Prologue


Rei Hino was not having a good time.

Tsuna could tell she was different even without his Hyper Intuition. Maybe it was the way her stiff smile lacked the sugary manipulative quality other party guest had. Maybe it was the way her gaze sharpened and became wary when her own father came close, rather than the predators looking to use her. Maybe it was even the way she seemed to look down at all the people fawning towards her.

Or perhaps it was just the raw power he could sense radiating beneath her carefully constructed exterior. There was obviously more to Rei Hino than the beautiful politician's daughter, unlike her father's suave persona that was a dime a dozen.

Tsuna sighed and rubbed his forehead when he finally got a breather from the constant flux of conversation and hidden words. He longingly stared at the balcony and wondered if he could sneak away and call Kyoko. His hope was dashed by the call of his name from another politician, this one a slightly chubby man with a greasy smile. At least Gokudera was by his side.

After dealing with the man, Tsuna scanned the room again, stopping his gaze once again on Rei Hino as she snuck onto the balcony he had been hoping to run to earlier. Gokudera followed his stare and raised a brow.

"The senator's daughter?" He questioned Tsuna, his brow furrowed slightly as he thought of all the information he had read about the party guests prior to the party. Tsuna rubbed the back of his head and gave a sheepish laugh.

"She just caught my eye earlier." He responded, not really sure how to explain his suspicions clearly.

"What's Kyoko going to think if she hears you talking about other woman like that?" Tsuna felt his body slightly pulled forward as a familiar arm wrapped around his shoulders and the grinning face of his Rain Guardian appeared. Gokudera scowled at Yamamoto's nonchalant behavior as Tsuna began sputtering.

"Yamamoto! It's not like-I didn't mean-Don't tell Kyoko!"

"Don't worry, Tsuna. Your secrets safe with me!"

"Sword-freak, stop embarrassing the Tenth! And get your arm off him!" Gokudera barked as Tsuna sighed, before realizing he was now by the balcony. He looked questioningly at Yamamoto who shrugged with a smile still on his face.

"I assumed you wanted to talk to her, since you seemed to be so interested in her." Yamamoto grinned at Tsuna, before letting go of his shoulders and turning to another hopeful daughter of some official hoping to get it good with the Vongola through the friendly Rain Guardian. Gokudera just huffed and glared at the Japanese mans retreating form as he lead the newest girl to the dance floor.

Tsuna stepped outside, ignoring Gokudera's irate ramblings as he finally took a breath of fresh air. The party was stressful, one of the first of many as the Ninth was trying to integrate Tsuna into the Mafia World as his heir. Though Gokudera was most likely more nervous than him, as the man continuously researched about each party guest to ensure there would be no surprises for the Tenth. Tsuna idly wondered how long this was going to last or if he would have to deal with Gokudera's overly cautious behavior during his time as the Vongola head before his gaze finally landed on the stiff form of Rei Hino.

Tsuna felt himself wilt a little bit under her intense stare, unsurprised that she did not react with the usual glee at being alone with the Vongola heir and his right hand man. Instead, her face seemed to tighten, as if it was his fault she was suffering here.

"Hello Hino-san. Are you enjoying yourself tonight?" Obviously she was not, but Tsuna didn't really know how to approach her, so he fell back into his usual role of cheerful heir.

"Of course, it's hard not to enjoy myself around my father and his lovely associates." Even the most air-headed of daughters could have seen past her bright voice and the sarcasm that coated each of her words. Tsuna suppressed a chuckle and decided the blunt road might be best.

"Not a fan of your father, I presume?" Tsuna replied, keeping his voice level and friendly.

He studied her blank face as she studied him in return. Her eyes narrowed briefly before her lips curved up into a small smirk.

"My, aren't you the most astute one, Vongola Decimo." This time it was her turn to wait for his reaction. He kept himself perfectly still, though he felt Gokudera tense next to him. The silver-haired man kept his mouth shut and trusted his leader to handle this, able to restrain the knee-jerk reaction to follow his emotions and act before thinking as he had done sometimes in his youth.

"I wasn't aware my title was so known." Tsuna replied honestly. He truthfully believed Senator Hino and his daughter would be unaware of who he truly is. Most politician's did not care for the underlings of mafia families. They only cared for the man who was in charge, dismissing Tsuna as soon as they saw his youthful face and polite manner. Though Tsuna admitted to himself that he shouldn't have been surprised. He was the heir of the most powerful mafia family and many politicians, dirty or not, would be smart enough to remember that fact. Senator Hino however, was just now getting his foot into the mafia world.

"I learn many interesting things from my father and his activities." From her tone, she did not seem to care for the things her father participated in, though she kept her face neutral as she steadily kept her eyes on Tsuna's face.

"Many politicians desire to engage in those activities. However, I assure you that the Vongola does not partake in those activities like your father. The Ninth and I are... not interested you could say." Tsuna once again studied her face, wondering how she would take it. She had not seemed to judge him before for being in the mafia, but people could always be deceiving. For some reason, Tsuna felt compelled to at least show her that the Vongola was different, despite the fact that her opinion would have no effect on the Vongola.

For the first time that night, Rei Hino smiled genuinely. It was small, it was brief, but it softened her face. Tsuna returned the smile, feeling once again that Rei Hino was different. He briefly wondered how the Senator's daughter would affect his life now that he had gained a small bit of acceptance from her.


Author's Notes: So after sitting on my butt for a quarter of my summer break, I decided it was high time I finally sat down and write. While this will definitely not be the last story I write, this is the first one I decided I wanted to go with. I'm not sure how long this will be, but I'm positive I will finish it. Please read and review! :)