No Fluffy Bunnies

A Xenosaga Fanfic by Princess Artemis

© copyright S.D. Green, 2007, except for what's © copyright Monolith Soft and Namco/Bandai

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You can't be serious. No, you are serious. God. OK, well, I ain't givin' you any advice Miss Vector. I don't think all the advice in the world would help you two nutjobs.

Don't get yer panties in a twist, you came to me, remember?

Right. So instead of advice, I'm going to give you information. Strictly confidential, of course.

All right then. First let me tell you why. I'm going to give you all the information I can because you two are driving the rest of us absifuckinlutely insane. If you can figure out something to do with the info, well, that's just good for the rest of us. OK, so maybe you aren't driving the other two nutjobs trying to take over my ship crazy, but that's probably because they're already loony.

Anyway, I'll start easy. I'll tell you what I can about Allen.

Don't gimme any flack about that, you'll find out soon enough why I'm sayin' Allen's easier to talk about.

Are you going to let me talk? Good, then shut yer yapper for a bit and let me talk. Anyhow, Allen then. I'm just going to assume you don't know a damn thing about him, since you sure as hell don't act like you do.

What did I just say about sitting tight and shutting up?

Right, thank you. God damn. So, as I was saying about your neurotic boyfriend...you might have noticed this, though maybe you didn't, but when we all first met, he didn't exactly make a good impression. Though...for some reason chaos liked him right off. Probably for the same reason the rest of us didn't—Allen there was the only person we'd ever seen call bullshit on chaos. chaos told me once that he was going to have to get Allen back for that, but he'd been so used to no one calling him out that he actually thought it was a refreshing change of pace. None of us ever called him out...I mean, you just don't do that to the guy that can dissolve Gnosis by touching them. Well. You don't and I don't, but Allen does. chaos didn't put it quite this way, but he basically said that you can't bullshit Allen. He'll know you're doing it even before you know you're doing it. So that's one bit of info you might be able to put to use: don't bullshit Allen. You especially Miss Vector.

I did not say that. I'm tellin' you what I know, and let's not forget that you came to me like I'm some God damned relationship counselor. I didn't sign up for that kinda shit. I'm tellin' you what I know. You can't pull that kinda crap with Allen. You, Miss Vector, probably can't even think about it without him knowing it. So don't do it.

Anyhow, that's part of the reason he didn't exactly make a prime first impression with the rest of us. Didn't help that the first we saw both of you was after KOS-MOS had scared the shit out of us and then you two are bickering like school kids in that escape pod. It especially didn't help with Hammer...see, Hammer doesn't really like Allen much at all. I think it's professional jealousy. MOMO had Tony seein' green for a bit, but Tony got over it pretty quick because of course a 100-Series Observational Realian is going to be one hell of a pilot. Allen doesn't have the luxury of being anything other than some ordinary Joe Blow, and he happened to call bullshit on some of the things Hammer was doing. What galled Hammer is that Allen was right about them. Hammer, if you didn't know, prides himself on his Net savvy. Which he's got a right to do; he's about the savviest Net hacker I've met. Hammer could make the U.M.N. do just about anything he wanted short of letting us gate jump for free. Then here comes Allen, telling Hammer he's doing things wrong. I don't think Allen intended to offend Hammer, but he did. Mostly because, like I said, professional jealousy. Allen's no hacker, but he could have been, and he told Hammer he was doing some stuff wrong, told him how to do it better and faster, and Hammer was fit to kill when he found out Allen was right.

So there's the problem with them—Allen's a better programmer than Hammer and Hammer resents the hell out of him for it.

Yeah, I figured you knew he was a good programmer. I mean hell, you both programmed KOS-MOS, of course you knew that. But you didn't know that Hammer doesn't get along with Allen because Hammer doesn't like that someone out there is better at it than he is. Doesn't matter that Hammer could navigate circles around Allen, he can't get over the fact that Allen could hack circles around him because Hammer practically defined himself as a Net god. And it sure as hell doesn't matter that there's no Net to hack anymore.

I dunno, it's information. That's what about all I can give you, so there you go. Maybe it'll help.

Yeah, I am going to tell you how we all relate to Allen because I think it pertains to your situation.

If you'll let me finish, maybe you'll find out if it'll be helpful or not.

Why thank you so very much.

I thought you said you were gonna stop interrupting me! But to answer your question, no, Tony doesn't have a problem with Allen. They aren't best buds or anything, they seem to get along well enough; there's no animosity. Well, except for the animosity about both of you driving the rest of us up the walls. And maybe there's a twinge of personal jealousy there...I mean, he got the girl and Tony didn't, and while there used to be other fish in the sea...well, the sea turned into a real shallow puddle. I don't think Tony's exactly been batting a thousand with Miss Mary and Miss Shelley. Maybe he'll manage to snag one of them one of these days.

Oh, speaking of...and don't get all bent out of shape over this, but I think Miss Shelley has taken a bit of a shine to your boyfriend. She ain't the type to make a move, but I'm thinkin' that she's thinkin' that if you ever drop him, she'll be there to catch him.

Oh for crying out loud! I just told you she's not the type to make a move, and from what I'm gatherin', she hasn't done anything, so don't get pissy with her about it.

Eh? Huh, I didn't realize you were already suspecting something. Damn, woman, if you can't trust him, why the hell do you think you're having such a rough time? So what's Miss Shelley doing that's got you thinking she's tryin' to horn in on your territory?

God...Miss Vector, you didn't know Allen's completely neurotic about food? If he's happily eating what Miss Shelley fixes for ALL of us when it's her turn to cook but he's suddenly gotten weird on you when it's your turn, I think it's probably safe to say it's something to do with him and not Miss Shelley.

The droids tell me stuff.

Hey, I made em, why shouldn't they tell me stuff?

So you two got in a fight about him being weird about your cooking and that's what brought you to ask me for advice. I did not sign up for this shit. Look, Miss Shelley's the second best cook we've got on board, so don't try to read anything into it if Allen likes her cooking. Everyone likes her cooking. He likes yours just fine, or at least he did, so if he's gettin' twitchy about it now, it's probably got nothing to do with him liking Miss Shelley better than you.

Well for God's sake, it's because everyone in the fucking galactic cluster knows he's in love with you. I betcha even the Seraphim Sisters know it. We all knew it before you two set foot on board.

Yes he's that obvious.

You're kidding me, right?

You're not kidding me. Well, OK...let's just put that little tidbit of information off for a bit. Trust me, we'll get back to it.

I'll tell you more about Miss Shelley in a minute. Hold yer damned horses. Sometimes we all get to imagining how much calmer life'd be onboard if we shot you both out an airlock, so don't stoke that fire Miss Vector. I'm not saying I don't like you, I'm saying that you and Allen are making the rest of us fear for our sanity, which is the only reason I'm talking to you about any of this. If I find out you aren't keeping this confidential and that you've harmed a hair on Miss Shelley's pretty head because of what I told you, I'll just shoot you out an airlock, got it?

I SAID I would get back to Miss Shelley in a minute! Now shut the hell up and let me talk! Damnit I need a drink; whatever got me thinking this was a good idea, much less sober? Shit. Anyhow, me, I wasn't too keen on Allen at first either, so as it turns out, I got to participate in chaos taking his little jab at Allen like he said he would. It was when Allen went and not only stuck his foot in his mouth with Little Master, but ate half his damn leg in the process. Maybe that wasn't such a nice thing for chaos to do, but contrary to popular belief, chaos wasn't always nice. It wasn't very nice of me to do either, but it's water under the bridge. I don't know if I would have done it if I'd known Allen was trying to get on better terms with us. I'm not exactly Mr. Sensitive, but I do admire it when someone's at least trying to make up for a bad impression. I think he's a good kid and I think he's a better man than I am. He ain't as skittish as he used to be anyhow, but I imagine he's still one of the most insecure people I've ever met.

Miss Mary and Allen seem to get on decent, but it's a little touch and go from what I can see, probably because they just don't know each other very well yet. The Professor...ah, screw him, he's crazier than a bag of monkeys, never mind him. I know Scott and Allen get on well, though I couldn't tell you if they're friends or not, since I don't mix with Scott much. Despite the fact that neither one of them can hold their liquor in a bottle, I know they drink together sometimes. And then promptly make damned fools of themselves. I dunno why they do it since both of them end up wastin' my morning after remedy. Shouldn't be drinking if they can't handle it, but they do it anyway. So at least they're drinking buddies, if you could call what they do proper drinking. Pansies should stick to the foofy drinks...at least they don't waste my booze, doesn't take enough to knock them both flat on their asses...

Yeah, OK, you got me, I'm gettin' off on a tangent.

Now things get kinda interesting where Little Master is concerned. You're involved in this, too, Miss Vector. Little Master seems to have taken a bit of a shine to you. But he ain't doin' anything either, and he ain't holdin' his breath. He hasn't told the rest of us much about what happened on Michtam. He hasn't even got around to telling us what exactly happened with chaos, though I think he will sometime soon. Anyhow, he just says something happened on Michtam that's convinced him that he's got no room to step in and catch you if you get dropped. He thinks it won't happen. He thinks that you, Miss Vector, would have to royally screw the ever living shit out of your relationship with Allen before he'd have a chance in hell, and even then it'd be a snowball's chance. Little Master says he's here and there about Allen, not sure if he likes him or not, but he knows one thing, that Allen won't give up on you as long as you're willing to try. I got the feeling that he'd have second thoughts if it happened that you and your crazy boyfriend ever had a real falling out, especially if it turned out he was wrong and Allen did dump you.

I don't know why. I don't know why Little Master feels so confident that it wouldn't happen like that or why he would still hold back unless he was absolutely certain there was no chance for you n Allen. He's not exactly the holding back type, ya know? I'm just gonna assume that since he's spent more time with the both of you than I have that he knows something, probably several somethings, that I don't. And before you ask, no, Miss Shelley doesn't have the same convictions about this, so should things fall apart, and this is just my opinion mind you, Miss Shelley would make a move while Little Master wouldn't. Though I suppose if Miss Shelley were successful in wooing away one broken-hearted nutjob, Little Master might take that to mean it was OK to go after the other broken-hearted nutjob.

Yeah, well, live with it. If yer both gonna act like nutjobs, I'm gonna keep callin' you nutjobs.

I'll tell you why I think he's a better man than I am. I sure as hell wouldn't have signed on for this damned fool trip just for the sake of being with someone I love. He doesn't have any other reason. None of us are friends with him really, except maybe Scott. In fact, some of us are ambivalent to actively hostile, but he still came along for the ride. I wouldn't have done that for love.

Sheeeee-it Miss Vector! Do you love him?

Well then think about him for a change. Holy crap, woman.

Yeah, well, this right here is why I said it was easier to talk about Allen. I ain't talking to Allen about Allen. It ain't exactly easy to talk to you about you. Never is. People don't want to have someone else tell them what they really think about them, do they? I said I like you, Miss Vector, but God Almighty you can't listen for shit. I'm not going to tell you about what we all think of you, except what you could probably already guess. Tony'd sure like to take another crack at you. I already told you enough about what Little Master thinks, though it probably wouldn't hurt to say that Miss Shelley seems to like you pretty well. Now tell me somethin' before we go on—what the hell was this argument about your cooking?

I told you he was neurotic about food. He actually swiped the plate off the table, huh? Never really seen him get violent.

I dunno, he ain't my boyfriend. You tell me.

Yeah, this is all said in confidence.

Eeesh, do you know if he was exaggerating?

I need a drink. I dunno if this is worth anything, but takin' into account what I do know about him, he's real damn insecure. Maybe you woke up one of his deeper insecurities. If what you said is true...damnit I need a drink...it sounds like maybe he's just scared because someone who was supposed to love him did wrong by him tryin' to feed him shit he couldn't eat all the time. It's totally irrational, but he's already irrational on the subject as it is. Now that it's there, you gotta help him deal with that.

No I am not saying you have to be his God damned mother!

I'm sayin' that if you're gonna be his lover, you, Miss Vector, are gonna have to take care of him every bit as much as he is willing to take care of you, maybe more if he ain't willing to take care of you. That's what you signed up for. There ain't no fluffy bunnies here. You're in a RE-LA-TION-SHIP, and that means dealin' with each other's shit.

Well, now you know he's got plenty of his own shit to deal with. Help him deal with it or step outta the way.

I already said why I told you what we all think of Allen.

I didn't sign up for this shit! Yeah, I guess I would need to spell it out for you. I told you all that to underline my opinion that he's a better man than I am.

Of course it matters. Hello, knock knock, your nutjob boyfriend doesn't operate the same way you do. Here's my second bit of advice to you: don't take for granted that against every speck of better judgement, Allen is here because he loves you.

...He said all that to a Testament. And not just any Testament, but your dead fiancé Testament. While getting fried by aforementioned dead fiancé Testament. That explains a few things...didn't think he had that in him. Huh. No wonder Little Master thinks the way he does. Now I know he's a better man than I am.

Yeah. This is my honest opinion whether you want it or not: you're both too screwed up together to work out. I always had the impression that he needed to stop letting himself get run over and speak his mind to you and you needed to get your steel-toed boots off him and listen. But my second bit of advice there goes double now. That's really how it happened? Then maybe you two can work things out, because that is a hell of a lot going for you. You signed up for something most people never get a chance at, but you have to give back what you get, or you might as well stop now. Frankly, I'm jealous, though I can't say I envy the row you have to hoe, considering what kind of a disaster you two have already started. Don't fuck it up. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go give the bar a run for its money, because I did not sign up for this shit.