“Stupid fucking Fugo,” Narancia growled under his breath. He sat down hard on the kitchen table, eyes narrowed at his unfinished problems. “Shouldn’t fucking argue with someone who’s right.”
“Narancia, sit in a fucking chair, you gremlin.” Abbacchio sneered, hoisting an unconscious Mista through the front door, with a little help from Moody Blues. Bruno preceded him, holding the door open.
“Buccellati!” Narancia snapped to attention, knocking over his also unfinished cup of orange juice.
“Narancia, could you please clean that up?” Bruno shut the door, turning the knob so that it clicked into place with minimal noise. Abbacchio haphazardly threw Mista onto the living room couch, grumbling in dissatisfaction. Clearly, whatever had happened hadn't been pleasant for anyone, especially Abbacchio.
Upon closer inspection, you could see Mista’s mouth twisting at the corners, stifling a laugh.
“Don’t fuckin’ tell me.” Abbacchio placed his boot on Mista’s unprotected midriff, leaning his entire body weight on that one, unnecessarily sharp, point.
“You’ve been awake this WHOLE FUCKIN’ TIME?”
Mista wheezed, crying out in pain. Abbacchio had a firm pin on Mista’s diaphragm.
“D-Dude, could you please calm down? It was just a joke, just a joke-- AUGH!”
Abbacchio had since decided not to let up.
“B-Buccellati! Please he-- ACK!”
Bruno had seemingly materialized behind Narancia with a roll of paper towels in his hand.
Leaning over to wipe the table, he said “Tell him how close we came to death because of his stupid prank. Let him learn that way.”
“He’s coming damn close to death right now!” Abbacchio pressed in further. Mista looked agonized, but also amused, somehow.
“Abbacchio,” Bruno said once more, never meeting his eyes. His tone had barely changed, but this time, Abbacchio listened.
Abbacchio released his foot with a low, disgruntled hiss. The heel left a red mark on Mista, sore and sensitive, that made it quite hard to breathe.
“Oh sure, I’ll tell him how we almost died hauling his dumb ass three kilometers.” he loomed over an intimidated, yet amused, Mista. Tiny, teary, squeaky chuckles ripped out of Mista's puffed cheeks. Abbacchio looked ready to scream. “I’ll fucking tell him all about it.”
The whole spectacle was horrifying, yet amusing to watch. It was rare for Abbacchio to be so passionate about something that he would shriek, let alone start throwing things. Whatever happened certainly wasn't something he could brush off.
He was startled when he remembered Buccellati was right next to him.
“Please, next time I ask something of you, could you work to accomplish it faster?” He made a half-hearted gesture with a soaked paper towel to the now-clean table. “The juice almost fell to the floor. That would’ve made extra work.” Narancia nodded, barely scraping together a response, still dazed.
“Man, I’m sorry, Buccellati.” He gingerly moved his body to the side, looking as if he might be punished, too.
“You don’t need to apologize, I’m not mad.”
Bruno walked over to the sink, washed his sticky fingers, and left the kitchen, pausing under the arch. This scene was all too familiar.
“Have you seen Fugo?”
Narancia couldn’t think. He wanted to tell Bruno to leave him alone, but he would never disrespect Buccellati like that. Nothing happened. That’s what he wanted to say. Narancia lowered his head and audibly exhaled, thinking of something to say. Something that wasn’t the truth.
“Ah. I see.” Bruno kept still in his place, before raising his hand to his mouth.
“Fugo! We’re back!” He threw his head back, calling loud enough for the whole house to hear him.
Now, Narancia was not just unable to think, but to breathe as well. He placed a fist over his mouth and turned his back to Buccellati as Fugo came tromping down the stairs.
“Welcome back, Buccellati,” is what Narancia heard. He began gnawing on his knuckle. Fugo placed his hands behind his back, playing with them nervously.
With a flitting glance between the two and a cocked eyebrow, Bruno asked; “Did… anything special happen while we were away?”
Narancia inhaled sharply, knowing how terrible Fugo was at lying, especially to Buccellati. Frankly, there was no point in lying to him. Either Fugo would try to lie and get caught, or he would tell the truth, and god knows what would happen then.
Narancia choked on his saliva, sending him into a coughing fit, which was sufficient to distract the both of them.
“Narancia! Are you okay?” Buccellati abandoned his conversation to pour Narancia a glass of water, placing it in Narancia’s palms and wrapping his hands around it.
Narancia didn’t reply. He took the glass and offered a wordless ‘thank you’ before chugging the entire glass in the hopes of cooling down his face. He was bright red, mostly because of the coughing fit, but in his mind, Buccellati could see the embarrassment radiating in waves from his face.
He wiped wasted streams of water from his face with the back of his cuff, breathing raggedly. Fugo had long since left this part of the house, thankfully. Narancia could now audibly express his gratitude.
“Th-Thank you,” he muttered. His throat felt torn up. It hurt to speak, he’d expelled all his energy.
“You’ll need your voice.” Bruno’s tone was borderline somber.
“Eh?” Bruno slipped the empty glass from Narancia’s shaky fingers. “What’s going on?”
“Just a discussion of our findings. But by your behavior, you may be unable to participate.” He filled up the glass with milk. “If there’s anything you need to talk about…”
Bruno offered the cold glass of milk to Narancia. Even with somewhat dark undertone, it was still comforting. “You can tell me anything, il mio piccolo soldato.”
“Stop acting like you’re my mom or something,” Narancia muttered into his milk, creating bubbles. Bruno smoothed out his messy hair.
“Then stop acting like my child.”