Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Fan Fiction ❯ Being There. ❯ One-Shot

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

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ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER : I do not own Katekyou HITMAN REBORN!
Universe Title : Loss and Gain.
Story Title : Love Is...
Chapter Title : Being There (1/1).
Chapter Rating : PG12.
Main Character(s) : Superbi Squalo, Hibari Kyouya.
Genre(s) : Angst, Gen.
Summary : Thirty different ways to love.
Warning(s) : M/M, Character death, Swearing.
Word Count : +/- 2098.
Author's Note(s) : A series of drabbles and oneshots depicting thirty kinds of love.
Love Is...
Being There.



This is how it goes.

You're sitting in the living room of your best friend's manor, back propped up against the edge of the black leather couch that's not at all comfortable - picking at the end of double-sided tape stuck to shiny wrapping paper, wearing a scowl on your face like it's the only expression you know - when you decide that you utterly, vehemently, unequivocally loathe Christmas.

Last Christmas found you waking in the middle of butt-fucking nowhere - sharp, angry bursts of pain exploding in the base of your cranium, left arm hanging limp from its socket - with nothing but a silver cross around your neck, a small, golden key in your pocket, and no memory of who the fuck you were.

Christmas Eve was when Xanxus died, though you never got the chance to mourn him properly; you spent most of the year in the company of Family that's yours, only wasn't, and in the arms of another man.

Christmas was when Yamamoto Takeshi lied to you for the first time.

So you sit there on plush carpet in the Chiavarone estate - memories regained along with a whole host of other shit you most certainly do not want - with bile in the back of your throat and that perma-frown, thinking you're more than justified in hating this stupid holiday and hating your spectacularly fucked up life.

--

This is how it goes.

On the carpet beside you is a still-full, crystal glass of eggnog - disgusting; Dino should know better than to try making you consume that shit - and a plate of sugar cookies; all shaped like stars or trees or Santa fucking Claus, all untouched.

You've never had much of a sweet tooth - salt's another matter - although it's not likely to make a dramatic difference if you did. You're barely able to stomach more than two bites of anything these days, like that breakfast Dino force-fed you after he'd dragged you out of bed, which you promptly threw up ten minutes after leaving the dining room - something your childhood companion most definitely does not need to know.

But you'd be damned if he makes you eat anymore - like he tries so hard to make you smile when all the spirit's long since left your broken body - so you sit there glaring something fierce and daring anyone to just fucking try.

You're a strange mix of disappointment and relief when the Chiavarone Famiglia prudently opt to give you a wide berth.

--

This is how it goes.

The truth is, you really, really want to die.

You've been wanting to since this past summer when you got your memories back. Only, you're not quite sure what's holding you back. You'd hate to think you were afraid - fear's not something that should own a place in your universe, no matter how infinitesimal - but what else would you call that thing that never stopped you from cutting off your left hand, yet prevents you from slitting your own throat?

So maybe you're afraid or maybe you're deliberately holding out until your vengeance is properly achieved. Maybe you're just a fool who's hoping that looking away long enough will make everything right themselves until your world makes sense again.

Or maybe it's Hibari Kyouya's words after you'd completely lost control - not the first time, sure as shit not the last - and asked Takeshi to end your life.
"If Xanxus wanted you to die, he wouldn't have saved you."


--

This is how it goes.

You move a little - bringing your left knee up to your chest so you can rest your chin against it - and you feel the soft fibers of that carpet shift beneath you. You stare at it - pale green and delicate - and wonder briefly if Dino chose this cos it kinda looks like grass. Your gaze travels the living room, automatically latching onto the giant tree in the corner; all decked out in lights and tinsel and ornaments - like those shiny, colorful balls and candy canes and shit, even that customary gold star right at its peak.

There's carols cascading from the expensive stereo system, the entire living room's laced with the aroma of freshly baked cookies and pies and all kinds of other treats that smell sickly sweet and which make you want to hurl.

It's ridiculously cliche - like a scene straight out of an incredibly cheesy, feel-good Yuletide movie - only there's no children jostling for the biggest present under the tree, just grown men dressed in neatly pressed suits, receiving Christmas bonuses from their Boss. There are no carolers on the front porch, only guards with loaded guns. Family isn't moms or dads, grandparents or distant cousins - they're men unrelated by blood, but whose bonds remain no less strong.

Still - despite the undercurrent of danger and the seriousness that lingers in the atmosphere - it's all too bright, too... warm that it makes you sick.

Everything's so falsely cheery and it just feels so damn wrong, like that mangled wrapping paper in your hands - snowflakes and holly dancing along a bright scarlet, glossy backdrop - which moments ago encased your gift.

It's a generic gift, really - dark brown leather covered diary - the kind someone receives from a barely-known co-worker during the obligatory Secret Santa gift exchange at the annual office party. A flip of its pages reveals rows upon rows of neat, black lines imprinted along immaculate white surfaces. There are no page numbers, no hackneyed inspirational quotes, no dates printed in the top right-hand corners - just a dark green, slender ribbon which serves as a bookmark.

Such a generic gift; only it isn't, because you know what Dino's trying to tell you with this, what he's trying to get you to do.

So you procrastinate actually doing it - being difficult just cos you can - because fuck all of his well-intentioned efforts to help you regain your footing like you regained those memories, like you regained who you are. Fuck his attempts at helping you salvage some trace of your steadily crumbling sanity.

Dino may be at the end of his rope, but all you've ever been dealt was a spider's thread which you've long since snapped.

Warm laughter reaches your ears - warm, everything's so fucking warm in here - and you know that if you stay just one more second, you're gonna break like that spider's thread did because the fucking thing never could bear the brunt of your weight.

So you quickly rise - accidentally knocking over the glass of eggnog in the process; it spills into your plate of cookies, creating this ugly, sticky mess - and promptly head for the door.

Dino, of course - engaged in conversation as he is with his men - doesn't miss this. "Where are you going?"

"Out," you growl in a tone which indicates at least that much should be obvious, because where the fuck else could you possibly be going anyway? You blindly grab a jacket that's draped over the couch and hurry out of there before your friend has a chance to say anything more.

--

This is how it goes.

You're sitting on a long, marble bench in the compound - not any further, you don't want to worry Dino because although you make a career out of being difficult, you're not that much of an asshole - while staring out at nothing and freezing your fucking ass off.

You don't want your hair trailing the ground - it's grown too long and absently you wonder if he'd want you to cut it off - so you pull it over your right shoulder and let it pool in your lap. Everything's so grey and depressing, the cold wrapping itself around you like a clingy lover - like how you used to cling to him - and holding you in place. The hard, smooth stone beneath you hurts your tailbone just the same as when you were seated on plush carpet - what the fuck's the difference? Everything hurts like hell these days - but you don't wanna get up, you don't wanna move an inch.

You should have put on a glove or something, but there's no way you're going back in now, so you tough it out. You've been through worse, you've survived.

Somewhere in the distance, a dog barks. You wonder what it's doing outside in this weather. You wonder if it's been abandoned - left to starve while its callous owners sit warmed and happy indoors, probably getting drunk off their asses on all that spiced wine - like that Cane Corso pup you rescued back when you were six. You wonder if it's gonna die alone, like Dante did when he was run over and you hadn't even been there to save him.

The memory makes you shudder and you reflexively wrap your arms around yourself - trying to hide inside that white dress shirt that's two sizes too big for you and the khaki green parka you stole from Dino - when you hear footsteps approaching. You don't bother to turn around, you already know who it is because there's only one person you know who walks like that - with steps that are practically inaudible, as if he's barely there at all.

You keep staring at the ground - marveling at the levity of his gait, marveling that even at this distance you can already feel the heat. Finely polished, jet-black shoes enter your line of vision - surfaces so shiny, you're almost sure you can see your reflection in them - and you're not at all surprised to see them so clean, as if he hadn't been trudging through snow at all.

You can feel the burn of his gaze on you and you hate being stared at like that, so you raise your head, meeting his eyes with a defiant, challenging look. In an instant, you find yourself staring into sharp, grey irises - a shade darker than your own - which pierce right through you, thawing the chill from your bones. His brows are hidden behind atramental bangs which make you want to reach out and touch, push them from his pale forehead.

Only, you don't; choosing instead to end the staring contest by permitting your sight to roam over the rest of his form. You notice the black and white striped scarf that's wound around his neck, the dark grey trench coat he has wrapped around his suit, the woolen gloves shrouding his hands, and you kinda hate him for it.

The corner of his lips quirk upward in a smirk that implies he knows what you're thinking - that he's looking right through you - but he says nothing; merely moving to sit at the other end of the bench.

There's space enough for two between you - he never comes closer, never touches you unless you're fighting - but you can still feel the heat that's pouring off him in waves. It surprises you - never ever fails to - because you've always figured he'd be cold. Gelid, like that mask he so often wears, like the smooth timbre of his voice, like the gleaming steel of his tonfa.

But he's hot - not like the stifling warmth inside the manor you so desperately needed escape from, but scalding like when you drink miso soup too fast and burn your tongue. From the corner of your eye, you watch him - back ramrod straight, hands neatly folded in his lap, gaze fixed intently ahead, focused, unlike yours.

He's a predator - eyes always narrowed into dangerous slits, lips always pulled into an unwavering, unforgiving line, expertly concealing sharp, savage fangs - endlessly stalking his prey. A brutal, feral beast enfolded in cold, hard steel. And it's this knowledge that sends tingles of prickling heat up and down your spine, rapidly spreading over your insides like a madly raging forest fire.

You don't know what it is about Hibari Kyouya that stabilizes you - that keeps you balancing precariously on the edge but holds you from slipping off just so - but somehow, being around him makes it easier to breathe. So you watch him and leech warmth off him and vow to yourself that someday - any day, only you know it's not gonna be today - you'll figure him out.

But for now, it's enough.

It's enough.
~ The End.~


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