Author: drinktea PM
A prompt-driven collection of pieces on the relationship shared between Serah & Noel. Currently not accepting prompts. Next up: As Serah tells Snow it's done, Noel sits and waits, wondering when - and if - she'll come back to him. ON HIATUSRated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Noel K. & Serah F. - Chapters: 17 - Words: 31,571 - Reviews: 129 - Favs: 82 - Follows: 54 - Updated: 06-11-12 - Published: 03-15-12 - id: 7926834
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: King of Trivialities
Prompt: Serah's trying to grab Noel's attention, but he is immersed in an interesting book at the Academia bookstore (from tokidoki-shiki)
Commentary: This one wrote itself, and so fast, too! I thoroughly enjoyed writing this, so I hope you enjoy reading. Feedback is welcome!
Serah frowned upon seeing Noel's frown. "What question this time?" she asked, careful to keep her voice light. She didn't think he had much of a temper, but it was always better to play it safe.
He turned so that they were facing each other, but his eyes remained distant, and his hand stayed at his chin. "Question seven."
A slight smile made it onto her face and her eyebrows shot up. "That's pretty far!" She darted a quick glance over to the glowing Brain Blast terminal behind them both, which Mog was now poking at. Probably trying to get the thing to dispense the fragment by cheating. "Mog," she admonished.
Mog paused, looked over at her, then continued to cast a variety of spells on the machine, to no avail. She sighed.
"Maybe we should go bone up on trivia," she suggested, mostly to erase Noel's frown, but partly to get Mog to stop so they wouldn't be arrested for destruction of public property.
Now, Noel's baby blues locked on her face. He smiled lopsidedly. "That's a great idea!"
She tried not to blush. She nodded, then cleared her throat. "I'm glad you think so," she told him. She clasped her hands together. "I saw a bookstore not too far from here. Why don't we try it?"
"Lead the way," Noel answered, teeth still flashing at her.
She did, walking quickly and ascending a flight of stairs. She noticed for the first time how strange it was for them to be in point-and-rear guard formation when they were in a city. No monster could sneak up on them in a city this large, could it? It was probably habit that had Noel behind her and not beside...
"Come on, Mog," she called back in a good-natured singsong. Mog poofed into existence by her head soon after, pouting. She had to giggle.
Serah watched the look of wonder slowly slip over Noel's face, and felt an odd, singular pleasure in knowing she'd helped put it there. She strode a ways out in front, then held her arms out. "Welcome to a fully-stocked bookstore," she said, smiling.
Noel's eyes roamed for a little while, still taking in the shelves upon of shelves of novels, magazines, textbooks, atlases, and whatever else. Surely, among all of this, were the answers to their trivia problems. His eyes found Serah again. "Any idea where to start?" he asked, sounding a little stunned still, and she found her smile growing wider.
She gestured with a gloved hand over to the Reference section. "Maybe over here?"
He seemed to square his shoulders - she bit her lip, holding in a laugh - and strode over to the shelves she'd pointed at. "Alright, let's get to it," he said.
"Let's," she agreed. She took off after him.
After some section-hopping, Serah noticed the absence of Mog. She cast a searching gaze over the surrounding area and found him holding the attention of a group of children. They were pretty merciless, plucking at his wings and poking his belly multiple times. She watched them, laughed, then returned to Noel soon after that. "Mog's playing with some kids," she reported, "If you were wondering at all."
He just nodded. He was holding a thick book open with one hand, eyes flying down one page, then the next.
She cocked her head to the side. Must've found a good one. She took to the shelves herself, finding another book by the same author Noel was reading. This book was much less informative though, and she found herself sliding it back onto the shelf within five minutes of skimming. She stretched her arms high above her head. It feel weird to be under a roof for so long, even if they had only been in here for about-
Her eyes widened as they settled upon the big clock mounted on the far wall. Holy Etro, mother of... they'd been in here for two hours? She looked around for Noel, but he wasn't standing where he had been. It was dinnertime, and they should be getting to that. Her stomach rumbled on cue. She wandered between the rows of shelves, hoping to catch sight of him.
Actually... now that she thought about it, where was Mog, too? She doubled her efforts, meticulously scanning not only people-height areas but the ceilings and floors, too.
And just like those magic eye puzzles she'd done as a kid, bam there he was. He took her by surprise, actually. Noel was sitting on the floor, legs crossed, on an over-sized bean chair.
"There you are," she exclaimed. "It's dinnertime."
His eyes were constantly moving back and forth down the page. "I'll eat later," he replied, and it sounded as if he were speaking to her from beyond some kind of divide.
She cast a glance at the spine of his book - volume four of the series he'd picked up on. "Okay," she replied hesitantly. Then she remembered - "Have you seen Mog? I just can't find him anywhere."
Noel simply lifted his arms to reveal his lap, where - shockingly - Mog was sleeping. Her mouth might have fallen open. "O-okay. Problem solved," she commented. Noel's arms returned to where they had been resting.
She heard a titter from behind her right then, and whipped around. She caught a group of female employees dispersing quickly, some with hands to their faces in a posture she identified as a swoon. It was either the adorable sleeping moogle who'd elicited those looks or a certain time-traveling blue-eyed brunet. She suspected it was the latter.
Then she had an idea.
Serah returned to the bookstore three-quarters of an hour later with a takeout bag dangling between her fingers. Noel was in the exact same spot she'd left him, and Mog was still dozing in his lap. He was on volume six now. How did he read so fast?
She set the bag down at his side. "Got you some dinner," she said.
She expected the silent nod and turn of page. She dug into the bag herself and pulled the top off of the container. She'd got him pasta, the kind you could spear blindly and pop into your mouth neatly without needing to look. The smell drifted into the air, which put the employees on alert, but when they wandered over to check and saw Noel, they promptly turned to goo and blobbed away.
Serah wanted to grin. Bingo. She knew it. Of course she'd overheard the comments of "he looks like an actor!" correctly.
She stuck the fork in his hand. She watched as his arm moved down, the fork connected with a piece of pasta, and he popped it into his mouth. She smiled mildly, glad he wouldn't go hungry in this trivia mission. Then she let herself wander off and peruse the magazines, filling her head with mindless drivel about spring hemlines and mascara brush size. She even spotted a movie actor who, yes, looked like Noel. She grew bored before long though, and walked back over to Noel. Unthinkingly, she sat so they were back-to-back. She nodded off soon after.
Finishing the last volume of the very long series, Noel added it to the pile at his knee and stretched his arms out in front of him. The warm weight of Mog was still in his lap, and the smell of the pasta had long since faded.
He craned his neck around to look at Serah. She was sleeping, leaning heavily against his back. Very carefully, he lifted Mog and put him in her arms. Then equally carefully, he held her up and rotated in his seat, so that her back was against his front. He looped loose arms around her. "Thank you," he told her, and then he fell asleep, too.