[[ Shorter than I wanted, but I guess it should be okay. =X Can't say it really is XS either. Argh. ]]

Silence. Complete silence. Why was that so? "It's quiet… Did something happen to that damn shark trash?" Xanxus mused to himself as he wondered why the mansion was this eerily void of Squalo's voice. "That's weird. I only remember assigning that one mission to Levi and not him, so why is it so quiet?"

That mission was something that had a low percentage of succeeding and with it being the direct order of Vongola Nono to do it, Xanxus had no choice but to accept it. "Of course the mission's success rate would be higher if I just sent that damn shark trash but even if it's him, the odds are still less than fifty percent… That was why I sent Levi to do it….That shark trash can't possibly took that mission without my orders now…."

Xanxus was annoyed, he refused to admit to himself that he was actually worried about Squalo and did not want to risk having to lose his right hand man. The reason why he sent Levi to do it was simple enough, he found the mission too dangerous and Squalo was someone irreplaceable to him, even if he never admits it.

"Come to think about it, my meals were brought in by some other trash instead of him. He usually is the one to bring me my food and wine….." That was simple, the only one who could deal with his demands was Squalo, no one else would shout back at him and actually be able to fulfill his orders perfectly. "Those other trashes are just useless. How hard is it to get my meat and everything done in perfection?"

Squalo was the only one daring enough to talk back to him and suffer the consequences without shrieking in fear, the only one that would walk with him like they were equals. "He better not have taken that mission, I will never forgive him if he does." He hissed angrily and got out of his chair, attempting to look for his missing swordman.

"What kind of right-hand man leaves his boss alone without a word anyway? If I ever find that damn shark trash, he's going to pay for it." His facial expression might be the same but his inside was completely different. He was actually slightly worried if he might never be able to see his Rain guardian ever again.

Xanxus ignored the greetings he was given and headed towards the living room where most of the top members usually hang around. He could see Mammon counting his money, Belphegor stabbing Fran as they discuss their clothes for the Vongola Christmas party that was next wekk and Lussuria watching television.

The fact that he did not see Squalo or Levi just made the whole matter worse, he was still unaware of who exactly went for the mission. "Where's the shark trash?" Xanxus bellowed and waited impatiently for one of them to speak up.

Lussuria seemed surprised and immediately started taking. "Eh? What are you saying bossu? He we—" His words were interrupted by Bel who managed to speak up faster. "Didn't you send him to that mission? The one he left last night?"

The words sunk in immediately and he fought slightly to keep the poker face to stay. "He went to that mission? Who on earth sent him to that? I sent Levi, not him. That shark trash must want to die more than I thought."

Bitter and rage. That was all Xanxus felt right now. "Where's Levi?" Xanxus was still pretty mad that the mission he assigned to him changed to Squalo instead. "Hmm? Levi-chan left with Squ-chan, bossu~" At least the trash did not push his mission to Squalo.

Now only the question as to why Squalo left for that mission remained. "Why did that damn shark trash leave for the mission when I didn't assign it to him? Is he trying to disobey my orders by choosing to leave for a mission by himself?" He was not worrying about his rain guardian, there was absolutely no way he was.

"That's because Squ-chan felt that there was no way Levi-chan could do it alone and insisted on tagging alone to make the mission more succeedable~" Xanxus turned away from them and walked back towards his office. "He's more of an idiot than I thought then. How would the mission change with just him deciding to join in?"

"Eh? Bossu—" He ignored those protests and walked back slowly, collapsing into his chair and questioning himself why he was even bothered by this. "That shark trash only thought too highly of himself…. Why am I thinking about him anyway?"

It had been three days and no word had came from Squalo or the others. Xanxus was still refusing to admit that he was worried and he would leave whenever someone mentioned Squalo. He would always mutter something about Squalo being an idiot and better not come back when deep down he was fighting a losing battle with himself to not worry.

"Nee, Bossu seems affected doesn't he?" Belphegor questioned the others once Xanxus had enough of dinner and left. "That does seem like it, Bel-senpai. But this is Bossu we're talking about, that's pretty unlikely even if there seem to be something between them."

"It isn't that bad if Bossu cares though, Fran-chan~ He's human just like us and have emotions too~" Lussuria added in and the others moved further away from him and his sudden sparkles. "I suppose. Shall we make a bet to see if Squalo comes back?" Bel snickered and forked out his wallet. "Uishishishi~ Money-minded as always I see. Sure why not~ The Prince shall bet that he comes back~"

Xanxus tried hard to fight off the uneasiness he had been feeling for the past five days. Squalo had never not reported anything to him for that long ever and the sky was getting darker already.

Without Squalo around, things had been really hectic since they were unable to deal with his temper and prepare his meals well, Squalo has always been the one to tell them what to prepare and the one to deal with Xanxus when he's in one of his anger issues.

The tranquility around him was non-existent right now and that bothered Xanxus deeply. What exactly was that shark to him? He had to admit that Squalo was much more than the other trashes around him for his life to be thrown into chaos once he is not around anymore.

Their relationship had always been a strange one, with Squalo swearing his allegiance to him and no matter how hard he treats him, Squalo would still stay with him regardless. The silver-haired male was almost pretty with his long hair that he still kept even after all these years.

You could say that Squalo was the one that keeps Xanxus slightly calm and peaceful, his source of tranquility. Even though Squalo hurts his ears with his yelling, Xanxus would not have anyone else as his right hand man. No one else would be able to talk back to him without any fear and still have the guts to yell at him even after he threatens to kill him after throwing his wine glasses at him.

They had another relationship that was not known to most of the members, probably just a handful of them realized about it. It first started when Xanxus found out about the truth of his birth. It had enraged him so greatly that he had destroyed a huge amount of objects before he chanced upon Squalo.

It had angered him even more when he recalled the swears Squalo swore to him and he had tugged the male against his will back into his room. His anger were all thoroughly vented on the other male as he forced himself onto him, the anger tension all turned into sexual frustration.

Strangely, no matter what Squalo screamed and asked him to do, he had refused to stop and Squalo's voice had calmed him down greatly and soon it all turned right into pure lust as he continued his ministrations.

He had thought that Squalo would stop following after that, but he was wrong. "That idiot trash still followed me even after that, not even questioning me why I did it…"

The peaceful feeling he had from that was mostly due to his rain element most likely. "He really is like his rain element huh…. Providing the calmness and tranquility with him, even if he's way too noisy."

Xanxus had tried sleeping with other females and even males after that incident but none of them gave him the same feeling as Squalo did. Soon he simply gave up looking for other people to sleep with and simply just went to Squalo. "He did seem surprised at first and very unwilling but he soon gave up resisting and let me do whatever I want."

It was mean but hey, Squalo was the one that chose to follow him willingly even after all those. His after actions were always unnoticed, that was also Squalo's fault for not being awake to feel or hear them. "The only times when I ever feel soft….."

"It had been a habit, a habit to brush through his thick tresses of hair. They were surprisingly soft whenever I touch them, how he ever has time to wash and dry that thick mop of hair is a mystery." There were soft whispers done too, soft apologies and mumblings that were always left unheard.

"That damn shark trash always just sleep it through." He knew that Squalo was asleep whenever he speaks but he still chose to do it anyway. Deep in his mind, he had silently wished that one day Squalo would hear him and understand that he really did matter to him.

Towards anyone else who comes back late, Xanxus would care less and simply acknowledge them with an annoyed look to let them know to come back earlier next time. For Squalo's case, it has always been different. "I would tell him how late it is and make an attempt to come back earlier."

Squalo was different because Xanxus actually cared if he came back or not, his expressions never gave him away thanks to how well he could mask his emotions. Anger was the only time he ever allowed himself to show to other people, the only time whenever he shows a softer expression was to Squalo once they were finished but Squalo never did manage to catch it ever.

He could have shown it to him some other time and voiced out that he was important to him in his life but that was not Xanxus's style and he chose to keep quiet about it instead. Besides, he had yet to figure out what Squalo is to him yet.

"It's his own fault for always being asleep at that time." The uneasiness was not fading away and he grew fed out when Lussuria kept showing him suits to select for the Christmas Party that Sawada Tsunayoshi was holding. The worse was when Lussuria asked him to pick one for Squalo as well.

He brushed Lussuria off and asked him to pick for them without bothering him. Even in his sleep he was unable to shake it off the feeling that something was missing and he was not able to get into his usual peaceful slumber. "This is all that damn shark trash's fault."

As much as he cursed and scolded Squalo, Squalo was still something that was more than the others. Xanxus was aware that Squalo would never betray or leave his side, even if he does get annoyed whenever Squalo leaves to train Yamamoto. But at least he knows that Squalo would come back no matter what happens. This time was different, the mission was just too hard even with two of their elite members out there.

24 December. Christmas Eve, even the festive decorations did not help to make Xanxus's mood any better. "It feels weird without Squalo's shouting….." Bel announcned, lying on the sofa without a smile. "I have to agree with you there, Bel-senpai. It has been too quiet lately…."

Mammon paused and looked at the two of them for a few seconds before returning to counting his money, keeping his mouth shut. Lussuria was still busy baking some Christmas goodies and did not help them.

Bel had his arms hooked with Fran as he looked around the place boredly, as if Squalo would pop out any moment. But atlas, that did not happen. Xanxus was still busy sleeping, the alcohol finally managing to knock him out for the moment.

Evening came back quickly and a loud thud could be heard outside the door. Lussuria opened it and immediately yelled once he noticed the state of the people there. "SQU-CHAN AND LEVI-CHAN'S BACK. They're not in good shape though…"

Bel and Fran were among the first to arrive and Bel was surprised to see the shape Squalo was in. True that Lussuria did say that they were in bad shape but he did not expect it to be that bad. There were cuts all over and he hurriedly tugged Squalo indoors, making Fran tug Levi in unhappily.

Xanxus stopped back and despite what he really wanted to do, he kicked Squalo lightly. "You're late, really late." A soft apology was heard before Squalo fainted. In spite of his injuries, he was still able to remain conscience this long and even tug Levi back with him was a miracle.

Only one fifth of the lower members made it back with them and all of them were in equally bad state like Squalo. Leaving the others to the doctors and other members, Lussuria concentrated on healing Squalo first, finding his still bleeding gash serious.

Even with Lussuria's healing flames, it took fifteen minutes till he managed to heal Squalo enough to ensure that he would live, but not completely yet since that would take too much time and his remaining strength was just enough to heal Levi's wounds partially.

"Squ-chan would need a place to sleep and rest peacefully, his bed best." Lussuria instructed them as he tiredly started his flames to heal Levi. Without a word, Xanxus had hoisted Squalo upstairs and the other members kept their mouth shut. Even if all of them appeared uncaring, they actually were relieved that Squalo was back. They would never admit ti though and would cover it with mean words like Xanxus.

Squalo was quickly changed into something clean once Xanxus instructed someone to help clean him up before they were all sent away. He had Squalo in his bed, caressing the still rather soft hair, whispering quietly. "Welcome back. It has been weird without your shouts."

It was unlike him to do such a thing but Squalo was asleep like always, not being aware to help his words. "You're not going to hear my words like always ah? I was worried….hard to believe but I really was. Even though I never say it to you when you're aware, I truly do care about you."

The caressing never stopped as he managed to make himself voice out what was in his heart the whole time, the charade that he had never shown to him before. "I know. You never said it to me but I was aware that you do. Through your actions I know, it's not that hard to read your expressions after how long I have been with you. You would always dump all your troubles and everything else to me and I accept them because I know that the only source of your target is me. You feel more at peace once you throw your tantrums at me., that's why I accept whatever you give me and stay."

The soft words caused Xanxus to cease his actions and look into those grey eyes in shock. "Trash, I have no idea what you're saying." Even if he was glad to hear that, Xanxus was still not going to admit it. "Whatever you say." Squalo closed his eyes and went back to sleep.

"It's nice to have you back." He knew that his words had reached his rain guardian when the hand he was grasping held his back tightly with a smile. He moved into his bed and closed his eyes, the uneasiness was gone and he felt like his usual self. "Looks like I'm finally going to get a peaceful sleep at last."

The sleep that refused to come to him for the past six days had came in seconds for him, his heavy burden that had been bugging him had disappeared.

When they woke up the next morning, neither of them spoke a word about what happened last night. Once Lussuria was done healing Squalo and Levi, they were sent to dress for the party. Squalo's suit was white and blue, with Xanxus actually bothering to pick one that looked nice on him.

Xanxus's one on the other hand was just black and white, not being peculiar about his suit at all. Bel's and Fran's were suspiciously similar and the others suspected that it was a custom made pair set of suits. What Lussuria was wearing was disturbing and after many threats, they had managed to get him to change into a normal suit…at least it was normal compared to the previous….outfit he was wearing. The suit was strangely pink and frills, but they would have to make do with it.

"Bel-senpai. Looks like Bossu is in a good mood again." Fran whispered between Bel and Mammon. "Uishishishishi. Thanks to Squalo no doubt. Ah and thank you for your money, Mammon. Not that the Prince needs it anyway~"

He chuckled and dangled the cash he won from the bet in front of Mammon before stuffing it all into his wallet. Hooking his arm with Fran, he moved towards the car before Mammon could comment on anything.

"Nee, Bossu is there any present that you want specifically?"

"Isn't it much too late to ask that Lussuria, when it's Christmas today?" Mammon asked, not actually caring about the answer in the first place. "Mou Mammon-chan. You know I didn't get the chance to ask when Bossu has been locking himself in the room for the past few days and he has such a scary expression on when he does leave. How was I suppose to ask?"

"Just get in the car, trash."

Impatiently, Xanxus had sent them all a warning glare before stepping into the car with the others following suit immediately. At least everything was going smoothly for now and his mood was still good…..until he sees Sawada Tsunayoshi later.

"Ah….Welcome, Xanxus. I'm grateful that you and your members are attending this party." The smiling face of Tsunayoshi was returned with a scowl by Xanxus, noticing the glare that Hibari was giving him and brushed him off. "I was giving the old man some face when he sent me the invitation."

If Vongola Nono had not sent it to him, chances are he would be at his mansion and sleeping right now instead of coming to this party. Of course, the mention of top quality meat and alcohol had caught his attention as well. "The food and drinks are towards the hall."

Xanxus walked past without any thanks for the directions with Squalo asking where Yamamoto was loudly. He tugged the unhappy swordman with him towards the buffet table, ignoring his protests. "VOOOOOOOI. Xanxus. Let me go right this instant."

"Ara. If it isn't little one. I wasn't aware that you were dating the Prince of Ripper, little one." A softer and gentler voice spoke next. "Mukuro-sama, that's rude. Nice to see you again, Fran-san."

"Oh Chrome-san, it's nice to see you too. I can't say the same for Pineapple-Shishou though. And since when do I have to report what I do to you anyway?" Fran monotonously replied, bowing to Chrome and ignoring Mukuro all together. Bel was not interested in their talking and lightly pulled Fran away once he caught sight of Gokudera and immediately approached him to taunt him.

Back to the other members. Lussuria was bugging a poor Ryohei who was completely confused as to why there were so much pink in front of him suddenly. Mammon was in a corner having a plate of food with him while Levi was trying to get food for Xanxus.

Despite Xanxus's tugs, Squalo was able to locate Yamamoto and they were both in a deep conversation about swords till they were both disrupted with Xanxus calling Squalo a filthy trash and dragging him away and Gokudera scolding Yamamoto for being an idiot and a lousy left-hand man.

The food was good, Xanxus had to admit that. At least it was not some cheap caterer that would ruin the name of Vongola Decimo, Xanxus would let him off today thanks to the good meat and expensive alcohol.

There was even a bar there, which Xanxus had dragged his rain guardian with him once they both of them had gotten a plate of food. Half of the people there were already drunk, Dino's face was bright red and he had waved enthusiastically once he spotted Squalo. "Squalo. Long time no see."

Squalo moved away in disgust when Dino tried to hug him and ended up falling on his face. "How much did this idiot drink?" He looked around to spot Romario and pointed to the blonde on the ground. "Get your drunk idiotic boss away before he starts hurting himself by falling all over the place."

Returning to sit next to Xanxus, he grabbed a glass and took a sip. "Come to think about it, I didn't get the time to get you something for Christmas this year. Anything you want?" Xanxus looked at him for a second and returned to his glass. "More wine."

Squalo snickered at that, already expecting the answer. "I already got what I wanted anyway." It was spoken so softly that Squalo did not manage to catch in with the noise around them. Xanxus was just content to have his rain guardian back for now.

Maybe one day he would be able to figure out what their relationship really is and tell it to Squalo to his face when he's awake but for now things were fine with how it is. Squalo was not going to leave him anyway, and they still had time before they think about it.

He was surprised when Squalo heard him and spoken those words last night, Xanxus did not believe that he was that readable and for Squalo to actually understand that beneath all the cruel words and actions, Squalo knew that Xanxus actually valued him.

Perphaps Squalo knew him much better than he believed. Their relationship was a strange one, for now it's just good enough to have him around. "Come to think about it, I haven't punished you for going on the mission on your own, Shark trash."

Squalo gulped and choked on his drink. "I thought you forgot about that. I got the mission done, isn't that something?" He was hoping that it would change Xanxus's mind but knowing him, it would be a no anyway.

"Trash. You actually believe that you would be let off that easily? I will inform you your punishment when I think about it." Xanxus would not say it but he was glad to be back to their usual routine and everyday life where Squalo is around to take his anger and everything else.

For once in his life, Xanxus actually felt that he had gotten the Christmas present he had been asking for. During the past few days, all he wanted was to hear and see Squalo again and that had came true. He would leave the question of their relationship hanging for now, he was sure that they would have it settled in the future.

Xanxus did not even know he actually cared about his rain guardian this much, he was not in denial, he just did not get what his own feelings are. Squalo did not ask for him to say anything either, so it was fine to just leave it for now.

He would just enjoy having the only person he knows will stick to him forever as long as he can. Until he figures it out, Squalo is just going to remain as his best right hand man.