A/N: It's been a really long time, hasn't it? I apologise for abandoning this fic all this time, but I've been really busy. At any rate, I'm going to be editing the chapters so don't be too surprised if you see some new content. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy!
He was dense. So, so terribly dense that it irked his tutor enough to start kicking him with that monstrous strength a baby should not possess.
"What was that for!" Tsuna yelled, rubbing his head to soothe the sharp pain. "You don't have to be so rough everytime, you know!"
"Just felt like it," Reborn shrugged.
"What kind of reason is that!"
"A legit one."
Tsuna sighed, unable to comment further when Reborn was being so vague. "So what is it?" It was probably some scary mission where he had to get himself killed, or at least something along these lines. That was Reborn, thoroughly evil.
That sharp glint was more than enough to tell that the baby was, once again, up to no good.
"I'm giving you one week. It's pretty simple. All you have to do is figure out the meaning of 'crush'." A piece of crumpled paper hit him squarely on the forehead as Reborn ended the sentence.
"Be careful, but I guess I don't have to tell you that," he smirked, before jumping off the ledge and disappearing elsewhere to work his mischief.
Gingerly, Tsuna opened the thoroughly crumpled paper.
Don't end up like me.
The five bolded words stood out on the creased paper, the handwriting prim and proper.
That sounded terribly… foreboding.
What was 'crush'? What was it that he had to understand? What was with that crumpled piece of paper? What was that ominous wording?
Was he going to be trampled on? Was he going to be killed?
"-daime! Jyuudaime!" Gokudera called, desperately trying to grab his boss' attention. Lost in thought or perhaps in fear, the brunet didn't seem to hear no matter how hard his right-hand man tried.
Tsuna suddenly realized where he was and what he was doing and snapped back to attention, staring right into the eyes of a thoroughly-worried Gokudera.
"Jyuudaime! Are you alright? What happened? Does it hurt anywhere?"
Tsuna smiled weakly, the barrage of questions ignored in favour of running ahead. "It's nothing! Come on, we've got to hurry or we'll be late for school!"
The lie was so blatant that Gokudera couldn't help but worry even more. 'Nothing' didn't sound like nothing at all. It practically reeked of 'something'. At any rate, it would do neither of them any good if they were late and he did not pursue the matter further. He ran ahead before he was left behind.
The first few lessons went by surprisingly smoothly, for someone like Tsuna. He hadn't been called up to humiliate himself with his lack of knowledge at all, and Gokudera had only glanced at him occasionally without a comment he knew the teenager was itching to pass.
Reborn's words had been resounding in his head the whole time, the little piece of paper staring at him and begging to be understood. It was annoying to say the least. He was already rock bottom when it came to his academic results. Why in the world was he getting distracted by a little piece of paper and the words of his tutor?
He couldn't help but shiver as he remembered his previous train of thought. Being crushed certainly didn't sound too tempting at the moment. He could take anything- anything but whatever hellish training that Reborn had lined up for him.
Cringing inwardly at just the thought, he quickly schooled his features as soon as he realized his surroundings. He was in school, a place to study. Not a place to draw castles in the air and start daydreaming.
Tsuna's eyes widened in horror as he watched a classmate wipe off the homework for the term break. He didn't want to disappoint his mother, much less repeat the school year! The brunet groaned at his stupidity, hating how he would have to depend on Gokudera yet again. He knew the teenager didn't mind at all and even welcomed it, but it only served to remind him of his inability to depend on himself.
A sharp rap on the classroom door instantly got his attention, the familiar hairstyle that he first saw immediately telling him that his day was not going to get any better. Unless, by some stroke of good luck…
"Tsunayoshi Sawada. Your presence is required at the Reference Room during your lunch break. Be there on time." Kusakabe maintained eye-contact to ensure he had been heard and disappeared, as quickly as he had arrived.
He had no such luck after all, and he definitely had the worst luck if he had to deal with his Cloud guardian. It was a terrible day.
There were many words that could be used to describe the aloof prefect, but none could perfectly capture his personality. Violent, sadistic, cruel… each had its own merits, but Hibari Kyouya was extremely unpredictable. For all he knew, the prefect could just turn against him at any moment, considering how the raven-haired man never quite stuck to his loyalties. That was provided he was even loyal to Tsuna in the first place.
Tsuna sighed heavily as he slumped onto his table. What did Hibari need to see him for? Surely, it wasn't to kill him for his poor results or challenge him to a fight. He'd always known that Hibari had this fascination with the way he handled his flames; it would hardly be surprising if he were to ask for a one-on-one fight.
Looking through his memories of the previous battles he had gotten into, the image of that little piece of paper came to mind. Tsuna wasn't quite sure about it, but seeing Reborn's sadistic personality, could it be that this was his tutor's idea of 'crush'?
True, some could say that Tsuna was strong. He had several attacks that were quite effect against his opponents, but against the man, Hibari Kyouya, things were never certain. He was unpredictable and brutally strong, his raw strength and speed unrivalled. That was what made him a good guardian, but if he wanted a match, Tsuna himself couldn't say for certain who would be the winner.
The minutes ticked by mercilessly, the drone of the teacher's voice ignored till the shrill of the bell signaling lunch arrived.
As punctual as ever, the teacher left the classroom right before the bell rang. Gokudera and Yamamoto approached his desk immediately after, already speaking before Tsuna could react.
"Jyuudaime! What does that Cloud bastard want with you? Will you be alright? If he even tries anything funny with you…" Gokudera growled, eyes fierce. Yamamoto, on the other hand, was as relaxed as ever. "Whoa, easy there, Gokudera! I'm sure Hibari wouldn't harm Tsuna, he isn't that unreasonable" He turned to Tsuna for emphasis. "Right?" Tsuna could only chuckle nervously, an awkward smile laced with uneasiness his answer.
"G-Gokudera-kun, I'll be fine," he added a quick 'maybe' under his breath. "I don't know how long I'll take, so you guys can get your lunch first. I'll see you guys later, okay?" Tsuna managed a shaky smile and made a mad dash for the Reference Room.
Who knew what Hibari would do to him if he continued to chat with the two. Kusakabe had already warned him to be on time, and he didn't want to take any chances.
Standing guard in front of the Reference Room like always, Kusakabe immediately spotted him as he silently approached. Two quick knocks and Kusakabe poking his head in to inform of Tsuna's arrival granted him permission to enter.
The Reference Room looked exactly the same as it did the last time he had come. Nothing had been shifted or changed, and even the atmosphere remained similar. Cold and terrifyingly quiet.
The voice rang out loud and clear in the otherwise-empty room, nearly startling Tsuna with the invitation.
His heart was thumping in his chest as he took a seat on the couch, the stifling atmosphere making him increasingly nervous.
He kept his head down as he heard the creaking of a chair while Hibari got up and made his way to the other couch opposite Tsuna.
"The baby is leaving for a holiday with all the other herbivores in your house."
Tsuna immediately stared at Hibari in surprise. Reborn had never mentioned anything like that. Besides, he'd never known Hibari as someone who concerned himself with these matters. For what reason did he bring it up anyway?
Many said that Tsuna was the type who had guts. Ironically, that was one of many things that Tsuna lacked unless it counted. He was in a situation where he was afraid to even shiver although the air-conditioner was set at a very low temperature. Question after question went through his mind, and yet nothing left his mouth.
The tense silence that followed did nothing to satisfy his curiosity and only served to make Tsuna tense up further. Hibari looked a little annoyed at the moment, and he didn't quite know how to respond, nor how he was supposed to respond in the first place.
"You'll be staying at my place. Don't mess up anything or I'll bite you to death." The tone used was as if such a result was expected, and Tsuna couldn't help but let an unmanly squeak escape.
Nerves failing, he replied with a faint "I-I'm sorry to be i-imposing on you" and a "please take care of me", mind already breaking down with the horror. He was definitely going to get killed at Hibari's house. Definitely. Couldn't he stay alone at home instead?
"They're leaving in…" Hibari glanced sideways to read the time off the clock, "half an hour's time, so you won't be seeing them. After your lessons end, get your clothes and everything you'll need and report back to the Reference Room by 9pm. Don't be late, herbivore."
Everything was moving by so quickly that Tsuna hadn't even had enough time to process all the information that Hibari was giving him. Living together was one thing, but having to live with Hibari for the whole week that he didn't have to report back to school? A single word popped into his mind.
It was definitely going to be hell.
"You can leave now, herbivore, unless you want to be late for your lessons." Hibari prompted, tone amused. Tsuna, having realized that he had just spaced out, hurriedly bowed with a noise that he hoped Hibari took as one of understanding and took his leave.
Afternoon lessons passed by much more quickly than Tsuna wanted, his heart palpitating in fear as he thought of what was to come.
It was purely doom, Tsuna sighed. Was this Reborn's idea of a joke? This was much, much worse than a mere battle. Living together meant having to deal with heightened tension at all times and the fear that Hibari might suddenly feel like biting him to death.
Yamamoto and Gokudera had asked him what Hibari wanted and he had replied truthfully. As usual, Gokudera had gotten overly worried and come up with all sorts of scenarios that had Tsuna cowering in fear at the mere thought, while Yamamoto had tried to brush this whole matter off as a small problem.
Considering how Yamamoto wasn't the one having to live with the constant threat of being killed, of course he could afford to laugh it off.
Man... it was going to be a long week.