An AU future-shot in The Difference Between. Nat-su hasn't hit this point yet.

A family member died recently, so I haven't been doing much writing or responding to PMs recently. It's been more burying myself in the works of others honestly.


Tsuna leaned back against the bark of the tree behind him, keeping his breathing controlled for all that he wanted to gasp for air.

His hands shook just the slightest bit, but his eyes shined orange and unwavering as he stared into the night. He had suppressed his Flame into the barest of flickers in his core in order to keep off the radar of any Flame Sensitives in the forest.

He'd been here for three days and it showed. His body was covered in dirt and leaves, twigs and scrapes. He refused to waver though. This Famiglia had taken him from his territory, had aimed for him to get to Xanxus. They had thought him to be the weak link in his Pride, and Tsuna would take ruthless advantage of it.

His time with Iemitsu had taught him to take every bit of slack he could manage. Had taught him ruthlessness, taught him rage, taught him to be invisible.

He'd been taken three days ago, spirited away unconscious and injured, but the moment he had woken and realized what had happened…

All bets were off.

He would not be used against his Pride, against the Sky who had given him freedom and safety. He would not be the cage to those he cared about again. He could not.

So he had gotten up, he had been vicious and unrelenting, he had fought his way out of the base and found himself with acres upon acres of forest and a base of enemies at his back.

He blessed Xanxus for teaching him the Varia Quality version of Hostile Forest Survival as he had run into the cover, every bit of his training coming to the forefront as he slipped into shadows.


Xanxus had been pacing for the last ten minutes. His Intuition has been restless, and he could feel through their bond that Tsunayoshi sensed something coming as well. The two Skies hyperaware states, their tenseness, meant their Elements were just as edgy as they were, that they had all prepped their weapons and were just waiting for the signal from their Skies.

The only comfort Xanxus had was the knowledge that Tsuna was not alone, that his Rain was there with him. Their intuition had been collectively going off since the early hours of this morning. It was no surprise that Tsuna had chosen to pace and patrol their territory. Xanxus had allowed it, unwilling- no matter that he never said as much- to cage Tsuna the way the shithead Iemitsu had done. The fact that he could feel how important Tsuna's intuition felt the course of action to be only helped.

Xanxus had sent the Sky-cub out with his Rain and kept their bond wide open to monitor his progress.

So, he sensed Tsuna's shock, and he could feel the beginnings of anger from Takeshi, right before he felt the two brats' Flames flare to life for combat. He was already moving as they began to fight, the Elements in the mansion mobilizing at the same moment thanks to the multilayered bonds they all shared letting them know the situation had gotten serious.

They all piled into a car, trusting their own to handle the situation until they arrived, but the ride over was tense and their Flames were thick in the air as they felt the fight Tsuna and Takeshi were engaged in escalate.

They were aware of the moment something went wrong, when Takeshi's bond to them flared with shock, and Tsuna's with rage at the same moment his Intuition twisted.

A few moments later, the road they were driving on shuddered with the force of an explosion, fire shooting into the air ahead of them.

Tsuna's bond filled with determination, and Takeshi's with enraged resolve.

Later, after the mess was dealt with and they could get explanations, they would be told that the explosion was an apartment building. It was a small, but Tsuna had still heard the screams of the inhabitants. It was a scare tactic and proof of the explosives presence on the street. Tsuna and Takeshi weren't supposed to know where the bombs were located, but Tsuna's intuition had acted up. They would be told that Tsuna had just known what was coming next if the enemy got to the trigger for the next set of explosions as his Intuition writhed in his head. Takeshi would explain how Tsuna had snapped a command to him to 'Hold the line. Do not let them pass that point. They're aiming for the orphanage.'

They would be told how Takeshi had faced the enemy, an enraged snarl on his face and resolve burning in his chest while Tsuna ran for the orphanage. Tsuna had immediately had the Matron and her assistants evacuating the children, escorting them out the back and away from the crossfire.

After that first explosion Xanxus had opened the door to the car, flipping himself to the roof even as Squalo reached over and shut the door behind his boss. Once he was on the roof, Xanxus had fired up his guns, taking to the air and flying towards his brats.

He wouldn't make it before Takeshi's bond flared with pain and then horror, before Tsuna's flared with resolve.

And then a second explosion shook the earth, bigger than the last, and Tsuna's bond was filled with a sharp agony quickly followed by unconsciousness.

Xanxus was still a few minutes out when Takeshi's bond was flooded with enraged horror.

That, the Pride would come to learn, was the moment the enemy took the unconscious Tsunayoshi from the area.

That was the moment that Takeshi's Flames flooded the City sharp with his rage, not a gentle rain meant to soothe, but a monsoon intent on complete annihilation.


Tsuna crouched in the branches of a tree, utterly still and letting the leaves hide him from view even as he tracked the hunting party sent out after him. He allowed the entire party to pass under his tree, and carefully followed after them in the treetops, his every movement silent and calculated.

He waited until they found some of the false trails he had left on the ground, waited for them to split up to follow them, and then began the first of his moves.

He went after the lone ones first.

The first of them walked under his perch, and Tsuna allowed his body to fall back, his knees hooked over the branch, his hand holding a sharpened piece of wood. The man beneath him startled backwards, his neck exposed for an instant as his head jerked away from Tsuna's face. That instant was all Tsuna needed as the makeshift stake-dagger slid into and through his neck, the only noise being a faint gurgle as the man died.

He wouldn't use his Flames here, he knew the place was rigged with sensors that would act like a homing beacon, allowing the others to track him if he wavered in his concentration for even an instant.

He pulled himself back up into the tree, headed for the next of his targets, easily falling into the quiet place Xanxus and the Varia had helped him develop so he could kill when he needed to.


The second man was crouched under Tsuna's perch, examining part of his trail. Tsuna was still as he watched waiting. The burns on his back from the explosion of the Orphanage throbbed. He tried not to think about the wound in his side, where shrapnel had torn into him, and his only option at the time was to use what Xanxus called Zero Point to freeze the wound. It was agony, and would undoubtedly scar, but he would live and that was all Tsuna cared about.

The man began to rise from his crouch and Tsuna was quick, his hands lashing out gripping the man's head and with a quick flick of his wrists, and a meaty snap the man was dead.

Tsuna pulled himself back into the branches and continued on.

He could sense his Pride over his bonds, utterly infuriated and intent.

He knew they were coming for him.

Tsuna would not be caught and caged before they arrived.

He would not shame the Varia by allowing their teachings to fail him. Would not be the person used to cage those he cared for again.


Xanxus was a man on a mission.

An enraged Alpha coming after one of its cubs.

They could all sense the moment Tsuna woke wherever he was. They could sense the fight, and were aware of the moment Tsuna slipped into the zen-like state that Xanxus himself had taught the younger Sky to use when he had to kill.

But most importantly, the Pride could sense that Tsuna was hurt, even as he fought.

They tracked every kill their youngest Sky made through their bond, were aware of his resolve, of the way his injuries pained him.

And Xanxus was intensely aware of the spot of BurningColdHotAgony in his cub's side, the familiar pain of Zero Point something he never wanted to feel again, especially not through the bond in a way that meant one of his was experiencing it.

It drove the entire Pride harder, their feelings bouncing and amplifying through their shared bonds even as they used the bond to track Tsuna.


Tsuna crouched on his branch, his eyes focused on a point not in his physical sight.

He could sense them.

His Pride was approaching.

And they were furious.

This Famiglia would burn, he knew. For attacking the children on their Territory, for daring to take him, for trying to hurt the Pride.

Nothing would remain but ash in the wind to warn those who thought to try anything like this again.


This one…I don't know. It just…insisted it come out like this. -shrugs- So here it is.