SkyGem: Whoo! Victim number two of my dead fanfic necromancy! Is anyone even still waiting for this to be updated? If there is, I hope you're all happy! The hiatus on this fic wasn't quite as long as the one for StR, but it was still two and a half years, and I'm super sorry for leaving you all on such a cruel cliffhanger! Please accept my apologies!
"What's wrong, my dear tuna sushi, is that you and your guardians are missing six years worth of memories."
Byakuran looked around, taking in the children's shell-shocked expressions – he cold see them trying to absorb this new truth bomb, and with very little success.
Tsuna, in particular, seemed to be having a hard time.
"Six years?" asked the thirteen-year-old, looking up at Byakuran through confused eyes. "What do you mean we're missing six years of memories? Why do we even have these memories in the first place?"
Byakuran heaved a great sigh and looked down, running a hand through his hair. He was so not ready for this.
He wasn't supposed to have to explain these things to the children sitting in front of him.
Now, how could he put this delicately?
As he thought, Tsuna watched him carefully, starting to grow more and more worried. Byakuran wasn't the type to ever be uncertain about anything.
Something horrible must have happened in the six years he and his guardians were missing.
Finally, Byakuran seemed to decide on a course of action, and looked up, locking gazes with Tsuna.
"Sawada Tsunayoshi," he said, his voice somber, "Ten years from now...you are dead."
This time, there was no silence.
Hayato and Ryohei jumped from their seats to stand in front of Tsuna, growling low in their throats.
Takeshi edged closer to his sky, ready to protect him if need be, and Lambo clutched his brother closer, as if that would somehow keep him safe.
Even Kyoya's hands twitched towards his weapons, his eyes narrowing to slits.
Throwing his hands into the air in exasperation, Byakuran declared indignantly, "It wasn't me this time! If I wanted to kill him, I wouldn't be sitting here having a tea party with you all!"
The guardians relaxed marginally at this, but Kyoya did growl dangerously at the "tea party" part.
Swallowing the dread that had welled up within him, Tsuna leaned forward and grabbed on to the backs of Hayato's and Ryohei's shirts, pulling them backwards to get them to sit back down.
"How did I d-die?" asked Tsuna, clenching and unclenching his hands, a nervous gesture he had picked up when he was sixteen, which seemed to have carried over to his thirteen-year-old body.
Byakuran looked away.
"That's something you will have to see for yourselves," he said.
Tsuna bit his lip.
The way Byakuran was acting was really starting to worry him.
Whatever it was that had happened ten years from now, it must have been big.
"How do we have our memories of the future?" asked Hayato from where he was sitting beside Tsuna, his brows furrowed. This entire time, he had been trying to think through the logistics of it, but he couldn't seem to come up with a solution that made sense.
"Did you transfer the memories of the future to us? Because that won't make much of a difference. The moment we woke up from our comas with all our memories, a new parallel world was created. Nothing is going to change in the future where Juudaime died even if we know what happened."
Byakuran shook his head in the negative.
"It wasn't a memory transfer," he denied. "It was..."
He thought for a moment, trying to come up with a simple way of explaining what they had done.
Then, his face lit up with a huge smile as an idea came to him.
"Imagine you have a computer," he said, and his audience's expressions became confused.
"What does a computer have to do with this?" demanded Ryohei.
"SHH!" said Byakuran, throwing a glare at him. "I was about to get there. Now imagine your computer. You were being careless with it, and it got a virus. So now you need a way to fix it."
Tsuna and the others perked up now, suddenly realizing where Byakuran was going with this.
"Now, someone suggests that you just get a new computer, and transfer all your data. But even though that will save all your files, it's not going to fix your old computer."
Here, Byakuran turned to look pointedly at Hayato, who nodded.
"So instead, you decide to do a factory reset."
Hayato's eyes widened, and his expression became calculating. The pieces were starting to come together.
"That would remove the virus, but it would also remove all your files."
Lambo tugged at Tsuna's sleeve.
"Tsuna," he whispered just a tad bit too loud. "What is are the 'virus' and the 'files' supposed to be?" he asked. This explanation was really so confusing. The marshmallow man should have found a better way to explain it.
"The 'virus' is whatever killed me," Tsuna replied. "And the 'files' are our memories."
Lambo made a noise of understanding as everything clicked into place. Well why didn't the marshmallow man just say that?
"So the person from before now suggests that you copy all your files to a USB and transfer them to the computer once it has been reset," continued Byakuran. "But the problem with that is that you don't know what files have the virus. So you decide to only copy the most important files – ones that you are sure are clean of the virus."
As he said this last sentence, he looked around at each of the guardians in turn. They were the "files" that had been chosen to be saved.
"Do you understand?" asked Byakuran finally, and there were absent murmurs of agreement as the guardians continued to contemplate the analogy they'd been given.
"What about the other 'files'?" asked Reborn from where he was sitting, speaking up for the first time. "Is there any way to...restore them?"
Byakuran glanced thoughtfully at the infant.
"There is," he said, noticing the small sign (of relief) Reborn let out then. Then, breaking away from the analogy, he explained, "Every human has traces of each of the flames inside them, with one being the dominant one. For most people, there is a huge difference between their dominant flame and their secondary ones, which are so faint as to be nearly non-existent. But there are some cases, like our dear storm here, where the secondary flames are strong enough to manifest."
Hayato, having heard of this theory before, suddenly realized where Byakuran was going.
"So by stimulating all seven of a person's flames, you we can restore their memories," he said, and Byakuran nodded his approval.
"Exactly. Which is why we had wanted all of you to retain your memories, so that we could keep our cards close to our chest. Ideally, tuna fish, his guardians, and I would know everything, and we could decide together who to bring into the fold. But now that none of you have all of your memories, we will need one other rain, storm, cloud, and lightning in order get you all caught up."
Takeshi's brows knit together.
"We can't...uh...stimulate our own flames by ourselves?" he asked.
Byakuran shook his head in reply.
"You remember when you first got your memories of the future? You were all out for, what, a week? Your brain needs that time to sift through all the new information, and to restore balance. You'll be knocked out completely. Having our flames active when that happens would be extremely dangerous."
Takeshi's eyes widened, and he gulped nervously.
Lambo raised his hand, as if asking for permission to talk, and everyone turned to look at him.
"Why does Byakuran have all his memories?" he asked, confused, and the white-haired male shrugged.
"It was probably a self-defense mechanism," said Hayato, leaning back on his hands and looking up at the ceiling as he thought it through. "His subconscious must have decided that he would have a better chance at survival if he remembered everything, so when it looked like he wouldn't be able to protect all of our memories, it decided focused most of its attention on himself."
"So if it hadn't done that...?" asked Ryohei, curious.
"I'm guessing we'd all have six or seven years of memories, instead of four," he said, looking over at Byakuran with a question in his eyes.
Byakuran shook his head.
"Wouldn't have made any difference."
Hayato nodded, then turned to face his boss, who seemed to still be trying to absorb everything.
"Juudaime?" asked Hayato, and Tsuna's eyes snapped to him.
"Yes?" he asked.
"What do we do next?"
Tsuna looked down, thinking for a moment.
Then, when he looked back up, there was conviction in his eyes.
"First, we're going to find Chrome, and we're going to get Mukuro out of the Vendicare."
SkyGem: Well then. It was...surprisingly easy to get back into this world. Here's some explanation and a bit more context on what's going on. I hope you all enjoyed, and please do leave a review letting me know what you thought! Ciao!