A Scratched Record

Kyouko and Haru meet Uni as she’s introduced to Tsuna, and get a shock. Drama, I-3

Pairing(s): Kyouko/Tsuna

Kyouko pressed a hand to her lips as Tsuna stared at their visitors.

"She’s… dead?" Tsuna repeated, softly.

Gamma’s mouth tighted and he nodded silently. "I hoped it wouldn’t…" he swallowed whatever he had been going to say and drew a slow breath. "Her daughter is the boss of Giglio Nero, now." He opened his hand at the girl standing next to him, watching them all quietly.

Tsuna swallowed himself, looking a little sick. "Is that really… I mean, a child…"

Gamma straightened and repeated, flatly, "She is our boss."

The girl tipped her head, regarding Tsuna, and smiled. "Hello." She stepped forward, light and easy, drawing all eyes to herself. "I’m Uni. I’m very pleased to meet the Vongola boss."

Tsuna’s eyes were dark, but he managed to smile back at her. "Hello, Uni. I’m glad to meet you, too." He sat back and sighed. "If there’s anything we can do for you…" he trailed off, eyes going back to Gamma.

Kyouko swore the girl’s mouth quirked as she slipped to the side, letting the two men focus on each other again.

"We don’t need men, but a Vongola presence at some negotiations coming up would probably be wise," Gamma admitted, gaze checking Uni before settling on Tsuna.

Kyouko kept half an ear on their planning as she stepped forward herself, but only half. The least she could do for Unità’s daughter was offer some comfort while her Guardian was occupied with business. She held out both hands. "Hello, Uni; and welcome. I’m Kyouko. I knew your…" her voice faltered as the girl turned and she met dark, knowing eyes, deeper than any child’s should be. Eyes she recognized. "…mother…?"

Haru slipped up beside them. "Kyouko?"

Uni blinked and then smiled, a flicker of mischief showing through the darkness of her eyes. She held a finger to her lips. Stunned, Kyouko just nodded.

It wasn’t possible. Gamma himself had said Unità was dead.

Uni came and took Kyouko’s hands, looking up at her intently. "It’s all right," she said, softly.

"But how…?"

Haru was frowning now; she turned a little to place herself between their conversation and the men’s. "Kyouko? What’s wrong?" She glanced sharply between the two of them.

Uni smiled at her wryly. "I suppose it would have been smarter for me to be introduced while you weren’t here, but I don’t imagine Kyouko would have kept anything from her right hand anyway."

Haru stared. Kyouko couldn’t blame her. That was, from words to tone to the tilt of the head, what Unità might have said to them.

Abruptly Haru’s mouth snapped shut and her eyes narrowed. "Your necklace," she murmured, as if casually. "Is it your rememberance of your mother?"

The quirk to Uni’s mouth turned a bit sour. "Exactly."

Kyouko looked down at the pendant, puzzled. She’d seen it once or twice before, though Unità usually wore it under her clothes. It was an odd shape, she remembered…

And then her heart nearly stopped as she really looked at it for the first time.

"Exactly," Uni repeated, smile just a little sad, now.

Kyouko drew a slow breath. "That’s a very personal thing, of course," she murmured.

"Thank you." The rueful twist was back in Uni’s lips. "My Family sees the body, so this doesn’t usually occur to them."

Kyouko looked up at Gamma and suddenly frowned. His face was drawn tight and there were shadows under her eyes. She looked down at Uni again, disapproving.

The not-girl sighed. "I know. I do my best to show their hearts that I’m not gone." She touched the orange pacifier briefly. "But for the ones who love me like he does… I would be lost to them just as much if they knew. I believe, I hope, it’s a little simpler for them this way." Wetness gleamed in her eyes for a breath before she blinked and it was gone.

Kyouko bit her lip. She wasn’t at all sure that was really the best way, but it was Uni’s Family and Uni’s choice. She considered the slim girl with the old eyes standing in front of her, and the nearly visible cord of awareness running between Uni and Gamma, and sighed. "I’m sorry." She opened her arms, the way she did for Haru when she got back from doing something she refused to talk about.

Uni looked up, child-wide eyes suddenly unguarded. And then she stepped forward and buried herself in Kyouko’s arms. Kyouko held her tight and gave no sign that she felt the tiny tremors or the faint hitch of Uni’s breath.

Gamma and Tsuna both fell silent a moment to look over at them with open relief. Kyouko smiled back at them, serenely, stroking Uni’s straight, soft hair.

If her smile turned a little sad as the men turned back to Family business, no one was watching but Haru.

End