Yup, another Katekyo Hitman Reborn one-shot, by me. Sigh, I seem to be on some kind of a role. Ah well. Again, this one is pretty Uni-centric, although with two others too. The idea behind this fic was life going on in the past (i.e. once Tsuna and his guardians return to the past after defeating Byakuran) and what things might be like. I have this idea in my head of Tsuna, finally really accepting his position as the Decimo, and somehow seeking out the Giglio Nero as he gets older, hoping to prevent the whole Byakuran thing from happening, but more importantly, hoping to protect Uni. Sigh, it probably wouldn't happen, but I can hope, right?
Disclaimer: It's all Amano Akira's, as much as I want to own some of her characters.
To Prevent the Future from Repeating itself in the Past:
She was five, on the verge of turning six the very next day, when she met him.
That smiling, white haired young man, with a brown shopping bag in his hands.
To her childish chagrin, she hadn't been able to prevent herself from staring at him –albeit rather shyly, and out of the corner of her very large, very blue, eyes- but she later reasoned that it wasn't her fault.
She'd never met anyone with white hair before after all. Except for old people, like the old men her mama had taken her to see, saying something about them being people who had helped her and the family in the past.
Never had she met a young person with hair such a shocking, pure shade of white.
And clear blue eyes –she mustn't forget those eyes. (Although she had seen blue-r eyes, hers being an example)
"Hnn...?" She quickly averted her eyes to the other side of the road when she realised he was looking at her. Keeping her gaze fixed elsewhere, she hoped he wouldn't ask her anything, or take any further interest in her. Mama had told her to wait outside while she went to the lawyer's office to get some matters finalised. And she really didn't like the stuffy, foreboding interior of the place, so she didn't want to have to go inside. "Eh? Are you lost, little one?"
She hoped he was speaking to some other 'little one', and resolutely kept her attention fixed elsewhere –until she felt a hand on her shoulder. Tensing, she turned around, only to have her wide blue eyes meet his narrower, clear blue pair.
"Mama told me not to speak to strangers," she said, softly, finding it rather difficult from tearing her eyes away from his.
When he smiled, it sent a shiver down her spine, although she couldn't quite recall why.
It was just a smile.
But then, her mother had always said that she should trust in her instincts –something about how she would always have a good intiu...intui...intuiti... ah, she couldn't remember the word, she'd have to ask mama when she came outside.
"Then your mama's a very sensible woman," he said, his voice light, "I just want to know if you're lost, though. It isn't often that you see such young children wandering around alone," he paused to glance around the mostly deserted area, "not in this place..."
She continued to stare at him, her brows furrowed as she followed his gaze.
"But mama said not to speak to strangers," she repeated.
"Yes, you did say that already..." He pursed his lips. "Hmm, let's see then...aha, how about this? I'll ask you a question, and you shake your head if the answer's a 'no', but nod if it's 'yes'." He met her eyes with his once more. "Is that alright? You won't really be speaking if you do that..."
She blinked, tilting her head to a side as she considered his words, before she nodded.
Surely there was no harm in doing that? He smiled. "So, little one, are you lost?"
She shook her head, glancing at the five-storey, rather plain-looking building behind her. She was just waiting for her mama, so it wasn't an untruth, even though this was her first time here, and even if it was an unfamiliar place to her.
Her attention was drawn back to the spectacularly white haired young man when he nodded. "Ah, that's good. I wouldn't think that getting lost in a place like this would be nice... not necessarily." He shrugged. "Anyway...what could you be doing here, then?" He eyed her for a moment. "Are you meeting someone here?"
She hesitated when she shook her head this time (she wasn't meeting someone, she was just waiting for someone) and he picked up on it. "Are you, perhaps, waiting for someone?"
A nod was her answer this time. "That's a relief! A little girl like you, well, any little girl shouldn't be out alone here. Or little boy, for that matter," he added as an afterthought, and she wondered at this.
Tilting her head to a side again, she observed him just as he observed her, neither of them saying anything for what seemed to be a long moment.
Eventually, though, he spoke again, without breaking eye contact. "Will the person you're waiting for keep you waiting for much longer?" He raised his wrist and briefly fixed his gaze on the slender wristwatch strapped to it. "Because I promised someone that I'd meet them soon, and I should get going. Will you be here for much longer?"
She shook her head. Mama said that she'd be done soon –and mama always kept to her word.
The smile that she received was a wider one, and, once more, it sent a shiver down her spine. "In that case, little one, I should probably get going." He glanced down at the paper bag he held as he shifted it in his arms. "Ah!" his blue eyes lit up, "Would you like a snack, while you wait?"
She raised her eyebrows at him for a moment.
"Mama said not to speak to strangers," she repeated, a strange feeling erupting in her gut. It was the same feeling she got when she looked at her Uncle Reborn for the first time, and felt as though she knew him, as though she had met him somewhere. Which she hadn't.
But she was pretty sure that she would have remembered meeting this white haired young man, if she had, indeed, met him before.
Soft chuckles caused her to blink, and, sure enough, she found him looking at her with an amused expression on his face.
"Ah, I'm sorry, that was very rude of me," he said, placing a hand over his heart with his free hand as he mock bowed to her. "Your mama did indeed tell you not to speak to strangers, but you don't need to speak for this." His eyes crinkled in a smile. "Nod if you want a snack, shake your head if you don't –just like before."
He dug around the paper bag he was carrying, before pulling out a small packet of something white. "Here you go," he said, as he thrust it out to her, "I'll sacrifice one of my precious packets of marshmallows."
She stared at the offered snack, her eyes widening ever so slightly. Could this man have known that she had asked her mama for marshmallows when they left the house? Although, she had asked for them in her hot chocolate, and her mama had said that they'd have some once she was done with whatever 'business' she needed to finalise.
The white haired man shook the packet in his hands. "It's properly sealed, and can't be expired because I did check the dates carefully," he said, as though to entice her further.
Her eyes drifted from the offered snack, to the white haired man's face, once, then twice.
He didn't look harmless, although Gamma had told her that it's the ones who didn't look it who were three times as dangerous.
Even though he was a stranger, she got the same feeling around him that she got some people when she met them for the first time... although that didn't necessarily mean anything.
A sudden rumbling sound had a most prominent shade of red flitting across her cheeks as she wrapped her arms around her stomach, averting her eyes to her sandal-clad feet as the white haired young man laughed again.
"Go on," he urged, "your stomach seems to want this."
Her flush darkened, and she glanced up at his kindly smiling face once more before reaching out with her hand and taking the packet of white marshmallows. He smiled, before his hand quickly darted forward to pat her on the head. "Ahh~, it kind of feels like we've met before. Ahaha, but that can't be."
He patted her head once more. "I hope you enjoy it, and that you're not kept waiting for long," he said, glancing somewhat awkwardly at his wristwatch once more. "Eh! I've really got to go. Hmm, I can tell you'll do this anyway, but keep to your mama's advice, and don't talk to anyone you don't know, okay?"
She nodded, and watched as he gave her one last look before turning on his heel and walking away.
The crinkling of the packet in her hands caused her eyes to widen as she remembered she didn't say thank you! Where were her manners?
But...she couldn't say thank you, could she? Because that would mean that she would have to talk, and mama had said...... But then, mama had also said that it was rude to accept something without saying thank you...
"E-Excuse me..." she called out, somewhat timidly. "Excuse me-!" she repeated, louder.
The white haired man paused and turned around to look at her.
"Uhm... thank you," she said, shyly, holding up the packet, "for the marshmallows."
She could see his grin from where she stood, as he waved a hand at her.
"It was my pleasure, little one. Take care, then." With that, he turned back around and resumed walking. She watched him go, unabashed as only children could be, until he turned a corner and disappeared from her sight.
She stared after him, the strange feeling in her gut increasing with a sudden sharpness that it made her wrap her arms around herself, suddenly feeling sick.
'Hmm? I expected a baby, but you're far more charming...'
'Why don't we go somewhere where we can talk properly? Just us two Bosses?'
'If you come back to me, I'll forgive you for this behaviour. What do you say, hmm, Uni-chan?'
"-ni. Uni. Uni!" With a gasp, her eyes refocused, showing her the worried face of her mama as she stared at her.
"M...a...ma," she managed, her throat seemingly unable to function properly. "I...there was..."
Familiar, warm hands fell on her shoulders as her mother crouched down to look at her.
"Did something happen while I was gone?" queried the pretty Italian Boss, her eyes narrowing. "Did anyone do anything-" Uni shook her head quickly, tightly clutching the packet of marshmallows in her hand.
"No," she said, properly, "no, I'm okay. I was just waiting for you."
It wasn't like she could tell her mama that she heard voices in her head. (And it wasn't really the first time she had heard them, although they said different things the last time)
"You're sure?" queried her mother. She nodded again, mustering up a bright smile.
"Shall we go now? You promised we could stop for hot chocolate."
Her mother stood straight with a mock exasperated smile.
"Oh to be a kid again, and only worry about whether or not my mama gets me a hot chocolate!" Shaking her head, she held her hand out to her daughter. "Come on then, we'll just walk for a bit, before phoning Gamma and asking him to pick us up. You up for a walk, kiddo?"
Uni nodded, taking her mother's hand in hers. "Hmm? What's that?" She glanced down at what her mother was looking at.
"Marshmallows," she replied, seeing her mother's curious expression. "A man with white hair stopped –to ask if I was lost- and gave me this before he left."
"Huh. That's...nice, I guess," murmured her mother, "Is it opened?"
"No, I didn't open it yet."
"Hmm. Well, we'll have it later. Come on, let's get going...it sort of looks like it's about to rain, and I don't know about you, but I'm not in the mood to resemble a walking, talking mud monster."
Giggling, the Giglio Nero princess and her mother walked hand in hand, smiles on their faces as though they didn't have a care in the world.
She was seven, and about to turn eight in less than twenty four hours, when she met him.
That smiling, white haired man, with a large white packet in his hands.
"Everything okay, princess?"
Averting her eyes from the white haired man and the bespectacled foreigner he was speaking to, she smiled at the worried man who stood alert behind her chair.
"Everything's fine, Gamma," she reassured, "really." He nodded, but she knew that that wouldn't make him relax any more. If anything, he looked more tensed than he had before. She understood why, of course.
For they were at a function, a mafia function, to be accurate. And this particular function required the attendance of the top mafia Bosses, along with their right hand men and women, and whoever else they felt was necessary to bring along, just in case things went wrong (although the numbers were limited to a grand total of four family members per Boss).
While her dear Gamma and two other guardians stood behind her like guardian hawks, and attempted to entice her into conversation every now and then, she was no fool. She had seen the variety of glances that had been sent her way by the others gathered for the function, and some of them had not been very...nice, to put it lightly.
Though she could hardly fault them for their scorn and derision, because, really, how could a seven year old child possibly be the Boss of a prestigious mafia family like the Giglio Nero?
Snapping out of her reverie she smiled at the elderly Vongola Nono, standing not too far from her, as he winked in her direction.
She liked the elderly man, no matter how much some of the older members of her family might detest the Vongola. He had been nothing but kind to her since her mama had...since her mama had died, and it hadn't been a forced kindness either –it had been a warm kindness, a genuine kindness.
Turning her eyes to where the white haired man had been seated, she was somewhat surprised to see him not too far away from her and... oh, he was heading towards her.
Straightening unconsciously in her seat, she watched him draw near to her, his steps slow and assured. "It's okay," she whispered to Gamma and the others as they bristled, knowing that no one would be silly enough to start a fight with them, especially since they had the support of the Vongola family.
"Good evening, Boss of the Giglio Nero," greeted the white haired man, as he came to a halt before her.
"Good evening," she replied in kind, "Boss of the..." her voice trailed off and she watched as he smiled.
"Gesso. Boss of the Gesso family," he commented. "I'm Byakuran Gesso."
"Uni," she said with a smile, "it's nice to meet you, Byakuran."
"The pleasure is all mine," said the white hair –said Byakuran, as he placed a hand over his heart and gave her a mock bow.
Her eyes widened, but only for a fraction of a second. "Allow me to offer my condolences, and that of my family's, for your loss."
"Thank you, the gesture is very much appreciated," she answered, politely, sending him a smile. Byakuran nodded, digging in to the plastic bag that was clutched to his chest, and pulling out a handful of marshmallows.
He was about to pop them in his mouth, when he caught sight of her blue eyes watching him, and paused.
"Oh, how rude of me~!" he held his hand out to her, "Would you like some?"
She stared at the squishy, white treat, not quite sure how to react.
"Go on, they're quite nice. The best in Italy, or so I like to say," he urged, wriggling his fingers. "Go on, try one."
She looked up at him, into the pair of clear blue eyes, and wondered why his smile sent a shiver down her spine. But since she couldn't sense anything hostile about him...and she didn't think that he would actually poison anyone at such a function, not to mention how rude it might seem if she did not take what was offered... ...
"Thank you," she said with a smile of her own, as she reached out to take one of the marshmallows, mindful of the three distrustful dears who stood behind her. She paused, her fingers hovering just above the white treats, when a third figure joined them, rather abruptly too.
Looking up, her eyes met brown; brown eyes and spiky brown hair.
"H-Hello," said the young man, sounding rather breathless, as though he had sprinted all the way. He drew in a breath and smiled –a nice, warm smile she found herself returning.
"Hello," she repeated, staring at him a moment longer. "I'm Uni," she offered, when he didn't say anything else, and she wondered at the quick flash of emotion that spread across his features.
"I'm Tsuna," he said, and she noticed that his Italian had a touch of a foreign accent.
"Mmm, Sawada Tsunayoshi-kun, I'm guessing?" commented Byakuran, and she watched as 'Tsuna' grimaced before looking to him with a nod. "Byakuran Gesso," he introduced, about to hold out a hand for a handshake when he realised that they were both occupied. "Ahaha, sorry about that."
'Tsuna' shook his head, smiling, although, to Uni, the smile seemed a bit forced.
"N-Nice to meet you, Byakuran..." he said, before he turned to her, with a more genuine smile, although there was a tightness around his mouth, "and it's nice to meet you too, Uni." She nodded, continuing her observation of him, before her eyes widened in recognition.
"Sawada Tsunayoshi, did you say...? The Vongola Decimo?" The brown haired Japanese boy nodded, looking a little uncomfortable.
"Yeah –I mean, yes. I should have introduced myself properly..." he scratched the back of his head sheepishly, sneaking a glance at Byakuran for some odd reason or the other. "Uh, Uni," he started, his eyes on Byakuran's hand that was still stretched out towards her, "I –uh, the Vongola Kyuudai –ah, the Vongola Nono wants to speak with you. Would you mind escorting me to where he is?"
She tilted her head to a side.
"He's right there, isn't he?" she queried, innocently, nodding her head in his direction. The Vongola Decimo flushed as he followed her gaze.
"Y-Yeah. B-But he...he said that there's someone who wants to meet you. Someone... someone..." he looked flustered, and she sent him a sympathetic smile. Was it his first time at such a function too, even though he was older than her?
"Someone wants to meet me?"
He nodded, his eyes shifting to the very protective men that stood stone-faced behind her.
"I...he..." he trailed off, closing his eyes momentarily. "My tutor wants to see you. He –his name's Reborn."
Her eyes lit up immediately.
"Really? Uncle Reborn?" She stood from her seat, unable to curb her smile, and who could blame her? It had been a while since she had seen her beloved 'uncle' after all. He returned her smile.
She nodded, turning to Gamma with a smile.
"Will you come with us?" she asked, knowing that they would have done just that even if she hadn't asked. "Not that I don't trust you, of course, Sawada-san."
"No, no, I –I understand." He paused, before awkwardly holding his arm out to her. "Sh-Shall we?"
She supposed that her excitement led her to forget the third party they were now leaving behind, and she only remembered when he called out.
"You won't try the marshmallows, Uni-chan?" called out Byakuran, still holding his hand out.
She stopped in her tracks and turned around, noting that Sawada-san had tensed ever so slightly –whether at his request, or something else she didn't know, nor would she ever know.
The white haired Gesso had a smile on his lips as he looked at her, and again, again, it sent a shiver down her spine.
And it happened again when her eyes met his.
'I really do need you!'
'What are you talking about? If you run away, I'll hunt you down to the ends of the earth. You know this, Uni-chan~'
An almost suffocating feeling rose in her gut, and she swallowed quickly, trying to quell it.
"Maybe later, Byakuran," she said, with a smile, swallowing as she turned her back to him and continued walking, not realising that her grip on Sawada-san's arm had tightened, and not seeing the strangely understanding look he sent her.
Had she met that man before?
She would've thought she'd remember him if she had, for she didn't usually see white haired young people.
She swallowed against the nausea that swirled around in her gut.
There was something about that man...
Byakuran Gesso...perhaps she'd ask Gamma, or Uncle Reborn, for whatever information they had on him.
Whoever he was, she had been raised to trust her intuition –and though she may not understand what it was telling her yet, it was always good to be prepared.
Fixing a smile to her lips, she continued walking.
Another long piece –argh, sorry about that! I can't seem to get Reborn! out of my head. Or Uni, for the matter. Or Tsuna, Gamma and Byakuran. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this.
Till next time,