A/N: This... This was written completely due to exam stress. Hell if I'm doing that again. I'm posting it because I don't want to waste more time agonising over this. (Yes, maybe it would have been better to channel the energy into writing for OJT, but I only ever write what I feel like, otherwise it turns horrible.) This is basically a hilarious take on a much used re-do-your-life-from-scratch plot.
Be warned that characters are OOC, there will be typos and that I have no idea what I'm writing by the end.
Disclaimer: I don't own Reborn
It's one shuddering breath, aged lungs breathing their last, surrounded by his loved ones, his family and his Family that Tsunayoshi Sawada, esteemed Neo Vongola Primo, or Tenth boss of Vongola -whichever you prefer- slipped into the eternal sleep known as death.
Or so it was supposed to go.
But his lungs fill again, much more easily, and his eyes snap open to see a very familiar old ceiling above his head. Tsuna sits up, looks around and then, very calmly and carefully, gets out of bed and walks over to the mirror he knows is behind the wardrobe door even if he hasn't been here in decades.
He doesn't shriek, like he remembers doing often at this age, instead deciding to curse in the multitude of languages he has learned and turning his eyes skyward to ask which god up there hated him so much that he wasn't even allowed to die properly.
After the short outburst, he sighs again before thinking over his options. If he really is starting over again... Tsuna whisks up to his old desk, finding the calendar among the mess that is his middle school desk and slamming a hand over his alarm before the thing even gets out its first ring.
Checking the date, Tsuna's lips curve up in a wicked grin.
Well, first things first, building his body up from the scrawny thing it is right now and... Takeshi. Yes, Takeshi Yamamoto before he pulls that horrible stunt.
When Tsuna first whisks into Yamamoto Takeshi life it's in a kind of strange and certainly impressionable way.
The dark haired teen wakes in his bed one morning to find something brown and fluffy on his bed beside him. It admittedly takes a few minutes for him to orient himself before wondering why the boy he barely knew from his class was sitting on the floor, head cushioned in his arms on his bed as if he fell asleep waiting for Yamamoto.
Tsuna's eyes snap open and he blinks as he sits up to beam up at the teen. "Good morning, Yamamoto-kun!"
Yamamoto rubs the back of his head, understandably perplexed, before extending an awkward invitation for breakfast downstairs.
Tsuna trails him like a second shadow at school for about a week before the taller boy snaps. It's uncharacteristic for Yamamoto to snap but there's a big game in less than a month and his friends expectations have been piling up and up to the point where Yamamoto actually missed the ball today. It was only once, and he hit the next ball just fine but he hasn't missed one in ages, not when he's serious.
And Tsuna's constant presence was not helping.
"What do you want?!" He yells, smile completely off his face for once, eyes dark and roiling.
Tsuna blinks up at him, tilts his head to one side and says patiently, "waiting."
"For. What." Yamamoto grits out between clenched teeth.
One again its that disarming smile as Tsuna replies honestly. "For you."
It takes another week for Yamamoto to get it, and even then it was probably the most round about way he's ever had anyone ask him for friendship. But he's thankful for it too, because he's never had anyone -aside from his father- wait patiently for him rather than just push the expectation on him.
And it was only because the players were especially pushy that day, trying to get Yamamoto to train more while filling their words with empty compliments and how they couldn't possibly survive without Yamamoto there.
Yamamoto had never seen Tsuna so angry.
The brunet stepped forward, his face a neutral polite blank, but the air around him felt hot, choking and pulled so taught that it felt difficult to just breathe.
"He's trained enough, anymore and he'll break something. If you want to win so much why don't you train yourselves? You can't possibly believe you'll be assured a win in a team sport when the team isn't even pulling its own weight."
The others, and Yamamoto belatedly notes, that some of them are people who enjoyed bullying the brunet, have paled as if they were facing a monster and couldn't even stutter, let alone retort as the brunet turns and walks off, that impressive aura gone the moment he turns the corner.
"Uh..." Yamamoto turns back, blinking at the sheepish expression settling on one of his teammates's faces, he liked Kira-senpai well enough and thought he was the decent sort. "Sorry, Yamamoto!" The older boy bowed, before looking up a determined sheen bleeding into in his eyes. "We'll train hard for the game too!"
Yamamoto smiles, smaller this time, but much less strained than he has felt for the past few weeks. "Thanks!" And then turns tail to chase after the brunet.
When he finds him again, Yamamoto hesitates before swinging his arms behind his head and looking up at the sky as he prompts casually, "hey Tsuna."
"Will you be my friend?"
The smile Tsuna gives him is like sunshine and rainbows and then some. "Of course!"
Huh, so that was what Tsuna was waiting for.
Between stalking Takeshi like he recalls a certain silver haired bomber always doing to him, Tsuna is working on his body. His strength, stamina and speed, hell, everything left much to be desired, but Tsuna is stubborn and dedicated when he wants to be, even if he almost kills himself -again- the first time he tried climbing the cliff. He also has to rework all those ingrained reflexes and muscle memory from scratch again if he ever hopes to be on par with his future cloud guardian again.
As it is though, Tsuna settles for riling Kyoya up, which is simple enough.
He purposefully comes late to school after another romp through the forest at the edge of Namimori, and starts a fun game of tag with the prefect.
Hibari is snarling by the end as Tsuna gives him the slip and into his class through the window with the teacher none the wiser, wearing a shit-eating grin.
What better way to connect with his forever independent guardian than to get him to attack?
Ryohei is easy too, in his own way, his future sun guardian was all tough manly exterior wrapped around a tender heart.
All Tsuna did was appear sporadically in the boxing club when Ryohei was in the ring and issue a challenge that the boxer would never decline.
It certainly helped with his own training.
He still said no to the offer of joining the club though.
A week to Reborn's coming and Tsuna goes up to his sweet loving mother, the one who, in his old timeline, died before him, happy and of old age. This time, Tsuna would make sure his mother is happier for longer and not after his oaf of a father decides to come out with his job after leaving his mother alone for years prior.
"Mum, can we go to Italy?"
"Hmm, okay, Tsu-kun!"
They still had school but Tsuna already knew all the material and missing a bit wouldn't hurt. Takeshi jumped on the offer too, asking if he could bring his sword along -incidentally having picked up kendo from his father after seeing Tsuna training himself. With Ryohei it was more a matter of asking Kyoko-chan if she minded, and when she gave her permission Ryohei came along enthusiastically. As for Hibari, Tsuna left a note on his table.
They were on a plane in a week, one Hibari Kyoya joining them when the violent teen swept past the startled attendants closing the doors and tonfas Tsuna's seat right beside his head, holding up the note to Tsuna's face with a glacier glare.
'I'm going to Italy to find you a playmate!' Signed in Tsuna's neat scrawl.
Takeshi, beside Tsuna, chuckles while Ryohei, on his other side grins and bellows his catchphrase.
Hibari looks ready to beat them all up when the plane lurches and the teen stumbles. A packet of car-sick pills is shoved into his face and Hibari glares at the herbivore who prompts him to take it. The plane lurches again and the prefect's face takes on a green hue.
He snatches the pills off the herbivore.
Tsuna just smiles.
Reborn arrives to find an empty household and a note held against the fridge with a colourful magnet.
'Come find me!' Complete with a love heart and winky face. The fedora drawn in the corner cinched it.
Reborn isn't sure whether to be bemused or amused that this teen is evidently playing with him. He settles for calling Iemitsu and verbally tearing into the man for his obviously misguided impression of his 'weak, shy, fluffy little tunafishie'.
Then he would find his wayward student.
Iemitsu puts down his phone, a chunk of his pride and fatherhood beaten down and torn apart.
Then a commotion in his office takes his attention as Basil runs in, chased by-
Tsuna promptly ignores him and tackles Basil, and suddenly there is a dolphin in the brunet's arms. The animal flops around a bit as Tsuna dumps it on the blond teen with a toothy grin. The brunet gets up and dashes out again before Iemitsu can ask what his son is doing all the way in Italy and in CEDEF headquarters no less.
The blond closes his gaping jaw, and runs to his door in a bout of trepidation, his jaw falls open again when he sees the utter chaos the private upper floors of CEDEF have been reduced to. Walls crumbling, the floor giving out in some parts, desks, chairs everything all reduced to tinder while some of his best men were apprehended by what looked to be a teenager that breathed violence and another one wielding a bamboo sword and another, currently throwing Tumeric through a wall.
"Dear, you never told me you worked for the mafia!" Even Nana would connect the dots what with all the weapons and italian cursing and neat pressed suits much like the one Iemitsu wore.
"I know you want to protect Tsu-kun and me but-"
His dear wife was pressing her teeth into her bottom lip in that agonisingly worried expression that made the blond feel like dirt. "I-I'm so sorry, honey!"
As his parents worked through this stump, and Tsuna knew they would, perhaps Nana's next meals for Iemitsu would be less up to par but he knew his parents loved each other (to the point where he felt like gagging every time he saw them together), Tsuna turns to his friends and asks, "So, do you guys like storms, cows, or pineapples?"
Hayato grit his teeth, glowering at the man before him. This would be his first hit as a hitman, not reconnaissance, not to build an explosive for whatever client he got that day but an honest to god assassination request. He'd been eager to do one, to cement his reputation and finally be acknowledged. But now, with the man going about his day none the wiser, filling in files in the office Hayato is watching through a camera he'd tucked into the room. Hayato is standing in the next room with an explosive in hand that would be sure to blow up this room and the ones surrounding it, but he is hesitating to light that fuse.
Sometimes, he hated this part of himself. What use is there for someone who couldn't even kill in the mafia?
He didn't know this man personally. The man wasn't at his feet begging not to be killed, there is nothing for him to feel about taking this life, and yet something is still stopping him.
Though that could just be the hand clamped around his wrist.
Hayato did a double take, stormy green eyes instantly on the wimpy looking brunet who is watching Hayato with- is that disappointment?
And why the hell did he feel so damn guilty when he hadn't even fucking done anything yet?!
"Wha-!" Suddenly his mouth is blocked by another pair of hands and cheerful deadly hazel eyes are gazing into his own.
"Haha, so this is who you wanted, Tsuna?"
"Yup!" And Hayato can't do anything as he's bundled out of the building and into a gelato store across the road.
"I'm Tsuna, this is Takeshi, that's Ryohei and the ticking time bomb brooding over there is Kyoya. What's your name?"
The 'ticking time bomb' twitches at the casual use of his name and the implied insult, the aura around him drops, so cold that even the customers sitting near the table he took for himself edge away.
Hayato continues to scowl at them, especially the wimpy looking brunet. He doesn't deem to answer the question. "What do want from me?"
The brunet tilts his head and smiles, its a mix of wry humour and the look that seems much older and wiser than anyone Hayato has ever met before that gets him. "Nothing."
And then the humour turns sly and amused, though the age seems to remain in the honey brown gaze. "I was just wondering if you wanted to join us in playing with the Vongola."
Hayato's jaw drops and it takes him a few moments to collect himself beyond spluttering. "You want to what the largest, most influential famiglia in the world?!" The tail end of his sentence is a hiss, wary of the public eyes around them.
"Play, fool around, call it what you like. It'll be lot's of fun!" The brunet looks entirely too gleeful and much younger all of a sudden, like a child with his favourite toy.
He evidently has a few screws loose.
Hayato turns to the other teens, wondering why the fuck they were following this crazy kid and why they weren't stopping him. The one that looks like an idiot is just grinning, the one that's eating his ice cream and looking even more clueless is obviously no help. The last teen glares at Hayato but there is also an underlying type of exasperation expressed as -what was his name again? Kyo-something?- his shoulders shift up a barely notable distance in an almost-shrug before the glare turns murderous.
Just great, the only one that is sane in this group is a homicidal maniac.
Hayato agrees to join them, on the basis of keeping an eye on the crazy brunet.
Tsuna grins again and whisks them all out of the store and to his next destination.
Tsuna went on this round-about journey of collecting Hayato that wasn't round-about at all because he didn't want the hero-worship this time around. He wants the angry Hayato as much as the happy one and he enjoys his banters with the silver haired genius. In his past life it took him decades to work on Hayato's subservient attitude and even when he died Hayato was still sobbing for his 'Tsuna-sama'.
Hayato doesn't even realise he's enjoying the battle of wits, between physical battles which Tsuna entices often as a form of training.
"Proof of extraterrestrial life forms can even exist in the form of-" BOOM! Hayato twists away from the explosion he just set off.
"Microbiota!" Tsuna emerges from the smoke relatively unscathed, and swipes Hayato's legs out from under him in a move he recalls Fon teaching him ages ago. "But even if you know they are there, how would you go about finding them? They are microscopic!" He flips back as Hayato sends a small projectile explosive at him.
"That's why I carry a collapsible microscope on me at all times!" Hayato stands up again, wiping a cut on his cheek and panting.
"But how would you know its extraterrestrial and not just a mutated form of any of the billions of stains of microbes on this world?" Tsuna zeros in again this time aiming a punch to the silveret's side.
Meanwhile, Takeshi and Ryohei watch the physical and verbal fight in utter confusion.
"Haha, at least they're having fun."
The boxer nods in agreement, itching to join the fight too, if it meant his mind wouldn't spin.
Reborn listens to the gelato store owner with one ear, the other focused on Iemitsu's wailing over the phone about how his son got the jump on him and is now lost in Italy.
"He was such a sweetie, had a bunch of other boys with him too. His Italian is excellent! Incredibly polite and smooth for someone foreign."
"He left a dolphin with Basil! What do we do with it?!"
"He's your son. Control him." Reborn snaps into his Leon-phone before turning to the store owner with a polite smile. "Thank you for your insight. It'll be helpful in trying to catch my dear 'cousin'."
"Oh, I hope you find him soon! Tell him to come by again!"
Reborn chased his damn student all the way to Italy. He hasn't even seen the boy yet and he already knows that this kid is going to be more difficult than his last and on so many different levels. As if the note he'd picked off the counter isn't enough to confirm it.
'So close yet so far! Guess which place I'm going to storm next!' Any more winky faces and Reborn is going to mutilate the teen at first sight.
Lambo Bovino had just been handed a bunch of weapons, and booted out of his famiglia gate with the words, "go assassinate Reborn and you'll be allowed back again!"
He stands at the gate for several minutes, trying to hold back tears before the dam busts and he throws a tantrum right there and then. Grenades fly left and right, guns and arsenal are all flung at the gate, the ground, the sky as Lambo cries his tears. He wants his mama again. He wants the meanie his father chose as his right hand man to never exist. He wants for everything to be nice and warm and safe. He wants- He wants-
He wants to find the family he has glimpsed in his trips across time, the ones who feel like home.
Then, warm arms wrap around him, another stilling the wayward uzi he has been waving around and Lambo finds warmth again.
Hayato, Takeshi and Ryohei all watched incredulously as Tsuna dashes into what looks like a miniature war going on in front of a fancy gate and the smoke clears to show Tsuna comforting a little child.
After they help to gather all the weapons and stuff them into the kids hair, Tsuna jumps up to Kyoya who is standing on the wall surrounding the property. The brunet surveys the Bovino property thoughtfully. They are helpful in his past life but Tsuna has never really forgiven them for sending Lambo on what was essentially a suicide mission. He shrugs and turns away with a, "not worth it."
Hibari quirks a brow as the herbivore joins the others of his herd. He glances at the cow child who seems to have regained his cheer in an impossibly short amount of time, now annoying the silver haired herbivore with gleefully annoying guffaws.
Hibari glances back at the household that went with the cowardly option of kicking something they can't handle out and grunts. The herbivore is right. They are not worth it.
There's a seal on him, placed by the Ninth himself when he was but a little boy.
Tsuna knows this, and also knows that this is the reason he can't use his flames like the others can without the Dying Will bullet or his pills. Unfortunately, this timeline, he doesn't get either of those since he decided to play with Reborn and the Vongola. Luckily he knows how to undo the seal... Theoretically.
Well, so far he's been beaten by Kyoya dozens of times, almost fell off a cliff another dozen times and cut, singed, and bruised in all his other training sessions, this can't be any more difficult.
"Do it." Tsuna looks at Ryohei gravely.
The teen salutes before dashing forward, his right arm wound back tightly before it curves forward in a barely perceptible blur of speed. "EXTREME RIGHT HOOK!"
Tsuna is thrown back with the force, grimacing as gravel bites into his knees and palms. He gets up again, ignoring his wounds as he faces Ryohei again, though it takes him some time to pop his jaw back in place. "Do it like you want to kill me, nii-san."
"That is EXTREMELY IMPOSSIBLE SAWADA!"
One of the requirements for unsealing was to be in a life threatening situation. (He swears all the requirements for anything he does is to be in life threatening situations.) Unfortunately, though his friends could be life threatening, especially Kyoya, none of them wanted to actually kill him -surprisingly, even Kyoya.
Well, there is his other guardian who wouldn't bat en eyelash about stabbing Tsuna in this stage in his life, and though Tsuna knew the location of every single Vongola base along with the location of every single famiglia's headquarters in this time and in his past/future and a whole bunch of other information and useful tricks, like how to access his father's bank account, wire money over and still cover his own tracks -Reborn wouldn't have it any other way- he is a little stumped about tracking his wayward (future?) mist guardian.
Tsuna's smirk makes Ryohei blink and rub his eyes as if he's seeing things.
"VOIIII BOOOOOSSSSSSS!" Squalo storms down the elaborate double doors to his gloomy as fuck boss' office. "GET OFF YOUR LAZY ASS. DIDN'T YOU HEAR THE INTRUDER ALARM!"
A bottle of wine to his face is his greeting.
Squalo's brow ticks as he shakes the glass and wine out of his face. "VOIII-" His loud roar of anger is cut short when a shark slams into him. His bastard boss's loud guffaws fills his ears as he wrestles with the shark and stands up again. "WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK-"
This time he cuts himself off when he catches sight of a fluffy haired teen clearly laughing at him with his eyes. Xanxus is still grinning like the crazy shithead he is.
"Okay trash, I'll let you take the baby."
The teen nods and smiles and Squalo swears that he's spewing flowers and glitter.
"Great! Do you want me to call off my friends too?" A loud BOOM rattles the very foundations of the mansion and a loud EXTREEEEME! follows soon after.
"Fuck no, gives them a good workout."
The fucking fluffy brat actually has the gall to nod to Xanxus like they are equals and then turns to empty air beside him. "Shall we?"
Squalo is still trying to wrap his mind around his boss talking to this fluffy brat, when the baby appears right where the brat is looking.
"Since boss said so," Mammon replies and floats up to land on the teen's shoulder.
The brunet offers one last wave before leaping out of the window with the baby.
"WHO IS THAT?!" Squalo bursts out.
Xanxus shrugs and stretches himself out on his chair. "Like I give a fuck, he just wanted the baby." But the man's red eyes are blazing with barely restrained interest.
Reborn stares up at the Varia boss with his unreadable beady eyes.
"You're telling me that fucking trash is the heir?"
Xanxus is hard to read on a good day, on a bad day you couldn't even attempt to read him before a hole is blasted into your chest, but Reborn isn't Reborn if he can't decipher the flicker of emotions in those red eyes.
First is incredulity, then anger, then angry amusement and then... Anticipation. The man stands up, booted feet barely making a sound against the marble flooring as he grabs his guns. "I'm fighting him and you can't fucking stop me."
Reborn would to rub his temples if it weren't so out of character. Instead he settles for shooting at the giggling blond who peers around the door Xanxus has left open. Not that much of that door is left.
His student and whomever he is collecting had managed to level the entire Varia mansion in one night.
Reborn is amused but that won't stop him from torturing the brat when he catches up to him.
Mukuro Rokudo is on the run with his ragtag group of pawns from the very horrors of the underworld when they run into another team of teenagers and one child.
Mukuro doesn't waste time; he is on a tight schedule after all, and opens his first path to make them drop into the lava pit he has made up under them. It works on all of them but the brown haired boy who is observing him with a strange expression.
And the others, as soon as they see how the brunet is unharmed, manage to fight the illusions themselves.
And then the physical fight starts. Ken and Chikusa have been itching to jump in and they take on Takeshi, Hayato and Lambo.
Ryohei faces off with Lancia.
Tsuna hesitates for only a second before leaving Mukuro to Hibari. Mammon left as soon as the baby located Mukuro for him, stating that its job was done. Plus, the prefect won't appreciate him helping. So Tsuna focuses on Birds and his bloody twins instead. He grimaces; he always hated the truly insane ones.
Mid-fight, where Takeshi is holding against Ken's powerful animal jaws and Hayato is barely avoiding the stream of poisonous needles while Lambo aims grenades at the lot of them from where he is sitting on the bomber's shoulders and Ryohei is full of scrapes and bleeding cuts and is just working out how to counter Lancia's serpent ball, Tsuna barrels between the illusionist and prefect's very even fight, one bloody twin left chasing after him. Hibari automatically beats the twisted figure down, several bones breaking under his tonfa while Mukuro aims and meets his target.
The illusionst smirks as red dyes the brunet's orange shirt, spreading from where his trident has sliced clean through his lower right abdomen.
"Herbivore!" Hibari hisses.
"Oya oya, you wouldn't want me to mess him up more by doing this would you?" The trident twists, a low pained gasp comes out from the brunet who is clutching at the base of the trident weakly.
"Tsuna!" Takeshi, falters for a moment while Hayato even stops, some needles piercing into his flesh.
"Don't get distracted!" Tsuna barks out harshly between gritted teeth.
"Kufufufufu, you can still talk?"
"Yes." The answer is stronger this time and the illusionist is intrigued as something, something that feels like pure power seems to flow from the brunet for a brief moment. Hibari's eyes widen minutely as he catches the sensation too, even taking a step closer.
They are all unprepared for what happens next.
Like a broken dam, power, flame is suddenly pouring out of the brunet in swathes. Its like a tidal wave, cloying, choking and at the same time like being stuck in blaze of searing heat and fire, but above all it felt warm, welcoming, like the arms of a friend, lover, family wrapping around with the promise of protection, guidance, and a home.
And then the dam is cut off, snapping back as Tsuna fights to control his -finally unsealed!- flames again. He gazes at the small stunned crowd before him and suggests tactfully, "let's all get out of here before the Vindice turn up. Shall we?"
Reborn really really wants to bash his head against the wall.
What did Tsuna do to warrant the attention of the Vindice?!
All he did was follow his next lead to this abandoned warehouse area in Sicily. Usually he is infallible even when the unexpected turned up (which it did more often than not since he started this wayward game of tag with his student) but the most dangerous group in the underworld, hell, the entire world is not something he particularly wants to encounter. Even he wouldn't wish his worst enemies on them.
They are that fearsome.
Currently it looked like they are looking over a piece of note paper. It looks suspiciously like the same pieces of note paper with the faint fish designs on one corner that Reborn has been getting.
"The Arcobaleno Reborn."
Reborn looks up at the Vindice who has noticed him despite hiding his presence. He gives a curt nod.
The Vindice hands him another note with a fish design.
Reborn reads it.
'I really like your curls.' There is a smiley face next to the words.
This time, Reborn tears the note up into fine dust particles before turning to the Vindice. "He is the Vongola's heir. Don't touch him."
Reborn would be the first to do that.
Mukuro observes the brunet who has fallen asleep on the bed in this hotel room he booked. Tsunayoshi's upper half is sprawled over the silver haired teen's legs, his arms wrapped around Lambo's sleeping form. The silveret looks torn between moving him and staying put against the headboard. The bruent's legs are curled up in the space left between himself and the recently bandaged loudmouth snoring away at the end of the bed.
Tsunayoshi's injury should have been severe, but it seemed his strange release of power had healed most of it, leaving three tender tender scar tissues behind, one set on his front, the other on his lower back.
Hibari has taken one bed all to himself, already laying there, and looking as if he is asleep with one of Birds' yellow birds snuggled in his hair.
The rest of them, Takeshi, Ken, Chikusa and Lancia are all scattered around the room, taking this moment of peace to treat wounds and regain lost energy.
Then Tsuna shoots upright, managing not to wake Lambo as he does so. One of Hibari's eyes opens as the rest look at him. "We need to move," Tsuna announces.
Mukuro blinks and chuckles ominously. "Now why would we need to do that?"
"Reborn. The Varia. Or the Vindice." Tsuna counts off his fingers rather matter-of-factly. "Pick one."
"R-Reborn-san is tracking us?!" That was Hayato, looking unsure whether he should be in awe or terrified for his life. With Vindice in the list though, Hayato is leaning to the latter.
"Haha, who's the Varia and the Vindice?" Takeshi asks, clueless as ever.
"Why the hell are the Varia chasing you, byon?!"
"I'm the one playing a game with Reborn right now, so you guys don't need to worry... I think. The Varia were those fun people we annoyed at the creepy mansion, Takeshi. The Vindice are mafia police who were after him," Tsuna jerks a thumb at the illusionist who cocks an amused brow in return.
"'Were'? Tsunayoshi, they're not going to stop just because we gave them the slip once" Mukuro states. But his eyes narrow at the mention of Reborn. He has heard an interesting rumour concerning the hitman and Vongola's next heir and if the hitman is chasing Tsunayoshi then that would mean...
Tsuna just shrugs and stands up. "Like I said, we need to get going... I have a place in mind."
The others can only blink at the cheeky smirk on the brunet's face.
The next of random calls is Dino.
"U-um, hey Reborn..."
The hitman doesn't even bother chewing out his ex-student for his stutter. "Does one of them have fluffy brown hair, honey brown eyes and go by the name, Tsuna?"
"Eh? How did you know?!"
"I'll be at your mansion in an hour, make him stay put."
When Reborn arrives, it's obvious Dino has failed to do just that and half his mansion is being eaten by a giant turtle.
Reborn deals out the proper punishment and finds Tsuna's scrawled note, this time a portrait of a little yellow bird.
The next call he gets is from Vongola HQ.
"Reborn, the Ninth was just kidnapped," says Coyote's gruff voice. In the background, the sound of chaos and mayhem comes over the speaker.
"Was it a scrawny teen with fluffy brown hair?"
"That's Tsuna, Iemitsu's insane son."
"Coming from you, that sounds rather troubling." There is a bang and Nono's lightning guardian's voice comes over the speaker. "Coyote! The western wing has just been blown clean through! And the guards in the south say there's illusions everywhere!"
Reborn allows himself one face-palm.
The next call came from, surprisingly, Skull.
"R-Reborn-senpai! Some crazy brats just stole Oodako!"
The hitman doesn't even bother asking, he knows who it is.
"If your monstrosity of a pet can be stolen so easily, it means you're pathetic."
"Home sweet home."
"It's been a long time since I was last here."
"Haha, I hope Sensei's not too mad at us."
"Kufufufufu, how quaint."
"I EXTREMELY can't wait to get back!"
More than a few people stop to stare at the strange group the consisted of many teenagers, a child, an old man and an adult that appeared on the beach fully clothed. Even more than a few stare on in horror as a sulking giant octopus trails after them.
Tsuna is pleased. Not only had they found Chrome as they passed through Tokyo, Mukuro had been the one to save her before the girl got struck by a truck; no doubt the cause of her organ loss in his past timeline. The truck driver didn't get so lucky, but Tsuna has learnt years ago that he can't save everyone, and if he had to choose, his friends, his family will always be first.
Though he will do his damnedest to save who he could, to fix who he could.
Which is why he is biding his time, back in Namimori where his mother hasn't returned yet -Tsuna often sent her texts so he knew she was still with Iemitsu. A free house meant more space for his collection of friends, oh and the old man they kidnapped.
"You've gathered an impressive group, Tsunayoshi-kun."
Tsuna turns to the Ninth and nods.
"Reborn isn't with you." It's not a question.
This time the brunet flashes a grin. "We're playing hide-and-seek."
"And the reason for taking me?" The Ninth isn't about to punish his newest heir, instead he is intrigued, he too has sat through more than one of Iemitsu's ramblings about his darling son not to mention he has met the boy before when he was tiny and adorable. This current Tsunayoshi still has his baby-fat, but he isn't shy, he isn't clumsy, instead he walks around confidently and with the grace of a trained martial artist, he also either has his own wicked sense of humour or is insane as even his friends don't seem to understand why he goes around doing what he does, like kidnapping Timoteo during his afternoon tea.
Tsuna grins, looking so childish while at the same time his eyes show knowledge and intelligence beyond his years. "Waiting." He offers as a cryptic answer, and then he flits off again, returning a few hours later with a nervous red-head with green eyes who he dumps on Hayato.
A few more hours and Tsuna's waiting pays off as a roar rattles the house and a blast of concentrated sky flames punctures straight through his front door, past several walls and right through to the other side of his house.
"TRASH!" Xanxus stills for a moment in his rage when Timoteo steps into sight from one of the rooms, looking equally startled.
"WHY THE FUCK IS THE OLD MAN HERE?!"
A weight barrels into his back, making him stumble forward and suddenly, darkness shutters around them, leaving Xanxus and Timoteo alone in a dark space.
"Xanxus, stop taking your anger out on Vongola!" Tsuna's voice echoes around this strange space.
The man growls, his guns charging up with his flames.
"He's right, Xanxus, though I have no idea how he knows, but if you are to blame someone, you should blame me for failing as your father."
"YOU ARE NOT MY FATHER!" Xanxus roars as he fires.
Meanwhile, Mukuro and Chrome and Mammon all turn to look at Tsunayoshi from where they are holding the illusion.
"Seriously? You waited around to sort out someone else's daddy issues?" Mammon says, an almost incredulous tone in the baby's voice.
Mukuro actually looks ready to laugh like a madman.
Chrome is giggling.
And then it takes all their attention to contain the massive amount of sky flames.
Xanxus emerges victorious, Timoteo slung over a shoulder. His expression is calmer than it has been for a decade -well he was encased in ice for the most part. He grunts noncommittally at the inquisitive looks before he dumps Timoteo on a sofa and collapses on another one, snoring away from exhaustion before his head even hits the armrest.
Tsuna looks pleased as he appears with Ryohei and Kyoko-chan. In his past life, both of them knew how to heal with their flames. Rather, a good number of them knew how to use what flames they had if they had it. Tsuna had sun flames, actually he had all the flames at varying degrees, cloud and storm always came hardest and he couldn't make more than a flicker, but his sun flames were the third best after sky. He still has the same body now, just younger, so he knows the potential is there.
Tsuna gestures for Hayato, Shōichi and Chikusa to come forward as he starts an impromptu healing lesson with Timoteo and Xanxus as their practice dummies.
Reborn ends up back in Namimori to find his student calmly drinking tea with the Ninth and Xanxus.
Flanking the hitman is Varia's second in command, Timoteo's Storm guardian and Iemitsu and Nana. All of them, sans Nana, gawk at the scene.
Reborn notes the others in the room; Smokin' Bomb Hayato, Bovino's brat, the criminal Rokudo Mukuro and The Strongest man in Northern Italy, and once again gets the impression that Tsuna is either a genius or insane. Seeing Xanxus sit in a room without shooting and/or maiming someone, Reborn is actually leaning toward the former option. Or both. Both sounded right.
"Will you fucking give him the rings already so I can fight him." Xanxus demands as he points to the brunet.
"Xanxus..." Timoteo says in warning.
"Don't start old man, I still get the rights to beat the crap out of him blood ties or no blood ties!" The scarred man grabs Tsuna who screams with glee as he's shaken back and forth.
"Why the fuck did you choose this wacko as the heir anyway?!"
"Wait!" Hayato hesitates as three sharp stares are aimed his way. "Um, Tsuna is the heir to the Vongola?" Of course the silveret had been horror-stricken when Tsuna kidnapped the Ninth of all people, and didn't bother watching over the old man as if he couldn't tear them all apart in their sleep. He is the leader of the most ruthless and influential famiglia, even if he is an old man. So Hayato had been surprised the Ninth didn't do anything, coming along even on the crazy ride on a giant octopus -who is splashing around in the pool set up in the backyard right now- but if Tsuna is the heir, it would explain so much.
"You followed him without knowing?" Timoteo asks, getting several head shakes from the teens in the room. Except Mukuro who smirks like the cat who got the cream.
"I haven't been told either!" Tsuna busts out, laughing mirthfully inside because it is technically true. He hasn't actually met Reborn for an explanation, and he can feel the hitman itching to pull the trigger on him from where he is standing by the door -obviously holding back because the Ninth is still conversing with him. He is having wayy too much fun, but what else is he to do? When he was an old man, his job taken over and with too much free time on his hands, he took the greatest pleasure in embarrassing his grand-nieces and nephews, such as dressing in the tackiest clothes he could find to attend parent-teacher interviews just to see their faces.
More than one person in the room felt like face-palming.
And then everything went to hell.
Chains, cold and ruthless, suddenly bursts out of the multiple portals that have appeared in the room. They wrap around the brunet, who looks startled, as Xanxus, who still has a hold of him, snarls and wraps his arms around the brunet almost protectively. "Get your chains off him, scum!"
The Ninth stands up, drawing his boss aura around as he demands, "what is the meaning of this! This is the candidate for the Tenth boss of Vongola, you are overstepping your laws Vindice!"
Chains dart around, stilling flailing limbs, explosives, swords, guns and flames alike. Iemitsu is curled around Nana protectively as he calls for his son.
Mukuro is fighting off the chains, heterochromatic eyes narrowed dangerously. "I thought you wanted me."
The Vindice's voices echo like cold terror. "He owes us in exchange for Mukuro Rokudo's freedom. We are taking that payment now."
Mukuro almost stops in shock at that revelation. When had Tsunayoshi even made an exchange?
Reborn fires glowing yellow bullets at the chains trying to contain him as he swiftly makes his way to his student as Tsuna is forcefully pulled out of Xanxus's grip and to the tall cloaked figure with a baby-Vindice on his shoulder. He never knew there was another one of them but Reborn has his priorities and one of them is currently being taken away.
"Nu-uh!" A cheerful voice echoes and suddenly Tsuna isn't in the grip of the chains but in the grip of someone much much worse.
The cheerful man standing next to the imposing one with a silver mask and an iron hat, grins and says, "he's now Checkerface-sama's!"
Reborn fires a Chaos Shot as dozens of chains dart to the man.
The smoke clears to show no sign of Tsuna, the man with the iron hat, or that annoyingly cheerful man.
"You know a lot."
They are sitting in a dark space; the checker face'd man on a regal chair, Tsuna on the floor, cross-legged.
He nods. "I do."
Tsuna considers his options, in his past, Kawahira had been a tentative friend, someone he visited every so often to check up on after the Arcobaleno curse was broken. But as Checkerface, Tsuna knows he is ruthless, at this point in time the man won't let anyone harm the balance of the world, the Tri-ni-sette, but the man also has a very apathetic view of the world; he will kill when he deems it necessary, even if others don't agree.
Tsuna decides to tackle this issue head-on. "Are you going to kill me?"
"That would be a waste of such pure sky flames." A gloved hand runs through his hair, winding under his chin and Tsuna's face is pulled forward to look straight into the glint behind the eyeholes of the silver mask.
"You know who I am." The revelation is startled as if the masked man has just realised.
Tsuna nods into the hand on his chin, slowly but surely peeling away the intricate layers of illusions on the man. His lips quirk up. "You look strange in a trench coat, Kawahira-san."
"Who are you?" The illusion is released completely, revealing Kawahira's chin-length white hair, reflective glasses and green yukata.
"You are not. Tsunayoshi-kun is a clumsy, shy boy who is bullied a lot. As of two months ago he has suddenly changed to a wild reckless person who trains tirelessly and runs head on into making ruthless enemies for himself..." The brown eyes narrow. "Or so I would have said but it seems the 'recklessness' is not from a certain lack of self preservation but from knowledge."
Mist flames twirl ominously around the white haired man. "Enough knowledge and skill to fool even me."
The staff stabs into Tsuna who grins and disappears in a cloud of mist flames.
"That was close!" Tsuna exclaims as he gets up in the middle of the clearing, nearly toppling again as stiff limbs lock up. He has to concentrate a lot to use his mist flames. Tsuna slipped away the night before, after the healing session, after a warning from his intuition. He wasn't expecting Kawahira so early on but that is what he gets for fooling with so many dangerous people at once.
Tsuna looks up at the soft Mandarin being spoken from where his is rubbing his legs in an attempt to get feeling back into them. "I'm alright I-pin, just stiff, he replies in the same language.
He is currently in China, in the middle of a bamboo forest.
"Impressive, I hear long distance is difficult for mist users to learn." Fon jumps down from a branch where he has been watching Tsuna.
Tsuna lets out a cryptic smile. He had learned from the best after all, even if Mukuro will always be a creepy bastard.
"Where will you be heading next?"
Tsuna blinks at the question and gazes at the setting sun dying everything in a golden hue.
"Italy again, I think."
"If you are willing, will you take I-pin with you?"
Tsuna blinks again, turning back to see the martial artist. Its barely perceptible but Tsuna has known Fon for a long time and he can read the line of worry just creasing the baby's face. He knows Fon adores his disciple and wants the bast for her and around this point in time -Tsuna flips through his memories- I-pin is working for the triads at the tender age of five.
He pulls a face and then turns to Fon with conviction in his eyes. "I'll take her, and keep her from being sent on missions before she's old enough.
If Fon is surprised at the brunet's perceptiveness, he doesn't show it, instead he bows his thanks.
"You avoided all my traps!"
Tsuna carefully dislodges an arrow sticking from his shoe. And turns to face the cloaked and hunched figure of Vongola's expert metal craftsman, Talbot. The crazy old codger is cackling gleefully.
"There's something I want you to make, something to contain a part of the world's power and keep in contained."
"You're requesting an impossible task, boy!" The old coot cackles again, showing all his lost and crooked teeth. "I like impossible!"
Tsuna smirks. "Great!"
He's heading out when his hand whips up to automatically catch the the item flung at him.
"You'll find more use for that one than I will."
Tsuna glances at the ring, and a wide genuine smile fills his face. "Thank you!"
The ring 'gao's back.
"Hm, hitting speeds of almost 200 kilometres per hour, slicing through model R-319 with sky flames of 99.99 percent purity level." The high chair swivels around, eclectic green eyes landing on Tsuna panting by the door to the bunker. "Do that again so I can draw more concrete results, do you think you'll fare batter against model R-327?"
Tsuna is still catching his breath; what is it with inventors and scientists and setting up traps?!
He flings a blueprint at the baby before hightailing out of there, yelling that he'll be back to pick it up in a month of two.
Verde straightens his glasses to take a look at the blueprint. "Boxes? Interesting... Oh I forgot to ask how he located me."
Fuuta de la Stella ran. There were shouts and gunshots from the men following him and the little boy winces as he feels one whistle by his ear. He is running out of energy but he can't let the men take his ranking book! Fuuta couldn't let anyone but the one he trusts the most to take it!
He stumbles into someone, startled eyes landing on honey brown ones.
"Stop, you brat!"
The person, a male who looks only a few years older than Fuuta himself and rather weak, steps in front of Fuuta, placing a young girl beside him.
Fuuta doesn't know what to do. He should keep running and not look back but the little girl is there too and the teen has evidently left him to take care of her even though there is no way he stands a chance against those burly men with guns.
But then the air suddenly tenses, and Fuuta watches in wonder he realises it's the brunet's aura.
And then the boy realises how wrong he is.
The teen dusts his hands off, having beaten the men, disabled their firearms and shoved them into an alley.
He offers the gentlest smile Fuuta has ever seen as he asks if the boy wants to come with him.
Tsuna tears through the Mosca like it's paper, flips over the next barrage of bullets -he's had enough of inventors and their traps!- and lands in front of the blond teen.
The mechanic blinks and grabs Tsuna's face. "How do you make your eyes glow?"
"Stop that!" I-pin yells from where she is hanging onto Tsuna's shoulder. A boy with a large book dashes into the room when he sees the danger is gone.
Tsuna pulls away and explains, "my eyes glow because of my flames." Before tactfully adding on, "and I'll let you play with my flames after we find the Vindice."
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The door to Vendicare was being banged on rather violently.
"Bermuda-sama," Jaeger calls, imposing figure wafting through the door.
"What? Why haven't you killed the person who dares to knock on our prison gates?"
"BERMUDA LET US IN SO I CAN TELL YOU HOW TO GET REVENGE! IT'S FREEZING OUT HERE!"
"... Let them in."
Reborn and Mammon were together with a bunch others still trying to track down the brunet who was taken a week prior. The Ninth and Xanxus had returned to Italy, Iemitsu was forced to go back, leaving a whole bunch of temperamental teens with them. Reborn controlled them with his gun but he can see them getting testier by the minute.
Then, he felt it like a jolt of lightning as his curse broke.
"Wha..." Mammon mutters as a crack appeared in the baby's pacifier.
Reborn looks down to find that his pacifier is crumbling too.
The shock is so great that the hitman doesn't realise someone is approaching at light speed until he is picked up in a pair of warm arms and twirled around. "Yay! It worked! See, I told you so."
"This conduct is unbecoming."
Everyone is on red alert as soon as they notice the cloaked and bandaged figure sitting on Tsuna's (where the hell did he come from?!) shoulder. The baby Vindice is holding a strange clear contraption with a yellow flame in the centre and swirls of miniature black portals inside.
"Tsuna-sama!" Tsuna looks at Hayato mournfully. Evidently the fact that he's the next Vongola Boss has made the silveret revert (or was it start?) his bad habits.
"It's fine everyone, I'm helping him." It is more like the Vindice are helping him, but if they see gain from this then Tsuna isn't going to argue. He turns to the baby on his shoulder. "This is enough, right?"
The Vindice nods and turns to Mukuro, "your misconduct has been noted. If you overstep your bounds again you will be arrested by the Vindice." And then he disappears through a portal, taking the strange contraption with him.
As soon as he's gone, Tsuna finds himself on his back, winded, and a gun pointed between his eyes.
"Explain." Reborn demands darkly.
"Ara~ I can't let you do that to Tsuna-chan. He promised to have fun with me~" a white haired teen emerges with a blond teen with a little girl sitting on his shoulder ("Isn't that Fon's disciple? Mammon mutters.) and a flax blond boy with an oversized book, Fuuta de la Stella, Reborn recognises.
Reborn digs the heel of his shoe harder into Tsuna's chest who wheezes in return. "And stop picking up weirdos."
The house is filled to the brim with some of the most chaotic and violent people to have ever stepped on this earth and yet it is deathly silent.
"The future," Reborn repeats, just to clarify.
"Yep!" Tsuna chirps between humming what the hitman recognises as a folk song local to Brindisi and braiding I-pin's hair.
"And you just broke the Arcobaleno curse in less than a week when we've been searching for the cure for years." Mammon deadpans.
Tsuna nods again as he lets I-pin go, wiggles out of Byakuran's hold, crawls over Spanner, who shoves a lollipop into his mouth, and lands on the floor with a thump. Then a sky lion cub appears in his lap and Tsuna cuddles it affectionately.
"Why the hell do you act like such a crazy kid?"
Tsuna smiles, with all the cheek of someone who knows a dozen ways to make your life hell and laugh at every moment of it.
It's at this very moment that several people look between Reborn and Tsuna and make the connection.
More than a few of them shudder in apprehension.
Meanwhile, ghostly Daemon ponders over his options with this one, the Vongola would be weak if this child takes over but if he knows the future...
Sharp bright orange eyes land on the illusionist and a sweet smile like a stab to the heart is directed his way. Suddenly the child feels much bigger, filling the expanse with a tidal wave of his presence. "If you dare harm Enma and his family before I find him I'm going to skewer you, Daemon. As it is, I'll tell you something nice;"
"If you stop ignoring the light you'll find the one you're searching for. If you continue to ignore her, she'll probably stab you with a cleaver the first chance she gets."
When Tsuna takes on the mantle for Vongola X, it's nothing short of a disaster.
The brunet turns to the awaiting crowd of mafiosos, and Reborn's eyes narrow when the brunet flashes a grin.
And then mist flames burst from him, leaving a mini-sky lion wearing a mantle in his place, gao-ing and pawing at the jewelled sceptre in front of him.
Tsuna laughs from where he is sitting on the scaffold in the ceiling as mafioso run around like headless chickens below, and hands Enma beside him more popcorn.
It really is fun fooling around with his family.
Then the smile on Tsuna's face turns darker, and more calculating.
So long as it's him that's doing the fooling around, of course.
E/N: Don't bite my head off about all the errors I just made to canon. Do you have any idea how long it has been since I read the original manga? /SHOT