A Not-So-Modest Proposal
- Chapter Four -
- Of Transfer Students -
Irie Shoichi gave an incensed look at his computer screen as he mussed his hair violently in frustration. The screen quickly switched to the Namimori self-help forums homepage as he logged off successfully, but his mind still writhed in agony at the recent conversation. He had wanted to be of further help to the poor soul, but becoming the target himself was hardly part of his agenda. "And dammit, I use a MAC!"
"As do I!"
Serial killer! The flame-haired Electrical Engineering major whipped around at the sound of the unfamiliar voice, half-out of his chair and with a hand over his wildly beating heart. As the rapid motion knocked his glasses askew, all Irie could see of the being before him was a large, white blur. He had become so accustomed to living alone in the double occupancy dorm for so long that visitors other than his friends and his mother were few and far between. And they usually knocked before coming in. His befuddled brain quickly processed that the person must the new transfer student.
"Are you alright?"
"I'm fine, thank you," said Irie as he adjusted his glasses and righted himself on his chair. He finally got a clear look at the man who stood at the adjoining door to his room. The man's snow-white hair originally puzzled Irie, but the youthful, angular face under the white tresses told him that his companion was the same age as himself. And in a very non-homosexual sense—as Irie was supposedly completely straight—the newcomer was inhumanly attractive. He fully stood up from his chair, gathered the miniscule remains of his composure, and held out his hand. "Irie Shoichi."
"Byakuran," said the man with a foxy smile before he shook Irie's hand. "I apologize if my sudden appearance bothered you. I just transferred to this school from Millefiore Academy in Italy and was not aware that the adjoining door was not locked."
The polite tone made Irie's tense body finally relax. Byakuran did not appear to be a bad sort of guy. "It is good to meet you, Byakuran-san."
"Same here, Sho-chan!" replied Byakuran with a blinding, expectant smile.
A shudder crept down Irie's back and raised goosebumps on his skin at the sound of the affectionate nickname only his mother normally called him. But as he made to correct Byakuran (for he preferred to imagine that the Italian's man's slip of the tongue was due to a limited knowledge of Japanese customs rather than an outright means of ridicule), there was something Irie saw in Byakuran's expression than killed what he wanted to say.
It was that smile.
It was a smile that tread the fine line between the angelic choirboy and the boy who held a magnifying glass over an anthill on a sunny day to watch them squirm. For all Irie knew, Byakuran may be both, so he sighed, let it go, and allowed his responsible side to take over.
"Byakuran-san, I seem to have some time to spare before my afternoon lecture. If you're free, I can show you around the school if you would like. Those school tours never really cover everything."
Byakuran's mega-watt smile softened a little. "Oh, but I wouldn't want to impose."
"It's no trouble, just give me a moment to get cleaned up and I'll meet you in the lobby in five minutes."
"Five minutes, then," said Byakuran as he retreated back into his room and closed the door.
"Why do I have a bad feeling about this?" grumbled Irie as he searched for his shoes with resignation.
In his room, Byakuran's smile remained, but as his sharp eyes opened to reveal quicksilver-lavender pupils, the slight twist of his lips transformed from friendly and inviting into something out of one of Irie's worst slasher nightmares. "Such a helpful suitemate you are, Sho-chan. I know we'll have lot of fun playing together."
When Tsuna finally reached Chairman's Giotto's office (finally as he warily kept to the shadows away from tonfa-wielding maniacs), he was surprised to see what looked like Reborn having a very deep, one-sided conversation with Mukurou, the snowy owl. Loathe as he was to interrupt the conference, he had to attend meetings today. "Sorry to interrupt you Reborn, but I have to welcome several transfer students today before Giotto-san returns. And what are you talking about with Mukurou?"
"Just your pathetic lack of a love life," said Reborn as he languidly draped himself over the sofa and tilted his fedora down to cover his eyes. The black of his suit melted into the black of the couch and little else could be seen other than the mocking smirk under the shadow of the fedora. "Not much."
"He's an owl, Reborn." Tsuna sighed with exasperation as he crossed the room, seated himself upon his favorite window seat, and picked up a pen from his school bag to resume his paperwork. Mukurou flew over and settled himself on the right side of the desk to face his charge. "And mind your own business!"
"That owl has more common sense in one of his molting feathers than your Foreign Studies Guidance Counselor does in his whole body," snorted Reborn. "Have your meetings, I'm taking a nap."
"Then sleep in your own room!"
"Stop making a fool out of me! For all I know, you're a spy feeding information just to make me suffer! That man on the train knows who I am and where to find me and—"
"Shut up, dame-Tsuna. So what?"
"What should I do? No one seems capable of giving me a straight answer."
Reborn sighed. "You really are a dame-Tsuna. Stop instantly thinking of him as the villain. Did you ever even thank him for saving you that first time? And that little stint with Hibari Kyoya? You would not have thought of using the windows to escape if he wasn't there."
The pen dropped from Tsuna's hand with a loud clatter. He did not even notice when Mukurou waddled over, picked up the pen with his beak, and placed it back into his hand. "How do you know about that?"
"After all these years, you still ask the same question." A lazy eye gazed at the copper-haired man under the shadow of the hat. "What else would explain the damaged window in the Disciplinary Committee Boardroom? All I had to do was wait for Hibari to file a damage report and ask him what caused his thundercloud of an expression. You may not know, but the man is brutally honest. It may be best to steer clear of him for the next few days."
"You don't have to tell me that. Hibari-san is 'brutal' in every sense of the word," Tsuna replied.
"He wants you."
Tsuna's cheeks blossomed with a crimson tint that spread to the tips of his ears. "I can live without knowing that."
"But in any case, you should still thank that man," said Reborn. "You don't even have to meet him face-to-face. A thank you present would serve your purpose just as well."
Tsuna made to retort, but he stopped himself when he saw the edge of his laptop peeking from inside his bag.
Kora: [So let me get this straight. You want to give a present to your stalker but don't know what sort of thing he would like? Are you out of your mind, kora?]
Tuna Fish: [It wasn't my idea! But as self-defeating as it seems, it's the right thing to do.]
Froggy: [A restraining order. I hear they're popular gifts during Valentine's Day, Christmas, and the Coming-of-Age Day*.]
Tuna Fish: [I'm not a minor.]
Froggy: [Do you look like one? Lolicons, shoutacons, and yaoi fangirls are everywhere these days. Heck, some may even be reading this conversation right now.]
Jaws: [I don't see what the big deal is. Just give him your virginity and have it over and done with.]
Tuna Fish: [Out of the question! You guys aren't taking me seriously again. And keep my virginity out of this!]
Big Sis: [And we have an answer!]
Kora: [Not like we didn't already expect it, kora. But now it gets interesting.]
Tuna Fish: [W-what? What's all this about?]
XX: [None of your business, brat. Someone as whiny as you can't be anything but.]
Froggy: [Not necessarily, Boss. Master's a deviant, but I know he's a virgin.]
Jaws: [What? That unholy terror? I don't believe it.]
Big Sis: [Fran-chan, how can you be sure?]
Froggy: [It's simple, Hard Gay transvestite nee-chan. He tells his little sister everything and I read her diary for blackmail purposes when she's not looking. Master's nii-sama was more than happy to confirm it when I asked. He cares for his younger siblings, you know.]
XX: [And you still breathe? He's lost his edge.]
Froggy: [Master beat me black and blue when he found out. But he said he won't rip out my organs and make new gloves out of my skin as long as no one else finds out.]
Big Sis: […]
Jaws: [Voi! You idiot frog! Leave the country! Pack up your fucking clothes and your stupid hat and get out of this fucking country right now!]
Froggy: [Why such harsh words, Captain? Please don't take your frustration out on me just because Boss refuses to let you top.]
Jaws: [Then die and good riddance, shitty frog.]
Big Sis: [Fran-chan… read the list of people online.]
Froggy: [… Ah…]
- Froggy has logged off. –
Fukurou: […. Kufufu… Pardon me.]
- Fukurou has logged off. -
Tuna Fish: [What was that all about?]
Kora: [It serves that loudmouth right, kora.]
Big Sis: [I'm worried, but he hurt my feelings! In any case, have you figured out what to give your friend?]
Tuna Fish: [I can hardly call him my friend. Acquaintance would probably be straining it.]
Kyoko: [Uhm… sorry to interrupt, but how about a set of teacups?]
Big Sis: [What a good idea! Everyone could always use a set, pervert or not. And if you want to prevent him from forcing in an uncomfortable one-on-one conversation, just purchase a set with more than two place settings!]
Tuna Fish: [Teacups…?]
A knock sounded on the door just as Tsuna lowered the monitor of his laptop closed. As much as he hated the responsibilities and formalities expected of the next Chairman, the burden was something he was resigned to a long time ago. Chairman Giotto was his only uncle, after all.
"Please come in!" He stood up from the window seat to greet his guest. He was expecting an unfamiliar face, so he was rather puzzled to see Irie Shoichi peer into the room. "Shoichi-kun?"
Irie glanced around the office in slight confusion before he fully entered the room. "Tsuna-kun, is Chairman Giotto out of the office today?"
"He was in Italy but is expected to return late this afternoon. Was there something I could help you with in the meantime?"
Irie peeked his head out of the door and beckoned for someone to enter. "Tsuna-kun, this is Byakuran-san, a transfer student from Millefiore Academy in Italy. I was showing him around the campus and we stopped by to see if Chairman Giotto was here. But in any case, Byakuran-san, this is Sawada Tsunayoshi-kun, Juudaime-apparent of Vongola Daigaku."
Tsuna's eyes were immediately drawn to the untamed shock of almost iridescent white hair before he got a good look at the man's face. If Tsuna was not so numbed and acclimated with seeing sinfully gorgeous men every day, he would have thought that Byakuran was the most handsome man he had ever seen. But being as he was accustomed to Chairman Giotto, Tsuna simply thought of Byakuran as interesting. He held out his hand in greeting and gave a warm smile. "On behalf of Chairman Giotto, I welcome you to Vongola Daigaku, Bya—ah!"
The words died on the tip of Tsuna's tongue when Byakuran lifted his hands to his lips and gently kissed the back of it… like one would a lady. His healthy complexion turned ashen when his amber eyes locked gazes with mischievously seductive lilac. "The pleasure is all mine, Tsunayoshi-kun."
Irie was practically catatonic as he fought the urge to shove himself between to separate the two and save his friend who was frozen in place. But ultimately, he settled for the most diplomatic route and cleared his throat. "Er… Byakuran-san, Tsuna-kun is male."
Byakuran simply straightened up and shot Irie a winning smile. "I know." The man's eyes were once again closed, but Irie could sense that the owl on Tsuna's desk was far from amused. "But forgive me, I am Italian and that is how we greet each other back home."
As blood slowly traveled back to his face, Tsuna tried to remain polite as he gently removed his imprisoned hand, rounded the heavy desk, and sat on Chairman Giotto's chair as quickly as decorum would allow him. He knew that Reborn slept with his eyes open and was aware of his every move. However, he was more interested in having the comfort of the solid, wide desk separating him from the overly friendly transfer student. "Ah, I see."
Mukurou shuffled over to stand between Tsuna and Byakuran. His body faced Tsuna, but his head slowly twisted back to affix wary red and blue eyes at the trespasser. He hooted softly, but with an undeniable edge of warning.
Tsuna, you innocent fool! Irie adjusted his glasses and sighed as he felt the onslaught of a massive migraine. Byakuran had appropriately shaken his hand earlier, but the sincere-looking expression on the man's face as well as the tentative relief on Tsuna's made him think twice about revealing what he knew. It was too troublesome. "Ahem, in any case, Byakuran-san still needs his list of registered classes, Tsuna-kun. But Guidance Counselor Lambo in the Foreign Exchange div—"
"Say no more!" said Tsuna as he cut off Irie and shot straight up out of his seat. "Excuse us, Byakuran-san, we will return with your list of classes shortly."
"Eh? But Tsuna-kun, shouldn't-!" Irie's protests went unheard as the younger man grabbed him by the arm and with a strength that belied the small frame, bodily hauled him out of the door.
Byakuran's smile turned into a sly grin as he watched the door slowly close. He was amused by Sho-chan's naiveté, but he was not expecting to meet a gem as satisfyingly fun to play with as Tsunayoshi-kun so quickly. He was going to slowly and thoroughly enjoy this game.
"I know what you are plotting behind that smile of yours. You are a fool if you even think of underestimating him."
Byakuran looked towards the sound of the voice and saw a young man who lying down upon the couch. He wore a suit but from the voice and build of his body, he could not have been past his early teenage years. A black fedora with an orange trim hid his face from view as the snowy owl left his desk perch to land on one of the couch's arms.
"And what could I possibly be hiding? I am simply a new transfer student who is trying to make new friends."
"Heh, that won't work on me. I know exactly who you are and what you want."
"Oh? And are you going to stop me? I doubt that would be very healthy," said Byakuran with a mildly deadly tone.
"It may be you who does not know to whom you are speaking to, Millefiore," said Reborn as he tilted up his fedora to fix Byakuran with a lazy stare.
Byakuran hid his slight annoyance behind a closed-eyed smile. "Hello, Arcobaleno."
Reborn smirked. "So you know who I am. There's only one thing to do now."
"And what is that?"
Reborn held up a photograph. "This is the last one. I will sell it for 10,000 yen**."
Byakuran's smiled melted and his eyes fully opened in shock as he looked at the picture before him. But his surprise quickly passed and with a predatory look on his face, he reached for his wallet. "You drive a hard bargain."
- Tsunayoshi Sawada -
- Limited Edition : #100 out of 100 -
- End Chapter Four -
*Coming-of-Age Day = "Seijin no Hi" = A holiday held during the second Monday in January for those individuals who have reached 20 years old to mark their passage into adulthood.
**10,000 yen = approximately $114.00
Thank you very much for the reviews, you lovely readers. Windows Vista loves you… though I own a Mac.
Ah, chapter four. You silly, silly chapter. I meant to update earlier, but my workload at work was increased. But now it's finished thought I could have sworn I was farther along. I'm about a third of the way done with the next chapter of Zaibatsu for those of you who are waiting for it.
And I love Fran, so I gave him the honors of breaking the fourth wall in this chapter. And Kyoko has also been added to be the sole voice of reason. I just kept her name because I imagine her to be sensible enough to know that there's a million Kyokos out there… and because nothing really stands out to me for her. That… and I was too lazy to think up a name (THE TRUTH COMES OUT, STUPID AUTHOR!). And sorry, not so much Mukuro this time.
otakurose16 – If you feel like a sadist for reading this, then what does that make me? XD