Chapter 1: Chapter I
I. A HITMAN IN NAMIMORI.
Reborn landed at Namimori Airport at exactly two in the afternoon. The sun was not so high in the sky and, as it was a Sunday, few people were circulating in the streets. The hitman took note of his surroundings meticulously, searching for areas he could use as hiding places for his weapons and for himself to use.
The city was not as large as the Japanese capital or its other larger cities, but Reborn noted that it was well developed, with a large shopping center, well-distributed residential areas and an industrial area away from the center and which he soon learned was abandoned due to a fire.
The baby analyzed and then dismissed the place as a good hiding place for weapons, even if the crime in the city was low, the hitman was not willing to risk heavy artillery in a place that gangs could attend and his instinct — which he always made a point of listening — he was warning of the very danger of putting weapons in a place like that. At most secret doors if Reborn needed to use that space.
After a few hours trekking through the forest surrounding Namimori — he found quite interesting places where he could serve as a training place — Reborn decided to leave for the hotel room that the Vongola rented for him during his stay in the city. Of course the hitman would not stay there, he preferred to monitor the training of his newest student very closely.
As he closed the door, he searched the room for tapeworms or any trace of someone, in addition to the hotel's cleaning staff, entering the room. Finding that everything was in the most perfect order, he sat down at the table by the window and opened the file Nono had given him personally during his meeting.
The information on the first page was the most basic, from name, weight and medical history. The others were more complete, but only with a quick survey did Reborn realize that the majority were incoherent flattery of Iemitsu, CEDEF chief, and father of his next student. He read the file, sighing from time to time, at Iemitsu's flattery.
The file, for a fourteen-year-old boy, was long and repetitive, but Reborn promptly made mental notes about each of those information, seeking to create training methods. However, the hitman did not trust the information given on the boy's morals and personality, especially when the main source was the CEDEF chief who spent more than three years away from home. Reborn was well aware that sometimes people did not appear to be what they really were. There were masks, defensive behaviors and lies enough that he could hide the character of any person.
There were two more files, one of them being Iemitsu's wife and the other being the fraternal twin of his student. Deciding that he was not fit to endure more flattering words from the blonde, he decided to read the file of the other son of the mafioso.
The file, as Reborn realized, was extremely short and concise, very different from the other two. The hitman gave this as Nono's promise to Iemitsu to keep the twin as far as possible from Mafia affairs. Reborn thought the man was being naive, but he was not there to judge Vongola's Young Lion choices but to turn a teenager into the future head of the world's most powerful mafia family.
Reborn was there to train Vongola Decimo.
Reborn checked out the hotel at exactly five-forty in the morning. He didn't possess many possessions and those who needed the Vongola — or any of his other contacts — could arrange. The hitman then walked around the mall furtively, not wanting to catch the attention of the shopkeepers who were already opening their shops, after all, his appearance always caused some misunderstanding, and Reborn did not want to draw attention to himself.
He had already made his breakfast at the hotel, so he was ready to start a day of remarks. It would be Sawada's residence to observe his new student, he had already put his plan into practice last night in the form of a cheap brochure about being an elite tutor. From what he had understood of the personality of Iemitsu's wife, that should be enough to get the woman's attention and dial her number.
Sawada Nana was a loving mother who wanted the best for her children, but even Reborn knew how difficult it would be for the docile woman to raise two boys without her father's presence. Reborn had to give Nana credit, the woman seemed strong enough to withstand the pressure of society by practically being a single mother.
It was six in the morning when Reborn arrived at the Sawada's house. He made no contact with any of the family or neighborhood members, for the time being he was only observing, so he preferred to hide in one of the surrounding trees that gave him a good view of the house and the perimeter around him.
The boy, Reborn watched, carried a bag of garbage lazily, dragging him across the floor. But on closer examination, the hitman noticed the bags under his eyes and the flagrant exhaustion in his body language. Nor did the various bandages covering the small body and the thinness of the adolescent go unnoticed by the hitman. Reborn could not help frowning at the data he had been collecting, but Tsunayoshi was not to be his student; the hitman could not interfere much with the young man's life because of Nono's orders.
For the time being, Reborn would focus on his task of collecting data — he would not be the greatest hitman in the world if he relied solely on information from others — and then decide whether to interfere with Tsunayoshi's life or not.
He turned his attention to the boy and watched, slightly impressed, as Tsuna scratched the back of his neck and looked everywhere for someone watching him. Reborn smiled at the clear demonstration of Hyper Intuition that ran through the boy's blood because of his blood relations with Vongola Primo. For a second he wondered what his new student's reaction would be like if his brother had this level of awareness.
This second lasted little, but the predatory smile was wide enough for anyone to keep a distance from the hitman.
It was at seven-forty in the morning when Reborn finally had the vision of his youngest student. Sawada Ienari had well trimmed and slightly messy brown hair, dark brown eyes, and his posture and muscular build made him look at least a year older. If Reborn were more adept at superstitions and popular sayings he would agree that the fourteen-year-old boy applied the saying that the broad-shouldered man could conquer and carry the world on his back.
But the hitman was not adept at such things, and by analyzing a little Ienari, all he could see was an arrogant teenager with better physical characteristics than others his age. Ienari was nothing special on the larger plane of things, but Reborn would make a point of turning him into something larger so that he would be able to inherit the throne of Vongola Nono.
Reborn also watched the other twin appear, this time clad in his uniform and the various bandages discreetly hidden by his clothing. The hitman watched as the two brothers walked up to the school in tense silence. Tsunayoshi was about five paces behind Ienari, his head bowed and his posture submissive in front of his brother's blinding presence.
It was almost as if Ienari were his impetuous master who would punish Tsuna for simply looking at his back. Reborn frowned at such behavior, he did not know if it was the flawed personality of Tsunayoshi or whether there really was a reasonable reason for fear toward his own brother. If it were the last Reborn case, he would certainly intervene in the situation; a mafia boss could not show such a flaw in character by having his own family afraid of him.
He was not there to let the Vongola fall into yet another bloodbath, not that Nono had asked and Reborn would do anything to fulfill his expectations, it was his way.
Reborn spent the next few hours observing and following Sawada Ienari with an intensity worthy of an assassin. He had observed and evaluated Ienari's reactions to crowds and moments alone, finding certain patterns that he needed to intervene and improve.
The adolescent, however popular, seemed constantly to exalt himself before the praises of all around him, as well as always lowering those he considered inferior. Reborn had actually grimaced when he saw the boy play jokes and push other students through the corridors with his group of so-called friends. Another thing that had bothered him was the disdainful attitude that Ienari exuded for the teachers whenever one of them noticed him because he was not paying attention.
The boy would need long lessons on humility and Reborn would be more than happy to give them. Not even Dino, chief of the Cavallone and former student of the hitman, had been so arrogant and arrogant in his teachings. But Dino was not like Ienari, Reborn had been quick to realize that; while the Italian blond was clumsy and an idiot, he listened to Reborn and his teachings, as well as always taking things seriously when there was a need.
Ienari was not only younger but also a civilian, but Reborn could work with that. The problem would be if the teenager carries with him that arrogance whenever Reborn tries to teach him ways of being the best mafia boss.
The hitman sighed, thinking of all the work he would have done, and after two further discussions with Ienari and the teacher, Reborn decided he would spend the break for lunch watching the other twin. And that's what he did when the signal finally signaled the end of class.
It was not really hard to find Tsunayoshi. The boy was lonely and seemed to suffer intimidation, Dame-Tsuna's nickname bypassing any attempt of the boy to socialize normally, so it was easy to find an isolated place in which Reborn knew Tsuna would use in an attempt to eat in relative peace. That place being the roof of the school.
Reborn watched as the teenager opened a well-packed bentō, looked homemade and consisted of only rice, some vegetables and chicken croquettes. But the portion was, in Reborn's opinion, too small for a growing teenager. This thought brought him back to his earlier remarks about the boy's deplorable condition that morning. Of course, Reborn knew he should not intrude on the twin's life, but even a man like him could recognize that there was something very wrong with Tsunayoshi's life.
He continued to watch the young man, until he began to look frantically around, making the same scratching gesture on the back of his neck as if he were disturbed by something. Reborn had to hide the slight admiration he felt from finding that the teenager not only recognized his presence once, but twice on the same day. For a moment the killer wondered what would happen if he left a faint killer-intention to let go, but then discarded the thought. The student already seemed quite alarmed only to identify that there was an unknown presence near him, he didn't want to cause a panic attack on the boy, in addition, he was there to train Ienari and not Tsunayoshi.
Reborn decided he needed to look again at Ienari. The boy could be close to interesting people who could benefit the boy's training in the long run. Maybe he even found someone interesting enough that he could become one of the Vongola Decimo Guardians.
Reborn couldn't help noticing how Tsuna fell into deep relief as the Hitman's gaze was no longer examining him.
Chapter 2: Chapter II
Reborn finally makes direct contact with the Sawada family.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
II. A HITMAN IN THE SAWADA HOUSE.
It was six-thirty in the evening when the Sawada family dinner was interrupted by the ringing of the bell. Nana, who was listening intently to Ienari's monologue about his day at school, was startled by the sudden sound; the Sawada didn't receive many visits, as well as occasional passages from the friends of the younger twin.
Quickly the brunette got up and hurriedly answered the door, but looking around saw no one in sight. Nana demonstrated her confusion with a frown. Soon, both Ienari and Tsunayoshi, they approached the mother, seeking to know who the unexpected visitor was.
"Okaa-san?" It was Ienari's voice that took Nana out of her confusion and she quickly turned her gaze to her son. "Who was?"
"Oh, looks like it was a mistake, there's no one," Nana said, an amused smile, even though she still felt confused. It was while trying to close the door that Tsunayoshi moved, placing a hand on his mother's shoulder and pointing down.
Nana followed the direction her son was pointing, confronting the image of a child strangely dressed in a suit and wearing some sort of western-style hat. The elder Sawada was startled to finally realize that she was about to close the door on a child's face.
"Oh god, I'm so sorry, little one, I didn't notice you. Who are you? Are you lost?" Nana knelt, seeking eye contact with the child. The child looked at her and Nana was startled by the depths of those coal-black eyes.
Those were the eyes of a man who saw a lot in life, not a child of maybe two years old. Nana recognized this from experience, her husband had a similar look whenever he came to visit them among his eccentric works. The housewife always wondered about this, but she never had the courage to openly question Iemitsu about it, she felt it was none of her business and that perhaps she did not like much of what would be said.
Nana tried to compose herself, smiled again, waiting for the child to respond. His children also seemed curious, Tsu-kun looking more frightened than curious; the woman felt like laughing at the exaggerated reactions of her eldest son, Tsuna had always been someone anxious and worried too, it seemed to her that in the end, only Ienari had something in common with his father. Tsuna was all of her, and in those moments when she remembered this, she was afraid for her son's future.
She came out of her thoughts with the boy's voice at her door and felt ashamed for a moment that she had forgotten his presence once more.
"I'm Reborn, the elite tutor of the pamphlet. You should be Sawada Nana, who called me this afternoon?" The answer caught not only Nana by surprise as the two teens behind her.
"Tutor? How so tutor, mom?!" It was Ienari who first came out of shock, indignant at his mother for doing something behind his back. It was one of her many petty attitudes about her mother; he always had to be the one who had the last word, had to be the man in the house when his father was not there and his brother, well, he was useless. Ienari would never trust Dame-Tsuna, it would be to ask for a catastrophe.
"Ah yes, Na-kun. I found a pamphlet in the mailbox this morning about an elite tutor! Promised to transform my children into the next elite of the country! I called this afternoon, I'm sorry I didn't tell you before." Nana explained, not realizing that her son's indignation was a clear disregard of her authority. The woman turned to Reborn with a smile. "Well, thank you so much for coming so fast, Reborn-san. Come in, please."
Nana gave Reborn room to pass, making Ienari look in shock at her mother's laid-back attitude toward a child who claimed to be an elite tutor. This was clearly a fraud, but as always his mother was too naive. The younger twin turned to Dame-Tsuna, clearly wanting to be supported by his brother. Of course, the opinion of the other was not worth much to Ienari, but it was always easier to convince his mother to do something when the twins showed some kind of "teamwork."
As Nana led the strange child into the living room, Ienari turned to his brother, standing in front of him and keeping him from continuing his way.
"Dame-Tsuna, you should also know that this whole thing is absurd, if you're smart enough you'll support me when I say this to Kaa-san, we don't need her to be cheated and our money stolen because of her naivety." Ienari approached, wanting to intimidate the brother with his few inches of advantage. As usual, the useless boy cringed, averting his eyes and simply nodding.
Ienari scoffed, it was always too easy to command Dame-Tsuna, the other clearly was too weak and at least had a bit of intelligence in himself to know that it was always best to agree with Ienari. Not that the youngest was to hit Dame-Tsuna, it was a waste of time and effort, but there were always bullies and enough friends around him who loved to have a way to dump their stress.
The brunet walked again, leaving his frightened brother behind. One hour the other would follow him and then Ienari would put his plan into practice. He did not need a tutor, especially one who was a child, no, who would really need that would be his useless brother. He can't help but smile in derision at the image; a child teaching someone who could be even stupider than a two-year-old.
Tsuna didn't know how he had stopped in that situation. His mother had actually hired a child to be the guardian of the twins, and no matter how much Ienari had claimed — and honestly playing the fool — her mother had not been persuaded by him at all times. The brunet had to say that he found it a bit impressive, it always seemed to him that it was a universal law that Ienari would always get what he wanted, no matter how.
The strange child should be even more persuasive than his brother. But that does not explain exactly how Tsuna stopped in that situation, suddenly Ienari was about to make a childish tantrum and in the other the baby, Reborn, had kicked his brother in the head leaving him unconscious and his mother had simply come to the conclusion that Ienari had actually fallen asleep.
So, there he was carrying his brother up the stairs to his room with Reborn following him closely. Tsuna didn't know exactly why, but he felt that there was more to the tutor than just his childish appearance, his black eyes were deep and seemed to conceal various secrets, and the feeling that Reborn was experiencing was the same as the dark one felt during your lunch schedule at school.
Tsuna was really tempted to rub the back of his neck in recognition of the unsettling sensation of being watched, it was almost as if something within himself were saying to be cautious around the child in a suit and, even if Tsuna was not good at many things, he always it was good to follow that feeling, or rather he was good at following his intuition, no matter how irrational it seemed to others.
When they reached Ienari's room — which was even more messy than yours, as usual — Tsuna gently placed his brother lying on the bed, trying not to wake him. He turned to Reborn, who was still silent, and seemed to be watching the room very closely.
Tsuna took two steps toward Reborn in an attempt to catch the child's attention and when those haunting eyes focused on him, Tsuna made some gestures suggesting that he would find a net so the other could sleep. Even though Tsuna had never been good at sign language — in fact, he'd only created one for himself that only his mother seemed to understand completely — the brunet was still impressed at how Reborn had understood his message so quickly.
"When you come back, I want you to stay, I need to explain some things to your brother and to you." Reborn said before Tsuna left the room completely. The tone of command was not exactly there, but for some reason Tsunayoshi felt it was better to obey, for he did not like the consequences.
Tsuna hurried, not wanting to linger too late and irritate Reborn. As he opened the door to the room, she came upon a scene that froze her blood. Ienari, who must have awoken at some point, was now under the gunshot of a weapon held by Reborn.
Honestly, Tsuna did not even notice that he had moved until he realized that he was now the target of the gun. Tsunayoshi held his breath at the realization of what he had done, not that he would let Reborn shoot his younger brother, but placing himself between a gun and Ienari was not something the others would expect from Dame-Tsuna, and after so long being told of what he was capable of and not able to do, it was also difficult not to follow the same line of thought.
"Get out of the way." It was the only warning Reborn seemed willing to give. The child's hand still firmly on the trigger of the gun and his eyes even darker than before caused a shudder of fear in Tsuna, yet the teenager did not move; he did not even know if he could get out of the way if he wanted to.
Especially when his brother was behind him; Tsuna knew he was not a good brother, but he could not, simply, have his brother shot right in front of his eyes and not try to do anything. With that conviction, his brown eyes hardened in determination and the older twin shook his head in a simple gesture that said he would not move.
Reborn did not react externally at all with the burning determination in Tsunayoshi's eyes, but internally he could not help thinking that this was a good quality for a boss. If it could be molded in the right way, that determination would be the key to the strength of the Vongola Decimo. The hitman quickly interrupted that line of thought. Tsuna was not the chosen one, and at the moment, he was disturbing his tort-tutoring.
"I'll give it three seconds, move or I'll shoot." Reborn was definitely not the type to give second warnings, but killing the boy at the time would not bring him any benefit. Again Tsuna shook his head, an unusual determination in his eyes that didn't match the rest of his body that, at that moment, was shaking.
Before the hitman could actually shoot — toward the ceiling, since he was not in the mood to explain the boy's death to his mother or worse, having to deal with Iemitsu — Ienari, who had been silent until now, moved, pushing too hard the other brown to the ground.
"Move Dame-Tsuna, I do not need someone like you to protect me, besides this weapon is false. No one would give a gun to a baby, you idiot." The venom and mockery that trickled through Ienari's words were enough to make Tsuna cringe on the floor, afraid he would get more than insults.
But then the two boys jumped at the sound of a shot, the bullet passing so close to Ienari that it charred a few strands of his hair. The two teenagers turned their attention to the baby in front of him, the gun still firm in its grip, with a faint smoke coming from the barrel of the gun, demonstrating that it had in fact tightened the trigger.
"Hm, I missed." It was the only thing Reborn said, watching with mild satisfaction the fear that now danced in Ienari's orbs. Reborn hated being underestimated, especially by arrogant boys and, as he noted, abusive. Great, if I miss an inch in the education of this boy the Vongola will be doomed to more decades of blood and sin. The hitman thought, feeling that in the next few months — if not years — he would often be sighing in frustration.
"Now, sit down and be quiet, I have important things to tell you." If a little bit of his murderous intention leaked through the room then the only reason was to make the two brothers obey him faster. Surely it had nothing to do with the way Ienari shivered or Tsuna seemed to finally realize that it had been Reborn who spent the morning watching him from afar.
Then Reborn and the Sawada twins finally interacted! I have to say that it was a little difficult for me to decide how this meeting would unfold, I did not want to make Reborn detest Ienari at first, nor be "conquered" by Tsuna either, so I discovered a middle ground.
Of course, Reborn still thinks Ienari is a mama's boy and super arrogant, but he at least does not see Tsuna as a perfect angel trapped in a horrible family. Oh well, tell me what they found and if I really got put in a middle term jsjsjsjs