Summary: The Vongola are a close-knit group, the Guardians especially. They are the ones who watch over Lambo and take care of him, and so it’s only inevitable that he begins to address them, one by one, as his siblings.
It was only natural, really, that Tsuna was the first person Lambo felt comfortable calling brother. He lived with him and Tsuna was often the person who took care of him. So when Lambo was six, sitting at the kitchen table with his crayons and paper, he decided he created a masterpiece that Tsuna just had to see.
It took a minute for the brunette to appear, an expression of slight exasperation on his face. “What is it, Lambo?”
“Look at Lambo-san’s drawing!” Lambo picked up the paper and held it out. “Isn’t it the best?”
Tsuna leaned closer and examined the colourful characters. Based on how many stick figures there were, he figured it was a drawing of all the members of their household, though he could only identify a couple of them.
“It’s really nice, Lambo. Want me to put it on the fridge?”
Lambo nodded eagerly and Tsuna went over to the appliance. He found a spare magnet and used it to attach the paper to the collection of drawings that were already there, a combination of I-Pin’s and Lambo’s work. “There. Though we’re going to have to find a new place for your art soon…a fridge is supposed to be a fridge, not a museum.”
Lambo’s stomach gave a rumble and he promptly stuck a hand into his thick, curly black hair. He pulled out a bag of gumballs, but before he could take one out Tsuna snagged it from his hands. “Those are Lambo-san’s!” he cried angrily.
“You can’t always be eating candy,” chided Tsuna. “Besides, dinner will be in a couple of hours. If you’re hungry, I’ll make you a snack.”
He perked up at that. “Okay! Thanks, Tsuna-nii.”
It was a few seconds of looking in the fridge that Tsuna suddenly realized what the child was calling him. He jerked his head up and asked, “What’d you say?”
Lambo gave him a weird look. “Lambo-san said thanks.”
“No, after that!”
“…Tsuna-nii?” spoke Lambo innocently, and when the wide smile crossed the brunette’s face, he wasn’t quite sure why he was suddenly so happy.
And that was the day he officially gained his first brother.
“Are you ready, Lambo?”
The seven-year-old made a fist and punched the middle of his baseball glove. “Ready!” he called, eyes narrowed in concentration.
Yamamoto gripped his baseball and got into his pitching stance. Though his natural instinct was to throw it as hard and fast as he could, he managed to tone down his throw for the small child. “Here we go!”
The ball sailed through the air in a perfect arc. Lambo kept his eyes on it, shuffling his feet as he tried to imagine where the ball would land. He stuck out his glove, by instead of the ball landing neatly inside it hit the ground with thud.
“Darn.” Lambo’s face fell. “I’m not very good at this.”
“You don’t have to be,” said Yamamoto with a gentle smile. “We’re just having some fun. That’s what matters.”
“I guess so,” he sighed. He picked up the ball and tossed it back to Yamamoto, who easily caught it with his baseball glove. He wound up and threw it, but it went too high and sailed past the treeline of the forest that made up the back end of the park.
“Sorry.” Yamamoto smiled sheepishly.
“I got it!” Lambo raced across the grass and towards the trees. He pushed aside some branches and stepped through the tall grass. He found the baseball sitting a few feet away and he hurried towards it.
The soft snarl caused Lambo to freeze, hand hovering over the white ball. He looked up and locked eyes with a raccoon, who lurked in the bushes, watching him with gleaming eyes. “Um…hi,” he greeted, feeling relief that it wasn’t a more dangerous forest creature. “Hey!” he called over his shoulder. “Guess what!”
“What?” came Yamamoto’s amused reply.
“I found a raccoon!” Lambo glanced back at the critter, who was now crawling slowly towards him. The child took notice of the white foam that surrounded its mouth and the menacing way it moved. His eyes widened and he scrambled back in fear. “Take-nii-!”
But Yamamoto was already flying through the trees. Startled by the sudden, much larger intruder, the raccoon snarled and took off. Yamamoto glowered after it before crouching down near the shaken boy. “Are you okay?” he asked urgently, taking Lambo’s arm and checking it for any bites or scratches. “Did it get you?”
“Nuh-uh.” Lambo latched onto Yamamoto’s hand and the older boy helped him up. “What was wrong with it?”
“It probably had rabies,” said Yamamoto, leading Lambo out of the forest. “Raccoons are nocturnal creatures. That means they come out during the night. So if you ever see one during the day, stay away from it.”
“Okay.” Lambo peeked over his shoulder. “Your ball is still in there.”
“That’s okay.” Yamamoto ruffled his hair. “I’ve got lots more at home. I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll stay out of there for a while.”
“Me too. Thanks for coming to get me…I didn’t know something was wrong with it.”
“Don’t worry about it. Besides, an older brother has to look after his younger brother, right?”
Lambo beamed. “Uh-huh.”
And this was the day he officially gained his second brother.
“Kyoko! Kyoko! I want ice-cream!” whined Lambo, pulling on the hem of the redhead’s shirt pleadingly. “Pleeeaaassseee?”
“You can’t have ice-cream this late, Lambo-kun,” said Kyoko patiently, tugging the seven-year-old along the street. “We should have been home an hour ago.”
Lambo looked up at the dark sky. A few stars were starting to appear and the streetlights were on and flickering. It was also getting colder and he didn’t have a jacket with him. “Alright,” he muttered, disappointed. “But can we get some next time?”
Kyoko smiled down at him. “Of course.” She inspected his face and giggled. “You’re going to need a bath.”
Lambo wrinkled his nose. “Why?”
“You’re all sticky from the candy you ate at the movies.”
Poking at his face, he could feel sticky patches around his mouth and on his cheeks. His hair was also rather sticky, due to the amount of candy he had stuffed into his raven curls. “Okay,” he agreed. It was never good to leave his hair unwashed for very long, anyway.
It was eleven by the time they reached the Sasagawa household. Kyoko unlocked the front door and the two headed inside. “Onii-san, we’re back!” she called, setting her purse down by the door.
Ryohei stepped into the front hall from the kitchen, a disapproving frown on his lips. “You were supposed to be back an hour ago. I was just about to go out and look for you.”
“Sorry,” Kyoko apologized. “We were out later than we expected.”
“The movie was looooooong,” stressed Lambo.
Kyoko giggled. “Exactly.”
Ryohei’s stern posture softened. “Well, you’re back safe, and that’s what matters. But next time, if you’re going to be late, call.”
The redhead nodded. “Sure.” A yawn escaped her and she quickly covered her mouth. “Guess I’m beat. Come on, Lambo-kun. Time for your bath.”
“I can do it,” volunteered Ryohei. “You go to bed.”
“I can do it,” protested Lambo.
“You can’t get all that EXTREME hair by yourself,” said Ryohei cheerfully, coming over and swinging the boy into his arms.
Kyoko smiled. “Thanks, onii-san. Goodnight, Lambo-kun.”
“Night!” Lambo waved after his friend as Ryohei carried him to the bathroom. He set the child on the floor and turned the taps. Water started gushing into the tub and Lambo frowned at it. “It needs bubbles.” He went over to the cabinet and opened it. He found the familiar colourful bottle of bath bubbles that Kyoko saved just for him and I-Pin when they came over for sleepovers. “Bubbles!”
“Don’t put a lot in,” cautioned Ryohei. “We don’t want an EXTREME bubble flood.”
Lambo uncapped the bottle and tipped it slightly over the edge of the tub. Purple liquid oozed out and splashed into the water, where it started to foam up and create a mass of white sweet-smelling bubbles. “There!” he said, proud that he did not overdo it this time.
“Good job.” Ryohei took the bottle and set it on the countertop. “That should be enough water for you to get in now.”
“‘kay.” Lambo stuck his hand under the running water to test the temperature. Deeming it not too hot and not too cold, he wrestled out of his dark jeans and cow-print shirt. He yanked off his socks and was about to climb into the tub when he remembered something. “Oh, wait.” He shook his head wildly, and candy of all kinds tumbled from his curls, landing on the floor. His horns soon followed, and after a bit of tugging he liberated a large lollipop. “There!”
Ryohei stared at the pile of candy in amusement as the child settled into the water. “I wish my hair could EXTREMELY hold stuff.”
Lambo blinked. “It can’t?”
“Maybe that’s 'cause you don’t have curls.”
Ryohei laughed. “Maybe.” He knelt down by the edge of the tub and picked up the plastic pitcher. He filled it with water and used it to wet Lambo’s hair. “What did you and Kyoko do today?”
“We went to the park, and then we ate some yummy food, and then we took a walk, and we ate some more yummy food, and then we went to the movies which was really looooooooong.” Lambo used his hands to craft shapes in the mounds of bubbles that surrounded him. “And I-Pin couldn’t come 'cause she’s sick.”
“I’m sure she’ll get better in no time,” said Ryohei, squirting some shampoo into his hand and lathering up the thick black curls. “I think it’s time for an EXTREME haircut.”
Lambo wrinkled his nose. “That’s what Stupidera says. I don’t wanna haircut.”
“If you let it grow any longer it’s going to cover your face. Then how would you eat?”
Lambo’s eyes widened. He hadn’t thought of that. “Um…well, maybe I’ll get a really small haircut. Maybe.”
After a few more rinses and a good dose of conditioner, Lambo was finally squeaky clean. Ryohei hoisted the child out of the tub and gave him a towel. “Where are your pajamas?”
“In my bag, in Kyoko’s room.”
“I’ll get them. You dry off.” Ryohei picked up Lambo’s stash of candy and left the bathroom.
“'kay.” Lambo scrubbed at his hair and face, trying to catch the water droplets before they hit the ground. When he decided he was dry enough, he fit the towel over his head and pretended he was a ghost, moving blindly about the bathroom. The door creaked open a minute later and he shouted, “Boo!”
“What do we have here?” said Ryohei, playing along. “And where did Lambo go?”
“I ate him!” Lambo said in a creepy voice.
“Well, then I guess I’m going to have to make you spit him out.”
Ryohei swooped down and threw the towel-covered boy over his shoulder. Lambo squealed and kicked, trying to escape the teen’s strong grip. “It’s me!”
“Lambo?” Ryohei set the boy to the floor and pulled the towel down so that he could see his face. “It is you. You make an EXTREME ghost.”
Lambo giggled. “I fooled you!”
“You did.” Ryohei handed Lambo his pajamas. “Kyoko is already sleeping, so how about you sleep with me tonight?”
“Okay.” Lambo wiggled into his cow-print pajamas. “But I’m gonna kick you if you snore.”
“Then I guess I won’t snore.” Ryohei lifted the seven-year-old up and exited the bathroom.
Lambo wrapped his arms around the teen’s neck and buried his head into his shoulder. “Ryo-nii, will you read me a bedtime story?”
Surprised for only a moment, a soft smile crossed Ryohei’s face. “I’d love too, Lambo.”
And that was the night he officially gained a third brother.