The Name is Lance (Salazar): Chapter 1
Today, sixteen year old Lance Salazar was on a mission. It was a secret mission. No one could know about his plan he’d been devising for a year now. He wore his favourite sky blue Italian suit with a royal blue dress shirt underneath it and a much lighter blue for the tie around his neck, and a dark blue (close to black) pants to complete the set. He sneaked out early in the morning, where the sun was still sleeping and the mountain was covered by a heavy fog making unpleasant wanderers to get lost this time of the day. He was not alone though, no, he could never accomplish this mission alone.
Lance used the secret underground passageway, one that was created for each Salazar child but differ to each other in usage, it was total darkness and a simple roamer would never find their way out. But not Lance, never him, he knew every cracks and every crevices of the path hidden in the shadows. He could hear every sound, every breath, and every beat. He could smell the faint scent of water that covered the tiled slippery ground by a few millimeters. He could feel every presence and intent if someone would decide to crouch in his territory. A Salazar always utilizes every sense they have. It was a simple rule of their life.
Finally reaching the exit, a man taller and older than him of ten years was waiting for him. He was one of the most trusted servants that Lance learned to cling on and in return he was given an unconditional loyalty. This man was one of Lance’s personal butlers and his name was Marcello*. His red hair was like a beacon in this fog and as such it was the reason why he covered it by a black fedora and it seemed also that Marcello just liked to stick with the stereotyped Mafia attire. Not that Lance could complain since he was wearing a full blown Italian suit.
Lance showed him the hush sign and Marcello just nodded at him in return with a soft smile that Lance really liked to see. It was a smile full of assurance that someone got his back for better or for worse. Marcello handed him a simple black trench coat. Lance looked at it with great distaste, just because they were Mafioso didn’t mean that they should always wear colors like they were going to a funeral. But still, he let Marcello put it over his shoulders. Marcello closed the buttons and chuckled a bit when Lance muttered under his breath that he was not a child and he could do it on his own, thank you very much.
They took the west side of the mountain until the two of them reached the car waiting for them. Marcello opened the door of the backseat and guided Lance to get in and after that he sat on the passenger seat.
“Ready now, Young Master Lance?” their driver for this mission was Benita, Marcello’s twin sister, her hair was a shade lighter compared to her brother but they have the same olive skin. She was wearing a standard Salazar maid uniform with the insignia of the Familia imprinted on the right side of her sleeves. At least she was not like her brother who wanted to flaunt the stereotyped mafia attire. Though it was hard not to express which family you belong to.
“Let’s do this.” Lance relaxed on his seat, he was trying to let go of his nervousness. If everything will go according to plan then that would be a plus for him. But if things will turn out for the worst…there was a high possibility that the three of them would be branded as traitors.
Let fate decide his worth.
There were many Famiglia* inside the Cosa Nostra* but still among them the most powerful groups still arise and feared by others or envied by some to the point of wanting to take them down. The three Famiglia along with the Arcobaleno that represents the tri-ni-sette policy were probably considered the strongest ones. Whoever allied with them will either be really lucky or very unfortunate. Milliefiore Famiglia was not really the sanest group you would ever meet. The Mare Sky ring holder has the ability to travel multiple parallel worlds at their own whim after all. The bloodline of Giglio Nero, also the one who became the constant holder of the Arcobaleno Sky pacifier, has the ability to see snippets of possible futures. Though the events going to happen were sometimes could not be deciphered properly. The Vongola Sky ring was probably the one that harmonizes everyone, especially when Decimo became the bearer of the said ring. Tsunayoshi Sawada and his guardians tried their best to uphold the real reason why Vongola was created in the first place. Vongola started as a vigilante group to protect the wronged and oppressed. It was a policy that Tsuna wanted to grow again inside the Famiglia that was corrupted by bloodshed and greed.
Vongola Decimo was an old man now but despite with the age of sixty he was still a great leader for his own Famiglia and the loyalty of his men was still solely for him. Lance remembered when his Father decided to form an alliance with the Vongola Famiglia.
Salazar has no clean track record themselves. They had their own fair share of torturing, mercenary acts, drug and weapon dealings, and murders. But still, Don Ernesto Salazar tried his best. He liked the policy of the Vongola and wanted to be a part of it. Don Ernesto, with the help of his brother, wanted to destroy the bloody caged that the Salazars found themselves trapped in. A bloody cage passed down from their own Father who came from the past leaders.
Don Ernesto attended a meeting inside the Vongola mansion, after that the Vongola Decimo, along with his Guardians, visited the Salazar’s mansion in return. It was a long discussion between a powerful Familia and a more powerful Famiglia. It came to the point where Don Ernesto let Decimo meets his three oldest children. That was the time also where little Lance was dared by his younger sister to sneak inside the meeting room.
Little Lance thought he was stealthy enough (as such the mentality of a child) but stopped in his tracks when a foot got in his way. He looked up from the ground where he was crawling and found a man with pretty funny curly sideburns. The man’s fedora cast a shadow on the half of his face but his right eye was visible enough. The man’s stare was unnerving but at the same time Lance found it interesting.
The two of them stared at each other for some time, the man leaning on the wall and Lance sitting patiently on the floor. Then the man grinned at him, crouched down on his level, and then ruffled Lance’s hair for a bit.
“Want to join the Vongola Famiglia?”
Lance puffed his cheeks like a squirrel gathering foods for winter. He pouted at the question directed at him and with all confidence that he could muster he said, “I’m a Salazar! We carry our name with pride!”
The man with curly sideburns merely laughed at his exclamation before standing up and started to walk away from him.
Little Lance forgot about the dare when his sorellastra*, Flyssa the fourth Salazar child, suddenly approached him and asked if he was okay. His older sister then told him that that man was dangerous. That he was commonly known with the name “Reborn” and considered as the number one hitman in the current history of mafia. This Reborn person also was the keeper of the Sun pacifier making him an Arcobaleno and thus one of the core members of the tri-ni-sette policy.
He was warned not to approach that man again alone.
A warning that was thrown out of the window the day after tomorrow when Decimo visited again and was only accompanied by Reborn, the both of them actively seek Lance and at first the older Salazar’s children was a bit dubious in letting one of their little siblings meet these powerful people but at the same time they knew that the Vongola’s had no ill will to them, yet.
Decimo asked Lance to play a board game that the old man brought with them. Little Lance agreed since he was bored by all the lessons he was taking from his private tutors. It was game called “Games of the Generals”. Lance immediately took a liking to it since it was exciting by the fact that you don’t know which piece was attacking which one. Victory would just be a surprise by the winner.
Lance won three out of two and Decimo chuckled nervously when Reborn aimed the barrel of the gun on the back of the Vongola’s head with a soft mutter of “You’re slipping”. Lance could care less about the interactions, he had seen far more weird things inside the Salazar Familia.
From that day, the alliance between the Salazar and Vongola was formed. As years passed, Lance realized that Vongola Decimo was fond of him. Of course it caused some vines of guilt to climb up his chest but it was also a relief that old man Vongola got his back as long as he would stay as a “good boy”.
And that was the reason he was now in front of Vongola Decimo and Reborn so early in the morning.
“I will not lie to you, my dear boy.” Old Man Tsuna started to speak and caused Lance to stiffen his back more than before, “You know there is no escape when it comes to being a Mafioso, right? Especially when you are related to it by blood.”
Of course Lance knew it. He knew he could never escape, not when his flesh and blood was made by the Salazar’s themselves. But he still want to spread his wings, his very own wings, he wanted to soar up in the sky without the help of his so called Familia. He wanted to explore what was outside of the Earth itself.
Lance heard the stories of long ago. On how Decimo vehemently tried to oppose the role being shoved deep in his throat, even if old man Tsuna already fought the enemies of the past, present, and future he still didn’t want to get on the Vongola throne. Things happened and old man Tsuna was only left by a single decision of fully accepting his position in the dark world or else his friends (guardians) would suffer the consequences of his selfish desire. It didn’t stop old man Tsuna to change Vongola from inside out though.
Lance was just standing there in the middle of the study room. His eyes staring straight on Vongola Decimo and he didn’t dare to look anywhere else. He wanted to make his decision be taken seriously. He wanted to have this chance.
Old man Tsuna sighed, “And yet you still want me to back you up in this plan of yours?”
“Yes.” Straight to the point, no flattering words.
“Why?” old man Tsuna leaned backward on his chair, “we have lots of private jets and ships, be it on water or in outer space. Your Familia alone is enough to provide you private lessons and your very own spacecraft.”
Lance took a deep breathe, “That’s the very reason, Vongola Decimo.”
Reborn and Tsuna both raised their eyebrows when Lance used the title instead of calling the other “old man Tsuna”.
“I…I don’t want to ride on my family’s name. I want to achieve this dream on my own. Just… give me ten years. That’s all I asked. Please?”
There was silence after that. For a few more minutes, Lance was ordered to wait on the common room of the mansion. Trying not to let his feeling of hopelessness leaked out, Lance heed the order and walked outside of the room they were currently on.
Marcello escorted him towards the common room. The both of them could feel it in the air that the Vongola mist guardians were observing all of their movements like a hawk ever since Lance got out of Decimo’s study room.
They waited for two hours, the sun was slowly illuminating the surroundings. Benita approached them and silently handed a cup of coffee towards Lance and hot chocolate for her twin. Marcello hated the taste of coffee and usually stick to chocolates, no one made fun of him about his taste anyway (lie, Benita would not let anyone call his twin childish just because he preferred sweets than the bitterness that coffee brings).
After two hours, Vongola’s Storm guardian came in to retrieve them with a message that Vongola Decimo and Master Reborn would accompany them on their return to the Salazar’s mansion. It was a journey spent with a stifling silence.
Their arrival back at home caused everyone to stop from whatever they were doing. It seemed that Lance’s siblings immediately assumed that he was kidnapped, with the exception of Halberd who was silently nursing a cup of their strongest coffee and an expression that he had totally gave up to hammer some sense to the rest of their brothers and sisters.
Halberd, the oldest Salazar child, escorted their guests towards Don Ernesto’s study area. To say that the Don was surprised was an understatement but he still welcomed both Vongola in his mansion.
Lance felt like he was waiting for his execution. He didn’t even managed to answer the questions of his siblings when they were ordered to stay away from the meeting between two mafia boss.
For five hours, Lance was just waiting in his room. He was sitting on his bed and he kept his fingers tapping on his knees in a rhythm he just made up on the spot. He suddenly stood up when Halberd knocked on his door and told him that he was being summoned by their Father.
When Lance saw that old man Tsuna was smiling at him softly yet a bit tired, Lance knew that his wish was finally granted.
Things were all great and dandy for a start.
“For goodness sake! He is just a newbie! A freshman! He is not a veteran soldier! Back off!”
Great in a sense that the first thing Lance did in the very first day of his student life at Garrison was to be listed on someone else shit list. Oh boy, he was sure that that Iverson guy would watched his every move from now on. Great, very great, Lance “McClain” Salazar. You just made a new hell for yourself.
Hey, at least he managed to help Hunk out of his panic attack! Lance just got the feeling that the two of them would be the very best of friends! And a panic attack and motion sickness after, Hunk’s fate as his best friend was sealed. At least there was one thing going right in his life at the Garrison.
Back at home, he was someone that has power and authority, but here, he’s a commoner who’s been the butt of the joke ever since he crashed and burned in one of their flight simulators designed for children. Lance knew that in choosing to walk away from being a Salazar and forging his own path, he will start from the bottom and work his way up. But dammit it’s hard! Especially when you’re competing with people who have been training for this their whole life!
Learning from books and tutors are far more different from learning first hand. Back in the comforts of his home, Lance can enjoy the leisurely pace he was in in learning about space, piloting an aircraft or spacecraft, physics, and all the topics covered in going to outer space; but here in the Garrison, it was different. The slow and careful pace that Lance was used to was suddenly replaced with deadlines and time constraints. Instead of reading and understanding the manual first, Lance was forced to figure things out as he goes. What makes things worse, the people in the Garrison has the sense of humor of an elephant stuck in a barrel on its way to Madagascar.
They don’t seem to get Lance’s witty banter during lectures, they even punish him for it. Every quip, every sarcastic response, every attempt at dry humor, Lance was silenced by a stern look and a disapproving frown. Growing up in a house full of mafiosos, one would be bored of the empty threats that each person in the household spews. In addition to that, Lance’s siblings are the sharpest people he knows, both with their blades and their wit, even Falcatta who prefers to act than to speak can shut people up with her words. So Lance had to keep up with their conversations to prove that he belonged and can participate in family matters. And for his talent of witty quips to be undermined and ridiculed are downright offensive.
The people at the Garrison assumed that he’ll eventually bend according to the Garrison’s standard, some even expected him to give up and drop out when one of the professors himself screamed at Lance right on his face, but the people back home would tell you otherwise (well they might shoot the person who screamed at Lance first and ask questions later; one does not simply insult a Salazar right on their face and expect no consequences). Every challenge the mafia world thrusted upon him, Lance made it his mission to overcome every single one of them. If people thought that he’ll simply keep his head down, they’re dead wrong.
Whenever the people at the Garrison scoff at his efforts whenever he was in the library, he kept his chin high and walked past them. Whenever a professor tried to one up on him by asking him a question they haven’t discussed yet, Lance answered with complete conviction and enjoyed the look of shock on their faces when he got the answer right. He memorized the schedules of the night security so he can sneak into the flight simulator to practice. Whenever people expected him to give up, he did his damndest to prove them wrong… and he enjoyed every second of it.
Lance was given the opportunity to lead a new life, to live a life that was his own. Sure, being a mafioso had its perks (power, money, influence), but nothing beats a life that you yourself built from the ground up. He may be sleeping a few hours less than he’s used to, skipped a few meals, gained a few callouses on his hand from gripping the controllers too tight, but it’s the life he chose, and he’s pretty damned satisfied with it.
Now? Not so much.
Iverson was speaking loudly at his face again. This close, Lance can see the veins popping on his forehead. He was so close that he can smell what he had for breakfast in addition to the spit that flew out of his mouth. Lance wanted to lean back and stand as far away from him as possible, but he was his commanding officer and his commanding officer haven’t ordered him to be at ease yet. Lance didn’t want to dig himself a deeper grave so he stood still and took it all.
“I hope I don’t need to remind you that the only reason you’re here is that the best pilot in your class had a discipline issue and flunked out-”
* Info was given by @biancadibi (Thank you!)
*Marcello = I am told that this is the usual spelling
*Famiglia = Italian for “Family”
*Familia = Spanish for “Family”
*Cosa Nostra = um….the collective term for Mafia
*sorellastra = a sister that is only connected to you by one parent. Example, same Father different Mother.