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A fire shadow’s will

Chapter Text

Minato said goodbye to her son and observed how he cried. She would have given much to be able to hold him, to take care of him. If she hadn't left Obito for dead... She would have been able to raise him, to see how he grew up and his first words being ‘hahaue’ or ‘mama’ or even if Kakashi had been his babysitter, ‘kaka-nii’.

But she had, her students had suffered, and a lot of people had died, and Naruto had had to live alone. Neither Kakashi nor Jiraiya being able to take care of him for fear of people knowing whose son he was. The only link with his mothers that he had been able to keep had been Kushina’s surname (it would have been Minato’s too if they had married), and people had probably understood it as a mere symbol of friendship with the long-lost Uzumaki clan.

She had failed the son that she and Kushina had been trying three years to have with the help of several medic-nin experts in genetics.

Minato's body finally disappeared completely and somehow she felt like she had been trapped inside the Shinigami‘s stomach. Again.

There was something off about it tough.

 

Kushina had been her best friend before they married, and she had loved her, she had felt attracted to her, but Minato had always felt like she wasn't like his peers, she wasn't an enthusiast of sex, adolescence with Jiraiya being his sensei had been... Awkward.

She didn't feel excited about breasts, she didn’t feel excited about long shapely legs or smooth muscle-less skin (the last thing being practical in a village where everyone had a considerable muscle mass, even the if the civilians liked to think that kunoichi complied with their beauty standards).

Jiraiya had tried to see if she liked breast-less chests and straight hips more, but it was all the same for Minato. People. She could have fun with any of them, but it as more enjoyable if she loved them. Man or woman, it didn't matter to her.

When she looked down her body and saw a scrawny teenager girl’s instead of a grown one’s she freaked out, but she had little time for it, as she soon fainted from the onslaught of memories and emotions pertaining to a 13 year old Sawada Tsuna.

Or was Sawada Tsuna instead, who fainted for the pressure of the memories of Namikaze Minato, Yondaime Hokage?

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

She didn’t know who she was, Minato or Tsuna? But she figured it didn’t really matter and concentrated on opening her eyes.

There was a very cute girl kneeling in front of her… Kyoko-chan?

“Oh! Tsuna-chan! Are you ok?” she asked with concern “You shouldn’t run with only your underwear on!”

“Tsk!” a boy slightly older than her spat nearby, she couldn't really remember their name, something that starts with ‘Mochi’ and that he was their senpai “You shouldn’t care about a pervert like this, Kyoko!”

Oh! Mochida-sempai! The kendo club’s captain. Wait, underwear? Pervert? They were naked!

Mina-Tsuna tried to cover herself and ran away, ignoring Kyoko-chan’s cry.

When she finally made it home mom wasn’t (luckily) there, so she didn’t have to explain things to her. She went towards her room and, after putting some clothes on, dropped on the floor, thinking.

‘I, well… Minato died. What I am supposed to do after this? Do I want to do anything? Naruto was already an adult the last time I saw him. How much time has passed? Thirteen years? Like the age of Sawada Tsuna? Or more? I suppose that I could investigate for internet… There should be something there…’

A tiny foot kicked her, interrupting their train of thought, and they had to stand up again. The culprit had been a baby with a suit (what was a ‘suit’?), and now she remembered. The baby-tutor had been the one to shoot her.

“I came here to raise you to become a proper mafia boss; this level of awareness is unacceptable”.

‘Cut me some slack’ thought Mina-Tsuna ‘I’m trying to process being two persons at once’.

“A mafia boss? Why? Also, you shoot me, why I’m not dead?”

And so, Reborn explained to her their genetic link to the first boss of the mafia family, Vongola, the death of the tree viable heirs and the function of Dying Will Bullets.

“But, couldn’t anyone else make a better heir?” she asked ‘And I assume that it isn’t normal to remember… a past life? When shot with Dying Will Bullets’.

“Only blood-related people can inherit” told her Reborn, without an ounce of compassion.

Her Tsuna-part wanted to cry, the Minato-part tried to rationalize it while Reborn went to sleep. Thanks to Minato’s ninja background (as if being one of the strongest ninjas could be considered ‘background’), the traps didn’t startle her.

‘I, well, my Tsuna-part doesn’t have any ambition, would it be so bad to do what he (after an investigation, of course) wants? Maybe there it is considered wrong to do what a mafia does, but if I was the boss I could make it nice-r and I would have the monetary and social power to protect everyone I love. Maybe it’s only mom (it’s strange to have a mom after twenty and some years of being an orphan) now, but I’m pretty sure that with a higher confidence than a normal teenager I will make some friends. If I don’t find a way back, of course’

The objective of the mission, well, of her life established she went to sleep, back against the wall (she didn’t know Reborn enough to allow a more vulnerable position), and prayed for Minato’s ninja skills regarding light sleep to carry on to Tsuna.

Chapter Text

Tsuna woke up with Reborn in front of her, grenade in hand. She got up immediately. Reborn only smirked enigmatically.

The rest of the day wasn’t any better; Mochida-senpai challenged her to a duel for Kyoko-chan’s honor (he thought that she was a guy that liked wearing girl’s underclothes!), thought the ‘price’ he proposed made her blood boil. She didn’t accept any of the gear she was offered and punched Mochida to the face, telling him to not treat women (her being one of them somehow not being mentioned) as toys. Mochida fell to the ground with a broken nose. Kyoko-chan thanked her and Tsuna blushed, while Ryouhei pondered that she was too cute to be a boy after all (somehow he was the only one to realize it, even if his logic was, somewhat, flawed).

When she talked again to Reborn she had the impression that he was smiling, more than smirking, approvingly.

Next day was almost (the wake-up call was identical as the one of the day before) unremarkable. But the following one definitely wasn’t.

The teacher presented them Gokudera Hayato, a pretty half-Italian teenager with anger issues. If she hadn’t remembered being Minato, now Tsuna would be shaking like a leaf (and more than a bit flustered). Instead, she used Minato’s ultimate weapon: She smiled placidly at him. Gokudera blushed, all his muscles spasmed, and he averted his eyes. The class passed without accident.

After class, Gokudera found her and challenged her to a fight (what was with people and fights lately?), her body didn’t respond quickly enough, and Reborn shoot her, again. Suddenly all was clear, her body moved as she wanted it to and all the dynamite sticks were safely defused. Gokudera prostrated in front of her and promised his undying loyalty.

“Gokudera-kun!” she exclaimed, there was no way she was allowing this, even if her Minato-part was used to it “Nothing of ‘Juudaime’, just call me by my name, if you want to use an honorific so be it, but you can’t go shouting about the mafia for the world to hear!” and maybe if he used her name more than her title he could be a friend instead of a subordinate (not that she wouldn’t defend him anyway).

Gokudera looking stricken, bowed again.

“Of course, T-Tsuna-sama!” he shouted with a stutter, well, at least it was better.

Then she looked at Reborn, who, for some reason looked surprised. Maybe because she had responded unlike a teenager normally would?

“Aren’t you tired?” he asked.

‘What?’

“You are still on fire, dame-Tsuna” he told her.

On fire? Tsuna looked at a window and saw that yes, she (or more precisely her forehead) was on fire. At least her clothes hadn’t exploded like last time.

Then the flames went off, leaving her with an empty feeling, there had been a… connection; she had felt closer to Reborn and Gokudera and she had been able to feel other people nearby, how strange.

Next day there was another (miss)adventure. Nedzu-sensei tried to get her (and Gokudera, now ‘Hayato-kun’) expulsed using the exam that her Tsuna-self had failed.

Half the playground almost ceased to exist the same day. Oh, and Nedzu-sensei was the one expulsed instead.

Yamamoto-kun, Tsuna decided, was an angel. He was the only one that let her join his team at PE (with the boys, as expected the teachers didn’t know she was a girl either). However, her body as badly coordinated without the strange forehead flames as it was, she made them lose.

He asked her what should he do about his average in baseball practice drooping. Her Tsuna-self shrugged but her Minato-self looked at him and gave her opinion.

“I’m not exactly an expert, Yamamoto-kun. But… if you have been practicing this much shouldn’t you rest for a while? Maybe you need a bit of a pause, even if you like something a lot you need to stop from time to time…”

Yamamoto-kun nodded, with his brows uncharacteristically furrowed and they parted ways.

Next day Yamamoto-kun was on the roof. Preparing to jump. She ran to him and tried to convince him not to.

“Let it go Tsuna, I didn’t listen to you and now I’m paying the consequences” he said.

She looked at him, horrified, what was happening to Yamamoto Takeshi in his daily life to warrant suicide over a broken arm? Was it the peer pressure to play baseball like he had no team backing him up? Something else?

In the end, both of them fell, and the Dying Will Bullet saved her life again when it gave her the ability of graving Yamamoto mid-air and of running using the wall as if it was the ground until hitting the ground in a roll. All in perfect control of her emotions and her clothes on, unlike the first time, but like when she had avoided getting exploded a couple of days earlier. She tried using chakra to adhere to the wall at first, but it was uncontrolled and only gave her a feel of having a low-grade adhesive on her shoe’s sole.

Once safely on the ground, she received the permission from Yamamoto-kun to call him ‘Takeshi’ (without the honorific, really awkward for her teenager self) and decided, after hearing people comment that it had all been a joke, to contact Takeshi’s father about the situation. A few days after Takeshi had an appointment with a psychologist. The connection she had felt faintly while falling to their deaths had intensified and could be felt without the strange flames active.

The next months there were more weird (for Tsuna’s standards) things happening:

First was the Russian roulette, only two words: frightening and embarrassing, for a bisexual teenager at least (she was sure that Reborn had been laughing at her all the time);

Reborn’s way of teaching was, literally, explosive. She had started using Minato’s knowledge after the first lesson;

The first appearance of Lambo, that brought another level of craziness with him (the 10 year bazooka was something she would have expected from a crazy scientist like the Nidaime, Senju Tobirama), this particular series of accidents gave Minato a new appreciation for her genin's (Kakashi, Rin and Obito) maturity in time of war;

Followed by Bianchi (her, and Hayato’s, poor stomach), and teenager Lambo getting his face caked with poison;

Miura Haru, that at first, Tsuna mistook for a pedophile, but she was only… open with her affections;

The poor red-headed kid her age, the boy had fainted at the end;

Sasagawa Ryouhei, he reminded her of Gai and it had been easy to become friends with him, though strangely this connection she had started feeling with strong people nearby hadn't appeared with him;

Dr. Shamal, this one reminded her of Jiraiya-sensei and not in a good way (at least sensei had kept his hands to himself). Tough his medical expertise reminded her more of Tsunade-sama or perhaps more of Orochimaru-san? An Aburame perhaps?;

Her first meeting with the Disciplinary Committee’s (more like a badly hidden band of tugs) Chairman: Hibari Kyoya, she had started feeling a (not really strong) connection with him too after a brief 'spar';

The living zombie Moretti accident had been, retrospectively, fun;

I-Pin, the explosive girl, had wormed her way to her heart, she was curious about what was going on with the Triads tough;

Dino’s badass (no it wasn’t because he looked like a male Minato) first appearance. He seemed impressed with her calm at the face of Reborn’s antics, and thankfully (for her sanity) he looked really high-strung when something even out of Minato’s comprehension occurred;

Fuuta had been a hit or miss, Tsuna was thankful from it being a solid miss that didn’t out her as somebody that remembered another life;

Naito Longchamp (weirdest teenager ever), was… better NOT remembered;

Colonello (she hadn’t wanted to show Reborn any progress with mafia related matters so he had ended training them) and Skull (Reborn’s fellow Arcobalenos) at Mafia Land had been strong if a bit too ridiculous. She thought that it would have been interesting (against the saner, non-ninja, part of her mind judgment) to spar with them as Minato, her abilities were pitiful in Tsuna’s body;

Giannini and, secondhandedly, Verde (another Arcobaleno) had been an experience. Hayato-kun had lasted a week as a kid and it had been fun, but weird.

And in between of meeting these new and interesting people, there had been plenty of chaos. In no particular order:

Reborn’s ‘family entrance test’; the summer classes; the Athletic Fest (at that point she had regained a part (a really little part) of Minato’s physical prowess and somehow managed to not use a Dying Will Bullet, also, Ryouhei was right, smoking was bad for the health);

Bianchi improving her poison cooking skills;  Lambo coming to (Tsuna’s) school; Reborn’s birthday party (oh my God, Hayato you lack common sense); Kyoko and Haru almost dying (dammit Bianchi!); the three thief brothers accident (the least said, the better); the hospital chaos and the jungle ‘Enzilla’; new year’s celebration followed with Hayato’s crazy (and mostly useless) training;

The clusterfuck at parent’s presentation day that she didn’t understand how no one remembered;

Valentine’s Day (why did every boy that she knew, want her chocolates?) had been solved giving friendship chocolate to all her friends;

The snow battle (why did I-Pin have a crush on Hibari-senpai?), her connection with Hayato getting more notable when they had fought side-to-side;

She discovered that she looked like Minato (minus coloration) when frowning after a comment of ‘You’re so cute when you’re pouting Tsu-chan!’ from her mom and looking at herself at the mirror with the same expression;

Takeshi’s (far more useful than Hayato’s) training; teenager I-Pin vs the dojo challengers; the week of adult Lambo in young Lambo’s body (Hana was a bit… superficial);

Hibari-senpai getting the Sakura Disorientation Syndrome, she should have Shamal heal him, really, that wasn’t safe; the wedding that wasn’t (Bianchi was crazy); her ‘learning’ how to swim (more like relearning with another body);

The fight (without Dying Will Bullets again!) side to side with Hibari-senpai at the summer festival. They kicked ass, it was almost like fighting side to side with a murderous but less stab-friendly (only because the weapon of choice were tonfas) Kakashi. Reborn had looked impressed and she had started feeling the connection with him without flames too, he had the equivalent of a freak-out (she felt it) for a few days after it. He had been back with a vengeance to his sadistic self, tough. She was officially scarred for life, Jiraiya-sensei had been more lenient, but looking at the bright side, she now had the physical endurance of a special jônin (without chakra, it was difficult to use it with untrained coils);

Ah, Haru getting a crush on her, and saying it out loud to everyone to hear: embarrassing and completely outputting (she was a child! Her crush on Kyoko had suffered a swift death after Mochida’s accident);

She only had one question, why was this world (yes she hadn’t found any information about ninjas that wasn't centuries old) so crazy? Or was it Reborn’s fault?

And finally, it happened… the first attack towards the Disciplinary Committee.

Chapter Text

And finally, it happened… the first attack towards the Disciplinary Committee.

 

It all started with eight prefects getting their teeth extracted. Just after, Ryouhei was attacked (with a slight pause for the ridiculous excuse he had explained to Kyoko-chan. That she had actually believed that her brother had climbed the chimney in the bathhouse for nothing told a lot about the Sasagawa siblings). And somebody had taken 5 of his teeth.

The culprits had attacked other students, like Mochida-senpai (still with a crooked nose from her punch, she couldn’t avoid the smirk at the thought).

Kusakabe-san calmed people a lot when he had a conversation with another Committee member out loud (there was no way it wasn’t on purpose) about Hibari-senpai going after the culprits. Tsuna though had a bad feeling about it, and not only because Reborn said that Leon’s tail falling off was a bad sign.

The next day Kusakabe-san got hospitalized, lacking 4 teeth.  

Tsuna saw a pattern, Fuuta’s ranking from before her improvement (training of hell), and she ran to find Hayato-kun and Takeshi.

They found Hayato-kun fighting a boy with yoyos as his weapon of choice. When the boy heard him addressing her as ‘Tsuna-san’ he attacked. Tsuna cursed her slowness, as Hayato-kun leaped in front of her and received the attack for her, the boy left when Takeshi proved to be too much for him in his injured state.

They brought Hayato (she wouldn’t be using honorifics anymore with someone who had risked his life for her) to Shamal, with a resulting... slight disagreement.

“I don’t treat men” Shamal committed the error of saying in front of her. She grabbed him from the front of his shirt so quickly (good, she was regaining speed) that he was unable to avoid her.

“Listen to me, mega-pervert” she told him, glaring “Or you heal him or you will have to pray for a doctor to heal you because you will not be able to move”.

Shamal looked terrified, Reborn had an aura of… pride around him. Figures, the sadist would be proud at her responding like that when people pissed her off.

And then Reborn gave to her the mission parameters (even if she didn’t want tomatoes as recompense, pocket money would have done). Reborn only had a Dying Will Bullet left, so she was going to have to use genin survival tacticsTM if the enemy proved to be too strong.

Hayato, Takeshi, and Bianchi decided to come with her and Reborn, and team… she would think of a name. A team was born.

After getting food (Takeshi’s and Bianchi’s doing) team NinBombSushiPoison (temporal name) headed for the abandoned Kokuyo Centre.

They were ambushed by a beast-boy and Takeshi got to fight him. He seemed to take it as a game, but, like Tsuna could feel Reborn’s real emotions, she could sense Takeshi’s seriousness. The beast-boy got finally beaten by Bianchi’s ruthlessness (a rock the size of her torso to the head). The next opponent, a girl who used sound waves to fight, was swiftly defeated with poison cooking.

The next guy, Birds, was… creepy and she wanted to punch him, not that she could. Bianchi got to be amazing again (she wanted a big sister too!). Shamal was forgiven when he saved Kyoko-chan (and she guessed that he saved Kyoko-chan’s friend Hana-san too) and (she didn’t know how they had known) teenager Lambo and I-Pin saved Haru.

She punched him at his face (she already had broken two noses as Tsuna, maybe she would make a rounded ten in the next year).

She saw Fuuta immediately after, and Reborn prompted her to go after him, she found a boy instead. Her Minato-self was suspicious; he was way too calm for being a victim. When she returned, Takeshi was out cold and Bianchi was fighting a man who looked like the Rokudo Mukuro that the ninth boss of Vongola had ordered her to capture.

She leaped in front of Bianchi before Rokudo’s over-specific weapon hit her. Reborn shot her and she managed to stop the ball with her bare hands.

She got a strange feeling fighting the man like she was fighting Jiraiya-sensei again for her genin real exam like he wasn’t really trying to kill her. Lancia (the man’s name) was the strongest man of Northern Italy; he had been under the real Rokudo’s mind control and got attacked when he told them.

They left Takeshi and Lancia behind and Hayato stayed behind to fight the yoyo-boy again. They found the real Rokudo Mukuro in a theatre. Fuuta was with him. When she approached him, Bianchi got stabbed with a trident, Fuuta was mind-controlled like Lancia.

When Fuuta tried to stab Tsuna, she ducked and put her home-made paralytics in action, Fuuta passed out. Rokudo stood up, frowning for an instant, but chuckling creepily after a moment. Reborn was giving off (for her) a confused and impressed feeling.

Then Rokudo activated his right eye that was red and it had numbers instead of a pupil. Could he even see with it? Stupid question, Sharingan and Byakugan users could see perfectly, she should be careful. And he tried to get her into a genjutsu, tough even without trained chakra coils it was easy to snap out of it. She played around, feeling how a stronger ally’s faint chakra signature (she still didn’t get used to strong people having such weak chakra) neared. She knew that he, not like her, had the physical capability of beating this opponent.

Then Hibari-sempai entered with Hayato on his shoulder and promptly dumped him on the ground only to lunge at Rokudo. Rokudo was defeated. Or that, they thought.

Hibari-senpai passed out.

And then Rokudo got up and shoot himself. While she shouted in confusion, he possessed everyone (minus Hibari-senpai who had, to quote Rokudo, fought with a body that couldn’t be used anymore) using Bianchi’s body and the trident that Fuuta had a while ago to wound them.

She felt rage while she ducked and tried to not hurt her friend’s bodies anymore, why couldn’t she use Minato’s abilities anymore. Why couldn’t she defeat Rokudo?

And then, Leon started to glow.

“Seems that your feelings about the mater don’t need to be said out loud, Tsuna” said Reborn. Leon lifted from the ground and exploded. Minato’s Hiraishin kunai fell to her hands, followed by a Dying Will Bullet.

“Curious” said Reborn “I didn’t think you would go for knives”.

She inspected the three-pronged kunai. It was exactly like her old ones, minus the seal at the handle, the wrappings where white. She gave the bullet to Reborn and, after pulling a series of impressive pirouettes with the body of a baby (there was no way that his mind was less than twenty years old, he was more mature than Kakashi at 13, and he had been a genius, also, three years at most weren’t enough time to gain the well of knowledge that he had) in order to avoid being hit by Rokudo or having to fight him, Reborn didn’t waste time shooting it to her, just when she needed it most.

And then, she somewhat heard how people knew she would win, everyone that wasn’t her mom and Hana-san, who criticised her. Suddenly she knew what she had to do: she poured the flames to her kunai, it’s wrappings turning bright orange, and threw it near the possessed body of yoyo-boy, who had the trident in his hands.

She appeared at his side and broke the weapon with a punch and proceeded to knock all the possessed people using pressure points to avoid injuring them and doing pirouettes still not worth Minato’s reputation.

Rokudo looked at her, speechless. Reborn felt even more surprised than before and it seemed that he had started to feel respect for her.

Feeling cornered Rokudo crushed his eye. ‘Great, more Uchiha-eye shenanigans’ And blood poured from it. He punched her with the strength of a jônin (again, without chakra, she didn’t even break a bone) and, as expected of someone her weight, she went flying. Tsuna used the fall to grab the kunai again.

She threw it behind Rokudo, who laughed before remembering what she could do, and she kicked him, he fell with a roll.

Rokudo ran towards her and threw her to another trident that was stuck on the wall but, at the last moment, she managed to teleport to the kunai still on the ground and to finally defeat him with a well-placed punch (and three broken noses for her count!).

Then Ken and Chikusa (beast-boy and yoyo-boy) woke up and explained why Mukuro and they had done all of this. He wanted to destroy the mafia for what the Estraneo, their biological Family, had done to them.

Then, Vindice, the mafia 'policemen', took them away and the medic team got to her friends.

Chapter Text

Once everyone got home safely, Tsuna collapsed on her bed, her Leon-made kunai clutched in her hand.

Reborn looked at her, and decided that for once he wouldn’t berate her for well-deserved rest.

Reborn didn’t know exactly what to think, at first he had dreaded having to teach to a civilian boy. And then he had to supress the urge to kill Iemitsu, because the boy was. A. Girl. And this was even worse than having to train a boy. Not because girls were less capable, but because civilians tended to coddle them too much in the physical sense.

When he had first met her he hadn’t (for his chagrin) been proved wrong: Sawada Tsuna was lazy in every sense of the word, got bad grades and lacked any sense of fashion (and he knew of what he was talking about, he didn’t just wear his suits, elegant and classy as they were, when going incognito). Her only strong point was that she was sort of cute in a ‘kicked puppy’ way.

Reborn didn’t like weak people. So he decided that if he had to suffer, the girl would too (plus, it was funny to hear her shriek).

She had been weird after she was shot with a Dying Will Bullet (DWB to abbreviate) for the first time, she seemed in shook, but he chalked it as embarrassment for being seen in her underwear by her crush.

When he had started teaching her she had been confused first, but caught on easily, too easily for someone whit a maximum of thirty percent in exams. He had been ecstatic thought; he wouldn’t have to teach to another Dino.

The second time he had shot her, she had gone straight to Hyper Dying Will Mode. He still didn’t understand how she had done that.

And stranger still, immediately after releasing her flames, her will (the one of a teenager with no ambitions) had been great enough to bond (weakly, but still) with him (and Gokudera Hayato) as a Guardian. Bond with Reborn, the strongest Sun in the world, who hadn’t been able to stablish a proper bond with the Sky Arcobaleno, and Luce’s flames hadn’t been precisely weak.

He hadn’t noticed it at first, too befuddled by her capacity of activating HDWM. And when he had noticed, after her fight in the Sumer Festival, side to side with her brand new Cloud Guardian, it had been too late. The bond was already unbreakable without incurring severe consequences.

He could feel her superficial emotions, and was surprised to know that half of her freak-outs where exaggerated. He had avoided her for a few days afterwards tough, too shocked for having bonded with a teenager.

At least, in the last battles, Tsuna had proven to be able to adapt and to think under pressure. His Sky (and didn’t that fill him with satisfaction? He was no longer Reborn the Greatest Hitman in the World, he was a Guardian) could take care, more or less, of herself.

This predicament wasn’t something easy by any means. He was the girl’s teacher, he couldn’t go and fight for her like a normal Guardian would. Maybe he could arrange something with the Sasagawa boy (a strong enough Sun for Vongola).

With all this taken care of and slotted carefully in a drawer in his well-ordered mind he started to work with the last battle against Rokudo Mukuro.

Her surviving skills, strangely enough for someone that had been bullied until she had met her Storm Guardian, on Gokudera Hayato, had been superb. She had knocked-out Fuuta with (according to Shamal, who had checked on the boy, still scared of Tsuna’s ire) a home-made paralytic, she had ducked every attack coming from Mukuro’s puppets using martial arts and visibly thought through every movement she made, without wasting time in useless movements. That, before entering Hyper Dying Will Mode.

There was something strange with Sawada Tsuna. And he would find out what it was. As the senior Guardian (and at that thought he felt another bout of involuntary giddiness) it was his duty to take care of the other Guardians and nurture their growth. If their Sky had any problems he had to know.

 

Kyoko-chan, Hana-san and Haru corralled Tsuna at the first occasion that aroused, after school.

“Sawada” started Hana-san, uncomfortably close to her face “What were the things that attacked us yesterday?”

“Umh…” said Tsuna this position reminded her of when Kushina had kissed her for first time, it wasn’t a comfortable thought, she had ended with a concussion. It didn’t help that Hana-san reminded her of an angry Tsunade-sama.

“Tsuna-chan?” asked Kyoko-chan with pleading eyes, Tsuna felt her hearth sink, if she kept like that she would cave in and drag three perfectly normal (in ninja standards) teenagers into this mafia business.

“Tsuna-san∼!” exclaimed Haru “We have a right to know why our lives were in danger!”

‘Ugh’ she had lost the battle, maybe Tsunade-sama was right and she lacked a spine when not in combat or using diplomacy as a weapon (ninja politics, yay!).

“Um, you know, the ones who attacked Namimori students… well”

“Dammit, Sawada!” shouted Hana-san, still inside her personal bubble and making her flinch “Get to the point!”

“TheywereconvictsthatescapedaprisoninItaly” she said without breathing.

“What” said Hana-san, drily.

“Tsuna-chan, we haven’t understood you, could you repeat more slowly please?” followed Kyoko-chan with a perfectly polite smile on her face and Haru making a confused face on the background. Tsuna could cry.

“That they were convicts that escaped a prison in Italy!”

“WHAT!?” shrieked Hana-san, leaving Tsuna half deaf for a second.

“Shouldn’t they have sent the police?” asked Haru.

The three girls looked alarmed and Tsuna was wishing to be somewhere more private, or for someone to interrupt.

“For loitering after classes…” an ominous voice said from above. Shit, she hadn’t meant him “You shall be bitten to death”.

They ran, Haru crying that she wasn’t even from the same school. Obviously Hibari-senpai ignored her.

Somehow they arrived to her house without receiving a beating; maybe Hibari-senpai had felt compassionate.

‘Ha. As if’ she thought.

“Convicts” started the conversation again Hana-san once they were on her room, snacks courtesy of her mother on the table. Reborn, now informed of the situation and with a smirk that shouted ‘I told you so’ on his face, at her side.

“Yes”

“From Italy”

“Yep”

“That you, and not the police, had to capture”

“Aha”

Tsuna tried making herself smaller, but Reborn stopped her with a few hidden hits. She stayed straight-backed.

“Why?” Kyoko-chan asked, frowning. Reborn decided to intervene.

“They were in a mafia prison” he declared. There was a silence.

“What the hell…”

“Hana!”

“…have you to do to enter in a mafia prison?” she ended, ignoring Kyoko-chan’s outraged cry “And why had Sawada of all people have to deal with them?”

“They…I…” started Tsuna.

“Tsuna-san is the heir of an important mafia Family” said Haru without hesitation “That’s why you were told to capture them right? To prove your power, or… something like that”.

Tsuna nodded, stounded. Kyoko-chan and Hana-san didn’t look better.

“What the fuck!?”

“Hana!”

“Sorry, but our classmate is the heir of a criminal organisation and even if she is only fourteen she was told to go and fight against a bunch of even more criminal people” Tsuna cringed “How do you want me to react!?”

“But Tsuna-chan is a good person…” murmured Kyoko-chan. Tsuna cringed, yes, her, the ‘Yellow Flash’ of Konoha, somebody that had killed battalions and had had an order of ‘flee on sight’ a good person. Once she had understood fully the morals of this new world she didn’t believe it anymore. She was a ruthless killer. A spineless and ruthless killer.

“I’m sorry Kyoko-chan…” she started.

“Stupid” cut Hana-san, this time Kyoko-chan didn’t berate her “She means for what I said. But I didn’t mean it like that. You’re a good person, even if you got in a fist-fight or whatever with a bunch of criminals and happen to be the last resort to a criminal organisation to survive with whatever ancient inheritance rules they happen to have” she inhaled “You are a good person Sawada. We are just preoccupied about you” she said, uncharacteristically, with a compassionate tone.

Tsuna wanted to hug her. She refrained. She didn’t want to get smacked and get dumped with the boys as a ‘monkey’.

Hana-san inspired deeply.

 “Right, now that I got it out of my chest, let’s think rationally” she said.

The rest of them looked at her expectantly, Reborn with a glint in his eyes that Tsuna wanted, badly, to ignore, but knew she couldn’t for long. Finally, Haru, spoke.

“We should train” she said. Kyoko-chan grimaced; Tsuna knew she didn’t like to fight. Hana-san nodded reluctantly, she liked to punch tings, but didn’t like the physical effort training required. Tsuna could feel smugness radiating from Reborn, who, otherwise, looked completely innocent.

“Then…” he started with a too innocent smile (and wasn’t that creepy?) “The only question is… how do you want to fight?”

The three girls looked between them and then at him. Kyoko-chan smiled.

Chapter Text

“This is EXTREMELY great!” shouted Ryouhei the day after her discussion with the girls, crying and hugging his little sister “My sister will be the EXTREMELY best boxer ever!”

"It’s good you’re happy, nii-san!” Kyoko-chan laughed, hanging from her brother’s arms.

Tsuna looked at them; eyes impossibly wide, he hoped this wouldn’t end like with Maito Gai and his young clone (Lee?). At her side, Hana (with Reborn on her shoulder) was grimacing enough to make her think that she agreed with her.

Kyoko-chan didn’t like fights; however, it seemed that her brother’s joy had rubbed on her.

When Reborn had asked for their preferred choices as for how to fight, Kyoko-chan had decided to ask her brother to teach her boxing. It was the fighting style Kyoko-chan found more familiar as her uncle was a professional and she had seen a few of his matches since she had started school at Namimori middle and had been deemed old enough to see them by her parents.

Hana had thought it trough and finally asked Reborn to show her how to shoot a pistol. During their first morning run (as Reborn wouldn’t allow for someone he personally taught to be ‘physically insufficient’) Hana had put a hand on her shoulder.

 “This is crazy” she said while panting, Tsuna nodded, equally tired “I guess we will spend more time together from now on. Stop using the ‘san’ crap with me, from now on formality is superfluous”.

“Okay… Hana-chan?” said tentatively Tsuna. Hana grimaced.

“Eugh! No. Call me simply Hana”.

And this had been it.

As for Haru… Haru was completely crazy. She had asked Hibari-senpai, Hibari-senpai to train her. It had half-worked. Tsuna didn’t know what they had agreed on, but they sparred each Sunday.

The first time Haru had returned from a sparring match she had only, for everyone’s surprise, a few bruises.

Reborn had said ‘Lighting’ and smirked. Tsuna had found it really unsettling.

Bianchi took care of the other days, her method to train Haru had been insane too, but Haru didn’t even bat an eye, Tsuna guessed that after Hibari-senpai anything would be easy to endure.

Haru fought mostly with kicks and did acrobatics to get from point A to B. Her capacity to see her opponent coming and react in time was astounding. Reborn said that she was ‘hard to hit’, and Tsuna knew there was an internal joke lost somewhere inside the statement.

Now that she thought of it, Reborn said a lot of strange things about her friends (or more like a little army in training). Every one of them had an adjective thrown at them, like with Takeshi, who was ‘calming’. Even if he didn’t seem to take anything seriously.

 

A month had passed. Everyone, spurred on by the girl’s training had been improving.

Hayato had been exercising with Ryouhei every two days, as his method of fighting needed more focus in planning than anything else.

Ryouhei had been the same as always, only adding spars with Kyoko-chan and Hayato in the mixt to see how they were improving.

Haru had started hanging out with the Disciplinary Committee’s second in command, the ever-reliable Kusakabe-san. They had a weird friendship in which they complained about Hibari-sempai’s ‘sheanigans’, that had been, basically, his improved skill of hitting harder (who in the world could obliterate part of a lamppost with a tonfa!? It wasn’t a bazooka!).

Takeshi still played baseball, and today was competing at the autumn’s game, but had joined the Kendo club informally and had been practicing a bit with a bokken.

Hana and herself were receiving the training from hell by Reborn. Hana was now able to run 100 meters in around thirty seconds and not be too tired at the end and could end a Marathon (almost dead, but she could end it). Reborn was really (not that anyone but Tsuna noticed) proud of her.

Tsuna had gained more speed and was around the speed that Kakashi had had as a thirteen-year-old without using the Chidori. She could finish the one-hundred meters run in twelve seconds, though it still drained her. She was clearly improving at a rapid pace, but she was annoyed for not being able to surpass Usain Bolt’s mark at 9.58 seconds and at not being near at all of her old mark of 4.01 seconds in her old body without Hiraishin nor chakra.

She didn’t know what was going on with Bianchi (and didn’t want to) and the children had been playing and learning new things at the local school.

It had all going smoothly until at the end of the Baseball game, that Takeshi had invited them to see, Tsuna had sensed how Haru burst with excitement and, seconds after this shook (apparently Haru was now strong enough to have the connection with her), she had sensed something mischievous covered in hate. It was… similar to killing intent.

She had turned around and had seen a child accompanying his mother outside the stadium. The boy had turned towards her, smirking, and Tsuna had stumbled backward, almost hitting Reborn, who had been staring at the child and now had his attention on her.

The young boy, a bit younger than Fuuta, had a red right eye with a kanji instead of a pupil. He had been gone before she could say anything.

Reborn got her out of her stupor with ominous words:

“Tsuna, we have to talk”

 

Once they were inside her room, with some snacks provided by Tsuna herself and clear instructions to the remaining inhabitants of the house to not to disturb them, they sat. Reborn stared at her.

Tsuna was nervous; she didn’t know how to react, so her Minato-self, who hadn’t made a non-mixed with her Tsuna-self, appearance since before her fight against Rokudo, took control.

Minato sat straight, without showing anything that wasn’t polite curiosity. She felt Reborn’s slight annoyance at her faked cheerfulness and decided to not alienate him further by making her smile less bright. At that, he seemed to calm down a bit, but a calculating gleam entered his eyes.

“How did you learn to control your Dying Will Flames so quickly” he demanded, more than asked.

Minato felt a bit confused. The DWF where something she could control? She said this to Reborn and he frowned.

“You were able to use Hyper Dying Will Mode the second time I shot you with the Dying Will Bullet” he announced, “I chalked it to luck, but your Will is too well-developed for a civilian teenager”.

Minato thought fast. Her Will? As the Will of Fire from Konoha? How could this be related to the flames?

“I don’t understand” she said truthfully.

Reborn continued staring at her for a couple of minutes more.

“The amount of control you have unto your DWF depends on the control you have on your Will. In other words, the capacity you have to voluntarily be determined about something” he explained and, suddenly, Minato understood.

She had probably shown it because Reborn nodded and continued.

“You will understand then, that having you not only attain HDWM in two days without almost any practice in plain DWF beforehand and to have you be able you use your Super Intuition (that is exactly what it sounds like) to detect Rokudo so soon is unheard of.

>> I will add, too, that your miraculous improvement with your school subjects and your willingness to train harsher than anyone else is really suspicious.”

Tsuna gulped, her Minato-self had been too disoriented, and then too happy to have a life to avoid this kind of stupid errors. Minato recomposed herself and looked seriously at Reborn, who returned the glance while eating a cookie. He looked completely at ease, the brat.

The charade was definitely at its end.

Chapter Text

“This is a story that needs time to be explained properly, so I will give you the bare bones. Once upon a time, there was an orphan” she started, and this got Reborn’s attention, she could feel it “She was raised in one of her Village’s orphanages until she ended her education. This education, though, wasn’t like the education received in Japan. This education consisted in the more vulnerable spots that are part of a human’s body as biology, in how to use one self’s chakra (a kind of energy that I will explain in more detail later), applied physics to throw kunais…” at this, she grabbed strongly her three-pronged kunai. She saw Reborn looking at it, thoughtfully.

“This education made her a shinobi, a soldier, assassin, mercenary… almost anything related to fighting and killing to say the truth” she inspired, Reborn hadn’t moved an inch “Her first years as a shinobi aren’t really relevant, well, there was her sensei, Jiraiya, a notorious shinobi who had been trained for the village’s leader and that was part of a trio called the Sannin.

>> The important part is when a war started and she got a team to train herself. Three prepubescent children: A solitary genius, Kakashi, an always late but hard-working boy, Obito, and a medically talented girl, Rin. During the war, the Village’s leader, the Sandaime, chose her as his successor, she got a girlfriend, Kushina, and, Obito, the hard-working boy died because she couldn’t defend her students in time.

>> The war ended, and she succeeded the Sandaime, becoming the Yondaime. She and Kushina decided to have offspring after marrying. All was going better after the war, Kakashi and Rin had just reached teenagerhood, but all went downhill after one of their solitary missions.

>> Rin got kidnaped and had a tailed beast, a being made by chakra, sealed inside her by an enemy Village. Unknown to her and Kakashi, Obito had survived and had been recuperating with an elder warrior of his clan, an old traitor to the Village who hated the world and wanted to ‘fix’ it. The elder was the one who had planned for Rin to be kidnaped and then killed in front of Obito, all with the objective of having him complete his plan once he died.

>> When Obito was able to move again he was in time to see Kakashi teammate involuntarily killing Rin. She had thrown herself in front of him when he had been attacking an enemy ninja to avoid returning home and destroy it with the beast, as the seal it was contained in would have acted as a time-bomb” at this, Minato closed her dry eyes. Reborn tensed.

“Kakashi passed out. Obito got stricken with grief at seeing the girl he had loved dead and swore to…” Minato whimpered “to ‘correct’… to make the world better… as his elder had told him to”

“How?” asked Reborn.

“He… his family had an affinity for illusions. A bit like Rokudo, only stronger, you needed more than will and to know that an illusion was there to snap out of them.

>> The elder had been devising a grand-scale illusion that would encompass all of humanity. But for this, they needed nine tailed beasts, the nine tailed beasts. One of them had been sealed inside the Yondaime’s wife, Kushina, when she had been a child to avoid the destruction it would bring if left to roam free.

>> The survivor attacked the village the day the woman’s son, Naruto” she continuing talking, without being able to stop herself from saying warmly her son’s name “was born. He kidnapped the boy, all to free the beast.

>> The Yondaime and, unknown for her, Obito fought. He fled once defeated, wounded, but not dead. The Yondaime and Kushina died to incarcerate the beast again, this time inside the newborn Naruto.

>> Naruto grew and once he became a shinobi, avoided capture by the group Obito had made to capture the beasts several times. Until another war started and the Yondaime was temporally resurrected.

>> In this war there had been a lot of temporary resurrections by one of Obito’s allies: Old Village’s leaders (not the Yondaime’s tough), the most notable shinobis of all villages, the ones of Obito’s group who had died along the years and Obito’s elder.

>> Another man who knew how to perform the technique used it to bring back the Village’s leaders, including the Yondaime. They fought alongside their still-living comrades and the other’s Village’s shinobi’s, who had allied to fight Obito’s undead army. Sorry, I have always wanted to say ‘undead army’” she added at Reborn’s disapproving glance.

“Naruto was the one that stopped Obito and got him to fight alongside them against the elder, who had gotten control of Obito’s army. Once the fight finally ended, the technique that had been keeping everyone alive failed and the woman awoke, with thirteen years’ worth of memories and without outer clothes.” At this last statement, she looked accusingly at Reborn, who let out a startled chuckle “That’s how I have control of my will. I have been fighting for almost twenty years in my mind”.

 

Reborn almost couldn’t believe her. Her situation was similar to his, only that she could grow and was in another world altogether. But the bond he had with her didn’t lie, and he could feel the truth of her words.

Tsuna, no, the Yondaime of this mysterious Village didn’t need him to teach her how to be a leader. She already knew how to be one. However…

“And what are you going to do now?” he asked her “are you going to try and return to your world?”

She chuckled, coughing a bit after gulping down some tea.

“No… Konoha is in good hands now. And I have memories of living as Sawada Tsuna; I couldn’t bring myself to leave behind mum. Or the friends you have helped me make this last year, Reborn” she said, smiling radiantly and meaning every word of it.

Reborn knew that he would have been blushing if not for his perfect control with the combination of pure gratefulness, his harmonization with the woman and the really pretty smile she was sporting. Though it did help that he was in a body of a baby and didn’t have enough hormones for it to affect him.

“Of course” he finally answered, collecting his, not insignificant, wits.  And he ignored the smugness that radiated over their bond, what if he felt flustered? She was using her charms, knowingly, as a weapon, and he was a human with (mostly low-key sadistic) feelings. He sipped his tea, though he would have preferred something way stronger right now. “Do you want to still be called Tsuna?”

At this, she blinked, startled, and then smiled again. His giddiness about having a Sky apart, if she kept her fuzzy feelings going on, he would develop a spontaneous cavity.

“Oh! I don’t mind, though it would be nice to have someone calling me again Minato from time to time” she said. Reborn nodded.

“Alright, Minato. You’re still the Vongola’s only heir. And I’m still going to be your official tutor”.

“I’m aware,” Minato said, seriously “That I don’t know all about flames and that you don’t know about chakra doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun with the situation, tough” she ended with a grin.

Reborn smirked back. This was a woman after his own heart.

Chapter Text

One day, at dinner-time, Tsuna went to the kitchen and found the table covered in food. Not only that; her mum, completely overjoyed, was still cooking more food.

Bianchi and Fuuta (while eating in the middle of the room) asked her if she had done something remarkable lately, but she hadn’t. Her notes had improved long ago, but her understanding of civilian matters as Minato hadn’t brought her anything higher than notables.

She thought for a bit until Nana told her that her father, Iemitsu, was coming back.

If Tsuna had to be honest to herself, she wasn’t only angry at her father, but at her mother too. What kind of parents don’t tell their child, during two years, that one of them wasn’t around because they were working!? She had thought that he was dead!

Tsuna left the kitchen after eating in silence, she would have shouted otherwise.

 

Before going to bed she and Reborn talked a bit more about her past.

“You don’t seem to miss the people from your past life a lot” said Reborn from his hammock.

“Well… I miss them, but I… sort of remember the time I was dead. I’m used to missing them. And as I said when I told you about being Minato, I have mum, even if sometimes I get angry at her absentmindedness, and other friends. No one is going to replace Jiraiya-sensei, Kushina, Kakashi or Naruto, but I can cope” she said, muffling her voice with the pillow “Do you miss anyone, Reborn?”

“… My father thought he has been dead for many years” he told her. Tsuna could feel how he hesitated but wanted her to know about him. Reborn was proud, but he was a lonely man. “I guess I miss messing with Dino sometimes”.

Both of them chuckled.

“One day I could show you how they looked like with a Henge”.

“It would be interesting. And if you looked like an adult I could show you a bit of the underworld”.

“If they don’t have an undead army, alright, I have fought with more dead people than one person can deal with”. Reborn threw her a pillow.

“The undead army joke is getting old. Go to sleep”. She laughed quietly.

“Good night, Reborn”

In the darkness, Tsuna could feel amusement and warm affection. She had done well telling him who she was.

 

The next day she gave the news of her father suddenly appearing to Takeshi and Hayato while they walked to school. She was still angry, but she didn’t wish the treatment these two could give to an unknown man appearing suddenly in her home to anyone.

After a very concerning comment from Hayato they ended skipping class with the children and Kyoko-chan (who had, somewhere along the road, become friends with I-Pin).

While they were drinking some sodas, a teenager fell from the top of a building; she reacted just in time to cushion his fall.

The teenager was obviously a foreigner and talked in an archaic way. The strangest thing of the boy was the blue flame on his brow.

Tsuna had the inkling that he was related to the mafia. This was confirmed by Reborn, who wondered why he was here out loud.

A tall, also foreign, clad completely in black leather and with the longest white hair she had ever seen apart from Jiraiya (who would, almost surely, said something perverted about the leather) man, appeared on top of the building. He began shouting and brandishing the sword attached to his left wrist almost immediately.

He started menacing them and then cut open the street. Tsuna panicked. Minato-self was completely baffled. Was this a way of remaining under the radar? Clearly not.

And then the boy dragged her to the side, only to have the loud man jump in front of them. He attacked the boy and Tsuna pushed him out of the way before the man could cut him with the sword.

The boy fell to the floor with wide-open eyes. Tsuna tensed and prepared to enter HDWM as Reborn had shown her, this man meant business. Hayato threw some dynamite, which the man dogged without problems. His physical prowess was near a chûnin using their chakra, which meant that he probably could defeat Tsuna as she was now.

Both Hayato and Takeshi defied the man. Reborn looked at her and shook his head. She relaxed her posture; it seemed that it was better to let him underestimate them; she signaled at her friends, who nodded unperceptively, they wouldn’t show their best either.

After a quick fight the man was interrupted by Dino (arriving at the last moment, like a badass). The man, Superbi Squalo, got the box with the half of the rings that the boy had brought with him and made a hasty retreat.

After this everyone went their own way, the boy, Basil, and Dino came with Reborn and her. Hayato and Takeshi departed, feeling defeated, furious with themselves and determined. She would wager a lot that they would train like crazy from now on to surpass Squalo.

In the end, Dino had the real versions of the half rings who Basil had tried to protect with his own life.

 

Once at home, she felt dread. Outside, she could see a real army of construction worker’s uniforms, and inside, two muddy bots and a pickaxe. Who traveled with a pickaxe!?

Then the children approached her and they were drunk the culprit was sleeping like a baby, only with his underwear on, at the living room.

Sawada Iemitsu looked like a lump. A recently washed one, but a lump nonetheless.

Tsuna noticed how her anger rose again and left the room, leaving Reborn, who felt uneasy, behind.

Chapter Text

The next day Iemitsu woke her up at 4 in the morning to go fishing. She told him that she had school (thought the day prior she had skipped it) and he left.

From his hammock, Reborn must have been awoken too, because he felt really annoyed. Tsuna didn’t pity Iemitsu the least.

Being both awoken, Reborn explained to her the rings’ importance and who, precisely, were the Varia. Meanwhile, she toyed with the half-ring that Iemitsu had, sneakily for someone that wasn’t a ninja, left with her.

 

Two hours since this, and Tsuna saw Lambo flying in front of her bedroom’s window. The man was ‘playing’ with him and I-Pin. They had fun, but his remedy of sake, when Lambo was hurt, wasn’t.

She went outside to berate him. He half-ignored her and talked about something having to do with maths. Then, the half-ring fell from the neck of her pajamas.

“Looking sexy, eh, Tsuna?” he laughed.

Tsuna lost it and punched his nose. It broke with a loud ‘snap’.

While he clutched it Tsuna thought: ‘Mochida, Birds, Rokudo and, now, Iemitsu. That makes four broken noses. I have to catch up if I want to reach ten before the end of the year.’ Then, glancing at the man; ‘Would it count to break the same nose two times?’

“Wow! Tsuna-fishy!” he said (this odious nickname another reason to re-break his nose) with a muffled voice “You are a strong girl, like daddy!”

There was the sound of a cocking pistol.

“That’s another thing I want to know, Iemitsu” said ominously Reborn “Why all the official paperwork does say that Sawada Tsuna is male?”

Iemitsu laughed nervously, blood dripping from his hands. She left him at the mercy of Reborn for a while and went to search for the medical supplies. The children had fled when she had seen them almost drinking alcohol again, the talk (scolding) from yesterday still fresh in their minds.

 

Reborn looked at Iemitsu, waiting for his response. The man was ridiculous and the bit of respect that Reborn felt for him was only professional.

“She’s cute” Iemitsu told him completely seriously.

“What”

“She’s cute and she wasn’t the best at self-defense, so I changed her records to keep her safe from creeps. It did help that she abhors skirts.”

Reborn felt how Leon transformed again when he relaxed. Maybe Iemitsu wasn’t a complete moron, but he could still have maintained contact with his daughter. Reborn could feel how it hurt her Tsuna-self, so he kept glaring at him.

The man laughed nervously again, and just when he was going to say something Tsuna reappeared with a medical kit.

Iemitsu let her patch him up with a stupid smile. She didn’t look impressed.

“You will explain why you didn’t tell me anything about the mafia” she told him.

“Mafia? I don’t know what are you talking about” Tsuna glared at him again while Reborn pointed, again, his gun at him.

“Don’t lie, dad”

 

The school day passed more slowly than ever. At the end of it, Ryouhei appeared at her classroom’s door.

“Sawada!” he shouted, ignoring the teacher, that was trying to get out of the class and now was looking pleadingly at Tsuna. She looked at them and dumped her things inside her schoolbag hopping noting would be damaged, and walked quickly towards the door.

“Sempai, let’s get out of the way, ok?” she said, graving his arm and making him move. Behind her, Kyoko talked.

“Nii-san! What are you doing there?”

“Ah! Kyoko! We will meet for our extreme training in an hour! I need to talk to Sawada!” he exclaimed.

“Alright...” she said “I will go through a few moves with Naomasa-sempai. Keep my brother out of trouble Tsuna!” and she was gone, presumably to the gym.

“Let's go Sawada!” Ryouhei exclaimed suddenly. And he dragged Tsuna outside, towards a nearby park, as Hibari-sempai wouldn’t have taken kindly to them stalling in school grounds. Takeshi and Hayato hurried to follow them.

 

“You need my extreme help, Sawada!” Ryouhei shouted. Tsuna, Hayato and Takeshi stared at him for a few seconds.

“I do?” she asked.

“Yes! You need an extremely energetic fighter to win against one of the Varia man’s friends!”

“What? How do you know about him?”

“I told him” said Reborn from Haru’s shoulder, the girl had emerged from the nearest bush and looked wary but determined “It’s time I tell you about Dying Will Flames”.

Tsuna closed her open mouth and focused all her attention to Reborn, presumably, the others did the same.

“The Dying Will Flames are someone’s will turned visible energy. This energy is differentiated and has different workings depending on someone’s vision the world.

>> Tsuna’s flames are called Sky flames and are always orange. Their aspect is harmony and it tends to bring other flames together, making their users able to have an emphatic bond with the Sky flame user. This phenomenon is called harmonization and potencies each flame’s strengths, these flame users with empathic bonds with a sky flame user are called guardians.

>> There are six more flames” Reborn continued, looking at her friends “These are: Storm, red” he told Hayato “their aspect is disintegration, their users tend to be at the front of any attack, but I have observed that a calm Storm can be terrifyingly efficient.

>> Rain, blue" Takeshi hold Reborn’s gaze without flinching “their aspect is tranquillity, their holders are able to calm their comrades and to dull their opponent’s reflexes.

>> Lighting, green” he said, and Haru continued for him, looking kind of pale.

“Their aspect is hardening; we are able to withstand punishing attacks. Our resolves are also hard to break” she said, clearly, she had been told about things beforehand.

“There’s also Sun flames, yellow” and, at this, glancing a second towards Ryouhei, he cupped his pacifier and it started glowing, setting aflame and illuminating the group’s awed faces with golden light “their aspect is activation, it permits to activate anything. In my case, I use them with my body and mind. Sasagawa uses his unconsciously to activate his muscles. For non-fighters and some specialized fighters, the most common use is healing.

>> Cloud flames, violet, are Hibari Kyoya’s flames” at this the atmosphere grew tense “I explained things to him with Haru, but you must know that their aspect is propagation and that their users tend to be aloof and to shy from big groups of people.

>> The last flames, Mist, indigo, with creation as aspect, they are the ones with a clearer use. Their users are able to create illusions, and yes, an example of a user would be Rokudo Mukuro.

>> All of this is related to Superbi Squalo because he tried to steal the Vongola rings. His boss, Xanxus, wants to be the next Vongola boss and will have to fight against the designated successor, Tsuna, to be able to do so as she has now the half of the rings that the CEDEF (the External Advisors of the Family) has given her.

>> Every ring corresponds to a type of flame. And as such, the Varia, who is an assassination squad, will try to kill each of you”.

Hayato and Takeshi gulped. Ryouhei looked much more serious than usual, just like Haru.

Her Tsuna-self was panicking while her Minato-self planned what should they do. Then, something not completely related occurred to her.

“Reborn, I don’t have this bond with Ryouhei, and I lack a bond with a Mist flame user” she told him.

“Ryouhei will cover as the Sun guardian, as there would be problems if they found out that you had harmonized with me. It plays in our favor that bonds can only be felt by the ones who have them.

>> As for the Mist user... Iemitsu has found someone that will cover the spot until you harmonize with someone with the corresponding flames”.

“Alright. I guess that’s for the best” said Tsuna, trying to ignore the shiver that had just run down her back, and looked at her friends “Are you willing to fight? You could die. I will not think less of you if you aren’t”.

“As I said, you need my extreme help Sawada!” Ryouhei proclaimed fearlessly.

“Squalo is rain too right? I felt kind of slept fighting against him!” exclaimed Takeshi “I want to fight him again with what I have been learning from my dad!”

Tsuna nodded at him. She had seen Yamamoto Tsuyoshy’s seemingly relaxed stance while he was doing mundane things and knew that Takeshi would receive proper training.

“I will fight and win, Tsuna-sama!” answered Hayato unsurprisingly.

“Just survive please” she answered “Haru?”

The girl was looking at the ground, hair obscuring her face.

“Kyoya-san said that he would fight anyone that disturbed Namimori’s peace” she murmured, and then her voice gained strength “but Haru knows he’s excited to fight strong opponents. If Haru has to say the truth she’s excited too!” she exclaimed, gaze no longer downcast and fire in her eyes.

‘Hibari-sempai has corrupted her’ thought Tsuna with panic while her Minato-self laughed helplessly.

Reborn looked at her; she nodded at him, they had to find out how to train for the next days. The guardians should have each a personal ‘tutor’, as Reborn still couldn’t (regretfully) multiply himself.

Chapter Text

“Don’t lie, dad”

Iemitsu’s features turned sharp. He looked at his daughter’s eyes for a few seconds.

“Tsuna-fishy?” he murmured, brows furrowing.

“Yes” she answered “don’t expect me to believe everything that falls from your mouth”.

“My daughter has grown up so fast!” he said with a stupid grin, eyes regaining their warmness. Reborn pointed at him with the gun and Iemitsu flinched.

“You haven’t seen me often enough to say something like this. You got me, a civilian, into all of this without preparation. You have an opportunity not to fumble this and still have me calling you ‘dad’” she declared. Iemitsu sobered.

“...it all started when I was sixteen, I got a job with CEDEF. No one, not even I, knew of our line’s relationship with Primo.

>> I got the position as the CEDEF leader at twenty-five, four years after having you. And when I received the half-rings to take care of... the Sky half reacted” he explained seriously. Tsuna knew that Reborn hadn’t heard of this before, as he felt mildly surprised “There was Nono, and his guardians... and an ex-CEDEF agent, La Tella, he spread the information and I didn’t have any other option than to avoid you and Nana for a while. And then Vongola’s rivals sent a flame sensor to Japan. An agent, Alloro, stopped him before he got too far, but the damage was already done and we decided to seal your flames. I couldn’t come back too often because they could discover you” he paused for a while “You know the rest”

Tsuna nodded, the explanation made enough sense. She would give another opportunity to him, even if their relationship would never be exactly the one of a father and a daughter.

Feeling her resolution Reborn let Leon transform again and climb his hat. They left to prepare for school.

 

“Well, now, about the people that will help you improve...” said Tsuna the next day to her guardians (Hibari-sempai as far as he could of the group and getting everyone minus Reborn and Ryouhei a bit nervous with his glare) while the CEDEF and Bianchi (with aviator glasses on) looked at them from the side.

“Hayato!”

“Yes! Tsuna-sama!”

“Dino-san has accepted to help you improve your reflexes as it seems that Varia’s storm is fast enough to cause problems if you don’t prepare accordingly”.

"Alright! I'll search for him when we end there!"

“Good. Takeshi, you said that you trained with your father”

“Yes!”

“Well, I guess that you can continue like this, thought Basil, also being a Rain has offered to spar with you. That way you will be able to counter Squalo’s flame’s better”

“Great!” exclaimed Takeshi putting his arm on Basil’s shoulders, who let him do it without protest, but blushing faintly. Hayato scowled behind them, probably jealous because Takeshi had two instructors. Tsuna hoped that he understood that this was for the availability of someone with the capability and not because of favoritism.

“Haru, a friend of Reborn’s has acceded to help you improve your martial prowess, though he will not be always available, for this, a CEDEF agent, Canella, has acceded to cover for these times he can’t be with you”.

At this, a tanned woman nodded at Haru from her spot near Iemitsu. Haru nodded back at her.

“About Ryouhei...” started Tsuna.

“I will take care of him, kora!” exclaimed Colonello, the Rain Arcobaleno, from the top of a lamppost “don’t expect us back until the battle, kora!” and they ran away to start the training immediately.

“Err... Okay” she mumbled “Hibari-sempai” she said to get the boy’s attention, he glared at her, thought the fights they had fought side-to-side mellowed the effect somewhat.

“Omnivore”

Tsuna nodded and looked at Bianchi for her to say her bit.

“I will be training with you, as Haru has been so focused after sparring with you. I find it interesting” proclaimed Bianchi from her spot with a smirk. Haru and Hayato looked at them, paling rapidly.

“Wao. Hn, alright, poisonous animal” answered Hibari. And, at a much more sedated pace than Colonello and Ryouhei, they too went to train.

“Alright... this done” said Tsuna, getting everyone’s attention again “You will have sparring matches from time to time to kept you sharp against other opponents and to familiarize yourself with each other’s fighting skills”.

“It sounds exciting!” exclaimed Takeshi “But what about you Tsuna?” he asked with sharp eyes.

“Ah, well, I sort of need my flames, so I will be training with Reborn to improve my physical capacities and to enter Hyper Dying Will Mode without need of a bullet” she told him, causing the CEDEF agents to start talking between them about her being at a more advanced state than they had expected.

Her guardians only nodded understandingly while Reborn smirked under his hat. Tsuna repressed her smirk as to not to alarm anyone. She had been able to enter Hyper Dying Will Mode without bullets since two days before Basil appeared, her ‘training’ would be something around the lines of wearing weights and training her chakra reserves (with Sky flames’ harmonization her control was so good that she could do it half-sleep) and her control over her flames while Reborn showed her more interesting things after her morning run with Hana.

The following month Namimori Middle School’s classes would be the most peaceful since Hibari Kyoya and Sasagawa Ryouhei had started studying there.

 

“Tsuna! I heard from Haru that there were some men related to the loud one, from the market, that wanted to hurt you?” asked Kyoko from the other end of the phone. Tsuna could hear, but not understand, Hana firing questions from the background.

“Yeah...” said Tsuna “they’re from Italy, like Rokudo. Their boss wants to rule Vongola and for that they... well, you can make an idea from it”

“We will fight!”

“It will be like a tournament, Kyoko, your brother is already covering the… spot. And you need specific flames to... ugh, I haven’t told you, have I? Well, flames are...”

 

“...and I have Sun flames like Nii-san?”

“Yes, Hana’s are Cloud and Storm”

“We will be there anyway, and I will learn to heal!”

“As for that, Kyoko. I have an idea for your fighting style using flames. Have you considered being able to recuperate from hits fast and then respond with punishing force?”

“...” Kyoko fell silent, a few seconds after there was a scuffle over the phone.

“Fuck yeah! Kyoko will learn that! Send me a voice message with all the specifics and concentrate on your training!” exclaimed Hana, and then the call ended suddenly.

Well, at least Tsuna knew that both would be training, as Kyoko would need a partner and all the people Hana trusted in and fought were otherwise occupied. She hoped that the result wasn't very traumatizing... at least Kyoko was ten times kinder than Tsunade-sama.

 

Haru waited with Canella (funny name for someone that wasn’t precisely a Cinnamon roll) at an empty plot for her main instructor. She had already finished her warming exercises after having a short discussion with her instructor about suitable training clothes (a Dragon Ball themed T-shirt was completely reasonable!). The accorded hour of meting was at seven o’clock and only a few seconds were left.

Haru was going to declare that he was going to be late when a sound interrupted her. It was the sound of running feet slapping against the ground.

Suddenly a green blur emerged from the right, jumped to the air and landed just in front of her in the form of a man with a hair-cut resembling the one of the Beatles and blinding smile.

“Yosh!” he exclaimed “I’m there to stoke the flames of your youth!”

Haru looked at him speechless.

“What?” said Canella “Do you know how creepy that sounds?”

“It does!?” exclaimed the man, who looked taken aback (literally and figuratively) and bowed to her immediately “Then I must apologise! I will perform twice your training regimen, young woman!” he proclaimed looking at Haru with fire in his eyes.

“Ah… are you Reborn’s friend?” she asked hesitantly, the man was rather intense.

“Indeed!” he answered “I’m Maito Gai! The Beautiful Green Beast”

Haru couldn’t bring herself to say that Gai-sensei (as the man had insisted her to call him like) was beautiful, but she could assure that his training was, even if effective, bestial. The man, thought, had done as promised and had been keeping up with Haru every step of the way.

Canella had ended joining them as she ‘didn’t have anything better to do’ and at the end, Gai-sensei had left a list of exercises to do every morning until he considered that he could upgrade her regimen.

 

That night Tsuna demolished her meal. Bianchi and Fuuta stared at her while Iemitsu declared that she had a ‘healthy appetite’, her mother agreeing with him, glowing with happiness, Lambo and I-Pin ignored them all while they fought over their meat.

None of them knew that she had being maintaining a Henge since three quarters to seven in the morning, with the meagre chakra reserves of a gennin, that had only lasted until ending her training with Haru thanks to the excellent chakra control that Sky flames gave her. And on top of that, she had been performing one of Gai’s crazy taijutsu training regimens (even if she had toned it down a bit for Haru’s benefit).

Once she finished her meal, Tsuna left her dish and cutlery in the sink and climbed the stairs towards her bedroom. Once there she let herself fall backwards on her bed and stared at the ceiling, utterly exhausted.

“Will you be able to go with me at Akanimoto tomorrow?” asked Reborn. Tsuna let out a sound of confirmation.

Akanimoto was the lovely name given to the red-light district next town by the Yakuza. It was almost impossible to enter as a child and it was the place where she could start learning about this world’s underground. She had been showing Reborn how to use chakra, and he would be able to use Henge for at least twenty hours, enabling them to enter undisturbed.

Much to Minato’s chagrin, the activation aspect of Reborn's flames was helping him develop his reserves faster than anyone had any right to, he could pass as someone nearing chûnin rank already. She consoled herself with the fact that his control wasn’t half as good as hers, even if her reserves where still of someone just being given the rank of gennin.

Tsuna closed the curtains and turned off the light, ignoring Reborn’s giddiness. She understood him, being able to pass as an adult in a public setting would be enjoyable, but she was too tired to care.

Chapter Text

The next morning Tsuna and Reborn ate breakfast with everyone. After finishing they left the house under the guise of going to train.

Once nearby they hid two alleyways away from Akanimoto’s entrance district.

Reborn concentrated on this new form of energy that he had trained under Minato’s kind but effective tutelage. He felt its placid (for now) warmth pool in his gut and coaxed it to spread evenly through his (too tiny, it felt so wrong) body while he visualized the shape he wanted to take:

He was going for his former, adult, body, but without his distinctive suit or sideburns; there were still those old mafia dogs around the world that remembered well the former Number One Hitman, Renato Sinclair, and he didn’t want to raise the alarm. Reborn was supposed to be the ‘late’ man’s distant cousin, having anyone else with ‘family resemblance’ wandering around Japan, when the Ring Battles were so close (it had been kept a secret, so every person in the mafia, no matter the Family, had heard of it and were feeling rather jumpy), would have the same effect upon the underworld that a good hit would have upon a hive.

He didn’t notice the change more than for the feeling of chakra settling in a gentle flow under his skin and the suddenly gained height of his perspective.

He couldn’t avoid it, even if he was wearing clothes that made him look like a hipster (a tasteful one, without beard and with well-tailored clotting), and even if doing so felt rather embarrassing, he beamed down at the blonde woman with comfortable but flattering clothes and with a stunning resemblance to Vongola Primo (it seemed that today, the underworld would get spooked after all) that had replaced the gangly Sawada Tsuna.

She responded with a sweet smile that made his thoughts derive from what was strictly acceptable, or remotely dignified: ‘She’s gorgeous and kind.’ He thought, his brain almost turning to goo ‘I’m a Guardian! Yes, I’m her Guardian!’

No need to say that he controlled his smile (and tried with his thoughts) as best as he could and offered her his arm as his father had shown him it was educated to do when going somewhere dangerous for someone you where accompanying. And the red-light district definitely was dangerous, not in the strict sense as Minato could defend herself quite well, but it would be rather annoying if somebody tried to… employ her, and most likely deathly for the one disrupting them.

His Sky should, would be treated with respect, at least when he could say without fear that she was his Sky and act accordingly. He only had to wait until she inherited and he could drop all pretense of being neutral.

 

Minato looked around Akanimoto (she barely registered people staring at them, as it had been rather common at Konoha after earning her title of Yellow Flash) while holding Reborn’s warm arm. The man was like a portable heater, and it was so comfortable to walk beside him in the chilly autumn wind! While she took in the definitely red district-like environment (with more than half the establishments closed, it was still the morning after all) Reborn started to explain the mafia organizations that had knowledge (at the very least) of flames:

“Apart from Vongola and Chiavarone, there aren’t many worldly influential mafia Families in Italy that have knowledge of flames. CEDEF is considered an extension of Vongola and the Varia, as crazy and with their own traditions as they are, are an assassination organization that works under Vongola’s influence and uses its assets. Being nearer from there and, as such, a more immediate treat, you should be aware that in Asia reside the most widely-spread Families;

>> The Sisterhood, or ‘Mahila Sangk’ as it’s called in Hindi, is a Family that could be described as a vigilante group, its base of operations are Australia and India, but their influence reaches all of Oceania, Asia, and Africa. All its members are female or can be classified as part of the LGTB+ and other minority groups; they recruit any flame-active or, mostly normal, abuse victims that sympathize with their cause, which is, roughly, beating up any abuser and to try to make the lives of their potential recruits easier.

>>The countries they work in have widespread human markets, so they don’t lack objectives. The last years a few ex-Varia assassins have joined them after retiring instead of staying at Varia headquarters to train new recruits. This has been permitted due to their boss, Xanxus, having experienced the life at Palermo’s slumps under the care of his mother, who had to make money using her body.

>>Also from Asia, this time from China, are the Triads. Their territory contains almost all of Asia and Eastern Europe.  The Triads are highly closed off and often directly oppose The Sisterhood as they participate in human trafficking. They use family connections and friendships to blackmail their more reticent members and make them stay. The Arcobaleno Fon is part of the Triads.”

“Do I know anyone related to them, Remy?” Minato asked with a frown, using the nickname to avoid bringing undue attention to them. Reborn frowned a bit.

“Yes, as we will be meeting one of the Triad’s martial artists this morning, you’ll know immediately. The family resemblance is astounding”.

Minato nodded and smoothed her frown forcibly. If someone had a metaphorical kunai on the neck of one of her’s she would take matters in her own hands. Would Fon like to be part of Vongola and help train people in martial arts? I-Pin’s proficiency despite her age showed great care and dedication from part of her mentor.

“More nearby, but only really influential in Hokaido are the Difo Yakuza. They work as any Yakuza, taking care of the order inside their territory, but have the peculiarity of dressing like ninjas at formal occasions. Western mafia finds it appealing” Reborn told her with obvious amusement.

“As for Europe there are three organizations worth noticing apart from the aforementioned in Italy. The first one is Giegue, which hails from Russia. Giegue is formed with three people, two men, and a woman. No one knows their individual names or their flame types, but everyone knows that they specialize in assassination and that the woman is the heavy-hitter.

>>Tradition six, more known as ‘Trad 6’ is a relatively new Family from Great Britain that has been rising up in the ranks lately. The six top members wear a suit with white backgrounds and colored stripes, these stripes match their flames. Something that makes people think that they hide a Sky is that these six members complete a guardian set and that such a diverse group of people always ends in highly explosive disasters without harmonization in the middle. They talk English and Gaelic, but their Cloud knows several more languages and translates for them.

>>Ruling over the Iberian Peninsula and southern France, and knowing the pertinent languages such as Catalan, Portuguese, Spanish, Basque (known by the speakers as Euskera) and French, is the Diantres Family, founded by a, as I have been told, ‘Catalan that liked making people say silly words unknowingly’ and that I suspect was a Mist. Knowing so many languages, some of their members have had temporally stints inside the Varia, but as they supported Nono’s ideals they stopped doing so after the Cradle Affair.”

Minato made a spit take.

“Cradle Affair!?” she asked in a low voice. Reborn chuckled at her.

“It’s how the coup Xanxus organized a few years ago and that got him cryogenized was called” Minato looked at him blankly.

“This name doesn’t make sense. And why do you get the angry guy cryogenized for years? It’ll only make him angrier when he wakes up!”

Reborn, for Minato’s growing frustration, only shrugged. Well, if he was going to offer no explanation she would ask Nono herself. He was Xanxus father, right? She hadn’t seen her father for years and had thought that he was dead, but at least the man hadn’t made her a walking anachronism!

“As for the American Families, there is the ‘Hayñiq kay’ from Peru, the ‘Le…’”

“Hey!” a tan woman shouted to Reborn.

“Yes?” he said politely Minato eased her hold on his arm as he seemed to want space to defend her if necessary, she would, probably, punch the woman before that happened though.

“I have heard you speaking about my Family?” she asked bluntly with an odd accent “The ‘Hayñiq kay’”

“Oh. Indeed”

“Why?” she spat.

“I was informing my Lady about the most important Families in the world” he answered, making the woman’s posture ease considerably.

Minato tried not to twitch; ‘his Lady’!? Really!? What was Reborn even thinking!? And he was thinking, she could hear his brilliant brain work relentlessly from where she stood.

“I see,” the woman said “I thought that you were one of those pale assholes that laughed at minorities”

“Minorities?” asked Minato.

“Yeah, my Family only speaks Quechua if not talking to outsiders so there are always people saying that we shouldn’t bother trying to avoid Portuguese or English or Spanish (how curious that they don’t add Chinese to this), as it’s ‘more normal’ to speak them or some bullshit. Basically, lazy idiots that want to eavesdrop but don’t bother learning languages because they are in a majority and, obviously, we should be the ones accommodating them.”

Minato nodded, understanding the issue. In her previous life nobody had had this problem there was only a language (it was called Japanese there), the only differences where the formal registers, the more or less archaic idioms, and each nation’s variants.

“What brings you there?” asked Reborn, more interested in possible dangers than idiomatic, and possibly cultural, issues.

“Oh, we were contracted by… you know” she said lowering her voice “by the Vongola, they want a mist perimeter set for the Ring Battles. And well, we are the best in the world. If you don’t count Viper of the Arcobaleno and that upstart that escaped the Vindice, Rokudo” she told them.

“Oh, but, the little demon” started to joke Minato, causing Reborn’s arm to twitch in her hold “was dragged back to hell again by the undead army, wasn’t he?”

“Why do you keep doing this to me?” said Reborn with an exasperated look on his face. Minato would have cackled but contained herself.

The ‘Hayñiq kay’ member barked a laugh.

“Yeah, tough, even if I don’t approve of them, I understand his actions. What Estraneo did is unforgivable. It’s a pity if he wasn’t so unhinged and in prison, we would try to recruit him” she said, and with a wishful expression left them to wander back to do whatever she had been doing before interrupting them.

“So…” started Minato a few seconds after the abrupt departure “You were saying about American Families?”

“Yes, the second one is the ‘Legión’, from Mexico; they are mostly mercenaries that get contracted to fight for little but wealthy countries. Omerta doesn’t let them reveal their flames to people outside the mafia, so they have the use of flames internally down to a science.

>>The ‘Nuevo’ Family speaks Spanish even if they are from New York and cover their operations making law enforcement believe that they are low-level gangsters.

>>Canuck is from Canada with an extension at Africa and is another Family of ‘peacekeepers’. They deal with poachers. Both branches speak French and are highly feared by the most superstitious ‘adventurers’.

Minato noticed that the explanations had gotten shorter, perhaps because Reborn had lost his synergy after the Peruvian woman’s interruption.

>>Meanwhile, Africa is a conglomerate of little Families that have a good grasp of the continent as a whole, but that have small territories individually.

And there seemed to end the explanation, so Minato looked up at Reborn with a raised eyebrow;

“Remy” she stated “Your Lady?”

“It’s only proper” he told her, at her incredulous look he explained in a low voice: “You are my Sky, I’m not usually able to acknowledge it, but I have to protect you. As a Sky you feel like home for your guardians, a home where they can feel as welcome and free as they need. So yes, you are my Lady”.

Minato hummed in understanding and tried not to blush too much, going by Reborn’s satisfied smirk and some passer-by’s giggles she hadn’t succeeded. Kushina would have been laughing at her and throwing juicy comments about being complimented by handsome men. Minato hid behind her scarf and got a bit closer to Reborn, only for the warmth he offered, of course.

 

After a while, Reborn and Minato reached a traditional-looking house. The man in the reception glanced at them, signaled a door, and vanished in a wisp of Mist Flames.

They entered the room; inside, on cushions and occupying two sides of a low Japanese table where the Arcobaleno Skull, who she had met at mafia land but that right now seemed much more subdued, sipping tea, his helmet at his side and his pet octopus smaller and on his shoulder; and Fon, with a little monkey on his head, who was smiling gently at them. Minato noticed their flames (Iemitsu had shown her how to ‘feel’ them without the need of harmonizing some time ago and this morning she had finally grasped it) coiling tingly, prepared to attack, under their skin.

Minato stood without moving just in front of the door, she was trying not to react badly; Fon was an exact, smiling, replica of Hibari-sempai when he had been attending Namimori’s kindergarten a couple of years ahead of her Tsuna-self around thirteen years ago. Hibari-sempai was in danger? Her freedom searching cloud was being targeted by the Triads? She hoped that winning the Ring Battles would get him clearly out of their grasp, as he would officially be part of Vongola.

Seeing that they didn’t recognize him, Reborn dispelled his Henge, making the other Arcobaleno jump (Skull’s tea almost spilling). Reborn smirked at them.

“Is this a new Mist trick?” asked Skull sulkily, putting his tea on the table carefully and glaring at Reborn.

“Hasn’t Viper tried that already?” interjected Fon “I thought that you two had agreed that Mist flames didn’t work to conceal the curse.”

Both men stared at Reborn expectantly, Skull starting to twitch and fidget after a few seconds.

“It’s not Mist flames” Minato told them for him. Reborn looked at her, feeling like he was pouting.

Fon and Skull looked at her, she then looked at Reborn, who nodded, and she dispelled her Henge too. Skull blinked but said nothing. Fon raised an eyebrow and his smile gained an ironic tilt.

“Vongola heir” he said “I thought that you would be training, considering...”

“I am training, it's just that I already have the technique so I was able to get a free day or two to meet you and familiarize with the mafia side of society.”

Fon looked slightly interested at her. Had he heard of how she fought? Or had her allies kept tight-lipped? The later would be more useful in the incoming battles if Xanxus was as good as she had heard.

“What was it if not Mist flames?” asked Skull “Harmonization and Activation should work in really weird ways to accomplish… this” he told her, waving his hands in a way that encompassed their previous forms.

Tsuna looked at them.

“Do I get to have a question answered by each for explaining it?” she asked. The two Arcobaleno looked at each other, Skull nodded at her. Reborn felt proud and smug, again.

“Great!” Tsuna said jovially while she seated herself at Reborn’s side “Well, it’s another form of energy, completely separated from flames, though it can be influenced by them.”

Fon’s eyes gained a focused glint, while Skull tilted his head.

“While flames are produced by one’s will, chakra is the result of combining spiritual (or mental, whichever helps you visualize it) and physical energy.

>>I'm not certain of how it was first discovered, but for being able to use it you need to have an external source, another user, coaching it.”

“If we learn to use it we can… use the illusion you used before?” asked Skull.

“After learning the technique, yes.”

“Reborn, how much time is necessary?” he asked then.

“For me, a week. I needed four of these days to make my chakra reserves grow enough to maintain it more than a few minutes” he explained to them, then he smiled “But that was abusing my Sun flames Activation property and being able to learn new things quickly. You will probably need a week more to get the technique, and Fon a week and half to get his chakra reserves large enough”.

Skull pouted at him for the implication that he was too dumb to get the technique as fast as him but let it go because Fon needed a longer time to increase his reserves and he would explain things to him as much as he needed while doing so. Skull was grateful that Cloud flames property was propagation, he could augment his reserves as quickly as he wished.

“Can I ask my questions before you get distracted by new superpowers?” asked Tsuna in a way she knew would annoy Reborn, who feigned ignoring her wording.

Fon smiled warmly at her, knowing fully what she was doing.

“Ask away!” said Skull enthusiastically.

“You were working for Carcassa at mafia land, but you no longer wear their symbol. Why?”

Skull chuckled, contradicting completely the impression of being a complete goofball that he had given her at Mafia Land.

“I work in infiltration” he told her, she raised an eyebrow, taken aback. This was completely unexpected for her, but neither Reborn nor Fon contradicted him, so she didn’t interrupt “To be more precise, infiltration for Vindice.”

Tsuna bit her tongue to avoid saying anything about meeting ‘a minion of the undead army’, it would disrupt the flow of the conversation and Reborn would kill her. She was starting to think that a teenager’s hormones were starting to affect her sense of humor.

“There are a lot of mafia families that disobey our laws, after the Estraneo disgrace years ago, Vindice decided that they needed informants, so they got in contact with the Arcobaleno that was believed to be more easily lied to and that would not be suspicious if he survived his employers.

>>Carcassa are having a nice and long talk with them right now about their plans of turning Mafia Land into a moving slave market.”

“I see” said Tsuna slightly glazy-eyed from the downpour of information. Skull nodded at her and got his phone out.

“I want your phone number for if I have questions about chakra” he told her, she nodded and put her mobile phone number in his contacts, while Fon got a paper and pen out and copied it for himself. She was still in a daze but mentally pumped the air because she had a project that would need someone with a large amount of Cloud flames and a minimum of experience, Skull was just perfect.

After Skull had sent her a message she continued.

“And well, hum… my other question got a bit lost with this… everything” said Minato while laughing nervously. Reborn felt a bit annoyed but amused. Skull grinned at her shamelessly and Fon smiled benevolently.

“Er… well, yes.” she mumbled “I-Pin” she said, Fon tensed and looked at her intently “Well, I have been told of how things go with the Triads and… is she safe?”

Fon lost all his tension, his smile turned sad.

“She has no living relatives in the Triads, so she will be able to go away if they lose interest in her.”

Minato nodded, understanding that Fon had had to distance himself from his clearly loved apprentice as to not endanger her further.

“How strong are exactly the Triads? Is there someone else that you need protecting apart from Hibari-sempai and his family?” she asked.

Fon lost his cool for a second, his face completely slack with surprise.

“Why?”

“Hibari-sempai is, even if very aloof, a friend. And my mother and I care about I-Pin like family. If I want to keep them safe, it’s logic to cut their connections with the Triads. Or destroy the Triads themselves.”

Reborn, at her side, felt like he would burst with pride, but also very surprised and a bit… scared? Skull was looking at her like she was some sort of divine being, it was rather disturbing.

The most unsettling reaction was Fon’s. Not externally, he was, again, smiling warmly at her. But flame-wise, she felt her Sky flames being reached by his Storm and latch together.

Wasn’t she limited to a harmonization of every kind? Her bond with Hayato, despite her initial panic, was still there. She looked at the Arcobaleno, speechless; he continued smiling up at her.

Reborn felt even smugger than he had felt when she had first secured the answers to her questions. And now she noticed that there were double harmonizations (not all of them as strong) for more than a flame type.

Once at home, having returned the same way (using Henge) Reborn handed her a thin book, on the cover it said: Flames, how to manifest them, how to understand them, in an elegant, yet understandable, Japanese print; and pointed at page 5. The title said: Chapter 3: Basic properties and harmonization, an introduction. Tsuna had the suspicion that a poor Italian Mafioso had been working nonstop to write the book (not in their native language!) and have Reborn approve of it.

Chapter Text

Day 0, just after explaining flames to the prospective ‘guardians’:

After leaving Reborn to try his Henge against the nearby coffee shop (he had difficulty making them serve him espresso), Tsuna went to talk to Colonello, who was around after having heard about Squalo’s attack and CEDEF’s involvement (he seemed to be oddly anxious for meeting someone).

All in all her friends had taken the prospect of battling professional assassins rather well. Haru was more excited than Tsuna was comfortable with, but the rest reacted more or less as she had thought.

Colonello was on the roof of Namimori middle, she had to wave at him until he saw her to avoid incurring Hibari-sempai's wrath by entering the grounds after hours. When the man saw her, he jumped from the roof and, just in time, his hawk caught him and lowered him in front of her in a gentle glide.

“What do you want?” he asked.

“A well, I wanted to ask something, but… I should probably explain something first…”

And Tsuna told him her history about being Minato. Colonello was disbelieving until she showed him a flame-free Rasengan, in which point she had to avoid his curious hand (that got too close to the dangerous technique for comfort).

The Rasengan was almost effortless once you had the technique mastered. If you managed to contain all the chakra it’s consumption was minimal and didn’t need reserves higher than those from an academy student. But nevertheless, this measly amount of chakra was dangerous when spinning at the velocities that it did.

After ensuring that Colonello wouldn’t sneak up on her and put his hand in the technique (was he a real toddler or what?), Minato found a pile of old furniture (quite damaged) and, obliterated the TV. All that remained was a piece of smoking plastic with a crater.

He believed her after that, excitement in front of the low-level destruction evident. Minato shuddered at thinking what Colonello would do if he ever found himself in possession of something of the caliber of a Bijû-dama.

“Why explain this to me?” he asked after the glow in his eyes had receded a bit.

“You’re direct, and the only Arcobaleno apart from Reborn that I know” she answered “Why do you all look like toddlers? Reborn avoids answering every time I ask, but I want to help, and you wouldn’t have believed that my teenager self could help.”

Colonello looked at her seriously and, then, grinned.

“I like you, kora!” he exclaimed “We got cursed! The group of the strongest flame users had been working for a while for someone, and on a job, they were ambushed. I got in front of the one who was going to be the Rain Arcobaleno, but I only succeeded in obtaining the brunt of the curse for her!”

“I… I see” said Minato, thinking very fast “You were not part of the group” she said to gain time.

“No. Thought surviving the curse means that I was not very far-off!”

“I get, from the way you explain things, that you don’t know how you got cursed” she said, continuing at his nod “Do you know how it works instead?”

“It uses a crazy amount of flames” Colonello told her “Reborn and Skull almost don’t notice the effects apart from the physical ones, as Reborn never used a lot anyways and Skull does it subconsciously and has the largest amount, and he is a Cloud. But the rest of us… Viper, the Mist, is the one who had more flames after Skull, they could create a Territory (a physical place affected by the rules of their illusions) over an entire city, now they can barely cover a building. In my case, I risk severe health problems if I use the most minimal of flames.”

“So… these colored pacifiers suck up your flames? What does having Cloud flames have to do with anything?”

“Yes, they do. At a steady pace too, it doesn’t stop even for sleep. We can’t get far from them either, or they use more flames. And well, Cloud flames propagate, so they are practically unending. That’s why Skull gets to use them; he propagates the ones inside his body as the pacifier’s flames don’t need more than they suck.”

“So if you use Cloud flames on the pacifier’s flames without the need of a Cloud user… could you separate from the pacifier?”

Colonello looked at her thoughtfully.

“Probably, kora. But what would power the cloud flames? And what would maintain it working.”

Minato grinned.

“With someone supplying the initial Cloud flames? Chakra, of course. And I’m an expert in matters of chakra manipulation. I never had a lot.”

 

Day 1, 11:42:

Kyoya ducked the poisonous animal’s strike. She was fast.

He made his right tonfa spin and jumped using one of the walls of the houses’ gardens that were at both sides of the street as leverage, the spinning tonfa giving a, almost non-noticeable, boost to his jump.

 

Bianchi saw how Hibari used his tonfa to give himself a boost and sidestepped him, ignoring the startled cry of a passer-by at seeing the demon (for them) attack her.

The boy wasn’t half-bad. He was strong and inventive, but his bullheadedness and the lack of an intellectual link with ‘herbivores’, who he saw as weak and self-serving, made him look like a psychopath.

Bianchi was glad to have insisted on training the boy. The Cavallone would have trained Hibari physically, yes, but he wouldn’t have known the first thing at training his emotions. He may have been a classic Cloud, but as a future Vongola Guardian (and, as such, a colleague to Reborn), he needed to understand how other people saw the world.

‘First things first’ she thought, while she kicked Hibari and sent him flying towards a door (she hoped that the residents weren’t inside right now) ‘this bullheadedness has to go’.

 

Kyoya crashed against the door with a loud thump, but recuperated quickly. He pounced at the woman, who had stopped at the middle of the street, smirking. He had her!

He lifted a tonfa and went for her head, but she sidestepped again and graved his arm.

In a flash he was on the ground, flat on his back. The Scorpion had him pinned under one of her knees, still having a solid hold of his arm and a shoe on his other. He growled, confused and annoyed. He had had her! How had she reacted so fast?

“I stopped for a moment and thought” she said as if responding his query “fighting has a lot of muscle memory involved, yes. But you can’t stop strategizing, because then,” she said, shaking his arm “then you turn predictable” and let him go.

Kyoya charged again.

 

Bianchi evaded him with an exasperated growl.

The kid hadn’t learned anything! And it looked like it would continue like this for long.

If she hadn’t resolved it in a week she would ask Reborn for help.

 

Day 2, the afternoon after the morning at Akanimoto:

Minato looked at how Reborn tried to use Kawarimi on everything: Books, the TV, chairs, cushions, headphones (she should cheek for any damages as Reborn, with his enthusiasm, wasn’t likely to), water bottles, liquid water, frying oil (she was glad it hadn’t worked, this would have been a mess), herself, Lambo, I-Pin and Fuuta (the kids where hilariously confused at finding themselves at the other end of the room all of sudden), a couple of yen notes…

Without any correlation, Minato suddenly remembered the conversation with Colonello she had had three days ago. Now that she knew some new people she would be able to start planning seriously.

Minato got her phone out and, while going up the stairs and leaving Reborn bouncing around the first floor, prepared herself to explain sealing (and very probably being Minato and not just Tsuna), to someone else apart from Colonello.

She pressed the calling button and waited cross-legged on her bed until someone picked the phone up.

“Skull?” she said, receiving an affirmative from the other end of the line “Could you be convinced of participating in a flame-chakra project?”

 

 

Day 3, 9 o’clock:

Egun on. I’m Zuri” said the thin but short woman that had opened the door to Reborn, who had jumped on Tsuna’s (today posing as Tsunade for fun’s, and pun’s, sake) shoulder just after dispelling his Henge. She was beautiful, and her skin seemed darker than it was with her snow-white clothes.

Egun on” he answered; Tsuna guessed that it had been a greeting in another language. Italian perhaps? She didn’t have any idea of how it sounded, but now that she thought of it, Reborn had said that the Diantres group mostly spoke Basque, Spanish… Portuguese, Catalan, and French? “Is your boss there?” he asked in Japanese.

Nagusi in next room” Zuri said clumsily but with perfect pronunciation.

They followed her through the corridor. For her, it was strange to enter a house with her shoes on, but her Minato-self had done it more than once after difficult missions when she felt too tired to care, so it compensated.

Zuri opened the door in time for them to hear the woman sat at the farther side from the door of the table, that wouldn’t be out of place at an office, yell in a joking tone to a man:

Osti Chencho, para ja de botar

“¡Pero es Reborn! ¡El número uno!! ¡Jope, jefa!” the man, Chencho, responded. He was heavily tanned and had a bushy almost-black beard. He was, also, childishly bouncing in place. He seemed enthusiastic and gave the jarring impression of a playful huge bear.

No ens prendran seriosament” Nagusi, the boss-lady whined. Tsuna hadn’t the first clue of what they were saying. The little knowledge of English she had didn’t help her at all.

Nagusi” said Zuri to get her attention. The woman looked at them. She wasn’t anything special, brown eyes and hair, maybe a bit more tanned than Tsuna was accustomed to and a bit curvier. Her fashion sense was curious but not cringe-worthy. Then she smiled at them, almost blinding Tsuna with the warmth she exuded.

Benvinguts, welcome” she said, presumably translating her first word. Her pronunciation of Japanese was as perfect as Zuri’s “I’m Vicenta” she said, for Tsuna’s surprise “My people will call me Nagusi, Jefa, Cap, Chef or Chefe. It means ‘boss’” she explained, laughing a bit at Tsunade’s raised eyebrow “This sort of thing happens a lot when you tell people to speak whatever they are more comfortable with”.

“A pleasure” Reborn told to Vicenta, who smiled at them when Reborn kissed her hand and, then, she hit Chencho, who had inhaled heavily and was grinning like a lunatic, with her free elbow.

“I guess things go more smoothly for you if you can be understood easily. Please, take a seat” she said reasonably pointing towards the seats in front of her desk. Tsuna followed her order and sat on the right seat, while Reborn jumped from her shoulder and Henged again, this time to a version of himself that whore a suit and had his sideburns, which he immediately straightened and let bounce back. Vicenta raised an eyebrow, seemingly impressed, while Chencho jumped a bit. Both glanced at Tsuna, who smiled icily at them without saying anything.

Aditzaile onari, hitz gutxi” said Zuri, walking until she was at the side of another man around his twenties, placed at one of the room’s corners. He was trying (and failing) to not stare at Tsunade’s cleavage. Tsuna saw that he was mortified by his own small will-power and kindly ignored him, Chencho, on the other hand, had been throwing amused glances at him.

I les seves accions diran més que les seves paraules” the young man declared with a long-suffering tone while he dragged his glance away from Tsunade’s cleavage, winning his comrade’s clear amusement. Then Zuri grabbed his arm and they got out of the room, leaving Tsuna and Reborn wit Vicenta, the boss-lady, and Chencho, the bear-like man.

Tsuna didn’t have the smallest clue of what they were saying, but Reborn felt really amused and was smirking under his hat, so she felt safe enough to smile sardonically, Tsunade’s face smiled sardonically very well.

Vicenta exhaled profoundly and put her elbows on the table with a serious expression.

“This was Genís, I apologize if he has been rude” she said. Tsunade waved a hand, dismissing her concerns, but without smiling.

“He will learn in time”

“Hopefully before anyone maims him” said Chencho cheerfully. Tsuna still found his sunny disposition (did he have Sun flames?) combined with his fearsome appearance unsettling. He wasn’t especially tall, only about 170 cm (5 feet, 7 inches), but he was built like one of the heavy-weight lifting horses from the farms around the land of Fire and his beard obscured his expression somewhat.

“This” said Vicenta, waving a hand towards Chencho who smiled widely “is Lorenzo, more known as ‘Chencho’. He is in charge of establishing contacts with other organizations, as I’m not really suited to it. People don’t usually trust Mists” she explained, smiling bitterly “As you know, we are working with CEDEF and Cavallone to establish security around the Ring Battles. You had something to ask me, Reborn-san?”

“Yes” he said smoothly “Witch is Nono’s stance over all of this? Why hasn’t he contacted anyone?”

The Diantres boss frowned; she wasn’t going to deliver happy news then.

“Nono has only contacted us via mail. His flames are the correct ones as it is his signature. But his words, his behavior… it doesn’t make any sense!” she exclaimed, anguished and looking at Reborn almost pleadingly.

Tsunade crossed her arms, feeling the tension in the room skyrocket.

“How so?” murmured Reborn, feeling spooked.

“His ideals… he has always stood clearly for a renovation of the mafia. He has always wanted to bring Vongola back to its roots of Vigilantism. However, the last time he wrote to us he demanded, demanded, not asked! For our support of Xanxus’ candidature” she explained clearly agitated “This boy… he’s clever, he would bring power to Vongola. But he is a spoiled brat and he is full of rage; he would do so without changing anything”.

“He is supporting Xanxus after having him out of commission for years” said Tsuna, bending a bit towards Vicenta, who accidentally looked at her chest and blushed. So that was why she hadn’t reacted at Reborn’s smoothness.

“Yes, he is being completely contradictory with his beliefs. We suspect foul play, but don’t have any proof of it”.

“Then we will have to prepare and stay attentive to our surroundings” said Reborn “Once our youngling’s training is finished I will send a couple of helpers towards you”.

Vicenta raised an eyebrow and tilted her head, but shrugged and nodded.

Then they talked about the possible causes of the odd behavior for a while but didn’t reach any conclusion. At some point, it got a bit uncomfortable, as the two Diantres representatives didn’t know she was Tsuna, but the conversation pulled through without any hitch.

 

While they left, Tsuna heard Vicenta and Chencho discussing again.

“¡Era tan guay, jefa!

Para ja tio, sembles un fanboy”

¡Pero lo soy!

Déu meu…

Chapter Text

Day 1, 13:50:

Hayato gave another bite to his sandwich while he contemplated the destroyed plot of land. He and the Cavallone boss had sent flying some rocks and pieces of soil with misplaced whips and explosives and the two were now eating lunch, covered in green and brown splotches.

The morning had all been the same, with Dino telling him stories about his subordinates while Hayato tried to avoid his whip. He clearly loved them and would be devastated if any of them died, even if he teased them relentlessly.

He wondered if Tsuna-sama felt like him... But he shouldn’t, she was his boss, not a friend. His job was protecting her and her loved ones at any costs. Dino’s men counted as family, generations of service under Cavallone had brought marriages between their ancestors and non-heirs of the family.

Hayato wasn’t’ related to anyone; he hadn’t known Tsuna-sama since they were children like the baseball idiot, the Sunny boxer or the Hibari-demon; he wasn’t her tutor and confident, like Reborn; he couldn’t relate to her as well as Haru, who, as a girl, had an advantage in this regard. He knew that his reserves of Strom flames weren’t the strongest or the larger either.

He needed to get the Vongola Storm ring in the oncoming battles. Tsuna-sama would get over it if he died and would find another worthy Storm.

Hayato was sure of it; Tsuna-sama would take over Vongola and change the mafia for the better, as Nono wanted her to. Any help she got was superfluous at best and a plus at worst.

 

Dino threw a glance at Hayato and frowned. At first, he had wanted to train Hibari, but now he thought that this arrangement was for the best; the boy had the (not as strange as he would like) vision that subordinates were replaceable and little valued and Dino was the best option for making him see how wrong he was.

Romario passed him an apple and he ate it. It was a tad more acid than he liked.

Dino got up from the ground and signaled to Hayato, who was being moody on top of a wall, to come. Training was about to resume. Now...how he was going to go about it, this afternoon?

 

Day 6, 18:09:

Skull was exultant; after two days of trying he had finally succeeded in doing a Henge. Sure, it was rather shaky (he looked like a pixelated version of his older self and he would scare shitless anyone who saw him), but he had changed form and he was (finally) able to see things from the correct perspective again.

He had tried the Bunshin at Fon’s insistence that it would help him visualize the Henge better if he copied himself first when the first try had resulted in a purple, round and skin-colored blob. It had helped (after a few really disturbing tries at replicating his body), but the Bunshin had started going down through the ground after a couple of seconds, giving the impression of melting. Fon’s face had been priceless; thought Skull didn’t know how he had managed it.

He was frustrated, but with his little project with Tsuna (or more with the mysterious ninja she was in reality?) had been eating a bit of his training time.

He dispelled the Henge and decided to try Kawarimi, it seemed far simpler than the other two techniques for him, he didn’t need to spread his chakra evenly inside his body or to expulse it and give it form; an imaginary string connecting him towards the object he wanted to change himself with was enough.

Skull looked at a fallen branch a few centimeters at the other side from a tree and decided that it would be a good object as any to try the technique.

He connected a ‘string’ to the branch and pulled; at mid-flight thought, he thought that he should have followed Tsuna’s instructions and treated the technique like teleportation, connecting his chakra to the branch but without the string, even if it made it harder to use.

The tree was in the middle of his path.

 

BOM!

Fon almost jumped, but he restrained himself and looked slowly towards the lone tree in the park where he and Skull were practicing in.

Skull has, somehow, managed to end inside the trunk; Fon could see half of his body trying to gain leverage to pull himself free.

Fon shook his head and went to help him. It amazed him how Skull managed to make a fool of himself even with the amount of practice he could do compared to Fon, it was ludicrous, but it really helped him maintain his cover of being a clumsy idiot. Fon suspected that Skull hadn’t been fully adult when the Arcobaleno had been cursed and that a bit of his immaturity was still lurking around, impeding common sense to take effect.

While he was pulling Skull out of the trunk, Fon thought back at his own attempts of using the three principal techniques that Tsuna had showed them (at his insistence of learning more than the Henge).

Fon had tried to use Bunshin at first, it was, by far, the technique he found more useful for fights; but every time that he tried to expulse the necessary chakra, he ended feeling too weak to continue.

At first he had thought that he needed to create a layer that copied his appearance, but the technique had collapsed every time, and Skulls first successful try this way (that hadn’t ended with a copy of only a part of his body) had ended sinking to the ground because it wasn’t dense enough to maintain itself afloat. So he had ended leaving the Bunshin for when he had more chakra.

Kawarimi had been easy, the amount of chakra needed wasn’t prohibitive and he could change himself with Skull (amusingly annoying him every time) without a lot of problems, as they were more or less of the same size and weight and he didn’t have to compensate for displaced air.

He could maintain Henge for an hour, enough to enjoy being treated like an adult for a while every day, but not enough to be able to officially take care of I-Pin or train his nephew (he knew that the boy thought he was being difficult at refusing to fight him, but he didn’t want to show him incorrect fighting forms because his body couldn’t use the proper ones). Kyoya would need more than an hour of sparring to learn anything from his uncle.

All in all, Fon was more frustrated than ever at not having his adult body and anxious to be able to surpass his limits in this new energy’s regards; chakra needed physical and mental strength, and his baby-body lacked a lot of the first one. And how could he be a proper guardian (even if he was a secondary one) if he couldn’t see treats coming from afar with his current height? He pitied Reborn, his primary bond to an untrained teenager must have been turning him crazy.

 

Day 7, 6:15:

Tsuna groaned when the alarm clock started sounding and got her hand out of the bed to stop it.

Reborn smirked and used Kawarimi just when Tsuna was pressing the clock’s button. She stiffened and threw him a glare from between the warm blankets when she heard the clock hitting the ground. Reborn had been doing the same every morning to get her to wake up quickly; the cold was turning her lazy.

Tsuna smirked back and Reborn’s smile froze, what was she going to do? Suddenly, he was pulled inside the bed. He tried to get out but Tsuna had the leverage and, promptly, he smelt stale sweat and was surrounded with the warmth of a sleepy ninja.

Reborn put a token fight but finally let Tsuna sleep fifteen more minutes with him in her arms. It was too warm to mind, and Tsuna’s flames had a nice welcoming effect.

That’s not to say that there wouldn’t be hell to pay afterward for the odor and the unsolicited cuddling.

 

Day 7, 8:38:

His sister had invited him to have dinner with her family this evening, and he still couldn’t use Henge for long enough to have a proper spar, so Fon finally caved.

“Skull… can you propagate my chakra reserves a bit?”

“Of course Fon-sempai! It will be a few days until it settles as a permanent change tough and it’ll itch.”

“I don’t mind Skull, thank you.”

Being able to promise a spar to Kyoya was better than nothing. Even if he spent all the evening with his sister looking at him like he was weird(er) because he was suppressing the urge to scratch himself.

Chapter Text

Day 1, 10:50:

Takeshi entered the dojo in his house followed by Basil. His father was sitting in the middle of the room, eyes closed. Basil gulped and Takeshi stifled a laugh, he knew that Tsuyoshi was being dramatic.

“So this is the boy that has to help you with flames...” said Tsuyoshi gravely.

“Y-yes! Sir!” exclaimed Basil nervously.

Then, Tsuyoshi’s demeanor changed completely; he got an arm around Basil’s shoulders and smiled broadly.

“Great! I was worried for if I was going to be too careful during spars! But someone near my boy’s level will be better!”

Basil was clearly confused, but he smiled hesitantly and nodded.

Takeshi reflexed upon what Basil had told him about harmonization and flames while his father showed him the dojo; he had started to understand Tsuna better after she had saved him, and he had been more protective of her than he had ever been of anyone. But he had pegged it of her being his first real friend.

He had been annoyed when his father had brought him to the psychologist, and he had been icy with her for a while. But then, it had started helping him; to tell things that preoccupied him to someone that didn’t know him, that didn’t have any expectations and he had, grudgingly but gratefully, started to befriend his classmate.

Now he was at the point that he would be willing to leave baseball for her, even if it was something that he had shared with his mother. He had a friend that somewhat eased the gaping hole in his heart. And it seemed that he was on the road of making even more friends, he was starting to see why most people didn’t go making suicide attempts every day; Maybe there were dark moments in people’s lives, but times changed, and times could change for the better.

Takeshi smiled genuinely for the second time in two weeks and joined his dad and Basil’s conversation.

 

Kyoko observed the yellow flames on her hand and frowned.

They were warm and made her feel joyful and full of energy but she didn’t know how to turn this energy to concussive force. Tsuna had said to ‘accumulate the strength in a point and release it’, but wouldn’t that hurt her muscles? Maybe she should ask her brother…

Kyoko looked at Hana, who sat on her bed; she was only managing to produce violet and green sparks from her hands.

She looked annoyed, and from the glances that she threw at her, Hana was a bit cross about Kyoko managing to manifest her flames (fully) faster than her.

What Kyoko didn’t understand was why, if Hana’s flames where Cloud and Storm, there where green sparks instead of red. Maybe Tsuna hadn’t detected well the secondary flames? Or was Hana doing something weird?

 

“What I’m not doing right?” asked Hana “What are you doing to get the flames out Kyoko?”

“I... just thought. About nii-san. And our friends. Getting hurt or worse” she told her “I decided that if I had to fight to avoid it I wouldn’t hold back.”

“So a resolution... Something I’m willing to use these flames for.”

Hana concentrated inwardly while she held her arms outstretched in front of her. What she was willing to fight for? Her parents? Yes. But they weren’t really in danger. She was. Herself? No, well yes, but her willingness to use powers she didn’t fully believe in for that was low. Her friends? Yes, but that was too general...

Hana opened her eyes, frustrated, and looked at the photos that Kyoko had on her wall; One was of her family: a younger Ryouhei was smiling madly (as always) and little Kyoko was being held up by her laughing father while their mother tried to control younger Ryouhei.

Another was of her group of friends took a few weeks ago: The boys (minus Hibari-sempai, who was a few meters removed from the group) were fighting (or just messing around, it was often difficult to know) while the kids tried to escape from Haru’s arms. Kyoko was laughing while Hana tried to get far away from the chaos, and Tsuna, Reborn on her shoulder, looked right at home whit a beatific smile on her face in the middle of everything.

Hana didn’t understand Tsuna. She knew that she had had a crush on Kyoko. That she had, at the start of the school year, miraculously improved her marks and her physical... everything. She was more confident, every morning when they ran together (thought Hana knew that she wouldn’t be able to keep up with Tsuna’s improvement rate for long) Tsuna greeted more people, more... sunnily. It was like she was transforming into another person.

But what did Hana know? She hadn’t tried to befriend the clumsy, bullied girl. She had befriended her only when she knew that Tsuna would be an asset to her and Kyoko.

Hana wanted to protect Kyoko.

 

When the room gained a violet tinge Kyoko turned her head towards Hana. Her arms were on fire and Kyoko couldn’t hold herself; she squealed.

Hana jumped, startled, and a green flame appeared between the violet ones. Then she raised her arms to her face. She smirked and laughed a bit at seeing the flames. Kyoko smiled at Hana’s laughter, even if she sounded fairly disturbing.

 

Day 6, 15:03:

Takeshi ducked Basil’s kick and swung his bokken lowly to make him jump. Then, Takeshi tried to ‘slash’ Basil across the chest, but the other boy used rain flames and slowed Takeshi’s movements, making himself able to get on the ground and out of the way with time to spare.

Takeshi jumped backward to avoid any hit and stumbled a bit when Basil threw his boomerang towards him. He ducked in time, throwing himself to the ground. However; Basil caught his boomerang quickly and put a knee on Takeshi’s back before he could get up.

Takeshi let out a sigh of exasperation against the ground.

“I yield” he said “again.”

 

Day 8, 03:45:

Lal looked through the wall using her visors. There wasn’t anyone. Probably; Rain flame users and Mists were rather tricky when it was about detecting their presence.

She ducked behind a wall and entered by the nearest door silently.

‘What are the rest doing?’ she mussed, even if she knew that thinking other things in the middle of a mission could get dangerous.

But she couldn’t avoid it; Colonnello had gone to Japan too; Iemitsu had told her. Had he gone there to see her? Or was he there only to make a favor to Reborn?

A bullet hit the ground ten centimeters to her right, she cursed and jumped to the ceiling, from were she sniped at the culprit.

The body hit the ground and Lal decided to use an alternative route. They didn’t know that she was there, so she opened the vents and got inside; her smaller body wasn’t always a disadvantage.

Was Colonnello well? Who was he training? Someone rude and impulsive like him surely. Was he fighting with Reborn? She would bet a lot that this was the case.

She wouldn’t go to Japan, Colonnello would be disappointed. However, this was more important.

After all, Varia should pay for having killed Nono’s three legitimate sons.

Chapter Text

Day 7, 09:51:

Colonello jumped excitedly to the top of a Ryouhei-sized rock; after the meeting with Skull and Tsuna (Minato?), he had learned about the jutsus Skull and Fon were learning.

He had been able to convince Tsuna to show them to him, but not to teach him the Rasengan.

What a pity.

He looked towards Ryouhei, who was punching holes through some other rocks and smirked. He brought his hands to the front of his chest and put his fingers in the pose that Tsuna had shown him.

Pof!

There was a copy of his adult-self next to the rock; Colonello was at its chest’s height. He concentrated and the copy crossed its arms and reclined its back on the rock.

Perfect. He was sure that Reborn couldn’t do it better. And Lal would, at least, jump at seeing it appear suddenly.

Then, Colonello changed the ‘seal’ he was using and channeled chakra again. The clone disappeared.

Zip!

He stumbled on top of the rock from the change in perspective, and he made his arms spin to not fall but ended making a backflip to land on the ground (gracefully).

Colonello looked cautiously towards Ryouhei from behind the rock, good; the boy hadn’t seen him making a fool of himself. He glanced at his arms; they looked as long and muscled as they had before the curse.

Colonello smiled and punched forwards, then, he proceeded to do a few cartwheels for good measure. He landed near a tree with a hole made by his favorite firearm a couple of days ago.

He put his hands in the position of a new seal and cheerfully sent a ball of chakra towards a rock similar to his size and, then, used Kawarimi.

Crack!

The rock fell from where he had been standing a moment before. Colonello smirked and turned around with a flourish. But his feet didn’t land on the ground.

Colonello fell without knowing why. He felt his body fall (a really unpleasant sensation) and then land (on his back, ouch!) inside one of the trenches he had constructed to train Ryouhei. He stayed there a few minutes, confused and, due to his bigger body, in an awkward position, until Ryouhei looked down at him from the outside. The boy even asked if this was a new training method.

Colonello loved his enthusiasm, but he should do something about his strategic thinking.

 

Ryouhei punched through a rock while his master stumbled from on top of another one. He didn’t bring his attention to it; Colonello was doing his own training and he didn’t want to disturb him.

Ryouhei touched the flames that were always coating his muscles, just under his skin. He felt the warm and the energy they gave him. He also felt their little connection with Tsuna. It had come as a surprise for him, but Colonello had explained to him how a Sky could bond with more than one element. It made sense; Tsuna had a strong will so she could take on the will of more people more easily than most.

Ryouhei had wanted to fight her before, but now he wanted it even more; his sister had video-called him a couple of days ago to show him Haru’s training (he had insisted on it after Hana had told him that her master was competing with his extremeness). He had observed ‘Gai-sensei’s’ methods at the same time that he felt how the Sky flames he was connected to strain themselves. At exactly the same rate than the man.

He had known that it was Tsuna. He didn’t know how she looked so different (maybe the same way his master had just grown up?) or how she knew how to fight like this. But he knew that in a week or two he could spar with her without the need of holding too much of his strength back.

Ryouhei hopped that he would have an opportunity to do so in not too long.

 

Day 7, 10:27:

Reborn observed how Lambo stopped dead on his tracks when he found his clone at the middle of the kitchen.

Lambo looked spooked (with good reason, as he had made sure that its gaze would be as unnerving as he could; seeming to look to anyone no matter where it stood) and tiptoed around it to open the freezer.

Reborn let the bouncy ball fall to the ground, making a resounding thud against the ground and caught it again. Lambo froze and looked at his copy, turning around slowly. Then the child closed the freezer and ran outside the room in a panic.

Reborn laughed silently and went to search for his next vict- guinea p-… volunteer.

 

10:45:

Tsuna read her notes about her little project with Skull and Colonello and revised the symbols that she had drawn on a separate paper sheet:

Containment for self-multiplying cloud flames? Check.

Siphon mechanism for nature chakra? Check.

Pathway for the chakra to propel the cloud flames? Check.

Now she only had to find a way of drawing the seal on the round surface of the pacifiers without mistakes. Tsuna sighed and opened a web page dedicated to geometrical formulas. This would take a while, and then she would have to find a way for this all to work with other kinds of flames.

She hopped that Skull was prepared to try it, and to (very provably) suffer with her.

 

2ond week (Day 8, 17:14), Italy:

It was all unusually calm and quiet in the Italian mansion that hosted the assassin squad of the Varia.

“Vooooooi!” yelled Squalo “You, Levi, someone got inside Vongola, didn’t you have to avoid this!?”

“The Boss needs me more!” responded a huge man.

“Voi! The Boss has Luss, you idiot! He needs to rest to recuperate, not get preoccupied because you’re not doing your work! It was bad enough that I didn’t get the real half-rings...”

Chapter Text

10 years ago:

Xanxus had loved Timoteo Vongola as his father once. He had been the one to get him out of the streets where he and his mother had to sleep in unoccupied houses at summer and winter vacations and at the streets the rest of the year. Nono had taught him the social norms of his society (even if he didn’t usually abide by them), he had taught him the basics of hand to hand combat and even a bit of staff-wielding. His father had stood in front of him to receive a shoot for him once, the week after this had seen a 12 year old Xanxus in the care of one of the man’s now deceased (from old age, not his coup) Guardians.

Then, at his fifteenth birthday, Xanxus had discovered the truth. The man who had given him everything wasn’t his father, he was a liar. Otava, the kind but stern grandmother was only an old lady who had taken upon herself to educate him to stop him from polluting her family. And the annoying but caring and so willing to teach him things, big brothers were just lording over him their superior education.

Xanxus had worked in a similar manner under older men when he was on the streets; they would give him somewhere to be safe and some attention (he pointedly didn’t think how Nono and his family had gone above and beyond to make him feel part of Vongola), in exchange he had to behave and do what was needed from him.

Xanxus had felt his usual annoyance towards the world rise to almost mindless fury. He had almost confronted Nono immediately; perhaps it would have been better. His fury had soon turned cold and he had begun to plan.

He would get Vongola for himself, this way no one would be more powerful than him (they wouldn’t abandon him), he would be the Tenth boss, the allies of the family favored him anyways; he was younger than his broth- the other heirs (all of them older than thirty and unmarried), he was stronger and more skilled than them, he had presence and he didn’t avoid violence (he ignored how it made his skin crawl to intimidate non-combatants like some had intimidated his mother once).

He attacked, and he was frozen by his father.

Timoteo Vongola had looked like he was tearing one of his own limbs off while doing so.

 

Roughly two weeks ago, afternoon:

Xanxus opened his eyes and shot up from where he was laying, hands ablaze with Wrath Flames, ignoring the pain that ran through his skin. He turned around, looking at every corner, searching for Nono.

No one was there. Quite wise from Varia, he would have attacked anyone around. Now that he had calmed down a bit, he saw that he was at headquarters’ infirmary.

The door opened and someone tall, slim and with long white hair (the same color than Squalo) entered the infirmary. He wore a Varia uniform (he recognized it for a few details that were common every year) and, for his posture, he was very tired.

His underling closed the door and turned towards him whit a forced neutral expression. On his shoulder, he wore the distinctive of the Rain officer.

Xanxus felt faint. It was Squalo.

 

2ond week (Day 8, 09:33):

Squalo looked at his boss’ white shirt. It had blood stains, again. Why was Nono such a cowardly old man? Why was Xanxus so stubborn? Why did Squalo have to deal with this emotional shitstorm!?

“Voooooi! You idio-!” he shouted, cutting himself at the end to avoid a bottle that was thrown towards his head.

“Shut up, shark. I’m trying to rest” said Xanxus while sprawled on his throne.

“Rest!? As if! You don’t reopen wounds from resting! Luss will bitch at me again! I’m not your nanny, dammit!” Squalo told him. But Xanxus, still being an idiotic sixteen year old, ignored him.

He had never thought that he would be in this situation, but Squalo now understood his younger cousin when he had complained about idiot friends that hadn’t matured yet. Squalo would be tempted to punch Xanxus if he didn’t know that he would be the one suffering at the end.

 

Xanxus feigned ignoring Squalo (and his angry stare at the blood stains). He felt how it irritated him, but now that he was there he could, at least, relax; He had been feeling particularly restless lately. His brothers were dead and there was a new, unknown, heir; Iemitsu’s son (the man had never liked him, they would take him away from Vongola and Varia, he would not be able to see Squalo again). Nono hadn’t known about him being unfrozen, so they had ambushed him and left a plant at his place.

Squalo and Mammon had been a bit reticent (were they doubting him?) but they had complied with their roles. After all, any heir related to CEDEF was a danger to Vongola, the External Advisor had killed the three anterior heirs after all.

Varia would act as soon as he managed to heal from the frostbite. Maybe he should make an excuse (he knew it wasn’t needed, but he felt warm on his face every time he thought about admitting being restless) for Squalo to stay nearby. Would it be weird to make him sleep in his room?

He didn’t really care about other’s opinion in this regard, but Luss would probably squeal and feel endlessly smug for a while. And Belphegor would break any calm feeling jealously murderous.

He wasn’t the boy’s big brother dammit. And Leviathan would lurk around exuding a disturbing aura, Xanxus didn’t even want to know why the man had decided to follow him single-mindedly even if they hadn’t harmonized, it gave him the creeps. The only ones who wouldn’t be annoying would be Squalo himself (no wait... he would yell, wouldn’t he?), Mammon who didn’t care about most of his actions (preoccupying themselves wasted time and time was money, they would say) and the Cloud officer (Clouds didn’t usually involve themselves with the drama of the rest of the mortals).

Squalo seated himself on the chair in front of his desk, silently (finally!) fuming. There was a new stack of papers on the desk. Xanxus glanced at it, dreading the additional paperwork. He knew that he had to catch up for the last ten years, but the amount of work was unending. Who had decided that the boss’ second in command shouldn’t be able to sign most of the paperwork?

The predecessor of his predecessor (Who still was in charge of Varia’s housekeeping and terrified even Xanxus); Tiranno, right. He wasn’t going to discuss it with him.

 

Day 9, 10:58:

The Cloud Officer sat on the chair that had been assigned to him in the Meeting room and waited for his fellow officers and boss to enter. He could hear Bel laughing like crazy outside and Luss being annoying near him.

He had been offered his post and his codename (hilariously fitting), two months after the failed coup. Ottavio, the former cloud officer had been managing dreadfully his division, so he had disposed of him. He was arguably more suitable than Ottavio for the position. He had experience leading a group of unstable assassins.

The other officers had thought (mistakenly) that he had done it because Ottavio had told Nono about the coup so they had welcomed him in their ranks as a fellow officer loyal to the Boss.

But he wasn’t loyal to him, well he hadn’t been; A couple of weeks ago Xanxus had woken up, and when he had called for a reunion with the officers (in the infirmary, luckily for Lussuria’s nerves the second in command could take decisions regarding the boss’ health) he had felt flames blend with a tendril of Sky.

He had felt warm, and more accepted for who he was (aloof and with a need of space, but with a want of knowing what was going on and of silent support) that he had only experienced from Naruto. He had found himself thinking about Christmas presents yesterday!

He glanced up towards the door and saw how Xanxus, fretting Lussuria behind him, entered the room. His presence inundated it immediately; he felt annoyed with a hint of old fury underneath and (he thought that he only felt this because he was used to feeling it himself) uncertainty, about other’s opinions about himself and his self-worth.

He straightened and observed the rest of Varia’s elite from the corner of his eye:

Lussuria continued behind boss until he got to his seat, but continued standing until Xanxus seated himself (a bit clumsily for a trained assassin) and glared at him (her? What did Lussuria prefer today?).

Leviathan entered just behind them crying for Xanxus’ attention, only gaining a swallow knife cut courtesy of Bel, who was laughing from the door. It seemed that the moody teenager was too fed up of this behavior.

Squalo entered behind them, pushing Bel forward and graving Leviathan from the back of his coat and pushed both to their seats (Leviathan being thrown to his).

 

Levi’s chair clattered against the ground when he was thrown, but Xanxus ignored him. After his failure yesterday he preferred to avoid looking at him. Least he got angry and reopened his wounds.

He felt Bel’s bloodthirstiness and eagerness to fight the CEDEF’s chosen heir’s guardians, Mammon’s restlessness at losing so many days to do missions (to gain more money, sometimes Xanxus thought of them as a hoarding dragon or a crow), Lussuria’s preoccupation for his wounds (no, he didn’t feel warm at all for this), Squalo’s attention to the matter at hand (good, he wasn’t still feeling needlessly embarrassed for being caught getting out of his room still wearing his pyjama by the sheep) and Shukaku’s (still a bit of a mystery) quiet observation of them all.

 

12:39:

Squalo got out of the reunion with his head whirling with thoughts.

Having the most thorough officer (Shukaku) out of the conflict collecting intel was a good idea; even if the rest didn’t know it, they needed to know if this new heir was completely under CEDEF’s thump or if she could be salvaged even as a puppet boss.

Squalo knew that the girl would protect others if needed, she had got the CEDEF brat out of the way after all, but would she protect everyone pertaining to Vongola? She hadn’t acted when he had attacked her guardians and someone at her age couldn’t know if he was attacking seriously or not. Bel didn’t when the Varia goons attacked him playfully, and he was a genius.

The thing neither Mammon nor he were sure about was getting Nono inside Gola Mosca. Not because they cared overmuch about the man, but because Xanxus did.

Xanxus had been angry at the man since he discovered about his lineage, however, angry didn’t mean uncaring. They were preoccupied for his mental health, after waking up ten years later than he should have without his brothers and grandmother the only emotional support he had were Nono and the Varia.

First of all; Nono was the one who had left him in the ice for these years.

And the Varia, in general, wasn’t precisely overflowing with emotionally reliable people. Squalo was Xanxus’ friend, but he couldn’t do a lot more than being there for him. Lussuria was too overbearing. And the rest were crazy in their own ways, so they didn’t know how to relate to him.

He would start preparing for the operation and… just hope for the best.

 

Day12; 08:13, Japan:

Kyoya was glaring at Bianchi. She wasn’t surprised. The teen had been irritated with himself since they had started training. He wasn’t at her level. What irritated Bianchi was that the boy was talented at fighting and was intelligent. Why didn’t he use his brain!?

Two days ago she had caved and asked Reborn for help, it wouldn’t do to waste an entire month trying to teach an obsessed Cloud to fight without rules.

Tsuna had almost coughed out a lung after hearing ‘Hibari Kyoya’ and ‘without rules’ in the same sentence.

Bianchi half-heartedly evaded one of his hits and wondered when the help ‘granted to make Hibari second-guess his fighting methods’ would finally appear.

 

Tsuna swore while she tried to (and failed) to gulp down her breakfast in less than a second. Lambo had made the floor of his room explode after a bad dream and she had had to clean the mess.

She was late for Hibari-sempai’s training. She was grateful to Bianchi for not telling him that someone would come because he would have gotten really angry.

Anyways, she would try to be there in less than fifteen minutes.

Chapter Text

Second week (Day 12; 08:13), Japan:

Bianchi half-heartedly evaded one of Kyoya’s hits and wondered when the help ‘granted to make Hibari second-guess his fighting methods’ would finally appear.

 

Kyoya tried to hit the Scorpion (annoying but hadn’t flinched from him, he wouldn’t mind having her around) again; she easily dogged him and responded with a kick. He was growing increasingly frustrated with the situation, after all, he had been sparring with her for more than a week and he still hadn’t been able to hit her once.

He had had difficulties improving his fighting methods since that fight at the festival last year, side by side with Sawada Tsuna. He… knew what she felt. Every moment.

She felt annoyed every morning, supposedly when her alarm woke her up.

She felt amused and something else when Sasagawa Ryouhei (only person his age who hasn’t ever flinched from him) did something stupid (a mostly daily occurrence) and when she came to class with Gokudera Hayato (shouldn’t smoke, it’s prohibited and it makes him cough) and Yamamoto Takeshi (jumped from the roof a year ago, have to maintain vigilance for further suicide attempts).

She got angry when her upperclassmen tried to bully anyone; that had served as a nice alarm for people disturbing Namimori’s pace; tough now the bullied looked at him with a strange shine in their eyes that wasn’t fear, they even smiled at him! Kusakabe (loyal to him, translator for strange behavior, made him feel similar to how Tsuna felt around Gokudera Hayato and Yamamoto Takeshi) had been crying randomly when he read the paperwork about these incidents. It was confusing.

When her face changed it coincided (mostly) whit these changes. From that, he had deduced that other people felt similar emotions when their faces changed too. She showed him other expressions than fear;

She was annoyed when he threw snowballs at her group of… friends? during last winter, she frowned. She was angry when Shamal ‘flirted’ or tried to avoid healing any man, she showed him her teeth frowned and closed her fists rigidly. She was amused when Ryouhei annoyed him and amazed and proud whit a hint of warmth when they sparred in front of her, she beamed or smiled softly. She felt sadness and longing when she saw two girls kissing at the school doors, she smiled and sniffed.

Tsuna looked at him and felt. She showed him how to know why his peers did things or didn’t do them.

He hadn’t known that other people felt. That they got sad, happy or annoyed. He had thought they only felt fear and some flat emotion that was there when he wasn’t in front of them. And it was throwing him off;

He was angry because it mattered if his actions hurt other people.

Angry with his father, who had always told him that other people were just sheep.

Angry at his mother, who had let the concept sink in without trying to avoid it becoming one of his core beliefs when the man had died.

Angry at himself. For being so blind and stupid and for only caring about making the annoyances stop and not understanding that all humans did things for different reasons. For not knowing that he was a disturbance of Namimori’s peace himself.

He wanted to beat somebody. But he couldn’t without reason. Not now that he understood what these ‘expressions’ meant.

Their fear when he attacked wasn’t animal instinct in front of a depredator; that’s why they whimpered or cried, they were trying to make a fellow human understand. Their laughs weren’t noises made to call for others but mostly involuntary; from happiness (he felt it sometimes too, the last time had been when his Uncle had promised him a spar whenever Poison Scorpion ‘Bianchi’ deemed him a better fighter).

Humans beings were a race. There were humans mostly inclined to nurturing or leadership roles, but they were supposed to work more like a wolf pack than the alimentary chain as a whole.

And now he understood it.

It didn’t mean that he wouldn’t keep using his vocabulary to make sense of the world. Or when he wanted to insult somebody. There were people that truly were like sheep.

 

08:24:

A child fell from the sky and Bianchi had to get out of the way to avoid being his landing platform.

“Poison Scorpion?” the boy asked her with a serious tone of voice.

He was more or less Fuuta’s age but looked surer of his capabilities, a bit arrogant even. Well, Reborn had a similar predisposition, but it was warranted. His spiky hair was white and his eyes were grey. He was wearing some sort of combat outfit with forearm protectors and a metallic plate on his brow (a tiny tuff of hair stuck out comically from under it).

“Yes”

“Reborn sends me” he announced.

Bianchi nodded and looked at him again; his posture was seemingly stiff but it was more stern than nervous, and his eyes were focused on her movements. This child knew what he was doing. Or at least had a spine.

“Little carnivorous” and it seemed that Kyoya could see it too. Good.

“I’m Hatake Kakashi” the boy said to him and attacked.

 

Minato tanked her ninja training because maintaining her student’s poker face would have been difficult otherwise.

Hibari-sempai was fast and any hit from him would hurt a lot. But he was sloppy.

Though he wasn’t underestimating Kakashi for his age.

He was underestimating his experience fighting bigger opponents.

Minato deflected a hit with one of Kakashi’s forearm protectors and kicked Hibari-sempai’s stationary legs. He went down, hard. She repressed the urge to flinch.

Hibari-sempai wasn’t analyzing things, he was only attacking, thinking that he would overwhelm Kakashi and, as result, he wasn’t maintaining his defense.

Hibari-sempai got up with a strange (not murderous, luckily) glint in his eyes.

 

Kyoya felt Tsuna’s proudness and emotional flinches while he fought the boy. Was she nearby? Was she seeing him fight against this child and lose?

He wanted her to feel like when he sparred against Sasagawa Ryouhei; warm and proud, and smiling softly at him.

He changed tactics.

 

Kakashi jumped to avoid a kick and was sent flying courtesy of a hit of Hibari-sempai’s left tonfa.

He touched the ground with a hand and did a cartwheel to avoid hitting the ground. Kakashi couldn’t recover tough; Hibari-sempai was already on him. And in a flash of good hits to badly protected areas, he was on the ground with a tonfa pressed against his neck.

Minato felt proud. She loved finding the correct ways to teach each person and to see the results.

 

Kyoya saw how the child; Hatake Kakashi, smiled. At the same time, he felt warmness and proudness; smiling softly at him.

He jumped backward, getting up from his position with his right tonfa on Tsuna’s neck from the surprise.

She laughed softly, and Kyoya felt sheepishness coming from her.

“I’m not really good at maintaining cover, uh?” she said, and suddenly, in place of a snotty white-haired child, there was a gangly teenager.

“You’re the second one to discover me. The first was Ryouhei-nii, I still don’t know how he managed”.

“How” he breathed. He felt completely flabbergasted; he hadn’t expected that.

Tsuna got up from the ground and pated at her clothes, producing a small dust cloud. The Scorpion let out a belated sound of surprise somewhere nearby.

“It’s…” she started, tilting her head as if searching for the correct words “another kind of energy unrelated to flames, it’s easier to use, but if you abuse them it can kill you; no use them and die, mind you, but more like starting to feel exhausted and then not having enough energy to continue.”

What? Kyoya felt more than a bit disturbed. Tsuna must have sensed this because she smiled awkwardly and started to explain it in an orderly way.

 

12:00;

Bianchi needed to seat somewhere; not only there where adults returned to their baby bodies around the world but an adult from another dimension trust into a teenager’s body.

Talk about awkward.

Bianchi stole a glance towards Kyoya and Tsuna (Minato? A weird name for a girl, but again she wasn’t Japanese so what did she know?); she was smiling the same way than before, a bit embarrassed for being discovered, he was looking at her like she was some sort of war goddess; For Kyoya that was as if he was a science student and had met Einstein.

Bianchi hopped he didn’t start calling her something ridiculous. The carnivore/herbivore thing was already a bit too much. And she didn’t want to know the behavior patterns of a Cloud with a puppy crush. She shuddered. This was disturbing. Cute, because he was a teenager, but disturbing.

“A badger” she heard Kyoya say. Bianchi suppressed the impulse to face-palm.

 

Hibird flew around the noisy humans and nestled on the pink female’s hair. She was the only one who seemed to be a bit calm around there, and Hibird appreciated it; even if her hair wasn’t as comfortable as Hibari’s or as Long-tube’s, or didn’t seem as fluffy as the one the female who had made Hibari unstable had.

 

Kyoya looked at the girl (woman? Woman inside a girl? Why did that sound so weird? It was only a description of a fact) who had been imitating another’s fighting style so well that he hadn’t known it wasn’t her’s.

Since the last time they had been in a fight she had put on some muscle; She wasn’t as gangly and her movements where much smoother. The feelings he got from her felt steadier, she was surer of herself somehow.

“Hibari-sempai” she said, Kyoya grimaced.

“No”

“No? It was only a question…” she said, when Kyoya looked at her he almost flinched; she almost looked like a wet cat, a disgruntled wet cat.

“I’m not your sempai” he made clear.

“Oh. Mmmm… Hibari-san, then?”

Kyoya frowned, it didn’t feel right.

“First name” he corrected her, and he felt assaulted by a wave of warmth. He shot a questioning look to the girl (who was beaming at him), but she just shrugged happily.

Okay, if it made her happy he didn’t see why it would be ‘wrong’ to be addressed by name. His mother could deal.

“So, Kyoya. From where you get your weapons? Or is it some secret?”

Alright, he hadn’t expected that.

 

Kusakabe Tetsuya repressed his happy tears from the corner he was hiding.

Kyo-sama was interacting almost like a normal human being! He didn’t care if the girl wasn’t a girl; he wouldn’t have cared if to accomplish this miracle they had needed a demon!

Tetsuya had been preoccupied for his friend/boss since they had started middle school; the death of Kyo-sama’s father and with his mother being so unconcerned by his odd behavior had made the unfriendly, but approachable by the most bullied children, boy transform into this demon who ‘bit to death’ anyone who annoyed him.

And now it seemed like he was back to not being really approachable, but at least he didn’t seem to find it fine to beat everyone up without remorse.

Tetsuya knew that Kyo-sama would still be feared in Namimori, but at least the ones he protected would see things like Tetsuya himself: The boy was violent and cold, but wouldn’t hurt just because.