Title: Now and then, neither here nor there

Pairing: R27 (Reborn x Tsuna) as the main pairing; mild others/Tsuna and side pairings

Rating: R-18 overall

Warnings: Spoilers (kinda, sorta, just to be safe); boys love (male x male); violence; language; slight dubious consent at some points; also, I pretty much bit the canon timeline to death (hence the "kinda, sorta" spoilers)

Summary: Tsuna has yet another mishap with the 10-year bazooka. This time, it sends him a decade into the past. R27, others.

Disclaimer: I do not own Kateikyoushi Hitman REBORN! This is a work of fanfiction, and I am not making any financial profit from it.

Notes: Regarding the TYL timeline, I basically took pieces of information that I wanted to use from it and then discarded the rest. It didn't really happen in this fic. I'm just using what I know of it (anime-verse only, btw) to recreate a Ten Years Earlier verse. Consider this piece pre-TYL Arc but possibly containing TYL Arc spoilers. (Did that make any sense?)

Tsuna wasn't quite sure what had happened. He remembered Lambo rampaging around the room like a wild animal with I-Pin on his heels, and then there was a big cloud of smoke obscuring his vision. It didn't take long for him to figure out what had happened. Lambo had undoubtedly tripped over his own feet, sending the ten-year-bazooka hurdling straight for Tsuna, landing him ten years in the future. The only problem was that Tsuna now found himself alone in a dark alley in what couldn't possibly be Japan.

Determined to find his way back to his Family, Tsuna chose the better-lit path and made his way along wordlessly, the soft patter of his shoes on the cobblestone street echoing into the silent night. It seemed that no matter how far he walked, he made no progress. No matter how many corners he turned, there were only more unfamiliar buildings waiting for him and no people around to ask for directions.

At some point—and Tsuna wasn't exactly sure how long he'd been wandering—the young Mafioso heard two successive gunshots, a short break, and then one more, the final shot ringing clear and familiar to the boy's ears. The Vongola ran towards the source of the sound.

Tsuna would be damned if he mistook the sound of that gun. How could he not recognize it? "Reborn!" he cried excitedly, rounding yet another unknown corner. He quickly skidded to a halt when he found himself at the end of Leon's barrel, pointed at him by someone far taller and more menacing than his baby-faced home tutor, who, while seeming to have no qualms about beating and bullying him, would never honestly threaten his life as if he were an enemy. Tsuna couldn't recall ever being so afraid of anything or anyone in his life. And the part that terrified him the most was that he knew he shouldn't be afraid of this person; that this was supposed to be the one person he shouldn't have to fear. Yet, at that moment, Tsuna was terrified.

"Re…born…" he whimpered pathetically, teeth chattering and knees knocking together as he took a tentative step backwards.

"Who are you?" the man hissed dangerously. Tsuna suspected the hitman didn't know what to make of him; no assassin in his right mind would announce his presence like Tsuna just did, after all. "That guy's friend?" he jerked his head in the direction of a crumpled corpse with a single bullet hole through the forehead—a perfect kill. As expected of Reborn.

"Reborn, i-it's me," Tsuna stammered. Ten years was a long time. He had probably changed a lot; maybe Reborn didn't recognize him. After all, he may not have recognized the Arcobaleno if not for the trademark suit and Leon. "It's Tsuna. Sawada Tsunayoshi. Dame Tsuna."

"You must have gotten your information from a faulty source," Reborn sneered, cocking the gun. "Sawada Tsunayoshi is still in pre-school."

Tsuna's eyes widened and his breath caught in his throat. What? No, that wasn't possible. He was ten years in the future...right? He remembered catching a glimpse of the bazooka in his time; he was certain he should be in the future!

Face pale and hands trembling violently, he managed to inquire, "Reborn…w-what year is it?" Even as he heard the confused reply fall from the hitman's lips, the world around him swayed. "No, that's…not right…" He felt himself falling but could do nothing to prevent it. Much to his surprise, he felt a strong arm steady him. Looking up into the bemused yet curious face of the man that would someday be his kateikyoushi, Tsuna grumbled under his breath about stupid cows and stupid bazookas and stupid mafia. His eyes made contact with Reborn's before the shock overcame his senses and he blacked out.