I do not own Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn. Purely fanwork, nothing else.

Warning: Yaoi, possible OOC. Any misspellings or wrong grammar is unintentional. I am my own beta. I could have missed some stuff. And god I wanted this DONE!

I found the 30kisses community at LJ (this is challenge number 14), sadly the claims are closed. So I'm just using their titles to challenge myself a bit. Not writing in order of the theme list though.

The Radio-Cassette Player

Standing underneath the protective shade of the umbrella, Gokudera decided that he hated rainy funerals. The walk up to the hills and secluded woodland was difficult, with the grass becoming slick with water and the soil soft and muddy. Black leather boots became blotched with mud splatters, the bottom of his slacks moist and discolored from the wet earth. He hated all those things, hated being dirty. They were petty little things to hate, but it was a better distraction than the gaping crevice he felt inside him, a deep and unbidden sense of failure and grief.

His muddy shoes and the goddamn wet grass and the expensive dry-cleaning bill were definitely a better distraction than the priest reading off a manuscript, bestowing blessings upon the stitched up body under the lid of the Vongola coffin.

He was going to have to get his car cleaned. The rain was going to ruin the upholster and the carpet was going to stain. He didn't like mud on his carpet, those were very expensive and hard to find. Gokudera recalled the amount of arguing he had with the car dealer, seeing that such 'limited edition' was only available to customers in Europe. That saleslady was a fool, he remembered, flustering and apologizing and always trying to make things right for the customers. He remembered her face even: small kind face, short layered light brown hair, wide and unguarded brown eyes. It reminded him of Tsuna almost, when he was younger and innocent, no longer very 'jaded' by the dark that was mafia life.

Gokudera clenched his jaw even harder, teeth grounding against each other. Pale fingers gripped the handle of the umbrella in a vice, knuckles turning white.

A bandaged hand clamped down over his shoulder and Gokudera looked up to find that the ceremony was over. The priest being escorted away by Lal Mirch and Basil, the white robes disappearing down that slippery and wet grassy path that would lead them to the main manor. Tsuna's mother was lead away by Haru and Kyoko, both guarded by Lambo and Ryohei. People were leaving the flower covered coffin behind, remorse and grief beating down against the earth harder than the pelting rain.

The palm on his shoulder was firm, almost as if it were rousing him from a deep sleep. Gokudera scowled at the owner, green eyes narrowed and cold, empty, mourning.

"We should go." Yamamoto said, calm, even, not a hitch in his voice. "We have some things to do."

"I know." Gokudera could quite control the biting tone in his voice, but wordlessly pulled away from the firm grip, leaving Yamamoto behind and heading down the grass path himself.

He really hated wet grass. They made funny noise, squelched when stepped on and smelled. It reminded Gokudera of vomit hitting something solid. It didn't help that the thick soles of his boots amplified that sound further.

Gokudera wasted no time in wringing the wet umbrella once he was in the dry confines of the manor's garage, tossing the shield in to the trunk of his car. The engine was already running, a smooth steady purr echoing within the walls of the cold garage. The cars that were previously lined on either side of the metallic sapphire sports car were gone. The last one - the bright red tail-lights of Hibari's black hunchback sedan - just disappeared past the guarded computerized gates, leaving Gokudera and his car alone. It was silent, even with the engine's steady hum in the background. Gokudera felt stifled by the silence, and reached up to yank the tie off his neck, letting it fall in a hanging knot in the middle of his chest. Hands reached up to unbutton the collar of his dress-shirt, undoing the two after it. The sound of fabric shifting and his boots squeaking against the smooth floors of the garage filled the silence along with the engine hum. But now that it was done, it was quiet again.

It was so quiet, just like Tsuna, under the glaring light of the morgue-table. Silent. Dead.

Gokudera felt his shoulders slump a bit, defeat weighing heavy on his back.

He lit a cigarette and started playing with the metallic lid of his lighter, the clinking noises filling that dreaded silence.

The sound of soles squeaking against the floors made him glance over is shoulder. Yamamoto was wringing his own umbrella as he walked, tie completely loose and hanging around his neck, shirt half-way open and hair a bit wet along with parts of his shirt and jacket. Gokudera recalled that the Rain-Guardian was holding the umbrella for Tsuna's mother during the ceremony. Yamamoto wordlessly settled the folded umbrella in to the open trunk before completely shrugging off his suit jacket as well.

No glances were exchanged, no words were needed. Both circled the car once the lid of the trunk slammed shut, followed by a series of shoes stomping against the ground to get some of the mud off. A pair of car doors shutting followed by whisking noise of the seat belt being pulled and clicking in to place filled that horrid silence that Gokudera was trying not to get angry at. The car was warmer than the outside, it wasn't cold like the somber weather, it wasn't cold like the morgue.

Gokudera shifted the gears and released the handbreak, making as much noise as he could before pulling out of the garage. He didn't want to show how the silence was bothering him, didn't want to show the other - that fucking calm bastard, how the hell does he stay calm and silent like nothing happened? Where is his remorse? Why isn't he mourning?! - that he was coming off the seams. They had a clean-up job to do, they had things to take care of and a duty to keep the family running. Gokudera needed his focus, he needed his energy to zone in on the targets that he was going to turn in to a useless pile of ash and nothing.

The silence was so loud that Gokudera was going deaf.

Speeding down the empty high way, he reached forward and flicked the radio on, adjutsing the tuner to clear the static. Yamamoto didn't move from his seat, didn't even look at him even as Gokudera let out a few curse words when none of the static would clear off. The bad weather was probably hindering the signals and Gokudera was just about ready to punch the radio-cassette player in if the static didn't vanish. With his focus divided between the road and the radio, Gokudera's leg went a bit slack and the car sped way over the limit, reaching new speed records. Yamamoto looked at him then, eyes narrowed and not pleased because while the speeding didn't bother him, the slippery roads did.

"Hey." Yamamoto started, voice firm with an added edge. Brown eyes were brewing up a storm just like the rain outside, despite him being calm.

Gokudera didn't get a chance to reply because the static did clear then and a happy pop song came up. Gokudera didn't need to look up to see how Yamamoto tensed because the muscles in his own body went rigid. He knew that song. He knew that silly and very catchy upbeat tune. He remembered just how much Tsuna loved that particular song and would hum it while tapping his pen against contracts that he needed to review or business transaction papers filed under the Vongola name. He remembered - as clear as day - how sometimes, when Tsuna was feeling happier, the handsome man would nod his head to the soft humming of his own voice, oblivious to the chaos going on around him (that was usually the guardians themselves) as he focused on his work.

Tsuna's bloody and gunned-down body flashed in his head quickly followed by the stitched up, cold and pale one at the morgue.

The car swerved minutely as Gokudera's hands shook, the silence even louder now and the pop-song making it echo even more.

"Stop the car, Gokudera." Yamamoto ordered firmly.

"We have an assignment to do, we can't waste time." Gokudera bit out, fondling with the knobs and getting rid of that song - that fucking happy song! - because he didn't want to hear it. He didn't a reminder of how Tsuna was never going to hum the silly tune again, how he looked like when he was alive and not that sordid thing - that couldn't have been him - that was lying in a coffin.

"Stop the car!" Yamamoto said again, firmer, colder.

"Get the fuck off! It's my goddamn car!" Gokudera snapped right back, and trembling hands released the radio's tuner because the car gave a sharp lurch at a small speed bump Gokudera failed to notice.

There was a sick and deafening screech of tires against rain and asphalt, their car swerving and turning on a ninety-degree angle right in the middle of the deserted highway. For a moment, the loud noise filled that horrible silence, but once it subsided, it was just the sound of their tensed breathing, the rain falling against the metallic paintjob and the radio altering between static and Tsuna's song. It was a mocking tune, of something that distorted between life and death, what was once Tsuna's cheerful humming and the cold buzz of static that was his eternal silence.

Gokudera wanted it off. Off.

Both hands abandoned the wheel - now that they did indeed stop - and pale fingers went for the radio-cassette player, intending to silence the goddamn mocking piece of technology because Gokuera got it. Tsuna was gone. He wasn't coming back. There was no way to turn back time.

The tuner knob came free in his attempt to silence it, his control and cool completely gone, leaving only a muddled and mourning hitman desperate for the piece of car accessory to shut its piehole. The knob toppled down, somewhere between Yamamoto's boots and when the thing wouldn't keep silent, Gokudera raised a fist - in anger, in desperation - to silence the thing forever.

Warm and firm hands grabbed pale ones. "Hey, hey!"

"Shut the fucking the thing! Let go, goddamnit!" Gokudera struggled and hit his elbows against the steering wheel, body twisted in a way to fight the oaf off. He wasn't angry, he was falling apart. His flame was dying out, if not already. Yamamoto could see it, in the pair of hollow green eyes that were narrowed but carried no anger. No flame.

"Stop it! Get a hold of yourself!"

"Shut the fuck up, you idiot and release my hands!" Gokudera sniped back. His wrists were starting to hurt because Yamamoto was trying to control him before he did something foolish. Gokudera was being foolish. Cold and and hurting words left Gokudera's lips on anything and everything imperfect with the funeral, with car, with the music, with Yamamoto. The seat belt was choking him as much as it was choking Yamamoto from the awkward twist the swordsman's body took to stop Gokudera from inflicting further damage.

"Don't ruin it! You bought this car with Tsuna! He picked the color for you, remember?" Yamamoto hissed then grunted when his elbow connected with the door handle painfully in the midst of their struggle.

Gokudera shoved, the seatbelt digging in to his neck and growled. "What the fuck would you know about it?"

Gokudera never got a reply. There was a flash of anger, something he rarely saw in Yamamoto's brown eyes before lips, hard and uncaring pressed against his. The warm lips didn't register in Gokudera's head, nor did the narrowed dark brows and glaring eyes aimed directly in to his hollowed gaze. He didn't take note of how Yamamoto tasted, or how soft his lips were, or how that scar on his chin tickled his own pale one.

But anger - raw and wild - flared in him almost immediately as soon as Yamamoto released his wrists and his fist connected with the man's jaw. Gokudera's breath came in short and heavier pants, watching as droplets of blood splattered over the window and dashboard from where Yamamoto's head whipped back from the force of the punch.

"You - you - "Gokudera couldn't express his rage, the fire burning in his eyes in to simple human language. He was livid.

Yamamoto turned, blinking away the moisture in his eyes because the punch hurt. Blood trickled down his broken lip as a calloused hand came up to wipe it away and apply pressure to the damaged buds. "Feel better?" He asked, softly, smirking, pleased with how Gokudera looked.

Gokudera yelled at the top of his lungs, temper hitting new levels of angry. "What is wrong with you?"

Yamamoto calmly reached for the radio, hand still against his bleeding lip and switched the thing off. "We have an assignment to do." He swallowed and licked the blood off.

When Yamamoto looked at Gokudera, Gokudera didn't know what to say. His temper winked out because right there, before him, he saw how completely crushed and hurt Yamamoto was. Not because of the punch, or the pathetic and stupid song that was playing earlier, but by the loss and the fact that his partner, the one Tsuna always matched him with, was losing control and wouldn't mourn properly. Because his partner was falling apart and disappearing to what might have been considered death as well.

Green eyes watered, tears cascading down one by one before they flowed freely. He panicked because he never cried and hands came up, gripping his hair, one palm pressing against an eye and he hissed. "Fuck ... fuck ..."

Yamamoto remained silent, always silent and looked away, swallowing thickly and eyelashes clamping together. It wasn't from his wet hair.

Gokudera crumpled in grief, bent over the handbreaks at the space between himself and Yamamoto, sharp and jagged cries escaping his throat till they started to hurt. In that precious few minutes, he allowed himself to grive and bawl like a child, not caring what Yamamoto thought of him.

He hurt and he hurt bad.

And once the hurt subsided, it left pure and undiluted rage in its wake.

Gokudera straightened, swallowing and swiping the sleeve of his dress shirt over his red-eyes. Yamamoto had his own glassy eyes trained directly at the pavement from how their car was situated, not breaking his gaze from the windshield.

"I fucking hate that rain ..." Gokudera grumbled, voice thick not with grief, but with anger. So much anger, green gaze ignited with said anger's scorching flames.

"Yeah." Yamamoto replied, voice terse and cold, as blue as his flame. "Me too."

Gokudera shifted gears and maneuvered his car back in to the proper lane, the silence no longer bothering him.

It comforted him.



Okay, enough now.