Fic post.

Aug. 3rd, 2009 05:46 am
midnightdiddle: (Default)
[personal profile] midnightdiddle
Two KHR ficlets.

Hayato goes to college for one year, and waits for the Tenth to call him. Death, angst, and glasses, vague Tsuna/Gokudera. He would've been a great student.

Saturdays in the Library

Hayato goes to college for one year. It's not because he wants to, but because the Tenth wants him to.

"It's a waste," the Tenth says, holding a pile of entrance exam forms. "You could get into Tokyo U, if you wanted. I mean, you're smart enough, and you're always at the top of the class."

"Why should I?" Hayato starts to scoff, but the Tenth isn't done.

"I mean, I'd go," the Tenth says, "but there's no way I could get in anywhere, and besides, Reborn won't let me, but I think you should."

The Tenth is right, like always. Hayato's accepted to Tokyo U, and the Tenth sees him off at the train station. Hayato swings a duffel bag over his shoulder, grumbles something about it not being really a big deal, Hayato's gone places before, and Yamamoto had better take care of the Tenth, or Hayato will kill him. Then Hayato sits in a window seat, and doesn't watch the Tenth disappear as the train pulls out.

College isn't too interesting, but it's not too bad, either. Hayato would like it, if he wasn't always feeling out of place. He takes engineering classes, and some biochemistry classes at the same time, because those are the top classes, and because the Tenth had always talked about-- nearly bragged about-- how smart Hayato was. Hayato studies in the library every night, and every weekend, too, and he sits in the middle of his class, with an open notebook and reading glasses.

"Gokudera-kun," his classmates call him, and it always makes his stomach twist out, a strange lurch of hope and disappointment all balled together. They gather around his desk in the mornings and afternoons, and ask him for notes, and talk about him as though he's not there.

"Pisses me off," they say pleasantly, "he's so fucking smart. Double majoring. Too bad he's such a loner." Then they smack him on the shoulder, and invite him to group dates, to drinking and karaoke. He shrugs, leans back in his chair, and makes up an excuse about a girlfriend.

"The Girlfriend," they call her, capital letters that Hayato can hear in their voice, and then they crack jokes, leaning over his shoulder, trying to steal his phone away. He swears at them in Italian, and tells them to go get laid, and wishes that the Tenth would call him.

Every weekend is very much the same. Hayato goes to library, turns his phone to vibrate, and sits at the third table from the southern window on the second floor. He reads his textbooks, makes diligant notes, and waits until his phone vibrates, rattling across the desk. And each time, he grabs his phone, his books, and runs out of the library, taking the last seven steps in a staggering leap.

"Ah, um, Gokudera-kun?" the Tenth always says, as though he's expected someone else to pick up. And every time, Hayato says, "Tenth, what is it?"

"Ah, nothing," the Tenth says, and sometimes his voice is shaky, and sometimes he stumbles over his words, and sometimes he sounds tired, like he's about to fall asleep in the autumn heat.

Then Hayato listens to the latest. Sasagawa's newest outfit, Yamamoto's job, Bianchi and Lambo's ever-occuring fights. And about the Tenth, and how Reborn's driving him into the ground, but it's okay, don't worry, nothing much, and how are you? And every time, the Tenth asks, "do you like college?"

"Yeah," Hayato says, standing in the middle of the sidewalk, his books scattered around him where he let them fall to answer the phone, his notes scattering in the wind. "Yeah, it's nice."

"Good," the Tenth says, "I'm glad," and Hayato says, "yeah."

The last week of the term, Hayato's phone rings. It's nearly noon, and he's walking to his professor's office, to drop off his term project. The ringer startles him, because no one calls him except the Tenth, and he has to dig through his bag to find his phone, buried beneath books and dynamite.

"Who is this?" he asks, because it's not the Tenth's number. There's a pause on the other end, then Yamamoto's voice, gravelly and strained.

"Tsuna's in trouble."

Hayato never picks up his things.

It's nearly three weeks before Hayato makes it back to campus. His right arm is bound in a sling, and his hip grinds at each step, and it's hell to step onto campus, in so many ways, but he has a return ticket to home, and that's enough. He fills out the papers at the registration office, writing his name very carefully with his left hand, scowling as the kanji goes crooked.

Car accident, he writes under reasons for withdrawing. Family problems. Death in the Family.

He writes down Yamamoto's shop as a contact address, and the number for his shattered cellphone. Then he dates the paper, slides it back through the window, and watches as the attendant files it.

Hayato goes home after a year of college, empty handed, and with blood in his lungs. He takes a window-seat, and leans against the window, tired and aching and feeling empty. The train-ride is long, and his phone is silent, and he wants to sleep, but he can't, because there's nothing to dream of anymore.

It's another two weeks before the Tenth comes to see him, standing barefoot in the doorway of Bianchi's room.

"I'm sorry," the Tenth says, and his voice breaks. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry--"

"Don't," Hayato begs in the middle of Bianchi's empty room, "send me away again. Don't send me away, don't--"

"I'm sorry," the Tenth cries, and his arms are small and tight around Hayato, but they still feel so empty, and Hayato's phone doesn't ring anymore. "I'm so sorry--"

Hayato leaves for college one year, and never leaves again.

The day I-pin marries Hibari is the first time Lambo gets so drunk he can't stand. Unrequited love is a bitch. Lambo->I-pin, I-pin/Hibari.

Coffee or Tea, Love?

The day I-pin marries Hibari is the first time Lambo gets so drunk he can't stand.

It's seven months after I-pin comes to his apartment, a bruise on her cheek.

"Hibari-san is back," she says, and she's still a girl, still laughs like when she was fifteen and crushing hard. And it's when her breath goes faint on Hibari's name that Lambo gets it, realizes that she's still falling hard, still five and fifteen and twenty-five in her heart, crushing on black eyes and black hair and a black, bloody jacket. He reaches out, touches her cheek, and the bruise is hot under his fingers.

"He hit you?"

"No--" She's laughing, shrugging off her jacket. "A job for Tsuna, I got careless. It's fine." She catches his hand with his thumb still on her cheek and says, "it's fine, Lambo," like she's trying to convince them both.

A few days later she stumbles into his apartment at two in the morning. There are crumpled napkins in her hands that she's twisting around her fingers. The torn pieces are clinging to her trouser legs, like early snow, and Lambo pulls on a shirt as he turns on a light.

"Tea," he asks, "or coffee?"

"Coffee," she says, hint of a slur, and she sits on his only chair, twisting the napkins in her lap.

"I ran into Hibari-san." It's the explanation he doesn't need. "We went drinking, ate some food. He can't hold his liquor."

They drink coffee until it's nearly four and Lambo feels like he's going to throw up. It feels like coffee's sloshing in his stomach, and so he stretches himself out on the floor, lying on his back with a pillow shoved under his head. I-pin sleeps in his bed, turned away from the window, and when she's asleep, and Lambo's awake, he listens to her breathe and watches the morning slowly creep in the window.

I-pin becomes faint after that, like wisps of perfume in the air. Like someone who's just left the room, whose shadow is still in the doorway. She doesn't answer her phone when Lambo calls, and her text messages are short, scattered. Absent-minded like I-pin's fallen for love, and love has fallen for her, too.

coffee today? one of her messages reads, then, a few hours later, sorry, m(_ _)m today's no good. She forgets their plans, never returns his things. When she talks, she's breathless, sounds a little frantic.

"I'm sorry," she says, "I forgot, I have a date--"

"Do you love him?" Lambo asks, because every time he sees her, or hears her, or even thinks about her, he feels like he's going to throw up. Because every time he knows she's going to go talk to Hibari, he wants to cry and scream like when he was five.

"Ah--" She blushes, stammers, and her hands, when she grabs his, are clammy. Feel like the cold sweat running Lambo's back. "He's patient, he's kind to me. It's funny, isn't it?"

Funny, funny-- It's fucking hilarious, the way Lambo just stands back, and watches her, and wonders how long he'll have to wait. And it's fucked up, all fucked up, because he's hoping, just a little, or a lot, a fucking lot, that Hibari will hit her. That Hibari's some kind of fuck up, that he'll hit her face, or break her arm, or just make her cry, because Tsuna won't stand for that. Tsuna's their Brother, their Father, and Tsuna hates watching girls cry. Tsuna hates watching his little Sisters crying, his little Daughters, and if Hibari--

"I slept with him," I-pin blurts out one day, when Lambo is helping her straighten her room. She's bent over her pile of movies and books, and her hair's down. Lambo picks up a few magazines, then puts them down. When I-pin moves, her hair falls over her shoulder. Her neck looks slender, too delicate, like Lambo can wrap one hand around it.

"And?" Lambo asks, after he's licked his lips a few times. His mouth feels dry, scratchy, and it feels like his throat's closing off. His eyes are burning. "And?"

"I'm going to marry him." I-pin turns, crawls over the floor. She picks up the magazines, holds them to her chest. When Lambo touches her arms, she smiles, says, "he's good to me. I love him."

She gets married in red silk, bright red with the glitter of gold threads. Her hair is pulled up, twisted high, and Lambo can't look away from her neck. Can't look away when Hibari reaches out, rests fingers on the nape of her neck. I-pin's smile look shaky, and when she reaches out, catches Lambo's hands, her hands are clammy.

"Thank you," she says, and her lipstick is a little smeared. Lambo wants to touch her, wants to swipe his thumb over her mouth, wants to breathe on her cheek. Wants to grab her, pull her out of Hibari's arms.

"You're welcome," he says, and when I-pin lets go of his hands, he bows low and closes his eyes so he can't see I-pin's hand reach for Hibari's.

He leaves the wedding party early, goes to a bar and drinks alone. He drinks until he feels sick, feels like he's going to fall down, and then drinks some more. He's pretty sure he's completely wasted when Gokudera shows up, yelling and looking pissed off.

"The fuck?!" Gokudera yells, again and again, and Lambo can't figure out how to say, I loved her, I loved her, I want to die, without choking on his heart. He doesn't realize he's crying, snot and tears and spit, until Gokudera says, too loud, "it's okay, kid. Hey, kid, it's okay."

Gokudera drags him home, pulling him along when he can't really get his feet to walk straight, and Lambo's tired. He's so fucking tired, and he just wants to lie down in the gutter, except his heart hurts so fucking much, and he thinks that, if he falls asleep, his heart might just break. Stop working like an old clock that's been turned too many times. And oh, God, he loved her.

When he wakes up the next day, head pounding like a gunshot to the head, stomach turning over with every breath, Gokudera's sitting next to his bed in Lambo's only chair. Lambo opens his mouth, feels his body break, and it's a sick sounding sob.

"Hey, kid," Gokudera says, and he's nice, he's fucking nice, and that's when Lambo knows he's a fucked up mess, when even Gokudera's being nice. "It's okay, I'm here."

It takes Lambo a long time to figure out how to breathe, to stand up and take a shower. To open his mouth without choking on his heart.

"Is it always going to be like this?" he asks, when Gokudera's washing the coffee mugs, sleeves rolled up past his elbows. Lambo's sitting in the chair, feet curled around the legs, hands gripping the sides of the seat. Maybe he's still a little drunk, because he feels like the floor is falling beneath him. He can't look up from the floor.

"No," Gokudera says. "It'll get worse. It always gets worse."

A few weeks later, I-pin comes to his apartment at two in the afternoon. She stands outside his door, her hands clasped in front of her, and when Lambo asks her in, she twists the ring on her hand.

"I don't have long," she says, and Lambo asks, "coffee or tea?"

"Neither," I-pin says, and she sits in his only chair, rests her arm on his windowsill. Lambo sits on the edge of his bed, holds an empty coffee mug in his hands.

"How are you?" he asks, and I-pin shrugs, turns to look out the window. "Are you happy?" he tries, and I-pin's lying her head on her arm, laughing.

"No. No, I'm not happy." She turns her head, presses her mouth against her arm. Her voice is muffled, rough. "I'm not happy at all."

"Then why--"

"I love him, though." When I-pin turns to him, she looks past him, over his shoulder and past his ear, and Lambo can't breathe. Her fingers, cold, touch his hand, his wrist, then she's leaning against the window, her head resting on her arm. "I love him."

When she leaves, she leaves with a sisterly kiss on his cheek, something cool and distant, like a mother's perfume in the hallway. She looks older, like a woman instead of a girl, and Lambo can't kiss her back, because her skin against his mouth, her smell on his skin, would make him go mad. Because when she walks away, her arms turn with every step, and the small of her back makes him hungry. Because he loves her, from her crooked smile to her scarred belly to her thin neck, slender enough for him to circle with a hand.

"I love you," he says when she's halfway down the hall, headed to Italy or Brazil or Russia, some country with strangers and sunlight and Hibari, her fingers in his hand. I love you, and his mouth is full of blood.

"I know," I-pin says, and when she runs down the stairs, he can hear the clatter of her footsteps, the slamming of the door. And when he cries, he cries in his doorway, his heart in his throat.

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