Author's Note: Ah, I never seem to want to write angst whenever I'm not angsting, but I need to update this! So, here we go ladies (and gentlemen?), let's peek into the mind of the fabulous Lussuria. Eight years later, perhaps? Viper's dead, but Fran hasn't joined. This is super angsty. The updates for this fic will be very slow, in case you haven't noticed. It's not very high on my priority list. Warnings? Violence, gore, character deaths. Angst. Lots... and lots. Of angst. I tried to put the best emotion I could mutter into this one~ I believe Levi's next.


He woke up to screaming, yelling, running, crashing, shattering, cursing, fussing, and explosions.

Wouldn't that all have been a normal day under the Varia roof? But the barking of lower ranked commanders made this a serious deal. It was an attack, an attack on the Varia's home base.

"Oh my, I wonder what the commotion is." Lussuria sighed, nonchalantly pulling on his suit jacket. He wasn't really worried, because if push came to shove, he knew his family of rowdy boys could take out just about everyone within a five mile radius. Looking out the window, Lussuria could see smoke spiraling into the dark, blood red sky. Had he been sleeping that long? Or perhaps it was a fire that cast the deathly color into the purity of the usual blue hue. It wasn't long before he found out it was indeed a fire that was masking the sky of its true nature. Lussuria already sensed the danger that was approaching the window and used his incredibly fast foot work to maneuver to the other side of the room, conveniently standing next to the door. An elaborate explosive device hurled into the window with such a force that it sent glass flying into the corners of the room. Why wasn't he alerted to the attack earlier?

The explosive started to leak its substance, causing Lussuria to question its activeness. He was soon righted when another substance started to spill out from the other side, instantly igniting with the first one. A simultaneous explosion happened before his tightly shut eyes and arms up to keep debris from creating deep cuts on his upper body. There was no way an attack like this would have gone unnoticed under his radar; he concluded that the attack was more of an ambush-- and on home turf, no less! Lussuria quickly pulled open the door that connected the sunroom with the main corridor and swept his vision side to side. "Bel!" he cried at the sight of the blonde's mangled body, the young man clawing at the floor to drag himself forward. Lussuria instantly gasped at the sight he saw; Bel's legs looked like two continuous rivers of red, a trail of the prince's blood leading from the living room. "Ushishi, Lussuria..." he strained to laugh, grinning weakly at his senior. It came across as a shock to Lussuria, to see someone like Bel in such a state. Whoever was attacking, they must have been very powerful to do this to Bel. "Bel!" the man exclaimed, rushing over in flurry of panic. He quickly knelt down next to the still crowned prince and moved to support him, but his hands were shooed away in a feeble swat. "You're a failure to the Varia." Bel coughed, rousing the blood in his throat to splatter onto the dusty hardwood floor below him. "You let us all die." Lussuria's brows furrowed together; if Bel was being a smart-ass, he was choosing to be one at the wrong time. "What are you talking about?" Lussuria kept his tone steady, but his grimacing pout belied his feelings. It hurt to have Bel say that, and by the grin on Bel's face, Lussuria was sure the blonde knew just exactly what the accusation would do.

It would destroy him.

"Maybe you can redeem yourself, ushishi--" Bel hacked up more of the thick substance before falling limp. His body hit the floor with a 'thud'. "But you're not that good... no, you're not that good..." Lussuria heard the forlorn muttering repeated in a dwindling volume a few more times before Bel departed into a permanent silence. "Belphegor..." He felt himself wanting to see the psychotic, blood mad Bel laughing with a maniacal vigor before him, not this silent body that couldn't possibly be the boy he watched grow-up for almost 10 years of his life. He had died cursing his value to the Varia and Lussuria didn't know whether to take that as a cleverly wrapped up compliment or a real insult on his person. Tears did not instantly spring to the boxer's eyes, but they were close, oh, they were close. He stood up and walked past Bel's body, knowing that if he sat and cried over it that the others could be found in a similar fate. Was that how it felt when a mother lost her children?

He hadn't walked far when Levi was running towards him, running to escape he had noted, and stopped when he spotted the other Varia. "Lussuria! An attack! A full-scale attack!" his alerting shouts almost made Lussuria feel a bit better, but his weak smile would soon turn into an accused 'o'. "There's an attack on the base and you're not even doing anything! Boss! I have to check on boss--!!" Levi shoved Lussuria aside, regarded Bel's body with the disgusted contortion of his face and sent Lussuria a dirty glare as he turned the corner, going into a staccato of "Boss! Boss!" The whole place was in flames now, giving everything a dramatic light-- but everything looked like a charred piece of a support beam or smoldering furniture.

Maybe even the body of another one of his fellow Varia men.

Lussuria shook the morbid thought out of his head. It wasn't as if this was his fault. He-- he just wasn't aware of the situation! But he was the self-proclaimed mother of this estate, how could he not know!? A loud groan of what surely prelude to the collapsing of a structure made Lussuria panic as he saw the area Levi had run to cave-in on itself. "Please don't let it be, please don't..." Lussuria chanted to himself. His slow steps over to the flaming rubble only caused the uneasiness in his stomach to triple. This was as close as he could get to the fire. Standing nearly fifteen feet away, Lussuria shed a few tears, and he cried even more when they evaporated as soon as they slid down his cheek. He had to turn away and control himself from just breaking down there when he saw the large, familiar boots Levi wore sticking out of the rubble and being devoured by the flames. Lussuria was going to pretend Xanxus was outside showing the intruders just who the Varia were and not trapped under the rubble with Levi. Levi and his unintended cremated grave.

Continuing further away from the dead pair, Lussuria coughed and tepidly made his way through less scarred places of the Varia home, but nonetheless scarred. He had reached the living room and a disappointed whine left his throat when he saw the furniture flipped over and smoke, concealing their blackened fabric with the cough-inducing veil. With his smarting eyes, Lussuria skimmed the area, so dearly hoping that he wouldn't see anyone. A sigh of relief left him as he continued on, ignoring the flames licking the crumbling legs of the coffee table. Now he was outside, and he cringed at the fact he didn't need to open the door since there was a gaping hole where it would have been. "Bastards..." Lussuria cursed, his face grim and painted with an expression that 'hurt' couldn't even begin to describe. For such an attack, though, the man saw no one around, only fires ranging from red to yellow surrounding the area in a death cage. It seemed to close in by the second. He wanted someone to blame for all of this, someone to blame for Bel's untimely death, someone to blame for the way the beams groaned in protest when they bought Levi down permanently. And someone to blame for that feeling of culpability that had been imprinted on him with Bel's dying words and the last words Levi had said to him. Just someone to blame for all of this, because it couldn't have possibly been his fault, it couldn't possibly have been!

"Voi!" came the wounded cry not too far off. Lussuria attempted to use his speedy footwork to flash over to whom he knew would be Squalo, but his legs refused to listen and he had to settle for a speedy run. Why his legs felt so heavy all of a sudden, he did not know. Sweat perspired down his forehead, his green bangs sticking to his face now as his sunglasses slumped down the bridge of his nose. This just couldn't be happening. "Squalo!" Lussuria half panted, eyes hurrying in their search for the long haired Varia assassin. "Squalo! Where are you?" he yelled despite his breathlessness. Perhaps Bel had been right, perhaps he could redeem himself. If he could save Squalo, then perhaps he wouldn't feel so useless as Levi had implied or as Bel had downright accused him of. His mind quickly drove away the though of Squalo perishing; would the swordsman use his dying breath to curse him as well? The vague feeling creeping into the left side of his upper torso already told him it would do more than destroy him. It would destroy whom he was and whom he had been, so factiously hiding behind the title as the Varia's 'mother'.

The wheezing sound of labored breaths bought Lussuria running towards Squalo. His head was turned on its side, but his body was on its stomach. Through the dirtied strands of Squalo's long hair, Lussuria could see the heaving of his lungs. Squalo was breathing. Thank goodness, Squalo is breathing, he thought as he kneeled down next to the swordsman. Lussuria was careful with his hands, gently turning Squalo's body so that his chest faced upward. An opened mouth grimace of disgust paired with his narrowed eyes as he saw shrapnel embedded in the man. Squalo's mouth remained opened in a pained way as he greedily sucked in air to live. He had one eye open to peer at his senior, the other surrounded by gashes that suggested his eye had been struck too. "Squalo, I'll heal you!" Squalo's breathing remained in its labored pace as Lussuria quickly fumbled for his box weapon. But he couldn't find it! He grinded his teeth together and turned his head away from Squalo dejectedly; it had most likely fallen out with the first explosion. "Squalo..." With a gentle touch, Lussuria moved the hair out of Squalo's face. He observed the look in Squalo's eye, the slow contracting of his pupils, and how his mouth was barely controlled by him now, how it was only open on instinct for all possible air consummation. "I'm sorry, Squ-chan..." Lussuria's voice had turned into that of a soft melody. He swallowed his fear now; because it was obvious Squalo's injuries were far too serious for him to heal, even if he had his box animal's power. "Forgive me," his voice had turned pleading now. "Forgive me, Squalo!" With a lazy flick of his good eye, Squalo watched Lussuria begin to sob into his hands. The assassin's silver brow narrowed with his eye. His lips quivered as he tried to mouth out a word. Lussuria watched in anxiety, dreading that this one, too, would be less than forgiving. Squalo's breathing became more violent as his mouth twitched on a grander scale. He made sounds reminiscing to a dying animal before weakly mouthing 'No' and expelling blood from his throat. His head fell to the side as blood leaked out of his mouth, staining the beautiful hair Lussuria always loved to see. "Aha," Lussuria choked out in a sob. He almost couldn't believe it.

Everyone in the Varia was built up into an image of strength, cunning wit, and immortality even! But during this mysterious attack, everyone had fallen-- their best just wasn't good enough, apparently. Lussuria inhaled a shaky breath and lifted himself up from his kneeling position. His body felt heavier than he remembered. Possibly laden with the guilt of letting their deaths happen, possibly from the fact that he couldn't do anything even when their lives hung in front of him by glass string, swaying gently in front of him before their movement became erratic and it snapped, leaving him with a stinging pain and an emotional cut that was only constricted by the delicate string; the string so sharp yet so beautiful. That was their life. And he let it end. "Do I still have one more chance?" Lussuria sobbed out, his tears never ending. "Is Xanxus still alive?" Lussuria tore his gaze upward to avoid looking at Squalo's body and spotted his boss standing nonchalantly at the end of the balcony. "Xan... Xanxus!" Lussuria cried out, almost inaudibly when his hiccupped sobs attacked. Xanxus' expression was difficult to make out from his position, but through the smog and with the help of the fire, he could see that Xanxus sported an expression of mingled disappointment and anger. It was his usual look, but this time the look was directed at him--Lussuria. There had been an empty wine glass in between Xanxus' hands, and he let it fall to the ground floor. Lussuria wanted to cry in joy (at the fact that Xanxus was alive), but he also wanted to sob until his eyes fell out at the intense look Xanxus gave him with those narrowed, hating red eyes.

Lussuria ran forward to stand below the balcony, already on his knees and pulling his hands up into a begging fist. "Xanxus--!" Lussuria wanted to beg for forgiveness, thinking if Xanxus accepted his apology, he could stretch it for everyone else and feel reprieved of the grief that had so quickly accumulated on his shoulders. No words would spring to his throat but Xanxus' name in a desolate tone. "Xanxus, Xanxus!" With that piercing red glower, Xanxus stared down his nose at Lussuria. He snorted in amusement, much to Lussuria's dismay, before upturning his nose at the man. "Xanxus..." he sputtered, using his arms to support himself from falling into the ground altogether. "I would have done something, I really would have!" Lussuria yelled to the ground. "I wouldn't have let this happen!" His anguished cry became silent as the whole Varia base came down in a tumble of flaming bricks and wood. "This shouldn't be happening! It shouldn't!" was what Lussuria would have said if he could even move his mouth out of its parted stupor. He watched from behind cracked sunglasses lens as Xanxus' figure burned before him, half caught in the rubble. The flames were cold compared to the red glare Xanxus pinned him with.

The flames then engulfed Lussuria entirely, his vision only a mess of bloody reds and faded oranges and the look of disappointment in each Varia officer's eyes before their final breath. Bel's words echoed in his head.

"No, you're not that good... you're not that good..."

He had failed at protecting the ones he cherished most.

And there was no one to blame but himself.

---

He didn't know what time it was, or what was even happening. All he knew was he was sobbing silently into his pillow, so glad that there was noise within the Varia home. Squalo's morning "Voi!" echoed down the hall, Bel's pressed laugh creeping under his door as Levi's string of curses retorted. Then came the deafening shatter of glass as all three of them promptly became silent under Xanxus' order.

Lussuria never thought he would have been so happy to hear the messy squad known as the Varia, his sobs dwindling into more controlled sniffles. But the -- nightmare -- would always haunt him. He would never let that happen as the Varia Sun Guardian, destroying the misfortune that attacks his family with his own body, becoming the sun that brightly shines for them.

And only for them. Always.