Rating: T for language
Word Count: 5,236
Summary: In a world of madness and could haves, there are difficult choices to make. AU in the TYL-time line.
“I’m going to go make us breakfast, okay?”
“Yeah, that’s fine.”
“Is there anything in particular that you want?”
Yamamoto got up from the couch and walked over the kitchen. He pulled out ingredients from the fridge and placed them neatly on the counter. Gokudera watched him from the corner of his eye.
“What are you making, idiot?”
Yamamoto turned his face and smiled. “Omelets? Do you have a preference?”
Gokudera scooted back into the couch. “Che’. No.” He looked away uninterested. And when Yamamoto turned away, Gokudera turned his head slightly to keep an eye on him.
He held a knife in his hand to chop some vegetables. The blade gleamed in the light. Gokudera shifted uncomfortably.
Yamamoto noticed. “Don’t worry about it, Gokudera. I’m not stupid.”
Of course not.
Sometimes it would the hottest month of the year, sometimes the coldest.
It would never be spring.
Not for them.
“I’d like to go for a walk, Gokudera.”
“It’s been a week.”
“I don’t fucking care.”
“Can’t I do something? I mean, I’d really like to go outside.”
Gokudera looked at him, really stared him down.
His expression appeared sincere enough. “Fine, go put on your coat. We’ll go. Just a short walk, nothing else okay? To the park and back.”
“Can we have a picnic?”
A calm breeze blew in the air. Gokudera shivered for a moment, sneezed, and kept walking in step with Yamamoto. He took small slow strides starting at everything. The sun was shining. A few clouds hung in the sky. Birds were chirping; flowers were in full bloom.
The weather was beautiful. The scenery was beautiful. Perfect day.
The kept walking in silence. There was nothing to say. There was nothing they could say. So instead, the just kept walking side by side. Silence.
That was, until Yamamoto suddenly stopped. Gokudera kept going a couple steps before he turned back and realized what had happened.
Children in the distance playing baseball held Yamamoto’s gaze. His eyes were transfixed on the scene not too far away. He just watched.
Gokudera took a step back and watched the kids behind him.
Ambitious, carefree, happy children.
The pitcher had a bandage on his cheek and a cocky grin. He was ready to throw the ball with vigor. The batter on the other hand was visibly trembling afraid of the ball.
This is what happened.
The pitcher threw the ball. The batter dropped the bat and ran as far away as he could, and Yamamoto ran a couple steps forward and caught the flying object with his hand.
The children stared in awe. Gokudera stared in melancholy and said nothing.
Yamamoto made eye contact with the pitcher and in a flash threw the ball back to him.
The pitcher barely caught it and on impact had to take a few step backwards. He and the other kids immediately ran toward Yamamoto with enthusiasm.
The batter spoke up. “Hey Mister, can you play with us?”
Yamamoto rubbed his head. “Ahaha, I don’t know...” He took a glance at Gokudera who moved to a bench and was sitting. He had a brought a book with him and was reading. He looked at Yamamoto for a moment, rolled his eyes, and went back to his book.
Yamamoto grinned. “Alright kids, let’s play ball!”
Yamamoto came back to Gokudera a dirt covered mess. “You could’ve joined in the game, Gokudera.”
He closed his book and looked up at the baseball star. “And get these boots dirty? You clearly don’t understand how much I pay for these.”
Yamamoto smiled and nodded grabbing the basket they had brought laying out a blanket in a shady area. He knew how much Gokudera paid for those. He knew for sure after he got a pair of designer shades for his birthday one year.
“I’m glad we went out today, Gokudera.”
Yamamoto was laying on the floor in a futon in Gokudera’s room.
Gokudera shifted in his bed. The springs creaked. “That’s nice.”
“No really, Gokudera. I’m glad.” With that, the man rolled over and promptly fell asleep.
Gokudera kept his eyes open for as long as he could. He didn’t want to see it again.
But he did anyway.
“Paint the walls red. That’s the best way, I think.”
Gokudera opened his eyes, and it was morning. And it was over before it began.
Yamamoto wasn’t on the futon. Instead he was in the kitchen making breakfast using a knife. Gokudera stared.
“We’re staying indoors today, alright?”
Dejected. “Alright. But don’t we...”
“Yeah, that’s fine. We’ll go see the Tenth today. Dinner plans. And you’re not going to look like an idiot.”
The cook smiled.
But was it real?
Hugo Boss and Armani.
Yamamoto and Gokudera.
There was no way in hell that Gokudera would let Yamamoto out of his house in anything but the best clothing.
Yamamoto on the other hand could care less about what he had on. That was a problem. Luckily for Gokudera, he was willing to compromise.
It went something like this: “I’ll wear whatever you want me to.”
That line, of course, explained the designer suit and shoes. Yamamoto already had the complimenting shades.
A cigarette drooped from Gokudera’s mouth.
They were meeting Tsuna at some fancy place for dinner of which Yamamoto could not pronounce the name. Hibari greeted them at the entrance and walked them to where they were to be seated. Reborn and Tsuna were already there, waiting.
Gokudera apologized for being late, except he wasn’t, then looked around for Hibari who was gone.
The four of them sat the table. Tension lingered.
At first it was mundane conversation. Weather, life, food, sports.
Pitiful topics unworthy of best friends. Reborn said nothing. Yamamoto laughed like a robot as if on cue. Tsuna was uneasy. Gokudera was. He was something else.
It was Reborn who broached the topic. “I have a mission for you two.”
Tsuna snapped his head. “No, no! What are you talking about? It’s too soon.”
“It’s never too soon no good Tsuna. You are a mafia boss. You have to make sure your guardians are capable.”
Gokudera clenched his fist under the table. “I understand, Reborn-san.”
Yamamoto just smiled. “Of course we’ll be fine. Just have some faith in us Tsuna.”
And the meal continued with more words of the ordinary. The briefing would come later. Tsuna, however, kept sneaking glances at Yamamoto.
Did he forget?
Yamamoto had been absent minded in the beginning. Sometimes he would wake up late or not at all. He’d poke his food without ever bothering to put it in his mouth. He’d go in the bathroom, and he wouldn’t come out. The first time this happened, Gokudera demanded that he not shut the door when he was in there.
Yamamoto was his responsibility.
But only a week had passed and he had gone back to a state of normal.
Except it wasn’t normal at all.
Everything about it was wrong.
No one noticed.
The briefing came the very next day. It was Ryohei who came to give it. He dropped off the papers directly to Gokudera. He looked around, greeted Yamamoto, nodded at Gokudera, and frowned on his way out the door.
It was different.
There was nothing extreme about the ordinary.
The papers outlined something simple. Meet the Ricci family at 5 o’clock for an informational meeting. It was just supposed to be a friendly meeting to improve relations.
That’s what the papers read. That’s what Yamamoto forcefully chose to believe.
And Gokudera knew they were being set up. And he could also do nothing about it but make sure his gun was loaded.
Both of them rode in the Porsche in silence. Both of them were dressed in their finest. Both of them would rather not get covered in red.
The head of the Ricci family, Vincent greeted them as they entered. He was a handsome man who hadn’t slept in days. There was a slight dip to his walk. And five steps into his own home with the pair following close behind, he staggered and promptly fell.
Enemies started lunging from the sidelines aiming to attack Yamamoto and Gokudera, enemies that didn’t look at all like the Ricci family.
As swift as Gokudera was, he couldn’t pull out his gun fast enough. He paused watching the scene before him, a massacre unfold. Body after body. The count kept rising. The red pool kept flowing. And Yamamoto just smiled and snickered every so often as he hacked and slashed away.
Every death as clean as the last.
Gokudera Hayato didn’t fire a single shot. Instead, he pulled out his cell phone and called Ryohei.
“Lawn-head, what the fuck have they done?”
When the two of them came home, Ryohei was there. A warm bath was already running and hot food was on the table. Yamamoto had been sedated. Together, they stripped him of his clothes and dumped him the bath.
He couldn’t wake up before all this blood was gone. Gokudera took off his own clothes and jumped in the shower letting the warm water run for just a few minutes before getting out again and putting on something fresh. Yamamoto was still just sitting in the bathtub asleep. The important thing was that his head stayed above the water.
Ryohei had taken the liberties of dumping the bloodied clothes in the hamper away from sight. He and Gokudera dried and dressed Yamamoto, then dumped him on the couch under a blanket.
He would wake up soon.
He would wake to a nice picture of Gokudera and Ryohei sitting at the table poking at food like they were eating. In reality, they were just staring at it. Waiting. Waiting.
Yamamoto woke up frowning. He looked around and when he noticed how they were looking at him, he smiled immediately. There was nothing to worry about. Except there was. He got up and joined them at the table.
More mundane topics.
Everyone ignored the elephant in the room.
Gokudera and Yamamoto didn’t sleep that night. They stayed up watching movies of fake lives in happier times.
“Maybe I should get one of those therapist things?”
“And what, tell them that you fucking kill people for a living? Jesus Christ.”
Yamamoto shrugged. “It was an idea. I’m sure there’s got to be some of those hired somewhere. You might need one too.”
“If I need one, bastard...” Gokudera didn’t finish that sentence and just lit up a cigarette. If I need a fucking therapist, it’s because of you, dumbass.
When it happened, Gokudera remembered being distraught.
When it was over, the last words that were said: “Suicide watch.”
“I have a headache.”
“That’s because you haven’t been sleeping.”
“Do you have a headache?”
“I’ve been sleeping, idiot.”
“Don’t lie to me, Gokudera.”
“I’m not giving you painkillers. Go do something else. Forget that your head hurts.”
“Can I forget that my life hurts too?” He smiled at Gokudera. It was serene, it was pure. But above all, it was fake.
A shiver went down Gokudera’s spine. “Fuck you.” He paused. “Why don’t we do something together? Like, make sushi or something?”
His face flickered and, for a moment, Gokudera was almost positive it was real. “Yeah, yeah that sounds fun.”
“He’s been muttering to himself for the past week.” Tsuna shook his head.
“He killed a fucking child. Just up and slaughtered the damn thing. It wasn’t supposed to go down like that.”
“I know, Gokudera. I haven’t been sleeping well either.”
“At all. None of us have.”
“Look at him Gokudera. He’s been like that for days. He’s turned into some sort of killing machine.”
“Isn’t that what we wanted though?” Gokudera stared at the ground.
“We’re supposed to be the good guys, Gokudera.” Tsuna leaned against the wall, his eyes hidden. “How are we supposed to be the good guys if we kill people?”
“It’s a dark world, Tenth.”
A tear slipped down his cheek.
But after a week he was all better.
And it started going down hill, slowly. So very slowly.
The sun warmed the whole flat. Yamamoto maneuvered his way around the place with ease now. He knew where most things were, the ones meant to be found. He even knew where some of the stuff he shouldn’t know about rested. He had a better idea of what Gokudera liked and didn’t. He didn’t mind keeping the bathroom door ajar as much either.
This life was routine.
There hadn’t been a mission since that day though. He really, really should get a therapist though. Gokudera apparently told Tsuna who said he was on it.
Somewhere in the recesses of his mind, he knew he was losing something, something precious. He wasn’t feeling the same. He wasn’t feeling right. From countless infomercials, he thought maybe he was depressed. But Gokudera had been making him take pills.
So he probably was depressed, but they were already doing something about that.
This, this was probably him going insane.
And Gokudera wouldn’t let him do anything about it.
Gokudera was reading the morning paper and drinking coffee. Yamamoto was looking outside the window.
“Let’s get a cat.”
“You don’t live here. And besides, I already have a cat.”
“But you keep Uri in the box all the time.”
“I can’t let a weapon roam freely.”
“You could let a cat.”
That was how the little white cat entered their household. And Yamamoto, much to Gokudera’s chagrin, named him.
That conversation went something like this.
“Ah! He’s so cute, just a little kitten.”
“Well, what are you going to call it? We went to the shelter; you fell in love with it, now its home.”
“Pochi! It’s perfect right?”
Gokudera smacked his head. “That’s what you name dogs, idiot.”
“But he just looks like a Pochi. See, I think he likes it.”
The kitten mewled in content.
He still couldn’t sleep at night.
He couldn’t sleep because it was he who found the cold body.
Gokudera was just supposed to check up on him, make sure things were okay. He swung up to the baseball player’s apartment expecting to see a cheerful resident who’d try and convince him to spend the night and watch TV.
Instead, he saw something different.
All the curtains in the house were drawn. The phone line was disconnected. Dried up lines of blood covered the wall in random nonsensical patterns. The lines were painted. The lines were scratched in with something. Knives were everywhere across the floor. The lamp on the counter flickered. On, off, on, off. On. Off. It fell off the table suddenly and shattered.
Gokudera took hesitant steps, one, after the other. Then he rushed opening every room searching for the man who lived here, Yamamoto Takeshi.
He tore open all the doors to the house his search failing. Maybe he took a walk.
One door left and Gokudera kicked it open.
His body was laying in a pool of its own blood. A sword lay discarded and Gokudera’s mind jumped to the worst as he flipped on his phone calling for an ambulance.
Seppuku? Hara-kiri? Some other Samurai Bushido shit? Disembowelment?
His thoughts were in disarray as he checked for the faint pulse on the cold near-corpse. Gokudera could do nothing but hold him and tremble. “Shit.”
Shamal and Gokudera were drinking tea out on the veranda. Yamamoto was under no circumstance to be left alone. However, this time he wasn’t. He was with his cat Pochi probably sitting on the couch watching television.
Gokudera had made it clear that didn’t want to see anything abnormal when he got back.
And he was coming back within in the hour.
Shamal was visibly miffed to be meeting with Gokudera on this bright sunny day. He had better thing to do, like skirt chasing or babe watching. Well, anything that didn’t involve men was deemed better.
But indeed, it was Shamal who broke the silence. “How’s he doing?”
“Better, I guess. Except, I’m not really fucking sure.”
“I hear he’s gotten good at senseless slaughter.”
Gokudera looked up and scowled. “I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with him.”
“Nothing.” Shamal leaned back in his seat, arms folded. “Nothing is wrong with him.”
Gokudera stared. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding. You haven’t seen him lately. He just acts like nothing’s wrong. Like he doesn’t give a shit if he kills people or like he doesn’t remember that he fucking tried to kill himself. The prick’s bipolar. But he always looks so fucking happy.” Gokudera slammed his fist on the table. “It pisses me off.”
“So you’re telling me that you don’t get it?”
“What is there to get?”
“Why he tried to kill himself?”
“Don’t people do that when they’re sad? He has a lot to be sad about, but he doesn’t frown.”
“He’s not sad per say.”
Another sip of tea. “He’s dangerous, Gokudera.”
And like he promised, Gokudera was back within the hour greeted by the sight of two idiots, because the cat clearly proved he wasn’t smart the other day by running into the door, laying on the couch watching television. This is where he left them.
This is how he found them.
Nothing about it screamed dangerous at all. In fact, Yamamoto smiled and greeted him, and the cat jumped off of him to rub Gokudera’s legs.
He wasn’t an artist. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t try to paint. It was supposed to be therapeutic, a difference from his everyday life of blowing things up. Instead, he picked up a paint brush and tried to create the same magic other geniuses he had been compared to could.
Gokudera was no Leonardo.
That didn’t deter him from trying to capture the world on a canvas. So, he painted. Oil paints, mineral paints, and even water colors. Blotches of paint covered him. His hands were still red.
Gokudera painted landscapes, still lifes, and had even attempted a few portraits. Right now, however, he was trying something a little different. Yamamoto was sleeping on the couch. Gokudera was painting him from the kitchen.
It chilled him the final product look when he was done. There was just some menacing about the whole work. Rather than keep it, he locked in a closet and promptly forgot the thing existed. He’d rather paint a thousand pictures of Pochi than ever do that again.
“Aren’t you supposed to ask me how I feel?”
The therapist looked up at the patient and cocked an eyebrow. “Well, if that’s where you want to start...”
“No, I mean, I’ve seen this on television. Shouldn’t I be lying down? Then don’t you ask me questions about how I feel all the time?”
“Uh-huh... Tell me more.”
“Right, like that. Aren’t we supposed to go through ink blots and then maybe you throw a box of tissues at me?”
The therapist nodded her head. “Well, Mr. Yamamoto. No, no that isn’t quite always how it works.”
Yamamoto leaned back in his chair. “Oh.”
“In fact, sometimes patients don’t want to talk about anything. And sometimes they don’t want to come when they need to.”
“Right. So we can start where you want to start.”
Yamamoto nodded, his stone gaze solid. He held up his hands. “Lately, doctor, whenever I look at my hands all I see is red... I think they’re covered in blood. Can you see it?”
The therapist shook her head.
“Ah, I thought so. I’ve been wanting to ask Gokudera but I feel like he’d get worried about it. I don’t want him to be worried.”
“Are you seeing anything else that you’re certain isn’t there?”
“Plenty of things Doctor.” He smiled. “Like people. I see the people I’ve killed living happy lives.” He pointed to a corner of the room. “Like over there are two little boys playing with a set of toy trains.” He moved his finger and pointed directly behind the therapist. “And behind you is a man holding a gun to his head. I’m pretty sure I chopped his head off though.”
The therapist nodded slowly and took a quick gander behind her. Nothing. “Have you told anyone of these hallucinations?”
“No. I figured that maybe I should go to a doctor for this instead of worry people.”
“They care about you, Mr. Yamamoto. That’s why they worry.”
He smiled. “I know. But I don’t think this is quite something they can do anything about.”
“What would you suggest?”
“Well doctor, the one thing I tried so far didn’t go over quite well. Gokudera’s been watching me like a hawk. He left me alone once.”
“Why not try something then?”
“Because it would make him sad. I don’t want to do that to him a second time.”
The therapist just nodded and took notes. “And what do you say you’ve got?”
“I think I’m insane, doctor.”
Yamamoto was on more medication now. Suppressants, anti-depressants, vitamins, lithium, and couple of other things Gokudera wasn’t sure of. They were trying things.
Today, however, was check in day with the Tenth. Yamamoto put Pochi in his cage, and started up the car. In silence, Gokudera drove both of them to headquarters.
Yamamoto hadn’t been speaking as much. The silence bothered Gokudera enough to start a conversation. “So... Pochi’s been healthy.”
“Are you keeping up with baseball?”
“Do you want me to cook tonight?”
The car was put in park, and they both began to hastily walk toward Tsuna’s office. This change in routine would be good for Yamamoto. However, a part of Gokudera’s mind dreaded Reborn being there. Instead, the office was devoid of any Arcobaleno. Tsuna sat reclined behind his desk. A pencil dangled from his mouth.
He stood up suddenly to greet his friends. “Hey guys!”
“Tenth, is everything alright?”
“Ah, Gokudera, come in sit down. I have a guest I’d like you to meet.”
Yamamoto noticed him first. The young boy sat in a corner of the room reading a book trembling every so often. Gokudera recognized him immediately.
Tsuna moved and put an arm on the little boy’s shoulder. “This is the new boss of the Ricci family guys. But I don’t think he’s ready for it, and quite frankly, I’m fighting for his right to choose.”
The young boy finally looked up at the visitors and smiled at Yamamoto. “It’s the Mister from the park!” He hopped up and began to jump in excitement.
Gokudera, in the background, watched the scene unfold. The famous baseball player and a young admiring fan, it was a scene of could have been. Could have been if Yamamoto wasn’t so pulled into this world.
Instead, it was a scene of a respected man and an orphaned young Mafia boss.
Tsuna smiled while Yamamoto put the kid up on his shoulder and ran around the room. He spoke to Gokudera. “His name’s Thomas, Thomas Ricci. He’s staying with Kyoko and me.”
Gokudera nodded. “The kid likes baseball.”
The kid was the shaky batter from the park, the one who threw down his bat and ran.
Yamamoto got a paper cut. A small drop of blood trailed down his finger. He got up, went to the sink to wash it off, disinfected, and slapped a band-aid on it.
Gokudera asked, “How are your sessions going?” He flipped to the World News section of the morning paper.
Yamamoto analyzed the band-aid holding his hand in front of him turning it several ways. “Fine, I think. Hey, why does this band-aid have Hello Kitty on it?”
Gokudera flipped the paper. “I like cats, okay?” He scowled.
Yamamoto laughed and Pochi purred hopping into Gokudera’s lap.
“You know, they’re all extremely insane up there.” Ryohei looked down at his tea, sniffed it, and held the cup suspended in air.
Gokudera made a face sitting across from at his own glass of tea. “Is there something wrong with it?”
“It’s extremely sweet.” He drank it.
Something about Ryohei was exceedingly calm.
Gokudera, on the other hand, wrinkled his nose as he drank it. He wanted something bitter. He should’ve specified that to the waitress instead of just saying, “Oh I’ll have the same thing.” That was a mistake.
“I noticed that you left him at home?”
“No, he’s at the therapist. After this meeting, I’m going over there to pick him up.”
“Sounds like fun. Any progress?”
“He doesn’t say.”
“So about the Varia...”
“I hate those bastards.”
“I think...” Ryohei paused, and then made a motion with his fist in the air. “I think he belongs there. The Varia is a little off kilter. Wouldn’t you say he’s the same?”
“Think about it, Octopus-head.” Ryohei smiled. “He’s different.”
In terms of different, a certain Superbi Squalo entered the mind of Gokudera. This, too, made his nose wrinkle in contempt. He shuddered. “Well... you’ve got a point, lawn head.”
“If he’s there, he can do as he likes. He can be, well, himself.”
Gokudera nodded, sipping the tea. He can be insane.
The therapist straightened up her posture. “Are you still seeing things?”
“Less, I’m seeing less, thank you doctor. The medicine must be working!” He laughed deeply, but it was an empty noise.
“You haven’t been on any missions since then though.”
“They’re purposefully keeping me off of them. I’m positive.”
“Well, Mr. Yamamoto, would you mind describing your feelings when you’re on a mission.”
“If it’s negotiation I’m pretty happy, light hearted even. But...” He focused his gaze on a corner of the room. Two dead hitman. “If it’s something else, I feel this rush. I feel alive. It’s absolutely amazing and I can’t control it, doctor. But, I know deep down while it’s all happening that something is wrong. I can see fear in my subordinates, in Gokudera. And yet... it’s all so natural.”
The therapist nodded, also looking at the empty corner of the room. Must be more hallucinations. “A natural hitman is how you’ve been described Mr. Yamamoto. Are you aware of that fact?”
“I am, doctor.”
“And would you say it’s true, Mr. Yamamoto?”
He grinned. “Yes, doctor.”
The doctor shifted in her seat uncomfortably.
A couple of leaves flew by in the air. A crushed flower lay on the sidewalk unnoticed. Some garbage cans were overturned in the alleyway. Horns honking could be heard from the distance. And, the sky was clear, the sun so bright.
But, they were walking in silence still.
“Are you happy, Gokudera?”
“I’d be happier if you told me how those meetings were going.” I’d be happier if you just spoke to me.
“They’re going just fine, Gokudera.” He smiled. “Are you happier?”
That quite possibly was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Gokudera turned to face him and stopped walked. He just took a moment to really look at him. There, in front of him, was a man taller than he was, a man that was fatigued and tired. The dark circles were growing. It was evident that he had lost weight, had lost color in his face. And... Gokudera just felt helpless.
“...Idiot, aren’t I supposed to be helping you? I can’t do a think if you don’t talk to me! Aren’t we... aren’t we...” and he said the word in a long drawn out fashion, “... friends, partners?” A few tears were lining Gokudera’s eyes. He blinked them away quickly, turned his face around and began a brisk walk keeping a couple steps ahead Yamamoto.
The one being left behind, though, wasn’t Yamamoto at all. It was Gokudera, wasn’t it?
The silence continued once more. I’m doing this to protect you, Gokudera.
Thomas Ricci liked trains. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, a train conductor was always without fail the first thing out of his mouth. The kid was generally happy. He liked the new uncle and aunt he was staying with. They were really nice.
The tall man who could play baseball came over a bit too. Apparently, he was good friends with his new uncle. Thomas liked that. There was another man that usually came with him. He never looked that happy. Thomas wanted to cheer him up but he never knew how.
The world of adults was something else after all.
Instead, on this bright day, he was sitting in his new Uncle Tsuna’s office playing with a train set cheerfully in the corner. Life was content.
Tsuna could only smile at the boy in the corner.
He doesn’t remember anything. That’s what the doctor told him. It would be better that way for now. However, Tsuna never let the boy out of his sight. At any moment the trauma would hit him.
After all, Thomas Ricci was the murderer who killed his own father, Don Vincent Ricci.
Gokudera had been informed of the circumstances around the kid.
“It makes no sense!” He slammed his fist against the table. “I was there, Yamamoto was there! We saw Vincent fall down and die. There was an ambush!”
Ryohei and Yamamoto were playing with Thomas in the other room.
Tsuna shook his head. “That kid poisoned his father. I don’t know if he knew it or not, and quite frankly, I don’t want to make the little boy remember.”
“It’s going to come back eventually, it always does.” Gokudera looked away.
Tsuna shrugged. “Just look at him, Gokudera. A little boy like that doesn’t need the mantle of a mafia family. He doesn’t want it.”
“You didn’t want it either.”
“That’s different. I had support, he has no one.”
That fact was very much true. The young Thomas Ricci no longer had a family to support him. All that was left to him was a mansion, money, a title, and a load of enemies wanting to strike.
“Then, Tenth, what is it that you’re going to do?”
“I’m going to let him lead his life. If he remembers, and wants to do something else, we’ll deal with it when it comes, Kyoko and me. He’s like a son.”
Gokudera shook his head. “Tenth, I never mean to disagree with you and I never mean to show any disrespect...”
“I know, Gokudera.”
“But, even if you keep him, he’ll still get tied up in the Vongola.”
“He can’t escape the Ricci family, Gokudera. But he can have a new one...”
Yamamoto swung the boy around in his arms. The boy giggled happily. A child.
A monster and a child.
Sometimes, Yamamoto would be sitting on the couch staring at nothing. It looked liked he was trapped, alone, and lost. Gokudera would snap his fingers or call out to him, and there’d be no response. Other times, Yamamoto would be listlessly looking at something that wasn’t there, talking to someone who didn’t exist.
The drugs only minimized the symptoms. The drugs let him sleep at night.
They couldn’t cure him of anything.
A private conversation. What else?
“Have you decided?”
“It’s not my decision to make.”
“He’s been living with you. You’ve been making sure he doesn’t blow his brains out. I think it would partly be your decision.”
Gokudera put the coffee down. “Is there anything else?”
“Let him die.”
“I’m not going to let that happen.”
“It’s not your decision to make.”
Note: It's not finished since I hit a bit of a road block. I haven't given up yet though! This would be a delurking post, I think. I'm open to suggestions though.