Notes: I wanted to make a Xanxus x Squalo one-shot so I did. This actually my first time writing a battle scene, so please pardon my inadequacy. Nonetheless, I hope you guys enjoy(?) it. Oh, and one more thing: if I messed up the genre and/ or rating, please do say so in the review (PMs also welcome~).

Title credited to my friend, and imouto, Believer. Arigatou ne!

Length: 1,391 words

Rated for violence and gore.

The unforgiving rain of red had been spilling indefinitely. An hour, a minute, a second – he cared not. He eyed the figure amidst the splay of blood, the exhibition of mangle bones and the macabre of torn and limp flesh. It had been a splendid dance, marred with splotches of bright red, dank brown, the swordsman effortlessly slashing, thrusting through skin, flesh and bone. The glint of the sword had remained untainted, ruby red seeping through the fine leather material of his gloves. Inclining to primal instinct, he traced the length of the sword with his tongue, the metallic tang and scarce salt intoxicating.

He found callous grey orbs – bereft of its adamant joviality – matching his furious crimson, a reflection of sin and passion altogether. The immaculate blackness of the swordsman's leather boots trudged through soil and flesh; the gleam of silver threads performing a silent symphony against the whipping breeze of night.

There had been hordes of assailants after the swordsman's head – blades swinging indiscriminately, guns pointing unremarkably – devoid of battle grace. His ashen façade had not withered, had not shifted; his detached gaze partially obscured by his unkempt grey fringe. Gradually, he lifted his chin, exposing his face to the dim light of the forbearing moon, highlighting his more than exquisite features – lengthy lashes that cast lofty shadows over his porcelain white cheeks, angular cheekbones that accentuated the slope of his nose.

The swordsman made his eyes wander towards no particular direction, his senses sharp, his eyes unyielding, his breaths spaced and even. It struck him – the ragged footsteps of his prey slowly encroaching his perimeter. A congregation of expertly concealed emotions surfaced, manifesting itself on the swordsman's placid mask. Anxiety. Uncertainty. Ecstasy.

After a few soundless seconds, the tip of the blade had been raised, a lethal first strike awaiting an ill-fated adversary to suffer it's wrath; the first strike honed to perfection from years of slaughter in the name of insurmountable pride. Keen prying eyes hawked the motionless landscape, drilling through each corner for even the vaguest trace of life. He blinked drearily, drops of rain leaving the length of his lashes, if only to gleam at the presence of the faint light.

A ripple in the puddle of blood and water. The deliverance of death. The harvest of life.

Eyes were adeptly fueled by surging desires, an epiphany of his duties, his vow to a man that watches with scrutinizing eyes, a figure forever dwelling in the shadows. He breathed in, a mouthful of air flooding his deprived lungs. He smiled – cruel albeit still mirroring his slightest humanity – as his blade lunged mirthlessly into throbbing flesh.

In one fluid motion, he retracted his blade, jerking off the fresh track of blood trailing down its handle. A few more practiced thrusts and slashes and a fresh pile of limp and bedraggled corpses lay askew in the crimson path he meticulously carved; his boots now a stark red and his locks a mishmash of dull grey and foul brown.

Indeed, it had truly been an extravaganza, a feast known only to the entity who gradually revealed himself from the dark whence he came.

He trailed over those severed limbs, eyes tracing over the fine cut dealt by his second-in-command's sword, a mocking scoff departing his taut lips. In the corners of his eyes, residual movements had been caught, raising his gun-wielding hands in strict routine. After mere breaths and pauses, a blaring inferno emancipated from the cold nozzles of his guns, scorching the thick foliage which camouflaged their ill-advised adversaries. He allowed himself a prideful smirk as the flames engulfed even the ephemeral darkness of night.

The excessive showcase of prowess deviated the reticent swordsman's attention, eyes narrowing down to mere slits, albeit he dared not take his eyes off his own prey – their eyes a reflection of vengeance for fallen comrades. He lolled his head slightly, catching the visage of the foliage ablaze.

The night was young and stealthy shadows kindred to the sprawled and lifeless lunged at him, their efforts swatted by the smite of his blade. He let his feet guide him, mindful of the barrage of attacks directed at him, into the core of enemy concentration. He allowed himself a second's peace of mind before finally striking down every one within the scope of his reach.

A torrent of knives flew in his direction. One missed him by mere strands of hair while another grazed his cheek, splitting flesh and spewing blood into the morbid background. He hissed at the flash of pain, only to be overpowered by his pulsing instinct to kill the fool who had inflicted a superficial wound on his flawlessly scar bare skin.

He had caught him, the tip of his blade impaling heated skin, pressure withdrawn to a minimum. He saw more idiots horde around him; he let his sword glide skillfully through the windpipe and upward towards the cranium, the sound of shattering skull making his lips curl mechanically, eyes fixated on the blood pooling from his weapon's point of entry. Just as quickly, he yanked the flaccid body off, facing the myriads of eyes gaping at him.

The angry flames had not died, had not dissipated despite the tumultuous rain.

His calloused hands coolly grazed the handles of his guns, now secured by the holsters inside his tainted over coat. The pristine presence of the moon had, if not paralleled, come in close second to the marvel, a reoccurring albeit haunting phenomena, of which his second-in-command was. He allowed himself neither a blink nor breath, his attention wholly on the ceaselessly escalating rhythm of the dance of death.

They had, he surmised, been under the grace of the bellowing rain for hours, stiffness of muscle reduced to feral whims to draw blood. He too shared desires albeit on a much grander scale; his lips curving to a smirk, a bloodcurdling and petrifying sight, known only to those with barren eyes that stared into perpetual nothingness.

A battle cry, perhaps of pain and desperation, roared through the desolate field, abruptly tearing Xanxus' vivid gaze which incited a greater fury from the formerly stoic. He darted for the source, a mere bug, he thought wryly. A swift blow from the heel of his shoe rendered the man limp, a last attempt for breath crushed as he ruthlessly brought down his foot to the gaping man's hungry mouth; the jaw caved in, blood seeping through the crevice.

He turned his back on the man gagging from his own blood, a smile of satisfaction flitting through his lips.

From the gaps between the swaying bamboo, he caught a glimpse of corpses, dead through and through. The rain had not stopped, leaving countless puddles of pink on the muddled soil. He glided, not a ripple from the path he walked. No sound, no motion. Truly, he was the epitome of Varia quality, an organization merely the shadow of the grandiose Vongola, unknown slaughterers in their name.

He allowed himself no pause; he saw the swordsman, motionless and grounded, having felled the last of those who opposed. A beautiful sight, he dare not say for it was neither his place nor character. Instead, he inched himself closer, not allowing a squeak or squall from underneath his feet, and yanked at the swordsman's bedraggled silver locks, tangling strands of with his fingers. "Scum," he spat, earning yet another look from the swordsman, albeit it had been of calm and indifference.

"The deed has been done," a pause, a moment to catch deserved breath, ensued before he dully added, "boss". The swordsman fell silent, the cold hands fiddling with sliver strands a remembrance of a solid, unspoken vow.

I shall be your sword, reducing to rubble all that stand in your way. I shall be your shield, not a thing penetrating my unyielding stance. I shall be your eyes, tracking down all that is false. I shall be your voice, a booming specter over those in the palm of your hands. I shall be the rain that cleanses the tainted path, your destiny.

As long as the blaring vengeance resides within you, I shall stay.

Trails of pink trickled down his silver hair as they met with wet lips.

The unrelenting rain slowly cast curtains to the denouement of a lingering and exquisite danse macabre.

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