Disclaimer: I don't own KHR but this story idea is mine.

A/N: this is a Romario/Kusakabe Tetsuya story with some mentions of D18. It can stand alone, but it also can be placed before Sir Apropos's Mafia Games.

Romario was trembling when he left his young boss's room, his hands and shirt smeared with blood. He swallowed hard, trying to focus on the group of worried faces gathered in front of him.

"Romario is he . . . What's going on?" Carlos asked breathlessly.

"Is the Boss . . ."

"There's so much blood . . ."

"We gonna get 'em back?" a chorus of voices questioned him. The older man opened his mouth to answer but his throat tightened and he couldn't speak.

"Tell the Herbivores to stop crowding before I bite you to death," a sullen voice growled behind him.

Romario flinched, stepping out of the door way quickly.

Hibari glared at all of them hatefully as he stepped fully out of the bedroom. The black suited men glared back, not understanding enough Japanese to realize his threat.

"Guys, crowding the door isn't going to help Boss. Go get some rest," Romario told them firmly though his voice was soft.

"But what about . . ." Carlos insisted.

"We can't make a move until we know if . . . until we know more," Romario interrupted, pushing the younger man towards the exit. He waited until the crowd had finally cleared away before he turned to go himself. He was stopped by a painful grip on his shoulder.

"We aren't done here Herbivore. I want to know what happened."

Romario sighed before turning back to look the angry young man in the eyes. "It was an ambush, Hibari-san. A minor family, one we didn't bother to watch. Used a kid to get close. Took us by surprise," he said awkwardly, his mind too scattered to form real sentences in the complex tongue.

"Are you really saying that a child snuck up on you and put three bullets into your boss before you could do anything?" Hibari growled impatiently. "That's pathetic. We'll be continuing this conversation very soon Herbivore," Hibari finished dismissively.

Romario breathed a sigh of relief at getting to live and stumbled down the hall towards the guest room. He didn't think he could sleep, but the blood drying on his skin was starting to itch and make him feel sick. He grabbed a towel from the connected bathroom, laying it on the floor to catch his clothes as he pulled them off. The carpet was dark but he'd save it from blood stains if he could. The jacket stripped off easily, but his white shirt stuck to him stubbornly, pulling at the hair on his chest where the blood had soaked through and dried. He pulled it away roughly and started to wash his hands.

The water was hot, so hot it scalded his hands, but as he watched the pink water wash down the drain he couldn't bear to have it any cooler. His breath caught in his throat suddenly and he coughed, ignoring his burning eyes in favor of his burning hands.

'That was close,' he thought. 'An inch to the left and it would have hit a lung.' His breath hitched again. 'So stupid. A kid that young carrying a gun that big.' He sniffed hard, scrubbing at his hands even more vigorously. 'How didn't I see it? The kid practically had a sign screaming 'I'm an assassin'.' His breath was catching more often and his eyes were leaking. 'Just an inch. One goddamned inch.' His hands were bright red and painful as he clenched them under the water so hot it was steaming up the mirror.

He turned off the water and stepped back into the small bedroom. 'He could be dead. The boss could be dead. So stupid. When did I become so stupid?' He picked up the small chair in the corner with stinging burnt and scratched hands. "He could be dead," he said in a strangled voice as he threw the chair hard. The sound it made as it smashed wasn't satisfying so he grabbed the lamp by the bed and threw it too.

There was a pure tinkling crash as it hit the mirror above the dresser. Only half the glass was broken though, and he was out of things to throw. He crossed the room in two strides and smashed his red burnt hand into the remaining glass, trying to destroy it all. To destroy the memory of his boss on the dirty floor of a small café bleeding everywhere and staining his peach dress shirt rusty red. The kid-mafia boss or not that's what he was-the kid he'd cared for for over 23 years had almost died in him arms. Dino had almost died.

Romario couldn't help his tears or quiet his strangled sobs; all he could do was hit the shattered mirror again not noticing the glass that dug into his already burnt fist. He felt a scream start to build in his throat and suddenly arms were around him pressing him back into a warm body and pinning his damaged hands to his sides.

His first instinct was to struggle, to get free. He pulled his chest forward while pressing his legs back, grunting as the arms around him tightened.

"Shhh . . ." a man's deep voice rumbled vibrating the chest against his back. Romario paused, blinking his eyes to try and clear them. More rumbling and he heard words, words he knew but couldn't focus on long enough to understand.

"Tetsuya?" he asked softly. The arms around him loosened slightly allowing him to take a deep breath. The younger man was talking again but all the Italian could catch with the rushing in his head was the name Cavallone. The rest was too fast, too confusing, for him to take in.

"I . . . don't understand," he whispered, trying to focus on the strange words as tears started gathering in his eyes once more. It wouldn't stop now. He shook his head and tried to pull free of the still strong hold. "I don't understand Tetsu. . . . I don't understand," he said again. The words fell from his mouth like the tears from his eyes, fast and seemingly unending. Then he was crying even harder and his voice was growing louder until he was almost shouting "I don't understand!"

He almost fell as he was quickly spun around. Then Tetsuya's hands were on his shoulders shaking him roughly as the man yelled his name, "ROMARIO!"

The older man paused, silent and staring, at the young man in front of him. Tetsu's face was pale, unnaturally so, his dark eyes wide but tired. He looked scared.

"Romario," he said again softly this time. "Breathe. Doctor said . . . Cavallone will . . . be better fast . . . Awake now," Tetsu stammered out in broken Italian.

'We need to work on that,' Romario thought absently, his mind confused. They normally spoke Japanese, Romario was fairly fluent when he was coherent. But now he wasn't and as hard as the other man was trying he couldn't quite get what he was saying.

"Do you understand Romario? Dino is awake," Tetsuya tried again slowly.

"Awake?" Romario repeated in Japanese to make sure he understood and Tetsu nodded. "Oh thank God," the Italian whispered, crossing himself, before leaning heavily against Tetsuya's chest barely able to hold himself on suddenly shaky legs. He wrapped his bare arms around the younger man's neck, careful of his now bleeding fist. In return Tetsuya wrapped his arms around the older man's waist, resting his chin against the bowed head of dark but graying hair.

"Okay now?" he asked hesitantly.

Romario nodded against him, sniffing. "Yeah I'm okay."

"Clean up?" Tetsu asked softly, kissing the older man's ear.

"Yeah . . . soon. For now just hold me okay," Romario whispered back nuzzling his tear stained face into the younger man's neck. He'd clean up soon and go deal with the doctor and Boss and Hibari soon, but not yet.