Title: Like-Minded
Universe: Reborn+Eyeshield 21
Theme/Topic: N/A
Rating: PG-13 for violence
Character/Pairing/s: Vongola, Devilbats
Spoilers/Warnings: Crack, stupidity, randomness.
Word Count: 2,290
Summary: Sometimes you have to fight for what's yours. But sometimes crazy people just want you to fight.
Dedication: misura's fic request for buying Crown Royale!
A/N: This is entirely ridiculous, but I feel that given the canons, no one can blame me. YOU CAN'T BLAME ME DAMMIT. (I'm sorry.)
Disclaimer: No harm or infringement intended.

Given how small Japan is, Reborn isn't really all that surprised at the situation they currently find themselves in, under the circumstances. As far as he's concerned, this kind of thing could happen to anybody.

But then again, given how small Japan is, Tsuna is really surprised at the situation they currently find themselves in, because the given circumstances are completely ludicrous. How in the hell is there another person on this tiny island nation that is as crazy and terrifying as Reborn is?

As for Hiruma, he wants his fucking field. The baby with the gun can taste hot lead if he thinks he's going to take it from Deimon.

The story of this particular Tuesday afternoon goes like this:

There is a field not too far from the Namimori shrine, nestled quietly in a secluded area of Namimori woods. The area in general used to be a soccer field in days of yore, except that sometime in the fifties, Japanese people forgot it was a soccer field and kind of left it to its own devices for about a half century. The goal posts are now overgrown and the trees and underbrush basically shield it from plain sight. As far as Reborn is concerned, it is the ideal place for a world-class Mafia hitman to stage the kind of training exercises necessary to teach his young family of hitmen-in-training, because he is crazy and European and thinks that by exploding things a lot in close vicinity to Tsuna and company, he will therefore teach his charges how to not-die-so-badly when the real thing hits.

On the other hand, there is this overgrown former soccer field, and it's not very far from the often over-booked Deimon High School sports field (or at least, Hiruma says that a ten-mile warm up run to their new super-secret training field isn't something he considers very far). He particularly likes this field because it's ideal for doing the types of blood-curdling drills that he saw performed on the American Military base he used to frequent some years ago. Plus the field is conveniently out of the way of any residential or commercial shopping areas, so that no irate neighbors or do-gooder passersby can report hearing/seeing/experiencing multiple gunshots from semi-automatic rifles in the middle of the day and no newbie police officers will arrive on the scene shortly thereafter, only to be quickly (and sometimes violently) indoctrinated in the ways of Hiruma's special brand of persuasion.

As it happens, both Reborn and Hiruma decide, on the exact same day (Tuesday), at the exact same time (3pm), that they are going to go to this particular field and they are going to train there. One of them wants to plant secret landmines in the ground and play flag football until there is only a single contestant remaining. One wants to drop aerial bombs from a small commuter plane at his people at random and test each trainee's ability to survive while being weighed down by what will essentially amount to double their own body mass in dumbbells tied to their ankles.

Tsuna isn't sure which plan belongs to whom, and that is the kicker, because this is the first time in his life that he's heard something that sounded so specifically Reborn but at the same time, knows that really, it could go either way.

The Deimon High Devilbats stare across the overgrown, lonely battle field at the five gathered Vongola X Guardians. Reborn, holding Leon in pistol form, calmly strides out to meet Hiruma mid-field, Hiruma who has a RPG launcher very casually slung over his shoulder. The two of them stop a few paces from one another and stare at each other in a strange sort of predatory silence that makes Tsuna's bones go cold to their very core instinctively, like he's a small animal sensing the presence of a swift and deadly predator.

Across the field, Tsuna sees a kid with the same haircut as him shaking like a wet kitten in a storm while the enormous mountain of a person next to him stressfully pops open a bag of potato chips and starts shoveling them in his mouth like they'll save him. Tsuna kind of understands how they feel.

Moments later, Reborn and Hiruma both simply nod to each other, Hiruma smirking around the snap-and-pop of his bubblegum while the corner of Reborn's lips lift ever so slightly upward. From there, a soccer ball with a five minute timer mysteriously strapped to it is placed dead center in the field before the two team leaders abruptly about-face and march back to their respective camps, both with an air of mutual understanding that makes Tsuna feel like he might lose his lunch at any minute.

The kid with the shaking knees on the other side of the field looks about the same.

Once Reborn gets back on the Vongola side of the field, the one that borders the edges of the Namimori Woods, he turns to the gathered guardians, but makes sure to speak loudly enough so that Hibari-lurking-in-the-shadows can hear him as well. "If we lose the exploding soccer match," he begins calmly, "Deimon gets the field."

"Let them have the field!" Tsuna blurts. Most of his mind is still reeling at the fact that they want to have an exploding soccer match to settle this.

Reborn tilts his head at his pupil's exclamation and regards him in an entirely pitying and judgmental manner. "If they get the field, Tsuna," Reborn begins, still speaking loud enough so Hibari-lurking-in-the-shadows can hear, "it will mean they've eliminated us all and usurped a portion of Namimori territory. Are you okay with that?"

"Yes!" Tsuna says, at the exact same moment that Gokudera declares, "We'll kick their goddammed asses in the name of the Tenth!"

Yamamoto laughs, eyes glinting in a deceptively sharp way at the prospect of a real challenge. "Wow, I've never played a game like this against high school students before. It should be fun!" he breathes, and begins stretching out his shoulders easily, like he's preparing for a friendly scrimmage on the baseball diamond.

"Do you think they'll join the boxing club if we beat them?" Ryohei asks next, because something in his mind is broken and seems to think that a bunch of high school kids participating in club activities at a middle school they don't even go to is not only acceptable, but publicly sanctioned.

Lambo just picks his nose and wants candy, and all in all, everyone ignores Tsuna, who is still protesting the necessity of an abandoned field on the edge of town and the fact that in five minutes, that soccer ball will probably explode.

But then Reborn cocks gun-form Leon and aims him right at Tsuna's face.

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the field, Hiruma aims his RPG launcher at his new teammates as he paces in front of them like a general in front of troops that are probably going to die in battle today. "Alright, fucking shitheads!" he begins, with the air of a seasoned (and psychotic) strategist, "if those kids over there win this round of Bomb Soccer, we don't get the field."

"Bomb soccer?" Kurita asks around his potato-chips, wide-eyed and plaintive. "Hiruma, that sounds dangerous…"

"Why don't we just find another field, Hiruma-san?" Sena begs as well, putting on a feeble smile that he hopes is both disarming convincing.

It is not.

Because an RPG is fired then, and it blasts through the slight space between Sena's cheek and Kurita's side, exploding against a small copse of trees in the near distance. "Because the only reason we'll have to find another field is because I'll be burying your fucking wimpy corpses in it," Hiruma answers blandly, as bits of wood and charred plant life from the blast spray the shaking Devilbats in the back.

Across the field, Hibari's eyes narrow as he slides out of the shadows, declaring, "Vandals of Namimori property will be bit to death."

Hiruma doesn't hear him because he is too busy gesturing to the wide-eyed middle schoolers currently gathered on Reborn's side of the field. "If we fucking lose, then those fucking shrimps will get the fucking field." Then he grins, big and terrifying. "And you all will pay for it. Got it?"

Sena swallows, too busy trying to keep his knees from slamming each other out of alignment.

The Ha-Ha Brothers share dubious looks, up until Hiruma snickers thoughtfully to himself and breathes, in a very loud aside, "I wonder what will happen if I go through my picture album later today!"

To which the Brothers' response is to pound their fists against their chests menacingly and declare, "No middle school brats are going to beat us out of anything!"

Kurita, in a truly torrential nervous sweat now, shovels the rest of the potato chips in the bag into his mouth before following them with the actual bag.

Monta doesn't seem to understand what the hell is going on exactly, but declares that, "We'll definitely win MAX!" while pointing to the sky and striking a pose in what is obviously an open gesture of challenge to the Namimori middle schoolers.

Across the way, one of the middle school kids answers Monta's challenge by glaring and lighting a stick of dynamite that he is holding in his mouth.

Sena tries not to throw up.

Terms thus decided and explained, Hiruma and Reborn both turn to face each other again. Hiruma smiles, Reborn smirks, and at the sight of it, no one on either side thinks that this can end well.

"GO!" the two of them yell then, and Reborn shoots Tsuna in the head at the exact same moment that Hiruma empties an entire P-90 clip into the sky.

Mostly, the Devilbat side finds themselves dashing forward to avoid falling shells.

On the Vongola side, there are a couple of really excited idiots dashing forward and one seriously pissed of prefect leading the charge.

The ball counts down to 4:59.

In the end, Tsuna, dazed and covered in sweat, has a soreness about him that will probably last into the next few months, Gokudera's hair is standing on end and very slightly crispy, and the guy who keeps screaming "MAX" at the end of all of his sentences is already getting along famously with Yamamoto as Lambo naps on Kurita's heaving belly. The smell of burned hair and charred earth fills their nostrils.

There is an angry, angry pillar of acrid black smoke rising up from where the soccer ball used to be, in the middle of the field (now more a plant-free patch of burnt dirt than an actual field). The blunt of the blast had been narrowly dodged in the final seconds by Sena's impossibly quick cuts and Tsuna's last desperate X-burner.

Needless to say, all combatants are currently laid out on their backs, staring at a beautiful gold and orange late-afternoon sky.

Except for maybe Hibari, who is currently sitting on top of a pile of lolling Ha-Ha Brothers and conversing to Hibird in a very serious and thoughtful manner about habitat destruction.

In the meantime, the two field generals hear the sudden, distant wail of emergency sirens that mean some neighbor or do-gooder passerby did actually hear all of the commotion after all, and both Hiruma and Reborn come to the mutual conclusion that maybe this field is not as nice and secluded and free of civilians as they had initially calculated. Its desirability certainly seems to be lacking now.

Tsuna, ears ringing from the final explosion, doesn't need to hear anything in particular as he stares groggily at Hiruma and Reborn as they parley in the middle of the field again, post-battle. The mutual looks of grudging respect and cautious intrigue between the hitman and the crazy gun-toting blond are universal in their own way.

But if he had been able to hear, the conversation he overheard would have sounded something like this:

"We don't need this field after all," both sides declare.

Reborn nods and gestures to the exhausted Devilbats as he slides a mysterious sheet of notebook paper from the inside of his jacket pocket. "You have a strong family," he begins bluntly, before looking down at the sheet of paper. "You'd make a good assassin, Hiruma Yoichi, aged 16, graduate of Mao 13th Middle School, position quarterback."

Hiruma lazily blows smoke from the nozzle of his gun and checks his cell phone. "Your fucking shrimps aren't fucking bad either." Pause. Grin. "You'd make a pretty good endurance trainer, Hitman Reborn, Vongola assassin, yellow pacifier Arcobaleno."

An unholy light of appreciation goes off in both of their eyes.

"Next week," Reborn starts, and his Leon-gun becomes his Leon-lizard again, changing shape in his hand before going to rest atop his shoulder.

Hiruma, likewise clicks the safety of his semi-automatic rifle back on before nodding . "There's a fucking promising abandoned strip mall three miles north of Deimon. The floors are rotting."

Reborn smiles fully then, eyes obscured by the brim of his fedora as the distant wail of sirens grows ominously nearer with each passing moment. "Next time, we can try playing my version of minesweeper, Hiruma Yoichi."

Hiruma actually barks in laughter then, eyes glinting anticipation as he turns around to gather his teammates up. "Deal."

Despite injuries, both sides manage to disappear from sight before the police force arrives en masse, and while Tsuna's ears were still ringing too much to hear a word of what had just happened between Hiruma and Reborn, he instinctively feels that anything involving two guys like them can't ever be considered a good thing.

For once, he's not wrong.