Counting Stars

By xxkoffeexx


Disclaimer: I don't own.


'Can you meet me at the baseball field tonight at eight?'

Yamamoto wasn't surprised when Haru texted him after school.

They were in high school now, and Haru's massive crush on Tsuna was obvious to everyone who had functioning eyes (except for Ryohei, but he couldn't recognize a crush if it dressed as a porcupine and slapped him in the face). Yamamoto knew he was the easiest and safest route to Tsuna's psyche. Gokudera and Ryohei weren't exactly sensitive when it came to matters of the female heart. It was only a matter of time before Haru took the initiative and made a move.

'Sure. See you there.'

The evening was warm for spring, and Yamamoto could smell the freshly-cut grass five minutes before arriving at the stadium-lit baseball field. It was like coming home. He wondered if she had planned the location beforehand, and decided she probably did. Haru could be innocently cunning like that.

She had arrived before him, sitting on the empty bleachers and gazing up at the sky. He sat down a couple feet away from her, smiling amiably as she chirped a greeting. They talked about their classes and club activities.

As they chatted, he glanced at her casually. She was still wearing her school uniform, and he thought she looked almost ethereal under the white moonlight. Then he realized belatedly that there was no moon tonight.

"Tsuna-san always complimented my costumes," she said wistfully, staring at the field. "It made me so happy, getting praised by him."

Yamamoto hummed politely. Inwardly he braced himself. He would be counselor and matchmaker rolled in one, and he wondered why the thought of matchmaking Haru and Tsuna irked him so.

Haru turned to face him, her face pale and somber. "Do you think Tsuna-san will ever love me?"

For a moment he blinked in surprise. Then, he looked back at her and replied just as somberly, "No. Not in the way you want."

She immediately deflated, blowing out a year's worth of sighs as she turned back to the field. "I thought so. I always thought—I was hoping all these years… maybe…" Then Haru shook her head and smiled lightly, tipping back to gaze at the sky. "The stars are really bright tonight, aren't they?"

Yamamoto also looked up, barely making out the cosmic balls of gas in the black space. "…Yeah."

"I was counting them before you came here. But I kept losing track of them." She laughed at herself and his eyes dropped down to her face again. Her next words were quiet, almost like she was talking to herself. "I think I already knew it was impossible before I even started."

"Maybe you didn't try hard enough?" he suggested.

She shook her head, ponytail shaking. "I'm tired." Haru smiled shyly at him and he felt his heart beat fast, just as it did before it was his turn to bat. "I gave up as soon as you arrived."

If he paused to think about it, her words might have meant something completely different. But Yamamoto didn't pause. Not when she was sitting an arm's length away and her brown eyes were so unbearably sad.

"Do you want to cry?" he asked curiously.


"Do you want to go home?"

"Not yet."

He slid closer on the cold bench and peered at her face, lowering his voice gently. "Do you want a hug?"

Haru was quiet for a moment, and he thought her cheeks were slightly pink. After a few seconds of eternity, she nodded imperceptibly. "Yes."

He grinned. "Come here."

She obeyed, leaning into him as his arms circled around her protectively, allowing her chin to rest on the crook of his neck. The smell of grass was replaced by girlish shampoo and a faint scent of bread, and Yamamoto found he liked it a lot. He ignored the slight dampness of his shirt where her head lay, and enjoyed the warmth of her relaxed body. Her slender arms squeezed his ribcage. Their chests were so close he had a hard time discerning which heartbeat was his.

They stayed like that for several minutes. When it was over, he took her hand and walked her home.

She didn't look up at the stars again.



A/N: More… Yama… Haru… fluff…