Vongola Succession: True Edition
A Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Fan fiction by Hitokiri-san
A/N: Ha ha, the world must be ending if I'm writing semi-crack fic; but the KHR fandom seems to have an effect on me with its extremely cracktistic tendencies. Refer to the Daily Life Peanut Arc for the crack, if you will. This piece, you may notice, is in a somewhat different style of writing than most of my more recent works.
This is written for the LJ KHR Fest, round IV. This fic contains gratuitous libel against the good character of the ever-cool Primo. It also manages to explain, simultaneously, the origin of the Secondo's Flame of Wrath, how the Varia came into existence, and Tsuna's utter dame-ness. You have been warned.
Ricardo used to adore Giotto.
His first impression of Giotto was a glamorous one. He was fifteen years old, wide-eyed and idealistic; finally summoned to the Vongola Mansion for his initiation. It wasn't the first time that he'd heard about his distant cousin – Giotto's name was well known all over Italy – but it was the first time he'd ever seen the man in person. As Ricardo watched Giotto sweep along the corridors - ebony cloak fluttering in elegant arcs, entourage fanning out at his side - he realized that there was nothing he wanted more than to take up mafia management as his future occupation. Oh the coolness.
Then Giotto had spotted him, stopped, and smiled.
"Greetings, cousin," the would-be Primo said, flame-coloured eyes alight with authority and power, "welcome to the Vongola Famiglia."
And that was when Ricardo knew.
He knew, as he scrambled for a reverent reply and watched Giotto turn a corner, that he didn't just want to be in mafia management. He wanted to be a Vongola boss, just like Giotto. He wouldn't admit it – because no self-respecting mafioso would admit to wanting the job because of the coolness -but heading the Vongola had to be the coolest job in the world.
He didn't know that upon turning the corner, Giotto ran into a stone sculpture and promptly cracked his skull open. Not for the first time, G. let himself into the medical ward and ordered the medics to Keep This Silent, because no Family – Vongola or otherwise - should know that the Vongola Boss was an idiot without a flame on his head.
Later, Ricardo learnt that a hostile family had managed to nick Giotto on the head in a dishonourable ambush. He proceeded to wipe the unfortunate folks out within two weeks, which earned him, in turn, the respect and adoration of Daemon Spade.
When he reached the age of twenty-five, Ricardo had established himself as a legend within the Vongola. His prowess with the Flame was unmatched by all except the Boss, and he was a prodigy when it came to handling inter-Family affairs. Giotto, proud of his cousin's numerous achievements, found himself earmarking Ricardo as the next Boss. ("Sit beside me", Giotto had demanded of Ricardo after yet another sweeping victory, and it was then everyone present understood.)
Ten years after his initiation, Ricardo still adored Giotto, and he'd told G. as much after a heavy drinking session in celebration of his newfound position as the candidate for the next boss. ("The Boss," he'd proclaimed, wagging a finger at the Storm Guardian for emphasis, "is like, totally cool. Look at that flaming mantle for starters."). The look G. sent him was very, very sad, like the way priests often look at lost lambs that refuse to repent, and it puzzled him a lot. Or maybe it never happened; maybe he'd imagined that look. He'd been pretty smashed, after all, and G. wasn't known to be a particularly sympathetic man.
Then Daemon had rebelled, and everything went to hell. Not for Giotto, but for him. And it started with Giotto summoning him into his office.
"Boss," Ricardo started; Giotto was bent over his mahogany desk, head in hand, long golden hair shielding his eyes from view. He looked as though he was deep in thought, and Ricardo was loathe to interrupt him. But it was Giotto who had wanted him to be here, after all, "how may I serve you?"
Giotto jerked, head sliding abruptly off the supporting hand. Ricardo winced; he didn't mean to startle the man in his Important Musings.
"...! No, G., whatever it is, I didn't do...oh, Ricardo."
The man looked immensely relieved, for some reason, but Ricardo wasn't one to forget the more important things. He bowed.
"Ricardo," Giotto graced him with a welcoming smile, and he floundered, like he was fifteen again and very much in awe with his cousin, "I've been wanting to talk to you about your succession as the Secondo."
Nine generations later, another candidate to the position would have screeched and ran for his life upon hearing these words; but Ricardo perked up, attention captured by that single sentence.
"You know about Daemon's rebellion," Giotto stated blithely, as though he was talking about the weather, "he has suggested that maybe I am unsuitable for the position of boss and should step down for the good of Vongola."
Ricardo had never heard such shameless heresy in his life.
"Then he should be killed. The traitor's action is no fault of yours, boss. There is no need to trouble yourself with his words."
Giotto shook his head, and patted the mountain of paper on his desk with regret. "I am starting to think that he is right, in a sense."
"Anyway!" The Vongola boss interrupted, grimacing as he skimmed through a report on his desk. The first page showed a few graphs sloping steeply downwards, and Ricardo idly wondered if they represented the number of hostile Families Vongola now had. Their European Crusade had gone really well, after all.
"I'd like you to succeed as the next boss," Giotto flipped through the report, blinked, and added, "in fact, I'd like you to take over for me starting next week."
"Huh?" Ricardo said intelligibly, because he'd expected the announcement of his succession would be somewhat…grander. And it wasn't like he was ready for the job at this moment.
"I'm honoured, boss, but…!"
"Giotto!" Ricardo immediately shut up as the door to the boss' room was punched open, as though the person didn't know anything about door knobs, "I need you to answer something."
"Oh, greetings, Knuckle. You look…" he eyed the man critically, noting the obvious burn marks on his person, "worse for the wear. What happened?"
"The Cinisi and Lampo happened," Knuckle replied, somewhat sarcastically as he approached his boss, "the Cinisi attempted to fry me upon my arrival at their base, and Lampo…tried to help." The rest was left unsaid. Lampo's combat skills were admirable in dire circumstances, and questionable in everyday duty. His attempts to help probably Did Not Go Well, seeing that Knuckle still sported a somewhat electrocuted look.
"Oh. It must have been quite a battle," Ricardo put in, sympathetic.
"Yes, it is. We even managed to burn down half the Cinisi base. And that is what I'm about to ask you about, Giotto: why the Cinisi would feel the urge to return me to God's embrace in the first place. "
"I don't remember having crossed the Cinisi recently," Giotto replied, too quickly, and Knuckle gave him a look reminiscent of the sad, sad look G. had directed at Ricardo. May the Lord forgive you, it said. Only it worked ten times better, because Knuckle was really a priest despite his currently haggard appearance.
"Boss," he sighed, chiding, "please. This isn't what the Cinisi boss told me. It is something about his wife, and the Cinisi boss is positive that you know about it."
"Um," said Giotto.
"Does the wife of the Cinisi boss have a personal grudge against our boss?" Ricardo now asked, clearly puzzled.
"…can we deal with this later, Knuckle? As you see, I am discussing important matters here," Giotto finally said after a pause.
"They are threatening boycott."
"…let them try," Giotto concluded, glancing over at Ricardo uncertainly, and physically escorted his Sun Guardian – who still looked very unhappy - out of the room.
"So," Giotto resumed, almost a little too brightly, "the succession."
At this point Ricardo was about to protest again, but was saved the trouble by G. barging into the room without knocking. Did all the Boss' Guardians have no sense of propriety at all?
"Damn you, Giotto!" G. declared upon entrance, and waved a stack of what looked like bills in front of his boss, "what were you thinking when you went and splurged on this stuff?"
Giotto made a show of studying the bills, and Ricardo – unlike those rowdy Guardians – stayed where he was, not wanting to pry.
"I must be dressed well enough to represent the Vongola," the boss said languidly, stopping at a particular item. Thinking about how impressive and authoritative Giotto had always looked in his formal attire (and it was the attire that inspired him to be a mafia boss in the first place), Ricardo had to agree.
"You spent half our budget on mantles. How is that even possible?...and this."
Giotto's sight followed G.'s accusing finger, and he tapped a finger on his chin.
"The gifts are necessary to uphold Familial relations."
"Sure. Jewellery and makeup are fitting gifts to the head of another Family," G. sniped, and Giotto looked mostly undisturbed, "who are you actually giving them to?"
"You are not to question my choice of gifts to other Families, or my choice of clothes," the Vongola boss ordered, a final strike, and that was that.
"Right," G. conceded, still glaring, and produced a stack of portfolios, "on to another matter."
Giotto blinked, and took one of the portfolios out of curiosity. It was a mistake; G. watched on with glee as his boss' expression became increasingly horrified.
"These are marriage proposals."
An evil smile and a nod. "They are."
"Congratulations, boss!" Ricardo exclaimed, but Giotto was not amused.
"Have I ever indicated that I want a wife?" he gestured accusingly at the various women on the portfolios, probably ladies of stature from prominent mafia families. Ricardo had to admit, however, that at least they were decent looking to start with. Each seemed to have a five-page resume to go with her portfolio.
"With due respect, boss, this isn't about whether you want to. It's about time you settle down for the good of Vongola, lest other Families think that…ah…" G. raised a brow, insinuating, "you are messing around with their women behind their backs."
"Nonsense," said Giotto, and Ricardo was astonished to see G. suddenly keeling over on the spot. Before he could shout in alarm, Giotto caught the man and stuck him onto the office couch casually.
"Must be the fatigue of having to handle so much," Giotto commented, would-be sympathetic as he summoned his subordinates in to take G. away, "I am blessed with such a diligent right hand."
"Oh," Ricardo replied, weakly.
"And yes, I shall talk about the succession," Giotto's smile was sharp, and it signalled finality.
Ricardo could only nod.
"Giotto! I heard –"
The Secondo-to-be thought it might be Lampo, the Guardian of Thunder, but an explosion near the door drowned out the rest of the voice. Giotto watched as the doorframe rattled with the force of the violent explosion, but didn't make to move.
"Ah," he said, "I told Lampo to be careful with the grenades."
From then on, the Guardians – or Giotto's subordinates, in general – steered clear of the boss' room, and the discussion regarding the succession went on smoothly.
Giotto left Vongola in the hands of his trusted heir, gathered his Guardians (sans Daemon), and flown off to Japan all within a month.
So when Ricardo found out that:
One - Vongola was nearly bankrupt due to Giotto's utter failure in anything economical and his tendency to splurge on whatever caught his fancy;
Two – A great number of mafia Families wanted the Vongola boss dead for…unseemly connections with their wives/ sisters/ daughters/ female company, and didn't quite care which Vongola boss they were dealing with when they executed the assassination plans;
Three – many Families that were still allies with Vongola had loaned them one hell of a lot of money, and wanted the Vongola boss' hand in marriage as equivalent exchange (again, not caring about which boss it was)
And four – there were months and months' worth of accrued paperwork in the main bedroom, where Giotto had stuck them into the walk-in closet to hide them from G.;
…he was Very Angry. Now he knew; no wonder Giotto was so eager to leave Vongola in his hands.
Ricardo was so angry, in fact, that he promptly developed the trademark Flame of Wrath and the ability to murder with his bare hands. It would be a Vongola legend for generations, until a teenager by the name of Xanxus understood exactly how angry he'd felt and proceeded to replicate the Flame on his own.
He also enlisted Daemon as his Mist Guardian, because he understood how right the illusionist had been in staging a rebellion, and promptly ordered the man to send assassination squads overseas to "repay the Primo for his kind guidance". Ever the sadist, Daemon had agreed, setting up a specialized assassination squad for the purpose. He named it the Varia.
Months later, however, Ricardo received report that the Varia had failed; Giotto was still very much alive and had happily amassed a harem in his country of retirement. Furious, he tore up the report, and hoped that Giotto would die a painful death and burn in hell for eternity for his sins.
He also hoped that Giotto's descendants, if he had any, would fail in all their endeavours and suffer severe dame-ness for life.
A/N: ...this is born because I secretly think that Giotto isn't really the cool, handsome man he appears to be when he's in his Hyper Dying Will Mode. That might explain why he insists on being on fire everytime he meets Tsuna and Co., haha.