Slow Burning Anger
It all started with a hug. Or rather the lack of one. Tsuna exited his house and passed in between his two best friends (his right and left hand men) expecting the usual tackle disguised as a hug from his own personal stalker (who also doubled as a close friend and member of his inner famiglia). When none came, Tsuna tensed instead of relaxed from his readied stance. He glanced around, but he didn't see any sign of the eccentric and boisterous girl. His intuition told him she wasn't anywhere near.
The first words out of his mouth when he saw his beloved Kyoko-chan (his face blank and not the least bit red) were, "Where is Haru?"
Kyoko's smile wrinkled her face all wrong, and her eyes slid over his presence, as if willing the question (Tsuna) away. Tsuna's intuition did not need to tell him that something was wrong. Neither did Kurokawa Hana, but she did.
"We saw her yesterday hanging off the arm of some pile of sleaze. Looks like she finally gave up waiting for you, Sawada."
Gokudera's yells and Yamamoto's rebuttals faded to the background as Tsuna's hyper intuition surged forward.
"What did he look like?" Tsuna demanded, ignoring his rowdy best friends (subordinates).
"Why do you care?" asked Kurokawa, disproval underlining her tone.
"Did he have a green armband?" asked Tsuna. He didn't need a mirror to know his eyes were bright orange. Kurokawa's restrained full body cringe was proof enough.
"Yes," said Kurokawa. She shook the cringe off. "Was that important?"
Tsuna didn't answer. He spun around and marched in the direction of downtown, in the exact opposite direction of Namimori High. He would clear his absence (aka spar in order to avoid being bitten to death) with Hibari later. He had a stupid girl to rescue and a tutor to chew out.
Yamamoto and Gokudera fell in step behind him, both absolutely silent. Usually, Tsuna would be relieved to have a break from the constant bickering but right now all he could focus on was on stopping Haru from getting herself killed. Or worse. Tsuna's steps quickened.
Without preamble, Tsuna strode into the abandoned warehouse that was serving as headquarters for the fledgling Fujishiro yakuza. All fifty of their members turned to stare at him and his two subordinates (friends). Apparently there was a meeting or something of the sort in progress. Tsuna ignored the entire group and marched straight to the center where Haru stood in the middle of a group of three men laughing freely. Three of Tsuna's largest steps had her in arm's reach.
"Hahi! What are you doing here, Tsuna-san?" asked Haru. Her face held shock and nothing else. No regret, no guilt, no hand-caught-in-the-cookie-jar expression. Tsuna's dying will flames nearly lit into being right then, but he refrained. He needed to give her a chance to explain (to understand why she should feel regretful, guilty, and very, very ashamed).
"I told you no," he said, his bright orange eyes reflecting in her wide, brown ones. Instead of the chagrined expression that Tsuna was expecting (hoping for), the brown eyes narrowed and the cheeks under them puffed out.
"Tsuna-san doesn't get to tell Haru what to do," she huffed and yanked her arm out of his hold. She crossed her arms. "Not anymore."
"You tell him, Haru," said one of the three teens around her.
"Yeah! No one but boss gets to tell Haru to do anything!" contributed another.
"Hey! What am I? Chop liver? She's my girlfriend!" said a third. This one had slicked back hair and pride oozing out his pores. As before, Tsuna ignored them. Unfortunately, Haru didn't.
"See? They appreciate Haru. Haru is their invaluable secretary!" she said with a wide, victorious smile.
"She helps keep things orderly around here," said a new man, and the others stepped back as he made his way forward. "Plus she's easy on the eyes. Has a brain and a figure. What more can someone ask for? Honestly, Kuro isn't going to be able to hold onto her for long. I was thinking of taking her for my own, so I'd get out of here while I still could."
Tsuna gave the man a side glance and then turned his attention to Haru whose grin didn't falter under any of the men's intense gazing. He let out a quiet sigh and turned to his right and left hand men (best friends) who had been respectfully silent (too nervous about their friend's behavior to speak).
"Wipe them out," said Tsuna glibly.
"Understood, Juudaime," said Gokudera. Dynamites flashed into his hands.
"Hai, Tsuna," replied Yamamoto, Shigure Kintoki tapping dangerously against his shoulder.
Not even nodding, Tsuna grabbed Haru's hand and dragged her outside of the abandoned building that was destined to become rubble in less than ten minutes. Explosions and cries followed them out, but Tsuna once again ignored them.
"Tsuna-san! Why did you do that?! Haru worked hard to gain their trust! Haru was going to tell Tsuna-san if they were really going to be trouble or not," protested Haru, but her words became another thing to ignore. His skin could barely contain his flames. Once they were far enough from the destruction, Tsuna turned on the struggling girl.
"What did I say, Haru?" asked Tsuna.
"Tsuna-san, your grip is hurting me? Can you let go?" said Haru, trying to tug her hand out of his grip. He lessened the pressure exerted by his fingers, but he didn't let go.
"What did I say, Haru?" Tsuna repeated.
"Your hand—" Haru started.
"What did I say?" Tsuna gritted out as he forced his flames down and away from his hands. A brief instant passed where Haru's eyes widened, and her struggles stopped. Good. She finally realized the seriousness of the situation.
"Tsuna-san said that he didn't want to deal with small yakuza. You said that we shouldn't go around destroying groups just because they might be a threat later. Haru agreed, that's why she was—"
"What did I say after that?" said Tsuna, his flames more under his control the louder the explosions and cries became.
"After what?" said Haru. Her eyes were exactly the right width to look innocent, and her head was tilted in a way that would make people think her adorable. The flames nearly slipped back out of Tsuna's control.
"You suggested keeping an eye on the group to make sure they weren't up to anything bad, and I told you that Hibari wouldn't allow them to do anything dangerous in Namimori and Reborn would find out about anything outside of Namimori. I told you you didn't need to spy on them!"
Tsuna's near yell was almost drowned out by one last, deafening explosion. A hardness entered those supposedly innocent eyes. Haru finally managed to pull her hand out of Tsuna's.
"Haru had it under control! Hibari cannot watch everything, and Reborn-chan has a lot to do with growing up again and keeping an eye on Tsuna-san and Gokudera and Yamamoto-kun and everyone else! Haru was just doing her part to help Tsuna-san!" she cried, waving her hands in every direction. Tsuna's free hand curled into a fist.
"That's not your job!" Tsuna yelled back.
"Haru doesn't have a job! Haru isn't a guardian or a fighter or a technician, and Haru's not Tsuna-san's…Haru's not Kyoko. Haru was trying to find her job! Haru's a good actor! Haru had found out a lot! They were going to—"
"No. I don't want to hear it," said Tsuna cutting her off. He could feel the unnatural heat condensing on his forehead. "I gave you an order, and you disobeyed. You went against your boss and did what you wanted. That does not help me."
"That's not fair! Tsuna-san wasn't letting me—"
"Is it done?" said Tsuna, shifting his focus to the two people entering the clearing. A slightly smoking Gokudera and stained Yamamoto came into view.
"It's taken care of, Juudaime," said Gokudera.
"They're all down and Hibari's on his way to take them to wherever he takes troublemakers," said Yamamoto to Tsuna before addressing Haru. "Are you okay, Haru?"
"No, Tsuna-san's being a meanie face," said Haru, her cheeks puffed up and her arms crossed.
"She's fine," Tsuna replied. The flames still licked under his skin. He pulled Haru into an efficient spin and pushed her in Yamamoto's direction. "I need you to take her back to Takesushi and keep an eye on her. She isn't to come near my house for a week."
"No, Haru," Tsuna said. He was just short of going into Hyper Dying Will mode, and he needed to finish this conversation first. "You disobeyed. There have to be consequences. I will have Kurokawa-san call your parents and let them know you are hanging out with her and Kyoko at Kyoko's house."
Then Tsuna's control snapped, and Tsuna let his flames spark to the surface. He used them to propel himself upwards and away from the three people stuck on the ground staring at the sky.
The only noise in Namimori High's 2C classroom was the scratching of the chalk on the chalkboard. Even the teacher refused to break the scritch-scratch silence and continued to write problems and explanations on the board that the rest of the class scribbled soundlessly in their notebooks. Never had the class been so diligent, but no one wanted to attract the attention of the miasma of doom and darkness in the back of the classroom. Even Gokudera and Yamamoto barely had the courage to steal glances at their normally good-natured best friend.
Orange-tinged brown eyes stared out the window, the gaze thankfully not landing on anyone or anything since its intensity might actually set something on fire. Well, maybe not, but the subject would definitely not enjoy the experience. Tsuna was mentally going over his conversation the night before with his tutor.
"You're the one who convinced her to go through with it, aren't you?" demanded Tsuna. He had entered his bedroom in through the window and immediately confronted his as-of-now twelve-year-old tutor. Tsuna was grateful for the few inches he had left over the quick-growing hitman as he glared down at his tutor.
"Now, Dame-Tsuna, who do you think you are to talk to me like that?" said Reborn smoothly, but he seemed to deem it unnecessary (or too troublesome) to follow his remark with a physical reminder.
"I told her not to try to get information about that group," said Tsuna. His flames had been spent on several hours of flight maneuvers, but they still seared under his skin.
"It was a waste of a good family resource," said Reborn. "Haru has all the right traits of a good spy."
"She would not make a good spy. Haru is too honest for that sort of thing."
"Who do you think is going to believe that lie, Dame-Tsuna?" scoffed Reborn. "She had everyone in the Fujishiro gang wrapped around her finger."
"She wasn't supposed to be there! Hibari would never allow a group in Namimori to break the law. They would be bitten to death!"
"And yet Haru discovered that they were planning to start an illegal drug ring with Kokuyo Land as its base of operations."
The information caused Tsuna to tense and deflate at the same time.
"A good mafia boss always takes precautions," said Reborn. His black eyes drilled into Tsuna's. "You should know that, Dame-Tsuna."
Tsuna ignored (he was doing that a lot lately) the twinge of shame that followed the recognition of that particular Reborn look (Tsuna hated to disappoint Reborn more than the future boss would like to admit), but the flames cooled slightly under his skin.
"There were other ways to get that information," said Tsuna, refusing to give into his tutor's logic.
"You didn't use any of them," said Reborn. "And none would have been as efficient as Haru."
"I told her not to," said Tsuna. The flat look that Reborn sent him made him feel too much like the thirteen year old boy Reborn had first met when that boy had hidden yet another zero decorated math test under his bed.
"I think you need to figure out what the real problem is, Dame-Tsuna," said Reborn, and Tsuna inwardly cringed. Reborn had used the "Dame-Tsuna" four times now. Reborn didn't do that unless Tsuna was acting especially stupid about something. But no, not this time. Tsuna wasn't going to bend on this issue.
"When were you going to tell me that she was spying on them?" asked Tsuna.
"You found out on your own," said Reborn. Tsuna grit his teeth at the non-answer answer. The tutor's next words came out rather sing-song. "I would hurry and figure out why you're really angry before you burn something down~."
The hitman had then headed down the stairs to where Nana had cooked a delicious dinner. Tsuna stayed staring at the darkening sky, his grumbling stomach ignored like so many things had been that day.
When Tsuna had entered his classroom that morning, the same orange-tinged look had graced his face. Many of his fellow student had felt that look on them and proceed to go from cheerful or complaining or sleepy to alert and quiet in an instant. Everyone gave Tsuna a wide berth, and even his usually rambunctious best friends followed him in silence. The teacher had entered the room, given the room a quick glance around, connected his eyes to Tsuna's, and then proceeded to write silently on the board.
First through third period went the same way, and when the bell rang for lunch, every one save Tsuna's best friends scattered to eat their lunch anywhere but in the room with those piercing, fiery eyes (Kyoko and Hana were in a different class).
"Hey, Tsuna," said Yamamoto hesitantly. "You okay?"
The full force of those eyes fell on the swordsman, and Yamamoto (dense, happy-go-lucky, but not an idiot) suppressed the urge to step backwards. Tsuna was scary in boss mode, which he had yet to get out of since finding out that Haru was missing yesterday. Yamamoto scratched the back of his neck and closed his eyes to dull the power of those eyes.
"Of course he's not! That idiot woman failed to obey him! She should be kicked out of the famiglia for such an offense," growled Gokudera. The eyes turned to him, and any other words stuck in the bomber's throat.
"Don't say that, Gokudera," said Tsuna. The missing "-kun" caused both of the other teens to cringe. "Please go check the perimeter for me."
"H-hai, Juudaime," said Gokudera before almost racing out of the room to obey Tsuna's order (and get away from that powerful gaze). Yamamoto almost wished that Tsuna would ask him to check the perimeter too, but Yamamoto knew he had another job to do. A more important (and dangerous) job.
"You know. Haru's really upset too," said Yamamoto, bearing the full weight of his sky's stare. "She didn't even eat any of the sushi Dad offered her yesterday."
Tsuna's own stomach rumbled in response to the statement, but he ignored it. The rest of him didn't feel like eating.
"I don't think she ate breakfast either," continued Yamamoto. The power of the stare had wavered slightly. "She didn't even want to come to school today."
"I didn't want to either," said Tsuna quietly, but still in his boss tone. "Reborn would have shot me if I stayed home."
"You should go talk to her," said Yamamoto. He put on his most solid grin. "I don't think the class can survive another three periods of your ultra-scary boss stare."
A sigh escaped Tsuna, and he closed his eyes. When they reopened, they still held that dangerous orange tinge.
"I think I will," said Tsuna, getting up gracefully from his seat. "Please ask the teacher to excuse me. I am not feeling well."
"Sure, Tsuna," said Yamamoto. His grin widened with relief. "Make sure to help Haru eat something or she's going to get sick."
Tsuna nodded and strode out of the room. Yamamoto kept grinning and hoped that Tsuna would get something to eat too. He might finally get out of boss mode if he did.
Tsuna's stride quickened as he neared Takesushi, his hyper intuition warning his feet to go faster. Tsuna arrived on the street where Takesushi was located in time to see Haru sneak out of Takesushi wearing a handkerchief over her head. For a moment, Tsuna stared (with completely brown eyes) at her. How could such an obvious girl manage to get herself into the inner circle of a budding mafia organization? Tsuna shook his head as he realized that she had already managed that once, so what was one more time?
Before she could get too far, Tsuna stepped out and strode over to where she was semi-hiding behind a pole.
"I thought I told you to stay in Takesushi," said Tsuna. The girl shrieked and literally jumped a foot in the air. Spinning faster than most people could follow, Haru fixed an angry glare on Tsuna.
"Haru already told you. You don't get to tell Haru what to do," snapped the girl, and the orange tinge flooded Tsuna's brown irises.
"I don't, do I?" Tsuna almost hissed. "You know what. Maybe I should have left you with your new 'friends.'"
"Tsuna-san should have. Haru was fine! Haru didn't need your help!" she yelled. Her puffed cheeks gained a red tone, and the flame seared near out of his skin.
"Yes you did! Do you know what could have happened! Do you know what they could have done if they found out you were spying on them?!" Tsuna yelled back. His tongue scorched at each new word. "They would have beat you and cut you and maybe they might have even—"
The sentence cut off, and Tsuna couldn't hold back any longer. He lunged at Haru and threw his arms around her. He held her close, making sure that she was solid and whole and safe. He hugged her like he had wanted to the moment that his hyper intuition had warned him something was wrong.
"Hahi? Tsuna—Tsuna-san's trembling," said Haru. Her hands wrapped around Tsuna's shoulders, which were indeed trembling.
"Please don't do that again," Tsuna said in a wavering whisper. He squeezed her closer. "Please."
"Okay, Tsuna-san," Haru whispered back. "Haru will find another way to help the famiglia."
"You don't have to do that," said Tsuna directly into her ear. "You're my Haru. That's enough."
Reborn grinned under his binoculars before moving to put them away.
"Mafia wife get," he said to himself as the green binoculars reshaped themselves into the familiar shape of a chameleon. His student would really be hopeless without him.
Elsewhere, a rumor started that Sawada (formerly known as Dame-Tsuna and occasionally named Death's Eyes) was scary without his morning hug. No one knows exactly where it started, but when Sawada returned in time for final period with a bright smile on his face and one Miura Haru behind him, more than one person found themselves believing the rumor wholeheartedly. The mafia world however generated their own version of this rumor years later, and most Mafiosos stayed far and away from the Vongola Neo Primo (aka Vongola Decimo in more traditional circles)if his wife was out of the country for any reason. But that's another story.