A.N.: I apologize for the long wait my dears! I was busy with finals, a failing grade in AP U.S. History, and the ensuing holidays v.v; I hope this chapter makes up for it! Thank you to everyone who reviewed, added to favorites, communities, etc! It warms my heart :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Katekyo Hitman Reborn. Pity. I do not own any of the songs I refer to in here unless specified otherwise.
Warnings: Future drug usage/references, cursing, and dirty innuendoes.
Extra Warning: Minor Iemitsu bashing.
Much to everyone's chagrin, Iemitsu didn't remember what he had done the night before and continues up to the day of his departure to be rude and inconsiderate. Reborn vaguely remembered the man hitting his head when he fell out of his chair last night. Pity it wasn't a more fatal blow. Reborn carefully watched Tsuna for any stirrings of Tsunayoshi's wrath but didn't glimpse anything other than an occasional darkening of the eyes or clenching of fists. Tsuna truly was something to hold him back the way he did for so long.
Nana was strangely silent. For a naïve and oblivious woman she seemed to have an idea what had happened when yesterday night when Bianchi had whisked her away. She continues to be cheery however, and be highly indulgent to her pig of a husband. Reborn, Lambo, I-pin, and Bianchi couldn't understand why. Tsuna had a sad, knowing glint in his eyes.
When Reborn inquired what he was thinking on the matter, Tsuna had replied,
"Love is like being blind, man."
Reborn had to acknowledge that to some extent.
The day that Iemitsu was to leave was a bittersweet one. Sweet because he would finally be out of their hair and bitter because Nana was crying. Iemitsu held her gently and whispered lies of being back soon. He gave Tsuna a forced smile and attempted to ruffle his soft, fluffy hair but Tsuna sidestepped it easily. His eyes were cold, so cold. Reborn knew that they were Tsunayoshi's eyes.
Iemitsu sneered as he turned his back on his "worthless son" soon to be Mafia boss. He couldn't see it happening-his own son being more superior than him. Nono refused to listen to him on this matter. With a sigh, he waved jauntily at everyone in his front yard before climbing into the shiny, black sedan. Reborn saw a glimpse of Basil, Iemitsu's apprentice.
Basil shot them apologetic looks. Well, the kid was around the moronic CEDF leader the most so he knew what he could be like. Reborn pitied him. Nana stood there dazed for a few moments before walking back into the house, muttering about cleaning. Bianchi followed after her to help. Lambo grinned cheekily at I-pin before they started a game of tag which included furtive tosses of grenades which Tsuna shoot his head ruefully over.
The raucous booms shook the ground and the house. Tsuna realized that he would get to see Gokudera and Yamamoto today. It cheered him up slightly. Reborn tilted his fedora down. Things will look up soon.
"JUUDAIME!" Gokudera cried when Tsuna walked out of his house. "Yo, Tsuna!" Yamamoto greeted cheerfully.
The early morning air came out in frigid puffs when they breathed. Tsuna shivered. It was getting cold. He missed the sunshine. He couldn't recall it getting colder.
Tsunayoshi didn't. He preferred the cold, the slow death of living things. That meant autumn and winter. Tsuna much preferred spring and summer. The birth of nature.
Tsuna grinned lazily at Gokudera and Yamamoto despite the bitter air. He wondered how the cold had crept upon them. Not too long ago it was warm. Time was an odd thing. Faintly, he wondered if time was omnipresent enough to extend beyond the realms of the here and now.
Or if someone had the ability. It would certainly be useful right now he thought. Maybe he could ask Reborn though the hitman might just give him a look and a retort.
They started to dash to school before they were late enough to warrant Hibari's wrath. Tsuna chuckled.
Things were certainly going to be exciting soon. Or so Tsunayoshi said. Tsuna wasn't much looking forward to it like his Dark was.
Nezu-sensei glared at them despite the bleeding scrapes they had obtained from an irritable Hibari. They were only one minutes late to class. Gokudera grumbled curses at both Nezu-sensei and that "blasted skylark."
Tsuna dozed off every now and then. 'Stay awake, Tsuna.' Tsunayoshi said amusedly. Tsuna blinked.
'Ne, ne…Tsunayoshi~ Take my place, I'm dying here,' Tsuna whined. Tsunayoshi rolled his eyes but did what his Light desired.
'How you survived school so long without me never fails to astound me.' Tsunayoshi said with a shake of his head.
'Nerve…your influence?' Tsuna ventured a guess.
While Tsunayoshi was busy conversing with Tsuna in his head, Nezu-sensei was steadily becoming more and more annoyed by his student's lack of attention despite the fact that his other students were being inattentive as well.
"Sawada! Come up here and solve this," he snapped. Tsunayoshi's dark, malicious eyes alighted upon a suddenly nervous Nezu-sensei.
"Why, certainly sensei…" Tsunayoshi purred, standing up gracefully.
Yamamoto exchanged glances with a concerned Gokudera. For once they were on the same page willingly. They hoped Tsunayoshi wouldn't do anything to risk Tsuna in any way even with something as innocent seemingly as this. Even though they knew Tsuna himself was no pushover they were reluctant for anything negative to even happen to their little friend and boss.
Tsunayoshi looked disinterestedly at the problem on the board.
'Eh…' Tsuna mumbled.
Tsunayoshi felt the urge to face palm.
'You do not know how to solve an elementary problem such as this? Perhaps I shall let Reborn have his way in tutoring you in this.'
Nezu-sensei felt triumph that his stupid student couldn't solve the problem. Then his jaw dropped when Tsunayoshi swiftly picked up the chalk and started to solve it with insulting ease. It was even more detailed than his own. Tsunayoshi smirked at him.
"Is this not what you desired as an answer? Adequate is it not?" he said smugly as he took his seat. Nezu-sensei flushed angrily and proceeded with the lesson despite the shocked whispering of the students that Tsuna had solved something no one else besides Hana, Kyoko, and Gokudera could've answered.
Gokudera spouted praises to Tsuna after the class. Yamamoto laughed and swung an arm around Tsuna.
"You were awesome, Tsuna!"
Tsuna grinned lazily. "It wasn't me, dudes."
"Yeah but he is still you in some way, right?" Yamamoto said.
"Yup." Tsuna replied.
Gokudera glared at Yamamoto before yelling that he should remove his arm from Juudaime before he removed it himself.
'They are unnecessarily loud.' Tsunayoshi grumbled.
'You can be too, man...you complain a lot, yeah?' Tsuna answered with a lazy tilt of his mouth.
Tsunayoshi huffed indignantly but didn't deign to reply.
The rest of the day passed uneventfully after that until the school day ended. Tsuna wanted to stay after and practice a new song in the music room but he saw out the corner of his eye a dangerous situation.
Mukuro was leaning against the wall outside the school, smirking at an incensed Hibari who made a rather amusing sight with Hibird atop his head and tonfas ready to strike. Gokudera scowled at the two. He wished his Juudaime didn't have to deal with these fools. He didn't stop to think how hypocritical his thoughts were when it concerned him and the idiotic swordsman next to him.
Tsuna hunched his shoulders with an indulgent sigh. Gokudera and Yamamoto hurried after him as he approached what everyone else was edging quickly away from.
"Ne, ne~ Is this like necessary?" Tsuna called. Hibari glared at him. "This has nothing to do with you Omnivore, herbivores…leave before I decide to bite you to death too," Hibari growled.
"Kufufu, he's just cranky because I decided to step even one foot onto his territory," Mukuro chuckled.
Hibari looked ready to attack ruthlessly so Mukuro whipped out his trident. Tsuna sweat dropped.
'Where did he pull that out of?' he thought.
Tsunayoshi chuckled but didn't reply.
"I only came to see you dear Tsuna," Mukuro said, mock sadly.
"Ne, what for, man?" Tsuna asked curiously.
Mukuro shrugged as he started a furious, deadly dance with Hibari. Clangs of metal echoed in the otherwise eerily silent school. It seemed even the teachers had already vacated the premises.
"What? I cannot see my dear, beautiful Vongola boss? Or to give Chrome-chan, Ken, and Chikusa's regards?" Mukuro answered with a dramatic twirl in the air to evade Hibari's full on attacks.
Gokudera eyed him suspiciously. Yamamoto fingered the hilt of his katana thoughtfully.
"Ne, tell them I miss them too~ "Tsuna said happily. Everyone else nearly face faulted.
'Can he not tell he was being flirted with?!" were their collective thoughts.
'Damn pineapple bastard.' Gokudera thought angrily.
Hibari slashed down and feinted to the right to slash downwards. He seemed to be acting more ferocious than before if that was possible. Yamamoto scratched the back of his head.
He felt bad for Tsuna. He was unaware as ever the advances of others. Tsunayoshi no doubt knew though. That could be bad. He winced when Hibari had landed a blow on Mukuro only for Mukuro to disappear in an illusion.
Tsuna shook his head. He really wished they would quit fighting. It wasn't peaceful whatsoever.
"Hey, dudes! Could ya'll not do this? It could endanger and damage things, yeah?" Tsuna called to Hibari whom he knew would listen on this better.
For a moment it looked like Hibari would ignore him until with great effort and a scowling expression, he ceased his assaults. Mukuro leaped back several feet.
"As well, you know I would've listened to you, right Tsunayoshi?" Mukuro smirked. Tsuna froze for a second. He knew Mukuro had been trying to figure him out for a while, ever since the Ring Battles. It would seem they had not been careful enough and the illusionist had found out if his expression was anything to go by.
With one, last evil sounding chuckle, Mukuro disappeared. Hibari's glare intensified even after he left so he turned it on Tsuna and his friends beside him. "Leave my sight," he hissed.
Tsuna shrugged and started to walk back to the school to the music room now that it had been resolved-at least for now anyways.
"Hey, Tsuna, I have to help my Otou-san at the shop today," Yamamoto said sadly. Tsuna blinked slowly before giving him a lazy smile.
"No problem, man…I'll see you later, yeah?"
Yamamoto gave him an extra large grin and gave a thumb up before running off. Gokudera was ecstatic that he got to be alone with Juudaime. Especially since they were about to do their favorite past time-music.
The music room as usual was empty. The piano sat against the far wall. But Tsuna didn't reach for the fascinating guitar on his back nor did he follow Gokudera to the piano.
"I like wanna try something different, man," Tsuna said, gesturing towards something. Gokudera looked quizzically at what his Juudaime pointed at. His eyes widened.
'Flutes?' he thought. Juudaime sure was full of surprises but that was one of the reasons among many others why he loved him.
Tsuna picked up a long, black, elegant flute. The silver fittings and pieces gleamed in the wintery sunlight. It illuminated Tsuna's caramel coloured hair and pale, flawless skin. Gokudera stared, mesmerized.
"Ne, I'm probably gonna sound like really horrible," Tsuna grumbled as he placed the instrument to his full lips.
"Juudaime could never be horrible in anything!" Gokudera, ever the faithful right hand man, protested.
Gokudera couldn't help but be transfixed when Tsuna started to play a few notes. Sure, they were beginner's notes, tentative and careful, but nevertheless they were beautifully executed.
Tsuna started to move around in time to his notes. He looked so content. Gokudera couldn't help but be content as well despite the stress of constantly being aware of danger.
He almost drifted off to sleep when Tsuna stopped.
"That was Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, right?" Tsuna asked. He wasn't sure; he just heard it one day and wanted to play it on something he never used much. Gokudera started.
"That was beautiful, Juudaime! And I believe it was," Gokudera said reverently.
'He was able to play such a complicated song with minimal mistakes? That's Juudaime alright!" Gokudera thought.
"Tsunayoshi wants to do a song," Tsuna said thoughtfully. Gokudera flinched slightly. He knew about Tsunayoshi, his Juudaime's Darker side's, music. It was deadly in a haunting way.
"Ya don't have to worry about his music affecting you negatively," Tsuna assured him before letting Tsunayoshi take his place.
"Greetings," Tsunayoshi said with a bow. Gokudera nodded his head politely at him.
Tsunayoshi glanced around before making his way to the piano.
"Hmm…I know just the piece," he murmured, sitting down on the piano bench. Gokudera watched carefully as Tsunayoshi took a deep breath before starting to play.
While Tsuna's music was light, cheery, and pure, Tsunayoshi's was haunting, dark, and…impure he noticed. He wasn't surprised. He expected as much. What he didn't expect was how beautiful they sounded in equal measure being as different as the sun and moon. He began to sing.
"Dear my love,
Haven't you wanted to be with me?
And dear my love, haven't you longed to be free?
I can't keep pretending that I don't even know you,
When at sweet night you are my own
Take my hand,
We're leaving here tonight
There's no need to tell anyone,
They'd only hold us down
So by the morning's light
We'll be half way to anywhere
Where love is more than just your name
I have dreamt of a place for you and I
No one knows who we are there
All I want is to give my life only to you
I've dreamt so long
I cannot dream anymore
Let's run away,
I'll take you there
(We're leaving tonight) Gokudera whispered. He knew this song well.
There's no need to tell anyone,
They'd only hold us down
So by the morning's light
We'll be half way to anywhere,
Where no one needs a reason
Forget this life,
Come with me,
Don't look back,
You're safe now
Unlock your heart,
Drop your guard,
No one is left to stop you
(Tsunayoshi repeats this line)
We're leaving here tonight
There's no need to tell anyone
They'd only hold us down
So by the morning's light
We'll be halfway to anywhere
Where love is more than just your name…"
The last echo of the keys he tapped faded. Gokudera realized that dark clouds had gathered outside. Snow was starting to fall.
"I needed to get that song out of my head, I'm afraid," Tsunayoshi chuckled. He stood up.
"I assume you have heard it before?" he inquired.
Gokudera nodded numbly. He was in awe of his Juudaime's Dark half.
"Tis getting late…" Tsunayoshi said quietly. Before Gokudera could utter anything, Tsuna was standing in front of him. He hurriedly held onto Juudaime before he stumbled. Tsuna shook his head.
"Tsunayoshi always makes me fall asleep when he sings," he grumbled.
"He was amazing," Gokudera breathed before hurrying to say that Tsuna was way better.
"Naw, dude…he is better than me at singing but only because of the sin that is drenched in each word," Tsuna said dismissively. Before Gokudera could question what he meant, Hibari was standing at the doorway demanding they left.
Gokudera wanted to hotly protest but Tsuna had dragged him out. As they walked back to Tsuna's house, the snow had started to fall harder. Gokudera frowned. It confused him why it was snowing so early in the wintery months. Eventually he conceded it to be Tsunayoshi's doing. When Tsuna sung the sky always brightened and there were rainbows.
They were freezing and covered in cold, white flakes when they finally entered the warmth of Tsuna's home. Lambo and I-pin immediately jumped on Tsuna. Lambo and Gokudera started to trade insults when they noticed each other which didn't take long. Nana fretted over them, demanding they take hot baths. Bianchi was out looking for winter ingredients for her Poison Cooking or so Reborn said.
Dinner was to be ready in an hour. Gokudera made Tsuna get a hot bath first, refusing to think of himself first when it came to Tsuna. Tsuna would've protested had he not knew how futile it would've been. He sighed good naturedly. He hurried so Gokudera could get in.
Nana made Gokudera stay for dinner and the night, saying he had no business going into the cold and snow. It was a Friday anyways. Reborn watched Tsuna. He needed to get a hold of some of his old acquaintances to further hone Tsuna's skills. Tsuna cannot rely on Tsunayoshi all the time for the skills he lacked.
That included callous physical force, endurance, and calculating knowledge.
'Fong was a good influence while he was here…perhaps Colonello could be of use in these areas.' He thought. But he would rather Tsuna relocate elsewhere for some training. Remaining in the same area to train wasn't good when some situations called for one to be elsewhere usually unexpected. Gokudera will have to go too because unless he had to be he would not part from his beloved Juudaime. Yamamoto was the left hand so he had to go too if not for some experience.
Everyone else had to remain, unless…
Yes, that was what he would do. He hadn't been up to his usual, dirty tricks lately so this will make up for lost time. Though he rather doubted it would have any effect on Tsuna.
Tsuna yawned. It was Saturday. Gokudera had reluctantly left to go home. He was sitting at the kitchen table, munching slowly on a spoonful of cereal. There were marshmallow rainbows.
They made him scrunch up his nose. It wasn't that he disliked marshmallows or rainbows, quite the contrary, but they somehow gave him a forboding feeling. It wasn't one that was going to come true anytime soon but it was eventually. He shook his head to clear the cryptic thoughts Tsunayoshi had also inspired besides the sweet cereal. He looked at his Kaa-san and needle count as she came bounding happily into the kitchen.
"Tsu-kun! I went to the market place and won this for doing a survey!" she said, showing him a colorful piece of paper. He took it.
It was a pass for two people to go to an island resort/cruise vacation.
"Ne, Kaa-san…what about everyone else?" Tsuna asked, setting the paper aside. She deflated slightly.
"Maybe Bianchi could look after Lambo-chan and I-pin-chan?"
Tsuna shrugged with a yawn. "Yeah but it would be like unfair to her," he said, waving his spoon in the air, causing droplets of milk to fly. She tutted as she cleaned it up. Tsuna gave her a sheepish smile.
Reborn popped up next to Tsuna's arm. He offered his cereal to Reborn. Reborn looked at it in distaste before hopping onto the counter for some espresso that was steaming in a freshly made cup courtesy of Nana.
"We will be going too but by different means so you two use the tickets," Reborn said. Nana looked at him ecstatically.
"Really? Thank you Reborn-chan!" she cried before skipping up the stairs to pack.
Tsuna raised an eyebrow. "Eh…I don't wanna go, man…" he grumbled.
"Why not?" Reborn asked curiously. Most people Tsuna's age would jump at the prospect of getting out of school to go on a cruise and to an island resort. Especially since it was winter here and he knew Tsuna hated the winter time even if Tsunayoshi didn't or so Tsuna said. He should've been used to his unusual student by now but he must admit he surprises even him.
"Cuz like…I feel as though something is gonna go wrong, man," Tsuna replied, going to the sink to rinse out his dishes.
Before Reborn could ask why Nana yelled down the stairs for him to pack up. Tsuna sighed and slouched.
"Looks like I have like no choice, sheesh," he said. When he left the kitchen, Reborn sat there on the counter top thoughtfully sipping his espresso.
'Hmm…looks like Tsunayoshi is somewhat aware that I have a scheme of sorts…but Tsuna is awfully perceptive as well, good traits for a Mafia boss.' He mused. Yet that didn't stop him from realizing that Tsuna hadn't asked how he, Lambo, I-pin, and Bianchi. Of course he didn't know that all his Guardians were going too just to stir up trouble if his plan didn't work to surprise/maim his student.
'Still got some ways to go but it's there.'
Nana shielded her face from the bitter winds with her out of place sun hat. Tsuna standing a ways off, looking sleepy. He held in his hands a rolled up piece of smoke. Every time he would go to put it in his mouth he would stop himself. Just the thought of getting high was enough to make him want to break his promise to his friends.
He sighed then tossed it into the ocean then apologized to nature for his disrespect. Now he was really depressed. He fingered the strap of his guitar. It was tempting to play some music. The people on this yacht had weird auras. They were familiar. Then it hit him.
They were associated with Mafia. 'Huh…that little dude sure is sly, heh.' He thought, amused.
Now that he knew why everyone on the yacht was giving him furtive glances and fingering weapons discreetly under their clothes he could assume that where they were going wasn't going to be peaceful. That depressed him even more but what could ya do? Jump off the yacht and get eaten by sharks or froze to death? Tsunayoshi influences my thoughts too much he mused.
At least his Kaa-san was enjoying herself and the Mafia people were leaving her alone. He would've had to step in if they didn't. He blew a feather out of his face. He decided on colorful, tropical feathers and beads.
For a while he examined his worn, brown moccasins. He would need new ones soon he noticed. They had been on the ocean for hours already.
He was so bored. Suddenly, he heard scandalized whispers.
"The rumors cannot possibly be true! That's not him."
"He is Decimo? Impossible."
"His clothes, they are not fitting for a Mafia boss of his status."
Tsuna ignored them. Their auras were dull anyways. Their inner peace was also permanently disrupted by greed too. Why was here among them? It wasn't right.
Not for the first time, he bemoaned his fate as Decimo of Vongola.
Suddenly, he noticed Reborn observing him on the railing.
"Ne, ne~ I didn't see ya there, dude," Tsuna said happily. Reborn's dark eyes peered at him expressionlessly.
"You were thinking deep thoughts?" he asked finally.
Tsuna blinked slowly. Then a slow, lazy grin overtook his face. "Hm, yeah, s'pose I was."
"Of what and why?" he asked with a good idea of what.
"I'm sure ya know…and people on here just aren't peaceful is all, they like need to have muzzles sewn into their faces," he replied. Tsunayoshi's voice had creeped in at the end of the sentence. Reborn shuddered slightly.
"You might not want to say those sorts of things out loud," Reborn pointed out. Tsuna shrugged. Now Reborn really knew it was Tsunayoshi affecting those words and actions. Tsuna was too depressed it would seem.
"I could no doubt take them on if I must," he murmured. Reborn ignored what he said knowing it to be true and not in need of a reply. Then he caught sight of what he assumed was the island they were going to stay on.
Reborn smirked at Tsunayoshi's raised eyebrow and the innocent curiosity of Tsuna's in his dark eyes.
"That is Mafia Land where your tortu-learning will begin."
A.N.: I hope you all have had fun Christmases, Hanukkahs, etc. And happy new years! We lived another year ha-ha.
I do not own Anywhere by Evanescence nor do I own Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. I recommend you listening to Anywhere, good song. Please tell me how you thought of this chapter :)