It was hard for Rictor to describe what Cadre sounded like. It was a harsh language, made for barking orders or cursing your enemies, he'd discovered. Less satisfactory for gentler things.
He and 'Star tend to argue in Cadre, then, they make up in Spanish, and discuss everything else in English. Of course that rule breaks down during sex, when what little conversation there is, love words and imperatives, all garble together in some sort of pidgin of the three.
There's been a little less of that last one, he found himself thinking as he stood outside the door to the funeral home, working up the nerve to go in. He hated that. But things had been... wierd... between the two of them lately.
Ric dug his hands in his pockets and stared at the door as if it would give up some sort of relationship advice. The semi-feral, anti-social killing machine he'd come to love had recently decided that he was interested in "human relations". And Ric was not proud of the fact that it had made for some really unpleasant arguments the last few weeks.
Which is why, when he pushed open the door, he was surprised. There was the steady rhythm of someone chopping. (Vegetables) Ric thought. It was 'Star's turn to make dinner. That didn't surprise him. 'Star handled a kitchen knife like he did one of his swords. What startled him was the sound of conversation in Cadre, twining through the sharp sound of the knife.
He recognised 'Star's voice- deep, frictives dragging like silk on a grater. It took several moments to figure out the other one, and Rictor set his coat down very quietly as he did. Longshot- the same grating sounds were bright and chipper, the beat of his words oddly old-fashioned.
[..and stop eating all the carrots. I'm not cutting them up for your snack.] 'Star said with a slight growl. Ric grinned. He wasn't in a hurry to interrupt them - it was novel enough that he was content with listening for now.
[But they're all so even, jheckha.] Longshot laughed as Ric's ear fell over the unfamiliar word. [short pieces. orange. like your hair.]
[What has my hair got to do with anything?] There was a faint skip in the chopping.
[What happened to it, jheckha? My memories aren't so bad that I don't remember when it was like a banner in the wind. Brilliant, it was.] Longshot's tone was still light.
"That's a very rude question, Longshot." 'Star muttered in english, the knife clattering on the counter. Then there was silence. Ric found himself taking a step towards the kitchen.
[I was able to return to what had been my time.] 'Star said after a moment. His voice was dull.
[What happened, then, Gaveedra?] Longshot asked softly.
[The name, Shatterstar, is no longer one of hope.] 'Star said after a moment. [the world is changed. I died for them, old man. And now I'm a mockery. A traitor to them, because I'm alive.]
[And they punished you. You let them?] Ric took another step towards the kitchen, listening to the rasp of leather and a tap of footsteps as Longshot slid off the counter.
[I let them.] 'Star sighed. [They held me down and took a knife.. and I let them.]
Ric was in the kitchen, staring at the both of them, before he'd even realised he was there.
"I have to go do something." Longshot said abruptly. "In New Jersey." He grabbed a remaining sliver of carrot and danced past Rictor with an embarrassed smile.
"You let them cut your hair off, mano?" Ric flailed at him. "What that fuck?"
"I didn't want you to know." 'Star set the knife down before he started gesturing with it. "It's not very flattering."
"Why did you let them? You coulda taken them, 'star." He grabbed the bigger man's hand.
"I could have. But." 'Star leaned against the counter. "It's not my world anymore, Julio. I'm too different."
"So you let them do it to, what, cut ties with mojoworld? Vehjka!" Ric grumbled, then stopped. "You did."
"I did. When I felt that knife on the back of my neck, all I thought was that I wanted to be home. To be here. With you." Pale blue eyes fixed hard on him. "Julio, te quiero, mi amor."
"I love you too." Ric said then, knocking over the carrots as he crushed the big man in a hug. "I love you too."