The Loud House and all associated characters are owned by Nickelodeon. I make neither profit from this work of fiction nor claims of ownership over the show.

" – A soldier from your unit went AWOL last night and you didn't notice?!"

"No. I didn't, Sergeant Killjoy! I share a room with her, that doesn't make me her babysitter!"

Lincoln groaned. He hadn't even opened his eyes yet and they were already at it... Fortunately, he prided himself in his ability to tune out noise, living in the Loud House has its perks after all. So, he snuggled deeper into his bed and willed himself back to sleep. Back to the comforting scent of mint and warm fuzziness…

"I told you to stop interrupting my meditation sessions, Betty! My chakras are seriously out of balance now!

"What's got you so riled up… What, you got demoted to a Major or something? A Major pain in the butt! He-he! Am I right?"

He groaned again and nestled his form deeper into his bed and snaked his arms around the familiar sensation of soft plush, hoping faintly that it would deter their arguing. And for a moment it worked…

Until a series of loud knocks woke him up again.

"Look alive, Rookie! Mandatory barracks inspection."

"Pffft. Mandatory she says…If you consider this to be the first time, maybe."

Lincoln sighed in despair. Why can't they just let him and Bun-Bun snuggle in peace for just a few more minute-


The moment he opened his eyes, he screamed.

"See? I told you she was in there! That's where we found her yesterday."

He writhed frantically, trying to disentangle their limbs free from each other. But the girl had a strong grip on him – and that wasn't even considering the fact that she was still sleeping! She tightened her grip on him, and he struggled to free himself. It was a hard battle, and by the end of it, he may have found himself tumbling off the bed and crashing onto the floor. But it was a victory nonetheless.

The door suddenly burst open and he was met by Betty looking down on him, while a crowd of girls peeked behind her.

"I can't believe you just barged in like that!" said Beverly. Covering her eyes with her fingers. "What if he wasn't decent?!"

"He's not…" said Bianca, as she hid something behind her back. Before she squinted at Beverly's face. "But I didn't need to tell you that, huh."

"Sorry, Lincoln." Squeaked Beverly as she lowered her hands from her red face. "Beth has a habit of wandering around when she sleeps."

Betty turned to his bed and scowled at the sleeping girl. She made for the whistle on her neck. And the crowd covered their ears. Lincoln elected to do so as well, until he heard someone.

"Please don't!" Said Barbara loudly, her hands on her ears. "Not even that high-pitched, discordant atrocity of a wind instrument would wake her! At this time of day, no less!"

Betty mulled the suggestion over, before dropping the whistle. Scowling all the while. "We'll deal with her later…" She suddenly turned her eyes to him. "And you…"

Fearing that he'd be the outlet to her fury. He scrambled to his feet and stood at attention. Straight body and all.

"Aren't you forgetting something, Rookie?" asked Betty as she closed the distance, lowering her shades to look at him. "Or have you forgotten what time it is?"

He didn't need to be told twice as he saluted her. "Ma'am, Good morning, Ma'am!"

"Snappy as always, Rookie." Betty nodded approvingly, and for a split-second he thought he saw the corner of her lips twitch upward. Betty fixed her shades. "Breakfast is in oh-seven-hundred. Attendance is mandatory."

She turned around sharply, and his face contacted with her ponytail. The crowd parted as she marched through. She was already near the stairs when she gave another order. "All of you! Dismissed!"

"That's it!?" Someone shouted. "You yelled at us the moment we woke up! But your soldier boy gets an invitation for breakfast!?"

Lincoln winced. Similar loud sentiments were voiced as well as they followed Betty down the stairs. Thankfully, the bluster shrank as the distance grew gradually between them. Both him and Beverly watched as the procession went out of sight.

She shook her head, before looking at him and smiling. "I'll save you a seat."

"Wait." He said to her. "Make it two seats, please."

Beverly raised her eyebrows at him. "Oh, you don't have to bother yourself with her. She doesn't wake up at this time and -"

A high-pitched whistle from downstairs interrupted her. Both of them winced again when it was followed by more shouting.

"Right. Two seats. I better go before they mess up the dining room or something..." She said to him before going down the stairs to join the others.

Lincoln was impressed, the girl made staying asleep look easy. All that commotion earlier and it looked like it barely affected her. The more he studied the sleeping girl on his bed, the more he found himself feeling drowsy. The way her baby blue night gown ruffled around her, her discarded night cap inches away from her head, her tangled and clumped up bedhead resting on his pillow. But her face was what got to him the most.

He'd never seen someone so comfortable. The languid look on her face, the way her lips parted with every breath she took, the way she wiggled her nose from time to time as she slept… It was almost enough for him to consider going back to bed for a moment.

Lincoln felt his face heating up at the realization. Minutes ago, he had mistaken the girl for Bun-Bun, as he cuddled the girl closer. And now he was starting to regret prying her away from him. He silently thanked his lucky stars that she was asleep, because he wouldn't want her to witness how embarrassed he was right now.

How long had she even been here? And why his room –

His musing was interrupted when another loud shout from the kitchen was heard.

He shook his head at the obvious answer. "Hard to sleep when you have to share a room, huh?"

He might have imagined it, but he thought he saw Beth nod her head slowly in response... So, he tried again. He patted her head and whispered at her. "Wake up, Beth, time for breakfast."

She kept her eyes closed as she yawned and slowly nudged her head closer to his hand.

"…No… that's…okay." She said between pauses." Appetite... still…sleeping."

She yawned again to emphasize her point. Only for an unexpected stomach rumble to interrupt her mid yawn to say otherwise. He resisted the urge to laugh as she pretended to sleep again… but the red on her face made it very hard to do so.

"Come on. You can sleep again, after you've eaten breakfast." He urged again. "Don't make me carry you all the way downstairs."

She pouted and curled herself deeper into his bed and blanket. "Prove… it…you…won't."

Lincoln sighed. Plan B it is.

It took a bit of maneuvering and awkward positioning, but he had done it. Beth was asleep on his back, with her arms fastened around his neck, while his arms supported her from under. He was surprised to find out how light Beth was. And even more surprised to see how quickly she fell asleep again, given the circumstances.

As they neared the dining room, sounds of annoyed voices grew louder and louder. Not wanting to waste any more time, he entered the room, and came into view of the feuding sisters. They Abruptly stopped as they looked at him strangely. Like he had two heads… which in hindsight, having Beth's head resting on his shoulder wasn't exactly doing him any favors.

The silence eventually devolved into teasing as they watched him.

"Hi-Yo Silver! Away!"

"Fancy yourself a cabby, mate?"

"If you wanted to be a manservant you could've just asked me, you know~"

But he didn't care, it was better than all of them shouting each other's heads off. Lincoln scanned the room and found what he was looking for. Beverly waved him over to the chairs she saved. As they neared her, she smiled and patted the middle seat between them, and inched it a bit closer to hers. Taking that as a hint, he sat the sleeping Beth in the chair between them.

"Um…What are you doing?" Beverly asked. For some reason her tone sounded a bit miffed.

"What do you mean?" He asked as he sat next to Beth. And turned to all of them. "I'm taking your sister -"

"Half-sister." They corrected him.

"- To breakfast." He continued. "So that all of you can enjoy each other's company."

"Or loathe…" said a voice in the crowd.

He winced when similar sentiments were expressed a well.

He heard someone clearing her throat, and found Beverly looking at him. "Well… I think that's very sweet, Lincoln Honey."

"LINCOLN HONEY?!" the others blurted out. He saw them adopting red tints on their faces, while his own, on the other hand, started to feel hot.

"Is - Is there a problem?" Beverly turned her chin up at the crowd. Adopting the same shade of red as them.

Sensing tension about to happen, Lincoln looked for a distraction. He eyed the strangely untouched pancakes on his plate and was surprised to find similar plates of it in front of the others a well.

Lincoln cleared his throat and caught all their attention. "Err… Nice of all of you to wait for us."

Their expressions turned to grimaces as he said that.

"Ooh! I can't believe I forgot!" said Brie, clasping her hands together. "My latest masterpiece! Bon Appétit! Go on, tell me what you think!"

"You cooked this?" Not wanting to seem rude he sliced a piece. "Well, don't mind if do…"

"Lincoln Honey, I don't think –"

"Nonsense! My cooking is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. Input from others would only spoil the surprise."

"Yeah, Smother, why don't you let him bite the bulle- I mean food first."

Lincoln raised an eyebrow at all of them as he lifted the piece into his mouth. They winced, as he placed it in his mouth and chewed on it. And they looked at him like a bomb about to be detonated as he swallowed.

"So… what do you think?" said an excited Brie. "Tres Magnifique, yes?"

"Absolutely! Cinnamon and vanilla right?" He said, as he eagerly scarfed down some more. "My compliments to the chef."

"I had a feeling you'd like that! Finally, someone with good taste!" said Brie as she pumped her fist in the air, before smugly looking at the others. "And you all thought I was trying to poison you all."

Lincoln almost choked mid swallow. He was on his last piece. "P-poison?"

They ignored him as they cautiously started to eat their food. His gaze met Brenda's, and she rolled her eyes. "Last time she cooked something, she added large amounts of hot sauce on it."

"One of my favorite recipes." Brie explained. "For that extra pick-me-up!"

"The S-Scoville scale of that h-hot sauce was that of a g-ghost p-pepper!" Brooke stuttered at the memory, before looking at him. "She's in charge of cooking. Be careful with her food."

Lincoln was confused. "But what about last night?"

"Food delivery." Bernice explained to him. "Very lucky for us if you ask me."

Brie pursed her lips. "All of you have a problem with my cooking? Would you rather Beverly cook again then?"

The girls paled and stayed silent as they continued eating. Satisfied at the reaction Brie continued as well. Lincoln meant to ask… but thought against it after sneaking a glance at Beverly and found her blushing.

So, he turned his attention to the sleeping girl beside him and nudged her awake. Beth was confused when she found food in front of her, but the moment she looked at him, she seemed to have pieced all the clues together. She shrugged and rolled with it. Although… She moved like a sloth, slowly and lethargically, even when she ate. By the end of it, she had only taken two small bites before falling asleep again.

"It's not going to work, you know." Said Bethany, glancing at her list. "She never eats at this time. Much less wake up."

"We can't let her keep skipping meals…" Lincoln said trying to convince them. "That's unhealthy, right Beatrice?"

Beatrice dropped her fork in shock. "You're-You're asking for my second opinion?"

"Why wouldn't I?" He said. If she was anything like Lisa…

"Well, it's good to see that someone finally recognizes the importance of higher-thinking in this domicile -"

"Yeah!" interrupted Birdie, as she placed her book down. "And he didn't even ask me! Can you believe that? Now, according to what I read about the food pyramid - "

"Oh no you don't, Bird-Brain." Interrupted Bertha. "I'll handle this, Health and fitness -"

"Is my expertise!" interrupted Bailey.

They all looked at each other for a moment, before answering him all at once. Lincoln winced as they raised their voices over the other so their answers can be heard.

Sheesh! All he wanted was just a simple –

"Yes!" said Brandy, as she jumped in the conversation. "My mom always says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!"

"There we go! See? Brandy's mom says breakfast is important." He announced to appease the arguing girls. "Point made. Thank you, Brandy."

Thankfully, the others backed down. They looked a little annoyed. But he'd take that over them arguing about a non-issue again. He saw Brandy smile at him, before it disappeared from her face as she pointed at Beth… who wasn't even remotely affected by what just happened.

"I don't think Beth's gonna eat is she's asleep though..."

He didn't want to agree, but she had a point. At this rate, it'd be nightfall before Beth finishes her breakfast. But he wasn't going to give up that easily, he just needed a new strategy. "Well, I guess I'm just going to move on to phase two."

"Use a blender to liquidate the food and feed it to her with a funnel?" piped in Blanch.

Brie gasped, offended at the notion. "How could you even consider sullying such a masterpiece?!"

"It's gonna be digested, either way…" argued Blanch.

Brie pointed her fork at him. "Don't you dare!"

"What? I'm not gonna do that!" he said, grabbing a fork and divided Beth's pancakes into small pieces. He shrugged as he skewered one. "I'm just gonna have to feed her myself."

He turned to the sleeping girl and nudged her awake. She opened her eyes and looked at the piece of pancake. "Huh? Whats – "

"Say aah~" he said as he waited for her to reciprocate. She stared at him; her eyes widened slowly in realization of what he was trying to do… only for her to shrug a second later. Rolling with it as she kept her eyes closed again.

"Ahh~" she said as she opened her mouth, and he obliged, as he fed her. She chewed slowly, but it didn't matter. He was ready with more pieces after she swallowed, one after another. She didn't get to finish It all though before she slept again. But by the rate they were going, it was definitely a marked improvement.

He felt his heart soar for a moment. For a second there, he thought phase two wasn't going to work. But it did! He savored the victory at another plan that went his way.

Another win for the man with the plan!

He turned to the others and shot them a smug grin. "See, guys that's how – what?"

He was met by stares, red faces, and slacked jaws. And judging from the half-eaten food on their plates, they had stopped eating for a while now.

"I- I can't believe you just did that, orange shirt." Said Blair, her hands on her cheeks.

"What's the matter?" he said, confused. "I mean, that's how I feed my sisters…"

Like Lily. And Lisa, and the twins when they were younger… And Beth didn't seem to have a problem with it… Lincoln looked at his hand and pieced the clues together.

"Oh…" he said. Realizing the issue. "Was it because I used my fork? It was an accident I swear!"

All of them reddened even harder at his statement. He took that as a sign that he was correct. He dropped his fork and made for Beth's, only for someone to get there first. He looked at the person and found a flushed Beverly.

"Um… How about I take it from here?" Said Beverly as she fidgeted on her seat. "I mean… you don't have to do it with her…"

Lincoln celebrated inwardly. This was good! They were starting to try with their sisters.

Beverly nudged Beth awake from her side and repeated the same thing he did earlier. Beth opened her eyes again, stared at the food, before looking at who was holding the fork. Both of them locked eyes for a moment…only for Beth to close her eyes and, turned her head away from Beverly. And back to him.

"Ahh~" said Beth, as she awaited him to feed her again.

Lincoln could only sit there in despair at the botched attempt. The others, on the other hand, started to snicker. He looked at Beverly and found her flushed again, still impotently holding the fork in the air. Clearly embarrassed at being rebuffed.

Lincoln suddenly reacted, as he tried to do damage control without thinking.

"W-Well, I'm still hungry." He said as winked at Beverly, signaling her to follow his lead. He maneuvered his head around Beth, before leaning in and opening his mouth. "Ahh~"

That seemed to shut to do the trick, as the snickers stopped.

He saw Beverly nod at him, her lips quivering, before gulping. "R-right."

The last thing he saw was a trembling fork nearing his mouth before he closed his eyes in anticipation. He suddenly felt his face heat up, as he waited there, while the others watched… Just when he thought he felt something near his mouth - Someone squealed.

His eyes shot open. He turned his head to the direction. Everyone did the same as well.


"It wasn't me!" said Belinda, who was fanning her red face. "I think it was Bella!"


"It wasn't me…"said Bella, her pale face, uncharacteristically tinted red. "It was uh- Bridget!"

They all turned to a red-faced Bridget, phone in her hand, pointing at him… as if she was taking a picture. She dropped her jaw at the accusation, as she shifted her gaze between Belinda and Bella. Before scowling and crossing her arms. Shaking her head.

All of them started pointing fingers after all of that.

Amidst the confusion, Lincoln looked back at a strangely annoyed, Beverly. She still had her eyes on the scene before them, still absently holding the fork... which suspiciously no longer had the piece of pancake on it. He looked at Beth's plate, and saw the last remaining pieces were gone as well.

Lincoln had a sneaking suspicion…

He turned his attention to Beth and found her dozing off again. Crumbs on the corner of her mouth. Lincoln stared at the sleeping girl, before smiling knowingly. He took a napkin from the table and wiped her mouth clean. She wiggled her nose in response, and the corners of her mouth curved upward a little.

"Good Job, Beth."

Breakfast finished soon after that. They all split-off in different directions to do their own thing, far from each other. Lincoln maneuvered the sleeping Beth onto his back again and pumped himself up. The day was still young after all. And the man with the plan still had a job to do.

"Time to put operation Get Them All Involved More in Each Other's Hobbies So They Start Treating Each Other Like Actual Sisters and Think of a Shorter Name for this Operation into action."

"Note to self. Operation Get Them All Involved More in Each Other's Hobbies So They Start Treating Each Other Like Actual Sisters and Think of a Shorter Name for this Operation - Was a total bust!"

Lincoln rested on the living room couch. It had taken him all morning, and the early afternoon for him to finally give up. Every time he approached one of them, they rebuffed his attempt with practically the same response.

"You? You can stay." They said to him, before pointing at Beth. "Her? No can do."

And that was the pleasant version of it! Some of them even referred to her as "The Deadweight" a few times…

Lincoln sighed and looked down. Beth was currently napping as she used his lap as a pillow. He brushed his fingers through her hair absent-mindedly. She didn't deserve to be called that… I mean he practically carried her on his back as she slept, but still…

Lincoln closed his eyes and ruminated on where to go from here. But his mind kept drawing blanks. And here he thought, living with ten-sisters would give him an advantage with things like this… But nope. Some of them might look like his sisters, but that's where the similarities stopped.

" - Could've just left me." A voice interrupted his musings.

Lincoln looked down and found Beth with one eye open, before she closed it again.

"If you wanted to spent time with all of them so much…" she continued. "You should've just left me."

Lincoln thought her suggestion over, before smiling. He continued brushing his fingers through her hair again. "Well… you also could've 'woken up'. Might've even convinced some of them to change their minds."

"Might've." She repeated, tone doubtful. "You're a really thoughtful guy you know that? What you're trying to do..."

Lincoln felt his heart swell at the compliment, only for him to lose the feeling as Beth continued.

"All of them are just inconsiderate." She said, comparing him to her sisters.

"Come on don't talk about your sisters like that…"

"Half-sisters." She corrected.

He ignored that. "I mean… Earlier at breakfast? Beverly was trying, you know?"

"Beverly smothers. She acts like a mom. A very meddling one to boot." Beth rebuked, she opened her eyes that time, meeting his gaze. "It's very patronizing, you know. Same age as us, but she acts all grown up, thinking she knows what's best for all of us…"

Lincoln wanted to argue, but he couldn't do so without violating Beverly's privacy. So, he kept quiet. Beth closed her eyes again and continued.

"They should take a leaf out of my book. All of them… They'd be more considerate that way."

"By sleeping all the time?"

"it would be an improvement at least…Not bothering anyone." Said Beth. "Low maintenance. That's my lifestyle… Never ask anyone for anything."

"You never ask for anything?" he said, disbelievingly.

"Hard to ask if you're asleep all the time… So, nope." said Beth softly, as she turned her head away from him. "Not from the others… Not from Aunt Shelly… Not from my mom…"

"Wait…" Lincoln took a moment to contemplate the meaning of her words. "What do you mean by that?"

A long pause followed. Beth kept quiet. The only sounds that were heard were both of their breathing. At some point he thought that she had fallen asleep to avoid his question… only to be proven wrong a moment after.

"…You want to know something about my mom? She's a hard worker… Very hard, even." Said Beth. "Long shifts in the morning. Long shifts at night. Works around the clock. Making ends meet... Most days, we only see each other for a couple of hours. And most of that time she spends it sleeping..."

Beth paused, as if she was waiting for him to say something. Her breaths were deep, he noticed. So, he kept silent and started brushing his fingers on her hair again. Encouraging her to continue.

"And believe it or not... I love her for that." She continued. "She works hard by herself. To provide for the both of us… And I don't need to cause any more stress than she already has..."

Lincoln felt his breath hitch for a second. As realization washed through him. About how he never had problems like these back at home…

"That's why I stay in one place most of the time… That's why I sleep a lot. It's easier to keep track of me that way. When I don't do anything..."

Lincoln collected his thoughts, piecing everything together. It felt like he understood Beth a little bit better now. The way that she was… he suddenly felt the urge to embrace her there and then.

"That woman needs a vacation…" Beth sighed heavily.

So, that's why she's here… She's here by choice.

"Come on… Every parent wants their child to be happy." He said softly. "I'm sure she wouldn't mind you asking..."

"She offers, yeah…" Said Beth. "But I turn her down every time. She compensates too, surprising me with random gifts… but I convince her not to do it again. She shouldn't have to bother with me…"

A kid shouldn't have to say something like that.

Beth suddenly lifted her head off his lap and sat upright next to him. She locked eyes with him, and for a moment, he was lost in them. She'd practically been sleeping since last night, but her eyes looked tired all the same. And apologetic, he felt his heart twinge at the thought. She was about to get up from the couch.

"Which is why you don't have to bother yourself with me anymore… "

"Hey, wait –

"I really appreciate all you've done for me…"

"Beth, please just –

"I'm sorry for being a burden and…"

"Can you just listen to me!" he said, a bit too forceful than he intended, as he grabbed her arm. "You weren't a burden. Stop calling yourself that. It was my choice to do all that. And I don't regret it."

It was the first time he ever saw Beth like that. Wide eyes. Awake.

He took in a breath and started again, softly this time. "You know what I think? It sounds to me like you're prioritizing other people's interests more than yours. You need to start thinking about what you want more... Not what you think others want. What you want… Now, if you can't do it with your mom. Then maybe you can start with me - You can be selfish with me."

Beth's face flushed as she shifted her eyes, refusing to meet his eyes for more than a second. He gently pulled her back down the couch and urged her to lay down her head again. "I-I don't think I can do that with you."

"Try me..." he said, encouraging her. "I mean, that never stopped my sisters before…"

"You're ten sisters, right?" She breathed out. "Ten…"

"Yeah. Ten." He repeated. "And they're not here, right now… So, believe me when I say - You can be selfish with me."

Beth kept silent, she looked like she was contemplating the offer. Looked like she was trying to find weakness in his words. In his conviction. Beth seemed to have reached a decision. She closed her eyes and pouted. Then opening one eye again to look at him, a tinge of pink crept up on her cheeks again.

"I – I am perfectly capable of getting what I want, you know." Said Beth hesitantly. "I don't need your help. P-plus… you might regret offering yourself like that."

"I won't."

"O-oh yeah?" challenged Beth as she got up from his lap, then the couch. "T-then lay on the couch. Just like I did. Yes, even your feet. Prop them up."

Was this her attempt to get him to rest or something? Maybe she feels guilty about earlier, about having to be carried around everywhere...

Lincoln shrugged it off, not wanting to doubt her. And not wanting to go back on his word... Lincoln did just that. Only for him to feel his cheeks heat up a moment after. When a red-faced Beth got back on the couch and crawled over closer to him, before promptly settling in, burying her head in his chest. He tried to gauge her reaction, but his vision was obscured by her hair. It was an embarrassing experience, to say the least.

But the faint smell of mint from her hair calmed him down.

"S-starting to regret your decision?" challenged Beth, her voice muffled by his shirt. "Because I can – "

Her sentence was cut off as she squeaked out an "Eep!". He brought his arms around her form and held her tight. Not wanting to give her any reason to doubt his conviction. Actions speaks louder than words after all.

She felt light, and soft. He felt her rapid breathing slow down as the minutes passed by. And he was suddenly reminded of earlier that day when he found her in his bed. And how comfortable it was. He felt his eyelids grow heavy by the minute. And judging from the yawn he heard. He wasn't the only one.

"You're a real softie you know that." Whispered Beth.

"Mmm…" said Lincoln, his eyes closed. "Do you mean that in a 'considerate person' kind of way, or a 'comfy body pillow' kind of way?"

"Bit of both." Beth yawned out. "Can do with a snooze button now though."

Lincoln chuckled at her teasing. "Will do."

He drifted off to sleep after that.

Lincoln yawned. It was already nighttime and he needed sleep. Not even the long nap with Beth dissuaded his body's biological clock. He suddenly felt his face heat up again at the memory. It had been a mortifying experience. When he had woken up it was already dark. Not to mention being surrounded by a crowd of girls, they found them strewn over each other as they slept in the living room.

Lincoln groaned and buried his head in his pillow, hoping that sleep will eventually spare him from reliving the embarrassing moment. And mercifully, it did, as he felt the familiar embrace of sleep again.

He experienced a peculiar dream that night. And like all dreams, his perception was hazy and clouded. He was back in his room, in the Loud House. It was dark, with only the moonlight peeking through his window, casting the room in an ethereal glow. Dark enough to obscure his vision, but bright enough to know where everything was.

He also dreamt of Bun-Bun again. It was weird, to put it mildly, how frequent these dreams of his beloved plush was becoming. He felt the familiar weight on his chest again. And he nuzzled it closer. Only to be surprised when Bun-Bun to nuzzled back. But that wasn't even the most surreal part of it…

"Hey, Lincoln…" the plush called to him.

"Bun-Bun?" He answered, confused. "…You're a girl? Huh, always thought you were a - Well, that's not true… You're a plush after all…"

"Bun-Bun?" she giggled as she repeated her name. "Yup, that's me. What do I say again? Oh, that's right… Laugh with me and we will be, happy, happy, happy~"

"That's Fenton the Feel-Better Fox." Lincoln chuckled. "Don't turn this dream into a nightmare, Bun-Bun."

"Hey, don't diss Fen-Fen like that – I mean. "she cleared her throat. "So, having a weird dream, huh?"

Lincoln nodded as he nuzzled his head on Bun-Bun again. "Well… I'm talking back to a plush toy, who's asking me if I'm having a weird dream… So, yeah, pretty much."

"Must've been pretty tired…is it because of that Beth girl?" said Bun-Bun quietly. He felt her shift in his arms. "Why are you even bothering with her… Is it because you think s-she's cute or something?"

"Never took you for the jealous type, Bun-Bun…"

"That doesn't answer the question!" she whispered, mildly annoyed. "Carrying that… deadweight around all day. She's hopeless you know…"

"Bun-Bun! Don't call Beth that." He couldn't believe his ears. "She's a lot like you, you know… And you're not deadweight."

"…Because she doesn't do anything?"

"Because, like you, she doesn't have to do anything to matter to me." He said to her. "Both of you are fine the way you are."

"…Even if she starts to be a little selfish?" said Bun-Bun, quietly. "E-even if she asks too much… Even if she annoys you when she apologizes a lot after that?"

"She shouldn't have to apologize to me... And she shouldn't be afraid to annoy me either. That's not necessarily a bad thing..." He tried to convince her. "She's like my sisters that way... It's their job to bother me. And it's my job to humor them."

He playfully poked Bun-Bun on her side and heard her giggle and the sound tickled his ear... He briefly mused on the subject on whether Bun-Bun can giggle or not… only to shrug it off a second later.

Anything can happen in a dream after all.

So, he continued the thought. "Because that's the thing with having someone close to you, isn't it? You can be comfortable being yourself around them. Even with things like being a little selfish. Being considerate shouldn't get in the way of that... Beth's still struggling with that last part, but she'll get it eventually.

Bun-Bun grew quiet after that. Seemed like she was contemplating his words. He smiled and nuzzled the overprotective plush again.

"Are you worried about me? About the girls?" He asked. "Don't worry, Bun-Bun. The man with the plan has got this all under control. Today was just a minor setback. They'll be getting along soon. All of them. Trust me, okay?"

"O-okay…" Bun-Bun squeaked out. Before she drew a sharp breath. "Hey, Lincoln… do you mind if I sleep here for the night?"

"What are you talking about Bun-Bun?" He asked. "This is where you were always supposed to be. Close to me."

"R-right." She said. He felt her arms embrace him tight, as she settled her head on his chest. "Thank you."

A comfortable silence settled in, as he focused on her breathing. Their breathing matching each other's evenly now. And he felt sleepy again all of a sudden. A strange feeling to have when dreaming, he mused. He yawned and let it lull him back to where sleepy dreaming people go when they feel tired…


"Yeah, Bun-Bun?" he asked, already half-asleep.

"So, who do think is cuter me or h-her?"

Lincoln chuckled and brought hugged her tight again. Hoping that it would appease her. Such a silly rabbit…

"Good night, Bun-Bun~"

He felt something amiss when he woke the next day. The dream had escaped him the moment he opened his eyes. Lincoln felt empty for some reason, he didn't remember much of the dream, apart from how weird it was… but he felt a strange feeling of longing all the same.

Lincoln looked at the time on his phone. It was almost time for breakfast. He changed out of his pajamas, as he brought his used shirt over his head… the lingering scent of mint suddenly jogged his senses.

"Beth!" he blurted as he went out to the hallway. He briefly contemplated whether to enter the rooms to find and wake the girl for breakfast… but thought against it. Wouldn't want to violate their privacy after all… Lincoln sighed; he didn't have this problem back at the Loud House.

So, he elected to ask the others for permission first… Strangely enough, he found no trace of them upstairs. Not even the glaring sign of loud arguing voices. Suspecting that they were all probably waiting in the dining room, Lincoln journeyed to it. His hunch was correct as he peeked in the room.

Only for confusion to grace him when he saw their unusual reactions. They were just sitting there with befuddled expression. Silent.

"Morning, Ladies…" he said as he entered the room. But no response came. He followed the direction of their gazes and he finally understood their bewildered states.

She had her eyes closed as she rested her head on her hand. Sunlight peeked through the window and accentuated the familiar baby blue night gown in an iridescent glow. And the wearer of the gown even more so. He suddenly felt his face heat up at the sight, and for a second, he thought he was dreaming again…

But he wasn't, and the sight was unmistakable.

Then, just as though she sensed his presence. The girl woke up and wiped the sleep from her eyes. She looked around the room, looking for something. And she seemed to have found it when their eyes met.

A lazy smile appeared on her sleepy face.

"Good morning, Lincoln."

A/N: (1/25). Yes, Beverly will still have her own chapter.

Fun-fact about this chapter, I actually had different ideas on how to explore Beth's character. One of them was about Lincoln discovering her weird nocturnal activities when everyone's asleep. The other, a weird and trippy 'dream' adventure, that would make Lincoln question if he was dreaming or not when he woke up the next day. I decided on the down-to-earth option. I may revisit those ideas some day, but for now, I'm going forward with the other character's first.

Also, just a heads up. I changed some of the appearances of the characters. It's purpose was to differentiate them from Lincoln's sisters. The similarities are still there, with just enough differences to have their own identity. The biggest changes are: Bailey (She no longer looks like Lynn), Bebe (She now dresses like a Pierrot clown to contrast Luan's Harlequin style.) and Bella (Her eyes can now be seen/she now wears a black puritan dress). The rest are minor changes, and can be seen in the updated Chapters: 2-3.

*Letters page:

To Just4FunFiction and Violet Rose in The Clouds,

Thanks for the feedback! And, oh Absolutely, It's going to be very long. The actual 'story', I would say par for the course. But the one-shots between them like this one, are actually going to make up the bulk of this fanfic. One advantage I have over the show is that I'm not obligated in any way to spoon feed the readers. It's perfectly fine to be overwhelmed with the characters, it was intended that way. So that once the readers have read everyone's individual character pieces, they could re-read the story through a different perspective. A new perspective with familiar characters, basically.

To CapMorgan55

You're free to interpret it that way. Beverly's words are a product of her own upbringing after all, and adds more to her character on how she feels about it. I wasn't necessarily trying to make a metacommentary at some parts of the fandom (Because I'm bad at it). But I was definitely tying to get into the mindset of someone that got affected by the whole scandal.

To all the readers,

Thanks again for all your support and interest in this story, I really appreciate it as a fledgling fanfic writer on this site.