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Loyal to One's Own Heart

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The bar was a cheap, sleazy one, sweat and the smell of watered down spirits being the first thing to hit Giorno’s nose, certainly a suitable scent to accompany the sight. People dancing, talking, smoking, packed in shoulder-to-shoulder with each other. It was amazing how such a horrid setting was accompanied by so many lively souls. Cheap drinks, and cheap drugs provided for by one of the many local gangs really were a big seller over there, afterall. Even the rumors of groups of friends going missing, of black markets that lay hidden in almost every shop corner, of dead bodies that would wash up on the nearby river shores, did not deter much of the crowd.

But even through all the cramped and sweaty bodies that seemed to merge into one, Giorno’s eyes were piercing, staring down at one particular person, a person with such charm and charisma behind him that it was impossible not to look. Giorno’s aim was locked on. Despite it already being far past the early hours of the morning, his night was just about to begin.

Giorno Giovanna had not been given much information before being handed a worn down manila folder just a few hours earlier, no photos or direct descriptions in sight. Instead, it just gave two simple instructions: “We had reports of a man by the name of Guido Mista conducting his gang’s trade under our own clubs and bars. Bodies have gone missing, and money has been drying up in our own pockets. Find that scum who does not belong in this territory. Get rid of him as you see fit. He will be easy to find.”

The note, as simple as it was, was not wrong. There was clearly someone there who did not belong with the rest of the crowd, his shirt looking a little too clean, his shoes looking a little too expensive for an establishment such as this, his watch most certainly either a fake, or worth more than half the people in this run down club. His smile, a little too bright for this hour of the night, a little too sober compared to the rest of the poor souls he danced away with.

How such a man, flaunting such wealth and such importance, could operate within another gang’s territory for so long truly was a mystery. Giorno was not being paid to deal with this, but he couldn’t help but be at least a little curious.

He had been watching this cheery brunette for most of the night, eyes always lingering for just a moment too long, a silent invitation for the other to come closer. Each time those dark eyes flicked over to his own green ones, Giorno would not flinch away. Instead, he would smoothly look away, patience clear in his action.

It was of no surprise, then, when said man had found his way next to him at the bar, a drink in his hand, a bright smile on his face as he leaned his whole body closer to the blonde. Giorno was certain the aftershave he had on was no mere drug store brand, it’s smell far too intoxicating for it to be cheaply made.

Giorno was certain that if he had been any ordinary person with an ordinary sense of self control, his mind would have forgotten about all around him, time would simply cease to exist, his attention getting occupied by the addicting appeal of the other’s smile. The way his cheeks would have a faint hint of a dimple shining through them, those dark eyes glittering with so much energy it was easy to get lost in, would be the only thing to linger within Giorno’s mind.

But Giorno is no ordinary man. Even if he does let his eyes indulge in the sight in front of him for a moment too long, his mind never strays.

“Here, you look like a cosmopolitan kind of guy.” Even as a drink gets pushed over into his hands, that cheery voice ringing just as clear as the glimmer in this stranger’s eyes, Giorno focuses on his objective, his fingers simply tapping along the glass of the drink -  most certainly unwashed and unhygienic.

He knows the way this trick works. He knows how these mafia underdogs conduct their business. Giorno knows better than to drink a whole glass from the hand of this man.

But, more importantly, he knows how to play along. There was a certain amount of time before any sort of drug would take effect on the body of its user, a sort of buffer zone that Giorno had gotten much experience of understanding perfectly well. He had around fifteen to thirty minutes before this liquid would have to leave his body. A perfectly suitable length of time.

A faint smile played on his lips as he brought the glass up, sipping away at the liquid, an innocent facade dancing within the greens of his eyes. He made sure to take it slow, tasting the liquid as it coated his mouth and as it burnt it’s way down his throat, not flinching at the bitter taste that was so obviously laced within it.

The moment he saw the gangster’s adam’s apple bob in response, a thick gulp, the excitement dancing within his eyes, he knew he had him hooked in.

There was no way any ordinary man, nor ordinary thug, would be able to resist the charms and acts of Giorno Giovanna. Delicately pale fingers found their way towards golden locks, lacing themselves beautifully around the hair, an almost hypnotizing act that was certain to pull this gangster into his trap a little more. Giorno was very aware of his own siren-like actions, lips perfectly plump as he nipped at them, daring Guido to look anywhere else besides there.

“I’m more of a Bloody Mary guy, but, who am I to turn down a free drink? Especially brought by someone so… generously charming.” Giorno was a confident young man, years of dealing in his own organisation’s business, with bosses above and thugs below, had taught him to stand strong. Had taught him to never fear looking a man in the eye.

This gangster may be gullible, but he was certain he wasn’t entirely a fool. Any sign of a break in the act would be a failure of the mission.

“You sure you ain’t talking bout yourself, there? Could spot you half a mile away. You sure you’re even in the right part of town, shouldn’t pretty rich boys like you be somewhere a little more upper class?”

Giorno tried not to let his smirk show through the glass, taking another sip of the liquid, feigning a small laugh at such a suggestion. Perhaps this opposing gang really was full of thoughtless dogs who trusted all they came in contact with?

“I heard about the cheap prices in these parts of town.” It was a simple, natural answer. “It seems I’ve made a good choice coming here tonight. Drinks seem to be free, even.” His ring clinged against the glass in the hand, swirling around the pink liquid within, eyes easily catching onto the poorly dissolved pill that still floated around inside.

He wondered how such an idiot had managed to sneak under the radar for so long, even. Hiding under the watchful eyes of his own gang for so long, slipping into territory that did not belong to him, taking the bodies of those who belonged to Giorno’s own group.

“Besides. That watch, it is an F.P. Journe brand, if I am not mistaken?” Before those sun kissed hands could move to hide such a clear status of money, Giorno’s fingers snaked around the other’s wrist, his grip strong and steady. His eyes flicked for a brief moment onto the embellished dials. It had been a few minutes. There was still some time for Giorno to play along with this act, before the final stage would begin to take shape.

“I’m sure that’s worth more than all that I have on right now-”

“Mhm. It’s probably worth even more than you, even.”

Giorno found it hard to believe that this gangster, the one who did not know when nor how to shut his mouth, had managed to catch so many within his trap. It was so painfully obvious to the blonde, so much so that he wouldn’t be afraid to place part of the blame onto those poor victims for failing to see past the charm and the charisma.

“Oh? How much would I be worth then? If I’m not worth even a watch?” Giorno was not entirely sure if the way his body leant forwards, a little closer towards this Guido Mista, was still a part of some act or not. There was genuine intrigue in his question, genuine amusement over such an obvious comment.

“A pretty guy like you? Man, depends on what happens to you. There’s a lot of shit that goes down along these streets-”

“The black markets? I have heard of them. Or were you referring to the brothels that I’m certain lie all around these streets?”

Had Mista been surprised, he did not show it, that grin and charm still strong on his face. Even the way he laughed had sounded so natural, ringing loudly and clearly through the loud and broken up bass of the sound system.

Perhaps those previous victims, whose organs now lay in jars and coolers within the hospitals weren’t such idiots. Giorno was beginning to realise just how this gangster was able to pull so many into his trap, to entice them with such a genuine charm and honesty that it was hard to resist.

Not to mention the free drinks, too. Even despite the bitter taste of the drug, and the surely watered down alcohol, Giorno found himself enjoying this brief moment of peace, a brief illusion of pretending to be just like any other patron of this bar. A simple young man enjoying a simple night out.

“Guess I can’t judge a book by it’s cover, huh?-” 

To all that passed by this was just a normal little conversation, a simple chit chat between two drunken souls. Even Giorno found himself getting lost in this fantasy. Though, that brief flicker of dark eyes onto the drink’s glass reminded him of the situation. Reminded him of the bitterness that ran through his tongue as he brought that liquid up to his lips once more.

Reminded him of the time limit.

“-but no. I stay clear from those brothels, and all sorts. Wasn’t referring to that.” The laughter from the brunette had died down just a little, a naturally lazy grin forming onto his face. He really had no shame in his actions nor words. Guido Mista was the picture perfect representation of confidence and arrogance that could lead one to their demise.

“Oh? So you do involve yourself in the other sorts?” Pink lips opened up just a little, tongue flicking out to catch a drop from the drink, eyes never leaving Mista’s even through the action. “The black markets?”

“Maybe I do. Maybe I don’t? Why are you acting all curious? You don't even know my name yet-” The hand that had once been in Giorno’s hold just mere moment’s ago switched the position, imitating that very same action with the already familiar cheeky smirk bright on Mista’s face.

He tugged the blonde closer, clearly not satisfied with the already close proximity, deciding that this peculiar patron was practically begging to get looked at more closely. Such beauty would be wasted by admiring from afar, afterall. “- aren’t guys like you of the smart type?”

Just as their hands had switched places, so had their composures. Giorno himself did not expect the laugh that had come out from his mouth, the sweet ringing that outshone even the muted out bass that had been replaying the same tune on repeat for the whole of the night. It had come from somewhere deep within him, somewhere that even Giorno did not truly understand.

Perhaps it was just simple shock at the blatant admittal, the exposure of his identity? Perhaps it was in awe at the confidence that this man radiated, how Gudio Mista seemed certain of his ways, even with such a risky tactic.

Whatever it had been, it certainly amused Giorno to no end, that sly, fox-like smirk leaving the face in favour of a more relaxed smile. It did make a pleasant change talking to someone like this, so carefree, so openly over these topics.

“Well, would you be so kind as to give me your name, then? I would be a liar if I said that you don’t intrigue me. There certainly is something peculiar about you.”

“Guido Mista. I trust you to remember that name.” 

“Oh? You’re a rather confident man.” Their bodies pulled closer, neither particularly sure as to who was the cause this time around. Not that it truly mattered, not when their faces were so close, intoxicated breaths mixing with one another’s. “Why would I need to remember the name of someone I met in a bar like this? Would you be so kind as to share that information with me?”

Their faces leaned closer, for a mere moment a flash of something primal within Giorno running through his mind, feeling himself falling for this perfect little fantasy all over again. The blonde would be a liar not to admit the small rush of excitement as his tongue flicked over his own lips, suddenly aware of the bitter tasting alcohol that was drying out his skin.
Yet, the contact did not come. Bodies did not press against each other, lips did not press against his own nor did hands tangle their way into his hair. Instead, Mista simply tapped the glass that still rested in Giorno’s palm, the condensation from it suddenly feeling far cooler own skin. “Just finish up your drink, and you’ll find out.”

Oh. This Guido Mista certainly was a peculiar person. That carefree attitude, that softness that came with his smile, that general aura of honesty was most certainly real. There was no mask. Yet, even still, he was a determined man. He had his goal in sight, his target set and his plan in motion. 

Even Giorno Giovanna, with all of his own subtle hints, his own body language practically screaming at Mista to forget about all but himself, was not enough to deter Guido from his own mission.

Green eyes flicked over to the watch on the other’s wrist once more, eyes focused on the gentle ticking, the sound so elevated in his mind that he could hear it even through the drunken yells and chants of the crowds around them. He certainly was pushing it a little too close to comfort.

“Of course. Wouldn’t want your gift to go to waste, would I?-” It was a classic move, almost cliche in many senses that Giorno wondered how he had even managed to get away with it so damn often. The soft gasp, the feigned look of surprise was a perfect mask on his face, as his hand pushed forwards, crashing into Mista’s own hand, that pink liquid spilling out, splashes hitting Giorno almost too perfectly.

All that remained, was to laugh, that awkward, shy little laugh that had swept so many previous victims off their feet. “Oh- Perhaps I’ve already had a bit too much?” There was a light bubbliness to his speech, tone raised just at the right places. Giorno had practiced this act to perfection many a times, and from his observations, Guido Mista had no chance of seeing through it.

Both eyes stared down at the floor, the liquid quickly seeping into the already stained floors, mixing with god knows what lay there, the poorly dissolved remnants of the pill blending in brilliantly with the mess.

There had been a few beats of silence between the pair, minds carefully calculating the next plans, both carefully considering the options that had presented themselves.

It had been Mista’s turn to break the silence first, arms quickly digging into his pockets to fish out some spare cash as he spoke, “I’ll get you another-”

“Oh! No, no. That was entirely my fault! You shouldn’t.” The tone of voice remained light while feet carefully planted themselves onto the ground, a slight wobble in his movements that Giorno hoped would convince Mista of his current state. He almost had Mista in his trap.

Giorno knew just the perfect little thing to finish this off. It was a little hard to contain the smirk as his feet slipped in the long lost cosmopolitan, letting another soft laugh leave his mouth as he leant forwards, coming crashing towards the gangster. 

It was safe to say, Giorno was certainly a little impressed at the other’s reflexes. Those arms opened up without any thought, wrapping themselves around Giorno’s shoulders, holding him up. The cute little expression against Mista’s face certainly added to the moment. Perhaps had Mista not been a gangster, his main target for the night, the one who was responsible for all the sudden missing bodies and organs that had found their way into back-alley hospitals, Giorno would have played around a little more.

But that clock did not stop ticking.

“Whoa there-” The duo almost fell back against the bar stool, pale hands holding onto the other’s shirt, taking note of the lack of any gun holsters on his torso. “-I think you were right.”

“Mhm… I feel bad though, Mista. I mean, you bought that drink for me, and I was so careless-” Men like Mista were the easiest to fool for the blonde. His head tilted upwards, eyes a little wider than before, golden hair falling so perfectly around his forehead. “-Oh! I’m getting this all over you now, too.”

Truth be told, this always was the least favourable part of the night, the stickiness from that cosmopolitan feeling rather disgusting on his skin, fingers sticking onto the other’s shirt as he pulled away. The scowl that rested on Giorno’s face had no need for being faked.

“Hey! It’s just a silly little drink, I would offer you another one but-”

“Well, let me make it up to you, Guido.” Mista’s hand had slipped off Giorno’s shoulders, resting behind his own neck. It truly was a humble gesture, something so genuine about it. Mista certainly was a man of confusion, of oxymorons.

“I’m not a fool. I know what you’re after, and I think I’m after the same thing too.” That light bubbliness had slipped from Giorno’s voice for a mere second as he spoke, tone lower, coming from somewhere deep within his throat, an almost serious air forming around the pair. There was more truth to those words than perhaps Guido would ever expect.

“You’re pretty bold for a posh boy. Is this why you came to a bar like this in the first place then?” Giorno had noticed the way those dark eyes lit up for a brief moment, excitement evidently clear in them with anticipation and impatience running rampant within this gangster’s mind. He had hooked him in.

Now, there was just the small issue of the alcohol left to deal with, the pill that had been floating around in the cosmopolitan mere moments earlier certainly beginning to start its effects any moment now.

“Firstly, I am no ‘posh boy’, my name is Giorno Giovanna.” A hand came up to tuck a stray lock of hair behind his ear, mentally cursing the sticky alcohol that would surely tangle the locks. “Just give me a moment. Meet me outside the bar in a few minutes-”

“Where are you going? I can come-”

“Guido Mista. I certainly think you are aware of some preparation that needs to take place before I can actually do anything with you… I would need privacy for that. Or are you so impatient that you simply cannot control yourself?” Guido reminded Giorno of something akin to a little puppy, eager to follow the other’s lead, loyal to no end. He certainly could see how a man like this would be a useful thug to work these streets. A useful tool in the growing black markets.

Even through the dimmed lights of the bar and the already darkened skin of the gangster, seeing that red flush on Guido’s face certainly amused Giorno to no end. He could read this man like a book.

“Sure. Yeah. Okay. But we go back to mine. Got work early tomorrow.”

“Of course. Now, if you’ll excuse me-”

Neither had been entirely aware of just how close they had been to each other just now, chests pressed against each other from the little ‘slip’ just earlier. Neither fully acknowledged that it took a moment longer than needed to pull away from one another while they steadied their feet. Neither acknowledged how their eyes simply would not leave one another's, not backing down.

It was the ticking of the watch that broke that serenity.

Giorno was the first to move, making sure to still have that slight wobble in his movements as he turned towards the toilets at the back, not sparing a glance back at the other. He had no reason to. He was confident in this plan, afterall. His mind had far more important things to worry about at this moment.

 

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While the rancid stench of the toilets was usually an unwelcome greeting, it was certainly a blessing in disguise for the blonde. The ammonia that burnt at his nose the second he stepped in, the stained and rusted urinals that lay on the side of the room with certainly more than just urine laying at the bottom, the cubicles that had no locks on them anymore - all of this was exactly what Giorno needed. 

He hardly needed to push his fingers back far for everything to come out, the taste of that watered down alcohol certainly not being any more pleasant the second time around. It was always peculiar to Giorno how he was able to taste that damned drug more when it came back up, perhaps the bile within him simply accentuating the vile flavours. 

Though, perhaps those vile flavours were to be appreciated. At the very least, it did not dissolve into his blood, did not cloud his mind and comprehension.
He had been on time.

No one in there even spared a glance at the blonde, simply ignoring the noises coming from the toilet, ignoring the smell (though perhaps that was already masked by the general stench of this place), ignoring everything about what was happening. People in these parts of town knew it was better to keep their eyes low. It was better to live an ignorantly carefree life. It certainly played into Giorno’s advantage. There was nothing he hated more than people interrupting his plans, useless comments and concerns that did not interest him in any manner.

Even then, as he walked up to the sink, washing away whatever remnants were left on his face while that impeccably perfect mask quickly fell back on, no one spared a glance. No one watched as Giorno corrected his hair, washing out the sticky alcohol from the ends of his fringe and delicately picking out a few loose strands to create an almost unearthly view. Giorno certainly knew how to make the most out of that which he was blessed with.

 

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The fresh air that met the blonde outside was a welcomed aroma, even despite the thick air of smoke that sat heavily through it. Anything to get out of that suffocating, pathetic little bar. Giorno Giovanna may look like one, but he truly was no saint. He only had so much patience to deal with drunken singing and yells from all around. This peace and relative quiet of the outside, with only a few distant murmurs and muted out music blaring in the background, was always welcomed.

But perhaps, what was welcomed more, was the sight of that brunette once again. 

It was peculiar how now, with arguably less light on them, he truly felt he could see Mista better. He could take notice of the way his shirt hung half tucked in, how the fabric of the suit ensemble clashed terribly, how that priceless suit jacket was ruined by the creases of the arms that were rolled up high. Truly everything about this man was amusing to Giorno.

He would be a liar not to admit the excitement that rushed through his body for a second, the thought of what was to come very shortly energizing him once again.

Placing that familiar little stumble onto his walk once again, carefully tripping over his feet in the most calculated of manners, Giorno made his way to Mista while pretending to ignore the way those black eyes scanned his whole body up and down.

Though, spotting the pair of keys in those sun kissed hands, Giorno could not help that slight frown from forming on his lips. What an irresponsible man, let alone a careless gangster.

“You are driving? I might not be entirely sober but I don’t think that’s a good idea-”

You might not be, but I am. Come on, let’s get in before you start throwing up everywhere” Had it been any normal soul with a mind intoxicated and clouded by the alcohol and drugs running through their blood, it would have sounded normal. They would’ve simply laughed off that cheeky little grin that formed on Mista’s face. They would’ve stumbled into his arms with a soft nod of the head, pretending to throw all their worries right to the back of their mind.

Giorno did exactly that.

But, there was one clear difference between him and the rest of those poor victims. Giorno had noticed the way that hand seemed to lower for just a moment, stopping just at the waistband of those trousers, stopping right at the prime position for a gun holster. 

Giorno played the role of the naive, drunken victim, yet caution was at the back of his mind, a careful plan formulating in his head even as he entered the passenger seat of the car.

This seemed like it would be a fun little challenge. This night was turning out far more fun than he could have ever imagined. 

 

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Giorno tried not to concentrate on his breathing, tried not to think too hard on the gentle rising and falling of his chest. Overthinking the actions that came naturally to the body was where the fault usually lied in. He just needed to let his mind take over, letting his natural instincts guide his every breath as he lay back in the car seat.

By his calculations, any normal poor soul would have long been passed out, mind practically turned off while they rode this car journey out. Perhaps they never really awoke again? Perhaps, the last memory that greeted their eyes was of Mista, charming and cheery as always, standing besides his car, opening up the passenger door and buckling them into their seat.

Perhaps the last thing to grace their minds was the fascinating look in those dark eyes. A humble charisma mixing sweetly with a look of focus, determination swimming around so effortlessly.

Giorno could think of many worse things that one could have as their last memory.

The click of the tape deck coming to life almost jolted Giorno up out of the blissful rest he had found himself in, almost blew his whole little act right up. Just how old was this car? It was an amazing wonder how this man hadn’t crashed already, that he was able to transport bodies to wherever his next destination was in one whole piece.

It took Giorno a moment to recognise the tune that began to blare out, the old tape being well used through all these years with the quality of the audio having degraded to an almost unbearable level. Yet, he was still able to hear it. Though, that was partly due to the other’s voice blaring out as if they were still back at that bar, competing with some imaginary bands tunes.

There was such joy to those hummed out words. Such a happy little step to them that one could almost forget where this encounter was heading. Hell, Giorno had to make it a point to remind himself of the gun that surely lay in the other’s lap.

All in all, as final moments go, his past victims must have had it nice. Once again, Giorno could think of many worse sounds to hear before your final moments, before everything within simply turned to black.

He wondered for just how long this car had been going for. Giorno had long ago given up on memorising the twists and turns that shook the car almost every few moments, almost certain that this gangster was driving around in circles. It was a smart move, that was for certain. Any witnesses who may dare to speak up would surely be confused from this rather erratic driving, perhaps even questioning themselves if they ever saw it to begin with. If their minds had been playing a trick on them, eager to stir up drama any way it could?
Not that it truly mattered in the end, for Giorno did not need to know where they were heading, nor how far away they would end up at.

The sudden jolt of the car coming to a stop almost awoke the blonde from his blissful musings, his head nodding forwards at a painful pace. It was a wonder how such reckless driving hadn’t landed this already clumsy excuse of a gangster in more trouble. This Guido Mista certainly needed to learn a thing or two about subtlety. It would be an embarrassment for someone so key to the black market trades to get caught due to some reckless driving.

Giorno couldn’t help but think of all the little details that could be added onto this gangster, all the directions that he could be nudged towards to become an even better tool than he already was.

It didn’t take long for foreign hands to be felt on Giorno’s body as he was slipped out from his seat, a pleasant perplexion running through his mind at how gentle the movement was. Mista’s fingers even reached over to untangle the locks that got wrapped up around the seat-belt, careful not to cause any harm.

Of course, a body meant for the black market had to be kept in a pristine condition, but this was definitely taking it a step too far. Had it been Giorno, simply cutting off any tangled hair would’ve been a much easier solution. But Mista certainly was a different type of man.

A small part of Giorno was even coming to regret what would be soon to come. It had been quite an enjoyable experience observing such an unusual contradiction of a man.

Even the way Giorno’s body got flung over the other’s shoulder was considerably more cautious than was expected. The blonde barely even had to hide any flinches, simply letting his body sink into the other’s touch, letting Mista’s fingers dig into his waist ever so gently to keep the blonde in place.

It was a skill to remain so carefully and lifelessly still. It was a natural human reaction to flinch away at any sudden touches, to jolt one’s body to wake up, to alert itself to the danger that was to come. It had taken Giorno many of such experiences to truly allow his body to relax when needed, to let out that last stiffness from his shoulders, even with his eyes shut to the outside world, unsuspecting of the next moves.

Even when that rotten aroma, rust tainted blood and general dust and decay, filled up Giorno’s nose in the most invading of ways, he did not flinch. Did not even so much as scrunch up his nose in disgust.

“Mhm,you know, I kinda wish I hadn’t wasted that pill on the first drink. You’re quite charming to talk to. Would’ve been fun to get to know you better, but money is money.” Such sobre words with such a twisted undertone beneath them were spoken in one of the most jovial, carefree voices. Giorno would be lying if he didn’t admit that was his favourite part of this gangster so far.

With each word spoken, Giorno could feel that still facade begin to slip away, a soft upturn of the lips threatening to make way at such conversation. He couldn’t help but agree with such a comment. It certainly would have been fun to get to know him more. It was practically a waste.

“You look pretty healthy, too. Don’t look like the type to be using any drugs and shit.” Dark eyes moved over to the blonde head of hair over his shoulder, watching the way those curls bounced along with every step taken, the way they seemed to shine even under the half dimmed lights of the building. “Especially not if that drink knocked you out so damn fast. You were an interesting one, Gio.”

Several more steps were taken, the noise of such a movement echoing brilliantly through the walls, muting out all that was to compete. Giorno could breathe easier at such a sound, timing his breaths along with the beat, a gentle, natural pace soon taking over his body.

Soon, that empty, loud monotone chime changed, a crumpled sound agitating Giorno’s ears. Plastic was such an ugly piece of material, no matter how useful it was for situations like these. Giorno, still, couldn’t help a small scowl from forming onto his face, expressions hidden by his position over the gangster.

The same gentleness that was seen earlier was recreated, those calloused hands gripping onto the waist in as soft a manner as possible, slipping Giorno’s body off and onto the plastic lined floor below. Mista had taken careful patience in making sure the body lay in a comfortable, natural state. 

It would be a shame for rigor mortis to set in while the body was in less than a favourable position. Mista may admit to enjoying the more bloody side of business, but there was a limit to such events. Afterall, this was just an innocent body, a naive idiot who got drunk. No reason to take more time and energy than necessary.

“I feel like Boss would have a go at me. I think he’d prefer someone like you to have gone into other trades rather than just the black market.” Giorno did not miss the way those hands lingered on his arms for just a moment, nor the soft impression of breath that lingered on his skin. Mista must still be watching him. It was an oddly endearing little action. This gangster certainly had a heart. 

“If you ask me, I think the black market is a waste for you.” Had Giorno wanted to, he could have easily fooled himself into believing the soft remorse that rang through those words. However, that was hard to come by when that grating plastic sounded again, the other’s feet once again on the move. “But, what can you do? I think you’d understand, right? You seem like an understanding guy, at least.”

“I give you full permission to haunt me in the afterlife if need be. I’d like to hear more of what you have to say.” The way Mista’s laugh sounded was definitely a captivating experience, such a heartily, honest tone to it that echoed off the walls in an almost haunting fashion.

Instead of a feeling of unease that was to settle in any sane man’s stomach at such an action, Giorno had a different rush of adrenaline running through him. 

He wanted to know more of this man, wanted to see what his thought process was.

Such an opportunity couldn’t come fast enough. 

More sound of crumpled plastic echoed along the walls. The laughing had stopped, as did that soft breathing. The noises slowly became fainter. Mista was moving away, stepping aside from this body that lay still as ever on the ground.

Green eyes opened up. Green met dark brown.

Neither was too sure of who was the first to move. Whether it was Mista’s hands, moving towards the gun hidden inside of his clothing, or whether it was Giorno’s arms reawakening, quickly pushing the body back up to life.

It didn’t particularly matter who moved first. It was the end result that did.

The gun was the obvious centre point of this particular standoff. Giorno may be confident, but he was no idiot. 

Being an object of the black market, at that moment, may play into his advantage, however. Organs would have to be kept intact. That much was clear. The same, though, couldn't be said for the other parts of his body. Any shot aimed towards his legs would immobilize him. That would be his end.

It seemed that Mista had that same thought process. His body twisted, shielding the holster from Giorno’s line of sight, making the path for the weapon get tougher for Giorno to follow. 

That did not stop him. Giorno threw his body forwards, tackling against the other’s back without even a moment of hesitation. He may have looked like a fragile guy, but beneath that drink stained shirt lay a body trained well, with muscles to show for it.

It seemed to have surprised Mista, also. His body suddenly jerked forwards from such an impact, a curse leaving his lips. His arms moved on reflex, elbow quickly turning itself to dig into Giorno’s stomach. 

Gone was that previous softness and calmness that graced the gangster’s motions. In place, lay a strength that suited someone of Mista’s stature. There was a reason why his shoulders were so wide, afterall. Giorno could hardly hide the gasp that left his lips at such contact, air leaving his body.
Yet, there in lied that same little flaw from earlier. This gangster was far too confident in his actions. He continued to dig in his elbow, using the weight of Giorno’s body against him, while the other hand quickly dug into the hidden holster of the gun. He did not see any point in wasting time to check if Giorno had fallen behind far enough, all he knew was to follow his own instincts at that moment.

He had to shoot. And that, he did.

Such confidence made the blonde stutter, for just a moment. Surely no idiot would be this brash in his actions, no idiot who seemed to be so elusive and so successful at the very least.

That same flaw from earlier seemed to have some backing behind it. Giorno was to realise that just a moment too late. 

He twisted his body, quickly pushing the taller of the two back as if he had been scorched. His feet jumped back, body turning to its side to reduce the size of his own target. 

He only realised that he had made a mistake by such an action the split second after he had completed his movement.

Mista had been waiting for that. 

He couldn’t shoot an organ, afterall. But an arm? He could certainly damage that. He had been waiting for Giorno to present that side of him, and the blonde had played right into his little trick. Just like that.

Perhaps it was Giorno who was the overly confident one. The scorching pain and the sting that paralyzed his arm certainly showcased that. No matter how well-trained his mind was, no matter how prepared the blonde had been for the drug and this whole act, there was only so much one could hide their own body’s reflexes. The hiss that came from such a pain, the buckling of the knees also, was something unavoidable.

“I thought it was bad practice to damage the goods?” Seeing the barrel of the gun pointed towards his head was of no surprise, however. Even then, with the blood steadily pouring out of the wound, slipping past the fingers of the hand that was pressed against it, Giorno remained calm.

He had made one mistake, but he would not make anymore.

“An arm costs dirt cheap. Not a waste. Would’ve been a waste for you to run off.” Even despite that rush of adrenaline, that sudden bout of energy in their brief fight, Mista was not gasping for air, was not panting in any form or manner. His chest remained moving steadily. There was so much confidence radiating off from that body that Giorno could not help but be impressed for that moment.

Truly, it was a waste that someone like Mista was being used for such menial tasks as these.

“What if you had shot me in the head? Or the chest, perhaps? I’m no expert but I doubt such damaged organs would go for much. That was definitely reckless of you.” Even despite the laboured breathing from the blonde, the calmness never faded as he spoke.

“We all do risky things. You drank that drink. You knew about it, right? I’d say that is even more reckless. You’re lucky it was a type of drug you were expecting.” To most passerbyers, such a casual tone that wavered through this conversation would’ve been jarring. Yet, it seemed natural at that moment in time. It was as if they were not in some abandoned building, as if there was no gun, no blood. Just two acquaintances, chatting along.

It was such a light atmosphere, even, that Giorno couldn’t help the small huff that left his lips. Mista was speaking the truth, afterall. All of this certainly did rely on luck. “Perhaps I am lucky.”

Nothing was said for a moment after that, the pair simply remained frozen in the picture they had been. Giorno could see even under the suit the way that Mista’s arm remained taut, muscles standing to attention as he pointed the gun. It was as if that weapon was simply an extension of his own body. There was no usual glint of hesitance, no fear of killing in those dark eyes. This was no ordinary goon.

Giorno took this small moment of respite to gain his surroundings. The rush and adrenaline of their encounter just now had not allowed him any time to spare admiring the scenery. Yet, he had an inquisitive mind.

Green eyes firstly landed on the plastic that lay on the ground beneath, a few darkened red spots clearly showing its previous, and intended use. It was crumpled, and certainly did not make this building seem any more attractive than it was. Giorno wondered what even was the point of such a material, for surely this building only had this one purpose. There was no need to hide.

His eyes slowly moved, following a particular pattern of the aged blood, leading him towards the corner of the room. It lay hidden in the shadows of the dimmed lights up above, but certain objects stood out to his well trained eyes. Blue boxes lay stacked up on each other, a small puddle decorating the bottom of the stack. Those were cooler boxes.
A small, rather morbid side of Giorno’s mind wondered if they were filled already, or if they lay there, empty, waiting for Giorno’s body to grace it? 

His eyes remained on the poorly wiped away blood that had surely stained the poor material of the boxes. There was something so oddly humble, so oddly charming about such a sight. It really did speak clear to him just what type of a person Mista was.

He was a simple man. Honest down to the bone. There was no need for glitz and glam, what mattered most was efficiency and practicality.

Giorno could work with that. 

“You said you wanted to talk to me more, right?” Green eyes moved back to lock onto Mista’s, their movement steady and slow, radiating such a sense of power that Mista was sure to take notice of it. “Well, here I am, Guido Mista. Feel free to ask away.”

“You’re a pretty good actor.”

“Maybe. Or maybe you’re a pretty naive guy.”

It was as if the gun wasn’t there, as if there was no imminent threat to his life at that moment. Though, Giorno was slowly becoming confident of that being the reality in any case.

“Does it matter that much, though? I’ve still got you here.” Mista’s head nodded gently, curls bouncing on his head as he indicated towards the whole room. “I really did mean it though. Before. It’s a shame that you’re gonna end up like this.”

“‘But money is money’? I can tell there are things that matter more to you, Guido. Otherwise what would be the point to all those theatrics at the start? If that was all that mattered you would’ve been more efficient.”

Mista’s head tilted. A clear indication for Giorno to carry on.

“You’re good with that gun. You should’ve shot me beforehand, before I had the chance to wake up. You just said that an arm is dirt cheap.”

“Again. Doesn’t really matter though, does it? You’re still here, in this position. The path might’ve been a shitty one, but the end result is all that matters, right? Or are you less of an ‘ends justifies the means’ type of guy?”

A step was taken closer, the barrel of the gun nearing Giorno’s head. It unceremoniously pushed aside the curls, pressing itself against the pale skin of Giorno. The blonde couldn’t help the small scowl from forming on his face at such an action. There was such force behind the press that it was certain to leave a mark.

“I think it does matter, though.” The pain in his arm was beginning to numb after all this time, his grip still strong as ever against the blood that was slowing down. This was good.The less he could feel such pain, the more he could do. Once again, this was all down to a waiting game. A game that was surely to be in Giorno’s favour. “You won’t shoot me. Not now, anyway.”

Such a laugh to leave Mista’s lips shouldn’t have been so pleasant of a sound. It should not have sent such a rush through the blonde’s heart. Yet, it did. Such a juxtaposition did something to Giorno’s mind. 

“You sure bout that?”

“You’d lose a skull. And a brain. And you’d certainly run the risk of damaging some other part, like my eyes for example-”

“A few thousand dollars here or there. It’s nothing compared to the other parts of you. As long as your heart and liver are fine, I couldn’t give less of a shit.” The way the gun pressed harder against the skull was almost amusing. As if a child who was throwing a small tantrum, trying to prove a point that was so clearly wrong.

“You would have done so already then.”

Another silent standoff ensued. Another beat of silence only accompanied by the unpleasant aroma of previous victims' ghosts. 

“But you haven’t. You haven’t shot me yet. Which means, you’re unlikely to shoot now.” With each moment taken to speak, the confidence in Giorno’s voice grew. With each second that passed with his mind and brain still intact, proved his point even more.

He was not met with anger in those darkened eyes, no jealousy or vile nature behind such a glance. Instead, Giorno saw something more. Something akin to intrigue.

“You’re right. You should just shoot me. A few thousand dollars is worth the loss. But-” Giorno’s knee moved, lifting itself to begin pushing the body upwards, bringing Giorno back onto his feet. Mista’s eyes never left Giorno’s as he went through with his action, nor did the barrel of the gun leave Giorno’s skin. “- it's not like it particularly matters to you, right? You’d secure a couple hundred thousand dollars for my body, but how much would you actually receive off that?”

Giorno continued to rise, blood slowly dripping from the wound, adding new additions onto the already stained plastic. Dark eyes did not flicker from their position, however. They remained the same, still glued onto Giorno’s.

“This isn’t a glamorous position. I doubt they even pay you five percent of what you have actually earnt. If you earnt more than that, you wouldn’t have such shitty materials.”  Feeling a little more cocky, the blonde nodded his head over to the corner, right towards that familiar blue stack of boxes, a faint hint of amusement clear on his face. “You would’ve hired someone else to do this job for you.”

There was a beat of silence in the room, the breath of each of the pair echoing along the walls. “I wonder how many bodies must have been stuffed into those boxes for you to even afford that watch? Far more than was necessary, I would assume.”

“Five percent is plenty more than zero percent. I think you’re forgetting about that, posh boy.” Finally the other spoke once more. There was a bit more of an edge to the tone this time around, that slight jovial charm leaving for a moment to replace itself with something more intimidating. “Oh, excuse me, Giorno Giovanna? If that is even your own name.”

Though, if Giorno was to guess, this new tone of intimidation was nowt more than an attempt at convincing Mista himself of what he was saying. A sorry, failed attempt to stay focused on the task, to ignore Giorno’s words.

“Besides. Isn’t it a waste for me to just end up in those boxes? You said it yourself, you’d like to talk to me more. And here I am.” A step was taken, Giorno slowly inching closer to Mista, the gun still pressing into his head with just the same force. “Talk to me, then, Guido Mista.”

“You talk all this shit, but you’re the same as me, aren’t you?” A small part of Mista seemed to be enjoying this moment, a power behind his position even if both knew that no more blood shall be spilled. Not from the gun at the very least. “You were sent here by your boss, right? You’re just another little underdog doing shitty little tasks.”

The roles had been flipped just like that, this time it was Giorno’s turn to remain silent, to mull over the words spoken towards him. Green eyes seemed to bore into Mista’s own.

“I’m just doing these shitty little tasks, and getting fuck all money for them. The fact that you were the one who got sent out means you’re not that high up yourself.” Mista had come to read GIorno pretty damn easily if he was to say so himself. He wasn’t looking out for any scowls, or any frowns. The absence of expression told him all that was needed. He was right. “If you ask me you’re already wasting your body away by being part of whatever gang you’re in. It’ll be worth more sold up as bits and pieces.”

The steps had stopped, Giorno deciding that he was adequately close enough, only the gun separating the distance between the pair. If he were to focus long enough, he was certain he would feel the other’s breath on his own skin, the gentle, steady rhythm never changing. This gangster had a certain talent for remaining calm. Perhaps he was more similar to such a goon than he had expected.

“I would say the same about you, Guido. You have a certain talent for things. Isn’t it a waste to just be left here? Killing innocent drunkards and gaining little to no profit from it? I doubt you matter enough to whatever organisation you belong to, afterall.” 

Of course, they both knew they were right. That much was plain as day. 

“Hah. I was right. You’re definitely an interesting guy to chat to. Kind of want to thank you for that whole act you pulled on me tonight. It definitely would’ve been a shame to kill you back then.”

“You’re still talking as if you’re going to kill me, Guido. I think you’re wrong about that.” 

A hand reached up, gently resting itself onto the barrel of the gun still pressed up to his head, staining the metal with Giorno’s own blood from his wound. It didn’t take much strength at all to push that object away, Mista’s own hand putting little resistance into such an action.

It was a slow, deliberate act, eyes locked onto each, not taking either of them by surprise.

This was not how the night had been expected to go. But Giorno certainly would not be the one to complain.

“Well, say that you are right. What does it change, then? See, I think you’re forgetting about something too. You’re not gonna kill me either. You would’ve done so already, too.” A small hum left Giorno’s lips in acknowledgement, seeing no point in denying Mista’s words. It was certainly flattering to the pair that they each knew of the other’s abilities, neither underestimated the other’s strength. 

They both knew they could kill. Yet, they both knew that they would not.

There was something so thrilling, so intriguing about such a mix. It sucked Giorno in, and judging from Mista’s stare, him also.

The pale fingers slowly unwrapped themselves from the barrel, following a slow path up to the other’s hand, the red colour mixing so beautifully against the darker skin. A little trail of crimson leaving itself as Giorno’s fingers moved. There was such an honest warmth to those hands, even covered in the crimson. 

The hand kept on moving, following along the creases of the shirt, tracing out the subtle muscles hidden under the fabric. Eyes never left each other at that moment. Neither was to back down. 

“I think we are at a stalemate, then. Aren’t we?” 

Giorno was not a dumb guy, he knew his charm, he knew how to use it well, knew how to be persuasive using his own self. His fingers reached the collar of Mista’s shirt, deciding to change their path and follow downwards, pressing ever so softly against the fabric. So softly that Mista wondered if he had been imagining the touches in the first place.

The blood that marked such a trail grounded him, however. Told him that he wasn’t imagining this. This was happening.

“I guess we are. I doubt you can go back empty handed, right?” The muscles under the shirt flexed as Mista lowered his gun, seeing no point in remaining so on edge at that moment. He could tell there was something more to Giorno’s words. Could tell that he was beginning to lead him down towards a certain path. 

It was a path that Mista was all too curious to inquire about.

“Cut to the chase already. Unless you want to just spend a night talking in here surrounded by this crap-” the gangster waved his gun around for a second, indicating to all the corners of the building, all the melted ice that lay tainted by red stains, the boxes and plastic that littered the floors, the dimmed light that began to flicker as if almost on cue. “- so just say it.”

Mista did not miss the way those pink lips tilted up. He did not miss that smirk, nor the sudden glint of life in those green eyes.

“You’re a useful man, Mista. I don’t think you need to be doing these trivial little tasks for some gang that couldn’t care about you. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Fingers lingered at the other’s abdomen, subtly impressed by the general stature of the gangster. It was obvious that Mista was well-built, but the suit really had hidden most of his glory. Instead, the fingers moved, allowing for the whole hand to press itself against the body, Giorno also taking a step forward. With the gun no longer separating the pair they were truly able to get close, to stand toe to toe with each other. To feel each other’s breath against them, the warmth contrasting beautifully to the coolness of the air.

“You have that confidence about you, that confidence that gives you a path onto succeeding. I think it can be utilized better. Elsewhere. Not here-”

“You think the same about you, too? Right? You know you’re a waste, being treated as some shitty hitman running after other shitty goons.” Mista’s hand raised, bringing itself up to Giorno’s face, gripping onto it without that same gentleness from before. 

Yet, Giorno did not flinch away, nor did he stand on high alert. He let Mista taste a bit of that power, just for this moment. He certainly was more than intrigued to see if Mista was thinking along the same lines as he was.

If they both saw the same end goal in sight.

He let those fingers dig into his cheeks, let the other tilt his head upwards more. Mista was looking for that imbalance in power.

“You probably don’t get taken seriously all the time, right? Just look at your face, I bet your boss even thinks you’d be more useful in one of the shitty brothels, am I right?” 

Even with the force against his face, Giorno managed to form a smirk. It was a surprise how it did not look silly in any ways, even with his cheeks gripped. It was just the sheer calm aura that Giorno had that made him almost untouchable.

“You are correct. See, you’re even smarter than you let on, Mista.”

The hand moved from Mista’s abdomen, trailing around instead, resting on the other’s waist and appreciating the other’s shape. This Guido Mista was the most peculiar of men. Giorno put some force behind his hand, pushing himself closer to the other once more with an arm wrapped around Mista. 

He wanted to make sure that Mista knew, even with his face in the other’s hand, that they were equals. Giorno would not simply let the other take all the control.

He did not miss the way Mista’s tongue flicked out to lick his lips. 

“So you have a proposition.”

“That, I do.” Giorno did not rush as his hand explored the other’s back, following along the trails of the muscles, impressed by the way they flexed with each time that Mista’s hand would apply more pressure to his face.  “We would be more useful in other ways. Specifically, away from those organisations. We both seem to appreciate each other’s usefulness, afterall”

Darkened eyes sharpened at that. For a brief moment, Giorno truly felt pinned down by such a gaze. Mista was thinking about something, analyzing some options within his mind for just that moment.

“You’re a damned good liar, you know that? How can I trust what you say? For all I know, you’re just another mindless goon from my own gang, you’re just here to take me out.”

For the first time in a while, that cool and calm facade cracked on Giorno, a roll of his eyes accompanied by a small sigh said it all. “Oh, please. I may be a good actor, but there is only so much atmosphere you can fake, so much tension, before it becomes obvious it is fake.”

To accompany such words, Giorno leaned his face in closer, noses touching, cool skin against a harsh warmth. “You’re simply running around in circles, Mista. I could have, and should have killed you already.”

There was a beat of silence. All that remained in that world was simply each other’s stare. They both stood there, locked onto each other’s sight. It was a game of who would be the first to back down, to lose against the other.

Giorno was the first to shut his eyes. But he did not do so out of any loss. Before Mista could quite comprehend what was to occur, he was met with a forceful kiss, teeth clashing against each other at the sheer power the other used to press forwards like that. Mista’s grip on his face tightened, a natural response to such surprise, but he did not move away.

Mista did the opposite of such an act.

Giorno’s own power was met with sheer strength of Mista, lips quickly moving into action, teeth quickly nipping at the soft lips to get Giorno to open up. There was no romanticism in such a kiss, no love, no softness. It was pure lust, pure adrenaline that was powering them through. 

That simple act was more than enough. It spoke what words could not. It provided a reassurance that any promises would not be able to. 

Giorno and Mista were in the same thought process. They both wanted the same thing. They both trusted in each other. Both agreed on such facts.

As Mista’s tongue broke in, savouring in the taste of Giorno, they both came to the same conclusions. 

It was the small nip of Giorno’s teeth on Mista’s tongue that pulled Mista away for just a moment, moving his face back just slightly, with breath finally ragged. It seemed that such simple acts of lust did more for Mista’s spirit than any adrenaline from a fight.

“Let’s get out of here. Take those boxes if they have anything in them and just, fuck out of here.”

That laugh had returned. That same, hearty, honest laugh that had begun Giorno’s infatuation with this gangster in the first place. That same charm that had sucked him into this crazy, suicidal plan of his. 

“There’s enough money in those for a couple thousand. Maybe a few tens.”

“Good. That’ll last a while. I’m not expected to report back till tomorrow morning. We have a few hours.”

It truly was impressive how after such tension, after such playful dancing around each other, the pair simply knew what to say. It was as if they were linked by minds. They both knew what the other wanted, and knew how to achieve that.

“Plenty of time. You seem like a guy who knows how to get out of these situations anyway. I trust you know how to get out of here fast, Giorno.”

Giorno could not help but squeeze the other’s body just slightly at such a comment. Those were heavy words, and they spoke the truth. Mista was not lying.

“I trust in you too, Mista.”

 

⋇⋆✦⋆⋇

 

With a poorly bandaged up arm, with a wound that was surely getting inflamed and irritated by each moment, Giorno sat in that same car as before, listening to the same crappy tape deck blast out songs, barely even audible over the sound of the engine struggling to keep up with Mista’s pace of driving.

Their bond was fresh, a new union of souls. Yet, there was faith in there, for both trusted in each other and their skills. 

They both knew of their use. Both knew of their future path that they would take together, even if scorned at by their previous families of gangs. Mista and Giorno were better suited together. 

They both knew of a bright future up ahead.