Please read this before reading the M rated Sequel!
This story picks up after the Varia arc. This is an OVA. That is, this is an alternate story-line instead of following into the Future arc.
Disclaimer: I do not own K. Hitman Reborn. All rights to the characters and world goes to the author Amano Akira. This is just a simple fanfic I wrote for fun.
This work is completed, but feel free to give feedback. I could always use a good critique...or even a bad one at that!
Another morning, another stolen omelet. Tsuna gave a half-hearted sigh as he walked with Gokudera and Yamomoto to school.
"What's wrong, Tsuna?" Yamomoto asked in response to the sigh.
"Nothing, I guess I'm just getting used to everything being so crazy everyday," he answered. "This time last year I would have been screaming on the top of my lungs over something like my breakfast being snatched...but it doesn't seem worth the fuss anymore. I guess..."he sighed again, leaving the rest unvoiced.
"10th..." Gokudera breathed.
"After all the trouble you've been put through with the ring battles, what did you expect?" Tsuna jumped automatically at the sound of Reborn's voice. "It's only natural that after going through such a life-threatening situation, your perspective on life's troubles change."
Tsuna scratched his head. It made sense, of course, but he wasn't about to admit it to Reborn. "Either way, unless we get moving, we're going to be late. Sensei already has an eye on us because we got away with missing so much school already." They nodded and set off at a pace that quickly left Reborn standing alone.
Later that night, Tsuna was relaxing out on the porch, thinking to himself. Today had been another day in the life of "No-Good Tsuna". A score of 20 on his math test, another face-plant in P.E., and he somehow ripped his pants in front of the girl's soccer team. One would think that after all the hellish training he'd done since Reborn joined him, he'd be able to be somewhat less useless in his daily life.
"Wishing you were less useless?" Reborn asked.
"Do I even need to answer a mind-reader?" Tsuna lamented.
"It's called manners," Reborn answered, brandishing Leon in his gun form.
Tsuna ignored the gun and sat up. "It's just..." he sighed. "It's just that after seeing my own potential in all the fights we've been through up to now, I don't understand why I am the way I am."
"Hmm..." came the answer Tsuna expected. However, this time it seems that Reborn was taking his complaint seriously. "Let me ask you something, Tsuna. Do you still do things that you regret?"
"Well, you will only be able to harness the Dying Will Flame when you have the determination to not do things you'll regret."
"I..see..." Honestly he didn't see.
"Every boss in Vongola's history has had a point in their life when the Dying Will Flame wasn't truly their own. Each went through their own trial in order to prove their determination and harness the flame as their own power. Up until they achieved that, they've all had to rely on an outside force to awaken it. In your case, you have me."
"Then what's the trial? What do I do, Reborn?" Tsuna's voice became high-pitched and excited, but was quickly settled down by a kick from Reborn.
As Tsuna rubbed his offended chin, Reborn answered seriously. "Think about it yourself, Baka-Tsuna. I can't do everything for you."
"Sawada!" The teacher's voice shouted.
"Yes!" Tsuna stood abruptly, causing the class to burst out laughing.
The teacher looked peeved. He'd obviously been calling on Tsuna for a while now. "Were you having a nice daydream, Sawada? Go stand in the hall."
Tsuna blushed brightly and quickly stepped outside the class. Once again he'd been caught while he wasn't paying attention. Reborn was going to be furious when he found out. But, for once, he hadn't been daydreaming about Kyoko. He'd been seriously thinking about the conversation from the previous night.
Unconsciously, he started pacing. "Start at the beginning," he thought to himself. "The Dying Will Bullet removes my limits during a life-or-death situation. The Rebuke Bullet awakens my inner potential by making me realize how my inaction or poor actions affects others."
"Arrrrgggg!" he said, rubbing his head. "I just don't get it!" Suddenly, he realized that while he was pacing he'd walked up to the roof. He sighed, realizing how angry the teacher would be, but shrugged it off immediately. He had other things to think about.
He leaned on the roof's railing while he continued thinking to himself. "Lately, I think I've been working toward not regretting my actions. I feel like I've been trying to do better in school. I also don't automatically cringe when I see a Disciplinary Committee badge anymore...only when I see Hibari is the one wearing it. What am I missing?" A single drop of rain splashed down on his hand and a small rumble of thunder made him look up. There was a storm gathering in the distant mist-covered mountains, but the clouds overhead barely covered the sun.
That's when it hit him. Storm, Rain, Sun, Thunder, Cloud, Mist...he was forgetting his "Family". "I really am nothing without them, aren't I?" he said to himself with a small smile. "Here I am, thinking that I should gain this power for my own selfish desires, when I should really be thinking about how to better prepare myself to protect them. We barely survived this time. If the ring hadn't rejected Xanxus...we'd probably all be dead right now."
"About time you started thinking like a boss," came Reborn's voice as he jumped down from the roof's storage building. "So, what are you going to do now?"
"I don't know," Tsuna answered honestly. "I just have this weird feeling that I've got to figure it out quickly." Reborn didn't say anything. Tsuna's "feelings" have been right on more than one occasion and weren't to be laughed at. "Either way, I better get back to class."
"I'll come with you," Reborn answered as he put on his Dr. Boreen disguise. "For once I'll get you off the hook with your teacher, but expect me to turn you to goo later."
Tsuna could only moan.
"Tsu-kun?" Tsuna looked up at his mother's voice. "Are you okay, Tsu-kun? You've been spacing out all afternoon."
He smiled, looking up at her across from the dinner table. "I'm fine. I just have a lot on my mind."
"Well, don't push yourself," came the surprising words as she turned her attention to the fussing Lambo. He sat back from the remains of his salmon and let himself just enjoy being around the others. I-pin and Lambo started fighting over the last bun. Fuuta began helping Nana, Tsuna's mother, clean the pots and pans from cooking.
Tsuna got up and walked into the living room. From the hallway, Bianchi and Reborn were having a low-voiced conversation that he could barely hear. His curiosity piqued, he stretched his ear to catch everything he could.
"...itsu sent word that the Renault family has been almost completely wiped out."
"That's the third family in the past month," Reborn replied in a low voice. "Even though they're a pretty new family in comparison to the Vongola, the Renault Family is well known for their power. Taking them down shouldn't have been that easy."
Bianchi nodded. "He said that their boss-in-training was the first one to bite the bullet."
"We'll have to keep an eye on Tsuna's safety until the investigation is over." Tsuna jumped as the hall door slid open and he gave a sheepish grin. "You heard, did you?" Reborn interrogated.
"Well, until the culprit is identified, Iemitsu wants me to shadow you closely." At Tsuna's horrified expression, he merely said, "Live with it."
Tsuna rolled over in bed for the fifth time since he'd laid down. Reborn or anyone else would probably expect his restlessness to be due to the information he'd gotten. However, the truth was that the phrase "bite the bullet" kept resounding in his head. For some reason, those words had clicked somewhere in his head like a piece of a puzzle fitting into place.
Finally, after tossing and turning for several more hours, he sat up and rubbed his tired eyes. There wasn't anyway he was going to be able to sleep like this. Tiptoeing past his keeper, he went down to the kitchen and poured himself a glass of water. Leon appeared from nowhere and ran up the side of Tsuna's glass. The chameleon ducked his head to drink while Tsuna gently patted his back.
"You couldn't sleep, either, eh?" Leon bounced his head in agreement. Suddenly, Tsuna got an idea. "Hey, Leon," he asked, "any chance I can have a Rebuke Bullet?" The little chameleon looked up at Tsuna, almost as to if ask why. Tsuna answered the unvoiced question, "I'm trying to figure out how to harness my flame so that I can fully control it. Maybe by having one of the bullets as a charm will help me come up with something."
The little chameleon tilted his head, as if thinking. Then, without warning, he shape-shifted into a gun. With a small click, the chamber opened and one of the six loaded bullets popped out. Picking it up, it proved to be the small white Rebuke Bullet that Tsuna had asked for. "Thank you, Leon," Tsuna said once the chameleon had reverted to his lizard form. With a small bounce of his head, Leon turned tail and scurried back up the stairs to his sleeping partner. Alone, Tsuna sat back in his chair thinking, allowing himself to be soothed by the rhythmic drip coming from the kitchen faucet.
The next morning, Tsuna was found snoring at the kitchen table, cradling the small bullet in his hand. A sharp kick proved useless in waking him, so Reborn used the "traditional Vongola waking method" of electric shock. This proved useful in getting the boy moving and ready in time for class. Reborn didn't ask anything about the bullet and quietly gave Leon another plain bullet to use as a catalyst in making a replacement. He was curious whether the boy had figured out anything, but assumed Tsuna would tell him when he was ready.
As the day progressed, Reborn noticed a subtle change in Tsuna's expression. Almost as if he'd come to terms with something. His theory was proved later when Tsuna was walking home with Gokudera and Yamamoto. Both of them had caught onto the other boy's mood and had been quietly walking beside him for a while. Although Tsuna probably didn't realize it, he'd actually walked past his own house three times while he was lost in thought. When he suddenly stopped, the other two followed suit without missing a beat.
"Have you come up with something amazing, 10th?" Gokudera said enthusiastically.
"It's about time you share what's been on your mind, Tsuna." Yamamoto said with a thumbs-up.
Tsuna blushed bright red, finally realizing that it was almost sunset and they'd been walking in circles around the city for several hours now. "Um, well..." he blushed again. "The truth is that there's something I want to try." The other two looked at him expectantly, so he continued with a little more confidence. "But, it's probably dangerous, so I thought maybe you two could come with me."
"Of course, 10th! You don't even have to ask! Though I should be enough..." he grumbled with a sharp glance at Yamamoto.
Tsuna interrupted, "Actually, Gokudera..." he knew this was going to hurt Gokudera's pride but he had to say it. "Actually, I need both of you to come. Reborn will probably come, too, and even then I'm not totally confident that I'll be okay."
"Is it really that dangerous, Tsuna?" Yamamoto asked seriously.
Tsuna nodded, but his mind was set. "Yes, I can't go into details, but it's something I have to do. I can't really explain...but it's one of those feelings I can't ignore. And after what happened with the Renault Family, I'd feel better if there were more than one of you. That way if something goes wrong and someone takes advantage of that to attack, you two can watch each other's backs."
Reborn came out of hiding and jumped on Tsuna's shoulder. For once, the boy didn't jump at his appearance, showing his resolve at facing whatever he was planning. "When do you want to do it, Tsuna?"
"Tomorrow morning," came the immediate answer. The other two looked at him in surprise. "Honestly," he said with a shadowed face, "the longer I think about it, the more I'm shaking inside. So, the sooner, the better." He looked up into the eyes of his two closest friends. "Don't...don't tell anyone else about this. Just pack for a camping trip and meet me here at dawn."
Gokudera and Yamamoto nodded not only to Tsuna's request, but to the unspoken resolve they saw in his eyes.