When: Sometime during the Fall Festival, daytime.
What: Random outing for talking.
Where: Outside on the campus, toward the city & in room 103H
Warning: Fluff. Yubari Melons might want to scrub their eyes with a metallic brush after. |D
Standing in front of suite 107, Tyr wondered how he'd gotten himself in this situation, only to remember that it was all Ted's fault.
His best friend had, after all, come into his suite after classes were done, all dressed up, and loudly declare that Serah and he were going to spend the rest of the afternoon checking out the Fall Festival. Most unsubtly, the older man grinned at him and pointed out that he shouldn't waste this opportunity for some quality time with the wind mage. And if he were to waste this occasion by staying cooped up in his room, then Ted would take it as a reason for him to retract his blessings to what he called the "young couple". Soon after that cheerful declaration, the redhead disappeared from sight before Tyr could even say a thing.
Alone again, it hadn't taken the runebearer very long to decide on an course of action. With no magess to babysit, buddy to bother him or homework to do, his day was effectively free to take advantage of. That was how he'd found himself standing by his Tenkan's door and considering it before knocking on it.
It was one of those rare days where Luc had actually stayed in his dormitory to take a break. Although originally, he was in his dorm because Serah wanted to eat lunch with him as that had become quite rare with the wind mage's studies and side research work. The young girl arrived at his door with Ted only to tell him that they had planned at the last minute to go to the fall festival, making it a perfect opportunity for his care to interact with the rest of the children her age. Oddly enough, the former owner of the soul eater insisted he play as the young girl's chaperone instead of Luc... which was even more suspicious when Serah nodded eagerly in agreement.
Having no real grounds to his suspicion, Luc agreed to play along with their game, leaving him in the very spot he was now in his dorm; the couch. He had been lying on it for a good few minutes already with a book in hand when he heard the knock on his door.
He had to admit... that was a little bit fast for a visit to the festival. And if it was Lazlo, he would have had his own key card to enter the room. Luc then placed the book down on the table, running a hand through his hair with a sigh as he walked towards the door to answer it.
"Coming." He called wearily before opening the door only to come fact to face with a familiar, but unexpected individual. ".... Oh... Tyr..?"
Though he'd been the one to ask that Luc address him by his given name, the sound of it was still so novel that the Tenkai could feel his cheeks reddening. At least the mage had been in his room. Not that he didn't trust his rune's ability to detect the wind rune, but it was still a foreign method to verify that the brunette was in the area.
"Hi, Luc..." the older male paused in thought before he spoke again. "Can I come in?"
The brunette's brow furrowed a little as he studied his former Tenkai's face. He then stepped a little forward to peek outside his doorway, whispering a quiet "excuse me", passed the older male at one side while he looked left and right down the hall in case he could spot Ted or Serah hiding somewhere. Seeing as the coast was clear of his suspected pranksters, Luc pushed the door wide open to let his visitor in.
"... Go ahead." He muttered and walked back into the dorm room, heading straight for the kitchen. "So what's this visit for? Did something happen?"
Awkwardly, the Tenkai came into the suite, closing the door and hesitantly following Luc into the kitchen.
"No... Nothing happened," the ex-leader replied with a shake of the head that the mage probably didn't see. Aware he hadn't answering the first question, Tyr kept on ignoring it for the meantime. "I'm...not disturbing you, am I?"
"No, Serah decided to go to the fall festival with your friend for some reason.. Quite happily actually..." Luc replied just as he took out a glass from the cabinet and opened the fridge door to pour some water from the pitcher. "If nothing's up then, what is this about?"
Ted did seem to have adopted Serah as a granddaughter of sorts, so hearing about her reaction wasn't startling. But it did make him suspicious of the circumstances and the fact that Luc had been in the suite instead of the library.
Evidently, he could smell a conspiracy involving the absent duo, though it was too late to do anything about it.
"I was wondering if you wanted to go out for a walk."
"Hnn..." Luc droned in thought before offering the glass of water to McDohl first. "So... you want to go check on them?"
"Ah... thank you," Tyr blinked as Luc presented the glass of water to him, gingerly accepting it. Taking a sip of the cool liquid, he wondered momentarily if he wanted to check up on the missing two individual of their tentative posse, but he trusted Ted enough to know that Serah would be fine. Besides, this opportunity was rare when Luc still kept himself busy in the library. "And not really... it's just been a while since I talked to you alone..."
Well... he supposed that was true. Ever since the little camping trip, they had very little chance to be alone at all. Not that there was a reason to be...
Luc leaned back against the counter as he raised a hand to rub the side of his neck, thinking to himself as to how did they manage to get stuck in this sort of situation. Then again, maybe what happened last time they were together alone did not matter to the older man.
"I guess..." he finally responded and pushed himself away from the counter and out of the kitchen. "Let me go get my jacket..."
"Okay..." Tyr nodded softly as Luc walked out of the kitchen, himself going toward the sink to pour out the rest of the water after a moment. Drinking too much was unadvisable if they were to go out and the amount he'd drunk hadn't settled his nerves.
Watching the mage ponder silently on his reply made the Tenkai nervous. He hadn't forgotten what happened that last time with the brunette's teasing and the altercation thereafter, but the McDohl heir wasn't happy dancing around the topic as if it didn't exist or shouldn't be taken into account. He'd done that too often, too much, over many other things in the past, constantly avoiding confrontations. It wasn't helping him and Ted had noticed that, had pointed it out to him even if his best friend wasn't fond of the wind mage.
Now that an opportunity was available and that he'd asked Luc out for a walk, maybe some things could be made clearer.
It didn't take long for Luc to get his jacket from his quarters and return to the main room of his dorm to return to where McDohl was waiting. It still confused him as to why he was suddenly invited out of the blue for a walk like this at the same time Serah and Ted left for the Festival together. It seemed too convenient... But no matter. He wasn't about to complain about it.
The timing was convenient, yes, but then this was going to be one of the only times he would get the mage alone without worrying about people stumbling in.
"Yes," Tyr nodded with certainty which he didn't completely feel. Reaching forward, the older youth took hold of Luc's hand and gently dragged him out of the door. "You...don't mind if we steer clear from the festival, do you?"
Luc glanced at him, a bit surprised by the older male's... well... what could he call it...? Assertiveness? Either ways, he allowed himself to be led by the hand towards the exit of his safe haven without any complaints.
"Are you trying to avoid someone?" Like Ted perhaps. "I don't really mind though... Rare to see you running away from your friend."
It was difficult not to blush at the mention of Ted. Not because he was trying to run away from his friend for real--though in a way, he was since he didn't feel like being seen and teased by Soul Eater's former master--but because he was the one responsible for his current location.
"If we show up and distract him," he started as he took Luc out of the dorm and away from the festival, "he won't be watching on Serah properly. But no, I'm just afraid it'll be too noisy."
"Hnn..." the brunette droned.
So something was wrong. He should just go ahead and say so.
"I knew he was easy to provoke but not one with short attention span."
He probably shouldn't be smiling at that comment, but it unfortunately struck the Tenkai as funny.
"Old age is catching up with him, so that's bound to happen."
Though it wouldn't be a good thing at all if that were to come true. At 300, one could only wonder how much Ted's mental abilities were deteriorating.
"Don't speak of that so lightly." The wind mage mused. "Someday, you'll be just old like him."
"It'll be a while before then though," Tyr returned, feeling a bit chastised. "But you'll reach that age too someday."
"I guess." Luc responded pleasantly.
He then remained silent as they walked further down the campus grounds, heading towards the city streets. But only for a while.
"... Hey..." the wind mage finally called to him. "I don't really mind taking a walk with you... but... are you sure nothing's wrong?"
The silence that had fallen upon the pair helped the older male sort his thoughts a bit. Honestly, he had no clue where he wanted to start, even when he first showed up at Luc's door. So when Luc spoke up again, the former leader tried to lay down some of his inquiries.
"Say, Luc..." he hesitantly uttered. "What happens from here on?"
Luc glanced at him, unsure what he meant by such a question.
"...What do you mean?" he voiced out his thoughts with some concern.
Did he actually know what he meant? There were many ways Tyr's question could be understood--and perhaps he meant the inquiry to be for every single one of them--but there had to be a starting point.
"I mean..." he paused as he thought of his various concerns and chose one path. "...I know what you said about Harmonia, but Serah's here now..."
And he still didn't want the mage to throw his life away.
"... I don't have an answer to that." Luc replied without hesitance.
At least, he'd anticipated that sort of answer. It didn't meet his expectations, but there was still a huge gap between what he wished to see happen and what Luc was planning.
For now, he would nod, thinking about that shadow later.
"I see..." he kept his eyes on the road they were taking, before turning to look at the wind mage. "How long do you plan to stay on the campus?"
"As long as I need to." The wind mage responded with a raised brow. "The library here is helpful in its own way after all..."
...And not to mention the small snag with Yuber. He still had to handle that before he could plan anything else.
"So a while still?" Tyr asked with little change to his expression except perhaps the hint of a grimace.
While he had nothing against the school as a whole, studying and research weren't things he could handle for long. It was a good thing his classes were mostly practical ones instead of those boring lessons he'd gone through as a kid, but there was only a limited selection. With five classes a term, he would run out of them soon.
"Yeah..." Luc then stopped completely only to pull his hand out of McDohl's. "...Just what is this about?"
The vagueness of the Tenkai's questions was putting him at unease. He was unsure as to where the inquisition was leading him, or what it really was supposed to mean. All he was confident about was that the older man was bothered by something more than he was letting on.
It was possible he had been thinking too far ahead, having little else to do beyond the usual studying, watching over Serah and hanging out with Ted. Yet, it was a reality that Luc regarded him as more than a friend--though he'd had little proof of that when they'd both settled back into the routine that schooling enforced--and he was starting to see the mage in a similar light.
That was what bothered and scared him, especially considering the mage's plans.
Whatever future he'd had in the past--while his household was still in one piece, his father still alive and breathing--had been reduced to nothing in the space of one night. Right now, he was still searching for a future, for something that involved more than just wandering and keeping people at arm's length and now, amongst the people that he regularly consorted with, there seemed to be something that he could perhaps hope for. At least, given that he wasn't swept out of the portrait.
Really, what sort of future could he look forward to when he didn't know his place in the grand scheme of things?
It took a good moment for the Tenkai to speak, to find the courage to force the words through.
"...When we return to our world..." Because there was no way they'd be staying here forever, he knew. "What will happen?"
Luc fell silent yet again. An answer to that question was already hanging at the tip of his tongue, but he decided that it might be best to clear something else first before he dared to say it.
"... Do you really want me to answer that?"
That was a difficult question in itself. Some part of him did want to know the answer, did want to know if his worries and suspicions would come true, but he still wanted to believe that there could be something more than simply being brushed away, as if he didn't exist or matter.
"...I don't know."
A weak smile appeared on the wind mage's face. At least McDohl was honest.
"Then you should probably refrain from asking those sort of questions." He said to him before moving to walk passed the older man.
He liked neither that smile nor Luc's reply, Tyr decided as a proverbial knife seemed to twist into his chest. Already that he wasn't sure Ted would safely be able to make the transition between this world and theirs, this reaction of the mage's only made him feel worse.
Before the Tenkan would be walking away from him, before he could even attempt to do such a thing, the Toran native reached out again, grabbing his past comrade's arm and immobilizing him just long enough that he could rest his forehead against the other's shoulder.
That of course successfully stopped the wind mage on his tracks. He stayed still, ignoring as passersby glanced their way, before speaking to him in a hushed voice.
"You know..." he started as he caught the eyes of one stranger who quickly averted their gaze from them and sped away, "You're not very considerate of my situation here..."
"What situation?" was all Tyr muttered in return from where he was effectively hiding from the world, trying to regain his center.
"What situation he says..." Luc repeated with an exasperated tone. "You know... The situation where I'm supposed to be holding back while you're confused and uncertain about... this?"
'Oh,' the older male thought, 'that situation...'
While it was a valiant way to keep Tyr's attention elsewhere and his virtue intact, the Tenkai didn't particularly care right now. Not when he could still lose someone.
"What's the worse you can do to me?" he returned calmly, turning his head enough to peripherically see Luc's face.
"....." Luc turned his glance away from the Tenkai and muttered to him. "I don't think you'd want to know about that either."
Honestly, he didn't know what Luc was thinking about, though he had vague ideas of what it might be. That he didn't know much about romance was one thing, but he did at least know where babies came from. Just not how such a thing would work for two individuals of the same gender.
"No, really," the Toran native spoke, even as he debated making himself more comfortable on the mage's shoulder. "What's the worse you'd dare do in public?"
The brunette glared at him in response. Did McDohl really want to say something like that now of all times? Well... fine then. If that's what he wanted.
"Open your mouth." Luc said to him simply as he used his hand - the shoulder free from his love interest's head- to rummage through his jacket pocket.
"Why?" Tyr turned his head inches again, observing Luc's actions with wariness. "If you're going to put something bitter down my throat, I don't want it."
"It's not. Trust me."
"..." the older male said before giving in and letting his lips part. He could retaliate at a later time anyway if something unpleasant or unsavory was shoved into his mouth.
Luc wasn't exactly sure what to make of McDohl's gullible personality when it came to dealing with the wind mage. If anything, he should be keeping his guard up a lot higher compared to others.
The moment the older male's lips stirred to part themselves, Luc moved in a fluid motion. The hand that had been feigning an action of searching for something in his pocket was placed upon the Tenkai's neck while his mouth connected with the other's, tongue invading passed those lips without warning.
It wasn't gullibility so much as a willingness to trust a past comrade, to trust someone who was there--even briefly--to watch his back that had him listen to the wind mage's words. ...Even if his trust was being rewarded thusly by the mage in question.
That aside... That was not something he'd ever expect to get past his lips, something neither bitter nor unsavory. As for unpleasant, the former leader was still debating as he went still with surprise.
The brunette wasn't about to take that much advantage of the older male, considering he had done the action just to both tease and answer McDohl's question. He parted his lips from him slowly, catching the dark-haired man's eyes before daring to speak to him calmly.
"The worse I'd dare do to you in public would be that." He said to him in a slight whisper. While his demeanour was no different from his usual apathetic, his eyes clearly shone a mischievous glint to them. "Plus a hand... and perhaps that wall."
Detachedly, Tyr took note of the blood gathering in his face and of a separate areas being warmed--almost uncomfortably so--from contact with Luc's skin.
Detachedly... because he was trying to keep his temper in the face of the obvious mischief in the mage's eyes.
Luc feigned his innocence, blinking at him curiously as if he had done nothing wrong at all.
"What? That's what you asked me, right?"
On the one hand, he wanted to hit Luc for his actions--something he'd done a few times in the past already. On the other, he wanted to tell the idiot mage to try that again because he hadn't had the time to decide if it really was the worst Luc could do to him.
In the end, Tyr let out a frustrated growl at the feigned innocence--knowing perfectly well that Luc was mocking him again--grabbed the brunette's collar and forcefully pulled him down to meet his infuriatingly apathetic mouth.
Well, definitely didn't expect to have a secondary encounter with the lips of his Tenkai on the same day. If anything, he would have thought a punch would be coming his way. Though again, he wasn't about to complain...
...Even if the whole population of the street was staring right at them.
When the Tenkai would recall that there were people around them, he would remember to be mortified and perhaps glare at them. Though overall, it was safer for the general populace if Tyr disliked them anyway. Soul Eater was complaining about the lack of proper nourishment, but it was simply going to have to suffer this particular negligence.
For now though, the former leader was trying to quell his reaction at Luc's baiting. A plan of action that was a bit difficult to carry out when he couldn't get his own hands to let go. As for his mouth...it was probably safer for all of their eardrums that it was kept busy, pressed against Luc's as it was.
Somehow, it was becoming more and more apparent that McDohl wasn't about to let him go just yet. Which in turn wasn't so bad, but... with the onlookers in the premises, he wasn't so sure how the Tenkai would deal with it once he returned to his senses.
It was then that Luc took the best course of action, raising his right hand and porting himself and the older male out of the public street and into the first thing that came in mind - that being McDohl's dorm room- without breaking contact. Arriving in the familiar quarters was no easy task, especially the portion where Luc's conscience actually kicked in, though belatedly, causing the wind mage to forcefully part his mouth away from McDohl's.
The forced removal of his mouth from Luc's suddenly reminded Tyr that perhaps such public kissing wasn't a wise course of action. Of course, now that he had his eyes opened again, the Tenkai found himself standing in unexpected silence. He didn't know where this was and the only reassurance he had for the moment was that Luc's collar was still being gripped firmly in his fists.
"...Where are we?" he asked tightly.
"Your room." Luc responded in a low voice as his hands moved to grab hold of McDohl's wrists. The olderman's lips were still so dangerously close... and he was already longing to touch them now that they were out of sight of prying eyes. "You might want to let go of me. Now, if possible."
The low tone in which Luc spoke was causing the Tenkai to be even more conscious of the close distance between the two of them and of the hands that closed in on his wrists. In the penumbra, Tyr took a long moment to look--just look--at his companion's expression.
"What if I don't want to?" he quietly returned after the moment.
"Stop joking around." The wind mage hissed as he kept his longing in check.
McDohl really was being inconsiderate... the real status of the relationship was still up in the air, unknown to Luc if this was merely his first Tenkai trying to play a game in return for all of his previous acts of teasing him. Either ways, it was becoming a bit dangerous.
"I've already warned you once... don't make me say it again."
It was true they hadn't spoken of the status of their relationship, either from lack of time or lack of earth-shattering development. Not from Luc's side--because you couldn't get clearer than "I'm scouting my enemies" (well, you could, but the implication had been quite clear enough in the given context)--but rather from the Tenkai's. However, there was a problem in the lack of interaction that caused things to be stagnant, something that could only be resolved by being with and speaking to the mage.
Thinking only went so far. Reviewing and revisiting past events and discussions only yielded so many hints. Overanalysing confused the issue to the point that Tyr didn't know what he'd been looking for in the first place. There was the need of an opportunity to check if the observations he made would result in a desired conclusion.
Today's walk should've helped. At least, it did help confirm some observations. He didn't have any problems wanting to kiss Luc or wanting proximity with the mage despite his infuriating coolness--if anything, he realized that he liked the challenge that he could read from Luc's demeanor, liked that the mage still retained his natural defiance and personality. But he wasn't sure if the nervous energy he felt was simply due to that or because he more than liked Luc.
Instead of saying all that though, Tyr only asked the following.
"Can we go on a date?"
Well, that successfully veered off the wind mage's thoughts at the moment. McDohl just after all... asked him to a date. Really. Now what was the possibility that hell had frozen over that something like this could happen? He held back a laugh that wanted to escape him, turning it into a heavy sigh.
"Okay... first of all, it's 'may'." Luc nagged to the man before him. "And second of all... You already know the answer to that... Third. You still haven't let go of me.... and if you don't plan to anytime soon," he then leaned forward, closing the proximity between them even more, stopping only a few millimetres away from the other's mouth. "Can I kiss you again?"
If it wasn't obvious enough, Tyr wasn't backing away from the other rune bearer despite the current lack of breathing space between them. His hands just closed themselves tighter around the fistfuls of fabric they already held.
"First you correct my grammar," he pointed out as calmly as he could, ignoring the spike in anticipation, "then you don't even correct your own. I should say no just to spite you."
"You should, but you won't." Luc said in defence as he let go of his wrists and trailed his hands around the older man's back. "Besides, I wasn't asking nicely."
That said, he closed the remaining distance and pressed his lips against McDohl's gently.
Glad that the mage found an opening in their discussion to silence him, the Tenkai let himself be kissed, though his fists remained where they were.
Now that he wasn't high-strung or stunned into not taking notice of what was happening, Tyr started paying attention to the little details of this gentle exchange. While he at least recalled when and how previous kisses with Luc happened, he couldn't remember just how incredibly warm his Tenkan's lips were or how pliant and soft they were until then. He could feel the mage's breath brushing against his cheek, sense the mage's chest rise and fall, and those hand pressing into his back as the seconds trickled away.
However, as the contact between their lips shifted, all those precious details escaped him again as something feather light passed across his skin and stuck against it, tickling him uncomfortably. Reluctantly, the older male pulled away from the liplock, a small grimace appearing on his face even as he moved a hand up to close around a handful of longish brown tresses.
"Luc..." he called out to the other's attention. "...Your hair's tickling me."
The wind mage blinked at him, a mix of feelings considering McDohl had turned the focus to something else yet again. Though it was true that he hadn't gotten a hair cut in a while... His studies had kept him busy and the thought never came to his head. After all, it was not like he planned to do this now... or expected to get a complaint about his hair.
"It has gotten long, hasn't it..." he muttered, reaching up to touch one of the longer bangs. ".... I haven't had time to trim it."
It wasn't that he did such things on purpose, but even if he succeeded at brushing Luc's hair away, it would inevitably come back to bother him.
At any rate, the darker-haired male nodded, taking a moment to observe those tresses before carefully running fingers through it to try and pull it back at the mage's nape. The look was interesting on Luc, though he couldn't indefinitely keep his hands in the brunette's hair.
"You don't carry hairties on you, do you?"
Luc glowered at the older man.
"Serah does." He pulled McDohl's hands away, despite how it felt nice to have them run through his hair. "I'm not one for them though... I guess I can always cut it shorter."
That would mean it would take more time for it to grow out which would probably work with his schedule and habits.
Tyr didn't quite understand why Luc was glowering at him even as he stubbornly held onto brown locks on each side of the mage's head. He didn't snag a hair off his head, did he?
"That might look nice on you," he offered. But it would give him less of a reason to mess with Luc's hair.
Deliberating with himself for a moment, Luc decided that it might be the best thing to do. ".... Do you have scissors?"
He might as well take the opportunity now as nothing else had been planned for the rest of the day except wait for Serah's return.
... and maybe finalizing that date.
While he did find a pair of scissors in the kitchen before, the older male hardly thought that they would be suitable for such purpose.
"Not for haircutting," Tyr answered with a shake of his head.
"Ah..." came his reply. "I have one in my room so I can use that... Can you help me hold the mirror up while I cut the back?"
"Sure," he agreed quietly, though he was still eyeing the long tresses.
How silly would it be for him to ask for a lock of hair to keep?
"Alright..." the wind mage nodded before finally moving away from McDohl's general premise. "Let's go then."
Though Luc moved away from his vicinity, the older male simply followed after him, reaching for the other's hand to hold. Only when that was done did Tyr start to go for the door, a thoughtful expression settled on his face. He knew such a request would sound ridiculous, but it never hurt to ask, right?
"Say, Luc," the Tenkai turned to look at his companion. "Can I have a lock of hair to keep? And one for Serah too?"
The brunette looked over his shoulder to glance at McDohl curiously for his request. It wasn't that he minded of course, but...
"... What would you need it for?" he asked him.
"Souvenir," Tyr answered honestly, though he looked embarrassed too. "Gremio did that with a piece of my hair when I was younger so... Since your hair'll be shorter soon, I thought this would be a good occasion to make a memento with it."
And Serah didn't even know Luc would have a haircut today, so this might please the girl too.
He obviously couldn't understand the importance of that considering hair would just grow out to the same length over time. And mementos are usually not needed unless the person was dying anytime soon.
At least... that was what he knew in theory. But he supposed there was no harm in giving them that. It's not like he had any use for his hair once it's been severed off.
Tyr could tell from Luc's reply that the idea was strange, if not ridiculous, to him, but the Tenkai could only beam at the younger male's permission.
"Yeah, yeah." Luc mumbled as he tugged McDohl by the arm to hasten his steps out of the dorm room.
Who knew how long they still had until Serah and Ted returned. Though he didn't mind his care's presence, the other one he could really deal without. Still, this was surprisingly one step forward in something he never thought he'd ever attain. Even though it wasn't in solid ground yet... it was a lot more than he could ask for. And knowing that alone made the weight he carried in his chest somehow feel a lot lighter.