A/N: Alright, guys, the next chapter is finally here lol. Sorry it took a while, but school seriously started to kick my butt =( I'll have not that much time to write even after I get out of school because the real world calls and all…Oh well, I'll just try to do my best!
I want to thank all of you who took the time to review or to follow this story. It really means a lot to me guys! You're seriously awesome! This chapter was a little difficult for me to write, since, I initially thought the zoo chapter was going to be next…but there were two chapters before that that I completely forgot about, and that's only because Yama and Dera didn't even show up in those manga chapters XDD Surprise, surprise, though, they showed up in the anime renditions, so I had to include those stories in. That meant that I had to either write the two very short anime renditions and leave out the zoo manga chapter, or I would include it in the end. As you can see, I decided to include all three of those chapters due to the fact that hardly any 8059 moments happened in the first two episodes I used. I didn't want to leave you guys bored after all XD
Anyway, for this chapter of the story, I used half of episode 71 and all of 29, which correspond to manga chapters 40 and 41 (which were not used since Yama and Dera weren't in them). I only used half of episode 71 since Yama, Dera, and Ryohei use battle techniques later in the episode that they wouldn't get until after their fighting arcs, and because they fought against Reborn without an qualms. That wouldn't make any sense to my story at this point in time XD
That aside, I also used chapter 42 of the manga with some slight mentions of its corresponding anime episode; episode 14. The reason why I didn't try to completely implement that anime episode into this chapter was because it would make the chapter already longer than it was, and it was seriously too cracky at parts and a little chaotic for me to write. The only awesome things you miss out because of this is Ryohei competing against a bear at an arcade game (which you wouldn't have seen in this chapter anyway since Yama was nowhere near Ryohei during the time XD), and Yama riding on an elephant and herding all of the loose animals back to their cages like the freaking messiah he is XDDD All will bow to Yamamoto XDDD
Anyway, I want to thank GStorm59 for helping me with editing this chapter, and I hope that you guys will enjoy this for what it's worth!
Dojo Busters, Malfunction, and the Zoo!
It had been a week since I got my cool new baseball bat/katana…and since that strange night Gokudera called me Yamamochan. Needless to say, I was surprised I was still dwelling on that small little fact even though I had told myself to forget about it for my sanity's sake. I knew that Gokudera had just been so deliriously happy about something that he hadn't even understood what he was saying, or that he was just trying to be condescending, but it came out wrong since he was so happy. And, just like I had thought, Gokudera didn't even remember what he had called me by the next day, and was treating me like I was the bane of his existence. I spent the rest of that day wondering if I should be happy about that or not.
My confusion aside, though, the days had gone by until a week passed. The weather was a little warmer by then, and I was enjoying my time being out in the baseball field. Even though we really hadn't had much snow this winter, it was still generally too chilly to be outside for a long period of time for club training, so that's why I always loved spring weather. March was usually a difficult month for me, though. I craved to get out onto the field and practice baseball until I was too tired to move, but finals were coming up, and so was the end of the school year. In a week's time, I'd be 'hopefully' graduating from my first year of middle school. I just needed to be a little more motivated to study.
I sighed sadly to myself at this thought as I made my way into the classroom one Monday morning. I had just finished morning baseball practice, so I was wondering if Tsuna and Gokudera were in class yet. Unsurprisingly, because of my club activities, every one of my classmates were already in class, and there was a few more minutes left to go until the bell rang. Seeing my friends next to Tsuna's desk, I made my way over and called out a greeting. Unsurprisingly, Tsuna greeted me with a warm smile, and Gokudera scowled at me.
Before I could ask them how they were doing, I heard a loud, very familiar voice call out for Tsuna.
"K-Kyoko-chan's brother…" Tsuna called out in surprise as he, Gokudera and I turned our attention towards the back classroom door. Sure enough, Senpai was standing in the threshold, a look of fiery determination on his face. That wasn't too surprising to see, since he always looked that way, haha!
As I was thinking this, I noticed how Tsuna got up from his seat and walked towards the back of the classroom. Senpai entered the classroom as well and met Tsuna halfway saying that he had something important to tell my smaller friend.
"Wh-What is it?" I heard Tsuna ask hesitantly then. I wouldn't be surprised if he still considered Senpai imposing because of his 'extreme' attitude, haha!
"Basically," I heard Senpai speak up then, a look of excitement crossing his features, "a request has been made of the Boxing Club."
For some reason then, I saw Senpai grab onto Tsuna's shoulders and start to shake him, asking him if he'd 'accept'. Haha, I was kind of confused…
"A-Accept what?" Tsuna asked then in a shaking voice, his head tilting dizzily from side to side as Senpai decided to stop shaking him. I heard Gokudera growl out under his breath then and start stalking his way to the back of the classroom. Seeing as I didn't want a fight to break out, and since I wanted to get a better idea of what was going on, I followed after Gokudera as we made our way towards Tsuna.
"Hey, Lawn Head, don't drag the Tenth into stupid stuff," Gokudera called out in irritation as we stopped beside Tsuna and Senpai. I just smiled at Senpai then as I placed my hands behind my head in a lazy fashion, hoping that the other wouldn't take offense to Gokudera's attitude like he usually did and cause more of a scene…than he usually did, haha. Senpai was very eccentric and always causing heads to turn.
"I won't let you call this stupid, Octopus Head!" Senpai declared in his usually loud voice, looking offended by Gokudera's attitude, despite my attempts at placating him.
"So what is it?" I spoke-up kindly with a smile, hoping to calm my older classmate down.
"Bodyguards," Senpai explained simply then, which only managed to confuse me more. "There are dojo busters roaming around," he finished with a shaking fist. Oh, so that's what he meant… I'm…still not sure what that has to do with bodyguards, though, haha!
"Dojo busters?" Tsuna asked as he looked at Senpai for more clarification.
"There you have it," Senpai stated while not explaining anything more in the process, as he clapped Tsuna on the shoulder and sent him a thumbs up with his other hand. "I'm counting on you."
"Wh-Why me?!" Tsuna shouted in a startled fashion, his form automatically stiffening under Senpai's hand.
"Aren't you in the Boxing Club?!" Senpai shouted out incredulously, which made me chuckle amusedly under my breath. Not only was Senpai a bit eccentric, but he was also very stubborn and a bit dense. Poor Tsuna.
"I'm not!" Tsuna declared while he vigorously shook his head.
"Think about it, Sawada!" Senpai offered as he turned around then and started spouting off a motivational speech. "It's every guy's responsibility to help keep the area safe."
Tsuna, Gokudera and I glanced at each other with confusion (and mainly irritation on Gokudera's part) before Tsuna faced Senpai again.
"Th-That makes sense in theory…" Tsuna trailed off in a deadpanned tone, not exactly denying what Senpai was stating.
"And once you use your fists for justice," Senpai seemed to continue with his motivational speech like Tsuna hadn't said anything, "you'll understand how wonderful boxing is!"
"…So it all comes back to boxing…" Tsuna muttered under his breath in exhaustion. Haha, poor Tsuna. If he thought Senpai exhausted him now, just wait. If Tsuna ever got to go out with Sasagawa, then he'd have Senpai to deal with then. Not only that, if he married Sasagawa, Senpai would be his brother-in-law!
"We accept your request," I heard a familiar nasally voice say to my left then, and when I turned my head to see who it was, I noticed a small, trap door flip around on the back blackboard, and the Little Guy was standing there before us. Haha, he really had some cool magic tricks!
"Reborn!" Tsuna called out in surprise before his voice became annoyed. "I keep telling you not to come to school!"
The Little Guy responded to my smaller friend by completely ignoring him as usual, and, instead, turning his attention towards Senpai.
"Tsuna will deal with the dojo busters, so you don't have to worry," he assured.
"Yeah!" Senpai declared with a happy grunt, looking satisfied with the turn of events.
"Don't decide that on your own!" Tsuna whined as he looked towards the Little Guy, his eyes pleading for what was probably reconsideration.
"Protecting the safety of the citizens is also the mafia's duty," the toddler explained knowingly with a little smirk. Haha, I knew this would be tied back to our mafia role-playing game. The Little Guy was obsessed with it!
"I'm not in the mafia!" Tsuna protested with all of his might as I sent my smaller friend an apologetic look. There was no way that he was going to get out of this now that the Little Guy was on board. The kid was just too stubborn.
As Tsuna started whining in lament then, because he must have realized what his fate was going to be by this point (although that didn't stop him from protesting nonetheless), the Little Guy went on to state, "If you let weirdoes run wild, the Family will look bad."
With those words alone, Gokudera became animated beside me as he pumped his arms into the air in excitement.
"Tenth!" My silver-haired companion called out in determination. "We'll show them our might!"
"Sheesh…just because you're not involved…" Tsuna started to grumble out in exhaustion, still not looking all that convinced on that he should meddle with dojo busters. Before he could finish what he wanted to say, though, the Little Guy interrupted him.
"You're all involved," the toddler corrected with that ever-knowing smile on his face. When Tsuna and the rest of us glanced at the kid in confusion, he went on to further explain, "This is a request from Kyoko."
As the Little Guy turned his head to stare towards the front of the classroom, I, along with everyone else, followed his gaze to see that Sasagawa was actually standing a few meters away from us, looking troubled as she fidgeted before everyone's attention.
"Kyoko-chan?" Tsuna questioned softly in his confusion while Senpai asked his sister what was wrong. It was obvious now that she had probably talked to the Little Guy if Senpai didn't even know his sister was somehow involved in all of this.
"Well…" Sasagawa fidgeted again, the worry never leaving her face even as she prepared herself and stared at all of us with a look of utter determination. I had never seen Sasagawa's sister look that way before; she was always so peaceful and mellow. "Something happened that I just couldn't let slide," my female classmate stated then with a little more confidence in her voice.
"The dojo busters are causing trouble all over town. Are you going to let that slide?" The Little Guy added as if to drive Sasagawa's statement all the more home. Even though she hadn't fully explained what had happened, it was pretty obvious now that she had seen the dojo busters at least, and, because of that, Tsuna was more than likely going to be a little more interested in the plight.
"Th-Then Kyoko-chan was…" Tsuna stuttered out in worry then as he glanced between Sasagawa and the Little Guy. It looked like he had put everything together like I had and had come to the same conclusion…albeit, by the worried look on his face, he thought that Sasagawa had got directly involved with the dojo busters somehow instead of being just a witness.
It seemed that Senpai was thinking along the same lines too, because I saw a metaphorical fire light up his eyes before he started screaming, "I won't let them get away with this! I'll use my extreme fists of justice to smash them!"
Haha, Senpai sounded like a super hero!
"Tsuna, this is your job," the Little Guy stated then as Tsuna stared at Senpai with a deadpanned expression. Senpai ignored him and just stared off into space with a look of intense determination, a fiery aura practically emanating from him as he undoubtedly thought about the dojo busters and how his sister got involved.
"Mine?" Tsuna questioned in a startled fashion then, still not seeming to want to get involved, even if Sasagawa was affected. Come on, Tsuna, that really didn't give you a good impression. If you beat up the dojo bustes then maybe Sasagawa would be more impressed with you!
"You're going to defeat the dojo busters," the Little Guy stated once again to my smaller friend, who continued to seem unsure about the whole ordeal as he glanced worriedly from the Little Guy to Gokudera and me then.
"Tsuna-kun…" I heard Sasagawa's soft voice say as the young girl approached us, her eyes filled with concern. "Just let me know if I'm asking too much, okay?"
Sasagawa's eyes stared at Tsuna so dolefully then that there was no way that my smaller friend could say such a thing. He just gave a good natured chuckle as he waved his hands back and forth in front of himself, trying to reassure Sasagawa that everything was fine.
"No, of course you're not…"
"Really?!" Senpai exclaimed instead of Sasagawa as he jumped in front of Tsuna's field of vision, looking totally pumped. "So you'll help out?!"
Tsuna started stuttering like a madman then, still looking uncertain, but Gokudera jumped in the next second with words of praise for our dear friend.
"That's the Tenth for you!"
Tsuna glanced frantically between Senpai and Gokudera then before his eyes fell onto me. I just sent my smaller friend an apologetic, yet encouraging smile.
"Good luck, Tsuna," I said, knowing that there really wasn't a chance for Tsuna to escape this situation now, despite how badly he wanted to.
"All right," the Little Guy confirmed for everyone then, his eyes staring directly into Tsuna's terrified brown. "We'll start training in the park after school, Tsuna."
Tsuna just wailed in despair as a form of response, and whined about the prospects of more training as I patted him comfortingly on the back. I had seen Tsuna accomplish amazing feats before, and I was sure that he'd be able to pull this off as well if he just had a little more confidence. Hopefully the Little Guy's placebo bullets could help my friend out a little bit longer until he gained the confidence he needed.
As I thought this, Tsuna trudged back to his seat, looking utterly defeated. I heard Sasagawa thank him, though, which seemed to perk my friend up a little bit. Seeing as class was almost about to start, I started heading towards my desk as well, but the Little Guy called out to me, making me stop in my tracks.
"Yamamoto, Gokudera, Ryohei," the toddler spoke up in a serious tone then. When I turned to face him again, his eyes were actually twinkling in a mischievous way. "I need you to help assist me with Tsuna's training after school. I want you to arrive in secret, though, so stay back in school for a little bit and then come to the park near Tsuna's house ten minutes or so later."
Gokudera and Senpai were stoked at this news (Gokudera because he'd be helping Tsuna, and Senpai because he was probably excited about any sort of training). I just smiled a little uncertainly. I was actually excited about helping out, since it sounded fun, but I was more worried about the fact that I would have to be in the middle of Gokudera and Senpai the whole time we were waiting things out because those two would undoubtedly try to kill each other…
I tried to laugh as good-naturedly as I could as I walked between Gokudera and Senpai after school. I had been correct in assuming that the two of them (mainly Gokudera) would start a fight, and it had practically been non-stop the whole time we had been waiting to head to the park. After I reminded them that we had to be quiet when we got close to the park so that Tsuna wouldn't know that we were there, just like the Little Guy had instructed us, they actually did start to act their age and walked along then in silence (albeit a grumpy silence).
As soon as we rounded the corner to the park area, I was able to see that Tsuna was sitting on top of a huge rock that had been placed by the swing set. He looked like he was shivering as he sat on top of it in a meditative stance. I couldn't exactly blame if he was cold since the wind had picked up a bit from this morning, so the air was a bit chilly at the moment.
Before I could wonder on what my teammates and I were supposed to do then, the Little Guy approached us with a tiny finger pressed against his lips to make sure we stayed quiet. He then proceeded to tell us in a whisper that we were going to be helping with Tsuna's meditative process by representing different seasons/weather conditions. As I wondered on how we were going to do that, the tiny toddler pointed towards what looked like a fire hose, a large battery operated fan, and a large loading machine filled with snow placed around Tsuna's rock.
"I told Tsuna that he had to keep his eyes closed or else I'd kill him, so he doesn't know about the props" the Little Guy said with a wicked looking smirk. "When I give you guys the signal for rain, wind, and snow, I want you to use those items around Tsuna's rock. Yamamoto, you'll man the fire hose, Gokudera will be in charge of the fan, and Ryohei will be on top of the loader and shovel snow onto Tsuna from above."
The three of us nodded in agreement, Senpai surprisingly staying quiet even though he looked about ready to burst from excitement. He must have considered being quiet as part of the training, haha!
As the four of us approached Tsuna then, Gokudera, Senpai and I went to our stations as the Little Guy started to address Tsuna, and my smaller friend began to complain about the cold boulder he was sitting on. I felt a little guilty that I was going to be spraying my friend with what looked like a high-pressured water hose, but if it would really help with Tsuna's training, I was willing to go through with it regardless.
Just as I thought this, I heard the Little Guy say 'rain'. I quickly turned on the hose then and sprayed Tsuna directly in his unsuspecting face. When I heard the Little Guy say 'wind' next, I shut off the hose, and saw Gokudera turn his fan on. Tsuna cried out in shock and shivered even more at the onslaught. When the Little Guy said 'snow', though, and Gokudera turned off his fan, before Senpai could even throw a shovelful of snow onto my smaller friend's head, Tsuna's eyes were open and he was begging everyone to hold on for a minute.
"What are you all doing?!" Tsuna exclaimed then as he glanced between Gokudera, Senpai and I, his eyes frantic and more panicky then they usually were.
"We wanted to help you with training," Gokudera replied with the smile that he only held in reserve for Tsuna.
"Yeah, the Little Guy asked us to pitch in," I added on with a smile as well.
"I'm willing to help to the extreme!" Senpai practically screamed for the whole neighborhood to hear as he held his shovel full of snow directly above Tsuna's head. Tsuna looked absolutely terrified as he stared up at Senpai like he had gone insane…well, maybe a little more insane than usual, haha!
"Doesn't it feel like the seasons are passing by?" I heard the Little Guy ask then. "Three years of training will fly by in no time."
"Like hell they will!" Tsuna screamed incredulously from atop his meditation rock. Before my smaller friend could do something drastic (that he'd probably sorely regret since the Little Guy was involved, after all), I heard Senpai's sister approach.
"Tsuna-kun!" The young girl called out as she came up to us, Haru surprisingly by her side. I hadn't expected either of them to show up.
"Kyoko-chan! Haru!" Tsuna called out in surprise as Sasagawa looked up at him with a worried expression on her face. Did she feel slightly guilty for getting Tsuna involved with all of this?
"You're working so hard…" Haru spoke with awe then as she stared up at Tsuna with wonder, her words actually causing Sasagawa to smile in turn. "Tsuna-san's such a kind person."
As Haru placed her hands against her face in a dreamy fashion and Sasagawa thanked Tsuna for doing what he was doing, I began to wonder why Haru was there as well. Was she involved the same way as Sasagawa was, or had she just happened upon the scene?
"Ah, well…" Tsuna tried to be modest then in concerns to Sasagawa's gratitude, but she interrupted him before he could say anything more.
"Actually, I was talking with Haru-chan, and we thought we might train with you," Sasagawa offered with a naïve smile.
"Huh?" Tsuna gawked as Sasagawa's request seemed to finally hit him.
"You're training to punish the dojo busters, and we want to do our part too," Sasagawa began to explain then, her eyes shining with a determination I had never seen before in her.
Tsuna seemed touched by her words, because his features became pensive, even though a hint of worry flashed behind his eyes. I wouldn't be surprised if he wanted to grant Sasagawa's wish to make her happy but that he'd refrain because he didn't want her to get hurt as well.
"The three of us are united in spirit!" Haru declared then with an invigorated pump of her fist. "All for one!" She then started to throw her hands everywhere in overdramatic poses. Had she been watching too much Sailor Moon or something, haha?
"Let us share everything!" Haru continued to shout out with vigor before she clasped her hands together in prayer and bowed her head. "When we're sick…When we're poor…When we're suffering…When we're starving…"
"Those are all bad times…" Tsuna deadpanned as he stared at Haru in disbelief. Haru seemed to finally realize what she had been saying, too, because she let out a little cry of disbelief herself. I chuckled a little to myself at the scene, especially after I noted how Gokudera was gawking at Haru incredulously as well. For some reason, I always found Gokudera's facial expressions amusing, haha!
"Um…In any case, fight!" Haru hurriedly spoke up then after she recovered from her little mishap.
"Let's work hard together," Sasagawa added with an amused smile then, which she directed up towards Tsuna.
"You two have dedication," the Little Guy commented with a pleased smile. "Okay, let the training begin."
As the girls bowed to the tiny toddler, I noticed how Tsuna didn't seem to like this idea, because he was glaring down at the Little Guy the next second.
"Hold on," my smaller friend brought up with an annoyed tone, "Shouldn't you be stopping them from doing dangerous things?"
"Their training here won't go to waste," the Little Guy reassured then with a confident air.
"…Are you sure about this?" Tsuna asked in worry again as he glanced between the girls and the Little Guy. The toddler just smirked before he disregarded everyone and headed towards the slide. It was then that I noticed there was a large tarp covering something beside it. What was underneath that?
I got my answer a second later when the Little Guy threw off the tarp to show a small…makeshift hot springs underneath?! Haha! I hadn't been expecting that!
"While Tsuna is meditating on the rock, Kyoko and Haru will be meditating in this footbath," the Little Guy explained as he gestured to the large billboard behind him that said, 'Warm and Fuzzy Footbath'. Was this makeshift hot spring actually something you could buy? It sounded pretty nice! Haha!
Even though I found the idea of the footbath a decent beginning towards training for the girls, I noticed how Senpai looked torn because he was probably concerned about Sasagawa training to begin with. Tsuna and Gokudera on the other hand, were staring at the footbath in utter disbelief. The girls just squealed in excitement before they rushed over to the hot spring and dipped their feet into the warm water, commenting on how relaxing it was.
"Alright, now that that's settled, get back to training, Tsuna," the Little Guy ordered the next moment, which only made Tsuna wail in dismay. I felt kind of bad for my friend then, but he was more used to hard training like this where the girls were totally new. The Little Guy was just trying to break them into things at a steadier pace.
A good fifteen minutes went by then as Tsuna was continuously bombarded by Gokudera's fan, my water hose, and Senpai's snow. During this time, the Little Guy was actually catering to the girls by dressing up like a masseuse at a spa resort and giving them drinks and foot massages. I had no idea the toddler was so advanced in that sort of knowledge. He was definitely going to be a lady-killer when he grew up, haha!
Needless to say, all the attention the girls were getting seemed to annoy Tsuna, since he was suffering while the girls were having fun. The Little Guy made us 'train' Tsuna even more with our respective elements, much to what looked like my smaller friend's dismay.
When another five minutes of this difference in treatment went by, the Little Guy declared the training over and brought Tsuna and the girls together before him. As he jumped onto the top of a bike rack nearby (I'm guessing that he was using it as some sort of podium like a teacher would, or that maybe he just wanted to feel taller, haha), he asked his students how their training went.
"I feel like a new person!" Sasagawa exclaimed, her whole body practically glowing from her excitement. Haru looked exactly the same way, and even proclaimed that it felt like her body, and even her soul, was sparkling. It made me wonder what kind of water had been in that hot spring, haha!
"My body and soul are completely worn out," Tsuna whined in response to Haru's statement, which the Little Guy chose to ignore then.
"Listen up," the tiny child ordered with that never-changing smile on his face. "I'm going to teach you an ancient martial art. Its name is…" There was a short pause then as Tsuna and the girls stared at the Little Guy in wonder. "…Absolute Evil Fist."
"Absolute Evil Fist?" I heard Sasagawa question as if she wasn't sure she had heard right.
"Hahi! That's a devilish name," Haru squeaked in fright beside her.
I leaned back against the diagonal pole of the swing set behind me then, my hands placed behind my head. I figured that it was going to take some time for the Little Guy to explain about this scary sounding technique of his. Gokudera and Senpai stood beside me, looking very intrigued with what the toddler had to say. Even though it sounded cool, it also sounded very silly to me, so I wasn't sure how I was supposed to take all of this, haha!
"Only one thing is required to master this technique," the Little Guy began to explain with an all-knowing smirk. "You must focus all the chi in your body to one point."
"G-Got it!" Sasagawa cried out in determination to the Little Guy's explanation, even though there was a hint of uncertainty in her voice. She probably didn't understand what the Little Guy had said completely (I was sure that I didn't either), but she was still willing to go through the training. She was definitely Senpai's sister, haha!
"I guarantee this won't be good," I heard Tsuna mumble morosely to himself, although it was loud enough for everyone to hear. Haha, something told me that hijinks were going to ensue like they normally did when the Little Guy was involved.
"This sounds like an amazing martial art," I mentioned with excitement and wonder as I spoke to Gokudera and Senpai beside me. I was interested to see what the technique actually looked like.
"The 'evil fist' moniker must mean it's incredibly strong," Gokudera actually seemed to agree with me then as he focused his attention completely on the Little Guy.
"Focusing on one point is a basic in martial arts," Senpai added with his usual, fiery gusto. "This technique makes sense."
As I glanced back towards Tsuna, the Little Guy, and the girls, I noticed that the toddler was continuing his teachings.
"I'll need you to focus more often," the young child declared then with an unwavering voice. "Consider yourself in training morning, noon, and night, no matter where you are."
"Yes!" The girls agreed with determination written all over their faces. Tsuna didn't say a thing. He just stared at the Little Guy in absolute exhaustion, looking about ready to either complain or fall over and pass out.
"We'll hold a training camp at Tsuna's house," the Little Guy stated the next moment, which effectively gave Tsuna a little more energy as he recoiled from the other's declaration in shock.
"But why my house?!" My smaller friend questioned in disbelief. The Little Guy smirked like the answer should have been obvious.
"I said that you guys will be in training throughout the whole day. The girls can't practice out here when it gets dark since that's unsafe. We'll reconvene our training at your house because it's easier for me to train there."
Tsuna just sighed in defeat at that. I saw the girls try to give him a pep talk then in order to cheer him up, but Tsuna just looked so exhausted. I really hoped that he'd be able to make it through all of this training…
"Alright, we'll head to Tsuna's house then," the Little Guy announced as he turned to face Gokudera, Senpai, and me. "Thanks for your help, but you guys won't be needed anymore. "
Feeling a little bummed that I wouldn't be able to see the cool technique the toddler had been talking about, but knowing I'd just get in the way as a spectator, I accepted the Little Guy's dismissal. Gokudera and Senpai didn't take it too well either, but after Senpai calmed down when Sasagawa reassured him that she'd be alright and be stronger once she was done with the training, and once the Little Guy kicked Gokudera in the head for insisting to tag along to watch over Tsuna, the training group left the three of us in the park to wonder on what we should do next.
It only took a moment for Senpai to declare that he was going to train like a madman in order to protect his sister from the dojo busters should anything go wrong, and for him to run off into the sunset. Senpai was always so animated, haha! His departure looked like the poetic end to a sports movie!
"Well, whatever," I heard Gokudera huff out beside me as he stared at Senpai's retreating back in an unimpressed fashion. Without another word, he started walking away, his destination unknown to me. I don't know what came over me then, but I suddenly had the urge to…hang out with the other for a bit longer; just the two of us. It was a strange feeling to say the least, since I still felt a little unsure around Gokudera after the whole incident last week, and since the other would more than likely be rude to me the whole time but…even with that…I still wanted Gokudera to be my friend. I didn't know why, but that's what I wanted, so I was just going to go with my gut then. It usually never failed me.
"Hey, wait up, Gokudera!" I called after the other as I stopped leaning against the swing set and rushed over to the other's side. "It's dinner time now, so how about you come over to my place for some sushi? It's been a while since you've done that."
"W-Why the hell would I want to be around you?!" Gokudera shouted out at me in a flustered fashion then, looking equally appalled and unsure of what to do with himself. Despite how I knew what I should feel from the other's reaction…it was actually amusing to me. Gokudera just made the funniest faces when he was flustered.
"Well, I know that…you're a little short on money at the moment…" I mentioned hesitantly, unsure with even myself if I wanted to bring up how Gokudera had spent practically all of his money on sweets…and how he ruffled my hair afterwards and called me by a babyish name…But I knew that I would have to mention it if I was going to get the other to come along with me.
It was then that I was taken by surprise. I didn't know if it was out of embarrassment or anger, but Gokudera's whole face turned red at the mention of his financial situation. Could it be that…he also remembered what had happened last week? I could feel myself blush and my gut twist uncomfortably at the thought. Maybe this wasn't a good idea after all…I didn't really know how to react in this situation.
A weird and very awkward silence fell between us as we looked anywhere but at each other. When Gokudera finally responded, his voice was dark and threatening.
"We never speak of this again," he all but hissed out as he glared menacingly at me before he turned away and started…walking towards my house!
Not sure if the other was referring to not bringing up the incident last week or not bringing up that he agreed to come over to my house to eat (it was probably both), I followed behind the other with a happy-go-lucky smile. Maybe it was best if we just put whatever had happened behind us so that we could go forward and become better friends? I know that's not what Gokudera was thinking at all, but…for me…maybe that was the best. I felt very uncomfortable and strange thinking about what had happened between us recently, and I truly wanted to forget so that I wouldn't feel awkward around the other anymore. I just wanted to be Gokudera's friend, and I couldn't be that if I didn't know how to act around him.
With a hopeful smile, I fell in sync beside the other, Gokudera yelling that I was too close to him a second later and that he didn't want to be seen with me. I just laughed and fell behind again, just grateful that the other was bothering to spend the time with me, even if it was just for the sake of free food.
About two days went by after the dojo busters' incident. I wasn't there when the actual fight went down, but I heard through Sasagawa and Haru that Tsuna stood his ground to the dojo busters and was able to stop them from continuing. Sasagawa and Haru helped out a bit too by supporting Tsuna, and they were able to look those dojo buster's in the eyes without fear, so it seemed like their training had paid off at least, haha!
As for Gokudera, he was still treating me the same as usual…Okay, maybe he seemed to be pushing me away a little bit more (he always yelled if I stood by him when Tsuna wasn't around us), but I think that had to do with the fact that he was still a bit self-conscious over what happened last week and the fact that he ate dinner at my house two days ago. That was just an assumption on my part, since he really hadn't been too bothered by my presence a few weeks or so ago (I mean that he wasn't as pushy about me keeping my distance). Anyway, dinner at my place had been enjoyable, surprisingly. I think the only reason why Gokudera tolerated me, though, was because he seemed to like my father, so he didn't want to make him mad by insulting me in front of his face. Still, it was better than nothing, haha!
While I was thinking this the final bell rang, and classes were officially over for the weekend. I realized that I should have probably been listening to the lecture (since finals were next week and we were reviewing material), but hopefully I could get Tsuna to convince Gokudera to go over the information with us again later. Even though the Little Guy insisted on being Tsuna's tutor for some reason (I guess he liked roleplaying as a school teacher, too…which I've actually seen him do, come to think of it), Gokudera was very good at teaching as well, even though he yelled at me most of the time, haha!
As everyone got their school materials together and started to leave for home or club activities, I stayed behind because I had class cleaning duties. Surprisingly enough, I had them with Gokudera! I tried to make sure that this opportunity wouldn't go to waste, so that Gokudera and I could bond more as potential friends, but the other was just as insistent that I kept my distance as he had been for the past week. I just sighed sadly to myself and went about sweeping up the classroom. I noticed that Gokudera was lazing about more than actually helping me with the cleaning duties, but I didn't want to start an argument so I kept doing what I was doing. Besides, Gokudera really seemed to be engrossed in the newspaper he was reading. Was he reading the school paper? I didn't think he actually cared about the school, haha!
"What?!" I heard the Italian delinquent shout out in horrified shock the next second, which made me jump. Had I accidentally portrayed my thoughts out loud?
Turning around to glance at the other in question, I realized that Gokudera was still leaning up against the wall at the front of the classroom (he had at least been beating the erasers for me a few minutes ago) and glaring daggers at the newspaper he had clutched in his now shaking hands.
"What's wrong, Gokudera?" I asked with concern then, to which I got a wonderful 'It's none of your fucking business!' in response. I just ignored the other's hostility in favor of actually walking up to the other to see what he was reading. I was done cleaning up anyway.
Since Gokudera was too busy glaring heatedly down at the innocent piece of paper in his hands and mumbling angrily to himself, I was easily able to sidle up alongside the other and read the paper over his shoulder. To my surprise, he wasn't reading the school newspaper! Instead, it was a newspaper about the mafia…and Gokudera was reading an article about Lambo it seemed, since the toddler's picture was staring back at the both of us with that normal, goofy smile the cow-child always wore. The article said something about Lambo being admitted into the Vongola Family by the tenth up and coming boss…So did that mean that Lambo was officially part of our roleplaying group now?
"Haha, wow, I didn't know how big our mafia role-play was up until now!" I laughed out in surprise then. "To think that there's an actual newspaper for this. It makes it feel like it's more authentic I guess, haha!"
"Are you fucking retarded?!" Gokudera practically screamed in my face the next second, looking both appalled by my appearance and shocked at the same time. "This is a real newspaper detailing the latest mafia news within the circle of the Vongola's aligned families!"
"…So Lambo's other roleplaying group didn't want him or something?" I asked then, not fully understanding what Gokudera was trying to get at, since he tended to take things a little too seriously anyway. "It said in the paper that the…Bovy Family happily gave him to Tsuna, right?"
Gokudera just gawked at my questions, his mouth flapping uselessly like a fish out of water, since no words seemed to be coming out. I just blinked at the other in a concerned fashion, wondering if he was choking on something I hadn't seen him chew earlier.
Eventually, it seemed that Gokudera had just been at a loss for words, because he turned around, grabbed his school bag, and marched out of the room. Wondering what the other was up to, I quickly grabbed my own bag and rushed after the other.
After quickly placing the broom I had in the nearest supply closet, I finally caught up to my silver-haired companion, who seemed keen on ignoring me as he made his way to his locker.
"Where are you going, Gokudera?" I asked in curiosity then. I got another 'None of your fucking business' as the other quickly slipped on his shoes and marched out of the school.
Ignoring Gokudera's apparent catch phrase, I put on my own shoes before running after the other. There was no way I was going to give up until the other acknowledged me. If I didn't pursue and just let the other go, then I'd never make progress with the other in the end.
"Stop following me!" Gokudera yelled out as soon as I caught up. I just smiled serenely at him in turn.
"I might if you tell me what you're doing," I stated with a look of insistence, my eyes shining with insatiable curiosity.
Gokudera eyed me for a moment out of the corner of his eyes as he took in this information before he turned his attention away from me and growled out, "I'm going to the Tenth's. If what this paper says is true then that means that the Stupid Cow is officially part of the Vongola Family. It's bad enough I have to put up with you, so I'm going to try and convince the Tenth to reconsider letting that fucking cow join."
"Hmm…well that sounds interesting, I guess," I mumbled out to myself as I glanced up at the sky and pretended to look thoughtful. I personally didn't mind who became a part of our roleplay, and Lambo really was around enough that he was practically part of it anyway, so I didn't see any problem with it. But…if tagging along meant that I would get to hang out with Gokudera more, there really wasn't much for me to think about.
"Alright, I'll come along!" I laughed out then as I sent Gokudera my biggest smile.
"You fucking bastard!" The smaller teen raged at me as he stopped in his tracks and shook his roleplaying newspaper at me. "You said you'd leave me alone!"
"Haha! But I changed my mind!" I laughed out like that answer would change everything. I wasn't too surprised to be at the end of Gokudera's wrath the next second, though. In a flash, the other had lit a cigarette and proceeded to toss lit fireworks at me. I laughed out in amusement as I dodged the common assault, since I had grown used to such antics by now. It really was fun to get Gokudera riled up, even though I felt like that was probably part of the problem as to why the other didn't like me so much. I just couldn't help it, though! Gokudera was just…I don't know…I just liked to do it for some reason. It was hard to explain without making it sound weird.
As soon as Gokudera was done venting his anger out on me, and stomped away from me in frustration (probably because I hadn't gotten hit once), I followed at a safe distance, still intrigued about how this whole scenario was going to play out. If there was one thing I knew for sure, it was that, whenever something was involved with our mafia role-playing game, something interesting always happened. I had nothing better to do anyway since I didn't have club activities that day.
While Gokudera and I continued walking down the street towards Tsuna's house, I could see Gokudera's shoulders tense more with every step he took. When I saw his head was turning to glance at me then, I quickly looked up towards the sky as if I had been paying attention to that the whole time instead of the other.
"Keep your distance!" I heard Gokudera shout out scathingly in my direction, his temper making him sound like a hissing, territorial cat. "If you walk any closer to me, people will think we're friends!"
Noticing that Gokudera had stopped walking by that point, I stopped a few feet behind the other and sent him a 'what-are-you-talking-about?' shrug, my eyes staring at the other innocently just to irritate the other more. "Now, now," I spoke reassuringly then, which only caused the other to glower at me all the more as he took in the distance between us and comically sidestepped a few more centimeters away from me and put out his cigarette on the sidewalk, "we're just going to Tsuna's house, right?"
At the reminder towards our mission, Gokudera seemed to forget about the distance I was keeping to him, because he looked at the newspaper he had crumbled in one of his hands and opened it to the page that had Lambo's picture on it.
"I'm not letting that Stupid Cow into our Family! I'm going to ask the Tenth to refuse," my silver-haired companion growled out in determination, focusing his anger on the poor toddler instead of myself then. I wasn't sure if I should feel thankful for that, since that meant that Gokudera wasn't paying attention to me anymore. Some attention was better than none, in my opinion…Maybe I should tease the other more? No, I should try to make nice conversation, instead. As fun as teasing the other was, doing it too much would only make the relationship between us worse.
Before I could enact my next course of action, though, I heard a strange noise nearby. It…sounded like a grown man making a childish train noise…
"Next stop is the Namimori Store, the Namimori Store," I heard the same voice speak in what was supposed to sound like a train conductor's voice, but it just sounded like a grown man talking in a creepily childish fashion instead. Just as I wondered what was going on, I saw a group of kindergarteners in their adorable school uniforms (the ones with the light blue jackets, grey shorts and skirts, and yellow hats) walking along before Gokudera and me in single file, their little hands holding onto two long pieces of rope on either side of them. The little children were making train noises and, in the middle of their procession was a teenager that…he was seriously wearing Lambo's cow-printed footy pajamas! Not only that, but he even had an outrageous black afro that had bull horns sticking out of the sides…
…Well, this was strange, haha…
"Departing now!" The teenager cosplaying as Lambo declared as he made outrageously silly train noises. It was then that I got a good look at the older teen, and noticed how his face resembled that of that Adult Lambo guy that the Little Guy and Tsuna was always doing magic tricks with…
"…Was that Adult Lambo…?" I heard Gokudera mutter under his breath in a deadpanned, disbelieving tone. I couldn't see the other's face since he was standing in front of me, but just imagining what his reaction was at the moment was funny enough, haha!
"…Yeah…I think it was…" I chuckled out with slight uncertainty. I wasn't really sure how I should be reacting to this strange situation. On the one hand, it was kind of hilarious, but on the other…it was just weird…
"Gokudera-kun! Yamamoto!" I heard Tsuna's voice calling out to us then. When I turned towards where Adult Lambo had come from, I noticed how my smaller friend was actually running up to us. Was he following Adult Lambo? Oh, and I-Pin was also running beside him…
"Tenth?" I heard Gokudera call out beside me in confusion before Tsuna asked us if we had seen Adult Lambo come through here.
"I did!" Gokudera answered for the both of us and with greater insistence. I guess that Gokudera was more freaked out over the strange situation than I was, haha! "He went that way!" My silver-haired companion stated then as he pointed to our left and down the street.
Tsuna seemed to be relieved for a second as he and I-Pin stopped before us to catch their breath. It was here that I finally noticed Gokudera's face and how concerned he looked as he asked Tsuna what had happened.
"It doesn't matter!" Tsuna insisted as he seemed to gain back whatever energy he had lost. "I just have to catch him and bring him back! Will you guys help me?"
"Of course, Tenth!" Gokudera proclaimed with fiery determination. I just laughed beside my two friends and sent Tsuna an encouraging smile.
"Sure! This sounds like fun!"
This is how I found myself running after my two friends as we tried to follow the crazy looking teenager dressed up as Lambo. We had managed to spot the teen waving goodbye to the first graders before getting into a taxi. Before we could reach the taxi, though, the vehicle took off, leaving Tsuna, Gokudera, I-Pin and me in the business district at a four way intersection. Thankfully it wasn't during a busy hour, so we'd probably be able to spot the car if we kept going, but the light for the crosswalk in front of us was red, so we couldn't continue unless we wanted to get run over by several vehicles. I had seen the outcomes of Gokudera getting hit by some cars, and didn't wish to experience that myself. Who knows what I'd say under morphine, haha!
"Where did Adult Lambo go?" I heard Tsuna ask then as he scanned the street ahead of us for the taxi, as if it would actually return to us.
To my complete and utter surprise, though, I heard that whiny, older voice of the teenager we were following (it actually sounded pretty creepy, hearing a grown teenager talking like a toddler, haha…) a second later. "Hey, it's stupid Tsuna!" the cow-dressed teen proclaimed out the window of the same taxi we had seen just a few minutes ago as it actually passed by us (had the taxi just gone around the block?). The teenager had had his head sticking out the window, but as soon as he passed us, he brought his huge-afro of a head back inside to press his face up against the back window and make weird faces at us; his nose pressed flat against the glass and his tongue sticking out as he moved his head back and forth in a teasing manner. Haha, this was kind of ridiculous!
"That was Adult Lambo!" Tsuna exclaimed in surprise then as if he couldn't fathom what had just happened. Gokudera seemed to understand everything that was transpiring, though, because I saw him get irritated the next second and bring both of his hands inside of his yellow blazer (we were still wearing our winter school uniforms).
"That Stupid Cow!" My silver-haired companion growled out in annoyance as he brought out two handfuls of dynamite. "I'll blow him to bits!"
"Gokudera-kun, that's not a good idea! The driver is with him!" Tsuna shouted out desperately then, hoping that our fiery delinquent of a friend wouldn't actually start blowing up the street after the taxi. I didn't want to think of the collateral damage to the town and to the moving vehicles currently on the street either.
I just saw Gokudera huff as he realized what Tsuna was saying. It was here that I noticed another little problem with Gokudera's violent plan.
"Yeah, besides, you don't have a cigarette lit at the moment, so you wouldn't be able to light them up anyway! Haha!" I laughed as Gokudera froze beside me and a blush of embarrassment overtook his face. He seemed to be so shocked by his little mishap and the embarrassment he was probably feeling that he didn't even retaliate at me for once. I took that moment to notice that the light for the crosswalk had changed and informed my friends that we should chase after the taxi then.
Thankfully the taxi had stopped at a stop light a little further down the road, so we were able to catch up to it to an extent. It started moving again before we could reach it, sadly, but we kept chasing after it in hopes that the creepy teenager would get off somewhere. I heard I-Pin exclaim beside me then in surprise, and, as I glanced in the direction she was pointing (which happened to be at the taxi), I noticed that Adult Lambo was crawling out of the back right window of the vehicle and into the driver's side of the cab the next moment. It only took a few seconds after that for the driver of the taxi to go flying out of the front passenger door (all the while the taxi was still moving, mind you) to his left and into some boxes of garbage on the side of the road a few meters ahead of us. The taxi continued on ahead with Adult Lambo now behind the wheel.
"Are you okay?" Tsuna asked then as we stopped by the taxi driver and he kneeled down to see if he was hurt.
"Yeah, I'm fine, but my car…" The taxi driver muttered out weakly despite his reassurances. The older, grey-haired man turned his head to watch his precious taxi drive off further into the business distract, the green taxi now swerving along the road.
"…Can he drive?" I asked in slight worry with concerns to Adult Lambo, even though I knew that my question was kind of stupid, especially when I saw the taxi swerve onto the sidewalk for a split second and barely missed two electric poles before it swerved back onto the road.
"Of course not!" Gokudera griped at me.
"Driving without a license is illegal!" I-Pin piped up then as well as if to further drive home how horrible Adult Lambo was being at the moment.
Tsuna whined miserably then as he stood back up before us, his eyes never leaving the crazy taxi that was getting further and further away from us by the second.
"There will be trouble if he gets into an accident!" Tsuna cried out in worry as he started running after the runaway car then, Gokudera, I-Pin and I following at his heels. We weren't making much ground, though, considering that Adult Lambo was probably driving faster than what the taxi was doing originally. It didn't help either how the distant taxi swerved back onto the sidewalk yet again, hit one of the stairways to a bridge that was placed above the street, and started driving up the railings like they were actually made for the wheels of the car. It looked like something you'd see straight out of a video game or action movie, haha!
It only took a few more seconds for Adult Lambo and his taxi to drive across the bridge then and drive down one of the staircases on the other side, but, sadly, he quickly turned into a nearby alley and we could no longer see where he was going to go. We kept running as fast as we could, though, and turned down the alley way a few minutes later. There we found a construction site where construction workers were working on digging the foundation for a new business building. We quickly asked one of the construction workers if they had seen a taxi drive through, and they were able to point out where they had seen Adult Lambo's taxi disappear. We turned a few more corners then and down a few alleys until we got to the part of town where the business district started to merge with the residential. That's where we saw the taxi, which had its front windshield completely demolished for some reason, and it was sitting still right in the middle of an intersection.
"Hey, he stopped!" Tsuna called out then as we started running towards the taxi as fast as we could. Surprisingly enough, the car stayed where it was until we got there, and Tsuna hurried opened the door and crawled into the front passenger seat to confront Adult Lambo.
"Lambo! Stop messing around!" Tsuna reprimanded the teen dressed up like a toddler, but this seemed to startle Adult Lambo so much that he started flooring the car. Before Gokudera, I-Pin and I could so much as blink, the taxi was speeding down the street with Tsuna's legs flailing around outside the still open front passenger door.
As I heard I-Pin lament beside me too, I realized what street we were on then. If Tsuna and Adult Lambo were driving full speed to the south…
"Oh no! The river's up ahead!" I exclaimed in horror then. If my friend crashed into the railing at that speed, the car would flip and fall into the river. And, with the front passenger door still open, the water would fill the car so fast that Adult Lambo and Tsuna would be too shocked to get out in time!
"Holy shit, are you serious?!" Gokudera screamed in worry then as he started running after the taxi as fast as he could. I-Pin and I followed shortly behind him, but, no matter how fast we actually ran…we weren't going to make it in time…The car was just too fast.
As I saw the taxi fast approaching the railing barring off the river, though, I noticed a small figure fly before the car before flying off a few seconds later. It only took a short moment after that for black, poofy looking thinks to start growing out of the windows of the taxi and devour it like some sort of fluffy barrier. I heard a screeching of tires then and the taxi stopped right before it would have hit the railing! Wow, what had just happened?!
Just as I thought this, I saw a huge puff of pink smoke enshroud the entirety of the taxi. As Gokudera, I-Pin and I finally caught up with the now stationary car, the pink smoke dissipated, and the black, poofy barrier thing I had seen disappeared as well. All that was left was the green taxi and its blown out windows. Were Tsuna and Adult Lambo alright?
As I thought this, Gokudera was the first to reach the still open front passenger door and called inside. "A-Are you okay, Tenth?!"
I heard Tsuna cough in response first before uttering that he was alive, like he couldn't believe it.
"Did the Ten-Year Bazooka's effects wear off?" I heard my smaller friend question then. So…this had all happened because Lambo had used that magic trick with his toy bazooka again? But if that was true…then why was Adult Lambo dressed up as little Lambo?
Just as I thought this, I heard the door on the driver's side of the taxi open and I heard the regular Lambo's voice…even though it was coming out a little lower and less high-pitched and energetic like it usually was.
"My goodness," I heard Lambo mutter then before he stepped out of the car…wearing the smaller version of Adult Lambo's regular clothes?! Not only that, but his hair wasn't in its typical afro, but in Adult Lambo's hairstyle as well, and Lambo even had one of his eyes closed like Adult Lambo usually did too! Okay, what…haha?
"Oh my…" Lambo spoke up again then as he glanced between Gokudera, I-Pin, Tsuna (who had crawled out of the taxi by that point) and me. "What are you all up to?" He then greeted Tsuna in particular. "Hello there, Young Vongola. You all seem taller than usual. Is that just my imagination?"
…Okay…Lambo was speaking calmly and was even using big words like it wasn't a problem…what was going on? He was seriously speaking like a teen!
"Now his body is a kid and his mind is an adult…" I heard Tsuna mumble out in complete disbelief then, which only confused me more. Was this some sort of prank? Were we on one of those pranking shows…?
It was then that I heard Tsuna mutter something about Kurokawa of all people not hating Lambo as he was now…You know what? I was just going to go along with this. My brain was starting to hurt anyway.
It was then that Tsuna picked up the irregularly dressed up Lambo and asked Gokudera and me to come back to his house with him and I-Pin. As Gokudera and I walked alongside our friends we learned that he had run into Kurokawa after school. She had seen Haru hanging around him a lot lately, so, even though she knew he was interested in Sasagawa, she threatened to tell Sasagawa that Haru was his girlfriend unless he helped her out with something. That 'something' so happened to be that she was attracted to Adult Lambo (I guess she had seen him in passing at some point with Tsuna) and wanted Tsuna to introduce her to him. That's how he found Kurokawa at his house that day after school where he tried to get Lambo to switch places with Adult Lambo (I really wondered why they always had to resort to a magic trick to do this. Couldn't Tsuna just call him or something?) but it didn't go over very well. It didn't help that Kurokawa apparently didn't like kids in general, either. When she punished Lambo for being annoying, Lambo threw a fit and accidentally made his bazooka toy malfunction and that's why Adult Lambo was running around in Lambo's clothes earlier. I understood most of what my friend was saying…but the ending I didn't understand at all, so I just laughed and let it pass. It wouldn't do any good to try and understand anyway.
By the time we arrived back at Tsuna's house, I had to keep Gokudera in check from going in there and attacking Kurokawa for blackmailing our friend. Thankfully, I was able to distract him with his previous reason for going to Tsuna's house in the first place. After reminding my silver-haired companion about Lambo possibly being part of our mafia role-playing game now, he kept himself from viciously attacking Kurokawa when we entered Tsuna's room a moment later, and, instead, he focused on the Little Guy who was sitting in the room with Kurokawa (and Haru for some reason). The Little Guy was actually wearing an old-father looking costume, haha! He had glasses on his face, a small square mustache glued underneath his nose, and he was wearing a loose, blue yukata and reading through the same newspaper that Gokudera had with him.
As I tried not to laugh at how silly the Little Guy was, I saw Tsuna present the newly-dressed Lambo to Kurokawa, who just scowled in return.
"I said I don't like kids!" She complained loudly then, her face contorting into annoyance. "Get it away!" She proclaimed a second later before she started making a shooing motion with her hand like she was trying to make a small animal move away from her.
Tsuna seemed taken aback by this, while Lambo started to cry. Kurokawa then started hounding Tsuna about where Adult Lambo had gone and stated that she wouldn't leave until she saw him again. This went on for a while, Lambo crying and Kurokawa nagging, until Gokudera got fed up and got into a full out verbal argument with Kurokawa, despite my best attempts. Kurokawa left a few minutes later (probably from the dual annoyance of Lambo's loud crying and Gokudera's attitude), much to what looked like Tsuna's relief.
As Lambo continued to cry, Haru and I-Pin tried their best to comfort him while Gokudera finally confronted the Little Guy about the news he saw in the mafia roleplaying newspaper. The Little Guy told him that the news about Lambo being given to the Vongola Family was actually a misprint and wasn't true. The look of utter relief on Gokudera's face was priceless, haha!
Seeing that Lambo wasn't going to stop crying anytime soon, and seeing that finals were just around the corner, I offered Tsuna and Gokudera some respite by asking them to sleep over at my house tonight so that Gokudera could help us both study. Tsuna was only too willing to agree to the offer, and Gokudera probably only went along with it because Tsuna wanted to, and because he knew he'd probably get free food (seeing that Gokudera hardly had enough money for a decent meal most of the time, I was never going to deny him the opportunity for food if I could help it anyway).
The three of us left with Haru after a moment of discussion with Tsuna's mom (who was now trying her best to comfort Lambo, all the while being confused about his make-over), and soon parted ways as she headed in the opposite direction of us. We made it to my house ten minutes later and actually got down to studying (despite my desire to just sit back and hang out with my friends). My dad was only too willing for Tsuna and Gokudera to stay over for our 'study' party, and made us plenty of food (not all of it was sushi surprisingly, haha). It felt really nice, actually, to be able to do this with Gokudera and Tsuna. I know that Gokudera wasn't exactly my friend, but we were spending time together all the same, so…it was just nice. I had never had study parties before, even with my clubmates. Heck, I had never had really close friends before either, but I felt that, with Tsuna and Gokudera, things were definitely going to be different, if they weren't already, that is.
I just smiled to myself, feeling more content than I had for a very long time.
Another week passed by in a blur, and, before I knew it, my finals were finished, and I had passed. I was going to officially be a second year middle school student as soon as term started up again in April after spring break. I was excited for my vacation. Unlike summer and Christmas vacations, I wouldn't have homework to worry about, so I had a good two weeks to do anything I wanted…minus having to meet up for club practices, but I actually enjoyed those, haha!
As soon as the last day of school was over with, and I was done with my after-school practice, I walked home by myself. It was here that I received a call on my cellphone. Curious as to who would be calling me, I picked it up to see that I was getting a call from Tsuna's home phone. When I answered it, I heard the Little Guy's voice respond, which only heightened my interest. If the Little Guy was calling me then something interesting was definitely going to happen.
It was here that I quickly learned that the Little Guy was asking for mine and Tsuna's other friends' help with a task. He wanted to find a companion animal for Tsuna, just like his chameleon and Dino-san's pet turtle. This confused me a bit because I was always of the mind that the Little Guy's and Dino-san's pets were robotic or something of the like. Despite my confusion, though, the Little Guy insisted that I should head to the Namimori Zoo tomorrow and try to find a suitable companion animal for Tsuna. I agreed to do it, since it really sounded as interesting as I expected it to be. It had been a long time since I had been to a zoo anyway, and it would be fun to see if it had changed any since I was a child.
After the Little Guy informed me that most of Tsuna's other acquaintances were busy early in the morning, but that we'd all be able to meet at the zoo at different times some time before lunch, he hung up and left me to my thoughts. I actually had a free schedule for once, so it was up to me if I wanted to sleep in a bit or if I wanted to head out to the zoo early the next day.
Deciding that I'd just go with the flow and decide once the next morning rolled around, I headed back home where I found a ticket for the zoo waiting for me in my mailbox. Haha, how convenient!
When morning finally came, I woke up early out of habit and tried to figure out if I wanted to go for a run before heading to the zoo or just catch the first bus. I was slightly conflicted over it, but I finally just decided to slip on some grey-black jeans, a white t-shirt, and a green-colored, light jacket over that, which I left unzipped for the moment.
After a quick breakfast, I told my dad I was off to the zoo and left the house. Just as I slid the door to our sushi shop shut behind me, I noticed that Senpai, who was wearing a dark blue coat and grey jeans, was jogging by the restaurant. He didn't seem to notice me.
"Hey, Senpai!" I called out happily, amazed that I actually got to see someone I wasn't used to seeing by my house.
Senpai stopped, but continued to jog in place as he glanced back towards me. His eyes lit up in recognition a second later before a boisterous, "Yamamoto!" belted through the air and he jogged over to me. I met the older teen half-way with a smile on my face.
"I'm not used to seeing you around this area, Senpai," I laughed out good-naturedly. "Are you just going for a morning jog?"
"Yeah!" Senpai confirmed in his normally loud voice (he'd probably woken up the neighbors by this point in time) as he continued to jog in place before me. "I just got done running an extreme lap around Namimori and now I'm heading to the nearest bus stop to get to the zoo. Do you want to jog with me?"
"Sure!" I smiled happily at that, looking forward to the run. "I actually didn't get the chance to jog this morning myself yet, so that will help loosen me up."
Before I could join Senpai, though, who was getting fired up at the prospects of a jogging partner and had started throwing warm-up punches in the air, another familiar face showed up.
"Damn it!" I heard Gokudera curse before he quickly tried to turn around and walk in the opposite direction. Too bad for him that Senpai and I called out to him (Senpai calling him Octopus Head, of course) and ran up to him a few seconds later.
Knowing that he couldn't really ignore us anymore, Gokudera just turned around and glowered at Senpai and me.
"What the fuck are you two doing up so early?" He asked in irritation then as he glanced between Senpai and me, and looking like he'd rather be anywhere else at the moment. "I thought I'd be able to make it to the bus stop quietly…"
"I'm always up this early!" Senpai shouted out in fiery determination as if he was trying to project his excitement onto Gokudera. Unsurprisingly, it didn't work.
"Yeah," I agreed with a smile. "Senpai and I usually get up early in order to jog. It helps loosen us up for the day if we have practice in the mornings, and counts as an exercise when we don't."
"That sounds tedious and stupid," Gokudera mumbled out underneath his breath, which automatically caused Senpai to start shouting at him about the amazing 'extremeness' of constant endurance training.
"Well, why are you up this early, Gokudera?" I asked politely as soon as Senpai was done with his supposed motivational speech.
"Isn't it obvious? Any good right-hand man would get to the meeting spot bright and early! I'm going to find the greatest companion animal for the Tenth before either of you idiots!"
"What did you call me, Octopus Head?!" Senpai shouted out angrily then as he brandished a fist in Gokudera's face. Before an inevitable battle could break out, I quickly jumped between the two with a nervous laugh.
"Now, now, there's no need to fight," I tried my best to reassure my companions. "We'll just make this a challenge then. How about it?"
Senpai started pumping his fists in the air, easily agreeing to the prospect. Gokudera just rolled his eyes and shoved his hands into his jeans pockets in a non-plussed attitude.
"Che! You guys won't stand a chance since I understand the Tenth better than both of you!"
Even though I seriously doubted Gokudera's claim, and I wanted to comment, I stopped myself a second later when I noticed Gokudera shiver as if he was cold. It was then that I noticed that he was just wearing some blue jeans, his regular assortment of rings and belts, a chain choker, and a tight looking, dark-blue, long-sleeved shirt that had thin, white, horizontal lines going across the entire material (I'm pretty sure I've seen him wear that shirt several times). It also looked like the material was quite thin, so it was no wonder that the other one was shivering!
"You'll catch a cold if you just wear that, Gokudera!" I exclaimed in worry then as I stared intently into Gokudera's startled eyes. "You should go and grab a jacket or something."
"W-Where the hell is this coming from all of a sudden?!" My silver-haired companion stuttered out in a flustered manner as he stared back in defiance. "I'm not cold! Besides, if I actually was, I wouldn't head back to my apartment and give you guys a head start!"
"We can just postpone the competition for a little bit—" I tried to reason then, but Gokudera quickly cut me off.
"And have you undermine my position as the right-hand man again? No way! I told you that I'd be the first to the zoo, and nothing you say is going to change that!"
Before I could tell Gokudera that the three of us would probably make it there at the same time since we were obviously getting on the bus together by this point, I suddenly got an idea.
"Well, if that's the case, just wait here a second!" I stated before I ran off towards my house without waiting to listen to Gokudera's response. I rushed into the shop a second later and then up the stairs to my bedroom. From there, I opened my closet and grabbed the first jacket I saw. It only took me a few more seconds, and another quick goodbye to my confused dad, before I was outside and standing before Gokudera again. I was seriously surprised that the other had waited, but I just pushed that thought to the side as I presented the jacket to him.
"You've got to be kidding me…" Gokudera growled out in a deadpanned tone as he stared at the presented jacket with disgust.
"Oh come on, it's not that bad," I commented airily as I glanced at the jacket in my hands. It was a blue color with a black collar and a thick, black stripe going down the middle of the arms. It also had a basketball stitched onto the left breast with black thread, and the word 'Hoops' stitched underneath it in the same color. "It will keep you nice and warm on a chilly day like this."
"No. Fucking. Way." Gokudera insisted with stubborn disgust. "There is no way I'm wearing some of your jocky clothes. I might catch your stupid."
"Come on! Just wear the jacket and stop being stubborn!" Senpai shouted in aggravation. "Are you afraid of cooties, Octopus Head?!"
"What are you? Five?!" Gokudera exclaimed incredulously as he stared at Senpai in disbelief. I was actually in slight disbelief myself. I hadn't heard the 'cooties' word since elementary school.
"Well, never mind…" I mumbled out in a disheartened manner as I averted my gaze down in sadness. I was trying to see if a new approach to this would work. "I just wanted to help you, is all. It's not fun to get sick when you're on vacation."
I sighed dejectedly then and turned around to start walking back towards the house with my basketball jacket in tow. In truth, I had never tried the sad, puppy-dog approach to try and get my way in a situation, but maybe this would work out since I actually was a bit sad that Gokudera was constantly refusing my help. Sure, I was used to it by this point, but that didn't make it any less disheartening.
"…Oh fine! Just give me the fucking jacket already!" I heard Gokudera admit defeat a few seconds later. I glanced over my shoulder towards him, a little disbelieving that my plan had actually worked, but my eyes still shining with hope.
I saw a flustered blush overtake Gokudera's face then as he shook an aggravated fist at me.
"Just fucking give it to me before I change my mind, Baseball Freak!"
A big smile broke out onto my face as soon as the other's words reached me. Gokudera was actually willing to accept my help!
As I rushed over to the other, laughing happily all the while, Gokudera just grumbled and cursed up a storm as he tore the jacket from my hands and hurriedly slipped it on. After he was done zipping it up a ways, we just stood there for a moment before his eyes narrowed in distaste towards me.
"It reeks of jock…"
I just laughed good-naturedly at Gokudera's comment before I sent him a teasing smile.
"Well, now that you're 'one of us', you can jog with Senpai and me to the bus stop! Welcome to the jock pack, Gokudera!"
I turned around and started jogging away from Gokudera then while my silver-haired companion insisted that he wasn't 'one of us', that there was no way he was going to jog, and he shouted 'fuck this jacket! I'm taking it off!' I just laughed some more, finding the other's attitude amusing, and jogged along Senpai (who had caught up with me) towards the bus stop.
As soon we had reached the bus stop, the bus actually showed up. Senpai and I decided to take standing positions in the back, since it was unwise to sit and rest after physical exertion. Gokudera showed up a few minutes later and sat down near the front and as far from Senpai and me as possible. He glowered at us and mumbled under his breath, but I noticed that he was still wearing my jacket, despite his insistence on taking it off. The only reason he was still wearing it was because he probably noticed just how chilly it was without it on, haha!
It took about twenty minutes to get to the zoo, so I spent most of the time talking to Senpai about our sports clubs, and any upcoming tournaments either of us would have in the following months. Once we arrived at the zoo, Gokudera, Senpai and me went our separate ways to carry out our challenge of finding the best animal companion for Tsuna. I think Senpai lost sight of our goal, though, because, before he ran off, he shouted something about fighting the bears.
Rubbing the back of my head in slight nervousness then and hoping that the older student really wasn't serious about what he had just proclaimed (I knew that it was just wishful thinking on my part, though, since Senpai never said something that he didn't mean) I started walking around the very large zoo. I knew that a small animal of some sort was perfect for Tsuna, but what type of small animal? The Little Guy and Dino-san both had reptiles, but I couldn't see Tsuna with something like that. I thought that something small and fuzzy fit better!
With that thought in mind, I quickly headed over to a large viewing map to see where I should go. Unluckily for me, most of the smaller, fuzzy animals were scattered throughout the whole zoo, so I'd have to basically walk around the entire area if I wanted to judge all the ideal animals. Seeing that there was no other choice, though, I just shrugged my shoulders and started walking around. I would be lying, though, if I said that I didn't get distracted along the way, haha! Most of the animals were just fun to look at, and I ended up spending more time than necessary at the exhibits. I even spent time at the larger animals' cages and the reptile areas, even though I had deemed that those animals wouldn't make the cut. There had even been camel and elephant rides offered to guests, and who wouldn't refuse the chance to ride on an elephant? I sure didn't, haha!
After my more than exciting elephant ride, I started walking around some more. It was here that I noticed that everyone that was supposed to meet up at the zoo today seemed to be there. I saw Lambo watching the raccoons and dancing around impatiently like he wanted to go in there and play with them, and I actually saw I-Pin playing with the Japanese snow monkeys. I think she was teaching them some form of karate. Bianchi-san crossed my path once when she was heading towards the reptile exhibits (I felt a little worried about that). I also noticed Senpai running away from security as he tried to jump into one of the bear cages, and Gokudera heading towards the lions. And I even noticed Tsuna and Sasagawa walking around as well. Tsuna seemed to be a little worked up, though, and I had to wonder if it was because he was alone with Sasagawa, haha. It looked like they were on a date!
That thought aside, I finally made it to my next destination, which was the red panda exhibit. To my surprise, though, Fuuta was standing before it and looking up at the red panda inside with awe.
"Haha, he looked cute, doesn't he?" I questioned as I sidled up to the smaller kid and leaned against the railing.
"Take-nii!" Fuuta exclaimed happily as he turned to look at me. "I'm glad you made it to the zoo!"
"Yeah, I got here pretty early, actually," I replied with an easy-going smile. "Did you come here with Bianchi-san?"
"No, Bianchi-nee left before us, but Haru-nee came to pick I-Pin, Lambo and I up," Fuuta explained with ease as he turned his attention back to the cute red panda, who was now looking at us with curiosity.
"So, are you going to pick that red panda for Tsuna?" I questioned then with slight curiosity. If Fuuta wasn't going to pick it, then I sure would! It would look cute sitting on Tsuna's shoulder.
"Yeah, I was thinking about it. I tried to rank which animal at this zoo would be the most perfect for Tsuna-nii, but the answers I got were really jumbled," Fuuta answered with a slight frown. "I think it's because Tsuna-nii's changing a little each day, and because he has a lot of hidden potential, that it's difficult to do some rankings for him."
"Haha, yeah, I guess," I somewhat agreed, even though I didn't particularly believe in fortune telling. "Tsuna is growing stronger it feels like, and he's certainly a lot more dependable than he used to be!"
Fuuta and I smiled at each other then as we came to our consensus, but, before we could carry on our conversation, a huge explosion erupted nearby.
Turning our heads to see what was going on, Fuuta and I noticed a huge plume of smoke billowing up from where the lion exhibit was.
"Something tells me that Gokudera lit some fireworks…haha…" I laughed out a bit nervously then, wondering what craziness would happen because of this.
Apparently, I didn't have to wait long, because someone came over the loudspeakers and announced that the lions got free from their cages because of the explosion and instructed everyone to leave the zoo for their safety.
"Honestly," I heard a feminine voice huff out behind me. "He always has to cause problems."
"Haru-nee!" I heard Fuuta cry out happily before he disentangled himself from the railing to run over to the brunette girl, who was standing not too far away with Lambo and I-Pin. I turned around as well and greeted her.
"Hello, Yamamoto!" Haru smiled happily before another round of explosions went off near the lion cages. "Hahi! Does Gokudera-san really have to be so destructive?!" The springy girl questioned with slight apprehension.
"Haha, I guess there's really no stopping him," I mumbled out sheepishly as I rubbed the back of my head. "Maybe we should head over there to see if everything's okay?"
Haru agreed with me, so with the kids in tow, we made our way towards the lion exhibit. When we got there we were met with the sight of Tsuna, Sasagawa, Senpai, Bianchi-san, and the Little Guy standing around a bunch of unconscious lions…and Gokudera was groaning in misery on the ground next to them. Had he gotten hurt?
"Are you guys okay?" Haru asked in worry beside me as the kids greeted Tsuna like they didn't notice anything abnormal about our situation.
"Look at you guys having so much fun," I joked lightly with a smile a moment later, noticing how everyone actually seemed to be fine, minus Gokudera. Speaking of the silver-haired teen, I found myself heading over to the other to make sure he was alright. Fuuta followed me, and Haru and the other kids made their way over to Tsuna and the others. Tsuna was asking why all of us were here at the zoo, which made me wonder if the Little Guy had told him the purpose of this day to him at all. I wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't, haha.
Ignoring what everyone else was talking about around me, I squatted down next to Gokudera's groaning body and gave him a once over. Even though he was next to a bunch of unconscious lions, he didn't look like he had gotten hurt by them.
"Hey, are you okay?" I asked out of habit, knowing that it was a stupid question immediately afterwards when I got Gokudera's response of, 'What does it fucking look like?'
"Did you get sick from seeing Bainchi-nee's face again?" Fuuta asked beside me with a knowing smile. "According to my rankings, Bianchi-nee's face is the number one way for you to become incapacitated."
Gokudera just grumbled under his breath at that as he wrapped both of his hands around his stomach and let out a pitiful moan.
"Hey, Fuuta, do you know of a way to help Gokudera get over his sickness when he sees his sister's face?" I asked in concern then, since I hated seeing my smaller companion getting sick all the time.
"Oh, yeah, I wrote that down in my book!" Fuuta exclaimed as he took a giant book (which was as big as himself) out from out of nowhere and started skimming through the pages (Apparently, Fuuta can do magic besides telling fortunes, haha). He found what he was looking for a few minutes later with a cry of indication before he turned to me and plainly stated, "Protective eye-gear."
"Hehe…I guess we already knew that…" I laughed out sheepishly, knowing that either one of the siblings was going to have to wear something over their eyes in order to prevent this from happening, but both of them were probably too stubborn to willingly do it all the time. So much for that I guess.
Before I could think too much more on this, though, security rounded the corner, spotted all of us surrounding the unconscious lions (with Bianchi-san trying to drag one away to prepare food out of it, and while Senpai and the Little Guy placed an unconscious male lion onto Tsuna's shoulders as his newfound mascot) and promptly decided to kick all of us out of the zoo. Seeing as it was around lunch time by that point, and since Gokudera was still feeling a bit sick, we all decided to head back to Tsuna's place for some food. Gokudera had to lay out for most of it, but he was able to get some food down a little later after Bianchi-san left.
We then spent most of the day at Tsuna's just talking and having a good time. By the time we all went home, the sun was beginning to set. I made plans to meet up with Tsuna again sometime during the vacation (along with Gokudera, of course, since he never wanted Tsuna and me alone together in fear that I'd become favored) and then headed home. It wasn't until I was back in my room that I realized that Gokudera was still wearing my basketball jacket. I laughed to myself for a moment, wondering if I'd ever see it again. I wouldn't be surprised if Gokudera threw it somewhere when he realized he had been wearing it the whole day and completely forgot about it, since he'd be too embarrassed to return it to me.
Oh well, it didn't matter to me if I got it back or not. I had been able to help Gokudera out for the day at least, and that's all that mattered to me in the end.
A/N: Alright guys, there's the end of the chapter! I hope everyone enjoyed it! There wasn't many 8059 moments in the source material so I had to make a lot of it up for this chapter XD There were no hints at all in the Dojo Busters episode, besides the fact that Yama and Dera worked together, but they're working together with Ryohei too so it really doesn't count. For the Malfunction episode, the only moment that stood out to me was when Dera was traveling to Tsuna's house and he yelled at Yama for following him too closely. Yama just shrugged with this 'I-don't-know-what-you're-talking-about' look on his face, which made it obvious that he was enjoying the fact that he was teasing Gokudera with his presence alone XD I kind of exaggerated the scene a bit, but I couldn't resist XD As for the Zoo portion of this chapter, there are two hints from the manga chapter (there are none in the anime version actually, since some things were changed around). One of the hints was the fact that Gokudera was wearing a jacket that was obviously a basketball sports jacket. Just seeing it on Gokudera floored me, because it didn't match his usual clothes style, and he shows no interest in any sports ever. So for him to have any sports memorabilia just doesn't make any sense…unless he got the jacket from one of the jocks he knows ;D The possibility of Gokudera accepting the jacket from Ryohei is quite abysmal, so that's why I believed that he got the jacket from Yama, since he's the only person left that would probably have a jacket of that type. The second hint from that manga chapter is just the fact that Yamamoto shows concern for Gokudera and goes over to check on him once he meets up with the others. No one else even bothers to check on Dera, and that's probably because they're so used to him passing out due to Bianchi, but Yama went over and checked on him anyway because he cares =3 Okay, Fuuta went over to him too but Fuuta is just naturally curious XD
Anyway, I promise you that the next chapter will be shorter since it's only going to be a manga exclusive chapter. I can't promise you that it will come out faster, though, since I'm heading into the last few weeks of my schooling. We'll see what happens lol. The next chapter will be in Gokudera's POV and will center on the Sakura Viewing chapter =)
Gokudera sighed out in exhaustion as soon as he got back to his apartment. It had been a tiring day, and he hadn't been able to complete his mission of finding the perfect companion animal for his boss. Well, on the good side, no one else had been able to do it either…
The tired, silver-haired teen fell onto his bed then, more than ready to call it a night. As he thought this, and wondered if he had enough energy to change into something more comfortable, he realized he was still wearing the basketball jacket Yamamoto had given him.
Squeaking in a startled and undignified manner, Gokudera quickly sat up on his bed and immediately started to unzip the jacket on his upper torso. As soon as the piece of clothing was off of him he flung it towards the other side of the room like the very material would burn his hand if he held onto it a second longer. A short silence reigned soon after as Gokudera stared at the abandoned piece of clothing when it hit the opposite wall and fell onto his floor in a depressive heap. The silver-haired teen didn't understand why he felt immensely guilty then.
Averting his gaze from the forlorn-looking piece of fabric, Gokudera stood up and started getting dressed into a t-shirt and sweatpants. After he was finished, he went to his bathroom and got ready for bed. Upon his return to the bedroom, though, the basketball jacket was still laying discarded and abused on the opposite side of his room. Gokudera didn't know why, but, for some reason, he could just see Yamamoto in place of the basketball jacket, just sitting across the room from him looking sad, dejected, and staring at him in question, wondering why he would throw him away like that…
"…Fuck!" The feisty Italian cursed vehemently as he swallowed his pride, stomped over to the stupid basketball jacket, scooped it up, and took it back to the bed with him. He seriously didn't know what to do after that, though. Shouldn't he just place it somewhere and give it back to Yamamoto the next day?
It was at that moment that Gokudera had the strangest urge to…sniff the jacket. Amazingly enough, it still smelled of Yamamoto; like sunshine and freshly dewed grass with a hint of worn leather. What a jocky smell.
Not knowing what came over him then (or that a small smile had just adorned his lips), Gokudera crawled into bed with the jacket. As he curled up under the covers and placed his head on his pillow, he held the jacket against him with a portion of it next to his face so that he could breathe in the other's scent. A contented sigh left the littler bomber's lips a second later as he fell into a rare, peaceful slumber.
When the next morning came, Gokudera decided that he wasn't going to give the jacket back…at least, not yet.