Cross Post: Trailblazers, Bright and Bold, “Epilogue Arc” drabble (2016-01-19)

original here. dated 2013-12-10

[[A/N: As previously stated in this post, this is one in a series of Trailblazers cross posts to make up for my abysmal showing for the past few days.

Trailblazers, Bright and Bold, with it’s slightly different title, is in a way the prototype for the Trailblazers I’ve been writing on this tumblr. So not everything in these cross posts would make the final cut of the hypothetical complete Trailblazers fic.

This one is also set approximately five (maybe six) years in the future like this previous cross post. As in, the actual future, in which everyone is now late teens/early twenties. Hence “Epilogue Arc”

This particular drabble is partner to yesterday’s–but instead of focusing on the Guardians, it goes into the other family members’ roles and the daily life around the Vongola mansion. This is more immediately related to The Green Knight series (a TrailblazersxKingsman crossover) , and these strictly Trailblazers drabbles (here and here) since it also kind of hints at the decline of Vongola as a crime family and the resurrection of it as a a peacekeeping/vigilante group.]]


She wouldn’t say she’s surprised, but she is still sometimes confused on how well she fits into the Vongola Family. Considering her own background… well. While she was lucky to have the Sasagawas, in truth it was mostly her clinging onto Ryohei and Kyoko as best as she could. She was content and never really reached for more because she never really wanted more. But Vongola is different. Family is different.

For all that she loves (and is loved by) Tetsuya, mutually fond of members of the Disciplinary Committee (now the Foundation), and tolerated by Kyouya-san, she knows that her presence there is something of a distraction if not a disruption. Even on the occasions when she gives a few weeks’ heads up or when it’s for an official Vongola mission.

They are distinctly Kyouya-san’s followers–her fellow Guardian has never liked crowding or sharing. They are to her what friendly in-laws are to normal people, pleasant but not Family.

She’s not on missions very often, the nature of them becoming less and less frequent the more Tsuna changes both his Family and the mafia world entirely, but she’s still not an integral part of the daily routine. That’s what Tsuna and Hayato are for.

It’s weird, though, for her to be in the mansion and not try to help out in some way. She kept her childhood house immaculate, and mostly fended for herself, but in the Vongola mansion there are servants. Servants who are probably better trained than many countries’ military, but servants nonetheless. And with her being so high in the Vongola hierarchy (a Guardian is second only to the Boss) they refuse to let her do some of the mundane things like do her own laundry or cook her own food or fix her own bed…

Actually, they looked somewhat insulted when she first attempted to do so. It was baffling until Hayato explained that she was implying she didn’t trust them–it was as if she suspected they were traitors and would poison her things.

Since then she lets the servants do their jobs, but makes sure to be as cordial as possible. She’s never been particularly sociable but she’s pretty sure they like her better than Mukuro–who almost could not be creepy and patronizing if he were paid to do so–or even Ryohei who, while well-meaning, is practically a living wrecking ball. She knows the construction workers like her simply due to the number of commiserating looks they’ve all shared (she buys them fruit baskets every time she knows Ryohei has broken some piece of furniture or some part of the house).

Even including that, most of her interaction with Vongola Family’s non-Guardians is still with Kyoko and Haru. But they’re both fairly high up in the hierarchy of Vongola as well, and far busier than she is–Kyoko is second in command of the Vongola medics. More like the one truly in charge, because Shamal, while brilliant, always was more of a lone wolf than a leader. Of course, under Kyoko’s eye the Vongola Medical Corps have become a highly-lauded entity in its own right due to sheer competency.

Haru, similarly, has grown into her talents to the benefit of herself and Vongola. Technically she is the Family’s CFO–something which causes her and Hayato to quarrel with each other so regularly that other members of the Family know when it’s the first Thursday of the month by the yelling and explosions and high pitched laughing and, strangely, singing and piano playing.

But she gets bored easily, as many of her accountant underlings can attest to, and anyway her true passion has always lain elsewhere. The engineers, while nominally under the purview of Shouichi and Spanner, have also been conditioned to obey Haru’s whims.


[[A/N: This one is sort of incomplete–I had been meaning to mention some of the other non-Guardian characters, such as Hana and Bianchi, and the children–but…]]

Trailblazers drabble (2015-07-08)

During one of their monthly cake eating gatherings (which Kyoko and Haru keep trying to make a weekly occurrence) the topic of box familiars came up. In particular, everyone’s box familiar’s names.

Unsurprisingly, Tetsuki named hers after archery, Yuzuru’s sinuous yet firm shape reminding her of a stringed bow. Haru’s Koushaku was certainly intimidating enough to be considered royalty, but the massive antlers and freaking tusks were more nightmare fuel than fairy tale prince. Kyoko’s kamaitachi were somehow collectively named Yakushi, after the god of healing, though they were three separate creatures. Although, when not in use at the clinic, they were a force of mischief and more often than not called ‘those damn weasels’ than their actual name.

The less said about Chrome’s box familiar–which might actually be Mukuro’s box familiar or, possibly, Mukuro himself–the better.

Hana refused to have a box familiar because, as she often ranted, having an animal manifest itself from some mystical energy within her was ridiculous and impossible and stupid. Hana wasn’t a nurturer and liked her solitude–whether to escape from idiots, children, or animals–so it wasn’t much of a surprise that she didn’t want a box familiar. But in theory, if she were to have one, it’d probably be named something like Momo or Fuku.

“So what you’re saying is, you want a pet goldfish,” Tetsuki asked with a raised brow, lightly teasing.

Hana, in a rare fit of immaturity, stuck her tongue out in response.

They moved onto discussing the others’ choice for their familiars’ names. Everyone agreed that Ryohei’s Kangaryuu was so obvious, but very typical of him. Takeshi’s Kojirou (and Jirou) likewise made sense, considering the historical sword-master was known for a technique named after a swallow. They were all rather confused as to why Hayato chose melon of all things to name his storm cat. As for Hibari-senpai’s hedgehog, a consensus could not be made on whether the name Roll should be attributed to his bluntness or his not-so-secret fondness for cute things.

Their discussion of box familiar names, which had the potential to go on forever, ended when Tsuna’s choice was brought up.

“I think it’s a nice name. Very poetic.” Tetsuki stated simply, appreciative of the symbolism involved in naming a sky lion after summer.

They stared at her incredulously. Kyoko’s lips were pressed tightly into a line to reign in her laughter. Haru wasn’t even bothering with that, curling her face into her arms, fists banging against the table as she snorted into her elbow. Chrome gently pressed both hands to her mouth, as if to ward off a scathing correction from the part of her mind that may or may not be Mukuro.

Hana, deciding to have mercy on her senpai, or perhaps to spare everyone second hand embarrassment, said, “Say the stupid lion’s name five times quickly.”

Confused, but unconcerned, Tetsuki did just that. “NatsuNaTsuNaTsunaTsunaTsu–Oh my god!” She shrieked her realization, “It’s just his own name backwards!”

At that, Kyoko couldn’t stop herself and burst out laughing alongside Haru whose guffaws gained a renewed strength. Chrome, shaking her head in sympathy, gently patted Tetsuki’s shoulder in an attempt at comfort.

Hana could only face palm, despairing at the other women around the table.


A/N: Because I only realized belatedly that Natsu’s name is literally Tsuna backwards and I felt so ashamed I figure Tetsuki should also get to feel it too. And also, well, for all that she’s the “sensible” Guardian that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s observant. Rather, she’s almost hilariously unobservant and probably the only reason why she never falls for various lies/disguises is because she’s mistrustful not because she’s particularly clever.

Trailblazers drabble (2015-05-17)

Kyoko is, as ever, efficient in drawing others to her cause–whether it be healing or partaking in pastries. Perhaps this case could be considered both.

With Vongola’s, and the mafia as a whole, decline in crime so too is there a decrease in the need for the bloodier missions. Though the few that remain had always gone to the Lightning Guardian.

From the beginning, ever since they had known each other as children, Tetsuki-nee-chan had always tried to step in place of someone else. To bear their suffering in their stead. It was the way she had been raised, Kyoko knew, scraps of affection in exchange for withstanding emotional abuse and neglect.

The Sasagawa family tried, of course, Nii-chan always being there for his best friend and even their parents, absent minded as they were, always reassuringly welcoming. But Kyoko could not have been happier when Tetsuki-nee-chan had finally decided to leave that toxic environment for good.

During her more tiring days, Kyoko sometimes daydreams of sending one of Shamal-shishou’s disease mosquitos to the Kaizas… one of the more fatal ones, maybe. Or perhaps something uniquely tailored to match–leprosy for Toichi, so concerned with physical appearances, and narcolepsy for Fuyuko who had always embodied stalwart strength.

But that is not what her patient needs. Though, true, her motives are a little bit more selfish than that: It has been over a year since she had seen her Nee-chan for anything other than medical necessities or a brief passing in the halls of Vongola Mansion. Kyoko misses her.

And, really, Tetsuki-nee-chan’s BMI is worryingly low. She really does need to put on more weight.

Haru-chan, usually so engrossed in whatever latest project the scientists of R&D present to her like childish drawings to a beloved kindergarten teacher, breaks into a wide smile at the sight of the two of them. And when Kyoko invites her for some cake, Haru-chan easily delegates what looks to be a truly fabulous gauntlet of some sort to one of her pouting minions.

“It’ll be just like middle school!” Haru-chan unknowingly echoes, clapping her hands in glee, “Ooh, let’s see if Hana-chan and Chrome-chan are free to join us! And Bianchi-san. Maybe the children, too?”

“I don’t think Fuuta-kun, I-pin-chan, and Lambo-kun would appreciate being called children anymore,” Tetsuki-nee-chan says wryly, but gamely follows both of their leads.

Surprisingly, all of them are at Vongola Mansion. Unsurprisingly, they drop whatever they are working on to join the impromptu tea party. Kyoko is not the only one who misses Tetsuki.

Which is good. It means she will not be the only one working on helping her patient. After all, every good doctor needs a good team behind her.


A/N: Directly follows this drabble. Some background which probably no one is interested in… meh.

The Green Knight, Part 2 (2015-05-06)

In the three days counting down before she’s due in the United Kingdom, her friends begin crawling out of the woodwork. They want to speak to her, give her tips, give her more gadgets, get in some last minute sparring. Tsunayoshi-kun earnestly assures her that she doesn’t have to go, but he appreciates her willingness in improving alliance relations. Kyoko ever so politely requests a full-blown medical before she goes, monitoring her health with her newest legion of Vongola medics. The Secchione Sezione (“R&D! Italian isn’t even your native language!”), once they’ve let go of their grudge, ply her with the newest version of contact lenses, armor, and a less bulky container to store Yuzuru.

Even Kyouya-senpai deigns to visit the Vongola mansion and demand a fight before jetting back to Namimori. Truth be told, she would have preferred to see her fiancé one last time instead, but her and Tetsuya’s engagement has always been one of distance and enduring love. She handles her disappointment with grace.

Ryohei, perhaps getting back at all the times she’s teased him about dating Hana, sends Tetsuya several pictures of her pouting. He sends back a short video of him blowing a kiss–or at least he tries to, his pompadour makes selfies difficult–nonetheless it makes her laugh.

The evening before her flight she asks Spanner, regarding the contact lenses, “How strong is the video feed?”

Haru despairs of her insistence on brown lenses (“Why not green, to match your Flames?”), comprehending but not agreeing with why she would cover her pale grey eyes with such a normal color. Shouichi-kun still tends to develop stomach cramps if she hangs around for too long–a remnant from a mission for which he was her handler that neither of them will comment on. So Spanner, apathetic to the core, is the one that gets to field her questions.

“Pretty strong,” He answers noncommittally, before guessing where she’s trying to go with her question, “We have a few relays set up around Europe, so as long as they don’t whisk you away to a different continent we should be able to receive it here. And, as long as you’re powering it with Flames it’ll last you for months.”

The length of the Kingsman trials… provided she gets to the final round, of course.

“We’ll set your feed up on one of the 24-hour monitors,” He continues, his blasé tone contradicting his words.  

It’s a huge relief; something she didn’t really know she was worried about until he said it. She’s a little touched, too. Vongola only has three 24-hour monitors, manned constantly by rotating teams of handlers and on-call reinforcements. One of them is devoted solely to Tsunayoshi-kun (which used to get him flustered but, by this point, he’s become desensitized to his lack of privacy). The other two’s usage depends on what missions are out there, the more vital or dangerous ones taking precedence. The Kingsman trials are practically a training exercise with their allies, so she’s a little embarrassed that she had any concerns. Much less concerns so overt that her family are pulling out all the stops to reassure her.

“Thanks,” She says honestly, any doubts and hesitation gone. She’s a guardian of the Vongola Famiglia–and her family has her back.



This is a direct continuation of this post (which is, in and of itself, a distant sequel to this post).

The Green Knight, Part 1 (2015-05-05)

The thing about being a mafia assassin is that, once said mafia famiglia stops being a crime organization and starts being a vigilante group, the need for assassinations decreases significantly. She isn’t exactly out of a job, because technically she’s a Guardian, not just any run-of-the-mill assassin (though it could be argued that any assassin isn’t run-of-the-mill, much less one from Vongola, much less one of the Decimo’s guardians), but she does end up having a lot more free time on her hands.

It’s gotten to the point where even the Secchione Sezione (“We are R&D!”) are getting sick of her hanging around and offering to test out their latest and greatest gadgets. She’s also careful not to push too much of her luck with the Foundation. Though the members remain rather fond of her, Kyouya-senpai is still disdainful of any crowding.

She sighs gustily, sprawled out on Hayato-kun’s office sofa which is positioned so perfectly in sunbeam. Uri who, unsurprisingly, tolerates her more than he does his master, is similarly sprawled over the back of the sofa. Yuzuru, her own box weapon familiar, is coiled up in his smaller form on her stomach. At the ensuing silence, she sighs again. The figure at the desk twitches but says nothing.

“Don’t make me do it again,” She warns lazily, fingers tracing along Yuzuru’s smooth, scaly body. He reciprocates by flicking his tongue  along her wrist in a friendly manner.

“Tch, just because you don’t have any work doesn’t mean the rest of us are similarly blessed,” Hayato-kun half-heartedly grumbles, typing continuously.

“Surely there must be something I can do? I’m beginning to become superfluous. You’re going to have an excess of bored Lightning natureds if this keeps up,” She thinks about Lambo-kun who, though much better than he was seven years ago when they first met, is still a force of mayhem. While she’s not quite at that level, she’ll admit to having some destructive tendencies of her own.

Whether he’s thinking the same thing or not, it makes Hayato-kun pause, shudder, and finally look in her direction, “Haru and Spanner are being productive,” Technically, Haru and Spanner are both dual natured Lightning and Storm. But she gets what he’s trying to say.

“But they’ve always been part of Secchione Sezione–”

“–They prefer to be called R&D–”

“And plus, I’ve already been by to see if they’d like my help. And they just turned me away,” She sighs once more, lolling her head around the sofa. It’s a very nice sofa.

“Well if you’re that bored…” Hayato-kun begins, turning back to his screen and sending a file to her contact lenses. As computers, the contact lenses have minimal memory, more suited to operating the aiming system and relaying video feed to the Vongola network. But within the vicinity of said network, it can be used to share small files for convenience. Or out of laziness.

“The Kingsman?” She wouldn’t say their meeting with the Kingsman was a disaster, necessarily. It had certainly gone better than what she had either hoped or expected. But she was sure they were at the level of civility and courtesy rather than beginning to swap favors. Even though the file–more a missive, really, from the one they called Merlin–is entirely in English, her fourth language of fluency, she thinks she gets the gist of it, “Why do they want one of us to take their tests? Surely they know Vongola is going to take priority over anything from them,”

“It makes sense,” Hayato-kun argues with a shrug, “They don’t actually want us to be one of their agents, they want to see what our abilities are. Seeing how far a member of Vongola, Guardian or not, can get through their tests gives them a good approximation of our relative strength.”

It’s when Hayato-kun talks like this, frankly and freely, that makes her realize how much all of them have grown. Six years ago he would have been crowing about how any Vongola member would breeze through such a test; as if being part of Vongola, being part of Tsunayoshi-kun’s famiglia, somehow made a person invincible by proxy. And while the Hayato-kun of six years ago (then still Gokudera-kun) had been willing to speak of his own personal insecurities to her, he would have rather cut out his own tongue than say anything negative of Tsunayoshi-kun (then still Sawada-kun) or his inheritance.

“Ah, is that so?” She demurs, briefly, “What were you thinking of doing with the…” She pauses, unsure of how to phrase it, “… invite?”

“To be honest, I was going to refuse it. I considered sending one of the more combat focused of Shamal’s subordinates–”

“–Kyoko’s minions–”

“But better to not send anyone than give a poor showing. Or worse, reveal Flames to them. The alliance we have with them is still precarious, we don’t want to give them more than we need to,” He continues, disregarding her interjection.

“It’s for several months though, why not send Mukuro or Chrome? They haven’t been as active recently either,”

Hayato-kun looks at her flatly, almost edging towards disbelief, “Because the alliance we have with them is still precarious,” he repeats, “And we do actually want them to trust us.”

Considering how the Mist guardians’ missions usually end up… yeah. She sees his point.

“Does that mean you trust me?” She smiles teasingly.

“I trust you not to fuck up,” He bites back, though a hint of a blush creeps along his face, “And you’re bored. Prendere due piccioni con una fava,”

“If you say so,” She agrees mildly. Which only causes him to blush more.

“I’ll send a confirmation and have the details sent to you. Now get out of my office!”

Oh, Hayato-kun, still so easily flustered. But she decides not to push him, because he did just give her a reprieve from boredom. So she leaves, gently draping Yuzuru over one shoulder, from which he settles himself around her neck with familiarity. For his sake, she tries not have too much bounce in her step; but she can’t help it–she’s excited.



For context: POV character is my OC Lightning Guardian, Tetsuki Kaiza from Trailblazers, a KHR fic I’m maybe not actually writing. She’s a year older than Tsuna/Gokudera/Yamamoto/etc, the same age as Ryohei, and a year younger than Hibari.

Also, “Secchione Sezione” means Nerd Department/Section. The two words sound remarkably similar to me–though I don’t actually speak Italian–so I thought it’d be a teasing/informal way to call Vongola’s R&D. And “Prendere due piccioni con una fava” means “To catch two pigeons with one fava bean,” which is basically the Italian equivalent of “Kill two birds with one stone.”

Naruto, KHR, and Feminism Rant

Sometimes, I like to think about various shounen series–about their blatant sexism–and ponder ways to make it less so while still making sense in canon. In particular I think about Naruto and Katekyo Hitman Reborn, in part because those two are basic world states with glaring plot holes which can be filled in pretty easily without necessarily contradicting anything… and in part because those are two that I already kind of know.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts… in particular, the ones tagged (In)Difference or Trailblazers, you’ll see that they are, unsurprisingly, semi-Self Insert!Original Characters who are female. I try not to make them Mary Sues (though, the idea of a Mary Sue is steeped in sexism), but I definitely do tend to make them treatises of feminism into that respective shounen series.

In (In)Difference, my way of dealing with the sexism of Naruto–that is, literally less than 30% of the named characters are female. [The teams are literally designed that way–one jounin, three genin, and usually only one of those are female.] is by having a kunoichi-only program called “Nae-chan.”

The reasoning behind this is that, in canon, females tend to have smaller chakra reserves and better chakra control. Well, civilians have small chakra reserves and are always dismissed by ninja as insignificant. So Konoha has a program reserved for seemingly forgettable female students with small chakra reserves and high chakra control, “Nae-chan.” They become a hidden-in-plain-sight standing army. Women can go where men cannot… women can go unseen where men cannot. And civilian women are especially invisible.

In (In)Difference, my OC, Kiyoshi Utsugi actually wanted to be a Nae-chan so as not to accidentally interact with Naruto canon characters and make things worse. But her chakra reserves became too noticeable, her control just short of enough, and there were already enough candidates that she was superfluous. She spends a lot of time afterwards still wanting to be a Nae-chan, but eventually, grudgingly, makes peace with herself as the token kunoichi on a jounin-led team.

In Katekyo Hitman Reborn, everyone has Wave Energy and there are seven kinds of Wave Energies. It is canon that people can have different types of Wave Energies, via Hayato Gokudera who is predominantly Storm type but also has Rain, Lightning, Cloud, and Sun. So it is my belief that females tend to have mixed Wave Energies as well, but in more balanced ratios such that there is no predominant type. Because of this, females tend not to be “Guardians” because they can’t be shoehorned into just one type.

Similarly, in Trailblazers, my OC Tetsuki Kaiza has energy that doesn’t match my headcanon typical female levels. She is either purely or at least predominantly Lightning (maybe with some Mist or Cloud). It is canon (manga at least) that both Haru Miura and Kyoko Sasagawa have been shot by a Dying Will Bullet, so their Wave Energies have already been activated into Flames. According to beta canon (that is video/card games) Kyoko is Mist and Haru is Lightning. But it’s also canon that Flame types tend to run in families, and I highly doubt that Haru who loves children would allow for Lambo to fight for his life if she could step in. So I think Kyoko also has Sun, like her brother, and Haru has something else such that she’s not predominantly Lightning–I’m thinking Storm, actually. And for the hell of it, I also want to give Kyoko Rain as well.

In Trailblazers, Kyoko then becomes an apprentice to Shamal since she’s basically a walking surgery with Rain being anesthetic, Mist being surgical tools, and Sun being general healing. Haru, since she doesn’t need to step up to be Lightning Guardian, is more of an inventor–she already makes clothes and it’s canon that she’s ridiculously smart so why not mix the two? Since she is dragged along to the future, she sort of learns from Spanner who already has invented gloves, a cape, etc. But when they go back to the present, they’re more like partners. And so two of the more sexist characters of Katekyo Hitman Reborn who are themselves in feminine non-combatant roles of healing and creating are confronted by female characters who were sidelined into cooking and cleaning cheerleaders in canon.

Anyway, so those are just two ways to make a sexist shounen series somewhat less so. Rant done.