Takeshi sat on the roof, leaning back against the fence and looking up at the clear blue sky, cradling his broken arm.
'How did I get back up here again?' he wondered, closing his eyes and letting out a sigh.
He'd been sitting like this for at least ten minutes, not able to work up the nerve to climb over to the other side of the fence again. The memory of the first time he'd done that was still fresh in his mind, and it scared him, even if it had been only in a dream.
The fear he felt as he was free-falling through the air, the ground rushing up at him at a frightening speed…and the sense of security and the newfound appreciation for life when Tsuna had saved him.
…And maybe that was what scared him the most, that this time, he knew that there would be no Tsuna to talk him out of this stupid decision, no Tsuna to jump after him when he lost his footing and slipped off the ledge.
But even if he was too scared to jump, it didn't mean he wanted to continue on like this, waiting for his relationship with Tsuna to go back to the way it had been when he knew full well that it probably wasn't going to happen.
…Maybe there was a less scary way of killing himself…
And just as he had gotten to his feet, the door to the roof was thrown open, and to Takeshi's great surprise, there was Tsuna, his expression frantic as he took in Takeshi, one hand on the railing of the barrier behind him.
"Takeshi!" he shouted, his eyes wide as his gaze moved to Takeshi's broken arm. "W-what happened?"
"Can't you see?" asked Takeshi, not even registering the use of his given name as a rueful smile stretched across his face, "The baseball god threw me away."
His expression absolutely incredulous, Tsuna asked, "Is that really all it takes for you to readily throw your life away?"
"You don't understand!" shouted Takeshi, his voice desperate. "Baseball was all I hadleft! I tried being strong! I tried to continue even when I'd lost almost everything I held important to me, but I just can't do it anymore! It hurts too much, Tsuna!"
"But that doesn't mean you can kill yourself!" argued Tsuna, "Do you have any idea how devastated your father would be? And what about all your friends? Do you think any of them would be happy if you killed yourself?"
Takeshi flinched a little when his dad was mentioned, but stuttered out, "M-my dad will get over it…and it's not like I have any friends other than you. All those people that hang around me in class, they don't really care about me, they care about the star of the baseball team. And, I'm sorry, Tsuna, but hanging out with you…it's just not the same! I don't want to act like strangers! It's just too cruel! I want my best friend back! I want back the person that I used to, and still do, love like a brother!"
Tsuna's eyes widened when he heard this; of course he'd realized, even before he'd arrived here, that Takeshi had the memories – he refused to call them dreams anymore – but to hear him confirm it himself…it was still somewhat of a shock.
Swallowing once, the brunet composed his expression, and slowly took a few steps forward, not wanting to startle his friend and make him fall; the fence was rusty and definitely liable to break under Takeshi's weight.
"Takeshi…" said Tsuna, taking the time to choose his words carefully, "…did you know that things that you've lost have a strange way of finding their way back to you? It may not always be in the same way, shape, or form, but they will definitely always come back…but things that you've thrown away never come back, no matter how much or how hard you wish for it.*"
Takeshi remained quiet, his brows furrowed as he tried to understand what Tsuna was talking about, and Tsuna's mouth stretched into a genuine smile.
"Just look behind you," said the brunet quietly, and Takeshi became even more concerned.
Turning slowly around, the taller brunet looked down at the ground, and his jaw promptly fell open from the shock.
Why was he so surprised, you ask?
Because there, standing on the ground in front of the school, were Ryohei, Kyoya, and Hayato! And they were surrounding…
"Is that the mattress Kyoya takes naps on when it's raining outside and he can't sleep on the roof?"
"Eh? No way!" exclaimed Tsuna, walking forward to look over the fence and at the ground where, sure enough, there was the mattress, laying innocently on the ground, looking all fluffy and comfortable, even from three stories up. "Ahaha! It's really there! For Kyoya to actually bring out the mattress…he must be really worried about you!"
Takeshi stopped staring at the mattress and the people around it, who were talking to each other as they obviously hadn't noticed the two staring at them, to turn his attention to Tsuna.
"You…" he started off, not knowing how to say it, "…you know?"
Tsuna just smiled back at him and turned one eighty to lean his back against the fence, looking up at the sky.
"I told you, didn't I? Lost things have a way of finding their way back to you."
Takeshi's eyes widened when he heard this, fierce joy bubbling up inside him.
"Tsuna!" he shouted, throwing himself at the brunet who, unfortunately enough, was still leaning on the rusty fence.
The combined weight of the two teens caused the badly rusted fence to break, sending the two tumbling through the air.
Unlike the first time, though, there was none of the terrifying fear of smashing their skulls open the moment they made contact with the ground.
"You know…this is actually quite fun!" laughed Takeshi, shouting to be heard of the wind as the two were falling. "Is this how it feels like whenever you fly?"
"A bit," Tsuna managed to get out before all the air was knocked out of his lungs as the two made contact with the super fluffy mattress, which didn't feel quite as fluffy as it looked after having made contact with it at the speed they'd been going.
Letting out a groan, Tsuna rolled over onto his stomach, already anticipating the bruises that would soon be forming on his back.
Takeshi, meanwhile, just laughed, as if he hadn't felt the pain, and said, "Thank goodness Kyoya was here to watch our backs, ne?"
"Shut up, baseball idiot! Because of your idiocy, Juudaime just fell off the school building again! Imagine all the bruises he'll have because of you in a few hours!"
A flicker of guilt crossed Takeshi's features for just a second before he laughed and waved it off, saying, "It can't be much worse than the injuries that you probably caused him at your second first meeting."
Hayato flinched at this, and Takeshi laughed even louder, his suspicions confirmed.
Tsuna just smiled down at the two, his heart swelling with all the emotions he was feeling, so happy was he that he had his Family back.
The happy atmosphere was promptly interrupted though, when Kyoya suddenly growled out, "You herbivores have one minute to get to class before I bite you to death."
His eyes widening, Tsuna quickly ushered his two classmates to their feet before hurrying them towards the school building, smiling back at Kyoya as he did so and saying, "Thanks for saving us, Kyoya…and for letting us off the hook this time."
And without waiting for a reply, Tsuna turned and followed his friends, not seeing the ghost of a smile that twitched at Kyoya's lips as he watched his herbivorous boss leave.
Looks like he wasn't quite so alone as he'd thought at first.
The school day was almost over when Lambo arrived at the Sawada household, his grin stretching from ear to ear as he stared up at the house that would be his home for the next few years.
The cow boy was pretty sure that his nii-san wasn't at home at the moment, but that was alright; he could 'meet' his mama during that time, and maybe get a taste of her delicious home cooking while he was at it.
Walking confidently up to the door, the five-year-old stretched up as high as he could on his tippy toes, and rang the doorbell, waiting impatiently for Nana to open it.
And when she finally did, she looked almost exactly as Lambo remembered her except, of course, she was four years younger.
The woman's eyes immediately landed on Lambo, and she cooed at him, leaning down and patting his head of curly hair (he'd decided to forgo the afro, not feeling quite as fond of it as he had when he'd been younger.)
"Oh, you're so adorable! What's wrong little boy? Are you lost?"
Lambo just shook his head, looking shyly down at his feet as he fidgeted almost nervously. "L-Lambo-sama is here to see Tsuna-nii…is he here right now?"
Lambo knew that his nii-san wasn't home at the moment, but it was important to play his part as the clueless five-year-old for now.
"Ara? You're a friend of Tsu-kun's? Well, he's not here right now, but he should be back any minute now. Why don't you come and wait for him inside?"
Nodding enthusiastically, Lambo followed her inside without hesitation, and as he waited for Tsuna to come home, he talked to Nana, coming up with a story on the spot when she asked him where his parents were.
Apparently, he was now an orphan that Tsuna-nii had helped a bit ago and wanted to repay the favour.
When Nana heard the heartbreaking (and completely untrue) story, she didn't hesitate to invite Lambo to come live with her and her no-good son, which was led to the scene Tsuna and his other guardians came home to.
To say that Tsuna was surprised when he came home to see a five-year-old Lambo cuddling with his mother in the kitchen would be an understatement.
"T-tadaima," he stuttered, and the two immediately turned to face him.
The "Ojamashimasu" coming from his guardians went completely unheard as Lambo screamed, "TSUNA-NII!" and launched himself at the boy, nearly knocking him off his feet with the impact.
"L-Lambo," stuttered out Tsuna, trying to get air into his lungs even as Lambo wrapped his arms around his neck in a chokehold, apparently trying to cut off all his airways. "W-when did you get here?"
"Today," sang the young boy, hugging Tsuna even closer, as if trying to sink into the boy, content to disappear within him.
And after a very confusing few minutes during which Nana told her son how proud she was that he'd helped an orphan, Tsuna tried to go with the flow without really knowing what was going on, and Lambo quickly whispered an explanation into his ear, the group of five made their way up to Tsuna's room, where they saw Reborn and Kyoya waiting for them.
Kyoya frowned in distaste when they all crowded into the relatively small room, but didn't say anything, knowing that this meeting was an important one.
Once they were all seated, there was silence for quite a while.
And in the end, the silence was broken by Reborn stating, "So there's only the mists left."
"Only?" asked an incredulous voice, and everyone jumped.
Reborn was immediately alert, pulling Leon off his fedora, the chameleon readily turning into a gun in his hand.
The others in the room, however, were calm, though a bit peeved.
"What the hell are you doing here, Byakuran?" demanded Hayato of the albino who had just appeared, lounging comfortably on Tsuna's bed, munching on a bag of super fluffy marshmallows.
"Why, I'm here to see what the hell is taking you guys in taking so long to get in contact with me," he replied in a singsong voice.
"Hn. And why on Earth would we want to get in contact with the king of marshmallows?" demanded Kyoya in an irritated voice; he hated Byakuran at the best of times, and even if he had calmed down a bit in the past four years, he was still quite likely to attack Byakuran if the man was here without a proper reason.
This reply made the other male's eyes widen marginally, and he slowly sat up, asking, "…You're joking…right?"
"Haha, Kyoya doesn't joke," laughed Takeshi, "And anyways, I was wondering the same thing. Why are you here, Byakuran-kun?"
"You're not joking?" asked Byakuran, looking around at all the faces in the room, all of them looking back at him with varying degrees of confusion and (more on Reborn's part) suspicion.
His expression suddenly becoming strangely serious, the older male ran a hand through his hair.
"Was there something wrong with the memory transfer?" the albino asked himself quietly as everyone listened in curiously. "It's true that nothing like this has ever happened before, so there were bound to be mistakes, and there were eight people, after all, whose memories I had to protect…but I wonder why my memories are still intact?"
Tsuna interrupted the man's ramblings by asking, "Byakuran-san…what are you talking about?"
Looking back over at the brunet, Byakuran smiled uneasily before asking, "Tuna fish-chan…how much do you actually remember…?"
The young Decimo just stared curiously over at the older male for a few moments before answering, "Four years."
He looked over at his friends to see if this was true with them, and they all nodded in agreement.
A sigh left Byakuran's lips when he heard this, and he ran a hand through his hair.
"Four years…" the man murmured to himself. "They've only got four years worth of memories…no wonder they hadn't replied to me yet.
"Byakuran-kun?" asked Tsuna, his voice worried, but curious at the same time. "What's wrong?"
Turning his eyes back to Tsuna, Byakuran let out another sigh before locking gazes with the boy again and saying to him, "You want to know what's wrong?
"What's wrong, my dear tuna sushi, is that you and your guardians are missing six years worth of memories."
*This little bit about lost things was not originally my idea~ I remembered reading it in Rurouni Kenshin and thinking it fit absolutely perfectly in this situation. If y'all haven't read the manga yet, I suggest you do. It's amazing (and complete).
SkyGem: Yay, I'm so happy! It's another long chapter! I hope you guys liked it, ne? And what do you think of the cliffie? Please do leave a review, and let me know what you guys thought. Ciao!