"Not a chance!"
"No, I refuse to paint with you! Why don't you ask my fratello idiota? He's the one that's so amazing at art!"
You sigh in exasperation. The grumpy but lovable Lovino Vargas, one of your closest friends was supposed to come over and help you paint your new room. Your sister moved off to college, and though you miss her -- though you certainly won't miss the bathroom hogging and clothes borrowing that has been going on since you became the same size -- you were ecstatic when you found out you could move into a bigger room. The problem? Drab paint colors! You need some color to liven the place up.
But Lovi is stubbornly against your request. You've been over this with him many a time, and by 'this' you mean his certainty that his brother Feliciano is much better than him.
"Lovi, I'm not asking him, I'm asking you! I'm not asking for a second Sistine Chapel here, I just want some random paint splotches, for goodness sake!"
"You'll get mad at me for messing up your room when we're finished."
"No, I won't."
"It will look like the potato bastard painted it."
"No, it won't."
"...You really don't want mio fratello to help?"
You try to suppress a smile, knowing that if you give away the near victory you sense, he'll never agree to this.
"Cross my heart and hope to dead, stick a paint can on my head."
The incredulous 'wtf' look he shoots you makes you burst into giggles.
"It rhymed, what can I say?"
"Idiota ragazza," he mumbles, cheeks slightly pink as he stands up and brushes off the legs of his trousers.
"Awesome! Thanks, Lovi!"
"Don't call me that!"
Smiling, you resist the overwhelming urge to give him a hug, knowing he'll just push you off, instead scampering off to the garage to grab the paint you've already purchased. You've been saving up for this little renovation project for quite a while, so you figured it was okay to splurge a little and buy quite a few colors: various greens, browns, and reds.
As you struggle under the weight of the first two cans, Lovino quickly realizes your predicament and rushes to grab the third. Once all paint cans arranged, you grab one brush for yourself and hand the other to him, standing back to survey the blank expanse of wall awaiting you.
"Any ideas, ______?"
He taps the handle of the brush against his leg impatiently, watching you for the first move.
"Anything. We'll figure it out as we go."
"Yo-you're not going to plan anything out?" he splutters, giving you an astonished look.
You shrug again and grin.
"I don't want some intricate design, just a little bit of interesting shapes and colors."
"Well, fine. If you get mad at me later, it's your fault for not giving me any stupid instructions," he spits, words sounding harsh but meaning something more playful.
He grabs the red paint can and dips his brush in, uncertainly blotting the bristles against the side to get rid of any dripping excess. Hesitating for a moment, you almost jump when he suddenly attacks the wall with the tool, making random strokes that come together to form a...what appears to be a morbidly obese elephant with a party hat on.
"Lovi, Lovi, Lovi..." you chide as he steps back, staring at his strange creation.
"You're not doing it right! A real artist does it like this."
You dip your brush into the green paint, not bothering to wipe the drips on the side before using your hand to flick as much paint as possible onto the wall. A very nice paints splatter shows, mostly on the wall but partially on Lovino, who glares at you in indignation.
"None of that sissy stuff," you giggle.
The evil smirk that he uses so rarely but that you find so...attractive...appears on his face and he gets another good helping of paint onto his brush.
"I'm not sure you're doing it right either, _______. It's more like this."
He proceeds to run around the room, dragging the brush along the wall and making a thick, horizontal, brown stripe along it.
You put one hand on your hip and use the other to tap your chin thoughtfully.
"Very nice, very nice. But can you do this?"
You take a healthy helping of red and make some swirled shapes coming off his stripe, and an extra flourish at the bottom.
"Just to add a little style," you quip, dancing ____ eyes just daring him to try something else.
The two of you proceed to disregard all orthodox methods of painting and instead focus on trying to cover the room and each other with paint. It isn't long before you have green in yor hair, red on your shirt, and brown on your face. You made sure that Lovino didn't fare much better, however, and gave him a generously sized dot of...several colors on each cheek.
Soon you collapse, breathless from laughter, onto the floor, and he flops down next to you, grinning. You lean against the wall for support, not caring if both your clothes and the wall are ruined. They're already halfway there.
It isn't often that you get Lovino to smile or even laugh, though it seems to be happening more and more frequently as of late. Truth be told, you've liked him as a bit more of a friend for a while now, and your friend Toni has urged you to confess your feelings, but you just can't do it. Any negative reaction from Lovi would just be too much to bear.
That's why you savor moments like these.
"I think I beat you, bella," he says, grinning and setting down the speckled brush.
"I'll agree to disagree with that. But look at the room!"
You both gaze around. Many random shapes cover the walls, with little lines and designs filling in the blank spaces. There's even writing in a few spots, such as where you scratched"i hate tomatoes" and Lovi crossed it out in favor of a lumpy drawing of the red fruit. And after you gave him matching green whiskers on either side of his face, he went around writing swear words in Italian that you hope to high heaven your parents will never look up.
When you return your gaze to Lovino, his head is bowed and his fists are clenched.
"Mi dispiace," he mumbles, avoiding your gaze.
You gape at him.
"Lovi, I- look at me!"
He stubbornly refuses, and you summon a bit of courage and grab the sides of his face, forcing him to look at you. You feel his cheeks heat up under your fingers, and you have a feeling yours are doing the same, but you ignore this.
"Lovi, I love it. I love how it looks; I love that when I see it, I'll remember how much fun it was to paint it with you; I love you!"
Oops. That last part was supposed to stay inside your head.
True to character, he flushes a color bright enough to rival the red spots on the walls and just stares at you, mouth opening and closing like a fish.
You want to hit yourself. How could you do that? Having fun with him, thinking about him....the sentence structure you used probably didn't help...but you finally let it slip to him. Gah, you just know that things will never be the same between the two of you. You've ruined it.
That's the last coherent thought you have before he kisses you.
It's rough and brusque, but at the same time gentle, the feeling of kissing him. Despite the paint surrounding and covering both of you, he smells of tomatoes and vineyards, and you find yourself smiling against his lips and cracking the paint on your cheeks.
He pushes you against the wall, and you slip a little because of the still wet paint, but you don't care because your hands are snaking around his neck and keeping you close to him. He doesn't push it, though. It's new, but comfortable; you just enjoy the feeling of each other.
Pulling away after a few seconds, he gives you a small smirk.
"You taste like paint, bella."
You blush a bit, but can't keep the huge grin down.
"You too. Just like..." you take one hand from resting around his neck to pick up and examine one of the paint lids. "...sage green."
He chuckles before his expression turns sober,
"You really love me?"
You groan and push him away lightly with your finger tips.
"No, Lovi, I just tell random guys that and then kiss them. It's become a hobby. Of course, you idiot!"
His eyebrow twitches before he swiftly leaned down to give you another kiss.
"Ti amo troppo, _______," he murmurs before you're attached at the mouth again.
- - - - Bonus Ending! - - - -
You hear the click of a camera.
"Buyoooooo, Lovi, you finally got it on with the chica! You two are so cute! ________, you should keep that little messy spot on the wall and call it the makeout corner, si?"
"TONI HOW DID YOU GET IN MY HOUSE?!"