Words blurred into black lines as he turned to page two hundred and forty seven of his mock case file. For four hours, Runaan had tried to adjust his last defence draft to leave no loose ends or openings. And still, he found tiny bits and pieces that didn’t add up as smoothly as he liked. Vaguely, the law major noticed his roommate root through his wardrobe for a dress shirt. The flash of dark red told him Apollo chose the one he’d helped pick out a few weeks earlier. The mix of amusement and exasperation he’d felt at the other’s lack of proper clothes briefly surfaced before he refocused on his task again.
“-naan? Runaan?” a few minutes later, a familiar voice wormed it’s way through his precious walls of concentration, stealing his focus again. “Hm?” Runaan asked, an already chewed-through pen stuck between his teeth. Apollo was waving his hand in front of the law majors face, clearly trying to get his attention. “Are you ready to go?” he asked, vaguely gesturing to his form, dressed in a tank top and sweatpants, bare feet crossed on his chair. “Oh, I’m sorry Tink. I really have to finish this for tomorrow.” The engineering and art major deflated a bit, wringing his hands. “But you’ve been going over this for weeks. You are more than prepared.”
Runaan sighed, switching to absently spinning the pen through his fingers. “Another time okay? I really got to go over it once again.” Apollo frowned but nodded. “Okay. Good luck with your mock trial.” And then, he vanished out the door without another word. Weird, Runaan thought. Usually he tried harder to get him to come with. But before he could dwell longer on his roommates behaviour, another flaw in his reasoning caught his eye and his attention was demanded elsewhere. About half an hour later, his phone vibrated. He ignored it, it vibrated longer. And longer. Annoyed, he picked it up, looking at the Caller ID; Castillo.
What on earth could the other want right now? Wasn't it exam season for him, too? Runaan answered with a huff, preparing to hang up again in case he wanted something stupid. Like going to a party. “What do you want?” he could hear faint voices in the background but it didn't sound like his friend was at a party. Thank God.
“Where the fuck are you? I just arrived and can't find you anywhere and the other's aren't here yet and I definitely need your help since the other guests all look so much more sophisticated than I. Why did nobody tell me to bring a dress shirt? Why didn't YOU tell me to bring a dress shirt?” The other hissed in a hushed tone as he could hear the background nodded getting quieter. “Uh what?” Runaan managed a bit dumbly.
On the other side, Castillo made a strangled noise. “Runaan, I swear if you're messing with me I'm gonna- wait. Please don't tell me you forgot.”
“Forgot what exactly?” a strange feeling of urgency appeared, like there was something he was missing but he couldn't pinpoint what exactly.
“Oh dear heavens. Moon and Stars, Runaan you can't be serious! How the everloving fuck did you mange to forget Sunny's Art show?”
Something cold bloomed in his chest, making Runaan's stomach churn. “I-" he started, setting down his binder with a thund. “That was tonight?” The white haired student whispered “Oh shit.”
“Oh shit indeed.” Castillo supplied from his phone speaker. “Now get your ass over here, save me from these art snobs and apologise for being a dumbass.” With that, he ended the call, not giving Runaan a chance to answer.
It wasn't necessary as the law major had already dropped his phone and sprinted to their shared bathroom to fix his hair. It was currently done in a messy bun and definitely not fit for an Art Show. After what must have been record time, he dressed in the suit he thought Tink liked best and grabbed the invite pinned to his White board before rushing out the door. He made his Uber driver stop at three different flower shops before he found Tink's favourite kind of orange and red roses.
When he finally showed his invitation to the lady at the reception, a brooding Castillo was already waiting for him. “I swear at some point I'll get you one of these shock collars that will go off every time you forget something due to work.” Runaan frowned, guilt setting in his gut. “You know I was busy with the mock trial and-" but his friend shook his head and ushered him inside instead. “- and that's no excuse to forget your friend's first art show you promised to be at. You'll never get a shot if you continue to be such an idiot.”
“No no, Cas. I-I don't have a crush on Apollo.” They were nearing the exhibition hall and somehow he managed to get even more anxious. “Adorable" his friend huffed, not letting go of his arm. “Who are you trying to fool with that stammering. Besides our Sunshine basically exudes gay energy and you bask in it like some white chick in the Sun.” Runaan could feel his face turning a good shade darker.
“So get your act together and fix this. “ the other added before giving him a final push into the exhibition hall. Reflexively, he turned but Castillo had vanished somewhere, giving him no choice but to continue.
Clutching the flowers behind his back, he wove through the surprisingly dense crowd of visitors before his eyes finally found the familiar speck of bordeaux. Apollo was currently talking to an older woman, gesturing with an excited smile on his face. Runaan's resolve faltered. The other seemed to be doing just fine right? He waited in close proximity, pretending to look at a few abstract paintings that he didn't understand but would surely tell Tink a million stories until the woman left. As soon as she did, he noticed his roommates smile falter as he seemed to scan the room for a familiar face.
He scolded himself once more for being so consumed in his work lately, or ever actually, and stepped closer. This time, aiming for the little corner with works he identified as Tinks without problem.
In the centre of his space was the sculpture of an Archer rising from a pool of welded together screws and other metal parts that turned to solid brass as soon as it reached the archer’s feet. It looked like the figure was ascending from the metal and rough parts while the smaller bolts connected to its feet held it up at the same time. Still, it had a feel of weightlessness and looked absolutely stunning. The other pieces were paintings showing the stylized Archer in different positions. Sometimes fighting sometimes resting. All of them were held in varied tones of brown while the figure was always golden, shining like a beacon.
Runaan hadn't seen any of it up to now since his roommate preferred to work in the universities studio rather than their room and was momentarily rendered speechless. He was so engrossed in the displayed art that he didn't notice Tink until he was standing directly in front of him, giant grin plastered on his face. “Runaan? You came! I was worried there for a second.” The engineering and art major promptly embraced him in an enthusiastic full-body hug.
Runaan was still getting used to hugging. Still, he enjoyed the offered friendly touch. Even if he had to work on the proper reaction. At the lack of such, he instead held out the orange and red roses. “Uh, yes. I am sorry for being a bit too consumed in my work. I promise I'll do better. Here, I got these for you.”
Apollo’s eyes widened as he accepted the offered bouquet. “I-, t-thank you.” He stammered, turning an adorable shade of red. “I- uh, I hope you like them. I remembered you mentioning once that they were your favourite so-“ his rambling got interrupted by yet another hug that lasted a bit longer than the first. “I love them, thank you!” he whispered in Runaan’s ear before letting go again. “What do you think of our Art?” he asked then, gesturing behind him.
“Our Art?” the Law Major wondered but stepped closer, examining the statue once again. “I have to admit I know next to nothing about Art but I love this statue. It feels so-“ he drew his brows together in search of a fitting word “-weightless.” Apollo blushed even further, clutching the flowers close to his chest. “Oh, t-thank you.” He scratched the back of his head nervously, getting the black strands in disarray. “Remember when I asked if I could come and watch your Archery and fencing practise?” Runaan hummed, moving on to look at the paintings. “W-well, I-uh, I might have used you as muse for these works.” The white haired student froze in place, slowly turning to look at his roommate. “Y-you see, I wasn’t doing so well with my project and everything I tried kinda felt wrong and then I saw you shoot on that tournament Castillo took me to and- and I finally had a solid Idea, so, uh, I-I hope you don’t mind?” Still stunned, he took a few heartbeats to respond while Apollo began to shrink in on himself as if he was afraid to get hit. “Oh” Runaan just stated, staring at the beautiful statue again. “You really thought of all that because of me?” tentatively, he reached out but pulled his hand back before it could touch the polished arrowhead. “Yes?” the Engineering and Art Major whispered, still trying to hide behind the roses. “Fascinating” on a closer look, he could recognise some of the forms as exercises he did during training. The figure also roughly bore his statue even though it had no face or recognizable features, it showed a strange familiarity. “So, uh, do you mind?” Apollo tried again, stepping up next to him.
“Hm? Oh, no of course not. I feel honoured you deem me so worthy as inspiration considering my obvious lack of understanding for the fine Arts.” In truth, a warm feeling had started to blossom in his chest. Tink really had created all of these beautiful works because he’d watched him? Next to him, Runaan could feel the other release a long breath. “Oh thank god, you got me worried there for a second. I promise I will ask next time, okay?” Next time? He planned on keeping him as source of inspiration? Now, Runaan could feel his own face heat up. “If magnificent pieces like this are the outcome; any time.”
Apollo beamed at him, eyes radiating excitement. “Great! Thank you. May I introduce my Muse to the work of my fellow students while we take a look around?” Muse? He wondered while he took the offered arm. “S-Sure”
As they walked over to the next display, Runaan could see a figure at the other end of the room giving him a thumbs up; Castillo