Chapter 1: Ido
Tsuna was one when he first saw the Shrine perched at the top of the hill.
He was in his pram, being wheeled home.
So, as any baby would with something new, he reacted.
By trying to grab it, making little, sniffly noises of complaint.
Nana, hearing her child, stops, peering over.
“Ah, Tsu-kun, are you alright?” she asks, smiling as comfortingly as she can.
Tsuna points , little sniffly noises turning into baby babble.
Nana looks up, finally seeing what Tsuna's pointing at.
“Ah, the Shrine, at the top of Nanimori’s tallest hill?”
Tsuna makes an approving gurgle, though he whines when she accidentally stops him seeing it.
“Does Tsu-kun want to visit?”
Tsuna wants out of his seat.
“You do, don't you?!”
Tsuna makes a grumpy noise, wanting to go to the Shrine immediately.
He settles down as soon as the pram is moved…
... Unfortunately, he's asleep by the time they arrive, having curled up in the warm comfort the Shrine exudes…
By the age of 42 months, Tsuna had learnt that if he wanted his Mama to notice him, he had to stay loud and active or, at the very least, holding on to her …
... Which he unfortunately forgot during his first Summer Festival, surprised at the sight of pretty, orange fishes one would try and grab with paper nets.
He'd only looked away for a moment, clad in an orange and pink yukata with pine-wood geta, though he was determinedly ignoring the blisters he could feel forming on the bases his feet.
“Mama?!” he'd called, freezing in place for a moment, “Mama?!”
Tsuna had searched around, only to accidentally be hit aside and bumped into by many strangers, so much so he ended up dropped in a heap in the middle of the road…
Which led right up to the Shrine, which had been cleaned and redecorated for the Festival, though otherwise it was generally left alone to wither away, purpose forgotten from the many years of its existence.
Tsuna had found it a bit hard to get up the steps, but it wasn’t as though he’d just sat about screaming in his tiny life; no, he’d entertained himself when not needing his Mother’s aid, having already learnt that trying to hog someone’s time selfishly was bad , that self-control was key to others being happy with him.
At the top of the steps, Tsuna is surprised at how big Nanimori looks, trepidation curling in his guts, as he sits on the top step, shocked.
Tears well up, Tsuna giving a soft sniff as he tries not to cry.
His tears escape, anyway, though he manages to quietten his sobs; a lesson he’d also learnt meant a happier Mama; she cried when he did, after all, so if she didn’t know, then he should be fine…
“Oi, where’s your Mama, brat?” a voice asks, Tsuna struggles to force self-control as he turns to see, feet throbbing softly.
“Heh, of course, no one sees me in-”
“Tsu-kun’s sorry…” Tsuna says softly, the man turning, both equally shocked.
“Ts-Tsu-kun’s sorry!” Tsuna whips round again, embarrassment and despair obvious, “Just because Tsu-kun can’t find Mama…” Tsuna’s bottom lip wobbles.
The man picks him up, as tears roll down Tsuna’s face as silent, breathy sobs leave his lips.
“You lost your mother?” they ask.
“Tsu-kun doesn’t want to trouble anyone, Kitsune-san…” Tsuna says softly, upset as his distress pushes him further towards despair.
“Oi, oi! Why do you think you’re causing trouble?! If anything, you should be making as much noise as possible.”
“Tsu-kun doesn’t want to make Mama sad, though…” Tsuna whimpers, “Mama looks completely upset whenever Tsu-kun’s bad, she only sees Tsu-kun when Tsu-kun’s noisy or moving a lot…”
The kitsune sighs, as further sobs leave the small child’s body.
Tsuna peers at the fox-yokai through thick tears, as the kitsune casts a spell to appear human, so it doesn’t look as though Tsuna is floating.
“My name, chibi,” Ido frowns.
They end up walking around for a bit, Ido quiet as he sees the way Tsuna calms down in his arms, the small infant looking back at everything.
“Tsu-kun thinks Tsu-kun knows where Tsu-oji is…”
“He feels like Ido-san…” Tsuna says softly, “Takkun is my friend and Tsu-oji usually helps Tsu-kun find Mama.”
Sighing, Ido carries the infant the way he pints, though he’s highly interested when it leads them straight to a stand where a sushi-chef is performing tricks as he prepares sushi for hungry Festival-goers.
“Tsu-oji!” Tsuna calls, waving, as the man loks over, swiftly catching the knives and food that had been curving through the air.
“Tsu-kun?! Why aren’t you with your Mama?!” he asks, surprised.
“Tsunayoshi lost her in the crowd, I found him crying up by the Shrine,” Ido states, as he smells the scent of a female Kitsune, surprise and curiosity making him smile, as a small call has him turning to see a small boy, no older than the child in his arms, run up.
A halfling ? Ido thinks, surprised, before looking back at the other, No… Slightly more than that…
“Tsu-kun!” the boy says, “Mama told me that I should come here since she’s staying with Nana-oba until they find you!”
Tsuna seems to perk up at that.
Ido chuckles, as he adjusts the straw hat on his head.
“Shall I leave them with you, or do you want me to do a bit of… Magic ?” Ido smirks.
“Magic?” Tsuna asks.
Ido crouches, so only the kids can hear, though he can feel the way Tsuna’s Uncle-figure is listening in with heightened, Hafuu-hearing.
“My nose is like a fox’s, so I can smell the path your Takkun has left to find the scent of your Mamas,” Ido grins, pointy canines showing as blue eyes sparkle.
“OK!” Takeshi grins, “Takkun’s Takeshi, though!”
“Is that alright…” Ido drifts off as he stands, Takeshi grabbing his hand, as the adult raises a brow.
“Yamamoto Tsuyoshi. It’s fine, as long as you return here after,” the chef states.
Ido bows lightly, careful with the small boy fitting easily in one arm.
“Of course,” he says, as he lets his nose show him the way…
When they find the mothers, they’ve stopped for a break.
“Tsu-kun!” the darker-haired female calls, before pausing at the sight of Ido.
“Tsukihime-san,” Ido greets, smiling softly, though his smile hardens when he finally sets eyes on the woman beside her.
Her eyes are soft, physical beauty evident and well-aged, as her kimono-sleeve is held to her mouth.
Not a tear was on her cheek, only worry set within her features.
“Mama!” Tsuna waves, smile brightening.
Ido almost drops the child at the sight.
Was he given a gift by Amaterasu or what?! The boy seemed to light up as bright as the sun!
“Tsu-kun’s really happy for Ido-san to help Tsu-kun!” Tsuna beams, Ido overcoming his immediate emotions in favour of a level head.
“Of course, be more careful, OK?”
“It’s Tsu-kun’s first festival!” the now-calmed mother, Nana, smiles.
Ido tries not to let his immediate discomfort show, even if he’s moved his other arm back to Tsuna, that is.
“Really? I hope this doesn’t ruin it for you, then,” Ido says politely, as his hand brushes a foot…
..Which moves quickly, bringing Ido’s attention to the boy’s feet.
He internally growls , as he sees the geta have been obviously cheaply-made, rough sides giving away the lack of waxing and string a simple, plain orange.
“Um… Tsuyoshi-san wished for us to return to his stand, correct?” Ido says, not yet wanting to put the boy down.
“Ah! Yeah!” Takeshi nods, as Tsuna silently agrees.
They head back, as Ido watches the mother of the small boy warily.
It, of course, had only been a half hour since finding the child, yet…
…The boy seemed to call out to him, his Mother’s oblivious whacking right through mere speculation into concerning . Especially since a three-year-old seems to already know abut self-control, of all things!
“Excuse me, but, may I ask after your son’s father, Nana-san?” Ido asks politely, “Surely a small child such as Tsuna must have a strong Father, given his strong determination?”
Nana gives a lightly laugh, as Tsukihime looks at him sharply in a “ don’t you dare mention that fool !” way.
Ido replies with a calm look, a Nana speaks.
“Iemitsu-kun’s overseas! He works as a builder, so it’s just me and Tsu-kun!” Nana smiles cheerily.
She goes on to speak of how much she loves both her husband and son, though her tale is obviously speaking of a far-gone time that has Ido internally hissing .
“Well, if he is not around, Tsuna is allowed to visit me as much as he wants, I live just beside the Shrine, in the Keeper’s lodge.”
“That would be wonderful!” Nana beams, as Ido quietly moves Tsukihime’s focus to Tsuna’s feet.
“Ara?! Tsu-kun, you’re wounded?!”
“A-ah, Tsu-kun’s fine!” Tsuna quickly says, curling his feet up to try and hide the angry-coloured skin around the sides, “Plus, Ido-san’s carrying me, so Tsu-kun’s happy, ne?!”
Nana giggles, as she looks lovingly at Tsuna and Ido, as Tsukihime seems to go quiet, lips pinching at the corners as her eyes go between mother and son.
They end up getting Nana and Takeshi to help serve customers, as Tsukihime takes Ido and Tsuna back to Takesushi, the shop five roads away from the main street.
When they remove the geta, they are stained with spots of blood, as Tsukihime pulls out tweezers.
“Now, be a good boy, and let Tsu-oba remove the splinters, OK?” Tsukihime says softly, giving Tsuna a warm smile.
Tsuna’s hand remains firmly grippin Ido’s kimono as he nods, letting the other get to work, as the room is filled with silence.
“Why are you so quiet?” Tsuki asks.
Tsuna waits until the next splinter is removed.
“Tsu-kun’s strong, so Tsu-kun’s able to withstand pain, right?”
“Oh? But even Takkun lets himself cry away pain,” Tsuki frowns, as the only thing she finds normal is the way Tsuna seems to try and recoil with each splinter’s removal.
“Tsu-kun hates crying; Mama starts getting worried and upset, and Tsu-kun likes Mama’s smile the most!” Tsuna lets a grin form on his face, “Tsu-kun wants to protect Mama’s smile!”
Ido lets out a soft sigh…
Chapter 2: Working at the Shrine
When Tsuna turns five, he leaves kindergarten by running up to the Shrine to help out.
Ido had been surprised, at first; a child should be a child ! Not already working!
Yet, he couldn’t exactly refuse the hopeful gaze the small boy held; always so bright and innocent, with eager determination. So, he had him, every day after kindergarten, help rake up fallen leaves and sweep the stone path of the shrine, giving Ido more time for actual repairs to the Shrine alongside cleaning out the inside.
“Ido-san! Ido-san!” Tsuna asks one day, “Who is Shrine-sama for?”
Ido is surprised at the way the question is phrased.
“What makes you think of the Shrine as 'Shrine-sama'?” Ido asks, surprised.
“Because Shrine-sama has an aura that always makes me happy!”
Ido goes quiet. For a time, at least.
“Shrine-sama was built as homage to Nanimori Mountain, at the top of which we stand, for it is up here that Yokai and Kami can pass between worlds with ease.”
Tsuna looks at Ido with open awe.
“So we’re looking after the entrance to Takama-ga-Hara?!” he asks, smiling broadly.
“I go over a few times myself to aid with Heavenly duties; maybe yo can join me - when you’re older, of course.”
Tsuna seems filled with joy, before he gives a firm nod.
“Of course! So! We have to work hard to take care of it, right?! Tsuna’s going to work reeeaally hard, now!”
Ido raises a brow, as Tsuna seems to gain a warm aura of his own, as though flames are curling softly around his small body…
… Then , Iemitsu-san, and his Boss, visited…
The pair had set off alarm bells almost immediately, as Ido was teaching Tsuna about the different Yokai and Kami, several old, worn-down picture-books stacked neatly on either side of them, as Tsuna’s happily sitting in an orange kimono as he listens.
“ Tuna-fishiiiee! ”
Ido is quick to save the books and child from the hefty weight that crashes down in front of them, Tsuna giving a surprised squeal as Ido holds Tsuna protectively in his lap.
“Who are you?! You almost crushed Tsuna beneath your weight, idiot!?” Ido demands.
The protective expression has the kitsune’s hackles rising , though the look quickly leaves as Tsuna’s trembling has both men on alert.
Ido quickly pets the child, magic curling around as he uses it’s aura to calm and soothe the child.
“I am Ido, the Keeper of Nanimori Shrine; Tsuna wanted me to show and teach him about all the Kami and Yokai housed within the old books you nearly crushed ,” Ido states, disapproval evident.
“I’m Tsu-kun’s Papa, Sawada Iemitsu,” the man states, as the men try to glare eachother down.
Nana’s exclamation manages to distract the other adult better, as Ido looks towards the old man watching them, a soft smile on his face.
“Timoteo,” he smiles.
Ido accepts this, but with a healthy dose of mistrust.
“I am glad to see someone remembers Traditional Customs,” Ido says, noting the feet now in fluffy guest-slippers.
A moment later, Iemitsu’s boots are finally at the entrance, too…
Tsuna sticks close to Ido for the rest of the men’s stay, even trying to tail him back to the Shrine, though in the mornings, Ido reappears with the child’s waking, quick to ensure Tsuna’s safety…
So when a small dog starts scaring the small child, Ido uses his flames, before comforting the small child who has silently started crying in fear, as he sits on the grass, Tsuna in his lap and dog at his side, looking warily between the two.
“Tsuna, this is an Inugami.”
Tsuna cuddles close to Ido.
“He’s a nice dog, he just needs some love and attention, alright?” Ido smiles.
Tsuna looks conflicted, before he seems to realise something, clouded eyes regaining their soft light.
“OK!” he says, and extends a hand to the dog.
For a moment, it sniffs tat Tsuna…
Before jumping into Tsuna’s lap.
Tsuna laughs, as the inugami tries licking his face, getting a few successful licks in, as Iemitsu emerges, curious.
“Don’t worry, this little guy just got protective over what they thought was their land at Tsuna,” Ido says, as Tsuna flops forwards to cuddle the Inugami, which is now wagging its tail happily, though also wary of Ido.
Iemitsu and Timoteo depart some time later; Ido had gone to return to his duties for a moment, seemingly leaving Tsuna under their guard…
Only for the small Inugami to protectively bark away at the men when it senses not-completely-well intent, trying to bite a lit-up finger as it forces the two to leave a surprised Tsuna alone, Tsuna’s lap becoming a mini-throne for the tiny dog…
They encounter yet another halfling when the Italians are gone, Tsuna doing his weekly stone-path sweep, dressed in a plain kimono.
The appearance of the black-haired child with fluffy, black hair and the ears and tail of a Lion has Tsuna pausing, before politely bowing.
“Welcome to Nanimori Shrine, Shishi-sama!” Tsuna smiles.
The boy seems perplexed, before stalking over, a good head and a half taller than the other.
Tsuna looks up innocently, tilting his head.
“Sawada Tsunayoshi, I help look after the Shrine, like Ido-san’s been teaching me,” Tsuna replies innocently.
Tsuna lets the other child study him, before peering at him closely.
Tsuna blinks, before innocently pointing at Kyoya’s tail; a thing normal people would not be able to see.
The boy’s eyes narrow, before he leans forwards, scenting Tsuna, as Ido feels a sense of amusement curling in his chest.
The elder boy then turns.
“Stay and be Protected, Baby Herbivore.”
Tsuna brightens, before giving a firm nod.
The boy then disappears, as Tsuna registers what the boy had meant.
“Ah! Sweeping! Sweeping!” Tsuna beams, waving to Ido with a happy smile, before returning to his work…
Chapter 3: Divine Assembly
A month later, Tsuna is officially living at the Shrine, surprised when he’s shown the little living-space attached at the rear of the shrine.
“The Caretaker’s lodge,” Ido says, as he carries Tsuna’s case through to a spare room.
Tsuna nods, silent, before smiling.
Then, the Shrine’s indoors “helper” appears.“My my! Who’s this little one?!” she says, the Karyoubinga shifting into her human form as she lands.
Tsuna look at her in surprise, before giving a broad, cheery grin.
“Sawada Tsunayoshi!” he smiles happily.
Ido suppresses a laugh as this prompts the woman to squeal and twirl Tsuna up in her arms, a warm, joyful melody spilling from her lips.
“I’m Mizuka! You’re so cute!”
“I’m helping Ido-san with the Shrine!” Tsuna smiles, tilting his head innocently.
Mizuka looks at Ido, shock on her face, before giving a broad grin.
“Oh my word! You’re adorable!” she grins, “The Kami are going to love you when we go for the Divine Assembly!”
“Divine Assembly?” Tsuna asks, curious, the nearly-seven-years-old child looking innocently at the karyoubinga.
“Uh-huh! When all the Kami come and assemble to sort out Strings of Fate!”
Tsuna’s eyes sparkle , as he grins.
“I’d love to meet them! Kami are cool!”
Mizuka laughs at Tsuna's chipper mood…
Before using Tsuna's words and enthusiasm against Ido when they finally go.
It's loud, Tsuna looking around with wonder as his hands are gripped tightly by the pair, Ido on his right and Mizuka on his left.
“Ido! Yo! Ido!”
“Oh dear,” Ido frowns, Mizuka laughing, as a cheerful-looking man runs up, ears and tail revealing him as a wolf-yokai.
“You skive this so much! It's good to see you!” they grin, before spying Tsuna, “Ah! Who's this?!”
Tsuna tilts his head , before smiling broadly.
“Hello! I'm Tsuna!” he smiles.
The next moment, Tsuna finds himself being picked up and practically strangled in a hug.
“Oh my goodness! He's so cute! I'm going to show Mistress!”
“Wait, Kaito, no! Give Tsuna back, now!” Ido exclaims, the worried duo giving chase as Tsuna's carried, bridal style, through the crowd, surprised faces turning their way as they hear the commotion.
“Hahaha! Can't catch me!”
“I swear by your Mistress if you hurt Tsu-kun at all …!”
They reach a surprised-looking Goddess, as Kaito is finally caught, Tsuna just looking utterly confused as he is picked up again…
... Only to start giggling, as he realizes what exactly had just occurred.
“That was fun, Ookami-san!”
His laughter is like scattering stars in the night sky, face bright as a small hand covers a broad, toothy grin.
When Tsuna calms down, he hugs Ido, smiling.
“Ido-san and Mizuka-nee are the best !”
Ido looks round, embarrassed, as the Goddess approaches.
“My! Who ever is this, Kaito-kun?!” she smiles.
“Mistress! This is Tsuna! Ido brought him!”
“He's helped us at the Shrine for ages and reaaally wanted to come when I said about visiting this place to help you Gods with your duties!”
“Really!?” the Goddess smiles, before humming as she inspects the child.
Her eyes sparkle when she then realizes something.
“He's a human?”
“Yes! He's been with us since he was four! Ido teaches him when he's not in school, and he was able to recognise one of our visitors as part-Shishi; it was adorable .”
Tsuna blushes at the praise.
“Shishi-sama was exploring… I wanted to help…” Tsuna says politely, as he looks at his feet, before looking up as the Goddess moves crouch before him.
“I'm Ame no Uzume, call me Uzume, OK?” she smiles.
Tsuna nods, smiling.
“I'm Sawada Tsunayoshi, but everyone calls me Tsuna! It's really nice to meet you, Uzume-sama!”
The Goddess laughs.
“Uzume-sama controls the dawn and revelry, she's one of the major Goddesses,” Mizuka smiles.
Tsuna's face light up in wonder.
“Ah! Thank you very much for looking after everyone, Uzume-sama! Your job sounds really important and wonderful!”
“Oh?” Uzume smiles, touched.
“I always like watching the sun when it rises and sets, even if I'm not allowed all the time, because everything always looks so pretty, then the birds always sound so happy as they wake up, as though saying “The dawn is here! We can fly and soar through it all again!”” Tsuna beams, “I also know how important it is, because without the dawn, the Sun cannot come, and the Sun is important, because without it, everything would look dark and scary all the time, despite the presence of the moon to shine and make open areas and the Town I live in look really pretty!”
“Hmm,” Uzume stands, extending a hand, “Let me introduce you to Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, I know they'd love meeting you!” she smiles, as Tsuna looks up at Ido and Mizuka for permission, smiling again as he receives two obvious agreements…
They find the pair in one of the gardens, away from everyone else.
“Ama-nee! Tsu-nii! I brought someone to meet you!”
Tsuna is looking at the pair with open wonder as they turn to see the small group.
“Tsuna, this is Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, Ama-nee is Goddess of the Sun, Tsuku-nii is God of the moon,” she smiles, “Onee-san, Onii-san, this is Sawada Tsunayoshi, he's Ido and Mizuka's little human assistant at their Shrine.
Both Kami are surprised at this, for both knew the Shrine to have been abandoned but for the sake of the humans wanting prosperity and luck during Festivals.
Why would a tiny child wish to spend his life caring for an empty Shrine? A human one with only about a century of life to live? The deity who’d watched over that shine had long gone…
“Why do you look after the shrine, if I’m allowed to ask?” Tsukuyomi politely asks.
“Ah! It’s fine!” Tsuna smiles, “Well… I look after it, because it feels special?”
“Feels?” Tsukuyomi says.
“Ah, eto, well…” Tsuna stutters, as he places his hands in his lap, “It’s like… It has this air of warmth and safety, when I stand within its grounds, it’s like there is a peaceful balance hanging there…” Tsuna tilts his head, “I know if I look East, then the Sky and Town lie before me, as the Sky protects it, like a blanket when Tsuna has nightmares. There’s the perfect mix of Technology and Nature, as the Town is surrounded by it, the Shrine even boardering on a forest, which I know spreads before me if I just look West… Then, I look Noth, and there’s always just the Sky and the forest, leading right over to Kokuyo, where Kokyo Land shows the past, since it closed shortly after I went there with Papa on the only visit I ever actually know him being there… Then, to the South, you can see the Sea! There I can see the Sky meeting the Waves and it’s like if I just reach out my hand, then I can touch one of the fishermen’s boats or tap the side of the cliffs along the coast! It’s really, really amazing! Like you’re watching the future, as, every day, boats go out on new journeys in search of fish!” Tsuna smiles, tilting his head back as his eyes fall shut, remembering the Shrine.
He looks at them again, as he reveals his brown eyes have turned a warm, shiny gold, like the first rays of sun, “It’s like everything has gained a Harmony that I wish existed deeper in the lives of people, even if that Chaos is also required for one to learn of Order, and so on!”
Tsuna tilts his head to a side as he finishes, smiling happily.
Ido has a closed-off expression as Mizuka is humming a happy, sparkling melody.
“Ah! He caught that so well! Tsu-kun’s amazing!” she sings, Tsuna’s eyes returning to normal as he lets out a happy, innocent laugh.
The signs of a Sky are now evident to the Gods, as they realise how much importance this places on this innocent being - an excruciatingly rare thing in the current day and age.
Amaterasu is captivated .
“Oh my word! He’s adorable!” she says, smiling, “Though, if I remember, there should be those Halflings who might enjoy Tsuna’s company!” she smiles.
“Eh?” Tsuna asks.
“Oh, no, no! It’s not that we don’t adore your company, but we’ll have to start a meeting, soon! This meeting will only be for the kami and heads of certain Shrines, so we think you spending your time with some of our more Earthly-known descendants would be good!”
Tsuna tilts his head, before it bows.
“So Ido-san has to work away from Mizu-nee and I?” he asks, soft, yet still polite.
“It will only be for about an hour, and I think I know which brats they mean, so I’ll say now; if they make you uncomfortable in any way, get loud, or un to Mizuka; she should be nearby.”
Tsuna blinks, before nodding with a warm smile.
Ido, Mizuka and Tsuna are brought by Kaito to one of the smaller buildings, opening the door to reveal a large room of teens and young adults.
Tsuna blinks, as Amaterasu makes a disapproving noise in her throat.
“Oi! Where’s Xanxus?!” she calls, “Byakko’s grandkid?!”
There’s movement, before a tall teen, coated in scars, with the ears and tail of a white tiger, stalks over.
“I’m a Liger, Amaterasu,” he scowls.
“Ido-san wants to leave his charge with you,” she says, before leaning over and whispering something low enough for only Tsuna not to hear, “ He’s a Civilian Sky; don’t you dare try to pull anything !”
Tsuna tilts his head with innocent curiosity, before ooking up at Ido.
"Xanxus is descended from Byakko, as well as one of those Greek gods that like changing their form from time to time-" Ido starts.
"Zeus, the King of the Gods," Xanxus states, tail flicking with annoyance.
"King?" Tsuna asks, "So that makes him... Xanxus-sama?"
Xanxus snorts, hidig a grin behind his hand at the obliviousness of the small child, though then his other hand is grabbed, making him look down to see the small Sky looking up at him with joyful eyes, that have him freezing in place.
He is deefinitely not letting the Mafia near this brat...
"I'm Sawada Tsunayoshi! It's really nice to meet you, Xanxus-sama!"
Xanxus raises a brow.
He'd been wondering about Iemitsu's visits to Nanimori, though Xanxus was still waiting for the point at which he could return to Ittaly, or the Earthen plane, at least; he'd been stuck tailing his Celestial family members around for two years now; it was boring; he'd even ended up randomly kidnapping Squalo and Bel for "friendly spars", even if they then had to get healed after.
To think the reason was this kid...
Tsuna gives Xanxus a puzzled look at the lack of reply.
...Who definitely seems to have his head on his shoulders a lot better than that old fart.
"Just Xanxus, brat; I ain't an old git."
"Everyone calls me Tsuna, or Tsu-kun!"
Tsuna's smile is like looking into a lamp; it's heart-attack inducing.
"Heh, I'll introduce ya," Xanxus smirks, as Tuna looks at Ido and Mizuka for permission, Amaterasu's eyes sparkling.
"Tsu-kun, you're always asking permission; why?" she smiles.
"Ah! Ido-san took me from Mama after visiting us for a looong while with Tsu-obachan and Tsu-ojisan, who live at Takesushi! I kept on making Mama look sad, but now she looks really happy whenever I visit on my way to school, so i don't want to be an inconvenience, even if Mizu-nee keeps on sying that it's alright !" Tsuna smiles, "Though I think I'm gunna ask her about cooking, because then I can learn how to make yummy stuff for the people I like!"
Xanxus scowls, as he looks at Ido.
Who replies with a mouthed "later".
"Well, I think you'll definitely attract Lussuria's attention; come on."
Tsuna nods, smiling as he's led inside, the kami and yokai retreeting...
True to form, as soon as Lusssuria spies Tsuna, Tsuna finds himself being lifted up, though his lightness has Lussuria raising a brow for a moment, though he smiles anywayy.
"Why, hello there, cutie-pie!" he smiles, "I'm Lussuria, but you can call me Lussu-nee!"
Tsuna's eyes widen, before nods with a closed-eyes-grin.
"Sawada Tsunayoshi, though everyone calls me Tsuna, or Tsu-kun!"
"Awww!" Lussuria grins, "May I ask how old you are?"
"I'm Seven! Ido-san brought me here after Mizuka-nee said she wanted me to meet people!" Tsuna grins, as Lussuria hums, masking his worry at how small the boy is.
"Really! Our Bel-kun is two years older!"
"Bel?" Tsuna asks, tilting his head innocently.
"Belphegor, he's Rasiel's twin..." Lussuria points to a pair of twins trying to tear eachother apart, Tsuna frowning.
"Why are they trying to hurt eachother?"
"They're descended from Snow Lions, so they get quite territorial when they're not being all hair-trigger-happy."
"It means they get angry really easily, like small dogs."
"Ohhh, you mean like Inugami?"
Lussuria grins as Xanxus throws his head back in a roaring laugh, making both twins jerk in surprise as they turn to see the trio, a third looking up from their corner where they're nursing a cup of something, whilst a baby looks over from their seat on the chandelier, where they could spy on everyone in the room.
"Bel, Siel, this is Tsuna!" Lussuria smiles.
""Cool! He descended from anyone?"
"He's a Sawada," Lussuria hums.
"Heh, that idiot procreated?"
Tsuna looks at the pair with innocent curiosity, which seems to aggravate both twins.
"Ushishishi, he looks like a hedgehog!" one cackles.
"Ushesheshe, he is a hedgehog!" the other laughs.
"No I'm not, even if hedgehogs are cute..." Tsuna says,
pouting scowling at the pair, "Besides, isn't hard to see with your hair in your face all the time?"
Both twins go quiet.
"Eh~?" they grin, leering as even their tails mirror eachother.
"What's to say you wouldn't be scared, little hedgehog?" they say in synch.
Tsuna tilts his head.
"The only thing that scares me is when I'm alone in crowds, because it's like I'm trying to walk through a sea of legs; I'm fine if I have someone like Tsu-oji or Mizu-nee with me, though."
"Not even spiders?"
"Spiders are cute! Though I have to move them sometimes, like when they think my pillow is an OK place to build a web. Mizu-nee doesn't like them, though."
Xanxus smirks, as the twins chuckle, before lifting their fringes up to reveal demonic eyes, both having bright red eyes with slit-pupils.
Tsuna doesn't even flinch, blinking, before he smiles, tilting his head as he seems to emit a homely warmth that captivates both twins.
"See! Your eyes are really pretty and unique!" Tsuna smiles, giving a light, cheerful laugh that sounds like tiny bells.
Xanxus swipes Tsuna out of Lussuria's arms before the trio could do anything, before striding over to his throne that sits to one side, setting Tsuna in his lap.
"You were curious about other Gods?"
"Oh? Oh! Yes! Can Xan-nii tell me about them?!"
Xanxus grins at the name, the child's innocence a precious luxury Xanxus had only evr had whilst babysitting in the slums - when he wasn't fighting off the assholes wanting to threaten them for food, that is...
Bel and Siel turn to eachother, as they see the way Levi has stiffened up, looking ready to pounce at Tsuna for stealing all of Xanxus' attention.
"We'll have a truce, as long as the Baby-servant is here."
"A Prince must award perfect behaviour, after all," Siel agrees, the twin giving a synchronized handshake, before deciding to teach the Leviathan-descendant a lesson bout glaring at the little light that hadn't shrunk away a the sigh of the feature many had ostracised the pair of them for...
Next time: Tsuna Plays Dress-up!!
Chapter 5: Say Hello to Cuteness
Ido was surprised to find Tsuna had somehow managed to get all the other descendants and Caretakers-in-Training to tell him stories about the other gods and creatures other religions also had, drinking in every word with an innocent, cheerful smile.
"Tsuna, we'll be helping out Kichijouten-sama, unless you want to stay and hear more stories?"
"Ah! No, I'll help!" Tsuna smiles, before looking at the others, "Is that OK?"
"Yeah, it's fine," Rasiel hums, the twins sulkily sitting up as Tsuna stops petting them...
Kichijouten was a busty goddess dressed in a kimono that was cut so she could have it wrap around her shoulders instead of over them and show cream-coloured legs, a train flowing out behind her as the fertility and beauty goddess walks along in rosewood geta.
"Woah!" Tsuna breathes, looking at the goddess in wonder.
"Ah! Ido-san!" she smiles, before seeing Tsuna, "And who is this little darling?"
"I'm Tsuna, Kichijouten-sama!" he greets, bowing, "It's nice to meet you!"
"Oh~! I remember! Mizuka-chan told us about you!" the goddess grins, crouching, "Call me Kichi-chan, alright?!"
"Sure!" Tsuna nods, smiling as her familiar looks at them with a snooty expression, the white-rabbit-yokai watching them with suspicion.
"This is Jikyo, my familiar."
"It is a... pleasure... to see you..." the familiar bows, Tsuna smiling.
"Wao! You look really strong!" Tsuna grins.
The familiar raises a brow, Ido hiding his smirk behind his sleeve, as Mizuka gives a tinkling laugh; once again, Tsuna had noticed something that shouldn't be visible to others.
"Oh, how can you tell?" Jikyo smiles.
"I can see your shoulders!" Tsuna smiles, "Also your legs are planted like Ido-san's when he's chopping wood!"
"Hmm?" Kichijouten smiles, "How intuitive!"
"Anyway, what do you wish for us to do?" Ido asks, getting slightly protective as he sees the way the goddess looks at his little human charge. Even if Tsuna seems to represent the happiness and beauty side of her duties at that point.
The goddess chuckles.
"Well, I believe my attendants would like to play with you, which would be nice so I could talk with Mizuka for a bit; why don't you head over to my lodgings for a bit?"
"OK!" Tsuna smiles, looking up at Ido as he's flocked by the other familiars and led away.
"...Should I follow them?" Ido frowns, confused by the sudden break in the serene manner the girls had held.
"Unless you want to be introduced to the world of powders and different kimonos, I suggest not," Mizuka hums, amused.
"...I'll stay a good ten feet away, then; outside the door where I can hear for any complaints in case Tsuna needs an escape plan."
Ido runs .
The goddess and Karyoubinga laugh as they watch the retreating group...
Tsuna is curious when he's told about "dress up", as several kimonos, this time cut for girls, are brought out.
"Stay still, Tsu-kun!" they chirp, Tsuna obediently letting the girls measure and locate a kimono that fit him, as a sponge-thing is brought over with several boxes and brushes.
White stuff flies up around him, making Tsuna sneeze as it tickles his nose.
Sounds of awe have Tsuna looking up, blinking as he lets stuff get put on his eyes and cheeks, before his head is tilted up and stuff's brushed over his lips.
Tsuna blinks, tilting his head innocently, which somehow has all the girls squeeling and throwing comments about how cute he looked at him.
A mirror is fetched, Tsuna stood in front of it, so he can see.
Black kohl highlights how large Tsuna's eyes are as there's a light dusting of pink blush on his cheeks over the white powder coating Tsuna's face, ears and neck, sunset-red lipgloss shining on pillow-like lips.
Looking at his hands, yet more powder and a bit of oil hiding how Tsuna had already started hardening the skin of his hands with the work he enjoyed doing, sakura-pink nail polish going with the blossom-orange kimono decorated with a design of pale green stems and pale-pink rosebuds.
"Wow!" Tsuna smiles, though his eyes snap open again when he hears a thump , one of the girls having fainted.
"Eh?! Is nee-san alright?!" Tsuna asks, concerned.
"Eto, it's OK! she just decided to take a nap after we managed to make you look so pretty!" one of the other girls quickly say, Tsuna looking innocently at them, before smiling with a nod, gold eyeshadow shining, "OK!"
He's told to go and find Kichijouten, so Tsuna nods and leaves, spying Ido.
"Hello,Ido-san! I'm going to look for Kichi-vhan!" Tsuna beams.
"S-sure, have fun..." Ido replies, as seeing Tsuna dressed in such a way has the old fox feeling like he'd just been slapped with a fish at the innocent appearance of his small charge.
Unfortunately, this meant Tsuna was now going off on his own in the Gods' Realm...
Byakuran, the great-great-grandson of Loki, had managed to sneak into the Shinto Kami's realm, having heard about the festival from his Grandma and his cloud guardian, Kikyo, the son of one of the gods - the Water God? No, wait, Ryuujin, the God of the tide, who lives underwater and is a dragon.
Whilst exploring, he gets distracted by the koi fish in one of the ponds, when he bumps into someone, falling on his but.
He looks up to complain-
Only to freeze up at the sight of the small angel sitting in front of him, rubbing his head as he can see the small androgynous person is wearing makeup.
“Ah! Sorry! I was looking for Kichijouten-sama and I got distracted! Sorry!” they say, hurrying to their feet.
Their height betrays their youth, as Byakuran chuckles.
“It’s fine; I’m Guesso Byakuran, whoo might you be, little bunny?”
“E-eto, I’m Sawada Tsunayoshi, though people call me Tsuna, or Tsu-kun, I’m a human who works at Nanimori Shrine and my Guardians brought me here… Are you OK?”
Byakuran smiles, getting to his feet himself to find he’s a good head taller.
“I’m descended from Loki, though I’m mostly human; I’m nine!”
“Seven,” Tsuna smiles, Byakuran smirking as he’s already defended from cuteness this bright through his surrogate-baby-sister, Yuni.
“Huuu~, will you trust me, Tsu-kun?”
Tsuna opens his mouth to answer, when a pair of hands quickly pull Tsuna away, an angry roar having Tsuna look up to see Squalo glaring at Byakuran.
“ WHO THE HELL ARE YOU ?!” he roars, angry, “ LEAVE TSUNA ALONE !”
“Oya, oya, the Bunny knows a Shark,” Byakuran smirks, Tsuna blinking in surprise as he sees the way the pair glare at eachother.
“Oh, come on , some of my Guardians come here!” Byakuran grins, “Though Rasiel is Yuni’s, same for Gamma, Shoichi, Genkishi and Glo Xinia, I have Kikyo, Zakuro, Torikabuto, Bluebell, Ghost and Daisy, though Ghost is banned from most planes.”
“Squalo-nii?” Tsuna asks, confused.
Squalo and Byakuran’s eyes flicker to Tsuna.
“Where’s Ido or Mizuka?” Squalo demands.
“I got sent off by Kicijouten’s friends to find her after we played dress up , Ido went weird when I found him outside and said I was allowed to try and find her by myself,” Tsuna hums, smiling.
“Well, then! Why don’t we find them! I was bored, anyway!” Byakuran grins.
Squalo glares at Byakuran, taking one of Tsuna's hands and leading them away…
Kichijouten squeals at the sight of them, as Tsuna gives a little, innocent laugh, as he's lifted so Kichijouten can inspect her maids’ work.
“Oh my, you’re so adorable!” she grins, swinging him round, before setting him on his feet again, “I want you to not change! From now on, you will retain your beauty, even in growth, as a blessing from me, Kichijouten, until you can join us in the Realm of the Gods .”
Magic swirls around Tsuna, before settling, as Tsuna looks surprised, before giggling, as he bows.
“I promise I’ll try not to change too much, though of course I want to learn a lot more about everything!” he smiles, Byakuran’s grin broadening…
Chapter 6: Agreements and Friendships
Tsuna spends most of his time playing with the twins and Byakuran, the children actting like children for once, though now and then Bel and Siel still tried to kill eachother, but with Tsuna…
...Maybe they could agree on a coalition? Or, at the very least, rock-paper-stab when the time actually came for someone to take the throne.
It isn’t until one day, when they’re weaving flowers one of the descendants had grown for them into crowns, that Tsuna talks about it.
“Bel-nii… Wouldn’t taking the throne mean you’re not able to be with Xan-nii as his Guardian, anymore? Like Siel-nii wouldn’t be able to be for Yuni-nee?”
Both twins pause, before Siel chuckles.
“Ushesheshe! I can make Yuni-chan my Principessa!” he grins.
Bel looks a lot more puzzled, tilting his head.
“I murder less Subjects as a Varia member, plus I get to fight Boss whenever I want…” he mutters, confused.
Siel looks at Bel in surprise.
“Ushesheshe, that means that you’d let me have the throne?!” Rasiel demands, though he sounds… Disappointed, almost, “We were raised to fight for it!”
“But if I become King, I’d have to do Paperwork, I wouldn’t be able to bribe Mammon all the time and probably be forced to step down from the Varia. Urgh!” Bel makes a sound of disgust, “No way anyone can compare to the great Belphegor-sama as Xanxus’ Storm!”
Bel crosses his arms, bristling at the mere idea of leaving Xanxus’ side.
Siel goes quiet, causing Byakuran and Bel to go quiet, as Tsuna listens.
“Y’know… I think you’d be good for my little sis…” Byakuran hums, checking the flowers are perfect on his crown, “Yuni-chan needs as much love and protection as she can gt, but she also needs more backbone, and a listening ear, too; Gamma is already to old, and he’s sort of her Step-dad after Reborn ensured her and Aria’s safety.”
Rasiel whips round in surprise.
“Of course, the final decision would be up to her, as my cute little nee-chan, but still…” Byakuran hums, “You and Belphegor are two of the most loyal Princes I have ever met, probably the most loyal.”
Rasiel smiles . Not a grin , not a smirk , not a death-implying Cheshire-cat smile, but a serene, warm smile that actually makes him half as scary as the two Snow-lion-descendents were commonly known to be.
Bel, meanwhile, is looking at Byakuran with a childish sort of awe, before finishing his crown quickly.
“Anyway! If that makes you related to us, then a Prince should have a crown!”
He throws the flower crown he'd made onto Byakuran’s head, before turning in his seat to hide his flushed cheeks, embarrassed.
Tsuna laughs, soon finishing his own and putting it on Bel’s head.
“I like Bel and Suel’s hearts, most! Despite everything, it has a really shiny core, that makes your rare moments of openness all the more bright!” he laughs, Rasiel gaining a similar flush to his brother's, as he yanks Tsuna into his lap so he can place the crown he'd made on Tsuna's head, smiling as it fits well amongst Tsuna's fluffy, gravity-defying hair, as Byakuran gently plops the crown he'd made on Rasiel’s head.
“Haha, you two should accept compliments sometimes, even if it can overgrow your ego!” he grins.
They end up playing tag for a while, until they have to go their separate ways…
The next day, Tsuna's exploring, when he comes across Ebisu, the Laughing God, to find he is not laughing, but sitting amongst several plaques, red string in his lap, and confusion upon his face.
Toddling over, Tsuna feels as if he knows what to do.
“Excuse me, kami-sama, do you need help?” he asks.
The Kami looks up to see the small human.
“Ah, Tsuna!” he smiles, “I think I should know, yet I cannot seem to figure out who would be best for who!”
Toddling over, Tsuna tilts his head , before his eyes glow, picking up two plaques, looking at the names.
“How about these two?”
“Well… Those two live quite a long way from eachother…”
Yet they feel tight?” Tsuna sits by the god, easily sitting seiza as he brings the two together.
The thing that surprises him is how it seems to cause the two to fuse, glowing a soft indigo for a moment.
“Ah, I see,” Ebisu chuckles, “Well done, Tsu-kun! You've found a pair of half-souls who complete eachother!”
“Twins are sometimes sharing one soul, like your Snow Lion friends. However, sometimes the halves can get lost, being born in two different places, two different times, or not of those things; it appears these two are one such pair!”
Tsuna looks with awe between Ebisu and the newly-formed plaque.
“Wow!” Tsuna grins, “I'm really glad! Ah, can I help you with more?!”
“Of course!” Ebisu laughs, though he's secretly surprised at the way Tsuna doesn't jump up to show his loved ones, like a normal human child would.
They continue through, before the gong for dinner sounds, Tsuna tailing Ebisu to the hall…
Belphegor and Rasiel are surprised when they find Mizuka trying to get Tsuna to eat more.
“Come on, just a bit more? Growing boys need their meals!”
“I-I told you, Mizu-nee, having some dumplings and half a fish is enough for me! I already ate the stuff I put on my plate…” Tsuna attempts.
Mizuka sighs, before eating the chicken wing she'd taken herself.
“Eh! Bel-nii! Siel-nii! Good afternoon!” Tsuna greets, as the twins sit.
“Heeeh, you've already eaten?”
Tsuna nods, smiling.
“Well, then, why was Mizuka-san trying to get you to eat more?”
“She says I eat too little, though I'm already full, so I just think others eat too much!”
The twin's glance at eachother.
“Tsuna! We want to know more about Nanimori and your Mama!”
Tsuna grins, before telling them all about the shrine, Takesushi, the Yamamoto family, as well as about the adults who looked after him.
“The weird thing is, the one time I remember Papa visiting, he brought this guy who I ended up calling Grandpa because the Italian for 'grandpa’ is 'Nonno’, yet then the Inugami that lives next door barked and growled at him and Papa until they left me alone, as well as when Grandpa tried making me go sleepy with a flame he produced on the end of his finger… Papa had said something about ‘sealing’?”
Both twins freeze.
“I'm just going to talk to Xanxus,” Bel hums, as Rasiel just turns to grab Byakuran from where he sits with some of the Yokai Familiars.
Tsuna is, fortunately, too innocent to understand what the twins are getting angry about…
By the end of the Divine Assembly, Tsuna had managed to get blessed with the ability to talk with the wind, a life of fortune and the chance to ask one thing of the sea at any time, all on top of the gift of eternal beauty from Kichijouten.
From then on, Tsuna would join Ido and Mizuka when visiting the Assembly, happy and healthy as he helped build a brotherly bond between the twins and teach Byakuran and Xanxus how to be a bit more patient.
That is, until three years later…
Xanxus, Bel and Siel sit, annoyed, as they wait for Tsuna.
“I'm going to find him, Yuni arrives with Byakuran tomorrow; she said she wants to meet him,” Rasiel huffs, getting up.
“I'll go with you,” Xanxus states, as Bel stands, face serious.
The Shrine is empty, though they find Mizuka at the base of the shrine steps, waiting.
“Mizu-nee, where's Tsuna?” Belphegor asks.
She turns, as her teeth are gritted.
“We were about to leave, when, out of nowhere, someone grabbed Tsuna and made a ran for it, Ido’s gone after them, but I'm too slow and I can't exactly fly through town,” the Karyoubinga growls.
The three race off, their feline blood allowing them to smell the route taken.
On Tsuna’s end, he’d been surprised when he was suddenly picked up and carried down the Shrine’s steps, his captor jumping them five at a time at high speed, before carrying him through town.
“Ido-san!” Tsuna calls, terrified, as he tries to escape, before there’s a “hyup!” from in front of his captor, a hand grabbing Tsuna’s collar to stop him from falling over.
“You alright, Tsuna?” Tsuyoshi asks, smiling.
“A-ah.. Thank you, Tsu-oji,” Tsuna smiles as he’s set down.
“Shit!” the guy under Tsuyoshi’s foot growls, as he whistles.
Both men freeze, as a group of yakuza appear.
“Hand over the boy,” one orders.
“No,” Tsuyoshi smirks.
Blades are raised, a gun cocked.
“Hand him over.”
Tsuyoshi hums, letting his foot grind into the kidnapper’s back.
Tsuna is chucked like one would a kitten to land in Ido’s arms, Ido putting him carefully on his feet, though he keeps Tsuna at his side.
“ Not on your life !”
Shigure Kintoki shines as Tsuyoshi disarms four of the twelve, before deflecting a bullet into another’s skull, gaze hardening.
Takeshi emerges, before grabbing Tsuna's hand.
“Come on!” he says, a shinai in his hand as they run off, trying to escape.
They're up the street before the group of yakuza can separate out, as a dark blur jumps in, thwacking two of the seven giving chase on the head, knocking them out with the hit, growling as his ears twitch and tail swish with possessive anger.
"EXTREME LITTLE BRO!"
Tsuna blinks, looking over to see the familiar boxer, who he'd met whilst aiding him with a group of delinquents.
Tsuna had been walking up from the shops when he'd heard yelling, pausing to look in the direction it came from.
"What are you doing?! Let my extreme little sis go!"
Tsuna had followed the voice to find four senpai holding Kyoko-chan against a wall, her onikuma ears flat in fear.
"Ah, look at this! The Chibi always acts so loud and proud of himself! Where's all that pride gone, Chibs?!"
"Hey! You're scaring them!" Tsuna yells.
All of them look.
"Tsu-kun?!" Kyoko exclaims.
"Please, would you like to be treated like you are treating him? We're children, you're teenagers; is it not our elders who must set the example?" Tsuna attempts.
They only laugh in his face.
"Hey! Isn't he the brat who lives in that abandoned shrine?!" one of them asks.
Tsuna hears the wind call a warning, dodging the silver that swipes past his nose.
Closing his eyes, Tsuna lets the wind tell him how to move, carefully placing the groceries down on the ground as he dodges a second attack, before punching the man's elbow and smashing the heel of his palm upwards.
Things go blurry as he feels oddly peaceful...
Only to come back to the current time panting, surprise on all the kids faces as the other kids are floored.
The only thing Tsuna thinks he can do, is accept what he has done.
So he does, taking a breath.
"Are you alright?" he asks.
The pair are looking at him oddly.
"Eto, Kyoko-chan, Onikumi-niisan?"
Both look surprised, before Tsuna collects his groceries (which are, surprisingly, alright) and toddles back to the entrance of the alley, not knowing how, when he smiles, to the pair in the dark alley, it makes Tsuna look like a guardian angel, or guiding spirit.
"Why don't we head back to the Shrine? We can talk more, there!"...
Speaking of, Kyoko is following behind, and why is she giving off killing intent?!
"Kyoko-chan!" Tsuna calls, turning meek at the sight of his sister-figure.
"Hi, Tsu-kun!" she waves, before Takeshi yanks Tsuna out of the way of one of the yakuza members, thwacking down with the shinai, which turns it from a shinai into a katana, the yakuza member only just avoiding the loss of a hand by not grabbing at Tsuna.
"Run!" Takeshi yells, the kids retreating to the park, where there was more of an open space for a full-on fight.
Plus, they might actually be able to get help there; it was the heart of the town, after all.
And what better help then a load of retired Mafioso?
The elders are quick to notice them, as people scatter like cats, helping the mothers and their children as the area is cleared.
"Finally," Kyoya grins, spinning round and attacking the Mafioso, as Ryohei and Takeshi back him up, though remain close to Tsuna and Kyoko.
"I'll be fine! You two get rid of the people trying to hurt Tsu-kun!" Kyoko grins, angelic smile seeming oddly demonic in that moment as she pulls out a pair of fans.
Tsuna gives her a puzzled look.
"I asked Yi-Mae-sensei, Kyoya's Mother, for lessons... Her second's teaching my friend, Haru, how to use ribbons like whips, anyway," Kyoko smiles, "We both get to look pretty, whilst being dangerous!"
Tsuna's expression lights up.
"That's so cool!" he beams, as Kyoko throws a fan behind her back, catching it after it had sliced a warning-cut into an attacking Mafioso's throat as she maintains her sisterly aura, keeping Tsuna calm and away from entering the mode that had evidently left his slightly shell-shocked last time.
A yell has them looking up, fright in their features.
This went //everywhere//...
...Whelp! Finishing this chapter in a second part tomorrow, so, ja ne! XD
Chapter 8: Cursed
Xanxus recognises the miasma spreading through the town as they hear a scream.
“Tsuna!” Belphegor yells, as they find a Fallen God cackling as they float over a group of kids, who are trying to stop a gang of Yakuza as Tsuna’s curled up, miasma thick around him as he tries to reject the curse the God is trying to place on him, Sky flames curled up around his skin as the onikuma-girl beside him looks furious , yet terrified, as she tries to aid him.
“ TSUNA !” Rasiel yells, as Xanxus pulls his x-guns from his sleeves, shooting the ones not actually touching the kids, burning them alive as the fallen kami turns.
“Hohoho! If it isn’t Byakko’s brat!” they cackle, “You are too late! The boy will die shortly after his seventeenth, alone and slow!”
Xanxus lets out a roar, as he lets loose a full bust of Wrath at the fallen god, heritage showing as the scars on his skin spread, Xanxus seeing red as Bel and Rasiel are quick to get the kids out of the way as Xanxus tries to grab and burn the fallen god, though they escape with ease, Xanxus’ rage turning to the yakuza.
It’s a massacre as Xanxus ditches his guns for his fists, burning people upon contact.
Once he’s dealt with them, Xanxus’ flames finally die out, as he rushes over to Tsuna, who’d fallen unconscious with the curse having taken effect.
It’s a tonfa that shoots to try and stop him from touching the younger Sky, as a fan-edge comes a hair’s breadth from his face.
“Who are you, what did you do, and is there a solution to whatever that thing did?” the girl growls.
“Xanxus, I mashed those bastards to a pulp with my flames and I’m gonna bloody well find out, by getting Tsuna to the Divine Assembly right. Now ,” Xanxus growls, flicking the fan aside as he scoops Tsuna up, Tsuna quickly latching onto Xanxus’ kimono as the White-tiger descendant stands, only pausing to pick up the dropped x-guns, though his grip on Tsuna remains tight as two men run up, Ido and what looked like the sword-brat’s old man pausing at the sight of them, Xanxus still coated in blood as he holds Tsuna close.
“Get out of the way, Ido; someone fucking cursed him,” Xanxus growls.
“They’d said something about Tsuna either dying or becoming like the monsters he loves so much…” the sword-brat says.
Ido nods, setting a hand on the other.
“Tsuyoshi, we need to get him to the Divine Assembly,” Ido says, “We’ll explain on the way; has the curse taken full effect yet?”
“I don’t know,” Xanxus growls, ears flat in anger and fear as they return to the Shrine, stepping across to the Divine Assembly…
...Where they find Byakko with Kichijouten and Amaterasu, waiting.
“What happened?!” Amaterasu demands, as Kichijouten is quick to take Tsuna from Xanxus’ arms.
“Tsuna got cursed, we need Benzaiten," Xanxus states, as his grandfather pads over to his side.
"It appears you found a Pack," he states in a low growl, inspecting the children.
"They're Tsuna's," Xanxus replies, as the Shishi-descendant looks at Byakko with a blank face for a moment.
Then, he bows.
"Wow, he knows manners!" Byakko hums.
"Hn," the boy straightens, looking over at Amaterasu, tail flicking.
"Baths, then healing, then explanations. Kichijouten and Byakko will find Benzaiten, Xanxus and I'll take you to the baths; he needs one himseslf, anyway."
Xanxus lets out an animalistic snarl.
"I'm not leaving Tsuna's side until I know he's OK!" Xanxus snarls.
"Now is not the time!" Byakko states, "I'll be fetching Squalo, anyway, since his flames can probably slow the curse down, get washed up quicker and you can see him quicker." Xanxus' hands become fists.
"Fine," xanxus spits, marching off.
The other kids and Amaterasu are quick to follow, Xanxus' anger evident as he strides towards the baths...
Where a certain brat and silver-haired-Italian had just finished up.
"Byakko's looking for you, head to Benzaiten's," Xanxus says.
Squalo takes on look at the expression he'd spoken with and runs, as the other kid look at them, frowning.
"What happened?" he asks.
"Follow Squalo and you'll find out," Rasiel states.
Byakuran nods chasing after Squalo...
They barely get there in time, Benzaiten practically snatching up Tsuina and resting him on her futon, the androgynous kami practically snatching the edges of the curse, teeth gritted.
“ I like this kid, damned curse !” she screams, yanking.
She only stops pulling when it starts physically tugging on Tsuna, teeth gritted.
“…Whelp, looks like we’re modifying this thing,” she grumbles, as Squalo arrives just in time to see the fortune and “flow” goddess bite a chunk of the miasma, swallowing it down to absorb the information, acting as one would after tasting a fine wine, before she growls .
“What is that ?!” Squalo yelps.
“A curse that would kill Tsuna or at least render him bedridden and in pain for the rest of his life,” Benzaiten says, “Though, how about… Ah!” she starts seeping her magic into the miasma, making the part she was holding shine a silvery-gold, “Well, this is going to be cliche as all of the Underworld, but let’s make this so he’ll just slowly start turning into… Well, whatever creature his soul is most similar to, fully aining the boy of that at 20. However! If he finds his Counter-Soul, or whoever his soul fits perfectly with, given Souls shift and change with time to fully mature in one’s teens… Yeah! Just a kiss or two, then POOF! He’ll stop gaining his soul-animal’s features, still be Our Cutie Child, and I get Grandkids!”
“Wait, what?” Byakko asks, blanching at the final part, as the curse snaps back into place, Tsuna giving a tiny whimper as Benzaiten starts singing a cheery tune, already plan out how she’ll weave the boy’s future.
“So… Is he fine now?” Squalo asks.
“Well~…” Benzaiten hums, turning to look at the men, “We’ll mostly know when he wakes up, because I don’t really know all about curse’s side-effects, but still…” she lets the last word float, grinning, “I think I’ll enjoy it!”
Squalo sighs , before turning.
“I’ll fetch a rag and a bowl of water, as well as ask Ido for some clean clothes for Tsuna; he needs a wash.”
“OK~! Have fun~!” Benzaiten grins, waving Squalo off…
Byakko turns back to the smiley goddess.
“You’re planning something,” he states, eyes narrowing.
“Nothing dangerous ~!” she hums, “I just know that Tsu-kun’s fortune will change after the new year past his thirteenth, when a certain Kitsune of ours comes to Nanimori again~…”
Byakko sighs , shaking his head slowly.
“You women are always so strange to me,” he states.
“We women are Crafty Creatures, my dear Byakko-san; it’s in the job-description-of-life for us to keep our Men on their toes!”
“And I take it you enjoy every second?”
“ YUP !” the goddess sings, as the celestial white tiger curls up nearby to watch over the sleeping child…
Xanxus had been oddly quiet whilst they’d bathed, though he’d also been quite thorough, knowing that the rest of them would be equally as eager to see Tsuna.
They’d practically ran to the room Amaterasu had told them Tsuna was in, Ryohei letting his sister tie his obi for him as they’d hurried to dress, soon locating the correct side-building.
Tsuna is fast asleep, though the creases in his expression were now gone, curled up on his side like a cat with his knees to his chest, a soft smile on his face.
The goddess who is sitting by him, humming as she’s stitching different pieces of fabric together.
The revealed haori surprises them.
“Cuteness, sweetness, goodness to thee, Trust them, love them, it’s meant-to-be~...” she sings softly, as she sets the last few stitches in place.
“W-what?” Takeshi asks.
She turns, smiling mischievously at them.
“You’ll see~!” she chortles, “I’m Benzaiten, by the way! You can call me Nee-kamisama!”
“No thank you,” Xanxus states flatly, “When I last called you that once you decided my fate ‘wasn’t spicy enough’.”
“Oh~! Xan-kun! You were so cute back then~! I even nabbed your adopted father’s pictures!”
Xanxus eyes flash with annoyance at the mention of the old man.
“What about Tsuna, anyway?”
“Oh, I couldn’t remove the curse, but I could change it a bit!”
“ So ?” Kyoya demands.
“ So , he’s not going to die, but slowly turn into the creature his matured soul has settled on, seeing as during the first ten to sixteen years of life one’s soul fluctuates from us kami and gods choosing their fate…” the goddess drifts off, checking her proportions, giggling when she finds them correct “ He’ll look so cute !”
They’re waved out the room, as Tsuna is allowed to rest…
So, updating's going to change, since I'm behind on College work (again, THANKS B&B COLLEGE'S COMMUNICATION SKILLS YOU ARE OOOOOH SOOOO HELPFUL!!!) and at the same time other shtick is happening in my life which kinda push my writing to a side (hellooo lack-of-writing migraines, oooh joy TTwTT")
So, See ya! ^w^
Chapter 10: A Child Awakens
Tsuna woke up slowly, first feeling as though he was floating, before he could feel his legs, his feet, his hands, his arms, his torso...
And finally, he opened his eyes, as he felt a low throbbing running though his whole body.
He uncurls and sits up, confused, as sleepy tendrils slowly leave his mind.
"...Benten-sama?" he asks, sleepily tilting his head, the goddess cooing at how much the small boy looked like a sleepy chick at that moment.
"Just in time! Lucky me!" she chirps, placing some folded clothes onto the small boy's lap, "Now, why don't you get changed! Well, your knees are probably a bit week, I had to tear a curse off part of you, restring it and left it flop back on, like latex or something, so just ask if you need help!"
The fortune kami's intensity boggled the poor boy in his sleepy state, so he just nodded and got dressed, surprised when the clothing fit so well.
"You were asleep long enough for me to make you it," Benzaiten smiles.
"Ah, thank you," Tsuna bows, still very polite despite the years of the kami and yokai he would meet trying to persuade him otherwise.
"No~ problem!" the kami grins, switching to her terrible Engrish which has Tsuna giving a small, embarrassed laugh.
"Xanxus will probably in the Brat's Building, as it's so eloquently dubbed," Benzaiten smiles.
"Thank you, I best see if I haven't scared them too much," Tsuna says, smiling softly.
The kami giggles, beckoning him over.
Tsuna does so, looking at Benzaiten with innocent curiosity.
She puts her hand on his shoulder, gently pulling him down to kiss his forehead.
"May Fortune stay with you, even with what will come," she says softly, smiling.
To Tsuna, the usually-youthful kami looks aged for a moment, Knowledge flowing within warm, brown eyes.
"I'll be leaving now, then," Tsuna says, face visibly confused.
Benzaiten nods, getting a childish, intense look, as Tsuna leaves.
"...I'm going to cuddle you next time you're near me and never let go!" she states, voice fast and face unchanging as her voice is low with a growly determination...
Tsuna arrives to find his Earth-plane friends and favourite partial-celestial-descendants talking, Byakuran in the middle of talking about one of his grandfather's-grandfather's exploits, Crowing about how he and Loki had managed to switch Thor's favourite chalice for a chocolate one, so when he had tried to drink from it, the foil-covered-cup had broken with the force of just one of Thor's heaving gulps, spilling wine all over his lap.
"Of course I'd had to get out of there quick,plus double-check on the Marshmallow-stash I hide in Thor's castle whenever I decide to visit, but it was fun, none the less!" Byakuran finishes.
Then they all turn and look at Tsuna, when the door clicks shut behind him.
"...Hi?" Tsuna smiles, lifting a hand meekly in greeting.
"TSUNA!" Takeshi yells, as Ryohei is on his feet and pulling Tsuna into a bear-hug in next to no time.
"EXTREME REVIVAL!!" Ryohei roars, Tsuna wincing at the volume.
"S-sorry for worrying you..." Tsuna stutters.
He's startled when he's crowded by his loved ones, before Xanxus just yanks him out, having remembered his fear of crowds.
"You worried us, brat," he states, sitting on his throne with Tsuna in his lap.
"Sorry..." Tsuna says, looking like a kicked puppy.
"Oi, you weren't the problem, anyway, so don't get so down," Xanxus grunts, retrieving his drink, the watered-down-sake being only just allowed in the area for the descendants. ("No kids of mine are getting drunk at the Divine Assembly!" Byakko had said when Xanxus had complained.)
The girl sitting with Kyoko looks innocently at Tsuna, who looks at her with curiosity himself, Byakuran grinning.
"This is my surrogate sister, Yuni! She's descended from Agape!" Byakuran grins, as Yuni smiles innocently.
"Hi! I'm Giglio Nero Yuni!" she smiles.
"Sawada Tsunayoshi!" Tsuna grins.
They could practically see the rainbows and roses around the pair from their innocent cuteness, as Yuni laughs lightly.
"Bya-nii told me!" Yuni grins.
Byakuran is quick to hush her, a blush painting his cheeks as she looks innocently at him, eyes wide with the innocence of the ocean's waves, wide and blue, shining in the light.
Byakuran sighs, petting her, as she snuggles into his side.
Xanxus watches, looking very much like the Liger he was named after in the Mafia world.
Ryohei soon starts telling Tsuna about the awesome stuff they'd gotten up to whilst waiting for him to wake up, covering Byakuran's embarrassment...
"Ah! Bath time!" Tsuna says, putting down the kimono he'd been mending for Fukurokuju, waving to Mizuka as he hurries on.
"Hi Bel!" he calls, finding him and Rasiel entering the baths, "Hi Siel!"
"Tsuna!" Rasiel greets.
"I thought you'd bathed earlier?" Tsuna says, curious.
"Great-Uncle Byakko is a cleanliness freak; Xanxus gets away with it because he's an adult, but we've still got a good six years left until then, so we still class as cubs," Siel grins.
"He had a bath an hour ago, anyway," Bel shrugs.
"Oh, OK," Tsuna nods.
"Disappointed?" Bel asks.
"I like it when Ido-san or Xan-nii wash my hair..." Tsuna says softly, blushing with embarrassment.
Both twins pause.
"W-we'll do it!" Siel quickly states.
"Y-yeah! I'm staying a Prince, so I can do whatever I like to my favourite subjects!" Bel stutters, moving to quickly guide Tsuna inside.
Tsuna's ears are still red as they undress, Bel and Siel secretly turning their heads away so Tsuna can get a little ,ore privacy.
"O-OK, sorted," Tsuna says, the twins turning back.
"OK, let's go," Siel grins...
Half an hour later, Xanxus finds Bel curled up, giggling and babbling.
"Hey, Boss!" he greets, a broad grin on his face.
Xanxus sweeps Bel's fringe up to see his eyes had become like a cat's after getting dosed on catnip.
"What the fuck? What happened to you?!" Xanxus snorts.
"Tsuna, is fucking perfect, Boss; he's cute, and really easy to manipulate, and smells nice as fuck!" Bel giggles in his home language, which was like a weird blend of German and Russian, "WAH! Getting to scrub his hair was worth it!"
Xanxus gives Bel a look.
"Say it in Italian, brat."
Bel giggles, batting at Xanxus' hand like the cub Byakko still saw him as.
"We helped Tsuna bathe, then we realised Tsuna smelt nice, so we may or may not have scented him, then the rest is a blur, but I'm preeetty sure Siel and I are deeefinitely going to try again at some point. After-bath Tsuna is sooo cuuuuuuuuuuute~!" Bel cackles, whining out the last bit as Xanxus facepalms.
"I think you've found a side-effect of the curse, like Benzaiten warned us there'd be," Xanxus grumbles, going to fetch Lussuria - and maybe Ido or Yakushi.
"TSUNA'S THE BEST SUBJECT E~E~VER!"
...Definitely fetching Yakushi and Ido.
Chapter 11: Dealing with the Twins
Thought I'd put this up as a sort of "Evening/Morning After" filler.
The effect did not wear off.
Byakuran already had slam-dunked Yakushi in front of Rasiel, who had cuddled up to his Sky, Yuni looking innocently clueless, yet slightly concerned, as Rasiel looks asleep, yet is curled up around her, muttering about bathing Tsuna after two hours of dancing about with Yuni crowing about how much of an innocent angel Tsuna was.
Both twins are taken to the main hall, Tsuna being sent for as both boys have reached the sleepy-stage after rolling and rushing about.
Though, then Tsuna enters, Ryohei with him.
Both twins throw themselves forwards, Ryohei grabbing both of them with ease.
"Tsu~naa~!" Bel whines, Tsuna looking at the twins cluelessly.
"Hey!" Byakuran snaps, pulling them further away as Ryohei pushed.
"There may or may not have been an affect on more than just these two..." Ryohei states.
As if proving his point, a certain shishi-descendant leaps through the doorway, barrelling into Tsuna, curling around him with a possessive snarl at the twins.
"Kyo-nii, I'm sleepy!" Tsuna complains, pouting.
"Tsu~na~!" Bel tries to wriggle out of Ryohei's grip.
"Why don't we just cuddle up and sleep? We can see if maybe you sleep whatever it is off?" Tsuna says, subtley slinking closer to Ryohei and Byakuran.
Tsuna suddenly finds all three felines cuddling up to him, as Xanxus just facepalms in his corner, before glancing at Ryohei.
"How do you feel about Tsuan? Apart from the caring-for-him?" Xanxus asks.
"He's an Extreme Little Bro!" Ryohei grins, "What about you?!"
"Same..." Xanxus states.
"I like Tsu-kun as a friend, but I've had years of Yuni-cuteness to stop me ending up like these idiots," Byakuran hums, subtly drawing his sleepy sister close, as extra blankets are fetched.
Hopefully things would be better in the morning...
...Which, they weren't.
If anything, the morning started with Takeshi bursting through the door, leaping on Tsuna whilst acting like a kicked puppy.
"I couldn't find you anywhere when I woke u~p!" Takeshi howled, "Tsu-kun's been my friend the longest, why can't Tsu-kun snuggle with meee!" Takeshi wailed.
Tsuna had quickly pulled Takeshi close, trying to calm him down, as Tsuyoshi enters.
Unfortunately, Takeshi's crying has Kyoya clinging and snuggling tighter to Tsuna, as both Twins are trying to drag Takeshi off Tsuna, Xanxus just staring blankly, annoyed at being awoken, before just yanking all three boys off Tsuna, picking up Tsuna by his collar and dumping him in Tsuyoshi's arms.
"Tsuna's curse has a catnip-affect on the brats, we're trying to deal with it," Xanxus growls.
Tsuyoshi raises a brow, as Takeshi tries using his puppy-eyes on his father, as Tsuna has instinctively cuddled up to his surrogate Uncle.
"S-sorry, Takkun..." Tsuna says softly, blushing...
Tsuyoshi finds this means he has to run, as four small(ish) kids start trying to "rescue" Tsuna from being carried by the half-kitsune chef...
Chapter 12: Xanxus Does A Thing...
(Or Several, if you don't count it as a chain)
Xanxus finally gets annoyed with it all when he finds that it's even got his old man carrying Tsuna about like a small Cub, a little trail of Tsuna-crazed kids tailing behind.
So, like any good big brother, he threatens the shit out of Benzaiten.
"...Maybe try a bucket of water from the Southwest stream?" she squeaks, as Xanxus has her collection of handwritten wishes from various people tight in one hand (now sans ten of them) and one of his flaming pistols in the other.
Xanxus throws the collection down, the sound of shattering glass and crystal, followed by Benzaiten's loud complaints, following him out of the room.
"You better be right, or all of it's going up in flames!" he growls, a terrified whimper audible as Xanxus strides towards the nearest storage cupboard for a bucket...
Xanxus notices the way the magic of the stream acts, nose detecting its potency.
So, he uses one of the "borrowed" scrolls from Benzaiten's collection to test it, finding it acting as a dampener on the scent and aura of the words. (There's a reason they're all handwritten.)
So, Xanxus does collect a bucket, but instead he pours this into a one of the larger tubs, dilutes it down with water from the Northeast stream, and orders Tsuna to take a bath after having Tsuyoshi, Ryuujin and Hachiman help him disarm and conk out all the affected children (and way-too-old adult).
It only takes an hour afterwards for the full effect to wear off, though the close idea of Family Tsuna had created in them still remains, so when Xanxus carries Tsuna out of the room he'd been bathing in, wrapped snuggly in a towel, there are several apologies for various situations that Xanxus Does NOT want happening again!
The rest of the event goes without a hitch, as Tsuna gains several more layers of protection. (Namely; blessed fortune, healing and what sums up as This Never Happening AGAIN!)
Ido, Mizuka, Tsuna and his little gaggle of friends find Xanxus waiting with a bag by the portal that would take them home.
"I'm coming with you; not only does Tsuna need better protection, but he also needs to start learning how to be a kid," Xanxus states.
Ido opens his mouth, moving to deny it, though Mizuka is quick to slap her hands over Ido's mouth.
"Hey, hey!" she says, "I've been wanting time with my Tsu-kun, plus we both can't really help him with his schoolwork, like Xan-kun should be. It will also mean I can teach Tsu-kun to cook for once..." Mizuka hums, "Maybe twist that woman's mind into helping~..."
Ido is silent for a moment, before sighing.
"We'll discuss that later, for now, I'll agree."
Tsuna tugs Ido's kimono with an innocent, hopeful, smile.
"So Xan-nii can come with us?"
Tsuna seems to shine, a happy smile on his face.
"Yey!" Tsuna cheers, a little happy laugh following his words as thy return to Nanimori...
Indeed, Xanxus ends up taking over some of Tsuna's work, whilst Tsuna starts learning how to cook and both boys working over Tsuna's homework and revision, as well as Xanxus tutoring him in Italian, the Princes' language and several other ones he felt important.
"Remember," he'd sometimes say whilst sitting with Tsuna at his side, a textbook open in front of them, "Always read ahead, it saves you a heck-tone of stress and means you can understand the text better."
Tsuna took that to heart, refreshing what the teachers had just been teaching, before reading three lots more ahead.
It is after this that Xanxus starts taking Tsuna to the Yokai plane of the town for cheaper and rarer ingredients for healing herbs and such.
Two weeks after, once used to this change, Tsuna starts visiting his mother for cooking lessons.
He arrives on the doorstep with Xanxus, as it's opened to reveal.
"Ah! Tsu-kun! How are you?! Come in, come in!" she smiles "And who's this?!"
"This is Xanxus, he's my oniisan now!" Tsuna smiles.
"Ara, anyway, I'm passing on my cooking skills to my special little boy!"
Tsuna gives an embarrassed laugh.
Why was Nana acting like this? Why is he getting attention? Tsuna thinks, trying to stay calm.
He follows her to the kitchen.
"Let's see... How about we start with chopping?" Nana smiles, "The way you cut and how finely you can can very easily change the flavour..."
Tsuna is a patient pupil for Nana, as Xanxus ends up getting to try Tsuna's cooking.
Ido and Mizuka can tell when Tsuna starts properly cooking three weeks after, when Xanxus comes back, flames practically purring with how sated Xanxus felt from the small boy's cooking.
Tsuna is cleaning down the kitchen table at the time, as Ido lets Kawahira into their small, humble abode. Xanxus is fanning himself as that day was a hot one, though as soon as he sees Kawahira, he moves closer to Tsuna, Wrath flames sending out a warning at the man.
"Excuse the intrusion, I just got back from Italy, after dealing with a... Problem," Kawahira sighs.
"...You look like Mama," he says.
Ido sighs, at the raised brow.
"Kawahira-san, this is Sawada Tsuna, Sawada Nana's son."
Kawahira frowns, looking between the pair, before beckoning Ido to follow him to a more private area.
Xanxus moves slightly, having an idea which room he'd go to, as he uses the Harmony in his flames to listen in.
"He's my grandson?!" Kawahira hisses from the privacy of Ido's room.
"As far as I remember, the one Nana married was Sawada Iemitsu, Tsuna's father."
"Why my Nana married... I see..."
"...What do you plan to do?"
"...I have many enemies. Your friend I recognise is the Sky of one of them. I will... I kept Nana in Nanimori for her safety, I trained her to keep her own Sky and Mist flames hidden. Iemitsu unintentionally became her Sky, and I accepted that, so hid the bond, yet didn't hinder it; I don't want Nana destroyed by Dissonance... May I set up a Mist tag to his blood? I don't actually need to hurt him to do it, as I can enter it through the pores of his skin, but... If something happened with them..."
There was silence for a moment, as Xanxus subconsciously drew Tsuna tighter to himself.
"You will have to ask Xanxus' permission, first; he's excruciatingly attached to Tsuna. You will tell him the truth and promise not to hurt them, or their Guardians."
"But Viper is his Mist, after I cursed them. Like he would very well forgive me for that."
"He wouldn't have met Mammon without your influence. You also have to act as security for the Arcobaleno anyway, all I suggest, is play nice and don't treat them like glass."
"Also... Why isn't Nana with Tsuna, or vice versa? Tsuna is a child."
"That woman lost her right to call him her son when her obliviousness meant Tsuna had feet coated in blisters when I first met him, as well as how much Tsuna "didn't want to be a bother" - does that sound like a healthy mother-son relationship to you? One not wanting to bother the other to "keep her happy"?!"
Xanxus has Tsuna in his lap and looking at Xanxus silently with confusion by that point, as Mizuka is giggling softly in a corner.
"...I'm going to kill Iemitsu!..."
The duo re-enter some time later, as Xanxus raises a brow.
"I believe you wish to speak with me?" he says, as Tsuna looks confused.
"That, Tsuna, is your Grandpa. He's been away before your birth and stays out of contact to protect you, like your stupid old man believes he should, despite being worse."
Tsuna looks confused.
"He's my Grandpa?"
"Your Mama's Papa," Xanxxus nods, as Tsuna lights up.
"He's family?!" Tsuna breathes, looking so innocent and happy in that moment that Xanxus can't help but smile.
"Why didn't you just say so! Mizuka! I want to cook lunch now!"
"I'll supervise, you boys sit and talk," the Karyoubinga guiding the now-not-so-small child into the kitchen...
Chapter 13: An Explanation and A Plan
Xanxus and Kawahira sit across from eachother, Ido sitting on the side, in case he has to stop the pair from tearing eachother to pieces.
"I want to form a loose web around Tsuna's body, through his blood. I will insert it through letting my flames settle on the surface of his skin and sink in through his pores-"
"You said something about Nana, then something about my Mist, that you knew something," Xanxus states flatly, "I heard what you wanted to do earlier."
"I am not a good man, yet my Family Line is about as precious as the Giglio Nero's. I am descended of a species called Ancients. I am also the fourth-to last full-blood of my kind... Yet I am not the main threat..."
Xanxus adjusts his stance, waiting for the information.
"Back in Sepira - my Sky's - time, she had a full set of the last remaining Ancients. I was her Mist, an Ancient called Mu-Lin was her Cloud, Amyntas was her Lightning as Jessica was her Storm. Our Sun was Elouan and Elena was our Rain," Kawahira explains, "Sepira, like with Luce and the Arcobaleno of her time, died first, having used six humans in our place as she didn't want us to die with her... Elena was alright with the first betrayal of us not holding the Arcobaleno curse, as she'd already decided to become the Vongola Mist's fiancée at the time. The rest of us... Not so much... Then she died, forcing us all through Dissonance. Elena was shot dead, then Mu-Lin killed Jessica when she was protecting Sepira's children from his wrath. We all have alternate names, by this point; Elena had been Bluesoul, Elouan is Ironwill, Mu-Lin, Shadowfang; Amyntas, AllEyes; Jessica had been Fireheart as I'm Checkerface."
Merely stating the name has Xanxus stiffening.
"...You are the one who enacted the Arcobaleno curse."
"We all have our own clashing agenda in regards to Skies. The others seek control over strong skies, apart from Mu-Lin, who wishes their death, as I want to keep them safe, despite being the only one sane enough to make good judgements on who can inherit the curse that is currently ensuring the balance of the Worlds."
"What do you mean by control?"
"AllEyes is the youngest of us, so he just wants to protect the Skies he finds purest, though he ends up trapping them like birds in cages. Mu-Lin wants to "free" the other elements, seeing Skies as a weakness to the power of elements, which means he ends up slaughtering entire lines in the sake of his "justice"... Elouan is the worst. He tries turning Skies that catch his interest into Puppets and Dolls, preserved through Cloud, Sky and Lightning flames, the Cloud and Lightning flames being his Secondary and Tertiary flames. He is the one I'm most terrified of, as he fights using wires, like your Belphegor, though he is able to manipulate anything his wires "catch" into a weapon..."
Kawahira's expression turns weak at the thought.
"He has a fourth flame; Mist. This is what he strengthens and manipulates his wires with, so he can easily enclose his enemies in seconds. I only just manage to beat him when we fight, yet if he were to get hold of Tsuna, or even someone as powerful as you or the Cavallone's Boss..." Kawahira sighs.
"What about Nana?"
"She was, surprisingly, Flameless. Her Mother was a Sky, so I was confused, yet alright with the idea when I discovered it's because her flames had Internalized, to defeat the Cancer cells that had passed down from her Mother. I hid both from the Mafia as best I could, especially since I don't want Nana to go Active, as that may Activate those cells... If Iemitsu noticed, he could have either Sealed or Burnt her. Either way that damages her Will worse than Dissonance can... If that is the case, I am glad Tsuna is here, where he is Safe."
"I Tsuna told me he'd met Timoteo back when he also met an Inugami. Iemitsu had tried to seal Tsuna's flames then, so I'm not surprised if he tries something again when they think that 'dog' might be dead."
"I heard about that," Ido agrees, "It's partially why I removed Tsuna from the Sawada household. Next to the obvious, at least."
Kawahira opens his mouth, frowning, wishing to enquire further, only for Tsuna to emerge from the kitchen.
"Lunchtime!" he grins cheerily.
The three men settle down, as Mizuka sets the table.
"How logn are you staying, then?" Xanxus asks.
"I should be here until Tsuna is about thirteen; it's when I have to pass along the curse to new people, even if I hate it."
"Curse?" Tsuna asks.
Kawahira gives a soft smile.
"It's the thing that kept me out of Japan, since it's the one thing your Great-Aunt Sepira had me take care of for her, as her Mist."
"Mist? You mean like that Elements-thing Xan-nii explained?" Tsuna asks innocently, the ten-year-old tilting his head innocently.
"You're a Sky, don't you know?" Kawahira smiles, "You get it from both your Grandma's line on my side and your Papa's line, too!"
Tsuna blinks, before he beams, eyes sparkling.
"You know all about Mama and Papa's lines?!"
"I've lived a very, very long time, long enough to know all the branches, even if I have to record a few and hide it at my home."
Tsuna's eyes sparkle, as the table dissolves into peaceful, mindless chatter...
Daemon is once again tailing the small Shimon heir, bored out of his mind as he's trying to plan his next move.
But, but, then.
Oh, for the love of God, then he was introduced to the Vongola's civilian Sky.
Of course, he'd detected the boy's sixth sense and hidden away, watching from a vantage point as the old man had been talking with the Ricardo-descendant.
"Nufufu, how interesting," he hums.
For a week, he watches over the group, learning their patterns, avoiding the kitsune and halflings swarming around the Sky with relative ease.
Then, the boy finally catches sight of him.
Daemon freezes, having been sneaking away before the Karyoubinga could spot him, froze.
Shit! he mentally curses.
"A-ah, my name is Daemon, Daemon Spade; I'm a ghost, I was actually a friend of your great great great grandfather, Ieyasu, though we knew of him as Giotto."
Tsuna tilts his head, innocent eyes gazing up at Daemon.
He'd never realized how truly Sky-like the boy was, until those golden irises had lain on him, both excruciatingly similar, yet excruciatingly different to his own original Sky.
"A ghost? Then why don't you pass on?" Tsuna asks gently.
Daemon lets out a soft chuckle.
"I made a promise to my belovéd on her deathbed that I would protect my Famiglia, the family which your Uncle Xanxus and your Father are from."
Tsuna tilts his head innocently, before giving a serene smile.
"But, don't you think, they might be waiting for you?"
Daemon chuckles softly.
"After my death, I searched, yet it seems to me she has already passed on."
Tsuna blinks innocently, before giving a soft laugh.
"In that case, Mr Daemon, you can come to me whenever you need help, alright?"
Daemon can only stare, before giving a warm, sad smile as all the rage within him seems to be cut through with the warm understanding from the youth before him.
Just sheer, warm, understanding, as flames that are gentle with wisdom only provide a soft warmth, not even trying to coax his own flames into a Bond.
Something... Changes, as Daemon feels like the boy has brought forth a warmth he hadn't felt in... Forever...
Of course, now he had such a small gem in his hands, Daemon was very unwilling to let go.
So, when he'd been watching the boy from a rooftop and seen a car intentionally stall, then swing round into the road at high speed as Tsuna was just about to cross, he got vindictive.
He didn't care about the Wrath turning quickly at the sound of the car, or the Cloud looking over from his perch.
His rage just flared, as he'd teleported in with a flare of purple flames, eyes emitting similar flames, fully corporeal and slamming a hand on the bonnet as he glared at both driver and passenger.
Of course, both freaked, as Daemon recognised the Italian features within both men.
"Stupid Gaijin. How dare you attack the descendant of My Sky!" he booms, vindictively grinning as Tsuna is quickly picked up and carried away by Xanxus, "Maybe I should make you two into a present especially for your Don..."
Both start screaming, as Daemon cackles, tearing off the car's roof with one hand, as he feels Cloudy eyes on him.
He pauses, flames flying up around the vehicle as he sees Alaude's descendant watching him.
There is a nod of acknowledgement, before Daemon gets to deal out his own version of Justice...
It's not until later, after Daemon gets scolded by Tsuna for terrifying his attackers close to death, that another subject is brought up, as Xanxus had brought Kawahira over, the old Mist sitting as far away from Kawahira and Ido, yet as close to Tsuna as he could.
"You know, if there were those two after Tsuna, there will probably be more," Daemon smirks, "We can't hide him from Vongola's enemies forever."
"Vongola?" Tsuna asks, "What's that?"
Daemon raises a brow, as the Karyoubinga-Mother of their small family enters, a tray in hand.
"Nothing-" Xanxus starts, as Daemon gives him a look, before looking to Ido.
"Iemitsu comes from there, they may come after him, anyway, once they know that not only are you here, but he has lots of elements circling him," Daemon frowns, "He has a right to know."
"I haven't heard of this "Vongola", either. Explain, now," Ido frowns, as Mizuka sits gracefully by the entrance of the room.
Xanxus glares at Daemon, before cursing softly under his breath.
"It's Mafia, the leading family, in fact," Xanxus says, "The current Don is my adoptive father, Timoteo di Vongola. I also have three brothers; Enrico, Massimo and Federico. Iemitsu is the head of their Consulenza Esterna Della Famiglia, which translates as External Advisors of the Family. I'm the head of the Varia, their Assassination unit."
"You are descended from the First Boss, Xanxus is descended illegitimately from the Second, though then the third banned any illegitimate heirs from taking on the title, given he had ten or so brats from different Mistresses," Daemon states, "Giotto escaped here with his own son after handing the title to Secondo, given his friend, my fiancée, had died when his plans of disarming what had been a vigilante group were destroyed by what his family was turned into - a Mafia Famiglia. The Don and their Guardians are part of the Trinisette, which Kawahira has been in charge of, ever since its creation."
Tsuna turns to Kawahira, as Xanxus frowns, disapproving of the new information.
"The Sea knows no bounds.
The Clam passes down its form from Generation to Generation.
The Rainbow appears from time to time before fading away." Kawahira recites, "The Mare and Vongola rings are easy to pass on, acting as the horizontal and vertical time axis with relative ease. However, the Arcobaleno are able to mould and move in time, so they have to be physically tied to it, acting as both containers and fuel for the Source Flames, which are kept within their pacifiers."
"Why does that feel like something you usually hide?" Ido frowns.
A soft chuckle leaves Kawahira's lips.
"No one asks," he smiles, "Though, to let the Source flames die would kill the world, as all the other flames would die, removing life from everything. I essentially have to choose between every generation's strongest seven, who are trapped in small bodies to keep their flames pure and strong, or the fate of the whole world, both of which live for a shorter time than they otherwise would."
"Then, in that case, what do we do?"
Xanxus glances over.
"Short term, we need you prepared to face the Mafia, or at least introduce you in such a way that you appear untouchable. Long term, is figuring out a way to save the Arcobaleno from their curse; I am not letting my Mist die early." he states.
Mizuka hums, attracting their attention.
"Untouchable, you say?" she asks, smiling coyly, "I can certainly do that..."
"Night flames sustain other flames. I'll pop by the Vendice hideout and ask them if I could... Borrow their leader, Bermuda," he smirks, "I'll also hunt down Talbot; he should be able to help."
Kawahira looks surprised, before frowning.
"Night flames? I've never heard..."
"They are made by those who survive death with an intense amount of anger," Daemon explains, standing.
"B-but what about the Arcobaleno surviving the pacifier's removal? You haven't figured out something for that?"
"If there was only an outlet, a lake would run dry in a matter of hours. Therefore, there must be both an inlet and outlet," Mizuka says politely, "Maybe, with our appearance, producing the solution would give Tsuna the image of a new dawn; bringing forth solutions thought lost to time, yet with the warmth of a pupil, instead of a teacher."
"I like how you think," he grins.
"Why, thank you; I have to seem untouchable myself sometimes, given my status as a Celestial being," Mizuka hums, as they start to plan...
This is the point at which I abuse the "Having Tsuna = Great Fortune" loophole X'D
(The next chapter is going to be... Enjoyable ;p)
Chapter 15: New Allies and Healings
Daemon is gone for a month.
During that time, Tsuna trains with his friends under both Mizuka and their parents how to portray a unity beyond Human limits, the halflings learning how to make their ears and tails visible, as Tsuna is taught how to reflect he attitude and grace of a Kami.
"Your fan needs to be held slightly higher, so the edge is in line with your lower lashes," Mizuka scolds, correcting Tsuna, who nods, traditional make up - with a few slight variants - in place.
"Straighten your back, Takeshi! You are meant to be reflecting a Samurai, not a Ronin!" Yi-Mae snaps, as Takeshi's trying to learn to walk properly, dressed in a formal kimono.
"Ryohei, I am this close to tying your elbows to your waist! Stop pumping your fists in the air!" Tsuyoshi snaps, as once again Ryohei lets his enthusiasm get to his head...
...Before Tsuyoshi actually does do so, Ryohei finally learning, so when the rope is removed, he's managed to figure out how to control himself.
Then Daemon arrives back, with what appears to be his miniature, as well as five others.
"Where's Tsuna?" he asks upon spotting Ido, having used the Yokai Realm to reach the temple.
"The Hibari dojo, with Yi-Mae, Takeshi and Kyoya," Ido says, before looking intently at the lookalike, "He is your descendant?"
"I did not produce offspring, but I've a feeling my cousin did," Daemon smirks.
"Why these four, then?"
"They, too, are in need of a guiding hand. Talbot will arrive with a Misty Doctor, whilst the Vendice will come of their own accord," Daemon states.
The children look at Daemon warily, the eldest - a rather busty female - shifting slightly closer to her brother, as Ido offers them a kind smile, recognising the aura of a part-succubus and part-selkie duo, as he then sifts his focus to the other two.
"I wonder... These two might be descended from Anubis and Horus, whilst your descended..."
"Djinn are fair creatures in their own right, no?" Daemon chuckles, "We have to use our flames to use that power, though."
"I see," Ido hums, straightening, "Well, you might want to pop past the Asari Dojo on your way, so you can do the introductions more easily."
Daemon nods, before smiling at the young ones.
"This is Ido, he's the Head Caretaker of the Shrine, as well as Tsunayoshi's adoptive father."
"So Tsunayoshi is also an orphan?" the succubus-descendant asks.
"His father abandoned him and his Mother neglected him until we took him in, Mizuka is his mother-figure, now, though he still hold respect for both his biological parents," Ido says, "The Temple is his sanctuary as much as it is his home."
The children absorb this, as they are led to meet Tsuna, Ido returning to his work...
Mukuro doesn't know what to think of the small Sky when they first see him upon entering the Hibari dojo.
The boy looks both old with wisdom and young with innocence, carefully walking with his chin up straight, the lady walking beside him keeping it in place with a ruler, which she removes, the boy walking a few more steps, before gently turning and sitting seiza, a fan held gently in front of his lower face as his other hand is gently kept within his other hand. To one side, two dark-haired children are watching, one with a blank face, as the other has a goofy smile on his face.
Upon spying them, the brunet startles, lowering his fan as innocent eyes gaze at them with complete and utter openness.
Then, he smiles.
"Visitors?!" he says, serious air gone in a mere clip of his closed fan, "And Daemon! You're back!"
Tsuna moves to stand, only to get a quick whack to the head, getting him to sit again as he hisses in pain, gently touching where he'd been hit.
"You're meant to portray a Kami, not a cuddly kitten."
Tsuna gives a soft laugh.
"Sorry, Mizuka, but can't I greet them?" he asks innocently.
"The old ghost wouldn't shut up about you; I'm Rokudo Mukuro, with me is Joshima Ken and Kakimoto Chikusa, as well as Gokudera Hayato and Bianchi, who are siblings."
"Ah, it's very nice to meet you!" Tsuna smiles, "This is Mizuka, as well as Yamamoto Takeshi and Hibari Kyoya, as well as his mother, Hibari Yi-Mae."
He looks round, "Ah, she's gone."
The smiley child laughs.
"She left after we sat down, something about paperwork and getting the chef they have to start Lunch," he says.
"Ah," Tsuna says, turning red, as the boy stands.
"I'm Takeshi, this is Kyoya," he smiles, "No need for acting formal or whatever, come on in!"
Tsuna looks innocently at Mizuka.
"...Fine, thirty minute break, then we're doing that again until you instinctually keep your chin up; you're too self-conscious, Tsu-kun!" she scolds, Tsuna blushing as he looks at his feet, before looking at Mukuro and Hayato, both boys freezing in the puzzled gaze.
He frowns, before walking up.
"Can I do a trick?" he asks, smiling softly.
"Oya, what trick would that be?" Mukuro asks, smiling.
"Healing you," he smiles.
Mukuro looks shocked, as Hayato looks puzzled, Tsuna smiling, as he gently goes on tip-toe, kissing Hayato's forehead, before moving to do the same, though a hand gently presses against the boy's chest.
"I'm physically fine," he states.
Tsuna tilts his head.
"But your soul... Someone's torn it up so much. I want to help, because I know that to be hurt like that is Bad," Tsuna says.
Mukuro searches for something in Tsuna's eyes, before letting out a low huff, Tsuna lighting up, as he gently kisses Mukuro's forehead, as Hayato finds himself glowing softly, before it settles.
Hayato looks puzzled, as he reaches a hand to his stomach, before looking at Tsuna.
"Your liver, intestines and kidneys were damaged, so I healed them! Tsuna smiles, "I got given a gift of healing, so I want to help people, because everyone should be able to be happy and healthy, right?!"
Mukuro suddenly feels slightly light-headed, quickly closing his eyes, summoning the internal visual of himself, of his soul...
Which, whilst maintaining the power from the hells, seems to knit together, glowing softly, as the poison of darkened evils and unholy powers seems to be converted into something grey.
Gasping, Mukuro opens his eyes, as he realises he's flowing off the ground, before falling onto his feet again.
Quickly, he starts seeing if he's still able to use the hells, switching through them with every blink, before he pauses, reaching up to his eye.
"By having your soul in pieces, the effect of your powers meant you were slowly killing yourself. By merging it properly you now don't have to hurt yourself anymore to access it all!" Tsuna smiles, "Though, really, it's up to you how you move from here on out; I am merely a person blessed by my Kami, just as you are people born of powerful species. If you wish to stay, you can, if you wish to leave and forge your own path, I have no right to stop you."
Mukuro is gobsmacked.
"But surely we have a debt, or something?!" he says.
Tsuna smiles, laughing lightly.
"As long as you are well, I see any debt as having been repaid in full!"
Hayato makes a strangled noise in the back of his throat, as Daemon merely shrugs.
"I come and go as I please," he says, before disappearing in a swirl of Mist.
A silver blur knocks into Tsuna, as Hayato starts bawling, Tsuna looking surprised for a moment, before giving a tender smile, as he returns the hug, gently rubbing Hayato's back, as he sees how Bianchi is smiling, warmth peeking out from the sharpness of a guarded assassin.
"I believe..." Mukuro says, eyes fixed on Tsuna, head tilted in puzzlement, "That my friends and I will stay."
Tsuna nods, as he gently nuzzles the crying Selkie-child.
"H- I'm gonna protect you forever, Tsuna-sama~!" Hayato sobs, as Tsuna hums.
"As long as that means you'll let me protect you too, Haya-kun..."
Chapter 16: How Preparations Complete
Tsuna hums happily as he is polishing the windows, standing on a step-ladder to make up for a lack of height.
"You really do this daily?" Ken asks, as he and Chikusa are on the roof, carefully tending to the old tiles, checking for any tiles or roof-beams that need replacing.
"Uh-huh!" Tsuna nods, smiling, "Because Shrine-sama is an important place; they've been the constant throughout everything for me!"
Mukuro chuckles, as he's sitting at the base of the step-ladder, acting as a weight, so when Tsuna leant off the side the ladder wouldn't fall over. He's practising his illusions, getting used to how easy it now is to swap between, as though some sort of block had been removed from his very core.
"You refer to it as a "they", why?"
Tsuna looks down, blinking innocently, before smiling.
"Because they feel as alive as us; they have their own sort of aura, right?"
Mukuro raises a brow; as far as he can tell, it's as though Tsuna's flames had weaved into the very earth, even if just below it there was the residue of a long-gone spirit, that Tsuna appeared to be amplifying the power of.
Humming softly, Mukuro pauses when he feels a sort of cloud around Tsuna's very soul, knitted together with faint shards of something that had been tried to be placed.
"There's something clinging to you, it feels... Why hasn't it left you?"
"Well, according to Xanxus when I told him about Nonno Timo's visit, he tried to seal me, though it didn't work because one of my Inugami friends got protective. Then I got cursed by a Fallen Kami, Benzaiten-sama managed to manipulate it so it wouldn't kill me, but then she kept chuckling about "meant-to-be"s and "other halves"..." Tsuna hums, "Apparently I'm going to start turning into my soul-animal at some point, the curse completing when I hit Twenty, unless I figure out who my soul fits perfectly with before then..."
"Oh? What creature would that be?" Mukuro asks, as Chikusa looks over the side of the roof.
"I don't know; though Xanxus says those linked generally have some sort of feline, then Kawa-jii said that I'm very much like Primo, my great great great grandpa, who's represented by a lion."
Mukuro chuckles, before freezing as a portal opens.
Shamal had arrived a week before, complaining about the heat of the Japanese August.
Now, however, the appearance of the Mafia Police chilled the temple from the heat.
Mukuro watches warily, as Tsuna gently descends the ladder.
"Morning! Who are you?" he greets, smiling.
"Tsuna, these are the Vendice, the ones we summoned to help break the Arcobaleno curse," Ido says, as Tsuna looks innocently at his elder, before smiling.
"Well, then, that means we're travelling to Vongola soon, then?!" he smiles.
"Of course," Ido smiles, as he uses his powers to send a summons to Daemon, Yi-Mae and Tsuyoshi, as well as warn everyone else.
Kawahira appears, Talbot at his side.
The two groups pause, Tsuna noticing the stiffled air.
"W-well! How about something to drink! Or maybe a bite to eat! We need to talk over the details of the plan, right?! Mukuro, Ken, Chikusa, can you find Mizuka and tell her the Vendice have arrived?!" Tsuna smiles.
Mukuro raises a brow, but doesn't refuse, as Ken and Chikusa lightly leap down.
"Kawa-jii, you should say a certain pair of words now," Tsuna pouts.
Kawahira looks at Tsuna, before Talbot, who chuckles softly.
Kawahira frowns, before bowing smoothly.
"I'm sincerely sorry for causing you to end up like this, even if I'm not sorry for cursing you; it was either you or the world," he says.
Tsuna crosses his arms.
"Though I promise I will try to figure out a way to make up for it, perhaps by figuring out a way to restore your old forms, as well as the current Arcobalenos'."
"Thank you, though they won't be the only ones to hold you to that, even if I am willing to aid you in such an endeavour, alright?" Tsuna smiles.
A try of tea and a second tray of snacks are brought forth, as those summoned finally arrive...
Byakuran chuckles, as he reads a freshly-arrived letter, looking up at the messenger.
"I take it this is to help my cute Tsu-kun, correct?"
A silent nod is the reply, as Byakuran chuckles.
"We will go. I would love to see Timteo's face when he realizes what he'd almost destroyed," Byakuran grins, "Right, Yuni-chan?"
Yuni nods, as she smiles behind her teacup, looking over at her own Storm, as a promise ring rests on her finger, given they are still too young for an engagement.
"I believe my brother and I will enjoy Bakamitsu's demise," they grin, a soft "shesheshe" leaving their lips...
Enma gawks slightly.
"But my family isn't that-" he attempts.
"Your family harnesses Earth flames, something the Mafia hasn't realised is equal to the power of the Vongola's elements, yet; it's why Kozato and Giotto stood on equal ground in their time," Daemon smiles, glancing at Enma's father and sister, the boy's Guardians glaring at the ghost who had snuck in.
Sighing, Daemon goes onto one knee, leaning on it as he meets eyes with Enma.
"Tsuna wishes to aid you as much as himself. But for this to work, he needs to create the biggest, yet most peaceful entrance in the history of the Mafia; what better than proving his friendship with strong allies as well as his supernatural power?"
Enma looks at Makoto, his father, then Mami, his sister, before his Guardians.
Then, he turns to look at Daemon, determination in his features.
"We will be there," he says, as Daemon smiles.
"See you in a week, amico di Cielo."
Squalo smirks, as he looks up at their own messenger, a raised eyebrow being the messenger's silent question.
"About time, shitty Boss!" he finally grins, as he looks over to the other four scattered around the room, a certain Cloud too occupied with paperwork to know of their meeting...
Chapter 17: A Fun Introduction
On September 8 at 2:26, Timoteo is having tea in the Vongola Mansion's garden, his Guardians with him, when a familiar group of five stride across the grass.
"Squalo, Belphegor, Levi, Lussuria and Mammon! To what do I owe the visit?" he asks, as his Guardians look up, Squalo smirking.
"We invited some friends over; someone important is coming to visit," Mammon replies, Bel laughing softly.
"You might want to be at the main entrance, Big Boss!" Lussuria giggles, "You and your sons!"
"We're a little late, but we should have enough time," Squalo hums.
"Oh, and who might they be?" he asks.
"High-ranked allies, you could say some of them are family," Bel cackles, as Levi, gives him a disapproving look.
"What?" Bel shrugs.
Heading inside, they're all at the main entrance at 2:35, just as a pair of cars draw up.
Timteo is surprised.
"Shimon and Millefiore! To what do we owe the honor?!" Timoteo smiles.
"Summon your CEDEF Boss, then you'll know; we have a good ten minutes, right?" Byakuran Guesso grins.
"Yup!" Raziel grins, as he helps Yuni from the limo, shortly followed by Spanner and Shoichi, who Byakuran had flown over some time before.
"You could say it's something out of this world that you'd hate to miss," Yuni giggles, as she lets Belphegor gently hug her in greeting, Squalo smirking.
Iemitsu is soon to arrive with his own elements at 2:40.
Then, just as the three-quarter hour strikes, the Sky shimmers, as pegasi fly down, led by a very familiar face.
"Daemon Spade?!" Massimo exclaims, as The Guests all smile.
The Pegasi land, as a flying, traditional-japanese carriage arrives, a half-bird, half-human woman singing gently, as the children, who each have animal ears and tails and are landing on the pegasi's backs, dismount.
The Vendice are flying over the carriage, landing respectfully in two groups, as the veil on the carriage is gently drawn back.
Xanxus smirks, as he stands, Kawahira and Talbot behind the small child with a fan in front of their face, eyes framed with orange and gold, dark lashes hiding their irises from sight, as they gently take the offered hand up, the recognisable Vendice leaders standing themselves.
"XANXUS?!" Enrico exclaims, as a wicked grin enters the youngest brother's features.
"We wanted to introduce someone," Daemon hums, as the five children there gather around the small person.
It is then that the resemblance strikes them, as eyes open to reveal brown hues holding flecks of gold.
Leaning over to the boy who looks like Daemon, before straightening again, the elder teen smiles.
"What my dear Sky and Saviour wishes to say is; 'it has been a long time, yet I am glad to finally see you again, Nono Timo."
Brown eyes seem to laugh, as from the shadows of the carriage comes two more unrecognisable children, the Swallow King, Trident Shamal, the Poisoned Scorpion, the Hibari Monarch and a familiar, yet unrecognisable woman, knowing smiles on their lips as they, too, are dressed traditionally.
Timoteo finally realises why the Varia Guardians are in their best.
"Ts-Ts-Tsuna-fishie?!" Iemitsu shrieks, before having to avoid a pointed blade.
"You have not right to refer to my brother so familiarly, Sawada Iemitsu," one of the children, the one with the fox ears and tail the Swallow King also bears, says, as the dark-haired boy on the matching other side raises their tonfa, only to pause, looking silently at the small brunette, who has silently motioned for them to stop, before miming for the other to continue.
"You may know many of us already, but for those you do not know, I am Rokudo Mukuro, one of the few survivors of the Estraneo Famiglia massacre. This is Sawada Tsunayoshi, the Sky who has been Blessed by the Gods and the Grandson of the Trinisette's Protector, Kawahira, also known as Checkerface. This is Yamamoto Takeshi, the son of the Swallow King, as you also have Hibari Kyoya, the nephew of the Arcobaleno Sky, Gokudera Hayato, also known as the Smoking Bomb, then, last but not least, Ryohei Sasagawa, the son of Sasagawa Kika, also known as the Shadow Broker."
Shock overcomes the Vongola, as Byakuran laughs.
"Aren't you forgetting something, Mukuro-kun?" Byakuran grins.
"Oh yes, Tsuna also is extremely close allies with the Shimon and Millefiore famiglias, as well as the surrogate younger sibling of Xanxus di Vongola, meaning he is also a close ally of the Varia," Mukuro hums, as the brunette looks in amusement at the one speaking for them, "You could say they're childhood friends, even!"
"We are, Mukuro! Stop teasing our elders and let's get somewhere more comfortable to talk!" Yuni laughs.
"B-b-b-but..." Iemitsu stumbles, looking utterly confused.
"Inside, Bakamitsu, we can explain there," Tsuyoshi smirks, as Daemon hums.
"The main meeting hall should work," he grins, as they all head inside.
Once seated, Tsuna looks intently at Kawahira.
"Of course, my Grandson," Kawahira chuckles, as Talbot chuckles, placing a box on the table, which they open to reveal eight jars, "We have come to not only show you how well Tsunayoshi is getting on, but also provide a solution for the Arcobaleno curse; by using Night flames in the central jar, these seven jars can contain and support the original flames within the pacifiers."
"I have already given my permission, as the Arcobaleno Sky, as given by Aria, my Mother," Yuni says, smiling softly.
"We will be using our flames to support the Arcobaleno themselves, as Kawahira unbinds the pacifiers from the Arcobaleno. Daemon will require someone trusted by all of them to summon them, which is why we will require Yuni, Mammon and Lal's assistance," Xanxus continues, "This will probably take an hour, given Mammon, Mukuro and Daemon's powers at teleportation. The Shimon will be needed to ensure nothing explodes from the sheer amount of flames being used, though we can safely say that even Tsuna alone would be strong enough to support Yuni, though Byakuran is obviously helping in that regard, as I will be."
"Any questions?" Kyoya says flatly, eyes judging as the Cloud watches the Vongola and CEDEF leaders.
"Nah," Federico shrugs.
"One," Enrico says.
Tsuna beckons, tilting his head.
"How on earth is Tsunayoshi, a civilian, so powerful?!" Enrico demands.
Soft laughter echoes, sounding like bells, as all eyes turn to the small Sky, who had been silent up to that point.
He beckons behind himself, as his eyes dance with childish warmth.
The strange fox-man who had been silent up to that point, smirks, as he leans forwards in his seat.
"Tsuna is powerful, but only because he is the pure embodiment of the Sky; even from the age of three, he was selfless, which was also when I met him. Over time, we met the others, yet it was Tsuna's light, the Salvation Tsuna offered, that kept us all staying by his side, even as Nana has left him in our care with her inability to focus beyond her own routine, even as his blessings were only reinforced to greater proportions after a fallen Kami tried cursing him to an early grave... Not once have I seen Tsuna cry for himself, even if he may smile for himself and laugh for himself, he has grown wisdom beyond his years, from the influence of many other kami, as well as my old self, yet retains his innocent of youth, unjudging of we who had lost hope in ourselves.. Even Xanxus."
Timoteo looks at Xanxus, as Xanxus smirks.
"Tsuna's my surrogate brother for a reason, he is much more of a Sawada than the douchebag sitting to your right, at any rate," he states, sharply looking at Iemitsu.
For those looking, it is easy to seethe sorrow that enters Tsuna's eyes, as his eyes, too, fall on his father.
The man who is sitting, looking constipated with fury.
"You wish to say something?" Takeshi asks from by Tsuna's feet, looking every bit the traditional Samurai, though at this point, he raises a brow in question.
"This can't possibly be- you've been manipulating my Tuna-fishi! He is too innocent for this! Why on earth are you using him as an excuse for your own ideas I do not know but I won't have-"
Ryohei is across the room, Sun flames bright with anger and grabbing the man's collar with a force that is tearing the very fabric itself.
"Don't you dare insult my ototo!" he growls, "Tsuna has gone years without you ever acting like a Father, he had to learn how to grow before he could even walk, then you're saying that his ideas aren't his?!"
The soft voice has the elder teen pausing, before releasing Iemitsu.
Tsuna's eyes have turned unreadable, as Ryohei frowns.
Kyoya is on his feet, as well.
"No wasting yourself on a Herbivore," Kyoya states.
Ryohei returns to his place behind Tsuna's seat with obvious anger, as Hayato is noticeably angry, Tsuna turning to look at him, seemingly saying something, as the Smoking Bomb nods sympathetically.
"Tsuna understands you may not think him capable, given how you see him as your civilian son, yet turning your eye away does not freeze one in time, as you can very well see... You call him our puppet, yet we know very well that we would all willingly give our lives for his, even if he already has divine protection. He has healed us all, be it directly or indirectly, so you have no say, when you have not even spoken directly to him since he was just out of infancy," Hayato says, looking at Tsuna, who nods.
"Then why won't he speak?!" Iemitsu growls.
Sad eyes lock onto Iemitsu.
There is a tense moment of silence.
"Because you have never listened before."
Tsuna's voice is soft, Harmony shaping it to sound like a breeze, as Tsuna lowers his fan to reveal down turned lips.
"Because of your incompetence, part of my power has been smothered, I have been forced to hide some of my ties, in case of this exact reaction, as you seem to carry your own perception of me, the trophy that represents part of a normal life you treat only like a toy, turning away when it leaves you unsatisfied," Tsuna gives a small smile, "I cannot, however, find it within myself to hate you, given you are the one who sired me, just as my Mother is the one who brought me into the world, who is currently teaching me our old cooking tricks."
Massimo opens his mouth to say something, before turning to glare at Iemitsu, finally looking helplessly to his father for aid.
"They must have found you through your flames, that would have been solved were you sealed!" Iemitsu states.
Tsuna turns his head slightly, eyes moving to focus, as Kawahira and Xanxus react.
"It's fine, Grandpa, if he were not in denial, my Father would most likely be boasting of his success. He will only reap what he sews, after all."
This only serves to piss Iemitsu off further.
The swift movement is topped with a yelp and flash of white, as the other Dons stand.
Tsuna's face is serenely calm, only his eyes betraying weary sorrow as Iemitsu's hand, with which he'd tried to grab Tsuna, is burnt from hidden power.
"Anyone with the intent to harm Tsunayoshi is, themselves, harmed," Ido states calmly.
"Iemitsu, leave," Timoteo orders.
"Timoteo-" Iemitsu starts, whirling round.
The next moment, Tsunayoshi has a cheery smile, a hand to the small of Iemitsu's back and another knife to the man's throat.
"How about we take this outside so my surrogate son can finish what he came here to do? You've been stalling it enough, Mitsu-kun!" Tsuyoshi grins, though his intent is clear, as Squalo opens the door for them.
It is only then that it is noticeable all those sitting close to Tsuna have some sort of weapon on view, Xanxus even returning one of his pistols to its sleeve as Hayato scoffs, defusing the penny-sized bomb he'd pulled out with two dampened fingers.
"Anyway, Arcobaleno Curse," Byakuran hums, pushing another marshmallow in his mouth.
Tsuna lets Xanxus wrap an arm around him, as Hayato gently takes the hand Tsuna is using to hold his hand.
"Thank you, Byakkun," he says, looking over, as Byakuran nods, smiling, as Enma nods, sending a smal, encouraging smile Tsuna's way.
"You saved me, so let's save others," he says gently, smiling softly, as Tsuna gives him a small smile, as the Vongola Boss and Vongola Heirs are once again reminded of how young the child before them is, how not even Enrico had had been forced into such a roll or under such duress in his tweens.
"We will support you, even if we have to kick Iemitsu all the way back to the CEDEF base to do so," Timoteo says at last, "Also... I apologize for not noticing sooner."
Tsuna's eyes look through decorated lashes, as a small smile graces tired lips.
"Thank you, Grandpa Timo," he says, as the Mists leave to collect the other Arcobaleno, as Federico smiles.
"Hey, how about, while we wait, we play a game?!" he grins, "Maybe we can go to the garden, since we best deal with the issue there, so maybe tag or something?!"
"Yeah, it'd be fun, right?" Takeshi shakily smiles, turning to Tsuna.
"Y-yeah," Tsuna smiles, as the younger ones leave, the parents and Grandparents, as well as Talbot, hanging behind.
"Has it always been like this for Tsuna?" Timoteo asks.
Yi-Mae hums, as Kawahira sighs.
"He may have good fortune and such, but sometimes there are things that cannot be avoided; the Shrine he lives at is his Haven and Sanctuary from it all, we can only hope it remains that way," Ido says, "I believe there'll be quite a few kami and gods after Iemitsu's head, at this rate."
"What are you, anyway? Or are those illusions?"
"We are halflings, beings who are part human and part yokai, or part celestial-spirit or something, like how Fon and I are part-shishi, just as Kyoya's father is, whilst Ido here is a kitsune, and the woman beside him is a karyoubinga."
"We needed a big entrance to show how untouchable Tsuna is, my apologies if we scared you."
"If anything, it impressed me and reminded me of old stories my mother used to tell me, fairytales, I believe."
"Good," Talbot smiles, "I believe we'll be seeing a lot more like them in future."
Timoteo smiles, as he looks out the window to see Tsuna laughing as Ryohei had hefted him onto his shoulders, Byakuran trying to steal the brunet away as Mukuro was trying to tag Enma.
"...I look forwards to it..."
Chapter 18: Arcobaleno
Oddly enough, Skull arrived first, having appeared from the rally that was currently in town, bike tearing up the dirt as Oodako is cheerily curled up in their tank, which is tied to the passenger seat behind the main biker's.
"The Great Skull has arrived!" Skull grins, "You called me, Mammon?!"
"I called all of us," Mammon replies, as Lal appears, having run over from the CEDEF building.
"Mammon, what is it?" Lal asks.
"A thing," Mammon hums, indicating the children and young adults playing not that far away, though Xanxus is sitting to a side to watch with Levi and Squalo, pretending to be as fierce, yet calm as he always was.
That is, until one of the smallest kimono-clad children falls into his lap with a laugh, Xanxus catching them and saying something as the child decides to rest in the other's lap for a while, another of the kids taking notice, before Bel and his twin tear over, deciding to try and take the child from Xanxus by force...
"I'm asking for a whiskey," Lal grumbles.
"No alcohol's allowed around the kids. There are consequences otherwise."
"What consequences?" Skull asks, curious.
Mammon holds out a hand, Skull pausing, before handing over several euro.
"Sky-attraction-gone-mob-sized-so-Xanxus-was-dumping-ice-water-on-His-Own-Guardians consequences," Mammon states.
"There's a Sky that powerful amongst them?!" Lal asks.
Mammon hums, before floating over, leading the two up to the small child that seems to be perfectly OK with Xanxus hugging them round the waist as there were now a pair of grumpy Princes lying their heads in the kid's lap.
"Wow!" Skull remarks, as one of the Princes quietly seems to observe them, before making an annoyed sound that gets small fingers running through his hair, the small brunette giggling lightly, Harmony noticeably laced into their voice...
Fon and Colonnello arrive next, as Lichi noticeably decides that the small Sky in the Wrath's lap is comfy and she is not helping her Master when his nephew attacks him.
Colonnello takes one look and just flops down by Lal on the grass, Lal offering Colonnello a bottle of orange juice.
"No alcohol," she grumbles, as she returns to her drink...
Well, he arrives in his mini-lab, deciding to stick to a corner of the garden at the sight of mayhem, even if he is interested in the small Sky now being carried across the grass by Federico, several children giving chase with annoyed expression as Enrico is flopped on his chest on the grass, Massimo talking warmly with Fon, both looking thoroughly ruffled and dishevelled.
He properly merges a short time later, when he notices the other Arcobaleno, curiosity winning out...
By the time Reborn arrives, the others had all gone indoors to eat.
"Ciaossu! You called me?" Reborn asks, entering the dining room, as he finds a small brunet happily talking with Timoteo.
He pauses at the sight of Tsuyoshi and Takeshi sitting not that far away from him.
"Reborn!" Timoteo smiles, "Let me introduce you to my surrogate grandson!"
Reborn decides to stay quiet and with an air of nonchalance, though he doffs his hat to Tsuyoshi and Takeshi, Tsuyoshi waving in reply as Takeshi looks at Reborn, before turning to his father with a confused expression.
Hopping onto the table before the small boy, Reborn smirks.
"Ciaossu, I'm Reborn," he says.
The boy looks at him with eyes wide with innocence, though there is a lack of naivety that has Reborn's curiosity stirring in his gut.
"Hello, I'm Sawada Tsunayoshi," Tsuna smiles.
"I take it you are the reason for our summoning?" Reborn asks, noting the way Tsuna's flames infect his voice.
"It also is something to do with your flames?" Reorn hums.
Tsuna blinks, before smiling.
"Sort of; it's mainly why I brought my family and friends with me, though my voice is currently affected by my flames given I haven't used my flames or done my work at the Shrine today, it appears that skipping such work results in my flames affecting the rest of my body, given a curse placed on me some time ago!" he smiles, "You are Tsuki-bachan's sister, right?"
Reborn nods, looking over.
"You are quite observant," he states.
"Tsuyo-ji has told Take-nii and I quite a bit about you, Rebo-ji!" Tsuna laughs, voice like small, sacred bells ringing the air clean.
Reborn hums, before deciding now would be a good time to talk to the other duo, as a servant sets down Reborn's meal opposite the pair...
When Tsuna waves for Kawahira and Ido to reveal their plan with Talbot and the Vendice, revealing the jars, the Arcobaleno are, for better words, surprised.
For worse words, their pain about the curse being inflicted in the first place and how, to them, it seemed that Kawahira only wanted to stop the curse as the next Strongest Sky was certainly Tsuna, his Grandson.
"The elements of Tsuna's Sky have to match him in flame power to balance him correctly, this means that, by the time Tsuna would be inheriting, his own Guardians would be the next Arcobaleno. This means Mukuro, Hayato, Ryohei, Takeshi and Kyoya, as well as whichever Lightening Tsuna settles on later on in life."
The mere mention of Reborn and Fon's nephews has the pair of Arcobaleno bristling.
Tsuna had laughed softly, attracting their attention with a beaming smile.
"But, with the cure and us acting as your support so you aren't drained of flames, we can then figure out a way to restore your former physical ages and help you, correct?"
Verde hums, before nodding, as Tsuna tilts his head.
"Besides, I have already been gifted to Fate, with the only hope being my other half, who I don't even know of yet. Time and Fate are already enacting their karma upon Kawahira for the few souls he curses in an effort to save the many."
The simple air Tsuna hold with this, so, so accepting, yet terrifyingly empty of any emotion but complacency.
It is both distancing and enticing, as though, for a moment, they are not seeing a person, but someone willingly puppeteered by strings tied and fastened without consent.
The affect is noticeable, as various scowls and looks of displeasure, or forced looks of indifference, fall on people's faces.
Tsunayoshi is a child! Why on earth should he accept a death that could possibly be refuted?!
"Oi, we're still going to stop that. You're Ours, not Fate's, not Time's, Ours." Xanxus' growl is followed with a Wrath that curls up to Tsuna's own flames, Tsuna blinking for a moment, before smiling.
"Oh, sure!" Tsuna giggles.
"Tsu-kun, I will kidnap you if you ever say that again!" Byakuran agrees.
Tsuna laughs softly.
"I don't think the others would really allow that!"
The conversation eases, as they fall into the finer details of the plan, deciding to do everything the following day, given they are having Dinner after the children had been running around the lawn for the later part of the afternoon, tuckering themselves out.
Rooms are appointed, before the more tired people amongst them retire, the adults falling into further discussion...
Yuni cuddles up to Byakuran's chest, as he's rambling on to her and their Guardians about his ideas and such.
She silences him with a gesture.
"Do you know, I dreamt of something, during Chrome-chan and I's nap before supper?"
"Eh? I hope it's good," Byakuran frowns.
Yuni giggles, as hr words seem to echo in the peace and quiet of their room.
"Once there had be a child.
A child beloved by Time, by fate, by the Heavens and by the Skies.
With a whisper he gained the freedom of Fate's Slaves
With a wave he had restored the beating hearts Time had robbed fallen shadows.
With a smile he obtained the heavens blessings
And with a tear, he had united every Sky into One.
But, but, in time, the small child was sealed away.
Away from Time.
Away from Fate.
Hidden from the Heavens
And Shadowed from the Skies.
Stolen by Change, the child was a puppet, hanging loose on threads of ill intent.
Only One can save them:
One of Time, One of Fate, One of Death and One of Life, conjured into a single Soul.
Yet, yet, only Mania knows the Answers.
As the Strings of Fate, Hands of Time and Words of Gods move the World...
Byakuran is silent for a moment.
"But, Yuni-chan, who could ever be dead and alive at the same time?!" Byakuran asks, surprised.
Yuni giggles softly.
"I don't know... But I feel, nii-chan, that the answer may be closer than you think..."
Chapter 19: Freeing and Freedom
Byakuran and Yuni signalled when they were to begin.
The jars were at the heart of the circle they had formed, followed by a ring made of the Arcobaleno and Bermuda.
The next ring was made of those using their flames to help the Arcobaleno survive the process, sorted by flame type, as, finally, the outer ring was the Shimon, who would be ensuring none of the others' flames are wasted, or hurt anyone during the process.
Kawahira and Talbot stepped away to where Ido was waiting, watching the process happen.
It starts with Byakuran sending his flames into Yuni, followed by Zakuro into Fon, Bluebell into Colonnello and so on, Lal glowing with the rest as her hand is linked with Colonnello's.
They can't really see what is happening, though they can feel it, as the flames are pushed from the pacifiers and into the jars.
Bermuda is the one to signal that they're done, cutting his flames off as the last external core - Verde's - settles into place.
For a moment, there is silence.
Before Yuni grabs Tsuna in a tight hug, Tsuna instinctively catching her in surprise.
"We did it! We actually did it!" she cheers, Tsuna letting out a warm laugh of relief as Byakuran grabs the pair of them in a hug with a laugh...
Lussuria ended up shepherding the baby-bodied adults to be checked over by him, Shamal waiting in case he was needed.
About twenty minute in, Lussuria is shoving Jaeger out the door for a third time.
"I told you; STAY OUT!" Lussuria snaps.
Turning, Lussuria raises his foot to step away...
...Only to kick the door, sensing the internally-panicking Jaeger moving to try and re-enter, like a kicked puppy.
Lussuria pauses , before letting out a long, annoyed sigh.
"Seriously, I wouldn't really mind if he stayed in a corner, but hovering! Mia Maria!" he grumbles.
A chuckle has him looking over to where Fon's resting, the crackling flames of Hayato, Coyote and Zakuro leaving him with the side-effect of an annoying migraine, the Storm lying with his long hair loose and an icepack on his head.
Lussuria quirks a brow.
"Just a memory from when Kyoya was a toddler, that's all," Fon hums.
"Oh?" Reborn smirks.
"Kyoya got sick, so whilst Yi-Mae was being as protective as a hawk whilst tending to her son because delirium gave her an opportunity to, Ryuunosuke kept trying to come and check on his ailing son, only to keep being kicked out by his own Wife; I was visiting at the time and ended up getting roped into helping with making a family tonic that helps with the effects of a cold. It was quite sweet when you consider that, in public, Yi and Ryuu always end up acting like the traditional Japanese couple..." Fon hums, before smirking, "However-"
Lussuria shuts Fon up by shoving a thermometre in his mouth, whilst stopping Reborn using Skull as target-practice by snatching away the hitman's Leon-gun.
"No and no, really, Fon; you were acting like such a sweetie!" Lussuria pouts, "Jaeger is a who-knows-how-old puppy who has lost most of his face and certainly isn't my type. Don't you dare compare us to you sister and her Police-General, no matter how much of a compliment it may seem at first."
"If that makes me Kyoya, then I take it as a compliment!" Bermuda nonchalantly states from where he's rewrapping the bandages that had been hiding the skin uncovered by clothing.
"Pay me and-" Mammon starts.
"Nope!" Lussuria states, turning to see Shamal looking very close to laughing, "DON'T YOU DARE, HONEY!"
Shamal quickly turns back to the more detailed scans, as Lussuria huffs.
"W-well, Miss Lussuria, I think that, comparing you to Hibari-sama means you're quite amazing in your own right, right?!" Yuni smiles.
The unfortunate thing about saying this means Lussuria is extra motherly to the young Sky.
Resulting in Byakuran kidnapping his little sister.
(Timoteo suddenly has a sharp increase in bills...)
Chapter 20: HMMMMMMMMM
The Arcobaleno ended up visiting Nanimori.
Or, more specifically, Tsuna and the others living at the Shrine.
Tsuna was helping Ken and Chikusa with the roof that day, Mukuro sitting at the base of the ladder once more, though this time he was teaching Chrome more about her flames - they'd found her shortly before heading to Italy, so she had a lot to catch up on.
It was worth it, though; her smile and warmth when they actually treated her like a person, when she learnt something new...
...It was worth as much as Tsuna's bright smile, maybe even more, given how long she had been without it.
Though, Mizuka had been teaching her the ins and outs of seduction and people-reading, which she was excelling in beyond Tsuna's ability, so it was quite interesting for Mukuro to stand back and watch his imoto decimate anyone trying to bully someone else with her smile and wit alone.
She even became as popular as Kyoko at school! The girls being compared to the sun and moon as Hana floated behind them, as protective as Kyoya.
Verde ended up staying, the peace and tranquillity feeling like the perfect place to search for a cure to his and the other's baby forms and - at the warm request of Tsuna - a cure for the Vendice's decaying forms.
Skull ended up being pulled in as Verde's experiment for the next-to-final serum for the Arcobaleno, as Jack was thrown in to act as the one for the Vendice's cure.
Of course, Verde would otherwise be experimenting on the rodents caught in the Shrine,letting Tsuna use his healing powers on them.
(Last time Tsuna attempted to heal the Vendice...)
(...Well, it seems no one wanted Tsuna kissing what was basically a zombie, even if said zombies suggested having baths first...)
Then Enrico was shot dead by police aiming to solve a case the Vongola was already handling.
Xanxus, at the news, wanted to destroy the officer group who had been the reason for his brother's death.
It was only by Tsuna grabbing him round his waist and begging for Xanxus not to do so that Xanxus didn't.
"Hate only breeds hate!" Tsuna exclaims, "I know you want vengeance, but Xan-" Tsuna takes a moment to collect himself, grip tight on Xanxus' kimono.
"Xanxus, please, please don't try and kill the people who killed Enrico!"
"Xanxus's eyes calm from the blazing black and orange they had been, wrath replaced wit sorrow, as he falls to his knees.
"I don't even know if he went to Heaven, to Hades-... Enrico was meant to become Decimo! T-To annoy me with the most Italiani wife ever and brats of his own... Massimo doesn't evenwant to be Decimo and Federico's flames are too weak! Then I-..."
Tsuna throws his arms around Xanxus' neck, as Xanxus doesn't even care about who's in the room, as tears potent with emotional pain run down his face, Tsuna's own tears joining his as Tsuna rests his forehead against Xanxus' in a sign of kinship.
The ten year old boy gives a soft smile, tears still running.
"What we can only do now is be there for Vongola, for Timoteo, Massimo, Federico, and Enrico's own Guardians. They will be swimming in their own guilt and disharmony, by showing we are there, by showing they are all not alone, we can help to ensure they do not fall to the more side of fate, right?" he says, voice soft.
Xanxus forces himself to inhale nodding as he grits his teeth.
"We'll protect Vongola, even if we have been pushed away before," Xanxus rumbles.
Tsuna gives a soft smile, as he wipes away Xanxus' tears.
"Shall we book plane tickets? Or are we teleporting?" Mukuro asks from Mammon's side.
"We'll need to tell the others if these two are going, as well as give them an escort," Ido states calmly, before smirking, "Maybe send Reborn and Takeshi?"
"I'll go," Chikusa states, "Someone needs to ensure Tsuna doesn't let his Sky flames loose on everyone and Xanxus can't exactly do that if he's letting his relatives cling to him."
"I'll ask the Arcobaleno," Chrome says, running out to the guest room housing Reborn, Colonnello and Fon; Lal was back with the CEDEF as Yuni was with Byakuran, Verde and Skull in Verde's lab with Jack, still. Mammon was the one who had brought the news after going to check on the Varia...
Tsuna and Xanxus, along with Reborn, Mammon, Fon, Chikusa, Mukuro and Takeshi, leave the next morning at 5pm, when it would be 10am over in Italy, teleporting into the Varia base.
On their way to the Vongola HQ, a messenger going on ahead, Xanxus carries Tsuna in a sign of ownership, the ten year old sat on Xanxus' arm, looking curiously at those there.
Xanxus' other Guardians greet them on their way, Xanxus' expression closed off the entire time, as Tsuna tries to cheerily greet them, Levi and Squalo falling into step with the group as they finally exit the Varia headquarters, Xanxus setting Tsuna on his feet, before they continue to the Vongola headquarters, finding Federico waiting.
"Xanxus!" Federico calls, forgoing manners and etiquette in favour of running over and throwing his arms around Xanxus, the youngest Vongola sibling pausing as he stiffens awkwardly, before letting an arm sling around his elder brother.
"Sono a casa, fratello," he states calmly, grip tightening slightly, as they head inside, finding Timoteo in his office, grip tight on his pen as he tries to continue through the paperwork on his desk.
At the sight of his visitors, Timoteo drops his pen, standing quickly.
"Xanxus..." he gasps.
Xanxus hesitates, for a moment, before marching over.
"Don't you fucking dare stress yourself out, old bastard," he grumbles, yanking his adoptive father into a hug.
Timoteo... He looks so frail in that moment, age evident in every atom of his body as Xanxus is a good head taller than him, arms wrapped around.
The funeral has many attendees, Reborn staying at Tsuna's side, as the boy has ended up clasping his hands together, flames noticeably swimming below his skin as Xanxus lets fake-faced Dons and their wives give him their wishes for his health at "such a trying time".
When they move to ask about Tsuna, Xanxus shuts them up with a snarl, grief and anger in his face as he scares them away, letting Tsuna grab his hand when one tries to ignore that in favour of possible information on the young Sky.
"Please, you are being rather crude at the moment, my zio is dead, let us mourn in peace," Tsuna says gently, harmony creeping into his voice.
The Don in question moves to ask him, only for Tsuna to flare his Will, which even draws glances from those attending at the sheer volume spoken in that mere millisecond.
The Don cocks their head, smirking.
"Of course, bambino cielo," they bow, before heading away.
The group turn to find a Don about Xanxus' age, blonde hair reaching their chin as their Sun shadows them.
"Dino," Xanxus greets.
"I'm so sorry about your loss! I heard about you returning through Massimo yesterday, but for this to happen! After so long..." the Don says, as it is noticeable, even in his flames, that, for the first time since Dons had started talking with them, this Don spoke nothing but the truth.
"I've been staying with Tsuna," Xanxus states, "After my gramps got me to people who could free me and Tsuna visited through his Shrine."
"Eh?!" Dino asks, "W-who?"
Xanxus, for the first time since the funeral began, smirks, as he indicates the small Sky at his side.
"Brat's Iemitsu's kid, he helped with breaking the Arcobaleno Curse two weeks back."
Dino's exclamation has Reborn cocking his gun.
"Quieten down, a Don never looses composure in public," Reborn states.
"R-Reborn!" Dino squeaks, "W-wait, are you tutoring Ts-Tsuna-san?"
"Tsuna-kun's fine; I'm Sawada Tsunayoshi, Dino-san!" Tsuna greets, being careful of the Arcobaleno on his shoulder as he bows.
"A-ah!" Dino nods, bowing back, "I'm Dino di Cavallone, this is my right-hand, Romario."
"Ah! Hello, Romario!" Tsuna smiles.
"Young Sky," Romario greets, smiling softly in return as he himself bows.
"I'm not his tutor, right now Verde is creating a growth serum, I am merely enjoying Tsuna's company and evaluating his skills for myself, given he has already amassed so many allies and elements of his own."
Dino nods, as they talk some more.
Xanxus drags Dino with him to where the rest of his family with.
"I'm returning to my position in the Varia; I'm not letting any of you guys die on me after this," he growls, "Tsuna has enough guard-dogs to take care of him."
Fon and Reborn give Xanxus a look.
"OK, Guard-dogs and possessive panther," Xanxus states, wining a small chuckle from a teary-eyed Massimo as Takeshi laughs...
Chapter 21: Growth
Mukuro enjoys waking up with his brothers and sister, snuggled up around Tsuna in the brunet's room.
Their futons were always lain out with the sides touching, it had started out as a way for Tsuna, Mukuro and Chikusa to act as reassurance for living somewhere without danger. Now it was just a habit none of them really minded.
This morning, Mukuro woke up by Tsuna.
Or more, started waking up normally, before waking up faster as he finds an arm tightening over his ribcage as a hand tightens on his sleep-shirt.
Looking down to find Tsuna cuddling into his chest like a fluffy koala was honestly worth it...
Especially since Ken, who was lying spread-eagle like usual, had Chrome sleeping on top of him, their little sister cuddling into the usually boisterous member of their group, as Chikusa was curled up in a ball beneath the blankets, strands of his dark hair poking out from the blanket.
A shutter-frame has him quickly turning his head to find Reborn with a camera.
Their eyes meet for a moment, Mukuro's in protective rage and Reborn's with mischievous glee.
Mukuro curls tighter around Tsuna, as there's a second snap of the camera.
Neither speak, both wary of the sleeping child in Mukuro's arms.
Both are silent for a moment longer.
Before a mumble has Reborn freezing as he's about to leap off his perch on the tops of the sliding doors and Mukuro looking down at the sleepy bundle in his arms.
"No fighting..." Tsuna grumps, before settling down again.
Mukuro has to stop himself from cooing at the cuteness of his Sky.
The door opens, Reborn taking the opportunity to flip through the doorway and away as Ido enters.
"Time to get up!" he says, clapping his hands, kitsune-powers boosting the sound slightly so all four still-sleeping children jolt awake.
"Ido-oji..." Tsuna grumps as Mukuro chuckles.
Tsuna opens his eyes, before closing them again, wrinkling his nose as he cringes for a moment, opening them once more with a small grumble.
"Why is Takkun at the kitchen table right now? He lives in town?" Tsuna asks, puzzled.
Blinking a few times, Tsuna smiles.
"Oh, I see; he came to visit with Tsuyo-oji!"
"How do you know that?" Mukuro asks, curious.
Tsuna looks over at him, tilting his head.
"It's like... Like I'm able to see through touch all the dying will flames of others and read them to a certain distance, or something?" Tsuna wrinkles his nose, "I have honestly no idea."
He pouts, concentrating, before smiling.
"My reach extends to the top of the Shrine steps!" Tsuna smiles, "Or more, by the old well, where Mizuka is right now!"
"She has flames?" Chikusa asks, curious.
Tsuna tilts his head.
"No, but it's something similar... Something only mythical full-bloods seem to have - I can tell because Ido-san has something similar and Kawa-jii has it on the edges of his flames."
When they finally go to the living/dining room, it's to find Reborn talking calmly with Takeshi and Tsuyoshi, a warm smile on the Rains' faces.
"Morning!" Tsuna smiles, as he cheerily opens the front door, revealing Hayato and Bianchi, "Morning, Hayato, Bianchi!"
Both just stare, as Mizuka appears, Bianchi tugging Hayato out the way so Mizuka can enter in her original yokai form, the water pail now empty, after she'd watered the small garden of crops they had near the well.
"Do you need any help with cleaning, Mizuka?" Tsuna asks, smiling.
"No thank you; have school in a few minutes, anyway," Mizuka smiles, as Tsuna nods, smiling as he scampers over to the kitchen to finish the breakfast and bento preparations Mizuka had begun...
Things are fine, after that, as Tsuna explains to the other two about what he'd woken up with.
They set off for school after breakfast, Tsuna having completed the bento with a little help from Mizuka.
They find Kyoya sitting on the gate entrance, Tsuna quickly and quietly handing the half-Shishi his bento, smiling when Kyoya takes it, tail flicking slightly in thanks.
"You're welcome!" Tsuna smiles, heading in, pausing for a moment.
"Shouldn't you be in Middle School, now?"
Kyoya's ears twitch, as his eyes flickered to the masses.
"Hn," he grunts, looking away.
"Ah, so you're tutored?" Tsuna smiles, relieved.
"Tsuna's eyes widen.
"That's amazing! You're at Hayato's level?!"
Kyoya grins, as he pats Tsuna on the head gently with a tonfa, before heading off.
Tsuna turns, before pausing as he finally focuses on the other students there.
He pauses, giving a close-lipped smile as he seems to notice something.
"W-well, why don't we get to class!" he smiles, "Kyoya wouldn't want us to be late and disobey rules, right?!"
Mukuro chuckles, as he quickly pushes Takeshi and Hayato over to Tsuna.
"How about you two stick with Tsuna for the day?" he asks, tone light, despite the sudden aura of "do-or-die" he sent their way...
Takeshi didn't like Tsuna's expression.
When the teacher entered, he really didn't like it, nearly snapping his pencil in two as he has the sudden urge to try and remove what's scaring Tsuna.
Hayato seems to notice, too.
Or, at least, he keeps glancing between Tsuna's veiled look of terrified acceptance and Takeshi and his "I'm pissed" smile.
Break rolls round, with Hayato waiting until they'd reached the others, before dragging Takeshi back into the stairwell, slamming Takeshi against the wall by his collar.
"What the f- hell was that?!" he growls.
"The people in our class were upsetting Tsuna, I was just trying to stop myself from leaping for the idiot's throat," Takeshi replies, the pointed grin still in place.
Hayato growls, before moving away...
Then they had swimming that day.
Hayato had immediately tried to skive, moving towards the exit as Tsuna quickly took Hayato's hand.
"Are you scared of swimming, too?" Tsuna asks.
Hayato looks in surprise at Tsuna.
"Takeshi showed me where we can hide, come on," Tsuna says, quietly pulling Hayato from the changing rooms, the pair soon entering the library, heading for a corner.
Tsuna picks a book out.
Hayato copies him, going for another book.
"Act like you belong here," Tsuna whispers.
"I guessed," Hayato replies.
For a time, there is quiet, before curiosity has Hayato pulling out an exercise book, opening it at the back.
'Why are you skiving swimming?' he writes, before sliding it over to Tsuna.
Tsuna reads the question, a small smile coming to his face, as he pulls out a pen.
'I'm scared of swimming; my mum once took me swimming and I nearly drowned, were it not for the lifeguard on duty at the time. Ido-san was really angry after, I think I moved in with him the year after that,' he writes back, 'What about you? Is it to do with the glowy-fur you have?'
Hayato's eyes widen slightly, before he frowns slightly in thought, before nodding to himself as he writes a reply.
'I'm half-selkie, from my mom's side - she died because my father took her coat. Selkies can't survive without them and Bianchi had to save mine from our Mother before we ran away,' Hayato writes.
Tsuna frowns slightly himself, before Hayato remembers Takeshi's actions this morning.
'What about this morning, how did you know we were there? Are you half-something, like the others?'
'It's my Sky flames and my curse,' he writes back, 'I'm accepting the curse for now, but with Dad's reaction', Tsuna hesitates, before continuing, 'I've only met Dad once before then and that was the time he yelled at Ido-
chisan for looking after me, then Timoteo tried to seal my flames, but the Iugami who lives next door to Mama stopped them.'
Hayato blinks, before frowning.
'Your parents sound bad.'
'They aren't the worst, but they aren't the best. I prefer not to think about it; I have Ido-san and Mizu
Hayato smiles softly, before underlining Tsuna's crossings out and puts a question mark to the side.
Tsuna blinks, before blushing slightly.
'I almost wrote "Ido-chi" and "Mizu-ha", from the words "father" and "mother". But then I don't really like the idea of putting those titles on them, given Mama and Papa and I was taught they were "chichi" and "haha" as well? It happens sometimes, though "Ido-nii" and "Mizu-nee" sound like I'm trying to be older than I am. It's confusing.'
'Do you want help with that, then?'
Tsuna smiles, scooting his chair to Hayato's side, as Hayato quickly moves to the adjacent clean page, separating it in two, before titling each side with "Mother" and "Father".
Below each he starts writing various words, as Tsuna recognises the Russian for "mother" and Hungarian for "Father".
Hayato starts with the words for "mother", reciting each one, as Tsuna listened.
"Màthair sounds like Mizuka," Tsuna smiles.
Hayato nods, and writes "Scots Gaelic - mother - Màthair at the base of the page.
They repeat the process for "Father", Tsuna swttling on "isä" - Finnish.
"Because Ido appears harsh at first, but really he's like a bear!" Tsuna smiles.
Hayato pauses at the way Tsuna seems to sparkle for a moment, before they settled back into silence until the bell, Tsuna having written the translations in the corner of his notebook...
Takeshi and Mukuro found Tsuna and Hayato smiling to themselves in the corner of the library, both boys sharing a book as Tsuna says something that has Hayato giving the other a miffed look, before saying something that has Tsuna in yet another fit of giggles.
"So you both hid here!" Takeshi hums, sitting opposite.
"Hayato's got to stay away from swimming since he doesn't want to abandon his selkie-skin!" Tsuna says in a whisper, "Like how you don't like leaving the house without that charm from Tsuyo-oji that's to help you control your fox-tendencies!"
Mukuro chuckles, "Oh?"
Chuckling, Mukuro tilts his head.
"So, what has had you on edge all day? It's been bleeding over to the others, you know!" he smirks.
"E-eh?!" Tsuna squeaks.
Hayato and Takeshi nods, as Chrome fiddles with her blazer, Ken and Chikusa merely nodding themselves.
Tsuna dips his head, before glancing up.
"Humans are candle-flames, not the Kitsunebi you all are... It's like if I just reach out too fast, or breathe too quickly..." he says softly, looking away as he droops, "It's scary, but then my other senses detect how they're actually physically like me, how the teacher is bigger then me and treating me like the idiot all the other "candles" think I am..."
Takeshi tugs Tsuna into a hug, grin sharpening.
"Then, as kitsunebi, we'll just have to scare them off, right?!" he grins.
Tsuna nods, snuggling into the warm arms embracing him tightly, laughing softly when Ken leaps over the table to join in before Hayato can...
Chapter 22: How did Enma and Tsuna meet?
I'm pretty sure somewhere between Xanxus arriving and Daemon popping up, I uploaded a chapter which is basically this, but in that gap between our two Rage Princes, but it isn't there, sooooo...
(Thank god I left such an Open Path last chapter, LOL X'D)
The next time they skip PE, Mukuro joins them.
"So, how do you know Enma?" he asks, chuckling.
"Eh? Oh, I met him in in the Spirit World, where Xanxus was going to meet someone and taking me along so we could shop for groceries!" Tsuna smiles...
The crowd had been large and scary, as Tsuna tried to keep up with his Uncle, small, ten-year-old feet pushing frantically against the stone path as creatures and hafuus pressed in from the sides, heading in all directions as Tsuna tried to maintain his grip on both his woven basket and Xanxus' kimono.
A particularly harsh knock has Tsuna's basket snatched from his hands, the ten year old pausing, before taking off after it, as feet and legs knock it to-and-fro like the ocean.
At last, on the edge of the crowd, Tsuna successfully snatches up the basket, pausing when he realises what he just did, turning to look into the crowd.
There were too many people; the sheer quantity making Tsuna feel light-headed.
So, he sat where he was, to listen and wait for Xanxus' return...
Only to have his intuition flare a moment later.
It leads him to where there's a group of children about his age, a blend of multicoloured Oni, Kitsune and so on picking on someone.
“Hey! Stop!” Tsuna yells as he hears a fearful cry.
From inside the throng of legs, Tsuna can see an Oni with red-tinted skin and wild, red hair, curled up crying as he's being taunted and beaten.
“I said, stop !” Tsuna yells, barrelling through, anger over the others’ actions visible, “What gives you the right to pick on this person?!”
There is silence, before Tsuna is laughed at.
Tsuna ignores them, crouching by the boy.
“Can you stand?”
The boy peers up, as he reveals small, damaged horns on the head he'd been shielding.
Tsuna smiles softly, gently extending a hand, captivating the other.
“Can you stand?” Tsuna asks gently.
“Y-yes,” the boy replies softly…
Before a dark-blue oni-boy smashes a foot into Tsuna’s hand.
Tsuna goes silent, taking a shaky breath.
The red-head’s eyes widen.
“Oh dear, I think that cut me…” Tsuna says, before using his other hand to quickly tug the other boy up, pushing through the crowd, Fortune meaning neither child is stopped.
“We just need to outrun them for a bit…” Tsuna says, eyes turning orange, “My niisan is at one of the inns, with Squa-nii. He doesn't like bullies… I'm Tsuna, by the way!”
“E-Enma,” the other boy stutters, as they use the crowd as cover.
Even if this means Emma notices Tsuna starting to hold an panic.
“Let's find somewhere clearer!” Tsuna says.
“There's a clearing up to the right!” Emma says quickly, soon finding he's tugging the other, looking at him as he ends up in front to see fear and anxiousness in the boy's brown eyes.
“Focus on me!” Emma says quickly, ignoring the pain in his body as they turn a corner…
Right into the bullies.
Tsuna's grip on Emma tightens, as he looks around.
There is only the passing shoppers and town-goers, caging off their escape with the thickness of the crowd.
“ XAN-NII! HELP! ” he yells, as he sees a series of boxes, kicking a board over to race up, both boys light enough as they continue to try and escape-
“Ah!” Emma cries, as his foot slips, tugging them off into a pile of heather, as the bullies approach.
“Well, it appears we have two lots of weak halfies,” one of them state.
Tsuna squeezes his eyes shut, praying for aid as he tugs Emma close…
“WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!” Xanxus roars.
The bullies freeze, as Tsuna lets out a squeak at the sight of the fist an inch from his nose.
“Back away from Tsunayoshi!” Xanxus orders.
“Ah~? Another pair of filthy halfies?” The one who'd spoken earlier states.
Tsuna recognises the glow of an X-burner, as well as the blue flames of Squalo’s sword.
“I got the best of both worlds, you whole-blood brats,” he growls, “Besides; that halfie you're going after is the Kami’s favourite.”
“Enma?!” a voice calls.
Enma looks at Tsuna.
“Dad!” he yells, looking back towards the entrance of the alley.
That's when the bullies back down, as an Oni and a man with slightly redder skin than Enma appear.
“Enma!” the man says, as the Oni stops them from moving forwards.
“What's going on?”
“Full bloods bullying your kid and Xanxus’ surrogate brother, Tsunayoshi,” Squalo states.
“Eh? You mean that kid Fuujin likes?” the Oni states.
“Yup,” Xanxus smirks, pissed.
“Isn't he scared of crowds?” The Oni continues.
“Yes, Ousama,” Xanxus growls, “Which is why I really want to burn these shits to ash.’
“That violates the law, stand down, Xanxus,” the Oni states.
Xanxus smoothly replaces his gun, grumbling.
Marching through, Xanxus carefully lifts both ten-year-olds up, dodging an angered kick.
A feral growl tears from Xanxus’ throat, gold eyes forcing those he glared at to shrink away, as he carries the two back.
They end up returning to the Inn Xanxus had been in, sitting both by the fire.
Tsuna clings to Xanxus and Enma the entire time, as Enma squeezes back.
“Enma has agoraphobia, too; but you're both safe now, alright?” Enma's father says.
Tsuna and Enma slowly nod, as Tsuna takes a breath.
“Xan-nii, Squa-nii, how do I use that healing-thing again?” Tsuna asks.
“Your Will,” Squalo says stiffly.
Tsuna smiles, as his hands glow, gently resting them over Enma’s, as he heals all his cuts and bruises.
Including his horns, which has Enma giving a surprised squeak.
“Wh-what?” Enma gasps, reaching up in surprise, feeling they'd now been mended and straightened from their warped forms.
“You were hurt, so I healed you,” Tsuna smiles.
“W-what about you?” Enma asks, looking at the brunet in surprise.
“My cuts will heal quickly in their own time,” Tsuna hums, “Xan-nii, I’m hungry!”
"Then we got food! And then I got an invite to visit Enma on their island and Enma didn't get bullied anymore 'cause word spread that he was friends with me and Xan-nii, as well as being the descendant of the original Oni-King, Enma!" Tsuna smiles, "Though his human form's just the paler skin and lack of horns that you've seen, right?" A giggle escapes from between Tsuna's lips, "Grandpa got really curious about it, though it's actually a genetic-magic-combo thing, like... Uh... Chameleons!"
"Oh?" Mukuro smirks, side-eyeing Hayato, who was doing his UMA-star-eyes expression.
"Yeah!" Tsuna nods, before noticing, "Oh, but we're not UMAs, Hayato; he's descended from the God of Hell in the Buddhist religion, not an Unidentified, Mysterious Animal... That's Xanxus' ancestors..."
Hayato seems to stop in place.
Blinking a couple of times, Mukuro gently pushes on Hayato's shoulder...
...Only for the other tween to flop out of their seat.
Both Tsuna and Mukuro gaze down at him in surprise...
"I think he overloaded..." Mukuro states, hand still raised from gently prodding their friend...
Chapter 23: Verde Gets Possessive
Verde is possessive of his projects...
But then there's Dat Smoll Hedgehog-Human that's Secretly Freakishly String and Say WHUUT!
Verde is neck-deep in his work as he goes over the latest results for his project, Skull and Jack currently resting as the final series of data loads.
"18% improvement... After an additional 20% in lack of knowledge..." Verde mumbles, leaning back in his seat.
Kerman launches themselves into Verde's lap, Verde's thoughts whizzing about like the code of a computer as he absent-mindedly pets the alligator.
He drifts off...
...Before his eyes snap open, knowing exactly what he needs to do.
"Alright!" Verde grins in a half-whisper, practically flying around his lab as he sets up things to read flames and the way energy flows in the body, soon starting to build something new as he pulls up diagrams for a certain flame-type, the records of which he'd only just been allowed to obtain.
Scrolling through, Verde starts writing, chemicals, codes and calculations swimming across the pages, the pen moving under his hand as the blank page acted as a conduit, lightening flames hardening the ink into the page so none of the fresh ink would blot.
It's then that his chair becomes a blur as he sets about preparing things, pausing when he finally remembers he probably should get 'the main component' before everything else.
(Don't chefs always need all the tools and ingredients before they cook a meal...)
So, he finally leaves his lab, using one of his pods to return to the Shrine.
Tsuna is part way through picking weeds from between the stones around the shrine's steps.
"Oi, Tsuna," he says, the lid of his pod popping open, "I need you for something."
"Eh?" Tsuna asks, looking round, one hand steadying the basket slowly filling with weeds.
"The cure," Verde states, voice turning bland at the child's obliviousness.
"Oh!" Tsuna stands, lifting the basket, "Let me ask Ido, first!"
Verde tails Tsuna inside, looking like a large white and green pokeball, though Verde's transport is transparent to the passenger, who sat in a small, weighted seat.
Ido is working on paperwork, but looks up when Tsuna enters.
"I'm helping Verde with something, is that alright?" his child smiles.
Ido pauses, before giving a small, pointed nod.
"If you're not back for lunch I'll send Reborn over."
Tsuna nods, as the scientist and Tsuna head over to the scientist's workshop...
"Tsuna!" Skull greets, running over like a puppy to its master.
"Hello!" Tsuna beams, crouching so he could hug and pick up the Cloud.
"I'd like to run some more tests on you and your flame," Varde says, "I believe your healing power might have the property needed to undo the curse's affects on both the Arcobaleno and Vendice."
"Sure!" Tsuna nods.
Verde loves how quiet Tsuna is throughout the tests; everyone else is so noisy and disruptive, but not Tsuna; even when he does speak, he only does so to ensure he's doing things right, he's the perfect student!
Verde pauses in looking at the final readouts after lunch, as he remembers.
Tsuna had laughed softly, attracting their attention with a beaming smile.
"But, with the cure and us acting as your support so you aren't drained of flames, we can then figure out a way to restore your former physical ages and help you, correct?"
Verde hums, before nodding, as Tsuna tilts his head.
"Besides, I have already been gifted to Fate, with the only hope being my other half, who I don't even know of yet. Time and Fate are already enacting their karma upon Kawahira for the few souls he curses in an effort to save the many."
The simple air Tsuna hold with this, so, so accepting, yet terrifyingly empty of any emotion but complacency.
It is both distancing and enticing, as though, for a moment, they are not seeing a person, but someone willingly puppeteered by strings tied and fastened without consent.
Verde's brow furrows, as he lowers the papers in his hands.
His eidetic memory helps a lot, but with things like how Tsuna had looked, how he treats this whole affair...
He hates it.
Verde only just realises he's crinkling the pages when Skull calls to him, quickly putting the papers back on his desk.
"Yeah?" he asks, moving his hands back to is lap as he focuses on Skull.
Verde blinks, before turning back to his desk.
"I'm fine," he snaps.
There's a weighty silence, before Skull steps away.
"As long as the cure doesn't hurt Tsuna, we'll be fine," the Cloud says.
Verde remains silent, before, finally, speaking.
"I will require your aid beyond just the Arcobaleno curse," he says, "We need to figure uot a way for that curse, too."
Silence lasts for a while more...
"You're a brother to me; of course I'll help..."
Chapter 24: The Heavenly Circus Arrives!
Tsuna is in class with the others when he stands quickly, looking out the window.
“Tsuna?” Hayato asks.
“Circusses never come to Nanimori,” Tsuna says softly, Hayato and Takeshi quickly copying their Sky in leaving the classroom, Hibari already going on ahead, Mukuro at his side, tonfas and staff out and ready...
The Circus has a long procession, heading from the main road towards the town centre, elephants, horses and giraffes carrying masked performers or tugging carts, dressed in various shades of orange, a firebreather also wearing red and black with the orange.
A man in a gold suit leads the procession, standing on the back of a horse as he holds a gold and black cane, the only one out of all the circus members ‒ of which there was a small army ‒ not to be wearing a mask.
Silver irises, ringed in gold, fix on Tsuna and his elements as he calls “Round up! Round up! Grand greetings from the Heavenly Circus!”
Tsuna pauses in shock as he registers the flames , but the Leader of the troupe distracts him.
They jumps from the back of the horse and onto one knee before Tsuna in the deepest bow Tsuna has ever seen.
“My Fair Deity! It is only with your permission that we shall perform here! If you so wish it, we shall spend but one night for our dear inhuman assistants on the other border of Nanimori, before continuing to Kokuyo tomorrow morning!”
Tsuna opens his mouth to reply, but turns to Kyoya.
“Ano… Kyoya? Is there anywhere they can stay for… How long?” Tsuna turns back to the Circus Master.
The man looks up, relaxing with his free hand on his knee, cane held perfectly vertical in the other.
“A week, my Deity!” he smiles, “The Fates called us to this Town for our next performance and the Sun guided our way! I am humbled that would be so kind as to accept such an impromptu introduction!”
Kyoya grunts, Tsuna swiftly translating.
“Several people from Kyoya’s Disciplinary Committee will arrive to note down who and what you have brought and see if they can find a large enough terrain.”
“Of course, we shall follow your lead, my dear Deity!”
“Who are you, anyway?” Hayato demands.
“Oh! Have I not said?” the Ringmaster looks surprise, as he smoothly moves to his feet, this time giving a very western bow, “My apologies! My name is Elouan! I am CEO, Manager and Leader of the Heavenly Circus, so named for the warm and inviting atmosphere we attempt to achieve with each and every one of our shows! I would introduce my associates, yet,” Elouan chuckles for a moment, “There are quite a lot!”
Tsuna smiles, though he takes a breath.
“I notice that most of the elements hee are my fellow Skies? It’s a surprise, but It just makes me curious. You, also, have similar styled flames to my Grandfather, even though you are a Sun… I hope that they are here of their free will?”
“Well, I protect the runaways who were abused. If you take a look at my dear Skies, most are female, given in the Mafia, female skies, unless they go against their Homely nature, are generally forced into marriages and such with both non-Sky and Sky Family Heads, for Sky children. Some elements, like my Lightnings, also flee so they, too, are not used as a sacrifice. It is a shame I’m not able to help all Mafia families, but I, along with our Mists and Clouds, act to keep them all safe, so we are not all shot for a kidnapping we did not commit. It’s also why masks are worn, to hide identities.”
“I will ask my Grandfather to help you. He is Kawahira.”
Elouan pauses, before his grin broadens .
“Ah! Silver hair? Blue eyes?”
“Uh, yeah!” Tsuna nods.
“Ah! Kawa’s done so much in the last thousand years!” Elouan laughing in a belly-filled roar, “My Deity, if you ever require assistance, you merely need call us with your flames and we shall come!”
Takeshi grins .
“I could ask Dad about calling up the caterers in town? I think he’d happily help!”
Kyoya grunts, as Elouan laughs.
“Your kindness is a very heavenly gift! I thank you for it!”
“For now I think the outdoor stage should be a large enough area for you and your friends to rest and play comfortably! Ask at the Shrine if you need any further assistance!”
“My deepest thanks, my Deity!”
“Tsuna, just call me Tsuna,” Tsuna smiles.
“Of course m‒ Tsuna!” Elouan bows, members of the Circus bowing and waving to Tsuna’s small group as they continue on.
“That was pretty impressive, Tsuna,” Reborn says, seeming popping out of nowhere.
“Eh? You watched that?”
“It’s the perfect start for any great Boss… Or Shrine Keeper, in you case,” he agrees, “Though I best give Verde a… Gentle talk about his experiments in the meantime.”
Tsuna nods, as Reborn jumps into a crowd, disappearing from sight…
When they arrive back from school, it is to find Elouan sitting with Kawahira, cups of tea in their hands and laughing quite happily over something.
“We’re back!” Tsuna calls, “Have you settled in well, Elouan?”
“Indeed we have, Tsuna!” Elouan nods, “My thanks again for you heavenly aid!”
Tsuna waves it away with an embarrassed smile.
“I‒ I was only helping where I could,” he says.
“Tsuna, if you see any other flame signatures like our own, can you please tell either me, Kyoya or one of Elouan’s troupe? Yi-Mae and Tsuyoshi are letting them go through town to stretch their legs and get any supplies or repairs they need.”
“I’ll try to remember,” Tsuna says.
“There are others like you?!” Hayato exclaims.
“Apart from us, two,” Kawahira nods, “We were all part of a set, but our Storm, Sky and Rain passed away long ago, so apart from Elouan and I, Amyntas, our little Lightening brother, is semi-safe, given he is much like the Varia’s Sun on a good day, though the one that we need to watch out for is Mu-Lin, who ceased being our Cloud with Sepira and Jessica ‒ our Sky and Storm’s ‒ deaths.”
“Yes, quite the demonic person,” Elouan scowls, “He allowed his Pride to smother his judgement many years ago and now acts as a threat to my Skies and you, given his idea of “balance” is Skies being of a weaker variety for their elements. Any Sky who has weaker elements or threatens that ideology and he will do whatever he can to remove their entire bloodline.”
Tsuna nods, bowing slightly.
“I’ll tell Ido and Xanxus, if you haven’t already,” he says, heading inside to find Mizuka, the karyobinga possibly being able to help keep watch, too…