lysapadin: pen & ink painting of bamboo against a full moon (Default)
[personal profile] lysapadin
Title: Teachable Moment
Characters/Pairings: Timoteo Vongola, Xanxus
Summary: In which Timoteo tries to teach his newly-adopted son some of what it means to belong.
Notes: General audiences. For [ profile] khrfest, prompt: Xanxus, Vongola IX - belonging; "I'm proud of him." 752 words.


Teachable Moment

It was, Timoteo decided, just as well that he had not expected that taking Xanxus in would be a particularly easy thing to do. It was also good that he'd gained a great deal of practice in smiling in the face of outright provocation. It served him well on several fronts, as it always had; Xanxus had been let to run wild by his mother, and was not inclined to let himself be constrained by the Vongola's rules now that he had been taken in by them. Timoteo didn't mind that, precisely--it was good that the boy's spirits hadn't been broken by his early life--though he rather thought he could have done without the property damage that was, apparently, Xanxus' settling-in process.

He wasn't particularly troubled by his sons' reactions, either. Federico was easy-going about his newly-adopted brother, if a little wry, and tolerated Xanxus well enough. Enrico disapproved of him, and Massimo ignored him altogether. That was fine; they were all considerably older than Xanxus anyway, and Xanxus was not what one might call particularly endearing. As for the rest of the Family, they treated Xanxus with patience, and--after Timoteo had made it clear that his will in the matter was not going to be moved--had stopped questioning the decision to adopt him. That, of course, was just as it should be.

The real pity, Timoteo felt, was that he couldn't exert a similar influence on the other Families. Especially when they were as obnoxious as the Tomasso and their sneering boss Salvatore, who was currently looking Xanxus over with a greasy smile. "So," he said, jovial, "this is the son you've been keeping hidden from the rest of us, is it?"

"This is Xanxus," Timoteo said, as Xanxus glared at them both impartially, small face set in its apparently permanent scowl.

"My, my... he doesn't much favor you," Salvatore said. "Must be that he takes after his mother." He paused. "Who did you say she was, then?"

It was a pity that one ought not start fights at weddings. "I didn't," Timoteo said, taking the precaution of laying a hand on Xanxus' shoulder. "She's no longer with us." It was even technically true; she'd been removed to a small, painfully discreet sanitarium whose staff were well-paid to look after her.

"Is that how it is?" Salvatore's piggy little eyes gleamed. "I suppose that means we can ask her about the resemblance."

This entire conversation was going to cost the Tomasso, Timoteo thought, idly. "There's hardly any need. I'm proud to call Xanxus a Vongola."

The thin shoulder under his hand twitched, a little, at that. Meanwhile, Salvatore was as careless as he ever was, and didn't think to question that statement. He simply laughed. "So you're as human as the rest of us after all," he said, with a nasty little grin. "I could almost find it in me to like you after all."

"Indeed," Timoteo said, tired of this conversation. "What a pity if it should be so. I would never forgive myself. If you'll excuse me, we still have other members of the party to greet." He tightened his hand on Xanxus' shoulder and propelled him away while Salvatore was still working the particulars of that insult out, and waited till they were out of earshot to tell his right hand, "Don't let me forget to do something unpleasant to the Tomasso later."

"Right, Boss," Gianni said, face held carefully neutral, though his eyes were dark with anger.

Timoteo glanced down at Xanxus, and found the boy looking up at him, a frown wrinkling his forehead. "Why?"

"Because I can't simply punch him in his smug face," Timoteo said, dry, since it was simplest to appeal to Xanxus with his own logic.

"That would be faster," Xanxus noted.

"Yes, perhaps," Timoteo allowed, "but it's less practical. Especially for a wedding." Xanxus rolled his eyes. "In any case, I will not have him insulting you or any other member of my family. Now, let me introduce you to the Modigliani. They're much more tolerable people." And so he propelled Xanxus, blinking and looking a little confused, in their direction.

Timoteo wasn't sure, but he rather thought that Xanxus stood a little taller when Timoteo introduced him the Modigliani. And for that measure of progress, he was willing to forgive Tomasso.

Well, almost, anyway. Some things couldn't be borne, after all, especially when they pertained to what was his own, not even for a teachable moment.


Comments are lovely!

Date: 29 December 2009 02:44 (UTC)
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] branchandroot
*sparkles over them* That was astoundingly cute. I mean, my goodness.


lysapadin: pen & ink painting of bamboo against a full moon (Default)
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