"Antonio Fernandez Carriedo!"
The Spaniard turned around at the sound of his name being called. His eyes fell upon _____, his best friend for as long as he could remember (excluding Gilbert and Francis, of course). His lips curled up into a happy smile when he saw her-- even though she was glaring daggers at him.
"Hola, bonita," he said with the big grin still on his face. "How have you been?"
"Oh, just fine, thank you," she replied, crossing her arms. There was a razor-sharp edge building in her voice.
"What's the matter, bonita? You okay?"
"Oh, yeah!" She stomped past him angrily, heading inside the house. "Everything's peachy-keen!"
Antonio turned his head in her direction, furrowing his brows. "Bonita?"
_____ stepped into the house where Gilbert and Ludwig (and currently _____) lived, furiously kicking off her shoes after wiping her feet.
"_____! _____!" called a voice frantically from the hallway.
_____ saw Gilbert running toward her with a panicked look on his face.
"What is it, Gil?" she said, not in the mood for his antics.
_____ raised an eyebrow. "What?"
"Gilbird's missing! Francis und I've been looking for him for hours, und we can't find him anywhere!"
"Oh, that's just awful," she said snidely. "Poor wittle Gilbird."
"Will you help me look for him?" Gilbert asked.
_____ rolled her eyes, wanting to just be left alone. "Nope." She was heading for the stairs when a pair of arms wrapped around her shoulders, pulling her into their owner.
"Es tut mir leid, Schwester," whispered Gilbert. "I know it must be hard--"
"Naw, really?" she chided.
Gilbert remained unfazed. "You've told mein bruder und me und Francis. Have you told Toni yet?"
_____ pulled away from Gilbert's grasp. "Why should I tell him? There's no reason to," she said, ascending the stairs.
"It's been two weeks, _____," he called after her. "You need to tell him. Why won't you?"
_____ didn't answer, only closing the door to her room as she went in. She leaned against the closed door and sighed. "Why can't they just leave me alone?"
Not even a minute later, the door came flying open, sending _____ rolling across the room and Gilbert standing proudly in her view.
"What the hell, Gil?!"
Gilbert chuckled. "Just a sec!" Without hesitation, he hauled _____ over his shoulder and walked out of the room.
"Gilbert Beilschmidt! Put me down!" she yelled at him, pounding her fists on his back.
He laughed. "In a minute, Frau."
Gilbert entered a room and went straight for a large footlocker, opening it when it was within arm's reach. _____ didn't have any time to react before Gilbert dropped her into the footlocker, closing the lid after her and locking it.
"Ugh. . . Gil. . . You are so stupid. . ." she groaned.
_____ paused when she felt something warm and soft beneath her. She ran her hands across it. It was large, and she soon realized it had a figure to it. She heard a chuckle from inside the footlocker.
"Bonita, what are you doing?"
_____ immediately took her hands back, a blush now spreading across her face. "Toni! What the hell are you doing in here?!"
"Well, the guys told me to get in this footlocker and wait." He snickered. "I didn't know they were gonna do something like this, though."
"Oh, shut up!" she shouted, silencing the Spaniard. She furrowed her brows and put her hand to her face. "I'm sick and tired of you guys being so idiotic and. . . so damn immature!"
Antonio peered at _____ through the dim light, seeing that she was trying to hide her suffering-- but failing.
"_____?" he asked, placing his hand on her cheek. "Are you okay?"
_____ raised an eyebrow. "What? Yeah, of course I'm okay."
Antonio furrowed his eyebrows. "No, you're not, _____. What's bothering you? I promise I won't laugh or anything."
_____ sighed. "My grandma died two weeks ago, alright?!"
Antonio remained silent. He had met her grandmother once, and it didn't take long for him to realize that she was slipping away, physically and mentally. But, despite all that she had been through, she was still a bright and happy woman, and _____ loved her deeply. "How?" was all that passed from his lips, and it was barely audible.
_____ let out a humorless laugh. "How do you think? She was losing her mind, and it wasn't like her body was in good shape either." She paused. "I guess she decided that it was time to just. . . let go. . ."
Antonio's expression softened-- then went to surprised. "Wait. Two week ago?"
"Have you already told Gil and Francis?"
"And when did you tell them?"
"And why are you just now telling me about this?" He had a slight edge in his voice.
_____ hesitated in her answering. She slowly mumbled something, but it was too quiet for Antonio to pick up.
"Qué? What was that?"
". . . Because I. . . like you. . ."
Antonio went speechless, his eyes wide and his brows raised.
"I like you, Toni. And I wanted to. . . ask you out before. . . But I thought that if you knew what happened, you'd just want to go out with me because. . . you pitied me. . ."
Antonio slipped his finger under _____'s chin, tilting her head up, and pressing his lips gently to hers. "Te amo, bonita," he whispered into her ear, his warm breath sending chills down her spine. "I don't love you because I'm pitying you. And I won't go out with you because of that, either. I love you because you are a kind, funny, charming, sweet, gentle soul. I love you, _____."
_____ smiled at him, a small tear falling from her eye. "Antonio Fernandez Carriedo. . . I love you. . ."
"Oooooh~! It's so fluffy~!" exclaimed a voice from outside the footlocker.
The lid to the footlocker opened, revealing Gilbert and Francis looking in expectantly. _____ scrambled out of the footlocker, her face going red.
"Ohonhonhon~! Look~! _____'s face is as red as Antonio's tomatoes~!"
Gilbert laughed. "Ja. Did you have a good time in there, you two~?"
Antonio climbed smoothly out of the footlocker. "Oh, yeah. We sure did."
_____ looked back at him, completely embarrassed but wearing a warm smile directed toward her new boyfriend.