When: Afternoon~evening, during the weekend (...I forget which weekend. ...any will do >>;;;)
What: While Tyr gets a cooking lesson by Luc, Serah gets... three babysitters.
Where: Luminaire Sanctuary, Suite 107
Warning: Chaos (not Tyr's suitemate) all over the suite. Nobody expects the Redheads invasion! (Or the tons of scene change...)
When Luc asked why he'd come back with two idiots in tow, Tyr didn't know how he could explain it satisfactorily.
At first, he'd only gone with Ted to fetch Serah for the evening with the agreement that Ted would go do his own stuff after he'd escorted them to Luc's suite. But on their way there, they'd met Lazlo who was coming back from the library--with many books on sea animals--and joined them toward their mutual destination. Then they'd run into Hervey--who wasn't with his roommate, surprisingly enough--and Tyr didn't have a thing to say about Lazlo inviting Hervey back with them. His former classmate seemed to know Ted and got along well enough with Serah that he couldn't protest the huge gathering that was walking toward suite 107. Ted also decided on their way down the hall, that he would stick around to see what horrors Tyr would cause during his cooking lesson with 'the brat'.
In the end, the Tenkai just shrugged lightly and volunteered Ted and Hervey as caretakers for Serah while the two of them would be busy in the kitchen.
"At least," he'd continued sheepishly, "if we make too much by accident, they'll be there to eat the extra?"
It was then that Luc's glance went directly at Ted. Although he was against making mistakes or accidents when it came to anything he did, somehow this factor was something he could make use of. Or at least... somehow, mistakes -specifically- were actually very tempting to do.
"Heh." he smirked at the other tenkan before turning away from the group and headed towards the kitchen muttering something about accidents and lots of it.
Ted didn't appreciate that look the bratty mage gave him as it struck many alarms in his head. He especially didn't like the inaudible muttering that disappeared with Luc into the kitchen. He'd told as much to his buddy, but, unfortunately for him, Tyr only smiled it off apologetically.
"It's your business with him, but I'll try to be careful," was all he'd promised before going after his tutor.
"But, Tyr!!" Ted protested before sensing a book being forcefully pressed into his hands. He blinked down at the stubborn set of pale violet eyes, caught offguard. "Huh?"
"Story time," Serah firmly demanded as she pointed at the book she'd handed him. It was obvious from her stance that she wouldn't take 'no' for an answer, whether the book had been Tenkan-approved or not.
Feeling a bit stupid, the older tenkan looked at the book's title--'The Little Mermaid'--before he paid attention to the actual cover. When he did, something looked awfully off on the illustration...
"...Lazlo, don't mermaids have feet...?"
He knew it was almost two centuries since he'd last been in the Island Nations, but he didn't think his memory was so spotty he couldn't remember the proper features of a mermaid. His tenkai's response only confirmed that he hadn't gone senile in his revival.
"They do, but this story's mermaids have a fish tail instead. I thought it'd be interesting to see why they drew that, so I brought it back with me."
So that explained how Serah had come across the book.
"This had better be good..." Ted muttered before beckoning Serah to the couch as he settled onto the far edge of it.
Luc was already in the process of taking out items from the fridge when Tyr had joined him in the kitchen. To be honest, teaching someone how to cook was something unfamiliar to him. Serah had now and then mimicked him or assisted him in this chore at the tower, but he never had to instruct anyone fully. It was best to take things slowly... else, something a certain individual named Nanami might make could possibly make an appearance in today's dinner.
'Though we can just feed that to the old man.' he thought wearily as he placed a stalk of celery onto the table counter with the rest of the items he had already taken from the fridge.
Tyr was, for the better part, unaware of the dangerous thoughts Luc had. Personally, he thought the two of them should be able to make nice and stop with their petty rivalry, though he wasn't sure why or how it started. He didn't remember Ted doing anything to provoke Luc into teleporting his best friend in midair.
Instead of concerning himself with that, lest there was some sabotaging during the cooking lesson, the older man took a glance at the ingredients on the counter.
"What're we making, Luc? Stew?"
"Yeah." he replied curtly before picking up the same stalk of celery and pointing it at Tyr. "Now. Cut."
Hervey's eyes trailed from the kitchen and back to Ted and Serah, a slight frown forming on his forehead as the seconds passed. There were various questions he wanted to ask. First, there were people in that kitchen who knew Ted and one of them seems to get along with him just fine. A bit too well actually.... And then there was a child sitting on the couch with Ted as her caretaker. They were things that didn't add up at all. The red-head last saw this man about 3-4 years ago, anti-social, tendency to lock himself up in that room on the Dauntless, moody, uncooperative.... but this change was far from unusual.
With his curiosity getting the best of him, Hervey moved over to Lazlo to inquire about the odd development.
"Hey..." he whispered to his former Tenkai, "... Don't you think Ted's a bit... y'know..." What was the word to use....? "..er... Different...?"
Lazlo didn't know why Hervey had to bring that up now, though he was absolutely right about Ted being different. The Ted that was here didn't match the Ted that he'd remembered, even if he'd spent more time with the sullen tenkan than the rest of the ship did. Looking at Ted who was now reading to the young girl, he found that he didn't have any better an explanation to the current situation than the saying about time changeing people.
"Yes..." he nodded at length, turning to look at the former Chimou star with a raised brow. "I thought that was obvious."
Taken aback by Lazlo's reply, Hervey couldn't help but feel out of place at the moment. Did this mean he was the only one who found this weird...?
"Y-Yeah... but..." he scratched his cheek, seeking for a way to say things without causing much offense. "Aren't you wondering... why? He didn't hit me as the type to be..." He gestured towards the scene Ted and the young girl was giving them. "er...father...ing...ly"
"...me neither but..."
Here, Lazlo had to pause as he wasn't sure Ted had wanted anyone to know about the Soul Eater. Lino and Kika both knew about it, as the three of them were present when the other youth took his rune back from the Guide, but virtually no one else on the Dauntless caught wind of it. He'd known it was The major reason why Ted told everyone to leave him alone, but did it fully explain this new attitude?
Something was nagging him about this though, since it was obviously Tyr now who owned the true rune. Ted wouldn't have gotten it back only to give it away a few years after the island liberation war.
"...I think you should ask Ted himself..." he suggested to Hervey. "I can only think time and a good friend helped mellow him out."
"Do you think that's a good idea?" Hervey mumbled. "He might bite my head off. He even seems to know that kid Yuber's seeing often."
Speaking of which... why did all of the people in this room somehow intertwined? Hervey obviously knew Lazlo and Ted from the war. Ted knew the two youths currently in the kitchen. The moody one in the kitchen knew Ted and Tyr, and Yuber, who happens to be his roommate. Not to mention that same teen was Lazlo's roommate.
"Something weird's going on here..." he muttered before finally raising his voice loud enough for Ted to hear. "Hey Ted, how do you know Yuber?"
Lazlo would've liked to say that Ted wasn't the type to bite, but with the other day's reaction to Yuber... Perhaps it was safer for him to hold back on commenting. ...At least until he deemed it safe to say anything.
Meanwhile, Ted looked up from his story reading, a frown appearing instantly at the mention of Yuber. Beside him, Serah was giving an unhappy glare at the pirate for interrupting.
"Why do you want to know that?" He threw back at Hervey, not seeing the point of the question.
"See that?" Hervey pointed at Ted while giving Lazlo a bland stare in response to the other male's reaction.
He then crossed his arms behind his head and sighed, looking away apathetically and gave his explanation as to why a proper answer should be given.
"I'm not forcing you. Don't have to tell me anything." he said candidly, "I'll just keep assuming you two had some weird raunchy passionate relationship in the past that ended prematurely due to a series of events and has been left unresolved up to this point. You got all heated and all. Twice."
"..." Ted stared plainly at Hervey before ignoring him in favor of addressing the youth at the stupid pirate's side, unaware of the frown that was marring Serah's brow. "Lazlo, does he always make those kind of wild assumptions?"
"Well..." Lazlo had to think about that for a moment, glancing sideways at Hervey. "He said something about Yuber having a girlfriend and a boyfriend before..."
"You ain't the one who had the 'pleasure' of walking in to one of his indecencies..." he muttered darkly, remembering that one fateful evening of opening his room's dorm only to be enlightened by the capabilities of Yuber's hidden character. "Honestly though, I just want to know what's going on between you two. I do have to live with the guy. And you looked like you wanted to kill him."
The archer had excellent hearing and raised a brow to the other redhead's comment as he replied back.
"If that happened, then wouldn't I be doing us both a great service? You won't have to walk in on him raping other people, I get to avenge my village."
"........" Well, Hervey didn't expect that. Maybe not whole-heartedly. He did assume at some point that Ted was the type to have a dark, tragic past as he thought it was written all over his face. To hear it, though vaguely, from the other male was different. Asking any further might just result to getting physically hurt. Wouldn't want that for the kid in the room after all.
"Well... what about that guy in the kitchen? What's his relation with him?"
Serah was getting tired of everyone ignoring her. With very puffy cheeks, the girl slipped off the couch and made her way to the kitchen as Ted replied to that Hervey person. Besides, she needed to ask her big brother what 'raunchy passionate relationships' were since these people were too busy talking to each other.
Lazlo, for his part, remained quiet since it wasn't his discussion, nor did he know anything about Yuber beyond the events of that one sword fighting class. He didn't stop Serah either from leaving the living room, even if she seemed particularly miffed that her babysitter's attention was elsewhere. At least she was going to see her rightful guardian, which left him the responsibility of making sure neither redhead would come to blows with each other.
"Why're you asking me that?"
Which guy did Hervey mean to say, Ted didn't know for sure, but it must've been Luc since Tyr hadn't gotten anywhere close to that bastard.
"I don't keep track of what that punk does in his free time."
The red-head bit his lip for a moment. He didn't expect much of a reply but at least that reaction confirmed that Ted did know who Luc was. Though he was pretty sure that same response and the tone the shorter male had used reeked of a grudge of some sort for some strange reason.
"...You two get along that well, huh?" Hervey said pleasantly.
Around that time, Luc had already managed to coach Tyr into starting the broth for the stew while he helped the older male chop up the rest of the ingredients. While teaching his former Tenkai how to cook the simple dish was going well so far, he couldn't help but feel suspicious about the individuals who were lounging in his dorm suite; the suspicion being triggered by how quiet things seemed back there. Maybe having a child in their presence acted as a good dampener... or maybe his roommate was keeping things quiet considering Ted and Yuber's roommate were, well... loud. Lazlo seemed to have a good head on him compared to the other two males in the next room.
He then turned towards the entrance of the kitchen, only to see Serah coming in. The brunette then quickly took the dish towel he had tossed near his workstation and wiped his hands before approaching the young girl.
"Is something wrong?" he asked. "Are you thirsty?"
Of course, that wasn't the reason she came to the kitchen, considering how her 'babysitters'--though only Ted had been doing that--weren't paying attention to her, but now that Luc asked, Serah did feel a bit thirsty. It wasn't supper time yet, but that would come in no time, surely.
Temporarily subdued, the girl nodded. Then, a bit more surely, she asked something else.
"Can I have cookies too, oniisama?"
Although Tyr would've loved to check up on Serah beyond the cursory look at her sudden appearance, he was a bit preoccupied with figuring out the next step. Heating up a pre-made dish in the 'microwave' was easy, but cooking from scratch was a lot more complex than he wished it to be.
"...Luc, I just need to put the meat into the pot, right?"
"... Alright. But not too many." Luc said to her sternly before opening one of the cupboards to take out a glass and a small plate. "And the onions you chopped just now, Tyr. They need to cook together."
He called over his shoulder to Serah as he opened the fridge in search for the milk. "Are those two behaving themselves, Serah?"
Climbing onto a chair on the other side of the counter, Serah waited patiently for her snack and watched Tyr who mysteriously faltered--resulting in some of the meat being dumped outside the pot--before realizing his accident.
"Ack!" The tenkai hurried to correct his mistake. Somehow.
It was funny for Serah to see the Toran hero fumble around in the kitchen as he normally projected more self-assurance than this. Though, luckily for Tyr's self-esteem, Luc's question caught the girl's attention before she started giggling at her third favorite person. And Serah was intelligent enough to know Luc meant Hervey and Ted since Lazlo proved to be better behaved than the redheads.
Her cheeks puffed up again just remembering how they'd ignored her.
"They talked about 'lunchy passionate relationships' with Yuber..." She said with a modicum of confusion. "What's a 'lunchy passionate relationship'?"
".......Stupid. Don't rush or you'll burn yourself." Luc frowned first at Tyr's actions only in hopes to cover up a slight mistake in his entitlement to his former army leader without really meaning to do it. Convincing himself that Tyr's fumble wasn't connected to his own mistake, he turned his concern quickly turned towards Serah and her question. 'What the hell is a lunchy passionate relationship....?'
"... Maybe it's the roommate's way of calling his lunch dates with that idiot-demon." The wind mage replied blandly. When he did try to think about it... he nearly only saw the blonde with his roommate in the cafeteria. "Here."
He placed the plate with two cookies down in front of Serah on the counter along with a glass of milk. "You probably shouldn't pay attention to anything those two say. I don't know if Lady Leknaat will approve of it if you start talking like them...." On the contrary, she would probably find something to tease Luc out of it in the process.
With a shaky "O-okay...", the tenkai applied himself in being more careful. For now, he'd hope the faint redness on his cheeks could be explained by the heat given off by the stove, or perhaps by the embarrassment of having made a potentially dangerous mistake.
Though... Luc addressing him by his given name did give him quite a shock. An unexpected one, but not unpleasant.
Thinking about all that was making him inexplicably embarrassed though, so he tried to push the matter aside before he would end up having another accident. It was difficult enough cooking and listening in on what Serah and Luc were exchanging.
A new confused frown appeared on Serah's features as she thought back to her babysitters' talk. She didn't think the older redhead meant himself.
"...Hervey was talking about Ted, Yuber and you, oniisama," she said before munching on her first cookie.
Not bothering to hide his annoyance from hearing the news, Luc let out a very audible sigh. Of all the things to be involved in, why did it have to be a topic with Yuber AND Ted involved?
"...Alright... what did that fool say about me?" Though the real question Luc wished to ask was different from that, he didn't want Serah to take it as him snapping at her.
Chewing carefully, Serah concentrated to remember what the pirate had said about her big brother, but couldn't recall anything exact.
"He ask if Ted and Yuber had a lunchy passionate relationship," she carefully said those long words Hervey had used. "And he asked Ted..." What was it again...? "...if you had the same."
Somehow... the words that were coming out of this young girl were not taking a very good light. He finally took the time to look at Tyr questioningly, perhaps in hopes to get some assistance in understanding what Serah was talking about. Since it concerns Ted, maybe he could shed this strange topic some light before Luc started making his own assumptions.
"Er... Any ideas?" he asked.
Stirring--at least, Tyr thought he was supposed to do that--the pot's content as he caught Luc's equally puzzled look, the former leader tried to recall if Ted had said anything about Yuber before.
"...Well... Ted did mention something about Hervey having 'stupid' theories," Tyr reported at length, poking at the meat in thought. "He apparently told them to 'kiss and make up'."
Then again, Hervey didn't know why Ted went after Yuber with so much fury, so it wasn't an unreasonable assumption... just one that was very much off the wall.
'That doesn't explain why I'm involved...' the wind mage thought as he folded his arms in front of him.
He turned his attention back to Serah, letting out a quiet huff as he considered the other possibilities of what the other item was about. 'Lunchy... passionate...' Somehow... that just didn't seem right at all.
"Is that all they've been talking about in there?"
Taking hold of her glass, Serah washed down her first cookie with a few sips as she frowned at the depths of it. With half of its content gone, she put it down with care so she wouldn't spill it.
"Lazlo said Yuber had a girl friend and boy friend," she seemed to pout in concentration. "And Ted said that he..."
Here she paused and tilted her head, the way she'd seen Tyr do when he was thinking deeply.
"...could 'avenge' his village?"
Obviously, Serah didn't have a clue what avenging meant. And, unfortunately, it only served to further confuse the issue. For Tyr at least.
'Eh?' Tyr could understand his best buddy's desire to avenge his village, but that only meant that he wanted Yuber dead or gone from the physical world. It didn't have anything to do with girlfriends or boyfriends...
"...Since when would Yuber have those?" he asked in great confusion to Luc.
Luc drew in a breath and actually gave the effort to think about it despite how stupid the idea was. He didn't know Yuber personally, he was only aware of what he was capable of as the demon written in a few books he had encountered in his studies. But maybe... the curse was making the demon feel typical human emotions like... loneliness and lo-
Somehow, the thought alone had caused his blood to run cold. It wasn't because he wasn't human... It was because he was Yuber.
"I don't think it's possible for him." He shuddered slightly. I don't want to even imagine what person would be capable of tolerating him in that way. "Are you sure you didn't misheard, Serah?"
The girl's face creased yet again in concentration, to the point where Tyr thought her face might get stuck that way. He hoped Serah had misheard or misunderstood what the others were discussing, because the thought of Yuber having that sort of interest in anyone--particularly Ted and Luc--was disturbing him.
"...maybe just about you," Serah said at last with a sulk, though she was pretty sure the rest of her recollection was correct.
Luc reached over the counter to pat Serah on the head gently.
"Alright. I don't doubt you." he said to her before pointing over his shoulder towards Tyr. "Go ahead and finish up. If I don't pay attention to him, we might end up having an unexpected surprise in tonight's supper."
Hervey then paused in his barrage of questions and blinked at their surroundings. The young girl who was sitting beside Ted had disappeared. He dismissed the thought for a moment, as he remembered something else concerning the one called Luc in the other room. If Ted had that sort of grudge against Yuber, maybe he should warn him about the other guy...? But he had no grounds to say anything considering he had just passed on a letter. Sure, he might have peeked at it a little... but... Oh well. Not really any of his business, right?
"Hey, where'd the kid go?" he finally pointed out to the group to divert his own thoughts elsewhere.
Blinking at the sudden change of topic, Ted still reflexively looked at his side where Serah should've been seated, only to find no one there. Luckily, before he could panic over the loss of his evening's charge, Lazlo answered to Hervey's inquiry.
"She went to the kitchen," he pointed out quietly to Ted, mostly. "I think she might've been thirsty."
Though that wasn't an obvious lie and his eyes hadn't lingered long on his former tenkan, the archer still frowned quickly before putting down the storybook.
"If she's there and distracts them, Tyr might ruin the food. I'll go get her," he excused himself, making his way there and effectively leaving the remaining two stars of destiny alone.
As he watched Ted make his exit towards the kitchen, he couldn't help but chuckle.
"Ruin the food, he says..." Hervey muttered in an amused tone. "Isn't him and that other guy in the same room gonna start more trouble?"
He then glanced at his Tenkai apologetically as he finally addressed the stack of books he was carrying in his arms. "Would have said it sooner, but sorry if we got in yer way. You look busy an' all."
"I don't know if they will..." Lazlo replied, having no clue himself if Ted and Luc were immature enough to start a ruckus, but he didn't want to have to scold his own roommate for making a mess in there. He didn't want to go hungry because the whole room needed cleaning.
His mind was pulled out of those thoughts however when Hervey spoke up again. Looking back at the pirate, the youth blinked in confusion before realizing what he meant.
"Oh, my books?" He glanced down quickly to verify that none of them were going to drop out of his arms. "I just picked these to see what other different species this world had."
In fact, he had finished all of his homework and readings the night before.
"Ah, alright then." He nodded at Lazlo's explanation. "But you've been standin' there with those in yer arms all this time. Why don't ya just put them down for now?"
"Mm?" Lazlo paused as he thought about it. The books weren't so heavy he couldn't carry them a while longer, but as it did get tiring, Hervey's suggestion had plenty of merit. "I guess I should."
Lazlo moved toward his room to put the books away. After all, the living room wasn't his to litter, nor did he have a habit of leaving his belongings everywhere.
"Is there something you wanted to do?"
While Lazlo went to his room, Hervey settled himself on the couch and picked up the book Ted was reading Serah earlier. Flipping through the pages, the discussion about inaccuracies concerning mermaids finally made sense. Wasn't there a "moovy" of this book? Something about a mermaid falling inlove with a human prince on TV last month? He couldn't quite remember.
The red-head raised his head upon Lazlo's return and placed the book back on the table.
"Nah. Just came for the invite for free food." Hervey grinned. "So what've you been up to lately?"
Faced with Hervey's grin and reply, Lazlo couldn't help the sigh that escaped him.
'Freeloader,' he thought fondly. At least that hadn't changed from their days on the battlefield, though the pirate wouldn't have to steal food off anyone else's plate with Dario absent.
'What do you think?' He wanted to ask back, instead sitting at the other end of the couch with a thoughtful look. "Getting a feel of this world's culture, generally. The technology's fascinating, but the differences between our worlds are much more intriguing."
"So yer adjustin' okay at least." He said before leaning back against the couch. "Know what you mean about the gadgets around here and all. Kinda fun toying with them."
His gaze trailed after the book he had set on the table, a small smile lingering on his lips as somehow the stupid thing was making him remember the home world. But, he remembered specifically the time with the others during the war and even the time with Kyril and his group. Lazlo was one of the people who disappeared quite quickly, trying his best not to leave a trace in history by requesting anonymity in the books, and then living a quiet life around the islands where only rumors could tell where he might have been. At least that's what Hervey had heard last.
He supposed it was relieving to see that Lazlo didn't end up like how Ted was when he first saw him on the Dauntless. Although he was unfamiliar to Ted's history, something about him and Lazlo seemed vaguely similar.
"How're ya handlin' the roommate?" he asked candidly. "Is he more social than the one I got stuck with?"
He didn't see how anyone couldn't be more social than Yuber as far as roommates went, but when he thought about it, he hadn't seen Luc much until Tyr and Serah started hanging around here.
"I don't know," Lazlo replied with a small shrug. "Luc spends a lot of time in the library, so I don't see him often actually." Only for short moments during the evening and in the morning in fact.
'Huh... so he's still doing that.' Hervey thought as he scratched his cheek idly. He remembered spotting the teen a few times in the library during the exams for the previous semester, and looking a bit fatigued at that. The guy was either really meticulous with his studies for the school, or it had something to do with that letter he had to deliver.
'Oh... but that means...' the redhead sat up and looked at Lazlo. "You're basically here alone all the time?"
There always were exceptional days like today, but the pirate probably meant to ask about his usual days. Answering otherwise would be similar to avoiding the original question, so he nodded slowly.
"Usually... when I'm here anyway."
There wasn't much he could do here, though it was pleasant to have a place to retreat to whenever he needed solitude. After all, they didn't have any suitemates. After all, they didn't have any suitemates to liven up the place.
"Hmm... Well, I don't know what your roommate would say if I came here, but Yuber is rarely around either, so why don't you come by if yer bored?" He offered quickly. "Not that much to do there either, but it's better than nothin', right?"
It was then that Hervey caught himself at a possible mistake to his offer. Lazlo spent all that time being alone after the war... maybe company was the last thing he wanted.
"Ah... wait... sorry." The pirate laughed nervously. "Wasn't thinkin'."
Lazlo probably would've accepted the offer since he was getting weary of loneliness. Initially, he had kept to himself after the war since he wanted the time to situate himself properly in the newly-formed Island Nations--not to mention that he didn't want, couldn't pass on his rune to anyone else. But the traipsing around Kooluk with Kyril had reminded him he had friends that still cared for him, companions that didn't fear the rune. Furthermore, King Lino, Flare and the inhabitants of Obel island wanted him back in their midst, wanted him to rule after Lino passed the baton onto him.
That was why, when Hervey suddenly retracted his offer, the light brunette seemed lost and hesitant, not knowing where he stood anymore.
"But yer still welcome to come over anytime y'know!" Hervey added immediately as he noticed some conflict on his Tenkai's face. "Just... up to you and all. I don't know if you prefer to be alone, so..."
Meanwhile, Luc felt himself grow a bit more irritated now that another person had entered the kitchen. He had been used to a limit of two people on rare occasions in case Leknaat or Serah decided to talk to him while he was doing this specific chore. But to have this many made the space even smaller. Not to mention this newcomer was Ted.
Of all people... why Ted? Just what was going on in the other room that they were moving in here one by one? With a knife in his hand, Luc forced himself to pretend he didn't notice the former owner of the Soul Eater and continued to chop up the fruits for tonight's dessert.
Tyr on the other hand gave Ted what seemed like a sheepish grin before he went back to watching the pot. He hadn't done anything horrendously bad so far, but that was only thanks to Luc's help and intervention. There weren't anymore ingredients to add in, but the stew could still burn if he didn't pay attention.
As for Ted, he reciprocally ignored Luc, knowing it'd keep Tyr and Serah happy. More importantly, it'd keep his buddy from doing any huge mistakes while cooking.
That didn't mean he wouldn't poke fun at bandana boy though, and he whistled lowly as he glanced at the kitchen from the doorway.
"Nothing burned to the ground yet," he commented lightly. "I'm impressed."
'Of course nothing's burned. I'm here.' came the first thought in Luc's head, causing him to cut a piece of the apple unevenly.
He glared at his own work, unsure as to why he'd even think of saying something so childish. He then concentrated in salvaging the piece of fruit quietly, cutting it in a way that a part of the fruit's red skin acted like a pair of ears to a rabbit, before turning to Serah and placing it on her plate.
"That's thanks to Luc," Tyr retorted to his friend in an equally light tone. He was aware of the fact that his best friend and his... tenkan didn't get along well, but it didn't mean he couldn't try to smooth things out between them some. "The stew's going to turn out okay too, I think."
"Hmm..." 'Luc, eh?'
Just as Ted was about to comment again, Serah interrupted him with a happy squeal, delighted at the sight of... a piece of apple?
Oh... that was why.
"Okay, okay... calm down." Luc couldn't help but smile slightly at his care's happy outburst. "After you finish, go wash up and help set out the plates."
He glanced at Ted slightly, his expression and tone of voice returning to its usual monotonousness. "You could make yourself useful too."
Nodding enthousiastically, Serah took another moment to admire the bunny before making it disappear so she could attend her task.
Ted, for his part, just took the not-so-unexpected sight in and listened calmly to Luc's retort. It was good to know the brat could smile to others since it meant he wouldn't have to regret leaving his buddy in the mage's presence.
All in all though, it was barely enough to keep him civil.
"Anything you want me to bring to the table then?"
Though the look on the wind mage's face looked the same, he was surprised by Ted's response and willingness to cooperate. He actually had to take a moment and decide what the older male could do to help, considering he didn't expect him to agree.
".... Help Serah with the glasses and utensils..." he said with slight hesitance. "They're too heavy for her."
As Ted complied to Luc's order, Tyr let out a quiet sigh of relief.
He was very glad for this mutual cooperation between them. The tension in their relationship wasn't going to disappear so quickly, but as long as they both were mature enough to keep their disagreement to a minimum around Serah and himself, then the Toran hero wouldn't have a thing to complain about.
"Luc, do you think this looks ready?" Tyr inquired of Luc as Serah went to wash her hands.
It took another moment for Luc to finally react to Tyr's question, a tad distracted by Ted's compliant reply. Picking up a clean spoon drying on the dish rack and a paper towel from the roll, he took a sample of the stew's stock and tasted it.
"... I think you should add a little more salt." The wind mage suggested as he wiped the spoon with the paper towel before scooping more of the stew into it and offering it to the older man. "Here."
The tenkai blinked at his friend as he suddenly found the spoon near his face. For some reason, Tyr found himself hesitant to sample the fruit of his labour, though Luc had helped plenty. He knew that, back home, he would've gladly stolen a taste from Gremio's cooking, but he didn't have such great confidence in his own attempts at stew.
"...does it taste good?" he said as he moved slowly to the spoon, not yet touching his lips to it.
"It's fine." came the brunette's stern reply. "Taste it before I make you."
Without further prompting--he didn't want to know how Luc would otherwise force him to taste the stew--Tyr wrapped his lips around the spoon and, closing his eyes, slowly polished it off before swallowing its content.
In the background, Ted gently hurried Serah along before the other two 'adults' in the room would notice the look he gave them.
"...it's not bad," the Toran hero agreed, though it wasn't the best of stews he ever had. "How much more salt should we add?"
Luc pulled the spoon away to toss it into the sink before reaching for the salt shaker and passing it to Tyr.
"Just a few shakes should be fine." He said to him while walking back to the counter to watch his former Tenkai from there.
The brunette quickly fell silent as he thought about a certain item that had been in his mind for a very long time. He had never actually considered asking it as it was never in his place, and the person in question was... well... not breathing. Now that this person was now back with the realm of the living, Luc couldn't help but feel the need to ask it. He crossed his arms in front of him, watching Tyr's back as he slowly mustered strength to voice his inquiry.
"McDohl... mind if I ask you something?"
Giving the salt shaker a few more experimental shakes and wondering if it would really be enough, the tenkai turned toward Luc's voice when the mage spoke to him.
"No..." he answered to the question, head tilting in confusion. "What is it?"
Luc took in a quiet breath, taking one last moment to consider if this was a good idea. No point in beating around the bush about it. He was curious, especially now that his emotions have taken a clear turn since the beginning of the year.
"About Ted..." he started hesitantly. "And you. Are you guys... 'close'?"
The question took a good moment to register as Tyr tried to decide if he'd heard a particular inflection on the word 'close'. And... were it not for Ted's recent needling and teasing, the implication would've surely gone right over his head.
"Luc," the older man struggled not to throw the shaker at the mage. "We're best friends."
He couldn't however refrain himself from twitching since, really, Ted and he were not close in that particular manner.
"Oh..." Luc placed a hand over his mouth loosely and averted his gaze to the side. "Alright then..."
That of course had successfully lifted the doubts in that matter quite quickly. At least that was one item taken care of. The others that might bother him.... well... far from reach now, so there was no point worrying about it.
"Well... Let's get the food out then. They're probably hungry." He said while pushing himself off the counter and heading to the cupboard to take out the bread.
Perhaps the matter was over for the mage, but not so much for the former leader who remained right where he was, even as he called out to the mage.
"Luc," Tyr hadn't let go of the shaker, his fist wounded tightly around it. "Why did you ask that?"
Obviously, he was bothered by that inquiry, though he wouldn't be able to tell how he really felt about it deep down.
"...." He glanced at Tyr for a moment, bread in hand, a bit stunned that the older male didn't seem to even connect things easily.
Though... then again... it took him a while to figure things out on his own as well. The thought probably never even crossed Tyr's mind. But it wasn't something that would make the wind mage feel disheartened. Maybe... Not really...
Okay... perhaps a little.
"I'm scouting my enemies." He replied with that usual stoic expression.
'Scouting...enemies?' The older runebearer stared incredulously at Luc, trying to wrap his mind around such notion. There was no way Ted's implication should pan out. None. No way anyone would try to pursue him so.
Except that a lot of what the mage said previously made sense now. A punk by Ted's definition he might be, but even Luc wouldn't make such an elaborate joke. It wasn't his style and the question he'd asked was no joking matter.
In the end, there was nothing Tyr found he could say to that, his face slowly burning as this all sunk in.
Luc tilted his head back, noticing the change on Tyr's face quickly. So at least he was able to figure it out... Somehow, that felt unexpected.
The wind mage wasn't quite sure how people would react normally to it anyway. It wasn't like he went on and declared it openly. And the other party was probably just flustered over the idea of having someone like him interested in that way. He let out a quiet breath, taking out the bread knife from one of the drawers before heading back to the main room of the suite.
"Don't worry. I'm not Sheena." He said to him as he walked away. "I'm not going to do anything."
The moment Luc stepped out of the kitchen doorway, Hervey's voice piped up happily.
"Ah! Out comes one of them." The red-head asked. "Is it ready?"
"Pretty much." The wind mage replied as he waved the loaf of bread in a paper bag at them. "One of you can start cutting this."
Before Serah could jumped onto the occasion to be helpful--she was still aligning the plates and utensils--the light brunette moved past Hervey.
"Here, let me," Lazlo volunteered as he took the loaf out of his roommate's hand and brought it to the table.
Meanwhile, Ted looked quietly at Luc.
"Is Tyr coming out with the stew?"
The brunette gave his roommate a small nod in thanks before addressing Ted.
"Yeah... But you should probably help." Luc said in return. "You know... Just in case..."
He gave a very obvious pause to the older rune bearer, eyes stern in hopes he would get a hint. He then walked to Serah, patting her on the head gently. Her diligence to help wasn't unnoticed to Luc after all.
"Serah, we still need bowls if you want to get them." He muttered to her before silently excusing himself into his room with a simple wave.
"Okay," Serah nodded obediently, making sure the last set of plate and utensils were aligned before going to get the bowls.
Ted didn't know what Luc meant by speaking to him thus, but what he did know was that he needed to check up on his friend. Besides, Serah wouldn't be able to get the bowls from the cupboard on her own. Thus he followed the little girl in direction of the kitchen.
"Hey, buddy. Need a hand?" asked the older Tenkan as he disappeared from sight.
Only a few moments passed before Ted poked his head out of it, looking straight at the other redhead. "Hervey, bring the stew to the table, will you?"
Lazlo barely had the time to blink at the sudden request when his ex-comrade disappeared again.
"Huh? Sure..." Hervey blinked at Ted for his strange request before moving off the couch where he was comfortably settled and walked to the kitchen, passed the archer, but not without throwing him a subtle doubtful look.
His eyes searched for the familiar figure of his former classmate in the kitchen, curious to why the original cook couldn't bring out his own creation. He first spotted Serah who was already hauling the bowls in her arms, and then Tyr, the person in question, who was by the counter. He looked fine except maybe that look on his face.... flushed... and maybe a little bewildered.
"That it?" the red-head asked cheerfully before making his way to the stove and taking the pot away after putting on the over mitts. "Sure smells good. Good job, Tyr. Come join us soon, a'right?"
At that, he exited the kitchen and joined Lazlo in the main room again. Somehow, leaving the kitchen seemed first priority. Not his business anyway... plus he's darned hungry.
"Is something wrong?" Lazlo frowned in concern as only Hervey came out of the kitchen with a bowl-laden Serah trailing after him. "Did Tyr burn himself?"
Hervey set down the pot on to the table, placing one of the pot holders under it so the surface wouldn't burn. He then let out a breath and droned an audible "hmmmm" before giving an answer.
"I don't think so. He looked fine n'all." the pirate explained. "He had this funny look to him though. Maybe he and that guy got into a fight?"
Placing the bread knife down, the orphan frowned even deeper. He recalled the end of the past year when he'd inadvertantly offended Luc. Sure enough, when the other rune bearer had come out of the kitchen, he looked just as composed as he'd been the last time Lazlo witnessed any sort of disagreement, so perhaps Hervey was right about that.
Still... This wouldn't do if they were to eat at the same table.
'Ted's with Tyr already. That leaves Luc to coax back out here...'
Trying to find a way to get his roommate out of their room, Lazlo didn't notice as Serah accidentally pushed a plate off the table while placing down one of the bowls.
During this time, after everyone else had vacated the kitchen, Ted approached his buddy, carefully placing a hand on his shoulder.
"You okay there, Tyr?" he asked with a calm facade while pointing out the obvious. "You're all red."
"I'm..." he started saying before going quiet again and bringing a hand up to his face. The younger man's eyes were still wide as he tried to regain control of his body temperature. What with Luc's words resonating in his head and the shock of the realization he came to, it was a difficult task. "I'll...be okay."
"You sure about that?" Soul Eater's previous master inquired, keeping his face void of any expression. He didn't know yet how he should react to his successor's current state, which was probably due to something the bra-... Luc had said or done. Which reminded him... "Did he do som-"
"I'll tell you later, kay?" Tyr interrupted, abruptly going toward the cupboard as he rummaged for glasses and filled one only to down it all in an attempt to cool his head. His own thoughts were racing and he couldn't make heads or tails out of them beyond the certainty that Luc fancied him... And that the knowledge of it wasn't disturbing him as much as it should.
'For now though...' he reminded himself as he put his glass down, 'I need to go out there and be able to face him normally for dinner.'
What happened afterwards... would depend on whether he'd have sorted his thoughts by the time supper was over.
A frown marred the dead man's features at his friend's obvious agitation and he'd have replied to the interruption, except a loud sound and Serah's yelp came right then from the dining area, causing his friend to run out of the kitchen bare moments later.
"Wait, Tyr!" Ted called after him, right on his heel.
After retreating to the privacy of his shared room with Lazlo, he sank to his bed, falling back onto the covers unceremoniously. Whatever courage he had acquired to keep his composure outside and say all those words had now long passed and all that was left were the feelings of embarrassment he was keeping in check.
"Tch... Now you've done it." He grumbled to the silence of the room as he ran the back of his hand across his forehead with a sigh. "What the hell was I thinking....?"
With this situation, he was quite sure all he had done was cause more awkwardness to their already somewhat awkward friendship. Having a guy imply such a thing to another man alone would cause enough discomfort normally... Somehow, just for that moment, his logic abandoned him completely and allowed him to cause such a mess.
Though, facing Tyr would be easy enough for Luc, it was the other way around that concerned him. He wasn't sure how he would be able to handle if the former Liberation army leader suddenly became uncomfortable around him. See him less... Serah was bound to notice and would ask questions. See him the usual, someone else was bound to notice that something had happened if things became awkward.
The brunette closed his eyes for a moment, trying to think of ways to avoid such a dilemma. Unfortunately, his mind failed him yet again... Or rather... he already knew the answer from the start. Luc had made his bed and he would have to sleep on it. He had no one else to blame for this slip up but himself.
"....What to do..." he muttered to himself only to be interrupted with a crash outside.
"Hey! Kid! Are you okay?"
He then sat up immediately once Hervey's voice followed after.
'Serah...!' Luc pushed himself off the bed and headed outside the room. "Serah, are you okay?"
Highly startled by the crashing, and subsequent shattering, of the plate, Serah stood still where she was. Of course, she wanted to move away from the broken dish, but the girl remembered how painful it was to walk on unseen shards and how much longer it took to get back to dinner--mostly because Luc both had to treat her and pick up the mess.
So when both Tyr and Luc came back from wherever they'd gone, the young magess looked onto them both before apologizing, her lip quivering as she looked down onto the plate shards.
"I'm okay... but the plate is broken."
The plate being broken was a shame, since he didn't know if they had any extra in the cupboards, but Tyr had done much worse in his childhood trying to 'help' Gremio. Besides, as far as he was concerned, he was only glad Serah seemed unscattered.
"It's fine, Serah," Tyr interjected reassuringly as Lazlo pulled the girl away from harm's way. "I'm sure we can find a replacement for it."
Though, for now, they should probably clean up the mess. He would normally pick the pieces up, but without the protection of his gloves, that course of action was unadvisable. The Toran hero didn't fancy eating with blood-stained bandages after all.
"Luc," he'd called to the mage before he could catch himself, pausing only briefly before soldiering on as he ignored the budding heat in his face, "where's the broom here?"
With Lazlo already caring for Serah and Tyr acting quickly enough to calm her, there was a slight moment that Luc suddenly felt out of place. He wasn't used to having so many people around to begin with. The castle crowds were different compared to the gathering in the room. Luckily, the other two inhabitants of the dorm were somewhere else this evening...
"Ah..." the wind mage glanced at Tyr, seeming a bit dazed before finally responding. "The kitchen... I'll get it."
While Luc left to retrieve the broom, Hervey was already gathering up the larger pieces of glass with his hands, unconcerned with getting hurt or not. Well... living in the pirate's nest for a few years, breaking dishes was pretty common - accident or no accident.
"Still, good thing Serah-chan's okay." The pirate said in the usual uppity tone, hoping to break any tension or worry in the room. "Getting hit by one of these shards can be a pain to take out. You know, we used to break plates back in the nest a lot when brawls started over food, and we ended up pissing off Lady Kika to the point we got wooden bowls to use as punishment. Soups sure tasted funny in those....."
The young girl had been installed on a chair, safely out of harm's way, before the ex-captain addressed that statement.
"You ate soup, Hervey?" Lazlo sounded perhaps a tad incredulous as he didn't recall the pirate eating anything of the sort. If anything, each time the light brunette had beheld the sight of Hervey in the eating hall, he was fighting with Dario over broiled fish and the likes.
'But he'd suffer from scurvy if his diet consisted only of meat.' And sure enough, the pirate's flesh looked perfectly healthy and wholesome.
Meanwhile, behind him, the 'younger' Tenkai brought a trash bin over to the pirate for disposing the dish shards.
"Ted, could you go find a replacement plate?" Tyr asked his best friend as he put the trash bin next to Hervey.
Not even bothering to say anything to the situation, Ted simply nodded and left the suite. There weren't any other plates available when he'd looked at the cupboard, and it was better than to share breathing space with Luc.
Hervey frowned at Lazlo's tone, not quite liking what it seemed to imply.
"Of course we did! ....Well..." he furrowed his brows after giving Tyr a quick thank you for the trash bin and throwing the pieces of the plate into it. "It's really just water and whatever edible crap we still have lyin' around thrown together. Not much of that special high-class stuff Sig's probably used to. You make do with what ya have and no point wastin' what you swiped, right?"
The topic in the room as Luc returned with the broom and dust pan - ignoring Ted as he passed him of course- made his brow twitch. Though the sentiments of Hervey's semi-lecture were good natured, the context was questionable. He tapped the dust bin on the pirate's head before crouching down to help him clean up the mess.
"Don't teach Serah such half-witted virtues." The wind mage said to him sternly. "If you're going to teach her about resourcefulness, don't include looting, moron."
Of course, the child in question wasn't necessarily listening to the conversation around her. Most of the words washed over her as she looked at the spot where that plate was supposed to be. Now the table setting she worked so hard to place was incomplete.
Before she could start tearing up at the thought of her failure, a gentle hand passed on her head, Tyr kneeling down to her level so he could look into her eyes. Far from looking angry--though Tyr wasn't ever angry with her--her third favorite person smiled for her. After all, he'd learned early on that she mostly wanted to make Luc happy.
"It'll be fine, Serah," the dark Tenkai reiterated, ignoring the scolding the wind mage gave his ex-classmate. "Neither Luc nor I are angry at you. No one here is."
As she wavered between believing him or not, he continued steadily. "Look, Ted's even brought a plate to replace the other one." He pointed out the older redhead who was indeed back with a new plate, probably from his own suite.
"He won't scold you for an accident," the former Tenkan said with conviction. Despite not having witnessed the brat's child rearing techniques, if he were to believe the girl and his buddy, then Luc was practically a model father.
Luc could only let out a breath in response, throwing the remaining pieces of glass into the trash while ignoring Hervey as he tried to defend himself from Luc's accusation... though... there really wasn't much point to it, the pirate thought with a frown. Giving up on his previous action, the red-head picked up the bin to return it to where Tyr had taken it from.
"Yeah yeah...." The wind mage then walked to where Serah, Lazlo, and his former Tenkai were, before sweeping the little girl away from the other two males and into his arms, carrying her off to the next room. "Now, wash those hands again in case something got in them."
While the youngest of their assembly was being carted off by one roommate of his, Lazlo cleared his throat lightly to bring people's attention away from the 'siblings'.
"Now that the crisis has been averted, is anyone hungry?"
Hervey instantly raised his hand.
"Me!" he claimed out loud. "I'm starvin' already."
Meanwhile, Luc had taken this opportunity to steer Serah to the next room as a way of escaping the prying eyes of the others while he check the girl's limbs quickly to be sure that none of the glass had scratched her. Somehow, he felt that certain individuals would criticize him for worrying over the child... or even be accused of acting out of the ordinary. But the wind mage could not let go of his anxiety until he saw for himself that there was not a single injury on Serah.
"...Are you sure you're okay?" he asked her gently as he helped her wash her hands in the sink. "Nothing's stinging or hurting at all?"
Attentively washing her hands like Luc had taught her even if she hadn't touched the plate since it fell, Serah shook her head. She'd come out of this incident just fine, although...
"I'm sorry about the plate..."
"It's fine..." Luc muttered reassuringly, turning away from her to pull off the towel from the towel rack. "It's just a plate. We can replace it easily."
He then helped her dry her hands before putting the towel back on the rack to dry. It was best they hurried back to the others to join them for supper else he had a feeling either Hervey or Ted might start whining about their tardiness.
In the dining room, Lazlo and Ted simultaneously reacted to Hervey's clamoring, one with an almost fond sigh and the other with a roll of the eyes. The latter's reaction was almost unexpected as Tyr still hadn't completely assimilated the fact that his best friend and ex-classmate had known each other in, of all places, a star gathering.
But that was something to be ruminated over later. For now, the Tenkai had to admit he was getting hungry himself.
"Since Luc and Serah shouldn't take too long, I don't think it'd hurt to serve ourselves now," this evening' cook commented as he started filling everyone's bowls.