Bleach-ed Nat-su. I've said it before and I will say it again: you are an inspiration darling. Thank you for letting me play in your universes.
This is my drop-all for the oneshots meant to take place in one of Natsu's stories. Each chapter will tell you which story it's in. Don't own these sandboxes. Just building castles. Also- my Xanxus swears. It's a thing.
This first one takes place in The Difference Between.
Xanxus was an exacting kind of man.
He had to be, especially with the position he found himself in with Iemitsu- may his soul burn for all eternity- and what that man had done to the Vongola. To Xanxus' family. He plotted, he planned, and he had 26 back up plans for his back up plans.
He was exacting and he was careful.
But something wasn't right. Something had been missed somewhere. He didn't have all the pieces and so the picture he had formed of the situation was wrong. His intuition was writhing. Whatever he had missed…it was important.
He wanted to blame the bastard brat of Iemitsu and the brat's Guardians. But what he had seen wasn't matching with what he was expecting.
That brat had been synched enough with his Storm to pull him back from the edge with his voice alone. They were close enough to share Flames. You couldn't fake that, and Xanxus knew as sure as he knew the sky was blue, that Iemitsu would never be able to do that for anyone. So why could his boy? What was different and how different?
The brat's Rain had won, but had tried to help his Rain out and Squalo had made a choice down in that water to save the brat- had kicked him away from the water and to the winning floor. Xanxus had known then that whatever he had missed Squalo had seen it. His Rain had noticed that missing thing.
All the signs Xanxus was seeing and reading lead him the conclusion that this brat, for all that he was Iemitsu's son was not like that man.
It was Squalo's choice in the water that had made Xanxus still, sit up and look again though.
That had been the signal to Xanxus to start looking close. Closer than he had been. Xanxus knew that his Rain was his. That his Rain was loyal to the bone, would walk through fire for Xanxus without the Sky ever needing to ask. For him to go against the plan the way he had- for his Rain to actively act to save the boy meant something had changed. And Xanxus had missed it.
So Xanxus had pulled his rage back. He had taken a breath and looked again. His Rain had chosen to save the Guardian of Iemitsu's brat. With all that man had done, and all that the Varia had sacrificed, all the family had lost to that man's madness Squalo would not have done so unless he had seen something to change the game entirely.
(And the only thing that had allowed Xanxus to see this, to look at what his Rain did and acknowledge something had changed, was the bond he had with his Rain was still singing in his soul. Squalo was alive for all that he had hit the water bleeding while a shark was there. He had not lost one of his Pride. His Rain was not by his side, but he was living.)
So Xanxus was watching. He was observing and his intuition was writhing and he was missing something and whatever it was, was important.
The boy's Guardians were loyal to the brat. Entirely. The way Xanxus' Pride was loyal to him. That couldn't be forced, or faked. None of it could.
The boy's Cloud was hovering and utterly furious about something. That Cloud's instincts had not only been roused, but something had belly flopped all over them. A Cloud was the first onto a battlefield and the last to leave it when it came to their people. This shitty Cloud was ready to go to war. The issue with that was how worn he looked. Like he had already been on the warfront long before Xanxus had come along.
The Sun had hard eyes. Suns were mother hens and protective. Luss was like that. He flirted with everything that moved as a defense mechanism but once he claimed someone Luss mothered them. The truly scary Sun was one that had an injured brood that needed to be protected because they were still in danger. This Sun was raging in completely ready to destroy threats to his own. This Sun's hackles were up and he was ready to murder. This Sun was reacting as if his brood was in life-threating danger, and while that made sense- because the Varia was life threatening- that didn't ring exactly right to Xanxus. It wasn't the Varia causing it. If Xanxus was reading the situation right (and Xanxus was one of the fucking best at reading a situation) the Sun's hackles actually raised more when the brats were going home.
What he needed to know was why.
The Mist twins Iemitsu's boy had pulled in were prowling through their own. Xanxus recognized it as protective behavior that was rare in a Mist. Most Mists were long-range fighters because of what they could do, but when a threat came in to a Mist's own, a threat they couldn't stop from seeing the true form of their own…they prowled. Xanxus wasn't sure why. No one was. He thought it might have something to do with the Mists looking for a weakness in the enemy and wanting to be close enough to protect while they did it. They couldn't hide their own away so they chose instead to stand physically in front of them. These Mist Twins were prowling, had been prowling from the beginning. The thing that was causing Xanxus to be twitchy was that while the Twins watched his Pride and himself, they were also watching somebody else and Xanxus wasn't sure who.
The little brat Lightning was another thing. That was a child. The cow-child was so young but his eyes were old. Old in a way that had Xanxus' hackles up because it wasn't right. That Lightning had been hurt. Xanxus wasn't blind. Someone had been hurting the child- this he knew. He also knew from the way the fuckers around the child acted, and from how the little fuck reacted to them that whoever was hurting the child was not one of them.
Xanxus wanted to rage that the Sky-fucker was weak for allowing somebody to hurt one of his own, but Xanxus was fucking Quality no matter how angry he was about the whole situation and his Rain had made him set back and reexamine what he was seeing.
What he was seeing wasn't right. It wasn't adding up.
Because someone was hurting the cow-child, yes, but the other shitty brats had fucking marks on them as well that were beginning to paint a very ugly picture in Xanxus' head.
If what he thought was happening…was what was happening…Xanxus' intuition burned in his head, bucking and writhing and angry.
He took a breath.
It would all come down to that little shit with Iemitsu's blood.
Everything Xanxus had seen had painted a picture for him and it would all come down to meeting this other Sky.
Tsunayoshi Sawada would be deciding the fate of himself and the shitty little fucks that were his Guardians this night even if he didn't know it.
(Seeing the fucker up close had only intensified the suspicions he had, and Xanxus realizes in that moment that- provided he is correct, and his Intuition is telling him that he is as well as all the evidence- as horrid and disgusting as Xanxus had known Iemitsu to be…that man- that vermin- was so much fucking worse.)
Xanxus lets nothing of his thoughts show on his face as red eyes meet gold. He would fight the little fucker and get a feel for him that way.
Hopefully the little fucker was different than his father. If he wasn't…well Xanxus had already planned to kill the little shit. If he was…and if Iemitsu turned out to be hurting a baby Sky and that Sky's Guardians the way Xanxus thought was happening?
The man would die in much more pain that Xanxus had already planned. (And Xanxus had had years to plan already. He was sure the brat's Guardians would love to contribute if everything panned out that way.)
Gold eyes gleam and Tsuna isn't sure what it is, what is happening or what had changed but his Intuition is- for the first time in longer than Tsuna can remember- fluttering with the stirrings of hope. Something on the playing field had shifted. Something had tilted and Tsuna knew he would have a chance.
This IS technically AU because Natsu hasn't reached this point yet, and this is just my thought on it soooooooooo. Don't expect this to be what happens. Natsu hun I hope you like it.
4/29: Minor edits (thank you NightmareAx7)