Disclaimer: The Reborn manga and anime series do not belong to me
Silence fell in the demolished courtyard as the two combatants stared at each other; one of them eager for a more stimulating battle, the other carefully scanning her opponents form. Tsuna glanced down at her hands, now protected by a bright orange sky flame and her X-gloves; she had needed to use it just to block Hibari's attack, which was something she'd only done when fighting Reborn or Xanxus (the other members of her Family had a hard time going all out against her). Yes, Kyoya Hibari was strong...but so was she.
His body twitched slightly and then he was running straight at her. She dimly made out a shocked yell from Yamamoto but her entire being was focused on the oncoming prefect. Later the observers of the fight would swear that just before the two collided Tsuna had worn a brilliant smile on her face, as if she'd just discovered something extremely valuable and important.
They met, and hell broke lose. She met the steel tonfa with her fist and orange sparks burst from it. The second weapon went for her stomach but she twisted out of the way before it could reach her.
Fists and tonfa's met in a deadly dance that locked the two in a swirling tornado of movement. She jumped back as he brought one of his weapons down in a brutal blow that would have done a lot of damage had it hit. Using the propulsion from her flames she pushed herself away and back-flipped over one of the many craters that littered the area. She knew that if she evoked her full power than the fight would be over a lot quicker, and that if she started to fly it would definitely give her an edge, but...
She didn't want to reveal exactly how good she was, Reborn had made it very clear that she should hold her trump cards until she desperately needed them. He charged at her again and for a split second a line of, quite clearly,purple flames shot down one of the tonfas. What? Her surprise cost her precious seconds and the painful feel of steel meeting skin sent her flying across the ground. Spitting out a mouthful of blood she scolded herself on getting distracted, the pain in her gut would be an excellent reminder for the rest of this fight.
Grey eyes narrowed at her and her intuition told her that he was disappointed, he expected her to be more of a challenge. Her own eyes sunk into a glare, she'd spent most of her life with people looking at her with those eyes; telling her she wasn't good enough, that she would never be good enough. Tsuna was sick and tired of that judgement, her Family believed in her, her father believed in her and there's was the only judgement that she truly valued.
Pushing herself to her feet, the orange flames flickered and snapped as her annoyance grew. It was time to show him just what Reborn had taught her. Tsuna would never say that she enjoyed fighting, to her it was one of the worst things in the world, which was one of the reasons why she wanted to become the tenth boss; to change the darkness that had stained Vongola's past. However, she understood the necessity of it, she understood that there were certain people in this world whom you could only impress by strength.
Hibari was one of them.
The flames on her fist suddenly increased instantly and she pushed herself forward at him. Still not at full speed but a lot quicker than before. It shocked him and she noticed his eyes widen a little before he raised his tonfas in a block. Too late.
This time it was her fist that met skin and he was sent hurtling back into a wall. A cloud of dust was thrown up at the impact and she waited patiently for his next move. This fight wasn't about her beating him, she wanted to at least be acknowledged, if not respected, by him as a fighter. Besides something was telling her that Hibari was important and she really wanted to stop the constant glares he kept on sending at her.
A tonfa came flying at her face and she just barely jumped out of the way. Brown met grey once more and she suppressed a smile at what she saw there. He brought his weapons up once more and she prepared herself for another round. A smirk crossed his face and he lunged at her again, saying one final word.
Another jab at her face but this time she deflected it and was able to counter with a strong blow to his chin, not enough to send him back but enough to unbalance him. Dropping to the floor in an instant she channelled her dying will flame to her leg and swept it beneath him in a swirl of orange. It wasn't meant to knock him down, just surprise him enough for her fist to make contact with his jaw. Unfortunately, he seemed to have learnt from last time and her hit was blocked by steel. The second one was aimed at her torso and once again that tell-tale line of purple burned along the tonfa, but she had learnt as well and it met with only air.
Her right foot came round in a powerful kick, her muscles strengthened with the flame running through them. Most people would be unable to harness the flame using their actual bodies, they needed a weapon to act as a medium because the energy of raw dying will flames was harmful to normal humans, even the arcobaleno had to use objects. There were only a couple of humans who had been born with a strange abnormality in their genes that enabled them to freely use the rawest from of the dying will flame. She was one of them and Fon was another, although he did use the pacifier at times. It wasn't easy for her to do, which was why she usually used her gloves to use the flames, but she could use the raw flames to power up sections of her body to make them stronger. One of the downsides though was that it was very draining on her energy supplies. She could only keep up the constant flow to her leg muscles for another couple of minutes.
Hibari was unprepared with the force behind her leg and it actually sent him back a couple of paces. Not wanting to miss her opening she shot forward again, but she cut the flame supply to her legs. It was something she rarely used outside of practice and one of her trump cards. Luckily neither Hibari nor any of the onlookers would understand the glow on her legs, much less understand its significance.
Takeshi Yamamoto liked to think that he was a very accepting person. He would always give a person a chance when he first met them and was always ready to learn something new about the world he lived in. That being said, watching his tiny new friend lunge herself at possibly the scariest person in Namimori was causing him to doubt his eyesight. There was no way that this was the same girl who minutes previously had been eating lunch with him.
An image passed through his memory from yesterday. Tsuna yelling at him for trying to end his life and that strange orange glow he'd seen when he was falling. Her eyes had burned with the same intensity as they did now. All he could do was watch as the two met again in a clash of motion. Wow, they were both so strong, it was humbling and a little frightening.
He slowly became aware of the pain in his hand and looked down with a little surprise to see his hand clenched so tight that his fingers were digging into the skin. Releasing his grip he looked down at the new transfer student (Gokudera was it?) still sat on the floor with his jaw nearly touching the ground. If he wasn't so stunned himself he would have laughed at the look on the teens face, the look was so different to the scowl that had been on it this morning when he'd spent all of first lesson glaring at Tsuna.
The frown on Yamamoto's face deepened slightly when he thought back on the incident. When the new guy had knocked Tsuna's desk to the floor he'd been sure that the guy was going to attack her. His senses had been screaming at him to do something but his body had felt incredibly slow. She'd handled it fine on his own. He let out a breath and ran a hand through his hair, face uncharacteristically sombre. How was he meant to be her friend if he couldn't protect her? She seemed to be doing fine on her own.
Despite what his grades said he wasn't stupid and it wasn't hard to see that Tsuna was not your average student. The way she walked and spoke was precise and measured, even when she was flustered there was a certain amount of control and grace in her actions. Not to mention the truly mind-boggling fighting ability she had. Where on earth had she learnt to fight like that?"
"S-She saved me, a-and I w-was going to..." He glanced back down at the stupefied teen who seemed to finally have regained control of his mouth.
"Why on earth would she defend me?" Although the boy was speaking to himself Yamamoto decided to answer him.
"Because Tsuna's special like that." Green eyes darted up to his face and that scowl from earlier returned.
"What are you talking about idiot?" Ignoring the insult Yamamoto turned back to the fight going on in front of them.
"Tsuna. I really haven't known her that long at all really, in fact I only first met her a couple of days ago." The smile returned to his face. "But, even I can tell there's something special about her. She draws you in and you want to be near her. She saved my life yesterday and I'd only known her for two days and she said some things that really helped me. I'm not sure how exactly she's just...special." Yes, that was the word to describe her. Special. He heard Gokudera push himself up of the ground but the boy was no longer looking at him, he was watching Tsuna as well.
Speaking of which, it looked like the fight was going to end soon. Hibari-sempai looked a little out of breath and messier than Yamamoto had ever seen him, Tsuna looked a little better, but she was still breathing quite heavily. Again, that feeling of helplessness washed over him; she and Hibari-sempai were so much stronger than him it was unreal. As quickly as it come the thought disappeared and another took its place.
He'd have to get stronger then.
His smile became a little brighter at that. The answer was simple really. His eyes sharpened as they took in Tsuna's bedraggled appearance. He'd make sure that next time he would be able to fight beside her and not just watch.
The ringing of the school bell signalled not only the ending of lunch but also the ending of the battle. Tsuna felt tired and scruffy; she was not looking forward to another two hours of lessons. The teachers here were nowhere near as good as Reborn or some of the other tutors she'd had in Italy. The peals of the bell resounded in the destroyed courtyard and Tsuna finally let her fists down. The tonfas followed soon after.
In an impressive show of impassivity Hibari completely ignored the observers and turned the full weight of his gaze on her. If she hadn't had the upbringing she did it probably would have terrified her but amongst the hostility she could detect some acknowledgement, a recognition that wasn't there before. He wiped some blood of his chin, hers or his she wasn't quite sure which, and inclined his head slightly. Now that the fight was over the annoyance she'd felt was gone so she was able to muster a faint smile.
"That was a good fight Hibari-san." He turned away from her and started to walk back to the building before glancing back.
"Don't be late for class omnivore." She blinked at the name, what was with this guy and the animal kingdom? Shrugging it away she responded with a bright "yes" happy that she had gained someone else's acknowledgement. Someone strong with cloud flames.
She was honestly impressed by that. He had probably never come across dying will flames before yet he was unconsciously using them to strengthen his weapons. She shuddered when she imagined him aware of that power and using it on specially made tonfas; he'd be a force to be reckoned with. Her thoughts inevitably led back to that small box resting in the safe and its contents.
"Hey Tsuna." Oh right, Yamamoto. She spun around to see the baseball player jogging towards her. He looked concerned and she could see Gokudera following though thankfully he looked less angry.
"Are you OK? You and Hibari-sempai looked pretty serious then." She shrugged her shoulders.
"It was something that was going to happen anyway. Maybe now he'll stop glaring at me." She wouldn't say that they were friends, she wasn't sure if anyone could become friends with him, but there was an understanding.
"Maybe. You were amazing Tsuna, I didn't know you could fight like that." She blushed at that but she couldn't help feel a little bit awkward; she hadn't told Yamamoto anything about the whole Vongola, Mafia princess thing and she wasn't sure how he'd react to it.
"Don't be stupid idiot, she's the next boss of the Vongola of course she can fight!" The two friends looked at the silver haired teen who was glaring at Yamamoto. The second he noticed her eyes on him he threw himself on the floor in front of her. A little bemused she waited for him to speak.
"My apologies Juudaime-hime. I came here in order to fight you; when I heard that the boss of the Vongola was going to be a teenage girl I thought that she would lead Vongola to ruin. I was told that if I got rid of you than I could be the next boss, though to be honest I never really wanted to either." She blinked, wondering where he'd heard that lie from only someone with Vongola blood could inherit the title of boss. The old irritation and pain of being doubted flared up again; it wasn't the insult to her that bothered her, it was the insinuation that she hadn't been taught properly by her Family.
"So what changed then?" Her voice gave nothing away and he didn't look up from the ground.
"You stepped in front of that bastard's attack to protect me, and you were so much stronger than I thought you'd be." He looked up and she had to admit she was a little freaked out by the shining eyes that stared up at her like she was a queen. It reminded her of Basil only a lot more intense.
"Since you have saved my life, I now owe you a debt of honour. I swear to become your right-hand man and to always be loyal to you." He jumped up with a fierce look in his eyes and all Tsuna could think was why do I attract so many strange people?...and why are they all Italian?
She was about to politely decline, she didn't want to force him into anything. Then she met his eyes, and paused, because behind the bravado and admiration there was a stark fear that caused her to freeze. She had seen that fear before, she'd seen it in Xanxus's eyes after the cradle incident.
She'd woken up in the medical wing of the Vongola headquarters attached to an IV, Xanxus had been by her side with two guards watching him; he'd had that fear in his eyes, the fear that she would push him away, that she would hate him for what he did to her. Tsuna hadn't been able to stand that look and, even though she had only been young, she knew that only she could make it better. So she'd jumped at him, thrown her arms around him, well as far as arms could go around him, and was overjoyed to see that fear disappear.
Remembering what Bianchi had told her about his past she understood why Hayato Gokudera would feel that fear. She knew what it was like to long for a sense of belonging, and she wasn't going to deny him that. Aside from that he looked like a promising fighter, a little selfishly she liked the fact that she didn't have to worry about impressing him or saying the right thing to make friends. With that in mind she stepped forward and smiled at the bomber.
"I'd be happy to have you in my Family Gokudera-san." Blissfully unaware of the effect her smile was having on the starstruck teenage male. He flushed an interested shade of red and jumped about ten feet away from her, but this time when she looked at him that awful fear had been replaced by overwhelming joy.
"Thank you so much Juudaime-hime. I promise that I will not let you down." She nodded then turned to the left when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Tsuna, what is he talking about? What's the Vongola?" She opened her mouth to answer but Gokudera beat her to it.
"Don't bother Juudaime-hime with your stupid questions idiot! Not that you'd know but Vongola is the strongest Family in the entire Mafia, they have a huge influence and are incredibly strong. Hime here is going to be the next boss and I'm going to be her right-hand man." Tsuna froze, a little scared about how the baseball player would react to the news.
An arm was suddenly placed around her neck and she looked to see Yamamoto's face suddenly very close to hers.
"Hah, so Tsuna's the boss then? I think I'd like to join this Family thing as well." Relief crashed over her.
"Hey you can't just invite yourself in!" She wondered why Gokudera looked so irked at Yamamoto's presence. Must be a guy thing.
"Eh, but didn't you do that Gokudera?"
"Shut the hell up idiot!"
Tsuna stood watching the two having their rather one-sided argument. A strange warm feeling spread through her body as she realised that they were her Family, not her grandfathers. She'd seen the bond between her grandpa and his guardians and had fiercely hoped that she would have such a strong one with her guardians. Watching the two of them she began to think that maybe that dream wasn't so far-fetched as she'd first thought.
If it were anyone else but Reborn they would be terrified by the sight in front of them. The leading members of the Varia, the bosses of the Chiavarone and Simon Family, Lal Mirch and the arcobalenos of Mist, Rain and Storm were all glaring at him. The infant hitman simply took a drink of the espresso in front of him and frowned, Tsuna made better ones.
"Stop ignoring us kora!" He looked at Colonnello and took in the tense way he was holding the gun. "Tell us where Tsuna is, we know you know where she is. Brat tells you everything kora."
"I can't." The two words echoed in the room, and you could probably cook an egg from the sheer intensity of the anger that was being directed at the hitman. He looked out the window up to the sky, if any of the people here knew exactly who was after Tsuna there would be a massacre but he knew that this was one test she had to face on her own.
He couldn't be there to watch over her any more, she would have to fend for herself. No matter how much the worry in his chest was driving him insane he had to believe that his student could succeed. That she could survive without the protection she'd had all her life.
He did. He had ever since he had found her in the Vendicare Prison playing tag with some of the masked guardians, her effect on the monsters of the Mafia was scary, and one he was all too familiar with. Despite the fact that he anted to do nothing more than jump on the next plane to Japan.
His only issue was convincing the combined group of angry, concerned, powerful and fiercely protective people in front of him that she was better off alone.
AN: I am so sorry for the lateness of this, I have no excuses except for life just getting incredibly busy, so if you are still reading this I apologize. I hoped I spent enough time on Hibari and Tsuna's fight because a couple of reviews wanted a good fight so I hope I delivered on it. On a separate note I am thinking of doing another story and the poll will be up on my profile so please vote on it!
Seriyuu: Do not worry Mukuro and Chrome will both appear in this, but it will be after she's met Ryohei, which will be coming up pretty soon.
Kanojo wa Rinko: Nana did in fact have a funeral after her death, I will be including snippets of Tsuna's past in Italy throughout this fic and that will definitely feature in it.
Thank you to everyone who reviewed and put this on their favourite/alert lists.