Chapter 4: Reconciling within muttered crosses

I heaved another shuddered breath, trying to cease my running thoughts. Why was I even doing such a job anyway? Was it even fair for the pre-teen to have his rights exploited? So far, anything job-related, was at a stand-still. And stand-stills were no good.

Especially when the other had a school life to attend to.

"That's right," I muttered, licking my chapped lips. The ones that I had exploited before were all dickheads that needed their rightful punishment. But what the hell did this kid do?

The answer to that was pretty clear: nothing.

-o-

Tsuna could wonder about a lot of things. He could wonder why there were only seven wonders of the world, or how prices had to follow the American dollar. He could even wonder why English was decidedly the international language spoken as the main communication. But he couldn't wrap his head around why he was visiting the site again, and two days after his spat with Tantalus-san to boot.

Scrolling down the list of groups on the screen, Tsuna began to question, all over again, on why he was surfing this particular site on his laptop. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to think of any reason for his questionable action, yet again. This time he disregarded his actions, continuing his scrolling until he found the group he was familiar with. Scanning the overview, he noted that Tantalus-san was not on there yet. He moved his mouse over, and clicked the link. It immediately changed the screen to the usual welcome screen. He didn't waste time in entering his username, and clicking enter.

{Welcome to DAbeel ChATROoM}

{Please type in a username: 27_}

!#[27 has entered the chat]#¡

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Oh it's 27¡ 8D

[caREeNA]: oh? its not a moth yet. how rayre. |:0/

[27]: Hi to you guys too. :)

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: I thought, for sure, that you would have never come back again, after what had happened last time... )8

[27]: Haha, don't worry about me. I don't take things to heart so quickly. :3

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: That's the spirit¡ 8D

[caREeNA]: ur sirprizingly stirong. |:0)

[27]: I'm not good with flattery, haha! :D

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Flattery or not, it's good to see you in high spirits, 27¡ 8) Rena-chan told me about what happened the last time you had been here. But take it from me, Tantalus isn't the kind of guy who would blow up for no reason. 8/

[caREeNA]: ... ||:0( ow many times do i aveta telya 2 stop wih da chan! )):0/_|

[27]: ^_^;

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: But the chan is such a cute ending to your user, rena-chan~ 83

[caREeNA]: guh id sirsly trottle ya if i whir dere! )):0(

Tsuna watched as the whole conversation rallied between the two long time friends. He allowed his thoughts to go back to his previous chat with Tantalus-san. He frowned. How was any of that caring? He tousled his hair, sighing in frustration. This really is going to be quite difficult to resolve. He looked at the screen tiredly, catching up on the rallied banters, before getting ready to type up a response.

[27]: So what is Tantalus-san's personality like?

[caREeNA]: ...

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: ...

[27]: ?

[caREeNA]: so ur afta im aal aalong? )):0(

[27]: What? No! ):( I thought that if I were to apologize to him, I need to get to know his personality better. Can't believe that you actually thought of something like that after our heartfelt chat last time, Rena-san! :'(

[caREeNA]: ...

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: 27 has a point, rena-chan. 8/ And to think that you were praising someone else out of genuine consideration. 8(

[caREeNA]: aal ight! aal ight! i getya! srry 4 be n sum arshole! ):0/ cantya get a joke? |:0(

[27]: You were joking? :) Oh good, I thought you hated my guts again for sure! D:

[caREeNA]: ...

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Y'know, if you did that a bit more often, we won't take it the wrong way. 8) But I'm glad.

[caREeNA]: i get et, i suk! dont neeta roob itn! |:0(

[27]: So going back to the Tantalus-san, how is his personality? :/

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Well he's a hunk for sure¡ 8D

[caREeNA]: HEY!

[27]: ...

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: I'm kidding¡ Haha¡ Really wish I could see your face, rena-chan¡ 83

[caREeNA]: guh, ahnyway, tantalus is a fahmily kainda guy luvs keeds n is playfull ovaraal. n fakt he as 1 frum hes 2nd marryaige.

[27]: Wait! Hold up! You have your sights set on a married man, Rena-san?! D:

[caREeNA]: he was marryied. twoice devorced. i tink hes sun i af goin on2 5. |:0(

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Ooh, close rena-chan¡ 8D But little R is five¡ 8)

[caREeNA]: ... u seam 2 b wel in4md. ||:0(

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Oh it's nothing special, for sure. 8) We usually keep in touch, from time to time. 8)

[caREeNA]: ... n im ohnly a frend. |:0/

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Aw, don't be so down, rena-chan¡ I'm sure you'll be able to achieve happiness if you try¡ After all, I'm rooting for you¡ 8D

[caREeNA]: whell g tanks. :0)

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Thats the spirit, rena-chan¡ 8D

[27]: Uhm, well that is a shocker... :/ Who is little R anyway?

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Oh, he is Tantalus' son, five years of age, from his second marriage. His name is Robert. 8) He is quite the adorable kid too¡ 8")

[27]: ... I see.

Tsuna sat back, staring at the screen with frustration. All he had got from that was that Tantalus-san is a father in his twenties, who had been divorced twice, and had obtained a child in his second marriage. Is he worth apologizing to? He frowned again, recalling what bi-san had said not too long ago. "Well if he was a father all along, the yells will definitely be chalked up under protectiveness..."

He gave a sigh. "It just gets all the more complicated when I think about it..."

Tousling his hair lightly, he was brought back with another ping from his laptop. He let out a dreary sigh after knowing who it was. "Speak of the devil,"

[TranquilTantalus]: I see 27 has come here earlier than a month.

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Oh, you're on, Tantalus¡ 8) It has certainly been a while~

[caREeNA]: so aveya tot aboot et? |:0/

[TranquilTantalus]: To the point that I keeled over. ;-) Though, I did nearly give Robert a heart attack with it...

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: He really has obtained the traits of his mother. 8)

[caREeNA]: godta cum bi agin so whe cun siem. :0)

[TranquilTantalus]: Sure, sure, I'll make note of it sometime. ;-) Right now, I need to speak with 27.

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Well he was here a minute ago... And I don't think he logged off just yet. 8(

[caREeNA]: ell b bak e wont roon oaf.

Tsuna heaved a sigh. Rena-san was partially right, he did come here with the intention of apologizing, but bothering now would seem a bit awkward... He frowned slightly, glancing at his wall clock, making up his mind to intervene in the other worldly conversation.

Now just how was he supposed to intervene?

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: I've officially gotten into my teaching career¡ 8D So I'll be a bit busy at times, so I'm apologizing at a much earlier notice¡ 8)

[TranquilTantalus]: That sounds nice, I hear you can go for an exchange teaching career too.

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: True, I thought about it, and I already have a place in mind. 8)

[caREeNA]: whanna speele? |:0)

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Nu-uh¡ It's a secret¡ 8D

[caREeNA]: dahrn et! ):0(

[27]: Sorry, I went to help downstairs, but now I'm back. :)

[caREeNA]: boot tyime u shoe hup! |:0(

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Wait, downstairs? 8/

[TranquilTantalus]: I didn't know that school's in Japan had a downstairs...

[27]: Hi to you too, Tantalus-san, and school's in Japan don't have a downstairs either.

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Then what's this help downstairs then? 8/

[27]: ... I didn't tell you guys?

[TranquilTantalus]: As far as I know, you didn't have anything to do with techno at home, so you would play games at school.

[27]: Now that's just mean with how you put it, Tantalus-san! :(

[TranquilTantalus]: You got any better explanation, kiddo?

Tsuna huffed in annoyance. Should he still even apologize to him? Shaking his head, he gave a reply.

[27]: From a person who blew up at me two days ago, I have a right on not telling you. |:( Besides, if you ask politely, I may consider on explaining my actions.

[TranquilTantalus]: Look who's talking! It's been two months since we've met on the net, and you don't have a shred of respect do you! D-:(

[27]: Consider the feelings of the one being blown up on. ):(

[TranquilTantalus]: Says the one who just gets up and runs off! D-:((

[27]: You have a problem with that, Tantalus-san? )):|

[TranquilTantalus]: Yeah, yeah, I do.

[27]: Well suck it up, cause I ain't changin' how I look at things! D:(

[TranquilTantalus]: Why you, ungrateful brat!

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Now you guys, it's best if this doesn't escalate so much. 8( It'd be bad if you two couldn't patch it up quick.

[TranquilTantalus]: Why would you care?

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: I care because 27 is holding out pretty well against you... Haha, reminds me of the time when we had our spat back when we were kids, don't you think so¿ 8D

[TranquilTantalus]: That has no standing right now, bi. ):-(

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Still, even with that aside, this kid came up today with the intention of apologizing with you. It'd be real bad if you both got farther off from that intended course. 8/

[caREeNA]: spekeng aof sush dedentya reflekt? |:0(

[TranquilTantalus]: ... The guilt trip, huh. |:-( Well I have reflected, and it was exhausting. To the point of collapse, and worrying my adorable son nuts. I'll accept the apology, as long as he doesn't drive me crazy again. )):-(

[27]: That's much too broad, old man. ):(

[TranquilTantalus]: What the hell?! When did you decide on such a title, as great as I am?

[27]: Just recently.

[TranquilTantalus]: Now that's disrespecting too much! D-:((

[27]: See if I care, honestly, if I hadn't even met you, I wouldn't be here, y'know?

[caREeNA]: de keed as a pooent.

[TranquilTantalus]: Okay, sheesh, I get it, it's my fault.

[27]: I'm glad you understand, Tantalus-san! :D

[TranquilTantalus]: !

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Haha¡ He definitely got you¡ 8'D

[caREeNA]: |:0)

Tsuna snickered at the lack of a response he had received from Tantalus-san. His new batch of friends were surely intriguing. Even though they were on the other side of the laptop screen.

"Tsu-kun, dinner's ready!"

"Coming!" He called out, typing out a quick reply before shutting the laptop off. He'll definitely have time for them later, alongside his growing studies.

-o-

[27]: Sorry, I got to go and eat dinner, talk to you bunch sometime later. :3

!#[27 has left the chat]#¡

[TranquilTantalus]: And there he goes off again...

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Relax~ I'm sure he won't be off for a month this time¡ 83

[caREeNA]: i ahgreed. e aihnt dat muhch a seesy.

[TranquilTantalus]: I suppose... Well, I better get going myself, I need to cook dinner for my Robert. See ya. ;-)

!#[TranquilTantalus had left the chat]#¡

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: He certainly made up with 27 rather well, don't you think so, rena-chan¿ 8)

[caREeNA]: dats huwat i luv aboot em. :0)

[TANTALIZEDbiU]: Seriously¿ Well it's your preference, so I won't bother. 8/ Anyways, I need to get off too, since I have to fix my lecture notes for my class. Talk to later, rena-chan~ 8D

!#[TANTALIZEDbiU has left the chat]#¡

[caREeNA]: ... dem n dere beezy lieves.

!#[caREeNA has left the chat]#¡