They were young. Full of dreams and pride, eyes brightly reflecting the future while their backs were turned to the demons of the past. They had wished upon stars and crossed fingers and toes all while chanting spells, because that was all they needed to succeed.

She was his princess, set on a delicate pedestal for him to admire. He guarded her as any knight should, protecting her gentle heart and fighting for her beautiful dreams. People too cruel for her world were shut out, those evil souls would would risk her happiness quickly extinguished before their dirty hands could soil the tapestry of her hopes.

He did it all because he loved her.

He would promise her in whispers that one day they would live in their own little cottage, set aside near the shore where she could run and laugh and shine without the shadow of Vongola's castle looming at her feet. He gave her a ring that was sealed with their vows, and she gave him her smile that could breathe life into a dying man. And their fairy tale was spun with the silk of naivety and folly, threads easily broken.

They weren't in their house by the sea. She wasn't collecting seashell and he wasn't painting her portrait beneath an umbrella's shade. They were in Hell and she was dead in his arms.

All because he loved her.

He had kept her close, had needed to see her hand on his sleeve before he set out to war. The others had kept lovers and friends at bay, had encouraged distance while he held her to his side and kept her in his sights. If he had sent her away, if he had run, if she hadn't shared his bed in the biggest target their enemies could ask for.

If Giotto hadn't failed.

He had done what he needed to do for his boss. He had fought and bleed and killed and changed the world. Yet Giotto ignored his warning, dismissed his plans. Giotto had betrayed him for the sake of ignorance. And Elena was dead to show for it.

It was Cozzatto. It was the name of Shimon. His need to appear perfect in that man's eyes had lead to their destruction. His need to please the name no one knew had rained the bullets down upon their heads and crushed the foundation of their family. What he did for Elena, Giotto did for Cozzatto. It was only fair to make him understand.

Because he loved her.