All characters © Amano Akira
Summary: Fandom: KHR. In 2014, the Namimori Board of Health decides to demolish Kokuyo Land. Although Tsuna sees it as yet another way for the universe to torture him, it turns out to be an opportunity to get closer to his family.
The Cobweb Tarantella
The first thing a nineteen-year old Sawada Tsunayoshi did that Saturday morning was choke on his tea.
Well, technically it was the fourth or fifth thing he did that morning (excluding waking up, brushing his teeth, and getting dressed), but nonetheless it was a harsh alert that it was going to be one of those days.
Tsuna pounded on his chest a few times to get the liquid out of the wrong pipe and wiped the excess chai from his chin. When he had recovered he gaped at the newspaper again to make sure that he'd read correctly the first time.
Reborn twirled a curlicue calmly from behind the steam of his espresso, not even bothering to look up. "Something the matter, Tsuna?"
"Th-they're going to demolish Kokuyo Land!" Tsuna exclaimed, pointing to the business/economy section of the Namimori newspaper. In high school, Tsuna had usually been too busy oversleeping or scrambling to get ready for school to sit down and read the paper. Upon becoming Vongola, however, Reborn suggested it was prudent that he keep up with current affairs, however local they may be. Now Tsuna was glad he did.
" 'Kokuyo Land, an amusement park established in 1981, currently occupies the corner of Mitsuyo and Bentai street...' wait, wait, let me get to the bottom...ah! 'The Namimori Health and Sanitation Department deemed the remnants of Kokuyo Land unsafe and unfit for restoration. Funding has been going into the creation of a new shopping facility in the space that sports the remains of Kokuyo Land, ' " Tsuna read. " 'Reconstruction begins at the end of the month.' "
"A shopping center? Maybe I'll be able to get a sweater for Leon," Reborn remarked as he sipped his coffee.
Tsuna shook his head at the paper. "What are we going to do?"
"What do you mean?"
Reborn let the steam curl around his chin. He blinked his beady black eyes, unperturbed. "So?"
Tsuna shot him a disdainful glance. "Shouldn't you be the one telling me 'it's your family, Dame Tsuna, and you need to take care of them' or something like that?" he asked, putting on his best Reborn impression. It had gotten better over the years, but he still got hit whenever he did it.
Reborn, not having had enough caffeine yet to get up off his pile-of-books highchair, merely said, "I shouldn't need to tell you that any more. You're an adult."
"You're right, you're right," Tsuna sighed and put down the paper. He stared at his chai, now cold, with distaste. "Mukuro is perfectly capable of taking care of himself. He'll probably tell me the same thing, but I should check in with him anyway."
"I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself, Sawada Tsunayoshi."
Tsuna shivered in his suit jacket, suddenly finding it ridiculous that he had dressed up to visit Mukuro. Central heating was not one of Kokuyo Land's scant working utilities, and the late March air whistled in freely through the ubiquitous cracks of the building. The theater room was especially drafty, but it was where Tsuna always came to talk to Mukuro. It was where they had first met.
"I know that, Mukuro," he said, resisting the urge to rub some warmth into his arms. He didn't know how Mukuro wasn't freezing in his camouflage tee. "I'm not saying that you can't. I'm only giving you the offer to stay at the Vongola Headquarters until you find another housing alternative. You are Family, after all."
Mukuro looked abstrusely amused. "I'll politely decline, then," he said.
"What about Ken and Chikusa? And Chrome?"
"Not to worry." Mukuro closed his eyes, smiling. "We have already found a place to stay until renovations are complete."
"Renovations?" Tsuna echoed. "Are you saying you'll come back here once the shopping center is built?"
"Possibly. Then we could steal whenever we wanted to."
"Forget I asked," Tsuna sighed, running a hand through his hair and making it stick up in even more comical spikes. "I can't do much more, since you refused my offer for help. Can I at least ask where you're staying?"
"At the abandoned Kirihara condos on the outskirts of Namimori," Mukuro answered immediately.
"You mean the ones the Varia stayed in all those years ago?"
Mukuro smirked. "There's a reason it's abandoned now."
"W-well is it...you know, adequate?"
Mukuro's smirk blossomed into a quiet chuckle. "Of course," he replied, fingering a lock of dark hair that had fallen between his eyes. "This one even has hot water."
"Fine, fine. You know I still don't approve," Tsuna said.
"And you know I don't care. As I said before, Sawada Tsunayoshi, in this metempsychosis cycle, I am twenty years old. I can take care of myself and the others around me. We do not need the help of the mafia." As if to prove his point, Mukuro's right eye glowed a pernicious red in the dim light.
"We can still provide you with financial support," Tsuna tried.
Another chuckle. "I don't need your money."
"If you guys don't want to stay with us we can at least find you more...appropriate lodgings!"
"And what landlord can you think of would house fugitives like ourselves, Sawada Tsunayoshi?"
Sometimes it was impossible to reason with Mukuro (especially when he had a good point). Tsuna didn't know what Mukuro was thinking half the time, and conversation with him took every ounce of Tsuna's concentration despite the fact that his verbal opponent was a middle-school dropout. Albeit Mukuro was a middle-school dropout with the vocabulary of a literary scholar, but that was beside the point. Improving awkward relations such as these, as it was with most of Tsuna's Guardians, was a slow but steadily improving process. It took years.
There was one thing Tsuna wanted to ask Mukuro, and he almost did. Kokuyo Land had escaped the public eye for almost a decade, which was undoubtedly Mukuro's doing. Mukuro only let those in who he wanted to let in, and he let his illusions take care of the rest. Tsuna vaguely wondered what other people saw when they passed by the corner of Mitsuyo and Bentai street.
He also wondered why Kokuyo was drawing its long-deserved attention now. Namimori's budget, sanitation, resources?
Or was Mukuro's power over the place weakening?
Tsuna almost asked, but at the last minute he decided it extrinsic to his persuasive argument. Sitting there with his right eye pinwheeling lazily in the dimness and a Cheshire cat's grin on his face, Mukuro didn't look weak.
"Point taken. Since you guys are convinced you can manage on your own, I won't bother you about it," Tsuna concluded uncomfortably. With a final sigh, he drew his jacket tighter across his torso. "But don't forget that we are Family, Mukuro. My door will always be open."
to be continued.