melissa_42: Text: The Keyboard Makes Me Their God (NaNoWriMo)
[personal profile] melissa_42
Title: An infinite capacity for self-deception (6/?)
Fandom: Latin Hetalia
Characters: Martina (fem!Argentina), Luciana (fem!Brazil), The Green Eyed Monster, Sebastián (Uruguay), Daniel (Paraguay), Manuela (fem!Chile), Miguel (Peru). Not everyone is in every chapter, but they'll all be in the story eventually.
Pairings: Martina/Luciana, side Miguel/Manuela
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Human AU, swearing, and sexual situations

Summary: Sebastián steps in to stop Martina from spending a perfectly good Friday night alone in her room.

It's been a while since I last updated kaldjlasd;lfadsj  SORRY

1|2|3|4|5|6|7



On Friday evening, Sebastián found Martina sprawled across her bed on her stomach, face buried in one of the many decorative pillows that were normally nestled against her headboard. Her sheets lay in a tangled mess in one corner of the mattress. When he stepped through the doorway, she let out a muffled groan.

“What do you want?” she asked.

Sebastián ignored her until he had seated himself on the edge of her bed.

“You’re moping,” he said.

Martina turned her head to glare at him. His back was to her, and he seemed to be staring at the porcelain ballerina figurines on her dresser with great interest.

“Am not.”

“You were always a terrible liar.”

She squeezed the pillow and asked, “Did you just come to insult me?”

“No. I came to talk.” He finally turned to her. “If you’re finally ready to, that is.” His eyes were sharp behind his glasses. She always had the nagging feeling that he could somehow read her thoughts with those prying eyes, but that was just dumb. Even so, she tried to focus really hard on unicorns and dulce de leche, just in case.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked.

He gave her the Look, which sent her diving face first into her pillows with a groan. She had been in a good mood all day, but then when she tried to make plans for the night, everyone she called was busy, and she was left thinking about how she was going to spend the night alone while Luciana was enjoying herself with Daniel, and her mood had spiraled from there. And now Sebastián was trying to be “helpful” in the vaguest sense of the word.

“What are you doing in here?” Sebastián demanded.

Well, that was a silly question. “Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but this is my room.”

Sebastián sighed through his nose. “You know, she can’t read your mind. You have to tell her how you feel.”

She sat up, resting her weight on one hand. Sebastián kept his unnerving gaze on her. “Duh, I’m going to tell…wait.” She blinked and rested her wide eyed gaze on him. “You knew?”

“Come on, Martina. It was obvious.”

“Seriously, do I have a sign plastered to my forehead? Because I must have overlooked it the last time I checked in the mirror.”

“You must have been too captivated by your own eyes. Your forehead really isn’t anything special.”

Martina punched his shoulder and then collapsed back on the bed, smothering her face with one of the pillows. “How come everyone else saw this coming when I didn’t?”

“You are obtuse.” Sebastián paused for a moment, curling a fist against his mouth. “You’re really going to make me spell it out for you, aren’t you?” When Martina did not answer, he went on. “It’s in the looks you give her—it’s sweet really, sickeningly. And why do you get so upset when Luci pays more attention to other people than to you? I have a hard time believing even you could be that self-centered.” He pried the pillow from clutch and brushed the hair from her face.

“That’s - I, I don’t…” Martina spluttered before falling silent, her jaw moving ineffectually. “Look, it’s...it’s complicated,” she finally admitted, every line of her face hard. “I don’t really get it. And it’s not my fault, okay? She just...”

“I get it,” Sebastián said. “I mean, there was a reason why I was with her for a while, even if we were just kids at the time.” He smoothed a hand over her hair, letting it settle on her shoulder and giving a gentle squeeze. “But you still need to explain yourself to her. And unequivocally—you know how she gets. She’ll convince herself she’s the bane of your existence, if you let her.”

“I know,” she huffed, blowing a stray lock of hair from her face. “I already decided that. It’s just, everything’s so sudden, you know? That’s why it’s all so confusing. And it doesn’t help that Dani—”

“Don’t bring him into this,” Sebastián warned, tapping her on the nose. “It’s not his fault you’re too slow. He deserves to have some fun every once and a while. And don’t worry about hurting his feelings,” he said, reading her frown. “He’ll understand. He wouldn’t want to get in the way of your happiness.”

“Why are you doing this?” Martina asked, tense under his gaze. “What’s in it for you?”

“Because you’re my cousin,” Sebastián responded. “My daft, moody, egotistical cousin, but my cousin nonetheless. And Luci’s my friend, and I think you could be happy together if you tried.”

“You,” Martina said between rattling breaths, “are so, so weird. I don’t get you.”

He shrugged. “I’m not the one you need to get. Now,” he said, grabbing her hand to pull her off the bed. “You are not going to sit in here by yourself all night and think about how much fun Luci is having with Dani—”

“I thought you were supposed to be helping.”

“Don’t interrupt me. I’m taking you out dancing—unless you’re worried that you’ll be off your game tonight...”

She bristled, which was probably Sebastián’s intention, but Martina could not be bothered to care. “Who do you think you’re talking to? I am never ‘off my game.’”

“Good to hear. Now get ready before I hit the town without you.”

-

An hour and a half later, after both cousins had washed up, primped, and dressed in their weekend finest, they ventured outside into the warmth of a night filled with the promises of late spring. Sebastián kept his hands in his pockets and his chin high, like he had just stepped off the runway, sauntering down the sidewalk like he owned it. Beside him, Martina walked with a lithe grace as natural as her desire to drag attention away from her cousin and toward herself. Her arms swung slightly when she walked, bumping into Sebastián from time to time and drawing dirty looks from him. She shrugged and told him that she wanted a nice dinner before they did anything else.

“Nothing but the best for you, right?” Sebastián’s voice was a well practiced, long-suffering butler’s accent. Martina flipped her hair in his face.

They ate steaks at a restaurant after Sebastián had balked at the price of for all of two minutes until Martina promised to pay for their drinks. Sebastián talked about work and the conference with the other international branches in Italy that he had to go to in two months (“Why can’t you take me with you?”), and Martina talked about school (“Maybe you should start studying for your final exams soon.”) as they sipped on glasses of red wine, wasting their time with carefree ease, until the night owls of Buenos Aires joined the world of the living. Finally, after draining the last swig of wine from their glasses and a pair of meaningful nods, they deemed the night ripe for their pleasure. They walked down the road to their favorite milonga, a cozy dance hall with fraying, velvet covers on the seats, tarnished brass ornaments on the stained walls, and a dusty, crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling. In the back corner sat an old, stooped man with a droopy, graying mustache who was tapping his toe to the pulse of the music. Martina smiled at him, and said, “Good Evening, Señor Rossi.” He inclined his head to her. She knew that she would dance with him by the end of the night and listen to his stories about how he used to come to this very milonga with his wife before she disappeared.

“Find a nice, young man, a strong man,” he told her as they glided across the floor later. “You don’t want to end up old and cynical like me. That’s what comes with spending years alone. I mean, look at me now, dancing with a pretty young lady who probably has a barrel full of pity for me. Well, don’t you pity this old man, honey, I’m too old for that now. I should have moved on when I could. Sometimes people just have a way of sticking to your heart. Hold on to the man who takes your heart.” He kissed her cheek with cracked lips. She knew that in his wallet he still kept a faded photo of his wife, creased in the center and disintegrating at the edges.

“I’ll do that,” she replied, a variation on what she usually said in response to his unsolicited wisdom. Dancing with Señor Rossi and his liver spotted hands and his wistful eyes made her want to hold Luciana and never let her go.

Damn it, she had promised herself that she would not think about Luciana tonight at all, but there was nothing for it now.

Tomorrow.  Tomorrow she would take care of everything.

-

At two in the morning, when Martina and Sebastián were considering whether to go to a bar or a nightclub next, Sebastián’s cell phone beeped insistently. He elbowed Martina out of the way when she tried to read the text over his shoulder, but shoving was not going to stop Martina from seeing what she wanted.

From: Daniel de Irala
are u guys still out? i probly won’t be home til some time tomorrow. have fun!


Sebastián frowned at her and said, “I told you mind your own business.  Butting in where you don’t belong doesn’t always work to your advantage, now does it?”

Martina crossed her arms and grimaced. “Whatever.  Let’s just find the cheapest place around to get drunk.” The dim lights of the milonga were making her claustrophobic. She needed to get out of here and breathe some fresh air—well, fresh by porteño standards, at least.

She left Sebastián to pay their bill, venturing out of the building to lean against the bricks beside the entrance. The night sky was obscured by the reflection of the light from the city, like an ever present cloud separating them from the outside world. There were millions of people in this city, each one with their own hopes and dreams, futures and pasts, each one with this same sky over their heads. Somewhere in the city, Daniel and Luciana were in a bar or a club, or they were outside, looking for stars they could not see. Or they had already turned in for the night, heading back to Luciana’s apartment for one last drink and…

No. No no no. She had promised herself she would not think about that, and besides, Dani and Luci both had far too much energy to be tired already. But there were ways of burning off energy…

She smacked her head against the brick behind her and then yelped, clutching the back of her skull with one hand to see if she had drawn blood. Sebastián stepped outside a moment later and gave her a questioning look.

“I think I’m ready to go home,” she said, combing her fingers through her tangled hair.

“Is that what you really want to do?”

Martina traced the tip of her red lacquered pump on the sidewalk. “No. I want to drink until I can’t think anymore.”

“…Maybe we should head in early.”

“No. Let’s go to the one by the bus stop where that juggling street performer stands. They make their drinks strong.” She grabbed Sebastián’s elbow and attempted to drag him down the block.

He dug his heels into the ground, pulling them both to a stop. Ignoring Martina’s whining, he said, “I think it’s time for us to go back. I am not going to drag your stumbling ass home just to have you vomit on me outside our front door.”

“I’m not going to do that,” Martina protested. “When have I ever done that?”

Sebastián raised an eyebrow, slowly and deliberately. Martina could not think of an acceptable counter-argument.

The noise drifting from the bars taunted her on the way back, calling to her to forget her woes, promising her satisfaction with just a drop of wine or pisco. She dragged her feet the entire way, but eventually they ended up back home. It was far too early to turn in, especially since Martina was not tired enough to pass out as soon as she fell into bed, meaning that she would probably stay awake thinking. She did not want to think tonight.

She washed her face and put her pajamas on before picking out a film from Sebastián’s alphabetized collection, since his movies always had the most convoluted plots or a cast of a million completely unique characters. Sebastián groaned when he saw that she had chosen a crime thriller with far too many plot twists for her to understand with one viewing.

“Patience is a virtue,” Martina reminded him, and his fingers clenched around the pillow in his lap as if he were just barely holding himself back from throwing it at her.

She pranced back to the sofa and settled down next to him, already inundating him with questions within the first fifteen minutes, only half of which he answered with reluctance while ignoring the other half.

Once the movie was over, Sebastián rubbed his eyes and, stretching his arms above his head, rose to put the disc away in its proper place. Martina yawned, stretched, and then yawned again in synchronization with Sebastián before sauntering off to bed. With only her night light to guide her, she crossed the room and threw herself onto her bed and was asleep before she could even think about pulling the covers over herself, much less anything else.
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melissa_42

January 2012

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