Yami: Hey bitches!! Any maybe a bastard or two. Okay, here's the thing. I love Skull. Skull is one of the most adorable, silly, underloved characters of all time. Especially even with the other arcobalenos. Reborn and Colonnello put him down, Lal ignores his pleads, Viper is just mean. I'm willing to bet only Fon and Luche are nice to him. But just because they always picked on him doesn't mean they don't care.

Dark: This is mostly just Yami being...homesick...I guess.

Yami: ;-; I miss home -sniff- And our friends who are mean and pick on us but love us anyways...stupid assholes! I demand pocky!!!!

Kenshin: O_O'

Yami: Anyways...

Summary: Just because they always picked on him didn't mean they didn't care.

Genre: fluuuuuuffffff...hurt/comfort, family.

Rating: T for foul langauge.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or Katekyo Hitman Reborn. But it's fun to write like I do :D

Apologies in advance for the cheezeness and cliqueness.

Bastards That Care

The forest couldn't have been louder if you had asked for it. Animals were screaming, birds chirping up a storm, and even the elements made themselves known. The wind howled through the trees, tearing leaves and twigs off the branches. Thunder roared, sending the babies animals running to their parents. The rain beat down upon the foliage, the noises echoing through the dark forest. It might have been the perfect cover, didn't mean anyone had to like it.



"Shut up you idiot!"

"Ow…Lal, Reborn is picking on me again!"

The only woman of the group scoffed. "You're old enough to defend yourself, don't come crying to me like you do Luche."

The youngest member of the group sniffed, whether from the oncoming cold or because he was trying to hold back tears none of them were sure. The other male of the group, Fon, smiled kindly, and put a hand on the young one's shoulders. "Now, now everyone, we were all sent on this mission together, let's get along." To Skull he said, "Don't mind Reborn, he's just annoyed because Luche yelled at him before we left."


"Because she's a hormonal bitch," grumbled Reborn, rubbing his shoulder. His blazer hid the large bruise there, inflicted by the Arcobaleno boss, Luche. She was very pregnant, very emotion, very violent at times, and very…very strong.

For a moment, Skull teetered on the abyss of possible death wondering if he should ask 'why' again. But Reborn was agitated enough. And even Lal's patience's was stretched very, very, very thin. The only one who wouldn't maim him who Fon. Instead, he simply settled for, "Oh," sneezed again, and not for the first time wished that Reborn hadn't kicked his favorite helmet onto the roof right before they left.

He scowled at the thought. Everyone, especially Reborn, was always picking on him. The ones who didn't make a fool out of him ignored him, like Lal. Only Fon and Luche didn't ignore him, or bully him. He was the best stunt man alive! He could go to hell and back without so much as a scratch on him! None of the others could drive at motor cycle at a hundred and sixty-seven miles while doing a wheelie, and jump a gorge! Hell, he didn't think any of them knew how to drive a motor cycle. Reborn had proven again and again that he can drive a car, though after car rides with the assassin at the wheel, Skull always felt nauseous. Luche didn't drive at all, and Fon walked or ran everywhere. Verde rarely left his lab, and Viper teleported wherever she wanted. He preferred Lal's driving to anyone else. She knew how to drive a military issue hum-v at least.

Another sneeze. Reborn glared at him. "It's not my fault!" Skull yelled over the roar of the storm. "If you hadn't kicked my helmet…" He stopped suddenly, not because of the murderous look on Reborn's face but because the area had suddenly gotten really quiet. The storm was still raging, but the animals were gone. The chirping birds had vanished.

"What was that runt?"

"I'm not a runt! I'm nineteen…"

"Both of you stop it!" Lal snapped. "I can't stand listening to you two bitching all the time!"

"But he…"

"You always let him pick on you and then come whining to us! Proof you're just a baby!"

"I am not!"

"You're arguing like a child."

"Reborn, Lal, Skull," Fon hissed, looking around. "Please stop yelling, I sense something…"

A gunshot cut through the night. Reborn swore as the bullet scraped his arm. Fon and Lal both ducked out of instinct. Skull gasped and tripped back over a tree root. "Fuck!" snarled Reborn, pulling out his gun. The assailant was dead before the poor sap could move. While the others picked themselves up, Reborn went to check the identity of the idiot. "It's the one we were supposed to kill. Well lucky us." He holstered his gun. "Lets get out of here." His foot connected with Skull, who was still lying on the ground. "Hey, kid, get up."

Skull didn't respond except to let out a soft moan.

"Hey, Skull," Lal called. "Skull get up, we're going home now."

Fon bent down next to the boy and turned him over. "Skull, are you alright…Shit!" The other two jumped. The calm martial artist rarely cussed, if ever.

"What's wrong?"

"Did he knock himself out again?"

Fon stood up, clutching the limp body in his arms. Skull's taste in clothes was, at best, questionable. When he wasn't wearing his leather jumpsuit, he was wearing torn black jeans either tight or too big for him, with chains dangling for every possible place. His shirts always had a skull on them, and ranged from black to red to purple in color. Today, he sported his usual jumpsuit which was always black and purple. However, today it sported another color. Crimson red.

"He's been shot!"

"What? When!?"

"The bullet that only grazed me must have hit him."

"Do something Reborn! You're a sun guardian!"

"I don't heal! I kill!"

"Enough bickering, let's get him to Verde."

During their trip into the forest, they spent nearly an hour going through, cutting a path through the foliage. Now, all three ran flat out, Fon quickly taking the lead despite his burden. They reached the hum-v in no time.

"Hold on tight boys," Lal ordered, turning her vehicle on. With a roar, they sped along, out of the forest, and back onto the road.

"Lal slow down!" Reborn ordered, holding onto what he had now dubbed the "oh-shit" bars. "You'll kill us all!"

"No I won't, stop being a worrywart." She spun the wheel and the car went onto two wheels as they turned a corner. In the backseat, Fon held tight to their unconscious fellow while trying to keep himself steady. It wasn't working very well.

"Blasted women and their accursed driving!"

"You sound like my student."

"Smart is he?"


"Proof enough that…watch out for that car!"




How they made it back to the manor in one piece Reborn would never know. One thing he was certain of, Lal had just cut his life span in half. Together, he and Fon dragged Skull out of the hum-v. The backseat was stained with the blood, and the boy's face was ghastly pale.

"Get him inside now!" Lal ordered, running ahead. She slipped running up the steps and scraped her knee before managing to get to the door. "And be careful! The steps are wet." As the rain was still pouring down, a "no duh" would have been the perfect response. But Skull had just groaned and opened his eyes, taking up all of the males' attentions.

"Skull," called Fon gently. "Can you hear me?"

"My stomach hurts," he complained dazedly. His eyes began to drift closed again.

Reborn slapped his cheek. "Hey! Wake up kid, you're freezing, have a lot of bloodloss, and you probably hit your head. If you sleep now you might wake up and then we have to spend forever looking for a replacement."

"So charming," sighed Fon as they ferried the boy up the steps. Luche, Lal, and Verde met them in the entrance hall. "Greetings, lovely day, don't you think?"

Verde scoffed. "Your sarcasm isn't appreciated. Get him to the living room, up anymore stairs and he'll be dead."

They ended up lying Skull across one of the couches while Verde went to his refrigerated store unit and got packs of blood. "It's rather morbid how you have tons and tons of blood along with everything else down there," Reborn commented lazily.

"It's useful," Verde replied striping Skull down to his underwear with Luche's help. He glanced at the bullet wound, a straight shot into his upper abdomen. The bullet was probably lodged in the submucosa of the intestines. He'd have to dig it out. "Hey." He tapped Skull's forehead. "Are you conscious?"

A very soft yes answered his question.

"Can you feel this?" He pressed down on Skull's stomach. The cry of pain was answer enough. He grabbed a scalp and a pair of tweezers from his labcoat pocket. "Okay, well this is going to hurt, someone hold him down." Fon held down his legs while Reborn held his arms. Luche, the mothering person that she was, knelt next to the boy, a wet cloth pressed against his sweating forehead. "Here we go."

Viper and Lal winched as the screams tore from the youngest member's throat. He strained against the arms holding him down, all previous weaknesses forgotten. Luche held his head in place, trying to talk to him through his pain. After what felt like an eternity, Verde pulled back, the bullet firmly held between the two pieces of stainless steel. "Okay, I'll just sew up the one vein he managed to tear up. There are a lot of smaller capillaries that are severed, but they'll heal on their own."

"Do we still have to hold him?" inquired Reborn.

"I would."

It took almost an hour before they had everything close up, stitched up, and the blood replaced. By that time, Skull was running a high fever and coughing. "Next time, I think you all should wear better, more weather appropriate clothes," Luche commented airily as three other sneezes sounded. "Honestly." She glanced at the shivering boy on the sofa. "Can we move him upstairs yet?"

"The stitches might tear," Verde admitting, looking at his handiwork. "I'd leave him there till the morning." He left without another word. Luche sighed and looked at the others. "You three go and take warm baths, and please don't argue. Viper, if I promise to make you free biscotti tomorrow, will you go get me some blankets, and a bowl of ice water."

"Hmm…how much biscotti?"

"A whole batch."





Something cold was on his forehead when he finally woke up. His stomach hurt horribly, and it felt like a steam roller had rolled over his head. His sinuses were stuffed, his nose was running, his eyes were watery, his throat was scratchy, and it felt like his limbs were weighed down with lead. All in all…he felt sick. Which wasn't good. Reborn would make fun of him, Lal and Viper would scoff, and Verde would probably attempt to do a creepy experiment on him or something!

When he finally managed to open his eyes, Skull was met with the wonderful view of the living room ceiling. Winching, he coughed, and turned his head to the side. Purple eyes widened. Lying among the scattered chairs and couches were the other Arcobaleno. Viper was curled on a chair a few feet away, Verde and Fon were stretched out on couches while Reborn and Lal reclined in the comfy armchairs. Next to him, kneeling on a very fluffy and comfortable pillow was Luche, a bowl of ice water next to her. Well at least that explained the cloth on his forehead. Sitting on the table was his favorite helmet.

Smiling, he attempted to sit up. Pain ripped through his abdomen. It took all his willpower not to cry out. A hand knocked on his head. He looked around. Reborn watched him sleepily with one eye open. "Don't move too much."

"My stomach hurts," Skull pointed out needlessly.

"You were shot," Reborn explained, quietly so as not to wake the others.

"I don't feel good," he added.

"You've been out for three days with a hundred and five degree fever. You scared everyone you fucktard."

Someone smacked Reborn over the head. "Don't yell at him," Lal yawned. "If you hadn't been picking on him, we would have noticed the shooter before Skull got shot."

Skull silently glowed at the support before he was overcome with a coughing fit. It hurt his lower torso greatly. A small cup of a horrible smelling liquid was shoved under his nose. "Drink this," Verde ordered. He drank it, gagged, and coughed again.

"Wha-what is that!? Sewage?!"

"How rude, it's a cough represent I made and tested on those three." He jerked his head towards Lal, Fon, and Reborn. All three shuddered. "Should have you feeling better soon. Or at least able to sleep without coughing up your lungs."

"Taste like shit."

"Insolent child."

Fon reached out and hit Verde over the head. "Enough Verde, it does taste like shit. How about you try some?" His normally peaceful and sweet smile looked rather sinister and evil.

"No thanks…but I suppose giving it a better flavor wouldn't be too bad of an idea." He looked away before asking, "Do you feel any better…Skull?"

For a moment, Skull considered listing everything that hurt: His head, his eyes, his throat, his stomach, his entire body but decided he'd be pushing it. They were being nice to him. He wanted it to stay that way. "No…"

"You should b…"

"Verde leave him alone," groaned Luche as she finally woke up. She stood up, stretched, wobbled a bit, and sat back down before the baby threw her more off balance. "Oh dear, she's kicking again."

"I wanna feel!" exclaimed Skull.

The others rolled their eyes, but Luche just smiled in her motherly like way and nodded. "Go ahead. She'll be happy to know you're okay." He put his hand on her enlarged stomach and grinned when something small pushed against his palm. "See? She's very happy. You had us all worried there for a bit."

"Sorry," he grumbled, looking away.

Luche smiled and kissed his forehead. "Don't worry Skull. We'll move you up to your room when you feel a little better. Until then, you'll have to put up with staying in here."

"If I can have the remote I think I'll be fine," he admitted, grinning.

"He's fine," Viper called from her seat. "If he is well enough to watch TV, he's perfectly fine."

"Leave me alone!"

"Make me."

"I got shot if you haven't noticed."

"All I noticed was you crying and screaming like a baby in your sleep."

"Well you…"

"Okay children," Luche said over their loud voices. "Enough."

"Yes, listen to your mother," said Reborn, smirking.

Luche gave him The Look, and smirked as well. "Yes, listen to your father who is tell you to listen to me."

"Oh god," groaned Lal while Fon chuckled, and Verde rolled his eyes. "If we're a family, we're one fucked up family."

"Aw, but you love us," snickered Skull.

"Don't push it, little brother."

"Moooom! Lal's being mean to me!"


"Oh my god! Luche, please don't even start…"

"Don't talk to your mother like that."

"Oh shut up!"

Skull grinned. Even though this was only for a little while, it was fun to have the group care about him. "Hey, can we watch Labyrinth? With David Bowie?"

1) I fucking love that movie.

2) the "oh-shit" bars. Our friends and family drive bad. Very bad. Whenever we get into a car, we hold onto those bars that are usually over the door while screaming, "Oh shit! Oh shit!" Or in my case, "Oh fucking shit! Slow this screaming metal death trap down!"

3) I just really felt the need to write something like this. It's not romantic. It's not sexy. It's just...cute...

4) I don't care how dumb Skull acts, I love him. I love all the arcobalenos. That's why, in all my stories, they are adults.

5) Read and review my lovely fans.