Moonlight and the faint glow of candles gave Bruno just enough light to see by as he padded barefoot across the floor. He opened the big windows, breathing in the fresh, salty air coming in off of the gulf. His skin prickled with gooshflesh as the cool breeze chilled the sweat clinging to him. Tipping his face up to the moon, Bruno lifted his hair off of the back of his neck with both hands and closed his eyes. He smiled, content.
A soft sound from the bed drew Bruno’s attention. He turned, smile widening. He let his hair fall back around his face, not bothering to smooth it down, and folded his arms across his bare chest as he leaned against the window frame.
Giorno slept on, unaware and beautiful. His golden hair was unbound, tumbling around his shoulders in a halo of curls. Sprawled on his stomach, the sheets tangled around his legs, offering a nearly uninterrupted view of his flawless body. The candlelight danced over his skin, making him glow.
With a fond sigh, Bruno crawled back into bed, leaving the candles lit to enjoy their glow for a little while longer. Giorno stirred as the bed shifted. He hummed a contented, sleepy sound as he snuggled his face into the pillow. Bruno stroked a hand down his back, a silent reassurance for them both. Giorno always seemed to sleep easier with Bruno at his side.
Truth be told, Bruno slept better with Giorno beside him too.
Sleep, however, was elusive, so Bruno preferred to watch over his sleeping beauty. Giorno didn’t get enough rest, no matter how often he was scolded for working himself too thin. Admittedly, Bruno was just as bad, but it was his job to look out for his Don.
Admiring the play of light and shadow across Giorno’s skin, Bruno reached out to touch. He carefully swept the tangled curls away, piling them upon the pillow where they wouldn’t stick to Giorno’s skin with heat and sweat. Bruno let his finger trace the star-shaped birthmark on his shoulder. It was curious.
Less curious were the few scars scattered over his back, old and pale with time. As a boy, Bruno had known other children with similar scars. He had never needed to ask Giorno where they came from, even when he’d had the opportunity.
“Where did this one come from?” Giorno had asked, sprawled across Bruno’s chest. His slender fingers circled a small scar on Bruno’s hand.
“Fishhook,” he answered. “I have another one on the back of my calf.”
“These aren’t from Pesci, are they?”
“No,” Bruno reassured him. “You fixed all of those, my love. I was a kid when I got these.”
Giorno nodded, smiling faintly. Bruno knew he was trying to imagine a small, black-haired boy clumsy enough to get tangled in his own fishing line.
“And this one?” A larger scar on Bruno’s side caught Giorno’s attention. He’d taken his time kissing it earlier with gentle lips and soft fingers.
“Gunshot. I was young and stupid when I first joined the organization. Turns out I’m not bulletproof.”
“Hmm. Learned that faster than the fishhook lesson, did you?” Giorno teased, moving onto the next scar with a smile and a kiss to Bruno’s cheek.
Bruno smiled at the memory of their laughter and touches that night. Giorno would heal his scars if he asked, but Bruno saw more reason to keep them. That he’d never offered, that he’d kept his own, suggested that Giorno knew what it meant to leave history marked upon his body.
For better or worse, there were lessons in old scars.
Leaning over Giorno, Bruno kissed the nape of his neck, the strange birthmark and the pale scars. Hands once rough with rope burn and calluses traced over the curve of Giorno’s spine. How he loved this young man, with all of his golden dreams and quiet strength. He made Bruno a better man, gave him the courage to live in the light, rather than suffer beneath the shadows of lesser men.
Giorno stirred, green eyes fluttering open, and he arched into Bruno’s touch. He looked over his shoulder. “Hi.”
“I didn’t mean to wake you,” Bruno apologized with a kiss to his jaw.
“Mm. But you’re not sorry either,” Giorno chuckled. “What time is it?”
“Not even midnight,” he said, draping himself over Giorno’s back. He felt so warm.
Giorno sought out his hand, lacing their fingers together. “Can’t sleep?”
“Not tired,” he admitted, burying his face into Giorno’s curls, inhaling. They smelled of Versace cologne and almond shampoo. It was familiar. Comforting.
Like he was home.
“I might have a few ideas for that,” Giorno suggested, dropping his voice into a lower register. Bruno’s thoughts of the past scattered as Giorno wiggled against him, tangling their legs together in the sheets and bringing him back into the present. He smiled, letting his own voice go rough and husky as he answered.
“You did say it isn’t even midnight.”
“So I did,” Bruno agreed, slotting a knee between Giorno’s thighs and rocking into his backside.
Laughing softly, Giorno turned over so that he was the one settled on top with a leg thrown over Bruno’s hips. His fingers played over Bruno’s tattoos as they kissed, drifting down to the old scar that had fascinated him since that first night. He often did that, as if reminding himself how close they’d come to never meeting at all.
And then, to complete the circle, he kissed the center of Bruno’s chest where there was no scar at all, but the ghost of a wound that nearly ended everything. Giorno’s hand trembled ever so slightly with remembered fear.
Bruno combed his fingers through Giorno’s hair, cupped his face with a gentle palm. “I’m still here, my love.”
Giorno smiled, kissing the inside of Bruno’s wrist. “Yes. Right where you’re meant to be.”
Bruno nodded, his heart warm and hs chest tight. “By your side, GioGio. Always.”