Title: Flowers of Forgetfulness
Summary: It had been a year since the Representative War ended, since Reborn and the Arcobalenos died. Now Tsuna, in the third year of middle school, had accepted his role fully as Decimo. But what are seven supposedly dead people doing in Namimori? Are they truly the Arcobaleno? Or are they simply familiar strangers? An AU of the end of the Curse of the Rainbow Arc.
Author: The Storyteller of Dreams
Disclaimer: I don't own Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Note that I used the Japanese 'surnames first, first names last' thing. Tissues are recommended to have on hand before you read.
Pink Carnation: I will never forget you
Tsuna had tried and tried and tried, but no matter what, he couldn't save them.
It was a bitter reality that Tsuna tried to deny at first. But it was there, Bermuda was right, he was wrong. The only way to win was to defeat Checkerface.
But for Tsuna, that didn't count as winning. Winning shouldn't mean losing your tutor, friend, family. Victory shouldn't mean losing Reborn.
The thing was, he's going to lose him either way. It was just a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils.
But he didn't actually considered it before Reborn pulled his hair and said. "Dame-Tsuna."
Except, it wasn't really him, but it was. For the first time since the Representative War began, Reborn took off his curse before him. Tsuna, despite all the pressure and bitter inevitabilities, still couldn't believe that the cool man in black who defeated his father was Reborn. But then again, he shouldn't be so surprised. While Reborn gave off a completely different feel in his adult form –Tsuna couldn't believe this was the same person who cosplays- there are some similarities that he didn't notice before when he first saw him, too shocked with his defeat in the hands of his father. The distinct curly sideburns, signature fedora and chameleon should at least given him a hint on who he was.
"We'll have to defeat him, Dame-Tsuna." He said calmly, cooly, as if he wasn't signing his own death warrant.
"No!" Tsuna cried out, too scared and worried for his teacher to notice that, one by one, the other Arcobalenos had knocked everyone else out. "If we do that you'll-!"
He couldn't even finish the sentence. It was incomprehensible to him; you had better luck in convincing him that the moon rose from the east and the sun from the west than this terrible truth. Reborn couldn't just die. He was the strongest person Tsuna ever knew, the one who believed in him and pushed him to do his best, through hell or high water. Reborn was always there, right by Tsuna's side when he needed him. The idea that he would someday not be there for him made the future Vongola Decimo's head spun.
He was Reborn. Reborn couldn't just die.
But at the end of the day, cursed or not, Reborn was human. And all humans die someday.
"This shouldn't be your fight." Reborn said, voice soft, resigned to his fate. Tsuna wanted to scream, do something at least. His tutor was never soft, the brunet rather have a scathing insult of embarrassing comment than this resigned softness.
"It is my fight! You taught me to fight for my family, Reborn." Tsuna protested, anything to stop Reborn from looking that way. He had seen it once, after Bermuda told them the truth of the Arcobaleno and it looked wrong on the hitman. "You're my family too!"
Reborn shouldn't look so defeated.
The look on his tutor's face was an understanding one, and Tsuna hated every moment of this. Reborn was sharp and dark, he should be kicking Tsuna for raising his voice against him and tell him to go and fight now. He shouldn't sound so resigned, looked so defeated. Tsuna would do anything for his family and Reborn was a part of it. If he could, the future Vongola Decimo would defeat Checkerface just like he did with Bermuda and find some way for his tutor to live. He would endure thousands of spartan training, of bullets being shot his way, if it meant that Reborn would be safe and alive, anything to make sure his tutor, the one who believed in him even though he let him down when the hitman needed him most, would stop looking like that.
The look on Reborn's face, his posture, his tone, made Tsuna felt scared as his Hyper Intuition buzzed. This felt too much like-
"One last lesson, Tsuna." Reborn said, voice soft and sad, but filled with pride and conviction. "I'm proud to have you as my student. Whether you will become the Vongola Decimo or not, I know you will be a great man."
He gave a small smile, a quirk of lips that wasn't a smirk, so unlike his usual expressions. "Thank you for making me want to live and fighting for me."
-like a goodbye.
He noted dimly that the other Arcobalenos had released their cursed forms. But he didn't notice nor cared as he tried to process what his tutor had said. No, it couldn't be-Reborn couldn't-this wasn't-!
Tsuna would have protested, said something to change his mind, if Reborn hadn't knocked him unconscious by then, unable to stop Fate from weaving her sad loom.
When he was next awake, Tsuna immediately searched for any signs of the Arcobaleno.
He found none, but saw his Family and friends unconscious on the ground, by the roots of the trees. After making sure they were alright, Tsuna flew away, determined to find the missing people.
He looked high and low for any signs of the Arcobaleno. He shouted their names at the top of his lungs until his throat was sore, flew until he could no longer flew and by then he would walk around the town, trying fruitlessly to find them. But, despite all his hard work, he couldn't find any trace of them. It was as if they had disappeared from the face of the Earth.
It would only be a month later, after Tsuna practically ordered the Vongola to look for the missing Arcobaleno, along with many other who had closed ties to them like the Giglio Nero, Lal and Varia helping them, and couldn't find them that the future mafia boss was forced to accept the bitter reality that they were, indeed, gone.
It would take another three months before Tsuna was finally willing to start looking through Reborn's belongings that still remained in his room and find a letter addressed to him that shook him out of his depression.
To my student,
If you're reading this, that means that I had died.
First things first, it is not your fault.
Get this through your thick head. It. Is. Not. Your. Fault. You're not a hero, Tsuna, you don't need, and sometimes can't, save everyone all the time. Everyone will die someday, even me. But you shouldn't focus on it. Don't forget that you still have other people among the living that could be taken care of.
Don't worry about the dead, Tsuna, we aren't coming back.
If you read this after long months of being depressed then I regret dying because I can't shoot you from the afterlife. Stop being stupid, Dame-Tsuna, and get over your grief. You have a life to live and if you're not living it, I will find a way to shoot you from here.
I know that I always relate everything back to you becoming the next Vongola Don. That was my mission after all and I don't regret it, but if you choose to do something else then go for it. I have taught you to be a great man that I know you will become, what happens next will be your decision. But know that no matter what you finally decided to be, I won't have any regrets because I know you will be alright.
When I first saw you, I couldn't help but thought that the Vongola was doomed and the Ninth was getting senile in his old age. You were weak, unskilled, an absolute failure at practically everything. Even Dino, incredibly and utterly clumsy as he is, was better than you were. You have no idea how many times I thought killing you would be mercy.
But…I did enjoyed our time together. You were utterly no-good at everything, but I still had fun teaching and torturing you. I never thought of how I would die a dog's death whenever your whining, high-pitched voice would scream like a girl at your Family and friends eccentricities. Sometimes…I would get caught up too and forget how dark the world could be.
If I didn't have the time to say it, I will write it here. I am proud to be your teacher. You can be no-good at times, but you have improved so much since I first saw you as a helpless, stuttering weakling. I wish that I can see you grow more into a fine man, but it seems I have to content myself with the knowledge that you'll be one someday.
You made me want to live when I thought there was no other way but die and fought for me even though I said that you no longer needed to do so. You even fought against me twice to convince me that I shouldn't give up my hope in living so easily, a far cry from what you would do during our first days together. For a moment in both events, I felt like a stubborn subordinate being reprimanded by his boss. An incredible feat, considering that only the Ninth and Luce could make me feel that way. You changed so much, Tsuna, and for the better.
You made me want to live and fought for me, and for that, I thank you. Now you need to live without my help, but I know that you have friends and Family willing to help you, if they aren't already. You will be fine, I know.
Carpe diem, Tsuna.
It was Dino, who stayed in Namimori to support his sworn younger brother, who found him later, curled up in Reborn's corner of his room, crying. The Cavallone Don didn't say a word, but sat next to Tsuna and hugged him, comforting him in the only way he could right now. Tsuna grabbed his shoulders and cried into his shirt and Dino closed his eyes as he held his little brother close to avoid seeing the evidence of the hitman's presence in this room.
Despite how people forgot, Reborn was his tutor too.
"T-there's a letter for you." Tsuna eventually said, voice raw from his sore throat and eyes rimmed red.
Dino took his letter wordlessly and read it in silence. His hands trembled minutely as he read every word and his eyes were filled with tear and understanding when he next looked at Tsuna. They didn't show their letters to the other, but they both knew Reborn was proud of them. That only made the fact that they failed to help him when he needed it the most more bitter.
Wordlessly, they held each other and cried, letting their pent-up grief spilled as they finally allow themselves to mourn the loss of the man who had practically raised them from their no-good statuses to be great men, much more than either of their fathers had ever done for them.
Reborn gave them their Families and friends, taught them to be strong and never despair. He was there for them, always. It wasn't fair that he had to die like this.
But when had life ever been fair?
On some days, Tsuna wished for time to stop.
It was inevitable for things to change, and Reborn's death, while sad, was exactly that: change. Just like when the hitman first appeared in his home and smacked him to the floor, this change caught Tsuna unawared. He denied this change, tried to rebel against it, but just like how he got used to Reborn's spartan teaching methods, he, too, got used to the fact that Reborn would no longer be waking him up with a hammer everyday.
On some days, Tsuna wished for time to stop because he didn't want the pain to heal.
Time heals all wounds, they say. What they didn't say was whether it was a good thing or not. Tsuna wasn't a masochistic, but the pain of Reborn's death, while hurtful, reminded Tsuna that the hitman once existed, that he wasn't a figment of his imagination. Tsuna feared that he would someday forget Reborn.
And, in a twisted way, the pain was, in Tsuna's mind, a way to atone for what he couldn't do before, who he couldn't save.
But he knew how Reborn would react to that. Stop being stupid, Dame-Tsuna, and get over your grief. Even after he had died, Reborn still managed to teach him an important lesson. He had other people to live for and a life to live. He couldn't care for them properly if he was still stuck in regrets and remorse. So Tsuna, grudgingly, let time heal the pain of Reborn's death until it was numbed to sadness and the occasional regret, a lingering reminder of how weak he was and how he needed to be stronger to protect the ones he cared about.
On some days, like today, Tsuna wished for time to stop.
He couldn't believe his eyes, as a teen his age with incredibly familiar spiky black hair and curly sideburns entered his class with an equally familiar blond with blue camo headband. It couldn't be possible, he thought, as the teen's dark eyes looked around the classroom curiously, not really paying attention to the teacher. He could see Hayato nearly fell out of his seat and Takeshi's eyes widened in surprise. Tsuna guessed that he also held the same shocked expression as he saw the new student of class 3-A.
"Chaos, my name is Corvino Noel."
This is supposed to be a three-shot, maybe four-shot, but somewhere along the way, the plot bunny inside my head evolved into a rabid rabbit and tossed me more ideas. This will probably be updated slowly, as my focus will be on Wishing Star (please read that by the way!), and it should be short anyway (I don't really know…the rabid plot rabbit is still somewhere in my head…). Reviews will be nice and I accept any form of review, be it flames, critics, insults or the occasional two words phrases!
Noel is Leon spelled backwards; it is also the alternative name for Christmas. The ultimate Latin, which Italian came from, origin is the phrase nātālis (diēs), "day of birth".
Corvino means "raven" in Italian (granted, I used Google Translate for this). It refers to Reborn's dark hair and eyes colour. Also, ravens are often associated with death (him being a hitman), but it is also a trickster, protector, teacher and bringer of great magic (his roles with Tsuna). It is also said to foretell war (the Representative War) and is thought to be the most prophetic of all birds (his ability to see whether Tsuna would win a battle or not and often saying that it's Tsuna's destiny to become the Vongola Decimo). Furthermore, it is said to be a protector of seers and clairvoyants (his relationship with Luce, Aria and Uni).
Funnily enough, I didn't notice that Noel is Leon spelled backwards until after the fact. I was thinking of what name would fit Reborn then, and for some reason I thought that a name relating to Christmas would fit. I searched my head and ended up with Noel, which I thought was a Christmas tree rather than the other name for said holiday until I later checked on the internet. Same goes for Corvino. I picked that because it sounded cool in my head and fitting for the Reborn appearance wise (dark, you know). Then I check online for what ravens symbolizes and it turns out it fits a lot with Reborn. My head is weird for being able to do these stuff…but that's alright! It helps a lot to research for names when you want to give characters one.