The idea popped into my head, and I just wanted to get it down in conversation. First time writing for these guys.

All characters © Amano Akira


A Lesson in Biology

Hibari pulled a face, scrunching up his nose, and spat a wad of blood onto the grass beneath him. It glistened in the morning sun with a fluidic gleam that could almost be called beautiful, but Hibari Kyouya didn't have time to admire his surroundings.

"For someone who claims to be a carnivore, you don't seem to like the taste of blood very much," a voice said from above him.

Hibari swung his right tonfa in a vicious uppercut, but the person easily dodged. The left tonfa that had been planning to attack from behind was then ensnared in a black leather whip, the characteristic weapon of only one mafia member.

Dino Cavallone smiled, and released the tonfa with a flick of his wrist. "Or maybe you just don't like the taste of your own blood, Kyouya," he added as he did this.

"I will bite you to death, herbivore," Hibari exclaimed, evading a swish of the whip. "And then we'll see who is at the top of the food chain."

"Last time I checked, humans weren't obligate carnivores," Dino frowned. "Do you feel the need to eat everyone you see because you want to satisfy some insecurity you have?"

Hibari's eyes darkened and he brought his arm around in a swinging blow. Dino just barely dodged.

"Or just because you can?"

"I will be at the top," Hibari answered, "and bite to death any herbivore that gets in my way—"he delivered a spinning kick—"like you."

"Become the apex predator, right?" Dino laughed lightly and extended the reach of his whip.

"There's no such thing."

At this Hibari faltered ever so slightly, avoiding what would have been a painful blow by mere centimeters.

Dino saw this, and went on, "That's right. The apex predator will always be bitten by something stronger. The tiger will be killed by the man. And the man, well, he'll be killed by another man. And that man will be killed by another man."

"I could care less," Hibari muttered. With both hands he brought down his tonfas in a sizzling arc. Dino managed to avoid most of it, but the side of one tonfa, on his cheek, left a long scratch in its wake.

"The world is just a field of herbivores, as far as I'm concerned."

Irritation, Dino thought suddenly, looking into Hibari's blue eyes. They were like ice chips. How interesting.

"Since you obviously seem to like biology Kyouya, you should know that the strong animals perish without the weaker ones to support them," he remarked. "And statistically, more people get killed annually by herbivores than by carnivores."

Hibari's attacks were becoming more forceful now, Dino noted, as he made a lasso with his whip. Excellent.

"Ever seen a charging rhino? A mad horse? An elephant on a rampage?"

Springing off his heels, Hibari vaulted over Dino as the latter crouched in a swinging stance.

"You'll never be at the top of the food chain, Hibari Kyouya," Dino smirked, "because the cycle never ends."

The Cavallone went on. "I'll tell you something interesting."

"I don't want to hear it." That last swing had torn his prefect's badge in several places, which Hibari was none too pleased about. He ran forward, tonfas bared.

Dino ignored him, and Romario's snickering from a few yards away. Yes, a problem child indeed. He wondered what his home life was like, to have developed a personality this heinous.

"Reborn probably didn't tell you, but I was exactly like Tsuna when I was his age—an herbivore, if you will," he began as he whipped his neck to the side to avoid the butt of a tonfa. "But after Reborn's Spartan teachings I became what you see now."

"Hn. You're not that great."

Dino's light brown eyes flashed. "Please. Do you think close-range combat is my only specialty?"

Hibari's own eyes widened, and a moment later he found both of his hands bound tightly behind his back by thick, black leather. His tonfas dropped to the grass with two dull thunks.

"See what Tsuna will become, if you give him a little time, Kyouya?" Dino asked, his voice soft and insidious in Hibari's ear like acidic butter. Hibari shot him a frustrated glower. "I think he'll be the first true omnivore the mafia's seen in years."

Amazingly, Hibari had started to pull free of his leather fetter, so Dino unwound the whip and allowed him to retrieve his fallen weapons. Yes, he was pretty sure he'd picked up the key to Kyouya's success all right. Drawing power from a source other than the desire to win would be the boy's strongest quality. Dino's smile widened, and he decided to test his theory a bit more…

"Now, the only way to tell if you're an herbivore or a carnivore is to look at your shit. That won't be too hard, seeing as I'm kicking it out of you right now."

And Hibari charged.


Gloss

1) An obligate carnivore is a carnivore in which meat is absolutely essential to its survival.

2) An apex predator is a predator at the top of a long food chain, with no predators of its own. Ex: human, killer whale, lion, grizzly bear, etc.

3) If you're confused by the last statement, you can tell what any organism eats by observing its feces.