Title: Things Left Unspoken
There are a lot of things Hana doesn't know; she's okay with that.
General audiences. For Round III of KHRfest, prompt II-78. Hana – marriage; "she knows that there are a lot of things she doesn't know". 1011 words.

Things Left Unspoken

Hana knows that there are a lot of things that she doesn't know, things about the trips Ryouhei takes and the things that he does on them, things that have the power to dislodge his nearly perpetual smile. This was by choice--hers, mostly, though part of it was his, too. Certainly he'd been relieved that she didn't want to know the details of his job the night he finally told her, stumbling and unsure of himself, just what it was that he, and Kyouko-chan, and Sawada-kun, were up to.

She knows that Kyouko-chan knows more. Kyouko-chan probably knows everything, in fact; that's the kind of relationship she and Sawada-kun have built. Hana can see it sometimes in the way Kyouko-chan's smiles don't always reach her eyes and the way her hands move in her lap, twisting around and around each other, restless. Those are the times that Ryouhei is silent too, if he's at home, or, as is more often the case, the times when he is away and his phone calls are irregular and perfunctory.

Haru-chan knows a lot, too. Actually, Haru-chan is in it up to her pretty neck from what Hana can tell from the fragments of conversations that she has interrupted between her and Kyouko-chan, conversations that never continue once she has joined the two of them. Haru-chan does things, talks to people and maybe a little more. Hana thinks that it might be just a little like what Ryouhei does, though she's never asked either of them to be sure.

She knows that Kyouko-chan and Haru-chan wonder about her, sometimes. Hana knows perfectly well that they think it's peculiar that she holds herself so aloof from the business of the Vongola and the matters that concern the mafia. It's fine that they do; it doesn't bother her particularly that they think she is a little strange for not wanting to know the things that Ryouhei does. Neither of them would be particularly good at staying so unaware, though Kyouko-chan could probably manage it if she had to. But then, everything the two of them do is wrapped up in the Vongola. Kyouko-chan hosts dinners and parties and has a network of friends and acquaintances in all the other Families. She charms the bosses of those Families and probably sweetens half the business deals Sawada-kun makes simply by being herself. That's always been Kyouko-chan's particular gift. And Haru-chan aids and abets her, going where Kyouko-chan can't and bringing word and information back to her from those places. They like what they do and are proud of it.

Neither of them quite understands that Hana takes satisfaction from her own work, work that has nothing at all to do with the Vongola or the mafia. It is demanding work and she spends long, satisfying days at her desk, poring over paperwork and assembling reports and making quite a lot of money for her employers by doing so. She draws a not-insubstantial salary for it as well, and she is not bored. Nor does she feel particularly excluded from Ryouhei's world.

She is not like either Kyouko-chan or Haru-chan. She doesn't have it in her to send the man she loves off into a danger, knowing what it is he's facing, and then wait patiently for his return with the knowledge that he might not do so bearing down on her, heavier with every passing hour. Her temperament isn't suited for it, so it's better for her to send Ryouhei off to do the mysterious errands Sawada-kun asks of him and to pretend to herself that they are innocent business trips.

It's important to Ryouhei that she do this, too. That is something she will never breathe a word of to Kyouko-chan or Haru-chan, though she would be happy to explain her own reasons if they asked. But she will protect Ryouhei's honor and keep his secrets for him, and the truth is that Ryouhei needs for her to be separate from most of the mafia business and world. Hana suspects that part of it is that he simply wants to protect her from its dangers, which is easiest to do when she's so clearly not affiliated directly with any of the Vongola's business, insofar as it's possible for the wife of a Vongola guardian to be. (It's not perfect, of course; Hana pretends that she has never noticed the men who follow her through her day--her security detail--and Ryouhei has never once mentioned it.) And part of it is that he is silly and chivalrous, and is afraid that she would be frightened by the grittier truths about what he does. His attempt to be courteous is one that she appreciates mostly for the impulse that drives it, even though the practical application is somewhat exasperating.

And part of it--and this is the secret that Hana will guard all her life, and take to her grave--is that Ryouhei needs for there to be a part of his life that is separate from his work as Sawada-kun's Sun. He needs something that is safe, and perhaps even something that is pure (Hana has her suspicions), that can be a place of refuge, a home to return to where he can put down the things that steal his smile and haunt his eyes. Hana knows this and suspects that Kyouko-chan does too, at least in part, though they have never discussed it. Hana thought about it very carefully when she and Ryouhei first began to be serious about each other, and decided then that she was willing to be that place for him. It is not an easy thing to do, but she knew as much when she accepted his proposal. And there are compensations that make the weight of it more than worthwhile: they are in the easy ring of Ryouhei's laughter, and the reverence in his eyes and his hands when he touches her. Hana would endure a great deal for those; the uncertainties of not knowing are minor costs compared to that.


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