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Grapes of Wrath

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I.

The first thing Xanxus sees are his hands. He sees them glowing with an eerie, translucent quality, surrounded by a soft red aura.

 

That was his first clue.

 

The next thing he did was look up and meet the shocked eyes of his own frozen body, an angry statue trapped within the ice.

 

That was his second.

 

It wasn’t long before the memories assaulted his mind. The coup d’etat. Ottavio's betrayal. Confronting Vongola Nono of his heritage.

 

Being fucking frozen by the old fart.

 

That was when Xanxus finally connected the pieces.

 

Xanxus could only watch as his trapped body was transported from Vongola Nono’s office to the darkest corners of the mansion. He could only watch as his loyal Varia members were delivered punishments for aiding him on his rebellion. He could only watch as the low-life trash, under orders of the old fart, encased the frozen man with a metal box reinforced with heavy, thick chains.

 

Anger. Fury. Bitter resentment. Wrath. Xanxus can feel these hate-triggered emotions well up within him, causing his deep red aura to seethe out from his incorporeal form.

 

A beast caged within its own home.

 

The Varia leader’s roar reverberated across the hallways.

 

A howl that could only be heard by him.

 

The guards that were stationed to watch over him shivered simultaneously on supposedly unknown reasons.

 

II.

“I’m sorry, Xanxus.”

 

“FUCK YOU!!”

 

“To turn out this way…”

 

“TURN OUT THIS WAY?! IT’S YOUR FAULT! ALL OF THIS! IT’S BECAUSE OF YOUR FUCKING LIES! YOU BETRAYED ME!”

 

“Xanxus…”

 

“IS THAT ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY?! TO THINK YOU CAN JUST FUCKING FREEZE ME AND JUST WIPE YOUR HANDS OFF OF ME LIKE THAT?!”

 

“...”

 

“THE MOMENT I GET OFF THIS FUCKING PRISON, I’LL KILL YOU LIKE THE SCUM OF A ‘FATHER’ YOU ARE! I’LL KILL YOU AND CLAIM VONGOLA AS MY OWN!”

 

A moment of harsh breathing as Xanxus glared at Vongola Nono with pure hatred and loathing.

 

“I FUCKING CURSE YOU! I CURSE YOU AND ALL THE VONGOLA BLOODLINE TO DEATH!”

 

III.

There were ten things Xanxus hated the most.

 

First is the old fart.

 

Second is the scum of a CEDEF leader.

 

Third is when he doesn’t get what he wants or if things didn’t go through the way he wanted it to have gone.

 

Fourth is loud and noisy scum. Namely, the Varia members.

 

Fifth is when someone disturbs his sleep.

 

Sixth is to whoever have pointed out about taking the Xs from his name to reveal an entirely different name. Those trash are as good as gone.

 

Seventh is for Enrico dying on all of them due to him being careless in a fucking gunfight. A scum-like way to die.

 

Eighth is the Vongola bloodline itself.

 

Ninth is the useless, disillusioned “mother” of his.

 

And finally, tenth is weak, pathetic scums. Especially ones who are all bark and no bite.

 

And one of the pathetic scums named Massimo had no fucking leadership skills at all, let alone to even lead Vongola.

 

“The greatest” his fucking ass.

 

After screaming his slew of curses at the old fart, Xanxus was able to move away from the scum of a ‘father’ through a force of sheer will, not wanting to spend another minute with the man, and move onto another person to haunt.

 

Unfortunately, the next person was the incredibly lazy and horribly fat Massimo.

 

Xanxus trembled as wholesome anger spread from his very core as he saw Massimo lazed around, not bothering to put any effort to show his dedication of becoming a mafia boss.

 

Ordering people to do his bidding with no strength, intelligence, wisdom, or any leader-like qualities to back it up.

 

It wasn’t surprising to Xanxus as he watched Massimo with contempt as the pathetic trash was shoved into the ocean from his “subordinates”. The trash flailed around in the water before slowly sinking into the murky depths where he drowned there all alone.

 

Seems like fat people can’t float after all.

 

IV.

Xanxus came to a conclusion that he could only haunt those who have the Vongola bloodline, given that the next person he forced himself to haunt is Federico.

 

Federico at least had qualities of how a mafia boss should have, like Enrico. The charisma that charmed many. The strength to make their enemies tremble in fear. The unwavering, undying loyalty he had given to the Vongola Famiglia.

 

The favorite child of Nono.

 

Xanxus begrudgingly admits that Federico is a qualified leader for Vongola for those particular reasons.

 

But there was one thing Xanxus had noticed that led to Xanxus wanting to take the Vongola throne for himself rather than have Federico take it.

 

Federico was fucking naive as a newborn fawn. Too trusting as well.

 

It was how Xanxus saw Federico met his end: a meeting that led to a blow to the head, then the body fed to the starving one foot long rats, leaving only the bones behind.

 

V.

Fuck Iemitsu.

 

Fuck him and his supposedly know-it-all ways.

 

Fuck him for encouraging the old fart on his imprisonment.

 

Xanxus doesn’t bother hanging around to haunt Iemitsu. The shitty scum is not worth his time.

 

VI.

Xanxus had expected to make a full-round trip of going back to the old fart. He'd even came up more things to scream to the trash of a "father".

 

However, that wasn't to be.

 

Xanxus incredulously analyzed his new surroundings: a plain, peaceful city filled with people speaking a foreign language completely different from Italian.

 

Japanese.

 

But then again, it was rumored for Vongola Primo to have moved into Japan along with the rest of his Guardians.

 

Xanxus was begrudgingly grateful for his strict language tutor's insistence on teaching him the Asian language.

 

It was still unexpected to have him end up haunting over an eight year old brat with spiky brown locks and innocent-looking brown eyes.

 

And considering that Xanxus could only haunt those who have the Vongola blood running through their veins, Xanxus deduced that the brat was a bastard child.

 

A bastard child that chillingly looks extremely similar to Vongola Primo in appearance.

 

But that doesn’t stop Xanxus from glaring bitterly at the child.

 

However, what did make him raise his eyebrow was the way the brat flinched before looking around to find the sense of his paranoia.

 

When the brat couldn’t detect the source, he rushed back into his home as if it’ll at least give him some protection.

 

Xanxus scoffs. It’ll take more than a wall to stop him, spirit or not.

 

VII.

“Hieeeee!!!!!”

 

Xanxus watched unimpressively as the brat screeched as he tripped over the stairs.

 

How someone managed to become so clumsy and still be alive is a wonder to Xanxus.

 

The brat winced as he rubbed his bruised chin before picking himself up and entering a room with a door that had a wooden blue tuna fish hanging there.

 

Unhesitatingly, Xanxus followed the brat into the room. He scanned the messy room with a flat look before returning his gaze towards the brat.

 

Said brat was lying down on the floor and reading some book with intense concentration. Xanxus can see that the book had bunch of pictures of men fighting each other.

 

Losing interest, Xanxus noticed the papers that were tucked within the confines of a shelf. Upon closer look, Xanxus meets a decent amount of papers that each contain a blaring bright red zero.

 

Here was a civilian bastard brat that was clumsy, messy, weak, and so stupidly simple, but he had something that Xanxus will never have.  And Xanxus, who had put in so much effort into become a leader and dedicated all his blood and sweat for the glory of Vongola, isn't even qualified for the position as Vongola Decimo and is stuck on as incorporeal spirit that can't do anything but watch as the time passes on by.

 

White hot fury erupted within him again, causing Xanxus’s mood to become even more foul. His deep red aura flared around him, as he roared out his anger.

 

“Fucking...worthLESS...USELESS SCUM!”

 

“HIEEEEEEEE!!!?!?!?!!”

 

Startled, Xanxus whipped around to meet bright orange eyes. The owner of the eyes had his back pressed against the wall, the face pale and full of fear. Raising a trembling finger, he pointed to Xanxus.

 

“Y-y-you...h-how did you get in h-here?!”

 

Xanxus stared at the brat in disbelief.

 

“You can fucking see me, trash?”

 

Right after he said those words, the fucking brat squeaked before his eyes rolled over and fainted like a princess. His head bumped against another shelf, which tipped over and had its contents spilled over the brat, burying the boy from the outside world.

 

“Well…this is fucking dandy.”

 

VIII.

After three months of observing the brat, Xanxus learned a couple of new things while “haunting” the brat.

 

First, during the beginning, the tiny trash could only notice him when Xanxus initiates a conversation. After repeated trials, the brat was slowly yet increasingly able to sense where Xanxus is, orange eyes flashing as soon he caught sight of the spirit. It took a while for the brat to get used to the fact a spirit was haunting him. As well as the fact the said spirit likes to curse and make derogatory comments. A lot.

 

Second, he can touch the things in the area the brat was in. This discovery was made when he was leaning against the wall, only to realize he was actually leaning over it rather than hovering over it. After some tests, he finds out he can only touch things that are within some few meters distance from the trash. This was helpful as he can now start chucking things at the tiny trash's head whenever his mood is down.

 

Third, Xanxus had come to the conclusion that the brat’s mother was a ridiculously average and oblivious woman. To not question on her husband's long years of absence was a loyalty Xanxus doesn't know whether to be impressed by or cuss her out for her blinding puppy-dog faith. 

 

Fourth, Xanxus can finally use his Flames. An incident when he was cussing out the brat led to him punching the brat's bedroom wall with a Wrath-enflamed fist, scorching the once clean walls. While the brat was busy playing the fainting princess, Xanxus could only stare at his Flames with wonder and disbelief. Albeit a whole lot weaker, they were still his Sky Flames.

 

heatwarmthohit'sbeensolongsincehefeltthis 

 

The comfortable burning weight of his Flames dancing in his hands that he had been aching for all these years were finally at his disposal. The Flames that hadn't popped before only to appear now led him to believe the brat and his Flames were the cause of this miracle.

 

And finally, Xanxus can see the brat was a fucking loser to the core. The brat failed his schoolwork and get teased by his peers, always tripping and making sure to kiss the earth at least once every few hours. "Useless Tsuna" or "No-Good Tsuna", the brat was called.

 

At first, all Xanxus does is scoff at the brat. A Vongola bastard child that is treated like dirt and unworthy everyday? Mere scum to Xanxus's eyes. It's something he saw-, no, caused everyday to the men in the Vongola Mansion and Varia Headquarters before he was frozen. 

 

However, the brat's failures are surprisingly getting him on his nerves. The incessant pattern of watching the brat just simply accepting that he was failure and that there was nothing he can-, no, will do about it. The brat will do anything he could do to avoid as much responsibility as possible. To go along with the flow and do things the easy way.

 

Just like Massimo.

 

But unlike Massimo, Xanxus could see potential coming from the brat. After all, the brat is getting used to hanging around with Xanxus, and that itself speaks a lot. But the brat decides to waste that potential, evidently pissing Xanxus off.

 

After witnessing enough of the endless, boring, pathetic cycle, Xanxus decides to confront the brat. Thus, when the brat finally went back home, Xanxus settled down on the bed of the brat’s room as if it was his throne while the baby trash sat on the floor in a seiza position in front of him, with his head lowered.

 

“Trash.”

 

The brat slightly twitched before raising his head, his glowing orange eyes met Xanxus’s blazing red ones.

 

“...Y-yes?”

 

“Why the fuck are you like that?”

 

The brat had the audacity to blink as if he didn’t understand Xanxus’s question. “U-uh, like what, sir?”

 

Xanxus glared at the brat. “Like fucking Bambi when he lost his mother.”

 

The brat flinched again, squirming slightly before mumbling out his answer.

 

“I-I don’t know. I just accepted that I'm clumsy and no good at everything. It's what I've known for my whole life, and I've just accepted that way. I tried to improve myself before, but it didn't work. I just gave up, I guess. I have and always will be known as 'No Good Tsuna'."

 

Xanxus’s eyes narrowed at the brat’s words. There’s no way one can be so clumsy and useless the moment they were born. Even the trash in the Varia were useful in something.

 

Stalking over to where the brat was at, he crouched down and stared levelly at the brat, who squeaked at Xanxus’s sudden close proximity. Xanxus ignored him, focusing on bringing out the gentler side of his Sky Flames to coat his right hand. He brought it in front of the brat, who stared at the fire mesmerized. He let the harmonizing factor of his Flames do their work, to try and coax out the brat’s Flames.

 

Only to feel a wall that blocked his Flames. A barrier. A seal.

 

Even Xanxus knew the importance of Flames. Especially Sky Flames. To have one’s Flames sealed up, especially the rare kind, was not just stupid. It was cruel and unusual. No shit the brat’s clumsy and useless as fuck. To deny the harmonization the brat desperately needs and to end up with a life completely miserable.

 

Another thing is that Flames are the manifestation of one's Will. No wonder the tiny brat had simply accepted his situation. He had given up his Will, on trying his best on doing anything. He has no resolve residing in his body. 

 

Xanxus abruptly stood up and slammed his Flame-covered hand against the wall, causing more scorch marks to appear.

 

“Hieeeee?!”

 

“That fucking son of a bitch,” Xanxus snarled.

 

“E-eh?”

 

“Your Flames are fucking sealed. By your shitty-ass father I bet.”

 

“F-Flames?”

 

Xanxus wanted to laugh. He wanted to laugh at the irony of all of this. He, who was born a street rat, was treated by the old fart as if he was a son. To be treated as if he had a chance to lead Vongola. And here was a kid, who was from the actual line, condemned to have his Flames sealed. To not be able to experience of what is to be a Sky.

 

For the first time in his years spent as a spirit, Xanxus felt an unfamiliar emotion that reaches out for the kid. A connection.

 

Both useless to the world.

 

Both are suffering because of the Vongola bloodline.

 

Skies that were caged “for the greater good”.

 

“U-uh, sir?”

 

“Xanxus.”

 

“H-huh?”

 

Xanxus glared at the brat, who shrunk a bit under the heavy stare.

 

“That’s my name, brat. Use it.”

 

“X-Xanxus-san, then.”

 

“What.”

 

“W-what do you mean when my f-father sealed my Flames?”

 

“Exactly what I said, trash.”

 

“B-but...”

 

“I’ll tell you when I feel like it, trash.”

 

“Tsunayoshi.”

 

“Huh?!”

 

The brat squeaked again, cowering at Xanxus’s words but not backing down. The orange eyes stared determinedly back, full of resolve.

 

“My name is Tsunayoshi. But I go by Tsuna.”

 

“....”

 

“...”

 

“...Tsuna-trash.”

 

For the first time, Xanxus saw the brat’s lips twitch into a weak smile.

 

IX.

“H-hey, Xanxus-san?”

 

Xanxus grunted.

 

“U-um, I’m just wondering if you can be anywhere else besides watching over me. Not that I find you annoying or anything!” Tsuna added hastily. “I just...why do you bother watching over someone as useless as me?”

 

Xanxus gave the brat a flat stare, causing the boy to fidget nervously.

 

"I don't hang around with useless scum."

 

Xanxus saw the brat seem to wilt at his reply.

 

"...You are one dense idiot."

 

"E-eh?"

 

“I said the others I could haunt are either worthless trash or dead.”

 

X.

Xanxus didn’t bother hiding the murderous expression on his face when he found out who Tsuna-trash’s father was.

 

Sawada fucking Iemitsu.

 

Xanxus should have really known. But at the time, he didn’t care for names. He was more caught up with his feelings.

 

Now everything makes sense.

 

He watched with disgust as the idiot acted goofy and carefree with his wife and child. Both unaware of the dangers that the man represented. Both left defenseless and bare to the dark world of mafia.

 

“How’s my little Tuna-fishie doing?” Iemitsu cooed as he swung the brat into the air.

 

Xanxus caught the brat’s frenzied eyes. Tsuna mouthed the words “help me” in hopes that Xanxus could free Tsuna from his “father”.

 

Xanxus attempted to kick Iemitsu from behind.

 

His foot slid uselessly through the man.

 

Xanxus’s eye twitched.

 

The hope in Tsuna’s eyes quickly switched to despair as the idiot, who let out a booming laughter, whisked Tsuna away to his doting wife.

 

As the idiot tended to his oblivious wife and brat, Xanxus was left alone to seethe in his thoughts.

 

Is the goddamn idiot playing a game? Going back to his wife and kid and pretending to be a loving father? To pretend as if the mafia doesn’t exist?

 

Xanxus’s expression darkened as he reached his final question.

 

Is it because of this stupid game that the brat’s Flames were sealed?

 

Xanxus let out a dark chuckle as he let his Flames flare around him. The ominous red-orange glowed as his revenge is plotted out.

 

If the idiot thinks he can just seal the brat’s Flames away and keep him away from anything mafia-related, then Hell will freeze over.

 

As long as Xanxus is here, he won’t allow the bastard to get what he wants. After all, the bastard denied Xanxus on what he wanted. An equivalent exchange.

 

Xanxus watched as the idiot's carefree attitude finally ended him up in a drunken state, stripped down to his tank top and boxers with sake bottles and beer cans cluttering around him. A snore bubble popped from the idiot's nose as he snored happily away. 

 

The brat stood nearby Xanxus, an unimpressed scowl on his face that seems eerily similar to Xanxus's. Clear distaste was his expression, showing how lowly the brat thinks of the drunk trash. 

 

"He's going to be like that for the whole week," the brat commented sullenly.

 

Xanxus smiled, a predator planning to get its revenge. "Then we should give him Hell the next time he meets you, Tsuna-trash."

 

After the week passed by and the idiot left, the first thing Xanxus did was force Tsuna up to his room and explain the brat’s family history, the mafia, and Xanxus's spirit situation.