He hadn't meant to come out like that. And now it's much worse than he anticipated. The Vongola family might have been understanding at the very beginning, but now it's much more complicated.

Yay! I had an awesome weekend! And... now school is back, so I have to work. But Simple Plan, Superchick and tea are an awesome combination. :) And for those who don't like swearing, then... tough. This is rated as an 'M' primarily for violence and language. Which will probably escalate.

Also, apologies for the length. Shorter than I expected to manage, but I thought I should give it to you guys anyway.

He had no right! How dare he! Dammit! How the hell could Yamamoto even think that betraying him would be a great idea?!

It was midnight, and Hayto couldn't sleep. Probably wouldn't, full stop. He'd spent the last twelve hours raging at his apartment, and he didn't feel any better. It was a mess, what few personal belongings he had were broken beyond repair and everything else was overturned. So now he was clearing up, trying not to think.

It wasn't working.

Fuck! I told Hibari, and I admitted it in front of the Tenth... I... Shit!

He should've known that the rosy little bubble he'd been living in the last... how long was it? Week? Week and a half? Well, the point was, that bubble had burst. He should have just ignored everything, acted cold. Hell, he should have ignored Tsuna and never come to Japan!

He should have become a musician or something! That was respecable, that would have been basically permanant emplyoment by the Vongola. He could have lain low, kept in his father's good books. And now... Bianchi was going to hear. And that meant father would, too. And that meant the rest of the family, and the Ninth, and those disapproving, disappointed faces, all of them asking why he couldn't be a good Catholic boy or whatever religion said relative followed.

And then after the inital disappointment and the realisation that Hayato could never be anything but himself, there would be the fierce, almost confrontational hatred of what he was, the dirty looks and the exclusion from the others. And eventually he would be left with nothing. Nothing at all.

Oh God... What the hell am I meant to do?

Right. First things first- school was only until lunch tomorrow- it was a Saturday. And the next day was obviously Sunday, and... well, he'd take the weekend off. He'd say he was sick. Right. Then... well, Yamamoto didn't know where he lived, and neither did Tsuna. He would go to Bianchi and he'd tell her that... uh... that the other guardians had... no. No. There would be nothing like that. He couldn't lie like that. So. Skip school.

"...useless..." Hayto muttered to himself.

"I wouldn't say that." a voice behind him said, conversationally. Hayato jumped at the noise, and spun. It was Reborn.

"What are you doing here?! How did you--?" Hayato spluttered. How long had the assassin been here?! He hadn't... he hadn't been sent out to get Hayato, had he?

"I've heard Tsuna and Yamamoto's conversations. Tsuna even asked me what to do."

Hayato's heart was beating uncontrollably fast, couldn't breathe, nowhere to run. He was actually going to die here, wasn't he?

"W-what did you say to him?"

"To follow the First's example, of course. He's very much like Giotto Vongola."

"The First..?"

Maybe... maybe there's a little hope.

"Indeed. The First was very kind. He was extremely tolerant and much more understanding than most. He was not the type of person to discriminate against somebody or to disown them. Some would say that tolerance is the only way forward."

"But... not you?" Okay. That was dumb. He would not only die, but die painfully.

"I have no interest in morals or ethics. I need the Vongola boss to excel. That is my job. The logical thing for the Tenth boss to do would be to accept the Storm guardian for who he is."

Relief. That was the only word for what Hayato was feeling. He closed his eyes and the faintest flicker of a smile passed his lips.

"However. You have to prove to the Vongola that your 'affliction' won't harm the Family and that you are a good-- no, you have to be better- an exceptional Guardian. If they are fully satisfied, then you may stand a chance of staying within the Vongola without fear. If you fail, there are a number of punishments that the Vongola have put in place over the past hundred years. Most of them would be for failing a Guardian's duty, but..." Reborn paused. "...some of the current Family are rather... homophobic."

"So what the hell am I supposed to do?" Panic. That was the only thing he could do. Win, and everything would be fine. Lose and there would be no point in existence. Before Reborn mentioned 'consequences', there had been such a bright ray of hope it had almost blinded him. But now it had dimmed, and the source seemed so far away.

"I will train you. Right now, you stand little chance of passing anything. When I'm done, you will stand a chance against the Vongola."

Right. Okay. If Reborn was going to be his trainer, there wouldn't be any problems. From the people at school, it seemed that Tsuna had been very clumsy and accident-prone before Reborn began tutoring him. Not that Hayato could imagine it- Tsuna was, to him, perfect in every possible way. And this was no time to start a painfully girly, romantic reverie over Tsuna's looks. Facts. Right. Tsuna had grown stronger and stronger over the past year, much of which could be accounted for by Reborn's particularly harsh training regime.

What could be so insanely hard I'd need Reborn to train me?

"What is the test, anyway?"

Reborn was silent for a second.

"I don't know the details."

What?! No...


"However, I do know that you will probably have to fight some of the best fighters in the Family. As this has caught the attention of the Ninth boss, it is more than likely that you will have to face one of his Guardians, if not the Ninth himself."

"Wait, he knows?!"

"Yes. I am obliged to tell him these things. Your father will be here in the next few days. I have that much time to train you."

"T-the whole family?! They can't--"

"They can. This is a family matter, Hayato. You've caused quite a stir. Most of the family are travelling to this town."



Morning. Well, afternoon. Reborn had been kind enough to let him sleep and warn Tsuna before the training began. So now, after school, Hayato was standing outside Tsuna's home. Not that he'd been to school. He wouldn't have anything to do with Yamamoto after this. No way.

He knocked.

He waited.

A number of insane sounds and muffled cries rang out as whoever was making their way to the door ran into obstacles. Like Lambo, from the sounds of things, and... ah. Bianchi. Sounded like Lambo had been using the Ten Year's Bazooka again. At least, from the yells of 'Romeo!' he was hearing.

The door burst open, the teenaged Lambo running and screaming, just about managing to dodge Hayato. Bianchi followed suit, thankfully too fast for Hayato to see her face. Hayato sighed, and went in.

He found Tsuna in the dining room.


"Gokudera!" Tsuna looked so... relieved. "I thought you were mad at me." Hayato was slightly surprised, but he remembered how he'd been acting. Not that surprising, on second thought.

"No. Not you. Yamamoto. I could never be mad at you, Tenth." Hayato managed to force a smile. "I'm just here to tell you that I'm going to be doing some training with Reborn, because the Ninth is coming over."

"Huh?" Tsuna looked shocked.

"Didn't Reborn tell you? I want to show him how much stronger I've gotten." Hayto grinned. "Uh... I'll talk to you when Reborn's finished training me up. I have to meet him in a few minutes."

Tsuna nodded. He understood all too well the sheer terror Reborn would unleash for simple lateness.

"See you later." Tsuna smiled, something that made Hayato's heart skip yet another beat. He smiled back.


I have an art exam coming up and lots of artwork to finish, so... I wish I could update and write more! But I can't... Ahh... at least Monday is a bank holiday...

Anyway, as always, your comments are very welcome!