A/N. Ok, so those who reviewed before this got posted has spoken, the questions are here to stay! Anyways, hope you guys enjoy the chapter and thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I own nothing!
"Hello World, I've returned and with another question to boot! This time around, the question is what would you do, if for just one day, nobody lied to you and everybody told you the absolute truth, no matter what it was?"
Target 4: Attempts to Find the Truth
Natsuyo understood the importance of information as much as he understood the importance of breathing. His time spent in Italy under the near constant tutelage of the sadist known as Reborn had made sure of that. Knowledge, no matter how exactly it had been obtained, was precious, an absolute must if one wanted to survive in the world he had been forced to grow up in since he had been a meager five years old. And true, friends and family were just as important, family was especially precious, sacred in fact. But information was worth even more, for it kept that family and those precious, precious friends safe. And though not all information could be trusted readily or right away, often times it was that very same, questionable information that could wind up saving everyone you loved and cared about if you could just place enough trust, just the right amount of faith in it.
So he would admit, though never out loud; that was just begging for Reborn to pop up from out of nowhere and beat him to within an inch of his life, that it was almost impossibly frustrating that he could not find a single ounce of information as to why he had not seen his sister attending school. He hadn't ever bothered to check her room, going off of mere assumption (another Reborn would kill him for, never make assumptions, it leads to stupidity and death.) that she would've left earlier than him just so she wouldn't have to deal with him, seeing as she apparently wanted nothing to do with anyone living in or outside the house as it seemed. But it seemed very likely that she might not ever have been going to school at all. Reborn had probably already figured it out and tried to confront her about it, and if that failed than he probably found another source of information and got the truth from that. He wouldn't tell his student though, even if he asked as politely as humanly possible, wanting Natsuyo to figure it all out on his own like he believed he should.
The students were no help either.
They either didn't remember his sister, having not seen Tsumiko in three years and having forgotten that she had even existed in the time she had cut herself off from the outside world, or they clammed up. Bodies going frigid and stiffening as if they feared that something or someone was watching them and that if they gave him the information he wanted, they would be punished severely for it. They would give nervous glances around the hallways, or in whatever room he had caught them in, searching for something that was not there and would not show up.
In the end, he had been forced to write off the entire student body of Namimori Middle School as useless, and had to resort to different tactics. He would have to ask his old friends, Sasagawa Ryohei and Yamamoto Takeshi, two people he had just begun to rekindle the fires of friendship with. He had sworn he would do nothing to lose them like he almost had nine years ago, when his father had dragged off to a foreign country on some half-baked whim, forcing him to leave behind both his twin sister, his mother, and all of his friends. Everything he knew and understood and felt safe with had been ripped from his tiny, helpless hands, and he hadn't even been asked about he had felt about it.
True, Italy hadn't been that bad. He had made friends, so close that they could practically substitute for the two closest people his father had ripped him away from, but it did nothing to quell the hatred that he had left to fester deep within his heart. In a dark place he didn't bother to even think of simply because he wasn't allowed to, Reborn's psychopathic antics and his generally chaotic life style always keeping him facing forward, constantly moving ahead without a chance to pause and just look back, for even a few seconds. He had people now, friends, not just the three he had hung out with back in Japan, and his mother and twin sister, to worry about now. More people that had become so scarily close in such a short time, and he was forced to move faster, get better, become stronger as quickly as possible so that he could protect them. So that he could keep them as safe as possible in the dangerous world they were all involved in.
But still, he had been so happy when he had finally been given the chance to return to Namimori, his home town, when it had been quickly discovered that he would no longer be able to find all of what he needed there in the chaotic streets of probably the most beautiful country he had even known. And his friends back in Italy had understood that, promising to come over eventually to see what the place he had born in looked like, and what the friends he had been forced to leave behind were like, what the twin sister he had talked so animatedly about, to the point where his friends had laughed at him at times, looked like and if she was really as "awesome" as he had made her sound like. Swore to him that in the mean time they would do their damnedest to stay safe and alive until they could return to his side, and help him complete what he had been destined for, as Reborn had so eloquently put it as he had pointed a weapon at his forehead the first time he had ever said 'no' to an order. That had also been the last.
Now that he had them both again, though one short for one reason or another, he didn't feel like losing them again, whether by his own fault or someone else's.
But he had no real choice.
Information about his sister's sudden lack of an appearance in school and her strange, distant behavior had forced him to do something he really didn't like doing; questioning them about something that might possibly be very sensitive for them. After all, his sister wasn't the only one who had changed drastically in the nine years of his absence. Takeshi's sweet, lovable mother had died almost a month after he had left, and that had left the boy scarred and scared and giving out false smiles in order to hide the pain and protect his wounded heart from suffering any further at the hands of cruel children who didn't know when to keep their mouths shut and their noses out. And Ryohei, well he was just as excited as he had always been, yelling out his signature catchphrase of "EXTREME" as loudly as he possibly could, but there was something slightly fake about the wide grins he put on for them sometimes. A sad, morbid look in his eyes that signified a great, devastating loss that he hadn't quite gotten over with; a guilt that his dear, usually cheerful and over exuberant friend could not shake even if it would save his life. And with the lack of a person whose presence he had become so used to in their short years spent playing together before he had left, he was almost certain as to what exactly it was he had lost. But dear lord almighty, did he never want to actually recognize what it was.
He could not fathom that such a fate could've befallen that person of all people in the world.
It was too gruesome, too dark, too sad.
And then on top of that, when Takeshi had nearly thrown himself off of the school roof just days prior and nearly giving him a scare when he was still trying to get accustomed to the simple fact that his once adoring sister seemed to hate his guts now. He was more than a little hesitant, in fact he was downright terrified of having to ask them about anything concerning his horridly distant twin. But them being the only ones she had hung out, having been so shy and scared of the whole world when she was little, they were the only people he could turn to for answers.
Courage and the bravery to ask finally came when the first friend he had made in Italy had finally come to the sometimes random and even more chaotic (He never remembered it being so when he was little, but maybe he had just missed it at the time, too caught up his own made-up adventures as he dragged both twin sister and three friends across the entirety of the town simply because he could and they would let him.) town.
Hayato Gokudera, probably the second loudest person he knew, but possibly one of the most loyal people he had ever had the pleasure of meeting. True, he was rough, and violent to all sorts of degrees, and he had a temper worse than a pit-bull, but he was a true friend, one he could depend on, and as soon as he learned to get along with the others, to finally place his so hesitantly given out trust in others besides just Natsuyo himself, he was the best friend anyone could ever have.
Hayato had been the one who had first given him the courage to ask, only punctuated when Reborn had somehow overheard their conversation and proceeded to try and shoot him. His own special way of saying; "Get your ass in gear and get it done already! You are not getting anywhere just laying around worrying all the time." It had worked. And finally he had decided to ask them over, figuring that it would best be done in the seclusion of his own bedroom.
He hadn't realized that Tsumiko, his twin sister, had been awake until he stood just outside her door. Her once strong, if slightly timid presence having dwindled in the years to practically nothing. A sudden weakening he had never seen before, unless one was close to, if not already dying. The difference was, his younger twin was very much alive, very much breathing, but unlike everybody else, she wasn't living. Her will to live, to truly live in this world, had practically vanished. And that probably scared him more than Takeshi had almost committed suicide. Because it meant something for more prolonged, far more dangerous.
It meant that his sister had given up on living, and while Takeshi had almost committed suicide, though easily convinced off of the edge of the roof with only a little fight, she was a drawn out process. One that could just suddenly and without warning, and no one would ever know that she was gone until it was far too late, the corpse probably rotting already, simply because she had never left her room. As according to their sweet mother, after he had bothered to ask her about his twin's lack of attendance at school, she hadn't left her room in three years.
But by all rights, he had thought she was asleep, so when he taken notice of her weakened presence, well, they were already so deep into the conversation that everybody had just frozen in front of her door, talking until finally it ended and they moved on. It was small, barely noticeable really, but he was sure that his sister was livid with him, however dulled the reaction would be. Her presence, for even just a second, had spiked considerably before dying again just as suddenly. And that more than any words his friends had spoken, gave him hope that maybe he could save her, from herself and from whatever the world had thrown at her to cause all of this.
That confidence was shattered rather quickly though, as he felt himself suddenly crumble to the ground, his whole world shaken in seconds as in a rare show of weakness, something he had made sure to never show to anyone, no matter how bad things got, and he was reduced to the blubbering sobs and hysterical crying he had been prone to back when he had first arrived in Italy.
It had almost scared them all, and with how Ryohei had been acting in particular, fretting over him, trying to calm him down, he was fairly sure that now he understood why Ryohei had held that guilty look in his eyes. Why he had been so quiet during their conversation in front of her bedroom door. He had blamed himself for Tsumiko's self-inflicted seclusion from the world. Everything he was doing now, to try and keep him afloat and from drowning in his own grief, Ryohei had probably wished to high heavens, to whatever deity that would listen, that he had the chance to say the same to his twin. His twin who kept herself locked up in her room without any intention of ever coming out.
It just gave him another reason to work harder on getting his sister to finally come out of her room, and to face the world she was currently trying her damnedest to run away from. Not just for her, but for Ryohei as well, and Takeshi too, Takeshi that needed to know that at least one other person besides himself and Ryohei, was doing okay after everything that had happened.
It still didn't lighten the blow that came with finding out that someone he had cared about, like family, was gone. And they wouldn't be coming back. Their once small group of the Sawada Twins, and Ryohei, Takeshi, and her had been suddenly and without warning, shortened to just himself, Ryohei, and Takeshi. But it would grow, he was sure, he'd make it grow. He would not let them fall apart like they had when he wasn't there to keep them all together during the difficult times, and he'd show them a family, a new family that wouldn't disappear so easily because he would make sure they were safe, and that if he couldn't keep them safe, than at least they were strong enough to do it themselves.
He just had to.
A/N. Ok, that was kinda difficult to end, but I had to eventually. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed the chapter and thanks again for reading. Another question though, do you think I should bring in the Shimon Family before the Varia Arc, in between the Varia Arc and the Future Arc, or when they appear in canon? Anyways, please review and see ya!