Author's note: This came to me as a dream and I should have started writing this hours ago, but I was still too sleepy to type everything, so I hope I can still capture it. It's got a really weird plot, and I hope you guys like it because it's the first time in many years that I'm writing a non-yaoi centered fic. The main pairing is still G27, but that could change over time. Sorry for the countless spelling errors, grammar errors. Too tired to try and proofread and still looking for one who can beta for me. The story will go darker as the chapters go on as always, but not as dark as the other stories I have.
The Snow King
For a time, Tsunayoshi Sawada lived with his mother peacefully in the bustling city of Nanimori, until war began and they had to leave. A new super power emerged a vied to unify several countries under one flag. They were aptly named, the Grand Union. Negotiations between Japan and the Grand Union failed, and GU issued a warning that they would nuke the country.
The media advised everyone to evacuate. The people began to panic, but the Japanese managed to safely evacuate their citizens while the remaining soldiers stayed to fight for the homeland.
The Grand Union was originally a movement that originated from Great Britain. North Korea, this Hispanic Countries, Russia, and Germany soon joined the union.
It took lots of underhanded deals but overnight, they became British citizens, and from there on, it just got worse. An outbreak began. It killed several livestock and there was scarcity of food. Also, the usage of nukes all around the world affected the state of living. It created several dead zones, where life was not supposed to thrive. For fear of mutation, the citizens were advised not to raise children during the war, for it might have unforeseen side-effects. Some died due to poisoning.
It was not only food, but water as well. Water, and oil became a primary conflict within different parts of the globe. To the remaining countries, a civil war occurred. Governments began to fall one by one.
Birth rate considerably dropped, and most of the children born during the first year of the GU's conquest had health defects.
The numbers dropped and the war killed roughly 879 million people. Over time, the side-effect of advanced warfare disseminated lives all around the globe. Casualties were over 5 billion. As more and more countries joined the GU to save themselves from perishing like those that resisted, economy destabilized.
To solve the problem, GU forged an electronic currency in the form of diamond chips implanted in the brain. The electronic currency ensured money was safe and that thievery would be frowned upon. GU had the most secure cybernetic industry that completely revolutionized the way of living… so much that those who were lucky enough to be welcomed into GU found themselves lost in another world, marveling at the technology, and efficiency of the community.
There was fear. There was terror. The war continued and the media reported the growing number of casualties day by day but the citizens within GU were secure in the knowledge that GU will prevail. They did. The one-sided fight that went on over the world continued.
The GU took over every single source of income within its territory. Whether it was service, production, source… they completely monopolized it until they had the entire assembly line answering to them.
Tsuna thought that it was all too fast when all of a sudden, it was revealed to them that the DC was a stairway project for human consciousness evolution. The DC implanted within their brains slowly activated its primary feature. It was the cloud system. Verde, the head researcher, demolished the current online community. Internet died within GU, and instead everyone was suddenly connected through the World Brain System. By synchronizing with the human's brain waves, CGI phantom images became the replacement for liquid display.
The World Brain, inspired by the internet Cloud, became the GU's unified Cloud where everything that could be done with the obsolete computers, were adapted and improved.
To make sure security was not compromised, the GU enforced strict punishments to hackers and those who attempted to compromise the system. The law enforcers either recruited or killed them on site.
GU systematically had the citizens put to their suited posts through brain scan aptitude tests. The GU imposed even stricter rules of conduct unto their society where everyone was given equal food, water, and shelter, yet only those who performed above their peers rose to rank and was given a position of higher standing, altogether treated differently than the rest.
The GU put a front that eliminated aristocracy. They put above only the willing, the trusted, and apt for the rank. Inventors suddenly found the funding that they needed for their research. Reminiscent of the industrial age, GU experienced a boom in technology. One of their notable achievements was the creation of a compound that shielded human beings from both the UV, and other radiation types.
It took three long years but humanity once again began to prosper.
Everything, from health, to emotion, to work, to knowledge, to socializing, the GU controlled them all. It was the perfect society. Too perfect in fact…
The rest of the world however did not fair as well. Economy was at an all time low, and instead of using money which had no value for trade, people began to barter for goods. Jewelry became the primary source of legitimate "compensation" and yet even that
became useless as more and more people preferred to trade necessities like food, water, and clothing.
Crime escalated outside GU's borders and yet GU could care less.
And then, GU stopped its conquest. Among those that remained in power were China, America, Canada, UAE, and the remaining Arab countries, forming an alliance that sought to provide sanctuary to those who GU rejected. Most of the GU citizens called them the Alliance and Tsuna agreed that the name would stick unless they chose to name themselves.
They did not actively oppose GU. During the peace treaty of September 15, 2022, the Alliance vowed that they would seek to preserve the old ways and would not interfere with the dealings of GU and their citizens. They also agreed to open the ports for trade. The GU promised to cease-fire and allow the Alliance provided that, no illegal immigrants coming from their countries would step within their borders, and that trade would be open. Further stipulations of trade were negotiated but it was obvious to Tsuna that GU's upper hand forced the Alliance to give up more than gain something.
It gained them their lives at the very least, and the world rejoiced that day. The war ended.
The Alliance busied itself by trying to clean up what was left of the world, while GU focused in fortifying their defenses and ensuring that their society progressed properly.
Which brings Tsunayoshi to the now. He made a small flick of his wrist and closed his history book.
In GU, the weak perished and the strong prevailed. The school he got in was a hell house. It was true that GU system did not condone crime, and that included murder, rape, etc. That however did not include harassment or bullying in his case. GU expected and instilled within them that respect must only be given to the strong. To Tsuna who was not any good in the brawns department, certainly not blessed enough to be considered an intellectual genius… more like, well, "useless", belonged to the lowest of the low.
For some reason, he remained within his hell school, despite the bullying and assaults he endured. Tsuna sighed. When he was seven, things were a lot easier in Nanimori, now that he was twelve, he still can't get used to life.
He wanted to fight back, and he did, but it only made them angrier, and more violent, so he finally stopped.
After stretching on his bed, he went downstairs and opened the fridge with a small command, and began to mechanically eat his salad. He really hated the greens but that was all Nana left for him.
Nana worked a lot. She seemed to be saving up for something that Tsuna didn't understand. He knew that she had large enough savings to move but they never did. They both stayed in the old apartment that had the barest of necessities.
"Tsunayoshi, no Japanese while we are in this soil. It's frowned upon."
Tsuna frowned, "Doushite? I believe there's nothing wrong in using it," Tsuna wiped his lips and hurriedly gulped some water, "especially when it's done in private. They told me that in school, so I suppose we're allowed to aren't we, so can we? Can we?"
He put the dishes to the sink, and washed the mayonnaise off his hands.
"And slip up in public? Tsuna…"
"Oh, and then you must call me my other name then, I do have that name, mother. It's Nathan." Tsuna put both of his hands to his hips and pompously let out a breath of disapproval.
Then Nana ended up laughing and hugging him really really tight, "-kaa-san… must breathe."
"Oh Tsu-kun you crack me up. You know as far as I do that no one really calls you Nathan. You never got it right before and…" Nana pulled them both down to the couch and she squeezed Tsuna's cheeks together until Tsuna's mouth resembled a fish mouth.
"Sometimes… people just try so hard, and I… you know that I only try to do this for our sake, Tsu-kun. I'm sorry if I've upset you this time… Mou, it is hard, forcing myself to speak this engrish, but we learned, we adapted. I'm just scared… you know… and I know you have questions for me...but I just don't want them to take you away… Tsu-kun."
Nana trembled and started crying. She stopped eventually, and began working on the couch, ignoring Tsuna until she fell asleep. It was very awkward on his part. A part of Tsuna was annoyed, not knowing what her mother meant about what she last said, and then, a larger part of Tsuna was concerned, wanting to make her mother feel better but upset that he didn't know how to.
He found her blanket upstairs and he took it to her, draping it over her form.
Then, he put a futon down beside her, trying to watch her sleep, scared at the prospect of her suddenly leaving him. He wanted answers… but he didn't know when he was going to get them. In the mean time, he reviewed the lessons using a command, and tried to answer the rest of his assignment that he'd forgone that afternoon because… well, he was busy tending to his new bruises.
The GU 212th district school was a rundown building, but the GU officers who taught within the school provided excellence that could not be denied.
Each lesson was brief and concise. They had a fast paced education. For Tsuna, it meant having to double or triple his study time. Even then, he could barely catch up. At first, it was because he did not understand the language, and the gap of learning that resulted from that was enormous.
GU favored English as their main mode of communication, although Arabic, Korean, Italian and German were taught in their language classes.
As much as GU frowns upon racism "on the outside", in the inside, it was still a different matter. His "Tsuna– I mean… Nathan Beckford" introduction with thick Japanese accent, forever made him an outcast. Outcasts were traitors to their homeland, and they were shunned within the GU community. So, for five long years, he was stuck as Tsuna. It was only made bearable because of his slightly Hispanic look that made others ask if he was half instead of pure Japanese.
He was sure that his father was Japanese though, but he was lost in the war and Nana never spoke of him.
There were a lot of things Tsunayoshi didn't know about his own family, and there were a lot of things he'd like to know, so… if Nana would not like to tell her, then, Tsuna would find out for himself.
It's been a long plan of his.
After some haggling, he managed to have one of his classmates go with him to district 68, one of the more populated and prosperous districts of GU. This ranked fifth in the information sector, and it took him four hours to travel by train, but it was well worth it. Tsunayoshi took all of his savings and found an inspector that was willing to uncover his mother's secrets for a meager pay.
His classmate told him to take care before leaving him in front of a large black building. Upon entering it, he was told to wait on one of the comfy looking couches.
For thirty minutes, he waited. He was beginning to wonder if he'd wasted all his money just to be told that he'd had to come back tomorrow.
He sat in the lounge observing frock covered people go about their businesses and busied himself by taking one of the magazines.
"You shouldn't touch that if I were you."
"You don't know how many people actually touched that magazine and where their hands were before that. Tell you a valuable lesson kid, don't touch anything that's loaned for public use." The man beside him shuddered.
Tsuna tilted his head. "Ah… alright. I'll keep that in mind, Mr…"
"Do that, kid."
Then, the man suddenly turned red, and he followed his line of sight. Tsunayoshi found himself staring too at the woman who was directly in front of them. The size of those boobs, man.
The nice man was slapped on the face by the beautiful woman. "Doctor Shamal. Leave the premises immediately. You are unwelcome here. Ms. Bianchi would have your hide if you make her wait for so long."
Then she smiled, all eyes on her.
"Nathan Beckford? Is there a Nathan Beckford here? Sir Alaude would like to see you. If you would please come with me and not waste any more time…"
Tsuna sat up, ramrod straight and tried to look anywhere else besides those gorgeous lumps that swayed here and there as she moved closer to him.
"Nathan Beckford… why is it that you look quite familiar? Hmmn, well, come with me."
The girl with straight black hair, wearing that tight fit leather dress… do not look at the bouncing boobs… led him through the hallways and they reached an elevator that took them to the eighteenth floor. Suddenly, Tsunayoshi had a sense of apprehension.
"If you're wondering why my boss would busy himself with such a meager request, let us just say his interests are peculiar. I would advice you not to lie to him. Tell him what you want… what you need. As long as you don't waste his time, you'll go along. He might be a bit intimidating, but I am sure he would not harm you." The woman chuckled to herself.
Tsuna pouted and before he could ask 'what's he like?' to prepare himself, large mahogany double doors were open, and he was ushered inside a large impersonal metallic looking room. Before the high glass walls, a man was sitting with his back unto them. "Sir Alaude, your client is here. He goes by the name Nathan, please take care of him."
The door closed, and any way of escape was now blocked.
It was a soft baritone, but softness with a deadly edge.
He sat on one of the comfortable looking seats and was too surprised when the man turned around to face him. Blonde hair, cold grey blue eyes, and a perfectly sculpted aristocratic face. The lady was not joking when she said he was intimidating.
"Within these walls, what we speak of will not be recorded by the GU. I give you my word on that. First, will you tell me, what is your real name? It certainly does not seem like you are in any way a Beckford. Beckfords have a signature aquiline nose, mostly blonde and wavy haired… It appears to me as if someone forged your identities…"
"How do you-"
"We are not part of the investigation sector for nothing. We have our ways, Nathan… or… should I say, Tu-"
"Tsuna." Tsuna clamped his hand on his lips and wondered how much of a klutz was he.
"Tsuna? As my client, I should be able to trust you. Please remember that GU does not condone any criminal and illegal conduct. Well, as long as it does not benefit the union itself. Normal citizens are not exempt from the rule, but if I have ascertained your innocence in this, we will put the matter to rest. I will personally give my word for it, and you will come out scotch free." Alaude put both of his hands under his chin.
Tsuna bit his lip and eyed the handcuffs that rested on the table.
"Shall I tell you another thing? Within half a year, the World Brain, that is primarily the system that the GU uses to control their citizens would have another feature. It would have the ability to access memories. Normally, scans in the brain would be able to measure if criminal acts have been done or if an individual has the potential of being a criminal, but there are cases where these scans are not enough. With the improvement, previously unrecorded memories from your life before the chip implant will be known. If you decide to deny me your real identity, then I cannot do anything for you when the time comes."
Alaude smirked, and a servant entered, bringing two drinks. There was a cup of black coffee, and hot chocolate and strawberry cake. "Help yourself."
Tsuna was as white as sheet. He didn't know what to do. It was… a bad decision to come here. He did not understand why his mother never risked to leave the district, but… if it were to be known… When the consequences were laid down like that, he suddenly felt very fearful for his life. Transgressors were put into reform, or they served a sentence, the worst was a life sentence. The punishment was to be put into the working class with no pay, basically slaves of the empire. Another punishment was to serve in the pleasure district.
Anything menial and considered derogatory could be given. Those who cannot fit in with any of those districts were disposed of in the prison until they beg of death. Then there was the gladiator war.
Tsuna shuddered. Rarely were people able to bail out. Those proven guilty were disposed of, and those who are later proven innocent or relieved of their crimes… after having spent a sentence… well, it did not turn out well.
It took years to rehabilitate but from what he read, they never adjusted well back in normal society.
Tsunayoshi didn't want that to happen to his mother. He didn't want the GU code enforcers to lock his mother up… and the thought of his mother working as a slave… was so disquieting that he could not stop his lips from trembling and… he suddenly wished he was just back home.
He was really an idiot.
The man before him appeared concerned. Tsuna was surprised to find a hand atop his, and he pulled it away, looking at the mahogany door longingly, wanting to escape the room like a frightened animal.
At that moment, the door opened, and a black haired teen came in, swinging a metal tonfas around. Tsuna thought Alaude sent the man to kill him, or have him maimed. His panic consumed him and he left the delicious treat which happened to be his favorite, and went out of the room, scampering fast, pushing away a lot of people, and trying to get the elevator to work.
"Hibari, this is your fault. Capture him but don't hurt him. Try to bring him back to me unharmed."
With a glare, the teen followed the child. Tsuna heard it all, and this other guy, was slowly approaching, wielding that scary weapon of his. "Where's the stairs?"
The implant provided him a layout of the building, and Tsuna turned to the left hallway, running across and down, down the stairs. With the layout flashing at his peripheral view, he managed to traverse down without much effort, sliding through the complex design of the building.
He heard nothing, and after seven floors, he caught his breath trying to find a room to hide in because he knew, he could not run all the way down from the stairs, past the hallways, without attracting too much attention. As it was, he knew he made a spectacle of himself, but the alternative of trying to take the elevator would be too risky because it had to stop at every floor and he had no skills in hacking to make the elevator go down to the first floor by itself.
And hacking was a criminal act. Oh god.
Somewhere at the back of his mind, Tsuna knew that he would not be able to hide, no matter how hard he tried, because if it was raised to the authorities, GU could track him with the implant, and the only way he could ever hope to escape was to get it taken out and be cast out of GU… that was, if he could find someone willing to conduct a surgery on him and safely take him out of the empire which was close to zero.
Tsuna wondered if that was what his mother wanted to do. He hated GU. He really hated GU.
His childish mind could not understand why he had to go through this and why GU was so ruthless.
He ran and ran, and saw an open door that led to an empty room. Tsuna wiped his tears, he was definitely crying now, but with the adrenalin rushing in his veins, he still saw to it that he had to hide first, get to safety before he broke down and-
On reflex, Tsuna flinched at the voice that came from… what… above? From three floors up, the teen jumped from a balcony within the building and landed before him, "Hieee!" then… he saw a hand about to strike him.
For the second time that day, Tsunayoshi found himself before the blonde-haired man. Another serving of hot chocolate and this time, a chocolate fondue with assortments of his favorite fruits, cream puffs, éclairs, strawberry shortcake, plus some slices of bread, and butter… a fork, a knife, spoon, toothpick, chopsticks. They were all being laid before him and more was coming.
"We'll be having pork spare ribs, Caesar salad, sushi, and some shrimp tempura for dinner at the behest of my nephew. If you want to eat anything else, feel free to tell me. I have informed your mother that you will be spending the night here so please help yourself."
Tsuna bit his lip, and nodded. There was no helping it. He was too shy to tell Alaude what else he wanted to have… And he didn't think he could finish them all, but too nervous to do anything else, to speak even, he started eating his little treats cautiously.
The servants kept arranging the plates, and Tsuna stared at the rice. Rice. It had been ages since he had seen actual real rice. He always wanted rice the first time they got in Britain, but Nana told him that they had to acclimatize to the rations and the British food. Rice, was a scarcity, and they'd have to move to the more unfavorable parts of EU, like the purely militaristic Korea, if they wanted to have rice dishes.
After that incident, Tsuna just ended up accepting whatever it was Nana got for him. It wasn't that it didn't taste good, but after growing up seven years with rice… it was not the same.
Tsuna flinched when he heard or rather felt the approach the scary teenager that was responsible for his killing headache and his two hour period of unconsciousness.
He didn't want to look at him. Really… but he sat in front of him. He couldn't help it.
Kyoya Hibari smirked at him. Tsuna squeaked.
"Stop it, Kyoya."
The table was long, and at the head was Alaude. Tsuna was told to sit beside him, and Hibari was opposite.
They dined in what seemed to a spacious floor, all to themselves. With the floor span, Tsuna thought that it was easily 10 times, no… maybe 15 times larger than their house.
Tsunayoshi easily learned that the 18th floor was considered the president's office, and the 19th – 23rd floors were made for VIP and event usage, like the ballroom hall, and the like. The 24th to the 27th belonged to Alaude.
And the man, at a random whim of his, decided to have him sleep over… well, he supposed he was a suspicious character that maybe was too young to be held in prison, so Alaude had him stay... Tsuna just wanted to stop thinking about it.
He finished trying out the chocolate fondue, and then he heard the teen before him speak.
"Herbivore, put away the desserts. Eat." The teen gestured to the food.
Tsuna hastily complied, not wanting a repeat of what happened that afternoon.
They all ate in the silence, slowly.
The food was really good. The best he had in years. Perhaps they considered it impolite to talk during dinner, but Tsuna tried to make himself as small as possible before the two scary men. A part of him just wanted to contact Nana… really, he sent her a message after he woke up, but he wasn't able to call her… something was jamming the communication.
Tsuna was interested in Hibari's choice of eating utensils. Chopsticks. He wanted to try one for himself, but he used the fork and spoon, trying to prolong his state of anonymity… oh, well. Noting could come off it. He took the chopsticks too, and helped himself with the sushi, nose and ears flaring at the hidden piece of wasabi inside.
Kyoya Hibari's mouth quirked at this, and he told the servants to serve another pitcher of water and some miso soup. He did catch the child's eyes light up and was satisfied to find someone who shared a taste for his homeland's cuisine.
When they finished dining, Alaude wiped his mouth with the napkin and one of the servants reached out to wipe his hands clean. The same was done with Hibari, but he took the towel himself, as for Tsuna, he just let the servant do as she pleased.
He was still in a state of shock after everything.
"The servant attending to you is named Milla. If you are in need of anything, you may ask her or myself." The man stood up and began moving towards the door, "Milla will lead you to my study once you've finished with your bath."
"Don't be scared of the young masters. They are quite intimidating but they do have large hearts. I wish Master Kyoya was more… gentle. You poor kid. Come, let's go have that cleaned. They didn't even let you change clothes before dinner. What prudes." The over excited woman pulled him towards the opposite door and spoke in soft conspiring whispers.
When he looked back, the two men were gone.
It was an entirely embarrassing experience. He was twelve, and no one has seen his naked body except Nana and that was several years ago!
Cheeks red from the hot bad and dressed in pajamas, he didn't feel as if he was ready to converse with the investigator. What he wore made him feel vulnerable instead of relaxed.
Tsuna knocked on the door and found Alaude alone in the study, sitting on a couch in front of a fireplace. Several shelves lined with books, filled the walls. No one had books anymore and it was surprising to see so many of them. Alaude was still scrolling an image before him, and Tsuna was suddenly aware that some parts of the room were composed of CGI, and even the room was connected to the brain.
It took awhile for the man to acknowledge his presence, and pausing from his work, Alaude patted the couch beside him wordlessly, and Tsuna shyly obeyed.
"Do not worry… I'm not here to hurt you. I just want to know… You truly remind me of him..."
Tsuna saw the portrait of a man that Alaude was studying, and his throat seemed to close up. He could hardly swallow. Alaude observed this with growing wonder. He had all the proof he had now.
On the screen was non other than Iemitsu Sawada, Tsuna's long dead father.
Nana Sawada received a message:
"This is a missive from the Grand Union.
You have been temporarily locked in your estate. GU enforcers will collect you tomorrow. Your son is now in the custody of Intelligence department for falsification of identity. As a suspected illegal immigrant, we would like you to stay where you are..."
She choked a sob, and opened the hidden compartment, taking out one of those old cellular phones, and after dialing a number, and hearing it connect, she collapsed on the floor.