This story is not for children thus the rating (M). Expect lots of plot twists. Angels and demons don't come until chapter 4. This story has 2 parts. There will be a lot of unanswered questions on part 1 but they will all make sense when we reach part 2. Dark AU Fantasy.
AN: Like what's posted on the notice, I'm currently revising it, although as always, it's not proofread. When I finish everything, I'll find someone to beta this, I promise.
Pairings: G27 10027 All27
Part 1 Chapter 1
Tsuna woke up from his nap. It took a long while for his eyelids to flutter open but when it did, he winced at the sudden onslaught on his eyes. The curtains were pulled to the side making the light pass through the glass wall to paint the room in a strange monotone of orange and black.
Irrational panic filled him when he could not find who he was looking for… His brother always stayed beside him while he slept. It was not comforting to wake up without him near…
Then, he found him, his 'nii-sama.'
His brother was on one corner of the room, leaning against the glass wall. He was sitting on the floor, one leg stretched and another folded, his arm curled around it.
All Tsuna could see was Giotto's shadow. He was a black blur, immaterial. For some reason, Tsuna wanted, needed to assure himself that he was not dreaming… that his brother won't get swallowed by the shadows.
It was the same gloomy sunset when they died. At the very thought, he could barely swallow.
"Nii-sama… don't leave me…"
The sickly child crept out from the duvet and approached his brother. Tsuna knelt and wrapped his arms around the figure and soon found himself pressed tightly against his brother's body. Tsuna inhaled his brother's familiar scent and pressed his forehead against Giotto's chest.
"What's wrong?" Giotto asked, slowly turning his head to look at the tuft of hair below his chin.
"I… the shadows… it's like you're being swallowed… I don't want you gone… Are you leaving me?" Tsuna stared up at his brother, all warm chocolate eyes that turned honey like as the sun's glow danced on it.
Giotto shook his head and said, "Another nightmare I presume… You seem to be getting that a lot lately." He kissed the child's forehead and without further ado, he carried the child to the bed and promptly tucked his sick brother for proper rest. He also took a remote and closed the curtains, plunging the room into darkness and leaving only the lampshade by the bedside open.
Tsuna felt a bit relieved but scared at the same time. The niggling feeling was back and he unconsciously held Giotto's hand tighter.
"You shouldn't even be up yet. What did Shamal say? Not to expose yourself to any stress… God knows how worried you made me when you suddenly stopped breathing." Giotto took a deep breath and continued, "Tsuna," he set the child with a stern look, "I won't go anywhere. We will always be together. Have I ever broken any of my promises with you?" Giotto asked and brushed the child's fringes away, subtly noting that they needed trimming soon.
Tsuna looked away, guilt making his shoulders droop. Giotto took Tsuna's chin forcing Tsuna to look at him, and for a moment Tsuna thought he saw a flash of cold, golden eyes. It was so strange on his brother's normally blue ones. The child shivered.
"Tsunayoshi." It was sharp and biting.
Tsuna flinched at the tone, and whimpered. Tsuna tried to pull away but Giotto's hold on him was steady. Tsuna attempted to look away but Giotto would have none of it and made a noise of displeasure. The twelve year-old visibly deflated, suddenly docile and staring at Giotto with wide eyes that were beginning to water.
"Gomen… won't… h-happen again… nii…nii-sama." Tsuna was trying to hold in his tears but was failing. Giotto's eyes softened and he sighed, "I'm not mad at you, Tsuna… just, take care of yourself. Stop doubting me. I love you. I won't disappear, not like okaa-san and otou-san."
"You... won't leave?" Tsunayoshi reached out with his hand. His nightmare... he couldn't remember what it was about but it felt like Giotto left him. He was all alone in that empty darkness.
"I won't. What do I have to do to prove it to you? I love you Tsuna... I really do." Giotto seemed contemplative and released his hold on Tsuna. He leaned back a little, then he took Tsuna's right hand and pressed it against his chest.
"I promise you, I won't leave. Does it seem like I'm lying?"
Tsuna slowly shook his head.
"...why? Why are you so kind to me?" Tsuna asked.
Giotto wanted to sigh, but kissed his brother's hands. He carefully wiped the tears off his little brother's cheeks and said, "I love you, dame-Tsuna. That's all you need to know."
Tsuna pouted at the nickname but knew his brother didn't mean it.
Tsuna smiled tentatively and soon a happy blush dotted his cheeks. "I love Giotto too… I love nii-sama very much."
Giotto's answering laugh was light and Tsuna blushed a deeper shade of red. He was really unused to such affection.
"I wish you'd be more honest often," Giotto said quietly, then he brushed back his brother's fringe, leaning closer. He murmured against Tsuna's forehead, "Rest some more, Tsuna. I'll stay with you… so don't worry."
Giotto switched the lampshade off, pulled up the covers and wrapped his arms around his brother. Tsuna instantly felt warm and safe. "Nii-sama..." Tsuna murmured. He released a pleasant sigh and pressed closer.
There was a command – a lulling voice that stomped out all his thoughts. "Sleep."
Four months ago, G informed him of the truth, of what they kept from him and why they kept it from him.
The Vongola family chose him as the heir and as such, he was not allowed to contact his immediate family and they were not allowed to influence his life in any way.
He is the property of Vongola, a mere doll that people only know by name (the tenth heir), an existence shrouded in the shadows, unable to escape. They imprisoned him in an elaborate cage with the veil of honor, and grandeur at his fingertips. They wanted him to grow up as the finest Vongola heir. What a farce.
If he knew this was the result, he would have tried to escape long ago.
"Cast away your name. You are not Ieyatsu Sawada anymore. From now on, you will be Giotto Vongola."
Giotto sighed. All that was in the past. It was surprisingly easy to give up and tell them that he was sick and tired of being their puppet.
Who wouldn't be?
The family did not care one bit that both his parents died, and that his brother was sick… almost on the verge of dying. It took a month until someone told him the truth.
He threatened his grandfather that he would kill himself if they did not let him go. At first, he thought they wouldn't give in to his demand but they did. They let him go… too easily. A part of him dreaded the idea that his grandfather would retaliate for his disobedience.
His phone rang and on the screen was the word Spade.
He answered the call. Almost immediately, a voice spoke in Italian. It was something that he hadn't heard in a while.
"Giotto, it's been a month. How are you?"
Giotto laughed mirthlessly, "Fine…"
"Such a good liar."
Giotto smiled at that, and conceded in his mind that he truly cannot lie to his friend.
"How are things in Italy? Is grandfather still upset?"
Daemon Spade didn't speak for a while and the silence unnerved Giotto. "Daemon?"
"Your grandfather is becoming weaker, and he is eager for your return. Do us a favor and come back soon."
Giotto twisted the phone and thought of it… he thought of coming back a few times but after seeing his brother's condition, he was sure that Italy would have to wait.
"I've told you countless times. I can't leave him."
"Then bring him to Italy. Is that a problem?"
"You are actually telling me to bring a traumatized child into Vongola where even I can't survive? Daemon, we are not having this argument. I will stay here until he gets better."
"Until he dies you mean."
Giotto gnashed his teeth, and wished for once that he was not friends with such an insensitive jerk. "If that is how long it will take, then yes. This conversation is over. Do not call me again."
He turned off the phone altogether and sighed.
His thoughts turned to his brother. Between them both, he was the luckier one. Iemitsu was with him the entire time until the tragedy. Even if he hated his father's guts, he was still there for him. Tsunayoshi… he loathed how Tsunayoshi had to grow up without them. The child didn't even know about the divorce case that was going on before the honeymoon disaster.
When he arrived in Japan, it was already a month or so after his parents died. Tsuna was missing.
It took several weeks until they found him in the process of being sold (adopted) to some unknown family. That was after being declared an orphan.
This enraged him. He sent his men to fix the mistake and he took Tsuna away.
It should have been a happy reunion but Tsunayoshi was screaming, crying, miserable and altogether distrustful of him.
He didn't want to recognize Giotto as his brother. He was suicidal and inflicted pain on himself needlessly… He learned later on that Tsunayoshi had often been bullied, and this led to his distrust to people in general, especially elders because no one believed him.
Giotto had to teach him how to "ask" for what he needed or wanted. He had to get Tsunayoshi used to the idea of being spoiled. Nana, his classmates, teachers, doctors... the way Tsuna saw it, everyone ignored him all his life. He was invisible, worthless, and no-good. Then for several years after his heart condition was diagnosed, Nana became paranoid and placed Tsuna inside the hospital away from human contact.
It was so difficult for both of them. Giotto was foreign to Tsuna, and Tsuna hated that. He did not understand Giotto's affection. He did not understand Giotto. At first he did not even understand what it meant to have a brother.
The letters seemed to be an elaborate lie.
Tsuna hated him... and Tsuna took great pleasure in saying that again and again.
There were times that Tsuna would forget his age and begin acting like a child. He would cry and beg for him not to leave him alone. He had abandonment issues as a cherry on top.
There were times that Giotto felt that he wasn't dealing with a twelve year-old but a seven-year old.
His little brother was in shambles and part of it was his fault. Who else could he blame for this?
So he took it upon himself to straighten him up. He made a promise to make it all better.
It took several months to get Tsunayoshi to trust him and it took constant visits to the hospital to make him stable. The therapy, the medication after medication.
They were all stacked in a large drawer. There were multicolored, rounded things taken at different hours of the day. There was medicine in the fridge too. There was capsules for the nebulizer and inhalers. There were emergency medication stacked at the bottom in case of shock. It seemed unhealthy to take so much at a time but... he had to and he would force Tsuna to take them if he had to.
He was so fragile. So breakable. So... unnervingly innocent. Giotto could not blame Tsuna for acting the way he did. He was willing to whatever it takes...
…and Daemon had the gall to suggest that he should bring Tsunayoshi with him to Italy? It was like asking him to feed a defenseless lamb to the wolves!
He thought darkly that his grandfather would rather have Tsunayoshi dead than distracting him like this… but what can he do? He loved his brother dearly.
Giotto bit his lip. 'Maybe I love him too much.'
Daemon allowed his mask to disintegrate into nothingness to peer unto the face of their leader.
It was forbidden to see the heir but as a guardian, he could come and go as he pleased. Such a strange system, but it was there to prevent unnecessary conflict and death. If no one knew who the heir was, then the heir would not be needlessly hunted and no one had to die trying. This way, until the heir was strong enough, he would not be exposed to danger.
Being a guardian was an invaluable privilege.
Daemon thought that part of the reason Giotto chose him was because of Elena, his diseased wife. Elena was Giotto's tutor until she died.
Perhaps it had something to do with his family. His position in the hierarchy was only a little below the ruling class. Many cowered before him because of his reputation...
…and yet Giotto was not the type to choose his guardians based on any of those. The teen was impossibly intuitive, and knew more than he let on. During the night of the assembly when he handpicked him and the green-haired seer, he was elated, and at the same time outraged. Guardians were chosen very carefully and to all who attended the gathering, this behavior became a source of controversy and displeasure.
At one point the enraged subjects violently protested until they found out who Giotto actually chose from among the crowd.
A grim reaper and the heir to a family of seers.
To this day, he did not know what Giotto actually saw in him but he was going to take advantage of it.
Today, he'd been invited once again to converse with the ever elusive prince and as always, he could not read Giotto's mind.
His dear prince gestured for him to come closer.
They sat together on the grass near the lake. Giotto was relaxed enough to lie down deceptively defenseless. Daemon sighed and did the same.
It wasn't enough though. No matter how much familiarity they reserved for each other, it was never enough. He would want for more, because before serving the prince, he serves his family. Right now, all he wanted to see is if the heir was worthy of their servitude. It was not that he was tired of the pleasant past time, but he was never a patient man.
Giotto promised him entertainment… and he did not doubt that the prince would be able to grant him that. Giotto's prowess was undeniable that even the king is afraid of him.
They conversed as friends, not as subject and ruler.
"Perhaps… one day, they will… make me forget this existence, but… when that happens, you will put me back together, won't you, Daemon?"
"I will, Giotto."
Later that night, when they have finally retired to Giotto's quarters, Giotto asked him to play the violin. With little choice, he did so, but stopped when he noticed what the prince was doing.
He was writing another letter, and it was addressed to a human. 'Pathetic'
"How long are you planning to play 'big-brother'?"
"For as long as I could, Daemon. I have never thought human life would be so interesting… I'm thinking of keeping my little brother. He is much too pure to be considered one of them. Once the purge begins, I'll tell him everything… Tsuna will understand. He's such a sweet child."
Daemon hid his face with his mask and fades.
"Look it's the brothers."
A group of girls squealed at the sight. They began pointing at the approaching pair.
"Giotto-sama looks as handsome as ever! Dame-Tsuna is so frail-looking. I heard he got admitted to the hospital yesterday, I hope he's alright."
Tsuna was holding Giotto's hand and was leaning against his older brother.
"Keep it quiet, they might hear you. Oh, here comes the body guards!" They watched as several other friends of Giotto joined them and glared at those who dared to approach. Tsuna hid behind Giotto shying away from Giotto's friends who reached out to ruffle his hair.
He was tired.
Tsuna sighed and shifted his weight to one side, and stopped walking. He pressed a hand against his forehead and Giotto turned to him, concerned. "You really should have stayed at home. Would you like to go back?"
Tsuna shook his head. "I… I can't afford to miss more classes."
Giotto measured his brother's temperature with his hand. Tsuna frowned and put the hand away. "I'm fine, nii-sama... just tired."
Tsuna mumbled a soft apology before perking up at the sight of his friends. "Yamamoto-kun! Irie-senpai!"
"Tsuna!" Yamamoto greeted with a cheerful wave.
"So I'll see you after class?" Giotto said.
Tsuna nodded, and blissfully unaware of the fangirls dying from nosebleed, allowed his brother to tilt his chin and be kissed on the forehead.
"Take care of yourself, little brother." Giotto had a weird look on his face and tightened his grip on Tsuna's arm. "Tsuna..."
Tsuna's eyes widened, "I will, nii-sama…? I-itai-"
Giotto let go as if scalded. He ruffled Tsuna's hair and walked away staring at his hands. Giotto nodded to G and Asari. The rest of his friends followed him.
He then heard his brother's laughter followed by a high-pitched hiiee, and suppressed a smile.
Giotto knew that Tsuna's friends were trustworthy. They would never let any harm befall his brother. He made sure of that… but there were some friends of Tsuna that he wasn't acquainted with. That was a problem.
After hearing from the doctor that his little brother didn't have much time left to live, possibly a year at most, filled him with… misery.
First it was their parents. He blamed his dad for suddenly suggesting a third honeymoon after disappearing for years. The man was barely there for Tsuna and when he finally came back, he ended up killing himself together with their mother.
Come to think of it, Tsuna used to be such a healthy child but all of a sudden, when Tsuna was seven, his heart went weak. Nana was stupid, and disregarded the signs. She brushed it off as asthma attacks (which Tsuna also has) and thought it was Tsuna's fault for not bothering to exercise properly. For a time, she ignored Tsuna and Tsuna being the shy child, didn't bother to tell Nana what he really felt. That was until Tsuna started fainting and having trouble breathing.
Then he almost stopped breathing.
It was too late when they brought him to the hospital and when Tsuna turned eight, unlike most children, instead of being at school he spent his time looking at the window of his hospital room.
The doctors couldn't help then. They can't help now.
He just wished things could be simple.
He didn't know who else he could blame. He partly blamed himself for agreeing to Iemitsu's proposal.
Iemitsu sent him off to Italy when he was six and he was adopted into the Vongola family as the heir.
Thirteen years later, he was back in Japan to look for his dying brother. When he finally found Tsuna, he spent days trying to get his little brother to come out of his room, to get him to eat – to make him want to live.
The memory made him seriously want to bash someone's skull, preferably his father's – he refused to see the man as such.
Therapy after therapy made no improvement and it was only until Giotto resorted to taking a stern hand that something changed. It was as if something broke in Tsuna, and probably... in him too. Tsuna became more accepting… and the results were all that mattered. He could delude himself that he was happy with this, and yes he was.
Tsuna started calling him nii-sama like how he did in his letters. He started becoming very affectionate... but... he had lapses.
After seeing Tsuna smile for the first time, he knew for all the trouble it took him to coax his little brother out of his shell, it was worth it.
The inheritance he received was more than enough for any expenses they needed to pay. That was another mistake. Not one cent was given to Tsuna. Everything was given to him. If G didn't tell him of the accident, he wouldn't have flown back to Japan.
He really couldn't believe it that for a month, Tsuna was on his own, with no money, dying, and alone. It made him horribly ill how lonely Tsuna could have been or how much Tsuna suffered... especially when they told him that he was going to be sent to an orphanage... or that someone had to adopt him.
He wished he could turn back the time and give his father a piece of his mind… but that was impossible. He made sure to prolong Tsuna's life as much as possible, and even if it was against his wishes, he'll continue to let Tsuna have a normal life if that's how his little brother wanted to live.
He stopped walking and stared at the white-haired man who suddenly wrapped his brother in a hug. "G. Find out everything you can about Irie and Byakuran. Have the papers at my office tomorrow morning."
G grinned. Giotto figured he could not help himself. He took his phone out and wrote a message.
Call me if anything happens.
AN: Giotto is 19 and Tsunayoshi is almost 13. I added more details. Still the same, just minor changes... I could not resist adding more... fluff.