I'm so sorry for not updating in so long. I swear, I'm even busier during the summer then I am during the school year. Anyways, I'm super sorry for not updating in forever. Therefore, I wrote a super long chapter and finished the Varia arc! Enjoy and please R&R!

Disclaimer: I do not own Reborn.

Chapter 7:


Red. Red everywhere. Splattered on the white snow and on the two small figures standing in the center. "Why?" the young boy asked, his face showing pain and horror, as he clutched his stomach as blood poured out. The girl simply tilted her head and smiled a smile much too innocent for her actions. "Why? They are simply my orders." And with that, she picked up the knife from the ground and finished the job, silencing him.

As she walked away, she pulled out her cellphone and called the only contact on the phone. "Hello?" she stated, her voice now expressionless and blank, reflecting her facial expressions. "The job is done. What is my next order?


"Xanxus-nii, are you not coming to the Storm battle?" The woman asked disappointedly. Dismissively waving his hand, the man sprawled across the throne-like armchair sighed. "No reason to go." Then, he paused slightly. "And don't call me Xanxus-nii. It sounds weird."

A look of hurt flickered across her face as she turned. "Oh, okay then. I'll just go then." Then, she quickly left before he could correct himself. Grumbling to himself, he scowled. "Scum. I meant that it sounded weird because you're older" he stated to the empty room.

Entering the school quietly, she slipped past the men from Levi's Lighning Squad hiding across the campus to prevent anyone from entering. 'Not that they can actually prevent anyone powerful from entering' she thought with a smirk on her face as she crept up behind the rest of her group.

Sidling over to Bel quietly, she got past everyone but Mammon, to which she stuck a finger over her mouth to shush him, and then showing the 'I owe you' sign to which he nodded. Shrugging, she continued creeping over. 'It's not like I don't have enough money anyways' she thought. 'With all the money in my bank account from when I was the Bloody Rose, I could probably buy the Vongola..'

Finally reaching Bel, she crept behind him before jumping him. "AHHHHHHHH!" she screamed, startling him enough to make him sling a knife at her; and breaking the tension in the hall while the Vongola was waiting for their storm guardian to arrive. Falling back to dodge the knife, she grinned impishly as he glared at her. Killing intent filled the air as he realized who it was.

"Ushishishishishi," his laugh was strained with irritation as he realized that she had crept past his guard without him noticing. However, the girl didn't seem to notice as she pushed past his guard again as she tackled him into a hug.

"Good luck Bel!" She exclaimed, as she finally let him out of her breath-stealing hug as she jumped up and down, making her seem much more like her younger self than she looked now. Grumbling, the Prince brushed off imaginary lint while hiding a fond smile for the only female of the group. As they communicated, the Vongola group stared in astonishment at the woman in stilettos as she laughed and put the Varia at ease in seconds.

As they gaped, the woman then glanced over at them. She analyzed them with her glance, untangled herself from the group, and then started walking over to them.

"Juudaime! I'll protect you from this crazy lady!" A furious shout was heard from the end of the hallway as everyone turned to see the silver-haired teenager carrying dynamite in both his hands.

As Yamamoto slung his arm around the furious teenager, Rose approached Tsuna, examining him skeptically, making the boy anxiously twitch. As she tried to approach further, a small figure jumped on the brown-haired boy's head, making the boy shout in pain. The small figure with the fedora tilted his hat and nodded.

"Hello Rose," the baby replied courteously, seeming familiar with the girl.

"Hiiiieeeeee! You know her?" The brown-haired boy screeched, pulling his hair out as he looked back and forth at the two. Ignoring the boy, the woman nodded back to Reborn.

"Shishou, hope you are doing well." The boy looked back and forth as horror began to show on his face. "Shisou? SHISHOU?!" As he looked about to faint, the Cervello stepped in and started explaining the rules. As she was about to head back to the Varia side, lasers came in place. Examining the lasers, she tsked, and then stepped back.

"Well, it seems that I'm stuck here for a bit." Glancing at Reborn, she looked at him for approval. When he nodded, she strode over, picked up the baby, and then took a few steps back. Silently, they watched the fight on the screen, the two analyzing carefully. Then, she broke the silence.

"How can you expect this group to win if their weak like this? You do understand that the Varia is toying with your kids, right? The only reason why you guys have a win on your side is because they underestimate them. If they were serious from the start, they would already be dead." As Reborn stayed silent, she shook her head in exasperation. "Reborn, do you really think that their ready? Their too young to be fighting. Too inexperienced and naive."

At those words, the tutor simply tilted his fedora over his eyes. Then, he sighed as well. "Dame-Tsuna and his group are young and inexperienced, yes. However, their naivety and determination to change the Mafia world will change the Vongola back to their original purpose: To be a vigilant group that helped others." Most people would believe that the Arcobaleno's words. However, the woman was a jaded and mature person far beyond her years and could easily read between the lines that the Arcobaleno carefully chose.

Horrified, the woman glared at the infant. "You wish to make the Vongola a vigilant group once more, but you use the boy to do so? He may help the mafia, but in return, he will lose himself in the mafia as well. You know this, but you refuse to acknowledge it. " Angrily, she picked him off her lap and moved towards the rest of the group, away from Reborn. "How could you do something like this to a child. Especially after what I wen-" Cutting herself off, she shook her head and moved next to Tsuna, trying to ignore the piercing gaze of the unblinking eyes of the infant.

However, it should be known that the Arcobaleno are quite stubborn, and so it wasn't very long until Reborn confronted the woman again. "You came over here for a reason, didn't you? A student of mine would never get caught in a trap as easily as this."

Silence reigned for a few tense minutes before the woman sighed and shook her head. "You know me quite too well." Pausing, she quickly thought over the way to ask the infant for a favor. "I simply wish for as few casualties as possible. When the rain battle comes, I believe that it would be beneficial for both sides to have a back-up plan in case the worst happens." Reborn tipped his fedora to cover his eyes and smirked. "You wish to ask for a favor?" Upon hearing the silence from the woman, his smirk became for pronounced. "I'll ask my other useless student, Pip-Squeak Dino to send some of his men to help whoever loses.

After that, the two were left in terse silence, watching the battled as it quickly came to a close. As soon as the lasers turned off, she fled as quickly as she could, while trying to still look composed. Quickly striding over to my group, she ignored their very subtle glances that showed some worry. Acknowledging them quickly, she then went to find Bel. Supporting him, she left without a second glance at the two groups, not wanting to be confronted by anyone.

Over the next couple days, she remained in the shadows, avoiding everyone and watching the battles from a distance. The nights became almost a blur, as she watched with an apathetic gaze, not even blinking as Squalo fell, Mammon 'died', and the Ninth emerged from the Gola Mosca. In fact, the only reason that she even went was to simply make sure that none of the Vongola members died. She didn't like breaking promises. In fact, it wasn't even until the day of the Sky Battle that anyone even saw her.

"Stop, scum."

Pausing for a second, the woman briefly glanced up at him before deciding to ignore him and continue on. Xanxus growled before lazily shooting at her. "Stop, trash." Stopping, she gazed at him while raising one eyebrow. "You know," she remarked, "I just realized how limited your vocabulary is. Did you know that you usually only speak about five words a day? It's scum, trash, stop, wine, and steak."

Xanxus simply raised a brow back at her. "You actually keep count? Didn't know you were so dedicated." Flushing slightly, the woman averted her gaze before starting to leave the room.

"Wait." Stopping again, the woman sighed before turning around. "What is it now? I'm exhausted and stressed and I just want to go to bed." They stood in silence for a few terse seconds before Xanxus got off his throne and stepped towards her. He towered over her, seeming intimidating and yet not producing any killer intent. Breath hitched, the woman looked up at him, trying to stand her ground, despite wanting to back away from him, seeing as he was much too close. She felt her breath grow heavy and short and felt a strange and foreign tingling in her chest. Apprehensively, she looked up at him, not noticing what had happened until she realized that his lips were on hers.

Her breath stolen and her mind jumbled, she panicked. She pushed him away harshly and backed away from him, towards the door. "I don't know what you're doing, but I don't want it." Then, she ran out of the room, leaving the man there, alone.

Standing on the roof of the hotel, she gazed out into the well lit-up night. Street lamps, cars, and buildings lit up the city, stretching out as far as she could see. Sighing, she leaned against the banister, breathing in the fresh air. She kept her composure, even when a figure appeared next to her without her noticing. Breathing out, she sighed. "Reborn."

The infant tipped his fedora at her as he sat on the banister next to her. "Ciao, Rose. Have you gotten more observant or was it luck?" Laughing quickly, she smirked. "Neither, actually. You're simply the only person who can sneak up on me without me noticing." The two sat in companionable silence, both lazily looking down at the beautiful town.

When Rose spoke again, it was much quieter and subdued then normal. "Can I ask you a question?" The hit man sat silently before snorting. "You already asked one, so why not?" The woman cracked a strained smile before letting it fade. The next few minutes were much more tense as the woman tried to work up the nerve to ask her old teacher. It was strange, but he was the only one who could really make her nervous like this. Well, he used to be the only one.

"… Can you tell me what love is?"

Reborn pondered the question silently. It wasn't often that the woman beside him opened up like this, and he wasn't going to let it pass. "What do you mean, baka-Rose? Have you gotten into a scuffle with one of the Varia?" His eyes sharpened slightly.

Sighing, the woman looked out at the town with glazed eyes. "It's just that I've been experiencing so many new things over the past couple years. I've made actual friends and family. I've felt real happiness, grief, anger, and guilt. But this is the first time that I've felt something like this. And I can't help but wonder if it's love."

Reborn listened quietly. 'It's true, I suppose' he thought. 'After all, It's only after I got her out of that awful place that she's actually experienced true emotions.' Shaking his mind away from the past, he sighed. A deep heavy sigh that showed his true age. "Love is something I cannot describe. It is simply a feeling of protectiveness, companionship, and happiness put together for a single person."

Processing the baby's words, she nodded. "Thanks," she whispered quietly with a small smile. After all, only he would understand the significance of what she had asked. For her to open up that much showed just how much she had changed over the past 10 years. They stood together for a while longer before it got too cold. After saying goodbye to each other, they both set off on their ways. 'Love, huh' she thought with a small smile, not paying enough attention to her surroundings. By the time she noticed the danger, it was too late to escape as pink smoke surrounded her.

What do you think? Please review and let me know!