Warning : epilogue-this is the end everyone!, also funeral, so very out-of-characters god help me.
"Mister!" A voice called out, and Reborn twitched as his train of thought was derailed from its course. He glanced at the blue haired child who smiled at him as if nothing was wrong, a wild flower grasped tightly between her two small hands. Reborn lifted the rim of his fedora slightly in greeting, and the little lady giggled childishly.
Ah, yes, today was her funeral.
(Somehow, her name had become a taboo in his thoughts. Maybe because it was painful to remember that she had smiled in her death.
Maybe because her smile actually haunted him to sleep.)
The sun shone brightly above his head. It was a warm day, white fluffy clouds framing the sky and a gentle breeze ruffling his curly sideburns. It was a beautiful day, more fitting for a picnic than for a funeral. But maybe this was the way the universe would always remember her. Her funeral wasn't meant to be a sad one, it had to be a beautiful one. Just like her soul. Just like how beautiful she was.
And now, the little lady was still looking at him with a bright, bright smile, a mirror of a more familiar one.
"Mister, here, a flower for you! Mother gave them to me earlier, but I think you need the flowers more than I do!" She said with a grin that rivalled the sun itself. Her small palms pushed the fragile flowers onto his hands, and with an excited wave, she ran off. Reborn absentmindedly waved back, before his eyes glanced at the crumpled little thing in his grasp.
Reborn shook his head.
The funeral was silent, because instead of crying, everyone was smiling fondly in remembrance of the kind spirit that had stepped into their lives, as if some kind of savior. It was rather strange to see so many famous people at the funeral, and what was even more amazing was that no blood had been spilt.
Not yet, anyway.
There was Dino Cavallone, who sat with his subordinates, a nostalgic expression on his face, as if he was remembering the moment he met the gentle listener. Romario held a box of tissues in his right hand, and a water bottle in his left. As tears began to trail down Dino's face, Romario moved the tissue box closer to his boss, and said nothing as his boss let soft sobs leave his lips.
And there was Enma Kozato, Shimon the Tenth. Rumor has it that the teen was close to her, so close it was easy to see that Enma put her on a pedestal, as his most treasured person. While she never mentioned him much, she did say that Enma was her surrogate brother. So it wasn't hard to see just how hurt he felt as he stared at his self-proclaimed sister's grave.
But the weirdest of all was the fact that, Byakuran was there. He sat under a tree, not moving an inch, and his eyes never left the grave. His eyes had the strangest glint Reborn had ever witnessed, but there was no manic smile on his face. There was only a frown on his face, his lips curled down in grief. He held no marshmallow, which was strange, and now he was muttering about something that Reborn wasn't sure he wanted to know. Well, actually, he was pretty sure that he didn't want to know, nor did he want to find out.
"She came to me the day before she disappeared, you know." A voice said, sotto voce. Reborn lifted his head just to see Iemitsu smile bitterly as he move d to sit next to the hitman. Reborn tilted his head slightly to motion the man to continue his tale, and Iemitsu simply chuckled, soft and bitter.
"She said that...she was my daughter. She came to say hello, for the first time and for the last time, and she apologized about how long she took to gather the courage to say a simple hello. She said her name was Tsunayoshi Sawada, but she went with Tsuru nowadays because of my wife." Iemitsu paused, "Actually, ex-wife would be more appropriate now."
"You divorced her?" Reborn asked as he lifted an eyebrow. He remembered that Iemitsu adored the very land his wife walked upon, and now to hear that the man actually choose to do a divorce on the woman he loved so much...
"I heard Tsu-chan's story, and I just...I loved Tsu-chan so much, you know? I begged her to stay, to not go ahead with whatever reckless idea she had come up with to save you guys." Iemitsu murmured, his voice thick with tears, "But from when she was a baby, she had this single-minded determination. It was adorable, yet distressing sometimes. She was hurt a lot from protecting lots of things that didn't match her ideals, you know? She was bullied a lot, even Hibari Kyoya was one of the people that she saved before..."
Said prefect sat beside the grave, back leaning against the tombstone as he whispered things, as if he was in a conversation with the girl. But of course, it wasn't possible, so Reborn turned his attention back to Iemitsu who looked like it took his everything to stop himself from crying.
"I begged her, I...I wanted her to stay, just stay here, with me, in CEDEF but you know what she said?"
"Papa. I love them too much. I don't want them to get hurt. It was my fault that it turned out this way, it was my fault that they are stuck in this...condition. I want to reverse it, papa. I have clues, and I want to chase them, even if I have to go to the end of the world." She said with a smile, so heartbreakingly beautiful.
"I want to do this—no, I need to do this. For them, and for myself. And I can't do that if I stay. I have to do this myself."
"...I love you, papa."
"So stubborn." Iemitsu laughed, though it was obvious that he was trying to hold back his tears, and without even seeing the man, Reborn knew that the man failed spectacularly. There was a tremor on in his voice, and Reborn didn't say anything. He wasn't sure if his voice would be steady if he were to say anything now.
"Reborn." Iemitsu said, and Reborn couldn't help but to turn his head to gaze at the older man who smiled through his tears, gratitude shining clear in his blue eyes.
"Thank you, for being her home." The blond whispered. Reborn's eyes widened, before he looked down, letting the rim of his fedora shadow his eyes, covering the tears that began to build up at the corner of his eyes. Though, from the liquid that ran down his cheeks, he knew he failed to cover just how painful it was.
She was just...gone.
"I should be...the one to thank her...for letting me—us—to become her home...and for letting us find a home in her as well..." Reborn said, his voice trembling.
Here, in the little cottage, where they had spent months together as they found home in each other, lies the grave of the beautiful woman he fallen in love with. The woman, who he longed to see the smile of again, whom he wished to hear the laughter of again, the woman who stole his heart...and now he couldn't see her ever again. Forever.
His phone rang.
He picked up his phone, only to see a message. An email.
From an unknown sender.
He opened the attachment.
And his eyes widened.
It was a photo of them, in their little cottage, smiling so happily and so blissfully unaware as to what the future might hold. And there was Tsuru, smiling oh so bright and so, so warm, her cheeks flushed with happiness and her hands were covered by theirs, and he couldn't help the small smile on his lips.
Setting the picture as his wallpaper, he sent the picture to his other colleagues, ignoring the way they reacted toward the picture as he stared at her tombstone, lips curving up into a fond smile.
(Fon looked at his phone screen, his eyes widening. Then, he couldn't stop the chuckle from leaving his lips, his thumb stroking his screen, gently, as if to transfer his warmth, right from his fingertips to the person in the screen.)
(Colonello smiled fondly at the picture while Lal smirked slightly as she wiped her tears.)
(Skull sobbed louder, wailing as he wished his self-proclaimed sister would come back to save him from the reality of her being gone.)
(Mammon sighed, though the sigh was fond, with a hint of exasperation.)
(Verde chuckled, as he thought, 'even after your passing, you're still watching over us, aren't you?')
(And he could feel her nods and her little knowing laugh, and Verde smiled slightly.)
Near their little cottage, in the middle of nowhere and somewhere in Italy, lies the body of one Tsunayoshi Sawada, also known as Tsuru, and widely known as Il Ascoltatore. She was a friend, a lover to many, a sister, a daughter, someone to rely on, someone to trust, someone whose heart was bigger than the earth.
She was caring, she was graceful, she was childish, she was stubborn, she was beautiful, she was very, very kind and very, very lovely, and her heart drew many lonely souls to her, and she accepted everyone with a smile on her face.
Reborn rose from his seat, along with his Arcobaleno colleagues. Everyone glanced at them with confusion clear in their eyes, but they trudged on to the mountain that had stolen everything from them. Reborn couldn't help the growl that left his throat as he saw Luce also leaving her seat—there could be no sky for him, other than her—but he really didn't have a choice, did he?
"It's time." Checkerface—the bastard—showed up with that infuriating smile on his lips. Reborn ignored him as he cast a final glance on at the tombstone, the reflected sunlight causing the grave to gleam, and Reborn smiled slightly. She was someone who shone bright when they reached their darkest point, so it should be obvious that even in her death, she was loved by the lights.
Always the romantic one, Reborn.
He heard her voice.
He saw a glimpse of caramel hair.
He turned around.
And he saw no one.
Convincing himself that it was just his imagination, he turned around once again.
Ja, mata ne, Reborn.
Reborn let out a soft huff. Even as bright, bright light—like that day—descended upon the rocky mountain, he grinned.
"Mata ne, Tsuna."
Iridis is officially over. I didn't make the funeral too sad. Yay.
A little translation though, mata ne means see you soon, or at least, a not-permanent goodbye. So.
Our ride is not over though, I'm afraid! We still have water droplets and light to go through, and also, I'm so very proud to announce that there would be an unofficial sequel for this story! Do you know why it's unofficial? Because you can think that Iridis is over right now, with no continuation whatsoever. But I want to write some...scenes that didn't fit in this story, hence the unofficial sequel! Yay. :D
Oh yeah, if you guys didn't catch what the hell the Arcobaleno are doing at that time, it's more like they are resetting the curse and now they are toddlers with adults' power. So, basically, the original version of Arcobaleno C: Tsuru gave her life-force—also known as Flames imo—until she ran out. Her already weakened body couldn't hold the strain, so she died. So Checkerface didn't lie to her, he just didn't tell her the whole truth. Tsuru's life-force is indeed strong and pure, but it wasn't enough to break the curse. So even after he drained her, it was not enough to break it, but enough to reset it. So yeah!
Once again, I would like to thank all of you for your kind support, and also my two beta readers who had been such a blast to talk to. Because of those two, you guys don't have to suffer because of my horrendous grammar, so just be glad and thank both evanescentfacade and arashianelf, alright? ALRIGHT.
17/05/11: Should've write this note a long, long time ago but I forgot. Heya guys, it's been awhile. Now, if you remember that there's a project announcement thing, you'd remember that I promised a sequel. There is, well supposed to be. (And I've posted it before but I deleted it so...) but ah... I lost interest. Sad, sad. So sorry, guys. Though, if you're sad, then you could, uh, go and think a happy ending for Tsu? Ah... or if anyone is still interested then i'll...um... post a one-shot? It's gonna take a bit (Because I'm super busy rn I can't even joke about it) and due to my...current fandom (that is super active please help me escape this hell) but if there's enough people interested, then I'll post a one-shot either here or on my g-docs. Maybe g-docs. Also probs around June. So I'm sorry, you guys didn't deserve this.
(Yes I still read every single reviews you guys left me please don't cry guys I went a bit awkward whenever I encounter "YO IM CRYING RIGHT NOW HOW COULD YOU" yes...how could I...but thank you though. Thank you so much for leaving reviews. The reviews means A LOT to me. So thank you.)
Anyway this note has gotten a bit long (I accidentally rambled lol) but yes! I'll see you guys around!