Disclaimer: I do not own Katekyō Hitman Reborn! or any property that it can be affiliated to the series. The characters, settings and ideology presented in this story belong to the creator of Katekyō Hitman Reborn Akira Amano. No profit is being made out of this story and it is not for commercial use. All events that transpire in this story are completely hypothetical.
Author's Note: So this is my first piece of writing dealing with this fandom. Therefore, I'm obviously going to ask everyone if I did a good job with it, or whether the characters acted too out of character. I would like as much constructive feedback as possible, please feel free to flag up if I got anything wrong.
Choosing His Death
Byakuran had not been expecting it – his ability hadn't even given him the knowledge to second guess the person standing in front of him. He was shocked at the appearance, an appearance that didn't bring the fury of the gods down upon him. He masked his shock and trepidation under a benevolent smile and slight chuckle. His violet gaze was playfully curious as he walked calmly with his guest by his side to his personal office – it was part of his guest's request and Byakuran could understand why. Only in there could they have a proper audience. Only in there could his guest remove that ridicules suit he wore without fear of death.
Not that his guest would fear it, Byakuran thought, by coming to him he had broadcasted the statement that he wasn't afraid of death to everyone that truly mattered.
He had seen and caused too much death for himself ever be afraid of it.
His guest didn't give him any way to determine what he was planning. He just walked in silence an unreadable expression on his face
Byakuran didn't understand why he was worrying so much; the man that had now practically given himself up was dead in all other parallel worlds. That was a certainty. He would die in this time as well. That was also a certainty, an inescapable possibility.
That was what the other versions of himself told him.
He would die so Byakuran didn't need to worry. He had no reason to shudder in fear.
Yet he did.
Walking in imposed silence next to him was the only person who would ever be able to destroy him without lifting a finger. Only once he held power over the 73 Policy would he be able to actually destroy this man in a fight.
Even with dominance over all and the power provided by the 73 Policy if he gave the man his full powers and abilities in combat he would struggle to win – he would almost lose.
Another version of him had recreated him for the exact purpose of trying to determine whether the fear all versions of him had of this man was qualified. Even without the full power of the 73 Policy, he had power enough for that.
It was and that fact troubled Byakuran more.
As he was now, he stood no chance.
The man could kill him in an instant, yet so far, he hadn't even tried to validate Byakuran's fear. He had more than enough reasons to. He just stood on the sidelines, never lifting a finger unless it was to provide himself with safety or as he had once said:
"I wanted a good seat"
It had never made sense to Byakuran – why was he never proactive? Why did he do nothing to help his pupil except give the occasional pep talk? If he willed this conflict to be over it would be.
Yet he was willing to give himself up – effectively ensuring his victory.
All for one request.
It could not be said that Byakuran was not honourable. He always honoured last requests. Most of which, he admitted, were for quick and painless deaths.
His subordinates wished that upon his small guest – he could see the rage and hatred that contorted their faces so beautifully as he offhandedly told them to not attack his guest. They grudgingly put away their weapons and backed away as he did – their eyes widening in great surprise.
His guest did not even respond to the threat – knowing he could not be touched. If they damaged the suit, Byakuran knew he would be taken out before his guest hit the floor. He knew his guest would get in one last tip of his fedora before his black eyes became lifeless. A victorious smirk would be etched onto the innocent face forever more.
Byakuran would become god.
The person who walked next to him was.
They turned a corner and a metallic door opened before them before they entered the final corridor in their journey. His office was just beyond the far door. As he walked up to the door, the guards tensed rightfully.
"Master Byakuran…" one of them said his voice filled with a mixture of worry and fear as he spied the infant. Their weapons held towards the baby. As if they could do anything to him.
He waved the worry away. "Contact Uni-chan won't you? Tell her to come to my office."
Hesitation was evident in both the guards for a moment as they both marshalled their words and their irritation at the blatant dismissal.
"Yes, Master Byakuran," the other guard, the one on the left answered.
Byakuran led them into his office and as the immortal infant stepped into it a wave of relief washed over him. Byakuran walked over to his desk and sat behind it, his guest, somehow back in his usual suit and black fedora – green chameleon sitting motionless on the brim of his fedora, eyes gazing unblinkingly at Byakuran – jumped up onto the desk.
"Tell me something Reborn-san," Byakuran asked pleasantly. "Why have you not killed me?"
"I can't," the baby stated simply.
"Oh?" Byakuran hummed, an elegant eyebrow raised.
A cup of espresso appeared in his hand and a coffee maker appeared on the table. How Byakuran hadn't the slightest clue.
"It isn't my place to do so," Reborn said, "it's Tsuna's" He clarified taking a sip of his espresso.
"Come now Reborn-kun," Byakuran said happily. "Do you really believe Tsunayoshi-kun can do that? I know everything about him. All his moves I have completely memorised. As I have those of his guardians. How can they win?"
"Who knows?" Reborn shrugged easily.
"But you believe they can?"
"Who knows?" Reborn answered again.
Byakuran chuckled as his eyes flashed with amusement. "You enjoy doing that, don't you, Reborn-kun?"
"Of course," was the simple response as the strongest Arcobaleno finished his espresso - his empty cup and espresso maker seemingly disappearing into thin air as he did so.
"Why are you giving yourself up?" Byakuran finally asked.
Reborn was saved from answering by the door opening.
Reborn's pacifier started to glow.
They turned round, Reborn now seated on a small comfy green chair.
Byakuran, once more marvelled at his guest's power.
He could not comprehend how he was able to manifest things out of thin air without any indication of a change in the energy that flowed through and around him. When you manipulated space and time, which Byakuran was convinced he had to be doing as there was no other reasonable explanation, it was apparent, by either an energy spike or the leaving behind of some form of residue. Yet, Reborn was able to produce seemingly anything from anyway, before the senses could even register that he had done so, without leaving any traces behind of him having done so.
Uni walked in silently the door shutting behind her without a sound.
Lifeless eyes turned to face Byakuran…
…and he suddenly clutched his chest as a bullet serrated though him, narrowly missing his heart.
The impact blew him out of his favourite chair, destroying it in the process, and slammed him into the window. The impact cracked the glass, imbedding shards into his back. He slumped slightly as his features contorted with a mixture of agony and rage, but he couldn't form a coherent response. He only succeeded in coughing up blood.
Reborn hadn't even moved, or given any sign to his partner. Yet somehow he now held his signature gun and had fired from it a single shot. The barrel was still smoking.
That single shot had left him crippled. His eyes, for once, were alight with fear.
"What have you done?"
Byakuran never thought he could be frozen by such an innocent sounding voice and yet the wreckful accusation that tore from Reborn's lips managed to do just that. A part of him wondered if he was going to fire another shot – the wrathful expression he wore masked by his fedora indicated he was sourly tempted to.
He didn't he just spoke to words softly – his innocent voice somehow managed to make them chillingly lifeless.
He staggered to his feet and dispelled his control over the young Boss of the Black Spell and the Arcobaleno. His powers were already starting to heal him. However, his healing abilities did not seem to nullify the pain. Just do as much as they could to stop the wound from getting worse.
It would not matter if Reborn truly wanted to kill him though. He had been spared. He knew that.
The fact he had terrified him.
He collapsed to the ground, panting heavily from a mixture of shock and pain.
Uni's eyes returned to life – wide with shock instantly, though who she was more surprised at Byakuran was not sure. He was not in a position to care even if he did.
"Uncle…" she whispered softly, sorrowfully, "I'm sorry."
She was met with silence. Reborn wasn't looking at her, his fedora once again hiding his expression. Tears glistened in Uni's eyes. Byakuran, once more, was not sure whether they were because of what she had let him do or because of what Reborn had done and once again, he did not particularly care because for the first time he felt truly powerless.
Her saddened eyes turned towards him and she spoke in a soft voice, void of the usual cheer it would have otherwise contained. "You disrupted the 73 Policy," she said slowly, "you brought harm to me." She didn't mention how she had let her mind be stripped of thought and controlled. "You have paid the penalty," she explained softly.
It was obvious in the eyes of the 73 Policy consent or lack thereof didn't matter.
"Penalty?" Byakuran wondered, blood dripping from his lips. As he clutched at his wound, he was healing at a slower rate than he should have been. Whatever this penalty was, it was obviously affecting his powers.
Neither Reborn nor Uni felt the need to dignify his question with a response. Instead, Uni turned her eyes away from him and focused them on her uncle.
"I'm sorry," she murmured softly walking towards him, letting him jump into her arms – brining him into a gentle and soothing hug.
Byakuran would never know why or how but he suddenly found himself completely healed and out cold. He would come to attribute the phenomenon to Uni and the power she held over the 73 Policy.
She demanded privacy and so privacy she was granted – it was her right.
The last thing he was aware of was the small green chair Reborn had vacated vanishing.
Reborn sighed, a small smile framing his face.
"My goodbye could have gone better, right?" It was said lightly but it wasn't at all funny. It only made Uni cry harder.
"No," she sobbed, "this would have happened as long as you choose the path you did."
"I don't believe in destiny," he reminded her.
"Doesn't mean it isn't real," she answered back. Controlling her tears the best she could. Her eyes and face were glistening.
"You didn't have had to shoot him." She said finally.
"I wanted to," Reborn answered.
"Mother would hate to hear you say that," she chastised him gently.
"They both would," he said bitterly, eyes shadowed under his fedora once more, anything to stop his tears from showing. He refused to let Uni see him cry, his head was turned away from her to emphasize that point.
He hated thinking about the past.
He did not believe in destiny but if he did, his life was destined to be hell.
She waited for him, understood.
"Why are you doing this," she finally asked through her tears.
He gently dried her eyes with a small finger.
"Tsuna needs to learn to be strong," he told her.
"This won't help him be strong!" Uni snapped angrily, wiping away yet more tears as she tightened her grip around Reborn. "It will destroy him."
She did not need to mention what it would do to her. That was apparent and for being the cause of it, Reborn would curse himself all the way through the afterlife. That he had let himself believe there was.
"I'm sorry," he answered.
"You shouldn't have to do this," she instead. "No matter what you have planned it surely isn't worth your life!"
"But it is worth your future!" He snapped back, finally losing his remaining composure. He had expected anything less. She was too stubborn. He smirked. Of course, that was a given.
"What do you mean?" Uni asked, bringing her uncle out of the hug and just looking down into his unblinking, unwavering black eyes. They contained within them a darkness that scared her to her core.
"You are fully aware that only a holder of part of the Sky 73 Policy can kill another. You don't have the power to kill Byakuran and even if you did I wouldn't ask you to or expect you to. You are too much like Luce. You shed tears for the bastard after everything he's done. You hate to see anyone hurt."
"I don't understand," Uni repeated. "What does that have to do with anything?"
It was a lie. They both knew she knew exactly what he was about to suggest. She shared Luce insight after all.
"The only way Tsuna would be able to – the only way he'd ever be strong enough – would be if he had his Vongola Ring." He paused for a moment. "Before coming here, I received a note."
Out of his suit pocket he pulled a piece of paper and handed it to Uni. She read it silently before the tears came once more.
"I don't like this." She finally said handing it back to him. "There has got to be a better way." They both knew what she meant, a way in which she wouldn't lose him. Reborn so desperately wanted that to be true. He did not want to leave her in this world alone.
She is unsurprised when he tosses it into the air and it bursts into flames as a bullet touches it.
"There isn't," Reborn stated firmly. He'd spent many nights pondering that exact same possibility. There wasn't another option. There was only one way they were going to defeat Byakuran and there was only one way that was going to come about. Tsuna would never be desperate enough to even consider it with Reborn still around and he was not at liberty to discuss the 73 Policy with Tsuna in detail – if he was alive he would need to be able to do that to make Tsuna see reason.
He would never break his pact. None of them would. Verde had killed himself the minute he realized what he had done after all. All six of them had chosen their own deaths and Reborn would choose his.
He had directed Tsuna this far in life and if it meant the world would be saved, he would do this to.
"I don't want you to go," Uni's voice was soft and pleading.
Reborn cursed; he was going to hell for this. He knew it.
He did not have to go through with it. They both knew that. However, if he did not Byakuran would be in total control when he brought the Vongola Rings to him. He would kill Tsuna and his guardians without hesitation and not give them even a slight chance.
Reborn was not going to let that happen.
"There's another reason, isn't there?" Uni finally asked.
Reborn leapt out of her grasp and landed on the dark vanished wood that made up Byakuran's desk. Eyes fixed on the crack that had been made when Byakuran had impacted with the glass – trickles of sunlight came through them, bathing his childish face in a soft yellow light. His small hand squeezed into a fist as he scowled in anger.
Curse Uni and her bloody intuition!
Of course there was another reason. She already knew what it was and yet he would now have to admit it. He would simply because she had asked nicely and she was too much like Luce for her own good. He could not refuse her an answer; he would never refuse her an answer if she asked.
"I'm tired, Uni" he finally said watching the sun with a sad smile. "I'm tired of it all. I swore I would protect the balance for eternity, we all did. Only Luce had any understanding of how long eternity actually was. I should have died years ago and been buried in an unmarked grave somewhere. That was what I grew to expect and then Luce came and changed all of that. I've come to accept the curse – that doesn't mean I have to like it. Truthfully, I want to spend time with the only people I've ever called friends – even if they are bastards sometimes – I want to spend time with my family."
She wanted to shout at him then, to scream in anguish and hit him for being stupid. She wanted to tell him so badly that she was his family and she would always be with him. Wanted to envelope him in a hug and command him not to go through with his plan, wanted to tell him he could kill Byakuran personally as long as it meant he never left her.
Policy be dammed! If it meant she would never lose him she would destroy it all.
"We will see each other again," he told her, "and when we do the world will be a better place. Maybe it will be a world where I can't finally…" he trailed off. Words he hadn't said for so long were caught on the tip of his tongue, frightened to articulate themselves properly as if by doing so they would destroy an possibility of a future where that could be the case from ever happening. "…Who knows," he shrugged finally after Uni had given a mute nod in understanding.
Leon shifted. Its body taking the form it was most accustomed to – that of a gun.
Reborn turned swiftly round and fired.
The grass shattered outwards and the midday basked them in its full glory. Uni stood, silently weeping as she stared at the back of the greatest person she had ever known. Somehow, she knew it would all be O.K, even though the initial loss would be hard on her and the coming battles would be even more so.
It would be O.K because Reborn had made sure it would be. As long as he protected her she would always be alright. She knew that he'd left a message for the Vongola to receive after his death, in which he would outline his impossible plan and give instructions to Giannini to create another suit that could nullify the effects of the Non 73 Policy for when his past self would need it.
Everything would be taken care of she would just have to wait.
"So," her voice broke becoming a slight hiccup as she forced down her sobs. She needed to be strong if Reborn's plan was going to be successful. "This is goodbye?"
He nodded. He could already feel the power of the Non 73 Policy affecting him. He didn't have much time. He wanted to see something that would last with him. Breaking the glass and letting in the influence of the Non 73 Policy allowed him that opportunity. The protection of the 73 Policy would afford him all the time he needed.
He turned to face her and marvelled at her beauty. She was exactly like Luce. A smile graced his features.
"Beautiful," he whispered softly.
Despite everything she couldn't help blushing.
"You always have that power," he reminded her – becoming serious again in an instant.
A bitter smile formed on her lips as she nodded. She would use it just before Byakuran woke to ensure he was unable to see what they had discussed. It meant she would not have to face the pain caused by her uncle's actions. She knew he was already wishing his death because of the torment she was being put through.
Reborn cared too much. Even if he did not show it, he cared and this was the one time he would not hide what he felt - when they were alone. Despite everything, he needed to let of his anger and emotions. Espresso could only help control them for so long.
"Uni," he commanded. She nodded silently as she walked forward and placed a hand round the Sun Pacifier, bending down so she never broke eye contact.
He had felt the sensation the erupted throughout his entire being once before. There was no pain, only a mild nausea as he felt his body beginning to disassemble into nothing. He watched as his partner ceased to be, turning into rainbow coloured light before he was no more. His black eyes focused on the pacifier, still glowing bright yellow in Uni's hand – her eyes were fixated on it in shock. She had not thought removing it would be that easy.
It was only so because Reborn allowed it, unlike the others no one could force its removal. There was only one person who might have been able to and they no longer existed in this world so it mattered not.
He felt himself be gathered up from where he lay on the table – he hadn't realized he'd fallen over.
He chuckled silently.
To be mortal again, to be truly vulnerable, how he'd missed it. It made everything so much more fun.
Uni cradled him, bathing him in her tears. He wanted to tell her to not cry to be strong, to never show signs of weakness but he couldn't. He let her cry her eyes out because she needed to cry. The same way he would let Tsuna panic and worry – the care and love they both showed to people was part of what made them who they were.
He had never really given thoughts to what his last words would be, but he was a Mafioso and every great Mafioso had last words. He was nothing if not a great Mafioso.
He felt Uni press her lips to his temple – a goodbye kiss. He smiled.
His last words surprise him and are anything but famous but considering everything that had happened in his life, they made absolute sense to him.
Uni was not sure whom the words were meant for.
She is unsurprised that his eyes remain open in his final moments – he doesn't want to close them, to let the darkness take him. Uni understands that. He is facing the sun when he finally disappears, leaving her with the glowing yellow pacifier as her only remembrance of him.
That would not last very long. She knew what would come next.
Her private audience with him has ended; she marshals her features into an emotionless mask using her power to seal off herself and her memories from Byakuran's control as she places the glowing pacifier on Byakuran's desk.
Byakuran's first action is to blink with surprise; he had not been expecting that, whatever it was, to happen. As he stands up his eyes fall on the yellow Sun Pacifier on his desk. Reborn is nowhere in sight.
He smiles at Uni kindly.
"Uni-chan?" He ventures. "What happened?"
She does not respond. It takes him a moment to realize she that she will not.
"You're blocking the sun," she informs him simply her musical voice reverberating round his office.
"Oh?" He moved out of the way of the shattered window, picking up the Sun Pacifier as he moves to the back of the room. Uni doesn't need to turn her head to know the tablet that makes up the 73 Policy is now directly behind her and the light from the Sun Pacifier has faded as it has been inserted into the 73 Policy.
She focused solely on the sunlight.
She fights down the urge to shudder and attack him as he drapes an arm around her, she wants to shout and scream at him. Tell him how its all his fault before killing him somehow.
She refrains from doing so. She does not show any emotion or give of any sign that she believes him to be the most horrible person in existence. She just watches the sun with him in silence.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" He says, hoping to get a response out of her.
She does not give him the satisfaction.
He sighs dramatically, making it sound apologetic. As if the bastard could ever care about anyone or anything other than himself. It makes Uni want to be sick.
She is turned around gently and she finds herself staring into a pair of violet orbs. Byakuran searches her eyes for a moment and frown of displeasure crossing his face before his eyes glow with power and Uni's mind is stripped from her.
This time she does not fight it – she wants to forget her pain.
"That'll be all Uni-chan," he informs her after a moment's pause.
She nods silently before turning to leave.
Byakuran watches her exit the room before sighing.
Why did she have to make things so difficult?
Oh well, there was no time to contemplate that now. His first priority was to get his office fixed. Slowly he followed Uni out, casting a glance at the latest addition to the 73 Policy and the shattered window before the door closes behind him.
He expects to see Uni's shadow outside and is not disappointed. His smiles, though it is not one of kindness. Despite what people believed, he never smiled kindly because the devil is not kind. It is a smile of cruelness and victory because he can read Uni's Second like an open book. He sees the anger and hatred flash in Gamma's eyes and it satisfies him. He notes that he has an arm around an unresponsive Uni.
"Ah, Gamma," In a tone of fake pleasantness, "you wouldn't be able to get some of your men to fix my office would you. It has gotten a bit damaged." He nodded to his other guards who quickly ran in to start on the clean-up.
"Of course, Master Byakuran," he said finally with a bow before he turned and led Uni away.
Byakuran scowled at his retreating back before punching the wall in his anger.
A satisfied smirk graced Gamma's lips as he walked down the corridor. He had seen the wound.
Served the bastard right.
He did not know the details of what occurred but anyone who made Uni cry deserved to be punished. He wasn't surprised that Reborn had been the one to inflict it either – who else could, after all?
"It will be alright, Princess," he whispered soothingly, tightening his arm around her protectively. He did not care if she did not respond; he knew she could hear him.
He was taken off guard when her body responded, moving closer to him. A small smile graced his features.
She could hear him and from somewhere she responded.
"Yes," she agreed, "because one day we'll see each other again and then everything will be alright because Uncle Reborn will be there make sure it is."