Disclaimer: I don't own KHR.
Oh, yes, a little guide:
"Word." - English
"Word." - Japanese
Tsunayoshi Sawada was simply a normal, six-year old child.
And he would have stayed a normal child for a while longer, had Nana not won those tickets to England from a contest in a supermarket Nana frequented.
But she did: so, while Tsuna was finishing up his breakfast, Nana decided to tell him the good news.
"We're going to visit England!" Nana said cheerfully, not turning away from the sink where she was washing the dishes. She almost clapped her hands together, but remembered at the last moment that she was holding a dish in her hand.
Tsuna took a few moments to process this information- and to recall the approximate location of England.
"Huh? How come?" Tsuna exclaimed, dropping the chopsticks in his hand onto the floor. There had been no talk of England before this moment. Not to mention that in his six years of life, he hadn't yet gone on a vacation overseas.
"You see, Mama entered into this contest for a week long trip to England!" Nana explained. "Mama was really shocked when she won, because so many other people entered this contest too!"
"So we're going to England?" Tsuna said with a grin. He paused for a moment. "Wait, Mama, what's in England?"
"Mama isn't that sure either!" Nana laughed. Her eyes clouded for a moment. "I- Mama won three tickets, but Daddy isn't around that often, right? He has work to do. So it'll just be Tsuna-kun and I!"
Tsuna looked down at the rest of his food, then at the chopsticks he had dropped onto the floor. He decided against getting new ones, and simply brought his plates over to the sink.
"When are we going, Mama?" Tsuna asked, lifting up the plates for Nana to take. He was still too short to reach the counter.
"In six days," Nana answered, dutifully taking the plates. "You can brag about it to all your friends!"
What friends? Tsuna thought mournfully. He didn't voice his complaints, though: he didn't want to worry Mama.
Six days passed. Nana and Tsuna sat in front of their gate at the airport. As they sat, something important occurred to Tsuna.
"Mama… can you speak English?"
You must forgive Tsuna for not thinking of this before. He was only six, after all. Luckily, this was not a problem.
"Don't worry, Tsuna-kun," Nana said. "I took English classes all through school, and I've kept up with my skills occasionally. You never know when you might need to use English, after all! "
"That's amazing!" Tsuna exclaimed.
"But Tsuna-kun can't speak English, so you have to stay with Mama, okay?" Nana said.
"I can speak English!" Tsuna objected. "Ha- hallo!"
Nana let out a smile at that.
After a while, the two of them headed onto the plane. The plane trip took a long time, so Tsuna spent most of the time sleeping. Because of that, Tsuna's jet lag wasn't too bad- although it still prevented both Nana and him from doing much for the first day. They slept and attempted to understand the English TV.
But on the second day, they headed out to go shopping. Nana didn't want to go to any of the tourist traps straight out, because she was afraid Tsuna would get lost.
Then, Tsuna promptly got lost.
Panicking, he looked around desperately for his mother. Moving around in the crowd, he eventually was backed up against a bench.
"Mama! Kaa-chan!" Tsuna cried out.
Tsuna flipped around to stare at a blond-haired child with a lollipop stuck in his mouth. He looked around the same age as Tsuna, and was sitting on the bench.
The kid took the lollipop out of his mouth and stared at him. Tsuna vaguely noted that the lollipop was red.
"Kaa-chan… that's Japanese for Mom, isn't it?" the child said. "Are you lost too?"
Tsuna stared at the child blankly.
The child frowned.
"You don't speak English?" he asked. His brows furrowed. "Uh… you are lost?"
"Yes," he answered.
"I'm Spanner," Spanner introduced himself. "You?"
"My name's Tsuna," Tsuna replied. "Have you seen Mama?"
"No. You see Mom?" Spanner asked in broken Japanese.
"… No?" Tsuna said hesitantly, not exactly sure what Spanner was saying. "Are you lost too?"
Spanner frowned, attempting to decipher Tsuna's words. Scratching his head, he eventually decided that Tsuna was asking if he was lost too.
"Yes," Spanner replied.
They stood in an awkward silence for a little while, simply scanning the people around them for their respective mothers.
"Um. That is, Spanner-kun, aren't you English?" Tsuna asked. "Why are you lost?"
"… I'm not from London," Spanner answered. "Lots of people."
Tsuna's eyes widened, his head whipping to and fro in search of his mother. He spotted her running towards him.
Nana stopped in front of Tsuna and placed her hands on her knees, breathing heavily. She looked up towards with a weak smile.
"Tsuna-kun, I told you to hold onto my hand," Nana gently chided. "Why did you let go?"
"Sorry, Mama," Tsuna apologized, not answering Nana's question. He didn't want to say that he let go because he saw an interesting toy.
Nana suddenly noticed the blond-haired boy next to Tsuna.
"Who's your friend?" Nana asked.
"He says that his name is Spanner," Tsuna said. "He speaks a little bit of Japanese. He's lost too!"
"What?" Nana's eyes widened. "Where are your parents, Spanner?"
"… My mom is somewhere around here. She should be here soon, 'cause we… said to meet up here if I got lost." Spanner answered. He decided against commenting on Nana's less-than-stellar accent.
Nana settled herself down on the desk next to Spanner. "I can't just leave a child alone!"
Spanner stuck his lollipop back into his mouth and shrugged. It was really none of the other woman's business, but she was free to sit where she wanted. It would be too much of a pain to try to convince her to leave, anyways.
"Tsuna-kun, you can sit next to Spanner!" Nana decided, shifting over to leave a space for Tsuna to sit.
"Eh?" Tsuna exclaimed. Nervously, he settled himself down next to Spanner.
Spanner glanced towards Tsuna and took his lollipop out of his mouth. "Do you like robots?"
"Robots?" Tsuna said in surprise.
"Japan's robots are…" Spanner frowned, not sure how to express his feelings in Japanese. "Er… amazing."
"Cool?" Tsuna suggested.
Spanner smiled, his eyes brightening. "Yes. Robots are… cool!"
"I've seen robots before, and they are pretty cool," Tsuna said, smiling at Spanner.
Spanner, encouraged by Tsuna's statement, went on and talked about all his favourite robots. He explained in detail the little mini robot he had managed to create the other day. Tsuna tried to understand what Spanner was saying, but Spanner's mediocre Japanese and Tsuna's little knowledge of the subject made conversation difficult. Tsuna resigned himself to smiling and nodding.
"…. Should…" Spanner frowned. "Uh, e-mail address?"
"E-mail address?" Tsuna said in confusion.
"Spanner, thank goodness!"
Both Tsuna and Spanner's heads shot up at the sound of Spanner's name. A blond-haired woman was running towards the bench they were sitting on. As she neared them, Tsuna noted the sweat that was steadily dripping from her forehead. Her clothing was loose enough that no sweat stains were noticeable, however.
"Mother, you took a while," Spanner said calmly, pushing himself off the bench. He nodded towards Nana and Tsuna. "These people are Japanese tourists. He- Tsuna- was lost like me, and his mother wouldn't leave once she learned that I didn't have my parents with me."
"Why, really?" Spanner's mother gave a smile towards Nana. "Thank you for staying with my child. I was quite panicked when he disappeared."
"No problem," Nana replied, somewhat surprised that the woman could speak Japanese. "I couldn't just leave a child by himself!"
"You forgot that we were supposed to meet up here, didn't you," Spanner sighed. It wasn't a question- it was merely a resigned statement.
Spanner's mother let out an embarrassed laugh.
After a few minutes of conversation, they discovered that they were planning to head to the same spot next. Spanner's mother- whose name turned out to be Nicoletta- explained that their family was going to be moving to Italy soon, so they were going around the tourist sites.
Spanner and Tsuna, on the other hand, continued on making conversation in halting Japanese. While this would have no immediate consequence, as soon as Tsuna got home, he would attempt to learn English as soon as possible.
Tsuna had no e-mail address; in fact, he had barely ever touched a computer. And as Spanner didn't particularly want to write letters, they were in a bit of trouble. They had no way to contact each other.
Spanner wanted to keep in contact because of mild interest in the brunet and the fact that he was Japanese- Tsuna wanted to keep in contact because Spanner was the first friend he had ever made.
However, Nana stepped in and gave Spanner her e-mail address. With a smile, she promised to make an e-mail address for Tsuna once they returned to Japan.
For the next few days, they headed out together. The two mothers got along reasonably well, and above all Tsuna and Spanner were becoming close friends. Spanner never got along that well with the people at his school, no one bothering to listen to him rambling on about robots. Tsuna not only listened, but put in his two cents once in a while.
Though, it was a pain speaking in Japanese. Spanner's mother used to have a Japanese friend, so she learned Japanese back in high school. She figured it couldn't hurt to teach Spanner how to speak Japanese, especially considering Spanner's love for robots. However, he was nowhere near fluent in the language.
The week passed all too quickly. Spanner and his mother left, promising to keep in contact, and Nana and Tsuna headed back to Japan.
Tsuna, impatient with the slow pace of his English classes at school, started to learn English outside of school with the help of Spanner and library books. While studying had been hard when he couldn't find the motivation, now that he desperately wanted to be able to communicate better with his first and only friend, he learned English at a crazy pace. Within the year, he managed to learn enough English to read Spanner's e-mails and send e-mails back in English.
His pronunciation was far from perfect- but nevertheless, his reading and writing skills were excellent.
If Tsuna's meeting with Spanner was the first turning point in his life, then Spanner's birthday present for Tsuna's seventh birthday would be the second.
The present arrived in a small wooden box the day before Tsuna's birthday. Knowing that it was Spanner's birthday gift for him, Tsuna held off from opening it until the next day. So, the moment his clock hit twelve, Tsuna quickly opened the box.
In the box was a robot. It was a simple, vaguely humanoid robot that was capable of walking around; nothing more, nothing less.
But Tsuna was fascinated with it.
He couldn't believe that Spanner- a boy the same age as him- could make something like this, powered only by a battery. For the next few weeks, he practically interrogated Spanner on the way robots work. Tsuna was rather disappointed to discover that it would take a while for him to be able to design and make robots by himself, but he kept at it.
As a result of his concentration on this technology, his marks in school remained low; Tsuna didn't care much about his marks, since he was still in elementary school. He was still the top in the class for English, however. His regular correspondence with Spanner made second grade English easy.
When Tsuna turned ten, he was finally capable of making his own robot. Proudly, he designed and created it and sent it to Spanner for his tenth birthday. Spanner was quite happy that a whole new topic of conversation had opened up.
Tsuna delved further into the world of robotics and technology. Nana was overjoyed that Tsuna seemed to enjoying his 'hobby' so much, she let Tsuna buy the materials he needed; provided they weren't too expensive. By the time he hit eleven, the only normal furniture in Tsuna's room were a desk (covered in rather atypical papers) and a small bed. His room was full of his tools and his robots.
Iemitsu made occasional visits, though his visits were spread farther and farther apart each time. And of course, as Tsuna grew older, he grew more doubtful of Iemitsu's 'working traffic at construction sites' story. He wanted to find out what his father really was doing.
His plan was set in motion by eating his dinner early one night, when Iemitsu was home. He suggested that Nana should have a nice dinner with Iemitsu without him. While Iemitsu was on his laptop, Tsuna brought Nana upstairs for her to drag Iemitsu down for dinner. Nana could be quite forceful when she wanted to be; Tsuna was counting on that.
Once Iemitsu was safely downstairs, Tsuna snuck into the room. He was overjoyed to discover that not only was the laptop on, it was logged onto Iemitsu's account. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Tsuna promptly poked around on the thing.
That was when he discovered that Iemitsu was most definitely not someone who worked traffic at construction sites. Why would someone working at a place like that have coded e-mails?
He quickly downloaded the contents of some of the e-mails onto a USB stick with the hope that he would eventually be able to decipher the code. Tsuna then returned the laptop to its former state and snuck out of the room.
Tsuna would eventually give up on the code and send it to Spanner to see if he had any luck.
Spanner spent over a year cracking the code. True, he didn't spend every waking moment on the code- far from it- but nevertheless, it shows that this code was quite the difficult one. Once he had managed to crack it, Spanner explained to Tsuna why he probably was unable to solve it: the emails were in Italian.
And that Tsuna's father was in the mafia.
Nana had told Tsuna that Iemitsu had gone away and became a star just the week before. Tsuna (incorrectly) read that to mean that Iemitsu was dead. He didn't mourn Iemitsu- truthfully, he barely knew him. He was curious about how it happened, but Nana wouldn't answer any of his questions. Not wanting to make her get depressed, he only asked a few questions before giving up.
If Iemitsu was in the mafia, then it answered about one of his questions: how Iemitsu died. It opened up a whole bunch of other questions, like why the hell Iemitsu was in the mafia. But Tsuna resigned himself to never knowing; if his father was killed because he was in the mafia, he most definitely didn't want to get involved.
Spanner also firmly warned Tsuna to stay away from the mafia.
That spring, Tsuna entered middle school. He actually started to try in his classes. With a bit of effort, his average grade jumped from 'almost-failing' to 'slightly above average'. (It helped that he was already doing pretty well in Math and Science). His elementary school nickname, 'Dame-Tsuna', was only used by some of his mean-spirited former classmates; and of course during his P.E. class.
Autumn came around. Tsuna remained cordial with his classmates, but had no real close friendships. He didn't mind: talking with Spanner was much more interesting than hanging out with his classmates, after all.
Tsuna was working on a new robot in his room when he met the baby. It was a sunny day, but Tsuna was cooped up in his room.
"It looks like you're just like your file says you are."
Tsuna ignored the voice and continued on working on his new robot.
Reborn, irritated, attempted to kick Tsuna to grab his attention. The key word here: attempted. Tsuna's hand shot out to slam onto bright green button on his desk. Metal bars shot up from the ceiling and around Reborn. However, Reborn wasn't the world's greatest hitman for nothing. Jumping back, he narrowly missed being captured in the makeshift cage.
Tsuna spared a glance towards Reborn. It was a death glare that could freeze Hell itself.
"Finishing. Robot," Tsuna spat out, his eyes flashing.
Reborn wisely decided to stay back. He recognized that aura; the techies in the Vongola often had that sort of aura when working on a project.
They could get quite violent when in that state. Reborn would prefer not to injure Tsuna, and so, he stayed back.
About a quarter of an hour later, Tsuna leaned back in his chair and grabbed his math textbook. The robot was saucer-shaped, capable of zipping around on the table. And, of course, one other thing.
"Solve for x where 2x= 9x – 28," Tsuna asked the robot.
A robotic voice, somewhat resembling Tsuna's voice, answered his question.
A small smile was pasted onto Tsuna's face. He read out another one of his homework questions.
"There are four people in a room. For every two people, there is a 50% chance that they are friends. Two people are connected if a),they are friends, b), a third person is friends with both of them, or c), they have different friends who are friends with each other. What is the probability that every pair of people in this room is connected?"
The robot made some electronic noises for a minute or two, before giving an answer.
The small smile grew into a wide grin that spread across Tsuna's face. Clicking on a button on the robot, he turned it off.
"Now you, baby." Tsuna turned around and looked at Reborn. "What do you want?"
"… you aren't going to ask why a baby can speak?" Reborn asked, somewhat incredulously.
"Obviously you can," Tsuna deadpanned. "I'm curious, yes, but I'm sure that you'll be more inclined to tell me why you act like an adult if I listen to what you have to say. So?"
Reborn shrugged. Whatever floated his boat, he supposed.
"I'm the world's greatest hitman. I was assigned by a certain man to train you to become an astounding mafia boss," Reborn explained. He looked over Tsuna with a critical eye. "Your case is far from hopeless, but it still will be difficult."
Tsuna blinked once. Twice. Thrice.
"Right," Tsuna groaned, rubbing his temple. "And I suppose I can't get out of this?"
"No," Reborn answered, resisting the urge to shoot the boy. There was no reason to. Yet.
"A certain man… is that my father you're talking about? I know he's part of the mafia, and it's possible that he's not actually dead…" Tsuna mused.
Reborn raised an eyebrow. "Your father? No. But he isn't dead… why would you think that? I saw him just the other day."
"… I see," Tsuna muttered. "That bas-"
"- anyways. " Reborn cut in. "I am and will be your home tutor for the next little while. I've seen your marks, and while they're good, they're not great..."
A cruel smile spread across Reborn's face.
"And I don't accept anything less than a hundred."
Tsuna shrugged. It would be a pain keeping his grades up, but it would be better than dying horridly at the hands of the self-proclaimed world's greatest hitman.
Plus, he could always use his math homework machine.
"And I won't let you use that interesting device you just created," Reborn added.
There you have it. I think I'll keep this as a one-shot for now. If people actually want me to, I'll probably continue. xD