Title: Super Hero
Author: me ^^
Fandom: Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Summary: Fran decided to stay in Xanxas' Varia Squad in order to serve Vongola Decimo.
Warnings: Language, spoilers? (although if you clicked on a story that says it's about Fran, I'm gonna assume you've at least read up to his debut chapter), sappy wierdness
Disclaimer: I do not own Kateikyoushi Hitman REBORN! The brilliant Amano-sensei does. This is a work of fanfiction, and I am not making any financial profit from it.
Notes: This takes place in the future world before Tsuna and everyone else arrives from the past to change things. Sorry for discrepancies; I have very poor attention to detail.
Fran wasn't born a killer. He didn't come out of the womb with the talents of a hitman or the mind of an elite assassin. It wasn't his dream to become a killer when he grew up. He wasn't like the rest of the Varia, who all seemed so perfectly suited to the profession of taking life. Fran's dream was in fact much more simple and innocent. It was a child's dream, one that, as he grew older, he logically understood would never become reality.
Fran had always wanted to become a super hero.
Of course, none of the other Varia members understood this desire. They laughed at him for it, jeered and scoffed at him, put him down, and said that Mammon never had such unrealistic fantasies. Mammon, his predecessor, was rooted in reality, they told him. Fran, personally, found it ironic that an infant whose only skill was to create illusions and fantasies was said to be more 'rooted in reality' than him. Actually, he found it downright offensive…almost as offensive as the stupid, ridiculous frog hat they made him wear.
Fran understood crystal clear where he stood among his fellow Varia members. They all saw Fran as a replacement—the hat and the constant jabs (both verbal and physical) spoke volumes—and as an inferior whelp. Squalo was very careful to shout this fact from the rooftops, always reminding him that Mammon wouldn't have made such a mistake or that Mammon would have been able to do it better. Lussuria always whined about not being able to pinch Mammon's baby cheeks anymore (although Fran had a strong feeling that the Arcobaleno had never allowed such behavior without great financial compensation). Xanxus told Fran that he was trash twice as often as he did everyone else. Levi didn't acknowledge his existence. Bel used him as target practice—although, Fran doubted that had as much to do with Mammon as it did with the prince's twisted personality.
It was frustrating, to say the least. After all, you can never compete with the dead. Not unless you die yourself, and usually your death isn't good enough anyways. Nevertheless, Fran was getting to the point that he was considering giving death a try just in case it might work. Either that or quitting. He had written his resignation letter ages ago; the same day he'd joined, in fact. He carried the letter in his Varia coat pocket at all times.
He knew submitting it to Xanxus would mean assured death. The only way you left the Varia was in a coffin. That was Xanxus' policy, which Fran had ignorantly agreed to upon entrance to the Varia (before he had been introduced to its members or to the nuances of Varia lifestyle). Vongola Nono supported that policy in order to dissuade members from leaving and, once free, breaking the Omerta and other sacred Mafia vows. He would not allow Fran to go against Xanxus, whom the old man still loved as a son despite all that had happened.
This, of course, left Fran with only one other option: Vongola Nono's successor, Vongola Decimo. He didn't know much about the Japanese Mafioso, but he had heard enough to know that the man was against violence and against killing. More importantly, he had defeated Xanxus and had earned Vongola Nono's favor. From the stories Fran had managed to catch wind of regarding Vongola Decimo, the man sounded very much like a super hero. He risked his life to protect and save those who were in trouble, and he had mercy even on his enemies.
However, regardless of how stupid and childish everyone insisted he was, Fran wasn't foolish enough to flee the Varia or abandon his post. No, instead he waited, biding his time in the hope that someday soon the Ninth's successor would visit Italy. Luckily for Fran, he didn't have to wait that long. The summer following the Tenth's graduation from university, Nono summoned his successor and his Family to the Vongola Headquarters in order to acquaint them with the rest of the Vongola forces. There was a grand banquet—a series of banquets, actually, which lasted most of the summer—in honor of Vongola Decimo and his Family, who were at last instated at an official ceremony before the entire Vongola and affiliated Family.
It was at one of these banquets that Fran introduced himself to the Tenth. Sawada Tsunayoshi, Vongola Juudaime, as his followers—no, his dear friends, because that's how he treated them—called him, was not at all what he had expected. None of them were what Fran had expected. They weren't Mafioso. Sawada Tsunayoshi was certainly not a Mafia Boss. No, he was something else entirely. He was clumsy and uncertain and self-conscious and ineloquent and physically weak and below average at just about everything. (Of course, Fran reminded himself hastily, there were cases in which famous super heroes started out that way as well.) There was perhaps one thing that was remarkable about him: his warm eyes, which spoke volumes upon volumes of unconditional acceptance and of the all-encompassing Sky. There was no judgment in those eyes, only acceptance and understanding.
"Nice to meet you, Fran-san," the Tenth bowed politely to him when he introduced himself, a gentle smile spreading across the Japanese man's face. "I'm Sawada Tsunayoshi. Call me Tsuna."
"Tsuna…san…" Fran tested out the name. It rolled off his tongue much easier than Vongola Decimo.
"Fran-san is…part of the Varia?" Tsuna's face scrunched anxiously and he shifted uncomfortably. Fran could easily understand the other's discomfort, considering the man's history with the assassin's squad.
"Yes. I took over Mammon's position after…" he trailed off at the sad look on Tsuna's face. It took Fran a moment to understand the pained expression; the boy's home tutor, mentor, and friend was an Arcobaleno. The entire Mafia world had mourned the passing of its greatest hitman, Reborn. He had heard that the Tenth had been hit the worst by the loss. "I thought I would be able to make a difference."
Tsuna blinked, the sadness in his eyes fading slightly as he focused on the present. "Why can't you? The Varia is very powerful…" His tone said a great deal about the kind of power the Varia had and what he thought of its mission statement. Still, it was nice of him to put it so politely.
"Yeah, well, it's hard to make a difference when everyone sees you as a replacement that isn't up to par with the original." Fran's words weren't bitter, just sad, sad and full of regret.
Tsuna's next question almost made Fran cry. "…Is there anything I can do?" he asked in a small, timid murmur, fidgeting uneasily with the large Sky Ring on his finger, clearly not used to its size and weight.
Looking at the scrawny, ordinary-looking young man before him, Fran found himself saying, "Why do you fight?"
Tsuna blinked in confusion. "Huh?"
It was Fran's turn to fidget. His eyes danced around, glimpsing several familiar faces around the gathering, before refocusing on Tsuna's face. "Why do you fight so hard if you hate it so much? Why don't you just quit?"
Tsuna's face glowed with determination. "To protect my Family," he answered. "What else is worth fighting for?"
Fran felt his face heat up at the straightforward reply. He had a feeling he understood why this person had been chosen as the next Boss. The Vongola needed someone like Sawada Tsunayoshi, someone who would protect that which was good, purify the bad parts, and accept both those who were good and bad without passing exception. Just as Fran had suspected, Vongola Decimo was a hero, and it would be an honor to serve someone like this, to be a part of this man's Family. Too bad Fran was Varia—the Varia, which had taken a stance against this person; the Varia that was a squadron, not a Family; the Varia who would never accept or acknowledge him in a lifetime in the way that this man had done in a mere few minutes…
"What if you don't have a Family to fight for?" the assassin muttered in a choked whisper, looking down at his boots.
A small, warm hand touched his shoulder. Fran's eyes darted back up to meet Tsuna's once more. "What are you saying, Fran-san? Of course you have a Family to fight for!" Tsuna exclaimed, squeezing the boy's shoulder emphatically.
"The Varia doesn't function as a Family, Vongola Decimo," Fran countered weakly, bitterness creeping in.
"I think you're wrong," Tsuna said with a smirk. "I think the Varia is very much like a family. If they weren't, it wouldn't be so difficult to replace one of their members." Fran stared, his mind slowly processing the statement. "It's because they are like a Family that the Varia officers haven't been able forget Mammon. And if they had been able to replace him so easily, you wouldn't have wanted to be a part of the Varia from the very beginning. Isn't that right, Fran-san?"
"I want to quit," Fran admitted his reason for approaching Tsuna at last.
Tsuna shook his head. "Sorry, but if you're hoping I'll support that decision, you're wrong." Fran's face fell in disappointment. "I'll allow you to make the decision for yourself, and I'll talk to Kyuudaime for you—" Fran tried not to look too hopeful. "—but I'll never acknowledge someone who abandons his Family just because things are rocky. Family is about sticking together and working through your problems together, not just when it's convenient or when everyone's happy with each other. It means being there for each other and supporting each other when things aren't going so well. It means not giving up on each other, no matter how badly it hurts or how unbearable it is.
"If you think that my Family gets along well, it's only because we've had to work hard to get to where we are. And believe me, there's been plenty of fighting. It wasn't long ago that my Cloud Guardian couldn't be in the same town as my Mist Guardian without trying to commit murder or that my Storm Guardian couldn't go two minutes without picking a fight with my Rain Guardian or that my Guardian of Thunder couldn't utter a single selfless or thoughtful word on his own. Two of my Guardians tried to kill me when we first met. One of my Guardians couldn't listen to a single thing anyone said if it wasn't about boxing or training. One of my Guardians wanted to destroy the entire world, starting with the Mafia. And, at one point, I was good-for-nothing and afraid of every single member of my Family. Reborn was always quick to remind me just how 'no-good' I was and how I was the kind of guy who couldn't become a hero—not that I'd ever pretend to be one, heh heh." The last part was frantically added on followed by a boyish laugh.
"What are you trying to say?" Fran wasn't so dense that he didn't know exactly what Tsuna was getting at. He just didn't want to admit that if Sawada Tsunayoshi hadn't given up after all he'd been put through then Fran himself had no excuse.
"I'm telling you not to give up on them," Tsuna said fervently. A little softer, he added, "I haven't." Fran looked around at the party, picking out the other Varia officers mingled with crowd, most of them socializing or causing mischief. Lussuria was hitting on an oblivious Ryohei. Squalo was loudly boasting to Yamamoto about a recent victory, even going so far as to shove video recordings of said victory into the grinning Rain Guardian's hands. Levi was basking in Xanxus' shadow as the Varia Boss sat in a throne-like chair near the concession table where he was being forced to spend quality time with his adoptive father, who was complaining about not seeing enough of his boy and how Xanxus should visit more often. Belphagor was using some pigeons as target practice; when one of the knives almost hit Hibird, who happened to be passing by, Hibari stepped in and threatened to bite the prince to death, to which Bel replied by laughing maniacally and daring him to try it.
They certainly were an unruly bunch, the Varia, but watching as they mingled with Tsuna's Guardians, they did seem a little more…manageable. Well, almost manageable, he added mentally, because the Varia would never actually be 'manageable.' The two groups interacted like a bunch of disagreeable siblings. Almost…like a huge, rowdy, dysfunctional family. The Vongola Family, Fran's mind supplied for him absently. And Sawada Tsunayoshi, the leader of that Family, who would lead them into the future, looked every bit the part of a champion, a hero.
Still, he continued to plead with the young Boss, "But I don't want to serve a Boss who sees us as disposable trash." Tsuna's resolve seemed to waver at this, so Fran continued to drive the point home, "I heard that during the Ring Conflict, Xanxus ordered anyone who lost a battle to be annihilated. I heard that Lussuria almost was, and that the only reason Squalo survived was because of the Cavallone Family. He doesn't care about any of us."
Tsuna's eyes flickered with several unreadable emotions. "Chigau yo…" he murmured weakly. "Xanxus is—"
"VVOOOOOII!" Fran and Tsuna both flinched at the deafening roar. "Vongola brat!" Fran turned to see Squalo marching over to them furiously, Yamamoto following close behind with a semi-apologetic, semi-amused look on his face. "Voooi! What the fuck are you thinking letting this kid continue his stupid baseball shit?! He should be training with a sword, not a fucking little toy bat! And you call yourself Mafioso?! Vooooi!"
"Hiiii!" Tsuna whimpered, wincing at the rage that was being directed at him from the swordsman. Why was Squalo yelling at him for Yamamoto's decision to pursue baseball?
"Sorry, Tsuna," Yamamoto chuckled, "Squalo's just a bit ornery. It's nothing personal, just the way he is, ha ha."
"What can I say? I love baseball. Ha ha." Yamamoto paused thoughtfully and then turned to Tsuna with the most serious face Fran had witnessed on the jock so far (not to say it was entirely serious, just relatively so for Yamamoto). "Don't get me wrong, Tsuna. I love the Mafia game, too, and I'll still play with everyone and be at the game whenever you need me. And it's kinda realistic, right? Mafia are supposed to have double lives, right? It's kinda cool! Haha!"
Tsuna muttered something that Fran couldn't quite hear, something about "he still thinks it's a game," and then smiled gratefully at his Guardian. "Thanks, Yamamoto." Fran didn't think Squalo would be satisfied with that; not that Fran really understood the shark's obsession with this baseball guy's training in the first place…
"Voooi," Squalo growled warningly.
Tsuna yelped and quickly added, "But I think it would be a good idea to keep up with your sword training, too. Don't you, Yamamoto?"
Yamamoto grinned. "If you say so, Tsuna. You're the boss, right? Ha ha." It was quite obvious to Fran that from the guy's tone that Yamamoto didn't take Tsuna all that seriously. Then, as Yamamoto and Squalo turned to go back to what they were doing before, Fran noticed a distinct scar on the baseball jock's chin. It looked like it had been made with a blade of some sort. Definitely not a wound you get from playing baseball.
Maybe Yamamoto did take Tsuna and the 'Mafia game' a little seriously after all.
Squalo certainly took the baseball guy seriously, always pestering him to train and stop playing games and even going so far as to pick on and tease him. Almost like an older brother. "…almost like Family."
Tsuna's face broke into a blindingly bright smile at the mumbled words that Fran himself hadn't realized he'd vocalized. "That's right. Family," he insisted. "We're Family. All of us. Even if we don't always get along, it doesn't mean we have to be enemies. Everyone is an important part of the same Vongola Family; I don't want to lose a single member. That's why I don't want Fran-san to leave. Fran-san is also part of my precious Family.
"As was Mammon," the young Boss added. Fran's expression soured at the mention of his predecessor's name. "Just because you took over his position doesn't mean you have to take his place and become him. No one wants or expects that, Fran-san. On top of that, it's an impossible feat. Mammon was an irreplaceable member of the Varia—meaning, of course, that neither you nor anyone else can replace him. Just like how Chrome-san cannot take the place of Mukuro; they are two different and equally important people. Just like how no one can replace Fran-san. They can fill the position, but never take Fran-san's place."
Fran stared blankly at Tsuna for a long moment. The young man shifted nervously under the gaze but didn't back down like Fran had a strong suspicion he would have a few years ago. He had heard rumors that the Tenth's nickname is school had actually been 'Dame Tsuna,' that his average score in middle school had been a 17.5 and that he couldn't jump over the vaulting horse, and Fran had seen enough to be able to tell that the rumors were true. It was hard to believe that this pathetically weak, wimpy, timid creature was the next boss of the strongest Mafia Famiglia in the world; that this was the person who, at age fourteen, had defeated powerful men like Rokudo Mukuro and even Xanxus. Sort of like how Clark Kent could transform into Superman, or Peter Parker into Spiderman, or Bruce Wayne into Batman or—or…
In that moment, Fran came to the conclusion that Sawada Tsunayoshi was, beyond all shadow of doubt, a super hero, and it was, in fact, that incredible ordinariness that no-good-Tsuna possessed that made Fran so certain of the man's greatness.
Fran dropped to one knee and grasped Tsuna's hand firmly in both of his own. Without the slightest hesitation, he kissed the large, gaudy ring that rested awkwardly on the slim finger of Sawada Tsunayoshi's right hand, effectively swearing his unwavering loyalty to the future head of the Vongola Family. He ignored the furious cries from the other Varia officers, especially from Levi and Squalo on behalf of Xanxus, who had stormed off in fury and disgust. He ignored the lewd jokes made by Lussuria and the dumfounded, gaping stare from Belphagor. He ignored the outraged exclamations from the Tenth's Guardians, who rushed protectively to their Boss' side. They could just deal with it; after all, Family didn't have to agree with each other's every decision…right?
Instead, he focused his gaze and attention upward toward the face of his Boss, his hero. The light surrounding Tsuna's head from that angle was blinding in its brilliance, but that light was nothing when compared to the radiance of the man's glowing, fiery eyes and wide, although somewhat shocked, smile.
"It would be an honor greater than this life is worth to serve as part of Vongola Decimo's Famiglia."
Tsuna's face glowed. "Welcome home, Fran-san."
Fran's lips twitched into a small smile. "I'm home."