A/N: So this one is kinda long too but its cut up into various segments as you read down. It's not hard to tell but I hope you'll enjoy this.
Beta'ed by WhiteAngel128 and Ankou13
"I can't believe you did that to Mochida. I mean, I hated him, but not enough to actually want him dead."
"You wanted to know. Are you really surprised that I would do something that horrible considering my past?"
"Well, when you say it that way, no. I just wasn't expecting it."
"Then you'll continue to be surprised as I keep going."
"Hey, Tsuna," Takeshi spoke up as the group walked to school one week after the incident with Mochida. Hayato held a cigarette between his lips, letting out a small puff of smoke while Tsuna strode along in the middle of the two guardians. Reborn was in his usual spot in Tsuna's arms, comfortable in his resting place as he cuddled further into the grasp. The brunet peered up at his name being called, glancing curiously over towards his rain guardian. "Have you been hearing about the recent attacks in the area?"
"Attacks?" Hayato muttered, using his lips to tug the cigarette to the other side. He took a deep breath, raising two fingers to steady the stick, and puffed out a long stream of smoke in the opposite direction of everyone else.
"Yeah, the ones towards Namimori Middle's students. A lot of them have been sent to the hospital already for various injuries. It's got even Hibari all stirred up since no one can find the person who's been causing all the trouble. He's been patrolling the area with the rest of his team more often because of it. It's unusual to not see him or the disciplinary committee members around every corner these days." At the skylark's name, Tsuna blinked and tilted his head to the side, never spotting his movements as he walked to school. There was no doubt that Takeshi had gained the entire group's attention, everyone listening carefully to his words. It wasn't an unusual occurrence either, considering the content. "A lot of students are really scared right now since the attacks have been almost random. Many don't come to school these days. Haven't you noticed that there are fewer people in homeroom?"
Hayato 'tch'ed in annoyance from not catching the hints. He should have noticed earlier (though he hated everyone else and wanted to do with then). "And here I thought there was some sort of illness running amok."
"I doubt it, well, if the attacks are random that is," Tsuna muttered under his breath and closed his eyes for a moment to think deeper on the situation. He knew the real reason as for the attacks: Mukuro Rokudo. He was tempted to sigh at the thought of having reached this point of the year, but at the same time, didn't want others to become suspicious of him. Things were beginning to move along, slowly but surely. "I have a strong feeling that I know exactly what is happening."
"Really?" Takeshi tilted his head, leaning forward so that he could see Tsuna's face clearer. It was obvious that he was curious about the subject, believing that it must be connected to the mafia game they'd been playing for a while. It was instinct. "Planning on letting us know?"
Hayato looked like he was about to say something, but resisted, staring at both Takeshi and Tsuna as he waited for the answer. He wanted to defend his boss, yell that he didn't have to say anything he didn't want to. His mouth opened to speak, but he simply took a breath as he tried to calm himself down from snarling. For a moment, the brunet peered at him and gave a small smile in comfort before turning back to the rain guardian.
"Maybe later when I've confirmed a few things. Reborn will probably be the one to alert you of the situation, not me."
Reborn glanced upwards from his spot, still buried in Tsuna's warm grasp. It was apparent that he was questioning the response from the brunet, but didn't voice it, saving the message for later when they were alone. After all, Tsuna was more likely to respond when they were by themselves with no one around to listen in. Still, the attacks were suspicious and with Tsuna already knowing something and the way he had spoken about them, Reborn would have no choice but to investigate to make sure that everything checked out. Of course, he had a strong gut feeling that something related to the mafia would happen, he just knew it. Considering that Tsuna was the heir to Vongola, it wasn't unexpected, though a little early, for an attack since Vongola has been trying to keep the situation quiet from the outside world. Reborn tilted his fedora downwards, feeling Leon waddling around the edges to remain attached at the center, and closed his eyes. He would really have to check things out. Too bad Fong had left to head back to Hong Kong to make sure that the contractor for I-Pin's target would be taken care of as well to keep things quiet on her new living situation. If the storm Arcobaleno was still around, Reborn wouldn't hesitate to send him out to research, but some things just didn't work out the way he wanted them to.
Tsuna glanced down at the hitman and gave a small squeeze to reassure the other that he was well aware of the Arcobaleno's thoughts.
"Tsuna, you're back in the shower again?"
"Yeah, I like it. It's nice to just lie down and close your eyes. I feel like I can drift away like this. It's… peaceful."
"You'll catch a cold if you keep doing this."
"But then you'll take care of me, right?"
"I won't. It's entirely your fault for getting sick after all."
"If you got sick, I would take care of you. You really wouldn't do the same for me?"
There was a small silence. "Maybe…"
Two days after Takeshi had mentioned the attacks, Tsuna, with Reborn's company, had stopped walking down the road towards his house. Things were beginning to escalate as more and more people were being sent to the hospital, and the fear was bubbling up continuously as time went on. Hibari had already been sent out to dispel the attacks, disappearing into the distance. Everyone was hoping that this would be the end of it, but no one was ever sure. It had been a few hours already and there had been no return.
From the brunet's current spot, he could see Kyoko crying in the middle of the street just a few feet away. He blinked, tilting his head slightly in curiosity. The orange-haired girl sniffed as she rubbed her eyes, tears running down her cheeks like streams with no apparent end. She was alone, striding aimlessly down the street with no destination in mind as she walked back and forth between two sections. Her lips were moving, speaking something neither of them could hear nor read, and appeared quite frantic. It was clear that she was shaken up about something. What that was, he wasn't sure. Though, he did have a guess. Hana and her brother weren't anywhere nearby and Tsuna was tempted to sigh at the thought of talking to the idol of Namimori. He always found himself awkward around her, he couldn't help it.
Reborn shifted in the grasp as he peered up at the teen, wondering what the brunet would do next. When Tsuna simply stood there, he gave a hard poke at the abdomen to get his attention. "Are you going to ask her anything? She's crying, you know?"
The brunet didn't move at first. "I'm not really keen on it. Not when I already know what's going to happen." Still, after a few moments of Reborn's constant poking, he stepped forward, heading towards the idol of Namimori Middle School and stopped just behind her. He didn't speak, listening to her cry, before Reborn finally acted. The baby cleared his throat, gaining her attention almost immediately, knowing that Tsuna wouldn't say a single word towards her considering his personality.
Kyoko jumped at the sudden sound and spun around so fast that her skirt lifted up by the twist. Her underwear was just barely revealed, but the brunet kept his focus on the tear-stricken face, not interested in the whole underwear phase like the rest of the male population. "T-Tsuna…" Her words croaked and were slightly raspy. A single tear ran down her face in the meantime and she used the sleeves of her uniform to clear her eyes. Tsuna didn't speak, but reached down into one of Reborn's many jacket pockets to pull out a small handkerchief. The hitman huffed in annoyance, but allowed the brunet to do so, watching as his belonging got offered. In the meantime, Kyoko stared at the white sheet like she was surprised by the whole thing before muttering a small 'thanks' under her breath and proceeded to wipe her face clean. She then blew her nose. It took a few moments for her to calm down, but she did eventually and offered the handkerchief back to the brunet, who immediately refused. "Are you… going to ask why I'm crying?"
Tsuna shook his head silently. "No, I'm waiting for you to speak first."
"Oh…" Kyoko smiled lightly and took a deep breath in an effort to calm herself down enough to speak. Her fingers were still wrapped around the handkerchief. "Well, you've heard about the recent attacks, right?" Tsuna nodded, remembering the conversation with Takeshi and Hayato, even Reborn did. "Well, my brother… I just got the call about it." Kyoko shifted nervously as she tried to speak, not sure on how to go about this topic. She took another breath. "My brother became one of the victims. He's in the hospital right now."
"I see." Tsuna paused for a moment, letting Kyoko dwell on the subject. "Have you seen him yet?"
"No…" Kyoko trailed off. "I mean, I got the call about thirty minutes ago, but I'm scared of heading over. I don't want to see him injured like that."
The brunet closed his eyes for a moment as he shook his head before stepping around the orange-haired girl. "You'll have to head over eventually. Not going would be worse. He's alive, that's all that really matters."
"That's…" The idol paused as she took in those words, her mind going over it. "That's true." She turned around to face the brunet's direction. "Then will you come with me?"
Tsuna peered at the girl for a moment before nodding his head. He would have to head over eventually, that and Reborn would force him to go to further his connection with his future guardians. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his cell phone, a device he rarely used, and opened the cover to head to the text option. Tsuna typed in a quick message that needed to be sent to his two companions, knowing that this would change the future just slightly. Reborn watched with interest, questioning at the strangeness of the message.
"Be careful. You'll be attacked soon so keep an eye out. Tomorrow morning I want everyone to meet me in front of my house. Be ready for a fight."
The message was sent out and Tsuna put his phone away, peering down at the baby in his arms. Kyoko simply watched the interactions between the two, not saying a single word, and smiled at the sight of them. Soon, Tsuna spoke up, "Reborn, if you want to find out what's going on, you'll have to investigate this matter on your own. It's not hard to figure out once you get the right information."
"Oh?" The hitman grumbled slightly at not being offered the stuff he needed, but wriggled from the grasp, jumping down onto the cement floor. He peered up at the brunet like he had just taken a challenge. "Fine then. Just don't get into trouble in the meantime."
"I won't. After visiting the hospital, I'll head straight home," Tsuna took a few steps, gaining some distance between them. "I think there's some mail already waiting for you there from Nono though."
At that, Reborn narrowed his eyes and rushed off, hopping from one fence to another. He quickly disappeared, vanishing behind the various houses in the neighborhood. The hitman didn't want to leave the brunet on his own but in this case, he would allow it. Once the baby was no longer there, Kyoko and Tsuna were left alone on the street.
Tsuna watched for a moment until the hitman was truly gone from sight before walking off with the idol. "Let's go."
"R-Right," Kyoko observed as the brunet took the lead, rushing to try and keep up. She stared at Tsuna's back before smiling to herself, the tears gone from her eyes. "Thanks."
"There's no need to thank me. Reborn wanted me to come with you. Now let's go."
"So how was the hospital visit?"
"Nothing interesting. Ryohei just went on about the attacker and how extreme he was to Kyoko. It was the typical stuff you would expect from someone like him."
"Well, it seems you were correct about the letter. I know who's behind the attacks, but I'm certain you already know as well."
"So you don't want to share the information with me?"
"Why bother when you already know."
"Hayato has been attacked."
Tsuna glanced up at the hitman, staring at the baby with a blank stare before turning back to his book. It had only been a few hours since his return from the hospital, night already setting with the bright sun gone. "I know." Reborn narrowed his eyes at that lack of response, opening his mouth to say something, but was interrupted when Tsuna continued, "And I also know he wasn't badly harmed nor poisoned since he was on guard. He was injured, but they were mere scratches. He'll recover through a night of good rest… well, if he's planning on taking that rest."
The hitman stepped forward, curious on the matter, with one hand on his waist as he looked over the brunet. Tsuna was completely calm, nothing wrong with him at all as he continued to read. He watched as his companion flipped the page of his current book, the honey-colored eyes speeding across the lines. "Then why didn't you do anything?"
Tsuna paused for a moment and looked up at the other curiously. "I gave him a warning, therefore he was more prepared for the setting. He knew there was going to be an attack either on him or Takeshi. Originally, he would be badly injured, but now he only has minor wounds," His mind went over the entire scenario, knowing exactly how it would have gone without the warning. He closed his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath to clear his head before looking back at the baby. "If he was going to be badly injured, I would have stepped in."
"Oh?" Reborn's face was trapped in the same expression, stopping just before he could touch Tsuna's leg. He held his gaze, never lifting it up. "So you would save him if something bad were to happen?"
The hitman shook his head and spun around in his spot, settling next to the warm body as he snuggled up. "I can't tell if you're lying or not, but considering how things have been going over these months, I believe I can trust you on that part," The brunet was obviously the hardest person to read, harder than Fong and Luce. They were some of the few he couldn't react to that easily. Tsuna gave a small hum to those words, observing the little hitman. "Then you must know that we need to plan what to do about our little problem tomorrow."
"I wouldn't worry about that. When I sent my text out earlier, I told them to arrive here in the morning prepared for battle." Tsuna went back to reading, drifting back into his own little world of fantasy. "As far as we both know, the group is called Kokuyo Gang. They're from the Kokuyo Middle School, or so they say, and the leader is Mukuro."
Reborn smirked, letting Leon crawl down his shoulder and onto his lap where he proceeded to pet his partner. He kept his gaze on the chameleon, disappointed that the lizard hadn't transformed into his cocoon state – his metamorphosis phase. Did it mean that they weren't going to move through a life-or-death situation and would ease through this like everything else? "You're better informed than I am, considering your abilities. Then you must know that he and his gang are a group of people who've escaped from Vendicare prison and that Nono has requested that you take care of them." Leon curled around the lap in content, closing his large eyes as he enjoyed the caresses. Tsuna nodded his head in agreement, already knowing about the circumstances. He knew everything from his old world and other's. "Are you prepared to fight?"
"Of course. I won't lose. Everyone will come back alive and well, if not injured."
The hitman pulled down his fedora, covering his eyes. "You'd better hold your words on that."
"I don't lie, Reborn. At least, I won't lie to you."
The hitman didn't move but there was a comforting smirk on his lips. His eyes were closed, slowly drifting off into sleep. "That's good to hear because I will hold you to that."
"Reborn, I'm going to take a shower." Tsuna peered up at the clock before looking back at the hitman who was settled on his desk with a cup of coffee in his hands. The attack towards the Kokuyo gang would commence within ten hours and yet he didn't look like he cared a bit about his situation. He wasn't training like everyone else, worrying about tomorrow. Reborn found it strange, but at the same time, he didn't. He expected Tsuna to act like this, to not care about anything until something popped up. Sometime after dinner, he'd left to see how everyone was doing – to see how they were preparing for tomorrow's battle. Takeshi was practicing his sword moves with his father, a sharpness in his eyes that clearly stated 'I'm not going to lose', while Hayato was mixing up his bombs to make them more potent. Of course, he had invited Bianchi to come along, but hesitated at the last moment, wondering if she was really necessary. Everyone was further along in their forms than what he had originally planned. As the brunet stood up from his place on the floor, the immortal paused. He peered towards Reborn, who was reading some reports, before speaking, "Do you want to join me?"
Reborn blinked rapidly, snapping his head upward. "Join you? In the shower?"
"Yeah," Tsuna nodded his head in confirmation, "Do you?"
The hitman peered down at his reports before looking back up. It couldn't hurt and Tsuna was offering after all. "Why not."
The brunet smiled softly at the agreement and reached over to pick the baby up, cradling him in his arms. He quickly made his way out of his room, avoiding the two children as they ran by his feet with grace. His ears picked up the sounds of Nana calling for both Lambo and I-pin, shaking his head at how happy his mother sounded at being able to take care of someone other than him. Slipping into the bathroom, he placed Reborn down onto the counter and went towards the bathtub, turning on the water. He glanced back at the hitman once more and nodded, closing the curtains behind.
"I expect you to bathe me." Reborn smirked, spinning around as he slipped out of his clothes. Within seconds, he had a small towel wrapped around his waist and was dangling his feet off the edge of the counter, watching the brunet curiously.
Tsuna blinked before beginning his own procedure. "Sure," He slowly stripped down, moving from one article of clothing to another. He was certain that Reborn was watching him carefully and was tempted to sigh in annoyance, but he resisted. As he finished, he pulled a towel around his waist, tying the ends to keep it up. "Reborn, please stop staring. It's quite unnerving." His honey-colored eyes snapped towards the hitman, watching as the other smirked arrogantly without a care.
"Can't help it. You're the one stripping in front of me." Reborn jumped off the edge and landed gracefully onto the floor. He gave another smirk before tottering towards the bathtub. "The water is ready."
"Yeah…" Tsuna had a flash of redness on his cheeks before it was gone the next, leaning over to pick up the baby. Steam was slipping out from the top of the curtains, the mirrors just beginning to fog up at the warmth. However, the tiles remained cold to his bare feet as he wandered about the room. With one hand on the baby, he pulled the curtains open with the other and felt a strong blast of warm air hit him in the face. He wiggled his nose at the heat, pushing back a sneeze, and continued on, stepping straight into the spray of water without even bothering to feel for the temperature.
It was hot, but not enough to burn, and he immediately turned around so his back would face the blast. Reborn was gently dropped at the edge of the tub, feeling the gentle spray of water from above that slipped around the edges of Tsuna's body. He blinked, his normally spiky hair falling downwards as it was flattened out from the weight of the water. Tsuna allowed himself to be doused before reaching for the shampoo bottle, squirting enough into the palm of his hand for Reborn's hair. As he sat down into the center of the tub, he began working his fingers into the black locks, massaging deeply into the scalp with various pressures. Interestingly, he watched as Reborn shivered, delighted by the sight of the other enjoying his touches.
"You're pretty good at this." The hitman leaned further into the hands, closing his eyes in content. Leon had been left on the counter, not wanting the chameleon to get wet. His back was facing the brunet, and he lifted his head up to prevent soap suds from falling into his eyes.
"Thanks." Tsuna almost paused at the complement, but resisted, continuing his work. He dug a little deeper, almost getting a moan in return, and chuckled softly.
"You're enjoying this, aren't you? Seeing me act this way." The hitman huffed, grumbling under his breath as he leaned further, opening one eye to peer up at the brunet.
"Obviously." Tsuna tilted his head slightly to the right just so he could see Reborn's expressions easier, getting a long spray of water to flood Reborn's body, washing the shampoo away. "You can return the favor when you return to your adult body."
At those words, Reborn froze, feeling the shampoo slide down his form in small streams. The moment everything was clear, he spun around to stare at the other in question. A flash of emotion appeared in his eyes, wondering about the words, but it was gone the next. He opened his mouth to speak before closing it right after. There was only silence and Tsuna had long since pulled away to give the hitman time to think. "Are you certain about that? Will I really… turn back?"
Tsuna simply kept his gaze on the other, knowing that Reborn was revealing a small part of himself at those words. It was clear that despite hearing about returning back to normal many times before, it was hard to settle into the truth of the matter. He nodded. "Of course. When I was hit by the ten-year bazooka, I saw the adult you enjoying some coffee. My future self did say that curses are meant to be broken after all."
The hitman eyed the brunet closely, trying to see if there were any hidden meanings, but there were none. "I see. Good. That's always great to know." He turned back around, relaxing slightly. "Thanks."
"It's fine. Now, let's continue, okay?"
"Sure, whatever you want." A smirk was apparent in that tone of voice, Reborn settling back into his usual self.
Sorry to those who wanted a more upscale lead up to the battle, but you have to remember about this Tsuna's personality. Things change because of that so I needed to incorporate that into the setting. A little more hints on the pairing and next chapter we'll head into the arc. Yay!
I'm now trying to finish this story up but it's still going to take a while. I can already tell that there are more people leaving this fandom, it's too obvious, so I would like to complete my stories before it becomes too late.
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Don't forget to leave a review :)