Chapter 9

Moonlight Shadow

"So... this is Kyouya's house..."

It was not a house. Hibari lived in a huge Japanese mansion with a koi pond and everything. Mother of god...

Why did I come here again?

Oh right, she figured if Mukuro was going to kill her in the near future she might as well try to survive an encounter with Hibari to talk about their, uh, 'battle'. One homicidal maniac at a time, please. She couldn't find a doorbell or anything so she just called his phone.

"Hello? Kyouya?"

"What do you want, Kizuna?" His voice sounded a little raspy, as if it were hard to breathe. Despite his clear intentions to do bodily harm to her, Kira was a bit worried. From what Dino said this guy was really strong, and coming from Dino that was a huge compliment and a warning.

"I'm in front of your house. I've been looking for you everywhere. Can I come in?" She waited a few seconds for an answer. When nothing came she added, "It's about our fight."

She thought she heard a frustrated sigh and somewhere something beeped. The gates opened and wow this was one big ass garden. Hibari was living it up. Kira tried the front door and it was unlocked so she let herself in. The house was eerily quiet. There are actually zero-signs of life. Holy shit.

She fidgeted in the main lobby area and looked around for clues to where Hibari might be. Nothing. The lack of noise didn't make it easier. Then, from the right staircase came Hibari clad in his pajamas. Black pants and a black t-shirt. Out of habit she waved at him. He didn't return the gesture.

"What happened to you?"

She barely dodged a tonfa in the face.

"Fine, we don't have to talk about that."

He began walking towards the back of the house and she followed about ten feet behind him. Does this count as crowding? Ten feet should be enough space.

They sat across from each other and Kira gulped, nervous at what to say to not provoke him. He was so on edge she was regretting coming so much, but it was too late to back out.

"It's hard to explain, but there's this other guy after me. And I know you called dibs on smashing my face in but I don't know... he's never going to drop it until I'm actually dead so..."

"Kizuna."

She looked up from her lap.

"I don't care."

She ground her teeth together. How could she make him understand that Mukuro would not stop until his revenge was complete?

"Look, you probably don't know him, but Rokudo Mukuro is-" the look on his face was enough to shut her up. He knew him. "You were there that day..."

I'll have to thank Tsunayoshi for conveniently leaving that part out.

Judging from his attitude, his encounter didn't go well. No one's first encounter with Mukuro could go well. He was so unpredictable and, well, a really good fighter. Did Hibari lose? Her eyes focused on him. Yes, it was barely noticeable with the clothes but you could make out faint marks near his wrists and jaw.

"Anyway, he and I have this history." She could barely tell if he was listening anymore, but she went on. "I did something horrible and knowing him time has only made his grudge stronger so I can't fight you until I settle things with him."

The tension was palpable.

"Kyouya?"

Second tonfa dodged.

"Kizuna," he practically hissed out. She leaned back just a little bit as he leaned forward with his elbows on his knees. "For the last time, I don't care what your schedule is. Now, if you have nothing else to say then get out of my house."

I can't deal with this right now. Kira wanted to die right there. By the time she healed Hibari was going to kill her so she had to deal with Mukuro in less than three weeks. Fan-fucking-tastic.

"Fine, we'll do it your way." She didn't bother saying goodbye and practically ran from the house just in case he decided not to wait after all.

She drove halfway up the hill to Dino's mansion and pulled over. She wasn't in the mood to be talking yet and Dino would definitely poke her with questions. "For five minutes, if I could be someone else…" she slumped against the wheel. On the drive back, her mind was a whirlwind of crackpot ideas on how to deal with Mukuro, and they all ended the same. Talk to him. It's a bit difficult with him being in a high security prison and all but there's still a chance.


Kira stared at the time on her phone: 00:00. It was now or never. She closed her eyes and focused on letting the barriers in her mind down. One by one the walls fell until she felt a cold breeze sweep over her. In a swirling whirlwind of sakura petals appeared Mukuro. He gave a small smile, but it didn't reach his eyes.

"Long time no see."

Kira nodded, her throat dry. She had only let this happen twice before. Once when they met, and the second when she left.

"You don't seem to be doing too well."

Kira wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. Although it was fake, he was being so civil. It was so like him. After so many years and distance he hadn't changed at all. No, that's not true. He has changed. He's permanently damaged.

"Is it that obvious?"

Mukuro's eyes dropped and he laughed lightly. It sounded sad but she knew that mocking tone behind it. "Are you afraid?"

No use pretending.

"I've always been afraid."

He took a step towards her. "You always kept so many walls up."

"And?" She held her ground.

Mukuro shrugged and glanced off to the side like it was no big deal. "I just wanted to say hi. See what you were up to."

Here it comes.

"Since it's not possible for me to be here in person—"

Just get it over with.

"—because a certain someone left me to rot."

Kira was about to say something, but Mukuro wasn't done.

"And that's not all. Nope." He began circling her like a vulture. She followed him with her eyes. "Did you think I wouldn't find out that you were the one writing blueprints for my personal prison?" Her body went stiff at that. No, she didn't think he'd ever find out. There was no trail. "Oh, but don't worry; no one betrayed you. It just so happens that lesser minds are so much easier to read."

"So what do you want from me now?"

He stopped circling and looked thoughtful for a moment. "I've had a decade to think about that."

"And?" She stared him straight in the eyes.

"I don't know."

Kira almost forgot how to breathe. What? "Come again?"

"Don't get me wrong; I want revenge. I just haven't decided on the best form of revenge yet. It's not like I can make you experience exactly what I went through."

"I guess apologizing at this point is useless."

He laughed loudly at that. It was unrestrained and frankly made her back up a few steps because it sounded like he was going to snap. He's saying, "As if words can do anything."

"Where are you now?"

The laughter stopped and he looked at her seriously. "Why?"

"I might never be able to make up for what I did, but getting you out of there is a start," she said it with conviction in her voice, but she was shaking. Mukuro's gaze became sombre again.

"That's ridiculous."

"I'll do it."

"Then," he stalked towards her, "let me show you where I am." A very solid hand clamped over her forehead and his memories began washing over. It ended with his water chamber. Kira reached up with both hands and clutched at his wrist, trying to pry it off. It was enough. I've seen enough. He wasn't lying when he said his prison was personally designed for him. Kira really had constructed those blueprints, and his chamber, well, she made that herself. "Can you still do it?"

"I have to." The hand fell away and it was only then Kira registered the tears on her face. Embarrassed that she had just cried in front of her 'mortal enemy', she turned around and quickly wiped it away.

"I've been in there for seven years."

She didn't make any indication that she had heard him.

"You know what I'll do if you break me out."

"I know."

Even so, I can't live with this guilt anymore. It's been tearing me apart for ten years.

The illusion began breaking. He hadn't bothered to construct anything nice. They stood in a pure white world, such an ill-fitting world. They were anything but pure.

"I promise I won't run this time."

Mukuro's illusion began breaking as Kira put up her walls again. He never broke eye-contact and she couldn't tell if he believed her or not. She didn't know how she was going to do it, but she'd have to do it alone. There was no way Reborn or anyone else in the Vongola that would help her.

And how would I explain myself later?

Kira paced the floor, trying hard not to bite her nails. She never did it, but this stress was giving her some bad habits.

"And, oh yeah, I don't have any of my tools with me." She glared at the door. "A certain someone felt the need to confiscate them."

Defeated, she flopped down on her bed and flipped through her phone. Was there really no one that could help her?

Wait just a second… Tsunayoshi's story… he said Mukuro had friends and they got away. Maybe I could… she shook her head. No, that's stupid. He didn't say what their names were but I bet Ken and Chikusa are there. No telling what they'll do.

"Well, Chikusa might cooperate, but Ken won't stop until he's unconscious. And even then he still might try to kill me." She clutched her head and began rolling around on the bed. "Son of a gun!"

A knock on the door.

"Come in," she called, her voice muffled as she was face-planted in carpet having rolled off the bed.

"Hey—what are you doing?"

"Can't you tell?"

"…No."

Kira turned her head and looked up at Dino. "Brooding, okay?"

"What about?"

"Can't tell."

"Why not?"

"Just can't."

Dino's eye twitched. Such a child. "Sure… anyway. I was just checking up on your room since I felt a cold breeze coming from your door. Is wind leaking?"

"No," she averted her gaze. "I just had the window open."

He could tell she was hiding a lot, but decided not to pry. She would tell him when she was ready. "Alright. Well, goodnight."

"Goodnight."

She got up as the door clicked and leaned against the bed. Usually talking to Dino would make her feel better, but with this situation picking at her she couldn't help but feel annoyed. Okay, let's be rational and stop freaking out for one second. Step one is to get into the prison.

"That'll be easy since I designed the blueprints…"

Then I'll have to get to Mukuro's cell. Also fairly simple. Breaking him out is a bit dodgy though. When she made his water cell she had put in a flaw on purpose. It was very simple; on the bottom of the cell inside a panel was a number pad that you could enter codes to control certain functions. One of those functions just happened to be the release mechanism.

And not just the normal release that would set off an alarm, this one was independent of the security system. As long as they didn't find out about it during these seven years I can still use it.

"I'll have to carry Mukuro out afterwards… his body will need a lot of time to recover."

Apparently Mukuro could have broken out of the prison, but that would have meant leaving Ken and Chikusa. "Heh," she laughed mockingly at herself, "he's a better person than I am."

Even though he had crackpot schemes to takeover this and that she felt like fate had played a cruel trick on her. They both should have escaped that day. Either that, or he should have gotten out instead. In a way, she felt like she turned him into what he was now.


For the next week, Kira trained earnestly with Dino. She had to build up as much muscle as possible if she was to drag around Mukuro for miles on end. She had also stocked up on adrenalin. She was so going to need it once she found Mukuro.

"Sunday, seven o'clock in the morning. Today I'm taking a plane to Italy. When I arrive, I may or may not get out alive. But I have to do this or else the guilt will eat me alive. I already feel so jaded… it's now or never." Kira pushed the STOP button and set the recorder down under her pillow. "Dino will find this tonight after housekeeping."

He'll know afterwards.

He knew her history with Mukuro and she didn't know how he would react when he found out what she'd done. Or tried to do.


Getting past security was easier than she anticipated. They just had two inmates break out and didn't increase the guards from the last time she came here. Well, whatever. I just want to get to Mukuro's cell soon. She peeked around the corner and saw that the coast was clear. Was this too easy? Yes. But something told her she should go anyway.

Mukuro's cell… it's smaller than I remembered.

"Hey," she gave a tiny smile at him, but his eyes were closed. She knew he couldn't hear her. "Sorry it took so long. I swear I'll do anything it takes to make it up to you. I hope this shows that I'm sincere."

She punched the code into the dial pad—4676779367383784464—and watched as the water drained out. Such a cheesy code too…

The glass slid apart and she caught Mukuro. He was a lot heavier than she thought for someone with so much muscle decay, but still not nearly as heavy as Dino. Those years of trying to prove I wasn't a weakling by making him let me give him piggyback rides paid off.

"Damn, you're heavy, you know that?" She slung one arm over her shoulder and had his feet dragging on the floor. It couldn't be helped since she sure as hell wasn't going to try to carry him like some prince in shining armor.

Seven shots of adrenalin left before I have to resort to making my body produce more.

Each shot's effects would last her an hour. Two tops.

Security was so predictable. They went around in shifts doing the same route every hour. They also rarely checked up on Mukuro since his prison was supposed to be inescapable. Still, it was weird that after the prison break his security didn't increase.

She peeked around another corner and mentally cursed. There was someone there, but they didn't seem to see her. She looked around the corner again. Dude was asleep. What the…

"Glad I could help…" the voice startled her so bad she almost dropped him. Mukuro was awake. Uhhh—shit—um, what do I do now…?

"About time, sleeping beauty."

Note to self: shut up.

He chuckled weakly and tried to stand but ended up leaning on her for support. "How do you like my handiwork?"

"Didn't know you could do that…" she swallowed nervously. Kira just realized she had no idea what he was capable of now. Ten years is a long time to improve. It didn't help that she knew what he was capable of before she left. The thought sent shivers up her spine. How could I have overlooked this?

But all things aside, they were making really good time now that he could sort of walk.

Three hours later and they were on the outskirts of some small town. Kira drove them back to her hotel so they could figure out a plan. She had left her mind open every night after before coming, but Mukuro hadn't tried to visit again.

"Well this is awfully fancy. I'm more used to hiding out in more humble accommodations."

Mukuro was really making himself at home while Kira paced the floor. She had to get him clothes. Clothes and food. Clothes, food and a passport. Damn it all how am I going to sneak him into an airport? She paused. Wait. Why do I even want to bring him back to Japan?

"Did you just realize it?"

"…"

"You needn't worry."

She looked at him and saw the confident expression on his face. Whether she did anything for him now, it didn't matter. He was free and that was all he needed to get everything he desired. Mukuro's illusions now extended beyond just mind manipulation.

Kira gulped and slipped a hand into her pocket for the syringe. Mukuro's eyes followed her movement. He seemed delighted at her discomfort.

"Did you really expect anything else?" He rested his jaw on his fist and tilted his head to the side, looking amused. She knew he was urging her to use the adrenalin. But he was in no shape to fight… "I'll give you a head start."

"You're too kind."

She injected it and threw the syringe to the floor. Not sure what to do now…

"What now?"

He smirked and stood up. Her body tensed instinctively. Mukuro saw it and laughed. "Just stretching my legs." He yawned into his palm and Kira eyes widened as she saw his physique change. It wasn't a normal illusion… Mukuro could materialize things and now that he had recovered his strength he could send Godzilla after her.

That also takes care of the clothing problem… he still chose to wear the Kokyou uniform. That means—

"When do we leave?"

Well, shit.

Reborn and Dino were so going to have her head on a stake.

"Now."


Wow, it has been awhile! I'm going to blame the slow update on university. Yes, that's good. University is the root of all my stress. Anyway, thank you for reading and I hoped you enjoyed this chapter! Next time we shall see how Hibari reacts to this. Damn that guy is really unpredictable… Shout out time~ Thank you to Rikkai and hyotei lover, Lady Syndra, Ryanrene97, TheBloodyArrow for the lovely reviews C: for a writer it's like crack.