"Yo, Hakuryuu!" Judal calls out cheerily, jumping off a palace roof and falling into step beside Hakuryuu. "Where are you going?"

Perfect. Judal has decided to bother him, despite the many times he's told him not to. "Away from you," he snaps, speeding up to put some distance between them.

Judal isn't deterred. "Aw, come on, we haven't done anything together for too long."

Hakuryuu ignores him, staring straight ahead, teeth clenched to hold back the angry words threatening to spill out. Of course they haven't spent time together recently. Judal is always busy, at Al Tharman's beck and call: his mother's favorite pet.

"Hey, don't ignore me," Judal whines, throwing an arm around Hakuryuu's shoulders to slow him down.

He shrugs the arm off. "Leave me alone."

"I did, cause you asked me to, and you were being an asshole," Judal says, cheeky smile slipping a bit as he continues. "And I thought maybe then you'd get the stick outta your ass and see me on your own, but I guess I was fuckin wrong. Whatever."

There's a note of hurt in Judal's voice, and Hakuryuu hates him all the more for it. How dare he pretend to care.

He straightens his back, becoming the picture of stern neutrality. "You know why we can't be friends." If Judal actually cared, he'd cut his ties with Al Tharman.

But he doesn't.

He's not bitter, Hakuryuu tells himself as he continues on his way, leaving Judal behind. He doesn't need Judal's attention or friendship.