If ever the sun disappears, you would be my light.
Beautiful, burning, bright
It warms me when the envious moons robs the warmth of day
For your fire kisses my skin tan and leaves my soul gay
Your light yields me fruit
Your joy burns and scalds me
Though I don't mind
Let me burn
My passion would burn in return
It is eternal
And should the day come that my flame should die
May the heavens cry out my love for you until the end of time
~ I Ruin
Antonio stared at the paper, the brightest of smiles dusting his face. His sighs were soft airy as they reflected his delight, and gently nudged his messy locks that brushed the bridge of his nose. Pulling the strings of his heart once again, his admirer drove him deeper and deeper in love with each line and honey-soaked word.
They stroked his cheek and touched his soul, each one reaching farther than the last. He nearly feared the day that they reached the end. He was not sure if he could handle such a thing—not after such great joy as this.
He was conflicted—oh so conflicted—by the letters. Each one burned a flame inside him more than the last and touched a part of him he had never known a person could reach. Yet, each time he saw how it was signed off, it also broke a piece of his heart.
How could anyone who managed to kiss his heart and his mind with such alluring words ever believe to be nothing but someone who ruins? He did not understand.
What more, he wished this admirer would reveal themself. Each night, he clutched the newest letter close and inhaled the sweet aroma of the ink and the paper. It was addicting
Yet, of all the things that brought him grief, what damaged him the most was knowing that the holiday that celebrated love was a mere week away and he still had no clue as to who this wonderful person was.
Folding the paper carefully, he tucked it away in the small wooden box next to him to lock it away with the rest of his cherished words that touched his soul and kissed his skin red. He was absolutely struck with emotions that he wished he could feel for years on end. However, as much as his heart beat fast with the sugary words that burned a flame inside of him, he desired for nothing more than to know who his admirer was.
As he opened the box to place his newest treasure away, there was a knock at his door before it opened, a guard stepping in and his demeanor seeming both exhausted and irritated.
"Your Highness, you have a meeting today that you are supposed to be prepared for now. Though, your tragic appearance tells me that you have either forgotten or simply don't care."
Glancing up, he met hazel eyes and sighed as he rolled over, still clutching the letter close and feeling so liberal as he clutched it dearly, "I know, Lovino, but my admirer has sent me another letter."
"Not this again," the guard scoffed, "Listen, my job is to get you where you need to be safe. Now, I cannot do that is you are sitting here gushing over a letter."
Antonio stuck his tongue out at him, a smile on his face as he read over it again. His heart swelled more than it had the times before and he gladly welcomed the burning feeling. He sighed whimsically before glancing back at his guard who shot him a rather perturbed look.
"Your Highness, with all respect, get up you mule," Lovino shook his head, shutting the door to wait for the prince from out there.
Antonio finished what he was doing, locking the letter away hesitantly.
No, there was no possibility in the greatest of schemes that the wonderful person building him paradise with words was someone who ruined things. How could such delicate and charming work ever cause a chaos that a name such as that claimed?
As he glanced at the door, he smiled gently as his heart beat violently against his chest. The contrast this time though was that he felt pain in place of joy.
What is love? I had asked myself a million times in a single hour.
I'd ponder and tear through the crevices of my sanity
For years, I dug through the clay of sorrow and the sand of despair in search for the answer
Then I looked up one day and found the heavens in the forest and my peace in the fields
I found joy in the streets and bliss in the seafoam which lit me up and burned forever
I looked up and found you
~ I Ruin
Antonio sat, working away before dinner. As per usual, Lovino was not far away and continued his duties from across the room. Green eyes flickered up to the navy blue clothing and golden decor. He raised a brow slightly and felt his heartbeat betray him once more and fill him with a pain that he wished would not taunt him the way that it did.
As much as he adored the letters from his admirer and wished to bath in the sweet words that filled his dreams with carnations and pansies—he would have had to have been insane if he said that he didn't hope and plead that the one writing the letters stood before him every day. Yet, he knew better and that was what caused his heart to ache the way it did every moment he spent talking to his guard.
He fell in love much too easily. Prince Antonio Fernandez was a whore.
It tore at him each night and scraped at the edges of his sanity. It taunted him and reminded him that there was a chance that he would use and abuse whomever it was that seemed to care for him so. Even now as he sat there, he dreamt of a world much more bright. Perhaps one where he found love and did not kill the flower he picked or burn the candle that he lit.
"Are you concerned or constipated, your idiotic face doesn't give me much to work with," a voice broke through and Antonio met Lovino's eyes, flushing lightly and shaking his head with a laugh.
"I apologize. I'm just—"
"Thinking about your admirer," the guard stated, rather harshly at that.
It stunned Antonio for a bit. As dismissive as Lovino tended to be towards his mentions of his admirer, he had never seemed to get as irritated as he did in that very moment.
Antonio furrowed his eyebrows slightly, "Is there an issue with that, Sir Vargas?"
The guard immediately tensed, glancing over at the prince who now bore a glossy look in his eyes that filled with emotions much the same. His senses and compassion were fogged over and left him partially blind to the situation.
There was a look of fear in those creamy eyes.
"No, I just think that you are much too obsessed with a person with no face," the guard stated, "The admirer signs as 'I Ruin'. With all due respect, Your Highness, don't you think you are fantasizing too much?" He was silent and stared ahead at him with an intense gaze that cleared the fog from his vision.
"My Prince, what if this admirer is nothing of what you expect or need?"
Chewing on his bottom lip gently, the prince fell silent, uncertainty plagued him and began to whisper deceptions into his ear. Shaking his head, he looked straight ahead at Lovino, "Nobody who touches my heart with words like this and builds me the heavens with the magic of the tongue could ever be someone that I would be disappointed in."
Hazel and green clashed in an intense lock. One with irritation and disappointment while the other contained determination and persistence.
"My Prince, you are a fool," he finally stated, pulling his eyes away, afraid the intensity would drive him to blindness.
Antonio went back to his work.
That night he dreamt of Lovino
Bright blue skies greeted him, Antonio sat holding his letters and reading over each one, giggling hysterically as he waited for the next.
"In the deepest crevices of my soul, I find your love and smiles filling it. You are my cement; You're my Greek fire. Dearest prince of mine, the stars turn for you," he sighed, reading aloud. His guard stood by the door, a grumpy expression on his face.
"I still think you are a fool. Forget about the letters. They won't matter in the future. You are to marry before your coronation can occur, correct."
He was well aware of how he felt when it came to the admirer notes and frankly, Antonio did not care. He wished to brag and coat each day with silky words such as the ones he read and received. They were everything.
Antonio glanced up once more at his guard.
"You are so cruel to me," he teased, placing the letter away. Huffing lightly, Antonio thought about his predicament, "Yes, I am to marry before I can become king. There's one issue there, Sir Lovino."
"And what would that be Signore Laposta," Lovino scoffed, arms folded.
"My heart yearns for the impossible," he stated as he kissed the paper and tucked it away once again.
He yearned for a lover who he did not have a face to and he also yearned for a guard that really should have been thrown out for how he spoke to the prince. Though, Antonio's fondness for him prevented that from occurring.
He really did fall in love much too easily. Yet, was this even love? Was it infatuation instead? Had he fallen into the illusion that he found someone to love and to adore only to find that he was just obsessive and clingy and a mess of a man?
Lovino rolled his eyes again, both nervously landing on the letter that Antonio held, "You need to forget about this dear admirer of yours. You could end up causing them harm by pursuing. Just allow them to admire you and leave it at that."
He frowned. That was not what he wanted. He wanted someone to love and he was sure that the person that he wanted was this sweet admirer who he felt his heart beat for. With a shake of the head, he locked the letter away with the rest and sighed, "I will find my admirer. I know it seems ridiculous, but anyone who writes words like these and steals my heart over and over again deserves all of my love."
Lovino looked at the Prince, his harshness softening as he looked away, "My Prince, as your guard, my job is to protect you from the consequences of absent-minded actions such as this-"
"And as my friend," Antonio demanded, eyes now slits and his face turning red in frustration at the doubt coming from Lovino and his lack of support.
The guard fell silent, not wanting to say the wrong words and end up dead or without a job. Sighing, he shook his head, "As your friend, I'm here to tell you the truth. You're an idiot Antonio and you don't think through the choices you make. You know well that you have a select class of people to choose your spouse from. With how many people out there admire you, do you honestly believe that this admirer is going to be someone from the two percent of people in this land that you can actually marry?"
"Yes! I do, Lovino," Antonio finally snapped at him, "Because I hate that stupid law and I hate the way that this kingdom has arranged it! I hate it more than anything and I am changing it now. If this admirer or if it be someone else I happen to give my heart to, I will choose who I marry. If I lose my crown for it, so be it! I will marry the person who I want to. Why do you have to be pessimistic? Why can't you be happy for me?"
Lovino stood there in shock, his mouth hanging open for a second. His eyes filled with tears and anger before he turned away and faced the door, "You're a fool, Antonio."
That night, Antonio did not get a new love letter. Lovino suggested that the admirer finally grew some senses.
It shouldn't have hurt as much as it did, but it did. It stung him because after arguing with Lovino and being stuck in a bitter circle of the silent game and shouting at each other, he wanted to see a love note more than anything.
Sighing, he lay in bed and stared at his guard who was as usual, attentively watching over him. Often he wondered why he had to. It wasn't as if he was hated. In fact, the people quite liked him and looked forward to when he got the throne. Though, they also resented whomever he should marry.
Regardless, he didn't have much need for a guard. Then again, he quite liked it because it gave him a reason to be near Lovino.
He covered his face as he lay alone on his bed. He didn't know how much longer he could continue with this facade of purity. He knew what he was and he hated himself for it.
Reading over the letters again, he thought about what Lovino had said. The thought broke his heart because he knew that accomplishing something like that would take a lot of work. If he wanted to change the law, he had to be king but to be king he had to marry, but he didn't want to marry someone if it wasn't someone he loved.
Oh, he was frustrated and miserable. Not to mention he couldn't decide between his faithful guard who had been a friend for so long or the admirer that he fell deeper in love with each line.
Sitting there, he glanced over at Lovino and closed his eyes as his heart cracked, confused and unsure of everything.
Antonio looked at Lovino in shock and surprise and furrowed his brows in confusion. He was apologizing? Granted, they didn't ever really argue into silences much, but the few times that they did, it was Antonio who caved in first, miserable without having his best friend to talk to.
"Is that a sign that our friendship is back to strictly royal and guard?"
"Huh, Oh, I..I'm sorry too. It is just the awful rules that run this kingdom. What if I have found the one I want to marry and I can't marry them?"
Lovino sighed and kept his eyes forward as he did his job. Though, he was mostly doing it to avoid breaking down as he looked at Antonio, "You are an amazing man, Your Highness. You have a personality that outshines the brightest of stars and a heart far more golden than the palace decor. Someone is going to come along and you will find love. Someone who isn't m-making you fall in love through papers and no face."
He shook his head as he lay there, "What if I want the impossible?"
Lovino bit his lip, "We all want the impossible. Sometimes you have to face reality, My Prince. Like the rain."
"And what if I don't want to?"
'Eventually, we all have to."
Looking and hiding beneath his sheets, he let a single tear trickle down his face. He hated both. They ruined his light and warm days. Why couldn't it be as simple as one or the other? The admirer or his guard. One. One. One. That was all that he had to choose and yet it still remained such a difficult choice to make. But then there was the uncertainty of knowing if it was worth it. He would have to go through a lot of work and fighting to alter the law and the last thing that Antonio wanted to occur was having gone through all of that battle only to find out that he was unhappy with the one that he chose. Then what if he went to second, kissed their soul with sweet butter like words, promises of love and found out he did not adore them either?
It would be like Arthur, Gilbert, Francis, Roderich, Emma—short-lived flames that he burned through too quickly leaving behind nothing but a trail of tears and broken hearts.
Antonio really was a whore.
He was so in love, but he did nothing but tear the hearts of others out and use the broken pieces to decorate his rouge floors. It wasn't that he meant to either. The reality was that he just enjoyed the chase more than anything and once it ended, so did most of the feelings.
So having a situation where he was not chasing at all, he did not trust himself. He already had a fairly tainted reputation for going around a plucking flowers. He could not imagine the consequences that would come from something like saying that he found love only to grow bored again and have to live with the weight of another hurt person on his back.
He abused love.
He doubted love.
Antonio froze at the realization, a cold shiver running up his back. Oh. He doubted his feelings. He doubted this love that he had convinced himself that he understood. Finally shooting up, he stared in horror, the tears threatening to collect at the thought of never being able to settle and love someone.
"I am a whore."
Antonio turned his head to meet Lovino's eyes. Beautiful hazel that swirled like the sweetest sugary treat that he could imagine. He forgot the speech that he had set up in his head and he knew without the faintest doubt, that he was absolutely in love.
"I'm a whore," he repeated much quieter, "And that's okay. But I am in love. And you know what? You're right, I need a face to my admirer before I jump to anything."
"Oh thank g-"
"Which is why I'm going to announce my search for my admirer tomorrow."
Antonio nodded, standing up and walking out of the room as if he hadn't just left a very confused and panicking guard behind who was ready to faint.
"I really do ruin things, don't I," he asked to nobody in particular before exiting and chasing after the prince who had run off to some place unknown.
The plan was a failure.
It was an absolute failure.
Antonio had had faith that his true admirer would come to him, but nothing occurred. Well, nothing occurred was a lie. A lot of things occurred. But they were not the things that he searched for hopefully throughout everything.
For one, the moment that he announced it, many many people showed up claiming to be the one who spun him such loving words. Yet, person after person, lie after lie, Antonio began to feel his heart crack.
Lovino stood next to him, watching the disappointed prince face each person and lose a bit of light with each one. It tore him apart.
Here he was, facing another person claiming to be his dearest light and poet, "Tell me a poem, dearest."
There was disparity in his voice, almost pleading for this person to write him a sonnet of great beauty that proved that the search was over and that he could be content.
"I don't write," she responded.
Pity, she was a lovely one too. Seemed quite sweet. Antonio dismissed her with a small smile and looked at the line. Two more people and that was it. If he didn't find his admirer, he feared that his heart would break.
Lovino stood beside him, trying not to let the guilt on his face show too much.
It didn't take long for the last two to be uncovered as posers just as the rest.
He wasn't angry. Antonio said nothing and ignored the people pleading for a second chance to prove their validity as the admirer with an opportunity to be crowned partner to the future King. He understood the facades put up and the reasons people did things. No, he was just sad for many reasons—far too many really.
Everyone in the castle allowed him to sulk and mope around. He carried a glass of wine with him everywhere, sipping at it lazily every eternity passing. Lovino had to follow him and Antonio would look at his guard, smiling softly every once in a while, but quickly giving out and falling against a wall or something else.
He was tipsy and had probably cried a million times into Lovino's shoulder.
The guard could do nothing but watch him and eventually have to take the wine from him before he got drunk and violent. Nothing scared him more than that thought.
"Stop! Let me have my wine," he wailed, reaching pathetically up and missing the glass by a long shot.
The prince was a mess. His hair went in every direction, his lips were stained, and his clothes were hanging off of him like wet rags.
He giggled like a child, acting as if nothing were wrong. That was not too bad, he supposed. What made Lovino's stomach fall to the ground and his heart leap up into his throat was when Antonio fell backward onto the bed, dragging the guard with him.
He didn't do anything, he simply stared, as if questioning and analyzing. Lovino did not like it.
"Can I tell you a secret," he giggled, sighing heavily as he held onto Lovino.
His face went the brightest red and he sincerely hoped the prince remembered none of this in the morning, "Of course."
The thing that made Lovino regret every choice he had made leading up this moment was when Antonio—sweet, beautiful Antonio—leaned up to his ear and in a soft, airy voice, whispered, "I spent all day hoping my admirer was you."
Before he could respond, the broken-hearted prince fell limply onto his bed and fell asleep, exhausted from the day and still smelling slightly of wine.
Forcing his eyes open, the King sighed in disappointment. He had been secretly hoping that the entire ordeal had been a dream and that his morning would include finding out that Lovino was his admirer. But, the fact that he hurt everywhere and that he was wearing the same clothes he went around with all day in told him otherwise.
He hated this.
Standing up, he moved to get dressed and was both surprised and afraid when he did not see his attentive guard and best friend near him. Confused, he shrugged for a moment but then he stopped.
The world itself froze. The birds stopped singing, his breath caught in his throat, and his heart seemed to come back from it's shattered state, beating with all of the love in the world.
A new love letter
Delicately reaching over, he opened it up and the world sparked with light once again.
You fill my dreams with soft breezes
You turn my morning skies pink
You paint the world with hues of blue
And touch my soul with every word
Why can't I seem to forget you?
You haunt my every thought
My every step
Why can't I seem to forget you?
You are my morning breath
But you are also my sorrows
Each night I cling to the sweet fantasy
Of calling you mine
You want me
Why is that?
How could the heavens love the Earth?
How could the light embrace the darkness?
How could a hurricane be beautiful to the sunlight?
What do you see in me?
My dearest Prince
Do you still long to meet me?
To pin a face to your pains
A face to your infatuation?
Tell me, my Prince
Are you ready to finally step into the rain?
- I Ruin
He stared in disbelief and looked around for a clue as to where he was to go, but all he found was a single gardenia. Hitting him, he dropped the letter and made a run for the royal garden. His heart pounded in his chest and he wondered where Lovino was in this moment, too caught up in his joy to use basic skills to put together a couple of things.
He nearly threw people out windows with how fast he was running and how desperate he looked as he attempted to make his way to the garden. Even when he got there, his eyes scanned anxiously for someone that looked like they were a secret admirer. He didn't see anyone and just walked in further, hoping that he would find his love.
"How could the heavens love the Earth," a voice broke through his thoughts, "How could the light embrace the darkness? How could a hurricane be beautiful to the sunlight?"
He turned, heart flying out of his chest and the brightest smile on his face.
"How could you ever love me?"
Antonio laughed joyously, eyes brimming with tears as he held out a jonquil for Lovino, "The same way that the sun loves the moon and the Earth loves the water. The way that my fire burns for you and the slight prayers and hopes that you feel same," he pushed a small tuft of hair from Lovino's face, "I could say a million pointless words and it won't change the fact that I love you or express everything I am feeling right now. How can I love you? Lovino, look at yourself. Look at everything you do and how much you've done for me. How could I ever love you? How could I not? You're my best friend and know what to do to melt my heart in seconds."
Lovino looked away, biting his lip nervously, feeling like he was naked in front of Antonio. He just felt vulnerable and weak in the strangest way. Yet, it did not bother him much. In fact, at the moment he was overjoyed and rather revealed that he wasn't going to be crushed horribly.
"I'm a guard, Anto."
"And I'm going to marry you."
"You're insane," he scoffed, though his face burned bright red. Tears were clearly gathering in his eyes, "I'm a guard, Anto. Why do you think I was so negative when you gushed about those letters to me? There is no way you will be allowed to marry me. And you've only just figured out it was me the entire time. You move too fast. You need to face reality."
"Perhaps," Antonio hummed.
The rain began to pour, a light drizzle at first soon became more and more unforgivingly rough. Soon it poured and both were thankful for the area that they stood in being covered so that they did not get wet. The harsh water slammed on the ground mercilessly and left both shocked for a moment.
Shaking it off, Antonio took off his coat, lifting it above their heads so that it covered them and he smiled at Lovino, green eyes filled with the deepest of love. It burned and lingered long after he pulled his gaze away.
"That's why I'm going to face it with you."
I often ask God what I did to deserve you
You are a shining star
The moon envies you
You rob all attention
And you robbed my heart
You bring me joy I cannot fathom
And turn each piece of my soul red with fire
I adore you
If I could relive that moment
I'd do it in a second
Just to feel my heart soar
And see your eyes light up
I still ask God
What I did to deserve you
My ultimate end
You are sensibility
You are reality
- Worthy of Praise
I Ruin - Lovino is not an actual Italian name. However, in Japan it would be pronounced like "Rovino" and "rovino" is an Italian word which in fact means, "I ruin".
Gardenia - These flowers mean "secret love"
Jonquil - A flower that means "love me", "affection returned", "desire", and "desire for affection returned"
Worthy of Praise - The meaning of the name Antonio