Thanks to Iamyadere4ever for beta'ing this. And disclaimer: I don't own Akame ga Kill or its characters. The only thing I own is creepy Tsu, as a guest put it.
Akame, Mien, and Bulat landed near the entrance to Night Raid's hideout, relaxed after the turmoil of the previous few hours. The three assassins shared a quiet moment before one of them decided to break it.
Bulat shifted his unconscious passengers on his shoulders, trying to stretch his sore muscles. "Uh, so what should I do with them?" He asked Akame, uncertain what they were going to do about their newest recruit.
The red-eyed girl looked at the Incursio user with slight confusion, still unused to everyone looking to her for orders. "Put Leone in her room and Tatsumi in one of the spare ones. He's not going to wake up after everything that happened today."
"Got it." Shifting Tatsumi so he could ease the three of them through the door, Bulat made his way inside. Leaving Akame with a very annoyed Mien.
Looking over her shoulder to make sure they wouldn't be overheard, the pink sniper turned back to face Akame. "I want an explanation."
"Explanation?" Frankly, Akame wanted one herself as to why everything was different but she couldn't exactly bring that up since it would raise questions. Questions about why she didn't remember. Questions about the future. Questions she didn't want to answer, much less think about herself.
"Why are we bringing back this 'Tatsumi' guy? Do you really know him?" Mien stepped closer to her friend, trying to keep herself in check. She knew enough of Akame's history to know that the boy could only spell trouble for the red-eyed killer.
"Because he's my friend. One I thought I lost." Akame replied defensively, going off of the hints that she had been given by her sister and Tatsumi himself. "And he's important to me." She averted her eyes from Mien's, feeling guilty as she remembered the relationship that the pink sniper had had with Tatsumi in the future. One that no longer existed. The very type of relationship she wanted with Tatsumi, even if it hurt her friend.
Mien searched Akame's face for a clue as to why she was dodging the question, but soon became distracted from her hunt by a seemingly impossible sight. "Akame, what happened to your tie?" Mien held up the accessory in question, staring at the uneven cut.
Akame looked at it herself, remembering her own shock at the damage to her clothes. "Tatsumi managed to cut it when we clashed." She stated, reaching up to finger the cut fabric.
Mien stepped back, understandably shocked that anyone could have gotten that close to actually hurting the supposedly unstoppable killer that was Akame. "You mean you let him cut it, right? No way is that hick skilled enough to actually do that."
"He's not just some hick!" Akame couldn't stop her outburst at Mien's cold dismissal of Tatsumi. She knew it was the pinkette's natural defense after the unfair treatment she received from everybody before she joined Night Raid, but she still didn't like it. "He was fast enough to actually make our fight a challenge. And before you even consider thinking about it; no, I didn't use discretion because I knew him. I didn't hesitate to try to kill him when he tried to interfere."
Mien gasped at Akame's emotional outburst. She couldn't believe that this Tatsumi person could elicit so much emotion from someone as emotionally stunted as the red-eyed assassin. Just what is your connection to her, Tatsumi? She questioned in her mind, determined to protect her friend from whatever inevitable trouble would come because of him.
"Uhm, I don't want to intrude on your girl-talk, but…" Bulat reappeared at the door of the hideout, now dressed normally with his big pompadour freed from his armor. "But do either of you know where Sheele is?"
Mien jumped and blushed, realizing she was supposed to be the one making sure the airhead didn't get lost on team missions. "I'll go find her!" She immediately shouted, making Bulat snicker at her embarrassment. "But don't think this talk is over," she said quietly enough for only Akame to hear.
Without anything left to say, the pink-clad sniper raced off in search of her friend, leaving Akame awkwardly standing outside the base with an amused Bulat waiting at the door.
Lubbock started to panic when he awoke to an unfamiliar ceiling. He managed to suppress the urge to jump and run by remembering where he currently was: An Imperial barracks room that he and Kurome had been assigned when they returned to the Capitol to "continue their investigation" into the whereabouts of Night Raid. Something he could never get used to.
Ever since Kurome's defection, he had been assigned to be her protector when she returned to the Capitol to keep them off of Night Raid's trail. He shook his head with disgust at the thought of how she had been addicted to their experimental drugs and was always at the mercy of them to not die to it. Thankfully, Najenda's contacts had found someone that could possibly cure the poor girl. He couldn't wait for her vice to be lifted.
On that thought, Lubbock sat up in his assigned bunk and looked for the black-themed assassin. He found her in a separate bed, covers kicked off while she shivered under her sweat-drenched sailor suit.
"Shit!" Lubbock cursed, surging out of the bed to get to her side. She moaned in pain, curling against the convulsions of her own body. "You're supposed to tell me when you're getting low on those damned drugs."
Kurome opened one of her eyes, fixing him with a weak but malicious glare. "I didn't."
Lubbock realized what she was saying, and reached into the Kurome's snack pouch that sat on the floor near her bed. He knew if this was any other time he would lose his hand for this, but he would worry about her being offended by it later. He felt his fingers close around one of the capsules that she kept hidden amongst her sweets.
"Here," He told her, placing the capsule into her mouth with an unusual gentleness that resulted in his fingers getting bitten when her jaw convulsed. "Fuck!" She had actually drawn blood, something that had never happened when he had to do it before. He cradled his bitten hand in his other, angry that she had managed to break skin for the first time.
"Not on your life." Kurome weakly fired back at his curse, letting the poison that her body craved take effect. Eventually the pain and muscle spasms started to slow and then fade entirely. Once they had, Kurome sat up and looked at Lubbock without the haze of pain across her eyes.
"Pervert! Put on some goddamned clothes!" She shrieked at him, reaching for her weapon where it leaned against the wall nearby. She swiped at him with Yatsufusa, which was thankfully still sheathed. Lubbock barely managed to dodge, then looked at himself. He was only wearing his gray boxers since he didn't have an actual change of clothes.
"I did this to myself." He mumbled, dodging Kurome's ranged pillow assault to follow up her sword attack. Why is it always me?
Outside the Capitol…
Two figures in red cloaks with their hoods up made their way down the dirt road, following it towards their destination beyond the forest they were in. One stood slightly taller than the other, with airy white hair that trailed out of the hood, barely clearing the cloth. The other figure had blonde hair that reached her chest, curling around her modestly sized breasts.
Something made the white-haired figure pause, which made the blonde stop as well. A slight rustling sound grew and was replaced by the sound of heavy boots pounding the ground. At some unseen signal, a group of eight bandits jumped out of the trees, surrounding the pair. One of the larger bandits wore a wolf mask, while the others drew swords from a variety of sheaths. The wolf masked bandit circled to the front of the travelers, declaring himself their leader.
"Well, well. Looks like we got us a pair of lovers on the run." The wolf-masked leader informed his men. The jest was met by light chuckles, poking fun at the unfortunate travelers caught in their trap.
"We're not lovers. She's my acolyte." The white haired figure mentioned calmly, revealing himself to be a male. He reached up and pushed back his hood, letting his mother-of-pearl white eyes and hair shimmer in the rising sun. His unusually colored features and seeming apathy towards the situation confused the bandits. But their leader didn't let it get to him, suspecting the boy was putting on a performance to try and appear tough for the girl next to him.
"Well how about that?" The leader leered at the unfazed boy and girl. "Maybe we'll let you go if you just hand over all your money and your 'acolyte'. What do you say to that?"
The boy raised an eyebrow at the suggestion, a look of bemusement on his face. "Do you know the name Tsu, by any chance?"
The bandits all shared a look of confusion before their leader snapped at them. "You idiots, he's just trying to distract us."
"Melody, could you please kill these idiots? We don't really have time for this. There is someone expecting us." Tsu requested of his traveling companion. The bandits turned their focus on the girl next to him, wondering what she could possibly do.
"Of course. I could already sense their sins anyways." She replied, pushing the cloak behind her arms to reveal the high necked, pale blue tunic and crimson leggings she wore. Her calf-length brown leather boots were stained with dried blood, ranging in age from old to unusually fresh.
Before the bandits could consider her words, an unnatural chill swept over them as the sunlight dimmed. They shivered uncontrollably, then jumped as an unholy shrieking tore through the air.
"What the hell is going on?" One of the bandits questioned, panic evident on his face.
"It's the damned girl! Kill her!" Their leader ordered, only for his command to be met with cries of agony. He took his eyes off of his supposed victims to see what was happening. He felt his eyes bulge at the atrocities in front of him.
Rotting and skeletal limbs had dragged his men to the ground, and in some cases, started to pull them under. The fingers were tearing into their flesh, ripping out chunks and gouging open veins and arteries as they tried to steal the life from their now exposed bones. Feeling dread at the realization that he had picked the wrong targets, the leader started to scurry back, ready to flee for his life. Or at least, he tried to. Bony hands had tangled themselves around his calves and feet, immobilizing him as Tsu walked towards him. The boy looked bored at the display of horrific power as the dead limbs started to drag the leader down, first to his knees, then to his back. He could feel the bones scrabbling for purchase on his skin, stripping away the layers of flesh that were supposed to protect him.
"Your sins have seen you judged. Enjoy your death and suffering in Hell." Tsu told him with a flippant air, as if he had suggested they go on a walk around town.
"What… what are you two?" The leader begged, his lower body already sinking into the earth. Blood poured from cuts that had been torn into his arms by the fingernails of the dead.
"We are two that simply shouldn't be." Melody replied to the man, then watched as his head sank into the ground. Tsu looked around, and then realized that all the bandits had been taken out and buried. The only sign that there had been anyone else were some splashes of bloody mud.
"Good work. Has it become any looser?" He questioned his traveling companion before pulling his hood back up.
"A little." Came the sheepish reply she gave him, letting her own cloak return to its spot hiding her clothing.
"I guess we all atone in our own ways."
Akame had waited as long as she could for Tatsumi to wake up, only to lose out to her hunger before he even showed a sign of stirring. After ordering Leone to bring Tatsumi to her when he woke up, she went out to find something to eat.
She quickly decided she was in the mood for evil-bird, and quickly remembered where she had spotted one nesting. It wouldn't take her long before she could be enjoying its deliciously roasted flesh.
"Thanks again!" Kurome said with forced cheer as she left the Imperial barracks, watching as the gate guards paled and saluted at her passing. She set out to meet up at the spot Lubbock had told her he would be at after she finished her business, soon getting lost in the crowds.
"Finally." Lubbock said, catching sight of his diminutive partner in the crowds of the Capitol's streets.
"Well sorry for being such a bother." She replied sarcastically, looking at him with an annoyed expression. "And… thanks… for earlier."
Lubbock quickly checked the crowds around him for any suspicious people. Failing to find any, he reached up to make sure his ears were actually attached to his head. Kurome looked at him with interest, wondering if he had finally been driven crazy by his repressed perverted desires.
"What are you doing?" She asked, giving some chance of redeeming himself with a believable lie.
"Just making sure I heard you right. You've never thanked me in the entire time I've known you." Lubbock admitted, still uncertain that he wasn't just having a dream while lying unconscious in the barracks after Kurome had kicked his ass for what had happened first thing in the morning.
"You may be a lazy, know-it-all pervert," Lubbock clicked his tongue at the dig. "But you are occasionally useful."
Lubbock turned and started to walk, knowing that Kurome would follow. "So I shouldn't get my hopes up that this is you finally deciding to be nice to me."
Kurome rolled her eyes at the comment, but still dignified it with a response, "Maybe when you stop thinking about the fact that you're going to miss out on Leone's bath time." His sudden flinch told her she had hit the nail right on the head.
Tatsumi groaned and opened his eyes to find himself in an unfamiliar and sparse room. Probably an inn's room, he thought of as an explanation for his unfamiliar surroundings. He focused his eyes on the ceiling as he tried to piece together the disturbing dream he had suffered during the night.
It seemed so real, he thought, stretching his arms upwards in an attempt to stop their aching. A flash of red caught his eye, and when he turned his attention to it he recognized it immediately. Dried blood was caked on his fingernails and in the gaps between his fingers. Sayo and Ieyasu's blood.
"Guess it wasn't a dream." He told himself, a wide mixture of emotions competing for his attention. But they were all shut out by a growl from his stomach. Looking out the window of the room, He realized it was already afternoon. "If that old fart found out I slept half the day away, he'd kick my ass." Assuming he's still alive. Tatsumi's darker emotions whispered the suggestion to him.
Standing up and quickly stretching to relieve the fatigue still hanging in his bones, Tatsumi realized that he was probably in the assassin's hideout. Which meant there was probably a kitchen somewhere. "I'll just find some food for myself and maybe check this place out."
"Oi, Akame. Planning to share that?" Najenda's voice made the red-eyed girl turn away from her roasting evil-bird to look at her boss on the other side of the small pebble strewn creek that ran by her cooking fire.
"If the Boss is asking, I guess I am." She replied, slightly nonplussed by the fact that she would have to share meat, but it wasn't like she could eat the whole thing herself. At least not without a workout somewhere along the way.
Making her way over to Akame's impromptu campsite, Najenda found herself a seat on a log nearby, and took a piece of meat offered by Akame.
"So, how did the mission go? Any problems?" The boss asked, deciding she wanted to hear the juicy details from Akame rather than one of Lubbock's reports. She liked the information specialist, but he couldn't tell a story with a library of books at his fingertips.
"Well fine. Great, even. We found a potential recruit. He shows enough promise to actually give me a challenge." Akame explained between bites, doing her best not to let thoughts of Tatsumi blank out her recollection of the previous night.
Najenda's remaining eye widened at the surprising admission from her best assassin. "Wow, must be a seasoned veteran to give you trouble. Big name turned defector or more of a mercenary type?"
"Well he's actually…" Akame's attempt to make Najenda understand was interrupted by an inordinate amount of noise from the other side of the creek. Suspecting it was some kind of beast, Akame drew her sword and turned to face the direction of the incoming attack.
"Wait, Akame that's-," Najenda's instructions were cut off by someone else's shout.
"Jeez, Najenda. If you're going to lead us to your base, make sure we can actually follow you." A familiar voice complained as a red-cloaked figure stepped out of the brush, closely followed by a slightly shorter female figure clad in a similar cloak. Akame didn't know what she was supposed to do in this situation, and decided she was going to keep Murasame pointed at the strangers in front of her. Even if she had a sneaking suspicion of the identity of one of them.
"It's that specialist I told you about. The one that can cure Kurome, Akame." Najenda explained, walking over to the red-eyed assassin and casually pushing the sword away from her guests.
"Akame?" The taller figure questioned, pushing back its hood to reveal pale white hair and eyes that were all too familiar to her. "Damn, I never thought… I hoped…"
"Tsu. What are you doing here?"
Mien looked up from her fashion magazine, and turned to the only other occupant of the room. "Leone, do you feel like we missed something?"
The blonde rolled over on the couch she had been lazing on to look at the pink-haired girl. "Don't know. But I think I should check on the newbie. It isn't healthy to sleep all day." With that, she stood up and made her way down a hallway to the spare room he had been dumped in. She opened the door, ready to jump on her prey. Only to find no one in the room.
"What the hell? Where did he go?" Leone activated Lionelle, trying to catch a whiff of the boy's scent to track him. "Mien, we've got a runner!"
Tatsumi hummed as he put the finishing touches on his stew, before serving himself a bowl and walking out the door of the kitchen, looking for a place outside to enjoy his meal. He wandered for a bit, before coming across a creek.
Spotting a campfire further down, he set out for it in hopes of good company to talk with. He wanted answers to fill his head after he finished filling his stomach.
"So you two know each other?" Najenda looked back and forth between Akame and Tsu, prepared for anything from a duel to the death to a wild makeout scene. Her expectations were rather crushed by the specialist's response.
"Yeah," Tsu sighed his answer, a look of sadness making him look like a kicked puppy. "A little over a decade ago I brought down a group of slavers dealing in children. Little did I know that the kids I rescued were being bought by the Empire's elite Assassination Program. They hounded us for months, killing off almost all of the children in the first week since they weren't exactly ready for the extremes of surviving the chase. Eventually it was down to a boy, a girl with red eyes, and her black-eyed little sister. We were fine for until they caught up to us. They managed to trap us in a ravine. When the moment came, I took the boy and fled. I left those two girls behind because I believed that they would be strong enough to survive until I could go and rescue them. I'll let you put the rest of it together." He sat on the gravel, suddenly looking as weary as if he hadn't slept since that day. "And here I am facing the ghosts of my past. So your name's Akame? Would've helped the search had you ever told me that."
The red-eyed girl looked at the boy in front of her, not able to reconcile the memory of the powerful Tsu that had sent her back in time with the pathetic looking boy sitting in front of her. "Wait, a decade ago? Wouldn't you have also been a kid then?"
A bit of light found its way into Tsu's eyes, his mouth twitching into a mirth-filled smile. "How old do you think I am, kiddo?"
"Boyish twenties." Najenda hazarded as her guess. She knew better than to just assume that someone actually looked their age.
"Barely 17." Akame replied. She had figured that he had been younger than her in the future, so it had to be true in the past as well.
"You're missing about a millennium there. To be exact, I'm 1032 years old." He smiled at them, quietly laughing at their shocked expressions. "Bet you weren't expecting that."
"You old son of a bitch!" A different voice hollered out, full of resentment.
Sheele looked up from her book, surprised to see Bulat wasn't outside training but rather sitting down at the dinner table.
"Any reason why you aren't training right now?" She asked. She wasn't always the brightest person in the room, but she knew Bulat's training schedule down to the minute.
Bulat held up a bowl of stew, still steaming hot, "I got hungry and when I went in the kitchen someone had already made a huge pot of this stuff. You should have some."
Sheele thought about it for a second, before putting down her book. "It must be good if you're recommending it."
Tatsumi could barely hold back his rage. After three years, three years without a single word of communication, Tsu had the balls to sit around a fire and talk like he didn't have a care in the world.
"You old son of a bitch!" Tatsumi let his bowl of stew go, instead priming his hands to choke the last bit of life out of Tsu's old bones. He was dimly aware of Akame and two others, but his tunnel vision had locked onto the shimmering white hair of his childhood caretaker and guardian. He got Tsu by his collar, pulling the slim man to his feet, and set his raging green eyes to stare into the saddened mother of pearl eyes of someone he was considering killing.
"Three years! Three fucking years!" Tatsumi spat in his face, actual flecks of spittle hitting him. Vaguely noticing movement out of the corners of his eyes, Tatsumi watched as Tsu's eyes disengaged his before sweeping over the three witnesses behind them.
"Don't worry. He just needs to vent."
"But…" A female voice started to question.
Tsu's eyes returned to Tatsumi's, now full of the fiery wrath Tatsumi remembered. Realizing that he had just been given permission to continue, he happily returned to his rant. "You just walk right out of my fucking life at a time when I needed you most and now you just show up here? Where were you? Where were you when the village got attacked by Danger Beasts? Where were you when I nearly died of pneumonia? Where were you when Sayo and Ieyasu died?" Tsu flinched like he'd been slapped. "You were supposed to help me find them, weren't you?" Tsu's fiery gaze dimmed, while Tatsumi's only blazed stronger. "Say something already!"
Tatsumi barely had time to register the punch landing on his cheek before he found himself on his back in the creek, drenched from head to toe with an aching face. A strange wave of nostalgia flowed through him, much like the current that threatened to sweep him away. He jumped out of the surprisingly cold water, now feeling like a drowned cat. And not looking much better.
"You feel better?" Tsu spread his arms, indicating he was done with Tatsumi's tantrum. The green eyed boy only glared at him in response, noting the older man's tattered robe beneath his cloak. "Silent treatment, really? You going to keep acting like you're ten or are you going to man up and sit by the fire while I explain everything so you don't catch pneumonia again?"
Tatsumi switched out his glare for a surly pout, but complied with Tsu's demands. Even if his guardian was a selfish prick, he always knew what he was talking about.
"And you wasted a bowl of stew on top of that? Way to go brat." Tatsumi felt the veins in his forehead throb at the mention of Tsu's pet peeve.
Tsu turned away from the soaked form of Tatsumi, choosing to address the female Night Raid members first. "Sorry about that. Raising children is supposed to be rewarding but I'm clearly still waiting on that part."
Najenda chose to speak first, clearing her throat before adopting as neutral of a tone as she could. "So, Tsu, you told me how you met Akame, but would you be so kind as to explain the rest of your story? I've got something of an idea of who you are based off of our conversations and reports, but I imagine there's a lot more to it."
Akame nodded in agreement before sitting down near Tatsumi, an act that didn't go unnoticed by the others. Tatsumi couldn't stop a hot blush from crossing his face, so he leaned in towards the fire to make sure she couldn't tell. Najenda realized that Tatsumi was the one Akame had been talking about, and also the boy Tsu mentioned he raised after escaping. Tsu's companion merely observed, her expression and eyes hidden in the depths of her hood.
"Still close as always, I see." Tsu sighed again, deciding it would be easier to tell his story if he stayed standing. "Make sure Tatsumi doesn't fall asleep on me. He always passed out when I tried to tell it to him."
"You would try and tell me it after training and keeping me up until midnight! What did you expect?" Tatsumi grumbled, docile despite the reprimand.
"Sure, sure. So anyways, after Tatsumi and I escaped the slavers we had to go into hiding for a while. The village we hid in welcomed us, and we became part of their community quickly. Of course I would occasionally take Tatsumi along on a trip to cause some kind of headache for the Empire's corrupt element, but for the most part we lived as a monk and his son. Three years ago, some group got a hold of my identity and decided they were going to send assassins. Rather than pay back the villager's kindness with bloodshed, I left Tatsumi behind in the care of an old army officer. So then I spent the next three years dodging assassins, trying to keep them from finding out about Tatsumi. And when I stumbled across a clue to those girls I had abandoned, it led me back towards this part of the Empire. Which was when your spies for the Revolutionary Army found me."
"Revolutionary Army?" Tatsumi questioned, moving his heavy-lidded eyes to Najenda. As much as he didn't want to admit it, the monk's words were boring him to sleep. A slight nudge from Akame cured it, but left him feeling warmer than the fire.
"Night Raid is the special ops group tasked with removing threats to the Revolutionary Army and the future country it hopes to bring about." Najenda explained, "We're fighting the Empire to save the people being crushed under its corruption."
"Then you're… fighting for a cause. Bringing justice from the shadows!" Tatsumi felt himself grow excited at the thought of joining a group fighting for the good in the world. Tsu snorted at the remark, earning him a quick glare from Tatsumi that failed to make him react.
"You raised one hell of an idealist." Najenda commented before turning back to Tatsumi. "Call it whatever you want, but we're killing people. And we risk our lives to do it. No back-up, no one to know you died outside of our little family."
"So what? We're fighting for people that can't do it themselves." Tatsumi protested, punching to his feet in a burst of zealous energy.
"I'm glad you've got some resolve," Tsu noted, impressed by Tatsumi's response. "But I don't think the future househusband I raised had that much of a spine."
At his guardian's choice of words, Tatsumi couldn't help but be embarrassed as Akame looked at him in confusion and Najenda doubled over in laughter.
"What kind of househusband can actually fight Akame?" She howled out the question between bouts of laughter. "Oh that's rich."
Tsu shrugged, completely disinterested by the fact that he was humiliating Tatsumi. "I didn't teach him anything about fighting other than not crying from a hit. That's all natural talent of his."
Akame and Najenda's eyes widened, realizing that not only was Tatsumi strong enough to challenge the best fighter in Night Raid; he was practically untrained. The possibility that he could become even stronger made them question if Tsu was lying about Tatsumi's apparent lack of training.
Expecting them to doubt his claim, Tsu returned his attention to Tatsumi. "Brat, put some of the spice mix you're carrying on a piece of evil-bird and let them taste it."
"What makes you think I'm carrying that?" Tatsumi defensively replied, his embarrassment reaching all new peaks.
"I can smell it on you. Now hurry up or I'm breaking your favorite knife." Tatsumi groused at the threat, but decided it was better to comply since Tsu always carried through on his word. He reached into his left sleeve and drew out a small folded oilskin. Reaching carefully into the roasting carcass, he pulled off two choice pieces and opened the packet with his thumb. After lightly sprinkling a reddish powder across the meat, he offered them to the two members of Night Raid. He couldn't even meet their eyes as he meekly complied with Tsu's demand.
After warily sharing a look of discomfort at Tatsumi's situation, Najenda and Akame accepted the meat. Akame didn't hesitate to taste her piece. An explosion of flavors that she couldn't describe filled her mouth, but before she could even begin to identify them, they were gone. Looking down at her hands, Akame was surprised how fast she had devoured her piece. She was used to food disappearing quickly when she ate but this seemed a little excessive. Another piece was pushed right under her nose, making her nearly go cross-eyed looking at it.
"Take it. You looked like you enjoyed it." Najenda half-requested of her. The former general waited for Akame to grab it, only to blink and have the meat vanish in the instant her eyes were off of it. A blink of confusion and Akame was standing next to the roast, spreading more of the spice mix across the cooked flesh while Tatsumi was looking at his hand with utter surprise at the loss of his treasured packet.
"I think that's Akame's way of welcoming you to Night Raid." Najenda explained, making Tatsumi turn to her with a goofy expression of self-satisfaction.
"So that means I'm in?" He asked, smug at the thought of impressing the boss.
"Maybe as their maid." Tsu commented, drawing a snort of laughter from his red-cloaked companion.
Leone continued following Tatsumi's trail, with Mien close behind her. She rounded a small bend near the creek and was greeted to a very unusual sight.
Two figures in red cloaks stood near a fire where Akame was currently tearing into a roasted evil bird while Tatsumi stood blushing and their boss Najenda looked at all of them. One of the cloak wearers, a boy with shimmering white hair and eyes was smirking in triumph and his female companion was snorting from suppressed laughter.
"Uh, hi Boss!" Leone said, deactivating her transformation, "I see you met the new guy and brought some friends too."
Najenda regarded the two with a light look. "Ah, Leone. I have. And he's already agreed to join us with Akame's recommendation."
"Whaaaaaaaaaat? Akame recommended him?" Mien complained, irritated by the all the trouble this new guy was already causing her.
"Yes Mien, she did. If you would gather up everybody for a meeting it would be helpful." Najenda casually ordered her, eliciting a slight laugh from Tatsumi and the white-themed boy. Mien grumbled, but turned and started back towards the base to get Bulat and Sheele from wherever they were.
"Which reminds me… Leone?" The blonde stiffened when her boss continued, realizing what was about to happen. "Weren't you supposed to meet up with Lubbock and Kurome to help with the supply run?"
Shit. The blonde started to sprint away, hoping she would get away before Najenda brought down her hammer of punishment. She barely made it ten yards before Najenda's projectile hand caught her by the collar, ruthlessly pulling her back towards her fate.
"I'm sorry!" She screamed out, hoping for some mercy.
Hey readers, I'm going to be totally honest here... I had no idea how Tsu was, is, and will be received. He's a character that I made mostly so I could give Tatsumi and Akame a childhood friendship that was forcibly broken apart.
Fun Fact #1: This wasn't originally planned as Time Travel AU, it was actually a role reversal where Tatsumi was a defector that was hunted by his friends while Akame and Kurome came to find a lead on their missing "friends" Sayo and Ieyasu.