A/N: Hi all, long time no see! It's been a pretty slow, overcast weekend, so I got some free time to work on fanfiction! Yay.
So I'm debating on which number I should end this story. I was thinking of fifty originally, but now that I'm almost there, I feel like it's too soon. I still have tons of ideas and headcanons that I have planned and yeah. So I'm thinking I'll take it to one hundred. Frankly, I'm not ready to end this story yet, as it is the one that gets me back in the writing mood, no matter how much of a slump I'm in, or how long.
So with that being said, read on!
Warnings: The usual BS, you know.
Disclaimer: I don't own it.
(In which boredom leads to pointless interrogations and unfinished crossword puzzles)
Belphegor muted the television suddenly, sitting up with unusual determination for that time of day.
"Hey Fran, you're French, right?"
Fran glanced up from his crossword momentarily. "That is where you found me, isn't it?" He replied coolly before returning to his puzzle. He was finally in the 'Difficult' section, but so far, it didn't seem to be any more challenging than the other sections he'd completed previously.
Belphegor frowned, unimpressed with the younger assassin's passive sarcasm. He briefly entertained the idea of stabbing him in the arm to repay him for his undue insolence, but immediately decided it would be a waste of time, since Fran was for the most part desensitized to Bel's tantrums and attacks, and more importantly, he had just cleaned all of his knives. Instead, he heaved himself to his feet and walked over to the table where Fran was sitting.
"Can I ask you something?"
Fran's pencil stopped moving. "You've already asked me two things, fake prince. Leave me alone and let me finish this puzzle."
Purely out of spite, Belphegor planted himself in the seat directly next to Fran's and scooted the chair closer and closer until their knees bumped together. Belphegor settled his cheek elegantly in the palm of his hand and simply sat there, staring at his unwitting sidekick with a soft but uncomfortable smile, waiting patiently until Fran's patience –which was not as infinite as he often led people to believe- ran out and the illusionist was forced to acknowledge him.
After a few minutes, Belphegor's fortitude began to crack. The prince in turn whittled away at Fran's by whistling idly and piveting his legs on the soles of his shoes, causing his knees to repeatedly knock into Fran's. It was after a particularly direct and imposing collision, which caused Fran to accidentally drag his pencil across his book, that he finally set his puzzle and pencil aside.
"Okay, I'll bite. What is your question, fallen prince- sempai?"
Belphegor smiled wider. "Have you ever eaten snails?"
Fran blinked once. Twice. "You mean escargot?" He muttered, already regretting giving in to his sempai's childishness.
"Yeah, that. Have you ever eaten it?"
Fran just stared at him.
"You have, haven't you?"
"…I…don't frankly understand why this matters… but yes, I have."
Belphegor pulled a face. "Ugh really?! Frogface, that's fuckin' nasty!"
Fran picked his pencil back up. "Oh come on, my grandma made it once when I was little. She told me it was chicken, so… I ate some."
Belphegor found a way to somehow shift even closer. "Eww, what was it like?"
Fran shirked away slightly. "Why is this so important to you? I want to finish this puzzle."
"It's something I've always wanted to know."
"You mean what snail tastes like? Or if I've personally eaten snail?"
"Both. The first moreso than the second. The second is an afterthought."
"Uh, well, there's not much to tell. I spit it out because it felt weird. I haven't tried it since. " Fran said with a shrug. "Besides," Fran continued suddenly as he filled another word in on the puzzle, "I'm not the best person to ask about food, seeing as how I'm really picky about what I eat."
Belphegor nodded thoughtfully for a moment before immediately coming to another realization. "Come to think of it, I've never actually heard you speak French, either."
"I assure you that I can."
"But I wanna hear it."
"I didn't realize I needed to prove my 'Frenchness' to you. Will it put you at ease if I start laughing like the chef from the Little Mermaid?" Fran quipped, which immediately earned him a solid punch in the frog hat.
"I just wanna hear what you sound like talking in French, that's all!"
"Bonjour! Oui, Oui! Sacre bleu! Menage a trois! Madamoiselle! Oui!" Fran listed with a surprising amount of enthusiasm, though not even bothering to smother the sarcasm. "See, fluent French. Nobody in France speaks French as good as me. I can even sing the French verses in Lady Marmalade."
Belphegor growled. "No, you fuckass! Speak actual words!"
Fran's face soured slightly. "Those are actual words. I didn't make them up."
"You know what I mean! Say an actual, cohesive sentence."
Fran sighed. "Fine. Tu ressembles à un cheval quand vous souriez. Voir? Je peux vous insulter en français aussi bien que je peux en italien."
Belphegor stared at the illusionist for several quiet seconds before abruptly grabbing Fran's pencil out of his hand and stomping off. Fran sighed in irritation. He had one word left to fill in and no pencil, so the illusionist settled back in his chair and muttered every swear word he knew in French.
42: Laundry Day
(In which Lussuria finds humanity and peace of mind, among other things, in mundane chores)
Balancing one laundry basket is hard enough. Balancing his one plus six more was certainly a test of Lussuria's juggling skills. Luckily for him, he'd had over a decade to perfect his balancing act, so Sunday morning, better known as the Varia's Laundry Day, usually breezed by. It was so easy due in large part to the fact that he started fairly early in the morning, being that he was the only actual 'morning' person in the squad.
It was now currently nine in the morning, and Lussuria had his laundry room prepped and ready to wash and stitch up some man clothes.
"Stop one: Mammon." Lussuria said to himself, en route to the first of his six stops. Mammon's room was the farthest away from the laundry room, so it was a good idea to start from there and work his way to the other end of the house. Out of everyone, Mammon was possibly his favorite person in terms of cleanliness. Mammon was fiercely private and was also a huge neat freak, which, as far as Lussuria was concerned, was a match made in heaven. As expected, when he arrived in front of Mammon's door, a small, black basket filled nearly to the top with equally dark clothes sat waiting neatly to the left of the door.
Lussuria smiled and picked the basket up, tossing it atop his own. Simple. Now one down, five to go.
Next was Levi.
Levi was not horribly unclean, Lussuria thought with something akin to a grimace spreading across his face as he arrived at Levi's room door and rapped lightly on the door before letting himself in. Levi just had this awful habit of putting his socks on top of everything else, and well, to be honest…his feet smelled a little bad. It was more annoying than anything else, especially since Lussuria reminded him time and time again to put his socks and boxers towards the bottom of the basket so he would not have to be subjected to that. It was their weekly struggle, and so far, Levi did a spectacular job of forgetting to do exactly that.
Lussuria soon came to the conclusion that Levi simply did it to spite him.
Not that it mattered all that much in the end, because if it was a game of spite, Lussuria would win. He could be just as catty if the situation called for it, and it was always a riot to hear Levi complaining about his jackets shrinking down a size. The fact that Levi still hadn't caught on to that, even after all of these years, made it all the better.
After Levi came Squalo.
For the most part, the swordsman tended to have his 'shit' together (his words, of course) next to his bedroom door, but sometimes he forgot. Well, not so much that he forgot so much as that he didn't really care enough.
Today was one of Squalo's 'I forgot/didn't give a fuck' days. Though in his defense, he had gotten back from assignment at some obscene hour that very morning and basically stripped off his bloodied uniform plus everything underneath and fell into bed and had not moved since.
Lussuria didn't mind that part at all, since a) Squalo slept on his stomach, b) slept like a log, c) had very thin white sheets, and d) had a ridiculously nice ass. A rather scandalous combination, but Lussuria decided it would be best if Squalo remained unaware of that fact. For Lussuria, it was an uber-secret guilty pleasure of his to ogle his commander's ass when Squalo wasn't looking, or awake, for that matter. Right on cue, the swordsman shifted roughly in his sleep, switching the position of his legs and giving Lussuria a generous view of his booty in the process. After a moment, he settled down with a lengthy sigh into his pillow, and as Lussuria scooped his clothes up off the floor and tossed them into his basket, he lamented the unfortunate fact that Squalo was a bit of a homophobe. He was quite a lovely sight when he was silent and not wearing clothes.
"Oh Squalo, the things I would do to you and that glorious tush if you weren't straight to a fault." Lussuria sighed before continuing on his quest across the mansion.
Speaking of glorious tushies and nethers in general, up next was Xanxus.
Whereas Squalo was a heavy sleeper because he was genuinely exhausted, Xanxus was a heavy sleeper because he was the boss and thus entitled to sleep twelve hours a day if he felt like it. Plus, he had been in a fairly awful mood the night before, and had consequently emptied a bottle of tequila. So all in all, it was safe to say that he'd be pushing the half-day mark.
"No wonder it's been so quiet around the house today." Lussuria said aloud as he let himself into the room, and promptly sucked his teeth in annoyance.
Another fun fact: Lussuria once walked in on Xanxus when he was getting out of the shower. How the Fates orchestrated such a magical occurrence was beyond him, but Lussuria made sure to burn those five seconds into his mind forever, even at the expense of several inches of his fringe.
Not to be crude, but Xanxus was an impressive man, on many, many levels.
Even better, their esteemed leader tended to sleep on his back, so Lussuria often got an eyeful of that familiar (though not nearly as familiar as he'd like) bulge in the sheets, and would have to quickly grab Xanxus' dirty clothes and bolt before he got himself in trouble.
Thin sheets in the summer. What a blessing. Oh, if only his commanding officers knew what he got up to when they were asleep.
But today, it was for not.
Apparently, for all of his rage and fire and whatnot, even evil assassin commanders got cold. Xanxus had his duvet pulled up over his entire body, obscuring everything that Lussuria had been excited to peep at from view.
Oh well, Lussuria thought. He could always just go stare at Squalo's butt some more. It was certainly worth the trip back over. But he had laundry to do, so it would have to wait for later.
With four baskets now in tow, Lussuria made his way to the east side of the house. With a great sigh, he set the now quite heavy load down. He'd need his arms free to gather up the oncoming trainwrecks that were the laundry loads of the Varia's two youngest charges (technically speaking).
"Fran, honey, can I have your laundry?" Lussuria asked as he entered the dark room. All he got in response was an unintelligible murmur from somewhere in the darkness.
Sometimes, it was harder to decide who was messier, but to their credit, at least their clothes didn't smell. Fran, for starters, didn't quite grasp the concept of a laundry basket, and instead opted to let his clothes pile up on his bed. And clearly, the thought of simply relocating said pile must have been an absurd one in the younger illusionist's mind, because Lussuria soon found him buried under the mountain of laundry, half-asleep.
"Whatimes'it?" Fran mumbled from underneath a blue knit sweater, one he had worn for about ten minutes before he decided he didn't want to wear it anymore and tossed it atop the cesspool of clothes.
"It is nine-seventeen."
Fran groaned and rolled over, all the while mumbling sleepy nonsense. Lussuria caught a few random words, 'ungodly' and 'sunlight' being a couple. He also thought he heard Fran say something about bursting into flames, and smiled.
"Can I have your laundry?"
A few more seconds of cranky muttering and the teen sat up in bed, looking remarkably like one of the undead. He gave Lussuria a bleary, glassy-eyed stare before slumping his entire body over the laundry pile and proceeded to shove it onto the floor. Fran then gave Lussuria a semi-lucid thumbs up before collapsing backwards back into dreamland.
Lussuria rolled his eyes, shaking his head. Kids.
After a few minutes, the entire load was collected and neatly settled outside of Fran's bedroom door. That only left Belphegor. Lussuria sighed and hoped that the prince didn't have his underwear hanging off light fixtures or anything again.
A short five-second trip down the hall and he was in Belphegor's room.
There was no point in sugar-coating it. Bel's room was a nightmare. It always looked like a college dorm after three-days of hardcore partying, but to be fair, at least it wasn't as much of a nightmare as it had been in weeks past. Perhaps Bel was finally learning to clean up after himself. Then again, Lussuria immediately thought as he stepped over what appeared to be an iPhone with a cracked screen, perhaps not.
At least Fran's clothes were all piled in one giant heap. Belphegor tended to leave his clothes laying around his room in clusters, said clusters usually consisting of one day's outfit, sometimes two. And those clusters weren't necessarily confined to just the floor and surrounding furniture. He'd seen Belphegor's disrobing process many times: it basically consisted of the prince taking off his clothes and throwing them haphazardly over his shoulder, and wherever they landed was usually were they tended to stay, even if it meant getting a face full of underwear everytime he turned on the ceiling fan.
Lussuria shrugged at the frankly anticipated scene and went about scooping them up one by one. He was at least thankful for the fact that they, the Varia, had unanimously decided on removing the fans in favor of central air conditioning, because it was annoying to have someone else's boxers falling on your head every time you went into their room.
As he ventured further into the room, he looked to the bed. Of course, it being almost ten in the morning and Belphegor being the spoiled brat that he was, he was out cold. The prince was cocooned in layers of sheets, duvets, and pillows, making him look like a giant, royal crepe. His tiara sat on the nightstand, glistening elegantly in the few rays of sunlight that managed to get through the heavy drapes that covered the tall windows.
That was more than could be said for the bearer of the tiara, who lay not even a foot from it, drooling and snoring softly, occasionally mumbling in his sleep. Lussuria snorted. Belphegor could be so unwittingly adorable sometimes, even at his age.
Lussuria grinned as he quietly exited the room.
This was why he liked laundry day.
Because it was nice seeing his comrades acting like actual humans. They were deadly killers, but at the end of the day, they were messy and smelly and gross and dreamed about weird things, just like everyone else. It would've seemed silly to anyone else, and he would certainly never mention it to any of them, but seeing them out of assassin-mode was a much needed solidifier for not only their humanity, but his own. Simple things like doing their laundry and patching up their torn and bloodied uniforms kept him grounded.
And the butt-ogling was certainly a plus too.
Side-note: I don't know if I'm entirely convinced of Google translate's accuracy, but Fran is basically telling Bel that he looks like a horse when he smiles, and that he can insult him just as good in French as he can in Italian. Yep.
Until next time!
Read n'Review, please and thanks!