Doesn't "Fanfiction" speak for itself?

Author's note

Hi there ^_^

Just a little fashback I couldn't squeeze into my story "As an Ending" It is suppoused to be a oneshot, but might end up as a two/three-shot if I get the time.

Anyway, have fun and don't forget to leave a short review!

Stolen sweets are always sweeter,

Stolen kisses much completer,

Stolen looks are nice in chapels,

Stolen, stolen be your apples.

Song of Fairies, Thomas Randolph


"Oh, hush!" he thought annoyed at his growling stomach, as he continued to stare at the dark ceiling above.

The hideout was filled with the sounds of low breathing, snores, and occasional mumbling, as all its inhabitants where sound asleep. All but one, as Blank still waited for sleep to claim him. He lay close to the narrow bed's edge, his blanket elsewhere. Sighing, he looked over his shoulder to glare at the curled up reason for his discomfort. Zidane had hogged the covers. Again.

Ever since the redhead had fished the blond boy out of the harbor, he had followed him like a shadow. Boss hadn't shown much interest in the addition, but made it very clear, that he wouldn't invest a single Gil in him, until he proved himself 'useful'. Therefore, he had shared everything with the younger boy: cloths – which looked ridiculously too big on the six year old - , bed and food.

While everyone else was munching happily on their dinner, he had tried to stubbornly ignore the guilt infusing eyes of the little boy, who commented each bite that vanished into the older's mouth with an anticipating lick over his lips. This usually lead to a one-third to two-third food-ratio in favor of the blonde.

"That's gonna change, you listen? I'll show you how it's done tomorrow." he only received a soft snore from his charge. "You better sleep, 'cause I'm not gonna get easy on you just because you're a little kid!"

"All right, ya-all know what to do. Cinna, Nath, yer on duty in the Business District. Marcus, take Blank with you to the main market. I'll be back at sundown and there better be not a word of another fight!" Baku stared pointedly at Blank and Nath.

They were so different, yet so close in age and skill, that fights had become a daily habit. It created a dangerous lack of trust and cooperation within the group – basically the older one teaming with Cinna and the nine-year-old with Zidane; Marcus being the peacemaker. This could cost them all their heads!

With that he departed, sending one last warning glare at the pair.

"Come on, Marcus! How long is Boss gonna keep him inside?! He's not a pet, and this is the perfect chance to teach him!"

"Have you forgotten what happened last time? He doesn't understand how the city works!" the teen countered, waving a dismissing hand at the blonde, who stared up at the arguing pair with frightened eyes.

He was used to the redhead's distributes with the black haired Nath – who loved to torment those he thought of as weak, which was pretty much everyone except for the boss. And Marcus, who was not only almost twice his age, but also several heads taller.

Marcus very scarcely raised his voice, but even the little change in his voice that showed his frustration right now had the small boy shaking.

"But he won't get lost this time, we'll just take this." Blank held up a leash-like concoction of combined belts.

"Who is treating him like a pet now?" the young man sighed, there was just no use arguing with this kid when he was like this. "The kid is gonna get you into solid trouble, I can tell ya that much." he mumbled.

It wasn't, that he didn't like Zidane, or that he couldn't understand Blank's reasoning. The rich harvest season for them was over and winter was just around the corner. Last winter – the first the one-eyed had spent with the gang – food had been hard to get, because the early snow had surprised many traders on their way into the capital, resulting in ridiculously high prices. With all their involuntary 'sponsors' inside their houses... it was pretty bad. Now that the two youngest split every meal, it could get downright nasty.

"Let's play."

Blank jumped to his feet eagerly and winked the little boy to him.

"Purse." he held up a small leather pouch and took a single round coin out of it,"Gil."

"Gil." Zidane repeated, instinctively grasping the importance of the word.

"Pocket-watch." the older continued, showing off a dangling circle on a long, gilded chain.

He than handed the items to Marcus, who stored them somewhere inside his coat.

Watch me, the boy gestured to the blonde, pointing a finger at him, before raising two to his own eyes.

Zidane's knowledge of the commonly used language wasn't enough to enable him to speak to the people around him, but he had picked up enough to get the hunch of a conversation most of the time. So he sat down and did as he was told.

Blank had dressed in an ankle long waistcoat and a floppy brown head, which made his fire-red hair less noticeable.

At first he asked Marcus for the time – since Lindblum was the birthplace of the chronometer, every wealthier man possessed at least one. The boy thanked him and fainted surprise as he reached down to pick up a purse he'd secretly placed there before asking his 'victim'. Like any well mannered boy, he held his finding to Marcus, whose first reaction was to touch his right breast pocket, showing exactly where he kept his own. He eyed the youngster and the pouch in question calculatingly, before opening it to hand him a mere copper piece as thanks. Blank bowed and parted, only to turn around once more. Within seconds he walked back to Zidane, while Marcus whistled on his way to the kitchen.

The six-year-old clapped his hands excitedly as the redhead showed him the watch, and not just the two test-purses – but three, jiggling them to empathize their content.

"Where is... BLANK!"

The young thief giggled, as Marcus held his hand out, demanding the return of his property with a tapping foot.

The kid keeps getting better each day, he thought.

"Ok, kid. Did you pay attention?"

Zidane looked up at the preteen and nodded. For hours he had stayed in small alleys and watched the two thieves do their work. Every time they returned to store their goods, they told him how to do it.

„Now you do it." he pointed to the crowd and pushed the little one forward.

He looked back somewhat lost, his big blue eyes growing even larger.

Marcus crossed his arms, doubting this was a good idea.

"What is he doing?!"

Blank's hushed outcry made Marcus scan the plaza once more. The kid stood in front of the bread stand and simply grabbed for a loaf. The salesman immediately slapped the child's hand away.

The boy fell backwards and hit the ground hard with his bottom. He began to cry.

"Wait..." the teen stopped his companion from walking over.

Several women had stopped in their track and looked at the crying child with pity. Zidane stopped his crying for a moment to look at a well clad lady in a red cloak. She wasn't of high rank, but obviously a noble. Touched by the child's attention, she went to him and knelt down to get a better look.

"You're a cutie, aren't you?" she crooned, delighted when he stretched his arms towards her. She picked him up carefully and laughed as his small hands stroked her ears. With the child's legs wrapped around her hip, she walked up to the bakery stand.

"Which one did he want?" she asked, all business.

The man handed her the loaf and she paid for it.

"Here.", she handed the bread to the boy,"No more tears." she wiped his cheeks with her thumb, creating two clean specks on his cheeks, and placed him back on the ground.

"Go, your family is waiting for you."

He understood, hugging the kneeling woman one last time and gave her a smile that showed all his tooth gaps. The woman sight longingly.

The kid turned around and skipped off the market place into the small street he knew the other two awaited him.

Back with the boys the youngster happily showed them his loot and offered each of them some of it.

"A bread, great..." Blank sighed, tearing at his hair with both hands.

"Not so fast." said Marcus as he noticed a bulk in the child's shirt. As he pointed at it, the blond lay the bread aside and began to tug on the shirt's rim, which was shoved into his pants since it was way to big on him.

Suddenly a great deal of tinkling was heard as a in gold foil-wrapped bonbon, a watch, a purse, two armlets, a necklace and two pearl-earrings fell to the ground.

"Blank..." the teen whispered.

"Marcus, pinch me. I think I'm dreaming."

"How did he do that?" Blank asked in astonishment.

"He was being a cute little kid."

Zidane looked at them expectantly, holding up the golden candy, "Gil!" he cheered.

"Not quite, kiddo." the young man laughed, ruffling the blonde's head.