The House of Many Whims
Aaaaaand...this is the end! This is one of my shorter stories, but I had a lot of fun writing it ^^ I think I shall be asking my friend about her dreams more often now, ha ha. I'm sorry about the tear-jerking moments in the last chapter; trust me, I felt for Tsuna too when Hibari left. That scene was sort of-ish-kinda-a lot inspired by a moment I experienced in my life, but let's not go there :'D
Well then...shall we? Onto the last chapter, banzai!
The song in the beginning is Yesterday Once More (The Carpenters)
Disclaimer: I do not own Katekyo Hitman Reborn. Any similarities in events or characters living or dead are entirely coincidental.
When I was young I'd listen to the radio
Waiting for my favourite song
When they played I'd sing along
It made me smile
Those were such happy times
And not so long ago
How I wondered where they'd gone
But they're back again
Just like a long lost friend
All the songs I loved so well
It's yesterday once more
Tsuna sat in his room, staring out the window, watching the snow fall late into the night and into the early morning. It was 4:56 am already; he wondered why he hadn't been arrested yet. Not that he was looking forwards to going to jail, but he would have thought that the justice system would move faster than this. Or maybe everybody was still looking for his students. He hoped they'd arrived to safety by now. His gut was twisting itself inside and out thinking for them.
It was strange how in the face of the storm, Tsuna had completely shut down. He wasn't panicked or fidgety. He simply went home, swept the house up, tided his papers and cooked himself a nice dinner. He spent the remainder of the evening watching a movie and finished all the cookies by himself. The two weeks since Hibari's arrival had been hectic, and he had little to no time at all for anything remotely relaxing other than his sick leave from work. Even then, he was making lesson plans and talking with Yamamoto about one thing or another.
Tsuna bit his lip thoughtfully as he drew his knees up to his chest. He'd never thought Yamamoto would think of him that way. He did indeed like the man, but only as a friend. In fact, it was more like an acquaintance. Yamamoto was carefree and kind, but only to humans. Just like all the other workers. Sometimes, the man was happy-go-lucky to the point of being careless, not just carefree. It irked Tsuna a little, but at the same time, he had appreciated Yamamoto's presence in the workplace. It made the mornings a little more bearable and lunchtimes a little livelier.
Tsuna wondered what Yamamoto thought of him now. A traitor? An enemy? If he saw Tsuna again, would he attack him? Or worse, kill him? Or would Yamamoto simply notify the police and try to talk Tsuna out of his attitude. The latter sounded more likely than the other two scenarios, but there were no guarantees in life. Tsuna rather thought that he himself was the best example. Who'd expect the scrawny, barely-out-of-school young adult would have the guts to lock up his trained colleagues and imitate a prison break? That would look real smart on a resume. Tsuna grinned in spite of himself. What was wrong with him lately?
Speaking of, his cell phone had been vibrating non-stop on his kitchen table since he got home. Most of his messages had been from Yamamoto, a couple of texts from his co-workers (usually swearing at him) and one from the Education Department, telling Tsuna he was fired.
Oh, gee, like he hadn't seen that one coming.
At the moment, Tsuna could still hear the sirens in the city, droning on and on and on as the law enforcement sped around town, searching high and low for the "escaped convicts". Tsuna hadn't bothered watching the news; he had a feeling it would make him sick in the stomach seeing how humans were referencing his students. The entire place was in shutdown, which meant that Tsuna could probably go outside, walk all over the city and find the sidewalks empty and the shops closed down. Like a ghost town. With police cars screeching around every corner.
What a lonely feeling.
He had a lot of time on his hands to think about the past and his actions. Tsuna wondered if he really had a heart now. The homeless guy—whom he'd already decided was actually the Conductor—would he approve of Tsuna's actions? Did he make a difference in the end, after all? There were so many unanswered questions that Tsuna knew was going to haunt him for the rest of his life. He wouldn't be seeing anybody from the rails anymore, so was he really going to grow old thinking about all this? It was a scary thought.
Tsuna blinked. He turned his head slowly to the doorway of his room, sitting a little more upright as his heart skipped a beat.
Were they here to collect him already?
He would've thought that the police would be breaking down his door, unless they thought he was dangerous and wanted to sneak up on him. But then again, what kind of law enforcement force would be stupid enough to make noise? Were they robbers? Tsuna pressed his lips together, quietly swinging his legs off his bed as he stood up, the floorboards creaking slightly under his weight. He walked slowly, stealthily out of his room and down the stairs, shivering at the cold tiles on the ground. His house was deathly still, save for a shadow moving around on the floor. There was someone standing in his kitchen!
Tsuna held his breath, sneaking around the corner and peering in from the gap between the living room and the kitchen. The person in his kitchen was tall, and they were wearing a…uniform? Tsuna's heart skipped a beat. It really was the police! Should he make himself known? Otherwise, they might attack him thinking Tsuna was trying to sneak up behind on an officer. The brunette swallowed, his heart thudding in his eardrums. Here goes nothing.
"Er—" Tsuna stammered, taking a quick step forwards with his hands up, and the man spun around.
Only, it wasn't the police.
It was the blonde, homeless man.
"You!" Tsuna shouted in surprise, grabbing the doorframe in shock. "What—what are you doing here?"
The blonde smiled.
"Hello again, Mister Sawada Tsunayoshi. You've really surprised me this time."
"You—how do you know my name?" Tsuna asked, staring. He was not used to the sight before him. Firstly, the blonde was no longer wearing his giant, ragged coat and knitted scarf, but instead, a pressed, navy blue uniform with red cuffs and a cap. He had a white dress shirt one underneath with collars neatly arranged. A black tie was positioned perfectly around his neck, and a fine chain leading from a pocket in his chest revealed a circular golden watch. He looked rather smart. And extraordinarily handsome. No, Tsuna wasn't looking, but even he knew how to appreciate supermodel-worthy looks.
"Of course I'd know your name," the blonde beamed. "I'm the Conductor of the Stations, so naturally I'd know the hosts of the Stations. My name is Giotto. It's been a pleasure, Sawada."
"You're the Conductor," Tsuna repeated weakly. He'd known it all along, but to see the man standing before him verifying this fact made the brunette weak-kneed. It was almost solid proof that everything hadn't been just a fanciful dream. "How…how did you get in? I thought my home was no longer Station 27."
"I get special privileges," Giotto winked, clasping his hands together. "But in all seriousness, yes, your home was reverted back to normality after the rails closed down due to the humans kidnapping our workers and losing faith in their imagination. The concept of the rails is acceptance, which is a dying art. How many people in this world can truly accept someone? People go in and out of our lives every day, and it's easy to say that you wouldn't judge, but to be faced with a downright invasion of privacy, there are less than a handful of humans who would remain calm and adapt. You, Sawada, are one of them."
"Me? Accepting?" Tsuna blinked.
"Correct," Giotto nodded. "I've seen enough in this world to know that the humans are a race who will eventually destroy themselves because of their close-mindedness. You can't live with others when you can't even let them do what they want. The Travelers are a severe case, because really, not everybody's houses are going to be Stations, but people naturally move in and out of our lives. We judge each other so cruelly, it's a miracle we can get along without breaking into war every second or so. Mind you, the humans are probably destined for that fate. But the point is: humans aren't a tolerant species. For those who are a minority, such as my railway workers, they attempt to wipe out. Fortunately, you changed that, and all the escaped workers are in good hands now."
"My students made it to you?" Tsuna asked excitedly, relief sweeping through him.
"Of course," Giotto smiled. "Safe and sound, I might add. They're all so happy to be back to work."
"Thank goodness," Tsuna sighed, leaning against the wall.
"I give you my gratitude, Sawada," Giotto said. "Without your help, we wouldn't be able to truly save the rails. You're one of a kind."
"I'm just me," Tsuna smiled weakly, brushing his bangs back.
"If there were more of you, then this world might have a bigger chance of surviving." Giotto complimented. "Don't underestimate yourself. But in any case, I've got a surprise for you."
"A surprise?" Tsuna repeated, confused. "What—"
But in that moment, there was an ear-splitting yell from the closet in the hall and the sounds of brooms and mops falling over echoed loudly as a tiny boy of five came dashing out, launching himself at Tsuna's legs with the force of a pro-football player.
"Gya-ha-ha-ha-ha! Idiot-Tsuna-dad! I'm back!"
"Lambo!" Tsuna gasped in shock, stooping down at once to pick up the boy. He hugged the cow-print wearing kid tightly, not at all surprised by the fact the child was sniffling and hugging him back with a vice grip only children were capable of.
"I missed you, dad!"
"I missed you too," Tsuna said, smiling a huge smile as he ruffled Lambo's hair. "Have you been good?"
"Lambo is always good!" the boy proclaimed, pumping his fist into the air. "Lambo is smart and good and well-behaved like dad!"
"That's wonderful to hear," Tsuna chuckled, bouncing the boy in his arms. "I'm so happy to see you again, Lambo."
Suddenly, Lambo tugged on Tsuna's hair, making the other wince. "Mommy looks angry," he whispered. "But he's actually happy to see you."
" 'Mommy'?" Tsuna questions, confused, but then, Giotto reached over to take Lambo out of Tsuna's arms with a knowing smile on his face.
"Look behind you, Sawada."
Tsuna turned. And his conscience knew who it was before he had a complete view of the person standing behind him, which probably saved him from a premature heart attack.
For a moment, the brunette just stood, staring, feeling his heart pounding away in his chest and his stomach doing turns and his knees feeling weak. But he was there. He really was there. Hibari was standing wordlessly in the hall, dressed in his usual dark coat and had his usual stoic expression on his face, but there was a certain softness in his eyes that made Tsuna melt on the inside. He didn't have to think twice before racing forwards and throwing himself into the raven's arms.
"Herbivore," Hibari murmured, tucking Tsuna's head under his chin as his arms enveloped the brunette, pulling him as close as humanly possible.
"You're actually here," Tsuna said weakly, breath catching in his throat as his hands scrambled for purchase. "Damn it…I…I thought you guys wouldn't come back…"
"We couldn't," Hibari stated bluntly. "But you changed that."
"Did I really?" Tsuna asked softly, looking up. Hibari suddenly cracked a small, genuine smile and leaned in to kiss the brunette fondly, making Tsuna's heart leap.
"Yes, you did."
"What's interesting now is that you can come with us," Giotto said suddenly, leaning against the counter while Lambo climbed up on his head. "Things have changed for the better."
"What?" Tsuna asked, startled. Hibari reached over and placed a hand over Tsuna's chest, making the other blush.
"It's still strong," the raven said quietly, closing his eyes. "You've kept your word, Tsuna."
"Your heart has changed," Giotto smiled. "I think it's more than worthy to travel through the Stations."
"Tr—travel through the Stations?" Tsuna repeated, stunned. "But—how—I can—?"
"Don't you feel it?" Giotto asked. "Even a blind man can tell you're not the same person from two weeks ago. It doesn't matter if the change can't be seen; that doesn't mean that it isn't there. You've learned to take risks. You learned to believe. And most of all, you realized what was wrong, and you took the chance to make it right. That's the attitude a lot of us need in order to live a brighter life and create a better future."
"Well done," Hibari grunted, playfully bonking Tsuna on the head. The brunette blushed, rubbing his arms self-consciously.
"I…didn't even notice," he admitted. "But I can tell you it was more than satisfying to break my students out."
Giotto laughed. "Let's hope Lambo doesn't take after that trait," he teased. "Now, I understand that you're in a bit of a tight spot with the authorities? No doubt they'll come for you sooner or later."
Tsuna nodded. "Unfortunately," he sighed. "They'll probably scuff up the floors of my parents' house with their boots."
"More importantly," Giotto said, "We're not about to leave you behind for doing something to make a change. So, it's up to you, and I really hope you do agree to this, Sawada." The blonde walked over to the closet in the hall, and pulled it open. For a moment, there was nothing but overturned brooms and a mop leaning haphazardly against the wall, but then, an image began to appear in the wall. It was fuzzy, like an out of tune television, and a bit dark, but beyond it, Tsuna could see a crowd standing several steps away, all waving to him. Startled, he hurried over next to Giotto and peered in. When he saw who the people were, Tsuna couldn't stop the tears from forming in his eyes.
They were his students, dressed in various forms of grubby work wear, carrying toolkits and rail pieces balanced over their shoulders, and they had never looked happier in their lives. Everybody was waving at him, grinning widely and cheering, even though Tsuna couldn't hear them. The brunette gripped Hibari's sleeve, unable to tear his eyes away from the sight before him.
"Is…is this real?" he whispered.
"Every last bit of it," the raven replied, wrapping an arm around Tsuna's shoulders. "They asked specifically to come greet you."
"You're coming with us, right, Idiot-Tsuna-dad?" Lambo shouted, jumping off of Giotto's shoulder and onto the floor, looking up with hopeful eyes. Tsuna felt a lump form in his throat, but he nodded, managing a watery smile.
"Yeah, I'm coming with you this time," he said softly.
"Gya-ha-ha-ha-ha! Dad is the coolest!" Lambo screeched, giving Tsuna a fleeting hug before running into the closet and through the wall. The image wavered slightly, like a reflection in the pool, and suddenly, Lambo was on the other side, waving for Tsuna to come over as well.
"Well, we are tight on schedule," Giotto said, suddenly very business-like. The blonde checked his watch and glanced around the house. "It's time to get moving." He smiled at Tsuna as well before walking through the exit to stand among the workers, whom he began talking with at once. They beings were nodding excitedly; hanging onto Giotto's every word. There was no doubt they were thrilled to be able to work for the Conductor once more.
"Are you ready?" Hibari asked, giving the brunette a shake.
Tsuna swallowed, staring around the magical home he'd lived in for twenty-one years of his life. It was strange feeling, leaving everything he'd known behind. The small comfort of his bedroom, the view from his patio, the television blaring in the living room and the quiet atmosphere of his study were all things he'd grown accustomed to. And let's not forget the occasional stranger stomping through the hall, tripping out of the closet and crawling out from under the sink. It was that tiny bit of magic Tsuna felt made everything just a little more interesting in his home. Sadly, he knew it was really goodbye. But it was also a new beginning, and this time, Tsuna had a feeling he wouldn't be so lonely anymore.
"Yeah," he said, closing his eyes briefly as he turned his back on his house and moved to face the closet. "I'm ready."
Hibari gave a low chuckle, linking his fingers with Tsuna's. "Good," he whispered into Tsuna's ear; giving the brunette a quick kiss on the cheek. Hand in hand, the two walked forwards into the closet, vanishing through the exit just like any other Traveler would. Tsuna's hand reached back one last time to pull the closet door close, and it did so with a soft click.
When it did, the entire house went still.
Very, very still.
There was no sound. No movement. There wasn't even a breath of wind, or a drip of water from the leaky pipe. It was as though time had frozen over.
But then, just barely visible through the frosted window, a light rises above the clouds. It illuminated the sky with a warm, vivid orange glow after yesterday's snowstorm. A bird chirped in the distance, signaling the start of a new day.
It was the sunrise of tomorrow.
The House of Many Whims
So; this is the end :D Was that the ending you were expecting? In any case, thank you to everybody for reading, I hoped you guys liked this! I guess I shall be seeing you somewhere on FFN again in the future with other 1827 stories~