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Gangsta's Paradise

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It was 5 o'clock Friday, and Mista had been, and still was, a ball of nervous energy. He had deep-cleaned his modest apartment, the vacuum running at 3 AM had his downstairs neighbor (a French restaurateur with absolutely nuts silver hair) cursing at him through the floor. But he had to make sure everything in his life looked good. While he wasn't a slob by any stretch, he did sometimes leave dishes in the sink, or laundry undone, dirty magazines out of their hiding spot, and some hair in a few drains. He was only human damnit. But he was a human now courting a higher being, therefore now he'd actually need to put some effort into things. Before Giorno, he'd had some flings with random pretty people he would ask out on a whim. One night stands, casual meet-ups, nothing solid or serious.

Giorno was serious.

He was the kind of person Mista wanted to see and do things with more than once, the kind of person he could settle down with. So he had to impress Giorno, his love-stricken heart refused anything less. So because of his determination, his apartment was now spotless (just in case they came by afterwards), he was wearing his nicest pants (plain, unfortunately), his nicest sweater (with no crop, unfortunately), nicest (plain, unfortunately) beanie, and his cleanest pair of boots. His wilder, usual, and more beloved clothes might not be the most appropriate for a first date.

God he was going on a date!

With Giorno!

He had all day to get ready too. Buccellati had deemed him useless at noon and sent him home with a curt, 'have fun on your date, Mista.' He had been nervously puttering around since, and he still had- a glance to the clock on his stove- 6 hours.

That wasn't right.

Checking his phone instead, helpfully blinking 5:07, he had a few minutes of downtime. Maybe to get some flowers. But he was already doing a dinner, and had nabbed opening day tickets to the botanical garden, and was planning on getting him gelato, and then kissing away the spilled gelato from his pouty pink lips on the bench in thepark under the moonlight. Okay that last one had been unplanned but the thought of it had him staring blankly at the wall.

Snapping out of his daydream, he checked his phone again. 5:11, well damn guess no flowers. Grabbing his helmet and an extra one for his passenger, Mista made his way to the hospital. Parking outside the main entrance this time, the gunman checked his phone again. The clock just turned to 5:24. He... arrived on the 24th minute. That's some awful luck! He couldn't do this!

But... maybe if he he did a lap around the parking lot, he'd technically arrive at a better time?

Hopping back on his bike and circling the lot, Mista rechecked the clock on his phone. 5:27. Much better! Neurosis soothed, the gunman made his way into the hospital proper. The main entryway of the hospital was even more high end than the emergency room and side clinic he had been frequenting. Which left him suddenly very worried, what if this wasn't the right place to pick up Giorno? He supposed he could ask the desk attendant further in to call or something. Decision made, the gunman made his way over to the mahogany help desk in the center of the front atrium.

Behind the desk was a model. Straight, pitch-black hair, perfect brows, expert make-up; she looked like something out of Hollywood. She also had sunglasses on inside. Pulling himself together, Mista sauntered over to the desk clerk, since model or not he needed to find Giorno.

"Ahem, uh I'm looking for a nurse named Giorno?"

The woman was silently staring (as much as he could tell) at him. It was a little unnerving.

"He... uh gets off at 5:30 and uh am I in the right spot? To meet him or whatever?"

Her face hadn't even twitched. Mista was beyond intimidated at this point, this was no longer a good idea. Her sunglasses still pointed in his general direction, the lady reached a manicured finger down to press a button on her phone, leaning down just enough to give a dramatic "GioGio! front desk!"

She had to have been an actress at some point.

Settling back, "well? Are you going to crowd my desk forever or do you need something else to do? Go find a chair to hang about!"

Scratch that, she had been a drill instructor at some point.

Stepping back, Mista managed an eloquent "uh" before a staff only door to his right opened.

"Mista."

The blond came out, smile on his face, and in normal clothing. Well... mostly normal. He was wearing a navy what-was-probably-a-blouse with gold embroidery and what looked like a heart-shaped cutout in the chest and super skinny jeans. Making his way to the desk only to lean over and kiss the cheek of the hot actress drill sergeant.

"Ciao, nona Lisa."

"Ciao, GioGio, enjoy yourself."

Were they family? He didn't have time to ask before the blond slipped an arm around his elbow, half-leading him out. Another time then.

Stepping outside into the parking lot, Giorno finally asked, "so where are you going to take me, Mista?"

"Well uh, dinner first, and then uhm it's a bit of a surprise."

"Oh?"

"Yeah, it's a great Italian place, if that's cool with you."

"It sounds lovely. Which car is yours?"

"It's actually," stopping in front of his bike and handing the blonde the extra helmet, "this?"

Mista was beginning to think that he probably should have just borrowed a car with the surprised look the other was giving the helmet. Until he broke into a wide smile, glancing up with eyes crinkling around the edges.

"Oh, my father is going to absolutely loathe you."

"Uh, is that... you say that like it's a good thing?"

The blond only chuckled, "it's fine, dinner then?"

"Yeah, sure."

Getting himself and Giorno situated on the motorcycle, the gunman set off for the first destination.

Tonio's restaurant was, quite frankly, in a horrible location.

Tucked between a shady barber-shop and a condemned former apartment building that was supposedly haunted, it was not only in a sketchier part of town, but also right across from a graveyard.

It was also the single most amazing eatery for probably a hundred miles.

Mista just hoped the blond wouldn't be too put-off by the scenery. Parking in the crumbling parking lot to the side of the rather homey brick building, the gangster helped his date off his bike and into the restaurant proper. The inside was leagues more welcoming than the outside, with fine art on the walls, potted plants everywhere, even a fireplace; as well as the delicious smells of Tonio's cooking. They were greeted at the door by a waitress with wavy black hair that, even pulled up, reached past her waist. It was pretty impressive, but the bored monotone and disdainful looks were a bit much.Looking around the restaurant was pretty packed, but damn if Mista hadn't thought ahead and made a reservation beforehand.

He really wanted this to go well. And so far so good. Between the shared appetizer, good wine, and good food, things were going smoothly. Giorno was surprisingly easy to talk to, regardless of the topic. It was nice and Mista was ecstatic, the blond seemed to like the food and his present company.

"You know, I have a nephew who swears by this place, but I had never managed to come here to try it."

"Oh?"

"Mhm, he eats here with his partner every Wednesday and Friday when they get off of work. I was almost expecting to see him here."

"Hmm, wonder if we beat him or just missed him then. So what's your nephew do?"

"Oh, he's a police officer."

Mista's eyes widened, "he's a what-"

"Giorno!"

Looking over, almost on cue, two police officers... with pompadours... were vigorously waving at the blond, who politely waved back. Oh shit.

"I suppose we did beat him here."

As Mista began to nervously fidget, the two made their way over to the table. Oh shit, oh shit.

"It's been so long! Finally trying out Tonio's I see!"

"Yes, you were right, the food is quite excellent."

"See? I knew you'd like it. Who's your friend?"

The man with the larger pompadour looked over at Mista, who was looking at the exit.

"Josuke, Okuyasu, this is Guido Mista."

Mista gave a squeaky, "nice to meet you."

It was not nice to meet Josuke and Okuyasu.

The police officer squinted, "huh... you uh, look kind of familiar? Doesn't he, Okuyasu?"

"Hmm, he does now that you mention it."

"Hey can we see-"

"Ahem," the blonds eyebrows were quirked upwards, a light pout on his lips, "I'm in the middle of a date right now, Josuke. Do you mind?"

Josuke immediately backpedaled, "ah, sorry, sorry, I'm off the clock right now too. It was good to meet you, have fun on your date, Giorno!"

"You need to visit sometime, we got a pet cat now!"

"Oh? I'll let you know when I have time. Take care."

Now that the two police officers(!!!) were gone, Mista could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Getting arrested on the first date would have been embarrassing and probably would've killed his chances at a second. Taking the appearance of law enforcement as a good cue to leave, Mista subtly hurried through paying the bill, eager to distance himself from the officers in the restaurant. As they put their helmets back on, Giorno grabbed the others tan hand.

"Thank you for the dinner, Mista. Where are we going now?"

The gunman couldn't help but grin, "it's a surprise, Giorno. Trust me though, you'll love it."

Kicking off, Mista maneuvered his way further into the downtown area, towards the city park. On the edge of the lush campus stood a brand new glass and steel building: the Higashikata Memorial Botanical Garden. It was impressively modern, art and landscaping surrounding the entire building.

Mista felt Giorno's hands on his sides tighten, "is this the surprise?"

Mista chuckled, deftly parking closeby, "it is."

Whipping out the tickets from his pocket and showing them off the blond, who was practically vibrating with poorly concealed excitement.

"I've been wanting to go for quite awhile, but never had any spare time."

The blond grasped his hand and entwined his fingers, "thank you, Guido."

Holy shit, he was gonna turn to mush at this rate. The blond was even more adorable when he was excited and while Mista didn't really care for plants, he did care about Giorno. Once they were in the actual botanical garden though, and his dates' eyes lit up at the sheer variety of flowers, he found himself not minding the plant-life too much at all. Not if they made someone he liked so happy. Giving the blonds hands a squeeze, they made their way through the aisles of foliage.

Giorno had to stop and look at and read the placard of every single one, as if committing each to memory. Mista had to suppress his grins and stare at Giorno with each one. Early on they began commenting and sometimes rating each plant.

"Oh a tiger lily! I believe that's an automatic ten."

"Wait, what! Why? That's the first ten you've given anything!"

"It matches your pants."

"Har, har. I'm not even wearing those today though."

"I know. It's quite a shame actually."

Their tour throughout the facility lasted hours, finally ending when a closing notice was sent over the loudspeakers. It was over so soon?

There was still one last thing to do though... two if he got lucky.

Pulling the blond along to the front of the botanical garden, they headed out to a side area of the park. Quickly spotting the pastel blue and cream parasol of the cold treat vendor. Mista had never been too fond of Ghiacco, but he had some damn good stuff; selling everything from sweet ice creams, sherberts, gelato, and the occasional packet of cocaine.

Giorno didn't need to know about that last one though.

Sauntering up to the stoic vendor, "Ghiacco, long time no see, how ya been?"

"Ah. Mista. I hate this place, why do they call it a memorial botanical garden if nobody died?" It makes no sense."

Mista blinked, right yeah that might be why he didn't visit as often. The guy once threw a table at someone for mispronouncing Paris. He didn't take colloquialisms, word play, or figures of speech very well.

"Right yeah, dunno what to tell ya, buddy, but can I get mint and, Giorno-"

"The triple chocolate, please."

Treats in hand the two made their way over to a quiet bench, eating in near silence sitting with their shoulders brushing. There were people passing them by, and the lamplight along the paths made it feel warmer than it was. It was peaceful and oddly secluded.

"Mista," the blond started, hair gaining a halo in the soft light, "thank you for tonight. It was... well absolutely marvelous."

Threading his fingers with Giorno's pale, and surprisingly cold ones, "I'm glad you had a good time, I really am."

The blond smiled again, a full toothy grin that had his cheeks dimpling, "you sound so serious even though you have ice cream smeared all over your face."

"Wait, what!? I do-mmpf!?"

Giorno had closed the scant distance between them, pressing his soft lips to Mista's slightly chapped ones. It was chaste, and sticky with sugar, and so sweet. He'd been had, and this was kind of a reversal from his earlier dreams, but he couldn't bring himself to mind very much. Not when Giorno hummed when the gangster deepened the kiss, raising a pale hand to a tan jaw. Mista's mind was flatlining, Giorno was kissing him and enjoying himself and this night had officially gone better than he'd ever expected. When the blond finally pulled away, hand sliding back to thread in the short black hair of Mista's neck, his cheeks were flushed and lips kiss swollen.

He looked amazing.

"Mista, will you-"

"So this is where you were, Master Giorno."

Mista reeled back with an undignified squawk as a really buff man suddenly materialized behind their bench. It was late September and by no means warm. It was officially jacket weather and this asshole was wearing a velvet leotard, a tiny-ass vest, and knee high boots, complete with a tiny heart headband.

"Vanilla, why are you here? Can't you see I'm busy?"

"Your father was expecting you tonight, several hours ago."

"I wasn't planning on visiting him tonight, I told him this."

Vanilla stared, "will I see you back at the manor then?"

"No I already-oof" the blond had been unceremoniously picked up and thrown over Vanilla's shoulder.

"Ah! Giorno-" the gangster was already reaching for his pistol.

The blond merely sighed, "it's fine, I'll just text you later okay?"

Giorno gave a melancholy wave from Vanilla's shoulder, Mista's shoulders slumped a bit as he returned the wave and was left on the park bench. He was expecting rain or a bike splash, like in the movies. Not an eccentric pro-wrestler. The chime of his phone pulled his attention, eyes widening when he saw:

"Tuesday at noon, at Mountain Tim Horton's?"

Mista couldn't reply fast enough.

"Everything was going so good, Buccellati, he loved everything we did, right-"

"Sounds like it."

"And at the end like, we hit up Ghiacco's stand-"

"How is he, by the way?"

"Weird as always, think he needs a new spot. Anyway, so we are chillin' on a bench right, all to ourselves, and next thing I know he's kising me-", an audible gasp, "-and we are making out right, and then this guy- he just comes up outta who knows where, and like loads Giorno up on his shoulder and just, walks away."

"Did... your date get kidnapped, right in front of you?"

"No, at least I don't think so? They knew each other and it kinda seemed like this happened often? Something about visiting his dad or whatever."

"That's so very strange though, Mista."

"Right!? But! He asked me out this time! This Tuesday!"

"Mista," Buccellati placed a firm hand on his shoulder, "I'm very happy for you. Everyone deserves someone special."

Mista blinked his watery eyes with a "thanks boss" as Bruno chugged the last of his wine.

He had three and a half days before his next date and he was already nervous and excited. Even almost getting arrested and being cockblocked by a beefy dude with horrible clothing choices couldn't negate how well he thought his first date had gone.