Chrome swore under her breath as she worked her makeshift lockpick. Theoretically it should not be difficult to escape from the guest room Katou Julie had been foolish enough to leave her in and rejoin her Family. The lock on her door, however, was giving her considerably more trouble than that Shimon lecher had, and the soft wire that strung the seat of the armchair had never been meant for this use.
There’s something about him, though, Mukuro murmured in the back of her head, and a memory of Katou flickered in her mind’s eye.
Besides having an ego bigger than he clearly thinks his cazzo is? she asked tartly as the wire slipped yet again.
Laughter. Such language from my innocent little Chrome!
She rolled her eyes.
You played him beautifully, he assured her. As always. But I want to know what that oddness in him is; see how much you can draw him out when he returns.
Chrome wrinkled her nose, but agreed. It was nothing she hadn’t done before, after all.
She had to bite back considerably stronger words when Katou pushed open the door, barely missing her nose, and her wire jammed completely. But, looking up to meet opaque, distant eyes over that annoying smirk, she felt a moment of chill and drew a little tighter into herself, wondering if Mukuro was right.
Chrome grumbled silently as she pulled on the stockings of her new uniform, slowly because her abdomen still ached from Spade’s little “demonstration”. There’s no need for this. He thinks we’re separated, and I’m enspelled. He doesn’t guard himself at all. I could take care of him at once.
Mukuro wrapped tighter around her soul, an iron grip holding her out of the abyss that opened up the moment Spade’s power had touched her, and murmured, Before he could abandon that body he holds? He’s careless, yes, but far from unskilled.
Chrome tightened her lips, stuffing her feet into her new boots. She wanted her own boots. And her proper uniform. And she wanted to cut off the hands of the creature who dared touch her, and she wouldn’t mind too terribly if she got the hands of Shimon’s philanderer instead of Spade’s.
But her Boss would mind. And it was Spade Mukuro wanted. She pulled the annoyingly innumerable buckles tight and said nothing.
Mukuro twined his presence around her silence, purring to her, Lull this arrogant first Mist of the Vongola for me. In time he will be ours.
It wasn’t difficult.
Chrome had never danced a waltz, but she imagined that what she and Mukuro did was what it would feel like. As he stepped back, she stepped forward. As he stepped forward, she stepped back. Always in unison, turning and turning on this floor that was her body. It wasn’t difficult at all to dance the same steps with Spade, drawing back far enough for his will to direct her body. It wasn’t difficult, but it was completely different.
This time, Mukuro was pressed against her back and took just the same steps she did; she could almost feel his arms along her own, directing them both lightly, familiar and close. That was the only thing that kept her from pulling back completely in disgust from the too-thick, clay-like chill of Spade’s presence.
It wasn’t difficult, but she didn’t like it at all.
Even with Mukuro’s constant whisper of support, she kept far enough back that her expression went slack and her eyes went blank, but Spade didn’t seem to think that odd.
Sloppy, Mukuro remarked, watching over her shoulder as Suzuki fought Hibari. He’s let himself lapse into complacency, into thinking the world will go just as he wills it. I doubt he’s at all sane any longer; not surprising if he’s been disembodied all this time. He snorted as Chrome stirred against him, close enough to taste her flash of wry comparison. I’m quite sane, little one, merely enraged.
This close, Chrome could feel the heat of that constant rage, soothing and familiar, binding them closer the longer she endured Spade’s clumsy possession. The promise in it, of cleansing fire to end all this, warmed her heart.
Chrome stiffened inside herself when Spade finally stepped forward and confronted with her fellow Guardians, pulling her along. Mukuro-sama? she asked, tensed. If any time was the moment to strike, surely this was it, when Spade would be distracted. Ideally, before Hibari finished brushing aside Sawada’s protests and attacked her to break the containment she held around them. She didn’t worry that he would kill her; she wasn’t so foolish as to meet him head on. But she would have to push aside Spade’s control to act.
Mukuro was watchful and still in the back of her mind, though. Not yet.
When Spade retreated from Yamamoto and spirited her away with him, Chrome sighed and acknowledged that perhaps she didn’t have the natural temperament of the Mist. She kept expecting Spade to stand and fight. Eventually. Surely he must have to sooner or later, or where was their opening going to come from?
Not yet, Mukuro whispered to her, pressed tangible and insubstantial against her back.
If Chrome had been in control of her jaw, it would have been clenched. Someone, she observed rather acidly, has been reading too much ecchi.
Poor taste, indeed, Mukuro agreed with a hint of amusement that made her want to glare at him. And a bit of nonsense besides. Ropes are no more use against you than against me. Clearly you’ve hoodwinked Spade even better than we’d thought.
That consolation was true enough to settle her temper a little. Enough to listen to Spade again, as he gave her entirely too much information, even for an enemy who was tied up. He likes the sound of his own voice too much.
A common failing in those with grand plans. The wry twist in Mukuro’s silent voice finally made her smile. And then he tensed against her. It’s coming.
Chrome stopped listening to him. She had to. Spade stepped back, and she stepped forward, and the rush of her senses, bright and sharp again after days on end wrapped in distancing fog, pounded down on her like a cataract. She could almost smell the shreds of Spade’s power on her, an oily catch in the back of her throat. She could almost hear the singing of her Ring, beside her, coiled in on itself and waiting to be reborn. Every coarse fiber of the ropes bit into her wrists, and the floor under her knees was so hard it took up the whole world. Her voice, when she could force words out, was thin, and it was just as well she was supposed to be intimidated and timid. The nerve-wringing disorientation as she rode that first brutal spike of the returning world probably looked similar enough to a fool like the one in front of her.
Mukuro hissed, suddenly clear again in her mind, and when had he been muffled, why hadn’t she noticed? She jerked her mind back to the present and just barely caught herself from restoring her organs as they disappeared, gritting her teeth on the sudden rusty tang of blood in her mouth. “Don’t come,” she gasped, turning inside herself, reaching out the thought of her arms to him, stepping back as he stepped forward. The world spun under their feet, unfolding out and out and out, every facet ready at their fingertips, and Mukuro laughed with the breath she breathed.
And the world was Mist and vengeance.