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Splintered Sunlight

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And then there was a flash. A burst of light from the sky above, crackling and shattering behind darkened curtains which cried onto the ground below.

They were running, darting through the rain in an attempt to find shelter sometime soon. Prosciutto hated getting his hair wet. His perfectly styled masterpiece, as he always referred to it as, was one of his many pride and joys. It sat in the most perfectly crafted position, golden strands weaving over the top of each other until they knitted among each other perfectly. In the rain, however, it didn’t look perfect. It was wet, buns undone and disheveled and his perfectly positioned fringe now lay flat against the side of this face. It wasn’t anything he liked at all.

And his socks were wet, creating puddles in his expensive Testoni shoes. That was probably the worst part about it.

There were puddles in their path, creating little wells of water in the cracks and crevices and in the dips in the path. Prosciutto would avoid them, jumping puddles were a childish thing to him, but Risotto would jump into them; his long legs would come together as he jumped and would land together in the deep puddles. Water would spray up into the air, little droplets making leaps of faith as they flew up, up and then down, down to the ground below.

It’s not that Prosciutto didn’t like how childish his Capo was; he just wished he’d act a little more professional on a mission.

Because that’s what they were. Professional.

This mission was meant to be an easy one, and it was, but neither of them thought that getting back to the base would have been as hard as it was. Now that they were caught in, what Prosciutto claimed to be “Italy’s worst downpour in my entire life,” in between grumbles and annoyed mutters that fell under his breath.

Prosciutto had the cutest pout.

But Risotto wouldn’t tell him that.

He would keep that emotion locked up inside of him, hidden behind a big, iron lock and key guarded by Metallica. They would keep it safe. They would keep his thoughts about how Prosciutto looked when his bottom lip stuck out as he read over the mountains of worthless paperwork from their boss, as he sat outside on the balcony that was on the West side of the base. He’d sit in the setting sun; sipping on an espresso, pinks, oranges and yellows warming his complexion and turning the blues of his eyes into purples as the rays of light bounced off of his long, blonde eyelashes. They would hide his thoughts about Prosciutto’s determination and confidence that could easily be pushed aside by his caring side, a side he wished he’d see more often.

Risotto would be lying if he said he didn’t find Prosciutto beautiful.

But that would be too unprofessional to think that way about a coworker.

So there they were, sitting on the bench under the shelter of a bus stop. The seat was a little wet but they didn’t really mind at this point, being all drenched from the rain they had previously been running in. Candy wrappers and used beer bottles littered the space that was under and around them; bottles rolling in the rain until they fell off the curb and into the small dip in the side of the road that acted as a guttering. They stayed there, static, as they collected rain water.

A bus stop definitely wasn’t the best place to stay. It was cold, small, dirty and anything but the perfect place to hide for shelter; the outside of a library or a store would have been better, Prosciutto thought, maybe even a cafe, but they ended up there.

Everyone at the base would probably have been curled up together in front of their TV in the living room, under piles and piles of warm, warm blankets as they watched reruns of old sitcoms that played in the middle of the day.

Gelato would probably be baking steamed puddings that smelt just like a winter’s day, all chocolatey and caramely, sweet and salty and just perfect. Sorbet would be to his left, boiling milk before dropping chocolate chips into it. Sometimes he would add mint or espresso powder to give it an extra kick. They would share laughs and smiles as they swayed their bodies to Frank Sinatra playing softly in the distance. Sometimes it would turn into them dancing together in the middle of the kitchen, twirling around each other as puddings cooked in the oven.

It was wonderful. It was warm.

Prosciutto and Risotto weren’t warm. They were cold and shivering as they sat on opposite ends of the bench; Prosciutto twiddling with his thumbs as he watched the rain pitter patter on the road in front of them. Every now and then, Risotto would shuffle a little closer in order to gain some sort of warmth; shifting over in small, small movements and making sure the other wouldn’t notice his movements.

But Prosciutto surely noticed his movements when he felt Risotto’s bicep touch against the top of his shoulder. He looked to the arm for a few moments, watching as tiny droplets of water streamed down his shiny, black sleeve. The water pooled at the crevice in between his upper arm and forearm where his arms met as they crossed over each other across his very broad chest; creating little streams, little rivers where he would imagine Metallica wriggling around in like little fish in the pond down the road from his old home.

He always liked that pond.

Risotto shifted in his position, side rubbing up against his arm in only the slightest movements to which Prosciutto would tense up at. It was as if he didn’t like the contact from his Capo, or as if it was a forbidden touch, even. He quite liked the touch, actually, it made him feel all giddy inside with his heart making small jumps here and there; erratic, but under control.

Prosciutto was calm, cool and collected when he needed to be.

This was one of those moments.

He crossed one leg over the other as he crossed his arms over his chest just the same as Risotto did, but in a different motion. A more cocky motion. It was as if he were trying to assert some sort of dominance over the other in order to create a confident facade that concealed his racing heartbeats. His nose stuck up in the air as he shifted a little away from him; not too far, however, he still stayed rather close.

There was still a sense of warmth between the two. Their warmth radiated off of their arms as they bumped and shivered against each other. It was a little awkward, but it was still really nice.

After a little while, it took him five minutes, Risotto would argue, Prosciutto gave up on his snobbish look, letting his head rest in its normal position as he stared forward into the rain.

Prosciutto had incredible posture.

He’d never noticed it with how he slouched only the slightest as he sat; with his hands stuffed in his pockets and his legs spread so he took up almost half of their couch. He would take up space so that no one would come near him. He valued his personal space a lot and no one in La Squadra was a stranger to that.

But right now, his posture was immaculate. It was as if there were a string tied to the very tip of his head to hold him upright, forcing him to look forward and to keep his back straight at all times. He looked like a doll, Risotto thought, perched up perfectly on a shelf with perfect features and perfect clothing. Everything perfect. Dolls were perfect, and Prosciutto looked just like a doll, well, as doll-like as he could being drenched in rain, water and all. A little flawed, but still perfect.

And that lead to him wondering about Prosciutto’s past, which was something he rarely ever talked about. It wasn’t something that ever came up, and that went for everyone in La Squadra. There was no need to, this was their new family so their past lives with past people were just as unimportant as the last rant Ghiaccio had about the pronunciation of GIF. It’s gif not jif and apparently that was the most important thing in Ghiaccio’s mind yesterday morning. Seven A.M. was way too early for that. Way too early.

But there was something about Prosciutto that wanted him to learn more, to find out what his previous self was like. Was he a dancer? Was he an ice ska- that thought was lost immediately when he remembered that Ghiaccio had terrible posture. There’s no way that you had to have good posture if you were an ice skater if Ghiaccio could skate with that terrible posture.

“I’m from a rich family,” Prosciutto spoke quietly, obviously having noticed Risotto’s shifty eyes towards his frame and how it positioned itself, “It’s a habit for me to sit like this now and, if I’m being honest, sitting how I sit in meetings hurts my back much more.”

It was no surprise that Prosciutto had a rich background, but Risotto thought most of it came from being in a previous section in Passione before joining La Squadra. But, even so, he was definitely rich, or was rich at some point in his life. Risotto was from a normal middle class family and it showed with how little he cared for material objects, leading him into more arguments than he could count on his hands and his feet with Prosciutto about why a normal vase was not the same as the one from the antique store down the road.

It was just a vase.

But it clearly wasn’t.

Nothing was ever just a vase, Risotto.

-

Prosciutto was antsy.

He shifted in his seat as if he were trying to find a new, comfortable position on the cold, cold, metal bench that they both sat on. It was uncomfortable. Far too uncomfortable. And it felt cheap and anything but the nice, leather couches that everyone would be curled up on back at the base. The comfortable couches were everything he wished for and more, but instead all he got were these horrible seats.

He wished he was back at the base, curled up on one of those comfortable, comfortable couches with Risotto while they watched a movie or some sort as he cradled a warm espresso in his hands. He didn’t know what they would be watching, he never really asked Risotto what kind of movies he liked. Come to think of it, he didn’t really know anything about what Risotto liked. It frustrated him as he thought of this, brows furrowing a little in a sort of expression that could only represent annoyance, anguish and aggravation.

And his hair was still wet; that was the worst of it all.

It clung and stuck to his face in the most irritating way. He’d push it behind his ear when it got in the way, but it would just fall back onto his face and fall flush against the centre of his face. Constantly pushing his hair back into its not so secure position became tiring, growing boring, these repetitive movements he was making. He was clearly getting annoyed and was clearly showing it when he heard the sound of bells chiming against each other from above him.

The rain was getting worse, lights flashing from above every moment or two and trees dancing around each other, losing their leaves as they swayed about in the wind that pushed and pulled them as it guided them through their dance. Cars zoomed past, splashing water and crunching leaves with their wheels, window wipers waving hello and goodbye as they did. The people who occupied the vehicles chatted and bantered as they sung to music that played way too loud and played small little phone games to pass the time. Some stared out the windows, admiring the rain as it created a thin layer of droplets over all sides of the car.

And without a word, only a heavy huff and a glance to the side, Risotto tugged his hat off by the bells, hearing them jingle and jangle as they fell limp in his hand. He stared down at the Jester-like accessory he treasured so much before extending his arm out to Prosciutto.

A raised brow as he gazed down at the hat and then back up at Risotto, “What do you want me to do with it?”

“Take it,” Risotto urged, pushing the hat to Prosciutto’s exposed chest as if he wasn’t going to give up the hat even if he had to force it onto him, “It’s made out of vinyl so its waterproof.”

Prosciutto sighed in defeat, coming to the conclusion that he couldn’t win against his stern, serious Capo and reached up to hold the hat in his hands. He examined the hat in his hands, watching as the fabric shined when little beads of water swam over it and as the bells sang as they rolled over each other, “And what’s your point?”

Risotto let out a hefty sigh as he pulled away, thinking was Prosciutto always this difficult? “I know how much you pride your hair,” a pause for a few seconds, “And you were getting annoying,” no, you looked way too cute, “With all those annoyed expressions you were making.”

A nose scrunched up and then came a head snapping up in the direction of the taller man’s dark eyes, “Risotto, I don’t need it. It’s yours,” he pushed the hat back towards him, nose still scrunched up and eyebrows knitted together at the top of said scrunched up nose. It was a stern look he gave off, a look that he was no stranger to.

It was one of those looks that Prosciutto would give off on the daily. Making its appearance whenever Illuso would steal his mirrors without notice, only leaving a poorly written ‘Thanks Prosciutto!’ note behind, or whenever Ghiaccio froze something he wasn’t meant to freeze - like Melone’s laptop while he was in the middle of watching some beauty guru’s vlog that one time - or when Pesci wouldn’t act tough enough on or off missions. It was the Prosciutto expression.

But Risotto wasn’t going to give in to it. He just stared down at him intensely; red hazard lights meeting blue pools, black of the night meeting soft, pillowy clouds. Staring seemed to work, to Risotto’s surprise, after four, five, six seconds had passed. There was a huff and a reluctant, “Fine, have it your way,” as the hat jingle jangled away from him and then up onto the other’s head. It rested there, acting as a barrier between his ever-so-precious hair and the terrible weather outside.

He looked ridiculous with the hat on; but anyone in La Squadra could argue that even Risotto looked ridiculous with it on.

He looked cute with it on.

And so did the other.

As he sat there in that stupid hat, head jolting up in surprise every time the bells would chime without notice, Risotto sat beside him with his face positioned forward but his eyes stuck in the corners of his eyes. He stared down at Prosciutto with soft, eagle eyes; examining every feature of his face and every small movement he made.

He would watch as his bottom lip stuck out only the slightest as he pouted, as his cheeks puffed up into little red cherries, as his foot tapped to the beat of the rain as it rested above the opposite leg and as his eyes shifted from the ground in front of him to the midsts of the rainstorm. Watching as his pout retracted back and became softer after only a few moments, mouth opening as if he were to say something.

Prosciutto had a tooth gap.

He didn’t know what it was about it, but Prosciutto’s tooth gap accompanied with how big his teeth actually were interested him. They were precious, they looked anything but perfect and he knew for a fact that Prosciutto would get them fixed to make them look perfect, without a single flaw left in place.

But he kept his flawed teeth as is and Risotto loved everything about it.

And then he was snapped out of his trance by a voice from below, “The rain makes really nice rhythms - just like little sforzandos mixed in with crescendos and decrescendos,” a small sigh-like laugh came after, a pleased noise, “I like it.”

“I never took you for a music kind of guy,” Risotto turned to him, cocking his eyebrow and letting the corner of his lip, the side that Prosciutto wouldn’t be able to see as clearly, rise into a smirk.

A shrug and then a quick gaze towards Risotto before he turned back to the scene in front of him. There was something about him, however, that Risotto couldn’t put his finger on. It was a strange look of sadness, a response to an old memory he had locked so deeply in the back of his mind and thrown away the key, “I was forced into piano as a child… I hated every moment of it, I’d rather play guitar or something. Let me guess, you were in a band?”

“No, but always wanted to be.”

A chime of bells as a head turned on its side, letting its occupant stare up at the taller from a different angle, “Close enough.”

And then there was silence again.

But this time it wasn’t the awkward silence that followed them only a few moments before. This time, it was a nicer silence. It was warm in the middle of this cold storm, generating a sort of heat between the two of their no longer shivering bodies; a warmth that let them both know that they were there for each other and to keep each other company. And that was just fine with them.

They came to realise how much they loved each other’s company. This quiet time together where they didn’t share a word, where they just leaned into each other and pulled away when they realised they got too close, where they would share gazes and would stare into each other’s eyes for too long until they realised that they were coworkers and this was not what coworkers were meant to do.

But coworkers were still allowed to enjoy each other’s company, right?

“You should play for me one day, the piano I mean,” Risotto spoke softly. It was only on the rare occasion that Risotto would speak with such a soft voice, it was like the ‘Bigfoot’ of the La Squadra base that was often spoken about, but no one had ever seen it before. It was like the DVD logo that Formaggio could have sworn that he saw hit the corner perfectly, but he was alone when he claimed to have seen it. Something didn’t add up there.

Risotto’s soft voice was the same. Each member could have sworn that they had heard Risotto’s soft, buttery voice before, but none of them had any evidence to back up their claims. So to Prosciutto, hearing his soft voice in person was magical. It was like butter, as Illuso claimed for it to be, baritone, but not deep enough to sound demonic, as Pesci claimed for it to be, and God, was it sexy.

Just like Prosciutto claimed for it to be.

And he stood by his claim.

He was right, it was sexy. Hell, it was even sexier than he remembered.

He fumbled with his thumbs as they perched themselves on his lap, sometimes picking up pieces of soft, polyester woven with white accents that stuck out like little tunnels on his suit pants. The fabric was still a little wet, but that was okay, at least his hair was starting to dry under that stupid hat. The hat was warmer than he expected, too. It looked like it would be the most uncomfortable, heavy thing to wear with those giant bauble-like bells and that awful vinyl fabric; but underneath all of the uncomfortableness was a lining of sheep’s wool. It was warm and it was comfortable and it was pleasant to wear.

Risotto must have put a lot of time into making this.

And then came the awkward silence. Prosciutto had been thinking so intensely about Risotto’s dumb voice and Risotto’s dumb hat for so long that he forgot that the real dumb Risotto had just spoken. Fumbling for words, he spoke up, but only in a quiet, self conscious tone, “I.. If it’s not Beethoven’s Fifth I’d be happy to. There’s that public piano by the store Formaggio keeps finding cats at.”

A small, happy huff was the initial response from the taller, “And as for the guitar, we’ll steal a guitar and I’ll teach you,” there was the soft voice again. It lingered for a while as Risotto shuffled around so his body leant over Prosciutto’s; hovering there just as his stand would. Close to him, but not too close for comfort. And besides, Risotto’s midnight eyes didn’t scare him in the slightest with how his stand looked and all.

Prosciutto shifted his gaze to the corners of his eyes, looking away to avoid himself from getting lost in an everlasting pit of darkness only lit by two red stop lights, the back of his neck and the tips of his ears were definitely stained red at this point. Not dusted with a little blush like before. Red. Stained red.

Thank God for that dumb hat, huh?

And then his eyes snapped back up, accompanied by a small tilt of the head so it was only a little off centre like a broken bobblehead standee, or the figures in that awful Picasso painting that hung on top of the fireplace in Risotto’s office. He stayed emotionless for only a few moments before his muscles shifted, softening, until the smallest smile was to be seen, “I’d really like that.”

It looked genuine, warm and so very, very un-Prosciutto. No one had ever seen Prosciutto smile before, not even Pesci, and no one had ever claimed to have seen it before. Everyone had just come to the conclusion that Prosciutto had no emotions and was always either too focused on his work or had no sense of fun or humour.

But Risotto could prove them wrong. Prosciutto does smile and he was the first out of the entire squad to have seen such a beautiful sight. It didn’t blind him like the morning sun or the beams of light that would bounce off of Ghiaccio’s glasses when he stood under the light in just the right spot. It was soft just like the setting sun on a cloudy day when the sun would hide behind piles of pillows and only emit the smallest rays of light; little splinters of sunlight finding their way through the clouds.

It was inviting, forcing Risotto to keep his eyes on Prosciutto’s perfect, flawless, immaculate features.

Ah fuck. He was in love.

-

And then Risotto appeared again, a few razors and a pair of scissors in his flattened hands. He held his hands down to Prosciutto as if he were offering him a gift of some sort. It wasn’t the greatest of gifts, they were all bloodied and rusted, but it was all Risotto could offer right now.

Prosciutto peered down at the iron shapes for a few moments, not really knowing what to do with them, but he took them anyway. Thankfully, though, Risotto let them slide carefully onto his palms so that he wouldn’t slice his hands up and bleed out onto the ground below.

Risotto would stitch his wounds if he did hurt himself, though. Even if they were the botchiest stitches he’d seen in his entire life; big, clunky pieces of metal sticking from all different angles.

The scissors were taken from him a moment after once Risotto came to the conclusion that they were too big for him to hold without getting hurt. So there he stood, head dipped and knees bent only the slightest, so that his way too large frame could stay under the way too short bus shelter, as he twirled the scissors around his index finger.

There wasn’t a thought in his mind that resembled fear for his fingers.

He was used to this. This is what he did.

A low, bassy growl was heard to the far right of both of them and then a large, mechanical arm hovered from Prosciutto’s shoulder. It reached out as it extended its long, robotic claws until they reached his hand where it brought the lavender claws to a point, picking the pile of razors up and off of his hand carefully. The beady emeralds all over the arm watched Risotto carefully, only looking up to Prosciutto when he winced a little when a razor grazed the top of his skin only the slightest. No gas flowed from the emeralds which was a rare thing to see; Prosciutto never really brought his stand out unless he needed to use its ability.

It hovered above him for a little while longer as if something from inside of him were watching the razors, examining them. But come to think of it, it could have just been the beady eyes that littered the arm.

Out of nowhere, the rest of the figure appeared from inside of Prosciutto. It hopped on its other arm as it appeared, body turned on a small angle in order to keep itself up as it held its other arm up in the air. Four long, ringed tubes dangled about from underneath its body; dancing about in the rain as it hopped in front of its user.

Prosciutto bent himself forward, breaking his perfect posture, as soon as The Grateful Dead started to hold the razors up to him, showing them to him as if it were a dog that was showing its owner a stick that they had just found. He gave his stand a small nod in approval, earning a happy growl from it as it pulled its arm above its head again; waving the razors around happily.

The way in which Prosciutto would act with his stand was similar to how a mother would act with her child. Stands were manifestations of one’s fighting spirit, a manifestation of oneself that was projected as their bodyguard, their guardian angel. One could say that a stand was another version of its user, a twin of some sort.

This is when Risotto started to question does Prosciutto wish someone would treat him like that?

Prosciutto was always the one giving every member of La Squadra all the love and support they needed. He was always the one that would be there to comfort Pesci when he felt like he couldn’t hold a brave face on missions, or when Ghiaccio would get frustrated with their low pay and he needed someone to vent to until he calmed down, or when Sorbet stood at his bedroom door at 3am in fear that Gelato would reject his confession.

He always knew that Gelato wouldn’t reject Sorbet.

But there was something about Prosciutto that made people not want to approach him in the same way that he did to everyone else. Maybe it was just his always serious, work-oriented motive accompanied by the always knitted brows and cold, cold eyes that even Ghiaccio shivered at. But even so, Prosciutto must have wanted someone to be there for him when he wasn’t feeling his greatest, to give him a pat on the back or to give him words of encouragement when a mission didn’t go as he planned it would.

Yeah, that must be it.

Both Prosciutto and his stand jolted and snapped their heads over to Risotto when they heard him give off a small groan in pain. He had just used the scissors to cut the smallest, shallowest cut in the side near his thumb on his left hand; dropping the scissors to his side as soon as he saw Metallica wriggle about in the crevice he had just made.

Leaning forward, he stretched his arm out in front of Prosciutto so his hand was situated in between the two of them. Clearly pleased with seeing the little beans wriggle in Risotto’s blood, The Grateful Dead dropped the razors to the ground and leaned forward to examine them.

Prosciutto looked up to Risotto, taking in the softer look on his face as he watched their stands make little noises at each other. It was as if they were talking to each other and it was so very nice.

Risotto was comfortable here.

More comfortable than anywhere else.

-

Risotto’s hand had healed a little.

Well, it was all stitched together by Metallica as it still wriggled about in the exposed parts of the cut, so it was healed as much as it could be right now. It had little bits of metal sticking out in the weirdest places but Risotto didn’t seem to mind that it stuck out and would get caught in the fabric of his clothing every now and again; this was just another day in the life of Risotto who healed his wounds with iron stitches.

It was warm in between their bodies; a little heater, a little fireplace situated in the little empty space where their forearms split off in different directions. They didn’t move much. They just sat there, enjoying the warmth that radiated off of them. It’s what they needed, anyway, with them still stuck in the cold, cold rain and all.

The rain was still pretty bad. Little droplets turned into big, bulging bodies of water that spat to the ground and exploded as soon as they made contact; spraying anywhere and everywhere as it created a new rhythm to the music, a new tempo. The rhythm was heavier now. It went bangbangbang as time went on, a melody howling over the top of it and bells and maracas shaking in time with said melody. All of these noises, as bizarre as they sounded on their own, came together to form a strong, heavy composition that sounded like one from a horror movie.

A vocalist piped up in the middle of nowhere, as if they were ignoring when they should have come in, “You know I’m kinda glad that I’m not at the base right now,” Prosciutto shifted a little to ease the pins and needles that formed all along his left thigh, “even if it’s so cold out here that both of us would stay perfectly young if I used my stand.”

“What makes you say that?” Risotto muttered with a slight cock of his brow.

A small chuckle came from Prosciutto. It sounded as though he was trying to hide it, so it sounded a little muffled when it did come out, “Illuso and Formaggio are totally reciting that one scene from The Office right now.”

Risotto groaned, rolling his eyes as he recited the awful, awful memories of Illuso and Formaggio dragging everyone into the meeting room for an ‘important meeting’, only to perform what everyone - except for Melone and Pesci - called the worst thing since our last pay. And that meant it was pretty bad, judging by what their pay looked like, “They are and we’re not there to tell them to shut up.”

They both left it at that and welcomed the silence back. It was a warm welcome, a familiar feeling as it said hello to them and set up camp in their weird little bus stop campsite. It was weird. They were weird.

It had to have been a good ten seconds of Prosciutto fumbling with his thumbs and Risotto staring down at Metallica wriggling about on his hand, when the two of them pulled from each other and immediately blurted out, “They call it Scranton. What?! The electric city!”

And then came the laughs.

The happy noises from the both of them. So genuine, so warm and so unlike either of them. But that was okay because they were both so content with each other’s presence that showing off this one thing they both hid.

And then they both simultaneously thought, he has the most beautiful laugh.

-

Risotto stood directly in front of Prosciutto now, having to bend over at the head and at the hips to allow himself enough room under the too-small roof of the bus stop as the rain pitter-pattered down his back after it leapt off of the edge of the roof.

He hadn’t said a word before he got up, but Prosciutto could have sworn he heard Risotto mutter a low, “I guess I’m doing this,” under his breath before he had pulled himself up and in front of him.

And so they were there, staring directly at each other with wide eyes, well, on Prosciutto’s end, that was, Risotto watched him with soft eyes, taking in every single detail of the blonde. He examined as the bells of his hat swung in time with the small quivers that his bottom lip made, as his big teeth and big tooth gap exposed themselves only the smallest, as his eyelashes clumped together from the raindrops and as his eyebrows unknitted themselves and allowed his eyes to soften.

All of it. He took in all of it. He couldn’t stop admiring it all.

Risotto shuffled back a little until he was out from under the shelter, rain bucketing down over the top of him as he straightened his body so he was standing comfortably in front of him. In the rain. In the cold, cold rain getting absolutely drenched.

Prosciutto reached out for him, sitting up and then standing up so he was able to reach him better. His fingers spread, bending as an indication that he wanted Risotto to come back under the bus stop with him where it was dry, where it was warm, where he was.

What on Earth was Risotto doing in the rain?

He stood there perfectly still as he just let the rain engulf him. It was almost as if he were trying to figure out what to say as he sorted through memories, thoughts and other files in his mind; searching for the right sequence, the right order, the right thing to say. Turning his head upwards so he looked up to the sky, up to where the teardrops fell from sad clouds, he continued to ignore Prosciutto’s pleas to come back. He didn’t want to go back. He was fine in the rain.

Lifting his hand up only a little so that it touched his chest where the vinyl fabric of his cloak went criss-cross across his chest, he took a large sigh before taking in another long, deep breath; a preparation of some sorts. Because that’s what he was doing. He was preparing himself.

His head snapped back down, back down to Prosciutto who had called out The Grateful Dead again in preparation of bringing Risotto back to him without having to get wet. Risotto gave a small smirk, a happy smirk of sorts, when he saw that his hat now sat on top of the stand’s head, sitting there as it jingled when it would move its head. It was amusing watching a manifestation of Prosciutto’s soul get all happy over bells. Prosciutto didn’t get happy over bells.

And then Risotto opened his mouth, not knowing exactly what he was going to say at first, so he just stood there for what felt like five whole minutes with his mouth open and no words coming out.

He looked like an idiot.

But then it came to him. All muddled and jumbled they flew right out of his mouth, adding sound to the soundless instrument. When he said it, his voice was soft, quiet, too quiet and too soft for big, bad Risotto. It was calmer than any voice Prosciutto had ever heard from him to the point where it didn’t even sound like Risotto anymore. It was weird, it was anxious, it was scared.

“You… You what?”

His voice was louder this time but still quite calm. It was soft but loud, just like the Risotto that spoke to him about music and the Risotto that spoke to him about their squad. It was the Risotto that felt emotions, the Risotto that laughed, the Risotto that cried, the Risotto that loved, “I said I’m in love with you, Prosciutto.”

That wasn’t very professional.

Prosciutto didn’t flinch as he heard the sound of bells hitting the floor when the brought The Grateful Dead back inside. He was mostly just focused on Risotto and how this whole situation looked far too much like the rom-com that Melone and Gelato gushed over last night, to which Prosciutto scrunched his nose up at and walked away from, “I.. I don’t under.. I don’t understand.”

“I’m not saying it again,” came a stern voice from in front of him, the voice of a Capo, not the voice of someone who just confessed their love moments ago.

Prosciutto stayed where he was under the bus stop’s roof as he stared out at Risotto with his brows turned upwards in a look that almost resembled concern, but this was one of confusion. Never did he ever think that Risotto would have picked him. He always looked to Risotto thinking he valued his work over his feelings; locking himself up in his office until the early hours of the morning, only to get halfway through the mountain of paperwork that piled on his desk.

But there he was, telling him that he had picked him.

“Risotto..” A small sigh as he looked the other up and down, watching as the rain slid perfectly off of the leather of his sleeves and then down to where the cloak spread and wrapped around his body, “Risotto, come back under the shelter, you’re gonna catch a cold and I’m not looking after you if you get sick.”

After thinking about it for a few moments, Risotto started taking long, effortless strides towards Prosciutto until he was standing in front of him. Still standing in the rain, he leant down so that they were at the same level; eyes directly in front of each other and staring right into each other.

They stayed like that for a few moments, enjoying each other’s presence and the closeness that came from both of them. Risotto didn’t need an answer from Prosciutto. Just seeing how comfortable he was under his darkened gaze was enough for him.

A hand reached forward almost too quickly and then they were both in the rain, Risotto’s hand still wrapped around Prosciutto’s necklace as they moved further and further away from the bus stop. There they stood, too close together as they looked up and down at each other with the softest eyes and the softest smiles; ones filled with admiration, ones filled with comfort, ones filled with immense love and affection for the other.

No words were spoken, still, only the sound of the rain was heard as it pattered down from the tops of their heads and down, down till they crashed to the ground. Only feeling was felt. Pure, honest emotion that radiated between the two as if it were an electric current being set loose after being holled up for far too long.

Risotto’s grip loosened from around Prosciutto’s necklace before he let his arms snake around his waist, pulling him closer so that they were as close together as possible. Prosciutto caved in, relaxing into the warm, snug embrace by resting his head on Risotto’s broad chest as they both began to sway their bodies from side to side.

This was nice. Even if they were standing directly in the middle of a torrential downpour and looked like they had just come out of every cheesy rom-com under the sun.

-

And so they danced in the rain.

They spun around each other as they dodged raindrops, gliding through the air with no difficulty at all. Their bodies were close together as they swayed their bodies in time to the music of the nature that surrounded them; the bass drums that boomed in the clouds above them, the cymbals that crashed as they gave off electric beams, the xylophones that pitter pattered down on them.

Prosciutto’s head still rested on Risotto’s chest as they danced, arms looped around his neck in a tight grip that would bring Risotto’s head down every now and then. When his head was brought down, his forehead would rest on the top of Prosciutto’s head, resting there as he gave his forehead small kisses.

Dancing in the rain never felt so good. It was a childish thing, Prosciutto always thought, something he’d always been scolded for by tap tapping fingers and scowling mouths and darkened eyes to match. But for some odd reason, here with Risotto, it didn’t feel childish at all. It felt just right.

As they danced, the quiet buzz of what sounded like a Carpenters song played quietly in the distance. It seemed to be coming from a house just across the road, a song that the couple inside the house may have been dancing to, but to Risotto and Prosciutto it was playing just for them.

Baby, you take me into your arms
And though I’m wide awake
I know my dream is comin’ true

And then Risotto moved his arms. He moved them so that they wrapped around his waist, having to bend down only a little in order to move successfully. Confused, Prosciutto tried to pry Risotto off of him, but this was to no avail when Risotto lifted him up and spun him around. Hands made their way to Risotto’s broad shoulders in an attempt to ground himself as they spun, fearful that the two of them would somehow fall into the puddles that lay around them in haphazard positions.

It took a few moments of spinning as they stared up and down at each other, Prosciutto looking down and Risotto looking up this time, before they slowed down. They didn’t come to a complete stop, however, still spinning in a slow motion to the beat of the song in the distance.

Neither of them liked the Carpenters, but for this moment they pretended that they did. They’d remain a special band to them, a band that would be listened to only on special occasions.

And, oh, I just fall in love again
Just one touch and then it happens every time
And there I go I just fall in love again, and when I do
Can’t help myself, I fall in love with you

Both of them grinned at each other as they came to a halt; Risotto’s dimples creating craters in his cheeks and Prosciutto’s tongue poking through his tooth gap only a little. They both looked like completely different characters in a different story, but that was okay for them.

They were okay with letting each other know their true emotions.

Prosciutto raised a hand so it cupped Risotto’s cheek, letting his thumb rub up and down his soft skin as he admired every detail of his flawless face. It was different, but it was perfect to him, flawed in just the right places. His eyes were soft as he admired his Capo, savouring this moment even if this scenario did look like every single awful rom-com on the planet.

As they pressed their foreheads together, the sound of a passing vehicle grew nearer and nearer until it was far too loud, accompanied by the sound of splashes and crashing waves. Water flew up into the air as if it were a giant wave growing larger and larger until it came falling down, down onto the pair. The vehicle continued to drive on, chugging along and minding its own business as it drove on to its next destination.

A gasp came from both of them at the contact from the water which soon turned into a collection of laughs that brightened up the surrounding area just as the sun would. Their foreheads were still pressed together as they laughed, noses bumping with every happy shake of their heads.

Prosciutto’s hands were in Risotto’s hair now, gripping tightly to every little strand to keep him in place and to help ground himself a little better; Risotto’s still remained around Prosciutto’s waist, not daring to loosen their grip.

He would never let go of him. Never ever.

Still happy, still shaking a little from their little high just moments ago, Risotto leant forwards, capturing Prosciutto’s lips in a soft, warm kiss. It lasted for a whole five seconds, although either of them would argue that it lasted for much, much longer. It was sweet, it was soft, it was full of so much love and admiration for the other. Prosciutto would pull him closer when he had gotten over the initial shock of his Capo kissing him out of nowhere, pushing his emotions into it.

They wouldn’t move past their sweet, closed-mouthed kiss. They didn’t want to go any further just yet because this moment right there was enough for now; they’d worry about everything else later.

And besides, they could be romantic without the prying eyes of their team following their every movement right there. Even if it was in the least most romantic place on the planet.

Imagine that, getting confessed to at a bus stop in the rain.

That was anything but the scenes that came from Melone and Gelato’s favourite rom-coms.

The Carpenters song ended as they pulled away, beginning a new song that neither of them recognised, nor did they want to recognise, but that was okay. They just stayed in the moment, ignoring all of the white noise that surrounded them as they enjoyed each other’s company, each other’s warmth, each other’s emotions. No need for words.

Presence, emotions and actions were perfectly fine.

It was more than fine, though.

It was exactly what they wanted and it was exactly what they needed.

-

They huddled up together, limbs all uncomfortable against each other but so, so comfortable in their awkward position. Prosciutto’s legs were slung over Risotto’s as their heads learn against each other; Prosciutto’s hidden in the crevice of Risotto’s neck and Risotto’s piled on top.

Prosciutto’s right hand was wrapped around one of the criss cross pieces of fabric that left Risotto’s chest exposed, using it as a way to ground himself and to prevent himself from falling. Not that Risotto would move his arm from its secure position on his back.

He would slide his head out from under Risotto’s once he got uncomfortable and would lean up to meet his cheek in a small, lingering kiss. Risotto would turn his head only a few kisses in, pressing his lips to Prosciutto’s for a long, sweet kiss.

Risotto rubbed his hand up and down Prosciutto’s back while keeping the hand that rested under his knees completely still. His hand grazed long and lovingly along his side, a sign that he was there and he was willing to give all his love to the man he held in his arms.

In the time they’d spent here together in each other’s arms, Risotto had learnt that Prosciutto was afraid of thunder. He’d jolt at the sound of the crashing and banging from the great gig that was happening in the clouds above them; a concert that went on in the clouds, or a game of bowling that the clouds played only on rainy days. He would pull Risotto closer in the hopes that he could save him from the horrid sounds that frightened him.

Risotto also learnt that Prosciutto didn’t like being teased for his fear of thunder.

Prosciutto learnt that Risotto was a giant tease.

It was starting to get lighter. The clouds above them started to disperse and seemingly evaporate into the blue that hid behind them, leaving behind only a few white balls of cotton in their place. The sun wasn’t bright when it made its appearance. It wasn’t blinding, nor hard to look at, it was just soft, warm, welcoming as it said hello to everyone and apologised for the inconvenience that the rain had made. They forgave the apology and thanked the sun for its absence by nuzzling their foreheads against each other and giving bright, bright smiles accompanied by smiling eyes.

The ground was darkened from the rain, bus timetable and bus stop surrounded in little droplets of water that clung to the surface, but would soon slide down and meet the ground below. Little beads of dew that varied in sizes but looked just like little domes, little homes, little safe spaces.

Prosciutto climbed off of Risotto when the rain had completely stopped and the sun was shining bright enough for the wet concrete to dry within a few hours. He moved over to where Risotto’s forgotten hat was on the ground beside the edge of the seat and picked it up, holding it out to him just as Risotto had done for him only an hour beforehand.

Risotto gladly accepted the hat and put it back on his head, letting the bells jingle as they shook when he put it back on. He wasn’t as stubborn as Prosciutto, he would accept an offer almost immediately and wouldn’t put up a fight. And besides, as much as he loved seeing Prosciutto in his hat, his head felt almost naked without it on.

“Shall we go?” Risotto spoke in his soft, smooth voice once he stood and made his way over to Prosciutto, hand already reaching for the blonde’s.

He gladly took his hand, squeezing it as soon as it was in his grasp, nodding with a small, warm smile, “Let’s.”

-

“My favourite movie? It’s a tough one but I’d have to pick Pulp Fiction,” Risotto answered a question that Prosciutto had asked a few moments before, keeping his head forward as they walked and talked.

They were on their way back to the base now. They weren’t that far from their destination, maybe only twenty minutes away, but they were walking far slower than usual, so they would end up getting there in double the time. Risotto was making smaller strides in his steps and Prosciutto was walking only a little slower than normal; both doing this so that they could spend more time with each other.

They wanted to spend more time with each other, more time in each other’s company as they walked beside each other. They wanted to spend time together without the loudness of their team, time without the hustle bustle, the constant arguing over the stupidest things and oh my god, Formaggio stop bringing cats home it just makes things worse.

“I’ve never seen it, but I do know it’s about hitmen and gangsters,” Prosciutto looked up to him as he spoke, hoping Risotto would look down at him and meet his gaze any time soon, “And you know I’m all for hitmen and gangsters,” a sly smirk and a raised brow followed as he spoke.

Risotto did look down at him, but only after a few moments of silence, a few moments of thinking things through in his mind, “Do you want to watch it one day? I mean, everyone’s probably passed out in the living room right now but we could set up camp in my office and watch it there,” his voice was strong, but was quiet at the same time. It wasn’t the soft, buttery voice that Prosciutto melted at the sound of, it was the voice of someone who was scared and worried about an outcome.

“What? You mean you want to build a blanket fort? Is that what it is, Risotto?” Prosciutto leant upwards a little as if he were trying to intimidate him with his question, but no one shorter than Risotto was able to successfully intimidate him, so Prosciutto’s attempt fell short.

A confident, “I never said I didn’t want to,” was the response he got from the taller.

A heaved sigh came first and then a shake of the head with closed eyes, “You want to, don’t you?”

“Yeah.”

Prosciutto took a few moments to respond due to him thinking over the situation. Maybe blanket forts were too childish, but so was dancing in the rain and he loved that more than anything. Maybe he just needed to let loose once in a while, “Well.. If you want to, we can.”

Risotto nodded happily, leaning down to press his lips to the top of Prosciutto’s big forehead, “I’d like that a lot, grazie, il mio tesoro.”

They walked hand in hand, swinging their arms only a little and giving each other’s hand small squeezes as they walked. A shoulder bumped against a bicep at one point, leading to a few awkward gazes followed by breathy laughs.

Passing a few stray cats that meowed in their presence, Risotto kept his eyes on a colourful public piano. It was littered with blotchy rainbows and graffitied smiley faces, looking somewhat like something a child would have designed.

He raised their hands so that they pointed in the direction of the old, worn piano, urging Prosciutto to look over it.

Prosciutto gave a happy sound in response, nodding as he did so.

And so he moved over to the piano, letting go of Risotto’s hand as soon as he was in front of it. And that’s when he began to play; Risotto standing beside him with lightened eyes and a proud expression masking his face.

This was anything but professional, but they were allowed to be unprofessional every now and then. They deserved a break. They deserved a chance to be normal people.