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Honeymoon Period

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Tsuna was very well aware that he was not like most of the other mafia bosses by virtue of any number of things. His name, his nationality, his age, his goals for his Family, and so forth were just a few of the things that were remarked upon on a regular basis. He'd known that he would be different from the beginning, had been determined to be so, and so he didn't much mind when his differences were noted.

But there were still things that surprised him.

Everyone knew that he had married his high school sweetheart and had smiled indulgently over him for it, mostly, except for those Families who'd had daughters they'd wanted him to marry. It was, as he'd gathered from his observations and from Reborn's lectures, a fairly unusual for a boss to do. Most mafia bosses seemed to marry for politics rather than affection and expected affection to come after the fact, or perhaps not at all.

It seemed like a chilly, unhappy sort of way to do things to Tsuna. He wasn't sure that the way certain Families circumvented the system by seeing to it that their sons and daughters only mingled with other eligible children in hopes that they would make suitable matches was any better, either. (He was determined, as was Kyouko, that their children would have to do no such thing.) He was even less comfortable with the practice--apparently quite common!--many of the men he worked with had of taking mistresses without even trying to be discreet about it, while they left their wives to do the business of raising their heirs.

It was just all so very impractical, at least as far as Tsuna could see. But then, he supposed that it wasn't entirely his business, and so he did his best to ignore it while being grateful that his own case was so much different.

What took him a fairly long time to realize was that everyone was watching him (and Kyouko) closely, waiting to see some sign that their marriage had become something like the marriages around them.

The first clue he had of it came from a remark that Paolo Feretti made when Tsuna tried to excuse himself from the offer of a drink at the end of a long day's meeting. "I'm sorry," he said, politely, "but I do need to get home. Kyouko will be expecting me for dinner."

Feretti smiled at him, clearly amused, and said, "I suppose you mustn't keep the wife waiting. They hate it when you do that."

Tsuna smiled, fairly sure that there was some linguistic nicety that he was missing, since otherwise it sounded like Feretti thought he should not want to go home to Kyouko. "She's very patient," he murmured. "I do try not to presume upon that very much."

Feretti gave him a funny sort of look at that. Then he smiled, wry. "Still on the honeymoon, after all this time?" he said. "You lucky dog, you." He waved his hand. "Go on, then. That wine will wait till another time."

So Tsuna did, puzzling a little at Feretti's sense of humor, since his and Kyouko's honeymoon was a good five years behind them. It was one of those strange Italian things, he supposed vaguely, and promptly forgot all about it when he found Kyouko waiting, smiling and soft, all for him.

But Feretti was just the first person to make an odd comment and to show that he had peculiar expectations about Tsuna and Kyouko. It only got worse after they announced (cautiously, but no less pleased about it) that Kyouko was expecting. Sometimes remarks like Feretti's came with a genial sort of envy, and sometimes they came with rather more malice. Tsuna didn't really get that, at least not until the day when Orsini's wife--his wife! Tsuna thought, appalled--pretty much tried to entice him into bed with her.

He did not, Tsuna thought afterwards, react very gracefully to that one, but panic had a way of doing that to him. "I can't!" he'd said, feeling like a rabbit facing down an oncoming steamroller. "I'm married! And I love my wife very much!" He said some other things, too, more diplomatic things about how he was flattered and honored, etc., before he cut his losses and ran for it. Fleeing was the only sensible thing a man could do in a situation like that.

Tsuna just wished that he'd only found himself doing so once, but it kept happening. It was embarrassing. He dithered over the problem for a while before he could make himself say anything about it to anyone, because it was weird that there were so many women who were throwing themselves at him. Everyone seemed to just expect him to go along with it, too, which was even weirder.

In the end, he asked Dino about it.

When Dino had finally stopped laughing and had wiped his eyes--and Tsuna was praying for a sudden freak case of amnesia to hit them both so they could forget he'd ever said anything--he said, very kindly, "They expect you to be tired of Kyouko by now."

Tsuna stared at him, trying to make that make some kind of logical earth sense. "But why?"

"Because you're married, and she's expecting now," Dino said. When Tsuna just looked at him, still not getting it, he added, "Have you ever heard the expression, 'Familiarity breeds contempt'?"

"You must be joking," Tsuna said as it finally clicked. "They think I'm going to get tired of Kyouko?" There was a buzzing in his head at the very thought of it, anger and outrage and complete disbelief spinning around each other.

"Pretty much," Dino said. At least he was being kind about it. "It's not uncommon, you realize. And they still don't understand you very well."

"Clearly not," Tsuna said. Dino blinked and leaned back from him at the fierceness in his voice. "How do I stop them?"

"You can't, exactly. Just... keep on doing what you have been," Dino advised him. He was smiling, maybe a little wistful, like he was jealous. "They'll understand eventually."

That hardly seemed like a solution to Tsuna, but Dino insisted that it was the only way.

It was ridiculous, he seethed on the ride home. It was like they didn't understand that he'd known Kyouko for nearly half his life now and still found new things about her every day that stopped his breath and made awe race through him at the thought that she was his--that she'd chosen him, out of all the men in the world that she could have had instead. And they thought that he would get tired of that? That he would throw all of that away for something tawdry and cheap?

It was the clearest example he'd gotten of the world's insanity in a good long while.

Kyouko was in her "office"--the little sitting room where she and Haru-chan did most of their work--when he found her. She and Haru-chan were discussing plans for the dinner that was coming up and stopped talking when he came in. Haru-chan took one look at him and rose from her seat on the couch next to Kyouko immediately. "I'll just see to that, shall I?" she said, scooping up a sheaf of papers and sweeping out.

Kyouko was wearing blue today, something soft that draped and flowed around her, framing the growing lushness of her curves and the rounding of her stomach. She started to rise, but Tsuna went to her before she could, stooping over her and winding his arms around her. She lifted a hand and settled it against his hair. "Tsuna," she said. "What's wrong?"

"I love you," he said, against the curve of her throat.

She said his name again and stroked her fingers through his hair, smoothing it down. "I love you, too."

Tsuna took a breath and let it out slowly as the warmth of her and the sweetness of her perfume eased the harshness of his outrage. "People are very stupid," he said, when he felt he could be calm again.

Kyouko's shoulder shook under his cheek as she laughed. "Yes," she agreed. "They are." She stroked his hair, fingers gentle. "What have they done this time?"

"It's not important," he said, because it wasn't really, not when he knew the truth and she did, too. "Was I interrupting something important?"

"Not at all," Kyouko said. She was smiling when he raised his head to look at her and check, so he relaxed.

"Mm." Tsuna shifted and settled himself on the couch next to her, drawing her against his chest. "Tell me about it?"

"If you like," she said. She nestled against him, eyes fond, like she knew perfectly well that he didn't care a thing about the minutia of party planning.

He gathered her closer and stroked his fingers through the fine wisps of hair at her nape. "I do," he said.

And anyone who thought that he would give this up willingly was an idiot, Tsuna decided absently, as Kyouko began to tell him about the seating charts she and Haru-chan had made. Either that, or they were just jealous... and if it were the latter, well, he supposed he couldn't blame them for that.