What am I doing? AU Oneshot. (really au). I don't own KHR.


Tsuna crouched, his lips pulled back, eyes narrowed, and snarling. His Flames flickered subtly over his skin in a display of control and as a warning.

He was dirty, he had a dark purple bruise just under his eye along with the many others scattered over his body, his ribs were cracked, and that wasn't taking the multiple cuts, lacerations and scratches into account.

But he couldn't stop. He had to keep going. There was no choice.

Failure was not an option.

His life was not the only one on the line.


He remembered a time Before.

He remembered a time where he was no-good, a boy whose only thought was for video games, his mother, and wishing he had friends. That and carefully not mentioning the fact he was a Sky. A sealed Sky, but a Sky none the less.

And then everything had changed. Tsunayoshi wasn't sure how it started. All he knows it one day he had been a normal struggling teenager, not even 14 yet, and the next the world as he knew it had flipped over.

Flames had become common knowledge instead of the closely guarded family art they had been, and someone had created 'Flame Sensors' for those without Active Flames. The Sensors allowed those who had particularly strong Flames to be hunted down and taken.

Taken to the Rings.

Fighting rings had cropped up in the wake of the Sensors. A game for rich men who had too much money and no moral code. They recreated the Gladiators of old by kidnapping strong Flame users and forcing them to fight for their lives. (Or the lives of their loved ones.)

The idea was these men (and women) 'owned' their own Flame user and would put them into the Rings. The 'ultimate goal' for these owners was to gather the whole set of each different Flame user. Once they had that they could enter the 'set' into the Coliseum where all the big fights happened. Where the best of the best were placed against each other.

It was supposed to be an 'honor'.

For the fighters and the owners. Namely because it was so hard to gather a full set. The people behind the fights didn't understand why, but Tsuna knew.

He knew from the Family Records. Even sealed he had wanted to learn about his Sky Flames so he had read. Skies chose their Elements. It was a combination of factors that caused it, ranging from personality types, strength of Flames and various other things, but mostly it was instinctive. His Family Records had referred to the process as pieces of one soul finding each other again. In the end this meant that no matter what the Owners did or tried, they couldn't force a bond between Elements of any kind. It was choice. It was instinct.

But when it happened and the full set was discovered…they were brought to the Coliseum.

And that lead to the Coliseum fights being the most dangerous.

Because the fighters there…they had something to lose. Something to fight for. People to fight with.

They were Skies and their Elements and there was nothing more dangerous than a set fighting to protect each other.


Tsuna had entered the rings at 14. The man to get ahold of him had shattered his Seal and brought in one of his other fighters in to teach Tsuna the ropes.

The man was terrifying to Tsuna at first. Tall and lean with dark hair and eyes, it was obvious this 'Reborn' was a fighter. He had this aura around him that told everyone paying attention he was Dangerous.

And Kawahira- Tsuna's new 'Owner'- had seen fit to bring him in to teach Tsuna to survive.

He had been taken by Kawahira on his birthday, and seven months with Reborn had made a fighter out of Tsuna. Reluctantly, of course, but Tsuna applied himself all the same- because he would end up in the Rings no matter what he wished, so he needed to learn so he could survive.

On the eighth month of his fourteenth year, Tsuna is entered into the Rings.


There's this unspoken rule about the Rings.

The fighters would be healed when they were seriously hurt, but if they were still in fighting condition, if they could still fight they would be left alone for as long as possible. They would be left to scar, as a sort of 'lesson' about being better the next time.

The exception being those incomplete sets that had a Sun to take care of them.

So Tsuna, as a lone Sky, quickly builds up a pain tolerance.

Unfortunately for him, he is now an unsealed Sky, in a turbulent dangerous world surrounded by Elements looking for a 'home' in all the waves. So he's pulling in those around him. The problem with that being that Tsuna is a strong Sky and the Elements approaching him were not strong enough to 'pull' back at Tsuna, so they fight him- instinctively the Elements fight him in an attempt to show him their strength. To 'tempt' him.

It doesn't work.

Tsuna usually ends up hurt, but he wins in the end no matter how much physically stronger the attacking Element was.

Tsuna was looking for strength of heart not the body.

And so far none of these Elements had had it.

His lack of a Sun healer means he earns himself scars in his fights. His first scar is earned when one of those 'seeking' Elements was fighting him in an attempt to 'prove his strength'. The big burly Storm Flame user manages to land a slash of a knife on Tsuna. It scars from just where his arm meets his side right above his armpit, stretching over his left pectoral and stopping just below it.

Tsuna had won in the end, propelling the Storm into the ring wall and knocking him out. He leaves his own scar across the man's abs (the easiest place for Tsuna to reach at the time) in the shape of his hands where he had burned the Storm shoving him into the ring wall.


Free-For-Alls were big events.

The Free-For-Alls were big week long events that took place every other month that would put huge groups of mixed Elements on the field together and have them fight each other. A timer was set and whoever was standing at the end of it would be pulled from the field to rest while the next group went out. In the end the strongest would stand on the field together and fight.

The owners had learned through observing that nine times out of ten the Sky would find their Elements in battle. And since the end goal was to gather the full set and go to the Coliseum, Free-For-Alls were big deals.

(Tsuna actually knows the reason for this is because the more the Flames between users interact the easier it is for a Sky to 'Call' their Elements to their side. The fact that the Elements are all in life threatening situations only speeds the process up.)

Owners from all over would show up and bring all the fighters they have in hopes they could find the Element's set.

If they did happen to find members of a set, the owners would settle who got to keep the set by sending out their strongest fighter to have a battle. If both of the owner's strongest fighters were the two that had formed the set it would be the second strongest to be sent out.

The official reasoning was that whoever won with their fighter obviously had the better training methods and was therefore more 'worthy' of having a set and reaching the Coliseum.

Tsuna didn't expect to ever find his set though, no matter how many of the Free-For-Alls Kawahira took him to.

(It was a left over from his days as 'no-good' when he was told so often that no one would ever want anything to do with him.)

He was wrong, though it would take him a few years to find the first.


Tsuna would be absolutely relentless.

Blood dripped from his lips as he tilted his center of gravity and stood in such a way he could spring in any direction while keeping his back pressed close to the chest of the boy behind him (who was pressed with his back to the wall).

Tsuna's back was bleeding and burning with pain from the sword strike he had taken while spinning the little Lightning behind him out of the way of a kill strike. It would scar when it healed leaving a line from his right shoulder, over his shoulder blade and to his mid back but Tsuna didn't care about that. He snarled lowly at everyone that tried to get close to the ten year old he was shielding.

Sometimes he wondered what his classmates would think of him now. Years as a Gladiator had changed him. He was hard in some ways and in others still the same. He was a fighter now, a survivor. He had the marks and muscles to prove it too. He was sure no one would recognize him now.

He didn't really care though. Not anymore. Not like he used to. Now all he cared about was keeping himself and Lambo alive.

He hadn't found his entire set yet, but it enraged Tsuna that the first he had found- his Lightning- was only 10. He was ten and forced to fight in the Rings.

At 17 Tsuna would be absolutely relentless in protecting his cub from what he could. Even if it meant he fought more. Even if it meant his owner-Kawahira- forced him to push himself to almost the breaking point.

There was nothing more dangerous than Elements fighting for one another. And Tsuna had found one of his.

So the world would soon find out just how dangerous he could be.

His eyes flared bright shining orange.

Kawahira grinned from his place in the audience, his eyes pinned on the gleam of orange. "There you are Little Lion."


Once an Element found their Sky they would be entered into fights together. To improve their teamwork for when they reached the Coliseum. Their opponents would differ, but there was always a matching number of Flame users to fight them even if they were not the same Flame Types.

Usually it would be members of another set fighting against them, but occasionally they would be brought up against two Flame users who were not part of a set but worked well together anyway.

As the numbers in the set grew so too did the number of opponents as well as the danger in the fights themselves until they reached the Coliseum with the full set.


Lambo had never expected to survive the Rings.

He was ten. Most of the Flame users around him were years older, much bigger and nine times out of ten knew what they were doing at least a little bit. Lambo…didn't. He was winging it. All he really wanted was to live.

If that meant he had to fight dirty, be sneaky and clever that was alright. Lambo could do it. He wasn't happy about it, but with his life on the line he'd adapted.

He'd been such a crybaby at the start. He'd been five when he was taken by his owner, but fighting in the Rings had forced him out of it. He couldn't cry here. He'd die if he did.

Tears just made it harder to see, harder to focus and that meant death here in the Rings. So Lambo had learned quickly to not cry. (He had a few scars on both his arms from defensive wounds to remind him every time he thought about it.)

So here he was, his owner sticking him in a Free-For-All again.

Lambo hated these. There were so many different directions an attack could come from and he couldn't know what kind of Flame would be used beforehand. At least in the structured fights you usually knew the Flame type of your opponent. Here in the Free-For-All Flame types were a mystery until you were fighting against them. (Which was particularly dangerous where Mist users were concerned.) Not to mention that Free-For-Alls had all kinds of fighters with different skill sets and levels so Lambo could end up fighting a beginner, or an experienced user, or sometimes- if he was really unlucky- he'd find some of the rare members of an incomplete set in the crowd fighting together.

It was dangerous and Lambo hated it.

Case and point: he was in the middle of fighting an angry Storm lady and one of the rare Cloud types was taking potshots at the both of them.

It was not something he enjoyed.

He was thankful when the Cloud eventually got distracted by another opponent, leaving him with the Storm trying to take his head off with a battle axe. It was hard- and Lambo earned himself a long cut under his eye along his cheekbone, but he managed to get ahold of the Storm's wrists when he goaded her closer, and proceeded to use his Lightning Flames to shock the woman into unconsciousness.

His hands shook and he closed his eyes for a moment as he released a shaky breath. His eyes opened and drifted to his left to the battle axe that had given him the cut. It was buried in the wall beside his head close enough to have not only cut him, but he could feel the cold metal pressed to his cheek even now. He pulled himself away from the wall taking another breath.

He turned to pull the axe from the wall- any weapon was a good weapon in Lambo's experience- but failed to notice the Mist user behind him.

Lambo almost lashed out when he felt hands wrap around his waist and spin them both. The only thing that stopped him was the snarl of pain, and the sudden view he had of gleaming brown eyes meeting his. His green eyes widened when the boy that had saved him spun around and Lambo got his first view of the long slash he had taken for Lambo. He was surprised to see the boy in front of him slam his palm into the Mist's chest and send the man flying into a Rain on the other side of the ring.

Lambo quickly found himself herded backwards until his back hit the wall behind them, where the older boy took a defensive stance in front of him snarling at anyone that came close. A few times Lambo had the boy's warm bleeding back pressed against his chest as the boy defended them both.

"He… he saved me." It hits Lambo when the boy-man is snarling, his back against Lambo's chest while he grapples with a determined Mist user. (The same one from earlier who had taken offense at being sent flying across the ring)

And something shifts.

Lambo snarls himself, his hand reaching around the Sky user in front of him to grab the Mist by the throat where he releases a condensed lash of Lightning Flames that drops the Mist like a rock.

Lambo shifts from behind the Sky to stand beside him, and for the first time since he entered a Ring his Lightning Flames crackle around him like a living storm. (Everyone in the vicinity scrambles to get away)

This was his Sky who was already hurt and bleeding and these people were threats.

They would not touch him again.


The fight that decided who would keep Tsuna and Lambo as their Set is between Tsuna himself (as Kawahira's strongest available fighter) and a Mist user from Lambo's owner. Tsuna doesn't hold back. He knows that Kawahira will push the two of them, but he is not abusive or one of those owners that never allows his fighters to rest or heal. Tsuna knows the devil that owns him, and there's a saying about that: better the devil you know.

That and Lambo hadn't looked very well taken care of. He was dirty and bruised and thinner then Tsuna liked. So he would not see the two of them go into that owner's care. He was vicious and fast, not hesitating for a moment. He had learned long ago that hesitating with a Mist user was dangerous. With Mist users it was strike fast and hard, before the illusion took effect in the world. Don't give them a chance to play with the senses.

It wasn't just himself on the line in this fight- Lambo was as well.

So it didn't matter that he was injured and still bleeding, Tsuna would demolish any threat in his way for one of his own.

In the end, Tsuna stands victorious, his eyes gleaming orange and staring straight into the crowd, his eyes finding Lambo's owner instinctively. He dares the man to do anything else. Then his eyes dart to Kawahira and he rolls his shoulders.

He had won. Lambo was his, and he would be coming back with Tsuna.


Kawahira pulls Tsuna and Lambo back from fighting in the Rings for the next few months. They still fight of course, but nowhere near as much as they fought before. Instead Kawahira pulls Reborn back to Tsuna's side and the man 'Trains' them again.

It's…difficult. But with Reborn's help the two of them become very good at reading each other and reacting together as a team.

Lambo learns more in those few months about his Flame then he had in the entire rest of his life combined. And with a Sky to shield and fight for, Lambo applies himself. It makes a world of difference.

Tsuna gets more dangerous himself as his instincts perk up with a Lightning in his Sky. He's possessive and protective and it makes him much more of a threat to the other fighters in the ring with the two of them. He has something to fight for now and it makes all the difference.

They're dangerous together.


Tsuna stands beside Lambo staring at the two opponents across from them. It's one of those rare times they aren't fighting a set- it's just two fighters who work well together. Both are dangerous but something keeps pulling his eyes to the one on the right. The eyes in that fighter are dark and focused. It makes Tsuna think of Reborn.

But…something is different with the Rain across from him. His eyes dart to the Sun beside the Rain. That woman was dangerous as well- but not like the natural fighter beside her.

Tsuna and Lambo shift together, their eyes shifting between the two opponents across from them much like their eyes are shifting between Tsuna and Lambo. The voice of the announcer fades as she finishes and it's the signal to start.

The Sun user lunges forward and Lambo shifts to meet her, blocking her access to his Sky. Tsuna turns his attention to the Rain and the two of them circle each other cautiously, both sensing the predator that lurked in the other's soul.

In the end, Tsuna makes the first move.


Tsuna is staring at the Rain user across from him in shock. The Rain is staring at Tsuna the same way. Over the course of the fight, Tsuna had realized that this Rain was his Rain. Once the Rain had realized it himself his sword had jerked away from Tsuna, the point now facing the ground as the two of them stared at each other.

There are no real words to describe when a Sky and Element find each other and 'click'. It's supposedly different for everyone.

For Tsuna it's the warmth of his mother's cooking, her laugh on the wind, and the sun warm on his back.

For Takeshi it's his mother's laugh, the feel of a baseball game where everything rides on this one last shot, his father's warm hand on his shoulder, and the warmth of a hug.

Tsuna's head whips around when Lambo cries out. He sees his Lightning go flying into the wall and a snarl leaves his lips. He doesn't get a chance to do anything, however, as Takeshi darts past him, stepping between the Sun and the dazed Lightning, his sword lifting from its place pointing at the ground.

"Stand down." He growls at the Sun.

The woman had been his partner in the Rings for a while. They fought well together, but she was trying to take down one of Takeshi's Element Set and that would not happen on Takeshi's watch. His instincts scream at him, that 'these two are Home now' and in a world of blood and pain and fighting, Takeshi will fight with everything that he is for Home.

The Sun stalls, pulling back and staring at Takeshi. "What are you doing?"

"They're mine."

And Takeshi knows she understands when her eyes widen, and a flash of jealousy crosses her face. Takeshi can't blame her for that- but he would not allow her to take another step towards his own.

He feels his Sky (and isn't that the oddest of thoughts) approach him from behind before he slides to Takeshi's side a soft whisper reaching his ears "I won't make you fight alone."

Tsuna, Lambo and Takeshi are the ones standing in the end, the Sun user downed by a sword hilt to the temple. Kawahira sends out Reborn when the time comes to fight for the right to keep the set, Tsuna's trainer and one of Kawahira's favorite fighters having been visiting to watch Tsuna's progress. Takeshi's owner sends out a Cloud (and the crowd swells with murmurs at the sight, because it is rare for any owner to have a Cloud. Most Clouds fight so hard to get free they end up dead and most owners don't see it as worth it to keep the Clouds due to the damages they cause in the process) but Tsuna isn't worried.

He knows the Sun that was teaching him- and would most likely teach Takeshi (as the Rain had told Tsuna to call him)- saw Tsuna as his student and would therefore not allow anyone to take him from Kawahira's ownership because that would be taking Tsuna from Reborn which was not allowed.

It takes Reborn all of five seconds to take the Cloud down.

The crowd (and Takeshi) are appropriately awed at the display.


The next Free-For-All that Tsuna enters he enters with his Elements at his side.

He would have gone in himself, but his Elements wouldn't have allowed it. They'd have torn their way to his side no matter what or who stood in their way. It was easier to put the whole set into the Free-For-Alls then it was to try to separate the Sky from them.

They are targeted more often than not- jealousy and hope being the driving factors. Jealousy of what they have, and hope that maybe the attackers are one of the missing Elements. It makes the three of them all the more vicious in their retaliation and defense of each other.

It is during this Free-For-All that Tsuna finds himself continuously tracking a Flame signature. He hadn't seen its owner, but it pulls at Tsuna. He knows one of his are in the crowd.

He's determined to find them.


Gokudera Hayato is a realistic person. He'd been in the Rings long enough to be. He had long ago given up on finding his place in the world.

When he was young, he had dreamed of finding his Sky. He was a Storm. They were meant to be protectors. He'd wanted to be the knight for his Sky- the one his Sky could always count on. Their Right Hand in the world. He'd had so many hopes…and they had been crushed in the Rings.

A boy could only take so many crushing doses of reality before hopes died and jaded angry defensiveness took its place. He'd learned to be a hurricane in the rings, to sweep all who approached him off their feet, to demolish those who stood in his way. He'd learned to be absolutely relentless because if he could have no Sky- no home- he would be damn sure the fuckers around him remembered his name and learned to fear him when he stepped into the ring.

He would make damn sure they whispered of the coming storm when they saw him. If he could not have a home, something to protect, he would make sure he was remembered.

Hope had died in his soul long ago- after so many had turned him away.

He was soon to learn however, that for all he had given up on hope, hope had not given up on him.

And its name was Sawada Tsunayoshi.


Reborn is giddy as he watched the little Sky Kawahira (the bastard) had had him train.

Sawada Tsunayoshi is change.

Reborn isn't sure what sort of change exactly or how he knows that the boy is going to change everything. All he knows it that Tsuna will change things, and he wants to be standing at his side when it happens.

So he trains the boy.

And he watches with pride in his heart as the boy comes out of fight after fight, and gathers those who would stand beside him in the harshest of storms.

(Reborn wonders sometimes when he had joined that number.)

Reborn takes extra pleasure in training the brats that would become his brat's Guardians and getting rid of any of their bad habits.

The Coliseum won't know what hit it. And by the time Reborn is done with this group its reigning Champions- the Varia- will be toppled.

(Reborn remembered the brats that would become the Varia before they were Champions. They'd changed for the worst. It was time to wake them up. And Tsuna was just the person- the Sky- to manage it. Reborn was absolutely sure of it.)


Kawahira has never been so satisfied with a choice he made on a whim.

Tsunayoshi was the best decision he ever made. He had sensed the sheer strength of the boy's Sky Flames even hidden as they were behind a seal. He had chosen to take the boy for the strength of his Flame and the way the world whispered in the boy's wake. It had been child's play to shatter the seal and even he could admit to being shocked at the rush of Sky Flame released in the wake of the seal being removed. He had been even more surprised at how the world had…sung for lack of a better word in the wake of his release.

He had watched the boy flourish with Reborn, and then watched as he slowly began pulling the people around him into his orbit without thought.

The boy who made the world sing….

Kawahira couldn't wait to see the change the boy would leave in his footsteps.


Very rarely, members of a set would be pulled apart to fight individually. It was officially to make sure that the Element Set didn't become dependent on each other in fights. To make sure that each Element could still fight when alone.

Tsuna finds himself standing in the middle of a Ring alone.

Reborn has his Elements, training with them and working out bad habits (Gokudera- Hayato- had a few that Tsuna couldn't allow to grow in a world that depended on their ability to work together to keep each other alive. He'd asked Reborn to work on it) and their ability to function as a team with Tsuna being absent.

Tsuna had absolute faith that Reborn would sort it out one way or another.

But that left him free- and Kawahira had placed him in a solo fight because of it.


Tsuna stood in the Ring, his body tense and ready. He wasn't sure what it was, but his instincts were screaming at him to fight and to fight hard with whoever came out of the opposite side of the ring.

He'd learned long ago to listen to his instincts, and then Reborn had…reinforced that fact.

So he was tense with readiness to fight whoever came out of the other side with everything that he was.

When the door opens and a blur of black lunges his way, Tsuna is glad for that readiness as it is the only thing that saves him.

He holds nothing back in the face of his opponent. Every move he makes is one meant to take the man across from him down. Every move he dodges from his opponent is meant to cripple him.

And as Tsuna watches those shinning grey eyes light up with anticipation and joy the longer he lasts, he knows he has made the correct choice.

In another world, his opponent would be called his strongest Guardian. In another world, Tsuna would fear his Cloud for years before their relationship settled properly. In another world, things would have been different.

In this world Tsuna has learned to be the fiercest thing in the Rings. He has learned to fight and claw his way to victory. He has learned that if he is not the strongest his Elements could be taken from him.

So when Tsuna races to meet his opponent, he wins.


Kyoya Hibari had joined the Rings with the specific purpose of protecting his town.

He had no owner. He was simply fighting in the Rings for Namimori's right to be untouched by the herbivores calling themselves 'owners'.

He had not expected to find a Sky.

He had not expected to find a Sky that was powerful enough to Call to him, much less one that would impress him enough that he didn't mind being their Cloud.

When he had sensed the powerful Sky Flames that had called to him across the Ring, Kyoya had been surprised.

When he had lunged out into the ring, his tonfas up and ready to 'bite' the Sky to death only to be met blow for blow without hesitation, Kyoya had felt the first stirrings of hope.

So when the battle ends, and Tsunayoshi Sawada is victorious, Kyoya's grin is fierce and bright with a feral sort of joy.

He'd found his Sky.


Reborn laughs when Tsuna comes trailing back from his solo-run in the Ring with a fierce powerful Cloud behind him.

He doesn't think Tsuna is quite aware of how rare it really is for a Cloud to even be in the Rings fighting, much less a Cloud actually finding their Sky.

It doesn't stop him from adding the Cloud to the training, and he makes no move what so ever to stop Kyoya from springing random attacks on everyone else. (Reborn sees it as beneficial training, and if Tsuna keeps winning these 'tests' of his Cloud's…well only good things can come from Tsuna proving to Kyoya that he really is a 'Carnivore Sky'.)

(When the day comes that Kyoya learns exactly how many of Tsuna's group are from Namimori, that the Owners that had offered him the chance to fight for his town lied and went back on their word… that they had employed Mist Users to ensure he wouldn't notice, Kyoya is furious.)


Ryohei is shaking.

He is tired and he hurts.

But he can't stop. He has to keep going- for her.

For Kyoko's sake Ryohei can't lose.

His Sun Flames make sure he heals up, and can go back to the Rings. As long as he keeps fighting for his 'owner' Kyoko is safe. No matter how tired and stressed he is.

He clenches his fists, watching the door in front of him for the moment it will open and the Free-For-All will begin.


It's been a long time since Ryohei had had hope.

Realizing his Sky was somewhere in the crowd of Flame Users was the first dose of it since Before. When Tsuna finds him, and he is welcomed amongst a nearly complete Set, Ryohei is giddy with it.

When Tsuna goes out to fight the Misty Rain for the right to 'keep' Ryohei and he wins Ryohei could cry.

He tells Tsuna about his sister, and how her safety was held over his head to get him back into the Rings, he tells Tsuna about the endless days of fighting, the sparse visits his sister makes if only to ensure that Ryohei knows his previous Owner does in fact know where Kyoko is and can hurt her…

He can see the anger in Tsuna's eyes when he asks "What is your sister's name?"

"Kyoko Sasagawa."

Tsuna's eyes widen, before they shine orange in his rage, flickers of Sky Flames sputtering to life over his fists. "Are you from Namimori Ryohei?"

When Ryohei answers in the affirmative, he watches his Sky snarl in time with his Cloud, and Tsuna whirls away from him.

It is the first time Tsuna goes to Kawahira and asks for a fight.


Kawahira laughs when the Little Lion he had taken comes to him with a burning resolve and a demand.

"I want you to find out who is taking people from Namimori- who is threatening them. I want you to challenge them for the rights to Namimori and I want to fight for it. I want to fight for my town. No one else will be taken from Namimori's streets."

"Oh? You want to fight?"

"I will fight for my town. I'll fight whoever I need to, to make sure Namimori is safe."

And when Kawahira looks into orange eyes he can't help but grin to himself. The Little Lion was growing into his fangs.

"Very well Tsunayoshi-kun. I will set up your fight."


Kawahira keeps his word.

Tsuna wants to utterly demolish the threat to his town so he asks Kawahira to up the stakes.

Tsuna was about to enter a Winner Take All fight.

He and his Elements would fight whoever their opponent put out on the field. If Tsuna's group won Kawahira had agreed to allow Tsuna his pick of the fighters and Kawahira would get Namimori under his protection.

If their opponent won, Namimori would remain under their opponent's control, and Tsuna alongside his Elements would be transferred to their ownership.

Tsuna agrees to the terms.

He has no plans to lose.


The group of fighters Tsuna and his Elements take on are a mishmash of Flames.

There are a Mist, a Sun, a Rain, and three Storms. They're known as the Kokuyo Gang. It contains Mukuro, Ken, Chikusa, Birds, and The Bloody Twins.

Tsuna doesn't hesitate to lead the charge when their groups clash in the middle of the Ring.


When everything is over, Tsuna takes full advantage of the agreement that he could take his pick of the fighters. He follows his instincts and takes Ken, Chikusa, and Mukuro. When Mukuro asks him- with a frantic look in his mismatched eyes- to take a 'Chrome' with them Tsuna obeys the requests.

It is only when Chrome and Mukuro are standing in front of him together that Tsuna sways, his pupils blown wide, as his Flames rise and crest over everyone in the arena.

He has found his Full Element Set.

In the ringing silence, Kawahira's laughter is loud.


Tsuna and his Elements spend the next six months training with Reborn.

They're about to enter the 'big leagues' after all. The Ring that Reborn likes to frequent. (The only reason he and his group- The Arcobaleno- are not reigning Champions in the Coliseum is because they don't want to be. They just like to pop in from time to time individually for 'spars'.)

It turns out to be a good thing.

The Varia are vicious after all.


Tsuna crouched, his lips pulled back, eyes narrowed, and snarling. His Flames flickered subtly over his skin in a display of control and as a warning.

He was dirty, he had a dark purple bruise just under his eye along with the many others scattered over his body, his ribs were cracked, and that wasn't taking the multiple cuts, lacerations and scratches into account.

But he couldn't stop. He had to keep going. There was no choice.

Failure was not an option.

His life was not the only one on the line.

The Varia were the most difficult opponents he had ever had to face. Without Reborn's training he knows the Varia would have bulldozed over all of them.

All the fights in the Coliseum that lead to the Varia had been nothing when compared to these men. Their strength was monstrous, their resolve focused, their drive fierce.

But Tsuna refused to waver in the face of Xanxus.

His instincts screamed at him, told him that he had to win this fight. Losing was not an option- not only because losing meant his Elements would die- that he would die- but because Tsuna can sense that Xanxus needs him to win.

It isn't something Tsuna can put into words. He's not even sure Xanxus is aware of what he is doing. That Xanxus is looking for an equal- someone that could beat him or stand on equal footing with him…and with each failure of the Skies and their Elements that come to stand across from him, Xanxus spirals further and further in his spiral of darkness.

Tsuna is determined to see it end.

He can see the strength in this man across from him, can see the loyalty in his actions for his Elements, he can see the need this Sky has to be a protector of something greater them himself.

Tsuna is resolved to give that to him.

But first he has to survive him.


Reborn is grinning sharp and predatory in the stands.

Tsuna was going to win.

It would be close, and his student would be exhausted by the end of it, but Reborn was absolutely sure of the outcome at this point.

Tsuna would win.

And Reborn would begin to see that change he was so sure Tsuna would bring in his footsteps.


Kawahira's breath catches in his chest when the undertow of Sky Flames rushes over the crowd. He can't call something that powerful, something that pulled all in its wake down and under it a tidal wave.

It had been…hundreds of years since a Sky had Harmonized and Resonated with another Sky.

Kawahira had thought he would never see it again.

"Oh Little Lion" the thought ghosts across his mind as he watches Xanxus' and Tsuna's Flames surge and twine together in the Ring "you are full of surprises aren't you?"

No wonder the world had sung in the wake of his Flames.

The boy was going to change the world.


I uh…don't know what happened. This thing has been in the works for months. It kept arguing with me, but 20 pages later, here we are.

I kind of fell in love with the image of a Gladiator Tsuna crouched in front of his Elements, snarling and injured but utterly resolved in his desire to protect them. And this was born.

The idea here is that after Xanxus and Tsuna Harmonize they basically look around at the system in place and go '…Nah. We're gonna fix it' and basically take over and change everything. It was great.