It hit Xanxus like a well aimed shot to the chest, the instant he least expected. He couldn't remember exactly when it happened however he does remember the solid, accomplished feeling in his chest as he looked at his silver-haired second in command. That day they were discussing something…but he can't recall exactly what it was. Squalo was striding around the room talking, while he was lounging on his throne glass in hand, observing the intricate details of the swordsman. Then, when they made eye contact, he felt something like a fire ignite in his soul and he was almost overcome with the urge to get up and touch the man. His body burned with desire as Squalo continued to speak, unaware of the emotional changes within his boss.

Xanxus remembers that he was too absorbed in his thoughts when the door slammed and Squalo left, but that hungry feeling in his body stayed ever since.

It took him a while to realize what the feeling was and when he did, he never mentioned it to his rain guardian. It would be like an open confession of his greatest weakness and no doubt he thought that Squalo would take advantage of it. They were cold blooded assassins, they were predators…feelings of attraction did not belong with them.

As time went by that feeling grew stronger and despite his mind urging him to condemn such emotions, Xanxus secretly craved the warm sensation. He couldn't stop himself from staring at the slender yet strong figure whenever the latter barged into his room for a mission report. He enjoyed deeply, the satisfaction he felt whenever the swordsman spoke to him, whenever he looked at him, even if they were only words of contempt or pissed off glances. He grew attached to the voice and the hair and everything that was Superbi Squalo but he would never admit it.

It wasn't long before a new feeling emerged. Like the previous, this feeling ignited a flame within him but this time it wasn't the warm fire that gave him so much pleasure. This fire threatened to destroy and drove him to the brink of madness every time he felt it.

Xanxus first endured such rage when Squalo brought a woman into the Varia mansion. He knew she was just a sex object that would be forgotten the next day but nevertheless felt the uncontrollable urge to blast her head off with his own hands. The feeling took him completely by surprise because he had never lost control when he saw Squalo with his whores prior to this. He knew now, after hours of contemplation that the feeling was jealousy. Xanxus himself had never been with any woman, he considered it a waste of time and money but the other Varia members occasionally sought out their service. Normally he wouldn't have minded but with fresh new desires blossoming within him, he took the initiative to track down every single individual that left the castle at night.

Attraction was a means of comfort for Xanxus but jealousy stimulated the worst side of him. He would personally track down every woman who had the intimacy of touching his beloved shark, and he would kill them himself in whatever gruesome or torturous way he wanted. He had long decided that if he couldn't have Squalo, then no one could. Squalo belonged to him, no matter what the shark said and Xanxus decided that nobody laid their hands on his property.

Loneliness came sooner than expected when Squalo went out on a long mission. Sure it was Xanxus who gave him the mission in the first place but he had no idea he would miss the rain guardian so dearly. He wasn't expecting emptiness to replace Squalo's warmth and realized he needed to see his second in command at least once a day in order to satisfy his 'cravings'.

Xanxus also found out that of all the emotions so far, this one was by far the most painful. True, jealousy was painful too but at least he could negate the pain by killing whatever the cause was, loneliness on the other hand possessed only one cure and that cure was out of his reach. Nothing he did stopped the annoying ache in his heart for the whole week until Squalo returned and when he did, Xanxus purposely kept the swordsman by his side as much as possible. He had to make up for the week spent without his presence, no matter how many complaints he got from Squalo.

He decided that next time there was a lengthy mission waiting, they would go together.

He felt pathetic too. If Squalo knew what was going on in his head every time they killed someone together, the swordsman would probably cut his hair the next day and quit. Xanxus kept his emotions well hidden but he suspected that he may have accidentally let slip some things. Occasionally he would catch Squalo looking at him weirdly but all it took was a 'what the fuck are you looking at scum' to successfully hide the elation in his body and destroy all doubts that Squalo had. To everyone in the Varia, he was still the ruthless boss who never gave a rat's ass about anyone and Xanxus wanted to maintain that image for it only reduced the possible suspicions that anyone would have on his sexuality. However, if things kept going on as they are currently, even he knew he wouldn't be able to keep it up and eventually his darkest secret would be revealed. He tried to ignore those thoughts for now. He was actually dealing fairly well with those bizarre feelings that oh so frequently visited him ever since he set eyes on the swordsman.

After loneliness came confusion. Or more like self-consciousness. This was what made Xanxus truly ashamed of himself because only teenage girls were self conscious, an assassin like him definitely should not be. It was common knowledge with everyone who worked under Xanxus that he was actually quite fashionable and cared about appearances to an extent. So when he ordered new designer boots, custom made for fighting and convenient for assassinations, nobody was surprised at all.

Xanxus was quite proud of his new shoes and secretly hoped his rain guardian would be impressed. What he wasn't hoping for was the actual reaction he got from Squalo.

'VOOI, what the fuck are you wearing boss?' The silver haired swordsman exclaimed when he saw them.

It turns out that Squalo didn't like those sturdy silver boots and even decided to insult Xanxus about his prized purchase. That was all it took for Xanxus to neglect his used-to-be-a-moment-ago esteemed assets and never set eyes on them again. And Xanxus was genuinely confused. No, not angry. Confused. Since when did Squalo's insults actually hurt him? Normally he'd have brushed them off or ignored them, or just chucked a wineglass at his head but this time he was shocked beyond words. Not to mention, when he would order a new coat or new gun holders or whatever, he'd wonder if Squalo would like them. Since when has the stupid shark's opinion affected him so badly?

So in order to overcome his confusion (self-consciousness) he would resort to wearing the same thing everyday, in case his rain guardian didn't like what he saw. Or sometimes he would casually (he hoped) ask what Squalo preferred and stick to that.

And when Xanxus thought it was all over, fear grew itself within him.

Lussuria, not Squalo, came into his room that day. He could sense something wrong with the flamboyant man but decided not to word his observations, instead just resolving to a 'what is it trash'. He did look unnerved, Xanxus thought, which was highly unusual.

'Bossu, you should come down and take a look at Squ-chan.'

The femininity in his voice was gone now, and he sounded more serious than anything. Abruptly, he left the Varia boss alone no doubt going to check on Squalo.

Xanxus' mind went numb as he pictured the possibilities of what could have happened to his shark to make Lussuria act like what he did. A new emotion, fear, sparked in his stomach and sent a shiver down his back. Slowly and stiffly, he made his way out of the room and down to Squalo's room. His heart was beating harder than ever, he could almost feel it burst out of his chest but he kept his composure; he must not look weak in front of his men.

The fear was growing as he walked, each step bringing him closer to what seemed like an impending doom. He had never been reduced to this state in his life, not even when he was on the verge of death (not that it happened often). He didn't know how injured Squalo was, but judging from Lussuria's expression he must be hovering over the thin line of life and death. Xanxus felt as if solid iron bars had been dropped in his stomach as he thought of the excruciatingly empty week he had without Squalo's presence and automatically regret sending him on such a dangerous mission.

When he got to the door, Bel and the others walked out, their faces giving away nothing.

'You scum, what's wrong with him?' Xanxus asked, trying to sound a harsh as possible, determined not to show that he cared about Squalo's fate. It was unbearable, waiting for his men to answer him. Seconds passed like years as he prepared himself for the worst, breathing in and out faster than he would have liked. Ignoring the sick feeling in his stomach, he glared at the lot, evidently expecting an answer. At that moment, Lussuria walked out, sweating but looking much more relaxed.

'It's okay boss-chan, he's lost a lot of blood but he'll recover just fine.' And with that, he gave a wink, usual demeanor returning in an instant.

Xanxus showed no change in expression but relief flooded and spread inside him like wildfire. He grunted in response and they took it as the sign to leave. He couldn't care less about that now, the fact that his shark was alive and well seemed to sink in and his legs couldn't hold him for much longer. Fortunately for him, no one saw his moment of weakness as he leaned back against the wall closing his eyes and savoring the warm truth.

It was then he realized exactly what Squalo meant to him and surprisingly he wasn't ashamed at all. No, he was happy even. He knew that even the greatest warriors had a weakness and he was glad that his weakness was Squalo. As he walked inside and toward the sleeping swordsman, he felt another emotion take over. This time he knew exactly what that emotion was and he didn't try to hide it as he sat beside Squalo, admiring the way his silver hair curled and twisted on the pillow. He sat listening to the steady breathing of his shark and the feeling grew stronger until he couldn't hold it any longer. He didn't care if Squalo didn't feel the same way, he didn't care at all.

He bent down and whispered quietly in Squalo's ear.

'Hey…I love you…trash.'

But Squalo didn't hear him.

-END-


[A/N] - Whew, done! I tried to make it so that Xanxus was the one after Squalo because usually it's the other way around. Hope he wasn't too OOC, I know it's hard imagining Xanxus feeling all those things but I'm sure he does for Squalo! TBH, I'm not really happy with this story, it's definitely not one of my strong ones but nevertheless enjoy :D.

Reviews are always appreciated!