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ah, this fails in so many epic ways.

Title: As Fast As You Can
Author: hitokiri
Requester: alexander
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Tsuna/Kyoko…-ish.
Rating/Warning(s): G/Probably …a bit too fluffy.
Author's Notes: Sorry this was …four months late almost >_<;;;; And I am incapable of writing either heterosexual pairings or characterizing these two properly. But at least it's done >_>;;

She sees him change over the years –not just physically, but something in his eyes that registers the world differently. She wishes she could pinpoint how or when it happened, but one day, he just wasn't the same Sawada Tsunayoshi she'd known. All this time, right beneath her nose, he'd been evolving.

Though it's funny to think of him beneath her nose anymore since he's so much taller than her now, and that doesn't even become apparent until he'd come up to her one day in school and joked about it. The smile on his face was carefree and causal, different from the wavering look of fear and nervousness he used to approach her with, and a strange sort of confidence straightened his posture and made his grin appear endearingly lopsided.

They walk home from school together everyday, and Kyoko still remembers the first day Tsuna had asked if he could. He'd been nothing but sweat and tension, fingers ringing the edge of his shirt, and his weight shifting as he avoided looking straight at her eyes. Admittedly, it was cute, but Kyoko had only given in because he seemed so kind and underneath the blanket of fear that shuttered his real face from the world, she knew he was someone unique.

It's practically a routine, the two of them walking side by side, but Kyoko can't pinpoint either when the sudden brush of their knuckles together, a fleeting whisper of a touch that had never lingered too long in her memory, suddenly had started making her heart race.

The first time it had happened, she'd spent twenty minutes just leaning against the back of her closed door after saying goodbye to him. Her eyes watched the clock, studying the numbers change while her hand rested on her chest, feeling the way her skin throbbed beneath her fingertips. She wondered if the same thing happened to Tsuna. If he went home and stared up the ceiling, counting backwards to alleviate the sudden tight sensation that wrapped around his stomach.

Sometimes, she was sure it was just the heat, but then Tsuna would look at her strangely, those eyes sharper than before, and she would feel it again, her world overwrought with questions and confusion.

Tsuna is a special boy. A different boy. He is always mixed with things she can't explain. Something about him is unstable, and she can't grasp who he is between her fingers. Not that she ever wants to. A boy like that thrives on freedom, and she wants to see him soar.

But another part of her, the same part that had always tried to keep her brother from fighting and coming home injured, wants to be close to him and keep him safe even … even if she is almost sure that it was the other way around –that Tsuna is the one always protecting her, and if only she could be stronger… Maybe she could walk next to him down the same path instead of… instead of all those other boys who follow him around loyally. Even Hibari Kyouya, a person who had no soft edges, is drawn to this new Tsuna, interest written clear in the challenge he presents.

No, he isn't entirely a new Tsuna… He is still the same Tsuna in many ways. He always puts others before himself, would use his own body to shield every one else from danger. It's a …more confident Tsuna. That is the only way she can see him now because kindness underlies everything he does and says, and well … Kyoko still just wants to be next to him.

And she wonders if it's too late to let him know, or if he'd already flown so far from her fingers that she might never be able to get a chance. Does Tsuna even acknowledge her at all?

Even after all these years, he still always has that charm in his pocket, and sometimes, Kyoko can swear she sees him clutching his hands around it when she's near. He'd showed it to her a few days ago, palms opening to reveal the trinket lingering in the center, and it was satisfying to learn that she'd affected him somehow.

A part of her was really with him all along, wasn't it?

A charm isn't the same as her physical being, though. Him holding her charm doesn't make her heart race as much as their hands touching and the way his focus bears down on her with deep intensity when it's just the two of them, and if only she could borrow this newfound confidence of his to tell him ...tell him she just wants to be involved in whatever it is he is doing. Tell him that she wants him to touch her more and stand closer…

The next time they walk home together, she resolves to do exactly that. She doesn't have the same kind of confidence, her sweaty fingers unable to claim a good grip on her bag, and her thighs full of perspiration when they rub together beneath her skirt. She's quieter that day, but Tsuna fills the silence with idle chatter, talking about some class project and laughing out loud while retelling a joke Gokudera made earlier.

She only listens half-heartedly, rehearsing the words in mind, repeating them over and over until she could find a lull in his conversation to say something. She barely catches the last words of his sentence, her mind registering only '…going to Italy for a while to…'.

"What did you say?" she interjects, eyes wide as she comes to a sudden stop and looks at Tsuna for the first time since they'd left school.

"Uh… the thing about Gokudera o-or ….going to Italy?"

"The latter half…"

It's the first time in a long time she sees Tsuna actually fumble the way he used to, his gaze refusing to meet hers as if some sort of guilt wells up inside of him.

"Well…," he hesitates, one hand moving into his pocket and balling into a fist, and he's sure he's wrapping it around her charm again, "I'm going to Italy for a while to …um…well, I have to-"

And it dawns on her then that she's never really had a chance. Sawada Tsunayoshi has always been miles ahead of her even if they're on the same path –even if they want the same things. She can run as fast as she can, lungs burning with the pressure of having to push herself so far to catch up, or…

Or she could wait for him to run so fast that he circles around the globe and inevitably ends up at her side again. And she would wait because nobody else can affect her this much, and she wants to cling to what little she has left.

A small smile carves its way onto her lips, probably forced and not as sincere as she'd like, but she lets it stay there. Her fingers rise, and she presses them against his mouth, feeling the soft flesh vibrate against her own skin.

"It's okay," she consoles,"You don't have to tell me. I'll be here when you get back."

And Tsuna smiles, too, probably just as forced, but she decides she likes the feel of his mouth curving under her fingers, as well.

"Thanks!"

They say their goodbyes, hesitating at the door, hands in pockets, feet shuffling, eyes never quite meeting. It's the best goodbye she could hope for anyways because there's something sincere in the nervous energy that surrounds them, and she knows he'll be gripping the same charm as he runs.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
demoerin
Apr. 1st, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
I love the way you portrayed their awkward adorable innocence. You can't warn for too much fluff in this pairing, it's the essence of it! The way you described Kyoko thinking about Tsuna running till he reached her again is very in keeping with the shonen manga genre, and for this particular situation, where a very ordinary girl loves a boy who has a destiny to fulfill.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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