Body Parts

A/N: Hey. So if you're wondering why I uploaded three chapters at once, it's for two reasons. One, I owe it to anyone still here. Two is that I have some news for y'all. Unfortunately it's bad news.

Because of personal reasons, I will not only be migrating to Archives of Our Own for the remaining duration of these stories, but after two other works that I am already half way through with, I won't be writing anymore. At all. For those of you that liked my stories, I apologize. But if you want to finish this story, please feel free to follow me on Archives of Our Own; my username is Machillusion.

I'm sincerely sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for understanding.

He always thought that, because Kyoko was caught that time, he wouldn't ever be able to escape the base undetected.

Today proved him wrong.

Tsuna escaped the base, leaving a healthy amount of flame residue in his room so that no one would question his presence—except for Gokudera, who bunked with him—and then he all but ran out of the base. He waited for the alarm to sound, for his corroded heart to drop into his insubstantial stomach, but it never happened. Everything was as quiet as it should have been, and he made his way to the top of Namimori's shrine. His quickened breaths slowed, and he eventually made his way to the underground shopping centre. To Millifore.

Getting in was easy enough. The security was tight, but it was nothing he wasn't used to. He slipped on the plain silver ring that Shouichi gave him ages ago, a ring that was brimming with mist flames, perfect for masquerading. And just like he expected, his body was camouflaged as a regular member of the Giglio Nero family. Tsuna was very glad for that. Although he didn't hate Byakuran anymore, he sure as hell didn't want to be a part of his family. Vongola had its own problems; he didn't want to have Millifore's sins on him as well.

He was walking towards Byakuran's room, which, although Byakuran resided in Italy, not Japan, his room was always crawling with members of the Millifore whether or not he was actually there. Judging by the fact that there were more than usual, he took that as a pretty good indication that Byakuran was probably there, perhaps doing another one of his all-nighters with a bag of melted marshmallows next to him.

"Halt." Tsuna turned around to meet a member of the Millifore. Judging by the pads he had on his shoulders, he was probably a distinguished member. Hopefully, Tsuna wouldn't have to fight him. It would be such a shame if his cover was blown so easily. Well, not that someone like this man could see through his façade. Tsuna prided Shouichi and Spanner as his mechanics; their work wasn't so shabby that some low class flame wielder like this man could see through it. Hopefully.

"Yes, sir?"

"What business does a Giglio Nero member have with Byakuran-sama?"

"I need to report to him right away, and my leader isn't available. Can you let me pass?"

The man snorted. "I don't believe you. You scum are always up to something. How do I know you won't try to scurry up information and send it back to your leader? I think I'll accompany you."

Honestly, Tsuna wanted to snap at him, to tell him to leave him the hell alone and let him talk to Byakuran, god these Millifore were such snobs, but he only nodded and continued walking. It would be inauspicious if he refused; he would be giving this man a reason to be suspicious. And then he really would have to fight, and it's not like he prepared a box-weapon just in case. If he asked Shouichi or Spanner to make one, Reborn would know before long, and then he would have become wary and then the questions would start rolling. He could already imagine it: "Tsuna, you already have a Box weapon, why would you need another one? And it's not even another Sky one; what's with the Sun Box Weapon?"

The other members gave an apologetic glance at Tsuna, but Tsuna could have cared less. It's not like they're going to actually help him; they'd rather smite their own face than dare rise their head against a superior. And Tsuna couldn't blame them, really. If this man was over them, he wouldn't dare try to help out someone else, either. Tsuna himself would rather save his own skin and promote himself high enough that he could willingly leave from under this man's jurisdiction.

The obnoxious man knocked on the door meekly, but then with more force as Byakuran didn't answer. After a good two minutes, Tsuna heard a sigh from behind the door.

"You're free to come in."

The man straightened himself out before pressing on an ivory button at hip-level and walking inside with his head held high. Byakuran was at his desk, his head on a hand, and perusing through documents with the other, simultaneously typing something out every so often. He didn't even look up to see who was at the door.

"What is it that you need that you had to come straight to me and not my assistant?"

"Sir! This man said he needed to report something to you since his leader wasn't available." At the implication that he was in the presence of a Giglio Nero member, his eyes flickered up briefly before back down again. But then his eyes fluttered right back up as he stared at Tsuna. His lips quirked into something analogous to a smile before he leaned forward, his attention fully on the two of them.

"It must have been very hard for you," he said, amused. Then he directed his attention to the man that escorted Tsuna in. "You can go now."

The Millifore member stopped. "But sir…"

"You don't trust me to take care of myself? Besides, his leader wouldn't be too happy if his underling attacked me when I'm above both of them."

He started to smile, that easygoing smile that put the man at ease. After nodding, he left the two of them alone, but not without bowing once more at Byakuran. Tsuna was almost certain that the man was practically beaming because Byakuran talked to him. He felt a twinge of disgust coil inside of him.

"Now that we're alone, why don't you tell me what you're really here for, Sawada Tsunayoshi." Byakuran pushed his documents to the side, folding his hands and settled his chin on them, waiting for Tsuna to speak. Tsuna felt his mouth dry a little, feeling a little intimidated that Byakuran was staring right in his eyes, but he shook himself of the fear and pulled off the ring, pocketing it. Immediately, the mist flames were absorbed into his skin, and he sighed with relief.

"…how did you know it was me?"

"How could I not know it was you is the question you should be asking. It was fairly obvious, you know. Your Sky flames give you away. That toy might have covered your appearance, but not your flames. Though, you look a bit different than I remembered. I know I killed you in this timeline, but you're not from ten years in the past, either. You look the same, but your flames aren't the same. So tell me, when are you from?"

"It's a long story, one I don't feel like sharing. You're right though; I'm not from this time or ten years ago. I came here to offer you a bargain."

At once, Byakuran straightened, his smile widening just a tad. "Oh? What kind of bargain is it?"

"You still have the ability to see other worlds through the different versions of yourself, don't you?"

"Yes," Byakuran admitted, a bit surprised, "but how do you know that?"

"Then I'll give you my power. Right now, I have an infinite amount of flames. And I'm willing to give you a percentage of it each world that we meet. Not you and the Sawada Tsunayoshi of that time, but me, specifically."

"And how will I know it's you, Tsunayoshi-kun?"

"I'll come to you just like I did today, under this exact guise. Well, until I'm able to find you ten years in the past. Then I'll just meet you there instead. You'll know, just like now, that I'm different."

Byakuran hummed and leaned back in his chair. He seemed interested enough, which was perfect. Byakuran was one of the only people who could really help him, so if he rejected his proposal—which he hoped to god he wouldn't—then he had to ask Yuni. But it took a lot of energy for Yuni to travel through different timelines, and so much more doing it consistently. He couldn't ask that of her.

"And how will I know you won't break your promise? You are the enemy, after all."

"I'll give you some of my flames now, as a promise. But if you break your promise, I'll kill you, and keep killing you until you honor your promise."

"You think you can kill me?"

"I know I can," Tsuna replied. He held out his hand, producing a mixture of Sun Flames and Sky Flames, both positive charges. It would act as an amplifier to Byakuran's current flames, and it would stabilize the slight charge difference between his and Byakuran's.

Seeing the flames in the palm of Tsuna's hands, flames that were so transparent they were iridescent, Byakuran hummed again and got out of his chair, approaching Tsuna and his flames. He stared down at Tsuna with something akin to wonder and irritation. He touched the flames, expecting it to burn him, but instead it absorbed itself into his pores. He watched with fascination as the flames dissipated into his hands. Then, out of curiosity, he produced his own flames.

They were much clearer than before.

He turned back to Tsuna. "You realize that I could use this against you?"

Tsuna shrugged, letting out a little laugh. "Of course I do. But it's not like I won't die sooner or later, so it doesn't matter to me one way or another. So, will you help me?"

Intrigued by the change in the quality of his flames, Byakuran created some more. They were even purer than the set he created previously. Satisfied that he was remarkably stronger than he was before, he agreed to Tsuna's bargain. He technically was helping out Tsuna much more than he was getting something out of it, especially if Shouichi was on his side, but he still had access to thousands, no, millions of worlds out there. He could transfer the power to any one of them if needs be, and over each timeline he met this Tsunayoshi—and there was no doubt in his mind that he would meet him again—he would become exponentially powerful. Becoming a god of several worlds was not out of his reach if he kept this up for a long period of time.

"Okay. What is it that you need me to do?"

"I need you to communicate with your other counterparts in different worlds. And I want you to find a world that differs even slightly from the majority of the other ones. I don't care if it's even something simple as me not having Sky Flames—the moment you see something that differs, please contact me. I know that you only have a limited amount of influence, especially since you usually only meet me in the future, but please."

"Define the 'majority', Tsunayoshi-kun."

"I guess something that is a 'majority' would be your superiority and dictatorship. It's something that Irie-san had to plan for—though I'm sure that you knew that from before—and it's the reason why I'm here, for the most part. If there's a world where Irie-san doesn't exist or a world where you meet me beforehand—something that could change the future, anything, Byakuran—then please contact me as soon as you can in this time. I don't care if you kidnap me; just get me to you. And then, if you can, please pinpoint the direction of that world from the one I'll be in."

"So another words, you want an anomaly." The white-haired man frowned. "I can find these worlds for you, though I feel like the reward I'm receiving is too little for the work I'm doing."

Tsuna huffed. "Fine, if you want more flames, I'll give you more. Just—"

"I was teasing. It's fine, don't give me anymore. These flames are more than enough for the price. Really, I get much more out of this bargain than you do."

Tsuna heard a thump by the window, and he all but jumped out of his skin. He then looked towards the window and saw him.

White hair. White wings. White garments.

"Byakuran," Tsuna hissed, slightly irritated, "I thought I told you not to come into my room unannounced like this."

He chuckled, amused by Tsuna's antics. "Oh, but Tsunayoshi-kun, the Arcobalerno is sleeping. What do you have to worry about?"

"And what if he wakes up? Then what?"

"Thenhe finds out. And then you'll have a lot of explaining to do, since technically you're not supposed to know me. The Millifore family has nothing to do with the Vongola family, other than the fact that we each hold a part of the Tri-Ni-Set needed to stabilize the world."

"You speak as if this doesn't concern you."

"Ah, you figured it out! It doesn't have anything to do with me." He sauntered along the creaky wooden floor, side-stepped the child, sat on the bed, patted the space next to him. With a benevolent—and Tsuna had to confess, a rather disarming—smile, Byakuran gestured for Tsuna to sit down. He obliged, sitting down next to the white-haired man and frowned at him. Byakuran's smile only widened.

"You're horrible, you know that."

"…That's nothing we both don't know, Tsunayoshi-kun." The older man laughed at Tsuna's sour expression.

Tsuna huffed, but then he calmed down, threading his fingers in betwixt themselves, his hands sliding along each other noisily from the clamminess from his palms.

"Did…you find anything?"

"I sure did. It's a bit murky; I have the connection to that counterpart of mine, but it is a few ways away from here. So I hope you don't mind that I don't give you a straight answer right away. Though, finding an anomaly is a rather generalized statement. What you mean to ask is if it's a world that'll cater to your needs. To which, the answer would be yes. So as long as you're careful with this world. Try not to make the same mistakes. Though you don't have to worry too much about that. I'll help you with that."

Tsuna was silent for a moment, taking a deep breath in and exhaling softly. But then he nodded, gazing up at Byakuran. "That's more than enough; you don't have to do anymore for me."

He created flames like he did that first time that they met, and just like then, his flames were pure, transparent, and almost iridescent. He held them out in front of Byakuran, getting closer and closer until they touched Byakuran's arm, absorbing into his body like water in paper.

"Should you really be giving me your flames when they're your only means of survival?"

"That is none of your concern," Tsuna muttered. Then, a bit louder, "Just take it. It's part of the bargain."

"No, I think I've accumulated more than enough of your flames." He pushed Tsuna's hand away, causing the flames to seep back into Tsuna's palm, and then he created his own flames. They were almost as pure as Tsuna's—most likely due to timelines and timelines of taking the boy's life source away from him—and he held it out before Tsuna, a clear invitation to take it. But Tsuna refused, pushing his flames away like how Byakuran did to him.

"I don't need it. Besides, I don't like breaking promises."

"Is it breaking a promise when I'm willingly giving you back your own flames?" He tried again, creating even more flames and pushing them directly onto Tsuna's skin. But Tsuna waved them off, and eventually it dissipated into thin air.

"It's fine, really."

"You just don't want to owe me is what this is. Well, I'll tell you what, Tsunayoshi-kun. You owe me nothing from now on. And you will take these flames I'm offering to you. Your complexion is getting worse lately, and don't even try to hide the fact that your stomach dissipated this timeline. Your heart is malfunctioning, and you don't have any lungs to speak of. And don't lie to me; I can see inside of your body, as you should already know oh so well."

The moment that Tsuna opened his mouth to speak, Byakuran conjured up the purest flames that he had ever seen, and pushing it right onto his chest, inserted them right onto Tsuna's soul. Tsuna tried to move but he found that he couldn't; the shackles that he had taught to Byakuran so many timelines ago—"It's just replacing the energy needed to make flames and solidifying it; that's all"—is being used against him right now, and Tsuna found a sort of irony with this whole situation. Or perhaps, maybe not irony, but a twisted sense of humor. He tried again to lean back, but he knew better than anyone that he would not be released until Byakuran would have it for him to be released, and he gave in, his shoulders slumping and his eyes closing, accepting the flames that the older man dripped into his soul. He could feel the relief, the warmth from the flames that were once his, along with Byakuran's flames, a gentle touch of something soothing, perhaps even cathartic, easing the pain that was inside of his body, and trying desperately to enhance the Sun Flames that Leon gave him.

"I feel like you can last a bit longer now," Byakuran said as he leaned back. He surveyed Tsuna's body, his face, his soul, and coming to a conclusion he nodded to himself, pleased with the work that he had done. "Don't bother thank me; there is nothing to thank me for yet. Just. Do me a favor, Tsunayoshi-kun?"

Tsuna stared at him, still a bit lost because of the pleasure that he just felt. "…what?"

"Try to survive until I find out more about this world. It's a bit of an anomaly even in the world of anomalies that I have found in the past, so I really want this to be your last world. But that's up to you, Tsunayoshi-kun, to survive until I can find the proper coordinates for it so you can transfer yourself into it. And, of course, to actually live to properly experience the whole timeline."

"…that's not a favor…"

"Of course it is," the white-haired man laughed, smoothing down Tsuna's unruly hair. "If you were to die, the energy that I could possibly use to reign over another world that I'm electing to give to you would go to waste. And I don't want that. So stay alive for me, okay, Tsunayoshi-kun?"

And somehow, Tsuna knew that Byakuran was using it as an excuse—his hunger for power, his hunger for dominance—to keep Tsuna alive. He knew that Tsuna was very trigger-happy, in the fact that he was accident prune, in the fact that he could die at literally any moment because of the curse, and in the fact that he was after him and would have no choice but to give up his life should the timeline not line up the way he wants it to. That, more than anything else that Byakuran has done for him—including giving him back life, time specifically—touched Tsuna to dumbness he simply nodded mutely. Byakuran smiled, happy that Tsuna wasn't fighting him on it, and got up.

"Well. Then I'll tell you within a few days. It was nice seeing you again, Tsunayoshi-kun." He extended his wings, fully ready to fly out of Tsuna's room, when the brunette called out to him.

"W-wait, Byakuran-san!" He stopped in his tracks, and then he turned around, his wings still fully extended for departure.

"What is it?" Tsuna shuffled towards him, his head bent down. He felt a beat of nervousness as he came closer, almost in arm's length of him. All of these timelines, no matter how nice Byakuran treated him—and over the years, Byakuran has treated him kindly—he had never really thanked him, never really touched him, never even blinked twice his way. He always viewed their relationship as nothing but a give and take, nothing more than a working transaction, and he figured that would never change. But today, tonight, Byakuran touched his heart more than he thought. He gave him life, he promised he wouldn't owe anything to him—to his enemy, to the one person that could and would continually stop him from being a ruler of a new world (though really, there would always be a world he could control, so as long that Tsuna was not in that world)—and he promised to keep helping him despite all of this. He took a deep breath.

And then he wrapped his arms around Byakuran's midsection.

"Thank you," he mumbled into his chest, digging his head even deeper into Byakuran's midsection. "You don't have to do this, but you did. So…"

Byakuran hesitated, and then he returned the gesture. Of all of the things that he thought Tsuna would do, this was not one of them. But then again, Tsuna was practically screaming out gratitude. He was practically crying from appreciation. Byakuran cupped the back of Tsuna's head, which pressed his face deeper into his chest, and ran his fingers through Tsuna's toffee hair. He was so tempted, so, so tempted to grab the child and, still in the embrace, tilt his head ever so slightly and—

—But he wouldn't do that to him. Not when he knew what he knew. Not when he saw how much this child suffered throughout the five years he was placed under this curse. Not when he knew whose affections, no, attention he was seeking. Not when he refused to even tell that man the truth.

Not when Tsuna trusted him so.

"You don't need to thank me," Byakuran said instead, continuing to run his fingers through the child's messy hair. He started to flatten it down a bit, but it simply bounced right against his palm. "I thought I told you that earlier. Don't thank me until you're fully healed and you're in a stable world. In a world where you can receive your 'happy ending', so to speak." He released Tsuna and watched as Tsuna sniffed a few times before pulling himself back together.

"I'll definitely try, Byakuran-san." He rubbed his eyes until they were free from his tears, and then he looked back up at his friend. Yeah, he was definitely his friend. Perhaps after the first fifty times, Byakuran's heart warmed up to him. But Tsuna refused to warm up to him the same way. After all, Byakuran had killed him. He'd killed everyone Tsuna knew in one timeline or another. How could he possibly like him back?

But he did. Slowly, Byakuran grew on him. Perhaps it was those stupid worlds where he would pop up unannounced, similar to this one, or perhaps it was those worlds that Byakuran would allow Tsuna to kill him, to take his aggression out on him, or perhaps…

…perhaps it was that world that Byakuran erased his memory and allowed him a moment of happiness. It hadn't lasted long, but god. He could honestly say that was one of the happiest times of his life, including his original timeline, where he died a—what Byakuran considers anyhow—a dog's death. He never thanked Byakuran for that time either, even when Tsuna regained his memories after he died.

He stared into Byakuran's light lavender eyes, trying to convey his renewed determination, the determination that he planted inside of Tsuna, along with the renewed time that Byakuran granted to him. To have an enemy-turned-friend do this for him, despite the fact that Byakuran could possibly die in the future by his hands, touched him greatly.

"I won't waste the life you gave me."

"Good. I don't like investing things that are a waste of my resources." He smiled once more, gave a short wave to Tsuna, and then flew away. Tsuna watched after his fading form until Byakuran became so small that he couldn't see him anymore.

He shuffled back to his bed, feeling much lighter than before. He wasn't sure if that was due to the new life in his chest, or because of Byakuran's kindness. After a moment of shifting and turning, he raised the covers to his chest.

And feeling the relief stronger than even his curse, for the first time, he slept soundly.