A drabble about our favorite Keterburg crew as youngins. Done as a part of a community on Livejournal. Gift for inu-taiyoukai.

Disclaimer: Characters included belong in their game of Tales of the Abyss.

"One, two, three ..." Saphir was crouched over, curled into a ball with his head resting against his knees.

"That's too fast. Count slower. Now you have to start over." A young Jade commented, arms folded across his chest.

Saphir nodded and brought his arms over his head and started again. "One ... two ... three ..."

"Think he can even count that high?" Peony whispered at Jade, hiding his snicker behind his hand. Jade only smirked at the comment.

Nephry on the other hand glared at the blond furiously. "There isn't any reason to be so rude."

"Yeah Jade," Peony commented almost immediately, hitting him over the shoulder. "Don't be such a jerk."

There was a quiet hum and the three brought their attention back to Saphir. The smaller boy looked between them with an odd look. "Aren't you even going to go hide?"

"I suppose that is part of the game." Jade sighed.

Nephry placed her hands on her hips. "This isn't fair. Every time we play, you two always make Saphir it and then run off. Jade, I think you should be it this time around."

Peony looked panicked and waved his arms in front of her. "Are you kidding? We can't do that."

"And why not?" Nephry practically demanded. Something she'd found out was that if she acted a certain way, Peony would answer pretty much anything. Truthful or not was still in question but it was a neat quirk considering ... well Jade certainly didn't listen to her.

Saphir got to his feet and nodded. "He's too good at the game."

Peony pointed at the boy and then at Jade as that would prove it was indeed true. "He finds everybody in seconds, no matter how far away we hide or how concealed we are."

"Right," Saphir nodded. "And when he's not it, he's impossible to find."

Nephry leaned to the right to glance back at her brother curiously. She hadn't played any games with Jade being it so she couldn't confirm that but she knew as well as the other two that Jade had always been the hardest to find. Jade was currently looking oblivious to the conversation and found the snow around his feet more interesting.

"You're right. He's terrible at such a simple game." Nephry huffed.

Jade shrugged suddenly and smiled. "You all make it too easy. You're so noisy. Here's a tip: be quiet."

Peony turned and stuck his tongue out at the other. "We have to breath sometime."

"Stop taking lessons from puppies."

"Wait, are you making fun of me?"

"Depends really," Jade smirked. "What do you have against dogs."

"Why you-"

Nephry reached forward and grabbed the back of Peony's jacket and pulled. "If either of you get anymore black eyes, somebody is going to start getting really suspicious about you playing with us."

"Anybody smart enough to actually pay attention would notice." Peony commented and shrugged off her hand though he remained where he was.

"So, are we playing or not? My fingers are getting cold." Saphir interjected, blowing air forward to produce a white puff of air.

"Nephry, why don't you be it if it's just a big deal?" Jade offered.

"I already take my turns with Saphir on being it. I play my unfair share." She thrust her thumb into her chest.

"Fine, you know what, I'll be it." Peony shouted, throwing his hands up in the air.

Nephry smiled brightly. "Thank you Peony, that's very kind of you."

The blond rubbed his finger under his nose with a grin and laughed slightly. That bliss only lasted a moment though.

Jade snorted in mockery and that was all it took for Peony to pounce on him.

Saphir and Nephry tried desperately to pry the two away but they wouldn't have it as childish antics took over their brains. Finally the two got fed up with the little rumble and went home.

Peony got the last hit but Jade won the fight because the blond had to head back. His nose was bleeding pretty heavily from accidentally smacking his face on the icy ground.

Needless to say: they never got to play hide-and-go-seek.

END

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