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 Crossroads

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Antonio F. Carriedo

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Join date : 2013-04-04

PostSubject: Crossroads    Fri May 03, 2013 4:00 pm

(Note: This takes place 6 years before the main events of the AU. Antonio is 22 years old.)

Antonio straightened the collar of his shirt as he smiled gently at his reflection in the mirror. It had been a long time since he had felt this good, and it was a relief to see that once familiar expression back on his face. His chest felt like it was about to burst from excitement from the day’s events. Just when he had felt like he had hit an all-time low and that his life was going nowhere, an opportunity had come to him in the form of a friendly face, a face belonging to the same man who was responsible for him moving to England in the first place. His old benefactor, Mr. Vargas had come to save him again. The wealthy man had once given Antonio a full-ride scholarship to a dance academy in London only a few years prior. After he had graduated, Antonio had thought his life was ready to begin, but instead had been faced with the awful reality that there was no place for him to make a living off of his dancing talent. He had lost his motivation, his hope, and worst of all, faith in himself. He had started waiting tables at the local cafe just to get by, and the whole time that he was living paycheck to paycheck, his smile had faded, leaving Antonio feeling like someone far from himself. Now Mr. Vargas had returned, and upon seeing Antonio in this rut, had offered him a position as an instructor in the dance school he owned. The young man couldn’t believe his luck. Finally he would be able to dance again, and not only that- he would teach other people to share his passion too! It still hadn’t completely sunk in yet. After over a year of feeling trapped, Antonio’s life was finally starting to turn around.

His smile turned to a grin as he finished preparing himself. It was time for his date. There was one person who had been his lifeline before Mr. Vargas’ reappearance, someone he had relied on deeply- Francis. When he was in that dark place, his old friend had helped him through it, and from the experience, the two of them had grown closer than expected, until finally, they had decided to take it a bit further. Antonio and Francis had been dating for a full six months now. The newly appointed dance instructor could hardly wait to tell him the news. The other would be so happy to hear things were finally going well for him, and Antonio hoped that now that his life was beginning to stabilize, he would be able to put more effort into his relationship and being a better boyfriend than the overly dependent mess he had been the last couple of months.

Finally ready for his date, Antonio left his small studio apartment and made his way towards the Spanish restaurant where he and Francis were to meet. He entered the place and was greeted with the welcoming fragrance of the food from his home country. Not the same, of course- food in England rarely was- but it still made his mouth water. He took a look around the restaurant, wondering if Francis was already there or if Antonio had arrived early.

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PostSubject: Re: Crossroads    Fri May 10, 2013 12:41 pm

“Ah, quel désastre!” Francis slammed the door to his small (yet somehow still showy) apartment, hurriedly unbuttoning his waiter’s uniform as he rushed into the bedroom. His shift had run unexpectedly late today when one of his coworkers had decidedly to call in “sick” (Francis knew he was just slacking off again – more than once Francis had run into him at a bar when he was supposedly at home ill in bed) and Francis had been forced to take up waiting his tables for him. Antonio was probably on his way to their usual place and here was France, only just getting home to prepare for their date.

There was no time for a shower – though it was doubtful the Frenchman would have taken one anyway as, after all, what scent was more alluring than the husky smell of a mix of perspiration and testosterone? Francis instead chose to simply slap on some deodorant and change into a fresh, fashionable outfit consisting of dark pants and a matching vest, with a nice button up and tie going underneath. His underwear remained in the drawer, long forgotten since his modeling days left him desiring the least amount of clothes to have to change out of.

He hurried to the mirror, pressed for time, but suddenly slowed as he very gently brushed out each individual hair of his ever-flowing golden locks. Better to be late than run the risk of getting split ends! Finally, after quickly touching up his makeup, he made his way out the door and towards the restaurant.


“Je suis desole!” Francis panted, bending over slightly and gripping his knees as he tried to catch his breath. “I ran as fast as I could…my shift ran a little late…you are looking at me strangely.” Noticing the Spaniard’s befuddled and rather amused expression, Francis checked his watch. No, he was definitely running at least an hour…wait. He doubled check the time on his cell phone, staring at the brightly lit screen in surprise. “…I am on time.” He rubbed his temples, annoyed at his constantly breaking watch which never seemed to run properly for more than a few weeks before he had to get it fixed again. Suddenly he broke into a smile, chuckling and grinning at his boyfriend. “Wow, I must look like total fool. ‘ere I was running around like a chicken wiz my ‘ead cut off, worried I ‘ad been keeping you waiting.”

For the first time he took in Antonio’s appearance, his grin sliding into a smirk as his eyes drifted up and down the man’s body, checking him out blatantly. “You look good today, mon chéri~ Not zat you don’t always, of course.”
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Antonio F. Carriedo

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PostSubject: Re: Crossroads    Mon May 13, 2013 6:45 pm

Antonio’s eyes widened as his boyfriend suddenly arrived at the restaurant, apparently out of breath. The man was hunched over and gasping as if he had just ran a marathon. The Spaniard cocked his head a little, giving him a curious look and wondering if he should stand up so the other could sit down and catch his breath, but when he saw Francis check his watch in surprise and smile, Antonio only gave a laugh.

“And here I thought you just couldn’t wait to see me, amor! I only arrived a few minutes ago.”

He was too oblivious to notice how indiscreetly the Frenchman was admiring him, but Antonio could tell the other was happy to see him, and that was enough to warm his heart. Francis had a talent for making him feel good about himself and his appearance, even when Antonio felt at his lowest. He quickly rose to his feet to give his boyfriend a kiss in greeting.

“Thank you! You’re looking muy guapo yourself, Fran. I’m sure you must be hungry after rushing all the way over here just for me. Why don’t we sit down?”

He kept a hand on his shoulder, squeezing it slightly before turning to look back towards the front desk. The server was ready to seat them by now, and Antonio politely asked her for a table for two. They were lead to the rear of the restaurant where there were tall-backed booths for privacy and a little candle sitting in the middle of each table. The Spanish man was almost writhing with excitement. He couldn’t wait to tell Francis his news, but thought it would be best to wait until after their food had been ordered so that there were fewer chances of them being interrupted. He sat down on the cushy seat and smiled over at his boyfriend after the two were handed their menus.

“What’re you feeling like tonight? We can share some paella if you want or order a round of tapas...”

Either of the options sounded good to him. Antonio kept that big grin on his face, his mood significantly better than it had been for most of the past few months. He wasn’t very good at keeping secrets, but he did his best to keep any word about his new job from bursting out of him.
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PostSubject: Re: Crossroads    Fri May 31, 2013 12:17 pm

“Get whatever you like, mon chou, you know I’ll like it no matter what.” As a food connoisseur, Francis found Spanish food on the top of his list – even despite the culture’s tendency towards hot spices. The Mediterranean diet of Espagne was so much better than some of the starchy, greasy, fat-filled dishes other countries liked to insist were food.

He looked over the wine list carefully, though he had a feeling from the grin on Antonio’s face and the twinkle in his eye that he had already planned out every detail of this evening – from the drink in his glass to the words from his lips.
“I’m guessing you would prefer a red wine as always?” Though France enjoyed both the sweet, fruity taste of red wine and the sharp, tart flavor or white, he knew Antonio often tended towards the darker, often less alcoholic of the two. Besides, somehow he didn’t think Antonio intended to get drunk tonight.

He could tell by the way the Spaniard was practically jumping up and down in his seat that he had something to tell Francis – however, for some reason rather than spitting it out like he normally would, the brunette remained silent. Well, not silent, non, never silent. The one thing Francis knew both he and Antonio enjoyed as much as food, sex, and alcohol was talking. In fact, just these few brief seconds of quiet had left Francis uneasy, and he quickly filled the space with some lighthearted chit chat.
“I found a recipe for churros ze ozer day – except ze were cookies! I zought per’aps you might like to come back to my place and try some, I could whip up a batch in no time. E, after we 'ave allowed dinner to settle, of course.” Eating so soon after a full-course meal could spoil both one's dinner and dessert.
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Antonio F. Carriedo

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PostSubject: Re: Crossroads    Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:12 am

Antonio hummed contently as he imagined the taste of sweet red wine on his tongue. A glass of sangria would be perfect for tonight. He had felt himself leaning towards seafood paella for dinner- it had been a while since he had ordered the dish, and he already knew that Francis liked it. Tapas were delicious too, but that required making more choices between what kind to order, and Antonio could barely focus as it was.

“Mm, yes, paella de marisco and sangria sound very good...” 

He wiggled his foot under the table subconsciously. Antonio really needed to practice distracting himself. When his mind was set on something- good or bad- he found it hard to think of anything else, and this often made him very oblivious to what was going on around him. It had happened at various times during his relationship with Francis, where he would be so preoccupied with problems from work and paying bills that he wouldn’t even notice the other’s hands on him right away. Right now, he was daydreaming of something much more positive, however. His job was going to be so wonderful! No more waiting tables and doing twice as much work for half the pay. Now he would be able to do what he loved and feel rewarded for doing it. Dance students would show much more gratitude and appreciation towards him than the picky customers he had had to deal with over the last year. He couldn’t wait to start his teaching career. It really felt like what he had been born to do.

It took Antonio a moment to register that Francis was talking to him. He blinked at the other blankly, about to ask him to repeat what he had said, but just as he opened his mouth, he remembered he had heard the word “churros” and nodded enthusiastically instead.

“Si! That sounds great,” he replied with a grin. He had been hoping to go back with Francis after this and celebrate some more. His good mood was prompting him to treat his lover especially well tonight, and having some dessert together seemed like the perfect way to start that off. 

It was only a few minutes later that the server came to take their order. Antonio went ahead and asked for the seafood paella along with a glass of sangria, leaving Francis to order his own drink in case he wanted something different. Afterwards, he looked back at his boyfriend with wide green eyes full of excitement. He couldn’t hide it any longer. Before he had time to even realize he was saying it, the news burst from his lips.

“I got hired to teach at a dance school!”
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PostSubject: Re: Crossroads    Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:31 pm

Francis smiled at the waiter after Antonio had finished, holding out his closed menu for the server to take. “And I will ‘ave ze same.” His polite smile remained on his face as he turned back to his boyfriend, eyebrow quirking at the sudden look of intensity that had come across the Spaniard’s face.

He practically jumped when Antonio suddenly blurted out his news, taken aback by the outburst.
“Quoi?” His brain struggled to take in the new information, too preoccupied by the scent of food and the bright colors of Antonio’s clothing and the thought of that perfect Spanish body all over him that night – he shook his head to clear it, trying to concentrate. This was serious news – great news, though. But a big change for Antonio. Celebration and details were called for. No time to be getting distracted by thoughts of love…those could certainly be called back later, when they were needed. After all, celebration could mean a whole variety of activities.

“Zat is fantastique news, mon amour!” He broke into a grin, reaching across the table to take Antonio’s hand and squeeze it. “When did you find out? Just today? Where is it? ‘ow eez ze pay? Will you be working every day? You’ll ‘ave weekends off, won’t you?” He wouldn’t want their relationship to suffer at the hands of this new career. While a full-time job would come with greater pay which could mean more extravagant dates for the two of them, he wouldn’t want Antonio to be suddenly taking on so many hours that they wouldn’t see each other anymore.

And while he really was excited for Antonio – goodness knows he of all people knew that Antonio had been suffering through the worst depression and feelings of worthlessness these last few months – he didn’t want his lover to go getting all excited over this new job only to have his dreams fall flat if this placed didn’t turn out to be what he was hoping for.
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Antonio F. Carriedo

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PostSubject: Re: Crossroads    Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:13 am

Antonio squeezed Francis’ hand back tightly as the other grabbed a hold of his. He just couldn’t stop grinning- he was so excited! His date must have sensed it well enough judging by his reaction. The Spaniard’s head was swimming in bliss and confusion as all the questions were suddenly hurled at him.

“I- Um,” he stammered, blinking several times as he tried to decide what to answer first. “Well, I don’t really know yet! I just found out...yes, today- that I’d be teaching full time. I guess that means forty hours? I know the school is probably open on weekends, but I haven’t gotten my schedule yet. Hopefully we’ll still have Sundays at least! Maybe more…”

As thrilled as Antonio was about his job, the thought of being away from Francis more often was a disappointing one. He had grown so used to the other’s company during this difficult time and had started to associate it with comfort and security. He loved Francis and didn’t want his boyfriend to feel like he was being pushed aside at all.

“It’s not very far. Just downtown. The pay is a lot better than what I was making waiting tables...We’ll be able to go out more,” he promised, smiling gently. “I really can’t wait to start dancing again. Maybe I’ll even be able to perform with the students. You’ll come see me, right?”

It wasn’t a serious question. Antonio already knew he’d be performing for Francis- school or no school. Dancing had never stopped being a part of his life, but it was a passion he had neglected recently, save for a few “private shows” for his lover. He just wanted to make sure the other knew that he was still important to him. There was another question Antonio was anxious to ask, but he decided it was better to wait for the right moment. Right now, he wanted to give Francis the chance to absorb the news and also have some time to think it over himself. Moving in with someone was not a decision that should be made on a whim.

“You remember that Italian man I told you about? Mr. Vargas?” Antonio asked him. “He was the one who sent me to school here on a scholarship. If it weren’t for him, I would still be back in Spain...Anyway, you’ll never believe it- he showed up at the restaurant today. He asked me how things were going and why I was working there instead of dancing...I told him everything. Fran, it was horrible. I couldn’t keep it together. I- I had to leave the restaurant.” Antonio looked down at the table embarrassedly, remembering the scene he had caused. He was reluctant to dwell on the details of his shameful outburst, however. That was all in the past now. “He followed me outside, and we talked. I told him that I really wanted to dance again, and he said that I could start working at the school he owns here in London. It’s so amazing; I still can’t really believe it...This isn’t the first time he’s done something so good, something that changed my life. Who would have thought that he’d find me again?”

Antonio sniffed, feeling himself getting emotional. He laughed it off, wiping at his watery eyes and smiling at Francis to let him know he was fine. When their sangrias arrived, Antonio was almost relieved. A drink sounded so perfect right now, and it would certainly help calm him down. Raising his glass, he offered his boyfriend a toast.

“Here’s hoping all goes well.”
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