You people are amazing. Seriously - the response I've had to this fic is just- I love you guys. To everyone who has read, alerted, favourited and especially reviewed, thank you so much! I probably should be doing so many other things right now but I wanted to finish this chapter for everyone. :D
I was wondering, who would people like to see in this story? I've got a bit of a list of who will be appearing, but I'm open to suggestions. Who knows, maybe you'll spark something in my mind and you'll all get another chapter or two out of it. 8D Either way, let me know! I'm curious.
Do you know how hard it is to use the western name order for these guys? I have to stop and think every time.
"The Vongola, ladies and gentlemen, is the craziest, most mind-boggling, most headache-inducing, most unbelievable, most paradoxical, most righteous and most moral criminal organisation you will ever hear of and, unfortunately, they're here to stay. You learn to work with them, or you go crazy. Or both."
"Right," the Sergeant barked. The recruits (who were supposed to be the best and brightest of their year) had started muttering in confusion and even anger at his last pronouncement, some going so far as to yell questions at him. When they didn't quiet down the Sergeant growled, glared, then, as a last resort, slammed a fist into the wall beside him.
Instantaneous silence greeted his ears and the Sergeant grinned. "Let's move on to the next Guardian, shall we?"
Rifling through the papers in his briefcase again, the Sergeant eventually pulled one out. "Meet the Vongola Decimo's right hand man, Hayato Gokudera."
The photo was haphazardly pinned to the board with another magnet, slightly crooked, and drew the recruits' attention almost immediately. Narrowed eyes glared out at them, set over a mouth that was pinched around a cigarette. Four dynamites were clutched in one hand, the other raised in a rude gesture. The shot was candid, the hostility looking strangely false, as if more out of habit than actual threat, but it was enough to put some fear into the recruits. Anyone who would smoke while holding a bunch of dynamite was obviously insane, despite the fact he looked more like a delinquent teenager with a propensity for blowing stuff up than a true mafioso.
The Sergeant smirked at the recruits. They were underestimating Gokudera; they always did. It was one of the main reasons why he liked to use that photo.
"Gokudera's known as the Vongola's explosives expert. He'd made a name for himself in the mafia - 'Smoking Bomb Hayato' - even before he joined the Vongola, due to being from an old mafia family and having a bad temper. Among all of the Vongola, he's the best mid-range melee fighter - whether it's one or one hundred fighters, he'll take them all down in half the time you'd expect. He's designed and mastered several types of dynamite and can use them for everything from close-quarters destruction to long range assassinations. In other words, if you're up against him..." the Sergeant paused, grinning, loving how the recruits waited with baited breath, "attack hard and fast or run."
The Sergeant scowled. It was that annoying brat from the back again- no, sorry, it was her neighbour. He would have to make sure to put them in their places if this continued. "The only way to survive a fight against Gokudera's to take him by surprise. He's a brilliant tactician but way too hotheaded - you stand a much better chance if you can make him act before he has time to think." The Sergeant glanced around, checking he had everyone's attention, and took a moment to glare at those two recruits in the back. "Hit him and run - get his attention then piss him off by turning it into a chase. If you give him a minute to plan and react - give him even a second - you're dead.
"You ain't safe in large numbers either. Just because he uses dynamite don't think you can wear him out. Hayato Gokudera's known as the Smoking Bomb because of the sheer amount of dynamite he carries around. No one knows how much he can store on himself but there've been a few cases where he's been caught by authorities and forced to remove all weaponry." The Sergeant smirked and dropped his voice to a dangerous growl. "Last time, he was pulled up at an airport with sufficient TNT to blow up the whole building and still have enough left over to fight his way out of the rubble."
That put the fear of god (or Vongola, in this case) into the recruits and the Sergeant grinned. No time like the present to give 'em a bit more, right?
"Moving on, next is a man known as the Rain Assassin. We think he's one of the younger members of the Vongola - most likely the same age as Gokudera and Sawada - but nothing is known about his true identity." The Sergeant saw the disbelief beginning to show on the recruits' faces and scowled. Did they not understand just how good these mafioso types were at keeping secrets? He rifled through his papers, pulling out a small pile and setting one sheet aside. "To illustrate just how... frustrating this is, this," he flicked through the small stack, twenty or so pages fluttering briefly, "is our basic file on Hayato Gokudera, containing only the most important details and unclassified information." Dropping the stack carelessly, he snatched the single sheet from the desk and waved it in the air with an annoyed snap of his wrist. "This is the Vongola Rain Guardian's entire file, containing information from every intelligence and law enforcement office that've ever had the misfortune of running into him."
"It's always been assumed that there's many reasons why the Vongola are so careful in hiding their Rain Guardian's identity, including that he might hold a prominent position in society that they don't want to compromise." The Sergeant paused to let that sink in - to let the recruits realise just how much trouble they were in if that was true - then continued with a gleeful smirk. "The other reason is that whoever they are, the Rain Guardian's the Vongola Decimo's personal assassin, a job made much easier because no one knows who to suspect. He is, in essence, a ghost - no one sees him coming, no one sees him going and all that's left of where he's been is a trail of death and destruction."
"Ehhh..." That annoying voice from the back spoke up again - the original one this time, not her friend. "But if nobody knows who he is, are you sure he isn't just one of the others pretending to be another person?"
The Sergeant sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. The number of times he had heard that exact argument... "No one else in the Vongola - the main branch, anyway - fights with a sword, and the Vongola have a tradition of the boss always having six guardians, each named after an element of the weather. Not having a Rain Guardian would be nontraditional and to the Vongola that would be... unacceptable."
"But doesn't the Vongola Decimo have seven guardians if you include the Rain and the two Mists?" Brat No. 2 piped up from the back row.
Incensed by having been interrupted - twice! - the Sergeant glared at her, his brain quickly noting and filing away how she stumbled over the Italian titles. "Our intel says that Vongola Decimo has six Guardians, though one - the Mist - is often represented by someone we assume to be a sibling." Glare doubling in strength and voice again dropping to a growl, he continued, "That means nothing - officially there are six Guardians. Just because one is too shy to stand in the spotlight doesn't mean there's anything suspicious going on!"
"DON'T QUESTION ME!" The Sergeant roared, flecks of spittle flying from his mouth as he slammed his hands down on the desk. "You are here to learn, not ask meaningless, idiotic and infuriating questions that would be answered if you just waited!" Straightening back up, one hand rising to pinch and rub at the bridge of his nose again, the Sergeant took deep breaths as he tried to regain his composure. It was nice to have the recruits terrified of him - some of those nearest him (in other words, the front three rows) had scuttled backwards in their seats a little - but he hated losing his temper. The headaches it induced, not to mention the paperwork from broken desks and holes in walls, were so not worth it.
"Right. That's all for today." Immediately, books were slammed shut, stuffed into waiting bags along with the many pens and pencils, and chairs scraped against the floor as the recruits rushed to the door. "Don't be late on Wednesday!" The Sergeant yelled over the noise, brows creased in a frown. Yes, he was a mean old scary sergeant, but did they really have to be so damn eager? It did wonders for his ego when they got to the frozen-in-fear stage. If they still had the peace of mind to remember to run then he must be losing his touch. "Tardiness will be punished with door duty and docked marks, so be on time. Anyone who doesn't bring their full kit will get zero!"
His voice carried out of the room with the last couple of recruits and the Sergeant sighed. Oh well. If any of the idiots forgot about Wednesday, it would be their fault, not his. After all, there's no better way to learn than by experience. Or fear. Either worked rather well, he'd found.
Hopefully, Wednesday would be a bit of both.
On the other side of the city, reclining in an overly-stuffed throne-like chair, a figure smiled. With relief in his heart he set his mobile down on his desk and turned back to his paperwork, finally signing off on orders for the next stage to begin.
Just within reach, the bright screen of the small phone did what it could to push back the encroaching darkness of dusk, a message still visible on the screen.
'Infiltration successful. Agents Day and Spring in place.
We'll be home in time for dinner with a report. See you then Tsu-kun!'