Title: Shubun no Hi
Author: Nagi Kokuyo
Fandom: Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Characters: Yamamoto, Gokudera (somewhere between present time and TYL)
Warnings: Mild spoilers, homosexuality (meaning boy x boy love, people)
Disclaimer: As much as I wish it was different, I do not own Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, nor any of its characters (or the other anime characters I mentioned), and I'm not making any profit out of this (Puh-leeze, I wish!)
Summary: Shubun no Hi, the day to remember the dead. Yamamoto pays a visit to his mother's grave and remembers to be thankful for the ones he has left. One person in particular. 8059
A/N: Please review! Tell me what you think, and flames are welcome (though I forewarn you, flames will be used to roast the Vindice)!
The date was September 23rd—the Autumnal Equinox, or Shubun no Hi. It is the day for honoring one's ancestors and remembering the dead, and part of a seven-day period known as Haru no Higan; it's one of the most important holidays in Japan. Many Japanese head back to their hometowns and spend a portion of the day tending to the graves of their ancestors, according to ancient Buddhist tradition.
This Shubun no Hi would go down in the Vongola history as one of the turning points in Decimo's rise—albeit the secret, private history known only by a select few.
Two people, to be exact.
Yamamoto continued down the familiar sidewalk, eyes set ahead of him. He knew it wasn't much farther; he cut the corner swiftly and broke into a light run towards the gates, slowing as he entered the sacred ground. The green grass surrounding the path winding through the rows shimmered with the previous night's rain, the gravel unsteady and slippery under his sneakers, beautiful and recent flowers dotting the lawn; it was all familiar, a scene he could paint in his mind with little effort.
He recognized the slabs of stone and the carved statues surrounding him, and a familiar sorrow settled over him; he wasn't the only one visiting. He passed others gathered to mourn their lost ones, most he recognized from around town, from school, from the restaurant. It wasn't a surprise he wasn't alone; it was the day to honor the dead, after all.
He was counting the rows by memory, trying to find his row: two…three…four…five—the numbers grew the further in he ventured—twenty-five…twenty-six…twenty-seven! He turned in, suddenly acutely aware of everything, ticking off the gravestones in his mind by his heart.
First was Morioka Kouhei, then Mido Seiji and his twin cousins Hikaru and Kaoru buried side by side. Then was Domoto Kaito, the surfer who drowned during a competition after his girlfriend disappeared. Finally came Momomiya Ichigo, the girl who killed herself last year after her boyfriend broke up with her; Yamamoto and Ichigo had grown up together, going to the same schools, friends with the same people, in the same class.
She'd been his first kiss.
"Hey, Ichigo," he murmured as he passed, his head bowed in respect.
Finally, he arrived at the grave he wanted: the grave of his mother. He stared down at the dirt beneath his feet and, in horror, realized he was standing on top of her body—nothing but a coffin lid and six feet of dirt separating him from her bones. He stepped aside carefully and knelt beside her grave instead, setting the bouquet of flowers he brought at the foot of the headstone.
He sat there, legs crossed, staring blankly up at the sky as he searched for what to say. His eyes, heavy in their sockets, dropped to the stone, reading the words he'd long ago memorized.
"Hey Mom," he said softly, the grass tickling his arms. The wind rustled his hair, reminding him of a time years ago when a soft, gentle hand would do the same, making him laugh. He laughed the same laugh, but now, it was muted and polite. "Pops went to visit his parents this year, so it's just me. I hope you don't mind too much."
He sighed, reaching out to trace the characters inscribed in the stone. "I have so much to tell you; so much has happened since the last time I visited. I'm sorry it's been so long, but I've been busy, and after I tell you about it, I hope you'll understand."
Yamamoto started telling her about the Vongola, about everything they'd been through since Reborn brought them together.
"I don't know what the baby saw in me that made him think I'm a natural hitman, but whatever convinced him to make me the Rain Guardian, I'm glad it did. If he hadn't, I don't think I'd have ever become friends with Tsuna, Gokudera, and the others. Because of Reborn and because I want to protect my friends, I learned the way of the sword, and I can't imagine life without it all now."
He laughed nervously, looking down at his hands—and at the Rain Ring shining blue and silver on his finger. "All I want is to protect them, Mom. I want to protect my new family no matter what. I would do anything to protect Tsuna and Gokudera, and the Famiglia," he said, using the Italian word for the Vongola family. "I'd fight to the end of the earth and to my death before I let anyone hurt Tsuna."
A cloud passed over the sun, and Yamamoto looked up, grinning as he thought of Hibari and Sasagawa. "I know you wouldn't approve of what we're becoming—Mafia—but we're actually helping people and saving lives, and we've even saved the world. I trust them with my life, and I think they trust me with theirs. I hope they do, because I would do anything to save them."
He nodded, smiling softly as the cloud passed on and warmth enveloped him in all its glory. "Yeah, okay, some of it's illegal, but that comes with the territory of being Mafia, and we do more good than bad."
In the background, he could hear someone else talking, but since it obviously wasn't directed at him and there was no response, he didn't pay it any heed. Besides, there was something else he wasn't to talk to his Mom about. Something very important.
Someone very important.
Yamamoto stepped into the apartment he shared with his boyfriend and closed the door behind him; how could someone's heart be so heavy and yet so light at the same time? He always felt that way after visiting his mom, so it was nothing new, but he never got used to it. Somehow, he didn't think you could get used to it; it was like the pain of losing a loved one. It faded over time, but it never went away, and it could flare up in the blink of an eye. The breeze, a nice day, certain smells—the slightest reminders would prompt a flare, and there was nothing to be done about it.
The smell of something burning stung his nose and made his eyes water, and he smiled as he coughed into his hand; he could hear muffled swearing from in the apartment. He followed the stench of smoke into the kitchen and leaned against the doorway, watching his lover as he poked angrily at a pan of slightly burned eggs. Gokudera's brows were furrowed, eyes narrowed and mouth twisted in a scowl as he wrestled with it; Yamamoto wanted to laugh, Gokudera just looked so domestic.
He wrapped his arms around Gokudera's waist and pulled him into a hug.
"Ne, Hayato should know better than to try and make eggs. It takes forever to get the burnt-egg smell out of the apartment," Yamamoto teased. He dropped a kiss on silver hair, breathing in Gokudera's scent.
The bomber grumbled and pushed Yamamoto away. "Che," he scoffed, "I've been cooking for myself for years. It's just fucking eggs I can never get right."
He glared at the scalded confections as if they were at fault, and Yamamoto chuckled. "Then you should stop trying," he murmured. He reached around and turned off the stove, pressing open-mouthed kisses to Gokudera's neck. Gokudera hummed and leaned into his touch, letting Yamamoto pull him back into an embrace.
"You know," Yamamoto said, "you're really hot when you cook."
Gokudera elbowed him sharply in the stomach; the swordsman grinned through the pain. He laughed. "Fine, fine." He kissed Gokudera's head again, and said absently, "You're so amazing, you know that? I don't deserve you."
Gokudera turned in his arms, looking up at him with hooded eyes. "Really?"
Takeshi nodded and kissed his lover on the forehead. "Mmm-hmm, yeah."
Gokudera wrapped his arms around his lover's neck and locked lips with his boyfriend; Yamamoto boosted him up onto the island. It had been years since they first met, and the bomber was still several inches shorter than the swordsman and had to stand on his tiptoes to kiss Takeshi, so sitting on the counter made it easier. Gokudera slipped his tongue into Yamamoto's mouth and the wet muscles moved in a way that wasn't so much a dance as something that both new and old that they knew with their very souls. The kisses between them were magic, far more than a simple meeting of the mouths; it was right and it was perfection. The first time had been hesitant and uncertain, and the last time Gokudera socked Yamamoto across the face. Something inside both of them changed that day, something that would never be reversed. It wasn't as clichéd as puzzle pieces falling together, but it was theirs and it was right.
"I love you," Yamamoto whispered against Gokudera's mouth when they came up for air. Their lips were barely touching; it wasn't a kiss, but something far more intimate. They were sharing breath, hearts beating as one, spirits entwined and flames mixing. The storm and the rain were one, functioning as two different entities but never truly separate.
I took a number of different anime characters for background, not that it really matters.
Morioka Kouhei, Mido Seiji, and Kaoru and Hikaru: Tsukuyomi MoonPhase
Domoto Kaito: Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
Momomiya Ichigo: Tokyo MewMew