Chapter edited 18th April, 2016.

By the time Tsuna and his friends went back into the café to re-join Gokudera and Yamamoto, they were glad to notice that the two seemed to be back on good terms if their peaceful conversation was anything to go by.

"How did it go, guys?" Tsuna and Fran sat next to Gokudera while Mukuro and Bel squeezed in by Yamamoto's side.

"Ah, good, Tsuna." Yamamoto's smile was bright. "We're friends now."

"I'm so glad." Tsuna patted Gokudera's shoulder in appreciation. "Thanks for listening, Gokudera-kun."

"I'm bored." Bel moved closer to Mukuro to snuggle in against the younger's side. He sighed in contentment when the blue-haired male wrapped one arm around his waist and pulled him closer and used his free hand to slowly thread his long digits through golden locks.

Tsuna and Yamamoto watched the older two. They were curious when Mukuro leant down and whispered something to Bel that only the blond could hear before the taller male grabbed what was left of his own meal and passed the plate to the blond to eat, despite the older male having already ordered twice as much food as everyone else in the group combined and devoured it all like a bottomless pit.

"What's up with you two?" Gokudera scrunched his nose up at the oldest two. "Surely you're not dating that freak, Mukuro."

"Kufufufu~" Mukuro's eyes shone mischievously as he tugged his friend against him once more. "I will neither deny that nor confirm it, Hayato."

"Ushishishi~ Yeah, peasants such as yourselves don't need to know what we get up to~" Bel's grin widened for a few seconds before he let out a large yawn. He laid down on his side so that he could rest his head in Mukuro's lap and close his eyes as he was comforted by the other's fingers still dancing through his hair.

Gokudera didn't want to hear anymore; either the two were just really, really close friends or they actually were together – either way, he still felt disgusted as he didn't like either of the males. He was quick to change the subject. "I have to get some more food for Uri. Does anyone want to come for a walk?"

Yamamoto was the first to volunteer with a hopeful glint in his eyes; he wasn't too sure if the smaller teenager wanted him to go or not, but he could only offer and see what happens, right? To the younger's surprise, Gokudera smiled before he nodded. "Why not? Are you coming, Tenth?"

Tsuna shook his head, not wanting to get in the way of his friends' budding friendship. "I'm gonna hang around with Mukuro and Belphegor for a while. I'll see you guys later."

Yamamoto was cheerful as he got to his feet and moved to the smaller teenager's side. He wrapped his arm around Gokudera's shoulders the same way he always did with Tsuna, happier than he had been in a while – he could finally spend some time with Gokudera without having to feel stressed.

"Yo, Gokudera," Yamamoto started in an overly happy tone, "afterwards, can I come over and meet your cat?"

The silver-haired teenager was uncomfortable about bringing someone other than Tsuna home, not used to such a thing – he really didn't know what to do or how to act. But… It was only Yamamoto, and he was starting to trust the other… Surely it wouldn't hurt…

"…I…" Gokudera frowned as he tried to explain. "…I have never really had people over before…"

"That's okay." Yamamoto smiled. "Anything else you want to do while we're in town? I was thinking we could go play a bit of baseball; would you mind if I taught you how to play?"

The truth was that Gokudera was far from a sporty type of person, but with the happy look on Yamamoto's face, he couldn't help but nod. "Sure… But I want to stop at home first so I can feed Uri."

Yamamoto was cheerful as he nodded; he was smart enough to recognise that this was the other's way of inviting him over. "No problem, Gokudera."

There was a comfortable silence between them as they walked together, neither of them needing constant chatter, and the only thing that was ruining the moment was that unshakable feeling of being watched. Neither teenager mentioned the feeling, both believing it to be nothing of importance – it had been happening for weeks now and nothing had come of it; it was surely just their imaginations, right?

Gokudera's hair looks so soft… Yamamoto smiled dreamily as he fought the urge to reach out and touch the silver strands; he didn't to make his friend uncomfortable. I wonder if he'll ever let me touch it; I know physical contact makes him nervous.

Yamamoto had been so lost in his thoughts, he almost walked into Gokudera when the smaller male stopped outside of the pet shop. He chuckled sheepishly as he scratched the back of his head, apologising with a laugh.

Idiot… Gokudera couldn't help but smile at the thought.

Yamamoto couldn't explain how relieved he was to know that the smaller male wasn't mad at him for his mistake. He relaxed, having never thought he'd be standing here in peaceful bliss with his crush.

Gokudera was quiet as he gathered the necessities and paid for them with money Yamamoto wasn't sure how he got; the older teenager didn't have a job, or even a family to supply him with money apart from his sister.

Once again, the peaceful feeling washed over them as they walked back to Gokudera's apartment.

He's actually tolerable now that I've given him the chance… Gokudera could almost kick himself for not having done this sooner; he was enjoying the younger's presence almost as much as Tsuna's. I wonder… if it would really be so bad in having a relationship with him… Would he stand for a trial date? Or would he take it all too seriously?

But what if we did become boyfriends…? What happens next…? I've never dated anyone before, and I don't know what to do… What if I mess up…? It's frightening to think that after letting someone through my walls, I could lose them because of how socially awkward I am…

If I take the chance and blow it, what happens? Would everything be for nought? …But this is Yamamoto! …I… I honestly… feel as if… no matter what I screw up… He'll understand…

Gokudera glanced up at the teen walking beside him. He felt his insides warm in a shy manner as he watched Yamamoto hum happily as he smiled at a butterfly that had landed on his outstretched finger.

Yamamoto honestly… is far too gentle to hurt a fly… Gokudera felt a tad more confident at the realisation, knowing that if he were to practise his social skills with anyone, Yamamoto was the best – the dark-haired male took everything in stride and rarely became upset with anyone.

Gokudera trusted his gut that was now screaming let Yamamoto in at him. He swallowed thickly as he realised that was exactly what he was trying to do – and though it didn't come as naturally as it did with Tsuna, whatever he was doing was working.

Is it… that I really do return his feelings…? If it is… it actually feels pretty good.

~~Gokudera's apartment~~

Just like with Tsuna, Uri wasn't a violent beast towards Yamamoto like he was with his owner. Yamamoto laughed at the disappointment on his friend's face as he stroked the purring cat in his lap happily; it was adorable how jealous the other could become over such little things.

Gokudera had finally relaxed, and he had decided that they could hang out at his apartment before they went to the baseball nets; he was trying to get the hang of having a friend over; while his friendship and undying loyalty to Tsuna came so naturally, he truly had no idea how he was supposed to socialise with anyone else, especially in his home.

The silver-haired teenager was sprawled out on the couch as he watched a documentary on the TV about Nessie, while Yamamoto sat on the floor next to him, playing with the cat happily. It wasn't until the taller male went to get up to grab a drink, and at the same time Gokudera leant down to pick up Uri, did they realise how close their faces had unintentionally become. Yamamoto could feel his crush's hot breath on his lips and, if he leant forward just the slightest, he could close the gap between their lips.

Gokudera was shocked by the unexpected proximity, but part of him wanted to press their lips together and find out what it was like to kiss someone – the other, more sane part of him was almost too afraid, scared that he would ruin whatever it was between him and Yamamoto.

Yamamoto, as if sensing his friend's anxiousness, was the one to initiate things.

The taller male leant forward so that he could ghost his lips over pale ones, and even with such a tiny kiss, he had honestly never felt so good in his life – and when Gokudera pressed back against him, he felt as if sparks were flying. Everything was so… so… perfect.

Yamamoto reached up to grip at the blue jacket his crush wore and pulled the other student off the couch and into his lap. They sat on the floor, Gokudera in Yamamoto's lap with strong arms wrapped around him, as they continued pressing their lips together with the inexperience that came with sharing first kisses.

Gokudera opened his mouth, willing to let Yamamoto invade his wet cavern but, just before the dark-haired boy could do so, the ringing of Gokudera's phone broke them apart. Muttering a soft 'Sorry…' to Yamamoto, the usually-angry teenager answered the call that he could see was from Tsuna.

"What's up?" Gokudera asked casually. He expected for the brunet to be asking where they were so they could meet up – but when loud sobs and shouting in the background could be heard, he started to panic. "T-tenth?!"

"G-gokudera-kun…" Tsuna continued to sob over the line. A soft whimper escaped his lips at a particularly loud bang that even Yamamoto could hear. "G-gokudera-kun, I-I… It's…"

"Where are you?" Gokudera stood up, ready to find his best friend and protect him with his life if need be.

"…B-bel's house…" Tsuna whispered, almost as if he were hiding from someone. "There's… There's blood everywhere…"

It was then everything made sense to Gokudera; the constant feeling of being watched, why Bel had hinted at but never outright said he and his family had left Italy in a state of emergency, why said boy was a nutcase – and the feelings of being watched had started the day he had met Bel.

Right now, Gokudera had to be the best friend that he could be and protect his beloved Tenth.

"C'mon!" Gokudera was already halfway to the front door as he shouted back for Yamamoto to follow him. "Something's wrong!"

This explains everything… Yamamoto, like his friend, had quickly summed it all together and, with all the strength he could muster, he would do whatever it took to protect his friends.