Red Crystal - Reload
Summary: Red Crystal AUAU/companion fic/sequel. Tsunayoshi of the Vongola picks a different choice and decides to be perfectly honest with Enma from the start.
Note: much, much shorter than Red Crystal. This is a Red Crystal AUAU, companion fic and sequel all in one. And I’d really appreciate it if you go read Red Crystal before this one. It’s not just because of Selfish, Evil Author Needs, but also because there are parts that are merely mentioned/summarized that are explained in more detail in RC, descriptions, mainly. Descriptions that hold hints towards other aspects of the ‘verse. So, yeah, it’s better to read RC first.
And again, sorrynotsorry.
WARNING: Completely AU, Fantasy AU, Not A Happy Ending, FEELS, CRYING, There Is A Kiss (In An Emotionally-Charged Not-Actually Romantic Context), Is This What They Call Hurt No Comfort? *Shrugs*, Shameless Self-Indulgence, Fic Told In Titled Segments.
Disclaimer: Don’t own KHR.
Tsuna stood in front of the cushioned pedestal proudly displaying a red crystal on top of it.
He observed the crystal as he deliberated.
He had a choice to make and he hated it, hated its heavy weight on his shoulder, hated its implication and what it meant.
His hand went out to gingerly trace the surface of the crystal before he carefully cradled it to his chest.
He had a choice to make, between sending Enma off to Shimon island and letting him wake up there, cutting off all ties except the ones necessary to enable the two of them of closing the doors- and letting Enma out, right now, and telling him everything.
The thrum of life in the crystal sent a spark through Tsuna’s Fire, turning him both warm and cold, digging up aching memories of blood, heavy bodies and empty eyes, memories of Enma lying on the ground, bloodied and unmoving.
Tsuna shook his head to forcibly get rid of the image and refocused on the crystal with its warmth, Enma was here, Enma was alive still, and Tsuna was going to be honest with him about the situation, no matter the cost, no matter how much being close to Enma again would hurt later when the two would inevitably separate.
Tsuna walked towards the couch in the room and carefully laid the crystal on it before putting his hand on top of the crystal and pushing both his Soul Fire and Spirit Core into it.
The crystal glowed, expanding and stretching across the couch before receding, leaving a young man in its wake.
Tsuna’s breath hitched in his throat as he raked his eyes over Enma’s form; he had grown taller, skin only a bit on the pale side and figure only slightly thin.
Tsuna’s shaky fingers unbuttoned the shirt Enma was wearing and almost cried at the sight of his chest: there were no scars.
Tsuna’s breath whooshed out of his chest and a heavy weight toppled from his shoulder. He had worried- despite the many reassurances he heard from the others that it wouldn’t be so- that the healing coma wouldn’t provide Enma’s body with its needs, that Enma’s growth would be stunted.
(The fact that the scars were gone too was a bonus)
(It had been five years and Tsuna missed him.)
Tsuna restrained himself from just dropping, boneless from relief, on top of Enma and busied himself with rebuttoning Enma’s shirt.
And right on time, too, as Enma stirred into wakefulness not a moment later, his eyes blinked as he opened them and looked around him in confusion before he propped himself to a sitting position.
Tsuna tried to subtly put himself back together, at least for the mean time.
Enma’s eyes then landed on Tsuna and stared at him, looking deep into Tsuna’s eyes.
There were only the briefest hints of recognition in Enma’s eyes, and his entire expression belied his confusion.
Enma’s eyes then glazed over and he stopped breathing, his Core fluctuating in distress. Tsuna flared his Soul Fire in response, snapping Enma back to the present.
“Have we met before?” Enma spoke, voice shaky and hoarse and looking like the answer may make or break him.
So, memory problems? That was okay, Tsuna could handle it. Probably.
“Yes.” Tsuna answered before he could second guess himself.
“When?” Enma’s hands shot out and tightly grabbed Tsuna’s, looking urgently into his eyes.
“We met when we were kids,” Tsuna spoke in a soothing tone, his expression soft, “My mother was born and raised in your hometown and she took me to visit it often, that’s how we met.”
“My hometown?” Enma murmured, his Core fluctuating again for few moments before he (unconsciously, Tsuna assumed) forcibly reined it in, his grip tightening for a moment, “It’s gone, everyone’s gone everyone is dead!” Enma hissed.
Tsuna did not respond, letting Enma continue, “You lived. I… I survived?” Enma’s frowned in confusion, as if he couldn’t comprehend the fact.
“Yes.” Tsuna inhaled, might as well tell Enma before he chickened out and diverted the topic to something else, “It was a very close thing. You were gravely injured and we had to put you in a healing coma. You just woke up.”
Enma suddenly leaped to his feet, one hand letting go of Tsuna’s to hesitantly hover over Tsuna’s chest, “You weren’t hurt, were you?”
Tsuna gathered his courage to clasp Enma’s free hand in his own, “No, I wasn’t.” Tsuna pondered whether he should say more on the topic, almost deciding on moving on before he caught the look in Enma’s eyes- desperate, begging, craving a confirmation, “You protected me, I came out of the town practically unscathed.”
Enma let go of Tsuna and dropped to the couch, shoulders sagging and sighing in what appeared to be relief.
Tsuna reached his hands under his shirt and pulled out the small bag that he kept hanging on a string around his neck, he then gave the bag to Enma.
Enma took the bag absentmindedly, opening it without conscious thought. He put the bag in his lap and rummaged through it; the moment his hand came into contact with the contents of the bag, he snapped into attention and carefully spilled the contents into his lap.
An assortment of crystals in varying shapes, sizes and colors tumbled into view and Enma’s breath hitched.
Tsuna averted his eyes, refusing to see Enma’s reaction.
“Tsuna.” Enma’s voice was brittle, Tsuna stubbornly refused to look back at Enma no matter how tempting it was given that he hadn’t told Enma his name after he woke up which meant that Enma remembered his name!
“Tsuna, please, look at me.” Enma sounded so small and on the verge of tears and Tsuna couldn’t keep his eyes averted.
When he looked at Enma, he saw him gingerly cradling the shining, orange, drop-shaped crystals.
Tsuna was suddenly very aware of the bandages wrapped around his left forearm and carefully hidden under the sleeve of his shirt.
“Tsuna… why?” Enma seemed at a loss for words.
Tsuna opened his mouth to answer, but nothing came out, not that he expected it to. He hadn’t gathered enough courage to confess about the orange crystals. He sighed and reached for his Priest robes thrown over the back of the couch and draped them over his left arm while trying to act casual, “It’s getting late. Come on, you need to go to sleep. We’ll talk later.”
Enma gathered the crystals back in the bag and clutched it tightly.
“Keep the bag, I had it prepared for you,” Tsuna said over his shoulder and walked towards where the Soul Fire-locked secret entrance in the hidden library room was and touched it with his own, causing the floor to vanish partially in one corner of the room and show a staircase going down.
Tsuna gestured for Enma to go down first before following him and returning the entrance to its previous form.
Tsuna led Enma to the sleeping quarters and escorted him to the room that was going to be his for as long as he was staying, and then gestured to the door on the room’s left, “That’s my room. You can come over if you need anything.”
Enma nodded mutely and entered the room, closing the door behind him.
Tsuna sighed, tired; things could have definitely gone better.
(Pros of assigning Enma the room next to his: Tsuna got to keep Enma close in case of emergencies. Cons: the walls weren’t thick enough to block out the sounds of Enma’s muffled sobbing.)
In the Dust
Enma holed himself up in his assigned room throughout the next few days, only coming out when Tsuna coaxed him out for necessities like food and water. Not that Tsuna blamed him; Tsuna, unlike Enma, had years to come to terms with the great loss he suffered when Shimon town was attacked and everyone except him and Enma were killed, Enma missed five years of his life and was just waking up in a world that he only half-remembered (if that).
Enma looked horrible whenever Tsuna saw him; pale with blood-shot eyes and bags under his eyes.
He started to look better by the fourth day and even spoke a bit with Tsuna.
Tsuna was immensely grateful.
“Where are we?” Enma asked as he gently rolled one of the orange crystals in his hands.
“Vongola head quarters,” Tsuna answered promptly, putting down the book on seals he’d studied forward, backward and sideways many times through the last five years, “They’re directly under the Sky Temple, they lead to the offices on the surface, but that building is more of a cover. The main members stay here along with the dock for our ship.”
“The Sky Temple? You work as a Priest there, right?” Enma gestured to Tsuna’s Priest robe, which Tsuna had left next to him given that he was in Vongola head quarters.
“Yes. Why do you ask?”
Enma hesitated for a moment before asking, “Is it possible for me to join too? Even though my Soul Fire isn’t from the Sky Spectrum?”
“Yes, you can. The diversity would actually be a good thing. A balance between the Sky Spectrum and Earth Spectrum is something we need. And since the Shimon are gone, that leaves you the only person capable of providing the other side of the scale. I’ll take you to Xanxus to handle the details.”
“He’s the Head Priest?”
Tsuna hesitated, wondering if he should tell the truth or not, before he berated himself- he’d promised himself to be honest with Enma, “I am. But I won’t be around for much longer and he’s already stepping up to some of the Head Priest duties to succeed me once I leave.”
Enma searched his face before averting his eyes, his gaze landed on Tsuna’s book, “Is it because of the doors?”
Tsuna’s silence was enough of an answer.
“You need two people to close them, one from the inside and one from the outside.” Enma sighed before he stood up and walked over to sit next to Tsuna and grab onto his hands, “You’re going to go close it from the outside?”
“You’re going to be locking yourself out.”
“I’m going to help you then. Seal the doors from the inside. I remember I did it before a couple of times. It’s true that I did it for practice and under supervision but I’ll do my best to help you out.”
Tsuna freed one hand as he smiled bitterly and reached for the book, “I guess we’ll be practicing together.”
Enma tentatively smiled back, just as bitterly.
The days spent studying sealing together flew by too fast for Tsuna’s tastes.
There was so much he wanted to tell Enma, so many things he wanted to do with Enma, to compensate for the five years of separation, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t be selfish, not when they had a weak point that could easily be exploited.
The Walls surrounding the Sanctuary were there for a reason, and their doors were left open for five years.
There was no room for delay; Enma still remembered the seals needed to seal the doors from the inside and didn’t need much practice in setting them up, all the loose ends he had to tie up were handled and Xanxus had already took up position as both Head Priest of the Sky Temple and the current head of the Vongola, and the medicine Tsuna needed to deal with the flashes he had whenever he stepped foot in Shimon town was prepared (he even had another dose for Enma, just in case).
Xanxus personally manhandled him to the ship and let him drop to the floor next to Enma, who responded by throwing an arm around Tsuna’s shoulders and squeezing.
Tsuna exhaled, put his face in his hands and carefully pulled himself together. When he raised his head again, he looked at Enma with a steely expression, “It’s time.”
Enma stared back at him with a similar expression, and Tsuna felt himself relax and tense up in equal measures.
(Tsuna suddenly wished he could go back in time, to a time before the attack on the Shimon happened, and maybe, maybe, he could have made it so that he wouldn’t have to force others into sacrifices they had no choice in.)
Every step he took into the island felt like another step he took to his execution.
(Everything hurt, and Tsuna didn’t want to do it anymore, except he had to. If he didn’t, there would be more towns like Shimon town, more survivors like him and Enma, and he couldn’t let that happen.)
(Even Enma taking the vial of medicine from him and drinking it without question hurt.)
His friends sped up ahead of him and through the doors to Beyond the Walls and waiting for him there, giving him some time alone with Enma.
Enma pulled out the tools he needed and started working on the seals. Tsuna observed him, careful to engrave every stroke and edge into his memory so that he could successfully replicate them on the other side.
After Enma finished with the seals and bandaged his hands, he stood and turned to Tsuna, “Hey, Tsuna, there is something I want to give you, if you don’t mind.”
Tsuna merely cocked his head to the side in response. Enma walked towards him and cradled Tsuna’s face in his hands before bringing their faces close and sealed their lips together in a long, chaste kiss.
After they separated, Enma reached into his pocket and pulled out a small bag, “Here.” He pushed the bag into a shocked Tsuna’s hands.
Tsuna tore his eyes away from Enma’s face and inspected the bag, his fingers taking out a couple of glowing, red, drop-shaped crystals.
Tsuna inhaled sharply and was about to talk when Enma interrupted, “Keep them with you, please. I didn’t do it because you did the same, but because I wanted to give you at least something that could be of use to you.” With that said, Enma gently turned Tsuna in the direction of the doors and gave him a small push, “Go.”
Tsuna walked stiffly to the doors and stepped to the Beyond before he turned around and locked eyes with Enma, refusing to break eye-contact until the doors closed completely.
Tsuna dropped to the ground and numbly bandaged his bleeding hands as orange crystals spread across the doors in an intricate web, sealing it on Tsuna’s side.
Just like it was most definitely sealed on Enma’s side.
Tsuna curled his hands into fists, pressed them against his closed eyes and screamed.