I do not own Katekyo Hitman Reborn.
Summary: Tsuna despises paperwork. It never ends and sometimes it feels like he's drowning in it. Kyoko hates to see Tsuna stressed. She convinces him to take a day off and the pair have a blast together. Unfortunately, they didn't put their plans past Reborn, who might have a slight problem with Tsuna's 'ditch' day.
Sawada Tsunayoshi's Day Off
Fingers beginning to ache, Tsuna set down his pen and started to flex his hand. He stared in dismay at the pile of paperwork he still had to wade through and the pile sitting in his outbox did not give him any sense of accomplishment. Heaving out a sigh, he rolled the glossy ballpoint pen across the oak desktop.
"Maybe I should invest in a personalized stamp. It would speed up this process, at least."
But he knew Reborn wouldn't go for the idea. He was a bit of a traditionalist. If Tsuna even made the suggestion, he would be accused of laziness. Which was true. Tsuna really hated processing paperwork. It was a pain, it was hard and it took forever. But he was the boss and so most of the work went to him. Gokudera helped him out with the paperwork that didn't need his signature specifically, which Tsuna was grateful for.
A knock sounded on his office door just as Tsuna was about to pick up the pen again. "Come in," he called immediately, pouncing on the distraction.
Kyoko nudged open the door and stepped inside the room, a mug of coffee in her hands. "I thought you could use this."
"You've got perfect timing. I was just about to fall asleep from boredom." Tsuna took the green ceramic mug, which warm against his fingers, and took a cautious sip. The strong bitter flavour was welcome and it jump-started his senses back to full power. "Thanks."
Kyoko sat on the edge of the desk, trying not to disturb the piles of documents. Noticing this, Tsuna said, "Don't worry about knocking anything over. It's really not organized."
"You still have all this to do?" asked Kyoko in bewilderment, plucking a cream-coloured sheet from the top of the pile and inspecting it.
"So when you shut yourself in here for hours, this is what you're doing?"
"Most of the time. It's definitely what I'm doing when I lock myself in here for a few days. It means I'm really behind and if I don't finish soon Reborn will kill me."
"Can I help with anything?"
"How good are you at forging signatures?"
"It was worth a try," sighed Tsuna.
Kyoko inspected him closely, from the faint bags under his eyes to the way his fingers twitched to try and work out the pain. He was stressed and overworked and she hated to see him this way. Determination flaring within her, she hopped to the floor and said, "Let's go."
"Somewhere. Anywhere. Let's grab lunch. You need a break."
"While that's true, I can't leave. I still have a lot of work to do."
"It'll be here when you get back," said Kyoko dismissively. "It isn't healthy to work so hard and not take a breather." When Tsuna continued to regard her doubtfully, Kyoko added coyly, "If you're worried about Reborn-kun, he's not here right now. He's out with Colonnello-kun. He won't be back until the evening."
Tsuna pursed his lips, thinking. He knew he should complete at least another chunk out of work, but he was also getting sick of it. He could feel the beginnings of a headache prod his temples, which would erupt into a migraine if he continued for another few hours. "Okay, we can get lunch," he agreed.
Brightening, Kyoko grabbed him by the hand and led him out of the office. "Where do you want to go?" she asked.
"How about the new café in town?" suggested Kyoko.
"Sounds good. But if by some twisted coincidence we run into Reborn…"
"I'll explain I'm the one who tore you away from work," promised Kyoko.
Tsuna paused near the living room, where Yamamoto was watching a baseball game. "Takeshi, Kyoko and I are going out to eat," he informed.
"Got it," said Yamamoto distractedly, eyes not leaving the flat-screen television.
The pair departed the mansion and entered Tsuna's car. They left the gated property and Kyoko directed him to the new restaurant, a modest café in the heart of town. They got a booth for two, a small square table sitting between them. An apple-scented candle flickered and the lighting in the building was soft and warm.
The ambiance relaxed Tsuna and he sagged into mahogany vinyl material of the booth. Kyoko used the straw to stir her complimentary lemon ice water as she studied the menu. After a few minutes of deliberating they made their order, with Kyoko getting a summer salad and Tsuna getting pasta. Kyoko watched in amusement as the brunette quickly devoured the food, spots of sauce splattering against the white tablecloth.
"You really worked up an appetite."
"I didn't realize I was hungry until we actually walked in here and I could smell the food. You're going to share the cake you ordered, right?"
Kyoko raised an eyebrow. "If you wanted dessert you should have ordered your own."
"I was afraid I wouldn't be able to limit myself to just one. So I thought we could exercise self-control together. You did already have Appreciation Day."
"I have self-control," protested Kyoko. When Tsuna sent her a disbelieving look, she smiled sheepishly and conceded, "Most of the time. It goes out the window when chocolate and cake are involved. But the salad is to keep me from feeling guilty about indulging."
"Is it working?"
"I don't know. I haven't gotten to have the cake yet."
The pair ate their meal and when they were finished, the waitress returned with a giant slice of chocolate truffle layer cake, topped with a cherry and fluffy whipped cream. Tsuna and Kyoko immediately fought over the cherry, clashing forks. Kyoko emerged victorious, smugly popping the cherry into her mouth.
"Geez, you almost put that thing through my hand," said Tsuna with a laugh, taking a bite of the cake, the chocolate melting over his tongue. "That would have been something to explain to Reborn."
"Hey, it would get you out of doing paperwork," said Kyoko with a grin. "I think Reborn-kun would give you a break if you were stabbed with a fork."
"He'd kill himself laughing, that's for sure. Or he'd kick my butt for getting such a ridiculous injury. It's hard to predict his reaction sometimes."
Humour leaving her voice for a moment, Kyoko remarked, "I wish he wasn't always so tough on you. You work hard enough as it is."
"Reborn doesn't think anyone works hard enough," said Tsuna lightly. "He's a hard-ass, but he does it for the right reasons, even if he drives me crazy with his expectations sometimes. I definitely wouldn't put the effort I need into some of my tasks if it weren't for him. He means well. You know he does."
"I know." Kyoko managed a smile. "I love Reborn-kun. I just don't always agree with him."
"Oh man, do I know that feeling."
They finished their cake in a worryingly short amount of time, paid and significantly tipped their waitress before heading out into the late afternoon air. Kyoko settled a hand over her stomach, letting out a long sigh. "Okay, I feel a little bit guilty. The cake is sitting pretty heavy."
"Let's take a walk," suggested Tsuna. "It'll be good to get some air. And get my digestive system moving."
He extended his arm and Kyoko linked up with him. They wound their way through the streets, making random turns and taking unhurried strides. The closer they got to the town's local park, the ground would vibrate more and more and they began to hear cheerful, lyric-less music. Brow furrowing, Tsuna said, "I don't remember anything about a concert happening today. Lambo would definitely have asked to go."
They rounded the corner of a youth community center and came to a halt when an explosion of colour and a cacophony of sounds greeted them. Along both sides of the street, cars were parked bumper-to-bumper, stretching as far as they could see. Vehicles were inching along the narrow strip of unoccupied asphalt, some trying to find a parking spot of their own.
A full carnival was laid out in the sprawling park, dozens of rides, food stalls, game booths and souvenir stands strategically spread out over the space. People were streaming in all directions, their conversations mixing together in an undiscernible mess. The metal structures of the carnival rides glinted in the afternoon sunlight, the mechanics whooshing and screeching as they operated.
For a moment, Tsuna and Kyoko merely stared in awe. Then, in unison, they sprinted across the street and joined the stream of people flowing onto the carnival grounds. With a wide grin on her features, Kyoko grabbed Tsuna's arm.
"What do we do first?"
Closing his eyes, Tsuna spun in a quick circle with his finger pointing straight out. He came to a sudden halt and opened his eyes, finding his finger pointing directly at the spinning tea cup ride. "Oh. I should not have eaten all that spaghetti."
"We'll take it easy. Let's go!"
They bought their tickets for the rides and, despite Kyoko's claim, they went very fast on the tea cup ride. Kyoko's hair whipped in her face as they rapidly spun, the world blurring colours around them. She and Tsuna stumbled off the ride when it ended, gasping with laughter.
"Oh, this is way better than paperwork!" declared Tsuna.
Filled with adrenaline and childish excitement, they raced from ride to ride. They took a gentle trip on the cream-and-gold horses of the merry-go-round, sailed in a wide arc on the family swings, bashed into each other on worn-out go-karts and the energy buzzing through them carried them to another dozen rides.
As darkness descended, Kyoko and Tsuna were starting to get exhausted. Stretching his arms over his head, Tsuna said with a yawn, "I'm beat. Why don't we call this a day?"
Kyoko was about to agree when she spotted another ride. It was a red tower that stretched high into the air. "How about one more?"
Tsuna followed her gaze and his eyes widened in horror. "No thanks."
"Come on, it'll be fun!"
"Dying is not my idea of fun."
Kyoko pushed Tsuna's shoulder. "Oh, you're not going to die. We shouldn't, anyway. Statistically speaking."
"What resources are you getting these statistics from?"
Tsuna eyed the ride apprehensively. "Tell you what. You beat me in a game, I'll go on a ride with you."
They went to the nearest game stall, where the employee explained they needed to aim their water pistols at the target in order to move the weight up to ring the bell. Tsuna and Kyoko got into position and started firing. It didn't take long for the brunette to realize he had made a mistake. The years of training with Reborn had made him stronger, but it never seemed to improve his performance with games of skill or athletics. Kyoko's bell rang first and she pumped her first in the air.
"And the lady wins a prize! What would you like?"
Kyoko selected a pink teddy bear. Defeated, Tsuna followed Kyoko to the tower ride, where they used the last of their tickets to get on. They buckled in and Tsuna could feel his heart beat rapidly in his chest. "I hate heights."
"You can hold my bear if you want," offered Kyoko.
Tsuna took a tight hold of the bear, trying to find some comfort in its softness. There was a loud click as their seats began to rise up the tower with agonizing slowness. The ground got further and further away and the landscape opened up to reveal the winding streets and dimly-lit buildings. Tsuna began to breathe heavily and Kyoko gripped her safety bar, delighting in the view.
"Get ready Tsu-kun!"
Tsuna only managed a whimper in response. They came to a halt at the very top, everything below looking like a small model set. They sat there for a beat. Two beats. Three beats.
Tsuna's head banged off the headrest as they plummeted with rapid descent. His stomach seemed to drop down to his ankles while his heart leapt into his throat simultaneously. One arm curled around Kyoko's bear while the other gripped Kyoko's elbow. He barely heard Kyoko's shrieks about his own screaming, the world blending together in one jumbled mess. Everything came into focus once the ride slowed three-quarters of the way, the rest of the descent gentle.
Tsuna did not let go of Kyoko until the safety bar unlocked, allowing them to crawl free. Tsuna stumbled down the steps and to the ground, where he promptly collapsed to his knees. Kyoko hunched over beside him, partly to set a comforting hand on his back and partly because she was laughing too hard to fully stand up.
"That was terrifying," groaned Tsuna, letting Kyoko haul him back to his feet.
"A little bit," agreed Kyoko.
"Hard to tell by the way you're laughing at my fear."
"I was screaming on the inside."
Tsuna shot her a look. "Very funny."
Grinning, Kyoko said, "Come on. Let's go home."
Tsuna glanced around the carnival, the lights now glowing beacons in the pitch-black night. Heart pounding slightly, he asked, "What time is it?"
Kyoko removed her phone, flinching slightly when she realized she had several missed calls from her brother. "Oops. Um, nine o'clock. I didn't realize Onii-san was trying to call me."
Tsuna pulled out his own phone and groaned. "Shoot." He quickly dialled Gokudera's number and waited for the Storm to answer.
"Juudaime! Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Sorry I didn't call earlier, I didn't even hear my phone going off."
"When you and Kyoko didn't come back for dinner, we got a little worried. All the Baseball Idiot could tell me was that you two went off. He didn't say where."
"We didn't exactly tell him," said Tsuna sheepishly. "It was a spur of the moment decision. I should have given more details. I didn't mean to make anyone worry. We're on our way home now." After a slight pause, he asked, "Is Reborn back yet?"
"He's been back for an hour. But he actually left a few minutes ago. Since we couldn't get a hold of you or Kyoko he decided to come meet you. How's the carnival, by the way?"
"Fine," said Tsuna, face paling rapidly. "Listen, we'll tell you more about it later. See you."
"What's wrong?" asked Kyoko anxiously when Tsuna hung up.
Looking like a man about to face death, he whispered, "Reborn's on his way."
Eyes widening, Kyoko looked wildly around the bustling carnival. "Okay, don't panic."
She turned in the direction of the food stalls and froze. Tsuna slowly followed her gaze, eyes immediately locking on the tall, imposing figure towering amongst the crowd. The atmosphere chilled by several degrees as Reborn tilted his chin, the lip of his fedora rising and revealing his hard obsidian orbs.
"Too late," muttered Tsuna.
Aware that it would be incredibly foolish to expect Reborn to walk over to them, the pair crossed the grass and stood in front of him. Reborn regarded them for a moment before his hand snapped out and caught Tsuna across the side of the head.
"Ow!" he yelped, immediately putting a hand over the throbbing spot. "I'm sorry, okay?"
"What the hell are you thinking?" growled Reborn. "You are Vongola Decimo. You cannot disappear for hours without telling anyone where you're going, and not answer your damn phone!"
Tsuna flinched at the harshness of his mentor's tone. "You're right," he said quietly. "I'm sorry. We shouldn't have gotten so caught up in what we were doing."
"What exactly would that be?" asked Reborn, glancing around. "Apparently you two haven't been home since the afternoon."
"We went out to lunch and then we took a walk," answered Kyoko. "We just stumbled across this carnival and we lost track of time."
She recoiled when Reborn pointed a finger directly in her face. "You were just as bad as he was today. You know better."
"You know, not everyone can be like you and be obsessively attentive to everything," said Kyoko lightly. "You have very high standards."
If there was one thing Tsuna admired about Kyoko, and there were many things, but one in particular was her fearlessness in speaking her mind to Reborn. And he knew Reborn admired this trait too, even if he wouldn't admit it.
"And I expect you to meet them," returned Reborn. "Or else there are consequences. Let's go."
Tsuna and Kyoko trailed after Reborn, winding their way through the crowd. "I'm sorry," muttered Kyoko. "I guess I got you in trouble after all."
"Don't be silly. Whatever punishment he hands out, it'll be worth it. I had the best day." Tsuna elbowed Kyoko gently. "Thank you."
Though she still felt guilty, she managed a smile. "You're welcome."
When they arrived at the mansion, Reborn jerked his head, indicating the pair to follow him. They went to Tsuna's office and the brunette's eyes widened at the paperwork that was stacked on his desk and spilled over to the floor. "There's twice as much as there was when I left! How is this possible?"
"You might be caught up if you did this when you were supposed to," said Reborn. "I suggest you get a lot of rest tonight. You're getting this done tomorrow."
Tsuna pulled a face. "Great. I'm taking a shower. I smell like popcorn and deep-fried food."
He shuffled down the corridor and Kyoko watched after him, brow furrowed. She was distracted from her thoughts by a solid flick to the back of her head, causing her to turn around in surprise. "Huh?"
Leaning against the wall beside her, Reborn said, "And you're sulking because…?"
Sighing quietly, Kyoko crossed her arms over her chest. "It really is my fault he went out today."
"Well, you might have been the instigator, but he's capable of making his own choices."
"He just works so hard all the time," said Kyoko softly. "And I can't do anything to help him."
"What do you think you did today?"
Kyoko glanced up at Reborn, who was regarding her with a raised brow. "What you do mean?"
"What was the purpose of you dragging him out to town today?"
"He just looked so stressed. I wanted him to take a break, have some fun."
"Did you not accomplish that?"
Kyoko thought about the afternoon they shared and gave a small smile. "I suppose I did."
"You help him far more than you might think. If you still have moronic doubts, then I'm sure you'll be happy to help him tomorrow. Those papers do need filing and organizing."
Eyes widening, Kyoko walked across the hall to peek into the office herself. "All of it?" she asked in disbelief.
Reborn smirked. "All of it."
"Well. It is the least I can do." Glancing over her shoulder, she said, "Where did this extra paperwork come from?"
"I'm sure you'll find out as you process it."
"Always mysterious." Kyoko went over and stood on her tiptoes so she could give Reborn a quick kiss on the cheek. "Good night. And thank you, for coming to find us."
"I better not have to track your asses down again, or you'll have more than paperwork to worry about." Reborn gave Kyoko's chin a brief, affectionate squeeze. "Good night."
Though Kyoko and Tsuna would nearly drown in paperwork the following day, they both agreed it was well worth it. But the next time they decided to take a day off, they really needed to keep an eye on the time—and maybe get Reborn's permission beforehand.