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Thoughts and flashbacks

Normal story

Summer of Love: Thursday

Here he was, staring at the busy streets below from his hotel window. At 10am, Hibari Kyoya was sipping a small cup of expresso while waiting for a certain Italian blonde. To pass the time, he contemplated the usefulness of learning a foreign language or two. And, it certainly had paid off as he now enjoyed an authentic shot of bitter and dark coffee which he ordered from room service in fluent Italian. If he were an herbivore, he would have congratulated himself of his fifteen-year-old self's foresight.

When he returned from the future with Sawada Tsunayoshi and his group of herbivores, Hibari decided to graduate from Namimori Middle, enter Namimori High and continue his higher education. All the while, his prefect subordinates stayed by his side and helped him form the power base for the Foundation. At the age of seventeen, he attended Namimori U. and spent four years studying English and Italian there. After receiving his bachelor degree, the twenty-one year old skylark took to traveling around the world, learning about rings and boxes as he was intrigued by his ten-year-older self's quest.

Now, at twenty two, Hibari Kyoya was the proud and aloof Vongola Cloud Guardian whose independence and freedom were never compromised unless he agreed to a request from the so-called Vongola Decimo. And, that was what led him to this small hotel in the outskirt of Rome. Granted, the mission itself was simple and almost insulting to someone of his abilities, but he had his own reasons to accept this task. It took him only three days to stalk the prey, gather all the information and dispose of him as well as his connections. And, speaking of this job, he almost allowed himself a smirk, Tsunayoshi was definitely entertaining to terrorize, if not for the skylark's currently problematic preoccupation.

More than a week ago, Tsuna requested Hibari's assistance through Kusakabe after being unsuccessful in contacting the Cloud himself. Hibari should know since he flat out refused to answer his cell phone that week. So it happened, Kusakabe passed him the message and out of curiosity, the Cloud Guardian showed up in Tsuna's office at their Japanese base.

When the ex-prefect entered his office, Tsuna immediately squirmed in his seat, sweating bullets and feeling the drop of temperature in every passing second. Handing Hibari-san the mission folder gave him the same sensation of signing his own death sentence. And, judging from his Cloud Guardian's glacial glare that was as ominous as black ice, Tsuna was definitely sure of his imminent doom.

"Explain yourself, herbivore! Before I bite you to death for summoning me with this ridiculous joke of a mission!" Hibari growled through clenched teeth.

"Eeeep…We thought that the mission wouldgiveyouabreakfromallthis. Perhapsavacation?" Tsuna squeaked, stealing a glance at the smirking Reborn.

"A vacation?!! How dare you…"Hibari paused, considering this opportunity to go to Italy and sort out his emotions concerning the Bucking Horse. Not so bad, a week would be more than enough to bring a conclusion to his and Cavallone's confusing 'relationship'.

In the meantime, Tsuna realized that only his 'healthy' fear of Reborn kept him in his seat and not dive behind the mahogany desk, covering his head in fright. Sure, Tsuna was still scared of some members of his famiglia, but there was a ranking for these things such as the worst was Reborn, followed closely by Xanxus-san, Hibari-san and Mukuro…

Taking advantage of Hibari-san's silent musing, Tsuna attempted to appease the more irritable (read: more volatile and violent) than usual Cloud Guardian.

"Ano, perhaps in Italy Hibari-san would be able to ease his …displeasures…" Now, that was the understatement of the year, considering the physical and psychological damages the skylark had dealt out to their subordinates and properties in order to vent his frustration.

Dark grey eyes lifted up from their downward direction, casting a murderously intense gaze on Tsuna's spot.

"I'll do it." Hibari softly declared and stalked out of the office not forgetting to slam the door to wake the entire base in his leave.

"I'll give Kusakabe-san all the details and contact the Cavallone fami…" The twenty-one year old Tsuna hastily added, heaving a long sign of relief that he was still intact after such suicidal attempt.

While Tsuna was celebrating his survival, his right-hand man and Rain Guardian were not quite so lucky. The moment they saw Hibari walking down the corridor, the two guardians abruptly ended their kissing session. Gokudera practically threw himself onto the opposite wall to open the path for the skylark. Yamamoto smiled nervously with one hand rubbing the back of his neck and the other ready to defend Hayato and himself. They had learned from the last three weeks to leave the pissed off Cloud alone, because if normal Hibari was bad, the for-no-good-reason angry Hibari was beyond detrimental to their health and mental state.

"Have you worthless herbivores no sense of modesty and self-respect? Pathetic buffoons, control your animalistic urges before I bite you to death!" threatened Hibari as he passed by.

Without a doubt, Gokudera had almost thrown a good quantity of dynamites at Hibari and wanted to release his furious Uri at said guardian. But, Yamamoto who was glad that Hibari only made some snide comments, stopped him and dragged Hayato into Tsuna's office for an update (read: to see if the young boss was still breathing).

The lower members at the base frantically stumbled upon themselves to clear the path for the much feared Vongola Cloud. After all, if the other guardians did not want to provoke him, why would they try his patience any more than they had? Hibari was close to finding amusement in these herbivores' ridiculous attempts if his mood was not so horrible at the moment.

And, that was the questionable start of his mission. Thus, on a Monday in the second week of June, Hibari and Kusakabe arrived to Fiumicino International Airport on the Vongola's private jet. After the mission, his stay in the two-room suite had been quite pleasant. The outskirt of Rome was peaceful and the hotel staff unobtrusive. On the Wednesday evening, a text from the Bucking Horse saved him from eternal boredom which had already started on the third day of his trip.

Mission accomplished, his report was ready and his wounds dismissible. Breaking from his inner thoughts, Hibari glanced at his watch and re-read the text message that led him to this window seat and waiting for an Italian mafia don on the fourth day of his grudgingly agreed week-long 'vacation'.

'Would you like to tour Italy with me, when you're done with the mission of course? Thursday then? Let me know Love always, Dino'

A simple 'okay' guaranteed the Cavallone's company for the rest of his travel. What irked Hibari though were the proclamations of love the Bronco seemed to dispense generously in his direction. At seventeen, the ex-prefect thought nothing of the casual 'I love you,' dismissing them as the promiscuous nature of the Westerner. At eighteen, their relationship, if one could call it that, became physical; sure, it was inevitable as the physical attraction and sexual tension were abundantly there. His first kiss along with his first time belonged to the annoying Cavallone.

At twenty one, the Foundation leader began traveling and learning the Western cultures in his search for more rings and boxes. He had yet to decipher those three words then. At twenty-two, he realized this confusing phrase was more troublesome than its worth. The afternoon of his birthday, May 5th, the Bronco surprised him with a serious and solemn 'I love you, Kyoya.' Stunned into silence, but more shocked by his own confusion and uncontrollable emotions, Hibari quickly turned his back to the blonde and walked away.

That had been a little more than a month ago; their communication line did not stop. The Cavallone still reached out for him and sometimes mentioned those three words again. And, Hibari's automatic reply had been 'I know.'

This time, though, standing in the heat of early summer as a black Rolls Royce stopped in front of the insignificant hotel, Hibari decided to solve his predicament once and for all.

A mop of golden hair rushed to his side. But, it was his brilliant and unreserved smile that caught the skylark's attention. Such open display of affection. A weakness if not for his renown strength.

As the Italian took him to the sleek car that screamed wealth and class, Romario and his men took Kusakabe on a different tour of Italy, separated from their bosses. After all, the Cavallone had been able to fight in Hibari's presence without his subordinates' supervision. "Enjoy your trip!" said the Cavallone's subordinates.

At noon, the Rolls Royce sped its way to Rome with the Bucking Horse's cheerful chatters.

After an hour, they made it to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. The summer heat was actually welcoming for the ex-prefect. They walked around the gardens; Hibari tuned in and out of the blonde's narrations with as much enthusiasm as he cared to muster.

While the beautiful gardens caught none of Hibari's attention, the Colosseum was a different story. Waiting for the Italian to bring him 'the best slice of pizza in all of Rome," the skylark stared in wonder at the structure of this massive construction.

When his unofficial guide returned, they walked up the steps and took the highest possible spot to look down at the tourists and ruined field below.

"Isn't it great, Kyoya? I simply love the Colosseum; look at all these people visiting it from around the world!" The blonde exclaimed proudly.

"Oh, you mean how fantastic it is that people found this bloody stadium, the site of mindless slaughter and savagery, a wonderful place to admire so-called human history?" quipped Hibari.

"Ever the optimistic one, huh, Kyoya."

Munching on his pizza and immersing his taste-buds in the fresh mozzarella, juicy tomato and tantalizing herbs on perfect dough, he graced his companion an "Hmm" for a response.

"You know I can say the same thing about the 'educated' people who have been obsessing with the samurai, shogun and warring states of Japan."

"Touché!" A mildly curious Cloud replied.

Both had finished their slice of pizza; the aloof guardian admitted to himself that it really was the best he has ever eaten. Absentmindedly, the Cavallone's hand searched and casually held his left fingers in a loose grip. The touch brought him back to the memories of their rooftop fights and the moment the Bronco held his hand and gently pressed the Cloud ring into his open palm. What is this feeling, the warm elation that confuses him so?

"I'm just glad that you chose to learn more about the world and travel to expand your horizons." smiled the Westerner.

"One has to grow up sometimes. After all, I don't want to remain a big fish in the Namimori pond, never to know the ocean as you had specifically pointed out seven years ago, oh high and mighty one!"

"I can't believe you still remembered my taunts all those years ago! Hmm, does that mean you keep every word I said that close to your heart?" chuckled the Bucking Horse.

"Try not to hallucinate! I didn't know the Roman sun could be so harmful to your mental state! Let's go, I'm tired of these bumbling herbivores." A quick jab, snidely changing the subject, Hibari stepped down towards the exit with the Italian in tow.

Lo and behold, the Bucking Horse came up with a brilliant idea of renting a two-people bicycle to tour the rest of ancient Rome. Grudgingly removing himself from the luxurious Rolls Royce, Hibari took the back seat, but instead of pedaling with the blonde, he simply let the Bronco do all the work. God knows, the idiot could use his enthusiasm and giddiness to carry both of them to the end of the world with the way he kept talking.

It was a miracle that they did not trip even once over some imaginary or real rocks on the road. Granted, Hibari was glad that the blonde knew well enough not to suggest a walking tour through all these tourist-crowding destinations. A few times, he had wanted to run a couple of fools over, but the 'ever nice' mafioso (read: stupid idiot) stopped him and said something along the line of 'letting them enjoy their time as we do." A resounding smack to the back of his head was the Cloud's answer which did not deter nor sadden the blonde one bit.

Bicycling through St. Peter's Square, various piazzas, passing by numerous churches that he did not care to remember and a couple looming museums were not at all unpleasant. Ooh, let's not forget the Trevi Fountain where Cavallone insisted that they participated in the superstitious tradition of lovers and tourists from long ago. For some reasons, Hibari found himself joining in and obliging to his companion's request without any bloodshed. Still, the Bronco definitely knew this city well, not that Hibari would compliment him outright.

At six pm, Hibari followed his cheerful guide to a small suit shop. The blonde had mentioned something about getting appropriate attires for the evening. Looking around the shop while his companion chatted with the owner, Hibari found the price tags of this small shop to be quite outrageous. Sure, he was well-acquainted with Armani suits and he was satisfied with them. So, why pay more here?

Once again, the Cloud Guardian was forced to admit that the Italian had good tastes in both clothing choices and gourmet foods. Their matching black suits, white shirts and perfect bows earned them more appreciative and admiring looks than Hibari expected in the high-class restaurant Cavallone ushered him in too quickly for him to read the name of the place. No matter anyway!

He let the Italian handling all the ordering and deciding their courses. It was not because he did not know the language; it is more because the blonde seemed to be an expert when it came to these extravagant outings. Not that he complained, just a nagging question why.

Dinner conversations were enjoyable. Ever since Hibari let go of his teenage petulance and stubbornness, the Bucking Horse and he had never run out of topics of discussion. Tonight, though, the Cavallone enchanted him with Greek and Roman history while enjoying the antipasto. They spent the span of primo and secondo (two main courses) arguing the philosophies of Aristotle and his impact in modern civilizations. When the dolce came, the Italian took it upon himself to feed Hibari the soft, rich and luscious tiramisu and announced his final surprise for the day. Something even better than these exceptional dishes? Wow!

An Opera at Caracalla, now that caught his attention. Surprised, but not at all displeased. Hibari followed the Italian mafioso towards the stage, leading by an usher, to their reserved VIP seats. Judging from the crowded seats behind him and the audience's expensive clothes, he figured it must have been another luxury for the rich to enjoy during their summer nights. Sawada Tsunayoshi definitely has a whole lot to learn from this self-proclaimed older brother of his.

An outdoor opera, front row seats, reasonable privacy and starry sky above. The Cavallone obviously put more thought and organization skills into this short vacation of his than Hibari gave him credits. Unwilling to encourage the already-pleased-with-himself Cavallone, Hibari chose to read the program in silence though his thoughts were all tangled up in a complicated mess fused with this unfamiliar comfortable feeling as well as appreciation.

Wait a second, what is the name of this opera? Did the Bronco plan this?! Is the idiot serious?!

"Romeo e Giulietta… a tragic love…Romeo and Juliet?!!" gasped Hibari.

"Just when I thought you have somehow achieved perfection and common sense. You took me to see a teenage love story?"

"Well, it wasn't intentional or anything, please! I wanted to show you a famous Italian opera, and this is the best show of June. If it helps, Shakespeare wrote this play, not some stammering herbivores?" the blonde grinned sheepishly.

"Please don't leave! Give it a try for me…" one hand reaching out, twin golden pools pleading.

That last statement touched his heart string. Hibari stopped; it was the least he could do for all of the Italian's efforts.

The opera started at 10pm and ended at 12am. Finally, the seemingly endless howling ceased. This was absolutely not his type of art. Before the curtains closed though, a huge lady in a sparkling crimson dress came out and sang (read: scream) in a ground-breaking frequency, shattering his tender eardrums, or so he thought. And, the applause ensued. He was urged to participate (read: dragged by his companion) in an overwhelming standing ovation.

As they waited to be ushered out after the crowd of audience, Hibari turned to the Bronco with a solemn look.

"I guess they're right. It's not over till the fat lady sings." This strange relationship needs to end, I'm here to put a stop to the pull of my heart, the way it squeezes tightly when you are around and how I succumb to these uncontrollable urges. It is so confusing. I used to be sure of everything.

"Sorry, Kyoya. I'm a firm believer of it's not over till I say it's over." A smiling Cavallone answered in his own cheeky and arrogant way. A sharp glint across amber orbs. Did he understand what Hibari implied?

At one in the morning of Friday, the blonde stepped out of his car and walked with Hibari to his hotel room. A chaste kiss for good night; no demand, only peace and comfort.

"I'll see you again at 9, Kyoya! Get some sleep yeah." A happy blonde embraced him, taking advantage of his height, Cavallone planned a kiss on top of his head.

As the Italian walked away from the door, Hibari could not prevent his eyes from following the retreating back. Letting out a sigh, he went into the shower. Conflicting feelings waged war in his mind. Why did he care at all? Such weakness! He is strong and fiercely independent. Where is this leading him? Somehow, against all odds and self-discipline, he could not shake Cavallone's beautiful smiles out of his head. Beautiful, really? Oh God, look at what he has been reduced to!!!

He packed his things and got ready for bed. Sleepiness claimed him too soon. Tomorrow, he would check out of the hotel and spend another day with the Bronco as promised. Hopefully, by then, he would have a definite answer for all this mess. The Vongola Cloud refused to submit to weak emotions and useless sentiments of herbivores.