original here. dated 2013-12-10
[[A/N: As previously stated in this post, this is one in a series of Trailblazers cross posts to make up for my abysmal showing for the past few days.
Trailblazers, Bright and Bold, with it’s slightly different title, is in a way the prototype for the Trailblazers I’ve been writing on this tumblr. So not everything in these cross posts would make the final cut of the hypothetical complete Trailblazers fic.
This one is set during the Ten Years Later arc. As I’ve said before in this other Trailblazers drabble from last week, I’m not sure whether or not I want the future to which they go to be one that Tetsuki was the Lightning Guardian or not. It’ll definitely affect Tetsuki’s interactions with the Foundation (specifically with Kusakabe; which, duh).
I think at the time I wrote this, I did want Tetsuki to have been Lightning Guardian (and have just recently died) but I’m still waffling on the decision for the “final cut.” Not that the decision will overly change this particular drabble–beyond a line tweak or two–but in a general sense for the TYL arc.]]
It’s late in the night, possibly very early morning; she hasn’t been able to tell for days now since they’ve been cooped up in the base. Not that it matters, really, only the children have kept a regular sleeping schedule. There’s too much training and planning and worrying to do.
She finds Ryohei easily enough, he hasn’t left the gym except for meals. Even then, Kyoko has to drag him out.
No one else is there, but seeing as how all of the guardians–their future selves, this is so messed up–seemingly have their own designated areas, that wasn’t unexpected. What is surprising is that he’s not doing anything but sitting against the wall, listing sideways, almost about to fall.
Or perhaps not so surprisingly. Even Ryohei needs to rest every so often.
He’s not asleep, she knows, but his eyes are closed and he’s quiet. So she doesn’t say anything, just sits down next to him, tucking herself into his side so that they can lean against each other.
Immediately she can feel the line of warmth where they connect; the base isn’t cold, but in the circumstances this is comforting and familiar. Just the two of them, Ryohei and Tetsuki, just like always.
“I’m extremely tired.”
And she knows what he means. He’s not talking about being out of energy, or needing sleep. He’s tired. He wants to give up but he knows he can’t because Kyoko’s here and Tsuna’s here and all the other kids and he can’t give up because they’re still fighting and even if they give up he still has to keep fighting because that’s guardians do. That’s what older siblings do.
She knows this because she knows him and she feels the exact same way. It makes her want to cry, because if Ryohei’s tired–inexhaustible, sunny, spirited, Ryohei–then she’s left adrift.
“I’m absolutely terrified.”
It’s true. She walked into this expecting something terrible and got so much worse. They’re at a disadvantage and she doesn’t even know what game they’re being forced to play, much less the rules. She doesn’t know if they can do this.
He doesn’t call her out on it, though, doesn’t try to convince her not to be scared. She wonders if that confession means the same to him as his did to her.
They stay silent for the longest time, the two of them simply sitting there. She closes her eyes, too, for just a moment, leans further into Ryohei and feels him do the same back.
They must have fallen asleep because she wakes up in a bed with Ryohei’s elbow digging into her kidneys and Kyoko curled around her right arm, cutting off the circulation.
There is a reason why they haven’t slept together since she and Ryohei were eight and that is because she always ends up the bruised and achey filling in a Sasagawa sandwich. It was cute and tolerable when they were little but now they, even Kyoko, have been doing some serious training and Tetsuki’s body does not appreciate this.
She’s smiling anyways.
[A/N: The prototype for Trailblazers had the added “Bright and Bold” subtitle because it was meant to be a fic not only about the OC Lightning Guardian, but also a rewrite for Ryohei. After Lambo–which, why would they have a five year old be a Guardian–Ryohei it seems had gotten the short end of the stick character development-wise and story wise. Literally, it makes no sense for him to become involved except that he just happened to be there and the correct Flame type. And he (and Lambo) almost always end up being comedy relief in situations which is just… 😡
(If anything, it should have been Kyoko who became the Sun Guardian–as a story device, the girl who Tsuna had a crush on/who was the purpose behind his first Dying Will bullet, who is described as having a bright and sunny personality, would be the best choice for a guardian whose flame type’s special ability is “activation.” But given shounen manga’s ridiculous misogyny, unsurprising.)]