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High Stakes

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Usually, Guido Mista wasn’t the type of person to mind anything. If he did, he would only enable himself to irrational actions caused by rage or frustration. He usually “went with the flow” to avoid troubling himself as much as possible. The moment he lost his cool, he would tell himself, was the moment his opponent gained the advantage. He knew this well, often carefully picking words himself to infuriate his opposer. Anger shut off rationality, he believed.

A stoic, Mista was often referred to by his colleagues. Retaining his calm, easy nature wasn’t an easy feat, even when he was face to face with one of the most demonic, feral creatures on the planet, vampires.

If one thing could break Mista’s stone face, it was those things. Irritation prickled at the mere thought of a vampire. They looked so sickly, yet they were so dangerous. They may be humanoid, but they were far from it. The eerie shade of white that made up their skin resembled a ghost better than it did a person. Unnatural, terrifying hues of their eyes elicited fear throughout the hearts of mortals. Their slightly pointed incisors, which were more pearly than a man could ever manage, were just the most frightening parts of these monsters. One wrong step from anyone and those swift creatures would strike, ripping through the skin on their neck like a mad dog. They were more bloodthirsty than any other animal after man could ever be. They were the most horrid creatures on the planet. No beast could ever rival the disgusting essence of a vampire.

To save humanity, Mista murdered these things. By no means, he would say, did these brutes deserve to linger after death in an otherwise beautiful world. They were devils, easily tearing apart families and starving off children just for their own amusement or “survival.” They were purely pests, something that should be eradicated for the greater good.

Dusk was beginning to settle in. The sun lowered off in the horizon, followed by transforming shades of yellow, orange, red, and blue. Stars awakened in the growing night sky. A gentle breeze rolled by, rustling the leaves of the trees and the grass to create one of the most soothing songs nature could offer. This landscape was only a passing beauty to the reality of Mista’s end destination.

One of the more infamous vampires had been spotted in a sleepy neighborhood just inside of Napoli. He was, if Mista could remember his name correctly, Giorno Giovanna, more notorious as being DIO’s son than actually being deadly. DIO was one of the most wretched beings known to ever walk. He’s taken countless lives, whether they be from the innocent or from hunters that attempted to pursue him.

Mista looked down when the surface under his feet became more firm and uneven. He was walking along some cobblestone road now. Looking up, he was able to confirm to himself that his was the location he was meant to be.

With the night settled in, most of the windows present from all the brick, stone, and wooden homes were dark, besides the occasional light glowing from afar. There wasn’t an ounce of noise coming from any of these homes, unlike the rest of Napoli, which was quite alive at every hour with chatter, busy movement, and flashing lights. The quiet atmosphere of this place was perfect to listen for a nocturnal predator, or any evidence of their murders.

Mista’s pace slowed down to a slow talk, padding along the stone roads, even diverting off of the road and onto the grass to further limit the sound of his soft, leather boots tapping against the ground. The most troubling thing about staying quiet were the various tools strapped over his shoulder and on his waist. Everything shook with Mista’s movement, even if it was attached as tightly as Mista could manage. He could at least save one thing, a silver crucifix on a chain, which he shoved under his attire.

A chilly wind brushed by, though Mista hardly felt it. He had several layers of clothing, covering up every inch of skin besides his face. His shirts, sweaters, and coat were darker in color to blend in with the night, though that seemed useless, as vampires could see in the night. Though his outfit also matched the color of his eyes and hair, which were either black of a very pigmented brown.

Mista continued to slink around the town, though nothing was happening. His heart drummed against his chest harder with each passing second. Sweat rolled down his skin and all over his clothes as his legs felt lighter with every pace forward. His breathing was forcefully steadied. That vampire could be anywhere. With nothing going on, the anticipation prickling at Mista’s being was awfully strong.

Before the silence grew too pressing, a high-pitched, blood curdling scream ripped through the air. Mista shot his head up as he practically leaped toward the sound. His hand threw part of his coat aside to rest carefully on a revolver that was strapped to his waist. It was a beautiful revolver, for its metallic sheen was unrivaled to anything else out there. While bullets could not kill a vampire, they could slow one down enough to be slain.

Blood splashed in front of Mista’s feet, He scanned his area as quickly and carefully as possible. More crimson stains were appearing, to Mista’s slight disgust. Vampires were cruel; they indulge upon the struggles of their victims like a sadist. Nonetheless, Mista followed the traces of his slaughtered brethren. His eyes narrowed as he drew his revolver out of his belt. He finger already slid over the trigger, ready to shoot.

A sudden blur in the shadow behind a building, and Mista’s arm shot up with lightning speeds, pulling down on the trigger as well. No time was wasted to investigate if he hit anything or not, though to his relief, a very pained hiss echoed off of the walls and directly into his ears. He sprinted forward, turning the corner of the home, though nothing was there. All that remained was a very dark shade of blood, the deep red color of a vampire, though he wasn’t sure if it was is intended target.

There was no time to celebrate, or to wonder how nobody woke up. The vampire was shot, but any hesitation was just extra time for those hellspawn to recover. More hisses traveled through the air, just above Mista. He looked up.

Staring right back down of him were the unmistakable scarlet eyes of a vampire. He could only process those cat-like eyes narrowed into slits before the shape disappeared again. Mista cursed under his breath. “That bastard still got onto the roofs.”

Mista could hear each slam the nimble vampire made up against the rooved of the homes. It was obvious that he wasn’t very graceful, to to an injury from the gun. Mista rushed to follow the sound, grabbing onto a delicate glass bottle with a cross engraved on it. The glass was meant to be broken so its contents, a clear liquid dubbed ‘Holy Water’, would spill out. However, it was difficult to track the vampire when he was constantly moving. There wasn’t any particular pattern the creature was going in, just whatever roof was closer. His blood spilt off of the roofs, staining the shingles with an ugly red.

The vampire’s eyes softly glowed. That’s when Mista learned where his next move would be. Those fierce eyes darted around, locking in on one place before leaping. Mista followed the vampire’s gaze before he threw the vial onto the vampire’s next roof as he was into the air.

The vampire couldn’t change his direction, he fell right onto the damp spot on the roof, growling violently as he scrambled off. Mist rose up from his body as the purity of the water was likely eating away his corrupt being. He fell down on his side, the moonlight beaming down on him. From then, Mista could see who he really was.

Only a glimpse at the fallen form and Mista knew it was Giorno Giovanna. Not many vampires had blonde hair, though DIO and his offspring were recognized for it. There were a few things on the vampire Mista would’ve never guessed he had, such as the brilliant red ladybug brooches on his black suit. Why would a creature of death and despair sport an emblem of life? Mista asked himself, not being able to answer his own question.

He then aimed his gun once again at Giorno, but before he could pull the trigger, Giorno jumped away. The spot of blood left wasn’t as defined as the spots on the roof.

He’s healing. Mista growled out loud in frustration. He could faintly hear the fizzle of the Holy Water burning away at Giorno’s skin. As stealthy as an owl, Mista tracked the noise.

Mista ended up circling around a house before he met up with Giorno right where he started. The vampire’s eyes were narrowed, now more resembling a snake than a cat. He bared his fangs and drew his lip back in a low snarl. To Mista, this meant that Giorno was done trying to run. Likely, only of of them was going to walk out alive.

And it’s going to be. Mista could feel the kindling flame of determination in his gut as his revolver was secured back into its original place. Giorno was going to be much closer now. There was no need for a ranged weapon. He instead flipped out a wooden stake, but by no means was it just a filmy piece of wood. The tip was carefully sharpened, four sides of it leading up to one point. Its hilt was engraved with the cross on all of its sides. The dark wood was concealed by the night, though Giorno’s enhanced vision likely enabled him to see it.

The vampire wearily looked down at Mista’s hand, though the hesitation was only for a split moment before he hopped forward, slamming his weight into Mista.

There was no way that the hunter could resist the strength of a vampire, even with one as small as Giorno. Mista rolled on the floor, clenching onto a fistful of Giorno’s black and red cape before twisting his arm around to impale the vampire with the stake.

Giorno was no longer in his grasp. Only a cape was left in his previous spot. Mista could barely comprehend what happened, but he assumed that Giorno unbuttoned the cloth before disappearing out of sight.

Where’d he go? Where’d he go?! Mista was frantic. He needed to find Giorno before the vampire pulled some unexpected maneuver and murdered him. Mista was a champion. He had never not killed a vampire he spotted. Some little brat of DIO wasn’t going to break that record. Mista threw the cape to the side, clenching his teeth together in a mix of fear and exasperation. He was gradually realizing that now Giorno had left, he had the advantage. Mista was blind to the whereabouts of the vampire while the monster could track his every step.

So damn elusive. Sometimes, these vermin act like they’re rarer than Bigfoot. Mista scowled, digging around on his tool belt for his second, but not final, vial of Holy Water. Wherever he saw movement or those savage red eyes, Mista was going to chuck the damn bottle as though it were on fire.

Scarlet eyes flashed at Mista from the shadows and the bottle was hurled. The shatter of glass was identified, but there were no pained growls or hissing.

Mista still waited. The air around him as silent, almost too silent. The beating of his adrenaline-rushed heart was the loudest thing in his ears. Second was his slightly labored breathing from chasing Giorno around the houses. Nothing was moving, after that. Terror rose in Mista in a steady stream. After what felt like a few hours, the fear crashed down like a wave, no longer present.

He lowered his arm, retiring the stake before turning around to find some sort of resting place within the tired town. Giorno had to have left. He wouldn’t wait that long to strike, at least not to what Mista knew of him.

All he ever heard of Giorno was something along the lines of “impatient, cocky brat, like his dad”. Mista never doubted these claims, but he never fully trusted them either. He sighed, dragging his heavy feet along the floor.

He was still very much wary. He never caught a day’s rest of relaxation, not even during the broad daylight. Vampires were, though Mista hated to admit it, cunning. They could shove themselves in a variety of situations just to slay someone.

Though Mista was dejected. He had just promised himself for, in his entire career, to never miss a vampire while hunting. In attempts to cheer himself up, he told himself, “I’ll get him next time” or “It doesn’t have to take just one day...right?”

In all honesty, Mista really couldn’t be sure. Giorno was far more attentive than the average vampire. Those crimson eyes, Mista noticed, were always locked on him. They were truly like a feline’s, narrowed, dangerous, hungry, and always observant.

All Mista wanted was a moment of sleep. He adapted himself to a very nocturnal lifestyle, but dawn was breaking soon. With Giorno of his sight and with him free from injury, the best thing Mista could think of doing at the moment was rest.

Chapter Text

The next day passed in a blink. Mista entered an inn at an unusually late time, got a room, and crashed until dusk was about to settle. Mista carried cash in his pockets for situations like this, quickly thanking the receptionist before scurrying out.

He expected Giorno to return. Usually, vampires came back to the same place to feed over and over until they either murdered everyone, or the people moved away. However, it would also be smart for Giorno to avoid this area, since he had knowledge of Mista’s presence.

After leaving the inn, Mista patrolled around the neighborhood. Darkness gradually swallowed every house, road, and tree. It would soon become the perfect time for vampires to creep around.

Mista immediately slid out the revolver from its holster, rummaging around in one of the bags on his shoulder strap and pulled out a bullet, loading it into the one empty chamber in his revolver before clicking his gun back together, pulling the hammer down. Another tense waiting game was about to ensue. That was always the case when waiting around for vampires. They were literal snakes—incredibly dangerous and careful, lurking around in the shadows to find the perfect moment to sink their fangs into someone.

The hair was rising on Mista’s neck as his steps became more cautious around the buildings. Sweat collected on his face, mainly on his forehead, despite the chilled air in the night. He shivered, though whether it was from the cold or from something else was unknown to him. He steered clear of any place that was too dark for him to see clearly. Giorno could be in those places and him blindly wandering near the creature was a death sentence.

In Mista’s opinion, the waiting was the worst part of being a hunter. Their lives were on the line in face-offs against bloodsuckers; however, the expectation of being lunged at and bitten constantly being played in Mista’s head, but the event never happening, was something more terrifying than any vampire, even if it had the most dastardly appearance or unusually long and sharp fangs.

Giorno was horror-striking on his own. From their clash, Mista realized how cunning of a vampire he was. He was agile and his instincts were incredibly keen. While DIO was a lion, huge, ferocious, and something everyone feared, Giorno more resembled a smaller cat. While at first glance, not inherently dangerous, he might be even more frightening to his prey.

“You’re back, then?” A frigid voice suddenly sounded. Mista was almost dizzy whipping his head around to see the immediate source.

It was Giorno. He was propped up against the wall of a home that was located behind from where Mista was originally facing. The vampire’s eyes were far from pleased to be seeing Mista again.

Though he felt the same when locking eyes with Giorno. Mista was not at all happy looking at Giorno relax up against the stone wall like he owned it. Usually, Mista could immediately kill any vampire, but Giorno didn’t seem just like any vampire.

Strong fathers have strong offspring, I suppose, Mista told himself. He knew he was skilled, but seeing Giorno still “alive” was a small blow into Mista’s pride. He promised himself before that Giorno couldn’t escape him. The vampire now wouldn’t have a chance.

However, Giorno didn’t even try to move from his spot. He broke eye contact to calmly check his nails which were, like any other undead creature, freakishly long.

Is he underestimating me? Mista forced his rage down with a hard swallow as the arm with the revolver slowly took aim on Giorno. He partially hid his weapon to prevent the creature from noticing, but also to still be able to shoot. His arrogance will be his weakness.

Though before Mista could shoot, he desperately needed luck. He silently murmured a prayer for God to bless his shot for not only the sake of him, but the entire human race as well. He finished it up swiftly pointing the sign of the cross and an “Amen.”

Mista’s first bullet ripped through in the air towards Giorno. His arm bounced back from the recoil, but having shot it so many times, he could easily recover. His arm would instinctively move in the direction Giorno would decide to dart to first.

Giorno darted away from the building and Mista fired his second shot just a bit in front of Giorno’s current position so that when it was close enough to Giorno, it would surely hit him.

The bullet tore through Giorno’s upper arm, possibly digging through his chest. Giorno hissed out, more in anger than in actual pain. He faced Mista, baring his fangs like a wild animal before darting away behind some houses like a rat.

Mista rushed after him immediately, following the sickening trail of blood left from Giorno. He was hoping that it wasn’t Giorno’s plan to just sprint around all of these homes until Mista’s stamina ran out, which then the vampire could easily kill him without concern of Mista’s sharp reflexes to stab or shoot him again.

He stopped running, padding towards the streets of the town and waiting there instead. He knew that Giorno would heal, but Mista couldn’t just let the vampire wittle him down. There was also the off chance of Giorno running away again. Mista’s heart sank at the thought. That would be a huge blast in his pride.

With a newfound determination to preserve his honor, he tracked the splotches of blood once again. The stains were getting smaller and less frequent on the ground, but that didn’t matter. A blow to the chest wasn’t going to slow down anything that didn’t need to breathe.

A snarl radiated through the air. Mista couldn’t tell exactly where it was coming from, but he skidded to a halt immediately, desperately trying to locate the exact source.

Vampires really art just wild animals, Mista told himself. All of these disgusting noises...and they solely rely on their teeth and claws, despite having hands.

But vampires were too smart to be feral as well. That was the conflicting thing about those creatures. They had the natural behaviors of some drooling animal, but the wit of man. Well, whatever they are, they’re still murders.
Mista twisted his entire body around to see Giorno approaching him. His scarlet eyes shone softly under the new moon. They weren’t bright for long as his gaze constricted, making the lunge towards Mista.

He wasn’t entirely sure how he was able to rapidly switch out his gun for his stake, but it wasn’t only a surprise to him, but Giorno as well, who stomped down on one foot to seize his being up, now standing closer to Mista, but far away enough to avoid the stake.

And the two were now only looking at each other. Mista was tense, both physically and mentally. He wanted to move forward and stab that vile beast before he could react, but he forced himself back. Vampires were superior to humans physically. Mista just needed to outsmart Giorno.

The vampire seemed impossible to phase through. He was intelligent enough to flee last night, and was likely holding off on his own killer urges now. Mista hated to admit it, but Giorno had the upper hand. Mista was locked into place, only ready to spring into action when Giorno initiated an attack. He could force Mista to stay there for the rest of the night and the next day if he wished, if it wasn’t for his species’ weakness to sunlight.

Mista swallowed back his anxiety and stood patiently. There would be a time where Giorno couldn’t resist the urge to sink his fangs into something. Did he already eat someone? Mista wasn’t entirely sure.

Giorno then finally bolted towards Mista. He drew up his arms to block him from any direct strike the vampire would try to make, tightly gripping onto his stake, pointing it towards him. Now Giorno couldn’t just directly fall forward, unless he wanted to get impaled.

Giorno gripped onto Mista’s shoulders and locked up his arms. His grasp was nearly bone-crushing. Mista was doing his best to keep his face from controting in the excruciating hold. It didn’t last long, as Giorno pushed himself away using Mista’s body. The vampire’s strength sent him tumbling down, rolling along the floor as dust kicked up in his movement. Mista turned his body, planting a foot on the floor and heaving himself up with his arms.

By that time, Giorno was gone. Ah, shit. Mista was at the vampire’s mercy. He was anywhere in this town, watching and waiting for Mista to screw up so he could deliver a killing blow. Mista’s entire body was as light as a feather, energy filling up his very being until it became painful to just kneel there. He was ready to run. His heart battered up against his chest with a rapid, consistent thumping. He had to wait, though. If he ran, he’d be like some measly rabbit compared to a might hawk.

Giorno wasn’t coming out. Mista didn’t want to believe that he escaped once again, that he was only stalking from the shadows, but Mista knew that was a possibility. The wind blowing up against his sweat-soaked face was chilling. Being there, just waiting for the vampire to show his vile face again was unbearable. Mista was still desperate to run, but the moment he picked his feet up was the moment he signed his life away to Giorno. Mista clenched his teeth, keeping himself from physically expressing his growing frustration about the stupid situation he was in. As he always told himself, anger lead to unsound ideas.

His arm lowered unconsciously. That sealed his fate.

Giorno emerged from behind him, slamming into the hunter and tumbling them both onto the floor. Giorno’s hiss was furious as he was wrestling with Mista on the ground, all the while trying to avoid the stake in Mista’s hand. The vampire thought it would be an easy solution to just get that arm away by restraining it against the floor, but how wrong he was. Mista’s other hand easily fished out another vial of Holy Water he always kept on him. His thumb popped off the cork with ease before he spilled the contents out towards Giorno.

He scrambled away, but some of the pure substance caught onto his clothes, lapping away at his unholy skin with a sizzle. Giorno growled, shaking off as much as the water as possible, but it would still eat away at him for a few more seconds.

Mista was at lead protected by the puddle that formed around him. His wrist still ached from Giorno squeezing onto it, but there wasn’t time to worry about that. He dug around for his revolver.

Giorno likely sensed the danger in that, so he snatched onto a portion of Mista’s arm, digging his fingers through enough to barely tear at the leather before hauling him out of the spot and throwing him up against the building of a nearby house. Mista wasn’t given any time to react before Giorno seized him, holding down his limbs using the entirety of his body.

Mista struggled, but it was useless. God, save me please, he silently prayed. Now, he was being forced to look up at that vampire’s face.

There were a lot of things Mista didn’t notice before about Giorno while fighting. His skin resemble more closely to a porcelain doll rather than some sick creature. It looked incredibly smooth, even with the little Mista could see of it. Giorno’s hair was a striking gold color. Mista thought it should be illegal for something so wretched to have lockes so sacred, almost angelic. Giorno’s red eyes didn’t seem so daunting anymore. They were much softer now. Even with the color being abnormal, Mista found that gaze absolutely stunning.

“You’ve lost, hunter.” Giorno’s voice was firm, yet its edge was intoxicating. “You’re the first hunter to trouble me like this. In your honor, I’ll allow you some final words.” Suddenly, Giorno’s body was more pressing against Mista’s. “Well?”

At first, Mista didn’t say anything. What could he say? He was going to die anyways, and it likely didn’t matter to this vampire what he said, but when Giorno’s glare hardened, Mista just had to say the first thing that came out of his mind. “It’s really ironic.” He watched the vampire’s eyes widen in surprise. “You’re the devil, a literal demon, something that should have never plagued this world, yet you look so much like an angel; one that’s going to lead me straight to Heaven.”

Neither of them moved for a bit. They only looked at each other. Mista could notice the stunned expression on Giorno’s face. He didn’t really know what the vampire was thinking, but he assumed that Giorno wasn’t expecting that, and he was likely offended.

Suddenly, Giorno was laughing. It was honestly startling Mista at how much something that had no air could cackle so much and so loudly. Mista’s face was heating up, most likely in embarrassment. He knew what he said was stupid, but this reaction wasn’t deserved.

“You’ve amused me, hunter.” It was Mista’s turn to be shocked. “I’m immortal, I’ll have seen a lot of things, but I don’t know if any other of your kind will have been able to entertain me like this.” Mista couldn’t even think as Giorno continued speaking. “I’ll spare your life, but on one condition.” He narrowed his eyes as he shifted himself off of Mista. “Do not pursue me with an intent to kill me. If you do, I will slay you. Understand?”

Mista nodded quickly. Holy shit. He could barely process what even went on. He had me...he was going to kill me...he didn’t… The ideas didn’t even make sense to him in his head.

“It’s been nice knowing you.” Giorno stood up, turning his back towards Mista. “I doubt we’ll meet again.” He was then calmly leaving the scene. His cape billowed as he moved.

“Wait.” Mista wasn’t even entirely sure why that left him. Giorno had halted, turning around with an expectant gaze. Mista had to say something now. “Can I see you again? I want to talk.” Mista would slap himself in the face just for even thinking that, let alone saying it. Giorno was a vampire, Mista was a hunter. This arrangement was forbidden, but not only Mista’s morals, but Giorno’s as well.

However, the vampire didn’t mind the question. “Then where will we meet up? At what time?”

“Here, tomorrow night.” Mista sounded so desperate . It was degrading hearing his own voice right now.

Giorno didn’t speak for a few seconds, likely considering Mista’s conditions. Those seconds, however, felt like minutes to Mista, who really wanted to leave to save himself from his own shame.

“I accept those terms,” Giorno pronounced. “However, if you’re just saying that to try and kill me, it won’t work. If you aren’t, then I won’t have intentions to either. We’ll have one night of peace.”

Mista genuinely wasn’t looking towards killing Giorno anyways, but it was a relief he wouldn’t be interested in tearing out his throat either.

Mista might’ve made the offer to meet, but Giorno was so demanding. Usually, Mista hated those kinds of people, but one, Giorno wasn’t even a person. Two, he was pretty, so he might be forgiven.

No, what am I thinking? What did I just agree to? Mista harshly asked himself as Giorno finally retreated into the shade. This is so wrong, sinful, unholy. He’s a vampire, a cursed being. Mista signed, leaning up against the wall of the building he was previously pressed up against. He’d definitely be bruised later from all the violent handling. But at the same time, I’m looking forward to this...Lord, forgive me.

Chapter Text

In all honesty, Mista wasn’t even sure if yesterday’s events were actually real. It all passed by him like a dream—a situation so unthinkable it never even occurred to him that it could happen. Did he actually seduce a vampire? With a line so stupid? He’d still smack himself for whatever came out of his mouth, but at least it allowed him to continue on with life for, at least, a few more days.

Mista had moved himself back into the heart of Napoli, where his permanent home was. It was a small space, but Mista didn’t particularly mind as he usually wasn’t present in his home. Because of that, it was either entirely neat and clean from Mista organizing it and going on, possibly for weeks, never touching it, or it was messy from weeks of him not cleaning it. At least the space was cheap and easy enough to maintain.

He was looking himself over in a full body mirror. It’s been forever since he looked so friendly. Dark blue jeans draped over his legs—loose, but fitting. All of his tools were draped over his bed. They wouldn’t be needed, at least not tonight. He only had one belt left; the one to hold up his pants. A cotton, light orange, mid-sleeved shirt went over his torso. On top of that was a plaid, navy colored jacket. It was all horribly thin, save the pants. Mista never felt so unprotected since he was just a young kid.

He ran a single hand through his short, black curls, fluffing his hair out a bit. He was able to clean himself off earlier from all the sweat, so at least he wasn’t incredibly sticky anymore. Maybe that’d save Giorno from odor as well (though Mista wasn’t entirely sure if vampires could smell anything other than blood.)

It then struck him: what if Giorno didn’t plan to come at all? Dread sank down to Mista’s stomach at the thought, but he shook it off. Giorno’s tone made him sound like he was certain to come. Even if he didn’t, Mista wouldn’t care, right? Giorno was just some vampire. That didn’t matter.

Mista’s room gradually grew darker. Night was taking its hold over Italy. He had to move. He took a final glance at all of his tools and weapons, but pried himself away from them as he slipped out of the door. There were, in Mista’s head, two possible outcomes. The first one was that he would somehow end up in a pleasant conversation with the vampire. The second, which he found more likely, was that Giorno would end up slaughtering him anyways, despite the previous promise.

 

Mista had not noticed before, but the path from his home to the smaller town was not long. The grass would’ve tickled up against Mista’s feet, if not for the thick leather boots that protected his feet. It was horribly out of place, but they were the only good shoes Mista could wear.

The dim lights from windows drew Mista towards the town once again like a moth to a flame. The wind that brushed past him was less bearable with the thinner layers he equipped. He had never even noticed before how cold the autumn winds could be, as he was usually nice and snug under a thick sweater and heavy coat.

When he stepped foot into the town, he searched around for familiar areas. Giorno’s blood, which now looked completely black against the surfaces it dried on, was splattered around in a few places. Those wouldn’t do good. They were trying to meet in peace, not recollect on their earlier confrontations.

Mista eventually stopped in a place where no traces of their fights occurred. To his left was a forest. It was all far too dark for him to even see through. To his left was the town, but more specifically, the stone walls of a home. Whoever they were, they were probably nice and relaxed, sleeping soundly while Mista’s hands grew damp from his nervous sweating.

A rustle was heard from the forest area. Mista whipped his head around instinctively, bunching himself up in preparation to spring or run away (though most likely for the latter, as Mista didn’t have anything that could protect him.) He relaxed slightly, seeing who emerged from the bushes.

It was Giorno. He was wearing the same thing as yesterday, which Mista could examine now that he wasn’t constantly darting around. He had something like a suit, more than anything. It was black in color. Gold surrounded the edges of the suits, cuffs, the window around his chest, and the zippers. The ladybug brooches, which Mista noted before, were a red, slightly pink color. His cape was buttoned with an amulet—which was a red dot with simple, gold bat wings. The cape’s collar had, almost ironically, red bird-like wings on them. It dropped all the way down to his ankles, the interior red while the exterior was black. The cap must’ve covered the rest of Giorno’s otherwise exposed chest.

“Uh...hi,” Mista murmurs. Why the fuck am I being a dumbass now? He couldn’t really be mad at himself now.

“I didn’t expect you’d come.” Giorno leaned down on a nearby tree. “I assumed that you would’ve just said that to distract me so you could call up other hunter vermin to try and kill me. I even debated on not even showing up to prevent that, but…” He eyes Mista, up and down. “You don’t seem like you have anything to try and exterminate me.” He then narrows his eyes. “Are you alone?”

“Yes, I am!” Mista answered quickly, though he must’ve sounded so desperate, since Giorno’s glare remained unchanged. Mista coughs a bit, straightening himself up and then clarifying, “Nobody else is here with me. I’ve come alone, since I don’t know if any of my buddies would be into conversation.”

Giorno’s eyes reverted to something more normal. “I’ll believe you.” He opened his mouth to speak again, but Mista unintentionally interrupted him.

“I wasn’t really thinking you were gonna come, either,” Mista admitted. “Just didn’t think some immortal monster had ‘no time,’ or something like that to talk to someone.”

“And why do you think that?” Giorno questioned, still rested up against his tree. “Do you believe that it is because we don’t die, we have no time for anything?”

“Not...exactly. ‘S just you don’t really want to associate with man, don’t ya? Vampires are stronger and…” He trailed off. Finishing his thought was awfully tricky.

“So you’re admitting we’re better than you?”

Mista was suddenly alarmed. “I didn’t say that! Vampires ain’t better than anything.”

“But you’ve just said that we’re stronger,” Giorno emphasized. “You’re not wrong, we have more physical capabilities than you humans. Does that not make us better?”

“No,” Mista stated firmly. He really wished he felt as confident as he sounded. “Your kind are murderers, demons. You’ve only existed for human suffering.”

“And who told you that?” Mista really didn’t like how pushy Giorno was.

“God’s teaching.” That was the only this Mista could answer with true confidence.

“But you don’t mind the slaughter of the cattle that feed you?” Mista fell silent as Giorno continued. “Are you not their murderers? What difference does the loss of a human life compare to one of a cow, hunter?”

“Cows aren’t intelligent.” Mista was fidgeting around with his hands. “They don’t know about death, Heaven, or even Hell. They are born, they breed, then they die. They don’t live , if you know what I’m saying. They don’t do anything else other than those three things. They ain’t smart enough for that. People care about what happens later. We get hurt much easier and our emotions and conscious go further than a cows’.”

“Intelligence is what determines murder from survival, then?” Giorno seemed to nod in agreement. “You are correct. The predator needs to be just a bit smarter than the prey to catch and kill them.”

He can’t be implying… Cold sweat dripped down his entire body.

“Humans are smarter than the species that they kill.” Mista was not liking where this was going. “This applies to anything, from the animals you farm to the ones that are feral. However, this also applies to the relationship that us vampires have with you.”

“You’re telling me that you’re smarter? ” Mista would hate for someone to look down upon his intelligence like that, but Giorno was far too terrifying to actually oppose.

“Precisely.” Giorno smiled darkly. “Even if you aren’t as brilliant, you’re a clever one.” He pushed himself off of the tree, walking closer to Mista.

“How so?” Mista muttered.

“Most hunters can’t even scratch me,” Giorno began to explain. “You’ve shot and doused me twice, though granted, it didn’t kill me. That’s all anyone will ever be able to do to me, though.”

Giorno was horribly arrogant, Mista realized. People say his dad is overly confident...is that where he gets his attitude?

Despite his worry, Mista found it in himself to make a rebuttal. “We’ve been able to kill your kind off. I’ve signed myself up to specifically do it and I haven’t failed…” He added the next part quietly, “...until now.”

“Then you were just more keen than whoever you faced off,” Giorno chimed. “I might’ve implied that I meant every vampire, but that wasn’t what I meant at all. Generally we’re smarter than humans.”

“You don’t care about your own kind, do you?” Mista couldn’t really think Giorno was heartless because of that. There were lots of animals that just left other members of their species to die unless they were in some part of family.

“No, not really,” Giorno said bluntly. “They don’t affect me, so why should I care?”

Do they not have empathy? Mista wondered.

“By the way...I don’t believe I have your name.” Giorno’s posture dropped slightly as his eyes were more rounded, softer. “Well? What is it?”

“Mista…Guido Mista…” He coughed a bit. “But why would you want to know? I thought you were all high and mighty.”

“It’s repetitive to just keep referring to you as ‘hunter’ or ‘human,’” Giorno pointed out. “I hate repetition. It’s useless.”

“It gets stupid sometimes.” Mista couldn’t believe himself right now. Agreeing with a vampire? Over something so stupid as a pet peeve? “There’s some dumbass back where I come from that might as well be considered legally deaf. He makes you repeat whatever you’re saying

‘Till your throat is dry or you give up trying with him.”

“Is he deaf? Or is he just stupid?” Giorno somehow managed to inch himself closer.

“Probably stupid,” Mista chuckled a little. “I called him deaf, but he can hear rather well...guess he just chooses not to sometimes.”

“Is he a brother?”

“No, a colleague.”

“If you like him, make sure he doesn’t try and chase me down. I might’ve promised to spare your life, but that doesn’t apply to anyone else.” Giorno grinned a bit. “You’re just special.”

“Jeez, thanks,” Mista replied, a bit sarcastically. “I doubt you’d run into him, anyways. He chickened out when your name was brought up.”

“When my name was brought up?” Giorno emphasised, though he sounded more curious than anything.”

“Yeah, a system on how we choose who takes what hunt,” Mista slightly clarified. He didn’t think it would be beneficial to his church if the vampire knew who got picked next.

Fortunately, Giorno didn’t pry into it. “Well aren’t you lucky? You’ve met up with me.” He whipped his head up and puffed out his chest, his braid falling neatly over his shoulder. He laughed right afterwards, the show obviously being a joke, but Mista was entranced by it anyways. How the hell is a vampire so physically attractive? And he’s not a complete brat…

“Luckiest man alive,” Mista continued.

“You’re more amusing than I thought you’d be,” Giorno admitted. “I didn’t assume that light night was the peak of your charisma, but you’ve surpassed by expectations.”

Mista gulped nervously. He was complimenting him. In a bizarre way, of course, but a compliment nonetheless. If something that felt so superior could stoop to that level, Mista must’ve done something right. “Yeah and you weren’t exactly as...bad as I thought you’d be.”

Even with Mista’s shitty reply, Giorno still smiled. He had a youthful essence to him, something that Mista couldn’t comprehend his feelings about.

“Your eyes…” Giorno then reached out, taking Mista’s face in his hand before pulling him down, staring directly into only one of his eyes. “Does your race usually have black eyes? I’ve never seen it before.”

Mista was comprehending how Giorno was touching him. His hand was deathly cold, like one of a corpse. His hand was holding onto Mista so gently. Was the vampire scared of hurting him? Probably not, he just didn’t feel like being rough, likely. Even with how cold and unpleasant that hand was, Mista wanted more.

“Well?” He then realized he hasn’t said anything to Giorno at all.

“Well, no,” Mista finally answered. “My eyes are a pretty dark brown...wouldn’t call it black.”

“Well they are pretty,” Giorno smirked. He still broke off into giggling afterwards.

It was all a joke. That was fine. They couldn’t have much of a relationship, after all. They were sworn enemies. Mista got himself into the vampire hunting profession. It wasn’t right to just befriend one.

Giorno then released Mista, who immediately shot up straight. His hand unconsciously brushed the cheek the vampire just held, savoring the last few moments of the bitter, yet pleasant cold.

“The sun will rise soon,” Giorno announced. “Because of that, I do have to go. There’s no time for much of a farewell.” He turned around.

“Wait.” When Giorno flipped back, Mista found himself drawing the emotions of last night. Was he really doing this again? Was he still going to talk to a vampire? Get friendly with one? My the Lord, it was so wrong, so sinful. He didn’t know what was urging him forward, but he continued. “We should meet again, somewhere else, maybe?”

“Like what?” The urgency in Giorno’s voice was painfully obvious it could stab Mista physically.

“I guess my house,” Mista decided. “I’ll show you tomorrow...we can meet here again then leave.”

Giorno briskly nodded. Mista could only hold those crimson eyes for a second longer before the vampire darted away into the fading shadows.

God, what have I gotten myself into?

Chapter Text

Mista might’ve spent way too much time actually cleaning his place up. Everything was pushed up neatly to the walls of his home, either in a shelf or in a box. Every speck of dust was wiped away and tossed out. He tidied his house up before, but he’d never seen it so polished. It disturbed him how he was able to organize it all. His home contained many artifacts, from books, clothings, and other junk Mista assumed was useful at one point.

Am I crazy? He suddenly asked himself, no longer impressed with his own work. Of course I’m not. He hasn’t tried to murder me already...still… He gripped onto his forehead in slight frustration. It wouldn’t be too late to suggest somewhere else, would it? His eyes darted around. No, it is. There’s no time for me to just wander. He could still just search  this place around...Lord, why didn’t I think this through? He only knew that something was up with him; he couldn’t quite put his finger on where it all started.

Mista shrugged it all off. The sun phased out from behind the horizon, making way for the moon and stars. He needed to leave.

He hastily stepped outside, forcing himself to slow down on the ground below. He didn’t want to rile himself up. If he did, that would be similar to giving himself away to frustration. Emotions couldn’t influence his decisions.

“Mista!” A voice suddenly pierced through the air. With not even a flinch, he turned himself towards the sound. It was by instinct for him to turn to anything unusual, but he knew that voice was familiar.

Striding towards him was a face he knew too well, Bruno Bucciarati. Delicate white robes draped over the entirety of his body, covering every inch of skin except for his face and neck. A glittery gold lined the edges of the cloth. A heavier piece went over his shoulders, singling out to a thinner line near the bottom of his feet. Gold crosses were embroidered on the shoulders and near the bottom of the heavier piece. A small smile was on his face.

“Hey.” Mista was aware that he should have not been so casual with this individual in particular, but he didn’t think Bucciarati cared.

“What are you wearing?” Bruno inquired, eyeing up and down Mista’s more casual attire. “You’ll get killed if you go out like that, you know this!”

Mista rubbed the back of his head. He felt more like a child being scolded by his mother more than anything. The heat rose up to his face in embarrassment. “I wanted to walk around a little, before I started hunting.” A lie, but he didn’t think he was obvious.

“Have you found him yet?” Mista knew that Bucciarati was talking about Giorno.

“I have, but he keeps getting away,” Mista reported. It was half true. “He’s sly. I’ll get him eventually, though.”

“It’s been four days, Mista,” Bucciarati softly reminded. “That’s unusually long.”

“Well Giorno’s a tricky bas-...one.” Mista quickly corrected himself when he saw Bruno narrow his eyes.

“You have around a week left,” Bucciarati stated. “After that, someone else is going to have to take this hunt.”

“I’m trying here, I really am.” Mista swiveled to start walking away again.

“At least have more protective clothing!” Bucciarati called out after him. “And your tools! Any vampire would take advantage of your current outfit.”

Mista couldn’t just deny him. He was right, vampires usually striked individuals wandering around at their lonesome. Mista knew that Giorno would be suspicious if he wore his hunting attire, so he had to get creative.

He slipped back inside of his home. He only grabbed onto his leather jacket, carefully emptying out whatever was in its pockets before sliding it over his shoulders. He buttoned it up completely, hiding his standard shirt and pants below.

He stepped back out, but Bucciarati was still there.

“It’s kinda cold,” Mista said as an excuse for his buttoned coat.

“I suppose you’re right.” Bucciarati held his hand up to the air, catching a fistful of wind. “God bless you, Mista.”

“God bless,” Mista repeated before he and Bucciarati went their separate ways.

 

The recent conversation with Bucciarati arose a pressing question in Mista’s mind: what if someone found out Mista had been talking to the very vampire he was meant to kill? Uneasiness swarmed in his stomach as he paced along towards where Giorno would be. Mista never thought things through unless it came to hunting. It was a source of his peers’ amusement sometimes, how simple Mista could really be. He’d usually just shrug it off and laugh with them, but this was different. A positive relationship, even a small one, with a vampire wasn’t something to just laugh about. It was seriously forbidden, such a sin to be even merely acquainted with demon spawn.

But Giorno wasn’t like that, was he? He could hold a conversation at a mortal level, even with his rather large ego. Mista has met people similar to that, but they weren’t entirely assholes. It was terrifying to Mista how he could easily trust Giorno. Is something going on that I’m not aware about? He shivered at the thought. I should be cautious. I really should, but… He couldn’t deny it; he trusted Giorno. His emotions didn’t arise. He was calm. Nothing was able to influence his decision. I’ve made this choice myself. He wanted to feel guilty, but the feeling never pressed around him, coaxing him to turn around. Oh Heavens...this is really just me.

Perhaps, he wasn’t wrong. Choices brought through my emotions were usually incorrect, Mista would say. The fact that he wasn’t feeling wrong may be a sign that what he was doing way okay…

No. Mista shoved that out of his head quickly. He’s a murder. I’m associating with a murderer. Was Mista a sinner?

He never indulged on that question, as Giorno’s glittering ruby eyes flashed right in his direction. The vampire was standing right in front of him, looking up from his nails.

“How long have you been waiting there?” Mista asked.

“A few minutes,” Giorno quickly answered. He was staring intently at the leather coat.

He thinks I’m hiding something. To ease the growing tension, Mista unbuttoned his coat. Giorno visibly tensed up, as if he were expecting some secret weapon to come out.

The leather dropped smoothly around Mista’s shoulders, revealing nothing suspicious.

“So, you said your home, right?” When Mista nodded, Giorno hopped closer, his eyes narrowing.

“...something...wrong…?” Mista couldn’t believe how intense this was getting.

“Tell me, Mista.” Giorno’s voice was oddly aggressive. “Is there anyone waiting for me there? Are there any traps set up for me?”

“Not at all!” It was pathetic how Mista’s voice came out as a yelp.

Giorno didn’t ease in the slightest. His hand pressed against Mista’s stomach before gliding up to his chest, stopping at where around his heart would be. He then looked as if he were waiting for something, but still maintained a deadly glare.

Giorno’s hand was cold. Mista already knew this, but he wasn’t prepared for the shock of it again, especially when the coolness lingered on where Giorno’s hand previously touched. Mista’s heart pounded in his ears like a caged animal desperate to escape from its enclosure. Sweat pooled up everywhere on his body as he forced himself to hold his breath so his fear, if it weren’t already obvious enough, wouldn’t show. He mostly held Giorno’s eyes in his own, but occasionally looked around as well. He wanted something, anything to tell him when this would be over, or if Giorno just wanted to kill him already.

“You’re not lying,” Giorno murmured as he stepped away.

Even as unpleasant as that hand was at first touch, Mista was internally craving for more of it. The chilling hand felt nice against the rest of his heated body.

“So that’s what that was about?” Mista chuckled nervously. “I don’t think anyone would believe me if I told ‘em I got a vampire coming over. Besides, traps are far too expensive.”

“Do you not get paid for hunting?” Giorno had eased up considerably, but there was still a thin line of pressure.

“I get paid a bit for some kills, sure,” Mista started saying. “But that’s still not enough to pay for a whole bunch of UV lights everywhere, or even in just one room. Besides, I’d get burnt for that.”

“Alright, get on with it. Where’s your den?” Was that what vampires called their homes? Mista wasn’t entirely sure about vampire culture, but he could assume.

“Gotta sneak in there,” Mista warned. “If anybody sees you, they’ll kill you. If anybody sees me with you, they’d probably kill me, too.”

“Is that warning just for me, or is it for you?”

“Both of us.”

“I’ll take heed of it. Now, lead the way.”

Mista didn’t have to be told twice. He walked the path that he came from, but now Giorno was following him. He buttoned his coat back up to, once again, hide his clothing.

I’m wrong, Mista told himself. What does he have about him? There’s a certain...temptation…

Mista ignored it for the rest of the walk. The moment he saw his house, he sped up, breaking off into a run to a sprint. He skidded to a halt right before the door, digging in his pants pocket to extract his keys. He opened the door, waiting for Giorno to dash inside before closing and locking it.

“Your dark clothes might’ve actually helped,” Mista commented, now watching Giorno observe the surroundings.

He point to the light. “It’s obviously like the sun...why am I not hurt?”

“The stuff that kills you is UV,” Mista began to explain. “Normal lights don’t shine that stuff. The sun does, as well as some of the lights vampire hunters carry around. I don’t have mine on me”

Giorno reached an arm up, trying to touch the light, but he was too short.

Mista laughed out loud. “It’s pretty hot, if you can touch it.”

“I don’t feel pain.” Giorno nudged Mista right under the light and before he could question anything, the vampire jumped onto his shoulders.

Giorno felt like dead weight. His knees buckled from under him as he quivered from the surprising pressure that came from a being so small and skinny. His breath hitched. What is he doing? Mista couldn’t see. Giorno stepped off of him eventually.

“It is quite warm.” He must’ve touched the light.

“Hey, you didn’t have to step on me,” Mista grumbled, more for show than actual anger.

“What else is there?” Giorno looked around, but then only looked directly under the light once Mista moved away. “There isn’t anything else around.”

“Are you kidding?” Mista gestured to everything he propped up against his walls. “You could’ve moved any of that and I’d be fine.”

“You were the most convenient,” Giorno replied. Now he was interested in everything Mista just pointed to, starting off by looking through the bookshelves.

“Can vampires read?” Mista asked, slowly approaching Giorno.

“I can,” he replied, pulling out a few books, glancing at them, then shoving them back in. He didn’t seem to care how the books were shoved in. Not all the spines were visible anymore. “My father taught me some time ago, but there are some who simply have no interest in reading. Some don’t believe they have that time for recreation.”

“And what do you do?” Mista was organizing his books as Giorno plucked them out. “Surely there’s time during the day, right?”

“There is, but where I stay, there isn’t anything to do,” Giorno said. “There’s a pile of rocks that makes a surprisingly stable cavern I rest in during the day.”

“That sounds pretty bad.” Mista couldn’t imagine living in rocks.

“It really isn’t,” Giorno replied. “I don’t feel pain or discomfort, like humans do. It’s just a shady spot where I’m hidden from the sun.”

“It must be boring, though.”

Giorno shook his head. “I can sleep it off.” He narrows his eyes at Mista. “Your life must be somewhat similar to mine, is it not?”

“What do you mean?” Sweat trickled down the back of his neck.

“You can’t possibly stay awake all day, every day,” Giorno started speaking. “You go out at night to hunt, so all your rest is during the day. I go out at night to feed, or hunt as well, while I sleep during the daytime.”

Mista fell silent. He never really considered he could be similar to a vampire like that, let alone think how he was similar to one at all.

“So are you really much better if you share a similar cycle?” Giorno seemed to challenge.

“Are you?”

“Alright, fine, you have me there,” Giorno huffed, like some pouty child. “I believe I’ve already established why we’re better, though.”

“In your dreams,” Mista retaliated, though he had an obvious playful grin on his face.

“Don’t tell me I’ll have to demonstrate.” It was amazing how quickly Giorno caught on to things.

He’s not too cautious, either, Mista noted. He always is at first, but then it’s like he melts into a more easy state… Giorno might think that this was wrong as well. If he did, he never showed it.

“By the way, how are you sustaining yourself?” Mista followed Giorno as he stepped away from the books and observed more artifacts in Mista’s home. “Like, what are you eating?”

“For this night and the last, I was hunting down other animals.” Giorno grabbed hold of some photo. “I didn’t exactly want to greet you with that, especially if you had happened to carry tools. This night, I assumed the same.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t like that.” Mista strained to look at the picture Giorno was holding. It was a group photo, which Mista recognized as some of his colleagues. “Be careful with that.”

“Who are they?” Giorno was compliant, gently setting the picture back where he first took it from. “I only see you.”

“Some people I’ve worked with,” Mista simply answered. “We only really see each other sparingly now. We all used to be together every day.”

“In like some sort of colony” Giorno inquired.

“More like classes, since we actually had to learn and train before actually killing any vampires.” He looked back at the photo. Everyone had changed since that day. Some of them grew more depressed and distant, while others weren’t even around anymore. Memories recollected in his mind. Voices and laughter from his former friends played like a record. He partially felt himself wishing he could relive those days.

“Something wrong?” Giorno’s voice broke into his mind. “I can sense it.”

“I’m fine.” Mista shook himself out of the dreamland. “I was just thinking about some things.”

“Maybe you should tell me about this picture.” Giorno swooped it up again, holding it like a delicate vase. He pointed to a tall, silver haired man that Mista was swinging off of in the photo. “Who is he?”

“Abbacchio,” Mista replied, taking the picture from Giorno, but still holding it an an angle both of them could see it from. “He always acted grumpy, but I’m sure he secretly enjoyed us. I don’t see him a lot anymore, I just know that he’s one of those hunters that takes large hunts ‘cause of how skilled he is. He’s pretty fond of the archbishop here, but it might be more out of respect than anything.”

“Like you, then?” Giorno’s finger traced the engravings of the frame.

“In a way, yeah. We both got entrusted to some more dangerous vampires.”

“Alright, who is this one?” Giorno then pointed to a black haired man, who was also hanging off on Abbacchio. He was much smaller.

“That’s Narancia.” Sorrow started to swamp inside of him. “He’s also like me and Abbacchio, taking on some big vampires. He insisted a while ago that he’d go after DIO. It’s been two weeks since he set off, but he hasn’t been reported anywhere.” He clenched his teeth, resisting suppressing his own emotions. “A lot of people think he’s dead, that DIO got him or something. I don’t want to believe that, but…” He forced himself to stop talking. Any more and the damn holding back his grief would shatter, releasing a torrent of anguish upon him.

“I’m sorry I asked,” Giorno murmured softly, setting the picture down once more.

“No, it’s fine.” Mista’s voice awkwardly cracked.

Giorno took a few steps towards the window. “I think I should get going. It’ll be morning soon and I don’t think I can stay here.”

“Right.” Mista sighed, forcing himself to remain calm once again.

“Maybe you could come to my rock next time?” Giorno offered, trying to open the door, but he didn’t seem to know how.

Mista unlocked it for him. “Same village?”

Giorno nodded and the moment a sliver of the door was opened, the vampire dashed out as if he had never been there.

Giorno asked me, Mista realized. He offered...does that mean he likes this, too…? Wait...I can’t like this. He groaned to himself in frustration, shutting the door once again. He’s messing with me somehow, like some sort of sorcerer. Vampires don’t have magic, though. He gripped onto his head, sliding back against the door until his bottom touched the floor. Just what the hell is he doing to me?

Chapter Text

Mista managed to evade Bucciarati the next night, slipping away without a word of him to the village he and Giorno always met at. They’ve done this for two nights, but Mista wanted more of their conversations. Giorno was as pleasant as he was stunning, even if he were some vampire. Maybe he’s like an incubus, or something, Mista told himself. Utterly charming...I should really be careful, but… Mista found it stupid how easy it became to trust Giorno. It possibly stemmed on the knowledge that Mista had on vampires; they were so bloodthirsty they took any opportunity to strike. Giorno was clever, though. He might be waiting for longer. He seemed to genuinely interested in that photo. That couldn’t have been an act.

Mista was conflicted, ideals about Giorno clashing in his mind like a fierce battle. The thoughts beat up inside his head, being tossed around so much that it almost hurt his brain to continue thinking. He grit his teeth to ease some of his tension as he continued forward.

He soon saw Giorno standing right in front of him. He was looking down at one of his brooches, but his eyes immediately lit up when he noticed Mista. “You’ve come earlier.”

“Nobody stopped me this time.” Mista didn’t stop walking until he was only a few feet in front of Giorno. “So, where’s your little rock?”

“This way.” Giorno signaled his head towards the forest before turning into them. When Mista followed, he started speaking again. “I know I called it a rock, but anyone else would refer to it as a den.”

Sounds like some animal thing, Mista noted. Vampires had always been animalistic to him. Sharp fangs were key traits for a predatory beast, as well as keen senses and fast reflexes. Living outside was another attribute to being some sort of wild thing. Vampires looked like humans, but their behaviors really distinguished them. Somehow, even with Giorno’s natural temperament, he seemed closer to a person then any human-like thing could be.

Walking through the forest was a pain to Mista. The various scattered rocks and random tree roots emerging from the ground could easily snag up his feet and tripped him over. He could at least remember his caution in these biomes, but that would slow him down considerably. It was unfair how much faster Giorno could move, skipping over everything like a deer prancing through a meadow. With Mista’s haste, he found himself shuffling his feet in strange arrangements to prevent himself from completely falling over from the hazards in the forest.

He growled, causing Giorno to curiously glance in his direction before shifting his eyes back to what was in front of him. At least Mista didn’t trip when the vampire was looking. He couldn’t even imagine the embarrassment that would’ve overtaken his entire body.

No other sound was made. Mista was instead watching Giorno, trying to copy his steps. They seemed easy at first, though they were a bit harder in practice. Giorno was a dove, elegantly avoiding each of the steps, all the while acting so serene about it. It was wonderful just to watch him.

After what felt like an eternity, Giorno was slowing down. He resembled some sort of butterfly that was fluttering down to its next flower, only being a blur before it finally stopped and its marvel could be observed.

“Here.” Giorno gestured to the clearing in front of him. Mista stood next to Giorno and observed what was presented.

Short grasses mainly overtook the area, surrounded by a ring of various foliage from bushes and trees. In the center, or close to it, was a series of rocks pressed in together to make, from what would look like at a distance, a giant rock. Moss was sprinkled between the crevices of every stone, giving the thing an ancient look on its own. It was incredibly humble for a shelter, not one that Mista would expect a character like Giorno to look at, let alone rest in.

“I know it doesn’t seem as nice as your spaces.” Giorno hopped towards the pile. “But it’s quite convenient for a being like myself.”

Mista tried to step past the bushes, but he stepped inside the leaves, creating a jingle. “Did you just...find it like this?”

Giorno nodded. “I always assumed that something else configured the pile.”

“Is there a hole in there?” Mista tugged at his foot before it was finally freed.

The vampire circled to the other side of the rocks. He disappeared before reemerging on the other side, rolling out another rock. He shifted it back into place then returned to Mista.

“And the whole thing stays up?” Mista wondered.

“It’s quite stable,” answered Giorno.

“Who do you think made it?” Mista firmly tapped the rocks several times. Not even a small crumb fell out.

“I believe it would’ve been another vampire.” Giorno jumped up onto the mound. Mista expected it to fall right there, but it didn’t. “This shape isn’t naturally occuring. Along with that, no other creature could ever make this, nor have much use for it.”

“And they’d need hands to move that rock?” Mista was just guessing.

“Exactly.” Giorno shifted to be closer to one side, patting the other. “There’s room.”

“Wouldn’t you want me to be below, though?” Mista still climbed up next to the vampire. “To prove your superiority, or whatever?”

“I already proved it,” he retorted. “You being next to me doesn’t change anything.”

“Really? ‘Cause everywhere else, the most superior guy is above everyone else, even literally sometimes,” Mista said. “The rich men get to live in bigger places, even on higher places.”

“Rich?” Giorno questioned.

“They have a lot of money,” Mista explained, though he wasn’t sure if that made much sense. “Y’know, the lira and the centesimos.”

“The what?” Giorno’s confusion was a shocker to Mista. The vampire put an impression to the world that he knew everything. There wasn’t a thing on Earth he hadn’t learned about, a skill he never succeeded in. The childlike curiosity over something that Mista, as well as any other human, would see as basic was unfamiliar.

“Nevermind,” Mista muttered. He doubted Giorno could understand.

“No, tell me about it.” The words exited his mouth like a command. Mista had to oblige.

“Do vampires trade?” If they did, maybe Mista could compare buying and selling to that.

Giorno nodded. “Prey and dens are often exchanged among colonies and its members. We need blood and blockage from the sun and if we don’t have it, we can trade.”

“Using money is kinda like that.” Mista’s chest lightened. This wouldn’t be horribly embarrassing. “There’s a value applied to the metal and the paper that can be used to get a shit ton of things. More money, more stuff or better quality of stuff you can get.”

“What use to these have, though? Can you eat it? Or hide in it?” Giorno’s quizzical expression was almost adorable.

“No,” Mista answered quickly. “It probably tastes like crap and there’s also a risk of choking, nor does it have any real nutritional value. Money’s also too small and fragile to shelter someone, but we applied worth to it as a race so it means something.”

“Because you believe?

“Pretty much. It’s what we were all accustomed to and since it only applies to out race, there should be no issues.”

Giorno looked skeptical, but he remained silent.

“Is your dad good at hunting?” Mista wanted to pick up on the conversation again. Maybe something Giorno could understand would be better.

Giorno nodded. “Not really only hunting, but killing in general. He’s destroyed some other vampires that tried to threaten his ‘reign.’ Honestly, he doesn’t have much to rule over.” Giorno’s gaze softened. “Someone you mentioned...Narancia, was it? Didn’t he go after my father?”

“Yeah.” Mista frowned. “Why bring him up now?” It seemed extremely out of the blue.

“I wanted to confirm.” Giorno turned his head away slightly. Was that guilt in his eyes? Sorrow? Mista couldn’t tell, as whatever the emotion was, it dissipated quickly.

“It’s okay,” Mista blurted out suddenly. “He still might be here, just lost. That thought doesn’t upset me.”

“But why do you keep pursuing my father, even if your species gets killed?” Giorno looked as though he couldn’t understand the idea, which he might not be able to at all.

“The church has a hope that one day, there’ll be someone skilled enough to take him down,” Mista muttered. “I feel like they’re forgetting that it doesn’t only take skill to kill vampires, but it also depends on what the vampire does. I doubt that DIO makes slip-ups and as much as I’d want him gone as well.” He checked Giorno to see if the vampire was insulted, but his expression did not change. “I don’t know if it’s possible.”

“That is understandable.” Giorno’s posture relaxed a little. “Some colonies choose to deliberately attack hunters because they feel threatened as well.”

“I’ve heard wind about the Abbacchio you discussed yesterday. To some of us, he’s as intimidating as DIO is to your species.”

“Why didn’t you mention that you knew him last night?” One of Mista’s arms moved back to support his weight.

“I forgot,” Giorno spat out quickly. It was a minor mistake, but a mistake nonetheless, something that, from what Mista could assume, Giorno never allowed himself to make.

“Abbacchio isn’t that bad though,” Mista defended. “He’s pretty strict, but in sort of a caring dad way, y’know?”

“I don’t know what you’re trying to imply,” Giorno admitted. “We hardly care for anything besides food and getting away from the sun.”

“Like a protector,” Mista tried explaining. “Someone that’s a guardian over other people.”

Giorno then nodded in understanding.

“Do you really not care for anything else?” Mista inquired. “I mean...you’ve bothered to meet up with me and even ask about parts of my life. That has to count for something.”

“I was speaking generally.” Giorno’s face had a twinge of sheepishness before his confidence regrew.

“DIO might care for something, he had you, after all.” Mista tapped his chin thoughtfully. “Come to think of it, how were you made? Vampires don’t course blood through them…”

“At the time of my creation, my father wasn’t completely vampiric,” Giorno stated. “He’s had a quarrel with his adopted brother, who ended up decapitating him so in return, he took the man’s body. It took a bit of blood to fully adapt, but he’s also used human women for his own pleasure. One escaped and birthed me.”

“That’s...confusing…”

“That’s how it is, though,” Giorno shrugged.

“So you used to be human, then?”

“Exactly.” Giorno pulled one of his legs up onto the rock. “I believe I was fifteen in mortal years when my father found me and transformed me. Honestly, I’d prefer this life over fear that I might be the one to get preyed on. Sure, hunters may come after me, but I fair a better chance against them then as a mortal against a vampire.”

“Doesn’t your life get...lonely?” Mista assumed that Giorno probably wouldn’t care.

“It does…” He leaned in towards Mista, his arm going over both of Mista’s legs. Giorno’s torso was pressed up against Mista’s shoulder as the vampire looked up at him. “But you’ve been here, meeting up with me...”

Mista could never get over the fact that Giorno was cold. The point of contact on Mista’s shoulder felt as though ice was suddenly crystalizing on that very spot, leaving behind an almost burning sensation. Even with the general discomfort, Mista enjoyed the cold pressure. It was unnatural, almost disturbing, but he wanted more. Giorno was so different, but Mista couldn’t tell exactly what it was about him.

“...so it’s not as lonely as it could be.” Was Giorno saying something? Mista didn’t listen. Shit. He was too busy marveling in the contact.

“Yeah...guess so.” Mista could feel the nervous sweat run down his skin.

“There’s still a bit of the night left.” Giorno hopped down from the rock, depriving Mista of that sweet contact. “There’s a few placed we can see.”

“Like what?” Mista slid down to join Giorno on the ground. “And what if you don’t make it back here in time?”

“There’s another cave not super far from here,” Giorno said. “It’s not too bad, I just wouldn’t stay there every day because of the lack of security.”

“Is there something you want to show me?”

“Yes.” Giorno grabbed Mista’s hand. “Keep up, I don’t want your mortal pace slowing us down.”

Chapter Text

Vampires were incredibly difficult to catch up with. Mista was well aware of that fact with the countless times he had to chase after those speed demons. With Giorno forcing his legs to run faster than they ever have, however, that was an entirely new take on his knowledge. His legs were about to collapse from all the stress, or at least that was what he felt like. Everything passed by him in a haze of dark browns, greens, and blacks. It felt unreal how fast he was going. The crushing grip on his hand did not help him at all. It only grew tighter at each turn Giorno was making. Mista was still grateful for it, since without it, he’d likely fly off into some tree or rock and get left behind. WIth how overwhelming this all was, he almost forgot where they were going.

Heaven must’ve smiled down upon him when Giorno finally slowed down, carefully releasing Mista’s hand. “Are you alright? You don’t look too well.”

How considerate. Mista was a bit nauseous, buckling his knees to prevent himself from completely falling over. He nodded briefly, holding up his thumb.

“Sit down.” Giorno sounded like he was commanding it, just as he had done before. Mista sat down.

The vampire then kneeled down to around his level. “You’re staying down here until you can stand without stumbling.”

Was he stumbling? He couldn’t recall doing so. Giorno seemed really good at reading emotions, maybe he could read his physical condition as well? He remembered the time he invited Giorno to his home, when the vampire detected him for lies by directly sensing his heartbeat and sweat.

These creatures are crazy, Mista thought to himself.

Brief minutes passed. When Mista felt he was well enough, he rose up onto his feet. Giorno followed his movements.

Immediately, he noticed that they were in front of a large cave mouth. The edges of the rocks glistened in the moonlight as darkness shrouded the inside of it. “Is this...the cave?”

“What do you think?” Giorno teased. “Come on, let’s go inside.”

“I don’t have any of my tools,” Mista said. “I can’t see what’s in there. It’s darker than the night and I don’t have my flashlight.”

“Can’t you make fire?” Giorno strolled over to one of the trees, gingerly picking at the bark.

“I guess,” Mista shrugged. He vaguely remembered the survival training he had to go through. “Is there any flint?”

“Maybe.” Giorno paced around the stones. At least he had a knowledge of what was in nature.

He had disappeared out of view, or at least out of what Mista could see in the dark. Flint was common enough. This shouldn’t take too long...hopefully.

Giorno returned to Mista, holding two smaller stones in each of his hands. They were pale in color, somewhat of a milky grey. They sparkled in whatever moonlight hit them. “Is this what you’re looking for?”

“Yep.” Mista graciously took the stones. “Now-”

“You need something to ignite?” Giorno finished his sentence for him. “There’s sticks everywhere.”

“I’ll burn my hands in a matter of seconds with those. They’re too short.” Mista walked towards one of the trees, tugging at some branches. They’d snap with enough effort.

Giorno was one step ahead of him. He pulled apart some smaller branches from the trees, grouping them up together until one of his hands couldn’t hold any more. He held up the bundle to Mista.

How long did that take? Minutes? Seconds? Mista couldn’t tell. He held one piece of flint above the leaves, swiftly scraping the other piece against it. Bright orange sparks lit up and landed on the plants, catching them on fire.

Mista took the patch from Giorno and slipped the rocks into his pocket. “You wanted to show me something?”

Giorno smiled, motioning to the inside of the cave. Mista followed, more focused on the ember that gradually grew rather than what may be around him. The light was his comfort in this situation.

“I assume that you have no idea where we are.” Giorno’s voice bounced off the various cave walls. If it wasn’t for the fire, Mista would’ve had no idea where it came from.

“We’re in a cave,” Mista answered obviously. His eyes strained to see anything that could be in front of him, but he could only see the dim, orange flicker of the fire.

Mista felt something grab onto his coat. It was Giorno, it couldn’t be anyone else. Luckily, the vampire decided to move at a more reasonable pace. He was still faster than Mista could ever really walk.

“Can’t you just tell me what this is for?” Mista’s voice came out as a whine more than anything. He was helpless here, like a child blindly trailing after their guardian. He hated the feeling. Maybe he shouldn’t have agreed to this, as now he was really at Giorno’s mercy. Even with the dark, pressing atmosphere around him, there was something in Giorno he could trust.

After a few more steps, Giorno stopped. Mista saw only his other hand. “Give me the branches.”

“Can I know what you’re going to do with them?” There was an edge in Mista’s voice he didn’t know he had.

“You’ve trusted me before, haven’t you?” Giorno’s hand wrapped around Mista’s. His red eyes faintly glowed. “You may be able to see a few things better if you let me have it.

Mista flinched. He has trusted Giorno before, that was true. He even trusted the vampire enough to be lead into this cave. Was it too late to turn back? Mista didn’t keep track of the amount of turns they made, unless they hadn’t made any at all. Whatever it took to get here, it would still be difficult to get out. Mista had nothing to fight Giorno before, yet he still didn’t make an attempt on Mista’s life. Was now any different? It felt different. He was blind. He only had trust in the light.

Giorno’s eyes were still shining. That was light. Mista trusted him before and he turned out to be a wondrous creature then, so how would this cave be any different?

Mista released the tension in his hand with the branches. Giorno’s slid above Mista’s to hold onto the burning wood.

With the fire, Giorno held the flames up to a portion of a wall. Mista could see faint indentations within the rock, as though some animal clawed inside of it. Wherever Giorno pointed to next, those same markings were there.

“This is an old site for a vampire colony, Giorno said. “Our nails are stronger than you think.”

“But, why scratch the walls?” Mista asked. “And how do you know of this place?”

“To keep them in check,” Giorno answered. “It’s only been recent that this place was deserted, around six years ago.”

“That doesn’t answer my other question.”

“This was where I stayed, Mista,” Giorno sighed. “There’s no more reason to shelter here anymore. We may be solitary creatures for the most part, but there was still a sense of community.”

“So does being alone...bother you?” Mista’s voice lowered.

“In a sense, it does,” Giorno admitted. “I’ve been dealing with it, though. With vampire hunters, we’ll have to deal with loss.”

“Hunters killed your colony, then?” Mista didn’t know how to feel. In a sense, this was good for him as a human and a hunter, since that would mean less vampires to threaten the lives of people, but for as how he thought Giorno felt?

Giorno nodded. “But...I haven’t really found myself...mad.” Mista could only see Giorno’s gaze soften. “I did have an attachment to the members, I was angry at the time, but revenge against them, or even the entirety of the human race, is simply useless.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know the state of those hunters,” he began to explain. “They could be dead or very well alive, and dedicating my existence to find men that may already be dead is a waste. It wasn’t even the entirety of humanity that killed my colony, it was only a few humans. It’s useless to waste energy to pursue the corpse of every individual of humanity.”

Mista was silent. Did...he call my profession useless…? If it had been any other creature, he would’ve easily shrugged them off. However, this was Giorno, a being with peculiar views that somehow, Mista could agree with.  

“I didn't mean to offend you.” Giorno had Mista take up the burning branches once again. “It’s simply something I wouldn’t do. I won’t live an eternity of rage.”

“Rage…?” Mista spoke as he tried to stifle a yawn. He was getting incredibly drowsy, feeling around for a piece of rock behind him to lean back on.

“You wouldn’t listen to a word I’d say,” Giorno stated. He held onto Mista’s shoulders, slowly guiding him to sit down on the ground. “You require rest, don’t you?”

“Not right now,” Mista lied. “I can stay up for a bit longer.”

“No, you can’t.” How could Giorno detect his lies from his current position? Maybe Mista was just being too obvious.

The flames were taken out of his hands. Mista lowered himself onto the rock. It was hard and uncomfortable, but Mista was far too overcome with exhaustion to care. Numbness trickled up into his arms and legs as his eyes fluttered shut, whisking Mista away into sleep.

 

Mista woke up the next night. The first thing he noticed were the leaves tickling parts of his face. He lifted his head up, blinking away the fuzziness in his vision. He was lying down on a surface of leaves and moss, which still wasn’t super grand, but it was much better than the unforgiving rock. Fire crackled beside him. The flames were big enough for him to finally be able to observe the entire room. Scratches were still present everywhere, as well as specks of brown splatters on the rock. Mista assumed it was dry blood, from the short story Giorno told yesterday about the cave housing an entire colony of vampires.

Giorno himself was sitting on the other side of Mista, nibbling on some mass of brownish-red that he couldn’t identify. He could still distinctly see the scarlet on Giorno’s pale face, as well as smell the metallic odor of blood. Whatever it was, it was some sort of small animal.

“You’re awake,” Giorno smiled, licking his face. “Are you hungry?”

“Did you set all this up?” Food was not a concern for Mista. It was everything that was set up. Someone had to have put it there.

“I moved you on the plants and kept the fire up, yes,” Giorno answered. “I couldn’t find much around here, but I have one thing for you.”

Now Mista was thinking about food. He hasn’t eaten anything decent in the days he’s met up with Giorno, and he doubts some wild animal would be much better, but he was still astonished the vampire went through some effort to look after him as well.

“What is it?” Mista creeped out of the bed, dusting off any fibers of moss and stray leaves that stuck onto his coat.

“Squirrel.” Giorno threw something to Mista.

He caught it, taking a moment to process the furry texture between his fingers. The animal was small, grey, and very much dead. The body of the animal moved fluidly in his hands, leading him to assume Giorno crushed the animal’s spine at least to kill it.

“Thank you,” Mista murmured. He couldn’t be ungrateful for Giorno’s catch, even if it was unusual compared to what he normally ate.

Mista plucked all the fur off, tossing it into the fire. The mass of flesh was even more hideous without hair.

The next dilemma was how he was going to cook this thing. The sticks around were either burnt or not sharp enough to poke into the meat. He couldn’t just hold it about the fire, either. His hand would burn. He grumbled, wracking his brain for a solution.

“Something wrong?” Giorno either noticed him not eating or sensed his frustration.

“Yeah, there’s no good way for me to cook this,” Mista replied, a bit miserably.

“Here.” Giorno took the squirrel away, rolling up one of his sleeves and holding it above, if not a little bit in the flames.

Mista cringed a bit. He knew Giorno couldn’t feel any pain, but it was still disgusting to watch the vampire’s skin char, bubble up, pop, and regenerate just for that process to repeat itself again. He forced himself to turn away. Nausea crept up from his stomach. He tried desperately to think of anything else, but the blistering, pale, and burnt vampire skin was the only thing in his mind.

“It should be good enough, now.” The hot meat was thrown at him, but at least Mista was prepared to catch it.

“Thanks…’ He was truly appreciative, but still queasy from the hand.

“My hand should be normal in a few moments,” Giorno said.

Mista nodded in acknowledgement. He finally sank his teeth into the smoking flesh, ripping out a piece and chewing thoughtfully to process the flavor.

It definitely wasn’t bad. He was reminded of mostly rabbit, as well as the swirling flavors or rabbit and, surprisingly or not, nuts. A sweet flavor sang on his tongue. The meat slid down his throat with ease.

“Why are you doing this?” Mista asked suddenly through bites.

“What do you mean?” Giorno’s voice was a slight hum.

“The fire, the bed, the food...why did you give me this stuff?” Mista wasn’t sure if he even clarified all that much. “You could’ve killed me in the night.”

“There isn’t any need to,” Giorno simply answered. “You won’t threaten me and you’ve amused me enough to where considering you as food is far off.”

Mista only stared in stunned silence. Giorno didn’t directly say it, but he trusted Mista. The vampire enjoyed his company as well. Never before had anyone said that, much less a creature that was supposed to be deemed as his sworn enemy. It was horrible, one side of Mista would’ve argued. Yet at the same time, the other said, it was so gratifying. The first time they met, they had already went beyond morality. At that moment, it was completely shattered.

“I can’t deny it,” Mista muttered.

Giorno curiously looked up at him.

“I trust you, too.”

Chapter Text

A week passed before Mista even realized it. Meeting up with Giorno and chatting with him had become so routine that Mista hardly noticed the days and nights that went by. Time flew past his senses like a fluttering butterfly. He could hardly believe his time was already gone when Bucciarati called him into Napoli’s church.

The church never seemed so daunting. Mista usually walked in, hugged by feelings of being safe and secure. Walking in at that time, the grand arches swallowed him whole, pressing an unbearable anxiety on him. The large interior didn’t help his nerves at all. It seemed like a place where he could just hide himself in a corner, free from others for the moment, but he couldn’t do that this time. There was only one place he could go: straight to Bucciarati.

The interior decorations were dazzling. Red, velvety seats and carpets were in a better condition than Mista’s entire house. The finest wood structured the seats and made up the lectern stand. The stained glass windows sparkled with every color, showing the Bible stories in a grander scheme. A large stature of Jesus Christ hung above the main stage, looking down as though he were about to judge Mista for all of his sins. It was awfully beautiful, but that’s what made him guilty. He was sinning in secret; did he really deserve to set foot in such a magnificent place?

Bucciarati stood in one of the center rows of the church. Someone else was sitting near him, but Mista couldn’t tell who that was at first. The archbishop noticed his arrival, motioning for him to come their way.

Mista slid between the seats. He could then recognize who was sitting near Bucciarati before.

Mista could recognize those dark, tired eyes as Leone Abbacchio. From his facial expression alone, he seemed horribly unamused, though Mista remembered him as always looking grouchy, even if he really wasn’t. His long, silver hair fell over his shoulders as his glare shifted from a wall directly to Mista. Abbacchio was dressed in entirely black leather. There wasn’t an inch of skin revealed besides his pale face. He wasn’t sweating at all, despite the bright church lights.

Mista then froze in realization. A week had passed. He was supposed to kill Giorno, but he spent all of his time talking with the vampire instead of stabbing him.

“Giovanna must be tricky,” Bucciarati spoke softly, as though he were trying to comfort Mista. “We’ll get him eventually, though. God will show who is superior.” Bucciarati turned to the other hunter.

“Wait.” Mista regained Bucciarati’s attention. “Give me one more week.” His voice was more of a plead than what he would’ve liked. “I’ll get him in a week if you give it to me.”

Abbacchio sneered. “It’d be better to kill him now than later. He’s the son of DIO for Heaven’s sake, he’s going to age to be one of the most dangerous creatures in existence. Right now, he’s nothing more than some tiny insect. If you let him grow, even for a week, he’ll slaughter an entire city.” He pulled his gloves up further. “If you couldn’t get him in a week, it’d be better for someone else to try. You’re not bad, Mista. You’re just not good enough. I don’t doubt that he’s strong or fast, but if you can’t slay him in his more pathetic years, what makes you think anyone can later?”

Anger prickled up in Mista’s body. How dare he doubt me? The emotion was growing stronger as the seconds passed on. He couldn’t just calm down, no matter how much he wanted to. His pride, his ability, his everything was just insulted. If Bucciarati let Abbacchio go, it would be equivalent to Mista going bankrupt, losing absolutely everything. His life and his identity would be gone.

That wasn’t everything. Mista unconsciously considered Giorno’s safety. Abbacchio was like him; neither of them ever let a vampire escape. Abbacchio wasn’t going to let Giorno go just because he was pretty.

“Let’s settle down.” Bucciarati’s voice cut through the tension. His voice was an angels, fluttering down to ease the flames that just sparked between Mista and Abbacchio.

“Mista, you can have the extra week.”

He was relieved. He fought the urge to visibly wipe his forehead. His feelings dissipated as his body visibly relaxed.

Abbacchio rolled his eyes, but didn’t protest. He’s never argued with Bucciarati. There wasn’t a single time Mista, or really anyone could recall where Abbacchio disputed with the archbishop. It was impressive.

“Thank you,” Mista murmured before he turned around from the pair. As he hurried out of the church, he felt a weight slowly sink down on his shoulders.

 

His life and his identity would be gone. That was what would happen if Abbacchio got sent after Giorno. But he only would’ve gone after Giorno if Mista didn’t, or couldn’t kill him. What would Mista do? He’s found himself in quite a predicament. He’s befriended Giorno, not out of fear, but out of trust, as every relationship should be structured. Could he just kill Giorno? That would betray the trust they built up for a week. In return, he’d keep his name in the church. He’d still have his reputation. He’d have the church’s trust, as well.

But at what cost was that compared to a friendship of a lifetime? It wasn’t every day that a person got to get close to a vampire without being slaughtered, let alone someone who dedicated their life to killing those creatures. Mista’s head pounded with the sudden guilt of his new relationship. But what was he guilty for? Was it for secretly betraying humanity for the sake of having a friend? Or was it for the possibility that he’d have to deceive Giorno for the church?

The answer should’ve been obvious: Mista should be guilty for even talking to Giorno. He’s followed the Christian faith for the entirety of his life. It’s guided him to the light that would one day give him a nice spot in Heaven. However, as all things were, it couldn’t be that simple, as much as he desperately wanted it to be so.

Giorno was more than a vampire, or at least that’s how Mista saw him. He was striking, not only in his odd beauty, but of how human he seemed to be, despite being a bloodthirsty, feral monster. He could have connections, he could talk, he could even live in a society. He opened Mista’s eyes to a life he’s never considered, a life that, at first, seemed so dull and horrid. There was something he got out of Giorno, something that suddenly meant a lot to him. Everything has a life. They have a will, a goal, hopes and dreams, no matter how far from “human” they’ve become.

And honestly, Mista didn’t know what mattered to him more.

 

Mista didn’t even notice Giorno sneaking up behind him until cold hands gripped his shoulders.

Mista jolted, quickly turning around. His hand was balled up into a fist, ready to swing at what he assumed to be an unknown attacker. Glittering blonde hair showed him otherwise. He dropped his arm and sighed in relief. “Warn me next time.”

“What’s the point of a surprise if I warn you?” Giorno chuckled, stepping next to Mista. “Walk with me. I’ve got some things to share with you.”

Giorno took off from the town that they first met in, walking away into the woods. Mista followed, but no matter how fast he tried to walk, he could never keep up. At least Giorno was considerate enough to slow himself down to walk next to Mista.

“There was something that happened in my old colony…” Giorno started, but Mista’s mind was too busy to listen to the rest of the story.

He’d never have chances like this again, whether he let Abbacchio go after Giorno or he killed Giorno himself. Either way, the vampire seemed screwed and he didn’t even know it. He didn’t know Abbacchio’s skill. He only saw a picture of him. That picture couldn’t tell much about what Abbacchio was even capable of. Mista knew it himself. He could’ve told Giorno to run and hide, to save himself from one of the most dangerous threats to vampirekind. He still wouldn’t have gotten Giorno himself. That was at a cost of reputation.

It was all incredibly difficult to consider, especially because it was Abbacchio chasing Giorno next. He was large, muscular, and Mista knew that very well. Even with super strength, a vampire still had competition when it came to Abbacchio’s strength and reflexes. He was a good hunter. He might’ve been too good.

Giorno was talented as well, but Mista still had his fears. Earlier, Abbacchio wasn’t wrong. Giorno wasn’t at his full potential. If Abbacchio was just a little better than Giorno, just a sliver, Giorno would be gone.

“...Fugo and I went out a lot, just the two of us.” Mista finally snapped back into the conversation.

“Fugo? Who’s that?” Mista felt shame for not having listened to anything earlier.

“Someone from my old colony.” Giorno narrowed his eyes. “You would’ve known that if you had been...listening.”

Mista gulped. His face burned up in embarrassment. He rubbed the back of his head, sheepishly turning away. “Sorry.”

“You’re thinking about something.” Giorno stopped walking, holding onto Mista’s arm to stop him as well. “What’s troubling you this night?”

Should Mista tell him? His previous arguments popped up in his head, buzzing around like a swarm of angry bees. It would be better to be vague, at least for now.

“I’m not troubled,” Mista lied. “I just got lost in some thoughts.”

Giorno’s gaze remained unchanged. He obviously didn’t believe Mista. Luckily, he didn’t pry, as Mista still wasn’t going to tell him anything.

“If you don’t want to tell me, that’s all there is to it.” Giorno shrugged.

He didn’t let go of Mista’s arm. Instead, he looped his around Mista’s continuing their walk in the woods as he mumbled on about him and the ‘Fugo’ character.

Mista still didn’t pay attention. He was instead focused on their current intertwining. Was it on purpose? Mista didn’t know for sure. Whether the action was done unconsciously or not, Mista found great comfort in Giorno’s hold.

Nothing could last forever.

Chapter Text

However scarce the time Giorno and Mista together, Mista still found himself enjoying every second. He actually listened to the vampire’s stories afterwards, using them as a distraction from the guilt in his heart. With a farewell to Giorno, Mista went back home.

He was still horribly restless. A few hours into the morning, and he couldn’t catch a wink of sleep. The sheets felt too hot and when he wiggled out of them, the room was too cold. His mind was both desperate for an answer to his dilemma as well as sleep. He couldn’t just lie around anymore.

He threw himself out of his bed. He slipped inside his old sweater and strapped on his tools. He lazily threw over his coat and head outside. Giorno usually wasn’t active around this time, nor did he really approach Napoli itself. Some other vampire might, so Mista needed protection.

There was always some sort of buzz in Napoli. The city was never fully asleep, but in its early morning hours, there was hardly any motion. The occasional car rumbled by on the streets. Soft, orange glows from street lights blanketed Mista. The occasional lights from windows flickered on and off. Some people were just waking up, others were going to sleep. There was never a set time for the lifestyles of everyone in a vast city like this, Mista had noticed. He only continued to ponder as he aimlessly stepped around on the streets. The consistent drumming of each step was a nice rhythm for Mista to temporarily get lost in. He should’ve been alert, in case vampires were lurking around, though he didn’t want to be attentive, at least not in the moment. He went out to walk and unwind from the pressure that kept him from sleeping at night.

That lack of awareness, while it had its pro of letting Mista relax, also had its con, making him a bit more vulnerable to an attack. He didn’t even realized when a cold body shoved him down onto the streets. Mista instinctively kicked up, grabbing onto anything from this being to try and throw them off. His hands clutched fabric as his legs aimed for an approximation of where a human stomach would be. His arms and legs strained to extend to push the attacker off of him.

Mista did eventually manage to throw the other body off of him, rolling away to the edge of the sidewalk to get as much distance as possible. He unsheathed the stake from his belt, jumping up onto his feet. He quickly circled around to the side of the vampire, just in case it lunged again. He didn’t want to be shoved on the street, where he was more at the mercy of cars on the road than the vampire itself.

Now that they were distanced, Mista could actually see who was attacking him. No doubt it was a vampire, as the creature’s pointed fangs were extremely obvious in the orange streetlight. Silver strands of hair are swept into three bangs on the being. Of course, the worst part of all, the vampire had piercing, red eyes.

Before Mista could examine its clothing, it leaped at him again in a flash of red. Mista allowed himself to get rolled onto the floor just so it got closer. Twisting his body, Mista thrust the stake into the chest of the vampire. It wasn’t at where any of its organs would’ve been, due to its own writhing throwing off Mista’s aim. With the stab, it hissed out in some sort of pained noise. The vampire’s fingers dug into his shoulder and despite the protective leather coat, still managed to slice through to his skin.

The wound was getting surprisingly deep as well. With every wiggle of the vampire’s fingers, more and more of the digits burrowed into his shoulder. The vampire seemed to grin a little as it jerked its hand down in an attempt to slice off Mista’s shoulder.

Before Mista could retaliate, there was a crack of glass. The vampire suddenly let out a startled shriek before jumping off of him. A liquid touched the tips of Mista’s fingers as the creature scurried away.

“Why didn’t you shout or something?” The voice was Abbacchio’s. Strong arms hooked under Mista’s, dragging him onto his feet.

“I don’t want to wake anyone up,” he simply answered.

“If it has to do with those fuckers, who cares?” Abbacchio scoffed. “It might leave, it might not. I might have to go get it later.”

“I would’ve gotten it covered,” Mista muttered. He clutched onto his shoulder, applying pressure to ease the pain and bleeding.

“Sure you would’ve.” Abbacchio’s tone was painfully sarcastic. “You can’t even kill some little blondie in a week. You think you have it covered when you’re pinned down like that?”

“Are you here just to insult me?” Mista’s eyes narrowed.

“I was here to save your ass,” Abbacchio replied nonchalantly. He then sighed. “I’m not trying to insult you. I just don’t think you’ll be able to kill Giovanna off.”

“And why is that?” Mista cocked a brow.

“A week is a pretty long time. You’re just letting him grow and develop.” Abbacchio set a hand on Mista’s uninjured shoulder, guiding him through the streets. “You’re not bad at this, Mista. You’re just not ready for Giovanna. It’s okay if you’re not, because you’ll get there eventually. You can take on sneaky ones like him, but for now, you should probably stick with some other specimens.”

“You can let me go after him, Mista,” Abbacchio continued. “There’s no shame for you in doing so. Bucciarati is one of the most understanding guys I know. In the end, it doesn’t matter who kills the vampire as long as he’s just dead in the end.”

“You keep saying that,” Mista muttered bitterly. “Bucciarati let me have another week. You’re not going against him, are you?”

Abbacchio sighed. “Fine. The offer will always be up, though. Come on, now. You can’t just walk around with that wound on your shoulder.”

Abbacchio hauled Mista onto his feet. The arm on his injured side was thrown over Abbacchio’s shoulders to support him. With that hold, the two slowly made their way to the nearest clinic.

 

The claw marks were stitched shut and bandaged. Mista was slightly pained moving his arm around, but no matter how many times Abbacchio still insisted to kill Giorno, he always declined.

“You’re stubborn,” Abbacchio huffed. “If he gets too strong for you, just call me.” With that, Abbacchio separated from Mista. His home was in the opposite direction of Mista’s. That would definitely be the last time they saw each other, at least until the end of the week.

The sun was beginning to rise. Mista’s steps were hard and his eyes were heavy. He could’ve probably passed out on the street if it wasn’t for the lingering pain in his shoulder or his strong desire to not get himself dirty.

After a small walk, Mista stumbled inside of his house, lazily shutting the front door before practically throwing himself onto his bed. Despite all the hunting equipments pressing up against his body, leaving uncomfortable bumps pressing against his body, he still easily slipped into slumber.

 

It was the next night. Mista’s eyes were barely open, but he could still tell due to the lack of light entering what he could barely see. Feeling was slowly seeping into his limbs as he flexed his fingers a bit. He’d have to get up soon to find Giorno. Yet the aching in his shoulder was keeping him down. He almost forgot he had been wounded there from how tired he was. All of his tools pushing up against him became apparent as well.

“Are you awake, Mista?” The sudden voice startled him. He jumped out of the bed, practically throwing everything off of him before his hand immediately dived for the revolver. He pulled it out as he landed on a single foot, using it to pivot to where the direction of the voice came from: behind him.

There was (luckily) only one other being there. From the golden glisten of hair in the moonlight, Mista immediately recognized them as Giorno. He sighed in relief, lowering the weapon. His fingers relaxed, almost dropping the gun on the floor.

“Don’t scare me like that again,” Mista murmured. “I could’ve gotten some kind of heart attack...how did you even get in here, anyways?”

“Your door was unlocked,” Giorno replied. “I think I locked it for you. I could’ve broken your windows, but you probably wouldn’t have liked that, no?”

“No…” Mista echoed. “But why are you in here? I was just about to go outside.”

Giorno then glared at him. “You were hardly even awake.”

Mista cursed himself as sweat started to form on his body. He already knew it was a stupid decision to lie to Giorno and yet he did it anyways. “Alright, fine. But I would’ve eventually.”

Giorno didn’t seem to pay attention to him anymore. Rather, he was fixated on the spot where he would’ve gotten clawed. He must’ve noticed, or even scented the blood. “What happened there?”

“Some vampire,” Mista answered vaguely. When Giorno’s eyes narrowed again, he decided to continue. “I was wandering around in the morning when some vampire jumped on me. Abbacchio chased them away, but I got left with some nasty claw marks.”

“May I see?”

Mista felt like he had to say yes. He shuffled off his coat and tugged off his sweater. Anyone else would’ve told him to be careful, not to go unprotected in the presence of a vampire. But Mista already trusted Giorno, even admitting it to him. So did he really care? Not now.

Giorno’s fingers were lightly tracing the outlines of blood splatters on the bandages. He leaned into Mista’s shoulder. The faint, long, sniffing sound was only heard due to the otherwise quiet atmosphere of the current room.

Mista was only getting sweatier. Vampires didn’t even need to breathe. Was Giorno smelling him on purpose? He didn’t think Giorno would want to bite into him right there, but it was still a terrifying thought to think about.

“Am I scaring you?” Giorno pulled his head back. Mista almost forgot he could sense differences in sweat and heartbeats. “I don’t plan on feeding, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“But...why…?” was all Mista could get out.

“Not all blood is the same.” Well, that was something new. “Even among species there are slight differences in smell. Your blood seems sweet.”

Was that a compliment? Mista didn’t know what to take that as. Was Giorno going to feast on him? Was he wrong to trust the vampire?

“But I have self control,” Giorno reassured. “You’re better to me alive than dead, no matter how tantalizing you are.”

“Thanks…?” Mista was still clueless on how to take this.

“But you’ve mentioned Abbacchio again,” Giorno said, changing the topic.

Mista was left in dread again. Abbacchio was so insistent on killing Giorno, yet he was so wonderful. He couldn’t imagine facing the guilt if he disintegrated the vampire. They seemed so much more like companions than Mista thought any interspecies relationship could be.

But once again, could he really just betray his faith?

“Is something wrong?” Giorno noticed the lack of talking.

“Yeah!” Mista answered a bit too quickly. He paused a bit before continuing. “My mind was just wandering, that’s all.”

“Wandering about what?” Giorno sure as hell was persistent. But Mista still couldn’t tell him anything. He didn’t want to betray anything, but telling Giorno immediately meant he would have to.

Giorno sighed. “Fine. If you wanted to say something, you would’ve told me.” He handed Mista his sweater and coat again. “I’m pretty sure there’s better ways to spend this night than being cramped in your little den.”

Mista could only nod in agreement.

Chapter Text

Walks with Giorno were becoming Mista’s new favorite thing. It was always interesting to hear the vampire talk about his old life while they took a stroll in the woods without much care for the world. They were nights where Mista truly felt free, not only of his responsibilities as a hunter, but the weight of a man as well. It was humanity’s unwritten promise to not see dangerous monsters as an equal, to always shut them out, hide, or attack. Yet these nights lifted those feelings off of Mista for a time of rest.

“I’ve always been asked what my father is like,” Giorno said. “I can never answer them. I can only recall seeing him once, and that was only when I became a vampire. I don’t know how powerful he is, or any details about his past other than him meeting and screwing my mother.”

“Do you at least know if he has other kids?” Mista knew it was probably a dumb question to ask. Giorno already stated he didn’t know anything about DIO.

“I’ve heard wind of it. Their existence has never been confirmed or denied by my father, nor have I met any of them. Even if I did somehow see them, I wouldn’t really care. Most humans are just prey and a lot of vampires don’t take kindly to each other, either.” 

“Unless they’re in colonies or something? You talk fondly about your old colony.”

“Not all humans get along with each other, right? It’s like the same thing. I suppose you could compare colonies to a pride of lions or a pack of wolves, just without the ‘king’ or ‘alpha’ part of it.”

“So you kinda just live in equality?”

“Sometimes there’s more bold vampires that seem to take charge or one of them seems more terrifying than the rest. I was kissed up to at times for being DIO’s son, but even if there were louder ones, if they didn’t provide for the colony, nobody would provide for them.”

“Was there any cases of that in your colony?”

“There was one vampire, actually. I’ve long forgotten what they went by, but for a few days, they would only take but never give. We were all tired of them, but it was Fugo who acted up. He gets enraged often, so I wasn’t surprised when that vampire received some tears from him. Of course, they regenerated shortly after, but Fugo made sure they would flee and not come back.”

“Fugo sounds...really aggressive.”

“He can be, but he’s normally silent. He talked, but not often…”

 

As Giorno continued to talk, Mista’s ultimate burden fell upon his shoulders once again. Does he give up these peaceful walks for his faith? Or does he take them in favor of God’s light? Of course, those questions never left him, but an answer never came to him. He was sick of the endless pondering. The pros and cons of each choice were in no way balanced. Since Mista started getting friendly with Giorno, he really wished that the two races could live in harmony.

But of course, life and nature were cruel. Vampires were created to be the enemy was man. There was no way that the two species could completely cooperate. 

To keep Giorno safe, Mista would have to lie. However, lying was a sin. However, his relationship with this vampire would already be deemed as a sin. Maybe he could fake his own death, to pretend to have been slain by Giorno just to escape with him.

But that wouldn’t work. Abbacchio would find both him and Giorno. That lie wouldn’t have even lasted a night.

 But why did Giorno seem to matter to Mista so much? Despite the connotations of his species, as well as the terrifying presence of him in general, Mista felt something comforting. Mista has had many close relationships before, as he had with a few of the members in his previous training courses for his living, but none of them had felt as tight in a few years as Mista’s bond with Giorno for a few days. 

But maybe Mista was in some sort of trance. Giorno’s appearance was already hypnotic. Mista could hardly take his eyes away from that golden hair and pearly skin. Those crimson eyes, which Mista once looked upon as vile, grew more stunning as the nights rolled by him. 

Giorno had no problems with hiding. It was an essential part of his life, having to hide away from his prey and other creatures in order to survive. The possibility of lying occured to Mista again. He could claim to have killed Giorno, but then let the vampire go into hiding. However, even as elusive Giorno could be at times, he never really cared if someone happened to see him. Mista doubted Giorno would change much, despite his warnings. And if Giorno was spotted, Mista’s lie would unravel quickly.

So maybe, the best course of action would to get off his high horse and say that Giorno was just so tricky that even he couldn’t kill him. He could warn Giorno as well, simply as a last ditch effort to save him.

Mista was a protector of the people, but maybe he could defend that smile.

 

Having finally snapped out of his thoughts, he opened his mouth to speak, but with a rustle from the bushes and a firm grasp on his arm, he shut it immediately.

Giorno’s eyes watched the foliage intensely. Mista was almost distracted by them, but another chime from the leaves brought him back to reality. 

Giorno began crouching down. He had already released Mista, but he was then taking careful steps towards the bushes. 

There was a sudden growl coming from the leaves. Giorno looked completely unaffected, but he simply hissed in return, baring his pointed fangs as a warning to whatever lurked. He was about to dash off, but Mista managed to grab a fistful of cape. It even surprised him at how fast his reflexes were.

“What are you doing?” Giorno easily ripped the fabric away from Mista. “I’m going to follow that sound.”

“Let me come with you. I can help you.” Mista started fumbling around in his tools for his revolver. “If it’s a vampire, or even just some wild animal...I can help.”

“I know you can.” Giorno blinked sympathetically. “But you wouldn’t be able to keep up with me. If that creature is a vampire as well, you’d only be falling behind further.”

Giorno was right. The silence that followed Mista was him admitting that Giorno was right. Mista sighed, pulling his coat back together.

Giorno grabbed hold of Mista’s hand, quickly squeezing it in a sort of gratitude before running off into the complete darkness.

 

Mista had to go home. It was a bit of a dissapointment that he couldn’t say what he wanted to say, because of some dumb creature. At least Giorno seemed to be apologetic for having to leave him behind.

But what could Mista do? Giorno didn’t really need any sort of protection. He was beyond human, as much as Mista didn’t really want to admit it.

Maybe Giorno didn’t need any kind of warning. He could hold off Abbacchio for a while until he gave up as well.

But Abbacchio wasn’t the type to give up...neither was Giorno.

Everything felt like it was all going to crumble down. That was simply Mista’s basic instincts.

Chapter Text

Mista was too afraid to speak up. Nights with Giorno passed by sooner that Mista would’ve liked. He never made a decision—the consequences of either choice seemed far too heavy for him the longer he thought about it. But alas, he couldn’t stay in limbo forever. Eventually, someone would have to make the choice for him.

Bucciarati called him back to the church. Mista stood outside of it for what seemed like ages. The entrance was right next to him, but there seemed to be a weight in his body pulling him back. Realization hit him like a truck. Abbacchio was being sent after Giorno.

Giorno was talented when it came to fighting. Mista didn’t know his past, but he was able to pin down and nearly kill Mista. Giorno’s instincts alone were impressive. Before, Mista was lucky to be able to escape him alive.

But Abbacchio was skilled. Mista was terrified for the outcome of the two meeting. No doubt both of them would get hurt, but only one would be able to crawl out alive.

“Mista?” He turned over at the sound of his voice.

Bucciarati was standing next to him. “Have you been out here for long? What are you doing? You should’ve come inside a while ago.”

Mista could then feel everything. His back was burning from the afternoon sun beating down on his thick, leather coat. He hissed out as Bucciarati placed a hand on his shoulder.

The hand flinched back. “Are you tired? Dizzy? It’s too hot out here, especially if you’re dressed like that. Come on, let’s go inside.”

“Right…” Mista stumbled inside the church with a few disoriented steps.

Abbacchio was already sitting inside one of the rows. His head turned to face the two of them when they entered.

“How’s your shoulder?” Abbacchio rubbed the spot on his own body for emphasis. 

“It’s...fine.” Mista hadn’t been treating it too well. Recent memories with Giorno entered his mind. He was swinging that injured arm around a bit too wildly with his hand gestures, all while trying his best not to yelp out in pain. There had been a certain expression on Giorno’s face, like he knew what Mista was feeling, though he never spoke up about it.

“What happened?” Bucciarati asked.

“Some vampire jumped out at him,” Abbacchio said before Mista. “It got away, but we’ll find that rat eventually.”

“Oh! There’s something you can already do, Mista!” Bucciarati seemed happy about it. Mista, however, was not.

He should’ve been, he told himself. He was getting another hunt for a vampire that didn’t look so pretty. It was a chance for him to remain faithful to the church and retain a bit more of his pride. However, he still feared for Giorno.

“So I’m doing after the DIO spawn then?” Abbacchio turned to Bucciarati.

He nodded in confirmation. “You’ll start the hunt tonight. Let’s hope you can do it. He must be tricky for escaping Mista.”

“What should I know about him before tonight?” Abbacchio asked Mista. “You’ve been trailing him for two weeks. Surely there’s something you know.”

“His instincts are really sharp,” Mista blurted out. “They’re better than any other vampire I’ve seen. It’s really incredible.” He forced himself not to say any more. It was for the sake of himself and Giorno.

“Is he jumpy?” Abbacchio continued to question. “Or does he usually stay and fight?”

“Well, it depends.” Mista’s brain was wracking on the possibilities of being vague, but still answering the question with enough detail to satisfy the other hunter.

“What does he do more?”

“It’s a mix of both. He’s pretty unpredictable.”

“He really is tricky, then.” Abbacchio chuckled a bit. “He won’t be much of an issue any longer.”

“That’s good.” Bucciarati smiled at him. “There will be one less terror in the world.”

But once again, Mista found himself unable to be happy. The way they were talking about Giorno pierced his heart painfully. If only they knew what I knew...he wouldn’t seem like the demon they say he is. Giorno felt like Mista’s best friend, the person who seemed to stick to his side no matter what he does or where he came from. “ Best friend” doesn’t even come close to describing him. There’s something else I feel about him. I just can’t put my finger on it. Mista just needed to defend Giorno. His smile, eyes, hair, charm, stories, and tenderness were all things Mista had grown to love. 

“Mista, you’ll be finding that other vampire, right?” Bruno asked him. “You can start tonight as well, like Abbacchio.”

His heart was slowly sinking into his stomach. He only nodded in understanding. He was unable to look at Bucciarati in the eyes.

“Is something wrong?”

“No,” Mista answered quickly. “I’d just usually be asleep by now.” 

“So you’re tired?” Bucciarati smiled sympathetically. “You’re dismissed, then. Rest up.’

“Good luck, Mista,” said Abbacchio.

He didn’t waste another moment in the church.

 

Even while lying down on a mattress, nice and snug under the covers, Mista couldn’t fall asleep. Giorno’s name couldn’t leave his mind. He was in danger. Mista couldn’t directly be there to protect him, even if Giorno hardly needed it. Abbacchio would’ve found out about his and Giorno’s relationship. 

Perhaps Mista had been doomed the moment he met Giorno. 

Giorno’s name still never left him. Mista debated with himself about what was worth defending. He finally made his choice.

 

*****

 

Mista never showed up in the two hours Giorno usually waited for him. 

Giorno knew that he seemed to be getting worse as the nights went by. It wasn’t difficult to catch Mista’s episodes where he spaced out, or sense the increased sweat and generally nervous emotions. There always seemed to be something Mista wanted to say, but he never got it out.

Giorno wasn’t a fool. He knew that the relationship he was upholding with Mista was going to eventually get him into trouble with his own race. Giorno was always leaving it up to him to decide where his moralities laid. Perhaps Mista’s absence was his final decision.

He chuckled to himself. “Of course it would have to end so soon...human lives are rather fragile, physically and emotionally.”

There was something in him that he never felt before. It wasn’t often that vampires even had strong emotions. Even when they did, it always had something to do with pride or rage. But the heaviness in Giorno was nothing like either of those. It seemed to weigh him down, tugging on his body. It challenged his upright poise he always carried. His face fell into a frown as he scoffed a bit to ease the weight. “I knew that it would end soon, anyways.”

There was a snap of a twig. Giorno was immediately alerted. He pinned down the sound to be around two meters away from him. He dropped down into a defensive position, digging one of his feet into the ground to pivot around.

Judging by the type of snap, it came from a foot. That foot had to be human. Could it be Mista? Giorno quickly ruled that option out. Mista wasn’t exactly cautious around him. That twig had been crushed slowly, with a careful step.

“I know you’re there.” Giorno’s tone lowered, splitting through the air like ice. “Why don’t you come on out yourself? You aren’t stealthy in the slightest.”

“Giorno Giovanna.” His name came out from the new voice in a snarl. “Son of DIO, aren’t you?”

“I’ve already asked for you to reveal yourself, hunter.” Despite remaining calm, Giorno began to realize what this may have meant. Hunters were usually sent after Giorno after the previous one failed. Before, Mista had tried to kill him. Had Mista’s race considered him a failure for the job? Giorno grit his teeth a bit. It was true that Mista would’ve died, if it hadn’t been for his stupid, yet effective charm. However, there was a bit of irritation within Giorno for anyone to consider something like a failure. He was unaware where the distaste was even coming from.

“You can sense me, can’t you? That should be enough.” The voice moved to Giorno’s side. “DIO is a vile rat. For the sake of many lives, I will exterminate you and what other vermin that beast might’ve spawned.”

“Are you going to follow up with that?” Giorno’s body relaxed a bit, but he was still vigilant. “Or are you just going to talk me to death?”

That was the last of any conversation. The hunter stepped out of his cover. Long, silver hair pooled down on his shoulders and beyond. There was a fire in his purple eyes and his face and his face was bunched up in a snarl. Giorno could recognize him from the photo Mista had of his old class. It was Abbacchio.

Abbacchio’s hand slid in a remote place within his coat. Giorno looked caught off-guard. That was his chance to try and end this quickly. The small vial of Holy Water fit between his two fingers. His hair hid the vial before he flicked it in Giorno’s direction.

But Giorno noticed it. He moved away from the glass with a slight turn to his body, not even turning back to watch it shatter behind him. Mista taught him better than anyone else not to be so reckless when it came to those bottles.

Abbaccio then quickly drew out his weapons. It was a simple stake and hammer. The dark grey metal was hard to see within the night, even for a vampire with night vision. Waiting for Giorno’s next move was the tricky part. It would be unwise to charge head in for a vampire when they had all the speed and could easily step away, circle behind, then strike. However, Giorno could also be the type to simply run away. Those types were a pain to catch.

Giorno didn’t move at first, either. He was analyzing Abbacchio, all while focusing on his senses in case Abbacchio decided to rush at him. He was remaining still. He’s waiting for me, then. He’s not blindly rushing in. 

Giorno took a step forward and Abbacchio tensed up. He seems ready for plenty of things. He’s no ametuer. However, that doesn’t matter.

He leapt off of the ground in a diagonal manner. Human reflexes were only so fast—Abbacchio would hardly have a chance to defend himself.

But even with Giorno’s caution, Abbacchio was not to be underestimated. He saw Giorno’s blur rushing in to his side. His arm swung around to at least hit Giorno back with his own strength. He doubted it would damage the vampire, but it would at least throw him back.

Giorno grappled onto the arm that hit him. His fingers sank into the flesh. He tugged harshly, trying to directly rip the arm off with brute force.

Abbacchio turned harshly, easing the tension from his arm before swinging his other arm into Giorno. He aimed his stake to impale the vampire. It would probably sink in around his side, which was far from lethal, but it would get Giorno to at least let go. 

The stake stabbed into Giorno moments faster than he could react. He hissed loudly in defense. His fingers clenched before cutting through Abbacchio’s arm, tearing his clothes and parts of his skin.

Giorno licked his fingers clean. The extra blood would aid in regeneration. The wound wasn’t a big deal, but it proved to Giorno that he’d have to be really careful.

“You’re disgusting,” Abbacchio said. “Licking it off your fingers? You’re worse than I thought.”

Giorno simply shrugged nonchalantly. The wound in his side sealed up swiftly. The only reminisce of it was the small hole in his attire and the barely visible blood.

Abbacchio shook off a small grimace on his face. There were more horrific sights he could be disgusted about. He dug around in his jacket, fitting two more vials between his fingers. He could tell Giorno had taken notice. That would mean the vampire couldn’t be hasty about trying to jump on Abbacchio.

He then threw the stake at Giorno. Abbacchio watched for the direction Giorno shifted his feet in. He was going to spring away to avoid the stake, but that would leave him mostly defenseless against the Holy Water. 

Giorno hopped to the right and one of the vials was flung at him. He attempted to twist away, but the glass still shattered against his hand. He hissed as it began to dissolve his skin. Glass shards that had been embedded upon the impact fell out as flesh disappeared.

His gaze still remained leveled, even as Abbacchio grew a more confident smirk. He teasingly waved the second vial as he started taking cautious steps towards his stake, which was buried into a tree.

Giorno got there first. He pulled the weapon out. He’d just hold onto that for a while. He wouldn’t want to get stabbed with it.
Abbacchio didn’t seem worried at all, though. In fact, his grin grew wider.

Something was wrong. Upon closer inspection, the second vial was empty. There was sizzling coming from the hand holding the stake. It was wet; somehow, Abbacchio leaked the Holy Water onto the handle. Giorno then immediately dropped the weapon with a growl.

His eyes narrowed as his hands were sizzling (though they’d eventually dry and Giorno could regenerate the lost flesh.) It was stupid for him to have been tricked like that, but now Abbacchio was more vulnerable. He was out of vials and his stake was far from reach.

So Giorno tackled him. Despite his vampiric strength, Abbacchio was tough. He was putting up quite the struggle from under Giorno. They were rolling around on the floor like cats, grabbing onto each other. Giorno was even snarling and hissing like one as well.

They struggled near where Abbacchio’s stake was. He took it, about to plunge it into Giorno’s chest, but the vampire quickly took the armed hand and slammed it down onto the ground.

His other hand (which was slowly beginning to regenerate) tore into Abbacchio’s stomach. He was tearing the flesh apart as his teeth finally sank into the junction between Abbacchio’s neck and shoulder. The extracted blood fixed his hands completely.

It seemed like Giorno had won. Abbacchio was still flailing on the ground uselessly as Giorno was aggressively drinking up all his blood and tearing up his insides. It was a waste of food to claw at Abbacchio, but Giorno really needed him to stop struggling.

But he hadn’t even noticed that Abbacchio was digging the stake into the hand that pinned him down. It was cutting through, almost cutting his hand off when Giorno noticed. He stopped what he was doing, even lifting his head and hands from Abbacchio.

The vampire hunter then flipped them over and had Giorno pinned on the ground. The stake was then stabbed through his chest.

The wound wasn’t immediately lethal, but Abbacchio raised the hammer.

“You’re a tough one, alright…” He chuckled a bit. “But unfortunately for you, this is the end of the line.”

*****

Mista was worried about Giorno. Abbacchio was nobody to mess with and if he didn’t already kill Giorno, he’d leave him pretty tired out, maybe even vulnerable. His chest was aching at the thought of Giorno. Was he even okay? Would he be okay? Why was Mista stupid enough not to say anything? Anxious feelings and frustration whipped around inside of him like a violent storm. Even the small stroll through the woods he decided to go on wasn’t helping him calm down. He had a simple mind. He never worried about many things for long, but Giorno had already flipped his world upside down. He must’ve done the same to his mind. His calm demeanor was failing to come out, wash over him, and tell him everything would be okay. He was sweating bullets. It wasn’t a guarantee that everything would be fine. He was pacing around the forest. A chilly breeze drifted by, but that couldn’t cool down Mista’s burning skin.

His worry for Giorno halted when he heard something. It sounded like hisses and grunts. Was someone fighting a vampire? Did they need help? There was a fear in the back of Mista’s mind that it was Giorno and Abbacchio, but he shoved the thought aside and crept closer to the noises.

His heart dropped in his chest. It was Giorno and Abbacchio. They were rolling on the ground, desperately trying to pin each other down or at least maim the other. Giorno eventually got settled on top of Abbacchio, ripping open his stomach and sucking the blood from his neck. Mista didn’t want to watch, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away. At least Giorno was safe…?

But the tides had turned when Giorno suddenly lifted himself from off of Abbacchio. He was looking at his wrist, but what for? Abbacchio then shoved him off and got on top of him before stabbing his chest with the stake. The hammer was being lifted.

Abbachcio’s gonna kill him. I feel like I’ve let this happen. I didn’t tell him anything and then I just left him out here to get slaughtered… Regret started to weigh him down, but a sudden spike of adrenaline soared through his being. He could still help Giorno, couldn’t he?
He didn’t leave any more time to think. Giorno was about to die. He rushed into the scene, slamming his entire body on Abbacchio and holding him down. His torn guts and gushing neck left him a little weaker. Usually, Mista would have problems trying to hold Abbacchio down, but in that condition, it was easy.

“Mista?! What the hell are you doing?!” Abbacchio tried to struggle his way out from under him.

“Mista?” Giorno’s voice was a lot softer, but it was equally as surprised. He pulled the stake out of his chest and threw it away.

“You know him?” Abbacchio tried to knee Mista in the crotch, but he got up before Abbacchio could do so. He then stood up, taking a few disoriented towards his discarded weapon.

“...yes.” Mista forced his voice to stay level.

“So for two weeks, you’ve been buddy-buddy with this vampire instead of trying to kill him?” Abbacchio picked up the stake and tucked it away. “I thought we could trust you.”

Mista didn’t answer. What could he say? He just saved someone that Abbacchio would claim as the “ultimate enemy to man.”

“Bucciarati’s gonna hear about this.” Abbacchio was limping away into the darkness. “You let him toy with you. You’re gonna pay for this, Mista. I had him and you decided to save his sorry ass. You’re a traitor to your own kind.”

Nothing was said after Abbacchio left. Nothing moved, either. That was, until Giorno gently put a hand on Mista’s shoulder. He flinched.

“Are you...okay?” Giorno’s voice was like a breath of wind—soft, gentle, and a little soothing.

Mista didn’t say anything. He wasn’t okay, he was definitely screwed, but at least Giorno was safe.

Giorno then rested his head on Mista’s shoulder. “Thank you for tonight, though. I don’t know how I could repay you.”