Rori's Corner: Um. Yeah. About that couple month update thing... (all right, that was more than "a couple months" but hey, THIS IS SPAAAAARTA!)

And I actually had this finished in like February or something, but...I was gonna write more. But damn, I'm too lazy for the rest of the crap, so here it is!

" 1, 2, 3, 4 " ~ Plain White T's

Love Makes War

Chapter 14

His face probably looked as sweaty as he felt. His feet padded across the mud excruciatingly slowly, the cuffs of his rolled-up navy uniform stained with the brown dirt. His mind screamed at him to get to the exit, but his body was too slackened by the pain of lugging the damn cargo filled with loads of explosives – seriously, did the school care if one of the students accidentally set them off and break an unfortunate leg? – with his gloved hands to actually listen to his brain.

The strain was unbelievable on his probably swollen fingers. He had been going like this for the whole period of Training Camp, from the start of the race track to the imminent end, where a white truck parked waiting for all the cargoes to deposit in the trunk of the vehicle, and despite Lal Mirch's assurance that this exercise will strengthen his arms and his abdomen, that the students were doing the Japanese military a favor by carrying these weapons of destruction, Tsuna felt that this was just another one of the evil teacher's sadistic plans to exhaust her pupils until they turned into zombies.

Yes, he believed in zombies.

A positive was that the child labor occupied his mind with thoughts of nothing but food, food, and food, and that was better than thinking about how sore his arms were. He kept wondering what today's lunch menu was. He heard the cafeteria was serving American. Wiping his brow, he looked around to see that a few of his peers were actually behind him.

Tsuna breathed a sigh of relief, happy that he wasn't last, for once. However, looking to the front, he could see that three-fourth of his class were waiting for the weaklings to finish, and Lal Mirch was glancing at her watch every now and then.

Oh, of course. What was he expecting, a break in being loser-Tsuna from the past fourteen years?

Not possible.

He sighed, trudging across the remaining feet. Someone handed him a wet towel, and he looked up to thank the person, but a spluttered garble came out instead, "F-Fran?"

"Chibi-kun," the emerald-eyed peer replied unenthusiastically.

Tsuna laughed breathlessly, his lungs gasping for air from the workout. "I didn't know we were in the same camp!"

"I transferred here, because I didn't like my other teacher."

"Oh." Tsuna stretched his back, feeling sore all over. Lal Mirch had the same training schedule as Reborn, it seemed. That was obviously not a comforting thought. He heaved another sigh, wanting the period to be over and done with already.

"We can leave now. Class is up," Fran told him helpfully, giving him a look that he couldn't decipher.

It was probably along the lines of "I'm telling you so you can wash yourself. You stink."

Or maybe that was Tsuna's own insecurity.

Or maybe he did stink. That wasn't a comforting thought.

Either way, it made for a nice dismissal. He smiled hesitantly at Fran, wondering if he should thank him. He decided to question him instead. "When's your lunch period?"


Tsuna almost nodded, when Fran added in, "I had my lunch period changed because a certain group of preps were annoying me."

By a certain group of preps... Tsuna gave him a sympathetic look. "You mean Bel-sempai?"

Fran hummed pensively out of tune. "That," he agreed.

"That's understandable. Actually, I would like to change it, too, but if I do, I wouldn't know where to sit during lunch. I mean, I just transferred here a week ago. I have no idea what to do," he said. For some reason, it was just really easy to complain to his strange green-haired classmate. Maybe it was because it felt like they'd been through a whole lot together, even if it were only one night of madness. He was a natural whiner, anyhow, so getting the weight off by talking did him more than just plain great. "I can't get out of doing anything, because someone's always there to kick me if I do, and now I just so happened to be forced into the Host Club, or something."

He paused.

Fran stopped walking.

Tsuna gasped, jaw wide in horror. His legs jumped to life, pacing around and around on the same spot in the hallway where they wound up when he was too busy to notice while spilling his beans. He had just mentioned the H and the C word. And to think he had forgotten about it, too! He swallowed a girly scream of frustration.

"The Host Club! Oh my freakin' god, I'm going to have to see them today. Oh no, no, no, no, maybe I should pretend I'm sick. Or, a better idea, hide in the library. No one ever looks there, right? Right?" he spoke to himself furiously, hands tugging at his hair.

"Uhhh, chibi?" came Fran.

"Maybe I should tell Reborn that I suffocated from child labor – oh, wait, I forgot that he supports cotton mills..."

This was turning out to be a real thrill.

He scratched his head, messing up his gravity-defying mousey hair with vigor.

It was then that his stomach chose to growl. His hand flew over it, but it was too late for an attempt to cover up the sound.

"You should eat," Fran told him. His emerald eyes looked him over. "And get changed out of those," he added, nodding at his sweat-stained gym uniform. It didn't take a genius to figure out what he was implying.

"Right," Tsuna agreed, sniffing at himself and recoiling with a grimace. He did stink.

"Bathrooms for first and second years are in building C. Take the school trailer if you want to get there quickly. Lunch has already started, so I think you should hurry up." Fran's voice was like a bus intercom announcing its final stop.

"Okay. Thanks, Fran-kun," he replied meekly.

His strange classmate merely nodded and continued his enigmatic way down the hall, but with a noticeable pep in his step, Tsuna thought. He smiled a little, realizing that Fran might not be so hard to befriend, after all.

After a wild encounter of people who kept giving him the least detailed directions, Tsuna finally ended up in the first year bathroom. There were multiple private stalls with steam fogging up the mirrors, and the prodigious vicinity was wider and longer than the whole second floor of Tsuna's house. Feeling a tad out of place, he passed by several barely covered teens, most foreign and others Japanese, to find an unoccupied stall all the way toward the end of the hall.

He pulled the opaque door, sliding it to the right. Inside, he could see gleaming white tiles and a large space for shower, with shampoo, conditioner, body scrub, and soap all set on a glass holder stuck to the wall.

"Wow, this is so awesome," he cried, sliding the door shut behind him, after having the "Taken" sign hung on the door handle. He could really use a steaming shower right now. Licking his lips, he stripped and tossed the sweaty clothes somewhere in the corner, putting the clean uniform on top of the glass holder.

When he was done and fully refreshed, he felt almost like a different person.

He even used soap and body scrub.

And that was the first time in a while ever since his mom helped him bathe.

"Maybe I'm finally going to have a somewhat normal teenage life!" Tsuna exclaimed, grinning happily as he skipped down the hallway. His dirty clothes were in a basket his mom made him bring to keep his gym uniform. When he had finished showering, cleaned himself up, put things away, and took the trailer back to the main campus, he had only ten minutes of lunch left. And when he got to the cafeteria, he had about seven minutes to eat.

Feeling completely malnourished, he scoffed down the plate of teriyaki without awareness of which table he sat at. Before he ordered the food, he had made sure the table he mentally reserved for himself was empty, but when he actually looked to see if anyone were there, he saw two pairs of leering eyes and one pair glinting behind messy blonde hair.

Automatically, he gulped the saucy rice down his throat.

Byakuran sat across from him, an arm draped over the back of his chair. He was smiling with amusement, and his aura gave off more sprinkles of blooming flowers than usual.

Tsuna was becoming very, very unsettled; his mouth was suddenly very dry as his eyes went from one devil to the next.

"Tsunayoshi-kun," Byakuran said, leaning forward on his palm, "do you happen to prefer oriental food over Italian delicacy?"

"If by Italian delicacy you mean lasagna, I doubt he would," Mukuro put in his two cents.

"I happen to like lasagna, untactful bastard," Bel decided to insert his three cents.

"N-no, uh, what are you guys – " they decided to ignore Tsuna's splutter of gibberish.

"By agreement of mass popularity, raw octopi is the new Italian delicacy," Mukuro stated with ease. His eyes swiveled to glance condescendingly at the blond. "Not that, of course, I expect a bratty prince like you to understand. Right?" He smirked.

"Calm down, Bel," Byakuran told the aggravated blond. "You'll just dirty your knives needlessly. After all, soiling your hands on someone like Mukuro would be an indecent waste of time."

"I take offense to that," said Mukuro, narrowing his eyes.

Bel crackled with mirth. "But I really want to try out my newly designed knives," he whined, inspecting the gleaming weapon with longing. At least, he seemed longing. Who knew what went on behind the hair.

"I'm afraid I won't be of any help in that department," Mukuro smoothly drawled, assuming a tone that leaked of danger. He looked over at Tsuna, who was drinking water, and smirked slightly. "I hope you haven't forgotten your duty to the Club, yes?"

The brunet gulped uncomfortably. Of course he remembered. He had no choice but to, after all.

He thanked whatever god was watching over him with a grateful sigh when the bell rang. Gathering his schoolbag quickly and dumping the food tray, he jumped onto the balls of his feet and prepared to run for the exit. Someone grasped his arm and held him back, however, and he gasped, stumbling backward. Looking up and over, he whimpered like a kicked puppy when his eyes met with Byakuran's icy blue irises.

The man smiled.

"We will be discussing the matter very soon, Tsunayoshi-kun," Byakuran whispered, but he was strangely audible. And his breath was warm against his ear.

Shivering slightly, Tsuna nodded, bowing his head.

It was like the upperclassman's body was seeping ultramale pheromones and making everything and everyone know its or his place on earth. He was the alpha male, and the others his submissive followers. Tsuna mentally pictured a chain around his neck and a cynically amused Byakuran holding onto the leash. That made him escape from the cafeteria as quickly as his spindly legs could carry him.

After Tsuna left, Byakuran returned to the trio, appearing as undaunted as ever.

Mukuro looked at him, lips upturning. "We still must recruit the remaining members before the grand opening. Who do you have in mind?"

"I have potential hosts," replied Byakuran mysteriously.

Bel laughed. "Seems like we're getting freshies this year, eh?" Still snickering to himself quietly, he went ahead of the group to the next period.

"Really," Mukuro said, quirking an eyebrow, "you expect us to use them?"

"Why not?" Byakuran chuckled lightheartedly.

"Why, because they would be likely untrained and unpleasant to be around for a long period of time. One is also of an aggressive nature," he added.

"Talking in dog terms, again, aren't you? You've been around your minions for too long."

"Don't try to avoid the topic, Byakuran." Mukuro flicked indigo bangs away from his left eye. "We have to find candidates who are in the criteria. There is a list of things we must do that can no longer be left unattended."

"Right, right, Rokujo-chan," Byakuran chirped, grinning. "Uptight, aren't you? You're already getting into your character."

"I suppose I need to wear specs to fully pull it off, hm?"

"Sensei that will get set off a riot."

"Please, the ladies adore me enough."

Rori's Corner: I am..soooo sorry guys.

B-b-but Iwasbusygamingandnowschool'sstartedand -

Your reviews made me update. Lol

*no shame

Now, what to do for the next chappie? More importantly, when will I update, and are there people actually reading this? orz