One perk to being a mafioso is that Yamamoto never has to worry about scrounging up formal wear for special events like weddings. And funerals, he supposes, but that kind of thinking will do nothing but get him down, so he pushes the thought from his mind, makes a cursory attempt at taming his hair with his fingers, and straightens his tie in the mirror. Normally Gokudera would do this for him, but the last time Yamamoto asked for help, he’d been left with spiteful scratches on his jugular, so he figures he should lay off that little tradition for a while.
With one last look at his reflection, he deems his appearance acceptable and steps out into the front hall. Sure, Gokudera will claim that he has bed head, but Yamamoto will just pretend he means ‘sex hair’.
He finds the man polishing their black dress shoes in the little foyer of their apartment. When he quietly clears his throat, Gokudera looks up and scrutinizes him with flashing green eyes.
Gokudera says, “Didn’t you even try to do anything with your hair? You look like you just rolled out of bed.”
Yamamoto uses willful ignorance. It’s super effective.
Thus, he hears: “You’re lucky to have such low maintenance hair. You look like you just got done fucking, and you still look good.”
“Thanks!” Yamamoto replies, to which Gokudera rolls his eyes and hands him his pair of shoes, slightly larger than the ones held in his pale, callused fists.
As they tie up their laces side by side, Yamamoto says for what is probably the tenth time, “So, Tsuna wants us to go to the reception without him? I really can’t remember him mentioning it at all.”
“Yes,” Gokudera grits out. “You might actually hear something at the meetings if you ever stopped fidgeting around and paid attention just once.”
“Ah, that’s why I was never the greatest in school,” Yamamoto concedes, to which Gokudera shoots him a look that has ‘thank you, Captain Obvious,’ written all over it.
The drive to the wedding is fairly uneventful by Gokudera’s standards. In fact, Yamamoto only has to stop him from throwing a mini-bomb out the window once, which is pretty miraculous. Okay, so that guy riding their ass probably did deserve to have the paint job on his cobalt Ferrari messed up a little, but Yamamoto takes his job of keeping Gokudera in check very seriously. Plus, he doubts Tsuna would see the humor in it.
Speaking of Tsuna…
“Are you sure he said something at the meeting? Because I’m almost positive he’s never talked about the Borgo Sambuci before. I mean, it’s kind of strange going to the boss’s niece’s wedding when we’re not that close to the Family.”
“I swear to God, if you bring that up one more time...”
Hmm, I guess I didn’t confiscate all of them, Yamamoto muses as he pinches out the wick on the mini-bomb brandished in his face.
The reception is at a small banquet hall with a large, handmade sign that proclaims ‘Favero Wedding’ on a post in the front lawn. As they enter the building, Yamamoto rests a hand briefly against the small of Gokudera’s back before it is swatted away.
“Vincente Uberti is a very conservative mafioso,” Gokudera hisses in explanation. Disappointed as he is, Yamamoto concedes. Having two of his underbosses get on the bad side of the Borgo Sambuci is not going to be of any help to Tsuna. He slides the offending hand into his pocket and bumps Gokudera with his elbow.
“Got it,” he whispers. “Don’t worry.”
When Gokudera relaxes minutely, Yamamoto smiles, and they enter the reception hall. Gokudera nods his head at the woman in the long, ivory gown, who is dancing with the man in the sleek, black tux with the pale blue tie.
“Livia and Adamo Favero,” he says. “The bride and groom. And that’s Vincente Uberti over there.” Gokudera gestures towards a short, balding man in a navy suit with wide lapels standing in a corner of the room, whom Yamamoto vaguely recalls seeing in one of the newspaper clippings Gokudera keeps on file for all the local families.
“Should we go over to him?” Yamamoto asks when the don’s eyes fall on them and alight with recognition. Nodding his head lightly for Yamamoto’s benefit, Gokudera maintains eye contact with Uberti and smiles in feigned politeness.
“All we need to do is extend our congratulations concerning the wedding. After that, it’s just a matter of staying long enough for decorum’s sake,” Gokudera answers, making his way across the room with Yamamoto trailing at his side.
The conversation with Uberti does not last long, as Gokudera predicted. After exchanging pleasantries with the boss, they head over to the bar where Gokudera picks up a glass of red wine.
“Feel free to mingle,” he says with his teeth against the lip of the glass. “Just don’t make a fool of yourself. And don’t moon over me--if you think you’re being sly about it, then you’re sorely mistaken.”
Yamamoto is about to protest that he’s not trying to hide his doting looks from Gokudera, but they are interrupted by a petite, ginger haired woman in a fuchsia cocktail dress who sidles up to Gokudera and touches his hand.
“Care to dance?” she asks, fluttering her fake eyelashes. Sighing, Gokudera glances at Yamamoto before leading the delighted girl onto the dance floor.
Well, if Gokudera is going to have fun (or at least pretend to have fun), then Yamamoto should, too, never mind that he only knows one other person here; it’s not every day that he gets to go to a wedding reception. Booze, music, dancing, new faces--it’s almost like being at a club, but a little less ‘don’t breathe the air unless you want a venereal disease’ and a little more ‘Nonna Giovanna’s going to break her hip if she tries that move again’.
This would be so much easier if he could just hang around Gokudera the entire time, but that will probably get Yamamoto nothing but grief, so he’ll save that tactic for later. For now, Yamamoto turns back to the bar to formulate a plan of attack, when he is distracted by a blurry figure holding what appear to be two flutes of champagne that suddenly dominates his field of vision. Instinctively taking a step back, Yamamoto looks down at the apparition.
“Hi,” he says, ever polite and ever friendly. The apparition, a young man about a head shorter than him with thick, wavy black hair and sunkissed skin, looks a little delirious.
“Raimondo Uberti,” the man replies, his voice cracking slightly. “And you must be Takeshi Yamamoto, unless I’m mistaken?”
“Nope, you got it right,” Yamamoto answers. He smiles, sizing the man up before mentally slapping himself. It’s a little disconcerting how much of a toll the mafia has taken on his psyche. (Raimondo has Sasagawa’s build. He’d probably be tough in a hand-to-hand fight, but Yamamoto has enough confidence in his own speed.) Now is not the time for such thoughts--it’s a party, and this is a potential new friend.
“Are you related to Don Uberti?” he asks.
“Hm, he’s my uncle. I’m the bride’s brother,” Raimondo says, shrugging his shoulders, “but that’s not why—I mean—” He trembles a bit, but before Yamamoto can register to ask if anything is wrong, he plows on. “I’m a huge fan!”
Yamamoto feels an involuntary flush of self conscious pride wash over him, the kind of sensation that makes him grateful that Gokudera’s snide comments never let his accomplishments go to his head. But it’s still nice to hear that someone appreciates his skill.
“Haha, I don’t meet too many Italian’s who follow baseball,” he says, rubbing at the back of his neck in a gesture straight out of his childhood.
“Well, the others just don’t know what they’re missing,” Raimondo replies. He thrusts one of the glasses into Yamamoto’s hand. “Drink with me?”
Yamamoto glances over at Gokudera, who has already been set upon by the next woman, swaying with her with poorly masked disgruntlement evident in the set of his jaw.
If pressed, Yamamoto will honestly admit that he does not remember much of the events that follow, although Gokudera surrounded by strange women and Raimondo surrounded by copious amounts of alcohol are two constants that stay with him throughout the party. Alright, that’s not entirely true—he does remember the speech. And, well, yeah....
With their sparkling teeth and glowing faces, the newlyweds at the banquet table are the picture of bliss. Yamamoto likes it when people are happy. It makes his insides feel warm and fuzzy. It makes him want to hug everyone and laugh and kiss Gokudera silly, but he’s not allowed to do that here because Gokudera promised a week on the couch if he tries any funny business at the reception. So he does the next best thing.
The tinkling of silver against crystal is enough to catch most people’s attention, and the lull in conversation that follows catches everyone’s attention. The bride and groom look at him with politely confused smiles. Raimondo stares at him like he’s some kind of god. Over at the bar, Gokudera is standing with mouth agape and two women in slinky black dresses and too much make-up attached to each of his arms. He almost looks as if he’s wondering if he’s in a nightmare, but Yamamoto is probably reading too much into his frantic eyes.
“Congratulations,” Yamamoto slurs, “to—” damn, what are their names? “—this lovely couple. I wish you the best of luck in your journey ahead. May you be prosperous, happy, and make much sweet, sweet love together.”
Gokudera would be proud that his Italian lessons are being put to good use! Speak of the devil, he’s heading this way right now. Better wrap this up.
“So…cin-cin!” Giggling, Yamamoto raises his glass and spills some wine down his hand. Haha, penis—Italian is so funny!¹ He licks at his sticky skin before downing the rest of his drink.
“Kampai!” Raimondo shouts. The bride rolls her eyes and shrugs her shoulders, and someone breaks out into raucous laughter, shattering the spell of nervous silence.
And then Gokudera arrives, one of the women—the one with the little beauty mark on the left side of her chin—still in tow, and Yamamoto wonders if maybe the whole speech thing wasn’t such a good idea. Gokudera looks absolutely livid, his lips curled in a snarl, his eyes a flashing warning sign.
“What the ever loving fuck was that stunt you just pulled?”
“Um…a toast to—” Yamamoto waves a limp hand in the general direction of the couple “—them.”
Gokudera winces at Yamamoto’s eye-watering breath. “How much have you had to drink?”
“You know what? I don’t want to know.” Gokudera grabs Yamamoto by the elbow and begins dragging him out of the main reception area and away from Raimondo. “Let’s go.”
“You can’t leave so soon!” The woman pouts, winding her bare arms around Gokudera’s torso, although such a hindrance does nothing to prevent Gokudera from leading the group into the secluded hallway near the restrooms. Yamamoto is on the verge of saying something to her when Raimondo interrupts his train of thought.
“What are you doing to Signor Yamamoto? Let him go; a party is about enjoying oneself, is it not?” Raimondo reaches for Yamamoto and pulls him away, a gesture which makes Yamamoto whine a little because that was the closest he’s gotten to Gokudera throughout the entire party.
Gokudera turns his rage on Raimondo. “Are you the one that got him to this point?” he demands with a glare reminiscent of a pissed off bull.
“We were bonding,” Raimondo declares, as if that is enough explanation.
“That’s right, Gokudera,” Yamamoto butts in, “bonding. Raimondo was interested in my basheball career.”
“Raimondo Uberti,” Gokudera says, not so delicately yanking Yamamoto away from his captor, “is known for entertaining infatuations with dozens of famous sportsmen.”
“Huh?” is Yamamoto’s eloquent response.
“He’s trying to get into your pants,” Gokudera explains. Unnoticed, the woman silently tiptoes back to the party.
“Do not listen to him, Signor Yamamoto,” Raimondo pleads, clasping one of Yamamoto’s hands in his own. “He simply does not understand the connection we have. Come, I will show you how a true man loves!”
Yamamoto is suddenly, painfully aware of how wet the lower half of his face has become. It’s almost as if Raimondo is trying to suck his very life force out by way of his mouth. With one last kick at his alcohol addled brain cells, Yamamoto succeeds in prying the passionate Italian off his lips.
“Wait, wait, I’m already—”
And then Raimondo is on the ground with the sharp crack of bones meeting.
“That’s my fiancé, you bastard.” Gokudera growls, wrapping a possessive, shaking arm around Yamamoto’s waist.
The same dazed expression finds a home on both Raimondo’s and Yamamoto’s faces.
Gokudera spits on Raimondo. “Not a word about how you got that black eye, or your uncle will find out about your inclinations.”
Raimondo blanches, and then nods numbly. They leave him there on the floor with a rapidly swelling cheek bone and possibly a mess in his pants.
After much dragging and stumbling, Gokudera finally has both of them situated in the car. Yamamoto’s head feels a little heavy, so he lets it loll against the head rest. When he tries to look at Gokudera, his vision spins, but that’s just an incidental in his current state.
“Fiancé, huh?” he finally remembers to ask out loud once they are halfway home.
Gokudera’s ears turn pink. “What of it?”
“Shouldn’t the person you’re marrying know about something like that?”
“Yeah, well.” Gokudera glances at him from the corner of his eye. “You got a problem with it?”
Yamamoto shakes his head with a grin. Then he frowns a little. “Can you remind me about this when I’m sober? I’d kind of like to remember that I’m getting married.”
When Gokudera helps him into bed later with a glass of water and a box of crackers, Yamamoto finally remembers what has been bugging him all day.
“Are you sure Tsuna asked us to go to the reception? Because I think I would remember him saying something.”
He yelps when Gokudera tugs sharply at his forelock. Leaning down, Gokudera brushed his lips across his flushed cheek and mumbles, “Alright, alright, the Tenth didn’t tell us to go; I just wanted to get some ideas for our own reception.”
With a bright laugh, Yamamoto drags Gokudera down onto his belly—bad idea, bad idea!—but then Gokudera squirms around until he is curled warm and perfect next to Yamamoto under the covers. Yamamoto cups a palm over Gokudera’s heart.
“So, what’s the verdict?” he asks.
“No open bar.”
They both laugh this time, and when Yamamoto buries his head under Gokudera’s chin and presses damp, open mouthed kisses to the soft, fluttering heartbeat under the skin of Gokudera’s neck, all is forgiven.
Well, at least until Gokudera has to do damage control.