A/N: My first attempt at 8096. WARNING: contains manga spoiler on Chapter 293


Yamamoto Takeshi is hurt...badly.

It is one of the few times she allowed herself to think of the boy. Mukuro-sama didn't like it when other guys invaded her thoughts, although it seems to be okay with him if she thinks of Boss. In truth, the rain guardian had instantly caught her attention. He was skilled like Mukuro-sama yet kind like Boss. He was friendlier than the other guardians, and of all the guys (aside from Boss) he was the one she was most at ease in.

He didn't seem to care that she was at Mukuro-sama's side. He treated her fairly like he treats everyone else, maybe even with a little more consideration, since he thinks she's the delicate type. She had seen how he gravitates around her, like she was fragile, like she might break, and that if that time comes, he would protect her, with the same dedication of protecting Boss and the other girls. Maybe he just likes protecting the weak...

Focus Chrome, she told herself. The others are waiting

And so she imagined him, his warm smile, his unruly hair, tall and lean, and...handsome. When she opened her eyes, she found an almost-perfect illusion of the rain guardian beside her. Almost, because of course, she still couldn't quite capture that spark in his eyes that shone brightly when he smiles. He stands beside her, hands in his pocket, wearing the exact same suit she remembered he had worn in their Choice Battle 10 years in the future. The others around her looked amazed.

"Is this alright?" she asked, uncertain. Maybe she had missed something...

"Good Job Chrome," Reborn said, after carefully inspecting the mist-illusion Yamamoto. "You did great," the Acrobaleno told her before turning back to the others to explain their plan for tomorrow's inheritance ceremony.

The mist-illusion Yamamoto turned to look at her. He smiled and touched her hand. Why is it? It was the same face, the same smile yet...the spark wasn't there. She forced a smile back before making him vanish. She turned her gaze at the door of the emergency room before them.

It was the real one she wanted beside her.

A/N: It's 96-centric...sorry, I can't quite grasp their chemistry yet. I'll try harder next time! Please tell me what you think^^