Well hello there beautifuls! :) This is a fanfic entirely fictional (i certainly hope so)

beta'd by an awesome beta,Dead summer...whom is just wonderful ( did i mention she was great?)


ALSO, DISCLAIMER: if i did own khr, it wont be straight

"Gokudera-kun, clean this mess immediately!"

I swore under my breath, reaching for the nearest mop in sight. My sisters sniggered, pointing and laughing as I tripped over a bucket filled with muddy water. Tears of anger and frustration welled as I cleaned it up without a word.

It had been months after we moved to a small cottage, miles from any town or city. (The only family members I had left were my father and two irritating sisters. They had reached the ripe age of adolescence, and longed for men to escort them to a dance. As saddening as it was, though, my father never reminded them of our current situation, scarce of money. My father owned the Vongola Shipment Company, where he transported and merchandized products for the market. He was a well-loved man, and was often complimented for his beautiful daughters.

My sisters always complained mercilessly. They whined and gnawed on every bit of problems they could find, preening and twisting their way out of housework. As the oldest son, I had to support Tsuna through his toughest times. Not long ago, we lavished in golden-threaded couches and sprawled ourselves across beds that swallowed us up. Instead, now we live in a cramped shack with no ventilation and hardly any artwork. The only thing that led my mind to peace was the tranquil surrounding of the forest, although at times I felt uncomfortable with the creatures in it. Often, I just shrugged it off, going back to my duties.

Being the smartest child, I missed reading by the moonlight, opening the curtains as far as they reached and admiring the views of the city. Sadly, those were distant memories. A depressed sigh escaped my lips; now, here I was mopping the dusty floor, feet blistered daily.

"Gokudera-kun, I have business to attend to in the city. Another merchant corporation is willing to acknowledge my retired business. Unfortunately, it'll take a few days by horse to meet them and discuss the conditions of our agreement. So, would you please take care of your sisters while I'm gone?" my father pleaded. His tousled brown hair spiked up more than usual, and his widened chocolate eyes filled with excitement.

I nodded, creasing my eyebrows with worry. Although my father was young, he wasn't the brightest fellow...

"Is there anything you want, children?" He smiled lovingly.

Immediately, Kyoko-chan and Haru-chan jumped at the chance to demand a present. Haru's feisty wide eyes brimmed with excitement. "Papa, I wish to own diamond slippers!"

Tsuna shook his head mockingly, signaling for Kyoko's turn. Tears welled in her 'innocent' eyes, "If Haru-chan would own that, then I no longer love my life, Father. I wish to have my very own..." she blinked as if she'd forgotten her next words. "Golden pocket watch!"

Finally my father took a deep breath, smiling at me to answer. I bowed respectively. "Anything's fine Tsuna, even if...In fact, a red rose would be perfect."

Tsuna raised his eyebrows, pride swelling in his frail chest. "Alright then, that's settled. I bid you farewell."

It would be a lie to say I didn't sorely miss my father. The house seemed empty without his cheery presence. Even my sisters avoided my sour and grumpy mood as I swept the floor and weeded the gardens. We barely ate dinner, our stomachs twisting with anxiety and no appetite.

Haru and Kyoko roamed the gardens, criticizing my work and landscaping skills. They screamed when they saw a wiggling worm, clinging onto each other and pointing to the ground in utter shock. I picked it up, sighing and threw it into the damp dirt. The sky grayed with possible rains, the wind caught in my throat as it flew past briskly. They grinned cheekily, attempting to regain my attention. As usual, I ignored them and their flowing skirts in order to get work done.

"Oniichaan!" they both chorused impatiently.

With a deep breath, I gripped the shovel handle in annoyance. My eyes dragged themselves away from the dim clouds to my sisters, resting themselves on their ordinary hair. A pang of jealously struck my chest. I was born with silver hair, and, because of it, was always looked down upon. It was such an unusual hair colour for a man, and although I don't lack looks, it still worried me. I certainly was jealous of their cute and adorable faces.

"The blacksmith's son, Dino-san, warned us," they blushed momentarily, "about a beast that lives in the forest. It is said he was cursed under a spell by a witch named Kikyo. Apparently she raided the forest, found him, and threatened him with the spell—" They dramatically acted it out. As Haru and Kyoko argued about who would be the beast, I rolled my eyes.

"He's feeding you rubbish, and bloody hell...stop pestering him in the morning...Me, too, for that matter." I trailed off in a distracted mutter.

The blacksmith's son was an irritating specimen that laughed at anything and lingered around the cottage for company. He sought for some advice on clothes—advice from my sisters, and talked with me every few nights. I never paid any attention to him, either.

It was one sunny morning that my father returned. The loud hooves echoed through the yard, announcing my father's long-awaited presence. All three of us ran to the gate, welcoming Tsuna into the house with open arms. We noticed the saddlebags empty and ripped as if he had rampaged through the forest. There were a few remainders of dirt on his cheek, and twigs still attached to his pants. He sighed, running and giving us a great big hug.

"T-This horse certainly acted like an arse, boy-oh-boy...H-he didn't help at all..." Tsuna blabbered softly. His eyes seemed senile and flashed fear as he peeked into the forest. He quickly ushered us into the house, tightly locking the door behind us.

"I saw a beast."

My sisters flashed me a glance of I-told-you-so. I ignored this and forced my trembling father onto a chair. Haru warmed the fires as Kyoko ran to grab a cup of tea. Tsuna seemed older, his hair spiked in awkward places and scratches along his neck line.

"What happened, Papa?"

Before he opened his mouth, he reached into his pocket pulling out a beautiful crimson-coloured rose—barely crumpled and almost new-looking. His hands clamped it over mine, eyes pleading me to listen to his next few words.

"After a few days' travel, the merchant accepted my scarce offer, and I was so ecstatic that I jumped the gun and rode into the sunset..." He paused to smile foolishly. "And knowing my luck, I got lost in the forest. The trees led no hope to finding our tiny cottage, and there I saw it...A large pathway into a huge castle! As soon I neared the gate, dear arse here bucked me off."

By this time, the three of us hung on the edge of our seats, eager to find out the next part.

"I climbed over the gate, surprised at the luxurious offer of scenery in the castle's courtyard. It was almost as if the castle invited me in, wafting scents of expensive food past my nose and the slightest hint of cinnamon. It lured me into the vast dining room, filled with several thousand seats, and then ...I saw the beast! He had a shadow that covered his bear-like body, but he strode toward me unsurely. His voice deep and strangely cheery, he bellowed about the price of his accommodations for one child to live with him. Of course I bowed and told him about how important you are and how I must return to you. Remembering your request, I stole a rose and turned—galloping deep into the forest."

Just at that moment, we all leashed our breaths into the cold air. A loud thump on the window made us jump high. It was a letter, securely propped against the window pane. We sprinted to the letter, daring for a quick look out the window before grabbing the letter. It read:

Dear traveler,

You stole away into the forest with a beloved rose of mine; a beautiful garden rose left by my father. If I were to take your life, traveler, your children would sorely miss you—as I now miss my precious rose.

In exchange for the rose, I demand one of your children. Your child must come alone, and sign a contract to be with me until I release your child. Have no fear. I will not hurt them—I only wish for the friendly company of someone young. If you reject my proposal, then I will more than happily curse you with terrifying dreams and black magic.

P.S. I hope we can still be friends. I did enjoy our quick conversation about your small cottage.



I gaped at the ridiculous letter, twisting my fingers nervously. For a moment, I struggled to understand the pathetic excuse of a ransom note, before swearing inwardly and smiling. My sisters looked terrified, already aware of their position. They shared shocked glances, pressing each other's hands for comfort. Tsuna clutched the ends of the table blankly, sharing my exact thoughts, sighing deeply. It didn't go unnoticed that tears clung to his eyelashes and were beginning to run down his cheeks. Steeling himself, he wiped them away. Instead he smiled and hugged us tightly before releasing us.

"I'll go..." I offered.

"Yeah, Gokudera-kun's the strongest!" My sisters snided supportively. I gave them an annoyed glare, reminding them of our awful situation. They immediately piped down, a skill they had yet to master.

"No, Gokudera. If you were to go to that damned place, then...I just...I don't want to lose a child!" He sobbed quietly. With his wide eyes, he searched within my opposing aqua orbs—but failed miserably to break past my stubbornness.

"This damn beast doesn't seem scary or smart. He didn't specifically mention a girl, so I'll go..." I assured him with a pat on the hand.

My father shook his head, his hazelnut-coloured hair swaying in the cold breeze that flew into the house. Kyoko-chan ran to my side, hugging my shoulder.

"I wish we were braver, Gokudera-kun." She whimpered into my ripped jacket. Haru's eyes glazed with sadness, before she joined on the other shoulder.

For once, I gladly accepted their embrace. After all, they were too young to understand what contract I had just signed myself to. Perhaps one day they'd acknowledge it, once they had a family and would be able to remember me with tears and sorrow in their hearts.

Soon, we were bustling around our home, preparing our herbs and possible food items that I needed for my nightly trip. I shoved a few clothes into a spare rucksack, clutching an old painting of my family members to my chest. Wistfully, I returned to the darkened kitchen, waving goodbye to the garden and even my untidy room. Although there were papers strewn across the floor and reading material that lay untidily on the desk, I smiled. This was my home and it held many memories.

With a heavy heart, I closed the door behind me, tilting my head with a small smile for reassurance—and hastily left before my father decided otherwise. For once, I wanted to prove people wrong, to show that even a man with silver hair and unusually startling blue eyes did have a heart. A loving heart—a courageous heart.

I draped my cloak around my shoulders, grabbing a candle before stepping into the night. The darkness was cold and the stars shone brightly. Wet drops of water ran down my cheeks. Realizing that they were tears, I rummaged through my sack for a cloth. The owls hooted, and the wind stroked my hair curiously and wrapped its cold arms around me. The only thing that flickered and glowed was the candle that dripped hot wax onto my skin. Though the searing pain spared me agonizing thoughts of leaving my quieted family, it still hurt.

Not turning for a glance behind my back, I ran, torn between the two decisions I had always feared to face.

And so, I began my trek into the woods toward a long and treacherous imprisonment with a beast.

Oh god, someone help me…

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