Golden Afternoon - You Can Let Go

October 10th.
It had finally arrived.
It was the day Squalo least looked forward to every year. Aside from the anniversary of certain events long since passed that he really would rather not mention that is.
On the tenth day of the tenth month every year, without fail, the boss would leave. Where he went, no one accept Squalo knew.
The place he went was the last place anyone would ever guess him to be: Timoteo's grave.
The day itself was a bitter reminder of things many wished they could forget, but knew they never would. It was on this day, many, many years ago, that even Xanxus had needed some semblance of comfort, and his feet had unconsciously carried him to the place where his father was laid to rest.
When he had returned later that evening, after the sun was set, Squalo was left to wonder where he had been, and why on God's sweet earth Xanxus's eyes were bloodshot.
He'd known he would be killed instantaneously if he dared ask his boss what he'd been up to, but it didn't take a genius to piece that puzzle together.
And now it was years later on that same day and Xanxus was leaving, though this time Squalo knew where he was off to.
Xanxus had always justified these yearly visits based off of the fact that he had forgotten the exact day the Ninth had passed away. Though Squalo didn't believe him, for he himself remembered the day with great clarity, and Xanxus always managed to disappear for an hour or two on that exact day without anyone noticing.
Or so he thought, but Squalo could never hold it against him.
The door shut behind his boss, and Squalo unconsciously tightened his hold on the thin, old piece of paper in his pocket.
Xanxus had the right to be alone right now, that much he understood.
This could wait till later.

It was getting later now, and Xanxus had been gone for hours. Squalo figured he would be out for a considerable amount of time, and that finalized his decision.
He stepped out into the chilly October air, cold, but not bitterly so and tinged with the scent of leaves autumn always carries with it, and with hardly a breeze it was really quite pleasant.
Even so, he tightened the scarf around his neck a tad and started off down the path he took to get to the cemetery.
Xanxus had been there for so long, Squalo prayed fervently to whoever was calling the shots that he didn't walk up to his boss in a moment of…weakness.
But when he shoved his hands into the pockets of the too-big trench coat he was wearing and felt the slightly crumpled piece of paper, he just sighed and kept walking.
It wasn't very long before Squalo found himself at the black iron gates of the cemetery, squeaking as they swung slowly back and forth on rusty hinges, the jet-black fence tips jutting up into the clear blue sky like teeth.
As he walked in, he scanned the place for his boss.
It wasn't very big; Squalo might even use the word cozy. All of the trees in the cemetery were one of three only: Birch, Ginkgo, and Maple.
Not a single leaf was green, and as Squalo stepped inside the air around him swirled with reds, yellows and oranges, gently tugging at his long silver hair and chasing the leaves around his boots.
Even he had to admit, it was beautiful.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw someone stand. He turned and saw it was Xanxus. He must have missed him since he was sitting.
Thankfully Xanxus had his back to him and hadn't noticed him yet, so he started making his way over to him on silent feet, despite all of the leaves.
Timoteo's grave was right in between two large birch trees, the golden leaves of which were drifting down from their branches to swirl around the dark-haired man standing between them.
The sight was like something out of a landscape painting: it looked real, but didn't quite feel like it.
Squalo stopped a few feet away from his boss, and he suddenly became aware of the fact that Xanxus was speaking. Not to him though. His words were low and in Italian, but Squalo heard and understood every word.
"Mi manchi." Xanxus was saying, his voice surprisingly gentle, "Davvero era un padre straordinario, e mi dispiace che non ero un figlio migliore...Ti voglio bene."
Squalo didn't know if he was just imagining it, but he thought Xanxus's voice had wavered at his last utterance.
He had no time to consider it however, seeing as how Xanxus had turned around and was now looking at him murderously.
Squalo brushed it off and instead of his normal voice opted for a quieter tone, "Ready to go?"
Xanxus's expression was one of vexation, but he nodded, and the two started walking. Sometime during their walk home, Squalo had taken to playing around with the piece of paper again.
Now he cleared his throat quietly to get the other's attention.
Xanxus's dark red eyes settled on Squalo's opaque grey ones, and the silverette swallowed, "I was going through some old stuff from a few years ago…and uh, I found this."
He took the paper from his pocket, and handed it to Xanxus, who took it slowly.
Those dark eyes got darker, and for a split second Squalo sincerely thought Xanxus was going to shoot him in the head right then and there. But then those same eyes lightened, and Squalo was relieved for a moment before they glistened slightly.
Squalo was on the verge of panic, but Xanxus blinked a few times and the look was gone.
He swallowed thickly and rested his hand on Squalo's shoulder long enough to warrant a questioning look from the swordsman.
But Xanxus wasn't looking at him. His intense red eyes were glued to the picture in his hands.
It was very old, somewhat crumpled with the once-white edges yellowed, and it was in black and white.
It was a picture of Xanxus and Timoteo back when he was young, barely ten years old. Xanxus was gazing forward solemnly but Timoteo was smiling, having crouched down next to his son to wrap his arm around his shoulders and hold him close.
Squalo noticed they had stopped walking and somewhere in the back of his mind he realized they were back home.
His eyebrow's knitted together softly, then he reached up with his opposite hand to rest it over Xanxus's gently.
Xanxus took one last look at the picture, his expression unreadable, and then stuck it inside his jacket.
Then he spoke.
Squalo had to strain to hear through the low thickness of Xanxus's voice, but he heard it nonetheless.
"Thank you."
Squalo pursed his lips and said nothing. Then he nodded and brought his hand up to gently brush aside some of his dark hair, kissing him tenderly on the cheek.
Xanxus squeezed his shoulder lightly, and he pulled his face away from Xanxus's.
Squalo took in the others' expression and realized there wasn't the anger he had predicted, just blankness, completely neutral.
"Come on." the silverette gently urged, and the two made their way inside.
The next time Squalo saw the picture, it was in a frame on Xanxus's desk.


Mi manchi. Davvero era un padre straordinario, e mi dispiace che non ero un figlio migliore ... Ti voglio bene.I miss you. You really were an amazing father, and I'm sorry that I wasn't a better son...Love you.

well, this is for Xanxus' birthday tomorrow, and i'm uploading it today (as well as Tsuna's, which is on Oct. 14) because i dont think i'll remember in the morning. also, and dont shoot me for this, but this song was what i wrote it to.


i love Xanxus, i really do, and i feel so terrible about what happened to him, and then all of the things happening to him in recent chapters of the manga (hopefully you know what i mean) is just SO unfair to him it literally brings me to tears. when i love a character, they are like my baby, and i will love them forever. and i dont mean infatuation or any stupid crap like that, i genuinely LOVE these characters, and to see them in so much pain...its almost like their pain is my own...its sappy and cliche, but its true. but Xanxus' story has always been my main trigger, so to speak. and if you have half a brain and a shred of pity in your body, you'll know what i mean. i just...*sigh* im sorry, im majorly depressed and this story was very painful to write. but, you know, when the muse strikes...i think i'll go and down a bottle of Bourbon now. /shot/

*I would appreciate reviews on this one*

story © MarluxiaSutcliff116

characters © Akira Amano