Attention, all! This will be my last fanfiction, my 50th entry. Thanks so much for reading, reviewing and faving, it's made me so happy! There were two stories on here I never finished, and may come back to one day (that would probably be in the spring). So read this last fic if you like, and have a great year!
All characters © Amano Akira
Those that we once knew,
Those boys are different now.
"So the tangent of the parabola can be described with the equation…"
Tsuna yawned thickly, trying to stifle it with the hand that wasn't absently jotting down notes. Last night had been a near-sleepless one for him. It had been the fault of Lambo, who, in a hyper act of stupidity, had broken their coffee machine...which was one of the few things on god's green earth that could arouse any sort of emotional reaction from Reborn. Tsuna made a mental note that in the future, if he should ever desire espresso, to treat the brewer with love and the utmost delicate care.
After a while the sound of their teacher's voice began to fade. Tsuna welcomed the silence, meaning that he had probably dozed off, but after a moment realized that his consciousness remained fully intact. Sensei had just stopped talking. With a guilty look and an audible swallow, Tsuna looked up, ready to be scolded for napping in class like he was so often.
To his surprise, his teacher hadn't even noticed him. He was too occupied with their classroom door, which bore the figure of someone who usually had no earthly business in classroom 1-A. Dimly Tsuna imagined theme music playing in the distance—some dark, lurching piano melody of the sorts.
"Kyouya-san!" Sensei exclaimed, looking surprised. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" (Though pleasure was a fairly...less-terrified way to describe the look on his sensei's face.) It was common knowledge in Namimori that Hibari Kyouya, a boy of semi-taciturnity, was one who firmly enforced the notion that actions spoke louder than words. Someone was most likely in deep, deep shit. The class began to murmur excitedly.
"What's that bastard doing here?"
"Haha, it's alright, Gokudera."
Hibari blinked once, sweeping his pale blue eyes around the classroom. Silence was immediate. Tsuna's wooden chair suddenly became a little too uncomfortable as that gaze finally came to rest on him.
His voice was low and foreboding, with a whisper like cattails breezing in the wind. More than a few of Tsuna's classmates turned to stare; Tsuna tried as hard as he could to sink into the floor and disappear. It was very rare for the Head of the Disciplinary Committee himself to pull a student out of class... unless that student had committed some utterly heinous act that required immediate punishment. In the back of his mind Tsuna tried to recall if he had done anything lately to irk Namimori's prefect, but nothing registered.
Hibari turned to leave the classroom, instigating that he should follow suit, when—
"What do you need him for?"
A pause, and Hibari looked back over his shoulder. Tsuna's teacher, although a respectable man, seemed to shrivel under that sub-zero glare. Most people did.
"I-I'm sorry, Kyouya-san!" he backtracked quickly, "I only ask because, um, Tsunayoshi-kun isn't doing that well academically and it's best if he be present for as much class as he can…giving how much he's missed already… "
Hibari's eyes shut slowly. "Fine."
After a minute, they opened again. "Sawada Tsunayoshi," he began, "there's a baby outside."
Hibari seemed not to care that the entire freshman class was gaping at him, the teacher included.
Straightening his spectacles to hide confusion, their sensei cut in, "Unless it is a relative of Tsunayoshi-kun's, I think we can—"
"…It's a 'special' baby," Hibari truncated him, still looking at Tsuna. The cloud ring on his right hand twinkled in the morning sun for a split second, and the young Vongola boss suddenly got the message.
"C-can't you take care of it, H-Hibari-san?" Tsuna stammered. Isn't that your job?
"There's a Disciplinary Meeting right now, and I don't want to be bothered with such things," was Hibari's reply, the irony of his latest statement not occurring to him as the blanket of puzzled whispers around the classroom thickened.
Did Hibari-san just ask Dame Tsuna for help?
Impossible, Hibari-san would never do that…
It's probably a trap to lure him out of the classroom...
But Tsunayoshi? He's a weakling!
Gokudera slammed his palms on top of his desk and snapped his head up, silver hair whipping to the side. "Jyuudaime, let me take care of this!"
"I can go too!" Yamamoto exclaimed happily as he pushed out his chair.
Their teacher, who had regained his senses somewhat, replied, "Hayato-kun, Yamamoto-kun, please sit down," in a distant voice. They did, begrudgingly.
Tsuna flashed them a winsome, appreciative smile. "No, Gokudera-kun, Yamamoto, th-that's alright. I'll go." With a sigh, he rose. Most likely Lambo was behind the ruckus with his hand grenades, or even Reborn with some new and neurotic training antic of his.
At least a dozen pairs of eyes followed them out. Hibari took little notice of the attention, although he casually brushed open his jacket to reveal a set of Okinawa tonfas just to remind everyone of who he was. That quickly expunged any urges to pass a remark, and the math lesson continued sans one failing boy in the back row.
A year ago, the class would have been a lot more surprised. However, the change of Sawada Tsunayoshi and his classmates was an occurrence not unnoticed by the majority of Namimori. Those boys...sometimes they would all be absent on the same day, sometimes for an entire week or more. They would often return bandaged, their adolescent skin redolent with fading bruises and lacerations. During lunchtime they would talk quietly, perhaps with a game of Briscola, and share deep, knowing looks as if silently debating some esoteric matter better left unsaid.
Where do they go, when the school bell rings?
There were hushed whispers of yakuza (although mafia was not too far from the mark), and the teachers had started eyeing Tsuna and his friends with a more cautious eye. People noticed that the Disciplinary Committee, namely Hibari, had stopped beating up Sawada's gang, and that those furtive glances were shared with the head prefect as well.
...To a world of war, where beasts hide in boxes, infants are trained to kill, and the walls of time can be melted like chocolate?
In the end, Lambo had run away from home, gotten lost, and had detonated a number of his grenades on Namimori property in hopes that someone would find him. If Reborn had been accompanying him, Tsuna knew that Hibari would have personally taken care of the problem. But since there was no challenge, he couldn't care less and had left the situation in Tsuna's hands.
To his dismay, Lambo had also brought the Ten Year Bazooka along in his cow-fro, used it when Tsuna had tried to get Lambo home, then ran into Bianchi in the process. Tsuna ended up with a faceful of rancid poison-cooking for his endeavors, numerous burn marks, and a mild case of dyspepsia.
"Oi, Sawada, you look like shit to the extreme!"
Tsuna sighed, not really taking umbrage at the comment simply because it was Ryohei, and dragged himself back to class. It was lunchtime, so thankfully he could slip into the cafeteria inconspicuously despite the fact that he looked like an undercooked sausage and had vestiges of dried poison cooking in his hair. If he had lived in America, the expression "FML" would have quite accurately described his current mood.
By now Tsuna had grown accustomed to the stares, so he got his hot lunch and chopsticks without noticing another pair of eyes on him.
"Well? Do I need to bite you to death?"
Sighing again, he turned to face the owner of that cool voice. "Everything's fine Hibari-san, and I'll clean up the grounds after school," he promised wearily.
Hibari looked him over once, uttered a low "Hn," and pulled out a pink card from the inside of his prefect's jacket. Tsuna stared at it dumbly--not because he did not know what it was, but because he was wondering on what alternate dimension Hibari Kyouya would be giving him one of these.
"Take it, Sawada Tsunayoshi. It's a dismissal slip for the rest of the day."
"I know what it is, Hibari-san," Tsuna began, "but... are you sure?" Almost immediately he regretted that question. His future Cloud Guardian never did something unless he meant it, and that blue gaze boring into his brown only furthered that point.
A few students in the cafeteria had stopped to observe this spectacle. Hibari Kyouya was giving Sawada Tsunayoshi a dismissal slip...without beating the living tar out of him first? This was certainly an aberration, and soon more Namimori kids turned to stare. Again, like the perpetual ocean waves, the current of whispers began to rise. Necks craned in to eavesdrop despite the Head Prefect's promulgated dislike for crowds.
Tsuna looked a little nervous, which was only natural. "Thank you, Hibari-san," he said. "I'll see if Reborn can train with you sometime, to make up for this or something." In truth, owing Hibari anything made him uncomfortable in general. It would most certainly come back to bite him (to death, ha, ha).
The other looked satisfied. "Fine. You can also fight me, if you like."
Tsuna blanched. "No thank you, Hibari-san." He didn't need any more injuries inflicted, thank you very much.
Kyouya-san asked Dame Tsuna for a fight?
He refused of course, but still...
"That would be something to see."
"If Sawada Tsunayoshi and I fought here," Hibari began, turning toward the bold student who had uttered that declaratory, "the school would be destroyed." The student scoffed, which was only natural giving Tsuna's weak and slightly effeminate stature.
"Are you suggesting that Dame Tsuna would destroy the school with his fighting skills?" The sarcasm was evident in the student's voice.
Hibari turned to face him. "That is exactly what I'm saying," he replied blandly. However, despite his tone, pale eyes narrowed ominously. "And then I would be rather annoyed at the person who provoked us to fight."
Nothing more was said at Namimori that day regarding Hibari and Tsuna.
(sorry, this story basically had no plot to it..)