This is probably the second-to-last post for this fanfic. Hope you enjoy it!
We walked around the plaza for a while, eating our gelato and talking. I hadn’t realized how long it had been since we had just talked like this, without me shutting myself up away from his affections. It felt so nice to simply let him love me.
“We should probably go.” I said, taking a quick glance at my phone. “We should be able to find a decent hotel to hole up in for a while.”
“But why would we shut ourselves away, when there is so much out here to explore?” Luca pleaded. Once he had gotten over the initial shock of the strangeness of everything, he seemed to be genuinely enjoying himself.
“Don’t worry.” I said, laughing, “There will be plenty of time for exploring later. There are some things I want to show you first. To help get you more oriented here.” Luca nodded, but he looked a little bummed out. At least the concept of a movie wouldn’t be boring for him.
We managed to find a decent hotel and settle in after a fair bit of arguing on Luca’s part. He finally agreed that we didn’t need to pay for two rooms, but I ended up compromising with a suite.
“Whose house is this?” Luca asked as I plunked my bag on the couch.
“It belongs to a company. Like the Palazzo Publico back home.” I realized a second later what I had said, and, judging by the look on his face, Luca did as well.
“Lia, what are we doing here?” He asked, a small crease of confusion and frustration forming between his eyebrows.
“We’re here to say goodbye, Luca.” I turned away from him before he could see the tears forming in my eyes. I felt so torn. Here was the world that I had fallen out of, and now so easily back into. But it felt so out of place now. Everything here seemed so different than it did before I became a part of Luca’s world.
“I know.” Luca wrapped his strong arms around me and I buried my face in his shoulder. “I know, Lia.” We stood like that for a long time, neither of us wanting to let go.
Finally, Luca released me and walked over to the couch. Hesitantly, he sat down on it, pulling my phone from my bag. He’d seen me use it all day, but this was the first time that he had touched it himself. I sat down next to him and watched as he tried to figure it out. Eventually, he poked the home button, lighting the screen.
“How does it do that?” Luca asked, squinting at the screen as if he could figure it out just by looking hard enough.
“To be honest, I don’t know.” I sighed, “I have a feeling you’ll be getting that answer out of me quite a bit lately. I know it senses the heat in your fingertips, and that there are little tiny electric circuits in it, but that’s all I’ve really ever stopped to think about.”
“So you have all of this fancy… stuff, but you don’t know how any of it works?” Luca asked incredulously. “And you still trust it?”
“I guess it does seem strange when you put it that way.” I mused. “But you have to remember that I grew up with all of this. I’ve always had it.”
“How do you survive at home?” Luca asked, “You and your family always seemed a little different, but you all manage to work there so well.” I shrugged. There was nothing for me to say. All of this was exactly what I had wanted Luca to understand, but I felt like I was the one finally understanding. Even as he said it, I began to wish it was already the end of the week so that we could just go home. Home to the castello, my family, archery, and the authenticity of everything.
“I’m sorry, Lia.” Luca said, taking my hand, “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“No, it’s fine.” I returned, pasting a smile on my face. There was no point in coming here if I didn’t use the opportunities in front of me. “Let’s watch a movie.”
“And what is a movie?” Luca asked, hastily placing the phone on the coffee table.
“It’s a story. But on a screen. You’ll see.” I left Luca to puzzle over that while I hooked my laptop to the TV. I decided to play Tangled. It was my favorite Disney princess movie and it would allow Luca to witness animation. Plus, Flynn reminded me a little of Luca.
“Is the box going to start talking again?” Luca asked suspiciously, bracing himself.
“Yes,” I said “but it doesn’t know you’re there. Think of it like a piece of parchment. It gives off messages.” That seemed to mollify him as the movie started playing. I snuggled up next to him and he put his arm around me. It occurred to me that I’d never been able to watch a movie like this with someone before. There hadn’t really been the chance.
“It looks like your drawings, Lia. But they move.” I smiled up at Luca as he watched the animation with awe.
“It’s called animation. Someone did draw the pictures. Then they put them into a program to make them move.” I explained. We fell silent for a stretch.
“She looks like you.” Luca mumbled as Rapunzel stepped into Flynn Rider’s vision.
“She has your eyes though.”
“Yeah. But I think that’s about how you looked the first time I saw you. Except you were holding a bow instead of a…” Luca trailed off, searching for the word.
“Frying pan.” I finished, giggling. “I should show you how to use one sometime.”
“I thought you use it as a weapon.” Luca gestured toward the screen.
“Not exactly. It’s usually for cooking.” I said, an idea forming in my head, “We’ll have eggs in the morning and I can show you.” Again, we lapsed into silence as the film progressed. Luca’s reactions to the story were just so dang cute that about halfway through I couldn’t help but grab my sketchbook out of my bag to capture his awe at this new method of storytelling.
“You know,” Luca mused as the credits began, “They are a little like us. A girl lost in an unfamiliar place. A dashing young hero coming to save her and finding himself completely, hopelessly in love.”
“You left out the part about said dashing young hero constantly being in trouble.” I grinned, enjoying this lighthearted banter with Luca that I had been shutting out for so long. I was so afraid that I would fall in love with him and it turned out I already had.
“Yes, but if I’m ever in trouble, it is the Fiorentinni’s fault.” Luca said, batting his eyelashes innocently.
“Of course it is.” I smiled.
“And someday we too shall live, how do they say it?” Luca asked, leaning down to place his forehead against mine.
“Happily ever after.” I finished.