The tension was palpable in the air.
Several men eyed each other, sizing up the competition and considering their chances of success.
It was a wonder how the Vongola Decimo remained oblivious to the state of his guests, even with his Hyper Intuition.
But then again, it could be due to heartbreak plus a generous dose of alcohol.
Currently, it was eleven fifty, a mere ten minutes away from the new year. The Vongola Family were holding a party in celebration, although it was only for the Vongola Family and close alliances. Recently, the Arcobaleno had found a way to modify the curse so that they had their adult bodies back. Naturally, over Christmas, several couples had formed.
The first to announce their relationship were Colonello and Lal Mirch. It hadn't been much of a surprise, and they had received pretty much everybody's blessings. Following his master, Ryohei introduced his girlfriend, Kurokawa Hana. Lambo had mustered up his courage and confessed to I-Pin, with positive results. Belphegor and Fran were caught kissing under mistletoe, as well as Yamamoto and Gokudera soon after. Reborn and Bianchi were officially together, and Mukuro declared that Chrome belonged to him when some random guys at the Christmas party tried to hit on her.
But the most unexpected had to be Basil and Kyoko. They came clean about their status, which earned them wolf-whistles and multiple toasts. Tsuna might have been a little slow to join them in toasting, but he made up for it by drinking more later.
It was his suitors – the only few people who were smart enough to understand that he liked Kyoko – who noticed the instant when shock reflected in his eyes. And afterwards, those same few people had arranged a meeting to discuss their prospects now that the biggest obstacle had been removed. They came down to a conclusion – to take his mind off his recent heartbreak, it would be best for Tsuna to have a new love interest.
That prompted them to hold a competition amongst themselves: whoever managed to kiss Tsuna during the New Year Countdown would be the lucky one to court him. The rest of them would stand aside and wait for Tsuna to reject him, or if he accepted, then they would not interfere with Tsuna's new relationship.
Right now, those men were scheming. The opponents were formidable, and it was every man for himself in this challenge. It had surprised many people when Tsuna had started slamming back shot after shot of liquor earlier, but they assumed that it was because he was exhausted by work as Vongola Decimo, and was making use of the party to relax and enjoy himself.
Only his suitors understood that he was drowning his sorrows in alcohol.
Which made it more vital for them to win. After all, the method of comforting a person and making them fall in love was quite effective, right?
Xanxus glared at the brunet. Why the hell was that idiot drinking so much? He didn't have much of a tolerance, the Varia boss was sure of that. If that moron drank any more, he might pass out before anybody managed to snag a kiss. Summoning Levi, he ordered his Thunder Guardian to 'get Sawada away from the alcohol'. Even if he might have been confused, Levi obediently carried out his boss's command without any questions. The drunk Vongola Decimo hadn't put up any resistance; just grinned and wished the gruff man a 'Happy New Year'. Then he collapsed into a plush couch, staring blankly out at the crowded veranda leading to the gardens.
Dino had a battle plan – approach Tsuna with his friendly brotherly persona, chat him up, then kiss him on the lips. By accident, of course, claiming that he was just trying to give Tsuna a New Year's kiss on the cheek and missed. Simple; no way to mess it up. Even if the target was inebriated. Now he just had to wait for a better timing, and stay alert, on the ready to thwart anyone else's attempt to get to Tsuna before he did.
Squalo scowled. Just great, his boss liked that squirt too. Honestly, he himself had no idea when, how or why he fell for the petite Vongola Decimo, but right now, he was infatuated with the man. Normally he wouldn't mind letting his boss take whatever he wanted, because he respected Xanxus. However – this was a different matter. He felt too strongly for Sawada Tsunayoshi to step aside for his boss. Besides, he was rather sure Xanxus wouldn't be able to take good care of another person. No way he would let Sawada fall into his boss's clutches while he still had a chance.
Hibari Kyouya was resting comfortably in a high branch of a tree somewhere in the gardens, far away from the noisy herbivores crowding around. Scanning the area, his eyes landed on a certain drunk brunet. Smirking, he assessed the situation. At first, the herbivore had thrilled him; when he fought seriously, it would send chills up the ex-prefect's spine. But then the feeling had slowly developed. Cold and cruel he may be, but Hibari Kyouya was still human. It hadn't taken him long to realize what that emotion he felt around Sawada Tsunayoshi was; the carnivore was anything but stupid.
Naturally, he had wanted to claim the herbivore for himself, but he observed the situation first. As it turned out, the 24-year-old liked Sasagawa Kyoko. Hibari was tempted to just snatch Tsunayoshi for himself, but the infant stopped him, saying that there would be a better time to do so, very soon.
And now that opportunity had come. Hibari Kyouya was one to claim whatever he wanted; he would not let this chance slip, nor would he lose in any contest.
Five minutes later, people had started moving out to the gardens in anticipation of the fireworks. The number of people in the ballroom decreased drastically.
Dino decided it was time to get moving and stake his claim. Approaching Tsuna, he was just about to reach the couch where Tsuna was slumped on -
When an empty shot glass hit him strong enough to knock him out. Shit. He'd forgotten about the enemy because they were being quiet.
Squalo gave the clock a quick glance. About time to get moving. Besides, that Bucking Bronco was making his move, too. Stalking towards the intoxicated brunet, he quickened his pace and was almost at his target when his keen ears picked up the unmistakable whizzing sound of his boss throwing a glass at his head. Ducking out of reflex, he turned to glare at his boss and yelled in annoyance, registering the 'thud' sound of a body hitting the floor but not caring about it.
The swordsman was cut off mid-yell by a strong hit from a thrown tonfa. His yell had drowned out the soft sound of the projectile and now Squalo lay unconscious on the floor, a small pool of blood staining his silver locks. The culprit stood at the doorway leading into the room, a satisfied smirk adorning his face.
Prowling towards his prey, Hibari Kyouya sent the last competitor a challenging stare.
Returning his look with a deadpan expression, Xanxus dismissed Levi and stood up. Sauntering towards Tsuna, the both of them stopped when the Vongola Decimo abruptly stood up, swaying slightly. Without looking at either of them, he spoke.
"I – hic – should have – hic – confessed to Kyoko-chan – hic – earlier, like Reborn told me to... Hic. But now it's – hic – too late and it – hic – was all because of that damned – hic – Millefiore's fault! I – hic – hate being a Mafia boss! Hic!"
Listening to his boss whine, Hibari frowned, just slightly. Did that herbivore not see that he had attracted several others to himself?
"And I can't trust – hic – anyone at all! Hic! All these crazy – hic – people don't understand – hic – how I feel! Hic! The sane ones – hic – are already – hic – attached! I – hic – don't have anyone left to – hic – talk to!"
Watching the petite brunet wave his arms around and gesticulating wildly, Xanxus felt mildly relieved that Sawada had decided to face the wall. He was positive that if he were to see his face, it would compel him to knock the brunet around a bit, just to sober him up. Or kidnap the drunkard to his private quarters to... 'comfort' him.
"But – hic – you're the only one who – hic – knows how I feel. Hic. You're the only one – hic – who I feel is part of – hic – myself. I can – hic – only trust you. Hic. You'll – hic – always stay with – hic – me, right?"
Eyes narrowing, both males figured out the slurred words Tsuna was spewing, and their hackles rose. Who was this person that Sawada Tsunayoshi believed so strongly in? Was this a new threat?
Paying no heed to the two men suddenly exuding a bloodthirsty aura behind him, Tsuna squatted down. Outside, the countdown started, snapping the duo out of their dangerous mood. They were reminded of the ongoing challenge, and hurriedly advanced while maintaining a cool façade.
Standing back up, Tsuna turned around, his eyes fixed on something he cradled in his arms.
"Felice anno nuovo," he murmured, lifting Natsu up and kissing his cute, fluffy and small lion cub.
The countdown reached one and the sound of fireworks going off filled the air.
Xanxus and Hibari's eyes widened, staring speechlessly at the sight before their eyes. Both of them lost to... a box weapon?
That wasn't all. Giotto and Alaude materialised from the Vongola Rings, standing near the respective people owning the rings. Fon stepped into the room at that moment as well, the soft 'click' of the door behind him notifying the few conscious people of his presence.
Hugging Natsu, Tsuna gazed adoringly at his ancestor. "Buon compleanno, Giotto!" Smiling, he leaned forward and gave the blond a peck on his lips. Drawing back, he failed to see the pinkish tinge on the Vongola Primo's face. He did notice something else, though.
"Uwah, there's three of Hibari-san! I must be really drunk, haha – hic!"
Eyes rolling back into his head, the Decimo passed out, still clutching Natsu. Luckily, Giotto caught him, and Natsu growled faintly in concern. Carrying him bridal-style, the Primo stated, "I think Tsunayoshi has stayed long enough at this party. I will escort him back to his room." Nodding at Hibari, Xanxus and Fon, the blond left, Alaude following behind him.
Raising an eyebrow at the unexpected tension lingering in the air, Fon continued on his way through the room to the exit . Hibari and Xanxus silently came to a shared understanding – they would not willingly bring this up again.
The next day, Dino, Xanxus, Hibari and Squalo assembled again. "So, who managed to kiss Tsuna?" Dino inquired glumly.
"None of you," an amused voice had replied.
"Re-Reborn?" The blond Cavallone boss panicked and backed away as much as he could, flattening himself against a wall.
"Ciaossu," the hitman greeted calmly, tipping his fedora. "I recorded what happened last night, as proof that nobody lied to win." Producing a Leon mini-TV, the happenings of last night were replayed.
There was complete silence for a while after the video stopped, and Reborn had slipped out of the room.
"So... I guess we need to settle this another way," Dino finally said. The other three just grunted in acknowledgement.
That was the moment Tsuna stumbled in, one hand shielding his eyes and the other bracing himself on the walls.
"Uhhh..." he groaned. "What are you guys doing in the kitchen?" Shuffling towards the cabinets, he rummaged through some drawers, mumbling the question.
Nobody replied. He didn't mind, the headache was killing him. Ah, finally he found salvation! The painkillers! Swallowing two pills, the brunet sighed in discomfort and leaned his head against the cool surface of the cabinet for a few seconds before properly standing back up.
"Well, just... don't cause too much property damage, please. I'm taking the rest of the day off," muttering quietly, Tsuna returned to his room.
Breaking the silence after the Vongola Decimo left, Dino voiced out, "How are we going to decide...?"
"Voi, take care of that nosebleed of yours first," Squalo snarled, tossing the tissue box at the clueless blond while shoving a few sheets in his nose as well.
A/N: WTF is this. Did I make it in time, I wonder... Anyway. Those couples I listed above are canon to me. Except for BasilxKyoko. They don't interact much. But they look cute together so.
Disclaimer: Amano Akira is the owner of KHR! The bishies listed in my fic belong to her!