Disclaimer: Not mine.
Tsuna ran through the corridor, dozens of doors on either side of him.
He turned a sharp corner and hit carpet.
And the colors from the carpet splashed high into the air as his feet sunk and then his legs kept swinging through the rage of paint. Droplets of Prussian blue and Mandarin orange flicked into the air in crowns of liquid around him as he reached out an outstretched hand to the person on the last door. He hung there, poised in the middle of a tornado of color, desperate and crying. The floor swallowed him whole then, one giant gulp as quick as a camera snap.
Spanner rubbed his tired eyes and stared again. The elegant Persian carpet lay on the solid tiles of the corridor. The storm raged outside the windows. He must have been more tired than he thought. He closed the door, resigned.
"I keep having these dreams," Spanner said, chewing on his nails. He'd given up smoking and now often chewed things to compensate. His fingernails, lollipops, and ballpens all attested to his aggravation lately.
"Uh-huh, what kind of dreams?" Irie said while typing in the next cubicle as his co-worker, Spanner, lounged on the wall between them. He kept his attention divided between the financial report he was typing and his 'newest patient'. But mainly, the thing he was thinking was: Why did everyone treat him like some sort of free-for-all shrink? It was only yesterday that Yamamoto was hanging on his wall, moping at him about his sick dad. Before that, it had been Squalo, their manager, yapping about their VP's bratty attitude.
"I keep dreaming about this perky little brunette being swallowed by floors."
Irie stopped typing. He swiveled around on his chair and pointed an extra expensive ballpen at his padawan. "You are sick. You need actual, official help. Or better, you need to get laid."
Spanner snorted and he disappeared back into his cubicle.
Irie sighed in relief.
Spanner came back, with a new lollipop, his newest addiction. He ripped the wrapper with his teeth, with Irie looking on in awe, and popped the sucker in his mouth. Irie grimaced. How did he do that? He'd tried it before, in the privacy of their floor's restroom stall and had bitten his tongue in the ensuing tangle.
Spanner smirked at him. "So, you think I should go pick me up a cute boyfriend?"
Irie waved his ballpen dismissively at him, "Hell, even a one-night stand." He swiveled back to his computer screen to drown himself in numbers and to avoid anymore psychiatric sessions with his co-workers.
Spanner sat back on his office chair and stared at his own screen, full of technical plans and drawings. Machines didn't have weird dreams. He scowled at his computer.
Spanner stared at the shelf of laundry detergents and wondered why the hell there were so many perfumed brands. He didn't want to smell like lavender. Where were the originals? He cursed and picked the least offensive, Ocean Breeze. It was sort of manly. And the bottle was blue. Granted, it was baby blue but Spanner would shove a screwdriver through anybody who dared to comment on it.
He dumped it in the basket, along with those tissues people put in dryers.
He walked along the aisle and turned to go to the aisle with fruits and vegetables in it. He needed some greens. He'd been watching his foods lately, at the tyrannical command of Doctor Shamal, and had started to balance it to a more nutritious level. His stomach was screaming at the offense and wanted all the grease and fat back. But like all things, Spanner was bull-headed enough to get over it.
He rounded the aisle full of jars of pureed fruit and stopped dead.
He felt his gut go cold.
There, on the pile of red ripe tomatoes, sat a three-inch brunette in a plump tomato costume topped with a green, spiky hat. And it was the brunette from his dreams, lazily swinging his legs on the edge of the scarlet pyramid.
He gave it a dark look. Should he ignore it? Yes, it was safer to do so. Humans weren't three inches high. Robots, maybe. But that was in the far far future. He swung his head just as at the same time the tomato imp swung its gaze from the opposite shelf of wheat bread to the blond. It scrambled up and began to jump up and down in excitement, waving at him.
He tried ignoring the hallucination and picked up eight salad bags. Damn doctors.
Then the little brunette screeched and Spanner swung around, already running to catch the tomato fiend who was tumbling down in an avalanche of fruity vegetables. The little idiot had jumped up and down too much.
Spanner winced, sprawled on the floor littered with bruised tomatoes, but holding the tomato dolt safely in his cupped hand.
Luckily, no one was about in the grocery store to see his little insanity.
It was hugging onto his forefinger, looking up at him with a hero-worshipping expression. It squeaked at him in a high-pitched jabbering tone in gratitude.
It held the stub of a pencil in its arms and clumsily scrawled the last letter of its name, a, on the paper under its feet. It dropped the pencil then, the tail of the a wriggling in a last defeated stroke. The rest of his name shook on the paper in awkward lines and curves but Spanner could read it. Tsuna. Its name was Tsuna.
Spanner nodded and pointed at himself and wondering at his sanity, said, "Spanner."
It nodded solemnly at him and Spanner held in the laughter trying to spill out. It was still in that weird round tomato costume.
Spanner didn't even like tomatoes.
Spanner's hands flitted over the keyboard on his desk, his eyes glued onto the screen. He was a self-professed workaholic and was using work as an excuse to ignore his vegetable-y guest. His eyes unconsciously peeked to the side and found his heart stopping for the second time.
Tsuna was frantically running in circles, a red pinching little ant sniffing after him. He was already in tears and Spanner found himself interrupting his own work to pick up Tsuna from the chase. Spanner rumbled at his guest, "You're bigger than it. You shouldn't be scared of it."
Tsuna just gave him a helpless look and Spanner sighed at the irony. He lifted Tsuna to his front pocket, home to two chewed out ballpens and the brunette settled in happily, clutching the edge. Granted, his pocket bulged out but Spanner was at home so nobody impertinent was in danger of being shanked with a ratchet.
He then slid a paper underneath the wandering ant and stood up to walk towards the window. He could feel the warmth of the tiny being in his pocket and with full conscious knowledge of that warmth he walked to the window and left the ant outside.
Bigger things didn't often kill those smaller than themselves.
He felt Tsuna rest his head against his chest tiredly. His heart beat a little faster.
"What do you eat?" Spanner poked the rotund redness of Tsuna who covered his mouth with his hands, giggling. Tsuna, who finally had enough, gripped the poking finger between two stick thin arms and he glared up at the blond engineer.
Spanner stroked his tiny guest again who burst out into peals of laughter. It reminded Spanner of silver jingling bells. The red skin of his guest was surprisingly cool and smooth.
Tsuna furiously pushed away at the insistent teasing finger. He shook a warning finger at Spanner who barked out a laugh.
He stomped in indignation.
Spanner murmured an apology and Tsuna nodded regally. A silly affectionate smile scrunched by restraining teeth appeared on Spanner's face. Tsuna hopped up and down again, trying to catch his attention. He mimed drinking, opening his mouth wide and moving his curled hand up and down towards his mouth.
Spanner's perverted mind began suggesting other things. He choked and flushed as the tomato looked at him curiously and chattered questioningly.
Spanner shook his head and the thoughts out. It was actually pretty logical, now that he thought about it. Tsuna was a tomato. What did he eat? No, it was the wrong question. He drank water. He got a thimble and filled it with drops of water and handed it to Tsuna on his dinner table.
Tsuna looked at him miserably. Even though it was a thimble, it was still like a bucket to the pint-sized Tsuna most likely. Spanner just shrugged. He really didn't have anything else. The tomato sighed and dipped his cupped hands into the thimble and drank from that instead.
Once upon a time, when there were still spirits who watched over plants and people and animals and places, there lived a young boy by the edge of a farm of corn. His hair was spun like the corn and his keen eyes were as sharp as an eagle. His hands could deftly take machines apart within a few minutes and put them together again in fewer minutes. And then one day, he found a dying plant by the side of the field of sunshine yellow…
Tsuna sat next to a blinking digital alarm clock in the darkness of Spanner's bedroom and thought to himself. The moon outside lit a reflected window on the desk and Tsuna sat on the edge of this, staring down at Spanner who was snoring on the bed. He sounded remarkably like a saw eating at a tree.
It was him, really him. Tsuna hadn't been so sure at the beginning but when Spanner had saved him from that fall…And there was the ant and Spanner hadn't killed it. It really was the little boy. He wiped the few globs of tears leaking out. He'd found the boy and his name was Spanner.
Could he do it, though? Could he really break off all ties to his world for this man? Spanner grunted and his hand grasped at the air ineffectually. Tsuna's heart pounded again, the sappy thing. Tsuna wondered what he was dreaming.
He wondered if Spanner was dreaming about him.