“So you comin’ back for da holidays or what?”


“Don’t play dumb, Frenchie, you skulk around at Ma’s place enough ta know that she keeps a seat for you every year, even when ya don’t invite yerself ovah.  So I figure, what wid da whole BLU and RED thing bein’ moot now, might as well make it all official like.  I’ll even promise dat I won’t kick ya under da table or nuthin’, cross my heart and hope ta die.”

“How very—unusually gracious of you, petit.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I still think yer an bastard who’s full ‘a hisself, and if we ever get back ta da way things were I’d be just as happy ta keep killin’ ya.  But compared ta all da shitheads Ma’s had ta put up wid so dere ta put a roof over our heads, clothes on our back and food on da table, you’re a goddamn saint.  Ya didn’t beat her, or any ‘a us even if we mighta desoived it, ya didn’t gamble, ya didn’t get drunk—”

“Hardly a scintillating character reference, but I shall keep you in mind should I ever need one.”

“Jesus Fuckin’ Christ, cantcha stop bein’ an ass for one minute and be serious for once? Just answer the question already! It’s not like I’m askin’ ya ta marry Ma or nuthin’, just show up for a few hours and make her happy.  If nuthin’ else, you can do dat, right?”

“—I suppose at zis point eef I tried to politely decline, you would not take no for an answer.”

“You bet I wouldn’t.  I’ll hogtie ya and drag ya over if dat’s what it took.”