Illuminate the Dark

Summary: "Be careful tomorrow. Be... be safe, Kyouya. I don't want to lose you." "I'll win." And he's never lost... until now. The first meeting, the last departure, and moments in between, Dino reflects on their relationship.

Warnings: Shounen-ai, Dino x Hibari, character death, the smallest references to sex.

Author's Note: I actually had this idea months and months ago... I only got around to writing it right now. Something at 12 AM just pushed me to write it, and it turned out like this. Song I was listening to during writing/editing is the link below. My author's note is up here because I think the ending is important, I don't really want to draw attention away from it. Excuse my lack of plot.

http:/ www . youtube . com/ watch? v=rePcHxFJIuU


The relationship between Dino Cavallone and Kyouya Hibari never was perfect, to say the least.

It began with both parties bloody and bruised, bodies panting for the air that seemed to have left them. "I'll make you stronger," the older man had promised. He flung the words around easily, without any hint of hesitation or doubt. And with that catalyst, everything set stumbling blindly in a forward motion and an entire new world began to unfold between a reluctant skylark and a happy-go-lucky bronco.

The days approaching Hibari's ring battle, Dino had proposed a trip. "To lakes and mountains - you could probably even wrestle bears, if you wanted – the environment and circumstance changes will better help you prepare," he said. Hibari raised a skeptic eyebrow, but nonetheless, followed.

The night before they had planned on returning to Namimori, the two found themselves in a large, secluded forest; far, far away from Nami-Middle and civilization. The two resided by a river, with an abundance of trees, lush with leaves, surrounding their campsite and a fire warmly crackling in the background. They sat next to each other, no longer awkwardly or with nervous uneasiness, but in a comfortable bond that had been so carefully constricted only though hours spent together. It was difficult at first, Dino admitted, it was like walking on egg shells. Only... not. Hibari was almost like an explosive bomb that Dino had to figure out, risking limbs on understanding the intricately set wires. It was worth it, though, he'll say. After the training and fighting began, the tension seemed to melt away with the sun.

Dino dazed softly at the night sky, the most solemn expression gracing his face. "It's beautiful, isn't it, Kyouya?" he asked, not really expecting a response.

Hibari pressed his lips into a thin lined and grimaced ever-so-slightly. He hated the mere thought of having to agree with the man for once. His opaque eyes stared up at the sky, and wondered briefly how many other sets of eyes were looking up at the same sky that hung over every single person on the earth. He looked, and really looked – as if studying – the brightness of the full moon that seemed so colossal, it was almost overwhelming; and the areas the light couldn't reach, delicately decorated with stars.

"Hn."

The almost inaudible syllable caused Dino to grin. Days ago, having him say a word of his own free will was a challenge

They had sat like that for a long time, unmoving, captivated by the beauty of the night, the warmth of the fire, the scent of the trees, and the familiarity of the other's presence.

Dino had been the one to break the trance. With a great leap of faith, he had grabbed Hibari's hand. "Be careful tomorrow," he whispered, looking right at Hibari. He tilted his chin up just so, and placed the gentlest, quickest, and sweetest kiss on his lips. When Hibari didn't hit him, yell at him, or push him away, Dino traced down Hibari's face and along his jaw with his fingers, stopping to brush hair out of Hibari's confused eyes. Bewildered eyes searching for an answer. "Be... be safe, Kyouya. I don't want to lose you."

"I'll win," Hibari stated, softening up just a bit.

Win, he did. And he kept winning. Until now, that is.

The Don Cavallone sat behind his desk in his overly and unnecessarily spacious office, cradling his head between two hands, running his fingers through his dishevelled blonde hair. Minutes prior, his acclaimed younger brother Tsuna had called.

Hibari was dead.

He was so sorry. Just sososo sorry. He knew how much Hibari-san had meant to Dino, and how despite appearances, how much Hibari-san had meant to all of them. Anguish was distinct in his voice, only muffled by the muted sound of holding back tears.

Tsuna's a good person, Dino had thought, Very caring.

He struggled to reply; a lump rapidly forming in his throat seemed to obstruct the soothing words that he wanted to usher, rendering him unable to speak. He wanted to tell Tsuna that everything was fine; nothing could have been done, to reassure him that it wasn't his fault. But he couldn't.

I'm so sorry, Dino, Tsuna had apologized again from the other line, I'm so sorry.

I wonder who else is, Dino had pondered, How many other will feel upset? How many other lives were touched by him? How many others were affected by Kyouya Hibari?

He knew that Hibari wasn't a social butterfly. He hardly spent time with other people, and rarely considered anyone up to his standards. He never was on par with the rest of the world. Kyouya Hibari walked at his own pace, on his own path, doing whatever the hell pleased him at the moment – he was as free as any person could be. He was the elusive cloud, after all. Not tied down by anything. But during the later, more recent years of his life, he seemed to be getting along with his fellow guardians for once; he showed his face outside of rooftops; conversations weren't always "Hn," on his part.

That night, Dino Cavallone did not sleep.

Instead, he bore his eyes into his wood desk, trying to grip reality, trying to make sense of it all, when everything "real" only slipped further and further away from his fumbling reach.

Kyouya. Was. Dead.

The funeral was in Japan, of course. Hibari had loved Japan... or rather, Namimori.

Dino stood, surrounded by the very same trees that witnessed their first kiss, in the same spot they shared all those years ago. This time, he was dressed up in a formal black suit, camouflaged against all the others who wore something similar. The afternoon was surprisingly sunny, and throughout the entire entire funeral, Dino was numb, unthinking, only bound physically by his body. People passed him knowingly, sometimes placing a hand on his shoulder or attempting words of comfort.

He died a quick death, he didn't suffer.

He was truly loved and admired.

He would kill all of us for being such a large crowd.

And finally, he walked up to the casket containing a mere body. He took one hard, long, last look at Hibari's face. His pale skin. His ebony hair. His onyx eyes that hid behind closed eyelids. Pink lips that weren't so pink anymore. Long fingers that he once knew so well were intertwined and placed on his chest. He could almost feel his heart drop with the casket. Descending lower and lower, until it was gone.

Long after the end, Dino stayed. Tsuna, a few guardians, and his men stuck around for a while, unsure of what to do.

I'm sorry, Dino, Tsuna had said yet again, he stared at the ground, I-I shouldn't have sent him there alone. I didn't know – I never expected there to be so many of them.

He was sure he had told Tsuna it wasn't his fault. Nobody could have predicted that... and well, Kyouya was Kyouya. He most likely would have insisted on going, anyways.

But after a while, they had all decided it would be best to give him some time, and some breathing room. Dino laid his back against the tombstone, and stared up at the clear sky. If there was a regret he had, it was not being able to spend enough time together. Japan, or rather location, was a flaw in their relationship. When Hibari was still young, he refused to leave Namimori, and Dino couldn't stay. As Cavallone Decimo, his family needed him in Italy. He visited, though. He did his best to visit as frequently and as much as he could. He was very good at visiting, coming at least once a month.

He would enter the reception room, and Hibari would be waiting expectantly. Hungry mouths sought each other after having been deprived for a while. Shirts were unbuttoned with haste, and carelessly slipped off and thrown onto the ground. Marks of possession were made and names were moaned.

It always ended too quickly.

Within a few days, sometimes the day after, they would exchange goodbyes as Hibari watched Dino leave, time and time again.

Dino shut his eyes and breathed in.

"Hey, Kyouya," he said quietly, "Do you remember when you finally moved to Italy? It was years later, after Tsuna and everyone decided to move to the Vongola Head Quarters. You finally had come, and I can't tell you how happy I was. Do you remember what you said to me as you got off your plane? 'I'm not moving here for you.' Yup. That's what you said. You weren't moving here for me... though, it was hard to believe when you were so flustered and pink." He chuckled lightly. "I think we both knew it was a lie."

Do you remember the first time you told me you loved me? We were in Namimori, and I think I was sulking because you had never said it to me before. I was the one always saying 'I love you.' I felt like I was only chasing you, like you didn't want me. Sulking led to anger, and one thing became another, and after make-up sex, you thought I had fallen asleep. You said it aloud for this first time then. 'I love you.' It sounded strained and forced, like you've never said it before. I'm not sure you have. But you did, and I was trying not to smile and pull you into a crushing hug right then. Sadly, I don't have very much self-control, because that's exactly what I did. You tried to seem angry, but that shade of red clearly exclaimed embarrassment, Kyouya."

Do you remember our first date? I took you out some fancy restaurant in Namimori that Romario recommended. You were still just a kid. Hell, I was still just a kid. I ordered wine, naturally. I didn't think that you would have a problem with drinking, because in Italy, everyone drinks. There isn't a legal drinking age. But Japan's different. You're different. Who would've have thought that the feared Vongola Cloud Guardian couldn't hold his liquor? I won't lie, Kyouya, but don't get upset when I say that watching you drunk was the funniest and cutest thing I've ever seen. I loved your slurred speech, and the way you leaned on me all night."

Dino laughs. Nostalgia tugs at his heart strings, and the memories can't decide whether to leave a happy or hollow feeling in his chest, so they decide to do both and it nearly suffocates him.

"Do you remember our first anniversary? Do you remember how I used to get so worried when you headed into battles, and you would always say, 'I'll win,' like it was a fact? Do you remember when Tsuna and your famiglia found us on your bedroom floor half-naked? They were really accepting, weren't they? And Tsuna was a cute stuttering mess, as always."

He lets his eyes flutter open. Clouds idly drift by. Tree leaves dance along with the gentle breeze. "I keep saying, 'Do you remember? Do you remember?' But the truth is, Kyouya, I hope I'll remember. I don't want to forget anything about you. Nothing. Not your voice, or the way you would blush, or the entire life I've created around you. I'm so scared that one day I'll wake up, and I won't be able to remember what you look like, what you feel like... What am I supposed to do now that you're gone? You were supposed to win, Kyouya! You said you would! Why? So, why aren't you here? Why must I continue to live when the person I love most isn't here?"

Hot tears spring up from his eyes. Since the phone call, Dino hasn't cried. But now, grabbing at the tombstone marked Kyouya Hibari, 19XX – 20XX, the tears wouldn't stop spilling. Dino rubs his eyes, but it doesn't help unblur his vision, or unjumble his mind. He reaches for the handkerchief in his pocket, and a ring falls out along with the handkerchief.

"You're probably laughing at me now, aren't you? You'd call me an herbivore and roll your eyes... if you were still here. That's fine – I was going to propose to you. I was scared you'd find the ring, so I hid it. I had it all planned out, for the record. I was going to take you back to Namimori for a visit... to here, and I was going to propose. I was going to propose to you here! It's funny how we both managed to end up here again... But... but this time, you're dead," His words crack with his dry and broken voice, and he places the ring down on the ground, just in front of the tombstone, "Kyouya, I really... really loved you. I still love you. I think I'll love you until I die. So until then, please, please... please don't forget me. I know it's a lot to ask, but wait for me, okay? I'll definitely come and find you."