It started with bloodshed, and ended in words.

It's usually the other way around, isn't it?

Xanxus didn't remember what he had said. Most of the time, he didn't find it relevant to contain himself. But he had said something, something bad. At least something bad enough for Squalo to shut up and stay that way.

He wasn't even sure why they did it. He remembered being angry, and hitting the stupid shark. Though, that was normal. The shark never fought back anyway. This time, Xanxus had gone all out. He smacked his swordsman around like a punching bag, and fisted hands in his long silver hair until he was sure he was going to rip it out of his head.

But that wasn't even the problem.

Words had been let loose, and the look on Squalo's face had been of pain worse than any punches or hair pulling. He hadn't retorted, he hadn't even looked at him. He just walked away, not even slamming the door behind him. Not even seconds later, Xanxus was the one feeling defeat, even though he thought he had won.

That was 13 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes ago. Not like he was counting.

He remembered how he'd pass Squalo in the halls, and Squalo would say nothing. Even when Xanxus addressed him he wouldn't. He wouldn't look at him.

Their fights had never lasted this long, or been this serious. That was cause for concern.

"You fucking whore, you think you mean something to me?"

Squalo remembered.

And he shouldn't have been upset. Xanxus always said terrible things to him, but that was natural. This time, Xanxus had known where to hit the hardest.

He felt his hands tremble a little. He wouldn't cry, he promised himself. Crying was for girls.

"...Squalo," Bel hesitated, Marmon sitting in his folded arms, "What's up with you and the boss?"

Squalo didn't answer. He was afraid if he said something, his throat would crack. If he looked at the two, his eyes would get tearful. So he stayed still, looking out the window into the frosty morning haze. This way, he wouldn't cry. He refused to cry.

Bel didn't bother him again, something the prince wasn't used to doing. But Squalo looked ready to burst into tears, and he definitely wouldn't want to see that from the proud man. His boss must have done something real bad.

Bel left without a sound, the silent Marmon in tow. No one else would bother Squalo that day, except for the man responsible.

"You're just a dumb slut; an easy fuck!"

"Hey," he called out loudly. Squalo walked in the opposite direction, keeping his eyes on the floor. Not right now.

"Hey!" he called again, louder. Squalo hesitated for a moment, because he wanted to look up and see the man that he could forgive. But he knew he wouldn't, knew he couldn't.

Xanxus lost his patience soon after, grabbing Squalo by the arm and dragging him over. The swordsman didn't meet his eyes, even when he gripped his shoulders and turned him directly to face him, lips merely inches apart. Xanxus could feel the contained tremble, such a proud man not one to show it. Squalo turned his head away still, intently staring at a wall to his left.

"What do I have to fucking do, huh?" he asked just above a whisper. The anger was apparent, and his teeth were so tightly clenched he could barely even say it coherently. "What the fuck do you want from me?"

And it was then that Squalo looked at Xanxus for the first time in 2 weeks. And cried.

Though he didn't look it. He still had that determined and arrogant look on his face, eyebrows arched angrily and lips pursed white. All that changed were the twin streaks of shimmering clear swimming down his pale cheeks.

He didn't say anything. He didn't need to. Xanxus was speechless for different reasons.

He didn't actually think he'd apologize, did he? Xanxus just wasn't that kind of guy. He doubted he'd ever said sorry in his life. Xanxus was a man of action, not of words, and that was proved by this incident. He wasn't going to change just for this stupid swordsman.

Really, what did he expect?

But Xanxus watched those tears. He watched as they trailed down sad cheekbones and down his chin and dripped onto his hands. They were cold, and he just looked Squalo straight in his watery eyes, as if he was looking for a way to stop it physically.

Squalo didn't move. He didn't sniffle, he didn't whimper, he didn't even blink. He just cried. What else could he possibly do in front of this man?

"I don't want," he took a second to breathe, "anything."

Xanxus felt renewed anger and something close to a pang in his dark heart. He jerked Squalo closer to him, making the smaller man jolt to attention.

Squalo missed the touches he used to get daily. He missed waking up in the morning and not being in his bed, and getting up and pulling on a large shirt that wasn't his just so he could walk around without any pants on. And that would lead to him ending up back in the bed that wasn't his again. He could spend the whole day there, and he'd be caressed and cherished until Xanxus had to get up and do his work. But he'd lie there and watch him riffle through papers silently until his presence became too much of a distraction for Xanxus and they'd end up in the bed again.

Tears collected in an untamed manner around his eyes and a sob barely even left his mouth before Xanxus attacked him with rough kisses and prodding fingers. Squalo gave in quickly, losing the feeling in his legs and falling against Xanxus, his arms tight around the bigger man's neck. He had missed this so much.

They ended up on that bed.

Clothes were torn from bodies until there was nothing left but hot flesh. Their mouths refused to disconnect, making up for all the lost time. Xanxus stopped to touch slowly, stroking down alabaster hips and thighs, kissing everything he could. It wasn't long before they were both in the throes of passion.

"I...X-Xanxu-"

"Shut the fuck up," he whispered as he thrust forward. He had Squalo's knees in each hand, holding tight as he rocked him back and forth. Squalo wanted him closer, locking his arms behind his head to hold on.

This was about need.

Too long had Squalo been alone in his own empty bed, wondering when Xanxus would stop being such a fucking asshole and just apologize to him. These two weeks had been of sleepless nights, because he wasn't used to the cold, hadn't felt this lonely in years. He'd lie awake, waiting for the man to come and get him. But he never did.

"...Just..." Squalo muttered in a clipped voice as he was thrust forward violently, "...Just t-tell me...I'm not a-"

"You're not," he answered. He realized what he had said those weeks ago. And he didn't want to hear those words out of Squalo's mouth. He wasn't going to have this kind of shit happen again. He was going to be careful for once.

An apology swept by Squalo's ear. It was quiet, and he could barely register the words. Then almost as a distraction, Xanxus sped up, crushing the swordsman into that memorable bed as he tried to fuck him senseless. But Squalo was so happy he felt his eyes get misty.

"Stop crying, fuck," Xanxus growled in the least menacing way possible. He didn't like the way Squalo looked like that. And he'd had that look for a while.

"Ahnn! Ah!" Squalo cried out, gripping Xanxus tighter, making the man above him curse colorfully. Not doing this every day like usual made their stamina so much less.

"Xanxus!" the silver haired man screamed, arching up as he came all over his abdomen. Xanxus grunted loudly and pushed in as far as he could before coming deep in his rain guardian.

They breathed deeply, trying to come back down. Squalo closed his watery eyes and lay silently under his boss, hair tangled and disheveled around him. Xanxus refused to remove himself.

They kissed. It was slow and perfect. It had been such a long time.

Squalo didn't want to say anything and ruin the moment. He shifted into a more comfortable position under Xanxus, feet resting on either side of him. Xanxus pressed his head into the swordsman's collarbone, kissing ever so gently.

"You're not, you fucking moron," he whispered. "You're not."

Squalo smiled for the first time in weeks. It was small and weak, but it was there.

He pressed his fingers to deep black hair and sighed through his nose, falling asleep in the warmth that was Xanxus.

He had forgotten how much he loved make-up sex.