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Business Before Pleasure

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The name itself was enough to send shivers down your spine.

Five years had passed since it’d been taken over by a boy your age—though, thinking of it now, it seemed silly to call him a boy. He was a man now. And there you sat—with your father—in the city of Napoli, waiting for this man, Don Giorno Giovanna, to grace you with his presence and talk business with your father.

Now, your father—Don Vittorio Andolini of the Sicilian Mafia (famously known as the Cosa Nostra)—adopted you over twelve years ago, practically raised you himself (along with the help of his subordinates) and cemented your status as Cosa Nostra’s principessa, the heir to his fortune and entire force of five thousand men. Of course, being a woman, you would not inherit it yourself—this would fall to your husband.

Cosa Nostra had once been a looser association of hundreds of smaller groups throughout Sicilia, but at the age of thirty-three, your father climbed up the ranks and took over not only his own faction in Corleone, but also the largest and most powerful group in Palermo—it was only a matter of time before the hundreds of other groups in the region bowed down to your father in fealty and handed control of their territories to him. From there, your father lead the new unified Cosa Nostra to greater heights and sought to make more money and gain more influence throughout the mainland, eventually becoming the most powerful mafioso in the business.

Your father laid men everywhere throughout Sicilia and the remainder of the country, and even had distant blood ties to the Americans in Manhattan. He was unstoppable.

But some five years ago, a young boy had come into the picture, having taken over Passione. Giorno Giovanna.

You’d never met him, nor seen him in person, but you’d heard plenty of tales regarding this Don. He was quiet, calculating and extremely ruthless; the trail of blood he’d left in the wake of his victory were proof of the latter. A charismatic man who was very well capable of convincing the most stubborn to swear themselves to his cause. Grown men kneeled before him and swore their fealty to him. He frightened everyone, even those who had never met him. But what most appealed to your father were Giorno’s policies regarding narcotics and civilians. Don Vittorio had not met Giorno, but the reports his own scouts had given him gave him sufficient proof that this boy ( man , you corrected him) would become a very important figure in the business.

If, of course, he was smart enough to broker his own ties with the rest of the crime world.

Giorno Giovanna’s rise to power caused an uproar among the elites, and while he was powerful enough to take control of an organization as a boy and managed (somehow) to maintain control and order in his city whilst establishing himself, he appeared to be struggling as far as the politics of the criminal underworld was concerned. People were either too frightened to work with him or simply remained uninterested—after all, he was a child compared to the older men of the countless other organizations in the country. To the others it seemed only a matter of time before he’d be overthrown and replaced. “Disposed of,” was the phrase your uncle had used.

Still, your father saw some sense in forging some kind of alliance with this man. Passione had only been a fledgling organization when Don Vittorio had first been exposed to it, and up until Giorno Giovanna had taken control of it, Passione and Cosa Nostra found themselves in terrible states of affairs. Years of bloodshed and schemes did not make for a pleasant past association with Passione, but Don Vittorio knew it was best to let bygones be bygones; as far as he’d heard, Giorno Giovanna was a decent man, the kind to clean his streets himself and act with honor and integrity. There was no sense in drawing out hostilities any longer, and it was best to strike whilst the iron was still hot—there would be others swarming in on the young Don sooner or later, and Don Vittorio was looking to touch a rather personal matter with Giorno.

It’d taken him a few months to arrange a meeting—plenty of communication had occurred between Don Vittorio and one of “Don Giorno’s” capos before your father finally expressed his desire to meet with Giorno himself. Seeing that your father was a rather influential figure in the country, Giorno had very little choice but to accept, lest he insult your father; regardless, his response had an air of humility and modesty, which you took to be a good sign. Others were not half as humble.  

Although this meeting was only meant to express acknowledgement and offer friendship, your father also had other plans. He smirked to himself as you shifted in your seat beside him, a shoddy attempt at masking your impatience.

Giorno was already fifteen minutes late.

“Does he mean to keep us waiting until we’ve started eating dessert? Or until my hair’s gone grey?” You asked impatiently.

Don Vittorio hushed you and patted your hand on the table. “Patience, trisoru. Good things come to those who wait.”

“We have been waiting.”

“Perhaps he’s discovered our plot and means to straighten his appearance for you.”

You snort at this and take a sip of water, trying your best to regain some sense of composure. Really

A ruckus comes up from the front of the restaurant then (Libeccio, was the name), and this is when you catch a flash of blond hair passing through the seating area. It was clear to you now—the people in this city loved Don Giorno, almost worshipped him, and he did plenty to fan their ardor; shaking hands with the friendly restaurant patrons, waving and smiling to those seated in the far corners of the main dining room and even paying for all of their meals. That was always a good sign. Your father smirks at your sudden display of curiosity and pulls you towards him.

“Remember,” He whispered. “Not a word. We’re not sure if he’ll be all too pleased to have a woman around while we discuss business.”

You nod at this, preparing yourself for the worst, before whispering back, “If he asks you to dismiss me, I’ll sit elsewhere with Spaghetti and Linguini,” You say, referring to your identical twin bodyguards.

Your father hummed at this and straightened his appearance, rising from his chair and offering a small bow of acknowledgment to the man of the hour himself. Beside your potential betrothed is a tall man with sun-kissed skin, a mop of lovely black hair (a pity—it was mostly covered by a hat), and a pair of dark eyes. They’re both comely in appearance, and part of you wonders if being handsome was a prerequisite to joining Passione’s ranks.

“What a pleasure it is to finally meet you,” says Don Vittorio, grasping Giorno’s hand and offering a warm smile.

“The pleasure is all mine. I’m honored to finally meet you.” Giorno’s eyes flicker towards your seated person—you were never invited to rise from your seat and approach him—ever so briefly before returning his attention to your father. Don Vittorio catches this, though the only indication to his satisfaction lies in the subtle curl in his lip. You always drew attention, and it seemed even Giorno couldn’t resist the temptation to steal a quick glance at you.

Patri likes him already, you mused.

Don Vittorio gestures for you to rise to your feet and step to his side. “My daughter and sole heir, the principessa of Cosa Nostra—Y/n.”  

You offer a small curtsy and bow your head. You may not be “interested” in Giorno Giovanna or his capo, but you were not looking to embarrass your father.

“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Signorina.” says Giorno, who, after taking your hand, quickly presses his lips to your knuckles, before returning his attention to your father. “Will Y/n be joining us?”

“I can send her away, though I find having a woman around often throws away suspicion with the authorities. But I will leave the decision to you. We are your guests, after all.”

To your surprise, Giorno shakes his head and offers you both a polite smile. “I see no reason why I should send her away.” He bows to you and pulls a chair beside him—for you. “Please order anything you’d like.”

You bow your head in thanks. “You are very kind, Don Giorno.”

“Lovely.” Your father presses a quick kiss to the crown of your head and pushes your chair in for you. “Enjoy your meal, trisoru.”

And remembering that you’re in the midst of company, you show your brightest smile and shyly respond, “Grazie, Patri.”

Much to your surprise, Giorno does not fall putty to this elaborate and convincing act; him and his companion simply watch your interactions with your father with mild interest.

There was little time to be wasted; your “Patri” had plenty of other business to attend to, and it was clear that Giorno also had his own appointments after this. They speak of business as soon as they settle into their seats.

“I hear you’re quite busy around the spring. Tourism lines your pockets quite a bit around this time of year, doesn’t it?”

“That it does.” Giorno waves a hand towards his companion. “I’ve put Signore Mista in charge of the hotel and gambling sector. He’s the one overseeing most of those operations.”

Taking advantage of your seat beside Giorno, you observe him as they continue to speak amongst themselves.

Most of the men you’d ever met were of two types: the first kind would always puff their chests and attempt to gain favor with your father and woo you, using sweet words and carefully measured physical contact and body language—the second breed would ignore you altogether and dismiss you as simply another tool to be used to wave off suspicion from any passersby.  

At first Giorno appeared to be the second type, only showing interest in business and only ever concerning himself with the expertise of the great Don Vittorio Andolini. But you find that he often inquired about the food with you, made offers to send more bread when you’d taken the last piece, or ordered another plate of food for you after you’d finished your own dish. You accepted his offers graciously.

“I hear you’ve had a bit of trouble making friends for some time.”

Giorno chuckled and threw a glance at “Signore Mista” before admitting to it. “‘Trouble’ is a bit of an understatement, Don Vittorio, but yes. I’ve not been lucky.”

“I’ve had some of my own grievances as of late; some of the youth seem to look down on their elders.”

“I don’t suppose this has anything to do with my own actions?”

“It might, but I don’t fault you for any of it… I do, however, think that in times like these, people like us ought to forge new alliances.”

“Yes,” says Giorno hopefully. Perhaps he’d be lucky this time. He could use a good “friend” or two.

“Such alliances are often best sealed with some kind of deal.”

“So I’ve heard,” replied Giorno, eyeing your father intently. Whether or not he was unhappy with what was to come, you could not tell, but your father’s words certainly caught Don Giorno’s attention.

“I’d like to forge an alliance with you. Passione and Cosa Nostra have never been on good terms, but I would think it best to join our forces.”

“I would be honored to align myself with you.” Giorno says, taking a sip from his glass of wine. He briefly makes eye contact with his companion and a sudden shift occurs in the room. The table fell silent then; you’re thankful that the chattering of distant voices and clattering of utensils from the main dining room of the restaurant is enough to soften the tension.

“Do you accept?” Don Vittorio asks suddenly.

“Accept? I’ve only just met you.”

Don Vittorio chuckled and nodded. “Surely you could use the five thousand men under my command? They’ll all be sworn to you, should you wed my daughter. Of course, this will only come to pass after I draw my last breath. Until then, I’d allow you to wield my forces under my authority.”

Giorno drops his guard then, too shocked by your father’s straightforwardness. “...You’re proposing a marriage alliance?”

Your father motioned towards you. “You see, Y/n is my adopted daughter, but I love her as though she were my own flesh and blood. She has been courted by many, though I’ve not found any of these previous suitors to be a worthy enough match. I only want the very best for her, and I’m a little inclined to believe that you’d benefit from being a part of my family.”

Giorno ignores your father and turns to you. “I can’t imagine why you’d agree to something as archaic as an arranged marriage in a time like this. What do you make of all this?”

You ears perk up at this, and all of a sudden this conversation has become more interesting than the plate of food you’d been poking at with a fork. It was bizarre for a man to ever ask for your opinion, much less a stranger, so you were completely caught off guard. You stare back into Giorno’s blue eyes before dumbly blurting out, “I have a duty to my father and family.”

Giorno appears unconvinced but says nothing more to you after giving you a solemn nod.

The rest of the meeting rolls on rather quickly once they move onto the logistics: the amount of business deals Giorno had managed to obtain and keep over the past five years, which areas he’d been struggling in (which appeared to be the politics,) and assurances that he’d have plenty to gain from this… “merger.”

He pulls you aside later on, just as you are about to leave the restaurant with your father, asking once more. “Are you sure about this?”

You’re surprised, perhaps even moved by this gesture, but remain firm in your stance. “I am touched by your concern, Don Giorno, but I gladly perform my duties as the daughter of Don Vittorio. And besides—” You look up at him with a shy, sweet smile, hoping to gauge his person. Most men would fall victim to your carefully crafted charms, but unfortunately for you, Giorno only offers a piercing blue stare— how strange , you thought—and in a panic you string out the best excuse you can manage. “We… We’ve only just met, but... I know you’ll never hurt me. You seem a kind man. If you’ll excuse me,” You offer him a polite nod just before allowing your bodyguards to guide you outside the restaurant and into the car.

The next day, Giorno sends word to your father of his acceptance, and within a week he makes the effort to give you a “proper” proposal. The engagement ring fit perfectly, easily became the most beautiful piece of jewelry you ever owned, and when you return to your father’s home in Palermo, your aunties and cousins—and even your own father—constantly urge you to show it them.

“Why isn’t that the loveliest thing!” one of them squealed, taking your hand and smiling so brightly.

“Certainly can’t hurt that her fidanzato is one of the most handsome bachelors in Vito’s network.”

“And for him to be such a kind and charming man! Count yourself lucky, Y/n—most of us were not half as blessed.”

For the next three months Don Vittorio allocates the finances to cover the expenses of your wedding, and insists that he has no trouble shouldering all of the finances seeing that he’s the father of the bride; regardless, Giorno makes a few protests of his own and claims that he would gladly help alleviate some of the expenses. At first, Giorno offers to pay for all of it—perhaps, you think, to express his gratitude—but your father insists that a mere ten percent would suffice. They make an agreement at the halfway mark, though neither seem entirely pleased.

Together, they make sure to invite many of your family members as well as any of Giorno’s trusted men. This was all done in much haste and while this was clearly taking its toll on the wedding planner’s health, he says nothing and simply takes on the task of planning what would be “the largest wedding celebration the country has seen.”

As the day rolls closer, Giorno makes feeble attempts at conversing with you and each failure simply encourages you both to save this work for after the wedding, silently agreeing—perhaps hoping—that you would warm up to one another once you lived in the same household.

You find it amusing that Don Vittorio’s taken so much care to plan this entire wedding, but you can see that this entire arrangement is rather exciting for him. For nearly three months he forsakes his regular sleeping schedule to not only plan the event, but also still operate business as usual. Several times you’d insisted that there was no need to press over something as silly as a wedding, but he insists on personally carrying it out and you begin to wonder if wedding planning is little more than a pleasant distraction from his grievances.

March and June were a mere three months apart, but for some reason time lapses at an incredibly agonizing pace; unfortunately for you, the actual day of the wedding goes by rather quickly. Too quickly, if you were to be frank.

The entire ceremony was held in a cathedral, and though Giorno is no pious man, he understands that sometimes tradition ought to be respected. In spite of this, he finds it rather difficult to feel any sense of comfort in the marble floors and walls of the cathedral in Napoli. Normally, a wedding would occur in the bride’s home and regular place of worship, but you make a request to have the entire event done in Napoli; you were to live there from then on, after all. Surely it wouldn’t hurt to break away from tradition, even if only a little bit. Giorno seems pleased enough and says that the decision is entirely up to you.

Seeing that your father and betrothed made significant contributions to the budget, you both wore fine silks and satin in your garb for the event. Giorno wore a navy tuxedo with ladybugs and vines stitched along the lapels and cuffs in fine gold thread, and you were thrown into a long sleeved gown of ivory silk and Venetian lace, the skirts decorated in floral motifs picked out in seed pearls. Giorno manages to pass a compliment to you as soon as you join him at the altar, and gently takes your hand as you exchange your vows. At one point you force yourself to look up at him and find yourself staring back into those cold blue eyes. Eyes like his should be a marvel to gaze upon, but instead they are cold and distant, a complete and utter contrast to the loving words in the vows he utters. Part of you almost shudders under his scrutiny, but you square your shoulders and inhale sharply. For the remainder of the ceremony, you make no further attempts to initiate eye contact with him, choosing instead to train your eyes on the peculiar coils resting above his forehead. Yes; that would do for now.

It was at this time that you both tepidly take each other’s hands and slide the wedding bands onto your fingers. The kiss is as chaste as it is loveless, but you remind yourself that there were much crueler fates. Giorno offers you a sympathetic smile and his arm as you both walked out. There was no backing away now. You’d be bound together for all eternity.

There was no passion to the first kiss you shared as husband and wife, and your first dance, though perfectly executed, lacked any true emotion, feeling or passion. You stared blankly at each other as you simultaneously fed the other a piece of the wedding cake, and your speeches were lifeless and rehearsed. The two of you certainly made a beautiful pair, and most would agree that this was the ultimate match, but there was no love involved. You almost felt a small twinge of pain in your heart when you realized this. Yes, you were guaranteed safety and security for the rest of your life, but at what cost? You felt guilty, as though your father had tricked your husband into marrying you, but Giorno assured you many times that he was very pleased with the arrangement.

Your first night together had been a fumbling mess. Giorno was unsure whether you were comfortable and so once you both were finished, he retreated to a separate room in the hopes of giving you privacy. You scoffed at this, wondering what use privacy was now that he’d seen you bare and naked. Still, you were touched by his gentleness and tenderness.

Nothing changes when you both return from your honeymoon. You sleep in your separate rooms, and Giorno rarely ever calls on you, out of worry that he is intruding. You were, after all going to spend all of eternity with him. Perhaps staying out of your way would lessen the blow.

You both kept to yourselves, and the interactions you had were always polite, always cordial, always distant. You eventually share with Giorno some of your other experiences in regards to romance, and he was already aware that many men have bothered or (worse yet,) attempted to force themselves onto you, so he recedes even more, worried that his advances, romantic or otherwise, are unwelcome.

Sometimes, Giorno finds himself itching to ask more about you, to become acquainted with his new wife and to become a better husband, but it seems too forward and intimate. He’s not yet sure if he’s earned your trust. All Giorno wants is for you to have a peaceful and satisfying life, even if it meant that he would be unceremoniously shut out from it. Although both of you agreed to marriage for the sake of business and security, he still had hopes that you two would have become friends at the very least. He fears that you are miserable and dissatisfied, that you believe the arrangement to be a mistake.

Giorno himself is rather secretive about his past, insisting that there’s nothing worth sharing. You manage to find some information about him, be it whispers amongst the household staff or from overhearing his conversations with his team. While you haven’t heard many details, one thing is certain: he made many sacrifices to become the man he is today. He’s always had your respect, but now you feel a sense of pride for being married to someone so strong and honourable.

Learning more about the other seems to foster a mutual fondness for each other. You’re still strangers, but at the very least you and Giorno seemed to like each other. This situation was arguably better than many other couples, and you were thankful for it. 

You were terrible at showing your gratitude, but you felt that keeping to yourself would be sufficient; you’d noticed his dismissive and uninterested attitude towards the flirtatious and bolder members of the household staff and figured regular old charms would irritate him. This came as a relief to you—you hated having to play the role of coquettish airhead, and much preferred showing affection through thoughtful and dutiful action. If being alone was what he preferred, you would gladly agree to those conditions and leave him to his work. 

You initially read into each other’s actions in an attempt to cater to the other’s needs but your efforts are counterproductive. Your marriage is as strained (and distant) as ever. 

You’re married for a little over six months when you come to the conclusion that your life—though comfortable and quite splendid—was lacking something. You go through most days in a very particular fashion—breakfast, overseeing the household tasks, a great number of important errands, lunch, attending meetings, afternoon tea, and finally, quietly eating dinner across the table from Don Giorno Giovanna. He'd shown you nothing but the utmost kindness and respect, and while you feel lucky for this arrangement, as each day passes by, you can’t help but feel as though something is missing. 

Occasionally, your loving father will visit, doting on you and making sure you are being cared for properly. Your marriage pleases him, and he’s certain that although you are not wildly in love with Giorno at present, you will eventually find some sense of companionship at his side. You’re not so sure if that will ever happen, but your life is not miserable, so perhaps that is what your father meant. On one particular evening, you realize that you and Giorno had yet to discuss something as a married couple, and decide to take matters into your own hands.

Giorno is surprised by the knock on his bedroom door at three in the morning and is even more surprised to learn that it was you who called on him. You perch yourself on the edge of his desk and attempt to start some conversation with him, asking how he is and what he has been up to all day. After a few minutes of forced pleasantries, you finally reveal your true intentions for seeking him out at such a late hour.

“I’d like to have a child.” Giorno’s eyes widen ever so slightly, and he has trouble finding words to respond with. He is so different from the Giorno you sit next to during meetings. You continue. “Passione needs an heir. We should begin trying.”

A sigh slips past his lips as he runs his fingertips through the loose ends of his hair, contemplating the reality of the situation. You were right. “I agree.”

Your proposal is far from being romantic, but whatever it is that exists between you and Giorno is not love or romance or grand gestures; it’s business.

And so Giorno does his duty as the Don of Passione, working in earnest to obtain an heir to his great empire. He’s methodical in his approach and the two of you meet at night, thrice weekly, for four months. Later on, when his team learns of this, they’re amused, and find pleasure in poking fun at their boss. 

Narancia snickered. “Seriously, there’s something wrong with you if you call making love to your spouse a ‘job.’” What kind of person schedules these kinds of things anyway?

Mista shook his head and chuckled. “It’s almost been a year since you two married. Haven’t you gotten closer since then? It can’t be that bad.”

Sergio, a newly instated Capo, tutted quietly as he sifted through the pile of paperwork on the table. “Well, for one thing, Y/n still calls poor Giorno ‘Don Giorno.’ She refuses to call the boss by just his first name.”

Narancia shook his head and leaned further back into his chair. “Some husband you are, Giorno.”

Mista suddenly bursts into another train of thought and groans, “Wait—does she call you that when you’re alone too? Maybe you can try some new positions or something when you’re having sex— spice things up? If you loosen her up maybe she’ll start calling you by your name. I’ll admit though, I’m probably the last person you should go to for marriage advice...”

Giorno brushes these comments off. “Let’s talk about more pressing matters, shall we? I haven’t been getting much rest as of late, so I don’t want to waste any time.” 

This only made them cackle even more. Narancia wiped at his nose, ready to speak on the causes of the Don’s “sudden fatigue,” but Sergio discouraged him with a frightened shake of his head. They all dropped the matter, disappointed to hear that Giorno still felt rather detached from his wife. Was this not the ultimate match? They were hopeful, just as the other gang members had been, for the marriage to bring some happiness to their boss. The both of you deserved to experience some bliss.

You were just outside the door when you overheard this conversation, cheeks hot to the touch after overhearing some of their lewd comments. Still, you were just as saddened to hear that Giorno still shared the same feelings as you. Perhaps this was doomed to be a loveless marriage after all. You did seek out your husband for a reason, so once you mustered the courage to intrude upon their meeting, you gently turned the door handle and waltzed into the room.

The entire group of men stood as you made your entrance, your husband included. He’s concerned and waits until you’ve approached him to speak. “Is something the matter? We’re in the middle of a meeting. We can speak afterwards if you like.”

You shake your head and lean in, unable to contain your excitement. Hoping to keep this news secret from the other men present, you cup a delicate hand around his left ear. Your warm breath tickles the hairs on his neck as you whisper, “I’m pregnant.” 

This doesn't remain a secret for very long; Giorno’s team catches wind of the exciting news soon after and constantly wait on you, be it helping you carry things around the house or offering to accompany you to your doctor’s appointments. You and Giorno only discuss boy names—the doctor has informed you and your husband that you will be bearing a son, and so the two of you are left to await the day that your dear Giuseppe will spring to life. 

Nine months lapse before either of you can fully realize it, and that’s when you begin to feel contractions. Giorno is up the entire evening while you’re in labor and tries his best to help the nurses and doctors, going as far as using Gold Experience to distract you from the pain. He’s not quite sure if you can even see his stand, but he’s certain that he catches a glimpse of a smile forming on your lips when he changes the doctors’ stethoscopes into vines and flowers.

Giuseppe bursts into the world in the early hours of the morning, when the sun peeks out from beyond the horizon—a small bundle of black hair with blue eyes. My eyes, Giorno realizes. Giuseppe was a near spitting image of his father. Upon careful inspection of this newborn baby, Giorno silently wonders if his son’s hair will also change color when he grows older.

“Thank you, Don Giorno,” You sighed contentedly as you fed your son for the first time.

Giorno is not sure why he feels unsettled by your formalities, but he immediately thinks that he should be the thankful one. He had never grown up with an actual family, and now he found himself blessed with a wife and a son. How could he ever repay you?

Mista and Narancia take an immediate liking to the baby and constantly ask to hold him. GioGio, as they’ve affectionately called him, looks so much like Giorno, and the duo often compare the growing resemblance between father and son at every chance they can get.

Giorno on the other hand is captivated by the dedication you show to the son he fathered. He’d once offered to find a powder formula for Giuseppe’s meals after noticing your discomfort from breastfeeding. Giorno reasoned that he himself grew up on formula, and that it should be suitable enough for any of the children you two would have should you be in any pain. 

But you kindly refused your husband’s offer, choosing instead to smile down at your son as he laid a small hand upon your chest. “Thank you, but I wish to feed him myself. It’s my duty, as his mother.”

Giorno is taken aback by the love and devotion in your voice and never thinks to mention it again afterwards, watching with interest as you feed the baby. He wonders if his own mother had ever gone through the trouble of feeding him herself. The three of you sit in silence for a few minutes, and Giorno, still insecure regarding your feelings, is given the impression that you wish to be alone. He immediately excuses himself and returns to his work.

I’m probably overstaying my welcome, he thought.

Your own father was visiting that day and was just outside the door. He greeted Giorno with a friendly nod and held his grandson in his arms, beckoning you to rest on the daybed in the room. Giorno looked over his shoulder and took in the happy scene laid before him one last time before retreating to his office.

On a cold, dreadful day in the middle of October, several months after Giuseppe is born, Giorno passes by the nursery and overhears singing. He glances about the hallway in search of that sweet soprano, eventually peering into the room through the small crack in the doorway, watching as you cradle Giuseppe in your arms and quietly sing a familiar melody. Your voice drops as soon as your eyes meet Giorno’s reflection in a nearby mirror. Everything is silent and still until Giuseppe begins to fuss and whimper, and once again you are singing and cradling him to sleep. Giorno enters the room quietly and sits at the edge of the bed while you soothe your son. Giuseppe was already rather tall for his age, and the mess of dark hair hanging over those droopy eyes is proof enough of his heritage. There was no doubt of it—he was a Joestar through and through, just like his own father.

Giorno’s heart ached just a little bit then. He was thankful that his son had a mother like you. Though he once expressed his lack of desire to become a father, he silently thanked whatever God there was for all the blessings he'd been given. Giorno could feel his heart swell with happiness the more he thought of his son. Giuseppe would have the childhood that Giorno always wanted and he would receive all the love and care he needed. He would have a mother and father to look after him, too.

Giorno has a hard time finding the words to properly express his thanks, and so he slowly approaches you as you hold Giuseppe and gently embraces you both, wrapping his arms around your shoulders and pulling you close to his chest. For a moment he hesitated, but eventually he bows his head and presses his lips to the crown of your head, slowly closing his eyes and settling his breathing.

Perhaps for the first time in over two years, it felt as though you were actually husband and wife.

Giorno knows that it isn’t love, but…

It would certainly do for now.