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"Ice-Skating?"

Chapter Text

"Ice skating?" The raven haired boy perked one of his eyebrows towards his maroon-haired friend. At the moment, Crow stood balancing himself on top of the gates to the rollercoaster. It was nighttime in the dystopian world and the world remained speechless regardless. The only thing busy were these two, Crow and his friend Seto.
"Y-Yeah," Seto looked up to Crow from the ground, "Grandpa always talked about how fun it was to go ice-skating when it was cold. And since it's cold now..." He turned his back to Crow and faced the direction of where Lunar Hill Funland's little pond was, "I thought it would be fun to give it a try." The other boy scoffed at Seto's idea, however, he had no clue what this "ice-skating" thing was. Seto was the first person he had actually talked to in this empty world, so he didn't learn very much, not even from the books that he had seen in the laboratory that he found himself in.
"Oh yeah? And how are you gonna do that?" Crow questioned teasingly. Seto looked back up to Crow and glared at him for a few seconds. Yet, Crow did make a good point. Did he even have ice-skating shoes? Does this place have the shoes? Probably not, Seto thought to himself.
Despite such thoughts, he still hoped that the amusement park had some lying around. So, Seto turned around and began to walk ahead towards the teacup ride.
"Hey! No answer?" Seto stopped in his path by the raven-haired boy's question. After a bit of silence, Seto turned to see Crow right behind him. Though it was dark, Seto could still see the smirk on Crow's face.
"I'm going to find some ice-skating shoes." Seto looked down to his feet, imagining him wearing those desired shoes, before looking straight at Crow. "Maybe you could ice-skate with me, too?" Of course such an idea made Crow smirk more.
"Oh? Gonna challenge me, eh?" Crow spun around Seto to be behind the blue-clothed boy. "Well then," Crow began to run rapidly towards the teacups, "You better find your shoes before I do!"
With that, the two began running as quickly as they can (well, since Crow is unbelievably fast, he decided to slow down so Seto would have a /slight/ chance), running throughout the park in search for some ice-skating shoes. It continued on for about an hour, but they found no pair of shoes in the amusement park.
Yet, they forgot to search one little place: the amusement park's offices. It was the place that Seto had fallen into when Crow tricked him. Seto was the first to think about this place. As he grew tired from chasing his acrobatic friend, he sluggishly dragged himself over to a broken bench so he can rest a bit. That made Crow stop in his place as well.
"What? Tired already? C'mon!" Crow stomped his feet in a sort of bratty way, kicking up some dust that had accumulated since the end of the world. Seto shifted away from the dust, scooting away from Crow. He began to take some deep breaths to replace his own lack of air. Crow just cocked his brow at this scene. He couldn't feel such tiredness; in fact, he's actually more energetic than he was when he started. "C'mon, let's keep going." He kicked the other boy's boot.
Another glare was shot at Crow, but Crow couldn't help but find the other boy's glare a little cute with such blue-violet eyes as his. It reminded him of the after-sunset sky, with the remaining lights of the sun making the night sky lighter than it was meant to be.
Soon enough, he had zoned out and he didn't realize that Seto was long gone.
"Hey! Seto!" He shouted, in hopes for a response; alas, he had forgotten they were playing a game. Seto had now gotten the advantage of finding the shoes first. A slight irritation settled in Crow's chest as he began to run toward the ferris wheel.

Unfortunately for him, Seto wasn't even at the park anymore; well, he was but he was under the park in the park's office where he had fallen into when he chased Crow earlier. He had thought about it and came to a conclusion that the end came around the summertime, so maybe the old park owners left all the winter apparels in their offices. He checked every drawer and every cubicle, but Seto wasn't able to find any. He tried checking the closet but that was locked. God knows where the key is.
Seto sighed in defeat; there was no way at this rate that he could try skating. He gave a pout and began to walk toward the exit, but when he passed the area where he found the book Pirate's Isle, he finally saw it. Laying underneath a debris of the ceiling were old mucky shoes with a metal blade attached to the bottom. He had finally found what he was looking for. His face brightened by this finding .
As Seto moved the debris, his hand got scraped against the broken cement. Immediately he pulled back in slight pain. He looked at his pained hand and noticed how the blood was right at the surface of the skin, but it wasn't a large scrape that made the blood start dripping.
Seto sighed and sat down on the dirty floor to treat his tiny wound (it still hurts). From his red fish food box, he retrieved a bottle with a small amount of water left in it. Again he sighed, knowing that this will be the last of the water for a while. He poured the water onto his hand before drying his hand on his coat. Afterwards, Seto got a bandage in the red tin can. It was a really tiny one — a circle shaped bandage that wouldn't really cover the entire wound. At this finding, he felt a bit dejected, but that was before —
"Hah!" Suddenly Seto felt a tight grip on his shoulder, which made the poor boy jump forward gasping. But that jump caused his hand to land back on the debris and get scraped once again. Seto yelped and gritted his teeth at the increased pain in his hand. He brought his hand up in front of his face and saw that it was now bleeding. In anger, Seto got up and stood toe-to-toe with Crow who smirked happily. Although he wanted to scold Crow, Crow just slid away from being in front of Seto to the debris. Quickly he bent down and picked up the ice-skates. Turning to Seto, Crow smirked and waved the shoes to mock Seto.
"Hah, I win. I found the shoes first!" He kept waving them around but Crow eventually took notice that Seto was holding his own hand and biting his lips. Crow also took noticed that Seto's eyes had some water in them.
"Hey, you okay?" He dropped the shoes and walked over to Seto, "What's up with your hand?"
"I-I scraped it," Seto gave out a slight sob. "You s-scared me!" Another sob was let out.
"Well serves you right for disappearing!" Crow crossed his arms and turned away from Seto. "But hey, you better find your shoes, too! I don't wanna be the only one skating." He began walking away but Seto continued sobbing. Crow narrowed his eyes before sighing and crouching down to look at Seto again. "Seto?"
The other boy at first turned his head toward Crow but then he stopped himself from turning his attention to Crow; his eyes remained fixated on the cut on his hand. Crow leaned in toward the injury, which caused Seto to scoot away with slight anger visible in his expression.
"C'mon, you wuss," Crow grabbed Seto's hand and touched the injury, making Seto wince in pain. "It's not that bad."
"You wouldn’t know,” Seto clenched his teeth. Crow let go of Seto’s hand and checked inside his bag for any possible item that could cover the wound. Soon, he whipped out a little metal box filled all kinds of gauzes and bandages.
“These are what you need, right?” He gestured. Seto felt a little awestruck by Crow’s possession of bandages, and he would’ve asked but he ought to worry more about the large cut. Crow took out the bandage, only to think that it was rather small to cover up the large cut. Instead, he took out a gauze pad and some tape. Taking Seto’s fragile, cold hand into his gloved hands, Crow began wrapping the pad around the cut before taping it around Seto’s hand. Hearing Seto’s slight sobs, he gave a slight smirk at how fragile Seto was, compared to himself, but it was actually rather cute. As he kept wrapping the tape around Seto’s hand, he bickered, “It’s fine. You’re all good now. It’s all covered up, see?” Seto gave a small smile at this, hiccupping and nodding.
“Thanks, Crow.”
“Any time, princess.” On impulse, Crow kissed Seto’s injured hand. Seto flinched from the soft touch, making Crow jump back.
“I’m not a princess! Seto stood up immediately, blushing furiously, while Crow tried to sit up and then stand. “But, s-sorry. It still kinda hurts…” Once Crow finally stood up, Seto brought himself closer to Crow, giving him a hug. Crow looked down at the gesture in inquiry before pulling Seto apart from him. In silence, he just stared at Seto, but then he scoffed.
“What?” Seto stuttered.
“Oh,” Crow rubbed his nose with his thumb, “Just that, I guess you totally forgot about the competition that I totally won.” With that, he received a punch in the arm.
“Not yet!” Seto ran off to get the skates by the debris before running past Crow to the surface. “I’ll beat you to getting to the lake first!”
Crow closed his eyes and laughed, taking in all that was happening and the things that just happened. All that emotion within such a short time. The beauty in every movement of Seto’s innocent face from a smile to a frown. The tears that dripped down his face and the gleam in his eyes when Crow helped him. The emotions were overwhelming, oddly enough for someone like him, but those emotions were the brightest things he has ever seen in this world thus far. Such beauty within a person – within Seto.
He opened his eyes and shouted back at Seto, “You’re on!” He sped through toward the surface. “But don’t go crying when you see me already skating!”
The race was back on.

Chapter Text

"Oh, there's no way you can reach there first!" The swift boy tainted his maroon-haired friend. Under the starlit sky, two friends hastily made their way through an old, broken amusement park, racing each other to the park's small lake. Despite being in such an empty world, the two friends’ joy and energy seemed to revive the park of life: their cheers and laughs ever so boisterous.
Then, they had reached the tiny lake by the rollercoaster entrance. Quickly, Crow had hopped over the fence and landed straight onto the ice. Arms raised, he struck a victory pose and laughed merrily. Seto, on the other hand, remained on the ground and sighed at his defeat.
“What can I say?” Crow smirked, “I was always the fastest.” He began to make his way around the ice, in a running motion, but soon found himself slipping and falling on his front. then it dawned on him: he forgot about the shoes. He was so caught up with tending to his loser friend that he totally forgot to snatch himself a pair of ice skates. If he were like any human, this would have been the moment Crow’s face would turn beet red. Quickly he turned to see if Seto had seen him fall, but Seto was nowhere in sight. Crow let out a relieved sigh before calling out for his missing friend, “Hey Seto! Where’d you go?”
“I’m still here!” Seto’s hand went up and waved. From Crow’s angle, it was rather hard to see Seto, but it looked like he was sitting the entire time Crow was “skating.” “I just needed to put on my shoes. I’ll be down!”
“You better hurry!” Crow yelled. “It’s getting a little boring when I’m the only one down here skating.” Crow kept himself on the wall, so he wouldn’t slip and fall again and make a fool of himself in front of Seto — not after all those times he called Seto out for being rather weak.
Soon, Crow saw Seto starting to climb over the fence and make his way down to the lake. He landed almost perfectly on the ice with his new shoes. Crow looked at Seto’s entire figure: the maroon-haired boy seemed so steady and well-balanced on the ice. His arms were raised to help him balance, and his legs were shoulder-width apart. Seto’s indigo eyes were fixated on the ground, trying to focus on his center of balance.
Once it seemed like he was well-balanced, Seto began to chuckle. Remembering the old photos and stories his grandfather told about ice-skating, Seto began to understand why people seemed to love the activity so much; it was challenging but maybe that was what made it so fun. For Seto, what made it fun was that it was new to him: to be able to do the things that people used to do. He imagined many people gathering to the same lake a long time ago to ice-skate together — how people would have crowded around and how noisy it would have been there. People of different ages gathering together with friends and families alike to make memories together on this tiny lake. Just the thought of it made Seto feel blissful.
Yet, Seto failed to do the major part of the whole activity: to move around the lake of ice. So, he walked. Wrong move. Immediately, he fell on his face, his cheeks and nose burning upon impact. He heard his dark friend laughing against the wall and turned to see him.
“Oh man, how’s falling?” Crow snickered. Seto pouted but he knew that he shouldn’t let Crow’s bicker bother him. He knew Crow was just joking around — it’s just the way he is.
Seto continued to ignore Crow, focusing on trying to master the form of ice skating. As he continued to skate around the little lake, pushing himself against the walls to skate, Seto eventually began to find his balance. He began to fall less and less and began to skate easily, even swiftly. The longer he skated without a fall, the more Seto found himself smiling to himself and laughing. The feeling of the slight cold breeze as he skated around simply made him feel so free. It was as though he were just gliding, hovering on the ground. A sense of flight.
And Crow was enjoying the sight of Seto having fun from where he stood. Seeing Seto’s smile and excitement as he moved across the ice was almost refreshing to Crow. He hasn’t really seen that much joy in a long time — or really, any sort of liveliness from a being in a while. It made him smile away in the midst of a decaying world. It made him forget that the world really is dying out around him. All he wanted to do right now was forget about that world and just keep watching his happy friend glide freely across the ice.
“C’mon, Crow!” Seto began to skate over to his smiling friend, who was caught rather baffled in the middle of his thoughts. Crow’s expression quickly turned into his signature smug look, trying to hide the smile he’s been giving to Seto while Seto was trying to teach himself how to skate.
“Hah! You think I’m going to do that? Way to childish for me!” Crow huffed. Seto rolled his eyes and turned back.
“So you’re going to back out of a challenge? That’s a surprise…” Seto smiled slyly. Crow was shocked by Seto’s sudden taunting attitude. He arched his brows, trying to figure out what was happening. Immediately, he clicked his tongue, grabbing Seto’s shoulder and turning Seto to look at him.
“Hey, I didn’t say I was backing out of this challenge, got it?” Crow narrowed his eyes. “If it’s challenge you want, then fine!” Crow let go of Seto and tried setting forth upon the ice with such determination to prove to Seto he was capable of doing so silly. But of course, as soon as he made a couple of steps on the ice, the raven-haired boy slipped uncharacteristically. At this, Seto tried his hardest to cover up his laughter, but Crow could hear the boy’s giggling. Embarrassed, he bit his gum and got up, trying to cover up the accident, “That was just an accident. I’m usually better than that!”
“But I thought you didn’t know what ice-skating was,” Seto refuted.
Annoyed at Seto’s comment, Crow turned away and tried again. He attempted to copy Seto’s movements, but when he did, his leg slipped and gave out — another fall.
Seto quickly ran over to help his friend get up, but Crow avoided Seto’s touch, embarrassed and frustrated that he couldn’t get this one stupid action. Once both had gotten up, Crow was about try again, only to have Seto pull at his sleeve.
“Here. I’ll show you,” the shorter male smiled, taking Crow’s gloved hand into his own cold hands. Despite his hesitation, Crow let his friend take control. Chuckling, Seto led Crow on the ice. He started slowly so Crow would learn and get used to the motion. He felt Crow’s grip on his hand tighten as though the other male was afraid. That’s a first. Seto smiled to himself.
They continued to skate slowly on the tiny lake, even after Crow perfected ice skating. Crow didn’t want to tell Seto that, though. He just wanted to enjoy that quiet moment with Seto, holding his friend’s warm hand as they glided together upon the ice. To enjoy that warm moment with Seto: that’s what Crow wanted the most.
“What are you thinking about?” Seto asked Crow, who was subconsciously smiling away in his thoughts. Crow kept smiling as he turned to Seto.
“You know,” he looked up at the night sky, “It’s such a big world and anything could’ve happened to both of us and yet,” he turned to Seto again, “We winded up together.”
Seto smiled sheepishly, “Yeah, but I’m glad that we’re together.” Crow was taken aback by Seto’s words. “I wouldn’t have been able to meet a great friend like you.”
“And a great friend I am!” Crow smirked, making Seto giggle. Playfully, Seto pushed Crow away from him; the other boy gliding away rather gracefully. However, soon after, Crow began to make his way over to Seto, much to Seto’s surprise. Crow was still rather unbalanced in his skating, but he was certainly fast. Instantly, the raven-haired boy tackled Seto, both losing their balance and falling onto the ice. The sound of gasping and groaning filled the air, but soon that sound was replaced by the chimes of laughter between the two boys.
On the icy cold ground, the two laid together. Crow had moved himself so he was lying side by side with Seto, rather than right on top. The two happily smiled and held hands as they watched the stars together. For Seto, he wanted this moment to last forever. That liveliness of the moment. That sharing of moments and bonding with others. It was soothing for him. It’s been such a long time since he had felt the presence of another, and having it now was the most comforting thing for him.
Seto gripped Crow’s hand, almost afraid that this moment would end. He realized that he still has to continue his journey and perhaps he would have to part ways with his friend, who needed to find his home. He wanted to shake that thought away, but it kept bugging him. He just wanted to enjoy this moment, and yet these thoughts of an oncoming future haunted him.
Crow could feel Seto’s hand shaking in his own. Turning to see his friend, Crow saw that Seto was teary-eyed. He wasn’t sure what to do about his crying friend. Crying was such an odd emotional action to him. Humans could cry out of both joy and sadness. What was it that Seto was feeling then?
Unsure of what to do, Crow let go of Seto’s hand, causing the other to quickly look over, but Crow soon wrapped his arms around Seto and hugged him tightly. He didn’t really have the right words to say to Seto, since he knew that some of his words may come out harshly to the boy. This was really the only thing that he could offer to Seto as a sign of comfort of some sort.
Seto was very tense from the sudden action, but he too hugged back. He rested his head on Crow’s chest and gave out a small smile, muttering, “Thanks, Crow.”
Crow couldn’t help but smile - not his casual smirk, but a genuine smile - before petting his friend’s head, “Don’t mention it, Seto.”
They continued to hold each other in the middle of that icy lake, enjoying each other’s presence under the starry sky until dawn approached.