The Place Where We Belong
Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Fanfiction
Summary: Reborn's opinion of Sawada Iemitsu is that the man is a complete fool. Everyone knows this. Reborn should have known better than to take Iemitsu's words in face value. But he didn't think he would fuck up this bad. In which Iemitsu's child is not a dame middle schooler but an adult woman with a life of her own. They really, really need to check the inside of Iemitsu's head.
Disclaimer: I do not own KHR
Warnings: Lots of OCs, grammar mistakes, typo.
CHAPTER 14: Promises
Maeda Kazuki is best summed up as intense.
Yamamoto know the man almost his whole life even though he never really spoken with him. Setsuna-nee always bring him up whenever she come to the shop. He always see Coach Maeda on TV or when they cover Setsuna-nee in a news article. In what little interaction Yamamoto had with the man, he always look so serious. Something about those steely grey eyes made him snap to attention, lest he will be eaten alive. He has this dignified air around him as well as authority. This is not a man you want to cross. No wonder Gokudera is afraid of him.
(Yamamoto later found out that Coach Maeda is related to Hibari, which explains a lot.)
He oddly feel like a scolded puppy as he sit there, head low, the adults looking at him sternly. Except for Reborn. He always have that vacant baby look.
Setsuna-nee is the one who break the silence, "Do you know why we are here, Takeshi-kun?"
"You wanted to talk about yesterday," Takeshi mumbled. "What I did…"
"Setsuna-chan and Maeda-san here have told me the full story of what happened," Tsuyoshi said, "It is as what your senpai told me yesterday."
Takeshi swallowed, "I'm sorry…"
"Do you think it's possible that the same thing might occur again?" Coach Maeda asked him.
Takeshi gather his courage first before answering, "...yes…"
He has no logical explanation to that. "You know about the Zone? When an athlete is in this deep concentration mode that it allow them to achieve feats that usually don't happen in normal circumstances? I feel like whenever I'm about to throw something I am back at the baseball pitch and-" Takeshi snap his fingers. "My baseball coach told me that I have this ability to slip into the Zone easily."
"Your baseball coach," Coach Maeda said in a deadpan tone.
Takeshi nodded, "I hold the position as pitcher in my team. My throw is the fastest."
"Have there been any other instances when you slip to this 'in-the-Zone' mode in non baseball setting?" Setsuna-nee asked him.
The baseball player thinks for a moment, "There's this one time when we play basketball during PE… I was supposed to pass the ball to a teammate but I ended up throwing it like a baseball. He moved out of the way in time. During a camping trip last year a classmate asked me to throw me a bottle of water… I threw it instead. Last year my class performed a drama for the cultural festival… I got to play as a ninja. I was given shurikens- plastic ones- and was told to throw it like this," He make gestures, "But during practise I threw it baseball pitch style… It ended up stuck on a prop…"
"With the same amount of force you put when you throw that cat at Nagi?" Setsuna-nee pressed on.
Takeshi look down on his hands in shame.
"So it's a pattern," Coach Maeda concluded. "A dangerous behavioral pattern."
"When you throw it, what type of throw did you do?" Reborn asked, speaking for the first time. "A fastball? A curveball? Slider?"
"Fastball," Takeshi answered. "It's always a fastball. It's my specialty."
"Do you know how to do the other types?"
"I do but coach said my fastball is all I need. So far no one can hit my fastball unless they do a bunt."
Setsuna-nee and Coach Maeda exchange a look.
"We need to break this pattern of yours," Coach Maeda tap his finger against the table. "You could seriously injure Nagi back then. We cannot let another slip up. If we don't do anything now, it's just waiting for an accident to happen."
Takeshi swallowed. He figured they would say that. "How?"
"You need to control your tendency to slip into that tunnel vision state of mind," Setsuna-nee said. "It's good to have focus but not to this extent. You need to be able to realise that you are not playing baseball at the moment. You need to be able to identify your surroundings. Your mind must be able to stop your body before it move. You need to start now."
"But the tournament is starting this fall!" Takeshi leap to his feet, "I have to train hard to improve my throws!"
"What will you do if you accidentally hurt your teammate?" Coach Maeda said scathingly. "What if it wasn't a baseball player you hurt but a little kid instead? If we don't do something now, this pattern will be so ingrained in you that you might hurt your own child instead."
A vision come to him. Little Takeshi playing catch with Kaa-san. Little Takeshi is ready to catch the ball. Kaa-san smiled and take aim… The ball is so fast it hit Little Takeshi in the face. Little Takeshi fell. And the scene changed.
Grown up Takeshi standing at Kaa-san's spot, looking down at a bleeding little girl who looks similar to Nagi.
His blood run cold.
The thought of him hurting someone like that by accident make him want to puke… What is even scarier is that Takeshi genuinely believe it will happen. He won't question the possibility.
"If you are so worried about the tournament, improve your other throws instead," Coach Maeda said, unbothered with Takeshi's pallor. "Your fastball is already good enough. Can you say the same with the other ones? Focus on those instead. Go back to the basics. Maybe it'll help break the pattern."
"I don't think my coach would like that…"
Coach Maeda wave it off, "That coach of yours don't know the first thing about coaching. He shouldn't let you stagnant like that. Your progress is unbalanced. You have a lot of room to improve. It's a coach's job to guide you to the right direction. If we don't do something, at this rate you will end up injuring yourself first. There is this little thing called moderation."
"And it's not good if you only know to do one thing," Reborn said. "You will be so used doing fastballs that it will put you in the corner when someone show up and able to hit it. You will be forced to fall back to other throws but they are not good enough either. It's good to have specialty but it cannot be your only weapon," To emphasize his point, Reborn have Leon change from a pistol to a shotgun to a sniper and then finally to a bazooka. "We must be able to adapt."
"Why do you think skaters learn more than one move?" Setsuna-nee asked him. "A sushi chef like Tsuyoshi-jiichan don't make sushi only. He must be able to make other dishes as well. You can't keep relying on one trick only," She told Takeshi. "You must have back up. A hidden card up in your sleeve."
Takeshi take a deep breath before meeting Setsuna-nee in the eye, "Yes."
"Tell your coach what we just talked about. A coach must be able to listen to his players and take their feelings into account. If he choose to ignore you even after this, then his ability as a coach speak for itself," Coach Maeda folded his arm.
Takeshi hesitated for a second before he look at the elderly, "What if I ended up costing the team?"
"Baseball is a sport played by teams. You may be the lynchpin of yours but that does not excuse the rest of your teammates to slack off. You won't be in the team forever. They can't rely on you all the time. Do you think of yourself so little that fastballs is all there it is to it about you as a baseball player?"
"Then do something about it," Grey eyes narrowed. "Give us proof that you want to change and will work hard to achieve that. You owe it to Nagi. If I find out you cause another accident, consider yourself banned from the ice rink. I don't want someone with zero self control around the little ones."
Takeshi steeled himself, "I will."
"This is your homework then," Setsuna-nee smiled. "Not just for the training camp but for the rest the year, okay? There is always room for improvement. Don't be so quick to feel satisfied. Because that is what makes you lower your guard. And it make things even more painful afterward."
Takeshi nodded slowly.
"But please don't push yourself too hard as well. Remember to pace yourself. There is such a thing called overextension. This is also a good opportunity for you to practise moderation."
Setsuna-nee chuckled a little at that.
"I will make sure to keep a close eye on Takeshi when he's home," Tsuyoshi nodded at the other two adults in the room. "Besides, I still yet to give him a scolding." He tap his son on the head.
Takeshi laughed nervously.
"Have you been crying?" Coach Maeda asked him.
Takeshi stiffens. He didn't expect the elderly to ask him that question outright. Then again, Takeshi spent an entire night crying. His eyes is no longer swollen. How did he know?
"N-No?" Takeshi answered unconvincingly.
Judging from their expressions, it's clear that no one is buying it.
Takeshi hunched his shoulders, ready to hear Coach Maeda berating him for being a crybaby.
"Why are you being so afraid of? There's no shame in crying. It's a natural biological function of the human body. Kids your age cry all the time. Don't force yourself to act like grown up. You are still wet behind the ears. The world still spin no matter what you do. Now that you had your fill of tears, time to catch up with the rest of the world."
Takeshi blinked. 'Is he… Trying to encourage me?'
Coach Maeda's eyes narrowed to grey slits.
Takeshi flinched and then straighten up, "Yes, sir!"
"Think carefully of what we talked about just now, Takeshi-kun," Setsuna-nee helpfully interfere before Coach Maeda can set Takeshi on fire with his gaze alone. "Now, there is somewhere else you need to be at, right?"
"I'm sorry for what I did to your pupil," Takeshi bows down.
"You're a brat. You're bound to mess up. You will make mistakes all the time so get used to it. The next best thing for you to do is to own up to your mistake and learn from it. The adults are there for damage control. You also need to learn to forgive yourself. You're only wasting your time and everyone else's if you keep crying over spilled milk. Now go. The grownups have something to discuss."
Tsuyoshi handed Takeshi a large platter of sushi for Nagi before kicking him out of the shop. Figuratively of course.
Takeshi stared at TakeSushi for a moment before turning on his heels. He never noticed that he has so many good adults around him… His Pops, Setsuna-nee and even Coach Maeda, aloof he may be. They are so kind, so patient, so cool. Even though Coach Maeda is so scary (Takeshi think he caught a glimpse of what Hibari would look like when he's older). When he grow up, he want to become an adult like them.
(Is this what it feels like to have a grandparent?)
"Bug Eyes can't catch the great Lambo-san! Bweeeeeeh!"
Nagako smiled from her spot, watching the two children play. I-pin expressed her wish to meet Lambo when Setsuna and Nagako told her of the other child. Setsuna had already told Lambo about I-pin so all they need to do is to find the right time for them to meet. A playdate, if you will.
Setsuna is already so busy with everything (university, work, figure skating, training, etc) that she couldn't make time for today. At least she showed up very early in the morning at her old home to pick up Lambo. She dropped him off at the Maeda residence before she and Kazuki left. Her husband told her what happened yesterday. Thank Kami-sama Nagi didn't suffer any injuries.
The initial meeting between these two children was not that great. Lambo insulted I-pin from the get go and the Chinese girl insult him back. Lambo chase after her but then got intimidated when I-pin show that she is stronger than she looks. She chase Lambo and after Lambo retaliate he chase her bag. It's a strange game of tag. Well, as long as Lambo didn't pull out any weapons, I-pin didn't seriously hurt him and they don't make a mess, Nagako is fine just to watch.
Oh and Lambo call I-pin Bug Eyes because of the custom googles Nagako ordered for her. They discovered I-pin's nearsighted sight on her first night here. Then Nagako ordered special googles for her since glasses is not possible.
Nagako had asked, before Setsuna leave with her husband, how is Nana doing. Setsuna gave her a resigned look. No changes at all then. Nagako can count with one hand how many times she met Sawada Nana. There is just something about that woman that rub Nagako wrong. Masumi-san feel the same way as well.
She is worried for Lambo. Setsuna had told her and Kazuki her concerns for Lambo's future. They have yet to have another discussion about it but everyone agree that Lambo must not stay under Nana's care longer than necessary. In a glance, Nana's parenting style is more to free-range parenting but it is anything but. Nana didn't do anything to discipline Lambo. It come to the point when the neighbours go to Setsuna rather than Nana when Lambo create a ruckus. Lambo have enough sense not to draw his weapon at civilians but it didn't change the fact that he did got into scuffles with the other children. Pranks, taunts, snatching toys without permission, destroy sandcastles in the sandbox… All sorts of childish things a 5 years old would do. It's sad when you think about it. The whole neighborhood knows that Nana isn't exactly a model parental figure. Nagako will forever be grateful to them for keeping the whole Sawada Family Drama a secret for Setsuna's sake. Even though they don't know the whole story, the neighborhood must have noticed that something is not right with that family. They could tell tabloids about Setsuna's home life but they didn't out of respect for Setsuna.
Setsuna's heart is in the right place but she is not able to be there for Lambo. She simply didn't have the time. It's possible for her to adopt him after she retire from competition but by then Lambo's crucial formative years have gone by. Something need to be done before it's too late.
Lambo can live here instead.
Nagako blinked as the thought crystalised.
That… is feasible. They have plenty of room. Money is not an issue. Nagako stays at home most of the time. They have plenty capable men and women who can keep keep a secret. They already have another child living here… Setsuna knows she can trust the Maeda family. The whole family need to be here so they can discuss this matter. Luckily, her children and their family are coming.
Nagako look at Lambo and feel her resolve strengthened.
"Where should I begin?"
Setsuna looked at the sushi chef before them, wondering why she never noticed before. She known Tsuyoshi-jiichan since she was a little girl. She and Nana are amongst TakeSushi's first customers. Nana and Keiko-baachan were close (as close as her mother could get with someone who is not Iemitsu). Setsuna felt Takeshi's kick when he was still in the womb. She has so many good memories in this place. Never once in her life she suspect Tsuyoshi-jiichan to have ties with the underworld.
"Start with the part when you discover Dying Will Flame," Tou-san answered when Setsuna didn't say anything.
Tsuyoshi nodded. "I guess I should begin with the time my master took me in, along with my friend. I was not much older than Takeshi at the time. I was a bullheaded youth who ran away from home. It's just me and my friend against the world. We lived in the streets. We committed petty crimes to get by. We were a mess. Then my friend ticked off the leader of this biker gang… I didn't know until the last minute. I went to rescue him but I was beaten badly as well. The two of us would have died if it weren't for Master interfering…," His eyes went distant as he recall the memory. "He was a master swordsman. I have never seen such fluid movement before… My friend and I can only gape as we watched him sweep the floor with those gang members. Afterward, Master turn to us and asked if we want to continue this path and die a like a dog in some ditches. We answered no and he told us to follow him. So we did. He let us stay in his dojo but didn't allow us to learn the way of the sword. We weren't ready, he told us. We were still cocky. We need to humble ourselves first. We were given chores, physical training, meditation... But we were not allowed to touch even a wooden sword. It took us a year before Master finally deemed us ready to learn." Tsuyoshi smiled fondly at the memory. "My Master is a practitioner of Shiguren Soen Ryuu style."
The name means nothing to Setsuna but Tou-san sit up straighter at that. "That style still exists?"
Tsuyoshi chuckled. "Yes, it still exist. As far as I know, there is at least two other successors left in this world other than me. I intend to teach my son the way of the Sword when he become a high schooler. Whether or not he is worthy to be a successor remain to be seen. Where was I? Oh yes. So my friend and I learned the way of the Sword. Master also taught us about Dying Will Flame. I'm a Rain. So was my friend."
The sushi chef smiled sadly. "We'll get to that part. So my friend and I worked our asses off. It took us a couple more years but it was worth it. After we proved our worth, Master sent us away so we can hone our skills and learn more about the world. We were back on the road again but this time it's different. We are no longer two ignorant kids who hated the world. We have grown. We have purpose. We challenged dojos. We met fellow warriors. We took part time jobs whenever we can before we go back on the road. We see new places. All is well until…"
"Take your time," Setsuna said gently.
Tsuyoshi-jiichan smiled at her. "Thank you, Setsuna-chan. I'm fine. All is well until they found us."
"The mafia," Setsuna whispered.
"Yes," Tsuyoshi-jiichan suddenly looked so weary. "They wanted to recruit us. We had to fight them off because they accept no other answer except yes. But these people never stop. Eventually we came to an agreement that it is better for my friend and I to go separate ways. It's just safer that way… At the time…," Tsuyoshi-jiichan sighed. "We still keep in touch though. A couple years later, I took a part time job at a sushi shop. It's just a small shop, not unlike this one, but it was good. Aside from the chef and I, there is another employee. It was Keiko."
Setsuna smiled at the mention of Keiko-baa.
"We just clicked. Keiko was alone like me. She was saving money so she can travel, even though she don't have any particular destination in mind. Keiko often joked that she will probably buy a one way ticket on the spot. Make the journey even more interesting that way. Meeting her was a life changing experience. I just knew she was the one. So I stayed at the sushi shop so I can be with her. I even became the chef's apprentice. My plan were to open my own shop and marry Keiko. I already taken steps to ensure that the mafia wouldn't bother us anymore. Everything was going well… Until the universe turned everything upside down."
"My Master passed away," Tsuyoshi-jiichan's eyes glazed with unshed tears. "He was already so old… It's not like we're not expecting it, but he was so spry of his age. You can say we try not to think of the possibility that Master could die. We just couldn't picture it. He was that big of a presence for us. I brought Keiko to his funeral. That is also when my friend and I first reunited after we parted. He changed. I changed. Everything has changed," He covered his face with one hand. The three of them waited for the sushi chef to continue. "My friend was being Courted by a Sky at the time. The Sky is not related to mafia but was chased as well. My friend had serious doubts if he should Harmonize or not… But the Sky wanted to take on the Underworld… My friend was so tired of being chased, he wanted to declare a war against them. He wanted me to join him. I refuse. Master's passing is the last straw for me. I was so tired of fighting. I had enough of this lifestyle. I am ready to settle down. I want to be with Keiko."
"Does she know?" Setsuna asked.
"Yes, she knows. I came clean to her before I proposed so she know what marriage to me will entail. I assured her that I won't get upset if she turn me down."
If only Iemitsu is a bit more like Tsuyoshi-jiichan.
"My friend was disappointed when I turned down his offer but he expected it. No hard feelings. We agreed that the next time we meet is at the wedding," Tsuyoshi-jiichan closed his eyes. "But he never make it to the wedding. Not long after Master's passing, I received a message from him to get away as far as possible. Turns out a mafia group, the same mafia group that have hunted us down for years, finally got a hold of him. And they are coming after Keiko and I. My friend and his Sky ended up destroying the mafia group for good. But not without a price… My friend gave up his life so we can escape… We laid low for awhile before finally moving to Namimori. You know the rest… Sometimes, sometimes I wonder if I done enough. If what I did is good enough."
Silence permeated the room. Tou-san is now looking at Tsuyoshi-jiichan with softer eyes. Reborn's eyes is shadowed by his fedora so they can't see them. Setsuna try to hold back her tears for Tsuyoshi-jiichan's sake.
"It was enough," Tou-san said gently. "Your son is a good boy. Keiko, your friend and Master would be so proud of you."
Tsuyoshi-jiichan break down.
They waited until he calm down. Reborn pushed the tissue box towards him. Tsuyoshi-jiichan blow his nose.
"Can I ask you something?" Setsuna eyes the sushi chef.
"What is it, Setsuna-chan?"
"Were you truly okay when I was Courting Takeshi? Even though I did it unknowingly?"
"I would be lying if I say I wasn't a teensy bit upset about that," Tsuyoshi-jiichan answered truthfully. "But I figured that you would never get Unlocked. I also know for sure that you won't join Vongola. At least not willingly…"
"So you knew about Iemitsu," Setsuna said calmly.
"Not right away. Sawada is a common enough surname. Besides, I never knew Iemitsu. We never met."
"More mafia is coming to this town. Reborn is just the beginning. We were lucky so far. But that luck will eventually run out as stronger opponents come by," Tou-san's eyes turn serious. "It's hard enough to juggle Setsuna's time with figure skating and training from Reborn. We still need to look for Guardians candidates. You're not one," He added quickly. "Even if we find one compatible, it doesn't guarantee that they and Setsuna will Harmonize. They might be even be civilian but that is a bridge that we'll cross when the time come. Should Harmonisation happen… We need someone to teach them."
Tsuyoshi-jiichan point to himself, "You want me to teach them how to fight."
"We know it's a big thing we're asking you here," Setsuna said. "But there is no one else we can trust with this matter but you, jii-chan. I understand that you don't want to fight. We will drop this matter if you refuse."
There. They said it. The ball is on Tsuyoshi-jiichan's court now. She will be bummed if he refuse but she will not be angry at him. Tsuyoshi-jiichan have dealt the mafia for a long time. He knows what they are up against. You can't blame him for refusing. Tou-san surely would understand. He is too a father.
Tsuyoshi-jiichan is quiet for a quite a while. The three of them wait for his answer. And then he roused himself.
"I spent enough years running away from the mafia. I refuse to let them continue to ruin everything. Not again. The answer is yes, Setsuna-chan. I will join your cause."
Tears run down her cheek, "Thank you."
"No, Setsuna-chan. It should be me who said thank you," Tsuyoshi-jiichan smiled. "Thank you for helping my son."
Gokudera is glaring daggers at Yamamoto.
Nagi expected that, to be honest. Gokudera have a short temper and can hold a grudge like no other. His comments in fansites often flagged due to his coarse language. Nagi and the rest of the fans do appreciate how passionate he is but at this rate Gokudera will get reported. His saving grace was how detailed his analysis were (even though they are a bit dry). Her friend have calmed down considerably as of late but it doesn't necessarily mean he will not explode.
She won't be surprised if Gokudera explode any moment now.
Sasagawa-senpai seems to have drawn the same conclusion as her, for he leaned forward, readying himself in case a fight break out.
They have spent the last hour trying to convince Gokudera to forgive Yamamoto but he remained stubborn. It was this close to become a shouting match. Then a nervous Yamamoto showed up bearing sushi. Kurata-san is very happy. She announced that they will have sushi for lunch. Kurata-san brought tea and another slice of watermelon for Yamamoto and leave the teenagers once again.
And here they are now. All silent and uncomfortable as Gokudera continue to glare at Yamamoto.
"Gokudera," Yamamoto break the silence, "I'm truly sorry for what happened yesterday."
"I'm not the one who you should apologised to."
Yamamoto turn to her but Nagi beat him before he can say anything, "I forgave you already, Yamamoto-san."
"But Kudou! He-"
"Everyone in this room knows what Yamamoto-san did, Gokudera-san. And he can't go back in time to prevent it. It happened. Get. Over. It."
Everyone gawked at her. Nagi herself is taken aback with her own words. Did she really just said that? Still, she got their attention now. Time to use the momentum. "Yamamoto-san threw the stuffed animal and it hit me. I fell. Yes, I could've suffer even worse injuries. Yet I'm not. It's not the first time I fell and will definitely not be the last. Are you going to blame Yamamoto-san for my next fall?"
Gokudera turn away.
"People make mistakes, Gokudera," Sasagawa-senpai said carefully. "Sometimes friends hurt each other without meaning to. When that happened, they talk about it and resolve it peacefully. They take steps to get better so they won't repeat the same mistake again."
Gokudera remain silent.
"Setsuna-nee and Coach Maeda came by the shop earlier today," Yamamoto said. "They came to discuss about my action yesterday. I was told that my fastball that I am so proud of is a weakness," He smiled sadly. "I am still lacking in so many things. I have to stop relying on my fastballs. If I don't fix it, I will only hurt others and myself at this rate. I need to improve. That is the only way for me to make up for my mistakes."
"...So Coach didn't punish you?" Gokudera asked gruffly.
"He didn't, surprisingly. I'm still in shock right now," Yamamoto scratch the back of his head. "I think Coach Maeda tried to encourage me, in a roundabout way. He's still scary though."
"Don't I Extreme know it," Sasagawa-senpai nodded, "I still remember how scary he was when I challenged him to a fight."
Their jaws dropped.
"You… Picked a fight… With Coach Maeda," Gokudera looked at the boxer as if he sprouted a second hand.
"I challenged the whole family actually," Sasagawa-senpai admitted breezily. "Coach Maeda, Nagako-baa, Takumu and Susumu-nii. I badgered them for weeks until they gave in."
"You picked a fight with Coach Maeda," Gokudera repeated.
Sasagawa-senpai grinned sheepishly. "I was such an Extreme mess in the past. Do you know how I got this scar? I got into a fight with a bunch of middle schoolers and they cracked my skull. I quit ballet and took up boxing afterward. I often challenged other kids and older people. It wasn't until Kyoko-nee told me I'm like Iemitsu did I realised how Un-Extreme I was. I scared away my peers. More than half of the boxing club members joined out of fear. I was viewed as a delinquent. I was so fixated on boxing I ended up neglecting my studies. I made so so many mistakes over the years," Sasagawa-senpai take a deep breath. "I'm working on it now. Yamamoto is going to change his ways. Isn't that enough?"
Gokudera is no longer scowling but he still look tense.
"Didn't you seriously tried to kill Setsuna-nee in the past, Gokudera?" Sasagawa-senpai said without any hesitation.
"Turf Top!" Gokudera leap to his feet. "It was a mistake!"
"Right, it's a mistake. And Setsuna-nee forgave you. Why can't you forgive Yamamoto then?"
"This and that is different!"
"How come?" Nagi asked. Gokudera turn to her. A helpless expression on his face. It's not fair to bring up Gokudera's past assassination attempt on Setsuna-nee but the boy is just not getting it. "Setsuna-nee and I survived our ordeals. Yamamoto-san is apologetic and promise to do better in the future. Aren't you doing the same thing in these past few months? Then you would understand his feelings."
"Don't lump me with the likes of him!" Gokudera point at Yamamoto.
"Like what?" Yamamoto asked him patiently.
"A Baseball Idiot who is always grinning! Who always go on and on about the health benefits of milk! Who can't appreciate the beauty of math!"
"It's math," Sasagawa-senpai said as if it's the most obvious thing in the world.
"And yet you still help him study for exams," Nagi pointed out, "You all came to cheer me on. You still didn't push Yamamoto-san away no matter how much he annoys you. I think you do care for him more than you would like to admit, Gokudera-san."
Gokudera turn his back on them.
"I'm not asking you to forget what Yamamoto-san did. I'm asking you to let it go. Because friends forgive each other."
"I think of you as my friend, Gokudera," Yamamoto said earnestly. "Will you let me be your friend?"
"You can be such a smartass sometimes, Octopus Head, but I think of you as my friend too," Sasagawa-senpai joined in.
"I think of you as a friend too, Gokudera-san," Nagi said softly. "Can we be your friends?"
Nagi crawl towards him. She leaned closer to get a better look.
Gokudera is crying.
He quickly wipe his tears with the back of his hand but they won't stop. Yamamoto and Sasagawa-senpai stay where they are. They look at Nagi. She didn't make any move for a moment before placing her hand on Gokudera's shoulder. "I'm sorry if we were too forward, Gokudera-san-"
"It's not that."
"Then… What is it?"
"Friend… Is a strong word."
Nagi nodded. "I know."
"Are you really sure you want me as a friend?"
"Yes," The three of them answered as one.
Gokudera didn't say anything until… "Baseball Idiot."
"You better work your ass off to improve. I'll even draw up statistics and analyse it for you if needed. If you still mess up, I'll use Triple Bomb on you."
Yamamoto smiled in relief, before a resolute look enter his eyes. "I will."
Sasagawa-senpai clapped. "All right! Way to go, team! I'm Extremely proud with all out you!"
"Shut up, Turf Top!"
"I'm hungry to the Extreme! Let's go eat the sushi! After that we'll watch the videos!"
"Don't ignore me!"
Setsuna, Reborn and Coach Maeda make a quick detour to the bakery on their way to Nagi's apartment. Reborn ordered his regular, a venti espresso. Setsuna bought chocolate cake for the kids.
Kurata-san welcomed them warmly. Setsuna is in the middle of removing her shoes when she hear ruckus coming from the living room.
"The kids are watching ballet and skating videos from when you were younger," Kurata-san told them with an amused smile.
Setsuna sprinted to the living room.
Lo and behold. There is a 10 years Setsuna skating to Kaze on the screen. She is wearing the pink kunoichi outfit. It even has the spiral pattern.
Nagi and Gokudera are in a near catatonic state on the couch.
"Stop! Stop!" Setsuna cover the television with her body.
"Setsuna-nee!" Ryohei smiled excitedly. "And Coach Maeda! Hello!"
Gokudera leap to his feet. "Coach Maeda! Good day!" He did a 90 degree bow.
Coach Maeda sit down on the armchair. Gokudera sit back down.
"Setsuna, get off the TV. We can't watch with you blocking the screen."
"But, Tou-saaaaan!" Setsuna whined.
Coach Maeda simply raise an eyebrow.
Setsuna sighed and move away from the TV.
"I want a copy of this," Reborn said to Ryohei.
I blame the baseball coach for Yamamoto's injury in canon. Yes, Yamamoto is also partially to blame for his recklessness but he's a kid. The coach should have noticed. He should have stopped Yamamoto before it's too late.
Tsuyoshi's backstory! It's more of my headcannon really but we know next to nothing about Takeshi's parents, I take the liberties (and creative license) to come up with Tsuyoshi's history. I cried when I wrote it.
It's been awhile since Lambo and I-pin made an appearance so here they are.
Maeda Brood is coming. Prepare your bodies.
I have started writing for the following plot bunnies; who lives, who dies, who tells your story (Xanxus and GhostWhisperer!Tsuna), a little birdie told me (AnimalWhisperer!Tsuna), a spoonful of sugar (PastryChef!Tsuna) and twinkle twinkle little star (Pissed Off Mom!Tsuna). Please be patient!
The song 10 years old Setsuna skating to is Kaze by Aya Ueto. It is the ending song for Nintama Rentarou anime.
Thank you for reading
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