A/N: Hey guys!
This is just a quick little one-shot for a friend who isn't feeling so well, and thus deserves some B26 fluff to make her feel better. First time writing TYE!Fran as following the recent chapters of the manga. I think Fran's apple hat is just the cutest thing ever. Don't deny it. Your daydreams are filled with visions of giant illusory apples too.
Read and enjoy!
Warnings: Language, Bel drinking excessively, and general Varia shenanigans!
Disclaimer:Sushi*Bomb does not own Katekyo Hitman Reborn.
As nice as it had been to take a semi-necessary one-day mini-vacation to France, nothing was more welcoming to the members of the Varia than the sight of the towers of the ominous Varia castle in the distance. As they got closer and closer to the opposing structure, Belphegor felt himself becoming steadily more fidgety. It was just an odd habit of his when in the car, especially since they had been packed in the limousine like a can of sardines for quite a while already and the prince hated being cramped.
It annoyed him even further because it wouldn't have been nearly as cramped as it was were it not for their newest addition's blatantly absurd choice of headgear.
Illusion or not, Fran's apple hat was preposterous and spherical and in the way of everything and everyone. And it certainly didn't help that the others had bestowed him with the wondrous honor of babysitting the little imp, thus Fran had quietly planted himself on the seat next to Belphegor, and, intentional or not Belphegor was unsure, but that goddamned fruit connected with the side of his head just one too many times already.
With a sore head and rising temper, the genius prince of the Varia slouched slightly in his seat and rested his legs on Levi's lap, shooting him a tight smile that almost dared the lightning guardian to say something about it. Levi, who was indeed about to snap at him, got one look at Belphegor's obviously irritated grin and closed his mouth right back up.
The silence in the cabin of the limousine was music to the blonde's ears. A harmonious tune of nothingness that soothed his nearly bleeding ears. Bel seriously started to wonder which one was worse; Fran ten years in the future, or the precocious little nine-year old currently sitting next to him on his knees with his hands against the glass as he took in the sight of his new home with a semi-intrigued stare.
Bel briefly wondered as he stared at the back of Fran's head. At what point in his life did Fran's verbal diarrhea cease to exist?
Because God damn him then if that kid hadn't said more in the past five hours than in the entirety of his career with the Varia ten years in the future.
At first, it was sort of okay. Sure, he started crying…a lot…when he finally realized they were tearing him away from his grandmother until pretty much forever, and consequently endowed them with another round of unflattering nicknames (to which Squalo responded by nearly throwing him out the window).
But after they (read: Lussuria) somehow convinced him that his grandmother would come see him sometimes, the little sprout seemed to brighten up considerably, and began asking timid questions, which Lussuria graciously answered.
After an hour, however, Lussuria was visibly worn out with the never-ending onslaught of increasingly inane but genuinely innocent questions from the small boy. And, after Lussuria had finally had enough of the annoying child (which was right about the time their limo in France arrived at the airport), he was strategically placed next to Bel on the plane.
Bel decided then that everyone in the Varia was on his permanent 'Shit List' for life.
For three hours, for three entire fucking hours, from the time they sat down to the time they unboarded, the kid's mouth was flapping. Bel realized then that it made perfect sense that they found him alone up on that mountain.
If Fran had had any friends, he had probably talked them all to death.
And the worst part was, he talked about total nonsense. Stuff that only made sense to a child, and even then, Bel decided, a normal kid probably wouldn't even understand half of the moronic things that came out of Fran's mouth.
The pretty much completely one-sided conversation began with a round of irritating yet justifiable questions about who they were and what the Varia mansion was like and how he was now a part of them until he died and yaddah yaddah yaddah. But then, the conversation somehow shifted to his grandmother's horrible cooking and how he would throw it out the window to fertilize her plants when she wasn't looking. Fran then launched into an almost twenty-minute story about how a flower once grew out of the mashed potatoes his granny had made for him.
What would've simply been a two-minute blerb for someone else became a long-winded discussion for the boy, since he couldn't seem to remember if it was mashed potatoes or beef stew or some other partially liquidated dinner item that Bel didn't give a fiddler's fart about. From there, Fran segued into an unnecessarily detailed and well-thought-out comparison of Irish potatoes to other potatoes, such as ones imported from America.
At that point, the only thing on Belphegor's mind was the mind-blowing fact that the child had just spent over an hour babbling about some godforsaken potatoes.
By the time the refreshment cart came around, Belphegor was nearly suicidal. The blonde pummeled the stewardess for a bottle of the strongest cognac they had. Anything to drown out the monotonous little voice that was still talking animatedly next to him, going strong a good two hours later.
After four bottles of liquor, Belphegor felt himself going cross-eyed. He was intoxicated enough to see the little sparks going off in his head, and the only thing keeping his mind from unraveling was the rather lovely pattern of the airplane seats. He wondered in his drunken haze if he was right about Fran being some sort of android, because…
Because it just wasn't humanly possible to talk for that long without stopping.
He wasn't even thirsty!
By the last stretch of their trip, which also meant the unboarding, luggage claim, and most of the limo ride home, the prince could no longer make out words; it just sounded more like an oddly coherent assortment of noises being made at him. Naturally, the already plastered prince's solution was to drown himself in more liquor; this time a pricey bottle of his favorite vodka that the chauffeurs always made sure to have for him when they took long trips anywhere.
In fact, the kid sort of sounded like a satanic cross between the adults on Charlie Brown and a defective electric chainsaw.
The little boy next to him was still gabbing on as steadfastly as when he began; Bel could just make out something about fishing with his shorts or something silly like that. The prince took another long swig of his White Russian and willed the limo to crash through the railing and right into the side of a mountain. He wished a horrible, bloody, pointy-tree branch-filled death for the chatterbox sitting next to him.
Or better yet, he wanted to see if Fran could talk himself into some sort of coma.
Fran just talked about the ant-bite he apparently had in between his toes for another hour.
Belphegor threw his glass out the window and chugged straight from the bottle.
It was nearly three in the morning by the time they arrived back. And it was plain as day that they were all physically (and mentally)exhausted. By that time, the others had managed to wrestle the vodka away from their resident bratty prince and forced him to sober up, so naturally, the blonde was now nursing the mother of all migraines.
"Whelp, come on kid, I'll show you to your new room." Squalo said as he motioned for the little boy to follow him, dragging himself up the steps like a decrepit old man with Fran bouncing behind him.
With the verbal equivalent to the Plague temporarily out of hearing range, Belphegor and Lussuria plopped down at the kitchen table.
"So what do you think of him now, Bel?" Lussuria asked, a teasing smirk hidden behind a gloved hand. Belphegor lifted his face from the table with a frown. "After being talked out of my sanity for over six hours straight, I don't even know who I am anymore. Luss, was I that annoying as a kid?"
Lussuria just gave him a pointed look.
Bel grinned widely. "Let me rephrase. Did I talk that fucking much as a kid?"
At that Lussuria chuckled. "Well, you certainly had your moments."
"You know how people have like, mental filters or something, so that they think about what they say?"
Lussuria nodded. Bel scoffed. "He clearly doesn't have one of those. The little doofus just says whatever the hell he's thinking, even if it makes no goddamn sense. I think at one point on the plane, he was just making noises at me."
"Bel…you were a little drunk by that point…"
"No I wasn't! I swear to God, it was like he talked so long he exhausted all of the words on the Earth so he had to start making up his own little alien language. Jeez… Boss should just give him to the decimo brat. He'll fuckin' talk him to death."
"Aww Bel, he's just a kid…"
"No, Lussuria. I'm just a kid. Fran? Fran is a freaking android. An android that is having some sort of verbal malfunction."
"What's an android?" An unfortunately familiar voice questioned softly. Fran yawned into his small hand as he walked into the kitchen, clad in the most embarrassingly cute footie pajamas in existence.
At least, according to Lussuria.
Squalo stomped in behind the new illusionist, sword-clad hand pointed directly at Belphegor.
"Voii! The little shit says he's hungry! Make him something!"
Belphegor gave him a dirty look; although Squalo only caught the lower half of it, considering Bel's hair was in the way.
"Why don't you make him something then, Strategy commander Squalo? I'm obviously incapacitated at the moment." Bel snapped back sarcastically. Squalo only offered a shark-like smirk as he stepped closer.
"I'm gonna strategically ram this sword up your scrawny ass if you don't do what I fucking tell you!" He barked into the younger man's face. Belphegor sighed like a moody teenager as he pushed himself away from the table.
What had he done to deserve this punishment?
"Why can't you guys make him food? I can't even really cook anything!" He whined imploringly as a last ditch effort to appeal to Lussuria. But the martial artist had wisely made a quick and stealthy retreat from the kitchen.
"Well, cook the kid some cereal or something! I'm going the fuck to sleep!" Squalo hollered. But Belphegor was steadfast.
"But I was the one who had to sit through that-" Bel said as he pointed to Fran, who was peering curiously in the refrigerator and talking animatedly to no one in particular about how a man broke into his house once and tried to steal all of his cheese, "on the plane, and on the ride home. Don't you care about my sanity at all?" He screeched.
Squalo leveled him with a stern look. "What sanity do you possess that I should give even a remote fucking damn about?"
"…Um… I dunno…"
The two just stared at each other blankly. After a few seconds, Squalo just laughed. "That's what I thought. Now feed the little terd so he can shut the hell up already."
And with that, Squalo made an about face and stormed out of the room.
"Yeah that's right, leave!" Bel screamed loudly, loud enough so that the swordsman could hear him up the stairs, "Go to bed like the FUCKING OLD BAG THAT YOU ARE! I HOPE YOU GET ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION AND NEVER GET LAID AGAIN FOR THIS INJUSTICE!"
"AND YOU DON'T COOK CEREAL YOU BUTT-HOLE!" He added as an afterthought a minute later.
Despite the now almost unbearable pounding in his temple, he smiled in satisfaction at the distant 'fuck off' echoing from somewhere on the second floor of the mansion. A clinking noise behind him caught his quickly waning attention. The blonde scoffed as he turned to the apple-donning child still rummaging around in the fridge.
"Che, don't worry about the prince. I'll just be down here losing what's left of my fucking mind listening to this little weirdo blab all night." he muttered to himself.
At that, the chatter ceased and Fran looked up. "Yeah, sempai?"
"Go sit your ass down at the table."
The boy simply nodded and politely closed the fridge before taking a seat at the table. Belphegor siddled up to the wooden table and slapped a hand on it. "Okay runt, what are you eating?"
Fran just stared at him for a moment before shrugging. Belphegor sighed before crouching next to the boy. "Come on, you have a prince cooking for you! Anything in particular you're in the mood for?"
Again, Fran just shrugged. "I dunno." He said plaintively.
Belphegor rolled his eyes. It's okay. Please, by all means, take your time. I didn't plan on sleeping tonight anyway. We can just sit here and stare at each other all night until you fucking think of something.
The blonde discreetly wondered if anyone would notice if he 'accidentally' lost Fran in the woods or something. Or even mind, for that matter. So what if they just wasted an entire day hunting the little grub down?
"You know what? I'll just make something." And with that, Belphegor busied himself with grabbing a few choice items, along with a small pot and set it on the oven. Fran heard him pop open a can of something reddish-looking and looked over curiously. Bel was whistling an odd little tune to himself as he stirred the contents of the pot.
After a few minutes, a quaint little bowl of Spaghetti O's was set in front of the small boy, along with a spoon. Belphegor fanned himself hurriedly, inwardly cursing Squalo for forcing a prince to partake in such tedious labor.
Fran just stared at the bowl for several seconds, studying it curiously. He looked up at Belphegor briefly, almost looking like he was requesting permission. Belphegor gave him 'well hello' kind of look before snappily folding his arms.
After a minute of silent inspection, Fran pushed the bowl away, shaking his head softly.
"I don't like these."
Belphegor nearly snapped his spatula in half. "WHAT?"
The boy looked up at him calmly. "I don't like Spaghetti O's. They make my stomach hurt." He said mellifluously.
The prince was almost boiling with rage. "Oh, is that right?" He sneered. The illusionist just stared at him blankly.
Belphegor sighed. "F-fine. I'll make something different." He ground out before stomping off to find something else. Ten minutes later, a bowl of chicken Alfredo was set in front of Fran, who once again pushed it aside after a minute or so of thorough inspection.
"What's. Wrong. With. It. Now?" Belphegor hissed. Fran looked up at him with an unimpressed pout on his face. "I don't like chicken."
"Che, and I don't like you." Bel snapped as he snatched the bowl away and ate a few bites himself.
Not bad, Prince Belphegor. He praised himself mentally.
"Alright then," He began around a mouthful of pasta, "since the prince has to feed you before I can go to bed, how about cereal?"
A good five minutes and an entire kitchen's worth of food items later, Belphegor was nearly at his wit's end. He had probably named every single thing they had stocked in the fridge and pantry, only to be rejected.
Enough was enough.
"Okay brat, then get your ass over here and show me what the hell it is you want so fucking badly. Come on."
Fran hopped down from his seat, and carefully stepping past the prince, who although he couldn't see his eyes, he was sure the tall blonde was glaring daggers at him, he timidly peered into the fridge. He looked at every shelf, moved and studied every single item and was just generally time-consuming with the entire process.
Just when Belphegor was about to slam the door down on the boy's dumb, apple-clad head, Fran reappeared with two jars and a loaf of bread. He stood up on his tippy-toes and set the items on the counter before looking back up at Bel expectantly.
All he wanted was a fucking peanut-butter and jelly sandwich?
Belphegor sighed as he set about making the snack for the small boy, suddenly feeling all of his annoyance deflate into another layer of exhaustion. After a few minutes, he walked over and set the plate down in front of the boy, who gave him a quiet 'thank you' and took a small bite.
Bel sat himself down at the opposite end of the table, allowing himself the luxury of an inelegant yet comfortable slouch in the seat.
"Hey," he began softly. Fran looked up from his half-eaten sandwich. "Hmm?"
"If you wanted a sandwich, why didn't you just say so?" Belphegor snapped tiredly. The small boy swallowed his mouthful and took a sip of the milk Belphegor had wordlessly set next to his plate before turning back to the prince.
"You were mad that I talked too much on the plane. So I didn't want to bother you anymore." He said quietly.
Somewhere, in his black, evil little heart, Belphegor suddenly felt sort of guilty for his snappy comments earlier. He figured Fran must've been standing in the doorway listening for awhile, and realized what a nuisance he was unintentionally being.
"Look…um…I didn't mean what I said, okay? I was just really tired." He said with a sigh.
And kinda hungover too. He added mentally. Fran just accepted the sort-of-but-not-really apology with a nod of his head before going back to his sandwich.
The two sat in silence for a few minutes, the only sounds between the two of them Bel's light tapping on the table and the periodic sound of Fran's glass being set back on the table.
"I talk a lot when I get nervous." The boy said suddenly. Belphegor, who sat staring at the ceiling with his head reclined back, looked back down at the replacement mist guardian. "Why?"
Fran shrugged. "I dunno. My grandma says it's because I spend too much time daydreaming and not enough time with real people. So when I'm with real people, I don't know what to say so I just say whatever I think of."
Belphegor smirked mentally. Called it.
"But you know, there was never really anyone around to talk to anyway. It was really lonely up in the country sometimes." Fran said quietly as he hopped down, empty plate and cup in hand.
"I'm kinda tired now, so I'm gonna go to bed. Thanks for the sandwich."Fran said as he put his dishes in the sink.
Belphegor allowed himself a tiny smile. Alright, maybe he's not so bad after all.
"Even though you left the crust on, and my grandma always cuts my sandwich into triangles for me, and she uses jiffy peanut-butter, and-"
"GO TO SLEEP."
Fran immediately silenced himself. With a small wave, the young illusionist and future mist guardian for the Varia turned and ran out of the kitchen.
Now that he was alone in the kitchen, Belphegor slapped a hand on his forehead.
If he didn't have so much alcohol still in his system, he would've popped at least three tylenols. But, because of his wonderfully verbose new friend, he would have to suffer through the pounding headache he was currently nursing the old fashion way.
He couldn't kill Fran right then, but Oh. He would get his chance. And if not kill, severely maim.
"Uh sempai? I forgot how to get to my room."
Forget it. We can find a new illusionist. Belphegor thought as he ran after the small boy, who was somehow running and talking about falling down the stairs.
I hope you feel better Aya! B26 fluff always helps! I know it wasn't like romantic or anything, but…I dunno… yeah. I really hope you liked it. A good laugh is good medicine!
Tell me what you guys thought! Read n Review please!~