So, uh, new story - something I really shouldn't post, what with my other story that I really should be working on - but sadly, plotbunnies are like diseases I can't get rid of. I needed to cure myself.
And with me becoming a recent addict to the wonders of KHR, I decided, hey, why not?
World: Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Pairings: Um… While I know many make Tsuna a girl just to make a het pairing with another guy, I don't think there will be any for this story. Of course, I might change my mind later on, but romance isn't really my 'thing,' and really, I'd rather focus on family/friendship fluff and all those other things that make us feel warm and good about ourselves.
Summary: At age twenty-six, Sawada Tsunayoshi dies without regret, leaving his place as Vongola's leader to another. In another world, Sawada Tsunayoshi wakes up - de-aged to ten, with a younger twin brother, and ... female?
Disclaimer: If I had even a tenth of the money Amano Akira gets from creating the amazing KHR, I would be sailing the Caribbean - not writing fanfiction.
When Sawada Tsunayoshi dies, it's with few regrets.
He is twenty-six; young by normal standards, but relatively not by the mafia's. In the mafia world, one doesn't usually live a long life – what with all the shooting and general mayhem – and when you're a mafia boss, well, the 'usually' then becomes a 'highly unlikely.'
So, it's without a doubt or shock that Tsunayoshi dies at twenty-six, young but not so young, surrounded by family (not friends, he thinks, because they are so much more) because of multiple shots to the body and a lethal slow-moving gaseous poison that not even Shamal – had he been alive – could have cured. But he doesn't dwell on the thought of his slow coming (painful) death, and instead begins to reassure his family that he is fine, and that he'll always be with them, even if they cannot see him.
And hey, as a bonus, he'll get to see Reborn again – his crazy, insane, sadistic mentor, but still, it was Reborn, and he still missed that not-quite baby – and isn't that great, he'll be meeting up with everyone else that's been waiting.
"I'll be fine," He reassures once again, and this time, Kyoko is not able to hold back her tears. "You all have been amazing – the best famiglia I could ever have had, and don't you ever forget it. Live well, all of you."
And it is on that fateful day that Sawada Tsunayoshi, surrounded by his mournful comrades, exhales his last breath -
- Only to take in a desperate one as he falls off a bed and down to the floor, crushing all the breath out from his lungs. Gasping for air, he tries to scramble out of the mess of bed sheets that covers him and when he finally does, he's out of breath again because he's wondering, what the hell is going on?
If this is where people ended up with after death, Tsuna thinks mindlessly, his face blank, I don't know if I should be happy or disappointed.
For he is in no heavenly place with clouds (he smiles bitterly at the thought) as floors, and he certainly is not anywhere near the fiery depths of hell. Instead, he is in a neutrally colored room, painted a sky blue with a bookshelf to the corner that looks slightly dusty, a desk to the far right with a few flower necklaces on it, a pink bed to his left, and a few manga books strewn across the room's floor. He observes his surroundings more closely (it's practically ingrained into his head that safe is better than sorry) for one more time, and though he recoils slightly from the fact that the manga books are shoujo manga, he comes to a (slightly wary) conclusion.
He is in a kid's room; albeit, a girl's room.
A young girl at that, he thinks as he takes in the childish drawings that lay under the bed, and the few dresses hidden in the slightly opened closet to his left.
And now, he is utterly stumped, because he knows he has died (in a rather painful way, if he says so himself), and surely the gods up there weren't cruel enough to just dump him in a girl's room and leave him there like a sitting duck waiting to be killed?
Perhaps it was Reborn's suggestion that spurred the idea on, and the gods just agreed because they had nothing better to do.
He hopes that the girl – or rather, the girl's mother – would not mind too much about finding a random grown man entangled in her daughter's bed sheets.
Speaking of which, what's up with his body? He feels abnormally small and weak (something he hasn't felt in a long time) and why does his chest feel so strange?
It is at that moment that young Tsunayoshi finally takes a good look at his own self and shrieks because he's suddenly shrunk to a child and his hair is long, (reaching down to his shoulder blades) longer than it should have been and no longer as fluffy.
(Tsuna knows that hell always freezes over when his hair stops becoming fluffy).
And that isn't the worst of it at all, no, because to Tsuna's horror, he is currently wearing bright pink pajamas embroidered with cute little frogs.
To his knowledge (small as it is) Tsuna knows for a fact that he has never worn pink pajamas in his life; past, present, and future. Ever.
But then horror moves on quickly to agonizing terror as he rushes out of the room (barely noticing that the house was almost in the same design as his own old house) and to the bathroom that he silently notes he shouldn't have known to be there. But that isn't important now.
What is important, he thinks as he flings off his shirt and pants and other clothes, cringing at the loss of muscle and body mass, is that-
Tsunayoshi blanches. And stares. And then stares again. And then stares again once more at the unforgiving mirror that stares back, because he is sure he hasn't killed enough people to deserve this - no, it can't be.
But it is.
OH MY GOD.
And on that fateful day when he should have died, Sawada Tsunayoshi breaks the peaceful morning of the Sawada household as he realizes that he is suddenly a she, de-aged back to a child and still very much alive.
And as the world starts to turn black, Tsuna personally thinks that in the end, it is probably Reborn's fault that got him (or her) into this mess; it always has, and even if the baby was halfway across the universe, dead or alive - it always will be.
"-na-chan? Tsuna-chan, are you in there?"
When Tsunayoshi comes to, it is to the sound of an eerily familiar voice tinged with a familiar kind of worry. He opens his eyes and is instantly on his feet, reflexes honed from years of fighting telling him to find the enemy and eliminate, all the while searching for any exits that he can use. He finds two; one behind him as a window (too small, he briefly thinks) and one in front of him – a bathroom door.
Come to think of it, why was he knocked out unconscious on a bathroom floor? Surely there are better places to hind a body, like a warehouse, or a dumpster, or a forest, or hell, even a closet would have been better.
Speaking of which, Tsuna absent-mindedly thinks in the back of his mind as he eyes his surroundings warily, this bathroom looks kind of familiar…
In fact the bathroom he is in looks exactly the one he used for the first fifteen years of his life, back when he lived in Namimori as a Dame, with only video-games as company until his insane tutor Reborn showed up and then everything went into chaos. (And then suddenly, he was making friends – loyal and trustworthy, his family – left and right, where explosions became a daily occurrence and if there was a single day where an assassination attempt didn't happen, Tsuna instantly was suspicious). It was back when his mother was still happy and oblivious, back when it was homework assignments he had constantly worried about, instead of war and things like whether he and his friends would make it till tomorrow in the future.
It is then that Tsuna stops taking in his surroundings like an unknown battlefield, and actually takes in where he is.
Idly, as if he is in a dream, he realizes that he is in his own bathroom, in the Sawada household in Namimori, and the only difference that really mattered was that instead of the usual pair of blue and pink toothbrushes lying in the glass cup by the sink, there is an extra red one. And still, in that dream-like trance, he shivers briefly from being exposed to the cool air given by the air conditioner, and casually looks down and wonders; why is he naked and tiny and without a –
"Tsuna-chan? Tsuna-chan, are you okay? Do you need help?" And it is only his mother's familiar concerned voice that keeps him from shrieking again from horror and maybe passing out again because holyshit what the hell are these -
"Tsuna-chan?" His mother's voice once again cuts through his thoughts, and this time, it is with a more concerned tone as there is no immediate answer.
Scrambling to gather his clothes, Tsuna calls back in a slightly shaky voice,
"I'm okay, ka-san! I just, um, fell off the toilet because I was asleep, and then I, uh, kept on sleeping!" He winces slightly at the high-pitched voice that comes out of his mouth (gods, it's been a while since he last sounded so girly and – oh wait, maybe that's because he now is a girl-) and winces even harder at the pathetic excuse that came out with it.
But apparently, that is the norm for the female (he groans at the thought) Sawada Tsunayoshi, because the only thing he gets in reply is a,
"Oh, again? Alright, try being a bit more careful next time, okay?"
He (she, a voice suspiciously sounding like Reborn's smugly suggests in his head) lets out a weak affirmation, and begins to put back on his clothes, making sure not to open his eyes while doing so.
All the while, he tries to clamp down the panic that's threatening to leap from his chest and thinks in a not-so-calm-voice,
What the hell is going on?
After a few failed attempts of putting on girl undergarments blind, Tsuna finally gets the hang of it and - still red-faced - walks silently to the room he had rushed out of.
Surprisingly enough, it is not the room he had in the past. Instead, the room belonging to the girl is the one next to it, replacing the second guest room he had in the past. Walking in quickly, he shuts the door, briefly mourning the broken lock on the doorknob, and begins to snoop around. He has a sinking feeling about what has happened, and since his intuition has never failed – well, it wouldn't hurt to have more information, would it?
Half an hour and a thorough search later, Tsuna is starting to think that yes, maybe it would.
Though he is female, in this world, he is still Sawada Tsunayoshi, simply because she was expected to turn out a he, and his father had been too lazy to pick a female name.
In this world.
I'm in a parallel world. And from the looks of it, I'll be here for a while.
Moaning pitifully, Tsunayoshi wonders why he can't just die peacefully and stay dead instead of popping into his parallel selves' lives.
He bangs his head on a nearby wall and decides to blame Reborn once more; the baby probably just wanted to see Tsuna squirm like the good ol' times in a new way - as a girl.
In this world.
In this world, Sawada Tsunayoshi is a female, and (according to the multiple diaries hidden in a small compartment in her desk) is still a Dame, with low grades and non-existent friends, has no athletic skills at all, dreams of being saved by a dashing prince, and is ten, along with her younger twin brother, Sawada Takahiro.
Though he is twenty-six and has been a mafia boss for almost half those years, and though he knows he should take it like a man and bear with it all, Tsuna can't help but wail slightly at his luck.
Why is it always me?
Briefly he considers tracking down Byakuran and asking for his help, but then shuts that line of thinking down before it can even become a full thought.
As friendly as he was in his own world, Tsuna doesn't want to approach within a ten meter radius of the marshmallow loving eccentric without being fully armed and trained (physically and mentally) for their inevitable meeting.
It isn't until around nine o'clock that Tsuna's mother calls her (him, he hastily fixes) and his 'brother' down for breakfast; he waits patiently for the thumps of another pair of feet to go down the stairs first before walking out of his room.
Despite the lovely drawings and fantastic dreams the Sawada Tsunayoshi of this world has written, little information is given on what her brother is like, and even less on how exactly Tsuna should act.
Because for all his past girly screeches and previous-now-embarrassing female-like attitude, the Tsuna of now has absolutely no roundabout idea on how he should act towards his semi-familiar family as a girl.
Squaring his tiny shoulders, he takes in a deep breath and decides to just roll with it.
And surprisingly enough, it isn't that hard to fall back to his former 'Dame' personality.
Perhaps it is because he is still disoriented and not used to having a shorter, smaller, female body (something he vows to fix quickly), or maybe it is because the Tsunayoshi of this world is naturally clumsy (he wouldn't be surprised if she is), but before Tsuna can reach the last step on the stairs, he overreaches and trips - the familiar feeling of falling and sore pain afterwards was more of a comfort to reassure him that he wasn't actually going crazy.
The boisterous sound of a child laughing reaches his ears as he lifts himself gingerly up from the floor. Apparently, the Tsunayoshi here also has problems with bullies, and has a few leftover bruises from a previous beating. Judging from the slight pain on her back and legs, he guesses that they are only a week fresh. (And here, Tsuna seethes quietly in anger, because who would dare to actually beat up a little girl for her faults? Even back at his own world, beatings were few and far in between, as there was always a bloodthirsty prefect looking for a good reason to 'bite someone to death').
Tsuna's attention is then brought to the laughing child that sits at the table, a boy that looks startlingly like his own younger self in the other world, with the only differences being hair that is a shade lighter, and a pair of bright blue eyes.
(Later, Tsuna realizes that if he cuts his hair and changes to more gender-neutral clothes, he would look just like he had in the past - because the Tsunayoshi of here has the same small frame, the same chocolate-colored eyes, and if he cuts it, the same gravity-defying hair).
"Hahaha! Tsuna, you're so hopeless," The child, (or Takahiro, as he should now call him), laughs haughtily, eyes filled with humor, and to Tsuna's concern, a bit of malice as well. But he shakes it off and rubs the back of his head, slightly surprised by the reminder of his now long hair, and smiles nervously.
"Ah, sorry, I just tripped…" He forces his voice into a whisper, barely audible, and winces mentally at the girl-like sound that it makes. And before Takahiro can comment in return, his mother returns from the kitchen and brightens at the sight of him.
"Tsuna-chan! Come, join us for breakfast!" It takes a great effort on Tsuna's part to not shed the tears that suddenly spring up in his eyes, because he really missed his mother. The Sawada Nana of his other world was safe and alive, thankfully, but she was not the same after finding out about the mafia, and the death of Iemitsu later cemented her loss of normalcy. To say it was depressing to see his mother in that state was putting it nicely, because it broke his heart. And even now, to see her whole and happy again, still brings that tightening of his chest that he isn't sure will go away quickly enough with time.
Luckily enough, the rest of the Sawada household is too busy eating and cooking to pay attention to Tsuna's brief lapse into his memories. Shaking his head from wayward thoughts, he piles into his chair and begins to eat silently, content with just filling himself to the brim with his mother's nostalgic cooking.
For a few minutes, the table is silent with only the sounds of chewing and frying eggs filling the air. But it is quickly broken when Nana sits down at the table to eat as well, and asks an innocent question.
"So, what are you dears planning on doing for the rest of summer break? There are two more weeks left," She reminds, and Tsuna is grateful for it, because it is another piece of information that files into his head for later use.
Takahiro is the first to answer, in his loud, excited voice. "Me and my friends are going to the park; we're going to play baseball! Then we're going to the summer festival this Friday, and then –"And he continues on, describing all of his plans in detail to his mother, while Tsuna listens on, smiling all the way. Despite the mocking way Takahiro treats Tsuna, he seems like a good kid; rude, short-tempered, and brash, but still a kid – innocent and loving to his family.
After five minutes of non-stop chatter that Tsuna is content to listen to, his mother stops Takahiro for a moment, corrects some of his grammar mistakes, and turns to Tsuna.
"And you, Tsuna-chan? What are your plans?" Tsuna opens his mouth to reply, inwardly panicking because he doesn't know what this Tsunayoshi has planned, only to clamp it shut when his brother answers for him.
"Oka-san, you don't have to worry about her. She has no friends, so she'll just end reading her stupid manga and playing video games all day long." Tsuna frowns. Even if it is the truth, as a brother, Takahiro shouldn't be talking about his sister in that way. He looks at his mother, but she makes no move to admonish her son's words. Instead, she gives a worried frown.
"Oh my," But then instantly brightens. "Hiro-kun, how about you take Tsuna-chan to play with you and your friends? Then you all can play together and have fun!"
Takahiro shakes his head vehemently in response.
"No, oka-san, she'll ruin everything! My friends don't like her at all because she's a 'Dame' and she always loses at sports so she'll just make us all lose!" The boy is panting slightly at the end of his complaint, but Tsuna doesn't really care. How could a brother treat his sibling in such a way?
(Tsuna then crosses off 'loving to his family' on his knowledge of Takahiro, and inserts instead - 'loving to his mother,' because really, the only words that seem to come out of the kid's mouth when talking to Tsunayoshi were either mocking or derogatory).
What is even worse than the barbed words that Takahiro carelessly throws is the reaction Nana gives in response to them.
"Hm? Oh, that's too bad." Tsuna's mother frowns momentarily, and to Tsuna's shock, smiles and asks Takahiro another question, to which he happily answers.
While Tsunayoshi knows that parallel worlds are similar and not the same, he has not expected his family to be so… heartless. Though still the caring Nana that loves him as a mother should, and though Takahiro is the innocent, cheerful brother that he had wished for when he was younger - behind their cheerful faces, it seems as if there is an accepted and unmovable fact between them.
Tsuna is a Dame, with no friends and no hope in grades, sports, and future plans. She always has been, and always will be.
With a sigh, Tsuna leans back into his chair and rubs his head.
Looks like I have my life cut out for me already in this world.
He narrows his eyes at the thought.
It won't stay like that for long.
And so begins the life of Sawada Tsunayoshi: age ten, useless, with no friends, no hope, no life, and female. But if there is one thing that boils down from all she has learned from her tutor, it is to never give up without giving your all - to die only when you have no regrets.
(He's done it before, so why can't he do it again?)
A fun chapter for me to write with - and poor, poor Tsuna. But after putting him into a traumatic situation, I think I can understand why Reborn enjoys torturing him so much - it's insanely fun. In my opinion.
With all my excitement on writing and posting, I haven't gotten a chance to go too deep into proof-reading, especially with the present tense usage (even if I read it over a few times), so if anything is amiss, please do let me know.
And of course, reviews are always welcomed and appreciated.
Searching. For. Enadi.