Tick, tick, tick, went the analogue clock. The black second hand hit each black dash with precise and calculated momentum, ever sixtieth tick the minute hand would slowly 'tock' a dash over. If Dino focused on the ticking sound it was bother irritating, very slow, and seemed to get slower. Chewing on his bottom lip Dino drummed his fingers on his desk and tried to focus on the letter in front of him. The only reason Dino managed both actions without a) biting through his lip and b) somehow managing to knock the contents of his desk onto the floor were before Romario was standing just outside Dino's half open office door.

Dino turned and snuck a glance at the clock; it was an ornate wooden clock, hung on the wall behind Dino's desk. It did not chime on the hour, and no bird popped out of it, but it was still a very impressive clock with large roman numerals and the Cavallone family crest. Dino had wanted to install a digital clock because it was quieter and easy to read, but had decided against it. The digital numbers would not have matched the rest of his office.

"Dino." Romario's voice was faintly disapproving, and Dino sent Romario a guilty smile before dragging his stack of correspondence closer and trying to get back to work. The letters from his informants on the Gesso family needed his attention, and Dino would need to summarize them and send a note to the Vongola.

Five months ago Tsuna, Reborn, and Hibari had come to Italy to meet with him in private. They had a fantastic tale about Tsuna's death, a crisis, the murder of the Arcobaleno, and the Gesso family taking over the Mafia as part of the Millefiore. Dino might not have believed them, even knowing what he did of the Bovino Family's 10 Year Bazooka, but Tsuna had started talking about the iboxes/i and during the entire conference Hibari had stood at Tsuna's shoulder and glowered at Dino, his ring spastically spurting bright purple flames. Dino had agreed to take the matter under advisement, and had quickly dispatched a few men to infiltrate the Gesso family. Reborn's statement about Vongola members being too suspicious, even now, and Tsuna not being able to trust them yet had run true, and Dino really could not say no to his former tutor.

Especially since Reborn could still kick his ass.

Now though Dino hardly wanted to pay attention to the information his (spies) subordinates (mist affinities) had sent him. The reports were boring, inconsequential, and no matter how close to the Gesso heir they got, or what position they had used to infiltrate the Gesso family the reports were all the same. Byakuran Gesso was a sweet kid, a little bizarre, a little manipulative, and seemed like he would end up being a fine boss for the Gesso family. No obvious signs of him being a bigger badass than Rokudo Mukuro. Nothing new to report other than the fact Byakuran had discovered marshmallows and internet chat rooms.

Something was making Dino extra ordinarily twitchy today, something besides the fine weather that had lead to a bright and sunny afternoon and was beginning to fade into a warm, balmy evening. Dino felt, metaphorically, like the tab inside of his shirt was turned up and scratching at his neck.

Dino turned shuffled a page of the report out of the way and looked over the next one. This was a little more promising, apparently Byakuran was interested in attending a robotics fair…

"Hey!" There was a shout, the sounds of a scuffle, and the overly familiar sound of a tonfa slamming into someone's skull. Dino was up and out of his chair, leaping over his desk before he heard the next shout. "You! ST-" there was a thunk, a crash, the ripping sound of wounded plaster. Fainter shouts, calls for help, calls for the attacker to stop, moans of pain.

"Kyouya?" Reports scattered over Dino's study floor, and Dino strode across them to get to the door. Dino was already unraveling his whip, and Romario's hand had slipped down the front of his jacket to reach for his gun. Romario was beginning to stride down the hallway before Dino was out of his study, and Dino followed after Romario, his stride fast and quickly catching up. The plush, expensive carpets that lined the hallway quieted their tread, but not the sound of fighting. Romario's gun was black, and large, standard issue to all of Dino's men, but a weapon that Dino did not use himself. A whip, or even a box weapon, were so much more personal, a gun was something anyone could use.

Dino and Romario turned the corner as one, and a tonfa slammed into Romario's face. Dino's whip snapped around Hibari's wrist, pulling the Japanese teenager's arm back. Romario went to his knees, one hand pressed to his bleeding and broken nose, the other holding the gun leveled at Hibari. Hibari sneered at the gun, but did not move to attack anymore, even though he could easily have kicked the gun out of Romario's grip, or smashed Romario's wrist with his other tonfa.

Dino tightened his hold on his whip.

"Get your herbivores away, Bucking Horse." Hibari had that look in his eye, the one that said he had obviously descended from the dinosaurs Dino was not named after.

Dino shifted forward, all too aware of the broken and bloody bodies lining the hall behind Kyouya, the broken guns and the occasional shattered box. Several of Dino's men were moving slowly to prop themselves up, to point guns, or glares, or any weapon they could find at Hibari's back. "Kyoya." Dino used slow, carefully measured tones, tones that were often utilized by dog trainers when they stepped into a cage to face down a snarling putbull. "I can not do that." Romario would shoot Dino in the foot before leaving him alone with this dangerous and obviously hostile Hibari Kyouya.

Hibari jerked free from Dino's hold, and his tonfa was flying towards Dino's face, it's fang's extended. Dino jerked back, his whip caught between his hands, snapping the whip Dino caught the tonfa headed at his stomach, and allowed the spiked tonfa to slam into the wall, chipping the wooden paneling. "Don't shoot!" Dino shouted, the sound of safeties clicking off louder than the sound of splintering wood, or Hibari's soft snarl.

"I will bite you to death." Hibari's tone was dead serious, his teeth far closer to Dino's throat than Dino was comfortable with at the moment. Dino felt scared, not for his own life, but because Dino was not sure he could protect Hibari, and keep Hibari from killing him.

Dino looked over Hibari's shoulder at Romario, still clutching his gun and bloody nose, at Antony, and Fillipo, at his other men, and at Enzio crawling slowly up the hallway. "Don't shoot. The Vongola Cloud Guardian is no threat to me."

Dino had no time to make sure his men were following his orders, no time to charm the worried look off Romario's face because after Dino had spoken Hibari began to attack. Hibari was a whirling dervish of teeth, metal spikes, blunt tonfa, knees, and elbows, head butts and kicks. When Dino knocks Hibari's tonfa away Hibari used the weapons he was born with, teeth and nails and fists and feet, until he can pick the tonfa up again. Dino knows his house better than Hibari, uses the terrain to his advantage, but Hibari has gotten stronger since Dino has last seen him, and Hibari had improved immensely between the ring battles and Dino's conference with Tsuna.

It ends, quasi-symbolically, on the rooftop, both of them bleeding but not quite broken, Dino's men anxiously watching from the balconies, leaning out windows and trying to see up. Romario is kneeling not too far away, the terracotta tiles dusting Romario's pants with blood red. Purple flames flicker over Hibari's tonfa, distorting the red gold reflection of the setting sun. Dino's hair is a mix of blond and matted brown, his clothes ripped black and no longer white. Dino teeters, the footing on the roof treacherous at best, and is about to go over backwards, careen headfirst into the courtyard below. There is nothing between him and the slate lining his courtyard, no balcony, no men, no Romario. Instead Dino falls to his knees, his mouth twisting into a wince at the way the edges of the tiles bite through his pants.

Dino turns his head, and is unsurprised when Hibari's tonfa is suddenly there, pressed against his throat, the flames extinguished. Dino's whip is lying several feet away, too far for Dino to reach, and Dino does not have the energy to push Hibari back. Dino spits a mouth full of blood out and grins, white teeth stained with red streaks of bloody perfection. He is a roman statue vandalized.

"So, Kyouya, how does winning feel?" Dino does not say it rudely, nor sarcastically, merely matter of fact. Hibari snaps the tonfa across Dino's cheek, green-black bruses already beginning to shadow Dino's skin.

"I never lost to you." Hibari's tonfa fall away, and Hibari is walking away from Dino, hopping elegantly off of the roof down onto the nearest balcony. Dino's men shift away in ill-concealed displeasure. Those that have stayed to watch see Hibari now as an enemy, someone who hurt the family, who hurt the boss, and certainly no longer as the impetuous and arrogant Vongola guardian.

Dino pities Hibari for the loss of friendships Hibari will never mourn.

"Boss?" Romario has made his way towards Dino, careful of the way tiles slip between his feet. Romario's strong arms are held out, prepared to catch Dino if he falls forward onto his face. Dino draws strength from this, enough strength to pull himself up onto his feet.

"Thank you, Romario." And Romario's arms are still there, still almost touching, but Dino cannot appear weak. Dino cannot give his men another reason to hate Hibari Kyouya. Dino walks to his whip, picks it up, and then heads for the same balcony Hibari dropped down onto and disappeared into. Dino smiles lopsided at his men, his expression painted, his gait limping, but his back straight. It hurts to smile, to walk, to breath even. Nothing is broken at least, and Dino wonders if Hibari had consciously held back.

Dino limps to his bedroom, ignoring Hibari sitting in the small, informal sitting room. Hibari practically has thunder clouds gathering above his head, and Dino's smile becomes a little more real at the thought of little mini lightning bolts causing Hibari's hair to stand up from static shock. Dino enters his bedroom, uncomfortably aware of Romario and Hibari both standing in the same room, both of them at his back.

Dino does not bother to close the bedroom door, especially since Romario is busy standing in it, instead he stands at the foot of his bed and strips off his bloodied jacket, his shirt, the fabric falling to pieces the moment Dino tugs on it. Romario passes through the doorway to the bedroom and heads for the master bathroom, it does not take Romario more than a second to find the first aid supplies.

Dino winces slightly, and reaches for his belt.

The thunder cloud above Hibari's head rumbles, and Dino feels the gaze on his back sharpen, like a hawk focusing on it's prey.

Dino's belt drops, and his pants slide off in tatters. Blood and bruises decorate Dino's legs, and his knees were skinned by the terracotta. Dino sits on the bed, his cuts bleeding onto his dark brown coverlet, and his bruises beginning to start up a chorus of complaints. Dino is uncomfortably aware of how much blood he is losing, of how a thin short pair of red boxer briefs separates his private parts from Hibari's hungry gaze, and the fact that Dino is going to need to visit the tattooist after his wounds heal because the Cavallone crest has been damaged.

Romario opens the white plastic case, picks out the peroxide and loses the case again. Romario already has a wet rag held in one hand.

"Ow!" Dino complains good naturedly when Romario cleans him but, but Romario gives him a burdened, tired look that makes Dino's smile drop. Dino hates when Romario looks like that. Romario dresses Dino's wounds efficiently, and fetches Dino a clean pair of pants. Dino bends, his spine creaking, and picks up the abused brown belt he had worn that day, sliding it through his belt loops. Gauze taped down over the larger wounds, Band-Aids littering his chest and arms and neck, and bruises black and green and yellow blooming like a cereus flower under the soft glow of twilight.

Dino does not bother with a shirt.

"Coffee?" Dino offers, easing himself down onto the couch. Hibari has remained standing, his feet planted as he occupies the middle of the sitting room, the aura of his thundercloud made Dino and Romario skirt at least three feet around him as they walked through the room. Romario stands behind Dino's side of the couch. Dino realizes that Romario has yet to have his nose seen to, and that the blood is still there.

"Tea." Hibari glares, his face scrunched up into the type of scowl that looked beautiful and untouchable, and was going to end up giving Hibari wrinkles. Dino motioned that Romario should go talk to someone about it.

"And take care of your nose." Dino says. Romario looks between Hibari and Dino, but Dino's face is set, and Romario knows better than to argue.

Romario leaves.

Dino laughs, the action sending shooting screaming signals of pain to his brain. Dino is too tired to move, much less fight, if Hibari wants to kill him now is the time. "So what was all that about, Kyouya?"

Hibari's glare is now meant specifically for Dino, not the unfocused 'I hate you all' glare. Dino wonders if Hibari will rip off his new bandages and dig fingers into Dino's wounds. "Where is your ring?"

Dino blinks, surprised. "Er." Dino thinks about the ring no one knows about, the one that arrived in the mail five months ago and Dino has used twice, the ring and boxes that have been the talk of the mafia for five months now, that were used in the future Tsuna claims he has been to. It is a weapon Dino has seen no point in using, much less admitting he has. A secret weapon is always more effective, in Dino's mind. When it came to rings the Vongola were the power house, they and the Giglio Nero had the monopoly on powerful ancient rings. Dino's ring was just a sun ring, an original design yes, but something you could easily trump. "Kyouya…There's no need for me to use my ring."

Hibari's tonfa rattle ominously. "Too soft." Hibari took a step towards the couch. "Do you not know how to use it, Bucking Horse?"

They are interrupted by one of Dino's house staff bringing a tray of pastries and a pot of green tea. Dino has never really liked green tea, but he will drink it. Dino is grateful that the tea is not black, Hibari would sneer at it and that would be one more thing that Dino could not stand. Dino motions for Hibari to have a seat in one of the arm chairs, or on the other side of the couch. Hibari remains standing, glaring at the young man who brought the tea until Giovani, shaking and sweating, leaves the room and closes the door behind him.

"Do you not know how to use your ring, Bucking Horse?" The tea will get cold if Dino delays answering the question, and the lie is so easy to come by. Dino should sense the snare snapping shut .

"No," Dino laughs, leans forward to pour a cup of tea, "I never bothered to learn."

Dino's hand has thankfully not closed around the tea pot's handle when Hibari grabs his shoulders, fingers digging into gauze and bruised flesh, and pushes Dino back. "Then I will teach you." Hibari straddles Dino's lap, his weight thankfully all on his own because Dino's thighs would scream with pain were Hibari to sit on him. "To generate a flame-"

And Dino begins to wonder about who taught Hibari to use his ring, in this strange future that never happened.

"-is to be pissed off." Hibari's mouth crashes down on Dino's and Dino, surprised, stunned, stupefied, pushes Hibari away. Dino tries, at least, Hibari backs off for a second and then grabs Dino's wrists, pinning Dino's wrists against the couch's carved lattice. The back of Dino's hands dig into roses and cherubim, respectively.

Dino breaths through his nose, his mouth open and being used, his tongue being teased, Dino's palate being tickled. Dino is staring shocked into Hibari's eyes, and Hibari's eyelids drop, hooded with pleasure to closed. Dino continues to stare, unseeing, fingers flexing and grasping at open air.

Using a ring is about focus, about determination, about control. It might contain raw passion hidden at it's core, but it is nothing like this heady, hedonistic method. Dino would never be able to wield a ring with this much power, it would be uncontrollable.

"Mmm." Dino's eyes slide closed, his tongue coming out to play, to tease and push at Hibari's, to slip into Hibari's mouth and taste airplane peanuts and black tea. Hibari squeezes Dino's wrists hard enough to make Dino's bones rub together, to make Dino wince and pull back, hit his head against the lattice. Hibari drops his hold on the wrists, instead grips Dino's hair. Stiff and bloody locks crackle when Hibari slides fingers through them, while Dino's scalp aches when Hibari tugs him closer. Dino wraps one arm around Hibari's neck, draws him down, draws him closer. Hibari lets go of Dino's hair, ghosts a hand down Dino's neck, scratches nails over gauze and the beginning of Dino's tattoos.

Dino grunts and twists his head away. "Kyouya."

Hibari bites Dino's ear, sucks, licks, slides a tongue along the rim of Dino's ear and thrusts it inside. Dino shudders, suddenly painfully and very obviously aroused. "Nn." Dino grabs Hibari's hip, pulls him closer and grinds against him. Pain and pleasure and a sudden burst of responsibility. "Kyouya, you're underaged."

"You had that complaint the last time, Cavallone." Hibari's voice is husky, and certainly does not sound 15. Hibari's teeth and cruel, and Hibari bites the rim of Dino's ear hard enough to leave a mark. "I am old enough to make my own decisions."

Dino cannot say something like 'your parents' because he knows Hibari lives alone, that he receives a stipend from the school, and that Hibari's records fluctuate between Hibari having existed a month to Hibari having existed a year. "Kyouya." Perhaps Hibari is old enough to make decisions on his own, but Hibari is still Tsuna's guardian, is still small and light and trim, and Dino is in no way taking advantage.

"…last time?" It comes out in a gasp, Hibari grinds against Dino's lap, Dino's thighs cry out in protest, and if Dino's dick had a voice it would be singing Ode to Joy.

Hibari licks down Dino's collarbone, slides off Dino's lap to kneel on the floor between Dino's legs. "You taught me how to utilize the ring."

Dino blinks down at Hibari, a messy head of black hair and a sharp coquettish face. "I taught you like THIS?!" And it… the parallel version of himself must have been insane. Insane to challenge Hibari, to fight him with the ring, to force Hibari back against a wall and undo Hibari's school uniform…

Dino can almost remember it, or perhaps it is just his imagination.

Dino's belt is tossed aside, a coiled snake of leather with a gold tongue, and Dino's zipper pants are roughly opened, the button practically being ripped off and the zipper screaming in protest. "Lift your hips," Hibari orders, and Dino lifts his hips and allows Hibari to slide his fingers under the waist band of Dino's boxer briefs, to tug both pants and underwear off in one smooth movement. They both pool around Dino's feet.

Dino's cock stands at attention, saluting Hibari and his hungry eyes. Hibari licks his lips, and Dino thinks briefly of the damage Hibari could do it he felt like biting Dino's cock to death. Dino's cock does not even bother with cringing, instead it twitches, all too happy to die in Hibari's mouth. Hibari's slightly pink lips stretch wide, and suddenly Dino is slipping into Hibari's mouth.

"Aaaaaaah." Dino's hands hover over Hibari's hair, too conscientious to grab and pull until all of him is encased in that wet heat. "Nnn." Hibari sucks, his cheeks hollowing, and pulls back.

It's obviously Hibari's first blowjob, there's too much spit and it dribbles messily between Dino's legs, onto the couch, onto the floor, down Hibari's chin. Hibari's tongue is unsure, swirling, rubbing, just licking at the tip, but Hibari never sticks with one action too long. Eventually Hibari settles on bobbing his head back and forth, cheeks hollowed, hand cupping Dino's balls and rubbing them.

It's enough, it's all enough, and the itchy, irritated feeling Dino has had at the back of his mind is forgotten, the blood and bruises ignored, and when Dino shoots into Hibari's mouth he even forgets about being conscientious and grabs Hibari's hair to hold him still.

Hibari swallows, his tongue flicking out and licking the last of Dino's jizz from the tip of his cock, cleaning up.

"Ah…" Dino pants, collapses against the couch, his grip going limp and his hands falling to his sides. Sweat cools on Dino's chest, makes him shiver when a breeze blows in the slightly opened window. "Nn." Opening eyes Dino does not remember squeezing shut Dino looks at Hibari and feels his heart stutter to a stop.

Hibari is looking up at Dino with a painfully open expression, a brutal, aching mix of lust, need, hope, disbelief, and Dino hopes perhaps a bit of affection, but he will settle for possessiveness. The look disappears in a second, shuttered behind a slight frown and blank eyes. "Do you think you can use the ring now, Cavallone?"

Dino chuckles, presses a hand over his eyes. "I think I might need another lesson, Kyouya. Perhaps next time on a bed?"