Arg, it's been 7 months since the last update. All right, before reading, please note that this chapter has not been beta-read. And please read a very important note at the end. Thanks!

Chapter 4 Mukuro and Hibari

"Don't you think for a second that this will make me owe you anything, Sawada Tsunayoshi," Rokudo Mukuro who, as real as daylight, stood before all that were present in the hall of Vongola mansion.

After his exemption from the imprisonment, Chrome and the Kokuyo boys had been looking after him while Tsuna provided all that they needed from a distance. It had taken a month where Tsuna worked alone for the most part to file Mukuro out of the prison, without the knowing of his two closest guardians. Gokudera would have only tried to hinder him, and it wouldn't be fair to Gokudera if only Yamamoto knew about this.

As for Hibari, Tsuna believed the man would probably approved, given that he wanted to settle the score with Mukuro. Then again, the fight among guardians was the last thing Tsuna needed, which was why he kept this from Hibari the most.

Now that Mukuro was all well again, Tsuna deemed it the right time to break it to the other guardians.

"You ungrateful son of a bitch! How dare you speak to 10th like that! He'd just freed your criminal ass! And…and…" Gokudera's anger soon was replaced with sadness. "And 10th even kept this from me!"

'There goes Gokudera-kun…as expected.' A silent message passed from Tsuna to Yamamoto, knowing the taller man would do his part.

"Easy, easy, Gokudera."

"Shut up!"

There goes nothing.

"This is not just about Mukuro. This is about the complement of Vongola Family, safety in numbers so to say. Having Mukuro will add strength to our Family," Tsuna said, having to describe in the perspective that his right-hand man would accept.

Mukuro remained quiet for the most part even with Gokudera's curses flying around, which made Tsuna felt thankful that the man granted his favor.

Of course Yamamoto and Ryohei had not difficulty with any of this; Gokudera would soon learn to accept it.

That would leave Hibari.

The silent man was leaning against the wall far from the group. His eyes studying them, particularly fixing on the illusionist…or so Tsuna thought. Tsuna had secured Hibari with an agreement that he was not to start a fight with Mukuro in this meeting. Whereas out the Vongola estate, the business was theirs.

Somehow, Tsuna felt that Hibari's eyes were fixing on him not less than they were supposedly fixed on Mukuro. Why? It just made Tsuna too ill at ease and felt the need to cut things short. "All right, that's all I have to say. Mukuro still needs rest."

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"What was that all about?" Mukuro asked as he neared Tsuna a little.

"What was what about?" Tsuna asked back lightly while gesturing to Gokudera that it was okay.

"Hibari Kyoya." Mukuro then had to blink how his clarification affected Tsuna. 'Why was the young Vongola faltering?'

"Ah? Umm…Hibari-san? What…why?" Tsuna tripped and fumbled over his words. With Hibari's eyes on him for the past five minutes or so had made Tsuna almost lost his cool.

"I keep my word. I didn't provoke anything, didn't so much as smirk, yet he had this look on his face. While I'm so well aware that he's got an issue with me, I've no idea why this time he looked as if he wanted to kill me instead of fighting me," Mukuro said while his eyes trailed to where Hibari had just left.

"Well-" Tsuna didn't have a chance to say when Mukuro cut in.

"No…on my better observation, he's staring at you even more. And when you were speaking for my welfare; that was when he wanted to kill me."

Tsuna went speechless, his brown eyes went to Yamamoto and Gokudera who were still around and closed by, cautious for Mukuro's presence near Tsuna. Oh no, he didn't want anyone suspecting things from Mukuro's words. Tsuna laughed it off and said in light tone, "Hibari-san always wants to kill you!" With that, he grabbed Mukuro's arms, flipped the taller man around, and pushed the taller man's back lightly while to Chrome he spoke, "Chrome, please walk Mukuro back to his room."

As Chrome nodded, Mukuro turned slightly to look at Tsuna and gave off his signature smirk. "I didn't know you have that in you. Seems like I miss quite a few things here. Maybe I'll have to run some investigations while I'm regaining my health."

"You don't have to keep your word on that," Tsuna replied.

Scoffing a bit, Mukuro turned to leave with Chrome before he looked back again when Tsuna called.

"Oh! And Mukuro!"

"Hmm?"

"You didn't owe me anything. Back there you helped us escape safely from Byakuran. So now we're even, ne?"

"…"

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"My dear Chrome, you're looking so well."

"Yes, Mukuro-sama. Boss is very kind to me," Chrome smiled.

Chrome's happiness made him smile even more as he reached out to pat lightly on her head.

His Chrome, now a young pretty lady, had looked better than he'd ever seen her.

Not only feeding her properly and had her a nice warm place to stay but most important part of all, Tsuna had gotten her the organs she needed and he wouldn't have to worry about Chrome's health anymore.

Tsuna's care for Chrome had long gone been a doubt to Mukuro since he learned about the memory of his alternate older self. When he had had almost been destroyed by Byakuran and Chrome was on the verge of death and needed him the most, he wasn't there, but Tsuna was, holding her trembling hand which kept her alive.

Once they reached his room, Mukuro's natural observance made about his room. Bright and cozy were the only two words that described best. 'What a sentimental boss…Sawada Tsunayoshi, don't think you'd ever buy me with your sympathies. Once my health returns, I'll-"

"Mukuro-sama."

Chrome cut in his thinking. She gave him a look he'd never seen before which surprised Mukuro. Did she know what he was thinking?

"Yes? My dear Chrome."

"Please don't tease boss too much."

"…" 'Tease? Was that really all she meant to say?...but…when did I ever do that anyway!'

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Few days later found Mukuro regained his strength fully. Without Chrome's presence, he took a solo tour around the mansion. He didn't particularly have anything in mind. Nowhere to go, no one to go to, so he was a bit surprised that he'd run first into Tsuna again.

"How are you holding up? I hope you adjust here just fine? If you ever need anything, just let me know, okay? You as a ring holder, have the right entitled to assessment as much as the others."

Mukuro looked at the smaller man from head to toe. "Then I ask for your body."

"Hiiih!" The color on Tsuna's face drained as he jumped back in alarm and waved his hands back and forth as if to fend himself from the other. "Excluding THAT!"

Mukuro was still thinking of possessing him after all this time! Of course he would…he was Mukuro.

"Ku ha ha ha! You're still interesting as ever. After all these years, Sawada Tsunayoshi with the title of Vongola boss. Such high status you have yet you are still the same old Tsunayoshi that I knew of." Mukuro said between his laughter.

Tsuna gawked. Years ago, Mukuro's laugh which was akin to those of with psychological problem, would have freaked him out. Now that he knew better, Mukuro's laughing now was free of malice; Tsuna couldn't help but laughed along.

How long was it that Mukuro had been barred in the dark world of Mafia, not knowing the laugh free of blood stench? Tsuna always wondered.

Their laughs continued on until a wave of strange sense hit, alerting Mukuro with a third presence. Someone was watching them…Mukuro could make a wild guess. With this man who'd become like his adversary, there seemed to be an unseen connection between them.

"Hibari Kyoya."

With that said, Tsuna was silenced and looked at Mukuro who had his eyes fixed on the turning corner of the hallway.

From the shadow of the structure, stepped out the owner of the name Mukuro had just said.

"Hibari-san?" Tsuna called

Said man passed them a brief glance before slowly walking his way onward.

Tsuna couldn't help wonder, Hibari always had a knack to appear randomly around him, nothing unusual. But…

Steel grayish blue eyes locked on the mismatched ones, and Tsuna swore he heard a reverberation.

"Both of you, please no fighting here. Keep in mind about your agreeing to truce inside the Vongola's ground," Tsuna reminded them, stepping between the two.

"Of course," Mukuro said first. In all honesty, he wasn't interested in fighting the Cloud Guardian since from the beginning. His only interest, especially as of now, lies only in Tsunayoshi. As he had that going on in his mind, Mukuro sensed it again…the killing aura…from Hibari. It would have been normal, like what Tsunayoshi had told him…Hibari always wanted to kill him. But no, Mukuro just knew it was different. He studied the man but once he did that, Hibari just walked away from them, after a low 'hmm' response to Tsuna's warning.

The illusionist would have let it go if not for the look on Tsuna's face. 'That kind of expression.' A longing look? He couldn't help but called, "Sawada Tsunayoshi?"

"Ah? Yes?" There, Tsuna's face was back to normal, smiling and all.

That was when Mukuro put the two and two together. His interest piqued, seeing the uncanny and unlikely of all these.

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Mukuro once thought he was out of his mind for trusting Mafia like Vongola, yet when it came to Chrome in Tsuna's care he did. Aside from his accommodation and Chrome's welfare, he thought there couldn't be anything more. So it surprised him again that Tsuna had been thoughtful a lot more than he could ever expected.

He learned about Chrome's going out with the two girls that used to be around Tsuna back in High School. Kyoko and Haru, were they? They visited Italy often and usually took Chrome out for shopping, eat cake, or do things like normal teenage girls do. And Tsuna had always been their official sponsor. After all, Chrome really was just a normal (or used to be), lonely girl, never ever had a friend before.

Those were a girl's thing which never came across Mukuro's mind. Such a simple, little things Tsuna chose not to overlook. It impressed him how a nit-witted, no gray matter, pathetic boy could have thought this much.

"I guess I have to thank you after all. But my thank only speak for your taking care of Chrome," Mukuro said in one go, not wanting the other to misinterpret his level of gratitude. The response he got from Tsuna was again, a smile. It once irked him, but not really anymore which made him doubt himself.

He loathed all Mafia and Vongola shouldn't be anything near exception. Yet, the 10th boss of Vongola was different and that was affecting him.

No…he hated them all…

Was he…still really?

If he could only proof to his, now a little shaken belief that Vongola was no different…

And now, being alone with the younger man…an opportune moment. Come to think of it, it'd been an umpteenth times that they were alone. And the strangeness in it was that Tsuna never showed any sign of fear towards him.

'Is he really that trusting of me?'

"Mukuro, are you still thinking of using me to wreak havoc?"

The Vongola asked right out himself? For that, he deserved an honest answer.

"I am planning to," and Mukuro meant what he said.

"Oh…"

Then why wouldn't he not felt a thing when Tsuna's expression took on a sad one? Neither scared nor disappointing, just sad. A little disturbed by his own feeling, Mukuro asked, "What were you expecting? What makes you think saving me from the prison would change anything?"

Tsuna shook his head, smiling the smile that didn't reach his eyes. "No, I don't think you'd change. I was just…hoping that things would change…I guess. This whole Mafia thing…sometimes…no, all the times…it's just too tiring."

Caught off guard by that saying, Mukuro eyed the other. Was he serious? Of course he was. He knew so what was real from what was not. Sawada Tsunayoshi had always disliked the whole thing about Mafia. He'd been neglecting that so since from the beginning. The only reason he was still holding onto it was just to keep his precious family together. Because without them, he became nothing.

"Ah…sorry. I didn't mean to spill out that much. Just that I feel you're the one I can freely vent this out with." Tsuna willed a smile back on. Really, even in the family, he had no one who he could say that to. Gokudera always looked up to him as boss, Yamamoto was somewhat having fun about all this…

"You're too trusting for your own good, confiding those thoughts of yours in me," Mukuro commented as his feet brought him closer to Tsuna. "Beware, the more vulnerable your are, the easier an enemy can take hold of you."

Brown eyes looked up into the mismatched ones, feeling not intimidated as the other had intended. "Thanks for the warning. But you're not my enemy."

"You're too soft."

"Oh look who's talking. For Chrome, Chikusa, and Ken, you'd do anything."

Mukuro had to admit, he was surprised not only by how Tsuna had brought the three up out of nowhere, but he was smirking saying that. Mukuro didn't know why but it brought a smile to his face. "So you learned to talk back."

"I was just speaking the truth."

"And disputing every word." Before he knew it, Mukuro's hand snaked its way up Tsuna's small throat. He expected to see some sign of fear, but the look on Tsuna's face was…relieved, which made Mukuro even more puzzled.

Tsuna surprised him yet again by holding his hand. He only watched on as Tsuna pried the glove off of his hand and held his hand in his own. And why? Why wasn't he yanking his hand away from the other?

"It's warmer now," Tsuna said, smiling.

'Warmer?' Mukuro then recalled. The first one who'd touched him, after his releasing from the prison tank had been Tsuna. The one who wrapped the warm clothes around his frail body at that time had been Tsuna.

Sawada Tsunayoshi, the very one who dared enough to hold his hand that sent so many to hell. Things had been foggy earlier, only now that it became clear to him. Without so much as a thinking, Mukuro pushed Tsuna back against the wall, one arm pinning over the other's head.

Everyone thought, or that was what Tsuna made them think, that having him free was the boss's responsibility to care for his subordinate. No one knew it was more personal than that.

"Mu…kuro?"

Mukuro's attention shifted from his thoughts to the little boss, who looked somewhat scared for the first time. 'Why?' He didn't need an answer though. He liked it. A different kind of like from their first encounter. 'Such a special kind of toy you've become.'

"Mukuro?" Tsuna called again, feeling the sudden alert to use his strength. Was Mukuro going to possess him now? Wait! Why was his face inching closer? What's he thinking! Before Tsuna could stop him, Mukuro pulled back to look off to the side. Him again?

"Hibari Kyoya?"

That said, the name's owner stepped out of the corner from the opposite wall. At first, Mukuro saw nothing odd in that. Hibari was as free as he was to stroll around the compound. But was it really? After all, this had been a second time… "I didn't know you like spying on people."

"For you information, I was just passing by." Hibari demonstrated disinterested and walked passed the two.

Mukuro watched the man leave. Then a light shove had him stumbled a bit backward, his eyes turned back to Tsuna who sputteringly said, "I've got things to do! I should get going! Mukuro, do me a favor of behaving and not picking fight with anyone!"

Back in boss mode, Tsuna left him an order and ran out.

"Saved by the bell, eh?" Mukuro smirked…then it occurred to him, 'But…what was I thinking to do with him anyway?'

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'Hiiih! What was that all about!' the thought kept running in Tsuna's head while his feet ran in no particular direction.

Normally, Mukuro would creep him out just by nearing him. But what happened a moment ago had been different. 'His eyes…' Tsuna's face burned thinking about that. The mismatched eyes had never looked at him like that. The only one who'd ever looked at him that way once was…

'Hibari-san'

Tsuna came to a halt near his office, trying to steady his breath. It was weird, to have the thinking of Hibari stemmed from Mukuro. But when he thought about it, both Hibari and Mukuro were scary on the shallow water but were completely something else once he saw their other sides.

Having been into Mukuro's picturesque place reminded Tsuna that the illusionist who killed so many in bloodbaths, like Hibari, after all needed a place to spend away in peace. Mukuro, in a way was almost like Hibari who sat in his own quiet space and sipped away his tea in solitude.

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Note: Is there anyone still reading? ^^" Some of you might have already knew that I didn't write much now because I'm drawing doujinshi. I guess it's more of my thing than writing. Also I'll be working a full time job soon, thus lesser time. So I want to ask if anyone is still reading? If there is still someone who'd read then I'd be happy to get on with it. I'll try to finish asap because lots of my doujins 5YL comes after this fic. I hope readers will understand more if they read this first (my bad for skipping this). But I must apologize that even though I'm continuing with this, it'll be like a summarized version. That means I'll be talking about 182769 mostly and what had happened with 1827 when they were in High School. In my Thai blog, I've done it this way too so people understood my 1827 background before they read 5YL doujinshi. I don't think I can write long chapters anymore that my time will be used on drawing doujins (this chapter is not summarized just because I've written it long time ago but haven't typed it to pc until now, but as you can see, this chapter isn't written in details too). And of course, no beta-reader, too much time-consuming. I'm sorry for that but I just want to be honest and not keeping readers waiting (if there is still one).

Let me know! Thanks!

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