Pairing: Squalo/Yamamoto (S80)
Disclaimer: Katekyō Hitman Reborn! and all its characters are property of Amano Akira. No copyright infringement is intended.
Written For: KHR Fest on LJ. Prompt: 16. Squalo/Yamamoto: Sushi, "Put the whole thing in your mouth"
Notes: This story deals with the nine years and ten months that lead up to the Future arc, as well as the Future arc itself. The title is in Japanese and roughly translates to "All About Sushi."

x.x.x.x.x.x.x

Superbi did not know which was stranger—the assortment of raw seafood before him or the man with the bright smile that sat across the table—a man who had been a boy only two years ago. Yamamoto Takeshi had always seemed strange—a natural born killer with a heart of gold—but now his broad shoulders and the tilt of his head made Superbi feel strange, too.

"I hope you like it. My father helped me make the sushi, but I cut the sashimi myself."

"The deal was that I eat this shit only if you gave me a fight. That wasn't a fight, you fucking piece of trash, it was a waste of my fucking time!"

Yamamoto laughed, and that, at least, reminded Superbi of the boy he first met. "Maybe it wasn't the fight you wanted, but it was a fight. You jumped me while I was practicing. I don't know what you expected from me." He poked at the bandage on his forearm, but Superbi did not feel guilty in the slightest—if the idiot was not going to keep aware of his surroundings, then he should just thank whatever passed for God in Japan that he had not lost his arm.

"Don't hand me that bullshit. If you're still wasting your time on baseball, then you're no swordsman!" Superbi speared a piece of tuna sashimi with his fork and shoved it in his mouth. The rich, clean taste exploded in his mouth. He tried not to look as if he enjoyed it. It would not do to let Yamamoto think he enjoyed anything he had made.

"I'm a baseball player, too."

"That's your problem, right there!" Superbi thrust a fork at Yamamoto's face. "You're distracted."

"I can handle both. Both baseball and the sword are important to me."

"That's shit, you trash. You cannot compare them. Baseball is a game." Superbi rolled a piece of sushi across the plate and grabbed his knife to cut it in half.

"And you're telling me that swordsmanship isn't—" Yamamoto paused and stared at Superbi cutting his sushi piece in half with horror. Superbi did not know until that moment that Yamamoto was even capable of such an expression. "What are you doing?"

Superbi speared a loose piece of crab and popped it in his mouth. "Preparing to fork your eyeballs out and serve them over rice if you suggest sword-fighting is a game."

"Not that. You just cut a piece of maki in half, and you're eating the ingredients individually."

"You say that as if I just stabbed your sister to death."

"If I had a sister, I might feel like that." Yamamoto covered his mouth with his hand. "Please don't let my father see you doing that."

"What the hell is your problem?"

"I can't even begin to explain right now. Just put the whole thing in your mouth. You're not supposed to cut it up. It's all or nothing with sushi."

"Just like the sword, then!" Superbi cut another piece of sushi in half and grinned at Yamamoto's expression. "You comparing swordsmanship to a child's game makes me feel like you look."

Yamamoto winced again. "I'm going to need more sake to get through this." He pulled a large bottle across the table and poured some into two adorable little Japanese cups. Superbi wondered what it was with the Japanese and their love of tiny things. Tiny trees, tiny phones, tiny cups, and even tiny people—except for Yamamoto, who seemed determined to singlehandedly break the stereotype—all six feet plus of him.

When Yamamoto handed him one of the dainty cups, Superbi downed the sake in one gulp. He managed not to spit it out by some miracle, despite the burning on his tongue. It took him a moment to speak again. "You know that this shit tastes like shit, right? You need some good Italian red wine in here, not this distilled rice vinegar or whatever the fuck it is. Fucking floor cleaner, probably."

"Floor cleaner?" Yamamoto burst into laughter and poured them both more sake. "You're really funny, Squalo."

Despite the sour chemical taste, Superbi drank make sake and sneered. "Funny, huh? Don't forget that I handed you your ass during your little baseball practice earlier. How funny was that?"

Yamamoto's eyes narrowed, even though his smile remained wide. "And I handed you your ass during the ring battle. Don't forget that." He poured Superbi another cup.

"You think so? I think you got lucky." Superbi emptied his cup again. The room seemed a bit unstable, and Yamamoto's smile seemed predatory. Superbi held his empty cup and admired the lines of Yamamoto's long neck and broad shoulders. One could spend hours kissing the curve of Yamamoto's neck, if they wanted to, and never grow bored. Yamamoto poured another cup of sake, and Superbi drank that, too. The sake no longer burned, and instead left behind a rather pleasant sensation.

"I don't believe in luck," Yamamoto said as he poured Superbi more sake. "It's about what inside of you, and how you can sharpen it and focus it into something that makes people stand up and point. Baseball isn't exactly like sword-fighting, no, but it demands the same things out of you, and gives the same things in return. You've just never played baseball. That's why you don't understand."

"I understand." Superbi swallowed the contents of his cup. He no longer knew how many cups he had drunk. "I understand that you're an attention whore who wants people to be amazed by you."

Yamamoto leaned forward, distracting Superbi with the glint of the kitchen light on his glossy hair. Superbi imagined it to feel soft. He wondered if there was much of a difference between Asian hair and European hair, if Yamamoto's black hair would feel anything like Xanxus's. "Does trying to get the attention of only one person make you less of an attention whore, then?"

That stung. "You mean you haven't spent the last two years trying to get that worthless boss of yours to get on his hands and knees and beg you to fuck him raw?" Superbi drank yet more sake. It almost tasted sweet now, despite the bitter quirk in his belly caused by Yamamoto's retort.

Yamamoto no longer smiled. "Tsuna is not worthless."

"Right. Since I just struck a nerve, and I can't remember how much of this floor cleaner I've drunk, I think that's my signal to return to my hotel." Superbi tried to stand, only to fall back on his ass when the room spun. He probably should have stopped after the third cup, no matter how tiny the cups were.

Yamamoto's father walked in, carrying empty trays. He laid them on the counter and glanced at Superbi. It was hard to imagine that this worn middle-aged man was Yamamoto's father. The lines on his face obscured any semblance of the youth that Superbi associated with Yamamoto. In profile, he did not look that different, but everything about him screamed weariness—the opposite of his son.

"Ano," Yamamoto's father said. "Why is he staring at me?"

Superbi tried to answer, but he forgot what he wanted to say the moment he opened his mouth.

"Because he's drunk, Dad. I think I gave him too much sake. He can't go back to the hotel like this."

"I can go back. See, I can walk." Superbi managed to get to his feet, but when he took a couple of steps, the room tilted and he pitched over into Yamamoto's arms. "I totally walked. Did you see?"

Yamamoto laughed and patted him on the back. "I saw. Good job, Squalo."

"Ah, you're right, Takeshi. Well, since he's your friend, he can stay here."

"Thanks, Dad. I'll put him up in my room."

Superbi suddenly knew what it must feel like to be someone's pet goldfish. "Why are you ignoring me? I can walk." He tried to wriggle free from Yamamoto's arms, but only wound up flopping around.

"Relax," Yamamoto said as he threw Superbi over his shoulder. "My bed's as comfortable as any in a hotel."

"What?" Superbi blinked, trying to understand what Yamamoto meant. Was Yamamoto trying to seduce him, right there in front of his father? He squirmed a bit, but that made him feel like vomiting, so he fell limp over Yamamoto's shoulder. He stared down at Yamamoto's ass, watching the stretch of trousers as Yamamoto carried him up the stairs. It was a rather nice ass, with a beautifully rounded curve, and appeared quite firm. Being seduced by Yamamoto may not be so bad.

They entered a narrow hallway, and Yamamoto turned into a dark room. Before Superbi's eyes could adjust, Yamamoto dumped him onto something soft. Nausea and dizziness warred for control over his senses for a few moments before both subsided. Superbi focused back on his surroundings. He would not say the bed was better than the one he had at his hotel, but it was, at least, comfortable. He struggled to sit up, but Yamamoto pushed him back down.

"Take it easy. You had a lot of sake." Yamamoto tugged Superbi's trousers off. "Just because you're a shark doesn't mean you should drink like a fish."

Superbi groaned at the joke. "That was awful." He looked up and saw moonlight streaming through Yamamoto's window. The sun had set, and he had not even noticed. He had accomplished his mission and killed the yakuza who had threatened Xanxus the night before, so he would be expected back in Italy tomorrow. He should not have wasted the day on Yamamoto. He tried to sit up again, but the room transformed into a merry-go-round. Superbi sighed and lay back again. He would have to be a day late. No doubt, that would earn him a flower vase to the back of the head. Or worse. He hoped it was not a television set again.

"Are you sleeping already?" Yamamoto peered into his face and smiled. The moron always smiled, but never before had Superbi wanted to kiss him for it.

Definitely drank too much of that goddamn floor-cleaning Japanese swill.

Yamamoto sat on the floor beside the bed and stroked Superbi's face. Superbi shivered. No one really touched him like that except for Yamamoto. "Where did you come from, Squalo?"

"Italy." Words felt thick on Superbi's tongue, but they still came.

Yamamoto folded his arms on the bed and rested his chin, still staring at Superbi patiently, somehow asking more questions without speaking. His eyes held a warmth that could not be found anywhere else in Superbi's world. It was hard to match that to the boy who had somehow managed to best Superbi in the battle for the Rain Ring with sheer ingenuity, yet the contradiction seemed one of Yamamoto's defining qualities.

"I grew up in Rome. In an orphanage run by a church. The nuns there didn't have much time for any of us, and there wasn't much money. Nobody gives a shit about poor kids living in the slums, you know." Superbi stared up at the moonlight. It was easier to speak when he did not have to see Yamamoto staring at him with those damn puppy dog eyes. "When I was about seven or eight, the Vongola came by, looking for enforcers. They adopted me into the family, and I went to a school where a lot of other mafia brats went. I learned how to use a sword from a private tutor, though I always knew how to fight. You learn how when you want to keep your stuff safe from the bigger boys."

"I'm sorry."

"I don't need your damn pity, you fucking piece of trash. You think you're better than me just because you have a father and a home? Fuck you." Superbi managed to halfway sit, despite the blurring and whirling in his head. "I have a family. The Varia. The Varia is my family!"

"I know." Yamamoto shoved Superbi flat on the bed again. "My dad is my family, but so are Tsuna and all the rest. If it weren't for Tsuna, I'd be a nice red stain on concrete. So don't confuse my sympathy for pity."

Superbi blinked and stared at Yamamoto. He brain was too fuzzy to fully understand what Yamamoto meant, try as he might, but he understood enough to know Yamamoto's warm eyes held no pity. He sighed and settled back, finding that gaze oddly calming. Yamamoto smiled and started unbuttoning his coat. His fingers stroked Superbi's bared skin, and Superbi wondered what those fingers might feel like when wrapped around his cock. Would Yamamoto grip it the same way he did his katana?

Yamamoto peeled Superbi's coat off and draped it on a chair. He leaned over and kissed Superbi on the forehead. His lips felt moist. "Good night, Squalo."

Before Superbi could protest, Yamamoto stood and left the room. He closed the door softly behind him. Superbi lay back against the pillows and closed his eyes. It seemed he would not be seduced, after all. He shivered a bit, wishing he had not drunk so much. Why did Yamamoto leave? Was he not interested?

When Superbi opened his eyes, sunlight streamed through the window. He winced at the light and twisted the blinds shut after fumbling for the cord for a few moments. He did not remember falling asleep, yet morning had snuck up on him as quickly as the night before had. He stood up and pulled on his clothes, but saw no sign of Yamamoto. He walked outside, but the narrow hallway was empty. When he reached the kitchen, he found a Yamamoto, but not the one he was looking for.

"Oh, hello, Mr. Squalo." Yamamoto's father looked up from washing rice and smiled, a smile not nearly as bright as his son's. "Did you sleep well last night?"

Superbi scowled. "Like a rock."

"Good, good. If you're looking for Takeshi, he said to tell you that he was sorry, but he had to leave early for practice for his game. He's playing this afternoon, if you wanted to come."

"To watch a bunch of assholes wave sticks at flying balls? No thanks."

Yamamoto's father blinked for a moment and then started to laugh. "Takeshi was right. You really are hilarious. So straightforward!"

Superbi sneered. These Yamamotos were remarkably hard to offend. "You taught him his damn Shigure Sōen style, right?"

Yamamoto's father raised an eyebrow, and his smile grew sharp. "Ah. So you're who he was training to fight against."

"Me?"

Yamamoto's father nodded and set the rice out to dry. "Usually, he only takes baseball seriously. You must have presented some challenge."

"A challenge, huh?" Superbi grinned. "You tell that brat of yours he better keep an eye on the mail. Because I'll show him a challenge."

"Oh? Takeshi will probably like that." Yamamoto's father chuckled. "I'll deliver the message."

"Right." Superbi slipped on his sunglasses and headed outside. He glanced around the quiet street. Namimori was such an average, mundane place. How did it keep spawning people like Yamamoto?

Superbi shook his head and started walking. He would give Yamamoto a challenge, all right. He would set that boy straight. No one else in this town would be able to understand him, and Superbi was not about to let Yamamoto's potential with a sword rot in favor of a piece of polished wood. One by one, piece by piece, he would show Yamamoto what being a Sword Emperor meant.

And since he was already in Japan, he might as well buy the camera he would need for the task.

To be continued...