Already posted this on Ao3 but might as well here. Welcome to my weird dynamic of Ignis/Yusaku.
His nightmares protect him.
The giant creature with the glowing orange eye that wraps around his wrists and devours everyone around him.
He loves it.
Warnings for suicide attempts and manipulation.
His nightmares protect him.
This is all Yusaku knows.
They have since the beginning, since he was a kid.
He’s not alone, he knows this.
He’s never alone.
The creature of six wings and the single orange eye tells him so. The thing is massive, so giant and big and it has a long tail that wraps around his wrist and plunges into his bloodstream. They are one and the same and Yusaku loves it.
It protects him.
This, it tells him. The people who grow too close to him are evil. They are malevolent beings and will only seek to use him for their own good.
That is why his nightmares eat them. Because they are dreams that should never exist. They are not the nice people they pretend to be. They are angels that will open their mouths full of sharp teeth and raze him to the ground with their gleaming eyes and beaming smiles.
The creature is kind and loving. It rubs its head against his cheek, presses itself against his chest and gurgles with a kind of love that can never be understood by the filth around him. It’s only concern is for him. It knows nothing else but him, can talk about nothing else but him. To it, Yusaku is the only thing that matters. To it, everything else is the trash that deserves to be eaten alive. Those who try to tell him otherwise are liars, liars, with their pants on fire.
Yusaku doesn’t think much of it. He and his creature are the only things that are meant to exist in this world. They are of the same mesh, the same fabric, and the part of Ignis that injects itself into him is proof of that. A long thin thread of black treads its way down his veins and up into his heart. Black strings reveal themselves from the layers underneath his skin crawling and wiggling like worms. Lines of black spread out like roots all over his body and, to be honest, he’s fine with it. To be a part of such a magnificent deity is to be honored. To be adored by such a nightmarish creature is to know love.
Often, when it’s too cold for him and the chill of the world seeps into his skin, his monster (but, no, it’s not just a monster. Never that. It’s always something more, something better) coils around him and blankets him in its inky darkness. And, when he’s too hot it’s like his little umbrella, casting him under a shadow when the concrete beneath his feet begins to melt and the world around him burns to ash.
The world tiptoes around them, uncertain and unsure of their bond like it’s the most strangest thing in existence.
It’s not. Truly, it’s not. Yusaku loves Ignis and Ignis loves him. There is no other way around it. There’s no denying the way they tease each other back and forth, the way Ignis laughs and chuffs and giggles and Yusaku merely rolls his eyes as the creature sets off to devour yet another interloper. Ignis is loving, like a parent, a teacher, a friend and, perhaps best of all, the sole entity in the entire world who loves him just as much as he loves it.
Such an interesting concept.
Yusaku’s tumbles off skyscrapers, sits under the wheels of moving cars, puts a gun next to his head and sets it off. He lights himself on fire, watches as knives stab into him, impales himself with a pole. There’s electrocution, suffocation, overdosing and the explosion of a bomb.
It’s no use. He doesn’t feel a thing. Black sludge drips from wounds, vomits its way up his mouth and splashes upon the ground. His body goes splat but goes from flat to round and he’s whole again. His nightmares wrap around him, cradle him, fuss and fret and worry and he loves it. So soothing, so comforting, so feeling. It nuzzles and clucks and giggles at him like the ink that stains his lips is something to make fun of. It kisses him and caresses him and fawns over him, its roots wiggling inside of him as it .
He dances with it, spins and swirls and the thing around his arm twists into a tornado that whirls around him. Wind brushes his cheeks and the creature cackles and caws and he is encouraged by its banter to dance and dance and dance and he doesn’t feel a thing.
Does he? Doesn’t he? Aren’t his feet swelling? Aren’t his feet scraping into rocks, bleeding and blistering and blazing with pain? Aren’t his arms tired in this position? Don’t his legs want to give out and collapse beneath him. The threads of black pulse and he knows it is them because he can feel them crawling like worms throughout his body. Forever and ever he dances and dances because there is no end to such a thing. Not unless Ignis tells him otherwise and Ignis will not because Ignis wants it to continue until there no more continuing.
Eternity moves on and he is in endless cycle of dancing. There are spectators, bloodied bodies whose heads roll in their hands and who look with horrified awe. Ignis laughs and laughs and the world is of ash and fire and Yusaku dances. Forever spinning, forever moving.
The sickening crunch of bones. Splattered ink and twisted limbs. Vomit and nausea and numbness. Glazed eyes and a limp body and death and despair.
It’s back to normal.
It’s a cycle.
They are one.
Only one and never two.
The nightmare and its creation.
The nightmare and its lover.
The nightmare that chases away his evil dreams.
It is there for him.
It is his meaning, his purpose, his very identity. How could he live without it?
The answer is: he can’t.
They are one, not two. Lovers, partners, forever intertwined because how could Yusaku not be intertwined with the thing that makes up his life?
He knows this.
Because he is the host.
And, his nightmares are the parasite that has taken everything he loves.
He’s an extremely busy man so most of the time he’s the one making plans according to his schedule.
Since he doesn’t have much free time he won’t tolerate ‘no’ as an answer.
You’re not complaining; it’s difficult enough to spend time together so you’re not going to make it even tougher.
As a consequence, if you happen to be busy while Tsuna has planned something, you have better had a great reason.
He won’t deem “Girls’ night” as a good reason.
That is until Chrome, Bianchi, Kyoko and Haru barge in his office to complain supported by Reborn who just wanted to teach him a lesson.
Reborn: “Women are scary. Especially ours.”
Tsuna ends up sucking it up and you can feel his frustration growing so you make sure to come home earlier.
Tsuna is pleased with it and show it to you in bed.
Sometimes he’ll leave you off the hook and train with Reborn or relax with his Guardians in a bar.
No matter how beautiful or gorgeous the waitress and other women are, a simple text notifying him your return will be enough to have him driving back home exceeding by far the limited speed.
You spot two very ill-looking Yamamoto and Gokudera as you wait for him at the entrance of the manor.
However this is a rare scenario. Most of the time Tsuna will fall asleep on his desk after finishing his work and by the time he wakes up you’ve came back and made yourself comfortable on the couch.
Tsuna always complains. “Why didn’t you wake me up?”
He knows why though. And it’s precisely when you smile that he knows he has found the right one by his side.
To put it simply, he turns into a lost puppy without you around.
Enma is probably the most possessive man in the entire KHR universe. His lack of confidence got better with time much like Tsuna but losing his family once makes him fear it could happen again hence why he’s all about having you by his side.
Aka abandonment issues.
He probably won’t let it show but most people already know you’re his weakness; he needn’t make it more obvious.
Despite that Enma understands you need to see other people from time to time. He tried his best to cope with it but ends up following you or waiting for you to finish. At the door. For hours. In the dark. In the cold. Whatever.
Adelheid once tried giving him “the talk”.
Spoilers; it didn’t work and you ended up leaving way earlier than planned.
However, there are times when he cannot do anything.
If he’s in a bad mood it will show while he carries out missions. He’ll basically lash it out on his opponents. During time like these Enma is really terrifying since most people aren’t used to this dark side of him.
Even if he’s a good mood, he’s still going to be brutal. Think cruel child play.
The dying man in front of him thought he was saved when Enma went from vivid to overjoyed after hearing of your return. He almost looked innocent and not about to shoot him.
Indeed, Enma did leave the battlefield out of the blue. His men are used to his antics and take care of the rest.
As soon as you step in the mansion he tackles you in a big embrace and the two of you fall on the floor.
He constantly repeats how much he loves you and sweet talks you while making love.
He’s the neediest of them all. Expect him to act spoiled once you’re back but don’t worry; he’ll also spoil you rotten!
Surprisingly enough he takes it well.
Byakuran likes to believe you depend on him.
He won’t be bothered right away. He’ll probably think he ‘finally’ has some time for himself but he’ll quickly realise he’s bored once he finishes messing with his Guardians.
Byakuran absently throwing marshmallows at people so they can ‘entertain’ him.
For some reasons Zakuro is his favourite target.
Needless to say, no matter what they do, no one is able to ‘entertain’ him.
Shouichi spamming you with calls because he can’t stand Byakuran messing around in his office while he’s working.
Soon enough everyone is calling you, begging you to come back as soon as possible.
• You know it’s getting serious when Yuni calls you in tears.
Kikyo has tried taking him out in a bar to unwind.
Byakuran was so bored he gave a literal banana to some prostitute to suck on so she would stop bothering him.
• This would later be known as the banana incident.
Byakuran will never call you. Everyone may but not him. He’s too proud to admit he’s missing you.
However when you end up calling him, he’s overjoyed and smugly pretending everything is fine.
If you’re out with some girlfriends he’ll pout but still wait more or less obediently for you to come home.
The same cannot be said with guys.
Byakuran is not leaving you alone with some guys unless they’re from the family.
Even when they are, Byakuran asks for a full check on them.
The guys you’re with are constantly reminded by text that Byakuran is watching and they had better not try anything funny if they value their lives.
Be it with girls or guys, Byakuran always picks you up.
When you ask him why everyone had been calling you he silences you with a kiss.
It cute and all until you reach the bedroom where he ‘punishes’ you for ‘leaving him alone’.
The next day your phone is buzzing this time begging you to be quieter.
From inside the Giglio Nero base, Reborn watched as the brunet talked to Yuni with a familiarity cultivated only from many years of friendship that prevailed even through the common strife of the mafia. Reborn didn’t know him personally, even if the other man often came up to him for small talk when he waited for Yuni, and while he didn’t know who exactly the brunet was, Reborn thought him tolerable enough that he didn’t mind his company on the lazy days where he lounged around the base. Most of the time, their conversations only lasted bare minutes, a few exchange of pleasant chatter, before they had to depart either for a meeting or for a job.
Coming and going as he was, Reborn only spared him a moment’s glance most days since he wasn’t a threat - not to the Family, anyway - and he didn’t see the need to keep an eye one someone who his Boss obviously trusted and cared for, and was mutually trusted and taken care of in return. Yet, sometimes, he’d wonder who the brunet was, or why he was so important to Yuni, or why, along with another white-haired male, they’d spend hours upon hours trapped inside Yuni’s office speaking in low voices Reborn couldn’t make out through the door. It happened enough for him to feel suspicious when all three showed up, but infrequently to the point where Yuni could successfully discourage him from carrying out any sort of investigation. He didn’t like not knowing, and Yuni knew that as well as she knew each member of her small, prominent Family, but still she refrained from telling him everything.
“It’s only a discussion among friends,” she would tell him, a simple smile on her lips. Simple enough to be normal, simple enough to brush away any concerns, but not genuine enough to convince him of her words. Reborn knew, in the deepest crevices of his mind, that she was lying through her teeth.
Never had he forced an answer out of her, though, because while she wasn’t giving him the entire truth, she wasn’t outright lying to him either. More lenient than he wanted to be, Reborn often left it like that - a pile of half-truths upon half-lies, waiting for an inconsistency, a break in the pattern, so that he could interrogate her further. He had the patience to wait, and he could sit and observe each little bit of information Yuni offered to him with that smile on her face.
It was a smile that both calmed and irritated him at the same time.
“Hey,” a smooth, cheery voice came from his right. Reborn glanced over, spotting the brunet stride up to him with a wave and an open grin, and wondered what he was here for this time. Of the two males that often came to visit Yuni, the white-haired male visited the most, though they both came enough times in the week to practically be considered part of the Family.
Reborn tipped his hat in greeting. “Chaos. Another meeting with the Boss?”
“No, just Yuni this time.”
The brunet had the peculiar trait of calling Yuni “Boss” or “Yuni” like they were two separate people for two separate situations. And, Reborn thought with a thoughtful tilt of his lips, perhaps they were. Yuni the woman and Yuni the Boss were, almost, different entities existing inside the same body, and Reborn had more than once picked out the small differences between “Yuni” and “Boss” on some occasion. Either way, Yuni would be Yuni in his eyes no matter what position she was in. The differences he picked out were as insignificant as the dust on his clothes. They didn’t matter.
“So, what have you been up to?” The brunet continued, coming up to lean on the same wall a comfortable distance away. He glanced at him for less than a second before turning his eyes to out the window between them, brown eyes a mellow flame in the light of the sun. Reborn felt a tinge curious about what made the friendly, kind man beside him appear so sullen in broad daylight, but refrained from questioning.
“Nothing,” Reborn said. He crossed his arms and faced the opposite wall, keeping the brim of his fedora low over his eyes. He’d give the other man a moment of peace, of temporary respite, while he looked the other way. “The only jobs available are simple enough for infants to do.”
For some reason, the brunet chuckled, a faint, quiet sound that brushed against his ears for the barest of seconds before fading altogether. “For infants, huh?” His voice, tinged with nostalgia he didn’t have the privy of understanding, made his lips press together.
“For infants,” Reborn confirmed.
When the other man didn’t reply, Reborn glanced over to see mellow eyes colored a flame’s orange look at him with all the world’s regret and sadness. It made his chest squeeze, his throat clench, and jaw tighten.
Reborn stopped and shattered the words waiting in his throat, destroying them before he could get another sound out. Down the hall, Yuni came up to them with quick, purposeful strides that exuded complete confidence and power, but a warm smile that welcomed any and all persons who happened to come before her. The brunet pulled his lips into a smile, a simple smile, and turned to the Giglio Nero Boss. The flame in his eyes extinguished themselves, leaving gentle brown in their wake.
“Yuni,” he said as the Boss came to a stop before them. “It’s good to see you. How have you been holding up?”
“I’ve had no problems,” Yuni said. She clasped her hands behind her back, her smile morphing into a grin that made her look years younger, and Reborn wondered why Yuni acted like the child between the two even though the brunet looked a few years younger than her. “How has your end been faring, Tsuna-san? Is your Family still as energetic as ever?”
“Of course, though I don’t think energetic is the right term for it,” Tsuna said, his voice turning sheepish as he rubbed the back of his neck. “I wish it was as quiet as it is here; there’s always something happening that either needs medical attention or an interloper to diffuse the battle, and as much as I love them I can’t be both.”
Yuni laughed, a bright sound that made goosebumps rise on Reborn’s arms, and he felt himself frown. He glanced at his watch. “Yuni, I’ll excuse myself he- ”
“Nonsense, Reborn,” Yuni cut in. Hey eyes met his, a familiar shadow of knowledge, of awareness, tinting the color of her eyes into something dark, and Reborn abandoned all thoughts of what he planned to do to listen. The brunet - Tsuna, he corrected - glanced between the two with a mixture of confusion and apprehension flitting across his features.
“Do you want to know, Reborn?” Yuni interrupted. Her eyes remained locked with Reborn’s, waiting, anticipating, knowing, his answer. She knew her Family like she knew how to breathe, and she knew Reborn even better. His answer was obvious.
“Of course.” Reborn hated not knowing, after all, and years of waiting and playing his game had made him fancy other methods to gather his information. Yuni was just offering him a way to channel his lassitude into something productive as well.
“Then you are to help Tsuna-san for as long as you are content. I’m sure the knowledge you’ve been searching for will reveal itself there.”
“Wait- Yuni!” Tsuna interjected, his expression breaking. He took a step forward only to be knocked down by Reborn’s steady voice ending all argument.
“So long as it isn’t tedious, I’ll do it.”
Tsuna whirled around to him. “It’s extremely tedious, Reborn, you wouldn’t want to constantly subject yourself to my Family. They’re bad enough on good days, but I’m doing fine by myself. You really don’t need to do this.” Shoulders tense and lips firm as they pressed into a neutral line, Tsuna looked the part of a person who didn’t want someone intruding in his Family; but the way his voice, so normally calm and soothing, sounded harried and strained and desperate, like Reborn’s agreement would be equivalent to a physical beating, cracked the facade.
Glancing over to Yuni, who looked both pained and sympathetic as she regarded Tsuna with her shadowed, knowledgeable eyes, Reborn felt his lips pull thin. How he hated not knowing, how he despised information kept from him, how he loathed lagging behind the rest as they whispered secrets of a time he couldn’t remember, of things he was unable to understand. When Yuni turned those eyes back to him, waiting, silent, for his answer, Reborn felt a flame spark to life in his chest that urged him to speak.
“I don’t care,” Reborn said. His reply was light, indifferent, and all the hard questions and silent promises were hidden beneath its apathy. Tsuna tensed, a sparkle of gratitude brightened Yuni’s eyes, and Reborn felt an incomprehensible sense of rightness curl in his chest. “I’m the greatest hitman the world has to offer. A couple of overgrown children aren’t going to best me.”
“There,” Yuni said with a pleased smile before Tsuna could intervene. Her jovial tone couldn’t quite cover up her obvious relief no matter how wide she made her grin, and Reborn noticed how the brunet kept his eyes down and away - from Reborn. Yuni clasped Tsuna by the shoulder and urged his eyes to meet her own. “Reborn agreed to it, Tsuna-san, so please accept this. It’s for the best, for both of you.”
Tsuna glanced over at Reborn, then away. “It’d be better if…” He trailed off, a pained expression twisting his features into something unpleasant, but he clenched his hands into fists and stared hard into Yuni’s eyes. “I’m fine with how things are now. You shouldn’t drag Reborn into something that doesn’t need fixing.”
For some reason outside of his immediate understanding, Reborn spoke up before Yuni could, the snark in his voice apparent even though he knew Tsuna was his superior in terms of hierarchy. “I’m not being dragged,” he said, level but sharp with the spearhead of cold, hard fact. “I’m accepting a request from my Boss, of my own free will, so quit complaining and get on with it, Tsuna.”
He crushed the brim of his fedora under the numb grip of his fingers as he tugged it over his eyes, but he didn’t miss the way Yuni looked at him in momentary surprise at his blatant order, or how Tsuna stared at him with wide eyes that shimmered with both anguish and desperation. Digging his teeth into the inside of his cheek, Tsuna put a hand over his telling eyes and mechanically turned away, shoulders slumped with something Reborn wasn’t privy to. “Come, if you want to know so badly,” he said, hollow and faint as he trudged away, “but keep in mind that what you’re searching for isn’t as beautiful as you think it is.”
“I’m prepared for that.”
There was a brittle, broken, bitter sound. Reborn, had he not seen the sardonic tilt of lips as Tsuna looked back at him, would’ve thought it a sob.
I’m joining in too don’t mind me hah; Starlight’s adopted father is the best dad ever, while Starlight’s biological dad would literally kill him if given the chance and told his son to drop dead, so we all know who is easily Starlight’s real dad here