A/N: Well here it is! This is the first chapter to the sequel of Washing Rain! For old time readers, please enjoy and for new time readers, if you haven't read the previous story it's not necessary to read it to understand this one. But I wouldn't mind if you read the first story all the same lol. That way, you will know my writing style and how Yamamoto and Gokudera came to be a couple in this one. So please read the first story and review it if you wish! Either way, I will be eternally grateful! =)

Here are some things that I have to point out before everyone starts reading:

Since this is a sequel, I continued to write Gokudera as older than Yamamoto. For any new readers wondering why that is, it's explained in one of the beginning author notes in Washing Rain. So I hope that doesn't irritate people but I did it for continuity's sake.

Also, since this fic is set around Christmas time, don't expect me to get the whole story out before Christmas. I wrote the draft out for this story and it will have a minimum of 12 long written chapters, if not more, depending on how things turn out. I don't think this will be much of a problem for everyone (who doesn't want Christmas to last longer? Lol) but if it is, I'm sorry. The updates for this story will be varied as well because school is starting up for me again.

For another point, this story will be centered more on drama than my previous story, so for those who were expecting this story to be cute and light-hearted, I apologize again. Don't worry, there will be plenty of humorous and cute fluffy moments like in my last story but drama takes more of a forefront since it involves how Yamamoto's and Gokudera's relationship has progressed.

The last and most important point is that this chapter is rated a high T for swearing and suggestive themes. I plan to change the rating of this story to M by the third chapter, if all goes according to plan. I just wanted you all to know that if you want to continue reading this story that there are going to be more adult like themes ahead and that to find it you will have to search under M or All under the story section, or put my story on alerts to find it. I know this won't be too much of a problem for this fan base (I'm pretty sure most of us look under the M rated section lol), I'm just saying this for the younger readers benefits, just in case they are uncomfortable with those sorts of situations. But anyway, keep a heads up on that little fact.

Oh gosh, long authors note is loooong! I'm sorry about that lol. Well, I hope this chapter turned out to everyone's liking. Please enjoy and review if you can! =)

Katekyo Hitman Reborn and its characters do not belong to me, they belong to Amano Akira

Part 1

A gentle snow descended slowly upon the streets of Namimori, each flake drifting lazily through the slight bitter breeze as they made their way towards the earth, catching upon everything they came in contact with. People out in the streets couldn't help but appreciate the beautiful falling crystals as they caught the sun's light and reflected its soft glow, lighting up the afternoon sky with dazzling abandon.

Christmas was only a couple weeks away and the streets of Namimori couldn't be busier for a Sunday afternoon. Many passersby traveled about the softly powdered streets, covered up in heavy coats, mittens and scarves in order to brave the cold. Christmas carols and the sounds of people's excitement could be heard for miles around. Everyone went about their Christmas shopping or looked through the store windows and flyers, trying to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones before the stores went out of stock. With so many people about, even the partially residential streets were busy near the ends of the business districts where family shops were set up.

This was definitely the case for the small sushi shop, Takesushi, its inner walls bursting to the brim with customers who were traveling home from their productive shopping trips. Despite the overabundance of people, the shop kept a calming and friendly atmosphere even while two men worked frantically behind the counter preparing everyone's orders and special deliveries. The two tall, well-built men showed years of practice and expertise as they sliced and molded their family profession without breaking a sweat even as the orders continued to pile up. The older of the two looked towards the younger, the laughing lines around his eyes and cheeks defined by an excited and slightly worn smile.

"Isn't it great how we're getting such good business, Takeshi? With the money we're making we're definitely going to be eating healthy for Christmas!"

The younger but taller of the two gave the elder his trademark smile, one that mirrored the older man's perfectly. "Haha! Does that mean you're promising me a feast, Old Man?"

The aforementioned 'Old Man' gave his young disciple a competitive glare, confidently brandishing a chopping knife in the younger one's face. "Don't start calling me old yet, Takeshi. You might be eighteen but this man still has plenty of fight in him!" Just to prove his point, the older man skillfully flipped his knife through the air, caught it with the opposite hand without looking and proceeded to chop the fish he was preparing into perfect slices in under a matter of seconds, the people sitting on the opposite side of the sushi bar clapping in admiration at the skillful display.

The younger man lifted his eyebrow playfully, his eyes reflecting his father's competitive streak. "Not bad Pops but I can do that too."

The younger was preparing to do the exact same thing but was stopped by his father's 'no-nonsense' filled voice. "Stop being cocky and get back to work, Takeshi! We have too many customers to help so we don't have time for you to be playing with knives!" Despite his serious attitude the older wizened man couldn't stop the playful smile that spread across his lips.

Takeshi couldn't help but roll his eyes at his father's joke and reply with a sarcastic, "Sorry, Dad."

The older raven-haired man gave a hearty guffaw, his demeanor in good spirits. He addressed his son again as he continued to prepare sushi for his customers. "But seriously Takeshi, there have been so many customers as of late I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when you head off to college in a couple months!"

His son gave him a gentle look, his smile reassuring. "Don't worry Pops, you'll do fine. You just have to hire outside the family, haha!"

Yamamoto Senior's reply was gruff with certainty, his eyes solely focused on chopping up another fish in front of him. "Heh, it's not as easy as it sounds, Takeshi. Kids today have no work ethic! In my day…"

The younger Yamamoto gave his dad a hesitant look, already tuning out his father's 'old man ramblings.' "You know Dad," Takeshi interrupted gently, his father unperturbed by the interruption and giving his son his full attention. "It's not so bad to hire new hands. Its worked out pretty well so far, hasn't it?"

With that said, both men automatically turned their eyes in the direction of the restaurant tables were a silver-haired ponytail could be seen bobbing amongst the numerous guests. Takeshi couldn't help but blush slightly as he watched his boyfriend move from table to table handing out sushi platters and taking down orders. Gokudera looked so adorable with his hair tied up! The tall athlete couldn't help but love the rest of the smaller boy's ensemble also. The older teen sported a green Takesushi apron that had a lower pocket for his order notebook and pencil, but being the sophisticated rebel that he was, Gokudera opted to place his pencil behind his right ear (which Takeshi thought added to his cuteness), a red shirt, tight black jeans and, of course, his usual rings, necklaces and bracelets. Yes indeed, his Gokudera looked hot! Adorably hot! And the love-struck Takeshi could do nothing but openly stare at the other's spicy cuteness.

As if he could feel the other's eyes on him, Gokudera turned and delivered an icy glare towards the tall baseball player for eyeing him up so openly. Takeshi could only laugh nervously in response as he deciphered the antagonistic message behind Gokudera's icy green depths. He really shouldn't be checking Gokudera out in front of so many people, especially his dad. They both had decided to keep their relationship a secret from everyone and that secret had been going strong for practically a year now. It would really be a waist to ruin all of that now with his shameless ogling. Thankfully, his father hadn't been paying attention to his reactions towards Gokudera because the older man was too busy eyeing the other teen as well, watching his progress from table to table with a hint of pride in his eyes.

"I guess you're right, Takeshi." The professional sushi chef admitted after a short silence. "Gokudera has been a good addition to our team but it was quite a bumpy ride at the beginning!"

Takeshi couldn't help but reminisce at his father's words. He had been the one to ask his father for a position for Gokudera. The young Italian had been having financial troubles for awhile now and Yamamoto had been helping him as best as he could by buying groceries and fixing the other boy dinner on occasion. It was only natural for Takeshi to think that if Gokudera could get a part-time position somewhere it would help the smaller teen out but…well…Gokudera had a rotten personality when it came to working with people he didn't know (heck, who was he kidding. It was the same case for people he did know!). The tall athlete thought the only likely option was for Gokudera to get a job where one of his friends worked. So, since his father knew Gokudera from his frequent visits to the shop and since he absolutely loved the idea of the feisty Italian working in the same place as him, Takeshi was able to convince his dad into taken Gokudera in and showing him the ropes.

It was one of the worst ideas he had ever conceived.

Gokudera was not made for customer service. Actually, now that he thought about it, Yamamoto was pretty sure that Gokudera had never heard of that word in his entire life because the grey-haired teen was one of the worst waiters he had ever seen. He was rude to the customers and blamed whatever mistakes he made on them, he was constantly griping about everything and he didn't hesitate to throw food at any kids who looked at him funny. Because of the Hurricane Bomb's terrible attitude, the Yamamoto's had lost a ton of business. Takeshi remembered begging Gokudera to behave whenever they worked but the silver-haired teen would hear none of it, blaming the customers for being rude to him when it was obviously the other way around. It wasn't until Yamamoto Senior gave the older boy a stern talking to that Gokudera showed any improvement.

The silver-haired teen had been very upset over the talk with Tsuyoshi even though the man hadn't even raised his voice to yell at him. It was probably because of that fact that the little bomber had taken the situation so badly. He finally realized that he was being terrible to the people who were doing everything they could to help him and that he deserved to be yelled at but all he received were disappointed looks. It also didn't help that Takeshi had begun to notice how much Gokudera actually respected his dad and had started looking up to him as an actual father figure, so getting the lecture from the older man had been devastating to the smaller teen.

It took some effort to get Gokudera back up from the depression that had overcome him but when he came back to work, he put all of his effort into improving himself; which wouldn't have been a bad thing if Gokudera hadn't taken his improvement so seriously. The silver-haired Italian tried too hard in trying to better himself; which made him become almost as overbearing as he had been when he was a complete ass to everyone in the store. It took another talking to from his dad (this time a more reassuring conversation than a disappointed one) for the young storm guardian to calm down enough to act normal around people. From there, Gokudera continued to improve and matured into a waiter that both Takeshi and his father could be proud of.

Of course, that didn't stop Gokudera's usual personality from popping up whenever a bad customer made their presence known.

Speaking of bad customers, while Takeshi was reminiscing, one of their regulars had just entered the store. The young raven-haired teen couldn't help but stiffen at the sight of the ornery old woman as she took a seat at the nearest table in the back of the restaurant. Takeshi had no idea what that lady had against them but every time she came in she would always complain about the food and cause a ruckus until his dad would give her a discount. Not only that, she also tended to give Takeshi threatening death glares for no apparent reason and she constantly hassled Gokudera until he would yell at her (which didn't take too long, mind you). The arguments between her and Gokudera would get so heated that it would scare customers out of the store, dishes would undoubtedly be thrown and broken, and more than likely one of the customers would call the police (they had been their three times in the past three months).

True to Takeshi's thoughts, the old woman spotted him and gave him her signature death glare from across the room (it was nothing compared to Gokudera's). It was here that Takeshi's dad noticed the old lady's presence too.

"Oh crap!" The older man whispered under his breath, his eyes wide with panic. "She's here again!" He quickly glanced toward his taller son, his eyes still panicking but now with a hint of desperation. "What are you doing just standing there, Takeshi? This is a Code G! I repeat, a Code G!" And with that, he hurriedly pushed his son out from behind the sushi bar.

Finally wakening from his stupor at seeing the old woman, Takeshi didn't lose anytime and started moving towards the direction he saw Gokudera last. He had to get to him before the old woman would call the silver-haired teen over or else chaos would ensue. After all, Code G stood for: Grumpy Grandma; get Gokudera away immediately.

To Takeshi's misfortune, the shop was so packed at the moment it was practically impossible to move amongst the crowded tables without jostling someone, which slowed the tan raven-haired boy down considerably. Because of that, he was too late in accomplishing his mission. The breaking of china could be overheard even amongst the noisy din of the overcrowded restaurant.

Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked towards where they had heard the dishes drop to see a very angry silver-haired waiter and a very smug looking wrinkly old lady.

"What the hell did you say to me you old bat?" Gokudera shouted directly into the old woman's face, his eyes burning with a blazing fire.

"You heard me you uncouth, bad mouthed, punk!" the old lady yelled back in retaliation as she waved her walking stick dramatically in the air which came dangerously close to smacking Gokudera in the face.

"You fucking bitch!" were the last words that left the young Italian's mouth before he lunged for the older crabby woman. Thankfully, Takeshi hadn't wasted any time after hearing the dishes crash to the floor. He was able to maneuver past the crowded tables to the end of the restaurant and put his arms underneath Gokudera's shoulders and pull back, effectively restraining the feisty teen from doing unspeakable harm to the old crone which hopefully stopped the possibilities for a lawsuit.

"Let me go, Yamamoto!" Gokudera yelled vehemently to his restrainer, his eyes dangerous and bloodthirsty. "I'm going to kill that bitch once and for all!"

"There will be none of that, Gokudera-kun." Yamamoto Tsuyoshi said as he stepped up to the table and stood between the still flailing Gokudera (who according to Takeshi was giving a wet bar of soap a run for its money because it was becoming more and more difficult to just hold the older teen back from going on a murderous rampage) and the angry old woman who was now using her walking stick to repeatedly jab Tsuyoshi in the back. "Takeshi, get a better hold on him and drag him to the kitchen and help him cool down!" The older man ground out in aggravation as he took the old woman's measly prods to his back.

With a silent nod, Takeshi somehow got a better hold on the squirming silver-haired boy and actually lifted him off the ground. The teen continued to flail even when he felt his feet leave the floor, his eyes still dead set on the old woman who was now in a heated argument with old man Yamamoto. Even with Gokudera now constantly kicking him in the legs (and coming dangerously close to a certain area, might he add) Takeshi started making his way across the room to the kitchen in the corner, the customers thankfully moving out of the way before they got kicked as well. It seemed like an eternity but the taller black-haired teen was finally able to enter the kitchen, toss Gokudera unceremoniously onto the floor and immediately rush back to close and lock the Japanese styled kitchen door.

Feeling the hairs on the back of his neck rise, Takeshi swiftly turned around to catch a wild silver-haired Italian who tried to get past him.

"Calm down, Gokudera!" Takeshi strained out while he held the smaller teen back. "What did she say to you this time to make you react this way?"

"That bitch!" was Gokudera's short reply as he tried in vain to get past his taller boyfriend. "She somehow figured out my heritage and insulted me for it! I don't care about my father but I won't forgive her for insulting my mother!"

Takeshi's eyes shone in understanding as he managed to secure Gokudera's hands in his own, effectively stopping the smaller teen from beating on him but, sadly, didn't stop him from thrashing in order to get free. "I'm sorry that she said that, Gokudera. I'll talk to my father about getting a restraining order on her or something but you have to calm down. You'll just make things worse for everyone if you hurt her."

The taller teen's reassuring words were met with deaf ears as Gokudera promptly told him to 'go fuck himself' and continued to try and reach the door. Seeing as there was no way that Gokudera was actually going to listen to him, Yamamoto decided to go with Plan B. Mustering all of his reserved strength, he let go of Gokudera's hands and pushed him back into the big wooden counter in the middle of the room. Feeling the edge of the counter dig into his back, Gokudera's eyes widened in surprise and before he could question his idiot of a boyfriend on what was going on, his own lips were met with another's. Gokudera's jade-green eyes widened even further as the warmth of Yamamoto's lips and the taste of mint and sushi pervaded his senses. The kiss didn't stop the older teen from fighting back though. His body was pumped up with so much adrenaline it was going to take more than a chaste kiss to stop him!

Of course, Yamamoto already knew that. When he felt his boyfriend's stiff form revert back to its prior activity, Yamamoto put the next part of his plan into action. With the delicacy of a master, he easily parted the other's lips and slipped his tongue into Gokudera's warm mouth, tasting the smoky bitterness that accompanied it. Naturally, the small Italian fought back as much with his tongue as his body at the intrusion, spurting moans of protest into his captor's mouth. Ignoring his smaller companion's pleas, Yamamoto concentrated on finding what he was looking for, closing his eyes in the process as he tried to find a certain spot by feel alone.

To Yamamoto's (and Gokudera's) pleasure, he found the spot he was looking for within seconds which rendered the silver-haired bomber completely useless. The smaller teen's body practically turned into jelly against Yamamoto's, the taller teen having to quickly wrap his arms around the smaller one's frame in order to keep him standing. Feeling the warmth of the supporting arms around him, Gokudera shakily lifted his hands to clutch the front of Yamamoto's shirt to pull him closer into the kiss, his eyes shutting in bliss at the feeling; the once feral cat becoming nothing more than a purring kitten. Yamamoto continued to skillfully massage the other boy's mouth, his tongue lapping continuously over the spot that made his Gokudera come undone every time. Said smaller teen moaned in ecstasy at the loving treatment, practically melting in the warmth that spread all over his body and completely forgetting why he was angry in the first place, if just for a little bit.

It was times like these that Takeshi marveled at how far his relationship with Gokudera had gone. They had been going out for almost a year now and their familiarity with each other had increased along with that time. For instance, they knew each other's week spots (like the one in Gokudera's mouth) and what turned the other on. They had also slept in the same bed many times (even though it took a lot of convincing on Yamamoto's part in order for it to happen) but nothing too drastic had ever come of it. 'Too drastic' meant they had never gone all the way. The most either of them had done in the sexual sense were with their hands and mouth (the last one only on Yamamoto's part. Gokudera fiercely refused to do it on the grounds of it being completely disgusting); which also didn't happen too often because Gokudera tended to get uncomfortable whenever they got too frisky with each other. Even though they had slept in the same bed and even showered together plenty of times for the smaller teen to be comfortable with him, he just never seemed to want to go the extra step. He always seemed to be frightened of something whenever Yamamoto brought it up or when they were in the heat of the moment and the smaller teen would stop the conversation or actions before they got too out of hand. Gokudera even went so far as to refuse calling each other by a first name basis even when they were alone. So even though their relationship had progressed drastically, Yamamoto still felt like Gokudera was forcing it to stay at a stand still and refusing to budge.

All Yamamoto wanted to do was to love Gokudera completely and with no restrictions. He thought that they would both be happier than they had ever been with each other if they took the next step but he didn't want to push the other either. If he pushed too hard, Gokudera would undoubtedly run away from him; if his actions towards their relationship weren't already heading in that direction. That's what Yamamoto feared the most. He had loved Gokudera for so long now. Just knowing what it felt like to hold him in his arms, to be near him; the thought of losing him or for the smaller teen to not want him anymore tore him apart.

As that last thought registered in the back of his mind, Yamamoto showed his defiance by lowering his hands from around Gokudera's waist. He wouldn't let Gokudera think about walking away from him if he could help it! Ever so slowly, the tanned, calloused hands made their way down to splay across Gokudera's backside, giving the boy a gentle squeeze through his tight jeans. A shocked gasped emanated from the small bomber's throat which was quickly replaced by a moan as Yamamoto continued to rub his tongue against his sensitive spot while simultaneous massaging his clothed backside. When Gokudera lifted his legs to wrap around the tall baseball player's waist on instinct, it took all of Yamamoto's will power to not start grinding against the smaller teen; he didn't want to scare him away, after all, Gokudera was like a cat.

He had to make the smaller one believe that it was his idea to initiate.

Still holding onto Gokudera's butt, Yamamoto placed the smaller boy on the counter behind them, making it easier for them to continue their little make out session. Yamamoto broke off their kiss a little later though much to Gokudera's annoyance, the other whining almost inaudibly at the loss of heat. The taller teen just gave his lover a playful smirk before showering the grey-haired boy's jaw line with soft kisses, slowly trailing his way down to Gokudera's neck. There, the raven-haired teen began nibbling and sucking on the exposed flesh, Gokudera unconsciously tilting his head to the side to give his tall boyfriend better access, his breath beginning to quicken.

"Yamamoto…" the silver-haired storm guardian moaned out breathlessly, closing his eyes in rapture as the taller teen continued to caress his neck with his teeth and tongue. Yamamoto responded to the sound of his name with a shudder and moan into his boyfriend's exposed skin. Throwing caution to the wind, Yamamoto started to gently grind against Gokudera who still had his legs wrapped around his waist, whispering the other one's name with need.

At the feeling of the other one rubbing up against him, Gokudera was stuck between grinding back for pleasure's sake and panicking at what might happen next. Before the young Italian could stress out about the situation and where it was turning, there was a knock on the kitchen door.

"Hey Takeshi, I was able to get that old woman to leave. Has Gokudera-kun calmed down yet?"

Hearing his father's voice from the opposite side of the room brought Yamamoto's actions to a standstill. Both teens were frozen in their positions as they stared at the door in shock, their eyes rounding in fear.

"Uh….y-yeah Dad, w-we'll be right out!" Yamamoto practically yelped after he had finally found his voice.

The two teens quickly disentangled themselves from each other and tried to make themselves look presentable again, Gokudera hopping off the counter in the process. Yamamoto couldn't help but send the energetic storm guardian an apologetic look for losing control a second ago and Gokudera couldn't help but blush profusely in return, both hoping beyond hope that Tsuyoshi hadn't heard them from the other side of the door.

As the two teens returned to work, Yamamoto Senior didn't show any signs of overhearing what had transpired in his kitchen much to the two boys' relief and he also didn't seem to notice that Gokudera had little red marks on his neck from where Yamamoto had been biting him. The taller teen never thought he would be hopeful that his father's eye sight might be going bad but he was still happy that the older man didn't take any notice of the marks even though the customers were now giving Gokudera strange looks. The silver-haired teen, of course, ignored them and continued to do his job. Now that the old woman was gone, everyone was able to go back to what they were doing with no fuss, and Gokudera couldn't help but be thankful for the distraction that work brought him. He didn't want to think about what had almost happened.

What he was afraid would happen.

Despite his scared and jumbled thoughts, Gokudera continued to do his work without complaint until the last customers filed out of the restaurant. Now wasn't the time to be thinking about his relationship with Yamamoto. He had other pressing issues to think about like not being late for a scheduled meeting at the Tenth's house. After all, it wasn't right for the right-hand man to be late to a meeting; in fact, he should be the first one there! Of course, if he looked at it realistically, there was no way that he was going to be the first to arrive because of his second job at the sushi shop (which he was thankful for money wise but the Tenth had to come first!).

Growling at his misfortune in irritation, Gokudera started to help close down the shop by wiping off the tables and mopping the floor because he wasn't allowed to touch the sushi or clean the dishes for some reason unknown to him. Once he was done with his tasks, he followed Yamamoto around, pestering the tall baseball player to close faster so that they wouldn't insult the Tenth by being late. Of course, all Yamamoto did was smile serenely at him and tell him that everything would be fine as he went about doing his closing routine at a normal pace (which was still fast mind you, just not fast enough for a restless Gokudera's liking). After a few curses in Italian and a slap upside the head, Yamamoto picked up the pace a little bit.

Seeing this little argument unfold before him, Tsuyoshi couldn't help but chuckle. "If it's so important to go and meet up with Tsuna-kun, then go right ahead, Takeshi. I can manage to close down the rest of the shop; there's not that much left anyway."

At hearing this, Gokudera couldn't help but shower Yamamoto Senior with an enthusiastically grateful smile (one's he would usually shower his precious Tenth with). "Really?" The small teen exclaimed in excitement, bowing down to the older man he thought of as a father to show his respect. "Thank you so much, Yamamoto-san!"

Yamamoto couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy at Gokudera's reaction. He was thrilled that Gokudera respected his dad but he always wondered why the young bomber would never look at him like that. He quickly looked away from the spectacle and continued washing the dishes. There wasn't much left so he thought it would be more practical to finish them and then leave the rest up to his dad.

Sadly, Gokudera didn't see it that way. With a drastic change in personality, the happy and respectful teen turned into an irritated grouch. Seeing the taller teen ignore his dad and continue doing his job when they had to go meet the Tenth at that very moment, pissed the silver-haired bomber off to no end. With a quick kick to the shin and another slap upside the head, Gokudera was in full bitch mode and laying it full force on an unsuspecting Yamamoto. "Hey! Your father said we could go! Get your ass into gear Baseball Idiot; we can't keep the Tenth waiting!"

And with that, Gokudera stomped out of the kitchen in all of his grumpy glory, leaving a slightly put off Yamamoto and his laughing father in his wake.

"You have one interesting friend there, Takeshi!" his father couldn't help but comment as he chuckled about the boys' previous interaction.

Yamamoto just sighed in response. He loved Gokudera, he really did; it was just hard to handle him sometimes. It didn't help matters much when Gokudera was sending him mixed signals concerning their relationship to the point where Yamamoto didn't know where he really stood with the other. One moment they would be happy and loving (ok, maybe loving was a stretch on Gokudera's part but he still responded to his touches positively. Their actions in the kitchen were proof of that!) and the next, Gokudera would be yelling at him, pushing him around and doing everything in his power to stay away from him. Quite frankly, it got depressing after awhile.

Deciding to listen to his gut feeling and stop doing the dishes before Gokudera tried to blow him up for delaying their departure any further, Yamamoto dried his hands on a nearby hand towel and took off his work apron, hanging it up next to Gokudera's. He then looked towards his father, who had taken his place at the kitchen sink and gave him a reassuring smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. "I'm not sure how long I'll be at Tsuna's but we're having dinner over there. I probably won't be home until later."

Yamamoto's father gave an affirmative grunt in response to show he was listening, his eyes completely focused on the dishes in front of him. "Ok. Just make sure you're not out too late. You have classes tomorrow, remember?"

Yamamoto rubbed his head sheepishly at the reminder, almost forgetting that little fact. "Oh yeah, hahaha! I keep forgetting we don't have classes off until the 25th. All this Christmas talk is setting me up for vacation time, haha!"

Tsuyoshi just shook his head at his son's mindset, wondering if the boy would actually remember to go to his classes when he went off to college and he wasn't there to remind him. Those worrying thoughts aside, Yamamoto Senior finally looked at his forgetful son and gave him his best smile. "Just have fun Takeshi and don't keep Gokudera-kun waiting anymore. He might throw another fit."

Yamamoto laughed at the reminder, his mood in much better spirits than it had been moments ago, and left the kitchen duties to his father. As he left the kitchen and said his final goodbyes, Yamamoto walked up to the entryway where Gokudera was just starting to put on his winter coat and mittens, his hair now down and out of it's ponytail in order to protect his ears from the cold winter chill waiting for them outside. When he heard the taller boy approaching, the grumpy Italian couldn't help but send him another irritated glare. "What the hell kept you so long?"

The well tanned athlete laughed sheepishly again, rubbing the back of his neck nervously at the murderous glare his boyfriend was sending his way. "Sorry, we were just exchanging the usual information. You know, the 'don't stay out too late' spiel."

"Ah." was Gokudera's short reply towards Yamamoto's excuse, not really caring now that he had heard it so he continued to adjust his coat and put on his mittens. His mind quickly changed to the more pressing thought of why the Tenth wanted everyone to meet up at his house for dinner. Just what was going on?

The silver-haired bomber was so distracted with his thoughts that he didn't know his scarf was gone when he absentmindedly reached for it on the coat rack. When his hands only met empty air, the small teen blinked in confusion, his previous thoughts quickly vanishing to be replaced with slight annoyance. He really didn't need this right now. The Tenth was waiting for him and now he couldn't find his scarf! What the hell? It was chilly out there and he needed his scarf so that he wouldn't catch a cold! After all, a good right-hand man had to show no weaknesses and getting sick was definitely considered weak!

With that thought in mind, Gokudera began frantically scanning the area for the missing scarf, his eyes quickly catching sight of the green fabric being held in the calloused hand of an already dressed Yamamoto Takeshi.

Gokudera felt his blood begin to boil.

"Just what the hell are you doing with my scarf, you idiot?" Gokudera yelled in exasperation as he took in the sight of his bundled up boyfriend, that stupid constant smile of his never leaving his face.

"Haha, sorry Gokudera. You just seemed so distracted that I thought I would help you put it on. You want to get to Tsuna's as soon as possible, right?" The taller teen offered with a sincere smile, his eyes staring down into Gokudera's hopefully.

The suggestion left Gokudera flustered and embarrassed. He wasn't a child! "What the hell, Yamamoto? I don't need help putting on my scarf! I'm not a fucking baby!"

Yamamoto quickly brought his hands up in a placating manner. Trying to calm the other down before his voice got too loud and his dad would come out to investigate. "Now, now, Gokudera, I wasn't trying to give the impression that you were helpless. I just…" The taller athlete paused and looked away from the angry teen, a small blush adorning his face. "…I just wanted to put your scarf on for you. Is that too much to ask?"

Now it was Gokudera's turn to blush. Leave it to Yamamoto to want to do something ridiculous. The smaller teen felt the heat in his cheeks spread to the rest of his face as he pictured Yamamoto wrapping the scarf around him with that usually adorable smile of his that made the silver-haired bomber want to melt and punch him in the face at the same time.

At the older boy's silence, Yamamoto couldn't help but look at Gokudera now, his eyes imploring as he took in the other boy's massive blush. "Please, Gokudera?" He asked with a hint of pleading in his voice. He knew he was being a little ridiculous about just wanting to help the other boy bundle up but Yamamoto just wanted to get a better idea of what Gokudera thought of him. If the smaller teen wouldn't let him do something so simple then what did that mean for him? Would that prove that Gokudera was starting to lose interest in him and was only into this relationship for the physical pleasure—or of what little physical pleasure there actually was? The young Rain Guardian couldn't help but notice Gokudera starting to stare off into space earlier and, in fact, Gokudera had been doing that so much recently he was starting to become paranoid over it, wondering if the young bomber was thinking about breaking their relationship off. So seeing the other boy begin to drift off into thought had stirred something in Yamamoto to steal the boy's scarf, to try and stop the other from thinking, if just for a little bit.

He hated how desperate and pathetic it made him feel.

Sadly, Yamamoto's pleading only seemed to irritate Gokudera more. "You're an idiot! What if your dad comes out and sees us?" Gokudera whispered harshly, his viridian eyes full of panic at the thought of Tsuyoshi's face if he saw them doing something slightly romantic.

"Don't worry, he won't see us. He's busy in the kitchen at the moment and won't be out for awhile." Yamamoto reassured almost desperately, his soft light-brown eyes boring into Gokudera's green. "Just…please Gokudera, just this once."

The older Italian's eyes widened in shock upon seeing such an open and raw look on Yamamoto's face, the taller boy's eyes overcome with desperation and a hint of insecurity. Gokudera felt his heart pang painfully in his chest at the sight, feeling slightly guilty for causing such a scene over something so small and for putting that look onto the Japanese teen's face. After a short debate with his pride, Gokudera finally consented with a short nod of his head. "Fine, just…don't show any public displays of affection once we get outside and when we're at the Tenth's house!" He blurted out in his still flustered state, shocked that he was actually doing something so cutesy with Yamamoto.

The look of relief that flashed across Yamamoto's face almost made this embarrassing act worth it. Almost.

"Thank you, Gokudera." The raven-haired boy said softly, his eyes shining compassionately down on his beloved little Italian, the smaller boy blushing profusely in response. With slow gentle movements, Yamamoto set to wrapping the scarf around Gokudera's neck with care, making sure not to wrap the fabric around too tight but to make sure it was secure enough to stay in place. After making sure the dull green scarf was wound safely around the other's neck and that he wasn't uncomfortable, Yamamoto brought the still blushing bomber into his arms, holding the other securely against him and giving him a quick peck on the forehead.

"See? That wasn't so bad, was it?" The taller teen asked sweetly as he stared into his boyfriends embarrassed green eyes with all the love in the world.

Gokudera couldn't stand it when Yamamoto looked at him like that. His gut would twist so uncomfortably and his stomach would feel like it was trying to jump out of his mouth. In his embarrassment he held onto the front of the taller boy's blue winter jacket, not meeting the other's eyes. "I-Idiot. Stop acting stupid before your dad comes in and sees us…"

The other teen just laughed good-naturedly, squeezing Gokudera tighter. "Sorry, Gokudera. I just won't be able to touch you for the rest of the night so I wanted to get as much in as possible."

Gokudera was aggravated that the blush he currently wore never seemed to leave his face. He finally glanced up into Yamamoto's now smiling face and almost wished he hadn't. That smile was so contagious that the silver-haired teen couldn't stop the small smile that spread across his lips in return. That almost unnoticeable smile was all Yamamoto needed before he started to lean down, trying to capture the other's lips with his own. Gokudera almost got caught up in the moment himself before he remembered that they had to get moving now if they wanted to arrive at the Tenth's at a presentable time.

With almost hesitant fingers, the little 3/4-Italian stopped his taller friend's advances by placing them on his lips. Now was not the time to get carried away. "We really need to go, Yamamoto." Gokudera spoke softly, his eyes becoming saddened with the knowledge that Yamamoto would probably be upset with his actions.

Thankfully, Yamamoto took the other's reaction in stride. He brought his hand up to the fingers still placed on his lips and grasped them, kissing the cloth covered digits softly before he brought the other's hand down with his own. "Yeah, we should probably head out."

After showing Gokudera that he wasn't disappointed with another consoling look, Yamamoto let go of the little bomber and opened the restaurant door. Giving one final call to his dad that they were leaving, the two boys left the establishment and started walking towards Tsuna's, a strange atmosphere hovering over the two boys' heads.

The walk to Tsuna's was a silent one, the only form of company the boys had were the setting sun and the other's presence. Yamamoto couldn't help but feel uncomfortable as he glanced over at his companion. He would love nothing more than to open up conversation but…well…he just didn't know what to say at the moment. Gokudera was off in his own world again, deep in thought and looking rather depressed about it. What could he say? Gokudera had looked that way the moment they left the restaurant; no, the moment he had tried to kiss him. The silver-haired teen wasn't depressed when they were making out in the kitchen earlier so why would he be so saddened after he tried to kiss him again? It just didn't make sense! He didn't want Gokudera to be sad and he definitely didn't like Gokudera's recent brainstorming sessions either. The boy always seemed like he was unhappy whenever he decided to do them. What could he do to change Gokudera's mood?

While Yamamoto was worrying about how to cheer Gokudera up, the silver-haired bomber was deep within the recesses of his own thoughts. Much to the smaller teen's annoyance, Yamamoto's romantic actions before they left had stirred up his thoughts on their current relationship; the topic that he didn't want to think about at the moment because he should be focusing on the Tenth. But no matter what he did now, all he could think about was Yamamoto and how the idiot made him feel happy; complete.

And that thought scared him to no end.

The fiery teen had never been one to open himself to others but Yamamoto had come into his life somewhere along the line and dug under his skin with the persistence of a tick to its host. And, as much as it annoyed him, as much as it made him uncomfortable, Gokudera couldn't help but leave the persistent idiot to his own devices. Because of that, he had found himself opening up to someone else besides his mother, besides the boss and friend that he worshipped and he had learned to care for the idiotic baseball player. He had let his guard down, he had purposely lowered his walls and allowed the taller teen to care for him because, deep down, he wanted to know what it felt like to be cared for in that way.

To be loved.

And he had gotten his wish. But what's more, he knew that he felt the same way for Yamamoto as the raven-haired boy did for him. When they were together, everything just felt right and he had let the taller boy do things to him that he would never let anyone try to do in a million years.

That terrified him.

His relationship with Yamamoto had progressed to the point where Yamamoto wanted to take the next step, to completely share themselves with each other. The dark-haired rain guardian wanted all of Gokudera and the silver-haired storm guardian was too afraid to give in to that request. To do as the taller teen wanted meant that Gokudera had to completely submit himself to the other, to let all of his walls down and embrace what their relationship was, what it truly meant to both of them.

And he couldn't do that.

The thought of letting himself care more for Yamamoto than he already did absolutely terrified him because that would mean he would have something greater to lose. Their current line of profession consisted of violence and death lying around every corner, where there were no guarantees that you would live to see the next day no matter where you were; even in your own home. If Gokudera allowed himself to indulge in this romantic fantasy and Yamamoto was to be killed then where would that leave him? What would he do? Honestly, the very thought of it made it hard for him to breath, hard for him to think and a growing pain would rise in his chest until it escalated to an almost unbearable point and leave an empty hollow feeling in its wake.

He despised that feeling.

Gokudera had been thinking about this for a long time and every time it happened he would end up feeling like nothing more than a shell; something that could easily be disposed of and replaced.

It made him feel weak.

And he loathed that feeling above no other. If he was weak, he could never be considered for the right-hand man position. If he was weak, he wouldn't be cut out for the mafia at all! It was the strong that lived to see another day while the weak were left to bleed their life away in the cold uncaring streets.

That, sadly, brought up another point. If people from other families were to find out that the Vongola Tenth's most trusted men were in a relationship with each other, it could only bring shame to the Vongola name. There was nothing right about his and Yamamoto's relationship. It was strange and unnatural from the get go and looked down upon in practically every society. Yamamoto and him shouldn't be in a relationship, no, they couldn't be in a relationship. It would only end in disaster! He knew this but yet every time he thought about breaking it off with the taller boy, that hollow feeling would show up again and every time he actually tried to muster up courage to break it off with Yamamoto face to face, the idiot would smile at him and his insides would automatically turn to mush. Hell, the very thought of Yamamoto's hurt and heartbroken face if he mentioned the break up upset him to such a great degree that Gokudera just couldn't live with himself if he went through with it.

He didn't want to break up with Yamamoto and that's what scared him the most.

All these depressing thoughts had taken their toll on Gokudera, wearing his patience thinner than what it already was and shot his nerves to hell. He found himself stuck between not wanting to be away from Yamamoto but knowing it was probably best for the both of them that they didn't see each other anymore. The stress of the situation was so great that Gokudera had found himself taking his frustrations out on the very person who was causing them in the first place, and seeing Yamamoto so sad and unsure because of that, only upset him more. The young Italian didn't know what to do anymore and he found himself thinking that he truly didn't deserve the love and devotion that Yamamoto showered him with on a daily basis when he hardly gave anything in return.

Yamamoto deserved so much better than him. That idiot would be happier without him and his constant pissy attitude, his inability to show affection, and his downright violent tendencies.

Gokudera suddenly found it hard to breathe.

As if a bolt of lightning had struck him, the young Italian woke up from his dazed thoughts to see the moving sidewalk beneath his feet and his worrying companion beside him. Gokudera was then quick to realize that Yamamoto had been calling his name for the past couple minutes, asking if he was ok. The older teen couldn't even bring himself to look at the taller rain guardian, much less address him. He was too ashamed of his previous thoughts. Noticing that his hands were shaking and that the hollow feeling that usually accompanied his depressing thoughts was starting to rear its ugly head, Gokudera did the only thing he knew would calm him down.

With much fumbling, Gokudera was finally able to locate his cigarette box in his coat pocket and his lighter. A couple flicks of the little device was all it took to give the young Italian his much needed nicotine fix, his nerves finally calming down enough for him to ignore the hollow feeling and his jitteriness.

While this was going on, Yamamoto was looking on at Gokudera in disapproval. He had been monitoring the smaller teen closely for most of their walk and it seemed that whatever Gokudera had been thinking about was beginning to cause him great pain. Yamamoto became worried for the other and had called out to him several times but Gokudera had been so deep in thought that he didn't even respond to his voice. Then, just when he knew his voice had finally reached Gokudera, the other boy purposefully ignored him and started to smoke in front of him. What's worse is that Gokudera knew that Yamamoto hated it when he smoked.

Feeling deeply offended by Gokudera's attitude and his bipolar tendencies towards him within the past couple months, Yamamoto didn't think twice in taking the cigarette from a now calmer Gokudera's lips and smashing it against the nearest wall, effectively putting it out. Since Gokudera never expected such an action to occur, he blinked in confusion at the feeling of the waxy paper going missing. Quickly figuring out what had transpired, the smoking bomber turned his attention towards a disapproving Yamamoto; the young Italian's eyes alit with fury.

"Just what the fuck was that for?" the smaller teen screamed furiously, demanding the other to answer before he decided to blow him up. Did that idiot know how much those things cost?

Yamamoto continued to look at the other disapprovingly, his eyes almost becoming a glare. "You really need to stop smoking, Gokudera. The only thing they are doing is killing you."

"Bull-fucking-shit!" The smaller teen disagreed. "I need my cigarettes to light my dynamite more efficiently. I can't be constantly trying to light one with my lighter!"

"That may be," Yamamoto conceded, his disapproving glare not lessening in the slightest. "But you don't need to smoke outside of battle. They can kill you Gokudera!"

"Why does it matter if they can kill me when we could die any minute, anyway?" Gokudera screamed back with a note of unwanted hysteria in his voice, one of the thoughts that had been plaguing him recently, coming to the forefront.

Yamamoto's hazel-brown eyes widened in shock at the other's statement, his disapproving look quickly replaced with a deeply concerned one. "Gokudera, what—"

"—Che! What does it matter anyway?" The young Italian quickly interrupted, not wanting to talk to Yamamoto about his inner thoughts at the moment, if ever. "It's none of your fucking business if I smoke or not!"

Yamamoto was taken aback by that, his caramel orbs flashing with hurt. "What? Of course it's my business, Gokudera! You're my boyfriend!"

Gokudera jumped at the other's exclamation, his fear about the conversation quickly turning into anger. "You idiot! Don't shout that so loud! Do you want the whole fucking neighborhood to hear?"

The look of hurt never left Yamamoto's face even when the other began yelling at him. He was too upset to really care about being too loud. The taller teen didn't like it when Gokudera smoked because he knew that they did more harm than they did good. It was bad enough that they were in the mafia and that Gokudera could, like the smaller teen had said, die at any moment. Gokudera didn't need the added bonus of smoking a cancer stick. But sadly, Yamamoto already knew that he could never get Gokudera to quit. The older teen had been smoking since he was ten and now he was eighteen. It would practically be an impossible habit to quit, not to mention, Gokudera had too much pride running in his veins and he would always try to defy Yamamoto whenever he could.

The younger dark-haired teen didn't want to resort to such a tactic but he felt he really didn't have a choice. "You know that Tsuna wants you to quit smoking too."

There it was out in the open and just like Yamamoto expected, a look of guilt washed over Gokudera's face at the mention of his precious Tenth. A small silence followed where the smaller teen seemed to deliberate with himself for a bit, looking away from his taller companion. "Y-Yeah, I know." Gokudera finally stuttered out, looking disappointed in himself at Yamamoto's reminder. "It's just…harder than it looks. I…I'll try to quit. No, I will quit! Just… give me some time."

Even though Gokudera seemed more determined in his resolve then he had ever been before concerning his cigarettes, Yamamoto didn't feel pleased with the outcome. How could he when Gokudera would try to quit for Tsuna but not for him? It hurt, it really truly hurt and he was certain that Gokudera never realized the pain his words caused him most of the time. Did his presence in the Italian's life even matter?

Noticing his taller companion's unusual silence, Gokudera quickly checked if the other was ok. He was met with the sight of a truly upset Yamamoto who was refusing to look at him, his once vibrant hazel eyes downcast and overcome with sadness. Gokudera felt himself choke on his breath and his heart seize painfully against his ribs. The smaller teen was left in confusion on what had caused the other to look so grieved when he had stated that he would try to quit smoking. Shouldn't the idiot be acting all happy now?

Despite his pride begging him to just ignore the situation, Gokudera couldn't stand that look of pain on Yamamoto's face and he wanted nothing more than to get rid of it. But what could he do to make the situation better when he didn't know what had caused it in the first place? Gokudera couldn't help but feel that he was missing something obvious here. Shaking his uncertain thoughts away, the silver-haired teen thought as quickly as he could, trying to figure out how to make his baseball idiot happy again before they reached the Tenth's house. He didn't want the Tenth to get suspicious, after all!

It wasn't long before Gokudera's quick thinking brought him to a solution that both of them wouldn't mind. That didn't stop the young Italian from blushing though. He couldn't believe he was doing this.

With a deep breath to calm his nerves since he couldn't have any nicotine, Gokudera established his resolve and gave Yamamoto a playful shove with his shoulder. The taller teen in turn glanced in Gokudera's direction, hurt still prominent on his face but his eyes clouded in confusion at the random action. Gokudera blushed even deeper and glanced away from his taller companion, unable to look him in the eye when the other stared at him like that. Taking another deep breath, the silver-haired teen grabbed Yamamoto's arm before he could talk himself out of his plan and placed it around his shoulder, drawing himself into Yamamoto's side, his hands still placed on the arm around his neck so the other wouldn't pull away.

Of course, that thought never even crossed Yamamoto's mind. The taller teen was staring at his older companion in confusion, the other boy's actions not fully making sense to the raven-haired teen. Finally realizing that Gokudera had just willingly let himself display his affection in public, Yamamoto couldn't help but get flustered and blush as red as Gokudera. "G-Gokudera! We're in public! I don't under—"

"—It's a friendly gesture!" the smaller teen butted in, still not meeting the other's questioning eyes. "Isn't having your arm around someone's shoulder a symbol of friendship between guys in Japan?"

Yamamoto's blush turned a darker shade of crimson as he noticed Gokudera's doing the same. "Well, um, I guess…" He stated unsurely. It was true that it was a way to symbolize friendship but if guys had their arms hanging off of other guys for long periods of time then it would be considered suspicious in any country.

"Then it shouldn't matter, right?" Gokudera stated with a little more confidence in his voice, still not daring to look at the other in fear that he would do something that would embarrass himself further. He finally let go of Yamamoto's arm before someone passed them by on the street and noticed them. It was a good thing that the residential streets were empty at the moment or he probably wouldn't have tried to do anything for Yamamoto at all.

Finally picking up on that Gokudera was trying to make him feel better, Yamamoto's confusion changed to appreciation. He gazed down at his silver-haired companion with compassion, his eyes holding a warmth to them that they didn't have moments ago. "Yeah." He confirmed the other boy's statement kindly, maneuvering his arm to draw the smaller teen even closer to him, basking in the other's provided warmth. Maybe he had been too quick to assume that Gokudera didn't care about him. He just had this idea in his head that since they were going out the smaller teen would act differently towards him by this point. Yamamoto felt guilty for having such high expectations when he knew that it took time for people to change, if they ever did. All he should have been concerned about was that somewhere, deep down in Gokudera's soul, the other teen actually cared for him.

And that's all that Yamamoto should have needed to know in order to be satisfied…but…still...

It was a short distance later that the boys finally made it to their destination. They stood outside the Sawada residence; a slight awkwardness between them as Yamamoto reluctantly removed his arm from around Gokudera's shoulder and gave the smaller teen a small smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. He was kind of disappointed that he had to let go of Gokudera so quickly. "Well…we're here." Yamamoto finally stated after a moment of silence, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly before he started reaching for the doorbell. To the baseball player's surprise, an arm shot out and stopped him a moment before he touched it. He glanced to his left in wonder to see a very uncertain looking Gokudera who was still refusing to meet his eyes. "Gokudera, what—"

Before Yamamoto could finish his sentence, Gokudera quickly glanced both ways to make sure no one was coming and then quickly gave Yamamoto a peck on the cheek. It was short and fleeting but Gokudera had done it all the same which left Yamamoto completely shell shocked. He didn't remember a time when the little Italian had ever been so forward.

"Look…um…"The small teen started, finally getting the courage to look his taller companion in the eye. He knew he shouldn't be doing this; that it would be better to just let things go but…he just couldn't stand seeing Yamamoto so disappointed. "I was thinking that…if you behaved yourself tonight then I might let you stay over at my place. If you don't mind, that is."

Yamamoto was practically floored at this. Did Gokudera just invite him to stay overnight? That never happened! He was the one that always had to beg the other even if it was just to hold him! Yamamoto's famous 1000-watt smile slowly grew on his face until it practically became a beacon, his eyes shining with excitement. Maybe, just maybe, Gokudera hadn't been doubting their relationship like he had previously thought. Had he been over-thinking things this whole time? "Really, Gokudera? I can? But it's a school night."

"Stop being an idiot!" was Gokudera's response to the other teen's excitement. He really wished his blush would just go away already! "We won't be at the Tenth's too long and you don't have baseball practice anymore so we don't have to get up too early. Besides, you sleep through class anyway even if you get a good night's sleep!"

"Haha, that's true!" The younger teen confirmed, excitement flowing through his veins at the thought of staying over at Gokudera's. It was here that Yamamoto gave the other a mischievous look, his hazel eyes becoming heated. "So, does that mean we get to finish what we started in the kitchen earlier?"

So many emotions flew across Gokudera's face in that small instance that it left Yamamoto's head spinning. He was certain that he had seen uncertainty and fear flash in the other teen's eyes. Had he been too forward? The raven-haired boy couldn't help but wonder if maybe he should have kept his mouth shut. It was then that Gokudera finally settled on an emotion, giving Yamamoto a stern glare.

"Until I say stop, got it?"

Of course, Yamamoto should have known that Gokudera would say that but that didn't stop the taller teen from feeling the disappointment. Was he expecting too much from the other teen? "Got it. I'll behave, I promise."

With a confirmed nod from Gokudera, Yamamoto reached out and rang the doorbell which signaled Gokudera to move a step away from him. The raven-haired teen frowned slightly as he watched the other teen move away. He knew not to take it personally, that Gokudera was just trying to make it appear to the others that they were just friends, but that didn't mean he had to like it.

With everything that they went through today, Yamamoto couldn't stop himself from feeling confused about the mixed messages Gokudera was sending him. Just what was he to Gokudera, anyway?

A/N: There you have it! An over-terrified Gokudera and an over-thinking Yamamoto; both with doubt in their hearts. Just what will the boy's do in order to solve their problems? Believe me when I say that these two are going to be going on an interesting ride in order to solve this mess, but before that, it's only going to get messier ;) I hope to update the next chapter by the end of September or early October, so stay tuned till then!