Pairing: Yamamoto/Squalo (80S)
Disclaimer: Katekyō Hitman Reborn! and all its characters are property of Amano Akira. No copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: Written for A Tranquil Rain's (LJ community) October theme, "Condensation." And yes, the commercial described in the first paragraph is real. Inspired by these four fantastically funny fics I've been reading this weekend. My f-list is awesome for rec'ing those to me. If you need links, please check the LJ version of this story (my LJ is accessible from my profile).

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Superbi Squalo found Japan a strange place. The absurdly surreal commercials played on television were a contributing factor, of course (Superbi was unsure, for example, why the Japanese marketed their cheese curry-flavored instant noodles with a man wearing a superhero cheese costume, who climbed into a woman's house, shot laser cheese bolts into her instant noodle cup and then hid in her refrigerator, but he decided he had probably simply drank too much sake that night and only dreamed of seeing such a commercial, because the alternative was too frightening to contemplate). The insistent indirectness of the Japanese was also very strange (when he asked if the chocolate or vanilla ice cream was better here, they told him that the chocolate was sweeter, but the vanilla was creamier, which did not answer his question at all, dammit). However, Superbi could accept that he was just suffering from culture shock. Italy had its own inanities--after all, the whole country was Catholic (but thankfully devoid of cheese-powered superheroes).

Superbi approved of the communal bathing, however. It was either the best or second best idea Japan ever had (there was some fluctuation in the ranking because karaoke became Japan's best idea only when Superbi was drunk). His Roman ancestors had public baths, after all, and it meant he had more chances to impress people with his jaw-dropping good looks. In fact, he was looking forward to sharing the bath with Yamamoto Takeshi up until the point that he discovered that the Yamamoto household had a television in their bathroom for the sole purpose of watching baseball games while soaking in the tub.

When Yamamoto invited Superbi to take a bath with him, Superbi fully expected to be seduced. After all, he was ridiculously handsome (not pretty, and the next time someone called him that, he was going to cut them, because only girls were pretty, dammit, no matter how long his hair grew!). Yamamoto probably dreamt about sexing him up at night, as well Yamamoto should, because as previously hinted at, Superbi was a most incredibly beautiful man (he was definitely better-looking than Rokudō Mukuro, and if anyone disagreed, he would cut them, too). Superbi did not mind indulging Yamamoto's fantasies. After all, looks like his should not go to waste on ungrateful bosses who threw things at his head and preferred women for some unfathomable reason.

But instead of touching or even watching Superbi, Yamamoto wheeled the television closer to the tub, sat in the hot water, and watched a baseball game with the sort of rapturous captivation that Superbi usually attributed to frontal lobotomy patients. Yamamoto folded his arms on the lip of the tub and focused solely on the television, completely ignoring the way Superbi's creamy skin turned a bit pink (in a sexy way, definitely sexy) in the hot water and how his silver locks floated majestically around him. He even ignored Superbi's crowning glory, his long, proud manhood (he could not tell if Yamamoto's was bigger by sight, so until evidence by way of well-marked rulers was produced, Superbi concluded his must be bigger). All that mattered to Yamamoto was that damn baseball game. Superbi considered calling Levi-A-Than and ordering him to unleash his umbrellas on the entire stadium, but unfortunately, his mobile was all the way over by his clothes, on the other side of his room. He disliked the idea of getting up more than he liked the idea of mass murder.

Even stranger than the television by the tub was that Yamamoto had left food and drink on a tray by the huge tub. Superbi dutifully ate his sushi, trying not to spill rice crumbs in the hot water. Why he had been given a plate full of colorful maki rolls to eat while in the bath was mystifying, but he was too hungry to refuse. After all, it was free, and it was seafood, and like any good shark, Superbi liked raw fish. Of course, he was not surprised that Yamamoto fed him sushi, since Yamamoto did live above a sushi place. Superbi wondered what Yamamoto's father, still downstairs serving sushi to customers, would think of his son's foreign friend, sitting naked in a tub of hot water, eating his food. Probably nothing, considering that he did not even bat an eye when Superbi stormed into his restaurant for the second time in the space of a week.

Yamamoto leaned over Superbi suddenly, and Superbi smiled. Finally, Yamamoto was making his move, and he would get laid. But then Yamamoto reached past Superbi and grabbed one of the cups of iced juice. He did not spare Superbi a single glance, as it seemed his gaze had been glued to the television screen the entire time.

Some uniformed idiot swung their bat at a flying ball and missed, and Yamamoto snickered. Superbi contemplated stabbing Yamamoto's eyes out. Mafiosi were not supposed to snicker. It was acceptable that they laugh (preferably mockingly), chortle (but only if they were overweight and of a low rank), and chuckle (in a knowing manner), but not snicker. If snickering was allowed, then Mafiosi would start giggling next. It was a slippery slope.

Enough was enough. Superbi could take no more of being ignored. "Voi! Stop with that snickering! What, are you, twelve?"

Yamamoto looked up from the television screen, where some idiot was throwing a ball at another idiot in order for them to prevent yet another idiot from running into one of those white triangle things on the ground. "Twelve?" Yamamoto asked, smiling. He snickered again, a sound that was going to give Superbi high blood pressure before he was thirty, he just knew it. "I'm eighteen, Squalo. Remember, you came to my birthday party last week?"

"I did not! That was a complete accident! I was just looking for dry place to stand because it was raining outside!"

"I guess it was lucky that you walked by my place, huh? And you even had a great birthday present for me."

Sometimes, Superbi wondered if Yamamoto was really as stupid as he appeared. "I did not have a fucking birthday present for you! I was going to give that taiko to my aunt, but I gave it to you because everyone was staring at me when I walked through the door. Don't get all up on yourself, you trash." Never mind that Superbi did not have an aunt. It was important that Yamamoto not think it was bought for him on purpose. Superbi refused to let anyone think he was a nice person--nice people were banned from being badasses in the mafia, and Superbi would rather be a badass. Look, he did not make up these rules. Xanxus did.

"Oh, okay. The ribbon was a nice touch, though. Blue, my second favorite color."

"It was just a piece of trash I found in my pocket, I didn't plan it!" Superbi paused. Blue was supposed to be Yamamoto's favorite color. When he had taken the little cow brat hostage, Superbi had learned that, along with other interesting trivia, such as Yamamoto's favorite instrument (the taiko), Yamamoto's favorite food (sushi, what a fucking surprise), and Yamamoto's favorite drink (milk, and it really did his body good, because he had the nicest ass Superbi had ever seen, perfectly round and firm). It was not that Superbi had kidnapped the Bovino sprog and pinned him to the wall with Belphegor's knives just to find these things out. No, it was the subject of conversation between them only because Superbi had forgotten what else he wanted to ask the kid (something about grenades, probably). But apparently, the cow brat had lied, and now Superbi was going to turn him into a cheeseburger. He would have to buy some cheese first, of course. Maybe he should find that cheese-powered superhero to help him take down Lambo.

"Wait," Superbi asked, "what is your favorite color? Not that I give a shit, though. I'm just making polite conversation."

Yamamoto snickered again, and it took every ounce of Superbi's self-control to not stab him with a chopstick. "Silver."

Now, that was more like it. Silver meant that Yamamoto liked Superbi's hair. Or swords. But never mind that, it had to be Superbi's hair. They were making progress. He might get laid that night, after all. "Really? What sort of silver things do you like?" Superbi asked, flipping a lock of hair behinds his shoulder, which was not as easy as it sounded, since his hair was wet and stuck to his skin.

Before Yamamoto answered, there was a loud thwock from the television, and Yamamoto snapped his gaze back just as the audience cheered. "Oh, no, he got a home run. We lost!"

Superbi growled. Why the hell was a game that involved two groups of complete morons all competing over a tiny ball so much more fascinating than him? On top of his Adonis-like looks, he was interesting, dammit. He knew over two thousand different ways to kill a man with the point of a sword, and he knew all the lyrics to The Wall by Pink Floyd, and he could even curl his tongue when he stuck it out. Not everyone could do that.

Perhaps it was up to him to make the first move. Eighteen was not all that old. Yamamoto might be inexperienced, and perhaps he had not expressed his interest yet due to shyness. Superbi should set the mood by saying something romantic. He said the first nice thing that popped into his head: "I'm glad your mother didn't have an abortion."

Yamamoto slowly turned his head and stared at Superbi with a look of what could only be described as horror--yes, it was definitely horror. Superbi could tell. He had seen that look the last time he had worn plaid pants in front of Lussuria. As Yamamoto continued to stare, it occurred to Superbi that telling someone that it was good that their dead mother had not had an abortion might not be entirely tactful.

And Lussuria said he was a social retard. Goes to show what Lussuria knows.

"Er," Superbi said, rescuing the conversation with his usual eloquence.

Yamamoto laughed, but it was a weak laugh. "Wow. I guess that was your idea of a joke?" he asked, sounding hopeful.

"Yeah. Guess I should work on my timing." Superbi picked up his own glass of juice. Condensed water dripped from it and into the tub water. He sipped at the juice a few times to buy time, trying to think of how to rescue the mood.

Yamamoto rubbed the back of his head and looked left and right. Finally, his gaze settled on the cup in Superbi's hand. He smiled--one of his particularly stupid smiles, where he closed his eyes and flashed his teeth. It did not make him look cute at all, not even when the skin around his eyes crinkled up. People who defeated Superbi in combat were not allowed to look cute. "Isn't it funny how the water appears on the outside of a cold glass? Ever wondered how that happens?"

Superbi took another sip of juice and set the glass down. "You mean you don't know? Didn't you learn anything at that lame school you went to?"

"Sure, I learned lots, but not about that. Why don't you tell me how it works?"

Superbi sighed. A science lesson was not going to rescue the mood, but at least it beat awkward silence. "So you have air, right? Well, some air has water in it. They call it vapor or some shit. And when it hits something that's colder than it, like a cold glass of juice, then, bada bing, bada boom, it turns into little water droplets on the cold surface. That's condensation. It's all scientific and shit. Look, when I said I was glad your mother didn't have an abortion, I actually meant that I don't want to chop you into meat for a stew, and because I don't want to chop you into meat for a stew, I guess that means that I don't hate your guts. But don't go thinking that I actually like you, because then I'll make you serve my shitty boss his dinner, and you'll be fucking sorry when he tosses his filet mignon in your face, I promise you that. Voi! Are you still listening, katana-brat?"

Yamamoto grinned and kissed Superbi on the lips. "Yeah, I'm listening."

Superbi blinked, adjusting to the slide of Yamamoto's body against him. The press of Yamamoto's lips seemed remarkably chaste, at least until Yamamoto's hand slipped between his legs and squeezed. Superbi grinned. Finally.

"I don't want to dirty up the bathwater, so let's go to my room," Yamamoto whispered (it was not until a month later that Superbi learned that the idea of dirtying up the bath seemed to horrify Yamamoto even more than putting the word "abortion" in a sentence that mentioned his late mother--whether that was a Japanese quirk or a Yamamoto quirk, Superbi did not know, no more than he knew why Yamamoto put food and drink by the tub if he wanted the water perfectly clean).

It was not the best pick-up line Superbi had ever heard, but he was willing to indulge Yamamoto and head across the hall to Yamamoto's bedroom (it was important that this be seen as an indulgence, because Superbi was not that interested in Yamamoto--really). Superbi soon discovered that being fucked while naked and wet on cotton sheets that most likely had not been washed in a month (best case scenario) was actually much more erotic than it sounded. Yamamoto had a particular thrust of his hip that Superbi likened to those first luxurious sword thrusts one made into an easy target, and he moaned prettily when he came. More importantly, he took his time and kept his hands busy on all the parts of Superbi that hands needed to be busy with. Superbi did not even mind the gag (he was not that loud, Jesus--Yamamoto was really the one who needed it) and handcuffs (Superbi hoped that Yamamoto had not borrowed those from Hibari Kyōya).

But Superbi was baffled to discover that the best part was when Yamamoto untied his gag and unlocked his handcuffs and snuggled beside him. It was a rather singular experience in his lifetime, to be held so gently. As beautiful as he was, no one had ever taken the time to stroke every inch of him as if to memorize him or to kiss him so deeply that he lost his breath. He wondered why he liked it so much. Maybe Yamamoto had put something in the juice to turn him into a teenage girl or something, but when Superbi checked, he was definitely still a man.

When Yamamoto asked if he could keep him, Superbi punched him in the stomach for such a cheesy pick-up line (this is what comes of a people who accept cheese-powered superheroes in instant noodle commercials) and insisted that he was Superbi-fucking-Squalo, and nobody "kept" him. He was not a pet shark to be locked up in a goddamned tank and stared at.

Yamamoto gave him a wounded look, and Superbi bought two plane tickets bound for Italy the next day. But it was just because he did not want Yamamoto to look so damn pathetic--people who once defeated him in battle were not allowed to look pathetic, either. Plus, it might interfere with his swordwork. It was definitely not because Superbi was a nice person. He was a badass, dammit, and badasses are not suckers for puppy-dog eyes. Look, it was just the rules.

They were definitely not starting a relationship or anything. Superbi would cut anyone who suggested that. At least for the first year. Sometime during the second, he would probably just give up and snarl at them for pointing out the obvious.