Gokudera was of the opinion that not only did Yamamoto have foot-in-mouth syndrome, he also had a knack for saying absolutely inappropriate things at the least desirable time. Like, say, while facing off against the Biggest Fucking Hollow Ever.
"SHUT UP," yelled Gokudera, narrowly avoiding the thing's thrashing tail. "SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP."
"What did I say?" Yamamoto said, looking confused as he cut off a limb. "I only said I was out training with Hibari since no one else felt like training--"
Everyone knew what that meant, anyway, if the fist-shaped dents on the tatami mats of the second division and the broken bed Kusakabe reported was any indication of it. Later, Gokudera was going to use Uri to blow up an entire section of the twelfth division just to remove the bad mental images he was getting.
"-- and did you know he's really flexible," said Yamamoto, smoothly, just as he stabbed the Hollow's mask like it was everyday warfare routine. Knowing him, it probably was.
"Argh," said Gokudera, wishing he could go choke on his own pool of blood, "did I say you could talk?"
"Ahahaha," said Yamamoto, wiping his sword on the grass. "He's not that bad."
"I hope you go jump off a bridge and die," said Gokudera, seriously.
"Funny," said Yamamoto, "he said the same thing."
"Um," said Kyoko. She attributed the sound of Yamamoto's jaw cracking to Hibari's shiny, scary tonfa, only Hana had covered her eyes and oh god.
"Sorry about that," said Yamamoto, laughing despite the ferocity of Hibari's swings. "We were just fooling around."
"Huh? So you weren't sparring?" Ryohei said, clearly displeased about the idea of missing out on yet another opportunity at testing out his masochistic tendencies. Hana sighed, and grabbed him by the arm.
"Really, guys? The couch?" said Hana, flatly. "I just got that cleaned."
Half the time he was in the third division, it was for kicks. The other half was for listening to the rumor mill, and inadvertedly contributing to it in turn.
"I wasn't aware two grown men had to rub each other's backs," said Mukuro, drily. "Japanese people really are strange."
"Yeah," said Yamamoto, "that's what onsens are for, you know?"
"No propriety at all," tutted Mukuro. "How shameless."
"I think it's just a cultural dissonance," said Yamamoto.
"Yes," said Mukuro, although it sounded more like you're an idiot.
Yamamoto liked the fourth division because they let him eat in their quarters without having to clean up afterwards. He unwrapped the furoshiki and opened the lid of the lacquered bento box, grinning toothily at the perfectly-shaped unagi.
He'd used up the regular rice the day before so he'd had to use sekihan, this time. Lambo merely plucked at a cucumber and made no comment, but I-pin and Haru looked strangely enthralled.
"Congratulations," said Haru, "should Haru bring out the sake?"
"That's funny," said Yamamoto, but didn't deny it. "Hold on, let me get some soy sauce."
He stood to make his way to the kitchen, and his companions watched him until he was out of earshot.
"I told you he wasn't in his room last night," said I-pin, looking ready to burst a vein.
"This is an auspicious occasion," said Haru, raising her glass. "If Hibari-taichou's getting some now, does that mean we'd have to fix less damaged property?"
"I don't see what's the big deal," said Lambo, grumbling. "No one brought out the good stuff when I lost my virginity."
"That's because no one remembers when that was," said I-pin, delicately.
"Haru supposes this is enough answer for the Women's Association," said Haru, bringing out her day planner. "Haru never makes mistakes in her predictions."
It was, Tsuna would later reflect, probably not a good idea to put Hibari and Yamamoto together on a mission, ever. It was also not a good idea that the first division somehow fucked up along the way and turned into a mafia-esque organization with the stupid primogeniture condition attached to the highest seat of authority. Tsuna hated his afterlife.
"Okay," said Tsuna, clearly panicking as Natsu reverted into a shivering wreck instead of the super-powerful gloves he was supposed to be, "calm down. Calm down. Calm --"
Behind him, the Hollow broke a swing set in two with its bare hands.
"Oh shit oh shit oh shit," said Tsuna, "am I going to die?"
"Not yet," said Hibari, darkly. Yamamoto put a hand on his shoulder, smiling affably.
"You're kind of scaring him, you know," said Yamamoto.
"Don't touch me," said Hibari.
Tsuna considered asking them to please stop flirting, forever, only he figured it was better to start praying that he would make it out of this less dead than he started out.
On the night he'd buried his father's soul, he'd sat on the veranda overlooking the koi pond outside Hibari's room. Traditional, in all the ways Hibari had preferred, and in the manner his father would have, if he'd had the luxury of it.
He knew it was Hibari who'd stepped out when the shoji slid open. Once, he might have wondered at this Hibari who was more patient than awkward with social niceties, with the nothings of condolence. Once.
"He's out there, somewhere," said Yamamoto, apropos of nothing. "I just have to look for him."
Hibari said nothing, at first. He didn't say how unlikely the chances were that Yamamoto would ever find his father in Soul Society, but he didn't encourage him with empty hopes, all the same. Instead, he raised his hand upwards; his fingers curled, slightly, into his fist.
"Come," said Hibari, offering his crooked fingers, the spaces of which Yamamoto wanted to fill the gaps of.
"Okay," said Yamamoto, breathing deeply, "okay," and shut the shoji on his way inside.