Yes, this was originally 'The Sky of Sins'. But I've completely rewritten the plot, along other not-important/personal issues. Hence the deletion of TSOS.
ANYWAYS. Thanks to Kanojo wa Rinko for putting this plunny into my head, and the countless other friends who helped me evolve it!
Beta'd by Anonymouse123e.
WARNING: Gore, language, organized violence/murder, inevitable OOC-ness, et cetera et cetera et cetera. Read at your own risk.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Music: Rosa Rosado (Granado Espada OST)
July 10, 2013 – Chapter 1, edited. Minor adjustments here and there and lots of deleting. Cielo will now be called Ienobu.
Wow, motivation, I haven't seen you in a long time.
Building Rooftop, Tokyo
He could hear all the usual sounds of night. The city of Tokyo was becoming its usual boisterous self with the periodic vehicle screeches, digital propaganda and advertisements rolling off the screens of different buildings, people animatedly chatting to one another. Yet he didn't join in the bustling crowd in the Japanese city, for he was hidden in the rafters of a nondescript building. Watching as time slowly ticked by, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. To lash out at his prey and bring down another murderer. To revel in the crimson sheen of blood.
For he was Sawada Tsunayoshi, Phantom Killer and vigilante serial murderer extraordinaire.
His title in the Underworld was more than a nickname started by the criminal leaders and propagated by the ignorant peons. It stuck because he was like a phantom, and nobody knew when he was going to strike again and take down another criminal on the run from the law. When he did his work, he left no traces behind that could incriminate him.
No one knew his modus operandi, his method or style of killing.
But the people in the underworld were certain about a few things. One, he only preyed on other murderers and like. Two-the fact that made him so feared and respected in the criminal world-he somehow recreated the same exact scene/s where the victim had done it with incredible accuracy. Many people disbelieved him at first, but when The Phantom Killer posted a few photos - definitely not photoshopped - on the unofficial underworld forum and people checked them to the original scene of the crime, they looked exactly the same.
Even with that knowledge, no one would know his plan of action until the events had already occurred. By that time, he'd have already concocted a perfect alibi, and his victim would be dead - being eaten by the sharks, rotting away in the dumpsters, chopped up and put into garbage bags…
And tonight, the same chain of events that had befallen other people would happen to a teacher.
His name was Nezu, and he was a substitute at both Namimori High and Tokyo Public High (he absently wondered how Kyoya never caught on to the mysterious disappearances of their fellow students). For some reason, unlike many other murderers, rapists, and killers, Nezu didn't even have the usual well-respected reputation of an average, humble civilian in the community, for when Tsuna talked his peers, they all bad-mouthed and cussed out Nezu. It was all thanks to his arrogant attitude-probably since he "went to Tokyo University" and shit like that.
It was lies upon lies upon more lies. And no matter how much the students complained to the school administration, the said officials did not fire him-since "Nezu received his degree at Tokyo Uni at the age of 20, and we are delighted to have such a prodigy teach here."
That was such bullshit that he-
Tsuna. Did you notice that the target's leaving Tokyo Public High right now?
He nearly fell off the rooftop in surprise at the sudden intrusion in his thoughts. Are you serious, Ienobu? Tsuna asked the entity as he absently adjusted the shades that had been knocked askew after the almost-mishap.
No shit, Sherlock, 'Ienobu' sarcastically replied, coldness permeating through his words. Why don't you go have a look at the streets instead of stargazing like a dimwit? You'll lose him again if you keep on being an empty-headed idiot, and I'm not restraining the Need for another day.
The brunet sighed, accustomed the verbal exchanges. Okay, okay. Just spotted him. He went back to watching Nezu, as he had done for the past two weeks - waiting and watching for the perfect moment to strike - as said teacher rounded the corner and headed for his car.
Finally. Tsuna coiled himself to strike-
Not yet. One of the other teachers had spotted his target and was talking to him; he could hear their voices-it was like chirping birds. Birds that had become too irritating and needed to be exterminated (No, Tsuna. You're only eliminating Nezu today, Ienobu sighed).
He hadn't foreseen the colleague, but the colleague probably would have seen him - if it had not been for a healthy dose of luck.
And maybe Ienobu hissing advice inside his head once in a while.
Tsuna breathed slowly and deeply, letting his lungs fill with the cold, rejuvenating air of the night. It was only one small issue - and it wouldn't affect the operations. But he couldn't afford to make any more erroneous mistakes. It would be right - no, it had to be right.
Or shit would hit the fan.
Nezu walked towards his car again, but not before turning around and calling a farewell to the colleague. The colleague waved back, then went inside the building. God damn it.
Nezu was walking towards him, nearing the building that Tsuna was using as a vantage point. He was about to pass it-
Tsuna silently leapt off the roof, like a coiled spring, and landed neatly on the target.
Well, almost neatly. But that one mistake caused a disruption in Tsuna's plans - Nezu had noticed him. And he had started walking towards him.
Do you want me to take it from here? Ienobu mockingly asked in Tsuna's mind. And you were doing so well…
Oh, shut up, Ie-fucking-no -
"Excuse me?" Nezu's nasal voice interrupted his thoughts. "Are you okay?"
Tsuna grit his teeth. He was tempted to let the entity take control of his body, but this was his mistake. Ienobu couldn't fix everything for him. The brunet took another calming breath, grimly letting his mind settle and go back to its usual cold, logical, apathetic state- Ienobu, don't worry, I got this covered-and started his act. "Sorry about that, mister. I was stargazing"- Ienobu darkly laughed, amused, as he knew that this part was actually true - "and I accidently fell. Did you know that the stars are really pretty from the rooftop?" the brunet kept his voice modulated, even as he fished for a weapon, any weapon dammit where was his garrote-
"But did you break any bones?"
"I don't think so," Tsuna replied, shaking his head. It was too bad that he had had Nezu as a substitute teacher in the years past. And because of that, the brunet had to make his voice higher-pitched than usual. Not that it annoyed him, really. "But could you tell me the time?"
Nezu glanced at his watch, and then back at the teenager. "It's 10:05 PM. Why-" He was suddenly interrupted by Tsuna's frantic mutterings.
"Oh-my-god-did-I-really-stay-up-there-so-long-shit -shit-shit-mother-is-going-to-kill-me-I'm-so-screw ed-and-I-think-the-next-bus-leaves-Tokyo-in-a-half -hour-I'm-so-screwed…" Then, as if lightning or some celestial being had struck him, Tsuna's eyes brightened and he turned to the teacher. "Could you give me a lift back to Namimori? I have school tomorrow, and I completely lost track of time. I was supposed to go back on the 9 o'clock bus, but I obviously missed it and I have a really hard test tomorrow that I procrastinated studying for-"
The other raised a hand to stop Tsuna's ramblings. "You're just in luck; I'll give you a ride. I was about to head back to Namimori a few minutes ago when I saw you fall, but this shouldn't cause too much trouble for me."
Nor for me, either, Tsuna thought, keeping his satisfied smirk hidden behind his jubilant expression. "Thank you so much!"
Nezu smiled. It looked like a perfectly innocent smile on the surface, but the brunet knew the teacher's real thoughts - or probably what Nezu was thinking about. After all, he had done some thorough research on his victim. It was expected - he was the Phantom Killer, after all.
And Nezu was probably thinking of doing that to him, but he wasn't going to let it happen. Not if he could help it.
So Tsuna meekly opened the unlocked car door, and got into the car. Without making too much sound, he fumbled for one of his weapons in his pocket. The brunet took it out, then discreetly placed it in both hands, covered any trace of it with his long sleeves.
"Okay, let's hit this joint," Nezu closed the car door. He put the keys in the ignition, and then-
Do it. Now.
Tsuna sat up straight in his backseat, and as cunningly and deftly as girl slipping a ribbon over a kitten's head, he slipped the noose around Nezu's neck. The smooth rope cut into the skin with the brunet's powerful yanking throttle; with one quick, slippery twist, the rope settled tight. Nezu made one small ratchet of panic and immediately went silenced as he felt the rope get tighter against his neck.
"Why hello there," Tsuna murmured, reverting back to his normal pitch and tone of voice. The voice he rarely used, even in society, even with his friends. Nevertheless, it was his true voice, dark, smooth, and dangerous - the sound that he graced his victims with before he reaped the delights of killing them. "I'll be taking your life tonight."
His eyes glanced sideways at the shotgun seat; a few items were haphazardly piled there, including small handcuffs, a cloth, several whips, lubricant-
So he even likes to rape children? Ienobu said with disgust. That's disgusting. Even I wouldn't prey on them.
As soon as he felt the slight slackening in the rope, Nezu started thrashing around again. Amber eyes narrowed, and with one tightening of his hands, Nezu was silenced again.
"Move again or disobey me and I'll kill you. Do you understand?" Tsuna calmly told the teacher, and said victim froze as neatly and perfectly as if he had known that this would happen. If this had been staged.
Nezu said nothing, and stared back at Tsuna's eyes-technically, the dark shades that were covering them-with the rearview mirror.
The brunet tugged on the noose. "Do you understand?" he repeated, in a softer voice.
He nodded this time, waving a hand at the noose. He wasn't sure what would happen if he tried to loosen it, but he was running out of air, and fast. His face was deepening into a magnificent purple hue. Hm.
Maybe you should do this often, Tsuna. Ienobu commented snidely, chuckling at his own jokes. They look so interesting like that.
Seriously, shut up and let me get this finished. Tsuna sighed and loosened the noose for him. "Be good," he said, "and you'll live longer." But not as long as you'd expect, Nezu.
Nezu took a deep breath of air. From his position behind the driver's seat, Tsuna could hear the air savagely rip at his throat, like a swordsman elegantly slicing the enemy into pieces. He coughed. Breathed again. Repeat. But he sat very still, like a mouse, and did not try to escape.
Alright. Looks like you've got this under control, so I'll talk to you after this is over. And Ienobu vanished from his mind for the time being.
Nezu, under Tsuna's orders, docilely drove out of city, and onto the highway leading to Kokuyo. He knew that the road was making Nezu nervous, but the teacher didn't object. He didn't utter a single word, instead keeping both ghost-like, stiff hands on the wheel, the knuckles protruding more than ever.
After an hour, Tsuna finally saw some of the landmarks he was looking for. "Take the exit here and turn," he quietly said, at last.
The teacher's eyes flew to the other's shade-covered eyes in the mirror. The sheer terror, the panic, the dread was eating at him. It was trying to claw out from his mind, into his eyes, down his face, exiting the mouth to speak, but-
"Turn." Tsuna slightly tightened the noose. He changed lanes, and turned.
In the past decade, some rich snob had built an amusement park. But there had been a series of natural disasters in the particular area, so the amusement park ended up having to shut down. Eventually, no one came. It was, essentially, a ghost town-for some of the bigger buildings still stood regally, even in their ruined state. No one ever went back here. It was perfect for Tsuna's needs.
It was always exciting, vigilante serial killing. Tsuna faintly smiled as he felt a surge of adrenaline rush through his body. "Turn the motor off," he quickly said as they approached the desecrated buildings.
The teacher hurried to obey. The brunet's smile slightly widened as he gazed at his victim. If used correctly, fear was a powerful tool, and fear had sealed Nezu into his body now, his limbs and thoughts all rigid.
It was suddenly very quiet. They could now hear all the nightlife here, most prominently the owls.
"Get out," Tsuna finally said after some of the owls had flown away, and Nezu exited obediently. He started for the house, Tsuna holding his 'leash', and went obediently-a good, compliant victim. Though he stopped at the threshold of the ruined building.
Nezu didn't move. His eyes were fixated on the undescribable things that were laying in front of him.
Ten sheet-covered bodies were visible. And in the moonlight, their ghastliness was enhanced tenfold-more sinister than ever to Nezu. And because of this, he did not move, his fear-stricken eyes still taking in the sight, his mind and body paralyzed by the growing realization of-
"Into the building," Tsuna said softly. Dangerously.
"Go into the building," he said again.
But he couldn't.
Tsuna shoved the teacher with a foot, making him stumble. Nezu quickly steadied himself and stood, turning towards the entrance/exit of the building with his eyes tightly shut.
The brunet closed the door and turned on a lamp (placed beside the door) that he had intentionally left there a couple days ago.
"Look," the brunet whispered. "I'm sure you'll recognize this." He forcefully steered the victim in the direction of the scene.
Slowly, cautiously, Nezu opened an eye.
And he froze. Time stopped altogether for him.
"No. No. This is a nightmare," Nezu croaked.
"Sad to say, but it's authentic. All of it."
"No. No. NO-"
"Yes, it's a terrible mess, isn't it, Nezu?" Tsuna yanked on the noose with a bored air. Nezu's scream was abruptly cut off, causing the man to fall to his knees with a barely audible cry.
The teacher numbly nodded in silent reply.
"And you were the one who brought this fate upon yourself." He used his other hand to yank on Nezu's hair and forced him to face the scene again.
Nezu used his whole face to close his face. He could not look. Not now. Not like this.
Tsuna sighed. He really didn't blame his victim. Compared to the other scenes he had set up for his victims in during the years, this was pretty grisly. But Nezu had to see it.
It was not just for him. Not just for Ienobu. But it was just for Nezu. He had to see the consequences of his actions, the aftermath…yet he was not looking.
"Please," Nezu whimpered.
Somehow, that one sound rankled on Tsuna's nerves. It shouldn't have, since he was apathetic, cold. But it still did. The damn man was whining even though he had killed the children. So Tsuna kicked the teacher's legs out from under him, hauled hard on the noose, then grabbed the back of Nezu's neck with his other hand and slammed the other's face into the cold, hard, concrete floor. A trickle of blood started running from Nezu's mouth, and that made Tsuna more pissed than usual.
"Open your damn eyes. Now. Look," Tsuna roughly grabbed a handful of his hair and pulled his face back. "Do as you're told and look at it, or I will cut your eyelids off your face. Now wouldn't that be a pretty sight?"
He was definitely convincing. And so, Nezu did as he was told and looked.
The brunet had worked hard to make it just right with the materials at hand. After all, he was a teenager and he didn't have that much money on hand, not to mention all the suspicion that he could get. Tsuna knew that he couldn't have pulled it off at all if the bodies had dried up, but the bodies were still dirty. He had rinsed all the leftover blood off, but some of the hacked bodies were jumbled together, like puzzle pieces. It was hard to decipher which body part belonged to whom. So damn dirty-
But there were ten of them. Ten, all facing the same direction. All lying on rubber shower sheets. All neat. All pointing at Nezu.
So he knew. And he was about to join them.
"I'm so sorry-"
"None of that, my dear teacher," Tsuna interrupted. "We're running on a tight schedule, and you do need to face the real truth."
"Please," he choked, tears and snot dripping from his face.
"Yes, beg all you want. That's good. Much better," he smirked and yanked again. "Now tell me. Is that all of them? Did I get all of them? Did they beg?" Nezu didn't say anything. "Ten bodies, Nezu? Just ten? Did I get them all?"
"I know I shouldn't-" he rasped out, pain evident in his voice.
"And what about Tokyo? Osaka? Asahigawa? It's hard to keep track. I'm pretty sure that there was five in Osaka, right, Nezu? Or did I miss one?"
The teacher sniveled before Tsuna pulled him up. He wasn't in control, and his bladder had let loose. There was drool dripping on his chin.
"Please," he said. "I couldn't help myself. You have to understand-"
"I do understand," Tsuna said, and he knew that there was something extra in his voice - Ienobu's voice now - and the sound of his voice had made the other freeze. Nezu had slowly turned to face the brunet, and what the teacher saw stilled him. "I understand perfectly," Tsuna told him. "You see, I can't help myself either."
The dirtiness of the man suddenly became too much, and the brunet jerked the noose, and kicked Nezu's feet from under him again. The man lay on the ground, sprawled in an eagle-like shape.
"But other teenagers like me? Children, Nezu?" Tsuna continued. "I would never do that. That's why I always prey on people like you."
"Who are you?" Nezu weakly whispered in fear.
Tsuna grimly smiled. "The beginning. The end. The Phantom Killer. I go by many names. But you might know me as Sawada Tsunayoshi," he calmly told him, nonchalantly taking off his black shades and putting them on his head with a gloved hand.
"You-! You can't be…" Nezu screamed. "Sawada Tsunayoshi, Class 1-A, ranked 1st in his year, head of Namimori X - "
"Oh, but I am," Tsuna said, a mature, vicious smile marring his face before he pressed the plunger and injected the tranquilizer into Nezu's carotid artery.
He had around six more hours before he had to be back in the Sawada residence. Tsuna duct-taped the teacher to the table, cut his clothes off, and did the preliminary work-scrubbing, cleaning, cutting away things that stuck out of place. And, as always, he felt the slow release of the pressure that had built in the past few weeks pounding throughout his body. It would last until he had finished tidying up the dead body. It always did.
And just before Tsuna started the more gory work, Nezu opened his eyes and looked at him - there was no fear in his eyes - and his mouth moved.
"You're welcome," Tsuna wryly murmured in reply, and went to work.
Vongola Apartments, Namimori
It was midnight, and Giotto knew it. However, it didn't deter the Namimori High teacher from continuing to doggedly grade papers. He stifled a yawn and scratched some ink-black lines onto a student's essay before he decided to walk over to the kitchen for a cup of tea. The drink was as rejuvenating as any other caffeinated drink, and after a few moments, the blond felt a bit better-enough so that he wouldn't suddenly crash on top of his papers. Giotto walked back to his desk, mug in hand, sat down, and continued to grade papers.
He was nearly finished with the tedious task when his phone started to ring. Melodious or not, hearing high-pitched flute notes wasn't all that pleasing to hear this late in the night, so Giotto decided to forgo the option of ignoring the caller. He grumbled as he plucked his cell phone off his desk, pressed the answer button, and held it to his ear. "Hello?" Giotto tiredly said, and took a swig of tea.
"Giotto. Long time no talk." A dark chuckle could be heard from the other side. "I suppose you've been doing well?"
"You-" Giotto's eyes widened, his surprise nearly causing him to spew tea all over his graded papers. Only sheer willpower kept him from making a mess. "How did you get hold of my phone number?" the blond finally said, spluttering into the phone.
"I have my sources. Now then, let's get to the point of this call," the other replied, unperturbed. "Vongola Intelligence Agency's gotten word from Vendicare that there's a killer on the loose. He or she is presumed to be in Japan."
"What does this have to do with me?"
"Ninth's sent me over here to take a look at what's happening. He wants me to work with this group called Namimori X to solve this case. I was wondering if I could room at your place until this is over."
"Don't try to outfox me," Giotto replied, his intuition racing ahead of his conscious understanding. He finally sighed as he realized what was going to happen. "I know that old bastard well enough. What does Vongola the Ninth also want?"
"Ninth's getting too old to continue as the CEO, so he has to find a new head for VIA."
"What about Xanxus? He is the Ninth's adopted son."
The blond could hear a derisive snort from the latter. "For fuck's sake, Giotto, you really need to catch up with the intelligence world," the person sardonically said. "Varia tried to stage a coup d'état several years ago. Xanxus failed, and nearly got killed by CEDEF. It was only because of the fact that the Ninth decided to show mercy towards his last son-adopted or blood-related be damned, apparently-so he put Xanxus in stasis for circa eight years."
"Wait, the Varia?" Giotto asked, covering a yawn with his hand. "And what happened after that?"
"Have you been living under a rock in the past decade? Varia's the best group of elite hackers in the world, not to mention superb computer technicians. You do know that Vongola has various ways of getting information, right?" Without waiting for Giotto to respond, the latter continued. "They digitally gather information, both illegally and legally, and store it in the Vongola Database-in case any information might be used in the future to aid upcoming cases. Anyway, the Varia somehow got Xanxus out of the Ninth's big hulking block of ice, and now there are tensions between Xanxus and his father-it's so thick that it could snap at any moment. Not to mention Xanxus' beauty treatment. But still, the Varia's loyal to Vongola as a whole, and that's what counts."
Giotto raised an eyebrow. "So Timoteo's that desperate to ask me to become Vongola the Tenth? You know, just because I was Vongola the First doesn't mean I can be Vongola the Tenth. The other agencies would eventually start brown-nosing us, and…" he trailed off.
"The fact that you're still alive would lead to some conspiracy against Vongola," the other finished for Giotto. "Ninth believes that there's someone in Japan that carries your bloodline-or perhaps you'd care to help me and not make my life as miserable as hell?"
"Nice try, but I think I'll pass," Vongola Primo laughed. "You won't be able to get any information out from me unless I decide to do that of my free will. And I'm technically…half-alive, in a sense. My body's dead and rotting, yes, but my spirit currently inhabits another person's body. I've even taken the pains to alter my host's features. The same concept applies to all my Guardians. The only problem is that we don't show any signs of aging - the Namimori citizens are probably going to suspect something soon. Though I mean, I could force the body to age."
Silence. "You're serious."
"Yes, though I'm forbidden to talk about the details," Giotto cheerfully replied. He picked up his grading pen and continued where he left off. "What, you thought I was a vampire?"
"I'd be an idiot to think that you were some mythological creature, Giotto. But we're getting off topic here." There was a slight sarcastic, yet accusatory tone in the answer.
"I was hoping you didn't notice that."
"In your dreams," the latter retorted. "but I'm technically coming to Japan to solve the case; Ninth decided to add that other issue as an afterthought after he finished briefing me about this case. Come on, Giotto-won't you help me, for old time's sake? I'm not talking about information here."
"No. I mean, couldn't you room in a hotel? Or you could stay at the Cavallone Headquarters; I'm pretty sure that the Japanese Branch is fairly...pleasing to your aesthetic tastes."
"My loser student told me yesterday that Enzio went on a rampage, again, and ate half of the headquarters before he finally got under control. And guess who started that whole mess? Dino himself-while Romario was mediating some pointless conference. Giotto, I'm not going near Dino until he's able to control his fucking klutziness," the other sardonically said, and then asked, "Plus, hotels are the breeding nests for murders, gossip, the paparazzi…it's endless. And don't forget that the yakuza practically own all the enterprises across Japan. The suspect could probably bribe one of the yakuza, and then-"
"Okay, okay, I get it, you asshole," Giotto chuckled. He huffed a sigh of relief as he finished grading the last of the papers, circled a number at the front of the page, and neatly put the stack of finished papers back into his briefcase. "You've always been this paranoid about everything. Fine. I won't pry into your hidden motives. Just tell me when you're going to arrive."
"I knew you would see it my way," the latter murmured, satisfaction faintly interwoven in the response, although Giotto noted that he had pointedly ignored a few topics. "Hn. I should arrive at your apartment pretty soon. Just about" - the doorbell rang, its chimes filling the air with dulcet tones - "Now." The line went dead.
Giotto set his phone back on his desk. With a groan, he stood up and weaved his way through the domestic obstacle course of furniture to open the door.
What the blond saw certainly brought a shock wave coursing through his nervous system, even though he knew something like this was bound to happen – soon -
And in front of him stood a fedora-wearing, suitcase-of-questionable-contents carrying, harbinger of chaos.
"Ciaossu, Giotto. Nice to see you again."
Remember Nezu-sensei from the Daily Life Arc? Yes, him-he got pwnt cuz he's so lulzy *le cough*. Also, I do realize that VSK!Tsuna may sound extremely Gary Stu as of right now. And OOC. But, as all heroes/protagonists go, he has a tragic flaw-more than one, actually. But that (and many other things, such as 'the Need') will be revealed later. Plus, he's more corrupted and TYL-esque than the normal Dame-Tsuna.
Neither VSK!Tsuna nor Cielo is HDWM!Tsuna, all things considered. And just to let everyone know, I have the first few plot arcs set-kind of. What comes after that or what happens during the plot may be decided by your whims, so please start sending in some ideas! (yay for fanservice?)
Please review! Feedback, questions, and critique are lovely~!
Edit (July 15, 2011): Found out that FFN decided to be a bitch and mess with parts of the Chapter I, so I made a few changes. I'll also be suggesting music each chapter :D