Gokudera had arrived at his small one room apartment shortly after walking the 10th home from school. Gokudera thought of it as practice, for when Tsuna became the official boss of the Vongola family. As it was, walking the 10th home was the only time that he got to spend Baseball idiot free with the boss, so he really looked forward to that time.

Carelessly he dropped his school bag in a heap by the door and flopped down on the mattress that was his bed. The mattress and a battered set of drawers were the only furniture to speak of in the entire place. He made sure that the 10th and the other guardians didn't know were he lived, so he didn't expect any company anytime soon, and he didn't have many things in the way of possession. Unless you counted his collection of books and magazines, which stacked quite well thank you very much.

Other then the Spartan décor, the place was great. It was above a small mom and pop convenience store that sold Gokudera a majority of his meals. There were several escape routes incase the shit hit the fan, and a great south facing patio for Gokudera to hang his laundry. It wasn't a glamorous as his childhood house, but it was miles above where he had been living before Reborn called him to Japan. Just another reason to be grateful that he had met the 10th.

He was deciding between starting homework or heading down stairs for a snack when there was a knock on the door. Gokudera was suspicious, because he wasn't expecting company or a package.

'If those fuckin' Mormons are trying to convert me again…' he trailed off, mostly because he was pretty sure that although the Mormons were dedicated, they weren't suicidal enough to return after what happened last time. Besides hadn't that guy promised to ban him from every Mormon Church in the world? The memory of how that had happened kept Gokudera warm at night.

So, probably not Mormons… Girl Scouts? They did make some awesome cookies, so Gokudera didn't want to scare them away.

Gokudera approached the door cautiously, although the thoughts of potential Girl Scout cookies made him want to rush. He was disappointed when he peeked out of the door and saw a middle aged man in a brown uniform instead of cookie bearing little girls in berets.

"I got a package for a Mr. Gokudera," the guy said unnecessarily. Gokudera could see the package with his name clearly printed on it. Impatiently he signed for the package and slammed the door closed. It was rude, but the guy didn't have cookies, so he didn't matter at the moment.

With package in hand Gokudera moved to the kitchen. He pressed he ear gently to the box, and was relieved when he didn't hear any ticking. That didn't mean that there wasn't a bomb in the box, but he had learned long ago to be extra cautious when dealing with unexpected packages.

He set the medium sized box in the sink and reached for one of his kitchen knives. Knives were not his specialty, but he knew how to use them and he kept them sharp. He couldn't be too cautious in the cut throat world of the mafia.

He knew that the 10th didn't share his attitude, but that's because the 10th had Reborn and Gokudera to protect him. Hopefully he would never have to adopt Gokudera's attitude. The same was true for Baseball Idiot with his retired assassin dad. Turfhead had Coronello living with him, so he could afford to be a carefree idiot too. The Stupid Cow was living with the 10th so he should be safe, if he didn't piss Reborn off too much. Even Chrome had back up if things got tricky.

In fact, of all the guardians, only himself and the bastard Hibari were alone. Gokudera also knew that between the two of them, he was the most vulnerable. A guy had to be fucking psycho to go after Hibari, which was something that Gokudera was never going to let the bastard know he thought. All in all Gokudera had a good reason for being as paranoid as he was.

Quickly and carefully he slit the top of the box and parted the flaps. The first thing he saw as he looked in the box was wires set in a familiar pattern around a cell phone. It would only take about 10 seconds to disarm the bomb, fucking amateur.

Just as Gokudera sneered at the bomb and reached for the wires to cut, the phone rang. In less then a second he had dropped the knife and was across the apartment, using the bathroom door as cover. He couldn't run outside because obviously his place was being watched. At least this way he would protect himself from the worst of the explosion.

The ringing stopped and there was a click. The silence before the expected explosion was deafening. Adrenaline was pumping through his veins, making time stand still.

"BWUAHAHAHAHAH!!!" a voice called out from the living room. Gokudera sagged in relief; it was just someone's idea of a sick joke.

"When I find the sick son of a bitch I'm going to rip his spine out and beat him with it. Then I'm going to feed him some of Sis' cooking. Then I'm going to… Wait, is that hissing?"

Gokudera stopped his rant and started listening. Beneath the sound of borderline psychotic laughter was the faint wound of hissing. He couldn't smell anything, but the most effective aerial poisons were sometimes odorless… To be on the safe side he covered his nose and mouth with the collar of his shirt and peeked out of the bathroom.

There was a plume of yellowish grey smoke billowing out of the kitchen sink. It seemed to dissipate about a meter from the sink, but that didn't mean that whatever it was wasn't spreading throughout the room.

He needed to evacuate. The quickest thing for him to do was squeeze through the window in the bathroom. When he first moved into the place he had tried it out to make sure that he could use it as an escape route. It would be tight and graze his hips rather painfully, but he could fit. However if he did that he would be leaving behind his emergency kit, which held dynamite, tools for making dynamite, a prepaid cell phone, money, and a pack of cigarettes. At the moment the only thing he had on him was some dynamite and his school uniform… Better get that kit.

Unfortunately this meant taking precious seconds off his escape time and risking more exposure to the unidentified gas. It was a risk that he would have to take though, because he needed that shit to survive. If he survived escaping his apartment that was.

Which he would, otherwise he didn't deserve to be the 10th right hand man. Can't let Baseball Idiot take the position… With this resolve in mind he crawled across the floor to his kit, which was sitting innocently next to a pile of Amazing Creatures magazine. He barely glanced at his prize possessions as he slipped his kit over his shoulder and made his way to the south facing patio, which was opposite of the front door.

He was pretty sure that his place was being watched. People in the mob didn't like too much attention. And the package going off in the back of a mail truck was a sure fire way of getting too much attention. He just didn't know where they were and if they were still there. The back patio was the best bet for escaping, because there were bushes and shit that he could use for cover and it was close to an area that was usually pretty crowded this time of day. He could just jump down and lose his tracker, if there were any, among the masses.

He stood up, but stayed low, and crouch ran towards the back door. While he approached the sliding glass door he palmed a smoke balm. Once he crouched beside the door he nudged it open and tossed the bomb out onto the patio. It went off, causing him to see nothing but white, and he slid the door the rest of the way open. Although he couldn't see, he confidently took the two steps from the sliding door to the railing and leaped over the side.

He landed a little harder then he expected behind some bushes, then took off towards the sound of people. A small pinging sound coming from somewhere behind him had him picking up his pace. He really didn't want to be shot.

Once among people, he slowed down a little. Didn't want to draw too much attention to himself. He began weaving in and out of traffic. He went into stores and checked to see if someone was following him before going back out and ducking into another. He didn't stop this until he was about a kilometer from his place, and it seemed that no body had followed him.

He leaned against the closest building and let the remaining adrenaline rush through him. He had almost allowed himself to get soft from living here in Japan. Not many people knew about the 10th yet, so there weren't many attempts against the family. Looks like things were about to change…

Without taking his eyes off his surroundings he reached into his kit for the cell phone. From memory he dialed the number for emergency situations.

"Ciaossu," a high pitched voice greeted cheerfully.

"It's me," Gokudera said, "How is he?" He did not need to be named. He didn't want anyone eavesdropping to know the subject of this call.

"He's studying. Why?"

"I just got a strange package-," the sound on an explosion from several blocks away interrupted him. After a careful scan of the sky to make sure there weren't any fireworks he added, "I think my place was just blown up."

"I'll send someone over to confirm. We'll meet you at The Park in half an hour," the high pitched voice ordered, before abruptly hanging up.

There were many parks in the city, but there was only one park that was The Park. It was the park that was a few blocks away from the school. It was far enough away from the 10th's house so as not to attract attention to it, but close by enough so that they could meet easily. It was also exactly a half an hour away from his place by foot, so Gokudera needed to get moving now if he was going to make it on time.

'I hope Sis remembers to wear her goggles,' he thought. Stomach cramping was not on his to do list.