A/N: doesn't allow music notes T_T After all that trouble I went to to put them in as well...ah well! I present to thee my longest oneshot to date xD Of course, it's more like Kikyou's life story broken into bits -shot-
But seriously, he needs more love! 8D The title was taken from Kikyou's character song (Kyouki no Hana), and so were some lyrics from the summary.
Disclaimer: Me no owneth. Reborn (c) to Amano-sensei and Kikyou's song belongs to...anime producers? IDK xD Lyric translation belongs to kokusho-yukari on LiveJournal ^^
Oh yeah, guys, I don't know much about Italian, so if there's a replacement for '-chan' or '-sama' tell me now xD And yes, they are speaking Italian until Japanese is mentioned...OTL language switching is weird and I hope it doesn't confuse anyone.
The stack of paper threatened to slip from his grasp as he balanced the coffee mug and fumbled for a pen in his pocket. Finding it, he scribbled a few words down in Italian and hurriedly adjusted the mug, keeping it steady as he rushed through the corridors. Every few minutes, he stopped and collected some more papers, many of which were crinkled and folded until the letters were almost illegible.
He entered a spacious white room with wide windows and strode over to a burly man in a suit. "Your coffee, sir," he said, handing over the coffee while miraculously not dropping any notes. As he straightened the stack of paper, he knelt instinctively.
His employer took one sip of the coffee and grimaced. "YOU SCUM!" he roared, hurling the coffee mug in his direction. "I said I wanted CINNAMON on top! CIN-NA-MON! What part of that don't you get!"
"I'm sorry si—"
The breath rushed out of him as his employer's foot collided painfully with his side. A second kick was aimed towards his head and for a moment his vision wavered. He was dimly aware of having dropped the papers and pen before another forceful kick to his head sent the world flashing with the light of stars.
"Don't make such pathetic mistakes next time, scum," his manager spat, and walked off.
Lying in a dazed position on the tiled floor, Kikyou let out a sigh and closed his eyes. The side of his head was throbbing madly, as was the part which had crashed into the floor. He could feel something warm trickling down the side of his head, but for now he just lay there. Perhaps if he closed his eyes and tried hard enough, he could block out this madness and wake up to find it was all a dream.
But it was not a dream and he knew it.
It was a while before he decided to attempt to rise. A simple movement of tilting his head sent a sharp pain, and it was a few seconds before the world stopped spinning. It was a few more minutes before he stood up, gathered the papers, and went on his way.
It had been months since this started, and he had expected to get used to it. Tossing the papers aside as he reached his workstation, Kikyou sank into his chair and sighed once more. The blood – now semi-dried – clung to his scalp. The nurse was probably more than tired of seeing him there at least three times a week. There would be no need to add to her troubles.
A few employees had advised him for a job change. They were never beat up, had good wages and were respected by the employer. It was only him. Why him? It was a question that plagued him endlessly and seemed to have no answer. But switching jobs was out of the question. He had wandered the streets aimlessly before, being unsatisfied with his employment. Again and again he had tried, and again and again he had failed.
And now he just gave up.
It paid well, at least. He could go home and eat a decent meal, and have enough extra money to go to the cinemas once in a while. Finance-wise, it wasn't bad. So he told himself to appreciate the job and eventually he would get used to it. One day, perhaps.
The coffee was ready: a mug of cappuccino perfectly brewed with cinnamon toppings. Weaving his way through the desks, Kikyou came to the front door where his employer was currently talking to a man with curiously white hair carrying a briefcase. Knowing his employer would not like being interrupted, he stood to one side and listened to the conversation.
"...no way I'm just handing him over," his employer was saying. "He gets the job done, if nothing else. Who are you, anyway?"
"Now now~," the white-haired man smiled, "I'm really here to bargain more than anyone else. I'll give you a lot, you know? Money, information, weapons, technology; name it and you'll get it. I just need an employee. Surely this company is big enough to spare one person, right?"
"Why him, though? Is he special or somethin'?"
The other smirked. "Oh, not really special in the sense that you—" He suddenly broke off in mid-sentence as he spotted Kikyou. "Ah! Kikyou~ Just the person I wanted to see."
His manager spun around, sparks flying in his eyes. Kikyou instinctively took a step back warily. His boss wouldn't dare do anything with a guest around, but as soon as that man left...
"What are you doing!" his employer snapped. "Stop eavesdropping, ya scum!"
Kikyou opened his mouth to say something coffee-related, but his response died on his tongue. The white-haired man, however, shook his head in an almost reprimanding fashion. "Is that really a way to treat an employee?" he smiled, "I'd report you, you know, if you didn't have the one person I needed. Come, here's the money." He opened his briefcase to show hundreds of cash notes. "Take it or leave it~ "
His boss eyed the money greedily and licked his lips, apparently calculating. At last, he seemed to make up his mind. "Fine. Take him, he's yours. But I'm warnin' ya, he's a good for nothing piece of trash."
The white-haired man's eyes seemed to narrow for a fraction, but then he smiled. "Glad you made up your mind!" And leaving him completely bewildered, he strode up to Kikyou. "Kikyou! I'm your new boss now, isn't it great? You can call me Byakuran~"
Kikyou opened his mouth to protest. Although he hadn't been in a situation like this before, he was sure that he was allowed some sort of say in the matter. But watching his ex-boss's face slowly go purple, he instead chose another course of action. "I— ...of course, sir."
Byakuran, at least, seemed pleased with this statement. "We'll have fun together, right, Kikyou?"
And Byakuran smiled.
The man sitting across from him smiled approvingly. "Mafia, Kikyou. We're part of the Mafia. Is it surprising?"
He nodded numbly. "Mafia...Mafia...this..."
Byakuran popped a marshmallow into his mouth. "I can understand why you're shocked, Kikyou. But really, with the world so full of rubbish, isn't it really up to the Mafia to fix things? Or to be exact, one Mafia Family?"
"What Mafia Family are you...What Mafia Family are we part of?"
His boss smirked mischievously. "You're learning, Kikyou~ We're in the Millefiore Family." Kikyou was surprised he had said the word with a Japanese accent. When he voiced his thoughts, Byakuran laughed. "I was studying in Japan for University and I slipped into the habit. Sorry, Kikyou. But you know, it might do to speak Japanese from now on."
"Shou-chan can't speak any other language. It's a shame, isn't it? Because of that, the entire base has to revert to Japanese to communicate with him. Can you speak it?"
"O-ho? I speak a little of it. But, Lord Byakuran, I thought you said Irie Shouichi was going to leave?"
"Oh, yes." He laughed his tinkering laugh again. "I'm glad you remembered so well, Kikyou! I do suspect Shouichi to defect soon, but certainly not now. Besides, Japanese is so much cuter. I can add '-chan' to the end of your names! We'll switch now, 'kay?"
Kikyou sighed. "Yes, Byakuran-sama."
"That's better~" Byakuran smiled. "I've been speaking Japanese for so long it almost feels awkward speaking Italian! Anyway, Kikyou-chan, let me tell you more about the Millefiore Family..."
Lying on his bed, Kikyou shifted his turquoise eyes to the ceiling of his room. It was extremely large and empty, filled with expanses of white and more white. He had, naturally, protested against the size of the room, but Byakuran was firm in his offerings and would not accept much less.
In the few weeks of his career change, his life had made a rapid turn for the better. His house was sold – there was no need for it as Byakuran had offered him a room in the base. He received large sums of money, too large, even, that he did not believe it the first time he had seen the cash. It was better than his wildest dreams.
And it could only get better.
"Kikyou-chan! I've brought the rest of your companions!"
He smiled. "O-ho? Please come in, Byakuran-sama. I'd like to meet them."
The door creaked open and Byakuran strode in. Hugging his legs was a short girl with blue hair and wide eyes, and behind him were three other figures. "Kikyou-chan, this is Bluebell-chan." He indicated the girl. "That's Zakuro-kun, Daisy-chan and Torikabuto. Everyone, this is Kikyou-chan!"
There was a mumbled response. Kikyou inclined his head. "I am pleased to be working together with you."
The young girl frowned. "Bya-kun! I don't like him! He's too serious!"
"Now, now, Bluebell~ Be nice! You should respect your elders. I'll leave them with you, Kikyou-chan!"
He headed for the door.
"Wait! Byakuran-sama!" Kikyou called.
His boss turned. "Hm?"
"I thought you said there were 7 of us? There's only 6!"
"Ah, spot on again, Kikyou-chan!" Byakuran laughed. "The last one's Ghost, but you won't get to meet him yet. Maybe later, 'kay?"
He bowed. "Of course, Byakuran-sama."
A screen dropped in front of them and a hidden projector flicked on, showing a detailed map of the countryside of Italy. There were a few towns labelled on the map, and one was circled with a red marker, a smiley face drawn next to it. Despite the situation, Kikyou found himself smiling.
"I think that's pretty clear what you have to do, right, Kikyou-chan?" Byakuran asked cheerfully.
He frowned just a fraction. "O-ho? I'm afraid not, Byakuran-sama. You said this would be a test of my abilities, but it is only a simple town, hardly worth the time of someone such as you. I do not see much point in this."
"Ah~, but, Kikyou-chan, there's a small Mafia Family hiding in that desolate town. It's the perfect disguise, after all. I want you to find their base and then..." His eyes narrowed dangerously. "...wipe them out. You'll do that, won't you? There'll be plenty of rewards!"
"Rewards are not necessary," Kikyou replied curtly. "I will go at once. Byakuran-sama, do you know how many people are in that base?"
Byakuran shrugged. "A few hundred, maybe? I told you it was pretty small." He ate another marshmallow. "Try out that new box I gave you and have fun, hm~"
The last man protecting their Boss fell. His blood stained the carpet and his last scream echoed in the air. Smirking, Kikyou stepped over the body, quite unharmed, and stared into the face of the man who, with one look around, fell on his knees with tears streaming down his face.
"Please spare me, sir! Please! I'll do anything! I'll...I'll give money, weapons, drugs, technology, anything at all! Just don't...please don't kill me!"
Kikyou smiled at him sympathetically, and for a moment hope flared up in the man's eyes. But then the smile turned cold and his eyes hardened. "Lord Byakuran has ordered me to eradicate you. I will do as he says."
"B-Byakuran?" The man began to back away.
"O-ho? You have heard of him?" Behind him, Kikyou's Nuvola Velociraptor growled in anticipation, but he silenced them. "Then you must understand there is absolutely nothing you can provide for the Millefiore Family. We are superior in arms, technology, intelligence and our numbers are far greater than even the Vongola. If the situation had allowed, I would gladly make you understand the greatness of our army. But my time is pressing and I must report back. Farewell."
His Nuvola Velociraptor pounced, and screams filled the air once more.
"Well, Kikyou-chan? How was the box?"
"Much better than I expected, Byakuran-sama. I did not even need to lift a finger. They were skilled, precise and deadly."
"That's good," his Boss smiled. "They're the very best, after all. Anyway, Kikyou-chan, about the prize I promised you..."
"There needn't be one," Kikyou said firmly. "I am pleased already to serve under you, Byakuran-sama."
"Ah-ah, that won't do now~ If I don't give you one, I won't be sticking to my promise. Here, have this!" Reaching into his pocket, he took out something small and round, with a gem and a pair of wings. Seeing it, Kikyou's eyes widened.
"The legendary Cloud Mare Ring, exactly," Byakuran finished with a grin. "I'll tell you a little secret, Kikyou-chan. The Mare Ring I gave to Shou-chan was fake, did you know~?" He chuckled. "Shou-chan's going to be so shocked when he finds out!"
"Then...the rest of the rings..."
"All fake!" he said cheerfully.
Kikyou contemplated the new knowledge carefully. "Does Irie Shouichi—"
"Shou-chan's so oblivious~," sang Byakuran. "It feels great to know something someone else doesn't." He offered the ring to Kikyou, but then suddenly snatched it back. "Ah-ah. Not so fast, Kikyou-chan! There's a small...condition...for you to be able to get these. I'm sure you won't object."
"Condition?" He waited for Byakuran to continue, but his Boss did no such thing. Rather, he smiled expectantly at him. Kikyou sighed mentally. "Whatever that condition is, it shall be accepted, Byakuran-sama."
"Great!" He offered the ring once more. Warily, Kikyou took it, feeling the unnatural smoothness and coldness. Gently and cautiously, he slipped the ring on and felt the power of the Mare Ring course through him, exciting his senses. His eyes gleamed.
"Well? What do you think, Kikyou-chan?"
"It's wonderful," he said breathlessly, admiring the ring from every angle. "I can feel the overwhelming power radiating from it and the flawless way it harnesses flames. Thank you for the gift, Byakuran-sama."
"Isn't it?" Byakuran agreed. "How Shou-chan could possibly think his ring is real is beyond me. But then again, he's never felt this power~ But don't wear it yet. If anyone sees you walking around with that...It's to be kept completely secret. Understand?"
"Of course." Reluctantly, Kikyou slipped the ring off his finger and into his pocket, but the sense of invincibility remained. "Byakuran-sama, if I may ask a question...Will the rest of my companions also be receiving the rings to their respective flames?"
"Hmm~ If you're talking about the real Millefiore Guardians, Zakuro-chan already got his ring! The rest of them still need to complete their missions."
"...I see." He nodded.
"Don't be depressed, Kikyou-chan! Zakuro-chan had quite a special job to do, and it was pressing. It wouldn't have meant anything to you, of course, but he had fun doing it." He reached into his packet of marshmallows and took out the last one, squeezing it slightly before eating it. "Ara~ I seem to have run out. Kikyou-chan, get me another packet and a chocolate sundae with whipped cream please!"
"Naturally." Bowing, his hand slipped into his pocket as he walked out. He was looking forward to that look of horror in Irie Shouichi's face when he found out.
The room was completely white – walls, ceiling, marble tiles, bed and sheets. It was also next to complete silence, with the only sound coming from a heart monitor. On the bed was the Cloud Guardian of the Millefiore, eyes closed in peaceful sleep. The bed sheets were pulled down somewhat to reveal a box weapon implanted into his muscles.
The door opened and Byakuran stepped inside, accompanied by his bag of marshmallows. He took one look at his sleeping Guardian and smiled. It was neither cold nor compassionate; simply an expectant smile.
Taking a seat beside the bed, he surveyed the heart monitor and his smile widened. It had gone well, then; not that he had expected anything otherwise. There had been many experiments, both in this world and in another parallel one, and each successful patient had been then killed and buried in secret. It wouldn't do for Shou-chan to find out.
He sat there for a while, eyes closed in thought. Daisy's box weapon would follow, and soon his Six Funeral Wreaths would be completely invincible. And then there was only the small matter of Ghost.
"Life's good, isn't it?" he hummed to himself cheerfully. "I guess I should ask Shou-chan to bring the Vongola Rings over now..."
Byakuran stood up and turned to leave when he felt Kikyou stir behind him. Turning once more, he found his Cloud Guardian's eyes open and senses very much alert. "How do you feel, Kikyou-chan?"
Kikyou opened his mouth, closed it, then swallowed and opened it again. "No different from before, Byakuran-sama."
"That's good!" he smiled. "Would you like to experiment with the box, Kikyou-chan? I'll personally take you to a desolate area for you to try it out. Hm?"
"I would be honoured, Byakuran-sama." He tried to get up, but at Byakuran's slightly admonishing stare, sank back down again. "But surely there is no need for you to go in person."
"But I'd like to see the power for myself," smiled the other. "It'll be fun~"
He looked around. The world was somehow different like this: this animalistic and powerful state with energy coursing through him. His Spinosaurus roamed free, but with a simple thought he was able to control their minds. Glancing at his wings of Cloud flames, Kikyou could not help but smirk at this newfound power.
And yet the forest did not quiver. It stood, proudly and gently, bending as the natural wind whispered through the boughs. Without even a single move, his Spinosaurus roared and attacked, tearing at the hidden roots and the canopy above. Within several seconds, a large portion of the forest now was laid to waste.
The sound of light applause followed. Kikyou glanced around, reluctantly checking his Spinosaurus, to find his only audience member more than pleased with the new power. Laughing, Byakuran activated his flame boots and flew up to where his Cloud Guardian was. "Well?" he said, "Does it feel good?"
"Yes," Kikyou breathed, "yes. This power is invincible, Byakuran-sama. Our enemies will be crushed and they will fly in fear before us."
"Of course they will," said Byakuran. "You know, Kikyou-chan, your ability to multiply your Spinosaurus is brilliant. It's just about the strongest offensive weapon made in the history of the Mafia. Shall we go back now? Seal your box~ Shou-chan will get mad if he sees you like this."
Kikyou did so, but a question rolled off his tongue as they were preparing to return. "Byakuran-sama. Why do you care so much about what Irie Shouichi thinks?"
"Hmm~? Why would you be asking such a question?"
"You seem to speak of him quite often – even more than Uni-sama. I was simply wondering, Byakuran-sama, the question slipped out. There is no need to answer."
"There will be a need to answer if Kikyou-chan is curious," sang Byakuran. "Actually, Shou-chan was the one who awakened my unique abilities. If it weren't for him, none of this could have happened. But don't dwell on it, Kikyou-chan. Shou-chan was never particularly loyal in the first place."
"Then why not just kill him now?" asked Kikyou. "Why wait until he defects?"
"Well, he has to pretend to act under my orders, so he's still somewhat useful. And he's pretty fun to work with, don't you think?"
"I wouldn't know. I have never met nor worked with him."
Byakuran laughed as they glided easily above the canopies of the forest.
"Kikyou-chan has such a good sense of humour."
All in all, Kikyou thought it was about time Irie Shouichi defected. The man had remained with them for long enough, keeping up the mask of innocent and devotion. Though Irie was a good actor – had Byakuran-sama not told him about betrayal, Kikyou would not have dared to think it himself.
But he allowed himself a smile as the fake Sun Mare Ring broke on his finger, and allowed himself a quiet chuckle at the look of disbelief on Irie's face. Byakuran-sama could not be fooled so easily.
Not that Kikyou would ever try to fool him. No. Kikyou, unlike Irie, knew his bounds and knew who he served and by what extent to serve to. Perhaps it was instinct, perhaps knowledge, perhaps power, perhaps all three combined. Or perhaps he was simply superior.
He took his time pursuing Uni-sama. The Vongola brats could not escape, and though it was urgent, a work slowly well done is better than rushing through and leaving loose ends everywhere. His other comrades, however, did not seem to think that way. Bluebell, for one, was too impatient, too keen to jump to the chase. There was no need to rush.
Besides, there was Ghost.
Only if all else failed. Only if they failed to retrieve Uni-sama and were somehow impossibly defeated. But of course they would not be; they are the Six Funeral Wreaths, after all, the holders of the Mare Rings and the invincible Guardians of the Millefiore. He felt the certain rain about to fall after a hot, humid summer's day and imagined the look of defeat on their enemies' hopeless faces as Byakuran-sama finally gained the Vongola Rings.
So he was shocked beyond belief when Ghost entered early; when he could not understand Byakuran-sama's purpose; when Bluebell and Zakuro perished by the hands of their own comrade. Did Byakuran-sama no longer care about them? Did Byakuran-sama lie when he said they would rule by their side? Did Byakuran-sama save them to simply destroy them at his own leisure again?
Kikyou no longer knew.
But he hoped otherwise.
'Hope is for weaklings', Kikyou had always said. And he had stood by that statement and watched the hope die from his enemy's eyes. He had watched that hope turn to despair and he had watched them plead wretchedly in the last moments of their life. But what was he doing now?
And his eyes—turquoise in their beauty—also lost their light when the X-burner died down, and Byakuran-sama was no longer to be seen.
A/N: Kikyou-chan still needs more love T_T