Thank you for the reviews and encouragement everyone! Stuff like that makes me totally motivated to write more and write better.
Tsuna could have sworn that she physically felt the jolts of electricity flying between their glares. The two opponents squaring off at the front of the stunned classroom seemed murderous, tendrils of dark auras emanating from a situation that she personally found not to be much of a big deal.
"Sit down, Gokudera Hayato," The teacher ordered coolly, as if daring the rowdy student to disobey him and suffer the consequences, "Just because you are a foreign exchange student does not mean that you will receive special treatment. I'll punish you just like that no-good Tsuna over there. You kids need to be trained and tutored for real life, and disrespect to a superior will not be tolerated."
Our heroine winced as the nickname she thought she'd be able to escape emanated from his lips like a death sentence. She did not like this new homeroom teacher.
The foreign exchange student, now revealed to be named Gokudera, seemed to share her sentiments. His smoky green eyes narrowed into a glare that was somehow even harsher than before. His body tensed, itching to retort or start a fight that he would without a doubt end up losing. But as delinquent as he was, Gokudera still had some semblance of reason and logic. Hesitantly, the boy turned around and trudged to a seat in the back corner, taking out his anger on every staring onlooker with a withering glare. It was almost comical, how every student he passed by curled up and cringed, as if he was a man-eating demon specializing in gobbling up Japanese high schoolers.
While the rest of the class focused their attention on the dangerous looking intruder, Tsuna shuffled silently into the seat Yamamoto had saved for her. To her disappointment, said desk was not tall enough to cover her chest. She folded her arms in front of her in a desperate, and somewhat futile attempt to rescue the sparse amounts of her decency that had yet to be stomped on.
"Don't worry, Tsuna! I once accidentally forgot to put on pants in the morning and went to school in my underwear. Remember? It was in sixth grade, I think," Her beloved childhood crush shot her a sparkling smile as he attempted to cheer her up.
Inside, Tsuna noted that it wasn't the same thing. Yamamoto could come to school naked, and she secretly hoped that one day he would, and everybody would laugh it off. Nobody would think badly of the jovial and popular Yamamoto Takeshi. But for her, lonely little no-good Tsuna, even the slightest slip-up or incident of embarrassment would follow her for the rest of her life. People looked for reasons to bully her.
Outside, she smiled back. She couldn't help it. Yamamoto's smile could make anyone smile, especially her. It was an unusual power possessed only by those with such an incredible amount of charisma.
Off to the side, Gokudera Hayato scoffed at the exchange, "Tch. Smiling like idiots."
"Hahi! Why can't Haru sit here?"
Tsuna was strolling side by side with Yamamoto when she witnessed it. They were searching for a nice place to eat lunch after their fiasco at the cafeteria. It was a battlefield in there, with each student determined to secure the most delicious items on the menu without any regard for others. Tsuna liked to call the daily scramble for lunch, "The Hunger Games". The tidy cafeteria queues had disintegrated into a large mob in which it was everyone for themselves and kids shoved each other brutally to secure their place at the front of the 'line'. Luckily, the athletic baseball player's freakishly tall build had made him very good at shoving, and now the two friends were clutching matching sets of the rare spaghetti and clam special that usually sold out within the first five minutes.
Tsuna nearly dropped her priceless lunch set when she heard Miura Haru's shriek. She peered around the corner where the voice came from and saw that a sizeable crowd had already gathered.
"This sounds kinda serious. Maybe we should go make sure nobody gets hurt?" Yamamoto, as good-natured as ever, suggested.
Tsuna nodded her agreement and followed her friend to the source of the commotion.
"Because I don't want to eat around such a stupid, loud and annoying woman!"
Ah, Gokudera Hayato. Should have known.
"Haru happens to like this table because it's in the shade. You can't tell her not to sit here just because you were here first!"
"Well I am! And I'm also telling you to stop speaking in third person, you stupid, annoying woman!"
The two were bickering fiercely from across a small wooden picnic table. In Tsuna's opinion, it wasn't even that nice of a table, with cracks and stains and she could have sworn she saw bird poop, and it was certainly not worth all the fuss. The pacifist girl sighed. Why choose to fight over such a silly matter? Then again, it was probably more a matter of pride than a run-down picnic table. Too bad she had run out of pride to fight for years ago.
"H-hey! Just give her the table, you j-jerk!" One of the bystanders piped up, albeit a bit nervously, at the threatening foreign exchange student. He was a male, likely one of Haru's new fanboys.
"Yeah! If you won't let a cute girl like Haru sit with you, then you don't deserve it!" Another chimed in, the first interruption having given him confidence.
"You can sit with us instead, Gokudera!" A fangirl this time. Her response was a hastily bellowed "NO". Her rejection spurned more reaction.
"Learn how to treat a lady with respect!"
"My god, he's such a delinquent!"
Tsuna frowned. Surely, no matter how badly Gokudera behaved, wasn't this a bit extreme?
"Tch. Bunch of stupid, annoying people," The so-called delinquent mumbled, but seemed to have given in as he slinked away. Tsuna noticed Haru's eyes flicker in his direction as he left, her expression subtly carrying a hint of regret. It seemed like she'd had friendly intentions, but her execution was way off base.
As Gokudera left the table, several boys made a mad scramble to claim his seat for themselves.
"Hey Haru! Can I sit with you?"
"Why would she sit with you? Haru, you like me better, right?"
The scene was reminiscent of the cafeteria fights, or a flock geese fighting for a single piece of bread. Each one was making an uncanny and unnecessary amount of noise as they shoved and attacked each other while bystanders watched the pathetic display with bemusement. Still, no matter how ridiculous it was, seeing these near-grown boys fighting over someone they'd barely known for more than a few hours, Tsuna was jealous. When would she be able to receive that kind of attention?
"Can we sit here?" Amidst the ruckus, Sasagawa Kyoko stepped up with Hana in tow.
Her query seemed to freeze the battlefield, as half a dozen males stalled their fists mid-punch and silenced their insults to gape in a manner befitting of dead goldfishes. It was one thing to argue with and pummel a fellow, slobbering, skirt-chasing male comrade, but a pretty girl?
"Right! I just wanted the seat so that I could reserve it for you, Kyoko!" Tsuna grimaced at one of the boys' hasty and blatantly false cover-up.
"Really? Thank you so much! But I want to make sure Haru is okay with it first" Tsuna actually winced as her idol gullibly took his words for the truth. Well, there goes a whole ounce of her respect for the girl.
"Haru doesn't mind," the bubbly girl chirped, her pony tail swishing playfully as she shook her head, "Please have a seat!"
The crowd, with nothing else to see or do, dispersed when the two girls sat down. Tsuna and Yamamoto were the last ones to go.
"I guess the problem resolved itself," Yamamoto chuckled, "Luckily, nobody got hurt after all. Let's go."
Tsuna nodded and turned to follow him when Kyoko's sugar-laced voice interrupted her mid-step, "Ah, Tsuna! Would you like to sit with us?"
"Hie?" Startled, the doe-eyed teenager turned around, shocked like a deer headlights.
"We have one more space. I never got to talk to you much before, and you're the only other girl here other than Hana who came from the same middle school. Why don't you join us?"
Was this really happening? Tsuna raised a hand to pinch herself on the arm. To her surprise, she felt a sharp pain. This was happening. Kyoko, her idol, was extending to her a hand of friendship. If she took that hand, she could look forward to a life of popularity and happiness as one of Sasagawa Kyoko's friends. No one would bully her, no one would ever treat her like a disposable dish rag again. She might even become good enough for Yamamoto.
Yamamoto, who she was going to have lunch with today after he fought for his life in a brutal cafeteria brawl, simply because she wanted spaghetti. Yamamoto, who was too tall to ever fit at that small, dinghy picnic table with four other girls, not to mention how awkward it would be. Yamamoto, who had eaten with her every day, regardless of whether or not she was the only other person from his old school. Yamamoto, the best friend who she was completely and utterly in love with.
Tsuna made her decision without hesitation, "Sorry, but I'm eating with Takeshi."
"Oh," Her idol looked disappointed, but smiled anyway, "Well, that's okay then. See you around, Tsuna!"
"Yeah, see you," Tsuna waved, satisfied but regretful about her decision. Being friends with Yamamoto had brought her endless torture from his fan girls, but she still wouldn't give it up for the world.
"Why didn't we join them, Tsuna?" Her rather dense friend questioned when the two were out of earshot.
"There was only one seat. Only one of us could sit there. The other would be alone, and I didn't want to leave you alone."
"Oh, right! Thanks! Ha ha, I guess I'm still pretty terrible at math," As Yamamoto said this, Tsuna restrained herself from pointing out that it had less to do with math and more to do with common sense, "It's a pity though. That Haru girl was pretty cute! I'd have liked to sit with her. We should find a way to join them next time!"
He smiled at her when he said this, but for the first time in her life, Tsuna didn't smile back.
There was plenty of bustling in class as the students waited less-than-patiently for their English teacher who was undeniably late. Groups of friends chortled among one another, a huddle of three boys seemed to be peeking at a porn magazine one of them had snuck into school, and Kyoko smiled politely as a myriad of boys tried to flirt with her. Haru was less popular, only because she was engaged in an animated conversation with Yamamoto.
Tsuna buried her head behind her arms, using her considerable tufts of hair as a cushion as she rested the side of her forehead against her desk. She relished the cool of the polished wood against her temple. It was calming, and helped relieve some of the pain and confusion she felt every time she looked in that direction.
Yamamoto Takeshi and Miura Haru were a perfect match, both with stunningly sunny dispositions, bright smiles, and a magnetic way with people that made them friends as easily as spiders made webs. Furthermore, Haru was much prettier and more outgoing, and Tsuna heard she even came from a private girl's school with high academic standards and was the ace of the gymnastics team. No matter how she looked at it, a scrawny, useless, frail, and flunking childhood friend was equivalent to a squashed bug in comparison.
The object of her affections verified that comparison for her when he practically sprung upon Haru like he was an obese man and she a fresh pepperoni pizza as soon as there entered the classroom.
As she drowned in her own personal pool of misery and bent under the weight of the dark cloud of doom and despair, our protagonist failed to notice the clack of leather dress shoes across the floor tiles.
She did, however, notice the deafening crash as the new entrant tripped and face planted into the teacher's desk, as well as the subsequent aftershocks when the desk toppled over and its various contents clattered onto the floor in what sounded like a bad drum solo.
Her head jolted up, as if pulled by invisible strings, and she watched the scene with wide eyes.
"Ah…sorry," A muffled voice apologized from behind the rubble of stationary, school supplies, and student assignments, "I'm alright."
A golden head of hair emerged from the mess, followed by a friendly and fair face, and a medium-tall body in a sweater-vest. Dark, thick-rimmed glasses framed his eyes, but they did nothing to make him seem intelligent. The man was foreign, and had a bit of a prince-like aura, as if he might very well come riding through on a flying white horse. But that notion was ridiculous.
"I'm your new English teacher," The man who looked far too young to be teaching a high school class introduced, "The name's Dino Cavallone."
An almost unanimous sigh swept through the class as several girls swooned. One squealed like a piglet on fire and promptly keeled over in her seat, mumbling something about "...so handsome…too handsome…"
Tsuna scoffed inwardly, no man was as handsome as Yamamoto…who was currently still whispering something in Haru's ear. God damnit.
The fairly under-qualified educator was oblivious to the antics in class and immediately began the lesson, "Today, we're going to go over some works by a famous English poet. Some of you might know of him. He's a revolutionary writer, and an inspiration. May I introduce to you… Dr. Seuss!"
Dino turned around picked up a piece of chalk to scrawl the name on the black board. While doing so, he tripped over a spilled apple some suck-up had placed on the table earlier and fell backwards. With an ominous thump, the clumsy sap bonked his head on the overturned table and plummeted into unconsciousness.
Tsuna silently remarked that he probably should have cleaned up first.
English had ended disastrously.
Within seconds, the students realized that Mr. Cavallone was bleeding and called for help. Within minutes the school doctor arrived and refused to treat him, claiming that he only worked on females. Within an hour, an ambulance arrived on the scene and carried the injured person away while teenage girls wailed in the background.
Now, Tsuna was standing before classroom 5A, the location indicated on her detention slip, and gazed longingly out the hallway's window as Yamamoto escorted Haru into the sunset where they'd probably get married and become professional athletes and have dozens of beautiful, perfect children.
Defeated by her own pessimism, Tsuna slouched into the room, anticipating the worst. Detention would probably end with her in a cast with tonfa-bruises covering her body. The perfect rotten cherry on top of the rotten sundae that was today.
"VOOOOOIIIIIII!" A deafening howl resounded, bouncing of the walls in echoes and startling the overwrought girl.
"Hie!" Tsuna squeaked and dashed out of the room again, fearing the angry yell that jackhammered its way into her ear canal and promptly awoke her from her depressing daydreams. She peered into the classroom from outside, her legs trembling so much that her knees bonked together hard enough to leave faint bruises, and her tiny fingers gripping the doorframe so tightly they turned white from blood deficiency.
"What are we doing here, Xanxus? We shouldn't have to come to any of these bullshit detentions!" A white haired teenager pounded his fist on the table to reiterate his point. His eyes were sharp and his hairstyle was eerily similar to that of Kyoko's. Tsuna would have immediately rushed over and begged on her knees for the secret to emulating that wonderfully perfect haircut if she wasn't deathly terrified of him at the moment.
"We're not attending detention you idiotic piece of trash! We're waiting for that trash-eating Hibari Kyoya so that I can settle my score with him!" The Kyoko-haired man's partner, who he called Xanxus, lashed out with matching ferocity. A scraggly mess of black framed his scar-covered face. That, coupled with the raw anger in his eyes and his extremely badass name gave him an aura of blatant "Do Not Approach".
"Er...Hibari-san will not be monitoring detention today. He's been out on some business with Mukuro Rokudo all day..." A sheepish disciplinary committee member appeared at the doorway behind Tsuna, who flinched in an exaggerated manner at his sudden appearance. His hair was impressively gravity defying and make him resemble an Elvis caricature. Tsuna lamented the fact that every person in school seemed to be better with hair than she was.
"What was that, trash?" Xanxus sneered as he stalked towards the prefect, murder glinting off his pupils. He approached until his was close enough to grab the Elvis impersonator by the collar and lift him several feet above the floor. At this point, he was practically standing right next to Tsuna, who stiffened into a slab of stone and tried desperately to either make herself smaller or disappear completely.
"Voi. He's not here. Now can we go find the others and get out of this trashy school already?" Squalo grumbled as he followed his...friend? Tsuna wondered if their relationship was able to be considered anything close to friendship. She also wondered why they used "trash" so much. Most of all, she demised over the fact that there were "others". Namimori High School seemed to be full of dangerous people. She felt tempted to bang her head against the door frame. Should have applied to Kokuyo. But then again the pinapple-haired pervert attended Kokuyo. Should have just dropped out of school, in that case.
Her lament was once again interrupted when the disconcerting figure next to her made a sudden movement and tossed the prefect he had in his grip at the window she'd been looking out of just minutes ago. There was a horrible sound of glass and bones breaking upon impact and the committee member flew out from the fifth floor and landed on the pavement below with an ominous thud. Despite not having seen any of it, as she was still facing a door frame with her eyes screwed shut, Tsuna was tempted to puke right there and then, but was too terrified to move a muscle.
"Tch. Let's go, Squalo," Xanxus swept past the petrified protagonist, his sleeve brushing against her arm like the touch of death. The white haired man, Squalo, followed. Neither seemed at all concerned that somebody may just have died, and that in itself was disconcerting.
Tsuna stayed frozen long after their footsteps faded into the tiles at the end of the corridor. She was lucky, she told herself, they ignored her. One wrong move, and it may have been her getting tossed out the window, and fragile little her would have far smaller chances of survival. As soon as that thought passed her mind, Tsuna tensed again, the terrifying emotions sweeping through every fibre of her being a second time.
And then she heard a yell right behind her ear, "What the fuck happened here?"
The sudden noise, coupled with her anxious state of mind, pulled the trigger of comatose buried in her brain. She promptly fainted, but not before feeling the sensation of warm arms circling her waist to stop her fall and recognizing the worried brows of a silver haired boy dangling a cigarette from his lips.
End Chapter 2
Do not worry, these romantic developments between Yamamoto and Haru are not permanent. Maybe.
This entire chapter was basically elaborating on Tsuna's lack of self esteem (something that will change in the future) and making her kinda miserable. Sorry.
Hopefully some Varia appearances make up for it?
One again, reviews of any kind are welcome :)