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The Look Of Love

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His dad was taking a long time in the bathroom, so she had taken the chance to spy a little on his phone.
She was distractingly looking through his photos.
He had improved at taking them with his phone.
She remembered how he used to make them blurry, or at least having a fingertip covering half the image all the time.

A lot of the photos were taken by surprise. His dad loved them the most, the "natural feeling" of it, as he had tried to explain to her. It was annoying. There were a lot of Kaede's photos as far as she could see. Some back in the countryside, another way older with his mother when she was an infant - she stared at that one for a while. She really resembled her the more she grew up.

Some others of the staff of Hero TV and the other heroes in civilian clothes, another one from her last visit when they had spent the whole evening in a cafè in the Silver District.

She shook her head when she saw a selfie of his dad in something like a theater's backstage. He really didn't have a single image of himself with a normal expression. He was a five year old at heart.
She would never admit that she liked those. Never.

And then, another one, different from the others. It was a close-up of Barnaby.
She felt a rush of heat on her cheeks.
It was... intimate.
She had gotten over her fangirl phase over him but she knew how confident he was during photoshoots. His practised smile.
In all the magazines she had collected about him she had never seen such a soft, vulnerable gaze.
Do you really look at my dad like that, Barnaby?
A peaceful night in Sternbild, just his dad and Barnaby. Something his dad had wanted to treasure.
Was this... a date?
"W-What are you doing Kaede!"
His dad grabbed his phone from her hands.
"You shouldn't look at someone else's phone, Kaede!"
"You should put a block on it or take it with you if you have something to hide"
"Waaaah? You wouldn't like it if I checked on yours, would you?!"
"Well, you walked into my room when I wasn't there so..."
While his dad was looking for a comeback that never came, she kept thinking.
His dad was healthier, happier now.
A lot of things had gotten better since Barnaby had become his partner.
His partner.
She smiled knowingly. She was going to investigate this.
"Well, everyone has their secrets dad, just tell me when you're ready ok?"