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You, my precious siblings

Chapter Text

 

Fortress

 

 

When siblings agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life.

(Anthistenes)

 

 

Cracker didn’t hear the tiptoeing of those little bare feet. The marble floor couldn’t muffle the noise of the steps, but Big Mom tenth child was really tired that night: he wasn’t able to keep up his guard.

Fortunately, the little child who was leant quietly against Cracker’s door didn’t have bad intentions. A ten-years-old Galette pushed the door a little.

The door hinge creaked and a dim light got into the room. Not even those noises made waking up the Sweet Commander, who was still sleeping, with his long violet hair poured on the pillow, tracing strange draws on the fabric.

Galette hugged more her devil-form stuffed animal and stepped forward.

«Brother Cracker…». The Sweet Commander just snored.

She rose up her voice: «Brother Cracker!».

It took just a second.

The sharpen blade of Pretzel leant beneath her throat: Cracker had woken up and with him even his warrior senses .

The child gulped afraid seeing those red eyes shining in the dark like the irises of a cat. Of a tiger.

But that gaze softened when he recognized his little sister.

«Galette, what are you doing here?» he asked, with the voice still low for the sleep. He leant his sword againts the wall.

The little child suddenly forgot the fear, remembering why she was in her brother’s bedroom. Full of shame, she hid her face in the stuffed animal while Cracker sat again on his bed, massaging his own eyes, but listening to her little sister.

«I had a nightmare…» she murmured low, but all those words were listened by the careful Cracker’s ears.

The brother opened his eyes wide; then he snorted with amusement and lay down in the bed … keeping lifted the sheets as open invitation.

Galette smiled shy, taking refuge in her brother’s warm hug.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

All happily families resembles one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way

(Lev Tolstoj)

 

 

 

«Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!!!». Cracker’s screams could be heard in every corner of the castle of Totland, making shivering everyone who listened to those shouts similar to ones of a torn animal. Whole pale skin of tenth son’s face was smudged by his crimson blood, which was flowing out warm from that huge wound on his right eye.

He could see nothing, he clenched the eyelids, trying to stand up to that terrible agony which was tearing his face as a corrosive acid. He didn’t understand anything of what was happening around him, he just felt two strong arms lifting him as if weight nothing and he heard the calm brother’s voice that reassured him whit its low tone.

«Hold on, Cracker…».

With an absolute coldness, Katakuri managed to work out the best solution to that situation considered hopeless by almost all the siblings of Charlotte’s family.

Mama was just calmed down after one of her rampaging eating disorders.

Cracker had got dragged in, getting a wound which could leave him one-eyed or even killing him by exsanguination.

Katakuri would had not allowed it.

«Compote! Perospero!». Searching for the siblings who most of all would help and support him had been a natural choice. Katakuri lay his brother on a cot in the infirmary of the castle, while Perospero and Compote reached them.

The sister checked Cracker’s conditions. «He’s in an extremely serious condition … I don’t know if…».

«He will do it…» said soft the second son stoic and stubborn, keeping still his brother on the cot, helped by Perospero as Compote began the dressing, waiting for the medics.

The screams didn’t stop even for a second, the blood dripped on the three siblings’s hands who never wouldn’t want to see the relative in that way.

A little child ran into the infirmery, shouting loud and crying.

«Cracker! Cracker! Hold on, Cracker!». Smoothie’s shouts made the three siblings suddenly turning.

Katakuri’s tence expression became even more annoyed. «Go away, Smoothie! Don’t stay here!». Child’s screams didn’t stop, adding to those of the boy on the cot.

«Mama was attacking me, Cracker has protected me, I want to stay with brother Crac…». Her words and her tears blocked and her blue eyes widened open for the fear when she saw all that blood flowing out her brother’s face.

«Go away, Smoothie!» Katakuri repeated, but again he wasn’t listened to; only Brulée, coming out of a mirror, took in her arms the child and brought back in her room.

The second son could breathe a sigh of rilief and focus again on the screaming brother on the cot.

 

From the tenth floor of the castle you could see all Whole Cake Island.

Looking at the sea, Katakuri sighed, without turning. «I'm sorry, Smoothie. I didn’t want to shout you in that way».

In Perospero’s arms, the child shook her head, rubbing the eyes still red for the tears. «It doesn’t matter…».

Cracker, after several hours of surgery, was out of danger. He would have been able to see with the right eye again.

«I would had to pay more attention» Katakuri whispered, turning towards the siblings.

«You can’t blame yourself for mama’s disease…» replied Perospero, approaching and tending Smoothie. Katakuri took her in his arms.

«I have to look after this family».

«Yeah, but not on your own, Katakuri».

The secondborn surprised before nodding, grateful for everything.

Charlotte family was in good hands.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

There’s nothing that makes you more insane than family. Or more happy. Or more exasperated. Or more … secure.

 ( Jim Butcher) 

 

 

«Could I know who is the genius who got into my room?! I swear if I find out who is, I’ll make him or her drier than a waffle!»

«Maybe Brulée, Smoothie, you know she can reach every place!»

«Don’t blame me, Opera, I have nothing to do with it!»

«Who is shouting like this in the early morning?»

«It’s not early morning, Moscato, it’s almost 10 o’clock. Get up at dawn every morning as I do, then you’re allowed to complain. Now I want to know who is got into my room!»

«Smoothie, are you ok?»

«Everything is perfect, Praline, don’t you see it?»

«Why are you screaming so much, Smoothie? Is that period begun?»

«Don’t. Say. Another. Word. Mont d’Or!»

«Is that a “yes”?»

«Don’t you start in too, Cracker!»

«Smoothie, stop screaming…».

«Even you against me, brother Katakuri?»

«For everyone’s comfort, yes…»

«I can’t take it anymore, have enough of this family … I’ll go on Chocolate Island for a bit!»

«Finally!»

«Mont d’Or!»

«What’s up, Pudding? If she wants to go, let her do it…»

 

Compote closed the door. She could hear the voices softened just a bit, but she was still happy. She was glad to know that her siblings were so lively since the morning.

She sat in front of Perospero, who was pouring the tea in the pourcelain cups. A calm sweet and kind reigned in the room as the eldest siblings enjoyed safely their brews.

They really loved their siblings, but the silence was too understimated sometimes.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of other personal stories to the inevitable dusk.

(Susan Scarf Merrell)

 

 

 

 

Pudding fidgeted more on the high chair, risking to fall. Fortunately, Daifuku’s firm hand had blocked the plastic chair, avoiding the two-years-old child flew down. She pouted, but didn’t cry. She was almost adorable; a bit strange with her third eye, but still almost adorable.

Mama didn’t like Pudding.

Cracker instead was having fun keeping lifted a sweet, too high because her tiny arms could reach it.

Pudding leant more again, not reaching even that time that delicious cupcake in older brother’s hand.

Mama did not stand seeing that third eye on Pudding’s forehead.

«You can be so mean sometimes, eh, Cracker?»

«Of course, Chiffon, otherwise I wouldn’t be me…» he said not even looking at his sister, more interested in those Pudding’s unsuccessful attempts to lift herself  on little legs.

«Poor Pudding! If you don’t stop, I’ll say everything to mama!»

«Don’t you dare, Joscarpone!» Cracker looked at his twentininth sister, trying to push her away with his leg.

«Watch out, Cracker!». But Opera’s shout wouldn’t have kept lift the high chair pushed by the tenth son.

Pudding screamed, but the impact didn’t happen: two strong arms caught the child and the high chair before it smashed at ground with a bothersome noise.

Katakuri put Pudding again in the high chair, patting on her head. After the fear, the child clapped her hands smiling.

The second son looked at her and his gaze softened imperceptibly.

Katakuri loved her; she was as strange as him.

Then he turned to Cracker, gazing him with anger and taking the cupcake from his hand before slapping him on his nape. The tenth son complained, but he didn’t have the pluck of replying to a Katakuri’s decision. The older brother gave the sweet to Pudding, who laughed. Katakuri sighed with amusement, ready to go back to his duty.

«Dad!».

Everyone froze hearing that word and turned to that child with the mouth dirty of chocolate.

Charlotte Pudding’s first word; and it wasn’t one you could have heard often in Charlotte family. Katakuri blinked, surprised, approching that sweet child who was tensing her tiny hands.

The second son felt a ache in his chest.

Afterall, it was him, with Perospero, the one who kept the whole family afloat; the one who prevented to collapse under the weight of a mother who never really grew and matured to rise children; a mother who didn’t recognize them if she had an eating disorder or denied them if she didn’t like them.

Katakuri’s perfect facade didn’t show to other siblings how he kept his breath realizing that resposibility. The one who always had to show himself unreachable in every occasion, even if sometimes he wanted just to be thoughtless. He couldn’t be like that since long time.

Katakuri, kneeling in front of the little sister for being at the same high, leant his front on her hair soft as feathers.

«No, Pudding. It’s not like that. I’ll explain to you when you’ll grow up».

Pudding didn’t understand. She would have done then, time later. Katakuri never wanted to explain.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

A sibling may be the keeper of one’s identity, the only person with the keys to one’s unfettered, more fundamental self

(Marian Sandmaier)

 

 

The cup nearly fell from Perospero’s hand when he heard that shout.

«Brother Perospero!».

The knife almost slipped from Compote’s grip when someone screamed her name.

«Sister Compote!».

Both the baffled kids turned towards the door where a ten-years-old child was leant against the door frame, trying to catch their breath after shouting, their blonde hair ruffled up from running.

Compote blinked surprised. «Daifuku, why are you screaming so loud?» asked the girl, leaving the fruit salad she was preparing for the whole family on the kitchen counter.

The younger brother lifted his head up to stare her right in face, his breathing heavyfrom the effort he had made before. The child’s eyes were full of tears and fear. Concern filled the heart of the eldest sister.

«Daifuku, what’s the matter?» she asked nervously, gazing at Perospero who had left his cup of tea on the table and had approached his younger brother.

Daifuku gulped, afraid. «He did it again…». His voice almost trembled. «Katakuri did it again».

 

The smell of blood was unbearable. The entire alley of the town was covered in bleeding and torn corpses, the red liquid ran down the wall of the houses as a spectral warning.

In front of a group of dead bodies stood a child, shivering, clenching his fists.

Compote covered her mouth with a hand, terrified; Perospero took a step forward after forbidding Oven and Daifuku to approach.

«Katakuri…» the eldest brother called to him, looking around, shocked by the devastation caused by the only ten-year-old boy. Katakuri was strong – very strong. Perospero knew it well.

«They laughed again». The words were faint and shaking, but filled the silence of the alley.

«Katakuri, are you hurt?» the firstborn asked, stepping toward the young boy again.

«They laughed of me again!». This time Katakuri shouted; Perospero held his breath seeing his little brother covered by blood not his, his face streaked with tears and stared at that deformed mouth. It resembled that of a demon’s.

So monstrous and yet so weak in that moment.

«The … the childr-children had … had star-ted laughing … I told the-them to st-op … but they … they continued… I –didn’t wa-want to hit them … but then … th-they called the adults … and then…». Katakuri wasn’t able to end his sentence, but there wasn’t any need to: what had happened then was clear for Perospero who couldn't understand how a child so young had been able to beat men so big.

«It’s all alright…».

«NOTHING IS ALRIGHT». Katakuri’s shout frightened Perospero who stared at his younger brother, fearing an attack.

Katakuri pointed at his own face, disgusted. «Why did it happen to me?».

Perospero looked at him, unsure how to reply. He bit his lower lip. «There are events … we didn’t imagine they could happen…» he said, caressing softly with his thumb the scars on the cheeks of his little brother.

A fluffy thing fell around Katakuri’s neck, covering him up to his nose. Compote surprised both. The younger buried his face in the furry scarf that hid the sight of his face to entire world. That remedy was so cowardly and shabby but…

It could work.

The sister’s voice shook, her eyes full of tears.

«Katakuri … forgive us, but we cannot do more than this…».

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

The sweetest love is the love between two siblings

(Menander)

 

Katakuri had become good, very good, at using haki. An ability that was surprising every sibling, the twins too.

Everyone saw him training hours and hours every day to further develop the skill that was making him even more feared and known in the New World. Not even one attack from Cracker or Smoothie or Snack could hit him, he was able to dodge each one easily.

He had become so good that he could see a bit into the future; before he could prevent a glass falling  from the table and breaking by catching it before it hit the ground, now he moved it to the middle of the counter before someone bumped it.

All the family members celebrated that kind of ability, singing him praises and the benefits on a battlefield.

But Katakuri – no, not only him, but the whole family – had realized that skill was useful even for other purposes.

Purposes more … tender.

 

«Brother Katakuri, do you ever sleep?» Cracker asked uncertain, turning toward his older brother who was sat at the table in the kitchen and watching disinterested what the Sweet Commander was doing. In that case, Cracker was preparing a glass of warm milk served with biscuits at 2 am.

«I’m not tired…».

The tenth brother bit into a cookie he had baked some hours before. He sat in front of the other, waving a biscuit before Katakuri’s eyes.

«Do you want it?» he offered, anxious to see Katakuri letting his guard down; maybe Cracker would be able to eye what Katakuri was hiding beyond his scarf…

But Katakuri wouldn’t be persuased so easily…

«I’m not hun…»

A scream bursted in Katakuri’s head.

Only there, inside his brain, but it was enough to alert him.

Then he relaxed, when he understood that it wasnt as bad as he thought, but it would have been great it ended as soon as possible. Or, even better, it didn't start at all.

Katakuri stood up suddenly, Cracker looking at him unsure. «Where are you going?»

«I'm going to avoid waking too many siblings up».

Cracker stared at him, still bewildered, keeping an ear out but only hearing the surreal calm in the whole castle, broken by Katakuri’s steps.

 

Katakuri opened the door softly, trying to prevent the light from getting into the room. Quietly, he approached the craddle, glad he was not wearing the spurs at that moment. He took in his arms the few-month-old baby while she was beginning making faces, threatening to wake up with a noisy scream.

He started craddling her with slow movements and immidiatly the baby became still; in fact, she smiled and turned more to that reassuring body who, silently, made her sleep again.

Katakuri sighed, wondering why a fearsome pirate, known in all New World like him was here, in a situation like that.

Everyone was starting to take advantage of his skill to see into the future.

When the baby fell asleep, he lowered her into the craddle again, whispering words into her tiny hear.

«Goodnight, Flambé».