Sawada Tsunayoshi - or was it Tsunayoshi Sawada, now that they were in Italy? - rested his head on the huge pile of paperwork that was yet to be signed. The young man was more than used to this by now, since he had been taking paperwork from his grandfather since he was still in middle school, but that didn't mean he was any more excited about it.
Tsuna was originally from Japan, but due to various circumstances - mainly his sperm donor being a horrible father and throwing him to the wolves that was the Italian Mafia - he had ended up in Italy. Just mere hours after graduating high school, he alongside his Guardians had been ushered inside a plane - one of the many private ones the Vongola had - taking off to their new permanent country of residence without as much as saying goodbye. All proper parting celebrations had been held the night before graduation, and his mother had already been sent off to Italy days ago - when Tsuna had agreed to take over Vongola, one of his conditions was that his mother would be coming with him once he left Japan, and that Iemitsu would finally have to man up and be a decent husband - , as had been I-pin, Fuuta and Bianchi. Lambo had insisted on staying with them, saying he was as much of a Guardian as the rest of them, and really, how could Tsuna fight off that argument?
It had been a week since he had arrived to the Vongola Estate - one of the many properties they had around the world, and Vongola's headquarters - but everyone had been settling in quite nicely. Even Kyoya, who had been reluctant about leaving his precious Namimori, had found himself liking the place, not that he had told Tsuna, but the brunet had ways of knowing.
Almost immediately after arriving, Tsuna had gotten to work. He had been officially named Vongola Decimo two years prior, when he was sixteen, though his grandfather, Vongola Nono, and his Guardians had remained as the real rulers of Vongola until he had finished high school. Now, his grandfather could finally retire, and Tsuna's turn to reign the Vongola had officially started.
(And if he would eternally be grateful that no one seemed to think a huge celebration was needed for that, well, he wouldn't tell anyone, he would not jinx his luck like that. He had learned from his past mistakes).
It would have been all nice and dandy - even if he had been more than a bit reluctant about the Mafia at the beginning, he had accepted his fate long ago - but there was just one loose end: Vongola's cover, the one that allowed them to mingle with all kinds of legit businesses, was a huge corporation ran by the head of the Vongola and said head's Guardians. And obviously people wouldn't just accept people without a degree to rule a multi billion company, even if by now they were all more than capable of running said empire with ease - maybe with the exception of Lambo, but taking into account the boy was nine, Tsuna thought it was understandable - . Mere civilians wouldn't just believe they had all been running Vongola Corp from the shadows since Tsuna hit high school, Vongola Nono deciding it would be best for him to start with the legit part of their business while he learned how to handle the Vongola.
And so, their fate was sealed.
Sighing once more, Tsuna lifted his face off the pile of paperwork. He had to finish that before going to bed, and knowing his Guardians, there would sure be more forms to fill out by the end of the day, especially if Kyoya and Mukuro found each other.
'And I still need to worry about the application forms... not that it'll take much, since Vongola practically owns everything here in Sicily, and everything that's not under our reign is owned by some allied Famiglia. Still, maybe I'll leave those to Hayato.'
For the time being, he started signing off the various forms he needed to revise, paying special attention to the one that requested for walls reinforced with Lightning Flames for the Vongola Estate. That, he decided, was a top priority if he wanted to keep his operations headquarters standing by the next month. Seriously, one would think those two weren't on the same side...
Still, the thought of starting yet again another phase on his education just when he had finished high school was nagging on his ear, not leaving his mind no matter what he did. It didn't help that, while the school year had just finished in Japan, it was just starting in Italy. Damn, he wouldn't even get vacations.
'I should get used to it. Running the most powerful Organized Crime Syndicate comes no vacations whatsoever, apparently, if Nono is anything to go by.'
Oh well, it couldn't be helped. He just hoped he would survive going to university on top of that. Or rather, university survived them. Yeah, that was more like it.
Business was... well, what Tsuna expected. Nono had told him he would be taking that for his degree, since it was the easiest way to get accepted as the new head of Vongola Corp, and it was what Tsuna had been doing since he was fifteen, if one didn't take into account the part where he hid the illegal part of the business, and the fear of actually screwing up and running the Vongola to the ground.
Anyways, at least that was what the curriculum said. Tsuna, alongside Hayato, Takeshi and Chrome, were all going into Business, the default career for any company-runners. Ryohei, obviously, was going into Med School (not that he needed it that much, he had more than enough field experience, but it would look more professional), and Kyoya and Mukuro had opted for Law. Tsuna was actually afraid of what would happen with that particular pair - it had been quite a mental battle deciding whether to let the two of them take the same curriculum at the same campus or not, but he had decided to okay-it for convenience's sake, also because he couldn't to anything to stop them - . Well, at least he owned the campus and had the last word in everything.
(That didn't mean he didn't make a special fund for the more than likely compensations he would be needing to give to people for the next five years, he wasn't an idiot).
They were all currently standing near the University's entrance, and Tsuna was going to give the final orders before they all went their separate ways.
"Alright, listen up guys. I don't want to hear any of you got into any trouble during your first day, you hear me? That goes for you two, Kyoya, Mukuro." Kyoya didn't even acknowledge the warning, while Mukuro smirked. Yeah, Tsuna knew it was a futile attempt anyways. Sighting, the mafia boss decided to let it go. "Just try not to destroy anything, alright? I still need to sign some more papers to finish with the fund I set for you two."
"Kufufufufu, alright, Tsunayoshi, we'll behave. See you later, dear Chrome." and with that, Mukuro was gone.
"Hn." which in Kyoya speak, meant 'alright Omnivore, by you owe me a spar', or something along those lines. He also left before anyone else could say anything.
"Alright, now that that's been taken care of... will you be good on your own Ryohei?" he turned to his Sun Guardian, as he was the only one who didn't have anyone to accompany in his classes.
"I'll be extremely okay, Tsuna, don't worry!" he gave them a thumbs up, and he started running towards the building. Tsuna hoped he there would be no accidents. While his Sun Guardian meant well, he was... easily excitable.
"Well, it's just us then. Let's go find our timetables, shall we?" he turned to his other three Guardians, who all gave affirmative responses.
They had all come a long way since they hay first assembled as the tenth generation of the Vongola. They had been mere acquaintances back then, fighting for some rings without really understanding the meaning behind it. Then they had been sent off to the future and... well, things changed. When they came back, they just weren't the same they had been before. The future had been a real eye opener for all of them, Tsuna specially.
Things had took off from there. Suddenly they were really close to each other - Tsuna supposed trauma did things like that - eating together at school, sleeping at each other's houses just because, and calling in the middle of the night when they were having nightmares. Trips to Italy on school breaks became a usual thing, and before they knew it, Ryohei, Kyoya and Mukuro had graduated high school. They had waited two years for the other four, and now... now they were here.
Some things never changed, of course. They all never stopped bickering with each other, and Tsuna had grown more than used to hearing explosions wherever he went - and he thanked whatever gods were hearing for the no-explosives in the house rule - . And no matter how much Tsuna had tried, there had been no way of making Hayato call him anything but Juudaime, and maybe Decimo if he was in the mood of going back to his Italian routes. He did call Tsuna by his name in extremely special occasions - like when Tsuna was dying, for example - but that didn't occur normally.
The rest of them... well, it had been more of a joke and teasing at the beginning, but they had began calling him Boss when others were around - why? Tsuna still had no idea, and was actually a little scared to ask - and no matter how many times Tsuna had told them to stop, it only seemed to encourage them even more. Bastards. When they were alone they called him Tsuna, Tsunayoshi or Tsuna-nii - and let's not forget Kyoya's Omnivore, of course, though he always called him that - but otherwise it was Boss and Juudaime.
'Why is it that I still keep them around again? Oh right. I love them.' damn, it was hard to stay mad at them.
The eight of them had a bond that ran deeper than anything else Tsuna had ever experienced. They were connected, they could feel each other at a completely new level. Their understanding for each other was insane, and somehow, despite all the fights, they complemented each other perfectly. It sometimes scared him, because Tsuna knew the mafia was a dangerous place, and he didn't want anything to happen to his Guardians. He also knew they would put themselves in front of a bullet for him in a heartbeat.
It had been a serious talk, when Tsuna told them they weren't allowed to die for him. It had happened after Mukuro of all people had been shot on the lung for protecting him.
"You are not allowed to die. You hear me? Any of you. That's an order." it had been the first order he had ever given to them in Boss Mode, and they all knew to go by it. Even Lambo, seven at the time, had been there, hugging Mukuro-nii after his near death experience - and hadn't that been a scare. Mukuro was banned from any mission for a month, after that - and everyone had understood that their boss would not let them die.
(Tsuna never knew of this, but they had a talk of their own. They couldn't die, not because it scared them, but because they knew their Boss, their Sky, would never recover from it. It would drive him to insanity, and that was something they couldn't let happen. If they had to stay alive to keep their Boss sane... well, then they would do it, no matter how hard it became.)
"Bossu." Tsuna snapped back into focus, directing his eyes at Chrome. She was smiling slightly at him, motioning to come with them. Hayato and Takeshi were a few meters ahead, looking at him with slight concern.
"Are you alright, Juudaime?"
"Yeah, you seemed to space off a little there, Tsuna. Is your intuition saying something?" it was something all his Guardians had seen him doing. Vongola's Hyper Intuition was incredibly handy, and Tsuna's was unusually good. Some said it rivalled Primo's (which would make sense, since he was, in fact, Primo's direct descendant), but what mattered was that Tsuna was really hard to surprise.
"Hmm? Oh, no, nothing like that. Just caught up in my head, that's all." he gave them a smile, and that seemed to put his three Guardians at ease. "Seriously, you worry too much sometimes."
"It's not like it's unfunded." Hayato's casual comment made him snort, because really, he could take care of himself. Like he had been reading his mind, Hayato continued. "The thing is, Juudaime, you shouldn't have to take care of yourself. That's what we are here for."
"Seriously, I don't know how you do it, Hayato. Don't let Maria hear you, he'll think I'm some No-Good-Weakling that's leaving all the work to his Guardians, and you know that woman would kill me if she ever thought that was a possibility." really, his Spartan Tutor was a bit too much sometimes.
Maria Romano had been the CEDEF agent sent by his sperm donor to shape him into a good Vongola Decimo, and gods hadn't she done wonders for him. She was one of the most trusted agents the organization had, directly under Iemitsu's orders, and one of the most capable CEDEF agents. She was also a beast of a tutor, and had made sure Tsuna learned everything he needed one way or another. She was one of Tsuna's closest friends, despite all those years of waking him up with gunshots, hammers and electric discharges. When people asked about their weird relationship, Tsuna always blamed it all to the numerous hits he had received in the head. Obviously something had been relocated up there, because he didn't recall when he had stopped thinking about his Spartan Tutor as a Spawn from Hell - and yes, the capital letters were intentional and one hundred percent necessary - , and rather as a trusted friend.
His three Guardians shuddered at the thought. While Maria had been sent to train the Decimo, that didn't mean she ever forgot about his Guardians. The seven had endured arduous training, even Lambo. Let's just say, they had a rather large amount of healthy fear regarding that woman installed in their brains.
Finding the reception office wasn't that hard. After a few directions from a nice girl with short blue hair, they got there without problems. And it only took a second to get into the office, since the faculty knew Tsuna and his Guardians were kind of important. They just didn't know how important they were. Soon enough, they all had their timetables, and unsurprisingly, they all had the same classes at the same time. Tsuna actually suspected Nono had medled somehow there, because there was no way four people could share are their classes together. It was statistically impossible.
Well, at least his Guardians were pleased. Despite knowing he was an excellent fighter and could more than protect himself, they still thought it was necessary for at least one of them to be with him at all times. Three Guardians constantly in the same room as him? Even better.
Even though thad affair had been handled rather quickly, they still got late enough for a tardy. It was fine, they had a note from the reception office to let them in without any fuss, but it meant there was no space for the four of them to be together. The seats were spread around the room, something his Guardians, Hayato specially, weren't pleased by. Well, they would have to do.
His three Guardians surrounded him, like they always did when they weren't in a place they deemed completely safe. Only after a short nod from Takeshi, who had deemed the room to be safe for his boss, the four of them entered the room. Tsuna handed the note in silence, and the teacher let them sit down after reading it.
Absently, Tsuna noted the girl from earlier, the one who had helped them with directions. When she caught his eyes, she smiled, and Tsuna returned the greeting. She seemed nice, so maybe he would try to approach her after class. They were a week late, after all, classes had already started the week before, so having someone who had actually been there would be good.
Rapidly scanning the room, he found one of the remaining empty seats, and after directing a nod to his Guardians, he made his way there. The other three followed, choosing seats that were more or less around him.
Tsuna sat down and prepared his things without much hassle, absently hearing as the teacher returned to his lesson in basic economics. Tsuna had already learned that - with the threat of a bullet in his skull at the sight of failure - when he was still in middle school, so he didn't worry much.
Instead, he took a look at his surroundings. The room looked normal enough, with windows that led to the interior of the campus and good illumination. There were two exits, one at the front and another at the back. Tsuna filled that on a section of his brain just in case, just like he knew his Guardian were doing.
The people gathered at the room were common too. They all had an air of... businesspeople? But maybe like a hella toned down. They remembered him of himself when he was still starting on the business. Ah, those were the good times, when all he had to do was focus of the legal face of the Vongola.
Who would have thought he would have been yearning for a middle school comeback? Tsuna was blaming paperwork. That thing was a real Spawn of Hell - and yes, capital letters were also necessarily for this, so one could guess it was the real deal - . Tsuna still cried when he remembered the day when Shoichi and Spanner had announced they had finally finished the formula for fireproof paper. That had been a gloomy day.
As he was wandering into his thoughts, something caught his eye. A speck of black, contrasting with the general light of the room. Tsuna found it a couple of rows in front of him.
It was another student, a man. For what Tsuna could see, he had spiky black hair, and was wearing a really stylish fedora. His clothes were also black, and Tsuna had to admit, that suit looked nicely on him. It didn't look formal, so Tsuna assumed he was wearing a simple shirt instead of a dress one. Tsuna and his Guardians had decided on a similar approach - more like Nono and his Guardians had forced them to wear the suits, because apparently the Mafia couldn't go out without them? - , though Mukuro had gotten away with his vest, and Tsuna had put his foot down when dress shirts were brought up. Coyote managed to make them wear shirts that matched their flames though, so Tsuna wasn't sure how much success he had achieved. At least Chrome was allowed to use one of her indigo dresses with a blazer, so that was a consolation. He knew Chrome prefered to fight on those things - though he had no idea why. He was actually scared of the answer, so he didn't ask - .
But back with the man in black. Tsuna couldn't see his face from where he was, but he could certainly feel the aura around him. It was... alluring, in a sense, mysterious. But also bright. Tsuna wanted to get closer, but he didn't know why.
Hmm. Maybe he would try to talk to him after class too.
Surprisingly, it wasn't as hard as Tsuna thought it would be. As soon as the class was over, Tsuna felt his friends' presence nearing, and he smiled.
Tsuna decided to approach the woman first. She seemed nice, and somehow he felt a strange affinity with her, like he felt with other Skys. But that was not possible, because she didn't have any active Flames he could sense, much less Sky ones.
As Tsuna came near the girl, he waved at her, so she would know he was in fact coming to greet her and not the stranger beside her. His Guardians were standing near the door, waiting for him.
"Hello. I just wanted to thank you for your help earlier." said Tsuna when he got within earshot. "My name is Sawada Tsunayoshi... wait, no. It's Tsunayoshi Sawada. I'm sorry, old habits die hard. I'm from Japan. Call me Tsuna, Tsunayoshi is a hassle." he smiled bashfully, and the other laughed slightly.
"Hi! My name's Luce Cielo, but please call me Luce. Nice to meet you!" she smiled, and Tsuna immediately felt like they would get along rather nicely. "Would you like me to give you a tour around the faculty later? That way you won't need to ask directions to anyone else." she gave them a playful wink, and Tsuna smiled in return.
"I would need to ask my friends, the ones I was with earlier. They don't like me going on my own, but I would never make them something they don't like because of that." he explained, and while Luce looked slightly confused by those words, she didn't really look put off by it either. "I don't think they'll mind, though, so thank you in advance." Tsuna bowed slightly out of respect, and when he straightened up, he saw the faint blush on the girl's face.
"Y-You don't need to do that."
"Huh? Oh, the bow?" she nodded. "Sorry. It's a Japanese thing, I meant nothing wrong by it." Tsuna said, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly.
"It's fine, just..."
"Is this kid bothering you, Luce?" someone said behind him, and, okay kid? He was eighteen years old, not ten, and he was a Mafia Boss. A more fitting description would be rather appreciated, thank you very much.
"Oh, no, nothing like that! He was just thanking me because I helped him and his friends earlier, and I offered to give them a tour of the place since they're new and all." explained the short haired girl as Tsuna turned around to see just who had called him a kid.
And he came face to face with that man in the casual suit.
The aura he gave off sure fitted him, the man was hot. Sharp and handsome features, tall, broad shoulders, slim figure... well, he seemed to have it all. And he rocked that fedora spectacularly.
But Tsuna pushed those thoughts away. He had called him a kid after all, and he was no kid, no sir. Maria hadn't stuck around for years for a mere kid.
"I'm sorry, but I'm not a kid. For your information, I'm eighteen years old, not ten, so I would appreciate a more fitting description, thank you very much." Tsuna said, knowing he looked annoyed. What he got wasn't what he expected.
Instead of, you know, getting riled up, the other boy smirked, humming approvingly. Okay...?
"Looks like the little cat has some claws. How... interesting."
"... O-kay?" he turned to Luce, asking her with his eyes what that meant. She just smiled, shrugging. Sighting, because he just wasn't in the mood to deal with it, he decided to cut that conversation short. "Well, it was nice talking to you, Luce-san. Sorry, Luce. See you after classes are over?" after her affirmative, he took off, bowing his head lightly at her and her mysterious companion before joining his Guardians.
"What was all that about?"
"Just talking. Ne, what do you think about a trip around the faculty after classes?"
"If it's what Juudaime wants then I'm alright with it!" and there it was. Some things never changed.
That if he expected to meet the man in black again? Yes. They were in several classes together, so it was kind on unavoidable. Did he expect to talk with him again? That was entirely a different story.
It actually happened while they were out of Uni. Tsuna had been taking a stroll through the city, because no matter how many times he had come to visit, he still wasn't used to it's beauty. It was just so different than the calmed, small Namimori.
Tsuna's special bodyguards unit was following him from a distance. His friends couldn't come with him, as they all had their own matters to attend to and Tsuna didn't want to bother them. But because he also was not allowed to leave Vongola Estate on his own - Hayato had been rather strict about it when he explained that to his security detail - , his bodyguards came into play.
Tsuna still thought Hayato has been exaggerating when he said he needed six people around him when one of the Guardians wasn't available to accompany. If Lambo could go on his own, why couldn't his guards do it too?
Apparently, being the Lightning Guardian could bypass the fact that said Guardian was nine years old, and that most of the time it was Tsuna protecting him rather than the other way around. Go figure.
Either way, Tsuna could at least try to seem like he wasn't being watched by six of his personal secondary security detail - and wasn't that a hassle to say - , and nobody could say he didn't do a good job appearing oblivious. That was one of the many things his mother had taught him, after all.
But he soon grew bored, and his crave for coffee - something he could blame his Tutor from Hell for, since she had been the one to make Tsuna pull all those all nighters until it became a habit to run solely on coffee and no sleep for three days straight when he was behind on his paperwork - appeared. So he looked around, and when he spotted a nice looking coffee shop, he didn't hesitate to go there. The subtle signal he sent to his security detail - a slight wave of his hand - was clear enough: he didn't want to be bothered while he was inside.
When he entered, the smell of good coffee and pastries hit him. Tsuna breathed in, and when he released his breath, a contempt smile graced his lips. Oh, how he had missed the smell of good coffee. Maria only let him have some on special occasions, and he had been so busy he still couldn't get around ordering some for his personal minibar in his office.
Without wasting more time, he walked to the register, where a young looking girl greeted him.
"Hello! Welcome to Panella's, how can I help you?" the girl gave him a bright smile, and Tsuna couldn't but return it with his own. He failed to notice the faint blush on the girl's name.
"Hello. Can I have a cup of doppio with a bit of cream please? And..." Tsuna looked at the pastries for a second. "A strawberry shortcake." he finished with another smile, and the girl behind the register beamed.
"Of course, right away. Just go over there, the barista will have that in a minute." Tsuna nodded and after paying he made his way to the other side of the bar, where the machines were posted. He noticed he was one of the only customers at the moment, so maybe staying for a while wouldn't be a bad idea. The place was cozy and comfortable, and Tsuna just felt at ease, something he craved ever since Maria had stepped into his house all those years ago.
A deep voice got him from his musings.
"You asked for a doppio?" something in the voice was familiar, but Tsuna had to actually look at the barista to know what it was.
"Huh?" it was the man from the other day, the one who had barged into his talk with Luce-san. He was still wearing black, he noted, even with the apron on, and his fedora was still in place as well. Probably a trademark, a precious gift, of both, Tsuna decided. it didn't matter, really, it still looked hella good on him. "Y-Yes, thank you." he grabbed his drink, but didn't leave. The other didn't move either. "I've seen you. We're in a lot of the same classes." he barely suppressed the grimace off his face when he realised that the man probably remembered their conversation as well. Gods he was such an awkward idiot it was actually surprising.
"Yeah, I've noticed. Your friends are rather... expressive." mused the man, and a glint on his black eyes appeared as if he was thinking about something.
"O-Oh. Yeah, they tend to be a little loud, though you should have seen them a few years ago, they were impossible. I'm sorry if they bothered you." apologised the young boss, and the man smirked.
"Don't worry, they're interesting to watch." Tsuna raised an eyebrow at that, but didn't comment on it. He knew his friends could be intense. Instead, he decided to present himself.
"My name's Tsunayoshi Sawada, call me Tsuna though, Tsunayoshi it's just too messy." Tsuna smiled, and the other's smirk grew.
"They call me Reborn. Nice to finally make your acquaintance." Tsuna bowed his head in return, but kept his gaze on the newly named Reborn.
"Humm... are you gonna tell me your real name?" he asked when the other didn't say anything else.
"Perhaps. If you tell me why your friends insist on calling you 'Boss' or 'Juudaime'." and there was that smirk again. Somehow, even though Tsuna knew those words could be dangerous, he didn't feel worried about it.
"Maybe one day." he smiled again, this time a mysterious one graced his lips. Reborn seemed to find it funny, because his smirk didn't leave either.
Thus, a friendship was born.
Suddenly, Tsuna found himself leaving the Vongola Estate to visit Panella's time and time again, each time more frequently than before. He soon learned Reborn's shifts, and got to know the rest of the staff. The girl he had met at the register was called Anna, and the other shift's pair were Luca and Roma. Two people was all they needed to run the cafe, since it was rather small and more of a neighborhood business than anything else. He even got to meet the owner - a woman named Elena - . She was in her late fifties, and was the most adorable woman Tsuna had ever come across.
It wasn't long until his Guardians found out why he was leaving the Vongola Estate, with how much of a nosy worrywarts bunch they were. They soon too became regulars at the coffee shop, which could have been both a good and a bad thing.
(If Panella's suddenly became part of the business the Vongola protected, then nobody needed to know).
The thing was, Tsuna spent a lot of time with Reborn because of this. Even after his Guardians started to tag along, Tsuna still found occasions to come alone, specifically when Reborn was the one handling the drinks. It was just Reborn's coffee, it made Tsuna's mouth water just at the thought of it - okay, so maybe not only the coffee, but that was something Tsuna would keep locked in his heart. Even the thought of it was too dangerous, and he didn't want anyone to end up like his mom - . Even thought the man himself prefered espresso - which, okay, Tsuna enjoyed it, but there was nothing like the caffeine that runned through his veins when he took a doppio, that had twice the amount of caffeine an espresso did - , his doppio was heavenly.
The both of them clicked almost immediately. Whatever hostility their first meet could have harbored was gone the moment they met at the coffee shop. Now Reborn and Tsuna partnered up for some of the projects they had for class, and they held study sessions at the coffee shop when Reborn wasn't on one of his shifts (this lead him to realise the sass, the sarcasm, and the biting remarks were just a part of who Reborn was, and not something against him. Tsuna actually liked it a lot, which was... concerning, to sat the least). The both made an unstoppable duo in and out of classes, something some people found actually terrifying. His friends had asked about it at first, but they had backed off soon without much complain. Apparently, they saw something Tsuna didn't, because when he mentioned it over dinner, Chrome, Hayato and Tekeshi just smiled indulgently and didn't tell him a thing, whispering something to the other four so the seven of them could mock him.
Just as Reborn got to know his friends, Tsuna had his fair share of encounters with the raven haired man's own friend group. They were the strangest bunch, and Tsuna hadn't really understood how they had come to be what they were at the beginning. They were all just too different from each other, and Tsuna was wondering how they had even met in the first place. He was sure he would have never met most of them if it weren't from Reborn and Luce-san. As he got to know them, though, he linked it all to the woman in question, who was holding them all together, just like a Sky would, and just like Tsuna did with his Guardians. The brunet actually found many similarities in how they interacted with each other when he compared them to his own Guardians.
(Tsuna would think about it at night, wondering if maybe, maybe, he was getting into something more complex than he thought. He tried not to dwell much on those thoughts, because after the numerous checks he had done in all of them, he was sure all of them were civilians, through and through).
It was later brought to his attention, while they were all chilling at Panella's while Reborn was working - which seemed to be something they did frequently as it annoyed the raven haired to no end - that they had all known each other since they were months old, because their families had been friends for generations now, so play dates were a given, and by the time they had the age to decide what kind of friends they wanted, the seven of them were just too used to the others' presence to mind or bother with finding someone else. They worked somehow, so they let it be.
What had been a surprise was to find Fon in there. He was Kyoya's cousin, or like the skylark liked to call him, the annoying carnivore - when Tsuna had first heard that, he had sweatdropped, not even surprised about his Cloud Guardian's obstinate habit of placing everyone within his animalistic categories, even his family - .
Tsuna met Fon back when he was still in his second year of high school, when the boy had been over visiting family. Stuff had happened, like whenever Tsuna and his friends were involved, and Fon had found out about the Mafia. For some reason, the usual excuses hadn't worked on him - maybe it was because he wasn't from Namimori? People there just seemed awfully indulgent of explosions and questionable situations. Most of his Namimori-borned Guardians had had to be talked explicitly of the Mafia for them to really get it... - , so they decided to just tell him and put a security detail on him to keep him safe back in Italy.
Fon had kept the Omerta - something Tsuna thanked to every single god that was listening, because he didn't think he would have been able to deal with that whole bunch if they knew - so none of his friends knew about the Mafia, and just how much Tsuna and his friends were involved. He had talked to Tsuna when it seemed obvious that he and Reborn had developed a real friendship, though.
Let's just say, it had been quit serious. They both come to an agreement in the end, which was what was important, so things were good.
It had been a few months since them. Four months filled with explosions, yelling, fights and bites to death. And lots, lots of paperwork. Tsuna was eternally grateful for his planning ahead and setting uo that trust fund. Tsuna had lost the count of how many people had been in need to psychological and/or physical assistant after the tenth incident. He was just really grateful that he actually owned the entire campus, because he was sure Mukuro and Kyoya would have been expelled already otherwise.
Besides that, it had been quite an uneventful term - as much as uneventful anything surrounding the Vongola could be, of course - and before Tsuna knew it, winter break had come around. And with it, Christmas.
Christmas meant the family was all reunited again, and that meant Nana and Iemitsu were coming to the Vongola Estate for the holidays. It also meant the Varia would make a visit, which... yeah, Tsuna was looking forward to it, because he loved his family, but the paperwork...
It was in moments like that one when Tsuna thanked the gods he hadn't invited Reborn to the Estate yet. That didn't mean he wouldn't just... maybe he would when the elite assassination team leadered by his uncle with anger issues wasn't around. Would definitely be too much for a first time visit.
And there was the fact that he still hadn't gotten around telling him he was due to inherit Vongola Corp, thus why he had a huge Estate and all that jazz. Tsuna wasn't sure why he wanted Reborn to know - or maybe he did, but didn't want to think about it - but the brunet didn't feel really good keeping the truth from him.
(He ignored the nagging in his head that mocked him, because how could Tsuna believe there would be no secrets between them when he wouldn't tell him about the Mafia? When Tsuna didn't even know Reborn's real name?
Tsuna kindly told his brain to shut the fuck up).
Tsuna sighed. Of course his life had to be complicated in every single aspect possible.
At least he would get to see his mother. He had missed her all those months she had been with Iemitsu. She sounded happy over the phone, happier than she had ever sounded when Iemitsu wasn't there, so Tsuna guessed it was good enough. Even if his sperm donor was eighteen years late. His mother's happiness was what mattered, Tsuna's feelings towards the man had nothing to do with that.
That didn't mean he didn't call Reborn mere hours after he arrived at Vongola Estate. Just hearing him yelling something about his 'Tunafish!' (he despised that nickname) and 'how much he had grown since the last time he saw him!' (that had been two years ago, when he had officially inherited the Vongola. He hadn't even called once after that). It made him sick in the stomach. The way he just seemed to think nothing was wrong, like he hadn't just abandoned his wife and only son for his work, like he hadn't gotten a call for his birthday since he was six, always hearing from him with 'happy birthday's months in advance or almost half a year later, like he hadn't come back home after ten years just because of some stupid rings, and not to see his abandoned family. Like he hadn't asked the Nono to seal his flames.
It had hurt. It had hurt a lot. One day he had been full, warm and happy.
And then he was suddenly cold all the time.
When he had finally broken the sealed with Maria's help, he felt like he could breathe again. He was no longer clumsy, because his energy wasn't put on subconsciously breaking the seal on his own, and his head stopped buzzing 24/7. He could actually think.
The fact that it was Iemitsu that had taken all that away from him... it only made his resentment stronger.
That was why he was calling Reborn, three days before Christmas Eve, hoping with his dying will the other would pick up the call.
He didn't know why Reborn, of all people. All his Guardians, his most trusted friends, were just a few minutes away, and every single one of them would have dropped everything to get him out. He just had to say the words.
So why Reborn? Tsuna wasn't sure. It was just something inside him, that told him Reborn was the one to go. His Hyper Intuition? Maybe, he wouldn't discard the possibility, but it was still strange.
"Tsuna?" Reborn's voice was heard through the speaker.
"Hey." something in his voice must have sounded dejected or something, because Reborn noticed immediately.
"Is something wrong? You sound... distressed. What happened?" he asked, and Tsuna felt the knot in his throat dissolve if just a little. That was what he liked about Reborn. He got to him like no other, and they had met for so little time. It never ceased to amaze him, the effect he had on him.
(It also scared him shitless, because Tsuna wasn't sure where he would put a stop to it, if he even could).
"M-My father, he... I don't want to see him Reborn, I can't. A-And he just arrived for Christmas and I can't be here, I-I need to get out of here." his breathing was quickening, and his chest was tightening. Tsuna couldn't breath, he couldn't breath couldn't couldn't couldn't someone please help him he couldn't breath please.
"...una. Tsuna! Snap out of it, Tsuna!" Reborn's voice brought him back. He took a sharp intake of air, and let it out shakily. "That's it. Breathe. Come on, you got it." after a few more tries, Tsuna could more or less think clearly again. "Do you think you can leave your house?"
"Y-Yeah. I'll just tell Hayato and he'll cover for me." it should be easy enough, Hayato could never deny something from him, specially if it had something to do with his sperm donor or his anxiety in general.
"Alright, then, here's what we're gonna do. You're gonna leave your house, and we're gonna meet up at Panella's. Okay? Then you're coming to my house until you've calmed down. How does that sound?" Reborn's voice was gentle, calmed. It was different from his usual snarky remarks, and the sarcasm that seemed to follow him everywhere. It helped put Tsuna at ease.
"That would be great." Tsuna could feel the smile in his voice, and he was sure Reborn could too.
"I'll be waiting for you, okay?"
"M'kay." the call soon ended, and Tsuna made a point to start his mission. He was currently in his office, hiding from his sperm donor behind the excuse of - unfortunately real - paperwork he wanted to finish before Christmas Eve so he would be able to spend the Holidays with his family. Xanxus, who had gotten to the Estate two days before with the Varia, had dropped by as soon as he saw Iemitsu walking through the halls, and after seeing the 'Mini Boss' at the state of a near panic attack, he had taken the task of distracting the CEDEF head. That meant he and his Guardians were causing ruckus all over the place, specifically around Iemitsu, in order to keep him busy.
Whoever said the Varia were a team of assassins and emotionless bastards would face the wrath of the Vongola Decimo. They were assassins all right, and bastards as well - no one could cause that much paperwork without meaning to - , but emotionless? Not a chance in hell.
(And besides, had they even seen that anger that seemed to follow them?)
His own Guardians were doing a great job too, keeping Nana from the destruction that surrounded her husband, and overall making sure Iemitsu didn't come near Tsuna's office. Kyoya had even sent Hybird to keep an eye on the man, wasn't he the sweetest (not that Tsuna would ever tell that to the man's face, he didn't want to get bitten to death)?
Four out of the seven Guardians had positioned themselves near their Boss' office, each one of them ready to even fight Iemitsu if it meant he wouldn't get near Tsuna. Hayato, being his right hand, was posted by the door, so Tsuna just had to call him to make the silveret come in.
"Are you okay, Juudaime? You look a little pale." fretted the Storm Guardian when he saw Tsuna's pale figure.
"I'm fine, Hayato, don't worry." Tsuna smiled reassuringly, but soon it slipped off. "Listen, I... I talked with Reborn. I can't be here, not while he is here looking for me. I can face him when his focus is on something else, but now he still wants to talk to me and you know I can't do that." Hayato nodded immediately, knowing well how his Sky reacted to his biological paternal figure - he refused to call him Tsuna's father - after years of watching their interactions. To say Hayato was surprised Tsuna still hadn't blasted Iemitsu to the moon already was an understatement. The brunet always ended up either fighting with the head of CEDEF or having a panic attack, the latter more than the former.
(Hayato still thought Tsuna was too forgiving to him. The man always got away with nothing more than a few broken bones, ones any Sun could heal easily, while Tsuna's entire self just shattered over and over again. It wasn't fair.
Then again, nothing was fair when it came to Juudaime).
"What do you want me to do, Juudaime?" he was at his Boss' orders, and they both knew it.
"Just help me get out of here, and if he asks for me, tell him I wasn't feeling well, so I went to bed early." that was all Tsuna had to say. Soon, Hayato had arranged his security detail, plus his Guardians and the Varia, to make an escape route for their Boss. The Varia would make a distraction - Squalo had been wanting to try that new move on someone, anyways, and the Varia always enjoyed messing with the head of CEDEF - while his Guardians would help as an escort for Tsuna, in case Iemitsu miraculously managed to get past the Varia. They would let Tsuna by the door, and they would all come back. Tsuna would go out alone, because if suddenly people from Tsuna's personal security detail, or worse, his Guardians, disappeared at the same time as Tsuna, it would just be too suspicious.
(There had been some disagreements on that, because apparently Tsuna couldn't take care of himself even when he had fought more enemies than he had ever wanted, but whatever. It was actually cute to see his friends fretting over him).
Just ten minutes later, Tsuna was standing outside of Vongola Estate, with a thick jacket, his phone, and his wallet. He started walking to Panella's as soon as he told his friends to thank everyone for their help.
His breath looked like white steam thanks to the cold, and Tsuna hid his hands on his jacket to try and keep the warm on them. He thanked the gods Panella's was close to the Estate, because walking in the cold wasn't something Tsuna enjoyed.
Before he knew it, he was standing before the door of the small cafe, and Reborn was by his side.
Reborn got close, and as soon as he saw him, he engulfed him in a hug without saying a word. He did like to say actions spoke better than words, after all. Tsuna immediately clung to him like dear life, burying his head in the taller man's chest.
"It's alright, tesoro, come on. Don't worry, everything's gonna be okay." something on those calming, soothing words seemed to work, because slowly Tsuna stopped clinging so hard, leaving the safe heaven he had found in Reborn's eyes. Maybe it was the softness which Reborn spoke with, or the fact that Reborn alone was enough to make him feel like he wasn't Vongola Decimo, like he wasn't the head of the biggest Mafia Famiglia in probably the world. With Reborn, he was just Tsuna.
"Thanks for being here, Reborn." Tsuna's voice was raspy, like he had been about to cry - he had always been a bit of a crybaby, sue him - , but it was firm and steady.
"You don't need to thank me, Tsuna. Come on, my house isn't far." and taking his hand, the raven haired man started guiding them through the streets, not noticing the blush that appeared on Tsuna's face when the brunet eyed at their locked hands.
That was something that had been happening as of late. Tsuna would find himself blushing during their studying sessions, and thinking about the raven haired one while he ought to be doing paperwork - not that he minded, every distraction from paperwork was welcomed... except maybe his Guardias destroying some part of the Estate, probably because it brought more paperwork to him - , and overall finding himself enchanted with his being as a whole.
Tsuna knew it was dangerous, he knew. And yet he couldn't help but to feel attracted to the danger. During his younger years, he had always ran away every time something threatened to burst his comfort zone. But now he felt ecstatic every time that rush went through his veins, like an addict with his drug. Nowadays, dangerous was welcomed, and intrusions on his comfort zone were wanted as long as they came from Reborn.
It scared him, because it meant he would possibly end up dragging Reborn into the mess that was his life, and Tsuna didn't want that.
But it was just so easy to forget Reborn wasn't a part of his world, the one that was tainted with blood and violence, where screams and pain were just another part of the agenda. Reborn clicked so well with him, with his friends, it was just... simple to think he was a part of them.
Tsuna didn't want for that to be true, he didn't want to be responsible for such an act - they had done it with him, and while he had came out on top, he still found it wrong. It wasn't right to drag someone to the mess that was the Mafia - . But he was too selfish to stop either.
And so, he let Reborn guide him through the streets, giving back smiles when the other looked over his shoulder - looking so smooth while doing it Tsuna was almost unnerved - to see how he was doing. Even though it was dangerous, and even though he knew he should stop it before it went too far, Tsuna couldn't do it.
That was probably the time when he should have noticed he was already too far gone.
Or maybe he should have when Reborn's smile turned him into a puddle of goo? He wasn't sure when that had started, but he remembered the first time he had realised it was happening.
It had been during one of those times when Tsuna was alone at Panella's, and there was no more clientele besides himself. Anna was busy at the back of the shop, so Reborn was handling everything while he talked with Tsuna. It wasn't that hard, since the raven haired man had been working on the shop for years now, so he was well acquainted with all the machines and stuff, and since there was nobody to attend to either, it meant they had a lot of time to talk on their own.
Tsuna wasn't sure what they were talking about exactly, but it was something silly, because he remembered to be laughing and actually finding it hard to breathe from how strong his laugh was.
Reborn had been on the other side of the counter, cleaning some of the cups while he told the joke. Tsuna had been sitting on one of the stools near said counter, his head propped on his palm as he wiped the tears of laughter from his eyes.
Then suddenly Reborn turned around, and for the first time Tsuna saw something that wasn't a smirk on his face. The barista was actually laughing, a full on laugh, smiling widely, and it was the most beautiful thing Tsuna had ever seen.
He should have put a stop in their relationship there. He should have gone back to the civil coexistence they had before becoming friends. Because now it was too late.
They stopped in front of a medium-size house, verged and well kept. It was small, but for a family of two it was more than enough. All in all, it looked pretty good, probably something Tsuna would have gotten if it hadn't been for the fact that he was practically forced to leave at Vongola Estate.
"It's just you and me. My Mamma is out on a business trip and won't be getting here until tomorrow night, so don't worry about being bothered by questions or anything." Tsuna smiled at that. Reborn sure knew how to make him feel better.
"You're the best, you know?" he said, eyes shining. Reborn smirked.
"So I've been told." he placed a kiss on Tsuna's temple, and turned around. "You want something to eat?"
"I-If you don't m-mind." Tsuna felt his face on fire. It wasn't the first time Reborn did something like that, but it never made him least flustered.
"Of course I don't. I wouldn't have offered if I did." and there it was. Yeah, that was Reborn alright.
Half an hour later, the two of them were in Reborn's room with a tray of sandwiches and some coffee. They were sitting on Reborn's bed - and didn't that make Tsuna's poor heart beat fast? - and Tsuna was playing with his fingers.
Reborn hadn't said anything because he was polite, but Tsuna knew he wanted to know why Tsuna was so stressed about his sperm donor.
In fact, as if he wanted to make Tsuna more comfortable, he told him about his own family. He was an only child, and lived alone with his mother. The father was apparently out of the picture. Reborn didn't specify, and Tsuna didn't pry. If he understood something about family it was that sometimes you just wanted to stop thinking about it.
The thing was, it wasn't as if Tsuna felt comfortable with talking about it, but he felt like Reborn had a right to know. And even if he felt uncomfortable, there was just something about the man that made it so much easier to talk about anything.
"Okay so... you know I moved to Italy just a few months ago, right?" Reborn nodded, and Tsuna took a deep breath. "I did it because I'm heir to a company that has its main branch here. My friends came with me because they wanted to help." Reborn looked slightly surprised, but not by much.
"I was guessing it was something along those lines. You said you have family here?"
"Yeah. My sperm donor's side is originally from Italy, so even if we are all from Japan, the main branch is stationed here. I... well, Iemitsu, that's my sperm donor, he's the head of one of the company's branches, and his positions gives him a say on who will inherit the company. My grandfather, who's my antecesor, had four children. One of them is adopted, so he can't inherit - it's a tradition thing - , and the other three... died. So I was the only other option." he said, trying to get his thoughts together as to not spill anything he wasn't supposed to.
"I take it you didn't want to?"
"When the tutor they sent came to tell me I would inherit I kicked her out. She came back, but I guess that answers your question." Reborn snorted, and Tsuna allowed a small smile. "Anyways, the thing is, my sperm donor has always worked in Italy, even before he met my mom. Do you know how many times I saw him before I moved here? Six. And the last two were business related." he kept quiet. Reborn didn't say anything. "He always called to wish me a happy birthday with months of advance, or half a year after it passed, and the last time I saw him before moving here was when I came for the staff to know I would be inheriting two years ago. He didn't even call after that. And my mom just... acts like it's okay! When we moved, she was going to stay with me until I demanded him to man up and finally be with his wife. He doesn't deserve her, and she still loves him." there was so much more he wanted to say, but that would mean talk about Flames, and that wasn't happening. "I know I can't make that decision for my mother, but that doesn't mean he's anything but my sperm donor. He ruined my life for almost ten years. I can't forgive him from that."
The both of them stayed quiet for a bit. Tsuna didn't want to talk about it anymore, and Reborn seemed to respect that.
"I feel like there's a lot you're not telling me, but you're obviously not comfortable talking about it, so I won't force you. But I want you to know, I'm here, okay? Every time you want to get out of your house, or if you want me to kick some ass, just call." Tsuna let out a small, broken laugh, and Reborn smirked in triumph.
"Thanks. I'll have that in mind, though you'll have to share with Mukuro and Kyoya." the both had been been waiting for him to give them the green light for years now.
"I'm sure we can work on something that works for the three of us." the raven winked playfully at him, and Tsuna blushed.
"So I've been told." the brunet snorted, resting his head on Reborn's chest. The other one surrounded him with his arm, and before he knew it, he was sitting on Reborn's lap as the raven haired hugged him.
"I like you." Tsuna's lips moved before he could process what he was saying, and when he finally did he felt as his face turned red from embarrassment. When he felt Reborn tensing behind him, Tsuna started to panic, because holy fuck had he fucked up badly. Now Reborn was going to ask him to leave, and then he would never hear of him again because why would someone as cool as Reborn be seen hanging up with a loser like Tsuna? And that was without the whole confession thing, which couldn't have been more lame and now Reborn would hate him and...
"I like you too." his head stopped spinning, and his heart skipped a bit.
What had he just said?
"You... what?" there was no way Tsuna had heard that right. There was just no possible way.
"I like you too, idiot." Reborn looked almost... shy, and Tsuna could swear he saw the faintest of blushes on the other's cheeks.
Their first kiss was sweet, if a bit innocent. They were both testing the field, getting to know it before doing something more risky. Their lips met, a small brush at first, almost like they weren't touching.
The second one was a bit rougher, more confident. Now that they knew the other wouldn't pull apart, they were daring enough to pull closer. Soon, Tsuna was shoving his tongue inside Reborn's mouth, meticulously mapping the place like it was the only source of water in a dessert. The barista was moaning lowly through their kiss, and the brunet actually smiled as they pulled apart. All those lessons with Maria's friend - insert shiver, because damn, that woman had even stranger friends than her - , had paid off, apparently.
There was no talking, it wasn't needed. They just laid on Reborn's bed, snuggling happily. There would probably be a talk about what they were later. They would need to set boundaries, and clarify just where were they going after that, but for the time being, they were contempt with each other's embrace.
Christmas gave out to New Year, and soon Iemitsu was gone. That led to Tsuna's peace of mind and a new semester at University.
Going back after the turn Tsuna and Reborn's relationship did was almost surreal, but nothing really happened. When Tsuna came back to the Estate and told his friends, they were all happy. That didn't mean they didn't threaten the barista the next time they saw him, because they were overprotective like it was a requirement or something, but Tsuna had forbidden them from harming him, so little actually happened. Reborn's friends had reacted similarly too. The six had threatened Reborn from ever harming their little Tsuna, and Reborn had actually looked offended by it.
"I... you know what? I'm not even surprised it's me your threatening. It's not like we've been friends since kindergarten or anything..." he had grumbled and muttered under his breath, but he was happy his friends liked Tsuna.
The only one that had had a problem with the new develop in their relationship was Lambo. The young Guardian was afraid Reborn would steal his Tsuna-nii - the first person who had ever bothered with him, and the only one who always understood him - away from him. He had thrown a tantrum, and had come to Panella's to yell at Reborn.
He had taken it in stride, letting the boy finish before assuring him that he would never take his brother from him. From what Tsuna had told him, he had found Lambo on the streets back when he was in middle school, and had taken him home with him. It made sense the kid would be attached to him, and Reborn had no intentions of ever breaking that. Family was important, and he had told Lambo as much. That seemed to calm the kid down, and since then Reborn had turned into Reborn-nii. Not that the other minded, it was better than having the kid mad at him.
The first day back at University, rumors spread like wildfire. For some unknown reason - more like because that's what always happened, if Colonnello was to be believed - , Reborn had become quite popular because of his smarts and looks. Tsuna and his friends were on the spotlight too, but that was more because they tended to cause ruckus wherever they went and they were still allowed to attend like nothing happened. There were rumors of them buying off the board - not quite, but close - but there was nothing confirmed, and everybody was too scared to ask or even hint at it directly. It hadn't been long before Kyoya and Mukuro had made their presence known, and everybody who had had a single interaction with them knew they tended to use violence before words.
(Why they were both in law school? That was a question nobody ever got answered. Why did they hang together when they obviously wanted to kill each other? That wasn't answered either).
Things died down soon, though, everybody getting used to seeing the couple together as the days passed. It wasn't that much different than how it was before, so it wasn't that big of an adjustment. In fact, everything was going well, so much Tsuna started to feel suspicious. His Hyper Intuition had been nagging at him, hinting at something that would happen soon, but the brunet just couldn't piece what it was.
That is, until he got the call.
Tsuna had been signing some paperwork - pretty much what he did every time he was not in class, studying, socializing, or sleeping - , revising some of the alliances requests that had been coming as of late. As Vongola Decimo, it was his job to tend to those matters personally, even if he didn't need to attend to all the meetings. Only the ones with more important Famiglias requested his presence.
Suddenly, the quietness in his office was interrupted by his phone ringing. When he picked it up and saw who it was on the ID, his face brightened. It always made his day better to hear from Reborn, specially if it got him out of paperwork.
Picking up with a smile on his face, he was not expecting what he heard.
"Reborn! How are you?"
"I'm in the hospital." Tsuna's blood ran cold, because had his enemy Familgias figured out he was dating a civilian? Tsuna had been careful, what had gone wrong? "My Mamma got in a car accident. She... the doctors said she probably won't make it." and while Reborn's voice didn't falter - he was Reborn, after all - , Tsuna could hear the raspiness, like he had been about to cry. Reborn never cried.
"I'm on my way. Which hospital are you at?" Reborn told him the address, and Tsuna was glad it wasn't far. "Okay. It's gonna be alright, baby, I promise. I'll be there in ten minutes." he said, and Reborn sniffed - which was just another sign for Tsuna to hurry the hell up, because Reborn didn't sniff - and told him he would be waiting.
Before the call ended, Tsuna was already dashing through the halls, already dialing another number. Thankfully, the line was picked up quickly.
"Thank the gods you picked up. Ryohei, I need you to meet me at the entrance now. Use whatever methods you need but we need to leave now." as he said that he started going into Hyper Dying Will Mode.
"Is everything extremely alright?"
"Reborn's mom is in the hospital, and she needs a Sun. You're the best I know so..."
"Alright, I'll extremely be there! Don't extremely worry, Tsuna, I'll extremely help Reborn's extreme mom!" Tsuna allowed a small smile, before it was washed away by his Flames.
"Meet you in the entrance in a minute." then, as he ended the call, he proceeded to launch himself from the nearest window.
Well, no one ever said he didn't go to further lengths for family. And Reborn - as much as it pained him, because the last thing he wanted was put him in danger - , was family.
Ryohei was already there, waiting for him with a car prepared to take them to Hospital Sister Cecilia Basarocco, where Reborn had said his mother was. He hadn't told him many details, and Tsuna wasn't heartless enough to ask during a phone call, but he was sure Ryohei would be able to help. He was, after all, his Sun Guardian, and one of the best healers on Vongola. Lussuria was a close second, but the assassin was currently out of reach because of a Varia mission, and Shamal was currently in... well, last time he had heard of him, Shamal had been at St. Petersburg.
When they got to the hospital, Tsuna called Reborn, asking him where he was. After getting directions to the Emergency Wing, it was only a matter of seconds before he was hugging his boyfriend, feeling how he collapsed against his arms.
"It's okay, darling, I'm here. Everything's gonna be alright, I promise." he said, whispering in Reborn's ear to calm him down. While the other was usually very composed, Tsuna knew his mother was all he had.
It hadn't really come out, but Reborn had been giving him hints of it. For what Tsuna had gathered, Reborn's father had died in an accident when he was ten years old. He didn't speak much about him. Then again, probably Tsuna wouldn't either if he had been in his shoes.
While he was holding Reborn, Tsuna motioned Ryohei to go see his mother. His Sun Guardian nodded, slipping into the room without making any noise.
"I... she said she would be home soon. Only five minutes. But then she didn't get home. I got worried. And then I got the call. Tsuna, I... I can't lose her." as he heard that broken whisper, Tsuna kept holding him, running his hands through the silky black hair, assuring him his mother would make it out alive. Tsuna had never had a proper conversation with Reborn's mother before, because the woman was alguien out of town on business trips and his free time never alligned with hers, but from what his boyfriend had told him, she was amazing, and Tsuna would be damned in he let her die.
"Ryohei's in her room now. Before you know it, she'll be up and running, I promise. He's the best healer I know." Reborn actually pulled apart when he said that, confused.
"W-What? Ryohei Sasagawa? What is he doing here?" he was probably wondering what a first year med student could do that a professional couldn't. Well, most professionals didn't have Active Sun Flames, and hadn't had to put all of a person's inner organs back inside their body in the middle of a bullet rain.
It had been a long night, and it had hurt like a bitch and then some more, that was all Tsuna had to say in the matter.
"I asked him to come. If someone can make sure you mom makes it, that's him." Tsuna looked into Reborn's eyes, making sure those black eyes, full of confusement and fear, would lock themselves with his own honey ones. "I promise she'll be alright. Do you trust me?" after a moment, Reborn nodded, still bewildered by the concept of the white haired man's presence. "Good. Come on, let's sit. You look tired. Ryohei should be done in a bit."
An hour later, Ryohei came out of the room looking slightly pale, and the tiredness was evident on the slump of his shoulders. But he was wearing a huge smile, and that was all they needed to know it had worked.
Reborn, always one to refuse other's contact if it wasn't from Tsuna, actually came to his side and hugged him tight, taking both Mafia members by surprise. He whispered some hoarse thank yous, and then entered the room. His mother was still sleeping, and there were still some minor injuries, but none of the damage he had witnessed an hour ago were there. They had vanished, like they had never existed on the first place.
Reborn seemed to grateful to care about how it was possible.
Tsuna decided to stay for a while longer, but Ryohei still had to finish some papers for the Anatomy class he had the next day, so he said his goodbyes and left. He said something to Tsuna before leaving, though, something that was equally worrisome and suspicious.
"She shows signs of semi-active Sun Flames. I couldn't identify if they were active on purpose or not, but they were there. Probably why she lasted as long as she did, those injuries would have killed anyone without the activation factor." Ryohei had looked quite serious, his lack of 'extreme's only seemed to emphasize that, and Tsuna had dreaded his next words before he even said them. "I don't want to say it, but it looked like Reborn had Flames too, now that I knew to look for them. They're not active, but... well, you know it's weird for people outside the Mafia to have Flames. You know how it goes, I had Knuckles, maybe they had someone else."
Tsuna didn't want to admit it, but it seemed like Ryohei was right, if his Hyper Intuition was anything to go by. And using past experience as reference, it was.
He had no idea just how right that supposition was.
When Reborn first saw Tsunayoshi Sawada the first thing he thought was 'wow, he's cute'. Then he saw him shriek at something his friends said and thought 'he's like a scared cat surrounded by lions'. Somehow, he still found it cute. When he tested the waters, the boy talked back, and his thought process went on the lines of 'maybe not so much of a scared cat?'. Then they met again at Panella's, and their relationship skyrocketed.
At first, Reborn didn't notice it. Yeah, he liked that the brunet would show up quite often at the coffee shop, but he was new in town, and the fact that he had found a cafe that went to his likings and decided to stick with it wasn't strange. Plus, he got along well with all of the staff, so Reborn assumed it was just that.
No, at first Reborn didn't notice. But when Tsuna's friends came with him, he did.
It had been maybe a month after the first time Tsuna had came for the first time. Reborn was actually expecting him, not because they had agreed on it, but because it was such a common occurrence the barista decided it was best to just be prepared.
What he wasn't expecting were six more people barging in. Or well, not really barging in, this was a coffee shop and everyone had a right to come, but... okay, so maybe he was being a bit overdramatic, sue him.
Reborn noticed them right away because they were being so loud. Even when only three of them were talking, that was the most noise he had ever heard all day.
"Shut up, Lawn Head!"
"Why don't you shut up to the extreme, Tako Head!"
"Maa, maa, why don't we all calm down, we're at a public space, after all!"
"Why, you Baseball Freak...!"
"Herbivores..." the last one wasn't a yell, but it only added to the general noise.
"And this is why I don't go out with you all in a same group. I had enough of it when we were confined at the base..." that voice he definitely recognized, even when it was grumbling, and once he figured that out, it wasn't that hard for Reborn to figure just who had arrived. He had told Tsuna his friends were always loud, after all.
Anna gave him a questioning look from over the register, where she was posted, but Reborn just waved a hand dismissively.
"I see you brought your friends." he said instead of greeting Tsuna, but he knew the brunet wouldn't care.
"I'm sorry they're so loud, I swear I tried but I couldn't find the switch anywhere." he looked positively dejected at the statement, and Reborn snorted. "They wanted to know why I come here so much, so I figure it would be best to go along before they actually followed me and arrived unexpectedly. Now that would have been a bad idea..." Reborn raised an eyebrow at that. Now that Tsuna mentioned, he always talked about how... volatile his friends could be. Reborn could certainly see it, he spend most of his classes with three of them, after all, but it made no sense for Tsuna to hang out with them if he didn't like it.
Well, his friends weren't much better either, so who was him to question the brunet's choices?
"Don't worry. Just as they don't break anything..." Reborn had been joking, but something in Tsuna's eyes told him he might had stepped on a land mine with that statement.
"I'll make sure they behave." he smiled and turned to his friends. "Right, guys?" there was nothing weird with the question, but the three troublemakers shut up immediately, and Reborn could have sworn he saw them pale a bit. The one who had black hair and a face that said 'go near me and you'll die (the correct term was being bitten to death, but Reborn didn't know that yet)' said 'Hn', and then proceeded to sit at the other side of the room. Reborn thought the others would follow him, but instead they found another table and sat down. Such an interesting group indeed.
Soon, Tsuna stood up to order for all of them, since he knew the staff. He stopped by the one Reborn now recognised as Fon's cousin - and how in the hell could he have missed that? They were so alike it was scary, if one were to ignore the facial expressions - , and soon Reborn had seven drinks to prepare. While he was on it, the brunet decided to strike conversation.
"Hey. You up for a study session? I know you're working, but we were planning on staying for a while, and your shift finishes soon, right?"
"What about those three?" Reborn pointed to the ones that weren't studying for a Business degree, but Tsuna shrugged it off.
"Kyoya will study on his own, he's a bit of a loner. Mukuro won't study at all, the bastard's a genius, and Ryohei brought his own material. We do that kind of stuff often, we don't need to talk to enjoy each other's company. Besides, it'll do them good to hear some things about management and budget." the brunet winked, and just like that Reborn was bought.
"Alright. I'm done here in twenty minutes, I'll join you then." he said as he handed him the seven drinks in a plastic tray.
"Cool." Tsuna smiled, and Reborn swore the place brightened. Was it legal to have that kind of smile? Probably not.
The brunet then turned around, drinks in hand, and got back to his friends, passing by Fon's cousin to give him his drink before sitting down with the other five.
Reborn then took to people-watch them. He, as everyone else in campus, had seen them interact. They looked close, and it was obvious they had met before coming to Italy. Their closeness spoke of common experiences, and from what he had been able to gather out of Tsuna's comments, they had all gone through some pretty weird situations together since the boy was fourteen.
It had never bothered him before, to know Tsuna was such close friends with them. Reborn had his own group, one he had been a part of before even been able to decide he wanted to stay friends - or as he liked to call them, acquaintances - with them.
But now, as he saw them all laugh together, and tease each other like they had been doing so for a long time... well, something within him twisted painfully.
"You're staring." Anna's comment from the register made him look the other way, not even lifting her gaze from the book she needed to finish for school. Anna was a couple of years younger than Reborn, and she still had two years before going to University.
"Shut up." he pointedly ignored the slight blush that crepted on his cheeks.
"I didn't say anything." she said, a sly smile crossing her features. Reborn scowled slightly, looking at the clock. Their shift was almost done, and it wouldn't be long until Roma and Luca came to take their place.
To say Reborn was happy when he was finally able to join the students at their table was an understatement. And if he tried to take some of Tsuna's attention for himself... well, no one needed to know it had been on purpose.
With time, he ended up adjusting to Tsuna's friends. They were nice once you got over the loudness, and Reborn had come to realise every one of then held a special place in the brunet's heart. That was not something Reborn could change. And he didn't want to, because he soon discovered that heart had a spot for him too.
Tsuna had never outright mentioned it, but his friends had, very loudly so. Takeshi Yamamoto could have been seen like a simple guy, carefree and light. But Reborn had been able to see the serious side of him in numerous occasions. It wasn't something overly flashy, like Hayato Gokudera's outbursts. But there was something that changed on those eyes, an edge Reborn couldn't quite place. He just knew it was something potentially dangerous.
It had been during one of those moments, while Tsuna was in the restroom, when Takeshi had approached him. That time around, it had just been the three of them. Reborn had noticed that anywhere Tsuna went, almost always one of his friends would follow. The only times he had seen the brunet on his own had been during some of his visits to Panella's.
That one, however, was not one of them, because the tall man had came with him.
"You know, Boss cares about you." the phrase came out of nowhere, and Reborn looked up from the notes he had been revising to the test they had in a few days.
"Hm?" Takeshi actually chuckled at that, and Reborn saw his eyes softening just a small bit.
"Tsuna. He has grown to care a lot for you." he said, not quite looking at Reborn. But when he did, the raven haired man had to suppress the shiver that went down his spine. "I don't want my best friend to get hurt, Reborn. And if he does, and you're responsible... well I can get creative. And there will be a lot of people in line as well." Reborn could just stare, not knowing where had all of that came from. Takeshi smiled again a few seconds later, like nothing was wrong. "That was all I wanted to say. You're back Boss!"
"Yeah. What do you say about a quiz?"
"Sure!" said the baseball fan, and then Tsuna turned to Reborn, just to see him looking at... something.
"What? Umh, sure, I'll go first." he said, blinking a couple of times to get rid of the cold sensation left on his body. He didn't forget, however, the seriousness on Takeshi's eyes, nor the way he had done a complete one eighty in less than a second.
(He would never admit it, but there was something unsettling about Tsuna's friends, it put him on edge. They all seemed friendly, and Reborn knew they were, but something in his head kept nagging at him about the tiny things they did, like those jokes that didn't really seem like jokes, and comments about fights and battles that were too specific to be known only by stories).
(He pointedly ignored the way Tsuna seemed to be the center of it all).
When Tsuna kissed him for the first time, Reborn felt like he was on the moon. Don't get him wrong, he had kissed plenty of people before - he liked to call it experimentation, his friends called it his playboy phase - both men and women, but it had never been like with Tsuna. There was just something that drew him in, like a moth to a lamp. With Tsuna, he got to feel like he was the most important thing in the world, like he was truly treasured.
Was that how his Mamma had felt with his father before he died? If she had, then Reborn could understand why she had never married again. Reborn couldn't think of himself with someone else after being with Tsuna.
(The thought often scared him. Just how too deep was he? Obviously, too much. But he trusted Tsuna to not let him crack into pieces, like his Mamma had after his father died. That was all he could do, really).
Months later, Reborn was staring at his Mamma, still unconscious but very much alive. He had no idea what Ryohei Sasagawa had done while he and Tsuna were in the waiting room, but he knew that the woman before him was at the verge of death before the white haired man entered the room, and she was almost healed when he got out a mere hour later.
Tsuna had just left, telling him something about his friends exploding something. Reborn supposed he had imagined that, because right now everything that wasn't his Mamma wasn't important. He did remember Tsuna saying he had called Luce, so he could expect his loud group of friends to barge in any moment now. They all loved his Mamma almost as much as he did, they were all practically family, so it wasn't a surprise.
Reborn sipped at the espresso Tsuna had gotten for him before leaving, smiling slightly at the thought. He then held his Mamma's hand, reading the band on her wrist that said BELLA ROSSI, and her official documentation.
"Reborn, I came as soon as I could. Is Untie Bella alright?" Reborn kept a blank expression, only his eyes betraying the amusement he felt. He had called it, hadn't he? Luce had arrived earlier than he expected, though that was probably because she hadn't gathered the other five before coming. She had definitely called them, though, so they would come soon.
"Yeah, she'll be fine. One of Tsuna's friends did something and... she just got better real fast. The doctors still don't know how it happened." he said, still staring at his Mamma. "I don't care though. Mamma's alright, and that's all that matters to me."
Luce smiled and took a sir besides him. None of them said a word until the other five arrived.
A week later, his Mamma had already been released from the hospital, and Reborn was alone in his room. On his hands was a grey pacifier, one that he had carried with him ever since he had turned sixteen. Leon, the family chameleon - and wasn't that a weird animal for a pet? Well, Skull's had a freaking octopus, so he guess it could have been worse - , was resting on his shoulder, like he always did when he wasn't with Reborn's mother. Reborn didn't know how in the hell the chameleon was still alive, because he had been in the family since before Reborn was born, and chameleons lifespan was of five years, but he had learned to go along with it.
The pacifier had been something his family on his Mamma's side had owned for a long time.
It was passed down from generation to generation, to the eldest child. Reborn had no idea why a pacifier could be a family heirloom, but he knew it was the reason why he was friends with the people he hung around. After all, the other seven had pacifiers as well.
When his Mamma had given it to him, she had made him swear up and down that he would take care of it with his life, and she had made him promise to take it with him at all times. He mostly kept it on the inner pocket of his jacket, near his heart.
Reborn honestly couldn't find anything interesting about the pacifier, except that it was weird and way to big for a normal pacifier. But he didn't want to upset his Mamma, especially when she was so adamant on him keeping the thing safe, and it wasn't hard to comply with her wishes, so he went along. He wasn't sure about the life thing, but he figured he wouldn't get to that.
A month later, he was proved wrong.
He had been on a date with Tsuna. Reborn loved those dates, because he got to truly spend some time alone with his boyfriend, which was a strange occurrence as it was. Tsuna was often busy helping his grandfather, and he had to split his time with all of his friends. Then there was also Reborn's job, and his own friends, so spending time without anyone else could often prove to he difficult. Reborn didn't mind. It was moments like the one they were having now that made it completely worth it.
They were strolling down Sicily's streets, just wandering around after watching a movie. It was still too early for dinner, so Tsuna had suggested some touring around the city, since he still hadn't visited everything because of his busy schedule. Reborn was more than happy to act as a guide, taking him to various places he liked of the city. It was when they were nearing a park, one Reborn had played at when he was little, that it happened.
One second, they were alone, talking about whatever came to their minds with smiles on their faces. And then the next, they heard an explosion.
No, that wasn't right. Tsuna had tensed a few seconds before that, looking at one specific point at his side. And when the explosion was heard... the brunet turned around, successfully covering Reborn from the blow with his body.
The raven couldn't hear, the ringing in his ears was everything, the hardness of the floor doing nothing to get him out of the shock. He was being talked to, but what was it they were saying?
"...born. Re...rn! Wake up, Reborn!" blinking slowly, Reborn managed to focus his eyes on something. No, someone. Tsuna. But didn't Tsuna had brown eyes? Why were they orange? He absently noted that Tsuna was no longer looking at him, instead taking to carry him away from the explosion.
Explosion. They had been near an explosion. Why?
The fog in his head started clearing little by little as he felt the bumping of Tsuna's feet crashing against the floor. What was going on? They hadn't been attacked, right? There was no reason for it.
Subconsciously, his hand went to where he kept the pacifier, only calming down when he felt it whole on his pocket.
"Tsuna..." Reborn would have cringed at the weak sound of his voice, but that wasn't the place nor the time for it. "What's going on?"
"I'll tell you after I get you to safety and deal with those guys, okay? But you need to trust me." Tsuna looked uncharacteristically serious, those cold orange eyes - and Reborn was starting to think that maybe he had hit his head too hard? Because Tsuna's eyes were not orange - glowing as he ran. "Can you take my phone? Is on my jacket pocket." Reborn did so, with small difficulty since the pocket was practically besides his hand. "Okay, I need you to call Hayato. If he doesn't pick up, though I don't think that'll happen, call Takeshi. Tell them we were attacked, and that I'm fighting them off. They'll know how to find us." with that, he placed Reborn as gently as he could on the ground, and the raven noticed he was being placed in a side alley. "Don't move. I'll be back in a moment."
"W-Wait, Tsuna...!" but the brunet had already left, faster than nothing Reborn had ever seen in person. Sighting, and still trying to get the fog out of his head, Reborn turned on the phone. The wallpaper was a picture of Tsuna and his guardians. When he unlocked it, he found a picture of the both of them, which made him smile slightly.
The smile wiped itself away when he heard yelling. It wasn't close, but it was there. Were those more explosions?
When he found the silveret's contact, Reborn hit call, putting the phone near his ear. Unsurprisingly, Hayato Gokudera picked up before the second ring had gone off.
"Juudaime! Is everything alright? You were on a date with Reborn-san, right?" Reborn ignored the Japanese honorific, knowing old habits died hard.
"Hayato, this is Reborn." he flinched when he heard another explosion, this time closer than before.
"Reborn-san! Where's Juudaime?"
"I... I don't know. He left after telling me to call you. He said to tell you we've been attacked? And that he would be fighting them off? I-I don't understand, what's going on?"
"Shit. Okay, I'm on my way. Stay where you are, we'll arrive shortly. I'm sure Juudaime will explain once this is over." then Hayato started talking to other people, but Reborn could hear just fine. "Hey, listen! Juudaime's being attacked! The one time he convinced us to leave him alone! I swear when I see those fuckers I'll..." there was some movement, and whatever it was that Gokudera said was lost. "Baseball Freak, you're with me. Lawn Head, stay close for when we find Juudaime, we don't know in what state we'll find him. Hibari, you know what to do. Mukuro... just try not to cause a public lawsuit against us, otherwise, you're free to do as you please. Keep an eye on him, Chrome." Reborn heard the faint 'okay' that the only girl in that group said. Then, Hayato's voice was heard clear again. "We'll be there in ten minutes tops. Don't worry, Reborn-san, you and Juudaime will be fine." and after that, the call went silent.
Rebor would later blame it on the fog in his head, but he was really confused. What exactly was going on? First, he and his boyfriend had been attacked during their date. Then, apparently said boyfriend knew what was going on? And when Reborn called his friends, even though he could hear the worry on their voices, it was also calmness. Like they had done that before, like it was normal.
Something was going on. And Reborn was going to find out.
He could still hear the yelling, and more explosions. Gunshots? More people were screaming, Reborn couldn't recognize any of them because everything was so loud and what was going on? He flinched again when something landed not too far away from where Reborn was.
No, not something. Someone.
The person had crashed against the wall, falling limp on the floor like a puppet without its master. Reborn could only watch with morbid fascination as the blood started to pool around the body - corpse? - and the way some on the bones were sticking out.
Something - someone? - had tossed that person. And, and... and Reborn had an idea of just who might have.
His thoughts went overdrive when Tsuna appeared by his side not long after, and his brain shot down. He looked a bit ruffled, and his hair was even more messy than usual, but other than that, there was nothing Reborn could have identify as part of the aftermath of an attack. Tsuna's eyes were brown again.
Reborn didn't know why the thought got to him the way it did, but he just couldn't think of anything else than Tsuna's eyes, how they were brown. They had been flaming orange before he left. Hadn't they?
(Tsuna eyed at the body - corpse, definitely a corpse - laying mere meters from where Reborn was, and he snarled. Reborn pretended not to notice).
"Are you alright?" Tsuna's words seemed to snap him out of whatever dream he had been in, because suddenly the situation of everything that had happened during the last half hour came crashing down on him.
"What the hell... just happened. I want the truth Tsuna." Reborn ignored the stutter of his voice, he didn't care. He just wanted to understand what in the name of fuck had just happened, why there was a fucking corpse that had been thrown laying on the ground, unacknowledged.
The brunet sighed, passing a hand through his hair tiredly.
"I suppose I owe you an explanation. Come on, my house isn't too far away, we'll talk there when we're both safe and we've treated that wound on you head." wound on his head? Confused, Reborn brought his hand to his skull, hissing at the contact. When he looked at his hand. it was covered in blood. "Don't worry, it doesn't look that bad, and head injuries tend to bleed a lot. Id doesn't look like it needs stitches either, but we should let Shamal or Ryohei see you before being sure." Tsuna helped him stand - more like he stood him up on his own - and when he saw him wombling, the brunet didn't hesitate to carry him.
"I can walk."
"No you can't." and that was that. Honestly, Reborn was too tired to care. He just wanted answers, but now that the fear and adrenaline were gone, the fog in his head was returning, and his eyes were closing without his permission. He tried to stay awake, because he had read somewhere that it wasn't good to fall asleep with a head injury because of possible brain damage, but it was of no use. Soon, his head was resting on Tsuna's shoulders, and his mind slipped into the vast of black that was unconsciousness.
He did hear something before passing out, though - did he? He wasn't sure - . 'I'm sorry' resonated on his head like a constant echo. Reborn's mind couldn't help but go back to the corpse they had left behind.
"You remember when I told you I was heir to a company?" they were in the infirmary - because apparently Tsuna's house had one? Reborn really didn't want to know, but he knew his boyfriend's friends - , and Reborn's head had just been bandaged by the head of the medical staff. Because they had a medical staff. Was Reborn the only one that found that really weird and suspicious?
"I remember a lot of things that happened that day." their first kiss. Tsuna crying because of his dad, Reborn asking him to be his boyfriend. It was a meaningful day. "But yeah, I do. Something about the main branch being stationed here?"
"Yes, that. Well, I didn't really want to tell you, because it can be a bit intimidating and I didn't want to brag, but the company I'm heir of is... big. And Important." Tsuna wasn't looking at him, finding his fingers to be much more interesting, apparently.
"Just how big and important?" Reborn was actually a little scared to hear the answer, but he wanted - needed - to know. He needed to know something.
"... Vongola Corp." Reborn choked on his own spit.
What. Just... what.
"Vongola Corp as in the biggest company in the world?" Reborn couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"I wouldn't say the world, but... yeah. That one." the brunet didn't look particularly happy about that statement.
"And you are the heir to that?" Tsuna nodded. "How?"
"It's kind of a long story, but to make it short, my ancestor founded it, and then retired to Japan, letting his cousin take care of it. I wasn't always the heir, but I already told you all the other ones died, so... yeah. I'm Primo's, the founder of Vongola Corp, direct descendant, so I meet the requirements, and Nono actually likes me, so I didn't really have a choice because this thing can only be passed down by blood relatives." he made a vague gesture at their surroundings, and it only then occurred to Reborn that they were inside the Vongola Estate. As in one of the biggest properties in Italy.
How in the world had he gotten there? He was just a barista on the neighborhood cafe, hoping for some good internships during his university career before graduating! Average job, average career, perhaps a little more than average grades, but overall an average life. And now he was in Vongola grounds. He was dating the mysterious Vongola Decimo that everyone in the business world talked about.
Holy fucking shit.
"Wait. That doesn't explain why we were attacked? Because last I checked, heirs to business companies don't get attacked with bombs often." Tsuna grimaced. Oh, so there was something.
"That's another long story."
"Mamma's out of town, she's on a business trip. I've got time." the brunet must have realised Reborn wouldn't be leaving without an answer, because he gave a tired sigh and started.
"You probably don't know this, but the business world is even shadier than it seems. It includes politics, threats, alliances and betrayal, it's awful. And because I'm the next head of pretty much one of the companies that runs the whole continent... well, a lot of people want me out of the picture because they don't like how I plan to run things once I take over." Tsuna must have seen something on his face, because he smiled gently. "It has happened since I was announced as the new heir, don't worry. I know how to defend myself."
"Like with the man you threw into that wall?" the words came out before he could stop them, a mere whisper. Tsuna tensed, and Reborn curled into a ball.
Tsuna didn't say anything for a while, before deflating, falling on the back of his chair with a defeated air.
"Yeah. I figured."
As weeks passed, Reborn didn't know why he had let that go. He still had reminders of it, keeping him awake at odd hours of the night. He just couldn't get rid of the images of blood, and flesh, and bones and death, death death dead, he was dead, no he was killed, killed by...
Like every time those thoughts came back crawling into his head, he called Tsuna.
"Can't sleep?" he made a sound of agreement. "Want me to talk about something?"
"Alright." and he did. Reborn listened to his boyfriend talk about a lot of things. Some were about the new shenanigans his friends had gotten into, or the paperwork he had been doing before Reborn called - and wasn't that weird? Reborn often called at four in the morning, and Tsuna was always awake - , and about his ex-home tutor. He had a lot of stories, some funnier than others. He talked a lot of the few friends he and his friends had left behind in Japan, and how his life was back then. If Reborn had to compare, he would have said his life in Italy was much more peaceful, because Namimori just seemed to be full of weird people, and even weirder situations.
Soon, Reborn was being lulled to sleep by the sound of Tsuna's voice. That was what always happened. Tsuna calmed him down, put him at ease. Reborn didn't know why, since he was also the cause of the chaos that was his internal turmoil. Still, he found that he held no reproaches against his boyfriend, even though he knew what he had done, and how impossible it should have been. It was hard, to relate Tsuna and the image of that corpse with flooding blood. They were just so different.
And even then, they were connected in the most morbid of ways.
Life went on. Neither of them brought the topic again. And Reborn locked the memories away.
(But Reborn couldn't help but wonder, sometimes, just at the edge of his consciousness, just how had Tsuna done it?
He also hoped he would never have to witness the answer).
Reborn found himself at Vongola Estate quite often, those days. Now that Tsuna's secret was out, the brunet had found no reason for him to be restricted from the mansion. Reborn had found himself with full access to the Estate's perimeters at all hours, with a few exceptions like Nono's wing, that was inhabited by the Nono and his Guardians. There were other few rooms Reborn wasn't allowed at, but it was no trouble for him. Every time he was at the mansion, Tsuna would just tour him through new parts of the building, telling him some of his family history. And when they weren't doing that, they were in Tsuna's office, both doing homework - or well, sometimes only Reborn. The amount of paperwork his boyfriend had to deal with was appalling. Was he sure he wasn't already running Vongola Corp? - , or in the gardens, or the kitchens.
The fact that those words were said in plural still surprised him. The Estate was huge in comparison to his house. Reborn had always been a part of the middle class, never being on a financially tight spot, but without a lot of commodities either. He had started working at Panella's at fifteen so his Mamma would have it a bit easier. So seeing something like the Estate was... well, quite intimidating. But Reborn was reassured because Tsuna had told him he had lived the life of a commoner until he moved to Italy, so they weren't that different. Reborn liked that of Tsuna. Even though he was one of the richest men in the world, he was comfortable with a pair of sweatpants, a hoodie, and strong coffee.
Honestly, could he be more perfect?
They were currently at Tsuna's office, sitting on the - really comfortable - sofas. They were working on a project for their Economics class, so a lot of colour cardboards were laying on the table, as well as sheets of paper and a few markers.
"Why did we decide to hand make this, again?" asked Reborn, already wanting to throw it all to hell and receive a zero. It was better than wasting his time doing crafts.
"Because of the extra credit." the answer was both irritating and expected. It wasn't as it they needed the extra credit, but... well, they needed the extra credit. Apparently, getting into a food war in the middle of a test could do that? Who would have thought.
(Reborn still blamed Takeshi. How was it that he had started it and hadn't been punished? Totally unfair).
The thing was, their passing of the class depended on that stupid project, and Reborn was not liking it.
"Okay, you have better calligraphy because I'm used to symbols, so I'll cut everything and you can write it, okay?"
"Sounds fine by me." as long as he didn't have to get his hands into that pile of colour and scissors, he was contempt.
As they got to work, Reborn couldn't help but to let his eyes wander around the room. He had been inside the office countless of times before, but it never ceased to amaze him. It had and old style, but with obvious touches of Tsuna. Obviously, the brunet hadn't wanted to change much, but it had been inevitable, like the coffee machine with the beans bags for doppio, with two sets of cups (one mismatched for friends and informal affairs an another one, expensive and scarcely used), a Japanese tea set, and the matching sofas that made one want to melt on them. But there were also the portraits with frames made or - very real - gold, and various guns and weapons in display, which Reborn hoped were just replicas, but knew deep inside it was just wishful thinking.
Just as his eyes landed on the pile of unfinished paperwork - seriously, how did Tsuna manage to have a life? That thing made Reborn want to hide and it wasn't even his - when an explosion was heard.
Instantly, Reborn was on high alert, because apparently they were being attacked again? He had thought nobody would be stupid enough to trespass Vongola property, but apparently, that too was wishful thinking.
One look at Tsuna though, and Reborn decided maybe he needed to change that statement.
"For the love of— again? You've got to be kidding me." he heard him mutter under his breath, before turning to face Reborn. "Don't worry, that was probably Kyoya and Mukuro, and maybe Hayato. Someone will come in a moment to let me know." and just like that, Tsuna went back to work.
Sure thing, not even five minutes later a knock was heard on the door, and Tsuna let them come in. No one had ever said the Vongola weren't efficient, right?
"Juudaime." Hayato looked positively scared, and Reborn mused about what had happened.
"Who and what was it this time?" Tsuna didn't even look up, concentrated on making perfect colour cardboard circles.
"The pineapple idiot and Hibari, in the courtyard." the silveret said dejectedly, and Tsuna hummed.
"Do I need to pay for something?"
"You did say the East Wing needed renovations..." and that was when Reborn knew he had stepped into a madhouse. Somehow, he suspected he should have realized that sooner.
"So wait, you're telling me they destroyed a whole wing? As in wing of a mansion?" Reborn was currently on one of the monthly gatherings their friend group had. Something about Luce wanting all of them to be together at one same place at the same time because if she didn't force them they would never do it on their own. She wasn't wrong, though, so none held it against it.
"Apparently, it needed renovations anyway." Colonnello snorted, and Reborn couldn't help but agree with the sentiment. "Seriously, I don't know how Tsuna deals with it."
"He's been doing it since he was fourteen, obviously he has built some resistance to it. He surely looked used to it when I met him." said Fon, and right. Kyoya Hibari was his cousin. Reborn used to forget that, because if it wasn't for the physical resemblance, there would have been nothing that told him they were even remotely related.
"And how long was that?" wondered Lal, who had often seen the shenanigans - was destroying property and maiming considered shenanigans? - the skylark and the pineapple head could get into, as she took some of her classes with them. Never bored, but often bothered, that was what she said about it.
"I think about two or three years ago? I don't know, but that was the strangest week of my entire life. And I hang out with you lot on a regular basis, so that means it was weird." Fon seemed like he was suppressing a shudder, and Reborn wondered exactly what had happened while he was over visiting family.
"I would feel offended by that statement if it weren't true." said Viper, and Skull hummed in approval. Yeah, they were a strange bunch for sure.
"Okay but seriously, does that happen often?" Reborn raised an eyebrow at Collonelo's question. "I mean, the explosions and stuff?"
Reborn's head filled with images of bombs, smoke, bodies, a corpse laying on the ground after being throw at a wall. There was blood, so much blood, and bones sticking out of flesh, it looked gruesome but he couldn't stop looking, it was dead dead dead dead, killed. And those cold orange eyes, and...
'Stop thinking about it.'
"I've seen it once or twice. But nothing too bad." and while the others went on with the conversation, Reborn swallowed dry, reaching for his cup of espresso, and a voice in his head laughed at the lie.
When had that started? When had Reborn started lying to his friends? Was it when he didn't told them of the attack on Tsuna? When he didn't tell them his boyfriend had - STOP! - ?
Or was it even before that. When they asked about how his Mamma had gotten better so fast, and he told them he didn't know. He truly didn't know.
Or did he?
He didn't know. What did he know? Nothing. He knew nothing.
'Stop. Thinking. About. It.'
When Tsuna disappeared, the first thoughts on Reborn's mind were 'he was kidnapped' and 'I hope he's not dead'. Then, when he called Chrome in frantic worry because Tsuna didn't drop by Panella's like he had said he would, and he wasn't picking up the phone, he realised he really needed to stop thinking about those kinds of things.
"Bossu? He left for an emergency meeting in France last night. He didn't have time for anything more than pack and leave Hayato in charge. Takeshi went with him, and they should be able to pick up the phone in a couple of hours." and suddenly Reborn could breathe again because Tsuna hadn't been kidnapped, he was fine, and there wouldn't be more blood and fights and death.
Then, he proceeded to freak the fuck out. Because when did he start to think Tsuna's life was in danger when he couldn't reach him? When had he started to rationalize the thoughts of blood, and death and killing?
He didn't know. He didn't want to know.
"Do you know when he'll be coming back?" he asked, because that was the only thing he could do. He felt like one of those damisels that always waited for their princes to come back, and it felt awful.
He was supposed to be suave, se was supposed to be calm, cool, and collected. When had he turned into the mess he was now? Then again, a lot of things had changed since he had met Tsuna.
"He should be done in a couple of days. You can call him, though, he probably didn't answer because his phone was silenced. If he doesn't answer, call Takeshi."
"It was nothing. Bossu can certainly worry a lot of people." there was a bit of amusement in that statement, but there was also sadness. Things like that one made Reborn realize that group had gone through some serious situations, because there was no better way to get closer to someone than trauma.
Like he and his Mamma. They had gotten a lot closer after that fire years ago. It had taken Reborn's childhood house, and his father's life.
After that, they had moved houses, closer to where Luce and her parents lived. Reborn's mother had started going on more business trips, no doubt to escape Sicily and the memories, not that Reborn blamed her. Back when he was younger, maybe eleven years old, he recented her. Why did she get to escape, but he had to stay? As he grew older, he realised it was probably so she would be able to mourn and break on her own. She didn't want her child to see her like that.
Nowadays, things were a lot better, but the business trips had become a common occurrence, and more often than not his Mamma would be out of town. It didn't bother him, Reborn had grown used to the silence, and it had been great to learn tons of things, like the seven languages he knew besides Italian, and all that seemingly random knowledge he had stuffed in his head. It would come in handy someday, he was sure of that.
And when that wasn't comforting anymore, his friends are always there to keep the house full of noise, no matter how grumpy some of them may act for it.
That day, however, wasn't one of those days. His Mamma was home, and wouldn't be leaving until the next month, so they would be catching up in everything they hadn't. That conversation led to his current predicament.
"What about that boyfriend you've mentioned? Where is he?" she asked, looking at him with a smirk. Well, he wasn't his Mamma's boy for nothing, she had taught him a lot of things.
"He's out of the country now, but he should be back in a couple of days." he answered truthfully, sipping at his cup of espresso. His Mamma prepared the best espresso, just like he liked it.
"Oh, you have to bring him home, Reborn! When he gets back, ask him to come to dinner. I want to meet him!" his Mamma asked, and Reborn couldn't say no. Besides, he had met Nana, Tsuna's mother, so he supposed it wouldn't be that bad. Nana was a wonderful woman, and seemed able to keep up with Tsuna's crazy life, so Reborn guessed it was to be expected they would get along. They had spent the evening drinking tea - or in his case, coffee - in the Estate's gardens, ignoring whatever it was that was happening with the other residents. Tsuna had been swarmed up with paperwork, so he only joined them for dinner, but Reborn had a great time nonetheless. Nana and Tsuna were more alike once you got to know them both. They had the same kindness, and the big heart.
That would be the first time Reborn would be bringing one of his partners to dinner, though. Before Tsuna, none of his previous partners had been serious enough for him to bring them home. Tsuna though... he was different. He made Reborn want to stay with him, even when he knew there was something seriously wrong going on. Tsuna was like a drug, one he didn't want to stop taking. He absently wondered if maybe he should have been scared about that.
"So?" his Mamma's voice brought him back to the present. "Reborn, are you alright?"
"Yeah, just thinking. I'll ask him if he can come for dinner on Friday, is that okay?"
"Perfect! I'll start looking at those special recipes Anita gave me for that anniversary date..." and the rest as lost on him as his Mamma went to look for Auntie's recipe book.
Now he only had to call Tsuna.
It wasn't that hard, since the brunet seemingly remembered he had agreed to meet with Reborn that very same day, and called him.
"Reborn, I'm so sorry! I got a call and I had to fly to France and I just got out of my meeting and..." Reborn chuckled, and Tsuna stopped, apparently startled. "Reborn?"
"I already know. When you didn't answer, I got worried so I called Chrome. She told me you were out because of an emergency, and would be back in a couple of days." he heard his boyfriend sigh in relief, and Reborn smirked amused.
"Still, sorry for worrying you. When I remembered I was already on the plane, and my battery was dead. When I come back I'll take you on a date, deal?" the barista smiled at the thought, though that smiled diminished when he remembered what had happened the last time they had gotten out for a date.
"How about you come to my house instead? My Mamma's been dying to meet you, and she'll be in Sicily until next month. I'm sure you can squeeze a dinner with us at Friday." Reborn said, only half-teasing because God knew Tsuna's schedule was cramped at best.
"Dinner? With your mom?" Reborn hummed in agreement. "You... want me to meet your mom?"
And while Reborn is sure he didn't say that - he was sure he said it was his Mamma that wanted to meet Tsuna - , he knew what the brunet meant. If he hadn't wanted the two to meet, they wouldn't be having that conversation in the first place.
"You are my boyfriend, of course I want you to meet my Mamma." and when the raven haired man actually heard some sniffing, he snorted again. "See you when you get back?"
"Y-Yeah." Tsuna said, stammering. "I have to go. I love you." and he ended the call. Not that Reborn noticed that, because he was frozen like a statue.
Had Tsuna said...?
Reborn fell on his bed.
"Do you think she'll like me? Oh, gods I'm so nervous I think I'm gonna be sick." Tsuna was, to put it mildly, nervous. Reborn observed, amused, as his boyfriend rambled, before taking his hand and kissing it delicately.
"Tsuna, you brought wine, and that big smile of yours. I don't think my Mamma could not approve." he assured the brunet, who immediately relaxed. "You know, for an heir to a multi billion company, you sure get flustered easily."
"Well, yeah, that's something Maria still tries to beat out of me." Tsuna smiled sheepishly, seemingly not noticing the way he said 'beat' as in actually beating him. He probably hadn't, honestly.
"Are you ready to come in now?" he asked, and when the brunet nodded hesitantly, he opened the door to his house. "Mamma, we're here!"
"Reborn! The food's almost ready! Did you bring your boyfriend? Tsunayo..." and just when she got to the entrance hall, the sentence came to a stop. She looked at Tsuna, and her smile died. "What are your doing here?"
"H-Huh?" Tsuna, who apparently was just as surprise as he was, looked horrified. "I-I don't know what you mean? Reborn said you invited me."
"No, I mean what are you doing here, Decimo di Vongola? Or should I say, Neo Vongola Primo?" Bella Rossi looked positively dangerous, and Tsuna paled.
(Neo Vongola Primo wasn't something that was released to the public. It was only known in the Mafia. Somehow, she knew about the true Vongola. But how? She was a civilian, Tsuna had checked multiple times).
"Oh, so you know? Tsuna had to tell me. How did you figure it out? The name of the heir to Vongola Corp hasn't been announced yet." Reborn said, confused by willing to try and calm things down.
"Ah, it must be my face. It was leaked because my sperm donor doesn't know how to do his job. It was handled quickly, so not many people got to see it, but... yeah." Tsuna smiled as he rubbed the back of his neck. His Mamma wasn't done, though.
"Don't lie to him. He... he was going to get involved either way, you just got to him faster." now Reborn was truly confused. Involved in what? They were talking about him right? He hated not knowing. And how his Mamma suddenly looked so tired... what was going on?
But then again... did it had something to do with what had happened during their last date? And so, how did his Mamma know?
"Tsuna?" he turned to face his boyfriend, just to see him staring intently at his Mamma. And there was something on his face, something that made him look so much older than he actually was. Reborn had seen that look on Tsuna's face before, and he had never understood how he did it.
"Fine. But then you need to answer some of my questions too." the brunet said, and Reborn's mother nodded. Somehow, Reborn felt like he was staying out of the loop. Again. Obviously, they both knew something, apparently something important. When Tsuna turned to look at him, Reborn frowned at the uncharacteristically serious expression on his face. Tired? All the time. Exasperated? Just had to look at his friends. But serious was unusual. "I think you should sit down for this." he then turned to his Mamma. "Is there some place where we can talk?"
That was how they ended on the living room. When Tsuna and his Mamma sat down, Reborn considered his options. He could sit with either of them... or alone.
Reborn saw something break on Tsuna's eyes when he sat on the only unoccupied sofa of the room, but he ignored it. He wanted answers, and he wanted them now.
"So? Speak." he was short, and cold. Reborn couldn't afford to appear soft if he wanted the truth. Tsuna sighed, suddenly looking really tired.
"I guess I should start when I first met my tutor. I was fourteen, and she told me I was heir to the Vongola, the biggest organised crime syndicate. In other words, I was by blood the heir of the biggest Mafia Famiglia in Italy." Tsuna then told them of his years spent training, the conflicts and battles he had fought for the title, and later to save the world. When he told Reborn he had gone to the future, he hadn't believed him. His Mamma hadn't either, but when Tsuna mentioned the ten year bazooka - and what was that supposed to be? - she accepted it.
The brunet told them everything. How his Inheritance Ceremony had been interrupted by Deamon Spade (who apparently was some kind of ghost? Was that a thing?), but that it had continued after all, officially declaring him Vongola Decimo. He told them about taking charge of Vongola Corp, because it was a real company after all, when he was only fifteen, and how he and his Guardias, the ones that were always around Tsuna - and that made a lot more of sense, Reborn realized - had begun to take responsibilities from the ninth generation little by little, until they ran the Vongola on their own.
Admittedly, Reborn had to say the amount of paperwork matched Tsuna's responsibilities now. It was impossible that all those papers were only half of the work.
When Tsuna was finished, he looked at Reborn. The raven haired man could see hints of fear and hope flicker in those honey brown eyes - unlike those cold orange ones - , and Reborn allowed himself to feel a tad bit guilty.
That was why he decided to wait until they were alone before asking the only question that had been left unanswered. Instead, he turned to his Mamma, because she had a lot of things to explain too. Like how in the hell she knew about the Mafia, and why had she kept it a secret?
"Alright, Tsuna already talked. Now it's your turn." he looked intently at his Mamma, trying to find something that told him what she was hiding, but nothing came to light.
"You know, you're taking all of this far too well." commented Tsuna, and Reborn snorted.
"Oh no, I'm not. I'm just waiting until you all finish to explain before freaking the fuck out." he answered, and only didn't laugh hysterically because he was Reborn, and Reborn didn't do hysterical laughter.
"Alright." his Mamma sighed, before turning to look at Tsuna. "Do you know what the Arcobaleno were?" and Reborn was sure his boyfriend was going to say no, because it didn't ring any bells, and it hadn't been mentioned during his explanation, but when Tsuna's eyes widened, he started to rethink his previous statement. "I'll take that as a yes." she then turned to look at him, and Reborn could see her eyes softening if only a bit. "Reborn, do you still have that family heirloom I gave you?"
"Huh? The pacifier? Yes, I have it here." he drew it out of his pocket, frowning in confusion. "What does that have to do with anything?"
Apparently, a lot.
Tsuna paled immediately, as if he had been seeing a ghost. He looked outright white, and Reborn was starting to feel a bit worried about him.
"W-why... why do you have one of the Arcobaleno Pacifiers?" the question was phrased to be directed at Reborn, but it was quite obvious it was for his Mamma.
"Because even when the curse was lifted, the Pacifiers still need to be guarded. And they could not trust Checker Face to do it, obviously, so they decided to pass it down. It doesn't do anything to its holders, it's merely just a precaution. If someone were to try a stunt like that Byakuran, the holder must protect the Pacifier."
"Then why did Byakuran tell me no one resisted? He told me all seven just gave up the Pacifiers, that they didn't even ask why."
"That's..." but Reborn was not having it. They were having a conversation without him again! And Reborn was literally in the same room!
"Wait. Stop for a second and tell me what the fuck are you talking about." he demanded, because he was tired of being ignored. "What is this of an arcobaleno? And how is it related to this thing?" he lifted the pacifier, and Tsuna followed the thing with his eyes.
"The Arcobaleno were a group of seven people that formed once every generation. Those seven were chosen to guard the Seven Pacifiers, that granted order to the world. There was a curse involved, but it was lifted around four hundred years ago, with the help of Vongola Primo, Giotto, and his Guardians." said his Mamma, sounding like she knew the story from the top of her head.
"That's your ancestor." said Reborn, looking at his boyfriend, and Tsuna nodded. Then, he turned to his Mamma. "And let me guess. One of the last generation of Arcobaleno was our ancestor." he deadpanned, and his Mamma had the nerve to smile.
"You were always smart." she said fondly. "You're right, the last Sun Arcobaleno was my ancestor, and consequently, yours. That Pacifier you're holding, while not active, holds the power to balance or destroy the world. It's part of the Tri-Ni-Sette, just like the ring your boyfriend has on his finger." she pointed at the ring Tsuna always wore, and the brunet smiled sheepishly, before seemingly realizing something.
"That's why Ryohei noticed Flames when he healed you." he said, face brightening. "He was right. Yours are active because you know of the Mafia, and Reborn's..." he turned to look at him, and Reborn raise an eyebrow. Flames? Apparently another thing he knew nothing about. Great.
"I supposed someone with Sun Flames had done something to help me. Tell your Guardian my gratitude, Decimo." Tsuna nodded, smiling slightly, and his Mamma went back on track. "Reborn's Flames aren't active because I hadn't told him anything until today. He wasn't supposed to know until I died, so I left a letter for him in case it happened." she turned to face him. "You weren't supposed to receive this yet, but since you already know... I guess it doesn't hurt to give this to you." she stood up, looking at both young adults. "I'll be back in a moment."
And then she left. And Reborn was alone with Tsuna.
There was a beat of silence. For a moment, none of them knew what to say. Then:
"Don't." he said, feeling his throat tightening. "Just— don't." he tried to swallow the lump on his throat, but found it to be unsuccessful.
For the first time, Tsuna wasn't enough to put him at ease. That was the moment Reborn realised the power the brunet had on him.
He was a Mafia Boss, a fucking— God. He had been dating a Mafia Boss for months, going to his headquarters, spending time with his friends - who probably also were part of the Mafia, fuck - , and basically being an idiot. How had he gotten involved with the fucking Mafia?
And his Mamma was a part of it too? Just how many lies had he been fed? How much of everything that had happened to him since he had met Tsuna was true?
Tsuna didn't know he had one of the Pacifiers - whatever the hell they were - but what if he had been wanting to... use him? He had said something about Flames? They seemed important, so what if Tsuna had been waiting to gain Reborn's trust before showing his true intentions? What if...
"Stop." Tsuna's broken voice brought him back from his musings. "Stop thinking I was using you. Please." and Reborn had seen him like that before, when his father had came for the Holidays. The brunet had looked just as heartbroken as he looked now, and that seemed to struck a chord on him.
"No!" Tsuna was outright crying, Reborn could see the tears accumulating on the corners of his eyes. "I never— I didn't mean to drag you into this mess. I actually tried to pull apart, because I knew I would be getting you into this and I didn't want that... but I'm too selfish, and I love you too much to let you go." he sounded ashamed of himself, his head hung low. "But if you want me to leave..."
"No. You don't... you don't get to leave. Not after you pulled me in." because Reborn may have been mad, but... he still loved him.
He didn't really know how to feel about that. He also couldn't bring himself to care.
"You're not... mad?" the hope on his tone was painfully obvious.
"Oh, I'm plenty mad. And we're gonna talk about this after we're done here, because I still have so much questions. But I won't leave you because of it." Reborn allowed a small smile to shine through the cold mask he had put on at the beginning of the conversation. "I love you too, you know?"
And something on Tsuna's eyes sparkled at that.
After that fiasco of a dinner - which they actually had, very awkwardly so - , Reborn let Tsuna to his room. His Mamma seemed to notice what he wanted, because she smiled, and let the two of them alone. She did seem to look at Tsuna for a bit longer than necessary, but nothing bad.
That was how Reborn found himself sitting on his bed, Tsuna still standing in the center of the room, not knowing where to sit. The thought made Reborn ache a bit, because Tsuna had always felt comfortable in his house until that day. He also couldn't help but to be glad that it had happened. He was tired of not knowing.
The letter his Mamma had given him laid innocently on his desk, waiting to be read. Reborn avoiding looking at that direction. He wanted to read that when he was alone.
"Are you going to sit or not?" Reborn patted the space besides him, and Tsuna practically stumbled over to sit where Reborn had pointed at. "I'm not going to bite you." the brunet blushed, looking positively adorable.
'How is it that he's a Mafia Boss again?' Reborn honestly had a hard time imagining, but...
Guns, explosions, smoke. Yelling, a body falling to the ground. Blood blood blood, so much blood. Bones sticking out of flesh, was it burned? He didn't know, the blood covered everything. It was gruesome, he didn't want to look, but he couldn't stop. It was dead dead dead dead, death. It had been killed, killed by someone. Murdered? No, not murdered. Killed. And...
"...born. Reborn, stop it. Reborn, you're safe, okay? It's over, you're okay." Tsuna's soothing words had a calming effect on him, like always. Reborn would have cursed, because damn he was too dependant on him, but the images were still too fresh, too vivid on his mind.
"Why did you do it?" Reborn didn't need to specify, Tsuna got the meaning immediately. The brunet tensed, looking away. Reborn shuddered, letting out a shaky sigh.
"I want to know. I need to know, Tsuna." 'I still have nightmares about it, it follows me everywhere I go. I can't get it out of my head, please'. Those were the words Reborn wanted to say, but couldn't bring himself to.
"I... okay." his boyfriend whispered, and Reborn held his breath, expectantly. "I guess I should start with the concept of Flames. It's, how was it? My tutor said it was a high-density form of energy that is refined from one's own life-force. There are different kinds of Flames, and they represent one's soul. I'm a Sky Flame user, for example. It's supposed to be the rarest type of Flame, but my family is known for their Sky Flames, so I've met a fair share. You,for what I've been told, have Sun Flames. Not everyone has Flames, it's usually a trait passed down. And even if you have Flames, they won't necessarily activate. Yours, for example, are dormant, because you haven't been trained to draw them out." he said, and Reborn nodded to let him know he more or less got the idea. "I, on the contrary, am an active Flame user." and then his eyes flashed orange.
Reborn's breath got caught on his throat. Those eyes... they were the result of Flames? The reflexion of one's soul?
"Why do they look so cold?" the question was asked before Reborn could control it. "Every time I think of them, it's always... cold."
Tsuna laughed sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head.
"That's... well, I don't know how to explain it. When I go into Hyper Dying Will Mode, that's just what it's called, I don't really die, I promise. Well, it justs let's me think more clearly, without all the emotions clouding my judgement as much. It's probably that." he explained, and his eyes turned back to their usual honey brown. "It's funny though."
"When I was little, maybe five years old? My sperm donor. He sealed my Flames." and something crossed Tsuna's eyes, haunting him. "Sealing Flames is like sealing a part of your soul. Since then, I always felt cold. I struggled on the simplest of tasks, I couldn't even think. I was cold all the time, no matter what I did." Tsuna shivered, and Reborn could only look, trying to understand how that must have felt. "But when I broke the seal with my tutor's help, I felt whole again. The cold was gone, and it felt so good. I always considered my Flames to be warm." as if to show it, he lifted his hand - his fucking hand - on fire. It was small, harmless and controlled. "You can touch it, it won't harm you."
Hesitantly, Reborn did so. Tsuna was right, it felt warm, but it didn't hurt him. It was actually... pleasant. Reborn smiled, and Tsuna smiled with him.
"Okay... that still doesn't answers my question." the smile wiped itself from Tsuna's face, and Reborn felt slightly guilty.
"That's... okay. I first killed someone when I was fourteen. It was during my time in the future. I had to kill Byakuran to prevent him from destroying this reality. We're friends in this time, but... I was never able to forget it." his voice sounded distant, like he was far away. In a way, Reborn thought he was. "I don't like violence, and I've been doing everything I can to change Vongola's ways ever since I was appointed as Decimo. But I draw the line when my family is being threatened. And that man, he... he was trying to get to you. I couldn't allow that." and those words struck him like anything had ever done. "When I use my Flames, I become a lot more stronger than I usually am, and my instincts completely take over. Usually, my Hyper Intuition, a trait my family has had since Primo's time, would tell me when something was about to go wrong, but in Hyper Dying Will Mode it just takes charge. And while my Flames can be warm and safe... they can also destruct, burn everything in its path." he said quietly, looking at his hands in consideration. "I'm really sorry you had to see that. But I don't regret what I did." and Reborn thought those words should have bothered him more than they did.
And they didn't. Because in a way, he understood. Reborn knew he would do anything for his friends. And now, for Tsuna too.
"I get it. It will be a while until I can wrap my head around... everything. And you're going to help me understand, you hear me?" Reborn pointed at his boyfriend, and the brunet nodded, his smile as bright as the sun. "Thanks for telling me."
"You deserved the truth." Tsuna shrugged, but something on his posture told Reborn he was relieved things had went as they had gone. "Now that you know, though, I won't be breaking Omerta. Or maybe I already did... well, you were going to know anyway, I'm sure Bermuda will let it pass this time, he owes me a few favours. Anyways, I think you should know that Fon found out when he travelled to Namimori to visit Kyoya's family. Just so you know."
And okay, what?
"My name. Is Renato Sinclair." Reborn swallowed dry. It had been years since he had said that name. Tsuna looks at him confused, but loving all the same. "I said I would tell you my name after you told me why your friends called you Boss and Juudaime. You did, so it's only fair."
"Renato Sinclair... it suits you. Why don't you use it?"
"My father was called Renato Sinclair." was Reborn's quiet answer. "After he died, I guess I just couldn't hear it. But I like it when you say it. It doesn't sound... painful coming from you."
His Mamma had been really accepting when he told her he didn't want to be called Renato anymore. Reborn guessed it was because it hurt her to hear it too. His friends had all been accepting, and those who hadn't... well, they were forced to accept, or left behind. It had caused a few troubles at school in the beginning, but after his Mamma talked to the school, they left him alone. When he started University, he personally asked all his teachers to call him Reborn, and they had accepted without much question. Tsuna was the first person he had told his name in years. It felt... weird, but not bad. Tsuna just had a way to make him feel better, and Reborn had promised, after all.
"Thank you for telling me. If you don't want me calling you that, I..."
"No. You can... say it. Maybe when we're alone though? I don't think I'm comfortable with others saying it." he asked quietly, and Tsuna nodded with a small smile, squeezing his hand reassuringly before planting a kiss on the top of his head.
"Of course." and that was that. Tsuna didn't pry, something Reborn was grateful for. "I love you. You're amazing, you know? Not anyone would have accepted the fact that I've killed more than one person."
"I accepted it because I understood your reasons. That doesn't mean I'm completely comfortable with it just yet, but... I'll get there." he allowed a small smile, not a smirk, to form on his face. "And I love you too."
And that was all that really mattered, right? Alt least, it was something Reborn could more than live with.