A/N: So I don't know how long a certain medical procedure takes, I tried to look it up but couldn't find it. As such, the time I wrote down for it to take may not be accurate. If anybody knows how long it does take, please let me know!
So this is a fairly new kind of story for me. It doesn't focus around romance like I usually do... I really like it. I hope you will as wel!
I didn't have a title for this one, so... Hmmm. I usually have those at the beginning... not for this one. It's titled "Xanxus" in my files :P
Disclaimer: I do not own Katekyo Hitman Reborn or any of it's asociated thingies. No sueing!
Irritated crimson eyes flashed at him from between the dark black of the smouldering gun barrel and the sickening red of his soaked collar. The formerly white and pristine dress shirt had been torn, turned a spreading rusty red and was smeared with the grime and dirt from all over this stupid town. He couldn't believe his eyes as he stared at the felled man, that unshakable pillar of strength, that raw yet refined identity of power and authority. It was unimaginable.
The grimy brick wall supported the man's back as he sat with his left forearm draped over his knee, the right arm up and resting the pitch black gun on the top of his head, melting into the black of his matted hair. The muzzle of the heavy gun, handmade by its owner, rested against the brownish brick. There was no trace of his trademark Varia coat.
He'd chosen a good place to wait out the departure of the Vongola's own search teams. The night and the dark asphalt of the old streets swallowed him up.
Tsuna tripped over loose bricks and debris whilst he scrambled towards him. He could hear the annoyed sigh leave the man's lips, but it would never deter him. He dropped to his knees beside him, hands raised halfway but not reaching out, knowing he would never accept that. His eyes were wide with anxiety.
'Are you-' No, he wasn't okay, he was nowhere near okay. Xanxus looked alert and like he was simply waiting should there be any more action coming his way, strong and unbendable as always. Only a fool would think they could approach him and survive. Only a few would know to recognize that Xanxus would never lay down to die.
Xanxus' eyes never left his, boring into his mind. Tsuna swallowed thickly and scanned his form. Blood, everywhere. Undoubtedly, not all of it was his. And if anyone had managed to get him from up close to cause those injuries, then it was completely out of the question. It was difficult to see what was torn skin and what was soaked cloth in the shadows of the night. The nearest source of light was around the corner, a small streetlight tucked away against the wall of a flower shop. The orange light did nothing to warm the streets, oddly enough it seemed to only chill them further, and only the barest hints of it reached them.
'Fuck off, runt.'
A weary sigh passed his lips. He'd known that was coming. But it wasn't going to stop him. He wouldn't let the man die from his own stubbornness. There was no-one who could replace this man and he wouldn't let it happen. He straightened his back and grabbed Xanxus' bare forearm, pulling it around his neck while he tried to put his other arm around the man's back.
Against none of his expectations, he met solid resistance.
'You little shi-'
'Enough.' Determination clashed with stubborn pride. Tsuna didn't waste any time waiting for the man's consent. He was bleeding to death as the moments passed by and it would be all over soon if they didn't go now.
The lukewarm muzzle of a handmade gun pressed into the soft skin of the underside of his jaw. Xanxus growled lowly.
Tsuna paused. He wasn't sure whether or not he would fire that now.
'Look. You're dying, alright? If you're gonna keep sitting here, you're just gonna bleed out like a rookie. It's not victory if you die as well.'
The muzzle pressed into him a little harder, grew a little warmer.
'I won't breathe a word of this to anyone.' Tsuna pledged, his voice low and quiet. Xanxus would know that what he said was the truth. 'No-one will see us, no-one will detect us and no-one will hear about it. I'll get you to Marta. You probably know her better than I do, so if anything, you know she's discreet.'
A pregnant silence.
The muzzle slipped away from his jaw and he breathed in a relieved breath, careful to keep it quiet. Xanxus' blazing gaze still held his own, but this time he let Tsuna drag him up off the pavement, carrying his much larger body with ease. He carefully masked their signature flames, both his own and that of Xanxus, a trick he'd learnt from Mukuro and after readjusting the weight on his shoulders, he sped off to the south-east.
'Where are the other survivors?'
Yamamoto Takeshi looked up at the sharp, clipped tones and the familiar voice. A man's arm that he'd been bandaging was held with appropriate care in his hands. The treated man himself was glancing with some nervousness between the Vongola's Rain guardian and the Varia's second-in-command.
'I don't know where they are, Squalo.'
The metal-grey eyes glared hard at him and then Squalo promptly left, continuing on between the injured mafiosi who'd been retrieved from all over the wretched town. Yamamoto watched him go carefully as he continued bandaging Feruccio's arm.
He knew who he was looking for. Gokudera was doing the same on the other side of the town.
'You incompetent sack of shit.'
Xanxus grunted as he was lowered onto a rickety wooden kitchen chair and laid one arm on the equally rickety, round wooden table in front of him. 'Nice to see you again too, Marta.'
Across from them, standing in front of the kitchen counter with a long wooden spatula in her hands like a baseball bat, was Marta de Larosa.
She liked wood. Especially old and half-mouldy. Almost everything in and of her quaint little house, tucked away against the side of a much larger storage warehouse, was made out of it. She had a tall, slim figure uncommon for a native Italian, muscles that were toned through hard work 24/7 and a spitfire attitude. Her little home showed you her soft side and her left hook would have you seeing stars for a full week.
Tsuna coughed into his hand a little self-consciously, trying to blend in with the shadows and the shelves on the wall behind him and let Xanxus take the full brunt of her familiar ire and frustration. Marta's sharp eyes pierced right through him when she raised them from his unfortunate companion.
Tsuna gulped and raised a hand to loosen his already quite loose and more than singed tie as he met her gaze carefully. 'Ah, yes, Marta, I should've-'
He ducked a split second before the spatula would have cracked his skull, wincing as he heard and later felt it rebound off the brick wall underneath the shelves behind him.
'Don't give me that shit! Your bloody politics and so-called diplomacy you leave outside my door!'
Tsuna swallowed and nodded meekly, not meeting her eyes. She really, really reminded him of his mother sometimes, only in a more painful way, somehow.
Marta turned away from them (but specifically him, he could feel it, her stern disapproval permeating the air) and muttered about their inherent stupidity and masculine genetic idiocy whilst rummaging through the cupboards, probably to find her med-kit. Xanxus shifted on the chair (it was almost falling apart, so old) and gave him a look from the corner of his eye. It looked rather like an 'I told you so' look, which was ridiculous, because Xanxus hadn't told him so. They'd both known.
With an angry jerk, the woman pulled a leather etui and a rectangular box from one of the cupboards above the counter. She stomped gracefully over to the table and slapped them down onto it. Xanxus had his gaze fixed somewhere on the tabletop to the right of her med-kit and refused to acknowledge either of his companions' existences.
Marta growled. The next moment she was standing next to him and jerked his left arm up, slamming it onto the table so she could see it better under the kitchen lights. Xanxus gritted his teeth, but made no noise. Without further ado, the woman slapped the leather flaps of her etui out of the way and clicked open the box, taking a small bottle of what was presumably alcohol and a couple of cotton swabs, along with a hooked needle and thread.
Her brown eyes pierced Xanxus' partially slumped form for a moment and then she sighed under her breath.
'Take off that excuse for a shirt.'
Xanxus moved to obey wordlessly, but Tsuna ducked in and halted his arm. This got him an angry growl that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, but he tried his best to ignore it.
'I don't think he should even do that. We should just cut if off. The gash on his abdomen…' He said quickly, and Marta instantly retrieved a slim knife from her pouch before cutting away the torn remains of what once was a dress shirt. Tsuna quickly backed off again, so as to not be in the way of course, but really to not incur the man's wrath.
He hissed through his teeth when he got an eyeful of Xanxus' torso.
'Alright.' There was not a trace of irritation left in her voice and any previous frustration at their inherent masculinity evaporated. 'Lay down on the floor. You, help me. And you, don't bitch.'
Soon, Xanxus was laying flat on his back on the floor, staring up at the ceiling with a distantly pissed, angrily guarded look on his face as Tsuna placed a bucket of hot boiled water and a towel next to him. The alcohol was in Marta's etui. Following Marta's instructions, he cleaned all the many different wounds on Xanxus' torso, starting with the gravest so she could work on them immediately.
There were so many. And he'd already lost so much blood. Simply sowing him back together wouldn't be enough and they all knew that, so the moment Tsuna had finished all the open wounds he was sent upstairs to collect an IV.
Marta quickly, expertly looped the thread through his dark skin as they listened to the sound of Tsuna's quick, purposeful steps above them.
'What's your blood type?' She'd never needed to give him a blood transfusion before.
'AB.' His voice was hoarse. He glanced at her and their eyes met. Her face looked grim. He looked back at the ceiling. 'I see.'
She gritted her teeth, the pulling of her needle through his skin never ceasing. Tsuna came running down the slim steps of the open staircase right that moment.
'What's your blood type?' Marta cut him off. It took only a fraction of a second before he realized what she needed.
'AB. Is that-'
A light shone through her features now, the grimness lessened. Tsuna fell to his knees for the second time that night, hastily yanking up his sleeve. The needle went through his skin faster than his eyes could blink and in the next few moments Marta focussed on linking the IV between the two of them.
Tsuna breathed a sigh of relief when she succeeded, but then Marta continued tending to the many gashes and burns with such a feverish urgency that he felt his chest constrict again. He swallowed.
'Is there anythi-'
'Can you take care of burns?'
Tsuna nodded hastily. If there was one thing he'd learned to take care of by himself, it was wounds caused by heat or fire of any kind. It was only logical, given the fact that he used a flame himself. He was handed the box and quickly took over that part of Xanxus' treatment.
Fifteen minutes later all the open wounds and burns were cleaned, closed and covered up, but they were far from finished.
Marta wiped the sweat off her forehead and double checked her work and Tsuna's. Tsuna anxiously waited for her verdict.
'There's internal bleeding. I have to take care of that downstairs.'
He only nodded and helped her pull Xanxus to his feet, careful not to get snagged in the IV lines. The man's face was worryingly ashen and they carried him down the narrow stairs as fast as they safely could.
Downstairs was where Marta kept her operating room. Everything that went beyond superficial injuries was taken care of down here. She had everything one could possibly need, except for supplies of fresh blood and organs, which she simply couldn't keep because her patients could pop up three times in a week as well as three times in a year. She did have a minimal supply of blood, the amount fluctuating greatly, but unfortunately she only had O negative in stock right now.
Xanxus was hoisted onto the operating table and Marta began snipping part of the threads that had kept him from bleeding out completely for the last quarter of an hour. Now the wound in his abdomen needed to be reopened, so she could stop the bleeding on the inside. Tsuna stood by, trying not to feel restless so he wouldn't disturb Marta's concentration.
A quick jab of a needle, a vial filled with an anaesthetic emptying into a vein, but it would take a bit of time that they couldn't afford to spend waiting for it to take effect. Xanxus bit his teeth and stared hard at the ceiling.
It was another fifteen minutes of crazily fast, meticulous work and then Marta could reseal the wound.
Her speed and superior knowledge of everything concerning treatments of the human body was why she was treasured and guarded by the very few families that knew of her existence. Not even Shamal could outdo her in her areas of expertise, though to be fair she had no clue how to handle his mosquitoes or treat the viruses he'd created. (Also, she wasn't a hitman like him.)
The silence was deafening while they stared at Xanxus. He was breathing deeply, controlling his breaths and they could see him stubbornly staying alive. All the wounds were closed now, and Tsuna was slowly providing him with some extra blood, but what he needed the most now was time, both to heal and regenerate enough of his own blood cells, and only he could stay alive for long enough to heal completely.
After a while, Marta glanced at Tsuna. 'I'll keep you hooked to him a little longer. Then I'll have to cut you loose, lest I have two sorry bastards who are too stupid to take care of themselves on my hands.'
The Vongola boss nodded again. His eyes told her all he wanted to say; the sheer amount of gratefulness was almost overwhelming, but they weren't sure enough to say anything out loud just yet. Marta gave him a curt nod back, flicked the top of Xanxus' uninjured hand and then headed back upstairs.
Tsuna pulled a stool nearest to him closer with his foot, letting it scrape over the floor until he could sit without jarring the IV lines. He decided not to stare at his fellow boss's face as he waited and instead inspected the walls of Marta's sterile operating room.
'VROOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIIII, WHERE THE FUCK IS THE BOSS!'
Squalo stood atop a building in the eastern district of the fucking little town they'd just combed through three times, his hair whipping behind him in the wind like a testimony to his ire. Behind him, the other officers (including the ones who shouldn't be moving) were expressing the same restless anxiety, though not as frustrated or furious as him.
'The boss sure is hiding well.'
Squalo whipped around, aiming to vent some of the crawl in his gut at his comrade. 'WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU LITTLE BRAT, HE'S NOT JUST TAKING A FUCKING HIKE OR SOME SHIT LIKE THAT!'
Bel wasn't touched by his captain's outburst at all and didn't bother commenting. Everyone knew that no-one got as antsy about the boss as Squalo did. They let it be. It was never something personal in these moments.
'Hmmah, looks like the angry-boss was taken away by the Vongola boss.'
Everyone snapped around to stare at the green-haired illusionist, who stood picking his nose carelessly as he squinted at the shadowy corner on the other side of the street. The small amount of light from the streetlight in the alley right next to that corner only illuminated the faded facade of a worn down residence and "Rosetta's Flower Shop". But there was an unmistakably dense, yet fading energy lingering there.
'WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS NOW FOR YOU LITTLE SHIT! ALRIGHT, WHERE THE FUCK DID HE GO?'
Fran winced theatrically but shrugged his shoulders. 'Dunno. Their signature disappears around here.' Steam rose from the top of Squalo's silvery head. 'B-But, uhm, it looks a little like they moved that way before they masked their presence, only a few steps though. Donno if they really went there any further…'
He trailed off and pointed down the street. Squalo's eyes glinted dangerously.
'Voooooi, get ready, you shits. Levi, Lussuria, stay here in case we're following the wrong lead. You brats, you're coming with me.'
'Ushishishi…' Bel chuckled as he followed Squalo across the rooftops, the sound strangely deep and vindictive, contrasting with the usual lightness of it. Fran took off a little ways behind him, not wanting to be too close to the maniac.
Lussuria clicked his tongue and sighed. 'Mahh, what if boss needs to be healed? Looks like the captain is assuming they need to assassinate Sawada more than anything else.'
Levi inclined his head, standing next to him and staring after the retreating shadows of their fellow officers. '…Follow them. I'll stay here. If the boss is in trouble, it would take too long to contact us and follow their tracks.'
The martial artist sighed again and pulled an extravagantly worried face. 'Mou, little taichou must be really anxious to have missed tha-'
Lussuria squeaked and only barely ducked when three silver knives sliced off half his fluorescent Mohawk. The Varia's prince landed lightly on the roof, face a deep, strongly displeased frown as he stalked towards the one he'd just attacked.
'BEL-CHAN! My beautiful hair! Look what you did…'
Bel grumbled and yanked his knives out of the concrete roof. 'Shark-face wants us to switch, in case boss is injured. Go before I skewer you for taking my fun.'
'Ahh~' Luss made a happy face and winked at Levi before quickly darting off in the direction Fran had pointed out.
Levi and Bel were left alone on the roof, staring at each other with some distaste.
'…the fuck are you looking at, ugly peasant?'
Tsuna snored unattractively as he was slumped against the wall in a folded up sort of sitting position, head jerking up every now and again with a particularly loud one. Marta stared at him, deadpan look on her face.
'I know, right.'
Marta's sharp gaze cut down to her right. Xanxus was watching the ceiling as ever (boy, that must be something incredibly interesting), but his face looked less ashen, if only a bit, and his presence felt a lot more present than it had an hour ago. Two hours before that was when she'd taken out the IV lines and ordered Tsuna to get some sleep. Xanxus had been hooked to a different IV and called her suppliers to bring in packs of AB asap. When those were going to arrive was something they didn't know, as part of the route lay in the warzone Tsuna and Xanxus had just come from.
She didn't order Xanxus to get some sleep. She wasn't so sure he would wake up again if he did and she needed his conscious to will himself into staying alive. Luckily, his was a will of considerable strength.
She hadn't left his side since. She'd taken another one of the high stools lining the back wall of the chamber to sit on and resigned herself to a long wait. They'd been commenting randomly about once every half hour, just to fend off the boredom and check that he was still alive, and everything was coming along pretty nicely, considering. She hoped she could get the stains out of her kitchen floor. The blood had probably soaked all into the wooden floorboards by now… Shucks.
'…That way.' Fran eventually stated, and he pointed once more to the south-east.
The trio vanished.
Marta sighed deeply and stretched, popping a few vertebrae. 'Hurry it up, will you.' She remarked offhandedly, twitching the corner of her mouth up to show she was kidding. Xanxus bared his teeth at her to show he acknowledged this and resumed his study of the ceiling.
'…You're about to get some guests.'
Her sharp gaze drilled into his. 'Oh yeah?'
'My subordinates… They will kick down your door.'
Marta's nose wrinkled up, miffed at the prospect. 'Oh really? And when do they think they're going to attempt this?'
A loud crash sounded, coming from the floor above them. Tsuna shot up, startled and instantly on high alert despite the horrid crick in his neck, but before he could even get his bearings Marta was already out the door and up the stairs. The Vongola hurried after her after scanning Xanxus' form and the Varia leader himself only relaxed luxuriously, grinning widely to himself. It was a sharp, proudly satisfied grin.
As if his officers would be sidetracked by Sawada's cloaks. Heh.
A loud smack resounded right at the moment that his second-in-command's war cry abruptly cut off and Xanxus had to put effort into not straining his injuries by snorting in hilarity at the ridiculous, but fitting mental image of the fiery woman slapping his roaring commander in the face. Who was, at the least, two heads taller than her already tall form.
'AND WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING IN HERE YOU SORRY LITTLE BRAINLESS MONKEYS, HUH? WIPE YOUR FEET AND TONE IT DOWN AND SIT YOUR ASS DOWN BEFORE I CLEAN MY FLOORS WITH YOUR HEADS!'
Tsuna was superfluous.
'VRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIII WHERE'S THE FUCKING BOSS YOU LITTLE BANSHEE?! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY BEFORE I CUT YOU!'
'Oh my, that blood isn't all that old. Excuse me miss, but has a dark, scarred man with red eyes passed by here recently?'
'Guys, guys, wait! Xanxus is d- OWWWWWWW'
'You little shit, what were you going to tell them for! Get out of my way! He can't use these stupid rowdy visitors right now!'
'VOOOooooiii, you treated the boss?!'
'I SAID SIT YOUR ASSES DOWN!'
'FRAN WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SITTING DOWN FO- VROOOOIII LUSSURIA GET YOUR ASS OFF OF THAT CHAIR!'
'S-Squalo-san, seriously, calm down. Xanxus has been treated, he's resting now, you shouldn't make too much of a ruckus. He needs to-'
'WHERE IS HE!'
'GOOD! THANKS FRAN! DAMN YOU'RE BEING USEFUL TONIGHT!'
'Iiiiie, waitwait, Marta-san doesn't want you to- wah!'
'I DON'T CARE WHAT THAT WOMAN WAN-glckg!'
'Oh, woman-san is strangling the loud-commander with his own hair. Classy.'
'Ohohoho, your face is turning all red, Squalo-chan.'
'U-uhh, Marta-san, I think he's dying…'
'There. Will. Be. No. Visitors. Unless. I. Say. So.'
'M-Maybe if he keeps quiet and, uhh, stays calm?'
There was a beat of incredulous silence in which Tsuna was definitely being stared at by his other two officers, only filled with Squalo's choking.
'That would be fine.'
'GAH! FUCKING CRA-'
More silence. Xanxus imagined there to be meaningful looks exchanged.
A moment later, Squalo came down the stairs without a sound, even though the wood was old enough to creak under Tsuna's nearly non-existent weight. Xanxus stared hard at the doorway until the silver-haired man appeared in it, stepping through as he scanned the room. His grey eyes landed on his boss and checked him over more thoroughly. Xanxus watched the grey darken with a craving for vengeance.
'…I assume you killed all the trash?' Is there anyone I need to hunt down?
Xanxus' lips quirked into a dangerous smirk. 'The fuck do you think, you stupid piece of shit?'
Squalo snarled at him, but relaxed. 'Good. Would hate to see you go down like a rookie.'
Crimson flared dangerously and the captain showed off a feral smirk, but they understood each other.
Two distinctly suspicious-looking Varia officers appeared in the doorway behind Squalo, pretending to look innocent as they sneaked around the doorpost.
'Ohhh~~ boss! Are you fixed up completely?' Lussuria cooed happily, skipping up next to Squalo to take a closer look at the man's condition.
'Huh. Looks pretty beat up to me. Hey boss, I thought you were supposed to be invincible?'
The temperature in the room dropped to a sub-zero so cold even freezing was impossible.
Nobody moved, but Squalo watched the little rookie-officer from the corner of his eye. The perpetually poker-faced young man seemed to be sweating slightly, despite the drop in temperature.
'U-uhm, ah, uhh, gee, is it this late already, my, I really gotta make sure…'
Fran trailed off sheepishly when he saw his boss's mouth quirk up at the corner. He shuffled his feet and stuffed his hands into his pockets petulantly, gaze pinned on the toes of his black leather boots. The other officers snickered good-naturedly at their chided colleague.
'So boss, when can you move?'
Xanxus inhaled carefully and tested his body, but before he could reach his own conclusion, Marta popped in and cut them all off.
'In a week, at the very least.'
She was expecting all the blazing glares that were immediately sent her way and didn't even need to brush them off. Tss, they though they packed some'in? Pssh, who did they think raised you, eh?
'I don't give a fluttering somersaulting piggyback's saddle what you little monkeys think, you're all dumb and I know best. You, little shithead, are staying right here until I give you the clear. And don't give me that look. You know I'm the only doctor who will actually let you walk as soon as I will.'
Xanxus gritted his teeth.
He knew he would only fuck himself over if he moved before he should. And he knew Marta. She didn't talk shit, unless she was trashing whatever unfortunate soul had come for her healing and he'd come to her before so he knew first hand. There wasn't anyone else who could time the trajectory of his recuperation and his dwindling patience together so well. She'd let him leave when it was sufficiently safe and he still wasn't burning shit down.
With a low growl he resigned himself to his fate.
Behind his officers and the woman, the mousy form of his fellow boss appeared through the doorway. His large caramel eyes were pinned on Xanxus' larger, battered form and the look in them made the Varia leader want to throw something at him.
But then, he almost always wanted to throw something at Tsunayoshi.
It wasn't pity, which Xanxus would've flat-out attempted to murder him for, it was worry.
Xanxus couldn't stand it when the small brunet worried over him. Less so when there was no real reason for it, but immensely so when he had a good reason. It kind of made him feel like a piece of shit, even though Tsuna was certainly not blaming him for anything. Well. Apart from not taking care of himself when he was dying. But apart from that.
Not like it mattered shit what that little shithead thought. Dammit, he was parroting the woman's cusses.
'Lussuria-san, would you please heal Xanxus-san with your box weapon?'
Xanxus raised an amused eyebrow. Clearly, the little runt hadn't ever proposed such a thing in Marta's presence before.
Hell was about to break loose if he was to be any judge.
'You keep your filthy little frilly pansy-ass flame shit away from my patient!'
Marta was still old-school.
Tsuna stared at her with wide eyes, not understanding why she was fuming at him. His mouth opened and closed as he tried to come up with something diplomatic to say again, which would make her dismiss him.
Luss shook his hips agitatedly. 'Why not~? I'll fix him up in one go!'
Xanxus sighed and relocated his gaze to the grey ceiling.
Marta's nostrils widened and she raised herself to her full height, staring Lussuria down even though he was taller than her.
'Bodies don't heal healthily in one go! You'll be wearing out his cells, you dipshit, and he'll age faster because of it!'
There was a short silence.
'No, he won't.' Lussuria then said plainly. Marta opened her mouth to reject his statement, but the martial artist beat her to it.
'The sun flame doesn't speed up cell recovery by making their processes go faster and wearing them out, but by injecting a large amount of energy that keeps the cells healthy and speeds up their processes. The cells remain intact and don't age faster, only their functions are used.' He hummed and tapped a finger against his chin. 'Really, they're used as a catalyst, and the Sun flame as fuel. A sort of nitro-fuel~'
Marta's narrowed eyes pierced sharply into his, hidden by his dark sunglasses. They narrowed even further when she spoke up slowly. 'If that is true… then that is amazing. How can you be sure of this?'
The others watched as the two healers had their discussion, Lussuria proceeding to argue his point and explain as she dissected everything he told her. Except for Xanxus of course, who couldn't be bothered to pay attention until they had reached a decision. They already knew that Lussuria's flame didn't wear out a person's cells, but Marta wouldn't allow it to be used on her patient unless she was convinced.
While Lussuria was busy trying to convince her, Tsuna attempted to inconspicuously inch closer to the operating table. He failed horribly, because every person in the room knew what he was doing, but they tactfully ignored him.
Xanxus pretended to ignore him too, not mentioning anything when a deceptively small hand slid onto his shoulder softly. Only he was actually paying attention and noticed everything from the quiet hitching of Tsuna's breath, the small convulsion of the tip of Tsuna's ring finger on his collar bone, the stroke of a thumb on his shoulder, to the warmth that seeped through him and into Xanxus.
The brat just couldn't keep himself from letting him know how concerned he was, could he? He never could.
Xanxus knew that the younger boss meant well by letting him know, but it really only bothered him.
Oh well. It wasn't like he couldn't deal.
'VOOOOOOOOOOOOOOII WHen are you coming back, boss?'
Xanxus snorted in amusement when his second-in-command's voice reduced itself to a quiet-ish whisper at Marta's sharp look. Squalo absently rubbed at his throat while he waited for an answer.
'He could, uhm,' Tsuna started, somewhat nervously eyeing Marta's response to him, 'stay at headquarters? We can make sure he doesn't move and there's enough to keep his mind occupied?'
It was times like these that it became apparent that Sawada Tsuna's cowardly side hadn't completely left him. Intimidating women were one group that could bring out his cowering side and far from the only group. Xanxus took great satisfaction out of being the number one person still who could reduce him to a shivering, gibberish uttering pile of messiness.
Marta sighed through her nose, irked and frustrated with the annoying people crowding around her in her operating room and messing with the way she had wanted to treat her patient. Finally, she waved a hand through the air impatiently.
'Do whatever. If he worsens his injuries it's not my mess to clean up, got it?'
She promptly left. Her conversation with Lussuria was evidently over.
Tsuna sighed in relief. (Squalo appeared to be a little more at ease too.)
Now all they had to do was let Luss heal him and he'd be good to go. Tsuna was a little disappointed actually. He never wanted Xanxus to be in any danger and definitely not pain, but he would've liked to be able to fuss over the normally completely independent man. He would never let him- well, it was more that there was never any opportunity for Tsuna to fuss over him. He didn't need it and he carried himself with an air that discouraged anyone to try.
Ah well. He didn't remember any time at which Xanxus had gotten ill either…
Tsuna muttered a little to himself, not really liking that he was considering Xanxus in an unhealthy situation for his own enjoyment. He didn't mean it in a bad way! IF he got ill, if, then he would gladly take care of him! That was all…
'Voooi, Sawada, snap out of it. Get out of the way or you'll grow a beard too!'
The officers all expressed their humour at the thought of the perpetually baby-faced Vongola boss finally showing some facial hair (each in their own way) and Tsuna blushed in mild embarrassment and got himself out of the way.
A flamboyant, happy yell of a box weapon's name and an angry growl from upstairs later and then Xanxus swung his legs over the side of the stainless steel operating table and stepped onto the floor of his own strength.
Tsuna wouldn't deny the relieved, joyful thump of his heart at the reassuring sight.
A rather long, pitch black beard adorned his jaw line now and his normally short, choppy black hair was flowing down unto his hips. It was kind of cool, the way he looked like a warrior from old times, bloodied shirt in tatters around his well-defined and now uninjured torso, long black hair like a lion's mane fanning out around him.
At least until Squalo handed him a jack-knife and Xanxus promptly cut everything back to roughly its previous length and cut, reducing the funny long beard to little more than stubble. It gave him a very rough look and Tsuna had to pretend his heart wasn't doing a little funny thing in response to it.
'Get a move on.' Xanxus grunted the moment he was done.
His officers instantly filed out of the room and climbed the stairs. Marta could be heard grunting something at them from the kitchen to which they responded in low tones.
Silence descended over the operating room.
Xanxus stared at him intently. Tsuna scratched his head and offered him a sheepish grin.
With a slow, thoughtful look on his face (that was fake, he only ever actually showed that he was thinking something when he was faking it) the Varia leader drew his right gun from its holster on his belt.
Tsuna paled slightly, but made a commendable effort at looking authoritive and unaffected.
However. It was still only an attempt and those never fooled the man in front of him.
Xanxus took a leisurely step in his direction. He backed away and hit the wall. Then he gulped.
In complete silence, the older boss drew near him, unassuming and unthreatening. But with his gun drawn. And Xanxus never looked unthreatening or unassuming when he wasn't trying to make you feel like he was about to brutally murder you.
He also tended to make good on such unspoken threats.
Tsuna knew better than to try to speak- nothing sensible or helpful would leave his mouth now. Above them, the low conversation continued.
A cold dread filled his gut when he realized that Xanxus' subordinates were keeping Marta busy.
Xanxus flawlessly stepped through his personal bubble, relaxed as he put himself chest to collar bone with him. Tsuna shivered despite himself when he looked up into those burning crimson eyes.
'So,' Xanxus said under his breath. The muzzle of an all too familiar gun pressed against the underside of his jaw and pushed his chin further up. Tsuna swallowed thickly. 'How are you going to pay for this?'
His breathing was shallow and nearly going fast. He decided to play dumb, even though he knew exactly what Xanxus wanted. He gasped quietly,
'Marta doesn't charge-'
Shallow breaths turned into outright pants, his body sensing so much danger with crimson now mere inches from his face. Xanxus wasn't pretending to be harmless anymore.
Three minutes later, Xanxus emerged from downstairs with a dishevelled looking Vongola boss stumbling up the stairs behind him.
'Heeeey boss! Took you long enough. Let's go!'
Xanxus sent his annoyance Squalo's way without even needing his body language and stepped into the small kitchen to thank Marta. She slapped him over the head and all but bonjoured him out by kicking him in the butt for letting himself be healed by something as occult as a Sun flame (not that she cared about occult or not-occult, she just still wasn't convinced and felt insulted, too). Xanxus just bore it with the ease of experience and half a minute later they were standing outside her cute little home, on the pavement.
In a motherfucking downpour.
They all sent Xanxus wary glances as he stood with steam rising from his torso, which was clad in naught but an extremely tattered piece of dyed-red cloth that could not be called a piece of clothing anymore. Luckily, all of them knew better than to offer him their coat (even Tsuna wouldn't dare that).
With a set scowl, the Varia leader stalked into a possibly very random direction, pissed, looking for a dry place and with another four prominent maffiosi in tow.
'Voooooi, Sawada, why didn't you tell us you were taking the boss, you ass!'
Tsuna frowned at him as they walked along behind Xanxus.
'None of your business.' He'd promised Xanxus after all.
Squalo exploded in the frustrated rage of a protective person who had been unable to practise that protectiveness.
Tsuna sighed and trudged along, allowing the silver-haired swordsman to vent his anxiety. Lussuria and Fran very suspiciously did their utter best to not draw any attention from the swordsman to themselves and he knew they were happy not to be the recipients for once of what he was currently receiving.
The night sky twinkled above them in between the thick dark clouds and they kept walking, cutting a path through the town by Xanxus's lead.
People sweatdropped at the Vongola's current Rain guardian when he smiled and waved happily at his boss, completely disregarding the four extremely pissed looking- alright, the two extremely pissed looking and two unaffected looking people walking alongside him.
Tsuna was flanked by three of the Varia's elite and the Varia's boss when he walked up to the temporary encampment the survivors had set up.
None of them looked very happy, except for the Varia's Sun officer who was waving back at Yamamoto adoringly, and they were all very much wet. (It thankfully wasn't raining in this area.) The respect-compelling Rain officer hit his colleague with a disgruntled 'Don't fucking encourage the idiot!' and Yamamoto laughed at them in good humour.
The lower ranking members scattered all around continued to sweatdrop and shared glances with each other, but the behaviour was so normal that most of them continued their previous activities after greeting their respective superiors.
The guardians that could be spared for a moment ran up to their boss.
'Tenth! Are you alright!' Gokudera checked Tsuna for injuries and was relieved to find none while Ryohei came running up beside him. Tsuna smiled at them.
'I'm fine, Gokudera-kun. How are things here?'
The Varia members around him continued on to be off somewhere (probably to check up with the other officers and let them know Xanxus was fine) and Tsuna joined his guardians to check on the state his family was in and what had happened since he'd left to get Xanxus's stubborn ass healed.
'...Hmm, Tsuna, is that a hicky?'
Tsuna pretended not to hear Yamamoto's question and subtly drew the collar of his dirty dress shirt closer to his throat.
I hope you liked it! I've never made romance so subtle before~~ :3