A/N: Hello everyone! I know it's been a loooooong time (nearly 4 years !?) but I'm starting to get back into writing again. I still love KHR and enjoy writing about the characters so I was inspired to continue the sequel :) I'm not sure if anyone will see this new chapter yet since I don't know if edits trigger alerts, but I've rewritten the first chapter since the storyline has changed a bit. Sayuki's character has changed a bit and the timeline doesn't follow straight from Too Close for Comfort exactly since I've changed the ages etc. about a bit. To give context for the start of the story: Post events of TCFC, Sayuki etc. graduated from nami school at the age of 18 (let's pretend it's a high school ;)) and it has now been about year since. Sayuki is 19 as is the rest of the gang, Hibari is somewhere around 23/24 (who knows exactly) and Dino is 25. If you haven't read TCFC you can find it in my stories list, I wouldn't say reading it is essential to this story but it might help knowing some of the relationships. Bearing in mind that I wrote that story a looooong time ago and now cringe at many of the chapters, please cut me some slack ;) ;)
Sayuki picked her way up the cobblestone steps, careful not to catch the heels of her Louboutin stilettos in any of the cracks. A modest one-story house stood at the top of the path, shielded by the hangings of two blooming cherry blossoms. It was typical of him to choose such foliage - she'd thought the first time she visited - constant proof that his once-weakness was now inconsequential. Her black pencil skirt rode up on her thighs, as it always did climbing so many stairs. She took a moment to adjust it on reaching the top, also straightening her blouse and smoothing down her hair. He always had to be as separated as possible from civilisation, even if that just meant a detached house at the back of a very flourishing front garden in a quiet neighbourhood - better than a flat in the center of town. Finding her key in the pocket of her blazer, Sayuki unlocked the door and pushed it open. She immediately sighed at the sight of two smart black suitcases placed at the front of the hallway.
"Again? This is the third time in a row." Sayuki shut the door a little harder than she intended as she addressed the man with raven hair who was standing just past the luggage. He was dressed in a black suit with a purple shirt, and had a long black coat slung around his shoulders. He was looking more like his future self every day; taller than ever and with hair developing into finer strands that fell elegantly around his face. He locked eyes with her; a familiar cold gaze. Anyone who didn't know him would not have seen the underlying sincerity but she had learned to read him, to recognize his warmth.
"I'll make it up to you." Hibari said.
"That's what you said the last two times." She stared back at him with a gloomy expression. "I think I've spent more time with Kusakabe than I have with you in this last month."
Hibari stepped towards her with an aura that suggested irritation. He took hold of her upper arm from underneath and pulled her towards him, hooking his other arm around her waist as soon as she was sufficiently close. Sayuki almost lost her footing but she had learned to trust his strong embrace; she allowed herself to drop into his arms. Her torso pressed against his, his hair tickled her face and her feet rested between his. His hand moved from her arm to her jaw, first gripping it, straightening it so she looked at him properly, then stroking it, from the crook under her ear down to her lower lip. "I keep my word." He breathed. It was all Sayuki could do to hold his gaze but she couldn't bring herself to believe him. He seemed to sense this and tightened his grip around her, at the same time sliding his hand through the hair above her ear towards the back of her head and weaving his fingers through the strands. "You would do best to believe me."
"I would do best to not have false hope..." She muttered. Hibari was unperturbed, though a little more fierce; he tightened his fist at the back of her hair, pulling her head back just enough to bring her lips to meet his.
"Hope?" She could feel the change in temperature in the air from his warm breath as his mouth moved. "What is that? Just know that it is true." He closed the gap between them and kissed her, his mouth pressing down on hers with a violent force. His hand moved to hold the back of her head, to hold it in place as if pulling away wasn't the thing she'd be least likely to do. He paused to bite her bottom lip, pulling away slightly before letting it go and allowing it to snap back into place. Then once again his lips were on hers, kissing her violently, in a way that made her gasp and shudder. His tongue ran along the underside of her top lip, giving her a brief taste of his hot breath. He was trying to distract her, obviously, but she couldn't say that she minded. He seemed to break contact all too soon.
She didn't ask where he was going - what difference did it make? She only cared when he'd be back and the answer to that was always I don't know.
"Stay here tonight." Hibari commanded. He picked up the suitcase just as Kusakabe conveniently appeared - Sayuki would not have been surprised if he'd been listening the whole time.
"Kyoya I... I think I'd prefer to go home." She started to argue, knowing it was going to be a hard sell. It wasn't unusual for her to stay the night at his place. Hibari had wanted her to move in as soon as they left school, but Sayuki felt she wasn't ready; she wanted some time to prove to herself she could be independent, pay rent and look after a place of her own. Besides, they'd only been dating for just over a year, hardly long enough for such a level of commitment in her opinion. Of course Hibari had been a little difficult to dissuade from the idea; as far as he was concerned there was no discussion needed, she would be moving in and that was that. It took many weeks of persuasion and bargaining but he eventually agreed on the condition she keep a key to his house with her always. She ended up staying over a lot of nights anyway, but she was grateful that she had pressed the issue at times like this; she hated staying at his house without him, it felt so empty and lonely.
"It's too late to go home now. Sleep here." Hibari said in an uncompromising tone.
"But... " Sayuki was about to argue but knew it was pointless. "Fine..." She said eventually, crossing her arms to at least show him she was unhappy about it.
Kusakabe pulled the door open and rolled his own suitcase onto the porch. "We should go Kyoya."
Hibari dropped his suitcase at the door and strode back to Sayuki. Putting a hand under her chin he lifted her face to look up at him once again.
She looked at him with a mixture of sadness and frustration. "I'll miss you..." She muttered in a small voice, gripping his hand as though it would prevent him from leaving.
Hibari said nothing, but placed one last fiery kiss before prying her hand off with ease.
He stepped out behind Kusakabe and the door slammed coldly behind him.
Sayuki was out the door as soon as she was sure Hibari and Kusakabe couldn't still be in the vicinity. She'd given it half an hour just to be safe; she had no intention of staying the night at his but Hibari didn't need to know that.
On arriving home Sayuki made straight for her bed but after undressing and crawling under the blankets she felt no more inclined to sleep. Instead she pulled out her laptop, drumming her fingers impatiently on the casing as she waited for it to power on. When Hibari left for long periods of time she found it comforting to throw herself into her work. It kept her busy and distracted. She also liked her job; perhaps her languishing love life was a good thing for her career. When she left school Sayuki wouldn't have guessed she'd be working for the mafia, but, being surrounded by the Vongola it happened so naturally she now couldn't imagine doing anything else. Sayuki had discovered a particular talent for negotiating, or as her official job title described it: "International relations". It was her job to mediate business deals, peace treaties, any transactions involving other mafia families or independent organisations. She also had a hand in intelligence; it was up to her to learn as much as possible about the opposing party during negotiations. The Chiavarone boss Dino Cavallone liked to called it "reasoning with difficult people" and said it was no wonder she was so good at it since she'd tamed the most unreasonable person on earth. Sayuki always rolled her eyes and protested that Hibari was far from tamed.
I wonder where Kyoya is now.
Her thoughts turned to the Vongola cloud guardian. He could be somewhere nearby. Maybe he was on a plane to somewhere halfway across the world. She buried herself deeper under the covers, cursing her insomnia as she browsed the internet on her laptop. She always slept better with Hibari around, and her tossing and turning returned with a special vengeance whenever he was out on some mission. She knew she shouldn't worry about him of all people but it seemed the worry came automatically with caring about someone who was a member of the mafia.
Having just dropped off to sleep not more than an hour earlier, Sayuki awoke with a start to the horrible dinging tune of an incoming call.
"Urgh." Clumsy in her half-awake state, she felt around in the dark for her tablet. Her hand hit it where it lay on the bedside table and she all but threw it onto the bed.
INCOMING VIDEO CALL the screen flashed as the noise continued.
Who could be calling me at a time like this?
"H-Hello?" She murmured, after swiping right to accept the call - or at least to stop the incessant beeping.
Sayuki realised she was sitting in the dark. "Hang on a second." She fumbled around again for the light switch.
"Dino." She smiled groggily into the camera. "To what do I owe this pleasure?" At this hour...
"Business I'm afraid." The pixels forming the Chiavarone boss' mouth stretched into a grin. "Why were you in the dark?"
"Oh you know, I was just sleeping like most normal people do at 4am, but you're right, that's weird."
"4AM?" Dino jumped and looked at his watch. "I always got confused with whether Japan was ahead or behind... sorry about that!" He grinned again, though it was slightly more apologetic.
She couldn't help but smile affectionately. Sometimes Dino was just like Tsuna.
"I'll get right to the point in that case, so you can get back to sleep!" He laughed. "Tsuna has given me permission to hire their best International relations officer on contract. The Chiavarone family needs your services. How soon can you get to Italy?"
"Italy?" Sayuki was a little taken aback; her work hadn't yet taken her out of the country, despite being called international relations. Usually if the jobs involved members from international families they would be visiting Japan and the negotiations would take place in the Vongola headquarters.
"Can you fly tomorrow?" Dino asked, before she could give an answer.
"I... I guess?" She liked the idea more as she considered it. It would be exciting to get out of the country and she needed some distraction while Hibari was away. "I can leave tomorrow morning if that works."
"Perfect, I'll forward you the tickets now." Dino grinned.
"...You already bought them?"
"I knew you would say yes." He winked. "See you soon! You'll need to be at the airport at 6am, you fly at 8."
Sayuki glanced at the alarm clock on her bedside table, glowing green with the time 4:34am. "Wonderful..." She muttered. "Bright and early it is." She swiped the Chiavarone boss' face away to end the call and collapsed back into the pillow.
When the plane touched down in Rome Sayuki felt slightly more well rested, having slept for most of the twelve hour flight. Hopefully that would offset the jetlag too. Passport control was quicker than she'd ever experienced - she wondered if that had anything to do with the fact she'd been bought a first class ticket for the flight. There certainly were perks working for the mafia. Sayuki hauled her luggage off the carousel and wheeled it behind her as she headed for the arrivals lounge. Dino had said he'd offer transport to the Chiavarone headquarters but he hadn't given her many details. She scanned the crowd and soon noticed a small paper sign emblazoned with her name in bold letters. It was held by a man in a crisp black suit and dark, reflective sunglasses. She marched up to him.
"I'm Kikuchi Sayuki."
"So you are." The man grinned, at once taking hold of her luggage. "Follow me, Ms Kikuchi - your car awaits."
Reviews always appreciated. I'm glad to be back :D