I Will be the One

Post Future arc. Seven snapshots as Tsuna’s Family swear their loyalty to him. Drama, I-3

1.

They were halfway to school when Gokudera noticed it.

"Hm? You’re going to keep wearing the ring, then?"

Tsuna looked down at the ring on his hand without a great deal of enthusiasm. "For now. I… I think I’d better."

"Huh." There was kind of a funny smile on Gokudera’s face when Tsuna looked up. "Seems about right to me, then. Hang on for a minute." He set his bag against a handy wall and took Tsuna’s shoulder, turning to face him.

Tsuna made a choked noise as Gokudera knelt down in front of him, right there in the street. His frantic look up and down, hoping no one was watching, was interrupted, though, by the intensity of Gokudera’s voice.

"Tenth." Gokudera took Tsuna’s hand, bowed his head over it and kissed the Sky ring. "I’m your man. Always."

Tsuna bit his lip; he never quite knew what to do when Gokudera sounded like this.

And then Gokudera looked up with a crooked smile and winked. "What? I’m your first follower, right? Just making it official."

Tsuna relaxed and managed to smile back. "Okay."

Gokudera swaggered all the rest of the way to school.

2.

"So, did you understand number seven?"

"Not really." Yamamoto rubbed the back of his head, brows quirked. "I think the third example in the book is kind of the same, though."

They were digging through the math text when Reborn jumped down from his hammock onto the table and Tsuna nearly jumped out of his skin. He wished Reborn would make noise when he woke up, like a normal person.

"Yamamoto, good, you’re here. You need to kiss Tsuna’s ring."

"What?!" Tsuna scrambled back from the table a bit. He also wished Reborn would stop saying weird things out of the blue; some lead-up would at least give him more time to duck.

Yamamoto just blinked. "Um. Why?"

"It’s a sign of loyalty among us."

Yamamoto smiled tolerantly. "Ah, your game again."

Tsuna was really starting to wonder whether Yamamoto meant the same thing everyone else did when he used the word game.

"Well, okay then." Yamamoto reached over and caught one of the hands Tsuna was waving.

"Um, but, you don’t—"

"Hey, it’s okay Tsuna," Yamamoto laughed. He leaned down and brushed his lips over the ring and Tsuna stilled. For one moment, with his head bent and eyes focused on Tsuna’s hand, Yamamoto looked completely serious.

And then he was smiling his wry smile, the one that was amused by the whole world, and Tsuna breathed again.

"Also, you got number four completely wrong," Reborn added.

Tsuna groaned.

3.

Tsuna looked up, startled, at the soft scratch at his door. No one he knew announced themselves that quietly.

No one except, maybe, the person standing in the door, who he had just never, ever expected to see in his room.

"Boss." Chrome stood in the doorway, clasping her staff close to her chest. "Mukuro-sama said it would be all right," she murmured.

Tsuna opened and closed his mouth a few times before he managed. "What would?"

She came in with swift, silent steps and sank down to the floor beside him, laying her staff down carefully. And then she picked up his ring hand in both her own.

"If you want me to," she said softly, eyes lowered or maybe just fixed on the Sky ring.

Tsuna had to work on getting his voice going again. "But… I mean, are you sure?" He couldn’t make out anything of her expression. "Is this what you want, Chrome-san?"

She nodded silently.

"Then… well, yes. I mean, if you’re sure." Tsuna felt a little helpless in face of her quiet.

She lifted his hand and kissed the ring, light as a moth’s wing brushing his hand. "I will always be your Mist Guardian."

"I… thank you." Tsuna groped for something to say, something right. "I’ll be glad to… welcome you to… to the Family," he finally got out. And he still wasn’t sure about the whole concept, but nothing else seemed like it would match what she was doing.

Chrome looked up with a small smile. "Thank you. Boss."

She picked up her staff and left as silently as she’d come.

4.

Ryouhei just laughed and clapped him on the shoulder. "Of course! I already said I was the Sun Guardian, didn’t I?"

Gokudera grumbled a bit about lousy lawn-heads with no respect, but Reborn just nodded.

Tsuna was grateful for the reprieve and tried not to think too hard about the weight and meaning of Ryouhei’s bare word.

5.

Bianchi stalked back down the hall and the seventeen year old Lambo crawled out from under Tsuna’s bed and collapsed on the floor. "Saved. Thanks, young Vongola." And then he lifted his head again for another look at Tsuna, flopped over beside him. "Ah. You’ve started wearing the Sky ring all the time."

Tsuna winced. "Um. Yeah."

The smile Lambo gave him was sympathetic. "You’ve been through a lot with and for that ring."

Tsuna stared down at it. "Yeah," he said softly, and closed his hand into a fist.

It was his fist that Lambo closed a long-fingered hand around and lifted, so that he could kiss the ring. His eyes were serious when he looked up. "Welcome to the Families, Vongola."

And then seven year old Lambo reappeared with a poff, hands holding Tsuna’s fist, and squealed. "Are we gonna play fighting?"

Fending him off took until dinner and it was some time before Tsuna remembered the older Lambo’s words.

He thought about them the first time he looked at a neat, black suit hanging in his closet, though.

6.

For a while, Tsuna had consoled himself with the thought that Hibari would never give a moment’s thought to any Family ritual, especially not this one. And then he forgot about it in the rush of other events. When they needed Hibari he seemed to show up and that was plenty enough for Tsuna.

It was a little more than enough when Hibari started showing up to spar with him, but Reborn insisted, and it did make a distressing kind of sense, so Tsuna did his best and laid in a lot of ice packs.

So he really wasn’t expecting it, the day he succeeded in blasting Hibari into the practice room floor, and Hibari didn’t get up at once. Instead he held up a hand and flicked his fingers, beckoning to Tsuna.

A little warily, because Hibari was still smiling, Tsuna approached. "Um. Yes?"

Hibari caught his wrist and pulled Tsuna down beside him. "For the Family." He lifted Tsuna’s ring hand and kissed the Sky ring.

Tsuna squeaked a little in shock.

"You still act far too much like an herbivore," Hibari observed, "but as long as you show me your fangs properly."

And he rolled fluidly to his feet and punched Tsuna across the room.

Tsuna staggered upright and threw himself back at Hibari. If this was for the Family, their family, if Hibari agreed to guard them… then Tsuna had to do what he could, too.

Hibari’s smile widened a bit as they met again.

End

A/N: Inspired by the scene between Iemitsu and the !Ninth.