Hello~ I hope that you enjoy the story :D I'll be coming back at a later date to edit the songs out of chapter 1 and 2
A huge thanks to RainbowMaze for betaing this chapter 3
Disclaimer: I don't own Katekyo Hitman Reborn ;-; I wish I did though
Tsuna readied his fits as his opponent circled around him. He began to sweat slightly as he felt Nono's piercing gaze on his back. His slight distraction gave the other man an opening and he attacked. Tsuna tripped in his attempt to run away and ended up dodging the blow. As he stood up, his head smacked the guy in the chin, sending him crashing to the ground.
His grandfather clapped his hands. "Very well done Tsuna! Finish him off!" He tossed Tsuna a knife, the blade glinted in the air. Fumbling the knife with his hands, it was by pure luck that he caught it by the hilt. Nono smiled approvingly.
Tsuna looked down at the knife in one of his hands before turning back to stare at Nono. "I don't want to do it."
Nono narrowed his eyes before they unclouded. "Not feeling bloodthirsty today? What a shame."
Tsuna nodded in response. Not that he was ever bloodthirsty.
His grandfather reached into his breast pocket and pulled out another knife that was quickly embedded into the man's neck. Tsuna felt the blood splash onto his face and resisted the urge to throw up then and there. There would be time for that later when he would be alone in his room with no one to judge. He stood up on unsteady legs and tried his best to hide his body shivers.
"You are very honourable Tsuna. I understand that you didn't want to kill that man with a weapon because he didn't have one. Yes, that would be unfair to him, but that man was another famiglia's spy. If the roles were reversed, and he was in your position, he would have killed you."
Tsuna nodded going along with the story even though it wasn't true. He just didn't want to kill anyone. Wasn't there a way to do things without killing?
Nono began to walk away, using his hand to beckon Tsuna, who quickly scrambled after him, to follow. "There is something important that I've been meaning to discuss with you that I wasn't sure about, until I saw your fight. Now that I know you can look after yourself, that will make things a lot easier."
They approached Nono's office, and the man outside—who was wearing a suit—opened the door for them. Tsuna took a seat opposite his grandfather as he continued speaking. "I am old. I do not think that I will live for many more years. All of my sons have already passed away, and you are my only heir since Iemitsu is part of CEDEF."
Tsuna suddenly realised the direction the conversation was going, but he kept silent, praying that he was wrong. "Next week you turn sixteen. I have the best coming-of-age present for you. How would you like your very own mafia famiglia?"
Tsuna was speechless. The first emotion that filled him was dread. He didn't want to run a mafia famiglia! In fact, if he wasn't born into it, he wouldn't want anything to do with the mafia! His grandfather chuckled at his reaction. "You're so shocked you don't know what to say!"
"B-but I don't think-"
Nono's eyes sharpened. "Don't stutter. It's unbecoming of a mafia boss. I know that there's a lot of preparation to be done, but I'm sure that everyone will be thrilled, especially your father."
Tsuna did his best to swallow his emotions as he gritted his teeth and bowed his head, forcing a smile onto his face. "Thank you grandfather. I'm honoured that you chose me." Not that there was anyone else to choose.
Nono smiled joyously, thrilled to see that Tsuna was happy. Nono reached over the desk and clapped his hand onto Tsuna's shoulder. "Glad to see you're so eager and already warming up to the idea."
Far from it. Tsuna raised his face and watched as a look of disgust flashed across his grandfather's face. "Go wash your face. There's blood all over it."
Tsuna felt his stomach move again. "Yes grandfather." He stood up and walked to the door. He casted a glance at his grandfather, but Nono had already begun signing the paperwork situated in front of him.
Tsuna ducked out of the room, quietly closing the door before quickly making his way to his room. He didn't want the blood to remain on his face. He locked his bedroom door and then moved to the adjacent bathroom, locking the door to the bathroom as well. He staggered to the toilet and retched, clutching the sides of the rim for support. When there wasn't anything left inside for him to throw up, he staggered to the sink.
He looked in the mirror and grimaced. The blood had dried on his face and the putrid scent of vomit filled the air. He turned on the tap and ran his fingers under the cold water before splashing it onto his face. He wiped away the crusted blood clinging to his skin and rinsed his mouth. He let out a sigh before closing the tap.
Tsuna looked at his reflection. "Look at me. You may think you see me… who I really am… but you'll never know me. Everyday it's as if I play a part. Now I see; if I wear a mask I can fool the world but I cannot fool my heart."
He straightened up automatically like his grandfather taught him.
"Who is that boy I see, staring straight back at me? When will my reflection show who I am inside?"
Tsuna moved away and sat on the edge of the bathtub, turning the handles for water.
"I am now in a world where I have to hide my heart and what I believe in. "But somehow I will show the world what's inside my heart and be loved for who I am."
He watched the water gush out of the faucet, slowly filling up the bathtub. Once it was filled enough, he reached over and pushed the handles back in place. Tsuna stared at his distorted reflection in the moving water.
"Who is that boy I see? Staring straight back at me? Why is my reflection someone I don't know? Must I pretend that I'm someone else for all time? When will my reflection show who I am inside?"
He turned away from the bathtub and looked at the door. "There's a heart that must be free to fly. That burns with a need to know the reason why."
Tsuna took off his clothes and stepped into the bath, feeling the warm water welcome him with open arms. He pulled his knees to his chest and tilted his head back to lean it against the rim.
"Why must we all conceal what we think, how we feel? Must there be a secret me I'm forced to hide? I won't pretend that I'm someone else for all time… When will my reflection show who I am inside?"
He sunk lower into the water and closed his eyes. "When will my reflection show who I am inside?"
Tsuna sat on his bed, drying his hair. His pet cat, Natsu, snuggled up against his side, flames licking at Tsuna. The fluffy mess on his head seemed to puff out even more as Tsuna switched from drying it to attempting to run a brush through it. The brush effectively got stuck in his hair, and as soon as he noticed it he sighed, lying on his bed. "I hate my hair," he groaned.
Natsu licked Tsuna's fingers encouragingly before turning his head to face the door. Tsuna stared at the door as well before sighing again and pulling out the brush, wincing as it pulled a clump of his hair with it. He got his hair to vaguely resemble what it normally looked like before he opened the door. "Can I help you?"
The man standing outside the door smiled, fist raised to knock on the door. "As expected of Tsuna-sama! You were able to tell that I was here before I even knocked!"
Tsuna inwardly cried. Even his pet had more skills then him. He tried to keep a neutral tone as he spoke. "And? Was there something you needed?"
"Nono would like the to-be Decimo to accompany him to dinner. He wished to discuss a few things with you."
Tsuna stiffened before forcing a smile onto his face. He was already being called Decimo . . . "Tell grandfather that I'll be right there." Tsuna shut the door before the other man could have a chance to respond. He let out a quiet moan since he knew what was going to happen.
"Natsuuuuuuuuu. Kill me nowwwwwwwwww." Natsu looked up at his master who suddenly collapsed rather pathetically on the floor. He jumped off the bed and padded to Tsuna who looked at him through half-lidded eyes. Natsu placed a paw on Tsuna's face before petting it gently.
Tsuna considered what Natsu was doing. "The roles have been reversed . . ." he whispered. He let out a groan before getting up and walking to his wardrobe, picking something more formal to wear that his grandfather would approve of.
"Why do I do this to myself?"
Dinner was surprisingly a quiet affair, but Tsuna knew that it was after dinner that his grandfather would talk. Thus, he ate slowly.
His grandfather regarded him silently. "I've only just noticed this but, Tsuna, you eat like a rabbit."
Tsuna paused, fork halfway to his mouth. What was the response that Nono wanted? It didn't sound like a compliment nor a criticism. He opted for the safe option. "I'm not really hungry."
"That's a shame." Nono swirled a glass of red wine in his hand. "I had the chefs prepare this meal especially for you."
Tsuna looked at his plate, feeling a little bit guilty, before putting his fork down.
Nono took this as a sign that he could start the conversation. "The ascendtion will be held on your birthday, as you already know. Therefore, for the days leading up to that, you will be helping me with all of the Don's duties."
Tsuna felt his stomach drop.
"And as such, I'll be leaving a bodyguard with you at all times. There will be more attempts on your life now that people know you're my heir."
Tsuna frowned. "That impacts on my freedom. I don't want someone to follow me everywhere."
Nono set down the wine glass and clasped his hands together. "Tsuna. There are many things that we must sacrifice for the greater picture. There will be many things that you will have to give up, whether it be money, lives, or other things."
He swallowed hard before he spoke. "So you want me to give up my freedom and the lives of those who will be close to me."
Nono made a circular motion with his hands. "Well yes."
Tsuna straightened up more. He was tired of all this. He was tired of always following orders. He was tired of living a lie. And, most of all, he was afraid of what was going to happen. His grandfather was honestly telling him what he'd have to give up, so he was going to answer honestly as well. "If that's the case, then I refuse the title of Decimo."
Nono's eyes flashed. "Pardon? I must be having hearing problems. Would you mind repeating what you just said?"
"I refuse the title of Decimo."
Nono pinched the bridge of his nose. He had hoped he had heard wrong.
"I want to decide what I do with my future for myself. I don't want to feel like I'm forced to be someone I'm not and do things I don't want to."
"You're future was decided the moment you were born! You will be the Vongola Decimo; there is no other way around it!" Nono raised his voice.
Tsuna looked down at his hands, tears brimming, but he rapidly blinked them away. Nono ran a hand over his face. "Now look what you've done. You made me raise my voice. I don't want to talk to you anymore. I'll give you tomorrow off for you to enjoy the last bit of your freedom. By then your attitude will change." Nono raised a hand and made a dismissing gesture.
Tsuna stood up and left the room, his unruly bangs covering his eyes.
Tsuna closed the door behind him and sunk to the floor of his bedroom. One knee fell to the floor and the other he rested his hands on. Natsu came closer, sensing something wrong with his master.
"Hey, Natsu . . . let's run away." Tsuna's voice was quiet but steady. He looked up, eyes full of determination. "I don't think I can do this anymore. I'm tired of pretending to be something I'm not."
He stood up and made his way to his wardrobe, Natsu trailing after. He grabbed a bag and began to packed casual clothes—like the ones he saw people outside of the house wearing—and a set of formal clothes.
He grasped his wallet and opened it. There were a few Euros inside as well as some cards. He took out the card that gave him access to the Vongola cash kept in the vault. It was traceable. Several years earlier, Tsuna had made a fake account under the name Natsu Sawada where he secretly transferred the funds that should have gone to his Vongola account whilst making it untraceable. It was his best kept secret. He didn't even know why he had done it, but now he was thankful that he had. He emptied his wallet of everything but the cash and the credit card, as well as a fake identity card and passport that showed his alias as Natsu Sawada.
He left the bag by the door before winking to Natsu. "I'll be borrowing your name for a while."
"I look around me and all I seem to see are people going nowhere." He pressed his back against the wall of his room. "It's like we're going through the motions of a scripted destiny. Tell me where's our inspiration? If life won't wait, I guess it's up to me."
He smiled widely at Natsu. He was going to make of it. He was going to create his own future where everything happens because of his own actions and not the orders of another.
"No we're not going to waste another moment in this house! And we won't come back the world is calling out! We'll leave the past in the past; gonna find the future! Misery loves company well, so long, you'll miss me when I'm gone!"
He turned to Natsu and let the cat climb upon his shoulder. He opened his window and looked at the drop below before moving back to get his bag.
"Procrastination, running circles in my head while you sit there contemplating you wound up left for dead. Life is what happens when you're busy making your excuses. Another day: another casualty. But that won't happen to me!"
The drop itself wasn't very far, but the chance of being found was very high. In the books that he read, there should be a tree nearby to aid him in his escape. He rolled his eyes, though, at the idea. There would be no trees near the windows because that was dangerous for a mafia family. Rope it would be then.
Tsuna grabbed rope from his closet that Nono made him keep in the case of an attack so that he'd be able to escape. "I bet you he didn't think that we'd use it against him."
Tsuna wrapped the rope around his bed post and tested it to see if it would hold before throwing it out of the window. He gripped it tightly in his hands and began to make his way down the side of the mansion.
Halfway down and no one had noticed him yet. When he dropped onto the ground, he stayed still just in case. Tsuna gave the rope a flick and watched as it all came down. He bundled the rope and stuffed it into the bag with everything else before making his way to the gate. He walked casually and as confidently as he could. A guard checking the perimeter bowed at Tsuna as he passed, and Tsuna gave him a slight tilt of his head. It was surprisingly easy to exit since the guards posted at the front gate let him pass without question. Tsuna began to wonder why he didn't think of leaving earlier.
When he was well away from the Vongola mansion and sure that no one was following him did he accept that he had successfully escaped.
He turned to Natsu and began to run. "Let's go! Won't look back! When I say goodbye I'm going to leave this hole behind me! Gonna take what's mine tonight! Because every wasted day becomes a wasted chance! You're gonna wake up feeling sorry, because if life won't wait, I guess it's up to you!"
He slowed down and hailed a cab.
"No we're not going to waste another moment in this town! And we won't come back your world is calling out! We'll leave the past in the past gonna find the future! If misery loves company well, so long, you'll miss me when I'm gone!"
The taxi pulled over and Tsuna opened the door and sat down, placing his bag and Natsu onto his lap.
The driver regarded Tsuna's expensive looking outfit and put on his best smile. "Where to sir?"
"The airport, please, if you know how to get there."
The man let out a chuckle. "You bet I do! Right away sir!"
Tsuna paid the taxi driver before entering the airport. He made a beeline to the ticket counter where a lady welcomed him with a smile. Tsuna scanned the outgoing flights before picking one at random. "Hi, I'd like the flight to Namimori, Japan. The one that leaves in two hours."
The lady typed away on her computer keyboard. "Sir, would that be Economy Class, Business Class or First Class?"
Tsuna frowned. "What's the difference?"
The lady looked up from the keyboard and flashed her teeth at him. "Economy Class is the cheapest and most preferred option. Business Class gives you more privileges such as more leg space and how far your chair can go back. It also offers complementary items—which differ for each airline. First Class is all of what Business Class offers and more."
Tsuna smiled back at her before handing over his credit card and passport. "First Class please."
If the lady was surprised she didn't show it. "That'll be $3,800." She swiped his credit card on the payment terminal. "Savings or credit?"
She typed a bit more on the keyboard before handing back his card and passport with a slip of paper, signalling the end of the transaction. "Boarding begins in an hour and a half at Gate 12F. I hope you have a pleasant flight Mr. Sawada."
Tsuna smiled as well. "Thank you. I'm sure I will."
He began to make his way towards F Terminal and arrived at Gate 12 where he sat down on a chair. He began to regret not taking a book with him after waiting for a while. Before long, though, there was an announcement that informed the waiting passengers that they could board the flight to Namimori Tsuna soon found himself on a twelve and a half hour flight to Japan.
He arrived in Namimori around five in the morning, and he let out a yawn as he exited the plane. He had slept for most of the trip and felt wide awake now as he glanced at his surroundings. He stretched as he made his way out of the airport and joined the line of people waiting for taxis.
When he finally settled down in the front seat of the taxi he signalled, he gave a smile to the driver. "Where to?" Tsuna was asked.
"Any hotel is fine."
The driver raised an eyebrow at the vague reply, but a quick scan of Tsuna's expensive-looking outfit and First Class ticket sticking out of his breast pocket told him all that he needed to know. "I'll take you to the Sky Hotel. It's the best one in town."
Several minutes into the ride, the driver began to make small talk. "So are you here for business or leisure?"
"Leisure. I'm taking a small holiday to get away from a few things." Well, it wasn't really a lie.
The driver nodded as he turned the steering wheel. "Namimori is small town. We don't get many visitors. What made you want to come here? Most people, when they think of holidays, think of a tropical place like Hawaii or Bali or something."
"It was a spur of the moment type of thing."
The driver spared Tsuna another glance. "You're not Japanese are you?"
Tsuna shrugged. "I don't know. I know my dad is European, but I have no idea about my mom's side of the family."
The driver tapped the wheel with his finger. "So you're orphaned?"
"No!" He said quickly. "My dad works as the head of his company and, cause of that, I don't see him much. I grew up under the laws of my grandfather."
"Rich kid huh?" the man muttered under his breath.
"Nothing, just talking to myself." He quickly changed the subject. "Your Japanese is pretty good for a foreigner."
"My grandfather made me learn several languages when I was young. Japanese was one of them."
The driver pulled into the driveway of a big-looking hotel. Tsuna let out a low whistle at the sight. It looked bigger than his house, and that was saying something. He quickly paid the driver and entered the lobby. A person wearing a suit opened the door for him and greeted him with a "Good morning", to which Tsuna replied with one as well. He walked up to the front desk, and the lady behind it smiled at him. "Hello. I'd like to a room to stay in."
The lady smiled. "Indeed. How long will you be planning to stay with us?"
Tsuna frowned. To be honest, he didn't know. "I'm not sure. Is there a way for me to pay at the end of my visit depending on how many days I stay?"
The lady typed on her keyboard, and Tsuna couldn't help but compare her to the lady at the airport. Even their smiles were the same. "Of course. We try our best to accommodate to all of our guests requirements. What type of room would like to stay in? We offer: single, queen, king, twin, junior suite, and suite for our single guests."
Tsuna said the only one from the list that he remembered. "King."
"Here's your room card. The elevator is by the stairs to your left. I hope you enjoy your stay with us." She pushed a card onto the table between them and then gave another smile.
Tsuna returned it with one of his own before making his way to the elevator. Another man in a suit pushed the button for him. After a few seconds, the doors opened and Tsuna stepped out into the hallway. In no time at all, Tsuna had made his way to his room.
The first thing he noticed was the bed. It was white and decorated with orange paisley designs. Next to it was a bedside table, which contained a phone and a menu to order food. Room service. His eyes wandered to the gold-coloured curtains that were open, letting the sun in and exposing the view from the fifth floor.
He opened a door that he spotted on his immediate right and peered into what appeared to be the bathroom. It was just like the one he had at home. He then opened the door on his left and walked into a closet. "Nice, Tsuna. You are being very smart," he grumbled to himself as he found a wire coat hanger stuck in his hair.
"Oh for the love of-" He pulled at it and watched as it, very much like his hairbrush, came out, taking hair with it. He pulled a face as he turned to Natsu. "At this rate, I'll be bald before I'm twenty."
After receiving a nip from said cat, who decided to climb back onto his shoulder, settling his belongings down, and changing his attire, he made his way to the shopping district after getting directions from one of the many suit-wearing people in the lobby. And here he thought that the mafia was the only place where people wore suits excessively.
It was only when he was walking past a bakery that the thought hit him. He was free. No one knew who he was here. No one had any expectations for him. A surge of confidence rose inside him and he gave a wide smile, ignoring the curious glances thrown his way. He could finally stop acting like he was the Decimo. Now he could just be Tsuna. That thought was more precious and more valuable to him than any gift his grandfather could give to him.
"Shooting for the stars, desperately reaching for something in the dark! Pictures of memories buried in my heart! Lie awake and dream of the endless possibilities! Catch my breath and go for it!"
He entered the bakery and picked a cake. After receiving it, he headed to sit at an empty table in the bakery. His fork came to his mouth and the taste of strawberries and cream filled his mouth. If he hadn't left, he'd never have known how good a cake could taste. He paid for it after finishing it and began to explore the district more.
"Take apart everything that's holding me down! Make a point to pick a new direction to make a new connection!"
He tried on different costumes at a costume store and talked with the worker there. They hit it off quick. He promised that he'd come visit again later, even though he didn't buy anything.
"Is this what it feels like? Finding out that I've got the guts to say anything! Feels like breaking out when I can give up my reputation! Finally, I can see! Honestly, I've got the guts to say anything!"
He tripped in the middle of the path but caught himself before he face-planted. He laughed it off before running onwards in no particular direction. An older boy, who introduced himself as Sasagawa Ryohei, joined him. Ryohei said something about him being extreme and then challenged him to a jogging race. Tsuna laughed before accepting the challenge and running after the boy.
"Bold enough to fall flat on my face as I walk as they crawl. Slowing down; it's just a waste of time to let go. Tapping my fingers to the rhythm of the metronome counting opportunities!"
He laughed at the sheer ridiculousness of what he was doing. He was in a different country, running with a stranger he didn't know and enjoying every bit of it. Ryohei joined in laughing, although he didn't know why. "Extremeeeeeeee!"
"Take apart the gravity that's holding me down! Make a point to find a resolution! To be my own solution!"
Ryohei led them to a cliff where they could view the whole of Namimori below them.
"Finally, I can see! Honestly, I've got the guts to say anything!"
Tsuna's eyes widened as he looked down at the town. His tried to catch his breath from the run, but the view quickly stole it again. "It's beautiful."
Ryohei stared at the town with a hint of pride and puffed out his chest. "It is! This is my favourite spot to the extreme! I like to come here when I have time or when I go on my runs! You should join me again next time, to the extreme!"
Tsuna blinked before he smiled. "Thank you Ryohei!"
Ryohei stared at Tsuna for a while, surprised by the sudden smile, but he quickly got over it and clapped him on the back. "Call me big brother! Anyone who can run like you did with me is my little brother!"
He looked at Ryohei, startled. That was the first time that someone had invited him into their family. He smiled even wider. He liked Ryohei. He could imagine that if he were to have an older brother-like figure in his life—besides Xanxus—he would be a lot like Ryohei. "Okay, big brother!"
Ryohei had to turn his face away from the brunette lest he see the slight pink that coloured his cheeks, but a low growling sound made him turn his head back to Tsuna. Tsuna blushed and wrapped an arm around his stomach. "I think I'm a little bit hungry."
Ryohei laughed at the cuteness of his new little brother. "I know a good sushi restaurant! They make the best sashimi, to the extreme! I'll treat you to commemorate our meeting!" He led the way to the sushi joint, and Tsuna amiably followed after him. After walking for a bit, a sign soon showed the name: TakeSushi.
Ryohei opened the door to TakeSushi and waited for Tsuna to walk in before him. The place was small, but almost all the tables were full. It looked like a very successful and profitable business. "Ryohei! Back again?" a man behind the counter cutting fish looked up at the white-haired man in delight.
"Yep, Uncle!" He put a hand on Tsuna's shoulder. "I brought my new little brother with me as well!"
"Oho?" The man squinted at Tsuna and began to scrutinise him. "I don't think I've seen him before."
"I came to Namimori this morning. I met Ryohei at the shopping district, and then we went jogging together." Tsuna stepped forward.
The man snorted. "That sounds like Ryohei. My name's Yamamoto Tsuyoshi. You can call me Uncle if you want."
"I'm Sawada Natsu." They exchanged smiles.
"Uncle, we're going to sit at the table in the corner!" Ryohei called, walking to an empty table.
"Yep! I'll send Takeshi over to take your orders!" Tsuyoshi said before going back to cutting his fish.
Tsuna followed Ryohei and took a seat opposite him. It seemed like most of them people in the room knew him since they called out greetings when Ryohei walked past them. "Natsu, what year are you in?" Ryohei asked, creating small talk.
Tsuna frowned. He'd never gone to school. Everything that he had learnt had come from his grandfather's tutors. "I'm not quite sure. I haven't gone to school before. My grandfather had me home-schooled instead."
"That's so cool, to the extreme!" Ryohei's eyes glittered with excitement. "What was it like?"
"Oh, it was very boring. I wasn't allowed to go outside the house without his permission; even if I did get his permission, he'd send someone to go with me. I never really was allowed to do anything on my own."
"That sucks, to the extreme!" Ryohei paused. "Does that mean that someone's with you right now?"
"Um, no?" Tsuna started to feel cautious as to where the conversation was going, so he was thankful for the interruption by a dark-haired youth.
"Have you guys decided on what you're going to order yet?" He wore the TakeSushi apron around his waist and had on a friendly smile.
"I'll have my usual, to the extreme!" Ryohei pumped his fist into the air.
"Okay, Ryohei!" The boy scribbled something, most likely Ryohei's usual meal, onto a notepad and then turned to Tsuna. "What about you?"
Tsuna looked around but couldn't find a menu. The boy noticed his plight and flashed a smile. "If I may, I recommend the TakeSushi weekly special. This week it's Ikura Gunkan and Sake Nigiri."
"Um, what?" was Tsuna's smart reply.
The boy stared at Tsuna in vague surprise. "You're a foreigner?"
"Yes, I come from Europe. This is my first time in Japan." Tsuna answered nervously.
The boy smiled brightly. "I'm sure you'll like it here! Anyway, Ikura Gunkan is like a salmon roe sushi thingy and Sake Nigiri is basically salmon sushi."
"I'll have that then, thank you." Tsuna smiled back at the boy.
The boy wrote the order down on his notebook before speaking again. "You have very good Japanese."
"My grandfather made me learn it when I was younger," Tsuna used the same excuse from last time.
"Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Yamamoto Takeshi. You can call me Takeshi if you want. That man behind the counter is my dad." He pointed a thumb behind him and grinned widely.
"Sawada Natsu. You can call me Natsu if you want as well. Nice to meet you." Tsuna held out his hand for Takeshi to shake.
The boy, Takeshi, stared at the hand before reaching out and holding it. "I heard that foreigners like to hold hands when they first meet other people, but this is my first time experiencing it."
Tsuna felt a bead of sweat drip down the side of his face at the revelation. "It's called shaking hands."
"Oh, really? That's so cool! Hey, so what does my hand tell you?" he asked excitedly.
"I dunno? You have warm hands?" Tsuna mused.
"Aw, that's very nice of you to say that! You have warm hands as well, Natsu!" Takeshi beamed.
"Thank you?" Tsuna was getting more and more confused.
"Takeshi I think you can let go now," Ryohei interrupted.
"That's too bad. Holding hands was fun! Let's do it again later, Natsu!" Takeshi smiled brightly.
Seeing them let go, Ryohei began to speak. "Did you know, Natsu was home-schooled? He doesn't even know what year he's in!"
"Eh? Is that so? Natsu, how old are you?" Takeshi asked curiously.
"I'm 15. I'll be 16 in a week," Tsuna answered with candor.
"Then you're probably in the same grade as me! I turned 16 a month ago! I'm a first year at Nami-High. Ryohei is a third year there."
"Is that so?" Tsuna replied hesitantly.
"Takeshi! Hurry up! You're keeping our other customers waiting!" Takeshi's dad shouted over.
"Yes dad! I'll be right there!" Takeshi shouted back towards his father before turning towards the pair. "Well, looks like I got to go now, but I'll come back later when I bring your food!"
He walked away, leaving Tsuna and Ryohei alone. Afraid that Ryohei might like to continue the conversation they had going before they were interrupted, Tsuna kept the subject on school.
"What's it like going to Nami-High?" he asked quickly.
Ryohei latched onto the subject like a leach. "It's extreme! You may not know this, but part of our school is famous!"
Tsuna raised his eyebrows. "Famous? Really?"
"Yup! Our Disciplinary Committee is so extreme!" Ryohei's voice filled with pride and something Tsuna couldn't quite put his finger on.
"What's a Disciplinary Committee?" he questioned curiously.
"It's people who make sure the students are doing the right thing like going to school on time, wearing the correct uniform; that sort of thing."
Tsuna nodded in understanding. It sounded like the guards around his grandfather's mansion.
"But what sets our Disciplinary Committee apart from others is the chairman, Hibari Kyoya. He takes his responsibilities seriously, to the extreme! He has a pair of tonfas and uses them to beat up anyone who breaks the rules. His father is the Chief of Police here in Namimori, and he gives his son free reign over the whole town. Because of that, Hibari beats up people who he sees doing the wrong thing. But, get this, he never comes to class and spends most of his time on the rooftop or looking for people to beat up. Because he's so bloodthirsty, no one questions his authority.
"His second-in-command is Tetsuya Kusakabe. The guy's mellower than Hibari. He's the only one who has any control whatsoever over him. If Hibari does the beating up then Tetsuya does the cleaning up. He runs the rest of the Disciplinary Committee. They're all very extreme members, might I say. All strong and all incredibly loyal to Tetsuya. You can tell who the Disciplinary Committee is, aside from Hibari, by the fact that they wear pompadours and have a red band around their arms."
Tsuna nodded thoughtfully. "Interesting. And they're really famous, huh?"
Ryohei nodded. "Everyone in this town and the surrounding area knows about him. But I guess it's thanks to him that we live our lives relatively safely."
Takeshi approached them with two plates in his hands. "Hey guys, I got your orders here!"
He placed a dish in front of Tsuna and the other one in front of Ryohei. Tsuna spared a glance at Ryohei's plate and couldn't tell what it was.
"Futomaki. The one that Ryohei is eating has kanpyo, cucumber and mushrooms," Yamamoto helpfully supplied.
The dark-haired boy took a seat next to Tsuna. "Dad's giving me a break for the rest of the day now that the lunch time rush is over."
Tsuna picked up the pair of chopsticks uncertainly. His grandfather had never thought it necessary for him to learn it. "How do I use these?"
Takeshi and Ryohei looked at him in surprise. "You don't know how to use chopsticks, to the extreme?!" Ryohei shouted in shock.
"I never had a need to." Tsuna's cheeks flushed slightly at his lack of skill.
Takeshi smiled. "I'll teach you!" He grabbed the chopsticks from Tsuna's hand. "You hold is like this, and it should feel normal in your hand. Then you press the ends together like so, and that's how you use them!"
He handed them back to Tsuna who just looked even more confused than before. "I don't suppose you have a fork or anything?"
Takeshi replied instantly with another smile. "We're a sushi joint. We don't use forks. All we have is chopsticks and spoons."
Tsuna let out a defeated sigh before looking at the chopstick and moving them awkwardly. "If you want, I could feed you?" Takeshi smiled again.
"Eh?!" Tsuna shouted, blushing at the idea.
Ryohei choked on the piece of sushi in his mouth.
"Here like this!" Takeshi took the chopsticks from Tsuna, picked up one of the Ikura Gankan, and placed it in front of Tsuna, who instinctively opened his mouth.
Tsuna's face lit up in delight. "It's delicious!"
Yamamoto's smile widened. "Right?!"
And so Takeshi began to feed Tsuna another piece until they were all gone. By the end of it, Tsuna's face had turned less pink than it was at the start, although a slight dusting was still visible on his face.
"Hey, Natsu, how long are you staying in Namimori for?" Takeshi asked curiously. Ryohei looked over at Tsuna as well, also curious to know the answer.
Tsuna shrugged. "I have no idea."
Ryohei frowned. "Won't your grandfather be worried?"
Tsuna winced. "Probably."
"How can you not know how long you're staying? Aren't you here for a holiday or something?"
"Um . . . sure."
"Mah mah, I'm sure it's not like you ran away from home or something!" Takeshi inputted into the conversation.
Tsuna kept silent for a while. How was he supposed to answer that? "Psh. Of course not."
The two boys regarded Tsuna quietly. "Natsu, did you run away from home?"
Ryohei frowned. "Why was that a question?"
"I don't know! I think I have to go now, bye!" Tsuna quickly stood up and tried to get out.
Takeshi and Ryohei placed a hand on each of his shoulders forcing him to sit back down.
"Natsu, you ran away from home?!" Takeshi asked, eyes wide.
"No . . . maybe . . . yes. But it was for a good reason!" Tsuna protested seeing the look in the others' eyes.
"Natsu, where are you staying? Are you living on the streets?" Ryohei asked with concern.
"What?! No! I'm staying at the Sky Hotel!" he replied indignantly.
"Isn't that extremely expensive?" Ryohei asked incredulously.
"I don't know. I haven't paid yet."
"Oh my god, Natsu, do you not have enough money to pay?!" Takeshi asked, a touch of worry for his new friend in his eyes.
"No, no, no. I have enough money!"
"Takeshi, I just remembered that this guy said he was from Europe!" Ryohei ran a hand over his face.
"Natsu, you ran away from home to another country?" Yamamoto asked, shocked.
"Well, technically speaking, yes, but as I said earlier there's a good reason for it!" Tsuna protested again. He was promptly ignored by the two, who only payed attention to the first part of what he said.
"Natsu can't live in a hotel forever! He needs to stay with someone or he'll run out of money!" Takeshi spoke.
"I was thinking that as well. I'd keep him in my house, but I'm not sure about my little sister. I don't like the thought of them staying together."
"Ah Kyoko. That could cause a problem. He could stay with me for a while. We can support him, and we have the room."
"So it's settled? He'll stay with you?"
"I'll have to ask my dad first, but I'm sure that he'll agree when he hears about the circumstances."
Tsuna looked at them in confusion. Why did he have no say in this? "Starting tomorrow, you'll be living with me, Natsu! I look forward to it!" Yamamoto smiled at him.
Eh? EH?! When Tsuna did think about it, he knew that his money, although hefty, wouldn't last forever. He was going to need to find a way to support himself, so he gave in.
"I wouldn't like to impose-"
Takeshi waved his hand. "It's fine. My dad has always wanted more children."
"A-are you sure?" Tsuna asked hesitantly.
"It's alright! Right dad?" Takeshi turned around to face his dad.
"Yup! Welcome to the family Natsu!" Uncle called out from behind the counter, waving a knife.
"There, all settled!" Takeshi smiled.
That was fast. Tsuna couldn't help but view his position in disbelief. Were the Japanese people always this friendly? Then Tsuna couldn't help but feel like he was missing something. He frowned as he tried to remember.
"Natsu, are you okay to the extreme?" Ryohei asked concerned. Natsu . . . NATSU!
"Shit!" Tsuna shouted, standing up quickly.
"What's wrong? Takeshi asked surprised.
"I lost my cat!"
"You lost your cat?"
"You took a cat with you when you ran away?"
"Yeah. His name is Natsu-"
There was silence, which was broken by Takeshi. "You named your cat after yourself?"
" . . . yes, but that's not important right now!"
"That's extreme! Where did you last see him?"
Tsuna shook his head. "The last time I saw him was at the hotel but I'm pretty sure that he left with me."
"Then we'll just go to all the places where you've gone! Right, senpai?" Takeshi answered.
Ryohei nodded his agreement as he dug for his wallet, placing a few bills on the table. Takeshi called out to his dad. "I'm going to go help Natsu look for his cat! I'll be back later!"
Tsuna watched them with surprise before he gave a grateful smile. "Thank you, you guys!" The three of them rushed out of the shop. They went to a clearing and traced their footsteps from there. "Why did we have to run so far?" Tsuna bemoaned. They walked past several shops when a familiar-looking shop caught Tsuna's attention. "I think that I went in here earlier."
"Natsu, what were you doing in a costume shop?" the darker-haired boy of the three asked curiously.
Tsuna gave a defensive look. "I felt like it."
Ryohei opened the door and called out, "Is anyone here, to the extreme?" The shop seemed deserted as the three of them filed in. Tsuna looked around the shop for any sign of the brunette assistant he had conversed with earlier and his cat.
A chicken costume began to move from the far side of the shop, coming closer. "Extreme! A giant chicken!" Ryohei's eyes glittered at the awesomeness of witnessing such an incredible thing.
"Natsu!" the chicken engulfed Tsuna in a hug.
"H-haru?" Tsuna was confused by the sudden hug.
"Haru knew that when Natsu said he'd come back that he'd come back, but Haru didn't know that Natsu would come back so fast! And Natsu brought friends!" The chicken looked over them with delight. Before any of the males could protest, the chicken forced them into various outfits. Somehow, Tsuna ended up in a prince costume, Yamamoto in a baseball uniform, and Ryohei in a suit. The chicken surveyed her handiwork. "Mhm! Haru knew that the prince uniform would suit Natsu the best!"
"Um, okay. Thanks?" Tsuna thanked, bewildered by the sudden turn of events before he remembered his original objective.
The chicken took off its head, revealing a young, brunette girl with her hair tied up in a bun. The beads of sweat forming on her forehead were quickly wiped away with her arm as she exited the costume. She began to fan herself. "Ah, Haru feels so hot!"
Takeshi pulled a baseball helmet off his head. "So your name is Haru?"
"Yup! I'm Miura Haru! Natsu's friend!" Haru smiled widely.
"Yamomoto Takeshi. Nice to meet you." He smiled widely. "I see you sometimes after school when I'm practicing for my club."
Haru hummed in acknowledgement. "That's why Haru gave you that outfit!"
"I'm Sasagawa Ryohei, to the extreme!" He pumped his fist into the air.
Her eyes widened in understanding. "You're Kyoko's brother! Tell Kyoko that I'll try out her new batch of cakes when I have some time."
Once the introductions were over, Tsuna felt he could interrupt. "Haru, have you seen a cat around here?"
"Ha-hi? How did you know?" she asked surprised.
"So you found him?"
"After you left, I found a cat wondering around my shop, so I put it in the backroom."
"Haru you're a life saver!" Tsuna smiled in relief.
Haru blushed a bit before turning away. "I'll go get him for you." She disappeared behind one of the doors before reappearing, holding Natsu in her arms.
"Natsu!" Tsuna picked him up, and the cat licked at his hands.
"Natsu extremely named his cat after himself!"
Natsu climbed onto Tsuna's shoulder and sat down, silently claiming the spot as his.
"Natsu, Haru is going to close the shop now."
"Ah, we'll be leaving now then!" Tsuna hurriedly bowed. "Thank you for finding my cat!"
Haru giggled. "That's fine Natsu! Don't lose him again!"
Tsuna gave a wry smile. "I'll try my best not to. Bye Haru."
"Bye bye!" She waved at them as they exited the store.
Yamamoto paused outside the shop. "I thought that when you said cat, you meant cat. This looks like a lion."
"Technically lions are cats." Tsuna let Natsu lick his finger.
"Takeshi, is it just me or is the lion-cat-thing on fire." Ryohei squinted at the cat-lion thing.
Tsuna's head shot up and he studied Ryohei for a few seconds. "You can see Natsu's flames?"
"Yes. For a moment I thought you were talking about yourself . . . that's going to get extremely confusing." Tsuna stayed silent for a while. Why could civilians see Natsu's flames? From their perspective, Natsu should have looked like an ordinary cat albeit a bit lion-ish. Tsuna had noticed slight sun flames around Ryohei when they had ran together, but he thought that it was just his imagination acting up. He looked at Ryohei with a scrutinising gaze. He could see, just beneath the skin, the glowing of sun flames. Well would you look at that. He began to wonder how they got activated.
"Is there something on my face?" Ryohei rubbed his mouth with his hand.
Tsuna shook his head. "Nope. Takeshi can you see flames as well?" Yamamoto nodded thoughtfully. "Well, I should be going back to the hotel now. Should I come by TakeSushi tomorrow morning?" Tsuna asked.
"Yup! But Natsu, are you really going to go back dressed like that?" Takeshi smiled and pointed his hand at Tsuna's clothes.
Tsuna looked down and his face began to slowly turn bright red. "HARU!"
After the embarrassing episode of being stuck in a prince costume for the rest of the day, Tsuna made it back to his hotel room, only leaving the next morning after ordering room service for his dinner last night. He then proceeded to pay for his room at the front desk and walked to the shopping district again, trying to remember the way back to TakeSushi.
Tsuna was standing outside the correct building with Natsu on his shoulder and a bag on his back when Takeshi looked out the window and saw him. Yamamoto ran down the stairs, ignoring his father's warning to not run, and opened the door to a surprised looking Tsuna. "Good morning Natsu!" Yamamoto smiled brightly at the other.
"G-good morning Takeshi!" greeted Tsuna shyly.
"Come on in!" Takeshi ushered Tsuna inside. "How long were you standing outside for? You should have knocked! "
"I was looking for a bell." Tsuna grinned sheepishly.
Yamamoto rubbed the back of his head. "Yeah, we don't have one of those. Anyway, you'll be sleeping in my room! I'll show you were the spare futon is!" He dragged Tsuna up the stairs and to his room, ignoring his father's protest about running again.
The room was relatively normal sized. There was a bed at the far left corner with posters of baseball players plastered on the wall next it. The far right corner held a wardrobe with a baseball uniform hanging from it. Multiple stacks of magazines were in tidy piles under the window. "It's neater than I thought it would be," Tsuna commented, putting his bag down on the ground near the wardrobe.
"Mah mah, that's only because I cleaned it up last night." Takeshi scratched his cheek with a finger before sitting down on his bed. "The futon is in the cupboard we passed in the hallway. The bathroom is opposite it, just in case you need to use it soon." Yamamoto patted the space next to him and smiled as Tsuna took a seat next to him. "Dad said he'd give us today off since it's Sunday."
"Eh? That's great!" Tsuna smiled.
"Right?! Oh yeah, he told me to ask you if you wanted to enroll in school here."
"Hmm . . ." Tsuna thought about it for a moment. "That might be a good idea. It might be too suspicious of me not to be attending school."
"Well there's that, and if Hibari finds out that you don't go to school, he'll hunt you down."
"He's the Disciplinary Committee person, right?"
Takeshi looked surprised. "How did you know?"
"Ryohei told me about him."
"Whilst we're at it, would you like to enroll with Sawada Natsu as your name or use your real one?"
"Sawa—wait a moment. What?" Tsuna caught himself.
"I knew it! Natsu isn't your real name!" Yamamoto smiled gleefully.
Tsuna spluttered. "Wah? But how? Why?"
"I just couldn't understand why you'd name your cat after yourself, so I figured that Sawada Natsu is an alias! So, what's your real name? And why did you run away from home?" Takeshi sat forward eagerly.
"I can't tell you that." Tsuna replied.
Yamamoto looked at him with puppy dog eyes. "Please?"
Tsuna looked away. "N-no!"
"We're giving you a place to sleep and eat as well as enrolling you in school and you can't even tell us your real name?"
Tsuna felt his resolve crumble. " . . . fine, but you can't tell anyone!"
"Not even my dad?" Yamamoto questioned.
"I suppose you can tell him, but absolutely no one else!"
"I promise!" Yamamoto straightened up and Tsuna leaned backwards.
"My real name is Tsunayoshi Vongola. Here it would probably be Vongola Tsunayoshi, from what I know of Japanese culture. My friends call me Tsuna, or they would if I had any, so the only ones who called me Tsuna were my grandfather and dad. And a few of the maids and butlers-"
"Natsu you're rambling," Takeshi interrupted whilst pondering where he'd heard the word Vongola before.
Tsuna winced. "Sorry. Anyway, my grandfather is the head of . . . a large corporation. He's getting older, and I'm the only heir he has since my dad is the head of the external advisers for the corporation. The other potential heir is currently incapacitated. So, from the moment I was born, I've been told my role, and everything has been leading up to taking my grandfather's place as the Do- as the head."
"And what's wrong with that? It sounds like you have your whole life planned out already."
Tsuna frowned in frustration. "But, you see, that's exactly what I didn't like! I never got to make my own choices! No one ever asked me if I wanted to do it! I don't want to be the next head! I don't want someone else to choose my own future for me! I want to decide what happens for myself! I want to be in control for once instead of taking a backseat." Tsuna took a deep breath. "But that's not all. Everyone seems to have this strange misconception that I'm capable of running the business. They think that I'm smart and strong, but I'm not!"
Takeshi was silent. "So you decided to run away?"
"So I decided to run away," Tsuna repeated.
"Did you ever talk about it with your grandfather?"
"I would, but he's really stubborn and won't listen to anything I say!"
Takeshi repeated his question. "Did you try to talk about it with your grandfather?"
"Well, no, but I know that he wouldn't give me a choice anyway!"
Takeshi gave him a pointed look before sighing. "Well if that's what you think, it must be true."
Tsuna then began to doubt his actions. Maybe he should have tried harder to talk to his grandfather? Was he too impulsive with making his decisions?
"Natsu, or should I call you Tsuna?"
"You can call me Tsuna only when we're alone."
"So Tsuna, which country in Europe did come from?" Yamamoto asked with more than a hint or curiosity.
"I came from Italy. Sicily to be precise."
"That sounds nice. What was it like there?" Takeshi got a faraway look in his eyes.
Tsuna shrugged. "I wouldn't know. I've only gone to the town near the mansion, but it was small and there weren't many shops."
Yamamoto felt a wave of pity for the brunette sitting next to him. "So how did you spend your days then?"
"Mostly with my tutors or my grandfather doing things."
"Can you explain it in more detail?" Takashi smiled.
"I'm sitting in a room made up of only big white walls and in the halls there are people looking through the window and the door. They know exactly what we're here for. Don't look up just let them think there's no place else you'd rather be."
Yamamoto could imagine Tsuna in those circumstance and for some reason it made his heart twinge. Tsuna carried on with a hint of irritation.
"You're always on display for everyone to watch and learn from. Don't you know by now you can't turn back because this road is all you'll ever have!"
Tsuna dug his nails into his palms.
"And it's obvious that you're dying, dying. Just living proof that the camera's lying and oh, oh open wide! 'Cause this is your night, so smile! 'Cause you'll go out in style!"
The brunette stood up and leaned against the wall, looking out the window. Takeshi's eyes widened by a fraction as he swear he saw Tsuna's eyes flash orange.
"If you let me I could. I'd show you how to build your fences. Set restrictions separate from the world. The constant battles that you hate to fight; just blame the limelight!"
Yamamoto watched Tsuna closely. For some reason he felt like he could sort-of relate a bit. He found that more often than not, he was forcing himself to practice baseball.
"Don't look up just let them think there's no place else you'd rather be in now. You can't turn back. Because this road is all you'll ever have!"
He loved the sport, yes, but his teammates were starting to put a lot of pressure on him to always pitch well and hit homeruns or out of the parks. Baseball used to be fun. Playing with his 'friends' used to be fun.
"And it's obvious that you're dying, dying. Just living proof that the camera's lying and oh, oh open wide! This is you're night, so smile! Because you'll go out in style."
They stayed silent for a while before the door opened, and Yamamoto's dad stuck his head in. "I hope that you two don't plan to stay inside the whole day. Takeshi, show Natsu around town. Natsu, have you decided whether or not you wanted to go to school yet?"
"Yes, Uncle! I decided that I'd like to enroll in Nami-High." Tsuna smiled at the man.
"I'll give you the papers when you come back. That way you can fill in the parts that I can't."
"Thank you, Uncle!"
"Don't worry about it kid. Now, both of you better exit this room by the time I count to ten or both of you'll be helping me the whole day. No breaks." The two teenagers scrambled for the door.
Meanwhile ~ In Italy ~
Nono tapped his fingers impatiently as he waited for someone to report back to him. Where the hell was Tsuna? He hadn't seen Tsuna all of yesterday, but he had assumed that, since it was the boy's last day of freedom, he'd chosen to spend it outside. Yet he hadn't returned for any meals, so all the guards were on high alert.
After growing impatient, he stood up and made his way to Tsuna's room. A quick survey of the room— the open windows and lack of clothes—told him everything that he needed to know. Nono turned to the butler posted outside the door. "Get me Reborn on the line. My grandson had been kidnapped." After all, he knew his grandson better than anyone else. He was strong and smart, so there was no way he would have ran away. The only other option left was that he was kidnapped.
He walked to his study and sat down in the plush chair, picking up the phone the butler in that room handed him. "Reborn?"
In an old apartment building in Rome, a tall man wearing a suit and fedora leaned his back against an expensive-looking recliner. "That is what I have been called."
"This is no time for jokes. I need you on a recovery mission." Nono tapped his fingers on his desk once again, listening to the dull, wood-like sound it made.
"That can be arranged." The fedora-wearing man, now dubbed Reborn, twirled a green shotgun in his free hand. "For a price."
"I'll pay you triple the usual amount if you can get this person to me unharmed." Nono spoke through his teeth.
Now that caught Reborn's attention. Not double, but triple? That usually meant that the target was very important. He sat up straighter, pressing the phone against his ear. "And who is it you want?"
"Between two days ago and today, my grandson had been kidnapped."
Reborn stopped twirling the gun. "You don't say?"
"I want you to get him safely back to me. I don't care what you do to his kidnappers."
The fedora-wearing man frowned. "If you don't know who kidnapped him, then how are you so sure that he didn't run away?"
Nono laughed. "I think I know my grandson. Tsunayoshi isn't the type of person to run away. I'll send you a picture of him later if you accept the job."
Reborn frowned, not entirely happy with that response but letting it slide. "Do you have any other information regarding this, such as the reason the assault was carried out or who you think did it?"
"Next week Tsunayoshi was meant to inherit my role as Vongola Don. News may have leaked out, and other families might have acted."
So investigating the other families would be part of it, but there was something that itched at Reborn. "Why did you hire me? I'm a professional hitman, and a notorious one at that. Wouldn't someone else be more suited?"
"I can't trust anyone else to get the job done right. I don't want someone who can easily be bribed in handing over my grandson to another family as hostage."
"I suppose if I were in your shoes, I'd do the same. I accept the job."
"Good. How long will it take?"
"Depending on what happens, I'd say a week at most. The funds can be deposited into my account after I've completed the job."
Nono gave a dry laugh. "Of course."
Hi again! Now, I know that I have a bad habit of starting stories and not finishing them, but I feel pretty confident that for this one I'll be able to!
So, since the pairings are undecided yet, I'll be a having a vote about who you want Tsuna to end up with! Anyone counts as an option, even if they haven't appeared in the story yet, such as Gokudera or Enma.
Normally, my chapters are around six pages each, so I surprised myself when I wrote twenty-two pages for this one. I'll try to keep them around the same length, but it'll probably be more inconsistent and the time it takes to write a chapter would be a lot longer than it normally is.
Anyway follow, favourite and review please!