Viper is hanging from their wrists by a chain attached to the ceiling of a relatively nice but enclosed room with blood stained hardwood floors, skin itching all over from the drug that supresses flames, and in quite a bit of pain because these people were not gentle moving Viper into the room.

The worst part is that it's so embarrassing. Viper knew full-well that it was a trap but holy shit that was a lot of money for basic information on the Arcobaleno, and they couldn't resist going to the meeting point. Everyone is going to laugh at Viper when they find out...

The heavy door is shoved open, a woman stepping through - looking meaner than Lal, as if that's physically or spiritually possible. The woman drags a cart in with her that rattles, sickly and loud, a nice array of torture implements. The woman wheels the tray all the way up to Viper and-

And no, Viper is not playing along right now, because Reborn once went on a rant about all the things he could do with a power drill and Viper laughed at the time but they're not laughing now.

Viper knows -and Verde did lament this previously- flame supressing drugs block flames from manifesting, such as Storms disintegrating locks or Lightnings hardening their skin as a defence, and especially effective on Mists to stop them from casting illusions. However, Mist flames turning inward can't be supressed.

Viper decides to fight fire with fire and closes their eyes.

Lal then opens them.

The interrogator leans in, catching the shift. "Oh? Ready to talk already? I haven't even done anything."

Lal slams Viper's knee into the woman's body and she folds over, though it just knocks the wind out of her considering Viper didn't just spontaneously develop muscles.

"Weak," Lal spits out.

Fuck you, bitch, Viper thinks back.

Lal wraps Viper's legs around the woman's neck in a particularly complicated knot before pushing up and putting Viper's full weight onto the grip around the woman. There's a muffled click and the woman goes limp.

Lal drops the hold and the body falls, Viper's form dangling once again. Lal looks up at the ceiling chains and sighs. "I can't do anything in this body."

Viper grumbles but shoves Lal away, along with a neat mental package about the famiglia currently holding them and where additional information should be located in Viper's big vault. Get here quickly, I can't keep doing this, Viper warns.

Colonnello opens Viper's eyes. "Wow, I hate it in here."

Just get me down, asshole, Viper complains.

"How?" Colonnello scoffs. He flips Viper's legs up and groans when they can't get above the waist. "I'm not a miracle worker."

Viper is not above emotional manipulation.

Colonnello, it hurts, it really hurts.

"I'm looking, and I don't see anything but shallow cuts and maybe bruises so I don't know what you're whining about."

They took my hood. Nello, I don't have a hood, I'm scared-

"Okay!" Colonnello cuts in. "Fuck, fine. But just know that you did this to yourself."

Colonnello starts swinging Viper's body back and forth, using their legs to build the momentum. He gets quite the speed going, pointedly ignoring the fact that Viper is pettily shoving all the pain of their aching wrists onto Colonnello.

Colonnello kicks up at the peak of a forward swing and flips Viper's body upside down as far as he can get it, clamping Viper's legs around the chain in an awkward hunched position, fingers able to brush Viper's knees.

Colonnello dislocates Viper's thumb and pulls the hand through the cuff before resetting it, doing the same to the other. He carefully repositions Viper's body because his dexterity is in the negatives and he doesn't want to drop Viper on their head.

Colonnello lets go of the chain and lands with a roll over the stained hardwood flooring.

Oww, Viper complains loudly.

"You're not the only one having a difficult time here," Colonnello says. "I can't work with this rusty equipment." He shakes out Viper's arms.

Oh, I can let you really feel it, Viper threatens. They're calibrating the link so Colonnello isn't staggering around trying to adjust to a new height and a new body and a different level of eyesight and hearing and a thousand other things that would make the body completely inoperable for Colonnello.

Colonnello rolls his eyes and loots the convenient dead body nearby but doesn't find a gun because the woman is too smart to bring in a potential weapon like that.

Colonnello instead goes for the tray of torture implements because a scalpel can do a lot. He heads over to the door and stares at the keypad. "Ummm…"

Verde opens Viper's eyes, a scalpel in hand, a keypad in front of him. "How are you doing this?"

Don't ask questions, Viper orders. Get to it.

"Can you do this any time you like?" Verde muses, looking around the room.

Viper hesitates. To be fair, everyone has it? So let's not make a mountain out of a molehill or anything.

Verde blinks. "I would like to go back now, I was in the middle of something."

I'm being held hostage, Viper points out. What, no concern?

"Clearly you can just get one of the others."

Open the door and you can go.

Verde sighs and Viper's body gets set on undoing the keypad, stripping wires and then folding them back together. Verde then opens the door and steps out.

Fon takes the next step. "Oh, hello Viper. Lal called."

How far away is backup?

"Skull is on his way," Fon answers, strolling through the base. "Shall we get you get you a new hood to wear in the meantime?"

A man turns the corner, right into Viper's flying kick (after Fon boosts off a wall for assistance). He is stripped in short order and Viper has a new oversized hoodie jacket.

"Am I to be killing everything?" Fon muses.

Or finding a hiding place, Viper suggests. Because that kick hurt my foot.

"Perhaps you should ask Reborn then," Fon says. "I'm not sure how much I can do in terms of fighting."

You have over a hundred martial arts techniques-

"And you have the body of an anaemic fern. These people would also generally know how to fight hand-to-hand, so anything other than surprise attacks on a lone person will be troublesome."

Viper angrily shunts Fon away.

"I just made an espresso," Reborn complains.

Well if you want to drink it while it's still warm, you better get to work.

Reborn huffs and storms off to go find a hidey-hole. He stops to make a sandwich at one point because Viper's body is hungry and then wiggles into the top shelf of the garage's big closet holding various food stock.

They take a nap together.

When Viper wakes up, not remembering falling asleep, they're buckled into the passenger seat and jostled around as Skull drives over a speed bump just emerging from the driveway of the famiglia's HQ.

"What?" Viper tries, moving around just to confirm that they don't feel injured anymore and conjures a flower to make sure the drugs have been flushed out too. Reborn must have come by in his actual body.

Skull turns and grins. "Oh, hey! The guys will take some more time so we're going home first."

"And what does that mean?"

Skull shrugs and flicks on the turn signal as he exits the large driveway. "It's pretty messy?"

"That's sounds great, I just wish you said it with more confidence." Viper looks around out of the windows to check their location and then sees the view out of the back window. "Oh shit, Skull."

"I said it was messy," Skull argues. "I warned you."

Off in the distance is a great pyre where the building should have been, the fire not quite hiding the debris of the half-collapsed building, nor the people laid out on the ground slowly being consumed by the fire.

"Did you think we wouldn't be upset?" Skull asks in confusion. "You know what we did to the people who tried to kill Reborn, and you practically planned the entire revenge thing when Colonnello was kidnapped."

"I just wasn't expecting it to this extent," Viper says, incredulous. "They seemed normal when I borrowed them."

"Yeah, they looked pretty normal when they lined everyone up on the balcony and hung them from the railing one by one."

Viper settles back into the seat.

They're smiling.


A/N: Everyone gets back home and yells at Viper for apparently implanting parasitic Mist flames into their heads.

Viper: but it did come in handy-