the godfather. sonny/connie (some michael, tom hagen). 3,400 words. r. It is her wedding day and the sun shines and he smells like another woman.
notes: so, this is part of my and martyr4mylove4u's massive The Godfather reboot, set in modern day America with James Franco as Sonny and Olivia Wilde as Connie. It's centered around the idea of a more liberated
His sister calls him up and she says “I shot a man.”
Sonny doesn’t ask questions beyond where.
This is his sister. This is how Sonny does things when it’s his sister.
His hands are shaking when he puts the phone down. He frowns at them as they fold over the wheel and the lights, sound blur around him and all he can think of his sister in the swings, long red socks and white dresses and grass stains stuck to her elbows and Connie’s chin tilted up in the air.
He says “what the fuck, Connie, what the fuck?”
His foot pushes the gas. The car hums.
The gun is still in her hand when he gets there. Her fingers look thin, curled around the butt of it and she holds it the way she holds anything, her car keys, a phone, the way her fingers twist the door knob when she is entering a room and he finds himself staring for a moment at her hands, at the skin spread over the bone.
She looks up when she hears his footfall. Her eyes are wide, calm and Fredo is in the corner, pulling back shaking shoulders and snapping up.
“Sonny,” she says and he, fuck, he doesn’t know what to say, he turns a head over the body and the gun and his head hurts and his little sister says “Sonny” and Sonny makes the call and Sonny solves the problem because that’s what he’s there to do and he thinks of this moment sometimes, when words like “hot headed” and “reckless” and whispered over his back, he will think of this moment and he will laugh.
Now, he grits his teeth, locks his jaw.
He makes the call.
They drop Fredo home first. Connie’s lips curl into a small reassuring smile when he leaves the car.
Sonny’s mouth tightens.
Her apartment is looks very empty at night. He’s only been there once before, when she was moving in. He put her bookshelves up.
“You want something to drink?”
He turns to her.
“I said – “
“I heard you.”
He runs a hand through his hair, “Fuck, Connie.”
“Thank you for coming – “ she says, quietly –
“Jesus fuck, Connie.”
She winces, sits down and he can see her teeth working against her cheek. She stretches her legs forward along the couch. There are coffee stains on the carpet. The heel of her boot pushes against them.
“You got anything to say for yourself?”
“Don’t do that.”
“Don’t act like this is some big – I don’t know, I haven’t done anything you wouldn’t have done.”
“You’re not me.”
“Because I’m a girl?”
“Connie – “
“I grew up in the family, same as you. Fredo’s my brother and when someone hurts my brother, I--”
“You shoot them? That’s what you do now, you just shoot people?”
She sighs. Her elbow slides over the edge of the couch.
“What do you want me to say, Sonny?”
“You want me to apologize?”
She stands up. Her breath is even, he realizes and his own is coming in fits and starts and his frown deepens, what the hell is he doing and Connie pulls at the sleeves of her shirt and she is standing up now and his hands are tight around her shoulders and he grips, he grips and he wants to shake her and make her bones rattle in her body, wants to feel the proof of his strength beneath her skin and she opens her mouth and she gasps.
She doesn’t say anything. She gasps.
Her lips open wide and round and that is when it starts to go wrong.
That’s when he kisses her, the pulse of her arms under his hands and she is long, fragile bones under his grip and she is gasping against his mouth, her head snapping up towards him and he can feel her lips moving against his and he pulls away from the shock of it, from her soft lips and hard limbs and Connie’s face when he moves away is straight and static and he kisses her again, pushes her up against the wall and presses her between his body and the couch, her legs hanging around his waist and she is cold for a minute, she is still.
He bites down on her lip, the smooth stretch of it, slack against his own and there is no blood (he can’t hurt her, he can’t – he’s left bruises on her arms) and she makes a sound against his mouth that is almost a laugh and then, she is frenzied against him, knees sharp against his flesh and her hands are in his hair and she is pulling him closer to her and they don’t hesitate, there is no pause, they are conscious of it, fingers pulling and scratching to cover the moments in between as his pants slide off to the floor and he struggles with his thumb on the button of her jeans and she is pressing into him. He is hard, hips rocking between her legs and her throat releases another low groan and his whole body hums with the noise, grunts and tugs off her jeans, skin sliding over legs, long skinny, bones and then, he is pushing into her, warm and he says her name – he doesn’t want to but he says her name against her throat and doesn’t look at her eyes. He takes her clothes off all of them, he feels a need somehow to do it all the way, with the heated slap of skin against skin and he tries not to think of how long he has wanted her.
The room feels very cold when he pulls back. He can feel the marks that her nails left behind against his arms and over the shoulder blades in his back
“You – “ he swallows, “You okay?”
She picks her shirt off the floor. Then she lets him out.
At night sometimes, he thinks of his sister picking up a gun and her fingers pulling the trigger.
His hand goes loose around his dick.
Three years later, she will call him up and she will say –
“I shot my husband.”
Sonny will only ask where she is. Again.
She doesn’t tell him herself.
She tells the parents and she tells Michael and Fredo and she has printed the wedding invitations before someone drops, over dinner “oh, Connie’s wedding, dear Connie” and Sonny’s fingers go slack around his knife, his steak knife and the blade slips, bites against the bone of his wrist. There is no blood drawn.
“Connie didn’t mention,” he says, rolling back a sleeve and pushing his elbows off the table. Mama shakes her head, shakes a spoon.
“You don’t see her anymore,” she says and she is wrong about that, because he saw his sister last week, in a motel room two miles away from her apartment. He saw her in her sweater, with her jeans shoved off on the floor and her legs spread up against the dresser and he saw her laughing at him as he couldn’t undo the buckle of his pants because he was too quick, too frantic (he was always too frantic with her) and he saw her mouth curl and her head fall back.
He saw her and she saw him and she didn’t say anything at all.
“We – I saw her a while ago. She didn’t mention it. She didn’t say anything.”
His wife’s lips go tight. He realizes he sounds agitated.
“Maybe she doesn’t know what to say. You’re such a protective brother, Sonny, always chasing her boyfriends away. Maybe she doesn’t know what to say to you.”
Connie’s not scared. Connie is not scared, she is cruel.
This is what makes her a true Corleone.
He takes out a car that night and drives out to one of their old warehouses and he lines up empty beer bottles and he shoots at them till he can’t see straight.
A couple of years ago, he’d have gotten into a bar brawl, broken a few bones but it’s his sister and she’d hear about it if he did and if she heard about it, she’d be happy and sometimes he doesn’t want that for her.
Sonny’s not a very good brother.
Michael says “Congratulations,” and his voice is soft like it always is, and clean and polite, a real gentleman his brother and he shakes Carlo’s hand and says “Congratulations”.
He looks at Sonny over his shoulder. They all do and most of them don’t know why.
“You’re not going to like being married, kid,” he tells her.
He lights a cigarette on the balcony. His face burns up in the dark city corner for a minute and then dies.
“You seem to like it just fine.”
She laughs. She is thinking of Lucy, probably.
He’s never really minded Connie laughing at him. He doesn’t like it when Michael does it but Connie is different. Connie is always different.
“You think he’s a good man?” he asks. It’s not mocking.
Connie puts up her chin in that old way that he hasn’t seen for a while. (Lately, it’s been wedding preparations and isn’t Connie a good Italian girl? Won’t your sister make a lovely bride?)
“I don’t think I like good men,” she says and it’s like she wants to shout it out to the streets.
She doesn’t. Connie takes a cigarette and doesn’t light and she lets her arm lean against his along the narrow balcony and she stands.
The sun shines on her wedding day.
Sonny takes her out to dance, folds a hand into her back, fingers warm against the vintage lace of her dress and she smiles over his shoulder. She smiles and she twirls and she never looks him in the eye. Not even once.
It is her wedding day and the sun shines and he smells like another woman.
Well, she belongs to another man, so there.
She meets Carlo at one of Sonny’s parties.
It’s at college, Sonny is at college and she’d come up for the weekend, under some pretense that slipped away with the years, and the room had been crowded and full of smoke and Sonny had said, “this is Connie.”
That’s all he said.
Carlo was in the corner and she barely saw him and when she did, she didn’t think much. She still doesn’t.
Later when she took Carlo to meet the parents (to meet the Godfather) they stood in front of the door, smoking a cigarette each, and Carlo said, “the first time we met I thought you were fucking Sonny.”
Carlo didn’t get the joke for years.
The first time she fucks him as a married woman he leaves a bruise on the small of her back.
When Carlo starts beating her she’s almost glad because then the stupid bastard can’t tell which marks he left on her skin.
The best kept secret of the Corleone’s?
There isn’t one.
No one talks about anything. That doesn’t mean everything isn’t known.
Fredo knows because he was there from the beginning, from before the beginning. Fredo knows because Connie shot a man for him and Sonny covered it up for her.
Fredo knows because he may be stupid for the Corleones but that still puts him far ahead of the curve, taking the rest of the world into account.
Michael knows because he walks in on them one afternoon in October before he’s gone off to war. Her knees around Sonny’s hips, his pants pushed to the floor, she’d arched against the wall and Michael had looked her straight in the eye.
Michael had stared at them, gaze cool and unflinching, unforgiving. Michael had stared at her until she’d come, had watched her bite at Sonny’s neck.
He’d been gone by the time she could breath.
(Sometimes she thinks she saw him bite his lip, clench his hands at his sides, watch with more than quiet disgust.)
At the wedding Michael had taken her hand, lead her around to the music and Mama was laughing in the background.
“Are you happy, Connie?”
His eyes were dark. His eyes were earnest and it’s times like these that she remembers—Michael is Papa’s son, through and through.
“I hope so.”
She always did love Michael best. She always did love Michael first, even before Fredo.
Even before Sonny.
Three weeks before Christmas they have drinks at the Plaza. Kay wears a red dress and Carlo smiles when he talks to her and Connie always did hate small talk.
At the bar Michael hands her a drink and looks out across the room.
“Does your husband know you’re fucking your brother?”
“Don’t talk to me like that, Michael. Don’t you dare talk to me like that.”
“So you want to act like a man but not to be spoken to like one?”
She always did hate Michael the most.
A week later they shoot Papa. They shoot Papa five times.
Mama knows because Mama knows everything.
Sometimes she thinks there’s a hint of disapproval in those dark eyes, but it could just as easily be about the length of her dress so she doesn’t worry about it.
Connie never worries. Not until it’s too late.
Sonny’s first word was gun.
Connie thinks about that a lot in the days after. No, she doesn’t.
She thinks about it once, at the wake, and laughs long and sharp and half the room turns to look at her.
Mama says, “go upstairs, Connie.”
Once, ages ago, she washes blood off his face. Sunday before Church and Papa is peeling apples in the kitchen; Mama wants to bake a cake.
Sonny says, “don’t tell anyone.”
And she laughs, because really? You stupid boy, which family did you grow up in?
After. After everything. After everyone is dead, Michael will say, “I had a wife, before Kay.”
He will look out the window; take a sip of his drink, eyes dark—always so dark. Then he will make a mistake.
Connie carries a gun and a temper. Both kill.
“Don’t you dare, Michael. Sonny’s dead. My brother is dead and you want to say-“
That’s how Clemenza finds them. A pistol at Michael’s temple and Connie’s slender wrist doesn’t shake.
“You want to think about this, Connie. You’re a smart girl.”
“Do I? Don’t you think I would make a better Don, Clemenza?”
She has a drink upstairs instead. Somewhere in the house Kay asks, “what did she mean, Michael?”
At school she wore her skirts longer than everyone else.
Mama never offered to hem them and Connie Corleone is a good Catholic girl. Don’t let her brothers hear you say different.
That inch of fabric drove him crazy.
(Even before she left, even before she came back with legs and breasts and smiles, that inch of fabric drove him crazy.
She always knew.)
Mama once pushed a knife into a man’s jugular while he sat at the kitchen table drinking her coffee. She’d laced it with a mild sedative.
Clemenza tells the new guns this story when he doesn’t know she’s listening.
He doesn’t say what the man did to deserve it. That’s not really a question.
He only yells at her once.
In the days after Papa gets shot, after Michael leaves, before—Well, they don’t know that then, can’t really imagine.
They’re in one of the safe houses. Sonny’s cleaning his gun, Sonny’s always cleaning his gun and the light filters through the curtains, casts lines across the floor and she’s fingering herself. Somewhat half-heartedly but his back tenses every time she thumbs over her clit and she likes that.
It’s peaceful. For those days, it’s peaceful.
“Do you ever think about Michael fucking you?”
“Shut up, Connie.”
“His dick pushed into your ass, ripping you raw? Do you think you could beg for it, Sonny?”
“I said, shut up.”
“I bet Michael could make you beg. It’s always the quiet ones, you know.”
He fires a shot; the bullet hits a foot from her head. She pushes a finger into the hole.
He fucks her like that, against the floor, her legs spread wide and she tears gashes in his back.
This is the last time.
This is the last time she sees her brother.
At her brother’s funeral Connie wears a black dress and not a single tear.
At her husband’s funeral, she helps Clemenza push the oil drum into the river. She doesn’t dress for the occasion.
It is the morning after the funeral.
She is wearing white, a white dress, sitting with her knees up on the kitchen sink and smoking out of the window and there is no one home and she is slicing an apple, it cut in half and she is holding it up to her mouth when Tom comes in.
He starts, a little.
She smiles. It is predatory and all teeth and he frowns.
“You alright, kid?” he asks, moving further into the room. He folds his hands into his pockets.
“Of course.” She bites into the flesh. “I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“What’s wrong, Tom?” she leans forwards, the skirt pulling further up her legs, “You look sad.”
He shakes his head.
“Let’s not do this, Connie.”
“Do what, Tom?”
“Look, your brother – he loved you very much and he – “
She stands up, straightens out her spine. She’s still a foot shorter than him. She can’t seem to remember this but she is.
“Don’t talk to me about my brother, Tom.”
He raises his eyebrows, the quiet lines in his head turning upwards.
“You don’t want me to talk about your brother? Who the hell knows your brother as well as me?”
She wants to say “I did” but she will sound like a child, Tom’s always thought her a child, so does Michael, so does their mother, the only goddamn person who didn’t think she was a child is dead.
(Sonny treated her like a child but he never meant it, or couldn’t help, the distinction was clearer when he was alive and maybe she can’t see him at all now because he is just a pack of bones under the ground now and she loved him – she still loves him and he is dark blur on the inside of her eyes).
She says, instead “I know you did.”
“You have to learn to mourn.” His voice takes on that stern school teacher tone that he had as a boy, that they never thought he’d grow into but he did, shoulder’s filling out it’s suit. “You have to learn to mourn or you never move on.”
That is when she kisses him and doesn’t wait to see if he kisses back because he will, of course he will, not because Tom ever wanted her but because he loved Sonny, not exactly the way she did but not that far off either, oh, he did, he did love Sonny, little Tommy Hagen did and Tom, now with his charcoal gray suit and somber smile, still loves Sonny and this is why he lets her undo the knot of his tie and this is why his fingers press into her flesh and push apart the silk of her panties, tangled up in his knuckles when he fucks her against the counter.
It hurts, hurts on different levels like the marble digging into her thighs or his body leaning too heavily between her hips and the complicated tangle of clothing straining against him and it hurts how little pleasure there is in it, it hurts how Tom’s big sad eyes turn up at the corners and how he doesn’t even look at her, he looks at the wall.
When he lets go of her, she feels like a ghost.
Sitting in the kitchen with a half eaten apple, she has no tears for her brother, she is a ghost herself and you know that it’s true, what they say –
The dead feel no pain. Nor can she.