It has been ten minutes. Or an hour. Tsuna couldn't tell how long they were walking. Actually, they were more likely dragging their feet than walking. Dragging through mucky grounds. Her shoes were now caked with dirt and her clothes were mud-splattered; above all, she was so tired. It wasn't as if the boys were fairing any better; Ryohei, after all, experienced a nasty pummeling with Bird's birds (canaries? cockatoos? cockatiels? parakeets?) and a girl's (apparently) magic clarinet while Takeshi had a throw-down with Rokudo's goons.
What a nice way to spend the weekend. Being chased and getting beaten up.
"Hibari-sempai sure is hard to find," Takeshi sighed.
"That guy… Just where is he?" Ryohei groused.
Tsuna couldn't bring herself to comment. Her energy was depleted! Just before she could force herself to take another step, the toe of her shoe got caught in a pocket of thick dried mud, causing the girl to trip and fall flat on her face. 'Oww…'
"Tsuna! Are you okay?" She felt strong hands encircle both of her upper arms and lift her up. Once she was on her feet, Takeshi filled her vision. She caught a glimpse of concern on his face, but it didn't last long after it shifted into a humored grin. "Ha! You look like a kid who spent all day making mud-pies!" he chuckled. He pulled the cotton end of his jacket sleeve over his knuckles and proceeded wiping away the mud.
Tsuna blushed, but didn't say anything.
"You need to be more careful, Tsuna," Ryohei turned around to admonish. "You could get hurt—is that blood?"
Immediately, all eyes were pinned on the red stain under her collarbone. Tsuna's red face blanched.
"B-but I didn't even get hurt!" she exclaimed, which was true since she didn't feel anything save for the ground and the works of gravity against her.
The boys pulled their attention from the girl to the ground that she fell on. There was an impressive imprint of Tsuna's body, but other than that there was no sign of a slab of rock, a broken piece of glass, or anything that could have punctured her skin. No, there was nothing except for a small dark red pool from where she landed.
"Whoa, what in the world…?" Takeshi ambled closer and knelt down. "The ground isn't flat; it's lumpy," he observed.
"It doesn't look like the natural like of lumpy either," Ryohei mused. He frowned and absently scuffed his foot on the mound. "Think that it's a buried animal?"
"It could be. Hey, maybe those Kokuyo students did it."
The boxer nodded seriously. "I wouldn't put it past them."
"I suppose that they would be weird enough to do something like this…"
'What are we doing wasting our time here?' Well, they were middle school boys. Especially at this age, guys' interests would be set far from Tsuna's understanding. However, the circumstances didn't call for them to be idle around—they had to find Hibari! And what came next, Tsuna didn't know, but it didn't matter at this moment. Even if there was a puddle of blood and a buried animal…
Just before Tsuna could urge the boys to get a move on, something unexpected happened. For a few seconds, the ground appeared to be shifting and shaking, and then, all of a sudden, the compacted dirt exploded, flying around in chunks and further painting the three further in colors of ick and yuck when splattering them. Lo and behold a hand protruding from the earth, the palm facing heavenward and the fingers stretched out.
It took Tsuna a moment to register that, instead of an animal, there was a person buried alive.
Takeshi, who fell backwards in shock, quickly scrambled onto his feet and backed away. "What in the world…"
The arm propped itself down firmly onto the ground and began to push. The elbow didn't take long to come out, and then followed the upper arm. Eventually, uncanny to how a zombie would rise from its grave, Hibari pulled himself from the ground. Clumps of mud hung onto strands of his hair, his clothes were torn, and a large blood stain was found at the side of his formerly white shirt. But the most startling feature? The very dark expression on his face. Tsuna had never seen the prefect appear so angry…or frightening.
"Where is he?" Hibari hissed. "Where is that blonde bastard?"
Belphegor was the one who buried Hibari.
Of course, that was just a theory that Tsuna came up with. It wasn't as if she could ask Hibari without getting herself pulverized (and even if she hadn't before, it was likely that she could now, considering the tense atmosphere). Anyway, even though they didn't receive an answer, it was fairly easy to tell just what happened. Why else would Hibari be so furious at Bel?
Well, the bigger question here would be: Why would Bel bury Hibari?
Author's Note: It's short, I know. But this thing's been sitting in my folder for the longest time. I tried to lengthen it, but I've got nothing else in mind. Yes, I'm still alive.