Title: The Little Wanderer
Genre: Hurt/Comfort,Family,Angst
Characters:
Tsuna+Vongola Members
Summary: Tsuna just wants to be free.
Author: The Dark Crimson Blood

Count: 2,968


China

Tsuna thought she would be okay if she left everyone behind.

She was a wander, after all. She wasn't supposed to get attached to anyone or anything and yet the day she managed to finally leave everyone behind in America, she hesitated. She thought about how much she loved the mother that wasn't hers, and the family that she didn't belong in. It hurt to leave; she said her goodbyes to everyone as they slept because if they were awake she was certain that she woudn't be able to go.

She wouldn't be able to leave them behind because they made her happy.

Her lip quivers at the idea of never being able to see anyone of them again; she wipes her eyes in a failed attempt to stop herself, but it doesn't work. It's not until her cries become muffled sobs that she feels an overwhelmingly dark presence appear behind her. She freezes in her spot and any sound that she had previously been making ceases.

"You," A surprisingly calm voice says in fluent Japanese. Tsuna easily recognizes the language; after all, it's the first one she ever learned. "Are disturbing the peace."

She turns around slowly.

Her mouth clamps shut and her shoulders stiffen. "S-Satan?"

"Hibari." He glares. "Hibari Kyouya."

Scary, Tsuna thinks as she shuffles uncomfortably in her seat. "I'm Tsuna!"

"And your last name?"

"I don't have one!" Her eyes seem to sadden, the original color dilutes slightly. "I'm all by myself."

The boy makes a small grunting noise, but the look of disapproval is clear in his eyes. He silently changes his seat in favor for the one next to her and easily ignores the look of surprise on her face. "I don't like crowding," He begins, Tsuna's gaze drops onto her lap. "But two is simply company."

She looks up at him and smiles.

It didn't look like she was going to be alone for long.

oOo

Tsuna's only been in China for a couple of days now.

She doesn't understand the language at all but she's trying to; she can't ask for directions if she gets lost, and she can't read the signs to find her way back home again but Tsuna doesn't seem to mind at all. She's the type of person to deal with these problems as they come; worrying about them now wasn't going to help her out either, so she didn't.

For someone who didn't speak or read the language, Tsuna liked to explore a lot.

Kyoya's made it his own personal duty to follow her and keep her out of trouble; she's tiny for her age and a predators will thing she's an easy target. Considering the fact that she's foreign and alone only makes her stand out even more; the idea of her getting kidnapped off the streets and then sold to some sex trade made him sick to his stomach.

It's hard to keep up with her.

She's fairly agile for someone so small and skinny; when she jumps from building to building, it's as if there are springs in her legs that push her higher and higher with each new leap. She easily crawls through the smallest of crevices like a street cat to it's alley, and swung around as though she were a monkey in a jungle. Kyoya doesn't want her to see him struggle; especially since he was supposed to be the carnivore who was protecting his baby bird.

But the baby bird has wings, while the carnivore is stuck on the ground.

That was fine.

Kyoya much rather preferred fighting on the ground; he was the type of person to overwhelm his opponent with power head on instead of relying on the agility that Tsuna uses. It doesn't hurt to learn; he follows her as best as he can each day and within the first month, he's able to keep up with her. Her pace is slower than usual and he knows it's for him and she probably knows that he knows, but neither of them say it.

It's better that way.

Tsuna is just as stubborn as he is, but it's in her own way.

Actually, Kyoya's learned a lot about the tiny baby bird that he picked off the streets and dragged home with him despite her protests. She talked about being on her own all the time but when she talks about the people she's left behind, her smile twitches and she struggles to talk about it. It hurts her to leave them behind but that doesn't stop her from doing it; she's been to Italy, America, and now even China and she's only nine years old.

She's nine years old and she's all alone.

It wears on her; Kyoya knows this without having to be told, because she wakes up in the middle of the night frequently. Sometimes she'll wake up crying and other times she'll just have a miserable expression on her face as she pushes open the door to his bedroom and sits by his side until she's calmed down; recently she's taken to holding his hand whenever she thinks that he's asleep. He doesn't say anything about it; the tiny herbivore needs it, and the idea of having her feel as though she can't come to him when she needs comfort doesn't sit right with him.

Maybe one day she'd be a big strong carnivore just like he is, but today she's nothing more than a baby bird that's tying to survive without it's mother. Kyoya might have the tiniest soft spot for her but he'll never tell anyone, ever. He'll never tell anyone about how it was his idea to invite her to sleep by his side at night to keep the nightmares away, and not hers.

But hey, she's sleeping through the nights without waking up and that's really all that matters.

In the morning it's hard to wake her up; she's still half asleep as she runs through her basic needs, it's not until breakfast that she's completely awake. She doesn't eat much at all; more often than not she'll munch on a couple bites of whatever's been served, take a short nap after eating, and then running off to disappear wherever baby birds disappeared to. It explained why she was skinny and malnourished looking, but it doesn't quite explain why she's constantly popping medicine into her mouth like it's candy.

One day Kyoya watches his baby bird take down two grown men by herself with ease.

The next at he holds his tonfa's out in her direction and promptly challenges her to a fight. In all honestly; a big part of him had expected her to screech or run away as fast as humanly possible but that's not what happened at all. Instead she stood up a bight straighter; her brown eyes steeled over just a bit and she brought her hands up into a fighting position.

"Fight me." He had said, tightening his grip on his weapons.

A smile stretched across her face ear to ear as she agreed to his order.

"Sounds like fun."

She smiled.

They fought.

She won.

She won.

She won.

How did she win?

Kyoya ponders this for seconds, minutes, hours, and even days! How the hell did she win?

"I simply weighed your weaknesses and strengths against my own and led you somewhere where I would have the highest chance of victory; the town, where I can move around as freely as I want, and where a head on attacker would be at a disadvantage." She's got bruises and cuts on her arms, but so does he. They're both panting equally as hard as one another; it was a good fight, but Kyoya had lost.

She seems to sympathize with him. "If we fought in an open area, the chances of you winning would've been a lot higher."

"Indeed," He agrees. "Starting today you will train with me, and my uncle."

She swallows, looking for a moment as though she is about to decline.

Kyoya glares. "Do you understand?"

"Yessir!"

oOo

Hibari Kyoya isn't sure what to call his relationship with Tsuna.

Friends, perhaps? It didn't make sense because Kyoya's never had a friend that he could put up with; most people just pissed him off and made him want to either threaten them to leave, or beat the living daylights out of them. Tsuna didn't have that effect on him; instead, it was as though he wanted to spend more and more of his time with her.

Almost as if he actually wanted her to crowd him

His nose twitches at the idea of having any other person crowd him, but Tsuna's not any other person. She's Tsunayoshi; the lonely baby bird that was kicked out of it's nest too soon and barely knows how to survive on her own. It would be cruel to leave her by herself; she'd probably get herself killed if he took his eyes off of her for too long.

Yeah, she needs him.

But he needs her too.

She's warm like the sun; her aura draws him in and makes him want to stay there forever. For once Kyoya thinks he's finally found the place he belongs and he never wants to leave; he never wants her to leave. If he has to stay by her side forever then maybe, he thinks, maybe that's okay.

It's Tsuna after all.

Nearly a year has passed in China.

Tsuna spends most of her days either running off or training with Fon or Kyoya.

Kyoya watches from his spot in the window; eyes flickering back and forth between his uncle and his baby bird.

Today she lies on the ground as she tries to catch her breath.

It's especially hot today; Tsuna's exhausted and the room is spinning but she somehow manages to force herself up when Hibari's uncle comes back into the room with a glass of water in hand. She takes it happily; the sparring sessions were fun but they go on for hours and sometimes it's hard for her to handle. Today is one of those days.

Kyoya's uncle is a really nice man.

He a brilliant martial artist who finds value in everything; his lessons are things that Tsuna doubts that she'll ever forget.

Tsuna wipes her mouth after downing the entire glass; her arm shakes with overuse as she hands it back to her teacher. "I know that Kyoya has been requesting that I fit you with a weapon, but I disagree with his decision."

She brings an arm to her forehead and rids herself of as much sweat as possible; her bright caramel eyes shift in his direction. "Why?" She cocks her head to the side as she awaits his response. She's not angry; no, she's not upset either. All she is right now is curious; her ears are open as she awaits a response for her question.

"I do not believe that someone like you is suited for weapons, Miss Tsunayoshi." He sits down beside her and Tsuna can't help but feel comforted at the way the evening sun shines over him and leaves him with a warm glow. She sits up a bit straighter. as she listens to him. "You are the sky. Yes, I am sure you could learn and master several weapons but what comes most natural to you is your own body."

"I thought weapons were an extension of the body?"

"In most cases, yes, but it's the opposite for you." He smiles. "As the sky, the elements naturally love you. The wind, for example, has taken a liking to you. You are able to take an entire environment and use it as an extension of yourself. That's much more than a weapon can do, do you understand?"

"I do!" She stands up; perhaps just a little too quickly, and blood rolls out of her nose like a gentle stream. ]

Kyoya is by her side at an instant; his grip on her shoulder is strong, but it's just barely keeping her from falling. "Ah, do you have… a… ah… I forgot…" Her eyes roll into the back of her head and she finally falls; but she doesn't hit the floor. Kyoya heaves her up into his arms tightly; the way her body convulses makes him even more on edge than usual, even more so than how uncomfortably light her body is.

Fon's eyes have widened in shock.

He calls out to her, helplessly.

"Tsunayoshi?!"

oOo

One hundred and six degrees Fahrenheit.

Fon wonders if it should've been more obvious that something was wrong.

Perhaps he should've looked further into the way Tsuna ate tiny bites of food at each meal, or how she disappeared for hours throughout the day, or even the way she would get constant nosebleeds from time to time. The fact that Tsuna had been shaking more violently than ever after today's training session should've been the biggest warning sign but she was so good at pretending that everything was okay, that even Fon had believed her.

Kyoya was guilty of the same thing.

None of the doctors were sure what it was or why Tsuna is the way she is. They don't have an answer as to why she slept so much or why she ate so little, but they did know that whatever it was had caused her body temperature to rise so much that it could've killed her. She could've died and no one would've known why.

All they could do for her was give her more of the medicine that she had already been taking; most of the time it worked, but it would seem that they would need to heighten the dosage as she got more and more accustomed to it. They told her that she would have to stay in the hospital for a week just to monitor her and make sure that everything was okay; the fear of another attack was realer than ever, and something everyone wanted to prevent.

Especially Kyoya.

Kyoya has spent the last three days by the side of his nine year old best friend; his main goal there was to guard Tsuna, and scare the nurses into checking up on her every time he thought something was wrong. The hospital staff is tired of dealing with him, but he's tired of waiting. When she finally wakes up it's as though the sky wasn't so cloudy anymore; the sun shone brighter than ever and her eyes reflected it.

She met his frown with a smile and simply asked how he was doing.

Kyoya had yelled at her for not telling him there was something wrong beforehand because this, was not a pleasant surprise.

She's a bit restless, actually.

"I don't wanna stay here anymore." She says, a whole day after waking up.

Kyoya's not having any of it. "You won't get any better if you leave."

She shakes her head; her eyes light with a fire that Kyoya's never seen before. "I grew up in a hospital, Kyoya. They've been trying to find out what's wrong with me ever since I was born and every attempt has been a failure."

"I will not let you leave, Tsunayoshi."

She gives him a small smile. "I swore to myself that I'd live freely for the rest of my life; I have no intention of spending the rest of life in a hospital." Her eyes pan over towards the window, the sheets fall from the bed. "I'll leave when you're least expecting it."

"And if you fail?"

She shrugs. "Then I'll die trying."

Kyoya doesn't want her to leave just let, and he really doesn't want her to die either.

In the end, he offer her hand and she takes it.

"Let's go, then."

She shakes her head. "Tomorrow... We can leave tomorrow night."

It makes sense. Kyoya will have enough time to pack everything they might need and distract Fon long enough to make a proper getaway; he agrees with a gentle nod of his head. "There's a bag underneath the floorboards in my old room, it's really important."

"I won't forget it."

She smiles.

He leaves.

Tsuna is long gone the next day.

Kyoya swears that one day, he'll find her.

Then he'll never let her leave his side again.

Which is fine, because he'll never leave hers.

Until then, he'll train harder than ever.

He's got a baby bird to protect.


A/N: If it feels like I'm rushing things too much, someone let me know and maybe help me out with a few tips if I can't fix it. :)

You're reviews mean so much to me, thank you so much for taking the time to leave your thoughts!

See you guys next time,

~Crimsy