Title: Flying with Clipped Wings

Summary: Yamamoto Takeshi can't remember when it was that he made the mistake which cost him Hibari Kyouya. 8018.

Disclaimer: Katekyo Hitman Reborn belongs to Amano Akira.


It irritates him. Seeing Dino so casually hanging off Hibari like he's been doing it for years, and Hibari carrying on like there isn't an overgrown man on his shoulders. It irritates him. It annoys him. He hates it. No. Not it. Him. Hibari Kyouya.

Wasn't it him who said he wanted to bite Yamamoto Takeshi to death? Hibari Kyouya who looked at him too intently with that manic gleam? Who smirked and bared his fangs? Hibari who brushed past him so casually and whispered his name? Who saw his potential and wanted to bite him? Yes, it was Hibari Kyouya. He made him aware. Made it so that Yamamoto could never go back to his innocent days. Can no longer be naive. He can no longer go back to those days when he didn't know of these stirrings. This burn and ache and need to possess and claim. Hibari Kyouya. He wanted him. So very badly.

But, Hibari. Cruel, heartless Hibari. He left him yearning for air. Gasping like a fish out of water. Reaching for the skylark and grasping not even a feather. All he could do was watch as Hibari loses interest. He watches as Dino takes what was his. The attention, the interest, the annoyed disdained stare. Hibari Kyouya. How he hates him. Hates him for making him hate the man he's become. Or, the man he has failed to be in Hibari's eyes.

Ironic, isn't it? Yamamoto Takeshi is a man to be envy. He is at the pinnacle of success. A famous all star of the major league at twenty-two with promises for the future. Underground, he is the infamous Rain Guardian of Vongola. He is Reborn's most successful protege, second in strength only to the ruthless Cloud Guardian. A reputation as the most amiable yet one of the most dangerous guardians to have stepped foot onto the mafia scene. A man to be reckon. Yes, Yamamoto Takeshi has achieved much in his short life. So then, why? Why does he feel like the biggest failure in the world?

Looking at Hibari as he smirks at something Dino whispers into his ear, Yamamoto sees red even as his heart crumbles. That should have been him. Not Dino. He hates the man. Hates and envies him. But, he couldn't. Because Dino is Dino. He did nothing wrong. And he hates him for it.

Where did he go wrong? If he could turn back time, he would. He would stop his mistake even before he knew what it was he did. He'd go back. Back to before Hibari ever spared him a glance and tell himself the only thing in life that matters was Hibari Kyouya. No, he wouldn't tell himself not to glance at Hibari. Wouldn't even dare tell himself not to be intrigued by those intense grey orbs and get attached. He would kill himself before he gave up Hibari.

Maybe, he'll tell himself to quit baseball. It's not that important. Hibari never did like when he crowded. But, he remembers. All those glimpses he got of the Cloud guardian through the window of the student council room overlooking the baseball field. Glimpses of Hibari sleeping or playing with Hibird. Sometimes, even maiming some student or other. And that one time, a glimpse of Hibari staring at him. No, not baseball.

Perhaps, if he never joined Vongola, never accepted Tsuna, then maybe Hibari would consider him. After all, Hibari never really did like Tsuna. Ah, but that's the jealousy talking. Because Hibari, despite everything, respects Tsuna. Wants to bite him to death. He's long forgotten that with Yamamoto. And besides, without Tsuna, there really would have never been an occasion where Hibari and he would have crossed paths. He couldn't have that happen.

When was it then? When did interest turned to want turned to need so that, eventually, he could no longer function like Yamamoto Takeshi without Hibari Kyouya?

He remembers. Clearly as any day. Clear. The water. The rain. Clear rain on a sunny day. Nothing too unusual. He was eighteen. He'd gotten a scholarship. Only a few more days until graduation. And after graduation, the inheritance ceremony for Tsuna and his initiation into the world of mafia. No longer a game, but that was okay. He was bounding towards the roof. Skipping up stairs with his grin to the roof. To Hibari, despite the rain. Because somewhere along the years playing mafia, he and Hibari had gotten close. Or as close as friendship could be with Hibari. That's right. Friendship. It was friendship that died that day.

The roof. Hibari was soaked but had demanded Yamamoto up there with him with a pointed stare when he'd passed from below. Rushing now because Hibari was being silly standing drenched in the rain and because he was slightly worried. He was silly for being worried about Hibari. But still, he worried because that's what friends do. So, he bounded up those stair, excusing himself as he bumped into fellow students with that grin of his that demanded forgiveness. Through the door that slammed behind him and into the tonfas that awaited him.

He flew back. Pretty far, if he could remember correctly. His head ringing as he tried to make out images of Hibari standing over him, bloody tonfas by his side. He was bleeding. It was quite a hit. He grinned and saw approval in Hibari's eyes. Then, he was on the ground. With Hibari under him. And somewhere among the struggling, he'd trapped Hibari.

With his wrists to both side and his body weighed down by Yamamoto, Hibari was trapped. And here, Yamamoto remembers, was his mistake. His one regret. Hibari had looked at him with eyes of an angry animal. Wild. Scared. Hibari was scared because Yamamoto could feel it. His arousal. And stupid, stupid Yamamoto. He'd let go. He'd let Hibari have the chance to shove him off, whacked him so hard his vision blurred so that he couldn't stop Hibari from leaving, and missing his chance to tell him it was okay. That it was okay for Hibari to want him because he too wanted him.

Maybe Hibari saw it in his eyes. Maybe he'd look too eager. Too happy. Or maybe, he'd look shocked. Disgusted. No, it was surprise. It was surprise that Hibari took for a look of triumph. Silly, but the most plausible. After all, he'd been trapped, and Yamamoto was no herbivore. It was so stupid of him, Yamamoto knew, to trap Hibari. To take away the freedom he so coveted. But he wasn't thinking, he was only having fun. But, that was no excuse.

Watching as Dino removes his arms from around Hibari's shoulders to place them by his side, fingers twitching a little, aching to be around Hibari again, Yamamoto thinks that Dino knows. Of course he does, because Hibari lets him be by his side. He's sure Dino knows. Because Dino is careful. He wouldn't ever make Hibari feel like he didn't have the world open to him. He'd never clip Hibari's wings. And, really. That was all there is to it. To be by Hibari's side, is to never have him at all.

Maybe Yamamoto should consider himself lucky. To have had Hibari so completely. But, it isn't fair at all. Hibari never gave him the chance to show him he'd let him fly. He disappeared and raised a foundation and came back with Dino. He isn't fair. To give and take back as he so chooses.

But, that isn't right either. Hibari did give him a chance. He just didn't get the memo fast enough. The day of the inheritance ceremony, when everyone was celebrating and feasting, he'd caught sight of Hibari. He was staring at him from the farthest balcony away from anyone's view. He had caught his stare with heated extremity. Yamamoto burned red. And looked away. He never did see Hibari again that night. Or any night until now.

A simple gathering of the family. After four years, with no attendance of the Cloud guardian once in any of those years, Hibari had waltzed calmly into the room, cold as ice. The shock and tension only broken when Dino bounded in behind him, all greetings and smiles. Tsuna didn't look surprised. He smiled and welcomed back his estranged guardian and big brother. Everyone went back to being family. Only he continued to stare.

And really, how he hates Dino. Hates Hibari. Hates himself. Four years and everything he's worked so hard for, his career and reputation, all the memories he'd locked away, every feeling he'd crushed couldn't win to this overwhelming hatred. This jealousy. The sadness.

He sees Dino whispers to Hibari and clenches his fists. He is acting immature. He knows this. But, Hibari. Only Hibari could make him like this. Dino leaves Hibari's side and walks towards the refreshments. Yamamoto startles. Dino is looking at him. A determined look. A look of resignation. Of a man walking towards the gallows. And nods his head to where Hibari stands. No longer by the wall but on the balcony. The farthest balcony from anyone's view.

Yamamoto feels his pulse speed a mile a minute. Not believing what is happening. He couldn't fathom it even as he recognizes the implications. He stares, open mouthed at the balcony. His vision zones onto that one person standing so prominently in the night. He could no longer hear the party. No sounds but his own heart pounding reaches his ears. He closes his eyes and pleads. Please let this be real. He looks at Dino again and finally, heeds Dino's warning look and feels grateful. Thankful to this man he hated not a minute ago. And takes his chance. His second chance.

Hibari is waiting for him. Staring the whole time as he approaches. Hibari, so handsome and ethereal in the moonlight. Once again, he pleads. Please don't let him make anymore mistakes. He stands in front of Hibari. Shaking, as he gazes at the frighteningly beautiful face he dreams of every night. He must look quite pathetic. He's sure it's on his face. Too many emotions on display at once. He clenches his fists. He's not sure what it is he should do. Not sure what he wants to say. Hibari is just standing there, expecting him to do something. Something right.

And Yamamoto, not knowing anything but one surety, grabs Hibari and holds him tightly against him. Whispers promises into the skylark's hair. Vowing to never let the man go again. Because, all he ever really wanted since that day so long ago, is to have Hibari. His surety. And Hibari, hating being trapped, holds tightly onto Yamamoto. He crushes him in his embrace and bites until he draws blood. And even then, he doesn't let go. He traps him so that Yamamoto could never leave the cage. So that together, they'll be trapped like this, never having freedom outside this world they've locked from the outside. Forever, flying with clipped wings.


Author's Note: I haven't written in awhile. I hope you guys all like it. Please review. Thank you!