It’s 10:03 in the morning, and the blasted teacher is late.
It’s bad enough Dio had to reassign one of his clients to a lesser lawyer to come to this inane parent-teacher social to discuss his son’s disruptive behavior and fighting problem — and he was adamant that fighting was not a problem, as his son would likely pick fights with the children who deserved it. He taught him how to throw punches from the earliest possible age, and if Giorno wanted to exercise that talent, he could. He told them as much over the phone, that he wasn’t paying for Giorno’s private schooling to be distracted away from his work, and that there would be consequences if they darkened his doorstep with the topic ever again.
But they did, and threatened expulsion if Dio didn’t come to discuss terms. So he was there, clutching his off-menu Starbucks coffee with a bitter face and makeup that looked like it was done to accent his anger. He was told the parent of the child he’d been fighting with would also be attending, as the meek teacher hoped they would settle it between themselves. Dio Brando was a bit of a celebrity in their town, a lawyer who took headline cases and won them. Rumors flew that he ran with the mafia, that he was the mafia, or that he was blackmailing the mafia. No one who met him really wanted to go out of their way to upset him. Even people who bagged his groceries did it with somewhat frantic silence, having recognized his face from national news and having zero courage to ask him if he wanted paper or plastic.
The teacher walked into the room like they drew lots to pick which lamb to send to the slaughter, and she looked at him with eyes pleading for his cooperation or mercy.
“I’m sorry,” She started off with, a usual stern tone already absent from her voice. “Gio is a wonderful child… on most days, and with most people. His teachers adore him, and he’s so clever and smart, but—“
Dio had only said one word, but it drew down the gravity of the room, and Mrs. Lauper could feel it.
“But he has a rivalry with another student that’s disrupting classes… she’ll seek him out, and—“
The weight doubled. The teacher swallowed the knot in her throat.
“She… yes… she tries to initiate fights with him, and—“
“So my son isn’t at fault."
“Please— please allow me to finish. Giorno is ordinarily well behaved, but the girl has started getting him to brawl back. He’s a lot more… visceral than her. I had to stop him from sticking her hand under the paper cutter and pushing the lever down. Rest assured, we have brought her father in today so we could discuss an adequate resolution. I believe he’s—“
She pushed her glasses up and called out into the hallway. “Mr. Kujo?”
Dio could have sworn time froze for him in the seconds between her calling his name and the doorknob starting to turn. He knew there was only one Mr. Kujo that dared to breathe the same air as him, in the same town as him, and it was so completely clear that of all the shitty kids to pick a fight with his son, it would be Jotaro-fucking-Kujo’s.
They had to settle a fight in court in their younger years. Dio had lost it, the only blemish on his record. Ever since then, he’s fantasized about making him eat the curb.
Jotaro, and his impressively bulky torso and tundra stare pressed into the room, bringing even more pressure with it as the two fathers locked eyes. What use did a marine biologist have for shoulders so wide you could land an airplane on them? What use did a grown man have for a dolphin pin on his stupid hat?
(Dio thought this, conveniently forgetting that his suit today had no less than three golden hearts— two cufflinks and one lapel pin.)
They— the teacher and Jotaro— shook hands and exchanged pleasantries, and it seemed like the good teacher felt that Jotaro was backup as opposed to opposition, and it pissed Dio off further. His awful child was the one starting fights, why was he so comfortable?
“Anyway—“ Mrs. Lauper sat in front of the desk as the two were comically wedged into children’s desks far too small for them. “Jolyne has started instigating these fights by means of… insulting you, Mr. Brando. She tells Giorno that you’re a… an—“
Frantically, she scribbled something onto a post it note and passed it to Jotaro, whose face remained stoic for a few moments before cracking a thin smile.
“I’ve never seen ‘assface’ written in such fancy script.”
The teacher tittered, but was immediately silenced by Dio’s violent stare. “Anyway— she, I— I’ve tried speaking with her, but she won’t give it up.”
“Did she learn that from you, Jotaro?” Dio interjected, deciding finally that the teacher was useless, and his real opponent was crammed into the small seat next to him. “Do you walk around your house muttering that to yourself?”
“Yare yare, so what if I do? I don’t ask why you leave the house in Halloween makeup, that’s your business.”
“Please,” Mrs. Lauper, much like her namesake, just wanted to have fun, and she wouldn’t have it if these two grown men kept trading barbs in her classroom. “Let’s just talk about behavioral therapy and how it—“
“Tell me, Jotaro, do other marine biologists bedazzle their clothes with ocean wildlife, or is it just you?”
“Those are big words coming from someone who I’ve never seen not wearing a heart-shaped belt buckle.”
“Well thank god, in that case, that your daughter seems to be following in your cantankerous footsteps. Do you think she’ll do us a favor and take after you even further by throwing herself in jail? Save the rest of us from the trouble of doing so?”
Jotaro stood up at that, and his emotions were unreadable from there. He circled around toward the back of the classroom, presumably to cool off, and Dio looked victoriously at the teacher. “I think you’ll find this train of questioning rather futile. Instead of calling us in, you should have settled this yourselves by putting them in different classes. And if you’ll excuse me, I have someone to meet by noon—“
“Mr. Kujo, NO—!“
Her warning died on her lips as Dio only had a few seconds to guess what Jotaro was doing before a child-sized desk chair came crashing down onto his head.
Dio was home, resting a frozen steak on his now blackened eye, because Jotaro knew to aim for the face to make him look disreputable in court. In return, Dio had broken no less than two fingers on each of his hands, ensuring he wouldn’t be able to do his worthless job either. Giorno watched him with a look of guilt on his face, knowing even at seven years of age, he was likely responsible for the scuffle ever happening in the first place.
“‘m sorry,” He mumbled, still a bit unsure of what exactly he should be apologizing for, as Dio was the one who taught him to defend his family’s honor. “I won’t fight with Jojo again.”
The words bring back memories, and the memories brought a sneering smile to Dio’s face.
“Don’t apologize. Do the opposite. Make her eat the gravel in the playground. Frame her, plant evidence, get her expelled first. Don’t let her walk all over you like she won. Do you know what you are?”
“A first grader?”
“A Brando, and the first lesson is to never take shit from a Joestar.”