To Live and Breathe and Live Again
Summary: Tsuna was eleven when he was hit by a car and walked away from the incident unscathed. He was twelve, when he fell from his bedroom window and woke to his mother's frantic face and nothing to show for his fall. He was thirteen when he realises he can't quite die. Then he turns fourteen and a baby in a suit shows up and nothing else is quite the same.
Chapter One - Would You Look At That
Tsuna blinked up at the sky above him and wondered when he'd fallen asleep. There were sirens close by, someone sobbing and someone else shouting. Ever so slowly, he sat up and winced at the pain in his back. Why had he fallen asleep outside?
Looking to the left he saw a woman crying into her hands, a pale man resting an arm around her shoulders. They were stood by a car, dented by an impact, blood splattered on the fender and, all of a sudden, Tsuna remembered.
I was hit by that he thought to himself. I was hit by a car.
Mama's going to get upset I got blood on my new shirt and spilt the groceries.
His bag was to the side of him, split open like ripe fruit. The milk was still merrily leaking out onto the floor, eggs bleeding yolks onto the asphalt, and the bread was squashed.
Tsuna slowly started to move to his knees, wiping grit off of his hands and he moved to touch his head. His fingers came back sticky in blood. No one seemed to have noticed he'd made a move at all, in fact. He was distantly aware he should be feeling pain or something, but mostly he just felt worry over getting home and about the groceries.
Standing up took him a few moments, and though people were facing in his direction, no one seemed overly concerned that he was standing despite having been hit by a car. He stood there actually, for a moment or two, feeling awkward and wondering if the ambulance turning into the street was for him.
But no one stopped him when he picked up the bag, cradling it in his arms and feeling milk dribble down his wrist. No one stopped him when he stepped up onto the pavement. And no one stopped him when he walked down the street and took the corner that put him in view of his house.
When he opened the door and glumly told his mother he'd dropped the groceries, she'd turned away from the kitchen counter to face him and then gasped in fright, setting everything down and flying across the room to cradle his face in her palms.
And, despite all the blood caked in his hair, despite all the grime smeared on his face, and the frayed, torn holes in his shirt, there were no injuries.
Tsuna wasn't too sure why his mother hugged him a little tighter than normal that night when he went to bed that night, but he didn't complain.
The whole car event was pushed to the back of his mind when nothing came of it and Tsuna settled back into the rhythm that was 'wake up, go to school, come home' with all the grace of a horse on rollerskates.
It was a little over a year later, when coming home from school, he saw it. What looked like a bird, perhaps a baby, was stuck in the guttering above his bedroom window and he wondered how it had gotten stuck there in the first place.
There were rational ways of getting the bird free. He could have climbed the tree next to the house or maybe brought it to the attention of his mother so she could get the man down the street who had the really tall ladder.
Instead, he chose to go inside and after his customary greetings and hugs and kisses from his mother, traipsed his way into his bedroom.
Setting his school bag on his desk, Tsuna moved to open the windows as far as he could, hoisting himself onto the ledge so he was sat with his legs hanging outside. Then, holding onto the window frame, Tsuna drew a leg underneath him so he could prop himself up and reach with his other hand, trembling slightly, towards the guttering.
He closed his fingers around the edge of the plastic, making a face at the feeling of dead leaves and gunky stuff getting into his fingernails. The bird that was trapped, at seeing his fingers appear he presumed, had started to chirp quite frantically and loudly and Tsuna desperately hoped it wouldn't have a heart attack or try to fly away and break something.
That was when the guttering – old, it really was old – snapped from under his hand and he overbalanced, pitching sideways out the window with a breathless noise of fright, and then he was falling, headfirst, towards the ground.
He heard something snap, felt something in him give way, and then the world was dark.
His mother was crying when he woke up, great hiccupping sobs that shook her body when Tsuna squinted his eyes open to see where she was.
She was knelt beside him, crushing the tulips she was so proud of, hands folded over her mouth and tears streaming down her face. The broken noise she made at seeing Tsuna wake up made something in his gut twist unpleasantly.
"Sorry mama," he said, croakily, and feeling bad for making her cry. "I was just trying to help the bird out." In fact, he twisted his head to look up at the house, to the guttering, and felt relief that the bird, apparently, was free. There was no longer a bundle of feathers stuck there, among the dead leaves and mulch.
"Don't you ever do that again, Tsuna! You could have d-died, or been very badly hurt! Come on now, let me know where the pain is, we should take you to hospital really – "
"I'm okay, I'm okay," Tsuna said as quickly as he could, fumbling in the flowerbed to sit upright and ignoring his mother's attempts to make him stay still.
"Tsuna," she said imploringly and Tsuna moved to twist his muddy hands together as he insisted, more quietly this time, that he was fine.
His mother just looked at him despairingly and helped him to his feet, helped him inside, and gave him watery instructions, face still blotchy, to wash up ready for dinner.
Tsuna briefly wondered why she hadn't forgotten the accident as the woman who had hit him with her car had forgotten.
Tsuna wasn't sure what had compelled him to follow the streams of students running up the stairs, but deliberated he was getting pulled along for the ride towards the roof.
But, when he heard someone shout, "Yamamoto-san is on the roof, we think he's going to jump!" Tsuna found it himself to actually make his way the steps of his own volition, shoving past students and ignoring the angry calls in his direction.
It was a little harder to shove his way through the throng of students on the rooftop, but he used his elbows and bag as well as he could until he was suddenly pushed forward and into the semicircle that was the space surrounding Takeshi Yamamoto, no one else daring to get closer.
"What, are you going to jump too, dame-Tsuna?" Someone yelled callously and Tsuna felt himself flinch, watched as the muscles in Yamamoto's back bunched up tighter in tension and he took in a calming breath.
Then, as easy as you please, he marched up to the guardrail and clambered over it awkwardly until he had his arms hooked around the metal bars, locked tight, and was stood next to a shellshocked looking Yamamoto, the young teen bewildered as to why there was someone else there with him.
And, before he was questioned, as he tuned out the gasps and cries of horror behind him, Tsuna began to talk, quick, and low, voice gentle.
Slowly, Yamamoto began to talk back and Tsuna felt hope blossom in his chest.
Finally, Yamamoto whispered, "O-Okay. Okay, Sawada-san. I think I understand."
"Thank you," Tsuna breathed out, relieved, and asked, not unkindly, "Did you want to climb back over now?"
"I think I do," Yamamoto replied, voice still quiet and soft and barely audible, but then he was climbing back over the guardrail to a smattering of applause and Tsuna felt himself start to breathe easier.
Tsuna twisted to make the climb himself, keeping one arm hooked as he starts to lift him over, accepting Yamamoto's helping hand. His own hand, sweaty with nerves, slipped from Yamamoto's just as he had a knee on the railing.
As luck would have it, his momentum brought him backwards instead of falling forwards onto the roof, Yamamoto having supported his weight.
His shoulder made a pop noise as he was forced to hold himself in the air with just one arm around the railing but then even that slipped free, loosening because of the pain and Tsuna was falling from a deadly height for the second time in his life, the second time in less than a year.
His skull struck the concrete paving and that was that.
This time, Tsuna woke up to a splash of water on his face, someone laughing in the background.
"Looks like dame-Tsuna fainted after helping Takeshi, how lame that he's such a scaredy cat!" Was crowed from behind him, and he blinked up at the sky.
"O-Oi," someone else interjected. "There's blood, he's bleeding."
"Quick," a third person interrupted, voice high and reedy. "Run, run!"
Tsuna could feel his body throbbing in time with his heartbeat, not quite a pain, but an uncomfortable feeling nonetheless. His clothes were stuck to his body because of the water and he was lying on the ground next to the ground floor window of one of the classrooms.
Moving a hand to scrape through his hair, he wasn't surprised to find blood and, resolutely, he set himself to the task of combing out as much as he could with his fingers now that his hair was a least a little damp.
He was getting ready to stand when a hand shot into his vision and he flinched back, expecting to get hit or something similar. There was a weak laugh and when he looked up it was to see Yamamoto.
"I-I'd like to thank you," Yamamoto began stiffly. "But you disappeared before I could. I get it though – i-it's scary to be that high up, huh? I felt giddy afterwards." He smiled, weakly, but Tsuna felt something in him loosen at seeing how heartfelt and true it was.
"Just a little," Tsuna agreed, shyly, and let himself get pulled to his feet with help.
"Did you want to come back to mine and get dry?" Yamamoto offered after a long moment of silence and Tsuna glanced to the sky, to deliberate what the time was.
Almost as if reading his thoughts, Yamamoto added, "You can call home from our place and let your parents know where you are."
Unbidden, Tsuna blurted out, "Are you going to tell your parents what happened today?"
Yamamoto's face darkened slightly, and his hand moved to tightly grip the strap of his bag as he looked to the side. Tsuna wondered for a moment if he had angered his classmate and then, slowly, realised that Yamamoto was embarrassed.
Instead of waiting for an answer, Tsuna said, "Drying up would be great! I don't want to get ill and miss any school, not when I barely understand it as it is!"
Yamamoto's expression loosened and Tsuna mentally patted himself on the back with a wide smile in return as Yamamoto rubbed the back of his head and laughed.
"True, true! We're a right pair, the both of us, huh, Sawada-san?"
"O-Oh, you can call me Tsuna, if you like, Yamamoto-san! Sawada-san sounds a little weird to be honest."
Yamamoto grinned back, wide and unrepentant, full of happiness, and Tsuna felt like he'd achieved something with his life just by earning such a carefree smile.
Tsuna ended up going home with a tentative friendship, a bag of sushi and the cold, stunning realisation that, so far in his life, he couldn't die.
"We had a letter through for a home tutor, Tsu-kun," was Tsuna's greeting as he walked into the house, toeing off his shoes and heaving a tired sigh.
"Oh?" He replied, dumping his bag by the stairs to take up later and he ambled through the house to find his mother in the kitchen, already starting dinner.
"Mmhmm," Nana replied, effortlessly chopping vegetables. "I phoned him and he's coming by for dinner tonight. I thought it would be helpful for you and your schooling."
Tsuna stumbled at her words and banged his shin on the dining room table as he made a faint sound of horror. Almost immediately after, the doorbell rang and Nana clapped her hands together good naturedly.
"That'd be him! Be a dear, Tsu-kun, and get the door?"
Tsuna debated disagreeing but the reminder of his notes in his bag, emblazoned with big, red numbers lower than they should dissuaded him of that notion. Instead, as he walked towards the door, he wondered if he could get Yamamoto into the scheme of tutoring.
It would help the both of them at least.
The baby at the door was somehow not the biggest surprise of his life.
I really shouldn't be posting a new story, but I couldn't help it! Hope you like this one. I don't know if there's going to be any pairings and, it'll mostly be following main canon events. There will probably be changes here and there, so I guess it's slightly AU? I don't know.
Anyway, I hope you like the idea!