-Internationally Wanted Criminals-
Chapter Two: The First Strike
Sunday 7th of April
(One week before Serge's lectures)
Coltello Famiglia Headquarters, Italy
Hibari glared at the idiot in front of him, pointedly ignoring the herbivores behind him with their guns and tasers. They were of little worry; he had trained with the baby often enough that guns didn't pose a problem and no taser could ever match the stupid cow on a bad day.
"Talk," Hibari hissed.
The fat herbivore – the Coltello boss, though he was as much a Coltello by blood as Hibari was a Cavallone – spluttered and clawed at the hand around his throat, his body rocking as he tried to balance on his toes. His eyes looked anywhere but at Hibari. The Cloud Guardian stared at him for a moment before he realised that maybe the man wasn't talking because he couldn't, not because he wouldn't. Hibari held on for a moment longer, just for the sake of it, before lessening his grip slightly.
Coltello coughed, spit flecking Hibari's hand. Hibari glared. This thing didn't even deserve to be called a herbivore; worm was a much better name.
"Why— Why should I tell you anything?" Coltello stuttered around his still-restricted airflow. "Vongola bastard—"
Hibari slammed Coltello back into the wall behind him, effectively shutting the man up and choking off his remaining air supply. There were shouts from behind Hibari but he just continued to ignore the crowding herbivores. They would get their due soon enough.
Coltello was started to turn blue from oxygen deprivation when Hibari finally loosened his grip again, but only enough to let the man live.
"Talk or die, herbivore."
Coltello tried to smirk but it came out more as a pained grimace. "I don't know anything—"
Hibari simply slammed the man's head back into the wall again.
"What do you want!?" Coltello demanded. His voice was a lot higher and shakier than he had probably meant it to be. "I keep saying—"
"The mercenaries," Hibari clarified. He leant right in, narrowed eyes boring into Coltello's from only a few centimetres away. "Where are they from? Who do they work for? Why are they targeting the Vongola?"
Coltello actually seemed to take a moment to consider the questions, but then he started shaking his head. "I don't know—"
"You are the information dealer," Hibari snarled. "You know. So talk."
The hint of defiance in the man's eyes as he pretended to not be scared out of his mind was so irritating. Obviously he knew something but wasn't willing to tell. Whether that was because of loyalty or blackmail or some other kind of leverage Hibari didn't know and didn't care. He just needed the information.
Once upon a time Hibari had thought herbivores were annoying. In the last few years though he had decided they were a lot better than mafioso, particularly dons. Hibari now figured that most mafioso were just suicidal idiots. Coltello was obviously part of that group since he was trying to withhold information from Hibari. How he expected this to end in anything but disaster Hibari had no idea.
Hibari gave up.
The cry of pain the stupid boss made when his head slammed into the wall again was almost satisfying. Almost.
The scream when Hibari broke the man's leg with a well-placed kick was much more rewarding.
Hand once again around Coltello's throat, having removed it for the kick, Hibari leant back into the man's space.
"Why. Are. They. Attacking. Us?" Hibari growled, voice low and dangerous.
Coltello glared. His eyes finally met Hibari's with his own pain-hazed gaze.
"I. Don't. Know," Coltello hissed back, breath short.
Then his hands dropped from their death grip on Hibari's wrist, suspiciously fast and precise, and his fingers curled into what was obviously a signal.
Hibari whirled to the side just in time for the spray of bullets to miss him – and his captive. Unfortunately Sawada had made him promise not to kill anyone, accidentally or not.
Hibari had only agreed when the baby made it a challenge.
One arm around the idiot's throat, Hibari backed against a non-bullet-riddled piece of wall. Coltello was now a human shield between the Cloud and Coltello's henchmen, and Hibari watched the herbivores waver. Some of them seemed to be trying to decide between taking a shot and risking hitting their boss or biding their time. A few even looked like they might be willing to surrender. But then their boss waved a hand again they all straightened up, guns aimed at any part of Hibari they could see. Which wasn't much, really, considering how big their boss was.
Hibari let his eyes flicker over the gunmen in assessment – no, still no danger there – before turning his attention back to Coltello. He was willing to give the man one more chance, but that was it.
"Talk," he demanded.
Coltello, as hard as he tried to hide it, was plainly quivering in fear. His plan had failed and now he had not only a Vongola Guardian at his back but also two dozen guns pointing his way. He was obviously terrified. Coltello was, after all, first and foremost an information dealer. His famiglia rarely ever fought, much less him personally, and while threats were common he wasn't used to dealing with such overt violence right in his very home. He apparently hadn't even planned for such a situation, and now he was suffering the consequences.
Additionally, information dealers typically didn't last very long anyway. Coltello had been in the business a surprisingly long time and he was probably aware that his tenure was due to end. Whether that would happen at the hands of an enemy or one of his own men looking for a promotion he couldn't know, but his current situation definitely wasn't looking good for either option.
Hibari growled. "Talk," he repeated.
Coltello didn't respond. His lips pressed together until they lost their colour and his head shook in one final, obstinate defiance.
A second later, Coltello crumpled to the ground. Blood started to flow from the dint where Hibari's tonfa had impacted, but Hibari didn't care. He simply stepped out from behind the unconscious boss, ignoring the way Coltello's head smacked into the wall as his body slumped even further, and raised his tonfa to confront Coltello's minions.
Startled cries quickly turned to angry shouts but before any of them even had the chance to shoot Hibari was already moving.
Men fell like dominos as Hibari moved through their ranks. There were clicks as some of the stupider mafioso flicked their safeties off then a cacophony of noise as bullets started ricocheting around the room.
Windows shattered, furniture exploded and mafioso fell under friendly fire. Hibari didn't even get scratched, dodging swiftly even as his tonfa flashed dangerously. Soon enough half the room was unconscious or howling in pain.
A taser managed to catch on a tonfa. Hibari actually paused for a moment to stare. Then he spun his tonfa, reeling in the wire and the man still holding the taser, and smashed the herbivore over the head as soon as he was within reach. Hibari sneered at the man's body as he moved past. No one in the Vongola was stupid enough to have conductive weapons except the Lightning Flame users. Everyone else had learnt their lesson when they fought one and got fried.
It didn't take long until Hibari was lost in the sensations of battle. Here he could let go and just fight. It felt amazing.
Hibari ducked a swing at his head then brought a tonfa around to slam into the man's stomach. He spun to avoid a bullet and used the momentum to smash the side of the man's head with the other tonfa. The mafioso collapsed with a sickening crunch.
A woman stepped up behind him, dagger in each hand. Hibari blocked the first strike and shattered her wrist on the next. He ducked another swipe then struck her in the solar plexus. She went down wheezing for breath. Hibari knocked her out with a blow to the head.
Another man stepped up, gun in hand. Hibari ducked, swung, dodged, struck. Swung, kicked, dodged, hit. Spun to the right, swung, dodged, rolled, smashed. Ducked, struck, whirled—
The room was still. All the Coltello mafioso lay collapsed on the floor in various states of pain or unconsciousness. As far as Hibari could tell no one was dead – yet – but he mostly didn't care. The fight had been vaguely interesting but only because of the numbers. It certainly hadn't been satisfying.
Hibari checked the room. The furniture was absolutely destroyed but the room itself was mostly intact, minus the shattered windows and bullet-riddled walls. Basil would appreciate that; he hated having to sift through ruins for whatever he was looking for.
Speaking of Basil…
Hibari flicked his tonfas to remove some of the still-wet blood then reached into a pocket to retrieve his cell phone. Two minutes later CEDEF had been notified and were on their way to clean up and search the manor. Usually Vongola minions would have that job but Sawada had explained that this was mainly a CEDEF matter. They had just needed someone to help them get into the Coltello manor and subdue all the mafioso inside.
Hibari hadn't jumped to agree but he hadn't exactly argued either.
Two hours later Basil's minions had finished clearing the unconscious bodies from the building – all one hundred of them. Some rookies had stared askance at the two dozen bodies draped over the bushed below the boss's office but had quickly moved on. They all knew it was better not to question the Vongola's Cloud Guardian. It was easiest to just leave the explaining to whichever poor sod had to include in the written report that Hibari had cleaned up, when asked to help, by chucking people out of second-floor windows.
Coltello himself had been quickly bundled into a secure van and was on his way to CEDEF headquarters to be questioned. Once they were done with him he would most likely be dropped off at the local Guardia station by Haru. She had grown up to be exceedingly skilled at espionage; her costumes and disguises had thankfully become much more believable. She had also become fast friends with Lussuria and the two spent their time together discussing fashion, gossiping and 'decorating' enemies to be dropped off at the Guardia station.
The glee those two found in wrapping up enemies like particularly gaudy Christmas presents and dropping them at the station was something Hibari didn't ever want to understand. Nor anyone else.
Hibari was the last person to leave Coltello's mansion. He prowled through each room one last time just in case something had been missed, but it wasn't until a small sitting room off the foyer that he found anything.
On his way out, just before he stepped through the door, Hibari caught a flash of light in the corner of his eye. It was barely noticeable, hidden as it was up in the corner of the ceiling, but a mirror that had been shifted earlier was now in just the right place to reflect sunlight onto the tiny camera lens.
Hibari stopped and stared at the camera. All such devices were supposed to have been destroyed by CEDEF as soon as they arrived but somehow this one had been overlooked. There wasn't much point in destroying it now but Hibari would have to mention it in his report. That made him frown. More paperwork was always annoying.
Then an idea came to mind. Hibari felt his lips twitch upwards into a miniscule smirk but he didn't bother suppressing it. He knew just what would make this mission much more satisfying.
Hibari sauntered out of the sitting room and into the foyer, eyes taking one last look around at the opulent double staircase with gold detailing and the previously art-covered walls - CEDEF had taken all the paintings. Then, wicked smirk still in place, Hibari pulled out a Box Weapon, lit his ring with Cloud Flames and punched the ring into the box's opening.
The Flames flared, spiked then cleared. A small hedgehog with fierce metal spikes appeared instead, balanced precariously in Hibari's hand and squeaking excitedly. Roll's gaze was adoring and Hibari let his smirk shift into an almost-smile just for the little creature.
Hibari patted it on the head with one finger, watching as Roll pushed his head into the touch. Then, slowly and deliberately, his finger moved along Roll's back to hover over the point of a spike. Roll froze and Hibari pressed his finger down until the metal spike just broke the skin. A drop of blood welled up then fell, sliding down the spike until it hit Roll's back.
Roll screeched, high pitched and terrified. Hibird, having turned up with CEDEF and slept in Hibari's hair since, joined in after being startled awake. Then the hedgehog's spikes started to grow, the metal expanding outwards as they doubled then tripled in size.
Hibari crouched and gently set Roll down on the ground, giving it a soft push towards the middle of the house. Roll stumbled, tottered, then, when it realised that Hibari wasn't running, it shrieked started to run away, soon switching to floating along as its spikes got too big.
Hibird fluttered around Hibari's head chanting, "Roll smash, Roll smash!" repeatedly as the Cloud Guardian stood. Hibari smirked at the sounds of splintering wood as Roll's spikes started to crush the staircases. Then, still-bloody tonfas held by his sides, he walked out the front door.
Vongola Headquarters, Italy
It was sad, Tsuna thought, that one of the worst parts of being a mafia boss was the paperwork. Not the worst, definitely, but it was one of the most annoying aspects. And it was never ending.
Tsuna sighed and leaned back in his seat, flexing his fingers and rotating his wrist to get rid of the cramps. He was about halfway through that day's stack and he completely sick of it. It didn't help that he was finding it hard to focus. Basil had offered to send him constant updates on Hibari's mission but Tsuna had known it would just distract him from his work so he had asked Hibari to ring when he was done instead. Unfortunately that had backfired and Tsuna had spent the whole time worrying instead of working.
Thankfully Basil had sent him a text anyway when Hibari had called CEDEF in. That had been two hours ago though. Now Tsuna was just waiting for the final call. And if Tsuna knew Basil's people as well as he thought he did, that call should be coming in right… about…
Tsuna picked up the phone after the third ring, holding it to his ear silently as per protocol. Never speak first, never introduce yourself over the phone - Reborn had hammered that rule into him very early on.
A wide grin broke across Tsuna's face at the familiar Japanese. It was an old habit, speaking Japanese on the phone, but Tsuna had gotten it past Reborn by claiming it was a security precaution. Not that they had fooled Reborn even for a second but he had agreed anyway so Tsuna counted it as a win. Hibari had actually thanked Tsuna in his own way; by sending through a packet of information Foundation had dug up on someone Tsuna was trying to track down. Hibari absolutely hated speaking anything other than Japanese but even he was susceptible to Reborn's persuasion techniques so he had appreciated not being forced to speak Italian, even if it was just on the phone and during meetings. Not that he would ever say it out loud.
"Thanks," Tsuna replied. "Well done."
A quiet hum then the dial tone was his only answer but the Vongola boss didn't mind. The fact that he had managed to say three words and actually gotten any response from Hibari at all was pretty good going.
After a moment to mentally file that mission as complete so his mind would stop worrying, Tsuna slid the ridiculously high-tech and high-security mobile back into his pocket. He let himself be distracted for a moment by the birds playing in the trees outside his office window, envious of their lack of responsibilities. Then he shook himself, cracked his fingers and turned back to the stacks of paperwork awaiting him on his desk.
Above him, hidden in the crawl-space between floors that housed all the wires and pipes, a fedora-wearing hitman smirked and shimmied back into an airduct. The mission being completed successfully was good but Tsuna had wasted seventy-eight seconds staring into space. He would have to be punished for that.
Hi! Thanks to all who reviewed the last chapter. I still haven't replied to everyone yet but I'll try to do that soon. I'm at uni atm (I had a 6 hour break today! I'm dying of boredom!) and I have class soon.
Thanks also to BBLimits for help with the Italian side of things (hence the name change from to Coltello) and Ziaw, again, for the betaing! There's not much different in this chapter compared to the original, just more words really. (Is the second scene new? I don't even remember anymore.) And I'm not as happy with it as some others but anyway. Please let me know if you see any mistakes!