A Different Point of View
"Alright, Beato. I've put up with some pretty weird stuff, but now I've got to ask. Who the hell is he?"
"Now, now, Bahh~ttler, don't be so rude," chided Beatrice, folding her arms. "This guy is pretty important! He's my butler, Ronove."
"Ronove, huh? …Interesting name."
"As is yours," replied Beato's butler- who was, apparently, called Ronove.
Ronove was smiling, but Battler was sure there was a poorly concealed insult behind that expression. That wasn't because of baseless paranoia, either.
Anybody who was an ally of Beatrice's was a potential enemy of Battler's. It was that simple.
That dig about his name hadn't helped mattered, either.
"Hey, leave my name alone. At least it's a real word. In English, anyway…" Battler retorted childishly. He sounded overly defensive even to his own ears, but he couldn't help it. Responding violently to attacks on his name was almost second nature- like a defensive mechanism.
Whenever people made fun of his name it reminded Battler of being in elementary school. The kids there had teased him a lot. They had nice, sensible names bestowed upon them by nice, sensible parents, like 'Kana' or 'Kenta'. Battler was the only 'Battler' in his school- hell, scratch that, he was probably the only 'Battler' in the whole of Japan- and that made him stick out. And anybody who's been a child once before (that'd be, oh, only about 100% of the people reading this) will know how cruel children can be to those who are different.
As you can probably guess, Battler's childhood memories weren't particularly cheerful. It wasn't all that surprising that he had a complex about his name.
Rudolf had ruined Battler's childhood- and that was another thing Battler would never him forgive him for. Even though Battler had, eventually, managed to overcome the handicap of his name by being as friendly and cheerful as possible, his life would have been far easier if he'd never been given that handicap to begin with.
Rudolf had probably done it on purpose, too.
Perhaps watching Rudolf die over and over again should've been cathartic, then.
Battler wasn't cruel enough to truly wish his father would die; not at hands as imaginative as Beatrice's.
Now Battler had a fucked up childhood and a fucked up teenage life, and, basically, he was going to twist and mutate (not 'grow') into a very fucked up adult thanks to the combined efforts of that his father, Beatrice, her legion of bare-legged, big-boobed sisters…
And now, it seemed, Beato's weird butler wanted to have a hand in messing up Battler's life, too.
And how did Battler know Beato's butler was a freak, I hear you ask? It's quite simple.
1) He worked for an insane, psychotic mass murderer.
2) He had a monocle.
"I apologize. I wasn't trying to insult you," Ronove said politely, bowing his head. Well, he could be polite all he wanted- Battler didn't believe him. "I was merely trying to say perhaps we have something in common, given our… unusual… names. And my name is fairly straightforward amongst demons. I doubt you've heard of Forneus or Andrealphus."
Battler stared at Ronove blankly. He might as well have been talking in tongues for all he knew. Battler was already confused enough by the numerous illogical inhabitants of the meta world- Ronove didn't need to make it any worse by bringing any more of them up!
Battler didn't think his head could take it.
"I thought not~ My name is rather manageable in comparison, is it not? I hope it doesn't cause you too many problems. It's a pleasure to meet you, Ushiromiya Battler."
"Yeah, yeah." Battler rolled his eyes. "Save the nicities. If you're anything like your master, I don't think it's particularly 'pleasurable' to meet you. No offence."
"Hey, what do you mean by that?" Beatrice asked, pouting. "Mu… That's really rude, you know! You should be more polite to your elders and betters, Bahhh~ttler!"
"Don't 'whatever' me, you ignorant child. You'll eat those words when I've ground your face into the dirt!" Beatrice said.
"You've got a nice hobby there. Don't expect me to give up that easily, though. I don't care whether you try to drown me in dirt and break all my bones- I still won't show you any respect."
Beatrice smirked. "I would expect nothing less from you, Battlerrr~ Yes, yes, you're still very interesting!"
Battler folded his arms and tipped back on his chair, looking Ronove up and down. The look on his face was critical, as though he were surveying a painting.
Battler had already known Beato long enough to realize the look on her face very rarely strayed from an insane grin and narrowed eyes. Her butler, however, was very different. There was nothing particularly maniacal about his expression at all, but, even so…
His smile seemed sincere enough, but Battler was sure there was something much darker lurking beneath the surface. He was, after all, a demon. Battler trusted Ronove about as far as he'd have been able to throw him- which wasn't very far, given Battler suspected Ronove was a few inches taller than him. This was a surprise. Battler had grown up as quickly as a bean pole during the last few years, until he began to push 5' 9''. Maria had regarded him as some kind of giant, or a sasquatch, when she'd first seen him at the airport. It was rare Battler found anybody taller than him… And it was a little disconcerting, really.
Then again, everything about the meta world was disconcerting, from Beatrice's funky facial expressions to the golden butterflies to the chessboard of living pieces to the horrible interior décor that made Battler feel as though he were trapped in a giant snow globe. Ronove being a few inches taller than him (and Ronove's name) were trivial worries in comparison to everything else.
"I think I prefer those cute sisters with the nice asses," was Battler's final judgement on Ronove's appearance. He smirked. "I mean, even if they're all complete bitches, it's still awesome getting so much attention from such a huge harem of sexy girls! I'm disappointed, Beato. Why couldn't you have a hot maid instead of this weird old butler? He's really not my type."
"Ah, Battler, your words wound me," said Ronove- though his smile didn't flicker. If anything, it grew wider. "We've only been introduced for a few moments and already you've resorted to attacking my character. Why, we hardly know each other! Perhaps you're being too hasty with your judgments."
"Somehow, I doubt that. I don't want to get to know you. I bet Beato only brought you here to annoy me. She'll use your presence to go 'demons really do exist, look!' in a few seconds, I bet," Battler explained, throwing his arms wide as he spoke. "It's not like you hanging around here is going to make my life any easier."
"Ha~ Well, I can't argue with that. I have to follow Milady's orders, so my actions will echo hers. It's sad to say, but I doubt I'll be able to help you very much."
"Yeah. That's what I thought," said Battler. "So you see, I really have no reason to want to know you at all. Maybe, if you were hot… But you're not. So, unlike those sexy sisters, if you do anything to piss me off, I'm not going to let you off so easily, ihihi~"
"I may be bound by Milady's orders, but let me assure you that I would never attempt to hurt you of my own volition," said Ronove, smiling. "I'm a complete gentleman through and through. Pu ku ku~"
"I don't think I can trust anybody with a laugh like that, demon or not. You're not helping yourself."
"Then trust not my words, but my actions."
"Hey, what's that meant to mean?" Battler asked.
He soon wished he hadn't asked.
Me and my stupid mouth.
Battler tried to remain composed, calm, aloof (it was the best way to deal with Beatrice and her 'friends'), but his resolve soon quivered when Ronove began to walk towards him. Battler didn't like Ronove's smile- he didn't like it at all! W-wasn't he getting a little too close there?
"H-hey, what are you-"
But Battler's second question was soon silenced when Ronove took hold of Battler's hand between his gloved fingers. Battler was far too disturbed to snatch his hand back in time. He'd experienced some very odd things during his sojourn in the meta world but, somehow, being flirted with by a demon butler (with a monocle) crossed the line.
It was just…
Merely trying to think of a suitable word to describe the situation made Battler shudder, as though something cold was seeping up his spine.
Still smiling that impervious, rictus grin, Ronove bent his head-
And placed a kiss on the back of Battler's hand.
That was, if nothing else, an 'interesting' way to make somebody's acquaintance.
All of a sudden, Battler felt fearful for his sanity.
This just gets worse and worse.
Useless, it's all useless!
a/n: Because… this pairing is so desu XD; ~fangirls~ I've been wanting to write a more, umm, romance-focused Ronove/Bahhttler fic for a while than a mere 'lol power play' thing that my other fics for this pairing were, so this will have gradually building friendship and the like in it. However, it probably won't be too long (this is a pretty short chapter itself XD)
01/11/2011: edited the first chapter, fixed spellings (hopefully) and better flow. I didn't realize how incredibly not-good the first version of it was until now... XD