Cross Post: Trailblazers, Bright and Bold, Varia Arc drabble (2016-01-18) [2]

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 drabble in particular is set during the Varia arc, specifically before the actual ring battles, but after Tetsuki has had some training from actual mafioso/mafiosa. Unlike the others, she did not have a specific teacher for herself and, more over, they tried to make her learn a new weapon (kusari-fundo) given that her aikido and archery aren’t exactly conducive to a one on one battle against an assassin.

Needless to say, she is rather displeased with all the mafia nonsense intruding on her life.]]


When she enters the Sawada household for the first time, she is not happy: not with what she sees and not with herself.

In the middle of the living room floor is Sawada Iemitsu, passed out drunk in only his boxers. Sawada Nana looks resigned, but ignores his body with a determination that would be admirable applied to anything else; the only give away is the slight wrinkle in her forehead as she smiles.

Sawada-kun, though… Tetsuki’s angry at herself, but this isn’t about her. This is about the kid who she clearly doesn’t know enough about, but will be risking her life to fight beside.

“Kaiza-senpai, w-what are you doing here?” He’s pained to see her, only because he’s starkly aware of the spectacle in his living room. The corners of his eyes are tense, for all that they’re wide with surprise. Rather than his usual twitchiness, his hands clench and unclench into fists. He’s not embarrassed, not like his mother. He’s angry.

To judge you, she doesn’t say, to figure out if you are worth my life and Ryohei’s life and Lambo’s life and your friends’ lives.

“To take you and the kids out for a little bit of fun. Ryohei extremely forgot to ask you and your friends if you wanted to join us, and he and Kyoko are still getting ready,” Or at least, that’s what Ryohei better say after he receives the text message she’ll send as soon as Sawada-kun turns his back, “Are Yamamoto-kun and Gokudera-kun free today? I know they’ve been training pretty hard, too. Where are Fuuta, I-pin, and Lambo?”

“Aah, I don’t know. I’ll call and ask them. And the kids are upstairs,” as far away from his drunken father as possible, he doesn’t need to add.

“Please excuse me, Sawada-kun,” she murmurs to him as she goes upstairs without permission. Meanwhile, she shoots off a quick text to Kyoko, because Ryohei never checks his phone and the best way to get a message to him is to send it to Kyoko.

The set up of the second floor is simple enough to guess where the kids are, but the high voices ringing out from behind one door helps.

She knocks, and the voices immediately hush, so she calls out, “Hello? It’s Tetsuki, the rest of us are going to…” have to think of something “… the park and for a fun day out,” The door opens to show three eager faces, “and I wanted to know if you’d like to join us.”

“What kind of fun day?” Lambo demands, yelling over I-pin’s quiet but cheerful greeting, while Fuuta apologizes. “Sorry, we thought you were Sawada-san… um, Iemitsu-san.”

“That’s okay, Fuuta-kun” Smart kid, “Well, I’m not sure yet, Lambo-kun, but we can all decide together at the park.”

“Shouldn’t you be training? The Ring Battles are important,” Damn Reborn. She can feel her shoulders tense from just his voice and it doesn’t go away even when she spots him in his hammock.

“Taking a break can be beneficial, we need time to rest. Otherwise we’ll be too tired when we fight for our lives,” She tries not to glare at him, because that would just be asking for trouble, but something must show on her face because he just smirks, the smug little jerk, and flips his fedora down.

“Gokudera and Yamamoto said they’ll meet us at the park in thirty minutes,” Tsuna edges his way into the room as well, Fuuta’s smile growing.

“Is everyone ready to go?” Because she’d prefer not to stay here for much longer.

~then I guess they [the sasagawas, the kids, her, yamamoto, gokudera, and tsuna, maaaaybe dino and bianchi and haru] go to the park and have a day out? go to takesushi afterwards? and before it’s time for everyone to go home, she sort of manipulates the yamamoto’s into letting the already-asleep lambo and i-pin to stay there and possibly tsuna but tsuna says that no, i should go home, my mom will be worried. then tetsuki walks him home where they talk, he says thanks and sorry she says thanks and sorry, she shares her own terrible-parent sob-story, she assures him for the first time that he’ll be great.~


[[A/N: As you can see from the ending, I did have a little more planned for this particular drabble in order to make it a whole scene. It’s meant to be the turning point of Tetsuki choosing to become a Guardian rather than being dragged into it by dint of being Ryohei’s best friend. Before this scene, Tetsuki is angry at Tsuna for endangering the Sasagawas (and Kusakabe) and Namimori as a whole by bringing the dangerous mafia world to them; but here she sees that he really is just another victim of the whole situation.

She still hates Reborn’s guts, though.]]

Trailblazers drabble (2016-01-06)

(Stolen Thunder)

The thing about the Ten Year Bazooka is that it pulls a person from a future, not the future. There are branches in the universe, and while the time space continuum is elastic, there still exist some limitations. That is why the Ten Year Bazooka has such a short usage, and why it doesn’t have a high demand.

For most members of the mafia, being switched with a decade older version of themselves wasn’t an advantage, especially if there was no timeline specific intel to be reaped. Ten years later would mean ten years passed their prime–slower reflexes and aching injuries, the casualties of age–or worse: dead.

And so the Ten Year Bazooka was a novelty, an interesting gadget at most. The kind of thing one would show off at a science convention, not use in actual combat.

Unless you are a child.

To a child, ten years is a lot. Ten years means a bigger body and greater knowledge, it means being taken seriously. As a person, as a threat. As a Guardian.

Lambo knows a lot about being dismissed. It’s been that way his entire life. Indulged but ultimately ignored by the Bovino family, barely tolerated and relegated to the side by Vongola–a child trying to play catch up with teenagers, a teenager trying to stand his ground among grown ups. Lambo’s existence has always been one of almost but not quite enough.

But at least it was never so literally.

“Tetsuki Kaiza,” Lambo murmurs to himself, five minutes after a past version of himself used the bazooka, sending a teenager to deal with consequences of his childish temper tantrum. Instead he found a girl who defended him from Reborn’s irritation, a girl with green Lightning flames sparking at her fingertips, a Vongola Guardian ring on a chain around her neck.

A girl, he finds out later, who does not exist in this world.

Or, rather, existed only for a short time.

He researches–this timeline is thankfully peaceful, and so he has the opportunity–and tracks down the girl who would have been Lightning Guardian to a cemetery outside Namimori. Japanese gravestones do not have dates on them, but they do have names: the deceased, of course, and in bright, living red, their still living family members.

It’s telling that the two names in red are above the one that brought Lambo here–parents, Fuyuko and Toichi.

The caretaker has been in charge of this cemetery for years–definitely over two decades–and has a keen memory. He’s also talkative, more so with a tidy sum of cash, and has no problem telling even a foreign teenager about the sad story of little Tetsuki Kaiza.

Little Tetsuki Kaiza who had been kidnapped after her first day of kindergarten and held hostage by the yakuza for two weeks before finally being killed. Apparently, her parents hadn’t paid the ransom.

Supposedly, they hadn’t even been in the country to receive the demands.

Fuyuko Kaiza was a professor of some sort–constantly invited overseas for lectures–while Taichi had been a popular athlete; or an actor, maybe a musician. He’d been something popular. Back then, anyway. Both of them terribly successful in their careers, until their terrifying failure as parents came to light.

Of course, they’d tried to salvage what they could. Bought a nice gravestone, made large donations towards Namimori’s police force which had undergone a shocked, upheaval of their own. Little Tetsuki Kaiza, such a sad story.

Lambo thanks the man, even though his throat is sour with a whirlwind of thoughts.

Maybe that’s why three seemingly civilian teenagers from a tiny town in Japan would become Guardian’s of the strongest mafia family in the world. An entire generation of school kids shaped into weapons. Protect yourself, because adults can fail. Become strong, so as not to become prey. Don’t end up like Tetsuki Kaiza.

“Yasuraka ni nemure,” Lambo says to the gravestone of a little girl twenty years dead, “Riposi in pace,” he says to the lost, potential Lightning Guardian.

This timeline is peaceful, true, but Lambo is mafioso born and bred–Family is important, dead or alive. He has at least two people upon whom he can enact revenge and a lead for more to follow.

Maybe his fellow Guardians will want to join him.


A/N: One of my ultimate truths for Tetsuki Kaiza, no matter which iteration of her I am writing, is that she never lives beyond age 25. And those are in the lives that I’m actually writing about–in such universes like KHR, where it’s canon that there are alternate timelines, various versions of Tetsuki Kaiza never live long enough to actually become Tsuna’s Lightning Guardian.

I didn’t know how to fit it in, but basically, as more teenage Lambos get summoned to the “past,” interact with Tetsuki, then get shunted back into their present with a burning need to figure out who the hell this other Lightning Guardian is, more Tetsukis’ pasts get revealed. Sometimes, she dies in something less dramatic–a car accident, maybe. Sometimes she was never even in Namimori (her parents settled down–or attempted to settle down–elsewhere and she died there). Sometimes, she lives a completely separate life from the mafia but still somehow ends up dead before age 25 (and, thus, before teenage Lambo can actually meet her).

The Green Knight, Part 10 (2015-07-21)

The next few weeks are somehow boring considering she’s participating in the recruitment of a secret vigilante spy agency. Well, perhaps boring isn’t the right term, more like… lackluster. She admits that most of it’s her own fault–she’s been tuning out during the verbal parts of the various lessons–part of it because, again, language barrier, but if she’s going to be honest it’s also just because she doesn’t care.

She’s not actually in the running to become a Kingsman knight, so a lot of the lectures just… don’t apply. And anyway, especially with both contacts in, Vongola can record whatever they want of her transmission and analyze it for later. There’s no audio aspect–though apparently Shouichi-kun is working on modifying Haru’s rather embarrassing cat-ear headbands into something more… discrete–but they probably have a lip-reader in Vongola… maybe. They could probably add it to Lambo’s near-infinite list of linguistic talents.

But, yeah, the talking. She let’s it fly over her head. The physical aspects are easy enough to mimic from the other candidates around her–especially with Nathaniel’s well-meaning hovering–and even if her specialties are archery and kusari-fundo, Vongola’s not going to have an assassin that doesn’t know how to use guns. Or knives. Or explosives.

The point is, it’s all stuff she doesn’t need to know or already knows, so it’s boring.

Even the sparring is kind of dull; most of the recruits are from the British military and trained in the same combat styles maybe some private training mixed in like university-level fencing or wrestling. The only exceptions being herself and Jamal, who fights better in enclosed spaces, using walls and fences like the ground just happened to be vertical, pulling in close to his opponents so they have less space to maneuver.

In contrast, she prefers distance. Which, well, made sense considering she was a mid to long range fighter. But even with hand-to-hand combat, she’s better with distance. It may sound strange considering her short reach and the fact that hand-to-hand combat implies closeness, but maybe that’s why. For her, it was either a last resort, or it was intimate.

Either an enemy had somehow made it past her other defenses and needed to be taken out immediately… or it was her and Ryohei as children, eagerly showing off what they had learned from their separate martial arts clubs, or it was her teaching Kyoko and Haru how to defend themselves, or it was her playing around with Kyoko’s trainees, helping to mould the new Vongola into one that wouldn’t need an assassin for a Guardian.

Which, probably explained why she did what she did.

“Morto,” she murmurs, just as the side of her hand touches her opponent’s neck. Then she pulls it back and darts away before his punch comes anywhere near her.

Then she goes back in, deflecting his arm with a punch to the elbow, before resting her other fist against his chest lightly. “Morto,” she says again, then retreats once more.

She continues to do this for another three taps, enraging her opponent further, until Merlin decides to put him out of his misery.

“Disengage,” he says, unnecessarily, since there’s already several yards between the two fighters.

Her opponent, near nonvocal with fury, kind of… growls in her direction. Which, considering the people she works with on a daily basis, is so nonthreatening that she can’t help the smirk.

“Peter, if you would control your temper,” Merlin admonishes before turning to her, “Azuma-san, I expected you’d have the courtesy to be serious,” he says, so stoically that she can’t help but let the smirk drop.

Then, she gets angry.

Her Dying Will Flame, much like her fellow Guardians’, was triggered by a Dying Will Bullet from Reborn’s gun. Her regret had been that she had allowed him to shoot her. Her Flames do not appear to protect, or from enthusiasm, or from confidence. They appear when she’s angry. Specifically, when she’s angry at men patronizing her.

Merlin does not get to be disappointed in her. She was holding back but she wasn’t mocking. She holds back because–“This is what happens when I’m serious,” she says, striding next to the rows of punching bags hanging in the gym. Kingsman has a very well-stocked facility, beyond top of the line equipment, made to withstand the peak human strength of their very fit knights and recruits. The heavy bags are made of the same bullet resistant fabric as their very dapper suits.

But Lightning sharpens, hardens. She is not like Lambo who has enough Flames to harden the very air into a shield. She cannot spark a series of explosions to ignite an entire room, or create entire fantastical and physical worlds in seconds. But what she can do is enough.

With Flame enhanced fingertips, she jabs in. No extra force from her hips or abdomen, just shoulder and arm and mystical internal energy. She makes it all the way through, beyond her elbow even. When she tugs her arm out, sand trickles from the gaping hole.

When the haze of angry green falls away from her vision, she sees the shocked faces of her fellow candidates. The wondering gleam in Merlin’s eyes.

“Morto,” she repeats, and smiles.


A/N: Back again!

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.”