I have actually rewritten this. I haven't changed any of the plot, but if you've read this previously, you should notice a drastic difference in writing style that should be of a much higher quality than what this was before.
If there was one thing that pissed Squalo off more than any other, it was when Xanxus became so unreasonable about the fact that, though he had run out of his monthly supply of steak and wine, it was inhumane to expect his boyfriend to go out in heavy snow and freezing cold just to get more – than again, it was either deal with a bit of frostbite or be pulling bullets out of his body with a set of tweezers. It was a no-brainer, really; Squalo already knew which option he'd rather take.
Now don't get him wrong; Squalo would have loved to take his car down to the grocer's – he didn't exactly like treading through snow - but said vehicle was currently being repaired after a certain someone had put bullet holes throughout the Mercedes. Not that the man was naming anyone in particular, but someone should learn to control their anger and not shoot at such necessities.
"Fucking stupid piece of fucking..." Squalo angrily kicked snow out of his path as he tried to hurry the fifteen minute walk from the grocers to his home along and ignore the fact that the bottom of his pant legs were becoming saturated from melted snow. He wasn't happy at all, and he just wanted to get home - the fact that the moon bore down on him and it was too dark to see his surroundings properly didn't help his mood. "Goddamn fucking – who's there?!"
Squalo had sharp senses, and he knew footsteps when he heard them. These ones sounded small, as if they belonged to either a child or a very small adult. There was also a hint of uncertainty about the gait as it sounded as if they were hesitating every now and then, but the fact that they got louder with each thud told Squalo someone was approaching him.
The long-haired male prepared himself for the worst, confident in his strength to be able to fight off an impending attack – but though he had expected for a lot of things, it certainly wasn't for a tiny hand to reach out of the darkness and grip tightly the long jacket he was wearing.
The man tensed as a tiny body that was trembling rather violently pressed against his side for reasons he couldn't begin to fathom; why would a child approach him from the dark and attach to him like this? Had the child never been taught about stranger danger? Then again, he seemed to have a habit of attracting kids with little-to-no upbringing.
Nothing was said between them; Squalo just reached into his pocket and grabbed his phone so that he could use the light from the touch screen to illuminate the unexpected visitor; he may be rough around the edges, but he would never hurt a child; not one simply seeking what he assumed was comfort.
It was a very small boy, with teal hair that was splattered with snow. He was wearing next to nothing; a sleeveless white shirt and khaki shorts. His skin was an unhealthy shade of blue, a sure sign that if the man didn't do something soon, this boy was going to die. It made Squalo furious to know that there were such negligent parents who would allow their kid to wander outside like this; he would never let a kid endanger their wellbeing, especially not in a manner like this.
"Where's your house?" Squalo naturally expected for the boy to live on this street; a kid wouldn't get far in this weather wearing what this one was. The boy didn't reply, and his chattering teeth were the only answer the adult received. Taking a different approach, the man instead asked, "Why are you out here alone? Do you have parents?"
The kid shook his head. His emotionless emerald eyes looked up into Squalo's dark ones, almost as if he were searching for something. "...Mama... went to see her new boyfriend... She s-said... she didn't want m-me... to come... S-so to w-w-wait here for her... She e-even k-kept my... warm clothes... for when... she c-came back..."
"What the fuck?" Squalo was appalled by what he was hearing; as someone who had legal guardianship of a teenager, it made him sick to know that there were parents out there who didn't give a fuck about their kids; he may have picked his own charge up off the streets, but he loved his kid like his own child, and he couldn't imagine putting his responsibility into any kind of negligent situation; his kid was too precious to him. How could someone… Do this to their own child…?!
Squalo dropped his shopping to the ground and quickly shrugged his jacket off. He didn't hesitate to wrap it around the quivering body; he knew this boy had been abandoned, but it was their loss; if they didn't want him, Squalo would happily take him. "Bullshit. How long have you been out here for?"
"Long enough..." Tiny hands gripped the fabric tight and instinctively pulled it tighter against him; he was just so cold…! "...I miss mama..."
"Forget that bitch."Squalo scooped the kid up into one arm and then grabbed the plastic bag with his free hand before continuing on with his walk home. "She wouldn't have left you out here like this if she cared about you."
"S-she said... she'll be back..."
"That's a lie, brat." Squalo growled to himself as he kicked again at the snow mounds, taking his frustration out on the weather. "You'd have died if you didn't approach me. Why the fuck didn't you go to someone sooner? There are plenty of houses around."
"...Because... strangers are bad... But so c-cold..." Squalo recognised the desperation in the younger's voice; he used to hear it all the time in his charge after first taking his kid into his home. He shook his head to clear his thoughts and tried to soften his demeanour as much as possible; he didn't want to frighten the boy off because he was planning on keeping the child for himself; with an attraction to other men, he couldn't have his own kids as much as he wanted to.
"Well, I'm not bad," Squalo reassured.
"You're a s-stranger... Y-you could b-be..."
"Fuck no." The adult snorted at the boy's words. "If I was bad, I wouldn't have the annoying little shit I do that lives to make my life miserable."
The boy nodded, too tired to argue. "W-what's your n-name...?"
"...Fran... C-can I... call you g-grandpa...?"
"Hell no, brat!" Squalo was naturally a loud person, so it wasn't surprising he snapped at the question; as much as he would deny it, he was very sensitive to when it came to people thinking he was older than he actually was. "I'm not even a fucking grandpa!"
"Oh, well." The boy – Fran, as he had introduced himself as - just shrugged, as if he wasn't fazed at all by the man's response. When he spoke again, it was in a flat tone, one that sounded so blank, it didn't even convey the fact that the child was almost ready to freeze to death. "I tried."
"Little shit..." The man sighed. He was just glad he wasn't far from his home now. "Almost there..."
Fran let his eyes slip closed as he was carried, having not been so close to another person in a long time. His mother was distant from him, and she very rarely touched him in an affectionate manner, if she touched him at all. He was enjoying this so much, he almost wasn't aware of when he had been taken into a house; the only thing that had snapped him from his thoughts was the fact that all of a sudden, the temperature around him had increased to the warmth he had wanted so badly.
Fran looked around to take in his new surroundings. The entrance hall looked nice, he thought. The walls were void of any decoration, but they were a nice creamy colour that he thought looked pretty. There were several rooms branching off the hall with a stairwell further down from them, and a small passage beside it that probably led to the backyard or some other room he didn't really care about right now.
Just from what he could see in this moment, Fran liked this house very much, finding it to be much nicer than the hotels and apartments he had lived in with his mother.
"Voi! Asshole!" Squalo kicked the front door closed behind him as he shouted out to someone else in the house. He moved forward and took the first doorway on the right, bringing Fran into a large living room. There were bookshelves scattered against the walls that were filled with various things from DVDs and books to ornaments and photo frames. There was a widescreen TV mounted to the far wall with an entertainment system resting beneath it that held many devices Fran didn't think he had ever seen in his life. Two couches and a very expensive chair were situated in front of it in a crooked C, and said chair had an occupant resting comfortably in against the red material. "I got your shit!"
"Then fucking cook it, you stupid piece of trash." The chair's occupant, a man with dark-hair and scarring on his face, turned fierce red eyes to the silver-haired male. There was a wine glass in his hand, and Fran didn't miss the way fingers tightened around the base of it in annoyance. That was an action he was very familiar with; his mother always seemed to tighten her grip on whatever she was holding if Fran so much as looked at her.
"Fuck off." Squalo stepped into the room and dropped the shopping onto the coffee table in front of the fireplace before manoeuvring Fran so that the boy was sitting in front of the angry flames. "Can't you see I'm busy?"
"Don't care, trash; I'm hungry."
Squalo rolled his eyes as he took his jacket back from the boy and donned it once more. He reached out to pat a teal head in a semi-awkward manner before he said, "I'll be right back; I'll get some clothes for you to change into."
Squalo said nothing more to his partner as he stood back up and left the room. Fran locked gazes with red eyes, more curious than anything; now that he was finally getting a bit of warmth back into his body, he was feeling much better and almost back to his normal self.
"What's your name?" Fran questioned childishly.
The dark-haired man was silent for a few seconds as he scrutinised the newcomer before he growled out, "Xanxus. What the fuck are you doing here?"
"Grandpa brought me here." Fran remained emotionless as the other snorted.
"'Grandpa'?" A smirk crossed the other's face, genuinely amused by this nickname; he had called Squalo many things, but grandpa was one insult that had never once crossed his mind when it came to his lover. "Good one, trash."
Fran blinked innocently as he looked around. The first thing he really noticed was the chair that Xanxus was sitting in. It looked almost throne-like with the way it rested before the fireplace, certainly superior to any other chair he had ever seen before; in a way, it just seemed to demand respect. He then looked over to one of the couches and was surprised to find a second body curled up on it. They had their back to the teal-haired male, with messy locks of blond hair and a purple-and-black striped shirt that looked too big for their seemingly-skinny body. They were so still, the kid almost wondered if they were still alive.
Before Fran could open his mouth and question who the blond was, Squalo had come back into the room. He held a shirt similar to what the blond was wearing, but this one had red stripes instead of purple. There was also a striped hoody in tow, as well as a pair of black shorts and fluffy striped socks; if they belonged to the body on the couch, then they certainly had an obsession with stripes, Fran figured.
"Take that tattered shit off and put these on instead." Squalo tossed the clothing to his guest before he turned to the blond on the couch instead. "Hey, Belphegor... Wake up."
"He's out to it," Xanxus growled. He wished his boyfriend would stop messing around and get to work on his steak already; he was fucking starving. "He won't wake."
Squalo grunted as he reached out to shake a thin shoulder. He turned to look at the taller male with an accusing look in his eyes when the other didn't move in the slightest; he knew he couldn't exactly trust his partner when it came to his kid, and if Xanxus had done something to him... "The fuck did you give him?"
"Sleeping pills." The dark-haired male shrugged, truly not caring for anything that may have resulted from his actions; as long as he got peace and quiet, that was all he had cared about. "Stupid trash wouldn't stop complaining and it was pissing me off."
"You fucking moron, you know he's not supposed to be having shit like that!" Squalo sneered as he leant down and pulled the body into his arms. Long, lanky arms and thin legs dropped down towards the ground as their owner laid completely limp in the man's arms. "That shit's like giving elephant tranquilisers to a kitten for him. Simple medicine would have sufficed, dumbass."
"He'll live. Probably." Xanxus just twirled his glass around as he glared out of the window opposite him and out into the snow-drenched gardens. "Don't really care either way."
Squalo grunted again as he turned around and glanced at Fran. He found the kid only half-finished with his task of changing into clothing that didn't look as if it had been chewed apart by rats. He shuddered to think that there was a very real possibility of that being the case; he didn't want to believe a parent could let their child live like that. Grabbing the younger's attention, he said, "I'm just going to put this shithead to bed and then I'll deal with you."
Fran nodded. He waited until everyone had stopped looking at him again before he took off his pants and slipped the shorts on instead; they were big enough to act as pants for him, and he liked that.
Xanxus didn't turn to look at the boy until he knew Fran had dressed himself; he wasn't exactly interested in kids, after all. He snorted again at the sight of the younger, dressed in clothing that was far too big for his scrawny body; surely if the boy tried taking just one step, he would trip and plummet face-first to the ground. Xanxus, truthfully, wouldn't mind seeing that. "Trash."
Fran shrugged and sat back down in his spot in front of the fire. He tugged the hoody over him next, so happy to be warm again; he didn't think he had ever been in such a warm environment before, used to living in places that were absolutely freezing, no matter what temperature it was outside.
Squalo didn't take long at all to come back, and when he did, he had some blankets and a pillow with him. He was silent as he made up a bed on the couch before he turned the TV on and put the volume down just low enough to be heard but not bothered by if anyone fell asleep within earshot of it.
"There you go." The long-haired male patted the makeshift bed as he yawned, suddenly looking as tired as he felt; his eyelids were heavy, and he could feel his late night creeping up on him; he really needed more opportunities for rest rather than working himself half to death all the time. "Go to sleep and we'll go from here tomorrow."
Fran nodded before he clambered up onto the couch. A faint, barely visible smile crossed his face as he was tucked in, having never experienced such a thing before. He didn't mind the hand that ruffled his hair, instead finding it comforting. In the back of his mind, he wished his mother could have given him such touches, but he had never known gentleness from her before, and already he was liking Squalo more than her.
"Night, brat..." Squalo muttered as he stood up and grabbed the plastic bag he had abandoned on the coffee table previously.
"My steak. Now." Xanxus growled as he got up to follow the younger male into the kitchen.
"I fucking am, Xanxus!" Squalo snapped back. "Fuck! Patience!"
Fran flinched slightly as the living room light was flicked off, having never liked the darkness. He was just glad that light from what he assumed was the kitchen filtered in through the doorway, and the TV illuminated his surroundings as well.
Suddenly, Fran's exhaustion had hit him like a ton of bricks, and he was out to it like a light.