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I am to wait, though waiting so be hell

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I am to wait, though waiting so be hell,
Not blame your pleasure be it ill or well.

Kohaku glanced at Lucille out of the very corner of his eye, not wanting him to know that he was actually concerned about that too-cheerful cross-dressing singer. The said lead singer of their orchestra was lagging behind, very much far behind than where Kohaku expected him to be.

(Although maybe getting shot in the foot caused that? He wouldn't know, but didn't think so.)

Lucille's face was as blank as ever, but tiny beads of sweat lined his brow. It was a pretty hot day out, and Kohaku had shed the top layer of his clothing. Lucille hadn't though, so no wonder he was practically boiling there. He trembled whenever he had to take a step forward with his bad foot, clearly in pain but not going to show it anytime soon. Kohaku bit the inside of his cheek, as he had been doing for a good five minutes past. If he were Hamlet, he might have expounded thus: To help or not to help? His natural tendency to shy away from anything involving emotion held him back from offering his shoulder to the blond man following him, on the other hand his natural (stupid) tendency to feel bad about people hurting told him to go there and haul ass.

(Lucille had taken that bullet for him. Lucille was crazy and considered Kohaku more valuable than himself. Lucille cared. And more than anything, that was... frightening.)

Kohaku exhaled loudly, as if breathing out the illogicality of the actions he was going to perform. He turned around, walking the few steps back to where Lucille was panting through his nose. Before he could talk himself out of it, he knelt down with his back to Lucille, gesturing with his thumb for him to get on. Lucille is shocked speechless for a moment, or so it seems, because he doesn't do anything and just stares.

Kohaku's face is uncomfortably hot, and his neck is sweating rivulets by now. If Lucille says something stupid like, 'this is so out of character for you,' he's going to leave him to rot here, shot-in-the-foot or not. But of course Lucille doesn't say anything like that.

He says something worse.

"Awww, is Kohaku-chan finally feeling some love for me?" he coos, pulling on some of the violinist's hair. Kohaku can't help it and retorts back, "Shut the fuck up, or I'm going to leave your sorry ass here and never come back," he says, perhaps rudely but Lucille doesn't act like he cares, in fact he accepts the piggyback ride and they walk their way for a while like that, with Lucille blabbering stupid stuff Kohaku couldn't give two cents about. The blond's smile is on full-blast, nearly blinding Kohaku. Even covered in dust and sweat, Lucille is beautiful. But Kohaku butts into the middle of Lucille's sentence, surprising the other man.

"I don't get it. You just got shot in the foot because you covered for me. And yet you're still laughing like this? How can you?"

Kohaku is genuinely curious and confused. Lucille senses it, senses the frustration in the question and thinks a moment before he answers. "Well... it's not like it doesn't hurt... but still, it was worth it. I mean, the pain is an acceptable price, so..." he trails off, leaving Kohaku hanging just like that.

"Price for what?" The violinist nearly growls out.

Again Lucille feels the insecurities hidden in that question, the perceptive little twat. He's always known that Kohaku had abandonment issues, and tons of unspoken insecurities, and he had hoped that one day maybe Kohaku would lower those walls around him at least. Lucille thinks that maybe, this is the first baby-step towards that goal, and answers accordingly: "Your safety."

At this point Lucille's answers feel like riddles and labyrinths to the simple-minded Kohaku, who's ready to tear his hair out in frustration.

"Why would you give two shits about my safety?" he nearly spits out.

Lucille smiles, a very different kind of smile that Kohaku has never seen on him before. It almost feels - kind. "Because you're my friend, Kohaku."

Kohaku stops in his tracks, nearly dropping Lucille. The answer shuts the scarred man up effectively. What can he say to such an answer? It's one thing to say that 'they were friends' because then Kohaku could call him out on it, say that he'd never given permission to become a 'friend.' But Lucille had said, 'you're my friend,' and not 'I am your friend,' leaving it up to Kohaku as to whether he would take Lucille as his friend, but letting him know that he'd already taken the violinist as his friend. It's a cunning answer to choose, and Kohaku expects nothing less of Lucille, even if it would be nice if he would just stoop to Kohaku's level for a while.

Instead he mutters, "fucked up in the head, you are," and carries on to the caravan where Gwindel would be waiting. There's an uncomfortable sort of warmth in his chest that he can't deal with, that needs to come out, but which isn't really all that unpleasant. Lucille just smiles in response, patting his head like a little child's, saying, "I'll be waiting for the day when I'll be your friend, Kohaku," which was so very uncalled for, because it successfully gets a rise out of a very red Kohaku, sending him cussing and shouting profanities left and right.

(Lucille rewrites his definition of 'adorable'.)

When they get to their carriage, Kohaku plops him down on the back seat, trying to be gentle but not wanting to look as if he's doing so. Lucille calls him out on it anyways, resulting in another string of colourful curses. Gwindel turns them a deaf ear and starts the horses, and all is quiet.

But... Kohaku's waiting, too.

For the day he will call Lucille his friend, as casually as saying that emeralds are green, or that the earth is round. So casually that no one will know that it took him months and months to really be able to say it like there wasn't tons of subtext underneath.

He's waiting.

(Lucille's waiting, too.)