A/N: I'm so sorry it took me so long to update! T.T I'll try to make it up to you guys next time.
For the meantime, please enjoy the second chapter.
When Luce found out there that will be another female joining the Arcobaleno, she was truly gladdened.
She thought she'd finally go crazy if all her companions were men. Just picture the chaos that will ensue…
So just imagine what her reaction was when Lal Mirch introduced herself.
"Lal Mirch. COMSUBIN Commander."
And that was all. No 'nice to meet you' or what-not. Plain-old, straight-to-the-point, military-like introduction that made the deep blue haired Giglio Nero boss frown.
So much for that girly bonding time.
Much to Luce's amusement, Lal Mirch seemed to harbour some 'protective-sister' feelings for Skull.
Right in the beginning, she was the first one to speak up (snap is a more proper word, perhaps) to the most famous hitman, Reborn, about his obvious slavery toward the pierced cloud arcobaleno.
The assassin clad in a suit raised a challenging eyebrow at the COMSUBIN Commander. And of course, she stares fearlessly back.
"If you and I are not a part of this family, I would have probably killed you, Mafioso." She shot dangerously as they were having afternoon tea.
"Oh?" Reborn smirks under his fedora. "I'm surprised how feisty you are, considering you're currently bowing down to a Mafiosa."
Lal Mirch pulled a gun from God knows where and aims it at the unlabeled Reborn.
Luce knows somewhere down that table the hitman has a finger already hovering beside his pistol's trigger as the said killing device is pointed at the blue haired Commander.
Skull's eyes larges as he senses the murderous auras his two seniors gave off.
Verde did not seem to mind any of this; he simply looked at a bunch of papers he's holding and studied them – completely oblivious. He probably won't even notice it if Reborn and Lal blasted each other's brains right there.
Viper still chewed on those heavenly and very free cookies.
Fon sipped his tea, as if this had already happened a dozen of times and he's completely used to it.
Luce frowned, once again.
What happened to that happy, family-like atmosphere earlier?
"Put down your weapons." The Sky said.
Neither the Rain nor the Sun obeyed.
"Put down your weapons." It sounded more like an order.
Lal slowly lowered her gun, but did not pull away that deadly gaze on Reborn.
"Reborn." Luce looked at the stubborn hitman. "Please."
The fedora wielding assassin put his pistol on his inside pocket.
"Now that there aren't any weapons of annihilation present on this table," Luce (she savours the irony for a moment there) began, "We can now talk. Yes?"
Neither of the two replied.
"Alright." The Boss of the Arcobaleno sighed and rubbed her swollen tummy unconsciously. "I believe Lal here is just doing what an appropriate senpai will do."
Skull nodded vigorously.
Reborn cocked an eyebrow at Luce. "I beg your pardon?"
"You, Mr. Hitman," their boss looked at him, and smiled abominably sweet, "Are guilty."
The judge has spoken and the verdict is out. The gavel has struck down and justice (injustice, for the hitman's case,) is served.
Skull looked like he just won the lottery. Or possibly, even better.
The smug look on Reborn's face had now vanished. "You –" Bitch. He did not finish his sentence as he remembered that she is his new boss and he cannot make the Vongola look bad by killing the pregnant monster just because she sided with the bawling pierced kid and the COMSUBIN dog. Instead, he smiled back at Luce; that same, sickeningly sweet grin.
"Now," she began again, irritated by his reply. She would have forgiven him if he just sorry, though. "For the punishment…"
As Reborn ran for the twenty second time around their wooden home in that mountain, he swore he'll get back on Lal. Soon.
Lal led a very organized life.
Her room in their little manor up in those mountains was very neat indeed; everything was in place. She knew how to clean and organize things; a trait which almost everyone in the gang did not posses.
Fon, with his Chinese ideals, wasn't a problem. Reborn doesn't even have a personal thing on his room; thus he doesn't have anything to organize there. Viper's room looked like it was okay; but then, you can never be sure about the things around him. Skull's turf was similar to those of a pubescent kid. And Verde doesn't seem to mind the growing colony of moulds and other micro organisms growing on his walls.
So to Luce, Lal is some kind of miracle child.
She was someone you would probably like your kid to grow up to be; a strong, intelligent and accomplished adult.
So one day, (like every intelligent kid out there would do) she asks why she had been chosen for something this mysterious for an unclear reason. Luce didn't question her. She was expecting it, at the very least.
"I mean no offence, Luce. It's just… I never expected that even the Comando RaggruppamentoSubacquei eIncursori can be manipulated by the Mafia. I didn't know…you people had such power over the military."
"Well," the Giglio Nero boss smiled, "I wouldn't call that 'power'. It's merely… a responsibility."
"The Mafia wasn't exactly 'organized crime' before. The Mafia was created to help people, to attend to the weak and to protect the helpless. It wasn't always about drugs and murder." Luce said, as if stating past experiences. "Sadly, almost all of the famiglias existing today had long forgotten about those facts."
The Sea knows no bounds.
The Clam passes down its form from Generation to Generation.
The Rainbow appears from time to time before fading away." The mafia boss sings in their mother tongue and Lal almost got carried away by her soothing voice. "Do you know what that song is, Lal? It's the song that possesses what we must protect."
The former commander knitted her eyebrows.
"It's called the Three Sets of Seven. Fourteen rings of immense power and seven pacifiers to protect them." Luce says carefully. Something in her sweet voice made Lal feel the shivers.
"The Mare rings are protected by my family, the Giglio Nero. The Vongola rings are guarded by Reborn's family. And the seven pacifiers; the Rainbow pacifiers which are wielded by the chosen Seven, the Arcobaleno, are meant to be protected by us. You may not believe me when I tell you that those fourteen rings of the Sea and Clam can reduce the world in to rubble if used improperly, but in time, dear, in time you'll understand."
Lal's light rusty brown eyes widened at the pregnant woman' statements for they were far from credible; but as the latter said, in time, she'll understand.
And when that time came, she certainly wasn't prepared.
In Reborn's life, there had been only three women in which his irresistible charms (that could make most women want to drop their wedding rings, underwear and other prized possessions) didn't work on: one was a woman he didn't want to identify, two is Luce, and three is Lal Mirch.
Reborn couldn't stand the fact that Lal was practically ignoring him. Luce was an exception; after realizing some things, he concluded that lust was the last thing he wanted to feel for the Giglio Nero Boss. And for Pete's sake, she's pregnant too; not to mention that the woman in question is still so committed to the man who fathered her soon to be daughter.
So let's go back to Lal.
Lal was a bad-ass type of a woman. She led a group of Navy dogs in such a young age; and earned the respect of many high ranking generals because of that. She was the best of the best out there; and that was why she was chosen to be part of the Seven.
Their relationship started out as rivals. Reborn didn't know why she was so competitive and snappy; but, even though he didn't admit it, he liked her that way.
He liked his girls all aggressive and nasty.
But that changed soon after.
"Reborn," she hissed, eyes glaring at his coal black ones, "Let me go before I decide to kill you."
The hitman slowly did as told, much to Lal's surprise.
"Tell me Lal Mirch," Reborn tells her as he turns the knob, successfully shutting the water pouring down on them in that shower cubicle. "You're in love with someone aren't you?"
Lal's wild eyes spell shock. "What –"
"For a moment I thought that maybe there's something wrong with me. But just now… that glint in your eyes…when I saw it, that's when I realized everything."
"What are you saying?" the blue haired commander snapped. "Everything is wrong with you, asshole! You're –"
"I can finally read your mind." The hitman leaned closer to her, and when his lips were breaths away from her ear, he whispered; "I can't believe how thick you are."
Reborn slid out of the cubicle with an amused and satisfied smirk, leaving Lal standing there naked, confused and very irritated.
"Where have you been last week, hey?"
"It's none of your business."
"I remember you told me that we'll be having a mission somewhere in Russia. What happened to that, hey?"
"The Navy can take it on without our help."
"It's not like you to refuse challenges like that. You like to be in command of things; you like to dominate. The Lal Mirch I know –"
"Would you just shut it, Colonnello?" Lal retorted and tore her gaze away from the paperwork she was reading. "Who are you to speak of me like you know me so well? I am just tolerating this, this irksome attitude of yours, soldier. And don't you dare speak of me again like that. You don't know anything about me. Now get your ass out of my office!"
Colonnello felt like he was submerged in ice cold water.
"Y-Yes…Ma'am." He managed to stutter. He swiftly exited her office, still feeling the sting of her words.
Lal exhaled, letting out some of her pent-up anger and frustration. She bit her lip.
If she knew that things would turn out this way, she would have refused this 'special' mission from the start.
The dark haired Giglio Nero Boss hummed as she picked up two dressed and compared them to the other. "Yes dear?"
"Uh… I think I'm not suited to accompany you today. Maybe Fon would be a better choice… or Skull."
"I have troubled Fon too many times now and Skull's away for some mission for his family."
"What about Reborn? Or Viper?"
"Reborn's not feeling well today and Viper…he's in a… a condition where he can't be near people... you know how it is with him." Luce smiles and picks a rosy colored dress. "I think this'll suit you more. What do you think?"
"Wear it, Lal." Luce hands the dress over to the COMSUBIN commander. "I'll wait for you outside okay?" the pregnant woman treaded away, leaving Lal inside her room.
Luce is making her wear a dress. A very frilly, girly and rosy dress. Somehow in Lal's mind this sounds very, very wrong. Putting her name and frilly dress in the same sentence sounds like a crime already.
But what can she do? Luce is her boss. What the boss wants, the boss gets.
"Yes, – oh."
Lal slowly came out of the room, dressed in that…that thing. "I think this –"
"It's so perfect!~"
"Huh?" Lal's jaw dropped as the Giglio Nero boss pulled her closer.
"Reborn's certainly right about this! I'm so glad I trusted him on this!"
"Wh-What?" Lal's eyes shot open while Luce fussed about the dress. "What about Reborn…?"
"He ordered this dress for you, actually. He told me it would suit you well. And it does! Oh Lal, your so beautiful!"
"That fuck…" she cursed silently and wished she could shoot the fedora wielding hitman right now.
"Now, come on! Let's go, let's go!" Luce pulled her by the arm and started dragging her out of their home.
"W-Wait Luce! I can't possibly go out wearing this!"
"Nonsense!" the pregnant woman put on an extra tug on her arm. "You look absolutely stunning! You'll make heads turn when we get to the market!"
As Luce dragged her off to town, Reborn watched them with an amused smile.
Vengeance is served.
Lal swore if she could pull that gun from her holster, she'd shoot every man who stared at her as they treaded along the crowded streets or the market.
"Uh… Luce? Can we uh, please go now?"
"Oh no, dear, we can't," the pregnant woman answered, not pulling her gaze from the red apples. "I'm waiting for someone."
"…You… you're meeting with someone?"
"Well, not exactly. Would you like some pie?"
"Is apple pie okay?" Luce held up an apple.
"Oh, yeah, sure." Lal watched the Giglio Nero Boss choose from the array of apples. "Who is this person who you will be meeting with?"
"You'll meet 'em soon," Luce thanked the vendor as he handed the bag of apples she picked. "Let's go!"
The COMSUBIN commander nodded once and followed her. Luce led her to the town square and they sat on a bench beside a weathered angel-decorated fountain.
Before Luce can even sit, she suddenly exclaimed, "Oh, there he is!"
Lal whipped her head toward the path where Luce wobbly half ran.
'He' is an ice cream seller.
A few moments later, the Giglio Nero boss returned with two cones at hand. "I hope you like chocolate." She hands Lal the other cone.
Lal muttered 'thanks' and blinked curiously at Luce as the latter happily licked and sucked on the cold dessert like a kid who haven't had anything sweet for ages.
"You were waiting for an ice cream vendor?"
"Mr. Jose has the yummiest ice cream my palate had ever tasted!"
Lal fought back the urge to sigh and licked the treat. Wow. It is good.
"My…My lover likes chocolate too, you know."
The female commander stops and averts her eyes to the pregnant Luce.
"He used to say it's 'a fallen piece of heaven'." She chuckles and looks at Lal, only to meet with surprised eyes. "O-Oh, sorry. I'm sorry…"
"…N-No, it's alright." Lal wanted to hit herself for her previous reaction. "Uh… Your lover… where is he?"
Luce's eyes widened at Lal's question. Lal blushed and cleared her throat. "I… I don't mean to stick my nose in your business, it's just –"
"I don't know." Luce rubbed her tummy. "But I'm sure he's painting something right now."
"He's… a painter?"
"Yes. A very talented one."
Lal nods and sucks on the melted ice cream. Luce does the same.
"Once we become the Arcobaleno… You can't return to COMSUBIN anymore."
"You can never see your comrades anymore. Not even your superiors and loved ones."
"What are you saying?"
"The moment they chose you to be one of us, they have already severed their ties with you. You are no longer part of the Navy's Special Forces. You are in the Mafia now."
"They… they can't do that to me."
Luce put a hand on Lal's shoulder. "We're one week away from that day. You can leave tomorrow. Don't… you can't tell anyone about this matter. Not even the slightest hint. I know this will be tough, but... It's part of our job."
Lal slowly relaxed, although disbelief is still on her eyes.
"Lal?" Luce called, worry evident in her voice.
"Where are you going, hey?"
Lal stops, feeling those striking blue eyes piercing holes on her back. She turns, and beams a smug smirk. "I've found something more worthy of my abilities."
"Is that even possible? You've gotta be kidding, hey."
"You're just too young to understand." she turns again and continues walking away.
"I want to know where. Tell me, hey."
"Why would I do that? All you do is spoil my fun."
"It's my right as your student to know. It's my job to surpass you. Where are you going?"
Lal stopped once more, and promised it will be the last. "Somewhere you won't ever reach, Colonnello."
The blond's eyes widened and Lal burns those blue orbs in her memory because she knows it's the last time she'll ever see them again.
"Lal… Lal! Lal Mirch!"
She closes the door and leaves everything behind.
Luce is the Sky and Lal is her Rain.
She was supposed to be.
"You're joining the Vongola family?" Luce asks with disbelief in her voice.
"Yes. Reborn invited me. I'll be working for the CEDEF."
"Oh." Luce settles back again in her seat and instinctively rubs her belly.
"I'll be going then."
"Always take care of yourself, dear."
"Don't forget to use those scrubs and herbal lotions I gave you."
"Take those vitamin E supplements I bought for you."
"Drink milk every morning… and take those milk baths too, every once in a while."
"Don't forget to apply sunscreen when you go out on a mission."
"…Okay, okay, I won't forget all the things you told me." Lal sighed and held back the urge to facepalm.
Luce blushes lightly and then clears her throat. "Good."
The ex-COMSUBIN chief held out a hand, asking for a handshake. "You've been a good boss. I'm deeply honoured to have been under your command."
The sky smiles softly and stands as she clasps her hands in her own, "I'm more than honoured to have become your friend."
And then, Lal beams one of those very rare smiles she has.
"Don't eat too much ice cream, even though you're technically a kid now."
"I won't." Luce chuckles and pulls her in to an embrace. "Lal," the she started as she pulled away, "Always remember this: you will always be a part of the Arcobaleno. That pacifier will always hold the same power as the other blue pacifier, but you can't use it too often. Be careful, if ever the time comes that you must use it."
Lal nods and her Sky squeezes her hand "Good bye, my dear."
"Good bye, Luce."
And so, with a final glance she walks away from the Sky, clutching the grey pacifier as she treaded away.