HEY! Long time no see! Before you ask, yeah, I'm working on PAPI. There are only a few chapters to go, so I'm writing them all at once, editing, then will release them little by little. I'm aiming for February 1st (my 30th birthday!), so keep an eye out. In the meantime, a little something that popped into my head while I was writing Ch. 55 and rereading past chapters to remember what the fuck they were all doing...
Anyway, this happens sometime after Chapter 47 of PAPI...doesn't really fit into the plot, just a fun little fraternity thing to lift your day a bit!
"Dearly beloved brothers, we gather here today to say goodbye to a most cherished friend and icon. Not quite a frog, but more than a cat, Frosch brought joy to more than that little cat statue would ever know."
There were more than a few nods in the silently weeping crowd of young men gathered under umbrellas in the incongruously sunshine-filled backyard of Sabertooth fraternity dressed in their best as Sting paused to sniffle and gather himself together. 'Best' in this case varied from full tuxedos, nice suits, shirts & ties, tuxedo t-shirts, and one particularly fancy tuxedo-styled kigurumi (AKA onesie pajamas). Several top hats had even made it out for the somber occasion, respectfully tucked under arms.
"With granite-y smile and morning dew-covered eyes, Frosch greeted us each morning and gave us the energy to take on another day of classes, sororities and heavy drinking. That spunk and sheer uncontrollable cuteness will be missed by all who were blessed by the sight of it." Sting paused again here to daintily dab at his eyes with a brightly colored handkerchief and turn to where two of his fraternity brothers stood beside a neat hole in the ground, respectfully holding spades.
"Please remember Frosch as he stood in the gardens, and not as the prisoner of war who fell to his mangled death at the hands of the enemy." He left time for the angry hiss that inevitably followed as he theatrically gestured to the crushed concrete bits at the bottom of the hole. "He knows, wherever he is in stony statue heaven right now, that we will avenge him. He was our brother and forever shall be in our hearts and in our vows of vengeance!"
Murmurs of agreement turned to zealous cheers, only one, conspicuous, black-haired frat bro not joining in. But the fire in his eyes boded ill for any Fairy Tail member that would be unfortunate to cross his path that day. Sting swallowed heavily at the look on Rogue's face and hurriedly gestured back to the hole.
"Brothers, say your last goodbyes to our fallen brother and join me for the secondary ceremony across the lawn." Picking up a flower from a nearby table covered in cut, long-stemmed roses, Sting dropped the rose into the whole, bowed his head and then strode away from the grave, intent on his next task as Master of Ceremonies. It was a big deal for a freshman to be elected to such a position, so he didn't wish to screw it up.
It took close to 15 minutes for the brothers to say their varied and teary goodbyes and for the hole to be filled in, but eventually they were all gathered once again on the opposite end of the lawn where another table holding filled glasses of champagne were being given out. Umbrellas were closed and tossed to the side, hats returned to heads, jackets removed, and sobriety suspended (in more ways than one).
"Brothers, we gather here," Sting began again, a twinkle in his eye. "On this joyous occasion, to welcome a new member to our ranks, for as it has been, and as it always will be…" Sting paused in expectation before continuing, his eyes and gestures encouraging the group to join in,
"There must always be a Frosch at Sabertooth Fraternity!"
With a flourish Sting stepped to the side, where a tablecloth covered something lumpy a couple feet high, grabbed the fabric and whisked it off. "Frosch is dead, long live Frosch!" he exclaimed.
"FROSCH IS DEAD, LONG LIVE FROSCH!" echoed through the neighborhood followed by a great cheer that startled great flocks of birds into the air.
A few blocks away, Gray and Natsu, enjoying a mid-morning beer (non-alcoholic in Gray's case) on the back patio of Fairy Tail, looked up as they heard something in the distance.
"Think it's that day again?" Gray remarked.
Natsu nodded. "Timing works out. How many is it now that they've recast of that little guy?"
"Dunno. I lost count at...six I think…?" Gray took another sip of his drink. He would be happy when he'd drunk all this stuff up. Nonalcoholic beer was so fucking pointless, but he wasn't about to throw away a gift, no matter how misguided. He had a weird sense of honor that way.
"Well, that's why you don't have a fraternity mascot, obviously. They'll never learn." Natsu deadpanned.
"Nope," Gray agreed.
"How long you think we should wait before taking it again?" Natsu mused.
"Eh, it's a bitch to move. How about just vandalism this time? In like a month or so? It'll give the pledges something fun to do." Gray stared into the Fiorean sunrise, admiring the way the clouds glowed with oranges and pinks across the wide sky.
"Sounds like a plan." Natsu finished off his beer. "Nin nin motherfuckers."