Title: High School is All about Cliques and Fear
PG-13 for violence
Character/Pairing/s: Tsuna, Gokudera, Yamamoto, Reborn, Hibari, Ryohei, Haru, and Kyoko (mentions of Shamal and Xanxus).
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers through the Rings arc.
Word Count: 2,200
And then comes high school.
Dedication: for sw_inku's belated birthday fic! SO RIDICULOUSLY LATE ORZ.
A/N: Random very-near future fic is clearly all I am cut out for in this series, so I don't have to worry about all the temporal paradoxes between present and 10YL stuff. Sigh.
Disclaimer: Not mine, though I wish constantly.
Just lemme know.

Tsuna thinks—with some excitement— that starting high school will be different for him than starting middle school had been. He has friends now, after all, and more passing grades than he did a year ago. Also, Kyoko-chan talks to him and knows he exists and Haru is transferring in and Shamal is back at Namimori Middle School, so he won't be here to let Tsuna bleed to death all over the floor whenever he gets into a scrape just because he's a boy.

High school seems full of potential to Tsuna for all of those reasons, and for the first time ever, he lets himself get enthused about what fun new experiences and new friends the next academic year will undoubtedly bring him at his new school.

In short, Tsuna enters high school full of hope for nothing but the best.

Not surprisingly, it is a hope that is not meant to last.

As it is, it promptly ends some fifty feet into the first hallway, when an upperclassman brushes past Tsuna, hitting him hard with his shoulder. "Watch where you're going, first year," the upperclassman mutters on contact, glaring down at Tsuna from an impossible height.

Tsuna swallows and tries not to stare. Since when were Japanese teenagers capable of growing facial hair? "Sorry about that!" he answers quickly, voice small, and at that point, he feels that old, familiar sensation of his knees knocking against one another already starting up, just like that. The upperclassman smirks, clearly amused over how the new first year is so properly intimidated by him.

Gokudera, however, isn't. "I'll fucking kill you, stupid punk!" the storm guardian growls fiercely, and despite the upperclassman's obvious height and weight advantage, Gokudera grabs him by the lapels of his uniform and shoves him up against the nearest wall. Hard. "Apologize to the tenth right now!" he demands, and shakes the kid.

The entire hallway instantly goes dead silent.

"Maa, maa," Yamamoto begins from beside Tsuna, smiling warmly as he puts both of his hands up in a non-threatening gesture. "As long as no one's hurt it's okay right, Gokudera? Accidents happen!"

"Right!" Tsuna hastily agrees.

From behind Yamamoto, another upperclassman—presumably one of the first upperclassman's friends—roars and tries to punch Yamamoto from behind. Yamamoto's eyes narrow instinctively and he brings his elbow up sharply without warning, perfectly catching the guy in the chin with a crack that rivals the sound of a baseball bat hitting a baseball on a clean swing.

The second upperclassman loses some teeth, jerks sideways, and slides down to the floor out cold shortly thereafter.

"I'm sure we can all just get along if we talk things through, right?" Yamamoto adds, apparently not noticing the guy he'd just knocked unconscious instinctively.

Tsuna gapes. "Yamamoto!" he hisses, voice low. He gestures to the body.

Five minutes into their new school and the Vongola already have a body to deal with. Unbelievable.

Yamamoto blinks when he sees what Tsuna is pointing at. "Hello, what's he doing there? Narcolepsy?"

Tsuna's head hurts.

In the meantime, Gokudera's got an unlit stick of dynamite shoved up each of the first boy's nostrils. "I'm sorry what was that?" he asks, fishing in his pockets for a third stick to put…elsewhere. "Couldn't hear you just now." His eyes glimmer darkly.

"So sorry er…tenth!" the guy gurgles as loudly as he can, eyes widening in horror when Gokudera finally does find that third stick of dynamite.

Tsuna's eyes widen in equal horror. "Gokudera-kun, let him go!" he says, quickly.

Gokudera sparkles. "Yes, tenth!" he declares, and easily lets the guy go without a word of protest. "This idiot won't bother you anymore!"

He probably won't even be going to this high school anymore, Tsuna thinks, when he watches the poor guy escape down the hallway, pants very obviously stained.

Everyone else in the vicinity just kind of continues to stare at the three of them with a mixture or horror, fear, and confusion on their faces.

After a beat, Yamamoto smiles. "Hey, so does anyone know how to get to class 1-D?" he asks.

Not surprisingly, no one answers him.

Tsuna wonders—still kind of hopeful— if maybe everyone will forget about this whole incident by lunch.

Everyone still remembers it by lunch.

In fact, the upperclassman who'd wet his pants is back—in fresh pants thankfully—and this time, he is flanked on either side by two guys who look like a cross between a humanoid Gorilla and an American automobile.

"You! First years!" the upperclassman says, pointing accusatorily at them as they eat on the lawn, Kyoko and Haru having since joined them with homemade bentos. "I'm back."

"Have you already made a new friend-desu?" Haru asks when she sees, delighted.

"How nice!" Kyoko beams.

Tsuna's reaction is more guttural; he chokes on his rice. It is at this point when Tsuna begins to miss the Disciplinary Committee's reign of terror under Hibari back at Namimori Middle School; at least they'd managed to keep random brawls from breaking out on school grounds all the time.

"What do you want now, dumbass?" Gokudera asks the upperclassman in an anticipatory manner, and starts rolling up his sleeves in preparation for what's to come. Apparently he doesn't miss the Disciplinary Committee's iron hand at all.

The upperclassman—a second year apparently— falters for a second at the sound of Gokudera's voice, before remembering the two hulks on either side of him. "I'd like you to meet my two older brothers," he says, all confidence again.

The two hulks eye the group on the lawn. "These are the guys that embarrassed you this morning, Shuuji?" they ask, dubiously.

The second year scowls. "They're stronger than they look, okay!"

His older brothers shrug and crack their knuckles. "If you say so."

They start advancing then, while some of the other students eating lunch outside begin to notice what's going on.

Tsuna glances at the two girls next to him nervously; luckily they haven't noticed anything yet, as they are wont to do. "Kyoko-chan, Haru…" he begins, and wonders if he can get them to safety while at the same time (and in good conscience), allow himself to leave Yamamoto and Gokudera here to handle things without him. On the one hand, if he does, Gokudera might actually blow one (or all) of the poor, unknowing bullies up.

On the other hand, Tsuna doesn't want Kyoko-chan and Haru to have to see it.

Luckily, before anything can happen (or explode), the advancing older brothers are stopped dead in their tracks by one other older brother.

"KYOKO THEY MADE ME THE EXTREME CAPTAIN OF THE BOXING CLUB!" Ryohei's voice booms from across the lawn suddenly, as he barrels through the grass towards where his little sister is sitting, unmindful of the sinister aura the two hulks are emitting as he roundly knocks them over in his rush to share his news. "APPARENTLY THE OLD CAPTAIN GRADUATED AND NO ONE WANTED TO TAKE HIS PLACE SO WHEN I ACCIDENTALLY PUNCHED A HOLE IN THE WALL THEY SAID I COULD EXTREMELY HAVE THE TITLE."

Kyoko claps happily. "That's so great, oniichan!" she says.

Ryohei puts a fist in the air, triumphantly. "Now, now I just need to go recruit some new members." Pause. Blink. "Apparently everyone was waiting for me to come be the captain so they could quit the club once it was left in good hands." He looks touched at the memory of such considerate senpai.

Tsuna doesn't think that's why they left the boxing club; he thinks it probably has more to do with Ryohei accidentally punching holes in the walls.

Speaking of…

He blinks when he realizes that the second year and his brothers are no longer bearing down on them. "What happened to the…" he asks, trailing off and making a vague gesture with his hand instead.

Yamamoto pops inarizushi into his mouth and motions towards a nearby tree, which hulk number one's head is currently stuck in the trunk of. Hulk number two lolls in the branches above his brother, mysteriously bleeding from the mouth and nose. "I think they're acrobats!" the rain guardian surmises, after a beat. "And they just wanted us to watch their show. Isn't that great?"

Haru laughs. "How nice-desu!" she says.

Tsuna blinks some more. "What about the… the other guy?" he asks, and with a vague feeling of distress, realizes that neither the second year nor Gokudera are in his line of sight anymore. "Where's Gokudera-kun?"

"Here, tenth!" Gokudera exclaims, coming out from behind the school building at the sound of his name on Tsuna's lips. He happily shoves a stick of dynamite back into his jacket pocket. "Oh, and that other guy really won't be bothering you anymore! I guarantee it this time."

Tsuna pales. "You didn't… did you?"

Gokudera just grins lopsidedly and strikes a victory pose. "He's gonna need another pair of pants."

All of the other students on the lawn make hasty exits to the safety of not here.

Tsuna buries his head in his hands.

After school, while Yamamoto is at the baseball club meeting and Gokudera is being questioned by the police about possibly possessing explosives, Tsuna waits for them at his shoe locker, trying to smile and look normal and un-scary to all of the other students who happen to pass by him on their way home.

It doesn't really work though; they all kind of make sure to give him a wide berth before turning to whisper things to each other that look fearful and worried. Some of them outright run away.

It is while he is alone like this when a student named Jimbo (of course his name is Jimbo) corners Tsuna at his locker.

Jimbo is bigger than the two guys Ryohei had toppled over today, and has a neck like an American football player's if an American football player decided he wanted his neck to look like a tree.

Tsuna swallows and wonders if maybe this guy is just trying to say hello. People get misunderstood at this school all the time, after all. "Hello?" he greets, cautiously.

"Name's Jimbo," Jimbo says in response, and his voice is so low Tsuna almost thinks it's just a growl. "Heard you were messin' with some of my boys earlier today."

Tsuna shrinks down. "No, no messing…" he assures Jimbo with an awkward laugh. "Just um, I think there was maybe…a misunderstanding?"

Jimbo makes a big, meaty fist and draws it back. "Either way, I want you to know that this is my school, pipsqueak," he says, "and I've decided you're dead meat."

Tsuna swallows and braces for impact. He tells himself that no matter how hard Jimbo punches, it's probably not as hard as Xanxus does.


Tsuna blinks when Jimbo suddenly grunts. Jimbo's eyes roll back into his head right after that and he topples backwards onto the ground with a floor-shaking thud.

Hibari stands behind him, a telltale red band around his arm.

"Hibari-san!" Tsuna exclaims, all relief at the sight of the prefect.

Hibari ignores him and looks down at Jimbo's prostrate mass. "No fighting on school grounds," he says. "Or I will bite you to death."

He calmly wipes blood off of his tonfa.

Tsuna stares. "Hibari-san…so you uh, you joined the Disciplinary Committee again?"

Hibari eyes him disinterestedly. "It took slightly longer to usurp control than I imagined it would," is all he says, before he turns with a fluttering of his jacket and disappears, presumably to go strike terror into the hearts of the rest of the rebellious students at Namimori High.

At Tsuna's feet, Jimbo groans and bleeds some more.

It is (of course) just in time for the entire girl's basketball team to see and hear, as they round the corner after finishing the first day of club practice.

They stop dead in their tracks.

They stare at Jimbo on the floor, and Tsuna standing above him, perfectly unharmed and looking sheepish.

Predictably, their reaction is to scream and run in the other direction in absolute terror.

Tsuna sighs, while behind him, one of the shoe lockers mysteriously slides open and Reborn appears, dressed as a loafer.

"Good job, Tsuna," he says, as he climbs up onto Jimbo's quivering mass to congratulate his student. "You've learned well."

"What did I possibly learn that could lead to this?" Tsuna demands of his home tutor, plainly horrified.

Reborn toes Jimbo's face with the toe-part of his costume, while Jimbo groans and fully passes out now. Reborn looks satisfied at that. "Taking out a territory's strongest member is the key to gaining control of an area," he explains, before hopping off of Jimbo's face and heading to the other side of the room.

Tsuna gapes after him. "THIS WAS DEFINITELY NOT MY INTENT!" he protests.

Reborn doesn't pay him any mind as he pushes an invisible button on a nearby potted plant. "Aren't you glad your family rules this school now, Tsuna?" he asks, before calmly disappearing into a corkboard.

Tsuna looks down at an undoubtedly concussed Jimbo and wonders if he can still get homeschooled after all.