Before you, my beloved readers, is the final chapter of this story. I had truly enjoyed writing this, from the first chapters that were the first fanfiction I ever wrote, to the last ones where I worked to develop my style and explore feelings and details even more in-depth. First, I have a big thanks to give to my beta, BadAyka, for pointing out my silly mistakes, her advices and helpful suggestions as well as for nagging me to finish; and, last but not least, for her fangirling comments that always made me smile.

My second thanks goes to all of you out there that have taken the time to read this story; especially to those that bothered to drop me a comment. Also special thanks to alquien22792 for reviewing almost every single chapter; a comment or two always make me feel appreciated and drive me to complete the next chapter faster because I know someone's waiting for it to come.

Before I let you enjoy the last act, I would like to bother you all with another thing. I have been considering to write an M rated (smutty) sequel to this, but I'm not sure whether I should or not, and especially if it continues from the moment this one ends, it would be waaaay too irrealistic (and I kinda attempted to make the feelings/problems/storyline a bit more realistic than they normally are in shounen-ai fanfics, even though I'm afraid I kinda failed at that, at least in the end). Well, I'd love to know your thoughts on this matter (M rated sequel or not), so if you have time, please drop me a comment. Also, I kindly invite you to have a look at my other stories :3

Story in three... two... one...


Gravity Strikes Back


Gokudera blinked twice, as if trying to clear inexistent dust out of his eyes. And yet, the image before him did not change a single bit.

Nothing could change the fact that Yamamoto Takeshi, the Rain guardian of the Vongola, the Nami middle school baseball ace, was standing before him, on his doorstep, with fingers still lightly touching the doorbell button. However, he didn't look like the normal Yamamoto Takeshi, the tanned raven-haired teen with a smile curving his lips, the smile that had always brought sunshine in Gokudera's dark and lonesome world.

Of course, he was wet to the bone, but that was nothing too new. He was no less soaked when he emerged out of that "fishtank of death" after his ring battle, and he was bloody all over on top of that, not to mention the threatening wound over his eye – and yet, he still looked more like himself on that day than right now.

For, at this moment, he was a mere shadow of himself. The Storm had never seen his fellow guardian so humanly broken – haunted by his own thoughts to the limit where he was unable to smile at all.

The rain trickled down his hair, flowed over his face whilst washing away the salty tears, leaving the only remnant of the fact that he had been crying his bloodshot eyes; the water poured in a single thin stream down from his chin, splashing over his clothes and shoes and over the ground, the drops splattering everywhere as they made impact. The proud swordsman stance he normally bore was nowhere to be seen, and his straight muscular back was as if broken; but the worst were his eyes. Downcast and empty was his gaze; no gleam in his pupils, no shine in his irises – he was like a still doll, all emotion gone apart from a strange twinge of unspoken pain.

Actually, he remembered now that he had seen him like that before; however, that was the rain guardian of the future, the Yamamoto of ten years later, the one that watched their boss get shot to death and suffered the loss of his father – and yet, the pained look in the eyes that would join the rest of the face in a cheerful smile no more was the same as the teen before him bore now.

Truth be told, he was scared; had anything happened to Yamamoto? After all, he hadn't seen a trace of his schoolmate since he darted out of the classroom with his self-inflicted nosebleed. But then, why would he come to see Gokudera? If anything happened this afternoon, then it was none of his business, and if he had some sort of problems, he'd better consult a more sociable person than him, after all, the baseball ace surely had more suitable friends to talk to and solve problems with... unless... unless his problem had something to do with the bomber that just answered the door.

Gokudera didn't like that.

Somehow, it seemed that he of all people was, at least partially, in some way, the reason or at least a factor in the equation that led to the reason for those eyes.

He didn't like that look in his eyes.

Those pools of melted dark chocolate are meant to be smiling, shining with brilliance, almost blinding to the eye, overflowing with optimism...

Those eyes are not supposed to look like this.

"I..."

Yamamoto's struggle with words brought him back to reality and reminded him of the fact that they have been standing on his doorstep silently, gazing at each other for far longer than anyone could possibly deem normal. He shouldn't have let his mind stray like this.

He waited for a few seconds for his schoolmate to continue, but he went silent.

It was uncomfortable, pressing. The unfinished sentence hung between them heavily as the silence stretched. The surroundings weren't helping either, given that it was already dark and most of the decent people had already snuggled themselves on their couches and sofas, spending a cosy evening at home.

"You plan on saying something or are you gonna stand here on the rain all night? 'Cause I don't intend on getting all soaking wet just like-"

"I'm not sorry."

His annoyed rant was cut off by a voice that sounded only distantly similar to Yamamoto's. It was cracked, but serious and determined. He had made up his mind to say it, to let his friend know, and it showed in his voice and as well as in the expression that was etched on his face now as he looked up to meet the silverette's gaze finally.

"I'm not sorry."

Gokudera blinked twice – for the second time this evening.

"What did you just say?"

He merely managed to utter those words, still half-recovering from the shock of what he had just heard – the words he actually longed to hear, but never expected the baseball idiot to get this far, mean them and say them. He hadn't really expected him to get the clue, to understand that saying 'I'm sorry' just ruined everything, to understand that he didn't want him to be sorry. It was like his hopes and dreams crashed down on him in the form of this hopeless sword-wielding baseball fanatic standing soaking wet in front of him.

'Then, if this was the reason for this look in his eyes...

...I'll just have to make it disappear, right?'

Yamamoto looked at the once intimidating bomber, slowly taking in his reaction. It seemed he was shaken by his words, but not in a bad way... he wanted him to repeat what he said...

He'll just have to make himself clear, then.

"I came here to tell you that I am not sorry.

I don't regret what I did yesterday... I said I was sorry, but actually I wasn't.

I know I wasn't supposed to do something like that, I know that I shouldn't have feelings like this, and I know very well that I would do better to keep them for myself.

But... I just can't.

I'm not sorry that I kissed you. Gokudera Hayato, I..."

His voice died away as he listened to himself and reflected on his own words. It sounded pathetic. He had been told on numerous occasions he was an idiot, and he grew to accept that he was not the brightest tool in the shed, but this... this was just pathetic.

To think he could actually say it. And now, he blurted out most of the embarrassing stuff he meant to say, and froze before the last two words were spoken.

He averted his gaze, examining the grass on the side, even though he hardly saw anything in the dusk. All of a sudden, the young, nearly freshly-mown grass seemed extremely attractive and worth of his complete attention.

'...love you.'

In the end, he couldn't say it. Not that he hadn't expected as much, but it still surprised him – he could be straightforward when it came to his feelings, easily telling his friends how he felt around them, and explaining his emotions to girls that came confessing to him without a problem; but when it came to Gokudera, it was as if everything was turned upside down. In the end, he couldn't even convey his feelings to him; although, with his level of intelligence, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what he almost said.

His arms fell limply at his sides, his shoulders down in defeat, his head bent. He waited. Waited to get yelled at, hit and kicked, and lastly blasted away by dynamite.

But nothing happened.

Even as he waited longer, he could hear nothing and feel nothing; Gokudera didn't move at all. He didn't reject him, didn't yell at him, didn't threaten him or made the previous threats about shoving dynamite down his throat reality; and he didn't leave either. He just kept standing where he was.

He was waiting as well.

He was waiting for the baseball ace that just nearly confessed to him to look up.

He was willing to wait as long as it would take for him to recompose himself and face him.

He was waiting for that moment, to show him something that only a selected few in his life ever had the privilege to see.

Yamamoto was confused. Nothing went as he expected it would. He thought he'd get here, spit out everything he had to say and ease his heart, then get yelled at and beaten a bit, and well, maybe that would knock some sense into his head. But nothing went as expected. However, he somehow managed to get most of what he had to say out, at least he thought so, and maybe it even made some sense, well at least it seemed that Gokudera did get it, he was the most intelligent person he knew... And now, the final act just wouldn't come.

Why...? Why wouldn't he yell at him like he always did...?

Slowly, he lifted his head, bringing the storm guardian back in focus. His eyes, hazed with confusion, danced across his beloved's face, looking for a reaction, expecting the normal outburst of rage.

And Gokudera...

...smiled.

It was a soft, gentle smile; his lips merely curved a little in a slight parabola. But along with them, his always-furrowed eyebrows relaxed, the line of his lower jaw that was normally pushed forwards as much as possible to look intimidating softened and pulled back, and the corners of his eyes rose a bit, drawing slight creases around them. It was as if he smiled in his entirety, as if his very soul surfaced from the innumerable layers of protective shell and smiled; and to Yamamoto before him, it was as if the entire world smiled at him widely, and stars danced around him in an iridescent swirl. It was his turn now to blink twice, testing if this truly was reality or just his imagination.

But before he could make sure of that, he found himself nose to nose with Gokudera, and a fist clenched tightly on the collar of his shirt, pulling their faces dangerously close.

"That's good then,"

was the silver-haired teen's reply to the incomplete confession; a reply that only made Yamamoto's eyes widen only further.

No, he was definitely and surely not expecting this even in his wildest dreams. That meant... it had to be reality.

The stronger of the two guardians, the one hardly worth of that name right now, weakened by the bliss of love to the point where his knees were dangerously close to giving in to gravity, was yanked forth by the smaller one, literally dragged into the house by his shirt. Gokudera, ignoring, or more precisely, not even for a second considering the damage he might inflict to the teen before him, bashed him against the wall while he slammed the door close behind them with his leg. Not even giving the baseball ace the time to catch his breath after knocking the wind out of him, he crashed their lips together in a long-awaited kiss.

To say that Yamamoto was shocked would be fairly understated; after all, he was normally the one trying to friendly hug Gokudera while the bomber pushed him away while spitting insults like hot lava, occasionally even adding a rock or two – not always just figuratively. However, within a moment or two, he was far too busy to be shocked; as a matter of fact, he was far too busy to be able to process any thought whatsoever, as his mind wasn't even remotely working properly.

After the initial assault on his lips that could – apart from the insatiable need that throbbed through their veins with every heartbeat – show their lack of experience, the Storm claimed all his being at once, not able to fight back the feelings he had been forcefully suppressing until now. He was close, so close, leaning onto him and pressing him against the wall, and yet he still felt as if a chasm gaped between them; he just couldn't get enough of the proximity, of the same thing he had always shunned and rejected; of that warmth of another human body touching him in as many places as possible, of the savoury lips tangled in a passionate dance with his own, of strong arms that slid over his shoulders and down his back to hold him closer even though that shouldn't have been physically possible.

There were no regrets now, on either side; both have come to terms with their feelings and faced each other – what was left was only satiating their desire, attempting to ease the bittersweet longing for the other that had permeated every moment of their existence since the first days of their awkward friendship.

Both flustered and on the edge of turning purple, they were forced to part for a few moments to catch their breaths; it was hard to tell which one of them was more reluctant to let go, and their lips parted with a soft promise of return. Gokudera's gaze shot up to meet Yamamoto's for a moment, the emerald orbs lighting up at the sight that awaited him – the pools of melted milk chocolate were devoid of any signs of pain and sadness they bore before, and through the haze of lust they glistened slightly with eager anticipation.

The silverette leaned in again, this time the tanned teen met him halfway, quick to decrease the distance that separated them. The second kiss was calmer, softer, more controlled; while they were driven by the pure urge to touch, to taste, to devour before, they were savouring every second of the intense dance now.

Yamamoto decided to push his luck a bit, and almost repeating the events of the day before, he licked his partner's lips gently, as if asking for permission, for the entry pass. Just as before on the rooftop, the permission was granted, however with much more than a subtle difference in location; while before, his classmate was just a passive recipient, he was now as eager and thirsty for more just as the baseball ace was. Their tongues met halfway, hesitantly touching at first, before slowly commencing a passionate dance, determined to explore every single square millimetre of each other.

A low moan escaped Gokudera's throat – a sound he would never forgive himself for making, but he never had the time to scold himself for that; the vibrations caused by the sound, that now spread over his, or better said their throat, jaw, tongue and lips were a sensation that literally froze his brain.

It was like on the eve of the Tanabata festival, only the fireworks exploded merely in their minds, the sight no less majestic notwithstanding. Blasts of red and green and blue and silver and purple and gold flames spread into forms distantly reminiscent of the most exquisite flowers, while the cheerful noise of the sparkles numbed their senses of everything outside of the bubble where only the two of them existed.

Having restrained themselves for so long, they could not get enough of each other once the shackles holding them back were broken. Their hands found the way on their own, tracing the curves of the two teens' well-trained muscles, claiming what they longed for, tracing paths over what never seemed even distantly likely to be under their fingertips.

Yamamoto squint an eye open, and peeked over the room, rapidly scanning the surroundings. He didn't need a clear mind to tell that the cushioned sofa in the middle of the living room would provide much more comfort, and he slowly began to move, directing the unsuspecting Gokudera towards his goal. He made sure to keep the bomber occupied enough to remain distracted, carefully preventing him to notice where their movement was leading to, for he was certain that the fragile yet fierce teen before him would struggle in defiance, had he known the baseball ace's plan.

Just as they reached the sofa, the silverette's eyes shot open in surprise as the back of his knees touched the armrest of the sofa – but it was too late already. In a split second, he felt his body falling back; Yamamoto had pushed them both in a reckless free fall, resulting in them colliding on top of each other, the impact lessened by the soft cushions of the sofa. As one heated body collapsed on top of the other, their hips grinded together, causing both to tense in unexpected pleasure.

While Yamamoto showed no reaction apart from the blatantly obvious lack of self-restraint, clearly evident not only in his actions but also in his eyes hazed with lust, Gokudera on the other side blushed wildly, exhibiting the deepest shades of crimson on his cheeks, and yelled half-heartedly at the taller teen above him.

"OI, wha-what are you doi-"

He was silenced with another kiss while the rain guardian locked him in place on the sofa, cutting off his escape – not that he wanted to escape, actually, even though he struggled a few futile attempts to free himself. He could feel the lips against his curl up as Yamamoto smiled into the kiss, and sent vibrations through his body as he replied in a silent seductive purr:

"Blame it on gravity."