Title: Now and then, neither here nor there

Author: me ^^

Language: English

Fandom: Katekyo Hitman Reborn!

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

Rating: R-18 overall (not this chapter, but...it's coming.)

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.

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

Story 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?) Also, thanks for correcting me about Squalo's age; but I'll be honest and say that I am too lazy to go back and re-write it (although the idea of writing a 12-year-old Squalo is pretty tempting). Just pretend that he is Dino's senpai instead of peer.

Tsuna slept in the hallway that night to give Reborn and Bianchi some privacy. The hitman hadn't outright kicked him out, but the death glare Tsuna had received upon entering the room only to find the two of them well on their way to a passion-filled liaison was more than enough of a hint to send the teen high-tailing it out of there. Now, past midnight, Tsuna sat alone in the dark corridor on the cold, hard floor with his knees drawn up to his chest and his arms wrapped around his legs.

He had thought about going in search of Gokudera and Yamamoto's room, but the sudden realization that maybe—just maybe—the two Guardians were similarly involved and didn't wish to be disturbed crossed his mind. Not that he thought Gokudera had reached a level of maturity where he could admit to liking Yamamoto; that seemed like a long way away yet. But still, even if they were just sleeping, he didn't want to wake them up or cause problems for anyone.

Tsuna's groggy mind vaguely registered the soft patter of footsteps on the hard floor down the hall. He blinked sleepily and turned his head in the direction of the noise, watching as the familiar form of his Cloud Guardian materialized from the darkness. The Namimori Disciplinary Head approached at a slow pace that had Tsuna's heart thundering in his chest at his impending doom. Hibari looked more irritable than usual, and Tsuna was absolutely certain he was going to get bitten to death by the other boy as a way to relieve that stress. Curling tighter in on himself, he buried his head in knees and clenched his eyes tight, wanting to just get the seemingly unavoidable beating over with.

Instead of pain, however, the only thing his senses picked up was the sound of a slender body colliding with the wall and then sliding downward. Tsuna chanced a glance to his side only to find Hibari sitting next to him, eyes fixed straight ahead, looking half-asleep and a little woozy.

Gulping, Tsuna mumbled the other's name tentatively, not wanting to provoke the dangerous teen but wanting to remind him that Tsuna was still present. "A-anou…H-H-Hibari-san?" Hibari turned weary, slanted eyes towards the source of Tsuna's voice. Tsuna swallowed audibly and continued, "A-are you…is everything all right? Why aren't you in bed?"

Hibari chuckled in amusement. "I don't think such a weak little herbivore has any right to ask me that. Are you trying to provoke me? Do you want to get bitten?"

"N-no! No, I'm sorry! You don't have to answer my questions!" Tsuna cried fearfully.

Hibari let out a yawn and proceeded to stretch in a very cat-like manner before settling back against the wall. "So why is a weak little herbivore like Sawada Tsunayoshi out of his room so late at night in such a dangerous building without any protection?" Come to think of it, Hibari was right. Tsuna hadn't really thought about it, but the Vongola Headquarters was, in fact, a very dangerous place. It was filled with traps and vicious criminals, many of whom did not trust him and some of whom probably wanted to get rid of him altogether. Hibari chuckled again. "It seems you were too stupid to think of it."

Tsuna laughed weakly. "Y-yeah, I guess so. Heh heh." Another foolish question popped into his mind and, despite his better judgment, he decided to voice it. "Who is Hibari-san's roommate? I know it can't be Yamamoto or Gokudera-kun, so it has to be Nii-san, Lambo, or Mukuro, right?"

Hibari quirked an eyebrow at the smaller boy. "I have my own room." Tsuna's jaw dropped and he cursed Reborn at the unfairness of it. So busy was he sulking about his unlucky lot in life that he didn't notice the figure moving closer in the shadows, gun in hand. Hibari, however, was not so ignorant of the situation. He glared threateningly at the barely visible attacker, who tensed. Hibari subtly drew out his tonfa, and the enemy made a hasty retreat. Smart move. Otherwise he would have bitten the assailant to death.

"Hiiiiii!" Tsuna wailed, flattening against the wall in a defensive gesture. "Hi-Hibari-san, why do you have your tonfas drawn?"

Hibari turned his attention back to Tsuna. "I thought I told you not to ask stupid questions, Sawada Tsunayoshi. Kami korosu yo."

After whacking Tsuna several times, he turned to go back to his room. Pausing several steps later, having caught sight of the stalker from earlier hiding just around the corner waiting for him to leave Tsuna alone, he turned and addressed the bruised teen over his shoulder. "I have my own room, but there are two beds. You're welcome to the other one as long as you don't disturb my rest." Tsuna had a horrible flashback of his time in the hospital and immediately refused the offer. "I insist," the Cloud Guardian hissed dangerously, leaving Tsuna no option but to acquiesce.

Tsuna followed Hibari wordlessly down the seemingly endless corridor. When they finally arrived at the Disciplinary Committee Head's room, Hibari unlocked it and entered first, falling onto his bed tiredly, leaving the door open for Tsuna. Tsuna hesitantly entered the room, closing the door behind him as soundlessly as he could, careful not to disturb the atmosphere of the room, secretly feeling like he was walking on sacred ground.

Before he could take two steps into the room, Hibari's voice, muffled by a pillow, barked at him, "Lock the door." Tsuna quickly obeyed and then stood awkwardly in the doorway. Hibari sighed and haphazardly pointed to the other bed. "Sleep, herbivore. And be quiet about it, or I'll bite you to death." Once again, Tsuna hurried to comply, scuttling over to the bed and crawling under the covers. It wasn't difficult to ease his weary mind into blissful sleep.

When he woke up the next morning, Hibari was already gone, and Tsuna was surprised to find three shiny coins engraved with the Vongola crest resting innocently next to a small piece of paper with neat handwriting on it next to a folded pile of clean clothes.

Hibari Kyoya (O) and Rokudo Mukuro (O)

Sawada Tsunayoshi (O) and Reborn (?)

Miura Haru (O) and Sasagawa Kyoko (O)

Tsuna smiled and, after changing into the clothes left out for him, pocketed the coins. Careful to clean up after himself and remake the bed, Tsuna left the room quietly, eager to meet his Family in the dining hall for another new group activity.

...

A/n: From what I gather, a circle/maru ("O") in Japan is similar to a check mark in the US. In the case above, it is showing who gave consent to transfer ownership of the coins (because consent is required for the transaction to be valid).

Also, the next chapter should be out shortly. Much sooner than this one. (My computer decided to eat more than half of my files…I still don't know where they went, and it kinda bugs me. They just up and disappeared—documents, music, videos…just gone. This chapter and the one after it included. DX)