Title: The Only Thing
Author: Harmony (Silver Harmony)
Word Count: Approximately 463.
Disclaimer: Not mine, sadly.
Feedback: Very much appreciated.
It was happening more and more frequently: a quiet and curious Yamamoto? which would prompt him to turn, and he’d see the infant’s familiar big pools of eyes staring straight at him, seeming to hold more knowledge of goodness-knows-what than the kid himself let on. It was always then that, as if on cue, Takeshi allowed that usual big smile to stretch across his face; he couldn’t help it – it was an automatic, instinctive reaction. It was the same smile that he knew everyone saw on him all the time.
Often no one saw this exchange, which was fine by him – maybe he preferred it that way, even though he didn’t really know why. Sometimes Tsuna would accidentally flicker his mild eyes over to him and smile timidly, too, which was also okay.
Still, every night that he poured his every being into the living sharpness of his blade, every muscle and every drop of sweat and each cutting breath, even when his fingertips were trembling and his sword felt impossibly heavy beneath his knuckles, he knew that every smile meant everything that was keeping his comrades alive and going. At the end of the day, after every life they’d managed to save and every threat they’d defeated, when they were exhausted and smeared with dirt and blood, it was the only thing he’d look forward to, a sliver of light amongst all the rubble and dust and emptiness. He always smiled for them, and most of them would return the smile. Gokudera alone would gruffly ask him why he was so damn cheerful, but Takeshi knew it was the other boy’s way of showing relief.
No one ever questioned the deep wounds underneath his uniform, the blood he was always covering with his undershirt. After all, no one could see them, and it was better that way. After every battle, he would be asked if he was okay; he’d smile his usual bright smile and say, of course he was. They’d always smile back.
And yet, it was maybe at the end of the night when he was alone that Takeshi would let it slide away from his face for just a fleeting second, because it somehow didn’t suit the way he felt about Dokuro hanging by a thread, the way Gokudera was bed-ridden with battle wounds that wouldn’t heal for weeks, the way Tsuna walked the corridors half-awake because he felt too guilty and worried to sleep.
‘It hurts sometimes, doesn’t it,’ the infant said one night, and Takeshi somehow knew he wasn’t referring to his battle injuries, because he could immediately feel something else in his chest stinging. ‘Yamamoto.’
In conversations like these, maybe, just maybe, the smallest part of him knew that this wasn’t just a mafia game.
His lips slowly curved upwards.