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Lunga vita al nostro viaggio

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He finds him in the kitchen, washing up all those pans and dishes they were too lazy to care about last night.
The floors are sparkling, the clothes have been all been ironed and folded up and he's pretty sure the furniture has been rearranged.
He is singing under his breath, it's a barely audible tune but Martino knows which are Niccolò's comfort songs.

Lyrics that seems to fit his melancholy to a T - too many, all too somber for Marti's liking - or tunes that soothe him, bring him back to his childhood, to easier times when all he used to worry about was finding the last stickers to complete his album.

He doesn't ask if everything is okay, when it clearly isn't. Niccolò probably doesn't know himself what got him on the verge of hyperventilating, made him feel like ants were crawling up his skin.

It can't be the disagreement they had last night that triggered this, can it?
They have always known they have totally different tastes in.... Well, pretty much everything.
Martino believes Wes Anderson's movies to be quite boring and pretentious, can't really get into Earl Sweatshirt's music no matter how hard he tries and doesn't understand half of the things Niccolò talks about. And while, yeah, finding out that whom you love isn't dying to watch the latest season of Stranger Things, or listening to Apparat over and over again, can be a bit disheartening... It shouldn't matter. It doesn't.
If anything, being with Niccolò broadens his horizons. Most of the time he won't like what his boyfriend does, but every now and then it happens. He discovers about something new and exciting. Like, he would have never found out about The Good Place if he hadn't stepped out of his comfort zone. And take Eleanor and Chidi: they couldn't be more different one to the other if they tried... But does that stop them? Make them run away from their own feelings?
Nope: they love each other, everything else can fork off.
So... No, it can't be that.

Dalla mia testa come uva matura gocciola il folle vino delle chiome... Voglio essere una gialla velatura, gonfia verso un paese senza nome. drawn out in the softest way - he would clearly belt it out, wasn't he afraid of waking up his boyfriend - is followed by Alla fiera dell'est, per due soldi, un topolino mio padre comprò and it's such a familiar melody that he can't help but join in. Niccolò stops singing then, looking sheepish.

"I... "
'I didn't mean to bother you. I'm so sorry if I woke you up, I should have been more careful, I...'

Martino kisses him before he can apologise, a quick and tender peck to his lips that makes Niccolò forget what he was about to say.
He leans back against the counter, careful not to overstep his boundaries. He wants to hold him close, lull him back to sleep with that very same song, as he tenderly threads his fingers through Nico's curls. He doesn't know if that's what Ni needs, now... All he can do is try. Take it slow. Little by little. Step by step. Minute by minute.

"I never actually sang that all the way to the last chorus, you know? I always stopped when the butcher kills the bull..." As most do, really.
His little finger reaches out to brush against Niccolò's, and he's met with a little stroke back, before Niccolò brings his hand up to his lips.
Lays a kiss on each of his knuckles. On the pad of his fingers, and then his wrist.

"Well, you're more than welcome to join in." He whispers against his skin, before he lets his hand go and starts drying off the plates.

Martino wishes he could do more, that he could chase away whatever is plaguing Niccolò... Well, at least he can make sure that he will never have to face it alone. And that's still something, isn't it?