Warnings: Potentially OOC on the Italian siblings. Pairing is simply implied.
Summary: Bianchi contemplates on why she doesn't like Yamamoto Takeshi.
Reborn's been talking about him quite often recently. He's a happy-go-lucky kind of fellow. Someone who is always smiling without a care in the world. He can laugh off just about anything and can get along with just about anybody. He was born and raised in a warm, loving home, living a peaceful life surrounded by his family, friends and fans, thinking about nothing but sushi and baseball until we came along, so it's a bit surprising Reborn considers him a natural-born hitman. To his merit, though, he adjusted to us fairly quickly, even though he acts as if everything is just a game. If this is a game, then he's a pretty damn good player, bordering perfect. Simply put, everyone likes him.
I can't quite understand why, myself. There's nothing particularly hate-able about him. And it's not like I can't stand his presence. Though I usually get irritated whenever he brings those delectable sushi platters from his father's restaurant because then everyone would completely ignore my cooking. But I often shrug it off because, well, they really are delicious.
I look down at the basketful of luscious strawberries I have in my hand and smile. Hayato's going to love these. Though I would have preferred to have turned these into a scrumptious strawberry cheesecake, the unbaked one that he likes, but I didn't get the chance to. Shamal suddenly calling me on the phone like that, saying Hayato fainted while tutoring Tsuna; I simply had to come right away. Honestly, that child gets sick so easily. Is he even eating properly?
I reach Nami Middle's medical room and take a deep breath. Gripping the basket tightly with my left hand and the doorknob with the other, I readied myself as I open the door.
Shamal winces as my right hand connects squarely to his face, his arms still outstretched and his lips still disgustingly puckered up as his body slams to the ground. I've gotten used to this by now: Hayato gets sick, I visit him, Shamal tries to pounce on me, I hit him. This has been the routine ever since I could remember, even when we were still living with Father back in Italy. What I still haven't gotten used to is the constant presence of a fourth person who appears almost every single time Hayato gets sick recently.
"What are you doing here, Yamamoto Takeshi?" I vehemently ask the raven haired boy, who is looking quite amused at my greeting ritual with Shamal.
"Ah, I was the one who brought him here," he replies, with his thumb pointing to my little brother who is sleeping on the bed. "I got worried when he suddenly collapsed like that so I was waiting for him to wake up."
I raise an eyebrow at him, then look down at the squirming figure on the floor, who was still trying to reach for me but is being kept at bay by my foot planted firmly on his face. "I thought you told me he was with Tsuna?" I question the doctor. I release my foot to allow him to speak.
"Yeah, the Vongola Tenth was here, but he had to leave when Reborn called for him," he explains as he rubs his face in pain. "Good thing that baseball boy is here to take care of Hayato, though, because as you know, I don't treat men---ugh!" I punch him in the gut at his last statement, making him curl up into a ball in agony.
"Maa, maa, Bianchi-san," the 'baseball boy' smiles worriedly as he attempts to calm me down with his words. "It doesn't seem to be anything serious, really. He probably fainted because of hunger. He didn't eat with us again during lunch today."
I approach the bed and shove him off his seat with little effort, since he willingly stepped aside and moved to the other side of the bed. I place the basket of strawberries on my side of the bed as I reach for Hayato's hand. It looked weak, fragile, and very very thin. Looks like I was right, he hasn't been eating properly.
"Uwah, these strawberries look delicious~" Yamamoto exclaims as he peers into the basket. I glare at him. "None of those are for you," I say flatly. "I know, I know," he laughs. "I don't think Gokudera will be willing to share those, either." He smiles softly as he glances over at the slumbering figure. His amber eyes are usually gentle, but I notice that there's a slightly higher degree of gentleness whenever he sets them on Hayato.
I hear a groan, then felt the weight on the bed shift. I turn my attention back to the awakening Hayato. He stirs, then slowly sits up and rubs his eye. I open my mouth to speak, to ask him how he's feeling but he spoke first.
"Nn, Yamamoto?" he mumbles lazily. For some reason, I felt as though I got stabbed in the chest.
"Yo," the other boy responds with a chuckle. "Are you feeling better now?"
Hayato merely nods. He stretches his arms and yawns languidly.
"Wanna eat something? Bianchi-san brought you strawberries," Yamamoto chirps as he sits on the other side of the bed, gesturing to the basket in front of me.
He lazily nods again, but this time, he seems to have seen me from the corner of his eye, as he abruptly snaps his head to face my direction. Finally.
"A-a-aneki!?" he blurts out as he instinctively grabs his stomach. I already had my goggles on, much to his relief. He eyes the basket on the bed suspiciously. I heave a sigh.
"What am I going to do with you, Hayato?" I exhale as I pick a couple of the plump, red fruits from the wooden container. He gulps, looking a bit worried. "You look like you haven't eaten in a week," I continue. "If you don't have anything to eat, just tell me, okay? I'll gladly cook for you."
He cringes at my last sentence and frantically waves his hands in refusal. "No, no, you don't have to. I haven't been eating properly since I'm engrossed in decoding this cipher recently," he brings out a notebook filled with scribbles of letters and numbers and formulas. He really enjoys working on peculiar things like this. "I promise I won't skip any more meals, so you don't have to cook for me at all, okay?" he pleads almost desperately. Is my cooking really that, bad? I frown internally, but I flash a smile and slightly nod in agreement as I stick a berry in his mouth despite his protests. He reluctantly chews it.
"Mmm, it's so sweet!" he declares as he happily opens his mouth, asking for another one. I obliged. Hayato looks so adorable when he's eating something he likes. The crease on his forehead disappears as his eyebrows relax. His scowl vanishes as well, while a clumsy smile graces his lips. A tinge of pink stains his cheeks, expressing his delight. And an unusual glimmer of light shines in those bright, emerald orbs. That's why I've been studying cooking since I was a kid, because I want to see him eating something I made with this kind of expression. But he never eats anything I make. I haven't given up trying to feed him my cooking though. Never will.
"Ahh, this is so delicious, Aneki!" Hayato happily remarks as he reaches for the entire basket when he finishes all the fruits I have in my hand. I nudge it closer to him. He pops another fruit in his mouth.
"Yamamoto, you should try some, too," he chews as he offers a piece of fruit to the taller boy.
I frown. That's the second time I felt something sharp in my chest today. I think really dislike this man after all. Yamamoto Takeshi.
"Ahaha, really?" he scratches the back of his head. I glare daggers at him, and apparently, he notices. "Ah, I think you should eat them all, though. Those are for you, after all," he offers as he smiles sheepishly at me.
"What are you going on about now?" Hayato quirks an eyebrow at the other boy. He motions for Yamamoto to move closer, who reluctantly complies. Hayato forces the fruit between the taller boy's lips and grins. "See, it's really sweet, right?"
He chews it for a moment then swallows. "Wow, it really is! Thank you, Gokudera!" he grins back to my brother.
I watch them as they talk, smile and laugh to each other. I feel so detached; so distant. Hayato's face lights up whenever he's eating something he likes, but it shines so much brighter when he speaks to this man. Hayato never looks at me with that kind of expression; he never looks at anyone with that expression, not even when speaking to Tsuna. The last time I've seen him look like that was when he was talking to his mother back when we were young, back when we were still living happily together as a family.
I just want to see him smile like that again. I'm his older sister, so I'm supposed to take care of him, but I haven't been able to do that ever since he ran away from home. Now, he's never comfortable around me. As much as possible, he avoids being with me. So it is completely incomprehensible to me why he feels so at ease with this man, someone he has known for only about a year. Why he shows that kind of expression to someone who isn't even related to him. Why he smiles like that to someone who probably doesn't even know anything about his past. Someone like Yamamoto Takeshi.
But I guess I really can't hate this man, after all. Maybe this feeling is more of jealousy than dislike. Because he so easily did what I've been trying to do for a long time now. He was able to get close to Hayato. That child has built a wall around his heart and never opens up to anyone. While he acts all comfortable around Tsuna, I know it's still a facade. He tries to be strong around him and never shows his weaknesses to him. But when he's with that man, it's different. It's like he lets his guard down and allows himself to be vulnerable. Even with all the insults and tirades he throws at him, I could still notice that hint of tenderness in his words and actions. The way he affectionately calls him baseball idiot. The way he simply lets him sling his arm around his neck. The way he patiently tutors him whenever he doesn't get a formula right. The way he hesitantly agrees to give him a bite of his parfait. The way he eagerly watches him during his baseball matches. The way he worries when the other boy gets injured. The way he thanks him for the ootoro he proudly made himself without the assistance of his father.
I have always been watching Hayato from a distance, fearing he might do something reckless that will inflict pain upon himself. But I'm never close enough to stop him when he does. I'm never the one he calls out for when he's in trouble. I'm never the one he depends on. It's always him. Always, always him.
"Ah, Aneki," Hayato's voice pulls me out from my thoughts, "thanks for the strawberries, I guess," he mutters. "Here, you should eat some, too," he embarrassedly offers. "There's still a lot of them left. You should make that no-bake strawberry cheesecake you made before for my birthday." He turns away shyly. "I really liked that."
I smile softly as I reach out and take a few from the basket. Really, Hayato is such a gentle child. He makes me want to wrap my arms around him and never let go, to shield him from all the pain this world throws at him. But how can I do that when I cannot even as much touch him without him pulling away? I stare at the strawberry in my hand and suddenly envy it. At least you can make him happy. I look up and stare at the man named Yamamoto Takeshi.
You better make sure you make him happy.