It was the middle of the night when fate's wheels cracked and began to spin uncontrollably in a random, unforeseen direction.
A rather rotund, unpleasant man was looking around for a place to stash the bundle in his arms. After a few moments to assure himself that the cops weren't around and no one would identify him later, he dumps the bundle into the trash and makes clear strides towards his hotel. After all, he had been sent to do a business deal that would hopefully land him a promotion later if things were successful.
It was only when it started to rain that the bundle shifted, and began to wail, revealing a small infant with pure green eyes and pale skin.
The man had long since gone, but the child remained.
It continued to bawl louder...until a pair of thin arms picked it up.
"Shhh... shhh... Hush little one. So like my little Alexander," cooed the woman. "My precious, precious child."
Green eyes latched onto the woman. She was nicer than the other female, who shrieked and was mean and made him spend long hours in that dark place when he was hungry or made a mess in his diaper.
"Ma ma?" said the little one, too young to understand the world around him fully.
A strange, almost sad smile came across her face.
Her little Alexander was gone, taken away too soon by one of her 'customers' who had hurt her badly before he killed her precious infant son for crying too loudly...but perhaps god had sent her a replacement? Her fevered mind, already addled by the pain of losing her only son and the drugs she used to cope with the loss, latched on to this new scenario.
"Shh... it's alright little Xander... mama has you and she won't let you go away again," she whispered, clutching her new son closely.
Unaware of the repercussions of adopting an infant left abandoned in the slums of Italy, or the way that the winds of destiny were shifting into new, unfamiliar patterns.
Five years later...
Xanxus looked at the brilliant red-orange flames in his hand. His mother stared at them as well, her feverish mind supplying a new addition to his past that he sadly knew was a figment of her imagination.
Last year when his Ma was actually sane and not drugged up, in a rare moment when she was her real self and not the woman he took care of in her bad moments, she had let it slip that while he wasn't her son in blood, she still loved him as her own.
Xanxus had felt numb when she calmly explained to him that she had found him in the trash less than a month after losing her actual son Alexander. How in her drugged state she had decided that since god had taken one son, she would claim him as a replacement.
And he believed her.
He had always known, to some extent, that he was not her biological son. It wasn't the whispers that the other whores shared in the dark of the night when they thought no one could hear them. It wasn't the fact that he looked nothing like his Ma, or that his eyes were the wrong color.
Something inside him told him that she wasn't his mother. Memories of a woman screaming in the night, pleading for his life only for her own to be cut short. Of people changing into animals (mostly a dog and a stag). Of a man with a wild beard driving a motorcycle, wild and fierce, but in reality very gentle.
However...this woman who had lost her child had taken in a brat someone had tossed aside like so much trash. She had fed him, raised him, and did everything she could in her condition to treat him like her actual son.
And he'd be damned if anyone said different. In the absence of his own mother, this woman was his Ma and he'd kill anyone who said differently.
Now though, now Xanxus genuinely feared for her. From the way she was talking, she was making it out like he was the son of one of her johns. Someone high up. Someone important.
And for a slum rat, earning the gaze of someone important never, ever ended well. It was a fairy tale when such things did end well for the poor bastard who suddenly got thrown into the upper class without having to earn it the hard way first.
Unaware of the way his eyes shifted to a bright, crimson red at the thought of some bastard hurting his Ma because she lied, Xanxus vowed that he'd protect her with this new power.
It wasn't the other one. The one he kept secret because his gut told him it would be a bad idea if people knew he had it. That a lot of the wrong sort would come for him if it was exposed at the wrong time.
So when he saw the old man with the 'kindly' old face, Xanxus knew that trusting him with the truth was not a smart move. Better to play along that he was the man's son for now.
At least until he was old enough and strong enough to take anything the world tried to shove on him, before turning around and telling them to fuck off.
Timoteo Vongola might think he had the slum youth fooled with his "nice" persona, but he had no idea what he was about to unleash on his famiglia.
In the Vongola Mansion...
He was fine with Enrico, Massimo and Federico, all of which seemed rather dubious about the whole "You have an illegitimate half-brother" bullshit the old geezer was trying to sell. While he did have these "Wrath Flames", he could tell they weren't entirely buying it.
The stupid fucker known as Iemitsu, however, pissed him off. And that was before he heard the asshole speak. He could tell right off that he wouldn't be getting along with him, ever.
Pretty much the same feeling he got from the old geezer's Storm Guardian, the uptight shit head Coyote Nougat.
It didn't take much for Xanxus to utterly loathe the Storm Guardian.
And that was before he blasted through the tutors they insisted he suffer through. People who, almost to a man, thought he was a savage, uneducated feral brat who should be grateful that they were taking time to teach his ass things he already knew.
Why the fuck none of these trash thought to give him a simple competency test to see exactly where his grade level was the first time they had to deal with him, he'd never understand.
"Oh dear. So this is the little stray you picked up?" said a voice.
He turned and glared at it. He wasn't a fucking stray kitten that needed a home. He had one he was perfectly fucking happy with!
The woman was old, but she still looked younger than the fucker who had claimed him as his son and then only pretended he was family long enough to bitch about his behavior.
And his 'brothers'? Don't make him laugh, they all had their heads up their asses and seemed happy to pretend the world was already theirs.
The woman looked amused.
"Honestly son, why are you attempting to turn a half-feral tiger cub into a pampered house cat? Have you no sense at all?"
Suddenly he was liking her a bit more than the shitty old geezer. She at least understood he wasn't some pampered prince.
He found himself scooped up. It wasn't his fault he was skinny as hell! It was hard finding quality food in the slums and his ma couldn't cook worth a shit! He had to learn out of self-defense!
"Hello little one. My name is Daniela and I suppose I'm your grandmother," she said.
"At least you're not as stupid as that shitty geezer or the bitchy Storm of his," said Xanxus bluntly.
Rather than be offended, Daniela tried to hold back her laugh...she wasn't very successful.
"Yes, my son can be quite dense, can't he? Care to keep an old woman company for a bit while my son attempts to free up some time for his poor old mother?"
Spend time with a woman who apparently had eyes and knew how to fucking use them, or with tutors who were all idiots.
"I better not have to dress up or any shit like that," he said flatly.
"I think we're going to get along splendidly," laughed Daniela, an impish gleam in her eyes.
It was official. Xanxus liked Daniela a hell of a lot more than the lying shitty old geezer or his bitchy Storm. Daniela had laughed herself almost to hiccups when he bluntly stated that Coyote had to be going through perpetual menopause or had something uncomfortable shoved firmly up his ass with how he always seemed to have a bitchy look on his face regardless of the circumstances. She really did get hiccups when he said that Enrico looked like a idiotic rooster with his head stuck up his ass with how he strutted about like he owned the place already and failed to see the little things.
Daniela understood him a lot better than his so-called 'father' ever tried to.
She was the one to arrange for a basic test to see exactly where he actually was education wise. She was pleasantly surprised he was roughly up to the beginnings of a high school education, despite the fact he had lived in the slums his entire life.
Imagine his tutors shock when they learned the real reason Xanxus never paid attention to his lessons. He was already far ahead of what they were trying to teach him!
Daniela smiled and took her new grandson to the rather large library. To her amusement, Xanxus dove into the books without a second thought.
She noticed he was squinting quite a bit, despite the fact the room was well lit. How on earth did her son miss that the poor boy needed glasses?
In the office...
Timoteo had a fixed look on his face, hiding the pained grimace he wanted to let out.
"You want to what?"
"I'm going to take over raising that little tiger cub you've taken in," said his mother firmly. "The poor boy is fitting in at all here, and it's clear you're far to busy to give him the firm hand he needs."
"He's an arrogant little shit who refuses to listen," spat Coyote. He didn't like Xanxus, and the kid made it clear the feeling was very much mutual.
Daniela's eyebrow twitched. That was never a good sign.
"The boy has an actual brain and a desire to actually use it. He's practically at the high school level already and he didn't even hesitate to dive into the library when I showed him where it was. Never mind the fact the poor thing needs glasses or contacts. He was squinting the entire time he was trying to read. He's not an idiot and you're going about it entirely the wrong way if you're trying to endear yourself to him," she said flatly, her smile rather terrifying.
"Xanxus is very much an avid reader. Apparently he read whatever he could get his hands on while he was with his mother, and there was a small bookstore that had a sympathetic employee who looked the other way when he snuck in after hours. He needs glasses," said Daniela. She gave Coyote a look. "And he would be a lot easier to deal with if you didn't insist on automatically holding him to the same standards as your actual sons, when he has no idea what the unspoken rules are. Has anyone actually bothered to sit him down and explain things to him in a way he can understand since he came here? He didn't even know how to request the shampoo and conditioner he actually wants, for god's sake!"
Xanxus made no bones how annoyed he was having to use the 'floral smelling crap'. He wasn't a fucking girl and he refused to smell like one.
Timoteo looked very much like he'd love to be anywhere else as his mother took him to task about his mismanagement of the Wrath he had found.
So much so that he more or less caved just to get her to leave that much faster.
A decision he would come to regret in later years, as it turned out. Perhaps if he had kept the child close he could have prevented the brat from picking up such a loud Rain as his Right hand.
Daniela's home, while slightly smaller than the Iron Fort, was a lot easier to breathe in. Xanxus hated the Iron Fort, which always made the walls feel like they were closing in on him with all their stupid traditions and condescending attitudes.
Sure, he had to actually behave and at least try to tone down his swearing habit...but that was a small price to pay. Nonna, as she insisted he call her despite the fact she had acknowledged her son wasn't his actual father, was much easier to live with compared to that fucker Coyote who was always breathing down his neck for stupid shit.
He liked his grandmother. She didn't take shit from anyone despite being a woman, and she treated him like he had an actual brain, not like some pampered pet that made a mess when he didn't behave. Best of all she made sure he could actually see.
He never knew the world was so clear since he got those contacts. He always thought it was a blur unless you were really, really up close to it. Seeing things properly was something he'd never thought he'd enjoy.
And if that wasn't enough, she even let him get the colored ones so long as it still fit within his prescription. Now he had his favorite bloody red coloring in his eyes on top of the feathers in his hair. Xanxus loved birds, almost as much as he loved cats.
Today he was going to read in this tree he had found in the forest surrounding the manor. It was in a deep, out of the way area where he could be assured of being left alone for hours at a time. Since all the territory for the next two miles belonged to the Vongola, it was almost assured that he wouldn't have to worry about much. And if something did happen...well they'd find themselves on the wrong end of a trick he had discovered quite by accident one morning when he was attempting to discover the full extent of his 'other' ability.
He knew through meditation that he had two spirit animals, both of which appealed to his inner sensibilities greatly. One he had already begun to learn how to shift into, and he found it great fun to explore...despite being the size of a medium-sized dog and half-grown. He knew he liked tigers for a reason.
The other one was far more difficult and drained him a lot faster than the first one did. At least attempting to actually turn into it anyway... he could spit fireballs with ease now and he found his skin was not semi-fireproof whenever he allowed it to take a slight leathery tone. And the less said about how much he could see when his eyes shifted, the better. He couldn't wait to figure out how to manifest the wings, because he'd never stay on the ground.
So it was only natural that when he found his territory partially invaded by a silver-haired asshole with a sword and a cocky smirk that he reacted badly.
"Voi! Who the fuck are you and what are doing in my training spot?" he sneered.
Xanxus saw red, and quite happily threw the first punch, nearly taking out the fucker's teeth in the process. On the plus side, his following punch gave the asshole a very nice broken nose.
"VOI! Who the fuck do you think you are asshole?!"
Xanxus said nothing, sliding into a stance he had learned last week, a feral grin on his face.
The silver-haired asshole took one look at that and grinned much like a bloodthirsty shark. He took out his sword and prepared to attack.
Xanxus couldn't rightly say how long they tried to beat the living shit out of each other. What he did know was that the moment he brought out of his angry red-orange flames, the silver-haired bastard tried to counter with a not-so-calming blue...and in the moment that they touched, the two somehow clicked.
MINE, his blood and soul sang. This is MINE.
The silver haired asshole stumbled and tripped, before falling flat on his ass and staring at Xanxus in disbelief.
"Voi... what the actual fuck..." he said in shock. "You're a fucking Sky?!"
"You're the asshole trespassing in Nonna's back yard," Xanxus said smugly.
He stared at him in shock.
"Voi... you're not that kid that the shitty geezer claimed is his bastard son a few years back, are you?" he asked slowly.
"Fuck the old man and fuck his Storm," said Xanxus scowling.
The asshole ran his hand through his hair in shock.
"Voi...this is fucking messed up. Never expected to find my Sky here of all places..." he muttered.
Xanxus walked up to the asshole and held out his hand. The silver-haired pest took it without a second thought.
"Voi. Squalo Superbi," he replied back.
And that was how the Wrath met his rather violent and very vocal Rain. Timoteo would be cursing his "son's" choice in Right Hands for years after the fact.