Lexie-chan94So sorry for the long wait, it's updated! xChaos RebornX Thanks for the reminder about the mobile phone thing, it would be addressed in this chapter. I guess it might be a little too cliché, but please look forward to it! Butterfree Aw, your review made me smile. I'm overjoyed that you like the direction which this story is going, since I certainly do not want to write a story whereby there's only romance involved XD pokermaniac039 Be glad, the next update is finally here! Rekishichizu Depending on how you see this, Kyoko might be involved (albeit as a victim this time round). Apart from her dark personality, Kyoko is still basically a girl so it's necessary to keep some of her feminine traits which she had before she went all stalker-ish over Giotto ^w^ WhiteAngel128 Thank you so, so much for finding this story interesting. I was having my doubts about moving the story in this direction! Sorry for the late reply since I'm not all that active on here this year. Please tell me that you are still interested in being my beta! KittenKita *Beep* More has just arrived! Kichou Swallow that pounding curiousity, and read on to know who's going to go missing next~ yunmoon I can't read that... but I have a rough understanding of what you're saying (thanks to google translations), so in any case, thanks. I hope that you'll enjoy this new chapter as well. Yuukilover Sorry that I took so long to update. Scroll down to read the new chapter! Enjoy it! Adellth Up... grade? OuO" xryuchan27 I certainly would continue writing it since it's fun to write. Please do continue reading it as well. Narutopokefan Everyone seems curious about the disappearance, but I wouldn't drop hints about it or else it wouldn't be interesting, right? XD Please do continue reading. KitsuneDango Pfft, thanks for thinking it's good. Now you can finally read more -shot- ezcap1st Who was rooting for Kyoko to be kidnapped? Raise up your hand! w I guess I really do take the bad sides of their personalities to the extreme, but hey, that's what makes them charming~ -stoned to death-
Of siblings and kidnappers
家庭教師ヒットマンREBORN! © 天野明
There was a purple haired girl standing at the corridor. Her hair was styled in a unique way which would never be a successful part of the fashion trend amongst teenagers. She was dressed in the standard dark blue Namimori school uniform and was nervously licking her lips as she raised her hand to knock on the door once again.
She was currently staring into a room which was rather empty, save for the necessary bed, closet and a mirror. The wall plaster was cracked and chipping off in various areas, pails were placed around the room to collect the water dripping from the leaking rood, and the entire room itself gave off a feeling that the tenant did not really care about his or her level of comfort.
Across the room, there was a sudden slight movement on the bed. Navy blue hair peeked up from the covers before the white blanket was hastily kicked off the bed and the male under it sat up straight on the bed and yawned. "Nagi? You're home early today."
Nagi – or rather, Chrome Dokuro, smiled.
Well, it wasn't really a smile – if you consider the fact that only the tips of her lips twitched in a small upward movement. "It's already seven in the evening, Mukuro-sama. It's time for dinner."
Rokudo Mukuro rubbed his eyes as he shuffled towards the bathroom.
Chrome nodded. Her gaze followed him as he proceeded to the bathroom, her attention focused on the long scar across her brother's back.
The reason which that scar came about was a part of their family history. It happened on her eighth birthday. Their entire family had been out to buy a cake for her after she spent a whole hour demanding for one. On the way to the confectionery, the car in front of them made a sudden stop and resulted in a massive car accident.
Mukuro shielded her from shards of the windscreen glass, resulting in the large scar spanning the length of his back. Even so, he didn't manage to escape totally unscathed. Something small and sharp pierced her right eye, and doctors in the hospital decided that it was for the best if the entire eye were to be removed.
Ever since then, Chrome had always been wearing an eye-patch over her right eye.
"Where are you working at tonight, Mukuro-sama? Esquire?"
Esquire is the name of the bar where Mukuro normally worked at – the bar where he was working part-time as a bartender at.
"Not tonight, I have to drop by the Gesso mansion since Byakuran asked me to go over tonight."
Byakuran. Chrome inevitably shuddered at the sound of that name. She had seen that man for the first time earlier this year and from the mere five minutes of their brief meeting, she had manage to convince herself that she hated him.
Her first impression of Byakuran was that he was this sly and witty man who was always smiling, but it felt to her like he was merely putting on random masks to lure his preys in.
Not to mention that disturbing and exceedingly odd purple birthmark or tattoo-like thing under his left eye...
"Say Nagi, can you help me to take out the box of condoms from the bottom drawer? That's my favorite brand and I have a feeling that Byakuran would pester me for at least three rounds of sex tonight." Mukuro called over his shoulder while struggling to put on a pair of colored contacts.
Chrome silently retrieved the box and handed it over to her brother. "When would you stop wearing those contacts, Mukuro-sama?"
About the same time when Chrome started wearing her eye-patch, her elder brother also started wearing a red right colored contact lenses. He said that it was because he wanted to be similar to his darling sister, but Chrome knew better.
However, she didn't say anything. She couldn't say anything.
It was basically her fault that her brother had to do such humiliating things. If it wasn't for her shy personality and slow-witted movements, she wouldn't have been the source of bullying, then Mukuro wouldn't be expelled.
With a graduation certificate from High School, it would be so much more easy for him to find a good-paying job.
"Maybe when you stop calling me 'Mukuro-sama'? I don't even remember when you started to call me that. You used to be so cute, calling me 'Onii-chan' all the time~"
"I never did such a thing, Mukuro-sama."
Although Chrome may deny it, she knew that such a time had indeed existed. However, it was a long time ago, before their parents were gone from this world. It was back in those long distant happy times which were now barely still part of her memories.
All of those her habits from those days have disappeared when her brother left the house with her after he found out that the aunt who took them in was abusive to her. After leaving home, they spent a rather long period conning people of their money.
Each deed had an elaborate plan to back it up, and then they only stopped doing such things after they came by and settled in Namimori. The habit of calling Mukuro as Mukuro-sama must have stuck from then on.
Unfortunately, she was targeted by the bullies in the area and Mukuro saved her. It was his job as her brother, but the bullies were severely injured and Mukuro was expelled as a result. His reply to her apology was that he wouldn't be able to get a proper education and job after all.
Mukuro became an underage bartender – which was another illegal job which he participated in – and also an ideal partner for several men.
"Would you be eating dinner, Mukuro-sama? I only have one more dish to prepare before I'm done..."
It was the least which she could do now. Now – before she found out the identity of the delinquents who bullied her that day and return the favor, and of course, she also had to teach the unreasonable people who expelled her brother a lesson. An unforgettable lesson.
"Sorry Nagi, but I'll be eating at Byakuran's. He's throwing a banquet tonight and don't you think it's a waste if I don't eat my fill?"
"Of course, Mukuro-sama. I'll prepare breakfast before I leave for school. You'll only have to heat it up before consumption, as usual."
Tsuna flipped the device in his hand open, closed it, then opened it once more. He couldn't get enough of the faint sound of a bell chiming whenever he opened the thing although the dim light given off by the screen made his eyes uncomfortable. How did this thing produce such a melody?
Said 'thing' was orange in color, slim, cold, and not very heavy. Yet it felt terribly weird in his hands. Not to mention that the numerous buttons confused him to no end.
"Uh, Giotto? I'm sorry to ask this though you spent so much time and effort trying to teach me since yesterday... but how do you use this? And what do most people use this for?"
The blond, who was currently stretched out on the couch, sighed. He had just gave the former a lesson on how to use his recently acquired mobile phone but he should have known that the other didn't do well in absorbing large amounts of information at one go.
"We'll touch on the functions later. With regards to the personal usage of this mobile phone, what other doubts do you have? Or rather, from where do you want me to explain again?"
"Uh, right from the... start?"
Giotto's brow furrowed in a mixture of irritation and anger while he glowered at the other for a moment before sighing and snatching the phone away from the other. "Say, Tsunayoshi, which of these buttons do you remember the function of?"
Tsuna squinted at the numerous buttons and raised his index finger to shakily point at the green one, followed by the red one, and then at the button which led to the menu screen. Those were the only three buttons which Tsuna had a clear idea of what their functions were since these three were the ones which Giotto first taught him about. The bruner had a short attention span – the things which he normally remembered were the ones which were said within the first five minutes of any lesson.
"You are really slow when it comes to these things such as technology and studies. I wonder how you even managed to get into Namimori High, Tsunayoshi. I'm not trying to be mean by stating the facts, but Namimori High is one of the better schools into this region and you seem to have been failing all the tests."
Tsuna grumbled under his breath, and was quick to defend himself.
"That's because Reborn used to be my tuition teacher when I was in middle school and his teaching methods are exceedingly spartan. He made me study and analyze each and every step in mathematics until the every word in the problem sum is etched in my brain!"
Giotto scoffed, chuckling at the usual exaggerated expressions and actions which Tsuna was making. "Etched? I don't think so, considering that you didn't manage to pass a single math test after that ever again."
"Ever again?" Tsuna quoted, a small pout upon his lips. "That's a little too mean, Giotto! They say that humans improve by the second. Perhaps by the next time I see you, I might have evolved from-"
"From inside of an egg to becoming a worm?"
"That's considered hatching! Do you seriously think that I'm that stupid?"
The sound of the telephone ringing broke the comfortable atmosphere in the room and the two of them fell silent immediately. Tsuna hopped off the couch and grabbed the phone, knowing that the only person who would call would probably be his mother and Iemitsu.
"Hello, Sawada residence. May I know who is the one on the other end of the line?"
Tsuna spoke slowly, making sure that he didn't mess up the lines. He had embarrassed himself in front of Giotto enough for a day's worth.
"I'm sure you do recognize my voice, Tsuna-kun."
Enma paused for a moment. There was the sound of a liquid being sucked up a straw and one of someone swallowing "Do you think that I was being a little too mean today? I wasn't considering about yelling at Haru when I did it. I mean, she has already done that so many times and I should have gotten immune to it, but Aoba did said something about that the other day too so I kind of..."
Tsuna leaned against the counter and shot an apologetic smile at Giotto. The blond nodded upon receiving the smile to show that he understood and respected Tsuna's wish for privacy and went up to his room.
"Look Enma, it wasn't your fault. If I were you I would have done the same thing - or rather, I was about to do the same thing myself if she brought the issue up another notch. Also, I'm sure Haru doesn't mind. She probably faced many of such situations since she brings up that topic too easily and too frequently."
There was a brief silence at Enma's end of the line before a brief chuckle resounded. It was strange to hear Enma's laughter. It felt like a long time had passed since he last heard it. "You just called her 'Haru', Tsuna-kun. Even though you were so against calling her that before."
Pink dusted Tsuna's cheeks when Enma blatantly pointed out the fact which he himself didn't even catch on. He knew that the redhead was one who observed silently, but he didn't think that Enma had became a person who wasn't shy to point out such embarrassing things any longer. "I-I couldn't help it! She just goes about doing what she wants all the time and along the way I just felt that it would be okay if I just called her by her given name directly. Besides, the two of us are of the same age and are both joined the same club. But there's really nothing between the two of us at all!"
"I believe you, Tsuna-kun."
It was a simple sentence. It was a simple sentence which held the hidden meaning of true trust between two best friends.
Over at Enma's end of the line, there was the sound of a door swinging open then slamming shut, accompanied by a loud shout of 'Time to bomb your beds with your dead tired bodies, little babies' by Aoba, no doubt. After all there was only one single person who would yell at that volume so late at night.
Julie's complaints were voiced in a long string of whines that made absolutely no sense to Tsuna, before he winced in pain and stormed upstairs.
"It's time for me to sleep or I'll have to risk having the phone line cut or my mobile confiscated or both, Tsuna-kun. Good night."
The brunette sighed, rubbing his eyes. There was something strange about today. It was normal for him to be tired after nine, but it was nearly eleven and Tsuna still felt as if he was wide awake. Maybe – just maybe he was too interested in getting to know how to use his first mobile? Or the adrenaline rush from his chat with Giotto earlier hadn't fully faded away yet?
"But before that, I remembered that there's something I have to ask you, Tsuna-kun. It has to do with what Hibari asked me when I went to detention today. Although he did mention that I didn't have to question you about it but I'm curious as well, so tell me Tsuna, from where did you and Sasagawa Kyoko enter the school on that day when she met you outside your house? Or rather, did she really enter the school?"
Tsuna blinked at Enma's tone. It was unlike anything he heard the redhead use before. Normally Enma would be speaking in a soft voice that featured his lack of confidence in himself but now the tone was brusque and commanding. Perhaps it was because Enma was rushing to go to bed, or maybe it was Tsuna's misjudgment since he was so tired already.
"According to Hibari, Sasagawa Kyoko has gone missing that same day. Apparently none of her friends saw her in school either, so if you really entered the school together with her, you would be the last person to witness her and she must have gone missing somewhere in the school compound."
At the same time, in a cafe on the opposite side of town, a girl was cleaning the tables and making preparations to close up the store. The last customer – a young girl with a blond bodyguard waiting for her outside the store – left a couple of minutes ago in a limousine.
How nice, I-pin contemplated as she scrubbed harder at the tables. She had always thought that it would be great if it was possible for her to be slightly richer. Not that she was unhappy with her current life, but she seeked change.
"I-pin, I've mentioned this several times already but have you ordered the coffee beans needed for tomorrow? You should know that the discount would gather many more customers than usual so we need a larger order. Also we are putting some of your cakes up for sale too so make sure to prepare them well. We need a good first impression for our new products."
The girl named I-pin twisted her long black hair into a loose bun at the back of her head and clipped it in place as she sighed. It was just like her brother to be so meticulous and conscientious. Those two aspects were what made her very different from Fon. I-pin never loved to plan.
"I did, brother. They promised that they would definitely deliver it over tomorrow morning before we start the day!"
Fon peeked out from the kitchen area mid-way through washing the dishes. The water ran down from his fingers to the floor. "Are you sure they would open in time? We are opening the shop an hour earlier tomorrow."
"They said they would make it in time. They are intending to start early tomorrow and end off early as well," I-pin explained while she made her way to the front of the store to lock all the doors and windows.
Far in the distance outside, there was a white van parked. It was parked at the junction directly before the store yet it was a vehicle which I-pin didn't recognize. She didn't recall ever seeing that same van anywhere before.
"There's two more days before you will be officially enrolled in Namimori High so remember to pick up your uniforms and textbooks after we close the store tomorrow. Kyouya has volunteered to help you out so you'll just have to find him. All the materials that you need are already paid for."
As I-pin watched, transfixed, a man climbed out of the van. Or rather, I-pin thought that it was a man since the silhouette suggested that the person was rather tall.
Two other figures were moving in the distance. One of them was struggling while the other was restraining the former. The two shadows moved closer the join the other one waiting at the hood of the vehicle. The door at the back of the van was lifted up and the struggling person was tossed in.
"I-pin? Are you listening to me?"
Fon's voice seemed dull and distant to I-pin as she involuntarily moved, pushing the door of the store open and stepped out. It was as if she was drawn by something – by a desire to be closer to the scene of crime. The chilly night air against her skin only served to spur her curiosity on.
"I-pin, what are you doing? Did you lock all the doors and windows already? It's late already and everyone in town should be asleep but we still shouldn't take our chances. The last time you-"
She ran. As she got closer and closer to the scene, she could hear muffled screams and furious banging against the interior of the van. This was a kidnapping case. Something inside of her muttered that fact – instincts maybe?
But this was change.
This might be that change which she was looking for.
Challenge this month: Guess the word which sums up the dark side of Chrome Dokuro's personality. The hint is that the word starts with the letter 'P' and ends with the letter 'S'. The first person who managed to guess the right word gets a short oneshot dedicated to him/her. Good luck, everyone!
Author's note: Chrome has finally appeared! I would like to believe that I portrayed her as normal as she is in the anime/manga, for the time being. Well, that being said, she isn't exactly the most normal person in this fanfiction. A brief description would be that she admires Mukuro but at the same time feels a sense of guilt for the life which her brother currently leads, including all his illegal jobs.
Initially I wanted to keep I-pin's personality normal (despite my warped opinion of normality) but along the way... To sum it up, I-pin is a young teenage girl bubbling with curiosity, and all she wants is to lead a life which is different from what she has now – and that is not because she hates her current life. Like I said, it's curiosity. The 'change' which she is seeking is change from her current life. A disparity, a different style of life, a change.
Last but not the least, thank you for the long wait! I hope that everyone who read up to this point has enjoyed all the previous chapters and would continue to support the later chapters.