upswing: (31.)

[personal profile] upswing 2017-03-11 02:43 am (UTC)(link)
[ the key to this, the number one cardinal rule he thinks, is not to be weird. he repeats it like a mantra in his head, don’t do anything strange, absolutely under no circumstances do not kneel backwards on your seat in the regalia, face lady lunafreya, and tell her that when you were trying to bathe tiny— pryna in the impromptu tub you had set up for the puppy that she had splashed and gotten water all over you. and it is still one of your best memories.

he remembers trailing after the puppy and trying to wrap her in a towel, but his reflexes were slow then, and pryna was fast— and the situation had ended with him on the ground. his chest heaving, and finally pryna taking pity on him, and budging his shoulder with her wet nose. he remembers the sense of loss he felt, on finding her gone one day. on coming home to absolute silence, except for his footsteps on the thin carpeting.

but then, there was the letter. the one that had changed everything, with a simple thank you and the assumption that he was friends with the prince. the fact that the girl who wrote it, lunafreya, thought that he could be friends with the prince. well. it had given him a push that he had been missing, a motivation to change. and it really had given him his place here, with the guys, and now with her. if it wasn’t for her, the letter, he would—

he would probably still be alone.

but he doesn’t say any of that. instead when he does turn around in his seat, he smiles at her before ducking his head and turning to gladio and cheerfully asking what terrible one gil novel he’s picked up now from their latest pit stop. he doesn’t say it when noct is driving rattling on about the places they’ve been, not when they’re out of the regalia and walking around, ignis regaling them with the history of the region they’re in. the natural flora and fauna. he trails behind and occasionally pipes up with a comment that sounds stupid in retrospect, like how the view is killer from the top of the mountain they’re near, and that they should climb it together one day. this time with luna.

other than that he keeps a distance, is cordial, says good morning, nice day isn’t it? but any more than that and his throat turns dry, and the words ‘did you know you changed my life’ get stuck in it. and he doesn’t think it would be that weird to tell her so, as oracle she’s probably changed hundreds of lives, given more people hope with her voice he remembers hearing over the radio. by healing them, her hands glowing a warm gold with a magic different than noct’s, and it was fascinating enough the one time he saw it that he had to grab a picture.

which might have broken the first rule of don’t be weird. and things, this, it’s going to have to change because the other’s have probably started to notice the careful way he is around her— and he doesn’t want that. he wants to treat her normally, to be friends. friends with the oracle of eos. so he texts her. waits in their hotel room, for her to finish her conversations outside, he had noticed how the locals had flocked to her, watched from the motel window ( weird ) before flopping on the bed closest to the door. he had been laying down, feet dangling off of the mattress before lunafreya knocked, and at the sound he straightened up to sitting in an instant. manages to brush his fingertips through his bangs to fix them before she enters. ]
Yeah, kinda silly for me to text you about it, huh? I should have just come down and— but I didn’t want to interrupt. You looked busy. The people here, they really look up to you, I can tell.

[ because he does as well.

he wants to start, with the letter, but the words-stuck-in-throat thing is happening again, and what if she doesn’t even remember writing him anything.

he clears his throat, before he shifts over, making room for her to sit next to him. ]

D’you wanna sit?
upswing: (62.)

[personal profile] upswing 2017-03-14 12:09 am (UTC)(link)
[ the words, i’m very happy for the chance to converse with you, they put him a bit more at ease, as at ease as he can be around lunafreya. he inwardly bemoans his own inability to calm his own heart rate, his inability to keep his cool around— well. girls, mostly. his heart always stutters around cindy, a frantic rhythm of ‘look at me, don’t look at me’, but this is different. lunafreya is different, in a way that he’s going to have to ruminate on later when she’s not in close proximity, smiling softly at him in a way that he doesn’t think he deserves. hasn’t done anything to deserve. then she’s next to him, sitting, hands folded, and he’s tempted to mimic the gesture solely so he doesn’t fidget, or start drumming his fingers on his thighs. he suddenly wishes that he had his camera, pictures to flip through, something familiar in this uncharted territory. but. then he wouldn’t be giving her his full attention, which she deserves, after he called her away from— her calling. the people outside. ] Yeah. Resting, not a problem. Not often we get to stay in an actual hotel, not when we got a camping fanatic in our midst. [ gladio ] I mean, I’m all for the great outdoors, don’t get me wrong. Buuut, there is a reason people say you can have ‘too much of a good thing’.

[ the hotel they’re staying in, it’s no galdin qauy. nothing fancy. the beds are kind of lumpy, but there are four walls. it’s warm. and he’ll take a bed, lumpy or no, over a tent any day. or a sleeping bag that doesn’t accommodate his measure of rolling around while sleeping, traps his limbs in a way he doesn’t appreciate.

he puts his hands behind him, palms down to the comforter, and swings his legs in a position that he hopes reads more comfortable than he feels. alternates between looking out in front of them, and flashing his gaze to her out of the corner of his eye. ]
Besides it’s not— [ not any trouble. escort duty, as she puts it. noct leaves one of them with lunafreya, always, to ensure her safety. he can tell, how important she is to him, not just because of his insistance that someone be with her at all times— but just by how he looks at her. how he had looked at their shared notebook, that umbra had brought him when they still were passing it back and forth. secretive and pleased, and unwilling to share what exactly they were writing despite his nagging. which… made sense. noctis is a prince. and because of that, his life has been open. to everyone in insomnia, to lucis, maybe he just wanted to keep something for himself.

he doesn’t want to say it’s a… honor looking after her, the words sounding stiff and uncomfortable even in his own head. far removed from the friendship he wants, that he had gotten with noct by treating him like himself instead of royalty. and he wants to do the same with luna, treat her like he would anyone else, not as oracle. as a princess. but it’s easier thought than done. ]
I’ve been on a ton of supply runs. Nothing new, there. This is kind of… nice.

[ he’s never… been chosen, to guard lunafreya before. it’s always been ignis or gladio, and the fact that noct has left this to him, it makes his chest swell in a way that’s pleasant.

it means that noct trusts him.

a moment. ]

I— what I wanted to talk to you about. Do you remember a while ago, actually a long while ago, when I found Pryna? [ his legs stop their swinging, he can feel his palms start to warm, and fights the urge to rub them on the comforter’s surface. ] Do you… remember writing me?
upswing: (6.)

[personal profile] upswing 2017-03-19 06:36 am (UTC)(link)
[ she remembers. he almost wants to sigh in relief, doesn’t know what he would have done if she didn’t. he’s a mix of surprised still, grateful, that she would remember doing something like thanking him, when she’s— lunafreya. the youngest oracle in history. and he’s, well. he laughs, jokes, calling himself a mere plebe in the groups presence. but sometimes it weighs on him, that the others have places and positions, and he’s just the jokester tag along. it’s a line of thinking that’s hard to dispel, creeps up on him when he least expects it, but it’s become less and less of an issue. become easier. he feels a little better, a little bit more necessary every time he aids someone in battle, picks them up from the ground, gets one of them out of a tight spot by sliding in guns blazing.

she remembers and he’s passed hurdle number one of this conversation, the hardest one, actually getting it started. and he doesn’t sigh in relief, but he smiles back at her. it’s kind of impossible not to, when her attention is on him, smiling like they’re sharing a secret. ]
That was the worry. The main one. That you didn’t remember. I wanted to ask you, if you did, for awhile. But the timing never seemed right.

[ not after fights, certainly not in the car where the others have been present. this isn’t something he wants them to overhear. he doesn’t really… talk about his childhood, with them. with anyone, really. though he remembers in crystal clear, moments of loneliness, moments of too-quiet punctuated by his parents coming and going. leaving money on the table. more embarrassing things like getting caught trying to take a picture of the cat next door, trying to be covert and getting caught.

but then there was pryna, small and hurt on the sidewalk in front of his house, and he’s glad it happened. not that she was hurt, but that he got to take care of her. those couple of days, they were fun. it was nice, having a companion he didn’t have to stalk over a fence. ]
I’m glad, I liked her too.

[ but that’s not what he wants to talk about, he could probably gush about pryna, about animals all day. and wouldn’t that be something, looking at dog pics with lady lunafreya? ]

Your letter— [ where to start, with this. he cants his head, slightly. thinking. ] I kept it, made sure it was safe. Because… when you said you hoped I could keep being friends with Noct, it was the first time I felt someone was counting on me. Entrusting me with something [ and he picks up his hands from their resting place, gestures in the space in front of him, trying to get across the enormity of it. ] important. I didn’t know you, but I really didn’t want to let you down.

To be honest, I wasn’t friends with Noct, at the time. I actually… didn’t have any friends.

[ this is… embarrassing. more embarrassing then he thought it would be, he didn’t expect to get this real. he should have just said thanks for the letter, and left it at that. he can feel his face start to burn, heat. ]
upswing: (52.)

[personal profile] upswing 2017-03-26 05:03 am (UTC)(link)
[ he’s staring resolute, down at the shag carpeting underneath his boots, still feeling the weight of revealing something so intrinsic to himself, the loneliness that in a way… has made him who he is. a loneliness that wasn’t out of choice, really who wants to be alone, ( and that’s why he really needs to stop this, he knows what he’s doing as his gaze flicks to her from the corner of his eyes and he makes a quick study of how her lashes fan over her cheekbones, he’s putting— he’s been putting her on a high pedestal, a shelf waaay out of reach. and it has to be as lonely looking down, as it is looking up, right? he’s never wanted to be lonely, and lady lunafreya, he thinks she doesn’t want to be either. ) but because he didn’t know how to be anything else. she reaches over, places her hand over his, a covering over his knuckles so quickly gone that for a second he fears that he’s imagined it, but even after the contact is gone there’s still the lingering warmth that proves that it wasn’t wishful thinking.

his gaze moves from the floor, to his hand— to her face when she calls him brave of all things. disbelieving. she speaks of noctis sending a photo of them, of him and his mind tries to go through all the photos they’ve taken together, there were so many where noct looked fine but he was pulling faces, and he hopes noct had the grace to send one where they both looked good to lunafreya.

to think, noctis sent one of him at all. it’s a lot, to take in at once. the photo, and. to be accepted, for his loneliness, the burn of his cheeks which he knows must be splotched red. and for a moment after she’s done, he’s silent as if stricken ( he knows the lines of lunafreya’s face by now, she’s been with them long enough. knows them like he knows gladio’s, how the line of jaw tightens incrementally when he’s irritated. how a crease forms between ignis’s brows as he’s contemplating their shopping list, and the hard line of noct’s brow when he’s facing an enemy. and he can tell there’s a small change, in lunafreya’s expression, a lightening almost ), left bereft of words mouth hanging just a tiny bit open before he regains himself. shuts his mouth closed, only to open it again a moment later, and after her eloquence, what he comes up with is… lacking. ]
He… Noct really sent you a photo? Of us? [ incredulous still, he doesn’t pause for an affirmative before barreling forward ] Of course he did. He probably picked a bad one too, or one where he looked good and I— [ he shakes his head, minutely. ] That’s not important.

[ this isn’t about the photo— and even though he wants to ask more about it, he still hasn’t said what he’s wanted to this whole time. there’s a long inhale, a gambit so that he time to collect himself before he turns a bit, orienting himself towards her. ] I— yeah. I was… pretty lonely. I thought, well, that I was invisible. [ it’s kind of funny, just a bit, looking back on it now. of course he wasn’t invisible, he remembers kids knocking into his desk during break by accident, how they’d apologize and due to both a lack of courage and deeming his camera safer said nothing in return. ] I know I wasn’t, but that’s what it kinda felt like, until I got your letter. I think… it’s what gave me the [ maybe it was courage. but at the time it felt more like hope strung on faith on lunafreya’s belief that he could be friends with the prince. ] push to even talk to Noct. To talk to anyone, really. I wish I could have wrote you back.

[ maybe he could have. thanked her, then. wrote to her in fumbling terms, he probably isn’t any btter now, how much it meant to him. ] Really, what I’ve wanted to tell you this whole time. It’s probably going to be a bit of a let down, after all this but— Thank you.

[ his voice cracks on the last bit, with emotion. earnest. he hopes his thank you means something, in all of those that she’s already received. ]
upswing: (58.)

[personal profile] upswing 2017-04-01 03:39 am (UTC)(link)
[ there’s relief in having said it, thank you, after so much time having it stuck in his throat. and then there’s surprise at the reaction, a widening of his own eyes a fraction at the fact that she’s happy to have inspired him, that she doesn’t think he’s strange for having placed so much ( hope, faith ) on someone he’d never met. and to think, some of that faith is now returned, it’s just on the edge of too much. that she ( she, not the oracle. it’s lunafreya’s knees that brush against his own, skin against roughened fabric of his jeans ) thinks that highly of him. then she’s taking his hands, calloused from handling guns and machinery both, and holds them between her own in a gesture that feels weighted. that feels meaningful, despite the setting of cheap motel room, dappled sunlight filtering in through thin curtains. his mouth is suddenly dry, and he swallows. ] Yeah, of course. [ the words are fervent, overloud maybe, in the relative silence. somehow… being here with lunafreya, it seems like they’re in a bubble of their own making. far removed from the rest of the world, and it’s comforting in a way. in a stark contrast to the last couple of weeks when the thought of being alone with her had been short of nerve-wracking. now she’s offering to be his friend, asking if he’ll allow it, which is funny in a way— he’s always coveted friendship, and the challenge now is to not seem too overeager in the face of it being held out to him. ] I wanted— [ he shakes his head, wondering if he should keep this to himself, but then again honesty has gotten him this far— and he only has a limited amount of time. the guys aren’t going to stay on their supply run forever after all, though suddenly he hopes that ignis is struck with the urge to double triple check the list of things they need so he has a bit more time with lunafreya alone. ] I’ve wanted to be friends with you this entire time. I guess I could’ve done better, getting the message across.

[ he wonders what exactly she garnered, from his tentative approaches only to back away the last second. he supposes, he used the same tactic with noct, way back when. coming close to him, hiding behind a telephone pole watching him get into his car to be taken back to the citadel, but never actually saying anything. his gaze flashes to their hands, then back to her face, sheepish. ] Sorry about that, by the way. I hope you didn’t think that I didn’t like you, or anything. More like, I couldn’t figure out what to say.

[ he was pretty much tongue-tied, at the sight of her. and he almost winces, thinking on how stilted their interactions were in comparison to how fluidly she and gladio, or even she and ignis seemed to get along. but then again, friendship, it’s never come easy to him. and he supposes this new one had to have it’s own trial of nerves and his heart threatening to beat out of his chest.

the smile he gives, it’s a shade less tentative then the ones that came before. they’re friends, they’re friends and there’s no reason now, to act like a stuttering mess around her. their legs bump together, and he thinks that he should probably enjoy this, the feeling of her hands clasped around his own, because it’s not likely to be a repeat event. ]
But, that’s in the past now. [ some of it is still there. the hesitance. the nerves showing still in the highlight of red across his face. ] You know, I want to support you too. [ because in his eyes… it only seems like he’s taken from her. taken her support, taken strength from her words. the itch to prove himself worthy, to help, is suddenly back in full force. though he doesn’t exactly know how to go about it. lunafreya, she’s always seemed untouchable ( a figure in the distance, the writing in noct’s journal, the message of hope on the radio ), seemed… perfect. not needing anyone’s help. but that can’t be right. ] It must be tough, having everyone look to you.

[ having everyone look at you, even. being watched, being televised. he can’t imagine it. and in a way, he guesses he’s been lucky. to be nothing special, to be graced with… being normal. he was alone sure, but he was never bothered like noct was, his actions never scrutinized. ]

I can’t imagine it.