Could Have Been

Chapter 3

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"There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them"

-Andre Gide

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Tsuna knew he hated this day. He knew it the moment he woke up with the horrifying feeling of someone's warmth over his body. It was a disgusted feeling and made him feel so utterly and vulnerably violated. He had showered, scrubbing his entire body until it was red before getting ready for school. He stomped down his wooden stair case begrudgingly not wanting to even attempt life today. It was cold, like really cold. He could feel the cold seep through his thick socks to his feet cladded orange slippers as he walked across the hall to the kitchen. He had school today and luckily was early enough to eat breakfast and hopefully not be a repeat of yesterday. Hibari was being totally unfair yesterday. He turned into the kitchen the doors already opened as the delicious aroma of his mother's cooking drifted through the opening. He peered inside to see his mother's back turned to him as she worked away on his bento.

"Good morning, Okaa-san!" Tsuna called out tunefully to his mother. She smiled as she continued packing his meal. "Good morning, Tsu-kun" Tsuna moved around the small dining table and sat down facing his mother. The plate in front of him was his yummy breakfast and he wasn't going to waste a second not eating it all. He placed his hands together nodding his head as he said the morning thanks. He picked up his chopsticks and ate immediately his mother's warm cooking equaling out the cool temperature.

"Tsu-kun?" Tsuna mumbled something in confirming action that he was listening. Nana giggled at her son's act and continued speaking. "I'm going out and won't be back until after dinner, will you be fine by yourself?"

Tsuna looked up from eating and stared at his mother who still didn't turn around to face him. He found that weird and wondered why. "I don't mind kaa-san but who are you going out with?"

At this point Nana giggled excitedly and spun around, stars frittering around her as the background turned to a rosy pink. "I'm going out with Spade-san!" Tsuna paled. Nana began to rant on about how excited she was and how he had asked her out yesterday and what not. Tsuna couldn't care less other than the fact that he didn't want this random man spending time with his mother. He didn't trust him in the slightest and the way a chill creeps down his spine every time that man is mentioned makes him strongly believe that that man is after something. He had the words 'Don't go!' stuck in his throat as he watched his mother smile happily. He couldn't say it, no matter how much he wants to tell her otherwise he couldn't. It has been such a long time since the last time his mother was so…happy. Ever since his father…No! There was no point in thinking of the past! "Tsu-kun?"

Tsuna looked to his mother who was tilting her head at him in confusion. "H-Hai?"

"Aren't you going to be late for school?" she said with her hand to her chin in question. Tsuna looked at her dumbly before turning to the clock on the wall. He stared at it and shrieked. "HEEIIIII! I'M GOING TO BE LATE!" His neighbours chuckled at the usual screams coming from their neighbour's son. The hour hand of the clock pointed to a 7 and the minute hand was pointed to the 7.

Tsuna rushed past the gate making it just in time inside the school building. Tsuna was bent over his hands rested on his knees as he breathed in sharp intakes of air. "Ha-ah-ha-ah I made it!" Tsuna smiled lopsidedly. He chuckled at his fortune looking up only to pale horrifyingly. "H-Hibari-san?"

Hibari looked down at him with an amused smirk. "You're early again?" Tsuna gulped as he nodded his head, praying that this won't be a repeat of yesterday. "Well? Shouldn't you be heading to class?" Tsuna blinked before nodding tiredly as he stood up straight and began to walk past Hibari. Hibari gripped Tsuna's shoulder halting him. He bent down to Tsuna's ear and whispered, his hot breath tickling Tsuna's sensitive skin. "Herbivore" He let go of his shoulder letting his arm drop to his side. He eyes Tsuna from the side intently watching the sweat bead down the young one's jaw line down his neck stopping to his collarbone. Tsuna was in such a rush he hadn't worn his jacket and instead carried it as he ran. Tsuna stood there shocked a moment before quickly covering his heated ear and marched off deeper into the school building. Hibari smirked amused before stalking outside.

School went by as usual, Tsuna failed during the lessons and was poked fun of, his lunch was stolen off him and he was bullied repeatedly and now Tsuna was sitting in the economic class, school had ended and he was hungry. He didn't want to wait to go home and cook so he decided that making a quick meal from the economic room might do him swell. He was sitting on the chair waiting for the water to boil in the pot. A simple pasta dish should be easy and enough for Tsuna.

He watched the pot, the still water begin to bubble at the bottom and the gentle yet small movements circle at the top. He looked up at the clock. It was well after 4 and Tsuna knew that his mother was already gone about her date with their neighbour. He sighed a horrible nervous feeling bubbling inside him in synced with the bubbling hot water. The more it heated, the more bubbles grew bigger, the more Tsuna felt unease. Tsuna felt unsettled and looked back at the time, it was the same as when he checked it last. Tsuna looked back to the boiling water; he didn't like this feeling and hated how he felt like this so often this week. He stood up from his seat and walked over to the stove eyeing it. It felt weird and scary. He felt eyes on him. He ignored the raw instinct to run and proceeded to open the pasta package and dump a reasonable amount into the boiling water. He watched as the water settled down and he could see the individual pasta strings clearly. The feeling was gone, the feeling of scary eyes watching him gone. He looked up and shrieked in surprise. "Hiii!" He jumped back and hit the chair with the back of his knee behind him but managed to not fall over.

Hibari watched Tsuna in questioned curiosity. Tsunayoshi was staring quite seriously into the pot of pasta soaked water and now he was shrieking away again. He couldn't help but think he was an odd herbivore. Hibari walked forward to Tsuna as he watched the young brunet almost fall as he stood in front of the other he looked at the pot and then back at the shaking brunet. "What are you doing here, herbivore?" Tsuna looked at Hibari a smart reply in his mind, 'I'm in a kitchen what do you think?' before slapping himself mentally. "Ano…Hibari-san, I'm boiling pasta." He slapped himself mentally again for stating the obvious. Hibari glared at him before turning to look at the pot of boiling water and walked towards it. He picked up the stirring spoon by the handle dipping it into the pot and stirred the water making sure the pasta doesn't stick to the pot. "Why are you cooking here?" He mumbled as he watched the pasta stir around.

Tsuna watched marvelled at Hibari's actions. "Uhm…My lunch got stolen and I was really hungry so I thought I could cook something quickly here" Hibari looked at the water with a calculating gaze before walking away from the pot. He opened a cupboard taking out a glass jar filled with white crystals and walked back to the stove. He opened it taking a pinch of it into his fingers and dashing it into the boiling water. Tsuna blushed. 'Crap…I forgot the salt.' Suddenly, Hibari walked to the refrigerator and pulled the door opened. He leafed through it gathering ingredients into his arms before kicking the door closed. He walked back, placing the ingredients into a bowl and into the sink. He turned around to face Tsuna and walked up to him, pushing him to sit on the stool. Tsuna stared up at Hibari-san in confusion as the taller male began taking his gakuen coat off and placed it on Tsuna's lap with the short order of 'Watch this' before rolling his white dress shelves up. Hibari walked back to the sink and began cleaning the vegetables.

Tsuna stared incredibly at Hibari. Who would have known that the blood thirsty prefect was going to waltz in here and suddenly take over? Tsuna sat more comfortable in his chair resting his back at the edge of the table smiling as he watched Hibari cook. He fiddled with his fingers looking up at Hibari's working back every while. He smiled before frowning slightly. 'I wonder how Kaa-san is doing...' Tsuna was in a way you can say a mama's boy, he and Nana have been together particularly his entire life. So he was a bit wary of her off with another man on her own but he reminded himself that his mother was an adult and that she will be perfectly fine no matter where she was. He chuckled as he recalled the time a pervert came up to her while they went grocery shopping and she flipped him over in defense. Yes, his mother knew self-defence like the back of her hand which is a wonder why Tsuna gets bullied so easily outside his house.

"Herbivore."

Tsuna looked up in question and gasped surprised by Hibari's close parameter to him. "U-Uh Hai? Hibari-san?"

Hibari looked at him briefly before moving to the side and placed something on the table with a gentle clatter. He reached over to Tsuna's lap causing Tsuna to blush at how close his face was to Hibari's body. Tsuna could barely feel the black coat lift off his lap as he tried to keep the temperature from rising to his face. "Come and eat." Tsuna looked up timidly at Hibari and sighed as he noticed they weren't close up any more and Tsuna could feel himself breathing easier. Tsuna turned around in his seat so he faced the table and was surprised by how pretty the pasta looked. How long was he lost in thought? He sniffed the aroma of the meal and sighed contently. "It smells heavenly, Hibari-san." Tsuna smiled shyly at Hibari who sat across from Tsuna. Tsuna looked questioningly at Hibari noticing that he didn't have a plate. "Hibari-san?"

Hibari stared at Tsuna with his elbows propped on top of the table and his chin rested on his entwined fingers. "Hm?"

Tsuna looked away from Hibari's relaxed gaze "Um…Are you not going to eat?"

"I am not hungry, why should I eat then?"

Tsuna nodded his head not trusting his voice at the awkward moment. He said a silent thank you and started to eat using the chopsticks provided by Hibari. As Tsuna placed a small tomato in his mouth he blushed brightly and squirmed happily. Without meaning to Tsuna moaned blissfully and looked excitedly at Hibari smiling happily. "This tastes amazing, Hibari-san!" Tsuna blushed realizing that he just made a complete fool of himself. He quickly looked down and ate in silence refusing to look back up. Hibari stared eyes slightly wide at Tsuna, in the oddest ways he liked everything that just happened in those brief minutes; Tsuna smiling, blushing, Tsuna being happy and above all the sound of Tsuna moaning were sparking.

In the silence that hung in no time Tsuna finished his meal. Hibari was going to clean and put away his dish but Tsuna quickly stopped him with a deep blush on his face. So Tsuna stood there in front of the sink cleaning the culinary tools, pots and pans. He thought about what had just happened and in an odd way Tsuna was glad Hibari was here. One- Hibari cooks amazingly and Tsuna was as hell not going to make anything that amazing, Two- he actually liked his company although not much words past through them, Three- it…made him happy. Tsuna blushed lightly. 'Oh god I can't believe I admitted that to myself! That's so embarrassing!' Tsuna smiled wistfully as he shook his head chuckling lightly to himself. He had finished majority of the dishes and had only the plate to clean.

He lifted it up hearing the slight click and using a scrub removed any residue in a circular movement. Just as he was finishing strong long arms passed through the gaps of his arm to his body and encircled his waist. A tall, hard and hot body pressed up against him causing him to go rigid. Soft hot breathing danced over his neck and ears, Tsuna shivered gasping in surprise. His brain quickly connected this to this morning when he had that same breath whisper almost in amused seduction in his ear, he stood in silence refusing to move his body waiting for something, anything to happen. They stood together like that Tsuna's small body shivering from the vibrates of shocks being sent through his body from the light yet burning feeling of Hibari's chest surrounding him. It was a trance surrounding them and Tsuna didn't know what to do he found his mouth opening and closing as if wanting to speak but not sure what was supposed or wanted to be said.

Just as quickly as the warmth was there it started to slip away and Tsuna was finding himself in a panic. 'Oh no!' His mind told him to grab back the warmth and keep it with him forever but his body was in too much of a shock to act upon those demands. It was too late, he finally got hold of his body and spun around but all he caught sight of was the end of Hibari's coat swing through the door as he marched out. Tsuna stood there watching the door, waiting, just simply waiting in awestruck. He checked the time before leaving and was shocked at how late it had become. He completely forgot about worrying for his mother well with what was happening to him it was certain anyone would forget as well.

He walked through the school doors and the feeling of the cold wind whipped his face. He groaned out loud not wanting to walk home in this cold weather and cursing himself for not bringing a hat with him. His jacket was fitted properly snuggling his body in its attempt to keep him warm, his red scarf hugged around his neck covering his chin protecting it and if he bent his head down he could cover half his face in its woolly warmth. He gripped his hand over his messenger bag as he walked with his head down refusing to lift it and suffer more from the cold winds. He walked through the gates and was slightly disappointed that Hibari wasn't there but he wouldn't let his mind think too much of the matter as he continued walking down the path to his home.

The streets were dark out as the streets lights flickered off and on. Not many people were out walking, it wasn't surprising at this time of day. Tsuna sighed as he continued walking and thought back to his mother. 'Okaa-san should be home now. Didn't she say that she'll be coming home after dinner? I wonder what exciting thing she has to tell me.' Tsuna chuckled dryly at the inconvenient thought of having to obviously listen to his mother talk about a man he rather not get to know. Tsuna suddenly came to a halt. He was still a few blocks away from his street and if he kept walking he would be safely home but he couldn't breathe. It was there again. The feeling of dread was building inside Tsuna. He had actually felt a similar feeling when he had left the school gates but it was weaker and he ignored it easily. Yet, this feeling was stronger, it was laughing at him obnoxiously. He wanted to turn around and tell whatever was bothering him to 'Fuck Off!' but didn't. He didn't know what was there but his mind was numb. His body seemed to be fighting against itself, one side wanted to run and another was too afraid to move. Gravity around him was pushing down on his shoulder and the mere effort of breathing was so horridly hard. Against all the fire alarms ringing in his mind, he inched his head to look behind him. The sounds of ticking rung through his ears as the feeling of fear and anticipation built and like a slap in the face Tsuna stood stone solid rooted to the ground as he stared into the darkness. His eyes surveyed the land in front of him and he could see nothing he couldn't help but feel that it was darker than usual. 'It is fall, everything is darker.' He breathes in struggling so hard from the shaky breaths leaving him. He blinked his eyes for only a brief second but it was in that brief second that the flash backs from two days ago zipped through his mind as he stared in a far distance at deep sapphire preying eyes. Those eyes. Those eyes. Those eyes. He has been seeing them far too often these days ever since he was trapped into the gaze of his neighbour.

Tsuna couldn't remember how or when he had but he was running at top speed away from whatever was behind him and with bad humor Tsuna resembled the fastest racer in a speed race and he was winning. All he cared about was getting far, far away. In the midst of his terrified mind he was so conveniently supplied with the nightmare from yesterday and the feeling of not wanting to be caught flared through him as he turned sharply in his house. Tsuna slammed the front door opened, he didn't care what the neighbours. The door clicked behind him, his back pressed against it and with his sweating hands Tsuna sunk to the ground. He breathes so shakily and as fast as he started feeling safe the feeling of dread warped his mind. 'The door was opened!? Is kaa-san alright!?' In a struggle he called out to his mother in fear repeatedly. "Okaa-san!? Okaa-san?!" Fearing the worse his mother called back to him in worry running out of the kitchen fearing for her son's health. "Tsu-kun? What's wrong? You're sweating! Did something happen? Should I call the cops? Oh my, get off the floor and come inside" His mother put her gentle arms around him trying so hard to soothe her frighten child pulling him into the kitchen. As he sighed into his mother's arms feeling so much safer than he had ever felt. Just as the feeling of peace filled his mind, he grew rigid and stiff at the sight that greeted him in the kitchen.

"Ohya? What has happened to Tsunayoshi, Nana-san?" That chilling and dreadful voice was spoken, it was something that Tsuna could not un-hear nor un-see. He backed away slowly not wanting to stay where he was. Nana had let go of him to get a cup of hot tea hopefully this would soothe her troubled son. "I'm not sure Spade-san but Tsu-kun is upset." She turned to her son but found that he was gone missing the whole scene behind when Tsuna, horror stretched across his face and with a single smirk placed on Daemon's face sent Tsuna running for his life upstairs. She looked worried at Daemon before apologizing to him as she walked upstairs, tea in hand, calling out to her only child.

"Tsu-kun?" She walked up the stairs hearing no sound emit from upstairs but the light spewing out of her son's room in the dark hall was the only indication of her son's presence. She walked to the door and knocked it gently. "Tsu-kun?" Worry for her precious child sewn in her voice rung deep into Tsuna's troubled state of mind. He called back to her timidly. "H-Hai, Kaa-san?"

Nana was relieved to hear her son's voice. "Tsu-kun? Are you alright?"

Tsuna wanted so badly to tell her no he wasn't alright and no he wanted her to come into this room and hug him until he stopped shaking but he didn't. "Hai kaa-san, sorry for worrying you before…" Tsuna couldn't see her but he could hear her disbelief in her voice. "Alright Tsu-kun, I'm leaving the tea on the ground, alright?" Tsuna could hear the gentle clack of the tea cup hitting the floor and the soft creaks of his mother's footsteps walking away from his room and down the stairs back to the man in the kitchen. He stood off the bed and walked almost in a trance to the bedroom door almost afraid of something popping out to greet him as he opened it. He looked down at the steaming tea and bend down to lift it up with shaking hands. He closed the door behind him with a gentle thump and walked back into the safety haven of his room. He sat on his bed sipping the hot liquid of green tea into his cold system appreciating the way it settled his unsettlement so graciously. He thought back to his mother asking him if he was alright and sighed, how was he supposed to tell his mother that Tsuna couldn't help but feel that his neighbour was following him…?


Author Note: It's been a while, eh? Before anyone accuses me of anything, I have been working on this during my hiatus. So as an important note, I have basically four chapters written for Could Have Been right now. Two of those four chapters just need to be edited once more before uploading and the other two needs to be finished. That goes to say that Could Have Been isn't going to end at those chapters and to be honest, I've barely touched the surface for this idea. Like, there's still so much more I need to get at before anything picks up. So what I'm saying, stick around and look forward to Tsuna's unfortunate adventure.