A/N: Here is the final chapter. Enjoy!
Epilogue: For Eternity
The wind felt good. It roared in his ears and rammed onto his body, causing his hair and long black coat to billow wildly behind him. He had always loved to fly. Flying was freedom; no boundaries, no limits, and no complications. It was nothing but the sky, the ground, and him, shooting through the air above the city like a falling star.
And he wasn't using his flames either, like he used to do. Why would he waste energy when he was standing on a perfectly good hover disc that was vaguely in the shape of a butterfly? And it wasn't those cheap kinds of discs that can only go a meager ten miles an hour in the city. No, this hover disc was specially made, able to bring him up at least thirty stories instead of the standard ten and went a smooth fifty miles an hour. Sometimes he was just foolish enough to be ecstatic about his status in the world's most powerful vampire family.
Blue-grey eyes scanned the brightly lit city below him, taking in every hover car that lined the highways and streets, the crowds of people both walking and using hover discs, the neon lights, and brightness of it all, a bit searing to the eyes but eye-catching all the same. Namimori never ceased to amaze him; even after a hundred years and the flocking of even more herbivores to what used to be a quaint city, it still held its grandeur, its beauty. And in that century, mankind certainly had taken a dramatic turn where science fiction became science fact all because of the Vongola family, who decided to poke an arm out of the shadows and show their intelligence to the world (though not revealing what they actually were). Following the family's example, other families began to contribute their technological marvels to the humans, their combined efforts finally making way for a future that had only been seen in movies and other forms of visual media.
A booted foot shifted on the hover disc's platform, lightly pressing on a pressure activated button and causing the piece of technology to lose altitude. Another shift of the foot resulted in the disc to slow down considerably until it hovered a couple feet above the smooth rooftop of a building that was entirely constructed out of a new type of metal that vampire scientists had concocted with their brilliant minds. With no hesitation, the dark-clothed man jumped down from the hover disc, landing softly on the rooftop, and then he snapped his fingers, resulting in the hover disc to lose its power and fold into itself, dropping into a pale, outstretched hand. When folded, hover discs were oval-shaped and about the size of a serving tray, easy to carry and very popular with the younglings these days.
Letting a small sigh escape his lips, Kyouya walked over to the edge of the roof, propping the disc upon the low wall as he gazed down at the crowded streets once again. He didn't really need to anymore, but the habit of patrolling the city would never leave him. He had to look out for it, even when it could already look out for itself. It was probably only a hobby now, flitting through the streets and beating up those who dared imposed on his law. Sure his name wasn't as well known anymore as he wanted it to, but he now went by a new name, something that he was sure would stick like gum on people's shoes.
With his enhanced hearing, he heard a shrill scream that couldn't be heard by a normal person over the noises of the streets. Feeling his instincts kicking in, Kyouya swiftly turned on his heel and ran towards the direction of the scream, making a note to return for his hover disc. Jumping over rooftops with a speed faster than most animals on Earth, it didn't take him long to spot a young woman running through the alleyways in between the buildings, a group of five men chasing after her with leers and chuckles.
Kyouya released a small sigh again as he reached into a coat pocket and took out what seemed to be sunglasses. He slipped them onto his face then lightly tapped it on the side, activating a hidden button that caused small metal plates to eject from the edges of the sunglasses, forming a mask around his eyes. The mask itself took the form of black wings spread out, adding to his mysterious persona. Looking down again, he saw that the group of lechers was catching up with the running woman. He quickly produced his tonfa and jumped off of the roof, rippling through the air and gradually releasing his flame through his tonfa so that he could silently fly over the group of herbivores. Not a couple seconds later, the woman had turned a corner and came upon a dead end. Her luck wasn't all that good, was it?
"No need to be afraid," the vampire heard one of the men say as the group advanced towards the panting woman, their own breaths just as heavy.
"Leave me alone perverts!" the woman said, clutching her handbag to her chest. Her glare was defiant, but her body betrayed that defiance by shaking in fear. It was admirable, but it also made Kyouya snort at the woman's naiveté.
However it seemed that the gang was amused by the woman's words for they howled loudly like a pack of wild dogs. "I like a feisty one!" exclaimed one man and Kyouya made a face of disgust.
One of the men lunged at the woman, grabbing her arm and causing the handbag to fall to the ground with a thud. The woman screamed and protested as her other arm was held in a tight grip as well, limiting her movement. The men cackled and neared the woman, their eyes gleaming with undisguised perversion. It sickened Kyouya so much that he ceased releasing his flames through his tonfas and promptly dropped through the air, his feet landing on a man who was unlucky enough to be standing beneath him.
There was a sickening crunch accompanied with a scream and noises of shock. Kyouya dug his heels into the back he was standing on, momentarily fascinated with the blood that pooled out on the ground from the man's head. His back was facing the rest of the group, who was staring at him with shocked expressions on their face. Then, one man bravely voiced out the one question that was floating through everyone's (excluding Kyouya's) head.
"Wh-Who the hell are you?!" he asked, trying to sound peeved.
Kyouya lifted his head up at the question and hopped off the man was he was standing on, causing the people behind him to flinch back in fright. He then slowly turned around, facing the humans whose faces were now written over with horror.
From their point of view, Kyouya was a tall man clad entirely in black, matching his crown of longish hair that was tied back in a small ponytail, and wore a mask that looked like a pair of spread out wings. The only thing that wasn't black was his pale skin that seemed to glow in the semi-darkness of the alley and the steel tonfa in his hands (very old school, but they still looked threatening). There was an air of authority and, quite possibly, annoyance surrounding him and they wondered if the air got colder around them.
"I-It's the B-Black Skylark!" one of the men stuttered out, obviously fearful.
The Black Skylark was a (supposed) urban legend in Namimori about a black-clad man who roamed the streets (and apparently skies), punishing those who were doing wrong. He was there for the smallest robberies to the biggest raids on drug dealers. Everyone knew of him and criminals were wary around the streets, not wanting to run into the vigilante. Naturally, the police wanted him arrested for taking justice into his own hands, but they were too weak to catch him and even if they did he would easily escape their grasp. They didn't know that the Black Skylark was way out of their league.
Without a word, Kyouya rushed towards the nearest man, bringing his tonfa up in an uppercut and catching him in the jaw. There was a crack as his jaw broke and then Kyouya lifted a leg to kick the man in the gut, sending him flying. The others were staring at his quick movements with wide eyes and their mouths hanging open, too shocked to move their muscles. Yet even if they did try to resist the black-clad man's attacks, they wouldn't stand a chance. At least Kyouya was holding back considerably, not wanting to actually kill the men. It was only their punishment for disturbing the peace of Namimori.
The other four men were dealt with just as easily, their bodies now lying mangled and bloody on the ground. Kyouya stood near one that was lying on his back, staring up at the sky with blank eyes and his face all bloody. Kyouya nonchalantly lifted a bloodied tonfa to his lips and licked off a dollop of blood, cringing a bit at the flavor. The blood was tainted and not very sweet so that cut off his chances for a snack.
"Th-Thank you," said a timid voice and Kyouya turned his head to look at the shaking woman who was standing a few feet away from him. She was staring at the ground but would glance up at him every millisecond, her eyes filled with awe and fright.
Turning to face front again, Kyouya said, "Go home," before he ignited his tonfa and flew upwards, ducking out of sight on a nearby rooftop, not looking back at the awestruck woman.
The night stretched on like this, with Kyouya punishing anyone who was stupid enough to commit a crime with him in the vicinity. It was around three in the morning when Kyouya returned for his hover disc, deciding that it was best that he headed home to rest before going to work the next day. Yes, contrary to popular belief, the Black Skylark wasn't a homeless deadbeat. He's actually the Chairman of the board of directors for Namimori Academy (which housed all levels of education from elementary to university) but even so he always went to the school to make sure no one broke any rules, just like his school days a hundred years ago.
"You were busy tonight."
Kyouya didn't even flinch when the voice spoke up. He had sensed the figure for a while now, but since he knew the fedora-wearing man, there was no need to raise the alarm against him.
"What are you doing here?" he asked as Reborn stepped out of the shadows.
A smirk appeared on Reborn's face. "What, no heartfelt greeting? We haven't seen each other in years you know," said the older vampire, his voice light, conversational, and a tad wry.
"I sincerely wish that I haven't met you at all," Kyouya stated, tucking his hover disc beneath his arm.
Reborn chuckled. "You sound like a bitter old bat," he said, approaching the edge of the building and leaning against the low wall with his arms crossing upon his chest.
"What are you doing here?" Kyouya repeated his question though he had a feeling he knew why. He knew that Reborn only came into contact with him for emergencies or anything else important, though nothing serious has come up for the past couple of years. So what was his reason for coming now?
Sighing, Reborn reached a hand up and fingered his sideburn, the brim of his fedora (which never seemed out of style on him) casting a shadow over his eyes. "You know that the Vongola family can stand on its own even without a boss, but it can't be that way forever," he said, the seriousness evident in his voice. "We need a boss Hibari."
Kyouya turned to glare at Reborn. Even though the latter couldn't see it through the former's mask, he could feel that glare and it was a tad unnerving.
"He will awaken," Kyouya said through gritted teeth.
"Maybe," Reborn said. "But do you know when?"
Kyouya sighed, feeling exasperated. They had this conversation hundreds of times before already and the older vampire – and a majority of the family – still doubt their faith to their boss and his lover? They should believe that Tsuna will come back because that's what subordinates do; they trust their boss and give their loyalty whole-heartedly without question.
"It's been a century Hibari," he vaguely heard Reborn say. "The time for waiting is over and the time for moving on begins. We have a boss now, a man everyone approves of, even your fellow Guardians. He will be leading the family from now on."
Kyouya's eyes thinned in another sharp glare. They found a new boss without even consulting him? They went on and did such a thing without even hearing his thoughts on the matter? Why would they do that? Why would they betray Tsuna like that? And was this new boss even a pureblood? Was he even deserving of the title of the Vongola Family boss?
All these questions and more flitted through Kyouya's mind but he bit his tongue, steeling himself from voicing those questions. He didn't know why he was doing that though. Was he actually giving up on his lover? Was he slowly losing his grip on his hope? He couldn't be… he made a promise and he wasn't one to break promises. He just couldn't…
"Everyone will be meeting at the Vongola Castle in Sicily for the inheritance ceremony," Reborn said, snapping Kyouya out of his thoughts. "It will be held in two days, so you have to be there. You are part of the Vongola family after all and it will ruin our image if you don't come."
Kyouya said nothing, his lips tightening into a thin line, holding himself back from lashing out at the much more experienced vampire. If Reborn knew what he was thinking, then he was at least glad that the hitman wasn't saying anything about it. He didn't want to bring up trouble at a time like this.
Wordlessly, Kyouya activated his hover disc and agilely jumped onto the device, having no need for the railing that standard hover discs were required to have. "I expect you to be there Hibari," Reborn said but Kyouya refused to answer, only shifting his foot to press on the accelerator and shooting through the cold night.
He missed the smirk and gleam of mischief Reborn had in his eyes.
Namimori High School used to stand alone, proud and elegant in its own right, separated from her sister schools, Nami-sho, Nami-chuu, and Nami-dai. However when a new chairman for the board of directors was appointed many years ago, many things changed. Namimori Elementary, Middle School, High School, and University had merged and formed Namimori Academy, a school that accepted everyone with open arms, from the most brilliant of minds to the lowest of delinquents. Money was never a problem for Namimori Academy for it never seemed to run out and the tuition was fair despite it being a school of prestige. And even for those who did not have the money to get into the school, there were many scholarship programs that would make any student's dreams come true.
And even though it had nearly been a hundred years since its founding, Namimori Academy still stood at the top of the heap and it didn't look like it was going to go anywhere for a long while.
Kyouya felt a rush of pride as he stepped out of the car and gazed upon his wonderful school. The campus of the former Nami-dai from a century ago expanded to accommodate the plethora of students and buildings that were added, lined with lush trees that added to the calm scenery. The Academy itself was made up of four sections; elementary, middle school, high school, and university, located South, West, East, and North in the campus respectively with the dormitories right in the middle of the campus. The elementary, middle and high school all had three three-story buildings for the students and all had its own facilities which included a gymnasium and various sports fields that were fit for each level. The university was the largest of them all though, consisting of two five-story buildings where classes were held for every known course. The facilities included a small hospital for those taking Nursing and Caregiver, a hotel and restaurant for the Hotel and Restaurant Management students, a laboratory for the various sciences, a shooting range for the Criminology students, and more facilities for the other students.
Walking with grace towards the university building, Kyouya held a hand to his black necktie, subtly loosening it from his neck. He had always disliked neckties; it was like tying a noose around your neck, implying an early death. And he always wondered why he tied his necktie too tight; it was like he wanted to kill himself out of despair. However it was a good thing that these thoughts did not show on his face; it would prove problematic if the chairman of the board of directors for Namimori Academy had such suicidal-esque thoughts.
"Ohayo gozaimasu Hibari-san," said a group of students that the black-haired man passed by, riding along the moving walkways and bowing their respects at him. Kyouya regarded them for a millisecond before inclining his head slightly at them, briefly closing his eyes. The girls in the group blushed lightly at the recognition and they watched Kyouya's receding back, the walkway moving them towards wherever they were headed.
Before, Kyouya would've ignored the respect that was given to him, thinking that herbivores did not deserve his acknowledgment. However he had worked on his… sympathy… for a while now. It made him feel strange in both good and bad ways and it gave him unwanted attention from civilians (he himself wasn't even aware at how handsome he truly is or just how large his fan club grew), and yet, he felt that it was the least he could do for Tsuna since the younger had always wanted him to be more compassionate.
"Tetsu," Kyouya said, turning his head slightly to meet the younger man who was following him.
Grey eyes snapped up to meet his and a meek smile split the young, innocent face. "Hai, Hibari-san?" said twenty-five-year-old Kusakabe Tetsuo, Kyouya's personal assistant. He is the great-grandson of the vampire's former right-hand man, Kusakabe Tetsuya, but even though he had his great-grandfather's loyalty, honesty, and determination, he was quite shy and innocent for his age. He reminded Kyouya of Tsuna and despite Tetsuo's lack of physical resemblance to Tetsuya (he was about a head shorter then his ancestor, didn't sport a cleft chin, and his hair style was more normal), Kyouya always felt that his right-hand man was there at his side once again.
"What appointments do I have today?" Kyouya asked, facing front again as he continued walking towards the larger of the two university buildings, the young man just behind him.
"Well…" Tetsuo drawled, taking out what looked like a long rod about the size of a ballpoint pen. He clicked the top and it projected a holoscreen, showing various kinds of information, and with a light tap on the hologram, Tetsuo chose what he wanted to see. "You have meetings with Directors Chang and Sakuya, and then you're going to have to oversee the refurnishing of the dormitories. You also have that mission to France Gokudera-san assigned you, which he demands be done by the end of the month."
A flicker of annoyance shone on Kyouya's face. Just because Hayato was acting boss (along with Takeshi and Reborn) doesn't mean that he could boss the former prefect around and actually have the gall to demand something from him! Well, Kyouya was going to fix Hayato's wagon real good.
"What time is my first appointment?"
"Eleven o'clock sir and right now it is nine."
"Good, that gives me plenty of time to go up to Dean Gokudera's office and give him a piece of my mind."
After three years of working with the older man, Tetsuo knew the signs of a pissed off Hibari Kyouya. Granted when he first started working as a personal assistant to the stoic but temperamental man, he was a bit thrown off at how cold Kyouya can get. However when he found out that their great-grandfathers knew each other, he quickly got more determined to know his boss and was pleasantly rewarded for his efforts. He was the one of few who knew the real Hibari Kyouya (though he didn't know that Kyouya was a vampire or that his great-grandfather's "close friend" that he was informed about was actually Kyouya himself).
The trek to the Dean's office was a rather lengthy one. They had to weave their way through university students and walk down long halls as well as take an elevator, but they were at the fifth floor in no time. Kyouya ordered Tetsuo to stay with the secretary who didn't protest in him walking into Hayato's office, whether or not the silver-haired man was busy.
Without even pressing the buzzer that announced his presence, Kyouya let himself in the office and was not entirely surprised to see Hayato and Takeshi in a compromising position on top of the former's glass desk. They were half-undressed, Hayato's red dress shirt hanging open while Takeshi's blue one was half-undone with his black necktie still hanging from his neck albeit loosely. Kyouya did not need to look further down to know that they were extremely bothered and not in the "bothered; annoyed; disturbed" kind of sense.
"Geez ya' bastard!" Hayato cried, nearly hitting his head on Takeshi's own cranium as he bolted into a sitting position, hands hurriedly clasping the buttons on his shirt. "Don't you know how to knock?!"
Ignoring the rhetorical question, Kyouya stepped into room, waiting for the automatic door to slide shut before he crossed his arms and leaned against it. "Don't you know how to lock a door?" he asked back, not reacting to the scathing glare from one of his Deans. "Also, it isn't very professional for someone of your status to be fooling around in his own office. I won't stand for that in my school."
Hayato snorted as he straightened his tie once it was tied around his neck. "As if you wouldn't do the same if Juudaime was here..." he muttered before yelping in surprise when Takeshi nudged him – hard – in the side and crying out a "What?" towards his still mused-up lover.
Takeshi only gestured his head towards Kyouya who had yet to move away from the door. However they can both see how tense the other man's body was and how much whiter those knuckles on his hand became. It was somewhat taboo to mention Tsuna around Kyouya, but it was even more so when the latter was reminded that the former was not at his side any more. Hayato swallowed thickly; even though he was a man who insulted people he deemed annoying, absentmindedly mentioning Tsuna in front of Kyouya was a big no-no.
There was a silence where the air was thick with tension, both the Rain and Storm Guardian staring at their fellow Cloud Guardian with baited breath. Then Kyouya spoke.
"I'm not going," he said, emotionless eyes pointedly looking at the other two.
Hayato and Takeshi released their held in breath in unison, then Hayato did a double take. "Wait, what?" he said. "Not going where?"
"To the inheritance ceremony two days from now; I refuse to partake in it."
Shock flitted both Hayato's and Takeshi's face before the former spoke up. "But you have to go! You're a Guardian and our boss-"
At that, Takeshi elbowed his lover in the ribs again and gave the silver-haired halfblood a warning look. Hayato only looked confused, but he then saw the look of utter hate on Kyouya's face which, of course, did not mean that the dark-haired man was happy. He was not happy indeed.
"I don't need to explain myself you to," Kyouya said as he pushed his body away from the door. "I just wanted to say that you should not expect me to attend. And I'm surprised that you actually accepted this new boss, Gokudera Hayato."
Hayato looked like he wanted to say something, something very important to the matter at hand, but he received a third nudge in the ribs from his lover. Takeshi's expression clearly told him to shut up before he said anything that would ruin their plan.
"It's hard not to," the silver-haired man only muttered, not looking at Kyouya who only raised an eyebrow.
Takeshi found it wise to speak up. "We understand what you're saying Hibari," he said, giving the other man a gentle smile. "But won't you reconsider? You just might find some surprising things if you attend."
Kyouya ignored his fellow guardian, only turning to open the door behind him. "Stop fooling around and get back to work Gokudera Hayato," he said as he stepped through the entryway and his profile was gone as the door slid shut.
There was a moment of silence in the office as Hayato and Takeshi stared at the closed door. Then Hayato broke the silence by sighing and reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose as if he was warding off an oncoming headache.
"Why does that man have to be so difficult?" he asked and Takeshi looked at him before grinning.
"He's just loyal to Tsuna, that's all," he said as if it explained everything.
"We're all loyal to Juudaime!" Hayato exclaimed exasperatedly. "But that bastard doesn't even try to listen to us! And now he's going to miss one of the most important events in the alliance! He should be there!"
Takeshi's grin dimmed down to a gentle smile and he wrapped an arm around Hayato's shoulders in a calming matter. "Maa maa, we'll figure something out," he said, squeezing his lover affectionately. "Or rather he'll figure something out. He always does."
A splash of red appeared on Hayato's cheeks. Even when he was alone with his significant other he was still not used to the affection he received from the Japanese man, even after a hundred years. "Yeah, I guess," he muttered, looking down at the carpeted floor and trying not to think about how safe he felt in Takeshi's arms or how musky his lover smelled like.
There was another moment of silence. Then;
"Now, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?"
"Ah! Yakyuu-baka, I'm supposed to go back to...!"
The rest of Hayato's sentence was drowned out by a low, guttural moan.
The next few days had Kyouya feeling agitated and paranoid (which he hid quite well by the way). Even though the inheritance ceremony had been held three days ago he had yet to receive any word from any of his fellow guardians. Hayato had taken leave from his duties as Dean of the Science department and he had not returned since he didn't specify how long he would be gone. Everyone else could as well been erased from the face of the Earth. Not even Tetsuo received any word since he was the one person anyone would contact if they couldn't contact Kyouya himself.
However that wasn't what made Kyouya feel agitated and paranoid. As a guardian he had a duty – a responsibility – to attend the inheritance ceremony (never mind the fact that he only felt those feelings out of his love for Tsuna). There was no excuse to miss it. And now that he did skip out on the most important event in the Vongola family he felt like a walking target. Not attending the ceremony was an utter show of disrespect and he expected men in black suits to jump out of him wherever he went (though he could easily beat those men to a pulp that wasn't really the point here).
What surprised Kyouya even more was that no one had approached him after that day he met with Hayato; no one else had tried to convince him to attend. He was expecting more people to show an effort; the other guardians, the other members of the family, hell even the Varia! Yet why did they just leave him alone after that?
Kyouya did not like feeling paranoid. It was just not like him.
On the morning of the second day after the inheritance ceremony was held, Kyouya woke up to find that he had fallen asleep on his desk covered in holographic "papers" which were, thankfully, all signed and ready to be delivered to their designated areas. Rubbing sleep and sand out of his eyes, Kyouya stretched and yawned widely, wincing a bit as the aches in his body were worked out. He ran a hand through his midnight black hair, removing his hair tie and combing out any minor tangles that his fingers encountered along the way. He debated on whether or not he should shower today, but seeing as he didn't the day before, he decided that he should.
Gathering the holograms and putting them in their respective holders, he stood up from his desk and headed towards his bedroom so that he could shower and change.
Half an hour later, feeling refreshed and more awake then he did upon awakening, Kyouya would be found in the kitchen fixing up some breakfast. Sticking a buttered bagel into his mouth, he sat down at the breakfast table and picked up the newspaper (which wasn't really "paper" seeing as holograms replaced them), eyes skimming over the front page where there seemed to be some sort of riot that occurred in some part of Western Asia just some days ago.
Not that Kyouya was interested. He only read the newspaper out of routine. What other herbivores did in other parts of the world didn't really matter to him.
After skimming the rest of the newspaper and finding nothing else of interest, Kyouya finished the rest of his breakfast and grabbed his suit jacket as well as his briefcase of holograms before leaving his chic apartment that was located in the more crowded parts of the city. He never really lived in that apartment since he hated crowding, but it was closer to the Academy then the house he had built just near the border of the city and besides, he disliked bringing paperwork home with him.
Kyouya took the elevator down to the lobby, detesting that he had to ride it with other herbivores but knowing that his old ways of intimidation wouldn't work well in this new modern society. Herbivores were still herbivores, but they weren't jellyfish. They still had backbones.
The drive to the Academy wasn't long, but Kyouya still felt annoyed at the traffic he encountered. Once he had parked his hovercraft in his designated area, he removed himself from the vehicle and made his way to the various offices of the school, passing along documents and discussing things that needed to be discussed. Being the Chairman might not require walking about the school the way he did, but it was his school and he could do whatever the damn hell he wanted. As a plus, this gave him an excuse to discipline the students he found that were breaking the rules. Old habits die hard after all.
It was nearing noon when Kyouya was decided he might as well have lunch. He still needed to eat after all and he remembered that there was a traditional ramen stand just down the street from the school. Making sure he had everything he needed on his person, Kyouya walked out of the campus and into the streets outside. It wasn't a long walk and once he appeared at the ramen stand, pushing aside the awning, he was greeted by the elderly man who ran it.
"Irasshaimasen!" said the man, grinning broadly at Kyouya who nodded in return. "What would you like to eat young man?"
"Beef," was Kyouya's simple reply and the old man nodded before going to work on his order.
Kyouya was handed a glass of water, which he drank gratefully, and he waited for his food, idly spinning a chopstick on his hand to occupy himself. His thoughts drifted to the inheritance ceremony, but he quickly shook it out of his head. There might be a new boss, but there was no way in hell that he was going to accept whoever it was. And besides, why did he have to accept this person? He was Tsuna's guardian, not this person's guardian! He did not need – nor desired – to follow this new person.
It was then that Kyouya sensed two familiar people standing behind him. They were not hostile, but he narrowed his eyes anyway because the pair annoyed him to no end.
"Yo Hibari!" said Takeshi as he appeared at Kyouya's right, plopping down on the stool.
"Hmph," was Hayato's only greeting as he took the stool on Kyouya's left.
"Herbivores," Kyouya said, being as civil as he could. "You're back."
"Yup!" Takeshi chirped happily with his trademark grin. "It was a long few days, but the ceremony went perfectly!"
"Without Hibari there to cause mayhem, of course it would go smoothly," Hayato commented dryly.
"But the boss really wanted to see you. He was really disappointed that you didn't come to the ceremony."
Kyouya's eyes narrowed at the mere mention of the new boss. "I have no desire to meet him," he said, snapping his chopsticks apart once his bowl of ramen was placed in front of him. "And if possible, I never want to meet him. Now leave so I can eat in peace."
Before Kyouya could even bring a mouthful of noodles into his mouth, he felt a hand clapping him on the back, no doubt coming from Takeshi.
"Don't be like that Hibari!" a grinning Takeshi said to a scowling Kyouya. "Boss is a really great guy! He only wants to get to know you better, after hearing what you've accomplished in the past."
"Hn," was Kyouya's only response before he dug into his meal. Normally he hated eating with people around to see him, but he was hungry enough to ignore his own insecurity. And besides, these two, however annoying and incompetent he thought them to be, had already witnesses him in two states of feeding, so it was nothing new to them.
Seeing that the Cloud Guardian was trying to avoid the matter, Hayato said, "You know you can't avoid this for much longer. You will meet boss eventually and when you do, I'm sure you'll accept him as easily as the rest of us did."
And suddenly, Kyouya didn't feel all that hungry. Setting aside his chopsticks and swallowing the mouthful of noodles he was chewing on, he pushed his bowl towards Takeshi (who took it with delight) and paid for his meal before turning around and leaving the ramen stand. Hayato watched him go, a small smirk on his lips.
"You think he'll catch up to Hibari?" Takeshi asked around a mouthful of noodles.
"Don't speak with your mouth full," Hayato reprimanded. "And yes, I'm sure he will." He smirked wider as he ordered his own bowl of ramen. "He's our boss after all and that bastard needs to see it."
"Kyouya-san, do you know what the duty of the Cloud Guardian is?"
"Mm, can't say I do."
"It is said the Cloud Guardian is aloof and drifting. He protects the family from an independent point and can not be bound by anything."
"Is there a reason you're telling me this?"
"Well, you are my Cloud Guardian now and though you are aloof and drifting, I just wonder if where you're standing is really an independent point and if you really can't be bound by anything."
"… Gomen, I didn't mean to mock you or anything."
"No, you weren't. I was just thinking."
"Oh… then what are you thinking about?"
"That I don't want to be a part of your family and I have no desire to be."
"And I really am not bound by anything except my own whims and desires."
"… So what does that mean?"
"… It means that my desire is to protect you and only you. I don't care for the rest of your so-called family; as long as you're safe, then I feel that my duty is done."
"Mm. I stand independently because I will do anything to protect you, even if it means disobeying so-called orders. It just so happens that sometimes my actions protect the rest of the family as well, whether I like it or not."
"Then doesn't that mean you're bound to me?"
"Like I said, I am not bound by anything except my own desires… which happens to include you."
"Haha, you sure know how to twist words around Kyouya-san."
"Drop the –san. I don't want to hear you call me that, Tsunayoshi."
"… Okay, Kyouya…"
Kyouya opened his eyes and he found himself looking up through the leaves and branches of the tree he had been sleeping under. After the little talk he had with Hayato and Takeshi, he found himself entering a nearby park and falling asleep under a tree. As a result, he dreamed of a small conversation he and Tsuna had years ago. He had always had dreams of Tsuna, so it was nothing new, but he had completely forgotten that they even had that conversation. And looking back, he felt like that simple conversation was really meaningful for the both of them.
The Cloud Guardian spent a moment starting up through the canopy of leaves, mesmerized by the swaying and rustling and how the sunlight played through the gaps. Soon enough he got tired of watching the leaves. Sighing and lifting a hand to rub his eyes, Kyouya sat up and looked around. No one else was in the park, which was a good thing for him. Checking the watch that was strapped around his wrist, he saw that it was only a little past two pm, which was usual for his midday naps. After stifling a yawn, Kyouya heaved himself to his feet and brushed off his suit, glad that the material prevented grass stains.
Seeing that he had nothing else to do and that he already had his nap, Kyouya decided that he should head back to the academy. As he took off toward the park exit, he ran a hand through his dark hair, subsequently pulling off his hair tie and letting his tresses fall loose. The slight breeze played with his midnight black locks, letting it brush against his neck and shoulders, very nearly covering his face in a dark curtain. He ran a hand through his hair again, liking how soft it felt, and then he was pulling the long locks back and twisting his hair tie around, tying his hair tightly in place at the back of his head. He could never remember why he let his hair grow; whenever he thought of cutting it he always pushed the thought away for another day. And even when it grew down to his waist he could never cut it above his shoulders. It just felt right that it was a bit long.
The sun was warm on his profile as he walked along the path. His mind dove into past memories and fantasies that he had imagined. The longing that he had suppressed was now blooming in his chest and the void in his heart was now very prominent.
A/N: And that's all I wrote. The planned ending was for Tsuna to fall out of the sky right on top of Kyouya, mirroring their first meeting. And they live happily ever after? LOL it was more or less an open ending.
Oh and Tsuna would have long hair now. I like a long-haired Tsuna and Kyouya for some reason...
This chapter was inspired by a few futuristic anime, but mostly by Red Garden. Tsuna being encased in crystal for the past century was mostly inspired by Blood Plus.
Yeah... so, that's about it. This story is done. Over. No more. But I'll still accept any questions and I'll answer them to the best of my ability. Oh and don't forget to check out my blogs! Both on Tumblr. My personal blog is emotivegothika and my 1827 blog is clouds-and-skies. Drop me a line!
'Til my next story, tata~
EDIT: It has come to my attention that there was some confusion about who was the boss. So I'm here to rectify that.
Tsuna was the "new" boss. He somehow got freed of his prison. How? I haven't thought of it (neither did Akira-sama when it came to Xanxus...). The ones who were leading the Vongola family while Tsuna was imprisoned were the guardians, minus Kyouya and Mukuro and plus Reborn. Nono had been killed in one battle against Millefiore and so had Iemitsu (yes, I mentally killed him off. Bastard). The guardians were all faithful to Tsuna, believing that he would be freed one day. and they were right.
Kyouya wasn't informed of Tsuna being freed because Tsuna himself wanted to tell him. There were hints that it was Tsuna though, graciously given by Reborn, Hayato, and Takeshi. All this would have been explained by Tsuna if I had actually went and written it down.
Okay, there, done, I hope. Still open for questions though!