Memory25, I just figured Squalo didn't revive Xanxus because he probably thought Xanxus was dead (frozen to death) or the Ninth decided to kill him. Levi and the rest of the Varia probably assumed that Xanxus was dead. That's just my personal interpretation, so...yeah. I'm just guessing.
It's a dull chapter, but please enjoy :]
Chapter 28 - I Have No Future
It was too freaking cold for a prince.
That was what Bel would have declared any other day. So he stood by the Vongola's ruined mansion, in the shadows of a clump of trees, listening to the occasional hum of a Millefiore truck as it passed by. His mind was blank, lifeless as the snow around him, white as her hair...
Reconnaissance. It hurt his pride as a prince to simply stand and watch his belongings be taken from his possession - it offended him to share the same air as the Millefiore shits that scuttled around. But he felt so...powerless.
"Sir, the mission is complete."
His squad had reformed in his peripheral vision, but Bel had barely noticed their presence. Two were missing. "They'd better be dead or dying."
"We don't know Sir."
Sir this, Sir that. "We're leaving," he decided coldly (and it wasn't because of the weather).
"Oh my fuck – did you just – no. Bitch slap? Seriously?!"
"You did not just bitch punch me!"
Instinctively, Bel marched in the direction of the voice. His two missing men were escorting a bound and blindfolded figure, shabbily dressed in the Millefiore uniform.
"Sir!" they called in unison, noticing Bel's sudden attention. "We found this joker hanging around. The bitch was about to blow up everything within a mile radius. We think it's a coup."
The girl sighed. "For the last, LAST time, I didn't betray you Millefiore bastards, because I'm not part of the bloody MILLEFIORE. Secondly, you guys started it. Thirdly, WHO PUTS INFLAMMABLE BOMBS NEAR IMBECILES WITHOUT ANY FLAME CONTROL?!"
Reaching the fuming figure, Bel ripped off the blindfold. And froze.
"Holy shit. You're...not Millefiore?" She squinted. "Wait, Varia? B-BEL?!" And then her face twitched and she keeled over, seemingly unconscious.
"Don't God damn throw your tequila at me!" The double doors to the room burst open, and Squalo diverted his focus angrily. Bel. What the fuck was he carrying? A body? Hell, was it still breathing? This was new, then.
"I found her."
Squalo glared, paying closer attention. "It's not her, fuckhead."
No. He couldn't. But he did anyway. "Voi, that's a Millefiore uniform..." he noticed immediately. "Bel - "
"She was right where you last saw her."
"Then - "
"It's snowing. And she's only wearing a hospital gown."
"VOI! DID YOU - !"
"I had to be sure!"
But it couldn't be her. It just couldn't. "For the last time: It. Is. Not. Her."
"Why? Why not?!"
"Because she fucking died! I saw her dead body!" Squalo yelled, venting his anger. "Now, if you're a little shithead genius, why don't you explain it?!"
Bel's aura flickered darkly. "Squalo, she's missing a few - but her scars are real. The reason for the hospital gown - appendicitis. It's been nine years, ten months. Exactly."
It wasn't difficult to get the gist of what Bel was insinuating. True, her physical appearance had barely changed in ten years. But the five minute limit...? Squalo's eyes widened. "Good God, the Ten Year Bazooka malfunctioned."
Bel nodded grimly.
It wouldn't exactly be the first time that stupid piece of technology screwed up, considering the number of times that stupid cow kid sent Serena to India. Or turned the Sawada brat into a girl. But...but...
Sitting in his chair, ignored for the past few minutes, Xanxus was quite irritable. Scum. "Stop dripping blood on the carpet."
The two snapped out of their thoughts, and noticed the blood soaked bandages for the first time. "Voi, Bel, go!"
Lightning flashed. The wind howled. A skeletal arm shot out of the earth, and –
I came to the conclusion that I was dreaming. Consciousness was pain. When my eyes adapted to the dim lighting, I saw that I was in quite a pleasant room – clean, warm and just a light touch of gloomy. That in itself was an achievement.
"You all right?"
It took me a moment to recognize the voice and face. "Solte? Is that actually you? Oh God, you're wearing a Varia uniform..." My heart was accelerating unevenly. "The Millefiore. And...and...snow in Italy. I saw Bel. Argh, the ring battles just ended...Christ, what happened to the Varia?"
Slowly, he stretched awkwardly in the bedside chair. Gosh, he looked...adult-like. "So you are from the past," he sighed to himself, before brightening up. "Well, Serena, welcome to your future in ten years."
"Solte you make jewelry," I cut in sharply. "You fucking make jewelry. The Varia kills people. Jewelry."
"Serena. This isn't the world you know - things have changed - "
"Ha! Yeah right!"
Solte grabbed my shoulders - he slackened his grip slightly as I hissed in pain. "Serena you're dead! Alright?! The 'you' of this time, is fucking dead!"
I blinked and stared, waiting a long moment for him to speak. "I'm sorry, are you expecting me to be more emotional? Assassins don't have high life expectancies and such so..."
He tossed a thin notebook beside me (oh wow, paper in this day and age?), and turned his back to me, wiping his face with the back of his hand. Clearly, Solte was much more emotional about this.
Serena, your future sucks. Yours sincerely, Terry Luck.
And yes. That Terry. I make uniforms for the Varia. Deal with it.
Solte didn't exactly look like he was fit to talk, so I decided to read. Three years ago, three scientists (Verde, Innocenti and Koenig) asked your buddy Solte to cooperate with them. He was just supposed to make a bunch of stupid rings for a box experiment or something. The pay was great, it didn't seem ethically wrong, so he did it.
Last year, the little traitor joined the Millefiore family. Actually, it was the Gesso family back then. He just made more rings, so no biggie. And then he started making box weapons. I assume you know what they are, since you're just weird like that. These boxes were meant to kill, and since he was a wimp, he ran crying to you.
I looked up. "Really? Ran crying to me?"
"She's exaggerating," Solte muttered. "I told you over a dinner."
Well. That just made this recount a lot less reliable. "And my future self patted you on the back and said suck it up?"
Apparently, you were completely useless, so you told him to wait. Then apparently, a week later, Byakuran visited him in his laboratory, pointed a gun to his head, and asked if he knew you.
I looked up. "Wait, what did you say to that? I mean, when Byakuran asked if you knew me."
"I just kinda...had a mind blank. I mean, he had this cheerful expression the whole time!" he exclaimed, clearly traumatised. "Who the hell does this to people while they're hyper on marshmallows or some crap?!"
Then according to the little fucker, just when he was about to get shot, the ceiling collapsed, and you appeared. You got him out, but got caught yourself. You would've had a better chance if you had 'luck' with you. Pun intended.
That...was the complete opposite of funny. It was like a failure of a joke that Mom's make. "I got caught in Millefiore HQ?" I gaped, envisioning the horrible way I probably died.
Solte took a deep breath. "Great way to repay you, huh? It took the Vongola Tenth half a year of negotiation to get you back. But...you weren't quite...sane."
I...lost more of my sanity? Shit, that was sad. "What degree of 'insane'?"
"You...were afraid. Of everything. Your reflection. People. Germs. Dust. Clothes. Lights. The stars. Even food," he exasperated, shaking his head disbelievingly. "Food, Serena. Those months with the Millefiore were bad - really bad - but you didn't have a single scratch. We had no idea what went on. And it was...it is my fault."
"I don't blame you Solte," I said slowly, taking in the list of fears. "If I had the ability to save you, but didn't, I would've never forgiven myself. The mafia doesn't exactly have a law."
I coughed. To the point. "So I was raving mad near the Vongola HQ when I switched with my future self?"
He looked down. "Well not really. After a month of being...insane, you came back. One morning, you just ran down to the dining hall. No one could figure out if you were still insane for yelling 'Sawada Tsunayoshi' to Xanxus, or if you'd just gotten over your fear of walking. Or was it fear of breathing? Can't remember."
"...Fear of breathing. You're saying I had a fear of BREATHING?!"
"That's not important!" Solte interrupted, slightly impatient. I wanted to argue otherwise. "Just finish reading."
When you got back, you were a nutcase, but you got over it this one morning - two weeks ago to be precise. You demanded an audience with the Vongola Tenth - according to Gokudera, Kyoya and Shoichi were also there. The meeting lasted a few days. Apparently no one went in or out, so everyone was curious about how you got food and went to the bathroom.
...Was that even relevant?
Two days ago, everyone in the Vongola with combat power was sent across the globe to deal with family feuds. It was just chance, but being you, you were all paranoid and shit. You had some job in Antarctica, but you made your brother take it.
I did? That doesn't see like something I'd do. After all, Antarctica's awesome.
At the same time, an emergency meeting between the Vongola and Millefiore took place. Since none of the Tenth's guardians were present, you attended the meeting. It was a trap, no survivors. The Varia and CEDEF went to help; but the Millefiore had better weapons and numbers. They took over the Vongola HQ. And then you arrived yesterday.
No survivors. So I died? That explained the look of surprise on Bel's face at least. But I died. I was surprised that there weren't any celebrations or anything. Bel would've been ecstatic, for sure. And Xanxus finally got rid of the 'scum' on the bottom of his shoe. The rest would be more or less unaffected.
"That was lame," I finally decided, closing the notebook.
"This isn't something to joke about!" Solte choked. "Just...just...don't say that. Look, I don't know why you're in the future. But...this is a bad time, Serena. The Vongola family is being hunted by the Millefiore. Byakuran is planning world domination. And..." He shook his head.
Well, what a wonderful future.
The following morning...
"Just take the motherfucking pill!" Squalo yelled. The flimsy brown tablet looked so...pitiful.
"So what, now the pill fucks mothers too, huh?" I scowled, looking away. Personally, I would've walked away too, but I was chained to the bed (Squalo knew me too well). We'd gotten over the hellos and whatnot quickly, since Squalo had just spent numerous hours doing Xanxus' paperwork, and was in no mood for chitchat. "Look, just because Verde made it and it actually works, isn't enough...reasoning."
"YOU WERE UP FOR THE WHOLE FUCKING NIGHT BECAUSE YOU WERE IN TOO MUCH PAIN TO SLEEP."
He tossed the pill in my direction, and unwillingly, I caught it. "I didn't complain. No pain no gain, remember?"
"VOI! THIS ISN'T THE 'GAIN' TYPE OF PAIN! IT'S JUST FUCKING DOWNRIGHT SHITASS PAIN!"
...That made absolutely no sense at all. "You just told me three minutes ago, that I got addicted to it like – twelve times in the past year. TWELVE. It's just a concentrated dose of opium and other 'bad' drugs, right? That shit helped nobody, really," I snapped back. "I'm not taking this bloody pill unless I need to."
Squalo sighed. Deeply. Twice. "If you can't even sleep, then it means you need to take the bloody pill."
I harrumphed indignantly. "I'm fine. I can wait it out, Squalo. And plus, I don't need to move or anything, so I can just stay bedridden for another day or two. I'll collapse from exhaustion pretty soon, so it'll be fine, really."
"For crying out loud - "
There was a rapid knock on the door, and it swung open to reveal a low rank member. "Captain! Emergency!"
Not that I was usually one to protest during emergencies, but I still liked my personal space. My room was not meant to be a meeting room. "Voi. What is it?" Squalo growled, mind on the same thought.
"It's the Cavallone family! They're under attack!"
Squalo cursed. "How bad?"
"Outnumbered three to one," he continued quickly. "It'd be faster to get there via air, but we don't have any pilots on hand. It doesn't look good..."
"I can fly!" I called out quickly, straightening up. "A plane, I mean."
Squalo spared a few seconds to stare at me. "Serena, if you leave that fucking bed, I swear to God I'll make you wish you didn't." And then he marched out of the room, giving orders. "Tell them we can be there in an hour at best, three at worst - " The door shut, and the room was eerily silent.
I stared at the pill. I was the Cavallone family's External Advisor. This was a time of need.
There was a loud explosion to the left. "They've taken over the West wing!"
Immediately, Dino started jogging down the corridor.
"The East wing's barricade won't last much longer!"
Dino sighed, and stopped in the middle of the corridor. He just came from the East wing. And unfortunately, he couldn't be in two places at once. "Get everyone on the East wing to evacuate. Romario, get everyone on the West wing out of there. We're not going to win this one."
"But Boss!" one of his subordinates gasped. "The mansion!"
"I won't risk the lives of my family for some stupid mansion," Dino declared firmly. "Now hurry up and get everyone before the Millefiore get to the underground tunnels. We can't afford to wait for the Varia any longer."
As the last few men trickled through the door, Romario frowned. "You're not planning to leave, are you Boss?"
Dino sighed. "Was I that obvious? Just go. Now. That's an order. I'll buy some time."
"But Boss - "
Romario shook his head. "I don't like it. But whatever you say, Boss."
Waving off his right hand man, Dino calmly walked to his office. He ignored the Millefiore foot soldiers milling around his mansion. Those who spotted him were too far to attack. Arriving at his office, he locked the door behind him, and sat down in his overly expensive chair. With a content sigh, he put his feet on his desk. There was a cup of cold coffee, but he was thirsty, so he drank it anyway. Rapid footsteps accumulated at the door.
And despite everything, he smiled. This room held so many memories, huh?
He rubbed the bags under his eyes gently, and yawned. The Millefiore had chosen a terrible time to invade. But of course, that had been part of their plan. They knew they wouldn't have a chance against the Vongola and its allied families with Tsuna and Serena.
But it wasn't right. How could those two...die? They were strong. They had premonition on their side. It just wasn't right. Standing up, he took out his whip, and his box weapon. It sounded like they were trying to break down the door.
And then all of a sudden, the people outside his door...screamed. Confused, he couldn't quite make out their words. In seconds, there was complete silence. It was highly unlikely that they'd just keeled over from simultaneous heart attacks, right?
Knock. Knock. Knock.
Dino tensed. Who was it? Friend? Enemy? Frenemy? The door burst open, and Dino surged forward, until he realized...the person had a Varia uniform. But he tensed.
"Ten-year bazooka malfunctioned," Serena answered between breaths. "I- "
Dino hugged her.
He didn't care that she had blood all over her shirt. He didn't care that she was staring. He didn't care that it was her ten years younger self. Serena was still here. That was all that mattered. After a few long seconds, he let go. There was a flicker of pain in her eyes, but it didn't seem to be physical. "Sorry, you were saying?"
She sheathed her sword. "They were calling for an air strike. We gotta go." They started making their way downstairs.
"Are you all right? There were a lot of Millefiore guys."
"It's fine. They were low ranks, and had weak flames," she muttered. "And the blood's not completely mine."
"Oh that's – wait, what?"
"Got any fast cars?" she questioned knowingly, changing the topic. "Like all those Ferraris you hoard?"
He shook his head. "They've already destroyed those. How did you get here?"
"They blew up my plane," she shrugged, "which was handy, because I couldn't find a runway anyway. Got any other transport that still works?"
The Cavallone family. Usual mode of transport: Ferrari. Backup mode of transport: a horse. Honestly.
Upon arrival at the stables, Dino chose a horse quickly for me. "Name's Helix. Fast runner. He's yours."
"Your future self," he corrected, slightly wistfully. "The password's 'how can a clam cram in a clean cream can.'"
...Come again? Anyways, with the password. You wanna know what's different about a Cavallone family horse and any other horse? It has a password. And what happens when you try to ride the horse without whispering it the password? You'll understand what one horsepower feels like. On your face.
It took me a few tries to say it right, but I was eventually able to swing myself onto the horse. It was already saddled up. Before I could ask, Dino opened his box weapon. "Scuderia." A white mare clad in sky flames just...appeared. Dino got on with ease. No offence, but damn - Dino's horse was hotter...and cooler than mine.
We bolted out of the stable. Barely a minute later, a plane flew over, and the Cavallone mansion was utterly destroyed. We stopped and watched for a moment. It was actually a beautiful orange. It matched the sunset. "Man, I'm sorry...your family's mansion..."
He laughed. His happy, careless laugh that I hadn't heard in what felt like years. "It's alright. All the best memories are here," he grinned, tapping the side of his head.
Yeah, well, mine are on a 4TB hard drive. Seems a lot less volatile, if you ask me.
By the time we met up with the Varia, it was dark, and the effects of this oh-so-miraculous pill had started to wear off. I couldn't help but double over slightly; my injuries had barely begun to heal - and I'd ripped them right open. And plus, I was saddle sore. What a pain in the ass.
"Hey Serena, Squalo's just up ahead," Dino called, pointing. "You see him?"
It took a few seconds for me to realize he'd actually said something. I smiled weakly, shaking my head. "Nah, I don't have my contact lenses."
He turned, concern splattered on his face. "Serena, you've been a little quiet for the last half hour. Are you okay?"
"Don't worry, I'm fine," I reassured, wiping away the beads of perspiration on my forehead. "Maybe it's just the weather." It wasn't snowing today, but it had started raining a while back. At least the blood stains in my shirt were gone.
Squalo was waiting outside a truck, blank expression, when we arrived. Dino dismounted immediately, and I fell off my horse just as quickly - perhaps not as gracefully. "Yo," Dino greeted, closing his box weapon. "Sorry about the change of plan."
Squalo ignored him.
What was it again? Don't leave the bed or I'll make you wish? Actually, I was pretty pleased with myself. "Well, uh...Squalo, you know, I was just...well...kinda...uh...just...you know, having a walk and such."
He marched over, and jabbed a finger at my face. "You're grounded."
"Sure. Anything you say."
"Then take another pill," he muttered, digging one out of his pocket. "It's a long drive."
"But - "
"Eat it. Now."
Not wanting to anger him any further, I swallowed the pill without any complaints. Wait. If he had a pill for me in his pocket, then that meant that he expected me to go help Dino. Right?
"VOI! You still did the wrong thing!"
But I had a feeling he was actually pretty happy.
"Do I fucking look 'happy' to you?!"
Don't ask for another pill. Ask for another pill. Don't ask for another pill.
"Hey Squalo, can I have another pill...ow?" I hesitated, changing my mind midway.
"Another pillow?" he repeated, skeptical. "You sure you don't want another pill?"
STUPID DRUGS. LEAVE ME ALONE GOD DAMN IT.
"I'm sure I don't want one. Another pillow would be wonderful though."
"You have like, four pillows that you're not using," Squalo pointed out, looking back to his report.
Argh. The pain. It'd been so nice, not having pain wracking my body for a period of time. But I didn't want to rely on some stupid pill. Drug independence. Drug independence. Drug independence.
"So, what're you doing?" I asked, trying to pass time. "You look frustrated."
"I need to find a new illusionist," he muttered. "The guys I have recommendations for all suck."
"Obviously, there aren't going to be many illusionists better than Mammon, Squalo. Just go find a guy called Fran or something."
"I think I saw that name somewhere." He flipped through a few pages and frowned. "Mukuro's apprentice, huh. That's not something you see often. How did you know about him?"
With a smirk, shut my eyes. "Magic. And I'm special."
"Can I have a pill...ar?"
"A pillar. You want a fucking pillar."
"...Yeah. It'd work great with the curtains."
The following morning, I opened my eyes to see green hair, green eyes, a lanky build and a deadpan face leaning over me. "...Do you mind?" I muttered groggily, sitting up. Fran? That was him, right?
"You haven't visited much lately, Serena-nee-san," he commented, giving me some space. "So I came to visit you. Surprise." How enthusiastic.
Nee-san? "Well, hate to break it to you, but I'm from the past," I admitted. "My future self died a few days ago."
"I know. Shishō told me about it. I was so upset."
Funny. He didn't look it. Was he secretly trying to insult me? "So, Bel and Squalo kidnapped you, huh?" I guessed, since he wasn't wearing a Varia uniform yet. Now that I thought about it, that was what Bel and Squalo must've been doing all day.
Fran shrugged. "At least the bag was clean. Enough."
"Are you going to run away?"
"Are you going to let me run away?"
"I ain't stopping you," I decided, leaning back into the pillow. "After all, the choices you make should be yours to make, unlike questions like 'do you want to join the Varia'."
"You're nicer than M.M, Serena-nee-san," he decided.
"I'll be nicer if you drop the nee-san."
"No seriously, it annoys me."
"Why do you think I like calling you Serena-nee-san?"
I think I'm staring to understand how Bel feels now. "What are you doing here, Fran?" I sighed. "I mean, if someone catches you without a uniform here, they'll bust a nut telling you off."
"Oh, I was running from the guy who didn't cut his bangs, and a hippie."
"...You mean Bel and Squalo?"
Fran's face twitched in the slightest. Was he surprised? "Wow, they actually have names. When I asked, they just told me to shut up. I thought they were just nervous."
"So they're trying to find you," I summarized. "How long has it been?"
"Almost eight hours. Their perseverance is actually inspiring."
"Really?" I asked skeptically.
"No," Fran admitted, "but it's definitely on par with their stupidity."
0. Vongola HQ is attacked.
1. I arrived into the future.
2. Bedridden. Tsuna and Gokudera arrived into the future (according to Varia intel).
3. Cavallone family was attacked, Squalo lost contact with TYL Yamamoto.
4. Fran arrived. Played 4 hours of iPad 12th gen before Squalo found us.
Tapping the pen lightly to the paper, I sighed. It was my fifth day in the future already? Time flies when you're not having fun. If my memory didn't fail me, yesterday should've been a tough day for Tsuna and his lot. Something about Gamma and Kyoko.
5. Have upgraded to being chair-ridden.
"Serena, you're not listening."
I looked up at Terry apologetically. "Sorry. I'm not really into fashion."
She held up the Varia coat she was working on. "So, yellow stripes, go or no go?"
"It's fine," I muttered, not really caring. "So long as no one looks like a bee, I doubt anyone will have an issue with it. Honestly, go find Lussuria if you want to talk fashion."
"But he's on a mission."
"Go talk to Bel."
"He creeps me out."
"He's working on something."
I swiveled around in the chair. "Terry, why on Earth are you even with the Varia? You hate everyone here, and technically, you didn't even join."
"I do not hate everyone!" she declared indignantly. "I like Xanxus. There. You're wrong."
"Terry, Xanxus is not a human being. That is why, he does not count has a person, thus is not included in vague words such as 'everyone'."
"I'm gonna tell him you said that."
She sighed. "If you really want to know, it's because Shoichi dumped me."
"I'm sorry, but this is what I just heard." I cleared my throat, giving a shot at falsetto. "Oh my, my boyfriend dumped me, so I decided to run to my cousin who happens to be very close but totally cold! Oh, and he's in this assassination squad that I don't really like!"
"Oh shut up Serena," she grumbled. "You were the one who told me I should crash here. And Xanxus has good taste in furniture."
...I'm such a hypocrite then, huh? And good taste my ass. He just picks the most expensive stuff, and then blows the whole fucking thing up. "So enlighten me, why can't people know that my ten years younger self is here? I mean, I'm not a possum. I've got no reason to play dead."
"Byakuran thinks you're dead. That's your status on the Millefiore's system. If you're smart, you'll keep it that way."
"I don't even know him!" I pointed out, annoyed. "And I forgot to ask Solte – why did Byakuran even ask about me in the first place?"
Terry flipped her hair behind her shoulder. "Look. Shoichi, him and me were studying in an engineering university in America, and the three of us kinda just...stuck together."
"Then shouldn't you be the one playing dead?" I murmured, irritated.
She ignored that. "Anyways, you came to visit once, and we had this double date thing."
"...Are you telling me, I went on a date with Shoichi?" I mused. "Man, that's just ridiculous."
"No, you went with Byakuran! I went with Shoichi!" she stormed, arms folded angrily.
So...I went...on...a date...with...Byakuran? "Why?" Single words seemed to be the only capable thing I could comprehend.
"Well, we didn't want to leave him behind - "
"I WANT TO LEAVE HIM BEHIND."
"The point is," she interrupted, "that the two of you ended up spending some time together. You even made this game called 'Choice', and Shoichi and Byakuran ended up making it into a big deal. Byakuran really liked you."
...Disturbing. Just truly disturbing. "So like, like like, like?"
"Well...when the Vongola hit list was first created, Shoichi told me you were on top of the hit list, even above Sawada. That's gotta count for something," Terry summarized.
Oh sure. That makes sense. When someone's really interested in you, they kill you. Totally logical. "Why did he dump you though? I mean, Shoichi?"
She stopped fiddling with a button. "Well, he was with the Millefiore, and you told me he didn't want me to become a target for exploitation. So I suppose it's more like a break."
I smiled cheesily. "You like like him, don't you?"
"Oh shut up Serena. What are you, four?"
"Come on, you're almost fifteen."
"Yet you call me four."
Throwing back the bed covers, I yawned and stretched. I was tired. But I couldn't sleep.
It was too quiet for the Varia. Though that could've been because humans were programmed to sleep at night - no, it was wrong. Making up my mind, I left the Varia HQ for the nearest town – about an hour's walk. Screw being grounded.
After half an hour of trekking through a small forest, I came upon a main road. The sun was rising.
Upon arrival at the town, I felt a pang of sorrow. Many of the older traditional Italian buildings had been replaced with tall apartment blocks. Overpopulation, huh. It was like a small city, not a small town. Being winter, it was quite late in the morning. School children and working adults littered the streets. That was pretty normal.
But the cars parked in the parking lots were unfamiliar. The food from the vending machine tasted beyond awful. Glancing at the windows of some fashion stores, I made a face. Really? Flared jeans? It seemed like inflation had taken place, too. A cup of coffee was 20 Euros.
Turning the corner, I grinned. A bakery. Breakfast. Yay. "Hi. Could I get a..." I hesitated. None of the breads or baked goods looked...right. "Actually, what would you recommend?"
"Well, there's the low fat, low sugar, low carb boiled donut," the baker shrugged. "That's quite popular with the girls. And there's the bacon, egg, sausage, cheese and tomato stuffed croissant. It's good for breakfast."
...A donut that isn't fried, and a complete breakfast...stuffed in bread. Ah heck. "I'll take one of each then."
"That'll be three hundred Euros."
Well, at least I knew my future self wouldn't be needing the money.
Finding a public bench which faced a painting of a park, I decided the future world wasn't actually that bad. Sure there were differences, but it wasn't impossible to adapt. Even my death wasn't that big a deal. And plus, now I could really say that line - I literally, had no future.
No, but what I couldn't stand, was my family. Or my future self's family . Or my family's future selves. They had changed slightly, mentally and physically of course. That much I could live with. But they all looked so...tired. Bel had literally come back to the Varia for...ten minutes, before setting out on his next job. I was a fool. An absolute fool. My idiocy couldn't even be described in words. I had it all - my family, a home, a life - I just...couldn't see it. You don't know what you've got till it's gone...
"Are you done yet?"
I turned, and saw that Squalo was at the door, standing impatiently. "Ah, sorry. I was planning to go back before you noticed, honest."
Squalo sighed, and took the seat beside me. "Serena, I want you to tell me the truth. What's wrong?"
"I – I...I..." I hesitated. Why was it so hard to say? I hated the future. No matter how shitty things were in the past, I wanted to go back. To fix the wrongs I'd left when I came to the future. To prevent a world of Byakuran double dates. To prevent a world where the Varia actually started sleeping like normal people.
"Spit it out already."
Miserably, I looked at the salty droplets in my hands. "I want to go home, Squalo. I want to go back in time and say 'tadaima'."
OMAKE: The Unbelievably Dedicated Idiot
When Xanxus returned to the Varia after the ring battles, he went into his office for the first time in what was only months to him – but years in reality. It wasn't exactly a life changing experience though.
It was dusty.
It smelled of things other than alcohol.
And there was a piece of trash on his desk.
Well, he hadn't exactly read anything for a while. Maybe it was something that was just in the slightest, important.
Well well well, if you're reading this, you're either my English teacher, or an unbelievably dedicated idiot.
Xanxus wanted to shoot the piece of paper then and there. But he refrained. There was still more. Maybe, instead of shooting a piece of paper, he could find the real piece of trash that wrote it.
It went on about how they would leave various materialistic goods to his stupid subordinates.
Oh, and the only thing I ask is that you cremate me and scatter my ashes on the Varia grounds. And get a dog, and name it Xanxus. Coz, since we're dogs of the Vongola, he can be a dog of the Varia.
The door to the room was pushed open, to reveal...scum. "Hey, Xanxus, I still have to check your bandages, so stop moving around like a fucking dog," she complained.
And then his intuition clicked. Dog. DOG. "Die, scum." Out came the guns.
"...Well, I suppose my ashes will be on Varia grounds," she sighed.
OMAKE: My Hand, Your Hand
"~Ushi shi shi shi~...you screwed up big time, dumbass," Bel snickered, walking a step in front of Serena. "I can't wait till Boss hears." They were in New York. A beautiful, noisy, busy, city.
"I did not screw up!" she hollered back, the noise of the crowd swallowing up half her words. "If anything, you were the fricking jackass who went high and killed a bunch of random people!"
"Yeah, but I didn't knock down the walls so the whole world could see."
She scowled. "Accident."
"Well then, accident. ~Ushi shi shi shi~..."
Two cops who were talking loudly bumped into him. He scowled, but deciding it would be too much of a hassle to clean up, didn't annihilate them, and just shoved past. Serena rushed towards him, a constipated expression on her face. "I don't believe this. You just walked past? Like, no urge to say 'you should die because I'm a phony prince' or anything?"
"~Ushi shi shi shi~...you're my prisoner now, dumbass." He took out the handcuffs he'd stolen off one of the cops, and snapped one end on her wrist. Surprised, her reflexes kicked in and –
Snapped the other end on his wrist.
Stumbling along with the flow of the crowd, the horror sunk in. They. Were. Handcuffed. Together. And rather impractically, too. Their right hands were stuck together, so they weren't even facing in the same direction.
Pulling them off to one side, Bel took out a knife and slashed at the chain.
He tried again.
Nothing. So at least it wasn't made in China. He pulled his hand up, trying to get a better angle.
"Bel, I swear, if you pull that up another inch, you're going to dislocate my shoulder," she hissed. "You done yet?"
"We're going to have to find a locksmith," he announced sourly. "There's one a few blocks East."
"Come on, be realistic. I can't last a few blocks chained to you."
"Fine then. I'll cut off your hand."
"Cut off your own hand."
"You're the dumbass. We don't have to cut off anyone's hand if we just go to the locksmith."
"...I'd rather just cut off yours."
And so, they tried. Tried to make it down a few blocks. They'd decided that he would walk, facing the right way round, and drag her as she walked backwards/sideways. No, not suspicious at all.
"There's a subway entrance on your left."
"Okay. Let's go eat then. I love subway."
*tumbles down subway station staircase*
Next: they tried having Bel be the one to walk backwards.
"Oi Bel, there's a pole on the right."
*walks left into a pole*
"Ah, I'm sorry, I mixed up my left and right again."
It'd been ten minutes, and they'd barely walked a hundred feet. "Alright, Bel, I've got a solution," she decided. "We each chop off a hand, so we're even on this one."
Dumbass. What was with her and lopping off limbs? "Why don't we just do this?" he muttered impatiently, putting his arm around her waist.
He actually felt her shudder. But she didn't verbally object.
"Then we can both see where we're going," he explained. "Let's go."
They made it to an intersection without an accident. Progress.
She glanced at him, glaring. They were at a red light. "Bel, this feels retarded."
"~Ushi shi shi shi~...this is what normal people do."
"So normal people handcuff each other and walk down the street like pedos?"
"I was thinking more of a stalker and victim."
"Hey! I'm not a stalker!"
"~Ushi shi shi shi~...that's because I'm the stalker."
"...You're real honest, you know that?" she muttered, walking forward at the sound of the pedestrian crossing, but it wasn't the one they were waiting for. The line of cars started accelerating.
Oh hell, were the drivers blind?
Serena continued trying to move forward.
...Well, she was actually blind.
Being pulled forward, and his senses kicked in. Pushing off the curb, he scooped her up and ran across six lanes of blaring taxis. But being a Prince, he obviously made it to the other side without a single scratch. Those who had noticed, pointed fingers, but the two of them were already out of sight before the first iPhone was unlocked.
"You kids are always so active these days," the locksmith muttered, as he worked on the handcuffs. "You two are still a big young, if you ask me."
"Young for what?" I asked innocently.
"That BDSM rubbish! When I was your age, these things didn't even exist!"
BD...SM? SM...as in Rihanna's totally disturbing song? Bel and I shared a millisecond of eye contact. "What? With him? No. NO. You're way out of the ball park, dude. We were just - "
"~Ushi shi shi shi~...having some fun."
"NO. WE WEREN'T."
The old man shrugged. "I was joking. I know these handcuffs belong to the cops." Before we could do anything, he put his hands up in defense. "Don't worry, I know who you two are," he laughed. "Varia, was it? Honestly, you guys are a bit far from home."
"...You're in the mafia?" I murmured skeptically.
"Retired. Working with a more honest trade," he nodded. He tinkered with the handcuffs a little longer, and Bel's end snapped open. In another minute, mine was open too.
I passed over a couple hundred dollar bills. "Thank you," I added quickly, rubbing my wrist. Bruises, blisters, scratches. "I hope you enjoy retirement."
"You two play nice, alright," he warned, as we exited the shop.
We'd only just walked out of the lonely store when I remembered. "Hey Bel, thanks for uh...saving my ass?"
"~Ushi shi shi shi~...I am a prince, after all."
That makes no sense. "But I thought I was a peasant. Why the hell would you save a peasant?"
"You're a dumbass."
"Is there a difference?"
"~Ushi shi shi shi~...obviously."
We walked bit further. Peak hour was over, so the streets were considerably less crowded. "Say Bel, my right side feels heavy. Can we hold hands?"
"You know, just so both my whole body's tired, not just half."
His face cracked into a wide grin. "~Ushi shi shi shi~...you owe me, though."
I beamed. Yeah yeah, I'll pay you back in the next life.
If you don't get anything...PM or review? And I need feedback to improve *thumbs up*. Eg. likes, dislikes, requests, issues, questions, OOCness, Mary Sueness, etc. . Or really, if you're just awesome, and feel like writing a message :D
Have a nice day, ciao~ :]