A/N: Written for Katekyou Hitman Reborn! one sentence/drabble/snippet/fic meme on LiveJournal for the prompt Tsuna/Chrome - and suddenly they are no longer children.

Warnings: worksafe.

Disclaimer: Reborn! is the intellectual property of Amano Akira and all associated companies. No profit is being made from this and no copyright infringement intended with this fan-made piece of fiction. Please support the mangaka by buying the original works.

All The Things Unsaid

He has to stop and take a look, a double-take, because in the heat of the battle Mukuro does not show up. She is hurt, she takes a hit, but she forges on, strikes back, retaliates, and remains standing, one good eye narrowed in pain. (And is that... anger?) Tsuna doesn't have the time to stand around and observe his guardians fight; he has to fight himself, and the flames burn bright around his clenched fists and there's a heat in his forehead which refuses to be silenced. He turns, he strikes, and he loses sight of her, of Chrome.

They've been driven far apart from each other, Tsuna and his guardians. He can still glimpse Yamamoto through the trees to his right at a shouting distance, and Gokudera is only a faint sound of explosions somewhere far, far behind the trees, but he doesn't know where the others are. Hibari was the first one to fall away, tearing through those who came to attack them right upon their arrival – he doesn't like crowding, after all. Ryohei and Lambo split soon after, barraging the way of those who chased after them. And so one by one, until no one is left by his side. Only Chrome is still nearby, the swish of her trident occasionally slicing the air soon to his left, soon – right, and illusions swirl past him and ahead of him every now and then. Mukuro hasn't shown himself in a while and Tsuna doesn't know what to think of it; doesn't want to think of it, either. But Chrome is still here, so everything is okay.

Chrome fights with everything she has. Mukuro won't come to her aid, not anymore. She doesn't want it. She doesn't need it. (Yes, she does. And it tears her apart, but that's how she wants it.) She has grown up; she is no longer thirteen, not even seventeen. It's been almost ten years; maybe more, she thinks and finds herself not caring. Yes, she is still Mukuro's and will remain his for as long as she lives – maybe –, but not right now. He's still locked away in the Vendice basements while she is out here, struggling, breathing, living. This fight is hers, this time is hers, and Tsuna is her boss. She needs no more, and she strikes down the man who tries to shoot her with an illusory fire that burns all too real as she drives her trident into the back of the man who has raised a nailed bat over Tsuna's head while Tsuna grapples with another man. This almost costs her another broken rib because with this attack she has left herself wide open, but at the moment when the blow connects with her side, Tsuna's flame burns next to her ear and then there's only ice poking into her ribs painfully. Chrome stumbles, almost falls, but her hands push forward, the end of the trident lands on solid ground with a dull thud and she leans on it, drawing a grateful breath. For one moment she looks up to see Tsuna's eyes and they are smiling down at her. His mouth isn't. But it doesn't matter. She still has the strength to pull herself up and turn to fight her- their way out of this mess. And Mukuro won't come.