Merry Christmas everybody! :)
"Wake up, No Good-Tsuna." Came the chirpy tone of Reborn's voice as he tipped his student out of his warm haven. "You didn't forget what today was, did you?"
All that was heard from the brunette was a torrent of grumbles as he propped himself up by his elbows. Butt hurt, but at least he didn't hit his head again. He never understood why his tutor always abused him for the simplest things. He would like to know, but he never could work up the courage to ask…
"Today?" He asked cautiously. It had taken him awhile, but he learned that Reborn didn't assault him if he gave a neutral answer… usually.
Sadly, today wasn't one of those days. A green hammer appeared out of nowhere and came crashing down onto Tsuna's head. The boy yelped before rubbing his sore head, water glittering in his eyes. "That hurt you know."
"Just be happy it wasn't as strong as usual."
As much as he hate to admit it, Reborn was right; he didn't bash his head in today. Today really must be special… He blankly stared at the hitman.
"Maybe this will jog your memory." He opened up his palm -face-up- as Leon reshaped into a bundle of leafs. Leafs that are connected at one point, leafs that have rounded corners, leafs that have little berries scattered throughout them, leafs that were tied at the stem with a large red velvet ribbon.
Tsuna cast a nervous glance at Reborn before gingerly picking up the bundle for closer inspection. "Mistletoe? What does mistl—oh." Pause. "Today is Christmas?" Another pause. "But isn't today the nineteenth?" Oh, stupid question.
Reborn sighed and rubbed his temples, taking deliberate care to avoid mussing up his sideburns. Did he really want to waste his energy on him today? "Yes, yes today is Christmas."
The word denial was written all over his face as he stammered along with his sentence. "W-w-what!? But Mom always makes those cookies on Christmas morning! I don't smell anything!"
Another heavy sigh from the baby. He leapt off the bed, pulling a graceful landing before trotting over to the bedroom door. Reborn pulled at something blocking the opening of his door. Turning around, he threw the towels at Tsuna's head. "Now can you smell it?"
The brunette hastily pulled the towels off his head. What's that in the air? He could smell it now, though very faint. The unique aroma of lemon, spices, and ginger wafted through the air gently teasing his nose. Tsuna took in a deep breath, chest rising with the action. "Aaaaah~"
A smirk on his face, Reborn pulled the tip of his fedora down before leaving the scene.
The pounding of his footsteps resonated throughout the house as Tsuna tried desperately not to trip over his own feet and rush down. Whatever he was trying didn't work. His foot shot out from under him as if somebody stuck their foot in his path and he came tumbling down the stairs.
He landed with a solid thud on the ground, stomach down. It hurts. He whined to himself as he made no haste to get up.
"Tsu-kun~ Is that you? Come help Mama clean up the mess~"
"O-o-okay!" By the way, I'm perfectly fine! Thanks for asking! Bit by bit, he slowly got himself up to his feet before trudging off into the kitchen. He was in no such rush to get there. Everything about his body was still tingling with pain. Also, cleaning up after his mother's messes has never exactly been something he wanted to do on a Christmas morning. Well, it's not like he had somewhere to go. At least it'll make the time go by faster. Also, there's no Christmas party that somebody's hosting... right?
Tsuna stopped dead in his tracks, looking down at his wriggling toes. He sighed before entering the kitchen. "Mom? How big is the mess?"
His mother smiled at her teenaged son, seemingly oblivious of his foulness. "Could you dry the dishes, sweetie?"
He stared blankly at the sink overflowing with dirty dishes. Uh… "O-okay." Another forlorn mental sigh.
The brunette dried the dishes in silence, relishing in the normalcy of this chore. Sure it wasn't exactly his 'cherry on top,' but it was better than the other chores Reborn made him do, a lot better. "Hey, Mom, where's Reborn?" His large brown eyes scanned the kitchen for its usual inhabitants. No wonder it's so quiet. "Where's Lambo and I-Pin?"
His mother continued washing the dishes as she thought her answer over. "Well, Reborn said something about an espresso break. Haru and Kyoko dropped by earlier today to take Lambo and I-Pin to a Christmas carnival."
He could still feel the faint tremor of his heart fluttering at the mention of Kyoko's name. Even though he managed to let go of her (all because of the mafia business, curse Reborn), he couldn't help but hold onto the lingering affection for her. She was the first person he loved after all. "Aaaah…" Was all he said; a bit too monotonous to sound fine.
Her eyebrows furrowed slightly at the sight of her only son feeling dejected. She never did understand why he decided to let her go. They were such a cute couple after all. "I'm sorry, Tsu-kun. Did you want to go with them? I could have woken you up, but I wanted to spend some time with you like before. You're rarely at home anymore..."
Wide doe eyes stared at the older woman. He quickly looked away, a wave of guilt washing over him. He never realized how old she really looked until now. When did those gray hairs start appearing? Why didn't he notice? How come he never realized how much it hurt her to see him away at night for who knows how long only to come back with an inch of his life gone. She never questioned him as she bandaged him up. Has he been taking his mother for granted? "Uh, I-I… I'm really sorry."
"Uh… um, never mind."
Both of them -son and mother- just stood there scrubbing away at dishes, finding comfort in just being there.
It was only a matter of time before all the dishes were sparkling clean and put away. Wiping the water off his arms, he stared in silent curiosity as his mother pulled wrapped boxes from underneath the sink cabinet. "M-mom!" He cried out, realizing what those actually were. "You didn't have to buy presents! I already gave them their presents before Christmas break!"
There was only a soft chuckle from her and she ruffled her son's hair. "Silly little Tsu-kun~ These are for you!"
"A-a-all these gifts? For me?" All he could do was gawk at the presents. They ranged in colors, size, and shape. Some were an odd shape with a messy bow on top while others were your stereotypical present. There were so many. Why were there so many? The colors were blinding; just blinding.
With a gentle smile, she took his hand in hers and led him into the living room the presents cradled in her other arm.
How do I open this? Was his only thought as he stared blankly at the present gripped lightly in his hand. How did Mom manage to carry this with the others in one arm? It was big, it was bulky, and it was badly wrapped. Whatever it was, it was wrapped in a cream-colored paper with a large (and lopsided) ribbon on top. He knew it was Gokudera's. He saw him wrapping his Christmas presents before and it was not pretty. "I'll… uh, open this later." He trailed off, hastily putting it aside. He'll spare himself the frustration for now.
"Oh. Well, open this one then."
She pushed a box over to him and he warily eyed it. From Yamamoto? Tsuna recognized the box from Yamamoto's father's shop; it was the box he used to pack the sushi into. He carefully flipped the lid it off, praying to himself. Please let it be sushi. Please let it be sushi. Oh behold! It was sushi. A small smile found its way onto his lips.
"Oh my! Sushi? Remember to thank him when you see him!"
He absently mindedly nodded his head. The sushi reminded him too much of the time he had to pay off his debt. Yamamoto's dad can be so freaky sometimes… His mother pushed another wrapped present into his hand. "This is from the girls."
Kyoko and Haru? His curiosity peaked. The last time they gave him a present, it was a beautifully decorated shirt with the number twenty-seven on it. They both pooled their money together to buy it and to be frank, it is his most favorite present. Though he didn't (and wouldn't) tell anybody that. Tsuna hummed a tuneless song as he pried off the wrapping, taking care to preserve the wrapping paper. They were always so pretty to look at. He pried the lid off the box. What is that? His eyes widened. It was an odd color and oddly shaped.
"Ha ha. Haru was right, it is unique!"
Unique isn't the right word for this. "I thought she gave up cosplay already…"
"Oh, but the costume is so cute! A T-rex, how original! Go and change into it! I'll go get the camera!" Nana made a move to get up only to be tugged back down by Tsuna.
"I'll do that after I open up the other presents." He stammered, his characteristic expression on his face. He could just imagine it all. Him sobbing while wearing that ridiculous costume with Haru fawning over him and Kyoko giggling in the background. What a wondrous image it was. And of course! An camera to capture the moment forever too!
More and more time passed and he opened up most of the presents. There were presents from his parents (he had no idea how to use them), a few from his classmates (though most were pretty useless), and some from the Varia (but he left those untouched).
There was a sigh as Nana's eyes fluttered shut and a look of utter peace passed over it. Sigh. "Today was nice wasn't it?" Her eyes fluttered open again. "That was all the presents, do you want to join me in making dinner? I-Pin and Lambo should be home soon."
"Wait. That's all of them?"
"Yep! Why? What's wrong, Tsu-kun?"
He pointed a slender finger towards a lone box. He crawled over to it and picked it up. Tsuna flipped it over and over again, closely inspecting it. "Mom, whose is this? There's no name on it."
How odd… "I'm not too sure. Well, I should go and make dinner. Feel free to open it." Was all she said before heading for the kitchen.
A look of utter shock flashed by his face. Open this? It's like opening up the presents the Varia sent us! "O-o-okay! Have fun… I guess." The young brunette stared skeptically at the box. It didn't look dangerous. It looked a lot safer than Gokudera's wrapped present and it was the contraption he used to help him swim. Hell, he had to admit, the present looked the most sane out of all the ones he received. No crazy wrapping paper, no odd shape, and no suspicious ticking noise.
Tsuna fingered the material between his fingers before burying his face in it. The scarf was knitted and quite beautifully too. Gaps could be seen here and there, but it just added to the quality of the scarf. It set it apart from all the others. The texture, silky soft and easy to touch, but thick as wool to keep him warm, oh he loved it. It had an odd smell to it. He recognized it and it was just at the tip of his fingers. What was the smell? The smell drove him crazy; it was intoxicating, it had a spicy attribute to it, it was undeniably addicting, and it smelled like cinnamon. Was it cinnamon? Damn, he just loved cinnamon. Where was cinnamon when you needed it?
He pulled his face from out of the scarf to get a better look at it. I never noticed that before. It was multicolored and the stripes were varying lengths. He took note that the same color was never used twice. It gave the illusion that the colors had some significance, and maybe they did. White, pink, red, and sky blue were some of the colors. He recognized some of them as the colors of romance. White was for purity, pink was for tender love, red for passionate lust, sky blue for undying loyalty. And the other colors, well, they just sent chills down his spine thinking about their meaning. Why was the black always accompanied by another color? Maybe I'm just thinking about this too much. "Talk about the dark side of love." He joked to himself to calm the sense of foreboding. It didn't work.
When did his thoughts go to him? That arrogant bastard that he warmed up to. Did he like the present? Why didn't he say 'thanks' or anything? It's not like him. Did he even get it? Tsuna slowly opened and closed his chestnut-colored eyes. Tsuna sat there idly wringing the scarf in his hands as he thought back to the time. "Of course he got it! I actually gave it to him, face-to-face!" His eyes flashed with a passionate spark before it faded just as fast as it came. He stopped twisting the muffler and just blankly stared at it. "I wonder what he was doing the last time I saw him..."
"Mukuro? Where are you? I have your Christmas present!" Tsuna called out as he gingerly stepped farther into the ruins of the school. His child-like face scrunched up into a scowl the farther in he went. He pressed the box closer to his chest as he examined the place for the first time. If I lose it here, there is no way I'll be able to find it. The place was literally hell to be blunt. The stale smell of blood drifted throughout the room, but there was the fresh scent of his favorite spice. There was so much debris on the ground that whenever the young male walked, the bottom of his shoe didn't even touch the floor. The windows were totally bust, some of them having only their window frame. Most of them were boarded up to prevent too much crap to get in. "How do they even live here?" He murmured to himself as he bent over to closer inspect moving mold (it was purple).
A scream ripped forced its way out of his throat as he tumbled towards the purple mold. The words 'oh shit' formed a mantra in his heads as he fell headfirst and he squeezed his eyes shut so tight and waited for the pain. He felt it, but it wasn't where he thought it would be. A small grunt found its way into the air as his stomach connected with a strong arm. The dull pain intensified as he was yanked back and his back slammed into a solid being.
"Oya oya, still so ungraceful Tsunayoshi?"
"Arugh. You were the one who slapped my butt in the first time."
"Ku fu fu... it was you who presented me with such an opportunity."
The shorter of the two opened his mouth to retort, but seeing the look on his face decided against it. He could never win if Mukuro had his 'this-is-just-to-annoy-you' look on. "Can you let go of me now?"
Mukuro simply blew a stray piece of his dark hair out of the way. "Hmn... how will I know that you won't fall?"
Tsuna just stared up at Mukuro in disbelief. I'm not that clumsy! "What makes you think that I'll fall!?"
"Well, when you were falling you didn't even bring up your hands to stop your fall." He claimed flatly as he released his grip on Tsuna's waist. He lodged his fingers in his hair and mussed it up while the other found its way to his waist. "Besides," His annoyance wasn't masked very well. "What's so special about that box?"
He looked down at the wrapped box that was cradled by his arms. A light dusting of pink spread throughout his face as he stared at it. "Um... uh... Merry Christmas." His arms shot out abruptly.
The older boy just stared at the present presented to him, an amused smirk growing on his face. "Why, thank you." Mukuro gently took the present into his own hands before flipping it and toying around with it.
"N-n-no problem! U-u-uh..." He stuttered and stammered, trying to get what was on his tongue out into the open. He bowed his head, his overdue bangs blocking his face from view as Tsuna felt it grow hotter and hotter. Oh, it was surely on fire right now. He didn't need to look up to know that he would see heterochromatic eyes watching him in mirth. "W-what happened to your hands?"
He couldn't help, but tense up when bright brown eyes and a flushed face looked up at him like that. "My hands? What about them? Yes, I'm not wearing my gloves, but it's not that surprising is it?"
What possessed him to do it, he didn't know. The only thing he knew was that Mukuro's own hand was in his and the older boy was complaining loudly. Something about... well, he wasn't really listening. Tsuna flipped the larger hand over closely inspecting all of the band-aids that cluttered up it up. There was barely any skin showing and the patches were there was, there were little scars on them. "Mukuro, what happened?"
The hand jerked itself from Tsuna's warm palm and disappeared into Mukuro's pocket. There was a smile on his face, but Tsuna could tell that it was strained and forced. "Don't worry, it doesn't involve you."
Worry had managed to find its cold and black claws around his heart and gave it a good squeeze. There were so many cuts... I wonder what happened.
"Why is there no name? Couldn't they have at least wrote down their name?" Tsuna forced himself to say as he made an exaggeration to search for a name and to bring his spirits up.
"It must have been a good idea to open up that present."
"Hn? Oh, yeah."
Nana smiled at her son. Isn't that cute? All he would do is sit and stare at the scarf. Oh! Wait, he would occasionally smell it too, but that was another thing. She couldn't help, but smile at him. Her son was really smitten by that scarf.
And so the two of them sat on the couch, huddled together in the empty house watching the Christmas specials. The girls decided to keep the kids out a bit longer and Reborn was nowhere to be seen. Squished up against the corners wrapped in one large downy blanket. This was the definition of bliss in her eyes. And in her eyes, she caught sight of something unusual…
"What's that at the end of the scarf?"
"… The end of the scarf?" There it was, lightly embroidered into the fabric was the phase 'Ti amo.' His face flushed a delicate shade of red before he flipped the scarf over. There were the numbers '6927…'
"What's wrong, Tsu-kun? Your face is all red. Do you have a fever?"
"W-what!? I don't! I'm okay!" The brunette spluttered, his face turning an even heavenlier shade of red. "I'm okay…" And he buried his face in the scarf, the energetic talking of the people on T.V the only sound to be heard.
I love you too, Mukuro. Merry Christmas.
12/29/09 Edit: I made it longer~ 8D