Disclaimer: I do not own KHR.
chapter one has curry and teddy bears.
He really should have been used to it.
If anything, it was more of an "oh" rather than a "what?" But no. Tsunayoshi "Tsuna" Sawada stared at his mother, eyes glimmering with its usual, empty hope and smile spread across his lips like an empty crescent as he nodded. He could never refuse his mother. Whether it was out of habit or because Nana Sawada trained her son well, Tsuna had always been the type of person to accept news with dignity and never complain. Out loud, anyway.
Because once he was left by himself, Tsuna was generally a spastic nutcase.
But right now, in the presence of his mother, as his annoying little brother, Lambo, chattered on and on, obliviously whining for fourths, the young teenager knew that it was best not to raise questions. Instead, he nodded with chopsticks at the tip of his tongue.
"So you'll be moving back in with Iemitsu?"
"Only temporarily." She smiled generously, wiping Lambo's face with a napkin. Nana looked to her middle child, a soft reassuring giggle escaping her lips, and scraped the rest of their spicy curry onto Tsuna's plate.
He ate it, no questions asked. His eyes never left the plate of food, unable to spare his mother even the tiniest of glances, and slowly nodded. "Okay."
"Your father and I love each other very much."
"I know." But that'd been what she said the last time, too.
"It's perfectly natural to get into fights with the man you love."
"I know." But that didn't mean he liked sitting there during those times, watching his mother's fingers tremble as she tried to make dinner for them without crying.
"He loves you too."
"I know." The last time Tsuna checked the dictionary (which he was willing to admit was never), "love" and "unwanted responsibilities" didn't go together. He stopped for a moment, scooping the last of his rice from his bowl and putting it in his mouth.
"He loves you," Nana replied again, patient as ever, so he was wondering which one of them was putting emphasis on her words. "And he loves me too."
"I know," he replied for the umpteenth time that night. But that didn't stop his hand from trembling. Tsuna caught it delicately, clutching his trembling hand and putting it behind his back before standing up, smile forced to curtsy across his lips. Aches shot through him, reminders of what had gone on during that time and how he'd hidden over at Enma's house for an hour in order to clean up the blood. "Mama, I have a test to study for."
As confident as that sounded, both knew it was a pathetic lie. Tsuna didn't give a crap about his homework. Still, Nana let him off without hitch, allowing Tsuna to whirl around and leave the kitche—"Tsu-kun?"
"Yes, Mom?" Tsuna halted, toes curling into the wooden floor as he sought support from the wall.
"There's something else I have to talk to you about."
"What would that be, Mama?"
"You have to live with Giotto."
…what? "Oh. Okay." Tsuna turned around, peeping his head into the kitchen and cringing at the bruise on his forearm hidden by the large sweatshirt. He stared at his mother, crescent smile still forced across his lips. "Is there any particular reason why?"
Like…why his own mother wanted to let him live with pure evil?
"As you know, Giotto-san is your half-brother." Of course he knew that. Tsuna nodded slowly, somewhat ignorantly, and curled his fingers into the doorframe. Nana was smiling to him, a knowing glance only a mother would have, and fed the rest of their food to an impatient Lambo. "You two have met once."
"I don't remember." Giotto was the reason why he had that scar on his tummy. They'd only met once, when Giotto was fourteen and Tsuna was five. As far as Tsuna knew, Giotto was reckless. Ruthless. Cynical. Blunt. Sharp-tongued. Scary. Only the Gods knew why he was so willing to be so generous for his mother. But seeing his mother happy made him happy.
"He doesn't want to come to the wedding." That was understandable. Tsuna had the right mind in not wanting to go to the wedding, either. "Actually, I doubt he actually knows that the wedding is going on."
Oh by the heavens. Tsuna resisted the urge to roll his eyes, a wry smile falling across his lips. His mother truly was a blissful ditz.
"Iemitsu is also very, very busy, you know." Fucking other women? Why yes, that was a check. "And Lambo and I will be going to Italy to help him. I've been learning the geography and language, you know."
His mother only used 'you know' when she was extremely nervous. She was never really good at lying, but Tsuna was normally willing to deal with it. "I know."
"Yes, well, we can't leave you alone by yourself, you know." Nana had been wiping the sauce off of Lambo's lip for a total of two minutes. His little brother sat there, whining and complaining about the ordeal, but she was too busy lost in her own thoughts to notice. "Giotto-san is twenty-five."
"And that makes him a legal adult." Oh, he did not like where this was going.
"Why yes! You're most certainly right, Tsu-kun." Nana halted for a second, pulling the rag away from Lambo's lip with her eyes glued to the ground in a similar manner to Tsuna when he looked to his food. He totally did not like where this was going. "So would you mind living with him?"
"No." Yes. "Of course not." Of course he would! Tsuna's mind plunged into various possibilities, all of the school bullies suddenly less horrible than his so-called half-brother. What the hell were they supposed to do together? Play football? He sucked at sports! Go fishing? He didn't know how to swim!
"Really." His mother's response was more of a statement rather than a question. Nana suddenly looked up, the sugar in her voice gone. Oh, rats. She always knew when her son was lying, and Tsuna knew his mother always knew. Heck, Nana knew Tsuna knew that Nana knew Tsuna was lying. "You're okay with moving in with Giotto?"
"Is he?" Tsuna retaliated, but was too freaked out to be curious.
"No." There was no sugarcoating it, so Nana stood up, picking Lambo up out of his booster seat before dearly holding him. Her eyebrows furrowed and she smiled softly. "He lives in Namimori."
Namimori was seven hours away by car. Tsuna scratched his head, awkwardly speechless and nodded. "Okay."
"You're alright with this." Nana tested the waters gently, hoping for the reaction to be warmer than…than dull. "You're okay that Papa and I want you two to get along?"
Heck effing no. But Tsuna avoided the question, only stumbling a little bit. "I…it's only natural for two parents who are getting married to want their children to get along, Mama."
"Tsu-kun," her voice wavered with concern. "Papa loves you."
"I know." The voice was more foreful than necessary. Strained, even. Tsuna's lips pulled into a heavy smile. "So when's the wedding?"
"The week after your school is out."
"That's in eight months, Mama." Eight and a half months, actually. Tsuna had been counting the days strenuously for school to be over.
"Uh…nine." She smiled apologetically, clasping her hands together with guilt radiating across her features. Nana scrutinized her son, watching as the demeanor he thought was expertly schooled in apathy contort into full-blown horror. "Namimori is different from Shimon, Tsu-kun. Once you get there, school won't start for another week."
Oh, that was fine. That meant that Tsuna got a week extra of summer…but he'd never been to Namimori before. And his only guide would be Giotto. Oh, cripes. Tsuna's eyes widened in realization. He'd be stuck with Giotto for an entire week! "O-Oh."
"Tsu-kun," she begged lightly, "Mama and Papa love you!"
"I-I know." Cripes, cripes, cripes.
Don't get him too wrong. Tsuna shivered despite the humidity, oddly putting on five jackets and cranking up the A/C despite the fact it was nearly ninety-two degrees outside. He loved his mother. A lot, actually. To the point that he would do anything for her, just to see that smile on her face—not forced. Tsuna had been there as a reminder for every heartbreak, but the only man Nana seemed willing to go back to was Iemitsu.
He slung a scarf around his neck, half-shivering and half-sweating as he paced back and forth in his cluttered room in order to pack his clothes. He thought his dad was dead. Something like that, anyway.
Then one day, he came home, utterly traumatized as his parents decided to have a quickie in the kitchen. That was how five-year-old Tsunayoshi learned about the birds and the bees. Wryly rolling his eyes, he looked at the clock that hadn't changed all morning. After the night before, it was decided that he would leave this afternoon.
His mother wasn't normally the type of person to do such things. When she was in love…well, it all depended on circumstance, he supposed. It also, Tsuna thought as he put on his third pair of sweatpants, explained why his mother was able to get such a nice house and stay at home doing no work. Deep down, Iemitsu probably loved him. Maybe. Probably. Most likely. Could be. Or not.
A soft groan left Tsuna's throat and he rolled his eyes, collapsing into the bed in defeat. Well, it wasn't like there was much to do in Shimon anyway, right? He frowned a little, tossing one of his ten hats to the ground, and raised his shirt. A large bruise could still be seen from when he'd been hit. Enma had it worse, though.
Propping himself on the bed, he grimaced. Enma always had it worse. Tsuna may have been just as bullied, but he was also twice as fast. Clumsy Enma, who he'd known since they shared animal crackers at the age of four, also lacked a lot of confidence. Tsuna often had to take the lead in their friendship, and that didn't say much. He was always and forever would be a coward.
He was trading one school of bruises and bloody noses for another, Tsuna supposed. That's how it always seemed to be like, anyway. But what was he going to say to Enma? He barely had the nerve to go to school today.
And it was a Friday.
Twice the beating because there was no school to keep the bullies back. Tsuna had a perfect attendance record for every year except for the week Nana had taken him to Italy to meet Giotto. Worst. Meeting. Of his life. But it'd only gotten worse when he got back and found his best friend under the jungle gym, trying so hard not to cry.
"Gaaah." He stupidly pushed the bangs out of his face and tossed aside the many clothes he put on. So sweaty! Why put them on in the first place?
"Eek!" Tsuna rolled out of bed, colliding head-first with the ground. A groan left his throat and he rubbed the new bruise he'd caused for himself. Looking to the window, his eyes came in contact with one person in particular. "Enma."
Dreary red eyes stared at him, lips looped upside down as they always were. Of course, he thought. It was rare that Enma smiled. Instead, the other teenager waved his hand, slowly, and Tsuna took the liberty of stripping down to the first layer of clothing he'd gone to bed in before opening the window.
Enma quietly stared at him, and slowly did he raise himself, arms struggling as he pulled over the window sill and fell flat on his face.
"Enma!" Tsuna knelt to the floor, helping his best friend up and dragging him to the bed. "Are you okay?"
Said best friend slowly nodded, crossing his legs over the mattress. He cringed, and immediately Tsuna muttered something about 'ice' before leaving his room and returning with a baggy of ice cubes. Enma gestured to his suitcase.
"I'm moving," Tsuna mumbled softly. He scanned his best friend, looking for any fresh bruises and grimaced. Enma grabbed the bags of ice, knowing it was useless to argue with the other whenever his injuries became an issue, and placed them on his thigh, shoulder, and crown of his head.
The redhead arched an eyebrow.
Awkwardly chuckling, Tsuna turned away and grabbed the clothes he'd discarded on the ground. He folded them neatly; comforted by the quietness Enma would give him. "I won't be coming back. Mom's getting back with Iemitsu." He sighed, knowing Enma wouldn't respond, and rolled his eyes. "And it's serious this time. They're getting married."
He continued, looking around his room for any trinkets he may have wanted to take with him, and decided on the tuna whiteboard he'd gotten when he was eleven as a joke from his neighbors. "Namimori. It's a really long drive—I'm apparently going by train, so five hours."
Glancing over, he noticed Enma was only staring at him, somber look across his demeanor and eyebrows furrowed.
"I'll be leaving in an hour. That's why I wasn't at school. Mama already has someone who decided to rent the house, so after three weeks I couldn't even comeback if I wanted to." Tsuna genuinely smiled, nervously awaiting Enma's reaction. "I'll be staying with my brother until the school year's over—Enma?"
Out of nowhere, the other had grabbed his arm, pulling out of bed and allowing for all of the bags of ice to fall on the ground. Enma looked at him, eyes not changing before he dragged Tsuna to the window and crawled out of it, again falling head-first into Tsuna's lawn. His hand never left his best friend's, so Tsuna was forcefully yanked out as well.
"Ow! Enma? Where are we going?" They continued walking out of Tsuna's neighborhood into the streets of Shimon. One foot past the other, Tsuna stumbled as his silent friend refused to answer him, instead dragging him through every end and corner before they sat at the bus stop. Oh, fudge. "Enma, I don't have time to—"
If life couldn't get any better (note the sarcasm as dear Tsunayoshi drifted away in his misery), the bus pulled up right on time, and Enma dug into his pocket to pull out crisp bills to give to the driver. Tsuna was pulled along after him, and put into a dry wonder how on earth such a meek little boy could have such a strong grip.
They plopped down in the seats on the third row, and Tsuna was left staring out the window, unable to pull away from the redhead's vice grip until their next adventure started. Fifteen minutes later, Enma yanked him up from the bus seat and pulled them to a convenience store.
"Enma?" Tsuna thought it'd be best to repeat again.
The redhead ignored him, too busy looking through his wallet to care. Finally, he paused, a troubled look appearing across his demeanor. Enma looked up, eyes glistening as they looked to Tsuna, and ventured across the store. Tsuna followed him without question, but was easily met with the same teenager who was now going opposite of his former destination, something in hand, and dragged Tsuna behind him to the cashier.
Enma Kozato placed one very small teddy bear with a flower in its ear on the counter. The cashier blinked, staring at both kids before turning around and mumbling something under his breath.
"If you wanted to buy something, we could have gone to the store near my house." Tsuna arched an eyebrow, staring at the oddity known as his friend. The redhead paid with the only bill still in his wallet, followed by various nickels and dimes. The cashier let out a sharp curse, and spent five minutes counting the pocket change.
Finally after all of the trouble, the teddy bear was finally Enma's, with only thirty minutes left to spare. Tsuna had to get home. Like, now. This time, he was the one to pull on Enma's arm, and yanked them to the bus stop, shouting at the top of his lungs in horrible panic. All the while, Enma stared at the teddy between his fingers. The bus wouldn't be here for another ten minutes!
"This isn't good," Tsuna mumbled, pacing back and forth. He was barely packed with his valuables (maybe he should have listened to his mother when she said to pack the night before) and only had half his luggage. Groaning, Tsuna dug through his wallet, so freaking lucky that he had the exact amount that would get Enma and him home.
Finally, the bus arrived, and he dragged Enma onto the bus, gave the money to the bus driver, and sat the both of them in the first seat. He was dead. So dead! Tsuna kept from ripping his hair out as the redhead continued making the flowery teddy bear dance.
When the bus finally got off to their stop, Tsuna made a mad dash for his house. Or tried to, anyway. Turning around he quickly noticed Enma standing there, gaze fixated on his back. Immediately, he halted, turning around and coming face-to-face with Enma.
"I'm really in a hurry," he said steadily.
Enma stared at the bear in his hands. Then at his best friend. Finally, he lifted his head and placed the small teddy between Tsuna's palms.
"You're kidding." Tsuna stared at it, amazed yet again by Enma's oddities. Before he had the chance to ask what on earth his best friend was doing, the redhead pulled him into a sentimental hug, both arms around Tsuna's torso.
"Don't forget me." Enma's soft voice was blurred in the crook of Tsuna's neck.
The other teenager stopped, tensing at these words, and awkwardly wrapped an arm around Enma's shoulder. "Why did you buy the teddy bear?"
"Wanted to buy you a bigger one. Most of my money was spent on the bus though." Enma shrugged. "Call me every day."
"I don't have a phone."
"Call me every day."
"But I—okay." Tsuna smiled, pulling away from the hold and placed the teddy bear in his pocket. He set a hand on the redhead's shoulder, and whirled around. "Bye Enma, I'll miss you!"
After not hearing a 'bye' back, he sped up, running to his house and nearly knocking Lambo over as he darted up the porch and crammed everything into his suitcase. He'd only have one pair of shoes, three pairs of pants, and six t-shirts. Oh! And seven days' worth of underwear! Quickly shoving everything in his luggage, Tsuna sighed and collapsed on the bed. Oh thank goodness.
Enma's teddy bear peeked out of his pocket. Tsuna stared at it, warily questioning its worth and smiled a bit. That was one thing he would miss in Shimon, he supposed.
There was a knock on the door. Nana appeared, nervous smile across her lips. "Are you ready to go?"
"Yes ma'am." The brunette stood up and picked up his suit case. Immediately he regretted it, collapsing on the floor because of its weight. How much did he pack?
"Your father and I love you, you know."
"I know." He dragged the suitcase behind him and grimaced at Lambo, who was crying at the top of his lungs. So maybe he did knock his little brother over…
Nana kissed her son on the forehead. "Thank you, Tsu-kun."
"You're welcome." Tsuna turned around, one last glance at his room. Loser Enma would be losing his No Good Tsuna. With a sigh of defeat and depression because he forgot his earplugs on his nightstand, Tsuna whirled around and walked to the taxi that would be taking him to the train station.
So long, Shimon.
So this was a combo of being spastic at two in the morning and reading nothing but yaoi manga for the past two days. Did you know all of the original works pretty much sound the same? :P I thought that this would be really fun to write, but I don't know how much time and effort I can put into it. Hopefully enough, since summer starts for me in a week.
Well, anyway, I hope you guys like it! I'll make a deal with you (and a challenge for the both of us), each review I get from here on out will determine the length of the story. One review means one thousand words. Two reviews mean two thousand. Three means three thousand, etc, etc. From ten reviews and onward is my limit (if I even get that far.) I hope you guys like this; I'm going to like it!