When Sawada Tsunayoshi came back to the past after saving/destroying the future, he was a changed man. What he didn't understand, however, was the fact that he seemed to have changed into cupid. Gay cupid. He then came to the conclusion that time travel was not meant for mankind, as his changing the future clearly caused a time-space paradox that for some reason made things a whole lot gayer than they were supposed to be.
Which was fine, really. He had no problem with homosexuality. He just couldn't understand why it seemed to happen whenever he tried to help someone.
The first instance hadn't seemed all that odd. After all, he didn't know Irie Shouichi or Spanner all that well, so who knew if they weren't gay to begin with. All he had done was try to prevent his own and a number of other deaths by talking to Irie and, eventually, succeeding to get him on their side. Also, he had gotten along really well with Spanner, and thought it would be a shame if he didn't try to make friends with him in the past/present, which he had also succeeded in. He introduced the two, and they hit it off. A little bit better than he had expected. Which was fine. Weird, but fine. Whatever made them happy, right?
Then there was Squalo and Dino. He wasn't sure how that happened. In fact, he didn't even remember what he said, but apparently some comment made to Squalo caused the man to decide to talk to Dino, which in turn caused the re-kindling of a romance they apparently had when they were younger. Which was also fine. Weird as hell, confusing as anything, but completely fine. Tsuna had been fairly certain this had little to do with him, actually.
But this? This was just wrong. This was not supposed to have happened in any future, he was certain. This was most certainly that paradox at work. That was the only explanation for why Hibari Kyoya and Rokudo Mukuro were currently flirting like a pair of teenagers at makeout point.
And it was apparently Tsuna's fault.
What. The. Hell.
Telling people about their own futures was a funny thing, Tsuna decided. Particularly when he realized that they would never know if he decided to be an ass and just start making shit up. He wouldn't do that, because it was wrong, and Tsuna didn't even like to lie when it was necessary, much less needlessly, but… the temptation was still there.
Of course, when it occurred to him that maybe, just maybe, he could do something good with a little white lie… His resistance, as it were, broke down.
All he had wanted was for them to stop fighting. An awkward camaraderie: that had really been the pinnacle of his hopes.
Stupid gay paradox and bad ideas and Mukuro's inexplicably high sex drive. What the hell.
He really didn't feel comfortable wandering around the old Kokuyo Land grounds like this, but Tsuna wouldn't let his fear stop him. Granted, he was pretty sure coming here alone was a bad idea, but he was coming here for the express purpose of lying, and he didn't feel comfortable having his friends around to witness his attempt at blatant manipulation of another human being. He particularly didn't want Reborn there, as his tutor would no doubt be proud of his further decent into the underworld.
So he was in fact alone, in a condemned building, seeking out a person whose desire in life was to stab him and take over his mind. Brilliant, Sawada, really.
He entered what was once the employee lounge, now the place where Rokudo Mukuro and his crew had made their home. Peeking around the corner towards the couch under the window, he was greeted by the sight of the Kokuyo trio sitting on the floor gathered around a Scrabble board.
"Quixotic. That's thirty-six points with the triple word score." Chikusa mumbled.
"Hey! There's no way that's even a word, pyon! Stop cheating, Kaki-pii!"
"It is a word though. It means 'unrealistically optimistic.' Derived from Don Quixote."
"I wonder why Scrabble boards don't just come with dictionaries. You need one to play, right?" Chrome observed.
"Um…" Tsuna emerged from the hallway. "I wanted to speak with Mukuro. Is that okay?"
The three didn't look at him "In a minute, Boss. It's Ken's turn."
"Heh. How about THAT, pyon!"
"Qualm? You just made that up to use my 'Q'."
"It's a word, actually. It's when you suddenly feel sick."
"Lucky! See? I get my points, Kaki-pii!"
"'Lucky?' You did make it up!"
"Who cares, it doesn't matter if it's still valid!"
"You're still an idiot and a cheat."
"Mukuro-sama says 'You should have held out to try for "quintessence."'"
"You're only allowed seven letters at a time!"
"Who in the history of Scrabble has ever gotten 'quintessence'?"
"No one, I'll bet, pyon."
"You never know. Lots of people play Scrabble."
"It's twelve freakin' letters!"
"Um, are you guys almost done? I don't want to intrude, but…" Tsuna said tentatively.
"We play anymore and a fight will break out. Again. The Clue board is completely ruined now, by the way."
"Yeah, well the Chutes and Ladders was your fault, pyon."
"I'm not the one who managed to destroy four decks of cards. How the three of hearts is missing from all of them I'll never figure out."
By now, Chrome had stood up and walked over to Tsuna, leaving the two to bicker. "Um, what did you need, Boss? I can get Mukuro-sama if you want."
He watched absently as Ken punched Chikusa in the face. "Um. Yeah, that'd be nice. Do they fight like that all the time?"
"Only on game nights."
The pair left the room just as a yo-yo went flying past Tsuna's head.
"Kufufu. Well, little Vongola, what did you need to speak with me for?" Mukuro asked, though his laugh sounded strange coming from Chrome's soft voice.
"Um. Well. It occurred to me that Hibari-san seems very keen on… Well, killing you."
"Hm," Mukuro's sly grin also looked strange on Chrome, Tsuna decided. "Yes, he is. It's quite amusing."
"Right. Well. I think it's best if you two stopped fighting, is all."
"Dear, naïve Tsunayoshi. That's not how it works. Kyoya and I have a very special relationship- he tries to bite me to death, and I let him think he can. You can't stop the fighting just by asking nicely."
"No, that's obvious. The thing is, I know you two can stop fighting. I was just thinking it would be nice to save some time and probably a whole lot of injury, is all."
"Oya? So, how do you intend to stop the fighting, dearest Vongola?"
"I don't know. I was hoping you would. You see, back when we were all in the future, something struck me as odd. Chrome told you about how when you disappeared it was Hibari-san who taught her to use the Mist Ring to create her own illusionary organs, right?"
"Indeed, I remember such an explanation. 'It would be inconvenient if you died now,' I believe he said at the time?"
Tsuna nodded. "Well, the thing is, I'm not really sure how that would be. Chrome couldn't battle even with her own illusory entrails, and Hibari-san… Well, he's the type of person to believe that if you can't survive on your own, you shouldn't be alive at all. Also you shouldn't be alive if you can't survive being locked in an airtight dome of spikes for an hour. Or if you're knocked unconscious by only one or two strikes to the skull with a tonfa. Anyway, so when I realized I had no idea why Hibari-san had saved her, I actually asked him. And he told me that he couldn't stand by and watch her die like that, and that… He didn't want his link to you to be cut off either. So I realized that maybe in the future you two were, y'know… Close, I guess."
Mukuro looked thoughtful. "I see. He… said that, did he?"
Tsuna tried not to seem nervous. "Um. Yes?"
There was a scheming look in Mukuro's eye, and a sly smirk passed over Chrome's delicate features. "Well. Perhaps there is a way to improve our relationship, after all."
Tsuna suddenly felt like this had been a very bad idea.
It was two days later, on the roof of the infamously well-disciplined Namimori Middle-school that Hibari and Mukuro met again.
Hibari was napping peacefully, dozing in the afternoon sun. The approaching footfalls were enough to wake him from his half-hearted slumber, but were not sufficient incentive to move. He didn't even open his eyes as he quipped out "This had better be good, or I'm tearing out your throat with my teeth."
"Kufufu, weren't you planning to do that anyway, little bird?" The mocking voice of Mukuro chuckled as he stepped in front of Hibari, casting a shadow over the prefect.
"I'm sleepy and not in the mood for your games. If you have a point, get to it." Hibari mumbled.
"I have a proposition for you. I understand that you're a little bit sore about how our last fight went, and I wouldn't be opposed to indulging your desire for an honest rematch on a certain condition."
Hibari frowned. "And this 'condition' of yours?"
Mukuro crouched down to come face to face with him. "A date." He chirped cheerfully.
Hibari cracked an eye open at that, staring confusedly into Mukuro's smiling face. "A date? You've got to be kidding."
"Not at all!" Mukuro said, "I happen to find you to be a very attractive person. And Tsunayoshi-kun mentioned that in the future he visited, you and I seemed to be… involved. So I was rather hoping this meant that if I appeased your wish to 'bite my head off', we could get a fresh start and I'd have a shot." The words 'at your pants', which were the next Mukuro might have spoken, were left unsaid. Telling someone your ultimate goal lies in getting them into bed is usually the best way to prevent it from happening.
On the other hand, Hibari was an intelligent person, and saw how the sentence was meant to end. He quirked an eyebrow. "If that's your intention, wouldn't it just be faster to drug me with that wretched flower, tie me down and have your way? It seems more your style."
Mukuro chided him. "It might, but on the other hand if consent raises the likelihood of getting into your pants on a regular basis, I'll take the long route." He smiled again. "So? Do we have deal?"
Hibari gave him an assessing sort of look, as if to decide if it was worth the effort.
"Allright," he stated, standing up and pulling out his tonfas in a fluid motion. "Sounds like a deal. But I want this to be a real fight- none of your illusion trickery."
"Ah, but if I don't use any illusions I wouldn't be living up to my full potential. What kind of fight would it be if I'm not allowed to utilize my full strength?"
Hibari glared. "Fine. But you try using those fucking sakura again and the closest you'll get to my pants is when I shove my foot up your ass."
Mukuro chuckled, drawing his trident. "Fair enough."
An hour later, the pair were lying on the rooftop, panting in exhaustion. Clouds passed over the sun, casting a shadow over the area. They continued to be stationary.
Mukuro rolled his head over enough to look at Hibari. "Is this a draw?"
Hibari tried lifting his arm. He got it two inches before it fell to the ground again uselessly. "Damn. I guess so."
The sun peeked back through the clouds once more.
"Are you satisfied?" Mukuro asked, rolling his head back to look at the sky again.
The skylark let out a slow breath. "I feel pretty good about how today went." He stated, recalling the fact that Mukuro had fallen over uselessly several seconds before he himself lost use of his limbs. That counted as a win, he decided.
"Excellent. Friday, then?"
"Fine. But I don't put out on the first date."
Tsuna quietly watched the television screen, straining to understand the Italian film. He knew Reborn should have let him put the subtitles on, but his tutor insisted on Tsuna's need to have a better comprehension of the language- which he was to improve by immersing himself in the language and culture.
Which meant several hours of mob movies with Reborn, who would hit him if he even thought about putting the subtitles on.
Tsuna supposed the language lessons he'd gotten so far had proved useful- he at least had a vague understanding of what was going on most of the time.
A sentance the main charater said which he was able to understand left him raising an eyebrow.
"Hey- did he just say something about his girlfriend being mad at him?"
Reborn didn't even blink. "Yes. He did."
"But... Isn't that woman there his wife?"
"She is. This is the underworld, loser. Mafioso often have both wives and lovers. It's not uncommon for them to know about each other, or even to have met."
Tsuna turned back to the screen contemplatively. "Huh." After a few moments, he voiced another question. "You said when we met Bianchi that she was your lover... Does that mean you have a wife?"
Reborn smirked. "He'd probably shoot you if he heard the 'wife' comment, but I am, I'd like to think, married to Colonello."
Tsuna decided he'd be better off in the trying-not-to-break-his-brain dilemma if he payed attention to the movie. Trying to understand a foreing language was allways easier than trying to understand Reborn.
And so, on Friday, Hibari really shouldn't have been surprised when Mukuro showed up at his door. On the other hand, he felt perfectly justified about being surprised about the chocolate.
He stared at the intruder smiling cheerfully in front of him. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"I'm here for our date." Mukuro told him as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, which it probably actually was.
Hibari checked his watch. "It's ten in the morning."
"I thought I'd make it a lunch date."
Hibari narrowed his eyes. "I haven't even had breakfast."
Mukuro's glowing smile didn't dim. "Well, I thought we'd have lunch later on, so I guess that just means you'll be nice and hungry for... Brunch."
The statement was met with a steady glower.
"I'm going back to bed."
Hibari punctuated the announcement by slamming the door.
An hour later, Hibari was slightly more agreeable. Instead of closing the door on Mukuro and ignoring any further attempts at contact, when he answered the door the second time he opted to punch the illusionist in the face and then got his coat.
"So," Hibari began as he walked beside Mukuro, picking absently at the chocolate the other insisted he take. "I assume you have some sort of plan for this date?"
He was met with a smile. "I thought we'd go to Midori Middle School's Cultural Festival, and then perhaps a little lunch. How does that sound?"
Hibari thought for a moment. "School festivals are always crowded." He commented with a scowl.
"I'm sure we can have a good time anyway."
Hibari looked incredulous, but said nothing.
Looking down into his hands at the gift Mukuro had given him, he silently cursed.
The chocolates were fucking great.
"Irashaimassen!" A trio of apron-clad beauties chirped merrily as the pair entered class 2-A's Maid Café.
"Eh?" the farthest girl to the left, whose nametag read 'Mami-chan' exclaimed with wide eyes. "You two are our most handsome customers yet!" she sang.
Hibari twitched uncomfortably.
As Mami-chan grabbed Mukuro's arm to lead him to a table, the other two latched onto Hibari. He only just barely resisted the urge to forcefully throw the pair off.
He was even polite enough to wait until the giggling banshees were out of sight and back to their station before he started hissing.
"Why have you brought me to this annoying place? Are you trying to get me to kill you?" He demanded.
Mukuro gave him that same infuriating smile he usually wore. "I thought that we might be able to make this more fun on our own."
Meanwhile, one of Class 2-A's maids fluttered into the makeshift kitchen. "Haru-chan, you have table five, right? You're so lucky! The two cutest guys just got seated there!"
Haru laughed. "That's not lucky! I've got a date coming later today, so I won't be trying to flirt with any cute guys anyway."
The other girl frowned. "That's such a waste! I know!" she said with a smile, "Wanna trade tables with me?"
"No way, last time we tried that Arisue-sensei got mad at us for screwing up the order of everything!" Haru picked up her tray. "Well, back to work! Haru-Haru ultra service! Go!"
Upon reaching her designated workstation, however, Miura Haru dropped her tray in horror.
"HI-HIBARI-SAN! And Rokudo Mukuro, too! What are you two doing here!" She screamed.
Mukuro smiled at her in a manner that teetered on the line between creepy and charming. "We're on a date," he answered simply. He turned to Hibari as his right eye spun to reveal the number two. "This seems like the perfect time to make things more interesting."
He chuckled deviously, as across the room one of the waitresses screamed.
"EEK! PERVERT!" She shouted, bashing her client over the head with her serving tray.
"W-what? I didn't do anything!"
"Don't lie! I just felt you touching my leg!"
"HAAAAA! Mei-chan, there's a snake by your foot! A snake!"
"What? Oh my god!"
"EEK! There's one over here, too!"
The room quickly descended into chaos, with servers and patrons alike clamoring to get out of the room in a panic.
Hibari smirked. "I see. We could make this more interesting, couldn't we?"
"Haru-chan?" Kyoko asked tentatively, crouching down to meet the other girl where she was slumped down on the ground.
"I'm so sorry, Kyoko-chan! This was supposed to be our first real date, but it's been ruined! First Mei-chan starts yelling about perverts, and then there are suddenly snakes in the classroom, and then the riot started, and then for some reason a buffalo was rampaging through the school grounds and I didn't even realize there were buffaloes in Japan, and then Hibari-san decided to try to quell the riot by BEATING people, which only made things worse, and…and…" She descended into tears once more.
Kyoko placed a hand on her shoulder. "It's alright, Haru-chan. I mean, it's not like the day was a complete waste," she smiled beatifically. "You look really cute in that outfit!"
Haru glowed. "Ah! You think so? I made all of the costumes for our café myself, and the theater department even asked me to help with theirs, too! It was so much fun!"
"See? Even if the festival didn't pan out, good things came from it. We'll have our date some other time, okay?"
Haru smiled. "Right!"
Later that evening, as the sun was beginning to set, Mukuro escorted Hibari to his house.
Hibari turned to him when he reached the door.
"I… had a good time." He admitted after a moment's hesitation. "I wasn't expecting it, but I did. Thank you."
Mukuro smiled. "Well? Do I get a goodnight-kiss?"
Hibari gave him a funny sort of look with what could have been a smile, if one squinted hard enough. "Didn't I tell you? I don't put out on the first date." He said, and went inside, closing the door behind him.
Mukuro looked a little stunned.
"Wait… Does that mean… I get a second date?" He grinned. "I get a second date!"
Tsuna tried not to fall asleep in his seat. It was lunch, and while last night wasn't any more tiring than any other since Reborn showed up, the last few weeks had been unusually stressful.
Glancing over at his friends, he couldn't help but feel a headache begin to swell up behind his eyes.
"Haha! That's great!" Yamamoto laughed, "It's funny how things like that work out. Are you sure you don't want any of my lunch, though? I made enough for both of us."
Gokudera shook his head. "I told you, I already ate- one of the girls from class made me something. But aside from that, I'm telling you, you can't just keep riding on luck for these tests! If you don't even try to learn, you'll never get smarter, and the Tenth doesn't need another idiot for a Guardian!"
"Ah, but I'm no good at studying! I know! you should come over to my place tonight and help me! We can have dinner, and maybe you could even stay the night."
"But tonight Juudaime's busy with Reborn."
"Well, we could just have it be the two of us!"
"That's an awful waste of time, isn't it?"
Tsuna mumbled from his seat." He's trying to ask you out, moron."
"Eh? Juudaime? Did you say something?"
"No, nothing, Gokudera-kun." Tsuna said, resting his chin in his hands and wearily glancing at the clouds.
From around the corner, Hibari chose this time to saunter towards them, yawning quietly. "You're stupid chattering woke me up, herbivorous toads."
Tsuna blanched in horror. Yamamoto laughed heartily. "Hahaha! We're totally screwed."
Hibari rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Just don't be so loud."
Tsuna blinked in surprise at the response- or rather, lack thereof. "You seem to be in a rather good mood, Hibari-san. I wonder… Did Mukuro-san talk to you?"
Hibari blinked. "You knew that he was going to ask me out?"
"Ask you out? What do you mean? Because you know, 'ask out' implies, you know…. A date."
The Cloud Guardian stared at him like he was an idiot. "Yes. A Date. Which is what we went on together."
The three stared at him blankly.
Hibari frowned further. "What?"
"You went on a date with Rokudo Mukuro?"
"Are you some kind of fucking moron? I already said I did."
"Like, a date date? A romantic outing between two people with flowers and candy and everything?"
"No." Hibari said dispassionately. "There were no flowers. And I have no idea what 'and everything' means, so I assume there wasn't that either. But other than that, yes."
"Huh." Tsuna grunted. Mentally, he did a tally of all of the gay that had been going on around him lately. It was rather a lot. "Huh. Ever since we got back from the future, it's like some sort of…. Gay time-space paradox…"
"Juudaime, what are you mumbling about?"
Hibari scoffed. "Morons."
Tsuna sat on the seat of the jet quietly. He had visited Shouichi, and happened to find that Spanner was with him. They… Weren't doing much of anything. Tsuna decided that was rather refreshing. Awkward not-quite-going-out-but-still-more-than-friends geeks were much easier to deal with than pining baseball players and two classmates who he didn't realize he knew but was told he had somehow introduced making out. He wasn't sure how that worked.
He turned to Reborn. "How much longer before we arrive in Italy?"
"Another three hours. Your relationship with the Varia is still unstable, so remember not to throw up on Xanxus's shoes in fear this time. Negotiations tend to break down after something like that."
Tsuna groaned. "Yeah, yeah."
Standing outside of the doors to the Varia's mansion, Tsuna felt dread swell in his heart.
Mainly because just as he was about to ring the doorbell, he heard a loud crash and the words, "JESUS CHRIST LEVI, PUT YOUR FUCKING PANTS BACK ON OR I WILL CUT YOU INTO A FUCKING FILLET!"
Reborn rung the doorbell for him. A lower Varia member opened the door, and Tsuna found himself more than a little surprised that someone had heard the bell over Squalo's thunderous voice.
"Ah. Mister Reborn and Sawada. You've been expected." The green-haired boy said in a soft monotone. Tsuna absently wondered about the Varia's recruitment methods, realizing the boy was younger than himself. "Sempai! The fucking brat is here! Should I tell Boss?"
Squalo cursed. "Shit! Just take them to the fucking dining room! WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR PANTS?"
"I can't put them back on until I FIND them, asshole!"
Tsuna decided that as crazy as they were, he still preferred his family. At least Ryohei kept his pants on.
As the boy led them through the mansion, chaos continued swirling around them like a tide, unheeded of their presence.
"Ushishi! C'mon, Marmon, it's not like you can't do it! You tentacle-rape people for money, surely you can illusion yourself a little bigger for a while?"
"The point is that I don't want to. And besides, I already decided that if I wasn't strong enough to constantly cast an illusion of myself, that I wouldn't do it at all. Even Arcobaleno have their pride, Bel."
"It's just for a while. I saw the pictures of what you used to looked like before you got tiny; you were lovely. Suited even for a prince~! I just want to see~"
Tsuna and Reborn continued passing by, ignoring the sight of Belphegor clutching a struggling Marmon to his chest. They reached the dining room, where the boy told them to sit down before wandering off.
They waited. Tsuna shifted uncomfortably. Reborn transformed Leon into a paddleball and proceeded to entertain himself.
"But Xanxus~! You never spend any time with me anymore! I don't even remember that last time you let me share your bed." Lussuria's voice crooned from the next room over.
"I lost interest," was Xanxus apparent excuse. "Now shut the hell up and leave me alone."
"You lost interest! We're in a committed relationship! You're not allowed to lose interest!"
"I entered this 'relationship' back when you were still halfway close to being attractive. I swear, you get uglier every god damned day."
Tsuna buried his face in his hands. Xanxus burst into the room, ignoring Lussuria's continuing complaints.
"Let's get this over with. I don't want to be in the same room as this trash for very long."
Five weeks after returning to the past, and three days after returning home from Italy after negotiating with the Varia, Tsuna was back at school.
He was also currently in the middle of a two-week long migraine.
Kyoko had, earlier this morning, told him about her wonderful date with Haru-chan. She also mentioned that her brother had finally gotten around to asking out Yamamoto-kun, and wasn't that nice? She had talked to Chrome the other day, too, and apparently she had been spending a lot of time with Bianchi-san lately and wouldn't it be nice if those two got together as well?
By now, Tsuna was pretty much resigned to reality. Everyone is the universe was suddenly gay, and he was the only one who seemed to think this was strange. Perhaps he had accidentally been transported to the wrong past, one where homosexuality ran rampant and yet somehow, the species survived. Or maybe they wouldn't. Who knows.
All he knew was at this point, he had pretty much given up.
He looked up at the classroom ceiling. The lunchbell rang, as the students started filing out of the classroom. Tsuna thought carefully for a moment.
Well. You know what they say - if you can't beat 'em...
"Hey Gokudera-kun? You wanna come over to my house after school?"