Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Fan Fiction ❯ Encouragement. ❯ One-Shot

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

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Universe Title : Loss and Gain.
Story Title : Love Is…
Chapter Title : Encouragement (1/1).
Chapter Rating : PG12.
Main Character(s) : Hibari Kyouya, Superbi Squalo.
Genre(s) : Angst, Gen.
Summary : Thirty different ways to love.
Warning(s) : Swearing.
Word Count : +/- 1309.
Author's Note(s) : A series of drabbles and oneshots depicting thirty kinds of love.
Love Is...

You find Superbi Squalo on his bedroom floor - knees pulled tightly against his chest, bowed head pillowed upon his arms - the very picture of utter dejection and humiliating defeat. The bony fingers of his right hand are clenched around a lit cigarette; it hovers dangerously close to his impossibly long, silver hair.

The noxious stench of nicotine and burning paper unkindly assault your nostrils, and your already narrow eyes narrow further in blatant disapproval, just as your upper lip disdainfully curls at the sight of cigarette butts and ashes so carelessly littering the finely polished marble flooring.

Silence stretches itself long and heavy over the both of you, like the elastic band of a catapult pulled to its furthest limits before it snaps. He's the first one to break it, voice rough and hoarse; as if he's been screaming for way too long at a stubborn past doomed to remain forever unchanged, like a nightmarish moment eternally suspended in time. "You think I'm really pathetic, don't you?"

His tone is muffled against the confines of his own hold and you have a pretty damn good idea why he's so steadfastly refusing to look at you.

So you remain standing where you are - in the middle of this vast, luxurious room - watching paper thin tendrils of smoke curl from the burning embers of his cigarette. Ash falls off the reddish-orange end, coming to rest alongside its companions upon the cool tiles.

Your arms cross themselves over the front of your neatly pressed Armani suit; your sharp, slate grey gaze studying him punctiliously. "No." It's the truth. You've seen him wear pathetic - and lost and terrified and a million other emotions you were once pretty sure he shouldn't be allowed to feel - as resplendently as you wear your fine suits and you know that this isn't it. But also because you're inexplicably honest with him, you add, "You're just very, very sad."

He raises his head then, but he's still not looking at you; opting instead to stare at the electric fireplace you're pretty sure he doesn't really see. A smile - loaded with bitterness and entirely devoid of any mirth - indents itself upon his pallid visage, and you utterly despise it because it looks so damn wrong, like it clearly doesn't belong there.

Squalo raises the death stick to his lips, filling his lungs with cancerous shit before exhaling a tiny cloud of purplish-grey smoke. He leans back against the edge of his king-sized bed, head tilting up towards the ceiling and still so conscientiously avoiding your eyes. "Is that so?"

His expression is one part corrosive rage, two parts gnawing frustration, another part unrelenting guilt. His matchstick frame is curled like he's trying to futilely protect himself against hurts which have already long since penetrated the purportedly infallible walls he'd so painstakingly built around himself. His gracile shoulders appear immensely strained beneath the heft of invisible - but very real - burdens.

There's so many things about this picture that's just so, so wrong. It makes your agile fingers itch to wrap themselves around the familiar steel of your beloved tonfa, to strike him hard because he just doesn't fucking get it.

But there's a little nagging voice somewhere in the back of your brain - which, some days, you swear sounds suspiciously like Dino - telling you that violence isn't going to solve anything this time, so you reluctantly stomp on the pressing urge to thoroughly kick the shit out of Squalo until he damn well sees.

You walk towards him, nudging his ankle with the toe of your expensive leather shoe to get his attention. "Hey."

He finally looks up at you, silver-flecked grey eyes questioning.

So you say it. What you've been meaning to say ever since the first moment you watched him fall apart, ever since the huge blowup in Dino's driveway, ever since you witnessed him giving up in a way he isn't meant to. "If Xanxus wanted you to die, he wouldn't have saved you."

Squalo's eyes go ridiculously wide right then. He stares at you for a really long moment, a thousand disparate emotions and questions reflected within those conflicted charcoal depths; none of which he gives voice to.

Instead, he turns his head; a deep crease adorning the spot between his long, ivory brows. "You think I should forgive him."

That wasn't a question.

And you don't have to ask to know he's talking about Yamamoto Takeshi.

You casually slip your hands into the pockets of your sleek black pants, regarding him carefully. "That should be solely your decision. It's none of my concern."

Somehow, your terse declaration appears to piss him off.

Squalo immediately discards whatever's left of his cigarette, standing in one fluid motion and fixing his intensely smoldering gaze upon you, as if he's attempting to incinerate you on the spot. His mouth twists into an ugly, dark scowl; making his angular features seem considerably sharper, like the blade he constantly wears upon his metal hand. His reedy frame trembles with barely constrained ire, his jaw works angry and tense like a feral, cornered animal readying itself against an impending onslaught. His fist tangles itself into the loose edges of his tee shirt - "AT" emblazoned in huge, white letters upon its atramental cotton fabric; you recognize it immediately as something straight out of Dino's closet - and his voice raises to a nearly hysterical screech. "So what the fuck should I do?!?" Everything in his eyes, his voice, his frame looks wrathful and desperate and heartbreakingly sad. "Just tell me what the hell I'm supposed to fucking do!!!"

You take a step forward and he startles, reflexively backing away as if he's afraid you're going to attack him. You're suddenly close enough to feel his breaths coming out in harsh pants against your neck, close enough to inhale the vestigial floral scent of shampoo in his hair under all that nicotine.

And gods above, you want to strangle him for still not being able to fucking see. So you stand before him, posture stern and voice authoritative and hoping he'll get the fucking message already, because although grief and guilt incontrovertibly mar one's good judgment and all, Superbi Squalo should not be this fucking stupid. "Rebuild the Varia. Regain your place in the world, your strength, your pride." And stop fucking wasting the life Xanxus sacrificed for you, you blind, ungrateful sack of shit. The caustic words go unsaid but you're pretty sure he hears them anyway.

And then he's staring at you wide-eyed again - fisting that shirt, crumpling it over and over and over - and looking for all the world like he's valiantly holding himself back from just lunging at you and attempting to tear your throat out.

But he doesn't; fingers abruptly untangling from his shirt, only to tightly clasp the diamond-studded crucifix around his neck instead, and he suddenly looks so small and vulnerable and so damn alone. "I can't live without him." The brokenness that underscores his voice and envelops his very being is one you're too damn well acquainted with - the same one you beheld in Dino which you swore never to witness again. "I don't want to."

He's shattered - the way Dino was when he thought Squalo had died - and damn if you're gonna just stand here and let that happen all over again. Before you can stop yourself, your hand is in his hair; deft fingers corraling a fistful of bone white strands, harshly tilting his head up to face you. His startled gaze meets yours, and you hold it firmly; just like you're holding his mane in that unyielding, viselike grip.

And in a voice wielding a severity that brooks no argument, you tell him, "You'll learn."
~ The End.~