Life is hard enough when you belong here.
So, here we are, with the sequel of First of the Gang! *girlish squeal* Oh God, is it sad that I'm excited? Fuck it, I don't care. I CANNOT WAIT to write this story. I've been gathering lots of nerdy-ass Mafia info and now I am seriously just spazzing out with my writing. I'm sitting in my 'writing room' which is basically my bedroom with all the lights turned off. I am armed with chocolate, The Godfather I and my cat. I think I should just tell you my friend's cat had kittens the other day so she gave me one and his new name is Don de la Via.
(Mother: What are you gonna call your kitty, honey?
Girl #1: I'm gonna call mine Mittens because he has black socks on his feet.
Girl #2: I'm naming mine Fluffy because his fur is so soft.
Girl #3: Mine's named after this character based on Gerard Way being a ruthless gay Mafia boss in the nineteen thirties and Don de la Via is his honourary name in this fan fiction I read on this website and it features rabbits and gore and buttsex and now I hate everyone called Romano and buy me Oreo cookies so I can pretend I am instructing my Mafioso husband how to eat them.)
This is a lil teaser chapter, just to famalirise you with the situation. This story, fyi, is a lot about Luciana. She's growing up and all that. And a FUCKLOAD of history.
LET THE FRERARD FAMIGLIA WRITING COMMENCE!!!!!
Ode to my Family
City of Rome, Italian Social Republic
Luciana de la Via grinned suddenly as the knock came upon her classroom door.
It was Friday, the fourth of March, nineteen forty; the twelve-year-old girl was in her homeroom class, which happened to end the school day. For the last eight hours the girl had been sitting in her chosen chair, luxerious black hair tied into a neat plait, black uniformed pinafore straight and pressed. Luciana loved school; she loved all of her friends, her subjects, the effort she forced into all of her work. But every child is able to say that final classes on a Friday evening are the hardest. The clock seems to stretch endlessly, and the content of the classes are more boring and infatile than ever.
But now, currently, up until the moment a pair of bloodied knuckles rapped against the wooden door, Luciana was exhausted. Her hair was tousled a little and her black hairband had been removed after she had wrestled with Catarine Bartoli at lunch after he pushed her in the line for the playgrouns. The black pinaore that stretched to her knees was crinkled and rucked; if any other child had been in such a state they would have been smacked with a stick. But Luciana had never gotten hit; never given out to. Her looks, her mannerisms, her associated family members and her surname threatened the teacher. They knew they would have to answer to the most ruthless criminal in the country if they did something the girl did not appreciate.
It was the first Friday of the month, and so, due to the fact that Luciana's school was in the viscinity of the Roman residence of the House of Way, a protection racket had to be payed on the first Friday each month. This meant that, every four weeks or so, an associate (noramlly the consigliere, as he payed the Don all of his personal respects) would call to the school and accpet a large amount of money. No one really knew how much; some people thought it was about five hundred lire. Others disputed this; Gerard Way would not settle for such a measely fee. It could be the school's profit for the entire month-perhaps up to ten thousand lire.
In return for the turn over of surmountable cash, the Cosa Nostra would make sure the school run well, that the teachers were capable and adequate, that fascillities were up to scratch. The Principal of Santa Marina Scuola Privata Per Regazze could think what he wanted; he did not run this school. The establishment may have been private and of the highest calibre, regarded by the local upper-class population as the best school in the provence, but it was because of Way's involement. The school, like most shops, churches and general areas of recreation, was firmly connected to the crimnal underworld. In Italy, the Mafia is not frowned upon like it is in the US. It is serving your family in the most noble way a person can. It mixes business and pleasure like no other criminal organization out there.
So now, Luciana jumped a little in her seat and turned to the door, as did all children. It was such a great occasion when the associate would turn his visit to the school; like a scared man amongst the children. All knew of Luciana's family ties, that this man was basically another cog in her familar machine. He was dressed like all of them; the tall, muscular figure, the dark hair, the suits, the rings, the intelligence and diction. He would sweep in, mutter a few words to the teacher, pick up a heavy brown envelope and shove it in his suitcase. The added bonus which affected the Way girl the most was that she got to leave school early with her uncle and his men. An hour of school would be shaved off her day. The fact that math, her most hated subject, was at the end happened to suffice her situation.
"That's him," Luciana whispered in an excited little squeak to her partner, Agata. The blond girl leaned over to try and snatch a look at the man who squeezed money from her teachers' pocket every month. She could only see the top of his head, his slick black crop of hair, through the window of the door. "That's him, he's here. I get to go home early!" She giggled quietly, not caring about the glare she earned from Signora Burno, her teacher.
"Who is he today?" Agata murmured back as Luciana was smiling brightly, moving in her seat to try and recognise the henchman. "Is he the Don? Your uncle, is he here?" Agata knew nothing about the Mafia, she was the daughter of a banker. She was under the impression her parents were honest and hard-working. In real life, her father payed the Famiglia five grand every month to make sure his family went un-hurt. Because of Luciana's friendship with Agata, five grand had been deducted from the original sum.
"Of course not," Luciana returned, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, tossing her hair. "He doesn't collect the racket fee, that's ridiculous. Only the consigliere does it; I think it's Rucetta today; zio mentioned something about him earlier."
"Are you allowed out tomorrow?" Another friend, Pietra, whispered. A child of a family who shipped the finest brand of olive oil to America; her parents were faithful patrons to the Way family and as such also payed a sum of two and a half thousand lire to the Famiglia. "We were gonna go down to the scuolla della ragazzi after school and see them." She giggled. "We're going to see Rosalia's boyfriend, Luigi!"
Luciana shook her head. The first reason was that she had promised her uncle tomorrow she would stay home and study; she had a big science test coming up and her uncle's husband had vowed to help her. The second thing was that she was strictly forbidden to trip down to the local boy's school; not because of the risk of earning a boyfriend, or a fidanzato, but because of that the area was concealed to the Laccone family. Put it this way; if the Romano's of five years ago were bad, the Laccone's (pronounced la-kown-nee) were worse. Much worse.
But Luciana longed to go down to the school with her girlfriends. She had been told time and time again by her uncle never, ever to set foot on that teritory. It was begging for murder. Blood would be spilled and vendetta would be sworn; Gerard was just as over-protective of his family here in Italy as he had been in the United States. Luciana had designated hours to be out; she could not stay out beyond six o' clock in the evening and had to stay within the border district of Parioli, the richest area in Rome. She would sometimes drive by the school and see her friends with the boys, and indeed, other children, from the city. She was not permitted to do so.
But, back to the situation, Luciana's grin widened as she watched the man step inside the classroom, dressed in a tailored classical pin-stripe, gold rings clicking on his fingers. A buillon stud pierced his right ear and a golden crucifix rested heavily down his chest. The girl had been right; Ruceeta, the consigliere, was here, stroking his hair and smiling warmly. He walked in, shoes clipping the floor, and strode to the teacher's desk. Signora Bruno, a frail little thing of twenty three, cowered and dropped her chalk stick on the floor. She had been a teacher for little over eighteen months and this Mafia deal was still alien to her.
"Ciao, Signora Bruno," he said breezily, and all forty girls in the class swooned at the sound of his voice, the sight of his appearence. His skin tone was a deep honey, his eyes a deep chocolate. He was turning thirty six this year but didn't look a day over twenty one. When the Way family had moved back to Italy all of five years ago Adam Rucetta, a great friend of Gerard's and the former consigliere of the New York family Genovese, had been shipped over as well. He was also one of the few men in the Cosa Nostra who was openly homosexual. "I think you are aqquainted with the situation enough."
The teacher said nothing but began frantically searching in a nearby drawer, muttering to herself. Luciana slipped off her chair and began to happily pack up her satchel, shoving in her pencil case and books.
"Ciao, Signore," the teacher said breathlessly, her hands clawing through various papers and documents. "Forgive me-just a moment, please-must have misplaced it-"
"No matter," the consigliere replied brightly, smiling. "I am under no time limit. I will accept the money, collect Luciana and leave." He glanced at the Don's niece and smiled, holding out his hand to her. "Come, Lucia, your uncle is waiting outside."
A bubble of excitement rippled through the classroom. They had never seen the Don before. He was simply spoken about and referenced to. He could have been made up.
"Outside?" Bruno gasped, hand flying to her mouth. "The Don...Don de la Via is outside?"
"Yes," Rucetta replied happily. "He is outside the clasroom as he wants to talk to you about the teacher consultation next week. Mister de la Via will not be able to attend the meeting due to commitments in Sapienza and so Don de la Via will be attending for his niece."
"Mister de la Via?" A girl put forward timidly. "Who's that?"
"My uncle's husband," Luciana answered lightly, before the consigliere could cut in. "He's a dottore at the university." She turned to Rucetta. "Can't he come this year?"
"No," he replied. He turned to the teacher. His tone was a little sharper this time. "Are you having trouble finding the sustainance?"
"I-I just-" she broke down a little and ran fingers through chocolate hair. "Mio Dio-I just cannot-"
The classroom door was pushed open and the Don of the Famiglia stepped in. He was tall and thick and terrifying; red hair tucked into his trilby hat, hands shoved into his pocket, a cigarette between soft, pink lips. One green eye swept over the classroom as he surveyed it, the little girls within the room gaping at this amazing, damaged giant of a human being. He walked casually to the teacher's desk and slipped his hand into his niece's.
"Signora Bruno," he spoke lowly. He held up a hand; girls gasped and stared as they saw his hand minus one finger. "Ciao, madame. Is there trouble?"
The teacher was frozen to the spot. She pulled out a brown envelope stuffed with notes. The Don gestured for the consigliere to accept it; Rucetta took the money and tucked it inside his breast pocket.
"Lovely," the Don said now, and all eyes were huge and wide. "I trust this is the full amount, Signora. I do not have time to question you over petty money due to prior commitments but I am putting trust into you that you have payed your debt." His eyes flickered around the room and Luciana tugged on his sleeve. A smoke ring puffed from his nose. "Next week is the teacher consultation and I will be attending it. My husband is unable to and so I will be present." He glanced at his Rolex. "Now I must take my leave. I bid goodbye to you and trust my niece's report will be satisfactory next week." He nodded at Rucetta. "Come, leave."
Luciana grinned and walked alongside her uncle, giggling a little as her classmates watched her exit with the gangster. Agata leaned in to hiss to remind Luciana about asking her uncle about the date tomorrow. The Way girl grimaced; Gerard had the best goddamn hearing in the family.
Once they exited the classroom the Don scooped the girl into his arms, and she shrieked and whooped excitedly as she was brought up to height with the criminal. She wrapped one arm around his neck and planted a kiss on his cheek. The Don smelled like nicotine and chocolate, his regular remedy.
"Ciao zio," she trilled in his battered ear, and the gangster kissed her back lightly. "I've been looking forward to this all day, math was so boring and when Adam came in I was so happy," she said in a jumble, excited. "And Franco said this morning he's making risotto and he makes the best risotto ever zio-"
"Hello darling," the Don said in his strong Jersey accent. They exited through the front of the school, the Italian soldiers that now occupied all main streets of Rome standing to attention, strong and powerful, dressed to the nines. When the gangster and his niece, followed shortly by the consigliere walked by, they stepped back and allowed the three of them clamber into an armed Bugatti. Gerard sat with Luciana as Rucetta opened up the daily newspaper. "How was school today?"
"Good," she shrugged, reaching inside her bag and pulling out a sheet of paper full of neat, red ticks. "Look, zio, I got an A in my French exam. We had to write about Louis XIV and I got an A, zio, I got the highest in the class."
"Mia ragazza," he said affectionately, kissing her hair, taking the paper from her and inspecting it, green eye tripping along the linguistic standard. "Very good, miele, very very good...French is one of your best subjects, honey, I'm so glad." His arm wrapped around his niece and cuddled her close to the gangster's side. He pulled out a pen and scrawled his signature along a line next to a neatly printed Luciana de la Via. "Frank will be glad when he hears, baby."
"How was your day, zio?" She asked politely, hoping so desperately that her uncle would let her out tomorrow with her friends. "How was the Laccone meeting?"
"It was tolerable," Gerard answered, yawning. "Oh...mio Dio. Il giorno loungo. I can't wait to get home...Frank's making risotto, you say? Awesome." He yawned again as the Buick came to a sharp stop at the escercito d'Italia checkpoint. "He makes the best risotto ever."
"He does," the girl confirmed, and her syntax had been passed down by her uncle. "When I'm an adult I'm going to be vegetarian, like Franco. But I don't wanna be as short as him," she said, and Gerard laughed loudly. "So maybe I shouldn't."
"Honey, you're already tall," Adam Rucetta cut in, lighting up his Cuban, smiling. "You're nearly as tall as Franco."
"Yeah, but he's a boy, he's meant to be tall. Like you or Gerardo." She laughed lightly and leaned against her uncle's shoulder as the driver and a soldier began to converse. "When I get married I'm marrying a tall man. A vegetarian, tall man."
"An Italian?" Adam asked slyly.
"It doesn't matter if he's Italian or not," she said.
"Just tall and vegetarian?"
"Is he gonna be in the Cosa?"
"Maybe. I'm gonna be Donna, so he has to respect me."
"Donna Luciana," Gerard tried out, and smiled. "Lovely."
"So, speaking of boys...what's this we hear about you and your friends?" Adam said now, grinning wickedly. Gerard looked a tad perplexed. "I believe you have a proposition to put to your uncle."
Gerard turned to Luciana, who bit her lip and looked into her lap.
"Tomorrow my friends are going down to Piazza di Spagna," she muttered, glaring at Adam, who was smiling. "To meet Rosalia's b-er, friend." She paused and tried to smooth out the situation. "Just for an hour or two, zio, just for an hour. We'd be so careful and I turned dodici last month and I'd stay in Agata's house and you know her father and I'd be so careful and oh please please please zio let me go with them please-"
"I think Luciana may be in love," Adam teased, and the girl cried out in protest.
"NO! NO! No, zio, I promise, just to hang out with Pietra and Rosa and Catarine and Mita and oh please, zio," she begged. "I don't have a fidanzato, I don't want one, Signore Rucetta!" She cried indignantly, crossing her arms and pouting. "I'm dodici now, zio!"
Gerard was quiet and subdued, one eyebrow raised. Adam spoke for him.
"I personally don't see the problem. It'll just be for an hour or two, and the girl deserves a break after all the hard work she does. Like she said, she's twelve now, and Luciana acts more mature than her age." Luciana paid her uncle's consigliere a huge smile, brimming with happiness. "And the Laccones know better than to mess with your family, Don Gerardo. Especially a girl out with her friends just getting pizza and gelato. No big deal, boss. C'mon, look at her."
Gerard turned to his niece and looked at the chocolate orbs pleading with his electric green. She was looking more and more like her father every day. His lips were bright white and his look a little steely as the Bugatti pulled away from the checkpoint. Eventually he ran fingers through his hair and sighed a little.
"I will discuss it tonight with Franco." The girl clapped and high-fived Adam. "That does not mean yes-"
"Hell yeah, it does!"
"Rucetta, shut your face-that does not mean yes, it means that I will discuss it with my husband and see what he says and then we will decide what suits best." He pulled his hat down and tipped it up. "Do not get excited yet. If it were not for Signore Rucetta's very convincing speech I would have said no in an instant."
"Oh, zio!" The girl shrieked, jumping onto the Don and strangling him with a tight hug. "Oh, I know Franco will say yes, Franco can't say no to me, zio, oh thank you, thank you!" She looked at the consigliere. "And thank you, Signore Rucetta, thank you!"
Luciana was bursting with exitement as the Bugatti pulled up to the black manor. It was now nearing six o' clock and both Italian-Americans were starving.
"Oh man," Gerard groaned as they walked up to the house. It was a particularly cold, wintery day, and grey clouds above them were heavy with oncoming rain. "Oh man, I can't wait to eat something. Get my hands on my boy..."
Luciana jumped and skipped by his side, black plait bouncing. She was a little ball of energy.
"Are you gonna ask him right away? Will you tell me what he says? Can I ask him with you? Oh zio please-"
"Honey," he said, turning his key in the lock and jiggling it, opening it up and stepping into the mansion. Luciana squealed and danced. "I'll ask him later when we're in bed and I'll tell you in the morning if he says yes and I agree with him-"
"FRANCO!" Luciana yelled as she ran into the house, kicking off her shoes and racing into the kitchen. "ZIO GERARDO HAS SOMETHING TO ASK YOUUUUUUUU!"
The Don smirked a little and set down his gun. He tried to hear his husband's reaction to Luciana's outcry, but nothing claimed back to him. The girl was in the kitchen, picking at some food.
"Sneaking in food, are we?"
"You do it all the time, zio."
"Yeah," he shrugged. "But I'm the Don." He smiled as he heard water gushing from upstairs, the drone of jazz floating down the stairs. Luciana perched upon a stool and began to pick at some grapes. "Just a minute, baby, I think Franco is upstairs, I'll go say ciao and come back down, sweetie."
Gerard Way climbed the winding staircase that led to the second floor and revelled in the scent of his lover's honey milk liquid mixture that made his stomach drop with anticipation. The Don unbuckled his belt and shrugged his jacket from his shoulders, smirking. He could see the reflection of candle light snuck through the door slit and made the king of the criminals crave his boy even more, long that gorgeous, milky flesh. He knocked on the door of the marble bathroom (the size of the average kitchen area) and purred one of the many affectionate pet names he had for Frank.
"Knock knock, bunny rabbit."
Frank's hiccup giggle and some splashing of water. Gerard knew the kid so well he could tell the boy had tipped his head back and stretched in the tub.
"Who is it?"
"Oh, ha ha, funny," Frank drawled as his husband pushed open the door. The lecturer, now thirty years of age. was stretched out like a cat, purring quietly, eyes fluttered shut. Candles were lit in lieu of lights, and the whole room had a romantic, hushed, secretive feel. Gerard knelt down by the side and his neck was cuddled by Frank.
"Hey baby," the criminal greeted lazily, happily. "How are you, sweetie?" He ran his hands where he could reach and pressed his fingers into his husband's back, who let out a little gasp. "Mmm, fuck, you smell so good. I could fucking eat you up."
"I'm good," the boy shrugged, stroking Gerard's firey hair; the sploshes of blood-red still remained on the walls, on the floors. "Mmm...you wanna get in with me?" He laughed and tilted his head back, the Don's hands flittering down his chest.
"Somehow I think Luciana might not take to that too well," he purred, nonetheless pressing his lips to Frank and opening up his mouth, swiping his tongue along Frank's row of bottom teeth. "I came up to see my kitty after his day off to see how he is. See if he did anything apart from cook the best risotto in the history of both the North and the Mezzogiorno."
"Mezzogiorno too? Holy crap, I'm flattered, Gerard." He relaxed again and breathed deeply. After being married to Gerard Way for six years, Frank knew his way around the Mafia. He tended to help the Don whenever he had the chance. "Mmm...I paid Adam and Bruno for you, five hundred grand, like you asked...and I picked up your red and black tux for the art show next week, which reminds me that you have to get fitted again, you've put on some weight and you don't fit that nice shirt anymore..."
"Sorry, baby. You're barely skin and bones and you gotta fatass Mafia gangster husband who must crush you."
"Don't be silly," Frank said lightly, giggling as Gerard sucked the back of his neck. "I love you all soft and cuddly."
"'Soft and cuddly'. What a sweet way of saying fat."
"Anyway, we need you fitted again, preferably soon since you have your exhibition next week and you can't show up in a tight one. Oh, and Christa sent a letter concerning the Brigata." He yawned. "Apparently she needs new recuits."
"Shit. Better get my ass on that."
"Mmm," his husband reponded lazily. "But first, have dinner with me and Luci." He looked Gerard in the eye and traced the curve of his upper lip. "No Mafia crap until Monday, Gee, you're all mine for the weekend."
"Like you and the Mafia are married and I'm your kid. You get me for the weekend."
"No, no," Frank said quietly. "I get you all the time; the Mafia can think what it wants."
"Well, since I can't do it this weekend, I might as well tell you now, since you're basically Luciana's mom-"
"Just because I don't wear the pants in the relationship-"
"Maybe it's because you wear the suspenders in the relationship, baby, literally-"
"Fine, fine, I dress like a girl, I get it, I'm her mother."
"When she's older she can tell all her boy trouble to you. I'll just beat tha shit outta the motherfucker."
"You're the one who deals with the emotional crap. I-"
"Yes, alright, I'm basically just a girl in denial, what is it you wanna tell me about?"
"Well," the Don said. "Luciana wants to go into town with her friends tomorrow and go see the boy's school." Frank nodded, stroking his husband's cheek. "And it's in Piazzo di Spagna. Laccone territory. She wants to go unprotected with her girlfriends." He looked at Frank for confirmation.
"And I told her I'd discuss it with you, seeing as you flip the shit when she goes outside, asking her about coats and hats and scarves and shit." Frank smacked him playfully on the shoulder and Gerard cackled, then kissing his shoulder. "And now she wants ta go. Whaddaya think?"
"I don't see anything wrong with it," he said in a hushed voice, trying to calm the Don. "Gee, she's growing up now. She's not a little girl anymore. I know you're protective and everything, but she's gonna have a boyfriend sooner or later, Gee." He smiled a little. "We can't help that."
"It's not the boyfriend I'm worried out, she's twelve, for Chrissake-"
"Babe." Frank sat up and entwined their hands together. "You're pretty much her dad, you're going to start worrying about her. But soon she's gonna start going out with her friends more often. Dressing different and make-up and stuff. We can't help that." He repeated, still caressing his husband so softly. "It's sweet that you worry so much about her but you know deep down you're worried you'll lose her to a kid." Their lips met once; soft, sweet and short. "The Laccones wouldn't hurt her, Gee." He lowered his head and spoke a name he rarely thought about these days. "Not like the Romano's, Gee."
Gerard nodded and paused, his eyes sweeping over the boy's perfect form, his slender, feminine hips, his flawless coverage. He tipped his head to Frank's and spoke lowly, quietly, sadly.
"I'll destroy the fucker that ever hurts her. Even if he's some eleven-year-old little snot-"
"Gee." He pinched the gangster's lips between his thumb and fore finger. "No grouching. Tell me something happy."
"Well...you're my husband." Frank giggled blissfully. "That's always good."
"Such a motherfucking charmer." He nudged Gerard's chest and pulled at the buttons of his shirt. "Do you wanna help me dress, seeing as you've had such a hard day?"
"Oh yeah. Hope you got those things I asked for on the list, babe."
"What? The ingredients for the risotto?"
"Ah." Frank smiled sarcastically. "I got new suspenders, if that's what you're talking about."
"Aw yeaaaaaah," Gerard grinned, nodding. Frank rolled his eyes. "Honestly, you have the best legs in the whole fucking country."
"Even in the Mezzogiorno?"
"Mezzo-fucking-giorno, you know it." He looked at his watch and then kissed his husband again.
All was well.
But not for long.