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Practice had gone by slowly. The usual bickering between the coach and Polnareff on the matter whether he could keep his flat top had lingered on a bit too much this time around. They had started playing 20 minutes after the intended time, when the latter finally complied to tie his hair down in a huffed grunt. Again. Happens every damn time, with but the competitions or actual games as exceptions. These times it seemed that Polnareff was compliant, or even, just reasonable enough to notice that time shouldn't be wasted on pointless arguments, as the stakes were higher than during practice hours. He'd been repeating that during those he probably didn't need his helmet, but that statement was inane in itself anyway, since his oh-so-precious hairdo would be trashed by the extensive hours of playing sports. Along with his pretty head. Ice hockey had always been known for being all about speed and brutality, after all. The sturdiest of flat tops, as well as the thickest of skulls they adorned wouldn't survive practice. Was looking good worth all that trouble? But still, the guy stayed adamant about keeping his damn hair up. And hindering everyone else. And putting the coach in a foul mood. Something about 'impressing the team leader', the Frenchman had told him when Jotaro had cared enough to bother asking.

Jotaro rolled his eyes as he pictured the man mouthing the very same dumb words. Presently, he was resting up against the ice rink's lockers' metal door, waiting for the very same dumb man to finish putting his silvery white hair up once more. Oh, and he was rambling, too. Maybe. Jotaro only listened with a half-attentive ear to the Frenchman’s extensive speech which only sounded like a faint buzzing noise as it was drowned by his own inner thoughts. Polnareff was his closest friend, sure, but nothing beat the promise of a nice warm shower. That's all he had in mind for the moment. His classes were over for the day, and he could just not wait to wash all the filth and sweat off him, then get on about his business. Locker room showers didn't suit his tastes for privacy, nor his basic needs for hygiene. As such, he had barely changed out of his equipment and probably smelled pretty awful, but he shrugged the thought off rapidly since his dorm room was but minutes away. He raised his eyes lazily to his older friend who was standing in front of one of the mirrors at the back of the room. In all his day dreaming about the warm spray of his room’s shower, Jotaro hadn’t realised he had been staring at the floor for the past few minutes. The reflection of Polnareff projected in the mirror moved its lips fervently, but Jotaro still didn't catch a single word of it.

It took a much louder, sudden noise to strike him out of his post-effort daze. That of a voice, ironically enough. The raven-haired teen perked up against the door, intrigued, but not startled. His shoulders rolled as he peeked out of the doorway, directly into the ice rink. As expected, their rival team had started taking their marks on the ice. However, a small group of people stood at one of the ice field's entrances. Part of it were adversary players from the other university, donned in the atrocious mix of golden yellow and grass green that made up their team’s uniforms, standing firmly on the ice with obvious ease, and, trying to look imposing just as ever. With a lesser impressive effect due to their reduced number and in average smaller frames, the others were wearing more casual sporty outfits, but displayed the same ease to stand still on their skate as the hockey players. There were two girls that Jotaro knew. He recognised one of them as his ex-girlfriend, Midler, actually. They had parted ways a few months back and strangely remained on good terms. The other, Mariah, was simply Midler's best friend. Nothing out the ordinary there. No. What caught the teen's attention happened to be rather small -compared to him, at least- man in front of them. A burst of wild, fiery red hair framed his otherwise discreet face. The contrast struck Jotaro's line of sight wildly, and he could hardly look away from it. He's met this guy before. In his English Lit class he had taken for extra credits. And he's just about the most beautiful person he's ever laid his eyes on.

"So YOU are the guy who's into figure skating, huh?" the voice spoke again. "I didn't think you'd look that… manly."

It belonged to the player directly facing the redhead. Jotaro squinted his eyes. Dio. He felt the muscles in his neck tense slightly.

"What was your name again? Kakyoin Noriaki, right?"

A speck of disdain tainted his voice. Jotaro has had his fair share of altercations with the guy. First because of obvious team rivalry. Second because everyone knew Dio Brando was simply the worst asshole to ever grace the surface of this planet. Everyone knew not to mess with the guy or it'd come with a plethora of consequences, some of which Jotaro had already been the victim of. But he'd never back down from giving the guy a good beating. And presently, something told him that the guy was up to no good. Still, the smaller redhead stood, face on. Stock still. Jotaro could see the soft angle of his jaw tense a bit as he began speaking.

"Who cares, what I want to know is why your team is on the ice right now. We've booked it for figure skating practice. You guys shouldn't be here." he explained, calmly. He was crossing his arms in front of his torso. Jotaro never noticed how toned he was before, when he was simply sitting in class. Damn. Focus, Kujo. Dio loomed over him, threateningly. He did not phase. "We have a competition coming up."

Dio snickered. The redhead sneered.

"And we have the game season starting soon," Dio interrupted. "Go ask, but I do believe the ice hockey competition is a bit more important than lollygagging stupidly on the ice like you guys do." Jotaro saw the redhead's jaw clench. Oh. "So, I'm sure you girls are okay with us taking the place for now." He slid a bit closer, looking down on the redhead further. The latter narrowed his eyes in anger. Yeah, Dio was just an asshole, and he relished in showing it.

"What's happening?" Polnareff had appeared behind him. His eyes locked in the same direction as Jotaro. "Wait, isn't that Dio? What's he doing again?"

"Picking up on some kid." Jotaro replied simply. 'Some kid', he said. Only, he had the feeling that that Kakyoin was more than just 'some kid'. For one, he had the guts to stand up to Dio. This alone could make him memorable in Jotaro's book. Something else too. The raven-haired boy couldn't quite put his finger on it. Maybe the way his saturated amethyst eyes illuminated his whole face. Or the grace in which he was holding his stance even when faced with overwhelming confrontation. Or how his top tightened around the muscles of his torso. Or his peaceful, steady breathing. Jotaro shook his head to disperse these pesky thoughts into thin air. Polnareff took notice, but didn't pry.

"Oh, I know the little guy. He's a friend of Mohammed's. Noriaki, I think. I didn't know he skated too." he simply added.

Jotaro turned his gaze to Polnareff with but a shadow of interest in his eyes.

"Mohammed knows him? He's in my English Lit class, but he doesn't seem very approachable." he paused. Polnareff arched both his almost non-existent eyebrows, which made Jotaro turn his head away. "Not that I care."

"Uh-huh" simply said Polnareff, with slight amusement. Jotaro, due to his very readable exterior, had little to no secrets for him. But as he already decided earlier, he wouldn't pry, and merely watched the scene unfold. Dio and Kakyoin were still going at it. The argument got heated during the time lapse of the little aside between Jotaro and his best friend.

"Whatever." exclaimed the redhead a bit too loudly for his usual tone of voice. "I guess we'll have to share, then." A hint of defiance brushed his entire face. It almost made Jotaro smile. The redhead politely gestured to his girl friends to follow him on the ice as he was about to slide past Dio without a moment's notice. The latter seemed taken aback. His knuckle tightened around the hockey stick it held. That couldn't mean any good.

"You know..." started Dio as Kakyoin almost made it past him. "I'm very glad that you are a boy." The redhead turned his head to him and released a soft "...huh?" as Dio lifted his stick. He smiled sinisterly. "Means I can do this." And without any other warning, he used his stick to sweep at the redhead's legs. The latter gasped as he lost balance. He quite ungracefully face planted on the ice in a loud thud, which had Dio's team holler in laughter.

"Shit, poor guy. That must've hurt." Polnareff winced. "Don't you agree, JoJo?"

He heard no response, so he lowered his eyes. Jotaro was not here anymore.

"Where d-" he interrupted himself when he saw the silhouette of his friend sliding on the ice towards the commotion. "Huh, when did he...?" but he questioned no further.

Kakyoin used his trembling forearms to lift his upper body off the ice. Midler sounded panicked, with Mariah clearly giving a disapproving stare at Dio. She sneered at him, muttering a half breathed "Don't you have anything better to do than hurt others, Brando?", to which Dio only replied with a disdainful snort. Jotaro had almost arrived, only to see a crimson spot pool on the ice beneath the redhead's face. He was bleeding. Jotaro slid next to him.

The blond hockey player's face darkened instantly at the sight of the brunet. "This doesn't concern you, Kujo." he heard. Dio almost spat with disgust when he pronounced the 'Ku' of Jotaro's name. Jotaro nonetheless offered a hand to the disoriented youth, who upon feeling the brunet's fingers grazing against his arm, swatted the help away.

"Don't touch me. I don't need your help." Kakyoin got back up to his feet like any experienced figure skater knows how to, holding the bottom of his face. Drips of blood fell from his pale hand, seeping through the gaps between his fingers. "Great, another hockey player" Jotaro heard him mumble while he still had his amethyst eyes planted on him. Anger broke the otherwise crisp line of his fine eyebrows. The newcomer didn't hold his attention much longer, however. Seething with rage, the figure skater approached Dio again. Mariah slid back, but attempted to talk reasonably.

"Nori, we should go to the infirmary just in-"

"Yes. Yes I know." he cut her off, eyes fixed on the tall, blond hockey player who in turn just looked down on him with a smug grin. He removed his hand from his face to reveal a busted lip from the collision against the ice. Blood also poured from his nose, closing in to the hue of his hair. A wave of discomfort crept in Jotaro's abdomen at the sight. The poor raven haired teen didn't understand why he felt this all of a sudden. Despite maintaining a cool exterior, he knew better than to believe this matter would resolve itself peacefully. Especially when he didn't know what either the erratic redhead or the dangerous blond could pull off next, he prepared himself to jump in at any given moment. Soon enough, another crisis happened, justifying his dread, because Kakyoin, without any warning, delivered the heaviest, best aimed right hook to Dio's incredulous face, which made his head turn under the sheer force. The shock of the clenched knuckle hitting against the wall of the blond man’s skull resonated throughout the entire rink. Everyone. Everyone in the whole damn place gasped loudly in unison like a surprised choir, save for Jotaro, who looked on in utter disbelief. A hit so impressive it sent Dio sliding backwards a few centimetres, but didn't succeed in sweeping him off his feet. Silence fell, if only for a few seconds. One hell of a guy, that Kakyoin Noriaki, Jotaro admitted.

"You little..!!" Dio yelled after coming back to his senses. Blood pearled at his lip; it had caught itself on his teeth during the impact. He clenched his fist, ready to punch Kakyoin who remained still in front of him, unafraid to take the brunt of the other’s wrath. Mariah had to be the one to put a defensive arm in front of her friend. Fortunately, Jotaro caught Dio's before any more harm was done.

"Stop." He glared at the man darkly, as if ready to pounce on him. He had done that in the past. "Just stop, Dio."

Mariah sighed. "There's no point reasoning with these guys. We should come back later."

Her redheaded friend nodded. "Whatever. If they think they're so important, let them." He glared at Dio "Happy? You'll get your precious rink all to yourselves. I'm done here.". He lifted his arms mid-air in disgust. A drop of blood slithered from his hand. "Absolutely done." After this, the redhead and his friends slid out of the ice rink, moving towards the exit. Dio remained still with a look of complete confusion on his face before addressing Jotaro. As rudely as ever, of course.

"Kujo! What's your dumb ass doing on the ice? My team is practicing for now, so fuck off, will you?" He wiped the cheek that was starting to bruise, "Unless you want to go back to the hospital again?" He lowered his hand, turning it into a fist again. Everything about him cried humiliation, and thus, the need to lash out on someone in revenge. But this time, Jotaro was having none of it.

Jotaro struck a violent glare at Dio. "Fine." He slid back in the direction of the lockers. "Enjoy your practice session."

He heard Dio's mouth spitting an exaggerated 'Tch' before barking orders to the members of his team. Jotaro displayed too sombre of a mood to humour anything that got said, though. As he got closer to the end of the ice, the raven-haired teen could make out the shape of Polnareff's flat top, then of the man himself, waiting for him with hands tightly settled on his hips. By the way he was holding his expression, Jotaro could guess that the guy was doing everything in his power not to show too much of his amusement. A broad hand hovered over the flat top. A sigh escaped his mouth. It was only when Jotaro sat himself down to remove his skates that Polnareff decided to speak, in a hushed tone -which was unusual for him- due to the rink's already established amazing acoustic capacity.

"What was that about?" he simply inquired.

Jotaro quite angrily fiddled with the lace of his skates as soon as he heard the question but didn't dignify it with any kind of answer other than an exasperated grunt. What was there to elaborate about anyway? He just... felt that he had to interfere. Polnareff took in his silence with an incredulous huff.

"Look, I know you're kind of a righteous guy in all due respects, but you don't really go out of your way for people you don't know." He brought an inquisitive finger to his lower lip, " Especially when it potentially involves a violent interaction with 'That Other Douchebag'."
It took Polnareff a few seconds to notice that his friend had stopped what he was doing in order to look at him with a darkened expression, his thick black brows furrowed to the point that they could look like a dark line in the dimly lit atmosphere of the rink. The shouts of Dio and his team members, and the repeated striking of pucks were the only thing filling the blank left between the two friends. Polnareff was well aware that the commotion had left Jotaro aggravated, and that in his state, his best friend could be described as... very unstable.

"I don't know." Jotaro finally answered, breaking the relative silence, which surprised Polnareff. Jotaro had always managed to make him drop most uncomfortable subjects, usually. Not today, apparently. "But I know where you're trying to get, and that's nothing like it, understood?" he added, sneering at Polnareff, who simply shrugged.

"I'm not getting anywhere. I was curious, is all." his mouth twisted into a disbelieving scowl when his clear blue eyes caught the red lensed ones of Dio staring at them both. God, he almost forgot that dude wore those. So tacky. "We should go, though. Like, now." Jotaro got up and nodded. In a way, the reason why Dio was so upset almost managed to make him smile as he left the building.
But it was definitely NOT something like that.

Chapter Text

"Oh. MY. GOD! Nori!" Midler exploded once they distanced themselves far enough from the building, walking in the direction of their campus' infirmary. Her friend, still inconvenienced by the nonstop bleeding affecting his nose, didn't dignify the need to turn towards her. It would be pointless to mention that his first encounter with Dio Brando left him without a bitter taste in his mouth. Figuratively and literally. His blood tasted bitter. That's what he meant. Mariah rested her arm on his back in a comforting manner as she offered him a pack of tissues.

"Nori!"

"What." the boy replied on a dryer tone than intended.

"Don't you realise what just happened?" she said excitedly. He remained back to her, not that he would be able to catch any of her over-excited demeanour anyway as she was always wearing her big woolly scarf up to her nose. Poor girl was self-conscious about the metal braces she had to wear on her teeth.

"As a matter of fact, I do, Mimi." he sighed, thanking Mariah silently for the tissues he was now pressing against his nostril, tilting his head up slightly. "Dio Brando utterly destroyed my face." he winced at the realisation. And he punched him right in the face as retaliation. Really, he ought to be more careful with his anger outbursts. This time his actions could as well lead him into treading waters. Dio was most likely already plotting his demise as they spoke. His mouth twisted with worry.

"No, no! Who cares about Dio!" she paused as she winced at the sight of him staring daggers at her. "I mean... Jotaro!" she clasped her hands together. They entered the campus building.

"Your ex? What about him?" Kakyoin asked, refocusing on the way to the infirmary.

"He came to assist you!" the girl blurted. "I mean, love the guy, but he's a huge oaf. He would've never done that for me. Even when I was dating him."

Two and two connected together in his head. His fingers unconsciously pressed harder on the tissue. That... that guy was Kujo Jotaro? He had barely noticed with how red he was seeing. At the back of his mind, a feeling crept telling him that he had already seen the guy before, but the pain pulsing through his entire face prevented him from thinking much into it. In retrospect he… might have been an asshole towards him, yeah. After all, the hockey player had only desired to help him.

"Oh." Kakyoin could simply reply, his cheeks catching a discreet pink hue. He just didn't have the right words at the moment, but Midler most likely thought none of it. Her scarf covered the wide grin she was displaying. "You should get to know him! He's a nice enough guy... A bit irascible..." There was only a few steps left to the infirmary, but Kakyoin decided to stop in his track in order to finish up with the conversation. Mariah went ahead to check if the nurse was available. "...But that's a detail." Midler concluded, offering her best hidden smile. Kakyoin's fingers pressed the tissue harder against his nose.

"Well. I guess I could at least apologise for my behaviour next time I see him." the least he could do, really. Midler nodded.

"That's the spirit!"

However, he raised a surrendering hand to her, "But that's going to be about it, he doesn't strike me as someone who'd appreciate my company."

"Psshh, nonsense!"

Kakyoin pursed his lips in disbelief. He had no time to answer as the nurse had poked her head out to stare at him. "Noriaki! What are you doing? I need to look at your nose!". He nodded sheepishly, then, without another word uttered to his scarf-clad friend, the boy entered the nurse's office. She followed in soon after.

--

"Oh. Hey! Mohammed!!" Polnareff exclaimed as soon as they entered the campus' café. The object of his interjection, a tall, dark, handsome Egyptian leaning against his seat, engrossed in a thick book, only budged slightly. Probably because of his reading. Or probably because Polnareff's 'enthusiasm' embarrassed him slightly, which could also be a possibility. A half eaten egg muffin sat on a tray laid before him, with a tall coffee next to it. "He's over there!" Polnareff gestured loudly towards the man's general direction. Several heads turned to the source of the sound, others to the object of such fuss. Jotaro tilted his head to the side in a sign of compassion for Mohammed who was basically hiding his face behind his open book out of sheer shame at this point. What felt like an eternity for him only lasted a few seconds as the other patrons soon realised that it was nothing out of the ordinary. Polnareff and Jotaro made their way to him, as discreetly and delicately as their stocky hockey player frames allowed them to be. At least, they had changed out of their equipment, Jotaro had finally showered so the inconvenience they caused remained at manageable levels. They sat heavily on the chairs in front of Mohammed, who only then decided to drop his reading. He whipped a very elegant golden bookmark out of the cover and slid it on the page his mind was currently working on. With a deaf thud, the book came to be closed by the man's large hands. Then, he laid it carefully to rest next to his tray before clearing his throat.

"I know I went ahead, but you took your time to get here." he said in a low, calm voice, without a single ounce of reproach mixed in it. "Let me guess... Polnareff's flat top?", he concluded with a warm smile and a sip of his coffee. When his silver-haired friend shook his head, despite beaming as Mohammed acknowledged his awesome hairdo, the Egyptian arched a thick eyebrow. "Oh?"

"There was a... how would you say" Polnareff started, looking at Jotaro for support in his story, but the guy simply slumped against his seat. "Eh. A commotion at the rink." Mohammed perked up. Ah, there, his worried side started to show. Something Polnareff was trying to avoid. "Hey, nothing serious." He knew how prone to overthinking and worrying his friend was.

"What happened exactly?"

"Dio was picking up on the figure skating team and well..." Polnareff pursed his lips together as he looked to his knees.

"Well?"

Jotaro interrupted the exchange by slapping the palm of his hand against the table and standing up "I'm going to get our grub. It's on me. Same as usual, Pol?" Polnareff looked at him with a betrayed expression imprinted on his face. "Yeah, the usual, then, Pol." The support his was counting on getting from Jotaro simply didn't exist. The man swiftly slalomed between the tables in the direction of the food. He feigned hesitation unsubtly enough for Polnareff to just give up. "Well okay." he sighed. "You know your friend, Kakyoin? He got hurt during an argument with Dio." Polnareff could feel Mohammed's fingers tightening their grip against the cup they were holding. He cared a lot for the younger teen, Polnareff knew that much, so his concern was legitimate. Mohammed threw his head to the side, taking another gulp of coffee.

"That asshole." he jeered.

"Jotaro went to help him."

Mohammed shot his eyes directly back at him. Surprise had partly replaced concern. "Jotaro... our Jotaro?" He glanced quickly at the stocky teen still feigning to look for what to eat before refocusing on Polnareff. "Really."

"Uh-huh." Polnareff nodded, leaning back in his seat with a grin.

Mohammed remained silent for a moment, interest perking him up over his egg muffin. "Well, so? Do you think...?"

"Oh, he was listening to their argument for a few minutes. I'm sure your friend has made quite the impression on him." Polnareff explained, "So yeah... I think. Yeah. Well, maybe?"

The Egyptian might as well have actual stars in his eyes at the moment. "That's wonderful I bet they could be a..."

Polnareff raised a reasonable hand up, being the sensible one for once, something quite unusual considering their habitual antics, to say "Don't get ahead of yourself. I don't know Kakyoin that much, and Jotaro... well. He's... Jotaro, right?"  he jabbed a thumb in the direction of said dark haired man who had now been joined by a very persistent female clerk hellbent on helping him find something to pick up. Or giving him her number. Avdol agreed silently. Jotaro wasn't the greatest at social interactions, by all means. Especially around people he didn't know who displayed too strong a personality. He'd get pissed off way too quickly to accord them any of his time. Which was a shame, considering how profound of a person he could be. Mohammed pondered internally. That didn't mean he had no need for a deeper kind of connection, with someone who could understand him even better than Polnareff did. And somehow... Kakyoin's profile suited Jotaro's in Avdol’s mind. It was worth a try, right? "We'll see how it plays out, Jean-Pierre.", to which said Jean-Pierre simply nodded, then added "And anyway. If they need a nudge, y'know..." He grinned wider and rolled his shoulder. Mohammed took a bite of his egg muffin as he nodded. This did worry Polnareff, though, even if he didn’t feel against pushing Jotaro in the right direction. He had known the guys for a few years, now. An immobile kind of human, that dude. He’d have to think it over.

"Oh, hey, there you go." Jotaro's voice rang next to them, soon covered by the noise of food trays and cups of coffee settled on the table between them. "Took me some time to choose." he simply sat, expectant of them to have dropped the subject of what had happened earlier already. Mohammed chewed slowly as he gave him a dubitative look. Jotaro paused in his action of drinking his coffee. "What?"

"Nothing. You played remarkably well today. I mean, you always do. But you catch my drift." Mohammed said after swallowing.

"Oh. Thanks." Jotaro replied and finally sipped his coffee. "Gramps seemed pleased, too. Guess that's good."

"Anyone can please him as long as they don't argue about hair for hours." Mohammed scoffed.

"Hey!" Polnareff exclaimed, indignant, half of the food in his mouth falling from it. Avdol's nose scrunched up in disgust. Polnareff reached for a napkin, a slight pink hue dusking his cheeks. "Sorry, " he mumbled. Mohammed offered him a gentle smile. "What I mean is, Jotaro. You seem more focused lately. Precise."

Jotaro shrugged. "Game season's motivating me. And I just want to make that asshole Dio bites the dust pretty hard, huh." he took a bite of his sandwich.

"Don't we all." added Mohammed.

"By the way, Mo." Polnareff interjected after wiping his mouth with a napkin. "When's your next session with my little sis? She's been feeling way better lately. Anxiety's passed, and all. For now. At least."

Mohammed brought a finger to his chin. "Well, we had one programmed for next Thursday, so I'm glad to learn that she's doing better. We're getting into some complicated grammar lessons, and I wouldn't want to burden her mind with it."

"Pshh!" the Frenchman held his coffee mid-air after drinking from it. "None of that. It's already nice enough of you to help her with her studies. Egyptian Arabic is a difficult language, and she's aware of it." he leant on the table, towards his friend. "Besides, she was lucky to find a tutor here."

Avdol gave him a sincere, beaming smile. The kind that made Jean-Pierre just weak in the knee.

"I'll be glad to see her on Thursday then. Do you reckon I should bring her some flowers?" he paused at Polnareff's slightly inquisitive stare, his turn to get slightly rosy cheeks. "As a get-well gift, obviously."

"Of course! She'd be delighted."

Jotaro only half listened to their conversation, focused on his cup of coffee. Sherry’s Arabic lessons were none of his business. He then soon found himself scanning around the place, unconsciously looking for someone in particular. Kakyoin. Instead of questioning himself too much about the weirdness of it, he wondered if the redhead would hang out in places like these. He dropped this train of thought quickly though, as he didn't quite peg the guy down anyway. It wasn’t like he knew him or something. He only saw him in one class, and his interactions with him earlier didn't let on as much as he would've liked them to. But... that something about Kakyoin, the detail that escaped Jotaro, made him worthy of at least some thoughts. He shook this off rapidly, though. Enough about him. He poked at his sandwich, his mind finally settling into more relaxing thoughts, like his next lesson... English Lit, right? Oh yeah, the class he had in common with Kakyoin... Wait. DAMN IT. He took a frustrated bite out of his sandwich, not knowing what his own deal was.

Polnareff and Avdol only deemed necessary, as well as wise, to give him a puzzled stare, then simply went back to their ongoing exchange. All the better. Jotaro wouldn’t have answered any question about his current state of mind, either way.

--

With the presence of his two friends, Avdol had felt somehwat to finish his meal quicker. Jotaro always ate so fast, he wondered if the younger man even had the time to savour the food he put inside his mouth. But no matter. As they stepped out of the café, Polnareff stretched widely, not without making the loudest satisfied noise ever. Unexpectedly, this unnerved Jotaro who opted to walk a bit farther away from them after rolling his eyes. No, he’s not associating with his damn nuisance of a guy this time. Fortunate, really, since Polnareff needed to resume his private conversation with Avdol. He tapped his arm.

“Hey, let’s go over there for a bit before joining Jotaro.”

“Hm? Alright.” Avdol complied, a bit intrigued.

At a reasonable distance from Jotaro, who had turned his attention to the nearby vegetation, possibly lost in thoughts as usual, the Frenchman spoke again, in a more muted tone. “Look… are you certain you want to do this?”

“Bringing Kakyoin and Jotaro together? Well, yes. I thought you were on board.”

“Yeah well, see,” Polnareff scratched his head. “I’m already having second thoughts about this plan. I’ve been around Jotaro enough to know when not to push.”

Really, all this reasoning. Coming from him. Inconceivable. It even puzzled Mohammed.

“It’s best to leave them be,” he pressed.

Avdol tsk’d, his lips tugging up in a sly smile. “And I’m quite certain we’re faced with one of these situations where push is indeed needed. If we do nothing, they might lose a golden opportunity to get closer.”

Polnareff remained unconvinced. “I’m not sure…”

“I’ll do it either way, whether or not you help me.” Avdol states. “Sorry but I just… can’t let them miss that shot when there’s obvious promise for a friendship, and maybe more.”

Headstrong as always and running right into catastrophe. Polnareff sighed.

“No. It’s alright. Jotaro’s my best friend…” he spared a glance at the guy, again accosted by a girl. “… if there’s anything I can do to help, I will.”

“Great! Let me take care of Kakyoin, then.” Mohammed told him with a gentler smile, this time.

Reciprocating the gesture, Polnareff didn’t have the heart to add that he would mostly be keeping an eye on him instead of the other two. He let out a nervous chuckle. Ouh là là. Quelle belle recette pour un désastre, cette histoire…