Thermodynamics

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by nekojita

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Takeshi parked his car next to Gokuderaís Enzo and got out of the Fairlady Z, slinging Shigure Kintoki over his shoulder and smiling as he imagined his friendís familiar tirade about buying a Ďforeigní car while in the land of Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini as soon as the Storm Guardian saw it. One of the things that Takeshi had learned over the years was that people were like physics Ė you could study the various interactions between them and categorize them, and then could predict the outcome with set variables when you added x, y and/or z to the mix. Okay, maybe he was mixing his sciences up a bit, and having Gokudera babbling about chemical compounds all the time didnít help, but the principle was the same. He liked to study things, to figure them out and use that to his advantage. People might think he was a simpleton, a smiling fool, but there was more to baseball than swinging a bat and running around the bases. There certainly was a lot more to the sword than holding it in your hand and waving it around.

And to follow that train of thought, there certainly was a hell of a lot more to being one of Tsunaís Guardians than wearing a fancy ring and being willing to fight, and Takeshi wasnít in any hurry to lose his position as Rain Guardian any time soon. Not when he had good friends by his side, an interesting life and a gorgeous lover Ė well, mostly had a gorgeous lover. Hibari might have his own opinion on the matter, considering how he had been in Italy the last couple of days and hadnít made any time to stop by to see Takeshi, something that had been a Ďminorí annoyance and source of contemplation lately. However, one of the main rules of their relationship was that there were no strings attached, that they got together whenever it happened and there would be no expectations of anything more. Takeshi accepted that; he considered it a challenge to worm his way into Hibariís life as insidiously as any weed, even if he got the occasional smack to the head for his troubles. It just made things more interesting, as far as he was concerned, and he was getting better at judging when to duck. Hibari was a bit more difficult than most to predict outcomes, but even he had a certain set of working variables. Most of them included violence and Takeshi needing to keep his sword on hand, but with the right amount of persuasion and perseverance even those could lead to a pleasurable if a bit sore evening.

Oh yes, one just needed the right changes, even if you had to go about them in a slightly underhanded manner. He was smiling as he entered the Vongola familyís headquarters, the sun shining through the beveled glass windows framing the large front doors. The guards stationed there nodded in greeting, and he waved to them as he walked past. He was about to turn down the hallway that led to Tsunaís office when he heard his name be called out.

Turning around, he grinned at Kyoko and bowed his head. "Good morning! Donít tell me that Iím so late that they sent you to track me down!"

She giggled as she approached, her right hand covering her mouth as she shook her head. She was dressed as if to go out, with a light sweater over the sun dress to protect against the morning chill. "No, for once youíre almost on time! Itís just that Tsunaís really busy so he asked me to have all of you wait for him in the library." Her smile faded as she touched his right arm and motioned for him to follow. "Iíve made sure thereís some refreshment for you all in there."

The tone of her voice and the way the smile vanished from her face gave him the impression that there might be a need for those refreshments. "Are we going to be there for a while?"

She shrugged and played with her gold chain necklace, a nervous action. "Iím not certain, but it doesnít sound good. Heís in with Reborn right now, and has been for the last couple of hours."

"Thanks for the heads up." He patted her on the shoulder when they reached the hallway to the library, aware that she wanted to go back to the office to check up on Tsuna. He received a thankful smile and a quick kiss to his left cheek before she left.

As he approached the library doors, it became evident that Gokudera was already here; Tsuna had asked that all of the Guardians come for a meeting today, supposedly to discuss plans to deal with a rival family. That was in part why Hibari had returned to Italy, although he had spent the previous days chasing after various boxes and the such as if to prove he had more important things to do than answer Tsunaís summons, and even Chrome was supposed to put in an appearance. Of course Gokudera would be on hand to lend whatever support he could, and probably was doing his best to figuratively sit on the others to keep them there while they waited out whatever it was that caused the delay while fretting over what prevented him from helping out Tsuna. Takeshi wondered if it was too early in the day for a beer before deciding that he was probably late enough as it as it was. Sighing over the fact that Kyokoís idea of refreshments most likely didnít include a stocked bar, he opened the doors and stepped inside.

"-and youíll stay here until Tenth decides youíre worthy- hey!" Gokudera cut the rant off to spin around and glare at Takeshi, a cigarette in hand as he stabbed it in Takeshiís direction. "Would it kill you to show up on time for once, you unreliable bastard?"

Takeshi laughed at the familiar insult and shrugged. "I do what I can to make you look good." The way that Gokuderaís face turned apoplectic was rather amusing, and the room was quiet long enough for him to slip past the fuming Storm Guardian to claim an empty seat.

He felt a lightening in his chest to find Hibari in the library, storm-coloured eyes narrowed in angry even as he slouched against a window in an insolent manner, his expression smoothing out for a brief moment as he glanced at Takeshi before becoming harsh once again as he glared at Gokudera. Scattered about the large room as if to limit their chances of becoming easy targets, Ryohei, Chrome and Lambo seemed determined to stay out of the bourgeoning fight. Everyone was dressed up for the meeting, the men Ė even Lambo Ė in suits and Chrome in a dark suit jacket and short skirt.

"Itís a rather futile effort, I would say," was Hibariís deliberately succinct comment, and Takeshi didnít think that he was alone in needing a moment to realize that it was meant in regards to what he had just said.

Still, it was amusing to see Gokuderaís face turn an even brighter shade of red, though Chrome took to stepping nearer to the bookshelf she had been standing beside and Lambo held the large book of ornithology he had been pretending to read even closer to his face. "Like I care what a bunch ofÖ of idiots like the two of you think!" He slammed the mug of coffee that he had been holding in his left hand down onto the table he sat upon. Judging from the glance he cast in Lamboís direction and the slight flush on his cheeks, that hadnít been the argument he had been going for, and Takeshi smiled at his friendís uneasiness. Still, nothing could keep the man subdued for long, not even an attempt to protect an Ďinnocentí from Ďwhat had to be the surest sign of the end of daysí, as Takeshi had been told when he informed his friend about his Ďrelationshipí.

"So why are we here?" he asked, deciding to take pity on his friend as he poured himself a cup of coffee. Hmm, Kyoko hadnít lied about providing snacks for them, as there were several trays filled with various pastries scattered about the room. He pulled a tray filled with various cream puffs a little closer and selected one to munch on while he waited for an answer.

Gokudera eyed him for a moment as if to determine if the question had been legitimate. "All I know is that it has something to do with the Varia. Tenth got a phone call early this morning and heís been busy ever since dealing with some mess theyíve created."

"While we sit here doing nothing," Hibari added, the frustration evident in his deep voice.

"Youíre here to see-"

Lambo cut off Gokuderaís latest defense of Tsuna with a loud yawn. "He does have a point, you know. How long are we supposed to wait?" He lowered the book as he glanced around the library." I give my instructors fifteen minutes before I get to leave."

Gokudera snapped his jaw shut as he spun from Hibari to head over to Lambo. "What, you have anything better to do today than sleep and harass girls, you stupid cow?"

"That was a bit out of line!" Ryohei declared, who up until then had been distracted as he jotted down notes. "We all have things we could be doing rather than sitting around here bored."

"Yeah, well the Tenth asked for a bit of your time today and the least you can do is stick around to give it to him!" Gokudera left Lambo so he could try to intimidate Ryohei. "Itís not like hanging out with your girlfriend or training is that important!"

"If the meeting was so important, why isnít he here?"

"Everything Tenth does is important! So just sit your asses down and wait!"

Takeshi enjoyed his coffee and cream puffs while his friends squabbled, happy at least that there was good food to go along with the entertainment. Still, he had gotten out of bed earlier than he liked and put up with traffic for this, so he wasnít exactly seeing Gokuderaís side of the argument. If things didnít get interesting soon, he would head home and take a nap.

The sound of something metallic tapping against glass managed to cut through the yelling, as Ryohei and Gokudera shut up just before the argument took on a physical nature. Hibari smiled as he tapped one of his tonfa against a window a couple more times, the expression both pleased and cruel as he noticed that he held everyoneís attention.

"Unlike some of you, I do have rather important things to tend to." The smile slipped away as he nodded at Gokudera. "How much longer?"

Gokudera produced a low growl of frustration as he moved away from Ryoheiís chair. "I donít *know*. All I was told was to gather you ingrates in here and to keep you together." He tossed the filter of his cigarette aside then jerked his right hand through his hair, obviously frustrated by being kept in the dark. However, if there was trouble with the Varia right now, the last thing Tsuna needed was an over-zealous Storm Guardian by his side.

Hibari didnít appear pleased with the explanation, judging from the way he hefted the tonfa and his grey eyes narrowed. "I *will* not stay cooped up in here all day." He left out the Ďwith you herbivoresí, which he had gotten better about not saying over the years Ė mostly because he could convey it so well with just a disdainful look. Takeshi didnít take the implied insult to heart, as he knew his presence was being overwhelmed by everyone elseís in the room.

"Oh yeah? Well, according to your calendar, which you agreed to, the Tenthís got you for at least another half an hour." Gokudera snatched his cell phone from one of his back pockets, flipped it open, toggled to a screen and shoved it in Hibariís direction before tucking it back in its place, then pulled out and lit up a new cigarette. "You owe him that much at least! Psychotic, ungrateful, perverted bastard," he grumbled around the stick as he turned away to march over to the table where his cracked mug of coffee rested.

For a moment, Takeshi thought that Hibari was going to follow and smash that tonfa into Gokuderaís head so he did his best to distract his lover. "Ah, guess we have half an hour to kill, eh? Anyone want to play a game of charades?" He chuckled as he cleaned his hands with one of the cloth napkins provided. "I bet Chrome can make the games really fun." The illusionist shook her head and pressed even closer to the bookshelf, as if determined for everyone to forget that she was even there.

Lambo smiled as he set the book aside. "If there were more girls here Iíd suggest Truth or Dare, but charades could be fun."

Gokudera looked as if he had just swallowed his cigarette, even though it still dangled from his lips. "The Tenthís holed up with Reborn, we might be going to war for all we know and you morons want to play *games*?" His voice rose higher with each word until it cracked with the last few.

Ryohei rubbed his right pinky in his ear as if to clear it out, or make it stop aching, as Takeshiís were right then. "Hmm, maybe we should do something more extreme-"

"Half an hour?"

Takeshi twisted his neck to look at Hibari, who remained standing over in the corner. The Cloud Guardian still had his tonfa out, but now he was smiling, the expression even crueler than before. The others appeared to have noticed this fact as they fell quiet and, in Lamboís case, took to hiding behind books again.

"Ah, yeah, Tsuna did ask us to meet for an hour, originally," Takeshi admitted with a nervous grin. "So itís probably only fair to stick around that long before you take off again and IÖ we donít see you for a while."

"Hmm." Hibari tapped his tonfa against the window pane a couple of more times, his smile growing sharper as the book in Lamboís hands took to shaking and Gokudera bit back a curse at the noise. His eyes narrowed on the Storm Guardian for a few seconds and, to Takeshiís surprise, something like cruel amusement flashed through them before in one smooth motion the tonfa vanished and he headed straight for Takeshi.

"I donít do childish games," he said as he sank onto Takeshiís lap in a graceful descent, his arms sliding around Takeshiís shoulders. "Iíve other ways to amuse myself."

Takeshi was half-tempted to ask if he was supposed to be amused as well, but who was he kidding? He was already snaking his hands beneath Hibariís black coat, feeling warm, toned flesh beneath the thin material of his loverís dress shirt. "Seems like a pretty good way to kill the time to me," he murmured as he took a chance and leaned in for a kiss, having a good idea of what it was that Hibari aimed to do.

He got his bottom lip nipped for his daring before Hibariís parted, allowing his tongue to slip on past. Hmm, someone had stuck to just tea this morning, no wonder they were in a grouchy mood, he thought as he pulled his lover closer. Hibari allowed the possessive action, a sure sign that he deliberately goading Gokuderaís temper with this rather blatant display of affection. Not that they had ever hidden what was between them since things had started, but Hibari riding his lap during a meeting? Definitely a fantasy come to life, and not a chance he was going to pass up on by spending more time thinking than enjoying.

"OI! This is a library, not a bedroom! Where do a bunch of perverts like you two get off acting like that!" Gokudera hollered as Hibari undid the buttons to his coat before tugging free Takeshiís black tie. "Do I need to fetch a bucket of water?"

Remembering the plate of cream puffs, Takeshi fumbled about for one of them with his right hand, the left being a bit busy trying to undo the buttons of Hibariís shirt, and once he found one he threw it in Gokuderaís direction to get the pain in the ass to shut up.

"Wow, extreme aim!"

"You shitty bastard! Itís all in my hair!"

Maybe cream puffs as projectile weapons didnít work as well as hoped, but removing Hibariís coat managed to cut off the noisy bastard mid-tirade. Gokudera sounded as if he was having a heart attack, while Ryohei tried to distract Lambo by talking to him about the weather. Takeshi chuckled over their antics and then winced when his hair was given a harsh yank for his lack of attention.

"Oh, sure, *now* you get all demanding," he murmured as he kissed his way along Hibariís jaw.

"I can leave," Hibari threatened with that quiet, bored tone of his, fingers still tightly wound in the short strands. He stared at Takeshi through thick lashes, his eyes downcast and his expression impassive save for the slight flush to his cheeks. Yet his pulse thundered against Takeshiís lips, his cock was hard against Takeshiís thigh.

One day Takeshi would call that bluff, but not after weeks apart and when he was having so much fun twisting Gokuderaís tail, when he had counted on this moment. Not to mention that even if Hibari didnít give him a tonfa to the head before leaving just now, heíd have one hell of a problem getting up out of the chair and walking away. "Aw, but weíre just getting to the good part," he crooned as he tugged on his loverís tie until the dark purple silk slid free from Hibariís neck.

"NO! No more taking off of clothes!" Gokudera insisted from across the room, his tone growing more panicked as Hibariís shirt was pulled from his black slacks. "Ack! Youíre not- this isnít- thereís kidsÖ stop *doing* that!"

Takeshi grinned as he leaned back in the chair and arched his eyebrows in question at his lover, leaving it open as to how far Hibari was willing to take things just to piss off Gokudera and get out of the meeting. Really, he should have expected the cool look in return as Hibari never backed down from a battle once started, even if it was just a battle of wills. Some people were just so predictableÖ. Off went the shirt, flung in Gokuderaís direction, which prompted another round of incoherent babbling and what sounded like people jumping from their chairs.

Too busy kissing Hibari while trying to shrug out of his own coat and shirt to care what the others were doing, Takeshi wrapped his arms around his lover and pulled him close. This may have started out as a cruel joke, Hibariís perverse way to annoy and remind others why it wasnít a good idea to try to make him sit and wait, but a joke could only go so far. And if Hibari wasnít going to back down, then he was going to enjoy every minute of this that he could before his lover vanished on him again, be there an audience or not.

Arms tight around Hibariís waist, he surged up from the chair, grunting a little first from his loverís weight and then from the none too gentle bite to his bottom lip before Hibari wrapped his legs around Takeshiís hips. That seemed to be the cue for everyone else to head for the door as he stumbled to the nearest table, although Ryohei had to drag Chrome along.

"But- but Iíve orders to-"

"Uhm, I think itís best to leave," Ryohei insisted as he slammed the door behind him.

Takeshi laughed as he set Hibari down on the edge of the table. "You think we frightened them away?"

"Hmm." Hibari kept his legs hooked around Takeshiís thighs and pulled him closer. "About time they left." He nipped at Takeshiís chin and grabbed a handful of hair to tug him down into another kiss, this one more passionate than those before. Takeshi cupped his loverís face for a moment as he fully gave in to the desire, wanting nothing else but the man before him.

Strong fingers biting into the flesh of his waist above his pants, a sharp tug at his belt helped to ground him, to shake him from the fervent play of lips and tongue and remind him of better things to come. He laughed as he pulled away enough to help Hibari undo his belt, pausing to retrieve his wallet before he let his pants and his boxers fall to the floor. "My, someoneís impatient today," he pointed out with some smugness.

Hibari didnít deign to answer, other than with a disdainful sniff as he slid from the table to remove his own remaining garments and shoes. Then he hopped back up onto it, an impatient gleam in his eyes as he hooked his legs behind Takeshiís and pulled him forward.

"Oh yes, definitely impatient," Takeshi repeated as he slid between his loverís legs. "Anyone ever tell you that patience is a virtue?" he teased as he pulled the lubricated condom from his wallet.

"Iíve a half a dozen other things I could be doing right now," Hibari pointed out, his manner cold even as he wrapped his arms around Takeshiís shoulders. "If youíd rather not be one of themÖ."

"No, no!" Takeshi laughed as he leaned in for a quick kiss. "Iím very pleased to finally make the top of your list," he murmured as he shifted closer, hips nudging Hibariís legs wider apart. "Iím not about to let you slip away now."

"Brave words." Hibariís eyes were heavy lidded, the expression almost one of passionate surrender, but Takeshi knew better. The moment he assumed that the Cloud Guardian gave in was one when heíd be shoved aside with a cracked skull and never looked at again.

So instead he grinned as he stroked his left hand along Hibariís face. "Would you pay me a momentís notice if I didnít show some balls?"

He received a non-committal grunt for a response, but the fact that the reticent man allowed the caress was answer enough. Tempted for a moment to press his fingers against Hibariís lips, he decided that it would be pushing things too far and sucked on them himself, the entire time staring into his loverís eyes.

Little emotion crossed Hibariís face, but those blue-grey eyes darkened with passion as Takeshi wet his own fingers, and the legs wrapped around his thighs tightened and pulled him closer as he opened his mouth. Long, agile fingers slid into his hair and tugged his head down for an ardent kiss once his fingers were free, Hibariís tongue thrusting in deep as his right hand skimmed along the manís tense back. He moaned at the intensity of the kiss, at how little it took to lose himself in his lover, the simple challenge of teeth and tongue.

He pulled Hibari closer to him, lifting him slightly off of the table, and smiled at the growl that rumbled into his mouth as his wet fingers pressed against the exposed tight opening. Hibariís legs clamped tighter around his hips, causing their erections to rub together, and the kiss broke off as he gasped at the sensation.

Hibari was quiet, yet he leaned forward, his face buried in Takeshiís shoulder as one of Takeshiís fingers pushed inside. His fingers entwined themselves in Takeshiís hair, pulling tight on the strands as he panted against Takeshiís neck.

For once remaining quiet in favor of cracking any jokes, Takeshi slowly added another finger, mindful of Hibariís impatience and seemingly inhuman tolerance. When he felt his lover begin to shift about in annoyance, he removed them and fumbled for the condom that he had set aside on the table, lifting it to his mouth to tear at the wrapping with his teeth. Once it was free of its package, he hurried to put it on, cursing at the thing as Hibari pulled back to glare at him in impatience.

"Why-"

"Ah, itís on!" He lifted Hibariís right leg a little higher and positioned his cock, then slowly began to push inside, the condomís lubricant making it a bit easier to push past the tight ring of muscles. Hibari clenched at his hair, the only sign of any discomfort he made, and then was wrapping his arms and legs around him tight like a vise.

"Move, dammit," Hibari hissed, and followed the words with a scrape of the teeth along Takeshiís neck.

Oh, there had to be some prayer of thanks for such a durable lover.Ö Takeshi laughed, the sound breathless as he thrust his hips as requested, his right hand helping to support his loverís weight while his left slipped between their bodies to wrap around Hibariís cock. The half-snarl that he received for his actions made him grin as he nuzzled Hibariís soft hair, the strands tickling his chin.

As much as he had dreamed this, the reality of sex with Hibari Kyouya could never be improved upon. The feel of him, the sounds and scent of himÖ. So tight and hot around him, so passionate and responsive. He smiled as nails scratched down his back in response to a hard thrust on his part, as strong, lean thighs clenched hard around him as if to never let go, as velvet heat pulled him in deeper with each slide forward, lips brushing against his neck and then the teasing press of sharp teeth. So many wonderful sensations all over his body, Hibariís rough way of claiming him, of drawing him in to the ecstasy that sank into every part of him. It was a pleasure that was all the sharper for the hint of pain that laced through it, the roughness that stripped it of all niceties and politeness and forced it to pure need and desire.

What it came down to was him fucking Hibari on a table, pants around his ankles and thrusting for all heís worth, his loverís teeth sunk into his right shoulder as he danced along the precipice of climax, desperate to hold it off a little longer as he stroked hard and fast along Hibariís cock, thrusts now uneven and rough and as deep as he could manage. He felt Hibari tense against him, around him, felt those sharp teeth bite harder and knew that heíd held out just long enough, and the exhilarating tightness around his cock is enough to tip him over as well.

He slumped over his lover as the pleasure rolled through him, used the weakness as an excuse to again nuzzle Hibariís hair for several seconds and to hold him close as he regained his breath. All too soon, the Cloud Guardian squirmed against the intimacy and pushed him away, at arms length, with a frown on his flushed face.

Because Takeshi knew from experience and years of studying the frustratingly independent, aloof man in front of him, he grinned like an idiot and cracked a joke before Hibari could push him away any further, could make an expression as if heís reconsidering what just happened and the *intimacy* heíd just allowed. No matter what they may feel for each other, or Hibariís reasons for allowing him this close, appearances had to be kept. "Wow, such a shame that Gokudera didnít stick around for *that*!" He laughed as he reached for a handful of the cloth napkins, which he handed to his lover with a slight bow. "Think he would have a brain aneurism or what?"

Hibariís frown deepened over being handed the napkins, then smoothed out as he cleaned himself up. "And you consider the man a friend." He sounded amused, and there was a hint of a smile curving his lips as he stood to his feet.

"Yeah, well, itís fun playing jokes on friends. Isnít that why you started things here in the first place," he asked with a foolish smile as he paused in cleaning himself up, and laughed at the derisive snort he got by way of an answer. "Ah then, guess it was that you just couldnít keep your hands off of me any longer."

"So delusional," was Hibariís absent-minded remark as he collected his clothes, his attention more focused on shaking out each article of clothing in an effort to rid them of any wrinkles; after so many years, the effort of swatting Takeshiís ego down was pretty much automatic.

Still, as long as the beat downs were verbal and not physical, Takeshi figured it was safe to push on. "Yep, I definitely think thatís it. You must have missed me so much that you could barely wait until we were alone." This time Hibari looked up after pulling on his pants to give him a withering glare. "Aw, come on, we just had sex in the library after you came on to me in front of our friends. I think Iím allowed this Ďdelusioní," he said while pulling on his own clothes.

Hibari studied him for a few seconds before resuming dressing. "It was a convenient way to avoid listening to a bunch of useless yapping."

Some people could be so stubborn. Not bothering with the buttons of his dress shirt, Takeshi approached his lover with caution. "Still, you took a big risk. I didnít take you for such an exhibitionist." He smiled as he combed his fingers through the unruly, soft strands of Hibariís hair, which his lover seemed to suffer for several seconds before gently knocking his right hand aside. "I bet Lambo really wanted to stick around and watch, at least for pointers."

For once, there werenít any scathing rejoinders from the man, just a quick glance off to the side and then an unfathomable look back at Takeshi for a few heartbeats before Hibari continued buttoning his cuffs. Takeshi was used to the odd behavior and helped him to straighten his collar, then stepped aside before he got smacked for his Ďfussingí.

Still, he wasnít ready for his lover to leave just yet. "So why did you go through with this? Was it really just to shut Gokudera up?" he asked as he finished retrieving his belongings and set them all on a table.

"Because now I should be spared the incessant whining over these meetings, especially when I turn down the next dozen or so," Hibari remarked as he pulled on his coat.

Takeshi frowned at the smugness in his loverís tone. "Yeah, but youíre pretty much the highlight of the things for me, that and the cream puffs Kyoko sometimes orders. What am I gonna do for fun if youíre not gonna show up?" he complained.

Hibari merely smirked as he knotted his tie with enviable skill and adjusted it at the base of his throat. "Keep your sword on hand and youíll still have your fun," he said in that quiet, throaty way of his that made Takeshi want to do things which would lead to him ending up in a full body cast Ė but still, there would be *so* much fun leading up to that point. Hibari brushed his lips against Takeshiís before striding out of the room, cell phone in his right hand as he flipped it open and looked at its screen.

Since he wasnít in much of a hurry, Takeshi picked up and munched on another cream puff while he poured himself a fresh cup of coffee. He supposed that he could hang out around the mansion for a little while to pretend to have any interest in seeing if Tsuna wrapped up the matter with the Varia sometime today before heading home to wait for Hibari. Maybe Gokudera would come out of hiding soon and offer to spar to kill the time; if he was just going to rant and rave about them being perverted and corrupting Ďpoorí Lambo, then Takeshi would shut him up by saying that any lecture had to be saved until Hibari was around to hear it since heíd taken equal part in said perversions. That should buy him enough time to slip away while Gokudera figured out how to get the Cloud Guardian to stick around and listen to *anything* he had to say.

"Youíre looking rather pleased with yourself."

Grateful that heíd just set the pot of coffee down, Takeshi covered his surprise with a smile as he looked up at Reborn, who was lounging in the doorway. "Hey, I thought you were helping Tsuna." He motioned to the tray of pastries. "Want a cannoli?"

"No thanks." Reborn smiled as he tipped up his black fedora with the cell phone that was held in his right hand. "I decided to take a break. It got a bit boring, listening to Tsuna try to rationalize with the Varia." His smile twisted into a grimace as he talked, making Takeshi feel a bit sorry for his friend as he was certain that Tsuna probably had taken abuse from both his Ďadvisorí and his supposed own assassination squad during that discussion. "Heís going to spend the rest of the day trying to clean up this mess."

"Ah." Takeshi dusted off his hands before he sipped some coffee to clear his throat. "I didnít think it would be so bad, yeah? I mean, the Varia might have jumped the gun a bit by taking on the Esposti family, but they were gonna get to them eventually, right? If anything, theyíve saved us some work." He sipped some more coffee as he leaned his right hip against the table.

The smile returned to Rebornís face as he tapped the cell phone against his chin. "I guess thatís one way to look at it, which is why I didnít rat you out to Tsuna for sending the intel on that family to Squalo so the Varia could make the move ahead of schedule." He chuckled as Takeshi choked on his coffee, shocked at being found out so easily. "I was mostly holding back until I figured out why youíd done it, and then I heard about your little Ďshowí here today." His smile took on a nasty edge as he pushed away from the door frame. "You really threw a wrench in Tsunaís plans just so heíd spend the morning putting out fires rather than attend the meeting, and that way you got some Ďquality timeí with Hibari?"

"UhmÖ it seemed a good idea at the time?" Takeshi admitted as he set the mug down and edged closer to his sword. When Reborn smiled like that, it was impossible to tell if he was amused or about to start shooting. "Itís not like anyone was hurt, right?" Heíd been very certain of that before heíd sent that email.

"Well, Gokuderaís doing a lot of squawking about being traumatized for life, but on the whole, no." Reborn chuckled again as he held up his phone, the sound low and evil. "However, with the Varia acting on their own like that, a lot of plans have been upset and itís going to be a pain, cleaning up their mess. Not mention that Hibariís going to be very disappointed in finding out that not only will he have to stick around for a while to help out, but that he lost the chance to take on some really good fighters."

That made Takeshi pause as he focused his attention back on the assassin Ė not so much hearing that things would be busy for the foreseeable future, which he had been hoping for as a means of keeping Hibari around a little longer, but the insinuation that the Cloud Guardian would find out *why* he was stuck here. "I thought you said you hadnít told Tsuna!"

"I didnít." The smirk on Rebornís face was one of pure maliciousness. "What, didnít I say anything about sending Hibari a text?" He motioned with his cell phone as he took a step backwards, away from the door. "I thought that things have been a bit quiet around here lately and could use some livening up, and you just had to go and give me the perfect opportunity." He laughed as Takeshi looked around in a panic and snatched at Shigure Kintoki as Takeshiís name could be heard being shouted in the distance by a very, *very* annoyed sounding Hibari. It was shouted again, this time closer than before.

Oh *hell*, Hibari would kill him if he got his hands on him right now. This was definitely the time for a strategic retreat until his lover calmed down, say in a year or two. Takeshi winced when he heard a loud crashing noise out in the hallway and upped the estimate another year. There would definitely not be any more sex in his immediate futureÖ he would be lucky if he got out of this with all of his body parts attached. It had seemed like such a good plan - he just hadnít taken Reborn into consideration.

"Youíre not the only one whoís good at predicting how people will react, you know," the bastard taunted him, as if reading his thoughts.

The sound of Rebornís laughter, a faint, familiar chuckle and Hibariís furious voice chased Takeshi out of the library as he dove through the nearest open window and ran.

*******

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