A/N: This is a sequel to Disaster to Some, Love to Others. Reading it isn't required, but is suggested if you want to understand everything that's going on. Not all the chapters are going to be this long. This was originally going to be another oneshot, but it eventually evolved into a seventeen chapter story
The rain beat down around the Star Palace as Hornet, Riccio, and Mosca slid out the door.
"We'll be back in an honor," said Hornet. Prosper nodded and shut the door after his friends. Prosper turned and headed back into the main room and settled in a chair with a book.
Scipio ran out the door of 223 Fondamente Bollani. He ran through the rain to the Stella and hammered on the door.
Prosper was startled out of his reverie when he heard the knock on the door. He closed his book, set it down and went to the door. Opening the door, Prosper saw a soaked and dripping Scipio.
"Scipio, oh my god, what wrong?" asked Prosper.
"He's..." Scipio started.
"He wants to send me into the military."
"And that gives you a reason to run here in the rain?"
"No," said Scipio. "But the fact that he beat me last night does."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah..." Scipio paused, pressing his fingers to his forehead.
"Are you okay?" Prosper rested a hand on Scipio's shoulder.
"Let's get you inside." Prosper tightened his grip on Scipio's arm and helped him into the main room. Once there, Prosper looked at Scipio as he sat down. Prosper sat down next to him. "What's wrong?"
"Headache," Scipio muttered.
Prosper pressed a hand to Scipio's forehead and gasped. "Scip, you're burning up."
"I know, but I'm not going home."
"Then you can stay here. Lie down."
Scipio was resting under blankets on Prosper's bed. Prosper was sitting beside, him, deep in one of Hornet's books.
"Prosper," Scipio murmured,
"Hey," said Prosper, looking up from his book. "How are you feeling?"
"Good." Prosper leaned forward and stroked hair out of Scipio's eyes. That's when Prosper noticed the blood on the covers. "What happened?"
"My father beat me, I told you that," Scipio replied. "I tried to tell you that," Scipio replied. "I tried to tell him that I didn't want to go into the military."
"If you get this crap from him, you shouldn't stand up to him."
"I want to."
"I won't let you die."
"I haven't rebelled in all my sixteen years. I want to do it now."
"I'll help you. You shouldn't have to deal with this." Prosper lifted the blankets. He gasped. Scipio's left side was covered in blood. When Prosper reached out to feel the injuries, Scipio cried out with pain.
"Scip," Prosper whispered.
"Prop..." Scipio started to tell Prosper off for using the nickname, then cried out again. He lurched up. Prosper caught Scipio in his arms.
"It's okay, you just need to relax."
"I'm just going to clean off the blood."
"I'm not going to do anything except clean and bandage it."
Prosper left Scipio and fetched hot water, cloth and bandages. He returned and knelt next to Scipio, peeling back the blankets. Prosper dipped a cloth, into the water and ran it down Scipio's blood-streaked side. When he was done, Prosper supported Scipio against himself and wound bandages around Scipio's torso, then laid him back down, flinging the covers over Scipio.
"Prop!" Riccio yelled from downstairs an hour later. With a glance at Scipio, who was asleep, Prosper left him and went to join his friends.
"How was it?" asked Mosca.
"I have to tell you something," said Prosper.
"What is it?" asked Hornet.
"It's Scipio," said Prosper. "He came here soon after you left. He stood up to his father about the military where he doesn't want to go and his father beat him."
"How is he?" asked Hornet.
"Bad," said Prosper.
"Define," Hornet commanded.
"He was bleeding pretty bad, but I stopped it," said Prosper. "He has at least one broken rib, maybe more. He has a fever as well."
"Oh my god," Hornet murmured. "How's he doing now?"
"The bleeding's stopped and bandaged and his fever's going down," said Prosper.
"Why do you care so much?" asked Mosca.
"He was our friend," said Hornet.
"Not anymore," said Riccio.
"Hey!" yelled Prosper. "You're not helping!"
"We'll be seeing you," said Mosca. He and Riccio left. Sighing, Hornet looked at Prosper.
"I'll look at him later," said Hornet. "Let's get some dinner."
"I'll be with Scipio," said Prosper. Hornet nodded and Prosper left the room, climbing a rope ladder to the third story.
Hornet ended up eating alone. Prosper, tired from his day, had fallen asleep after checking on Scipio and Riccio and Mosca had already eaten. Hornet had walked up to check on them and had found Prosper asleep, leaning against a pillar, and Scipio in Prosper's bed. Hornet threw a blanket over Prosper and left them in peace.
"Hornet!" Riccio screamed from downstairs.
"Are you ready to be civil?" asked Hornet.
"Yes!" yelled Mosca.
"Fine," said Hornet.
"Hornet," Prosper muttered in his sleep. "What's going on?"
"Riccio and Mosca came back," said Hornet.
"Are they going to be civil?" Prosper asked now fully awake. He came to the railing.
"Yes!" Mosca yelled again.
"Fine! Then get back in here!" Prosper snapped.
"Prop?" asked Hornet.
"I'm not scared. There's so much going on right now and I want to fix it, but I don't know how..." Prosper trailed off.
"Let me go! I don't want this for myself! Stop it!" Scipio screamed. Prosper raced to Scipio's side. Below, Riccio and Mosca looked at each other like Prosper and Hornet were seriously wacked.
"Scipio," Prosper whispered. "Scip, it's okay. Your father's nowhere near you." Prosper stroked Scipio's head. Black hair fell off Scipio's face.
"Thanks," Scipio whispered, eyes still closed.
"Go back to sleep," Prosper whispered.
"Stay," Scipio whispered. Hornet looked at Prosper.
"You go on ahead," said Prosper. "I'm going to stay up here with Scipio." Hornet nodded and headed downstairs to reconsile with Riccio and Mosca.
"Do you want to go down?" asked Scipio.
"No," Prosper whispered. "I'd rather be up here with you." Prosper guided Scipio's face closer to his. Their lips locked. Prosper ran his hands through Scipio's black hair. "Everything will be fine."
"I know it will," Scipio whispered back, before kissing Prosper again.
When Hornet, Riccio, and Mosca finally went to bed around 11:35, Scipio and Prosper were lying side by side on Prosper's bed. Their voices floated across the silent Stella. Riccio and Mosca had since accepted that Scipio and Prosper were together after the terrible night four months ago when Scipio and Prosper had returned from the merry-go-round and Scipio had collapsed. They'd been fighting then too. The incident had brought them all back together.
"You're moving in with us," said Prosper.
"I should really go home," said Scipio.
"I don't want you to."
"My father will kill me."
"All the more reason to move in with us."
"He controls my life, Prop."
"Don't let him."
"Move out, you're sixteen. You can go to court and get emanciated from him."
"Are you crazy?"
"Have you met my father?" Prosper had met Dottore Massimo once and it hadn't been a pleasant experience. They'd both gotten yelled at: Prosper for being in the house and Scipio from not kicking Prosper out.
"I think you should move in."
"Stop letting him control your life."
"You're letting him injury you. This shouldn't be happening. You shouldn't even be dealing with this."
"Well, I should be getting going." Scipio tried to stand, but he collapsed back onto Prosper.
"I'm here," Prosper murmured, running his fingers through Scipio's black hair. "It'll be okay, I just don't want you there anymore. I love you too much. I can't stand this."
"I'm here for you too, Prop," Scipio murmured before drifting off to sleep. Prosper leaned back against a pillar and shut his own eyes. Sleep and dreams drifted over the Stella.
Scipio was standing before Dottore Massimo. Dottore Massimo was angry. Scipio had been late returning from a night hanging out in his father's old theatre, which had been closed when the tenants couldn't pay the rent that Dottore Massimo had set.
"Why were you late?" asked Dottore Massimo.
"No reason," Scipio replied.
"I don't believe you!" Dottore Massimo snapped.
"You should!" Scipio snapped back.
"I set a curfew for a reason!"
"That's no excuse!"
"Teenagers don't have to listen to curfews! We're supposed to be rebellious!"
"I never was!"
"I don't want to be like you, Papa! I want to have a life! Not your sad excuse for one! I'm going out with the hoi polloi tonight and there's nothing you can do to stop me!"
"How many times do I have to tell you that I don't want you mixing with the hoi polloi and fraternizing with the enemy!"
"They're not the enemy, they're my friends!"
"You are no son of mine."
"Good!" Scipio yelled. "I don't want to be!"
"You will obey!" snapped Dottore Massimo and slapped Scipio.
"What was that for?"
"For fraternizing with the enemy."
"Slap me again," Scipio challenged. "Nothing you can say or do is going to make the slightest bit of difference."
"Okay then," Dottore Massimo slapped Scipio again. Scipio fell to the ground. "Get up!" Scipio stood. "Never do that again." Then Dottore Massimo grabbed Scipio's arm and started slapping him over and over again. Scipio fell. Dottore Massimo pulled him back up. They he threw Scipio across the room and left him there.
Prosper woke. He glanced over at Scipio. Scipio was asleep, but from the look on his face, Prosper knew he was having a bad dream. Prosper stroked Scipio's face. Scipio relaxed. Prosper lay back down and starred at the ceiling.
"Prop?" Mosca's voice came through the dark surrounding him. "Can we talk?"
"What do you want, Mosca?" asked Prosper. At this point he was more than slightly annoyed and having Mosca there wasn't helping.
"I want to talk," said Mosca.
"Let's go downstairs," said Prosper. He shifted Scipio to the bed and led the way downstairs. Prosper sat on the edge of the stage, Mosca sat beside him. "What do you want?"
"I'm sorry," said Mosca "Sorry for everything that happened last night."
"We should forgive Scipio."
"Yeah, you should."
"How is he?"
"I don't know. He wakes him screaming. I think it's just bad dreams about his father abusing him, but I don't know and I don't know how to help."
"He'll be okay, right?"
"Yeah, I think so, but I really don't know."
"Hey, Prop, listen to me, Scipio will pull through."
"I know I should have more confidence in him."
"Is that why you're only showing this to now?"
"Prop!" a voice called. Prosper and Mosca looking up. Standing on the balcony was Scipio. His black hair was messy, his face pale, but other than that, he looked perfectly fine.
"Come down!" Prosper called. Scipio vaulted over the railing and shimmied down the rope. Prosper walked over and gave Scipio a hug. "How are you doing?"
"Better," said Scipio.
"I'm sorry," said Mosca. "I'm sorry for everything me and Riccio to you. It was wrong to shun you. You don't care for the life your father wants you to live..."
"Hey," said Scipio, gripping Mosca's arms. "I forgive you. Don't feel bad for me, I'm never going back."
"What about everything that you like about that life?" asked Mosca.
"I hated every minute in that house," said Scipio. "When I wasn't here or getting beaten, I locked myself in my room."
"No one should be forced to do that," said Mosca. "Your dad's crazy!"
"You're telling me," said Scipio. "I lived with him for sixteen years."
"What was going on earlier?" asked Prosper.
"I just had a bad dream," said Scipio.
"Told you," said Mosca.
"You sure you're okay?" asked Prosper.
"Yeah, there's just a lot to digest right now. I'm not going to return to his house, but I didn't know what was going to happen," said Scipio.
"You're going to stay here," said Riccio, coming over with Hornet.
"Are you going to forgive him?" asked Hornet, crossing her arms.
"Yes," said Scipio.
"Sorry," said Riccio.
"It's cool," said Scipio.
"You sure?" asked Mosca.
"Yeah," said Scipio. "It's fine. I understand. I'd be angry with me too put in that position."
"So we're cool again?" asked Mosca.
"Yeah, we're cool," said Scipio.
"How are you feeling?" asked Riccio.
"Better," replied Scipio. "Still sore, but bet...auggghhh."
"Scip!" Mosca ran to Scipio's side. Mosca held Scipio. Prosper came over and rubbed Scipio's shoulder. Together, Prosper and Mosca eased Scipio back onto the stage.
"You're not better," said Prosper. "You lied."
"I'm sorry." Prosper threw a blanket over Scipio and, with Mosca's help, carried Scipio over to a couch.
"Scipio! In here! Now!" Dottore Massimo screamed. Scipio walked in, knowing before he even entered that his father was going to tell him off for what he was wearing. He had been about to change when Dottore Massimo had called him and Scipio had chosen to be on time and get told off for his clothing choices, then be dressed perfectly and be late.
"What?" asked Scipio.
"First, what the hell are you wearing?" Second, this!" Dottore Massimo slapped Scipio around the face, then punched him. Scipio, holding his cheek, ran from the room.
Scipio screamed. Prosper was at his side in an instant, Riccio, Mosca and Hornet close behind him. As Prosper soothed Scipio back to sleep, Scipio relaxed back. He was normal. He wasn't wild-eyed. His face was still pale, his black hair in disarray.
It was several weeks before Scipio could be awake for an entire day, before his cycle of collapsing, sleeping, screaming, waking, etc. subsided completely. By the time it started to stop, Hornet and Mosca had long since taken over caring for Scipio as Prosper had gotten sick from doing it 24/7 for several weeks.
Prosper had staggered downstairs one morning. Hornet, Riccio and Mosca had just finished eating breakfast and Mosca had been about to breakfast to Scipio. Mosca had dropped the food, Riccio had grabbed it before it fell and Mosca had grabbed Prosper. Prosper's eyes were half shut and he had deep circles under his eyes. His brown hair was messy. Mosca gripped Prosper's arm.
"You look terrible," said Mosca.
"Thanks," Prosper replied.
"You should go back to bed," said Mosca.
"But Scip..." Prosper started.
"Prop, sleep. You need it," said Scipio from the balcony. He was standing where Hornet had stood when he first met her. Hornet went up to Prosper, and lay a hand on Prosper's forehead.
"You're burning up," said Hornet. "Riccio, Mosca, get him to bed."
"What about Scipio?" asked Prosper.
"I'll be fine," said Scipio. "Just get better."
"Scip..." Prosper whispered.
"I'll be there when you wake up," said Scipio, firmly. "Just rest." Riccio and Mosca grasped Prosper and helped him up the stairs.
"Scipio!" Hornet called.
"Yeah?" asked Scipio.
"Can you come down here? I have to talk to you."
"Yeah, sure," Scipio joined Hornet in the main room. "What is it?"
"You should be grateful."
"He worked himself sick for you!" Hornet snapped.
"I know that!" Scipio snapped in return.
"How is it?" asked Hornet, gestering with her head at the bandages still wrapped around his torso.
"Sore, but not that bad."
"Then you should help with Prop."
"Why wouldn't I?"
"I don't know." Hornet sank onto the edge of a bench.
"But I do." Scipio sat down next to Hornet and slung his arm around Hornet's shoulder. "You're worried about me, and now you're worried about Prop."
"Wow you're good at this."
"I've had loads of practice with the asshole aka my father."
"He's your dad!"
"I don't care, he never was a good one."
"You should go up and sit with Prop."
"Yeah, sure. It's my fault he's in this position," said Scipio and rose. "We'll be fine, Hornet. Thanks for your concern." Scipio left and went up to Prosper.
A moment later, Scipio was sitting with Prosper and Riccio and Mosca had dragged Hornet out for a walk. Scipio looked at Prosper. He now knew how Prosper had felt those first few days when he'd been asleep. Prosper shifted under the covers. Scipio kissed Prosper softly. Prosper's eyes fluttered open.
"Hey," Prosper whispered.
"How are you feeling?" asked Scipio.
"Super tired," said Prosper.
"Go back to sleep then," said Scipio. "I'll be here when you wake up again."
"Yeah, I'm sure," said Scipio. "You're my best friend and lover." Prosper drowsed back into sleep mode and Scipio returned to his book.
By the time Riccio, Hornet and Mosca had returned from their walk, Prosper was fully awake. Scipio had fallen asleep next to Prosper. Riccio and Hornet had dinner while Mosca had gone upstairs to check on them.
"Prop," said Mosca.
"Hey," Prosper replied.
"Shut up," Scipio muttered in his sleep.
"Hey!" Mosca exclaimed. Scipio was awake and had Mosca pined to a pillar in a flash.
"Never do that again," Scipio hissed. Propser and Mosca started laughing. Scipio glared at the two of them.
"It's funny," said Mosca. Scipio kept glaring, then he started to laugh too.
"See," said Prosper.
Scipio, Prosper and Mosca were up most of the night talking. They wouldn't let Hornet or Riccio is the projector booth and played a rather unflattering slideshow of images of Riccio and Hornet. It wasn't until 4:35am the next morning, when Scipio and Prosper came outside, did they let Hornet and Riccio out of the hallway.
"Can we come in now?" asked Riccio.
"Yes," said Prosper.
"What were you doing in there all night?" asked Hornet.
"Trust me," said Scipio. "You don't want to know."
"We'll trust you," said Hornet.
"I won't," said Riccio.
"Shut up, come on and leave them alone!" Hornet snapped at Riccio. Hornet grabbed Riccio's shoulder and steered him into the main room.
Prosper and Scipio sat on the edge of the bridge high above the canal just outside the Stella.
"I can't wait any longer," said Prosper.
"Nor can I," replied Scipio. For the first time, Scipio took control. He cupped Prosper's face in hands. "I love you, Prop," he whispered. "That will never change."
"What about your father?" asked Prosper.
"Fuck him," Scipio replied. "He's an asshole."
Satisfied with Scipio's answer, Prosper allowed Scipio to kiss him.