Tsunae laid on her back staring at the ceiling. She was back on the residence she had lived in since her rebirth and had hardly paid any attention to how she came back here.
Nana hadn't batted an eyelash when she had entered through the sliding glass door from the garden, merely smiled and said,
"My, Tsu-chan sure is impatient, food will be ready in a couple of hours though."
The woman then turned back to humming at the stove, not even noticing how sweaty, tired and numb her 'Tsu-chan' had come. Normally she would be slightly indignant at the treatment but right then she didn't give a fuck.
She had climbed the stairs and threw herself on the bed, too drained to even muster any kind of strong emotion save for disappointment.
In many ways that meeting she had carefully planned and had tried to control to no avail was her ticket out of this hell hole. Her success meant he would help her keep her freedom, her loss her death.
Kawahira chose to do neither.
A sudden headache threatened to split her head and Tsunae was helpless to stop it. Thankfully, the whole ordeal had exhausted her almost three years old body and she passed out shortly thereafter.
"Here we are, Tsu-chan!" Nana smiled happily at the playground in front of them, tugging her daughter from one hand gently. Her unimpressed daughter.
The playground was inside a slightly bigger park where running people could be seen, full of brats that were bigger than her. Tsunae could see many ways a toddler could get hurt by said kids here.
She was pushed forward by the woman, smile eternally fixed in place.
Tsunae wanted to plop into the grass and not get up. Preferably never. But Nana wasn't giving her a choice in the matter, she proceeded to advance to a bench with their bentos, a book and a big thermos full of tea. Before the girl could debate ignoring her the woman fixed her smile on her and suddenly she felt a chill run down her back. The smile was warm and happy, but it hadn't moved a millimeter and the seconds continued to tick by.
After about twenty seconds Tsunae stiffly turned around and made her way deeper into the playground, when she looked back Nana was elegantly serving herself tea and opening her book.
If the girl wasn't sure she had the so called hyper intuition she would have said it was a fluke.
Damn anime moms… She hoped it was that.
Deciding there was nothing she could do about it she shrugged. Maybe she could find a quiet place to lie down.
But dear god, these brats were awfully loud, high pitched screams and yells all around.
Tsunae found the swings but they were a little too high to get into and her motivation to make the work nonexistent; the slide was full and all kids were running with too much energy to use it; the jungle gym was an option but likewise too transited.
Then she spotted the tunnels, there was a section perfect for kids under the age of five. Tsunae almost smiled and went to secure her hidey hole to mop into eternity.
The fluffy haired girl crawled into the smooth darkness and almost immediately relaxed, she went to the very middle where the sun could not enter and laid down in her stomach. From there she could see a small part of the playground, children playing and running. Laughter abounded.
She didn't understand what went wrong in that meeting with Kawahira. She was sure he would kill her or make use of her, for which he would have to secure her at his side.
Instead, the man had simply told her he was going to check the method she mentioned by using the Black Flames of the Vindice. And when she asked what about her, he had callously said,
"Your problems or ambitions mean nothing to me."
Why?! The toddler smacked her pudgy fragile fist into the metal tunnel.
Her knowing was a breach of information, she never planned to this situation. Nothing had changed, even the situation with Vongola or the Mare Rings with Byakuran didn't make a dent on his indifference. Because apparently, 'human affairs' that didn't affect the balance directly were unimportant, so long as someone was holding them to keep the flames stable it didn't matter who they were or what they did with that power.
Warm tears surprised her when they fell on her cheeks and arms. Tears of frustration.
The very reason of seeking that old man was to end this unnecessary drama. Her name may be Sawada Tsunae now, but she didn't feel like it was truly hers. She didn't want a danger radar inside her head, or a position at the head of a criminal syndicate, or being forcefully bonded to a bunch of screwed up teenagers, she didn't want to have to face assassination attempts on a daily basis or being forced into a puppet role to satisfy the greedy interests of others. Most of all, she didn't want to be careful about who she could talk to or not, fearful of the danger her attention would put them in.
What kind of life was that? She would rather die.
Her lip was trembling and as the tears flowed freely the girl was in a state of pure despair. What was she going to do now? The Arcobaleno curse would be lifted soon yeah, but that only meant the hitman tutor she would receive would be an adult, not a baby. If anything, escaping the adult Reborn would be even worse.
And as much as it grated, she didn't want to end her life herself. Suicide was something she never wanted to truly contemplate, it felt like a crime. The worst kind of sin in her personal belief.
"Hick, ow!" something just hit her leg and Tsunae shifted slightly on her side to look at the other end of the tunnel.
It was a kid glaring at her, legs inside and expression screaming at her to get out so he could enter himself. He looked around her age.
But Tsunae wasn't a distraught mess for nothing and the fact that the snot-nosed brat just kicked her meant he didn't mind a few kicks himself. So that's what she did.
"Ow!" his utterly surprised expression would have been cute had the girl not been seething in rage.
The kid recovered fast though, and soon both were kicking at the other with all their might.
Seeing as she had the advantage since he wasn't fully inside and couldn't see that well into the dark tunnel the boy eventually scurried out and just as Tsunae thought she had won the brat had unexpectedly grabbed her left leg and pulled her back outside.
After screaming in indignation she was blinded by the bright sunlight and the merciless brat used the opportunity to kick her prone form on the ground.
Oh, it was so on.
Tsunae made use of her intuition to cheat and tackled the boy like a football player on his unguarded side.
Distantly she heard the screams and yells of the other kids around them as they both rolled on the ground, kicking, punching, pulling and biting like savages.
This went on for a little while, with Tsunae spilling her many frustrations and dashed hopes into beating a little kid to the ground. Later on she would be so ashamed she would want to drown in alcohol to forget. But damn if the imp wasn't asking for it.
"Kyoya." Spoke a deep masculine voice that stilled the brat's frantic movements and in turn her own. They both began to catch their breaths to look up.
A very tall man was standing not far from them with a deep frown, he wore semi-formal clothes in black. Very attractive man. But it was the name he spoke that froze Tsunae completely. Surely it was a very common name.
"Ara, Tsu-chan! You made a friend! Mama is so proud of you." Somehow Nana had made an appearance and was taking pictures with a camera nonstop, Tsunae hadn't noticed her stash it on her purse at the house.
Both kids were gaping at the adults, though even the man was staring at Nana now.
Seeing as her mother was still taking pictures Tsunae scrambled off from the kid, noting with satisfaction the forming bruises, scratches and cuts even as she felt her own set too.
The kid slowly stood up too, wincing at the look the adult gave him or maybe because of the pain. Then glaring at the ground. Silence pervaded for a moment save for the clicking of the camera. Tsunae swore to destroy it as soon as possible.
"Oh, look at how dirty you have become, we can't have that; but since you had fun then it's fine, Tsu-chan." Gosh, the woman was embarrassing and weird. Her past mother would have checked her for injuries and then screeched when they were out of earshot.
Admittedly, the threat of having this recorded for years to come was good incentive to cease and desist.
Then unbelievably Nana turned towards the man.
"It is the first time my Tsu-chan shows interest in other children, I am sorry if she was too enthusiastic." She spoke in such a dreamy and pleasant voice you wouldn't think anything was out of the norm.
Really, mother? Tsunae's face was on fire now, her only consolation being everyone thought of her as a little kid.
The man. Hibari senior? Looked at his own kid, then at Tsunae and smirked, making the girl's intuition ping in unease.
"Really? Kyoya is the same. I am sure he would be glad to meet his new friend sometime again."
'Kyoya' jerked his head as if to deny this with wide eyes.
"Oh! That would be wonderful, isn't it, Tsu-chan?" Nana turned her sunny smile her way and once again felt that chill down her back, that unflinching smile that didn't move and even began to make the brat at her side shift as if making an aborted move to curl up and hide.
"… Yes?" Thankfully her halfhearted answer seemed to be the right one because both kids suddenly sagged at being released from that smile.
"How rude of me, my name is Sawada Nana and this is my daughter Tsunae." She bowed formally to the man.
"Hibari Akio and Hibari Kyoya." The man nodded confidently, apparently not noticing the woman intimidating his own son into submission.
Then both parents pulled out their cellphones and exchanged information.
By the time Tsunae was back home freshly out of the bath and her minor injuries taken care of (a surprise Nana even pulled the first aid kit, let alone carefully dress her wounds) she looked at the ceiling again and the only thing she could say was,