Warnings: Future, OOC, Non-Canon

Stained Glass Windows


Sometimes…I feel like I don't get enough credit for what I do. It's not that I don't know, it's that I don't tell.


Spotlight


I had and have always been an exceptional actress. I was always cast the leads of school plays when I was younger. I played the legendary Hisako Ishikawa, daunting and beautiful; a fiery combination. It just felt so natural. Sweeping across the stage, with a dramatic accent, and the colorful silks of the kimono twirling around me. I still remember the spotlight and the thunderous applause. It was at the tender age of seven, I had discovered my aptitude for acting.

It was a skill I would learn to embrace in my older teenage years.

Whether I would need it to lie my way out of social gatherings, or to slip information out of my enemies, I would find, that it was indeed very useful.


Observance


Ryohei had had given me this funny look earlier. I have long since learned to recognize it. It was his special 'I'm-definitely-not-lying-to-you-about-anything-and-sumo-wrestling-is-too-a-good-excuse-now-go-back-to-being-innocent-!' face. I've seen it enough that I know he puts it in use whenever Tsuna and the guardians have to take on a particularly dangerous mission (though to be honest, the whole sumo wrestling excuse is Ryohei's specialty joke now).


Apart from being a highly ambitious actress, I was and still am very perceptive. Years of growing up in a silently angry household, where staying out of the way was the only rule, had left me with only one direction to go. As small as I was, my survival instincts were put to a test very early in life. Instead of crying as a young child might when they scraped their knees, I set my mouth in a pout and got myself a band-aid. When my mother stayed out later and later-to the point where she came home disheveled and drunk in the hours of the rising sun-I eventually grew to hide snacks and quick-and-easy cans of soup in my room.

It didn't take long for me to figure out the different expressions and gestures and their meanings. A mouth set in a firm straight line meant 'Fuck the world'. However, a mouth set in a firm straight line accompanied by cold, calculating eyes meant 'I am this close to killing so-and-so. Of course, Tsuna and the guardians wouldn't know this. So I really couldn't blame them-and I actually took it as a compliment to my suberb acting skills-for thinking I was clueless.

I had quickly responded to Ryohei with enthusiasm as would be expected of my character. Nothing less than a quick bout of whisper-yelling with Gokudera, and a silly exchange of words with Yamamoto. Haru did not disappoint. They didn't know that I could see behind the harsh frowns ('Oh, we're in deep shit'), serious eyes ('This is a secret, now go away'), and restless, wringing hands ('I'm nervous, but because the girls are here, I'll shut up'). I had gone on and on about what a lovely time they would have at the sumo wrestling tournament (again, Ryohei) and had looked about wistfully, gushing about China's beautiful tourism sites (because apparently, the boys were just so famous that they had been invited to this worldwide sumo wrestling tournament for...professionals)


Difference


I still remember staring in awe at The Hall of Supreme Harmony. The guidebook had described it as "A must see, beautifully designed building. Part of one of the oldest surviving buildings in China, it is intricately designed, a wonderful work of art." Understandably so, I had been a bit impatient. Finally with very obvious frustration, my mother dragged me over to one of the food stands and bought a small dish of turnip cakes. As unfortunate as it is, her shoving the plastic plate into my hands, and her nails digging into my skin is the clearest memory I have of that trip.

It was at the age of eleven when I began finding changes-both small and big-in my household. Perhaps the most shocking of all was that instead of my sullen mother, there was this new woman. At first I couldn't stand her. She was beautiful, graceful, and brought laughter to our household; she was, in short, everything my mother was not. It upset me, because by that time, I was old enough to know that this was my replacement mommy. This woman called herself Liang. And I blamed her for it. Her stupid Chinese name, and her stupid Chinese origins. I didn't need her. How dare she waltz in here pretending like everything was just going to work itself out?

In the end though, I gave in. I certainly didn't miss my birthmother's angry, suffocating silence.


Philosophy


Chrome, on the other hand, in stark contrast to my birthmother, had this endearing sort of calm that I loved to wrap myself in. I would lie on Mukuro's bed, across from her, sighing and smelling the fresh garden of roses sitting right beneath the stained-glass window. At times, if I was decidedly confused, I would ask her all sorts of questions; none that she could or would answer.

"Chrome…" I would give a dramatic sigh, "When is Tsuna coming back?" She'd turn towards me, give a slight nod, and go back to whatever her latest hobby was. Be it, that she was knitting, painting, or scrapbooking, it was always the same pattern. And I liked it. I liked the constant. I liked the feel of it being all right… the ever so persistent dangers of being connected to the mafia had never been my thing. I had been willing to stick it out for Tsuna though.

There were not many things I longed for. I did not live for the thrill, for the excitement, for the screams. I adored my small spotlight; my loving family, surrounding me. In the past, I had dreams. There was a once upon a time, I was to be a famous actress. I would be pushing, Caterina Glodvik out of the way, and Tiera Ibaraki would just beg to even talk to me. The paparazzi would surround my house and I would 'hmph' haughtily, agreeing to give interviews only on the most ridiculous of sums.

But that was long ago. Now I was grown up. I should've been a good, sweet girl. I was more feminine looking now, and I had a duty to live up to it; to show off my carefully-honed acting skills.

I walked down the hall, with the confident steps of a boss's wife. Click, click. As a younger and more innocent girl, I had vowed to follow Tsuna around the world. Even with the mafia in mind, there had held no exceptions for me.


Persistence


There still holds no exceptions for me.


A/N

Well...to be honest, I felt like I skipped around a bit too much. So I hope that the skipping around wasn't too annoying. It was hard to fit some bits in, and I don't know what else I could add to this piece. I've worked on it for only a couple days...which is surprisingly fast. I also tried to make sure there were no grammatical or spelling errors. I did proofread this about six or seven times. Normally, I would proofread for a couple more days, but I felt like I had to get this out for some reason. Reviews are nice, but [obviously] not mandatory :]

P.S. Yes, I know it's OOC. There were warnings, and if you thought this was too much, I'm sorry you chose not to heed them. :/ This piece came from me wondering what Haru was really like underneath her happiness. We've seen a bit of inside Haru a couple of times, and I was really intrigued by it. I, myself, am a pessimist at nature, but I'm a happier person around and for my friends. So...is it too strange that Haru could be that different?