Task 23: Prelude to Zwei

Disclaimer: Due to the fact that Katekyo Hitman Reborn belong to Amano Akira, I do not own Katekyo Hitman Reborn in many galaxies including the one you are in while reading this.

Warning: Usage of an overly use term for a title, start of an arc and more mysteries and questions popping here and there

Author's Notes: Belated Merry Christmas! This was supposedly to be posted on the eve of December 25 but I forgot the fact that our internet connection would go down once 0900 pm hits last December 24… and it only got reestablished today. –frowns-

Other notes: It occurred to me that this fic is seriously being derived from the manga (especially since the manga showed the pictures of Primo's guardians) but I warned you guys this story had already derived from the anime/manga when TYL!Hibari fought Genkishi in Melone base (or Merone base, whichever translation you're using). –laughs-

Task 23: Prelude to Zwei

"This smells nice, Letizia-san." Tsuna complimented as he took the cup of tea Letizia had placed on his table. Letizia bowed and left without saying a word. Tsuna sighed and flipped the book he had been reading. Today, he had asked… more like begged… Reborn to let him spend the day reading in his study room. Without even asking a question, Reborn had placed more than a dozen books on his study room. But after a while, Tsuna banged his head on the table.

All of them were written in Italian…

Tsuna groaned and lifted his head, rubbing his forehead. With a resigned sigh, Tsuna sipped the tea on his hand and sighed once more.

His vision during that time had left him with the nagging feeling that he was missing something, as if he had been building a jigsaw puzzle without a picture to look at. Knowing that it would be long before he could understand even just a single book, Tsuna began to walk out of the room. As soon as he was out, he walked to the right where the library was stationed. He opened the door and smiled sardonically at what he was seeing.

In front of him were six chairs facing a blackboard, Gokudera was by the black board, wearing glasses, while Yamamoto, Ryohei, Chrome, Ken and Chigusa were sitting on the chairs… well… at least the five of them were…

"YOU STUPID LAWNHEAD!!! SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN!!!" Gokudera shouted as he waved his stick at Ryohei's location.

"Ah, come on, octopus-head! This is extremely boring!" Ryohei replied, waving his arms as if he was stretching, "We could be outside, extremely training!"

"I don't give a damn about that! Now sit down, LAWNHEAD!!!" Gokudera ordered once more, "Reborn-san ordered me to teach you guys and I'm going to do just that! Honestly! Just because Reborn-san is out-"

"Um… Ken… what does this mean?" Chrome whispered as she showed her notebook to Ken.

Ken stared at the notebook intently before shouting, "ARGH! I don't know!!! Stop asking, you stupid woman!!!"

Chrome backed away immediately and apologized, "I'm sorry."

Chigusa, who had been sitting on Chrome's other side, took Chrome's notebook and stared at it for a few minutes before showing it to Chrome. He pointed at one of Chrome's notes and answered, "This is supposedly to contain an element of this by adding this into the equation."

"Oh… I see…" Chrome nodded in understanding and pointed at another part of her notebook, "What about this one? What does this mean?"

"This one is…"

Ken stared at the two before growling. He turned away and turned towards Yamamoto, who looked like he was having a hard time. Ken snickered and asked, "Having problems, pyon?"

"Ah? Oh, a bit." Yamamoto chuckled and showed Ken his notebook, "I'm trying to answer this one but it just seems a bit impossible, considering that if I add this to this, it would result to Gokudera's explanation of-"

Ken began to feel dizzy as Yamamoto chatted away. But Yamamoto stopped and looked at his notes before smiling brightly, "Hey. I got it! Thanks, Ken!"

Yamamoto patted Ken's back and began to write on his notebook. Ken shook his head, trying to get the dizziness away.

"You stupid LAWNHEAD-"

"OH! That's how it's supposed to be! EXTREME fighting-"


Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at Tsuna. Tsuna took a deep breath and smiled at them, "What are you guys doing?"

"Umm… some sort of calculation…?" Yamamoto replied, grinning sheepishly at Tsuna. Gokudera glared at Yamamoto, a bit angry that the baseball idiot didn't even remember properly what he was teaching them. Tsuna nodded and turned towards Gokudera and Ryohei, who were both grabbing each other by the neck of their shirts.

"Gokudera-kun…" Tsuna called out.

Gokudera immediately threw Ryohei to the floor and replied, "I'm sorry, Tenth. I did not wish for you to see such a miserable sigh-"

Tsuna waved his head and said, "Its okay. I didn't come to reprehend any of you or anything… Actually… I wanted to ask a favor…"

"A favor?"

Tsuna looked away, a soft blush appearing on his cheeks. Everyone, other than Chrome and Chigusa, gulped as they noticed how cute Tsuna looked, looking as if he was shy about something. Tsuna turned to face them slowly and asked, "Can… you guys help me…?"

"OF COURSE!" All of them eagerly replied.

"Eh? But I haven't said anything yet-"

"It doesn't matter what it is, Tenth! We'll of course help you!" Gokudera eagerly said, before taking out his dynamites, "Now who do you want to silence, Tenth? I'll get-"

"HIIII!!! No!" Tsuna waved his arms and hastily explained, "I need you guys to help me find information about Vongola's history!"

"Vongola's history?" Yamamoto asked, closing his notebook.

"I have some books concerning Vongola's history in my study room. But… well… it'll be better if we all look at it…" Tsuna looked down and grinned sheepishly, "… right?"

They all nodded immediately and Gokudera said, "Of course, Tenth!"

Gokudera turned towards the other people in the room and shouted, "Well?! What are you guys waiting for?! LET'S GO!!!"

"OH!" Yamamoto, Ken and Ryohei shouted back in eagerness, raising their fist to the air. Chigusa sighed and adjusted his glasses.

Chrome looked at the others as they kept their fists raised and mimicked them, raising her fist slowly and whispered, "… Oh…"

"Now, now. Let's go, Tenth!"

"Eh? Ah, yeah…" Tsuna mumbled as Gokudera began pushing out of the library. Gokudera's 'students' followed them back to Tsuna's study room and closed the door behind them. Tsuna, thanks to Gokudera's instructions, was sitting on the desk chair while Gokudera was standing on his right, already reading a book. Yamamoto sat on the floor and took one of the books. The three Kokuyo students decided to occupy the sofa by the left wall. Ken was the only one that didn't grab a book, leaning unto the sofa instead and yawning. Ryohei, surprisingly, took one book and stared at the page he flipped.

After a few minutes of silence, Ryohei closed the book and shouted, "I EXTREMELY DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!!!"

Gokudera, trembling, closed the book he had been reading and shouted back, "THEN FUCKING GO AWAY!!!"

Before the two guardians could fight once more, Tsuna stood and shouted, "STOP!!!"

The two guardians immediately stopped and looked at him. Chigusa closed the book he had been reading and regarded Tsuna with a question, "Is there anything specific you wish to know, Vongola?"

"Eh?" Tsuna, Ryohei and Gokudera looked at the quiet Kokuyo student.

Yamamoto nodded and asked, "Yeah. Vongola's history is too broad. Maybe if he make it more specific-"

"Are you trying to say that Tenth is wrong?!" Gokudera shouted at Yamamoto. Yamamoto immediately shook his head.

"No, no, no. Of course not!" Yamamoto defended himself and smiled, "I'm just saying that maybe Tsuna is looking for something specific-"

"Anything about Primo." Tsuna replied but shook his head, "I mean… maybe… something about Primo's later years…"

"Later years?" Chrome asked, closing the book she had been reading, "There is not much in this book about that… other than Vongola Primo moving to Japan after he handed Vongola to Secondo…"

"Yeah… this book also says that…" Yamamoto said, waving the book he had been reading.

"Eh? You can read that gibberish?" Ryohei asked, pointing at Yamamoto's book.

"It's only gibberish because you can't fucking understand it!" Gokudera shouted.

Tsuna smiled at Yamamoto and complimented, "Awesome, Yamamoto. You can read Italian!"

Yamamoto chuckled and grinned, "Well… I got a brilliant teacher, right?"

Gokudera blushed as Yamamoto grinned at him and crossed his arms, "S-Shut up!"

"Anyway!" Gokudera cleared his throat and said, "There is something that caught my attention."

Gokudera opened his book once more and flipped the pages. Gokudera stopped and showed the book to Tsuna. Tsuna sat and stared at the page. After a few minutes, Tsuna looked at Gokudera slowly. Tsuna said shyly, "Uh… Gokudera-kun… I sorta… can't understand it…"

"Ah! I'm sorry, Tenth!" Gokudera apologized, bowing at Tsuna immediately. Tsuna chuckled and shook his head, smiling at Gokudera.

"What does it says, Gokudera-kun?" Tsuna asked.

"Ah. This passage speaks of a colorless flame that was said to be seen used by Primo." Gokudera explained, earning a curious look from everyone in the room.

"A… colorless flame?" Tsuna repeated. Unknown to them, Ryohei seemed to stiffen at those words.

Gokudera nodded and continued, "It says here that there was one time where in Primo used a pure colorless flame. But there are some records here… uhhh…"

Gokudera grabbed a few books he had been scanning and flipped the pages. Smiling triumphantly, Gokudera showed the other books as well and continued, "Here and here… They described the flame during the same event as pure white. This one described it as a transparent flame."

"All of them were talking about the same event."

"A white flame… is that even possible?" Yamamoto mused.

"Well…" Gokudera scratched his cheek and thought about it. All of them fell into silence as they pondered if it was possible. Although Ken and Chigusa didn't really understand everything, they knew enough to know that there were no dying flames known as white.

"Ah-hah." Yamamoto shrugged and smiled, "If only Lal was here."

"Lal…" Tsuna repeated the name of the woman they first met in the future. Tsuna stood and shouted, "That's right!"


"Didn't they explain it to us?" Tsuna looked at his hand and was surprised to not find his Vongola ring.

Oh… That's right…

Tsuna grinned sheepishly as he remembered that Reborn 'confiscated' the rings just a few weeks ago. Tsuna shook his head and smiled at those staring at him in anticipation. Tsuna explained, "They said that the flame's color depends on the purity of the ring, right?"

"Oh. I see… the dimmer the color, the lower the purity." Gokudera nodded.

"But…" Chrome's quiet soft voice whispered, causing the boys to look at her. Chrome blushed slightly at the attention but continued, "Wouldn't that mean… well… that it was so pure that it became… colorless?"

"Chrome's right… A flame that pure…" Tsuna looked at Gokudera and asked, "Was Primo wearing the Vongola ring?"

Gokudera frowned and looked at the books before shaking his head, "None of these books say anything about that, Tenth…"

Chigusa threw a book to Gokudera and said, "Page 144…"

Gokudera frowned as he caught the book but flipped the book to the page nonetheless. Gokudera's eyes widened as he read the passage, "A white flame is considered… what?!"

"What is it?!" Tsuna asked frantically.

Gokudera looked at Tsuna and said, "This says that a white flame is considered as a symbol."

"A symbol?" Tsuna asked worriedly.

"Every don of Vongola is supposedly to achieve the white flame to be considered as a true Vongola don. The white flame…" Gokudera stared at the page for a few moments before reciting, "'… supposedly symbolizes the Vongola don awakening his or her true power…' Blah, blah… useless information… uhhh… It says here that 'a white flame was said to be able to incinerate an entire town'…"

"That's some extreme power…" Ryohei commented, crossing his arms as he continued, "So… if Sawada can… produce that white flame?"

Gokudera frowned and read a few more pages before replying, "Well… it doesn't say how."

"Does it say how-"

"Hey cool!" They all turned around and stared at Yamamoto. Yamamoto looked up and grinned sheepishly as he apologized, "Sorry… This one just got me… uhh…"

"What did you find, baseball-freak?" Gokudera asked with a frown.

Yamamoto held up his book and answered, "Well… Primo's Cloud Guardian? He was a secret agent."

"Eh?" Tsuna blinked and asked, "For Japan?"

"Hm?" Yamamoto looked at the book once more and shrugged, "It doesn't say…"

"Hey. What's that by the end of the page?" Ken asked, staring at the book as well. Yamamoto turned his attention at the end and furrowed as he tried to understand the writings.

Chrome leaned in as well and read, "It says that Vongola Primo had two mist guardians…"

"He did?!" Tsuna asked, walking towards them to look at the book. Tsuna's hope was dashed when he saw that the book was all texts. He had hoped that there was at least a picture or two. As if his prayer was heard, a piece of paper dropped from the book. The piece of paper flew by Gokudera's foot. Gokudera picked it up and examined it.

"Huh? What's this…? 'Stupid'… 'Giotto'… EHHH?!" Gokudera seemed surprised at those words. They all ran towards him and looked at what Gokudera was holding.

"It's a photo!" Yamamoto happily said, leaning unto Gokudera's shoulder to get a better view, "Turn it over. Turn it over!"

Tsuna blinked as he thought he saw Gokudera blushing but his curiosity was transferred to the photo on Gokudera's hand. Gokudera shouted in annoyance as he turned the photo, "Okay! Okay!"

They all stared at the photo. It was a black and white photo, already yellow because of age. The picture itself was blurry and they could hardly make out the figure of a person sitting on a chair together with two other persons on both side. The two persons standing were obviously men wearing suits of some kind while the person sitting was a woman with long hair. Tsuna's eyes widened as he recognized the blurry image of the woman's attire.

"… a… kimono…" Tsuna whispered as he tried to make out the design of the kimono. The photo was too blurry to make any distinctive pattern but Tsuna saw something else in the picture. It was blurry as well but it looked like one of the men has a very distinctive hairstyle.

"Is that… Primo?" Tsuna asked as he pointed at one of the men.

"The hairstyle does remind me of Vongola, pyon." Ken commented, nodding.

"It seems that something else is written at the back…" Chrome whispered softly.

"Funny, octopus-head didn't see it…"

"That's because one BASEBALL-FREAK wanted me to turn the fucking photo!"

Yamamoto laughed and grinned at Gokudera, "Sorry, sorry. It just got me excited."

Gokudera grumbled but turned the photo once more. He read the texts that were a bit blotched because of the ink, "Uhh… let's see… 'Stupid Giotto'… 'We went with'… umm… 'your stupid'… 'idea. Now go back to that'… hmmm… the fucking ink's too… 'childhood'? I think this one means 'childhood'… and I can't make out the texts that come after that…"

"So, that photo was meant for Primo?" Tsuna asked as he took the photo from Gokudera absentmindedly. He turned the photo again and stared at the photo, "This woman's… Shion-hime…"

"How can you be sure, Tsuna?" Yamamoto asked.

Tsuna flinched at the question, thinking if he should tell them he saw her in the vision as well… or at least, he thinks that the woman he saw in his vision was Shion-hime. It seemed…

… well… the best plausible explanation…

"Ah… well…" Tsuna stared at the photo as he explained hastily, "The kimono! Yeah, that's it! The kimono! I mean Shion-hime was Japanese, right?"

"Oh…" All of them nodded to Tsuna's explanation. A sudden knock on the door stopped them from further engaging in their conversation when Letizia opened the door.

"Tsunayoshi-sama… and the others…" Gokudera and Ken frowned at the word 'the others' but Letizia either didn't see or didn't care as she continued coldly, "Supper is ready."

"Supper? EH?" Tsuna looked at the grandfather clock inside the study room and was surprised to see that it was already night time. Tsuna frowned, "I didn't notice…"

"Oh! Food!" Ryohei began to walk out immediately.

"I am hungry, pyon…" Ken said, walking with Chigusa and Chrome. Chrome stopped and looked back to Tsuna. Gokudera and Yamamoto also looked at Tsuna.

"Shall we go, Tenth?" Gokudera asked, smiling at Tsuna.

Tsuna realized that Ken, Chigusa and Ryohei had also stopped and were now waiting for him. Tsuna smiled and nodded, "Okay."

He smelled it right away… the undeniable stench of alcohol beverages filled the room as if it had been made with alcohol itself. He slowly moved his eyes to see the young man next to him and gulped as he realized the annoyance in his companion's face. With a forced laugh, he stepped back from his companion and joked forcefully, "Xanxus-sama really did it this time, didn't he? With the smell alone, he could already be dead because of severe alcohol poiso-"

Samuele ducked immediately as Hibari took his tonfas out from his weapon box, sending a shockwave of purple flames all around. Hibari began to walk towards the next room, where the smell of alcohol seemed most prominent. Samuele took this as his chance to grab the door and run outside. The moment he closed the door, he heard the shout of Xanxus and a loud crashing sound accompanied with the undeniable sound of glasses breaking. Samuele, having already experience similar 'events', rushed out of their base, a small abandoned villa surrounded by tall trees and away from civilization by about two days worth of travel by car. Samuele expertly dropped to the ground, mimicking the shout of a Japanese children's hero, "TOU!"

A blast of Sky flame missed Samuele by an inch as he heard Xanxus' shout of "STUPID BRAT!!!"

Taking this as a sign that the two violent men have already started their fight 'officially', Samuele began moving using his arms, remembering one show that had a scene where the characters were training using a similar maneuver. Samuele smiled as he silently thanked the Ninth boss of Vongola for letting the ground surrounding the villa to be pure grass, although it could be because of the helicopter that they would be using. Speaking of which…

"Just a bit more…" He whispered as he moved towards the helicopter they used to return to the villa. The way things were, Samuele was better off going to one of the near cities and watching a movie or two before he became an 'unfortunate victim'.

Samuele stopped when he heard another sound, quite different from what he was used to whenever the two were fighting.

"Wind?" Samuele whispered as he noticed the grass he was on moving. But they were moving unusually. Samuele began to hear the sound coming closer. Realizing what it was, he looked up and saw a helicopter descending near him. Samuele moved back as soon as he could as the helicopter landed. An infant jumped off the helicopter and ran towards him.

"Canetti!" The infant called him.

"Lal Mirch-san…" Samuele blinked, "What are you-"

"Where's Hibari and Xanxus?!" Lal Mirch asked forcefully. Samuele pointed towards the villa. Lal Mirch ran towards the villa as she ordered, "Get up, Canetti! We have a problem!"

"A problem?" Samuele asked as he stood immediately, following Lal Mirch.

"How do you feel?" The man asked Tsuna as he placed a cup on the table. The cup was porcelain, decorated by a simple branch of sakura, a small budding flower by the end. The man poured tea to the cup and Tsuna smiled as the tea's fragrance soothed him.

"Such a nice aroma…" Tsuna said as he took the cup. The man smiled as well and sat on the chair in front of him.

"I had Letizia prepare it. Of course…" The man turned away and continued, "It wasn't because I was expecting you to come."

Tsuna chuckled softly and smiled, "Why can't you be more honest…"

"… Hibari-san…"


Hibari… san?

The man looked back at Tsuna and asked, "What's wrong? Do you feel an-"

Everything stopped. The entire room seemed to stop. The man stopped as well, his mouth slightly opened because he was stopped before he could finish his sentence. Tsuna stared at the cup on his hand. The tea stopped as well. The aroma stopped as well. Everything…

"It appeared that you have chosen." Tsuna turned towards the voice and saw Anemone-san walking towards the room, holding a cape on his hands.

"I… I've been thinking…" Tsuna said, placing the cup back to the table as he continued, "That vision I saw… It was… It was real, wasn't it?"

Anemone-san continued to keep quiet and Tsuna continued, "I want to know… everything…"

Anemone-san placed the cape on Tsuna's shoulders and replied softly, "Vongola holds too many secrets to be looked at one's lifetime."

"But the answers the questions I seek… They're here, aren't they?" Tsuna asked, turning towards Anemone-san. Anemone-san smiled sadly.

"What you will see is Vongola itself." Anemone-san said, turning to face the frozen man in front of Tsuna as he continued, "Finding the answers here depends on what it is you are looking for."

"Anemone-san is like a guide, right?" Tsuna asked, smiling at Anemone-san.

"More like gate keeper…" Anemone-san replied, shrugging as he began to walk away. He stopped and turned back towards Tsuna and said, "It seems that your timing is a bit off, Tsunayoshi."


"Nothing. Enjoy your role in this dream, Vongola Decimo." Anemone-san said, closing the door. As the door closed, everything returned to normal…

"Is something wrong, Giotto?" Tsuna blinked as the man in front of him was replaced by a woman with long black hair, wearing a red kimono designed with sakura petals and black clouds. Tsuna shook his head and smiled, knowing fully well what he had to say.

"No. There is nothing wrong… Shion-san…"

Kyoko first noticed it when she realized the sad glint in his eyes. They had been sitting on a bench, watching the sun set silently. Throughout the day they have spent together, the young man next to her seemed a bit occupied, as if he was thinking of a problem that he could not find an answer to. With a soft smile, Kyoko pressed her point finger on his cheek, "Hey."

Setsuna stiffened at the contact and turned his head to face Kyoko slowly. Kyoko continued her smile as she asked, "What's wrong, Setsuna-kun? You look… spaced out?"

Setsuna blinked and gave an apologetic smile, "Is that so? I'm… I'm sorry, Kyoko-san…"

Kyoko's smile faltered as she noticed how forced Setsuna was smiling and asked, "Did something happened, Setsuna-kun? Or… do you not like being with me?"

"Of course not!" Setsuna shouted but stopped and stuttered, "I-I-I mean- Of course I don't 'not' like- I mean- I like being with Kyoko-san and- Ah-"

Setsuna dropped his head and apologized, "I'm sorry, Kyoko-san."

Kyoko giggled softly and patted Setsuna on the back, "I understand what Setsuna-kun is trying to say."

Setsuna smiled back at Kyoko and tried to explain, "It's just… There's a lot happening back home…"

She turned towards her date and asked, "I thought you lived alone?"

He stiffened slightly and stuttered, "Ah, yes. It's just that… a… a few of my relatives… are coming to Namimori…"

"Oh!" Setsuna looked sad as he noticed how Kyoko looked excited as she asked, "Really? Isn't that nice?"

Setsuna forced as smile, "I… guess…"

Kyoko closed her lips as she stared at Setsuna. Then she asked softly, "Is something wrong with Setsuna-kun's relatives?"

Setsuna stiffened once more and slowly looked up to Kyoko. With a sad smile, he looked down once more and said, "I remember… Kyoko-san has a big brother, right? I heard… he was difficult to be with…"

Kyoko nodded and giggled, "Onii-chan can be a lot to handle sometimes but he has a good heart. Onii-chan was always there and… well… Even if we're not together now, I know he's here."

Kyoko placed her hands to her chest as she continued, "Right here."

Setsuna kept his hands on his lap but gripped his pants tightly, smiling sadly, "How… nice it must be…"

Kyoko was surprised when she heard Setsuna whisper, "… to have someone there for you…"


Kyoko was about to reach out when Setsuna continued, refusing to look at Kyoko, "I… I never had anyone like that."

Setsuna looked up and smiled sardonically, "My relatives… they're coming for me."


"Remember the movie we watched? The heroine said she was only experiencing a borrowed time… right?" Setsuna continued, "… I'm also… just in a borrowed time…"

"When they get here…" Setsuna closed his eyes, "I'll just return to my reality."

Kyoko noticed Setsuna's trembling shoulders and placed a hand on Setsuna's shoulder. Setsuna opened his eyes and stared at Kyoko, smiling sadly, "But in my reality… Kyoko-san is not there…"

Kyoko's eyes widened when she felt a pair of arms wrapped around her, pulling her towards the young man next to her. Kyoko could feel his trembling body as he wrapped his arms around her tightly, whispering almost fearfully, "I… I don't want that…"

Kyoko, not truly knowing what to do, returned the embrace as she closed her eyes. She felt him rest his head on her shoulder. With a soft voice, she asked, "Why… am I not in your reality?"

The trembling stopped, replaced by rigidness. She heard Setsuna reply softly, "In my reality… nothing of these would exist… I'll… I'll stop being Sawada Setsuna…"

"Setsuna-kun…" Kyoko whispered. She placed one of her hand of Setsuna's head and caressed his hair as she said, "Did you know, Setsuna-kun? I know of someone who looked so much like you…"

"Sawada Tsunayoshi… right?"

Kyoko giggled and said, "So you knew him?"

"No… I just heard about him… Did… Does Kyoko-san like him?"

"Of course I do." She replied and noticed that Setsuna trembling once more. She closed her eyes and continued, "I… think… I think I love him. There's something about him that just… make you love him."

She noticed Setsuna's hold lost its intensity and knew he was about to pull away. But Kyoko hugged him tight, "But I met you… And then I realized how the word 'love' can mean so many things…"

"If there was one thing I regretted, it was the fact that I was unable to tell Tsuna-kun how I felt when he was still here…" Kyoko continued, "… but not anymore. Because now, I'm happy I didn't tell him. Because I didn't tell him, I could tell you that…"

Kyoko gently looked at Setsuna's eyes and whispered, "I love you."

Setsuna's eyes widened and he looked at the girl in front of him. Kyoko gently smiled and said, "I will always love Tsuna-kun… but my love for you is different, deeper… more… painful…"

"Pain… ful…?" Setsuna repeated as confusion was evident in his tone.

Kyoko nodded and explained, "Hearing you say those things… It was painful. So much painful than when Tsuna-kun left. Because… Because… I want to be part of Setsuna-kun's reality!"

"That cannot be done."

Setsuna's eyes widened as one hand covered Kyoko's eyes from behind her. Kyoko's entire body slacked and she fell on Setsuna. Setsuna caught her and shouted, "Kyoko-san!"

"It is cruel to say such things to us."

Setsuna looked up and saw a man with blond hair and blue eyes, staring at both of them with an expression that cannot be read. Setsuna whispered his name, "Giovanni… ni-"

Giovanni, a man wearing a blue shirt and black slacks, greeted Setsuna back, "It has been a long time, Zwei."

Setsuna looked away and said, "Please do not call me that."

"Quite the drama you have there, Zwei." A cold maniacal laugh originated from behind Giovanni, followed by 5 pairs of footsteps. Soon enough, a teenage girl with vibrant red hair tied to a pair of half twin-tails by a pair green ribbons skipped towards them and smiled mockingly at Setsuna, twirling as if to show of her outfit, "How do I look? I just got them from this cute shop in Harajuku."

"We were delayed because of me peche." A cool voice said, walking towards them as well. Giovanni stepped to the right, giving way for a man with dull grey hair pulled back and cold jet black eyes.

The teenage girl giggled once more and looked at her outfit. It was a cute black dress, decorated by laces on the end. The dress was cut on the middle, showing a forest green lace-designed fabric that brings out the color of her green eyes. She covered her shoulders with a long-sleeved black bolero that has a fishnet fashioned hood that has forest green ruffles at the end. She clicked her heels, a pair of black boots that adds three inches to her height. As if she did it herself, her boots were decorated by a pair of green ribbons, crossing over her boots again and again without any sort of symmetry. She smiled and said, "Well. A lady should always look her best."

Setsuna heard one of their companions murmur, "If that is a lady, then all the women I paid to sleep with me would be goddesses."

Either she didn't hear it or paid no attention to it as she stared at Setsuna, "It seems that Zwei is forgetting quite an important matter… Ri-gh-t-?"

That said, she threw a ring on Setsuna's direction. Setsuna caught it easily, staring at it, "This is… a Vongola ring…?"

"Hah! We wish!" She mocked, laughing as if she was mocking Setsuna. She showed her right hand, a ruby ring shining against the dying sun, "Come on, Zwei! Vongola rings don't have gems in them! You should know that by now!"

She laughed once more, twirling away from Zwei. She approached the man with cool jet black eyes and said with malice, "It seems that your little toy is too caught up in his little dream."

"Ohh?" The man mocked as well, walking towards Setsuna. He grabbed Setsuna by the hair and asked coolly, "Tell me, Zwei. Did you enjoy being a person? Being a person named 'Sawada Setsuna'?"

His eyes fell on the young woman on Setsuna's arm and Setsuna felt fear grip his heart as he noticed the maniacal angry glint on the man's eyes. Setsuna shouted immediately, "She has nothing to do with this!"

"You dare raise your voice to me, ZWEI?!" The man angrily shouted as he threw Setsuna to the floor. The ring fell from Setsuna's hand and rolled to Giovanni's foot. Setsuna held Kyoko tight as he maneuvered his body so that he would be the one to fall on the rocky pavement. This only made the man angrier as he placed his foot on Setsuna' head, "Why did you protect that woman, ZWEI?! WHY YOU-"

He stopped and composed his self, as if he nothing happened. He touched his tie and said, "Never mind. It matters not. Zwei… Kill her."

Setsuna's eyes widened and he stared at the man, "I cannot do tha-"

The man's eyes grew maniac and angry once more and he raised his eyes as he said, "You dare disobey me, ZWEI?!"

"That girl is Sasagawa Kyoko." Giovanni's empty voice stopped the man.

The girl turned towards Giovanni and asked in annoyance, "So?"

"That girl knows Vongola Decimo." Giovanni continued and closed his eyes, "She will make a good shield."

"Ah-ha. I see." The man nodded, a smile appearing on his face. Setsuna flinched as the man caressed his cheek softly, "Well, aren't you just sweet, Zwei. You knew that and that's why you became close to her. I knew I could count on you, my most favorite toy."


Giovanni cut whatever Setsuna was about to say with a reminder, "Is it not time to go?"

The man nodded and began to walk away, "Of course. Let us go. Zwei… come."

The girl growled at Giovanni as she passed him, following the man. Giovanni simply bowed his head to the girl. When the rest of his companions were out of ear shot, Giovanni returned his gaze over to Setsuna and said, "Give it up… The more you stretch your hand to grab such a thing, the more sorrowful you will feel once you finally fall."

Giovanni picked the ring and walked towards Setsuna. He took Setsuna's right hand, firm yet neither gentle nor harsh, and placed the ring on Setsuna's middle finger. Setsuna raised his head slowly and stared at Giovanni, "… How painful was yours… Giovanni-nii-san?"

Giovanni let Setsuna's hand drop and did not answer him, ordering him instead, "Take the girl and follow me. He would be displeased if we do not follow them soon enough."

Giovanni began to walk away. Setsuna stared at the unconscious young woman in his arms and smiled bitterly as he whispered, "I'm sorry, Kyoko-san… It seems… my reality… has come…"


Zwei – German word for 'two'

ring – Although the name of the rings have yet to be given, those that read RVD side-track may or may not remember what they are. (grins)

Author's End Rants: Next task will be the beginning of the second arc of RVD (but still part of the bigger 'Training Arc' but yeah –shrugs-). Both RVD and Side-Track are going for the serious parts so let's hope I make it a good one. –laughs- As usual, replies for your always motivating reviews are in Side-Track.