CHAPTER ONE

~Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is not mine!~

"You should talk to him," Gokudera 'tsk'ed and turned his head away, trying to burn holes into his papers with his own intense stare. He knew that eventually Yamamoto would tire of his silence and leave, but today the baseball-playing Mafioso was being much more persistent than usual. Gokudera hadn't the guts to face Tsuna, not after what had happened. "Really, Dera-kun," Gokudera prickled as the nickname slithered across his skin. "he's worried about you."

"I'm not the one to be worried about," Gokudera said suddenly, surprising himself by breaking his enforced silence. "I'm just doing-"

"Nothing." Yamamoto interrupted him sharply, his voice filled with a deeper emotion. Gokudera jerked and looked up as two hands came down and plucked his schoolwork from his grasp; he met the glare with shock but was quick to recover and return it. "You're doing nothing."

"I'm-" "Moping. And hiding from Tsuna." Yamamoto gave the volatile bomb user no chance to respond or defend himself. "You're running from him, instead of to him, and causing nothing but trouble."

Gokudera's mouth flopped for something to say and, hurrying to defend his decisions, Gokudera found his voice and said the first thing that rolled onto his tongue.

"It was my fault!" With a horrified pause, the bomber saw that his statement had pleased his counterpart in some way and he bristled defensively at the satisfaction on Yamamoto's face. "I was the one who threw my dynamite so high and I should have expected the wind to send it off course!" He admitted, seeing the scene again in his mind.

"Piss off!" Snarled his target, scrambling over onto the equipment shed roof and above his head. He gave Gokudera a nasty hand gesture and grinned mockingly as rage swept through him. How dare he? Gokudera lit up a round of dynamite, mindful not to be seen, and threw them as high as he could, seeming to miss his target on purpose.

"Gokudera-kun!" Tsuna's voice, from the side of the shed, filled Gokudera like a balloon. His grin stretch ludicrously wide across his face, proud to have thrown such a great hand of dynamite with his Juudaime watching, and his eyes left his target and the deadly rain of dynamite. "What's going on?"

"If I'd paid more attention to my work, this never would have happened!" Gokudera painfully remembered the sight of his dynamite stick falling, as if to separate them, right in front of Tsuna's face and clinking when it hit the ground. Fresh horror swept through him as he remembered the confusion on Tsuna's face, his own inability to warn the mafia boss, and the fiery flash that blocked his precious Juudaime from sight.

"JUUDAIME!" Gokudera's stomach dropped into his lead feet as he watched the little explosion occur, unable to do anything but scream. Others, the few students still hanging around the school grounds, saw the explosion and screamed as well without purpose. They screamed to scream while Gokudera voiced his own pain; if his dynamite had killed him, there would have been less pain. He could see Tsuna lying a few feet away, flung there by the blast, and his eyes drank in the sight of his frail little body and singed school clothes.

"If Juudaime had died, it would have been my fault!" Gokudera was breathless, his confession now a fit of tight-throated shouting, and he gasped for breath around the guilty lump in his throat. "What kind of right-hand am I to come crawling back of what I've done?"

"What kind of friend are you not to visit him in the hospital?" Yamamoto replied, his glare softening to a stern but consoling frown. "He was there for a week and you never even showed."

"I was-" "He's always looking for you, Dera." Yamamoto confessed, "A loud 'BANG!' gets him going more than Reborn does nowadays." Yamamoto touched the silver-haired teen's shoulder gently, expecting the gesture to be brushed away, but Gokudera didn't respond. His eyes were distant, trailing toward the window and the sunny day beyond its frame. "Dera?"

"Go home," Gokudera stood suddenly and the hand slipped off his shoulder. "I have work to do." Yamamoto sighed but, with the stubborn silver-haired teen so easy to rile up, had no other choice. If he made the bomber start yelling, he wouldn't be listening and anything Yamamoto said would be wasted.

"Alright, Dera," Yamamoto said agreeably, raising his hands up near his ears. "but don't say I didn't try to tell you… he misses you, y'know."

"Hm." Gokudera waved Yamamoto toward the door, his eyes tight and unreadable. Yamamoto didn't like the blank slates he was staring into; Gokudera himself was fire and fury and burning passion- this new quiet bomber was not welcome in Yamamoto's famiglia. The Rain Guardian tensed, giving the quiet Storm Guardian a final withering look, and left the tiny apartment.

~Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is not mine!~