Going through my folders and posting what isn’t going to be finished or is dropped, so I can get it out for good and focus on what I do want to write.
Warnings for: born-a-female-Tsuna, mentions of attempted marital rape, forced marriages, drug-induced death and general mafia behavior.
Summary: Prior to
marrying Iemitsu, Nana was a very accomplished black widow. Tsuna
shouldn’t have to follow in her footsteps like this, but Vongola
has left her no choice in the matter. So she will have the mafia fear
her as she once feared them, and she will survive.
Prior to marrying Iemitsu, Nana Sawada
went under a different name, and was a very accomplished black widow.
She slipped poison in drinks and drugs where nobody would think to
look, put needle marks in skin and occasionally knives in the backs
of men who treated her like an object rather than a person.
Tsuna never wanted to learn such
lessons. She wanted her marriage, when it finally did happen, to be
the once-in-a-lifetime event her mother gushed about having with
Iemitsu. After the mafia came and ruined her life, she still clung to
feeble hopes that maybe she could still get that.
But it isn’t to be.
Timoteo intends to make a statement,
one way or another. Unfortunately, even if a woman should rule as
Decima, she must still have a husband. And Xanxus isn’t about to
touch the woman that froze him once upon a time. So he’s reached
out beyond Vongola to allied families, and they’ve sent their best
to him. And now he’s made a choice, and once again he’s forcing
it on her.
Tsuna can lie to everyone but herself;
she’s afraid. Terrified, in fact. The thought of a stranger
touching her makes her want to vomit. The thought of this man
breathing in her general vicinity makes her want to vomit, actually.
She shakes and quivers and hides beneath her bedcovers, and for once,
Reborn says nothing. He doesn’t scold her. He slides a mug of hot
chocolate topped with enough whipped cream to give her diabetes her
way, wordlessly tipping his hat down as he leaves the room. It
doesn’t take someone of Reborn’s calibre to know the man doesn’t
like this any more than she does. But he’s her tutor, not her
father (no matter how much she wishes otherwise some days), and so he
can only stand back and watch this trainwreck.
Maybe that’s why she confides in her
mother. Why when everyone is gone, Tsuna goes downstairs, starts to
speak, and then bursts into tears. Everything comes rushing out,
every lie about the mafia she’s ever told, and she begs her
mother’s forgiveness for the lies, and Nana gives it readily,
wrapping arms around her and letting her cry into a warm shoulder.
The tears eventually leave, and Nana sits her down, gets her a glass
of cold water, and begins to tell her a story.
It is not a nice story.
But it teaches Tsuna what she needs to
know to survive. Because Nana was once a prominent black widow that
nobody could ever track down. Her husbands died of natural causes -
all the autopsy reports say so - and while people had their
suspicions, there was no evidence for them to pin her with. And after
a time, she’d learned how to disguise herself, going from one
husband to the next.
Now she cups Tsuna’s small hands in
her own, and drops the mask she uses around everyone. “Tsunako, do
you want to learn how?”
Tsuna can’t say yes fast enough.
Her first husband dies to poison.
It’s tradition, her mother insists,
when she shows Tsunako had to make a clear, tasteless, odorless toxin
that’s practically untraceable once its inside the system. It’s
homegrown, and Nana is a perfectionist at teaching it. She has Tsuna
make batch after batch after batch until eventually she gets
everything perfect. And then she gets a dropper and begins to
administer one drop to Tsunako a day.
One drop doesn’t kill her. It makes
her feel like shit, but she muscles through it, because a true poison
user is protected against whatever they brew. Bianchi is the same way
- she can eat whatever she makes and the poison won’t kill her or
even make her queasy. Nana is immune to whatever toxins she injects
into the veins of others, and eventually Tsuna will be too. They have
time - the wedding isn’t due for a while, and nobody is going to
force her and her husband together until then.
Tsuna sees Reborn watching them, once,
but he vanishes too quickly for her to ask him if he’s going to
tell anyone what she’s doing. She doesn’t ask afterward, because
there’s a look in his eyes that’s… proud. It makes her feel
warm, and when he drills her on her lessons later on, she doesn’t
complain, driven by her twin desires to survive what’s coming, and
make the man that has become her father in so many ways proud.
Spring passes into summer, and the
wedding is held. People flock from all over to see it, and Tsuna is
dressed to the nines and sent out at the alter. Her husband is a
tall, weedy-looking young man who looks far too smug. She hates him
at once, and his oily touch doesn’t remedy that.
The poison is not in his drink, but in
her lipstick, and when they kiss (him pressing far too close, too
hard, disgusting) she feels a sense of predatory satisfaction.
The next morning she wakes up and screams, which brings the bodyguard
outside the door running. She plays the part of the horrified wife,
discovering her husband’s cold, lifeless body in bed. They rush the
body away, and bring her to Reborn to keep her safe while they go
question guests and comb through the drinks menu.
Reborn eyes her fingernails, but his
eyes flicker upwards when she taps her lip in pretend thought.
There’s a ghost of a smile across his face, but it fades once the
door opens and Timoteo enters, looking both furious and terrified. He
questions her if she feels ill, or if anything felt off at the
wedding. She answers no to both, wringing her hands and playing up
the ‘Dame-Tsuna’ act to full effect. It works, and the old man
“You’ve been hanging around Bianchi
too much,” Reborn murmurs, not moving his lips, and Tsuna has to
bite her own to hold back her return of its not Bianchi I’ve
been spending so much time with lately, but you already know that.
The death is passed off as a heart
attack a week later when no results come up showing foul play. Tsuna
doesn’t even get to play the widow in mourning before Timoteo’s
given her another husband, this time in the form of a 40 something
lech that’s like every old man out of a hentai. The old man gropes
her and laughs too loudly and tries to sneak a hand up her dress to
cop a feel, but Tsuna smacks his hand away and smiles the same smile
her mother does at home even as her stomach rolls and her anger burns
a hole through her heart.
He tries to take her no less than four
separate time against various walls, each time growing more and more
impatient and annoyed when Tsuna darts away. The poison is in her
nails this time, and when he finally grabs her too hard she scratches
him ‘on accident’ and then demands he leave her alone, she
doesn’t want to be touched. She closes herself off in her room and
locks the door. Her new husband pounds on it and snarls demands, but
she puts her headphones on and ignores him until eventually he gives
up and goes away.
This poison is far more slow-acting,
and it doesn’t strike until early the next morning during
breakfast. Bianchi and Reborn have taken her out to a nearby cafe for
breakfast, citing ‘comfort food in these troubling times and a
female shoulder to cry on’. In reality Bianchi wants to know her
methods and trade tips, and Reborn pays for a tiny cake and
congratulates her on finding sneaky solutions to her problems.
“I thought you’d go running off and
tell Timoteo,” she confesses to her tutor. Reborn gives her a look.
“I’ve been around this business
long enough to know how these things go, Tsuna. Trust me, I don’t
judge you one iota for what you’re doing. But you should probably
change your methods here shortly.”
She nods, having already planned to use
a needle on whoever the unfortunate third soul is. They finish
breakfast and head home, laughing and talking about whatever strikes
their fancy, and when they arrive home its to a Timoteo that looks
far older than before. “Grandfather? What’s wrong?”
He gives her a pitying look.
“There’s… there’s been another death, my dear.”
She drops to her knees in shock,
Bianchi by her side instantly, hooking an arm around her shoulders
and murmuring comforting words as she ‘helps’ Tsunako up.
Reborn’s face is shadowed, but Tsuna can see the sparkle in his
eyes from her position. “What happened?” she asks in what she
hopes is the right tone of voice.
Later, Reborn toasts her in the privacy
of the bedroom, and Bianchi congratulates her on another job well
done. This death is passed off as a choking accident, as apparently
the man had been shoving as much food in his gullet as possible when
the poison had kicked in. Nobody had managed to get to him in time to
prevent the ‘choking’, which just made the victory all the
Abandoned Ironbridge Power Stations, Shropshire, West Midlands (UK). Project architect Alan Clark worked closely with landscape architect Kenneth Booth, to ensure that the station merged as seamlessly as possible into its natural surroundings. [2048x1365]