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Word on the Street

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“Nah man, listen,” The bleach blond thug leaned across the table to stress the importance of his next statement, “You do not want to fuck with the Vongola family. They’re bad fuckin’ news for everyone involved.”

The other, younger man gave a nervous laugh as he adjusted his tie. “Really? You’ve really heard such intimidating things about them?”

“I’ve been in this business for fourteen years.” The thug ashed his cigarette and then took a long drag, looking away and running a hand through his greasy hair. Even though they were inside, his eyes were hidden by dark sunglasses. Pausing for a moment, he asked, “Hey kid, how old are you? Twenty one? Twenty two?”

“Um. Nineteen.”

The man looked the boy up and down as he picked up his scotch and took a sip. Placing the glass down with a surprising amount of delicacy, he wiped his mouth and mused, “Shit. People are starting younger than ever now, huh?”

No wonder the kid wasn’t drinking, he wasn’t even of age yet. The somewhat-messy light brown hair, the way he sat with his hands folded in his lap, and the goddamn innocence written all over his face. If the thug could do one thing well, it was judge character. And this kid was wading into a pool of danger by asking questions about the Vongola.

“Shit, I shouldn’t even been talkin’ about this. But you want to know about what the word is on the street about the Vongola family?”

“Uh, I was actually asking about the other family that’s been-”

“They started in high school. In high school man. What were you doing in high school?”

The younger man went quiet and smiled slightly, before answering, “Failing all my classes.”

“Yeah, exactly,” the thug continued, “When they were fifteen, these kids weren’t only just in the mafia, but made up the strongest family in Japan. They say the right hand man can have you blown to a thousand smithereens before you can even hear the tssss burning of the fuse. This guy? They say he’d walk across hot coals for his boss. He’s real intense, the right hand guy. And he’s not even the scariest there is.”

“Oh?” The kid looked at him curiously, a smile still playing at his lips, “There are others scarier?”

“Oh fuck yeah,” if anything, the thug thought, he could discourage the kid by scaring him a bit. In the long run, he’d be doing him a favour. “Every member of the family’s frightening as hell. The other hand’s a swordsman. A master of some ancient technique, reflexes like lightening, and they say he doesn’t feel fear at all. How fucked is that?”

Placing an elbow on the table and resting his head in his hand, the boy murmured, “Wow, that does sound scary.”

The thug nodded enthusiastically, taking a quick swig of his scotch before he continued his gossip. He lowered his voice. “Yeah, and those are the normal members. There’s a real weird kid too, who apparently cries a bunch and dresses like a cow or somethin’? Half the time he acts like he’s five but the other half…you just don’t wanna cross him. And then this other guy, he’s like this star boxer. A loose cannon, like a wild card. Bizzaro, but I wouldn’t mess with either of ‘em. Apparently the whole family’s real protective and loyal to one another.”

The thug was picking up speed, becoming more and more excited as he spoke. His hands were becoming animated, and he gestured as he kept talking, on a roll. The younger man watched him calmly as he continued.

“Now, you don’t even want to know about the next two, ‘cause they’re really fucking bad. Just, if you ever find yourself running into the Vongola, you’d better pray it’s not one of these next two. The first guy runs half the town. Can cover up a murder like that-” he snapped his fingers, “and he’s a right sadist. When he was just fifteen he was already beatin’ the shit out of people three times his age and enjoyin’ it too. Do not get in this guy’s way, alright kid?”

Stopping for a moment to take a breath, the thug put out his cigarette. It had nearly burnt all the way down, and he’d been so invested in telling his information he hadn’t noticed. Leaning back against the booth, he finished his drink before pointing to the man sitting across for him.

“And you really don’t want to fuck with the last guy. He’s like…” the thug waved his hand around, his face scrunched up as he searched for the right words, “He’s like some kind ofdemon. Murdered his whole family when he was just a little kid, and like, hundreds of others. They say he’s got a twin, this girl with him, but I hear that ain’t true, that they’re not related at all. That he used his influence to save her life and after that, they’ve been partner’s or somethin’. I try not to learn too much, though. Information about the wrong people can really get you killed in this field.”

“Then why are you telling me so much?” The young man responded, raising his eyebrows and giving a little laugh, like it was a joke. The thug shook his head.

“Not enough info will also get you killed. Get that grin off your face, this is serious. Now…” he lowered his voice now, beckoning the young man to lean in. He did.

“Listen good, alright? I’m about to tell you about what I’ve heard about the boss.”

“Mhmm.” The kid leaned in, a serious look on his face, hanging onto the thug’s words. “Do you know a lot about their boss?”
The thug shook his head, and replied, “Nah, not really. No one does. He’s a bit of an enigma. But first of all, right? Just imagine what kinda power the guy he has to be to keep that mismatched bunch of fuckers together. He has to be nuts. But from what I have heard about him, he’s got…like this kind of, shit, calm about him, right? Like he’s got it all under control. I dunno, I’ve heard he’s disarmingly nice. Not like the regular guys you see runnin’ their families. This boss- the enemies he’s faced, though. Trained by the best hitman, too, they say. God. He must be a damn good leader.”

Something flashed in the kid’s eyes. Something that, for a split moment, threw the thug off. He couldn’t quite place what it was he saw there, but he got chills. Shaking them off, he coughed and promptly tried to forget about the glint, looking away.

“That’s all I know though. So don’t get involved, alright kid? Thanks for the drink”

“I’ll try not to. Thank you, for the information.” The kid stood up, and the thug noticed- that’s a rather nice looking suit, for a nineteen year old. What had this kid said his name was again? Well, whatever. He’d probably be dead in a week.

Leaving the restaurant and stepping back into daylight, Tsuna squinted, shielding his eyes from the sun. An amused smile threatened to overtake his face as he walked down the street, answering his phone as it buzzed in his pocket.

“No, pretty much a waste of time,” he sighed, “for someone who apparently knows about all the mafia families in Japan, all he wanted to talk about was us.”