Thanks to all who have reviewed. You're the reason why this chapter exists. Like, literally. You inspired me to expand more on Tsuna's thoughts and here it is. I think. I hope it's alright.


Interlude


Tsuna remembered that he used to cry a lot. He would cry because the dog down the road barked at him. He would cry because no one wanted him in their group in class. He would cry because his mother went to meet her friends and left him in an empty house.

It had been a long time since he had last cried. When the strange man in the checkered mask had told him of his duty, the tears stopped coming so frequently. Tsuna didn't mind, crying was a waste of time and energy anyway.

When all you have is two years, you had to make every second count.

"It's okay to cry, Tsu-kun," his mother told him once. "Crying relieves the stress we build up, it gives us a channel to let it out." Tsuna didn't know what kind of face he was making for her to say that but resolved to never make it ever again.

And so, he continued to bottle everything up inside.


Tsuna was terrified of dogs, but he didn't want to be.

He didn't remember where this irrational fear started, but he told himself he had to get over it. Life was too short for him to be afraid of dogs.

So, he asked his neighbour if he could walk their dog for them.

The first time was terrifying. Tsuna had frozen up in fear when the dog barked at him, making his neighbour laugh.

"Why did you ask to walk my dog if you're afraid of them?" they asked.

"Because I don't want to be afraid," Tsuna replied.

His neighbour had then given him a long look, as if they were seeing him in a new light. They seemed to like what they had seen, and nodded at Tsuna.

"When walking a dog, you have to be firm with them," they began, and Tsuna listened attentively.

Weeks passed and Tsuna soon became known as the person who would walk any dog. The neighbours started to pay him money for taking care of their pets, but Tsuna only smiled and refused.

They shouldn't be giving their money to a dead boy, anyway.


Since Tsuna was going to die, he thought that it would be best if he made amends with his father. It wouldn't do to continue hating him, even in death, since Tsuna was going to join him soon.

Tsuna's father was dead, so the only way he could make communicate with him were through letters that would never reach the recipient. Every week, Tsuna would write a letter to his father and place it in a black box on his table. He could tell that his mother was curious, but she never asked so he never said anything.

"Dear father," Tsuna would write. "Today I..." Then, he would end off with "Wish you were here. I'll be seeing you soon. Love, Tsuna."

Tsuna knew that he would never get an answer from his father, who had become a star, but this was the best he could do.

He hated his father, felt bitter that he was never there for their family, but Tsuna figured that life was too short to hold grudges.


Orchidea Bianca was Tsuna's penpal. He resided in Italy and was very nice to Tsuna. Tsuna felt that he could tell him anything.

So he did.

"You're going to die in two years?" Orchidea Bianca asked. "Are you terminally ill? Is it a disease seemingly no one can cure? I can find a cure for you; my family knows someone who can counter almost any disease."

"Terminally ill? Something like that. But I can't be cured; I have to die," Tsuna replied.

"Have to die or want to die?" Orchidea Bianca shot back. "Because you seem incredibly resigned to your fate, almost as if you don't want to be saved."

White hot anger pulsed through Tsuna, but the strength and energy it brought with it quickly left. Want to die? Was Orchidea Bianca insane? Of course he didn't want to die; no one did!

But... he had to die. He needed to die, so that the world could continue. He couldn't be selfish, he couldn't hope. Because if he had hope, he wouldn't want to die. Because if he hoped, everything would only hurt more when he had to leave.

He had to accept everything, he had to accept his death, because it was coming for him whether he liked it or not. Whether he was ready or not. He had to accept it, he had to, he had to.

He couldn't feel bitter about things, he couldn't feel anger, he couldn't feel sorrow. He couldn't question it, he couldn't feel that it was unjust, he couldn't feel that it was unfair. He couldn't, he couldn't...

He couldn't...

"I... don't want to die..."


He was crying. He shouldn't cry, but the tears just kept flowing. It's a waste of time, he told himself. Please stop crying. However, his body refused to listen to him.

Someone walked by. They paused and walked back to him. Tsuna stared at his feet, refusing to look at the stranger. It was embarrassing.

"Would you like some company, kid?" the stranger asked. Tsuna resisted for all of three seconds before he was spilling his troubles to them.

"I don't want to die," he ended in a whisper.

"Hmm, this is quite an issue you have here." The stranger crouched down beside Tsuna. "But small sacrifices have to be made to prevent bigger ones, so you have to be brave. Not to mention, your life is not just your own right now."

"My life... is not just my own..." Tsuna repeated and found that the stranger's words rang true. This life wasn't just his now. This life wasn't his now; it belonged to everyone that lived in this world and everyone who wanted to continue living. He couldn't be selfish.

This life wasn't his.

It was fine if he left this world. He didn't need to be sad. Why should he be sad if the universe decide to take this life he was living? It wasn't his to hoard.

The world seemed clearer now.

"Thank you, mister," Tsuna finally turned to face the stranger. The stranger smiled back at him, and his eyes seemed to glint indigo behind his round-rimmed glasses. He stood up, brushing the dust of his green yukata.

"It's no problem, child. I'm glad to be of service," the man said and walked off. Tsuna's eyes continued to watch him until his white haired figure disappeared behind the door of an antique shop.


Author's note

i would like to make it clear that Tsuna's way of thinking is WRONG and if he continues, he will MOST CERTAINLY regret when he dies. He's doing what he thinks is right, what he thinks is the best way to finish off all his regrets. Which are basically normal, trivial stuff because he has little to no goals.

He's also lying to himself and shoving his will to live down because he believes the only way to go about this whole 'dying' thing is to not want to live in the first place. Or something like that, I don't really know how to explain it.