He sighed, cursed under his breath, kicked the trunk of the tree that he was standing behind, and then went to join Feli again. He’d figure something out…
“Hey Lovi, wazza matter? We helped the girl! You should be happy!” Feli cheered enthusiastically.
“You know just as well as I do that fifty stinking dollars will get her a few meals and nothing else! She needs more help!” Lovino shouted angrily.
“Well, if you really care about her so much, I’m sure we can find something else to help her!” Feliciano stated cheerfully.
“What are you talking about? I don’t care about the ragazza! I’m just sick of seeing people on the streets like that,” Lovino shouted defensively.
“Whatever you say,” Feliciano chuckled.
“L-let’s just get back to the restaurant! The dinner rush is starting now. The others will need our help,” Lovino stuttered, changing subjects. Feliciano just nodded and skipped ahead.
It didn’t take long for them to get back to their restaurant. The brothers owned a medium sized Italian restaurant in the middle of downtown (Your city) that was pretty popular, especially around dinner time. They had some of the finest food for miles around and they tried to keep the service fast and friendly at all times. When they walked inside, it was already packed, and they knew that they’d have to work extra hard to make sure that their customers were satisfied tonight.
The brothers worked alongside of the other cooks, making the meals as fast as they could, but making sure that each meal was cooked to perfection before giving it to the waiters and waitresses to be served. “Heya, Lovi? Could you go to the storage room and get some more tomato sauce? I’m all out over here,” Feli asked over the noise of water boiling and meat simmering.
“Why can’t you get your own dang tomato sauce? I’m busy over here!” Lovino yelled.
“I can’t stop stirring this, or it’ll burn. Please fratello?” Feli pleaded.
Lovino let out a loud moan. “Fine! Quit your whining! I’ll be back in a second!” he shouted before walking towards the storage room. When he neared it, he wasn’t paying attention as he mumbled angrily to himself about having to work way too hard, and he opened the door that was on the opposite wall of the storage room. When he looked inside, he saw a flight of stairs leading upwards.
Lovino had never been in this room before; at least, he couldn’t remember ever being in it before. His curiosity suddenly piqued, he turned on the light inside of the dark room and decided to walk up the stairs. At the top of the stairs, there was a trapdoor on the ceiling above him. Carefully, he pulled on the cord, and the door came down. Lovino jumped out of the way just in time as a small ladder was let down onto the landing, and then he climbed up the ladder.
When he was fully up the ladder, he stood up, dusted himself off, and looked around the new room that he had found. He gasped in shock at his new discovery. There was an entire apartment here that he had never known about! It was quite dusty, as if it hadn’t been touched in years, and there wasn’t any furniture, but there was a small kitchen, a living room, and a small hallway with three doors. There were two on the right side and one on the left side. The two on the left side were both open. One led to another, smaller room, probably a bedroom, and the other led to a small bathroom.
Lovino had never known that there was an entire apartment just above his and his brother’s restaurant. He couldn’t believe that he had never looked inside of that door before, and that even after years of owning the place, he’d only just now found the apartment. He wondered if Feliciano had any idea of what was up here. Then his thoughts suddenly flashed to the homeless girl from earlier. What if he could help her by letting her live up here for a while?
Lovino rushed back downstairs and shut the door to the staircase. He walked into the storage room, grabbed a box full of jars of his homemade tomato sauce, and ran back to the kitchen. He set the box down on the counter next to his brother. “Heya, what took you so long? I’ve been waiting ten minutes for you!” Feliciano asked, a bit frustrated.
“Sorry. I got lost. Did you know that we have an entire apartment sitting above this place?” Lovino asked.
“Huh? What? Oh…! Yeah, yeah! I knew that! I just forgot about it for a while!” Feli replied, the smile returning to his face.
Lovino contemplated whether or not he should ask Feli if they should invite that girl to stay up in the apartment. On one hand, he really did want to help her. However, on the other hand, if he asked Feli about it, he would probably tease Lovi. He’d have to find someway to convince Feli to invite her without asking him directly.
“It’s really lonely and dusty up there. It’s actually kind of sad. Hey, do we know anyone who needs a place to stay? I’d hate for such a nice apartment to go to waste,” Lovi asked casually, beginning to cook another meal.
“Hey…! What about that girl that we saw earlier today? The one you wanted to help so bad? We could go back to the park tomorrow, see if she’s there, and if she is, we can ask her if she’d like to stay!” Feli suggested excitedly. Lovino held back a wide grin.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Let’s do it. Only, we’ll have to let her borrow a sleeping bag and some other stuff until she can buy her own. There’s nothing up there,” Lovi informed.
“That should be fine. We’ve got plenty to share with her! Hey, you know what else we could do? We could hire her as a waitress here! Then she’ll have a place to live, some new friends, and she’ll be able to make a little money too!” Feli exclaimed. This was going way better than Lovi had expected.
“Yes, we should definitely do that. We’ll go find her tomorrow morning, va bene?” Lovi asked.
“Perfetto,” Feli replied.
~*Timeskip to next day*~
You’d had a better sleep last night than you’d had since you’d been evicted from your apartment two weeks ago, and that was probably because you had fallen asleep on a full stomach for the first time in two weeks. Thanks to those wonderful Italian boys that had helped you yesterday. Those fifty dollars had gone a long way, buying you a few bottles of water, a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a bunch of bananas, and you still had some leftover. You still wished that you could do something to thank them, but they were long gone by now. You’d probably never see them again.
Those had been your thoughts all night last night, and for the most part of this morning, so it surprised you to see the same boys walking through the park again at ten in the morning, seemingly looking for something… Or someone. You stood up eagerly, a huge smile on your face, and you began walking towards them. That’s when the cheerful one spotted you and started dragging the cranky one towards you. The cranky one flashed another small smile.
“Hey, ragazza! We’ve been looking for you, haven’t we Lovi?” the cheerful one encouraged, jabbing the cranky one playfully in the stomach.
“Si,” the cranky one agreed, crossing his arms.
“I’ve been looking for you guys too! I wanted to thank you properly for giving me the money yesterday. I was able to buy actual, real food for the first time in weeks! You guys are amazing! What can I do to make it up to you?” you asked hopefully.
“Hey, it was no problem, really! But, there is one thing that you could do for us,” the cheerful one replied.
“What is it?” you begged.
“My brother and I have been thinking since yesterday. We felt kinda bad for you, since you don’t have a place to stay or any money, and we decided that we want you to come work for us as a waitress at our restaurant, and we want you to live in the apartment above the restaurant. It’s kinda small, and a bit dirty since we’ve never used it, and there’s not furniture, but we’d be happy to lend you an inflatable mattress and some blankets, and we can give you some other things too! Will you do it?” the cheerful one asked with pleading eyes.
Shock took over you. You didn’t really know how to react. You hadn’t been expecting this at all. Tears started streaming down your face, made of mixed emotions. On one hand, you were crying because you were so happy that these people were offering you a place to live and a new job. You didn’t think it would be so easy; but that was just it. On the other hand, you were crying because surely this was all just a big joke. They were playing with you. This couldn’t really be happening, could it?
“Aww, belleza! What’s the matter? We thought you’d be happy!” the cheerful one asked, saddened by your reaction. The cranky one’s scowl turned into a worried frown.
“It’s just… I didn’t expect this to be so easy… You guys are joking with me, aren’t you? You can’t seriously be giving all this to me?” you asked, distrustful. Then the cranky one stepped forward and looked into your (e/c) orbs intently with his shinning yellow ones.
“We’re not like other people. We’re serious about this. You can trust us,” he reassured. There was something about him, something that you couldn’t quite put your finger on, that made you feel like you could trust him.
“Then… Yes! Yes, yes, a million times yes!” You shouted excitedly, hugging first the cheerful one, and then the cranky one. He gasped, shocked at your gesture. “Sorry,” you muttered, letting go of him quickly and you both blushed.
“Alrighty, it’s settled then! But first, we should probably get introductions out of the way. I’m Feliciano Vargas, and this is my fratello Lovino,” the cheerful one, apparently named Feliciano, introduced himself and pointed to the cranky one, or Lovino.
“I’m (First name) (Last name),” you stated.
“Well, now that that’s all done, let’s get going! I’m sure you must be wanting a shower and some clean clothes by now,” Feliciano commented. He then grabbed both your and Lovino’s hands and started dragging you away.