To the Depth And Breadth And Height
Author: Jusrecht

Pairing: Dino/fem!Hibari

Rating: PG-13

Note: Written for Valentine's Day although the story itself doesn't have anything to do with Valentine's lol The original premise was to have pregnant!Bari kicking some serious ass but... it deviated a bit orz

Title is taken from the poem "How Do I Love Thee" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.


The sunset's burn had dimmed, leaving only traces of red-gold streaks on indigo clouds. Dino marched the length of the swimming pool in long, quick strides, haste and fury one and the same in stiffly coiled muscles. But once he had caught the sight of her, reclining on a long settee, eyes closed against the waning light, the blinding force of his anger disappeared, usurped by such overwhelming relief that he could almost weep.

"You're late."

Kyouya's voice carried always a trace of indifference that twisted a knife into his guts. Numb now after the surge of relief had passed, Dino could not even manage a flinch, a word, a sheepish laugh—anything. He fell down to both knees and stared at her, dumb, hollow, without anger or purpose.

"You thought I could not carry out a simple mission." Her dry amusement was evident, almost bitter in the lash of her tongue. Dino watched for a shift of expression on her face, her cruelly beautiful face, but there was none.

"I did not think." He found his voice at last. "When I heard about it, I could not think at all."

(When Don Farnese turned a pair of crazed, accusing eyes at him, the phone slipping from his fingers' clutch. "My son," he whispered, hoarse, broken, not a trace of the suave man he had performed a vicious verbal spar with for the last hour. "You treacherous son of a whore, your wife murdered my son." And the inferno that soon followed. The bullet that narrowly avoided his neck. The impotent rage that never left a grieving father's face even after Dino had ripped the body into pieces with the blind torrent of his Sky flames.)

"His son was waiting in ambush." Kyouya's clinical voice tore into the ghastly parade of memories. "It was rather a smart plan. Once you had concluded your business with the father, no suspicion could befall them if you were to be found dead afterwards."

Dino closed his eyes, discovering logic beyond his reach. "You shouldn't have done it."

"And let you fall into their trap?"

"I could take care of it," his self-defence burst forth at that accusation, like a sudden gale. "In your present condition–"

"You see me as weak now," she practically spat the words. Dino would have flinched, but the numbness had not subsided. He stared at her instead, unblinking.

"No." His voice came out a soft, defeated whisper. "Never. But my fear is irrational—you, Kyouya, are carrying my child."

Her smiles, when they deigned to appear, were never the children of joy. This one mocked him, mocked his love and sincerity and everything else that defined their marriage. So did her voice when she said, "Of course, it's the child you're worried about."

"Don't," he breathed out sharply, a word full of pain. "Please don't jest about this, Kyouya."

Pleas would only irritate her; he knew how much she hated weakness. When she moved, he expected the cold density of her tonfa against his cheek, but her hand was naked, unarmed when it gripped the back of his neck. Then she kissed him, her lips vicious and wet and soaked with jealousy—and he knew that she knew. She could smell the blood on him as easily as he could feel the presence of her hand, the ruthless fingers which had repeatedly torn lives from mortal coils, now allowing strands of his hair slipping between their gaps.

"Is he dead?"

Her words caressed him like sweet poison, and her eyes, this close, were a sharp, clear grey. Before them, Dino could not find the strength in him to nod.

"Yes."

"His underlings?"

"Yes."

"Are you angry?"

"I don't know."

Her hand released him, as abruptly as it had come. He remained where he was, following her movement with his eyes as she leaned back into the settee's soft embrace. She was heavy now, seven months into, and Dino tried not to imagine how she had killed Don Farnese's son. He knew that pregnancy did not rob her of her battle grace—nothing could, it was ingrained in her the way hunting impulse was in wild beasts—but lesser things had caused miscarriage.

He knew that there was nothing lesser about her.

Slowly, as if in a trance, Dino touched the swell of her belly, his fingers following the curved shape from crest to bottom. He was barely conscious of her eyes, that translucent grey, watching him from beneath lowered lids. Here was the making of life, the magic of their world. What he had done before, barely an hour ago, to forty-seven breathing, living creatures of the same magic, had been the unmaking.

Dino felt his hand tremble. The cold whisper of death had not touched him for a long time.

"If anything happens to you," his throat worked slowly, each word a heavy, conscious effort, "by God, I don't know what I'll do."

Kyouya did not respond for a long time. The silence was thick in his ears when he finally looked up, at her face, expecting disgust, weariness, annoyance, indifference. It struck him all of a sudden, how used he was of thinking in the negative length when it came to her.

"There is no need to be so dramatic." Her answer was dry, flat, devoid of any of those things. Some of his fear lifted and he could laugh then, a thin sound that scraped his throat like a sob—but he laughed; it was a curiously liberating action.

"So a simple 'I love you' will suffice?" Dino asked softly.

"No." Her voice hardened, and so did her eyes. "Your coming back to me. Alive. I don't care if you have to drag yourself to hell and back to obey. Only that will suffice."

And then he remembered, above all thoughts of fear and disgust and coldness, why he was here—why she was here, with his ring around her finger. For all her bites and spite, she was here, carrying his child, and not somewhere else beyond his reach: alone, distant, unbound, as Clouds should be.

Kyouya distorted everything, even love—but that love was his to claim and his alone, for not even she could change it. He remembered now, everything hidden behind her indifference and callousness, those jealously guarded secrets he had nearly forgotten.

"I'll remember that," he promised her, every word a vow, and kissed the back of her hand.

Her knuckles grazed his lips, lightly, and he smiled at her answer—always wordless, always thin, but always there.

End