Summary: Tom Hagen's perspective on the night that Sonny died. Bookverse. What does it mean to be a Sicilian, a Consigliere, a brother, and a son?
A/N: First and probably only Godfather fanfic I have/shall ever write. This is also not slash, not romance, and not humor – also a first. Please r/r!
Disclaimer: These are not my characters.
It was cold, unnaturally cold in the office. This place I was so used to had changed on me. Sonny and I would play hide and seek there when we could get in, when the Don wasn't working. We had the whole grounds, the whole damn mall, but we chose to play in there. It smelled like the Don. Our father.
And by "our," I mean his. That was why they called him Sonny… because Santino Corleone loved his father so damn much. He was such a son to him. And me?
Just Hagen, usually. Sometimes Tom. But I was never allowed to change my last name. The Don would never accept it. Despite the fact that since I was eleven, I was a part of the household, I was never part of the family. Don Corleone always told me to remember my true family. Well – my real dad was a drunken Kraut, so is it any wonder I chose the Sicilian marvel, the fair and just king of the Underworld?
The cruelest night of my life was when we lost Sonny. It was a rude awakening to my failings, when I had failed entirely to save the beautiful man who had saved me. Oh, sure, he became this hellish cupid. This kind of gargoyle, ruthless and mean even for the world we lived in, a rival even to Moe Greene's temper and looks. But that night, he was the kid who found me huddled in an alley, eye all infected. He was this angel who took me someplace I could call home and shared his father with me. And now he was all full of holes. I can't say he wasn't asking for it.
But then I had to tell the Don. And know, in my deepest heart of hearts, that I was unfit for the role that my false father had bestowed upon me. I don't blame my heritage. I don't believe in that hooey, that Sicilians are somehow sharper and more ballsy than the other races. Besides, I was raised Sicilian – and I was the sharpest of all of Don Corleone's boys. No. I was taught in peacetime. At least, cosa nostra peacetime, so I didn't know how to make war on anyone else. Or protect my brother from the demons within and surrounding him.
So, I took a drink, and the Don came in, and in that moment, I knew. He knew. We both had the same thoughts running through our minds – what do we do now? And certainly, we came to the same conclusion within seconds.
I needed to apologize. To burst with apology. To weep for the dearest, closest family I'd had. When Sonny hid beneath the Don's desk and I found him in that same place, every time. He was the brawn and I was the brain and we were combined so loyal to the Don that we could have been one son together.
But now, my closest tie to the Corleones was dead on the causeway. And I had this desperate desire to fling myself at the feet of the Don and beg for death, or mercy, or both.
And he touched my cheek and told me – in a voice I will never forget, as long as I am alive – "You have been a good son. You comfort me."
I wept after I was sure that he was gone.