Title: Misadventures In Babysitting

Author: Amethyst Hunter

Rating: PG-13 (naughty language)

Warnings/Spoilers: None

Notes: Oneshot fluff-fic. Many thanks to you, wonderful readers, for your continued support! :)

~ Fun fact: "Akako" means "red" in Japanese. Knowing what we know of Akabane, this brings the phrase "daddy's little girl" to a whole new level! ;)

Disclaimer: GB isn't mine. We play for the love of the game, not profit.

Summary: Ban and Ginji learn the hard way why retrieving and not childcare is their forte.

"Did you have a good time with Uncle Ban and Ginji, sweetie?" Himiko asked as the little dark-haired girl flung herself into her mother's arms with a squeal.

"Yup! We had the bestest time ever!" Six-year-old Akako Akabane beamed up at her parents. "Uncle Ginji taught us how to make static electricity!"

"And Uncle Ban taught me how to make freezing perfume!" Yamato Junior crowed nearby, brandishing a bottle of suspicious-looking contents.

Himiko looked up at the two frazzled, bedraggled men who stood - just barely - before her, eyeballing her children with a mixture of perverse pride and utter terror. "Well. I guess you guys didn't screw up too badly this time. I suppose you deserve this..."

She slowly handed over an envelope, which Ban stuffed in his torn shirt pocket without even bothering to check how much money was inside it. He and Ginji looked at each other and shrugged, their energy only just enough to express that feeble joy at having - just barely - succeeded in their babysitting mission.

Akako squirmed away from her mother to cuddle in her doting father's arms. "And what did you do today, sweetheart?" Akabane cooed at his little girl.

"We played dolls and read books, Daddy." Of course Akako and Ginji neglected to mention that the dolls were all equipped with knives from the kitchen drawer, and the books were medical journals full of horrid war wounds.

"That's my princess," Akabane said, nuzzling the giggling child's cheek. "Were you a good girl for Uncle Ginji and Uncle Ban?"

Ban and Ginji exchanged a look. Ginji's lower lip betrayed a slight trembling.

"Yup!" Akako said.

"That's my girl," Himiko said, patting Akako's head. "Now, off to bed with you two. It's late and Mommy needs to do laundry," she said, making a face as she poked at her ripped and somewhat stained vest.

Junior piped up. "Oh Mom, you can't use the washer. It's broken."

Himiko raised a brow at her son. "And why is it broken?"

Akako smiled sweetly at her parents and spoke, clearer than any lighthouse whistle. "'Cause Uncle Ban can't get the bitch-ass rat pisser to open up."


Ginji closed his eyes.

Himiko glared at Ban.

Akabane glared harder at Ban.

Ban glared at Akako and pointed at the candy wrapper still stuffed in the pocket of her pink dress. "You little traitor! After what I gave up for you - "

Akako sniffed. "I'm not a traitor. I'm just doing my job. Right, Daddy?"

"Quite right," Akabane growled. He softened his tone momentarily. "You were right to inform me, pumpkin." The ice reappeared in his voice as he gently set Akako down. "And now - candy before bedtime?"

"Now just a minute - "

Himiko pulled out a bottle of flame perfume and started towards Ban. "Kids, why don't you take Uncle Ginji outside for a bit while Mommy and Daddy have a nice long talk with Uncle Ban about proper behavior."

Junior snickered to his little sister and pointed to the scalpels suddenly protruding from Akabane's hands. "Wow, Dad's gonna kick Uncle Ban's ass!"

Ban shot him a ferocious scowl. "Like hell, you little punk!" He looked to Himiko, sweat starting to pop out on his brow when he saw she had two bottles of flame perfume at the ready. "Did you hear that? You hear what your kid just said?" He glared at Junior again. "I whipped your dad's as - hide - more times than he has knives!"

"You're making it worse, Ban-chan," Ginji mumbled from a corner of his mouth as he carefully inched his way towards the front door.

"And whose fault is it that he's picked up bad language? I warned you, Ban!" Himiko snatched back the packet of money amidst both Ban's and Ginji's cries of despair. "Now you're going to learn a lesson in responsibility!"

"Since when is it my responsibility when you're the parents who spawned a couple of raving heathens - AAH! HIMIKO! Lay off the fire here!"

Ginji gathered a giggling Junior and Akako close to him and gently guided them to the door. "Come on, kids. I think Uncle Ban's gonna be in traction for a while," he whimpered, still envisioning the lovely beef stir-fry he'd been planning to have, knowing that now it would never be his.

"What's traction, Uncle Ginji?" Akako asked.

"It's when you're stuck in a hospital bed all day and people who were supposed to come see you totally ignore you and spend the time fighting with each other, so you're forced to jump out a window onto the power lines to get their attention," Ginji said.

"Cool! I'm gonna do that one day," Junior declared.

Ginji's face went white. "Um, actually, it's really not that great. It's really super-boring," he added quickly, releasing his bated breath when Junior's face drooped into disappointment.

Relief was not to be had, however. From the blazing fray, Akabane called out to Himiko. "You know, this would be a perfect opportunity for Junior to practice his penmanship...!"

As her cackling brother bolted from Ginji and reached for the scalpel his smiling father was lovingly offering, Akako made a fresh pout and stamped her foot. "I never get to have any fun."