A/N: After such a long long time, I've finally found the time to update this story. I'm so sorry, everyone. T.T College was taking its toll on me. I'm literally dying with all the papers, reports, exams and other requirements. But really, thank you so much for the all the support, guys. And to my reviewers, you're all my inspiration to continue writing. Whenever I read back your reviews, I feel the need to get back on this story. Let me love you if you have made it to this point. T.T And to all new viewers, hello and hope you're liking the story so far~!
What can I say about this chapter? More drama as usual. Boring because heavy in dialogues. I wished I could actually learn to describe and narrate properly but I'm so poor in that. Be warned so many corny lines you'll puke of its cheesiness and oocness. It's been a while so please forgive me if I'm butchering everyone's characters. And this chapter.. it's either you'll love me or hate me for it so imma hide in a corner now. Love triangles are killing me but it's my fault. I dug my own grave for putting my favorites ships together in one story. But please do drop a review.
Enjoy the read!
"I see…Then to match up your gift, Haru will give you a hundred kisses."
Haru woke up with tears seeping from the corner of her eyes.
'Why…? Why am I remembering that now?' The brown haired woman muttered to herself as she hid her face in the crook of her arms. 'I've already decided. I've even entrusted Tsuna to Kyoko-chan so why?'
"Haru?" The Vongola Decimo appeared at the door and immediately walked up to her. "Is there anything wrong? Did you have a bad dream?"
She uncovered herself and sat up. It wasn't a bad dream at all. In fact, it was so blissful that she didn't want to wake up anymore but there's no way she could tell him that. "Where did you go so early?"
"Ah, I bought you something." He opened the medium-sized fancy box that he was carrying in his hand.
"Hahi! S-s-trawberry c-heesecake?" Streaks of pink covered the stuttering woman's face. "J-just w-what are you thinking, Tsuna-san?"
"Eh? Is there something wrong? It's your favorite, right?" The spiky haired man asked innocently, surprised with her funny reaction.
"N-nandemonai desu. Anyway, just so you know, I already changed my favorite."
'Why is Haru fidgeting?' Tsuna thought to himself as he placed the cake on the side table. Did he do something wrong?
Hospital. Strawberry Cheesecake. Haru.
What do they remind him of? Ah! A blush soon spread across his face when he realized what the wounded woman was fussing about.
"N-no. You got it wrong, Haru. I don't have any ulterior motive like that." He flailed his hands defensibly.
"I-I know." She looked out the window to avoid the awkward situation.
Haru didn't like the conflicting emotions that were swallowing her. Being alone with Tsuna like this was making her remember all their memories together - their sweet moments, happy times, romantic kisses and even their small fights. No matter how much she denied it, Haru really missed those days when she was still in Tsuna's arms. She believed it would be best to forget and bury these memories, but something inside was telling her otherwise.
'Come to think of it, Tsuna and I were really happy, weren't we?
Maybe our relationship wasn't exactly a lie
And the three years we spent together were not fake.
Perhaps, I was just being an idiot, and it was just all in my head.
Meanwhile in an old basement...
"That's enough, Gokudera. You'll kill them."
"Shut up. I'm just teaching these idiots how wrong they were for messing with the Vongola."
"I understand but it's already morning. Don't you think you've tortured them long enough?"
"I still not satisfied. How about you put that stupid samurai sword of yours into use and cut off their -"
"Whose phone was that?"
"I guess it's one of those three thugs."
"Oi, boss was asking about the Miura Haru girl. Have you done your job and put that woman in her place? Oi! Oi! Goddamnit...
/Boss, the idiot's not saying anything.../
Oi, you won't get your pay if... "
"Damn it, who the fuck are you and what do you want with Haru?!"
"Holy Shit. Who the hell was that?"
"We have your useless scumbags here with us. I'll kill them off if you don't-"
"Shit. They hanged up."
"They don't care about the lives of their subordinates, Gokudera. In any case, this is bad. So last night wasn't just some random rape attempt. Someone's after Haru."
"Ne, Tsuna… You know, I just dreamt about our 100th day anniversary. Looking back, I realized how you were such a perverted young man, even two bullets couldn't suppress your manly desires." Haru blurted out of the blue, letting a small giggle escaped her mouth.
"Eh?" It took the young Vongola boss several seconds to respond. He totally didn't expect the petite girl to bring up such topic out of nowhere, but what caught his attention most was she called him just Tsuna. Did she just slip her tongue?
"Couldn't think of a comeback?" The brown haired woman smiled triumphantly. "Well, that's Sawada Tsunayoshi for you - easily befuddled with Haru's charm."
"Eh?" The spiky haired man felt so confused with her odd behavior. Just the night before, she was so perplexed, talking to him. If he didn't know her so well, he would've easily believed she's back to her old self but his senses took notice of the tiniest hint of shaking in her voice. He sighed before finally surrendering and going along with the weird conversation.
"What about you? Weren't you the one who initiated it in the first place?"
"Hahi! Are you saying Haru is the perverted one?"
Tsuna sat on the bed beside her. He paused for a moment before finally deciding it was okay to tease her a bit. He missed her furrowed eyebrows and pouting lips after all.
"Try remembering, don't you always sneak in my office in the middle of night to seduce me in your night gown?"
"W-what did you say? I wasn't going there to seduce you. I was CHECKING UP on you because you always overwork yourself. Seriously, it's just you who's having ecchi thoughts and giving in to your perverted desires."
"You know fully well I have self-control, Haru. If I didn't then I probably wouldn't have been able to stop myself every single time before we could even go further."
"And that's exactly why I always needed to make the first move. To be honest, I don't know if you're just too much of a gentleman, unmanly or if you just find me unattractive."
Overlooking Haru's side remarks, Tsuna responded with a satisfied look on his face, "See? You just admitted it. You've been trying to sed-"
"Gaaaaahh s-shut up! Haru doesn't want to hear that from an impotent guy like you."
The flustered woman puffed her cheeks and crossed her arms over her chest. She just looked so cute that the young Vongola boss let her thoughtless insult slide.
"You know, Haru, it's not that I don't find you attractive. I just…" Tsuna hesitated to let the words escape from his mouth. It was just so embarrassing for him to say, but he set his shyness aside to convey his honest feelings, "I just wanted to wait for the right moment, Haru. Because it's you, I wanted to do things properly and wait for the right time."
Haru felt her heart skipped a beat upon hearing those words. How could she only realize now that Tsuna intended to marry her from the start? He was not the kind of person that would take advantage of someone's feelings. There's no way that he had only used her to forget about Kyoko and even if he did, Tsuna must have sincerely tried his best to move on and build a true relationship with her. He couldn't have been just pretending all this time, not when all the memories they shared felt so real.
"I'm sorry. I just said something weird, didn't I?" Tsuna spoke, breaking the awkward silence.
"No, no. It's Haru who suddenly started to blabber about a strange topic. Hehe..." She gave out a fake laugh, trying her best to keep her composure.
"Say, Tsuna, if the wedding pushed through that day, we'd probably be in our honeymoon trip right now, wouldn't we?"
"I would've been your wife by now but I... Sorry, Tsuna. Sorry, I ran out on you."
The young Vongola boss didn't like the sudden change of her tone and the apologetic look in her eyes. He already had a bad feeling from the very start that it was all going to get down to this.
"I'm really sorry. I never meant to - "
"No, Haru. Don't apologize. You wouldn't have run away if I didn't do anything wrong. It's all my fault. I'm sorry."
Haru's chocolate brown eyes widened in surprise. Why was he apologizing? Why was he was taking responsibility of the mess she has caused, something which he was innocent about? Was he doing this out of obligation? What more if he learned about the true reason why she left him? He'd probably blame himself for hurting her, and that was the last thing she wanted.
"What are you saying? You did nothing wrong, Tsuna. It was me. You already know it. I left you and it was all because of Kyoya."
She bit her lower lip and averted her gaze. For some unknown reason, using Hibari's name as an excuse was making her heart cringe. She couldn't really pinpoint what it was but she was sure it wasn't simply because of lying.
"Hibari-san again, huh?" Tsuna sighed. "Stop lying anymore, Haru. I already know the truth, there's nothing between the two of you."
How could he be so sure of that? Haru wondered to herself as she instinctively cupped her bruised neck. It's true, Hibari wasn't the reason why she ran away. There was really nothing going on between them before she disappeared. But could she still say the same after what happened last night? What was Hibari doing to her and why was she letting him do it? Haru couldn't really figure out. The confused woman mentally slapped herself. Just what was she thinking about of all times?
"Yesterday when I was looking for Kyoko-chan, I bumped into Hibari-san. He confirmed it himself that you went out to see me so don't deny it. Even Kyoko-chan told me the same thing and admitted she erased your message in my phone."
"Well, that may be true but don't get the wrong idea. My purpose of meeting you is to formally put an end to our relationship."
"Is that so?" Tsuna clenched his fists. "Then how are you going to explain this? After stopping me from fighting with Hibari-san at the mansion, Yamamoto told me this...
"Tsuna, I know you are angry with Hibari but calm down.
To tell you the truth, I find it unlikely that they are in that kind of relationship.
It just doesn't sit right.
The other day, Haru saw you and Kyoko kissing in your office.
She was crying and I could tell she was really hurting.
I'm sure there's just a misunderstanding here."
...If you truly do not care anymore, then why were you crying back then?"
"That was just..." Haru clutched the bed sheet tightly.
If only Tsuna could just give up and accept everything she said then things would've been much easier for the both of them. Why did he have to be so stubborn?
"That was just an act. I needed to get Takeshi-kun's sympathy so he would let me off."
And that was it. The distressed young man decided he had heard enough. He could no longer stand all the unbelievable words coming out her mouth so he furiously grabbed her shoulders and pulled her close. He kept in her place, making sure she was looking him straight into the eyes. Then with a brittle, low voice, he spoke,
"I love you... That was the last thing you said to me before you disappeared, Haru. I couldn't care less about the other things that you said or did after that night. Honestly, I have no idea on what is true or false anymore. But I believe that what you said to me that night was real. That the woman who was speaking to me that night was the real you. So please, stop this already. There's no need for you to pretend anymore."
Haru found herself staring dumbfoundedly at the clear salty liquid that was threatening to fall from Tsuna's eyes, not realizing that tears were already streaming down her own face.
"Idiot... You're really an idiot, Tsuna."
Without a second thought, the young Vongola boss gently pulled the crying woman into a tight embrace. Though she tried to fight back and push him away, Tsuna didn't let her break free from his firm grasp.
"You're right, I'm really stupid and no good after all. I should've known something was wrong when I found you crying that night before our wedding, and I deeply regret not doing anything back then. I don't understand why you go to such an extent that you make yourself seem the bad person here but I'm sure I am the reason. I really have no right to say this after causing you so much pain but please, let's fix this, Haru."
Why did he keep insisting on being with her?
Was he being regretful that their three years relationship would just go to waste and end up like this?
But there's no point in staying together anymore.
Losing him was painful but all she ever wanted was for him to be happy,
For him to stop holding back his feelings
And be with the person he truly loved.
Why did keep holding on?
"Then answer me honestly, Tsuna... If Kyoko-chan didn't go away four years ago, would you still have chosen me?"
Haru lifted her face up to meet his gaze only to find him frozen, staring back painfully at her swollen eyes.
He could neither move nor speak. Why was Haru asking him something like that? What did Kyoko have anything to do with all of this? And most importantly, how was he supposed to answer her question?
"Of course you wouldn't, right?"
Haru muttered, as more tears trickled down her face. He didn't even have to say it because she could clearly read it from the expression in his eyes. That's right. He was never in love with her to begin with. He only settled for her, didn't he? She was nothing but a rebound girl.
"But that's all in the past, Haru. Things have changed and I... Believe me, I've never regretted - "
"Are you really sure? What if Kyoko-chan confesses to you right here, right now. What would you do, Tsuna?"
It shouldn't matter to him anymore, right? So why can't the words come out of his mouth? Why was he hesitating?
Kyoko having feelings for him have never occurred to Tsuna before. It was something unimaginable, knowing that the gentle, fragile woman distanced herself for the very reason that she refused to be involved in the dangerous world of the Mafia. It was impossible for her to harbor any feelings for someone like him, a prominent leader in the world she feared and hated the most...But wait, didn't she just kiss him a few of days ago? Even Tsuna could tell despite his denseness that it could only mean one thing. If Kyoko told him how she truly felt, could he actually deny her feelings and refuse her?
And what about Haru? Did she actually think he could abandon her when she was the person who stayed by his side all this time? When she was the one who taught him back to smile when he was engulfed in the darkness? When she had patiently waited for him to come home each time he embarked on a dangerous mission and had never given up on him despite the perilous environment he lived in?
"This is exactly what I'm afraid for, Tsuna. That one day you'll wake up, regretting how things would've turn out if only you had chosen to act on your feelings for Kyoko-chan. If only you had grabbed her hand and asked her to stay. If only you had held her tight and told her how you feel..."
"How could you say that, Haru? That won't ever happen because I - "
"Tsuna, you knew that my mother had left my father because she was in love with another man, right? They tried so hard to make their relationship work but in the end, they still parted ways. I just don't want the same fate to befall on us that's why while it's still not yet too late... Let's end it all here."
The door flung open and a bunch of three familiar teenagers burst into the room.
"Haru~!" The lightning guardian pushed his boss out of the bed and wrapped his arms around the surprised woman.
"Lambo, what do you think are you doing? Let go! Haru-san is hurt." The girl with braided hair scolded, pulling the curly haired Italian away. "Here, Haru-san, I brought you some ramen."
"Everyone was worried about you, Haru-nee." A tall guy with light brown hair smiled warmly at her.
"You sure gave those guys a beating yesterday but are you okay now, Haru?" The rain guardian appeared at the door with a silver haired man frowning beside him.
"Tch. What the hell is with that disappointed look?" The storm guardian hissed.
"Ne, Haru? Why did you ditch Tsuna on your wedding? Have you finally knocked your head and realized that Tsuna was no good after all?"
"What the hell was that, idiot cow?!" The storm guardian smacked Lambo on the head and threatened to beat the shit out of him if he ever spouted nonsense like that again.
"Gokudera-kun, you're still picking on a kid at your age?"
"Shut up, stupid woman."
"Hahi! And you're still calling me stupid? How many times have I told you to stop calling me that?"
"Lambo is no longer a kid, Haru!"
The three looked at the direction of the source of the loud, angry voice.
Gokudera suddenly turned pale and collapsed on the floor while Bianchi went around chasing the crying adult Lambo out in the corridors.
"It must have gotten noisy and rowdy with everyone around. Did we disturb you, Haru-chan?"
Kyoko entered the room, followed by Tsuna's mother who was holding a basket of homemade food.
Traces of guilt and shame shadowed Haru's expression. How could she face Tsuna's mom after the disgraceful thing she did to her son?
"Huh? Did you just say Nana-san? You've always been like a real daughter to me, Haru-chan. Call me Mama like you always do."
"But I... I..." Before she even knew it, Haru found herself crying once again. She was expecting her ex-fiance's mother to be mad at her but Nana was just too kind and soft-hearted. No wonder Tsuna took after her. "Sorry... I'm really sorry."
"It's fine, Haru-chan. It's normal to get cold feet on your most cherished day. Every woman experiences pre-wedding blues."
"Mama's right, Haru. There's no need for you to be hard on yourself. What's important now is you're back right here with us. Everyone was waiting for you." A certain acrobaleno wearing a fedora hat grinned at her.
Surrounded by all the people she loved with a gentle smile on their faces (except for Gokudera which was understandable), Haru felt like a heavy weight was lifted off her shoulder. She was assuming everyone would be angry at her after the humiliation and hurt she had caused their beloved boss but they proved her wrong. They still loved her and treated her as family despite what she did.
With both her parents gone, Haru only had the Vongola left as her family, and she was really thankful to have such kin with a very beautiful and strong bond. She met all of these wonderful people through Tsuna, and if not for their fateful encounter, she wouldn't have lived a happy and colorful life. Then suddenly it hit her... If she cut her ties with Tsuna, he was not the only person that she will lose but also her beloved family, and without them, she would literally have nothing. Was she really prepared to suffer the loss of the only family she had left in the world?
"Tsu-kun, you don't look well. Are you okay?"
In the corner of her eyes, Haru spotted Kyoko walking over to Tsuna who was leaning quietly against the wall. She saw him glanced shortly at her and then he set his eyes back at the orange haired woman standing on his side.
"I'm sorry, Kyoko-chan. I'll have to excuse myself and go to the restroom to wash my face."
Two days have passed since everyone visited her at the hospital yet Haru still couldn't take this particular memory off her mind.
Tsuna was probably avoiding Kyoko.
How could she not feel guilty? It was all her fault even if this was not what she intended.
She felt frustrated on herself for being so simple-minded.
It's not like it'd be easy for Tsuna and Kyoko to confront their feelings and start a relationship once she was out of the picture.
It'd definitely be hard for them, most especially for her best friend because Tsuna was so fixed on blaming himself for the failure of their relationship.
Not only that, even if they get to pull through it in the future, Kyoko would still have to face everyone's judgement.
How could they accept her so easily when she was the best friend of the woman that their boss was supposed to marry?
Everything was just so complicated.
A familiar gangster pompadour entered the room.
"Haru-san, I came here to bring your stuff from Kyo-san's house."
"Thank you, Kasukabe-san."
"Also... I actually don't like to say this but, Kyo-san told me to tell you never go back to his place again."
Eh? There was a long pause before Haru responded.
"After he told Tsuna on me and did nothing when I was being taken away, like hell I will," Haru tried to act tough though she was actually feeling a pain in her chest. "And he didn't even come to visit me here... How dare he? Is he a block of ice?"
"Haru-san, I shouldn't really be telling you this but... Kyo-san is leaving."
"Excuse me, but do you know where is the patient confined here in room 515?"
"You mean the woman named Miura Haru? She was just discharged a few hours ago."
The hospital housekeeper replied before leaving the man carrying a bouquet of red roses alone in the empty room, his face was as gloomy as the setting sun.
"What is it, Bianchi?"
"Eh, Kyoko-chan? Why are using Bianchi's phone?"
"I thought you wouldn't pick up. It seemed you were avoiding me these past two days, Tsu-kun."
"Sorry... It's not like that. I was just..."
"I know this is so random but are you free tonight? Can you have dinner with me?"
"Sorry, but I... There's something I've got to do and it might take a long time so..."
"It's okay. I'll wait."
"I'll wait no matter how long it takes for you, Tsu-kun."
'Kyo-san is leaving.'
Before she even knew it, Haru's legs moved on their own, and she found herself standing on the skylark's doorstep. She was panting heavily, after running a long distance from Namimori hospital to get there.
When she had finally caught her breath, Haru rang the doorbell nervously, uncertain of what to say once Hibari got the door. But no matter how many times she pressed the button, she still got no response. She tried to turn the knob but it was locked. She also checked the windows to see if there was somebody inside but unfortunately, nobody was there. The house was empty.
Was Hibari already gone?
Haru slumped down on the small step outside his main door, burying her face on her folded arms.
Why did Hibari have to leave so suddenly?
Where was he going?
How long was he going to be away?
And when would he come back?
These thoughts kept running in her head like an endless loop. She already had a lot of problems occupying her mind but after hearing that Hibari was leaving, she forgot about everything else. The thought of not knowing when she'd see his face and hear his voice again was making her feel an unbearable pain. She never knew how much she needed him until he was gone.
'How can you leave without even saying goodbye, you cold bastard?'
"What are you doing here?"
Haru lifted her face up, hearing a familiar cold voice. Her swollen eyes met with dull gray orbs.
"Move. You're in the way."
He walked past her, heading for the entrance.
"Hahi! What do you think are you doing?" The brown haired woman complained.
Hibari just tried to close the door on her. Luckily, she was able to stick her leg inside before he could completely shut it close.
"Not until you talk to me." She retorted, forcing her way in.
"Leave or I'll bite you to death."
"I said I'm not going anywhere until you -"
Haru didn't know how it happened but in just a blink of an eye, Hibari had her pinned against the wall, his hands gripping her wrists on either side of her head.
He slowly leaned forward, sliding his leg in between her thighs.
"Stay and you'll end up regretting that decision."
"I won't. You wouldn't do anything to hurt me."
He pulled harshly on her blouse, causing the top three buttons to open, then he positioned his mouth on the plain of her neck, his warm breath brushing against the sensitive pulse on her skin.
"Go now or I'll -"
"Why are you trying so hard to push me away, Hibari-kun?" The brown haired woman reached for the back of his head and gently buried his face on her shoulder. "There's nothing you can do to make me stay away. We've been all through this before and you know that. I'm not scared of you."
The aloof cloud guardian didn't say anything back, still caught by surprised by Haru's warm embrace.
"You're so unfair. After doing all those confusing stuff to me and messing with my mind, you'll just go and walk away like nothing happened. But I won't stop you or ask you stay. If you have to go then go but at least...please,
take me with you."
A/N: So we're finally reaching the end. Maybe next chapter would give closure to the story so please do tell me what you think. And don't worry, I'd try to update soon probably this month of December too. Thanks for reading!~ ^^