Archive: 2009

Archimedes’ Lever – Six

Xanxus and his people take up their place in the Family. Drama, I-3

Xanxus made a grumpy sound and slouched down a little further into his chair. Rafaele was quite willing to admit that Xanxus had come a long way since the day Squalo had walked into his life and turned it on its side, but he could still beat any five year old for marathon sulking. And wasn’t it just typical that he was sulking because he hadn’t personally gotten to tear Rokudou to bits? Timoteo was right; it was high time Xanxus learned that it didn’t matter who did it as long as it got done.


Archimedes’ Lever – Five

Just when things might be settling down, Mukuro appears, targeting the Vongola’s heir. Drama, Action, I-4

Seven months and sixteen days—he’d counted—after Reborn started shadowing them with his measuring looks and annoying observations, Xanxus walked into the old man’s office to find both Reborn and Sawada already there.


Archimedes’ Lever – Four

Squalo is growing into his place at Xanxus’ side, and starting to look around them for some support. Drama, I-3

“And that’s another thing.” Xanxus crossed his arms, glass dangling from his fingers. “The old men run on about how my Guardians are supposed to be the ones closest to me, but I don’t have people close to me!” He glanced at Squalo. “Not besides you.”

“Well, you know who your Rain will be, then.” Squalo smiled at his boss’ irate grunt. “Don’t worry so much. The more you have to do with the rest of the Family, the more chances to meet the ones you need.”


Archimedes’ Lever – Three

Xanxus is finally finding his place in the Family when everything is upset again. Drama, Angst, I-4

Part of him was glad they felt goddamn guilty about this, and part of him was uncomfortable about feeling glad, and most of him was pissed off about both parts.


Archimedes’ Lever – Two

Squalo bonds with Xanxus, and none too soon as Xanxus finds out some things the Ninth had kept from him. Drama with Angst and Sort-of Romance, I-4

Squalo strolled around the edges of the wedding crowd beside Xanxus, keeping an eye out for any unattended cake they could nail down. He didn’t have all that much of a sweet tooth personally, but it was a way of keeping score among the kids. After all, twelve year olds couldn’t rack up kills yet, or negotiations concluded in their Family’s favor.


Archimedes’ Lever – One

What if Squalo had been taken in by the Vongola earlier, and met Xanxus much sooner? What change would that have made in both of them? Drama, I-3

In the end it all came down to Xanxus, Rafaele decided later. He didn’t normally pay much attention to the mafia children until they were old enough to seek a real position. As both Gianni and Maria were wont to say, each in his or her own way, they had their fellow Guardians to satisfy any such urges. But having Xanxus running around the main house like a kid-shaped bomb, ready to go off at any second, would make anyone a little more alert. So when Tyr mentioned, after the sparring session when they were both wrapping their various cuts and bruises, that there was a promising new swordsman coming along among the children, Rafaele listened.


Nine Tenths of Ma’at

A series of linked vingnettes. Ryou reflects on his past with the Ring and chooses a new present. Drama, I-3

Ryou sat cross-legged on his bed, looking down at the ring of gold that lay on his blankets.

He hadn’t really expected it would stay buried.


The River Continues

Mukuro believes in possessing what’s his completely; the obvious ways are only the beginning. Mind-Porn with Creepiness, D/s, I-4

Xanxus had gotten as used as a person could, over the years, to the way Mukuro took him to bed using Xanxus’ own body. All bets were off, working with someone who possessed people, including you. He got that.

But sometimes, now, it was different. Sometimes Mukuro used his own body. And then things went differently.


Happily Ever After

Companion to Lys ap Adin’s "Bloodsport"; a series of linked shorts that follows Gokudera, Yamamoto and Tsuna after the end. Lots of fang-sex, a bit of humor, and a smidge of crack thrown in at the end. Romance and Fang-porn, I-4

There was always the risk, when the doorbell rang after dark these days, that it would be another thrilling moment of flight come calling, so Hayato was already scowling when he opened the door. It was good to get off on the right foot. What stood there tonight wasn’t an invitation to airsickness, but the scowl didn’t go to waste.


Surprised Into Greatness

In the universe where Federico survives, Byakuran is still a problem ten years later. This time, it’s someone else who dies to send Tsuna and Xanxus against the Millefiore. Drama with Angst, I-4

Sunlight fell gracefully through stained glass and into the open coffin.

Fedele had known it was going to be hard. It couldn’t be any other way when the Vongola’s Boss had been killed—not killed, the back of his mind whispered, clinging to that but he couldn’t let it show or it would all go for nothing—killed by an ambush no one had seen coming. He had forbidden anyone to tell Federico’s wife or son, saying it was for their own safety in hiding, which was true enough. But the fury and pain in the eyes of the other Guardians, the stripped, blank looks on the faces of the two kneeling by Federico’s coffin, sliced his heart like a knife.


Quick Comment repaired

For a few months the Quick Comment function has been down or running incomplete, but it is now repaired. It should accept a name in the optional field and return all the proper confirmations. My apologies for how long that took!


Psychological Warfare

The Cradle Affair, this time with more Mukuro. For cliche_bingo, prompt: “Darkfic.” Part of the Firebrand ‘verse. Dark like a very dark thing.

They began with the Vongola itself, because Mukuro was well aware of the psychological asset that taking out one’s strongest opponents first could be, and because he wanted to test the mettle of his new acquisition.


War of Aggression

Squalo meets Xanxus and Xanxus meets the Varia, and everything follows from that. Beginning overlaps the end of “Blood Will Tell“. Drama, I-4, Squalo->Xanxus UST

The sword was everything to Squalo—the purity of a single goal and the cleanness of perfection. In a world that hid so much, despite the stark edges of every word and action, the sword was one thing that made perfect sense. It made him a little crazy that no one else seemed to understand that.

Really crazy.


Heat in the Shade

Kou wrestles with his standing attraction to Ryuuko and his new attraction to Shirogane. Fortunately, Shirogane provides him with a resolution. Drama with Porn, I-4, MANGA CONTINUITY

Kou leaned his chin on this folded arms and watched shadows curl below him. This balcony was a good place for thinking and he felt a need to think today.

He was getting much more comfortable, here in shadow, since he’d let himself accept that Shirogane was his king. It was a relief to feel Shirogane’s power in him; it was familiar and comforting. And that was starting to worry him.


An Offer You Can’t Refuse

There comes a time in every young man’s life when he must seek his fortune. Sawada Iemitsu is off to seek his. Occurs not too long before “Blood Will Tell“. Teen+; some implicit, mostly-offscreen violence.

Sawada Iemitsu couldn’t remember a time when he hadn’t known that he was—or could have been, if he’d wanted to be—the heir to a great mafia empire.


Notice of Waking

Lulu notices that Kou is starting to settle in as a shin, and teases him about his new bond to Shirogane. Drama, I-2, MANGA CONTINUITY

Kou didn’t realize he was humming until Lulu leaned over the back of the couch, positively smirking. "You’re looking more like yourself lately, Chibi. Did something good happen?"


Three Things that Might Have Happened to Xanxus

A spin-off from Lys ap Adin’s AU "Five Things that Never Happened to Xanxus" (read that first). What if Federico had lived and Squalo’s duel with Tyr had happened on schedule? What would happen then? And how would Tsuna come into it? Drama with Occasional Romance, I-4

Promotion, in the Varia, happened when a squad leader decided it was about time, or else when the person wanting promotion decided it was about time. The two usually balanced out. The question of who would lead the Varia, though, wasn’t left up to anyone but the one who led already and the one who wanted to.


Management Techniques

Hibari makes Romario very, very nervous, for a multitude of reasons. This is a Generations sidestory, taking place between “A House Divided” and “They Also Serve.” A certain amount of silliness here, folks.

Romario was quite sure that Hibari Kyouya was a perfectly good Cloud Guardian for young master Sawada. All the same, he was starting to wish that the boy would simply drop off a cliff and disappear—not permanently, just for a few months, perhaps, or however long it would take for Romario to get his master’s attention firmly settled on some nice young mafia lady who would be happy to make lots of little Cavallones while the boss went gallivanting around with the Vongola’s Cloud Guardian.


Five Things That Never Happened to Xanxus

These are things that never happened to Xanxus, but could have done, if only things had started out just a bit differently. This fic is what happens when you say to yourself, “Gosh, I’ve been writing a lot of Xanxus angst lately. I wonder if it is possible to write Xanxus in such a way that he is, well, functionally broken instead of just psychopathically insane.” And then you get tackled by a plot bunny that is the size of a goddamn linebacker. Teen and up; warnings for Xanxus doing the things that make him Xanxus.

Xanxus stared up at the old geezer—this smiling old fool was supposed to be the Vongola Ninth? please—and lifted a hand to show him the Flame when he asked for it.


The Balance of Intention

After Homurabi is defeated, Kou and Shirogane have to reach some understanding of what they are to each other. Drama, I-3, MANGA CONTINUITY

The shadow world could be kind of boring, Kou had decided. At least now that there weren’t any crazy kings around stirring it up. And he certainly didn’t wish Homurabi back, but with only two people around to talk to, and neither of them Akira, he was definitely feeling out of sorts.

Fortunately there was a solution.


Inversion

To win the battle, Kou needs a king’s power to back his. There’s really only one king available… Picks up post-35. Drama, I-3, MANGA CONTINUITY, mild spoilers

Kou hauled himself up from the bed, wincing a little. "You’re a real bastard, you know that?"

"A fine way to talk to someone who just finished healing the wounds your own idiocy bought you," Shirogane observed, pulling his gloves back on.


Blood Will Tell

Sometimes one small mistake can lead to an entire avalanche of nasty consequences. Some small divergences from manga canon; a veritable confluence of clusterfuck.

One of the first things Sawada Iemitsu did in his apprenticeship to the Vongola Ninth’s outside advisor was bring the Ninth news of the woman who claimed that her son belonged to Timoteo Vongola. It was an act that Iemitsu reflected on later, grimly, deciding that it was the event that colored his entire service to the Vongola.


Internal Dialogue

Renji is protective in bed, even with Ichigo. Written for Porn Battle with the prompt Renji/Ichigo, privately. Porn with Characterization, I-4

Ichigo always kind of forgot how big Renji was, until he felt how far back he had to tilt his head to be kissed.


Traditional Values

Byakuya takes Ichigo to bed properly for the first time, showing him how these things go. Porn with Characterization, I-4

It had taken Byakuya a while to realize that when Ichigo called him "Byakuya-san" that was respect—to listen to his tone instead of his words, to his body language instead of his grammar. Ichigo kept his respect in different places than most people.


The Voice of Experience

While training with the Visored, Ichigo tries to ignore the way he’s drawn to Hirako—who notices anyway. Written for Porn Battle with the prompt Shinji/Ichigo, Captain. Porn with Characterization, I-4

He’d already figured out that when Hirako stopped acting like an idiot and got serious it made him feel… weird. Yeah, weird was a good word for it. The kind of weird he probably didn’t want to be feeling while naked in hot water across from Hirako.


Two Hands Make A Pair

In which the Vongola Ninth’s Mist and Rain reach an agreement, and establish a pattern that will carry them forward. This is set about ten years before “Blood Will Tell.” Timoteo has been the Ninth for a little under a decade at this point. This is a sidestory for the arc, focusing pretty much entirely on two of the original characters, and is not necessary to the main thrust of A House Divided—but it may make some character motivations make more sense later.Fraught smut

Gianni may have been the Vongola Ninth’s right hand, and his Mist Guardian besides, but he wasn’t too proud to admit it when he was tired. And tonight, he was tired.


Out of Patience

Kou and Shirogane finally decide to come to grips, in their tug-of-war over Ryuuko, and it ends in sex. Written for Porn Battle with the promt: Shirogane/Kou, tug-of-war. Pure Porn, I-4, MANGA CONTINUITY

Kou supposed he should have expected it to happen eventually. He and Shirogane had been having their tug-of-war, or at least tug-of-Ryuuko, for a long time. And they’d kept, as it were, walking their hands up the rope to get a better grip. Maybe it wasn’t surprising that they’d eventually leave off the rope and just tug on each other.

Or something.


The Family You Choose

It is time for Timoteo to choose his Guardians, and he’s determined to do things his way. This project owes its inspiration to jetsam/thephoenixboy, who correctly guessed which fic was mine in the first round of khr_undercover, and requested a fic featuring Timoteo and his Guardians as her reward. I don’t believe she quite expected her request to spawn an entire humongous arc, but what can I say? It was a provocative prompt! *grin* General audiences

For a character guide, see the appendix (warning: spoilers for the arc!)

“Is it already time to be thinking of that?” Timoteo asked, to make time for his mind to race ahead and turn over the possibilities. “You’re still very young, Mother.”

“How kind of you to say,” she said, eyes glinting, not without humor. “I said that we were ready to confirm you as my heir, not that I was ready to step down. Don’t get too far above yourself.”


Precipitate

Akira, Ryuuko and Shirogane get some closure, and some reopening. Drama with Porn, I-4, MANGA CONTINUITY

Akira lay in Shirogane’s arms and wondered if humans, or shin for that matter, could purr. He felt like he wanted to try. The sun had gone down, but the air was still clear and warm with spring, and Shirogane’s hands were just that comfortable bit warmer as they slid up and down his back and over his shoulders.

"The shadow in you is thinning," Shirogane murmured against his hair.


Experienced

Some years post-canon, Ciel wants Sebastian, the only one he can trust, to guide him through what sex is like. Written for Porn Battle with the prompt: Ciel/Sebastian, experience. Porn with Drama, I-4, post-canon

Warning: References to rape of a child.

I want to know what it’s like, Ciel had said. And that was how he’d come to be naked in his bed with Sebastian, every muscle of his body tense.


Festivity

A person can learn all sorts of useful, interesting things by eavesdropping. Takes place early on in The Queen and All Her Men. Warnings for unabashed adorable fluff involving toddlers, and the general Hibari outlook on life.

Kyouya supposed that it was all well and good that Sawada’s cub had survived another year. Given the general atmosphere in which she’d done it, he even supposed that he could understand commemorating the accomplishment. What no one had been able to explain (to his satisfaction, at any rate) was why doing so involved filling the south garden with every squalling mafioso brat from one to ten years old, and why he was required to attend.


Transferable

Kengo convinces Shirogane to let him help with work. Drama, I-3, MANGA CONTINUITY

"I’ll take care of it. Watch what I do, so you can learn it."

Now Kengo frowned, stubborn. "I should do more than that. I can do more than that, I know it."

Echoes of the past twitched at Shirogane’s nerves and he told himself firmly that Kengo was nothing like Homurabi had ever been. "In time."


Over, Under or Around

Mari decides that something has to be done to make Fedele comfortable in the Family again. Drama, I-2

The study was quiet; Mother hadn’t come in yet and Mari had sent Mamoru out with Uncle Gokudera to talk to the Cometti. In fact, the study was a little too quiet. Mari dropped the latest report on the Leone and gave up trying to concentrate. "Father, we have to do something about Fedele."


Enthroned Heart

Kou thinks he’s figured out who the next king of shadow is. Now they have to convince Akira to let him go. Drama, I-3, MANGA CONTINUITY

"All right, you said you found something," Lulu said, settling on Kou’s best chair. "So what is it?"

Kou blew out a stream of smoke. "Think it’s the king you want. You’ll never believe who it is, though." He certainly hadn’t.


Appendix – the Vongola Eleventh Generation

This is an appendix listing things like birth order, Flame alignment and godparents. It contains spoilers for the above stories.


The Overarching Sky

Mari chooses her Guardians, which runs into occasional trouble with both family and Family foibles. Drama, I-3

"You wanted to see me, Father?" Mari closed the door of the study behind her, noted her father’s expression, both affectionate and harried, and looked around for a baby in a suit. Sure enough, Reborn was in one of the armchairs with a tiny cup of coffee. "Reborn, welcome back."


Relative Values

Takes place somewhere towards the middle of The Queen and All Her Men. Tsuna and Kyouko have a favor to ask. Fluff, general audiences

Rokudou Mukuro came and went as freely as a Cloud—rather more freely than perhaps anyone other than Tsuna and Kyouko was really comfortable with, all things considered.


Exigencies of Service

Takes place some time early in "The Queen and All Her Men". Tsuna has to be convinced that his children need to learn early how to fight. Fortunately, Kyouko is more pragmatic. Drama, I-3

"Stop acting like an herbivore, Sawada."


The Queen and All Her Men

A series of linked shorts that follows Lys ap Adin’s "What to Expect When You’re Expecting". Kyouko and Tsuna’s first child is a daughter. She’s soon followed by a lot of brothers, and the mafia world may be in for a big surprise—provided the Vongola themselves survive the experience. Drama with Humor and Domesticity, I-3

Kyouko still thought Sicilians had strange ideas about their ceremonies, but at least she could understand this part of the christening perfectly well—the part where Vongola and their allies, and a few who weren’t either, gathered to chat and politic on the lawn, all come to see her firstborn.


Interlude

A year or so later, life is going on. Two moments, one from light and one from shadow. Drama, I-3, MANGA CONTINUITY, spoiler iss 32

"Hah! Take that!"

The screen flashed with colorful explosions and Akira tossed his controller down in disgust. "You’re even a demon in games."


Looking Glass

After Shirogane returns to see to his own world, Akira comes to visit and get him to unwind a little. Lulu has a talk with Kou, in the meantime, about finding more shin. Drama with Smut, I-3, MANGA CONTINUITY

"Mm." Kou hadn’t looked away yet. "So you’re not worried he’ll be pissed off if you just show up unexpectedly?"

"Probably will be," Akira allowed. "So what?"

Kou choked on a swallow.

"Sometimes he needs something he doesn’t want to admit to." Akira shrugged. "So I should know how to go."

Kou laughed through his last few coughs. "Yeah, you’re you all right." He leaned back, mouth quirked. "And totally in love too, aren’t you?"

Akira jerked upright. "I am not!"


What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Nothing that the Vongola Family does is ever actually simple. Nothing. For cliche_bingo, prompt: “Pregnancy.” Fluffy schmoopy fluff with deeper Family politics underneath, general audiences

The one thing—some days, the only thing—everyone could agree to was that Shamal wasn’t the sort of person a pregnant woman should ever have to deal with.


Revelation

In the final confrontation with Homurabi, Ryuuko returns. Afterwards, Akira finds that he remembers and understands a few more things. One of them is why Shirogane has refused to make any more shin than him. Drama with Mild Angst, I-3, MANGA CONTINUITY, implicit spoilers post-32

Whenever Akira had changed in the past he’d been too occupied with, most usually, almost dying to notice before he was suddenly waking up again. This time was different. This time, Akira could feel it happening, like walking down a see-saw and reaching the fulcrum, the tipping point, when uphill suddenly became downhill and the world turned over.


Unbound

In bed with Shirogane, Akira wants to see his hair loose. It reminds him of things he doesn’t quite remember yet. Drama with Porn, I-4, MANGA CONTINUITY

Shirogane’s hand stroked down his back and the thought escaped on a sigh. "Do you ever undo your hair?"

Shirogane paused and lifted his head. He was smiling but his eyes were darker than they usually were in bed. "Not… for some time," he murmured.


Love on a Budget

Shirogane has a plan to buy them all time and reinforce the boundary between worlds, provided Ryuuko agrees, and provided Shirogane can bring himself to carry it out. Drama with Sex Magic and Mild Angst, I-4, MANGA CONTINUITY

Shirogane settled his hat back on, speaking from under the brim of it. "You and I are the direct kings. Weakened or not. If we take an action together that resonates through our realms, that may reaffirm the balance for long enough."


Shadow Return to Shadow

Wagatsuma is concerned for Shirogane and tries to speak to both him and Akira about it, with little success. Drama, I-3, spoilers post-32, MANGA CONTINUITY

Akira hunched down on his chair. Great. He wasn’t supposed to sleep with Shirogane because of his past incarnation; yeah like that made sense.


Links and Roles

In accessibility news, Ink Burns now supports some basic WAI-ARIA roles. This should make the site more easily navigable by screen readers and no-mouse visitors. Over time, I hope to add to these. The site has also just switched over to ‘pretty permalinks’, which means that story and page titles will appear in the url […]


Inquiring Minds

Aya also wants to make sure Akira isn’t in over his head; Kengo is already confident. Drama, I-3 MANGA CONTINUITY

Akira was getting used to the fact that he couldn’t have a calm, normal walk home from school, anymore, with nothing more exciting than maybe a gang of seniors wanting to beat him up. If it wasn’t kokuchi it was some shin and if it wasn’t either it was Aya. And he was starting to think he preferred the attacks to the friendly conversation.

"So." Aya swung her school bag casually in one hand. "You and Shirogane, huh?"


Any Tool, When Held Correctly, Is a Weapon

Sometimes Mukuro finds it necessary to tend to Xanxus. Written for Porn Battle VIII, to the prompt “overwhelmed.” Smut with reasonably creepy D/s overtones

After the last of the Arcobaleno fell, things began falling into place rapidly. Or began falling to pieces, to be more precise, which was much more to Mukuro’s taste.


Engraved Here

Kou is concerned over what Akira has gotten himself into. Akira isn’t. Drama, I-3, MANGA CONTINUITY

"Hey." Kou shook his shoulder gently. "I get it. It’s only natural." He sighed. "I just worry about you with him."