AN: Look! An update!


TANGLE ME RED

CHAPTER ONE

People are in love with the idea of being in love. It was just common sense, and it'd be a lie if Tsuna were to say that he never once thought about it. But if he had known it would have gotten him into these recurring events that acted as chains of misfortune, then maybe he would've seriously considered living entirely celibate for the rest of his life. But how was he suppose to know?

February 7, 2018 (2/7/18)

It was 4:35 in the morning, and one of the darkest dawns Namimori ever experienced this year. Clouds hung dark and low, casting a ominous mist over the city and hiding the little light the stars provided. The new moon was absent, retreating in its monthly hiding. So it really was dark, save for the few pole lights that sprinkled the town with its safety of sight. Tsuna was trying to be quick to reach his destination, remaining low and unassuming, playing along with the atmosphere of the very early morning. He didn't want any trouble, he just wanted to go where he needed to go.

Tsuna is a college graduate, having majored in a vast variety of foreign languages: Italian, English, ASL, Japanese, French, Spanish, and Mandarin of different dialects. He prides himself with these accomplishments, and he knows first hand how long it took to carefully learn each one, how much he struggled to take in the knowledge and history of these languages.

Learning them taught him many things: every dialect is different. He often liked to tell himself that each one was an art in the formation of letters and signs. Meanings, that could be one thing than another in another language. It has honed him to see through people, discovering what they mean to convey either by actions of words. He thought of them as an articulation, a brogue, a cant instead of simply: foreign language. Given you use them correctly, of course.

But what was a bright young translator graduate doing in the dark streets of Namimori in the wee hours of 4:40 in the morning? Tsuna was asking himself this with dry exasperation, pulling his coat tighter, trying to muffle out his own shudders. He was blatantly irritated at himself for neglecting in sleeping for the last two days: he was evidently tired. He wants nothing more than to go home and sleep on his warm, welcoming bed.

But there were more important things he had to address, far more important than a tempting nap.

He needed to go back to campus, and it's been well overdue since he's stepped foot on the grounds, but he stupidly forgotten to trudge a box back home. He couldn't believe he forgotten it, it just goes to show how tired he really was. He could've easily just went to bed and waited until later in the afternoon to retrieve it, but he couldn't risk it. That box was important. His thesis and his resume was in there, and he couldn't just leave it to some wandering miscreant to use.

He resolved to go to campus at that very hour, go back to his old dorm, and walk back home in a journey he hoped would only take less than thirty minutes. Just a straight path, no detours, he thought grumpily, wishing he didn't listen to his own plan for once.

As he approached the iron wrought gates, he is momentarily stunned by another presence there with him. There was a man that stood at the entrance of their campus with flagrant odd hair color.

Tsuna observed from afar to himself with a pausing a beat, studying the other's face under what little light the flickering street lamp provided. He was taller than Tsuna, with a strange shade of gray as hair color that reached around his head like a ash-colored curtain. He had a black backpack hanging from one shoulder, and was crouching and standing up repeatedly, placing small object things on the ground.

His movements were fast, agitated. The man was smoking small stub of a nearly burnt out cigarette, huffing wisps through his nose that matched the color of his hair.

He wondered for a brief moment if he's simply hallucinating by this odd sight so early in the morning but then the young man looked at him as he drew closer guardedly. "What are you doing?" He said without thinking as they met eyes, and regreted his thoughtlessness almost immediately after. He had intended to stay to himself, and a question like that usually begged for trouble from the most unwanted attention.

But the man thankfully ignored him before he could make a further fool out of himself and turned back to his task at hand, deeming Tsuna harmless after a moment's stare. But just as Tsuna shrugged and began moving past him, the other man he cussed under his breath, expelling more smoke into the dusk air.

Quietly, and unbelievably in Italian: "Affanculo."

Tsuna blinked, pausing again, and realized embarassingly that this man hadn't understood his first question at all. His curiosity got the better of him, and all of his desire to flee the scene was gone, replaced by his natural willingness to help strangers. It wasn't often he met anyone Italian, and especially at such an early hour in Namimori of all places. Switching to Italian, Tsuna repeats his questions after a pause, "What are you doing?"

At this, the man's head jerks up to stare more closely at Tsuna, who had chosen to bravely approach the other. Now that he was closer, he could see there was an unnecessary assortment of hiking gear scattered on the floor, amongst them was a compass that sat horizontally on the flat ground, pointing north. "You're Italian?" The man asks, speaking over the tobacco stick between his lips.

"No," Tsuna answers, shaking his head, "I can understand though."

"Then you can help me," The gray-haired man sighs, looking immensely relieved, "I can't read this map. I just need to find this place." He moved out of the way to show Tsuna what he had been doing. The man pointed to a place on the map and Tsuna squinted in the little light they have to look at it.

It's circled many times in red pen, then easily recognizable scented permanent red marker. He looked at the map, then to the man, then back. Because strangely, the place where the red mark was landed on was in the neighboring district, the place where Tsuna had just come from. The place he planned on returning to in fifteen minutes if he would just hurry. "That's...my house?" He says, bewildered.

He isn't entirely unaware of the fact the man's head jerked up now and is staring openly at him, "Your house?"

"Yes," Tsuna says, struggling to keep the defensiveness out of his tone, "Do you need something from me?"

There was a pausing beat.

The man said nothing, heightening Tsuna's unease as he slowly packs his stuff back into his black backpack. In the quiet, it occurred to him again that it really was cold, and he rubbed his sleeved arms once then twice. "Yes. I do actually." The man said, but does not elaborate what or why, only straightening his back and turning to fully face Tsuna.

It's more intimidating when he's up close. Tsuna has always been a bit shorter than an average Asian male his age, a trait that constantly irritated him since his youth and this man makes no exception. The man's smokey green eyes narrowed, and he wondered if he should start running.

He didn't know what this man wanted, but something didn't seem right. The silver-haired man pulls out his cigarette, letting it hang loosely between his fingers as he breathes in fresh cool air. "I have some questions for you." He says, taking steps towards him when Tsuna unconsciously takes steps back, "Sawada Tsunayoshi?"

And he asks the question that changes his life, it comes out ironically corny, "Do you believe in destiny?"

The man held up a device in his free hand that wasn't stuffed in a pocket, Tsuna only just noticed now as the man raised it up at ear level. His thumb hit a button and Tsuna jumped high in the air as something clicks omniously behind him. With a ear-shattering BOOM!, and the ringing of raining glass, he finds himself standing there dumbfounded at he looks to the campus, his dorm combusting into white flames. The screams and shouts follow immediately after.

There were more popping and clicking sounds that resounded in a series after, more explosions going off in a chain reaction like a trigger in a machine gun.

Tsuna looked back to the man again, eyes wide as he reversed away. Shaken by the sight of the sudden destruction, he doesn't answer the man's question, doesn't stop to try to understand it, only settling with racing at top speed down the way whence he came. His shoes hit the pavement hard, the rhythmic clip-clop of his pounding feet ricocheted the empty street before them. Unfortunately, his ears picked up the resounding footsteps right behind him, indicating the man was following him step by step.

Who was this guy? Why the hell did he just blow up his school? He seemed to know his name, the place where he lived-He knew where he lived.

With a gasp of fear, Tsuna realized he couldn't go back home, he couldn't risk his mom's safety. He took a sharp turn, skidding across the pavement and sprinting to cross the street, away from the campus, away from his house. In a direction to anywhere, hoping some better idea would arise through the adrenaline.

He wasn't even sure where he was going. Was this guy a terrorist? He figured with slight delirium that a terrorist wouldn't chase after a single person, would he? But he was a witness, he saw the guy push the trigger. That was probably why he was being chased, hunted, like an animal. And Tsuna screams in Japanese as loud as he could, to the darkened windows and doors of the street, "Help!" He breathes in and out through gasping, "Someone!"

He was only about to scream louder, when a large pale hand reached out from behind, effectively cutting off Tsuna's panicked cries, the man spoke quickly in his ear as another arm wraps around his torso, "This looks bad, I know this looks really bad but you have to trust me—" Trust him? Tsuna thought, flailing his arms and trying his hardest to break the hold on him.

He wrested his jaw from the man's hand, "Help!" He managed to scream again before the man put all his force into holding Tsuna's mouth closed.

"You're in danger: if I don't hide you now, then the thread—!"

He was considering on biting his fingers off when a voice, a new one spoke from behind them, "Are you the two that disrupted the peace?"

The man jumped, and Tsuna was still being effectively quieted as they spun around to face the new presence, "Fuck," the man cussed, he looked to Tsuna then to the newcomer across from them and then said, continuing in Italian, "I made that diversion for a reason, Hibari Kyoya."

The man who he deliriously hoped was going to be his savior, was named Hibari Kyoya. The man didn't seem to understand what his capturer was saying, but he didn't look like he cared in the least to find out. He wore a straight black suit, pristine and sharp as he stalked towards them, "I don't know who you are, herbivore," Hibari said, and there was two metal rods in each of this man's hands with handles, approximately fifteen to twenty inches long. "But I'm going to bite you to death."

The man began holding those metal rods up, sweeping towards them with swift strides. The silver-haired man pushed Tsuna behind him, "Get back! And don't look!" He was protecting him. Why was he protecting him? He stumbled backwards and away, collapsing clumsily into the wall behind him, but could not look away as asked.

It wasn't even a fight. It was obvious that the man that promised to 'protect' him was not an actual fighter, if his haphazardly thrown fists were any obvious indication. Hibari Kyoya hit the silver-haired man in his gut first, then raised his other arm to push the other tip roughly into the back of his head. The terrorist was shoved down with a gasp of pain, eyes shut as his face was grinded into the pavement. His tonfas rained down onto the others back, hitting until the man could not even stand on his knees and laid limp.

Tsuna felt like he should look away from such an open beating when he began seeing the blood, but then saw the silver haired man pull something long and sizzling out from his pocket.

Belatedly, he realized what it was: dynamite. But the silver-haired man could not have a turn to use it, for Hibari had smashed a tonfa straight to his sternum and the dynamite fell from his hands. It clattered on the pavement at the their feet, its presence was ignored by the brawling men, its wick growing shorter fast.

He didn't know what made him move, what made him do what he did, it was like an out-of-sensation feeling, like his body just moved on its own.

"Watch out!" Tsuna shouted, darting to the dynamite compulsively. He picked it up with sweaty fingers, shaking uncontrollably, high on adrenaline, oh god he had a real dynamite in his hands what was he thinking, except he wasn't thinking at all and threw it as hard as he could to the other side of the street. It didn't even make a full arc in the air as it exploded just a foot or two away, and Tsuna was thrown backwards, stumbling into the man who he had saved out of whim.

There was a sound of something cutting through air, woosh, a sharp abrupt rush of wind. He was suddenly hit though on his temple, a steel tonfa connecting and vibrating through his skull and to the other side of his head like an intense echo. He was hit, out of surprise most likely, and was able to turn briefly, catching the stunned look in Hibari's eyes before his eyes drooped and he fell in a limp heap.

When Tsuna awoke, he found himself in a blue painted room, its walls lined with glossy cream tiles. It didn't look like a hospital, there was no bars on his bed or separating curtains that always tell-told if he was. The bed was more like a reclining leather chair, pushed down so low it was horizontal.

The first thing he did was reach up, gingerly sweeping his fingers to the new welt on his left temple. It was risen skin, a giant hill that grown on him, festering hot in only that area. It was a pretty bad bruise, and that hit that caused it had knocked him out for the count.

Aware of what happened to him now, he turns in his bed and is met by a pair of cold gray eyes. He jerks up, sitting erect as the man continues to stare at him. Hibari Kyoya sat still at his own chair, a wooden black stool, arms crossed as he unwaveringly observes Tsuna. He doesn't know what to say, and he expects the man to say something first, but was awkwardly disappointed by the continued silence.

"Uh, where am I?" He asks after a nervous moment, looking around.

It seems he was what looked like a windowless room, a sink, a fridge, a table with chairs, and a potted plant in the corner. At first, he's close to believing that he was in someone's apartment. There was a pause, and he was half-expecting no answer, but was surprised by Hibari's low treble of a voice, "The Namimori Police Department. I am Hibari Kyoya, the head chief of the disciplinary committee."

His mouth drops open, but Hibari looks more than mutely intrigued, doesn't seem to have the desire to ask why. He explains himself, "I, I was suppose to come here this morning, I'm interested in being the translator," Tsuna said, voice faint. "My application—I talked to a man named Kusakabe on the phone, he said to come by at ten?"

He looked to the clock nailed to the wall opposite of him and was minutely surprised by the time. 9:57. Ironic how he had planned on coming here but arrived anyway out of unforeseen circumstances. He shuddered in a still drift. The situation was even further ironic due to the fact the man in front of him was not only his boss, but also the superintendent of his new job.

Do you believe in destiny?

He shook his head, trying to organize this racing thoughts. He applied for a job here. Apparently, they needed a multilingual translator capable of staying very late nights and fueling himself on coffee and energy drinks. It had fit his preference in work and Tsuna found himself interested in the position. It wasn't destiny, it was just him trying to earn money after such a long duration in schooling. He was determined to get a big boy job and anything that dealt with the supernatural had nothing to do with it.

"I see." Hibari says, "I shall see to it Kusakabe compromises your prearrangement."

The man gets up, and Tsuna watches as he briskly walks out, the door so narrow that he couldn't see much past it.

There was a short pause before a new man walked in, and Tsuna is stunned speechless. The man had a tan pallor, a large build with broad shoulders. His apparel was decidedly professional, dressed in a straight black suit much like Hibari's. However, those traits were greatly overshadowed by his hair. This man had the most outrageous pompadour. Surely, that had to be against dress code. He did not voice this opinion however as the man smiled kindly at him, "Sawada Tsunayoshi?"

"That's me," Tsuna said, nodding.

"I'm Kusakabe, and I did get your application," Kusakabe held up a manila folder briefly then dropping his arm back, "We have to ask you to stay here for awhile, I do hope you understand."

"Oh no," Tsuna says, shaking his head. "No problem at all."

"Good. Do help yourself to our facilities." Kusakabe says with an innocently amiable stare and a motion to the fridge.

Kusakabe left shortly after, and Tsuna was left to preoccupy himself in the room. He was still tired and he entertained the idea of sleeping again, but he wondered if it would be consider unprofessional should his employer return. He decided against it, and explored the room a little.

There wasn't much of a scenery, since there were no windows, obviously. Tsuna was contemplating if it would be rude to trifle through the drawers. He did so anyway, finding nothing of importance among the rations of sugar and cream for the coffee maker. He made himself a cup and nursed the steaming mug in one hand as he explored more.

Tsuna eventually moved to the refrigerator, delighted to find food there and found no shame in snatching a pudding cup. There was also a fruit bowl within and Tsuna began working to peel at an orange. However, when all he had was the husk and finished both his pudding and coffee, he began to grow impatient. He looked to the clock, trying not to feel so annoyed that he's been kept waiting for at least three hours now.

When Kusakabe returned, his face was somber. He didn't seem to notice, or didn't seem to care, about the peel and the used cup as he sat down across from Tsuna at the table. He talked over it, expression slightly doubtful, "Sawada, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to ask you some questions."

Tsuna blinked, "Yeah sure." He was expecting some questions about the job, things like: volunteering hours, his experience in the work-field.

But Tsuna was caught off guard as Kusakabe began explaining everything in one breath, "It seems that the terrorist we found that detonated Namimori University has a connection to you, and we ask that you cooperate with us until we have a straight idea of your relationship to one another."

He was blown away by the hidden implication, indignant as he replied, "I have nothing to do with that guy! I was only there that early at campus because I forgot my resume in my backpack! I left it in my dorm earlier that evening!"

Kusakabe only stared at him. He held up another folder—a red one—a slid it over to Tsuna. The other picked it up, warily. He opened it, unsurprised to see the map inside, laminated in plastic. "Yeah, I know about this map, it's my house," He admitted, but quickly explained as Kusakabe began to stare harder at him, "But you're wrong, that guy was trying to find me. I was giving him directions and then I realized the place he was trying to find was my house. I didn't even know him until last night."

The pompadoured man seemed to be judging his sincerity for a moment. He motioned to the red folder, gesturing for Tsuna to turn the page. The graduate did, and was bewildered to find a yellowed parchment paper also laminated tightly into a plastic sheath. An equally old envelope was also behind it. The lettering on it was Italian, its blotchy careless scrawl of a penmanship looked remarkably familiar, He looked up to Kusakabe, who gestured him to read it. "We found that on his person."

He did, his eyes growing wider with each passing word.

February 7, 1927: Florence, Italy

Hayato Gokudera,

I do hope G managed to pass this letter on to you,

I'm limited on ink and I'll be fast.

On the early morning of this same day, in the year 2018,

at 4:40 am, I will be arriving at Namimori University, Japan.

Do your best to stop me before the thread is tied.

I'm counting and begging of you.

-Tsunayoshi Sawada

Tsuna jerked up to look at Kusakabe, who looked just as puzzled as he felt. Was this some sort of joke? He honestly did not understand what he had just read. What was even more chilling about the entire letter was that this letter was his penmanship, and even his signed name. It was getting ridiculous, and he felt at the end of the line. The pompadoured man was hesitant for a moment, seeing Tsuna's abashedly stupefied expression, before asking, "Did you write this? Your name in on it."

"No," Tsuna denied, eyes wide and disbelieving, "It's true I speak and write Italian, but I never seen this before in my life. And why would I date this 1927? In Italy of all places? I wasn't even born and I've never been to that country!"

Kusakabe looked as if he wanted to agree, but his eyes were still doubtful, the older man pulled out another folder, another manila, and rifled through it briefly. He pulled out another laminated item, an airplane ticket leading from mainland to Namimori, "He was seen in Narita airport at 2:20 am this morning. He boarded the plane from Italy at 7:50 pm the day before. He had an intention of arriving here, and he seemed determined enough to see you," Kusakabe tapped at the laminated map that sat discarded between the red folder and the orange peel. "You don't know Gokudera Hayato? At all?"

Do you believe in destiny?

"No," Tsuna denied again as he shook his head fervently, eyes closing helplessly, "I never met him until this morning."

The man sat back, arms crossing in thought. "Maybe he wrote it?" Kusakabe offered.

Tsuna didn't know, didn't really care that much to know. He sort of just wanted to go home and sleep now.

Kusakabe was silent for a moment before standing up. "Hibari wants you to work here, regardless. I'm not sure of his reasons, but it seems he finds you an asset to our force." Tsuna nodded, his head still racing with questions. He snapped back to focus though at the mention of his acceptance in his new job.

He was hired to be a Speech Guard, they once had a machine that did it for them but it seemed that it burned more money to maintain it in comparison to paying someone to translate for them. He was most likely expected to help police officers break language barriers. "Why do you guys need a translator so badly?" Tsuna asked as they both stood up.

Kusakabe, gestured him to follow as he opened up the door. It seemed like the department was still dark, most lights were off in the hallway, it seemed that even with the sun out, the clouds were still blocking its light. It only further soured Tsuna's mood. "There's been high foreign activity recently in Namimori. Not many of us can understand them either, so you can see our problem. You'll be a big help, trust me."

Kusakabe pushes him out, escorting him to the entrance as he vaguely explains the places Tsuna would need to know. The breakroom, where he was just confined in, the criminal affairs department, the prosecutors' offices.

They stop at the reception, where a two officers stand talking quietly amongst themselves. Some leaned against the counter, chatting up the pretty receptionist. To Tsuna, it's irritating background noise. "Come back here tomorrow at six. You should get some rest, then I'll walk you through completely. You look tired."

He finds himself agreeing full-heartedly, readying to voice this too, when Tsuna freezes over when he spots movement at his peripheral vision and jumps out of his skin as Hibari steps into view, "Sawada Tsunayoshi," The man says. Nothing at all, not even a slight question of how his 'interview' went.

The chattering in the room evidently stopped, and everyone seemed spread apart from each other, standing stiff and erect at attention when they realized who was their new arrival. They aren't looking at them, but he slightly knew that all ears were listening in.

This was an unexpected opportunity, he supposed, to get on his boss's good side. To make a good impression, "Hello," He greets neutrally as he can back, "Have a good day."

Hibari's replying answer was a blank look.

For a moment, there is a collective stunned expressions on the room's occupants' faces, as if they hadn't expected what he said just now. Which was strange. Didn't one usually acknowledge their boss? It was common sense. Tsuna backed away, wary of the eerie quiet. The double doors automatically opened for him at he stepped on the placemat. He stared suspiciously around him at the officers and his chief.

Did he just do something wrong?

He tried not to feel alienated as he turned, shrugging his coat on and walking out of the police station.


AN: What is this blasphemy! Action in the first chapter? /puts head in hands/ I don't think I don't know how to write anything else but action at this point. Boogie Man's influence, I suppose. There will be some more character development with Hibari before the time traveling happens. Give it some time?