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i'm right here with you

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It’s not often Antonio ventures around Chaldea by himself. He’s not much of a socializer when it comes to meeting the other servants. Instead, he prefers the enjoyment of a slow, quiet walk down the halls at night. Venturing in places he’s never come across since his summoning.

He found a recreational center during one of his explorations. Within it, a large rectangular pool sits at the center of it all. He never goes in for much more than a dip except to soak his feet in the water. He visits the pool from time to time alone until one day, Marie Antoinette’s presence startles him unexpectedly.

“I thought I would find you here,” the Queen would say. No doubt, her strong intuition has not led her right to him. She had known she would find Antonio here and was pleased to have a chat with him. There was no reason for Antonio to deny that her instincts were right.

In these cases, sometimes they would sit by the pool and talk about nearly anything. Marie would lead the conversation, topics ranging from their time in Chaldea to reminiscing about the golden days in France. Antonio likes listening to her speak; there’s an air about her that showers familiarity and comfort, a voice full of passion and energy that’s impossible to block out. She has a kind heart overall, a level of respect that has Antonio feel at peace with himself.

This time, when Antonio visits the area again, Marie isn’t there waiting for him but Mozart in the middle of taking a dive instead. His interest in the pool dwindles down to nothing. He turns around, hoping to escape without Mozart noticing when he breaks for air.

“Hey, Antonio!” Mozart calls out in between gasps for air. “What a surprise!”

Antonio freezes mid-escape. Mozart calls out his name again, sounding a bit more desperate than before. Antonio faces towards the man in the pool behind him, spotting the eager hand waving in the air. He sighs, finally giving in after a few deep breaths before convincing himself it will be “okay”. He walks over towards the pool’s edge.

“I didn’t think you’d be here, but I’m happy you are,” Mozart says with a smile, swimming towards the edge of the pool. He places his arms over the tile lining the edge before stroking a piece of blond hair out of his line of sight and tucking it behind his ear. “Care for a swim? The water’s nice. Refreshing actually.”

“No thanks.”

“Oh?” Mozart gleams. “You sure?”

“Positive.”

Mozart reaches out, eyes twinkling with a plan in mind as he tugs at the hem of Antonio’s pants.

“Then what’re you doing here?”

Antonio knits his brows together as he attempts to back away, but the Mozart’s hold isn’t as weak as he assumed it’d be. He clings to him like a newborn baby as his burning gaze unflinchingly stares at him. At this moment, something inside of Antonio falters, a force that makes him believe he’s done something wrong. Mozart lets go and hoists himself up with a great push, his arms wrap around Antonio’s thighs, catching the man off balance, and dragging him into the water.

Nothing could prepare him for this; that he’s end up drowning in a pool because of his rival. But here he was, frantically waving his hands in desperation, words coming out as muffled noises around him. The water swallows Antonio whole. He fears for his life until he’s roughly brought up for air. His clothes are completely soaked through and his hair is a tangled mess covering his face, but through his coughs and gasps he hears Mozart’s soothing voice as he secures Antonio against his lean body.

“You’re okay, I have you. I’m right here, my dear.”

Mozart leans in, resting his forehead against Antonio’s. Antonio feels Mozart’s frown through his shudders and low, gasping breaths. He focuses on Mozart as the droplets of water cascade down his face. Antonio’s heartbeats slow down, listening to the encouraging words that leave Antonio in a state of disbelief and wonderment, how this gentle voice could lure him into a dream.

“Better now?” Mozart asks.

“Y-Yeah… I’m sopping wet, thanks to you,” Antonio mutters through his hoarse throat.

Mozart replies with a tiny smile, “I assumed you wouldn’t join me if I asked, so I had to take measures of my own. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry for startling you. I didn’t know you couldn’t swim, it was stupid of me to assume.”

He knows Mozart didn’t do it on purpose; he wouldn’t dream of faulting him for this. But already, Antonio spots the concern on Mozart’s face and wonders why all of this fretting over him is necessary.

“It’s fine,” Antonio answers, slowly. “Don’t fret yourself over it. You’re forgiven.” His hands lower and ghosts over Mozart’s forearms, keeping them steady as he holds on.

“Yeah?” Mozart tilts his head.

“Yeah.”

Antonio isn’t sure what to do next, whether they should be doing anything at all, which includes leaving the pool. It’s still night and everyone is asleep. He’s then literally pulled from his thoughts as Mozart leads him to the shallow end to where the steps lead out of the pool. Antonio moves to sit on one of the steps. It’s here he notices how his wet clothing is and he chucks both his shoes and socks off his feet, ruined and left alone to dry. At least he can soak his toes comfortably in the cool water while Mozart takes a seat to his right to squeeze the water from his hair.

“Is that all you want to do?” Mozart smirks.

“Leave me alone,” Antonio throws back, couldn’t help but flashing a smile as Mozart splashes a bit of water at Antonio’s face with a good laugh.