Disclaimer: I do not know any of the characters.

AN: I had this thought that Skull is the most emotional Arcobaleno, and somehow it turned into this. I tried to write it in a way that leaves it up to the reader whether they're big or small, but logically the Arcobaleno would be shrimps.


Luce's hand felt cold and stiff in his; there was nothing left of the warmth that she usually gave, but he refused to let go of it. There was this tiny speck of hope in him that maybe if he held it long enough it would become warm again, like how his mother always warmed his hands in winter. Luce's smile was still perfectly in place – of course, she had been intent on smiling until the very end – but her face was drained of all colour, taking away that warm glow it had always held.

At first she had looked just like she was sleeping, but he'd been sitting here for a while now, the only person in the room with her. A maid had taken Aria – only a little baby – away before Luce had passed away. Now it was just Skull and Luce's cold body.

He would never forgive the other Arcobaleno for accepting a mission when they knew Luce didn't have much time left; he had been the only one to stay by her side. He thought at least Fon or Reborn would have had the decency to stay, but they didn't, and Luce hadn't seemed sad about it.

"The truth is," she had admitted in her last minutes, as Skull held her hand like maybe it might save her, "I'm scared of dying and it breaks my heart that I won't get to see my dear Aria grow up. I wish to cry right now, so I'm glad that they're not here to see me weak like this. But I'm very grateful that you are here, Skull… Somehow it's easier when it's you and I want everyone to remember me for my smile."

Skull wondered if they actually would remember her, those uncaring bastards. He had felt like crying as he kept a firm hold on Luce's hand, but he'd refused to; he wanted to help Luce be strong in her last moments, so he tried to be his usual self, acted like an idiot, but the hand that desperately clutched hers was trembling as if it was him who was about to die.

A part of him did, kind of. He'd been on the brink of death often enough, but nobody he knew had. He had never lost a treasured person, and Luce was… Luce was his light, no pun intended. It was the day that he realized that the world was not a good or fair place and that even the kindest people will die a death they do not deserve.

He didn't even notice the door open; it was a familiar voice that caught his attention instead. "You can let go of her now, you know. She's gone."

And he did; he hesitantly let go of her hand, got up from his position on the chair beside Luce's bed and turned around; so at least some of them had the decency to show up. There was Fon who was not smiling for once; his expression was slightly somber, but it was more than the others: Lal, Colonello and Reborn looked like this didn't mean a thing to them. Their faces were serious, but as much as Skull looked for a sign of grief, he couldn't see one.

Hot tears started running down his face, but he made no move to wipe them away. "You came."

"The mission was a success," was Reborn's blunt reply and that was when Skull lost it. Without wasting another second, he darted forward, still crying like the child he was, and grabbed Reborn by the collar of his expensive suit.

"Who the hell cares about the mission? I can't believe you guys actually went instead of staying with her and now you're not even mourning! What the hell is wrong with you? Luce is dead! She died and you look like you never even knew her! Verde and Viper didn't even show up!"

There was a long silence after his outburst, only broken by Skull's quiet sobs. Eventually, Fon stepped towards them and gently loosened Skull's hands from Reborn's suit. "I don't mean to belittle you, Skull, but I don't think it's something that you can understand right now. Let me make you some tea, perhaps when you have calmed down –"

The click of a gun being charged stopped Fon, and then there was something cold pressed against Skull's temple. Skull just continued glaring at Reborn, who was scowling right back in that cold and condescending manner of his. "You're nothing more than a kid, what would you understand? People die. Everyone does. For Luce, it was hopeless, but if we'd declined the mission more people might have died. You're just an overly emotional, immature brat, so shut your mouth and think next time before you dare to lay a finger on me."

"All of you, shut up!"

Everyone turned to look at Lal, whose voice was trembling suspiciously, but she didn't cry. "Have some god damn respect and settle this outside."

Silence filled the room once more and then Colonello put a hand on Skull's shoulder, pushing him lightly towards the door. "Come on, brat, you need some fresh air to cool your head, kora."

Skull had stopped crying by the time he and Colonello reached a bench in the garden of the Giglionegro mansion. He sat, glaring at the grass below them furiously.

Colonello sighed heavily, relaxing into the bench. "The weather is nice today, kora. The sun's shining bright, only a few clouds here and there… Think Luce would have liked this weather? I think she would, kora."

He was met with complete silence.

"…We were all upset too, kora. But it's like that bastard Reborn said – doing the mission was important, and death is imminent in the mafia world. You get used to it."

"I don't want to get used to it."

"For a guy who is said to have gone to hell and back you sure are being a sissy about this, kora. We're immortal now, kid. We're going to see a whole lot of people die – people we don't know as well as people who are very special to us. You'll go insane if you don't get used to it, kora."

"That's better than being as cold as you guys!"

The blond snorted in amusement. "You're weird for a Cloud, kora. You're also way too young and naïve to be an Arcobaleno and on top of that, you're weak. No idea why you were chosen..." He got up, stretching once as Skull began yelling profanities at him. "…But maybe it's a nice change to have a little hothead like you in the group, kora. Maybe you'll mature a bit on the way."

That effectively confused Skull into silence; he blinked and stared after Colonello's retreating form for a few moments before turning his head away.

He would never be like them.


I hoped you liked it; feedback is welcome~
Also, I think the Arcobaleno mourn for Luce in their own way - especially Reborn - I just chose to focus on Skull.