<Minor spoilers for pt.5 main character backstory and personality>
Little Haruno saves a snake. (fluff)
The sun beat down like an authoritarian dictator, a constant force that wore you down to the core. The ground wasn't much better. The cobbled streets were not just warm rocks you may want to rest on, they were searing coals; they burned through little Haruno's thin ragged shoes like nothing. Haruno felt as though he was walking on hot iron.
But, it was preferable to being at that house. Mother was out again, and that man was in, probably drunk. Haruno would much rather be out here, wearing the long sleeved clothing his parents insisted for him to wear, to cover up all his bruises.
(Shameful, they said, "We couldn't have you walking around with bruises like that, what if someone called an authority! We'd have to run somewhere!" His mother said; disapproval clear on her face. "You won't tell anyone, will you, Giorno dear." It was not a question, nor a request.)
Giorno, Giorno huh? Haruno could not say he was excited about his new name, but he did not dislike it either. He did however; think that he should probably stop thinking of himself as Haruno. If he mistakenly announced it as his name one more time, he was sure that it would mean another few people to laugh and call him names. 'Straniero, Straniero!' They'd sing.
Yes, he really should just discard his name soon; no matter how much it pained him to give up the one thing that had always been his, stones hurt a whole lot more.
While walking, Haruno noticed something, something he couldn't ignore; a small white snake lying by the side of the street. It looked as though someone had beat it into the rocks, injuring it, then, Haruno speculated, when the poor creature had been knocked out cold and stopped responding, they had probably left it to die.
So Haruno walked on, sadder than before.
Haruno hesitated in his walk, letting his feet stay burning on the hot stone. Thing? What was he thinking? What could he possibly mean by, 'thing'. The snake was not a thing. It was a person, it could think, and feel, it was alive.
Had he not been bullied by the side of the street before? Had he not watched people walk by with the same glance of pity? Of course he had.
And Haruno didn't want to be that person. He didn't want to leave someone to die.
So, Haruno made his way through the crows, and paying no attention to the swarms of gazes, took the snake in his hand. He ran to the nearest patch of shade and grass to examine the snake further.
It was dehydrated, and injured; Haruno has some blood on his hand already. Just putting it down in some patch of shade would not be enough, not nearly enough. He'd have to take care of it.
Carefully, Haruno tucked the snake into his shirt, and made his way home. He knew there was a book on snakes at home, he was sure of it. Haruno would use that to help the snake.
When Haruno reached the house, he carefully, delicately, lowered the snake into a small patch of grass. It'd be too dangerous to bring it inside.
Haruno did not know why he did this, not really anyway. He did not know why he was sneaking past that man to steal a book from the shelf. He wasn't sure why he was risking this. All he knew was that the snake was a person, and he would not leave a person to die.
When Haruno creaked the house's door open; arm carrying a small bound book, a sewing needle and string; then hurried to check on the snake, he was relieved to see it still there. He wasn't sure what he'd do if it turned out someone had killed it when he was gone.
She, Haruno had found when he sat in the shade, just out of town and looked through the book. She, the snake was female. Haruno looked at her again. "Hi."
No response, it was to be expected form a snake after all.
"Umm...So you don't have a name right?" Of course she didn't. Haruno fiddled with his shirt, not sure what to do. He had fed her, and given her water, all that was left were the wounds themselves. Haruno glanced at the needle and thread.
He held the pretty white snake in his hands; she was now far more likely to attack him, now that she wasn't on the brink of death. But she hadn't yet.
Taking a deep breath, Haruno prepared himself. He needed to patch the wounds, or else she could die of an infection, or dirt and all kinds of nasty stuff could get in. he had to do it now.
"...Miss? I'm sorry, but I need to fix you." Haruno told her. "But it's gonna hurt a bit, maybe a lot." The snake stared up at him, and even Haruno felt a bit silly for talking to a snake.
Haruno shook his head, this wasn't the time to feel silly. So, without further delay, he stumbled over to the nearby stream and dipped the snake into fresh, clean water. When she didn't bite, only jolted and looked at him, Haruno started slowly rubbing, clearing her pearly scales, and cleaning the wounds.
After, Haruno started his next and final task; closing the wounds. "I'm sorry." Haruno whispered. "This'll hurt a ton, but it'll be okay after."
She seemed to send Haruno a glare that said 'Just hurry up with it!', So Haruno obliged. He threaded the needle and plunged it into the gaps between the snake's scales, onto the tender skin.
The snake writhed, and hissed, but didn't bite. Muttering another quick apology, Haruno started to sew the skin together, closing up the wounds.
After, when it was all done, Haruno brought the snake close as if to comfort her. And, she, seemed to accept the hug, because she didn't bite, and just stared at Haruno with pink reptilian eyes. Haruno thought she must be albino.
"Thank you," Haruno paused. "for being still, and not biting me and..." He looked away, a little bit embarrassed to still be talking to a snake. "Can I name you pearl? Because you look so pretty, like pearls."
She stared at him, blankly, but then again, Haruno wasn't very good a reading snake expressions. However, she did lick his hand, and let out a tiny hiss...or maybe it was closer to a purr. Either way, she almost seemed to be thanking him. 'Sure. It's super damn childish, but I'll take the name.' Haruno could've sworn that was what her eyes said.
For the first time in what seemed like months, Haruno grinned. He softly stroked her head, and wondered if this is what it felt like to have a pet. He'd never had any, so he wouldn't know.
Eventually, when the sun was starting to crawl towards the horizon, and the trees were beginning to cast long shadows, Haruno left for the house. But not before saying; "See you again, Pearl!"
Haruno could've sworn he saw Pearl flick her tail in response.
And they did meet again, quite a few times over the next months, but eventually Haruno stopped seeing the little white snake she seemed to have disappeared.
By the time Haruno was not Haruno, but Giorno instead, he had nearly forgotten all about the pretty white snake he saved so many years ago. But one day, shortly after becoming the Don Passione, he saw something as he walked through the meadow, just out of town.
A few flashes of white. Out of curiosity, Giorno looked farther, and discovered quite a few pearly white snake babies. And, just out of his line of vision, Giorno could've sworn he saw the sassy flick of a very familiar tail.
Procrastinating on my main story and making a one shot? No dignity.
This was originally supposed to be a 600 or so word drabble of Giorno saving an ant. But then I thought of how Giorno always makes white snakes..and I got so many Ideas.
Welp, hope you liked the GioGio fluff!