Tsuna’s three years old and he trips over on the playground, scraping his knees. His preschool teacher rushes over, fussing and with a plaster, asking him if he’s alright and even giving him a kiss better. Tsuna feels fine after this and goes back off to play. Vaguely though, he thinks it would be rather nice to have another kid ask him if he was alright, like everyone else did when they scraped their knees.
He’s five years old and he falls when the schoolyard bully pushes him. He scrapes his knees but there’s no teacher rushing out because it’s the third time this week alone and Tsuna doubts he can even count high enough to figure out how many times this month. He pokes at the blood oozing out of the gash and winces. He immediately decides he hates scraped knees.
He’s seven and his dad is trying to show him how to play baseball, his mum watching as she hangs the washing up. He swings the bat as hard as he can, hoping to impress his parents but instead the weight of the bat ends up swinging him around, making his feet twist and tangle together, ending up with him on the ground. His knees are scraped, his mother is looking exasperated, his father is shaking his head in disappointment and Tsuna’s eyes are burning but it isn’t because of the pain in his knees.
He’s nine years old and he’s determined to win this race in gym and show everyone he’s not No-Good Tsuna, that he can do something right for a change. Their teacher blows her whistle and they all shoot off and somehow he’s not last, there’s three other people behind him and he’s quickly gaining on another and he thinks that maybe, maybe he can do this! But then his foot twists and he’s falling in the dirt and he’s knees are scraped. The three kids behind him have overtaken him by now, the rest of the kids in his class are laughing at No-Good Tsuna again and he’s furious, with himself or them though, he’s not quite sure.
He’s eleven years old and the bicycle beneath him is shaking and the next moment, it’s him beneath the bicycle and the pavement beneath him. He knows for certain that he’s scraped his knees and he squeezes his eyes shut so that his tears can't leak out, before shifting the bike up and off of him. He sits there for a moment then, staring at his scraped knees forlornly and he’s just about to let out a defeated sigh and go back inside when he stops himself, because if he can do this, this one thing, then maybe the other kids at school will let him go on bike rides with them and maybe they’ll start to like him. Maybe he’ll finally make a friend. He gets up with a determined look on his face and gets back on his bike, ready to try again. He isn’t going to let scraped knees get the better of him.
He’s fourteen and ready to pass out from exhaustion but just as he’s about to fall, Reborn’s there, giving him a roundhouse kick to the face, which sends him sprawling on his back, telling him to get up because those rings aren’t going to win themselves, that it’s up to him, even if he doesn’t want to do it (most especially if he doesn’t want to do it). And he’s bruised and aching all over but he has to thank Reborn, because at least his knees aren’t scraped.
He’s nearly fifteen and they’ve got Chrome back, Enma’s fine and they’ve finally, finally defeated Daemon. He smiles a little and goes to join his friends when he realizes how little energy he really has and he’s falling but before he does he hears two voices.
And then two pairs of arms are grasping him before he hits the ground and his arms are being manoeuvred over their shoulders.
“Haha, Tsuna, you’d better take it easy there!” he hears Yamamoto joke from his left.
“Shut up, Baseball-idiot! Tenth, are you alright?!” and there’s Gokudera to his right (of course), looking far too worried for it to be healthy.
“I’m fine, guys.” Tsuna tells them with a smile and really, he is.
When Ryohei’s healing his wounds later that night, Tsuna’s amazed to discover his knees got out of that battle completely unscathed and he makes a mental note to thank Gokudera and Yamamoto for catching him.
He’s sixteen years old and he really wishes he hadn’t agreed when Ryohei suggested they go out drinking to celebrate his succession. The world tilts ominously for the third time in as many minutes and Tsuna vows to never go drinking again, all the while wondering how Ryohei can possibly be as steady as he is, considering he drank almost twice as much as Tsuna himself.
He stumbles again and Ryohei reaches out to steady him, “You are extremely unable to hold your drink, huh, Sawada?” Ryohei practically yells and Tsuna just nods vaguely, to nauseous to do much else, mumbling a weak “thanks” for catching him.
Because waking up with a hangover would be one thing, but waking up with a hangover and scraped knees would be something else entirely.
He’s nineteen years old and entertaining himself by spinning around on the spinney chair he has in office when he hears a car pull up on the pebble drive-way. Glancing out the window, he recognises who it is instantly, grins and quickly snatches a box off of his desk before running down the staircase and out the front door, to where Chrome is just getting out of the car. She blinks at him in confusion and, distracted as he is with waving at her, he skids on the pebbles and as he falls, he knows his trousers are going to be ruined, his knees are going to end up scraped and Reborn will probably end up yelling at him, all because of Mukuro’s stupid tastes when it came to drive-ways. But instead he feels two delicate hands gripping his shoulders and when he opens his eyes, it’s to see one violet one blinking up at him.
“Boss?” she questions, obviously confused, “Is something wrong?”
“Ah, sorry, about that Chrome-chan! And no, I’m fine,” he assures her with a smile, before placing the box in her palm, “I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Happy Birthday!”
She stares at the box in confusion for several moments before slowing opening it, revealing a charm bracelet he’d seen her looking at a few weeks ago. She clutches the box to her chest and looks up at him, smiling.
“Thank you, Boss.” She says, reaching up to kiss him on the cheek.
“Ah, you're welcome,” he says, blushing slightly, only marginally less shy than he had been all those years ago when she’d first done that, “And thank you too, you know, for catching me. I really do hate scraping my knees.”
He’s twenty-two years old and he’s training, because he’s still not strong enough, fast enough, smart enough to protect his Family and he will die before he lets anything happen to them. He raises his gloved hand in preparation for another X-Burner when his strength fails him and he’s falling forward, but then something's grabbing him from behind and when he twists his neck, he sees it’s Mukuro, casually gripping the back of his shirt.
“Oya, oya, I can’t have you destroying your body, Tsunayoshi, it will be mine someday after all.” He says with that infuriating smirk of his.
Tsuna doesn’t say anything; he learned a long time ago that Mukuro citing his concern for his ‘future host’ was really just his way of showing his concern for Tsuna himself.
Mukuro frowns when Tsuna doesn’t respond and then sighs, “Well, I suppose I better take you to Sasagawa to get healed, lest I provoke the dog.”
Tsuna isn’t really listening anymore, he’s too tired and his body hurts all over and he’s relieved that Mukuro caught him when he did, he didn’t want Ryohei wasting his energy to heal something as childish as scraped knees.
He’s twenty-five and the only thought in his mind is not of the three bullet wounds he’s acquired in this meeting gone horribly wrong, it’s to find Hibari and to make sure his Cloud Guardian is okay. He stumbles down a corridor, nearly trips over a corpse he clearly remembers murdering a little early that afternoon and so distracted he is by the charred remains of what was once a living, breathing human, he blindly walks into a side table he didn’t notice, the corner smashing into his thigh, jarring one of the bullet wounds he's been valiantly trying to ignore, and Tsuna has to bite his tongue to keep from yelling as pain shoots along his body, and he vacantly realizes he’s falling.
But instead of the hard impact he was expecting, he flops against something much softer, much earlier than expected, he doesn’t tense though because he knows this person, his Intuition recognising them as Family before his mind even has time to figure out what’s going on.
“Pathetic,” a voice hisses, and Tsuna would have let out a relieved sigh if he didn’t know it would annoy the speaker, because Hibari was safe, “And just when I was beginning to think you weren’t a complete herbivore.”
Tsuna doesn’t answer, choosing instead to happily pass out in the arms of his Cloud Guardian, making a vague mental note to thank Hibari later for catching him, as that slate flooring would have scraped his knees to hell.
He’s twenty-seven when it happens. He’s wearing shorts for a change, Reborn would surely cause him physical harm if he saw him like this as shorts are most definitely not the attire of a mafioso, but his Spartan tutor is currently out of the country and it’s hot and uncomfortable and really, what’s the worst that can happen?
He discovers what four and half minutes later when he trips over Lambo’s horns that have been carelessly left in the hall way. Despite his years of training, he still goes down, cursing as he does and it’s as he’s lying flat on his face that he hears the pounding footsteps of his Guardians, more than likely under the impression that he’s being attacked. By the time all seven of them reach him, Tsuna’s sat on his bum, prodding a scraped knee. Within a minute of their arrival, Lambo’s been yelled at by two different people for being careless, his own well-being has been asked after by three and he’s acquired a few more injuries, courtesy of Hibari and Mukuro, for being careless.
It’s only after Chrome’s applied a plaster, Hibari’s stalked away after calling them all useless herbivores, Lambo’s meekly apologized and Gokudera’s assured himself that Tsuna isn’t going to bleed out, that Tsuna realizes this is the first scraped knee he’s had in years and he can’t help but laugh and decide that they’re really not all that bad.