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 opinion, 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.
Or that was what Bel would have declared any other day. Today, he didn't give a damn about anything. He was standing just outside the Vongola's ruined mansion, in the shadows of a group of trees, listening to the occasional hum of a Millefiore truck as it drove past. His squad was doing the mission; there was no real reason to sully his hands.
There seemed to be some fray over to the left, but Bel didn't take much notice. It was snowing too heavily, and the moon was too dim to make out definite shapes. And what difference did it really make? His own squad, Millefiore - at the end of the day, they were all just stupid peasants.
"Sir, the mission is complete."
Bel gave a quick glance over his squad, who had reformed in the corner of his eye. Two were missing. "They'd better be dead or dying."
"We don't know Sir."
"Has the area they were assigned to be charted?"
"Yes Sir. It's a Millefiore Base Camp."
Sir this, Sir that. "They can make their own way back. If they're still alive," he decided coldly (and it wasn't because of the weather), making his way for the vehicle. "Let's go." It was that specific moment, when he heard...a familiar shout.
"Oh my fuck – did you just – no. You did not just bitch slap me, you munt!"
"You did not just bitch punch me!"
Bel turned. His two missing men were escorting a bound and blindfolded figure, shabbily dressed in the Millefiore uniform. "Explain yourselves, peasants."
"Sir!" they called in unison, snapping into attention. "We were having a closer look at the Millefiore Base Camp. This joker was about to blow up everything within a mile radius. I 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, I DIDN'T PUT A BUNCH OF INFLAMMABLE BOMBS NEAR A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHO CAN'T EVEN CONTROL THEIR OWN FLAMES."
He had to be sure. Stepping forward, Bel ripped off the blindfold. And froze.
"Holy shit. You're not Millefiore?" She squinted. "Wait, are you guys are Varia? BEL?!" And then her face twitched and she keeled over, seemingly unconscious.
"Don't throw your tequila at me!" The double doors to the room burst open, and Squalo turned angrily. Bel. What the hell was he carrying? A body? Hell, was it still breathing? This was new, then.
"I found her."
Squalo glared, paying closer attention. "Voi, it can't be her, fuckhead."
"Then can you explain why she looks exactly like Serena?"
No. He couldn't. "Why's she wearing a Millefiore uniform?" Squalo questioned, looking vaguely at Bel. "If it is her, that is."
"She's wearing a hospital gown underneath. She was probably just cold."
"VOI! YOU TOOK OFF HER CLOTHES?!"
"I wanted to be sure," Bel scowled. "She has most of her scars."
"SO WHAT, YOU STRIPPED HER NAKED IN FRONT OF ALL YOUR MEN?!"
Bel's aura flickered darkly. "Why the hell do you think I'd ever do that?"
Well, good point. As for the girl, she did look like Serena. She even...felt like Serena. He had absolutely no doubt that well, it was Serena. 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?!"
"It's not impossible," Bel argued defiantly, his 'genius' mind on a roll. "Maybe that wasn't her. Did you actually see her dying?"
"VOI. IF THAT WASN'T HER, THEN THIS PROBABLY ISN'T HER EITHER."
"Special bullet. The symptoms could've been faked."
"SPECIAL BULLETS DON'T LEAVE THAT MUCH BLOOD."
"Then there's the ten-year bazooka. It could be her past self," Bel continued, ignoring Squalo's anguished yells. "Her appearance didn't really change much in the ten years anyways."
Squalo really felt like he was talking to a three year old. He sighed. "VOI, THE TEN-YEAR BAZOOKA ONLY LASTS FIVE FUCKING MINUTES. STOP TRYING TO MAKE UP EXCUSES."
"Then it could've malfunctioned."
Squalo was about to argue back, but Bel was right, for once. 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. So why couldn't it send someone to the future a little longer than programmed?
Their mutual silence marked the end of their discussion. "Hand her over," he muttered gruffly, and Bel slipped her into his arms. "I'll take her to the medical wing."
Sitting in his chair, ignored for the past few minutes, Xanxus raised an eyebrow. Stupid scum. Always had some trashy plan up her sleeve.
Lightning flashed. The wind howled. A skeletal arm shot out of the earth, and –
I woke up.
When my eyes adapted to the dim lighting, I saw that I was in quite a pleasant room – clean, warm and not too gloomy. Nothing remotely related to a bad zombie film. The bed, the furniture and even the blinds were all clearly expensive.
"You all right?"
It took me a moment to recognize the voice and face. "Solte? Is that actually you? Oh God, what did the Varia do to you..."
He stretched from the bedside chair. Gosh, he looked...adult-like. "The first thing that comes to your mind when you see me is 'what the Varia has done'? Hang on, they didn't shave my head again, right?"
"...Your hair's fine. But a sane person like you cannot be part of the Varia," I scowled, continuing to be sullen. Well, I was in pain. A lot of pain. "Do you know how long I've been here?"
He shrugged. "You got here sometime during the night. It's all been hushed up though. Only a few of the higher ranking guys know. And they won't talk. You're from the past, right? Ten-year Bazooka?"
I pulled up the pillow, so my back wasn't against the bed's wooden headboard. "Yeah. I'm from the past. But a bunch of people from Bel's squad should know."
"Actually...well, the majority of people don't know what you actually look like," Solte attempted to explain. "You didn't really look like an important or powerful person, so people didn't remember you. I mean, they knew of you, just not...you."
Uh...right. Nice to know my physical appearance was lame. "Actually, could you just explain why you're in the Varia? It's distracting me. I mean...you make jewelry. The Varia kills people. And you make jewelry."
"I make uh...box weapons and rings for the Vongola and its allies?"
"Start fresh, man."
He sighed and shut his eyes, as if he was straining to remember. "Well, a long long time ago - "
"Dude, I've known you since kindergarten, and I still don't consider that a 'long long time' ago," I interrupted. "It's not a fairy tale."
"Just – well, three years ago, I...I...met these guys, and uh...they were pretty old...except one of them was this baby. And the baby had all this spiky hair. So I suppose if you average out the ages, they'd be middle-aged."
"...Solte, I don't make sense, but I know that doesn't make sense," I announced. "Care to repeat that?"
"I suck at recounts," he sighed passing over some sort of a diary. Still using paper? Urgh. "Read it. Terry wrote it about an hour ago."
I made a face. "Terry...as in Terry Luck?"
"Yeah, she makes the Varia uniforms these days. They're not bad, really," he admitted thoughtfully.
"You know - I don't even want to know," I muttered, shaking my head disbelievingly. What has the world come to?
The recent half of the future that matters to Serena, by Terry Luck
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 sighed, rolling his eyes. "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?"
"...No. Just continue reading."
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 upset. "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. "So, I got caught in Millefiore HQ?" I gaped, thinking about the horrible ways I probably died. Wait. Hang on. That couldn't be right. I switched with my future self at the Vongola HQ.
Solte just nodded glumly. "Great way to repay you, huh? I went to the Varia after that. It took the Vongola Tenth half a year of negotiation to get you back. But...you weren't quite...sane."
I lost my sanity. Even MORE of my sanity. Holy shit that's sad. "So what, I ranted senselessly a lot?" I questioned, shuddering at the thought.
"No...you were afraid. Of everything. Your reflection. People. Germs. Dust. Clothes. Lights. The stars. Even food," he exasperated. "Food, Serena. No one knew what exactly happened to you – I mean...those months with the Millefiore were clearly bad. Really bad. But the Vongola advisors convinced the Tenth not to declare war. So really, I started a whole mess that ended in injustice."
"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."
"What about the ómerta?"
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 it."
When you got back, you were a nutcase, but you got over it this one morning. I remember having chocolate pancakes. That was two weeks ago. 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, There were 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.
Blinking slowly, I looked at the ceiling. 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.
"Well, that is...not exactly a bad ending, I suppose," I said finally.
"Don't you get it? You died Serena! This isn't something to joke about!" Solte choked.
"But I'm not important! I'm just some loser who ruins people's lives," I remarked dully. "Who wants me around? No one. Who needs me around? No one. So what if I died? It doesn't affect anyone. Dying...well, it's just when you don't wake up again."
"You're a great person," he muttered quietly. "There's not a lot of people who can boast about being involved with so many influential things. You kept the Vongola as one."
I tried to look more understanding, but probably appeared naïve or something. "Honestly, that doesn't sound like me. Boasting is kinda weird. And I don't particularly like the Vongola...at all. Didn't you just say that people in the Varia don't even know what I look like?"
"Yes! Well, no. Just...argh." He rubbed his temples, muttering under his breath. "Your death hit us all hard. So don't just say it like that," he murmured. "We let you down. I'm sorry. Now the Vongola family's falling apart, the Millefiore family's getting stronger, and we're totally screwed."
Well, what a wonderful future.
"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. IT'S ONLY A PAINKILLER AND ENERGY BOOSTER."
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?"
"They're 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 around his mansion. Several saw him and began running in his direction. The long corridors were a positive, for once. Arriving at his office, he closed the door behind him, locked it casually and sat down behind his desk. 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. The 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. "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 on the way here," she shrugged. "Parachute wasn't faulty for once though. Got any other transport that still works?"
The Cavallone family. Usual mode of transport: Ferrari. Backup mode of transport: a horse. Honestly.
We bumped into quite a few Millefiore guys on the way to the stables, so that slowed us down. Upon arrival, 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. "So, which horse you taking, Dino?"
He opened a 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 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 1TB 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. 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." The only reason I could see Dino was because his horse, well, was on fire.
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. We dismounted quickly. "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 you didn't? 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."
I leaned back, and focused on the silent television. The late news report was so...weird. Ten years really did change human entertainment, huh? "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 sad."
Funny. He didn't look it. Was he secretly trying to insult me? ...Nah, he was probably like me. He couldn't control the amount of emotion he showed. I couldn't control the amount of sarcasm I used. "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 understand exactly 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, I've recently realized that 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. "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 stuck together since we were from Japan."
"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 stutter out loud.
"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 liked you."
...Disturbing. Just truly disturbing. "So like, like like, like?"
"No, more like...pet like. When the Vongola hit list was first created, Shoichi told me you were on top of the hit list, even above Sawada. That's how interested in you he was," 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? You two sounded really close."
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 didn't want to sleep. And I couldn't, either.
It was too quiet for the Varia. Though that could've been because humans were programmed to sleep at night. But it was still unusual. Making up my mind, I left the Varia HQ for the nearest town – about an hour's walk. I had time, though. And screw being grounded.
That reminded me. I needed to thank Bel. Though I hadn't exactly seen Bel since the day I arrived in the future.
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 know my future self wouldn't be needing the money.
I walked into an abandoned building – a library, in the past. But PDF's were bound to take over literature at some point, right? It was a shame though, seeing the empty shelves, row after row, gathering dust. I remembered spending hour after hour in this library, trying to get some work done in a peaceful area.
Pulling a dust cloth off a table and chair, I sat down with a sigh, eating the stuffed croissant first.
The future world wasn't actually that bad. Sure there were differences, but it was more or less the same thing. Even my death wasn't that big a deal. And plus, now I could really say that line - I literally, had no future.
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.
"Are you done yet?"
I turned, and saw that Squalo was at the door, standing impatiently. "Ah, sorry. I was planning to go back earlier, honest. You want the donut? I'm full already."
Squalo sighed, and took the seat beside me. "Voi. Serena. You're still grounded."
"Then why did you come here?"
"I wanted to see more of the future. What it was like," I admitted.
"And what's it like?"
"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.
"Come on, spit it out already."
Miserably, I looked at my hands. "I want to go home, Squalo."
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 and 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. 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. American handcuffs. Seriously, what the hell did they make them out of? "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.
He was 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 hand feels heavy. Can we hold hands?"
"You know, just so both my arms are tired, not just one."
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.
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