Struggling and finally breaking through to the surface, Tsuna took great gulps trying to get enough before — a small but strong hand pushed him back down while a smug, high-pitched voice commented that it was too soon and he needed thirty more seconds to get to five minutes. The scariest part of this situation was that he trusted that same hand to pull him out if he ever truly lost consciousness.


Tsuna stared at the pie and almost managed to politely decline, but seeing Bianchi's expectant face, he took a piece and prepared himself for hours of cramps.


"The problems didn't start with Reborn," mumbled Tsuna angrily as he glared three tables over where the blonde sat with his arm around Tsuna's mother. "They started with bad genes."


No one wanted to tell Tsuna who had hidden the roaches in his desk when he had that look on his face.


"Here, Boss," said Chrome setting the cup down among the six empty ones on the almost paperless desk.


Without warning, Lambo found himself in strangely strong arms as he was carried to a bed where the moonlight reached.


"I'm not becoming a mafia boss, Reborn," said Tsuna more out of habit than real conviction.


Gokudera always trusted his boss, no matter what, but when Tsuna walked into the meeting with Byakuran alone and closed the doors, Gokudera struggled with doubt.


When Shoichi tried to talk Tsuna out of the risky plan, reminding the man that he might die, Tsuna shook his head and said the words that echoed so often in his mind, "I have to do this, because I'm the boss."


As Enma lay next to Tsuna and stared up into the sky, the redhead couldn't help but think that cloud watching was the perfect union of sky and earth especially when Tsuna was the one watching.


"The best part of the sky is that it's endless," said Reborn to a smiling Nono as Tsuna tried to break up a fight between the Varia and the Vongola and Shimon guardians while Byakuran and his group along with the CEDEF provoked both sides and the arcobaleno placed bets on whether the fight would escalate and destroy the room or Tsuna would lose his temper first and beat them all into submission.


The first time Tsuna came down the stairs without falling, Nana wondered what had happened to her son.


"I know there is more than one way you can possess me, Mukuro," said Tsuna calmly, "but I won't allow you to use any of them."


When Tsuna tried to apologize for tossing I-Pin out the window, I-pin shook her head and tried to tell her big brother that when he threw her, she always felt like she was flying.


It wasn't until Nana was sick that anyone in the family, including Reborn, learned that Tsuna was a fairly good cook himself.


For most people, a kick in the head was anything but a sign of affection, but Tsuna knew Reborn wasn't most people.


Reaching out with his flames, Mukuro tried to dispel what was obviously a cruel illusion of a coffin with an X on it.


Tsuna petted the chameleon as the pet changed back to his normal green on Tsuna's shoulder.

"Thank you for keeping me company, Leon."


Many of the Vongola subordinates marveled at their young boss's ability to keep his head firmly on his shoulders despite the chaos that surrounded him in the form of his Guardians and friends.


When Chikusa and Ken threatened to beat the young Vongola bloody if he didn't leave them alone for the hundredth time, the threat sounded hollow.


Looking up at the glowing orange eyes, the Crotto boss shivered in fear.

"You should have honored our deal, Crotto-san."


Mukuro had spent enough time in Vendicare prison to know what happens to isolation prisoners in the oxygenated tanks, and so on his second failed attempt he had no hope of ever breathing fresh air again himself. However, somewhere along the line, Tsunayoshi had changed his mind.


The herbivore quivered under Hibari's gaze as the prefect examined the boy to see if the room was truly brighter with his entrance.


After the fifth Mafioso had come up and said that he had gotten lost in Tsuna's eyes, Tsuna decided that he would wear the "I'm a guy" sign that Reborn had made.


Only after Lambo stuck a fork in his hair and nearly electrocuted everyone around him did Tsuna finally decide that Lambo needed to be broken of the habit of sticking things into his hair, especially metal things.


"Well, that's new," said Tsuna all too calmly as Basil dug into the third bowl of Bianchi's soup while asking between mouthfuls for more.


Reborn smirked as he determined how he would thank Tsuna properly for the very bright cake and went to find his suicidal student.


As I-pin chased Lambo while Gokudera and Ryohei yelled at the top of their lungs and Mukuro taunted Hibari into yet another illusion and blood-filled fight, Yamamoto managed to glimpse a rare expression on Tsuna's face and grinned.


"You're smiles are poison," said Byakuran to a very confused Tsuna.


"Don't cry, I-pin," said Tsuna as he pulled the crying Chinese assassin onto his lap, "Lambo's just being Lambo. You're really very pretty."


He had made a promise to himself when he was little that if he ever gained a friend that he would let that friend call him "Tsuna"; he never envisioned that one day half a dozen people would echo their own versions of the nickname to him all at once.


For some odd reason, Tsuna could barely keep his eyes open even though it was the middle of the day and seven coffee cups in; when he finally succumbed to sleep, Gokudera came out from where they had been hiding behind Tsuna's office door and picked up his deeply asleep boss to take the tenth to the bed the sleeping man had not used in more than a week. Thankfully his rain flames were too weak to attract the tenth's notice.


Sometimes on his most daring days, Tsuna wondered what would happen if Reborn was hit with the Dying Will Bullet.


No one would ever guess that his favorite ring was the one Lanchia gave him; it meant help and friendship, not responsibility and danger.


Roses sat upon the Varia boss's desk, and the whole place wondered what would happen to the Vongola Decimo when Xanxus saw them.


After scaring the brat to death and reminding the trash that it was not any of his #$# business if it was Xanxus's birthday, Xanxus banished the filthy flowers to the darkest corner of his walk-in closet.


When Fuuta got his Tsuna-nii a garter snake for the Vongola gift exchange and declared that the reptile ranked first as the best gift to get Tsuna-nii, everyone knew that it had been raining when Fuuta made the ranking.


At the first sign of snow, Tsuna ran up to his room and made sure that Green-kun, his pet snake, was warm enough and even dared to open the aquarium to stroke the cold blooded reptile to make sure he wasn't to cold.


Sometimes when the tenth wasn't paying attention, Gokudera chanced a brief touch just to check that the petite brunette was real.


Tsuna was the only one who knew that spring was Haru's least favorite season.


Dino had gotten to show off his horses to his little bro only once; Tsuna experienced enough near-death experiences as it was.


"Are all your friends this strange?" asked Hana. With an exasperated smile and sigh, Tsuna nodded.


July 16th through August 2nd were spoken of in mafia circles as the only time during the year that no one should under any circumstances attack the Vongola; anyone, Mafioso or not, that dared attack Vongola during the Vongola Guardian's vacation would have to answer directly to a very upset Vongola Decimo.


The Christmas holidays, however, were the reverse, and so Vongola was the only familigia that was guaranteed to be free from attack for about 5 weeks a year.


When Verde commented that Sawada Tsunayoshi would make a good test subject loud enough for Reborn to hear, the rest of the arcobaleno knew the meeting was about to get very ugly.


For some odd reason, every mafia family that had tried to start an all-out war with Vongola changed their mind after meeting up with the Vongola Decimo and his guardians.


When it was raining so hard that one could barely see his hand in front of his face, Tsuna made sure to run to his mother's kitchen no matter where he was and make his grandmother's recipe for watered down hot chocolate; Nana would always start smiling again when he brought it to her.


"Stay and have dinner with us," said Boss, his eyes full of something that Chrome had never seen before.


When Spanner knocked on the door and asked the young Vongola if he could try out a real Japanese kotatsu, Tsuna just shook his head and let the blonde in; the brunette had long resigned himself to never getting a chance to use his own kotatsu anyway.