Disclaimer; I do not Katekyo Hitman Reborn or any of the characters.


Buon San Valentino

Ken x Chrome

The furious cacophony of footsteps resounded throughout the dilapidated hallways. Rubble crunched underneath his feet as he stormed forward.

Ken Joshima scanned his surroundings with blatant irritation, growling underneath his breath, "Where. Is. She?"

What was Chikusa thinking for making him handle babysitting duty? He did not want to waste his time watching over that irritating girl! Why couldn't he go out and get... whatever four-eyes went to retrieve?

"Tch, it doesn't look like Kakipi cares. Does he?"

For whatever ungodly reason, Chikusa made him look after Mukuro's vessel, that annoying one-eyed freak - Chrome Dokuro.

He did not see what Mukuro-sama saw in the girl. Sure, she acted as a small key to the outside world, but Ken did not understand his fondness for her. Ken certainly did not care for her more than necessary. All he cared about was that she provided a link to Mukuro - a weak link perhaps, but still a link.

Besides all that, Chrome was just annoying to take care of! She was so air headed and ditzy. One needed to watch her constantly since she's so weak and fragile.

She was annoying. Ken found her annoying. Why would Chikusa still make him watch her?

The blonde stormed through the Kokuyo Land, overturning every crevasse in search of the violet-haired girl.

"K... Ken?"

At the sound of his name, he perked up. He quickly turned his head at the sound of the voice. After a tiring, arduous quest, the blonde male finally found her.

"Oi! What are you doing sitting on the ground?" he shouted, stomping towards her still form.

"I... I was just trying to get a glass of water when I suddenly collapsed," she meekly replied, followed by a low cough.

At such a sound, he suddenly felt alarmed. He studied her current disposition critically. Her face was flushed an unnatural shade of red, unlike her persistent blush. He slapped his hand against her forehead and grimaced.

"Tch. You're actually sick? How did I not know this?"

Chrome seemed faintly surprised. "Chikusa never told you? I thought the reason he left was to get me medicine..."

Ken was stunned for a moment and inwardly kicked himself. How could have not caught such a thing? How could his brain have not registered such invaluable info?

'Too late now... This proves to be even more annoying.'

"How the hell did you get sick anyway?" he growled. "You looked okay yesterday."

Chrome simply lowered her head, her single eye suddenly attracted to this tiny speck on the ground. She nibbled nervously on lower lip, her ashen cheeks blooming into an even brighter red. Whatever way she got sick, she was far too embarrassed to tell him.

Ken's brow twitched in annoyance. "Tch! Fine! If you don't tell me, see if I give a damn! You just get to spend the rest of your day here until Chikusa comes back."

Such vehemence in his voice caused the young girl to cringe and drop her gaze even lower. His boys tensed, seeing something shining and liquid forming at the corners of her eyes.

'Crap. I made it worse.' His harshness was supposed to goad her into speaking, not make the girl cry. 'Are all women this annoying?'

He released an impatient sigh, plopping himself beside her. "Dammit, don't cry! I won't leave. Happy?"

Like he could. Even if he wanted to, he couldn't leave her. Chikusa would not be happy to hear he abandoned the sickly girl, and Mukuro would probably murder him once he realized how Ken abused his female vessel.

Besides, despite it all, he was a man. It would be unmanly if he left the chick. Looking her now, she even appeared to be like a defenseless baby bird - so weak, so vulnerable, requiring so much care and attention before it finally being able to spread its wings and fly.

"Bird." Ken jumped and snapped his head towards her, afraid that he was speaking his thoughts aloud. She now held her legs to her chest and rested her head upon her knees. "I got sick because I was trying to help a baby bird."

Ken was dumbfounded. "...eh?"

Chrome's red face became an even brighter crimson, shyly holding her legs even tighter.

"U... Uh... Yesterday, I was trying to figure out what sort of gift to give Mukuro-sama. When I was walking home, I found this pretty flower and decided to give him that. Just as I was going to walk away, I saw this poor baby bird on the ground because it fell out of its nest. I couldn't leave it there..." Her single eye appeared glassy at the memory, but she quickly blinked the tears away. "After I placed the baby bird back into its home, its mother thought I was attacking her baby. I tried running away from the bird, but I ended up falling into a pond... and lost Mukuro-sama's gift in the process. I searched everywhere for the flower, but I couldn't find it anywhere... I guess I got sick."

Chrome and Ken sat there in total silence. The Dokuro slowly lifted her gaze, amethyst orb glancing over to her blonde companion. Her lips tightened, her body instinctively edging away at the sight of his frightening aura.

The blonde Joshima shouted out, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard! Why'd you go through all that trouble?"

"It's because..." She swallowed, suppressed her embarrassment, and mumbled, "It's because tomorrow is Valentine's Day."

She merely gazed up at him, expecting such a simple proclamation explained everything.

Chrome forgot that she was dealing with Ken. Unfortunately for her, Ken was not all too bright.

He responded with nothing more than a stare. His countenance was partially irritated, partially incredulous, and partially befuddled by her annunciation.

Chrome hid her sigh behind a low cough."I j... just thought that m... maybe that if I got Mukuro-sama a gift, I would able to feel his presence. I haven't spoken with him for some time... and I - I just thought this little gesture would help him come back to me again..."

Ken found himself utterly speechless. He gawked at the young girl's flushed face, this incredible devotion... this loneliness and need. Chrome Dokuro cared deeply for their master... but did he truly feel the same way about her? Ken doubted it... and deep down, Chrome must know it as well.

Despite Ken's high regard for the man, was his master really worth being the object of her devotion? Chrome adored him, cared for him, devoted her own life into serving him. Mukuro must have cared enough to have put such a fragile creature in their protection... but if he cared so much, where was he when she was sick like this? When she needed him most?

The blonde grunted under his breath. "Baka..."

Chrome released a gasp, feeling her body suddenly lifted up and held against a strong, warm surface. She snapped her gaze towards his face, her wide, violet orb regarding at him with palpable wonder.

"Don't think this is me being nice to you! I just need to put you somewhere else so I won't be distracted by your sickly whining!" Ken refused to meet her gaze, keeping his focus on the path before him. "Plus, if I was Mukuro, I would want sweets. Sweets are way better than flowers. Got it?"

"Y... Yes, Ken..."

Ken still felt tensed at her sparkling purple eye, that smile spreading over her rosy face. He then snapped his head forward, concentrating his attention on the path before him.

He repressed a similar warmth rising to his cheeks.

Really, what was the purpose of such an emotion? He did not feel anything for the girl! She only proved to be an annoying thorn to his side. She was so helpless, so weak, requiring constant attention. Chrome was just so... so...

As Ken continued creating a long mental list as to why he disliked the violet-haired girl, he did not seem to notice the rock lying in his path. He eventually snapped himself out of his musings, perhaps a few moments too late.

His brown orbs blinked several times. He found something soft lying underneath him and cushioning his descent, something warm pressed against his mouth.

His face burst into a fiery crimson.

X.x.X

"Oi! Kakipi, you finally back yet?" Ken shouted, announcing his entrance with loud, ungraceful stomps. "I hope you bought food because I'm starving!"

Chikusa released a tired sigh, slowly adjusting his glasses at the sight of the blonde. "So troublesome... I don't understand why you asked me to get you such a thing."

"What the hell are you jabbering about, four eyes? Of course I'd ask you to get food since we don't have any h..." He suddenly halted in his place. His words died at his tongue. Ken came to the startling realization that the yo-yo user was not speaking to him. Chikusa was speaking to a certain violet-haired girl standing beside him.

"Oi, baka! What are you doing up? You want to annoy us even more with you sickly behavior?" he chastised Chrome, finding himself unable to meet her gaze.

Ever since their encounter yesterday, Ken tried everything in his power to avoid her. The memory was still all too fresh, threatening to fry his cheeks if he allowed himself to ponder it for too long. He would much rather forget it even happened and erase it entirely from his mind.

So it would seem, fate would not let him forget just yet.

"Well, it's not Chrome's fault she's up. She came via my request... and as a favor for answering her request." Ken snapped his gaze to Chikusa. His friend added, "When I went to the store today, Chrome asked me if I could buy something and give it to you. I refused to deliver it. It would be rather awkward if I did. I would only purchase the item if she gave it to you instead."

"What is it? I can't be that-" Ken intrinsically tensed, surprised by Chrome's sudden proximity to him.

"Ken?" Their gaze met, brown drowning in a single, wide expanse of violet. The reddening girl dropped her gaze, gratefully missing a similar tint on his own cheeks. "F... For being there for me yesterday when I was sick... I want to give you this."

Her eyes snapped shut as she quickly offered him her gift.

Silence. One blink. Two.

"…What the hell is this?" he shouted, gawking at delicate, red box.

"I... It's a box o... of chocolate. You said it's better to give something sweet on Valentine's Day so h... here," she mumbled. Her eye remained shut. Her arms trembled. Her face was an even brighter red.

Snuffing the heat in his own cheeks, Ken scoffed, swiped the box out of her hands, and said casually, "Hmph! The only reason I'll accept it is because it's food! I still don't get why you wanna give me this today!"

"Well... Chikusa says that today would be the perfect day to express my gratitude to someone whom I care about."

Startled by such a statement, Ken jumped up and stared at her. Chrome did not detract her statement, her smile genuine and sincere. Taking her innocent statement completely out of context, his face heated to a flustered crimson, only able to babbling, incoherent statements.

He remained paralyzed in his place, watching as Chrome took a step closer towards. "So... Buon San Valentino, Ken."

Ken was rendered speechless, completely frozen in his place, when he felt Chrome lean over and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek.

His face exploded into an extraordinary array of red.

"I GOTTA GO!" he blurted out, bolting out the room.

Ken continued to run around the Kokuyo complex, trying to burn off this heat pervading through his body.

After a long while, Ken slowed his pace and collapsed his body down to the ground. He merely stared at the red box, the delicate, white silk bow.

He scoffed slightly under his breath. "Tch. Stupid chick..."

Ken ripped open the box and planted a single piece of chocolate on his tongue. He savored the sweetness on his tongue, allowing himself a moment to savor this lightness in his chest and warmth in his heart…

'Maybe… the chick isn't that bad… still annoying, but still not bad at all...'

"I see you like your gift." Ken perked up, his eyes meeting with a certain male figure.

"Oi! Kakipi, what the hell do you mean?" Ken growled. "I just don't want to waste food. That's all!"

"Hm. I'm sure." Chikusa merely stared at him, regarding his rosy, obstinate features with impassive eyes. Chikusa finally smirked, turned around, and began walking away. "Wonder what Mukuro-sama would feel about this..."

Before Ken could question him any further, Chikusa had disappeared from sight, leaving the blonde completely confused. Why did four-eyed Kakipi say that?

"Ken."

Ken perked up. That voice... so deep, resounding even in his very bones... there was no denying who it was.

He snapped his head around and happily exclaimed, "M... Mukuro-sama!"

His violet-haired master stood several feet before him, his signature trident held between his fingers and a grin graced his face.

"Oh, Mukuro-sama, how happy I am to see..." Just before Ken could advance towards him, he merely stared and struck by curiosity. Why would Mukuro come visit him now of all times? It had to be important business, he assumed.

'But… why does he look so... angry?'

Ken would have missed such an emotion entirely if he did not look carefully. The illusionist's hands gripped the weapon with unusual tightness, the planes of his face were hard and tense. He swallowed a nervous lump, chills racing down his spine when he noticed nearly corporeal radiations of a rather murderous aura.

The blonde stood to his feet and took a nervous step back. "M... Mukuro-sama?"

Still, his master had yet to say a word, his heterochromatic eyes sliding over to the box in his hands.

Mukuro released a breath of amusement. "Chocolate... I see my sweet Chrome really did give you sweets today, did she? Now, if I may ask, what did you do to her?"

Ken flinched at such a question, and lost the will to speak, paralyzed by fear.

"Come now, Ken. There's no use playing dumb. Chrome doesn't keep anything from me. Her thoughts are always wide open..." Mukuro raised his trident towards him, mouth curving even wider. "Now what sort of punishment shall I bestow for deflowering her virgin lips? Rip that tongue out of your mouth? Or perhaps I should slice those deprave lips off your face? Ah, decisions, decisions..."

"N...no! M... Muku... Mukuro-sama, you don't understand! It wasn't like that at all! It was an accident. I didn't like it anyway!" Ken cried out, begging for his life, slowly backing away from the homicidal illusionist.

"Kufufu... Your face says otherwise. Now, prepare for your punishment."

"Wait, Mukuro-sama! Please! Don't... Don't... KAKIPI! HELP ME!"

All the while, Chikusa merely stood in the shadows, absently playing with his yo-yos and watching the animal channeler dash off with clear amusement.

"Buon San Valentino, Ken, indeed," Chikusa whispered, watching as the young man continued to scream and run.


A/N Notes: I originally planned to finish this for Valentine's Day… man, that was a total fail. This was the first time I ever wrote for KHR, and I hope that it's okay.

Thanks for reading~