Collection of moments about G. and Cerelia (Primo Generation transposition of Gokudera X Haru).
Timeline: Primo Generation, Vigilantes (= before they were called the Vongola Famiglia)
Pairing: PRIMO!5986 = G. X Cerelia | Age: 17~22 y.o
ANY CANON-ISH-NESS WOULD BE FORTUITOUS.
KHR Primo Gen. 5986
TEN GENERATIONS AGO, NOBLE PALAZZO, ONE EVENING
"Back off guys..." G. instructs the other vigilantes behind him to let go of the other guys. "We're all here tonight to make sure nothing happens, so don't get something started, tsk..."
G.'s magenta eyes stare at the leader of the other brigade in whom they've bumped when touring the surroundings of the prestigious mansion they've been ordered to guard tonight. If it was up to him, he would ditch that kind of jobs and leave it to the other brigade to go and wave their tail in front of the nobles for financial support, but it can't be helped... Giotto has insisted because some of the guests attending tonight are foreigners and it might cause further instability in the city if something were to happen to them.
"You both, il giardino (Ita. garden). You, you and you, one under each of the balconies."
"But, G. we...!"
But the talkback is easily countered with a shrug of G. shoulders, and the five other vigilantes from his group disperse to go to their assigned location, leaving G. all alone facing the other brigade.
"Mamma mia, how brave." The leader of the other brigade claps his hands at G. with obvious disdain, while inwardly cursing that this guy might have calculated it all.
If they gang up at several against him, the group whose reputation will go down the drain. Yet for G. to have the guts to leave himself wide open like that, without even his famous bow or any other weapon, just how much confidence does this guy have...
"Let's all do a good job tonight." G. pulls on his cigarette and tosses it away in the marble ashtray by the patio doors, turning heels on the other brigade. "A mai più rivederci (Ita. farewell, hoping never to see the other person again)."
Once inside, the warmth and classical music tunes engulfing G. make him regret to have abandoned the cold dangerous pressure of the night outside. Needless to say, he feels more in his element when pressured for a fight in the darkness of the night than in a Salon packed with nobles enjoying light refreshments and dancing.
"*murmurs*" The gossiping around him as he passes through is not helping making feel more relaxed either.
If it was because of his sour attitude, he wouldn't mind much.
If it was because of his face, he couldn't say much either.
But the problem is that all these gossips are about him being a Vigilante, meaning not someone who would usually be invited to this kind of aristocratic party.
Dannato... Giotto, what was the point of asking that favour for me... It doesn't make a damn difference that I'm dressed appropriately or not, tsk...
But somehow, that's very much like Giotto to get concerned over this kind of things for the people around him... So G. can only sigh with a faint smile at remembering that's also during moments like those that his respect for Giotto never fades.
Mah... I'm already stuck indoor so let's have go take a look at the surroundings. The foreign guests would most likely be by the dancefloor of the hosts table.
And G. heads towards the central area and busiest room in the palazzo, after having checked in a Rinascimento mirror that the cravat around the tall collar of his outfit is still tied properly and won't shame Giotto's efforts.
Upon entering the large room with high ceilings lit by crystal candelabras, G. somehow finds himself being stared at more than before. But he doesn't bother and simply goes patrolling instead, shooting glances at the ceilings in-between checking the different balconies.
If an appropriately-dressed Vigilante like himself attracts so much attention, he won't have to worry about a stranger sneaking in incognito with a weapon.
A couple glares for the different waiters to see if they flinch like normal human beings or not, and he's pretty much checked everything that could be checked. The word about him being a Vigilante from Signor Giotto group has already travelled the entire ballroom by now, and it has earnt him much staring, even if aristocrats are usually discreet enough to be only stealing glances.
As he stands by one of the balconies veranda windows, resigned to guard there for some time, he suddenly overhear a familiar name at some distance.
"Signor Giotto? Isn't he a hero for the popolino (Ita. the people, pejorative)?"
"Mah, you could say that."
"I have always wondered how much of the popolino's stories are true. Because it is impossible to trust upon word the incolto (Ita. uneducated, pejorative)."
"I heard a couple good tales about him and his group, and from people in this very room, dare I say."
"è così (Ita. is that so)? Then I suppose we can only honour his bravery."
"Haha, there must be something to admire in people like him, shouldn't there?"
G. has chocked at the tone in which the last sentence was spoken, and he turns his head to try and steal a glance at which aristocrat exactly is speaking. It isn't easy determining who is the offender in the crowd of the sidelines of the dancefloor, though...
It is a flurry of extravaganza, with the bubbly conversation and giggle of ladies, and the loud wine-enhanced chatter of men, the whole regularly messed up by the andirivieni (Ita. coming and going) of dancers taking a break after a tune or coming to the sidelines in search for a partner.
Leaving the side of the balcony, G. ventures a bit closer from the group of middle-aged noblemen he had overheard, this time trying to eavesdrop on purpose to ascertain if they are really slighting his respectable Boss.
"Abbene abbene (Ita. very well), this kind of man is very useful, I can not agree more."
"But gaining his support makes you wonder about his loyalty, would it not. Are not Vigilantes similar to mercenaries in the end? They will only attend to your benessere (Ita. well-being) for money, so who can promise that they will not attend to your malessere (Ita. wrong-being) as long as some other Palazzo offers them more money?"
SNAP. G. has heard enough to forget about keeping his calm, and he steps forward with a pissed expression, even pushing out of his way a passing-by lady and her escort.
But just as he was reaching the group of aristocrats, he suddenly feel his feet not obeying him anymore and instead rushing in another direction, following after his arm that has been pulled sideway.
The crowd of the first inner-line of bystanders fills his field of vision with colourful fabrics and surprised expressions as he can't really snatch his arm away from whoever has grabbed him. Must he really put strength in it or what... Just who could have...
The crowd finally clears when reaching the dancefloor and its fluttering flow of dancing couples, and catches G. off-guard when his kidnapper finally lets go of him only to curtsey in front of him, in this polite manner that noble ladies use.
G. has slightly frozen with a blush at realising the one having pulled him away is a gorgeous young lady dolled in a corset dress enhancing her figure. The locks of luscious black hair pinned into a gracious hairdo are making her face appear even lovelier and her skin fairer, while the simple pendant adorning her cleavage isn't stealing away from her captivating sapphire eyes. If not for these straight-forward familiar sapphire eyes, G. might not have realised WHO had prevented him from fighting.
"Y...?! Why would you?!"
"*annoyed whisper* Please do not forget etiquette is for the man to invite the lady! *aloud* Il mio piacere (Ita.It will be my pleasure), Signor Vigilante. *whisper again* Now please do your best to impress the audience more than the couple on our left: the man is the nephew of the zuticone (Ita. lout, clodhopper) who insulted Signor Giotto!"
G. barely needs a second to realise that Cerelia must have been nearby in the sidelines as well and heard her beloved hero being looked down on. But rather than violence, she has picked the solution that will inflict the most damage to those aristocrats caring only about their well-being: prestige.
"... You... are you planning on helping a Vigilante beating them at ballroom dancing in public?"
"Wouldn't you agree that would be quite a sight?"
Cerelia's smile feels at the same time filled with expectations but also resentment, and G. can't help but feel her determination in the way she's guiding his hand high up for a proper promenade position, while guiding them both towards the centre of the dancefloor for a few twirls.
... sicuro (Ita. sure enough), it would give those aristocrats a shock. One can't look down on someone else having been shown superior to them in public. Ballroom dancing being the entertaining display of perfect upbringing and education, having a Vigilante perform better than those bambinos viziatos (Ita. spoiled brats) would deal a serious blow to the pride of their families, but...
TILT. G.'s thoughts freeze at suddenly feeling his right hand being brought by hers on her waist, her hips moving onto his in this trademark closed position that has been popular for dancing recently. No wonder the public criticized it for being improper: she really feels too close!
"Daccordo daccordo (Ita. alright)..." G. mutters while trying to escape the pair of sapphire eyes looking at him while waiting for an answer to her previous suggestion.
Hopefully, the middle-aged aristocrats from before have also stepped on the first line of the bystanders to discuss and gloat at their family representatives being on the dancefloor, so it reanimates the flame of revenge in G.'s heart. He immediately discards the previous feelings and focus on leading the both of them among all the other couples slowly dancing around while waiting for the next main piece to be played by the Chamber Orchestra (slow-tempo interludes were usually played between main dances, mainly to allow for a change of partners).
"Nervous much? How surprising of you, Donna Stupida." G. can't help teasing her at feeling her tiny palm sweating a little in his.
"You might have nothing to lose but Father will scold me if I misstep in front of such prestigious padrona (Ita. lady host)..." Cerelia's expression makes G. swallow back his teasing and follows discreetly after Cerelia's gaze.
He won't deny that this little lady is currently betting a lot of her reputation, be it only by dancing with him in public, but there seems to be someone important watching on top of that... Just who is the famous dance mecenate (Ita. person patronizing, sponsoring) she's referring to... Someone with that much prestige can usually be spotted from the attitude of others around them, let's have a look...
"That old lady over there on the sofa by the balcony?"
"The person you're calling an old lady has been tutored in her youth by Signor Carl Maria von Weber at Prague, and it is rumoured she is the one having pressed the composer into writing his 'Invitation to a Dance' for his wife. All Salons across Europe are very eager for her but she doesn't travel much to her grand age."
"Davvero, she looks really old."
"A gentiluomo should never comment on a lady's age! In any case, since she has recently settled here in Italy, the entire nobility is trying to impress her with their sense of dancing so that she can put a good word about their families in the circles of Prague and London."
"Those people sure have their priorities straight when so many of their cittadino (Ita. citizens, commoners) here in Italy are dying in the streets, tsk..."
"Do not look down on all nobles, you cafone! The reason why some of us are eager for these recommendations abroad is because it will benefit trade! Do you think money will come to the artisan in the streets if none of us takes the trouble of promoting the crafts of Italy to wealthy countries like England?!"
G. freezes at the reproach supported by a pair of stubborn sapphire eyes, feeling a little simplish suddenly.
It's not that he doesn't know all of that, but pushing the blame to these ego-inflated leeches had always been an easy way to assemble the people from the country. Perhaps he's chosen ease over fairness too much, recently... Davvero, he shouldn't look down on all of them just because of a couple eyesores... With her looking at him like that, how could he dare and forget that, indeed, some of them nobles are good allies...
Cerelia startles at the unexpected apologies and looks away from G.'s eyes at feeling a bit troubled by how sincere he looks.
"... It is good that you know."
The interlude is almost finished by now, and all couples are now being very attentive to the tunes, not wanting to miss the start of the piece on which they will start performing.
"In any case, I can not let Signor Giotto get insulted without paying them back, but I also can not let Father's efforts go to waste by ridiculing myself at dancing when this lady is supervising... I hope you are as confident in your Wiener Walzer (Ger. fast-tempo Waltz, for ballroom dancing performance) as you are in your archery."
"How many times do you think I've been on watch for one of your parties packed with nobles, tsk... I know it by heart."
Cerelia's eyes come back on G.'s face at full speed, forgetting it isn't socially proper to stare at one's partner from so close.
"You mean... you've never danced it?! This isn't just a fast-tempo Allemande (baroque dance with more distance between the partners) or sequence dance for which you just need to know the steps! Wiener Walzer needs coordination and practice! You can't just replicate it after having only WATCHED it!!"
"O-oh? Care to try me?"
G.'s confident tone feels completely disconcerting yet trust-worthy, and Cerelia can only frown slightly as he holds her tighter in this trademark pose befitting the Viennese Waltz, his hands feeling perfectly in-control up until the pose of his fingers behind her back.
"Do not underestimate dancing."
"Don't underestimate me."
Their eyes have locked in challenge, sparks engulfing their eyes as they narrow them in synch to focus, their ears having caught onto the closing tunes of the interlude.
G.'s left foot moves forward in a quick heel-toe, perfectly find his mark at the same rhythm Cerelia has brought her own right foot backward, not a centimetre of gap visible between them as they've moved in synch to start the first natural turn with impressive tempismo (Ita. sense of timing).
When the first avoiding manoeuvre (step sequence used to avoid another couple) becomes necessary, Cerelia's heart skips a beat at fearing a wrong step from G., suddenly unwilling to be proven right about him underestimating the dance. Her fingers tense in his hand as she pulls their both hands towards her back, trying to hint at him to use a whisk.
But to her surprise, G. had already felt the 'threat' of the other couple and settled for a double reverse spin to slow their progress on the dancefloor by one full measure of music, before re-entering the flow of the waltzing couple with a chassé.
Unwilling to just be impressed by G.'s skills despite it being obviously his first real practice, Cerelia decides to put on her best attitude: turning her head slightly to her left, her expression changes into a mature poised flair, stealing admirative sighs from the audience at each of the natural spin-turns revealing her expression to them.
G. also wouldn't let her win all the credits with her impeccable and light footwork sending the silk and embroideries of her dress fluttering perfectly around the both of them, so he also straightens his back and shoulders with an aloof air of confidence, not even needing to smile to steal heartbeats from the audience.
Despite the initial gossiping about how a Signor Vigilante had joined the dancefloor - for the best or for the worst, depending on the gossiper - it becomes clear after a couple minutes that G. and Cerelia do are the couple with the best technical ability, natural consequence of them having wanted to challenge one another with more and more complicated steps and turns.
Each measure of music has become a way to prove 'not to underestimate' the other, to the delight of the audience having rarely seen young aristocrats putting on so much energy into dancing - the social convention rather encouraging moderation and propriety, besides the usual fear of a public blunder.
At finally noticing the discomfited expression of the nobleman seeing his own nephew unable to keep up with them, G. and Cerelia finally remember their original intent, and they steal a glance at each other in sign of truce before starting another impressive step sequence making the audience go awww-ing at its intensity and extraordinary execution.
Faint smiles stretch their lips as they abandon the idea of testing each other, trusting the other's lead and following like if they had been partners since forever.
They didn't need more than eye-contact with each other before heading to the centre of the dancefloor to string in a series of fleckerls (twirl/rotation on the spot), the other couples having no choice but leave them the spotlight while continuing to waltz around them at regular speed.
The final measures of music accompany their flowy spinning until G. notices a slight change of tune from the pianoforte and bends over towards Cerelia to murmur to her ear: indientro (Ita. backwards).
A second later, Cerelia has obeyed the hint without a single doubt and slided her left leg back, bending her top backwards with a grace making it look too easy comparing to the level of flexibility involved.
As G. had guessed, the music ended on this final throwaway oversway, Cerelia's pose in the middle of the dancefloor winning them a loud round of polite applause.
"... huf huf..." The end of the tunes suddenly takes away the previous pressure from their chest, and G. and Cerelia notice they are panting only when making eye-contact with each other.
Panting, their cheeks flushed, their body hot and almost burning... And these magenta/sapphire eyes looking at them from so close but without feeling unnatural...
TILT. They come back to reality when an old but dashing butler clears his throat next to them, welcomingly interrupting their troubling tête-à-tête.
"If Signorina Trebaia and Signor Vigilante would oblige, Durchlaucht (De. Milady) would wish for the pleasure of seeing the both of you attend for the final dance, later on."
Cerelia and G. catch a glance at the old lady by the balcony smiling faintly and giving them a faint nod while pretending to be answering the waiter. How could this nod be mistaken when her own butler is making such a request to them...
They both grin at each other while squeezing each other's hand, unable to hold back their joy at having won such a compliment from the famous lady: there could be no higher honour! Giotto's honour is now backed by the lady whose acknowledgement is sought after by the entire country!
They recover countenance quickly though, and politely curtsey/bow to answer the butler affirmatively.
Behind them, in the sidelines surrounding the dancefloor, the conversation between the middle-aged aristocrats has also resumed:
"Dare I say, Vigilantes are very good kind of men."
"Ah? A-h... mah... I... guess so..."
"Certamente certamente (Ita. certainly), I heard they are men of honour."
"... it... appears... so..."
"Their loyalty is not to be triffled with, dare I say. If we may use the Vigilante subject to attend to her table, Donna Giulia has a very intriguing story about them and how they defended a ruined family from pilferage, and..."
"...D-Donna Giulia...? I... I see..."
Another talk can be heard from the sidelines, this one giving G. goosebumps rather than chills of pleasure at having won back his Boss' honour:
"... *giggle* I would, oh how I would!"
"Inutile dire che (Ita. needless to say), I would also without a second thought!"
"... are not you engaged, sorella maggiore (Ita. older sister)?"
"*sigh* Vigilantes are such fine men, indeed!"
"Grand-Aunt would faint if hearing you fantasizing about a waltz with a Vigilante... Not that I do not understand, but..."
"Carissima (Ita. my dear), would you accompany me to pass in front of him? If he invited the young lady from the Trebaia, he would not find me any lacking, could he?"
"... but it seems to be already engaged for the final dances, I heard from Zia (Ita. Auntie) who heard from Donna Francesca who heard from a waitress who heard from..."
"Oh! Que delusione *sob*!!"
- WARNING -
G. x Cerelia SETTING: the time when Giotto and G. were just Vigilantes in Italy (= their late teen, early adulthood) meaning the end of the XIXth to very first years of the XXth-century.