Your writing is stupendous! Could you do a soulmate au w/Tsuna, & he's an apathetic, playboy jerk to s/o @ first, but they act like they don't care either & they act it perfectly. They give as good as they get & drive Tsuna wild until he claims them.
On the skin of their left breast, right above where their heart is located, people are born with a soulmark.
Every person’s soulmark was unique, the one phrase their counterpart uttered that stood out the most within the first hour of their initial meeting. The mark having been recorded on their chest, before they ever even met.
Sometimes people were born with hand signs on their chest, inspiring them to learn sign language. Some were in quotation marks, their counterpart having been encountered through media (one notable incident involving one counterpart being a telemarketer and calling the other without realizing it).
There was never a guarantee that you would find your counterpart, there being plenty of those whom never did, but there was always the chance you would… And that fueled the ambitions of many to go out searching for someone they might never find.
(inspired scores of international conventions where people were randomly sorted into groups of ten and spent one hour together, just talking in the hopes that one of them ended up being their match; if nothing happened, they would shake each others hands, wishing each other good luck and parting)
Another thing that was never guaranteed, was that it would be a romantic interest on the other side of that mark or even just one singular marking. There had been many reported cases of quasiplatonic-soulmarks and even select few poly-marks where there had been more than one counterpart. Sometimes, a person wouldn’t even end up liking their counterpart at all.
One thing that was for certain, though, any relationship one had with their counterpart, whether it was romantic or platonic or even one of mutual dislike, was intense and passionate and more emotionally invested than any other connection with a human being. One way or another, counterparts would be gravitated to one another, for better or for worse.
“Hey there, mind if I buy you a drink?” A man asked as he sidled up next to you, dark eyes roving over your rather provocatively dressed form.
Glancing at your half-empty pint before looking back at the interloper with a squint, you answered, “Yes, actually, I’d prefer if I remained uncompromised by whatever drug you’re thinking about slipping in it.“
“You got the wrong idea! I wouldn’t drug your drink, I’m not that kind of guy,” he squawked, caught off guard by the sudden and casual accusation.
It only garnered him an unimpressed and scornful glance from you before you dismissed him entirely with your body language. Already bored with the conversation, you grumbled, “I don’t know you from Adam, so I’ll have to pass. If it’s just a ploy to chat me up, I’ll save you some time: I’m not interested. At all. I’m here to relax, not have a one night stand or start a relationship with somebody. Why don’t you go ask the guy in the green shirt? They look interested.”
On the defensive, he snarled, pride sufficiently bruised from the gruff and rather ugly brush off, “You don’t have to be a bitch about it, jeez. Just say no.”
You remained unruffled, placidly responding with, “I did. You didn’t listen. Bye.”
With a tsk, the man left and blessed silence reined for a little while longer until:
“You know, he only wanted to get to know you.”
Somewhat exasperatedly glancing at the figure that slipped into the seat next to you and ordered a brandy with some ice, you absently responded, “More like he wanted to get into my pants, you mean. Generally, the people at bars either want to get drunk, celebrate, relax, or get lucky. You don’t go to bars to meet people, that’s what clubs and mixers are for, what the purpose of those monthly international conventions are for. I just don’t want to be another statistic.”
Hooded amber eyes flickered in your direction, eyebrows raised in incredulity. After a beat of silence, he managed, “…You make it sound as if you’d die if you went out with someone from a bar.”
Feeling a little playful, you quipped, “I might. There’s lots of sketchy folk out there. Who knows who you’ll bump into?”
“Devilishly attractive young men?” He offered a smirk in your direction, leaning closer with his arm propping up his chin on the counter, obviously attempting to be smooth. Alright then, challenge accepted.
Turning to face him properly now, you teased, “Really? Mind telling me when you spot one? Preferably one who isn’t a fuckboy?”
He recoiled a bit in shock at being blatantly called out, “O-Oi, have a little heart! That was quite cold.”
You tensed in surprise, turning back away to finish off your pint, heart beginning to pound as the phrase echoed in your mind. Have a little heart… Rubbing your chest discreetly with one hand as it prickled in reminder of what was forever engraved there, you mumbled, “Call ‘em like I see ‘em. Anyway, have a name, hotshot?”
“All the ladies call me Tsunayoshi,” he purred.
You grimaced, “Sure it’s not ‘sleazy’? I got all the wrong vibes when you did that, Tsuna. Or Yoshi. But I don’t know, you seem more like a ‘Tsuna’ to me. Makes you sound less pretentious and more approachable. See, look, less of a fuckboy already.”
He made a face, “Your bluntness is offensive. Don’t you have any tact?”
“None,” you relented agreeably, heart finally starting to slow down as you eased back into pace with the conversation. A subtle glance at the clock told you that it had been about four minutes. Fifty-six minutes left to see if the playboy next to you was really your counterpart or another unfortunate false alarm. “But that’s part of my charm, you never have to guess what I’m thinking, just need to ask. A lot people say they think it’s refreshing, but they’re probably just being tactful themselves.”
“Quite possibly,” he allowed, smiling a little bit despite himself. “You still didn’t give me yours.”
“Oh, right, I’m [name],” you answered flippantly.
“Nothing, I was just testing it out loud,” he snickered. “Rolls right out the tongue, doesn’t it?”
“And you are a terrible flirt.”
“‘But that’s a part of my charm’!” Tsuna mocked in a falsetto voice, clearly imitating you as his amber eyes glinted in mischief. He grinned roguishly when you giggled despite yourself.
I could get used to this, you thought. A glance at the clock. Forty-three minutes.
You made to say something but were interrupted by a phone ringing and Tsuna’s playful expression melting into one that was rather… intense for lack of a better word. His tousled hairstyle seemed to shadow his face dramatically, dark brown eyebrows drawing together in a frown as his eyes seemed to flash orange (a trick of the light?) as he glared a hole into his coat pocket. Pursing his lips in an attempt to hide the snarl that briefly appeared, Tsuna muttered, “I need to take this”, finished off the tumbler in one go and slapping down money before hurriedly striding away from the bar counter, retrieving his phone and answering it.
He made a study of a harried man with too many responsibilities than what was probably healthy, hunched in shoulders and an agitated gait. You noticed for the first time that he was wearing a suit. It complimented him nicely, providing a flattering look for his butt especially. You could probably bounce coins off of it.
“I’d be careful with that one,” the bartender muttered as he took the empty glass, cleaning it. “He always has a different partner every time he comes in and you’re a good person, y/n. Don’t want you getting yourself hurt, especially with the crowd he throws his lot with.”
“…What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Exactly what it sounds like. He doesn’t play for keeps but for fun. I caught a glance of his soulmark once; there’s a scar obscuring it, like it had been scratched out angrily with a knife. People like him? You gotta watch out for; they’ll eat you alive, if you’re not careful, take your heart along with ‘em.”
And with that ominous warning, he left you another pint before moving on to serve the other patrons. Have a little heart… The words haunted you, had always haunted you throughout your childhood. You had made a point to be kinder then, to try to make it so you would never hear those words uttered, because they always sounded so sad to you; a plea in a future that you were pretty sure you didn’t want. But things changed, people took advantage of your kindness, and you grew a backbone. Have a little heart…
You looked up as movement in your direction caught your eyes: Tsuna. You hesitated when he smiled at the eye contact. It seemed like a risk, to ‘have a little heart’ when there was the very real possibility of it being stolen with no regard to it.
But when the smile wavered a bit, almost unsurely, you felt your compassion make you want to take the risk, one last gamble. You grinned back and gave a saucy wink. Twenty-eight minutes left. You could do this for twenty-eight minutes.
As he slid back into his original seat beside you, you blurted out the first thing that came to mind, “The bartender mentioned you had a dark side.”
A surprise blink before an unreadable look crossed his face. Quietly, he joked, side-stepping the dig for information, “It’s what probably drew him to me.”
Most people who have probably taken the hint and dropped the topic, but you weren’t ‘most people’. Trying again, you prodded leadingly for clarification, “Your oh-so-mysterious dark side?”
“Sure, why, don’t you have one? Oh, wait, stupid question, I bet you’re one of those hopelessly delusional optimistics who dot their “i’s” with little hearts,” the tone was almost biting, buttons were obviously being pushed, meaning there was also some truth to what the bartender had said.
Only the slightest bit uneasy at the realization, you sniffed dismissively, “I’ll have you know, I have just as much of a dark side as the next person.”
He laughed but his tone of voice wasn’t all that amused. Actually, his voice didn’t give away his thoughts or emotions much at all. “Oh, really? Impress me.”
“I have a soulmark complex,” you admitted challengingly, sharp eyes catching the small twitch you got in response. “I used to hate mine. Still do, probably. I did everything I could to make sure it was never said to me. I’ve had nine false alarms. All of them ended badly. Usually with me getting into a fight, because people pissed me off when saying it. It makes me wonder how much worse yours must be that you would scratch it out, if it’s something that I’ve said or am going to say in the next ten minutes, or if you’re also going to be just another false alarm.”
“…I’m not drunk enough for this, but fuck it, why not? Something about you puts me in the sharing mood,” Tsuna muttered, eyes stormy and still glinting orange once in a while, despite the fact there were no candles or flickering light to create that affect that you were aware of. “I was bullied horrendously when I was younger because of mine, to the point where I learned it was better to keep it covered. Mine practically guaranteed that my counterpart would hate me. So, I went about convincing myself that I didn’t care, and after the first several partners, I believed it. I don’t need a counterpart to be happy when I can go out and find plenty of people willing to throw themselves at me with all the companionship I could ever want as many times as I want. I cut it out because I didn’t need a reminder of failure.”
You let out a disbelieving laugh, “With an attitude like that, I can see why! I want to feel bad for the people you used so carelessly, but only a fool would fall for you. We’re not your consolation prize, Tsuna, so don’t treat people like one!“
Tsuna stiffened, eyes widening in disbelief before narrowing in consideration. “You know,” he began quietly, voice hushed but so, so dangerous with all the implications behind it. Despite yourself, despite your indignation with his playboy tendencies and the looming disappointment, you leaned in closer to hear better. “The truth is, it wasn’t just to remove the symbol of my failures as Dame-Tsuna, my weakness, but it was also to seal the vow I made that day: to make my counterpart swallow those words by becoming the biggest fool of them all.”
“And just what do you mean by that?”
“I’m going to make you fall in love with me.” Leaning forward across the bar, he kissed you, mouth moving possessively over your own, leaving you breathless and dazed in seconds.
“Damn,” you murmured, the moment he pulled away. “When you go and say things like that, when you do things like that, Tsuna, you make it hard for me to not like you.”