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I Have Wander'd Half in Love with Easeful Death

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Tsuna had been having weird dreams, lately.

Well, they’d already turned particularly weird once Reborn had shown up, but especially after they had gotten back from the future. And they’d only gotten weirder after Tsuna had run into Daemon, and then had to face off against Kawahira’s plans for the Arcobaleno. You’d think time travel, ghosts and finding out humans were aliens should have been enough of an explanation for the weird dreams, but no, these were weird even after taking all of that into consideration.

The knight on the horse worse a strange crown fashioned of something white. His eyes were closed, his expression solemn, and when he spoke his mouth barely opened, making his every word a whisper to Tsuna’s ears. Not that Tsuna minded that; it added to the peace of the night. The moon above them was barely a sliver in the sky, most of the light surrounding them from the stars, and the strange, hellfire eyes of the knight’s horse.

“Do you regret?” the man murmured, and Tsuna laughed tiredly, leaning against the tree at his side.

“Hardly. I did what I had to do. Byakuran had to be stopped. I feel sorry for that future Gamma, and Yuni, but I did what I had to do. And we’re all back here, now, anyway. What do I have to regret, anymore? Even after Daemon, and Kawahira - and Bermuda.”

“Do you regret?” the man repeated, the words firm, Tsuna couldn’t help the sad smile that tugged across his face.

“Would it make any difference if I did. My path is set, now, according to Reborn and my father. Even if I did regret, would it matter at all.”

“That you regret is all I care for,” the man said, plainly, and Tsuna smiled faintly, glancing up at him.

The stranger didn’t open his eyes, but he seemed to be able to see Tsuna somehow, anyway. Tsuna wasn’t sure how he could tell, but he could. All of the man’s attention was directly solely at him, and it was both unnerving and flattering. Tsuna would have been nervous, he supposed, if he weren’t in a dream and dreaming up odd, enigmatic strangers on horses, but he was nearly as calm as he tended to be in hyper dying will mode.

Some nameless instinct whispering in his ear told him that he could trust the man. Tsuna couldn’t put the feeling to words, but he knew. When push came to shove, the man would definitely be on his side.

When he reached out, Tsuna didn’t step away, continuing to smile when the backs of cold fingers gently traced his jawline.

“I will come for you,” the man said. “You don’t deserve to straddle the barrier between Life and Death through no fault of your own. You, of all people, deserve to live a full life, with no strife.”

Tsuna laughed, because there had been a time when he would have hated the thought of needing to live a normal life. But after everything he’d been through, and after having to man the seat of the Decimo of the Vongola and handling everything that went hand in hand with that, he had to admit. A normal life, with normal problems, sounded absolutely divine.

“Come, then,” he replied, still smiling faintly. “I’ll wait for you, whoever you are.”

The last Tsuna remembered of the dreams was the man opening his eyes, and everything turning dark.

*

The dreams had been going on for a while. Long enough that Tsuna wasn’t really sure when he’d started remembering them.  They all happened in different places, sometimes in the ruins of a castle, others on the banks of a vast, dark lake, or in the middle of overgrown forests with trees reaching up as far as the eye could see, and sometimes, in misty and abandoned graveyards. Tsuna might have felt uncomfortable in all those settings, had he been awake, but somehow under the cover of sleep, it never really occurred to him to be scared. The presence of the strange, hauntingly gentle knight was comfort in and of itself, though Tsuna could never figure out why.

He had no reason to be dreaming of knights to rescue him. He wasn’t a princess trapped in a tower, for fuck’s sake. He’d been fending for himself through sheer madness ever since Reborn had turned up on his doorstep, and he’d willingly walked away from Namimori and immersed himself in the intricacies of the Cosa Nostra after he’d graduated from Senior High. He’d never made any complaints, had done everything Timoteo had expected of him, and had slowly been trying to make the changes to the Vongola from the inside, as he’d promised the previous Heads he would do. He hadn’t had much success, but Tsuna had been trying. The older underbosses still had issues with switching over to cleaner businesses, but with the Nono’s grudging support, at least some of them had been considering Tsuna’s arguments.

Tsuna had managed to win over a lot of the younger capos with his ideas, in the years since he’d shifted to Sicily, but not enough. He was beginning to suspect that the Vongola would always have one foot in darkness, sinking into the blood-soaked bog of the underworld. It was enough to make him dread the day he would finally be asked to take up the mantle of Vongola Decimo - or Neo-Primo, as Reborn was fond of calling him, on days he was in a teasing mood.

He was settled. His position in life was secure. He had more friends than he’d ever dreamt of having as a preteen, he had a job that was stressful but was guaranteed to be a lifelong engagement – what more could a person want, really?

A job that had nothing to do with the mafia, or cleaning up after his ancestors, apparently. Or so his dreams seemed to say.

Tsuna flopped back into bed with a groan, burrowing into his pillows and dragging the sheets over his head. It was too early for existential dreams and doubts about his life. As if he didn’t have enough to stress over; now his sub-conscious was out to get him too.

The sound of a throat delicately being cleared had Tsuna jack-knifing up in bed again, flames already at the ready. There was a time where he might have yelped in fear instead, but those days were long past.

There was a man leaning against the wall by his window, arms crossed and expression closed. Dark haired, for sure, Tsuna couldn’t tell the shade clear enough in the faint light of the moon streaming in through the window. But what stood out were his eyes, blazing a violent green visible even behind his spectacles and through the distance between him and Tsuna’s bed. Tsuna back at him blankly, waiting, because the man would have been foolish or arrogant to be waiting until Tsuna had woken up before attacking him.

Or honorable, the quiet voice inside Tsuna’s head admitted. He could just be an honorable man. Remember when you were like that, and not so paranoid?

“Sawada Tsunayoshi,” the man said, his voice crisp and clear. British accent, Tsuna noted distantly, still waiting. The man watched him for another moment, then smiled, the stiff set of his shoulders relaxing. Tsuna only tensed further, his wariness rising.

“I was curious and, I admit, a touch suspicious, but clearly I didn’t have to be. You don’t appear to be the type to take advantage of the innocent.”

“Thanks, I think.” Tsuna bit out, and the man laughed softly.

“You will understand, eventually. We will meet again.”

There was a loud crack of sound, and the man was gone, as if he’d never been there in the first place. Tsuna gaped at the empty space where he’d stood, barely registering the bang of his door as it flew open, Hayato and Takeshi rushing through with their weapons at the ready.

“Tsuna?” Takeshi called out, Shigure Kintoki already a katana held at the ready, and Tsuna let his fingers curl gently into fists on top of his sheets, letting his Flames get reabsorbed.

“It’s fine, I’m fine.” Tsuna replied, and Hayato shot him a suspicious look, not making any move to lower his dynamite. Thankfully he hadn’t already lit the sticks.

“I’m fine,” Tsuna repeated, voice firm. “Get back in bed, you two.”

They left him room, but only grudgingly, still looking over their shoulders and trying to figure out where the sound had come from. When Tsuna was finally left alone, he slumped over where he was sitting up in bed, feeling utterly exhausted.

He wasn’t sure if what he’d seen had been real, or part of a dream he hadn’t yet awoken from. The sound and Takeshi and Hayato’s appearance suggested otherwise, but how exactly did teleportation figure into reality.

Tsuna resolved to bring the matter up with Kyoya, Spanner and Shoichi, once he was awake again. At least one of them had to have an answer of some sort about whether or not Flame technology could create the effect of teleportation. And if that didn’t pan out, he’d ask Reborn for a favor and get the question passed on to Verde. That decided, he fell back into bed; it really was stupidly early to be awake.

*

The next dream, and it was the next, Tsuna could actually tell somehow, went very differently.

For one, the mysteriously knight wasn’t on his horse. For another, he was sitting on a rock beneath a tree by the side of the vast lake, with his face buried in his hands. Tsuna walked up to him, curious in spite of himself.

“Are you okay?” he asked softly, and the mysterious man grunted, sounding pained.

“Yes,” he said finally, when Tsuna made no move to sit down. “I’m fine. Just… regretting the existence of meddlesome bosses.”

“Meddlesome bosses?” Tsuna repeated, amused, and the knight looked up at him. His eyes were still closed, but Tsuna could feel the gaze clearly, almost like the whisper of a touch against his skin. Tsuna shivered, and carefully settled himself down at the base of the tree, leaning against it so he could look up at the knight.

The motion earned him a faint smile, and the other man drew his hands away from his face fully, instead curling him around his knees. Tsuna tilted his head a little to the side, waiting patiently.

“My master was… worried. That I might have given away my affections without thinking things through carefully,” he admitted, and Tsuna felt his face burn.

The knight’s still face didn’t change, but Tsuna could sense the embarrassment coming from him clearly. Tsuna didn’t question it, instead rubbing at the back of his neck awkwardly, feeling a little embarrassed himself.

“Your master… wouldn’t happen to be a British man with green eyes and spectacles, would he?” Tsuna asked, smiling self-deprecatingly. The knight gave a single nod, oddly regretful.

“Well, he didn’t do much other than show up, stare at me, say my name and disappear again,” Tsuna admitted, and the knight doubled over with a muttered curse. The reaction made Tsuna laugh, because it made the knight all at once more real and approachable than every other dream of him had been, so far.

“It isn’t all bad. At least you know your boss cares about you,” he teased gently, and the knight mumbled something unpleasant, peeking through his fingers at Tsuna warily. Or, well, Tsuna had to assume that the glance through the fingers was the knight peeking, seeing as his eyes were still closed.

“My boss is a pain in the arse,” the knight grumbled eventually, dropping his hands to his lap. “He never does what he’s supposed to do and I’m usually rushing after him, trying to complete all our paperwork. We’re right at the top of the organization, so our paperwork is too important to be delegated.”

“Sounds familiar,” Tsuna said wryly. “I usually can’t delegate the paperwork that ends up on my table, either. And my boss is getting old, so I need to shoulder the brunt of the work a lot of the time.”

“Fair,” the knight responded, nodding, momentarily looking irate before settling down again. “My boss isn’t particularly old, but he has other duties to attend to, I’m afraid. And he has a tendency to shirk his duties when it comes to our work. Paperwork bores him, he says.”

The knight sounded affronted enough that Tsuna had to double over, gasping for breath through his laughter. The knight let him laugh, watching him with an oddly fond little smile.

“I can’t blame your boss; I hate paperwork too. It bores me just as much as it bores him.” Tsuna confessed, and the knight gave an unamused snort.

“The only reason you have this paperwork of yours to complete is because you’re a part of an organization that doesn’t deserve you,” the knight grumped, sounding completely unlike the dreamlike wraith that had been showing up in Tsuna’s dreams till date. He was still clearly the same man, though, his distaste for Tsuna’s work for the Vongola familiar now. It made Tsuna smile a little helplessly, setting an elbow on his knee and leaning into his closed fist.

“It’s not like I’m incapable of completing it. I’m just doing my job, same as anyone else,” Tsuna pointed out, and it got him a withering look from the knight, whose face was surprisingly expressive, for all that he refused to open his eyes or mouth.

“You regret. You always, always, have regretted. It’s how I came to find out about you. When you regret so strongly, why do you remain where you are and act as though it’s something you actively want?” the knight demanded, and Tsuna’s chin slid right off of the fist he’d been leaning it against, shocked.

“That is- I- I can do some good, where I am,” he sputtered out, and the knight stared at him with a bland look on his face. Something about the expression made Tsuna purse his lips and look away.

“You regretted,” the knight repeated again, and something about the cadence of the words made Tsuna stiffen uncomfortably.

Tsuna had regretted a lot, all through his teenage years, up until he’d finally figured out how to draw his dying will flames out on his own without having to use pills or, God forbid, Reborn’s special bullets. All that regret had piled up, until it almost felt like Tsuna had been regretting everything. The knight’s steady, blank stare reminded Tsuna painfully of those days. Except… it didn’t make any sense. Because no one should have known just how much he regretted while growing up. He’d never confessed his thoughts to anyone, not even Reborn, though he suspected Reborn knew, just like he knew everything else.

“My line of work means that I know when someone regrets the way you did, Tsunayoshi.”

Tsuna stiffened a little more at that, and warily glanced back at the knight, who was watching him placidly. The patient stillness of his figure was what fully cued Tsuna in to what the full implications of the knight’s words could be.

“You’re… not human. Not the same way as me, or even the stranger members of the mafia, are you.” Tsuna said, voice carefully controlled.

The knight watched him solemnly for a long moment, and then slowly shook his head.

The motion made Tsuna’s breath catch in his throat.

“And… you still want to help? I’m nothing special; all I’m trying to do is clean up my corner of this blood soaked bog.”

“It shouldn’t have to be your responsibility,” was the grumbled reply, and Tsuna grinned a little shyly, unable to help himself.

“Maybe not,” Tsuna agreed. “But I’ve accepted it. Would it be fair, to shirk my responsibilities?”

The knight sighed at that, shoulders slumping. It made Tsuna laugh a little, wry, and he reached out to pat the knight on his shoulder. The flesh beneath his fingers was chilly, but all he did was register the fact and smile when cool fingers gently twined around his own, tugging his hand forward so a soft kiss could be pressed against his knuckles.

“I probably need a name to call you by, if any of this is real,” Tsuna murmured quietly, curling his fingers into the gentle grip on his hand.

“I have never had a name to be called by, only a title,” the knight said, a wry smile tugging at his lips and giving Tsuna a faint glimpse at sharp teeth beneath.

“That seems like a pity. You have a boss, and you lead an organization, from the sound of it. Doesn’t anyone ever speak with you casually?” Tsuna asked, and the knight laughed softly.

“Our organization isn’t one where casual interaction happens often, if ever, I’m afraid.”

“That seems sad,” Tsuna said. “I mean. I’m next in line to become the Don of a mafia family and my friends have plenty of time to stop by for casual conversation.”

“I suspect people are too afraid to consider themselves my friend. I am, after all…” the knight’s voice trailed away, and Tsuna sighed, rolling his eyes.

“Keep it to yourself, if you must. You’ll confess someday, I know.”

The words made the knight smile again, the tilt of the expression on his lips visibly fond. Tsuna smiled back, tightening his hold on the hand grasping his.

When he woke from the dream, it was with the memory of a light kiss being brushed against his forehead, and a promise from the knight that he would return more often for actual conversation, and not just to haunt Tsuna’s dreams from a far.

The promise made Tsuna grunt, and drag a pillow closer so he could scream into it. As if the mafia hadn’t been bad enough, now he was courting affection from some kind of supernatural creature that could haunt his dreams.

Reborn could never learn of this. Because he’d either call Tsuna careless, or he would laugh.

*

The British man returned, this time with a teen with eyes even more poisonously green than his own. The teen skipped away to peruse Tsuna’s bookshelves, making Tsuna stare after him in bemusement. The knight’s master laughed softly, and settled into the couch to the far side opposite Tsuna’s desk.

“Don’t mind him, he rarely gets a chance to leave the research department. He’s always been fascinated by Muggle literature.”

“Muggle? Is that slang for human?” Tsuna shot back, wry, and the other man grinned cheerfully.

“Afraid not. Oh, but that means he’s told you!”

“That he isn’t human? Yes. He hasn’t quite gotten to confessing who or what he is, though, so it wouldn’t be very nice of you to tell me anything.” Tsuna warned, and got a laugh for his troubles.

“Oh, of course. You won’t hear anything from me, my lips are sealed. I’m Harry, by the way. Seems a shame that I know who you are and you clearly don’t know me.”

Tsuna eyed the man, Harry, with confusion.

“Am I supposed to know who you are?” he asked, and Harry smiled secretively.

“No, not at all, and more’s the pleasure in meeting you, mate. I’ve had the ill fortune of running into people who know me for most of my life; for once, I’m glad to be on the other end.”

Tsuna coughed to hide a laugh. Whoever he was, Harry had a cheery, easy-going air that made him comfortable to talk to. A good trait in any boss, or Sky. Not that Tsuna could sense any specific Flame from the other man. Tsuna could barely sense anything at all from Harry or the youth who’d come with him – they seemed to be absent in Tsuna’s senses even when he could clearly see them standing before him, and interacting with the environment. Harry seemed to understand where Tsuna’s thoughts were headed, because he leaned forward with a serious slant to his face.

“It’s best if you don’t overthink it. De- our mutual friend will explain things to you eventually, but until then, it’s better for everyone if you don’t try too hard to understand any of us.”

“May I borrow a book?” piped the youth by the bookshelf, eyes still focused on the section he’d stopped by.

“Maybe next time, Vincent, you’re here for a reason, after all.” Harry replied, smiling faintly.

“Oh, alright,” Vincent muttered, pushing his glasses back in place, and striding out the door without a glance back at either of them, shoving his hands into the pockets of his trousers.

Tsuna stared after him, wondering if he should make any attempt at question what Vincent and Harry were doing at the Estate at all, but Harry turned another smile on his, his expression unreadable, and Tsuna had to sigh, leaning back in his seat.

“Why do I suspect that I’m going to be able to make an educated guess at the nature of your supernatural organization before the day is out.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if you could, Sawada.” Harry replied easily, and Tsuna couldn’t help but groan, lifting a hand to pinch the bridge of his nose.

Harry gave another laugh, and pushed himself to his feet.

“Well, I have to go now. Paperwork, you know how it goes. It never stops piling up.”

“We need flamethrowers, I think, it fucking breeds,” Tsuna grumbled under his breath, and Harry barked out a laugh, then looked astonished with himself, before settling back into that faintly amused smile of his.

“I think I see it. What he sees in you.”

Tsuna shot the other man an arch look, and only got another laugh for his efforts, and Harry disappeared with another crack, this one just as loud as the last. It didn’t draw any maids or soldiers to his office, surprisingly enough, but Tsuna was wary of looking a gift horse in the mouth unless he had to.

It was only later in the day that he found out that one of the older cooks had suffered a heart attack in the kitchens, and had died on the spot. The furor had had most of the household distracted enough that barely anyone had been close enough to hear the sound from Tsuna’s office.

*

Tsuna juggled thoughts of assassin guilds and wondered if Harry was some sort of mercenary with a league of men working for him, but he eventually had to accept how ridiculous that sounded. Tsuna had been trained by Reborn, and the Sun Arcobaleno was now something of an advisor to him. There was no chance that Tsuna would have been fooled by either Harry or Vincent, no matter how good they were. He would have been able to tell if he’d been seated in the same room as hitmen. And they would have to have been career hitmen – the knight had made it clear that his organization was a very professional organization.

There was a simpler, if more fantastical, answer to the question, though. The next dream where he met the knight, in a large room with four long tables and with the light of a full moon streaming down on them from what seemed to be an illusory sky on the ceiling of the hall, Tsuna stood silently before him, staring up into his face. The knight only stared back, eyes closed and as solemn as always, though he was possibly a little wary this time around.

“Death,” Tsuna said, plainly, and the knight lowered his head in the barest nod.

It made Tsuna laugh, the sound just shy of hysterical.

“Death. You’re actually… why the hell would you bother with me? Is my family history so bloodstained that we’re not just stalked by the mafia, but also by Death?” he demanded, and Death sighed faintly, reaching out to press the backs of his fingers to Tsuna’s jawline.

Tsuna couldn’t even find it in himself to step away. It was madness, and yet, he had spent enough time getting used to the person before him. And that time had taught him that the other man - the being – had nothing but concern for him.

“That’s how you knew about my regrets,” Tsuna whispered, and Death nodded quietly.

“You regretted. You always regretted, drifting along the thin line separating life and death, and then the magical energies of your blood dragged you back, away from this side of the line. Every time I heard you cry out, demanding to be released, your soul close enough to claim, it would be wrenched back to the living world, and you would continue to walk forward.”

Tsuna dragged in a shuddering breath, and closed his eyes when a thumb roughly brushed over the apple of his cheek, Death’s fingers spreading out to cup the back of his head.

“So many times, Tsunayoshi,” Death murmured, and Tsuna shivered when Death’s forehead pressed against his, the other man close enough that Tsuna could feel the chill emanating from him. “So many times, you were right there, and I could have snatched you away and given you a better place than an underworld that keeps taking from you.”

“I might have wanted that, once,” Tsuna managed to get out, voice hoarse. “My teenage years were a wild ride, and it hurt a lot to go through everything that we did. But the mafia also gave me my friends, and they would have mourned me if you had taken me away.”

“Which would be the only reason I didn’t,” Death mumbled, tone almost petulant, and Tsuna laughed, even though his throat was dry and his eyes and his chest hurt.

“You’re kind. I could tell that you were kind, but that was before I knew you for who you are,” he said, and Death grumbled something unpleasant under his breath.

“I’m not kind,” he denied, making Tsuna grin at his tone, “I keep to the rules. And it wouldn’t have been your time, no matter how much I would have liked to whisk you away.”

“Do you plan to whisk me away now, then?” Tsuna dared, and the fingers in his hair tightened, making him swallow dryly.

“Would that I could,” Death whispered. “Would that I could, Tsunayo-”

Tsuna shut Death up by getting a hand in his robes and dragging him the rest of the way in to press a kiss to his cold lips.

*

Later found them walking through what had once been the entryway of the great castle ruins they were in, walking hand in hand towards the lake that Tsuna remembered from other dreams he’d had. They both settled down under the tree again, this time with Tsuna comfortably seated on a rock while Death curled up against him, seated in the space between Tsuna’s legs on the ground.

“Is Harry… really your Master?” Tsuna asked, curious, and Death sighed.

“Yes, yes he is. The illustrious Master of Death; a brat that can’t ever seem to complete his paperwork on time. It’s only his dratted luck that’s kept him on his feet till now, I swear it.”

Tsuna snickered, reminded painfully of Reborn grumbling about one of Tsuna’s more death defying stunts, possibly about a few of his more ‘unfortunate’ character traits, too, before finally congratulating him on a job well done.

“Has he visited you again?” Death asked him again, sounding vaguely long-suffering. The tone made Tsuna laugh, leaning forward so he could wrap his arms around Death’s shoulders.

“Yes, he has. Along with someone named Vincent.”

Death hummed thoughtfully, leaning his head back against Tsuna’s shoulder.

“That’s what tipped you off, then.”

“Vincent’s arrival going hand in hand with someone at the Estate dying, you mean? Yeah, that’s what tipped me off. Is Vincent something like a shinigami, then?”

“A grim reaper, yes. One of the many in my employ, and working for my organization.”

Tsuna laughed a little more at that, still distantly boggling at the thought of the business of death functioning so much like an office of sorts, with employees and paperwork and a long suffering manager at its head. Death nudged him gently with the back of his head, and Tsuna buried his face in the shoulder in front of him.

“This should be strange. But it isn’t, somehow. You’re serious, when you say you want to free me from the Mafia.”

Death twisted a little in his hold, clearly wanting to turn around, but Tsuna kept his grip tight on Death’s shoulders, not sure if he was ready to face the being head on. He finally settled down with a huff, and reached up to gently grip Tsuna’s right wrist.

“Just because you’re good at something and you learn to adjust doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right life for you. Whenever I ask if you want to leave, you mention other people. Your father, your friends, the people who follow you… I’m asking you to be selfish and simply tell me whether or not you would leave the Vongola if there were no repercussions from your decision.”

Tsuna remained silent for a long time, after the question. When he finally did respond, he whispered his words directly into Death’s ear. Death smiled faintly, and turned around in Tsuna’s hold to push himself upwards, just enough to brush his lips across Tsuna’s temple in a gentle kiss.

*

“You’re… what?” Xanxus asked him, actually going far enough to clear his ear and then turning to stare at him again, eyes hard.

“I’m leaving,” Tsuna replied patiently. “And I want to make you my heir.”

“You must be insane. You do know that I don’t believe in the soft bullshit you’ve been feeding the younger generation, right. And the older generation in the Vongola doesn’t trust me as anything other than their fucking guard dog, far away from them in the Varia Compound. Find someone else to take care of your dirty work if you’re up and running, trash, don’t come snivelling to my door step,” Xanxus sneered, glancing away.

Tsuna sighed, and turned to drag one of the single couches by the coffee table right up to Xanxus’ desk, ignoring the glower it got him, and the way Xanxus ominously reached for one of his guns.

“That’s why I’m planning on sticking around long enough to make them see some sense, when it comes to you. And I’m willing to be an advisor, if you’ll have me. But I want to leave, Xanxus, and there’s no one else I’d trust to watch over the Vongola. Whatever your issues with jii-san, you care about the people in the Vongola. Don’t try to deny it or point a gun in my face over it, please.”

Xanxus looked like he was very seriously considering doing the latter, but his shoulders slumped just the tiniest bit.

“You’re serious about this, aren’t you trash. You really do want to just up and leave.”

Tsuna smiled tiredly at that. The decision hadn’t been an easy one, but he hadn’t needed Death’s urging to make him accept that the life in the mafia was taking a negative toll on him. If anything, the fact that he simply didn’t care that he was being courted by Death, of all things, was probably a sign that he had changed since he’d left high school. And not for the better.

“It’s not like I’ll really leave. I just want to go home to Japan, and my mother. Do something other than playing with people’s lives and making decisions about who gets to live and who gets to die.”

Xanxus eyed him with pursed lips, and finally nodded, the tilt of his head barely noticeable.

“I accept. I’m not fucking happy about this, but I’m willing to give it a shot. And it gives me the goddamned throne, doesn’t it. It’d serve those haughty underbosses right, to have to serve me after the shit they put me through,” he said, voice darkly self-satisfied, and Tsuna laughed awkwardly, fingers tapping on the arm rests of his seat.

“I’m serious about being your advisor, if you’ll have me. And I insist that you continue doing the work I started on clearing up the drug trade that the Vongola has been involved with. Are you okay with that?”

Xanxus grumbled some more, looking like he dearly regretted telling Levi to let Tsuna into the Compound, but he sat to hash things out with Tsuna anyway.

*

“A flower shop? Really?”

Tsuna glanced up from where he’d been setting up some pots, and his lips parted on a wide grin when he spotted Harry standing behind him, arms akimbo.

“Well, cliché or not, it’s not like we need the cash, Potter-san. Dad set up an account for mom before I was born, and it takes care of all our house expenses. Whatever I get out of this should be more than enough to cover our grocery bills, at the least. What more could I want?” he asked innocently, and Harry rolled his eyes.

“Harry’s fine, you don’t have to use my family name, not when you’ve been taking care of my lagging paperwork for me, whenever I get busy with the Aurors back home. And definitely not when you’ve been going around arm in arm with my cute underling. How’s that going for you, anyway?”

Tsuna’s grin just got wider, if a touch more bashful, when Harry mentioned Death. The expression made Harry groan, muttering something about how he was ‘getting too bloody old for this shit’, and Tsuna carefully didn’t let himself laugh out loud like he wanted to.

*

When Tsuna closed his eyes to sleep, he continued to see himself in that strange other place, walking under the stars and in the moonlight with Death. Some days, he woke to find that Death had followed him back, and was sleeping under his covers, right by Tsuna’s side, as promised.

It continued to be strange. But Tsuna no longer regretted anything. He was free.