"I have a question," Trish says one day, and Mista winces. Trish has many questions, and they're rarely questions that the six of them have clearance to answer. Still, he watches her expectantly as he takes a sip of his soda. "Are you guys in the gang, like… Are you like monks, where you can't have relationships, or are you just all losers?"
Mista chokes mid-sip, and cola comes out his nose painfully. Pro tip from Guido Mista: maybe don't let carbonated drinks go out your nose. He doubles over, hacking, and Narancia pats his back sympathetically. "No," he wheezes, "no, we're allowed to date and stuff."
"Yep," Narancia agrees. "I'm only single because there's no girl on Earth who could handle all this." He gestures at himself, and Mista giggles again, and then cringes. His nose still hurts.
"That's definitely it," Trish says, rolling her eyes. "But what about the rest of you? Are all of you just bachelors?"
"No," Fugo says. He's been shuffling cards, and now he begins dealing them out. "Buccellati's married."
"What?" Mista says, over Narancia's No way! "Buccellati is married? To who?"
"Uh, me," Abbacchio says, in a tone of voice that says obviously. He takes his cards and looks at them in disinterest. "I tell him our marriage is a fucking prison, like, three times a week, Mista, surely even you would have caught on by now."
Mista feels his world turning upside down. "But you're joking! You only say that because we call you mom and dad! ...You're actually married?" Abbacchio shrugs. "Did you do it for a mission or something? You're not really married. Right, Fugo?"
Fugo scowls. "I don't actually know. They refuse to tell me either way."
Abbacchio steeples his fingers under his chin. "It keeps the romance alive," he sighs, fake-wistful.
"I hate you so much, holy shit," Mista says. "I'm gonna get to the bottom of this, just you wait." He picks up his cards, and then he scowls, and then he says, "Wait, what are we playing?"
"Mao, bitch. Get ready for your ass to be grass," Narancia says.
"What the fuck is Mao?"
Narancia leans forward, leering. "Your worst nightmare."
He's not wrong.
After Mista's ass is thoroughly grassed, and after he noogies Narancia into oblivion for that stupid fucking card game (that Giorno won, despite having never played it before), he manages to find Buccellati alone in his room. They have Mr President the turtle (why is this his life?), of course, but they also rented a three-room hotel suite for the night. It's nice to be normal-sized, after all. Mista collapses onto the crappy little upholstered armchair by the desk. Buccellati, sitting with his legs crossed in front of him on the bed, looks up from his book.
"Afternoon," Buccellati greets him. One corner of his mouth quirks up.
"Hi," Mista says lamely.
When he doesn't continue, Buccellati raises an eyebrow and asks, "Do you need something? Or do you just want to hang out."
Mista fiddles with his hat. He was planning on being charming, or at least, like, subtle, but it looks like that plan has failed already. "I wanted to ask-- I hear you're married to Abbacchio?"
Buccellati snorts and puts his book down. "You heard correctly," he says.
" No," Mista says, sitting up. "Capo, what went wrong? I say this with loving kindness, but Buccellati, what terrible circumstance would make you feel the need to marry that disaster man?"
"Don't shit-talk my husband," Buccellati says mildly. His eyes are squinted in humor, though, so-- maybe it really was just a weird mission thing? A tax thing.
Mista is about to lose his mind. "Are you married for real or not??"
Buccellati hums. He's clearly enjoying this. "Hmm. What do you think?"
Mista drags his hands over his face. "Um, I think you're playing a joke on us, and I can't tell what the joke is, you jerk," he says. Buccellati just laughs, so Mista sticks his tongue out at him childishly, and leaves.
He's on his way to go harass Abbacchio about it some more, but when he passes through the main living room thing of the suite, he sees Fugo, Narancia, Giorno, and Trish all sitting together, and he can't just let there be four of them, so he stops. Fugo deals him in without verbal acknowledgement, so he guesses that they're at least a couple rounds into that stupid fucking card game. He takes the cards.
They play a couple mostly-silent rounds, punctuated by triumphant shouts of Penalty! and the subsequent Thank yous said through gritted teeth. Mista hates this game and he's still not sure how to play it, because no one will fucking explain it to him. Of course Giorno caught on right away. Mista is full of rage.
Finally a round ends and he slaps his hands on the table before anyone can start re-dealing. "Okay," he announces, "Okay, okay. I need to know. It is going to kill me if I don't know."
"The only rule that I'm allowed to tell you--" Narancia starts, and Mista cuffs the back of his head.
"Not about the stupid card game, Narancia, thanks," he says. "No, I need to know if they're actually for-real married or if it's just, like, a tax thing. Or a weird mission thing. I'm dying here, guys."
"Finally," Fugo mutters. Mista flips him off.
Giorno looks thoughtful. "Well… I'd believe that Buccellati is married for real, but I'm not convinced that Abbacchio would ever like someone enough to marry them. Although… If he did, I guess Buccellati's probably the one he'd like."
Mista points at him. "See, that's what I think too, but they're also both such shitheads that they might just be messing with us." He turns to Narancia. "What do you think? You're, like, basically Buccellati's kid, or whatever."
Narancia takes a second to preen, and then he sticks his chin in his hands. "You know, I think they could be for-real married. They do room together whenever we go on trips, you know?"
Mista blows air out through his lips to make a farting sound. "Okay, sure, but that's just because we can't afford more than two rooms. We only have three rooms this time because the Boss is paying for Trish. Us three have been rooming together for years, doesn't mean we're married. They just room together because they're the oldest."
Fugo shrugs. "I dunno, man, they roomed together even before you guys all joined, when it was just the three of us. Plus, y'know… You guys didn't know Abbacchio in the beginning. The Abbacchio you know is the one who's chilled the fuck out. I dunno. I'd believe it."
Trish hums. "Now I'm kind of curious too," she admits, which is why she's Mista's favorite.
"Right?" he says. "We gotta find out the truth."
They end up agreeing: Narancia will ask Abbacchio about it, because he's cute, in an obnoxious sort of way, and Abbacchio seems to humor him the most. Also, Buccellati would be mad if he got his butt kicked. Giorno will ask Buccellati, since there's a weird level of respect between them that the others don't really have.
Narancia goes first. He doesn't really feel the same all-consuming curiosity that Mista seems to feel, but he does want to know. Also, investigating is something to do , and he's bored, and his sound system is still mysteriously broken, so.
He finds Abbacchio smoking on the balcony down the hall. He looks up when Narancia slips outside, and after a glance at Narancia's face he looks away.
"You're looking guilty," he greets Narancia.
"I don't look like anything," Narancia says defensively. "Maybe you're looking guilty, huh? Mister Guilty. Abbacolpevolio."
Abbacchio snorts. "Very clever, Narancia. What do you want."
Narancia flops his arms over the railing and peers up at Abbacchio through his bangs. "Are you really married to Buccellati? Like you're actually romantically together?"
Abbacchio sighs through his nose. Smoke comes out of his nostrils, like a dragon. "Well, Narancia, that'd be a damn fool thing for me to have done, wouldn't it. Fall for a gang leader. You know I was a cop, right?"
Narancia squinches up his face at him. "You say that as if, one, you are not also a gang member, and two, as if you don't do stupid things all the time."
Abbacchio widens his eyes at him dramatically. "Ya got me there," he says, and takes another drag on his cigarette. "I answered your question, now shove off. I don't want you inhaling smoke, infant."
"That wasn't an answer!" Narancia protests.
Abbacchio looks at him, suddenly serious. "Wasn't it?"
Giorno knocks on the doorframe outside of Buccellati's room. The door is open, but he likes to be polite. Buccellati waves him in, setting his book down. Giorno takes a seat in a ratty armchair.
"I suppose you're here to ask about Abbacchio as well," Buccellati says. He doesn't look bothered, so Giorno nods.
"I don't really care either way," he says honestly, folding his legs underneath him. "Except that if you really are involved, isn't that a liability?"
Buccellati tips his head to the side. "Well, aren't all of us liabilities to each other? We all like each other and want to protect each other. That's dangerous, in a field like ours. You know that," he says, and Giorno nods. He continues, "But I like to think that all of us know to prioritize the mission above each other. Whatever the mission happens to be."
Giorno considers this. "That's fair," he concludes. Then, "But you haven't really answered my question."
Buccellati raises an eyebrow at him. "So you do care. But I have answered your question."
"So... you aren't together?" Giorno asks.
"Would it change anything if we were?"
Giorno frowns a little, and then he decides: "No. I suppose not. I trust you to do what you have to. And I trust him."
Buccellati smiles a little at him. "I'm sure he'd be thrilled to know that."
Mista is, somehow, surprised, when Narancia and Giorno report back their respective conversations. Somehow he was expecting more cryptic bullshit. Well, there was cryptic bullshit, but still: Narancia and Giorno agree that both conversations point to their actually being married, which is a fucking trip. Mista still isn't over it.
The five of them-- Mista, Narancia, Giorno, Fugo, and Trish-- are all sitting around the coffee table in the living room, while Buccellati talks to some contact in town and Abbacchio goes shopping. (Narancia had lost shopping privileges after the last time.) Giorno nudges him with his foot. "I don't know why you care so much," he tells Mista.
"He cares because he's a nosy bastard," Fugo says. Mista will allow this, because it's true. "What I don't get is why it's so shocking to you. I mean, I guess I'm a little surprised, but my world isn't rocking, here."
Mista scowls at him. "Whatever, dude. Trish, aren't you surprised? Isn't this surprising? Don't you want to know more?"
Trish shrugs. She's sitting next to him on the couch, with her back against the armrest and her legs thrown over both his and Giorno's laps. "I don't care for real, it's not like it has any effect on me. I'm just curious if Abbacchio is really capable of human of emotion."
Giorno purses his lips. "That's not nice to say about him," he admonishes.
Trish rolls her ankles at him. They found out last week that Giorno doesn't like the sound of popping joints, so now she and Mista have been popping their joints at him as often as possible. Giorno's mouth turns down. "Well, I hear he made you drink piss when you first met, so I guess I'm comfortable saying not-nice things about him. I'm sure he wouldn't care anyway," she says. "You reap what you sow, and whatever."
"It's true," comes Abbacchio's voice from the entryway. Trish's eyes widen. "Good times. I still can't believe you really drank it, Giovanna, you sicko," he says, coming into view. He has a couple paper bags in each hand. Buccellati arrives a second later; Mista guesses they ran into each other on the way back.
"I didn't," Giorno says, "There was a jellyfish, it was very clever, it was a whole thi--"
"You drank my piss, man, there's no denying that piss passed your lips and did not come back out," Abbacchio says. Mista can't believe he's legally an adult. Jesus.
"Don't antagonize him, dear," Buccellati says, sticking a hand into one of the bags in Abbacchio's arms and pulling out an orange. He tosses it to Narancia.
"You're doing that on purpose, I fucking know it!" Mista wheezes. Dear? What human being would call Abbacchio "dear"?
"Eat shit, capo," Abbacchio tells Buccellati, sounding a little strangled.
Fugo looks over his shoulder at him, and smirks. "You're looking a little flushed, there, Abbacchio."
Abbacchio reaches over and cuffs Fugo upside the head. "I'm gonna kick your ass, plague boy," he growls. Fugo sticks his tongue out at him.
Later in the evening, after dinner, Mista is totally ready to admit that this has gone too far. But, like… Abbacchio. Abbacchio, married. To Buccellati.
So when Fugo says, "I wonder if they plan these things. If they just sit around in there, like, how can we mess with Mista next, hahaha," and Narancia says, slowly, "Well, one way to find out," Mista is immediately on board. They're hanging out in the boys' room with the door open, because Trish is there-- not that Mista supposes any of them would actually care, but it seemed the thing to do-- and he's successfully steered them away from Mao and towards poker. He has a great hand, and he's not even cheating (much).
"I was fucking joking, you weirdos," Fugo tells them. "I'm going to go to bed and not spy on my superiors, because I don't have a goddamn death wish. Also, I fold."
"Loser," Mista says.
"We wouldn't spy on them as our superiors," Narancia points out. "We'd spy on them as friends, who are maybe dating and are being cagey about it."
"Right," Mista agrees. "Giorno, Trish, one of you isn't invited, there can't be four of us."
"I'm totally in," Trish says. "Sucks to suck, Giorno."
Giorno waves his hand. "I'll take one for the team," he says. "I honestly don't understand your obsession, here, Mista."
"That's because you're kind but boring, Gio-gio," Narancia informs him.
Even though Giorno is clearly not a cool kid here, Mista feels the need to defend him. "Hey, Giorno's not boring. He's cautious, there's a difference."
"Not that you would know what caution is, Narancia," Fugo adds.
"Anyway, it's fine, go read or whatever, Giorno, we'll let you know what we find out," Mista promises. Giorno salutes him. "C'mon, Trish, Narancia."
They leave quietly, and Mista channels every shitty spy movie he's ever seen as they approach the door to Buccellati and Abbacchio's room. It's closed, which is a good thing for their stealth, but a bad thing for actually hearing anything that happens. The three of them crouch by the doorframe.
"Can either of you do something with your-- power… thingies-- that allows you to listen to what they're saying?" Trish whispers. She seems to have some sort of grasp on what Stands are by now, at least, which is good, because they still aren't really allowed to explain.
Mista looks at Narancia, who looks back at him. "... No," Mista admits. "I mean, not that I know of."
Narancia looks at the door. "Looks like it's down to the classic 'stick our ears to the door and be real quiet,'" he whispers. "Good thing I'm a pro at that."
Mista squints at him. "You couldn't be quiet for more than ten seconds if your life depended on it," he tells him.
Narancia scoffs under his breath. "That's just what I wanted you to believe," he says.
"Okay, shut up, you two," Trish whispers. "They're gonna hear us before we even start."
"Okay, okay," Mista whispers back. The three of them press their ears to the closed door and try not to breathe in each other's faces.
It sounds like someone's in the shower, so there's nothing interesting happening anyway, but then the shower turns off and there's the sounds of someone shuffling around in the room. Narancia keeps making eye contact with Trish by accident, which makes them both start giggling, and Mista has to swat them to make them stop. Eventually, they hear Buccellati's voice, muted, ask how Abbacchio's day went. Apparently it went okay, but he's almost out of lipstick. Buccellati had a mildly unpleasant interaction with a particularly insistent vendor in town. Pretty boring stuff, if you ask Mista.
"Will you buy me lipstick if I harass the vendor for you," Abbacchio asks, sounding bored.
"Please don't harass the vendor for me," Buccellati answers. Mista can imagine his amused-tired expression.
"Hm," Abbacchio says skeptically.
"I'll buy you lipstick if you don't harass the vendor, how about that," Buccellati offers.
"Deal," Abbacchio says. There's the sound of someone climbing onto a bed, or maybe off, and then a tired huff that sounds like it was probably Abbacchio.
"Aren't you guys low on funds already?" Trish whispers.
"Ye-e-e-es," Mista whispers back. "Is lipstick expensive?"
Trish raises an eyebrow at him. "It doesn't have to be, but Abbacchio's lipstick is," she answers. Mista fights the urge to groan.
There's silence in the room for a moment, and then Buccellati says, casually: "So the others know. I assume you're responsible for that one."
Abbacchio groans. "Ugh, yes. I wouldn't have told them if I thought they were going to be so nosy about it. Fuckin' Mista."
Narancia shakes with barely-silent laughter, and Mista shoves him a little.
Buccellati laughs. "I don't know what you expected, Leone, they're teenagers."
A scoffing sound from Abbacchio. "You say that as if you weren't a teenager, like, six months ago."
"Whatever," Buccellati says. There's a scuffling sound, and then Abbacchio says, "Don't you kick me, jerk!"
"Right, right, no kicking, because we're married. You know they sent Giorno to ask me about it? I assume they asked you too."
"Yeah, Narancia asked me."
Buccellati huffs a laugh. "Oh yeah, what'd you tell him?"
"I told him the truth. Said it would be a stupid thing for me to have done, falling for you," Abbacchio says. (Narancia nods, as if they didn't already know this.)
"You say the sweetest things," Buccellati says. He sounds like he's probably rolling his eyes. After a moment, he says, "Giorno asked me if you were a liability. To me."
"Hm," Abbacchio says. "Am I a liability to you?"
"You know the answer to that question," Buccellati answers, his voice a warning.
"Capo--" Abbacchio starts.
"You're all liabilities to me," Buccellati interrupts. "The mission comes first, but I can't just pretend that I don't love you." He uses the plural you, voi , but his voice cracks on love. Narancia gasps. Mista elbows him in the ribs. "I can't pretend that it would never even occur to me to sacrifice the mission to keep you all safe."
There's a pause, and then Abbacchio says, "Christ, Bruno. Don't talk like that." He sounds awful. He almost never calls Buccellati by his first name.
"It's true," Buccellati insists. "You know that."
"I know," Abbacchio says. "I know." The sound of someone shoving themselves off a bed, and then Abbacchio's voice right by the door: "But you never know who might be listening."
"Oh, shit," Narancia whispers, and the three of them scramble backwards desperately as Abbacchio yanks the door open. The combination of their being flat on their asses and Abbacchio's height means he towers above them, in a bright blue pajama shirt and comfy-looking pajama pants. His hair is in a loose, damp bun, and all his makeup is gone, including his perfect dark eyebrows. He looks soft and pale, washed-out in a pretty way.
Mista has never been so terrified in his life.
He wracks his brain for something un-incriminating to say, and he comes up with: "I didn't realize you owned clothing that wasn't black."
Abbacchio scowls down at him. "I don't. Have you delinquents heard enough to draw your own conclusions here, or do I have to spell it out for you?"
"Uh, no, we're good, we're leaving, bye," Trish says, grabbing a fistfull of Mista and Narancia's shirts in each hand and yanking them with her.
"Goodnight, we love you too, Buccellati!" Narancia yells. Mista just barely hears Buccellati's laughter before Trish manages to pull them into the boys' room and slam the door closed. Giorno and Fugo look up, startled. It looks like they were playing solitaire.
"D'you think he's gonna kill us?" Narancia gasps. "I mean, me'n'you, Mista, I guess you're pretty immune, Trish." Trish nods, looking smug.
"Oh, yeah. It was great knowing you, dudes," Mista breathes. "If you never see me again, you're all legally obligated to fight to the death for my stuff."
Giorno sits forward and puts his chin in his hand. "I don't know if any of your stuff is worth fighting over, Mista," he says.
"Okay, well, minors are exempt, you little blond cherub, you," Mista tells him.
"So… all of us, except for Abbacchio and Buccellati," Giorno interprets. "I'm sure they'll be thrilled."
"No, no, only Buccellati," Narancia corrects him. "Since Abbacchio is the one who'll have killed him."
"Right. And you too," Mista says, pointing at him. "Which, by the way, we were fabulously successful, they're totally together, and now Abbacchio is gonna kill us sometime between tonight and tomorrow morning."
"I'll pray for you," Fugo says sincerely, and it actually means something because Fugo is for-real religious.
"Aww, thanks, man," Mista says. "That means a lot."
"I dunno if even God could save us now, though," Narancia points out. "Abbacchio's like eight feet tall. Even without his Stand he could just snap us like twigs."
They sit with that fact for a hot second.
"You could just apologize," Giorno suggests. He's immediately met with a round of scoffing.
Miraculously, they survive the night. After a round of preliminary congratulations among the boys, they stumble out to the living room for breakfast. Buccellati and Trish are already sitting at the low table, drinking coffee and looking way too put-together, in Mista's opinion. Abbacchio is at the counter of the tiny kitchenette, stirring an embarrassing amount of sugar into his coffee. He, too, is perfectly dressed and groomed. The only thing he's missing is lipstick, which he never puts on before breakfast.
"Uhh," Mista says, his voice creaky with sleep. "Good morning."
"Is that so," Abbacchio says, raising an imperious eyebrow.
"He woke up and you hadn't killed him, so yes," Giorno says helpfully. Mista punches him in the shoulder.
"Yeah," Narancia agrees, heading for the coffee. Mista wanders after him. Coffee is a good thing. "Thanks for not killing us in our sleep."
Abbacchio finishes stirring his coffee and heads to the couch. He claps his hand on Narancia's bony shoulder as he passes by. "I wanted to kill you, but Capo pleaded for your lives," he says breezily. "He pointed out that without Mista to keep Giovanna out of trouble, I'd be up to my tits in frogs. And you're a baby, so I'm not allowed to hit you."
"That's exactly what I said," Buccellati agrees. He downs the rest of his coffee. "Word-for-word."
"I'm not a baby!" Narancia protests. "I'm seventeen! I'm older than Fugo!"
"That's so fucked up," Fugo mutters into his own coffee. "That's so fucked up."
"Agreed," Abbacchio says, sprawling onto the couch. "And Narancia, if you're not a baby I'm allowed to hit you, so I think you should take your babyhood with grace and gratitude."
"Whatever," Narancia says mutinously, dumping cream into his mug. Mista looks over his shoulder and scowls.
"Jesus, Narancia, that's like, eighty-percent cream," he says. "Leave some for the rest of us."
"You're saying numbers at me before noon, so I'm going to ignore you," Narancia replies. "Also fuck you."
"Is there enough coffee there for me to have seconds?" Buccellati asks. Mista glances at the little French press. It's still maybe a third full.
"Yeah," he says. "On account of Narancia only put like a tablespoon of coffee in his."
"It's not my fault if coffee's disgusting without help," Narancia whines.
"Ooh, so it's just like you, then," Mista says. Narancia kicks him in the shins and flounces over to the couch to perch on an armrest and drink his abomination. Giorno, who's sitting primly on the couch next to him, pats his knee in sympathy. Mista snorts.
Buccellati levers himself up from his armchair and makes his way to the kitchen. He looks tired up close. He looks tired a lot, recently.
"You doing okay?" Mista asks him quietly. He can feel Abbacchio's eyes on him, but he tries to ignore it. "Sorry about the… stupidity last night. We just… wanted to know. We weren't trying to cause any problems, or anything."
Buccellati pours himself more coffee and smiles, looking at Mista from the corner of his eye. "No, it's fine. I mean, officially, it was a breach of privacy and trust, I'm your boss, don't spy on me, you little idiots." Mista feels his heart sinking. He's such an idiot. "But unofficially, I guess… You wanted to know because we're your friends, and you were curious. I can't fault you for that." He places a hand on Mista's shoulder, and squeezes, and then he leaves.
Mista loves this fucked-up little crime family so much.
He sets about pouring his own coffee, but he looks up when he hears a choking sound from the couch.
"What," Abbacchio is saying. "What are you doing. Capo, no, this is undignified."
"I'm tired," Buccellati announces, from his new position on Abbacchio's lap, "and we're married."
Abbacchio stares at him. He looks torn between disgust and fondness, which: Mista has to agree with him there. Giorno is looking at the two of them, his face pleasant but unreadable as usual, and Narancia is fake-gagging. Trish just looks amused.
"Gross," Fugo says. "PDA, guys. Romance gives me hives."
"Me too," Abbacchio chokes out, and Buccellati laughs at him, kisses his hair. Abbacchio's face is red. "I hate you so much."
He slings an arm around Buccellati's waist, anyway.
Mista considers this whole thing a success, really.