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well, this wasn't quite the way leone would have wanted this to go. he certainly could have come up with some romantic way eventually to ask about making them official. clearly fiona noticed. he laughed a nervous laugh as well, "ah, yeah, i would have liked a better way to do that," he told her, but he supposed this perhaps suited them. their whole relationship was based on what he would call spur of the moment. he was startled, laughed as she threw herself at him and he wrapped his arms tight around her, lifting her briefly off the ground before setting her back down again. if they weren't in the middle of that department store, he might have kissed her. but he was acutely aware of where they were and the people around them. "you know, my mamma will be wanting to meet you."
maybe it wasn't a romantic picnic atop their rock in central park or in front of the towering tyrannosaurus rex at the museum, but fi didn't require an elaborate display of affection from leone to know that he cared about her. they probably should have had an actual conversation about what they meant to one another a while back, but she hadn't wanted to risk ruining what they had. what if leone truly had just seen her as a friend? she would have ruined their easy friendship by letting him know she wanted more.
laughing as he lifted her, she pressed a quick kiss to his cheek and put a few feet of space between them before she kissed him full on the lips. glancing around them, her cheeks were quick to flush when she noted a few onlookers watching their display. it wasn't every day a fine boy like leone asked her to go steady; she was allowed to be excited. fiona's gaze was quick to snap back to his as he brought up meeting his ma. "but i was hoping to learn more italian before i meet her! ciao and grazie aren't enough. how will i introduce myself?" he loved his ma so she was an important woman to impress. not to mention all his siblings and his pa. his family meant the world to him. she wanted to leave a good impression on them.
leone happily accepted her kiss, though didn't prolong it as he might have liked to. but they were still at the department store, and he wouldn't be the cause of her losing her job. the attention they were getting already made him a bit nervous. but no manager had approached fiona to have a word with her or anything like that, so he hough things might be just fine. he laughed at her sudden worry about meeting his mother. "she knows enough english. she'll be pleased enough if you can say just a few simplet hings. even just ciao and grazie," he told her. his mother wasn't entirely fluent, but she'd learned enough while her children learned. he thought she'd quite like fiona, even if she wasn't italian.
"okay... if you say so. i just want them to like me is all," she murmured, biting down on her bottom lip as she glanced around the store. it had definitely quieted down following the lunch rush, and she knew her time with leone was likely limited given that he had to get back to building skyscrapers. "let's go to lunch. my treat since you surprised me! i forgot to tell you that i sold this beautiful red purse and got another commission check," she proclaimed with a proud smile. maybe it wasn't what was expected, but fi enjoyed paying every now and again. they both worked just as hard for their paychecks, so why should she expect leone to always treat her? yes, she was focused on saving enough for her nursing courses, but one meal every once in a while wouldn't hurt. "give me a moment to check in with mrs. howard," she added, slipping her hand in his as she moved towards the back offices.
"they'll like you," leone replied, with confidence, though he did have some small worry that they wouldn't like that she wasn't italian. that she was irish... but surely the fact that she was kind, that he clearly was fond of her, would win them over even if they had any doubts. he pulled aface as she declared they should go to lunch, that it'd be her treat. "but i came here to surprise you, to buy lunch for you," he told her, though he knew he was fighting a losing battle. she didn't like it when he tried to spend money on her, while trying not to let her contribute in the slightest. but if she was his girl, he felt he should be the one taking care of her, paying for their meals and anything else they did. he already had grand plans to taking her to a carnival coming into the city, but he'd have to hold off on telling her so that when he took her to it, she might not be prepared with any money to spend. he followed her as she took his hand, "perhaps i should wait outside?" he suggested, not sure if he should be joining her back in the offices to speak with her boss.
a pleased smile and a soft flush to her cheeks was quick to follow leone's insistence that his family would like her. considering how much they meant to him, it was a comforting assurance. she wasn't italian, but she hoped they would appreciate that she was trying to learn as much as she could about their culture. in addition to the usual nervousness that came along with meeting a boy's family for the first time, there was a particular excitement as well. while the city had started to feel more like her home, she missed having a family nearby. she missed being surrounded by people who loved one another unconditionally. "but you got me that hot dog and pretzel last time we went to the park, so it's my turn," she insisted, but because she didn't want him to think she didn't appreciate how thoughtful he was, she was quick to add, "you can buy me a slice of carrot cake! the diner next door has the absolute best carrot cake." see, a compromise.
fi was about to assure him that it would be fine as they approached the offices, but she instinctively dropped her hold on leone as mrs. howard's ominous "miss flynn, a moment" cut through the background noise of the department store. "okay, i- i'll meet you out front," she said before hurrying into mrs. howard's office.
leone's mouth tightened as she pointed out that he'd bought her a hot dog and pretzel the last time they'd gone out, so obviously it was her turn to buy things. he wanted to remind her that she was saving to become a nurse, but then she'd likely remind him that he was helping to support his family. it'd be an endless cycle, and likely one that she would win. his mother had made it quite clear to him, from a young age, that women were always right. he wasn't sure how much he believed that, but he did believe that women always thought they were right. as fiona sought a compromise, he smiled a little, "all right, i'll buy you carrot cake, then..."
he would have ended up insisting that he stay behind, and he felt his instincts had been correct when mrs. howard's rather ominous tone rose to greet them.. and fiona quite promptly released his hand. "all right.." he said slowly, a little worried. surely the woman could not be angry about leone's intervention, or that fiona had refused to flirt and give that customer the time of day. he hesistated a moment before walking away to stand out front the department store and wait for fiona.
fi wasn't in mrs. howard's office long. it was only ten minutes or so before she was shoving her way through the front doors. a scowl marring her features, she was quick to find leone among the bustling crowd before marching over to him. "he complained to mrs. howard!" she seethed, hands clenched in fists by her side as she began pacing in front of him. the arsehole had complained about her! "said i was rude and impolite and implied that i was soliciting him," she added, eyes sparkling as she fought back tears of frustration. fi wanted nothing more than to hunt that moron down and give him a piece of her mind. if he ever came back to the store, she certainly wouldn't hold back. in fact, she would turn everyone in the store against him! "that lying arse ruined a completely wonderful day!"
he could tell that things had not gone well the moment he saw fi's face as she approached him. her words had his own hands clenching into fists. perhaps he should have punched the guy; he might have been too embarrassed to go running to fiona's boss. there was certainly no way he'd lie and say a woman had given him a black eye or a broken nose. if he saw that man again, though... he'd give him one or both of those reminders. "i'll talk to her," he offered immediately, "i'll tell her what truly happened." though, fiona hadn't told him what her punishment for the man's words. he paused, reaching out to take her hand, giving it a slight squeeze. "you haven't been fired, have you?"
fiona had never been a vindictive person. in a fight or flight situation, she generally ran away as quickly as possible. avoiding confrontations were one of her specialties, but in this case? she was ready to start swinging at the man alongside leone. she was so worked up about the entire situation that she didn't stop pacing until leone took her hand in his. stumbling to a halt, fi was quick to shake her head once his question registered. "no, no. mrs. howard believed me when i insisted he was the rude one," she replied quickly, not wanting him to worry about her potentially losing her job. "although... she scolded me for flirting with my boyfriend, but i said that was only because you saved me, and it wouldn't happen again." she would just have to flirt with her boyfriend right outside the store during her breaks or when he was searching for presents. if he was shopping, then she was definitely allowed to flirt with him, right? it made sense to her at least.
leone had worried about the sort of woman that this mrs. howard was, if she would call fiona to her office over this incident with that man. he thought surely she'd been scolded, told that the customer was always to be respected. that a customer was always right. he wasn't sure what he would have done if mrs. howard had believed the man over her own employee. he would have felt slightly guilty, feeling he was some cause of her losing her job, but at the same time, there would have been no way he could stand back and let her be harrassed. he'd thought the worst when fiona had come storming out. it was a relief to hear it was the exact opposite. he smiled slightly as she told him she was scolded for flirting with her boyfriend. "unless, of course, i have to save you again," he replied. he squeezed her hand, pulling her closer to him. "shall we go get your carrot cake?"
fiona hadn't been fired, and she'd only received a minor slap on the wrist for "canoodling" with leone on the shop floor, so she should be happy right? except she wasn't. thankful that mrs. howard had believed her story, yes, but not happy about the situation. that man had been a lying arsehole who deserved nothing more than to have dirt rubbed into his eyes! unfortunately, she'd likely never run into him ever again, so worrying about it was mostly a moot point. "you can save me any day. you're my own personal prince charming," fi replied, a grin sneaking in to displace her bitter mood as he tugged her closer. "i might need to eat some of your cake too since i've had a shite morning," she warned before stretching up on her toes to press a quick kiss to his lips (they were outside now, so she was allowed!) before laughing and beginning to pull him towards the diner.
leone wasn't going to let some idiot ruin his day, and he hoped that fiona felt the same, so he did his best to distract her. he could tell from her somewhat sour expression that her mind was still on that man, but the moment he mentionedthe cake and drew her in closer, that look was replaced with a smile. "i can probably allow for that; your day's been much tougher than mine," he agreed. he'd worked some that morning before hurrying over here to enjoy lunch with her. the rest of his day was free. he just wished hers was the same. he kissed her back, lingering a moment before they made their way to the diner. "do you want to just eat lunch here as well?"
fi had a boyfriend. a real life american boyfriend. she was now even closer to living the american dream! she'd mentioned leone in passing in her letters back home, and her family had been thrilled to read about her sight seeing city expert. she would have to write immediately tonight and tell them that they were going steady now. mattie would be over the moon. "i probably shouldn't be away for long, but the onion rings here are incredible, and i think you'll like it," she said, giving his hand a squeeze of her own as she pushed through the doors into the small, but homey diner. fiona was beginning to develop a dangerous obsession with fried food. she was quickly learning that frying any food automatically made it ten times more delicious. "were you serious about your ma liking me?" she questioned, leading him towards two empty seats at the counter.
leone laughed softly as she said the onion rings were incredible. "well, i guess i'd better have some, then," he replied. his mother would look on in horror, as she believed that leone should stay loyal to italian foods. but he always pointed out that they lived in america. they needed to enjoy all the foods that the other cultures brought here. she'd always just shake her head, but smile, clearly pleased that her son was such a true american. he led fiona to a table and sat down, pulling a menu open in front of him. onions rings. a burger. he thought that was probably as american as anyone could get. he looked up at fi, smiling, "'course i was serious. she's going to love you; or just the fact she might think she's that much closer to a daughter-in-law and grandchildren..."
Aug 7: playing catch up
yes to 18+ threads
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