A/N: Hey everyone, I come bearing a multi-chaptered role play I've been working on alongside Breaking Through to You. The first chapter is pretty safe, considering, but the following chapters will be rather mature, so don't worry ;D This story is rated M for a reason ;DD I wrote for Yamamoto, while my great friend, Ethelwyn, wrote for Gokudera's parts. Ethelwyn is an amazing writer, even though English isn't her native language, so you guys should really check her stuff out if you have the time! She wrote an interesting piece for D18, and if you guys love Bleach and the couple Ikkaku and Yumichika, then her story for them will definitely entertain you! So please check her other stories out! I promise you won't be disappointed!
I hope you guys like the role play! Please don't hesitate to review and give us your opinions! We'll post the rest of the chapters if we see that people are interested in the story! ;D
Gokudera Hayato was just about ready to bang his head against the wall of the Tenth's room until it finally exploded and ended his misery. For three hours now he was trying his best to hammer the basics for the math test into his boss' head, and into that baseball-idiot's too. And why the hell was that guy here to begin with? He had agreed to help out the Tenth. Only the Tenth! He had arrived under that very supposition, but when he'd opened the door to Tsuna's room, that damn, always grinning baseball-idiot had waited for him. Yeah, Gokudera knew Yamamoto needed almost as much help with that test as Tsuna, and it wasn't like he didn't want to help him—he did, he fucking much did—only he couldn't.
These last few months, things had just changed. It had been gradual; tiny little damn changes. Whenever that raven-haired idiot had smiled, Gokudera had felt his own lips tug into a smile too, and of their own damn volition! His damn eyes were just as traitorous; lingering on Yamamoto's sinewy, athletic form way longer than could be deemed decent in any culture! And those damn fucking dreams he couldn't seem to stop...! It had become increasingly harder to maintain any form of calmness around the other one. Gokudera had tried a lot of things to get these perverted thoughts out of his head, but the only thing that seemed to be working at all was keeping as much distance between them as possible.
He had to be at the family meetings; there was no way around that. He could never disappoint the Tenth! But he avoided talking to Yamamoto as much as possible; taking special care not to find himself alone with the other. All he needed to do was get a clear head and cleanse those abominable (for the right-hand-man), and dishonorable thoughts out of his head, as they couldn't lead anywhere anyway! As that cleansing hadn't happened as of yet, Gokudera was quite distraught at being confronted with the damn baseball-idiot. Seeing him now only drove home just how much he had missed him and his stupid-ass smile. Feeling his traitorous eyes once again linger, he dropped his head, closing his eyes and pinching his nose as if he felt a bad head-ache coming on... which actually wasn't too far off.
"I think that's it for tonight. It's getting late, and you won't get any more information into you, I believe. I could come back tomorrow, so we could carry on."
His words were meant for the Tenth. He was only looking at him, and trying his best to ignore that baseball-idiot sitting next to Tsuna.
Now, unbeknownst to Gokudera, the feisty Italian's lingering eyes and hesitant smiles hadn't gone unnoticed by Yamamoto for the last couple of months; not in the slightest. How could he not notice them? The raven-haired teen had always been hyper aware of everything that concerned Gokudera, ever since he had met the feisty Italian all those years ago. It had actually scared Yamamoto when he realized that the majority of his thoughts consisted of the beautiful bomber, and, for another fact, that he even thought of one of his friends as beautiful!The young baseball player knew that wasn't normal in the slightest, and yet, when he continued to think of his silver-haired friend, and even when his thoughts of him persisted more than his thoughts towards baseball, Yamamoto finally realized that what he felt for Gokudera was way more stronger than just normal friendship. Because of that, Yamamoto had been silent about his affections towards Gokudera for years. He knew that nothing would ever come of it, and that Gokudera would more than likely run away from him and hate him because of his feelings. But that never stopped Yamamoto from hoping (and dreaming) that one day, maybe, Gokudera would start feeling the same way as him. So with Gokudera's past couple of months of peculiar behavior, the hope within Yamamoto was blossoming at a rapid rate; filling him up until he was practically giddy with anticipation.
And that was no different from his situation right now in Tsuna's bedroom after Gokudera had suggested meeting up again tomorrow.
"Haha, I don't mind meeting up again tomorrow either..." Yamamoto laughed out happily; sending Gokudera one of his most dazzling smiles. "...but I think I'm still up for some more studying—if you don't mind, Gokudera."
"Wh-who's talking to you, stupid?" Gokudera spluttered as the worst case scenario was unfolding before his eyes.
Blinking and rubbing his eyes, Tsuna was bobbing his consent. His head was so stuffed with all the math formulas that he never heard Gokudera's protest.
"That sounds good. Let's call it a night. All those numbers are just dancing before my eyes anyway."
Looking sideways at Yamamoto, Tsuna couldn't help but admire the athlete's energy and enthusiasm. If his friend would show that same enthusiasm in math class instead of taking naps, he probably wouldn't need these tutoring lessons with Gokudera-kun. But somehow, only the Storm Guardian seemed to be able to get Yamamoto enthusiastic about math. That circumstance needed to be exploited.
"Oh, in that case, you two should just go on." Looking at the silver-haired guardian with a sort of pleading in his eyes, as he really wanted to just sleep, Tsuna asked tentatively. "Could you like, carry on at your home, Gokudera-kun?"
About a thousand emotions must have played over the Storm Guardian's face at that moment. One part of him, mainly his body, was hyped at the prospect of being alone with Yamamoto; another was freaking out at the very thought, though. It was all he had been trying to avoid this past month, after all! He wanted to rant at the stupid-ass baseball-idiot for still being so disgustingly energetic, his mouth already opened…only his Tenth's eyes were on him; begging him. Hands balled into fists at his sides, and damning his fate, Gokudera smiled in a very strained way, bowing his head deeply before his boss.
"Of course, Tenth! We'll be gone in a moment!"
When his gaze came up, he was not only shooting daggers with it at Yamamoto, his eyes were, naturally, full-blown, and wildly flying dynamite sticks.
Yamamoto, of course, expected Gokudera to splutter at him. The young Italian was so cute when he got so flustered! The jock couldn't stop the pleased smile that spread across his face at knowing that he could get Gokudera to react in such a way to him.
And that pleased smile only grew when Tsuna recommended that he and Gokudera should finish their studies at the silver-haired teen's apartment. Just the thought of being alone with Gokudera was pure joy to Yamamoto's ears. If they had time to be alone, then maybe he could get closer to Gokudera; both as a friend and maybe...maybe as something more.
The young baseball player's hopes soared even higher when Gokudera agreed to Tsuna's request (which Yamamoto half expected anyway, since Gokudera hardly defied Tsuna), but it still made him happy to think that Gokudera was willing to spend more time with him.
That was, until Gokudera sent that piercing death glare Yamamoto's way. The raven-haired teen was shocked speechless for a second, because of the intensity. It had been so long since he had seen Gokudera so...angrywith him. And he had only suggested that they continued studying! What did he do to get Gokudera so upset with him?
Naturally, Yamamoto just laughed the bomber's glare off like it didn't affect him. Maybe he was reading too much into it? Gokudera had been rather grumpy as of late, so maybe he was just taking his anger out on him? Yeah, that had to be it! But Yamamoto just hoped that Gokudera wouldn't be grumpy the whole time they were at the other boy's apartment. Maybe he could think of different ways to cheer the smaller teen up?
"Hahaha, yeah, we'll get out of your hair so you can sleep, Tsuna!" Yamamoto laughed good-naturedly, giving Gokudera a hopeful glance. "Besides, I haven't been to Gokudera's apartment for such a long time! A change of atmosphere will be fun, right, Gokudera?"
As Yamamoto's stupid, happy grin wavered under his death glare, the silver-haired bomber felt a distinct satisfaction run through him. Okay, now if he just kept this going, he could make that damn tutoring lesson so uncomfortable for the other one that even that baseball-idiot would claim fatigue and want to go home, right? But of course, said idiot just laughed once again! Clenching his fists once more, Gokudera resolved to make that lesson as uncomfortable for Yamamoto as he possibly could. He just had to! Even better yet, he would try to scare him off on their way to his apartment.
Answering the Rain Guardian's open, incredibly cute (yeah, he thought so; whom was he kidding?) gaze only with a stony expression, he gathered his books and stood. Fun? Yeah, right! More like agonizingly painful, idiot! Not daring to look into Yamamoto's face, which he just knew was lit up with that smile that would make him want to return it, he just answered in a non-committal grunt.
"Just get your damn books, so we won't hold up the Tenth's needed, healthy sleep, Baseball-Freak."
Tsuna didn't really like the way Gokudera had turned so grumpy. Was he tired, too? Shouldn't he have sent Yamamoto with him? But he could have said so and declined, right? Maybe it was just because he sent them away? But he really was so tired. How was he supposed to sleep with the two of them studying in his room? Smiling up at the Storm Guardian, he tried to cheer the other one up.
"Ah, but we will still do this again tomorrow, Gokudera-kun, okay? I... I really need your help for the test. Please!"
With a rush of blood, a bright blush rose to Gokudera's cheeks at the request of the Tenth. His boss was so awesome! He could do such incredible things! There was so little Gokudera could actually do for him that he jumped at every small opportunity. Eyes shining with happiness, and a bright smile on his lips, he bowed.
"Of course, Tenth! I will not disappoint you as your right-hand-man! I will be here to teach you, and you will ace that test!"
Gokudera's stony glare and non-committal grunt were completely expected by Yamamoto, and when the silver-haired teen told him to start gathering his books so that they could give Tsuna some peace and quiet, he was only too happy to oblige. Scooping up his books and papers in his arms and haphazardly tossing them into his school bag that he had brought with him, Yamamoto grabbed the bag and hoisted it over his shoulder with one of his hands. He was more than prepared to leave and spend some quality time with his long-time crush.
But even Yamamoto couldn't stop the painful twist in his gut when he saw Gokudera blush from Tsuna's request, and smile so brightly. Yamamoto had never, in the three years he'd known Gokudera, been able to make the other smile like he did when he was around Tsuna. Consciously, Yamamoto could feel the corners of his mouth turn down into a small frown, his hopes for the evening plummeting with them. What had he been thinking? So, Gokudera had been staring at him more, and occasionally smiling. So what? The young athlete slightly berated himself for reading into the situation more than necessary. Gokudera was probably just starting to become more comfortable around him as a friend and nothing more.
But…Gokudera at least thought of him as a friend, right? Okay, sure, he still hadn't admitted to feeling that way at all throughout the years, but how could they not be friends? Gokudera wouldn't bother hanging out with him if that weren't the case, right?
Doing everything he possibly could to shake his depressing doubts away, Yamamoto just let out a laugh as another smile came onto his face. He just hoped that his friends wouldn't be able to see how forced it was. He had really screwed himself over for getting his hopes up about Gokudera in the first place when it was obvious that the young Italian only truly cared for Tsuna more than anyone else.
"Hahaha, I'm sure Tsuna will ace it just fine! He's got Gokudera for a teacher, after all!"
Over the past three years, Tsuna's Hyper Intuition had grown drastically with him, so it was obvious to the young mafia boss from the start that something wasn't quite right with Yamamoto's smile. It didn't meet his eyes. Tsuna frowned in confusion for only a little bit before he brought his mouth back up into a smile as he tried to push his concern to the side. The young teen didn't know what had caused the change in Yamamoto's mood, but he had a feeling that things would fix itself as soon as he ushered his two best friends out of his room.
"Yeah." Tsuna slightly chuckled at Yamamoto's words as he rubbed the back of his head. "I know I shouldn't be worried about the test with Gokudera-kun teaching me, but I still wouldn't mind his help tomorrow as well. My brain is fried right now, so I feel like I can't remember anything at all! I think that after I get some sleep, I'll be able to focus a lot better tomorrow, so you guys just go on and I'll head to bed here."
Basking in the glow of the trust of his boss, Gokudera did not see the frown passing over Yamamoto's face. He only jumped onto the words being spoken.
"Damn right, he has!"
His enthusiastic gaze met the Rain Guardian's smile. Something about it made him stop and linger, and it wasn't his fascination with it like usual. There was something about it he just couldn't quite put his finger on. Before he could concentrate and try to discern what it was exactly though, the Tenth spoke again.
"Yes, Boss, you do that, we'll be gone in a minute. Tomorrow we will go at it all rested and with new focus!"
Unceremoniously, Gokudera grabbed the front of Yamamoto's shirt; pulling him along.
"Let's get going, Baseball-Freak. The Tenth needs his sleep... Good night, Tenth!"
The last words were thrown over his shoulder as he walked determinately out of the room, dragging Yamamoto behind him. Only as they were on the stairs and far enough out of the influence the Tenth had on him did Gokudera fully realize, what he had done, and where his hand was. His hand, bunched as it was in the shirt of the raven-haired athlete, felt the heat of other emanating off his chest. His hand loosened and flew off Yamamoto's chest as if the heat was strong enough to burn; and in a way it was. It was burning into him, making him want to touch the muscles he had felt without disturbing fabric in between; skin to skin. Shaking his head and looking interested at the steps they were heading down, as if he feared he might fall otherwise, Gokudera tried to make sure his silver strands would hide the deep crimson blush tinting his cheeks.
Yamamoto swore that his heart stopped beating the moment Gokudera grabbed on to the front of his shirt and started pulling him along. Actually, he might have stopped breathing altogether too as he felt the smaller teen's warm hand through the fabric of his shirt. His heart started beating erratically in his chest as blood rushed to his cheeks (and somewhere else too). Yamamoto wondered if Gokudera could feel how heavily his heart was beating, because as they started making their way down the stairs, the young Italian tore his hand away like Yamamoto had hurt him.
As the warmth of the other's hand faded from his person, Yamamoto wasn't sure if he should feel saddened or relieved from the loss. But what the young athlete did know was that he was able to breathe again. Yamamoto looked nervously off to the side as he and Gokudera reached the bottom of the stairs and started putting on their shoes in silence, trying to calm himself down so he wouldn't have a heart attack (or make the problem he was feeling down below his waistline worse).
Whatever the case was, Yamamoto was relieved when he and Gokudera made it outside into the cool, crisp night air. The young athlete could feel his heart slow down to a normal pace, and his lower half calm down. He would have died from embarrassment if Gokudera had noticed how he had physically reacted just from being touched by him.
As the two boys started walking down the street towards Gokudera's apartment, Yamamoto noticed how the other walked briskly ahead of him. Yamamoto couldn't help but feel the awkwardness hanging in the air, so he tried to get rid of it.
"So..." The young athlete started out with a light chuckle as he rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. "It's been awhile since I've been to your apartment, Gokudera. Are you still...you know...having troubles with it?"
For once that baseball-idiot had shut up, for which the silver-haired bomber was grateful. It gave him the time and space he needed to gather his wits about him once again. As soon as he had put his shoes on, he was off. He never looked if Yamamoto kept up, just walked at a sure, fast pace home. He knew there was no hope of losing the athlete, even if he ran. That idiot would just keep up, and not even break a sweat. At least the rushing, cool air helped calm his nerves and clear his thoughts. Of course this couldn't last for long, as Yamamoto just had to talk. Gokudera bristled slightly at the question. He hated showing any form of weakness.
"Idiot! What do you think would have changed about it?" He asked back gruffly. "You think my rent just miraculously dropped? Or that the dynamite buys itself? And no, I didn't win the lottery without telling anybody!"
His gaze full of defiance, he didn't look at Yamamoto as he went on. "I get by; always have, always will. It's all gonna change when the Tenth will be instated, anyway."
Not living the easy life kept him on edge— tough, and resilient—at least, that's what he liked to tell himself. Also he could usually wiggle his way into a decent meal when he dropped by the Tenth's home. But as Yamamoto had started that topic anyway, here was Gokudera's chance to jump on it and use it to try and deter him from coming home with him.
"So you know, as it's close to the end of the month, I ain't got nothing fancy at home. Only plain Tab, and perhaps some crumbs of green tea." Holding up his hand, before the athlete might be able to butt in, he went on. "And no, not one drop of milk!"
Yamamoto really should have expected that Gokudera would react angrily to what he had said. After all, the smaller teen usually acted angrily around him for every little thing he did, but Gokudera also hated other people's pity. Yamamoto felt like an idiot for bringing the issue up, but he was desperate to start up a conversation. Not to mention he was also curious as to how the Italian was doing, and was actually hoping that the feisty teen was doing better for his living situation.
The raven-haired teen remembered how the ends of the months usually were for Gokudera. The smaller teen would lose a bit of weight, and he usually got even grumpier than he normally was due to his hunger. It was during these times that the silver-haired bomber was offered free food at Tsuna's house. Yamamoto was also a little ashamed to admit that he took advantage of Gokudera's hunger during those times in order to spend more time with him as well. It didn't take much convincing from his dad to offer him free sushi whenever he came by.
So when Gokudera mentioned his lack of food again, concern filled the swordsman to the brim. He didn't care if the other one saw his actions as pity, because he knew that he would never be able to get to sleep tonight if he knew that Gokudera was going to sleep hungry. Yamamoto knew he had to do something, and the other teen was going to live with it if he liked it or not.
"Well, I bet Uri isn't too happy with you right now about the milk." Yamamoto laughed jokingly as he responded to Gokudera's earlier statement. He was a little disappointed that there wouldn't be milk either, but he knew that Gokudera didn't like drinking it too much and usually bought it only for his precious box animal.
With a new found burst of energy, Yamamoto sped up to walk beside the other. Throwing caution to the wind, the young baseball player threw his arm around Gokudera's shoulder and brought the green-eyed bomber into a friendly side-hug.
"Hey, since there's a convenience store on the way to your place, why don't I buy us some bentos and snacks?" Yamamoto offered with a kind smile, his hazel eyes boring into Gokudera's imploringly. "It's the least I can do for coming over to your place so late, right?"
The silver-haired guardian secretly congratulated himself on his idea to mention the milk, knowing full well the other guardian would miss that obnoxious drink. His own words had to be turned against him, though. This time Gokudera bristled more obvious.
"I've got tuna and sardines for him, okay? It's not like I wouldn't care for him! He'll just have to wait a few days for his damn milk, is all. And it's not like he shows his appreciation either way."
It actually hurt pretty much that Yamamoto insinuated that he didn't take proper care of his box weapon. He was the Tenth's right-hand-man, and the Storm Guardian, after all. He had to always be ready for a fight, and that meant is weaponry had to always be in perfect condition. Also he could never let the little animal suffer for his own misfortunes.
Yamamoto thinking so poorly of him hurt way more than it should. Usually he would shrug off the opinions of another, not caring what they thought about him, as he knew better anyway. He was used to being looked down upon and had learned to not let that get to him. Yamamoto obviously growing to being an exception was alarming. While the Storm Guardian brewed over this frightening new development, the athlete caught up to him. Next thing he knew, an arm was thrown around him. Torn from his thoughts, Gokudera almost jumped in surprise. He stiffened at the unfamiliar closeness.
"Wha-what are you doing, idiot?" He spluttered disconcerted.
Gokudera wanted nothing more than to tear away from that baseball-idiot and run, but there was still that promise he had made to the Tenth. That's why he couldn't run! It wasn't because of the heat he felt on his shoulder and side, or because of the warm, fuzzy feeling in his stomach at the touch. No, he didn't enjoy feeling Yamamoto so close to him; didn't crave more of that heat…more of... just more. Blood shot in two directions at once in his body, making him feel slightly dizzy as a heavy blush spread on his cheeks, and something a little lower wanted to come alive.
And that damned Yamamoto was planning on a cozy evening at his apartment! How the hell was he to survive that without bombing half the town into oblivion? He should shove that arm off his shoulder, he should tell Yamamoto to go to hell, only his stomach was the first to pipe up, grumbling audibly at the mention of real, healthy, and filling food.
"Ye-yeah, that's the absolute least you can do, idiot!" He yelled louder than was necessary to try and hide how flustered he really was.
The warmth that Yamamoto felt as he pressed Gokudera closer to his side grew with each passing second, and filled him head to toe with contentment. The young athlete couldn't stop thinking about how right it felt, how Gokudera seemed to fit perfectly beside him, and how he wanted nothing more than to turn the smaller teen's face towards him and kiss him until they were both breathless. But Yamamoto showed great restraint. He knew it was a bad idea because: 1. they were on a public street (even though it was pretty late, there were still people walking the streets), 2. Gokudera would kill him, and 3. it would probably ruin his friendship with the smaller teen.
Yamamoto tried to steer his depressing thoughts away, but they didn't fully disappear until he heard Gokudera's stomach growl cutely in hunger. And when the feisty bomber yelled his agreement towards buying him food, the young jock had to suppress the urge to cuddle the smaller teen and coo on how cute Gokudera was when he was flustered. So instead, he just gave an amused chuckle as he felt a sense of victory over his accomplishment for helping Gokudera out.
"Great! I'm glad to hear it!" The young jock exclaimed happily before a thoughtful expression crossed his features. "And how about I buy some milk for Uri too? I know you always have food for him, but you know how cranky he gets when he doesn't get a milky treat every once in a while. Haha!"
It was here that Yamamoto's expression turned into an affectionate one as he gave Gokudera a sincere smile.
"You know," Yamamoto uttered softly as he started steering Gokudera and himself towards the convenience store in the distance. "I think it's really cool how you always have food for Uri even when you have troubles feeding yourself. That just goes to show how nice and caring you really are, Gokudera. Uri is lucky to have you as an owner."
After that, Yamamoto quickly let go of Gokudera's shoulder as the sliding glass doors to the convenience store opened before them; golden-white light illuminating the darkness around them as they entered the store.
"Okay, I'll go and pick out bento for us, and get a carton of milk for Uri." Yamamoto spoke excitedly as he looked back towards Gokudera, who was standing still in the entrance to the store. "You can go and pick out the snacks you want to eat. Don't worry about the price or anything, so get whatever you want. It's my treat!"
And with that, Yamamoto turned around and started heading over to the coolers as he waved to Gokudera with his back turned, excitement filling the dark-haired teen for the evening to come.
With a sigh the silver-haired guardian had agreed that Yamamoto should buy the milk. Uri really could be in an even worse mood when he wasn't getting spoiled like that. Why he put up with that bitchy little animal was beyond him! At least, that's how he liked to act and let others believe. He cared more for that little ball of fur than he let on, and even liked to cuddle it when nobody looked. And sometimes, just sometimes, Uri even allowed it without scratching his face raw in response.
While he had looked Yamamoto in the eyes, those hazel orbs shone with a special glow. Gokudera was mesmerized as a warm smile graced the athlete's lips. As much as it had hurt when he thought the Rain Guardian had criticized his care of Uri, it felt just as good now to hear him state the exact opposite. His blush deepened again. When Yamamoto suddenly let go of him, he almost uttered a sound of dismay, missing the athlete's heat already. He caught himself from embarrassment by gruffly explaining how he made it work.
"It's the cigarettes. That's what it is. I exchanged an unhealthy habit for an unhealthy pet..."
Still, Yamamoto's praise made him feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It wasn't something he was used to feeling. Definitely. But it was a good feeling. His plan to get the athlete to quit for today disappeared somewhere in the depth of his brain. Maybe, just maybe, he could enjoy Yamamoto's presence for just this one evening. He had to admit to himself that he had missed the other. Gokudera was sure that for one damn night, he could keep his raging hormones in check. That couldn't be too hard, now, could it?
"Yeah, okay, you do that. But nothing with squid!" His face screwed up slightly when he got his own assignment. "You shouldn't, Yamamoto... this ain't gonna be cheap as it is..."
Gokudera knew the jock too well to really try to persuade him otherwise. If the athlete wanted to treat him for his help with the test then there was nothing for it and no one able to stop him. So in the end he just shrugged his shoulders and went to the shelf with the snacks. His eyes lit up when he saw the chips with octopus flavor. On the bag was the cutest, funniest octopus wearing a snorkel. Since the first time he had seen this bag, he had to grin whenever Ryouhei called him Octopus Head. Of course he still bristled on the outside, but inwardly he thought it pretty funny. Grabbing a bag of the chips, he also went for some honey-sesame-bits and a small bag of rice crackers. With the treats in hand, he went looking for Yamamoto.
"You got it all?" He asked when he found the other one by the milk.
It took everything in Yamamoto's willpower not to comment when Gokudera mentioned that he gave up cigarettes to focus his attention on Uri. He loved the idea of Gokudera being addicted to his cat (and his cat's health) more than deadly cigarettes, but he knew that Gokudera was still a little sore about giving them up, so he didn't say anything. Yamamoto didn't want to ruin the comfortable atmosphere that surrounded him and his long time crush, because it rarely happened.
So after waving his goodbyes for the moment, taking note of not picking out anything with squid (Gokudera hated that flavor almost as much as the flavor to his sister's cooking), Yamamoto made his way over to the coolers to pick out their bento first as he hummed a happy tune. Right off the bat (pun intended), the young baseball player found containers filled with onigiri. A filling bento like that would definitely satiate Gokudera's hunger! Excited at the prospects of pleasing his dearest friend, Yamamoto saw a bento with tuna and mayonnaise filled onigiri that came with a wakame salad. Seeing as the mention of tuna made him think of Tsuna, Yamamoto grabbed the bento, intent on giving it to Gokudera to enjoy. It would be filling, and the side dish of salad would be extra healthy for the malnourished Italian.
Scanning the contents of the cooler again, Yamamoto was very inclined to get the same exact bento, since tuna was his favorite flavoring, but just in case that Gokudera didn't want the bento for some reason, the dark-haired teen decided on getting a different one. Seeing a bento with umeboshi onigiri and cold, fried fish, Yamamoto quickly grabbed it and made his way over to the coolers that held beverages. He knew it wouldn't take too long for Gokudera to pick out the snacks, so he didn't want to keep the other one waiting. Sure enough, just as Yamamoto was picking out a small carton of milk, Gokudera approached him and asked him if he got everything.
"Yep!" Yamamoto confirmed with a satisfied smile. "I got two differently flavored onigiri bento, and a small carton of milk for Uri. I remembered you told me that cats shouldn't drink too much milk, since they can't digest it too well, haha."
It was here that the young athlete noticed the snacks that Gokudera was carrying, his eyes immediately zeroing in on the chip bag with an adorable octopus on it. Yamamoto couldn't help but laugh at that.
"Hahaha! What a cute octopus! I think you picked the perfect snack for yourself, Gokudera!"
Immediately after he said it, Yamamoto wished he could have stopped himself and reword what he had just said. He had only meant to indicate that since Gokudera was nicknamed, "Octopus Head" that the octopus flavored chips suited him perfectly, but since he had mentioned that the octopus looked cute, he had made it sound like the snack was perfect for Gokudera, because he was cute too!
Before he could see Gokudera's reaction (in fear that it would be a very bad one), Yamamoto laughed almost uncomfortably and headed directly towards the checkout to pay for their things.
He really was an idiot for letting that slip.
With a somber look, Gokudera nodded as Yamamoto proved that he actually sometimes listened to what he told him. "Yeah, it's actually not too good for them, but Uri never seems to mind. Perhaps it's an inherent resilience as a box weapon or something. He just laps every drop up without a care." He shrugged his shoulders.
Leaning a bit over to Yamamoto, Gokudera tried to get a glimpse at what the other one had chosen. The Rain Guardian seemed to have the same idea, as he was eying his findings, too. When he picked out the octopus chips, the silver-haired bomber looked down on them, but had to look into Yamamoto's face right after to evaluate what the hell that idiot had meant by what he said.
Even though he never said it to his face, did Yamamoto think of him as Octopus Head, too? That thought really didn't sit too well with him. It was one thing if that dumb Turf Head called him that; he didn't care about the guy. Well, at least not in that way, anyway! But Yamamoto not liking his hairstyle was...bad. Looking at the other's embarrassed gesture, which was so typical of the athlete, Gokudera couldn't quite believe that was it, though. His actual words were the octopus was cute... Did Yamamoto just tell him he was cute?
Gokudera's default emotion, when he did not know what to feel, was rage. As the Rain Guardian seemed to fear a storm coming on, he ran. There definitely was a storm and it was brewing and churning in Gokudera's stomach. Mouth half open, he stared at the retreating back. Could it be...? Was it just wishful thinking? But if it actually was... wouldn't that be... incredible?
There was a voice in his head, telling him not to get his hopes up. They were dashed far too easily, hurting like hell in the process. But when it concerned that raven-haired baseball-freak, his better judgment flew right out the window.
Realizing he still had the snacks and no money to speak of, Gokudera went after Yamamoto. He was just in time to drop the three snacks on the counter.
"Hey, you said you wanted to pay for those too, idiot! No going back on your promise!" Gokudera really tried hard for an amicable voice and a bright smile.
All Yamamoto could do was stare in a stunned manner at Gokudera's smile as the smaller teen placed his snacks on the counter by the register. The young athlete had been so embarrassed by his last actions that he had rushed away from Gokudera and started paying for the food he had on hand. His actions had been absentminded, but he had really expected Gokudera to freak out on him. He hadn't expected to see Gokudera trying his hardest to smile and sound friendly to him. That's what made Yamamoto feel confused. Was Gokudera acting this way to try and control his actual anger, so that he wouldn't end up blowing up the store?
"Oh, haha, yeah..." Yamamoto laughed distractedly as he rubbed the back of his head. "...of course I'm going to pay for your stuff too, Gokudera. I just got ahead of myself, that's all."
Depression over his friend's reaction began to set in Yamamoto's heart as he told the store clerk to add Gokudera's snacks to his bill, but then another thought came to his mind as he thought over the look that Gokudera had in his eyes a second ago, and the sound of his voice. Maybe... Gokudera had sounded hopeful? No, that couldn't be! But no matter how hard Yamamoto tried to shake that idea away, it kept coming back; his hopes growing yet again.
As the cashier told Yamamoto the price for his purchase, and the young jock brought out his wallet to pay, an idea struck him. He didn't want to get his hopes up again about Gokudera, so he had to make sure that Gokudera was actually interested in him, right? That would mean he would have to test something out. Yamamoto felt a little bit of guilt twist in his gut for what he was about to do, but he didn't know how else he could test Gokudera in this situation. He would have to see if Gokudera would get jealous.
"My dad's shop has been super busy the last couple of months." Yamamoto stated with his usual smile as he glanced back towards Gokudera, his hand bringing out a hug wad of bills from his wallet. "Business has been booming so well that I'm actually exhausted whenever I'm done helping my dad out on the days that I don't have baseball practice, haha!"
As the young athlete sorted through his crazy amount of money and handed the cashier the right amount of yen, a mischievous glint came into his eyes. He would have to play his part well for Gokudera to take him seriously.
"Actually, I've been getting some amazing tips, haha!" Yamamoto laughed excitedly as he faced Gokudera again, his mouth forming into a lopsided grin as he returned his money to his wallet. "The girls from my fan club at the school have become regular customers there. They always come to see me. They're pretty nice girls too, haha! And not too bad looking, you know? They're the ones that are always leaving me the best tips!"
It really was just like Yamamoto to be so caught up in action that he'd totally forget about everything else. Most likely his mind was occupied with some baseball statistics or other sports stuff, too. His absent-mindedness sometimes drove Gokudera crazy; making him want to blow something up just to get Yamamoto to return to the moment. But that only happened during day to day life. As soon as they found themselves in a serious fight, the Rain Guardian was absolutely focused on the situation, while still being able to keep a certain lightheartedness about him. Gokudera really admired that about him, and there was no one he'd rather have guarding his back.
Keeping his smile on his face, he waved his hand dismissively. "Yeah, yeah. As long as you step up..."
When Yamamoto told him about the good fortunes of his dad's shop, Gokudera was actually happy for them. "That's good to hear." He really liked the older Yamamoto. But then a little concern sneaked into his gaze. As he had tried to put some distance between him and the athlete, he hadn't realized what seemed to be going on. "You're working too hard, idiot! No wonder you're always sleeping during classes! Also, you can't study too well if you're tired out!"
Gokudera was about to suggest they might consider taking on part-time help at the shop when he saw all the bills Yamamoto spilled onto the counter. "What the hell...?" He breathed, his eyes growing wide.
The jock's explanation sent a sharp piece of red-hot glowing metal right into his stomach. The smile he had kept on his face all the while was wiped out in an instant. His eyes flashed in anger. Those stupid, ugly, little hussies! Gokudera's fists clenched at his sides.
"Yeah, right, if you don't care for some brains and like the slutty, homely type." The Storm Guardian almost spat at Yamamoto's raving praise of those cows. Grabbing the paid for bag from the counter, he huffed, turned, and stormed out of the store. Just his luck! The moment he dared to open his heart to hope, it was just stabbed at! Of course, the perfect athlete, super nice, real cute Yamamoto would have his eyes set on the girls. What would he want with him?
Yamamoto's eyes widened to epic proportions at Gokudera's reaction. He had never expected his smaller friend to explode at him like that and storm out of the store! And...had Gokudera actually referred to himself when he said that Yamamoto didn't prefer someone with brains in favor of a slutty girlfriend, or was he just looking too much into that?
Yamamoto was broken out of his thoughts by the sound of the cashier beside him. The young jock quickly looked back towards the young man behind the register, who had super long hair and looked stoned out of his mind.
"...You're a dick. You don't say that to your chick, man..."
The raven-haired teen just gave the drugged-up cashier an incredulous look, wondering on how he could have possibly thought Gokudera was actually a girl. But he couldn't help but agree with the other man on another point. Even though he hadn't expected Gokudera to react that way, the smaller teen had reacted badly, and now it was obvious that Yamamoto had to apologize (or at least make things up to Gokudera).
His thoughts now desperately filled with the desire to rectify the situation with his friend, Yamamoto sprinted out of the store and in the direction of Gokudera's apartment. Luckily, even in his anger-filled haze, Gokudera had started walking in the direction towards his home and not in a random one. Because of that, it didn't take too long for Yamamoto to catch up with his quick-tempered crush (after all, he was the fastest sprinter at Namimori High School).
"Ah! Gokudera, wait!" Yamamoto exclaimed as he tried to keep a steady pace with his fast walking friend. "Why are you so angry? I only mentioned that the girls were nice to look at."
There was a short pause as the young athlete tried to gather his thoughts before he spoke again, his voice becoming more and more flustered as he realized that Gokudera's anger didn't seem to be waning.
"Look. I'm not really into those kinds of girls, you know? I mean they're nice to talk too, or even look at, but I would never get into a serious relationship with them or anything. Actually, it kind of gets annoying when they ask me out all the time, haha! I'm sure you know how that feels too, right?"
And, before Yamamoto could stop himself, he uttered his next sentence without thinking.
"But even though I keep telling them no, they still try to catch my attention. I even told them that I can't go out with them because I've been interested in someone else for a long time now. But that just seemed to make them try harder..."
And with that, Yamamoto's brain finally caught up with his mouth. His hazel eyes widened in shock as he stared at Gokudera fearfully, waiting for his reaction.
The silver-haired bomber had hoped that somehow the cool night air could cool his temper, too. He had no right to be angry at Yamamoto for being a normal, healthy boy, could he? But even the thought of those ogling, ugly, stupid... bitches getting more than a passing look from the athlete turned Gokudera's stomach and made him gag.
Of course, the jock chose the moment of that exact thought to catch up to him. Even though some part of Gokudera knew better, he couldn't stop the anger flaring again.
"Angry? Who's angry? What do I care if you've got no taste to speak of?" He barked; hands once again clenched into fists at his side. Damn, he ached for a cigarette to calm his nerves, and to blow something up for good measure, too!
Yamamoto's next explanation made no sense to the smaller bomber. What the hell did the other one mean he didn't want any serious relationship with those girls? Gokudera's head turned, looking at the athlete in a piercing glare, trying to discern the meaning. He just never thought of him as the easy fling, one-night-stand type. That couldn't be it, could it?
When he heard the actual explanation, Gokudera stopped in his tracks. The thought of Yamamoto with all those idiotic, squealing fan girls had been bad enough, but knowing there was one special girl he had lost his heart to, was real, pure agony. It shouldn't be. It really shouldn't. But Gokudera hated to know he had dropped his defenses so low as to let himself get hurt like that. He felt the glowing blade twisting in his stomach as realization hit him. There was only one...
Yamamoto had stopped too; turning to face him questioningly. There was no way Gokudera could keep the hurt from shining in his eyes; from making his voice sound raw and brittle. "It's Haru... isn't it? She... She's a nice girl... She... will make you happy... I'm sure."
His voice almost broke as his throat clenched around the words; trying to keep them inside as he choked on the letters. He didn't want them to get out and be true.
No words could describe the immense guilt and fear that seized Yamamoto then as he stared into Gokudera's heartbroken eyes. Never in his wildest dreams had he ever imagined that his long-time crush would react this way in front of him. So it wasn't all too surprising that the young jock was stunned and frozen in place as he heard Gokudera's voice waver brokenly.
This was real, wasn't it? He couldn't be looking into his smaller friend's actions too much, right? The only reason as to why Gokudera was so upset, and looked like he was trying so hard to keep his emotions in check, was because he liked Yamamoto, right?
The young jock's breath caught in his throat at the thought of Gokudera actually wanting him in that way. It took everything in Yamamoto's power to not just run over to the silver-haired bomber, gather him in his arms, and tell him he had nothing to worry about. But Yamamoto pushed that urge back, knowing that abruptly hugging Gokudera like that would only end with him being beaten to a bloody pulp, and possibly blown up in the process.
So instead, he recalled Gokudera's gut-wrenching words; his earlier condolences to Yamamoto's supposed interest in one, Miura Haru.
"H-Haru?" Yamamoto choked out in dismay. "No, Gokudera, you understood me wrong! What made you think that I was interested in Haru?"
Fear clenched in Yamamoto's gut and resonated throughout his whole being as he prepared himself for what he was about to say. There was no going back now. He had to see this through, or else he would never forgive himself. Yamamoto just hoped that he had been correct in assuming that
Gokudera was actually interested in him. If he was wrong, and Gokudera ended up hating him for the rest of his life, he didn't know what he would do.
"When have I ever been interested in Haru? Have you seen me trying to make time to spend with her?" The raven-haired teen spoke on wavering breath, his voice growing with conviction as he stared Gokudera straight in the eyes; despite the apprehension he felt. "No, you haven't...and that's because whatever free time I have after baseball practice, and from working at my dad's shop, I spend it trying to gain your attention. The one I'm interested in is…you, Gokudera..."
They were looking into each other's eyes for a long moment. To Gokudera it seemed to stretch into an agonizing eternity. Part of him wanted Yamamoto to finally admit it; to twist that blade in his gut one more time. At least then he would know for sure there was no chance for them ever, and he could finally get over it (hopefully). The other part was still hoping against hope that somehow it all was just a misunderstanding; that no girl had won him over. That... perhaps his great love was... baseball?
"Bu-but it has to be Haru." Gokudera was sure there was no other girl in Yamamoto's life. With school, the sushi shop, his training, and the crazy fights going on, the Rain Guardian had no free time to speak of. It had to be somebody in their family; he was sure. As his sister was way too old, it couldn't be her. The same went for I-pin at the other end of the spectrum. Chrome was cute in her own way, but way too weird with that sick relation to Mukuro. When Gokudera realized who would be left, a new kind of hurt hit him. Even if his dreams were crushed, he never would want for Yamamoto to be hurt, but if his second guess was correct, then it was bound to happen. Kyoko was happy with the Tenth!
Only when those hazel eyes drilled into his, like they wanted to peer right into his soul, did Gokudera return to the moment and the words directed at him. Yamamoto's voice was brimful of emotion. The bomber wanted to shut his eyes to the reality that was about to spill forth from those pink lips he had wanted to taste at least once in his life, but those hazel eyes kept him mesmerized. Then the words finally tumbled out, and Gokudera could do nothing but stare.
He was sure his heart stopped at that moment. Opening his mouth, no sound came. How could it, without any breath in his lungs? Gokudera's mouth shut again, his face flooding with blood in a deep crimson blush. It was his eyes that were drilling into Yamamoto's then. Could this really be happening? Could those words be real? Taking in a shuddering breath, his gaze implored the other Guardian to be truthful and serious before Gokudera spoke. "Don't joke about this, Yamamoto. I... I couldn't take it." He left himself wide open to get hurt once again. He knew that, but he couldn't keep the hope from rising and shining in his eyes when he waited for that one decisive answer.
All breath left Yamamoto's lungs at the sight before him as Gokudera stared into his eyes imploringly. He had never seen Gokudera look so openly at him before. It was like he was leaving all of his soul bare for Yamamoto to see. In that moment, the young jock couldn't help but feel touched that Gokudera was allowing him to finally see him in a different light.
Yamamoto couldn't help but think that Gokudera was absolutely beautiful in that moment, too.
When the dark-haired teen heard his smaller friend's response, and how his voice broke with so much emotion, Yamamoto could feel his throat run dry at the thought that Gokudera didn't believe him.
"How could I joke about something like that?" Yamamoto's voice wavered in just as much emotion as Gokudera's as he slowly started walking back towards the silver-haired teen. "After how long it took me to just get you to accept me as part of the Vongola Family, and how even longer it took to make you see me as a friend, you honestly think I would throw all that progress away if I wasn't serious about what I just said?"
Before he allowed Gokudera to reply, Yamamoto was close enough now to grab the smaller teen by his shoulders; Yamamoto's tanned, calloused hands desperately holding him in place in fear that the other would try to run away (like he tended to do when things got too emotional).
"Gokudera..." The taller teen whispered out breathlessly, his eyes shaking passionately down into Gokudera's pale green. "I've wanted you for as long as I can remember. These feelings I have for you go way beyond those of friendship, and I...I don't know for sure if you feel the same way about me. But I think that these feelings...I don't think they'll ever go away..."
This time, it was Yamamoto's turn to leave his soul bare for Gokudera to see.
Again, silence stretched between them into an eternity. Waiting for that answer, hoping against hope, leaving himself so open, it just wasn't like Gokudera. He felt the restlessness rise in him, felt how his mind wanted to shut his heart down, throw the defenses back into place, and just run. Yeah, if he did that, he couldn't get hurt, but he also would lose this one slim chance at happiness.
Then Gokudera got his answer. His heart had started again, and was now trying to catch up with the missed beats (at least that was what it felt like) by hammering like crazy in his chest. Shit! Yamamoto was so right. He really never had made it easy on him, had he? But... but that was his job as the right-hand-man! Only the strong could belong to the family. And Yamamoto was strong. Damn strong!
Two sure, strong hands grabbed his shoulders. Gokudera could do nothing to fight the twitch that went through his body. It was his natural reaction after all; flight. Only, the warm voice hit his ears, sending a shiver over his body. His name whispered in such a breathless fashion made Gokudera's stomach flutter. Those hazel orbs staring into his made his knees go week, making him actually grateful that he was being held. But it was the other's words that made him feel hot. Oh damn! It was all the silver-haired bomber had wanted to hear, dreamed of hearing, and even more!
Now those beautiful brown eyes stared into his, leaving themselves open. All Gokudera could see were deep emotions and expectancy. He could feel his head glow bright red. Damn, damn, damn, he wasn't good with this stuff! He knew what he felt, but how the hell could he put that into words? Damn! If he didn't answer fast, Yamamoto wouldn't believe him, and might even feel crushed after confessing! He couldn't let that happen!
Gokudera uttered the first words that came to mind. "Those feelings had better not disappear!"
'Yeah, right, leave it to me to find the absolute worst answer, and bark it as a command', the bomber thought.
Eyes wide in growing panic at his inability to utter his true feelings, he grew flustered. "Th-they better not go away, 'cause I... I feel the same." He admitted, trying to at least project his feelings into his gaze if his damn mouth couldn't do the job.
Yamamoto blinked once, then twice, and then continuously in disbelief as he heard Gokudera's answer. The young jock stared at his smaller friend with a complete dumbfounded expression on his face as Gokudera finished answering hesitantly, a blush spreading across his flustered, porcelain cheeks. Had he heard that right? Yamamoto almost couldn't believe that this was happening. He had often fantasized about this moment, but never in his wildest dreams (and they did get pretty wild) did he ever think they could come true.
Gokudera felt the same way as him!
Before he could stop himself, an enormous grin spread across Yamamoto's face as he quickly brought Gokudera into a hug.
"Really?" The dark-haired teen laughed out happily in relief. "Do you really mean that, Gokudera?"
And just as quickly as the hug began, it ended as Yamamoto put an arms distance between him and his silver-haired friend again; his hands clasped firmly to Gokudera's shoulders. From there, he stared intently into his long-term crush's emerald orbs; like a puppy waiting excitedly for a treat. Yamamoto swore that if he actually were a dog, his tail would be wagging a mile a minute right now.
"Gokudera...I..." Yamamoto whispered out breathlessly as he stared down lovingly into Gokudera's eyes; his own eyes filled with utter happiness. There was nothing he wanted more than to lean down and finally get a taste of those lips he had dreamed of for the past three years, but, sadly, before he could, the young athlete heard some people talking in the distance.
In a flash, Yamamoto let go of Gokudera's shoulders and jumped away from him like he had been burned as he saw an older couple walk by them a couple minutes later. He stood to the side awkwardly as he looked away from Gokudera, one hand in his jeans pocket and the other rubbing the back of his head as he tried to look like a normal, presentable teen to the couple passing by. That had been a close call. Yamamoto was sure that Gokudera wouldn't have liked it if those people saw them...kiss.
A small blush came to Yamamoto's cheeks as he glanced towards Gokudera after the people turned the corner and were out of sight.
"Um, how about we go somewhere more private?" Yamamoto laughed sheepishly as he continued to rub the back of his head. "Your apartment is only a block away, right?"
And before he realized it, a gurgling sound of hunger emanated through the air, reminding the taller teen that someone amongst them was still pretty hungry.
"Haha! And we should eat too!" The young jock smiled cheekily.
If Gokudera hadn't been in such emotional turmoil at the moment, he most certainly would have offered a snide comment about the dumbfounded look on the athlete's face. As it was, his heart kept racing in his chest while he stared at the raven-haired Guardian, waiting for his final reaction, and hoping it would be positive. And it was. Even if it was embarrassing as hell!
He was pulled against Yamamoto's hot, lean body. Again blood shot in two directions in his body. A little smile tugged at his lips when the laughter of the other one rang in his ears. Cheeks flashing red, and a bit awkward and stiff in the embrace, Gokudera waved a hand on the side. "Yeah, yeah, I mean it... stop it, idiot... we're...", '… out in the streets', he finished the sentence in his head as Yamamoto seemed to have realized himself, because he had let go of their hug, but not him. Somehow the little bomber felt good about that.
His breath hitched then, at the intensity of the jock's gaze. His name was whispered again in that breathless voice, making another shiver run all through him and more blood rush downward. The thought he had but a moment ago of where they were, vanished as he was caught in that hazel gaze. Gokudera found himself moving his head forward, trying to close the distance between them. All he could think about at that moment was how he wanted to taste those lips he had dreamed about.
That's why he was totally rattled when Yamamoto sprang from him as if he'd thrown a stick of dynamite at him. What the hell...? Wh-what went wrong? Had he gone too far? B-but Yamamoto had seemed to want it, too, right? Gokudera's thoughts overtook each other, racing through his brain. Utter embarrassment turned to his default emotion; anger.
"What the hell's wrong with you?" He barked, as he finally heard the steps coming closer, too. "Oh..." Gokudera muttered; his free hand vanished in the pocket of his cargo pants, pushing the fabric forward to more effectively hide the effect Yamamoto had had on him. His still glowing cheeks hid behind the curtain of his bangs as he dropped his head.
Damn, how could they have been so careless? What if someone had heard them...? Slowly, Gokudera looked up again as the couple had left. His heart jumped when he saw Yamamoto sporting the cutest blush. At the suggestion, the bomber's heart-rate picked up it's pace, and the hand in his pocket pushed forward again. "Y-yeah, we... we should do that."
Feeling a bit embarrassed, he was looking to the side when his stomach growled again.
"And...And that, too," Gokudera agreed weakly, as he felt his hunger return full force. "L-let's go, Baseball-Freak!" Trying to get a hold of himself and the situation again, he said this more forceful and marched off.
When Gokudera called him, 'Baseball-Freak', and started walking away, Yamamoto never thought his heart would miss a beat at the sound of it. Even though Gokudera had said it forcefully, it just went to show how flustered the little Italian truly was. Plus, that was the first time Gokudera called him, 'Baseball-Freak' after they had both admitted their true feelings for each other, so to the young jock, the silly, but accurate nickname sounded even more endearing then what it usually sounded like. Of course, that could have just been Yamamoto's selective hearing again.
With a blush still splayed dominantly across his cheeks, Yamamoto kept pace with his new-found love (the very thought of that made Yamamoto shiver in happiness and excitement) as they made their way towards the apartment. The walk was silent, and a little awkward, as Yamamoto kept glancing sideways towards Gokudera where their eyes would meet for a second before Yamamoto would look away in embarrassment. Now that both of their feelings were out in the open, Yamamoto could feel the awkward tension rise with every minute that passed by. He had always wondered about confessing to Gokudera, but he had never thought of what to do after he confessed and his feelings were actually returned! And he was pretty sure that Gokudera was thinking along the same lines as him, too.