It was just luck that the two of them found a moment alone. Despite Hasuki's clinginess, Char's willingness to meddle, and Scott's constant presence, the two had finally found a space away from it all.
It's quiet by the fountain, only a slight chill to the breeze and the flow of water. Romio sits by Persia, the atmosphere not quite uncomfortable, but a little quiet. Romio enjoys her presence, but there's something on her mind. She idly thumbs the edge of her soulmate mark on her left hand.
Eventually, Persia breaks the silence with some idle conversation. "How have the Black Dogs grades been with the recent staff changes, some of the White Cats grades have taken a dip due to some struggles with the way the new staff teaches."
Romio stumbles over her words for a moment at the sudden question before responding. "Huh? Oh, uh, some of them have been struggling a bit more so Hasuki's been putting them through tutoring. Which...well, it gets them motivated to improve their grades at least."
"Yes, I do remember Hasuki's...special way of having her peers learn." Persia lets out a small chuckle at the memory of Hasuki putting many of the Black Dogs through some very intense review sessions before midterms.
The conversation fades away, but the atmosphere is slightly easier now. Romio stares at Persia's gentle smile as the sun slowly sets and the light through the trees slowly turns dark. Persia's gloves, light in color like her uniform, hide the small edges of black and white on the side of her fingers that match Romio's.
On Romio's own fingers, they stay out in the open, but most people don't get close enough to see what the illustration might make out unless it's Romio's own fist meeting their face.
Soulmate marks are a strange thing. They're often not even called that due to the romantic connotations. Most of the time, when people gain a pair of these markings, it's a sign of them impacting each other's life. Instead, it's the simple name of life marks. Romio is a bit of a romantic as Persia likes to tease and likes to call them Soulmate Marks.
Blooming when they were both only children, it was after a scuffle on the playground where they had to be separated by teachers when their dual marks were noticed. When their fingers interlocked, it was a illustration of a black and white sword against the other. A sign taken by the adults as the Black Dogs and White Cats never ceasing in their conflict.
Romio was a romantic and Persia, while more practical, still held her hope in her chest.
(It was Romio's sword against her own, standing across from each other and both of them thought that was the closest they would ever be, with this eternal rivalry symbolized by their marks on their fingers and their eyes always on the other.)
(It was "I love you and I have for a long time, please go out with me!")
("I could change this world while being at your side!" Earnest and desperate words with Romio's face so close to Persia's own, eyes wide and only showing truth.)
(It was, a secret promise under the moonlight and by the flowing water of the fountain. Not swords at conflict, but instead intertwined and at rest.)
A soft request, a secret kept between the two of them. "Persia...I really want for us to hold hands."
"Is that all? Of course, we have this time to spend and I'd like for us to use it well."
(She wants this time alone to never end, but Persia is the practical one and knows that can't happen.)
Romio has a flustered smile and their fingers interlock as the sun sets and the clouds turn pink, gold, gray-purple and the stars start to peak out.
It feels similar to that night when Romio confessed. With the light turning dark and the two of them alone, at each others side.
This time, however, the only swords interlocking are the ones marked on the pairs hands. Black and white, intertwined and at rest.
A few stolen minutes are all they can have before they each have to return to their dorms. A kiss given from Romio and a request from Persia for a lunch spent together the next day. Hasuki would leave us alone and Char can distract Scott, is what she says. It won't be that simple as it never has been for them. But anything, for these short moments with Persia's hand in hers and Romio's eyes still showing that earnest love.
Their world is not quite yet changed yet, but with Persia by her side, Romio is sure that they will change it one day.