This is the final chapter. Thank you everyone, for your comments!
All characters © Amano Akira
What They Don't Want You To Know
Secret #6: Xanxus has trouble with domestic appliances.
Levi's singing was not the only reason the Varia gleefully anticipated what Lussuria coined "shower hour" at headquarters. No, it meant that all of the leather Varia uniforms got washed, including Gola Mosca's. Hygiene was not especially important to them, but admittedly it did feel good to don clean apparel following a hot, steaming shower.
Like most of the chores, the job of doing laundry was rotated around the Varia. They did all of their uniforms together to avoid fighting for the washing machine (although the fighting was then shifted to who would actually do the laundry).
Today Xanxus had agreed to do it.
The task of washing clothes had never befallen him prior to this afternoon—and not just because he had only been unfrozen for a month—but it somehow did by process of elimination. Everyone was either too injured or too busy to do it. Gola Mosca was not programmed to do such domestic tasks, so the boss found it his responsibility, temporarily of course. Even he did chores, which was surprising in and of itself—probably because he didn't trust anyone else to do the jobs assigned to him.
Xanxus wanted to get this done as quickly as possible. They had just returned from a long mission; his muscles ached, and he was tired. With this intention he passed by everyone's room to collect their uniforms.
"VOOIII, I'm getting it off already!" Squalo bellowed as Xanxus ripped the jacked from his sleeves. "Sheesh!"
In the Varia's basement, as Xanxus dropped the enormous pile of clothes into the washer, it occurred to him that he had never done laundry before.
"Tch." If he could kill a man in less than five minutes, he could certainly wash clothes. There were brief instructions coating the inside lid of the washing machine, but Xanxus did not need them. He knew the basics of laundry: put in clothes, add detergent, and press a goddamn button.
After stuffing the black clothes tightly into the machine, he reached for the detergent, huffing slightly from the effort of squishing so much into such a small space. He filled a cup and poured it in.
Xanxus paused then, staring at the uniforms. They were dirtier than he'd initially thought. Wet and dried blood stained most of them. There was something brown caking one of the suits that Xanxus didn't even want to know the identity of. Grass stains permeated most of the fabric as well.
He added another cup of detergent, and paused. A scowl flitted over his features and he finally picked up the bottle, pouring it all in. The liquid made a glub-glub-glub sound as it sloshed thickly over the Varia's clothes. That should do it.
"Fucking piece of cake," Xanxus muttered contently as he slammed the washing machine's lid shut and turned it on.
About a half-hour later, Levi looked up from the book that he was reading. What had interrupted him from his literary bliss was the strangest sensation in his feet. They were shaking.
He blinked, and realized that his arms were shaking as well. Was it just him?
Squalo rushed into the room after uttering that declaratory. "Vooiiii, earthquake?" he asked. Levi stood up, eyeing the ceiling warily.
"I don't think so," he said, as he and Squalo made their way out of the room and into the hall. "This seems more…concentrated." They'd no more than stepped into the corridor when they were greeted by a frantic Lussuria running towards them.
"It's going to blooowww!" he shrieked as he zoomed past. They saw that his pants were covered with light blue suds and bubbles, all the way up to his thighs.
"Vooiiiii, what's going on?" Squalo hollered. To his dismay it was not Lussuria who answered his question, but a different sound.
When they could all hear again, the Varia ran downstairs to where the source of the explosion had occurred. It was hardly recognizable as the basement, as almost every square inch of the place was bathed in suds. Xanxus stood in the middle of it all looking like the world's most lethal snowman.
Lussuria and Levi's mouths hung open. A half-baked grin was snaking across Bel's face, and Mammon had pulled his hood down farther. Even Squalo was at a loss for words.
"O-oi. Xanxus, you…"
With an inarticulate roar, the boss gathered a flame in his hand and punched through the nearest wall. The rest of the Varia hastily made their exits lest they receive the same manner of blow.
Once they had put enough distance between themselves and Xanxus, arriving in the upstairs living room, it was surprisingly Squalo who first began to laugh. It started as a grin and a chuckle or two, or three, then guffaws, and finally tear-squeezing roars of unrestricted laughter.
The others stared, unaccustomed to their substitute leader displaying such blatant signs of amusement. Then Bel began to snigger. "Ushishishishi~"
Soon they were all hooting. Lussuria clutched his sides and Levi had to wipe his eyes at the corners. Even Mammon's face held a small smile.
The laughter petered off eventually, and the Varia returned to whatever it was they had been doing, still snorting. No one said a word, but none were really necessary. They all shared a silent understanding of the hilarity of what went on, and when Xanxus emerged from his shower later, every single one of them had to bite back a smile.