Pairing: Xanxus/Tsuna, and the eternal BFF-ness of Squalo and Xanxus.
Summary: Xanxus is the most ungrateful bastard alive.
Squalo isn't sure at what point exactly in his swearing eternal loyalty to Xanxus he became Xanxus's fucking sister/nursemaid, emotionally obligated to ensure the well-being and happiness of the most ungrateful bastard alive.
Perhaps it was when he'd done nothing when the boss was sealed in fucking ice, or maybe when he'd given up his position without question when Xanxus had been thawed out or whatever shit and made plans. Maybe it was the first time he'd seen Xanxus's cold eyes and known that this was someone who could do anything, anything, and had wanted to be part of that.
Except, obviously, have a half-way normal, healthy relationship with oh, everyone or anyone in the whole damn world.
Squalo knows he's the closest thing Xanxus has to a friend, no matter what Levi wanks off to in his daydreams, and is also rather unfortunately aware that Xanxus considers deadly projectiles to the head the ultimate symbol of trust, forbearance and remote tolerance.
Which is how Squalo knows, the same way he knows attack counters and defense breakers with one hit, when Xanxus catches sight of the newly nineteen Sawada Tsunayoshi, and with all the epic-ness of thunderbolts and vendettas and strikes to the goddamn head, falls head-over-heels in love.
At first, Squalo hopes very much that he's mistaken- when they were younger, before the Great Freeze, they'd both displayed the appropriate tastes for pretty girls and soft curves, but, times and people do change (boy do they change). Xanxus, for all that his body clocks in at twenty-nine, has eight less years of experience, and in any case all the self-awareness of a hermaphrodite snail with MPD, so it's no use watching him- but then comes meetings and bickering and body language speaking a thousand words, the stupid runt with his face turned up to Xanxus and his stupid Boss with his head turned away, accidental touches and purposeful snubbings and- clearly, clearly, Squalo has to do something, because he can't stand to watch this shit any longer.
(Why is it always him who has to do something? Are the stupid runt's friends blind or something? Can't they see the fucking train wreck just waiting to happen? Why don't the fucking tiny freaks stop their stupid boss and his ridiculous taste in ungrateful bastards?)
For all of about five seconds he contemplates confronting Xanxus with his problem, and dismisses it out of hand when he sees Boss brooding and sulking and pretty much goddamn mooning over a scar on his hand that he got when Tsuna zero-pointed him five years ago, and damn but Boss has got it bad.
His next plan of action is to try and make contact with the enemy, AKA the stupid runt's guardians who will slit Xanxus's throat and dance on all their graves if anyone so much as looks at their boss sideways- some of whom, of course, are totally out of the question but- Yamamoto looks at him funny and advises him to let them sort it out and the skinny little goth girl looks at him even funnier and then funniest (who the hell has red and blue eyes?), and then Squalo just gives up and resigns himself to the fact that he's the only halfway sane person in the whole damn Vongola.
Plan C: Matchmake.
…Which is far easier said then done.
The stupid runt is so nice to everyone that no one can tell if he's being specially nice to Xanxus or not, and Boss is so mean to everyone that no one can tell he's approaching his insane crush with the attitude of boys in love when they're five or something on the bloody playground.
He gets Bel and Levi to suggest to the upper family that Xanxus and Tsuna spend more time together by learning the ropes of the main house, and, curiously, this works, if you take works to mean that Xanxus gets even more moody and moony and Tsuna walks around asking tearfully why Xanxus really, really hates him. (My god he has to ask.)
Start. It's a start.
While Squalo deliberates and plans (he wasn't earmarked as the next Varia boss for nothing), Xanxus consistently Does Not deal with his abomination of an attraction, and he spends all his time watching the runt and glowering at him, which sends the future mafia boss into fits of gibbering fear.
The stupid runt's Mist and Cloud guardians pick this of all times to reaffirm their supposed complete lack of loyalty to their boss, and continually eye him with speculative expressions that say far too much about the internal dynamics of the guardians, especially given that they've been watching Sawada like tasty, tasty meat since they were oh, thirteen. (Creepy does not even begin.) Xanxus reacts extremely badly to this, and they, as usual, react badly to him.
Squalo wonders at what point he became the responsible one in the circus of someone else's life, and thinks that life was so much easier when he was just killing every able swordsman alive. He longs to just smack heads and give up, shout at some people, fight a lot, not care that Xanxus is probably going to become a bitter old cat-man unless he does something, anything.
But he does, so he does.
Squalo only has a summer to work with, so he spends some time making sure that as many of the family as possible are out of the country- or better yet the continent, putting on his best efficient face as he justifies sending out the Varia with the Guardians to as far away as fucking possible.
Having done this, he proceeds to attempt to interrogate the stupid runt about his intentions towards Xanxus.
Tsuna looks up, and blasts Squalo with a smile of genuine goodwill and sweetness. Squalo fights the urge to shield his eyes. The sparkles, the sparkles. "Um," he says, blinking. "You, and. Boss." Good God, what does Xanxus see in him? (Then again, what does he see in Xanxus?)
Tsuna looks at him, and smiles again, blushing, sort of crookedly and- can it be?- evilly. "Yeah," he says, scratching at his ridiculously pointy head. "He's-" and Tsuna doesn't look like so much of a stupid runt anymore. "Cute. Really Cute."
He does, however look like a fucking lunatic. Squalo can think of many things to call Xanxus, and can make all of them unprintable. Cute is not one of them, unless the word has some hidden definition of 'He cutely tore open the man's windpipe with his teeth.'
Tsuna looks down sort of shyly and slyly at the same time. "Thanks- you know, for getting the guys out of here. They- they're- sort of- you know." He makes a small embarrassed face, and for half a second- just half a second- Squalo feels a little moon of awe, like when Xanxus rips through a five feet wall with one hand and no flame. He's really, really tempted to burst out in hysterical laughter and go tell Xanxus he's in a thousand times over his bloody thick head, and entirely tempted to get away from him before Xanxus saw and beat Squalo up in a fit of retarded jealousy, or before he becomes another convert of the church of Sawada. "I," he says, "am done with your dirty work, runt."
Tsuna smiles again, cheeks almost terminally red. "Just not with his." He leans forward and whispers, like a giant dork, "He's lucky- I mean, to have such a great friend."
Squalo tries to glare at him for old time's sake, but it falls a little flat.
It takes a week before Squalo starts to hear about random burn marks on flat surfaces in remote rooms, but only a few hours after that for someone –thankfully not him- to find Xanxus and Tsuna engaged in noisy, violent congress on someone's desk.
He feigns both ignorance and apathy, the first somewhat better than the last.
Xanxus becomes less moody, occasionally almost content. It's enough to give Squalo the fucking creeps, but the constant ongoing hysterics of Levi, bomb-boy and Lus make up for most of it.
"If you," says an obviously heart-broken Gokudera Hayato to Xanxus one day while Ryohei and Yamamoto bodily hold Boss back, "hurt him, I'll break your fucking legs."
Tsuna, holding on to Gokudera's shirt, meets Squalo's eyes, and he knows he doesn't have to say anything about breaking the stupid runt's neck.
Xanxus, in his emotionally retarded equivalent of declaring eternal devotion, throws something at Gokudera's head.
Squalo has worked out a sort of system for Xanxus's choice of projectiles. Whatever comes to hand, including small furniture and sharp stationery, means fuck off right now. Cups with whiskey or tequila mean stop talking fucking nonsense, and fetch me more alcohol. Actual unempty bottles of whiskey or tequila means, as far as Squalo can tell, you are my bestest friend in the world, never leave me.
(He'd gotten a full bottle to the head, once, right after Xanxus had been defrosted and- it's a lousy fucking gesture. It had got glass in his hair.)
Tsuna never gets things thrown at him, but he does get strange bruises in stranger places and two uncommunicative grunts to conversation instead of just one.
"You're such an undeserving bastard," says Squalo, "Why the hell do I bother doing anything for you, asshole?"
Xanxus looks at him, at the ceiling, and throws him into the liquor cabinet and bills him for repairs.