Nacht der Aufklarung Nehszriah

Nacht der Aufklärung

Night of Enlightenment

Kiyohiko sat on his bed, frozen in the closest thing he could muster that resembled defiance. Tsuna stood about three feet away and did not like where this was going. The Tenth looked at his son and sighed; this was not going to be easy.

“Come on,” he said, “it won’t be that bad. Haruhi and Masaru are downstairs and you like them.”

“Yeah… but…”

“…but what…?”

“Foschia-san might be down there!” the boy said, his eyes growing wide at the thought of Chrome’s devil of a daughter. “She’s so mean and I know her and Haruhi-san will fight! I don’t wanna go!”

“What makes you think that Foschia-chan is downstairs?”

“I saw Chrome-san earlier today! I wouldn’t mind Damiano-san, but Foschia-san always comes too!”

Tsuna sighed, rubbing his temple in frustration. Kiyohiko was just like he was when it came to social events as a child: reluctant and horrified. Now he knew of the sheer amount of grief he had given his mother and father when he was younger. The Mafia boss was able to deal with so many other things in life—rival families, assassins, even Kyoko when she was in one of those moods—but when it came to his son, he was helpless. It almost made him glad he only had one child.

“Just don’t go anywhere near Foschia, okay?” Tsuna said. It was no use telling him that Chrome only came to the Compound earlier that day to check in and by no means did she leave either one of her children behind; once Kiyohiko had an idea in his head it often stuck, a trait he shared with his uncle Ryohei and cousin Masaru. He crouched down and looked Kiyohiko in the eyes, almost frightened at how much the boy looked like his mother. “I’m sure you can do that, right?”

“She’ll find me,” the boy muttered. “I don’t wanna go Daddy.”

“You’re going and that’s final. Do I need to get Masaru and Haruhi up here so they can drag you down?”

“No…”

“Alright then.”

Tsuna took his son’s hand and the two walked out of the door. Downstairs was a party; many important members of the mafia were milling about, all confined to the first floor of the lavish Vongola Compound. One of the things that Tsuna had decided on upon returning from the future when he was a teenager was that the cliché of keeping friends close and enemies closer certainly did work wonders. Men and women from all over the criminal world were gathered together, whether they were Vongola allies or foes. Although it was an event that Hibari disliked Tsuna hosting at the Compound (being he was in charge of security and all), Tsuna knew the occasional social interaction was what had helped to keep the Millefiore calm and unformed all these years and prevented the future that they had been forced to fix.

Keeping close to his father, Kiyohiko followed Tsuna over towards the ballroom, where there were many couples twirling about in step to something Schubert. There they found Yamamoto, whose grin was stretched thin as he had a firm grip on the collar-backs of both his daughter and Ryohei’s son.

“Took you long enough, Tsuna,” Yamamoto chuckled weakly, letting go of the children. “You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to keep them in one place.”

“I can only imagine,” Tsuna said. He looked down at the two children, dressed in their best little outfits and beaming widely, and chuckled. “Are you three going to behave now?”

“We’ll behave extremely well, Tsuna-oji!” Masaru said, punching the air enthusiastically. Tsuna rolled his eyes and watched as the three children ran off together.

“Something’s breaking tonight, isn’t it?” Tsuna asked in general.

“Oh yeah,” Yamamoto said, patting Tsuna on the shoulder. “I’m just glad Haruhi doesn’t have baseball equipment in the house… could you imagine?”

Tsuna shuddered and the two men went back to the demeaning socializing.

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Kiyohiko, Masaru and Haruhi came to a stop on the other side of the large ballroom, panting from having dodged most of the people dancing around the room. Kiyohiko slumped to the floor in an effort to rest. Haruhi and Masaru, though, were much quicker in recuperating.

“Come on Yohi-kun!” Haruhi said, pulling on Kiyohiko’s arm. “Let’s go play somewhere!”

“I… I… don’t want to run into Foschia-san…” Kiyohiko whined. “I wanted to stay in my room.”

“Hmm… if Tsuna-oji didn’t want Yohi-kun in his room, then I bet he got Hibari-jiji to leave it extremely booby-trapped,” Masaru mused, even scrunching his face in concentration. “I don’t think you can go back.”

Neither Haruhi nor Kiyohiko seemed very convinced of Masaru’s logic, as neither had seen so much as Hibari’s shadow in weeks, yet the children both thought it would be best to not test the boy’s theory.

“Then how about we play some baseball?”

“It’s dark outside Haruhi-san.”

“Then how about tag?”

“Yohi almost got trampled going across the ballroom.”

“Can we go to the library? I like the library…”

“Books are extremely boring, Little Cousin!” Masaru announced. “Let’s go find Goku-oji and bother him!”

“I dunno…” the future Eleventh started, but Haruhi took him by a wrist and yanked him up to his feet.

“Oh, come on!” she grinned, letting loose one of her father’s smiles. “Goku-oji got himself a new girlfriend a couple weeks ago and I’ve been dying to meet her! Don’t you wanna see if she’s a good woman to be our new aunt?”

“Uh, technically Masaru-nii and I are the only ones who are related…” Kiyohiko stated.

“What about the Famiglia?” Haruhi added. She frowned critically, laying the guilt on her friend. “Daddy’s always saying that we’re from the same Famiglia, so we gotta watch out for each other! What if the lady Goku-oji’s dating is evil and he didn’t know it ‘cause she used some of those Misty powers Chrome-san has except she uses them for evil!? He’ll be defenseless!”

“You’re extremely right Haruhi!” Masaru agreed. Kiyohiko’s eyes went wide, as when his cousin had an idea implanted in his brain, the notion stayed there until well after several contradictions arose and slapped him in the face for a while… often leading to severely horrific misadventures. “We need to make sure Goku-oji is safe! It’s up to us to protect him!”

“…but I don’t think Gokudera-san will like us annoying his new girlfriend like that!” Kiyohiko said.

“Nonsense! Goku-oji can only thank us!” Masaru said proudly as he and Haruhi began to march off. Kiyohiko followed reluctantly, only because he did not want to be caught alone and off-guard by Foschia again. The last time that happened, he had to work at getting that bubblegum out of his hair for a whole two weeks… and that was only because she was purposely toying with him; the future Eleventh did not want to think about what it would be like if Foschia decided she was not leaving the Compound without torturing him somehow.

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Somewhere in England, as she accompanied her mother and twin brother to a neighborhood takeaway shop, Foschia Dokuro sneezed. She retaliated by punching Damiano in the arm, who promptly cried not-very-manly tears into their mother’s skirt.

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Tense, Gokudera glanced over the hall as he checked for signs of hostility. In all reality, the Vongola Compound was the most secure, safe and attack-proof building in all of Europe—and that was without the scores of high-powered mafia men all making sure they would not be one-upped if a fight broke out. Very few ever attempted to do anything fishy at a Vongola party (unless you counted Lawn-head and his then-girlfriend-now-ex-wife getting beyond-horribly drunk about ten years ago and embarrassing the hell out of everyone) and Gokudera was not about to let anything begin to flare up. He checked every glare, every motion; the tone of every little social chat had to be monitored. Anything could have erupted at a moment’s notice.

“Why don’t you sit down and enjoy yourself?” asked the woman to his left. Gokudera looked down and saw the strawberry-blonde known as Daria hold up a glass of wine in his direction, sitting at one of the many tables that lined the hall. The man took the wine, but did not sit.

Daria Elsner was a successful German businesswoman whom Gokudera had met on one of his official Famiglia trips to Bavaria earlier that month. Daria held important stock shares in BMW and also had started a thriving chain of chic clothing shops with cafes—all before hitting her current age of twenty-eight. She spoke German, Italian, English and French fluently and must have had a working knowledge of several other languages due to all the international expanding her stores seemed to be undergoing; she did not use a translator for anything. Although intensely driven by the will to achieve great things, Daria kept an interesting track record about her when it came to neighborhood charitable acts that seemed to exude a sense of humility. Her physique was both well-proportioned and trim from a strict exercise regimen she kept that included avid swimming, running and judo.

In other words, Daria would be a perfect potential addition to the Famiglia in more ways than one if Gokudera played his cards right.

“You’re so serious tonight, Hayato,” Daria sighed. “I thought you said that there was a whole other team watching security.”

“There is,” Gokudera said, taking a sip of wine.

“Don’t you trust them?”

“With my life.”

“Then sit with me before I pour the contents of my glass down your back.”

Gokudera reluctantly complied, knowing Daria was dead serious. There were rumors milling about in the German Underworld about her steadfastness and determination that made the Guardian cringe. He looked at her smiling hazel eyes and smirked.

“You certainly know how to get my attention; this suit was expensive.”

“Not to mention that such embarrassment at a highly important event such as this would be nothing less than mortifying.” Daria quickly scanned the crowd over Gokudera’s shoulder and smiled slyly as she played with a ring on her right index finger. “I don’t think I have seen more influential and powerful people in one place before.”

“I thought you were in business; business is supposed to be filled with powerhouse players.”

“ ‘Business’ means absolutely nothing unless you have something to back it up with,” she said. “Politics is the exact same way, only more obvious. I could sit in on a session of Parliament over in Britain, for example, and only a handful of people will have any real power whatsoever and it would have nothing to do with their backgrounds or what committees they head. Businesses, countries, organizations… one needs gall and a certain level of initiative in order to drive these things forward and leave their mark; most of the people I’ve seen here have that fire to their eyes and voice and gait.”

“You’re the first person I’ve met that has been able to describe a party of thugs so eloquently,” Gokudera said. He looked over his shoulder at the massive crowd and frowned. “Unfortunately, that is all what we are. We may fight differently than your average set of law-breakers, but we’re nothing more than bloodthirsty scoundrels at our cores.”

“Something tells me this Vongola you speak so highly of has to be the exception,” Daria said, touching Gokudera’s hand so that he might look back at her. “Am I right?”

“Always,” Gokudera smiled. It made him feel good to talk with Daria—like there was another person in the world who knew naïveté and good intentions could only get a man so far without backfiring. The Tenth was the one man Gokudera knew to be superior, yet there were times when the pacifist middle school student he once was would resurface and the Storm would have to step in and correct the temporary lapse in judgment. When it came to dealing with his fellow Guardians, Gokudera felt them all to be either total morons or legally insane and therefore not worth talking to on a personal level (except Chrome, who was stuck in a rather precarious situation amongst a squad of the criminally psychotic, but she owed them her life and thus spun a meticulous web of relationships between herself and the former gang from Kokuyo that the man knew was not worth untangling). It had been no surprise to Gokudera how big of a breath of fresh air Daria was.

Gokudera opened his mouth to go on about how wonderful Tsuna was when he heard the telltale pounding of miniature feet headed his way. Within moments, Masaru and Haruhi ran up to the couple, Kiyohiko trailing close behind. The three children all stared at Daria, wondering if this was the mysterious new girlfriend of their sort-of-uncle or if she was another important Mafia woman that still required needed bothering.

“Oh, what adorable children,” Daria smiled, turning her attention to the kids. “I had no idea that this was a place with children running about.”

“Kids, this is my special friend Daria,” Gokudera sternly told the kids in Japanese. “Be nice to her; I don’t want to leave all the missions to Germany to your dads because I cannot show my face there again.”

“Okay Gokudera-san,” Kiyohiko said. He stepped forward and said in jumpy Italian, “My name is Kiyohiko Sawada and I am pleased to meet you Signorina Daria.”

“How polite,” Daria laughed, amused at Kiyohiko’s nervousness. She thought for a moment before replying in a slow and deliberate tone. “I am pleased to meet you as well Kiyohiko. Tell me: is your father the Japanese man in the white suit whose hospitality I am enjoying?”

Kiyohiko paused, bit his lower lip in thought and shook his head up and down once he decided the woman was indeed talking about his father. Gokudera eyed the other two suspiciously, as they were looking Daria over with critical little eyes.

“Well, aren’t you two going to introduce yourselves?” Gokudera asked, frowning at Haruhi and Masaru. Daria side-glanced at Gokudera and noticed his scowl, recognizing that he had dealt with these children many times before.

“Did you speak Japanese to them, Hayato?” Daria asked.

“Yeah; why do you ask?”

“I’m trying to learn Japanese for work. Do you mind if I practice?”

“Go ahead,” Gokudera said. “By the way, this is my goddaughter Haruhi and Kiyohiko’s cousin Masaru. They both belong to colleagues of mine.”

“Konban-wa,” Daria slowly annunciated in practiced Japanese. “How are you children tonight?”

“Woah, Goku-oji’s new girlfriend speaks Japanese!” Masaru exclaimed. “How extremely cool is that?!”

“Yeah, you sound really nice for a gaijin!” Haruhi added quickly. “Simonetta-san was a gaijin too but she didn’t speak Japanese! Maybe this lady isn’t all that bad!”

Gokudera sighed and smacked his forehead against the palm of his hand. Leave it up to the Dynamic Duo to screw everything up in front of a woman who was an important financial partner at the very least. Leaving any sort of romantic bonus to the relationship aside, Daria’s business ventures had the potential to secure millions of Euros in friendly funds for the Vongola in stock alone and Gokudera knew from experience that if you let big money like that slip out of your fingers, it was unlikely to hop right back into the hand.

“You have to excuse them; neither of them are extremely bright, particularly in front of new faces,” Gokudera groaned. Daria gave him a smile which seemed to sit halfway between a smirk and out-right laughter.

“You afraid I’ll get upset due to a couple of little tykes such as them marveling at my coarse Japanese?” she asked, back to a more rapid Italian. “I should think you would be more worried about me wondering who this old girlfriend ‘Simonetta’ is.”

The Storm raised his eyebrow and glanced at Daria, who was on the verge of laughter. Her tone of voice was different from before, cheery and carefree. The laugh loosened Gokudera slightly, allowing himself to chuckle slightly as well. Before long, both adults were laughing aloud, causing the children to stare at one another in confusion.

“What’re they laughing about Yohi-kun?” Haruhi asked.

“I don’t know,” Kiyohiko said. “Daria-san has too much of an accent when she talks that quick.”

“You sound funny yourself,” Masaru said, crossing his arms across his chest. “It’s all this Italy business; you never come to visit…”

“Masaru-nii, I don’t live down the street you know.”

“Well, you should. Haruhi’s extreme and all, but I wanna play with my cousin every once in a while.”

“I thought that’s why our dads bring us here,” Haruhi butted in.

“It’s not as fun; Tsuna-oji has no sports stuff here except for non-extreme games like horseshoes and badminton.”

“…and croquet!” Kiyohiko excitedly piped up. “I like croquet!”

Haruhi watched as the two cousins fought back and forth. Well, it was more like Masaru kept on berating Kiyohiko for not running away to live with him and his father in Japan while Kiyohiko attempted to make convincing arguments otherwise. Both of them were stubborn in their own way and Haruhi had a feeling that as long as Masaru’s short attention span was not influenced… they could go on for at least an hour.

It was truly a pathetic argument, which was probably what made her eyes drift up towards Gokudera and Daria. The two had stopped laughing and were silently staring at one another, pointedly ignoring the commotion the boys were causing. The looks on their faces were strange to the little girl; she had never seen her godfather look at anyone like that before—ever. What was that face? What was it…?

Suddenly, a switch clicked in Haruhi’s brain: it was the face Daddy wore whenever he kissed Mommy on the lips or something gross like that.

“No! Don’t do it Goku-oji! It’s one of those Misty traps!” Haruhi squeaked, running between her friends to latch onto the man’s middle. Masaru, Kiyohiko, Gokudera and Daria all looked at her as if she had snapped.

“What are you talking about?” Gokudera asked, rather flustered. He felt the eyes of those nearby begin to focus on them, being as Haruhi had to shout so loudly.

“You know, those Misty traps… like the kind Chrome-san and Roku-jiji do!” Haruhi climbed into Gokudera’s lap and glared as menacingly as she could at Daria. “I shall not be fooled! You’re safe now!”

“Did she just say something about mist and an old six?” Daria asked, flabbergasted at the combination of the outburst coupled with attempting to translate the girl’s near-incomprehensibly quick Japanese. Gokudera shoved the girl off his lap and scowled as scarily as he could, deciding to not even commend the girl’s unknowing stab at Mukuro.

“Could you do me a favor and go away right now?” he hissed. “You’re not helping.”

“Sure I am!” Haruhi argued loudly. “She could be a bad lady and you wouldn’t know it! I’m doing you a favor!”

“Where on Earth did you get that idea?!”

Haruhi’s expression changed to one almost sheepish. “Manga…?”

Stupid freaking Japanese kid and your stupid freaking manga… Gokudera growled internally. He reached into his jacket and began to pull something out. Haruhi and Kiyohiko both screamed and they ran off, the former dragging along Masaru. Within seconds, they were on the other side of the room and out of sight in the hallway.

“What did you just do?” Daria asked, feeling quite lost. Gokudera placed a thick bar of chocolate on the table and smirked.

“I usually carry C-4 in that pocket.”

“They thought you were going to blow them up?!”

“Yeah. They’ve seen some hitmen go down that way before; nothing big. You seem to be forgetting my line of business.”

“I guess so,” an unconvinced Daria said sourly, leaning back in her chair and taking the last sip of her wine. Her eyes bore into Gokudera, so much so that he almost forgot about the many other mafia staring at them for the commotion the kids made…

…almost.

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“We gotta do something about this,” Haruhi said. She, Kiyohiko and Masaru were huddled underneath a topiary bush just on the edge of the outdoor veranda, trying to keep a low profile. The three believed themselves to have just escaped near certain death, or at least a trip to the emergency room, but still were not giving up.

“If she got Goku-oji to almost use his special explosives on us, then her powers have to be extremely powerful!” Masaru said. The other two children nodded in agreement.

“…but what are we going to do Masaru-nii?”

“Yeah, we can’t exactly do anything about her while Goku-oji has his special explosives on him! I’m not even allowed in the house when he’s working on that stuff!”

Masaru thought for a moment as he unknowingly covered his pants with grass stains. He was the oldest, so it was his responsibility to help his little cousin and their good friend help the Storm Guardian… no matter how much he was afraid of the C-4. After pondering for a few moments of wracking his nine-year-old’s brain, Masaru had an idea.

“Why don’t we try to get her away from Goku-oji? That could help to make an extreme rescue mission!”

“How’re we gonna do that?” Haruhi asked. “I don’t think Goku-oji will pause next time we show up…”

“…and what do you kids think you’re doing?” called out a voice. The children winced and crawled out from beneath the topiary to see Ryohei, looking down on them with a grin.

“We think Goku-oji’s being tricked!” Masaru explained. “We’re trying to figure out a way to rescue him!”

“Tricked?” Ryohei laughed, leaning forward so that he was at the children’s eye level. “What makes you think he would let his guard down like that? It’s extremely unlike him.”

“He almost used the assassin-killing-dynamite on us, Ryo-oji-san,” Kiyohiko said, almost crying at the thought. “It was scary!”

“Was he doing something important?”

“No, just making some of the faces at Daria-san that Daddy makes at Mommy,” Haruhi said bluntly. Ryohei blinked at the girl for a moment before connecting the dots and laughing.

“Don’t worry about Goku-oji. He’s extremely capable of taking care of himself, even if he is being tricked.” Ryohei patted Haruhi on the head and ruffled her hair. “Besides, I think Daria-san is more of a Cloud or Rain than Mist.”

“Oh,” Haruhi mused, though not quite grasping what the man meant.

“Hey Dad! I’m extremely hungry!” Masaru exclaimed. The Sun Guardian chuckled and began walking back towards the house.

“I think some ice cream could take care of that,” he smiled. The children cheered and followed him to the kitchen, where they proceeded to make some of the largest, most sugar-filled, bowls of ice cream they had ever eaten.

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Gokudera felt uncomfortably warm as he slowly rotated on the dance floor; the mass of moving bodies made for warmer-than-Spring conditions and the fact he was supposed to be dancing was not helping any. It was a slow, jazzy song that Daria had demanded to dance to that only required a minimal amount of movement. The skin on her shoulder and the barely-exposed small of her back felt cool under Gokudera’s hands. After her reaming him out over threatening the children with explosives, the Guardian felt the physical contact as something akin to unnatural.

“Tell me,” Daria whispered as she leaned into Gokudera. “Why did you invite me here?”

“If two people are seeing one another, then wouldn’t it make sense for them to use every excuse possible to be together?” The way she had her head tucked down on his shoulder was a nearly perfect fit under his chin. Actually, it was more like unnervingly perfect.

“There’s something more,” she said, her tone flat. “There is a way in which you act that does not exactly seem wholly right.”

“How so?”

“You said that little girl was your goddaughter, right?”

“Correct.”

“Last time we saw each other, you almost couldn’t shut up about her. It was as if her growth as a human being was vital to the stability of the world.”

“In a way, you’re right.” Daria lifted her head and looked Gokudera in the eyes. They were cold and grey and stern.

“Then what happened there?” she asked. “That was far from the doting godfather image I had imagined.”

“That girl is,” Gokudera sighed, “complicated. Although I love her as though she were a blood-relation, there are parts of her that annoy me to no end. She’s like an amalgam of both her parents—both of whom took me years to get used to. Sometimes she’s like the perfect kid, but the rest of the time she makes me glad my hair is unlikely to become greyer than this.” He jerked his head upwards slightly, as if to point at his silver hair.

“So did you threaten her parents with explosives when you were children?” Inquisitive, yet ambiguous.

“Just her dad; it took me several months to not try to turn him into cinders when we first met. Her mother was just annoying.”

“Yet you are so attached…” Daria contemplated. “How curious.”

Gokudera stopped moving as the song slowed to a stop. He looked past Daria’s eyes, into blankness. Another song, tones and tempo smooth and cool, began again and Daria had to pull him into leading a slow half-waltz.

“What?” she asked harshly as Gokudera’s expression became more aware.

“Nothing.”

“Do not lie to me; it is unbecoming.” Daria tightened her grip slightly on his shoulder, her nails digging into the fabric. “What were you just thinking about?”

“For once, nothing,” Gokudera said. Daria gave him a long, skeptical look, but continued anyways.

“So far, you have only introduced me to your boss and two of your Japanese associates; I thought you said there were more.”

“Two of them aren’t very social and the ‘missing link’ is off in China right now on a… diplomacy mission.”

“You paused.”

“That’s because I was trying to figure out a nice way to say that the idiot is trying to make up with his girlfriend.”

“That’s an odd way of putting it.”

“Not when she can explode at any moment, wiping out an entire village in one go.”

“Your perception of the female psyche amazes me.” Ouch… the biting kind of sarcasm.

“Let’s just leave it at the fact she’s an unusual girl and I think the guy is an idiot.”

“You mean it is a bad thing to be unusual?”

“No… but interesting in this case.”

Daria paused before continuing. Gokudera loathed the silence, for he knew that not often was it a good sign.

“Out of all the businesswomen in Europe, many of whom are very similar to myself, why me?”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s obvious what you’re doing; I just wanted to know why go for me?”

“Well, you are an important figure in modern German business and the symbiotic relationship between your company and the Famiglia would…”

Daria raised her eyebrows and frowned.

Oh. Fuck. That’s what she meant.

“Why shouldn’t I…?”

“…and risk the potential monetary gain from the partnership? I could call sexual harassment and nullify the contract any time I wanted to.”

“Something tells me though that you aren’t that petty.”

Daria rested her head on his shoulder again and stayed silent for the rest of the song, not certain of how to place Gokudera’s tone.

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“Extreme pillow fight!” Masaru cheered, beaming his cousin in the head with the fluffy lump. Kiyohiko fell backwards and landed off the bed with a thunk. Haruhi giggled and helped the boy back onto his feet. The ice cream had long been eaten and the massive sugar rush that had come with it was slowing heading towards the crash.

“Don’t do that if he’s not ready for it Masaru-kun,” Haruhi said as she climbed up onto the large bed. After much pleading the three had convinced their fathers that with the large amount of strange people in the house, it would be much safer for them to all sleep in Kiyohiko’s room together. Tsuna had laid out two sleeping bags on the floor for the boys (“Gentlemen always let ladies take the bed,” or something like that—the children never bothered to remember), but once the lights were out and the door closed, the three were all bouncing around on the large, soft bed.

“Sorry Little Cousin!” Masaru said, hugging Kiyohiko in apology. The younger boy gurgled under the elder’s constricting grip.

“Masaru-nii, you’re squishing me!”

“Ooops! Sorry!” Masaru let go and it took Kiyohiko a few minutes to catch his breath before he could crawl underneath the warm blanket.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said. Haruhi and Masaru paused mid-wrestle and stared at the boy.

“…’bout what, Yohi-kun?”

“Don’t you think it’s kinda weird that Gokudera-san isn’t married?”

“Oh, I dunno,” Haruhi shrugged. She waited until Masaru clamored underneath the covers before wedging herself between the two cousins. “That’s just how Goku-oji is, right?”

“Yeah, but, he’s been friends with our dads for a long time… ever since middle school. Why do you think he never got married while our dads did? Aren’t they all the same age?”

“My dad’s not married,” Masaru said promptly, as if Kiyohiko forgot. “Mommy’s mean and doesn’t like Daddy and me anymore, or Luss-san or being extreme or anything like that, so she left last year. I thought you knew that Little Cousin.”

“Yeah, but Ryo-oji was married before,” Haruhi sighed, bopping Masaru slightly on the back of the head. “…and besides, Hana-san is always at your house now so it’s not like your mommy not being around is a bad thing.”

“Wait, do you mean my mom’s friend Hana-san?!” Kiyohiko asked, his eyes going wide. Masaru grinned widely and gave a thumbs-up.

“Yeah! It would be extremely cool if she became my new mom,” Masaru said. “She took me to the zoo last week to see the new bear exhibit!”

“Going to the bear exhibit doesn’t help Goku-oji,” Haruhi said. “Yohi-kun’s right… it is kinda weird that they’re all friends but Goku-oji’s the only one that hasn’t been married.”

“Do you think that’s why he went to go see Simonetta-san so often before they fought?” Masaru asked.

“Yeah… and probably Aiko-san and Renge-san after that,” Haruhi said as she recalled the one-date wonders from the last few times Gokudera was in Japan and nearly living on her parent’s couch. “Maybe he’s jealous because Daddy has Mommy and Tsuna-oji has Kyoko-oba and Ryo-oji has Hana-san.”

“…and Lambo-nii has I-Pin-nee,” Masaru added. “Maybe he is extremely jealous! We should help Goku-oji find someone!”

“…but I think he likes Daria-san,” Kiyohiko said. “He was really angry at us for interrupting him earlier, so maybe we should just let him do it himself.”

“…but I thought Haruhi said she had Misty powers!” Masaru argued.

“Well, your dad did say that falling for a trap wasn’t like Goku-oji at all,” Haruhi mused. “We should ask him in the morning if he wants help.”

“I don’t think he will want any,” Kiyohiko said. Haruhi flopped down on the pillow and nestled into the bed.

“I guess we got to wait until morning then to find out,” she said, smiling broadly. The boys both looked at each other and shrugged before laying back down themselves and all three went to sleep.

-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-

All she knew is that there was an Italian man there for a mysterious appointment that never existed until they looked at the calendar. It was her personal work time, when she kept up with all of her personal finances and left the business work aside. She let him in anyways; he was dressed too sharply to be a prank.

“My name is Hayato Gokudera,” he said in almost perfect German. “I come on behalf of my boss, Tsunayoshi Sawada of the Vongola Famiglia. We have a business proposition for you that might just be worth your time.”

“Can’t you see that I’m busy?” she snapped. The morning had not been particularly pleasant for her and the many otherwise little things she normally tolerated grated on her nerves something fierce. “Besides, I do not remember this appointment ever being booked.” Gokudera shrugged the scathing words off expertly.

“Fine, then I shall treat you to dinner and you can hear the proposition then. Time is urgent, Fraulein Elsner, and I would hate to lose such a promising business partner as yourself for any reason.”

After a few more rounds of empty words, they decided for dinner at seven. The Italian man with the Japanese name picked a high-end Mediterranean place and went right to business. Investments. Securities. A place to fall back on. Mafia. Her businesses had attracted the attention of the current Vongola boss and he found the venture to be worth the family’s money and attention. It was not a buyout by any means—just a pledge of alignment and a safety net for if and when the economy dips. He wrote out figures and charts on a notepad he brought with him and spoke so highly of his boss, one would think he was talking about the Good Father in Heaven himself. By the end of dinner, a verbal agreement had come to a close and the decision was made to draw up the written contract the next day during her personal work time.

After the contract was signed, he offered dinner again; Thai this time around. Daria accepted and they went in honor of the contract between the two parties. They spoke of business matters, mostly, yet derived every so often. Hayato could play the piano. Daria shelled peas from their pods before eating them. They both liked the color red and neither of them had enjoyed school as youngsters.

A few weeks passed by as normal once again until Hayato called her up again at work. He was in town for business and finished early; casual dinner and some theatre? Finally, someone cultured enough to appreciate raw acting and refused to let her pick up the tab. He spent the night on the couch in her high-rise flat, too tired to get back to his hotel across town. On a whim she took the next day off to show him around the city, drunk with excitement over skipping out on work for the first time in years. They talked more as people and less as business partners. He learned about her allergy to dogs and she got to hear all about his precious goddaughter.

Hayato held her hand without thinking about it when they walked along the riverbank. Daria kissed him on the elevator ride to her flat. He spent the night across town, but came back to say goodbye before he went to the airport.

A week later and he calls, offering a stay in Italy, courtesy of the Vongola. There was to be a large social event for allies and associates of the Famiglia and she was invited. No hotel room was necessary, as she was to be his personal guest.

Yes.

Author
Nehszriah
Date Published
03/31/09 (Originally Created: 03/23/09)
World
FanWord Arena
Category
Katekyo Hitman Reborn Fan Words
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