She doesn’t remember what the mission had been–unsurprising given how many years-deaths-hours have passed–but she does know it was dangerous. Deadly. Terribly so.
Boss had sent his three most powerful–most lethal–Guardians on this mission, even despite the hostilities between two of them. Despite the high probability that Kyoua-senpai and fucking Mukuro would rather turn on each other than fight beside each other.
She doesn’t think she was sent as a mediating force–if so, then what a poor choice!–but rather as the only one who would survive if it came down to that.
It hadn’t, oddly enough.
But she hadn’t survived the mission, anyway.
When Tetsuki returns to Vongola HQ–Hibari departing for Namimori immediately and Mukuro almost literally disappearing into mist–she is quiet.
It’s not so concerning–Tetsuki isn’t one for talking, not in comparison to the Sasagawa siblings–but a week passes and no one can recall speaking to her.
This is only the beginning.
The problem is that she would trust any of the Guardians with her life–even Yamamoto (though, perhaps, less than fucking Mukuro as odd as that seems.)
Being Family does not mean friendship, it means blood and trust despite the lack. She can fight alongside any of her fellow Guardians without a second thought because she knows, if they can, they will fight for her life nearly as much as she will fight for theirs.
She trusts them with her life.
She doesn’t trust any of them with her death.
Kyouya-senpai is possessive, Mukuro beyond normal human mores, and at the end she had been voiceless.
She didn’t have a choice.
Tetsuki doesn’t open the door. Not for the Boss, not for Kyoko, not even for Ryohei.
Hayato respects her far too much to disintegrate the walls (never mind that the Vongola HQ steward would murder him if he did so) but he’s just cunning enough to slip a mobile phone into her room which rings and rings and rings with everyone trying to check on her.
She zaps it after a day.
But it works, sort of.
The door opens.
They mean well, of course they do. They’re just as kind as she remembered them; nostalgia and decades of distance hadn’t changed too much, it seems.
She’s not the same person she was days–lifetimes–ago.
She’s not ready.
The person–people–who leave Tetsuki’s room are not anyone Vongola has ever seen.
Their fashion is strange, their weapons stranger, and they look around HQ with curious, wondrous eyes.
They also close the door behind them and do not let anyone pass.
“She’s not ready yet,” says the blonde man with bright blue eyes. One hand scratches almost nervously at his marked cheek; the other has the fried phone.
Kyoko pockets it to hand over to Haru later–she and her engineering minions will take it as a challenge, no doubt–and decides to roll with the punches. She asks, “Do you know when she’ll be ready?”
This time, a woman with pink hair answers, stepping forward. “No, I’m sorry, but she wanted you all to know that she appreciates your concern and she’d like for us to share our knowledge. For example, I understand you’re a healer? So am I. My name is Sakura Haruno.”
There’s a part of her that wonders if it was all in her mind, no new scars or wrinkles on her skin, the same as she was before everything. She was so young then–this is the oldest she’s ever been–she had no idea what a lifetime really meant. What death really means.
She’s not the same person she was before.
She’s far more than that.
A/N: After everything, Tetsuki goes back home. But there’s consequences to that, too.