A short oneshot for Gokudera's birhtday. YamaGoku pairing, shonen-ai warning. Gokudera is puzzled over his feelings and troubled with his weakness.

Disclaimer: Kateikyou Hitman Reborn and its characters belong to Amano Akira; lyrics from the song Nazo nazo belong Radwimps.


A Riddle Solved


What is something you can see from the inside but only I can see from the inside?
What is that will never leave you but could separate from me without a second thought?
What is something that can't tell when you lie but always knows you do?
What is that tries so hard to make you smile when you are sad but makes you shed tears when you are glad?

A waterfall of untamed silver strands splashed over the pillow as their owner turned in bed, gazing up at the blank ceiling he could hardly make out in the dusk reigning over his bedroom. Once again, his mind was filled with innumerable thoughts, questions and doubts, depriving him of sleep and painting dark insomniac shadows under his emerald eyes that were bound to lose all their brilliance after another sleepless night. He had so many questions, so many doubts eating away the certainty that used to permeate every cell of his body; where was his determination now? He was nothing more than a pathetic love-struck girl, far from the profile of the strong and reliable right-hand man he had always strived to be.

How did that happen? Where did his strength disappear?

Oh, he knew the reason very well... He had been blinded by the entrancing brilliance of that smile, deafened by the enthralling melody of that laughter, muted by the glistening flicker of genuine emotion in those eyes.

It was shining.

When I looked up, it was shining.

It began falling in front of my eyes, it was like… it was…

you are…

Like a rainbow which forms at midnight
Like a star shining in the afternoon
Like snow falling in the summer
It was… it was unfamiliar

Like seeing a polar bear in the desert
Like viewing an aurora in the city
Like finding life on Mars
Because… because it was beautiful!

Had it been anyone else the one who so easily let himself be blinded like this, he would have laughed.

But no matter how impossible it seemed, it was him. He had never imagined that he would be willing to shed his armour for anyone – never imagined to find his special someone, much less in that person. And yet, the undeniable truth shoved the facts into his face, stinging a bit even. Was that his pride, the sound of shattering glass?

Who is the one whom I can communicate only with a voice but you can speak to without words?
Who is it that you have known since you were born but I have only recently met?
What is something that will never separate with you until you die but could separate with me at any time?

At first, it was a tiny weakness – a slight tremble of his muscles, threatening to withdraw their support to his knees, a slight flutter of his breakfast attempting to escape his stomach, a slight acceleration of his heartbeat trying to rip his ribcage apart. A tiny weakness, a miniature physical reaction; nothing to worry about. Nothing he can't suppress, hide, and eventually erase any traces of its existence.

Well, that's what he thought.

Like cancer it spread, and before he knew, a casual touch made his insides burst in flames as if his diet consisted of gasoline solely. His cheeks, as well, abandoned obedience, and defied him with a vibrant display of the colour of quince blossom.

Before he knew, he was bewitched, enchanted, cursed. And before his mind could comprehend the lethal fatality of the situation, he grew to like it.

But how am I able to accept that?
Yet how is that the reason we were able to meet?
That's right, we met. We met on that day.
It became everything for me.

It was like… it was…

you are...

Like spring coming after summer
Like morning after the afternoon
Like cherry blossoms blooming in a pear tree

He didn't mind the heat that crawled up his body, he didn't mind it even when it turned his cheeks into delicate rosebuds; he didn't mind the mindless swirl of contradicting emotions that left no place for any other thought, occupying his every single brain cell, turning them useless; he didn't mind the blind drunkenness that consumed him and brought such sounds up his throat he would never dream of making even in is darkest nightmare.

Well, to be honest, he liked it. Even if he never said it.

It appeared before me

Like rain falling over the clouds
Like scales falling from my eyes
I started to feel everything happened so easily
You say you started hating it
You say you can't be with it anymore and want it go away
Although don't know what it looks like the inside.
I know what it looks like from the outside well so.

He probably should have said it... but how...?

He couldn't calculate the velocity of the winds that blew in the fierce tornado threatening to blow his heart apart; he couldn't weight the burden that dragged his chest downwards whenever the fear of being left alone in this world consumed him; he couldn't measure the temperature of the flame incinerating his insides at even the faintest touch.

He had been told the three little words 'I love you' so many times; and yet, when he wanted to say them, he felt they could never convey his feelings. What can mere three words explain, after all? Even if he said it, he could never express even a half of what he felt; even if he said it, he would probably say it the wrong way.

It would be such a waste to give the answer when you only understand half of it
I have always seen it from the outside so listen to what I have to say
I got closest to it and was able to see
You...

It was...

you are...

He rolled over again, this time resting on his side, reaching over to the sleeping figure next to him.

Maybe he was weak for loving him, maybe he was truly blind; but he wanted to be here, and he wanted him to be here. Maybe if he could accept this, he wouldn't feel so weak. Even if what he was told innumerable times, the cheesy line that he was there to protect him, was true, it didn't mean he couldn't protect him back. They could protect each other, fight for each other, fight by each other's side.

The Storm that draws out the ferocity of the Rain, and the soothing Rain that calms the Storm.

It felt right; it was right.

His slender arms curled around the taller teen sprawled in his bed, drawing them together and seeking the comfortable warmth of the tanned body. A hand slowly reached out to slide through the silky strands of raven hair, to trace down the cheekbone and caress the sleeping face of the rain guardian.

His warm breath splashed against the exposed neck of his friend, fellow guardian, lover. Making sure the mind of the sleeper was universes away, immersed in a dream, a silent whisper escaped his lips for the first time in the years of their shared existence:

"I love you."

Like a rainbow which forms at midnight
Like a star shining in the afternoon
Like snow falling in the summer
It was… it was unfamiliar

Like seeing a polar bear in the desert
Like viewing an aurora in the city
Like finding life on Mars
Because… because it was beautiful!

In the darkness reigning over their bedroom, a hidden smile made its way to the lips of someone pretending to be asleep.