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Dreaming of Autistic Clouds

Chapter Text

It takes me a week to understand why it's all blurry. To understand why the world shifts and refuses to come into focus instead a constant blur of colour and sensation. A week to understand that everything is too big and I'm too small.

A week to plunge myself into denial and merely hope that it's all merely a side effect of smashing my head into the ground after tripping over the cord in the hall.

It takes a month for the denial to slide away and my vision and hearing to clear. To understand that there are people rushing around. Speaking English, speaking other languages as well. Accents and languages that I'd never gotten the pleasure of hearing in my life before. And it takes me that long to understand that my name is still mostly the same.

I'm still Tamara, still a palm tree.

Except my last name is now Gangitano... which is decidedly different in origin from my last name... I think it's Spanish? Maybe Italian? I don't know. I just know that it takes me a month to push past my denial and finally begin to understand.

I'm now Tamara Gangitano.

It takes another month for it to finally settle, and for me to begin to mourn. To curl up in a room far too decorated and elaborate, far too extravagant for someone who always keep their room modest with a single bookshelf, bed and desk... for someone who had plain walls with self created artwork, and a fine layer of dust, only a couple of dresses or fancy pieces of jewelry.

It takes me two months to blow everything up.

Literally.

Purple flames that dance, and blaze, and make everything kind of go SHOOM and shoot up in size. Carpet that becomes a forest, the crib spreading out and expanding. It's like everything is a sponge and soak in the purple flames before simply expanding. Stretching up and out and filling the entire room with super-sized equipment, and random items, like a book or lamp, or a pillow that's now triple my size.

And through it all I scream.

I scream because it's why my infantile instincts tell me to do.

I scream because it's all I can do to let out my pain.

I scream because it's real.

I scream because this isn't home.

I scream because I don't want to be reborn into a place like this.

I scream.

And the purple shifts and twists. Dancing and pulsing. In tandem with my screams, it burns and expands, growing and stretching.

Abruptly it just cuts off, and I can't scream anymore. Silent tears that wash over my face and down my cheeks it streams. My face scrunches up and I feel my tiny hands fist... and larger arms come around to wrap me up and hold me close. A sharp scent, a strong scent of some cologne, and the faint twang of copper and metal. The feeling of warmth and constant repeating steady beat.

Slowly, the streaming tears stop and I blink my eyes back open.

Blurry features that slowly come into focus.

Warm brown eyes, dark slick backed black hair, and a kind of glowing skin, if I had to pick a colour maybe Peru would be the right word. With a rose underglow, or overlay. I sniff, once, twice and can feel my eyes still watering at the very edges.

"Hush my little Figlia" he sooths me. "Shh, shh... you're safe..." I still make a small whimper.

Because even if I am safe here... It's not home... and those flames... they're vaguely familiar. In a bad way. Yet I'm tired from all my screaming, and my emotions have run themselves down. Run themselves dry and right into the ground. A few more, final tears slip out and I close my eyes to simply listen to the familiar beat.

To listen and to understand...

I don't think that I have a mother in this life. At least I've never seen her, just the various nannies, and my father. I yawn and blink up at him. Small hands curling and a weird smile spreading over my face.

Maybe...

Maybe just maybe I'll be able to accept this life. As long as those flames don't mean anything too disastrous...

Somehow I get the feeling that's hoping for too much. But oh well... I'll just roll with it...

Chapter Text

Time passes much faster than I can really register afterwards. Before I know it, I'm one and a half. Slowly learning to awkwardly toddle around under the watchful eyes of the nurses and my padre. And... well discovering how flames work. The purple fire, while I know what they are at least in a loose sense I don't know how to reach them.

As time goes by they just seem to refuse to come back to the surface.

It's frustrating. Because I can still feel them. I know that they're there and at night when I'm sleeping purple flames flicker and dance in my dreams. Winding around and making various things grow or multiply, and if I hurt myself in the dreams... the flames flare and sew my injuries back together.

Propagation.

The increase, the duplication and multiplication. The flames increase the growth of cells, which would theoretically hasten healing. Or something like that, though it would also trade off for a decreased life expectancy due to the aging of cells and limited amount of times they can divide themselves... unless it just makes them from nothing and multiplies them as a perfect copy.

Except, I can only do these things inside my own head, in my dreams.

In the waking world the purple fire remains stubbornly out of the grasp of my hands. It's frustrating. Because people have expectations, and I can feel their gazes on me, and hear the whispers at my back. It's not something that I enjoy.

It's rather disquieting really. Makes me twitch and shift and hatehatehate. I don't like it when people look at me and just expect something. It feels like a collar or chain and I just don't like it. At least Padre doesn't really expect anything from me. He's a lifeline really, simply happy to let me take my time. Rubbing my head absently while he sits and does mountains of paperwork. Sitting up with me when I demand to be read a story and patiently working with me when it comes to my progress when it comes to growing up.

Small steps, babbles that mix English with Italian and Spanish...

And the absent sheets of paper that get absolutely covered with various pictures, drawings and sketches. Words that wind together and shift in their patterns. Codes and stories and it's an escape. When I get too frustrated, when I get too upset. I retreat and turn to the scattered paper, to the ink brushes and the forgotten pencils. And... I teach myself to draw, to write and create.

To dull the rushing pounding pain in my head, and the tight claws around my heart.

Because even though I'm growing up, it's still not home.

It's not home and that still bites, and hurts and sometimes I wake up abruptly from dreams of purple fire and I want to scream. I want to scream and call for people who don't exist. Who will likely never exist if the small snippets of conversation that I hear aside the whispers about me are true. Differences, some small and some big...

But all of them add up, and it's enough... Enough that I know this isn't my world.

Aside the Flames, aside the abilities that I believe that they'll gift me. There's more... and a large part of it is the Mafia. Organized Crime groups in general really. And... that's right smack dab in the middle of where I've been born. The current only heir to a Criminal Syndicate, as far as I can gather.

And there's so much to understand.

So much history, even though this group is still new. Relatively speaking anyway, it wasn't founded in the eighteen hundreds anyway. We were really only recently founded, in the 1970's so not that old. And I was born this time around in the year 1994...

A twenty year span at least...

And I'm already almost a third generation boss in this family's case...

Talk about a short lived Group... then again, I can vaguely recall hearing stuff about the group in my previous life. The Underbelly, it had something about Gang Killings and Crime in Australia, and featured some of the Carlton Crew... of course the real group pretty much stopped existing by 2006, or something like that... I don't know... I wasn't really paying that much attention to any of these things in my previous life. And in this one, there's just so many different groups, different families who knows how long it's going to last. Especially since this time around it seems like the group actually has some form of inheritance since I'm actually related to the founder.

Go figure with alternate worlds and timelines and universes.

But it's kind of cool I guess. I'm the Heir to a Criminal Syndicate! And once I'm in charge I can change things around to how I want them to be.

No drag trafficking, no human trafficking, eh... assassinations would probably be fine, and all the other stuff will be dealt as I figure it out... Rigged Gambling halls, and illegal casinos...

Of course, while I'm only one and a half I don't think that any of that really matters as much as just figuring things out does. As much as learning to walk, learning to talk, to tie my own shoes and actually make it to the potty. As much as reaching for and accessing the flames.

None of it matters as much as simply growing up.

And that's when someone shoves a gun into my face.

"Che?" I blink and slowly peer up at the new man. Light skin, with a slight tan, messy auburn hair, and dark blue eyes, like midnight. I blink again before taking a deep breath and kind of puffing it out before pushing the gun out of my face and returning to the messy sheet of paper. I can almost read it... almost. Except the man is insistent, trying to catch my attention, draw it towards the gun.

It's frustrating.

"Vai via" I growl shoving the gun away and growling. And... I can almost feel them, actually really I can always feel them. Within me... Because they're new, and although they've always been there, they're something that's just different enough. And now...

I reach, I breath and it's like an explosion. A flare and well a pencil can be a weapon if you know how to use one... Or just if you jab it hard enough into someone... and if it's abruptly much bigger than me well... I just kind of whack him with it, like a bat. Actually if I were a bit bigger that would be around the size it is... a baseball bat. As it is though now it's over-sized, awkward and I tumble over backwards with it.

A jolt of pain and a rush of air from my lungs and tears at the very edges of my eyes. That hurts...

"Just a little weak girl after all..." the man says in Italian and I growl. Furious and in pain and I can feel the feral howl that leaves my grit teeth. I force myself up and narrow my eyes at the man baring my just barely there teeth. He simply huffs and ignores me, and I can't... Tears bite and my hands curl.

What does he even expect, I'm one and a half for crying out loud!

It's like the Weakest Gender argument all over again.

Both sides have their advantages, and their disadvantages. Developmental rates may be slightly different, with logic and maths and all that... but...

Biting back the tears and allowing rage to flood me. What does he expect, what does anyone expect from a toddler. Hands curl and clench and I set my jaw firm. Don't let them see that they get to you, turn it around and let it motivate you to be bigger than them. Old advice floats through my head and I can feel the moment when it all slows down, when the boil lowers to a simmer. Hands uncurl and I huff out a breath before grabbing the pencil that's returned to it's proper size and returning to my sheet of paper.

Gender has nothing to do with it... and... I grin as there's an exclamation of pain. Size isn't the only thing propagation alters. A small snicker and I happily doddle on my sheet. And, now the flames are closer...

So they're somewhat tied to emotion are they? Or more will, the want, the need the motivation.

A deep breath, closed eyes and I know how to use them. Motivation, determination, resolve.

Resolve

The will to live, to survive and to grow... and in some cases that includes the ultimate want to be left alone.

"Idiota..."

Chapter Text

The thing is, I am really sly about my revenge. Sly and sneaky, and in some ways vicious. Well, my second house was always Slytherin after Hufflepuff. And this man, my 'tutor' is annoying. So I tend to leave things(especially LEGO blocks) where he can step on them, or use other tricks... a bit of extra spice in his food, a bit of slip on the stairs.

And yet he still dismisses me. Regards me as nothing but a little weak girl.

I'm almost two and a half now. And lessons have properly began. Dynamite and bombs, I know how to handle grenades and even a gun... Starting early for sure... but it kind of explains how a five year old Lambo could do the stuff that he did. Even if it was mostly useless...

Still, this is not fun at all. And I'm actually beginning to reach my tipping point. Stress point.

Everyone has a limit, and I can't distract myself for long enough to clear myself of it all. It makes me rather snippy, prone to baring my teeth and flailing my arms at anyone who violates my space. My space, my place and I am just generally grumpy all the time now. Also the fact that I'm still teething is not helping things. If anything it's extrapolating the problem, making it worse.

At least the only positive thing to come out of this is the fact that I've been able to access my flames more and more... though that might only be a positive to me. After all, I can multiply whatever I wish, or make things that much bigger. Also I was right about the healing thing... a small cut, or a bump and well they don't remain for very long... Though I still get bruises... Also rashes.

Both are honestly as annoying as the other. Because dang it, nobody has time to deal with such things... and bruises on me still take forever to heal. Up to three months... that's forever.

But still, I'm quickly reaching my stress point.

Like seriously, I'm not even three. Not even properly toddling around entirely on my own but they're teaching me to handle knives, the quickest and easiest way to snap someone's neck(actually that lesson was quite interesting...), gun safety and where I can stash weapons(particularly bombs) on my person. It's not exactly a normal environment.

And, the roster of people keeps changing.

I just get familiar with them, and start to feel safe, start to feel comfortable and they're swapped all around.

The only person who remains a constant presence is the stronzo. My 'tutor' and I hatehatehate him. Which means that my pranking picks up, more creativity, more viciousness. A little bit of chili never hurt anybody, well how's about a funnel web in the bed?

Speaking of funnel web's I'm surprisingly not as scared as spiders as I once was in my previous life... if anything they're weirdly cute and precious... I mean, they've always been fascinating, but previously I would never let one within a few short meters of me... But now, I have this one little funnel web that I've kind of, maybe, sort of adopted... and that marks another weird difference in this world. In this timeline the animals and insects and all the creatures. Everyone has a theme, and I didn't have a choice about mine(if I'd had a choice I would be a rat), so I got stuck with spiders.

And now they act weird.

Seriously weird.

Oddly passive around me.

No but seriously, the funnel web sits up in my hair, and it's never bitten me. And I have no fear of it ever biting me. Those around me though... yeah, I make no promises. Absolutely no promises.

But it really is weird and freaky, it's become normal as well. And nobody even bats an eye at the image of a two(almost three) year old toddler with a highly venomous spider perched in their hair. No one, and I don't know what to think about the fact that it's apparently tame... for a given definition of tame...

I basically chalk it up to some effect of my flames.

Also yeah, I am totally going to do that sometime. Supersize spider taking out whatever foe... and maybe a couple of city blocks but eh... that's just how things go.

Doesn't mean I'm used to it yet. It might be normal to everyone else, but I'm still getting used to it. I mean yeah sure, I have this weird affection to all spiders now, finding them strangely cute. But that doesn't mean that I'm always going to remember that yeah, I have this one little buddy who happily tags along with me on my misadventures throughout the mansion.

I don't know if I'll ever truly get used to it. Even if it has normalized itself.

Just like I'm still not entirely adjusted to the idea that I'm now someone completely different.

Peru skin, a nice deep glowing colour rather than a washed out pale tone that I would have called a creamy-white. And rather than messy curly, frizzy brown hair that falls in beautiful ringlets, I have almost plain spiky black hair, it also leans to the left no matter how I try to sweep it, or style it. And my eyes aren't hazel anymore, More a deep green that almost masquerades as brown.

Someone so completely different from the Tamara I once was.

From the Tamara who will probably never be.

And that aches. Because I know in this world they won't exist. They can't exist. Because this world is just so different. So different... And crime is pretty much the not quite Underground world... not quite hidden, not quite secret and...

All of this, it's just as powerful as the government.

It's crazy.

It's insane, and...

It helps just a little bit. Because it allows me to distance myself just that little bit more. And allow the cobwebs to settle on the memories. To cover them with dusty webs in amazing patterns that give them that eerie lost treasure feeling.

It helps.

As does my partner, and I snicker with my hands over my mouth as I hear a string of curse words from my 'tutor' as he finds a spider in his bed. A different funnel web, but still a funnel web. You'd be surprised with how easily I find them honestly... and I think that again it's got something to do with my flames. My dying will. My strive for independence.

Because truly that's what all clouds want. To be able to drift, to be free and able to just go where they want to. Be who they want to be, do what they want to do and... that's all that a cloud wants.

The clouds up in the sky overhead are always moving, carried along by the breeze for sure, but ultimately free. And what would that be like? Moving with the breeze and going simply where the wind takes you. Much like the raining baby spiders. Caught in the wind as they drift, flying to their new homes where they'll make their webs and set up their nests.

It's something that's really interesting, and honestly, as I feel my own funnel crawl their way through my hair I feel a small smile creeping over my face.

Wistful and wanting... because wouldn't that be cool.

A place where I can set up my own web, where the wind has taken me.

That sounds rather nice don't you think?

Chapter Text

I wonder, if I killed this idiot would anyone actually care? The answer to that is probably not, and I'm seriously considering the merits of just setting up an accident for this idiot 'tutor'. I could deal with his dismissal, I could deal with his viewing me as weak, I could deal with that. What I can't deal with though is his other talk. He's objectification of other woman, of other people.

At first I honestly didn't notice. Because it's not like I really care to follow him around. To acknowledge that he exists... but... but, then she visited, and she was really nice. Her and her daughter Kira. And he just, ploughed over them, refused to hear a word that she said, mocked her and was just...

He just.

I've seen it before sure. Had to deal with it myself. But not in this life.

Not like this.

And I loath it. Because how DARE he. How dare he treat her as nothing more than an object, and mock her and, just... Argh.

So I am genuinely considering getting rid of him from the picture completely. Small purple flames dance at my fingertips and I'm barely paying any attention to Kira who's still right here. Uncomfortable, with messy grey-white hair and chestnut brown eyes. And a good three years older than me. Six where I'm now three. Six, and yet they're a small mousy child, slipping into the submissive role too easily, too quickly.

I HATE it.

And maybe these are my cloud instincts but it burns in me. To see others treated like this. To have to stand(or really sit) by and watch. And I know my little buddy, Fino as I call him, bristles just as much about it...

I'm sure that no one will mind too much if I did knock him off. I mean we're an Organized Crime group for crying out loud. A developing Famiglia...

It would only be right to get rid of the more idiotic members of the family before they can spread their idiocy.

It would only be proper.

So I sit and plot, glowering at anyone and everyone who gets too close to either me or Kira. I mean, I'm not quite paying attention to her, but still... I am not letting anyone near her... not even her mother. And yeah, that's definitely the cloud part of me... Basically though, Kira is mine. I mean they did bring her here to become my friend. And while I may find her mother friendly, and nice, she's just too submissive.

And...

And I'm not going to allow Kira to be the same.

I mean her name means something like killer right? I don't even know really, and honestly I'm not sure if I really care. But the fact is there's no way that I'm going to be keeping her all timid and submissive. Not if I can help it. Though I don't know how she'll end up coming out. I mean hey, whatever ends up happening, will end up happening. But yeah...

First thing first though.

I need to get rid of Aldo...

I need to get rid of my idiota of a tutor.

Which ought to be easy enough... I wonder how many spiders I can convince to bite him... and there's a red-belly black snake in the garden... Kira almost stepped on it... Now just to maneuver him into place. Hmm... or you know, I could wet the top of the stairs, warn the maids and butlers add a bit of salt... Since for whatever reason salty water is really slippy... Or soapy mop water, stairs. Choices, choices. The chandelier that they think is out of my reach, a small accident with his bed... I mean if it just happens to snap and impale him... I mean, wooden support... Of course, I could also use the oh so obvious poison in his food but eh...

I'll probably do a bit of everything, plans within plans to get rid of him as thoroughly as possible.

Let's give him a Rasputin Death.

I think that my evil laughter is freaking out everyone around me. But I don't care as I spin around to look at Kira with a far too huge grin on my face.

"Hey, Kira... You want to help me with something?"

She tilts her head, looking down at me with an almost frown on her face. Opens her mouth, pauses and closes it again. Nervous she sort of folds her hands together and twitches them.

"Alright..."

"Perfect! So here's what I want you to do..."


Well...

That could have gone better.

It also could have gone worse.

But Aldo is dead, more than dead and that's the important thing... Of course there might be the teensy problem of the fact that two maids and some random teenager from a rival group are also dead but meh, details.

I should probably be more worried about it, but seriously I'm three.

And Aldo's dead.

My target is dead so I really don't care for the small other things.

Even if it's probably a BIG thing...

And shit...

S H I T...

He's not waking up... the teenager isn't waking back up... He's not waking back up... I tentatively reach out a hand and poke him again... No response. No response! What do we do? Smack him with a fish? I mean that might be entertaining... and there are plenty of fish around, and even if it's a small one a touch of propagation will fix the size.

There's a loud splash and water rushes over my bare feet and Alphonse... I look up at Kira, the six year old is holding an empty bucket over the teens head...

Well that works as well.

But he's still not moving.

Maybe we can hide the body?

"Tamara? Kira?"

Shit... well there goes that idea. I tilt my head backwards and up to view the amusement in my padre's face. I remain silent, Kira merely tilts her head and looks on.

"Now what are you two folletto up to?" he asks, amusement glinting in his brown eyes... and I can't help it.

"Sleeping Tigri..." sleeping tigers. It's a complete lie. But, eh, how could I resist. "Alph'noss is REAL bene at it!" and I completely mangled the teenagers name, but whatever.

"That's because he's dead..." Kira mutters, and I can feel the way my smile fixes itself in place. Though Padre seems to not notice at all. Or maybe he's just pretending to not notice, then again... do people actually expect me to know what death is at the age I currently am? I mean I'm three...

Yeah that's no excuse...

"He's real bene at that too..." I say instead... because hey. Got to hand it to him, getting killed on nothing is something impressive. I mean literally, he wasn't anywhere near the traps we set up, no snakes, no spiders(well aside from Fino) and the stairs here aren't slippery, the chandellier is still hanging up in it's place as well.

"Well that's good..." What? My head snaps back to the teen who's sitting up and laughing. He's alive? I think that part of me short-circuits as he stands back up and wipes himself off. There was no heartbeat? No breath from his mouth, no blinking? How is he alive!

"Brujería!" I point at him freaked out scrambling behind Padre who laughs.

"Meraviglioso demonstration Alphonse!" he claps his hands while Kira pokes at Alphonse's leg, looks back at me and pokes again. "Tamara, Kira... this is Alphonse from the Moran Family. He's a Professional Victim"

I guess that makes sense... but still what? What? Also aren't the Morans supposed to all already be dead? Guess this is just part of the Alternate History of this world then... but still... What? Professional Victim?

Huh...

Well I suppose it makes sense.

But still... WHAT?

Chapter Text

The first time I use my Mist flames it's an accident. Much like my initial use of Cloud flames. Although, that was closer to sheer desperation and longing for things that no longer existed. My Mist flames though?

Nope, they were a pure accident.

Unplanned and unexpected.

Kira's settling in, she's part of the family. She's mine. And that's the way it's supposed to be now really. Alphonse also hangs around a lot, he's the annoying big brother.

Anyway, the mess starts on my forth birthday. A birthday that I really didn't care about. I would have been fine with a single cupcake and a new pair of socks for my birthday. Instead it seems that the whole Familiga has been called together and I'm forced into the poofiest most Disney dress that I own. At least it's purple, with a nice indigo ribbon and scarf. My hair is done up, and brushed down. My shoes nice and shiny and... The ball room is actually getting used.

It's annoying.

Kira is happy beside me though. Dressed in blue, with plenty of frills and I'm honestly jealous of the curls that she's carefully styled her hair into. Oh, they're no where near as beautiful as the natural curls that I once was blessed with in my previous life, but the way that they spiral and curve against her neck, around her face in a veil of grey-white... it's an ache that I can't help.

My spiky hair wouldn't allow me to curl it.

Of course, I would never want to change my natural hair. It's wrong... even when it eventually loses it's colour and thins out... I wouldn't want to change it.

But anyway, we're all dressed up and pretty. Fancy for the crowd.

I. HATE. IT.

I'm four, and I'm a Primary Cloud. Who longs for independence and control over my own life even at this humble age of four. Being dressed up and paraded around at my own birthday party is not part of the deal.

So I spend the beginning of the party far too annoyed, and with my brow furrowed in a perfect frown, but my lips in a straight up smile. After all a frown is in the brow, and it's a nice way to basically show my discomfort and grump without being obvious except to those who know and understand where a frown is. Not everything is in the mouth after all.

But really I hate this whole situation.

We're basically being paraded in front of the other familiga who're gathered here. Shown off.

I

 HATE

         IT

And as the day drags on and on, with no sign of the parading ending, I get more and more tetchy. More grumpy and bare my teeth. Closer and closer to the very limits of my patience. Closer to the limits of what I can stand.

There was no such thing as Birthdays in my previous life. Oh sure others had them, but me... nope. And I never really wanted to have one, there was just that one day where I would acknowledge the passing of time, note down the fact that I was a year older and move on. None of this, none of this mess.

Just the knowledge that I was a year older and that's it.

Which is why I eventually snap and break. My fractured patience reaching the very limit and failing.

"Enough!" I scream, flames flickering as I bare my teeth. I don't want to be here, I don't want... I growl and crouch down my hands curling into the sides of my head. There are too many people and I'm being paraded in front of them, I just want them to all go away. LEAVE ME ALONE!

I never needed a Birthday party, just a day...

Just a day of acknowledgment and that is it.

That's it!

My hands curl and it's pinpricks of pain.

And flames blaze. Indigo lights dance and flicker and I snap my eyes back open feeling the warmth around me.

And the world twists. Kira actually clings to me as the ground shakes and slopes, sliding and twisting around before elevating us both up and above all the others. I can hear Alphonse laughing in the distance, and see Padre frowning as he's elevated, but... mostly I can see the flames that flicker and dance in indigo and purple around me.

Shielding me, protecting me, and listening to my call and my will.

And right now, I want to scare all these people away, only keeping a few around.

Padre, Alphonse, Kira!

They're the only ones who're safe as the ground shakes and trembles and finally erupts. Spilling lava and danger, chasing everyone else out and away. Far, far away I hope even as vines crawl up the pillars that we rest on. Of course it won't hurt anyone, it just looks dangerous and scary. It's part of my instinctive rules. It'll feel hot, it'll be unpleasant, but it won't hurt those who it actually catches.

I just want them to go away. To leave me alone. I don't want to stir up trouble or give them a reason to be against our family.

And some people see to realize that, not moving at all from their spots... or it could be that they're immune but eh... who knows. Or cares because I really don't. It's just less stifling now... so uh...

"How do I make it stop?"

Kira looks at me with the most unimpressed face that I have ever seen from her. Alphonse of course bursts into laughter and shakes his head. Padre merely sighs, he's done, just so done. I don't blame any of them really because even I'm getting kind of done.

Fino makes a clicking noise up on my head and I frown... well it's an illusion right... kind of like a web I guess... and whoops... Now it literally is a giant web, and we're all caught. Well kind of, considering that I'm the spider in this situation. But anyway... it's an illusion like a web and both can be unraveled.

Both are incredibly fragile to.

It's easy enough really and the room abruptly straightens itself out and returns to normal. Any lingering indigo flames flicking briefly before dispersing.

And I collapse like a puppet without strings(who's not Pinocchio since he cheats). Exhaustion weighs down my limbs and I'm not quite sure where it comes from. Probably exhausted the limits of my will, or maybe it's just the fact that I'm still only four in this world.

Also tiny.

Teeny, tiny. Which seems to be a staple for this world. But seriously, what the hell is up with the tiny kids? No but seriously, although the anime/manga was an exaggeration at least. We're not quite that small. But still we're ridiculously small compared to the standards of my previous world. I don't even reach Padre's knee yet, and that was about the old average... Or around that, but then again I was tiny even in my previous life.

I didn't really reach over a meter tall until I was eleven/twelve, and even then I only ended up average... shorter than average actually since average was 165cm and I was only 160cm. But seriously, all that aside.

Why the hell are all kids even smaller in this universe, like seriously. You don't grow out of fun-sized until you're around seven-ish.

Even Kira is still small and fun-sized.

I hate being fun-sized, because it means that everything takes more energy, which also takes more resolve and will which leads to mental exhaustion. My child body and brain can't quite handle all of the logic and thoughts that my eighteen year old spirit contains.

Which yeah, that explains why I've just collapse.

"Padre..." I mumble rolling over, lifting my hands up in a silent demand to be picked up. Once I'm safe in his arms I sullenly observe those left in the room, some are from the Moran, like Alphonse, but there are also others and... My train of thought abruptly slams to a halt as I spot a familiar insignia.

Vongola

I mean I suspected, but still seeing someone wearing that symbol, and here... Well, I can certainly say that we're not in Kansas anymore, not that I ever was in Kansas, but still.

Well

So I'm in Katekyo Hitman Reborn...

Fuck this entire life, and toss it off a bridge.

"Padre! Dormire" I demand and he lets out a rumbling laugh before walking away, Kira follows right on his heels and I narrowly watch the others in the room. I can hear Alphonse cheerful voice, but can't be bothered to listen to the words.

This world sucks...

Ugh.

I curl my head into Padre's chest and close my eyes. I'll just have to deal with the damage later on... But also, freaking hell... flames were bad enough, I could have written them off as just weird bullshit, but actually seeing the Vongola. Yeah, shit... how long until canon? Also how relevant will that even be...

Probably not much, but, it's best to be aware...

I suppose.

Chapter Text

I'm eight when the next big event happens. Dragged towards the school by an excited Kira. She's eleven, and also quite annoying with her positivity back. Constantly smiling and full of cheer and just sociable. Always dragging me out and into the spotlight as well. I just want to be left in the library when we're at the school. Or even better, not go at all.

Padre insists that I go though. To entrench me in the Civilian side of things. So that I'm not just a Mafia Brat. So that I'm not just a regular Home Schooled brat either.

And, she's not the only friend that I have anymore.

While I will complain and grump as anything while on the way to school I calm down. I don't care for any of the teachers, none of them are really that notable. Of course considering this is Primary, I only really have the one teacher who I really need to worry about. Mr. Allen, which also leads to worrying about his annoying son, Diego.

Diego is a brat, through and through. There is no disguising, no hiding that. He's worse than Liam ever was... worse than Justin even. Both of whom were bullies, and I was always their favourite victim. Their favourite punching bag... Well, verbally at least, I don't think that I have ever been physically bullied, until Diego. He is not so afraid to kick and punch, to hit. Which is just not something that I'm used to.

And it does not impress me at all.

It does not help at all that he is two years older than me. Ten, and therefore in a higher grade. I mean seriously, Kira has literally two more years(counting this one) to go in this school. She's currently in Fifth Grade, I'm in Fourth grade myself, having skipped a year ahead. And Diego is in the same year as Kira, Fifth, and on schedule...

If we were going by age, as it is grades do factor in along with understanding and I did get into ALPs(the Advanced Learning Program), albeit briefly in my previous life. Also, split year grades are still a thing.

So technically it's 3/4 A class that I am in, where I am on paper a fourth grader, a year ahead of the rest of my general age group, and if I really wanted to, I could easily just test back into eighth grade, or rather Year eight, because that was where I left off with my education in my previous life... But at the same time, I really do not care.

Diego and Kira are in the same 5/6 class, 5/6 B. And for some reason that I personally cannot fathom they get along. As it is, at the age of eight, been dragged to school and spending my days bored half out of my mind is where the next big event happens.

In the form of a twin pair of transfer students into my grade.


My clothing sticks to my body, the material actually itching as it rubs against my skin. Clinging there with sweat, my wide brimmed hat, barely shields me from the heat(or the Magpies) and my feet ache. I can only just barely focus on the mathematics problems in front of me, and even then it is only really a cursory glance, a token effort. Because I already know this...

Really if I cared I could answer all of the problems within moments and then go back to blankly staring, but I don't... So I just sit in my seat, frowning and trying to shift into a better position. The material of the seats is heated, uncomfortable and makes my clothing wrinkle up and stick, folding together.

Uncomfortable.

The only reason that I even start to pay attention is because the teacher awkwardly clears his throat and waves in two new students. Both of them have light, pure white hair, bright, blue eyes and...

MINE!

My hands dig into the wood of the desk in front of me, and small wisps of purple and indigo flash around my hands. The screaming voice in my head just won't shut up, and I know.

"Mio... Sono Mio!" I grin, vicious and I can feel it. Because I may not be a sky, but I am a cloud and here is the thing... Clouds claim people, Clouds claim places, and things. And I know that I have already claimed Kira, and because she gets along with Diego... he is also mine, but these two. "Hey!" I stand up and cross my arms before grinning, all my teeth visible and I can see out of the corner of my eye the wince of our teacher. "Siete mio neve gemelli ora!" I declare and there are actually quite a few people staring blankly.

I don't care. Because my flames are purring. Because these two, they are mine.

Mine, and no one else is allowed to steal them. No one.

Not even their parents. Who I glare at with glowing eyes when they come to try and take them away at the end of the day. Kira looks like she is awkwardly trying to soothe things over, but I don't care. If those two try to take away my newest claimed in group they will get burned. Quite literally, cooked, using a subtle twist of cloud propagation, to propagate the heat in the air around them, or perhaps the carbon dioxide that lingers... though that might cause more problems. Again, the thing is, flames are will.

Limited only by what you believe, what you wish.

So really, the sky is the limit. And also, clouds strive for independence primarily, and possessiveness falls into that.

"Mio! Mio, MIO!" I snarl, lighting my eyes up with my flames. It would probably work better if I were a bit older. As it is though, it is still pretty effective. As I glare, and stalk forwards, both of the twins(Tiana and Charlie) step backwards. "Sono mio!" I snarl, just as Padre arrives, along with some of his current roster.

I really, could not care less, because these people are trying to take the ones who I have claimed, who're mine.

That's. Not. Allowed.

So I growl, and get ready to twist my flames and just firmly declare that these two are mine. And Kira, seemingly realizing this is right there, holding me back. Being the stabilizing, soothing presence that she is. And laughing with her stupid grin fixed in place, and, here is something else. It's a wash of calm and I step back straightening.

Both of the twins seem to sigh at the same time, before shaking their heads. And Diego walks over, hands shoved into his pockets and eyes sharp. Also, he is shaking, with suppressed energy. Which might be why he is a bully.

Too much energy and not enough outlets... But he is Kira's therefore mine... hmm... wait, what Elements are here?

I'm so painfully obvious as a Cloud-Mist, Misty Cloud or Cloudy Mist however people would describe them. As I've unlocked them.

Kira might be a Rain... since she just calmed me.

Diego has an excess of energy, a side effect of Sun flames... He might be a sun? Hmm, if he is I might get Kira to direct him to some of the martial arts groups... Maybe, well, maybe later on.

And then there are the twins who both have automatically pinged on my radar. My eyes dart between the two and their parents. And that is what stalls me, because I can't actually tell. Yet, there is some part of me that thinks that it does.

"Sono mio neve gemelli ora!" I huff, crossing my arms. They're my snow twins now! And I don't know where my mind has pulled snow from, but it feels right, and other than that. The way Charlie is swaying on the spot, constantly shifting subtly moving, she is likely a sun, like Diego seems to be. As for Tiana...

I don't want to guess, but there is a flare of desire. A goal, a want, and there's the subtly there, because desire and ambition are different things, linked to different flames. So... I would place my bets on her been a Storm.

Which, is a pretty good set up all things considered.

Pretty good, except as we are there is no buffer, no sky to keep us from rubbing each other the wrong way. Except that I have slotted them in as mine. They are mine, no one else's and I don't need a sky to know that. Of course, that's only at a guess, I couldn't possibly know until they all unlock their flames and honestly...

At this point none of them have to get involved in the Organized Crime group that I have been born into... At least, I would hope that they don't... then again, I have been pretty possessive already. About this. Honestly though I could care less about that, I still don't want the twins to be taken away by their parents and Diego, well, he is here now. So I don't want him to leave. Because he is Kira's.

And even with Kira's calming aura doing its thing... I am reaching the limit. Just a little bit more of a push and you know what, screw it! Indigo flames ripple around me and I just twist them a little bit, my rules. My game and... you know what, a giant game board in front of us. I cross my arms and frown.

"Let's play a game!" I smirk viciously, manifesting mythical beasts, monstrous creatures all across the board. Giving them a slight advantage in the scale of elements(Pokémon based because old habits die hard...), not that it will matter in the end. After all, I am a Cloudy Mist who is playing to keep. "You win, take them home, I win, they come with us!" I smile, disarmingly spreading my arms out. My eyes flash indigo with my flames.

It is time to battle...


Laughing with a furiously clicking Fino in my hair I sit with my legs swinging. Alphonse, ever long-suffering, sits to the side trying to seem disapproving. But really I don't care, it's not like anyone outside of the small area would have been able to see what I had done... Rather it would have seemed like a weird staring contest...

Yeah.

I'm grinning, unrepentant with a slight pinch of pain in my cheeks. Padre is also trying and failing to be disapproving. After all, who would believe them if they told what had happened? It would just seem weird... well weirder... though... Omerta might be a problem... but technically I didn't break it, I just... might have used a loophole, or two... After all, no one really saw me use my flames, and even those who I affected, will probably write it off, they will justify it to themselves...

Probably.

My smile drops, and awkwardly I laugh, running a hand through my hair... I look down at my hands clasped in my lap, my legs stop swinging and I sigh.

"I'm in trouble aren't I?"

"Yep!"

"They're still mio though!" and Padre smiles at me while a twist my face up into a scowl. "Mio, mio, mio!"

"Of course. Of course, Principessa"

Chapter Text

We're still children, still young.

None of the others really have their flames active, oh sure they have passive flames. Flames that people can notice when they look, but... that's not enough.

We're still children, still young...

But the world doesn't wait for you to grow up before it hurtles problems into your face. No, because that would make it fair. My hands curl, and my teeth grind as I glare at the man who is standing between me and the exit. Between me and home. Eyes narrow and I can feel the small flare of my flames, feel the glow of purple. Because it's easier to reach for the cloud pieces.

Independence, the call for freedom.

Which hilariously makes the colour purple ironic for it... because purple is creativity, imagination, more suited for the creative mist flame users... indigo, it means intuition, idealism and well it's a meditative colour... maybe it's a good thing that it is Mist... but still... Purple for independence is a bit weird...

Unless there's something that I'm missing...

Hmm, maybe I've been thinking about flame traits wrong... I'll have to come back to it...

Anyway, right now, none of that matters. None of it matters, because right now it comes down to what is right in front of me. A stranger, a threat, between me and my family. So I feed my will into my flames and curl my hands. Ready to fight if it becomes necessary.

And also, even if it doesn't, because I'm not the only one here right now. A couple children who are a year or two younger than me. Well, actually three children, but they are all younger than me. I'm the oldest at eight. So I'm prepared to fight even if it doesn't become necessary. Because he should not be here, and I am not going to stand down.

It's such a pity that I miss the fact that he's not alone...


I wake with a pounding in my head, hands chained behind my back and a piece of cloth covering my eyes. But also, there's this distant awareness, a hum, an echo, harmony. And it's a shock, because I can feel the flames within me, mist and cloud both purr. Like a cat that's content in a patch of sunlight leaning against a leg. Claws, in and out, stimming.

There's a sky here!

There's a sky here!

A sky!

And here's the thing. I can hear and feel the way my flames cry out for that sky. I can feel the effect, the harmony that's trying to synch up with me. But... I can't see them, I don't know if they're older, younger, friend or foe.

But I do know that their flames are compatible with mine.

And that's what I focus on. Because that's the important thing. Everything else is secondary, it's all about compatibility. And since flames are a manifestation of your will, your soul they know deeply who and what you're compatible with. Which makes this sky priority number one!

And yet...

There are others, who my flames are reaching for. Who my flames are purring in the presence of. So I focus on that.

Breathe in...

Breathe out...

Focus!

And I reach down. Reach in. Pushing through the cloud and grasping for the fog, the mist. It's easy, because the link to it is in indigo hues. Because that's related to intuition, wisdom, structure, integrity. All important. All things that can link back to me, and I wrap it around myself.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

And wrap it around. I am the mist that conceals the family. Creating something from nothing, misdirecting and obscuring the truth. That's the mist, all the while I am also a cloud. Drifting and covering the family from afar... except right now I am gathering them. The link between us all, until this sky.

So right now, it's the mist that I need.

I don't need to see.

I don't need to look to know. Sounds of confusion, and the click of chains as they slide away, falling to the floor. The blindfold easily removed and I follow the feeling of harmony. Steps light as the ground shifts and shakes. Lava forming behind and ahead of me. I am the mist, the one who creates things and I'm only limited by the stretches of my imagination.

I am the cloud, unchained and free. Covering and shielding those who are mine.

And even those who aren't.

Because that's my chosen role. A protector. It's just who I am. And right now my priority is clear. Me and mine. To get out. And it's easy, to simply stroll through. Since the lava will keep those who are not welcome away. Monsters rising up where they're needed. And I only stop once I reach my destination. My flames purr and I feel a smirk twist itself over my face. One hand moving forwards, with cloud flames applied to my strength and it's as simple as a tug. Three sets of wide eyes stare up at me.

Two seven year olds with a six year old between them.

Well, that's that. I raise my head and turn around blinking and the illusions all stop. Because right now it's more important to conserve energy and... to scale it down. I can feel the sky flames at my back, and I grin.

"Mio Sky!" I say. I don't have to turn to know that they've stood up.

"Who the hell are you?" the boy finally snaps and I glance back before shaking my head.

"No time. We need to escape!" I growl. Before snapping my fingers. "Fino!" I whistle and the funnel web clicks in my hair before creeping down my arm. I smile before turning to the smaller children, all of whom are staring with extremely wide eyes at the spider. "This is Fino!" I say before looking them over. "I'm Tamara" last names can come later.

"Estavan!" the single boy says, glaring with narrow eyes at me. The girl beside him, peers round before smiling and waving one hand.

"Sunny!"

"I am Katia..." the youngest says, and there's a flicker of something in her eyes. And my flames like and excited puppy wriggle around, and I feel the grin stretch further.

"Mio Sky!" I just slightly bow towards her. Causing all three of them to blink. I can feel the harmony, shared between all of us. And I turn around crossing my arms and simply breathing. "They know something is wrong by now..." I mutter, before smirking. "Pity, they kidnapped the wrong person!" Fino clicks in agreement and I look back at the active sky. She's six. Two years younger than me, a year younger than the other two. "The wrong people really!" I say closing my eyes and when they open back up the left is glowing indigo and the right purple.

The other two don't quite have active flames.

But their flames are on the very edge, the verge of triggering. All they need is a small subtle push. A little prompting. And that prompt is fast approaching. Fino clicks and I jump back just as some people in rather mad scientist inspired outfits appear. They even have the swirly goggles. And that's the moment that I feel it. The flare of Estavan and Sunny's dying will flames.

Brown and blue mixing with red.

Huh? What's brown? Oh well that's not relevant right now. Because the red are storm and they quickly overtake Sunny's blue rain in priority for this situation. While Estavan snarls and whoa... the ground literally begins to die, the stone cracking and sinking. Rotting away, crumbling beneath him. And the walls falling away due to Sunny. Nice. And I wrap my mist flames around us all.

It's not too difficult.

Your mind makes it real...

Of course it's pretty exhausting really and when we're spat out in the lounge I gladly collapse onto the sofa. Lying across it and simply closing my eyes to breathe. I don't open my eyes when I hear the door open, I don't bother to respond even when my flames begin to purr again. Recognizing Kira's presence. And I sigh. A small smile.

"Look at that! We cannot leave you alone for even the school day can we?"

Until Diego announces his presence with a mocking comment. I open my eyes to half-lidded to glare at him. I lazily snap my fingers and Fino clicks, moving to the armrest and he backs away. Awkwardly laughing. And then my vision is filled with a disapproving Kira. I roll my eyes at her before pushing myself up properly to sit.

"I found our sky!" I say around a yawn as the twins come in. And Tiana grins, walking around her twin and looking at the three who I brought with me. "We all got kidnapped together..."

"Tamara!" Kira is still disapproving and I just sigh. "You should not be so calm about that!" she says, and I roll my eyes. Of course she doesn't stay mad quickly moving on to observe the three. And Estavan proves to be a grumpy grouch, and glares at her. Before he turns on me, the seven year old thrusting a finger straight into my face.

"Okay! Explain quick because you also kidnapped us! This is not home!"

"Katia is mio sky, your sky. Our sky!" I say blinking at him in some bemusement. I look around the group stretching lazily. "Traditionally that would make her the boss... But... We are not traditional! I'm the heir! So I'm the boss!" Because screw tradition that's why. And also I have plans, plans that Katia will not help with if she becomes the boss. "Katia is still our sky though, our home..." I frown, bringing my hand up to my mouth in thought. "Therapist?"

"Tamara..." Kira says and I snap my fingers together nodding my head. Because skies are all about harmony. And therapy helps with that. "They've already made up their mind about that..." Kira mutters behind me, and I can almost sense the sweatdrop. I smile before jumping down and landing easily.

My exhaustion is still there but I look around. Because now I can tell. I was wrong with my initial guess for Tiana... because green flashes in her eyes where Charlie's flash yellow. So the Lightning and the Sun. Diego's eyes also flash yellow, so he's also a sun, and I can feel the tranquilizing effect that Kira is creating. Rain.

"So, I think that proper introductions are in order!" I say clapping my hands together. "I am Tamara Gangitano! Heir of the Carlton Crew and, the Boss!" I pause before adding. "Active Cloud and Mist flame user!"

"Kira." Kira says before sighing. "Kira Goodwin, and Tamara's best friend and right hand!" because she's the balance to my more off and away moments... huh? Must be the combination of being a cloud and mist at the same time... "I use blue flames... Rain Flames"

"I'm Diego Allen! Son of Donato Allen, he's one of the teachers!" Diego proudly brags and I roll my eyes. "I uh, the flames that appeared are bright yellow..." Sun confirmed... he looks at the twins. Tiana is the one to take the lead.

"Tiana Aiken, and this is my sister Charlie!" she says with a smile. "I use green flames, and Charlie has yellow flames like Diego..." she shrugs before Charlie cuts in adding.

"We also manifested weird white flames..." what? I stare at them before Sunny jumps in.

"Sunny Cohen!" the small girl grins, eyes flashing blue and red. Huh. "Blue for the rain, and Red for the Storm!" she winks cheerfully and I am immediately at attention. Because that is an indication that she might be related to one of the Organized Crime groups in the area. Beside her Estavan sighs.

"Estavan Potter! And really, the Carlton Crew? Huh, go figure... I utilize Brown Flames..." he shrugs before blowing out a bit air.

"Katia Utkin! Apparently I'm your Sky?" she sounds so unsure but those who understand what it is nod their heads. Myself included. I grin before looking up and leap to my feet.

"Oh and also! Alphonse!" the man strolls into the room, looking rather awkward. "He's the one who watches out for us! And he's our Professional Victim!" I state before crossing my arms. This is a full set of elements. A full set, a full family. And my flames are happy and content. Now things can really begin to move. "Now that that's out of the way!" I viciously grin and I can see the way everyone reacts. "Time to start preparing for the future!"

Chapter Text

"You! Are pure evil!" I ignore the statement spat at me by Diego instead clasping my hands behind my back and blinking at them all. Fino clicks a couple times up in my hair and I blink. Because for the life of me, I can't understand how they're all worn out already... aside Katia. Because she's the youngest.

Seven now... It's been a year, a year since I finally gathered everyone. Since I knew who was my family. Who would be following me. The ones who make up my famiglia. The ones who will join me in running the new and improved Carlton Crew in the future. But for now, we're still kids, still growing, learning, improving.

And I can't understand why everyone is panting and laying on the ground as if the small workout I put them through was too much. I mean, it's something I do daily, so why is everyone just... not able to keep up? We're not even halfway through either. And the people who I expected to breeze through it.

Our Suns.

Diego and Charlie 'Chipper' are both lying flat out on the floor. On their backs, exhausted. And they're Suns. Suns are supposed to have energy to spare aren't they? Oh well, I suppose now is a good a time as any for a break. So I kick up a seat and slouch in it, moving my hands up to rest behind my head closing my eyes and smiling. This is honestly nice. Even if we're honestly nowhere near the level that we need to be to really effect anything. We're kids. Growing and learning, becoming a family.

A famiglia and that's the important thing really.

Because I have the inklings of a plan to get us into the plot. Because hanging around here won't do anything for us. We'll just hear about everything after the fact. Long after the fact. Fact is though, that plan will be implemented in the next year if all goes well. And well, at least all of us are older than Lambo. Still it'll be interesting. But, I open my eyes back up, sharpening my gaze as I look around at my companions.

I only watched a small handful of the episodes of KHR... Reading fanfiction was more interesting, and also, there was the language issue. Because I needed to be in a paying attention mood to watch it... which was hard. What with all my issues, and the general pressures of my life. So now, I have the faintest of faint idea of what's coming in the future because thank God for fanfiction and wiki. Albeit, my knowledge of the future is therefore sans pretty much all of the details.

Well, up until the start of the Ring Battle Arc, I got up to the episode where Hibari was about to battle the Robot Human thing... The Gola Mosca, or something like that. I don't really know, not that it really matters. Because I have a plan, I have an idea, we're going to get into the plot, and...

Well, chaos will break loose in its own way. I mean, considering how mismatched our group actually is. Add in the fact that I'm the leader. A misty-cloud, and well, yeah. I think that Reborn might wind up liking us. If only because I am perfectly willing to sow some chaos and change the status quo.

For more than just Tsuna and co honestly. Because us being there will likely send reverbrations throughout the entire criminal world. Since we're supposed to be based in Melbourne... But I am already familiar with Australia, I already know this place. I know this stuff, and it's... boring to stay in place. So it's just a matter of setting my plan in motion. Ready to arrive at just the right time.

If I time it correctly then it should be just before the Ring Battles. If. It's going to be difficult to really judge though, because the timeline was vague. Even with everything happening in sequence. It wasn't easy.

But that's still a year away.

In a year I'll be ten. My eyes snap open faintly glowing purple and I straighten up. Standing in the middle of the group with a grin.

"Back to work! That was enough of a break!" I cheerfully inform them ignoring the groans around me. Perhaps... maybe I'm propagating my energy? Or who knows? But whatever it is, I'm still good to go, so back to work it is. "Come on! We need to be ready!" I wave my arms around happily before clapping my hands together. "Chipper! Diego! Let's go!" I skip around and ignore their muttered insults. Cheerfully smiling with my eyes tightly closed.

We're going to make so many waves!

Yo prometo!


It's funny how easy it is for me to sneak around the mansion honestly. How easy it is for me to slip around unseen and unnoticed at night. It's sickening. Where are the guards? Where are the people who are supposed to be on watch? I don't know, and honestly I can't find it in myself to care, because right now it's to my advantage. Night time is yet more time I can use to practice. To prepare, and to learn.

Down to the library. To grab a book on the language of flowers, to find a book on knots and traps. To find a history book and study until I can't contain any more information. Medical books. Anatomy. Biology, reproduction... and Padre's secret porn stash(or maybe it belongs to a member of the staff? Who knows?). A bible tucked all the way in the back. I just grab anything that I can get my hands on and read. Information is a weapon after all, and honestly it's something that I will need in the future. Because I only know the bare bones.

I know, but I don't know what's coming.

And there are still people looking at me with expectations that make me feel so small. Because how could I possibly measure up to them all? I am just one person, I am just a child at this point, and gender roles are not to be ignored. They can't be ignored. Because I have two ears and I can hear. So many expect me to be given as a bride to form some kind of famiglia alliance at some point in the future. But Padre has thus far seemed uninterested.

Probably because here I'm an only child...

Unconsciously I tighten my grip on whatever book that's in my hands. And my flames hum beneath my skin, I grit my teeth and blink back tears. Because it hurts even though I never knew the woman who would have been my Madre. I never met her.

Because she was shot on the way home from the hospital with me... and... apparently a twin. How I survived who could know. But it burns because that's the truth of this life unfortunately. Along with the expectations of all those around me. I'm sure that if they don't think I'm going to be given as an alliance bride they'll expect me to marry some Sky and hand the reins over to him...

Because that's just how it is in this world.

Sexism, gender roles and on top of both, fucking flame roles.

Because each flame is supposed to represent something of course. And have a particular position... Well apparently they haven't been paying attention then. Because there is a sky here right underneath their noses.

Katia.

And I've been giving her all the psychology books. Colour, flower, clothing, mental illness(which is severely lacking), PTSD. Books on famous inventors and all of that. Even medical textbooks talking about crazy people.

Because if she's going to be our therapist then I need her to have as much knowledge at her disposal about all sources of issues. Everything I can find. Because the sky is still our home, our safety. And that's what a good therapist should be. Even if I would dearly love nothing more than to break the noses of most so called therapists because fuck. I went to one once and it made everything worse.

Good thing I've never encountered one that proved true the joke... Can't spell therapist without rapist you know. I've been lucky enough that they were all just so convinced that they knew my issues before I even opened my mouth or got to explain anything beyond the fact that I had some issues with pain, and touch and well.

I'm salty about it okay...

I hate therapists. But I trust Katia, it's something that just goes deep. Because I guess it must be minor harmonization, or something. Because I trust, and I know... I know that she'll be able to ground us. Keep us grounded and sane. Give us a place to come home to. In that case I think that I may also have to convince her to become the proper medic... You know since safe places are also places with people who'll patch you up from whatever scrapes and scraps you've gotten into...

Yes. That sounds like a good plan.

Hmm, danger doctor. I wonder what weapon she'll pick for herself...

Actually now that I'm wondering that... what weapons are any of us going to pick? Guns are all well and good... a bit obvious though. A sword would be cool, but honestly ill-fitting considering that they're a bit too retro in this kind of business. Considering how much of a Naruto fan I am though...

I want Kunai and Shuriken, that I can throw at people and magically multiply. Like a troll. I know it doesn't make much sense considering I'm an Australian... hmm, or I could go with a boomerang. Like Sokka from Avatar. And that seems quite patriotic to be honest. Also who doesn't love a good old boomerang joke every now and again.

Yes.

That sounds like a wonderful idea. I smirk in the darkness with Fino clicking in my hair before I yawn and stand back up. Putting the book back on the shelf I rub one eye before yawning again. It's well past bedtime now. But I am honestly not quite willing to go straight to bed. Instead once I leave the library I wander down until I find a familiar box on the wall. With a blinking green light.

So it's in safety mode.

Well, I need to fix that. Because it needs to be active. And I reach up easily opening it up to press the keypad inside in a certain order. Engaging it, so that the defences of the mansion are primed. I yawn again one hand covering my mouth before I shake my head. Fino clicks before crawling down onto my hand. Peering down at the funnel web I offer a sleepy smile before blinking away sleep.

"Right... alright. Let's go with programa ampolla C" I mutter and the spider clicks happily before I rest my hand near a vent which he quickly disappears down. I wait for just a little while before I hear the telltale beep from the defence box. The spikes... It's always the spikes... why? Do people just like to be morons and walk into them? It's such a stupid way to be found as well.

I shake my head before closing the box and walking back down the hall towards my bed. Padre will deal with them tomorrow in the morning. And in a year everything will truly be set in motion.

It's almost time for the plot to start.

I'm just taking the final steps to set things in motion on my end. Training up my crew, because we're going to make waves. We're going to change things. This is what I promise. And it's going to be so much fun. I mean hey, if Lambo could sneak there, how hard could it be for us? And besides.

Alliances are important right? Building up a network... So if anyone asks... that's just what I'm doing...

Networking you know.