Management Techniques

Hibari makes Romario very, very nervous, for a multitude of reasons. This is a Generations sidestory, taking place between “A House Divided” and “They Also Serve.” A certain amount of silliness here, folks.

Romario was quite sure that Hibari Kyouya was a perfectly good Cloud Guardian for young master Sawada. All the same, he was starting to wish that the boy would simply drop off a cliff and disappear—not permanently, just for a few months, perhaps, or however long it would take for Romario to get his master’s attention firmly settled on some nice young mafia lady who would be happy to make lots of little Cavallones while the boss went gallivanting around with the Vongola’s Cloud Guardian.

Really, he didn’t think this was too much to ask of the universe.

“It’s unseemly, is what it is,” he told Tetsuya over a beer, as Tetsuya listened and chew on his grass stalk sympathetically. “It’s not that I don’t hold your master in the highest regard, but it’s not really proper for my boss to spend so much time with him.”

It was an outright miracle that no one back home had begun to talk yet. Well, a miracle, and the fact that Romario had an entire team of men working on damage control. With any luck, Hibari would never find out that his fights with Dino had been spun in such a way as for people back home to believe that the boss had been smitten with a delicate Japanese beauty, and that was why he was so happy to jet off to Japan on such a regular basis.

“Hmm,” Tetsuya said, which might have meant anything, had Romario not been well-versed in the language of the second.

“Another beer would help,” he agreed, and signaled for them.

Meanwhile, the boss and Hibari continued to beat each other to a pulp.

 

 

On another occasion, Romario said, broodingly, “Not to speak ill of the dead, but this is all the old boss’s fault.”

They were in the countryside this time, for more of Hibari’s training. Romario and Tetsuya were observing; Romario had packed a cooler to aid them in doing so.

Tetsuya popped the caps off another pair of bottles and passed one Romario’s way, with a raised eyebrow to go with it. Romario accepted the bottle and considered the query. “The old boss. Yes.” He lowered his voice, even though they were the only ones around. “This isn’t for common knowledge, you understand.”

Tetsuya tipped his beer back and took a drink, and then nodded; well, he was the trustworthy sort. Seconds had to be, after all.

Romario leaned back on his elbows. “The old boss couldn’t keep it in his pants,” he said, with all the satisfaction of getting to say so out loud, finally. “Chased anything in a skirt, see?” He sipped his beer, savoring the dark bitter taste of it, which was all the better for the schadenfreude that accompanied it. “Got pretty much his due for it, too.” Prophylactics really were a man’s best friend; too bad the old boss hadn’t been a fan.

“Ah,” Tetsuya said, in the tones of a man enlightened.

“Yeah,” Romario agreed, watching the boss drop out of a stand of trees, right on top of Hibari, and the ensuing tussle. “Won’t even look at girls. Treats ’em all like sisters.”

It was no wonder the boss liked fighting so much. All that pent-up sex drive had to go somewhere.

“Hmm,” Tetsuya said, watching the boss and Hibari were chasing each other through the trees and the bushes in a way that made Romario’s stomach hurt with the pastoral homoeroticism of it all.

Romario blinked, considering. “Well, no, I haven’t tried that,” he admitted. “You think I should?”

Tetsuya shrugged at him, and Romario had to admit that he was right. It couldn’t hurt to try.

 

 

“No luck,” Romario muttered, slouching over his bowl of sake as Hibari and the boss dodged each other through the moonlight. “Tried half a dozen of the female hitmen on him. Didn’t work.”

Tetsuya leaned over and poured some more sake, sympathetic. He was right, Romario thought, mournfully. It had seemed like such a good idea: if all the dewy-eyed maiden daughters of the mafia Families were failing to attract the boss’s attention, then maybe what the boss needed was a woman more like Hibari.

Romario had paraded half a dozen of them past the boss, all of them cool-eyed and lethal, with smiles that went from sweet to outright feral. There had been redheads and blondes and brunettes, with proportions from the petite to the Amazonian, women with lean frames and small perfect breasts and women who were perfect lush armfuls, and all for nothing. The boss had been perfectly cordial to all of them, and his eyes had never once betrayed a flicker of interest beyond the professional.

“I’m starting to think that he actually might be gay after all,” he said, sulky, and drained his sake again. “How do you think your boss will feel about being a mafia…” Romario searched for the appropriate word, except there was none, not for this. He settled for the closest approximation. “…consort?”

Tetsuya choked on his sake.

Romario sighed. “Yeah. I figured.” Except that was going to be what they were left with, if he didn’t find some way of corralling the boss long enough to get him settled down and producing heirs before he got himself killed.

Tetsuya cleared his throat. “…Reborn?” he suggested.

Romario blinked once, twice, and then a third time. “Reborn,” he said, low and reverent, since it was the answer to his prayers.

Tetsuya poured another round of sake, looking rather relieved as Romario plotted how best to approach the boss’s old tutor for help. Romario couldn’t blame him, since he was right—the mere thought of Hibari’s reaction to the words “mafia consort” was enough to make a strong man tremble.

 

 

“I shouldn’t,” Romario said, when Tetsuya fetched up with two flutes of champagne. “Duty, you know.”

Tetsuya pressed the flute of champagne on him anyway, and Romario shrugged. He had a point—this was a celebration, after all.

He watched the boss guide his new bride across the floor—Sofia, of the Leone Family, an altogether satisfactory choice on all fronts, from the powerful alliance that she brought with her to the fact that the boss had liked her quite a bit, once he’d gotten his head down out of the clouds. They made a lovely couple, and all the watchful eyes of the other Families seemed to approve.

Tetsuya made a satisfied sound and leaned against the wall next to Romario, sipping his champagne.

“Can’t blame you,” Romario agreed. Life was a lot easier without having to hare off after the boss and Hibari all the time. Although… “Your boss?” he asked.

Tetsuya just rolled his eyes and directed them across the room, to where Hibari was pointedly ignoring Yamamoto Takeshi, who persisted in talking to him anyway.

“No kidding,” Romario said, after a moment to marvel over the thought. He buried his smile in his champagne flute at Tetsuya’s long-suffering sigh. “Well. Might improve his temper.”

Tetsuya just snorted.

He was probably right, Romario decided—there wasn’t a force under heaven that could do that. Still. “To our bosses and their happiness,” he proposed, and they clinked their glasses together to celebrate a job well done.

– end –