lysapadin: pen & ink painting of bamboo against a full moon (Default)
[personal profile] lysapadin
Title: Truth and Consequences
Characters: Tsuna, Xanxus, Timoteo Vongola
Summary: Someone has to deal with Xanxus after the ring battles; everyone thinks it might as well be Tsuna.
Notes: For [ profile] cliche_bingo, prompt: "Truth or Dare." Full bingo card is available here. This fic is part of the Generations project with [personal profile] branchandroot, occurring in the arc "A House Divided," after the end of the TYL arc. For a character guide, see the appendix (warning: spoilers for the arc!). This is a very rough draft, and will likely be revised and updated in the future. Many thanks to [personal profile] branchandroot for unsticking me on this prompt. 1126 words.


Truth and Consequences

"But why me?" Tsuna asked, doubtfully, when the Ninth had finished explaining what he wanted.

Reborn made an impatient sound. "This is one of the first things I taught you. It's our law: the loser must serve the winner. You defeated Xanxus."

"Defeated is such a strong word," Tsuna said, since winning by default didn't seem like much of a defeat to him.

"Nevertheless," the Ninth said, "I ask this of you, since you have had... rather more success with him than I have. Please."

Tsuna would have defied anyone to say no to a request like that, doubts or not. "Okay," he said, reluctantly. "I can try, I guess, but you know, this is Xanxus we're talking about. I really can't make any guarantees."

The Ninth's answering smile was tired and sad. "Oh yes," he said. "I am well aware of that. But I thank you for being willing to try, nonetheless."

They had Xanxus in a room that was more like a cell, Tsuna saw, when they took him to the place where Xanxus was being held. There was a hospital bed in it, a concession to Xanxus' injuries, but he was shackled to it.

The first thing out of Xanxus' mouth when they all filed in--Tsuna, the Ninth and a handful of his Guardians, Reborn, and Gokudera and Yamamoto at Tsuna's shoulders--was, "What the fuck do you want?"

The greeting, or lack thereof, didn't seem to faze the Ninth at all. "How are you, my boy?" he asked, and eased himself down into the room's only chair.

Xanxus just snarled something at him, wordless and filled with anger.

The Ninth carried on, calm in the face of that. "In good spirits, I see."

"Fuck off and die already, old man."

The Ninth's Guardians shifted among themselves at that, though it was difficult for Tsuna to read their expressions--all except for Rizzo-san's, the Sun's, who seemed to be on the verge of exploding just as much as Xanxus was.

The Ninth just laughed, though it sounded a little forced to Tsuna. "Not yet," he said, voice dry. "Not yet. There's still too much to get done, first." He folded his hands on top of his cane. "Speaking of which. We've come to decide what's to be done with you."

It took Tsuna a moment to identify the sound that Xanxus made as laughter. "Oh," he said, mocking, "and what is to be done with me? Going to put me on ice again till this one gets himself killed?" He jerked his head in Tsuna's direction.

"No," the Ninth said, evenly enough. "That was a mistake, and I will not see it repeated."

If Tsuna hadn't been tense, already hovering in the first grip of his Will, and watching Xanxus closely, he would never have seen the way that a thread of tension unwound from Xanxus when the Ninth said that. It was just the barest easing, practically unnoticeable, but it was a moment of relief nonetheless. "Ah," Xanxus said, after a moment. "Finally found the balls to shoot me, huh?"

"No, not that, either," the Ninth told him. He gestured, and Tsuna swallowed and stepped forward to stand at his side. "It was my heir who fought you and won. And he has agreed to take the burden of deciding your future from my shoulders."

"Your heir?" Xanxus' burning eyes fell on Tsuna, heavy as a blow; after a moment, he sneered. "You should have just shot me, you shitty old man."

"You know that I can't do that," the Ninth said. "I could no sooner shoot you than I could have shot Federico, or Enrico, or Massimo."

Xanxus smiled at that, strange and fey. "You mean you didn't?"

Tsuna couldn't stand any more of watching them tear at each other like this. "Stop," he said, a little desperately, because he could practically see the wounds that Xanxus was breaking open and the pain that was driving him to do it.

He'd gotten used to the Xanxus of the future, the one who had found some measure of calm within himself. This was the Xanxus who'd only just lost the battle for the rings, and now that Tsuna had seen a possible future for him, he could see the raw agony in the Xanxus of the present.

Xanxus looked him over again, slow and deliberate, and sneered again. "Make me."

"If you would, please," the Ninth added, after a moment.

Tsuna still didn't know quite how he was supposed to do that, exactly, but not knowing how to go forward hadn't ever stopped him before. He drew a breath, and stepped the rest of the way into his Will, and looked Xanxus over, thinking about the things the Ninth had suggested, about Mukuro's cleansed aura and Xanxus' anger.

The thing was, he decided, looking at Xanxus, that Xanxus didn't really look all that much like Mukuro had. Mukuro's aura had been dark, nearly sticky with the residue of life after life of suffering and pain and the other, less pleasant things that Tsuna still disliked thinking about too closely. Xanxus was a seething red mass of rage, more anger than Tsuna had ever seen in one place, more than he thought was strictly necessary, even knowing all the secrets that the Ninth and his Guardians had shared about Xanxus. "Why are you so angry?" he asked, firmly in the grip of his Will now, and saw Xanxus flinch away from the question.

"Tell me why I shouldn't be?" he retorted, after a moment.

There was a moment of clarity in that reply, as Tsuna saw the moment of--something--behind Xanxus' bravado. "You don't really want me to do that," he said, softly. "You say you're angry that they lied to you, but you've never really wanted the truth, have you? You've done anything you could, to avoid having to know the truth of things."

"You're full of shit," Xanxus told him, but his voice was hoarse, and his eyes roved away from Tsuna, restless and hunted.

"No," Tsuna told him, softly. "I'm not, and you know it." He stepped closer to Xanxus' bed. "It's time you stopped running from the truth, isn't it?"

Whatever it was that was in the shackles Xanxus wore--Rain, perhaps, and other Flames, too--it was keeping Xanxus from drawing on his Flames. When Tsuna laid his hand on Xanxus' chest, Xanxus wasn't able to do more than flinch from the touch, with a whispered, "No."

"Yes," Tsuna said, because he had agreed to take this responsibility onto himself, and reached out with Will and Flame and his insight to show Xanxus the truths that he had been running from for so long.

- end -

There will be more for this, aftermath and consequences and so forth, eventually, but first I have to figure out what those are going to look like. In the meantime, comments are lovely!

Date: 4 September 2009 04:30 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Competent Tsuna is very lovely indeed. Although, is this a possible AU fork to Generations? Since there was an earlier set on Tsuna coping with Xanxus that looked to be set before the future arc.

Date: 5 September 2009 13:17 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like your's and Branch's KHR fic a lot. I'm just a little shy about commenting, is all. Although, I wasn't referring to the Five Things fic, I was referring to the 'Breaking of the Day' set by Branch. Unless that isn't in the Generations set?

Date: 5 October 2012 00:22 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] stelliea
This is so good! This can't be over, the story doesn't looked finished, what happened next? Where can I read it?


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