lysapadin: pen & ink painting of bamboo against a full moon (Default)
[personal profile] lysapadin
Title: First Impressions
Characters: Reborn, Bianchi
Summary: It behooves home tutors to discuss pedagogical strategies with one another.
Notes: Part of Choice: The Betrothal Arc. Series Index. General/ audiences. 804 words.

~~~~~~~~~~


First Impressions

"So what do you think?" Bianchi asked later—much later, when Tsunako, stony-faced and pleading homework, had retreated to her bedroom and Sawada had asked them to give him some time alone with his wife.

Reborn didn't answer right away. He was perched on a branch above hers, his feet dangling and his hat shadowing his face. "He didn't do them any favors when he moved them to Namimori."

That was all he said, but it was enough. Bianchi had to agree; growing up inside the mafia world would have done the girl a lot of good. Well. Would have given her some perspective on what a daughter of the mafia could expect out of her life.

How she, pretty much the epitome of a bad daughter, was supposed to teach Tsunako to be a good mafia wife Bianchi did not quite know. But that was something they'd figure out as they went along. There were other considerations to deal with first. "I've been thinking about how we might cover her during the day." Reborn glanced at her; she could see just enough of his face to know he'd raised his eyebrows. "Hayato's about her age. We could get him into her class at school."

"You almost sound like you're impugning my skills."

Bianchi made a face at the mild tone he took; so he wanted to get huffy? Men. Didn't matter what the container looked like, they all got cranky about it when someone questioned the metaphorical lengths of their dicks. "Would I do that? I wouldn't have the nerve, you know that." She smiled at him, as sweetly as she could. "But a visible presence often distracts from the hidden one." And Hayato was so very good at being visible, poor kid.

And maybe Tsunako could do with someone about her own age to talk to who'd understand. None of her school friends were likely to.

Reborn adjusted his hat; after a moment, he said, "I'll talk to the Ninth."

Bianchi smiled. "I'd love to see how Hayato handles that conversation." Her baby brother tended to get very excited when people actually took him seriously, or so she'd heard. She hadn't gotten a chance to see it in action, of course.

But that wasn't important just now. Bianchi looked down at the lighted square of Tsunako's window; she was going to have to speak to Nana about getting some curtains that weren't sheer. "Reborn, what am I doing here? I mean really." She knew what she was supposed to be doing, body-guarding and etiquette lessons, but she didn't need Vongola intuition to know there was more going on than that.

Reborn took his time in answering, which probably wasn't a good sign. "You remember Xanxus at all?"

"Not really," she admitted. She'd been too young and his set had been—wild, she remembered her mother saying, voice low and lips pursed, and the girls had tended to steer clear of him in social situations. "The Ninth exiled him before I really took much notice of him." Mostly she remembered a tall, dark boy seen from a distance, and that he'd never seemed to smile.

"Mm." Reborn was picking his words carefully, she could tell. Also not a good sign. "He's feral. Like a wild animal. I wouldn't give my daughter to him without making sure she could take care of herself first."

Bianchi grimaced and looked back down at Tsunako's window and the girl sitting at the desk on the other side of the curtains, her head in her hands. Sympathy lanced through her; so it was like that, huh? "Poor kid."

"This would be easier if she had a Flame," Reborn said. "Perhaps I'll shoot her."

Bianchi looked up at him. "Not in public," she said as sharply as she dared—it was Reborn, after all. He looked back, bland and unimpressed. "I mean it, Reborn. You can't do that to her." She'd gotten an eyeful of Cavallone, once, which—well, it wasn't like she was complaining, but the man still couldn't quite bring himself to look her in the eye.

"Mm," Reborn said, which was neither agreement nor disagreement. "I'm going to call the Ninth." He reached for Leon, who obligingly turned into a slim green phone (with blinking eyes) as Reborn hopped down from his branch and strolled away.

Bianchi leaned back against the bole of the tree and continued to watch Tsunako, who hadn't taken her head out of her hands since they begun sitting watch over her. Poor kid, she thought again, not least because she knew a little something about the kinds of traps a good daughter could find herself in.

But then, there were ways and ways of dealing with a lousy marriage. She'd make up a list and start telling Tsunako about them tomorrow.

end

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