Disclaimer: I do not own any of the featured media, the rights go to their respected owners.
Medium: Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Title: Ignorance Is Bliss
Sub-Genres: [Takeshi/ Tsuna], FEM!Tsuna, Ignorantly cruel Nana/ useless parents, Not-So-Bad-Iemitsu
Rating: "T" Relatively safe language, some serious themes which include, though might not be limited to: identity crisis, crossdressing, questionable parenting or semi-neglect, hints of homophobia/ intolerance.
Status. In progress
When Reborn first arrived at the Sawada Household he had already known that there was a lot to be done, if he was to turn this (all for intensive purposes) ignorant, useless, weak teenage civilian into a Mafia Don worthy of the largest Mafia Family in the world.
And if he failed? The only remaining heir that anyone would accept was a murdering sociopath, who had tried to kill his predecessor and had been put on ice for his betrayal, not to mention his rumoured relation to the Second.
The Vongola was out of options which was probably the only reason Reborn had allowed the "favour," that included bringing a boy into the Underground to stand.
That however also had the added pressure of training a mouse into behaving like a lion because anything less, and Vongola would crumble and his student would die as consequence.
It was not made easier that before he left Reborn was given a folder of information he would have to adhere to, or at least work around. Like the Giovane Leone's unaware wife (who, of course, had to stay that way: ignorant. About everything) and how it would be in an entirely civilian neighbour, that had no ties to the Mafia. At all.
Then there was "Dame-Tsuna" - the boss to be - who was just as in the dark as his mother, - and was poorly educated, couldn't fight to save his life (or anyone else's,) had no self-esteem and the spine of a jellyfish.
With those odds and for anyone else, Reborn would have thought it would be impossible.
Reborn couldn't have been more wrong.
Or more...proud. Of Tsuna. Of the family that was forming around him.
Tsuna had grown in more ways than had been expected; intellectually there was a vast improvement. Reborn had come to understand that it wasn't necessarily a lack of talent (though Tsuna's best qualities would always be in his gentle manner, his genuine care and his determination what he thought of as his,) the main reason Tsuna had struggled so much in his studies was a mixture of stress caused by peers and teachers a like, and a mild dyslexia and his own theres-no-point-to-this attitude.
With Reborn's continuos..."encouragement" Tsuna's grades improved until he was at the top of his year, (and really, Reborn would expect no less from a student of his.)
Though both Math and Science would always be subjects that didn't equate well in Tsuna's brain, his Literature was much better and had a real touch for language; something about his Hyper Intuition. It was a surprise to even Reborn who had only found out when he had discovered his student reading War and Peace, in English.
It should have been impossible, if Tsuna's report card was anything it was cracked up to be. Apparently Tsuna had a very firm grasp on the basics but lost all nerve to speak in class.
Physically, Tsuna was at his peak nearing his eighteenth birthday with muscles that were wired firmly, into his otherwise slender body. His hand-to-hand was more technique than adrenaline and the idea of I-Hit-Them and Don't-Get-Hit. Reborn had even been able to start teaching Tsuna more about weapons, even if he wouldn't ordinarily touch them.
What was even better? Tsuna was strong. Not in how he could take a beating and keep getting back up but he could stand on his own two feet, decisive and lead his family.
Yes, if the only thing of Reborn's life that was remembered beyond myth and shadow, was that boy, than he could truly die without regret.
Things, however, would come to a head at the approach of Tsuna's birthday.
And it was ridiculous for Reborn not to have noticed sooner.
Tsuna in the past few years had grown in height - a relief because although a small build could be used as an advantage against larger, inexperienced fighters; and could be potentially useful, it would only become more and more of a hindrance as Tsuna aged and got more involved with the Mafia.
No surprise, Tsuna would never rival any of the Guardians vertically (not even the Idiot Cow, once it hit a growth spurt,) and was at the smaller side of the Japanese average height for his age.
In fact on looking back (and Reborn hated doing so, when it meant that he had missed something so important,) Tsuna hadn't developed in the typical sense at all. At the time Reborn had problems of his own with his growth, which might why he hadn't seen then what was no so obviously clear.
Tsuna, unlike his male Guardians (and even Chrome had, had to deal with her own blooming feminine body,) hadn't had to openly deal with the pains of joining the adult world. Otherwise known as puberty (and to have to go through it all over again - moving on).
There had been no cracking, squeaks as Tsuna's voice broke. Sure, Tsuna's voice had changed over time but it had gone...all but unnoticed in comparison.
There had been no vertigo of One-Moment-I-Was-Looking-Up-And-The-Next-I-Had-To-Look-Down like most teenagers. Tsuna's height corrected itself gradually, like a seedling slowly growing into flower.
And those embarrassing - and probably biggest - give aways? There had been no wet nights. One of the reasons Reborn had never bothered to move out of Tsuna's room. He would have, the first hint that Tsuna needed that sort of space. (Because, unlike what most people thought, he did set some boundaries.)
Maybe the reason Reborn had never suspected something was a foot was because before he arrived, he had been briefed on just about everything. And he quite clearly remembered Tsuna's birth certificate mark one Tsunayoshi Sawada as "male."
He wasn't being very linear was he? The problem with that, and just about everything that Reborn had mentioned was because Tsuna wasn't.
Tsunayoshi Sawada was, in fact, a female.
And not a boy who would grow into a man.
Well, Nono we have a problem, was Reborn's thought.
We have a Decima.
And didn't that just explain how Tsuna could shriek so shrilly, that the time Reborn had thought was impossible for anyone of the male gender. Turns out, it had been.
If you couldn't guess, Reborn might have gone into shock. For all of five seconds. Staring at his student of years from his position at the door; staring because he had just walked in an a very - mature Tsuna in the process of dressing while she had been changing for bed.
How, might you ask, would he react to that? To catching an unwanted eye full of Tsuna's exposed, swollen chest? Bindings unravelled just behind, on the bed. Well, if he was being honest, it took a moment to process everything.
Misreading a situation was just as bad, if not worse than being slow to react so Reborn graciously forgave himself.
In the span of a minute all those inconsistencies swarmed him and everything clicked into place, just as Tsuna unfroze herself from her own surprise. The legendary blush returned and she scrambled to get her top over her head.
'R-Reborn!' His student stuttered in a way that she hadn't in a long while. It took Reborn aback and made him a tad reminiscent.
Though Reborn was not one for modesty (he had lived too long, experienced too much and was too much of a bastard too fully care about causing people discomfort) but when his brain finally finished processing, he kept his face straight and as he rose his eyebrow, turned on his heel.
'Get dressed, Tsuna.' Reborn said and was relieved that his voice was calmer than his turbulent thought. Listening with half an hear as Tsuna scrambled to find something for his bottom half.
Reborn didn't have to wait long. 'U-um...you can turn around now.' She - she uttered, her voice noticeably different from just this evening. A good skill but Reborn didn't much appreciate the skill being used against him.
Reborn followed Tsuna's instruction and smoothly walked back into Tsuna's bedroom, shutting the door behind him with a decisive "Click." Tsuna had sat down on the bed, kneeling stiffly on top of the duvet and looking quite uncomfortable.
Sitting himself down on her desk chair, he spun it so it was facing the bed and watched for a moment as Tsuna searched his face. Reborn wasn't entirely sure what she was looking for but certainly wasn't in a hurry. He had all night for this.
'You really didn't know?' Was the first thing that came out of Tsuna's mouth. It was quiet and horribly uncertain as her eye had not left his since he had turned around.
Reborn denied this without word, and then: 'Was I meant to?' Because if this was simply a about a missing bit of paper work, Reborn was going to shoot whoever was at fault in the kneecap.
'No!' Tsuna shouted, shaking her head violently but seemed to quickly realise her mistake as her eyes widened. 'I mean...it wasn't a secret, it was just...ad then you knew - you just knew everything else and...'
So a secretary got to live another day. However Reborn was still lost, if Vongola didn't know about Tsuna's real gender that either meant that Iemitsu was clueless too, or had deliberately hidden it. But what for...? The Mafia as a whole weren't so archaic that women couldn't hold positions of importance. It was just unusual.
No, he was missing something to this.
'I don't know everything, Tsuna.' Reborn said without barely a pause.
Tsuna sighed, s somber sound that darkened hey eyes. She allowed her legs up from underneath her and drew them to herself, folding her right arm over her leg of the same side as the left was neatly bent towards her.
'No...I suppose not.' Tsuna murmured with a weighty, ember gaze. Iemitsu had blubbered when he had come to visit last year with some reports, and noticed how little Tsuna now resembled his beautiful darling wife and demanded Tsuna to change back. Fool.
'...No one else knows. I haven't told anyone.' Tsuna said with a great weight to her voice before she looked thoughtful and then finally grimaced. 'Though...Mukuro might have guessed.' She added unsurely.
Reborn wouldn't ask how Mukuro would have guessed something like this, because he wasn't sure he wanted to know. It didn't benefit his student to lose a Guardian. The air did tense when he did speak next; 'And why...haven't you told anyone?'
Reborn observed with serious, unwavering eyes as Tsuna bit her lip with harsh teeth and just that one gesture brought this home. This was a secret that had been lived through but not one that was liked.
'I...Kaasan will probably be able to explain it better.' Tsuna stated mutely with her gaze sliding to the darkness that saturated her window. Night was falling. 'Otosan wasn't...he wasn't there for my birth; was late by an entire day. When he got there he just sort of assumed I was a boy.' Tsuna laughed but there was no humour in her.
'Kaasan didn't think to correct him. 'Said it would have been rude and that it would be "funny" to continue the joke.' Tsuna explained to Reborn's absolute incredulous. 'It worked well enough: Otosan only stayed a week after I was born and didn't come back until I was three, he had to go back four days later - Kaasan didn't explain why and I can't remember. His next visit was when I was five, he brought Nono with him and that time he stayed for just two week before heading back to Italy.'
The silence was filled bemused and Reborn's eyes were the widest they had ever been.
Tsuna nodded. 'Un. I didn't really question it too much when I was younger though that was probably because I didn't understand, just then. All I knew was that my play clothes were comfortable and I liked the sandpit.' Her smile was grim and Reborn wished it would just fade away.
'When you were older?' Reborn asked, a deep frown on his brow that he didn't bother to hide.
Tsuna clear her throat, a suspicious blockage stopping her voice. 'I was seven.' She informed, 'there was this dress I saw when Kaasan took me shopping. It was so...pretty, with lace and ribbon.' She looked wistful until she seemed to shake those thought from her mind. 'Kaasan said that it was too...' Tsuna trailed, her voice thickening.
'She said it was too what?' Reborn found himself demanding, harsher than intended and didn't like how Tsuna flinched.
'Kaasan said that it was too beautiful for me. That I could spoil myself for daddy.'
Reborn's eyes narrowed themselves and the black pit which was his temper started to awaken. He had always thought that Nana was a bit...oblivious and sometimes took her son - daughter for granted but not to this extent.
Tsuna was a treasure. Sure she was a bit rough around the edges but she embodied her Element, and would do absolutely anything she considered hers, even if the people in her circle didn't always appreciate it, or even knew about it.
She was a very special girl.
'I didn't mention dressing like that again...' Tsuna whispered, more downtrodden than Reborn could remember.
'Nothing?' That surprised Reborn, if only because Tsuna only stopped being stubborn when he - she, knew that the fight wasn't worth the damage it would cost. Establishing her sexuality - one she obviously wanted (and wound have, no matter the consequence) - seemed more than worth it.
Tsuna didn't answer right away and Reborn could guess that she was trying to censor whatever it was, she had to say. '...I tried to grow my hair out one...I think was eight or nine. I had really liked how the girls at school would wear their hair and, wanted my own longer...'
'And?' Reborn prompted.
Tsuna shrugged in a clearly fake dismissal. 'Kaasan always took me to the hairdressers every few weeks. When I told her I wanted to grow it she scolded me, said that I shouldn't be selfish and that I suited short hair anyway.
Reborn grit his teeth. 'What about now?' Tsuna looked back to meet Reborn's eyes and he tried to soften this, 'Tsuna, you're getting on in age now. How long to you plan on hiding this?'
Tsuna had already lost out on being a little girl. Hell, Tsuna hadn't even been able to be a teenage girl. In next approaching months Tsuna's on plan to fly over to Italy for the Inheritance Ceremony.
'...Do you remember that English adage about the spiders wed? The more you lie the bigger the web, the larger the web the more flies get trapped...' Reborn did. He had been teaching Tsuna how to lie, which was to say how not to lie. The closer to the truth you are, the realer you sound and the less you have to remember.
This situation was nothing like that.
Tsuna knew that too as another sporadic smile ruined her face. 'I'm so tangled up Reborn and problem is...its just all so normal now. I've always been a lie; a deception. And Kaasan never...never mentions it, not unless I do and I've - I've stopped.'
Tsuna still had the habit of being awfully sarcastic or talking under her breath, which is why Reborn catches the mutter: 'Sometimes I think she forgets.' A reason why he hasn't tried to break her out of it.
Still, this couldn't be allowed to continue. However difficult it was for Tsuna to face knowing up to what her mother's done, this just can't go on.
'Tsuna you've gone to the beach wearing men's trunks. Your uniform's for boys. Your gender is listed a male.' Reborn listed, and while not trying to be cruel, Tsuna needed to face what she's been rightfully trying to ignore. 'Don't you think of the repercussions?'
Tsuna closes his eyes. 'I...have done. I try not to.' She admits and Reborn can tell how hard it is for her without her white knuckles, or frowning lips. 'At Middle School, in the changing rooms - it hadn't mattered. Not until I was fifteen and by then the bullies had learned to leave well enough lone. I'd just go into a corner, face the wall and be quick.'
'And...and with the beach...its not like it wasn't embarrassing but when you first arrived and decided I needed to learn how to swim, I was only thirteen and well, its not like there was anything to see at the time.'
'And when you got older you started to wrap your chest and wore shirts.' Reborn concluded as he glanced to the wrappings that lay abandoned on the floor. He'd have to do something about those...burning them comes to mind.
Tsuna nodded. 'I had to hide it somehow. Kaasan never brought it up but I knew she expected me to take care of it.' She laughed abruptly. 'I got the idea while we were studying history.'
Reborn almost sighed. Even Tsuna's nationality had worked against her. He highly doubted that a teenage girl from say, a european country would have thought to bind their breasts theses days.
Something ticked in Reborn's mind. 'What about when you were at the hospital?' It would have just been a leg, but the staff had also taken the care to exam Tsuna for other injuries after seeing the state he - she had been in.
Tsuna's face burned red, her blush travelling down her neck and for a moment indecision played a part in her expression, before she sighed. 'Kaasan told the doctor who asked about it that I was...going through a phase and that I'd be embarrassed, if he mentioned it to anyone else.'
'Yeah.' Tsuna nodded, assuming what he was going to say. If it wasn't for the unhappiness gleaming in her eyes, Reborn would have knocked her over the head.
'And you've never mentioned it again?'
Tsuna's lips pressed into a thin line. 'I did want to wear the skirt when I moved to Upper School, but...'
'Nana didn't like it?' Surprise decorates Tsuna's face and Reborn knows why. He doesn't usually refer to Nana by name, its "Maman" but he's not feeling it right now. He wonders fleetingly if he ever will again.
Tsuna hesitates. 'No, she didn't. We go clothes shopping together anyway but she said it...it shouldn't be to Otosan, to...give the surprise away.'
Reborn raised an unimpressed eyebrow while his disbelief and anger built like a hot fire in his stomach. His lips curled unhappily and he took a the time to stroke Leon. 'And when was the..."surprise" meant to be sprung?'
Helplessly Tsuna looked away and starts to absently pick at the threads that were loose on her sweatpants. Another sign that Reborn asks himself how he missed. Tsuna takes such good care of the things around her and yet has such a disregard for her clothes...Reborn had just thought it was, because Nana bought all of them.
And another thing.
'Your nickname. "Tsuna"...' Reborn starts and sees a flick of recognition as to were he's going with this. 'Its not because its too long or formal, is it?'
Tsuna huffs a tired breath thats probably meant to be a chuckle. 'No. Otosan chose "Tsunayoshi" when he arrived at the hospital, because it was tradition for his family.' She explains. 'But he didn't know that I was...and Tsunayoshi isn't...'
Reborn can easily fill in the blanks. 'It isn't a feminine name.'
'No...' Tsuna agrees. 'Tsuna can be. So can "Tsu" I guess but...'
Reborn sighs deeply through his nose. 'It's fine, Tsuna.' Reborn stops her. He's got the whole picture and Tsuna's starting to look a little green. They could start this up again another time, besides Reborn suddenly finds himself very busy.
A mental list is needed.
'...Reborn?' Tsuna asks unsurely, worry in her tone as she looks at him intently. She's obviously sensed something but Reborn has things to do.
'Don't try to explain. I understand now.' Reborn finished and he does, he is now painfully aware of how ignorant he's been. Something he does not take lightly.
Tsuna swallows in discomfort but doesn't look away as Reborn lowers his five year old body from the chair, with all the grace of the killer he is and start stalking towards the door.
'I understand and so will your Guardians when you tell them tomorrow.' Reborn says. 'Goodnight, Tsuna.' He says almost nonchalantly as he pulls the door after him.
So about that list.
One. Appearance is everything for a Mafia Boss and Tsuna is in need of a make over.
Hunting down Bianchi is easy: She's just finished reading to the brats - fulling in for Tsuna, as it was her "night off" to allow her some time for herself, a commodity that Tsuna rarely has nowadays.
Bianchi is ruffling the idiot cow's hair (Tsuna had somehow managed to tame the mess,) and had just turned around when her rather tender expression fell at the sight of him. Huh. That was unusual. Reborn's knows she had sensed him in the doorway but his face probably gave more away, than he wanted it to.
Bianchi came to him quickly and when she was near enough, she easily picked him up so he was straddled to the side of her hip. He allowed it because after the time he'd spent as an infant he didn't have much pride for such things.
One they had arrived to Bianchi's room, Reborn was put back down and it didn't take long before she was asking: 'What's wrong? Has something happened?'
They had been high alert since Tsuna was sixteen and it was nothing but luck that had allowed Tsuna to remain here, in Japan despite the pressure the Mafia was applying to the Vongola to better met its successor.
That, with Tsuna's coming of age and Nono's failing health, well they were due an attack. The Vongola's command was weakening as Nono did and it was almost time for Tsuna to take up the mantle.
Reborn didn't answer right away as he gathered himself and removed his fedora with one hand, while the other allowed Leon to crawl to around his shoulders. He ran an agitated hand through his hair before he was ready.
'Give me the name, age and gender of The Vongola Heir.' Reborn asks with a faint suspicion.
Because before Tsuna, Reborn had never known Bianchi who was admired throughout their world for her skill and beauty, to be jealous of a boy.
Bianchi blinks, her expression turning to one of confusion as she looks at him with furrowed brow, yet answers him: 'Sawada Tsunayoshi. Eighteen in October.' She pauses, 'male.'
'You hesitates.' Reborn states and can't find it in him to be mad at Bianchi for not reporting on it sooner. Like Tsuna, Bianchi would have that that he would have been told something like...this.
Bianchi looks of to the side, one hand loosely resting on her hip for foundation as her nose wrinkles. 'Yes, well...I don't know if you believe in woman's intuition.'
Oh, but of course he does. One of Reborn's principle teachings was gut feeling.
A smirk worms its way onto his face despite his irritation. 'Of course.' He answers. 'There no intuition quite like it.' Wouldn't hold a candle to Tsuna's but than Reborn didn't know what could.
However Bianchi isn't amused, just puzzled. 'I'm sure that I couldn't be right. Maman hasn't...and then Tsuna hasn't either...'
'A woman's intuition is a strange thing...' Reborn comments as his hand raises to stroke Leon whose watching with knowing eyes. 'But I've never known yours to be wrong, Bianchi.'
This stops her mutterings cold and Bianchi's eyes go wide and before Reborn can blink, she's knelt before in; something she rarely does not only because it looks patronising but it would also slow her down should she need to defend herself.
Reborn knows she's serious. Not just because she's made herself vulnerable but she's used his name.
'Your answer...it wasn't entirely correct.'
All is still. Bianchi swallows, her head tilting for a second; as if listening for spies before she's comfortable enough to continue. 'Then Tsuna's not...'
'A man. No she's not.'
'Then...then why...' Bianchi is understandably confused. Reborn can't even fault for this. He still is, too.
'Nana.' He answers the bitten off question.
This doesn't seem to clear things up for Bianchi and if Reborn didn't know what he did, he wouldn't have been satisfied either. Bianchi however takes a minute to think and as soon as she blinks, all the contemplation disappears.
'What do you need?' Bianchi asks instead of her Whys and Hows.
Reborn can't help but be silently thankful even if he carries on as business as usual. 'Clothes.' Reborn replies curtly. 'She's got a lot of years to be catching up on so try to compensate for that, without going too overboard.'
Overboard not being Tsuna's style, not matter the gender.
Bianchi doesn't wait for him to tell her to leave. She's already off of her knees. 'Understood,' she nods and was leaving when Reborn calls her back.
'Bianchi.' She pauses, hand curled around the door handle and looks over her shoulder. '...Don't skimp on anything.'
Bianchi chuckles lightly as she opens the door, her hair flowing after her in a cascade of colour that shimmers in the light of the hallway. 'I wasn't planning to, My Love.' She says and neatly picks the plastic that Reborn throws after her out of the air.
Anyone else and she would have dodged. Her eyes flicker to it before her lips inch across her cheeks, softening her face as she nods in understanding.
The Vongola's credit is without limit.
Reborn listens to her leave. Its the evening and stores would be in the final hour of business, or already closed but Bianchi wouldn't have a problem with that. She's a very resourceful woman.
So clothes can be ticked off.
Two. Someone needs a reality and Reborn is more than willing to give it to them.
He fixes his hat back on his head and makes sure his killing intent is firmly tucked in before he makes his way downstairs. Nana in is the sitting room where she's curled up on the settee, a blanket draped over legs to protect against the colder season and the television on. The room is otherwise dark, but it's light illuminates her face.
'Nana.' His voice gets her attention immediately and she startles; the remote which had been laid on the armrest, dropping to the floor as she jumped but luckily didn't scream. Reborn would prefer that Tsuna stayed up in her room while this happened.
'Ah! Reborn-kun!' Nana breathed, relief in her tone but at the sight of him she tenses again. 'You...you surprised me.'
Something must have told on him because Nana's eyes are wary while they usually over look him. She's always been too...dense to recognise him as a threat. Now though, she's still. She doesn't turn back to her drama, offer him to join her (as she has done,) or even turn the television off.
Nana just keeps very, very still and watches him, like theres a shark in the water and he's the shark.
'N-ne Reborn-kun, I heard someone leave...' Nana's either trying to turn his attention onto something else, or she buying time. Either way Nana is only Number Two on his list, and he has others he has to get to, and tick off before tomorrow.
'Yes, that was Bianchi.'
Nana's uneasy smile was enough to tell Reborn that the woman did know something was wrong. 'Is going alone this time of day safe for her?' She asked in concern even if Nana had done nothing to stop Bianchi from leaving.
Though that might have proved difficult.
Reborn snorted. No, it would have been impossible for Nana.
'...Is something funny, Reborn-kun?'
He glanced at her from where he was learnt against the door frame while petting Leon, who looked stonily at the woman. And regards to her sense of humour however... 'Not in the instance. Not for a moment. Though I've heard its meant to be.'
Nana's bemused. '...I'm sorry?'
'You should be.' Reborn tells her with too much venom. 'But not to me.'
Nana's smile lost its brightness. 'I don't think I understand.' She says but Reborn can tell she's not even trying to. 'Is this a game?'
'No.' Reborn bit out. 'Not unless you're more ignorant than I thought.'
The television seemed to grow in volume as the space between them stretched. 'Reborn-kun, I would appreciate it if you didn't talk to me in such a-'
Reborn growled, losing all pretense of calm and collected as he stepped forward. 'And I'm afraid Sawada-san that what you would appreciate isn't very high on my priority list right now.' No, he didn't care at all. 'And do you know why? Because I've discovered a young lady with identity issues that have been enforced, on her by her own mother.'
His black, fathomless eyes stared into her relentlessly. 'Now, Sawada-san you and I are going to have a nice, long quiet conversation about how things are going to change around here. And we are going to have it now.'
Three. Call the idiots back in Italy.
Con/textual Vomit: Okay so as I'm rewriting this story I also upped the rating once I looked up what was deemed as 'suitable' content for each category and realised later parts would contain 'adult themes.'While I think that this story probably would be fine for a nine year old (if just to start a conversation about different people and different problems,) I also, you know, don't want to break my Terms of Agreement.
Btw I've got to ask, is something wrong with the Copy-N-Paste section of Docx? I've tried to get this up five different times and eventually had to find a old unconverted Word file to upload it that way instead. I'm a bit worried because I'm working from an Apple and its very inconvenient. Is it just my connection?