Photoshoots always made Diarmuid anxious, it didn’t help with Fionn’s backhanded compliments either, which he nonchalantly bat away. Artoria usually helped build himself up again, like last night while they were at the bar. He was glad they were friends, involved in the same project, because he wouldn’t be sure if he’d be comfortable continuing forward without her. Because of his prior friendship with her, she helped him land the role of a tragic hero in the critically acclaimed television show ‘Fate/Zero’. He and the hero he played were a little similar, which helped him connect and reach a deeper understanding with him.
The small project gradually became bigger and bigger, leading into a multimedia project. His agent would occasionally call him in to do promotional material for books, games and the like. From there, Diarmuid gained more traction but he continued to remain elusive on social media.
“You honestly do not want to know what goes on there,” Artoria told him once over the phone, “Some fans send me a ridiculous amount of inappropriate material.”
Diarmuid shivered at the thought, he didn’t want to know what his fans did to him and his character. The so called ship wars made him uncomfortable, whether it be with her, his Lord, his Master- ( the man who played him though in contrast to his character was down to Earth), or the other servants, fighting over who’d be best. In truth, he’d be happy enough with anyone where there was no power struggle in it.
Lately he’s been called back to reprise his role as his titular character, Lancer. Apparently the higher ups had plans for recreating his character as Saber as well. The logic and lore behind the series continued to confuse him but he didn’t mind if he got meet again with his character.
Today, being one of those days where he’d be reprising his role. The company created an event in game, but they also wanted to use real life photos as well to distribute. Each group had their set theme, and he was told he’d be joined by Archer and Assassin, who were completely different from the ones he knew.
The quote from the card was a little corny, in Diarmuid’s opinion but he rolled with. Upon arriving, he was surprised he didn’t have to wear his armor to the shoot. Instead they provided him with a long sleeved, black sweater and some slacks with a pair of glasses.
Always the early bird, Diarmuid waited in one of the director’s chairs for the other arrivals. He was texting Cú Chulainn who also was here, but in a different room, about the photoshoot when a blur of brown and red appears in his peripheral.
“Hello there!” The green haired man greets, “You must be Lancer, right?”
“Ah, yes, I am, nice to meet you too!” Diarmuid pockets his phone away, adjusting the glasses on his face. “And which Class are you?”
“Archer! But my name’s David, nice to meet you!” David gives him a wink, then takes a glance around, “Assassin’s not here yet?”
“No, I haven’t seen him yet–– hm?” Diarmuid glances around, hearing a distant sound that was growing closer. “You hear that?”
Both men turned toward the doorway, watching as someone stumbled through the doors, looking a little disheveled. Another person followed behind, attempting to do last minute adjustments. Diarmuid jumps to his feet getting a better look at the duo.
“Ah! Stop fidgeting, ah ha! There we go!” A chipper voice sang, “there we go; see ya later at our shoot Berserker!” This voice belonged to the pink haired youth, who then promptly left the premises. The blond in the turquoise sweater vest and brown jacket let out a drawn out sigh. Noticing he made a commotion, his whole face became red.
“I’m sorry for being late!” The bespectacled man apologizes, now adjusting his glasses frames. “There…. There was an accident on the way here.”
The photographer didn’t appear to mind too much, but waved the group to join him. After going over what poses they’d be trying out, they immediately got to work, starting with the individual poses with some props. David was up first, working the camera with ease with his charming smile. This gave Diarmuid a chance to chat it up with the newer guy.
“So, Berserker huh?” Diarmuid notices the man blinked in surprise, “I thought we’d be shooting with an Assassin?”
“Aha, well… my character is both,” Berserker explains, now adjusting his blond hair. When he smiles, Diarmuid feels like he gets tunnel vision. His embarrassment apparent, from his flushed cheeks to the tips of his ears. It was cute. “ He’s based off of that one Victorian novel concerning good and evil with dual personalities.”
“Oh! The one by Robert Louis Stevenson?” Diarmuid asks, interested immediately, “I remember my friend reading about it awhile back!”
Berserker chuckles, “Yes! I thought it’d be interesting as well to implement him into the series. I know my character appears in a light novel series, at the moment, although there are plans for a Drama CD in a year or so.”
“Ah, right! I vaguely remember hearing about that,” Diarmuid replies with a nod. “But he’s both in the game?”
“Yes, apparently the developers love to keep bending the rules to the lore, continuing to make contradictions.” Berserker chuckles, rubbing his neck sheepishly. “Oh um, by the way, my name’s Henry, nice to meet you! You’re Diarmuid, right? I keep hearing about you from Mordred.”
Diarmuid then smiles back, he’s a little curious about what Artoria’s cousin might have said about him, but before he can he’s prompted to go next. He waves Henry off, with a whisper we’ll talk later and gets ready in front of the camera.
The rest of the day went swimmingly, ending in a successful photoshoot. When the individual photos were finished, they finally started to group them together.
“Okay, okay, Henry, get a little closer to David– yeah! Put your arm around him David, and lean forward. Good!” The photographer instructs, snapping some photos from a few different angles. “Diarmuid get behind them, and hoooold that pose!”
In between shoots, Diarmuid couldn’t help but gaze at Henry’s neck. He almost wished he could immortalized the frame of Henry’s smile with his glasses. The quote associated with the card comes to mind, something about the lenses brightening their feelings. Diarmuid doubts he’ll ever forget this moment. It wasn’t until David glanced behind him to look toward with a smile and a wink that made Diarmuid snap out of his daze and avert his eyes.
“And cuuuut! Well done, gentlemen!” Their photographer, Georgios announced, clapping his hands together.
“Wow, I’m feeling good about this one!” David announces, while the trio walks away from the set. “We really killed it, eh?”
“I think so too, although I felt a little nervous, haha..” Henry titters a bit, “I was worried I looked a bit stiff.”
“Of course not, your smile looked natural, it looked nice.” Diarmuid replies, but he feels his stomach drop with a tinge of regret, but Henry’s smile framed in his glasses frames are worth it.
“Thank you…” Henry replies slowly, “I hope we can work together again sometime.”
“But of course, of course~” David replies with a cat like grin, “ we ought to hang out off set, hm? Get to know one another. Who knows, we might film one of those Singularities together!”
“Yes, that sounds like fun,” Diarmuid nods in agreement, “ I’m looking forward to it.”
“Ah, yes, that sounds great.” Henry’s smile widens, and he reaches into his pocket to grab his phone. His face drops in fear, and he looks antsy like before. “Ah! I have to go to the other photoshoot, but I can quickly give you guys my number?”
The trio passed around their phones, each inputting the numbers inside. Henry gives a weary smile, then goes to turn. “I’ll see you guys around!” And he dashes off in a flash, leaving Diarmuid and David alone.
“You know…” David begins, there’s a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. “I saw how you were looking at him~”
“Huh– uh, I do not know what you mean,” Diarmuid weakly asserts.
“Well he is pretty cute,” David begins to chuckle, “he’s still got a baby face; he’s cute when he’s flustered.”
“Ahahaha..” Diarmiud averts his eyes, “Anyway, I’ve got to run now. Hope to talk to you soon.”
Diarmuid immediately goes to the changing room to recollect his belongings and makes a beeline for the exit… Almost being the keyword, because he backtracks hearing a familiar voice from one of the other studio spaces. He moves close to the edge of the doorway, looking from the crack of the door.
“H~eey, stop bullying me!” A familiar voice whines, “Arash, I was just joking!!”
“Nu-uh, you asked for it,” The voice, who he presumed to be Arash reply. “I’ve got to because of that prank you tried to pull earlier with Henry.”
That got Diarmuid’s attention. He must’ve looked strange, crouched down near the door while listening in to the conversation.
“It’s fine,” Henry replies, with a sigh. “I can’t believe you and my brother got in on the prank.”
“Hya hahaha!I It was a riot!” A new voice laughs raucously; it sounded like Henry, yet wasn’t. “Heh, yer such a stiff, eh? It would’ve been funny t’see ya with blue hair–”
“Now Edward, that would have ruined my photoshoot. Thanks for the clothes again.” He hears Henry sigh, “now don’t you have a gig?”
“Gig? Nahhhhhh, that’s uh, tomorrow. Anyway, lemme know when ya want me to pick you up.”
Diarmuid immediately straightens then begins walking away from the door upon hearing the shuffling footsteps, ears tipped with red. He needed to get out, text Artoria and hurry home. He glanced behind him briefly, and that was a mistake.
One look, and the man who looks like Henry scowls at him. “Got a problem, pretty boy?”
“Uh, no, excuse me–” Diarmuid meanwhile quickened his pace, running out the door leaving Edward alone.
Edward snorts, clicking his tongue, but glances down to his phone and makes a note. Weirdo watching bro, should I be concerned? With a shrug of his shoulders, he makes his way to the entrance. He noticed the other’s eyes through the slit of the doorway when the others were making a racket.
Well, Edward chuckles in amusement, guess bro has an admirer.
The next year, Diarmuid and Fionn and Charles were grouped together for a photo. A little before the shoot, Diarmuid tried to look for the strawberry blonde, but he was nowhere in sight. It wasn't until the year after when Diarmuid was at a bar with Artoria in disguise Henry popped up in discussion again. Diarmuid proceeded to spit out his beer upon seeing the message, he then gasped for air.
“Diarmuid?” Artoria then gets him a glass of water. “Here, drink this; are you alright?”
“God damn it, Cú.” Diarmuid wheezes, “I’m going to kill hm…”
Artoria’s brow furrows slightly, “....because?”
Diarmuid puts a face in his hands, then hands off his cell phone to her. She glances at the preview, and then begins to chuckle.
“Ah, so this is for the White Day event,” Artoria smiles, now glancing over to him. “He was telling me that they managed to recruit his three brothers for the occasion. I forgot he would also be there too.”
Running his fingers through his hair, Diarmuid sighs. “I don’t even know him, but he makes me feel like this.”
“A crush?” Artoria asks, causing Diarmuid to choke again.
“N- No! ” Diarmuid whispers, “ I mean… it can’t be, we’re merely acquaintances, I’ve only seen him a little at the convention events….”
Artoria rubs at her chin, “ Well, we could change that.”
“Arthur also happens to know him; they’re working on the same project. So we could all go out together,” Artoria offers, “how about it…?”
“...I wouldn’t want to burden you with that, Artie,” Diarmiud replies, spreading his fingers to side eye her.
“Burden? Psh, you help keep feeding me every time we go out to eat. So let me repay you, so I hope it goes well.” Artoria replies a knowing smile, rising from the bar stool. “Come, Lancer , we’ve got things to discuss.”
The time spent between the four of them is pleasant. Artoria suggested to go to the beach, which Arthur agreed with. A beach meant there’d be a boardwalk, which meant there’d be plenty of food stalls to taste test.
Diarmuid’s gaze would continue to wander in Henry’s direction, who began to laugh at one of Arthur’s jokes. Even without the fake glasses that were previously provided, Diarmuid continued to frame the sights. His smiles, the way his brows furrowed when deep in thought, the way his bangs framed his face and the way his damp hair looked when he pushed it back. It was nice.
Of course, all good things come to an end, where Arthur paired off with Artoria. Diarmuid offered to drive Henry home, which he thanked him for.
As Diarmuid parks in the driveway, Henry grabs his bag and exits from the car. Diarmuid meanwhile backs out and k turns to turn around on the street, however, he doesn’t leave until Henry’s safely inside the house. He’s surprised when Henry back to the car again, causing Diarmuid to roll down his window.
“Thank you for today, Diarmuid.” Henry said, smile akin to a star, “I enjoyed our time together, hopefully we can hang out again?”
“Oh, I’d love too, haha, whenever we’re not busy right?” Diarmuid chuckles in response, offering him a slight smile.
“Yes, of course, take care,” Henry replies, then turns and waves.
Diarmuid watches him return to the doorstep, rap at the door thrice and await for someone to open the door. Upon seeing him go inside, he smiles, beeps his horn and feel the butterflies flutter in his stomach. He’ll remember this day forever, he couldn’t wait till the next day they’d be able to spend time together, perhaps even alone.
“Welcome backkkk, “ Edward drawls, who cocks his head to the side, “eh, eh, who was your date this time?”
“He’s–– Ed! But that was Diarmuid, one of my colleagues,” Henry replies, exasperated. Edward meanwhile barks out a laugh, slapping him in the back causing him to stumble.
“Aahhaa! Ya sly dog you,” His brows furrowed together in concentration. “Diarmuid…. Diarmuid… ah! The guy who plays that tragic green Lancer––”
“There’s actually like, two tragic Green Lancers,” Henry replies matter of factually, watching a smirk forming on his brother’s face. “What?”
“Hehe, too bad that love spot don’t work in real life,” Edward teases, now taking his brother’s bags. “You enamored, yet?”
“Wh– why are you like this, Ed? We’re… we’re just colleagues, getting to know one another.” Henry pouts, shaking his head.
“Oh, well, okay~” Edward replies with a chuckle, he wears a mischievous smile, “Don’t forget t’shower, you’re recording for the next Drama CD yeah? Don’t wanna smell like wet dog!”
Henry rolls his eyes, ignoring him, then makes a bee line for the bathroom. Meanwhile, Edward snickers, writing down another note down in his phone. Possible Romantic Route– time to discuss this with the boys . With a cackle, he proceeds to text Astolfo and Arash about his next prank.