Title: To Entertain a Goddess

Pairing: None

Genre: General, Drama, Implied Romance

Warnings: nameless OC, mentions of violence and death

Rating: T

Summary: She was many things to him: a guide, mentor, friend, the only constant in his long journey through the six realms of reincarnation. And yet, she did not believe in forever with him.

Disclaimer: I don't own KHR or its characters.

A/N: My cousin somehow convinced me to write a Mukuro story with an OC at two in the morning…so here it is.

~X~

"Hey, stupid apprentice, do you believe in forever?"

A dark blue eyebrow rose. "Forever? Hmm…" A slight frown crossed his face at the odd question before the crease between his brows smoothed out again. "From what I have experienced…I suppose I do. What brought on this question, oh-great-Master?"

Gray eyes narrowed at him. "Watch your tone, idiot. You still can't defeat me, whether you cheat or not, so don't place yourself above your station."

He smiled in a carefree manner but refrained from testing the boundaries of her patience. Today wasn't one of her lenient days. "I meant no disrespect, of course, but I must admit that such a question is not one I would ever expect you to ask. You are, after all, immortal. Shouldn't an immortal naturally believe in forever?"

"I believe in eternity." She looked away and silence settled between them.

He shamelessly stared at his Master. His mismatched eyes traced every delicate curve of her face and throat, lovingly admired the waterfall of snow-white hair that framed her deceptively fragile form so beautifully. The simple, white summer dress she decided to wear today only added to her angelic appearance.

As beautiful as she was unearthly was his Master.

Now…if only her personality matched her angelic façade. Though he supposed he shouldn't expect too many warm, fuzzy feelings from a fallen goddess, especially one banished from her siblings' realm. Well, their loss was his gain.

"Stupid apprentice."

Shaken out of his appreciative thoughts, he returned his gaze to her face. "Yes?"

"We've wasted enough time." She materialized the impossibly sharp trident that accompanied her everywhere. "This is the last time. Let's begin, shall we?"

He tried to smile, though he was sure it appeared more as a grimace. His grip tightened on his own trident as she sprang at him.

And everything turned red.

The sky. The air he breathed. His blood covering everything. Her stained hair. Her glowing red eyes, so inhuman with those slit pupils.

He shuddered out a breath, knowing there were only a few left before his lungs gave out.

She knelt down over him and traced the Japanese kanji for six over his right eye.

There was bright red pain, then his senses began to give out.

The last thing he tasted was his blood. The last thing he smelled was her unique scent, unhindered by the stench of his own life seeping away. The last thing he saw was her blood-splattered face smiling gently, so gently at him. The last thing he felt was her hand soothingly combing through his hair.

"We will meet again in your next lifetime. I'll be waiting."

Then, he was standing on the sixth and final path. Taking a deep breath, though his spirit body had no need for such a thing, he took the first step towards the final stretch of his long journey.

~X~

Age 9

"Shall I help you, little one?"

Angry mismatched eyes glared at the wall since the speaker was not visible. "I don't need help."

A soft, feminine laugh echoed oddly in his cramped cell. "What is your name?"

The child hesitated but reluctantly answered anyway. "…Rokudo…Mukuro…"

"Ah, an interesting name, little one." There was a regretful sigh. "If you do not want my help, then I will stand back and allow you to do as you will. But, I will be nearby should you need my assistance."

Mukuro sneered at the thought of needing help from a coward who wouldn't even show her face. "Go away. I don't need anybody."

A short silence followed his declaration. "Soon, little one, your memories will return and you will understand. But, until then…"

Her presence disappeared and he suddenly felt a jolt in his chest. Clutching at the fabric of his shirt, Mukuro struggled to control his breathing. Why?

"Wait…who are you?"

The walls seemed to absorb his weak voice, and he knew she would not answer.

~X~

Age 10

It happened while the doctors were surgically implanting a new right eye into him.

He woke, even under the influence of powerful drugs, and thrashed and screamed in agony as his head threatened to explode from the massive amount of information pouring in about his past lives.

The doctors tried to subdue him, but the child proved to be much stronger.

Then there was an abrupt silence.

Mukuro struggled into a standing position and carelessly ripped out the IVs and other medical equipment attached to him.

The doctors tried to run.

He would not let them. They had tormented him for too long. He wanted revenge.

Mukuro always knew he had power, but he could never have dreamed that he had so much of it. And the massive power moved as he willed with all the knowledge and control of lifetimes of experience behind it.

His right eye gleamed a bloody red, and the Japanese kanji changed to "one."

Pillars of fire erupted from the ground.

When it was over, he was covered in blood and the stench of death and realized revenge.

"Oh? You're awake, little one?"

Mukuro closed his mismatched eyes and smiled. "Master."

A beautiful figure stepped into the dirty room and danced over the many corpses scattered around on the ground and tried to wrap her arms around his smaller frame.

He ducked out of reach and backed away from her.

She blinked in surprise. "What's wrong?"

Mukuro eyed the white clothing she wore. "It's dirty here. I'm dirty."

Moving faster than he could keep up with, she slipped behind him and wrapped her arms around his thin shoulders. "I don't mind."

Her soft whisper soothed him in a way no one else could. Relaxing into her embrace, Mukuro let the haunting red sky melt away and once more remembered a blue sky.

~X~

Age 16

"I won't help you with this, stupid apprentice."

Rokudo Mukuro smiled at the only being who had stayed by him lifetime after lifetime. "I would not dare ask you to involve yourself in this matter. My grudge against the Mafia is my own. I won't drag you into this mess."

Her gray eyes showed her disapproval, but she did not bother to even attempt to change his mind. Her foolish student was a stubborn one. He would see this to the end, and she could do nothing but watch as he executed his plans to destroy the Mafia from the inside. It was a pointless endeavor to begin with (she should know since she had been around to see the beginnings of the now massive and complicated criminal empire) but Mukuro enjoyed doing the impossible.

Sighing at his grim resolve, she turned to leave the dark room. Mukuro had made his own choice, and she had no intention of placing doubts in his mind. "Be careful, idiot. If you get killed, I'll beat you senseless in your next life."

"Kufufu~ Is that concern I hear, Master?"

She shot a parting glare at him.

Once out of his sight, she jumped out the window, uncaring of the fact that it was the fifth floor, and landed neatly with barely a sound. Flicking some white bangs out of her face, she began the walk back to Namimori, all the while wondering what she should do to pass the time.

"Who are you?"

Pulled out of her thoughts, she blinked owlishly at the small group standing in front of her and immediately recognized them as the Vongola Decimo and his little posse.

The one who spoke had silver hair and held several dynamite sticks in his hand. If she recalled correctly, he would be Smokin' Bomb Hayato, and it seemed his older sister was here as well.

Amused, she figured Mukuro would have his hands full with this group for a little while. Who was she to delay her student's fun? "I'm just wandering around. You?"

"Ah, Gokudera-kun." The Vongola Decimo tried to calm his so-called right hand man down. "Please don't threaten the first person you see."

Gokudera backed off but didn't put his little firecrackers away. The brat even had the nerve to glare suspiciously at her.

Raising a brow at him, she smirked to convey her arrogance.

Suddenly, an infant spoke up from his position on the baseball fanatic's shoulder. "Do you know where we could find Rokudo Mukuro?"

The Decimo nearly had an aneurysm if the look on his face meant anything. "Reborn!"

"Stop complaining, Dame-Tsuna. She's too close to Kokuyo for her to know nothing. Mukuro wouldn't allow strangers to carelessly wander in his territory."

She laughed much to their confusion.

Ah, this group was getting interesting.

Once she was able to control herself again, she decided they deserved something for amusing her. "Yes, I know where Rokudo Mukuro is."

"Eh?" The Vongola brat's eyes widened. "Really?"

Smirking, she motioned vaguely to the large abandoned building she just left. "I just spoke to him roughly ten minutes ago. He should still be somewhere in there."

"I knew it! You're on his side!" Gokudera lit the dynamite and threw them at her. "Die!"

"Gokudera-kun!"

Inwardly scoffing at the child's play, she materialized her usual trident and sliced off every fuse. Before the other brats could blink, she stood in front of the silver-haired annoyance with her weapon at his throat as he stared at her with wide, disbelieving eyes.

She calmly pasted a smile onto her face. "Little boy. Don't challenge those stronger than you if you wish to continue living. Be thankful that I am in a good mood today." Pulling back, she vanished her weapon and backed away. "I don't feel like fighting anyway."

With that, she walked away. There was no reason for her to look back.

"W-Wait!"

"Don't, Tsuna. She is beyond your skill level." Black eyes watched the white-haired woman, unable to shake off the uneasiness she invoked. The thought briefly crossed Reborn's mind that she was not human before he pushed it to the back of his mind for later contemplation. There was a mission to complete first.

~X~

She really wondered whether she should be impressed or not as she stared at the timid girl who would act as Mukuro's vessel. It figured that even Vendicare could not completely restrict the tricky illusionist.

Still, it surprised her even more that he agreed to accept the position of Vongola Mist guardian. She had no intentions of interfering with his elaborate plans, but she knew he had ulterior motives for agreeing.

Never let it be said that Rokudo Mukuro was a blunt man. He was anything but that.

In fact, she was quite sure every word he spoke had several meanings that could be taken in any possible way. A simple comment about the weather could possibly hold more meaning than even the most accomplished philosopher could ever interpret when coming out of Mukuro's mouth.

Deception was his life, his very existence.

Forcing Rokudo Mukuro to be straightfrorward about his intentions was worse of a punishment than the solitary confinement in Vendicare. It was just the way he was.

And really, if he were any other way, she would have abandoned him a long time ago.

It was her very nature.

To her, to any god really, humans merely served as entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less.

If he could not keep her entertained, then Mukuro no longer had a purpose in her eyes. He knew that as well as she did, perhaps even more so because her abandonment would affect him more that it would ever affect her.

So, he turned his words, his expressions, his very being into a game of lies and deception. He twisted every word and sentence into a riddle that even he could barely understand.

All to keep her happy.

To keep her attention on him, because he had no idea what to do without her after all these lifetimes of being her companion.

He had become such a good liar, an incredible illusionist.

She wondered sometimes if Mukuro could distinguish between fantasy and reality anymore. Were his illusions real to him or were they just another weapon, another piece to use in his constant games?

And she wondered sometimes if he resented her for forcing him to change himself so drastically.

Just to keep her by his side.

Just to see her acceptance.

Just to exist.

Sometimes, she could not help but feel pity for the twisted man Mukuro had become for her.

But those times were rare.

Most days, when the sky was a brilliant blue, she enjoyed seeing him strive for her attention like an over-eager puppy. She enjoyed the games he played because it kept her amused in the endless days and years and centuries and millennia of immortality.

After all, forever and eternity were different things.

Despite what humans claim, she knew forever had an end. A human's love meant to last forever would end with death, then those humans would find a new person to love forever in their next life. And the cycle would continue on.

Eternity was not a concept. It was a fact, one she lived in. She didn't care much for the concept of forever. She had little interest in things that lasted for a limited time. So, finding a mortal who would remember her lifetime after lifetime had been a novel concept.

Perhaps there was a forever with him, but she was willing to pretend that he was with her for eternity, that hateful eternity that crawled endlessly on without mercy. It was a painfully lonely existence, so she clung to that one being with a desperation she despised acknowledging.

So, she was silently thankful that the sky only shone a bloody red on the rarest occasions.

Because she had no idea what to do without him by her side.

"What a twisted world we have created for ourselves."

His trademark chuckle echoed in the empty room in response.