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remembrance

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In a cold sweat, Risotto shot straight up in bed, his chest heaving deeply with every pant in the dead of night. His red irises trailed to the digital clock sitting atop his nightstand, the numbers glaring back at him.

4:07 AM.

He inhaled through his nose sharply and exhaled slowly, calming down and easing himself. This wasn’t the first occurrence as of late, where he’d wake in the middle of the night with dreams and visions of his past.

Specifically, he dreamt of one thing.

He could almost feel your presence running alongside him through golden fields of wildflowers, your laugh echoing off the metal walls in the little makeshift fort he had built, and the warmth of your hand as the two of you ran off from the adults telling you guys off.

He heard your cries when you were hurt. He heard the rumbling of your stomach whenever neither of you couldn’t manage to get enough food to split together. Your voice called out to him much louder than usual tonight, prompting him to wake up in a cold sweat.

Risotto stared up at the ceiling blankly, his mind plagued with only thoughts of you.
How were you doing? Were you even alive? Did you think that he might’ve abandoned you? What happened to you all those years ago? Those questions burned in the back of his mind as he felt a familiar hand wrapped around his, knowing fully well that nothing was there.

He blinked, shaking off those phantom touches and old emotions.

He wouldn’t let these little moments deter him from his work. He had a job that needed to be done properly and a team to watch over. After losing two members in one fell swoop, he couldn’t risk putting the others in the boss’ line of fire again. He hoped this cold shoulder treatment would end soon, and that another opportunity would arise, one where their success was definitely assured.

Risotto tossed the blankets off of him and trudged towards the kitchen, hitting the light switch and making his way straight to the coffee maker.
Similarly enough on the other side Naples, you awoke with an odd feeling. You slowly sat up in bed and tried to make some sense as to what that sinking feeling was that ran down your entire body.

Your dreams were more of a blur, smudged puzzle pieces scattered all across the floor. Bits and pieces came, but would always end up the same way. A hand, held out just for you. You tried to reach for whoever it was, but would never come to see their face. You always woke up before you could ever get to that part.

These little snippets of your past had haunted you for a while, but you carried on with life as usual because it was just so unclear. They’d stay in the back of your mind all day until they came back to wake you. You wondered that perhaps you felt guilty that you couldn’t remember who was running alongside you as a child, who picked you up whenever you fell.

Almost fully awake, you stepped out of bed, silky sheets falling off your frame as you sauntered towards the bathroom.

Looks like it was shaping up to be another early morning.

Chapter Text

The mornings had become much colder recently. Even in your cozy little apartment equipped with the latest air conditioning and heating, a small chill would run down your back every now and then, oddly enough. You shuddered as your feet padded across the cool tile of the kitchen, reaching the thermostat and turning the temperature up as a heavy sigh passed through your mouth.

The sun had risen not too long ago, you had witnessed it from the balcony, having nothing else better to do. You had breakfast on the little table set outside, watching the glowing rays of the sun rise up from the horizon, basking Italy in its warm glow. It was looking to be a nice day so far.

Watching the sunrise had become a new habit of yours as you enjoyed the light it brought compared to the inside of the space you live in. It was void of anything that made it feel homely, no photos hung up, no decorations, just stuff. Only the necessities, in case you had to move again.

Perhaps a little day out to yourself would be nice, you needed to clear your mind.

After a call to your guard, requesting to go out and getting the okay, you dressed yourself and got ready, throwing on an extra layer after checking the weather report and noting that it would be as cold as it was this morning.

Although it was a little annoying having to wait on someone before going out and not being able to leave home on your own, you wouldn’t hear the end of it if you had slipped out unsupervised again.

It wouldn’t take long until your guard arrived though considering she was just across the hallway from you. Not too far, and not too close.

A knock sounded against the front door in a specific, rhythmic pattern known only by you and a few select others. You stopped by the full mirror hanging on the wall, straightening your outfit once more before unlocking the door, opening it to reveal the face of a short, young woman. Her black hair was pulled back into a high ponytail, secured by a gray scrunchie embroidered with a gold pattern as always. A long, gray peacoat covered her small frame, covering her typically unusual attire. She mumbled out a short buon giorno before you stepped out into the hall, shutting and locking the door behind you as you greeted her back.

You followed her down the hall, taking the elevator down in complete silence. The girl did seem a bit skittish around you, even after quite some time being your active bodyguard. She tended to keep her distance and rarely spoke to you unless you would talk to her first. She simply followed your requests within reason, drove you around, and watched over you from a distance.

Anguilla was brought into your life only a few months ago, suddenly replacing the two guards that had been around from the beginning. From what you’ve asked her, you only knew that she was originally from the United States and moved to Italy for school. She always avoided answering anything else if it was related to herself or work.

Regardless, Anguilla was good enough company sometimes considering your very minute social circle. With your status you tended to avoid making too many close friends for their own safety, especially if they had no affiliation with the dangerous life you lived. You didn’t want to put anyone at risk despite how lonely you got most days.

It was a very automated process of going out, she’d park the car a little ways off from where you wanted to go, leaving the rest of the way to walk. Some days she’d be by your side, pitting the two of you in some dry, casual conversation about the weather or whatever, and other days she’d simply tail behind you with some distance, usually with a cigarette between her lips.

Today was one of those days you figured, from the way she fished out a pack and a lighter from the pocket of her coat and motioned for you to go on.

And so you shopped alone, but not really alone, with the gaze of Anguilla always on you.

Your train of thought drifts off as you scan your surroundings.

A hulking figure in black catches your eye quickly, in the sea of ordinary, boring old faces.HIs tall stature and monochrome attire jump out immediately in a crowd, especially the way the little golden orbs dangling from the ends of his hat shone in the sunlight.

The stranger at the other side turns around, causing your heart to jump once you catch a glimpse at his face. The black sclera, matched with red irises contrasting with his snow white hair and tanned skin. He’s looking left and right, but hasn’t bothered to look your way yet. He seems to be searching for something. As intimidating as he looks, you somehow weren’t the least bit afraid. Others walking around his vicinity steered out of their path slightly to avoid his menacing form.

If anything, you really wanted to approach him.

A feeling deep inside of you from the bottom of your heart encouraged you to go to him. A little voice in the back of your mind, sounding similar to your own when you were young kept urging you to do it. Another taut, familiar voice reminded you of the dangers of outsiders to your life. You gripped your bags tightly, looking back to the display window as the internal debate raged on.

With a creeping suspicion as to why you wanted to go to him, you wanted some form of an answer. If your suspicions were correct, maybe it’d put an end to your puzzling dreams and hazy memory and give you whatever answers you wanted.

You just had to be 100% sure it was him.

You turned around, taking in a deep breath, ready to cross the street only to see that he had vanished. Your frame sunk in disappointment as you faintly hear Anguilla ask if you were ready to go home, nodding meekly in response. You turned around and followed her back to the car.

Even with all the resources that Passione offered at his disposal, Risotto could never seem to find you after multiple years of trying to do so. Multiple leads would turn into dead ends, records didn’t match up, different names and locations would pop up. It left him to wonder if you had possibly gotten yourself into some trouble.

It was almost like you didn’t want to be found, he concluded after each roadblock he encountered.

Today led him to a shopping center of all places and he could feel himself growing much closer, even if he didn’t want to believe it. Although he didn’t know if you had altered your appearance in any way, he prayed that you would recognize him and that fate would bring you together in some way.

It was always some big gamble though, ending up in his loss of time and faith.

Risotto could feel a pair of eyes burning into his soul. Looking back, he could see a pair of golden eyes glaring harshly towards him, a warning. Anguilla hadn’t changed much since the last time he had seen her, except that look in her eyes had become a lot more spiteful.

He decided to make himself scarce, even knowing fully well that he could take on Anguilla and win he didn’t want to cause any more trouble for himself or his team. No, he couldn’t afford to lose anyone else. He cursed at himself for being spotted and wanting to avoid any sort of confrontation, he turned into the alley and made himself disappear, making his way back home with another unsuccessful attempt on his conscious and a heavy feeling in his heart.