Atomic Number 6: Carbon

"Uni, are you coming over today?"

"I would love to, Gamma. Are you sure I won't be a bother?"

"Nah, it'll just be me and Aria tonight-hey wait, Aria!- Momma and Daddy are going on a date! Come over, Uniiiii!- wait, Aria, you'll fall off! Ah-!"

There was a sound of something hitting the ground, and Uni couldn't help but giggle. Without a doubt, it must be Aria hitting the ground from flailing around too much on Gamma's lap. To be honest, Uni loved Gamma the most when he was surrounded by children. They met each other on a charity day in Millefiore orphanage, after all.

"-so she said. Are you coming over?"

"I'll be there as soon as I finish my errand, okay? I love you."

There was a slight gasp and a sound of 'I love you she saaaiiiiiid!' by Aria, so she assumed Gamma must have blushed. Uni giggled to her phone once more. "Y-yeah, love you too, Princess." This time, it was Uni's turn to blush. She loved it when Gamma's rich baritone called her with that pet name. She only lets Byakuran and Gamma to refer her as Princess.

She hung up her phone after saying 'I love you' to Aria as well. The smile on her face was gone immediately, replaced by a somber frown.

Even as a doctor, Uni always hated the Intensive Care Unit. It reminded her of her mistakes, of what could have been, of what she should have done. It made her regret tons of things without actually having a way to fix it.

"Doctor Romano," a nurse greeted her with a clipboard on her hands. "Any changes?" She asked as she looked over the clipboard. "No, nothing significant. She is as tranquil as always, but..."

"She's getting weaker, isn't she?" Uni's voice was cracking, but she refused to cry. After all, everyone knew just how much tears she had wasted for this. "I'm sorry, doctor..." The girl apologized. Uni shook her head.

"I'll see her, leave us alone. Don't let anyone in except Byakuran, okay?"

"Yes, doctor."

Uni entered the room, a sad yet understanding gaze on her face. Her heart always seemed to revert back to her childhood days. She was so fragile, yet so strong. Byakuran told her that she was so mature on her childhood days that Byakuran wasn't even sure which of them were the older one.

But within this room, she was always...

"Uni...?" She always sounded so kind, so understanding. The one who gave her her life, the one who smiled at her, coddled her, and yet the one who she had...

Uni was trusting, naive, even. She trusted the best out of everyone and anyone, she could get pick-pocketed and still think that it was a goodwill for the pickpocket. And yet, when she made that mistake...

"Sweetie? Don't stand so far away, come here..." Her voice was so low, it was barely a whisper. Uni scampered her off to her bed and fell on her bosom. "Mom..."

Sepira Romano, that was her mother's name. Uni didn't know if Sepira was her real mother or not, and she realized that she didn't really care. This woman had raised her, loved her, and showed her the world.

Only Sepira could make Uni cry and breakdown like she was just a child, and Uni was proud of that fact.

"They say I'm getting weaker by the day... odd, I certainly don't feel weak when I see your face." Sepira's blue eyes were warm and kind, and Uni felt her tears pooling as she sobbed lightly to her mother's bosom. "Mom... you can't die before I avenge you! I swear I'll get that chemist to make me a bomb strong enough to blow Checkerface into oblivion! So please don't die on me...!" She was begging her not to die. She really was.

Uncle Reborn always told her that her mother will never ever think twice about dying. It wasn't that she had given up, it was just that she had accepted her fate. If she dies, she died. That was it. Her mother won't struggle, or curse the world, she would just die in peace and welcome death like it was her old friend. But Uni won't do that.

She didn't want her mother to die, precisely the reason why she discarded her naivety away.

"Oh Uni, dear Uni... come here my love, come here." Sepira hugged her tighter. "It is not your fault, sweetheart. It's not your fault."

"But, I let- Checkerface..!"

"It's alright, sweetie. Just... just stay with me, okay? I always feel better you come to visit me. Byakuran too. Both of you are my sweet, sweet children..."

Sepira had always loved both of them. Whether it was her, or the child she had picked up from the street. She raised them both, only to find out that Byakuran was the one and only heir of the enormous Gesso enterprises. That was why Byakuran loved them so much, women of the Romano family were his true family, after all.

Uni stayed with Sepira until she fell asleep with a smile on her face, a rather rare sight for everyone who knew her. Uni was always so very kind and sweet for other people, but she was always hard on herself, after all.

Sepira patted her beloved daughter's hair, taking one of the spare blankets she had in the drawer and put it over her daughter's body. "If only... time would just stay like this..." She mumbled tears trickled down her happy face.

Not a few seconds after that, the door opened with its usual creak, although it was much noisier than Uni's entrance earlier. Sepira wiped the tears on her face and opened her arms. "Mom! You're awake!" Byakuran greeted her enthusiastically, putting the bouquet of lily on her bedside table before hugging her with a grin on her face. "Uni-chan fell asleep?" He asked, using the very language Sepira had grown terribly attached to, the language of her love. "Yes she did... She must've been working hard..."

Byakuran sighed, but then smiled fondly to Uni before taking a seat on the other side of the floor. "Byakuran?" Sepira asked, slightly puzzled by her son's behavior. The leader of Millefiore enterprises put his head on top of Sepira's lap and smiled. "It's been too long since we slept together! All three of us!"

Tears leaked even more from Sepira's eyes, but she couldn't word just how happy she was here, with her daughter and son beside her...

She was really glad, even when she knew that these moments will be taken away from her- them in the near future.

~A Certain Wimpy Stuntman's Maelstrom~

His desk was still as he remembered it to be: an orderly chaos. Test tubes were cluttering all around, but not without any order. Lab reports, chemistry books and many many request (which he was sure Gokudera-kun had sorted and sorted and sorted before it actually made it to his desk) for his job. A warm smile spread on Tsuna's lips as he took a seat in his comfortable office chair, sinking to the black cushions as he opened the drawers to check his personal supplies.

And of course, they were still there. Chrome and Gokudera-kun must've taken care of everything in his absence. He took a deep breath and reached for his glasses on his lab coat. "Just like the good old days..." he murmured fondly in Japanese, he was finally back home.

Well, to be fair, it wasn't entirely home though. Home would be three different places now. Home was Skull-san's condo, where his lover lived and loved him. Home was where he would cuddle with Skull-san until morning over a cheap sci-fi movie. Home was Giotto and Nene's- Mum and Dad's penthouse, where the three of them would speak to one another about their everyday life on the couch just by the fireplace. Home was his office here, in the Sicilia Scuola Pubblica...

And for someone who didn't have a place to belong only a few months ago, Tsuna was extremely happy.

Alas, happiness didn't mean that he liked having to go over papers just to find which job interest him enough to actually do them. He trusted Gokudera-kun to filter everything that would earn a huge stamp of boredom out of the way, so...

A substance that was similar to Mammon's Misty Illusion- boring.

Basic nitroglycerine- boring.

A conference about explosive- boring.

Vindice Workshop- bor- oh.

Tsuna immediately shifted his gaze to the calendar, noting that it was already January. Oh gods, he'd been so out of it lately. Vindice Workshop would be in two weeks already...

Well, not a big deal if he could actually work without being interrupted. Maybe get some phantom members from the science clubs (all of them basically threw themselves at the chance to meet him anyways) all around and his job would be done.

He carefully placed the black file, staring at the silver eagle that decorated its top. That was odd. The instigator for Vindice Workshop were the Vindice, so it should be the usual black eagle emblem, but this time, it was silver...

Tsuna leaned forward, straightening his glasses up his nose bridge as he carefully opened the file to inspect it in detail. Odd. Odd. Odd. Maybe he should ask the chairman later.

The procedure wasn't like the usual ones. Normally, Vindice Workshop would be organized like one would do a small conference. But this time, it was requested to be made as a live-laboratory where the guests would be able to participate in the practical tests as well. With proper equipments and funds... well, let's just say that everyone would be able to have a gander at Tsuna's radioactive toys.

Maybe it wasn't the Vindice, maybe it was funded by someone else. But who...? It was called the Vindice Workshop for a reason, no? Suddenly, a letter slipped out from one of the files. It was wrapped in a black expensive envelope with the silver eagle holding a checkered ribbon embroidered at the front. Tsuna eyed the later for a few moments before finally deciding that it was good enough for him to open.

Dearest Tsunayoshi Vongola,

It has come to my attention that you are dealing with your personal life at the moment, and I would like to express my sincerest congratulations for your mother and father's marriage. Giotto Vongola and Nene Vongola must be proud of you.

Formalities aside, let us introduce ourselves as the men who had decided to take over the Vindice Workshop for the year, trying out one of our own precious concepts. Lord Bermuda von Vichtenstein has of course, given us the permission to do so. We hereby request you to turn our fantasy into reality. Should you accept, we will get in further contact with you and the rest of your lab crews about the materials we would display.

Best Regards,


There was another point that caught Tsuna's interest than the 'precious concept' that was the main point of this letter. And it was the way his name was written. He had put that name in his blog, yes, but he still hadn't made anything official. He'd been debating whether or not he wanted to change his name to Tsunayoshi Vongola, but no, he hadn't made any decision yet. Surely an official letter won't address something as important as one's name carelessly... unless they knew that Giotto-san and Nene-san were his parents in absolute certainty.

Currently, the only people who knew about his true parentage had been Skull-san, Reborn-ojisan, the Sawadas, and the Lavernias, along with Uncle Vanitas ("you're Dante's lover, aren't ya? Feel free to call me uncle too. On a second thought, call me Uncle" had been said with such a sweetly threatening voice Tsuna made no move to refuse). But they'd never disclose anything as private as that, not with the incoming issue of MotoCelebrity discussing about Skull-san's true parentage.

"Maybe I should ask Bermuda-san if he knew anything about this letter..." The chemist sighed as he read the letter once more, trying to pick up if there was any underlying meanings beneath the simple letter.

After five times of rereading the letter, Tsuna exhaled deeply and decided to put the letter into the drawer in case it will need his attention later on. The chemist leaned back to his armchair and stared at the white ceiling. "Okay then..." He reached for his cell phone and dialed Gokudera-kun's number.

"Yes, Tenth?"

"Call on all members of the Laboratory, we will take on Vindice Workshop and we will need to hurry with it."

"Yes sir!"

Tsuna closed his eyes and took a deep breath. If he was going to take on Vindice Workshop the way he did it last year, he would have to work for two weeks straight in the laboratory. It wasn't a viable option now though, since he knew just how much of a nerve wreck Skull-san would be if he didn't come home for two weeks. And not to mention how his Dad would worry and even come to school to search for him, something Tsuna was never fond of.

Maybe he could work at home? He was sure that Skull-san wouldn't mind if he bring some of his things (non-radioactive ones obviously) home and work on the kitchen. His fridge were full of things he could explore as well, it wasn't such a bad option...

Oh, Tsuna could invite his Mum to come and look at his researches as well! Maybe she could help with many things, such as coming up with an interactive piece for the entire workshop to enjoy. Maybe they could create low powered explosives together... or make a gun that shoots out fireworks instead of bullets. Skull-san was a physics major, maybe he could help when he wasn't so busy.

A warm smile wormed to Tsuna's lips as he thought of it. It seemed like a dream come true to ever associate the word 'Mum' to something as fun and warm as a experiment. He was really living the dream...

"Excuse me, Chief of Laboratory, may I come in?"

A chime of clear and Italian-accented English snapped Tsuna away from his reverie and he realized that Rillianne Roselli was in front of the door, smiling shyly. The chemist nodded and let her in.

The last time Tsuna saw her, she wasn't shy like this around him. He piped up his concern as he stood up and serve her a can of diet coke from his fridge. "Is there something bothering you, Rilli?"

"Ah, no, it's just that... is it true that you're dating the Immortal Skull?" Red colored Tsuna's cheeks as the blond asked her with such a sincere question. He wasn't really used to people asking him of his relationship, unless it was the faraway paparazzi who shouted their question instead of asking him as sincerely as Rillianne Roselli just did.

Tsuna nodded. "Yes, I am d-dating him." He faltered, but smiled widely anyway. The Italian girl beamed at him and uttered a sincere word of congratulations. Tsuna thanked her before taking a deep breath and returned to his serious demeanor.

"Please tell me why are you here for, Rillianne."

There was a smile on her face before she took out a brown-colored A4 envelope and handed it to the brunet.

"Here are the complete effects of your liquefied Mammon's Misty Illusion when consumed by humans." She grinned, as if proud with her achievement. Brown eyes widened in excitement as he took the envelope and smiled in satisfaction. What a pleasant surprise. "Thank you, Rillianne."

Rillianne stood up from her seat and went over to the door, obviously understanding the look of pure bliss and curiosity on the professor's face. "Oh, and Chief," she called once more, earning a hum of question from the chemist. "The Vongola and CEDEF are withdrawing from the bounty placed on your head. And give my regards to Immortal Skull, okay? Ciao!"

Ah, the bounty...

Tsuna had really forgotten all about it.

"What a happy time to be alive..." The professor opened the brown envelope and started to read Rillianne Roselli's report on the effects of Mammon's Misty Illusions.

"This definitely have to make it on the Workshop."


Eleventh Stunt: Showbiz

In which the media was shown another side of the Immortal Skull.

Next chapter is about Skull having to deal with the media's reaction of his confession in MotoCelebrity! And of course folks are curious about how the Immortal Skull could ever manage to land himself in a relationship with the brilliant young chemist of Sicilia. Could Skull maintain his suave personality in front of the camera? Find out!

AND IS IT REALLY OVER A YEAR SINCE I UPDATED? WHOA MAN I DIDN'T REALIZE AT ALL! I hope there are still people reading this...

P.S: This fic finally become those type of fics with shit tons of words that ended in a (sorta) cliffhanger that hadn't been updated in a year... I'm... touched.

Review fuels this depressed writer's heart and desire so please leave one!