Characters/Pairings: Squalo, Xanxus; XS if you squint

Warnings: Rated T for Squalo's mouth and Xanxus being Xanxus

Disclaimer: Reborn! does not belong to me; it belongs to Akira Amano

Author's Note: Written for a friend of mine, who's birthday was yesterday. As always, feedback is love! Enjoy.

Split Ends

Squalo glared at his almost comical reflection staring back at him. Dark circles shone under his eyes, his skin was so ashen one might mistake him for a vampire, and his hair was literally sticking up straight in some places. To say he was having a bad hair day was putting it lightly. The swordsman occasionally had such bad hair days, but this one took the cake. Squalo mentally swore to himself a band of rats must have violently made love in his hair the night before or something. Hair didn't just get like that on its own.

He grasped a loose lock of hair between his fingers and brought it up to his face so he could see it better in the dull candlelight. Scoffing, he let go, thinking of his hideous split ends with contempt.

For the past few months now he'd been itching to get a haircut. He couldn't stand battling with his hair every morning to get those pesky knots untangled. It was like fighting with a giant white hairball to the death. And usually the hairball won. Xanxus was already furious the shark had broken three brushes this past week alone. If he broke another one, Squalo was sure Xanxus was going to feed him to his box weapon for breakfast.

He meant it when he promised that bastard Xanxus he wasn't going to cut his hair until he was Vongola boss. But now, as he stood in front of his mirror with cowlicks and stray hairs all over the place, he was having second thoughts. Breaking his promise sounded more and more tempting by the day. How many more broken brushes was he going to have to go through? How much more torture would his precious hair have to endure? And more importantly, Xanxus's beatings were never pleasant. Squalo winced, remembering he still had bruises and glass splinters in places he sure as hell didn't want to get ever again.

How many years had passed since his last hair appointment anyways? Thinking back, the swordsman couldn't remember. Squalo gritted his teeth. He wouldn't be in this hairy situation if Xanxus hadn't lost to that damn kid. Just the very thought of that wimpy punk Tsuna becoming the Tenth made the shark angry enough to kick puppies. Except not really. Squalo would never actually go and kick puppies. Kittens however, were a different story…

Squalo shook his head and sighed irritably. Grabbing his brand new brush sitting on the table next to the mirror, he apprehensively brought it to his untamable mane. To his relief the first few strokes were a clean through and through. No tangles yet.

"You better not fucking break on me today," the white haired Varia mumbled as he gingerly began unsnarling the first of many rat's nests.

A few tense minutes passed and his hair had only gotten stuck twice. But they were minor jams, and he was able to wrench his brush free with out too much of a hassle. He breathed a sigh of relief he hadn't realized he'd been holding. He was over halfway done now. He was sure he was in the clear. Squalo let himself zone out as he dragged his comb through one of the remaining knots.

That is, until he was jolted awake by the brush lodging itself into his hair.

"Huh?" His eyes blinked open. He gently pulled on the brush a second time, wincing when his hair yanked painfully at his scalp again. "Fuck!" Squalo exclaimed as he leapt onto his feet. He tugged desperately on the handle jutting out from the side of his head. To his horror it wouldn't budge.

The longhaired Varia yanked and pulled with all his might. "Oi, don't do this to me now!" He groaned.

Not even his insane strength he gained from being a swordsman was helping. He kept on tugging until he heard a loud and unpleasant isnap/i. At the sound he instantly let go of the brush. His eyes opened wide when he saw the splintered handle fall onto the carpeted floor. To make matters worse, he looked at himself in the mirror to see the damage. And there was the working end of the brush, still firmly lodged in his hair.

Squalo cursed violently as he hastily bent down to pick up the broken piece. "Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!" he thought aloud to himself, "That was the fourth one!"

Suddenly the shark heard a door open and slam shut, followed by a pair of heavy footsteps marching down the hallway. They didn't stop until the footstep's owner stood just outside his bedroom door. "What the hell is going on in there?" An all too familiar voice bellowed.

Squalo gulped. He had a lot of explaining to do if he was going to get out of this one unscathed.