Stalking through the backstreets of Lagaard, the last person Rahas ever expected to bump into was the infamous Simmons. Rahas had never had much to do with Simmons. He had heard a lot about him from both Macerio and Axel, and what they had told him most certainly didn't bathe the blue-haired landsknecht in a dazzling light.
"Hey, hey!" Simmons called out to him, causing Rahas to stop at the very top of a tall set of stone carved stairs. "You're from the same guild Axel is, huh?"
Rahas rolled his eyes, but found himself nodding his head nonetheless. "Yeah, what about it?" he asked as he folded his arms over his chest.
Rushing over to him, Simmons gave Rahas a creepy pair of puppy-dog eyes. "Tell Axel to have a battle with me? Pleeeeeeeeeese?"
Rahas had to take a step backwards, leaning away from Simmons, a little unnerved by him. His face was pushed right toward his, totally ignoring his personal space. "Ask him yourself."
"But he's so mean!"
Was it any wonder why?
Before Rahas could utter any kind of a retort, a stone beneath Rahas' foot unexpectedly crumble, causing his ankle to roll and causing him to stumble sideways…toward the descending stairs.
Stumbling onto the next step, something grabbing him by the arm prevented him from falling any further, preventing him from significantly hurting himself. The grip on his arm unexpectedly tightened and tugged him backwards sharply. Staggering over his own feet, Rahas felt slightly disorientated when he collided against something solid and taut, but warm and alive.
Somehow, really Rahas had no idea how, he found himself pressed up against Simmons' chest, so forcefully that he was leaning backwards slightly, making it appear as if Simmons was dipping him. With his hands on resting against Simmons' broad chest, Simmons' arm wrapped tightly around his waist, Rahas' eyes widen considerably from surprise and snapped his head up to look at Simmons face. Simmons blinked at him, a look of obliviousness on his face, as if he reacted without much thought.
Rahas, on the other hand, was frozen still from shock and surprise.
"Hey, Rahas! Where are-?"
Immediately recognising the voice, Rahas looked to his left in time to see two very familiar explorers. Macerio and Lirit. Staring at him with openly shocked and utterly bewildered expressions. They didn't say anything. They just stared.
"What a truly interesting pair," a soft, airy voice mused nearby. "Not even I saw this coming."
Looking over to his other side, at the bottom of the stairs he nearly fell down, Rahas' vision was filled with the three members of Simmons' guild. Tiffany looked shocked, perturbed and maybe even a little sick. Gerald was pinching the bridge of his nose, as if disturbed by the sight. Kerri, on the other hand, while her expression appeared usually blank, also appeared very interested.
"W-what the hell…?" Tiffany murmured, going slightly green. "When…? How…? How could Simmons get a lover before me?!"
"Are they what others call a Crack Ship?" Kerri questioned as she continued to float on the spot silently. "Intriguing."
Gerald just sighed deeply before abruptly turning on his heel and stalking in the direction of the bar. "…I need a drink."
Quickly realising that he was still pressed up against Simmons' chest, Rahas pushed away from him, scurrying to get some distance between them. What the hell just happened…?
"Why, Rahas," Macerio said as he placed his hand on the side of his face and gave Rahas a mockingly aghast look. "I had no idea."
"Um…" Lirit murmured, looking a little frightened. "This…this isn't the reason you've been staying out late a lot, is it?"
"Shut up!" Rahas yelled as he bristled wildly. "It isn't what it looks like!"
"Oh?" Macerio retorted and gave him an amusedly sceptical look. "What is it supposed to look like?"
"It's not supposed to look like anything!"
"Hmm…" Simmons murmured in thought as he stroked his chin, totally unperturbed by everything going on around him. "I reacted without thought. Just like Axel did when he protected Lynus…That means if I protect Rahas, then I'll get stronger!"
"Idiot, you are not helping…" Rahas hissed lowly at the landsknecht.
Rahas then hissed again when a pain erupted from his ankle. Great. Seemed like he had twisted his ankle.
"Eh?" Simmons uttered. "Ah, you've twisted your ankle? You shouldn't put any pressure on it. The medics told me that."
Wow…he was surprisingly observant. Yet, oblivious at the same time.
"I know!" Simmons suddenly perked up, grinning widely as if he had just had the brightest idea ever. "I'll take you back to your guild!"
"And how are you-?" Rahas murmured as he rubbed his temples with his fingertips. But before he could finish his question, Simmons was right next to him, once again pushing well past his personal space. A mere split second later, Rahas was up off his feet. With an arm around his waist, another under his knees, he was being held and carried in Simmons' arms.
"Eh?!" Rahas practically shrilled.
"Haha!" Simmons laughed loudly. "You're as light as a feather!"
"Put me down you oaf!" Rahas yelled, his voice unfairly a higher pitch due to embarrassment. "Macerio, do something!"
"Do something besides laugh, idiot!"
"Off we go!" Simmons said merrily as he jovially carried him toward the inn.
"Hey!" Rahas said as he began to struggle. "I'll get you back, I swear!"
… … … … …
Mortifying. There was no other word.
It was utterly mortifying that Simmons had actually carried him all the way to the inn, despite the way Rahas was struggling, practically clawing at his face. Just when he thought it couldn't get any worse…it did.
How? Well, guess who happened to be standing just inside the inn when Simmons barged in with Rahas still sitting in his arms?
Uh huh. It was Hamza.
At first, Hamza looked utterly shocked, an expression that stayed for quite a few silent minutes. Even as Simmons began to ramble about protecting Rahas and becoming stronger than Axel, placing Rahas thankfully back on his feet before turning on his heel and ambling away.
Hamza watched until Simmons moved out of sight before turning his head to look at Rahas. Slowly, his usual expression of unnerving serenity changed into one of pure amusement. His lips were twitching, as if he wanted nothing more than to break out in a smirk.
Rahas didn't like that look. It was aimed at him. Hamza was finding something absolute amusing about him. And he hated that.
"What are you looking at?" Rahas asked him harshly.
"Seems like my boy is growing up."
"What are you, my dad?" Rahas retorted sharply as he bristled wildly again. "Nothing happened."
"Of course," Hamza replied with a small nod before looking mockingly disproving. "Rebellious teenagers and their secret loves."
"What did I just say?!"
"He really DID carry you all the way home!" Macerio yelled as he suddenly appeared, a wide grin of pure amusement on his lips. "Wait until I tell Lynus!"
"Don't you fucking dare!"