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The Star, The Hateful

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I.

Battered bloodied and bruised, her eye’s trail down to Mista. The couch she had taken refuge on, while the others fought, is currently occupied by him and a copious amount of blood. Unconscious and missing an arm, Giorno tends to his teammate’s wound without batting an eyelash. Frown deepening, Trish stretches out her cramped legs before returning her knees to her chin.

-Will he… Sparing a brief glace towards her, Giorno barely seems distracted by her presence. Mista’s hand cuts off the air supply on his wrist, but he either doesn’t appear to notice or care. It’s eerie, his composure. They were supposedly the same age, yet every time she meets his orbs, she feels crippled by fear, inexplicable, considering he’s here to protect her. Seafoam green, or turquoise (it changed depending on the light), he had already unwrapped all her secrets. -Is he going to be…alright?

-Don’t worry, he’ll be fine. Giorno’s answer is curt as he continues doing whatever he was doing. Still, she doesn’t understand any of their terminology (what do they mean by stands?) and still, she’s entranced by floating objects and sudden bullet wounds. Without a lantern on a stormy night, she’s been left in the dark about nearly everything. One thing she knows though, through all the hocus pocus bullshit: rapid aging and a room within a turtle, is that Giorno is on another level. A god perhaps; far removed from the level of even Buccellati. That wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination. Mista had noticed. Even Buccellati had noticed. Now she had noticed.     

-My father- Trish’s mouth forms an ‘o’, and her thoughts threaten to externalise themselves. Giorno’s eyes, placid eyes, bore through her, and she’s certain he’s reading her like a book with ease. Once again, she stretches her legs off the couch, tip toes brushing against the table side, before she folds them back in.  Knees meet chin and Trish resolves to seal her lips shut and avoid those eyes. Had he noticed it himself? The uncomfortable feeling that settles in her stomach each time.

He doesn’t stop staring. Even as seconds pass, he does not blink or look away. She bites her nail with enough force to bend it but not enough to chip or break it.

-What’s going to happen to me? Giorno blinks, but not in surprise.

-You’ll be safe, I promise. It’s vague, just like everything had been for the past fortnight; a haze of confusion and ambiguity. He’d expected her question, he had already known the ideas that were stirring within the pot of her mind. Fear stemmed not from his answer but how long he had most likely been rehearsing his answer.

-You know that isn’t true, Trish calls him out on his bluff -I’ve seen what you people do. [What you child soldiers have done for a boss you’ll never meet] goes unsaid. How Giorno’s gaze pierces through Trish makes her feel like she had verbalised it. He is silent once again, searching carefully for his treasured answer, before he settles on one.  

-I won’t let anything happen to you.

Reality laughs at her, mocking her naive expectations, however she struggles with not trusting him. The glint in his eyes, and the determination burning beneath them makes it hard for her not to believe in him. The voice in the back of her head says otherwise; the doubt that resides inside her overpowers the voice of any god. An interior force that shapes her actions and each and everything she does. Giorno may be a god, but what is god to an unbeliever? To those who seek to dethrone a king yet dine on the food he supplies, how can Giorno, no less Buccellati, compare to her father?

-He’s going to kill me Giorno… Like a warm blanket, she wraps her arms around her legs and pulls them closer, her teeth greet her nails again. Heat does nothing to subjugate the unsympathetic chill the concept of her father instils. Murder would be a blessing for her, she thinks, after seeing the way the mafia operates. If her father didn’t get to her first, what’s to say he wouldn’t just sell her limbs off to the highest bidder. The ones sworn to protect her are simply puppets, and her father pulls the strings.  

-He won’t.  She wants to believe in his words; trust every word that leaves his mouth. She can’t. His two word reply just makes her more restless, and her teeth finally break the nails she has been chewing on for the past minute.

-Why would the the organiser of a crime syndicate-? Her sentence is cut off as she struggles to complete her sentence. -What use would he have for me? There’s a quiet hysteria to her tone, a deafening loudness in the quietness of her voice. She is not screaming nor is she crying, yet her words tremble, and her breathing is erratic. She whispers, she wants to scream. -Giorno, I’m scared.

This surprises him, his eyes go wide and he pauses his actions. Open and shut, soundless words leave his mouth as he fumbles for an answer. Contrastingly to before, he does not have the answers; he can’t give a perfect response that will quell all her fears.  In the sea of cries and mockery, he is nothing.

-GioGio… A garbled groan snaps Trish out of her hysterics and her posture relaxes as she closes off her emotions. She averts her eyes from Giorno, who’s still fishing for an answer and swiftly grabs the latest issue of Vogue. He legs are straight, her nails refined and face stiff.

-Trish… Giorno breathes out.

Through his pained gaze, Mista sends a concerned look to both occupants of the room. Even though his eyes are glazed, and he’s possibly concussed, he is still alert and ready to serve his purpose. He goes to reach for the compartment his gun rests in, only for Giorno’s hand to rest atop his.

-Just hurry up and heal Mista. How are you idiots supposed to protect me otherwise? Her response is robotic. Robots do, they do things with ease and perfection that humans wished they had. Her actions are only faults, full of mistakes and errors she must blindly accept.  She is not a robot.

Neither Giorno nor Mista look convinced, but when she pushes her nose into the magazine, their complaints are silenced.

II.

When the haze clouding her mind dissipates, Trish screams. It’s indescribable, the pain, and the scream that leaves her mouth is unlike anything she has done before. A mere second ago, she was with Buccellati, her sweat coated hand clenched in his warm yet coarse ones. Now, however, that hand was gone, leaving only a gaping emptiness, and her ribs were being jabbed by a pair of wooden shoulders. Blood, snot and tears escape every possible crevasse, until they don’t.

Her back is against a solid torso, somehow teleporting from his shoulders to the gravel, and he stares down at her. Unlike Buccellati’s hand, the hand covering her mouth is frigid. Trish has no idea what’s going on, her body is twisting and turning without her knowledge. [It must be a stand], she thinks, and recounts the last few minutes. Giant holes were present in her memories, the effect existed, but she couldn’t identify the cause. [a stand…and teleportation…?].

She cranes her head the slightest bit and, when their eyes meet, she can’t see any resemblance. He holds no fear, no cowardice crippling his actions, only confidence and disgust.  He speaks; the fear that clouds her judgement muffles his monologue, all without batting an eyelash. Then it hits her. Giorno is not a god, he is a mere mortal with a fancy aesthetic. He can do what other mortals cannot, but he is not a god. This is a god. Someone able to bend the fabric of reality; her father is a god.

From a pillar above, her father’s attention is caught. He glares at the rock and tightens the grip on her face, angling her away from his face. All she had seen were his eyes; she hadn’t even seen her own father’s face. Black fill the edges of her vision as the blood loss gets to her.

-You should just go home now, Bruno Buccellati. She jumps physically at the mention of Buccellati’s name and her father notices. -If you step out from behind that pillar, you will die. An icy embrace from behind chills her as he tightens his grip on her mouth- the puppet had cut the strings controlling him.

Propelled by fear (and a bit of determination) she bites the hand that feeds her hard enough for a metallic taste to tinge her tongue and elbows his exposed rib. Her unexpected action allows for a moment of respite, and she rushes towards the pillar Buccellati is residing in.  

-Buccellati! I don’t want to die! Please, help-! A hopeful smile fights it way onto her face, if anyone could stop him, it could be Buccellati. If there was anyone, she trusted to protect her it would be-

Stinging; it burns.

-Trish!

-Buccellati! Her words splinter inside her, her lung previously filled with air now obstructed with blood. A liquid leaves her mouth instead of words, followed quickly by a solid. The fiery numbness increases. She looks down and sees a fist, planted snugly inside her chest. Blood, her blood, coated the clenched fist. It hurts. Burning searing, a volcanic explosion and the blood gushes out of her open wound as his fist leaves it.

When she blinks. Her face has already met the gravel, meeting it about five seconds ago. Like her father, the ground is like a patch of ice and the remnants of her chest pool on the ground beneath her.

To her horror, Buccellati is in the same position. A hole in his chest, face contorted in silent horror. It hurts to move, should be near impossible, but she trudges through. She lifts her hand, slowly reaching out to Buccellati. His injuries were seemingly more severe than hers, as he had already drifted away.  

-Bucce… A violent cough racks her body and she her body loses more liquid.

Somewhere, she’s not sure where (everywhere?), her father speaks to her. Again, he is monologuing, and again, his words fly over her head. A man who was able to kill both her and Buccellati without batting an eyelash, that is a god.   

-A stand…!

She catches onto his words briefly, wondering who he’s talking about, before she realises, she’s the only person (alive) he could be talking about is her. He winds back his fist, preparing to end her existence, before a shout interrupts his channel, followed by a cacophony of footsteps.

-Buccellati! It was Giorno, followed closely by the gang. Of course, it was him disobeying the boss’s direct order. That just screams Giorno Giovanna.

Then he’s gone. If not for the remnants of death staining the stone, it was like he was never there. The gang has already surrounded Buccellati’s corpse, confused as to when they had gotten there. Narancia is the first to scream, a gut-wrenching screech, worse than anything she’s let out. Abbacchio is quick to follow, falling to his knees. The reactions of the others are hard to gauge as the world around her flickers between black and red. Her hearing becomes submerged as she drowns in her wounds.

-Tri…! The pain she had previously felt was nothing compared to pain of her saviour dying. Maybe, if she was lucky, the two of them could meet again, in a better life.

Giorno takes extreme care when manoeuvring her body, careful to not…to what? She had a huge gaping hole in her chest, what exactly could he be avoiding? The pain doesn’t go away (her thoughts drift to Buccellati) although her wounds seal themselves shut. His eyes, those tranquil eyes, are marred by agony. Distinct from the others, his body trembles violently yet no tears escape his eyes.  

-Sorry… She mangles through the blood clogging her throat, unsure if he can understand her. -If…it…wasn’t…for…me.

-Don’t speak! He hisses. His orbs travel frantically from her to Buccellati. He is long gone, and even through the begging of Narancia (-WHY AREN’T YOU HEALING HIM YOU BASTARD?), Giorno is aware. The pain burns like a raging inferno and she chooses to close her eyes. -Trish, wake up! She can’t. It hurts too much.

[Dammit]. Then her consciousness faded away to an icy numbness.

Chapter Text

Trish wakes up screaming bloody murder; an abrupt sound shattering the silence of the early morning. Hair caked in sweat, and a waterfall of liquid pouring down her physique, Trish cries, voice as though she had been swallowing glass, and pats herself down. She searches for blood, an emptiness in chest or the corpse of someone kind to her. When she finds neither, her screaming doesn’t cease, but her frenzy of nerves slows down. The chipped edges of her hair stand on edge, as her eyes shift quickly from each corner of the room. Nothing. She sees nothing except for her Gwyneth Paltro poster pasted to the ceiling. Her screams momentarily stop as bile forces its way from her stomach and out of her mouth. Neither her blanket nor clothes are safe from her surprise.

When she is done, her throat is raw. Moist eyes blink and she rids herself of her blanket and stands up shakily from her bed. What…?

Her mind is a puddle of incoherent thoughts as she grasps at the distant thoughts screaming at her. Buccellati. Passione. Her father. Memories of her saviour, designated protectors and murderer stab at her mind, and pierce her weak psyche. She had died, so had Buccellati. Yet here she was, alive, well and…covered in vomit. 

She’s wearing a crop top, featuring the entire spectrum of the rainbow and an eye straining optical illusion.  Connected by two straps, her similarly coloured pants are drawn up to her above her belly button. She is forced to hold her breath as strips the two in one fashion disaster and throws it atop her bed sheets.

Opening the closet welcomes her with equally as colourful miniskirts and crop tops. Trish cringes slightly before choosing a plain white tee, stripped black and white shorts and a pair of rainbow knee high socks…Not the best selection, but it would do.

She bundles up the sheets and clothes, making sure to keep the worst parts away from her face, and begins walking towards the laundry.

Was it all a bad dream? In her sleep deprived state did she conjure up a messed-up wish fulfilment scenario.  Instead of a knight in shining armour, an old man associated with the mafia and instead of an evil stepmother, her homicidal and uncaring father. No…that’s ridiculous. If her imagination was that vivid, she might as well go and write a novel.

The machine dings and starts twisting the sheets. Swirling, turning, spinning and twirling. She watches as her sheets spin within the confines of the washing machine. It’s mesmerising; to twist with the environment around you and to absorb the sea of expectations. It also looks pretty rad.

The half functioning machine stops, and she grabs the bundle of cloth and dumps it in a basket. Her arms struggle with dragging the bundle outside. With as much power her frame allows, she tosses the sheets atop the washing line.

Unlike the rancid air inside the turtle, the breeze that tickles her skin is refreshing. Claustrophobia is impossible with the vastness offered by freedom. Green grass smiles at her, waves of heat kiss her skin lovingly as the scenery grins. Humans roam the street, with no ulterior motives, as they are simply enjoying the sights that such a perfect day offers.

Arms spread wide, and with no forethought, Trish belly flops onto the ground. A pained groan and all the air from her lungs are propelled out of her mouth, followed closely by some spit. A few passer-by’s send her quirked brows and opened mouths, but it’s nothing. This pain is nothing, their looks are mild, barely an inconvenience to what he had done to her.

Bugs and insects crawl around their playpens, buzzing and singing across the grass. If her timeline was correct, the whole kidnapping ordeal lasted a month, if not less. Yet, it felt like forever since she had last seen an insect. Trish cringes slightly as the insect crawls across her arm. It couldn’t have been a nightmare, the feeling of getting her intestines demolished by a first was too visceral for a simple nightmare. And, before she…died the boss (father couldn’t be the right term for him; a father wouldn’t kill his daughter. So, he was the boss now, just like Buccellati said.) had mentioned a stand. Could this be her stand ability?

Time travel.

When she woke up, Gwyneth Paltrow’s poster was peering down at her from the ceiling.  If she remembered correctly it was won through an international competition when she was 12. By forging her mother’s credentials, she had sent in an essay as to why she loved the actor. When she had entered the competition, the anxiety of getting caught paralised her for weeks. She feared the idea of the competition organisers exposing her lies and telling her mother about the forgery. It had gotten so bad that she had confessed to her mother, who had scolded her softly before telling her not to do that again. She felt like a criminal, which was ironic considering what her future self (?) had experienced.

She couldn’t pinpoint her exact age, but it was somewhere after age 12. So, Trish Una, age 15, had travelled back in time. This is a lot to take in.

II.

She spends the next hour recounting her fantasy like adventure. It’s after she realises that she’s just going in circles, and with a groan that Trish makes the decisive decision to not think about this anymore. After all, it was only giving her a headache. She knows the future now and, considering all her problems stem from her status as the boss’s daughter, if she stops the boss from learning of her identity, she will be A-Okay. Donatella and Trish will live in blissful ignorance, never knowing the man her mother once loved. Buccellati and company also won’t be designated her protector, meaning that innocents would not die as a result.

The clock strikes three when a door from behind opens from behind the pink haired child. Her TV program is paused momentarily as she involuntarily tenses up. It’s now she realises that the sun is setting, heat dulling significantly, and she had been sulking for more than an hour.

Through the entrance Donatella walks out. Her appearance is dishevelled, implying that she just woken up, and her eyes are squinted. Upon seeing her, Trish is unable to contain the whimper that leaves her mouth.

 -Mum…

Sunken eye bags, deathly pale skin. Her clothes do nothing for her, and the bagginess of the outfit only accentuates her pencil thin limbs. When embracing her form, it’s so much worse than she initially thought. With practised ease, Trish’s arms are able encircle her mother’s torso, and would probably be able to overlap twice if she wasn’t afraid of breaking bones.

-Trish…What’s wrong? Her response isn’t instant, as she’s taking in the heat radiating off her and the comforting smell of her mother’s perfume. It smells like the seaside, or the crunch of sand on teeth. Trish used to find it irritating, now, after being deprived of it for too long, it’s comforting.

After a few more seconds of the embrace, Trish pulls away and flashes her mother a smile.

-I’m just…happy to see you. The brown-haired adult quirks an eyebrow and shakes her head in amusement. Crows feet appear at the edges of her eyes as a soft laugh escapes her mouth. Uncomfortably quick, the breathy chuckle transforms into a wet cough. Trish watches silently as the coughs wracks her already small frame, before directing her mother to the unoccupied couch.

-What did you want for Dinner? Trish questions while patting the back of her parental figure.

Donatella momentarily pauses in her coughing fit to give Trish a wide-eyed look. Within her eyes, is concern and the fiery stubbornness Trish had inherited. Before an argument can break out, Trish shakes her head at her evidently exhausted mother.

-Don’t worry about it. Her mother still looks like she’s eager for an argument and Trish has to clarify her statement. -I’ll make dinner. She speaks in a way that leaves no room for argument. -You’re exhausted, relax and watch TV.

-I… There’s an idea lingering on the tip of her mother’s tongue, a thought she wishes to vocalise. Trish silently pleads with her eyes, lingering between her mother’s figure and the cream coloured couch. Her words die off and she nods. Her tense posture relaxes as she takes comfort on the lounge. -Ok.

Trish sends her a smile and hops into the kitchen. The kitchen layout is unfamiliar, and she has to fumble around for a little bit before giving up. Absolutely clueless when it comes to using the oven, and having no god like technique, she opens the fridge. Her eyes scan the location, cringing at the relatively bareness.

-How… Her eyes scan across some vegetables and spices, -does salad sound? She calls from the kitchen, hoping her voice is projected loud enough. It evidently is when her mother replies with a hum.

So, she conjures up a sour salad with whatever she can get her hands on. When she’s done, and on her way to the living room, she grabs a bottle of water. She places the French import onto the table and sends her mother a blinding smile, Donatella sends it back, albeit with a lot more restraint.  Her mother pats down on the empty space next to her and Trish sits down happily next to her.

-How is school? The older woman asks after a few beats of silence.

Her eyes widen dramatically; she can’t remember what her school life was like. It’s not like she had repressed memories or anything of the like, each day was just so mind numbingly boring.

-Good. She answers neutrally.

Their conversation dies off just as quickly as it starts. It’s difficult talking to someone you knew had died. While Donatella did not look healthy enough to run a marathon, she was far from the corpse Trish was accustomed to seeing. Her cause of death had been vague, but Trish always suspected it over working had been a large factor. From this point on, she’d make sure she wouldn’t have to lift a finger. Keep her safe so the two of them could live a boring and uneventful life. 

-If you still want to transfer-

-No! She shouts a bit too loud, feeling apologetic when her mother flinches. -Don’t worry about it. She says softer this time and glances at the brunette, whose eyes are staring blankly at the chipped television screen. -Everything’s fine, better than fine. Donatella nods twice before she continues picking at her food. For the next half hour both girls chuckle occasionally at the decade old television and the near indecipherable images it projects.

Chapter Text

In the washroom there are paper towels lining the floor and it’s near impossible to make out the pattern of the tiles. While Trish skirts around the damp and ripped rectangular pieces, the boy escorting her pays them no mind. Grime from the bottom of his shoe transfers from each surface, staining both his purple sneakers and the ground.

Darkened brick walls are soiled by the remnants of death, and the stench of uncleanliness permeates the air. For some absurd reason, among the paper towels, raunchy pin up posters are scattered within them. In equal disarray, urinals line the wall to the right of Trish as well as a blow drier attached to the wall. The instructions pasted on the drier are in Italian as well as English, while the object itself is made in China.

The effeminate boy begins to scour the room. There are ten toilet stalls and one corresponding urinal spanning the toilets’ length. Languidly, he opens each door individually, and thoroughly checks the inside of the stall. Trish takes the moment to stride across the room and test the blow drier. The boy, too engrossed in making sure she’s safe, doesn’t notice her movement.

The blow drier is dead. She confirms seconds after reaching the edge of the room. From a distance it was hard to notice that half of it was missing; she doesn’t need to run her hand underneath it to know it doesn’t work.  It wasn’t like she expected anything else but now she doubts that the plumbing even works for the toilets.

 When she looks back, the black-haired boy is still checking the initial stall. Up. Down. Left. Right. He’s repeating his actions and she finds no comfort from them. It’s less like he’s being thorough and more like he’s constantly forgetting that he has just checked that area. Up. Up. Down. Down. Left. Right. Left. Right.

-Can you hurry up? As rude as her response is, it alerts the boy of her presence. He looks like a deer in the head lights, or a child caught with their hand in the cookie jar. He had definitely forgotten what he was supposed to be doing.

He blinks his purple orbs and nods a bit too frantically. Now, instead of opening each door individually, he takes to crawling on the floor and peering underneath each stall. He’s crawling around on all fours, face inches from the floor.

She resists the urge to puke, knowing it would only make the putrid place even more disgusting. It may have been her first time seeing a urinal, but her classmates were well accustomed with siblings that couldn’t aim.  Trish was all for protection against diseases. Wrist bands, a tank top and torn pants were not suitable protection.   

-Sorry. He apologises. -Fugo said I had to check well.

Trish is the last person to insults someone’s intelligence, considering school was a cesspool of mockery and insults, however, she is having a hard time believing this boy is in the mafia.  Excluding his effeminate appearance, which has no bearings on how she perceives him, his personality is too…too juvenile. He acts young, innocent, gullible and naïve. From the way Fugo and the man with the black lipstick sigh at his antics, and the idea of an inside voice probably never crossing his mind, Trish does not believe he’s in the Mafia. 

After walking away from the broken technology, Trish occupies an empty and somewhat clean corner and watches the boy crawl to his heart’s content. She taps her foot impatiently as, even with his newfound speed, he’s barely three stalls through. Through twirling a lock of her pink hair, Trish grimaces at how long it has become. She had meant to get it trimmed later this week, but that isn’t going to happen.

-What did you say your name was again? He doesn’t answer immediately, not out of rudeness but inattention, as his eyes are transfixed by something invisible to her. A long second passes and he’s finally caught up on her question. A combination of disappointment and surprise crosses his features.

-Narancia. Narancia answers proudly, all traces of disappointment gone, before continuing his mission of peering under the stall. When she had first met the gang, he had been the one to purchase her clothing. While she had specified what she hadn’t wanted, and most of the clothes had gotten incinerated in the car explosion, what had been spared from the carnage was well chosen.

His clothes are nice, she thinks. Although his colour palette consists of only three colours, two of which being a shade of orange, he’s clearly put thought into his colour selection. And, despite being ruined due to his last battle, his pants have a nice texture and the lack of a pattern works well with his patterned skirt. She means to compliment his clothes, commend him on having good fashion sense, but those words don’t leave her mouth.

-What’s my father like? Trish is eternally grateful that he is again is slow to respond.  When he does, all that comes out is a little tilt of his head and a cock of it to the right. His expression is half hidden from her and his body language indicates confusion. He pauses in his searching to seat himself in front of the stall, staring directly at her. The fact that he feels comfortable enough to sit, legs folded on the disease-ridden floor, is a wonder.

-Uh…cool, I think? His face scrunches up in confusion, each orifice melting into each other, as he strokes an imaginary moustache. Previous mission forgotten; he ponders her question like she asked what the meaning of life is. -I mean, Buccellati respects him, so I respect him too. So, he must be cool. When he reaches his conclusion, Narancia bumps his open palm with his closed fist. Trish sends him an unconvinced look. 

-Narancia…. Both Narancia and her jump two metres in the air, the former taking that brief second to stand up and reach into his back pocket. Whatever violent act he intends to enact melts away as, with his white hair styled, Abbacchio looks wholly unimpressed. Though not directed at Trish, his signature scowl is present, and his arms are crossed as he bores a hole at Narancia’s previously seated form. -Do your job properly.

Narancia juts out his bottom lip childishly as he frowns.

-Did Buccellati send you? He questions the stationary Abbacchio. A head shake is all he receives in response.

-Do your job properly. Abbacchio commands again, pointing towards the remaining seven stalls.

-I told you I could protect Trish. Narancia mutters before going back on all fours. He continues muttering nonsense underneath his breath as he crawls around the room.

Trish sees Abbacchio physically cringe as Narancia returns to his unhygienic search; the younger boy’s face is closer to the ground than before. Abbacchio opens his mouth to say something yet instead of commenting on the young man’s antics, he shakes his head.

Avoiding eye contact, Trish sneaks a few glances towards Abbacchio. In a subdued manner, his outfit is flashy. Gothic would be the most appropriate term. Excluding his semi exposed chest, his clothes cover all visible skin. If that is what he wears during summer, Trish is impressed.

As two minutes pass of no movement or expression change from the older man, she begins to wonder why he is here. He isn’t scouting like Narancia, indicated by his focused gaze, nor does he look particularly thrilled to be here.

-Narancia. Come here. Abbacchio beckons as the teen reaches the last stall. Impressive progress considering his formerly snail speed. Double the progress in half the time.

-I haven’t check thoroughly enough! Despite his complaints, he obeys Abbacchio; Narancia walks up to Abbacchio with a tilt of his head. Trish, in the corner, watches their interaction with careful eyes. They soon transform into wide eyes. Abbacchio pulls Narancia’s head low enough to expose his neck and pokes at a specific place on the back of his head. What happens next leaves her more confused than shocked. One moment Narancia is standing in front of Abbacchio, the next he’s recoiling in pain. Afterall, Abbacchio’s finger pushed Narancia’s head with feather light pressure.

-ABBACCHIO YOU BASTARD! He reaches into his back pocket and retrieves a switchblade. The edges of the blade have dried blood on it and Trish cringes. He had probably killed someone with that, and recently if the blood is any indication.

-Stay still. Abbacchio doesn’t react to the weapon pointed at his face, he only blinks as he parts more of Narancia’s hair. Realising a switch blade isn’t the smartest thing to swing around, especially around the bosses’ daughter, the black-haired teen places it in his back pocket. The gothic man pokes the same area again and draws a whine from Narancia.

-It hurts! Narancia screeches.

-You can’t protect Trish if you’re concussed.

Narancia goes to protest again, but Abbacchio digs his finger deeper into the wound. Punctuating his scoff with a slight twist. Narancia groans, and recoils once again while clutching his head. 

-If you fail to protect Trish, we’re all dead. Go to Giovanna. Abbacchio’s words leave no space for complaints. A western stand off ensures, both men refusing to back down. Abbacchio is a pillar, unflinching and immovable, while Narancia is an ocean, constantly shifting and swaying with the earth. Unusually quiet, Narancia’s eyes eventually begin to water as time ticks on. A few more seconds pass and the watery eyes have evolved into a waterfall of liquid. It wasn’t even a fair fight to begin with. 

-Zucchero, knowing he’s lost the argument, Narancia starts walking to the location of Giorno, wiping his face clean of tears along the way.  -that fucking bastard! I should have kicked him harder! He mutters as he stomps off.

As if he had forgotten she was there, Abbacchio turns towards her. She knows he hadn’t, he has known she was here the entire time, but she still jumps when their eyes meet.

-You can go, I’ll wait outside.

II.

The alarm can be described as something between a guttural cry and a shriek. Deafening. Unceasing, blending her thoughts into a mush of anxiety and popping the drums of her ears. Trish jumps up from her confines and grabs the closest object as a makeshift weapon. All hair standing on edge, she examines the area around her.

 

She blinks away her confusion, taking in the intricacies of her bedroom. Her Gywneth Paltro poster is still peering down at her, on the side table framed pictures of Donatella and her sit and an empty bottle of water rests in the bin. Stuck on the door is a calendar, emboldened with the year: 1998 and month flipped to July. To complete yesterday morning’s thought, Trish Una is now aged 13.

 

At that point memories of the previous day flood her mind and Trish sighs in relief. She isn’t with the gang anymore, her life isn’t being threatened, she is safe. In her hand, the makeshift weapon is gripped hard enough to crack. Her hairbrush wouldn’t work well in a combat situation, but she was lucky enough that her enemy is just an alarm clock.

 

Before lightly placing the hairbrush back on the dresser, Trish turns off the clock.  She then falls back on her pink sheets with her arms spread wide.  For the first time in a month, she had woken up blanketed in warmth. Although not the most luxurious mattress, it is comforting compared to the stiff couch within that turtle.

She’s safe. Safe from the prying eyes of Giorno and Abbacchio. Safe from the men hunting her down like prey.

Her stomach growls, and a glance at the alarm clock alerts her of the time. Breakfast is not going to make itself. With a heave, Trish pushes herself off the bed and makes her way to the kitchen. The cupboard is left open (probably from yesterday’s search) and (like yesterday) there are only spices on the shelves. She does a quick search of the fridge as well, hopeful to find bread to toast or eggs to fry, only to be disappointed.  Each food container is empty.

Walking past the bathroom on her way to Donatella’s bedroom, Trish is not a sight for sore eyes. Being on the run prevented her from accessing the hair gel necessary to keep her hair upright. Her best decision was ditching that train wreck of a hairstyle.

Trish knocks on the door, awaiting an answer. When nothing comes, she knocks again. Regrettably she receives no answer and slowly opens the door.

Like a caterpillar, Donatella is snugly planted in the centre of her bed. The small frame barely contains her body as the ends of her limbs dangle off the edge. Above the two, the lacklustre fan spins away, occasionally stalling.

Trish takes careful steps towards the bed and sits on the end of her bed. She’s careful to manoeuvre around the loose limbs of her mother.

-Mum. The regret she feels at waking up her mother diminishes greatly as her stomach growls again. She shakes her mother’s shoulder and calls her name again.  

Said woman opens her eyes. They’re a pool of blue filled with love and adoration, and she looks at Trish like she’s the centre of the universe.

-Solido… She whispers, reaching her arm out to touch Trish. When her hand reaches out to caress her cheek, she snaps back to reality. Donatella blinks away the bleariness, looks at Trish and sees her for who she is.  -Oh Trish. Morning. Trish ignores the disappointment in her tone.

-There’s no food, Trish questions. -can I borrow some money?

The brunette is still sleepy and takes a few seconds to respond. She grabs her purse from her bedside table and begins searching for money.

-You’re missing school again? Donatella questions concerned and hands her daughter a surprising sum of money.

Oh. She has completely forgotten about school. It’s like going on holidays for a few months, and losing routine, then suddenly being reminded of it with a slap to the face.  

-I-I’ll go tomorrow. Trish stutters as she walks off with the money.

She makes a pitstop by her room to retrieve her presumed school bag. It screams childish. A glittery pink mess that a unicorn vomited on. Seriously Trish?

II.

Trish juggles two apricots in her hand, resisting the temptation to take a bite.

Solido.

That must be the name of the boss. She had heard her mother mention his name in passing but never put much thought into it.

Solido.

Knowing the mafia however, there is no way that is his real name. Buccellati and Fugo hadn’t been hesitant to introduce themselves; they are mere underlings to a bigger threat.   

Solido.

He is undeserving of the title “father”, an understatement if she’d ever heard one, and no boss of hers.

Solido.

Blue eye inherited from her mother and presumably magenta like pink hair from Solido. Regrettably.

Now she understands that all her problems stems from a man named Solido.

Trish sighs and places returns both apricots to their home. She has bought the necessities: bread, meat, milk.  Everything looks tempting and there is still a small sum remaining. Donatella probably grabbed the largest bill she could find. She decides her shopping is done for the day and begins her walk home.

Her centre of gravity is thrown off as the weight of her groceries overpower her. Blind to the passing pedestrians, a 13-year-old Trish sways and swings with each step across the street. Her balance is atrocious, and she looks like a thief lugging a sack of stolen goods over her shoulder.

-Miss Una. At the mention of her name, Trish turns her head to greet the person. It is a priest, dressed in an appropriate outfit, and wearing a slight smile. -You’re looking a little distressed.

A familiar face makes itself known, Father Galbani. A priest who takes time out of his day to volunteer his time at her school to spread his teachings. They had spoken upon multiple instances, and Trish remembers him as a nice person.

-Here. A sudden weight is miraculously lifted from Trish’s shoulder, and she sighs a breath of relief. -Allow me. He gestures for her to lead the way, and Trish does, with a nod. He looks somewhat ridiculous clutching a blindingly pink bag.

-T-Thank you. Father Galbani. She sends him an experimental smile and he sends one back. His age is shown through the heavy crow’s feet present by his eyes and the heavy creases by his cheek. Surprisingly, there isn’t a single grey hair on his ear length hair, just a vastness of black.

-How are your parents? He questions to fill the silence.

-My mum is good. Trish cuts off quickly, hoping not mentioning her “father” would imply something. If he knew subtle cues, the subtle averting of her blue orbs and wringing of her fingers would shift the conversation in another direction.  

-And your father? It doesn’t.

She decides not to answer him. Trish dislikes being rude, but she feels like mentioning the name Solido out of the confines of her house would get her and Galbani killed.

-Trish, do you believe in destino? Galbani is quick to change the topic.

-Destino? The young girl parrots in confusion. Why was he suddenly bringing that up?

-Destino. In Japan they use the word Unmei, the Greeks use Moíra while the English use Fate. Regardless of the language, they all mean the same thing. Predetermined events, outside of a person’s control.

-Okay… Throughout his description, Trish had been nodding to show her attentiveness. Not because she cared, or understood why he brought up the topic, but out of courtesy. He was, after all, carrying her groceries.

-While fortune-tellers make a living off blasphemous practises, they are bound by the limitations of fate. Even if they see their deaths, there’s no way to avoid it.

With his analogy, Trish feels a pit of dread rest itself in her stomach. They continue walking, close to their destination, and Trish picks up her speed.

-I-I think I’ll be fine going home by myself. Thank you.

She turns and regrets doing so. The look reflected on his face causes her to get cold feet. The same fear she felt around Solido resurfaces and she can’t move. She’s going to die. Again. She’s going to die.

-But you’re different. How did you do it?

Abruptly, using his free arm, Galbani uses his free hand to wrench her arm towards him. If she was in sound mind, Trish would have screamed or attempted escapes, but she isn’t.

-You’re not the Trish I talked to last week

There’s no hesitation as he drops her backpack to the ground. The contents of it shatter upon meeting the ground, and there’s soon a patch of leaking water. Trish isn’t even able to shout as the man pulls her closer, this time not intending to let her go.

- I can see it in your spirit. His eyes shine like a doctor in a clinic. She feels like a patient at the dentist; her mouth is pried wide open and his metal utensils are intrusively exploring her mouth. -You may have avoided your death, but it is destino. Logic slaps Trish in her face and she attempts to shrug off his tight grip once again but Father Galbani does not relinquish his grip.

-Let go of me! She screams, hoping for someone, anyone, to help her.

-Trish, it is fated that you will die. Save yourself the suffering. Their faces are so close that his warm breath invades her senses each time he talks. -You cannot defy fate. It is what god has decreed-  

-Trish!

Trish is violently wrenched away from the priest and a familiar warmth arm protectively embraces her.

-Thank you for walking my daughter home, Donatella is fuming, her scowl is hostile enough to make the priest sweat. The droplets slowly cascade down his face, and his hand is left clutching air. A tense moment passes with Donatella threatening the man with her eyes. -now if you’d go on your way.

Galbani goes to speak, probably to defend himself, but Trish’s mother just sends him a glare. Even Trish can taste the lingering threat of the woman cussing out the priest if he stayed a second longer.

-Leave. She speaks through gritted teeth, looking down on him like he’s a cockroach beneath her feet.

Relief floods the priest’s features, like a man acquitted for murder, and he performs a curt bow, and walks away. As he leaves though, he mutters underneath his breath only loud enough for Trish to hear.

-We are all slaves to fate, save yourself the suffering.

When he is over the horizon and out of earshot, Donatella frantically goads her daughter inside. Instead of relinquishing her steel like grip within the confines of their home, it tightens when they get inside.

Her knees shake the slightest bit when Donatella kneels to Trish’s eye level. She cups the former teenager’s cheeks with her hands, and they share a moment of intense eye contact.  Both female’s eyes are swirling with uncontained apprehension, while Donatella’s also contain distress.

-Did he do anything to you? Pausing to translate her mother’s question is a big mistake. The woman shakes her shoulders frantically with wide eyes. -Trish! Did it do anything to you? She squeaks as her voice cracks.

-No. Trish answers uncertainly, and it evidently doesn’t convince her mother.

-Trish! He didn’t touch you anywhere inappropriate, did he? She asks once again.

-No. Trish decisively answers. -I’m fine.