A propane stove flickered to life with choked sputters and the flutter of a flame. Though cold fingers and soft footsteps announced three o'clock in the morning, Lovino was wide awake with a static electricity that thread through eyelashes and cracked lips. Lacing touches along the rim of a soup can, he's too distracted by the intriguing tongues of fire that lick at air, as if drowning and gagging through waterlogged lungs.
Upstairs, a woman is crying. He shakes his head, as he knows his wife's pregnancy must be a unfathomable pain that only she can bear.
And yet, something is wrong.
He strangles off the gas to the stove, hearing the prod and press of burdened footsteps. She's weeping - a terribly silent song of lamenting thoughts and sore eyes. Lovino turns around, facing (Y/N)'s trembling knuckles that press to her frosty breathings. Her lips curl around syllables, too tenderly spoken to understand. Lovino takes a step forward, and suddenly she's sobbing in his arms, all shakings and coughing fits.
She speaks of a doctor's visit that day, of complications, of a miscarriage. A pale flush of seawater sprinkles his face, slightly backing away from her. He grips her shoulders, pressing two foreheads together, his hands cupping against her cheeks. She leans into his gesture, setting her palms on his fingers, trying so, so hard to smile, but the spaces between chipped teeth are wide enough to see broken spirits and shattered constellations.
Suddenly, Lovino lets out a shrill sob, slamming a fist against hard kitchen countertops. Linen stitchings of broken porcelain skitter across his olive-and-lemon tinted skin, creating tracks of bleeding sorrows.
He buries screams and a scorched throat in two forearms, allowing a stiff spine to collapse into a deflated emptiness, before wrapping (Y/N) into his hollow embrace and eroded muscles, rocking and kissing her and telling her things will get better.
They have to get better.