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Wilted Flowers, Broken Hearts

Chapter Text

Of course, Formaggio would be the one to visit most frequently. The only person to surpass him in the number of visits would be Pesci, but even then the difference is slight.

 

He wasn’t as close to Sorbet and Gelato as how everyone else was. Sure, they joined around the same time, but they never connected as deep as how he did with some of the others. Even saying that is an understatement, though, considering they were all as close as family.

 

The man walks over to the two headstones in silence, a sad smile gracing his lips as his eyes fall upon the recently engraved stones, not yet worn with age.

 

Here lies… Pietro Gelato.

Here lies… Vincenzo Sorbet.

 

Even in death, they were inseparable.

 

“Hey, you two. I came to visit again.”

 

The same greeting met with the same wordless response.

 

Formaggio never understood how it was so easy for people to talk in graveyards. It was as if the moment you stepped foot in the cemetery, every shred of guilt and shame was lifted off your shoulders and you chatted away every dark, personal secret that rested within your mind. Just making his way over here he mumbled aloud his wonders about what he’ll order for dinner after he is done here and worries of who would leave the team next.

 

Maybe it’s the relief of the afterlife. Once you’re gone, everything is gone. So why worry here? Why judge?

 

With the crack of his bones (which feel as if they’re too old for someone in his mid-20s), Formaggio kneels down between his former teammates’ beds of grass.

 

“Melone went on a mission today with Prosciutto. As you can expect, it didn’t go so well.”

 

A laugh, a gentle breeze from the wind.

 

“Luckily, it wasn’t too hard of a hit so even with their bickering they were able to get the job done. You know, they say I’m the most useless member on the team ‘cause of Little Feet, but I could’ve gotten that mission done in half their time.”

 

“Oh, don’t say that, Formaggio! Your stand isn’t useless! You can do a lot of clever tricks with Little Feet that no one else can do!”

 

A lump forms in Formaggio’s throat as he thinks about what Gelato always said… He never liked it when the team tried to pit who’s superior and who’s not. Gelato always was the peacekeeper of their team (a rather chaotic one at that). Who’s going to take his place now?

 

“Ghiaccio is doing better. We got him to leave his room yesterday. It was only for a few minutes to get food, but it was better than having Pesci slip energy bars under his door every hour.”

 

He falls silent for a moment… staring at the graves in front of him. Sometimes he imagines that they’ll answer back, or that Sorbet would chip in one of his snide remarks he always saved for special times when he was certain it’d get a chuckle out of Gelato. But, they won’t. They can’t. They’re buried six feet under ground, never to spare any more words again.

 

Quickly, Formaggio wipes at his eyes, drying up tears before they had the chance to fall.

 

“I should get going. I still need to give my report to Risotto for the mission I did today.”

 

He pushes himself back onto his feet, twisting left and right to stretch. With a sigh, he takes a few steps towards the headstones, giving a gentle pat to them both.

 

“I’ll come visit you two again soon.” Formaggio smiles, a genuine chuckle rumbling from him. “Maybe next time I’ll have better news about one of Prosciutto’s missions.”

 

Maybe next time he will.

 

As Formaggio turns his back and begins his walk out of the cemetery, two doves flutter past him, cooing into the evening.

Chapter Text

Illuso doesn’t visit.

 

Don’t get him wrong, it’s not that he never cared for the two. If anything, it’s because he cared too much. From the moment he joined Passione, he knew that forming relationships were only going to bite him in the ass in the end. That was the expected outcome, right? No one lives forever. Their lives were given expiration dates the moment they were subjected into the mafia.

 

That’s the mindset he forced himself to feel going in, however, he didn’t expect to feel anything more than professionalism with his teammates.

 

“Illuso… Risotto is asking for you.”

 

The brunet stirs behind his mirror, catching the distinctive green hair from the corner of his eye on the other side of the glass. Pesci became the messenger boy amongst the grieving assassins. As light-hearted as he was, he was surprisingly the strongest when it came to dealing with all of this. Whether that was because he knew someone had to be and no one else could bring themselves to or not was beyond Illuso.

 

No.


Why should he care about that?

 

“What does he want?” Illuso responds with the same shortness, same irritation. He knows the answer already. It’s the only time Risotto ever spoke to any of them now.

 

He hears Pesci shifting where he stands on the other side of the mirror, “He has a new mission to assign to you. He said to bring you to-”

 

“Bring the file here. Leave it outside the mirror.”

 

“But, Illuso-”

 

“Go.”

 

Illuso hears Pesci hesitate before leaving his room once again. At least he listened after being told the second time. If it was Prosciutto on the other side, he would’ve threatened to break the mirror until he came back out (a threat that worked almost every time, depending on how much Illuso wanted to get on his nerves that day).

 

But, Prosciutto isn’t there right now. He’s probably out smoking his tenth cigarette of the day or drowning his own misery with alcohol at the closest bar.

 

After a few minutes, Pesci returns and drops the debriefing folder in front of the mirror before exiting again. Illuso waits a few more minutes before reaching out and taking the folder, examining the information inside.

 

Another rich guy who thought he was on top of the world, untouchable from the rest.

 

“People who think they’re above anyone when they know people like us exist are stupid. They deserve to be taken out.”

 

Illuso felt the corners of his lips twitch into a smile.

 

“The most worthless pieces of shit out there.”

 

He responds to the absence of Sorbet. They would always nitpick and talk shit about their targets before and after their missions. It was one of the only things they spoke about together—that, and the occasional confrontations about “why the hell were you spying on Gelato and I last night?”

 

Gelato was always a fun person to prank and watch in secret. The man was clumsy at best--a walking question mark. You never knew what Pietro Gelato was going to do. You never knew what dumb observation he’d make when accidentally dropping a can of beans into a cup of coffee.

 

Ah.

 

Illuso furrows his brows as the now familiar pang in his heart clawed at his insides.

 

No. Don’t think about Gelato. Don’t think about Sorbet. They’re dead. They got themselves killed. They…

 

This is how it always was going to be.

 

People die. It’s pointless getting close—caring about them. Illuso clenches his fists against the tiled floor of the mirror world’s bathroom. Fuck. Why was he feeling this? He knew he couldn’t get close to anyone. He told himself he wouldn’t, and yet…

 

Here he was, finding it hard to breathe as he thinks about his lost famil-- lost teammates.

 

Damn it all.

 

With a huff, Illuso shuts down his thoughts as he always does and closes the file.

 

Time to get back to work. Just like it was any other day.

Chapter Text

Don’t talk to him.

 

Don’t acknowledge his presence when he enters the room. He won’t stay there long. If anything, it’s only to retrieve the lighter he forgot in his mind’s haze. Or the flask he needs a refill for the 6th time that afternoon.

 

If anyone does attempt to approach him, he’ll simply ignore them or, if his inner pain is at its highest, incapacitate them until he's able to continue on his way.

 

He never voluntarily goes to the gravesite. The only time he finds himself standing before his late best friend and his partner is when his legs drag him there against his will. Whether that be fuelled by internal guilt or longing is an answer he chooses not to dwell upon. Don’t think too much about it, he tells himself. Thinking makes it worse.

 

Prosciutto glares down at the tombstones once again, no memory of having got there. He was drinking at the local bar one minute and here the next. Pathetic.

 

“Enjoying the afterlife?” He spits, eyes half lidding as a familiar wave of anger crashes over his broken heart. He’s staring at Gelato’s grave. His best friend since childhood. One of his most trusted companions. The man with such a polar opposite personality that it drew them together for years upon years. The man he thought was invincible because he had such high beliefs that no matter how bad shit got, Gelato would do another absurd ass pull that brought everything back to normal.

 

“What the hell were you two thinking going after the Boss like that.” He speaks through gritted teeth, unsure it's because of how cold it suddenly got or his seething disappointment. “I could partially understand why you would do this, Gelato, but Sorbet?

 

The grip on his flask tightens. His next words are soft.

 

“I trusted you to watch over him. He listened to you, and only you. You swore you would keep him safe. Now, look where you both are. Rotting six feet under the ground.”

 

“It’s not his fault, Prosciutto. You know we both decided to do this.”

 

“Shut up.”

 

The blonde snuffs out the words he knows Gelato would say--the words he knows are true but his heart must place the blame on someone. If it wasn’t Sorbet, it would be for Risotto for not stopping them. For himself and the rest of the team for not thinking about questioning why they’d been so secretive the past few months. Better to blame the dead than the still living.

 

Who’s stopping him there?

 

Prosciutto doesn’t cry. There’s no point in letting the tears fall. What good does that do? Once they start, there’s no stopping, and no matter how many tears are shed, it won’t change the present.

 

He untwists the cap of his flask and takes a swing, his throat already numb to the burning liquid inside. It warms his stomach and relieves the weight from his mind and heart. 

 

Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic.

 

For a fleeting moment, the silence of the tombstones claw at his feet and he feels as if he may just drop to his knees.

 

This isn’t fair-- no, it is. They went against the rules, this is what they got. But, again, this wasn’t fair. They didn’t deserve to die like that. They didn’t have to be taken so soon. They didn’t--

 

“Fuck you. Look at what you left for us to clean up.” Prosciutto mumbles, stepping back from the two before the weight of his sorrows could pull him down. "You both go off and get yourself killed, and for what? What good came out of this? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. How do you think we all feel-- Ghiaccio. Your son, for Christ's sake. How do you think he felt seeing you both dead? Huh?! Seeing how you both left him with no word, no warning. How much more selfish do you have to be?"

 

“Prosciutto… We're sorry. This isn’t what we wanted to happen.”

 

He knows that this wasn’t their intention. Deep down, he knows they pursued the Boss for all of their sake. It wasn’t selfish. If anything, it was selfless… putting themselves in knowing danger just for the rest of them. He knows that, and he hates that he does.

 

Suppressing it all, Prosciutto turns on his heel and makes his way to the exit, downing the remainder of the liquor in his flask.

 

Better refill it on his way back.

Chapter Text

In comparison to the rest of the team, Melone and Pesci seek companionship when it came to their coping with grief. Prosciutto completely closes himself off from everyone, and Risotto was keen on remaining as professional as possible at the moment, leaving Pesci to latch onto someone else for support. Usually, Melone will go to Ghiaccio for comfort or Illuso for a distraction, but those two stay behind closed doors almost 24/7 now.

 

The only other member would be Formaggio but despite not being as emotionally closed off like the rest, he still preferred to deal with all this alone. Emotional vulnerability wasn’t his thing.

 

Which… led to the inevitable draw of the two men—the most unlikely of pairs.

 

“I miss them.”

 

Melone and Pesci stand in front of the two graves, voices soft under the morning breeze. They woke at dawn every morning to sit before Sorbet and Gelato to watch the sunrise with them.

 

A bittersweet routine.

 

The younger member wipes at his eyes, the fur of his coat glowing a golden brown as the first rays of sunshine break through the tree branches. Pesci always cries the moment he sits down. It didn’t matter if this was the fifth or fiftieth time they’re visiting. His tears will always be fresh as the wounds in all of their hearts that will never heal.

 

“Gelato always said it was okay to cry as long as it wasn’t about things that weren’t worth crying over… like corny, heterosexual romance films.”

 

"Those are always so predictable. If you say, 'movie where a girl falls in love with a boy who's destined for someone else, but they get together in the end and live happily ever after' nearly all straight movies come to mind. How are you going to cry over movies like that when you already know what's going to happen the moment you go into the theater!

 

Pesci chuckles at the melancholic memory. Melone continues to stare forward at the graves.

 

He doesn’t say much. Pesci is the one who talks during these visits. He talks to fill the silence because if the silence is prolonged, the heartbreak comes back full force and no one openly welcomes that. Silence pains Melone as well, but his voice isn’t strong enough to fight back.

 

“You know, once I found Sorbet and Gelato sleeping outside against a dumpster.” Pesci continues, much to Melone’s silent gratitude. “When they came back inside, I asked Sorbet why they were out there…”

 

“Gelato and I were petting the alley cat and he accidentally fell asleep trying to reach for him under the dumpster. So I closed my eyes and rested along beside him.”

 

“‘Near the dumpster…?’ I asked.”

 

“Dumpster, the street corner, couch, our bed-- I’ll sleep wherever with my dearest.”

 

Pesci’s voice shakes, “They were strange… but, I mean, we all are in some way or form, but they… they were…”

 

Tears begin to fall onto the boy’s lap as words, once again, disappear from mind. Melone leans over to wrap an arm around Pesci as he cries, continuing to stare straight ahead at the graves.

 

For a change, the lavender haired man speaks.

 

“Do you ever feel as if it’s your fault?” The question comes out hoarse. It throws Pesci off.

 

“What?”

 

Melone’s face is unreadable as he elaborates, “Sorbet and Gelato… this wasn’t something that just happened overnight. They had been searching for the Boss for a few months. Those were months we could have questioned them about their consecutive absences. Months we could’ve stopped them. Months we could have… figured out what was bound to happen.”

 

“Melone… we-”

 

“I could’ve done something. It’s my fault.”

 

Pesci’s eyes widen at the other’s self-blame, immediately craning his head to look him in the eye. “Melone, don’t say that! It’s not your fault-- it’s not anyone’s fault. We didn’t know.”

 

Melone turns to face him, “Who has a stand that can easily and quickly track someone down? Me. Who has DNA samples of everyone on the team that I keep for exact situations like these? Me. I could have found them before Cioccolata even got to them. I noticed Gelato didn’t greet me that morning. He always greets everyone before he and Sorbet and leave for the day. Why didn’t I realize sooner? If I started tracking then, I would’ve gotten to them in time. They died 14 hours later. That’s 14 hours I could have-- I could have--”

 

Suddenly, Melone finds it hard to breathe. There’s something wet cascading down his face and going into his mouth and over his nose. His shoulders are shaking and dirt is now thoroughly caked under his fingernails cause, oh, when did he have fistfuls of grass in his hands? The present gradually catches up with him and he realizes he’s crying in Pesci’s arms, burying his face into the other’s coat.

 

Pesci rubs Melone’s back gently, saying something reassuring that Melone can’t bring himself to register. Although, he could guess he was saying something along the lines of, “It’s not your fault!” or “You didn’t know at the time.”. Which, is true. Deep down, Melone knows that he’s not at fault, but still… he feels as if he is.

 

He had the ability to do something , and he did nothing .


The sun rises fully above the trees, casting a golden outline along the gravestones.

 

Good morning.