Yami: -sighs to self- well, I've gone off the deep end this time. I was trying to think up a cute oneshot to do, and my mind came up with this. There is something wrong with me.

Summary: It's always better to fight a nightmare with someone you love by your side, as Tsuna learns when he faces a truly horrifying nightmare.

Pairing: AdultReborn/Tsuna

Rating: T to be safe.

Warnings: Stuffed with fluff, almost gore, and vague horror themes

Dedication: To all Reborn/Tsuna lovers out there, and my readers from Family and Family Explosion, because I'm sure they'll be at least one of you.


Nightmares Are Best Fought In Pairs

The meadow was beautiful. Wild flowers grew randomly all around the single large tree in the center. It stood like a many limbed octopus, weaving and swaying in the breeze. He walked towards the tree, for it was the only thing as far as the eye could see in this sea of colored flowers. Step by step, one foot in front of the other. He kept walking towards that tree, a foolish grin on his face. The smell of the flowers, the calmness, the gentle breeze singing songs of peace and happiness. It was all so…perfect.

All except that tree. No matter how long he walked towards it, it never drew closer. It still remained just on the edge of the horizon, large, its leaf filled branches promising shade and maybe some juicy fruits. Annoyed, he broke into a jog, and then a run. Finally the tree began to get closer. He ran faster, working his legs as he had never done before. He needed to reach the tree now. He had to!

As the tree drew nearer the sky began to turn dark. The beautiful cloudless blue sky was invaded with black clouds. The rumble of thunder in the distance warned of a storm. He kept running. The ground began to shift from the smooth floor of the meadow to a roughed terrain. He kept stumbling because he was so focused on that tree he didn't look where his feet went.

Something caught his foot. With a shocked cry, he fell forward, throwing out his hands in an attempt to catch himself. The rough ground scarped his palms, and stabbed little sharp rocks into his knees. Panting hard from his run, he sat back and surveyed the damage. A mixture of dirt, tiny rocks, and blood made a bloody mess of his hands and knees. He groaned, and glanced at what had made him trip.

A lightning bolt struck the tree, setting it ablaze. The roar of thunder that accompanied it drowned out his scream of horror. A hand protruded from the ground, jerking and grasping, reaching towards him! The blackened skin of the fingers bled dark red blood as the hand clawed at the ground, trying to pull itself towards him. He yelled again and pushed himself away from it. Something cold and slimy grasped his wrist. With a cry he stumbled to his feet, tugging away from the thing.

The beautiful meadow was gone, replaced with a dark wasteland of blackened earth that moved and shifted as the flames engulfed the tree. And from the flickering light of the fire he saw things pushing their way from the dirt. Faceless bodies clawed their way out of the earth, emitting a horrible ear splitting noise, like nails on a chalkboard. The ground under him churned. All the blood drained from his face as he looked down. Black and white featureless faces stared up at him, wide gaping mouths open and emitting that blood curdling noise. He tried to run. Rotting hands reached up and grabbed him, pulling him into the soil. He cried out, kicking, struggling to get free. With one final tug, they pulled him under.

It wasn't dirt, as he had expected. Instead, he was floating in water. Clear blue water. He sighed, choked, and then laughed. He could breathe under water! With a happy cheer, he kicked off, swimming to and fro in the beautiful water.

Something touched his ankle. He looked around. A rotting corpse stared at him, jaw slack, and sightless eyes gapping at him. The smile slid from his face.

The corpse made that same sound, and he cringed, clapping his hands over his ears. It made the noise again. And suddenly the water wasn't clear and blue and beautiful. Dark shapes were dropping into the water, dying the water red. The viscosity of the water changed. It felt heavier, thicker. He took a breath and choked. The metallic taste of blood flooded his nose and mouth, filling his lungs, suffocating him.

One of the corpses floated closer. White hair, a tattoo under the left eye, a twisted smile. Hands wrapped around his neck. He screamed.

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Tsuna shot up in bed, coughing and gasping, hands clutching at his neck. Nothing…there wasn't anything there. A strangled sob escaped his throat as hot tears spilled from his eyes. It was a dream. Just a dream. A bad one. It wasn't real. It wasn't real…With a shuddered breath, Tsuna looked around the room. Reborn lay against the opposite wall in his bed, fast asleep. His desk was right next to him with his alarm clock proclaiming the time to be 3:22 in the morning. Taking a deep breath, he lay back down and closed his eyes.

White hair, a tattoo under…

He sat up again, choking on a sob. Another look around the room. Still the same. Tsuna lay down once more, and closed his eyes.

White hair…

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.

"You look horrible," Reborn commented the next morning when Tsuna had dragged himself downstairs.

"Didn't sleep well," grumbled Tsuna, sitting down. His mother placed some bacon and eggs in front of him in the shape of a smiley face. He started. She always made his breakfast that was the day he had a test. For good luck, you know. But the only thing that flashed through his mind at the sight of the smiling eggs and bacon was the previous night's nightmare. Suddenly, he wasn't so hungry. Pushing the plate away, he got up, grabbed his bag, and left without a word.

While I-Pin and Lambo fought over Tsuna's deserted plate, Nana and Bianchi shared a worried glance.

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.

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The teacher sighed, looking down at the odd answers on Tsuna's test. "Tsuna, I know you can do better than this. You've improved immensely since you've entered high school. When was the Meiji Restoration?"

"The late Tokugawa shogunate and beginning of the Meiji Era," answered the junior.

"Then why did you put 2025?"

Tsuna blinked owlishly, yawned, and shrugged. "I don't know."

With another sigh, the teacher put the test down. "You're a good student, so I'm going to let you take it again on Saturday before school is out, so mind you get some rest."

Another yawn. "'kay, thanks…" He turned and left the class room, stumbling a little.

"Are you okay Boss?" Chrome asked the worry evident in her voice.

Tsuna nodded sleepily. "Just didn't get any sleep." Yawn. He walked into a wall and fell back. Gokudera and Yamamoto leapt forward to catch him.

The group shared nervous looks. "Let's get him home," suggested Yamamoto.

"Yeah," Gokudera agreed. Yamamoto, being the tallest and one of the strongest, carried Tsuna home with the others hovering like nervous aunts. All during the trip, though he yawned, and nearly nodded off at least ten times, Tsuna didn't sleep. Upon arriving at the Sawada household, Reborn took charge of his student, bringing him upstairs to bed while Nana worriedly inquired what happened.

"Still dame-Tsuna," Reborn stated as he placed said teen on his bed. He pulled off the shoes, socks, and his school blazer before covering him with the blanket and leaving the room.

Reborn had hardly been gone five minutes before Tsuna jolted out of bed and threw on the lights. No white hair. No creepy smile. Groaning, he got to work on his homework.

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Nana and Reborn had gotten angry with him when they came in at dinner time to find him just finishing his homework. "You should have slept!" exclaimed the agitated mother.

The hitman tutor hit him over the head, and told him to eat and go to bed. For dinner, they had beef stew. Nana had tried something different tonight and the stew had turned out red. One look at it sent Tsuna's stomach churning. He went to bed without dinner.

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The meadow was beautiful. Wild flowers grew randomly all around the single large tree in the center. It stood like a many limbed octopus, weaving and swaying in the breeze. He walked towards the tree, for it was the only thing as far as the eye could see in this sea of colored flowers. Step by step, one foot in front of the other. He kept walking towards that tree, a foolish grin on his face. The smell of the flowers, the calmness, the gentle breeze singing songs of peace and happiness. It was all so…perfect.

All except that tree. No matter how long he walked towards it, it never drew closer. It still remained just on the edge of the horizon, large, its leaf filled branches promising shade and maybe some juicy fruits. Annoyed, he broke into a jog, and then a run. Finally the tree began to get closer. He ran faster, working his legs as he had never done before. He needed to reach the tree now. He had to!

Tsuna wasn't really sure when he had fallen asleep. He knew he was asleep because he remembered this meadow. All of this was déjà vu. If he stopped now, if he didn't go to the tree…He tried to stop. His feet didn't listen to him. On and on he ran, unable to stop. And all over again it happened, the thunder, tripping, the lightning, being dragged under.

He came face to face with the white haired corpse, with its sick smile, and wide, crazy eyes. It opened its mouth and amidst the ear shattering noise, he heard it called his name. "Tsuna! Tsuna come and play with me! We'll have a blast!" It all but screamed the last word and wrapped bone thin fingers around his throat. He screamed.

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The clock said 1:23. Less sleep than last night.

Stupid, he told himself, hitting his forehead with his fist. I'm a high school student! I'll graduate next year! Getting scared from a stupid nightmare is childish. He slapped his cheeks and closed his eyes again.

"Tsuna!"

Throwing off the blankets, he jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom. The little bit of lunch he had managed to eat came up. For ten minutes, he knelt in front of the sink, vomiting, and once he had nothing in his stomach, dry heaving.

"Tsuna?"

He stiffened, then relaxed. It was just Fuuta. "What are you doing up Fuuta?" he asked, wiping the bile from his lips.

"I needed to use the bathroom," he told him. "Are you okay?"

Tsuna forced a smile onto his face and nodded. "I'm fine," he lied. "Just ate something bad." He patted the younger male's head and went downstairs to get a drink of water and a five hour energy shot.

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The next morning Fuuta watched Tsuna just as nervously as Nana and Bianchi. The teen pushed the food around on his plate, managed a few bites, and finally gave it up as a bad job and left.

School went a little better. He ended up drinking two more energy shots, and falling asleep during lunch. This ended in him spending the rest of lunch throwing up in the boy's room. He downed his third energy shot of the day and returned to class just as the bell rang.

His classes went fine, except that he accidentally gave the name for the Vongola Secondo instead of the Japanese prime minister and had to stand in the hall for not paying attention. Aside from that, everything went okay. His history teacher watched him like a hawk all class period, but after yesterday, it was understandable. The group left school and departed from each other at their usual cross roads. His bag heavy with homework, Tsuna continued on towards home. Fuuta, I-pin, and Lambo greeted him in the front yard where they were playing.

"Play with us!" demanded Lambo, tugging at his hand. "Play! Play!"

Grinning, Tsuna left his bag on the porch with Bianchi, and returned to the kids. "What are we playing?"

"Tackle tag!" Lambo exclaimed, tackling Tsuna. He didn't manage to knock Tsuna over, but the teen pretended to fall anyways. "And now you're it!"

They played for nearly an hour, the kids trying hard to knock Tsuna off his feet, and Tsuna grabbing each one up when he was it. By this time, Nana and Reborn had come out onto the porch as well. Soon Reborn would order Tsuna go do his homework, but until then, Tsuna planned to keep playing as long as his energy shot kept working.

It was all going fine. Lambo was it, and after failing to catch I-Pin, he had turned on Fuuta. Tsuna was nibbling dancing out of the way, laughing, when something caught his ankle, and sent him tumbling to the ground. With a terrified cry, he kicked out, and stumbled back. Everyone stared at him, Lambo was crying, holding his bleeding nose. "S-s-sorry," Tsuna stuttered, hurrying towards his thunder guardian. "I'm sorry Lambo. Are you okay? Let me see…" Lambo slapped his hand away and ran over to Nana.

"Tsuna," Reborn called. "I think it's time you did your homework."

He didn't need telling twice.

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Dinner was rice and fish, simple, no way to mess this up. Tsuna ate as much as he could, which turned out to be only half of the meal. Excusing himself, he went upstairs, took a cold shower, and chugged another energy shot. Reborn came in three hours later and ordered Tsuna to bed. He went, though he had no real plans of sleep.

Whether because his body was tired, or his mind was mentally strained, Tsuna found himself falling into the dark abyss of slumber before Reborn even returned from his shower.

The meadow was beautiful. Wild flowers grew randomly all around the single large tree in the center. It stood like a many limbed octopus, weaving and swaying in the breeze. He walked towards the tree, for it was the only thing as far as the eye could see in this sea of colored flowers. Step by step, one foot in front of the other. He kept walking towards that tree, a foolish grin on his face. The smell of the flowers, the calmness, the gentle breeze singing songs of peace and happiness. It was all so…perfect.

All except that tree. No matter how long he walked towards it, it never drew closer. It still remained just on the edge of the horizon, large, its leaf filled branches promising shade and maybe some juicy fruits. Annoyed, he broke into a jog, and then a run. Finally the tree began to get closer. He ran faster, working his legs as he had never done before. He needed to reach the tree now. He had to!

Tsuna struggled against the need to run towards the tree. He strained, and pulled, and even threw himself to the side in an attempt to stop himself. All of it failed, and he still ended up tripping and getting dragged under. And this time, his nightmare was getting a little touchy feely.

"Tsuna," Byakuran cackled, running a bony hand through the younger man's hair. "Tsuna, Tsuna, such a simple child. So stupid. Trying to fight fate. Fight destiny." Leaning closer, he whispered, "I'll kill them all again, and this time, I'll start with the one you love most." His hand fell away from his scalp and joined the other around his neck. "But for now, you're mine!"

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The choked scream was enough to wake a house full of light sleepers. Luckily, the only light sleeper was Reborn, and he had chosen tonight of all nights to be a heavy sleeper. Tsuna was through the door and in the bathroom before Reborn's unconscious mind could even register there had been a disturbance. Up came his dinner, up came all those five hour energy drinks, and out came the tears.

"Dame-Tsuna, what are you doing up at one in the morning?"

He didn't even bother responding as another wave of nausea hit and he was bent over the sink, choking on bile and tears. A hand came down on his back, rubbing it gently while another rested against his feverish forehead. The cool skin felt nice against his own heated flesh.

Eight minutes later, there wasn't anything left in his stomach, his abdomen muscles were crying in pain, and he had finally stopped dry heaving. Reborn left him to wash his face and rinse his mouth out. The hitman returned just as Tsuna was finishing brushing his teeth again. In his hands was a cup of pink stuff. He downed it all and brushed his teeth a third time that night to rid himself of the sweet bubble gum taste.

"Go back to sleep," Reborn ordered. "And don't bother getting up in the morning, you're staying home."

Back in bed, Tsuna tossed and turned, trying to sleep without seeing that twisted nightmare. That horrible face, his twisted words kept reappearing. He wanted to sleep. He was tired! He felt sick. When he started laughing, Tsuna threw off the blankets and walked over to Reborn's bed. "Reborn?" he called in a hushed voice.

Silence.

"Reborn!" he whispered more urgently.

The grown arcobaleno groaned and opened one bleary eye. "What now?"

"Can I sleep with you?"

More silence.

"Why?"

"Please! I haven't slept in over two days because of this nightmare!" He didn't care if he had just admitted to still be so immature that he was scared of a little bad dream. He was tired. He was sick. And he wanted to sleep!

"You've been having a nightmare?"

"Yes."

Reborn moved over, and lifted up the edge of the blanket. "Should have said so sooner," he mumbled sleepily. Tsuna crawled under the covers and cuddled up as close as possible to his tutor, resting his head on the older man's shoulder. He felt a pair of lips touch his still feverish forehead. "Next time tell me," Reborn whispered, throwing an arm over the teen and pulling him close. "Nightmares are best fought in pairs."

With a final whispered yes, Tsuna closed his eyes, and slept.

The nightmare didn't return.


Yami: There you go, Reborn/Tsuna. I need to do a more explicit one for them ^-^

Dark: Please don't!

Kenshin: You already do horrible things to Xanxus-sama, Squalo-sama, Yamamoto-sama, and Gokudera-sama.

Yami: And I'll do worse to you two if you keep whining like that.

Dark: XP

Kenshin: DX

Yami: XD R&R fans! And don't cuss me out, I wrote this at midnight.