When: Just around Chriiiistmaaaas
What: GIFT(optional plural S)
Where: Suite 104
Having left the campus premise last year before winter happened, the novelty of seeing bright Christmas decorations and Christmas songs in Ergheiz had caused Lazlo to ask his roommate what sort of festivity was happening. According to the other rune bearer, on the 25th day of the month of December, people were expected to celebrate the birth of a god he'd never heard about by giving presents to their family and friends. A strange custom, but one that he thought gave the cold season much needed liveliness.
That was when the former captain had set out to do Christmas shopping, coming back to the dorms with enough gifts for the small circle of acquantance he'd made and and some for his instructors. And despite thinking gift-wrapping was a waste of perfectly good paper when gifts were already in perfectly good packaging, he'd taken the time to do exactly that complete with name tags to identify the recipient. All that was left after that was delivering the presents to the right people.
The teachers' gifts would have to wait until after the holidays unfortunately to be delivered, but there were at least no expiry date on those presents. Luc, Tyr and Serah's gifts could be left in the room without worry, as his roommate would most likely deliver them to the right people. That left only the one he had for Ted, who'd been easy enough to find as usual, and, last but not least, the one for Hervey.
Finding a gift for someone like Hervey was no easy task--especially when the man spent his time boasting of getting food cooked by none other than the former captain of the Dauntless and other inane events--but Lazlo thought that the purchase he'd made at the mall wasn't such a horrible Christmas present. Plebeian though that might be, he didn't believe the pirate would refuse a warm sweater, something both practical and suitable for the given season. The wrapping for that particular gift had taken a little bit of time to perform as the box in which the sweater had been folded was rather pliant, and the corners might look a bit clumsily folded, but overall, the brunette thought it was well-wrapped.
With that last present under his arm, Lazlo went down to the older man's suite and hoped that he would be there to receive the package. While Yuber was not likely to injure him even if the redhead was absent, the young man didn't want to take his chances speaking alone to the man.
Hervey on the other hand had kept quiet during the Christmas season. Especially during this thing they called a "winter sale". Surprisingly, even the higher amounts of females in the mall had intimidated him considering how concentrated they all were on getting deals from the shops. The blood in their eyes and the sharp tones of their voice against their own kind sent shivers up the pirate's spine… He really wasn't about to mess with that…
The passed few days had been spent with him sitting upside down on the couch, his back on the seat, while his rear leaned against the backrest. All the while, his head hung off the edge of the seat of the couch as he watched the TV in almost a trance. He wrinkled his nose now and then as he watched men hitting a tiny circular thing to each other, dragging it to nets at either ends of a slippery surface, tackling each other into the walls or spitting at the other person's faces, while the crowds cheered like mad men –and women.
Talk about weird.
The walk to suite 104 hadn't taken very long as they were on the same floor and a mere two doors away from each other, but the Island Nations' Tenkai did wonder when he would be able to catch his past comrade if Hervey wasn't there. The pirate had expressed displeasure before at his tendency to disappear without warning. On second thought, maybe he should've written a note to pass onto the redhead before he'd left his own suite, but it was a bit too late for that now.
Standing next to his destination, Lazlo rapped lightly on the door, but when no one came to the door, he rapped on it a tad louder. If no one answered then, he might try to ring the bell.
The knocking of course didn't go unnoticed, but Hervey was finally being absorbed into the nature of this mysterious sport. A tackle had somehow triggered what undoubtedly looked like a brawl, and if he didn't know any better, he just saw someone spit out blood and—
"Holy crap, is that a tooth!?" Hervey thought it horror, only to hear the rapping again. "Hold up. I'm coming."
At that, the pirate swung his legs aside, falling off the couch quite audibly before quickly stumbling back on to his feet while straightening his shirt. He rubbed his hands together as he approached the foyer, huffing warm air between them before unlocking the door.
"Yeeeeeee—Oh.." he blinked at his visitor. "Hey!"
The holler that came from inside was so quickly accompanied by a thud that Lazlo wondered what he'd interrupted and if Hervey--because he hardly thought Yuber would call out to him to wait--was uninjured. Apparently, the pirate was if he could trust the steady fall of footsteps coming toward the door... except for the strange huffing coming from within.
Before he could decide it might have been his imagination, the door opened with the redhead standing right by it.
"Hi," he greeted with a small nod. "I'm not disturbing you, am I?"
"Nah." Hervey replied with a grin and placed his hands on his hips. "Nothin' really interestin' on right now. What can I do for you?"
"I suppose you could let me in," the Tenkai returned, tilting his head somewhat. "Unless I should keep your Christmas present hostage until you give in to my demand."
"Oh! Crap!" Hervey stepped aside to let him in to the dorm. "Sorry. Come on in."
Smiling at the belated invite, Lazlo walked past his comrade with a small 'thanks', turning to the pirate as he heard the door close behind him.
"I wasn't here last winter," he started, presenting the package to Hervey, "but I thought I should give you something anyway."
He walked towards Lazlo, rubbing the back of his neck as felt a little flustered by the situation. A little.
"Ah… You didn't really have to get me anything." He said as he took the package from the younger male.
Though it was really more because he didn't think Lazlo would have gotten him… and that he hadn't gotten anything for him either. So this was a bit of a surprise.
He then moved towards the couch, reaching over to pick up the remote control with his free hand and turning off the TV-which were now featuring some gameplay highlights of the strange sport- before taking a seat and looking at the package curiously. Man... what was he supposed to do?
That wasn't a novel reaction from Hervey as the younger man did notice him doing that on occasion, but he supposed he'd expected a different sort of reaction.
Was it really that strange for him to give the pirate a present?
"I wanted to," he answered with a tiny shrug, following the pirate as he sat down next to him. "I know we don't follow this custom in our world, but it's as good an opportunity as any other to show appreciation for my friends."
Not that he could send such gifts to his friends back home without bothering the king with such personal delivery.
"Ah..." Hervey mouthed.
Well that made it even more awkward... He then looked at Lazlo for a moment, hesitant as he tried to think of what to say that wouldn't come off as careless.
"Er... I... didn't get you anything though..." he explained carefully. "Sorry..."
It took Lazlo a few moments to stop blinking at Hervey's careful explanation and apology. By the time he'd gotten a hold of his reaction--which lasted a few seconds at most--he was starting to feel awkward and, perhaps, shy again.
"That's okay..." he tried to say in a normal tone, a small smile accompanying his reply. "I wasn't expecting anything."
"Yeah but..." the older man looked at the package in his hands. "... Well... mind if I open this then...?"
At least Lazlo wasn't so daft that he couldn't understand what Hervey was trying to say. In his opinion, that was more than compensation enough for the lack of gift from the redhead.
"Not at all," he shook his head. "It's your gift."
Hervey then began to open the package with Lazlo's approval, ripping through the simple wrapping paper with ease and pulling lid of the box. He took out the content inside, that being a beige coloured sweater, very soft to the touch. Just by the looks of it, it didn't seem like just your simple sweater at all. It probably cost quite a pretty penny…
He then fell silent with the sweater in his hands, biting his lip and he began to think to himself. Man… now what…?
The silence was understandable at first, but as seconds ticked by and the pirate remained silent, Lazlo wondered if he'd chosen the present wrong.
"You don't like it...?"
On the contrary, it wasn’t because Hervey disliked the choice for a present; it was more because he just really didn’t know how to react to it. It still felt awkward. There had to be something he could give him in return to show his appreciation. Otherwise, this wasn’t going to sit right with him.
Quite suddenly his brows rose for a moment. There was also that… The red head then pulled the sweater over his shirt, tugging at the collar a little before reaching up to his neck and unknotting the bandanna. With the bandanna now free from its usual place, he offered it to Lazlo with an unusually calm look on his face.
As he watched Hervey put the sweater on, his anxiety went down a notch since one wouldn't normally wear something they didn't like. However, with the older man moving to remove the trademark bandanna from around his neck, Lazlo couldn't help the confusion caused by the action... which was then compounded as Hervey presented the fabric to him.
Rather surprised by the offer, the brunette didn't immediately take the bandanna from his friend's hand as a protest tried to form itself in his throat.
"...B-bu..." he failed to say, changing his words midway with a look of embarrassed astonishment. "Isn't it yours?"
“Yeah well…” Hervey scratched the tip of his nose as he spoke. “I already got this sweater to keep me warm. So you might as well keep this.”
He paused before letting out a laugh.
“Well at least until I get ya a good one in exchange for this. So until then, take it.”
"Okay..." Lazlo really hoped that the sudden blood flow to his face wasn't too obvious as he took the bandanna from Hervey's hand, wondering just when--and where--he would wear it.
While he had gotten presents from his friends from Razril in the past, it wasn't anything so personal as a well-worn, and obviously favourite, clothing article. The sentiment was quite appreciated though and a sincere smile made its way to his lips even as he figured out what he could do with his gift.
"...Thank you, Hervey."