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Putting the 'D' in 'Dio'

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            “I don’t understand why you don’t want to serve under me,” Dio had the absolute gall to look genuinely baffled and Polnaroff wasn’t sure if the expression was forced or if the vampire legitimately lacked the social awareness needed to recognize that most people were not exactly willing to just hand over their rights as human beings to further the ambitions of some jobless asshole who tried to murder them repeatedly for months. Polnaroff, not that it made much of a difference, was growing more and more convinced that it was option number two with every word that passed the blonde’s lips. “Why? Aren’t you afraid to face me? You know you’ll die.”

            “Nothing personal,” The crusader began slowly, in a tone that implied that whatever he was about to say, regardless of content, was intended to be very personal. “But you aren’t all that intimidating.”

            Dio’s jaw tightened before softening into a smirk of amusement. “Oh? How long will you be able to trick yourself into believing that, I wonder—”

            “That! That right there!” Polnaroff snapped his fingers and pointed. “In any other situation that might be scary, but right now you’re just…” He was hit by a fit of giggles that he fought, and failed, to hold back. “Y-you’re j-just so—” the Frenchman made some incredibly vague hand motion in the air in his ex-employer's general direction and Dio couldn’t help feeling marginally miffed.

            “I’m just so what?” The word ‘what’ came out as a threatening hiss.

            After releasing one final snort, Polnaroff forced his face into one of mock-seriousness. He managed to keep in in place for half a minute before he couldn’t take it anymore and erupted into another wave of laughter, this one magnitudes more explosive and intense than its predecessor.

            At the top of the stairs, the vampire brainstormed suitably terrible ways to kill the man who dared laugh in the face of the great and mighty DIO. Usually, Dio planned out murders ahead of time so they’d be as traumatic or situationally ironic as possible, but Polnaroff laughing went beyond anything anticipated. The silent plotting and the loud chortles continued for a several long minutes before a wall burst into smithereens revealing the rest of the Stardust Crusaders (who hadn’t been killed off yet.)

            “Polnaroff!” Joseph Joestar began and stopped, noticing the menacing figure at the top of the stairs. “D-Dio!”

            Rather than taking off his sunglasses before trying to make out the shadowy figure in the dark like someone with common sense, Kakyoin stylishly adjusted his and squinted hard enough to give himself the beginning of a headache as he attempted to make sense of the shadowy shapes. “Dio?”

            “Dio,” Jotaro echoed and then, in a rare moment of not being dense as a goddamned black hole, pointed and, for the first and last time before the credits rolled, made an observational statement that had nothing to do with marine biology. “Oi, old man. Why’s he look different from the photos?”

            “Different from the photos…?” Dio’s eyes widened in realization before looking down and groaning in frustration. “Oh, for fu—"  Dio coughed. “-dge's sake. Kenny assured me his stand was 100% remote control---”

            Kakyoin raised a brow. “Kenny?”

            “Stand user. Notably dull, but Tenore Sax-- his stand-- had the power to make highly realistic illusions with practically no limitations. Only reason I kept him on staff, really,” the vampire casually waved off, glossy black fingernails catching the light. “I take it he did the maze thing with the halls when I specifically told him not to do the maze thing with the halls.”

            “Oh, that guy!” Polnaroff snapped his fingers as it finally clicked. “Advol took him out by accident.”

            JoJo Sr. looked around uncomfortably. “Speaking of Avdol...”

            “We weren’t,” Dio muttered. A chair was summoned out of nowhere and the vampire casually slammed it down and plopped into it with no grace, forcing his—no, her bountiful breasts to bounce at levels that could make a priest stop believing in gravity.

            Yes, you read that right.

            Dio had big ‘ol tiddies, and not the bara kind men gain upon entering the final realm of body sculpting at the gym.

            Surprise, surprise! As it turned out, Dio's sexy posed nudes were 'shopped by the high-powered remote-controlled illusion stand Tenore  Sax and Dio wasn't a dude at all. He was a she, and she had breasts. Big breasts. Massive breasts, in fact, because vampires, as a general rule, are either stacked higher than Mount Everest or flat as freshly-rolled concrete. There is no middle-ground, so Dio took the high ground.

            “You can see me.” It wasn't a question, just an observation.

            “You're wearing bright yellow against a black wall.” Kakyoin deadpanned, at the same time Jotaro grunted and Polnaroff shouted some incredibly unfiltered remark about Dio’s figure resembling a beached whale.

            Because, as if the last-second gender reveal wasn’t surprising enough, Dio’s body held surprises within surprises, the kind of that pop up in a woman’s stomach after unprotected sex. Dio, the female vampire, was pregnant. Visibly pregnant.  For the fifth time in four years both because Vento Aureo, the last arc of Stone Ocean, and this fanfic demand it, and because she’s the whorish, traditional type who doesn’t think a man’s truly naked if he’s wearing a condom. She was past the stage were people wanted to ask the due date, but were afraid to ask on the off-chance it could be a beer-belly, and inching closer to the stage where taxi drivers just assumed a pregnant woman was in labor and gassed the shit out of their cabs as part of company protocol.  Were she wearing anything other than a latex leotard that stretched and stuck over her swollen stomach like vacuum-sealed produce, she probably could have hidden it better, but the outfit left nothing to the imagination.

            “Can we punch her?” Polnaroff looked over to Joseph. “I don’t want to hit a knocked-up dame, but I really want to punch Dio.”

            “I personally prefer to hit ‘em postpartum,” Kakyoin chuckled to himself.

            “I prefer to hit them until they’re postmortem,” the vampire shot back humorlessly. Kakyoin’s stomach suddenly hurt.

            “Fuck it,” Jotaro rolled up his sleeves and stepped forward. “I’m punching her.”

            “We are not punching a pregnant woman,” Joseph declared, exasperated that he even had to set that boundary.

            The vampire was instantly and immediately offended. “I, Dio, am no mere woman. The gender roles you mortals deem fit to shackle me in are flimsy and weak. Dio’s power cannot be defined as that of man, nor woman. I, Dio, am a god --”

            “Oi, JiJi,” Jotaro ‘Punch-a-Hoe’ Kujo pointed. “She’s literally giving us permission to punch her in the face.”

            “You’re missing the point, Jotaro,” Kakyoin, an intellectual progressive, shook his head sadly, “They don’t want to be called gendered pronouns.” He looked up at Dio apologetically. “Is they/them acceptable?”

            For the second time that conversation, Dio appeared genuinely lost. “What?”

            “Don’t misunderstand; I still want nothing more than to make you grovel and repent for your crimes,” Kockyoin clarified. “But it would be wrong of me to Emerald Splash all over you while you’re already weakened from gender dysmorphia. I want to knock you down at your highest so the fall’s all the more painful. Would you prefer they/them?”

            “Only if the alternative is having to listen to you buffoons continue to ramble about gibberish.” Dio’s eye twitched. In truth, he/she didn’t understand. They/them? Those were plural. Dio was DIO. Singular. There was only one, number one. They/them didn’t drop out of a non-liberal nineteenth-century law school to use gender-neutral pronouns.

            “Have you seen her bazoonkas? Obviously she/her.” Polnaroff, ever eloquent with his words, made a motion of groping the air in front of his chest. (Years down the line, he would become a trans advocate, but, at present, he wasn’t nearly #woke enough.) Beside him, Kakyoin scoffed.

            “We're not in third grade. They're called boobies.”

            “You insufferable little worms—"

            Joseph stopped the monologue before it could start. “Look, Dio. I don’t care if you’re a chick or a dick. My daughter’s dying, and killing you is the only cure.”

            “I don’t see how the two are at all connected.” The vampire rolled her eyes with a huff, deeming the conversation well past the point of power-posing and returning to her previous position of sitting like a harem protagonist and tapping her fingernails against the side of the chair like she was ticking away the seconds out of boredom.

            With the speed of a man in his thirties, Joseph pointed at Dio accusingly. “As long as you’re walking around in my grandpa’s body, Holly suffers!”

            Dio’s finger stopped in mid-air. She looked down at Joseph with pursed lips and furrowed brows, as if silently assessing him for brain damage. Then, finally, she spoke up.

            “Does this look,” Dio gestured down at her entirely female body. “Like your grandfather’s body?”

            Joseph squinted.

            “Maybe? Granny Erina always said Gramps was a looker back in the day.”

            “It could be the work of any enemy stand,” Kakyoin chimed in. “See if they—” The vampire emitted a soft wrry of discontentment. “He--she?- has the birthmark.”

            “Oh for the love of—“ Dio growled in annoyance before ripping off her jacket and turning around to reveal a familiar red star above his left shoulder blade. “It’s a tattoo.”

            Joseph gave him a look. “Why would you get a tattoo of our family birthmark?”

            She scoffed. “If I had known Jonathan’s birthmark was hereditary and all you oafs had it, I would have marked him with my birthmark.”

            Kakyoin looked especially distressed. “If that’s not Jonathan Joestar’s body, how do we cure Ms. Holly?”

            “Dio’s obviously bluffing,” the Frenchman insisted.

            Beside him, Joseph looked strangely in thought. “I don’t know… Uncle Speedwagon always fancied Gramps, and he only fancied strong, muscular men with big arms and tree-trunk-sized thighs.”

            “Dio’s telling the truth because your uncle was gay,” Polnaroff restated. “I’m not buying it.”

            “He was!” Joseph insisted. “You never met Uncle Speedwagon. The way he went on about Gramps every chance he got… He was clearly batting for the other team.”

            “I can confirm,” the vampire chimed in. “Speedwagon was smitten with Jonathan. But, truthfully, who wasn’t? JoJo was so big and large… Every inch of him was solid muscle. Of course, he never put it to good use. Typical JoJo. He had the strength and power to be a raging beast, yet he chose to be a domesticated puppy. I’ve never met a softer, gentler man in my entire life. Even stabbing me, he was so apologetic. Oh, he got the job done, but, really. I’m not some fragile doll. I can take it. But, naturally, JoJo wouldn’t hurt a fly even if the fly was begging, harder-”

            “Yeah, I’m going to stop you right there.” Polnaroff cut her off, looking vaguely disgusted.

            “If Gramps was a stud, and Dio’s a woman…” Joseph mused aloud. “Either Dio’s in a different body or—”

            “Or Dio is using a stand ability.” Kakyoin finished. “We don’t know what Dio’s stand does, after all. It could alter genders.”

            “Hmm, that is a possibility.”

            The World appeared behind Dio, looking suitably irked. Unlike Dio, the yellow stand was male, or as male as the embodiment of a person’s willpower could be. He looked ready to punch out, and Dio quickly came to his defense.

            “Do you really think a stand that looks like this switches genders?”

            “Do we look like we’ve put thought into a gender-bender stand?” refuted Polnaroff.

            “Speak for yourself,” Joseph murmured.

            “He’s called the World. He’s covered in clocks.

            “Clocks?” Kakyoin tilted his head, hair noodled narrowly avoiding contact with his shades. “Looks more like a scuba diver pharaoh to me.”

            “I’m punching Dio,” Jotaro loudly declared.

            “No, you aren’t,” Kakyoin replied.

            “Hn,” was the monosyllable reply before Star Platinum materialized looking stoked and ready to punch the daylight into some NEET vampire ass.

            The vampire sighed and stood up, The World receeding back into her subconscious. “Enough banter,” She crossed her arms. “You want to save your mother, correct? Killing me won’t accomplish that, but I do have a solution.” She nodded towards the hallway behind her. “Come.”

            Jotaro, in normal Jotaro fashion, believed her word at face-value and joined her at the top of the stairs. Kakyoin and Joseph were more reluctant, but quick to follow. The Frenchman was the only one with the sense to question her.

            “You spent all that time trying to kill us and, what? Now you’re just going to help us out? I don’t buy it!” Polnaroff shouted.

            “Don’t misunderstand. I was under the impression you and your merry crew of durable incompetents were after me in a misguided attempt at revenge. Naturally, I took measures to ensure my own life,” Dio shrugged, seemingly not caring if they believed her one way or another. “Knowing that you wanted to kill me in a misguide attempt at curing stand sickness, the least I can do is assist you. Naturally, I only request that, in exchange, you cease your little crusade upon me.”

           

            She led them down the hall, and then down another hall. Halfway through the second hall, Dio opened a door, which led to a bedroom. The bedroom smelled faintly of sex and wine, two scents Polnaroff, being French, was deeply familiar with. From there, the vampire nudged one of the walls a certain way, revealing a hidden room. In the hidden room was a bookshelf filled with trinkets and a bed. The most shocking sight was what, or, rather, who was on the bed.

            “Oh. My. GOD,” gasped Joseph.

            There, alive and seemingly asleep to the world, lay Jonathan Joestar.

            At least, a man who looked near identical to the man in his Granny’s wedding pictures, albeit more shirtless. There was no way the guy was still alive, and, even if he was, he’d be pushing a hundred twenty now.

            “Oi, Gramps. That’s the guy?” Jotaro asked.

            “Seems like it,” Joseph confirmed. “I’m amazed by how young he looks…”

            “That is the result of combining my vampire abilities and Hamon,” Dio explained in passing. “Don’t bother trying to talk to him; he won’t wake up.”

            One time-stop later, she was holding an arrow. “This is called a Stand Arrow and it will—"          

            Jotaro shoved her, summoning Star Platinum to his side. Were Dio a regular, human woman the force would have sent her to the ground. As it were, she barely managed to stay upright.

            “Jotaro, what are you doing?” Joseph grabbed his grandson’s arm and was immediately shrugged off.

            The teenager nodded to Jonathan’s unconscious form. “I kill him and Mom lives.”

            What happened next occurred in a split-second. The teenager tilted his hat Ash Ketchum style and Star Platinum leaned back, chambering for a punch of life-ending proportions. The World appeared, blocking the punch with both forearms, and something in one of them broke. Dio herself stood behind the stand, eyes a glistening red as she protectively guarded Jonathan’s body. Her left arm dangled at an odd angle, presumably broken, but that didn’t seem to process in her mind.

            She let out an inhuman hiss, fingernails and fangs distending. The air chilled, and the four uninvited guests were slapped in the face with a cruel reminder that, while Dio may look like a heavily pregnant woman, she was not human. She was an overly suggestive vampire, key, and most important word being ‘vampire.’

            “This has nothing to do with you, bitch. It’s just between me and him. Move the fuck out of my way.”

            “Jotaro, please,” Kakyoin attempted to intervene.

            The vampire’s hair shifted around her head, tentacles protruding from golden locks menacingly, like some HP Lovecraftian interpretation of Medusa. “You dare-”

            “Mommy?” The tension evaporated.

            “Mommy?” Kakyoin repeated, at the same time Joseph yelled, “Holy shi—” 

            “Not in front of the kid!” Polnaroff interrupted.

            Our band of unlawful breakers-and-enterers now found themselves in the presence of a toddler. A toddler that called Dio ‘mommy’ which meant one of two things: Dio either used her hair tentacle brainwashing voodoo on some innocent kid, or the kid was hers.

            Given her current rather filled-out figure, the crew was more inclined to believe the little boy rubbing his eyes sleepily wasn’t the result of a kidnapping.

            “Giorno, I told you to stay in your room.” Before, the vampire’s face was filled with deadly rage, but now there was also a hint of fear.

            “Heard noises,” the boy yawned, seemingly unphased by the presence of four unfamiliar men in his home. Given Dio’s track record of being a whore, it was entirely likely this was a regular occurrence.

            Dio’s eyes were darting wildly between the unconscious man and the small child in the doorway. Jotaro stood between them and, even with her ability to stop time, there was no way she’d be able to protect them both were the teenager to start throwing punches again. She held her working hand up in a ‘surrender’ gesture she hoped was universal enough to reach that backwater Japanese island.

            “You just want to save your mother, correct? I have an alternative solution.” She waited until Jotaro’s stand receded before continuing. “Stab your mother with this.” Dio held up the previously forgotten Stand Arrow. “And it will cause her stand to manifest fully.”

            By some miracle, Jotaro believed her. He snatched the arrow from her grip and pointed at Jonathan. “We’re taking him, too. If this arrow thing doesn’t work, I’m pulling his plug.”

            “Fine,” Dio snarled.

 


 

 

            The Speedwagon Foundation worked fast. Within an hour of Joseph’s phone call, the arrangements had been made for the journey back to Japan. Naturally, Dio was going as well, as she refused to let Jonathan out of her sight, and this led to more complications regarding scheduling flights around her sun allergy. In the end, they managed to secure a small private jet and block out all the windows. It took less than ten minutes for Dio to pack a bag for herself and Giorno, his consisting of mostly clothing and a couple toys, and hers nothing but books, and another five to change into something more fitting for travel (a black keyhole sweater that somehow managed to be just as provocative as the spandex leotard, and a pair of green rave-pants, crotch included). An hour later in total, and they were comfortably a mile in the air.

            Mostly comfortable.

            Jotaro fell into a chair and was out like a light almost instantly. Kakyoin and Polnaroff claimed the two chairs opposite him; Jonathan lay on one of two couches, just barely fitting with his head on the armrest, and Dio and Giorno claimed the other. Unfortunately for Dio, Jonathan’s grandson-her great-nephew?- plopped down right beside her.

            Joseph’s hands were not welcome on her stomach. That was a simple concept to understand. Yet there they were, rubbing Dio’s baby bump like that was a perfectly acceptable thing to do without permission. It wasn’t, and the vampire would have swat him away were she not using her working arm to secure her sleeping son to her side and using the World to keep diligent watch over Jonathan on the couch across from her.

            “So,” Joseph continued to feel up her belly with the air of someone who had no idea what he was doing or talking about, but wanted to sound intelligent. “Second rodeo easier than the first?”

            Dio, assuming by ‘rodeo’, he meant ‘pregnancy,’ corrected him. “Fifth.”

            “Fifth?!” Joseph jolted and for a single, blessed moment he wasn’t touching her before his hands melted back into her midsection.

            Polnaroff quickly did the math. “You got pregnant five times in the four years you’ve been out of the ocean.”

            “Yes.”

            Kakyoin snickered. Dio glared at him. He didn’t stop.

            “Where are the others?” Joseph asked, dreading the worst.

            “I ate them,” Dio smirked, then rolled her eyes before Jonathan’s stupid extended family had the chance to take her seriously. “With their fathers, of course.”

            “Then what about…” Kakyoin trailed off, looking at Giorno.

            The vampire grinned. “Oh, he’s with his father.” She put a hand on her stomach. “They both are.”

            It took a moment for the meaning to sink in before three pairs of eyes turned to the comatose Joestar.

            “You never got around to explaining that.”

            “We had sex, obviously.”

            “I meant,” Joseph practically shrieked. “How he’s alive.”

           

            In regards to Jonathan Joestar, here’s what happened.

            Dio stole his body. But, by some miracle or maybe just Hamon, the head remained perfectly intact and preserved the entire century spent under the sea. Upon entering the 80s, Dio, in the body of his presumably dead enemy/crush, discovered that times had changed. Here, in this new era, people were more open and free with their sexuality, and everyone had the hots for Jonathan’s big bara body. Dio, in an act of possessiveness, decided that he was the only worthy of riding JoJo’s meat sword. He set out to find himself a new body and stumbled upon someone near identical to how he’d looked in life. Yeah, the person was a woman, but Dio’s Dio no matter what gender, so he popped her head off like a Barbie doll and got on that joint. Jonathan’s head went back to Jonathan’s body, Jonathan started breathing again, and all was good with the world.

            Except, unfortunately, JoJo didn’t wake up. Sure, he rolled around, talked and occasionally sleep-walked; he was a step above comatose, but was never fully awake.

 

            “Maybe we can come up with some more ideas on how to wake him up.” Joseph suggested. Around halfway through her story, he'd lifted up Dio's sweater and started a new belly rubbing technique that involved luxury hand creme stolen from the plane bathroom, awkward attempts at pinching the taut skin, and a lot more elbows. By this point, the vampire's shattered arm was almost entirely healed, and she used it to push Joseph off her person.

            “Do you think I haven’t tried everything?” she spat. “I’ve tried slapping him, necromancy, getting a priest’s blessing, pouring water on him, screaming, and even that ‘true love’s kiss’ fairytale nonsense.”

            “Have you considered,” Polnaroff leaned in slowly. “That maybe you aren’t his true love?”

            The vampire glared, and he immediately clamped up.

            For the next few hours, the plane ride was blissfully uneventful. The remaining crusaders slept in shifts, with at least one dutifully keeping an eye on their vampire travel buddy at any given moment.

            “So, uh,” Polnaroff broke the silence, looking from the unconscious Jonathan to Dio’s pregnant stomach and back again. “How exactly did that happen?”