"~Mi chiama Senore Cannibale, perché lei è una cagna idiota!"
Despite the fact singing was somethng he did to distract himself from hunger, Tino couldn't help feeling a little musical as he made his way towards the basement. It was where he kept most of his "stock", and a perfect place for when he wanted to eat in private; despite the fact most of the clan were used to it, many were still a little sickened by his habits.
"~I vegetariani possono solo incazzare, perché tu sei quello che mangi e io sono un..."
He cut off when he noticed the basement door was open; shivering as he passed through the doorway, he noticed another of his clan just sitting there, as if they'd been waiting for him.
"What the cazzo are you doing down here? Don't make me threaten to eat you, chopstick fag!"
"I've been trying to catch your attention all day, buta. We need to talk. About Fabio."
"Awwwww, did he leave you? Povero bambino!" Tino mocked, pretending to be concerned; though deep inside, he was secretly hoping that was the case. It wasn't the fact Fabio had cast him aside that annoyed him the most; it was the fact that he'd been dumped for Aniki.
The Japanese Montana didn't even acknowledge the cannibal's mockery with a retort.
"He keeps muttering a lot in his sleep, and he seems rather freaked out."
"Oh something along the lines of "Tino, I'm not food." and "Oh dio, Tino, not again," Aniki continued, staring at the cannibal in quite a dark manner. "Fabs told me he was getting edgy because of you but he never explained...you wouldn't happen to know anything, would you?"
"Can't say I do," was the blunt reply, but deep inside he knew exactly what his clan mate was on about.
"Well it's since you two were on that operation regarding the Piranas, if you need any reminders. I think something happened in that safe house and you're not telling us."
"Ok, you got me," the cannibal said, after a few moments whilst he held his hands up in admittance. "Me and Fabio, we may have had a little of what Jonas may call the sexytime."
It sounded like an innocent enough request but Aniki knew exactly what had just been said; he was secretly daring his clan mate to repeat it.
"Me and Fabio, we...hey, don't be looking at me like that! He was curious so I just went with it. I was teaching him a thing or two, that's all I did."
"You took advantage of a naïve, seventy-something year old man, that's what you did. Dirty, dishonourable, cannibal bastard!"
Before they knew it, both members were squaring off against each other. It wasn't the first time, and it certainly wouldn't be the last as far as their once-iced clan member was concerned.
"I promised the Don I wouldn't eat any of the clan, but if you don't shut your mouth I may have to end up breaking that promise."
"I promised him I wouldn't start waving my katana about against my own members, but I may have to break my promise too."
They were heavily staring each other down, though due to their height difference Aniki had to direct his eyes upwards.
"Mesu no shibō no musuko ."
"What did you call me?"
He couldn't help smirking; he'd learnt some Italian so the Montana couldn't hide everything from him, but Tino and the others hadn't bothered to learn any Japanese. Aniki could throw anything their way in his native tongue, and they wouldn't have any idea what he was on about. They always thought it an insult, though half of the time it was some generic thing that just sounded harsh.
But this time, it had been an insult; one that Aniki wasn't about to confess anytime soon. Especially when he'd just called Tino a "fat son of a bitch." But said son of a bitch was now smirking, as if a really dirty thought had just entered his head.
"Hey, you know...he actually enjoyed it."
"Oh? Well when I had him cowering under my bed and almost in tears, he didn't look like he enjoyed it!"
"You had to be there," replied Tino, gesturing in a dismissive manner as if it really didn't matter.
"I don't think I would have wanted to though," replied Aniki, pulling a disgusted face. He suddenly shuddered quite violently, as if he couldn't believe what he'd just been thinking."
"Oh thanks a lot, now I can't get the image of you two doing it out of my head."
"Hey, I have to look at your face everyday, think of it as payback. And we didn't actually do it, per say. I just grabbed his dick and-"
He was cut short with a sharp stab from Aniki's katana handle. Doubling up in agony, Tino felt himself fall to the floor.
"You..." He began, unable to continue as he winced, breathing in sharply through gritted teeth. He'd screwed his eyes shut due to the pain but now one was open, staring up at a rather serious-faced Aniki.
"Sorry, I thought you said stabbed."
"Ho intenzione di ucciderti!"
"Unlikely," scoffed Aniki, watching the cannibal struggling to get up. But it seemed the Italian didn't know when to shut up.
"I don't know about you, but Fabio is like a flower...but was I gentle? Oh cazzo no, BOOM! Like a tornado through a-"
"Sei pazzo? Are you mad?"
"No, just furious."
Despite the fact he'd had worse pointed in his face, Tino couldn't help feeling close to wetting himself with Aniki's katana only two inches away from his nose. It didn't help that he'd been forced against the wall. One false move and a slit down the face was inevitable; and the last thing the cannibal needed was the taste of his own blood.
It wasn't human flesh, so he had no intention to swallow; but maybe he could save himself by breaking Aniki's weapon. However, when the Italian focused his stare on the steel, the Japanese knew exactly what the plan was.
"You even attempt to bite and break my katana and I'll gut you like sushi!"
"You dare cut me and I'll rip your head off and grill it!"
"What's going on down here?"
The new voice caused Tino and Aniki to cease their confrontation and turn around; Fabio was standing there in the doorway, looking slightly tired as if he had a headache.
"Fabs, we're sorry for disturbing you," Aniki apologised, sounding rather genuine. But then his apologetic gaze turned to an irked look in Tino's direction. "Well I am, I don't know about him."
"You're fighting about me again, aren't you?"
The two warring Montana couldn't help backing down in guilt; their eyes looking sheepish behind their sunglasses.
"I guess we'd be lying if we said no."
"Tino," he began, sighing in slight frustration. "You gotta accept that this is one of the few moments where your habit isn't going to scare people into doing what you want. I'll admit I may have had feelings at first, but you screwed me up. In the head and my- "
"You were totally enjoying it though!"
Fabio was wincing as if he was really ashamed of past events.
"Then, yes, but now I wish I could just erase that moment for good."
"Aniki 1, Tino 0!" The Japanese Montana suddenly exclaimed, quite smugly. But smugness soon died down when he caught Fabio staring at him rather impatiently.
"By the way, Don wants to speak to you and you alone, so I wouldn't keep him waiting."
Nodding as he withdrew his katana back into it's cover, Aniki made haste up the stairs; almost breaking off into a run as he approached the top. When Tino noticed the other Italian smiling and watching, it was becoming all too obvious to the cannibal that that had been the real reason Fabio had come down to the basement, and he'd just been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
"How does he manage to not trip up in those stupid shoes?" Tino muttered, realising he hadn't been quiet enough when he noticed Fabio staring at him. It wasn't a stare as if to say "Stop picking on him", but a stare that actually seemed to agree with him.
"I guess I should let you have your lunch," said Fabio, shuddering slightly at the sight of the dead bodies. He was all set to turn his back on his fellow Montana when he was suddenly stopped.
"Fabio...what's he got that I haven't?"
"Oh Tino, don't," he began, sounding rather akward. But he didn't have to get much out as the cannibal spoke again right there and then, almost interupting him.
"But why do you now have such a problem with-"
"Look, I told you. If you make me explain it again, I'm going to end up dio-knows-how."
There was a few moments of awkward silence after that, with both Montana just staring at each other until Tino held his arms wide open.
"Mr Cannibal needs a hug, Fabio," he announced, deliberately pulling a sad face. It was something he'd seen Aniki try with him, except he replaced the words "Katana" with "Cannibal". He wasn't expecting it to work, but it was worth a try.
Sighing, but also smiling, the shorter Italian was actually happy to oblige to his request; many had compared him to a bear thanks to his floppy blonde locks but Tino's hugs were far from the crushing variety. He was probably aware of his own strength, unlike Griezzo who often wondered why people winced at the merest poke.
As they pulled away from each other, it seemed to turn into more than a hug as Fabio suddenly reached up and kissed Tino on the cheek; it wasn't a reluctant kiss either, but as if he'd been meaning to do it all along.
"Ciao," he said, before hastily making his way out of the basement and back up the stairs. Whether it was due to embarrasment over what he'd just done or just to get away from the smell of the dead bodies was anyone's guess, but Tino found himself slightly blushing all the same. What had that kiss on the cheek been all about; it wasn't something Fabio had made a habit of with his fellow male Montana. So maybe it was a sign that he did still have feelings for Tino?
If only Aniki had been there.
It would have been the perfect thing to kick that cockiness of his down a notch or two.