Disclaimer: Don't own it.
Spoilers: Before the Varia Arc, obviously. After the Valentine's episode. Reborn foreshadows Hibari's importance to the Vongola family, etc.
Notes: It was hard for me to start writing this. I'm not sure why, but somewhere along the thought process I realized that when I was writing it in my head, before I put fingers to keyboard, I wasn't getting anywhere because I only speak elementary level Japanese. And since I'd never heard the characters speak English, it seemed weird to write it in my head that way…
Further Notes: I also have some difficulty in choosing a pairing for this series because, unlike the stark OTLness in other fandoms, I can see a few deviations. Pairings I would like to write once I get over this I-can't-speak-Japanese thing? Dino/Tsuna, Dino/Hibari/Dino, Tsuna/Basil/Tsuna, Adult Lambo/Hana, Goku/Tsuna, either Chrome/Mukuro or Chikusa/Chrome or Ken/Chrome? As well as maybe even Chrome/Tsuna? Weird…
But! The pairing that I liked the most because it was sweet and very reminiscent of my own love experiences was I-Pin/Hibari, especially after the Valentine episode. So!
Dedication: Merry Christmas, Ria, my dear friend!
Cultural reference: If you don't know what White Day is, please smack yourself now.
Contrary to popular belief, Hibari Kyoya was not a hard person to approach. However, it is accurate to assume that you shouldn't approach him without a death wish. Hibari was a very complicated person on the inside. On the surface, he just wanted to beat the crap out of people. Despite those two conflicting elements, few people – in fact, none at all – knew that he had the smallest soft spot for little things. That bird, for instance. And, unknowns to anyone, even the greater part of Hibari's existence, that small girl who approached him in the early light of sunfall nearly a month ago.
Gestures like hers did not go unnoticed by Hibari, especially given that it had been quite some time since any member of the opposite sex was brave enough to give him a token of affection on Valentine's. In his younger days, the days before he was made Chairman, he had received a few here and there, and each was taken with some amount of politeness, with no emotion whatsoever, and a month later one or two of those girls who had found his quiet coldness charming were given small obligatory tokens in return. This gesture was less than monotonous and done so mechanically Hibari could have been buttoning up hs shirt for all the effort he put into it.
But on this March 12 he felt a slight tug in that direction of obligation that was on a note altogether different. Firstly because the chocolate had been good. It had obviously been made with some measure of care. Secondly, the girl was very young, and the smallest soft spot that barely breathed within the greater passion for his school demanded that at least the smallest amount of effort should be put into the White Day gift he was obliged to give.
"We need to make the Family stronger, Tsuna."
"Eh?" Tsuna whipped around to stare incredulously at his home tutor, walking calmly along the top of the wall. "Reborn! They're not my Family!" he insisted, knowing that it was futile.
The miniature hit man smiled that eerie, simple smile that reminded Tsuna of a doll. "I am still considering Hibari Kyoya."
"Hibari-san?" Tsuna tensed. For some reason he was hearing a weird Phantom of the Opera-esque music floating from the back of his mind. A cold shiver worked its way up his spine. "He's so scary…"
"He's strong, and I think his ability to be isolated from us, yet be ready to fight with us, would be valuable." There was a glint in his eye that Tsuna barely caught. What could that mean?
"He likes being on his own," Tsuna murmured, suddenly serious. "I don't think he'd like the idea of being part of a Family."
Reborn merely smiled. Hopefully he wouldn't have to explain the cloud-like reference until much later.
"Is that a wise decision, Reborn? That man wanted to injure the 10th!"
Tsuna lightly held his friend back by the shoulders. "Eto… calm down, Gokudera-kun."
Shrugging away from the hold with that similar explosive edge, Gokudera crossed his arms over his chest.
"You're right, though. That man likes being alone. And he can't be controlled. I don't trust him. As your Right Hand Man, I will not let him interfere with our Family!"
"Gokudera," Reborn warned.
A calm breeze drifted overhead, and they were quiet. A moment later, the dark figure of Hibari Kyoya rounded the corner, his jacket draped over his shoulders like a cape, the sharp flash of steel barely visible in its folds with his steps.
"Making a commotion on school grounds," he drawled. "It looks like I will have to bite you to death."
Tsuna stiffened, immediately reminded of a bloodthirsty vampire.
"Hibari Kyoya," Reborn greeted. "Ciao-su"
"Is that you, Infant?" the Chairman said quietly. He smiled, a thin line that reminded Tsuna of Reborn's eerie doll expression, but altogether different and more dangerous.
Startled, Tsuna caught the small object thrown at him, though Hibari still held Reborn's gaze. "Give that to the little girl." With that same smile still on his face, he vanished quite calmly.
"He means I-Pin," Reborn said once Tsuna felt less afraid.
"I-Pin?" Tsuna wondered, turning over the small white box, simply adorned with a thin white ribbon.
"Come, then, 10th. We should deliver it," Gokudera muttered, obviously peeved at having been chosen as a messenger for the Chairman.
It was sunfall a week later, around the same place where Hibari had first encountered the little girl. He strode easily down the street, thinking about his bird, knowing that it would be waiting at his window sill when he returned, wanting some seed.
"The noodles will get soggy!"
From up ahead, a girl emerged, wearing the white uniform of a Chinese food delivery service. She was pretty in a very open sort of way, with large black eyes and a martial artist's grace. As she turned to duck into another street, she caught Hibari's eye, stopped, and took off at a faster speed, a flush of pink brushed over her cheeks.
Hibari decided that it was a mere coincidence that she wore a silver bracelet like the one he'd intended for the little girl and continued on, ignoring the explosion that erupted behind him some ten seconds later.