Rating: T for violence and potty-mouths galore.
A/N: I would say that patience is a virtue but I'd say you're all pretty annoyed with this long-ass wait. Don't worry, I was too. Why can't my muse work? I guess part of it was because I was trying to get OJT to work around cannon and every iteration ended up unsatisfactory, and part was that there were so many characters and ridiculousness that writing many versions of what-the-fuck-how got old fast, so I gave up at some point and decided to just start with some interludes, which ended up working with what I wanted to portray. So, I present to you, my lovely readers, this -probably horrible and rushed and full of plot holes- amalgamation titled shit-that-happens-to-Tsuna-and-Reborn-shares-some-of-that-pain. But it's out, I am so damn happy I got something out.
And really, truly, I'd like to thank everyone who's stuck by this story, and read and re-read it and been patient with me (not like you had much of a choice, but still) and expressed concern for me. (Not to worry, I thoroughly enjoyed my month in Japan. It was school/uni/college that really got to me.) I kinda had a freak out when I came back and saw the review/fav/follow count actually...
Now, for the (very) long awaited chapter.
After a rather comical situation where Hana dragged Kyoko, and subsequently, Haru to confront Tsuna about the fact that he was in charge of Namimori, attending school while running said school at the same time, and somehow managed to still deliver papers in the morning (he only maintained about two days out of a week now that Fuuta had taken over but Hana was adamant) the same time Colonnello had popped by for a week of remedial training (he was still pissed at the Federico incident) and Tsuna had ended up having to explain all his jobs while balanced on a razor thin wire in a ridiculous ninja outfit.
Hana was of the opinion that Tsuna's life was insane but since Kyoko liked/admired one of his personas then she was joining, come hell or high water. (The exorbitantly high pay was also nice. Very nice. Hey, she was a practical person.) Magic Flames that allowed her to disintegrate anything she wanted into so much dust was an added bonus.
Haru never had as much vindictive fun as the day she lit her first Flame and subsequently put every Yakuza in that particular wing of the mansion into a Tranquility induced coma. Redesigning the uniforms with I-pin and Mami was incredibly fun, almost as fun as getting together with everyone and choreographing performances, no wonder Tsuna did it so often. (Tsuna would like to protest and say that he did not redress unconscious people all the time, he just liked to have a little fun when his friends knocked each other out in their fights. The stress relief had to come from somewhere.) The Aburi-gumi were not as pleased to wake up in traditional Kabuki garments and make-up, and to an audience of giggling children.
Kyoko's personality worked in a certain way; the fact that she became the most popular girl in the school was not as attributed to her looks (because she had been the most popular girl throughout grade school, even during the whole cooties phase boys went through) as it was that she has understood human social hierarchy better than anyone by the age of five; she knew exactly what to say and what to do to allow her to drift above her peers.
Similarly, Hibari's understanding of the animal kingdom and its hierarchy -which was actually less applicable to humans than Sasagawa Kyoko's- was what made him the top of his food chain.
When Tsuna kind-of-by-accident introduced the two during a stint as a mime, he was silently perplexed to see them regard each other, with a knowing smile on Kyoko-chan's part, and tolerant amusement on Hibari's.
(Kyoko used to regard violence as nothing more than barbaric way to usurp superiority above another, it was in no way as refined as getting her classmates to willingly acknowledge her as better. But then, she'd never known just how fun it was to throw her kitchen supplies at people.
Then she met Tsuna, and his friends, and Hibari.
Ryohei was glad his sister was off his case about getting into unnecessary fights. He was less sure about the fact that his little sister was capable of turning a single butcher's knife into dozens when she threw it and with terrifying accuracy.)
Getting a call from his former tutor was both humbling and terrifying.
Reborn was an excellent (sadistic and unconventional and absolutely insane) tutor and being asked to come to Japan meant that Dino was expected in Japan, at the the exact time and place specified.
Unfortunately, Dino's proficiency at Japanese was lacking (he could speak at least five languages fluently but there were limits to even Reborn's tutelage). Fortunately, one of the Cavallone's trading partners, the Gesso's heir, knew a guy who was both Japanese, fluent in Italian, and 'so adorable that disappointing him was a crime against your own existence'.
Well, surely anyone would be better than asking Reborn for more -shudder- tutoring?
(Tsuna would like it very much if Byakuran would stop giving him random jobs. He had enough on his plate.
He would also like it if the marshmallow maniac stopped trying to send him his paperwork.
Tsuna didn't need the cursed things appearing in his underwear drawer, or in Natsu's litter box, or wherever Byakuran deemed a suitable place to put highly classified reports and trade drafts.)
Tsuna was surprisingly lacklustre with regards to some things.
Case in point; the brunet never bothered to ask about Flames even after the incident in the old Estraneo base and Hell, and accidentally-on-purpose razing the Carcassa to the ground just because he got a 'little' upset at the way they treated Skull.
Even after Hayato finally came clean, and Spanner and Shōichi and all his nerdy friends had a field day with the whole thing.
Tsuna was of the opinion that setting his head and hands on fire was absolutely ridiculous and no help with any of his jobs.
At least until Verde and Shamal sat him down and explained about his flames.
Having what was apparently a big part of him sealed away for the majority of his childhood -which explained so much because Tsuna hadn't tripped even once since the unsealing- he could handle because it'd already happened and the seal was now gone.
Then there was this Harmony Factor.
Verde was well aware that the warm presence that Tsunayoshi exuded in spades was due in part to the purity of his flames, and in part to the harmonisation between the brunet and other flame users/flame potentials. Frankly, the unsealing had just increased the potency because evidently the effect was still there prior to the seal breaking if all these other people surrounding the boy were any indication. It was almost overwhelming the ease with which the brunet unconsciously made even the most turbulent Flames feel welcome.
The scientist turned his thoughts to the present when the constant feeling of warmth-home-family, increased ten-fold.
Tsunayoshi's eyes were a dull amber, teetering on the edge to Hyper Dying Will mode (and hadn't that been a surprise, the only other incidence recorded out there was Vongola Primo).
"What are you doing?"
"Trying to increase the harmony thing." Tsune replied, frowning a little while he tried to push the warmth inside him out and not have it form flames. "You said it feels good to be with me, right? Well, it would be nice if everyone around me could feel that.
Verde resisted the urge to say that that was impossible you couldn't just increase a natural factor of your flames! But, evidently, the brunet was doing just that, somehow.
Shamal choked breathlessly at the feeling of potent Sky flames caressing at his own. "You want to attract even more insane, violence prone people? Isn't most of the Arcobaleno and the freaking Vindice enough?"
Tsuna tilted his head, brow furrowing and feeling somewhat affronted. "They're just people in some tough and completely unnecessary circumstances they don't deserve to be in. That doesn't mean you should treat them any differently than you would other people."
"You-" Shamal stopped, and stared at this kid and could, for a moment, understand why this civilian boy had the most dangerous people in the world twisted around his little fingers. He slapped a hand over his face and let out a muffled, "you know what? Forget it. Just- don't change."
Verde let the smallest of smiles slip as he jumped onto the brunet's head.
Tsuna continued to look adorably confused as he wondered if all adults were so weird.
Having his famiglia destroyed was less upsetting than it probably should be. But then, Skull had never been fortunate in terms of companions since having the 'Arcobaleno' label slapped over his head. As someone whose only redeeming factor, in terms of the world of organised crime, was his ability to not die -because who needed a stuntman in the freaking mafia- it was lucky he'd found any famiglia who wanted him.
It could certainly have been worse, it could have been a famiglia like the Estraneo, and Skull had enough of human experimentation in his lifetime -being unable to die of anything short of old age was a bitch, and don't let people tell you otherwise. The Carcassa were less science oriented and more into narcotics and human trafficking which wasn't exactly better, but still.
However, human trafficking was illegal and frowned upon even among the Cosa Nostra and despite everything the Caracassa did to fly under the radar, eventually the Vindice caught wind and sent someone to investigate.
That someone just happened to be a kid who resembled a small animal more than one of the terrifying sceptres that upheld mafia law.
The next series of events worked in the usual ridiculous fashion the majority of Tsuna's life seemed to. It started with Tsuna getting lost, bumping into Skull, immediately getting along with the Arcobaleno, getting into an altercation with the boss of the famiglia in which the Carcassa proved just how much they didn't care for Skull, eventually ending with Tsuna burning the mansion down around their ears and offering a new job to Skull.
"A stuntman? That's awesome! Haru would love you in her plays!"
Skull turned an endearing crimson at the praise and rubbed his head awkwardly. "Plays, huh? Well I guess that's better than nothing." And middle school amateur attempts at cinematics beat dubious drug dealings any day.
Then he came face-to-face with the full-scale amphitheatre Tsuna installed for Haru sometime after they started middle school.
"What the heck, you call this a play?!"
The moment Reborn stepped foot into Namimori was they day he lost what little respect he had for the man in charge of CEDEF.
"Iemitsu, there are more ex-mafioso, run-away heirs, ex-intelligence personnel, and yakuza boss' here than in any other city in Japan. All living together, peacefully. Why have you not informed me of this."
"There are WHAT."
"You incompetent imbecile."
(To be fair, many of the agents stashed in Namimori by Vongola, CEDEF or otherwise were either under the influence of a mist induced illusion of nothing-was-abnormal, 'convinced' to move of the town by the disciplinary committee, or bought into the fold and fallen to the charms of Namimori's charismatic mayor.
Iemitsu had been receiving embellished reports for years now.)
The moment Reborn came face-to-face with his new student was when he realised two things: One, Tsunayoshi Sawada's life was actually more chaotic than all of Vongola combined-
Somewhere between Reborn's introduction as a hitman and Vongola's family tree, Tsuna managed to get roped into dressing as a 1800s pirate and handing out flyers for an event at the local theatre. As entertaining as it was for Reborn to cosplay the parrot on the kid's tricorne, he was just as flabbergasted -which was expressed as exaggerated violence toward his 'captain'- at the utter nonsense.
Finding out that Reborn's most recent suit designs have come from the same kid, and that the boy practically ran the entire town cemented this idea.
-Two, despite the initial surprise and a few arguments to over roles and responsibilities-
"What the fuck, why the hell are you here Reborn-senpai?!"
"Don't you dare damage my sibling Reborn, he's my best investment-"
"Oi, kora! That's my son! Only I'm allowed to beat him up-"
"Reborn, Tsunayoshi is like a nephew to me and I would appreciate it if you unhand him now-"
"Uncle-Reborn! That's my kitty!"
Reborn shot some people, then stared down at Tsuna who was holding his blushing face in his hands. "What. the. hell."
"Just. Don't ask."
-and some of the boy's 'companions'-
The boy had less self-preservation instincts than even Iemitsu. Seriously? The mafia's nightmare personified? Verde? "Be prepared to have sense beaten into you, Tsuna."
"What's wrong with the Vindice? And Verde?!"
"My God, you have to ask. What the hell has that useless dad of yours been teaching you?"
"Papa-Colonnello isn't that bad!"
-As chaos personified, Reborn actually fit right in.
(Especially as Tsuna had long since given up on trying to stop these ridiculous things from happening to him, a chibi-hitman who wanted to tutor him? Fine, there were worse things to happen in his life.
He didn't get why Reborn looked somewhat disappointed when he told him that though.)
Running the entire Honshu region of yakuza was all Mama-Lal's fault, really.
(Tsuna lost a game, and was now required to address his adoptive parents as such. He was sure Colonnello cheated at that particular game of Go Fish, but had no means to prove it, dammit.)
His adoptive mother decided that it was prudent that the girls that had joined all the others in the 'those-who-know' club participate in a bonding activity of her own design.
Tsuna was too busy seeing to the sudden influx of ex-criminals and otherwise seeking refuge in Namimori at the time to do anything more than give his consent.
Kyoko, Haru, Hana, Chrome, I-pin, Mami and Mama-Lal returned from the tour around the surrounding cities, smug and satisfied like the cat who got the cream. Poor naïve Tsuna was happy that his friends were happy.
He bitterly regretted this when, not one week after, some of the more prominent Yakuza boss' of Chiba, Nagano and Saitama came and offered anything you want as long as those monsters stayed out of their territories. Tsuna argued that he had no say in what his friends liked to do in their free time. Then Hibari appeared to see who was wasting his fox's time and the rest was history.
The only problem was, it didn't end there.
Tsuna's other friends; namely Ryohei, Hayato and Takeshi saw this as an opportunity to promote Tsuna's greatness and went out on their own to bring back more traumatised, beaten-up yakuza, like dogs bringing back presents for their master. Habari joined by periodically dropping the bleeding bodies of his victims at Tsuna's doorstep, draped over his window-sill, hanging from the tree outside, and over his office table like a cat showing off his prowess.
Tsuna was Not Pleased.
At least Mukuro's victims didn't bleed everywhere, even if they did react violently and in confusion at finding themselves in Namimori with no recollection of what they were doing for the past week.
But Tsuna's migraine increased a hundred fold when the girls found out, and with a maturity of all pre-teen children, War was declared among his friends.
Then the Vindice got themselves involved on the basis that someone needed to clean up the yakuza, and with all the Flame research they were conducting over the pacifiers there were less members free to terrorise the world of organised crime and since the kids were pretty much doing their jobs for them, why not reap the benefits?
This meant that Tsuna was suddenly in charge of a portion of the Vindice funds (that they received from various famiglia, underground organisations, and intelligence services, as a form of Mafia Tax) to fund the chaos his friends generated.
The result was many a yakuza appearing at his door to either kill him (those groups did not last long in the face of Spanner and Shōichi's automated army), beg him to stop his friends -who he wasn't the boss of, despite what everyone else seemed to think- or to offer their alliance to his cause -of which he had none.
As such, Tsuna basically became a go-to figure of influence for the yakuza boss' of the majority of Japan.
But his migraine was nothing compared to Reborn's when the hitman found this out. (Right after he discovered that Tsuna was the heir to a multinational company who was monopolising the current stock market.)
"How does this even happen."
"Don't answer that Kurokawa."
Tsuna pointedly ignored them as he continued to emphasise to the monthly meet of Yakuza Alliance that extricating 'protection money' from someone through fear and violence was not a viable nor a profitable venture and that honest protection and building positive connections with those living in their territories would be more beneficial in the long run.
Luckily, or not so luckily -depending on your perspective- Tsuna didn't really require any training at all.
He managed a multi-billion dollar company consisting of thousands of employees, an entire school, and his multitude of friends and acquaintances -which, considering the many jarring personality clashes, was actually damn impressive- with an ease that would make even Primo weep.
The Guardian issue was still up in the air because there were so many potential candidates. (It was also around this time the hitman began to understand that this type of exasperated feeling of surprise was default when handling Tsuna.) But there were Guardians and Reborn had no need to call anyone -he still needed to urge Tsuna to choose some but he'd jump that particular hurdle later.
Physical training wasn't necessary when there were more than enough violent people surrounding the brunet day in and day out and it was hard enough squeezing anything inside Tsuna's busy schedule. Which consisted of meetings -school, duties to Namimori, the company he almost ran, the Yakuza that for some reason felt obliged to run things by Tsuna and sometimes have him play mediator- his school work -as a student, not the principal, and Reborn was still perplexed over how a grade schooler (at the time) ended up with that particular position- his family and friends (because Tsuna always made sure to keep some time free to cook with his mother, for playing with the children, for relaxing with Hayato and Takeshi and Spanner and Shōichi, for checking on Mukuro and co., for going out for cake with Hana and Chrome and Kyoko and Haru, and basically being a good boss in Reborn's eyes) and that wasn't even including all his other jobs.
Frankly, the less said about Tsuna's schedule the better. Half of Tsuna's friends considered the massive tome to be a time bending continuum, because even with all the help they offered none of them understood how Tsuna was getting everything done. (There were also a number of bets on a cloning device, there were even know more on Tsuna just not being human.)
(And if it grated on Reborn's nerve that the other Arcobaleno got to his student before him, well, no one said he wasn't allowed to send gifts to them as thanks.
Collonello, in smoking ruins and charred yellow paint, would beg to differ.)
But in the end, there really wasn't much Reborn needed to do.
This entire job was almost like a paid vacation, really.
Almost. If not for the simple fact-
"Pray tell, how did Tsuna get to Canada to serve as a pilot for a nature documentary shoot in the two minutes you lost sight of him?"
Irie Shōichi on the couch groaned in absolute agony, Hana, next to him rubbed her temples, brow twitching sporadically, as Verde huffed and Takeshi laughed and rubbed the back of his head.
It all looked very well rehearsed.
"Tsuna-sama," Hayato plaintively moaned, somehow still sounding respectful if rather resigned, "I wish he never learned to teleport."
(There was a growing list in Reborn's head of tortures he needed inflict on the imbecile that was Tsuna's father for every time something happened that either made the hitman want to bash his head against a wall or main someone.
It was rather lengthy list.)
It was somewhere a few weeks after the time he informed his mother of their unneeded financial aid from their father that Tsuna came to a sudden realisation that keeping his wonderful loving mother in the dark was akin to what his father did with the whole never being home or ever calling.
Tsuna didn't exactly hate his father but behaving anything like the man was absolutely out of the question.
Therefore, Sawada Nana had actually been kept up to date about her son's activities, and was so incredibly proud of him that every opportunity spent with her adorably handsome young man was filled with as much affection as she could possibly give.
Bar the whole plethora of barely-legal jobs including, and not limited to; temporary mafia boss, computer hacker, information broker, and somehow running the entire Honshu region of Yakuza (after another field trip across Japan with those lovely girls her son had befriended -here, Tsuna shuddered and wondered who in their right mind ever let Kyoko become friends with Hibari. He vehemently ignored Shōichi's pointed stare.) Nana maintained that her son was the miracle the disturbed and neglected people needed in their lives, and that at least he could turn their views to work for a better cause.
She still turned paper white and clung to Tsuna that little bit tighter when Shamal reluctantly informed her and her son's adopted parents of what happened in Italy because child experimentation sounded like words right from a horror novel but they actually happened, both to her little boy and to the children he bought back with him.
So she asked Lal for some tips in self defence in exchange for some child-rearing advice (Lal may be reluctant, but somehow, Tsuna's mothers are far more responsible than his fathers) and tried her best to keep an eye (or dozen -Spanner was the genius son she never asked for but loved just the same, and he had more than enough spare cameras and listening devices) on her son and his friends.
She was not going to stop them or get in their way, but if it ever came to a situation where lives were on the line, Nana vowed not to be left behind. Somehow, Tsuna seemed to understand and happily welcomed his mother when he and the kids ran through Fon's drills in the backyard.
As such, when Iemitsu finally came home and ended up telling her the truth (due in part to his son's pointed stares) she just blinked down at the grovelling man.
"Not to worry dear, I'm sure you just wanted to keep us safe," she said airily.
Iemitsu was just ready to jump up and kiss his wonderful and kind wife senseless, when Reborn appeared in all his vindictive glory.
"He's wants to bring Tsuna into the mafia too," said the chibi-hitman with a sweet smile.
"...does Tsu-kun want to be in the mafia?"
"I wouldn't say so, maman."
Iemitsu gulped as the air-headed appearance disappeared as if had never existed and an expression he'd never seen before crossed his wife's face. "I can explain..."
When Tsuna got home from dealing with his mayoral duties that night, he wondered at the new rice-cooker his mother was setting up.
"Not to worry, Tsu-kun! The last one just got a little battered is all."
"Okay..." Tsuna's intuition told him that it was best not to ask about the face-shaped dent in the old rice cooker sticking out of the bin.
"Also, Tsu-kun, Mama wants to ask for a favour." Nana smiled sweetly. Reborn, who was remaining surprisingly silent, twitched and tried not to think about how the woman had worn the exact same expression whilst slamming a rice-cooker into her husband's face.
"Anything," Tsuna promised immediately.
"Hayato-kun was telling me about a cake you baked when you were in Italy. Do you mind teaching me the recipe..?"
Reborn was sorely tempted to laugh in Xanxus face when the Varia finally made their appearance.
It was either that or introduce his head to the nearest wall when Bel and Lussuria started to chase his protégé around, one yelling about his 'royal cat' and the other cooing French endearments while Takeshi grinned and greeted with genuine cheer, "Squalo! I have a present for you!"
(Reborn thought he'd recognised the teen's sword from somewhere.)
"I DON'T WANT ANYTHING FROM YOU FUCKING BRATS- WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!"
"Haha, isn't it awesome?"
"THAT'S A FUCKING SHARK."
Poor Basil was left to be picked up by an android as Tsuna disappeared completely, Squalo started slicing at Takeshi and the shark swimming in the air, Haru socked Levi in the face with yarn-ball aglow with paralysing rain flames, and Hayato started yelling at Takeshi to get his ass to a fighting zone you idiot, do you want to make more work for Tsuna-sama?!
Reborn settled for smirking at the hint of confusion in Xanxus' rage-filled expression, just as the man started firing at anything that moved within his range of senses (which was quite far, Reborn would have been more impressed if it weren't for the fact that Tsuna was a master of sensing what happened in his ridiculous sphere of influence).
Xaxus tore down the entire street, and scattered several civilians (who were admirably avoiding rubble, and appearing slightly annoyed, as if this was a common occurrence) and flame-animals before a number of massive robots decended on him en masse.
Squalo's eyes bugged at the sight of hundreds of Gola Mosca, with the shark still gnawing on his prosthetic arm.
Reborn shook his head as chains wrapped and pulled the struggling Varia leader into a portal, leaving his stupefied underlings to gape.
If anyone had told him a thirteen year old was capable of bribing the Vindice with cakes and treats last month, he would have shot them.
Bel blinked under his blond hair. "What the fuck just happened."
"What the actual fuck."
Xanxus was angry. Bar, he was constantly feeling some degree of anger, but nothing compared to the vehement rage he felt at being in this fucking situation and if he could just get his guns, this scum would be nothing but a fucking ash stain.
The fact that the fucking trash had an army of robots, the resources for them, and the Vindice on his side did nothing to quell his ire. In fact, it made him angrier. Xanxus had worked for the majority of his life to lead Vongola, had wagered his entire existence on gaining the approval of his fucking scum of a 'father', all for it to end up as nothing but fucking lies and a bunch of permanent scars on his person. And this shitty spoiled scum had the entire thing handed to him on a fucking silver platter and still had the balls to say he didn't want it.
"You know, I'm glad you're not like your brother."
Xanxus froze in his struggle to get out of the goddamn chains. "What?"
"Though I guess he's not really your brother, but you were raised together-"
"What the fuck are you saying," Xanxus hissed, red eyes ablaze, even as ice ran down his spine because there was just no way-
Tsuna squeaked at the rush of anger-heat-flame (apparently keeping a steady stream of his flames as a comforting presence for those around him made him absurdly sensitive to everyone else's). "It's a good thing!"
The chains smoked against the Varia leader's skin at the sheer pressure of his rage-induced sky flames. "Are you saying that I'm not fucking Vongola enough for the position?! THAT JUST BECAUSE I'M ADOP-"
"No! No, you idiot!" Tsuna grabbed the older man's shoulders, ignoring the way their skin sizzled against each other because now he was pissed. "Enrico Vongola wanted so badly to prove he was a suitable heir, that he could make Vongola strong, that he pushed around the smaller families, encroaching on their territory and taking and taking that he was killed in mutiny when they banded together. Massimo Vongola had a superiority complex so bad that his own men decided to risk treason to assassinate him. And Federico Vongola who got everything he had ever wanted as a child, and yet had so much greed, so much want for power that he resorted to human experimentation and paid the price." Orange eyes flickered as they met red ones and Xanxus bared his teeth in a wordless snarl.
"Xanxus Vongola was the favourite as the heir, a genius child and already able to move grown men by the age of twelve. Even if the Ninth Vongola boss hadn't sat on his ass and made no move to quell this favour, and had not even a fraction of empathy to tell you of your adoption." Xanxus jerked but Tsuna persevered. "You would have remained the favourite, would have become the heir and I'd never have to face this mess if it weren't for this stupid need for bloodline inheritance."
"LIES!" Xanxus spat. "You know fucking noth-" He jerked as a blazing forehead met his violently, migraine flaring instantly a his red-hazed vision swum.
"I," Tsuna said breathlessly, "Tsunayoshi Sawada, heir to the Takarada Company, head of the Yakuza Alliance, and information broker Koukitsu, swear to you, Xanxus de' Vongola, leader of the Independent Assassination Squad, Varia, and future leader of the Vongola that I will find a way to resolve the inheritance and make you the next boss of the Vongola Famiglia."
Xanxus couldn't help it, he gaped, because promises were one thing, but an oath made with a resolve so strong that the brat's flames were mingling with his wrath-tainted ones and tinged with so much truth-promise-bond that it made even the feared Varia leader feel a moment of awe.
Then, he snapped back to reality.
"Are you a fucking idiot, scum? You can't just fucking decide that! Inheritance does not work that way!"
Tsuna shrugged, unrepentant, because Xanxus didn't feel like he was in so much pain anymore and because his head hurt. "How hard is your head- ow!"
"Dame-Tsuna, do I even want to know why this room is is peaking at fifty degrees centigrade, why you're straddling Xanxus, and why you're both half naked?"
Tsuna tilted his head as he manoeuvred upright, regarding the charred remains of their shirts with a thoughtful frown. "Shōichi needs to improve the flame resistant fabric again." He looked up to see a weird expression on his tutor and Xanxus' face. "What?"
"Was he dropped on his fucking head as a baby?"
Reborn shook his head, expression mockingly morose. "Oh my cute student, why must you be so dense?"
As solving the Vongola Inheritance was added the the list of main projects that included; curing the Arcobaleno curse and therefore resolving the Vindice's revenge, filtering Byakuran's parallel world ability so he didn't go crazy like a few of his counterparts, and finding Chekerface/The man with the Iron Hat/Kawahira, the Ring Battles never commenced, putting all of the Varia's devious plans down the drain. (Mammon didn't show it, but they were glad. Their best investment versus the exorbitant Varia pay was a hard thing to decide between.)
The ring halves were relinquished to the lab under Bel and Levi's sharp eyes and the Ninth Vongola boss, who'd apparently been kidnapped, was basically dumped in Tsuna's office with nary a fanfare and an uncaring grunt from Xanxus.
Tsuna's brow twitched as the disoriented old man looked around his office, at Tsuna, and then at Xanxus, his eyes widening and full of guilt and remorse. "Xanxus, I-"
"Shut-it, old man." The Varia leader glowered at the brunet's reproving look and expectant raised brow. He huffed. "I... Could have dealt with it better, eight years ago."
Tsuna beamed proudly, for Xanxus that was as good as an apology!
Timoteo seemed to think the same if his surprised expression was anything to go by. "All the same, I should have told you long ago."
Xanxus was so done with with emotional bullshit, even if he felt much calmer than he had in years -granted, he was on ice for the majority of it- due to such simple words. "It happened, there's nothing we can fucking do about it."
"But that doesn't mean you can't get along in the future," Tsuna added in cheerfully.
Timoteo blinked, he must have been really out of it to forget about his next heir. "Tsunayoshi-"
"Ninth, we need to talk." Reborn interrupted, suddenly just there, lounging in Tsuna's fluffy hair.
Tsuna pouted, shuffling the sheets he'd been working on into the 'out' stack. "I wanted to talk to him first."
Reborn turned his black eyes on the brunet. "You just promised Xanxus the seat and didn't go through the ring battles, someone needs to do damage control, Tsunayoshi."
Tsuna winced at his full name. Why was it that his full name sounded so much more intimidating than Reborn's teasing 'Dame-Tsuna's? He took in a deep breath and let his flames wash through the room. "I'm sorry, but this is important."
He turned his glowing orange eyes back to the Ninth Vongola boss. "The one responsible for Federico Vongola's death is me. As such, if the rest of Vongola were to catch wind of this, especially after the spectacle of a funeral you gave him a year ago as a loving and genial son... Well, I have no desire for that, nor the position, as it clashes with a good number of other roles I maintain, so I formally reject the Tenth Vongola boss position."
Timoteo was pale, Xanxus was still and Reborn was livid. "No wonder Shamal and the other Arcobaleno was so guarded against me," the hitman muttered as he recalled the cryptic doctor's actions and words; "I don't think it's a good idea to bring Tsunayoshi to Vongola." Sadness, guilt, and a little bit of anger. "He doesn't deserve it." And Reborn had thought that strange because the doctor obviously didn't hate his student, almost favoured him really, so it didn't make sense why Tsuna, who was already capable of so much, didn't deserve a famiglia as big and proud as Vongola. It didn't make sense unless you looked at it the other way, that Vongola was ruthless, and dangerous, and so obviously mafia.
Tsuna smiled a sad smile as he reached out to run a finger along Reborn's sideburn. "It's not their fault, that incident was bad for everyone and it took hours with my friends and family to feel no regret for killing him." He hummed, thoughtful. "Actually, they'll probably be pretty angry that I'm facing you all by myself."
"How- why-" Timoteo choked out, and suddenly his flames expanded outward, just as angry as Xanxus had been. "You killed my son! That is treason."
Tsuna smiled, strangely calm in the face of a maelstrom of sky flames. "Exactly."
"Don't, old man." Xanxus stood between the two, his flames pushing back the oppressing ones of his adopted father's. "Don't make the same fucking mistake again. You haven't even heard the full story."
"That was your brother!"
Xanxus took a deep breath, red eyes glowing with restrained anger. "I know- the same brother that was participating in fucking human experimentation!"
Reborn started, and turned around to face his student -When had he moved in front of him?- "Is that true?" He demanded sharply, even though he knew the truth, the discrepancies finally lined up and now he knew why so many people's hackles rose at the mere mention of Vongola. He had assumed it was jealousy and a mistaken assumption that he was taking the brunet away but if Federico Vongola had tortured Tsuna, and all these people connected to this Sky knew that, then the somewhat cold reception he'd received made sense. (What he didn't get was the way they mellowed towards him after about two months. (The others were more amazed Reborn lasted that long while in close proximity to Tsuna, but it was really the way the hitman stayed by Tsuna's side despite all the revelations and random incidents of insanity, including the weekly Kitsune-san fanclub chase-down, that cemented their belief in him. Spanner loved Tsuna with all his heart but even he would never willingly poke those crazies with a three mile ruler.))
Timoteo was all but trembling in shock. His son's death as the hands of his next heir was one thing, but to hear that his second youngest, one of the brightest of his sons, was participating in vile acts prior to his death was almost unbelievable. But he was a mafia boss first and foremost -and look where that got him with Xanxus- and old habits died hard. His hands clenched, steady again. He should never have lost his temper like that either.
The Ninth boss of Vongola faced his chosen heir with resolve burning in his old, tired, eyes. "Explain."
"So, uh, my cute little brother isn't gonna become Vongola Tenth?"
"The Ninth conceded, on the basis that Tsuna could get around the inheritance issue without excluding the Vongola rings."
"Haven't those rings been like that for four centuries though?"
"You're talking about the teen who tutored you in Japanese, and managed to make sure that you addressed him as your 'cute little brother' that you didn't suspect a thing until you came face to face with him in Namimori."
"...right." Dino paused then, hesitatingly. "Are you okay with that outcome?"
Reborn smirked. "Tsuna is the most interesting case I've ever worked with." What he didn't say was the way the brunet had, and continued to treat Reborn like family right from the get go despite all of Reborn's efforts to dispel this deluded view. Maybe it was because the other Arcobaleno had numbed the teen against the weirdness of having what looked like a child in an older position, or it was just all Tsuna and his intuition, so much stronger than the Ninth or Iemitsu's ever was. And if Reborn weren't a little impressed with that stubbornness then he'd be a lesser man, wouldn't he?
Frankly, Reborn was actually half relieved Tsuna may not become Decimo because he didn't have to bring up Guardians, the mess that would cause, considering all the elements around the brunet, would make a massacre look like child's play.
The blond man and his tutor turned to watch as Tsuna screeched and did weird jig while flailing the just attached halves of the Vongola Sky ring around. "W-who?! Hayato, there's a blond ghost who's calling himself my grandpa!"
"What?!" The silveret exclaimed as Bel clicked the Storm halves together.
Tsuna's expression did a one-eighty. "G!" He called cheerfully.
Dino's eyes bugged. "Are they talking about the Vongola first generation?"
Reborn wished he could hit his head against a wall like Lal was doing. Just because he liked the brunet far more than he expected, didn't mean he enjoyed all this bullshit.
"Wow, you look just like an older and blonder Hibari-san! Eh, you want my signature?"
With the Vongola First Generation and the Ninth's cooperation, therefore giving them access to the ancient metal smith, Talbot, it didn't take long for them to work out how to get rid of the Arcobaleno curse, and work out a way to get rid of the blood inheritance restriction on the Vongola rings.
"Well... Since you've managed to gather so many strong Flame users, I think you'll be able to return the current Arcobaleno back to their original age and break the curse." Kawahira said, as he slurped up the ramen Tsuna had offered when he appeared.
"Really?" Tsuna blinked.
"Mm, yes. Why if I were re-administering the pacifiers instead, I wouldn't even know who to choose!"
Tsuna backed away from the enigmatic smile the man directed at him. "It's all thanks to you, Tsunayoshi-kun!"
A bullet whizzed between them. "Don't just agree with creepy men, Dame-Tsuna." Reborn looked irritated.
"Let's just get on with it," Bermuda demanded tersely, looking like he was agreeing with the hitman.
Later, with the curse broken, Reborn cracked his first genuine smile in a decade, in the darkness where no one would see, hogging half of Tsuna's pillow as the rest of his bed was a sea of content sleeping children and animals.
Tsuna would have complained about the full-grown adult now also invading his bed, but it just wasn't worth it.
(Plus, Tsuna had a nagging suspicion that he'd gotten used to Reborn after a year with the hitman, and that sleeping without that dark aura was equivalent to sleeping without anyone in his bed: He wouldn't be able to sleep at all.)
Staring at the glowing crest at his feet and the double row of people representing the previous eight generations of Vongola bosses, Xanxus had no idea how the fuck this happened.
Well, okay, he wasn't that fucking stupid. The shitty brat had gotten his hands on a vial of blood -after numerous lethal traps comprised of a variety of poisonous gasses, pitfalls, explosives, piranhas, a veritable rabid mongoose, and a fucking hidden base of all things- which apparently was Primo's and proceeded to place the ring in Xanxus' hands before cracking the vial open over the cool metal and scarred calloused palms.
Which bought him to this place.
Xanxus was starting to think this numb shock was a default setting when dealing with the trashy brat, that and the almost irrepressible urge to wring the shrimp's skinny little neck.
It didn't matter anyway.
Wrath flames coated scarred hands as they clenched and unclenched around non-existent guns, red eyes aglow with resolve.
"I don't care about fucking past sins, only that Vongola thrives."
Apparently, having the ghost of your ancestor attached to you like a koala meant Tsuna was privy to family secrets, namely; how to get rid of that annoying aspect of the Vongola ring that said only those related by blood could bear it. Sure, Tsuna had to bleed for it, and hunt down some centuries old blood hidden in an island that had a surprising amount of security for an abandoned island.
Xanxus kept looking at him funny (and angrily) but he wasn't sure if that was because he kept talking to Giotto or because of the lack of security. (It was a bit of both honestly. If Tsuna hadn't been been insane before, he was certainly now, talking to fucking air. And if Xanxus had just a little less pride he would have given in and asked how the fucking scum was breezing through security like triple encrypted passcodes, retina scanners, and metal enforced doors was fucking nothing.)
The ring would forever be in a sealed state, but it wasn't like Xanxus wanted it for the power.
So Tsuna happily dropped his newest friend/big-brother off at Vongola HQ and left him with a Nice Big Hug.
Tsuna winced as he rubbed the subsequent bump on his head while he went back to his own headquarters.
Apparently, the island hadn't been as abandoned as he had thought.
And Tsuna really wanted to adopt Enma because he was clumsy and so much like Tsuna used to be before his friends, before Shōichi, before his first job delivering newspapers. (And was it any surprise the thought of adoption crossed his mind after Colonnelo, Lal and Mammon?) Not to mention he was fairly certain he was related to Mami, who had the same eyes and deep red locks of hair.
But first, Tsuna turned fascinated eyes on Julie.
Adelheid hesitated in her march to grab Tsuna mostly because even Hayato and Takeshi had edged away from the brunet when he got that look in his eyes.
"Did you know you're possessed?" Tsuna asked breathlessly, blinking his wide eyes.
"Did you know your father slaughtered our parents?!" Aoba demanded, rage flashing through his eyes.
The brunet's brow furrowed. "I know he's a bit of an idiot but he's not that bad." Honey brown eyes bled orange as he gazed at Julie. "Him on the other hand..."
A scythe pierced through the air, almost bisecting the gaudily dressed man if he hadn't jumped back.
Cries of anger rose from the Simon and suddenly Enma stood at the front, red eyes trained on Tsuna's in a fierce glare.
"You and your blood have murdered and stolen from us, as the Tenth boss of the Simon famiglia I cannot let this stand." He said, infinitely steady, a rust red glow erupting in the centre of his forehead.
Tsuna didn't bother pointing out that the vial of Giotto's blood was first stolen from the Vongola. He was mostly trying not to coo like his mother when she saw him indulging the children with hugs and kisses and candy because Enma was ridiculously adorable when he was protective. No wonder his friends were always blushing when he felt particularly defensive for them.
Luckily, Tsuna didn't have to do much because Julie cried out, "that's mine!" In an uncharacteristically sinister voice.
For few moments, looks were exchanged between Julie, who'd suddenly locked his jaw in hand-in-the-cookie-jar horror, and the scythe Tsuna wielded.
Which was just enough time for Tsuna to stick a piece of paper to the man's forehead, the seal on it flashing blindingly as it expelled the ghost possessing Julie.
Unseen to the group sans Tsuna, Giotto shot forward to grapple with his mist guardian as he appeared.
"You idiot, what were you thinking?"
"You're a pitiful fool Giotto! The Shimon will only weaken the Vongola!"
Tsuna resolutely ignored the two ghosts wrestling with each other in the dirt as the Shimon gathered around the confused Julie. His intuition tugged at him and he turned to see Kyoko holding Mami's hand. The girl had stopped, red eyes wide with barely repressed hope, joy, and tremulous fear as if she couldn't believe this to be true. Her mouth opened and Tsuna heard her voice for the first time.
Enma froze, and turned, red eyes wide. "Mami?"
Tsuna honestly teared up when the two siblings embraced.
Giotto dusted himself and his scowling mist guardian off proudly, giving his adorable grandson a thumbs up. "How do you feel about a summoning ritual, Tsunayoshi? I think I know someone who can knock more sense into Daemon than I ever could."
Tsuna blinked, and nodded slowly.
So with the Arcobaleno curse gone, Vongola no longer hovering like some demented lover, Byakuran insisting that, aside from his famiglia, Tsuna was his sanity preserving cure, Shimon moving back with promises to keep in touch -although Enma had looked a little freaked out when Tsuna presented a stack of paperwork to legally make them siblings- and Daemon hiding in his closet from his irate fiancé, Tsuna's life would have gone back to normal in any other world.
In this world, the incidents were actually right on the scale of normalcy for Tsuna and so nothing had really changed since Reborn's entrance to his life except for more friends/family and a weirdly strong bond with a mentor who taught him how to make ice out of his flames, and how to absorb flames, and an exponential increase in his knowledge of firearms and how to avoid them, and the entrance of his birth-father in his life. (Xanxus didn't want him, Tsuna didn't really want him either but at least his mother was happy. And the kids had someone else to play with -although Lambo had never used grenades of that deadly variety when playing with his Tsuna-nii. And Lancia seemed weirdly amused by the man's sobbing over his son hating him.)
Tsuna continued to get into weird situations. He continued making friends. His friends continued to create increasing amounts of havoc and destruction. (Shōichi was starting to see a pattern here. If only Tsuna-san would make friends with normal people, was that too much to ask?!)
By the time Tsuna graduated middle school, Japan's yakuza were either semi-vigilante groups, or eradicated by his zealous friends. He'd made friends with half his assassins, and become good acquaintances with the Japanese government, police, and secret service, and Hibari had decided that it'd be nice to extend his influence into China, to which Fon heartily agreed. Tsuna also confronted Kawahira at some point to demand the man take care of his own damn shop. He ended up with an excitable guy calling himself Wonomichi that he apparently needed to train up to take over. Tsuna cursed Inari, just because the god's foxes favoured Tsuna's inarizushi did not mean they had a right to have petty revenge like this.
By the time Tsuna graduated high school, he had a CV a veteran CEO would be jealous of. It was also a mile long. Xanxus, at some point, kicked down his office door and demanded that he 'stop you fucking prick because at this rate the Vongola won't even have jobs anymore!' Tsuna smiled genially and invited the man to stay for a bit. He proceeded to get photos of the man in a nice pink flamingo costume for Alaire to pair with the rest of his guardians. Hibari smirked as the mortified Tenth Vongola boss and his Rain chased his fox over town. Reborn proposed that if mafia life got boring, Xanxus was welcome here, things were never boring around the brunet after all.
It should be said that Tsuna finally revealed himself as the mayor of almost a decade running at this point, and the principal, and no one in Namimori but the dimmest were surprised. It certainly explained the havoc that happened around the brunet daily. Especially as half the town was either an acquaintance or a friend of the brunet at this point. Namimori citizens accepted, as they did all the other strange people that moved to their town, and life went on.
As Reborn predicted, the world was dancing in Tsuna's palm by the time he turned twenty four, running the crime out of organised crime entirely, running a billion dollar multinational industry, writing novels that sold millions of copies in the first day or release, and still bribing the mafia police with sweet treats. Reborn got to tutor a number of runaway heirs, while living the good life of delicious food and divine coffee and the odd hit here or there for some of the worst cases Tsuna couldn't get to, interspersed with random points of insanity (i.e. Tsuna getting some ridiculous job or another. To this day, Reborn remained the only one who could track the brunet down when he managed to shake off the global access of cameras and tracking devices (Spanner's feats in hacking were starting to reach god-like levels, combined with Shoichi they could probably access any electronic device in the world. To match this, Tsuna's ability to escape from their watchful eyes were also reaching divine levels),and his friends/family/companions.)
When Reborn died, decades later, content with his accomplishments and his life, it was to wake up on a couch in a rather modern room of soft maroon in colour, with black furniture, looking much younger than the age he died at.
The man blinked at a Tsuna-in-his-twenties standing at the oak door. "I'm dead."
Tsuna tilted his head quizzically. "Yes...?"
"Where is this?"
Tsuna blinked. "Um, Hell? Actually it's more like purgatory, where you get judged first before going anywhere."
"...why are you here?"
"I'm one of the rulers of Hell? Did I forget to tell you that?"
Reborn felt a rather familiar migraine coming. It had been a while since the last one, where Tsuna somehow ended up as the ruler of Denmark. "Goddamit Tsuna."
"Come on!" Tsuna said cheerfully, completely ignoring the man's glower. "I want to show you what Chrome and I set up for Daemon!"
It was a daycare. A demon daycare. Daemon was wearing a cute apron with a bear on it. He was also being bombarded with sulphuric spit bombs that literally burned, horned and fanged children/creatures chasing him around and breathing fire at his long hair, and Elena sitting to the side, cradling a baby Tengu-like creature and giggling at her husband's antics.
Reborn was so proud he actually shed a tear.
E/N: I confess, I need to go back and thoroughly read everything again because I'm not sure if this chapter actually matches the rest of OJT correctly. At some point I'll give everything an edit. I probably missed a whole bunch of stuff and will end up posting another chapter interludes/extras to flesh it all out, who knows. I also left a lot to your imagination. But as of now, this is the final chapter.
Again, thanks for sticking by me and I hope you enjoyed this! And thanks again to all those avid reviewers (if you're still around) that offered proper translations to this story. :D
EDIT 31/7: I have re-posted this entire fic into AO3 under my penname.