When: Afternoon~evening, during the weekend (Any weekend of your choice~)
What: The aftermath of the supper
Where: Luminaire Sanctuary, Suite 107
Warning: Would you believe the two parts total 14963 words? According to this wordcount script anyway.
The rest of the evening went on quietly with Hervey going on about with his usual random talk while Luc on the other hand kept mostly to himself. When he wasn't so quiet, he would be sharing his fair share of scathing remarks whenever he thought it deemed appropriate.
Once dinner was over, Hervey thanked their hosts - even though one of them was still looking rather displeased with the 'add-ons' presences- as well as Tyr for a job well done on his cooking. But before waving off completely, he extended an invitation to his former Tenkai for a walk just outside the dorms.
"We haven't talked for awhile. So join me for a bit, okay?" he said to him with a smile.
"I'll take care of cleaning up." Luc addressed to Lazlo. "You guys can go on ahead."
Dishes in hand, the Tenkai in question blinked at Luc's offer, looking ready to protest it--he'd barely done his share of work in this whole affair--until Tyr took the matter off his hands. Literally.
"We'll help Luc, so don't worry," he reassured Luc's roommate as he picked up other dishes.
"It's all under control, Lazlo," Ted pitched in with the cleaning duo before the orphan could say anything, though his intentions weren't quite as purely helpful as expected. There was a certain other matter to take care of, which didn't include his former comrades' presence. So, waving his hand in shooing gesture, the older man nonchalantly commented to his former savior. "Just keep him out of trouble."
There was an undertone in Ted's words that indicated the tenkai shouldn't be here. Lazlo was sure of it, though he didn't know the reason why.
Briefly glancing at the trio and swearing to himself that he would help out next time--he would otherwise feel guiltier than he did right now--the ex-Gaien knight agreed to Hervey's invitation and left the suite with the pirate.
Now that they'd left however, the silence seemed charged with underlying tension that only Serah didn't feel.
'It's fine if you all went home though...' Luc thought to himself darkly before picking up the now empty pot from the table.
Having that Hervey around seemed to prove useful after all, considering that leftovers were nonexistent for the evening. The thought of the pirate's blonde roommate didn't cross out the possibility that he was being starved to death. Well... whatever the reason was, it wasn't his business.
"... I'm tired." He mumbled to himself as he carried the pot into the kitchen sink before letting out a sigh.
Who knew having to be somewhat amiable around so many people would suck out so much of his energy.... He was definitely going to try to avoid situations like this when he could.
Luc probably hadn't meant for his words to be heard, but as Tyr came into the kitchen with an armful of dishes, he felt really bad for having inadvertantly brought so many people here. He, of course, had no say over whether Lazlo could or couldn't invite Hervey over, but maybe if they hadn't been a huge party...
Coming to a stop beside the wind mage, the bandana-wearing youth placed his load of dishes beside the sink and spoke quietly to the brunette.
"Sorry for dragging so many people over..." he apologized before giving a firm enough smile to his friend. "I'll take care of the dishes. Go rest, Luc."
Not bothering to turn to look at Tyr's face, he turned on the faucet and proceeded to rinse out the pot.
"It's fine... Serah seemed to enjoy herself being surrounded by more people." He said in his usual monotonous tone of voice as he reached for the dish soap. "And last I checked, visitors aren't supposed to clean after their hosts. I'm used to doing chores."
Hesitation lasted only a moment before Tyr reached out to still Luc's hand. What happened earlier had nothing to do with the current issue so he wouldn't let it control him.
"Maybe, but I asked you to tutor me," he countered. "It's the least I can do."
Somehow... he had a feeling this conversation was following the path to redundancy. If he said something against his Tenkai's words, it would just lead to more stubbornness. Letting out another sign, he washed his hands with water and wiped them with a dish towel hanging nearby.
"Fine then. Have it your way." The wind mage muttered resignedly and headed out the kitchen to find something else to do.
As Ted walked toward to the kitchen with the rest of the dishes, he paused, his brow going up the sight of the tired mage. It was a rare sight indeed, and while he could've lorded over it any other time, this wasn't his suite. Plus, he'd told himself he'd at least try to be civil with the brat for now.
"Serah's looking pretty tired," the archer informed his rival, tilting his head toward the living room. "There's still Lazlo's book if you want to read her something." He had no idea what Luc really did in this sort of situation, but it didn't seem stupid to suggest that.
Being not in the mood to argue, Luc replied with a reluctant "Yes" before heading straight to the main room to find the book the other Tenkan had mentioned. He should probably consider taking Serah back to her dorm after. Having her sleep over wasn't possible anymore as he was now sharing the room with someone else. He also considered that it would be best if the young girl in his care spent more time with children her age. As much as he didn't mind her being dependent... she also needed to learn some independency since the wind mage wouldn't always be around.
Briefly watching Luc go tend Serah, Ted disappeared into the kitchen to help Tyr with the dishes. Besides, there was still a conversation they needed to finish whether his buddy agreed or not and this was the perfect opportunity to continue it.
Back in the main room, Serah was resting on the couch with the storybook on her lap, feeling a bit drowsy. Even with the boundless energy children naturally possessed, this evening had been full of excitement and happenings and the broken dish accident had succeeded in draining her a lot though she'd been absolved of fault.
Luc couldn't help but smile slightly at Serah's condition. Living with his ladyship was different until she had come into the picture... There was a certain warmth came into his life, unlike the feelings of having a pet bird or whatever else he had taken back into the tower when he was younger. She was what he would call "family".
Aside the similarities of their life in Harmonia....
So may he need more improvement in expressing his affection for the girl, undoubtedly, he knew it existed.
"Are you sleepy?" he called to her as he took a seat beside her on the couch. "Would you like me to read that to you?"
Blinking up at Luc as the couch dipped beside her, Serah nodded to the offer--she hadn't registered the first comment--and offered the book to her guardian. That done, the tired magess leaned against him, settling down for a story.
Standing stock still at the door, Ted couldn't help first ascertain that the younger Tenkan was occupied with Serah. He was undoubtedly going to help his buddy with the dishes, but it simply wouldn't do to have their little chat overheard by him when the primary topic was the mage in question. As the archer peeked out of the kitchen and toward the main room, there was indeed Luc settled comfortably on the couch with his charge snuggled at his side. The storybook in his hands wasn't very thick, but it would at least provide them a couple dozen minutes in solitude.
That done, the dead youth pushed away from the door sill and went to put the dishes on the counter by Tyr, watching as his buddy confidently unwrapped the bandages around his hands--they both knew what was hidden underneath anyway. Plus, it would have been in the way of dish washing, regardless of whether the wrappings needed to be washed or not after all that cooking.
'Getting them dry quickly would be a right pain too,' he further justified the wisdom of the Tenkai's action as he scrubbed the pot and started their discussion quite bluntly. "Feel like talking now?"
Circling around the subject wouldn't help with whatever situation his friend had gotten himself into, though Tyr didn't seem to appreciate the intervention if the sullen glare he'd received was any indication. No matter. He was going to get to the bottom of this affair whether his successor was willing to speak about it or not.
"Well? This is later, Tyr."
Though he trusted his best friend with his life, sometimes, in this sort of situation, he wished the older man would be bit more considerate of his wish for longer periods of reflexion.
Of course, if Ted was like that all the time, then Tyr wouldn't be making use of his readily available confidant. He knew the archer was looking out for his better interest, and he also knew the subject wouldn't be broached if there was any chance they could be overheard. His friend had at least that much going for him: his reliability and devotion for his cause.
Still, he sighed as he put his bandages aside and joined Ted in the dish-washing task.
"No," he answered truthfully, "but that's not going to stop you, is it?"
If Tyr had seen the answering grin his best friend momentarily sported, no doubt Ted would have gotten a bowl full of dish water.
"Would I still be here if it was enough to stop me?" Ted retorted fearlessly as he moved on from scrubbing the pot to washing the utensils, continuing his interrogation in a serious tone. "So what happened for you to have been flustered earlier? Did the punk kiss you?"
"No..." came Tyr's weary answer though the archer couldn't tell from the way his friend was glaring at the dishes if it'd have been better for it to happen. "He asked me if you and I were close."
As the words registered into his brain, Ted couldn't help but blink stupidly at his little buddy before grimacing in incredulity. Open though he might be in teasing his friend, the dead Tenkan simply didn't think of Tyr in that fashion. It wasn't that he had always been happy to have stayed celibate during his entire existence, but his physical appearance didn't match the soul that was encased in the body. And to him, unless the person were to be at least a century old, he wouldn't have willingly laid a single finger on them in that way.
'Not that it matters now that I'm dead.'
"Okay..." So that explained the displeasure written all over Tyr's face, but it didn't match the heavy blush that he recalled from before supper. "But you'd have slugged him, or I think you would have, if it was only that," Ted helpfully pointed out before redirecting the conversation back on track. "So what did he actually do that would've leave you looking like a ripe tomato?"
"He didn't do anything," his friend said sullenly, though his cheeks were growing red again. "Just said he was scouting for enemies."
But it was confusing when Tyr thought about it. After all, why watch out for enemies if Luc didn't intend to attempt anything? While the Toran hero tried to figure that out, the archer had raised a brow at the peculiar words coming out of his buddy's mouth.
"Scouting for enemies?" he repeated slowly, not expecting a confirmation for it. Though he wasn't exactly appreciative of the brat as a person when it came to himself, he had to admit that he had no huge problems with Tyr's association with him. It wasn't his life to lead, and knowing Tyr's fate--one Ted didn't want to resemble his own--he needed as many companions as he could retain. "So... Since I'm obviously not one and didn't see you hang out with anyone other than our little troop, should I congratulate you right now?"
"Ted!" came the immediate protest, although Ted just as quickly interrupted him by handing him the pot to rince.
"What? Didn't I tell you before that you should just go out with him?" Though he'd been joking at the time, it was also one of his better suggestions unless Tyr liked someone else, which he highly doubted. "There's only so many true rune bearers in the world that you actually meet or get along with." And Lazlo didn't count since he somehow came from quite a number of years in the past. Their timeline might not matter to this world, but back in theirs, it was crucial. Especially since, by the time Ted met Tyr in Gregminster, Lazlo was at least 150 years old; the one on campus was still in his first 20 years of life.
"But that's such a shallow reason to go out with anyone!" Tyr scowled at Soul Eater's previous master, not agreeing with the other's logic. "It's cruel and unfair to the other party!"
"Only if you don't return the feelings," Ted countered calmly as he proceeded to wash off the two piles of dishes. "You might be uncomfortable with the idea now, but I don't think you're completely against it. You like him enough to spend time in close quarter and close proximity with the brat. You help out with Serah even if she could someday become Soul Eater's next victim. And unless I've been under the influence of something during dinner tonight, you like how he looks."
Silence greeted the past tenkan's speech, interrupted only with the sound of running water and scrubbing as Tyr tried to find words against Ted's observations. There wasn't anything he could say to someone who knew him almost better than he knew himself.
"You might not like him that way right now, but I'm pretty sure you're already on your way," the older man said decisively before grinning lopsidedly. "Anyway, isn't it good he's already interested? You're rather blind when it comes to romantic attention from others, but this has got to be the first time I see you being actually interested in spending this much time with someone else."
Himself excluded of course. Dead best friends didn't count in that.
"Just don't force yourself to love him." He splashed some water into his buddy's face as he recognized the look of doubt in the other's amber eyes. "Take things slowly. Go on a date and see what happens. You'll be doing a disservice to the both of you if you react otherwise. Not to mention you'll get Serah's hopes up for nothing."
About halfway reading out loud through the book, Serah was already displaying more and more of her drowsiness. And by the time Luc had reached the last three pages, she was already sound asleep. He watched her silently, checking to see if she would wake up when he stopped talking, and received no response.
'... I guess it's a sleep over then.' He thought with a sigh, before maneuvering his arms to try and keep her still while he got up from his seat before carrying her off the couch to bring her into the bedroom.
After tucking Serah under the covers, he glanced at her, observing that serene sleeping face. It easily made him feel guilt over the fact that he had not been by her side as often despite being in the same location. And now... he had the nerve to hit on his Tenkai randomly instead of focusing his attention on her. A small laugh escaped his mouth as he thought about his pitiful state. His current business partner would have a few scathing things to say had he known of the situation.
"Good night, Serah." He said softly into the darkness of the room, before heading outside to join the other two males whom he hoped were keeping their word about cleaning and not making a bigger mess.
Entering the kitchen, he knocked at the wooden frame of the entrance before realizing that his former -first- Tenkai and his Tenkai's best friend were conversing about something that seemed serious, judging from the looks on their faces. Unfortunately, all he caught was "Serah's hopes up for nothing." and as suspicious as it sounded, or as much as it poked the wind mage's curiosity, it wasn't enough to cause him to prod about their conversation.
Whereas Ted looked perfectly normal at Luc's appearance--if you ignored how he refrained from grimacing--Tyr was a bit more nervous-seeming. That didn't stop Ted from pretending all was well as he finished soaping up the last plate, his suite's plate. The older tenkan even attempted to joke at the mage's question.
"Just need to rince and dry them, Sir."
He would've saluted if it was anyone from the McDohl household, but since it was just the brat, Ted didn't feel the need to show that much politeness and obedience. Plus, he didn't fancy water dripping down his arm and onto his clothes anyway.
On the archer's other side, Tyr had to take a discreet breath before addressing Luc without the telltale redness.
"Did you take Serah back to her dorm?" the tenkai asked quietly as he rinced off a handful of utensils, the dark markings of the Soul Eater glistening with rivulets of water.
Again, Luc ignored Ted completely, leaning against the frame of the doorway with his arms crossed before him.
"No. She's sleeping in my bed." He replied to his former Tenkai, "I didn't want to wake her, and Lazlo doesn't mind when she's around so..."
He glanced at the decreasing pile of dishes in the sink and maybe momentarily at Tyr before speaking again.
"You two can forget about drying them. I'll take care of it." The wind mage's tone of voice very much sounded as an order than just a suggestion or a request. "You already cooked for us."
His gaze then went to Ted, though they remained stoic as ever. "You took care of Serah" would have been the proper words, but instead, the following escaped the brunette's mouth almost instantly.
"And you were useful..." He paused for a moment. "..I guess."
It seems some habits were still too hard to get rid of.
A bit frustrated with his own stubbornness and whatever feelings were still left over as the thoughts in the back of his head lamented over his mistakes today, he pushed himself off the doorway and turned heel to the main room. Maybe the sooner he was away from these people, the sooner he could start feeling normal as well.
"Go home, he says..." the older tenkan parroted his younger counterpart.
Luc's sudden departure and orders were not very appreciated by Ted, though he expected it. Thus he took no extra offence from it than he normally would, muttering under his breath about rude brats as he cleaned, and dried, the one plate that would go back with him to suite 105.
Tyr however had stared at where Luc had stood before leaving so abruptly, addressing them with such a curt tone. Perhaps, with Ted around, this attitude was to be expected, but it bothered the tenkai a lot to get dismissed so easily. It even hurt him some since who knew if Luc's attitude wasn't due to what had been said in the kitchen just before he came in.
When Ted noticed his buddy's reaction, he heaved a sign as he flickered more water into Tyr's face.
"Go make amends with him," he ordered his friend before drying his hands on a towel. "I'll clean up here."
Tyr's gaze shifted from the doorsill to his side, caught offguard by the suggestion.
His protest was interrupted by a push in direction of the main room.
"Go. If you're still moping tomorrow or the following days, Serah'll really wonder what's up." Not to mention Tyr'd be impossible to distract. "Just ask him out on a date and see how you like it. It's as simple as that."
The Toran hero wasn't sure if it really could be that simple, but it was true that months of emotional discomfort wasn't pleasant. His fugue from Gregminster told him as much, no matter if he'd felt it was better for the Republic to be rid of him and the Soul Eater.
Plus, that fugue back to Gregminster in escaping the technology here--and incidentally leaving a friend behind again--left an unpleasant memory in him.
"...I'll be back then," was all Tyr said before he disappeared from the kitchen, Ted waving at him with a soapy spoon.
Luc had taken that opportunity to continue cleaning up in the main room. He had a small dish cloth in hand and was wiping the four person dining table they had used that evening, extra chairs now returned to their usual areas. His thoughts otherwise were now distracted by the deal he had made with the demon. Or at least, he had forced them to think about that as he knew how to handle that topic at least.
More than half of the books in the folklore and myths, as well as history had already been thoroughly searched by the young wind mage. He had even as far as prodding at a few children's books that contained anything about mythology. As strange as that may seem to people, there were actual books containing stories with dark morals that children probably wouldn't understand until they were older. And another odd fact was that children's books from Earth seemed fascinated with demons acting as the embodiment of evil. Dragons... demi-humans... They were apparently all evil.
Some of these authors would get along quite well with the nobles of Harmonia...
His eyes then trailed from the table to the person who joined him in the main room, but only for a moment. He gave his former Tenkai a slight nod to at least let him know that he acknowledged his presence and went back to work.
Though he'd approached Luc with the intention to talk to him, doing so was quite more difficult than the previous times. His heart seemed to pound louder in his ears at each steps he took to reach the dining table and his mind was in an uncomfortably blank state as he tried to order his thoughts.
There were two main streams of thought right now: a safe one about the rude dismissal in the kitchen and a shakier one about Luc's admission. The safer one was very tempting, but this meant they would be circling what bothered him most and possibly bury it under many insignificant worries instead. It wouldn't solve a thing at all, and so far he liked to think he had a good track record in problem-solving.
Taking a deep breath and steeling himself for the upcoming discussion, Tyr spoke with as much firmness as he could.
"Why scout for enemies if you won't do anything?"
The brunette kicked one of the legs of the chair nearest to his foot and almost stumbled over to the table, but he luckily caught himself with his free hand. It was obvious that was the last thing he thought Tyr would say at this point. He straightened himself to regain his composure, then raised a hand to squeeze the bridge of his nose as he let out a breath.
"I'm not going to impose my feelings on you, McDohl." He said simply as he finally lowered his hand. "But it doesn't mean I won't want to calculate my standings against those with similar interest. Besides...I still have my pride to consider."
The sudden unbalancing Luc seemed to experience almost startled him were it not for his own bracing. Later, he would probably think on it as an amusing memory of the wind mage, but for now he paid full attention to the other's gestures and answer.
It was touching to know the brunette considered his own situation--where being imposed something might make him run away from other's expectations--but it didn't quite seem logical to take the approach Luc chose.
"..." he frowned uncertainly. "So if you actually had a rival, you'd actually do something?"
Even Luc was unsure how to take Tyr's question. Insecurity graced his usually calm face as well for a very short moment as it quickly vanished once he let out a laugh to hide his true emotions.
"What's this all about?" he dropped the towel on the table top and folded his arms. "You sound like you want me to do something."
Yes. No. Tyr wasn't sure which one he felt like answering as both answers had uncertain elements in them. The first meant he'd be faced with situations he never found himself into before while the other meant hyperawareness and doubt about his stance and Luc's own.
The laugh wasn't helping much, though it spurred him into making a decision.
"I'd prefer it over you not doing anything," he said boldly. "How do you know if I'll react badly when you haven't bothered to check?"
How would he know what he thought himself if he wasn't given the opportunity?
The wind mage fell silent and his forced amusement had definitely gone without a trace. With the tension growing heavier as the seconds past, Luc let out an audible sigh before giving Tyr his response.
"I don't really want to know." He said to him quietly. "If I tried anything you dislike, and there's a good chance of it, you might learn how to hate me."
He picked up the towel from the table, folding it up before continuing to clean the surface of the table.
"To be honest, I'm fine with how things are now. I get along okay with you and Serah's happy that you're around. If I ended up breaking that comfort, I don't know how it'll affect others." He paused for a moment, drawing another breath to keep his composure stable. "I don't want to give Serah any reason to cry."
So Luc was comfortable with things now...but that was because he'd come to terms with this situation, right? Unfortunately, Tyr couldn't boast of completely similar sentiments. He had been comfortable with how things were between Luc, Serah and he. It did feel like having a family and a particularly close-knit one at times; a pleasant gathering with many happy times.
Now though... he didn't know what to think or feel about his newfound knowledge, torn between two options.
"Can you really do worse than those old pranks of yours to make me hate you?"
"Who knows." Luc replied curtly before turning his emerald eyes on the older male. "Listen. As much as I'm overjoyed by the fact that you're not denying my confession, I'd appreciate it if you'd stop asking such questions."
He was not the hopeful type. He hated chances being implied when there really were more reservations than anything else. And the more he heard about it, the more he felt like his decision was far too reckless. The momentary relief of finally getting his feelings out, though indirectly done so, was short-lived and now it seemed to be creating this unwanted situation.
"Truthfully... I don't know if what I feel is any different from just being close friends. I don't exactly have a history with that. I might be mistaking it for something it's not." He added, "So, don't concern yourself over it. Even if I do like you, I don't expect you to like me back the same way."
Being brushed off so easily was making him uneasy; being told not to concern himself over this made him wonder how Luc expected him to deal with this. However, he didn't know what he could do or say when he was getting continually rebuffed.
It probably didn't help that he hadn't realized his own feelings on the matter. Adding them to Luc's mix and trying to make a decision based on that was probably a premature and unwise move. Too bad he hadn't been taught how to proceed with matters of the heart in his childhood.
"You both suck," came Ted's voice from the general direction of the kitchen, breaking the brief silence that happened with Tyr's mutedness. In his hand, he held the only plate that would go back with him, tucked safely at his side to avoid breaking it. "The kitchen's clean, the dishes are dry and I even took the time to put them away, so why're you two still talking?"
Luc glared at Ted immediately. While the sight of him alone can cause the wind mage some irritation, being overheard by him just quelled more hatred that seemed to come from a random source. He forcefully pulled his gaze away from the former owner of the Soul Eater, keeping his stoic expression in check.
"If you're done, then go home." He stated rather darkly.
"You could at least thank me for cleaning up your kitchen without sabotaging it," the former tenkan muttered before giving the punk a look that was almost as dark as the other's tone. "By the way, if you want to get rid of Tyr easily, keep it up with the attitude. It's working just fine," he 'advised' Luc even as he came closer to pull at Tyr's elbow with his free hand and guide him out of the suite as per Luc's words. He didn't even need to take a glance at his buddy's face to see how the brat's statement was causing him obvious pain, especially when he knew the pair of them normally got along better than this.
That wasn't enough to stop him from taking Tyr away before things got irreparable for his best friend though. A good part of the situation's outcome was his to shoulder after all and if Tyr needed more discussion to sort things out, then he'd take care of it.
"I'll give him back when I can," was all the archer said from the suite entrance as he took a quick second to open the door. "You have yourself a good night." 'Punk' went unsaid at the end of his sentence for the sake of 'civility'.
"C'mon Tyr, let's go."
Before he could take a hold again on Tyr however, his buddy slipped right out of his reach to stand right in front of Luc and stare at him searchingly with an uncertain frown.
That was the second time the wind mage had dismissed them so pointedly and while he didn't think he had that much influence on Luc's treatment of Ted, he didn't believe he himself had done anything that warranted such words.
Luc was well aware of that... he knew that all along; the fact that he was unnecessarily driving Tyr away with his own defensiveness. But was it so wrong to be that way? To be hesitant? Did he really need to assert himself to something he wasn't confident to proceed with? Something he didn't know what to do with? ...Was it wrong that even he would have some fear of being refused in the end, or getting hurt?
It was always like that wasn't it? Outsiders... They always assume like everything was easy. They didn't understand so they would say whatever they pleased. It was only because they don't know it felt for that person.
'No... they're just excuses.'
Tyr was now staring at him, obviously concerned by his change of attitude. Seeing that face was enough to tell Luc that he was the one who was in the wrong. Not understanding... Hesitance... It was merely cowardice and selfishness getting the better of him. Claiming that he didn't want to give Serah reason to cry about was one thing, but it didn't justify giving his former Tenkai grief.
"I'm sorry." He said in a low voice towards Tyr. "I'm just tired... We can talk another time..." 'Preferably without the idiot.' He had kept the last portion to himself as he threw a withering glare over the older male's shoulder, directing it to the archer. "Alright?"
Whereas Ted only had a return dark glare for Luc, Tyr's own features relaxed. The return of Luc's 'usual' tone--at least the one Tyr had gotten used to in the past few months--was a huge relief, soothing his worries for the meantime. Things might not be stable just yet, but they'd regained some footing.
At least, until the hero could figure out what he thought himself, or until he could have the guts to do as Ted suggested.
"Alright," he returned quietly, nodding slightly. "...I'll talk to you later then."
Having gotten an answering nod, Tyr went back toward the entrance, where his best friend merely presented him his forgotten bandages and waited for him to at least cover up his runed hand before opening the suite door and walking ahead of his buddy, lest he gets the urge to do something as childish as sticking his tongue out at the brat. The tenkai himself looked back briefly at Luc before following suit, the door shutting softly behind them.