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Break Down The Walls

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Crammed in the library, Hermés and FF were dying over their finals. They had been studying for days, but the high stress of trying to remember everything they had learned over the semester was tiring, to say the least. Hermés was just about to scream and give up when suddenly she heard a familiar voice scream her name instead. 

 

She rolled her eyes and looked toward Jolyne, who was standing by the door. Many people angrily hushed her as she made her way towards Hermés and FF. Jolyne huffed and sat across from Hermés with a nervous smile.

 

“Okay, Hermés I need to ask for a big favor,” Jolyne stated, looking a little tense. 

 

“This can’t be good. Wait- aren’t you supposed to be studying for finals right now?” Hermés reminded her. They never studied together, because they would distract each other. Plus, Jolyne liked to study in her dorm rather than the library. 

 

“That doesn’t matter,” Jolyne brushed her comment off, looking even more tense now, “Okay, you know how you’ve been my best friend for like two years now?”

 

Hermés felt a sinking feeling in her stomach. Oh, this really isn’t going to be good . “Yeah?” 

 

“And you know how you’ve somehow never met my family?” Jolyne smiled nervously, not keeping eye contact. Every word Jolyne said it felt like it was striking Hermés further into a pit of doom. 

 

“And you know how I would never like to put you into an unfortunate situation-”

 

“Just tell me what you did already,” Hermés commanded, feeling impatient. After all these years, Hermés had seen and heard Jolyne do some stupid shit, but she was always extremely upfront about it. 

 

You’d imagine crashing your best friend’s car would be hard to admit, but Jolyne explained everything without hesitation. Whatever she did, it was bad. 

 

“Okay, okay. So I was talking to my cousin Josuke, right? Everything was going fine, but then one thing led to another and we started arguing. He brought up that I wasn’t actually over Romeo-which I am-but I got super defensive and might have said that I have a girlfriend,” Jolyne explained quickly, barely even taking one breath.

Hermés blinked slowly and replied, “But you don’t have a girlfriend.” 

 

“Exactly! But you haven’t even heard the worst part. I told Josuke that I was planning on bringing her along to our Christmas family reunion! But I don’t have a girlfriend, and I can’t tell them that I don’t because they’ll think that I’m still not over Romeo, so can you please pretend to be my girlfriend.” Jolyne explained everything so fast that Hermés could barely even understand her. Jolyne desperately looked at her, thoroughly freaked out and apologetic. 

 

“Slow down. So you want me...to pretend to be your girlfriend...so you uphold your dignity?” Hermés said slowly, in an attempt to comprehend the utter word vomit Jolyne had thrown in her face. 

 

“When you put it that way, you make me sound bad.” Jolyne pouted. 

 

Hermés sighed and glanced over at FF, who’d been staying uncharacteristically quiet this entire time. They looked up from their paper, glanced at Jolyne, shrugged and continued working. 

 

Hermés sighed again and said, “Jolyne, how do you always get in these shitty situations?” 

 

“I don’t know,” Jolyne whined, drawing out the ‘know’.

 

“Do you even realize how dangerous this is? So, if I hypothetically became your girlfriend...” Hermés put the word girlfriend in air quotes, “...What if, later, you want to introduce me to them as your best friend?”

 

“Oh, that’s fine. Like two months afterwards, I’d say that we decided that being friends was better for us and there are no hard feelings.” 

 

“This is fucking crazy.”

 

“I know, but it’s the only option I have.” 

 

“What about your roommate? Gwess?” Hermés offered, trying to get out of this situation in any way possible. 

 

“She’s crazy and you know that.” 

 

“FF? Can you do this?” Hermés almost pleaded. 

 

“Hm? Oh, no I have plans.” FF answered, looking up from their paper.

 

“What plans?” Jolyne asked, surprised. FF basically didn’t have a social life outside of Jolyne and Hermés. 

 

“Plans,” FF put it simply, dodging the question. Then they continued to study. 

 

Jolyne looked back at Hermés, exasperated. “See? FF has plans, and I have no other close enough friends to do this.” 

 

“And I really don’t wanna do this, Jolyne. What if your family finds out we’re lying? They’ll hate me!” Hermés crossed her arms. Your best friend’s family hating you is definitely not ideal, especially when the said friend’s family is so close. 

 

“You don’t know my family though. They’re all really forgiving, well, except maybe Johnny, but he probably won’t care about this anyways,” argued Jolyne. 

 

Hermés closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead. She needed a coffee-no and an entire year’s worth of coffee. Finals were already stressing the hell out of Hermés and she definitely didn’t need to worry about this . Hermés opened her eyes to see Jolyne’s signature puppy-dog eyes, that Hermés always found too cute to say no to. Hermés groaned.

 

“God Jolyne, one day you’re going to convince me to jump off a cliff with that face,” Hermés grumbled. 

 

Jolyne laughed, “I wouldn’t do that to you. Besides, I like you too much to make you jump off a building.” 

 

Hermés blushed a little. 

 

“Anyways, I’ll be your pretend girlfriend over break, ONLY if you’ll buy me coffee for the entirety of next year,” Hermés smirked. Jolyne wouldn’t be stupid enough to buy an extra person coffee for an entire year, would she?

 

“Deal.” 

 

Nevermind, she was. 

 

Hermés said, with a headache already forming, “Okay, now leave and go study before I change my mind.” 

 

Jolyne smiled triumphantly, said her goodbyes, and left the library. Hermés shook her head with a small smile and continued to study.

 

Well, not until FF said, “Ah, young love.” 

 

Hermés threw her pencil at them. 

 

~~~

 

Time felt like it was leaking away, like water cupped in a hand. Hermés anxiously studied for finals every day, but sometimes it just felt like not enough, like she needed more time to cram all the information she learned throughout the semester back into her brain. 

 

She needed more time to process the information, to truly learn it, but she simply didn’t have the time to do so. Time always feels like it’s going too quickly for Hermés, as if she were cursed for doing something in a past life. She could have sworn she once saw the sun setting and rising in mere seconds at one point, but she determined it was a dream. 

 

Then, there wasn’t enough time to mentally prepare herself for Jolyne’s family get-together. Every second that passed felt like it was leading her to her impending doom. She had no idea what to expect. Hermés nervously thought of every possible scenario of what could happen. Only a few seemed to end well. The odds were not in her favor. 

 

But eventually, the days ticked by, finals were completed, and winter break had started. 

 

Early one morning Jolyne arrived at Hermés’s dorm, and together they crammed all of three bags into Jolyne’s old Chevy. They started driving when it hit her - Hermés had practically no idea where they were going. She didn’t worry about it too much though; she trusted Jolyne to drive to her family home without getting lost. But then Jolyne pulled into her dorm parking lot. 

 

“I thought we were leaving?” Hermés asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

“Yeah, I said I would meet the Uber here,” Jolyne answered looking down at her phone. 

 

“Uber? I thought we were driving?”

 

Jolyne snorted and said, “We can’t go to the airport in my car, dummy.” 

 

“Airport? The fuck?! We’re taking a plane?!” Hermés exclaimed, jaw dropping.

 

“You didn’t know!?” Jolyne screamed, eyes widening. 

 

“No!!!” Hermés yelled back, equally as surprised. 

 

Jolyne stared at Hermés for a moment, before composing herself and saying, “Well, good thing I already bought you your ticket. You’re not afraid of planes, are you?” 

 

“Well, no, but-”

 

“Then there’s no problem!” Jolyne’s phone buzzed. “Well, that’s the Uber.” 

 

Hermés rolled her eyes and got out of the car. 

 

The ride to the airport was generally uneventful. Hermés wondered where they were going that warranted a plane ride , but surely it wasn’t outside America. Jolyne wouldn’t be stupid enough to forget to remind Hermés to bring a passport. For the entire half-hour ride, Hermés nervously scrolled through her phone while Jolyne, being friendly as always, chatted with the Uber driver. 

 

Once they got to the airport, Jolyne led Hermés through the building, and eventually, to the correct line. 

 

“So, where are we going exactly?” Hermés asked over the loud chatter in the room. 

 

“England,” Jolyne replied simply.

 

“England?! I didn’t bring a passport, Jolyne!” 

 

“Oh. Oooh, sorry, I meant New England. Connecticut,” Jolyne corrected sheepishly. Jolyne yawned and rubbed her eyes. “Sorry, I’m just really tired. You don’t need to worry about anything, I already planned it all out.” She did look tired. Her normal hair style was absent, leaving the green dyed parts awkwardly sitting in her hair. Seeing Jolyne without her large space buns was definitely out of the ordinary. 

 

Hermés knew that Jolyne wasn’t lying so she just rolled her eyes and said, “Fine, I’ll trust you.” 

 

Various security checks later they finally boarded the plane. Jolyne almost fell into the seat out of exhaustion. Hermés laughed and sat down next to her. 

 

While people were funneling into the plane, Hermés nervously smiled. “Y’know, I’ve never been on a plane before.” 

 

“What? And you’re telling me this now?” Jolyne gasped, dropping her jaw, and widening her eyes in surprise. 

 

Hermés chuckled and explained, “Well, yeah, of course I’ve never been on a plane before. I grew up in the slums. There’s no fuckin’ way I had enough money for a plane ticket, much less a vacation.” 

 

“Damn, sometimes I forget that,” Jolyne pouted, and after a short pause she said, “Switch spots with me. I’d think you’ll like the view.” Jolyne got up and after awkwardly shuffling around each other, Hermés sat down and looked out the window. 

 

“Wow, it’s the plane workers and the airport. Very exciting,” Hermés deadpanned. 

 

Jolyne just rolled her eyes and hit Hermés’s arm. “I meant when we took off, smartass.” 

 

Hermés snickered. After a short silence, Hermés asked, “So, what’s your family like?” 

 

Jolyne’s eyes lit up, “Oh yes! So, uh, where do I start. Um, so first of all, I’m only really close with my Mom’s side of the family-but it’s a huge family. My Mom has three brothers and one sister, and they all have at least two kids, so it’s always hectic when we’re all together. Oh! I have no idea how-but I only have guy cousins. So that makes it even more crazy. Like-imagine five buff, chaotic teenagers together in one room without adult supervision.” 

 

Jolyne kept on talking about her cousins, but Hermés eventually tuned it out. She almost regretted asking Jolyne about her family. It made Hermés think of her own family. She never had very close bonds with any of her family members, only Gloria...

 

“Hermés, are you listening?” Jolyne interrupted her thoughts. 

 

“Fuck...Yeah. Um, sorry I’m a little tired.” Hermés technically did tell the truth. After the surprise airport visit, Hermés felt like she needed a ten hour nap, or at least a Monster. 

 

Jolyne nodded and sighed, “Yeah, me too. Once we take off I’m probably going to sleep the whole time.” 

 

Just then, the flight attendants started to go down the list of safety procedures, and soon enough, the plane took off. Once everyone got situated and the plane didn’t blow up from taking off, Jolyne yawned and went to sleep. 

 

Hermés smiled to herself. She thought it was totally creepy, but Hermés loved watching Jolyne sleep. Jolyne, who was chaos incarnate, simply looked so peaceful and happy asleep. Her face just seemed to melt and all her worries just faded away. Hermés could never stop the almost instantaneous thoughts of just thinking how cute Jolyne looked asleep. Well, to be honest with herself, Hermés thought Jolyne was adorable all the time, but she just blocked those thoughts out. Hermés always put up these mental walls to either protect herself or protect Jolyne, Hermés didn’t know herself. But when Jolyne was asleep, and  when Hermés didn’t need to worry about acting strange, so cracks formed in these walls. The unconscious bombardment of these horribly sappy thoughts just pummeled her into a never-ending pit of doom. 

 

Hermés felt her heart squeeze in a familiar way, that she didn’t quite understand, as she forced herself to look out the window. Hermés furrowed her brows, as she sat and thought about what could come next. Hermés felt something towards Jolyne that she could never comprehend. She had always labeled it as what you feel when you have a close friend, but she was close friends with FF and she didn’t feel these things towards them. Hermés almost got mad at herself for never being able to label this emotion. Hermés always liked to feel in control; she hated it when she couldn’t do something or when she didn’t know what to do. She’d always made up her mind quickly and efficiently. So why couldn’t she make up her mind about Jolyne

 

Hermés started to second guess her choice to agree to this trip. Maybe it would just make her more confused. Maybe it would make Hermés more irritable. Jolyne wasn’t always right too, she probably didn’t have everything under control, and her family is probably going to react differently about the situation than she thought. 

 

Hermés sighed. Jolyne was right about one thing though, the view was pretty great. 

 

~~~

 

The next thing Hermés knew, she was being shaken awake by Jolyne. Hermés must have fallen asleep while she was looking out the window. While stretching and blinking the sleep away, Hermés asked what was going on. 

 

“We’re going to land soon,” Jolyne put simply. 

 

Hermés yawned and nodded in response. 

 

In about twenty minutes the plane finally landed and they were allowed off. Jolyne grabbed Hermés’ wrist and led her through the swarms of people to the bag recollection area. 

 

While they were waiting for their bags Hermés commented, “You seem to know airports pretty well.”

 

“Hm? Oh yeah, obviously, I’ve been going on planes twice a year since I was like six,” replied Jolyne nonchalantly.

 

“Dude. How loaded is your family?” Hermés deadpanned. 

 

“I thought I told you this? My-Oh! There are our bags,” Jolyne smiled, completely dodging the question. Hermés wondered why Jolyne never told her about her family, other than a few things, like how both her brother and her dad seemingly abandoned her when she was little. Other than that, she never really talked much about them, yet since Hermés knew Jolyne, always seemed super close to them. 

 

After successfully getting their bag, Jolyne and Hermés found an empty bench. For a second they just sat there and just sat there, they were utterly exhausted. Then Jolyne’s stomach growled. They were apparently also hungry. 

 

Hermés laughed, “You wanna get some McDonald’s?” she asked while pointing to the fast food chain. 

 

“Oh god yes. I could eat their entire stock if I wanted to right now,” Jolyne groaned. Then the familiar ring of Jolyne’s ringtone, the main chorus to the song Stone Free, interrupted their conversation. “Ah, that’s probably Joseph. How about you go get the food then bring it back here.” 

 

Hermés could only guess Joseph was one of Jolyne’s family members, so she nodded and got into the McDonalds line. After ordering and waiting an insufferable amount of time, Hermés made it back to the bench where she left Jolyne. 

 

Jolyne was seemlying done talking on the phone and was now playing some dumb game on it. When Jolyne saw Hermés her eyes lit up and almost tackled Hermés. She shoved a few fries in her mouth and groaned.

 

“I think this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.” 

 

Hermés chuckled, “Jolyne, it’s only McDonalds.” 

 

“The best goddamn McDonalds I’ve ever tasted,” Jolyne replied while Hermés sat down on the bench. Hermés rolled her eyes and with a small smile they started to eat. 

 

Jolyne was right though, because of Hermés’ famine it felt like one of the best meals she’d ever had, even though it was just cheap, overly-greasy fast-food. In what seemed like mere seconds Jolyne finished her food and sighed. 

 

“How the fuck do you eat that fast?” Hermés asked, raising an eyebrow at Jolyne.

 

“Must be the Joestar blood.” 

 

“Speaking of Joestars...how are we going to leave this airport?” Hermés asked. 

 

“My cousin Joseph is going to pick us up. In fact, he could be here any moment no-” 

 

“JOLYNE!!” A large brown haired man screamed from across the waiting area. He was wearing the tightest green crop top and skinny jeans Hermés has ever seen a man where.

 

Jolyne gasped and screamed “JOSEPH!!” in reply. 

 

Speak about perfect timing. 

 

Jolyne and Joseph started to sprint to each other. Once they got close enough Jolyne literally leaped into Joseph’s arms-well, arm. Joseph caught Jolyne, a full grown adult, with one arm. How strong was this man?

 

Joseph must have seen the surprise in Hermés’ eyes, so he smugly looked at her and said, “Yeah, I work out.” He then continued to flex his other arm. 

 

“Joseph, are you flirting with my girlfriend?” Jolyne put flatly, still hanging on to Joseph’s arm. 

 

Hermés then felt like she was going to flat out die. Jolyne calling Hermés her girlfriend made everything so real. Sure, Hermés attempted to prepare herself, but in reality, she was not ready. Hermés felt her face heat up.

 

Joseph dropped Jolyne in surprise, “Oh shit!” he yelped. Then he noticed Jolyne apologized and helped her up. Joseph turned back to Hermés and put on a serious face, “So, you’re Jolyne’s girlfriend, huh?” 

 

Hermés blushed even harder, “So what if I am? You  gotta problem with that?” Hermés crossed her arms, trying to look cool about it. (She was not cool about it)

 

Joseph threw up his hands, “Whoa, no need to get defensive over it.” 

 

Jolyne materialized beside Hermés, and with a little nervous chuckle she lied, “Sorry, Hermés is just very…protective, because we’re both girls and shit.” 

 

“OOOOHHH. You don’t need to worry about that, half of our family is gay. Besides, protecting lesbians is like my part-time job,”  Joseph smiled.

 

Hermés, having no idea how to respond to that, just awkwardly replied, “Uh, thanks.” 

 

Jolyne, saving all of them from an awkward silence, recommended that they should leave. While Joseph and Jolyne scrambled to go get the bags, Hermés stayed back to roll her eyes, shake her head, and ask herself what she had gotten herself into. 

 

Once they had successfully gotten out of the airport and to the vast parking lot of the airport, they found Joseph’s fire-red pickup truck, threw their bags in, and hit the road. Both Jolyne and Hermés sat in the back while Joseph drove upfront while badly singing Lady Gaga songs. 

 

Trying her best to ignore Joseph, Hermés asked, “So how far away is your house?”

 

“Technically it’s my uncle’s house, but my family has been living in it for generations and I don’t actually live in it year long, but I do visit very often to the point where it’s my second home, but yeah...uh...oh yeah, we’re like maybe 20 minutes away,” Jolyne rambled, ending with an apologetic smile. 

 

Joseph stopped belting Born This Way for a moment to answer, “It’s like a 25 minute drive to Dad’s house.” Then he continued singing the god forsaken song. It was so off pitched, Hermés wanted to yell at him to shut up so bad. Except, she didn’t because she wanted to make a good first impression. 

 

“So uh, are all your cousins like this?” Hermés nervously asked. There’s no way Hermés would be able to survive in a house of 5 different Josephs, all badly singing pop songs. 

 

“Oh god no. I think I would get a headache within-like-the first twenty minutes,” Jolyne whispered to Hermés so Joseph wouldn’t hear. Hermés chuckled as Jolyne continued, “The closest person that acts like him is Josuke, but he’s way more tolerable. Like I love Joseph, but sometimes he’s just a little too…” Jolyne glanced at Joseph now screaming the lyrics to Bad Romance, “energetic”. 

 

Hermés snickered, “Oh yeah, I can see-or should I say hear-that,” then back to talking at a normal level Hermés asked, “So what are your other cousins like?” 

 

“Oh yes! So I have si-I mean five of them, and they’re all nice? Chaotic? I dunno, probably a weird mix of the two. Giorno is the youngest, he’s Joseph’s adoptive? Wait-Joseph is Giorno considered adoptive?” 

 

“Legally? No. He’s still under Uncle Dio’s legal guardianship, but he’s been living with us for so long he basically is.” Joseph explained, sighing. He’s probably explained this hundreds of times before. 

 

“So yeah, he’s Joseph’s brother, he’s 15. I’m sure you don’t need to worry about him too much. He’s like a messiah or something, he can tell what kind of person you are just by a glance. Just whatever you do, don’t get on his bad side, I swear that kid is ruthless when he wants to be,” Jolyne explained.

 

“Is that supposed to reassure me?” Hermés, in fact, did not feel reassured in the slightest. If anything, that made Hermés even more nervous. If Giorno could read people so easily, then would he be able to see past Jolyne and Hermés act? Sure, he was 15, but the way Jolyne was describing him made Hermés nervous.

 

Jolyne closed her eyes and shook her head with a small nervous smile, “Nah, you should be fine. He’s only attempted to murder mafia members.” 

 

“Excuse me but wh-”

 

“HOLY SHIT IT’S BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY!” Joseph interrupted Hermés from asking anymore questions. Joseph turned the volume even louder. Hermés could barely even hear herself think.  Then Joseph started scream-singing “IS THIS THE REAL LIFE!?!” 

 

Then Jolyne smirked at Hermés and pitched in, “OR IS THIS JUST FANTASY?!!” 

 

With that, continued a loud, dramatic Joestar cover of the popular Queen song. About half way through the song, Jolyne elbowed Hermés, so hard that it almost hurt, so Hermés would also sing along. She just rolled her eyes. Jolyne kept persisting so Hermés begrudgingly agreed.

 

“BEELZEBUB HAS A DEVIL PUT ASIDE FOR ME!” Hermés clamorously sang while Jolyne and Joseph cheered in triumph. 

 

After the song was over, Hermés had a headache forming, and was 90% sure that she lost her voice, but hell-she had fun. Joseph turned the radio down, as he and Jolyne sighed. 

 

“Sorry for springing that upon you so quickly. It’s kind of a tradition between Joseph and I to scream that song whenever we hear it.” Jolyne croaked, with a small smile. 

 

Joseph laughed, “Yeah, remember when we were at the grocery store that one time? It looked like Johnny wanted to kill us.” 

 

“Wait, you guys are telling me you’ve done this in public?!” Hermés exclaimed, widening her eyes.  

 

“Oh yeah, plenty of times,” Jolyne answered with a smug smile. Hermés muttered something along the lines of “of course you have” and looked out the window. There, she just saw open land, with no other cars on the road. 

 

“Uh, where are we going?” Hermés asked, turning back to Jolyne. 

 

“Like I said, home.” 

 

“Do you live on a farm of somethin’?” Hermés asked, looking back out the window. 

 

“Well, no, but we have a greenhouse-”

 

“Greenhouse!?” 

 

“There it is!” Joseph announced as the car got over a hill. 

 

Hermés could have fallen out of her chair. Hermés found herself looking at the biggest mansion she had ever seen in real life. The wood looked polished and refined, the large windows almost gave it a royal look, and the overall feel excluded victorian poshness.  The house itself looked at least two stories high and would have 50 rooms on each floor. Hermés looked at Jolyne. Jolyne was living in that her entire life? 

 

“This is your house?” Hermés said completely monotone, trying not to lose her cool. 

 

“Like I said, it’s technically a family house. Joseph, Giorno, Uncle Jonathan, and Aunt Erina are the only ones that live in it year around,” explained, with a nervous smile. 

 

“Okay, but still, you could fit my family apartment in this a hundred times over.”  

 

Jolyne made a small awkward laugh, then asked, “Soooo Joseph is everybody already here yet?” 

 

“Everyone except for Aunt Tomoko and the Josukes. Reykiel, Donatello, Ungalo, and Uncle Dio said they’re not coming this year,” Joseph explained, pulling into the massive driveway, filled with probably expensive cars. Hermés heard Jolyne say something like “oh thank god” under her breath as she waited for the car to stop. 

 

When Hermés stepped out of the car, she felt a sudden wave of chills hit her, “Holy shit” she said, “Why is it so fucking cold!” 

 

Jolyne chuckled, “Hermés it’s winter and we’re in Connecticut. It tends to be colder than Florida.” 

 

“Well no shit, sherlock,” Hermés mumbled under her breath, while rubbing her arms. That just made Jolyne laugh more. 

 

They grabbed their bags (meaning that Joseph grabbed four while Hermés and Jolyne only grabbed one) and headed inside. The gigantic wooden doors, that probably wasn’t very practical, opened to reveal a large room with a huge staircase, extravagant red carpet over checkered floors, and a statue of an angel. 

 

Hermés didn’t know how to react. Sure, she expected a larger house if it was going to hold the entire family, but a mansion was the last thing Hermés was expecting. She definitely didn’t expect Jolyne didn’t come from a rich family. She had a crappy car, worked part-time at a 7-Eleven, and didn’t buy much. She was the normal poor college student, the exact opposite of a spoiled rich girl. Out of the corner of her eye, Hermés saw a butler approach. A butler! 

 

“Roses!” Jolyne exclaimed, dropping her bags and extending her arms. The butler smiled and hugged Jolyne. “How have you been!?” Jolyne asked 

 

“Aw, nothing much, just my normal activities,” the old man croaked, “How has University been?” 

 

“It’s a little stressful, but I’m doing fine,” Jolyne sighed. She seemed a little tired, but she still had her upbeat attitude. 

 

Roses chuckled, “That sounds like you. I’m glad you’re doing fine, Jolyne,” he glanced at their bags, “Do you want me to bring those up to your room?” 

 

“Thanks, but no, I need to show Hermés where the room is anyways,” Jolyne motioned to Hermés. 

 

Roses eyes seemed to light up, “You’re Jolyne’s girlfriend! If I’m not mistaken.” Roses extended his hand. Hermés shook it and with a nervous smile. 

 

“Y-yeah I’m her girlfriend,” Hermés lied. Something stirred in her stomach. Lying to this old cheery man didn’t feel right to her. Lying about this subject didn’t feel right to her. Oh god, how was she supposed to do this for an entire week?! 

 

“I’m Roses, the Joestar’s butler,” the man introduced. 

 

“Uh, hi, I’m Hermés,” she awkwardly said back. Jolyne, always seeming to save Hermés from awkward silences, called for Hermés to grab her bags so they could go to their room. 

 

Hermés excused herself, grabbed the rest of her bags, and followed Jolyne up the magnificent staircase. While they were walking, Hermés noticed many pictures of what she could only assume of the Joestar family. There were full family pictures, old wedding pictures, and Hermés even saw a picture of Jolyne’s highschool graduation. She tried to rip her eyes off the wall for now though, she needed to figure out where everything is in this estate. 

 

Jolyne stopped once they reached a door with a blue butterfly painted on it. Hermés looked around and saw other things painted on doors; a ladybug, a baby blue star, some kind of golden hand symbol, an anchor, a peace sign, and-were those clackers?

 

Jolyne entered the room, while Hermés followed in suit. Hermés smiled a bit as she realized it was perfectly Jolyne. Her walls were painted green, about the same shade as her hair, her curtains had butterflies on it, she had fairy lights draped on everything, there was a hole in the wall, and next to it was a poster of Jimi Hendrix, probably covering up more holes. She also had a large canopy bed with the blankets being that weird spider web design she loves. 

 

Hermés was completely astounded, this looked so much better than her entire apartment she grew up in! “So you’re telling me, you have a room this nice and you don’t even live here all the time?!” 

 

Jolyne did the same nervous, almost apologetic, laugh again, “Well, not during the school year, but I live here in the summer and I obviously come back for Christmas every year.”

 

“For the summer...since I’ve known you, you’ve always stayed in Florida over the summer,” Hermés stated, but asking more of a question.

 

Jolyne layed on her bed, sighed, and replied, “That was during college though. It was just easier to stay there and only come back for-like-a week for the 4th of July. Plus, I had a job and I didn’t know if they’d let me back or not.” 

 

“Speaking of that, why are you working a job when your family is like this ?” Hermés finally asked. 

 

“I like to stay independent. Like sure, they paid for plane tickets, but that’s really all. I can’t depend on them forever, y’know? 

 

Hermés couldn’t quite understand that. For most of Hermés' life, money has been means over life or death, whether she’d eat today or not. Hermés often wished she could live more comfortably and not fearing for her life every time she stepped outside her own home. Why would Jolyne give that all up? 

 

There was a sudden knock on the door and someone yelled through the door, “Jolyne! You, me, Coco Jumbo, in 5 minutes!” Hermés didn’t recognize the voice. Jolyne certainly did though. She jumped up saying “oh shit” under her breath as she rummaged through her bags. 

 

“Who was that and what is Coco Jumbo?” Hermés bewilderedly asked. 

 

“That was my cousin, Josuke, and Coco Jumbo is a room we nicknamed after Giorno’s pet turtle, who Polnarreff accidentally stole,” Jolyned explained while putting on some some fingerless leather gloves. 

 

“Who is Polnareff and how do you accidentally steal a fucking pet turtle?” Hermés asked, even more confused.  

 

“I’ll explain later, right now it’s go time,” Jolyne passed Hermés with a wicked smile and ran out the door. 

 

Hermés rolled her eyes, smiling and followed Jolyne. 

 

Jolyne led them to a room that seemed to be in the center of the house. There weren’t any windows, but there was a sky light, with red stained glass, giving the room a reddish hue. The room seemed fairly small compared to everything else in the house, but it seemed cozy. Strangely though, all the furniture of the room was pushed to the walls, leaving open space in the middle of the room. In the room itself was Joseph, some blonde dude with three large buns (?) sitting above his forehead, a guy in a wheelchair, a guy wearing a sailor uniform, and a large brooding man who looked scary, even to Hermés. 

 

Hermés confusedly looked at Jolyne, while Jolyne just smirked and said, “You’ll find out what I’m doing soon enough. Just go sit down.” Hermés gave Jolyne an almost concerned look and made her way to the couch. Since she knew almost no one there, she just sat next to Joseph, who was excitedly waiting. Now that Hermés thinks about it, everyone seemed excited. Joseph had his elbows on his knees, and with wide eyes looked at Jolyne then the door. The bun-haired blonde dude had his hands folded in his lap with a small smile tugging on his lips. The guy in the wheelchair at first seemed uninterestedly scrolling through his phone, but he was glancing up every 5 seconds. The sailor was-doing something-Hermés couldn’t nor wanted to describe it. Finally, the large man had his arms crossed and was almost pouting at Jolyne.

 

Hermés whispered to Joseph as Jolyne was stretching, “So, uh, what’s going on here?”

 

Joseph turned and gave Hermés a wicked smile, “You’ll see.” 

 

Was every Joestar this cryptid? 

 

Hermés anxiously waited for a good minute before someone burst into the room and tackled Jolyne. Hermés hurriedly stood up, before Joseph grabbed her shoulder and pushed it down, telling her to sit. Then Hermés started to hear cheers from the people around her. The one in the sailors uniform was cheering for Jolyne, while everyone else, besides that large brooding man, was going outright ballistic. They were cheering for what seemed to be no one at all. Hermés looked back at the two people in the middle of the room. 

 

The guy Jolyne was wrestling had a strange hair style-to say the least. It seemed to be a pompadour, although it was a little messed up from the wrestling match. Jolyne was under the guy, having him in a choke hold while he wiggled, and broke out of her grasp. He quickly rolled away and when he was trying to get back up, Jolyne pounced on top of him, slamming him to the floor. She turned to his back and grabbed his arm and put in a painful hold behind him in one quick move. She kept his legs down with one leg, as the other’s knee painfully dug into the back of his neck. 

 

Over the loud cheering, Hermés heard Jolyne scream, “You done now buddy boy?!” 

 

The man under her groaned and slapped the floor twice to tap out. The room erupted with screams while Jolyne got off the other person. Then Jolyne smiled and raised her hands above her head and let out a war cry. That just made everyone scream even louder. Once everyone quieted down the defeated guy got up while holding his neck. 

 

“Damn Jolyne, where the fuck did you learn that move,” he said, while obviously in pain. 

 

Jolyne devilishly smiled, “I’ve been doing my research.”

 

Then the guy in the sailors uniform stood up and announced, “Alright! Johnny!  Joseph! Pay up!” the guy smiled, exposing his two front teeth, with a very large noticeable gap. Joseph and the guy in the wheelchair groaned and fished out ten dollars.

 

“You guys are still betting over this? I win every year!” Jolyne put her hands on her hips. 

 

“Well, Jolyne, that hair for brains cousin we have seemed to be very confident this year, did ya?” the wheelchair man said, he seemed to have a slight southern accent. 

The pompadour man covered his face and exclaimed, “I really thought I was going to win this year!” Jolyne laughed at that, and he frowned at her. 

 

Then the pompadour dude scanned the room and then locked eyes with Hermés. His eyes widened and screamed, “Holy shit! Jolyne is that your girlfriend!?” 

 

Everyone in the room suddenly looked at Hermés. She suddenly felt very self conscious. 

 

“Yep! That’s my girlfriend!” Jolyne lied. Hermés felt impressed on how easily Jolyne’s lying about this. Everyone’s eyes widened as the pompadour guy, the sailors uniform man, and Joseph started to ask questions all over each other. 

 

“Shut the fuck up!” the brooding man yelled, “Damn, you guys are all so annoying.” 

 

Everyone quieted down after that and Hermés felt awkward. Should she introduce herself? Should she just wait for the questions to start up again? She glanced around at the people in the room and they were all looking at her expectantly. 

 

Well, it’s now or never.

 

Hermés cleared her throat and started, “Uh, hey. I’m Hermés Costello, Jolyne’s girlfriend.” They didn’t seem to be satisfied with that. Hermés nervously smiled, not knowing what else to say.

 

Jolyne sauntered over, sat next to Hermés, and said “Go on, ask some questions. I know you’re wondering about them, because you guys are so nosey .” 

 

Everyone seemed to ignore that comment and Hermés first heard, “How long have you guys been dating?”

 

Hermés said “a year” at the same time Jolyne said “six months”. They looked at each other wide-eyed. 

 

“What we mean is we met a year ago and only started dating six months ago,” Jolyne quickly lied, with a fake laugh. Hermés was getting more and more concerned about how easily she lies. Hermés looked at everyone in the room cautiously. Most of them seemed to have some sort of surprise, with the blonde one and the scary one staring Hermés down. Hermés felt her heart race a little faster. 

 

“You've been dating for six months and never told us?!” exclaimed the guy in the wheelchair with the southern accent. 

 

“Yes! You’re freaking out about this now! Imagine if I told you that I’m in a relationship when we first started dating, you guys would disapprove before you’ve even met her,” Jolyne exclaimed back. Hermés' eyes widened by how believable Jolyne was making this sound. 

 

“Damn, you right,” Pompadour guy mumbled. 

 

Hermés coughed then said, “So...what’s your guys’ name?” 

 

Jolyne facepalmed, “Ah! I can’t believe I haven’t introduced you guys yet!” 

 

“Nice going, Jolyne.” 

 

“Shut the fuck up Josuke,” Jolyne shot back quickly, then she glanced at Hermés, sighed and pointed at the pompadour and sailors uniform. “Okay, so these are my cousins; the twin Josukes. Before you ask, they legally have the same name. Something happened with the birth certificates and they were legally the same person for a while. Aunt Tomoko found out months later after they were born and just never legally changed the names. ” 

 

“Since I was born first, I’m the actual Josuke,” the pompadour guy said, with a smug smile. 

 

“My name was supposed to be Josefumi, but my nickname is Gappy, because of my teeth.” the sailor guy opened his mouth to show a large gap in between his two front teeth. 

 

Jolyne pointed to the guy in the wheelchair, “This is Johnny, he’s an ass, but you’ll warm up to him.” 

 

“Fuck you.” 

 

Jolyne barely even glanced at him, then she turned to the blonde guy. 

 

“Ah and this is Giorno. The crown jewel of this fucked up family!” Jolyne smiled, and gave him a hug. 

Hermés tried to think back to the conversation in the car. So he’s Joseph kinda adoptive brother, he’s 15 (which he definitely looked at least 3 years older), and Jolyne mentioned something about attempted murder. 

 

“Jolyne, you really expect too much out of me,” Giorno smiled softly.

 

“See? Look, he's so polite! You’re really like you Dad aren't y-oh, I mean Uncle Jonathan-not Dio,” Jolyne looked embarrassed. 

 

Giorno laughed, “I would have assumed that.” 

 

Jolyne smiled softly at him, then she turned to Joseph, “You already met Hermés at the airport,” Then Jolyne turned around to the large brooding man, “And this is my dear older brother Jotaro,” 

 

Hermés' mind went blank for a second. Jotaro looked like he could be Jolyne’s dad. He was large, brooding and overall terrifying. Not to mention, Jolyne has complained about him before. She used to talk about how he almost abandoned her when she was little, while her mother was sick and never seemed to care about her.

 

Hermés didn’t know how to completely react. Was she supposed to be cold? Angry? Intimidating? Hermés could decide in time, so she just offered an indifferent head nod. 

 

“I have f-three more cousins; Reykiel, Donatello, and Ungalo, but I don’t think they’re coming this year.” 

 

Josuke laughed and said, “Remember when Ungalo brought- like -an entire bag of weed?”  

 

Almost everyone groaned in unison and Johnny said, “We do NOT speak of that.” 

 

“He got so high,” Gappy reminisced. 

 

“It took like an entire week just to get the smell out of the cushions!” Joseph complained. 

 

Giorno frowned, “It was...less than ideal.” 

 

“I think that was the most pissed I’ve ever seen Aunt Holly,” Johnny sighed, shaking his head.

 

“Speaking of Mom, is she here?” Jolyne asked. 

 

“Yeah-wait-are you sayin that you wrestled me before you said hi to your own mother?” Josuke asked. 

 

“Fuck...you’re right. Well, I don’t think she’ll mind much. I’m sure she’s excited to see Hermés anyways...you did tell her, right?” Jolyne ended in a questioning tone. 

 

“You didn’t tell her!” Josuke exclaimed, waving his arms in the air. 

 

“I thought you already told her! You told everyone else!” 

 

“Jolyne! That your mother! There’s a difference! Besides I thought you would have told her yourself because she’s like fucking Mother Teresa or some shit.” 

 

“Ugh, why do you have to be smart sometimes!” Jolyne crossed her arms and pouted, “Well I guess I have to tell her, and I don’t want to surprise her guy by you being there. Okay, so Hermés you can stay up here and get to know my cousins and I’ll talk to my mom.” 

 

Hermés anxiety started to internally go haywire, “Uh yeah su-” 

 

“Okay! I’ll be back soon,” Jolyne ran for the door then paused and said, “Love you!” 

 

Hermés didn’t know that her heart could be beating any faster, but after Jolyne said those two words, it felt like she could have a heart attack. Hermés had been attempting to mentally prepare for this, but even those two simple words were making her blush like a teenage girl. Why was she freaking out from this? 

 

Someone coughed to throw Hermés out of her thoughts. 

 

“So, Hermés, how serious are you about Jolyne?” Joseph asked, narrowing his eyes. 

 

“Very. Very serious. Serious for Jolyne, that is,” Hermés had no idea what she was talking about at this point. 

 

“Really then?” Gappy probed, “Then what’s her favorite food?”

 

“Her mother’s cooking.” 

 

“Favorite color?” Johnny asked.

 

“Light green.”

 

“Favorite animal?” Giorno chimed in. 

 

“It’s technically an insect, but butterflies.”

 

“Alright!” Jotaro announced with an alarmly deep voice, “Enough with this trivia bullshit,” Jotaro walked close to Hermés and close threatenly close to her face, “What exactly are you planning on doing with my younger sister?” 

 

Hermés' heart jumped up to her throat, because goddamn was Jotaro scary. His large angled eyebrows mixed with his other sharp features, all doubled up on eachother and made him immensely intimidating. She could definitely see the resemblance in Jolyne though, but something about her made it not alarming. Maybe it was because she’d known Jolyne so long? 

 

Giorno materialized beside Jotaro and put a hand on his shoulder. He somehow made Jotaro step away from Hermés. Jotaro never lost eye contact, he just kept burning holes into Hermés soul. 

 

Giorno, with a soft smile started, “Look, Hermés, I’m sure you’re a great person, but we simply cannot immediately trust you, after what happened with Romeo. Unlike him, you’re going to have to gain our trust.” 

 

“Yeah dude, you’re gonna have to earn our blessing,” Josuke added, everyone else nodded at that. 

 

Hermés was stunned, she was not expecting this. Jolyne never described her family being protective, she mostly just described them as being pretty chill over things like this. Romeo must have messed up Jolyne worse than Hermés thought, if they’re acting this way. 

 

Hermés swallowed thickly, “Uh, yes, I promise you; by the time we leave you all will be able to trust me.” 

 

Johnny sighed, “You fuckin’ better, we really don’t need another Romeo incindent.”

 

Joseph groaned loudly, “Okay! Let’s not talk about this! Hermés, do you have any questions about the house or our family?”

 

Hermés smirked, “Well Jolyne said this room was named after a stolen pet turt-”

 

“HAHA YES,” Joseph interrupted. 

 

“Good grief, here he goes again,” Jotaro mumbled. 

 

Joseph then jumped into a story about his friend accidentally stole Giorno’s pet turtle. Apparently, a french foregin exchange student, named Polnareff, came over one day, and Giorno brought Coco Jumbo, the turtle, in the room. When Polnareff went back home he checked his bag, and there he saw Coco Jumbo. Meanwhile at the Joestar estate Girono was freaking out because he couldn’t find his pet. Thankfully though, Polnareff called Joseph, and eventually Giorno got his turtle back. 

 

“That was a...stressful day,” Giorno frowned. 

 

“Dude he stole your fucking turtle!” Joseph exclaimed with a wide smile. 

 

Giorno frowned even more while Josuke laughed. 

 

“So then we kept calling this room ‘the room where Coco Jumbo got stolen’ and we just shortened it to Coco Jumbo,” Johnny explained further. 

 

“It’s quite funny,” Gappy commented. 

 

Just then the door slammed open. Jolyne stood in the doorway with a nervous smile.

 

“Mom wants to meet you Hermés,” she announced. She scuttled over and grabbed Hermés hand and they started to walk out the door. 

 

After out of earshot of everyone else Jolyne mumbled, “This is okay, right?” 

 

Hermés looked down at their locked hands. She felt a familiar flutter in her stomach and prayed to god that her hand wasn’t sweaty. She felt her heartbeat quicken. What if her hand was sweaty? What if Jolyne found that weird? Why is her hand even sweaty??

 

“Yeah,” Hermés croaked out a reply, even though her mind was going hyperdrive of anxiety. 

 

“Did...did they say anything weird to you while I was gone?” Jolyne asked.

 

Hermés thought for a moment. Her family seemed overprotective, at least when it comes to Jolyne’s love life, but that isn’t weird though. It’s normal to worry about your family, but the “earning our blessing” thing was still making Hermés feel weird. It’s not like she had to make them trust her, they shouldn’t trust her. She and Jolyne have been lying to their faces this entire time. Hermés knew that they shouldn’t trust her, but why did she want them to?

 

“No,” Hermés finally answered. 

 

Jolyne squeezed her hand, smiled and said, “Good”

 

Hermés' heart almost stopped. God, how was she ever supposed to survive this?



~~~

 

Jolyne led Hermés through the vast mansion to another living room. Hermés was about to ask how many living rooms they have in this stupid house, when she relized there was people in the room. Not just people, old adults. There was a woman with bobbed black hair, and a woman with honey shaded hair and a kind face. The men in the room though, god, were they menacing. One had dark brown hair and the body of a bodybuilder. The other just looked plain mean, with his angular face and pointed eyebrows paired with a balding mullet. 

 

When the honey haired women saw Jolyne and Hermés she gasped and walked over to Jolyne and Hermés. 

 

“Jolyne!” she exclaimed as she hugged her, “Is this your girlfriend?”

 

“Yep! For six months and counting,” Jolyne faked smiled. Hermés kept getting more and more concerned on how easily Jolyne can lie to her family. 

 

The woman squealed, “I'm so happy for you Jolyne!” She hugged Jolyne again. Then the woman turned to Hermés and with the widest smile she said, “Hello! I’m Jolyne’s mother, Holly.” 

 

“Uh, hi. I’m...Hermés,” she forced out. She was all too tired from this situation already. 

 

“Hermés! That’s a beautiful name!” 

 

“Uh, than-” 

 

“Tomoko! Come meet Jolyne’s girlfriend!” Holly yelled to the other woman in the room. 

 

“Actually Mom, let’s introduce her to everyone at once,” Jolyne said, while starting to walk over to the couches, where everyone was sitting. 

 

Once they got in the middle of all the couches, Jolyne looked at all the older adults and said, “I’m sure you all heard, but this is my girlfriend, Hermés. Hermés, this is the rest of my family, minus Uncle Dio and the rest of his children.”

 

A woman with black hair and a red hairband glared at Hermés. “I’ll be watching you,” she said. 

 

Hermés smirked nervously, having no idea what to say, “uh-” 

 

“Aunt Tomoko, there is really nothing to worry about. She’s nothing like Romeo. Just please trust me on this,” Jolyne butted in, saving Hermés from an awkward reply. 

 

Tomoko rolled her eyes, sighed and got up from the couch. She smiled softly and put her hands on Jolyne’s shoulders, “Fine, I'll trust you,” she turned to Hermés and put out her hand, “I’m Tomoko Joestar-Higashikata. I’m sure you’ve already met Josuke and Josefumi, I’m their mother.” 

 

Hermés shook her hand and asked, “Is it true that they have the same names?” 

 

Tomoko laughed and said, “Yeah, it’s a long story.” 

 

Then the very tall and strong man, who was built like a fucking wall, approched them. 

 

“Jolyne!” he exclaimed, smiling. He gave her a long hug and then asked, “How is my favorite niece doing?” 

 

“Uncle Jonathan, I’m your only niece,” she laughed. 

 

“Doesn’t mean you’re still not my favorite niece.” he smiled. Then his eyes fell towards Hermés. “And you must be Hermés!” He also gave Hermés a quick hug. He smelt like pine trees. “I’m Jonathan Joestar! Joseph is my son.” 

 

Hermés blinked. They looked like they could be brothers. At least this explained why Joseph was such a muscleman. 

 

“Oh, wow. Yeah-uh, I can definitely see the resemblance,” Hermés smiled. 

 

“Don’t be fooled though, Joseph acts nothing like Jonathan,” the oldest looking guy in the room. He had thick eyebrows and was starting to bald. He walked up to Hermés and held out his hand. “George II, Johnny’s dad.” He looked incredibly bored. Hermés shook his hand and then he turned away and sat on the couch again. 

 

“George get off your fat ass and actually talk to the family for once!” Tomoko yelled at him. 

 

“Oh fuck you!” he half-ass yelled back while turning on the TV. 

 

“Oh don’t mind him, he had a bad flight.” Holly smiled, she looked tired. 

 

“No, he probably just doesn’t like coming to these things anymore because-” Tomoko started grumbling. 

 

“Uncle Jonathan” Jolyne interrupted, “Where’s Aunt Erina?” 

 

“Oh! Oh yes, she’s in the kitchen helping make dinner with Roses.” Jonathan replied. 

 

“Whaaat?! You should have told me! I’ll help!” Holly said, walking away. 

 

“She just got off a plane, does she ever rest?” Tomoko asked herself. 

 

“Aunt Tomoko, aren't you younger than Mom by like ten years?” Jolyne asked. 

 

Tomoko just glared at Jolyne and yelled at her to shut up. Tomoko and Jolyne started to bicker some more, with Jonathan saying some off hand comments to try to make them calm down. Hermés took this opportunity to look around the room some more. It looked mostly like a normal living room, with a sectional, coffee table and a large TV, but to the side there were large ten foot windows exposing outside. Hermés saw a beautiful sunset, with a small layer of snow making everything sparkle. The leafless trees were all covered with christmas lights and tinsel. In the distance, Hermés could see a barn-or maybe a greenhouse, with more Christmas lights on it along with some holiday decorations of Santa and his reindeer. Hermés had never been outside of Florida, but there that was a christmas wonderland if she ever saw one. 

 

Then it suddenly hit Hermés that she’d actually be spending Christmas with the Joestar family. Hermés almost felt guilty, she’d be lying, manipulating them to actually care for her. Hermés felt her stomach starting to churn and her heartbeat faster. Christmas is supposed to be family time, Hermés is just out of place, only a friend, not family. In truth, Hermés never really had a family. She only had Gloria, and that she’s gone she had nothing-

 

A light hand on Hermés' shoulder shook her out of her thoughts. 

 

“Hermés? Are you okay?” Jolyne asked softly, sounding a bit worried. 

 

“Oh-uh-yeah I’m just admiring the view,” Hermés quickly lied. 

 

“You sure? You seemed really out of it there,” Jolyne furrowed her eyebrows in concern. 

 

“Oh yeah, I’m fine. I’m just tired so I was spacing out for a moment,” Hermés lied again. 

 

“Okay, if you say so. Uh, do you wanna go unpack then?” Jolyne’s voice was still dripping with concern. 

 

“Yeah. Let’s go,” Hermés replied, trying to keep it together. She almost felt like breaking down crying, but that would show weakness, and Hermés despised showing weakness. 

 

Jolyne and Hermés waved goodbye to the elders and they started walking back to the rooms. Hermés on the way there was still completely lost in the large house, but was recognising some hallways. She also recognised some people in the photos hanging on the wall. She saw the twin Josukes on a beach when they were around five, she saw a teenage Jotaro with Holly, and a kid that looked like Giorno but had black hair. Hermés concluded that Giorno just dyes his hair. 

 

Soon enough, Hermés found herself walking into Jolyne’s room. Jolyne walked over to a bean bag and almost fell onto it. Hermés chuckled as she did so. 

 

“Tired?” Hermés smiled. 

 

“I just wrestled with a teenage boy who can lift 70 pounds with one arm,” Jolyne stated. 

 

“Good point,” Hermés agreed. 

 

“So, what do you think?” Jolyne looked at Hermés. 

 

“Of the house or your family?” Hermés asked, sitting into the desk chair. 

 

“Both.” 

 

“The house is huge, this is the last thing I expected. And your family is,” Hermés had to think for a moment. She never really met another family like this before. They all seemed so close. Almost like they’ve all been best friends for a while. Which, in retrospect, is true. “Your family is charming, to say the least.” 

 

Jolyne sighed and sunk back down in her chair. Hermés didn’t even notice that she sat up. “That’s good. I’m glad you like them.” Hermés couldn’t see, but she somehow knew Jolyne was smiling. Suddenly, Jolyne quickly stood up and stretched. “Let’s get unpacking done before dinner.” 

 

“Yeah, that’s probably a good idea,”  Hermés said, getting up and grabbing her suitcase. 

 

While they were unpacking Hermés asked, “So how long are we staying again?”

 

“Today’s the 19th and we’re leaving the 26th, so seven days?” Jolyne answered.

 

Hermés hummed in reply, then she pulled out a blanket out of her bag, “Hey, where am I sleeping?” 

 

Jolyne’s face quickly drained from color, “Oh shit.” 

 

“You don’t know where I’m gonna sleep,” It wasn’t a question. It was a statement. 

 

Jolyne groaned and covered her eyes, “I didn’t think about that! Normally when one of my cousins brings over their boyfriends, they just share a room.” 

 

“O-oh,” Hermés replied, her face felt hot. 

 

“It’s-it’s fine, you can have my bed, I’ll just sleep on the floor,” Jolyne dismissed quickly. With red tinted cheeks, she started to remove her bedding and put it on the floor. 

 

“What? Jolyne no that’s fine. We can just share a bed. If that’s okay with you,” Hermés said with her face burning. Why was she blushing so hard?

 

“Are you sure that’s okay?” Jolyne’s eyes widened. 

 

“Yeah, it’s no problem man.” 

 

“Thank you!” Jolyne smiled. 

 

After a few more minutes of unpacking, Jolyne and Hermés found themselves just laying on the bed scrolling through their phones. Until Jolyne dramatically groaned and got up. She grumbled something when she grabbed Hermés wrist and dragged her out of the room. 

 

“Uh, Jolyne, where are we going?” Hermés asked. 

 

“I thought one of my cousins would have done my chores because you’re here, but no, I still have to do them,” Jolyne grumbled. 

 

“Uh, what’s your chores?”

 

“Cooking,” Jolyne seethed. She said that word as if it killed her newborn baby and took a shit in her living room.  

 

Hermés couldn’t help but laugh, “You almost burnt down the kitchen making scrambled eggs! How do you manage cooking dinner?” 

 

“That’s exactly my point. Thankfully they only make me peel potatoes or chop shit up so I don’t burn the house down,” Jolyne frowned, “I still hate doing it though.” 

 

Hermés chuckled, “Don’t worry dude, I’ll help.” 

 

They made their way down to the kitchen and in the kitchen was a complete mess. There was flour covering the countertops, pots and pans littered across any surface, some even on the floor, and there was a lot of screaming. 

 

Jolyne waltzed right in like it was completely normal. 

 

“Dude what the fuck,” Hermés said under her breath. 

 

“It gets like this sometimes,” Jolyne explained, “Just don’t worry about it, we’ll clean it up later.” 

 

In the kitchen was Holly, Roses, Josuke, and another older woman who Hermés has met before. 

 

“Oh great! Aunt Erina is here!” Jolyne smiled and led Hermés over to a blonde woman, about the same age as Holly. “Aunt Erina! This is my girlfriend Hermés!” 

 

“Oh! I’ve heard that you’re bringing her up this year! I’m so glad you moved on from that Romeo, sweetie,” Erina turned to Hermés, “Hello there Hermés, welcome to the signature Joestar Christmas get together. I’m Jolyne’s aunt, Erina. I’m sure you’ve met my husband Jonathan?” 

 

Hermés shook Erina’s hand, “Jonathan? The really tall and buff guy? He’s kinda hard to miss,” Hermés laughed. 

 

“Oh yes,” Erina laughed back, “Unfortunately my son also got that trait. I always feel so short around them.” 

 

“Everyone in this family seems to be tall.” 

 

“Except for Johnny and Giorno!” Josuke exclaimed from across the kitchen. 

 

“Johnny is constantly sitting down and Giorno still hasn’t hit his growth spurt yet, they don’t count dipshit!” Jolyne yelled back. 

 

Josuke grumbled and continued doing whatever he was doing. 

 

“Anyways, Aunt Erina what do you need us to do?” 

 

Erina directed them to a table full of potatoes, onions, peppers, and carrots and told them to peel and chop the potatoes and chop the other vegetables. Jolyne sighed, obviously not wanting to do it but walked over there anyways. 

 

They were about halfway done when Gappy burst into the room saying, “I need someone to bring me to Walmart.” 

 

Everyone froze, almost startled by the outburst, trying to comprehend what was going on. 

 

“Uh, why?” Josuke was the first to recover. 

 

“I forgot my weighted blanket at home,” Gappy looked completely panicked.

 

Josuke’s eyes winded and he covered his mouth, “Oh shit.” 

 

“Ask someone else, we’re busy,” Jolyne went back to cutting some peppers. 

 

“I can’t! Mom is sleeping, Uncle Jonathan is getting out the Christmas stuff, I kinda don’t wanna go with Uncle George or Joseph, Jotaro is working on his thesis, and Giorno and Johnny can’t drive,” Gappy explained putting up a finger for each person. 

 

“You’re sixteen why can’t you drive yet,” Jolyne shot back. 

 

“We live in a small town, Jolyne, we have no reason to drive. We can walk anywhere,” Josuke explained offhandedly while stirring something in a pot. 

 

“Are you sure you can’t sleep without a weighted blanket for one night?” Erina asked politely. 

 

“He slept under his mattress when he didn’t have one,” Josuke explained. 

 

“Just go ask Joseph, sweetie,” Holly said with an apologetic smile. 

 

“Ugh, I’m gonna die if I get a ride from Joseph,” Gappy groaned leaving the kitchen. 

 

“Well, if I borrow someone’s car, I’m willing to drive him,” Hermés spoke up.  

 

“Oh thank god,” Gappy said with relief. 

 

Erina pulled some keys from her pocket, “Take my car. It’s a yellow Volkswagen Beetle.” 

 

Hermés nodded, waved goodbye to Jolyne, and together Gappy and Hermés left the kitchen. 

 

Once they got on the road Hermés asked, “So a weighted blanket? You can’t sleep without one?” 

 

Josuke groaned, “Yeah. I don’t remember how it started to be honest. It could be due to my amnesia.” 

 

“Amnesia? You’ve had amnesia?” Hermés glanced at Gappy, who was staring out the window. 

 

“Yeah, when I was seven I fell out of a tree and hit my head. I had no significant brain damage, but I forgot everything before that. I couldn’t even remember my own name.” 

 

“Holy shit dude.” Hermés didn’t really know what else to really say. 

 

Gappy laughed, “You can say that again. But yeah, it took some adjusting. I met my best friend from that though, so at least there’s a positive out of that.” 

 

Hermés laughed, “Your family really gets back up and keeps walking after horrible experiences, huh.” 

 

“Don’t say that to Johnny,” Gappy smiled.

 

“Oh my god,” Hermés covered her mouth. She was curious about Johnny's state, but she also didn't want to ask and sound rude. 

 

“What you said is true though. Our family is oddly accident prone. All of us had at least one horrible event happen to us. We’re crazy,” After a slight pause he continued, “I don’t understand why you chose Jolyne though, she’s like the craziest person out of all of us.” 

 

“Oh trust me, I know,” Hermés smiled, “One time she crashed-no-drove my car into a lake.

 

“She did WHAT?” Gappy almost screamed. 

 

Hermés explained that wonderful experience until they got to Walmart. 

 

They wandered the store a little bit until they found the blanket. 

 

“Oh good. They have them. I was worried for a second,” Josuke smiled. He dropped the blanket into the cart. 

 

“Do you want anything else?” Hermés asked, “Like snacks or something?”  

 

Gappy’s eyes widened and Hermés noticed that part of his eyes were different color than the rest, “really? You’re willing to get me something?” 

 

“Yeah why not,” Hermés shrugged. 

 

“Okay, uh, let’s get some sesame honey dumplings then,” he said pushing the cart. 

 

“What’s that?” 

 

“It’s my favorite food! My best friend, Yasuho, gave it to me after I fell from the tree,” Gappy explained, walking towards the fresh produce part of the store. 

 

Once he found them, he showed the box to Hermés. She furrowed her brows and grabbed it. 

 

“Why would they be selling these at Walmart?” 

 

“It’s only this Walmart. I think a Japanese chef works here and they make a bunch of Asian ethnic foods now,” He explained while they were walking to the registers. 

 

“Hm. I guess that’s pretty cool. Are they even allowed to do that?” 

 

Gappy just shrugged. 

 

They bought the two items and went back to the car. On the way back to the estate, together Gappy and Hermés talked about how Asian and Mexican food is superior to everything else. 

 

When Hermés pulled into the large brick circle and parked the car where it was Josuke said, “Y’know, I’ve only known you for like a day, but I trust you. I’m sure you’ll treat Jolyne right.” 

 

Hermés felt happy, proud, and guilty all at the same time. 

 

She laughed and nervously scratched her face, “Thanks kid.” 

 

Gappy almost hopped out of the car and he waltzed into the estate. Hermés followed suit. 

 

Gappy ran up into his room to drop off his blanket and his food, while Hermés went back to the kitchen. 

 

Jolyne perked up from cleaning the counters when Hermés walked back into the kitchen. 

 

“You’re just in time!” she said, “The food will be done in like 5 minutes.”  

 

Hermés smiled and grabbed a washcloth to help her clean up. 

 

Ten minutes later, the whole family was seated around a gigantic table. Although there were thirteen people at the table, there was still plenty of room. 

 

Everyone was talking and grabbing food. To Hermés, it was fascinating to see so many people so comfortable with each other. It reminded her of the movies, where the entire family would...just be a family. She couldn’t help but feel jealous. 

 

The current conversation was about if tigers could survive on Mars for some reason. 

 

“No no no,” Josuke said, “Even if tigers could breathe they wouldn’t even be able to adapt to the local ecosystem! They’d either be killed off quickly or destroy the local population.” 

 

“He does have a point.”

 

“Don’t side with him Johnny!” Joseph whined. 

 

“We can all agree that tigers would not be able to survive on an Earth-like Mars,” Tomoko concluded, “Cheetahs on the other hand-” 

 

The entire table erupted with either laughter or complaints. 

 

After dinner, everyone retired to their rooms. They were all exhausted from either their plane rides, car rides, or they just ate way too much food and were going into a food coma (cough, Joseph).

 

 Jolyne sat on her bed and yawned. She blinked a couple of times and groaned. “Today was so tiring!” she complained putting an arm over her eyes, “I’m gonna fall asleep in this spot right now.” 

 

“Don’t do that. You’re taking up my side,” Hermés smiled pushing Jolyne away, ”Plus you still have to get ready for bed.” 

 

Jolyne groaned even louder. 

 

Hermés shook her head. 

 

“I’m going to brush my teeth. Don’t fall asleep.” 

 

Hermés was still smiling when she got to the bathroom down the hall. When she was about halfway done with her nightly bathroom routine, Giorno came in and also started brushing his teeth. 

 

He said nothing, but he did glance at her a couple of times. It was awkward, to say the least. 

 

Hermés felt extra nervous around Giorno. She didn’t know if it was because he’s the youngest and she didn’t know how to act around kids, or that he was so well put together even around his young teenage years. It was odd to see the kid so respectful but confident at a young age like that. It made Hermés uneasy, like he was silently judging her all the time. 

 

Hermés quickly rushed out of the bathroom, the entire awkwardness of the situation did sit right with her. 

 

When she got back to Jolnye’s room, she was already dressed in her nightwear, which was an oversized, faded t-shirt with shorts underneath. 

 

“Cool you didn’t fall asleep. Are you gonna brush your teeth now?” 

 

“I’ll just do it in the morning,” Jolyne yawned while speaking as she crawled into bed. 

 

“Okay, ew.” 

 

She shrugged, “I’ve been in worse situations.” 

 

Then Jolyne turned the opposite direction ending the conversation. 

 

Hermés rolled her eyes and got dressed. She shut off the lights and crawled into the bed next to Jolyne.  

 

Jolyne was asleep within seconds, but Hermés, of course, was internally freaking out. She couldn’t help but remember that Jolyne was just next to her. The bed was big enough to fit two people comfortably, but even then Hermés moves around in her sleep a lot. What if she accidently touches Jolyne, or what if she falls off the bed and makes a fool of herself? What if she steals the blanket, making Jolyne miserable for the rest of the night? 

 

To put it simply, Hermés didn’t sleep much that night. 

Chapter Text

Hermés woke up to sunlight peering through her window. She moaned in complaint and turned in the other direction on her bed to try to escape the light rays. She covered her eyes with her hand. If only that damn windo-

 

Wait, she didn’t have a window in her room. 

 

Hermés immediately sat up with a bad case of vertigo. Once she caught her barings, all the memories from the previous day came flooding back to her. She was in Jolyne’s roo-

 

Jolyne. 

 

Hermés’ heart rate jumped and she felt her face heat up. She looked next to her. Jolyne wasn’t there. Hermés sighed loudly and layed back down. After an hour of staring at the ceiling (in actuality it was 5 minutes), Hermés got up. 

 

She checked her phone. The clock said 9am. Was she really up that late? They went to bed at like 8pm last night. While checking her phone, she saw a text from Foo. 

 

When You See A Foo (6:13 am)

Call me when u can! I need to hear bout J’s family without her bias lol 

 

Hermés rolled her eyes, remembering their last conversation concerning Jolyne. She typed out a response. 

 

kiss kiss, bitch (9:08 am)

are you sure that’s the only reason why you want to call? 

 

She put her phone down and got dressed, when she checked it again, FF already answered back. 

 

When You See A Foo (9:10 am) 

nope :)

 

Hermés scoffed and didn’t respond. She didn’t know if the smiley face was genuine or passive agressive but either way she didn’t like it. 

 

When Hermés finally got the courage to exit the room, she saw no one around. She ventured out into the main entrance but still found nothing. She was starting to feel nervous. She walked into the dinning room and found Gappy eating cereal while face calling with someone. Sounded feminine, probably the best friend he mentioned.

 

She decided to just leave him be. 

 

She wandered up to Coco Jumbo, and there she found Jolyne and Josuke setting up a Nintendo Wii. 

 

“Hermés!” Jolyne exclaimed when she saw her walk into the room. Jolyne seemed a lot more energetic than yesterday. Her skin was glowing, she had her normal hair-do up, and she was wearing her favorite outfit, the one with all the spider web-type designs.

 

“Hey,” Hermés responded making her way to Jolyne and Josuke, “What are you guys doing?” 

 

“We’re setting up Wiis for our annual Mario Kart Tournament,” Josuke said, “It’s a tradition where all of us play in one huge game.”

 

“I thought the Wii could only play 4 characters though? There’s seven of you,” Hermés asked. She had a Wii at home and constantly played Mario games, so she was a little confused. 

 

“We used to play it tournament style, with brackets and everything,” Jolyne said rummaging around a bag, “But then Jotaro’s boyfriend taught us a hack where we can all play across two Wiis.” She smiled when she exposed the second Wii from the bag. 

 

“They shut down all the servers though, I thought you can’t play online like that anymore?” Hermés asked, becoming increasingly confused. 

 

“Kakyoin, Jotaro’s boyfriend, worked some magic. I don’t know what the fuck he did, but he made it possible I guess,” Josuke grabbed the second Wii, and started plugging it in, “I ain’t complain though. It’s great.” 

 

“Yeah it is,” Jolyne laughed, “Last year Jotaro blue shelled Johnny right before the finish line on the third lap, and Jotaro passed him at the last second. I never knew a human person's mood can shift through so many emotions in such a short time.” 

 

“Dude he went from boasting, to denial, to fear, to sadness, to anger within like 3 seconds.” 

 

“Then y’all aren’t ready for me then,” Hermés laughed. 

 

“That sounds like a threat,” Josuke smile dropped a bit. 

 

“Is it,” Jolyne said, completely straight faced, “She is the best goddamn Mario Kart player I’ve ever seen.” 

 

“Fuck yeah I am,” Hermés smiled wider. 

 

“Anyways,” Jolyne said, getting up, “I’m sure you can set up the rest, Josuke. We’re going to get breakfast,”

 

“Alright,” Josuke replied, still looking wearily at Hermés, “Just tell anyone you find that we’re starting after lunch.” 

 

“Cool,” Jolyne replied, dragging Hermés by the hand. She’s seemed to be doing that a lot lately, Hermés noticed. Everytime she grabbed Hermés hand or wrist, an electric shock traveled throughout Hermés body. 

 

Together, they walked down to the kitchen, hand in hand. Jolyne was talking about something, Hermés tried to listen, but she still was internally freaking out over hand holding . Hermés was utterly convinced if Jolyne tried to even hug her she’ll implode. 

 

When they entered the kitchen Gappy was still there, he glanced up at them then said, “ Uhh, my cousin is here. I’ll see you later, Yasuho.”

 

He waved goodbye, then put away his phone. 

 

“Talking to your girlfriend, Gappy?” Jolyne said in a silly accusing tone. 

 

Gappy blushed, Jolyne smirked. 

 

“We’re not dating!” Gappy explained, flustering the teenager. 

 

“Oh yeah, only because you’re too pussy to ask her out,”  Jolyne stuck out her tongue. 

 

“Shut up!” Gappy blushed even harder. 

 

“C’mon Jolyne quit bullying the kid,” Hermés rolled her eyes. 

 

“Y-yeah! Plus I’m sure you’re pussy too! Hermés probably asked you out first!” Gappy shot back, crossing his arms. 

 

“Well actually I-”

 

“-Oh yeah,” Hermés interrupted, “She was so nervous around me before we started dating.”

 

Jolyne looked betrayed and glared at her. Hermés just put on an evil smile.

 

Gappy laughed loudly, “Jolyne? Nervous?! That’s the funniest shit I’ve heard all day!”   

 

Jolyne growled-like actually growled , “Lil bitch I’m gonna-” 

 

Jolyne started sprinting at Gappy.

 

Gappy, fearful of his life, chose the smart idea and ran away.

 

A few minutes of awkwardly waiting in the kitchen, Jolyne finally came back. 

 

“Where’s Gappy?” 

 

“Oh, he’s dead. Perished from my anger forged from one thousand infernos.” 

 

Hermés snorted and rolled her eyes, “Okay, miss ‘nervous’.”

 

“Oh shut the fuck up,” Jolyne punched her arm, “Now. What do you want for breakfast?” 

 

“I don’t know, food?” 

 

Jolyne grumbled and replied, “You’re no help.” She opened some cabinet doors and the refrigerator and tapped her chin. Hermés found it adorable. 

 

“Okay. So we have cereal, bagels, poptarts, or I could try to make some eg-” 

 

“-oh hell no,” Hermés interrupted Jolyne. She did not want to deal with a  house fire today, “Just gimme a bagel.” 

 

Jolyne made a bagel for herself and Hermés. They talked about...something. They didn’t quite know themselves. Yesterday was extremely stressful, not just for them, but for their relationship. This fake dating seemed to be pushing some sort of line, between both of them, and neither of them knew what to do about it. They didn’t say anything about it, but both of them felt a little tension. It felt nice to just be talking like best friends again. 

 

Then Jonathan walked into the kitchen. 

 

“Oh hello Jolyne, Hermés!” he cheerfully greeted, “I haven’t seen you guys since yesterday dinner!” 

 

“Well yeah, it’s a big house, Uncle Jonathan,” Jolyne snickered. 

 

“Oh yes, I guess you’re right,” Jonathan awkwardly smiled, “Well anywho! I’m going to the greenhouse do you ladies want to join?”

 

“Yes!” Jolyne exclaimed while smiling, “Hermés, Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Erina’s greenhouse is beautiful. You have to see it.” 

 

Before Hermés could even utter a single word, she started being dragged by Jolyne. Hermés surprised herself by how okay she was with Jolyne dragging her around lately. If anyone one else was doing this (except maybe Foo) she most definitely would have yelled at them by now. 

 

They almost ran through the house with Jonathan laughing and walking behind them. They got to a door in the back of the house, and out of the window Hermés saw the greenhouse in the distance. 

 

“Now, we should probably be wearing coats and boots because it’s below freezing, but the greenhouse is super warm, so we should be fine if we just run,” Jolyne explained quickly with a crooked smile. 

 

“Wait wha-”

 

“Three two one, let’s go!” Jolyne swung open the door and started running across the backyard, pulling Hermés behind her. 

 

As soon as Hermés was pushed out the door, she was immediately cold. The wind bit at her face and the snow nipped at her ankles. She was only wearing slippers and my god, if they got wet- 

 

Suddenly, Hermés almost got thrown into the door. Heat engulfed her, it felt like jumping into a warm bath. Hermés looked around and realized she was in a room that couldn’t hold anymore than 3 people, with a curtain on the opposite side of the door. The room smells musty, like water has been sitting in it for a while with nowhere to go. 

 

“I think that experience put me through hypothermic shock,” Hermés grumbled.

 

“Yeah yeah,” Jolyne huffed and rolled her eyes. Then she went to the corner of the small room and picked up some flip-flops, “Put these on, I’m sure you don’t wanna get dirt and water on your slippers.” 

 

Hermés fought back the urge to say she already did get them dirty and put them on. Jolyne did the same and then smiled, “Are you ready to see this magnificent garden?” 

 

Before Hermés could even respond Jolyne pulled back the curtain to expose the garden. For a second, Hermés forgot that they were even on the same continent . Everything was green and colorful. Tall trees spanned the ceiling, bushes cascaded down the walkway, flowers somehow in bloom spanned the greenhouse. Hermés heard water pouring and the buzz of the building. It was odd not to hear any animal life, but the smells of the greenhouse made it bearable. It smelt like Hermés was somehow transported to a remote place in Brazil that studies the plants in the rainforest. 

 

Hermés was speechless. She was never one for nature and plants, but damn even this blew her away. She’d expect to find this kind of “garden” in a zoo or a botanist’s study. 

 

Jolyne smirked, “Like it?”, Hermés didn’t know how to respond so she just nodded, “C’mon I’ll show you around.”

 

Jolyne grabbed Hermés hand and started guiding her through the greenhouse. However, Hermés was far too lost and amazed in the beauty of it all to truly realize what was happening and start freaking out. 

 

Jolyne kept a firm hand in Hermés’, even though both of theirs were sweaty due to the heat of the greenhouse. She led Hermés to a small bonsai tree with pink flowers blooming from it. She said it was her favorite plant and named it Free. Hermés smiled at that. Although Jolyne is completely crazy sometimes, she has an odd appreciation for life. 

 

They wondered for a while until they got to a fountain at the back. Jolyne commented saying they called it the Stone Ocean. The fountain was, in fact, made out of stone. The water was being poured out of a star and flowed into the pool below. 

 

They sat on the edge of the fountain and just smiled. They locked eyes and stared at each other. Hermés felt her heart involuntary pick up and face flush. She stared into Jolyne's large green eyes. Were they getting closer or was Jolyne’s pupils getting bigger? The air around them got suddenly still. 

 

Jolyne looked ethereal to Hermés. Like she shouldn’t belong on this Earth, too perfect for moral eyes to gaze at. Her flushed face was perfect, her beautifully large eyes were perfect, her strength was perfect. Everything about Jolyne seemed to be nothing less to perfect. She was violent and brash but also at times calm and kind. It seemed to be almost the flawless mix of the two. Hermés couldn’t believe that Jolyne was a real person at times, she seemed too unobtainable. 

 

Hermés usually stopped thinking once she got to this train of thought, but she didn’t. She would either stop out of fear or discomfort, asking herself why she would even think these things. About a friend , nonetheless. Those thoughts made her feel vulnerable and unsafe, so she put up walls, to protect herself from the harsh reality. She often asked herself what she was protecting herself from. However, she could never indicate what it was. She just knew that she needed to be safe. Though, now, sitting in a rich girl’s greenhouse, she didn’t feel the need to put up walls or barriers to keep her safe. She already felt safe. 

 

Until a bird chirped and Hermés immediately put the walls back up. 

 

Jolyne and Hermés viciously pulled away from each other startled by the sudden noise. 

 

“What the fuck was that?” Hermés quickly asked, jumping up from where she was sitting. Her heart was beating uncontrollably, she felt like she was going to throw up. Hermés could already tell that she was blushing uncontrollably. 

 

“O-oh! That must have been Giorno’s bird! He must be here right now,” Jolyne replied, voice noticeably shaky.  “Uh, let's follow it!” Jolyne quickly walked past Hermés following the sound of the bird. 

 

Hermés felt like she did something extremely wrong. She swallowed thickly and followed Jolyne, stomach churning. 

 

They found Giorno crouching over a small potted plant, with the yellow bird perched on his shoulder. 

 

“Hey Giorno!” Jolyne exclaimed, spreading her arms

 

“Oh hello Jolyne, Hermés,” Giorno replied, hugging Jolyne. Behind her shoulder, Giorno glared at Hermés. She gulped. 

 

Giorno’s face returned back to a smile when Jolyne could see his face again. Hermés felt like she did something very, very wrong. She wondered if Giorno somehow found out that they weren’t actually dating. 

 

Giorno may only be 15, but he was pretty damn intimating. Not in the same way as Jotaro, Jotaro constantly had a threatening aura. Giorno was calculated, he picks the exact right moment to scare the shit out of you. And when he’s acting normally, you don’t know when he will.  He’s also quiet, doesn’t take up much room, but he’s always there absorbing information like a glorified court reporter.  

 

“So what are you doing?” Jolyne asked cheerfully. Considering how shaken up she was earlier, it was probably faked cheerfulness. 

 

“I’m checking the plants for bugs, watering them, normal planting stuff,” Giorno replied offhandedly, going back to tend to the plants.

 

“And you do that all by yourself?” Hermés somehow worked up the courage to ask. 

 

“Well,” Giorno sighed, “Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Erina work so hard all the time, so they don’t always have the time to help. They do as much as they can, though. Unfortunately, that’s not a lot. I don’t mind it though, I love plants and animals,” Giorno ended with a soft smile. 

 

Hermés was surprised. That the most Giorno ever said to her. She watched Giorno for a moment, tending to the plants. He may be creepy and unsettling sometimes, but he’s still a kid. Hermés almost felt guilty for immediately jumping to conclusions about him. 

 

“Speaking of Uncle Jonathan, he said he was coming over here, but I don’t see him,” Jolyne pondered. 

 

“Oh, yes. He said he was coming here, but then you two ran off and he didn’t want to impede on your ‘romantic moments’” the last part Giorno said dripped with sarcasm. Either way both Hermés and Jolyne fiercely blushed from the memories from two minutes ago. 

 

Giorno looked at them skeptically and went back to tending to his plants. 

 

The yellow bird squawked and flew to Jolyne’s shoulder. 

 

She laughed, “How is Gold Experience doing?” 

 

“Oh, he’s great,” Giorno almost hummed. He smiled when he saw his bird snuggling up to Jolyne’s cheek, “I think he missed you.” 

 

“I missed him too,” Jolyne smiled, “Hey Hermés, come say hi to Gold Experience!..if that’s okay with you, Giorno.” 

 

He just shrugged and went back to working on his plants. 

 

Hermés cautiously walked over to Jolyne and the bird. Jolyne grabbed Hermés hand and led it up to her shoulder so it could walk onto Hermés finger. The bird walked up Hermés arm and nuzzled Hermés cheek much like he did with Jolyne. 

“I think he likes you,” Jolyne almost whispered. 

 

Gold Experience chirped and flew back to Giorno’s shoulder. 

 

“So! Giorno can we do anything to help?” Jolyne asked, seemingly a little less stressed than before. 

 

“Oh, if you and Hermés could water some plants, that would be great,” Giorno smiled, “I think the watering pot is still in the shed however. Could you go get it, Jolyne?” 

 

“Sure, dude!” Jolyne smiled and ran off leaving Hermés and Giorno alone. 

 

Hermés, of course, immediately felt awkward. She really did not know what to do with this kid.  

 

“So Giorno-” 

 

“-Hermés” Giorno interrupted her, “To put it simply, I do not trust you.”

 

Hermés' heart plummeted into her stomach.

 

“It’s nothing personal, so far you’ve been great. But, I’m sorry, something feels off. It is my ‘gut feeling’ I guess you could say. And my ‘gut’ is never wrong. I’m on to you,” Giorno glared, “There’s something wrong and I’m going to find out.” Giorno put on a neutral face again, “But. I know one thing; Jolyne likes you a lot. So I will not impede, unless I deem necessary.” 

 

Hermés went through a wide range of emotions within a second. She felt angry. He thinks he’s so smart, does he? Then she felt embarrassed, he is that smart. After that, she felt scared. What if he actually did find out their plan. What would happen then? Would he tell everybody? 

 

To put it simply, Hermés didn’t know how to respond. 

 

So she went to her default, defensive, “Well there kid. You seem to know a lot about relationships, hm?” 

 

Giorno sighed and looked up to Hermés, “I’m not saying that. I’m saying that there’s something off about your relationship. You’re both too flustered all the time, it’s not natural for a couple that has been dating for a half a year.” 

 

Shit, he has a point

 

Hermés stood there for a second, dumbfounded.

 

Think of something, he’s getting suspicious. 

 

“Well there, kid-”

“-I’m not five-”

 

“Both of us-we’re just nervous about being together around your family. We just want to leave a good impression,” Hermés lied through her teeth. She felt horrible lying to this innocent 15 year old that only wanted to protect his family, but she also had to protect Jolyne’s dignity. 

 

Giorno furrowed his brows, looking confused, “Then why-”

 

“-I GOT THE WATER!” Jolyne’s voice ran through the greenhouse. Gold Experience looked started, and ruffled their feathers while squawking. 

 

Giorno smiled again (which was incredibly creepy, it looked too genuine) at Jolyne and told them what to water. 

 

~~~

 

After about 2 hours watering the plants and hanging out in the greenhouse, Jolyne realized they should probably get lunch so they didn’t miss the Mario tournament. Giorno said goodbye to Gold Experience and they all sprinted back inside to evade the cold. Hermés got used to the 90 degrees temperature of the greenhouse and now the normal house felt almost cold. 

 

Jolyne, Hermés, and Giorno went to the kitchen to see practically the entire house there. The Josukes were bickering over sandwich meat, the adults were having a civil conversation while Holly and Roses cooking something, Johnny was looking through his phone while eating chips (and ignoring everyone else), Jotaro was pouting in the corner, and Joseph went to and from Johnny and Jotaro, thoroughly annoying them. 

 

Hermés was a little stunned over how busy it was, but Jolyne and Giorno just walked into the kitchen like it was completely normal. 

 

Giorno immediately went over to Jonathan and started talking to him.

 

Jolyne was going to the refrigerator when Josuke screamed, “Yo! Jolyne!” 

 

Jolyne rolled her eyes and glanced at Hermés. She just shrugged. Together, they walked towards Josuke and Gappy. 

 

Josuke looked giddy, “Okay, okay. So Jolyne, is it true-”

 

“-Josuke no-” Gappy interjected. 

 

“-is it true. That you’re the one who got nervous asking Hermés out,” Josuke seemed to barely even hold in his laughs. 

 

Jolyne blushed, and screamed, “SHUT THE FUCK UP, BITCH BOY.” 

 

Josuke burst out laughing, he started rolling on the floor while crying and wheezing that he couldn’t breathe. 

 

Jolyne started to blush even harder, and she jumped over the countertops to start to attack Josuke. That continued to a full on wrestling match between the two, again

 

Gappy looked exasperated, like this has happened many times before. 

 

Hermés really should not have lied and said that Jolyne was the nervous one, but this also proves how much Josuke would make fun of her if they caught on to their plan. 

 

Hermés saw Jonathan sigh and walk over to the two wrestlers. He picked both of them up from each other like they were two cats fighting. Jolyne and Josuke were hanging like from their shirts and they were still trying to fight each other. 

 

“Now, now. What did I tell you about trying to kill each other,” Jonathan scolded. 

 

“Uncle Jonathan, I’m 19, I’m an adult ,” Jolyne complained, crossing her arms still hanging from Jonathan’s grip. 

 

“Yes, I am very well aware of that. But that doesn’t excuse you wanting to kill your cousin,” Jonathan furrowed his brow. 

 

“Haha, take that Jolyne, fuck you,” Josuke did a little gremlin laugh, while flipping her off. 

 

“Josuke, please, language,” Jonathan sighed, and placed the cousins on their feet again. 

 

“Don’t attack each other again,” Jonathan then walked back. 

 

Once Jonathan was talking to the other adults again Hermés said, “Okay, what the fuck was that.” 

 

Joseph, who at some point went to go watch the events that just occured, said, “Oh that happens a lot one one of us tries to kill each other. It happens with Josuke and Jolyne and Caesar and I most of the time though.” 

 

“Who’s Caesar and why do y’all wanna kill people so much?” Hermés asked, raising an eyebrow. 

 

“We don’t wanna kill each other, just sometime we wanna mortally wound each other,” Jolyne rolled her eyes. 

 

Gappy sighed, “I don’t think that’s much better.”

 

After a little bit more bickering, Josuke said that they probably should start eating lunch so they can start the Mario Kart tournament soon. One mac and cheese cooking session and a (almost) stove fire later, all 7 of the cousins were fed and in Coco Jumbo. 

 

In the room there were two Wiis, each connected to their own TV. Between the two TV’s there were some wires connected and a seperate wifi box. Josuke turned everything on and put in the games. Then he did...something, to connect the two wii games together, Hermés wasn’t really watching much. Josuke laid out 7 Wii Controllers (while holding his own). 

 

“Welcome everyone to the 6th annual Joestar Mario Kart Tournament!” Josuke announced, “Now with a guest star Hermés-wait what’s your last name?” 

 

“Costello.” 

 

“Now with a guest star Hermés Costello! We will play 10 matches, 10 different randomized courses, and whoever gets the most points wins! After the crushing defeat of Johnny last year, Jotaro managed to get second place! I, of course, got first place, as always. Will Jotaro be able to score second place again? Will Johnny be able to beat Jotaro? Only the future can tell! Good luck to everyone!”  Josuke finished announcing like some kind talent show announcer. 

 

Josuke moved and everyone rushed to get the controllers. Except Johnny, he calmly rolled over to the selection and picked a light blue controller with pink stars while everyone cowarded from him. Hermés never got the chance to get a good controller, so the only one left was a one that was...sticky for some reason. 

 

Jolyne probably saw the disgust in Hermés face and snorted, “Sorry babe, you got the one that Joseph spilled root beer all over once. We never were able to make it unsticky.”

 

Hermés blushed, fuck we’re using pet names now

 

Hermés grunted, “Even if I get a faulty remote, I’ll still win.”

 

“I’m sure you will, babe.”

 

Johnny gaged in the background. 

 

Jolyne glared at him for a second until Josuke announced, “Everyone! Pick your characters!” 

 

Everyone went crazy, choosing their characters. They were all so fast picking their characters before someone else got them first. Jolyne picked Bowser immediately (Hermés already knew Jolyne was going to do that, she mained him whenever they played together in Florida). Josuke picked Princess Daisy for whatever reason. Gappy chose Funky Kong while Giorno chose Rosalina. Jotaro and Johnny both went to Dry Bones, but Johnny got to them first. Jotaro frowned and picked King Boo. Joseph selected Princess Peach and commented that he just wanted to stare at her ass. Hermés, the last to pick, chose Yoshi. 

 

After everyone selected their characters, everyone chose their bikes or karts. Joseph, of course, chose a bike so he could see Peach’s ass. Everyone else chose good bikes or karts, Hermés noticed. They all must be veterans to this game. Hermés chose the Mach bike, because it was one of the fastest and she had most expirance using it.

Once everyone chose their vehicles, the air got electric. Everyone was on edge, like they’re about to fight for their lives. Hermés swore that she saw golden electricity spark around Joseph. Everyone was practically vibrating from anticipation. 

 

“Alright!” Josuke announcing, “Is everyone ready?” No one answered. “Fine, then. It’s ride or die time!” 

 

Josuke pressed a button and the first map started to load up. 

 

Hermés immediately recognized it as DK Mountain. It wasn’t one of her best maps, but she was vaguely familiar with it, and she knew that she could win this. 

 

When the camera panned over their characters, Hermés realized that there was no CPU’s, so only the people around her could mess her day up. Them or the random obstacles thrown her way on the map. 

 

But even then, she had no idea how good they are at this game. 

 

As the time countdown Hermés got ready. As the two appeared she held down the drive button and once the “GO!” appeared on her screen, she burst a head with the boost. Unfortunately for her, so did Josuke, Johnny, and Jolyne.  

 

Almost immediately, Hermés was bumping into Josuke. They were neck at neck, a rare occurrence for Hermés. At the corner of her screen, she saw the placement frequently changing from 1st to 2nd. 

 

After drifting around a turn, she got the boost that put her in first and straight into the cannon. Once she landed on the mountain and was driving down, she saw a star warning on the bottom of her screen. She made a mental note to stay aware of that, cause if she got hit, it’ll be all over for her. 

 

She quickly moved out of the way, when she saw a rainbow Gappy fly past her into first place.  A second later, he lost his invincible rainbow ability. In real life, Gappy laughed.

 

Hermés clenched her jaw and held the controller tighter. She decided not to do anything about it now, and just to keep driving. While going over obstacles, Hermés made sure to get the extra boost when landing. 

 

Gappy was steadily in first place, until he got hit with a boulder.  

 

Hermés could cry of joy. Gappy seemed to move down a few places, while Hermés went back into first. She didn’t need to worry too much about Gappy anymore, she doubted he could recover from something like that. Now, her main opponent is Josuke. 

 

Hermés continued down the course, staying in first place, until she made a turn that got her stuck in the grass for a moment. 

 

Josuke laughed in triumph as he passed Hermés. 

 

“Oh ho, don’t be laughing now buddy boy,” Jolyne smiled, as Hermés boosted forward using a mushroom. Thank god she saved that from earlier. 

 

Hermés stayed in first place for a while until Hermés got the warning that there was an incoming green shell coming straight towards her. 

 

“FUCK!” Hermés screamed while Josuke laughed hysterically as he passed Hermés.

 

“Sorry not sorry,” Johnny deadpanned. So he threw the shell, not Josuke. Hermés saw on the map that Johnny’s Dry Bones is now in 3rd place. The place behind Hermés. 

 

Hermés tries to forget about it, to only worry about if he caused her problems. 

 

They were getting onto the bridge now, right before the finish line. Hermés tried to not worry, they still have 2 more laps to go. 

 

“Jolyne! You ass!” Hermés heard Joseph exclaim. Hermés guess that she pushed him off the bridge, 

 

Jolyne chuckled, “Sucks to suck.” 

 

Hermés was now right on Josuke’s tail when they passed the no-so finish line.  The music picked up singling that they only had two laps left. Hermés wasn’t too concerned-a lot can happen in two laps. 

 

Hermés rode up the track and hit an item box. The items rotated in the slot and fuck she got a greenshell. She fired the shell and it missed Josuke and started spinning off into the distance. 

 

She held her controller tighter. Josuke, followed by Hermés, went into the cannon. They made their way up to the mountain. As Hermés drifted around the turn of the track, she got a boost. Hermés shot ahead of Josuke and  flew off the ramp. Going down the mountain she felt pretty good about her placement. She was in 1st place. Josuke was still on her tail, but as long as she didn’t get blue shelled she would be fine. 

 

Around the bend right before the bridge, her greatest fear came to life. An incoming blue shell was coming for her. She was dead. She knew she was dead. The blast of the shell coming down on her also hit Josuke. Hermés and Josuke flipped in the air while Johnny passed them. 

 

“Fuck you, Johnny!” Josuke exclaimed. Hermés didn’t look, but she somehow knew Johnny was smiling. 

 

“Who threw that?” Josuke growled. 

 

“My apologies,” Giorno said. 

 

Hermés was in second place. Josuke was in third. They crossed the finish line and the music picked up once again to tell them that they were in the third and final lap. It was now to nothing. 

 

Hermés was starting to get nervous. She only had about a minute left to get back in 1st place and who knows what the Joestars could do. Hermés felt the controller start to get sweaty. Or maybe that was just the overall stickiness of it. 

Going down the road, Hermés hit an item box. She watched the items scroll past her like it was a casino and she was beting on her life. The item landed on a single mushroom. That was almost perfect for her. If she could manage to use it at the right moment, she could pass Johnny by a long shot. 

 

So, she waited until she got shot up to the top of the mountain. When everyone was turning, she used the mushroom and flew ahead of Johnny. 

 

The air was tense for the rest of the match. Everyone was on edge. She heard people screaming, but she was too in the zone to fully comprehend it. When she found the final stretch with the god forsaken bridge, she hoped-more liked prayed- that nothing would happen. And fate decided to favor her for once. She passed the finish line in first place. 

 

Hermés dropped the controller and cheered. Raising her hands in the air she yelled, “First place fuckers!!” 

 

Josuke groaned when he passed the finish line next. Sometime during the play, Josuke passed Johnny apparently. Johnny passed the finish line in 3rd almost a split second after Josuke. 

 

After Johnny, everyone else slowly started to each claim their spot. Joseph was the last person to pass the finish line. 

 

“Video games suck,” he almost pouted. 

 

Josuke rolled his eyes as the score screen came up. 

 

“Holy shit Jolyne got 4th place,” he said, glancing back and forth between Jolyne and Jotaro. 

 

“Guess I finally got better than you,” Jolyne smugly crossed her arms. Hermés felt her heart skip a beat, staring at Jolyne with that pure confidence. She shook her head and tuned back into the conversation. 

 

“We still have 9 other races. You’ll have to see about that,” Jotaro pointed out with his baritone voice. 

 

30 minutes later and 8 races have passed. Hermés kept getting either first or second place. Josuke kept getting first or second place. Johnny was getting third each time. 

 

In the last race, Josuke and Hermés somehow got completely tied. That means it was a deathmatch. Whoever wins this race wins the entire tournament. It was now or nothing. 

 

Josuke tensely clicked the “Next Race” button. Everyone anxiously waited as the screen went black, loading in the next map. Since the maps were completely random, no one would know what it’d be. 

 

The screen shifted from black to rainbows. Rainbows everywhere. It was Rainbow Road. That last map was goddamn Rainbow Road. 

 

Everyone groaned or commented that this was “bullshit”. Hermés, however, just smiled. Jolyne gave her a knowing look of fear? Pride? It could have been both, honestly. 

 

Joseph spoke up, before the match started “Uh, guys, why is Jolyne and Hermés smiling at eachother?” 

 

Hermés just said nothing and smiled wider when the clock was counting down to Go. 

 

She of course got the boost and was riding down the track in front of everybody. Hermés movements were almost mechanical. She knew what to do at all times. Throughout the entire course she didn’t fall off once. While everyone was screaming about falling off the road, Hermés just calmly drove through the map. She got blue shelled twice, but at that point she was so ahead of everyone, it didn’t matter. 

 

Once she won and everyone finished minutes later, Johnny almost threw down his pink starred controller. 

 

“How in hell did you do that?” he said, fully showing his southern drawl.

 

“Well, you see; since everyone seems to fucking despise Rainbow Road, I took an entire day to practice it. I played that map over 200 times. I played it so much I could probably win with my eyes closed,” Hermés explained smugly, crossing her arms. 

 

“What the fuck,” Joseph comments while Gappy whispered ‘holy shit’. 

 

Josuke stood up violently. He stomped over to Hermés, looking at the floor. He slammed a heavy hand on Hermés’ shoulder. To Hermés surprise, when he looked up it was in pure adoration. “I respect you so much.” he said, with tears in his eyes. 

 

Hermés laughed, “You’re not half bad yourself, kid.” 

 

Josuke then started berating Hermés with questions about her techniques and tips on the game. She was honestly a little taken aback from all the attention. Nobody really praised her as a video game player like this before. Even Jolyne, she wasn’t as into games as Josuke. She actually felt proud of herself for once. 

 

After a bit, everyone eventually left Coco Jumbo besides Josuke, Hermés, and Jolyne. Together they all talked about Mario Kart Wii but the conversation also led to other games on the Wii, like Mario Bros and Wii Fit. 

 

Eventually, she felt her phone vibrating in her pocket. She checked it and found 27 texts from Foo Fighters. 

 

“Uhhh, sorry guys. I promised I’d call Foo later, is it alright if I leave?” Hermés said sheepishly, with an apologetic smile. 

 

“No problem babe,” Jolyne responded, getting up from her seat, “Josuke and I better start helping with dinner anyways.”

 

Josuke grumbled in complaint. 

 

While Hermés was walking out the door, she worked up the courage to say, “Love you!” 

 

Walking to Jolyne’s room, she realized that she probably earned the trust of Josuke. Now with both of Josuke’s trust, she only had 4 more people to earn the trust of. She felt proud and happy more a moment, but then she remembers that she’s actually not dating Jolyne. She’s lying. There’s no reason why she should want to earn their trust. But she does, and she has no idea why. Maybe it’s Jolyne’s smile. That always seems to light up the room. Hermés noticed every time she talked to one of Jolyne’s cousins, she smiled. Hermés shook her head to try to stop things. 

 

She called Foo once she got to Jolyne’s room. 

 

When Foo answered the phone they wheezed and asked, “Why is your face so red?” 

 

“Shut the fuck up,” she replied, plopping down on the beanbag.  She looked at her phone, and since they were video calling, she looked at Foo too. 

 

“Bro, where the fuck are you,” Hermés squinted at concret wall behind Foo.. 

 

“Prison.” 

 

“FUCKING WHAT???” Hermés screamed, almost dropping her phone from surprise, “Jolyne and I leave you for two days and you’re in fucking prison???” 

 

“If I was in prison, would I be able to call you?” Foo sighed. 

 

“Oh yeah, I guess that’s true,” Hermés replied, feeling a bit embarrassed for taking it literally. 

 

“But I’m actually in prison.” 

 

Hermés’ brain practically just shut off, “What-how? What the fuck did you do?” 

 

I technically didn’t do anything,” they started, “So you know how I was raised in a swamp until I was found at the age of 8?” 

 

“-I still don’t believe that happened-”

 

“-well I was found after getting too close to a prison. And I still visit some of the guards that work here. Also the swamp of course.” 

 

“How is that even allowed?” Hermés questioned. 

 

“They make me have a guard around me at all times, but because a psychologist said that ‘it’s a good coping mechanism to handle the shock of human civilization’ they let me visit,” Foo explained shrugging, “Oh! I already visited the main place where I lived in the swamp. I took some pictures. Wanna see?” 

 

Hermés replied yes and so Foo got hilariously close to their phone so they could send pictures to chat. The picture was of a swamp, obviously. There were trees halfway submerged in water and behind it was more marsh, but with no trees and some solid ground. In the halfway submerged trees there was a fallen tree, almost acting as a bridge between whatever Foo was standing on and the more open marsh. 

 

“What the fuck,” Hermés replied slowly relizing the either Foo was a really good liar or she was actually raised in a swamp. 

 

Foo just giggled, “You see now?” 

 

“Dude where the fuck are you standing,” Hermés asked, looking closer at the picture. 

 

“I’m actually not standing, I'm sitting in a hollow tree. I used to sleep there,” Foo replied matter-of-factly. 

 

“What the hell,” Hermés couldn’t believe that she was telling the truth this entire time, “Are you sure you’re not just a hella good liar? Cause this is deadass insane.” 

 

“I’m sure you can find some news article about it somewhere,” Foo sighed, “But do you really think I’d lie to you and Jolyne?” 

 

“Well no-” 

 

“Exactly. Speaking of Jolyne, spill. What happened? How’s her family?” Foo’s face was full of curiosity, Hermés could almost see their eyes sparkling. 

 

Hermés whined tiredly and explained everything. She explained how she somehow has to earn all Jolyne’s cousins' blessing, she explained how she earned the Josukes blessings, and she explained how Giorno is somehow already catching onto their plan. 

 

Foo just smugly looked at Hermés, “Y’know, you wouldn’t have to worry about getting caught lying if actually started dating Jolyne.” 

 

“Shut up,” Hermés growled, “It’s not like that.” 

 

“Your blushing says otherwise,” Foo Fighters sing-songed.  

 

“I’m not blushing because I like Jolyne, I’m blushing because the thought of dating her is making me uncomfortable and embarrassed!” Hermés puffed up her chest and frowned. Speaking this way made her feel like a 14 year old school girl. 

 

Foo snorted, “Okay, sure.”

 

The conversation, much to Hermés' relief, changed topics to things like Jolyne’s family garden, how she decimated everyone at Mario Kart,  and the fact that Jolyne is probably a millionaire. 

 

“I’m telling you dude, this house is fucking huge!” 

 

“I’m sure it's not that -” 

 

“Hermés, we need-” Jolyne interrupted, bursting into the room. She cut herself off once she noticed Hermés was still calling Foo Fighters. 

 

“Foo!” Jolyne squealed, snatching Hermés phone out of her hand. She jumped onto her bed and layed on her stomach. Hermés sighed, and got up to lay next to her. 

 

“Why do you smell like onions?” Hermés asked after getting situated. 

 

Jolyne made a sound halfway between a growl and a groan, “Do I really smell like onions?” 

 

“It’s pretty faint.” 

 

“Why do you smell like onions?” Foo asked. 

 

“I was helping cook,” Jolyne smiled. 

 

“Oh god.” 

 

“Don’t worry, she does not come in contact with anything flammable,” Hermés interjected. Foo visibly looked relieved. Jolyne simply rolled her eyes.

 

They talked for a while about Foo’s childhood (Jolyne apparently believed Foo from the start and was fascinated by her swamp). Jolyne also talked about how she’s pleasantly surprised that her family is liking and trusting Hermés so easily (that made Hermés nervously laugh, she hadn’t told either of them about earning the blessing thing). Jolyne did a room tour for Foo and they practically combusted over a small glass frog on Jolyne’s desk. Foo then went on a 20 minute rant about how amphibians and reptiles (among things like plankton for some reason) are the best types of animals. After their rant, Foo was going to give a tour they were in, but a cop stopped them. 

 

Eventually, Foo had to leave because their scheduled dinner time was upon them. 

 

“Bye Foooo!” Jolyne said before ending the call. She handed Hermés phone bad to her with an apologetic smile and then went on her own phone. Hermés saw that her phone was only 32 percent, she rolled her eyes and plugged it in. 

 

There was still one more thing bothering Hermés though. 

 

“Hey Jolyne, when you walked in you looked like you needed to say something?” Hermés forced herself to say. It was probably said in the most awkward tone. 

 

“Hm? Oh, uh, it’s nothing. I was just...being stupid,” Jolyne waved it off, looking disintrested. 

 

“Oh,” that was not the answer she was looking for,  “you sure?” 

 

“Yup,” Jolyne replied with a fake smile. Hermés knew that she was lying, there was obviously something she wanted to talk about, but Hermés didn’t want to push it. 

 

“‘Kay.” Although she dropped the conversation, Hermés was still anxiously thinking of what Jolyne wanted to talk about. Did Giorno talk to her? Did someone tell her about the earning the blessings thing? Was this about the not-so almost kiss at the fountain? 

 

Hermés still couldn’t decide whether Jolyne was about to kiss her or not. And if she was that would bring up a multitude of other questions. Why would Jolyne try to kiss her? They were alone and there wouldn’t be any reason why they’d do it. Maybe she saw Giorno come inside and she wanted to give more proof that they were dating. That wouldn’t make any sense though, from where they were sitting there was no view of the door and if they did try to kiss Jolyne would probably give a warning before. So no, they probably weren't going to kiss. Then why did Hermés feel so comfortable and open in that moment? Did she want to kiss Jolyne? No, that couldn’t be right. Jolyne and Hermés were friends, friends don’t want to kiss each other. Well, some friends do, but they haven’t before so- 

 

“Do you wanna watch a movie?” Jolyne startled Hermés out of her thoughts. Hermés just now realized how fast her heart has been beating and her face burning. Did the room get hotter?

 

“Oh-um-yeah sure,” Hermés fumbled a response after a beat of silence. She was acting weird, she knew she was acting weird. But, frankly, Hermés didn’t know how to act anymore. 

 

They both decided to watch Cars 2, just so they could laugh over the sheer ridiculousness of the plot.  About halfway through the movie of Jolyne and Hermés just laughing and practically bullying the movie, Jolyne got a call from Josuke. 

 

Once she hung up she explained, “He was too lazy to come get us from downstairs. Dinners ready.” 

 

When Jolyne mentioned food, Hermés remembered how hungry she was. It was a late dinner too, it was about 8 o’clock. 

 

Going to dinner reminded Hermés more of an elementary lunch more than a family dinner. There would be screaming of children, adults tiredly trying to solve the problem, and a lot of people just running around grabbing as much food as possible. Also it was fucking loud . Pot, pans, and plates would be clacking, the deep rumble of voices would fill the air, and someone was playing Doja Cat on full blast. Despite all these annoying features, it still seemed welcoming. The lively attitude felt so safe and comfortable. This had always been what Hermés imagined a family get together would feel like. 

 

“Joseph! Turn off that music! The adults are trying to have a conversation!” Tomoko chastised him. 

 

“Hey! I’m 22! I’m perfectly an adult.” Joseph still turned off the music as he was slapping mashed potatoes on his plate. 

 

Hermés and Jolyne went into the kitchen to surprisingly see it not in utter discompare and for the most part clean. On the counter was a large amount of food with mashed potatoes, green beans, bread rolls, roast beef, some sort of soup, stuffing, and much more. It seemed more like Thanksgiving than a regular family dinner. Hermés wasn’t complaining though. Just from the smell alone she could tell it was going to taste wonderful. They filled up their plates and sat down next to each other at the large dinner table. 

 

For the most part, dinner went the same as the previous night. Just casual small talk throughout the family. Even though Hermés barely even talked, she was content with listening to the conversations. 

 

Well everything was going well until Giorno spoke up. 

 

“So Hermés. How did you and Jolyne meet?” Giorno softly smiled as if he was the second coming of Christ of something. Hermés could tell just from that smile that he was planning on doing this for a while. In front of their entire family too. 

 

“Oh yes! I’m curious too!” Holly said innocently, “I didn’t want to overwhelm you yesterday from asking so many questions,” Holly laughed a little. 

 

Hermés nervously smiled. She didn’t know whether to tell the truth or lie. And the truth was very pretty because it included catching Jolyne masterbating in the college’s dorm bathroom at 3am.

 

“We met on a bus!” Jolyne said frantically, with a smile. It’s true, they did meet on a bus. The second time they met. 

 

“Uh yeah. There were no open spots available and she recognized me from the dorms,” Hermés coughed. She felt like she was blushing. Why? She wasn’t embarrassed the moment when they first met. What changed? Why was she blushing now?

 

Hermés glanced over a Giorno nervously. His face seemed unreadable. He looked deep in thought and he was glaring right at them.

 

“Hm, really?” Giorno said suspiciously. 

 

“Yup!” Jolyne said, throwing an arm around Hermés’ shoulders. 

 

“Then how did you become girlfriends?” Giorno glared harder.

 

“Oh!” Josuke exclaimed, “I know this one! Apparently, Hermés has to ask her out because Jolyne was too much of a pussy~” he sing-songed with a smirk. 

 

“DID NOT!” Jolyne stood up screaming. 

 

“DID TOO!” he screamed back, also standing up. 

 

“Can you guys shut the fuck up?!” George screamed at them. Jolyne and Josuke did and sat down, awkwardly talking a bite of their food. 

 

Tomoko snorted, “Aw, George, let the kids have fun sometimes.” 

 

“Y’all are fucking annoying, that’s what,” George muttered. 

 

“Anyways,” Gappy continued the conversation, “It’s true Hermés told me herself.” 

 

All eyes looked in Hermés direction. 

 

She cleared her throat, “Uh yeah. Maybe I was over exaggerating a bit,” Hermés hoped that saved Jolyne from humiliation, “but yeah she was a little nervous. It was...cute.” Hermés was, again, blushing furiously. She glanced over to Jolyne and her face was unreadable. Her eyes were wide, mouth slightly ajar, and she was blushing just as much as Hermés. She almost looked surprised. 

 

Jolyne quickly recovered, she cleared her throat and muttered, “I can live with that explanation.” 

 

That comment made half of the table burst out laughing. 

 

Then there was a telltale knock at the door. 

 

Jonathan stood up, confusedly. 

 

“That’s strange, I didn’t invite anyone tonight,” Jonathan started cautiously walking to the front entrance. A couple of people including Hermés and Jolyne followed him. 

 

Jonathan looked through the peephole on the door, while everyone was anxiously waiting nearby. It wasn’t too often that an uninvited person just showed up on our doorstep. 

 

When Jonathan moved away from the peephole he had a surprised face on, but that face quickly turned into a smile. He quickly and locked the door and opened it. In the cold dark night stood a short man. Like really short. Compared to Jonathan he was about up to his shoulder. The man has poofy blonde hair, a suit, and a top hat on. And on closer inspection, he had a scar from his eye to his jawline. 

 

The man walked in and Jonathan immediately hugged him, not even closing the door. Just letting the cold winter air leak into the room. When Jonathan let go of the man, he could barely say a word until Jolyne sprinted towards him. 

 

For a moment, Hermés was scared that Jolyne was going to jump on the poor man and crush him, but she just ended up hugging him. 

 

Josuke walked into the main entrance room and when he saw the man he screamed, “YOOOO IS THAT SPEEDWAGON?” 

 

Jolyne stopped hugging him and looked back at Josuke, “Yup!” she turned back to Speedwagon, “Why are you here?” 

 

“Your uncle here-”

 

“SPEEDWAGON!!!” Joseph screamed, running to him. Speedwagon almost looked scared for his life before Joseph picked him up and hugged him. “Where have you been?!” Joseph asked like some kind of excited puppy. 

 

“Well I-” 

 

Erina walked into the room and at the sight of Speedwagon, she delightfully invited him to dinner.

 

Several more hugs and greetings later, everyone was back at the table with Speedwagon sitting next to Erina. 

 

Everyone, to Hermés relief, seemed to forget the last conversation and now is focused on Speedwagon. 

 

Hermés had no idea who this ‘Speedwagon’ person was. Was it a nickname? It sounded oddly familiar. Nobody’s name could possibly be Speedwagon , but at the same time, she was staying with a family called the Joestars. 

 

“So Robert,” Jonathan started, “I thought you couldn’t make it this year? Did something happen?” 

 

Speedwagon sighed, “I scheduled an exploration of this ancient Aztect temple in Mexico. I can only be explored in the winter months due to temperatures and conditions getting to the temple, but everything fell apart due to some bad planning.. I'll have to try again next year. However, now I can spend time with you.”  

 

Jonathan smiled and patted Speedwagon’s shoulder, “And I’m grateful. I know you’re a busy man now because of the Foundation.” 

 

Then after Jonathan said that everything clicked for Hermés. 

 

“Speedwagon? Like the Speedwagon Foundation?!” she exclaimed. How could Hermés forget such an important organization? 

 

Speedwagon looked over to Hermés, “Yes?” then he looked incredibly confused, “Who are you?” 

 

“My girlfriend,” Jolyne said with a face full of mashed potatoes. 

 

Speedwagon looked surprised. His jaw dropped, he looked back at Jonathan with wide eyes. Jonathan just smiled and nodded. Speedwagon then looked back at Hermés and Jolyne with the same stupidly surprised expression. That surprise broke out into a huge smile. 

 

“I’m a little surprised, but I’m happy for you Jolyne!” Speedwagon exclaimed with an honest smile on his face. 

 

“I know, I didn’t expect her to get into another relationship until she was like 40!” Josuke commented. 

 

That crashed Hermés back to Earth. She violently, once again, remembered that she was acting. These people are happy for Jolyne. They’re worried about her life and mental health. Of course they were. When Jolyne finishes the lie, she is going to say she broke up with Hermés. Wouldn’t that make the family worry more about her? That’s she’s never going to find someone to be with when she’s older? Hermés didn’t know what exactly Romeo did to Jolyne, but whatever it was Hermés knew it stopped Jolyne from trusting people enough to get into a relationship. What if by Hermés doing this it’s forever going to hinder Jolyne’s future happiness? 

 

Someone saying Hermés' name shook her out of her mind. 

 

 She shook her head and apologized, “Sorry, I was spacing out. What’s up?” 

 

“Speedwagon just asked how long you’ve been dating,” Giorno informed. 

 

“Oh. Uh-we met each other a year ago. We’ve been dating for 6th months,” Hermés hoped that she remembered that lie correctly. 

 

“Oh that’s great!” Speedwagon cheered. 

 

Hermés smiled back, even though guilt was heavy on her heart. 

 

Dinner after that went as expected. Speedwagon and Hermés properly introduced themselves. Apparently Speedwagon was a lifelong friend of Jonathan’s, which also made him a friend of the entire family. They talked some more about Speedwagon and his foundation and then after eating, Jolyne and Hermés went back into their rooms for the night. 

They continued their nightly routine together without any problems. While Hermés brushed her teeth, Jolyne got dressed into nightwear and when Jolyne brushed her teeth Hermés got dressed. 

 

“That” Jolyne said, walking through her bedroom door, “was a long day.” She continued, jumping onto the bed next to Hermés. 

 

“You could say that again,” Hermés groaned, “At least I beat everyone’s ass in Mario Kart.” 

 

“It’s the truest form of dominance. Soon, they’re all going to fear us,” Jolyne said dramatically. 

 

They both softly laughed. The room after that went quiet. It wasn’t an awkward silence, but rather a comfortable one. All of this lying and meeting all of these new people was honestly a little too much for Hermés. She could always beat someone up and come out victorious, but social gatherings were not Hermés forte. She was often considered too rude or brash, even if she didn’t mean it. She hoped that she didn’t seem that way to the Joestars. She actually liked Jolyne’s family for some reason. Even if she knows that they’d all hate her if they ever found out about the fact that they’re actually not lying. Every person in the family seemed to have such a charm to them, she couldn’t help but feel like they’re a family that you’d like to be a part of. 

 

Hermés sighed and looked at Jolyne laying next to her. Jolyne was already staring right at her. When they locked eyes, she immediately turned red and looked away. 

 

“Do you wanna continue watching Cars 2?” she asked, looking up to the ceiling. 

 

“Sure. Lemme shut off the lights,” Hermés jumped off the bed while Jolyne turned on the TV. When Hermés crawled back into bed, Disney+ was already up. Jolyne continued the movie.

 

They didn’t really talk much, besides the rare chuckle at something completely stupid or a sly comment. They were completely relaxed throughout the movie. Even throughout the climax of the movies, with loud noises and music. Jolyne was surprisingly quiet. Hermés didn’t know if that was just because she was tired or if she was thinking of something. 

 

When the movie finished Hermés sighed and muttered something. Jolyne didn’t respond, Hermés then realized that she was sleeping. With a soft smile, Hermés pulled Jolyne’s blanket further up her body and shut off the TV. 

 

She lied down and just thought. Of the past. Of the present. Of the future. Every day she seemed to be finding out more insecurities and worries about this whole situation. She was also questioning herself more than ever. 

 

She thought back to the time she first met Jolyne. It was 3am and when she opened the stall to go take a piss she saw Jolyne. It was probably because she only had 7 hours of sleep for that past week, so she didn’t really react. Then once they actually became friends, when she told the story, she wasn’t embarrassed, she was laughing. But for whatever reason she was embarrassed today while only thinking about it. Was it because she was around Jolyne’s family? Hermés honestly didn’t know anymore. 

 

Hermés also couldn’t stop thinking about what Giorno was talking about and how he almost challenged her at dinner. He was definitely catching on to their plans and that worried Hermés. If they found out they’d hate Hermés and definitely not trust Jolyne anymore with her relationships. 

 

A sudden wave of exhaustion plagued over Hermés. She just decided to stop thinking for once and go to bed. Just as she was about to fall asleep, she heard Jolyne mutter something in her sleep. 

 

Hermés fell asleep smiling.

Chapter Text

Hermés woke up feeling warm, comfortable. She felt content, although she hadn’t even opened her eyes yet. Hermés fluttered her eyes open, with a small smile. She let the warm light in the room welcome her to consciousness while she blinked out the sleepiness from her eyes. She was calm, undisturbed-happy, even. 

 

Until she realized that her head was steadily and slowly moving up and down. 

 

Hermés darted her eyes on her surroundings instead of focusing on nothing. Then it hit her. Her head was resting on Jolyne’s chest while she hugged onto her like a stuffed animal. The arm under Jolyne’s body was numb from her weight, and Hermés’ other arm was resting gently on top of her strong stomach. Did Hermés feel abs? Did Jolyne have fucking abs? Hermés couldn’t think too much about that considering that her head was resting on Jolyne’s boob. Oh yeah, Hermés’ head WAS ON JOLYNE’S BOOB. 

 

Hermés (of course) started freaking out. More so than ever. Her heart was beating out of her chest so hard she felt like she was going to throw up. Of course she couldn’t do that though because her head was smashed onto Jolyne’s tiddy-which was very comfortable to lay on. Like a warm pillow that was very squishy and s-

 

Hermés was getting off track. She needed to get out of this predicament before Jolyne woke up. If she woke up what would she think? Would she be disgusted? Would she think that Hermés was just using her for free cuddles? Would she think it’s weird? Is that why she was gone when Hermés woke up yesterday? Did she do this yesterday too? Did Jolyne think she’s too clingy? They’re not even DATING why would she be cuddling with her best friend?

 

Hermés really needs to stop thinking so much. 

 

After sitting for a moment in complete anxiety and thinking about what the fuck she could do . Hermés finally worked up enough confidence to move. She slowly lifted her head off of Jolyne’s chest to sit up a bit better. Then she untangled her legs with Jolyne. Every so often she would glance back at Jolyne to see if she was still sleeping. Thankfully she was. After that, she scooched the other direction to add more space between them. Then Hermés slowly retracted her completely numb arm from under Jolyne. She grumbled in her sleep, but thankfully didn’t wake. 

 

Hermés sighed in relief as she fully sat up in bed. Hermés looked out the window to only see that the sun was barely peeking over the horizon.Hermés scoffed and checked the time on her phone. It was 7am. No way in hell she was getting up now. Once her arm gained consciousness again, she slowly layed back down, hoping that she wouldn’t disturb Jolyne. 

 

After twenty minutes of her heart exploding after Jolyne only slightly moved, Hermés decided that she couldn’t do that anymore. She slid out of bed and gathered some clothes to change into. As she was changing Hermés begged that Jolyne didn’t wake up, because that would be extremely awkward. 

 

Thankfully nothing happened and Hermés exited the room without Jolyne waking up. 

 

The hallways of the estate are a lot more colder than smaller rooms. Probably because it was a larger area to warm up. It wasn’t just physical warmth however, the hallways in the estate are a lot more empty. Sure, there were pictures hanging up. Sure, there’s trim and designs set in place. But there’s no life in the walls. It all feels too artificial. It’s not like Jolyne’s room and how she has chipped paint, holes in the wall and posters falling down and plastered everywhere. It’s not like Coco Jumbo where the entire room is met with a red hue because of the red tinted skylight. It has stains from split drinks and ripped couches from rowdy teenagers. Hermés was starting to understand why Jolyne wanted to say more independent. This life seemed boring alone. 

 

Hermés yawned. She was tired. Why has she been so jumpy around Jolyne lately? Why does she always feel her heartbeat pick up when they touch each other? Why does she blush so much now? Why has she been so anxious lately? Where did “scary, brash Hermés” go to? She’s always been more relaxed and less defensive around Jolyne, but now she’s only less defensive. She doesn’t feel relaxed at all half the time. It’s not like she’s uncomfortable with the touching, at least she doesn't think so. The touch is almost comforting sometimes. So why does touching make her feel so anxious? Jolyne is-

 

“Hello Hermés!” Holly greeted her. Hermés found herself in the kitchen. She would really stop thinking so much. It’s becoming a problem. 

 

Holly giggled, “You seem a little tired. Coffee?” Holly gestured to the coffee machine and lifted a mug. 

 

“Oh. Uh. Yes....please.” Hermés' brain felt like it was running on a computer from 20 years ago.

 

Hermés sat down on a stool by the island in the kitchen. Holly hummed softly as she made the coffee. A few minutes later, Holly came over with 2 mugs of steaming coffee and sat across from her. Hermés thanked Holly as she gave her the mug. When the coffee was cool enough, Hermés took a sip of the coffee. It had a hint of a honey taste in it. 

 

Holly started a conversation about something. Hermés wasn’t really listening. She was just staring at Holly and nodding once in a while. Hermés was mostly just entranced by the pure motherly energy coming from her. From her hair to the way that she talked, poured a wonderful loving mother. She always seemed so happy and cheerful, she liked cooking, she loved her children to death. It almost made Hermés jealous of Jolyne. Hermés’ mother was gone and her father barely ever around. Hermés was lucky enough to have Gloria around to raise her, even though she was only ten years older than her.  

 

A question from Holly shook Hermés from her thoughts, “Anywho, I feel like I’m talking too much about myself. Tell me about yourself.” 

 

“Oh, uh, I’m going to college because of a sports scholarship and I’m majoring in genetics,” explained after a little hesitation. 

 

Holly looked surprised, “Genetics and a sports scholarship? You have the brains and the bronze, no wonder why Jolyne likes you so much.”

 

“Ah, I’m not that smart. I’m mostly just interested in cloning. That shit just interests me a lot.” Then she fully understood Holly’s comment and blushed, “Jolyne likes me a lot? You’ve barely seen us together, how do you know?” Hermés blurted out. Mentally, she smacked herself because of how rude that could sound. 

 

Thankfully, Holly didn’t take it the wrong way. She softly smiled, “Jolyne has only ever brought up Romeo and you from Florida. She only ever lets me meet people unless they’re extremely important to her. If anything, she likes you more than she liked Romeo, it took a year and a half to bring him up here.” 

 

Hermés frowned. She still didn’t really know what happened with Romeo exactly, but she knows it was extremely bad. Like worse than cheating on you bad. But after Hermés fully digested the statement, she blushed even harder. Did Jolyne actually like her that much? Or did she only pick her because she needed someone to play along with her ruse? 

 

Holly giggled after seeing Hermés face. 

 

The conversation continued from there. It was nice, talking to someone like this. She was so calm and happy. It honestly reminded her of Gloria. She couldn’t decide if that should make her feel happy or sad. Honestly, ever since Gloria’s death she was completely lost. 

 

After a while, Jotaro dragged himself into the kitchen and towards the coffee machine. 

 

“Jotaro!” Holly exclaimed, running over to him and hugging him. Jotaro just pushed her off. 

 

“Mom, it’s too fucking early,” Jotaro drawled, looking like he was extremely dead inside. 

 

This is exactly what Hermés imagined a tired late 20s year old would look like. His hair was uncombed, the bags and dark circles under his eyes were massive, and he was slouching over the coffee machine as if it was his life line. If it wasn’t for the fact that Hermés didn’t know how to feel about Jotaro yet, she probably would’ve laughed. 

 

When Jotaro got his coffee, he turned around and gave Hermés a cold glance while he passed her to the dining room. 

 

“Have fun writing your thesis, sweety!” Holly enthusiastically waved goodbye. Jotaro grunted in response like some kind of caveman. 

 

Hermés still didn’t know how to feel about Jotaro. Jolyne has complained about him a lot to her, all things said have been bad. Apparently he went on a vacation when Holly was extremely ill and Jolyne was still young. Besides that, he’d alway ignore his family and be rude. However, Holly’s interaction with Jotaro still seemed to be loving and understanding. Was Jolyne just over exaggerating or did Hermés not get the full picture? 

 

After talking to Holly for a bit more, Hermés eventually left to check on Jolyne. Hermés checked the time and holy shit it was 8 am. Hermés and Holly managed to talk for an entire hour. Hermés was surprised that she managed to not fuck it up. Considering how…foul some of the Hermés speech patterns can get, Hermés was almost proud of herself for staying (for the most part) family friendly. 

 

Once Hermés got to Jolyne’s room and opened the door, she saw Jolyne hugging Hermés pillow, still sleeping. Hermés could’ve honestly passed out in that moment. Hermés' breath caught in her throat.

 

God, why is Jolyne so cute she thought. Hermés then immediately felt bad for thinking that. Hermés was being creepy. Jolyne and Hermés are friends . Why would she even think that her best friend sleeping is cute? That’s not a friend thing to say? That’s something a girlfr-

 

Jolyne violently sitting up, made Hermés jump. Jolyne looked towards Hermés, wide-eyed, pillow still wrapped in her arms, saw her standing awkwardly in the doorway. Jolyne then looked towards Hermés’ pillow in her arms and turned an aggressively red color. 

“SORRY!” Jolyne screamed as she threw the pillow towards Hermés, hitting her square in the face.

 

Hermés caught the pillow in her hands and replied back, now equally as red, “It’s not your fault. You were fucking sleeping, for christ’s sake.”

 

Hermés failed to mention the way she woke up in the morning. 

 

“Oh, okay then.” Jolyne said, leading to an awkward silence. 

 

After a few moments, Hermés very awkwardly said, “Well… uh… I’m going to get some breakfast, so if you want to join me you can.” 

 

“Oh yeah. I’ll be down in like 5 minutes.” 

 

“Alright, bye.” Hermés closed the door and she wanted to scream. That was probably the most awkward conversation she had with Jolyne in two years. What the hell is happening? 

 

In 7 minutes Jolyne arrived downstairs, fully clothed, but without her usual hairstyle up. She seemed much more calm from a few minutes ago. She greeted Hermés as if nothing happened. Hermés tried to ignore the sinking feeling in her stomach and her quickening heartbeat. 

 

Jolyne started scouring the cabinets and refrigerator looking for food. After about 3 minutes of going back and forth Jolyne groaned and announced that there was “nothing” to eat. 

 

“Well, damn Jolyne I’d imagine in this big ass house there would be at least something to eat,” Hermés replied with a sly smile. 

 

Jolyne glared at her, “Just because I have a large house doesn’t mean that we always have a lot of food. Our food supply is actually getting pretty low. Actually, I think Roses is grocery shopping right now,” she started mumbling at the end, drifting off into thought. 

 

“Okay, cool, but what are we gonna have for breakfast if we don’t have any food.” 

 

“Well,” Jolyne started with an evil smile, “We do have pancake mix-”

 

“You are not making pancakes.”

 

“Awwww, but Hermés would you at least let me try to redeem yourself?” Jolyne said with a large smile and sparkling eyes. 

 

“Last time you said that you made boiled eggs that fucking exploded.”

 

“C’mon, either no food or food or another funny story to tell, it’s a win win situation.” 

 

Hermés groaned, knowing there’s no way to tell her no, “Fucking fine, but if one thing goes wrong I’ll make them.” 

 

For the first 5 minutes everything was going fine. Jolyne was mixing the ingredients in the bowl and it only got mildly messy. Then she pulled out the pan to start cooking them. That’s when Hermés started to get worried. She poured the mixture onto the pan and it started to sizzle. Everything was okay, surprisingly. It didn’t immediately burst into flames so it was better than usual. Then after a few minutes Jolyne grabbed the handle to the pan and backed up slightly. 

 

For a millisecond Hermés wondered what the hell she was thinking, then it dawned on her. She never got out a spatula. She was gonna try to flip the pancake like the do in goddamn cartoons

 

“Jolyne don’t flip it like that-” It was already too late. The pancake was already flying through the air. It felt like Hermés was just set in slow motion, she saw the pancake slowly start to fall. She screamed when the pancake fell onto the burner. Jolyne was screaming now too because the uncooked batter went everywhere from splatting on the stove. 

 

Oh, not to mention it’s a gas stove with an open flame and now the pancake is burning.

 

Amidst the chaos, Jolyne accidentally knocked over the bowl with the pancake batter in it, splattering it on the floor.   

 

After the initial shock of everything, Jolyne turned off the stove while Hermés ran to get the fire extinguisher on the other side of the kitchen. As Hermés was running back to the stove to extinguish the pancake fire, she slipped on the batter that fell on the floor. The fire extinguisher fell to the floor, making the loudest sound Hermés has probably ever heard. Thankfully, Hermés caught herself on the oven door handle, but her hair fell in the burning pancake mix. She slipped and fell on the batter-y floor 

 

At first, Hermés didn’t notice that her hair was on fire. But when Jolyne was screaming in horror, she noticed the foul smell coming from the top of her head. Good thing Jolyne reacted quickly, because while Hermés was screaming, Jolyne got the fire extinguisher by Hermés feet. She sprayed Hermés straight in the face, drenching her with the foam. After dousing Hermés, Jolyne put out the pancake fire. 

 

Hermés was wiping off the foam from her face when Jolyne ran over with a paper towel roll. 

 

“Oh my god, Hermés, are you okay?!” she said, voice dipping with concern. It reminded Hermés of Holly. 

 

“Yeah, I’m good.”

 

“Did it get in your eyes?”

 

“Uhhh, no. I don’t think so.” 

 

Hermés opened her eyes, to see Jolyne squatting down next to her, staring at her with the utmost concern. They started at each other for a moment, and Jolyne eventually started smiling. 

 

At the same time, they burst out laughing. It was the kind of laugher where you literally cannot stop, even if you try. They were laughing so hard, they were crying and rolling down on the floor with the concoction of pancake mix and fire extinguisher foam. 

 

Then the fire alarm started going off, and Tomoko ran into the room. 

 

“What the fuck happened?!” Tomoko screamed with concern, confusion, and anger. 

 

Jolyne and Hermés just burst out laughing again. Tomoko looked equally horrified and unamused. 

 

George walked by, saw the chaos in the room and just mumbled, “Dumbass kids”. 

 

Once they calmed down from their laughing fit, Holly arrived at the scene. Holly looked morbidly worried and ran over to the two. 

 

“Oh my goodness! Jolyne, Hermés are you alright? Why are you on the floor? Why is Hermés covered in foam? Why is the fire alarm going off? What happened?”

 

“Yeah, girls, what happened?” Tomoko echoed, placing a hand on her hip.

 

“Jolyne tried to cook pancakes,” Hermés put simply. 

 

Tomoko groaned and face palmed. 

 

Holly sighed, “Jolyne, next time you wanna cook, have someone teach you. Don’t try to do it yourself.” 

 

Jolyne rolled her eyes, “Alright Mom.” 

 

“You too can take a shower. I’ll clean up and make you some breakfast,” Holly smiled, helping them up. 

 

Jolyne hugged her mother, “Thank you Mom!” 

 

Watching interactions between Jolyne and Holly made Hermés feel bittersweet. It was cute and made her happy that Jolyne has such a wonderful mother, but it also made her sad and maybe a little jealous. Hermés never had a mother. Sure, she had Gloria. Sure, she was her mother figure. But she was only ten years older than her. Even then, she didn’t have the full maturity to raise a child. 

 

Hermés followed Jolyne to her room. 

 

Now in closed doors Jolyne looked incredibly guilty. 

 

“Hermés I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to-” 

 

Hermés chuckled, “Look it’s okay, I’m not mad.” 

 

“I was just trying to make you breakfast, and I ruined our morning!” Jolyne complained. 

 

“Jolyne, it’s okay really. You made our morning a lot more interesting, that doesn’t mean you ruined it. It was fucking funny.” 

 

Jolyne smiled, “Yeah, it was,” Then, Jolyne’s smile dropped once more. She walked over to Hermés and gently held a few of her braids. 

 

“Is your hair okay? I know how important your hair is to you. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to have it catch on fire.” 

 

Hermés couldn’t speak. Jolyne was so close to her, softly holding her hair. Hermés could smell Jolyne’s lime shampoo, she could hear her breathing, she could see Jolyne’s individual eyelashes. Hermés' heart felt like it was climbing up her mouth. 

 

After Hermés didn’t respond, Jolyne looked up. That was a mistake. Or a blessing. Considering how you’d interpret it. Jolyne’s face was extremely close to Hermés. Their noses were mere inches apart. Hermés stood wide eyed, staring at Jolyne. She could see everything on her face. Jolyne light freckles, her faded scars, she could even see the small gold flakes in Jolyne’s otherwise green eyes. Hermés could only think one thing in that moment: she is beautiful

 

After a split second of Jolyne processing everything, Jolyne’s face turned bright red, and she jumped back 5 feet. 

 

She coughed and said loudly, “Well we better get clean now. So uh- I’ll bring you to the bathhouse.” 

 

~~~

 

Jolyne wasn’t over exaggerating when she said bathhouse. In the basement of the estate (because of course this mansion needed a basement too), there was a small pool with doors around it. The room was literally steamy. The light dusting of water vapor stood stagnant in the air. The entire room had a comfortable feel to it. It was humid and hot, but it was cozy. It reminded Hermés of the greenhouse. 

 

“Okay so we have 2 bathtubs and 3 showers. Oh! We also have a sauna in the back there,” Jolyne pointed to a room on the other side of the room with a large sliding door, “The baths are on the left and the showers are on the right. You can pick whatever you’d like.” 

 

Jolyne smiled with a thumbs up and walked over to the showers. After a moment of hesitance, Hermés decided to take a bath, because god she needed it. 

 

While in the bath, for a moment, she forgot she was in her best friend’s childhood home. It felt like she was some kind of millionaire. 

 

Once she was clean and clothed and exited the small bathroom into the bathhouse, she saw Jolyne sitting on a chair by the stairs. 

 

“Yesssss,” she said when she saw Hermés, “You’re out, now let’s get food. I’m starving.”

 

On their way up to Jolyne’s room to drop their shower things off, Jolyne glanced over to Hermés. 

 

“You never answered my question by the way,” she stated. “Is your hair okay.” 

 

Hermés’ mind for a split second flashed back to Jolnye’s face being close enough to ki-

 

Hermés didn’t let herself finish that thought. 

 

“Yeah, it’s good,” Hermés answered, looking down at her braids. Hoping that she wasn’t acting weird. 

 

“Okay cool,” Jolyne replied when they reached her room. Jolyne literally chucked her shower things on her bed and then exclaimed, “FOOOOOOOD,” like some kind of kindergartener. 

 

Hermés simply chuckled and rolled her eyes. 

 

They arrived in the kitchen to see it completely clean and Holly preparing something that smelled wonderful . Holly cheerfully greeted the girls as they walked in. The Josuke brothers were also there and they jumped up from their seats when they entered. Josuke (the actual Josuke) practically ran to them and grabbed Jolyne’s wrist before pulling them out. 

 

“We’ll be back before the food’s done Aunt Holly, we just need to talk for a second!” Josuke then pushed Jolyne and Hermés into the dining room. 

 

Jolyne and Hermés glanced at each other suspicious of the brothers’ actions. 

 

Josuke had an evil smile on his face and nudged Gappy. Gappy sighed and said, “We’re going to prank Speedwagon.” 

 

“You guys are what?” Jolyne replied with wide eyes. 

 

“Prank Speedwagon,” Josuke stated, smile growing wider. 

 

“And why are you guys gonna do that?” Hermés asked.

 

“So there’s this running joke, where Speedwagon refuses to tell us how Uncle Jonathan and he met,” Gappy explained, “He always changes the story whenever we ask. I think last time he said that they met at a skatepark,I’m pretty sure Jonathan doesn’t even know what a skateboard is .” 

 

Hermés shook the image of Jonathan and Speedwagon skateboarding out of her head, “What would y’all even do to prank him?” 

 

Josuke shrugged, “I dunno, that’s why we’re asking you.” 

 

Jolyne got up from her chair, “Well, I’m in. Hermés you wanna be my partner in crime?” 

 

Hermés rolled her eyes, “Why not?”

 

After they were done scheming and trying to figure out what to do, they returned to the kitchen to eat some food. In about 2 minutes, Holly was done. They sat down and ate and god , it was the best thing Hermés has eaten. Hermés recalled Jolyne saying something about her mother being an amazing cook. She wasn’t lying. Hermés never knew that pancakes and bacon could taste so good. 

 

After cleaning up and thanking Holy profusely for the food, the four of them scutteled out of the kitchen to find their target. The four found Speedwagon sitting in the living room, sipping a cup of coffee while talking to Jonathan. They looked at each other before nodding and carrying out their plan. 

 

The Josuke Twins waltzed into the room, and started talking to Speedwagon and Jonathan. For whatever reason the Josukes somehow got them to get up and leave the room. And perfect Speedwagon left his coffee on the table. Jolyne devilishly grinned at Hermés before pulling out quick dry superglue. 

 

Giggling, the girls glued Speedwagon’s glue to the table. After about a minute they checked to see if it’s dry or not, but they heard Jonathan’s huge voice coming closer. Jolyne and Hermés ran away, to behind the door. Once Speedwagon and Jonathan sat back down, Jolyne and Hermés walked in to see the prank unfold. 

 

“And that’s how I accidentally got stuck in a planting pot,” Gappy concluded. 

 

“That’s very interesting Gappy,” Speedwagon replied with a small smile. 

 

Jolyne and Hermés sat down on a loveseat close by, but didn’t join the conversation Jonathan continued with Speedwagon. 

 

When Speedwagon grabbed the mug to drink his coffee, he pulled, but the glass didn’t move. He put on an incredibly confused face. Hermés saw Jolyne trying to hold in her laughs. Hermés herself was struggling to control the smirk forming on her face. 

 

Speedwagon continued to struggle to lift his mug up. Jonathan somehow didn’t notice. Speedwagon tried to play it cool and whenever Jonathan looked his way, he just smiled. At this point, Jolyne slapped her hands over her mouth to hold in her giggles.

 

Eventually, the glue gave out and Speedwagon ripped the mug off of the table, spilling coffee all over him. At this exact moment, the Josukes, Jolyne, and Hermés bursted out laughing. Jonathan stood up to run and get some napkins. Speedwagon just sat with the same surprised face on, completely in shock. Jonathan ran back and started cleaning off the small man. Speedwagon snapped out of it, thanking Jonathan. 

 

Jonathan turned around towards the culprits, hands on his hips and with an angry face on, “Were you kids responsible for this?”

 

Josuke started rolling on the floor laughing and Gappy seemed to be hyperventilating. Jolyne was screaming that she couldn’t breathe. Hermés was full on cackling. 

 

Jonathan furrowed his eyebrows further, “Apologise to Robert right now.”

 

“Nono Jonathan,” Speedwagon said, walking up to the group with a large brown stain on his shirt, “They don’t need to apologize. It was quite funny. They just can’t cry when I prank them so hard next year.” 

 

“Sure Speedweed, sure ,” Josuke replied after catching his breath. 

 

Speedwagon made an indescribable sound, “Did you just call me Speedweed ?” 

 

“Yes, he calls you that a lot,” Gappy exposed, after calming down. 

 

Speedwagon burst out laughing, “Oh you hear that Jonathan? Speedweed!” 

 

As Speedwagon was laughing his balls off, the four sneaked out of the room and ran to Coco Jumbo, before all collapsing on the floor into a pile of guffaws . Johnny who was playing some horse racing video game raised an eyebrow and asked, “Now what the hell did you guys do?” 

 

“We set the kitchen on fire then pulled a prank on Speedwagon,” Jolyne smiled. 

 

“And then Josuke called him Speedweed and he lost his shit ,” Hermés continued. 

 

“You guys set the kitchen on fire?!” Gappy exclaimed. 

 

“That explains why I woke up to screaming,” Johnny deadpanned. Turning back to his game.

 

“Who started the fire?” Josuke asked, controlling himself enough to ask the question. Although he still looked like he was ready to burst out in laughter in any second.  

 

“Who do you think,” Jolyne sarcastically replied, “It was I, of course.”

 

“Y’all are fucking idiots,” Johnny sighed. Still looking at his game. 

 

Josuke chuckled, “Holy shit, he said it! Johnny said it!! Say it again!” 

 

Johnny turned back to the group, looking incredibly annoyed. But he succumbed to his younger cousins pleading faces and sighed once more, “Y’all,” Johnny looked tired. 

 

Josuke broke down into a pile of giggles again. “Go country boy, go” Jolyne cheered, which made Josuke and Gappy laugh even harder. 

 

Johnny rolled his eyes, as if this had happened before. 

 

After they calmed down, Josuke sighed and after a moment of silence he asked, “Hey you guys wanna play Mario again?” 

 

“Fuck yeah,” Hermés smiled.

 

“Sure,” Johnny shrugged, “Besides, I’ve been wantin’ a rematch with Jolyne’s gal pal.” 

 

Jolyne chuckled, “Alright.” 

 

The word gal pal threw Hermés out of the loop. She hasn't been called Jolyne’s girlfriend all day. For most of the day, Hermés just felt like she’s just been hanging out with Jolyne, not dating her. Honestly, just to think she’s convinced so many people that they’re dating was a little astonishing.  

 

Gappy decided to not play and just go to his room, (Jolyne added it was probably to talk to his girlfriend, Gappy said it was so they didn’t have to connect the two Wiis together). 

 

After an hour of Hermés completely decimating everyone in Mario Kart, Johnny threw down his remote and angrily rolled away. 

 

“Is he actually angry or…”  Hermés questioned. 

 

“Oh no, if he was actually was angry he’d probably try to murder you,” Jolnye stated as if that was a perfetly normal thing to do. 

 

Hermés couldn’t believe this insane family. 

 

~~~



Later that day, while Jolyne and Hermés were calling FF, Joseph burst into Jolyne’s room (yes, without knocking). 

 

“JOLYNE AND Hermés PLEASE HAVE A DANCE OFF WITH ME,” Joseph announced. 

 

“Bro what the fuck, knock, we could’ve been making out.” Jolyne scolded him, “Also I’ll love to join your dance off” 

 

Joseph laughed, “Oh yeah, you guys are dating. I almost forgot.” 

 

“Joseph!” Jolyne exclaimed. 

 

“I’m sorry you guys just don’t show a lot of PDA! I guess I’m just used to Johnny and Gyro being so handsy,” Joseph made an awkward laugh, “Anyways, I already gathered everyone into Coco Jumbo. Come down in like 5 minutes.” 

 

Joseph had another awkward laugh and slammed  the door. 

 

“Trouble in paradise?” FF’s incredibly sarcastic voice rang out through the phone. 

 

Hermés clicked her tongue, “Fuck off.” 

 

FF laughed, “Anyways, I’m going to be going back to the dorms tonight, so I’ll have far better connection next time we call.” 

 

“Did you enjoy your little...vacation? Reuniting?” Jolyne looked confused at herself. 

 

FF giggled and they rolled their eyes, “I don’t know the word either, but hey you’ve known about human speech eight more years than me! I’d imagine you’d know more words than me.” 

 

“Jolyne is shit at English and you know this,” Hermés stated. 

 

“I know sign language in multiple languages though!” Jolyne defended herself.  

 

“Really?” Hermés and FF said in unison. They did not believe her.

 

“Yeah!” Jolyne flipped Hermés off, “This means fuck you in english. This means fuck you in French. This means fuck you in Japanese. And this means fuck you in Italian, specifiacally Naples style,” Jolyne smiled, doing the apprioppiate hand single for each language. 

 

“That is not sign language,” Hermés couldn’t help to crack a smile. 

 

“Yes it is! Fuck you,” Jolyne swore, doing each hand gesure in a fluid motion. 

 

FF cackled on the other end of the line.

 

“Anyways guys, I’m gonna leave so you guys can have your dance off or whatever!” FF 

waved then her connection was lost. 

 

After a beat of silence, Hermés asked, “Why why is Joseph having a dance off?” 

 

Jolyne looked at her blatantly, “Do you really think I have any idea what’s going through that man’s head?” 

 

“Good point.” 

 

After some more silence Jolyne stood up and announced, “We should go.”

 

Hermés nodded and followed Jolyne out the door. 

 

While walking down the long halls, Hermés tried to swallow the bubbles of anxiety surfacing again. Hermés haven't danced in years how the hell is she supposed to compete in the dance off? Doing Just Dance? Hermés tried to think the last time she danced. She was what? Twelve? Hermés glanced over to Jolyne. She looked calm enough to not be panicking. 

 

She met Hermés’ eyes, then held her hand, “I almost forgot!” She echoed Joseph. 

 

Great. Now Hermés has to try not to panic about the dance off and Jolyne handing her hand. 

 

The two arrived at Coco Jumbo and everyone was there, except Johnny. Even Jotaro was there. What kind of black magic did Joseph pull to make Jotaro of all people to participate in a dancing competition? 

 

When Joseph saw the “couple” arrive he put on a shit eating grin and exclaimed, “Hey! Took you guys long enough!” 

 

Jolyne traveled through Hermés' line of sight and saw Jotaro. She looked confused then whispered to Joseph, “How the fuck did you get my brother here.”

 

“I have my ways,” Joseph confidently answered. 

 

“He promised Jotaro that he wouldn’t annoy him for the rest of the break if he wins,” Giorno explained. Hermés almost jumped, when did he even get here

 

“Oo convincing offer,” Jolyne smirked. 

 

“Eh, whatever. Now we just have to wait for Johnny,” Joseph concluded. 

 

“No,” Jotaro appeared behind Joseph, “We should start now, I’ve already wasted enough time here. Johnny will arrive sometime, we can add him in then.” 

 

Joseph sighed, knowing there was no arguing with Jotaro. “Fine. Let’s start...with the two youngest! Giorno, Gappy, you’re up.” 

 

“C’mon! Why do I have no go right next to Giorno!” Gappy complained, “He literally went to lessons!” 

 

Joseph put up his hands, “Rules are rules, little man.” 

 

“I am not little!” Gappy exclaimed, getting even more annoyed. 

 

“I’m 5 inches taller than you, I think I’m allowed to call you lit-” 

 

“Shut the fuck up and do your performance already!” Jotaro yelled, sitting down onto one of the couches. Gappy, a little annoyed, decided to go first instead of Giorno, just to get it over with. 

 

Once everyone was seated, Gappy started playing Daft Punk on the TV and then started doing the robot for about 30 seconds then he bowed and took a seat. 

 

“I’d have to admit, that was unexpected, but that’s it?” Joseph complained. 

 

“Yeah, I was planning on other people going before me, so I’d be more unexpected,” Gappy shrugged, “But whatever, I knew I wasn’t going to win anyways.” 

 

Once Giorno found the song he wanted on YouTube, he stood in the middle of the room before some kind of classical song started playing. Giorno then broke out into a full choreographed ballet dance. He spun in the air, stood on the tips of his toes, and stretched in many ways that Hermés though wasn’t possible. Although it was a bit ridiculous doing ballet in a living room, it was somehow graceful all the same. 

 

Once the 5 minutes of the dance was done, Giorno ended with a bow and everyone clapped, still in awe. He sat down, with a smug face on. 

 

“You know ballet?” Hermés asked Giorno while Josuke was picking his song.

 

Giorno nodded, “Back when I was still living with Padre, he signed me up for lessons.” 

 

“Padre?” asked herself, the familiar term rolling off her tongue, “Do you know Spanish?” 

 

“Italian.” 

 

Hermés hummed, she should’ve known. That accent was strong.  She was a little disappointed all the same though. Maybe if she and Giorno shared the same first language they could connect better? Hermés mentally smacked herself, why did she even get her hopes up in the first place? It’s not like earning his trust is going to mean anything in the end. 

 

Josuke found a Just Dance song and started dancing to Rasputin.  Everyone laughed when Josuke fell down trying to do the kicking part of the song. When the song finished, he did an over exaggerated bow and sat down next to his brother. 

 

“I wish I thought of that,”  Gappy complained. 

 

“I know, dude. I’m a genius,” Josuke replied with a confident smirk. 

 

Joseph huffed, a little disappointed that no one was taking it seriously, “Alright, Jolyne you’re up next.” 

 

Jolyne got up and took a deep breath. Instead of pulling something up on the TV, she got out her phone and started blasting music. She continued to start doing a Tik Tok dance. It was one of the ones that were meant for the incredibly straight girls . It was kind of scary. Nothing about Jolyne said that she was straight. Her whole aura screams that she likes girls. Seeing Jolyne doing the straightest kind of dances was surprising to say the least. The most concerning thing to Hermés though was the fact that she knew how to do it, she’s done it before. 

 

Once Jolyne was done, she sat next down to Hermés. Hermés just stared blankly at her.

 

“What the FUCK was that?” Joseph asked.

 

Jolyne groaned, “Gwess made me do it with her once, and now that stupid fucking dance has been stuck in my head.” 

 

“To be honest Jolyne, you doing a Tik Tok thot dance was the last thing I expected,” Josuke confessed. 

 

Jolyne laughed, “Yeah that’s mostly why I did it.” 

 

“Hermés being suspiciously quiet right now,” Giorno pointed out. 

 

Everyone set their eyes on Hermés. Hermés couldn’t say anything, so she just made an ‘um’ sound. 

 

“Oh my god, babe!” Jolyne laughed, “Are you blushing?” 

 

Hermés was definitely not blushing. Nope. Why would she be blushing after that? There’s no reason to. Sure, she found some of the tik tokers hot, but this was Jolyne . Her friend. There’s no way she can be blushing.

 

Laughter erupted in the room, “Dude she’s blushing even harder!” Gappy proclaimed. 

 

Of course the only reason why she was blushing now is from embarrassment. It’s not like Hermés found Jolyne hot doing that dance. Nope. No way.  

 

“Aww guys stop you’re embarrassing her. Plus there’s no reason why you guys should be laughing. It’s perfectly normal to find your significant other attractive,” Jolyne explained, sitting on Hermés lap, throwing her arms over Hermés neck. 

 

Hermés felt like she was about to explode. She was suddenly very aware of all her senses. She noticed how her face was burning, how her entire body felt like it was buzzing in place. Her heart felt like it was going to rupture over how fast it was beating. Hermés wondered if Jolyne could feel it. 

 

“Doesn’t mean I have to like it,” Jotaro huffed from across the room. Hermés jumped a little. She forgot he was here. 

 

Jolyne did an over-exaggerated gasp, “Jotaro, my dear brother, are you being protective over me?” 

 

Jotaro for a moment, widened his eyes, then putting on a neutral face again he explained, “No, it’s just gross.” 

 

“There he is,” Joylne said in a monotone voice, unimpressed.

 

“Anyways!” Joseph spoke up, “Hermés how old are you?”

 

“I’m 21,” she replied, doing her best to ignore Jolyne is still sitting in her lap. 

that 

“Alright, Johnny’s up next!” Joseph’s smile dropped, “And he’s still not here. I guess it’s your turn then.” 

 

Hermés nervously got up, picking up Jolyne with her, then placing her back down on the couch. As Hermés was reaching for the remote, she heard someone (probably Josuke) snickering that Jolyne was being manhandled. 

 

Hermés found an old hip hop song that she remembered dancing to with Gloria. Hermés smiled. She didn’t know if it was from nervousness or nolgista. Hermés went to the middle of the room and started hopping along with the beat. She started with pretty basic moves that anyone could do. Then she dropped to the floor and started to spin and move along with the beat. Soon enough she was spinning, twisting, hopping and flipping along to the beat of the song. Albeit, sometimes she would fumble and trip, you could tell that she hasn’t done it in a while. However, the Joestars were blown away by the fact that Hermés could breakdance for them to care (or notice). 

 

Once Hermés was done, she was breathing heavy and smiling. She almost forgot how fun it was. It reminded Hermés of running her cross country tournaments; exhilarating. The song stopped and the room was quiet except for Hermés deep breaths. 

 

Then Jolyne broke the silence with almost yelling, “You can break dance?! Why haven’t you ever told me?!”

Hermés shrugged, “I dunno, I haven’t done it in so long, it wasn’t that important.” 

 

Josuke screamed, “Hermés PLEASE TEACH ME HOW TO BREAKDANCE!”

 

Hermés raised her hands in defense, “Sorry kid, I barely know how to do it myself. I can’t teach people.” 

 

“You’re amazing at Mario Kart AND you can breakdance?” Joseph complained, “Is there anything you CAN’T do?” 

 

“She literally just said she couldn’t tea-” someone commented, before being interrupted by Hermés. 

 

“I can’t work with children,” Hermés pointed out. 

 

“That explains a lot,” Giorno deadpanned. Hermés cringed at herself. At least she admitted it. 

 

“Okay, but Hermés,” Jolyne said once Hermés sat back down, “That was so hot .” 

 

Jolyne said that so blatantly Hermés needed to reboot for a second. 

 

“Fuck yeah I am,” Hermés managed to spit out. No, she wasn’t blushing, why would she be blushing? (she was blushing)

 

“Anyways!” Joseph announced, “My turn!” Joseph selected his song, then stood in the middle of the room before saying, “For this dance, I need a partner,” he had a crooked, almost mischievous, smile, “Jotaro, if you do this with me, I’ll count it as your turn too.” 

 

Jotaro widened his eyes in realization, “We are not going to do that.” 

 

“Oh yes we are,” Joseph chided, pulling his cousin into the middle of the room. 

 

Jotaro practically growled as he got up. Whatever they were about to do, he wasn’t happy about it. 

 

The two boys stood back to back, before Joseph played the song. Then they broke out into a fully choreographed dance. Hermés then noticed that the lyrics in the song weren't in English. The dancing style was very active and different from what you see in America either. Were they dancing to a k-pop song? 

 

Jolyne seemed to realize that at the same time as Hermés and her smile grew even wider as she pulled out her phone and started recording. 

 

The dance only seemed to last for a minute long, but Jotaro looked like he was about to kill Joseph. Then he saw that Jolyne was recording and his frown got even bigger (if that was even possible). 

 

“I hate you all.” 

 

“How the hell did you manage to teach Jotaro that?” stars were in Jolyne’s eyes. 

 

“I have my ways,” he had a smug look on his face. 

 

“He got drunk last night and cried until I joined him,” Jotaro explained in his same deep monotone voice, “If anything, I’m surprised that you managed to remember the dance.” 

 

“You’re next line is ‘you’re a dumbass as it is’” Joseph predicted. 

 

“You’re a dumba-” Jotaro stopped mid sentence once he heard Joseph, “What the fuck.” 

 

Joseph simply smiled. Then he must’ve seen something out the corner of his eye. He turned to the open door and called out, “Hey Johnny! You’re just in time!” 

 

Johnny rolled slightly in the room, “Oh you’re still doing this.”

 

“Yeah! C’mon, you’re last but you can still do your dance!” 

 

“I can’t dance Joseph,” Johnny put blatantly. 

 

“Sure you can.” 

 

“In case, you haven’t noticed, my legs don’t work,” Johnny rebutted, a little annoyance in his voice. 

 

“You don’t need to use your legs to dance.” 

 

“Yes, you kinda fuckin’ do,” Johnny’s voice was getting flat out angry at this point. 

 

“That’s not true, I did the robot and I only used my arms!” Gappy butted in, attempting to calm both of them down. 

 

“That doesn’t matter, Gappy,” Johnny scoffed.

 

“Oh no, I get it, you just don’t want to be around me,” Joseph jumped to a conclusion real fast. 

 

Suddenly, Hermés felt like she shouldn’t be here. It was starting to get personal.

 

“What the hell? No, Joseph, I just don’t want to look like an idiot dancing out there with no fucking legs!” Johnny snapped. Gripping the arm rests of his wheelchair tightly. 

 

“You know far well, that we wouldn’t care if you could move your legs or not!” Joseph yelled back. 

 

“Well I care, Joseph! Everything isn’t always about you!” 

 

“Hey, guys let’s all try to stay calm here,” Gappy said weakly. 

 

“I know everything isn’t about me!” Joseph bellowed, completely ignoring Gappy, “But everything isn’t about you either!” 

 

“I’m not trying to make it about me! Stop trying to make it about you!”

 

“I’m not the one trying to make myself a little pity party!” 

 

“Well I’m sorry, I didn’t try to become paralyzed!” 

 

“Well maybe you didn’t try to kill Nicholas either,” Joseph spitted out like poison. 

 

The room went dead silent after that. No one spoke. No one even breathed. The only thing you could hear was Joseph’s heavy, angry breaths. The room was so thick with tension, Hermés could almost feel the negativity in the air. She felt like she was swimming in it. She didn’t even know Johnny, but she could feel the pain he had when she saw his face.

 

After a split second of realization Joseph went pale white, instant regret written on his face. Joseph slapped a hand over his mouth with a gasp. 

 

“I don’t - I didn’t - You never-” Joseph stuttered to form an apology, Hermés could see a slight shake in his hands. 

 

Johnny, whose eyes were glistening with tears waiting to fall, and a shaking body either through anger or despair simply said, “No Joseph I heard you perfectly clear.” 

 

As Johnny rolled out of the room. There was a pregnant silence. Joseph started to walk and go after him, but Gappy put a hand on his shoulder and shook his head. 

 

“What. The. Hell. Joseph!” Jolyne scolded him, standing up in her chair. Vibrating with anger. 

 

“I didn’t-” 

 

“Oh, no, don’t give me your stupid ass excuses. You know far well not to bring up Nicholas, especially around Johnny, but to tell him that it was HIS FAULT ?” Jolyne got up into his face, poking his chest to add to the last point. 

 

Joseph looked, horrified and incredibly guilty, Joseph physically gluped.

 

“I got...that argument got out of hand. I didn’t mean that.” 

 

“Of course you didn’t mean that! I know you get out of hand and say stupid shit all the time when you’re angry. But Johnny doesn’t know that! He’s probably been blaming himself all these years and you just made it concret.” Jolyne yelled, progressively getting louder. 

 

Jolyne looked at all of her other family members. They all looked down, looking guilty or sad. Joseph closed his eyes, and looked like he was about to cry. 

 

This story felt incredibly familiar to Hermés. 

 

“Who’s Nicholas?” Hermés asked. She felt like she was in a trance. Like some kind of flashback to where just first lost Gloria and felt hopeless and astray. 

 

Jolyne looked at her with pain in her eyes. Not only for thinking of her lost cousin but knowing of Hermés lost family too. 

 

“Nicholas is Johnny’s brother,” Jolyne answered, eyes downcast, “he died 8 years ago.” 

 

 Hermés took a sharp breath in, then a long exhale. She needed to keep a level head and not break down. Hermés clenched her hands then stood up. 

 

“I’m going to go talk to him,” Hermés declared. At that moment she caught Jolyne’s eyes. They looked sad, yet hopeful. 

 

Hermés remembered the day she told Jolyne everything about Gloria. How they lived, how Gloria was basically her mother, how Gloria was murdered. The day was the anniversary of her death and Hermés broke down multiple times, but Jolyne always guided her back up. She told her that it wasn’t her fault that Gloria died and somehow that worked. Hermés must do the same for Johnny. 

 

 “Do you know where he went?” Hermés asked.

 

“If Roses shoveled the path yet, he’s probably at the greenhouse,” Giorno answered. 

 

Hermés did a short nod to Giorno, then she took a deep breath and exited Coco Jumbo. 

 

Hermés looked out of a 2nd story window and saw Johnny rolling down the stone path to the greenhouse. She mentally thanked Giorno, because she would’ve never thought of going there. Well, that was Johnny’s plan, so it was a smart thing to do. 

 

Hermés decided to give some time for Johnny to calm down a little, so she didn’t rush to the greenhouse. 5 minutes later she found herself walking down the path in the freezing Connecticut cold to the humid safety of the green house. 

 

As she walked inside the greenhouse, she saw Gold Experience circling ahead by the larger plants and vines. There she found Johnny looking at the small pond, the same one Jolyne and Hermés sat at the day prior. 

 

Johnny must’ve heard Hermés approach because he tensed up and growled, “Go away” when Hermés was about 8 feet away. 

 

Hermés sighed and walked up next to him, “I know, you don’t want to talk and I understand that.” Hermés let a pause stretch. Only hearing the running water of the pond and the occasional chirp of Giorno’s bird.

 

“Whatever you’re thinking isn’t true,” Hermés said as if it was a fact, “You’re not the reason your brother is dead.” 

 

Johnny scoffed and did a self deprecating laugh, ‘You know nothing about me.”

 

“You’re right,” Hermés agreed, “But we’re the same.” 

 

Johnny looked up at her, confused. 

 

Hermés took a deep breath, “My sister, Gloria, died 4 years ago. We had some stupid argument, about owing the family resturant. I, of course only 17, wanted to go to college. So I got angry and ran away. Gloria followed me and she must’ve ran into a gang member, so she got shot and thrown into the gutter. The police didn’t care enough to do a proper investigation, so I never found out who did it.” 

 

Hermés laughed, but there was no humor in it, “Trust me if I knew who it was,they’d be dead by now and I’d be in goddamn prison,” Hermés sighed, “Anyways. for a while, I blamed myself for Gloria’s death. If I didn’t run away, if we just fucking talked things through. She would still be alive.” Hermés' heart ached with a familiar feeling, “But then one day, I realized. I realized that it wasn’t my fault. It was the bastard that shot her.” 

 

Hermés looked at Johnny and he turned away, towards the pond again. 

 

“I’m sure the same applies to you,” Hermés finished her monologue. 

 

Hermés cleared her throat, “Now. I’m sure you have a lot to think about, so I’ll leave you be. Also, I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but Joseph didn’t mean it. He doesn’t blame you, nor anyone else,” Hermés reassured.

 

“I know,” he replied quietly. Hermés patted him on the arm and started walking away. 

 

“Hermés?” Johnny’s voice made her pause, “Thank you.” 

 

Hermés smiled to herself, “No problem.” 



~~~

 

Minutes later she found herself in Jolyne’s room. She flew herself onto the bed and screamed into the pillow. She turned around to stare at the celine. She wasn’t cut out to comfort people. She never knew what to say or how to act. She just hoped that dumping her live story on Johnny like that would help. 

 

She turned over and threw Jolyne’s blanket on her. It smelt like Jolyne, and it was heavy. It felt like Jolyne was giving her a hug, or if they somehow got in the position they were in the morning. For whatever reason that made Hermés feel warm. 

 

Hermés shot up in bed and shook her head. God, how tired was she? Jolyne makes her happy because they’re friends . She may not feel like this towards FF because… for some reason. It’s because Jolyne has been friends with her for the longest. Yes, that is the reason. 

 

Hermés got bored sitting in bed, so she went to go look on her phone. Then she realized she left it in Coco Jumbo and everyone must still be in there, if Jolyne hasn’t left yet. 

 

Hermés groaned and got out of the comfort of the bed. 

 

Once Hermés arrived back at Coco Jumbo everyone stared at her. 

 

Jolyne ran over, screaming her name. She hugged her and started examining her. 

 

“Um, what are you doing?” 

 

“Seeing if Johnny hurt you. He didn’t hurt you, right?” Jolyne asked nervously. 

 

“No? Why would he hurt me?” 

 

“Johnny tends to get angry while he’s sad or stressed,” Joseph answered sheepishly. He looked terrible. His eyes were puffy and red, his hair was messy (even more than it already was), and there were dried tears on his face. 

 

“Um, yeah, we just talked. I think I talked him out of something? I don’t know, but he thanked me.” 

 

Josuke’s jaw dropped to the floor, “He THANKED you? What the hell did you say?”

 

“What he needed apparently,” Jolyne replied for Hermés. Jolyne was smart. She must’ve guessed that Hermés spilled to Johnny. Hermés was grateful, she didn’t want to expose her past to everyone here. 

 

Hermés smiled at her and quickly grabbed her phone on the table. 

 

“I’m kinda tired,” she told Jolyne, “you wanna watch a movie?” 

 

“Sure,” Jolyne tiredly smiled, she turned to her family, “And you. You guys need to fucking reevaluate yourselves. Think of what I said.” 

 

Everyone nodded their heads in disappointment. 

 

Jolyne and Hermés arrived at Jolyne’s room, and they sat down on the bed, both in complete silence, before Jolyne asked, “So what did you actually tell him?” 

 

“I told him everything about Gloria.” 

 

“Everything?” Jolyne sat up in the bed, surprised. 

 

Hermés nodded, “I think I’ve finally accepted her death. It’s easier to tell people now.” 

 

Hermés knows that it still hurt her, but it was slowly getting better. After she realized that it wasn’t her fault, it was simply just life playing it’s course, she’s been happier and more open about Gloria. 

 

Jolyne softly smiled at Hermés, proud of Hermés progress. Hermés' heart clenched. The walls in her mind felt like they were slowly breaking down again. 

 

“Do you know why I’m more accepting?” Hermés asked Jolyne. 

 

Jolyne’s face went unreadable and she slowly shook her head. 

 

“Remember freshman year? When I told you everything about Gloria? Well I was still blaming myself then, but you...you made me realize that it wasn’t my fault.”

 

Realization dawned on Jolyne’s face as Hermés continued. As the walls that Hermés built up were crumbling. 

 

“I never thanked you for that. You helped more than you can ever imagine. I don’t know why, but at your side, I can cry as hard as I want. And you help me. Unconditionally.” 

 

The walls that were built so strongly and held up for so long, finally felt like there was no way to fix them, that they were so close for them to be completely knocked down. 

 

Jolyne looked like she was about to cry. She held a watery smiled and replied, “Hermés, you don’t need to thank me tha-” 

 

Jolyne was interrupted at a knock on the door. Hermés jumped and built up the walls that she so carefully started to destroy. Suddenly, just like that, the walls were up and Hermés was closed off again. 

 

Jolyne quickly wiped her eyes and told them to come in. 

 

Erina came walking in, “The food will be done soon, you should probably go down to dinner.” 

 

Jolyne smiled, “Thank you Aunt Erina. We’ll come down in a minute.” 

 

A second after Erina closed the door Jolyne pit on that same coy smile, “Do you...do you really mean that Hermés?”

 

“Um, I mean, I fucking guess so, it’s nothin’” Hermés backed out. 

 

Jolyne’s smile faltered, “Oh, um, okay,” Jolyne smiled again, “Now let's get some food.” 

 

Dinner was awkward to say the least. Only the parents talked. They all looked weary and confused on why the table wasn’t bursting with energy as usual. They happily continued their conversation though. However, about halfway through eating, Johnny made an unexpected quip about something Jonathan said. The whole table burst out laughing. After that, the tension started to ease a little bit and people started talking more. 

 

By the end of dinner, Johnny seemed to be acting relatively normal again. Hermés concluded that's a way of forgiving Joseph. However, Joseph still seemed a little dodgy. Before, Jolyne and Hermés left the dining room, Hermés saw Johnny and Joseph leaving together. Hermés smiled to herself. 

 

Several hours later, after watching a few movies with Jolyne, Hermés heard a knock on the door. Hermés opened it so see Johnny.

 

“Joseph apologised to me,” Johnny stated, “We’re all good now.” 

 

Jolyne peaked over Hermés shoulder and said, “That’s great dude! I’m glad you guys made up!” 

 

Johnny rubbed the back of his neck, a little embarrassed, “I also kinda wanna thank you both. If it wasn’t for Hermés I’d probably not have accepted his apology and Jolyne for yelling at him.” 

 

Jolyne laughed, “You’re welcome. Joseph is a dumbass, so you have to yell at him sometimes.” 

 

Johnny smiled, “Oh trust me, I know all about dumbasses. I’m dating Gyro, for god’s sake.”  

 

Jolyne laughed. Hermés has no idea who Gyro was, but she laughed anyways.

 

“Is tomorrow the 22nd?” Johnny asked. 

 

“Oh shit you’re right,” Jolyne looked surprised that 2 days have already passed. 

 

“Meet you at 9:53 then?” 

 

“Hell yeah,” Jolyne agreed. 

 

After Johnny left and they got situated in bed again Hermés asked, “Why at 9:53 that’s so fucking specific for no reason.” 

 

“It’s another tradition,” Jolyne laughed, “And yes I know we have a lot of pointless traditions. They’re honestly more like inside jokes.” 

 

Hermés nodded, still a little confused on why they’re meeting, but she just concluded that she’d just figure it out tomorrow. 

 

Jolyne and Hermés then fell into a comfortable silence, scrolling through their phones. Until Jolyne awkwardly started a conversation, “So, uh, I’ve been thinking,” Jolyne paused to see if Hermés was listening, “Since Joseph said that he forgot we were dating, do you think we should um...I don’t know...show more PDA?” Jolyne looked nervous, “If that’s okay with you, of course. You’re just my friend, I should be grateful that you’re doing this in the first place.” 

 

Hermés was definitely not  expecting that. She started to blush for some reason. “Um, I don’t mind it I guess.” 

 

Jolyne let out a breath and smiled, “God, thank you. I think people are starting to get suspicious,” 

 

Hermés' mind flashed to Giorno, “You can say that again.” 

 

Jolyne flushed, “So you’re fine with kissing and shit like that?”

 

Hermés could feel her own blush creep down her neck, “Um yeah. I guess so.”

 

Jolyne’s face somehow became even more red, “D-do you maybe wanna practice? So we don’t mess up in front of everyone, of course.” 

 

Hermés thought of kissing Jolyne in bed here, her head felt like it was about to implode. Hermés didn’t want to kiss Jolyne. She didn’t . But why was she tempted to say yes? 

 

With a heart beating fast, Hermés replied, “Oh um, nah. We should be fine. We’ve like made out before while drunk, there wouldn’t be much of a difference.” 

 

Jolyne looked disappointed for a second, then smiled again, “Oh yeah, you’re right. We’ll be fine. Anyways, you wanna go to bed now?” 

 

Hermés nodded and got up to shut off the light then joined Jolyne in the bed. After getting comfortable Jolyne said, “Thank you Hermés, for doing this for me.” 

 

“That’s what friends are for,” Hermés replied. She turned around to face the opposite direction to Jolyne, further building up the barrier between the two.