Summary: "Show me this so-called greatness of the power of love," Hibari ordered. "Fall in love with me." Haru could only stupidly gawk at him. Just what the heck did she get herself involved in? HaruxMultiple Pairings
My lack of KHR knowledge might make some things untrue or some characters OOC and I guess I'll explain some stuff at the end of the chapter, just so I won't spoil things! XD
I don't own Katekyo Hitman Reborn because if I did, there would be a lot more Haru loving!
Please forgive any mistakes, both character-wise and grammatically wise. lol, i still don't understand the beta system thing and I don't really have time to re-read and edit things.
Chapter Eleven: Strong
A few weeks had passed since the breakdown between what was happening between Haru and Hibari.
“Who would have thought that the friend that needed your help would end up being him of all people,” Yamamoto commented with a rueful smile as they walked down the pathway of the park. He scratched the back of his head, looking up at the sky while Haru walked sullenly behind him.
“It’s all Haru’s fault...” she whispered.
Yamamoto paused. “Why do you think it’s your fault?”
“B-Because H-Haru got in Ky-Hibari-san’s way a-and caused trouble for him.” Oh gods, the tears were starting to come up again. Haru quickly rubbed her eyes, trying to brush them away, only to feel mortified when more seemed to pour out.
“It’s not your fault that you were kidnapped,” Yamamoto tried to console. “Besides, there were several people who went after you at once. No one could have gotten away so easily.”
“I-If I was strong like Yamamoto-san... like Gokudera-san... a-and Tsuna-san... if H-Haru was strong...” she mumbled. “T-Then this wouldn’t have happened.”
“It’s true! Haru really is a burden!” she cried, looking up at Yamamoto with tear-stained eyes. She could still hear Hibari’s words in her mind, the scalding look of his eyes. “S-She’s always such an e-easy target for p-people and o-only cause trouble...”
Yamamoto remained silent, allowing Haru to cry for a few moments, her head bowed and her tears dripping onto the ground. It wasn’t good to wallow in self-pity, but a part of him could feel that this was important to her, that she had been very hurt by what Hibari had said. Maybe she had been feeling this way for quite a while, but it hadn’t really manifested outside until now.
He reached out to place a reassuring hand on her shoulder when she abruptly looked up. To his surprise, there was a fiery gleam in them. Haru clasped her hands over Yamamoto’s.
“Please Yamamoto-san, H-Haru will be asking much from you but... please teach Haru to become stronger!”
“Like this?” Haru asked, angling the shinai in a manner that made Yamamoto chuckle. Haru was definitely a determined girl, but the path of the sword didn’t seem to be the one for her.
“If you hold it like that, it’ll be easy for someone to knock it out of your grasp,” he explained and turned his shinai on her, easily flicking hers out of her hands. He grinned when she stared at her empty hands before growling.
“This is hopeless!” she grumbled, stomping towards where her shinai landed. No matter how many times she practiced, no matter how many times she learned, she just couldn’t get it right. Each time, Yamamoto would point out her weaknesses and easily disarm her.
“Are you going to give up?”
“Never!” she yelled, holding the shinai before her once more. Each time they practiced, Yamamoto would ask her this and every single time, she would respond the same way.
There was no way she was going to give up.
She was going to become strong no matter what.
And she had somehow roped everyone else into helping her.
“WHAT?!” Gokudera yelled, taking a step back while Haru looked at him with imploring eyes. It had been several days since that chaotic incident at the construction site and the first thing he hears from her after not seeing her for so long was this bullshit? “You’ve gone crazy... no wait, you’ve always been crazy. You’ve just gone crazier!”
“Please Gokudera-san, you have to help me!”
“Go away, stupid woman!” he yelled, trying to storm off only to feel Haru grab onto the back of his jacket. “Let go! I’m not getting involved with something as ridiculous as this.”
“B-But I need you!” she yelled and he froze, his face flushing at her choice of words. Haru, on the other hand, was too stuck on the fact that Gokudera wasn’t going to help to notice. Instead, she clung onto his leather jacket tighter. “I want to grow stronger! You’re one of the strongest people I know! Please help Haru!”
“O-Of course I’m strong!” he hollered, venting out his embarrassment while being unable to look at Haru. He remained turned away from her, suddenly unwilling to even meet her eyes. “And what do you mean one of the strongest? After Decimo, I’m the strongest!”
“Yes, I know!” Haru nodded vigorously, not caring that she was probably feeding his ego. It was true, though, that Gokudera-san was strong. “So please help Haru get strong!”
“Damn straight! If I train you, you’ll get stronger in no-wait just a damn second!” Gokudera yelled, but Haru was already on her way to her next victim.... target. Her next target...
“Thank you Gokudera-san!” she waved and then rushed towards Tsuna’s house.
And so, the training regime to get Haru stronger had begun.
“Please Tsuna-san!” Haru yelled, chasing after Tsuna who was trying to avoid Haru. “Even Gokudera-san says that you’re the strongest! And Haru also knows that you’re the strongest! So please help Haru!”
“I-I can’t help you!” he yelped, nearly tripping over a random root in the backyard of his home. “I’m not strong!”
“Don’t lie to Haru!” she yelled. “Haru has seen all the things Tsuna-san has done!”
“I’m not lying!” Tsuna yelled desperately. He didn’t think he’d be able to keep this up. While he was in Dying Will mode, it was easy to move and he had more stamina. Without it, he was going to fall over soon. In fact, Haru seemed to have more stamina than him and with the way she was charging after him, he wouldn’t doubt that she was probably stronger than him right now. “R-Reborn is the one to go to if you want training!”
“Reborn-chan is just a baby!” Haru began to speed up, becoming angry and frustrated by how Tsuna-san was trying to get out of this by putting the blame on an innocent child.
“I’m not lying! J-Just ask h-him!” he panted. His legs, oh gods, his legs were burning so much! But if he stopped, who knows what Haru would do to him! Besides, he didn’t even know where to start if he was to teach her. He didn’t know much about fighting or anything! It was all because of his Dying Will mode.
In the end, Tsuna-san had given in and agreed to help. It was only after Reborn-chan tripped him and caused him to flip over in midair before he crashed into the fence that Tsuna agreed. And much to Haru’s delight, Reborn-chan had agreed to oversee the training. It was cute how Reborn-chan wanted to help her even though he was just a baby.
Though in the end, the only person she didn’t ask was Ryohei-san. She had had every intention of asking him, but had been stopped by both Gokudera-san and Tsuna-san. According to them, because Ryohei-san was older than her, he was busy with school and other works.
She was never aware, however, of how they had prevented her from asking him because of how they feared that the burning passion of the Sun Guardian would devour her completely.
In a way, Haru was grateful that she didn’t ask Ryohei-san, but not because she didn’t need another teacher. It was because she had too many teachers already. Every day, after school, she’d learn from Tsuna-san and Gokudera-san. In the evenings, she would go to Yamamoto-san’s place and learn from him.
All in all, her schedule was packed to the brim.
But it still made her sigh with how despite how hard she trained, none of their methods seemed to work. She’d always make some sort of mistake or they’d easily disarm her or put her in a vulnerable position.
It was hard work and her muscles would always ache... but she couldn’t give up. Haru refused to give up.
“One more time?” Yamamoto asked, eyeing the shinai she held. They had practiced so many times that she was shaking a little, but she still refused to give up. A part of him wanted her to rest, but the determination in his eyes stopped him. Even if Haru was a girl, it didn’t mean she was fragile or helpless.
Haru nodded. “One more time.”
She would grow stronger.
She would never become a burden again!
“There was a time when you were infected with the sakura-kura virus... but despite being infected, you didn’t worry or even try to get the cure. And that was because you knew it wasn’t a weakness. It might hinder you, but it wouldn’t be enough to stop you. So tell me Hibari-kun,” Reborn said with a sly grin, “what makes you think she is a weakness as well?”
Hibari’s fist automatically snapped out and hit the tree beside him. It shuddered and a great deal of leaves fell. Hiding behind the tree was a minor and his friend who had been about to smoke. Seeing the angered Prefect so close, the two immediately began to crawl on their hands on knees, desperate to get away. The Prefect had gone crazy lately. If they were caught, he would murder them.
How dare the baby patronize him?
Hibari may respect the baby’s strength and intelligence, but that didn’t mean he would allow the baby to treat him in such a manner.
He pulled his hand away from the tree and ignored how blood was starting to drip from his knuckles. Instead, he clenched his fists harder and walked through the park.
Though weeks may have passed, Reborn’s words weighed heavily in Hibari’s mind. His previous terrorization of the thugs of Namimori had ended a while ago, but if any did cross his path, he still gave them a vicious beating.
It was true, when he had gotten the virus, he hadn’t really been worried. A silly virus wouldn’t be enough to overpower him. Whoever got in his way would be bitten dead, whether the cherry blossoms were present or not.
But with her...
With her it was different...
Hibari gritted his teeth at how an image of Haru’s smiling face appeared in his mind. Why did she appear? Why did he care? It didn’t matter if she was crying! It shouldn’t matter if she had looked at him with broken eyes, trying to contain her sobs after he had harshly rebuked her.
It didn’t matter!
She was nothing but a nuisance!
The power of love, the power she had praised so greatly... it was nothing but lies.
His hand unconsciously rose up and touched the part of his coat that hid the inner pocket. The letter Haru had written him when she had made the bento... he still hadn’t read it.
He shook his head angrily. What was he thinking? Why was he even keeping that thing? He should have burned it the moment he had realized that the damned thing was in his office. But no, he had stared at the envelope before tucking it into his coat.
It made him so angry to feel this power the girl seemed to have over him. Never had he felt so chained before, so tied down to something. Hibari had always been free to roam and do as he pleased, but now... with this girl...
With this weak little herbivore...
He stopped in the middle of his walk and narrowed his eyes at the tree that stood before him. The height of spring was fading, but the tree still seemed to hold a majestic pristine appearance with its large trunk and towering height.
A cherry blossom tree.
Even though the virus had been cured, Hibari felt a chill go down his spine. And though it didn’t really mean much to him that he felt such things around the tree, it pissed him off because it reminded him too much of what the baby had said to him.
“You are not a weakness to me,” Hibari murmured, glaring at the tree. “I have no weaknesses.”
The image of Haru’s slumbering face appeared in his mind, when they had gone on that picnic and she had fallen asleep next to him. He could still feel her warmth and the way she had turned to him for comfort and safety.
That trust she had for him.
...and the fact that he had granted her the ability to get so close to him without being bitten dead...
“She is not a weakness...” he murmured.
But then what was he so afraid of?
“Ky... Hibari-san?” a soft voice echoed within the park.
The prison cell was bleak and dirty. In fact, it didn’t seem like the police here was following protocol by making the cells at least as clean as it was mandated by the law. That or they had thrown him into the dirtiest cell possible due to how horrific his crimes were.
But it didn’t matter.
Hideo leaned against the cell wall, the cuffs clinking together with the movement. He pressed his head back and looked at the ceiling, a delighted grin on his face.
Did they think that he would stop there?
Did they think he was satisfied with just this?
No, there were more things that needed to be done.
He wanted to see the Prefect break, to see the proud strong back crumble into pieces.
Hideo raised his hand and touched his scar.
It throbbed so much.
It desired more than the Prefect’s blood.
Hideo’s smile grew. “All according to plan.”
Hibari froze, but didn’t dare turn around. And exactly at the same time, unbridled anger erupted within him. What was he so afraid of?
And yet, even as he berated himself internally, he still couldn’t bring it upon himself to turn around.
“H-Hibari-san?” Haru called out quietly, seeing the all too familiar back in front of her. She had cut through the park in order to get home from Yamamoto-san’s place, but she had never imagined that she’d run into Hibari-san here.
After all... they hadn’t seen each other once despite all the time that had passed by between them.
Meanwhile, Hibari was near-growling at himself at the pang he felt in his chest.
No longer would he hear her stutter while trying to say his first name.
It was fine. It was just fucking fine. He was Hibari-san to her and she was just a mere herbivore in his eyes. She wasn’t even worth naming.
Damn it, it royally pissed him at how confused he was because of this stupid woman. In the past it had been easy for him to decide everything. Anything and everything was beneath him and not worth his time and effort. If it was something powerful, he would bite it dead, torn it to shreds, and force it into submission. If it was something weak, he’d show it is place, show how they were mere herbivores that belonged beneath his feet.
But this girl...
This damn girl!
“I-I’m sorry,” Haru stammered, clasping her hands. Her heart was hammering inside of her and she wrung her hands together. A part of her wanted to run away and avoid this situation, but she now understood that running away solved nothing.
It was like how she ran away from Tsuna-san...
Sometimes Haru would wonder what would have happened if she hadn’t been avoiding Tsuna-san... if everyone had known about her situation about Hibari-san. Would her kidnapping have been avoided because she had been hanging out with her friends? Would they have been able to stop the kidnapping from happening? They were strong, after all, those thugs wouldn’t have been able to handle them.
“I’m sorry,” she repeated and clenched her eyes shut. This wasn’t how she had imagined their meeting would be like. Haru had hoped that she would have become stronger by the time she saw him again. But she was still so weak... so weak...
That single cold word was harder to bear than a glare from him.
“W-Wait,” she had to tell him. Haru had to let him know that she was getting stronger, that she wasn’t going to be a burden to anyone anymore. He... He may not care... but she had to at least let him know! “I’m going to get stronger!”
In her desperation, Haru had screamed out the words and they echoed throughout the park.
Her face flushed in embarrassment, but she took a determined step forward.
“Haru will get stronger. She won’t be a burden or anyone anymore.”
“You are weak.”
His words cut through her and though it hurt that he wouldn’t give her a chance, it also added fuel to Haru’s resolve. “Haru will get stronger... she... just wanted to tell you that...”
“It doesn’t matter to me what you do.” Hibari replied coolly, still not turning away from the cherry blossom tree. He didn’t want to look at her. He couldn’t look at her. If he looked at her right now, he didn’t know what he’d do.
Haru bowed her head glumly. “I know... I know... but I still wanted you to know... because in the end, Haru wasn’t able to show Hibari-san the true power of love.” She raised her head and gave Hibari’s back a cheerful smile. “But this time Haru will successful prove to him of the great power of love.”