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Mister and Miss Deception

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To the outside observer (for given meaning of “outside” when part of a secret society) the Vongola Tenth Generation fit into neat little boxes:

There is, of course, the Vongola Tenth. The soft-hearted revolutionary. ‘Neo Primo,’ some murmur with reverence, behind knife scarred hands, faces hard, but eyes softening with hope.

The Mafia Don announces his plans to turn the Mafia Family into a vigilante group shortly after he takes the mantel. Not in a speech full of bold declarations or rebellious ideas — no the Decimo is too subtle for such a thing, much more so than his predecessors, known as they were for their strong arm tactics.

Instead, he laces his intent into every action he makes on the national (and, at times, international) scene. Sawada doesn’t say it, but he makes sure everyone knows nonetheless.

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Did you hear,” whispers an old woman with vials of poison tucked away in her purse, holding knitting needles sharp enough to pierce muscle. “The Vongola dismantled a human trafficking and prostitution operation outside their territory and started an orphanage just to house all the children rescued.” (Here she pauses for dramatic effect.) “All done on direct orders from the Decimo, himself.”


The other retired hit-women crowd around her.

“Is he insane?” one asks. “Why would he interfere outside of his territory? He must have encroached on at least a half a dozen Families, busting an operation of that caliber. It’s not smart to start making enemies this early on.”

“He’s wasting Vongola money,” another claims snidely. “Everyone knows that those who come in contact with the flesh trade are nearly impossible to recruit into criminal syndicates. Even if he saved them, he won’t be getting any loyal minions from the corner.”

“He’s a forward thinker,” murmurs the last one, approving. “A bit soft, but the change we need.” The hit-woman is the oldest in their little group, white hair curling cheerily around, a wrinkled face, which would have given her a grandmotherly mien if it wasn’t for the steel in her eyes and the callouses on her hands.

No one says another word on the subject for the rest of the conversation.

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Then there are the Tenth Generation Guardians. From a fanatically loyal Storm to a cool and aloof Cloud, Sawada Tsunayoshi’s guardians seem to be a mixed bag, though each can more or less be summed up in one or two words.

However, perhaps the most mystifying of the Guardians are Sawada’s two Mists.

No matter how anyone looks at it, they simply cannot understand how keeping Rokudo Mukuro so near to the inner circle is wise.

The destroyer of an entire Famiglia, an ex-Vendicare prisoner, and a dead-ringer for the traitorous First Generation Mist to the boot, he hardly seems like the kind of ally Sawada wants in a reformed Vongola.

The spiky-haired man, when he deigns to appear at a gala or alliance meeting, constantly looks at Sawada as though he wants to eat him alive (or at least possess and use him to control the Vongola).

The only thing called into question more than the wisdom of Mukuro’s inclusion into the Tenth Generation is why Mukuro hasn’t done so already.

Chrome Dokuro even being considered a Guardian is, in some ways, more odd than Mukuro being considered the same. From the moment she stepped into the public eye, she had been constantly attached to Mukuro by the (metaphorical and sometimes illusionary) hip, first as a go-to body to possess before he was rescued from Vendicare, and now in a more physical sense.

The majority of the Cosa Nostra would have disregard her entirely if Sawada hadn’t chosen her as a guardian anyway.

She’s not particularly powerful, like Mukuro, nor does she seem to have any of the great brilliance found in the Smoking Bomb. No natural talent at killing, so often lauded in in Yamamoto. She doesn’t even seem to have any sort of relationship with a Vongola member, in contrast to Sasagawa Kyoko, Sawada’s girlfriend of three years (though some speculate she and Mukuro might have a fling or two on the side).

It should, however, be noted that people in general and Mafioso in particular can be rather selectively blind at times. Especially, when it just so happens to suit the Mists in the area.

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Tsuna’s eyes bleed amber before he jerks the driver towards him by the the lapels of his coat just as a couple of bullets (‘Three,’ his intuition supplies) embed themselves an inch from the driver’s nose. Holding back a sigh of frustration — already his wedding ceremony is going south, and they just got out of the car — Tsuna allows himself to slide into Hyper Dying Will Mode. His focus sharpens and his lips purse in concentration.

There!

Another round of gunshots (which Tsuna can now tell are coming from a grouping of trees nearby) echos in the large clearing. Tsuna, still with the poor driver’s coat fisted in both hands, sees this coming and has already ducked behind the car, driver in tow.

Given a couple moments to breath, Tsuna allows himself to take in the stream of information his intuition supplies him with.

(Two men, one woman, none flame users, Carrassa Famiglia, they’re coming this way, getthefuckdown—)

Another bullet lodges itself into the metal of the car just as Tsuna pulls himself and the driver to press the dusty ground. A pathetic little whimper comes from the middle-aged man and Tsuna can feel his eyebrows rising.

“Stay here,” Tsuna all but growls at his, frankly, useless driver (aren’t these people supposed to have training as back up bodyguards? He swears he heard Hayato say something like that). “I’ll take care of this.”

The man nods frantically, whiskered cheeks trembling with fear, as Tsuna pulls on his gloves and leaps for the tree he knows contains his would-be murderers.

More gunshots follow, all of them aimed at him (which is actually alright with him as he would rather keep as many of his people as he can alive, useless or not), and he lights his body with Sky Flames.

The bullets hit the ground before they can reach him, melted, and Tsuna makes the final stretch toward his assaulters’ hiding place, before punching one in the neck and then knocking him out with a quick jab to a pressure point.

One of the other attackers, a burly man with a deeply tan completion seems to realize that bullets aren’t going to work, and attempts to hit Tsuna with the butt of his hand gun, which Tsuna catches and melts.

Throwing the mass of hot metal at the woman, who looks ready to start throwing the knives she is in the process of unsheathing from her belt, and causing her to scream, Tsuna bites back a frustrated sigh. Today is going to be a long day, he just knows it. And the wedding hasn’t even started yet.

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“Do you think people will get suspicious if we leave now?” Kyoko asks in an undertone, barely enough for Tsuna to hear over the loud music.

Tsuna briefly pulls his body away from hers as he spins her on the dance floor, before bringing them close again. He can see Xanxus in the corner of his eye, watching over the proceedings with sharp intensity. He is hoping that they won't have another incident like the one with the Carrassa, but hoping never did anyone much good.

“We’ve been here for about an hour,” Tsuna whispered just as quietly, through the smile of a love-sick newlywed. “Normally I’d say it's too early, but we can probably spin it as us doing our martial duty.” The last words bring a shared grimace to the faces of both husband and wife.

Kyoko gives a barely perceptible nod, and Tsuna shoots Hana a loaded look over her shoulder in response. The Vongola’s lawyer still stands at the buffet table, eyeing an unknown pasta dish speculatively, but she tilts her head in confirmation when she meets Tsuna’s eyes.

Kyoko in turn stares straight at a sharp eyed owl only she seems to see. It gives a low hoot, before disappearing into the shadows in a way the is not entirely natural.

Kyoko trails a teasing hand lightly on Tsuna’s chest as a sly smile makes its way onto her lips, “Well, husband of mine, I think we have a bedroom to get to.”

Tsuna looks at her coyly from between his lashes. “Yes, my dear wife, I believe we do.”

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“Okay, Sawada, we’re in the clear. Hand her over.”
Hana is standing outside the doorway of Tsuna’s bedroom, connected to his private office.

“Of course, Hana-chan,” Tsuna says, idly wondering if Hana actually thinks he would refuse the request if she isn’t forceful. Most outsiders would say yes, but experience told Tsuna otherwise.

Kyoko, who had been peeking out from behind Tsuna in a bathrobe, the perfect picture of a shy wife, releases the stranglehold she previously had on her expression, and smiles brightly.

Stepping out into the hallway, Kyoko gives her girlfriend a chaste kiss to the lips before asking,”Should I send for Mukuro and Chrome? I’m pretty sure I got their attention, but I can never be too sure with that owl.”

Tsuna shakes his head, “I’m sure the two of them got the message loud and clear.”

Kyoko nods agreeably and gives Tsuna a quick kiss on the cheek. “In that case, have fun.”

“You too,” Tsuna replies, smilingly. “Don’t let Hana keep you up too late—.” Then quickly slams the door before Hana’s foot has a chance to connect with his shin, chuckling quietly to himself.

Continuing to smile at the closed door, Tsuna feels his eyes drooping.

Yawning slightly, Tsuna turns only to come face-to-chest with Mukuro, his heterochromatic eyes glinting in the low lighting. Next to him, stands Chrome, leaning on her trident, looking almost devious, despite her usually innocent face.

Looking them up and down critically reveals a splattering of blood on the edge of Chrome’s skirt, almost impossible to see on the black fabric. His survey of Mukuro doesn’t unearth any tells that Tsuna can see, but that doesn’t mean much.

(Traitor, traitor, a little rat, they found a traitor. No one was supposed to know where I was to arrive before the wedding. But the Carassa Famiglia knew, theyknewtheyknew—)

Sucking in a slow breath, Tsuna tunes out his intuition for the moment, asking casually, “Mukuro, Chrome, nice to see you back. Did you happen to find anything interesting?”

(Who is the traitor, traitor, traitor—)

Mukuro gives Tsuna a vicious smile and Tsuna can almost see phantom blood on his teeth. While Tsuna and Kyoko’s wedding wasn’t exactly meant to be private (in fact, it was supposed to be as public as possible, just like the majority of their relationship), any information on the arrival of the Decimo and his to-be wife were kept within the Vongola to prevent assassination attempts and the like. However, it seems as though despite their best efforts, there was a leak.

“The CEDEF had a mole, one of the newer operatives who was swayed by some pretty words and a bit of cash,” Chrome pipes up.

Tsuna gave her a searching look, “Had a mole?”

Her already bloodthirsty smile pulls further back at the corners, more a predatory baring of teeth than anything truly expressing joy. “Had, Boss. We handed him to Squalo, who sent some young Varia operatives in to get any information out of them.”

Tsuna’s shoulders slump in relief, thankful that the mole was caught before anymore damage could be done. Still, his intuition niggles in the back of his mind.

(There are more, there are more, there has to be more, if they haven't found them they are going to kill)

“Did you clean house while you were at it?” If the background checks the Vongola subject all their members to failed once, it is likely something else slipped past them as well.

This time it's Mukuro’s turn to speak. “Really, Tsunayoshi,” Mukuro affect a mock-offended tone. “What do you take us for? Of course we cleaned house. We found two others, and they were sent to the Varia as well.”

Finally, Tsuna’s intuition calms down from the panic it had worked itself into, fed by Tsuna’s paranoia when faced with a threat to his family. Really, he should have known better than to worry. After all, his two Mist Guardians were the Vongola experts on neutralizing traitors and the like.

He sighs. “I really appreciate you guys doing a check for me. I know you two were taking a personal break this week, but I always feel better with the two of you poking around.”

Chrome comes up behind him and hooks her chin into his shoulder, while Mukuro lifts a hand run it into Tsuna’s hair, eyes half-lidded and warm.

“Neither one of us mind. After all, how else am I supposed to gain your trust. I still haven’t given up on having you as my lovely puppet.” Mukuro’s playful imitation of his usual sly smirk and ruthless purr would have convinced anyone else of the sincerity of his threat, despite Chrome’s quiet laughter in the background.

Really, it should probably worry Tsuna how oblivious his allies (and perhaps the rest of the mafia) can be.

But instead, all Tsuna can feel is grateful. After all, if that wasn’t the case, his great deception would all be for naught.

Feeling Chrome bury her face into his neck, still letting loose periodic chuckles, while Mukuro graduates his touches to patting his hair just to watch in fascination as it springs up again to its original volume, Tsuna decides he feels very grateful, indeed.