Disclaimer: I don't own Katekyo Hitman Reborn or any of its characters.
Title: Tell Me All Your Fears
Warnings: Potential disturbing imagery
Summary: There was all something they were afraid of, a phobia that was seared into their minds and refused to let go.
Author's Notes: Again, I have a mighty need to write Hurt!Tsuna and lay on the angst and hurt/comfort. I know some of the definitions given for certain phobias are more looser and could easily represent a different fear but for the sake of the characters, I tried to adjust it to fit their personalities.
Anthophobia: the fear of flowers
Ryohei didn't care much for flowers. They were fragile, pretty things but not much use for him. He would simply wrinkle his nose in distaste when the girls frequently brought some for Tsuna to brighten his office.
It was only when they found Tsuna collapsed on the floor, heart stuttering and spluttering like a dying vehicle, that he truly begun to fear flowers.
They questioned the girls and they tearfully replied they received them from a newly open shop and Ryohei personally went to burn the place down after finding out a rival mafia group infiltrated it with the goal of poisoning and taking out the Vongola boss.
And even long after Tsuna had recovered, he eyed every flower he came across with suspicion and dread. For something so small and beautiful to have nearly cost Tsuna his life, Ryohei would go to the extreme to make sure it never happened again.
(years later, when Tsuna was gone and buried with hundreds of flowers encasing him, Ryohei didn't have the strength to tear those flowers away from him)
Nosocomephobia: the fear of hospitals
For Mukuro, it was feeling hundreds of needles jab into his skin, pumping foreign substances and drugs into his system, forcing his body to bend and break. It was choking on the tubes shoved deep his throat, wringing every last bit of his very existence for their cruel entertainment and curiosity.
For Chrome, it was tasting the coppery tang of blood filling her lungs, filling her mouth. It was knowing she was going to die, broken and lying in this bed, listening to her parents argue and deem their own lives more important than their daughter's.
For both of them, it was seeing Tsuna, pale and cold as if he was already – no, he was not; they refused to believe it. It was watching his body jerk and twitch like a puppet without its strings as shock after shock was being delivered and each breath was held as they stared furiously at the monitor, willing it to show some sort of sign that they were not looking at the empty husk that they could not save.
Claustrophobia: the fear of being enclosed or having no escape
Once the ringing in his ears subsided and he was able to open his eyes without being showered by dust and rocks, Yamamoto raised his head, readjusted his grip on the unconscious Tsuna and assessed the situation.
They were lucky a few certain crossbeams happened to land above them, able to support the parts of the ceiling that would have crushed them otherwise. But with each shuddering creak and tremble, he knew their shelter would soon become their tomb if they did not escape soon.
But with his sword buried somewhere underneath the rubble and Tsuna badly injured, his options were low. It wasn't the first time Yamamoto wished to have the Hyper Intuition that Tsuna possessed, to know where to strike so they could break free without killing themselves.
All he could do was wait, wait and pray that Gokudera and the others were coming soon, that the air would stop becoming so thin, that his lungs would stop greedily sucking in so much oxygen, that those walls would stop moving closer and closer and closer to them.
Nyctophobia: the fear of the dark
A pair of bleary eyes opened. " Lambo?" Tsuna's voice was thick and heavy with slumber, exhausted from hours spent going over paperwork.
" Can't sleep," was the only answer he would give, clutching his pillow tightly.
Tsuna sighed and muttered something about Ryohei and Gokudera letting him watching horror movies again but shifted enough for Lambo to curl right next to him. Within minutes, he had already fallen back asleep but Lambo remained awake.
Even in the night, Tsuna remained a bright flame, drawing others near to him like a moth to a fire, to seek his warmth for comfort and assurance. He would freely give it, accepting all into his room, whether it was to deal with nightmares, insomnia or problems with work.
It frightened Lambo what would happen if one day that flame was no longer there.
Panthophobia: the fear of suffering and disease
Seeing the feverish Tsuna, twisting and turning in his sheets, mumbling and moaning to unseen things, it made Hibari's hands clench and the need to destroy something merely increased.
He hated any kind of sickness with a passion. There had been a few rare times he had been struck with chills and fevers that left him immobile in bed, unable to vanquish this invisible enemy that seeped and invaded his body without his permission.
This wasn't a foe that he could fight on behalf of a citizen of Namimori or someone he could annihilate for breaking the rules. It was something he could not defeat by his hands alone nor by any strength he possessed.
He was not used to this feeling of helplessness as he walked away from the stifling room, murmuring how Tsuna must be bitten to death for allowing this to happen.
Autophobia: the fear of being alone or isolated
All his life, Gokudera had only known of being abandoned and left behind. His mother had left him without him realizing it until he was old enough to understand she was his mother. His father was hardly present, busy with his own affairs. Even his sister weaved in and out of his life.
So when he met Tsuna, he did everything in his power to cling to him, to hold on to the man who he believed would become the Vongola Tenth Boss. And to his surprise (and delight), Tsuna did not turn him away. If anything, Tsuna made sure he remained by his side as a friend. Such trust was unheard of and Gokudera would not let Tsuna's kindness go to waste.
But the unthinkable happened; Tsuna was shot and murdered by the Millefiore family and was now simply a lifeless body, asleep for eternity, frozen in perfection. The fear left him choking and unable to breath as he could only kneel by the coffin, head pressed against the cold surface, voice hoarse and cracked as he softly begged for Tsuna not to leave him alone in this world.
Thantophobia: the fear of losing someone or of death
He was a hitman and a hitman didn't allow themselves to become close to others. They had acquaintances, business partners, lackeys, students and that was it. They didn't allow their hearts to be open and exposed to another living being.
They had no meaning for affection or kindness for others. The only person necessary for such things was themselves and only themselves. To hold sentiment for someone else was a costly mistake, seen far too many times and easily used to the advantage of their enemies.
(there was an unmistakable swell of pride in his chest as he watched the boy rise among the ranks of the mafia and inherit his rightful title, surrounded by his family; a warm smile was aimed towards him and his eyes softened every so slightly against his own will)
Because it would be the cruelest thing to lose something so dear to his heart. Something that was so easily taken away.
Atychiphobia: the fear of failure
In their line of work, there was a thin line between success and failure. One mistake could cost their lives or worse, Tsuna's life.
Years ago, if someone had told them they would risk life and limb for one man, they might have scoffed, laughed or bitten said person to death. To be tied down for Sawada Tsunayoshi (and a mafia boss at that), it was unthinkable and unheard of. But somehow, somewhere, he managed to find a way to change their minds and soften their hearts and made them wish to never depart from his presence.
Now, they would do anything to make Tsuna thrive in the dark underworld of the mafia. They would silence those whispered accusations and heated glares aimed towards him. They would utterly maim and destroy anyone who had less than well-meaning intentions towards their Decimo. They would endure through heaven and hell if it meant seeing Tsuna smile.
Because if they did not do their jobs properly, they knew they would forever lose their sky.
And that was something they could not afford to lose.