Before: Dame-Tsuna never needed an introduction; he was Dame-Tsuna, that kid who always failed at everything, the nobody, the no-good loser. What else was there to know?
After: Tsuna wondered what Reborn exactly told the strange people who kept popping out of nowhere since they all acted as if they knew who Tsuna was (heir to Vongola aside), but when the hitman introduced the teen to Dr. Shamal as "Tsuna with the Skull Disease," Tsuna thought that maybe the hitman gave people the most basic explanation and let them figure out the rest.
Before: For Tsuna, love was the flutter in his chest when he saw Kyoko walk by and her unreachable world passed unknowingly by his hopelessly low one.
After: A heavy feeling welled up in the small brunette's chest as he watched those surrounding him instead of the bright fireworks and marveled at the fact that they were close enough for him to feel their warmth.
Before: Grumbling, Tsuna rolled over and away from the invading sunshine that beckoned the boy to live another day.
After: He leaned against the bike exhausted, careful not to jolt the hitman who had once again decided that Tsuna's head was a seat, and watched the last rays disappear beyond the horizon with a quiet wish that the sun would remain above the horizon a bit longer.
Before: As a child, Tsuna had been scared of many things, but the darkness had never been one because it hid the small brunette away so well.
After: When the light of the flashlight gave out and several of the group yelled in frustration and fear, more than one hand clasped onto Tsuna.
5. Seeking Solace
Before: The blanket covered his head, and Tsuna waited until he could hear his mother's footsteps fade before he turned his face into the pillow and closed his eyes tight enough to keep the tears from staining the cloth.
After: Tsuna gazed at the floor to keep his two best friends from noticing the frustration prickling the edges of his eyes, but Yamamoto's voice made Tsuna's head shoot back up as the baseball player suggested they take the day off from school and hang out instead.
6. Break Away
Before: Quietly, he leaned the broom against the wall of the janitor's closet and slipped down the hallways, knowing from experience that no one would notice if he went home.
After: Tsuna dodged the tonfa and ran as fast as he could back into the classroom where he was greeted enthusiastically by Yamamoto which made Gokudera's greeting even more deafening than usual, and the kick that "helped" him into the classroom cemented the fact that he couldn't get out of going to school today, shots or no shots.
Before: Tsuna stared blankly at the sky outside his window and saw nothing but blue stretching away for miles.
After: Sneaking out of his room (though Reborn no doubt knew what Tsuna was doing), Tsuna jogged a couple of blocks before reaching the quiet park and taking out his gloves and pills to soar in the sky and try to touch the stars.
Before: Tsuna knew that there were good guys and bad guys, and when he had been much younger he had dreamed of becoming a giant robot and protecting his mother from the bad guys; he knew better now.
After: There were people, ones who made wrong choices and ones who made right choices, and Tsuna could only protect those he held dear while praying he was one of those who made right choices.
Before: The big red oval on the top of the paper mocked Tsuna, but its effect had long since worn off; it wasn't as if it was the first time he had seen such a mark.
After: The test sat oh so innocently on Tsuna's desk with scribbles and numbers that barely made any sense; Tsuna glared at the paper and grabbed his pencil because he was not going to go through another of Reborn's remedial lessons.
10. Breathe Again
Before: The kind man patted Tsuna's back and asked if the little boy was okay as Tsuna took deep gasping breaths, never ever wanting to go back to that terribly salty evil water ever again.
After: "Tsuna, let's go to the beach this weekend," said Nana in the middle of dinner prompting Gokudera to declare that he would make this trip to the beach better for the tenth than the last, Yamamoto to smile and say that it would be fun to go back, Lambo to whine that he wanted to go too, I-pin to ask if she could see the beach, Bianchi to say that it would be a good chance to get some new ingredients, and Reborn to smirk knowingly; Tsuna couldn't refuse and found his breath wasn't the slightest bit erratic.
Before: Tsuna curled into a ball, knowing from past experience that it was the best way to avoid damage as the bullies kicked him again and again.
After: That strange dark man was right; Tsuna should have remembered that his body didn't matter to him as much as his family, and he would take as many punches to the stomach as he needed to help out even the most sadistic member of his family.
Before: Tsuna had seen people laugh and joke and make general fools of themselves with their friends, and he didn't know if he was envious or glad that he would never have to embarrass himself in such a manner.
After: As Gokudera pulled out his dynamite and threatened a grinning Yamamoto, Tsuna quickly got between the two only to scream as Mukuro appeared from nowhere and made the dynamites into snakes that proceeded to crawl on Tsuna and then yell at Hibari to stop as the prefect attacked the illusionist, and when Adult Lambo ran from behind the corner with Bianchi giving chase, Tsuna nearly broke down in frustration; these people were going to drive him into the restrained embrace of a white jacket.
Before: Every game, every exam, every activity Tsuna failed confirmed his firmly held belief that Life hated him.
After: When a sadistic, evil baby tutor came to tortu—train Tsuna, Tsuna's firm belief seemed to be once again confirmed, but Tsuna started to doubt that belief as the chaos in his life began to be something he couldn't do without.
Before: Nana tried to tell her husband that she was worried about Tsuna because while their little boy had a very expressive face, she could not remember the last time she saw him smile.
After: "Is Dame-Tsuna smiling?" asked one of the 2-A students as the supposedly no-good brunette listened to the baseball idol of the class describe his very first baseball game.
Before: Wordlessly, Tsuna grabbed his school shoes and walked home as those around him filled his ears with unintelligible chatter.
After: Chrome stared at her boss as he stood in front of her waiting for a reply to his inquiries, ready and willing to listen to whatever she wanted to say.
Before: One good thing about Dame-Tsuna, his teachers agreed, was that he never questioned them or their authority; too bad the boy couldn't learn anything if his life depended on it.
After: "Where in the world is there a home tutor who uses bombs whenever a student makes a mistake?" demanded Tsuna as he determined to learn the stupid formulas before the sadistic baby ended up killing him.
Before: The sight of blood didn't faze Tsuna because he had enough injuries that the sight had become too common to be shocking.
After: At the red dripping down Lambo's arm, Tsuna panicked and ran inside the house fumbling through the closet until he found the first aid kit and bandaged the cut the Bovino had gotten from trying to attack Reborn with a knife again.
Before: When the teacher asked what Tsuna's favorite color was, Tsuna said black because it didn't get so dirty when he fell.
After: Tsuna watched his self-proclaimed right hand man practice using his CIA system with interest, enjoying the different colors that Gokudera could produce using his flames.
Before: The gray sky worried Tsuna, so the boy decided to go home before he became drenched.
After: Tsuna hurried through the crowd as the rain began to splatter on the ground and dashed into the school thankfully making it before the rain drenched his two companions; he wished Yamamoto and Gokudera wouldn't try to hand them his umbrellas every time it started to rain.
Before: Tsuna tripped, and he bit back a cry, wishing his feet would quit tripping over each other and causing him unnecessary pain.
After: The feeling of every bone forcing themselves back into place had Tsuna mentally screaming, but Tsuna kept his mouth shut and let the more gentle and strengthening warmth flow through him so that he could get up and finish this.
Before: Nana wanted to take a vacation from everything, her house, her kitchen, and even her son, but in the end, she loved her son too much to do such a thing, and it wasn't as if she dare take him anywhere.
After: When Reborn surprised her with the tickets to that cruise to a place called Mafia Land, she didn't think twice about it; Reborn would be there as would Tsuna's friends, and Tsuna had grown so much under Reborn's guidance.
22. Mother Nature
Before: Tsuna conveniently lost every permission slip for field trips headed up into the mountains, or the country, or the forests, or anywhere wild really, because he met with enough nature in the city in the form of bees and dogs and evil hamsters who took every opportunity to torment him.
After: As Tsuna lay in his orange sleeping bag which lay in between his two best friends' red and blue ones, he found his vision of the stars fading as his eyelids fell and his consciousness quietly slipped away to the sound of buzzing cicadas.
Before: As the cat gave Tsuna an uninterested glance, Tsuna's small smile faded, and the small brunette went back to playing with his blocks; at least the cat hadn't tried to hurt him.
After: Uri raked Gokudera's face leaving new red lines on the pale angry face as the bomber pried the box animal off, and Tsuna sighed and brought out Natsu so that the lion cub could distract the cat from clawing Tsuna's right hand man long enough for the bomber to get Uri back into its box; Tsuna made sure to give Natsu an extra pat for being such a sweet tempered feline.
24. Trouble Lurking
Before: Shutting the door behind him, Tsuna slumped as the ridiculously heavy feeling finally left him alone as it only did when he stepped inside his house.
After: As soon as he saw Reborn's face, the heaviness plaguing him all morning eased, and Tsuna wondered if maybe he should get his head checked.
25. No Time
Before: "You do it, Dame-Tsuna," said one of the boys on Tsuna's team as he thrust another broom at the bewildered brunette, "It's not like we have the time to clean up your mess."
After: The kitchen was a disaster, and as the clock on the wall mockingly reminded him of the time, Tsuna wished he hadn't let Lambo and I-pin "help" him make Mamma's birthday cake and quickly bent down to clean the mess only to stop as small hands grabbed the rag he was using and determined green and brown eyes met his; he smiled as even more hands began to clear away the mess and left him to decorate what was left of the cake.