So, this is short, and no new myths, and also kind of sketched more than well-thought-through, but. Here. I feel like the myths were starting to come too close together, time-wise, and so that's been handled by a month break in the general feel of the early chapters. So there.
(Because Vongola is no longer the craziest group out there)
Apart from the somewhat expected hostile interruption to the introduction ceremony—and, no it wasn't an inauguration, thank you very much, Tsuna had no intention of this takeover being permanent yet, he wasn't even out of middle school—the month of ruling Vongola actually went pretty smoothly.
Timoteo had opted for the 'real vacation' option (which Tsuna and Timoteo's Sun agreed was probably better for his health and stress-levels) and gone on a civilian cruise. This meant Mafia news would only reach him if it were either deliberately sought or imparted, and he'd be able to not worry about it at all. Tsuna had his work cut out for him straightening out the mess that was the paperwork, the department heads, the appalling inefficiency, the fact that there were several spies in the service staff (apparently no one was brave enough to try for infiltrating communications or security, which was something, at any rate), but it wasn't as much of a mess as organizing a bunch of formerly unconnected Yakuza groups, so it was comparatively simple.
(Oh, gods, his perception of 'simple' was now horribly skewed. Also, he still had to sort out the Triads—although Shī had at least started with that—and freaking Korea. Criminal groups were bad enough, why had they gotten him an actual country?)
Anyway, the month did pass relatively smoothly, with only a few hitch-ups involving the rogue CEDEF outpost in Paris, the boundary-testing one in Madrid, and some Vongola-allied Famiglie that were breaking contract on the side. Between actual Vongola personnel (which had needed a firm hand to prove he wasn't going to put up with any nonsense) and a few Sora and Varia to keep them in line, those situations were handled both fairly quietly and efficiently.
(There was also the normal Vongola madness, apparently, but since Tsuna's Own—oh, gods, he'd been spending too much time talking to Kuro-san; he was picking up cult wording—were the worst of the lot and already knew and appreciated The Rules, it wasn't nearly as bad as he'd feared it would be. Of course, Reborn hadn't expounded on the joys of chaos in Vongola for a while... perhaps because it seemed that Tsuna's usual crazies had outstripped it. That... should have felt like a more terrible thought than it did. And they were still efficient!)
Tsuna did so love efficiency. It made his life less stressful.
He did send Lal back to the CEDEF to keep and eye on things—and because he wasn't up to dealing with Iemitsu until he had less to worry about—but she was as welcome as any other to spend any and all free time in his general vicinity. Since CEDEF headquarters wasn't far from Vongola Mansion, this wasn't much of a problem, although Tsuna was reasonably sure that Moeru would be more than happy to teleport her if the distance had been greater. He claimed to enjoy the travel, and bringing people Tsuna liked to him was apparently a bonus.
(Also, the khe-ti had only left his feathers to sleep since he'd taken to wearing her, but that was neither here nor there.)
Still, when the month was up, Tsuna was more than happy to pass control back to Timoteo and take an extra week to make sure the man and his Guardians knew who to call for what, who should be doing what paperwork, and all the changes that had been made while he was off on his cruise. (And, though only a select few knew it, mediate a good long talk between Xanxus and Timoteo. Because Timoteo was inept about it, but he did actually love his son. And Xanxus didn't hate his father, he was just angry about years of lies. And Tsuna knew that Xanxus wanted to make it at least better than it was, even if he had no idea where to start.)
At first Timoteo had been taken aback by everything, and then two things became abundantly clear: things were, as a general rule, getting done much more smoothly and a whole lot less paperwork was needing to cross the Boss' desk.
(He was pretty sure the Ninth generation were impressed somewhere under all the shock, but he and his still had to get back to Japan so he and his Guardians could catch up on the school they'd all missed. His more extended group of Elements... well, it was a good thing Moeru liked taking them places so much, because Tsuna wanted visits. Xanxus still had Varia to wrangle, after all, and Lal said she'd keep keeping an eye on the CEDEF, just to make sure it didn't fall too far into bad habits. On that note, Tsuna was still going to have to deal with Iemitsu eventually, even if he had managed to avoid it while sorting out the mess that was Vongola.
Unlike Xanxus, he didn't particularly care about fixing that relationship, seeing as how there wasn't actually a relationship to fix... but Kaa-san loved Iemitsu and was horribly hurt to find out he'd lied, and that needed to be addressed.
Tsuna wasn't looking forward to it.)
Gokudera had been surprised to find how much he was enjoying being back in Italy—he hadn't expected it, after all, as most of his memories of the place were tainted with loss and betrayal and fear and loneliness and desperation, but...
With Juudaime? It was... nice, to be back where he could speak in his first language—he was comfortable enough with Japanese, but Italian still came more easily to him—and he'd missed the reds and golds of Italy's countryside, the colors making the greens of living plants stand out all the more brightly.
Without that constant desperation-edged anger and unending fight to make himself a place in a world that wouldn't think twice about killing him, the land itself was something he'd missed.
(Also, he didn't have to be the Smoking Bomb Hayato anymore. He could be Juudiame's Gokudera-kun, treasured not for his skills but just for himself. That he could have that and his homeland at the same time... well, he knew he'd always, always choose Juudiame over location, but having both was still nice.)
Then Juudiame came to him, looking unhappy, and Gokudera felt a familiar angry trepidation rising in him. What had put that look on his Sky's face? "Juudiame?"
Juudiame sighed, "Gokudera-kun, would you mind coming with me when I speak to Iemitsu? I'm not entirely comfortable being in a room with him by myself."
Iemitsu—the head of the CEDEF. Juudiame's sire, the one he conceded was blood but denied as family. No wonder he didn't look happy. The anger he felt on his Sky's behalf was mixed with a warm thrill of happiness that Juudiame trusted him with something like this, and he didn't even hesitate. "Of course, Juudiame! I'd be honored to stand by your side!"
He got a wan smile for that, and a soft wash of gratitude alongside a tired resignation in the Sky Flames enfolding him like a warm hug. Juudiame was either getting really good at controlling his Flames, or no longer holding them under control around His Own, and it was really hard to tell which. Although it made it easier to tell exactly how Juudiame was feeling at any given point in time.
"It's not until later today," Juudiame informed. "He's supposed to come here at two this afternoon. For now, I'm going to go eat lunch—did you want to join me?"
He hadn't had lunch himself, yet, and the last tweaks to the Sora's latest mainland expansion could wait. "Of course!"
The heavier weight in Juudiame's Flames lightened with a happy sort of cheer, and Gokudera very carefully didn't look at the smile he knew was directed his way. He loved his Sky, and he very much liked it when Juudiame was happy, but that smile made it a little hard to keep track of his feet.
(Fortunately for Gokudera's pride, he'd noticed Juudiame's happy smile had that effect on everyone who saw it, even Reborn, Xanxus, and the Vindice, so it was something to do with Juudiame's amazingness and not some weakness of Gokudera's.)
Later, the meeting with the CEDEF Boss didn't actually go... all that badly. Juudiame was tired by the end of it, that kind of tired that came from dealing with something emotionally stressful but not physically taxing, but not quite as tense, and Iemitsu had been... professional. (Lal Mirch probably had something to do with that—she'd have warned him against upsetting their Sky.)
Gokudera had kept his own Flames hot beneath his skin all the same, just in case, and Juudiame leaned into him briefly when the office door closed behind Iemitsu, the ever-present expanse of his Sky curling close like a cuddle. "Thanks, Gokudera-kun," Juudiame murmured in that language that was unique to him but it seemed everyone understood.
Gokudera faintly wondered if it was hard for Juudiame to speak Japanese, now, because he seemed to default to what had broadly become known as 'AllSpeak', but mostly he wondered what he'd done to warrant Flame-cuddles and thanks. "Juudiame?" he asked.
"Mm," Juudiame hummed, "It was really reassuring, to have you here," he explained. "Iemitsu... Kaa-san really loves him, even if she's hurt by how he's not there. She was really upset about him lying, too, but not angry. It's not in her nature to get angry at people she loves, and it would make her sad if I kept him away from her. So I have to at least try to get along with him, and having you here made it easier to keep calm."
Gokudera could feel himself blushing, because the thought that Juudiame found his presence reassuring despite the fact that Juudiame was the strongest person he knew and that Gokudera wasn't even the strongest of those who called Juudiame 'my Sky'. "Um, you're welcome?" he blushed more as his voice cracked into a squeak, because not only did it make him sound like a girl, it made the intended statement come out as a question.
Juudiame beamed at him.
He didn't manage to avoid looking, and tripped over his own feet even though they'd been standing still.
(Juudiame's confused pout was immediately followed by a hand up, and the warm furl of Sky stretched out over the whole mansion, clearly checking up on everyone within.
Juudiame was amazing.)
I felt like I've been neglecting Gokudera, so he got some screen time. I seem to have trouble tracking large numbers of characters at once, but sooner or later they should all get at least a little bit of input in the story. Also, Gokudera feels less like a puppy from his own point of view.