Title: Imaginary Friend
Pairing: None, parental!Reborn, child!Tsuna
Summary: Tsuna pouted as his family made fun of his imaginary friend, it wasn't his fault they couldn't see him. It wasn't his fault that they couldn't see the tall man with a fedora that was behind them watching everything with those sharp dangerous looking eyes of his.
Disclaimer: Seriously? Don't own, just the idea
A/N: This story will most likely be filled with fluff. Its not really a R27, its more of a family-based relationship between the two, like father and son. But enjoy anyway!
Beta'ed by WhiteAngel128
Tsuna didn't know what to do. His large honey-colored eyes peered around the streets carefully, trying to search out for something that was familiar to him. But there was nothing, nothing that told him which way to go or reassured him that he was going towards the right direction. He hadn't meant to get lost like this, not at all. It was entirely that big dog's fault, who had been barking at him furiously as he walked by. And Tsuna, being the scared wimpy child he was, ran at the sight and vanished into the streets. And to think he had been on his way home from school, too. He wanted nothing more than to be home where it was nice and warm and not here in the bitter cold of fall. It might not be as welcoming since his mom was always busy with his older brothers, but it was better than out here.
Tears began to form at the corner of his eyes, tempted to start crying in misery, but he rapidly shook his head. He couldn't cry, not now. Tsuna sniffled and rubbed his eyes with his sleeves and continued on. Peering around the area, he hoped that there was someone around that could lend him a hand, ignoring the words his mom had always told him about talking to strangers. Desperate times came desperate measures. However, much to Tsuna's dismay, there was no one on the streets. The sun was just barely starting to set in the distance and it was getting colder by the second. He shivered, hugging his worn jacket around him tighter, and kept going. Eventually, he came to a park and peeked inside, hoping that there was someone there to help him find his way home.
His large eyes peered up and down the place, hoping to see some sort of life, but pouted in the end. There was no one, no one around that he could see, it was clearly deserted. The swings were moving back and forth from the wind, the chains rattled and creaked in the creepiest way. Tsuna felt a shiver run down his spine when the sounds became particularly loud as the wind rushed by. Dashing over, he grabbed the chains to prevent it from reoccurring and continued to look around the place with mild curiosity. The playground with the multiple slides attached seemed so empty without anyone else in it and he knew it wouldn't be any fun if he were to try and play by himself. So, the swings would just have to do for now. Settling onto the rubber cushion, he rocked himself back and forth, staring at the ground as his feet dragged across the dirt. Tsuna remained in that position for a few moments, trying to keep his mind occupied, away from his wandering thoughts. Just as he was about to give up and move away, he heard a small ruffling sound. Blinking, he perked his head up to look around the park once more before finally settling on a bench.
There, on said bench was an adult male with spiky, jet black hair, hidden almost beyond view with the way he was angled. He was lying on the bench without a care in the world, arms folded behind the head, and appeared to be sleeping peacefully. A fedora rested on the face, preventing Tsuna from seeing the features and his eyes traveled to the rest of the body. The man was wearing a suit, black in color, with a yellow button-up shirt inside and a black tie tucked neatly underneath the jacket. In all honestly, the man looked like one of those business-type people he sometimes saw on TV. Gaining some courage into his tiny body, he hopped off the swing and slowly made his way towards the person. Tsuna shook at each step, hoping that this wasn't a bad idea, and when he got close enough, reached out with clear hesitation in his large orbs.
His hands grasped the fabric and gave a gentle tug. "Umm…"
At his touch, the man seemed to startle awake, pulling an arm from behind to flick his hat slightly off his face. Narrowed black eyes peered down at Tsuna, almost like they were glaring, before raising an eyebrow as the man continued to stare at the child. The brunet took in the curly sideburns and tilted his head curiously as he watched them bounce, tempted to reach out and grab them.
The two watched at each other before the man finally spoke. "You can see me?"
Tsuna tilted his head further at that in confusion. "See?"
"Never mind," The man slowly sat up and placed the fedora onto the top of his head, burying the spiky locks into the confinement. Tsuna stepped back to gain some distance and continued to peer up into those eyes carefully, not sure on what was going to happen next. He hadn't really thought that far. Was he going to be punished for doing something bad like waking the person up? He hoped not. Luckily for Tsuna, the man did nothing and leaned back against the bench. "So? What do you want?"
The brunet wiggled his nose, finding the accent obviously different compared to the people he heard from school. "I'm lost."
The man raised an eyebrow further up and pushed the fedora upwards. "You're lost?"
Nodding his head, Tsuna awaited for the response from the other, shoulders sinking down sadly.
"Where's your mom?"
"Where do you live?"
The man appeared like he was about to sigh in frustration and instead reached up with a large hand to run it through his hair, pushing the locks back. The fedora shifted slightly at his movement before it went back into place. Slowly, he stood up, placing his hands into his pockets and peered down at the tiny child. "Fine, I have nothing better to do anyway. Come on, I'll walk you around."
Tsuna brightened up at the announcement, glad he would at least have some company, and followed along, almost waddling beside the man. He had to somewhat jog due to the person's long legs in order to keep up and huffed slightly when he started to fall behind. "Mister…what's your…name?"
"Tsuna." The brunet grinned brightly at that, continuing to jog forward, until he suddenly tripped over his own feet. He collapsed to the ground with an loud 'oof' and quickly got back up so that he wouldn't fall too far behind, only to fall down again. Tsuna pushed himself into a sitting position and looked down at his feet, only to see his shoelaces untied. Pouting, he reached down, hoping to get that fixed as soon as possible, but instead couldn't get his fingers to work correctly. His little digits were slightly numbed from the cold and he struggled to get the first loop together, messing up halfway.
The man remained standing where he was at, watching the scene carefully with those dark eyes of his, and grumbled under his breath when he saw Tsuna having some difficulties with his shoes. In all honesty, he didn't want to help some child. What he wanted was some sleep. That was it. But he couldn't help but pity the child, the poor boy had probably separated from his family by accident and couldn't get back. It was a sad case and anyway, he had time despite his desire for slumber. It wasn't as if he would be doing anything better or couldn't postpone his little nap. Reborn finally stepped closer and pulled his hands out of his pockets, kneeling down to give a helpful hand. He watched as Tsuna pause for a little, observing him with those large honey-colored eyes, and smirked. The kid was cute, adorable almost. He quickly tied the shoelaces before pulling back. "There. Now let's get going."
However, soon after they passed the next street, Tsuna tripped and only because his shoe laces came undone once more. Reborn almost resisted to groan at that and shifted closer to see what was going on, not wanting to have any more delays. There were some tears beginning to form in Tsuna's eyes at the small scrape he'd earned from falling, but he held it in when Reborn came kneeling down again. The adult pulled out the same shoe he had previously tied to look it over and stared. This shoe was much too big for those tiny feet. It was like they were a size or two larger and it appeared to be the same for the other shoe. "Is this your older brother's shoe?"
Tsuna shook his head gently, those long brown locks swishing side to side. "No, Mama doesn't know what shoe size I have and just bought me my older brother's for me."
Now that made Reborn curious. "She doesn't know your shoe size? She's your mother, right?"
"Mama is always busy with my brothers."
'Ah, I see.' Reborn was tempted to reach up and rub his forehead. So the kid was neglected by his own parents because they were taking care of the older siblings. It wasn't uncommon after all. Still, it wasn't really his concern at this moment. Instead of bothering with wanting to repeat the same thing over and over again, he simply reached down and lifted Tsuna up into his arms. He hooked the child onto his right side and moved on, heading down the empty street. There was a cute squeak from the child and he felt Tsuna clinging onto him for dear life, but found himself not really minding. He had never been one to actually do such things.
Eventually, the man knew he needed to break the silence. "So, how old are you, Tsuna?"
From the corner of his eyes, he watched the child count with his fingers, calling out the numbers each time. Soon, he stopped at the last one, the one being his age. "I'm six."
"Six, huh? How did you get lost?"
Tsuna pouted, gripping tighter as he recalled the dog. "There was a monster chasing after me!"
Reborn didn't believe it, of course, but continued. "And where did you leave from?"
The adult didn't make any further conversations after that, getting the details he needed, and wandered into the nearest neighborhood he could find, guessing that this place would be better to check first than any. His eyes went over the houses, not really knowing which building was the right one, and only hoped that Tsuna would be able to spot it first. The sun was only halfway in the sky now, the clouds turning into shades of red, purple, and dark blue. The temperature was dropping as well and Reborn knew that he would need to get the kid home before it was nighttime. It wasn't safe to be out after dark for a child, much less in this rapidly cooling weather.
He could feel Tsuna tugging closer at him for warmth, well aware that the child was freezing and was beginning to shiver just slightly. Reborn peered down with those black eyes of his and pulled his jacket out from underneath to wrap the right side of it around the child. He needed to readjust his grip, but the extra coverage on Tsuna stopped the shivering and the child just hugged himself closer to Reborn's body for more of that heat.
"Was it this way?" Reborn asked, hoping to get some dialogue, and have the child looking out.
The brunet peered up from the shoulders before shaking his head. Reborn pointed out to another street, but got the same response. Eventually, he hit one after eight tries where he felt Tsuna shift on his side and smirked to himself. It looked like he had finally found something. Heading down that same pathway, he scrutinized for more streets and came to one where the brunet was eagerly pointing towards. "I know the way home now!"
"Really? That's good. Come on, I'll bring you there." Reborn almost wanted to smile at that innocent expression and within a few minutes, they were standing in front of a homey looking house with the lights on from the inside. The adult went towards it and dropped the child carefully onto the ground, watching as Tsuna ran forward to ring the doorbell.
Once the brunet did so, he spun around with a wide grin, looking completely at ease despite having a stranger come home with him. It didn't really matter at this point, he was just glad to be in the safety of his house. "Thanks so much, Reborn!"
The adult tilted his fedora as a response to let the other know he had heard and leaned over to the side of the gate. It was already dark now and he wanted to make sure that Tsuna got inside safely. It would be terrible of his gentleman behavior if he didn't. And yet, after a few moments, nothing happened. No one answered the door. Reborn was curious as to why and pulled away from the ledge, getting closer to the door. Seeing as no one answered the door, he went around to investigate one of the windows that had lights coming through and peered inside, noticing immediately that it was the kitchen on the other side.
There he could see a woman, most likely the mother of Tsuna, and two boys, who he suspected to be Tsuna's older siblings. Still, it was like they hadn't noticed the doorbell ringing, perhaps not hearing it, or that the youngest hadn't come home yet. The suspicions in his mind only became stronger about Tsuna being neglected. Reborn grumbled and went towards the front door to do things himself. Placing his hand over the door knob, he made a twisting action a few inches away and heard the door click in response. Reborn smirked and quietly jiggled the knob to open the door, letting both himself and Tsuna in. The brunet stared in inquisitiveness, wondering to himself if that move was some sort of magic act. But his thoughts were broken as he rushed inside, glad to be someplace warm.
Reborn was right behind and quickly examined the place, not bothering with his shoes as it was Japanese tradition to take them off at the front, but watched Tsuna do so. The child placed them carefully to the side, away from his brother's, before offering some thanks again. He had been a little depressed when no one had answered the door and had been almost afraid he might freeze outside all night until his family finally remembered where he was at. That was, if they ever do, sadly. They were prone to forgetting he even existed. Soon after, the child rushed off towards the kitchen to let Nana know he was finally home, hoping that he would finally get some sort of reaction.
"Mama, I'm home." Tsuna called out into the kitchen, well aware of the three sets of eyes that turned to him instantly. Reborn followed right behind, stopping beside the brunet, and leaned against the door frame. No one focused on him, only on Tsuna.
"Ah, Tsuna, were you in your room this whole time? Well, that's alright, dinner will be ready soon," Nana smiled brightly like nothing was wrong before turning back to the stove. "Ah, Giotto or Natsu, can you get the plates ready for me?"
The oldest of the siblings, Giotto, stood up from his seat with a slight grumble under his breath. The boy, looking about a few years older than the two others, had shoulder-length spiky blond hair and the brightest blue eyes anyone had ever seen. His face was calm, no ill intent, and appeared to be the most mature of the group, probably because he was the eldest. "I'll get them. Natsu, can you get the napkins?"
"Yeah, yeah." The other brother, looking a year older than Tsuna, made his way over to the cabinet to grab the needed materials. This brother had a lighter shade of brown hair, not as dark as Tsuna's, but the style was exactly the same as the younger. They had the same spikiness, but the eyes were a blue shade, just like Giotto's. In the end, no one really spoke about Reborn, who was obviously in view for everyone to see. Tsuna didn't seem bothered about it at all though and instead went around to Nana, who was finishing up the cooking at the stove.
"Mama, can Reborn eat with us?" He pulled at his mother's pants, trying to get her attention, and saw some confusion on her face when she turned to him.
Nana tilted her head at the announcement, lifting her spatula up in curiosity. "Who's this Reborn?"
Tsuna grinned brightly. "Reborn helped me get home today. Can he stay and eat with us?"
"Aww, that's so sweet. Where is this friend of yours?"
The brunet pointed towards the said person at the doorway. "He's right there."
Nana peered up, looking in the same direction. The other two siblings did the same and a similar expression was shared. "What do you mean? There's no one there."
"Eh?" Tsuna blinked at those words and peered over towards Reborn again. He could see the other clear as day, standing there, watching everything with those narrowed eyes. "But he's right there."
"Maybe it's just an imaginary friend," Giotto offered as he placed the plates onto the table. "He's at that age right now if I remember correctly. I learned this about a few days ago in class."
Nana seemed to string along by that idea, smiling to herself at how adorable her youngest was acting. "Aw, that's so cute. Come on, Giotto, let's place another plate for his friend."
Tsuna remained where he was at, confused at everything, and looked back at Reborn for a moment again, before finally moving away from his family. He immediately reached out to touch the adult, making sure that the person was actually physically there. Tsuna momentarily thought that his fingers would go right through, but he was met with the soft fibers of the fabric on his hands, rubbing into the material. More confusion appeared and he looked back at his busy family members then towards Reborn. He didn't get it. Why didn't anyone see the man he was touching?
Reborn almost sighed at the processing Tsuna was obviously going through and shifted the weight on his legs. He began to move away, not wanting to speak in front of the brunet. It wasn't as if the others could hear him after all, but he didn't want Tsuna to look like some oddball among his family. The brunet, of course, followed along, not wanting to leave his savior just yet.
"Hey, Reborn, how come only I can see you?" The child asked the moment Reborn stopped moving, tugging gently at the back ends of the jacket. He gave him those large tear-filled eyes and sniffed, almost wanting to cry. "A-Are you just imaginary?"
Reborn kneeled down and patted Tsuna's head gently, rubbing into the soft brown locks. He couldn't believe he was actually doing this, this definitely contracting his normal personality. But the kid was just too cute to say 'no' to. "Can you feel that?"
"Then I'm real, but only you can see and hear me. Do you understand that?"
The brunet wiggled his nose, "So no one else can?"
"Okay." Tsuna nodded his head, not completely sure what Reborn had meant, but went along with it. Regardless, for him, it meant that he could have Reborn all to himself. Smiling happily, he ran back into the kitchen and grabbed two plates carefully, making sure to fill it up with the numerous amounts of food that was on there on the table. Nana just continued to smile, not bothered about the fact or noticing that Tsuna was moving away from the kitchen table to eat somewhere else. It wasn't as if Nana would notice.
The brothers did, but didn't say anything, though they did give a helping hand on pilling the plates with food to go along with the younger. Tsuna carefully watched where he stepped, holding the two plates unsteadily, until he went around the corner where Reborn immediately reached out for his share. He hadn't expected to stay over like this, but he didn't exactly mind. Can't complain when he was getting free food after all and delicious-looking, too. He could smell the strong scents radiating from everything and peered down at the struggling child before deciding to take his too. It wouldn't be good if Tsuna tripped and spilled everything on the floor.
"Where to?" Reborn asked, knowing he was nothing more than a stranger in this household.
"Living room." Tsuna rushed off, looking overly joyful, to the area.
Reborn simply followed along, wondering how this was going to go. He couldn't stay here after all, he had work to do. But still, that bright smile he saw on Tsuna just made him want to hold himself down here to be more than just a simple visitor. Still, he could think on that later…after dinner.
Shouldn't really be posting another story up but Timeless is almost done. I just finished the next chapter so that means there's only one more left. Yay!
Anyway, what's your thoughts on this story? Interesting? Weird? Not exactly something I would write? All of the above?
I might be taking ideas on this story later on once I run out so keep your ideas out until I start asking for help.