Another day of peace is quite easily demolished in the Brando Household; such a luxury is scarce in this family, like a pipe dream always at a great distance before it seems a moment within reach in any temporary truce of sorts.
It's somewhat of an unspoken running gag within the family that whenever a book is opened for a good, long read ahead or even briefly, disruption comes on cue as raised voices or something breaking. An irreplaceable Aztec mask, a ceiling light, perhaps Ungalo's skull after obnoxiously devouring a meat feast pizza in front of his vegan brother, Rykiel.
Even the eldest and golden child is privy to slip ups and outbursts. In fact, they surround him mostly, his brothers easily overlooked and left to their own devices within the large home as if they lived elsewhere.
"Aren't you concerned your obvious favouritism will cause a rift between you and your other three sons?" Pucci, bless him, had once asked DIO.
Donatello, Ungalo and Rykiel all pretty much relayed the same energy from their eavesdropping spot behind a door: "Don't ruin a good thing."
So they like not being shadowed and constantly critiqued by an insatiable, unreasonable man. Makes sense, it's supposed and they don't go to him for favours or inquiries either.
Giorno is different.
As much as he is calculative and plays the start and end of several scenarios before making a decision, his heart beats with the integrity of another; that person who was always upfront, never upholding a charade, always willing to hear someone out and be given the same courtesy whether it was a friend or stranger.
It's so endearing of him,
...but there was never any sign on Dio's part that he would follow the same philosophy.
Pucci's endeavour in being a man of God has allowed him to cultivate an outstanding faith and loyalty; where the average person would easily seek to escape from this family, he remains, lending ear to the tantrums of a fast growing teenager and playing mediator between him and his father. The kitchen is his expert domain too, no Brando as of yet able to turn down his dishes.
His patience is also on an impressive, near unbreakable tier, his focus on his favourite passages in his open bible kept even to the back and forth conversation approaching the front porch. Three pairs of footsteps are incoming, each distinctive in weight and stride.
A soft but heavy sigh with the jostle of keys, "This was useless from the beginning."
Then a somewhat agreeable grunt, "I could have told you that and saved us both the trouble. You allowed that stubborn Joestar trait of yours to get in the way."
A thick, cockney accent says, "Can you stop having a bloody go at him already?! You're both doin' my head in."
Pucci closes the bible between hands on time with the front door opening and three Brandos returning, "I take it the driving lesson didn't go as planned?"
He'd offered them his car—the only vehicle on the household property. Being a devote believe in the power and reliability of his own pair of legs, he hardly travels anywhere in it but the reason behind the purchase in the very first place was in case of emergencies. Incidents like severe injuries, not a teenage son's bi-monthly attempt to leave with nothing but a single packed bag or an uncle's unhealthy urge for junk food at unthinkable hours.
"Padre was impossible." Giorno says in time with Dio's short and simple "Useless, useless, useless." and they exchange glances, silently questioning each other's misplaced blame.
Diego's lifted himself up on one of the kitchen counters, a family sized carton of butter pecan ice cream from the freezer in his arms with one spoon. "I dunno what they're on about," he shrugs and consumes a generous scoop with no problem, an image that portrays his twenty-something age, "I thought it was a right laugh."
Giorno passes by the couch where Pucci is to drop the car keys into the ceramic bowl on the coffee table; it's an amalgamation of bright colours bleeding into murkiness around an unidentifiable shape, made by the sloppy hands of a much younger Giorno in his early years of school. The sight repulses him with literal body shivers but its 'pride of place' for all to see is supposedly a testament to how far his Padre's love for him goes.
And oh, the lengths it goes.
Giorno pleas to the priest, "Father Pucci, Padre was unbearable. I would've much preferred you to teach me." He'd offered and near begged him to the minute his Padre put his foot down and spoke the word of law that it was going to be a father and son bonding experience.
To that, Pucci couldn't have possibly considered intervening; he was rather hoping it would prove successful and the at odd father and son would return with a much stronger, healthier bond. He offers a sympathetic smile, "I'm certain your best interest was in mind the entire time, Giorno."
"Uncle Diego, you were with us, please talk sense into Padre."
Diego shakes his head, "Askin' the impossible, Mate. Do I look like Jesus?"
Dio reminds everyone of his presence, standing before them all with crossed arms and a fixed, stern expression. He hasn't lived this long and gotten superiority over many people by being easily swayed or overruled and he always knows best. "You're obviously not ready to operate an automobile quite yet, Giorno."
"Strange because you're often telling me how much I drive you up the wall."
"You were impatient the moment you got in the vehicle."
"Yes because before I even touched the steering wheel, you demanded that I buckle and unbuckle my seatbelt several times to test its longevity."
"Good thing too because it snapped right after the fortieth test."
"It was worn out and I can't say I blame it."
"A competent safety measure is the difference between this," Dio gestures to himself from top to bottom, then pulls out a photo from his wallet, creased and ripped from at the neck of the person in it. "And this unsightly display."
Giorno has many questions about his Padre and most can't be answered, a prominent one being why he's so unhinged. "That's a picture of Jotaro."
"Even the best surgeons couldn't improve his appearance." Dio pockets the photo for another chance of mockery in the future.
"You're being ridiculous, Padre."
"Useless, Giorno. Let's not forget that after the seatbelt proved to be faulty, you then neglected to inspect the built in stereo."
Okay, Giorno's pretty much ahead of everyone in his class but he's lost on this one; he looks to Diego and Pucci, neither able to translate how that's even relevant. He shrugs lightly, "I don't see why that would be necessary—"
"Oh, so you don't want your Padre to have a pleasant journey?" Dio looks between Diego and Pucci this time but with an exaggerated look of disbelief and hurt, a hand over his still heart that hasn't made a beat in a very long time.
"Name three current music artists."
"I..." Dio, for the extraordinarily long life of him, can't. Not even one of those dime a dozen hoodlums from the streets who poorly disguise their complaints as spoken poetry come to mind. Any music Giorno listens to is of its own, underrated genre, and whatever blasts into the eardrums of the other three sons? He hasn't the faintest clue. "Don't have to because I, Dio, am your father and you, Giorno, are to do as I say."
"I did and Father Pucci's car never moved an inch from outside our home."
Diego barely catches his choked snort from the kitchen in the back.
"Yet you still hit our mailbox."
Giorno blinks, "What mailbox?"
Dio inhales sharply like something has pierced right down the middle of him; with a heavily sorrowful face often paired with the most unfortunate pieces of news, he reaches down to brace himself against the coffee table, apparently unable to stand upright alone. "It's far worse than I feared, you weren't even able to see it."
Giorno knows damn well they don't have a mailbox. His eyes roll all the way over to the kitchen, sending desperate signals to his Uncle who's still more preoccupied with his ice cream, "Uncle, I'm not one to beg but can you please instruct me on how to drive instead?"
Pucci clears his throat, "That might not be wise. Diego is somewhat of a wild card on the road—"
"Oh, shut up!" Diego snaps, suddenly interested in contributing now the conversation's about him and his questionable driving. "If I'm so bad, yeah, then why'd the police want to interview me for breaking the speed record?!"
"Speed limit, Diego. You went over it."
"They wanted my autograph."
"Your signature on the ticket they gave you."
"And my picture!"
"Your driver's license, which was expired and confiscated."
Diego shrugs at his nephew, “What can I say? I’m better with stallions.”
“Ah, there you go.” Dio says, “Giorno, you can ride Silver Bullet.”
“Muda.” Giorno can't express enough how dreadful that would be. As if his iconic outfit and hairstyle don't gather enough eyefuls from passersby, traveling like someone from another time period most definitely will. He draws the line there and at Dio pulling out his old tricycle from years ago from the closet under the stairs, ladybug themed with a horn and basket in the front. "Padre, no. You need to understand that I live in the twenty-first century and it's a practical right for teenagers to drive."
“Being eighteen, young man, doesn’t mean you’re above my rules.”
“I'm realising this all might just be a ploy to keep me from going to the drive-in with Mista."
That should've been one of his earlier guesses aside from his Padre just being outright unstable. Going to the drive-in is Mista's idea, something sweet he's been planning for the two of them after end of semester exams. Giorno's never been to one but he hopes it's how the movies portray it to be: cozy, dream-like, an everlasting memory of sweet kisses and gazing and popcorn fights.
The minor issue was getting there; Giorno doesn't like having to rely on his boyfriend to take them everywhere. It isn't fair.
“Drive ins? In the twenty-first century? More likely than you think.” Diego says.
“Uncle, that’s not helpful.”
“Not here to be helpful, I’m here to watch and take the piss.” Diego laughs and eats more ice-cream but this time, the satisfaction on his face contorts into confusion, then horror, and he lets out a painful cry from a particularly hard bite. He pushes out a pecan bigger than average into his hand, “The fuck?!"
"Padre, this has gotten well out of hand."
Dio replies, "I can say the same for your attitude."
Diego presents his palm to everyone but no one looks, “Look at the size of this thing! Guys, look!"
"You can't restrict me like this forever."
"I, Dio, can do whatever I please. All the more if it ensures your wellbeing."
“It’s like a bloody, fucking rock!” Diego continues.
"It is quite big," Pucci offers. "You didn't crack a tooth, did you?"
“You’re not driving, Giorno. I forbid it.”
“Padre, you’re being unfair.”
“No, Giorno, unfair is when the store runs out of the chocolate pudding you love so much and I have to watch your happiness fade. Unfair is when Jotaro Kujo is more popular than me at PTA meetings. Unfair is losing Jonathan Joestar far too quickly!"
“Padre, I…” Giorno struggles, unfamiliar with this emotional side to his father. “This isn’t about Father. I miss him just as much as you but that was an accident.”
On a cruise ship to an extravagant vacation island, someone psychotic and doused a car in fuel and set it alight with a woman and child still inside. Jonathan had been passing by, heard their screams and didn't think twice.
The car exploded after they were safely away but not before he was.
Dio has been mourning ever since; not so verbally but quietly and deeply, feeling it most in the heart aches from Jonathan's framed portraits, from finding his expired foods in the back of the fridge, from the archeological documentary he taped every weekend and hasn't been here go delete the build up.
From the kindness passed on that lives within their son, Giorno.
Because Dio and his emotions are so fierce and strong, he regresses back to the angry stage of grief ever so often. "The culprit is in jail but it was the work of those useless automobiles that now plague the earth!”
“It wasn’t the fault of anything. Father had a very huge heart and extended kindness to whoever needed it.” Giorno places a hand over his heart; he can feel it everyday, the connection they share, his kindness that is a testament to Jonathan Joestar.
It brings a small chuckle out of him imagining the way Jonathan would perhaps attempt to teach him driving. There would be an info dump on the history behind cars, the persistence on road safety and child like analogies and names for parts of the car. He would sing and make the journeys as fun as possible while never losing sight of the importance of educating his son.
Jonathan is missed every day but surely he would agree that no one dwell on his unfortunate departure; that no one’s life be put on hold or blame be incorrectly placed.
“Padre, there are many dangers in the world. That is why it is imperative we live our lives to the fullest and fulfil our dreams in the short time we have. We're not Gods.”
Dio huffs, “No but I, DIO, am immortal. Nothing can ever dare harm me…” His fierce stare softens, “Except for you, my son. It’s useless to try and persuade you from what you have your sights on. After all, we Brandos usually get what we want.”
Pucci nods agreeably with a fond smile, always conscious of that being a big part of Dio's charm which lured him in to his world. "And may the lord have mercy on whoever tries to disrupt the path you are set on.”
“Exactly. Even if God himself planned for our demise, we would retaliate.”
“So does this mean you'll let me learn how to drive properly?" Giorno asks.
Giorno sighs. Next time, then. He'll persist and eventually wear his Padre down...or find a loophole to get around his being forbidden so that he technically won't have broken any rules. “Will it ease your concerns if I promise to check the stereo?”
Dio waves a hand and scoffs dismissively, "Giorno, we both know you’re going to drive as far away from here as possible the moment your foot touches the peddle.”
Giorno turns his head, “Worth a shot.”