--- 8 years old ---
"Gimme it back!" You shouted, thumping Francis on the arm.
"No!" The blonde boy shouted, throwing the locket over your head and into the hands of Lovino. Screeching, you ran over and tackled Lovino to the ground, at eleven years old, Lovino was quite a bit older than you though not as old as Francis, being fifteen.
"F-Feli...!" Lovino tried to throw your locket to eight-year-old Feliciano, who caught it and quickly threw it to a thirteen-year-old Antonio. You scrambled off Lovino, running towards Antonio. He held your locket out towards you, and you slid to a stop.
"Oh, Antonio, you're no fun!" Francis folded his arms. Eyeing Antonio warily, you reached out for the locket, expecting him to pull it away sharply as Francis or Lovino would have done. But he gave you it gently, smiling at you softly as he did.
"Family shouldn't fight, Francis." Antonio muttered, looking at his only older sibling. Francis let out a huff of air.
"Gracias, Antonio." You smiled back, hugging him around his waist and sticking your tongue out at your other brothers.
--- 11 years old ---
Your first year at high school was terrifying so far. There were so many big kids! You weren't particularly short for your age, but the ones in the highest year towered over you. Just like Antonio, who was in his last year. Francis had already left that school, and Lovino wasn't even worth talking to unless you wanted your head bitten off. Feliciano was the only one you could cling to, but to be honest, he was doing much more clinging than being clung to. In the school yard, the two of you were looking around with eyes wide like rabbits caught in headlights. And you both saw a group of boys around Lovino's age heading towards you. Feliciano hid behind you, shaking. The one at the head of the group just opened his mouth to speak, before a shadow fell over you. Somebody tall was stood behind you.
"Leave them alone." You looked up, taking a step forward so you could look behind you to see who this giant was. Antonio.
"Toni!" You cried, wrapping your arms around him, your head not even reaching his shoulder. Feliciano followed your example, hiding his face in Antonio's ribcage. You heard nothing from the boys, so you guessed they must have left. Eventually, the two of you let go of Antonio, and he knelt on one knee infront of you in an effort to be of a similar hight. Then he hugged you both back, wrapping his arms around the two of you.
"... If anybody starts on the two of you, I want you to tell me, okay?" He asked, looking mainly at you. You and Feliciano nodded.
"What about when you leave...? Lovino won't stick up for us..." You sniffed.
"Then you text me. And I'll be outside school when it's home time." He said softly. A smile found its way onto your face and you hugged him again.
"I love you, Toni." You said, hugging him tightly.
"Te amo, hermana."
--- 18 years old ---
"TONI!" You screamed, sitting bolt upright in bed. Darkness met you as you fought for breath, your chest heaving. Silence met you, and you slowly started to calm down. You'd been having these horrid nightmares ever since Antonio had left home. You didn't bother when Francis or Lovino left.
You knew Feliciano wouldn't have woken up, let alone come running for you. Because you got these nightmares at least four times a week, your parents had stopped bothering to come and see what was wrong with you. Once you'd overheard them talking about taking you to a pyschiatrist, but when you'd questioned their motives, they hadn't brought it up again.
Closing your eyes, a tear slipped down your cheek. You missed him so much. There was only one thing you could do on nights like this. Wiping your cheek, you slipped out of bed. Adjusting your pajamas, you tip-toed over to the door and opened it quietly, making sure you closed it again after you'd left. You crept through the dark hallways slowly, and as you crept past the bathroom something glinted and caught your eye. Turning, you tried to make out what it was. It was your father's razor. Looking both left and right, you flicked on the light and went in, picking it up carefully. You held it and tilted it, the blade shining in the light. Lifting your wrist, you held the blade just above your flawless skin. People had told you how much better it made them feel... Would it work for you, too? You must have held it there for a good minute, but eventually a sigh slid from your lips and you set the blade down. You couldn't do it. Exiting the bathroom, you turned off the light before continuing to do what you had originally wanted to.
Creeping down the hall slowly, avoiding the creaky floorboards, you came to a closed door. Turning the handle slowly, you opened it. When you did, you saw Feliciano turn over to look at the door, a gentle reflection on his tired eyes from the little light there was in the hallway.
"...________?" He whispered quietly.
"...Hey Feli..." You sniffed, stepping in and closing the door. The only reason you felt you could find comfort in Feliciano was because he was having much the same problem. With Lovino.
"Have another nightmare...?"
"Yes... Still no sleep?"
"No..." Feliciano sighed as you sat down on his bed gently.
"...It's not fair..." You murmured, getting into his bed quietly.
"I know, sorella... I feel the same..." He wrapped his arms around you, much like he used to when the two of you were little and had bad dreams.
"You're a great brother you know, Feli..." You muttered, closing your eyes lightly.
"I try..." He whispered, still holding you close.
--- Next morning ---
You were usually good at waking up early and going back to your own room before your parents woke up. But that morning, you didn't. Both you and Feliciano were still sound asleep in each other's arms when your mother burst into the room, in a panic.
"Feliciano! _________ is-!" She cut off quickly as the two of you woke up with a start, sitting up. She paled when she saw the two of you, sat so close together in the same bed. "Here... _________'s here..." She stepped back and leaned against the doorframe heavily. You and Feliciano glanced at eachother.
"It's not what it looks like." You both chorused.
"... So neither of you slept with your sibling?" She asked, a hint of hope in her voice.
"... Well, yes, but..." Feliciano said weakly.
"It was for comfort. We miss our brothers. We only have each other now. It was only like when we were little..." You said weakly.
"... I can't believe it... __________, you slept with your brother!" Your mother looked at you blankly.
"I don't love Feliciano that way." You said. Silence. "I don't!" A disbelieving look. "I can say something which won't necassarily prove it, but it will make you a lot less likely to believe that I do." You folded your arms.
"And what's that...?" Your mother whispered, still pale. Getting out of bed, you padded up to your mother.
"I love Antonio."
"We all do sweetie. A-as we do L-Lovi, a-and Francis, too!" She giggled nervously.
"Sure, I love the others as my brothers, but Toni... I'm in love with him." Feliciano gasped, but you ignored him. "That's why I've been having so many nightmares... I'm in love with my brother, and I don't want to get taken away from him by the police, or the doctors, or anybody else you can throw at me. I don't care how weird it is. If you can't accept that then I'll run away to the only person who can."
"Antonio..." Your mother whispered.
"Exactly." You watched her turn away and leave, quietly shutting the door behind her.
"...Do you really think you're in love with him...?" Feliciano asked quietly.
"I know I am..." You nodded slowly.
You drifted back to your own room to put some clothes on, glad it was Saturday at least. Then you slowly floated towards the kitchen, though you didn't feel hungry. Just before you entered, a voice reached your ears and made you stop.
"So would you consider coming to visit her?" You heard the voice of your mother asking. You froze. "...Thank you... I'm not sure how much longer I can take this." Your pulse quickened, and you could hear it roaring in your ears. Was your mother phoning a doctor? You started to hyperventilate. Turning, you fled to what used to be Antonio's room and slammed the door, diving onto his bed and burying your head in the pillow. It shouldn't be wrong! You thought despairingly, taking a deep breath and inhaling what little of his scent still lingered in the dusty pillow. You hadn't let anybody touch his room since he'd been gone, threatening that you would protect it with your life if you had to. What does it matter if we're related?! Starting to sob, you cried into his pillow, hugging it to you. I don't need a doctor! Curling up into a little ball, you cried yourself to sleep.
You woke to voices outside the room, though the fogginess of your mind meant you couldn't recognise the voices. You sat up quietly, listening.
"Thank you so much for coming..."
"It's fine... It sounded distressing."
"I don't know if I'll be able to cope..." There was no reply to that, and the door clicked open.
"GO AWAY!" You yelled, facing away from the door. "I DON'T NEED A DOCTOR!" Tears started falling down down your cheeks.
"...It's just as well, because I'm no doctor. Chica." The bed dipped as somebody sat down on the edge of it.
"Toni?!" You scrambled to your knees and turned around.
"Miss me?" He asked, smiling.
"You have no idea!" You shouted, tackling him back onto the bed in pure delight. He laughed, hugging you tightly. You laid on top of him, grinning widely. You were so glad he'd come back. Barely even thinking about it, you kissed him. Pressing your lips against his, and not that light, fleeting contact of lips within family. A proper kiss.
"Mm!" Antonio pushed you away, breaking the contact between you. As you sat up, the reality of what you'd just done set in. Your smile slowly faded as you looked at Antonio's shocked expression. Until you suddenly burst into tears.
"I'm sorry!" You cried, climbing from the bed and running out of the room, past your mother and Feliciano who were anxiously waiting outside.
"_________, wait!" Antonio ran after you, but didn't manage to catch you before you ran into the bathroom, locking the door behind you. Falling back against the door, you slid down it until you were sat on the floor, back against it as you hid your head in your hands and sobbed. Your knees were up by your chest and you hugged them now, shoulders shaking as your tears soaked into the trousers you'd put on. "_________..." Antonio's voice came from the other side of the door, and you heard him slide down the wall beside it.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry that I love you, okay?! It's not right, I know it's not, but... But I don't care!" You shouted, crying harder.
"... I never said it wasn't right." He murmured softly.
"The look you gave me... It said it all! Now you hate me, and you think I'm weird!"
"I do not! ... Te amo, hermana o no." He said softly, followed by the soft thud of him resting his head back against the wall.
"...You're just saying that."
"Would I?" You didn't reply. Something had caught your eye. You stood up slowly, stepping closer to the sink. It was your father's razor. "...Chica?" You picked it up. Antonio doesn't love you. You thought, lifting the blade. "_________?!" You heard him stand up. He hates you... They all think you're weird for loving your brother... Swallowing, you tried to steady the uncontrollable shaking of your hand. "__________, open this door!" Shaking your head, you sobbed once. "... If you do something stupid, I'll kill you!" He sounded slightly choked up, and you heard the sound of coins in a pocket being disturbed. Looking back to the door, you could see the lock turning. A coin in the slit on the outside of the lock. Turning back, you looked at your reflection in the mirror. Now or never... But still you couldn't bring yourself to do it. You saw the door open in the mirror, Antonio stood there, a blank look on his face. He shook his head slowly. Dipping your head, you started to sob again. "Shh...." He took a few steps forward and stood behind you, gently taking the razor from your grip and wrapping his arms around you, resting his chin on the top of your head. "Shh... Calm down... I'm here... I... I love you..."
"Yeah." You sniffed, lifting your head and wiping your eyes as you looked at the reflection of the two of you. "As your sister..."
"..." He took his chin from your head. "Look at me." You turned your head to the side. He bent his head to press his lips against yours. You stiffened in his arms, but the gentle movement of his lips against yours thawed you, and you slowly turned to him properly so you could deepen the kiss. Lifting your arms, you wrapped them around his neck, and he held his wrist behind your back, arms still around you but not tight so as you could still pull back if you wanted to.
Your closed eyes didn't allow you to see the three at the door. Feliciano, Lovino and Francis. Feliciano had a huge grin on his face. Francis' lips held a gentle smile, and Lovino didn't seem to be smiling at all. But there was a happy look in his hazel eyes that hadn't been there before. They didn't care that their siblings were in love. They were just happy that they'd both found love.
As were you.
The parting of Antonio's lips from yours brought you back to your senses. A string of saliva connected you for a moment, and you both licked your lips breifly. Looking up into his deep emerald eyes, you hugged him tightly, burying your face in his shoulder and taking a deep breath.
"You don't smell like you any more..." You whispered, looking up at him. He smiled at you, letting you go and stepping back, making you let go of him. He turned a tap on at the sink, and used one of the small face-cloths to run under the water before wiping his face and neck. You still hadn't noticed the three stood in the doorway behind you, which was just as well because they drifted away, francis pulling the door to behind them. You watched Antonio in curiosity as he washed his face and neck, before turning of the tap and pulling his shirt over his head.
"...How's that...?" He asked gently. Blinking, you tore your eyes away from his flawless olive body back to his emerald eyes. Gently, you wrapped your arms around him, underneath his own as you stood on tip-toes to bury your face in his neck. As you took a deep breath, you smiled and tightened your arms around him. Closing your eyes, you savoured his scent. The warm, familiar smell of your brother. The one you'd longed for in the years that he'd been gone. The one you'd known all your life from birth, and had been at a loss for because it wasn't there any more. The one that had slowly faded from your memory until you forgot it completely.
"Much better..." You whispered, not ever wanting that moment to end.