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Chapter Text

With a frustrated sigh, Narancia tears out another scribbled out piece of paper and takes great pleasure in roughly scrunching it up and tossing it over his shoulder. It lands in the bin across the room, right alongside the paper mountain of all his other shitty abandoned plans.

“This is hopeless.” Narancia whines, facedown on the table. “I’m hopeless.”

From sprawled out on the sofa in the middle of the living room, Mista looks up from his magazine and rolls his eyes at Narancia’s despair. “Just talk to him man, jeez.”

Narancia lifts his head up and glares. “Oh you’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

Mista frowns. “Like what?

“Every time I open my big mouth around Fugo I end up getting stabbed. Forks, keys, his disappointment and disapproval.” Narancia shakes his head and taps his pen on the blank sheet of paper. “Not this time though.”

Mista looks genuinely offended at that, maybe even hurt. “You think I want you to get stabbed?

Narancia ignores him and it’s like the stars and planets all align at that exact moment because he’s struck with sudden inspiration, literally a goddamn lightbulb moment. Narancia quickly sketches something on the new piece of paper, something he’s sure he remembers Abbacchio mentioning one time.

When he’s satisfied, Narancia slams the pen down and holds the paper up in triumph. It’s a sketch of some mistletoe, underlined in red about ten times. “This is gonna work for sure! The laws of mistletoe are binding, Mista! Abbacchio said so!”

Mista snorts and goes back to reading his magazine. “If you’re really gonna believe everything Abbacchio says then you’re welcome to your early grave.”

Narancia can admit that even if it usually ends up with him getting shot multiple times or shooting himself multiple times, Mista does occasionally have a point. So, Narancia begrudgingly gives Mista’s aforementioned point a solid minute of thought and nothing more.

During that excruciatingly long minute of thought, Buccellati walks past with a warm smile that drops entirely when he sees the pained concentrated look on Narancia’s face.

“Narancia, are you okay?” Buccellati crouches and gently pushes the hair out of Narancia’s eyes, peering into Narancia’s face with a worried expression. “You look like you’re suffering.”

“I am suffering, Buccellati.” Narancia sighs honestly, leaning into Buccellati’s hands and practically radiating mournfulness. He flashes Buccellati his best puppy dog eyes, blinking up at him with shining eyes, but Buccellati is long since used to it and simply laughs fondly.

“I’m sure you’ll survive.” Buccellati smiles again and ruffles Narancia’s messy hair back into place. “And if this is about the Fugo situation, you just have listen to your heart, Narancia.”

Narancia doesn’t even bother asking how Buccellati knows about The Fugo Situation because Buccellati knows everything. Instead, Narancia adjusts his bandana and asks with his head tilted, “Oh yeah?”

“Yep. That’s what Abbacchio told me he did when he finally decided to do something about what he felt for me, when he finally made his less than smooth move.” Buccellati’s smile turns secretive, almost sly as he continues on his way. “Just don’t tell him I told you that.”

Narancia perks up that because huh. It’s true, isn’t it? Mista had totally implied that Abbacchio’s advice was bullshit but who was the one currently dating the love of their life? Not fucking Mista, that’s for sure.

And honestly, Narancia isn’t just running out of options right now, he didn’t fucking have any to start with, and listening to his heart just feels so right. So fuck Mista and fuck being hopeless. Mistletoe was definitely the way to go. Narancia was finally gonna do something about his feelings and make his smooth fucking move on the love of his life or die trying. Just hopefully not literally.

“Buccellati! Wait!” Narancia scrambles to his feet and rushes to catch up, tugging on Buccellati’s arm when Buccellati startles and turns around. “Where do mistletoe trees grow?”

Chapter Text

Despite it only being early October, they somehow manage to find somewhere just outside the city that sells mistletoe.

They being Buccellati and Abbacchio, obviously.

Buccellati drops the car keys into Abbacchio’s open hand with a wry smile and a since mistletoe was your idea, you can drive thrown over his shoulder as he slides into the passenger seat.

“Can’t you just zipper us there?” Abbacchio mutters, begrudgingly getting behind the wheel and pulling into the street.

“No way!” Narancia suddenly yells, leaning between the two front seats, and the car swerves as Abbacchio jumps. He elbows Narancia away, but Narancia easily ducks it. “Zippers are cheating! I wanna do this properly and get it myself, no shortcuts.”

“You heard him, Leone,” Buccellati says with a grin, lowering sunglasses onto his face and turning the radio up. “No shortcuts.”

The gleaming city melts around them into beautiful, rugged sunlit landscape, field after field of picturesque farmland. To Narancia’s delight the three of them make something of a sweet little autumn afternoon of it, taking the long route there and stopping at a quaint countryside cafe for coffee and pastries.

With Mista keeping Fugo distracted with his favourite movies back home, Narancia steals a sip of Abbacchio’s (second) caffè macchiato (that Narancia chokingly discovers has a shot of something very strong in it) and a quick bite of Buccellati’s slice of peach and cinnamon coppi and thinks he could seriously get used to this.

Not the being chauffeured and stuffing his face with other people’s stolen food and drink thing (which he could actually get used to), but the simply spending an unhurried afternoon with two of his favourite people having fun together thing.

They’re all usually so busy with business they never get the chance to officially goof off and definitely not something as cool as leaving the city for the day. No bloodshed or torture or extortion or something even worse, as fun as that shit can be sometimes. This was a much welcome if brief change from the usual knife's edge of everyday mafia life.

The only thing that could make today any better was if Fugo and Mista were here with them too.

As a bright blaze of autumn colours blur past, Narancia rolls his window down and sticks his head out, wind whipping harshly and more than half hanging right out of the window and gleefully dodging cars that speed past them, horns blaring at him as they go.

Buccellati and Abbacchio both try and drag him back into the safety of the car with two stern shouts of seatbelt! and as Narancia meets Abbachhio’s wry, long-suffering gaze in the rearview mirror, it weirdly feels like something fundamental Narancia had been missing out on until now.

The mistletoe is in the bag and they’re on the drive back into the city when Narancia insistently kicks Abbacchio’s seat until he eventually pulls over beside the biggest pile of leaves Narancia has ever seen in his life.

He doesn’t bother opening the car door, just launches himself straight out of the open window and dives headfirst right into the mountainous pile. It looks like one huge fire and Narancia puts on his best high-pitched creepy old lady voice and wails I’m melting and thrashes dramatically until Abbacchio impatiently beeps the horn from the car.

Narancia, of course, ignores him and dives into the next pile. And then the next, and the next until he’s basically swimming along the forest floor. He doesn’t notice the beeping stopping and when Narancia finally surfaces for air and coughs up a lungful of leaves, he whirls around and finds Buccellati grinning and teasingly tugging Abbacchio out of the car and into the forest too.

Narancia watches them twirl together hand in hand in the little copse of trees, laughing and kicking leaves without a care in the world and when Buccellati stretches up on his tiptoes, Abbacchio cups Buccellati’s flushed cheeks and leans down. Under a gentle flurry of falling leaves, Buccellati and Abbacchio share a devastatingly tender kiss.

Even from across the ocean of leaves Narancia can see the brimming smile on Abbacchio’s face and as Narancia watches with a faint grin of his own, for the first time in his life he feels a small but sharp stab of envy over the happy couple.

One day, Narancia promises himself as he rises from the pile of leaves, that’ll be him and Fugo. He’ll make Fugo smile like that, he’ll treat Fugo as good as he deserves to be treated and he’ll take Fugo to places as pretty as Fugo himself and kiss him all romantic like too. Maybe somewhere snowy, maybe under some actual mistletoe trees when it’s winter soon. They could share a scarf, and hot chocolate, and maybe some more kisses too, if he’s lucky.

Thinking back on their impromptu detour as Abbacchio parks in the private underground car park of his and Buccellati’s apartment, Narancia is pretty sure that Buccellati and Abbacchio had to pull more than a few strings each to get the mistletoe for him at such short notice, but he also makes sure to hug them both extra hard in thanks.

Buccellati laughs brightly, Abbacchio sighs tiredly. All is good.

Right up until Purple fucking Haze eats the mistletoe right from Narancia’s hands.

Everything had been going to plan so far. Narancia was alone and impatiently waiting in the living room of the hotel suite they all had to stay in that night, making it easier to get their latest instructions from Polpo all together the next morning.

Both legs bouncing with nervous excitement, Narancia repeats what he plans to say to Fugo into Abbacchio’s stolen compact over and over to himself until he memorises it.

Plan or no plan, it was still a bizarrely quiet night, especially for them. Mista was out of the way asleep in his room down the hall and snoring loud enough to rattle the walls, and Buccellati and Abbacchio were up to whatever the hell it was adults do when they’re not busy with mafia shit, taxes or eBay or something. All that was missing was Fugo.

Narancia has half convinced himself to abandon his plan and go find the fucker for himself when the door slowly swings open with a loud eerie creak, something straight out of a horror movie.

And then Purple Haze lurches into the room, definitely a horror movie moment for anyone other than Narancia, slowly turning its head to stare at Narancia and erratically trembling with something Narancia can’t guess. He doesn’t think it’s rage though, they all know intimately what Purple Haze’s rage-trembles look like and they’re all usually scrambling to get as far away from Fugo’s Stand as possible when that happens

But even then, Narancia isn’t scared, and he certainly isn’t scared now. He grins and jumps to his feet. Purple Haze watches him with a dark gleam in its bright yellow eyes, tracking every movement like a snake just waiting to strike.

It’s not often Fugo voluntarily lets his Stand out, understandably so, but sometimes Purple Haze will wander whichever place they’re holed up in, usually when Fugo is most bored or distracted. It’s an unconscious decision, totally not on purpose, like Purple Haze is finding a loophole in the unofficial Stand/User handbook. If Fugo isn’t telling his Stand not to manifest, that means Purple Haze can and will manifest.

Fugo hates it. Narancia thinks it’s hilarious. Despite being so rough and ruthless, Purple Haze can be so damn cheeky and has such a specific and wicked sense of humour and it’s exactly the same as Narancia’s, much to Fugo’s furious despair.

Leaning close, Narancia tells Purple Haze his plan in hushed whispers, glancing at the door every now and then to make sure Fugo doesn’t magically appear there and showing Purple Haze the precious mistletoe in his palm.

“You’ll keep my secret, won’t you buddy?” Narancia grins up at Purple Haze, reaching up to wipe the drool dripping from its chin with the hem of his black shirt.

Purple Haze says nothing of course, and lets out a sharp, warm, shuddering breath, one that makes Narancia shiver too. Purple Haze continues to stare at him, watching him like a starved hawk, still trembling like it’s taking a lot of effort on Purple Haze’s part not to just spasm out of control and destroy the whole room on instinct.

Sympathy tugs hard in Narancia’s chest. Purple Haze is such an outcast even in a group of outcasts. It hurts because Narancia knows what it’s like to be different, knows what’s it’s like to be shunned. If he’s being honest, Narancia sorta sees a lot of himself in Purple Haze. He knows the others would be horrified to hear that and that Fugo himself is horrified at the capabilities of his Stand, of what his Stand represents of Fugo himself.

It’s also why Narancia totally gets why the others are creeped out by Purple Haze, but this being is a part of Fugo, something almost like Fugo’s soul and there’s just no way Narancia could ever fear that. He loves every part of Fugo, the brilliantly smart parts, the blindingly raging parts, the unselfishly kind parts, the stupidly expensive bespoke holey suit wearing parts, the --

Happily distracted by his loving little daydream, Narancia can only watch in mounting horror as Purple Haze tilts its head curiously, leans down to sniff the mistletoe, and then somehow fucking sucks it right up into its stitched up mouth and swallows loudly.

Narancia’s jaw drops open in mute shock and he swears Purple Haze is grinning at him.

“I thought we were friends.” Narancia whispers in betrayal.

Purple Haze roughly shakes its head, sending spittle flying, and Narancia’s heart really is about to break but then Purple Haze insistently jerks its head towards the door.

Narancia spins around just as Fugo strides in.

“Oh, thank god. There you are.” Fugo says with a palpable look of relief, sagging on the spot with a hand held to his heart.

Was Narancia feeling shocked or betrayed or something just now? Narancia can’t remember, any other feelings that aren’t the sudden surge of love so overwhelming he could fall to his knees simply at Fugo’s appearance are happily and forcibly shoved from his mind. Shit, he has it so bad. But in Narancia’s defence he hasn’t seen Fugo all day. Sue him.

“Aw,” Narancia coos with a smirk. “Did you miss me, Fugo?”

“I was talking to Purple Haze.” Fugo drawls, but he watches his Stand warily, whole body tense with dread at its presence.

And then that horror returns to Narancia with a vengeance because Fugo abruptly stops and quickly holds a hand to his stomach with a pained grimace.

“Shit, fuck.” Narancia is at Fugo’s side in an instant, checking his pulse, checking his temperature, checking to see if he’s gone blind. “Are you okay? How many fingers am I holding up?”

“Yeah. I’m fine, I think.” Fugo mutters with a frown, batting Narancia’s hands away but letting Narancia lead him to the sofa without a fuss, leaning against him and letting Narancia take most of his weight. “Just my stomach. Hurts like fuck all of a sudden.”

A hissing, gurgling sound bubbles up from Purple Haze’s throat, a deep rumbling like rocks falling down a mountain. Purple Haze trembles again, but this time Narancia knows for sure these are trembles of infinite amusement.

“What the fuck.” Fugo’s frown deepens, forehead creased and beading with sweat. Not good. “What’s got into Purple Haze?”

What in-fucking-deed.

“Hey, uh, Fugo?” Narancia asks as cool and casually as he can. Fugo looks up at him. “Is uh...is mistletoe poisonous?”

“Yes,” Fugo says at length and Purple Haze’s grating, gurgling laughter stops immediately when Fugo glances suspiciously over his shoulder at his Stand. “Why?”

“No reason!” Narancia yells, slamming right into the wall and almost knocking himself out cold in his haste to find Buccellati or a doctor or a priest or maybe even Jesus himself because what Narancia needs right now is a miracle.

Chapter Text

Thank every single god for Giorno Giovanna.

Not only does Giorno casually stroll into their lives like a storm and nonchalantly cure Fugo (and his insides) of any and all mistletoe related illness and death without giving anything away to Fugo, he also becomes Narancia’s endless supply of replacement mistletoe and something like a good luck charm too.

But Narancia also has to say a quick thanks to Luca too. Narancia never really knew the unlucky fucker and always teased him mercilessly whenever they met without fail, but he was still one of their own.

Even so, Luca’s untimely death-by-shovel and Buccellati with the finisher and the finger dismemberment are all sacrifices Narancia is more than willing to make for having Giorno in their lives instead.

(And don’t even get Narancia started on the ear trick. It’s the grossest and coolest thing Narancia has ever seen and Narancia has definitely seen some weird shit in his short life.)

All in all, Narancia could kiss Giorno, if he didn’t wanna kiss Fugo more. Plus he’s just not into the whole love triangle thing, so he settles for a tight hug and his endless lifelong gratitude instead.

“I am literally forever in your debt.” Narancia tells Giorno fiercely, almost as fierce as the embrace. “Seriously, Giorno!”

Giorno laughs in Narancia’s arms, and the little sparrow perched on his shoulder chirps in amusement too. Giorno returns the hug with a grin and despite being younger than him, practically a teeny tiny baby, Narancia really is about ready to lay his switchblade down at Giorno’s feet in fealty and swear loyalty to him forever.

“You can pay me back by being careful.” Giorno half jokes wryly, and when Narancia eventually lets go, Giorno hands him the fresh sprig. “Seriously, Narancia. I mean it. I might not be around next time and if I have to cure Fugo like that again he’s going to get suspicious.”

“Careful,” Narancia enthusiastically nods in determination. “I can do careful. Careful is my new middle name.”

Giorno bites his lip to stop himself from laughing. The sparrow isn’t so polite, chirping again as it flutters over to Narancia’s shoulder to playfully peck at his cheek.

“How did this all even happen in the first place?” Giorno asks with a smile as the sparrow flies back to his outstretched hand. “Fugo doesn’t seem the type to do something so...”

“Dumb as fuck?” Narancia helpfully suggests.

“Yes.” Giorno says wryly. “Unless someone dared him to eat the mistletoe. He also doesn’t seem the type to back down from a challenge.”

“It’s a long story,” Narancia grins sheepishly, twisting the sprig between his fingers. “But technically it wasn’t even my fault for once! Silver linings, Giorno.”

Giorno hums and definitely looks unconvinced and that he doesn’t believe a word Narancia just said, but he leaves it at that.

Narancia holds the sprig up and inspects it excitedly, tongue peeking out of his mouth in rising temptation. “Hey, Giorno....just how poisonous did you say mistletoe was again?”

Giorno shares a worried glance with the sparrow before glancing back to Narancia. All of a sudden, Giorno looks like he realises he might’ve made a very grave mistake in willingly agreeing to become Narancia’s endless supply of poisonous flora and unleashing him out into the unsuspecting world.

But before Giorno can say anything else or warn Narancia further, Narancia is already happily on his way with a (mostly true) only joking! thrown over his shoulder.

“I don’t like him.” Abbacchio declares immediately, apparently not giving a single shit that Giorno was sat right there.

Narancia isn't exactly surprised because they’ve all been at the receiving end of Abbacchio’s severely unwelcoming welcome when they’d all first joined Buccellati’s team, before Abbacchio had gradually warmed up to them and eventually trusted them. But this time feels different somehow, this time it almost feels like it’s personal.

But to be fair, Giorno also looks like he doesn’t give a single shit either which definitely takes some balls because Abbacchio can be intimidating as fuck. Like, literally and actually terrifying.

Giorno is definitely made of stronger stuff than he looks (and not just in the muscly way) and he deserves his seat at this table as much as any of them, and Narancia is just so truly happy that Giorno is a part of their little team and he gets to call Giorno a friend that his fucking cheeks ache from beaming so hard.

Call him the new leaky-eyes, Narancia needs a fucking tissue.

From the head of the table, Buccellati exhales patiently. “You don’t like anybody, Abbacchio.”

Abbacchio sniffs and crosses his arms over his broad chest at that. “That’s not true.”

“Yeah,” Narancia says, kicking Abbacchio’s shin under the table with a grin. “Abbacchio likes me plenty because I’m his favourite. Right, Abbacchio?”

“Nevermind,” Abbacchio says flatly. “It is true.”

Mista raises his hand. “Uh, I like him?” He offers, and Giorno flashes him a bright smile. Mista grins back and Narancia would swear there’s a blush high on his cheeks and the cheeks of all six of his Sex Pistols munching on salami around him. Interesting.

“Whether you like him or not, Giorno passed Polpo’s test.” Buccellati says lightly, but they all know and respect (Abbacchio begrudgingly so, but only when it comes to this) that Buccellati’s word is law. “He’s a member of this team and you’ll all treat him like it.”

This is directed mostly at Abbacchio, who glances away with a noncommittal grunt and stares at the half-full teapot on the restaurant table with pursed black lips and a calculating glint in his narrowed eyes.

Fugo wisely moves the teapot out of reach.

Buccellati checks his watch and rises from his seat, brushing his suit off. “I have to meet Polpo for tomorrow’s instructions. I’ll see you all back at home. Please play nice and try not to kill each other while I’m gone.”

“Tell Polpo I said hi!” Narancia says through a mouthful of margherita pizza.

But it seems Abbacchio really can’t let it go so easily, even with a direct order. “I’m not promising anything, Bruno.” He mutters, glaring at Giorno across the table with visible contempt.

Giorno simply smiles at Abbacchio, slowly and sweetly.

“Stop that.” Abbacchio hisses.

“Stop what?” Giorno asks with an innocent tilt of his head, smiling even slower and sweeter and wider. With a touch of his fingertips the salt shaker and pepper grinder dissolve and transform into a small flurry of pretty pink butterflies that slowly flutter into the air around him.

All Giorno needs now are the sparkles and angel’s choir, Narancia thinks to himself. He’s also pretty sure that loud grinding sound is either Abbacchio’s teeth or his nails gouging deep lines in the mahogany table.

Buccellati sighs and rounds the table. He briefly slides into Abbacchio’s lap, cups the sharp cut of Abbacchio’s jaw and kisses him soundly just to watch Abbacchio flush bright red and splutter in front of them all at the very public display of affection.

“I wouldn’t expect you to, Leone.” Buccellati murmurs wryly, and he’s up and gone before Abbacchio can even form a single coherent word.

“How very sweet.” Giorno smirks, chin resting on his knuckles and practically radiating smugness, butterflies in his hair.

Abbacchio huffs and scowls at anything that isn’t anyone laughing around the table, pinching the bridge of his flushed nose and sliding low in his seat. “Thin fucking ice, Giovanna.”

“Where did you disappear off to with Buccellati and Abbacchio the other day?” Fugo asks him suspiciously when they’re back in Buccellati and Abbacchio’s apartment.

The walk back from the restaurant was nothing short of excruciating, with Mista walking in between Abbacchio and Giorno and using himself as some kind of confrontation buffer and conflict barrier. Narancia quickly got bored of waiting for the fight that didn’t come so he dragged Fugo behind the tense trio and caught him up with all the latest gossip he’d heard through the mafia grapevine.

“Oh, nowhere special.” Narancia lies, for the greater good, aimlessly flipping through shitty daytime TV shows. “Why, did you actually miss me after all?”

“Well it was definitely quieter than usual.” Fugo drawls, sitting close to Narancia on the sofa and taking the remote from his hand. “Please remind me never to ask Mista about movies again because I swear if I have to listen to him talk about Clint fucking Eastwood for another second I’m going to kill myself and then kill Mista too from the afterlife.”

Narancia just has to laugh because he knows it’s his fault Fugo was subjected to that Clint fucking Eastwood related torture.

“You’re welcome to haunt me any day or night.” Narancia consolingly pats Fugo’s entire unimpressed face, and then sniggers. “You’d make a fucking great poltergeist.”

When he’s done laughing some more and Fugo slaps his hand away, Narancia catches Fugo staring at him with a strange expression.

“What?” Narancia asks with a sudden frown. “Is there something on my face? Get it, Fugo! Quick!”

“Your face is fine.” Fugo snorts. He stands and kicks Narancia’s foot. “Come on, get up. I’m bored and I don’t think Abbacchio is going to draw any blood today. Let's go back into the city.”

“That’s so much effort though.” Narancia whines, long and loud and stretching out on the sofa. “And I thought Buccellati said we had to wait here?”

“Technically he only implied it.” Fugo reasons with a tempting raise of his eyebrows and an even more tempting smile.

Narancia whines again. Effort, and also Fugo is totally cheating with that little angelic smile of his.

“I’ll take you to our favourite gelateria.” Fugo offers in a sing-song voice, slowly walking backwards towards the door.

His favourite gelateria with his favourite person? Now that was worth all the fucking effort in the world.

Narancia pats his pocket, feels the lump of mistletoe, and is up on his feet and dragging a laughing Fugo through the door in the same second. “Deal!”

Chapter Text

They take the train across the city, catching it just before the doors slide shut and sharing a very out of breath, victorious high five.

Fugo lets Narancia gleefully take the window seat and sat close together in their own booth, Narancia offers Fugo his headphones to share. They have pretty different tastes in music but Fugo doesn’t complain much during the short journey, only for about five thirds of the way if Narancia’s quick math is right.

“Narancia,” Fugo suddenly gasps when their one and only favourite song plays next, grabbing Narancia’s arm. “We have to teach Giorno the dance.”

“Oh shit! Yeah!” Narancia yells excitedly, even louder than the music blaring in their ears, but then he pulls a face. “Oh wait, no. Just the four of us? Mista won’t agree to that.”

“Fuck Mista and his superstitious ass.” Fugo rolls his eyes. Narancia has to agree. “We’ll teach Giorno ourselves.”

“Oh yeah?” Narancia smirks, nudging Fugo in the ribs with his bony elbow as another genius idea of his forms in his head. “How’s about we let Mista teach Giorno himself?”

Fugo mirrors his wry smirk and Narancia just loves being in cahoots with Fugo. There’s nothing as exhilarating as it in the whole world. “Trying to play Cupid?”

“No,” Narancia scoffs, turning the volume up high on his iPod when the chorus hits and headbanging to the beat. “I’m trying to play matchmaker!”

“That’s what I -- ” Fugo cuts himself off and shakes his head with a fondly exasperated sigh, turning the volume back down to humane levels. “Nevermind. Don’t you think it’s too soon though? They only met like, yesterday.”

“So? You’ve seen them, they’re literally best friends already. Besides, the first time I met you I knew I -- ” Narancia almost bites right through his tongue when he snaps his big mouth shut, eyes bulging and nearly popping right out of his skull.

Too late. Fugo raises his eyebrows, bumping Narancia‘s shoulder with his own, prompting. “Knew what?”

The train window looks too small to crawl through or throw himself out of, but that’s where Aerosmith could come in and helpfully blast Narancia’s escape route for him.

Narancia is just deciding whether or not he could survive jumping out of a moving train (he puts his odds at 420 to 69) or if it’d look too suspicious (maybe Fugo would just put it down to one of Narancia’s many quirks?) when Fugo touches the back of the hand Narancia has tightly gripped around his iPod in internal screaming panic.

Fugo’s fingers warmly and smoothly slide between Narancia’s clenched knuckles, and Narancia can only watch in excruciating helpless despair at what a perfect fit their hands are, the realisation completely and utterly ruining Narancia’s poor love-sick life. It’s one thing thinking about it but a different fucking thing entirely actually seeing it for himself and it feels so right, stars and planets aligning again, that it’s pure agony.

“That, y’know,” Narancia is pretty sure he’s flushing as red as Fugo’s suit. He idly picks at an imaginary stray thread on his skirt, avoiding Fugo’s genuinely curious gaze and the unbelievably warm hand gently wrapped around his own. “That we’d be best friends too.”

It’s technically the truth, and silence follows for all of two heavy seconds before Fugo yanks Narancia into the most affectionate headlock of Narancia’s life, ruffling Narancia’s hair and dislodging his bandana. “I wouldn’t let you live that sentimental shit down if I hadn’t been thinking the exact same thing when we first met too.”

Really?” Narancia chokes, beaming with happiness and pushing his bandana back out of his eyes to look up and see if Fugo is only joking, not that Narancia’s heart would break or anything. Definitely not.

Really!” Fugo grins brightly, pinching Narancia’s cheek like he just can’t help himself. “Didn’t you know I have excellent taste?”

“Uh, that’s questionable, Fugo.” Narancia teases, pointedly pinching Fugo back through the holes in his suit.

“Shut the fuck up, hypocrite!” Fugo snaps with no real heat at all, just as pointedly shoving Narancia’s bandana back into his eyes and tightening his arm around Narancia’s neck.

People are staring but neither of them care. Narancia chokes a happy laugh, punching Fugo in the gut hard enough to wind him and leave him wheezing a pained laugh of his own.

They eventually call a truce and let each other go on the count of three at the same time and Narancia is thankfully saved from any potential reading into his words and reaction when the train finally pulls up at their stop.

The autumn sun shines in the cloudless, clear blue sky above them and it’s so bright Fugo’s white hair almost gleams gold.

Narancia squints and he’d shield his eyes from the blinding shine but he doesn’t wanna look away for a second, couldn’t even he wanted to.

Fugo is so painfully handsome and Narancia loves him so fucking much it really does hurt to look at Fugo sometimes, an ache stabbing right through Narancia’s chest and spreading up to the top of his head and down to the tips of his toes. Fugo looks like one of those old fancy marble sculptures you see in all those old fancy museums throughout the country, lean and flawless and too breathtakingly pretty to be real.

(Not that Narancia has ever willingly been to a museum in his life because fuck museums, talk about boring as fuck.)

Narancia’s eyes guiltily dart to each hole in Fugo’s red suit and the bared circle of skin there, and as Narancia watches Fugo annoyingly blow his long hair back from falling into his eyes and loosens his tie in the sudden heat, Narancia knows for fucking sure there’s nothing as beautiful in any of those dusty old museums than the person stood in front of him right now.

Narancia sighs dreamily, and impatiently launches one of his wristbands at the painfully beautiful person stood in front of him. “Hurry up! How can we be lost when we come here like everyday?”

“We’re not lost.” Fugo frowns, pursing his lips as he glances around the square like it’s personally offended him. Fugo picks up Narancia’s wristband and idly tugs it onto his own wrist, putting his hands on hips and acting like the gelateria was just going to magically appear in front of them. “This is ridiculous. I swear that barbershop wasn’t over there the last time we were here. Did we catch the wrong train?”

“I don’t know!” Narancia yells in exasperation, lying flat on a stone bench with a obnoxiously loud bored groan, arms and legs dangling over the edges.

But as handsome as Fugo is right now in all his sunlit (definitely lost) glory, he’s just as handsome first thing in the morning too; bleary and sleep mussed and unintelligible before at least two cups of coffee. The thought brings a small smile to Narancia’s face, one he has to muffle when it turns into uncontrollable cackles of laughter.

Fugo stomps over and glares down at him. “Stop laughing and help me find it! Everything will be fucking melted by the time we find the place!”

“Yeah, yeah.” Narancia sighs fondly, taking mercy on Fugo’s stubborn ass by rolling off the bench to go ask someone for directions.

They finally find the gelateria and Fugo insists the only reason he couldn’t find it in the first place was because Narancia was distracting him. Narancia lets it slide but only this once and only because he owes Fugo for not making the thing on the train into a thing, despite Fugo not even realising it.

When they’re here all five of them, they usually sit in the big booth in the window that’s reserved for them whether the shop is full or empty. When it’s just the two of them, Narancia and Fugo hop up onto the stools at the counter and that’s where they sit today.

They don’t have to pay thanks to the perks of their job but Tiramisu the little old lady who owns the place is always so tearfully happy to see them again and always makes a point of welcoming them like they’re family returning home, hugging them everytime she sees them that they always make sure to tip her way more than the actual total price of their orders.

Today is no different. As soon as the bell chimes above their heads when they walk in, Tira exclaims in delight and they’re both hooked in her unsuspectingly strong embrace before the door even swings shut again behind them.

Tira smells of lavender and that sweet perfumey powder that all old ladies wear and Narancia thinks it’s probably what a grandmother would smell like and for reasons he really doesn’t wanna think about it makes Narancia hug her back even tighter, clinging.

Tira beams when she finally lets them both go, patting both of their cheeks. “My goodness! Look how much you’ve both grown! Has it really been that long, boys?”

“It definitely feels like it.” Fugo grins. “Buccellati has been making us eat our greens, hasn’t he, Narancia?”

“Oh he’s such a lovely young man.” Tira says, not for the first or last time, as she leads them to their usual seats. “You tell him his Tira misses him, and little Abbacchio and Mr Mista too.”

“Tira! We have a newbie for you to meet!” Narancia bounces in his seat in excitement. “His name is Giorno! He has cornets in his hair and you’re gonna love him just as much as you love us!

“Bring him and his cornets along next time and I’ll give him a proper welcome!” Tira says firmly, and Narancia can literally see Giorno’s death by chocolate gelato overdose flash before his eyes.

Narancia is still grinning and imagining Giorno’s death when Tira suddenly zeroes in on him.

“Narancia, dear,” she sighs with a despairing shake of her head, tugging on a stray lock of hair sticking out of his bandana. “You need yourself a haircut, young man!”

“I keep telling him, Tira.” Fugo says gravelly, crossing his arms and smirking at Narancia when Tira turns away from him. “He just won’t listen to me.”

“Shut up, Fugo.” Narancia pouts. “Two against one is so unfair.”

Tira laughs softly and slowly shuffles back around to her side of the counter. “Here you go, dear. Hopefully this will make it up to you.” She says with a kind smile and a wink as she slides two of Narancia’s favorite flavoured orange gelati across the counter to him.

The shop starts filling up after that and Tira leaves them to it with a final farewell pinch of their cheeks and two gelati for Fugo too.

Between savoring every second of Fugo’s company and undivided attention and the endless supply of gelato, Narancia happily loses track of time. They’ve probably already eaten their way through half the shop when there’s a loud rumble in the distance, just as Fugo offers the last spoonful of his strawberry gelato out to Narancia to try.

“Shit,” Fugo says when he glances over his shoulder at the wide window. “Narancia, look at the weather.”

It’s suddenly pouring outside, but behind the wispy rain clouds the sun still streams, bathing everything in a weird bright yellowy light.

“Shiiit, we’re gonna get fucking soaked,” Narancia groans around the spoon in his mouth. “I don’t wanna catch Namibia, Fugo.”

“It’s pneumonia, idiot.” Fugo looks down at his watch and jumps down from the stool, fishing a thick wad of bills from his wallet and tucking it beneath his empty bowl. “My treat today. We better get going, Buccellati will be back soon and I don’t feel like swimming home.”

They wave goodbye to Tira (who manages to sneak in one more hug group hug) and Fugo swipes an umbrella from the stand beside the door.

Narancia is already halfway down the street, arms held over his head to halfheartedly shield himself from the rain, kicking water and splashing through puddles as he goes.

Fugo pops the stolen umbrella open and raises it above him, and when he catches up with Narancia along the street Fugo prods him in the calf with his stupid pointy shoe.

“What?” Narancia frowns over his shoulder.

“Get under here.” Fugo smiles and as Narancia stares at him understanding dawns in his head when he notices the empty Narancia-shaped space under the umbrella.

Narancia is already soaked when he ducks beneath the umbrella but Fugo doesn’t seem to care that Narancia gets him wet too, even offering his arm to Narancia, who loops his own arm through Fugo’s to get closer under the umbrella and by happy coincidence closer to Fugo too.

They match their strides to save from jostling each other too much or bumping each other out into the heavy rain. Fugo lets Narancia drag him over to the bigger puddles they pass that Narancia just can’t resist splashing through, and even though Fugo sticks his nose up to it at first, he’s soon running and splashing through puddles with Narancia too, both breathless with laughter and drenched despite the umbrella.

“This is nice.” Narancia murmurs with a smile when they stop splashing and just walk together slowly, arm still looped through Fugo’s and cheek resting on Fugo’s shoulder.

“Yeah, it is.” Fugo smiles too, squeezing Narancia’s arm. “We should do this more often. It’s so easy to get swept up in the job, I want to make more time for this with you.”

Well, Fugo might’ve well have just cracked open Narancia’s ribs and reached in to squeeze Narancia’s still beating heart in his bare, bloodied hand.

Jesus Christ, Narancia thinks to himself desperately, almost angrily. Did people really just say that shit to their friends platonically? Was this something normal or was he just losing what little there actually was of his mind?

Narancia really has no idea and frankly it hurts his head with how hard he thinks about it and the self-doubt and hatred rising up his throat at not being smart enough to work this out as usual, but Narancia is quickly distracted from his love-sick brooding by what’s behind the clouds that part in the sky above them.

“Woah!” Narancia points at the sky with a lit up grin, turmoil completely forgotten. “Fugo! Look at that big fucking rainb -- ”

Fugo quickly snatches Narancia’s wrist out of the air. “Don’t point, dumbass! It’s bad luck.”

WHAT!” Narancia yells incredulously. “I thought Mista was the superstitious one! Holy shit Fugo, you’re turning into Mista!”

“Shut up.” Fugo huffs with a flush, letting Narancia go. “Everyone knows it’s bad luck to point at rainbows.”

“Really?” Narancia asks innocently, reaching up again. “You mean that rainbow over there?

“Narancia.” Fugo says patiently.

“I’m serious! I don’t have great eyesight, remember?” Narancia lies with a shiteating grin, squinting as if to prove his point.

“Narancia.”

“So lemme get this straight. You’re telling me not to point at any rainbows, including that one right there?” Narancia asks, repeatedly jabbing his finger at the rainbow and dodging all of Fugo’s grabbing hands.

The umbrella and the rain are quickly forgotten in favour of brawling right there in the street, but this time Narancia is distracted by something much nicer than the rainbow curving above them.

Fugo’s very wet, very bare chest is pressed all up in Narancia’s face and Narancia ends up choking on a mouthful of Fugo’s stupid tie. With how happily distracted Narancia is, Fugo doesn’t even have to play dirty after that. He easily grapples Narancia’s switchblade from Narancia’s slack hand and somehow pockets it somewhere in his pants.

And then to Narancia’s spluttering disbelief, Fugo tucks him under his arm and continues walking like Narancia is a fucking weightless clutch bag or something. Narancia squirms but Fugo steadfastly holds tight, stubbornly not letting go and Narancia sags with a huff.

“You can’t keep me here forever, Fugo.” Narancia warns.

“I can try.” Fugo snorts.

“If you let me go right now I’ll punch you once and call it quits.”

“Tempting.” Fugo says sarcastically, not letting go.

Narancia has no choice but to accept temporary defeat and gets as comfy as he can for the long haul home, or at least back to the train station. One of the perks to this was the great view of Fugo he was getting from this angle. It wasn’t one of his usual viewpoints because even though he might be shorter than Fugo he’s not that much fucking shorter.

As Fugo practically struts down the street with a smirk, Narancia lowers his voice and puts on his best fake assholey fashionista drawl. “And here we have Pannacotta Fugo who models the latest Fall must have this season, an accessory exclusively from the line of Ghirga.”

Fugo bites his lip to stop himself from laughing, but there are tears of laughter shining in his eyes when he grins down at Narancia. “You’re such a dumbass.”

“You love it.” Narancia says smugly.

“Yeah, I do.” Fugo’s grin turns to something smaller and more sincere, something again that stabs through Narancia’s chest, and Fugo continues walking with Narancia tucked under his arm like he isn’t just constantly ruining Narancia’s life in all the best ways.

All along the soaking walk to the train station, Narancia concentrates as hard as he can and desperately tries to finally activate his telepathy skills to try and get Fugo to admit to what else he loves, maybe even Narancia himself but to no luck.

The train station is in sight when Narancia suddenly remembers the mistletoe. He pats all his pockets as best as he can but they’re all flat and empty. Shit, where did he put the fucking thing?

When Fugo finally rights Narancia back on his unsteady feet again, Narancia scans the floors around them and then beneath both his feet too. Narancia turns around as Fugo drags him by the hand into the station and points at which platform is their’s and that’s when Narancia sees it.

Halfway down the street, the bright green sprig of mistletoe disappears down the gushing drain and out of sight.

Chapter Text

As much as Narancia hates the stupid effort of getting in the shower, once he’s finally in it he never wants to leave. He still puts it off for as long as he can though, playing video games with Mista and sitting around in his wet clothes for a few hours until he starts to shiver and that’s when Mista literally kicks Narancia out of his room.

It’s late in the evening when Narancia does finally drag himself into the bathroom, and mostly because Sticky Fingers appears and stands firm at the end of the hall with its hands on its hips, pointedly blocking all of Narancia’s potential escape routes.

It’s tempting, and Narancia would totally take Sticky Fingers on just for the fun of the fight but it’d be so much easier to shower if he was still in one whole piece.

Still, Narancia just can’t resist pushing his luck. He put his hands on his hips too and mirrors Sticky Fingers’ familiar no buts or arguments stance and takes a deliberate step closer, but so does Sticky Fingers.

They stare each other down from either end of the long hallway and Narancia suddenly realises he’s got himself caught in a staring contest with something that doesn’t even have any eyes which is so cheating. Sticky Fingers can either read his mind or it thinks the exact same thing as Narancia does because the Stand’s mouth quirks in amusement it fails to hide.

All their impromptu bizarre showdown needs now is a tumbleweed rolling between them in a dusty desert breeze, but Sticky Fingers soon brings it to an end. With a raise of its chin, Sticky Fingers points down the hall towards the bathroom in uncompromising finality and Narancia sighs in reluctant defeat.

“Yeah yeah, I’m going! Keep your zippers zipped.” Narancia huffs, obediently turning around and doing as told without (much) fuss for once. “Jeez, you’re just as bad as Buccellati.”

Arrivederci!” Sticky Fingers cheerfully shouts, and when Narancia turns back around to grace Buccellati’s Stand with his most unimpressed stare ever, Sticky Fingers is already gone.

The bright, echoey bathroom soon fills with steam and when Narancia steps under the shower, the warmth of the water is so wonderfully soothing on his aching body that he groans loudly in relief. Fugo really does pack a mean punch and Narancia couldn’t be prouder even when he’s on the receiving end of them because it means Fugo is constantly getting stronger. And for someone who purposely won’t and can’t let himself rely on his mindlessly destructive Stand for any self defence or retaliating offence and is very rarely used, it also means Fugo can even more completely and confidently rely on just himself in situations like that.

Not that Fugo isn’t confident now, Narancia thinks to himself wryly, grinning at the little healing bruise encircling his wrist from them both just messing around and knowing how much damage Fugo is capable of when he actually means it, and when the choice is unfortunately beyond Fugo and he loses himself to his blinding haze of rage completely.

That’s when Fugo is lethal.

Narancia shakes his head more fondly that he probably should and squeezes his orange scented body wash into his hand. He’s happily scrubbing his arms and rapping his favourite song into his loofah when there’s a quiet knock on the door and the handle rattles.

Narancia pulls the shower curtain back. “Occupied!”

The door cracks open a tiny bit. “It’s only me.” Fugo says from the other side. Speak of the devil. “I just want to brush my teeth, can I come in?”

“Sure!” Narancia smiles even though Fugo can’t see him, dropping the shower curtain back into place at the same moment the door swings open fully.

The door closes again with a click and Narancia hears rather than sees Fugo pad across the tiled floor of Buccellati’s spacious bathroom.

“Have you grown gills yet?” Fugo wryly asks from suddenly very close. Narancia can see the perfect dark silhouette of Fugo’s profile through the thin shower curtain.

“Nearly.” Narancia snorts, scratching his soapy neck and belly and abruptly pausing because huh. He’s naked and talking to the not-so-secret love of his life with nothing but a flimsy shower curtain separating them. This is fine. “Give it another hour or two.”

“What I’ll give you is ten minutes maximum before you try and dance and then slip and smash your head in again.” Fugo drawls.

“That was once!” Narancia grumbles defensively. “Will you let it go already?”

Fugo just laughs, a sharp bark that roughly translates to yeah right! or you’d like that, wouldn’t you?

More footsteps, walking away this time. Stretching up on his tiptoes, Narancia takes a sneaky peek of Fugo over the shower curtain rail, blinking water out of his eyes as he rises. Fugo is stood in front of the mirror and sink, toothpaste and toothbrush in either hands and shirtless save for red and white pinstripe pyjama pants slung low on his hips.

Narancia quickly muffles his gasp because it’s like a punch to the gut and the heart each and every single time Narancia sees Fugo wearing them. They’re the pyjamas Narancia gave to Fugo for Christmas last year because they look exactly like the pattern of the strawberry candies Fugo loves so much.

Pyjamas as sweet as you, Narancia had teased when Fugo unwrapped the gift and held them up to himself with a small smile, but Narancia had completely meant it too.

Mista had laughed his ass off and congratulated Narancia on his dedication to a joke well done and even Buccellati and Abbacchio had both cracked amused smiles.

Not Fugo though. Fugo had (mostly) seen through Narancia’s teasing words and gift like glass and read Narancia like an open book as usual.

Later that night with Mista snoring half under the twinkling Christmas tree and Buccellati and Abbacchio snoozing curled up in the same armchair beside the crackling fire, Fugo pulled Narancia aside into the kitchen and sincerely thanked him for the gift and told Narancia how much he truly loved it. Narancia had flushed and immediately tried to brush it off on instinct of certain newly budding feelings being prematurely revealed but Fugo wasn’t having it.

Fugo simply smiled knowingly, patiently listened to Narancia dig himself into a further nonsensical babbling hole, and then pulled Narancia unresistingly into his arms for the best hug of Narancia’s entire life. Narancia wordlessly snapped his mouth shut as Fugo squeezed him tightly, like Fugo might never let go again, and whispered merry Christmas into Narancia’s neck.

With startling clarity, Narancia remembers there was mistletoe hanging above them that night in the kitchen doorway, a teasing joke courtesy of Mista for any two of them caught under it, and Narancia remembers how his mouth ran dry as he slid his own arms around Fugo too, clinging to him as Fugo cupped his head and the back of his neck and soothingly smoothed Narancia’s hair, just holding each other and being held in return.

It feels like only yesterday and also a whole lifetime ago. The memory of it and the ghost warmth of Fugo’s arms wrapped around him forces a shaky exhale out of Narancia’s throat. He drops back down to his feet and steps under the shower again, roughly scrubbing his face with a groan and digging his fingers into his eyes, tilting his head back under the spray.

The spray that suddenly runs so icy cold it burns the very second Fugo turns the faucet on.

Narancia yelps and quickly dives for the safety of the opposite end of the shower. He roughly yanks the shower curtain aside and pokes his soapy head out with a growl.

“Very funny, asshole.” Narancia says sarcastically, glaring. Fugo leans with his hip against the marble sink and watches with a wide, smug smile and a toothbrush hanging out of his mouth. Narancia has to try very hard not to stare at the smudge of minty toothpaste at the other corner of Fugo’s mouth that he wants to wipe away with his thumb and replace with his lips. “Turn it off and get the fuck out.”

“Are you my capo, Narancia? Is your name Buccellati?” Fugo asks just as sarcastically, smirking and flicking toothpaste at him before purposely turning his back on Narancia in favour of spitting into the sink and not getting the fuck out.

Well. That settles that. It’s on.

Braving the cold, Narancia ducks back under the water and wrenches the showerhead from the wall. He raises it up high over the rail and makes sure he sees the exact moment Fugo is drenched by the full icy blast.

Fugo has a lot of pride when it matters to him, but when it comes to Narancia and giving as good as he gets, Fugo is shameless.

And it’s exactly why without a second of thought or hesitation that Fugo slams his toothbrush down and launches himself into the shower too and Narancia’s death by shower drowning flashes before his eyes.

Slapping his hand against the many fiddly dials of the shower until by luck Narancia finds the right one, the sudden heightened water pressure almost sweeps Fugo clean off his feet. Narancia manages to fend Fugo off long enough to rip the Gucci shower curtain (coincidentally also a Christmas gift) off the rail, wrap it around himself like a toga and vault out of the shower and the bathroom in one go.

Narancia screams and tears down the hall, sprinting through the living room with Fugo hot on his heels and drenched head to toe, both of them blurring past Abbacchio quietly reading and sipping from a glass of wine.

“Abbacchio! Help!” Narancia screeches as he darts into the kitchen and stumbles around the dining room table when Fugo gets a momentary tight grip on the trailing shower curtain wrapped around him. Narancia runs back through the living room and down the long hall again and locks himself in the nearest room, and Fugo starts bodily throwing himself against the door. “I really think he’s gonna do it this time, Abbacchio!”

Abbacchio looks up and takes his headphones off. He glances around the silent, empty room and shrugs, taking another sip of wine before putting his headphones back on just as Fugo takes a running jump and a wooden door shatters down the scream-filled hall.

Chapter Text

Narancia starts to doubt Giorno’s good luck charm status when on his first official job in Passione that’s not mistletoe related, they’re ambushed during a meeting in a warehouse with two potential new recruits by the two potential new recruits, some Fuckers called Alfredo and Vongole.

“It’s because there’s only four of us here!” Mista yells angrily over rapid gunfire. “I told Buccellati this would happen! We were doomed from the start!”

From out of sight across the warehouse, Fugo loudly tells Mista to, “Shut the fuck up and shoot!

Everything happens fast after that but it's definitely nothing they can’t handle, especially since the Fuckers aren’t even Stand users and even without Buccellati and Abbacchio present to help. But Mista is soon shot, body convulsing backwards with each bullet that tears through his body and he knocks himself unconscious, head snapping back against the ground hard enough that even Narancia feels it and winces, clutching the back of his own head in sympathy.

Mista lies horribly still where he falls in a crumpled pile and pool of his own blood, and it’s only Giorno suddenly appearing at Mista’s side that stops Narancia from storming right over there himself. Giorno drops to his knees and has to bodily drag Mista to the relatively safe cover of some towering crates to stop the bleeding and then they’re two men down already and split up all over the vast labyrinth-like warehouse with no plan.

That’s where Fugo effortlessly steps in and pulls rank. Despite only being the second youngest of them all he was still one of the first to join Passione and for good reason. He was invaluable to them, and after Abbacchio Fugo had always been something like an infallible right hand man to Buccellati. When Fugo was able to keep his head in situations like this, it was clear for them all to see exactly why.

Giorno! Get Mista out of here and back to Buccellati now! Don’t worry about us, just go!” Fugo quickly shouts from somewhere in the far distance and Narancia knows that firm tone all too well with how often he’s been on the receiving end of it. But from his own place crouched behind some boxes, Narancia can see the only doors in the place are completely blocked by conveniently fallen crates and even to Narancia it clearly screams trap.

Aerosmith is on Narancia’s shoulder in a blaze of flickering orange and taking to the air along his arm in the same second. Narancia peers into his scope and Aerosmith’s radar easily finds one of the recruit Fuckers hidden in the shadows near the exit, breathing heavily and just waiting for one of them to try and make a break for it.

No one is leaving through those doors without a back full of bullets.

But Narancia....Narancia has more bullets.

Looping backwards through the air, Aerosmith divebombs towards their target, both machine guns primed and just waiting for the order. Narancia exhales steadily and holds his nerve, purposely choosing against his usual strategy of firing with reckless abandon. Instead, Narancia watches and waits with rare patience for his one perfect moment because the fucker unlucky enough to decide to hurt one of his friends deserves nothing but the most perfect of ends.

It’s Alfredo who steps slightly out of the shadows and looks unseeingly towards Aerosmith with a frown on his face, and it’s Alfredo who falls under the full arsenal of Aerosmith’s relentless fire, literally not even seeing them coming.

“That’s for shooting Mista!” Narancia screams, vaulting from under his cover to repeatedly kick Alfredo’s unmoving body and stepping all in his slowly seeping pool of blood. “Fuck! And this is for ruining my damn shoes!”

As he kicks and kicks until he can’t feel his feet anymore, from the corner of his eye Narancia spots the red and blue blur of Mista with his arms slung over both Giorno and Gold Experience’s shoulders as they quickly rush out of a vine covered hole in the warehouse wall.

Giorno has Mista’s gun in his hand, aiming it behind them with a terrifying look of grim determination and covering their backs as they make their hasty escape through the dark green brighly flowering vines. That’s definitely gotta be the work of Gold Experience and Narancia is just so relieved that at least two of them are out safe that he starts kicking even harder, this time in bone-deep joy.

Smooth, cold metal suddenly presses at the back of Narancia’s neck and Narancia freezes, tensing just as the gun cocks.

“On your knees.” The forgotten second Fucker Vongole hisses, jabbing the gun hard enough to make Narancia stumble.

Narancia clenches his jaw against the scream of frustration rising in his throat. Stupid, way too fucking reckless as fucking usual. Fuck, what were his friends gonna do if they found him alone with his brains blown out in a stupid fucking warehouse all because he was too stupid to think before he did something for once?

Vongole grabs his shoulder, tries to force him down. “I said on your fucking kn -- ”

Vongole doesn’t get a chance to finish his demand and Narancia doesn’t give himself a chance to imagine his friends’ reaction to his death-by-recklessness. Quicker than a flash, Narancia twists as he drops to the ground and roughly shoulders Vongole in the stomach, punching his nuts back up into his useless body with all his strength at the same time and ducking the hand that tries to drag him up by the hair.

The wheeze of pain ripped from Vongole’s throat is like music to Narancia’s ears and he darts back to his feet while Vongole is distracted, flicking open his switchblade and jamming it into Vongole’s shoulder again and again until it gets lodged and stuck in something that sounds important from the ragged howl that follows.

They both grapple for the gun, and the first bullet misses him, bouncing off the metal warehouse wall and ricocheting up into the rafters. The second bullet grazes his bare shoulder and in Narancia’s split second of stunned shock, Vongole’s knee follows, smashing into Narancia’s face and flooring him with a winding grunt.

“Little bastard!” Vongole shrieks, holding his crotch with tears in his eyes and blood pouring like a stream from the knife in his shoulder to match the blood pouring from Narancia’s crushed nose.

Vongole must notice Narancia glancing down at the gun loosely held in the arm that hangs limp and useless at his side, and he fumbles the gun back into his good hand and unsteadily points it back at Narancia again.

“How the fuck did you do that to him?” Vongole demands, but the hand holding the gun shakes in fear as he frantically glances between Narancia and Alfredo’s body and the impossible wounds.

Narancia’s smug grin is a gruesome bloodied smear and Vongole flinches away. “You really think a pathetic little gun is gonna scare me? I’d blow this whole fucking warehouse away including myself just to kill you both for hurting my friend!”

“Answer me!” Vongole hisses angrily, stomping and grinding his heeled boot down onto Narancia’s ankle.

Narancia answers him by licking his lips and spitting blood up into Vongole’s thunderous face with scarily pinpoint accuracy and then the gun cocks again, levelled between Narancia’s eyes.

Letting out a frustrated sigh, Narancia drops his head back against the wall with a dull thud and stares the gun down with a cold glare, a bizarre feeling of calm washing over him as time seems to stop around them. Regret only threatens to suffocate him and beat Vongole to it when Narancia remembers the forgotten sprig of mistletoe tucked inside his shirt, and that he never even got to see Fugo just one last time.

The third bullet doesn’t come. Yanked backwards with a strangled yelp, Vongole is dragged kicking and soon screaming as Fugo suddenly appears and easily snaps Vongole’s wrist, sending the gun skidding away with a sharp kick.

Narancia sucks in a quick lungful of air and pants for the breath he didn’t realise he was holding as he watches Fugo bare his teeth in a vicious snarl and lift Vongole right up into the air by his thick neck, throttling Vongole with inhuman strength and crushing Vongole’s windpipe in his vice like grip.

When Vongole’s eyes roll back in his head and he stops struggling and starts to twitch instead, Fugo carelessly lets him drop to the ground and follows after him, straddling Vongole’s waist and punching him. Fugo punches and punches and doesn’t stop punching even when Vongole stops moving entirely, just keeps screaming and cursing and punching and screaming some more and Narancia can only sit and watch, transfixed at Fugo in his breathtaking blinding haze of fury.

Fugo lands one final sickeningly wet, bone-crunching punch to the red, bloodied wreck of Vongole’s face before he finally relents, spitting on the fucker for good measure. Fugo sits back up and slumps where he straddles Vongole’s waist, chest heaving as he tips his head back and gutturally pants for breath, neck arched back painfully.

Narancia shifts his leg and it finally snaps Fugo out his haze and catches his sharp attention. Fugo slowly turns his head to the side and when he meets Narancia’s wide-eyed gaze, his own red eyes gleam dangerously in the dark, feverishly bright. Narancia blinks and swears it could be Purple Haze staring back him in the low light.

Swinging his leg over Vongole’s waist, Fugo crawls closer across the bloody floor on his hands and knees, not stopping until he’s crouched over Narancia and roughly starts checking for any wounds or injuries.

“Jeez, handsy much?” Narancia sniggers, squirming with another laugh when Fugo accidentally tickles his sides. “How are you gonna tell if I’m bleeding when your hands are already covered in blood, huh genius?”

“Shut up,” Fugo growls, scowling hard enough to shatter glass and with a single track mindedness continues touching every part of Narancia he can get his hands on; Narancia’s bruised face and split bloody lip, his black eye and broken nose, the bullet graze on his shoulder.

Any other time, this would be something straight out of Narancia’s dreams (including the cliché damsel in distress/knight in shining armour thing) but there’s something off here, something seriously wrong in the almost frenzied determinedness of Fugo’s fretting and Narancia can’t let this continue no matter how nice Fugo touching him might be.

“I’m fine!” Narancia yells angrily before he can bite it back, scared because he knows Fugo is scared and masking it with anger like they both usually do. Narancia knocks his forehead against Fugo’s as hard as he can to try and literally knock some sense into him. “I’ve had worse! You’ve seen me get worse. Fuck, we’ve done worse to each other just messing around! What the fuck is up with you?”

Fugo shakes his head sharply, teeth gritted as he drops his head with a weak sound from high in the back of his throat, unable to even look at Narancia. Fugo’s hands grip tight at Narancia’s waist and Narancia catches Fugo’s wrists, squeezing just as tightly.

Please, Fugo,” Narancia whispers desperately, pushing Fugo back by the chest to look at him. “Please look at me. Please talk to me, please -- ”

“I will kill anyone who touches you.” Fugo promises lowly, almost another growl, looking at Narancia through the blood-thick hair falling into his red eyes. “Anyone, Narancia.”

Narancia can only blink and stare at Fugo silently, mouth closing wordlessly.

Of course, they’d all kill and die for each other. It’s so fundamental to them all it goes without saying by now and Narancia would usually feel touched at the promised suffering of Fugo’s wrath, he always does. Any other time, any other situation than this, he’d crack a joke about Fugo being his rabid guard dog or something and then the punches would fly and they’d brawl it out until they were laughing instead of yelling but this...this feels different.

Fugo is shaking above him. His chest heaves and he looks like he’s in so much pain and conflicting emotional turmoil, that it’s taking so much effort for him not to keep his promise right here and now and leave a trail of burning destruction across the whole city.

But the worst thing? There are unshed tears shining in Fugo’s eyes and his lip trembles with everything Fugo is desperately trying to suppress. Narancia feels like crying too and tears burn in his eyes because Fugo should never look this close to broken or terrified, that’s not him, this just isn’t right.

And with suffocating dread and guilt, Narancia knows it’s all his fault. All because he was too fucking reckless and stupid and got himself hurt and Fugo could’ve lost him for good and they both know it. It’s a given with their line of work, death is the seventh unofficial member of their team. It lurks patiently in the shadows and it hangs from them all like an unseen shroud, but the dawning realisation of how close they came to it tonight hangs as heavy as fog in the barely there space between them as they stare at each other.

Narancia exhales shakily and gently touches Fugo’s pale cheek, blood smearing on his fingertips and up the delicate arch of Fugo’s cheekbone. “I know, Fugo. I believe you.”

Fugo blinks, eyes darting across Narancia’s face and drinking up every detail of Narancia’s sincere little smile and all at once the fight leaves Fugo like a deflating balloon.

With another horribly broken sound, Fugo sags forward and heavily rests his head in the curve of Narancia’s neck, breathing shakily and shaking even harder. Fugo turns his face into Narancia’s bare throat and Narancia can feel Fugo squeeze his eyes closed tightly, feels the soft flutter of Fugo’s eyelashes on his bare skin, and the hot drops of tears.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Fugo. Please don’t cry.” Narancia keeps repeating and repeating as he wraps his arms around Fugo and rests his cheek on Fugo’s head, soothing as best as he can just like Fugo does for him.

Narancia holds Fugo for what feels like hours, and Fugo lets himself be held, holding onto Narancia just as tightly and breathing harshly and warmly in Narancia’s neck. It’s not often their roles are reversed like this, and held safe in Narancia’s arms, Fugo’s breathing eventually and thankfully settles and so does the erratic beating of his heart pressed against Narancia’s own chest.

Narancia nuzzles into Fugo’s soft white hair, easily finding and breathing in that wonderfully familiar scent of Fugo even through the blood and sweat, and murmurs. “Are you okay?”

Fugo sighs tiredly and the warm huff of breath makes Narancia shiver, and he holds Fugo tighter, like he can protect Fugo from the whole world and even from himself just with his embrace. “Yeah, I am now. Are you?

Narancia cracks a tired grin, fingertips scratching through Fugo’s hair. “I always am, Panni.”

Narancia feels Fugo’s stretching smile at the nickname he insists he hates pressed into his bare skin, swears he can feel each individual press of Fugo’s teeth. Fugo briefly clenches his hands at the back of Narancia’s shirt, just holding him close for one more reassuring moment before letting Narancia go and unsteadily standing up.

Fugo holds both of his hands down to Narancia, who takes them with a grateful smile and lets Fugo haul him back to feet too, but Fugo doesn’t let go. Fugo tugs Narancia closer, laying his warm, blood-sticky palm at the nape of Narancia’s neck, thumb brushing the impression of the muzzle of the gun that still stings and presses their foreheads together gently, grounding.

“Promise me you won’t do something so fucking reckless again.” Fugo murmurs with his eyes closed. They’re standing so close they don’t need to speak above a whisper. “I know you’ll be lying and forget the promise as soon as you’ve said it but please. Help me sleep tonight and promise me, Narancia.”

“I promise!” Narancia says immediately. “I promise, Fugo,” Narancia whispers, watching Fugo’s serene face inches from his own as his words wash over Fugo and squeezing his hand tightly. “I promise I won’t do something so reckless again.”

Chapter Text

Narancia does something reckless again the next day, keeping his promise to Fugo unbroken for a record breaking seventeen hours straight and even if Narancia spent more than half of that time asleep it still totally counts and he’ll maul anyone who says different. Narancia calls that shit growth and he thinks Buccellati would be so damn proud, but after everything goes down and he’s sat in front of Buccellati during an impromptu disciplinary courtesy of Abbacchio being a big fucking traitor, it’s a different story entirely.

But he’ll get to that in seventeen hours.

The thing in the warehouse hadn't changed anything between Narancia and Fugo in the following seventeen hours, and Narancia was so glad.

Fugo was still as aggravating and demanding as ever and gave as good as he got from Narancia on the gruelling trek back to Buccellati’s place. There was no pity from Fugo, no overwhelming feelings of shame or disappointment from him, no treating Narancia like he was weak or stupid or a frail liability that needed to be guarded that would’ve hurt so much worse than any physical injury ever could.

He was just the same old ruthlessly caring, quietly hilarious, blood splattered and beautiful Fugo who Narancia loves more than anything in the whole world and if possible it just makes him love Fugo even more.

“Why couldn’t we hotwire that car?” Narancia groans miserably, stopping in the mildly crowded street to hold his sore foot in his hands. “I can’t feel my damn feet, Fugo! And it was a Ferrari 360 Spider! What kind of monster could just leave her there all lonely like that?”

“Your feet are your own fault.” Fugo snaps, pointedly ignoring the car argument again and walking back beside Narancia. “Use a weapon next time, like a pipe or something.” Fugo helpfully holds Narancia’s elbow to keep him from losing his balance and toppling over. “Or just get Aerosmith to cut them up with the propellor like you usually do.”

Narancia clutches his aching foot and remembers viscerally the satisfaction of knowing exactly how much damage he was doing and that he was doing it all himself. No weapon could compare, nothing could compare to that raw feeling of satisfaction, especially in the name of his friends.

“Nah, it was worth it.” Narancia grins sharply, but still he limps worse with each unsteady step he takes. “About that car though -- ”

“No, it’ll take too long.” Fugo shakes his head, end of story before it can even start again. Narancia glares. “It’s not even that far, we’ve walked farther in worse condition than this and you know it.”

“Says the guy with two unbruised and unbroken feet!” Narancia yells in Fugo’s face, and a tense second of silence follows before Fugo snorts and turns around, dropping to his knees to crouch and offer Narancia the broad stretch of his back.

“Hop on.” Fugo says, patting his back, and his holey jacket stretches taut over what parts of his lean body it actually covers for one single breathtaking moment.

Narancia stares, mouth a little dry. “I, uh...you really don’t have to -- ”

“Narancia, if I have to listen to you complain about your damn feet one more time I’m going to throw you into traffic, so please do me a favour and hop the fuck on before my knees start to ache, preferably sometime today.” Fugo says impatiently, trying to be firm and failing because even with his back to Narancia, Narancia can clearly hear the grin in Fugo’s voice.

Narancia grins too, and almost flattens Fugo facedown on the pavement with how eagerly he hops the fuck on Fugo’s back without warning. Fugo grunts in surprise but quickly gets his balance back, cupping his hands under Narancia’s knees when Narancia happily wraps his legs around Fugo’s narrow waist and standing back up with Narancia comfortably clinging to him.

“Onwards, steed!” Narancia declares with another grin, pointing down the street and kicking his legs to urge Fugo forwards.

Fugo snorts again, pinching Narancia’s thigh warningly but continues walking without another word and completely effortlessly, like Narancia weighs nothing at all and also like he hasn’t just been over the edge of a breakdown and back again and cried in Narancia’s arms less than ten minutes ago.

Fugo, always shouldering his pain and hurt just like he’s shouldering Narancia right now, always doing what he had to do to survive and for the sake of the job and the mission and the next mission and the mission after that and all without a regard to what it was doing to him inside so long as he was using what he thought was logical reasoning to follow his orders and see them through to the end and hopefully still be standing when he was done.

It’s what Fugo always did, Narancia knows, and it hurts just to think about Fugo suffering like that. Empathy pains, Narancia is sure he’s heard Buccellati mention once in a situation sort of like this. He’s not exactly sure what it means but Narancia is sure he’d do anything to ease or carry some of Fugo’s pain for him, even though he knows Fugo would never want to, in Fugo’s own words, inflict that upon Narancia.

Stupid stubborn asshole, Narancia angrily thinks to himself with an equally angry frown. He sighs sharply and slides his arms across Fugo’s chest, presses his mouth to Fugo’s clothed shoulder and tries to put everything he was feeling and had ever felt about Fugo and everything he is to him and everything he does into one weird one-sided half-hug. Fugo’s quiet enduring strength was something that always caught Narancia off guard, both the physical and the mental, and both were a breathtaking sight to behold and Narancia fiercely wishes he could be more like Fugo even just a tiny bit and he doesn’t even fucking care that Fugo is a whole year younger than him, practically a teeny tiny baby.

They’re almost at Buccellati’s apartment when Buccellati himself appears through a zipper opened up along a slim lamppost at the end of the street. Buccellati has to be looking for them because he only peers through it, scanning left and right like it isn’t the first zipper he’s searched through tonight.

“Fugo look, it’s Buccellati!” Narancia shouts excitedly and waves his arms in the air wildly to get his attention, sliding from Fugo’s back as Buccellati’s head whips around towards them so quick Narancia worries about his poor neck. “Buccellati!!”

Buccellati leaps out of the zipper and meets them halfway down the street, sprinting to reach them faster and he grips them both by the shoulder and holds them close in obvious overwhelming relief when they’re finally reunited, holding them so close and tight it feels like Buccellati might never let them go again.

But that relief is short lived when Buccellati holds them back at arms length and gives them a quick once over.

Buccellati definitely doesn’t like what he sees and he stares at them hard like he’s trying to piece together a puzzling replay courtesy of Moody Blues, trying to figure out exactly what the hell happened to them through sheer force of his concerned will and from them just standing right in front of him. Using that weird sixth sense of his, it’s like Buccellati immediately knows the blood Fugo is covered in isn't his own, so he turns that unendingly fierce concern of his onto Narancia and the bloody wreck of his face.

It’s not often that Buccellati is struck speechless and Narancia smugly likes to think it’s all thanks to him each and every time the rare occurrence actually happens. Buccellati is certainly speechless now as he gently and wordlessly takes Narancia’s chin in his hand and tilts Narancia’s head to either side, inspecting Narancia’s battered and bloodied face and uncaring for the people who give them startled glances and hurriedly rush past their trio huddled reassuringly close together in the middle of the sidewalk.

Narancia is the one to break the heavy silence. He insistently tugs on Buccellati’s sleeve to get his attention until Buccellati stops looking at his face and looks at him instead. “Is Mista okay? And Giorno?”

The question obviously catches Buccellati off guard and the hand he has wrapped around Narancia’s shoulder involuntarily tightens. Narancia winces when Buccellati’s thumb unintentionally digs into the stinging bullet graze on his shoulder and that look of concern on Buccellati’s face turns murderous then, rapidly darkening into the expression Narancia knows countless enemies of theirs have met their ends by.

When Buccellati quickly lets go of Narancia’s shoulder, his fingers are sticky with Narancia’s blood and Buccellati really does look about ready to kill someone right there in the street.

Buccellati clenches his bloody fist like he can’t bear to look at it and stares hard at Narancia’s sluggishly bleeding wound. He takes a deep, steady breath and opens his mouth, but Fugo beats him to it, smiling tightly and hollowly. “He’s already dead, Buccellati. I made sure of it.”

Good.” Buccellati as good as hisses approvingly, almost a snarl. “You made him suffer? Made him feel every excruciating moment of it?”

“I always will.” Fugo promises lowly, eyes glinting dangerously, and as Fugo and Buccellati look at each other it’s like they’re having a whole conversation without any words, understanding thrumming between them as Narancia watches in confusion.

“So.....Mista and Giorno are okay, right?” Narancia asks again, tugging on Buccellati’s sleeve a few more times until Buccellati stops having his bizarre non-verbal discussion with Fugo and turns his attention back to Narancia again.

“Let's get you home and you can see them both for yourself.” Buccellati sighs with a faint smile at Narancia’s concern, shaking his head helplessly and cupping Narancia’s face and ushering them both into a new zipper that opens up right into the living room and their three awaiting teammates.

The first thing Narancia sees when they step into the apartment is Mista spread out on the sofa, unconscious but blessedly alive.

Giorno is knelt at Mista’s side with his cheek resting on his folded arms, just silently and intently watching the steady rise and fall of Mista’s heavily bandaged chest.

“Is he okay? Is he dead? Why isn’t he awake?” Narancia blurts in one big panicked rush even though he knows Mista is alive and sort of well, and Giorno and Abbacchio both startle in unison at the outburst. “Oh god he was so young!

Narancia stumbles over to them and almost crashes down onto Mista when he loses his balance on his aching unsteady feet, but Giorno springs up and catches Narancia around the middle in the same second.

Giorno beams as bright as the sun itself at Narancia’s sudden appearance and he hugs Narancia tight and when Fugo worriedly flits to Narancia’s side, Giorno pulls him into the relieved hug too.

“Mista’s alive. He passed out from the pain of Gold Experience’s healing, which was probably a mercy really.” Giorno murmurs guiltily and he looks pale, like Mista’s pain has taken its toll on him and hurts Giorno just as much too. Giorno presses his mouth into a grim, thin line. “He wouldn’t stop screaming. We had to gag him.”

“Yeah too fucking late, the neighbours are going to think we’ve killed someone.” Abbacchio says wryly from perched on the back of the sofa and even to Narancia it’s clear that Abbacchio is guarding over Mista whether he means to or not, sleeves rolled up to his elbows and hands and wrists bloody. “Again.”

“But he’s okay?” Narancia asks again, limping closer to touch Mista’s sweaty hair and gently card his fingers through it, and the fact Mista isn’t even wearing his hat and Narancia can touch his hair proves how fucking out of it Mista must be. “Oh Mista...”

To Narancia’s stunned disbelief, Mista’s eyelids flutter under his light touch and slowly blink open. Mista’s dulled with pain eyes stare unseeingly up at the ceiling for a few agonising moments before his eyes brighten and so does his smile too when his gaze finally sharpens and focuses on Narancia above him.

“Mista!” Narancia gasps. The others all crowd closer too, wanting to see for themselves Mista awake and back to his usual jokey, stupidly brave, stupidly superstitious self again.

Mista grins dazedly between Narancia and Fugo. “I knew you’d both be okay.” He whispers hoarsely, and raises a heavy arm to reach up and squeeze Narancia’s wrist, bringing their joined hands to his bandaged heart. “But if you ever touch my hair or wake my ass up again I’m gonna shoot your ass, dude.”

“He’s okay, Fugo!” Narancia shouts to Fugo in breathless relief and joy and this close to leaping right into the air if not for Fugo literally holding him down.

But again the relief is short lived when Giorno turns his attention to Narancia and his own wounds. Giorno inspects each wound carefully; the wreck of Narancia’s nose, his likely sprained ankle and throbbing feet, the tender bullet graze on his shoulder and prioritising which was the worst and which would need the most work.

“Let me heal you, Narancia. Lie down over here.” Giorno leads Narancia by the hands to the opposite sofa, which Buccellati hastily jumps up from to make room for him. “Does anyone have something thin I can use to graft new skin? It’s only shallow so paper should work.”

“I have something!” Mista announces, gingerly raising himself up to rummage around in his back pocket as best as he can without jostling his own healing wounds. He can’t quite manage it but with the help of Abbacchio unfortunately having to search through both of Mista’s back pockets himself, Mista finds his wallet and flips it open. He pulls something from the picture holder and hands it to Abbacchio, who begrudgingly hands it to Giorno.

Mouth dropping open in shock, Narancia knows exactly what it is without even having to see it because there’s only one thing Mista keeps in his wallet that isn’t money or salami for his Pistols.

It’s Mista’s prized signed picture of Clint Eastwood, the one they all gave to him for his 18th birthday last year, the picture he treasures and loves just as much as his gun and each one of his Pistols, the picture he loves as much as he hates the number four.

“Mista,” Narancia mumbles through a thick throat, shaking his head. “What the fuck, I can’t let you give that to me, I -- ”

“You can and you will!” Mista declares, holding his hand up to silence any of Narancia’s further protests. End of discussion. “It can be replaced, you can’t, dude.” When the purpose of giving the picture to Narancia in the first place catches up to him, Mista grins sheepishly. “Well, okay, technically you can with new body parts and shit by Giorno but you know what I mean!”

Narancia loves his friends so much he thinks he could cry right now. But still, Narancia hesitates because Mista really fucking loves that picture, he even sleeps next to it. “Are you sure?”

Grinning fiercely like he already knows the answer, Mista asks. “You fucked up that guy for me, didn’t you?”

“Yeah!” Narancia says immediately, giving himself a headache with how urgently he nods in confirmation. “And Fugo fucked up the other guy, and I mean really fucked him up!” Narancia beams up at Fugo in adoration. Fugo says nothing, face neutral and calm as he stands still and silent at Narancia’s side. “Fugo probably still has chunks of the fucker’s face and brain in his hair! No one does that shit to you on our watch, Mista. That’s a promise.”

Mista nods too, and Narancia feels Mista’s sharpened assassin’s gaze scanning over every single one of his wounds like a physical weight. “I know, and a picture for some skin is the least I can do, Narancia. Giorno, use the picture and do your thing. Mr. Eastwood will understand.”

The skin graft of the bullet graze turns out to be the least of Narancia’s worries. Seeing Mista all out of it from the pain of Gold Experience’s healing initially has Narancia preparing for the absolute worse, but the graft itself hurts no worse than a quick burn.

It’s nothing Narancia can’t handle and definitely nothing memorable in his bank of pain memories. In fact it’s already stopped hurting almost as soon as Giorno is done and Narancia grins, showing the healed patch of new skin that slowly starts to blend into the same colour of his natural complexion to everyone gathered around.

Narancia’s broken nose however is a different thing entirely.

“It’s completely fractured, practically shattered.” Giorno says grimly, gently holding Narancia’s face in his hand and probing his painfully swollen nose with careful fingers. “Actually, flattened is a better word for it.”

“Heh, oops.” Narancia laughs sheepishly. He risks a glance up at Fugo to see his reaction and his laughter dies in his throat when he sees Fugo’s teeth are clenched so tightly his jaw looks like it could snap from the tension of it.

“What are you going to use?” Buccellati asks, looking around the room for anything suitable to be Narancia’s new nose.

Giorno rolls up his sleeves and unpins one of his ladybug brooches. “It’s the least I can do,” he says with a small grin that widens at Narancia’s own trembling grin and shining wide-eyes.

“Giorno!” Narancia gasps breathlessly, blinking to stop himself from crying but already tearing up because he fucking loves his friends so much and he’d drag them all into a spine-crushing hug if he didn’t know he’d be tackled for trying to get up before he was healed.

Gold Experience appears in front of him then in a warm gust of golden wind, one that ruffles through Narancia’s hair and always brings a welcome feeling of calm and warmth. Gold Experience holds up and shows Narancia its two empty hands, front and back, before reaching around Narancia’s ear and pulling a small bouquet of pretty purple flowers from behind there and handing it to Narancia with a wide smile to match Giorno’s beside it.

Narancia beams because they’re his favourites, the same flowers that grow all over his hometown and remind him of his mother without the usual accompanying stab of pain and all the hours they used to spend together picking them throughout the town and fields without a care in the world.

Giorno gestures for Narancia to lie flat on the sofa and Abbacchio appears at Narancia’s side then too. He looks grim as he stares down at Narancia, grimmer than usual which fucking says a lot and resigned too and dread settles in Narancia’s stomach like a swift punch to the gut, heart starting to hammer in his chest beneath the flowers clutched in his hands.

“This will hurt, Narancia.” Giorno warns him regretfully, hand cradling the back of Narancia’s head and slowly lowering his other hand holding the ladybug brooch to give Narancia time to prepare himself. “Worse than when it was first broken and without any of the adrenaline of the fight. And...I’ll need Abbacchio to hold you down like he did for Mista, to stop you from causing any further damage while I heal you.”

Narancia nods once, sharply before he can change his mind, and squeezes his eyes shut. He rigidly lays his arms at his sides and Abbacchio leans over him, kneeling with one leg pinning both of Narancia’s own and pinning both of Narancia’s arms down at his sides in an unforgivingly tight grip. Narancia shifts and tests for any give but Abbacchio is unmovable, may as well be made of stone with how steadfast his tight hold is. The only way Narancia is moving is when Abbacchio chooses to let him move.

Giorno hasn’t even started yet and it’s already unbearable, even though Narancia knows there’s nowhere safer in the world for him than with these five people, nowhere in the world he’d rather be than with these five people actually. But the feeling of being trapped will always be unbearable, and with what little merciful leeway Abbacchio leaves his hands, Narancia forgets the flowers and blindly reaches to clutch the sofa beneath him to stop himself from trying to claw Giorno or Abbacchio away on instinct, but Fugo’s hand finds his own hand instead, fingers lacing and squeezing tight.

Narancia cracks his eyes open, squeezing back just as tight and smiling gratefully, but Abbacchio holds him down even tighter and Giorno suddenly blocks Fugo’s encouraging smile from view and the pain is about to come and he’s not ready yet! He’s not ready yet, he’s --

“You’ve had worse!” Fugo reminds him firmly, repeating Narancia’s words from the warehouse back to him. “I’ve seen you get worse, Narancia! We’ve done worse to each other just messing around, haven’t we?”

“Yeah,” Narancia agrees quickly and shit Giorno’s fingertips are inches from his face and his ladybug brooch is already shrinking into something that looks like a nose bone and oh my god Narancia was never meant to see his own nose bone. “Y-yeah, we have. Fugo, I can’t -- ”

“Tell me your favourite, really think about it!” Fugo demands, trying his best to distract Narancia even as Giorno sharply slides the brooch/bone into Narancia’s skin, transforming it fully into the replacement bone as it easily sinks in with a squelching noise that floods Narancia’s ears and head. The blinding pain follows, replacing the sickeningly wet sounds of the new bone burrowing deep down into his flesh and attaching back to his skull and filling Narancia’s entire head with fire.

Narancia howls his throat raw and chokes on his own blood, swears he can see the flames through his burning tears, head thrown back in Giorno’s firm hold as the shattered beyond repair fragments of his broken bones snap back into the missing places of the replacement bone. And then the cartilage starts to reform from the brooch too, slowly pushing up through his flesh like sprouting blades of grass and torturously slowly folding back into the original shape of his nose.

Fugo!!” Narancia sobs with tears streaming from his eyes. Fugo ducks beneath Giorno’s arms to get to Narancia’s side and shoves Abbacchio away to be able to raise their joined hands to his lips, kissing all over Narancia’s knuckles and palm and squeezing just hard enough it matches the blinding pain in Narancia’s face. “Fugo, it hurts!!

“Think of your favourite, Narancia!” Fugo insists, watching helplessly as Narancia writhes in agony under Giorno’s healing and Abbacchio’s hold. “Mine was the time you tried to drown me in the Fountain of Neptune! You knocked my last baby tooth out and I know you kept it because I tore out a chunk of your hair and kept that too! Remember?”

“M-my favourite too.” Narancia chokes out, neck arched back and legs spasming with how desperately he tries and fails to flail. It hurts so much he can barely breathe let alone force the words out of his raw throat. “It -- it was winter.”

“Yes!” Fugo beams with tears shining in his own eyes too, just as Giorno resets Narancia’s nose back into place with a one excruciatingly sharp snap. It’s like being shot in the face, this is the pain he would’ve felt if that fucker from the warehouse was actually competent with a gun. Narancia desperately wishes he could pass out now, it’s so unfair, Mista was so fucking lucky. “We both caught colds and thought we were dying and -- ”

“Abbacchio said it was what we deserved.” Narancia pants raggedly, smiling at the memory despite the agony. He can’t feel his face anymore, tears stream silently from the corners of his eyes and trail down into his hair and Giorno is as grim looking now as Abbacchio looming above him is and Giorno even looks like he could throw up with regret and --

And then the blinding pain vanishes, easing entirely and leaving just a throbbing ache so suddenly that Narancia feels like he has vertigo from the loss.

The tension bleeds out of him immediately and Narancia blinks, looking between each of his teammates that watch him with held breaths. “Is that it?”

Almost like it’s rehearsed, everyone exhales a loud sigh of relief at the same time and Giorno huffs an exhausted laugh, panting and shining with sweat from the effort of healing so quickly while still being effective.

Giorno wipes his forehead with the back of his bloodied forearm. “Yes, all done.” He gestures for Abbacchio to release Narancia and helps Narancia to sit back up with shaky hands. “One more thing, Narancia. The last thing I’ll ask of you tonight, I promise. What can you smell?”

Narancia sniffs up deeply and immediately recoils, almost heaving behind the hand slapped over his mouth. “Ugh, sweat and blood and some other shit I don’t even wanna think about. Jeez, who is that?! This new nose is sensitive!”

“Take your pick, dude.” Mista snorts, scratching his belly and gesturing at all six of them in various states of blood-soaked, sweating messes.

“If you can smell that means you can breathe normally too and your nose is perfect again. It might still be a little bit tender, so absolutely no fighting.” Giorno tells him firmly. “Did you hear that, Fugo?”

“Yeah Fugo,” Narancia sniggers. “No fighting!”

Fugo glares, pointedly ignores them both and doesn’t dignify them with an answer.

Giorno pushes the sweaty hair out of Narancia’s eyes with a warm smile. “You did so good, Narancia. So, so good.” Giorno’s smile turns wry as he leans closer and whispers. “Much better than Mista did.”

Narancia grins, both at the praise and the teasing. He tiredly flops back down on the sofa and turns his head towards Fugo, eyelids drifting closed and sleepily blinking back open again. “I can’t believe you kept my hair. You're so weird, Panni.”

“Shut the fuck up!” Fugo fumes, and holy shit is that a blush on Fugo’s face? “Teeth are weirder than hair! Tell him Buccellati!!”

“Okay,” Abbacchio interrupts in a long drawl, rising to his feet. “I’m done playing Giovanna’s assistant. Keep the noise down brats, I’m going to order pizza. After all that shit I think we deserve it.”

As Abbacchio leaves the room, he pauses beside Narancia and Fugo and roughly ruffles both their sweaty, blood-thick hair. The brief, sort of comforting touch of relief lingers before he pushes both their heads down with an exasperated sigh.

Narancia watches Abbacchio go with a grin, one shared with Buccellati as he follows after Abbacchio out the room too because Abbacchio may as well have just bear hugged them both.

All throughout the evening Fugo acts like a qualified doctor even when Giorno has already finishing healing the last of Narancia’s wounds, hovering over Giorno’s shoulder and offering his unasked for and definitely unneeded advice and opinions and the possible after treatments. Even Mista joins in too, mostly just to rile Fugo up, but he’s ignored even more than Fugo.

“Is it really effective to only heal him like that?” Fugo asks for the fifth time with a tilted head and a thick medical encyclopedia open in his hands. “It says here he needs support for his feet, shouldn’t he have some sort of ankle brace too just in case? Or maybe crutches?”

Giorno is incredibly patient even with his two backseat doctors and a terrible patient in the form of Narancia trying to squirm away from Giorno’s healing hands holding his feet whenever he can.

“I don’t usually like repeating myself but we’ve all had a very long day so I don’t mind this time,” Giorno sighs with more patience than the four of them combined. “Gold Experience’s healing will be more than enough, Fugo. I promise. You just have to be patient and wait for the healing pain to settle and Narancia will be as good as new.”

“Easy for you to say,” Fugo mutters under his breath, snapping the encyclopedia shut and putting his hands on his hips. “You’re not the one writhing and sobbing in pain.”

“I wasn’t sobbing!!” Narancia yells defensively, wrenching the pillow from under his head and launching it at Fugo’s, who catches it easily. With visible effort, Fugo calmly hands the pillow back to Narancia instead of beating him to death with it. “Okay, I was sobbing, but not that much. And leave Giorno alone!! He’s doing his best!!”

“Well Giorno best hurry the hell up.” Fugo huffs without any real usual bite and sits himself next to Mista on the opposite sofa, who pats his thigh consolingly.

Giorno shares a wry glance with Narancia, who sniggers into his palm when Fugo isn’t looking. Giorno checks each of Narancia’s toes for any other breaks or bruising he missed, bending Narancia’s leg back and twisting his ankle to test the mobility, frowning and stopping completely when Narancia winces a little and --

Fugo is back behind Giorno’s shoulder in a heartbeat. “Surely an ankle brace couldn’t hurt -- ”

“Fugo!” Giorno suddenly announces, “maybe you could play nurse to Narancia now that my work here is done?” He suggests loudly, and with his back still to Fugo he shares another wry smile and a secretive wink with Narancia before dusting his hands off as he stands back up.

Fugo narrows his eyes as Giorno breezes past him with a bright smile and out of the room, taking a still bleary and bandaged Mista with him, but Fugo bites his tongue and watches Giorno go, still thrumming with the golden glow of Gold Experience.

Narancia knows Fugo is painfully envious of Giorno and his Stand. Fugo had quietly admitted to him one starry night at 3am when neither of them could sleep (for the usual boring soul-crushing reasons) that to have a Stand that healed and created life like that was like a direct slap to the face and kick to the gut for him.

Narancia hadn’t known what to say to that and knew any comforting praise (he genuinely felt) and offered to Fugo about Purple Haze wouldn’t be well received to say the very least and for the first time in his life Narancia discovered his brief impulse control and a thing called tact.

That, and also Narancia didn’t feel like getting kicked off the roof. Literally.

Fugo and Narancia had stayed up on that roof all night, huddled close together and sharing secrets, dreams, fears, and warmth and company until the sun rose on a bright, brand new day. But envious or not, Fugo has never let his envy get in the way of his friendship with Giorno, just silently carried that pain within him along with all the other pain he carried, like fucking always.

“Don’t pull that face, Fugo. Buccellati says it’ll stick one day.” Narancia sniggers, and with his tongue poking out of his mouth and face screwed up in concentration, he wriggles his toes and experimentally rolls his ankle with only a dull ache of pain. With a triumphant smile, Narancia raises his arms up towards Fugo. “I think I’m okay now! Fugo, help me up!”

When Narancia can stand steady on his healed feet again without Fugo’s supporting hands holding his forearms as he takes a few initially shaky steps towards him, Buccellati zippers Narancia right into the bathroom and under the steaming hot spray of the shower.

Narancia leaves his stained and ruined clothes in a wet pile in the corner of the shower. The soapy water spiralling down the drain between his feet soon runs thick and black with dried blood, a weirdly hypnotic swirl that Narancia spends way too long watching curiously. It’s a bitch to wash all the matted blood out of his hair and Narancia is surprised that Fugo himself hasn’t offered to help him with it with how clingy and overly concerned he’s been since the warehouse.

Narancia is twitching his new nose and testing it out by sniffing all the different soaps in the shower when he swears he hears a quiet, hesitant knock on the door.

“Yeah?” Narancia shouts, pausing and waiting, pulling back the shower curtain to peek at the door but there’s nothing and no one there, nothing and no one that decides to knock again at least.

Narancia shrugs and finishes scrubbing until he’s practically shining and squeaky clean and the shower looks like a blood and dirt bomb has gone off. Sucks to be whoever’s on bathroom cleaning duty this week, but maybe this is the opportunity to finally convince Buccellati to hire a maid.

There’s six boxes of pizza waiting when Narancia rejoins the others in the living room. Since he didn’t have a choice in the shower or have the time to grab his own towels, Narancia feels less than no guilt at all in stealing Abbacchio’s black bathrobe and the matching black towel to twist his hair up into.

Abbacchio takes one narrow-eyed, pursed lip look at him before very purposely taking a bite of pizza and not saying anything about it.

He could so get used to this, and not just the special treatment from Abbacchio either, Narancia thinks as he flops down on the sofa and curls over his knuckles, mourning the fact that the first time Fugo ever kissed him he was so out of his mind with pain that he can't even remember the feeling of Fugo's lips on his skin.

The thing in the warehouse hadn't changed anything between Fugo and himself, just strengthened what was already between them.

The comforting was no different and neither was the closeness. They always usually sat together (unless they had to be forcibly separated for their own good) and tonight was no different either. Except that Fugo makes a point of it, and with his pizza box in hand Fugo roughly elbows Mista out of the way despite how tender he still was from his healing and takes the seat next to Narancia that Mista was heading for like it has Fugo’s name on it, like it’s reserved behind red velvet ropes just for him.

Mista wraps an arm around his bandaged midriff with a pout, but he looks more upset that he almost dropped his own pizza than at Fugo acting like a dick. Narancia simply shrugs and leans over to take a bite of the pizza slice that Fugo offers him.

For the rest of the night, Fugo sticks to Narancia’s side like a shadow but Narancia doesn’t complain and happily thinks he could definitely get used to the extra attention, especially from his favourite person.

It only gets a little smothering when Narancia turns around and smacks straight into Fugo’s bare chest through the hole in his shirt when they’re all in the crowded kitchen. Narancia yelps and stumbles, hands flying to his face to protect his nose and he almost falls flat on his face and undoes all of Giorno’s hard work.

But Fugo lunges for him and catches Narancia midair, lifting Narancia right up in his arms and spinning on the spot, something straight of a cheesy movie and leaving them both blushing and laughing awkwardly. After that, Fugo reluctantly backs up, but he doesn’t go far. Narancia glances at Fugo firmly at his side from the corner of his eye with a little grin and...doesn’t complain.

When Narancia has devoured his own pizza, a slice from everyone else’s pizza, and half of Fugo’s pizza given to him while Fugo quickly showers and changes into a new suit and tie before sitting himself right back at Natancia's side again, Narancia finally calls it a night and heads to bed.

“Narancia? Willingly going to bed? Narancia is willing going to bed?” Abbacchio drawls in fake disbelief, hand held to his chest in mock shock. “Giorno, check his temperature or his brain, I think your shitty healing worked a little too well.”

Narancia graces Abbacchio with two middle fingers and a grin and dodges the pillow aimed at his head by ducking into his room at the end of the hall, closing the newly replaced wooden door on the heartening sounds of the laughter of his friends.

The familiarity of his room is a much welcomed sight. They’re all here so often they can’t even call the rooms they sleep in spare rooms anymore, they totally all live here and no one can or wants to deny it. As much as they (Abbacchio) might complain about the noise and the bathroom never being free and the constantly emptied fridge and cupboards, they (Abbacchio) wouldn’t have it any other way and they all know it.

Narancia pulls on his pyjamas and gratefully crawls under the covers, the weight of the day and everything that’s happening finally catching up to him and pressing down on his shoulders, feels like it actually presses him down into his matress. Narancia sighs and buries his face in his pillow, stretches out like a starfish and tugs his quilt up to his chin, more than ready to sleep for the next week or hopefully more.

But Narancia’s door slowly creaks open, and there’s a very familiar shadow stood in his doorway, lingering like it still hasn’t fully made up its mind whether to enter or not.

“Narancia?” The shadow eventually whispers, and Narancia knows on some bizarre primal, soul-deep instinct exactly who it is.

But that doesn’t mean he can’t have his fun. Narancia grins into his pillow. “Go away, Mista.”

Fugo frowns in his doorway, highly offended and sounding more than a little hurt when he says. “It’s not Mista, it’s me.”

“I know, Fugo,” Narancia drawls, glancing over his shoulder flatly. “I was joking.”

“Oh.” Fugo says simply. He shifts where he stands, hesitating over the threshold like he’s some kind of unwelcome spectre haunting his halls, hand clenching around the door handle. “Okay. Goodnight.”

“Wait! C’mon, jeez.” Narancia grins exasperatedly. “Did you knock out your sense of humour when you knocked out that fucker’s teeth?”

Fugo is suddenly horribly silent. Narancia almost flinches with the weight of it.

“I...I was joking.” Narancia repeats weakly, grimacing at his own thoughtlessness and big stupid mouth. “I’m sorry. Please don’t be mad. Or sad.”

“I’m not mad, Narancia,” Fugo huffs a soft laugh, but even to Narancia it sounds strained, pained. Quietly, almost guiltily, Fugo asks, “Can I come in?”

Narancia smiles wide enough to hurt and sits up, shuffling backwards in his bed and patting the space beside him. “C’mere you big idiot. Like you even need to ask.”

Fugo’s mouth lifts in a little half smile of his own but it drops as he sits on the edge of Narancia’s bed, back to Narancia and head bowed, staring hard at the ground and wringing his hands as silence settles again. It’s not an uncomfortable silence though, their silences never are really, not even after the worst of their fights and arguments, but it’s tense with everything they aren’t saying, even tenser for Narancia and his not-so-secret feelings.

“Are you okay?” Fugo asks the floor between his feet.

“Yeah,” Narancia sighs honestly, lying back down in bed and tucking his hands behind his head. “Just tired, y'know?”

Fugo nods and the silence turns heavy, shifting into a silence that Narancia knows unfortunately well. It’s the self loathing kind of silence that swallows you up and threatens to drown you, the silence that eats away at you inside like a slowly spreading poison but sharp like a stab through the chest. It’s the silence that Narancia desperately tries to fill with any and every kind of babbling nonsense when it starts to become louder than the good thoughts again, talking and talking until his throat is raw and he annoys even himself as well as everyone in the same room and fifty mile radius as him.

Fugo tilts his head back and sighs like the air has been painfully squeezed from his lungs. “I hate it when you see me like that.” Fugo murmurs, eyes screwed shut in shame. “I hate it so much, Narancia.”

Narancia tentatively rubs Fugo’s back with his leg under the cover, as comforting as he can. “I know, Fugo.”

“I’m better than that,” Fugo insists desperately, hands wringing painfully tight. “I’m stronger than giving into that.”

“Who are you trying to convince, Fugo?” Narancia asks him, heart breaking in his chest because how is Fugo unable to see how strong he already is in every single way? “Because I already know that and every single one of your friends outside that door knows it too.”

Fugo shakes his head in despair and shakes all over too, trembling like a leaf. “I would have done so much worse to him, Narancia. I wanted too. Fuck, you have no idea how badly I want to go back to that place right now with Purple Haze and raze it to the fucking ground with him still inside.” Fugo scrubs his hands down his face, eyes feverishly bright in the dark and bulging out of their sockets from the tauntly pulled skin. “It’s all I can think about, all I can see everytime I blink. I can’t fucking control this, I’m going to lose my mind and I won’t be the only one paying the price.”

Narancia can’t bear to let Fugo kill himself over this for a second longer, he refuses and he doesn’t care what he has to do to put a stop to Fugo’s belligerent inner turmoil.

“Listen to me, Fugo. No, listen,” Narancia insists, taking Fugo’s face in his hands when Fugo shakes his head and looks away, distraught. Narancia pulls Fugo unresistingly back to him, pressing their foreheads together and looking deep into Fugo’s wide red eyes, right down to his tormented soul. “It was me or him. That’s all that matters. He made that stupid choice to take us on and he paid the price for it. It’s done, Fugo. That’s all that matters. And this thing you think you can’t control? It’s just waiting for the day you finally can, and when you do I’ll be right by your side like always!”

Tears fill Fugo’s eyes but they don’t spill. He swallows heavily and squeezes Narancia’s wrists.

“I don’t want to know what it’ll cost me to finally control it, Narancia. I think I’d have to be broken in the worst way for it.” Fugo murmurs quietly, pulling away to draw his knees to his chest and wrap his arms around them and it breaks Narancia’s heart all over again. Fugo looks so suddenly small and young and vulnerable and Narancia is reminded of the fact no matter what gruesome shit they do on a daily basis, they’re still just a couple of teenagers who never got the chance to just be teenagers. It’s so unfair, life is so unfair and cruel.

Narancia smooths the hair back from Fugo’s face and murmurs. “You look tired.”

Fugo’s eyes close under his touch, a brief, yearning look of peace washing over him. “I am.”

“And you look like shit too.”

Fugo cracks a sudden sharp grin in the dark and goosebumps break out on Narancia’s arms and the nape of his neck. “You got shot, so I’ll that slide this time.”

“Pff, I was barely shot. But huh...” Narancia makes a contemplative noise as he throws the covers off himself and makes to get out of bed. “One insult per bullet you say? Now that’s tempting. I wonder where Mista is -- ”

Moving quicker than a flash, Fugo pushes Narancia flat on his back with a firm hand at the centre of Narancia’s chest, looming above Narancia on his hands and knees. “Do not joke about that! Jesus, I’m having a fucking moment here, Narancia!”

Narancia splutters indignantly, totally nothing to do with Fugo in his bed and on top of him. “You started the joke!”

“I’m joking to cope!

“We all do that, you dirty hypocrite!” But Narancia can’t even be truly irritated though, not when Fugo is finally smiling and looking like his usual self again.

Fugo just watches him in the dark, smiling down at him with his eyes crinkled at the edges. “Could I stay here with you tonight?”

“Of course!” Narancia reaches up to pinch Fugo’s cheek. “And would his majesty like my whole bed too? As well as his own bed in his own room down the hall while I humbly sleep down on the cold hard ground or?”

“Shut up.” Fugo laughs, already crawling across Narancia and sliding under the covers beside him.

As Fugo settles down at Narancia’s side, head cushioned on the same pillow and inches apart, Narancia desperately tries to keep his tired eyes open. But they drift shut despite his best efforts to not miss even a second of this and that’s when Narancia feels two warm fingertips gently pressed to his throat, smoothing up and down, searching.

“Are you checking my pulse?” Narancia asks wryly with his eyes still closed.

“I just wanted to make sure.” Fugo murmurs. “Just wanted to feel it.”

“Fugo...” Narancia murmurs back, at a loss for what to say for once but inspiration soon strikes though, and Narancia tugs Fugo’s tie, tries to tug the troubled look right off his pained face.

“Get out of your head, shit-for-brains.” Narancia grins teasingly, simply because he knows it irritates Fugo when he throws Fugo’s own harmless insult back at him. “Don’t get your thong in a twist and come join me back in reality.”

It works like a charm. Fugo scowls immediately, flushing bright even in the dark and batting Narancia’s hand away from his tie. “I’m going to fucking kill Mista for telling you that and then I’m going to kill you too. Buccellati will never find your bodies.”

Narancia smirks, tugging Fugo’s tie again, just because he can. “No, you won’t.”

Fugo sighs, heavily and long-sufferingly, and lets him. “No, I won’t.”

Safe together in the dark, Fugo watches Narancia again, drinking him up like he really can’t quite believe that Narancia is alive and whole and hale in front of him. Fugo touches Narancia’s cheek, just once, just a brush of his thumb. “Do you promise you’re really okay?”

“I promise, Fugo. Mista was hurt worse than me, we both know that,” Narancia points out truthfully, heart hammering in time with each brush of Fugo’s thumb. “You’re not in his bed though.”

It’s almost unbearable, the way Fugo is looking at him, like Narancia is everything and how could anyone possibly look at him that way? “Mista isn’t you, Narancia.”

Well, that’s Narancia’s entire life ruined forever and ever because nothing could ever hope to compare to this moment. Without even saying the actual words, Fugo has made Narancia feel loved in a way he hasn’t truly felt since his mother told him she’d always love him as she died right in front of him.

“This isn’t pity, is it?” Narancia asks quietly, as quietly as he can and hating himself for even thinking it let alone suggesting it out loud because he knows, of course he knows this isn’t pity. “Because I will stab you, Fugo. You know I will.”

Fugo grins faintly. God, they’re so close it hurts, any barely there space left between them aches to be filled. “You aren’t stupid, Narancia. So don’t ask stupid questions.”

Narancia exhales shakily, squeezing his eyes shut. “Right answer.”

Fugo’s thumb drifts from Narancia’s face to slowly brush over the healed bullet graze. It’s just smooth skin now thanks to Giorno (and Mista) and no one would ever even be able to tell he was ever hurt there in the first place but Narancia can just tell Fugo is this close to insisting on a bandaid or something again.

“You still want me to go get a bandaid, don’t you Fugo?”

“No.” Fugo lies, glancing away guiltily.

Narancia hums, long and loud and completely unconvinced and when Fugo glances back at him they both crack up, sharing a muffled laugh and covering each other’s mouths even though there’s no one to keep quiet for.

And then Fugo’s hand drifts from Narancia’s shoulder to lightly and leisurely drag his knuckles up and down Narancia's arm, idly and naturally like Fugo isn't even thinking about it.

Narancia has never been touched like this before, never in his life, with the purpose of no purpose at all, simply being touched because Fugo wanted to touch him. It feels so devastatingly nice and nicer still because Fugo is the one touching him. Narancia knows nothing in his life will ever compare to this intimate moment either, of how casually Fugo touches him, how comfortable they both are, how right it feels.

But....something also feels wrong. Not morally or any bullshit way like that, specifically something feels wrong with Fugo’s hand.

Narancia frowns and sits up, reaching for him. “Fugo, let me see your hand.”

That’s Narancia’s firm no arguments voice, the one he rarely uses but has the immediate desired effect when he does and it’s with reluctance that Fugo places his hand in both of Narancia’s own and Narancia gasps at what he sees.

Fugo’s knuckles are split and bloody, bruised red and raw and sore to both the look and the touch from the flinch Fugo can’t quite hide when Narancia digs his fingers into his bleeding knuckles. Narancia can’t decide who he’s more pissed off at: Fugo for hiding it or himself for not noticing it sooner.

“You stupid bastard.” Narancia hisses angrily, yanking Fugo’s arm up and shoving Fugo’s knuckles into Fugo’s face. “Why the fuck didn’t you say something earlier! Why didn’t you let Giorno heal you?”

“Punishment.” Fugo says flatly and simply, like that explains and excuses everything, flexing his hand in Narancia’s loosening grip. “A reminder.”

Of course, Narancia thinks with dread, like the idiot didn’t have enough self inflicted hurt already.

“Punishment, huh?” Narancia asks lightly. “Punishment for saving my life?”

Bullseye. That hits home more on target than any of Aerosmith’s guns or bombs, and Narancia is only slightly regretful at the look of deep hurt that flashes on Fugo’s face.

Fugo looks like he could cry again, and demands. “How could you even ask me that?”

“How could you think I’d let you sit around with busted knuckles? Who knows where that fucker‘s been and what you could catch from him!! Touching me with your infected knuckles!! I bet you got blood on my sheets too -- ”

“I didn’t get blood on your sheets.” Fugo calmly says with surprising patience. “And will you please calm the fuck down?”

“Oh that’s ironic!”

“Shut up. They aren’t infected.”

“Promise me you'll ask Giorno to heal you in the morning or I’ll kick your ass straight through my damn door right now Fugo, just see if I won't!”

Fugo seems way too amused by all this. “Is that a threat?” Fugo asks wryly.

“No! It’s another one of those promises you love so much.” Narancia huffs, crossing his arms over his chest and lying back down in bed so forcefully the whole bed shakes. “You really are a goddamn hypocrite, Pannacotta Fugo. You’re on my ass about being reckless and getting hurt all the time but it’s okay for you to sit around with dirty infected knuckles?”

“They aren’t infected.” Fugo repeats insistently. “Want to see for yourself?” He asks, and shoves them into Narancia’s face with a vengeful cackle.

Narancia scowls and slaps Fugo’s hands away but it really is impossible to stay mad at Fugo and unfortunately Fugo damn well knows it. Soon they’re both laughing breathlessly and halfheartedly shoving each other before settling down again almost as quick as the not-fight started.

Narancia sighs and opens his eyes. Fugo is so close, they’re sharing the same pillow, their foreheads touch, their noses almost brush, and that’s where Fugo stays with a serene smile on his handsome face.

All Narancia would have to do is reach for one of his discarded piles of clothes beside his bed and take out one of the spare sprigs of mistletoe from his pocket. It’d be so easy, taking destiny by the stem, but god he’s just so content and comfortable, doesn’t think he couldn’t move right now even if the Boss kicked his door down to beat Narancia to death with his own gravestone. Narancia doesn’t want to move and be the one to burst the bubble of this sacred moment between them, doesn’t wanna look away from the quiet, protective fire simmering in Fugo’s eyes.

“Narancia?” Fugo whispers.

Narancia takes a deep breath. Is this it? “Yeah?”

Fugo smooths the hair back from Narancia’s forehead with a grin. “Go to sleep.”

He’s never refused Fugo a thing in his life so far and he certainly won’t start now. Narancia faintly grins too and obediently closes his eyes again, and he’s on the very edge of sleep when he feels lips pressed to his forehead, kissing once, twice, and the kiss of sleep is the third.