By some combination of Alles's persuasion and Ruki's begging, Alba finds himself stuck in yet another situation he loathes.
The King had decided to go on a vacation to his beach house, and along with him went Hime-chan. She wanted Alles along (as well as others whom if you asked, she would likely injure you for suggesting), which then lead to Alles inviting down the line all the way to Alba. Ruki had eagerly agreed to going, and with a bat of her bright pleading eyes (and Ros's scary aura), Alba reluctantly agreed that they should go.
And there they were. At the royal beach house, on a private beach, having a great time. All of them except for Alba, that is.
Shuffling in place, Alba sighs and spins around to face the mirror in front of him. Reflecting back at him was something large, ugly, and holding bad memories. His fingertips trace the scar across his stomach, from left to right at a slight diagonal angle. A reminder of the time that Dezember... the images raise behind his closed eyelids and Alba takes a startled step back from the mirror. He pouts at his reflection and grabs his shirt off the bed. There was no way he was going out there without it. If he had a choice, he wouldn't go out at all. However, he figures, if he stayed in his room then it would make him an easier target of Ros's cruelty. At least if he was in public one of their friends could stop Ros... right?
The wooden door creaks as Alba pushes it open and the bright sun immediately blinds him. He raises a hand to block the rays from his vision, groaning below his breath in complaint. How could the sun be that bright? He huffs and slowly makes his way across the hot sand under a collection of palm trees. The shady area is a relief on his feet and he smiles slightly. This was actually decent, the sea breeze ruffling his hair as he notices the beach volleyball game taking place. With a smile, Alba lays out his towel and takes a seat in the shade, propping his chin in his hand. If anything, Alba felt as if he could fall asleep right then and there.
That is, until a volleyball came barreling past his head, smacking into the tree behind him. With a screech, Alba, falls to the side and looks up to find just what he expects: a devilishly satisfied Ros waving from the volleyball court.
"Watch where you aim that!" Alba complains. "You could have- wait, that's exactly what you wanted to do. Nevermind." He shakes his head and shuffles towards the volleyball. In a huff, he throws the ball back half-heartedly and hopes quietly that Ros does not aim at him again. With his luck, Alba figures it'll just happen again. And again. And again.
Scowling, Alba returns to his previous relaxed position and tries to ignore the newfound paranoia of a ball smacking him in the face. The paranoia has founding, as at least six other times he finds himself diving out of the way of Ros's 'accidental' stray balls and once, Ruki's actual accidental stray ball.
The seventh time, Alba has help.
Having given up avoiding his fate, Alba doesn't flinch as he notices Ros smack the ball back in his direction. He simply holds up an arm and hopes that's enough to deflect most of the pain. After a few seconds of silence, Alba blinks his eyes open in surprise. Did the ball miss him? No, he definitely heard it hit skin...
"Oi, Solider, aim the ball right or I'll have to teach you how to play."
Alba's head shoots up and his eyes land on the familiar sprawl of scars across the bare back and arms in front of him. "Foyfoy?"
"Yo, Alba," comes the nonchalant response, "I figured you needed a hand."
"Y-yeah..." Alba barely registers his words, eyes still fixated on the scars. Unconsciously, his hand presses against his stomach, feeling the vague indentation of uneven skin beneath his shirt. "I didn't know you came along. I hadn't seen you here until now?"
"Been training." Is the simple answer as Foyfoy cranks his arm back and tosses the ball back to Ros. After he mentions it, Alba does notice the thin coat of sweat across Foyfoy's skin and the slight heaving of his chest. He doesn't really notice how much time passes until Foyfoy clears his throat and asks what's wrong.
Defensively, Alba raises his hands and shakes his head. "Nothing! I'm fine, I just..." Flushing, he shakes his head and calms his mind down enough to think. "I just spaced out because of the heat. I'm not really used to it." Foyfoy snorts in response as he sits down in the sand next to Alba's towel, eyes blankly staring out at the ocean. Getting no response aside, Alba goes quiet himself and silence falls between them for a few minutes.
The silence is broken when Alba feels his shirt being lifted. With a surprised yelp, Alba falls away and holds the hem of his shirt down tight against his body, a blush breaking out on his face. "H-hey, what are you-"
"Why do you have a shirt on?"
Alba blinks. "What?"
"I said," Foyfoy leans towards him, eyes narrowing slightly, "why are you wearing a shirt? This is the beach and it's just our group so why are you hiding?" Alba's unsure how to answer, and he knows based on Foyfoy's annoyed look that anything he makes up to excuse himself will be challenged.
"Because I want to?"
"Nobody wears a shirt to the beach because they want to."
"Because I can?"
"You can, but that isn't the truth."
Huffing, Alba crosses his arms and stares out into the ocean. He stays silent for a little. "I'm... I'm self-conscious. Of my... when I died." A wave of shame overcomes him and he buries his head into his knees. Why is he saying this, to Foyfoy of all people? If anything, he'd just make fun of him-
"You're an idiot."
- like that.
"Self-conscious of them?" With a scrunch of his nose, Foyfoy leans forward and flicks the middle of Alba's forehead. The brunet yelps and holds the afflicted area, giving Foyfoy a bothered look.
"What was that for?"
"Scars aren't things meant to be ashamed of," Alba stares at Foyfoy in quiet surprise, the sting in his forehead slowly disappearing. "They're cool life stories, to be shown of. Take pride in them."
Alba deadpans. "... being killed is a cool life story?"
With a grin, Foyfoy looks away. "Not everybody can say they died and lived, Hero." Alba isn't sure if it's the tone of Foyfoy's voice or the smile on his face or the fact that he called him a hero, but he feels his heart jump a little in his chest and his face warms up. Unconsciously, he presses his fingers against his cheek and notices exactly how hot he is. He ducks his head under the collar of his shirt and prays that it dies down before Foyfoy turns back to him.
"... that's true." He manages to mumble from beneath his shirt. They remain in silence for a bit longer.
"If I'm gonna be serious," Foyfoy looks back to him, "I don't think you should be ashamed of them. We all have scars, me especially. Some are physical and some are emotional but they're all proof we survived something. And if I do say so myself, surviving being cut in half is pretty badass." If Alba looks closely enough, he can see a bit of underlying hurt behind the semi-amused expression in Foyfoy's eyes. It makes Alba want to reach out and comfort him somehow, if even for a second.
It's a surprise to both of them when Alba's hand is suddenly on Foyfoy's chest and he's nearly leaning across his lap. Alba's eyes aren't meeting Foyfoy's, instead they're drawn curiously to the familiar scar across his nose. The hand resting on his chest raises up and gently traces it. He can feel Foyfoy's skin flushing hotter under his touch, the uneven skin heating up his own warm fingertips.
He gets no verbal reply. Instead, Foyfoy flinches as he feels a gentle brush of lips against the bridge of his nose. He hates how red he is and he hates even more how his stomach twists. What was this suddenly? Alba usually isn't this forward, especially with anybody outside of Ros (Foyfoy had been the unfortunate soul to walk in on that in the past). To suddenly have the brush of soft, usually cynical lips on his skin, his face no less...
"You're right," came the surprisingly put together response from Alba. Leaning back, a smile is on his face and Foyfoy can't do anything but stare at him. "Being ashamed of them is... silly. Especially because of how proud of yours you are. I should take a lesson from you on this, aha..." Alba's hand reaches behind his head as he scratches his neck. The flustering feeling of kissing his friend's face was just setting in and mentally he somewhat wishes Ros would send another volleyball his way.
"I, uh..." Foyfoy swallows the dry lump in his throat and scratches his cheek. "Well, I mean if you want me to. I don't have anything to do on this trip. Besides avoid Alles's not so sneaky plans to set me up."
Alba laughs a little and it makes something in Foyfoy's stomach jump which both pleases and pisses him off. "That sounds good, Foyfoy."
"Okay, Hero," Foyfoy grins back. "We'll be here for a few more days. First step can start now though, and that..." With a smirk akin to Ros's, which sends a fresh wave of fear down Alba's spine, Foyfoy reaches out and tries to grab at Alba's shirt.
"Take that off!"