Well. I currently don't have school because of torrential rains in my country, so here you go.

Also, please don't expect too much happening here! This is just as the tin says, an interlude for the action-y parts of Operation: Lal. This pretty much came to be because I like rambling and I like setting up the premises for my fics. If you happen to enjoy reading about the Arcobalenos interacting with other people, then you're in luck(?). If you're here for some ColoLal interaction, then well, sorry to disappoint you.

Character/ Pairing: Colonnello/ Lal Mirch; Arcobalenos, Varia, Vongola Tenth Generation
Rating: T
Warnings: Failed attempt at a familial Arcobaleno set-up. Stupidity. Inconsistencies. My gross attempt at romance
Disclaimer: HAHA. No.

Unbeta-ed. But I did try to read through it so. Mistakes are totes mine.

Operation: LAL





Two months after Sawada Tsunayoshi finally took on the mantle as Vongola Decimo, the Arcobaleno curse broke. Just like that. One moment, they were cursed infants; the next they were back to their original forms as if nothing interesting had happened for the past few years and that was that.

Okay. Not really.

It wasn't that simple.

Nothing ever was.

There were explanations to be had, private property to be reclaimed, assassins to be killed, and not to mention new clothes to be bought (and in Verde's case, new robots to create). It was, altogether, an extremely annoying and troublesome affair and they almost wished that they hadn't turned back to normal if it was just going to give them an unending supply of messes to clean up.

Reborn, for example, had to take a whole day to explain to Tsuna that yes, he's always been an adult in that form, and no, it's not as creepy as it sounds, shut up, Dame-Tsuna. With the sole exception of Tsuna, the Vongola' upper echelon, to no surprise, accepted Reborn's transformation easily and without much question. (Spending ten years routinely bombarded by ingenious and crazy Mafiosi alike, as well as the occasional creepy and perverted stalkers, Vongola Decimo's guardians were pretty much used to the craziness of the world, and were thus completely desensitized to news that would normally cow the lesser man, or Tsuna.)

But then again, as much as Reborn appreciated being back in his old body—it felt amazing to be able to wear his Armani suits again, the feel of expensive fabric against his skin was nothing short of orgasmic— he can't help but be annoyed at the fact that he can't use his old hiding places anymore. He'd built an impressively complicated system of hideouts in Namimori and it was just a goddamn shame that he won't be able to use them. And let's not forget the fact that he now has to give up his cosplaying ways, because a baby dressed as a pinecone was cute, but a grown man dressed as a pine cone was just plain scary, not to mention it would probably land him in the nearby jail for being a pervert.

On the other hand, Viper had a more relaxed return to the Varia. Lussuria baked a cake. Xanxus even threw a glass at Squalo's head during dinner, y'know, just for old time's sake. It almost felt like coming home to the most dysfunctional family ever, if Viper ever thought of the bastards in the Varia as family. (Viper actually did, but hell would sooner freeze over than for the illusionist to admit that.)

But seriously though, the Varia did not even give a single fuck about the fact that their former Mist had suddenly experienced some sort of instant-puberty shot. ("Oh, you're not floating anymore," Belphegor observed in an almost disappointed tone before turning back to the video game he was playing.)

The only actual problem with Viper's return to the Varia was Fran. But of course, seeing as it was the Varia Viper was dealing with, the problem was dealt with in a swift and reasonable manner.

Essentially, it went like this:

"Does this mean I can go back home now?" Fran asked, wide-eyed and looking just about ready to catch or hijack the next plane back to France (whichever worked to get him away from this bunch of psychopaths), the minute Viper had returned.

Belphegor sneered, idly plucking out a knife from Fran's ridiculous frog hat and affixing it someplace else. "Kidnap victims can't just go back home, stupid frog," the blond said in an annoyed tone, and consequently proving that yes, they had acquired Fran via illegal means and that the Varia had actually gotten attached to their new illusionist. It was almost cute, Viper thought absently before suddenly remembering that this was the Varia and fuck if they ever did anything cute.

"You're Rokudo Mukuro's apprentice, aren't you?" Viper asked, sitting primly on one of the plush armchairs that littered Xanxus' office.

Fran's mouth twitched, "I'd rather stay here and be stabbed by the fake prince than go back to Master, if that's what you're implying."

"I don't really care. But you should probably just stay, I have no plans of going back to my previous position anyway," the Arcobaleno finally quipped before turning to face Xanxus. "I'm just here to collect my back pay and my share of the stocks." The stocks which Viper, or rather, Mammon had won after a very long game of poker against Xanxus who had bet 20% of the stocks against Mammon's royal flush.

And which, now that Viper thought of it, Squalo was never to know.

Well, oops.

"What stocks?!" Squalo, in true Squalo fashion shrieked in the righteous fury of one tasked to handle the Varia's accounting every fucking season, earning himself a vase to the head courtesy of Xanxus. "Is that why we're always missing thousands of Euros every accounting season?!"

"That's none of your business, trash."

The white-haired swordsman bristled, stomping over to Xanxus' desk and slamming his fists on it like the madman that he was. Because really, it was kind of an unspoken rule in the Varia that no one was allowed to slam their fists on Xanxus' desk unless you were Xanxus because (1) it was Xanxus' desk, (2) it was fucking rude, and (3) it was Xanxus' fucking desk. "It's my fucking business, you shitty boss, especially when I'm the one doing the fucking computations while that Miura girl breathes down my neck for not meeting the fucking deadline!"

"Did you just fucking slam your fists on my desk," Xanxus hissed, slamming a hand on his desk for good measure as if to reaffirm his ownership of said desk. He turned to Belphegor, Fran, and Mammon and growled, looking surprised that they were still there when he was so ready to bite Squalo's head off for slamming his goddamn fists on his desk. "What the fuck are you still doing here?!"

Viper hummed, "I believe you were still discussing the position of Mist guardian," cutting off the generic Squalo yell and the consequent glass/vase/whatever-throwing.

Xanxus snorted, throwing all of them a murderous look. The Varia boss inhaled deeply before apparently coming to some sort of ultimatum. "The frog brat stays. Mammon, get your fucking money and leave. Squalo, it is not your fucking business. Now, all of you get the fuck out of my office!" The before I shoot you all to smithereens tactfully left out, or well, maybe it was just already understood when it came to Xanxus.

And that was that.

Not that any of those aforementioned things were important in the grand scheme of the world, in Luce's humble opinion. (And her opinion was something that matters a lot, what with the whole shaman thing and such.) No, what was important was the fact that until now, after so and so years of being stuck in infantile bodies and the subsequent return to their original ones, Colonnello and Lal still have yet to run towards each other in slow motion in front of the setting sun.

And it grated, was grating on Luce's nerves because how can two people dance awkwardly around each other for so long?

She'd somehow expected Colonnello to at least take some sort of initiative to get the ball rolling, but the blond had done close to nil. And Lal's denial was not helping their situation one bit; Luce'd thought it was cute in the beginning, but now, it served as nothing more than as a prickling source of annoyance and frustration for anyone in close vicinity.

But of course, the annoyance and frustration will soon come to an end, Luce decided with a satisfied nod. Because this time, her plan would work, every single tidbit would fall into place, anyone trying to interfere would be swiftly—ahem—taken care of, and those two—ridiculously, hopeless idiots—would finally, finally get together.

Luce grinned, lips stretching wide and showing off pearly white teeth.

They'll never know what hit them.




A/N: And now I have two more chapters to write before I can proclaim this as done. Whooo.

A few things to clear up:

(1) Luce is alive. Sky Arcobalenos don't die in this universe, mostly because I have immense feels for them and because Luce is important for the plot. I mean, seriously, without her pulling the strings, Operation: Lal wouldn't be in existence.

(2) Okay. So the Viper-Mammon thing. Somewhere along the line, Mammon leaves the Varia for personal reasons, but it basically boils down to: "I found a better-paying job, so long suckers." and Xanxus was just like, "what-the-fuck-ever, get me my fucking beer." (I kid, but srsly, this is how it goes on in my head.) Thus explains Fran being in the Varia's posession. And because Mukuro got Fran first, the Varia had to pretty much kidnap him from Mukuro. (But Mukuro looks at it as a loan, so idek.)

(3) Miura Haru is scarier than Xanxus during accounting season. Squalo has every reason to slam his fists on Xanxus' fucking desk.

(4) Luce will go down with her ship.

And that's that. I'm still outlining the next chapter, so it'll be a while since you guys see me again. *rolls away*

Comments? Suggestions? Violent reactions?

Drop me a review.