(Bruno-centric)Thrice Over

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<MAJOR SPOILERS FOR PT.5>

Description: Buccellati dies in life and lives in death.

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    The first time Buccellati dies is when he can't say—from the bottom of his heart—that he is on the side of his people

The cobbled roads of Naples appear a dusty grey color under the cloud-filled sky. Buccellati's footsteps serve as a constant tap on the stones. It's warm and humid, a spring day—but somehow, without the sun shining down; it feels cold.

If he's being honest, Buccellati wasn't feeling all-to-well. Buccellati wasn't being honest.

"Buccellati!"

The young man forces a smile and relaxes his shoulders and turns around. It's a little old lady, bright smile and sunken cheeks—peering out from the window of the bakery he had just strode past. She looks worse for wear. Buccellati wonders what's troubling her. "Yes?"

So the little old lady ushers him in the door, and thanks him for the other day. And she offers him bread from her little bakery. He denies at first, of course,

He ends up accepting the gift.

But Buccellati, kind, kind, Buccellati, can't leave without finding why her cheeks are sunk and her eyes pained. And so he asks, voice measured, used to dealing with peoples troubles.

"Drugs," she trembles, falling before him, "my grandson, you see? Lately he's gotten hooked and..." Her eyes are pleading and tormented and full of everything Buccellati hates.

He assures her it'll all be fine, and walks away biting his lip so hard it bleeds bloody crimson on the stones.

Buccellati doesn't know what death feels like, but he wonders if this is life.

-

"You look bad, Buccellati."

That's the first thing Fugo has said to him all day. Buccellati trusts Fugo, he really does. The young boy is more smart and quick-witted than he gives himself credit for—but this time, Buccellati isn't very keen on following the boy's advice.

"I'm fine."

So Buccellati ignores the concerned gazes from his team, and begins wearing makeup to cover the dark rings that haunt his eyes. He stays at his desk of empty coffee-cups and messily stacked protection reports.

And he still doesn't realize that he might just be dead.

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It's the moment that Buccellati has a dream to latch onto that he comes back from the shores of death.

The day is bright, the winds golden. Every blade of grass, every sign of life sings cries of resurrection as Buccellati, for the first time in too-long, lifts his eyes and dreams.

The golden haired boy—in that moment—with his sun-spun hair and burning blue eyes, looked like an angel. And Buccellati wasn't religious, gave up on that kind of thing the second he took his first life—committed his first murder—but he thinks he feels something akin to devotion around Giorno's dream.

And for the first time in a long time, Buccellati feels alive.

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That evening he goes home and his limbs don't drag limply behind him and his shoulders don't sag like a branch under too much weight.

And that night he doesn't run work on coffee and a pool of half-formed hopes.

And he doesn't skip dinner when Fugo quietly opens his door and tells him it's been made.

He drifts to sleep with a full-stomach and for the first time in a long time; he dreams.

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It's ironic, in a way, because the time when he feels the most alive—is the most alive—in his entire life, is the moment in which he finally, after so unbearably long, fights the boss.

And it's exhilarating, it's dreadful, it's his own will, it's living.

So Buccellati is alive, even as his breath is ragged and his heart struggles to pump enough blood—he's alive.

Because he's decided this, and he's stated loud and clear, yelled up to all the-heavens-that-he-doesn't-believe-in, and told them that he lives. The boss knows, the world knows.

Can being tethered to a tight chain and going against oneself be called living? Of course not.

But he isn't chained to a chain, anymore. So he's frighteningly alive, even as crimson pours out a bloody river onto the cold church floor, and even and pain rips through his body mercilessly.

He knows he's alive.

-

The second time Buccellati dies is when his body goes cold and his heart stops beating.

Yet he still lives.

Even as the very blood that used to supply him life rots black and moldy in his veins, even as he loses feeling in her nerves, even as he falls apart piece by piece—he lives. His eyes burn bright sparkling blue with resolve as he marches on.

Even as he realizes that he's dead, he knows he's alive.

It isn't something Giorno, even Giorno, can fix. He knows this, and he doesn't tell anyone, for fear that it'll be too much for them. Even Giorno...It would pain Buccellati too much to see him—to see them realize that Buccellati is dead.

He doesn't regret his decision to live, truly live, though.

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His heart, so unwavering, feels like it's breaking.

Abbacchio's body rots behind him.

Life is too short and death is too sudden.

Is this how they'll feel? Will they feel such deep regret to not have been able to properly exchange final words with him?

But Buccellati isn't one to waver.

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The third time Buccellati dies is true and final.

There's no coming back from this one, he knows. There's no way to tell everyone how much he loves them. And there's no way to apologize for not telling them. There's no way he tell them how sorry he is to go so fast and so sudden without the time to properly say goodbye.

In truth, he had that time, he simply didn't use it.

So the best he can do is sadly smile down as Giorno stares at his soul in shock. And the most he can do is tell Giorno that he was resurrected in more ways than one.

He doesn't regret dying; he died alive, after all.

But life was too short and death was too painfully sudden for him to have given up his chance at goodbye.

-

Even in death, Buccellati lives.

No one but Mista ever has the chance to properly call Buccellati by his first name. At the funeral, there are more people than Giorno can count. The first and last time the boy calls Buccellati by his first name, 'Bruno'—is at the man's funeral.

He's dead, well and properly dead.

But he lives in the laughter that runs through the streets of Naples. He lives in the new life that springs forth from concrete cracks. He lives in the clean drug-free harbors of the new Naples.

He lives in the golden wind that sweeps through the streets and brings a new age of fortune.

And so, Buccellati is dead, but his will lives on. 

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Guys, I'm so strangely proud of this, thank you for reading. I really, really hope you enjoyed reading just as much as I enjoyed writing. As always, I absolutely keep each and every comment close to my heart so please don't be shy. :)

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