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handfuls of orange splatters for empty platters

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Tsuna rubbed his forehead, already feeling the beginnings of a headache. Bright orange decor stared back at him, and briefly, he wondered if this was what that abyss poem had been all about.

It wasn’t necessarily that he hated the color orange. Tsuna kicked aside some orange balloons, wincing as he felt his shoes slosh through orange paint that sat atop a—surprise surprise!—orange rug. He winced again, feeling the paint cling to the leather of his shoes.

He didn’t hate orange, it was more than a lovely color, really and truly. But by no means did he love it to whatever this extent was, and he didn’t know who the hell started the rumor that he did. When he became boss, he had been prepared to face all sorts of scandalous experiences, hear the whispers of death from both allies and enemies alike—

—not stress about being unable to find his desk in the neverending sea of orange, orange, orange.

The stack of oranges on top of his shockingly, not orange desk loomed over him menacingly. He took a deep breath and stared at the pile with determination burning in his soul. He was Sawada Tsunayoshi! The Vongola Decimo! He had saved the world multiple times, goddamnit! A mere fruit pile should be nothing!

He reached for the pile, and it trembled. Tsuna received a gracious two seconds to scream before the oranges came toppling down, pelting his body and pinning it to the freshly painted carpet.

(Surprisingly, not one of the worst mornings he’s had. In all honesty, it was going pretty well considering all that could—)

“Oya, Tsunayoshi-kun? I wasn’t aware of your intense passion for modern art.”

(Shit.)

Tsuna shoved the fruit off, cringing as he peeled himself up off the wet floor. A shiver ran through his body, paint soaking his hair and back. “What is it, Mukuro?” he grimaced, feeling how his hair and suit were starting to clump together. How sweet, paint that offered custom tailoring and hair cut free of charge. How extremely lucky he was. 

Mukuro’s smile was much too pleasant.

“Is it a crime to check up on the boss, Tsunayoshi-kun?” Mukuro leaned against the desk, tilting his head up innocently. “To show compassion for a comrade? Be so bold to care for a friend?”

Tsuna sighed, reluctantly reaching for the hand held out to him. With the help of his friend—unfortunately, yes, he did consider Mukuro a friend to some extent—he rose to his feet, readjusting his suit the best he could. The paint was beginning to dry, the fabric already tethering on the edge of brittle and uncomfortable. Absentmindedly, Tsuna dusted off his front, wondering if there were any spare suits in the office.

Another shiver ran through his body, and he grimaced.

A shower would probably be better. Save what he could of his hair while he was at it.

Mukuro hummed, eyeing him. “Have you been eating well, Tsunayoshi-kun? You appear rather thin.” The Decimo jumped back in shock when Mukuro ran his hands along his sides, falling back down. Above him, the mist guardian tsked, shaking his head. “You leave a man alone for a second, and he lays himself to waste. I’m sure your mother will extend my disapprovals at this evening’s dinner.”  

Tsuna stared at the paint that had risen between his fingers, frowning. “Dinner?” He turned to Mukuro. “With mom?”

“Yes, dinner.” Mukuro raised an eyebrow. “Could it be that the great Vongola Decimo forgot about dinner with his own parents?” 

“Gah!” Tsuna cradled his head, oblivious to the new paint he now wore in his newfound distress. “That’s today?!”

Mukuro shook his head, wiping away a nonexistent tear. “The sorry state of the Decimo brings me to tears. Whatever will become of the mafia, I wonder?”

“...you’re serious about that wondering, aren’t you?

Mukuro smiled, more teeth than lips, “Naturally.”

Tsuna glanced at the clock. It was early morning, so there was still a chance to fix the sorry state of his office before his mother showed up. Knowing her the way he did, she would show up early, get distracted, and then invite the whole famiglia and offer to cook, foregoing their original plans.

Which, much as Tsuna loved his mother’s cooking, he wanted her to relax and eat at a nice restaurant for once.

And he really wanted to get out of the mansion without everyone following him. Just one evening meal where he wasn’t getting proposals thrown at him left and right, his famiglia clambering to fix a new ring on him and promising him an “eternity sweeter than death.”

Typical things any boss faced, Tsuna was sure. 

He hoped.

A hand settled on his shoulder; Tsuna brought out of his thoughts by Mukuro, who kneeled next to him, a comforting and nonmalicious smile present on his features. 

The gesture ruined by the fact Mukuro had whisked forth a pillow so his leather-clad knees wouldn’t get paint on them. But, only slightly.

“Do not fret your pretty little head off, Tsunayoshi-kun,” Mukuro hummed cheerfully, “After all, what sort of husband would I be if I didn’t tend to my wife’s every need?”

“Mukuro…”

“Yes?”

“Out.”


It took about an hour to convince Mukuro to uninvite himself from the dinner.

It took another to get him out of the hallway, where he sat sulking and interfering with the maids who were merely trying to bring the don the cleaning supplies he had asked for.


Tsuna flexed his fingers, still feeling the phantom sensations of dried paint. For the most part, the shower had done him a lot of good. His suit probably could have been saved, but Tsuna had no qualms setting it on fire and seeking a new, non-orange one from his closet.

He sighed and looked around the office, staring at the half scrubbed out orange dyes and half torn off orange sashes. Tsuna had managed to get rid of some new renovations, but a lot had practically melded into the interior.

If only there were showers for rooms, then Tsuna’s life really would have been a lot better. Maybe he could commission the science branch to invent something like that. Who knew, maybe one day it could come in handy for the Varia’s cleanup jobs. Or when there were surprise parties that he had no knowledge of being thrown in his room.

Or when his office magically restyled itself overnight. 

There were plenty of practical, totally unselfish reasons for creating a shower for rooms.

Tsuna made his way to his chair, avoiding the oranges that still lay scattered about. The fruits had decided to become additional textures to the carpet, and Tsuna didn’t feel like messing with them just yet. He fell back into his chair, body practically melding with the leather.

At the very least, he thought tiredly; his desk was a nice contrast to all the orange, its dark garnishes a nice change of pace. 

A light tap sounded outside his door.

Tsuna raised an eyebrow.

The tap sounded again.

He sighed, closing his eyes. “Come in.”

The first thing he heard was feet shuffling forward. The second thing he heard was the sound of umbrellas thrown around the room, sounds of furniture pierced and torn to shreds gracing the air. A monotone voice hummed out above the chaos.

“Oh no, the mini-boss died.” Feet shuffled closer, and Tsuna felt his face tickle, something floating down gently to cover him. “Rest in peace. We promise not to let your body go to waste. I’m sure the recyclables will find a good use for you.”

Tsuna pulled off the cloth that Fran had settled on his face, sitting up. His eyebrow twitched, deciding to focus on the teen rather than Levi, who was in the midst of a rather large fit.

“This is horrible! Shit! Absolute shit! Who even picked these shades of orange when we asked for—”

Yes, Tsuna was doing himself a massive favor by ignoring the lightning guardian right now. He turned back to Fran, who had taken a seat on his desk, the teen swinging his legs back and forth. “Fran… does the Vaira need something?”

Fran tilted his head. “If we did, I doubt the boss would have us ask you.”

“Ah.”

Fran ducked his head, another umbrella with lightning flying on by. “Just came to get rejuvenated by sapping your life force, mini-boss.”

“Ah.” Realizing that he wouldn’t get any more answers from Fran, Tsuna turned to Levi, clearing his throat. “Levi-san, for the love of all that is unholy, please stop destroying my office.”

Predictably, he was ignored.

Tsuna pulled out his cellphone. “I guess I’ll have to reschedule my weekly outings with the V—”

The noise stopped, Levi frozen in place.

“Oh my,” Fran said, covering his mouth in exaggerated shock. “Leave it to an old pervert to scare away the saint.”

Levi’s form bristled with anger, but he held back, looking between Tsuna and the phone. “I-I-I was just clearing up the mess, m-m-m—” He stood straight, and Tsuna was kind of amazed that the man’s hair seemed to crackle with electricity as well. “These shades of orange are all wrong and completely outside of the ones we ordered last week which would have been here on time had it not been for—”

Ah, Tsuna thought as the pieces came together, So that’s why we got charged with those renovations fees.

“I assure you, mini-boss,” Levi said, moving to grip his shoulders too tight to be entirely comfortable, “The Varia would not have assigned such a half-assed job. We will execute the painters immediately—”

“No!” Tsuna shook his head fiercely, gripping Levi’s wrists, “No, don’t do that! I…” He gave a once-over to the sorry state of his office. He swallowed, the words like rocks in his throat as he grit out, “I really, really enjoy it.”

Levi raised an eyebrow. “Has your vision been injured lately?” He asked, “And are those not meant for removing the filth from this place?” He motioned at the cleaning supplies Tsuna still had out.

It was a shame that the Varia’s intelligence always showed when Tsuna could have immensely benefited from some obliviousness. 

“U-Uh… because—”

“Because not everyone is an old, disgusting, dirty pervert like you,” Fran supplied, currently flipping through the documents that had previously been inside Tsuna’s desk.

“What was that you brat?!” 

Tsuna gave a mental cheer. Sometimes Fran was incredibly helpful.

“By the way, mini-boss.”

“Hm?”

Fran clapped his hands together, and—oh how lovely, orange flowers appeared. He handed them to Tsuna. “These are from the boss, but I just thought I should let you know…”

Levi and Tsuna waited for Fran to continue, who enjoyed the long, drawn-out silence if his expression was anything to go by. 

He stared at Tsuna, holding himself. “The old pervert,” he shivered, his expression never changing, “Has a stash of photos of you where—”

Levi spluttered. “I’ll kill you, you stupid frog brat!”

Tsuna watched blank-faced as Levi launched himself at the teen.

Then again, sometimes Fran was just as horrible as the rest of them.


“Haru heard that homewrecking was incredibly in right now, desu!”

Irie adjusted his glasses as he typed away at his laptop. “I see, I see. That could explain why the suitors have continued on the pursuit relentlessly.” He bowed his head to her. “No hard feelings then, Miura-san.”

Haru pumped her fist in the air. “Haru-san won’t lose either!” Her eyes sparkled. “Hahi, how romantic, taking on the world for Tsuna-san’s hand!”

Irie held his stomach, appearing a bit pale-faced. “T-The whole world…” He nodded fiercely. “For Tsunayoshi-kun’s hand.”

Tsuna set the cups of tea down before them. “You guys… please stop discussing conspiracy theories about my life and help me clean up.”


“It’s not a conspiracy theory, Tsuna-san!” were the last words Haru said before Xanxus stormed into the room, guns out and ready.

The man aimed at Haru and Irie, a snarl curling his lip. “Trash.” 

Ah, Tsuna should have known better than to have left the door open.


It was ridiculous how long he spent trying to console Xanxus—yes, Xanxus, not Haru and Irie, who were currently scared out of their wits—that no, he wasn’t going to cancel their weekly meetings and yes, the flowers were very lovely.

The situation was absolute bullshit, and Tsuna continued to think so as Xanxus smacked him with another bouquet of orange flowers, the petals scattering.

At the very least, he could never complain about being left alone again.


Three hours until he had to meet with his parents.

“Fufufu, I never took you as the type for interior design, Tsunayoshi-kun!“

Three hours that weren’t nearly enough to kick Byakuran out of his office. 

Tsuna looked up from the tea stain, orange petals gathered in his hands. At the very least, Haru and Irie had been somewhat helpful before Xanxus entered, tantrum ablaze. “Byakuran, why are you in my office? You don’t live anywhere near here.”

Byakuran pulled out a marshmallow bag, one that Tsuna recognized from the pantry, and shoved a handful into his mouth. “I enjoy your despair, Tsunayoshi-kun.”

At the very least, he was honest. 

And, impressively articulate with a mouth full of marshmallows. 

A bucket went sailing over Tsuna’s head and straight toward Bykuran, the man catching it with ease. Tsuna eyed the dirty orange water in there, thankful that none of it had spilled. Byakuran’s smile remained in place as he addressed the assailant. “It’s not nice to throw things.”

M.M. rolled her eyes. “Neither is breaking and entering.”

Tsuna turned to her. “M.M., that’s how you got in.”

She sat on Tsuna’s desk, head held high. “It’s different when I do it. After all, your future wife deserves special treatment in all things.” She held out her hand, humming as she no doubt imagined what sort of ring a loaded mafia boss would pay for.

“Oh?” Byakuran turned to Tsuna, “Seeking the thrills of a divorce at your age already, Tsunayoshi-kun?”

M.M. snarled. “Put—” 

A very undignified scream left Tsuna’s mouth as the orange water splashed onto him, the bucket sailing back through the air and knocking M.M. clean off the desk. She hit the floor with a loud thud, one that Tsuna was sure would leave a bruise or two.

Byakuran hummed cheerfully. “Ah, Tsunayoshi-kun, praise me, won’t you? I just cleared the dirt off your desk—”

It took exactly five seconds for Tsuna’s desk to go flying, thankfully missing his head. It took another two seconds for M.M. to pull out her clarinet, chain extended and—

Ah, that’s right, Tsuna thought as he eyed the evolving scene with despair, Spanner recently added spikes to her chains.

He looked at the clock.

It had only been five minutes.

Tsuna sighed. 

If he were going to shower (again) before the dinner, he’d have to stop them. He watched as Byakuran flipped M.M. through the air, her body slamming straight through the couch, tearing it clean in two.

On the bright side, Tsuna would no longer have to stare at that couch.

On the downside, he wouldn’t have much an office left once this was all over with either. 

Something grunted, and Tsuna blinked, white rapidly clouding his vision.


In his humblest of opinions, Byakuran made for a horrible throw pillow.


Tsuna felt his eye twitch. 

He turned his head right. Orange couch, orange floor, orange lights.

He turned his head left. Orange plates, orange spoons, orange forks.

Orange. Orange. Orange.

“Isn’t it great, Tsuna?” Dino asked him excitedly, holding him tightly in a one-armed embrace. “The owner asked if we wanted any accommodations and well,” he puffed up his chest proudly, grinning widely, “What kind of big brother would I be if I didn’t ask for my little bro’s favorite setting?”

“Yeah, it’s… so great, thanks, Dino-san.”

Reborn took a sip of his coffee. “A pushover as always, No-good Tsuna.”

Tsuna looked at him. “Reborn… why are you h—”

“Because.”

“...alright.”

“Now, now, Tsu-kun,” Nana called to him, smiling as she waved her hand, “Reborn-kun’s part of the family. It’s only natural he’s here!”

“But I thought this was a dinner with my parents. Plus,” he poked at the food on his plate, glaring when Reborn smacked his hand for bad manners, “Wouldn’t that mean everyone else should’ve been invited, too?” 

“No,” Reborn said, setting his coffee down. “It’s for maman’s favorite children.”

Tsuna gave him a look.

Reborn shrugged, nonchalant as ever. “Dino just tagged along.”

“Wh—That’s not true!” Dino cried out, turning to Nana with pleading eyes. “Right, mama?  

Nana took a bite out of her food. “I wonder how Lambo-kun and the others are doing.”

“Mama!” 

Tsuna didn’t even bother to struggle as Dino squeezed him tightly, going on and on about how at least he was Tsuna’s favorite. He didn’t bother correcting the man, simply let him do his thing.

Plus, even if Tsuna did try to correct Dino, the chances of the man listening to him were next to none. 

Nana giggled. “My, Tsu-kun, how fortunate you are to have such lovely friends,” she wiped her mouth, tidy as ever, “If mama knew they would have done this sort of thing, I would have told them all much sooner!”

Tsuna looked at her, ignoring the fact that he was getting smothered between Dino’s overbearing hug and Reborn’s refusal to stop stealing half his chair space, despite the man having a perfectly good chair all to himself.

“Ah… mama?”

“Yes?”

“So… it was you? You told everyone?”

Nana smiled. “Of course, Tsu-kun!”

He should have known.

His mother cupped her cheek, practically swooning, eyes closed. “Mama remembers it like it was yesterday, Tsu-kun! You came up to me with papa’s jumpsuit and asked if you’d be a star like him if you wore orange.”

Everything went quiet, everyone’s attention on Nana.

“W-Wh-W—”

Nana sighed, still reminiscing. “Tsu-kun was so cute, changing all his clothes to orange to match papa,” she dabbed the corner of her eyes. “I just had to let them know! Why, Tsu-kun, you even asked if you could—”

“Ah!” Tsuna scrambled to stand, the table clattering loudly in his rush. “M-Mama, stop! Stop, stop, stop!” he begged, his face burning bright, Dino and Reborn staring at him curiously.

It had all come back. Tsuna knew exactly which memory his mother was about to share and he’d die before anyone—

“But, Tsu-kun!” Nana protested, brow furrowed. “There’s no shame in wanting to marry papa!”

—ah.

If Tsuna hadn’t been the leader of the top mafia famiglia, he probably would have collapsed onto the floor, drowning in his tears right then and there, too ashamed ever to show his face again.

Instead, he sat back down in his chair and then cried with dignity, cursing his mother’s impeccable memory when it came to embarrassing memories concerning him.

“My Tsu-kun said that?!” 

Ah, Tsuna thought, readying himself for impact, Maybe I should have given up my dignity and gotten on the floor.

Strong arms wrapped around him, lifting him out of his seat. Tsuna blanched as Iemitsu threw him high in the air as if he were two years old all over again.

“Tsu-kun’s so cute!” Iemitsue cooed up at him, tossing him up again. Tsuna refused to acknowledge the other patrons of the restaurant at this point—come to think of it, they all seemed to have vanished—

“Mama always knew this day would come,” Nana clapped cheerfully, “Tsu-kun’s always wanted to be held by papa, you know?”

Tsuna would have glared at her if he wasn’t getting dizzy because he certainly did not ever say anything like that whatsoever.

Except, maybe for that one time when it was raining hard, and he was six. But he was six for christ’s sake!

Iemitsu finally planted Tsuna on the ground, ruffling his hair up. “Aw, our little Tsu-kun,” he patted Tsuna’s shoulder who pointedly refused to look at him, “All grown u—”

“To think No-good Tsuna would have proposed to me before I ever realized,” Reborn said, tugging at his sideburns, “Always full of surprises.”

The Sawadas and Dino all gave Reborn varying looks of confusion.

Reborn turned to Iemitsu, his lips curled up into a smile. “I paid my dues, so as his other father,” Reborn held his hand out for Leon, the small chameleon running up to curl in his palm, body glowing. “I believe that I have the right to marry Tsuna first.”

Something shattered.

“What?!”

“Oh! Tsu-kun,” Nana said, turning to her baffled son, “Mama didn’t know you already made plans to marry someone else.” She held her hands to her chest, visibly deflating. “And I was so looking forward to planning papa’s wedding. I guess mama will have to change the plans now.”

Tsuna didn’t know how to respond to that. He wasn’t sure if he even wanted to.

Thankfully, he didn’t have to, because, at that moment, the kitchen door slammed open, the poor door tearing through the restaurant wall. They all turned to see the new occupant, and Tsuna realized why all the other patrons had decided to hightail it out of there.

“Herbivore,” Hibari practically spat out, “What’s this about a wedding?”

One would have thought that Tsuna would have known better than to choose a restaurant that Hibari’s family happened to own. 

Then again, Tsuna had never been big on rational thinking.

Iemitsu stood tall, and Tsuna belatedly remembered that he had offered to pay for tonight’s dinner. At the time, it had been a small gesture of kindness on his end for his parents. A special treat of sorts from him to them. One that he was now going to regret sorely. 

“I won’t hand my son over to just anyone,” his father said, shrugging off his jacket and pulling out a shovel from God knows where. Nana cheered him on, the man puffing up with well-earned pride.

Hibari already had his weapons out, Reborn casually polishing Leon’s gun form.

Tsuna turned to his mother, holding her shoulder with trembling limbs, “M-Mama, maybe we should go? Somewhere else? Now?”

“Eh? But then how do we cheer on papa?”

“Mama, please.”

Something tugged at his shirt, and Tsuna turned to see Dino smiling at him sheepishly, paper and pen in hand. “Tsuna,” the man said as charmingly as he could. “You think I could be your daddy, too?”

“Dino-san, please stop trying to complicate my family tree any further.”

A bell chimed, and the three turned to see Gokudera entering, a large orange scrapbook in hand. His right-hand man met his gaze, sparkles practically oozing off him.

“Tenth! I found this guide on how to effectively scrapbook and—” A plate went flying and instantly knocked the man out cold. 

The poor man hadn’t even lasted a line.

With dread, Tsuna turned to see his father, Reborn, and Hibari engaged in a brawl. There were multiple loud thuds, and then a table flipped over, a massive orange plate flying right at him.

Tsuna never knew that death would taste of oranges and heavy glass. 

In hindsight, Tsuna only had himself to blame. That and his mother’s tendency to overshare his life. But for now, as the don fell to the floor with a crash, Gokudera’s body not too far off, he’d throw the blame on orange instead.

“Tsu-kun!”

“Tsuna, don’t die!”

Stupid, cursed, blasted orange.