Disclaimer: I do not own anything Baccano! Unless you count a small picture of Ladd Russo and Lua that my sister got from an anime convention...and which I could care less about because well, it's Ladd Russo and Lua. The dialogue in bold is taken from the anime, episodes 8 and 10. Anyways...
Nice Holystone had long ago given up on the idea of 'pretty'.
From a young age, she'd given up the idea of being pretty. Her hair wasn't blond enough, wasn't curly enough, wasn't long enough. She didn't slip on fancy dresses and parade in even fancier accessories. She didn't like ribbons or any of those other girly things that made girls…well, girly.
If she had ever wanted to change her total lack of feminine attributes, as unlikely as that was, her chances had been blown away-literally-with the incident. It was impossible to make scars and an empty eye socket pretty. Did she cry over what had happened? Well, of course. You don't almost kill yourself and not cry over it. Did she regret that failed homemade explosive? Once in awhile. When it was late at night and dark and no one could see her run a finger over a scarred elbow. Did she ever wish she could go back to that day and prevent the event from occurring? Never. Given the chance to redo it all again, she'd do it exactly the way it had happened before.
A normal girl did not play with fire. A normal girl did not play with explosives. A normal girl hardly explained Nice.
So, she couldn't be pretty in the way she dressed. She'd never be pretty in regards to her looks. Yet, there was one way in which she thought herself able to display some sort of prettiness. That, of course, was with fireworks.
By setting them off, she released them upon the world, and even if it was just her imagination, the world sighed in awe. Fireworks were pretty. Like vibrantly colored trails of fire in the sky. Sometimes those colors mixed and became new colors, sometimes those colors each on their own spread as far as the wind would take them. She felt as though, by her own shortage of attractive attributes, she could make up for it by providing the world with something even more breathtaking than a pretty face. To do this, she had to play with fire.
And this, Nice supposed, was the thing that separated her from normal girls. The whole playing with fire angle. Nice wasn't afraid to get burned. She wasn't afraid to get dirty or hurt. She lived for all of that. For the thrill and the excitement. For the adrenaline that coursed through her veins from the moment she lit the fuse to the time when the blast went off, resonating within her blood. It made her giddy, and it made her pulse jump with life. There wasn't much else that could do that in the world.
Except, of course, Jacuzzi.
He made her feel like there were fireworks going off inside her. And if there was one explosive that Nice liked above all else, it was fireworks.
It wasn't an unpleasant experience, but sometimes it unsettled her with its uncanny resemblance to that incident that had scarred her body and soul. In that split second, the time of the initial detonation, that one quick instant where the world stopped and she was afraid. She'd been caught in a blast once, and it had made her heart stop. Then, like some divine miracle from above, the beating of that organ restarted, only ten times faster than its original speed.
That was how Jacuzzi made her feel. Like her heart was constantly being stopped, then being brought back to life. Like there was a dormant, unstable force hiding inside, ready to be set off without warning. The fuse was lit the moment that he entered the room. It kept burning and burning and burning with every step he took towards her. Then, his feet would bring him to her side, and that was when everything around her stopped-for a split second.
Because then she would turn to face him, her eyes meeting his, and there'd be an explosion. Pulse racing, heart thumping with sweet, sweet life. Heat enveloping her all over. Ears ringing from the thundering inside her head. All the same things she felt when she set off one of her beloved fireworks, only enhanced so much so that every single part of her, to the most miniscule scar, was humming with awareness. Her external appearance might be calm, mellow, and natural, but on the inside, there was an entire pyrotechnics demonstration that was known only to her.
Fireworks, although, had to stop at some point in time. They came to an end as soon as the last drop of fuel burned up. They couldn't last forever, especially on a limited amount of energy. It disappointed Nice, that something so pretty should be over in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, it gave her hope. The feeling Jacuzzi Splot gave her, it wasn't some passing emotion. It was intangible, not some volatile explosive that could be set off and then disappear forever. That feeling hadn't vanished in the years that she'd known him. That feeling would not disappear forever. It would be staying. Forever.
The deafening sound of a train whistle brought Nice's thoughts back into focus. She gave herself a mental shake as her surroundings became more clear to her. The train whistle, the sensation of the locomotive chugging along the tracks, what she should be doing instead of thinking of Jacuzzi and how he made her feel. Aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, with dangers as concrete as those men with the machine guns and as ethereal as the Rail Tracer, was no place to be having any thoughts other than how they were to survive.
Sense instilled back in her, Nice returned to her group to relay her information. As she explained to them how everyone had gone missing, she could barely bring herself to look Jacuzzi in the eye. She went through a list of the names, pausing after each one and trying very, very hard not to glance at his face. Isaac and Miria, how she had encouraged him to wander over to them in the dining car, had listened as they exclaimed over the tattoo on Jacuzzi's face, had been there as they all became friends in such a short period. She couldn't watch the growing fear in his face and the possible tears when she told him that they weren't there anymore, that she didn't know where they were, if they were even still alive.
"Oh, no," Jacuzzi breathed when she was finished.
In an attempt to reassure him, she hurriedly pointed out, "They could have been taken somewhere."
She shouldn't have been surprised, but she was, when he announced, "We have to find them." A spark went off in her stomach, of anxiety or her own fear, she couldn't say, just knew that there was an uneasiness in her when he made his statement. Sure, he cried like a baby when the chance to be brave arose, but Jacuzzi Splot was faithful to those he cared for, even the ones he had just forged a bond. It was a characteristic that made her love him all the more, but scared her when she knew that he would risk anything to make sure those he loved were safe.
That tiny spark of dread sizzled out as his downcast eyes hardened in determination. There was no trace of waterworks in those brilliant eyes, only willpower to do what he knew he had to do. Seeing that expression set in his face, Nice knew she could trust that nothing would happen to him. She didn't have to be afraid for him because he would make it. The resolve shining in his gaze put her worries at peace.
And if that wasn't enough for her, after he instructed Donny and Nick, he took a step towards her. More fireworks went off at his nearness, at his next sentence, "Nice, I'll be coming back here for sure, so don't overdo anything."
Before her mind could even process his words-he'd be coming back for sure. For sure.-he pressed even closer to her, and the next thing she knew, they were sharing their first kiss. Right there, in front of their comrades, on the train, in the middle of immense danger, his lips were on hers and she was breathless and overwhelmed and tingling all over. He didn't even give her any time to respond, to close her eyes and kiss him in return before he was pulling away and running down the corridor to find his new friends.
Shock held her in place, unable to let her forget the pressure of his lips against hers and the heat that was scattering along her cheeks. When feeling returned to her legs, she moved to stand beside Nick and watched as Jacuzzi and Donny ran off. Silence fell over them, until Nick ruined it by voicing aloud, "You're pretty passionate, huh, Boss?"
Passionate? Her? Maybe about explosives.
And, really, that kiss….
It had definitely set off some fireworks.
Authoress's Notes: This is my first Baccano! fanfic, so please don't hurt me if it's not true to character. To let everyone know, I have only seen the anime series of this, so that's what this is following. Maybe soon I'll read the light novel, but for the most part, I'm sticking to the anime. And of course, since it is my first Baccano! work, it has to be about my fav Baccano! couple, Nice and Jacuzzi! I'm still testing out writing their characters and everything, so I'm sorry if they're OOC. I really hope I haven't shamed either of the characters, as Nice is a freakin' kickass character, and Jacuzzi is just freakin' adorable (usually, when a guy cries as much as he does, it's a total turn-off, but Jacuzzi is just...GAH! HE'S FREAKIN' ADORABLE! XD). If any of you feel my characterization of them is lacking, please go ahead and point it out to me and I'll keep your comments in mind the next time I write them.
Hope you enjoyed!