“But then we revert straight back to cute. Truly, I cannot comprehend the purpose of these groundless ‘compliments’, if you must call them that, in the first place. From faceless strangers I do not know, no less!”
“Ah, yes exactly; a note to be taken, to the previous faceless man who addressed me— If you must impose compliments, this is a much simpler and efficient way to place them.”
“Y-yes, well; truly, that is an uncouth way of describing a male. If you must impose such faceless compliments, might I suggest a word such as ‘handsome’, over ‘cute’.”
It was mild, lively summer evening in Barona, the perfect weather for a reunion with an old friend. The night light was just arriving, though their behavior wasn’t risque, as it would be come the stroke of midnight, which gave the air of the city a light cover of constant chatter or cheery laughter. Buildings had their windows open, allowing light and conversation to waft out into the streets where Malik waited for his date for the night to arrive.
Though, this wasn’t technically a date.
Malik had reestablished ties with an old friend that he knew from Zavhert back when he was a soldier there. She had been a waitress at the bar that Malik now worked at but had then frequented with Kurt and other fellow soldiers. As a matter of fact, she had at one time been rumored to be Malik’s girlfriend, but such feelings they had once held were most assuredly within the past.
The woman in question was actually advancing on Malik now and the captain looked up in time to catch her eye just before a broad grin stretched his lips. He took a couple of steps away from the wall of an inn and greeted the woman with a gentle, brief hug.
“Nora, it’s great to see you again! How are you— since our last letter, that is.”
The woman, named Nora, was a shorter woman with tanned skin as a result of her moving to Strahta. Her pin-straight blonde hair was long, but pulled back in a tidy braid, leaving silky fringe to flit over her blue eyes with every breath of the wind. She smiled, thin lips giving Malik a sweet, nostalgic smile before they parted to reply.
“I’ve been fantastic, thank you~. I’m glad that we were able to meet halfway! I hope that you didn’t have too much trouble getting here? After all, it’s more than just a boat-ride from Fendel to Barona, isn’t it?” she inquired, holding her clasp in front of her with both hands, smoothing the skirt of her simple dress in the process.
The two of them carried on their conversation as they walked, swapping travel stories and commenting on how Windor had grown since its upheaval of leadership not too long before the current time. Their destination was a diner that was in the lower quarter of the city, where they planned to have dinner.
…’Planned’ being the key word.
It was only a moment after he stepped onto the cobbled streets that he knew he had made a bad decision. He should have remained in Yu Liberte. He had work to complete, of things far more important than whatever little thing troubled the back of his mind this time. So really. Why was he here?
As far as anyone else was concerned, he was here on strict business. Minor relationship qualms, to ensure the strength of the tie between Windor and Strahta. No need for any groundless fights, yes? Though one might question why a Lieutenant was the one being sent out on a job such as this, Hubert would make haste in crushing those questions with fluid reason as he normally did. After all, his reason being here was a bit… Strange. Even he thought it was strange. Curse to this new-found impulsiveness. Hubert was rarely ever impulsive; he believed in the structure of organization, and plans. Just recently it seemed was he getting so spontaneous. And truly, he did not like it.
Hubert folded his hands behind the small of his back, walking soundlessly through the large city. Rather aimless, it seemed. He tried his hardest not to appear like he was outwardly looking for someone— he wasn’t. Really, he wasn’t! He was in the city on business alone. It would be of mere coincidence if he ran into someone whom he knew here. Even then, it would be a miracle if he felt the need to speak with them.
Yet. He was aware of a few rumors that were floating about, about one of those so-called friends of his. Not that was paying it special mind. It was a rumor. And nothing more, most certainly. A preposterous idea in itself. Why he would have considered it plausible in the first place was a wonder. It was only a rumor.
However, Hubert could not be so distracted as to not notice a most familiar, low timbre of laughter down the cobbled streets. Just enough of a familiarity for him to raise his head, turning in the direction of the sound and its source. Thus being a familiar, burly man that he would have expected to see in Windor on any particular day. Malik lived here, after all. But he was not alone. At his side was a petite, blonde woman. Lively and modest in dress, Hubert could admit she was a pretty woman. It was no surprise that the captain had chosen to spend the evening with her.
Seems that rumor wasn’t just a mere rumor after all.
Hubert quickly glanced away, taking a few aimless steps to try and not appear like he had been so blatantly looking at them. He had no intentions of confronting them. None at all. He was here on business, he told even himself once more, to believe his own lie. Even then. He didn’t want to confront them. Let them enjoy their silly date. It was no concern of his.
“Because all relationships are destined to end badly. Relationships, marriage, all things of the sort. Only a fool would consider it a good idea. Regardless, my ‘rude’ thoughts are none of your concern, are they?”
“It’s nothing of the sort to envy. Your foolish assumptions are beginning to give me a headache. I pity them only for making the awful decision of nursing a relationship. It can only end badly, you know.”
“A- a crush?”
“Preposterous. I believe I can map my way around my own feelings better than a faceless individual like yourself. Please don’t make such foolish assumptions—”
“You what? Why do you even own such a photograph? That mans beach wear is ridiculous, I swear, he has no shame. No shame at all!”
“You insolent little— that was nothing of the sort to a date! I was merely getting a drink with an old friend. I swear, you people take all sorts of things out of context. It’s preposterous! Ridiculous!”
“… So the Captain has a date? Pity on the poor man. Pity on the girl too. Yet. I have to wonder how this concerns me in the slight. If you will— get out of my sight.”