selective mutism is something that might come out of social anxiety. i made this because i read too many mute tsuna fics with bad representation when i was researching about selective mutism for my paper.
"Ts-Tsu-kun w-would like to play with you…"
"Hahaha, you're already this old and you refer to yourself as 'Tsu-kun'? That's so childish! Hey everyone, come over here! This guy still talks in third person!"
"Oh my god, that's so funny!"
"Are you a baby?"
"N-no! Tsu-kun– I-I mean I'm not a baby!"
"Look, 'Tsu-kun' is even stuttering!"
"Go away, we don't want to play with someone who can't talk right."
"Yeah! You must as well not talk at all!"
They say children can be the cruelest of them all.
"What's wrong, Tsu-kun? Got nothing to say?"
Tsuna opened his mouth to answer, but nothing came out.
Nothing could come out.
"You can't play until you ask them 'Can I play with you'," the teacher told Tsuna before gently pushing him towards the group of children. Tsuna didn't make any movement, his feet rooted to the spot and his eyes fixed on the ground.
"Stop being stubborn, Tsuna-kun. You need to be nice to your classmates."
Tsuna continued to stare at the ground, hands twisting the hem of his shirt.
A bear trap situated firmly around his neck, the trigger placed firmly in his mouth. If he were to open it, if he were to speak, the metal jaws would snap shut.
"Tsuna-kun, I can't help you if you don't want to help yourself."
Tsuna opened his mouth. Nothing came out. He closed it again and his teeth clicked together as tears of frustration welled up in his eyes.
Why can't I speak?
"I'll have to tell your mother about this."
It's not my fault!
The teacher tried to look at Tsuna but Tsuna turned his head away. He didn't like other people looking at his face, and he didn't like looking into other people's eyes. He didn't like the feeling of it, bugs crawling up his skin, something curling tight in his chest, his throat closing up…
Tsuna didn't look at his mother when she came to pick him up.
"I don't understand, Tsu-kun. What happened?" Nana asked. Tsuna's head remained bowed. He hadn't lifted his head once since he left the school.
"You could speak just fine. Do you just not want to speak?"
Tsuna shook his head. Nana kneeled down in front of him.
Tsuna looked away, shrugging.
"Tsu-kun, look at me." Hesitantly, Tsuna turned his head to face his mother. He managed to hold her gaze for two seconds before breaking it, the tightness in his chest becoming so unbearable that he couldn't breathe right.
"Tsu-kun…" Nana sighed and decided to drop the matter. It was probably something Tsuna could grow out of…
It was hard to learn when you couldn't ask questions. It was hard to make friends when you couldn't participate in conversations. It was hard to even run properly when you tripped every time you thought people were looking at you, when you could feel the prickling, crawling gazes on your skin.
It was hard to put a stop to a nickname when you couldn't tell them 'no'.
Tsuna met him when he started elementary.
At first, Tsuna only wanted a quiet place to eat, out of everyone's line of vision, where he couldn't hear the chatter of other people and feel jealousy burn deep in his chest.
Later on, Tsuna just wanted to feel safe, to be in the presence of the one person who wouldn't pressure him into doing anything. Tsuna didn't feel the need to talk as he sat beside him during breaks and after school. His cool gaze was not patronizing like Tsuna's classmates, pitying like adults, nor was it pleading like his mother's. The gaze conveyed a message to Tsuna, that he wasn't expected to do anything other than exist.
Tsuna wondered if this was what it felt like to have a friend.
"What are you doing here, herbivore?"
"…" Tsuna's eyes were wide, his entire body shaking in fear as the head prefect stalked towards him. Hibari's eyes narrowed and he raised his tonfa. Tsuna curled up into a ball.
"I'll ask you one more time. What are you doing here, herbivore?"
Tsuna rapidly shook his head, making Hibari snarl in frustration.
"Can't you speak?" Tsuna shook his head, making Hibari pause.
"You're mute?" Hibari lowered his tonfas, only to raise them back up again when Tsuna shook his head. "Then what is it?" Tsuna opened his mouth to scream but, as always, only air came out. Hibari raised an eyebrow.
"You can speak, but you can't speak now?" Tsuna nodded hesitantly and Hibari sighed. Grey eyes swept over Tsuna before Hibari nodded to himself. Tsuna wanted to ask what that meant.
"My name is Hibari Kyoya, herbivore. I'm going to sleep here. If you make any noise, I'll bite you to death."
With wide eyes, Tsuna watched as Hibari lay down a distance away from him and immediately drifted off.
"Hibari-san." Tsuna stared into the mirror determinedly. "Hibari-san, Hibari-san. Good afternoon Hibari-san. My name is Tsuna. Thank you Hibari-san. My—"
"Tsu-kun!" His mother's voice made the words stop short, his vocal chords freeze up. What little confidence he had drained out of him, making his shoulders slump. His eyes slid from the mirror to his feet as he reluctantly turned to open the door, unwilling to face another day at school.
But he would, because he wanted to meet Hibari again.
Tsuna entered the roof and smiled at Hibari.
Good afternoon, Hibari-san!
He opened his mouth.
Hibari stared at him. Tsuna's mouth clicked shut and the smile was wiped off his face. Before Tsuna could tilt his head down to stare at the floor again, however, Hibari placed a hand on his head.
"It is okay, little animal," he said stiltedly. "You don't have to force yourself. I will wait."
"…" A small smile graced Tsuna's features as the warmth from Hibari's hand seemed to spread through his body.
Yes. This was what it felt like to have a friend.
Tsuna gazed at his mother with dull eyes.
"…a home tutor that can help you with your work! He even says that he can help you speak again!" his mother said excitedly.
It's a scam, Tsuna wanted to say. How could this home tutor, thisstranger help him speak? Hibari had known him for years and Tsuna was still unable to find his voice around him.
Despite his thoughts, however, a seed of hope grew within Tsuna.
Tsuna was in his room.
"Present. I'm here. Teacher. I'm here," he repeated to himself. Perhaps if he practiced enough, he'd be able to answer his teacher during roll call. If he recited and rehearsed, he would know what to say, he would knowhow to say it, and then he'd finally be able to speak outside of his room.
"So you are able to talk."
Tsuna would have shrieked if he could.
"Ciaossu. My name is Reborn, and I'm your new home tutor."
Tsuna stared at the baby in his room. He could feel that tightness in his chest once again, that thing lodged in his throat. His skin crawled at the sight of a stranger in his room, his safe haven, and every single cell in him screamed at the baby to get out.
Shaking slightly, Tsuna nodded at the baby. He did not make eye contact.
Suddenly, he was thrown back and he hit the wall with a soundless cry of pain. A hand grabbed his collar, forcing Tsuna to look up and Reborn. A gun at his head prevented him from looking away.
"I expect you to look at me when I talk to you, and I want you to answer me."
Something in Tsuna burned uncomfortably, painfully.
"Answer me, Dame-Tsuna."
He couldn't stand it any longer. His arms violently jerked up to shield his face from the baby's gaze as tears welled up in his eyes. Without any conscious input, Tsuna turned onto his side and curled into a ball, sobbing voicelessly in frustration and fear.
As Reborn stared down at Tsuna's pitiful, shaking form, he couldn't help but feel that he had done something very, very wrong.
People with selective mutism are still able to talk in places and in the company of people that they feel are 'safe', such as their home or their room, with their parents or with certain friends. However, when they no longer feel safe anywhere…
might continue this
I don't know how to write discomfort. Like, I know how it feels for me, and I keep repeating it. Skin crawling and prickling hot heat right under it, burning you alive making you want to move move move away, a violent response, a shout. That's mine. Also a lot of internal screaming and crying. I don't know how to describe it beyond that.
As you can see, this is my take on a (selectively) mute Tsuna. I want to write more for this but i'm afraid of misrepresentation. the social anxiety i had was rather mild, and that's definitely not the type tsuna has. i think he has scopophobia in this too
i will also have to look for prompts or possible situations if i still wanna write.