Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. I started to write this two years ago, then abandoned it for some odd reason. A lot of these oneshots take place between "Banquet" and "Alliance", don't they? I guess the reason why is because post-Alliance, everything goes downhill; post-Banquet, everything is still pancakes and butterflies…sort of.

Battler and Beato sat opposite each other in the meta-world, waiting for the other to speak. Across the room stood the Seven Stakes, each snickering at the thought of getting to destroy Battler again.

"So, Battler," sneered Beato, "what will it be this time, hmm?"

She expected him to make some sort of ridiculous response. Instead, he glared at her and sunk in his chair, silent and sullen as ever.

Beato looked at the angry red-head curiously. Battler was indeed a very...interesting...person. He seemed to hold a grudge against her, yet he was also capable of feeling pity for her. It was very strange, very contradictory.

If I were to suddenly laugh, thought Beato, he wouldn't take much thought to it...but how would he react if I were to suddenly burst into tears? Maybe he'd laugh...maybe he'd just scoff and disappear...well, there's only one way to find out...if nothing else, it will at least provide a nice opportunity to push his buttons.

"Battler," spoke Beato, making her voice nice and soft, "can you at least look at me?"

Battler looked up and into Beato's eyes. He said gruffly, "What do you want? We still have some time before the next game."

"I know," sighed Beato, "but...Battler, do you really hate me that much?"

Battler burst out laughing, much to Beato's annoyance. "Beato," he said, "you sadistically killed my family over and over, then surrendered that power over to someone else who did it ten times worse, then you laughed over it and asked me if I was enjoying it, and to top it all off, you tricked me into nearly surrendering the game over to you. What do you think?"

Beato bit her lip and her eyes went all doe-like. Lucifer scoffed, "So what if Lady Beatrice steps over the line one or two times? She's doing her best to keep you entertained; be grateful for that. She doesn't need you telling her off; you should not even be telling her off in the first place! This is the Golden Witch Beatrice! And she is a woman of honour, of skill, of—"

Figuring Lucifer would carry on all day, Beato decided to get it over with; she burst into tears and sobbed, causing Lucifer to abruptly stop talking and stand there gaping. Her sisters were quick to join in Lucifer's shock; they promptly stopped what they were doing—Beelzebub and Belphegor, who had been fighting over a basket of croissants, promptly dropped said basket onto the floor. Leviathan had stopped sobbing over her jealousy of Asmodeus having more chocolate than her to instead focus on her sobbing master. Satan and Mammon had ceased their argument over how fast they would accelerate through the air in the next game at the sound of a cry. They were all stunned at the sight of their master, once proud and arrogant, now sobbing as though her heart were broken.

"B...Beato?" said Battler curiously, also stunned by this sudden turn of events.

Beato sniffled, "You—you really hate me, don't you, Battler? You wish I were dead, right?"

Battler made no response. He, too, was stunned to see the proud witch in such a state.

"I knew it!" sobbed Beato in a performance that would give Meryl Streep a run for her money. "Nobody l—likes me! Th—they only p—p—pretend to like me, but they all hate me! Even you."

Beelzebub stepped forward bravely. "I like you, Lady Beatrice," she said.

Beato, however, was still waiting for a reaction from Battler. She turned around, burying her face in her sleeve, continuing to weep. I hope that's good enough for you, she thought. We'll see how you react to this.

In the midst of her sobs, she felt a pair of arms wrap around her and pull her in for a hug. She whipped around and began to snap, "Beelzebub, I don't want—Battler?" she said incredulously to find herself in the arms of none other than her opponent, who was giving her a rather awkward hug.

"Look, it's nothing personal, okay?" said Battler. "I just don't like seeing you cry, that's all."

"Ah…uh…" Beato's face turned redder than Battler's hair. "Du, dummy! I never said I wanted you to comfort me!" Yet she did not push him off.

"I'll still respect you as an opponent just as long as you never put on that embarrassing display ever again, okay?" said Battler as he let go of her. "So what were we talking about anyway?"

A wicked grin spread across Beato's head and she cackled as though she hadn't just been crying, leaving Battler to mutter, "So tsunda."

The end