~Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is not mine!~

The one thing Tsuna didn't expect, after the incident that is, was that he would be all by himself. He had been in the hospital and surrounded by people wishing him well or his friends, but never once alone. There was always someone there to check him or his machines or give or get him something; however, when he got home, the flood of visitors ceased. Chrome returned to the Kokuyo gang, Yamamoto was back into school and the baseball season coming up, and the girls and younger Guardian were off having more fun than ever. It warmed his heart to have this brief moment of piece for his dear friends to enjoy, but one thing ruined it.

Gokudera was nowhere to be found. He had asked Yamamoto, and Lambo, and Ryohei, but none of his Guardians had seen the silver-haired teen. The desk his closest friend usually occupied was forlornly empty and, when he asked about the absence, he was told that the Storm Guardian had validated his absences through the school. He was missing school on purpose.

Sighing for the umpteenth time, Tsuna rolled his pencil across the desk and stared blankly at the math textbook before him with the equations on the page looking more and more like hieroglyphics as he sat there. He had fallen so far behind without his favourite study partner to help him and, combined with the week of missed work, Tsuna was floundering for relief.

"Tsuna!" Suddenly, Tsuna's mother had burst into the room and he jumped in surprise. "Guess who I just saw coming down the street?"

"Um…" Tsuna shrugged cluelessly.

"Your little friend, Hayato-kun!" Nana looked so pleased with herself when Tsuna's jaw dropped. "He said he was a bit too busy to talk now but-" "Which way was he going?" Tsuna demanded, staggering to his feet and hurrying downstairs with his mother hot on his heels. She was surprised to see her son so motivated to do anything, least of chase someone down around, and grinned proudly to herself at what a fine young man he was becoming. "Mom, which way was he headed? Left? Right?"

"Left!" Nana told him happily, helping him find a pair of shoes and taking his slippers for him. "He had a few bags of groceries, so he can't have gone too far!" She quickly shooed him away from the coat rack, pushing open the front door, and shepherded her son outside. "Quick! Before he gets too far!" Tsuna glanced back at his mother once from the road –only once- and thanked her with a wide smile before he took off running as fast as he could in the direction she'd seen him walking. Nana kept waving cheerfully until her son was out of sight and whispered, "Go get him, son."

~Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is not mine!~

"Gokudera-kun!" Tsuna cried breathlessly, his arms and legs pumping frantically as he tried to catch up to his Storm Guardian. A glimpse of him entering a crowd had been enough to fill Tsuna with determination and, had the crowd not been there, Tsuna would have lit his Dying Will flames to increase his speed. He struggled to get through the crowd and, fearing to lose the Guardian in the crowd, he cried out for him breathlessly at the top of his little lungs. "Gokudera-kun! Wait!"

Suddenly, Tsuna broke free of the crowd and saw the silver-haired teen sauntering away slowly, two grocery bags on each arm, and leaving a trail of smoke in his wake. He forgot to scream, picking himself up off the ground, and broke into another run as his Storm Guardian continued to retreat. As he got closer, he saw the bomber's walk slow –he likely heard Tsuna's pounding footsteps- and his heart swelled as his Guardian turned to face him with an unpleasant scowl plastered across his face.

The delinquent expression melted away into shock as their eyes locked and, unable to stop himself, Tsuna ploughed into the taller teen and clung to the front of his shirt. He felt Gokudera shift expertly, saving both them and his groceries, and pressed his face into the older teen's flat chest as he tried to get his breath back.

"J-Juudaime?" Gokudera spluttered, staring down at him in disbelief. When Tsuna looked up, Gokudera's verdant green eyes were wider than dinner plates, and fixed on his heavily flushed face. Tsuna tried to speak, earning only a few gasped syllables, and frantically held up a hand in plea for time to recover from his sprint.

"I was… calling you." Tsuna managed, pointing back down the road. "My mom… she said-"

"Juudaime, I" –Gokudera stepped back into his own personal bubble, Tsuna's hand still fisted in his shirt, and looked away.- "have to go." He stepped back again, far enough now that Tsuna relinquished his hold on the shirt and let his hand fall uselessly to his side. "I-. I'm sorry." The silver-haired bomber turned back around and picked up his previous pace, hunching his shoulders against something Tsuna couldn't see through the sudden film of tears.

What had happened to his best friend? Had Tsuna done something wrong? Blinking back tears, Tsuna fisted his hands at his sides and took a deep breath. "YOU COULD AT LEAST TALK TO ME AFTER WHAT HAPPENED!" The accusation and hurt in his vice rang clear, driving a guilty spike through Gokudera's heart from behind, and the bomber turned back around to see his leader on the verge of tears. "WHAT DID I DO?" Before Tsuna could blink, Gokudera was on his knees before him, clutching his hands and insisting Tsuna hadn't done anything wrong. His grocery bags were in a heap back where he'd stopped but he hadn't looked at Tsuna since the first time. "Gokudera," Tsuna managed, "why won't you look at me? Did I do something wrong? If I did, I'm sorr-"

"It's not you!" Gokudera snapped harshly, hunching his shoulder as Tsuna watched and pressing his forehead to the backs of Tsuna's pale hands."It's my fault, Juudaime! I was so careless, ad you got hurt, and I" –Gokudera lifted his eyes to meet Tsuna's finally, self-loathing and guilt swirling in the green pools, and squared his jaw. "I thought you were going to die."

"But they announced-" "I know." Gokudera glanced away, nearly dropping his gaze, but Tsuna caught it again before he could. "But I-I felt-. If you had died, your blood would have been on my hands, Juudaime. I didn't take it for you, I didn't help you; hell, I couldn't warn you. What kind of right-hand am I?"

"You're my right-hand." Tsuna said quietly, staring down at his Guardian sadly. "Being any other kind doesn't matter." Gokudera's eyes widened as Tsuna's gaze probed deeply and soothed the ache in his heart. "I shouldn't have distracted you while you were doing what you were doing. If anything, it's my fault, Gokudera-kun."

"But it-" "I'm sorry, Gokudera-kun, for making you hurt so long." Tsuna said quietly, bobbing his head apologetically. "I should have come to see you sooner."

In his mind, Gokudera was reeling; Tsuna had voiced everything he had wanted to say, searching deep into his soul with his innocently contrite caramel eyes, and spread a balm over the raw pain of the incident. Instantly, his conscience retreated and took the nagging, blaming voice with it. He felt lighter, happier, and with no words to express himself, he threw his arms around the boy's torso tightly. He realized the taboo instantly, fearing he had aggravated an injury or insulted his leader, but the spiky-haired teen returned the gesture and buried his face in his silver hair. Gokudera felt the small hands cradle his head, fingers tangling in a few of the wayward locks by his ear, and flushed.

"It's good to have you back, Gokudera-kun." Tsuna murmured, toying with the silver strands lightly. "It got lonely without you around…"

Gokudera choked mentally at the soft confession and tightened his arms slightly, vowing to himself that he would never let Tsuna get lonely ever, ever again. It was the least he could do for his compassion, besides talk to him –which he would do every chance he got-, after what happened.

~Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is not mine!~

Oh wow. I was watching Grease to do research for Homestuck (I know, weird right?) and all of a sudden this idea drilled through all my priorities and demanded to be written down. Essays? Forget 'em. Summatives? No way. Exams? No how. This thing needed to be done, ASAFP. Well, enjoy. I don't usually do this fandom (I more like to read it), but I couldn't resist. Tell me what you think on a scale, ladies and gents, ten being "Kufufufufu~" and one being "I'll bite you to death".