Rating: T (For implied sex. There's nothing graphic, it's more a humor element. There's some 4851 implications in here. Take them for what you want.)
A/N: Look, guys. It's not a romance story. Isn't that weird coming from me? I guess I kinda worked in a mild undertone. Anyway! I really hope you guys like it...it's kind of my first wild stab in the dark towards KHR fanfiction. YAAAY RANDOM STAB IN THE DARK!
Disclaimer: I own your face.
by Indigo Avarice
"...I think I'm doing this wrong."
Vongola Tenth stared down at the mismatching wood and mechanical parts in his hands, twirling one between his fingers. It looked like a screw. It felt like a screw. But it wasn't going into any of the holes. And he had tried. But nothing was really working out.
"You just need to try it in one of the other openings, Juudaime! I believe in you!"
The brunette let out a sigh. There was no way this could be as easy as Gokudera seemed to want to believe it was. It wasn't fitting into any of the holes! How was he supposed to fit something into a hole when it didn't seem to belong? But he couldn't explain that to Gokudera, who had already assembled his half of this strange whatever-it-was they were building.
Why did Shoichi leave them to do this? Couldn't whatever Spanner wanted him for wait? Could the construction of...what was this thing, anyway?
Tsuna stole a glance toward Gokudera, watching how he assembled his half. It seemed to come so easily for him, it just wasn't fair. He picked up the 'screw' and twisted it into a hole, following Gokudera's lead covertly. Maybe he could fake understanding this if he just kept his eyes trained on—wait. Gokudera had some different parts than he did!
"Is something wrong, Juudaime?" Gokudera asked, throwing a glance over his glasses to his boss. Tsuna couldn't help but be jealous—Gokudera looked so cool and composed with his glasses and his hair up. He looked like he knew what he was doing, and the thing he was building was coming along nicely—not that Tsuna could tell what it was, even with it partly assembled. Trepidation built in the brunette's throat. He couldn't tell Gokudera that he'd been too busy thinking about what he was going to do to thank Kyoko and Haru for being so patient to listen to Shoichi's explanation of what they were building. He wasn't about to admit that he had been up all night training instead of sleeping, and was thusly too frazzled to even begin to comprehend building something that Shoichi wanted them to build.
He doubted he would comprehend it even if he was fully aware and had hung to every word out of the redhead's mouth.
So he lied.
"Oh I was just thinking this would be easier with a screwdriver."
Gokudera blinked at him. "Juudaime...you mean a hammer, right? Those are nails."
The brunette turned a light shade of pink. "Oh yeah! That's what I meant."
Gokudera smiled warmly and picked up a hammer, holding it out to Tsuna. "You can use mine, Juudaime, I think most of my nail work is done anyway."
Silence fell again as Gokudera went back to working diligently, and Tsuna went to staring at the...thing he had created. Alright. So. All the nails needed to be pulled out and then hammered in, that he could do! He started to get to work, trying to recreate the same shape that Gokudera was building by nailing the wood together, occasionally trying to find a way to stick the metal pieces on there. He even, at some point, stopped looking at Gokudera's contraption, figuring that he had pretty much gotten the hang of this building thing. This seemed to be a gear of some sort, this weird round thing...maybe it went up here? He continued sticking and nailing away until he'd created something that he was rather proud of...even if he really wasn't sure what it was.
After what felt like an hour, a voice broke the silence.
"Sorry for borrowing Sho-chan, Vongola."
Tsuna and Gokudera both looked up at the two mechanics. Spanner looked like his normal, practically flat-line self, and Shoichi looked either very disheveled or very stressed out. Tsuna tended to lean more towards disheveled, because the expression on his face wasn't the normal 'I've-been-up-for-48-hours-and-now-Spanner-wants-me-to-help-him-with-the-Russian-space-program-or-something-like-that' look. It was much more relaxed, one could even hazard to say pleased.
Tsuna was about to say something when Gokudera cut in with, "It's fine, I'm sure it was important, whatever it was. Right, Juudaime?"
Tsuna started to nod, but Spanner started in, "It wasn't that important, actually, it probably could've waited until later tonight when-"
Shoichi elbowed Spanner in the side and smiled, "Did you guys manage okay without me?"
"It was pretty easy," Gokudera said with a laugh, "Although the drawers were a little bit tricky, so if they don't roll correctly..."
Drawers? Tsuna tilted his head and carefully looked back at Gokudera's structure...and he almost died of embarrassment. Because suddenly, the conversation that he'd pretty much blocked out of his mind from earlier was coming back to him.
We were assembling a new desk and chair to replace the ones that used to be in the girl's rooms...the children broke them the other night when they were playing hide 'n' seek with Ryohei...which means...
The brunette cast a glance backward at what he had made. The wheels were on top, rather than the bottom. The seat was where the back should be, the back was pretty much sticking out at an impossible angle.
That monstrosity was not a chair.
"Tsuna is something wr-" Shoichi started, but he was cut off by laughter. Laughter caused by the fact that, for the first time tonight, someone who wasn't Tsuna had looked at his...'chair'.
"Hey! Don't laugh at Juudaime's fine carpentry skills!" Gokudera got up and moved to the 'chair', but the second he saw it for himself, he wasn't so sure he wanted to defend it anymore. "I mean...it looks...it's uhm..."
"It's very modern." Shoichi offered with a smile. It wasn't helping, though, Tsuna knew he wanted to burst out in laughter, too.
Hell...Tsuna kind of wanted to burst out in laughter. He could do the X-Burner, he could defend himself against a Mosca, he could fight Hibari and stand a semblance of a chance. But against the benign task of assembling a desk chair, he was completely useless.
"I'm sorry, Vongola." Spanner managed to halt his laughter, at least mostly, "It seems I should've left you Sho-chan after all."
"I thought he could handle one chair..." Shoichi said apologetically.
"I should've helped you, Juudaime, I'm sorry I've failed you!" Gokudera moved and picked up one of the keyboards in the room, hitting himself in the head with it repeatedly to repent for failing his boss.
"Heeey! Gokudera, you're going to give yourself brain damage!" The redhead darted across and tried to wrest the appliance from the Storm Guardian's hands.
"More importantly you could damage the keyboard..." Spanner added with a sigh.
Shoichi trying to wrestle Gokudera away from the keyboard of the computer was the final straw: Tsuna couldn't hold it in anymore—he started laughing. Hard. This was the kind of thing he loved, the kind of thing he fought for. The ability to make desk chairs and completely mess it up. The ability to have friends that didn't mind that he couldn't build a desk chair. The ability to see Spanner and Shoichi and Gokudera and Kyoko and Haru and Yamamoto and everyone smile, every day, and know that there was the chance that there would be more smiles tomorrow.
He just wanted to return those smiles to everyone's faces.
He'd been so lost in his thought, that he didn't notice Lambo come bouncing into the room. All of them were so preoccupied that they didn't notice when the little cow tried to sit on the abomination that might have been a chair in a past life.
But they certainly noticed when the thing broke. Luckily for them, Lambo was durable enough to just stand back up, complaining loudly that this chair wasn't very comfortable. Gokudera tried to catch him as he ran out of the room, cursing Lambo for 'destroying all of Juudaime's hard work', even if they were all agreed that the chair more than just kind of sucked.
As soon as the little one had been throughly shooed, a silence fell over the room. That weird kind of silence that always seems to follow laughter and smiles.
Especially these days.
As Tsuna stared at the pile of wood and nails and wheels, he realized that it represented how things were right now. It was a smile, but it had been fleeting. It wasn't meant to last. So long as the structure was weak, it could never last. They could build their desk chairs, or watch their fireworks. They could have their laughs and have those head-to-keyboard moments. But the threat of what was outside would always hang like the stink of death in the air. The memory of what had already been lost in this time was never going to go away.
And he knew, from looking around the room, that everyone else was thinking the same thing.
Spanner made the first move, going over to the pile of wood and picking up a piece, turning it over in his hands. "I guess we'll just have to rebuild it—it's nothing that can't be fixed."
Tsuna nodded, and Gokudera squeezed his shoulder reassuringly. "Let's teach Juudaime how to build a desk chair properly."
"Let's." Shoichi agreed, moving to Spanner's side. "We might have to substitute a few parts..."
"We should be able to figure it out," Spanner said, popping a new lollipop into his mouth, "I guess this just means that I can't take you away for that second go. I was looking forward to it, too. You promised me chocolate syrup."
Shoichi's face went paler than normal. "S-Spanner..."
"What...?" Spanner asked, tilting his head and looking at the room at large, who had all fallen into a weird sort of awkward silence, "Did I say something I wasn't supposed to?"
Now it was Shoichi's turn to sit there while Gokudera and Tsuna started laughing uncontrollably.
Gokudera was probably laughing at the sheer awkward hilarity of it all, but Tsuna was laughing at something a little deeper and more introspective. This moment had given a whole new meaning to that chair. It was the family—even as it lay there in shambles on the floor, it still had potential. It could become something better.
All it needed was a few extra parts.
A/N: I'm a review hoar. 3 So please do share the reviewylove. Even if it's to be like "LOOOL YOU FAIL AT LIFE, INDIGO!"