A conversation in the library

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Warnings/notes: Yujinn, Darres, ooc, snippet, supposedly takes place during the first volume.

Disclaimer: I don't own Vampire Game.

written at 12th may 2005, by Misura, for the livejournal-community daily15. (word: zodiac)

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Darres has barely been in the library for half a minute when someone else enters, thus ruining his hopes of being able to slip in and out of here unnoticed. (It's not that he's ashamed of being here, of needing to look up something, or of having an interest in books on occasion, really. It's just that, well, what is he to say if someone asks her why he's here, instead of guarding the princess?)

For a moment, he pretends not to have heard the footsteps from behind him, as if he'll be ignored by the unknown person as long as he ignores that person as well. It's a rather childish idea, Darres realizes, but it's been a hard day, and the Princess isn't helping, with her strange taste in pets.

(Somehow though, Darres doesn't think for one moment that she's in any danger from the kyawl-kitten. The opposite is possible, perhaps, either because she doesn't know how to take care of it properly or because someone will make an attempt on her life, and her kyawl will die to protect her. Darres knows he can prevent the first, easily; that's why he's here, after all. He'll do his best to prevent the second as well, since anything that can make the Princess smile is something that needs to stay in her life.)

"Darres. What a surprise, to find you here."

Of course, it would have to be Yujinn. Darres manages not to sigh or scowl as he turns around, though he is tempted to do both, instead giving the mage a nod that might, with some goodwill, be interpreted as 'friendly' and 'polite'.

"Good evening." Yujinn smiles, looking like he hasn't got a care in the world. Darres supposes that might be true; what would Yujinn care if the Princess learns her magic-lessons so awful that she'll get herself killed, or if her new pet withers away because she doesn't know how to nurture it?

Everyone may be talking about Saint Phelios' holy blood-line with awe and near-worship, but once Princess Ishtar's name is mentioned, most people change their tune considerably.

"I'm looking for a book on kyawls," Darres blurts out, before he can decide that yes, he'd rather bite off his tongue and spend the rest of the night combing through the library than give Yujinn another opportunity to flaunt his knowledge.

"Kyawls?" Yujinn blinks. Darres manages to fight down the urge to do a mental victory-dance at having managed to surprise the mage. "Ah, yes, Princess Ishtar's adopted kitten. I believe there are some books on wild animals over there." Yujinn makes some vague gesture that limits Darres' search-area to about three-quarters of the library.

"Do you think you might be a little bit more specific?" Darres grinds out, swearing that he'll go and have a talk with the librarian at the earliest opportunity. Surely there has got to be some way to make it easier to find a single book in a room full of them?

"I might, for the right price." Yujinn grins, brushing past Darres to snatch a small, thin book from the shelf behind him. Darres glares at him. "Or I might simply help you because I like you so much."

Darres succeeds in not snapping that Yujinn never seems to do anything in a simple way, and that if Yujinn likes him, the mage certainly has a strange way of showing it. As far as Darres is concerned, one does not make fun of the object of one's affections at every possible moment. (Unless, perhaps, one is Princess Ishtar.)

Yujinn proceeds to walk in the general direction that he has indicated to Darres before, and Darres follows him, for lack of a better notion on how to get what he wants, promising himself he'll strangle Yujinn if he's just walking to a comfortable chair to sit and read in.

"This should have a chapter or two on kyawls." Yujinn plucks a thick, heavy volume from a shelf, dropping it in Darres' arms as if it weighs next to nothing. Which it certainly doesn't.

Looking around for a place to lay the book down and do some reading, Darres is chagrined to find that there's only one table, and of course Yujinn's already occupying it, with a scroll lying spread out over half the table.

Darres sits down, telling himself that it's merely a matter of getting used to Yujinn and his strange sense of humor. He got used to the Princess, too, after all; how hard can one mage-tutor be?

"Can I ask you something?" Yujinn's soft voice interrupts his thoughts, though this once, that might actually not be that unwelcome. He's here to read up on kyawls, not to waste time thinking about Yujinn.

"What?" Darres inquires, belatedly adding: "Would you like to know?" for politeness' sake. Yujinn has just helped him after all, even if he has done so in a typical fashion.

Yujinn flashes another grin at him, as if he's able to read Darres' mind, and is amused by the things he's found. "Nothing special. I'm just curious about what sign you were born under."

"Excuse me?" Darres wonders what possible use Yujinn could have for that knowledge.

"According to this fascinating treatise," -Yujinn holds up the booklet Darres has seen him take from a shelf earlier- "it's possible to predict someone's weaknesses and strengths if you know their zodiacal sign. I thought I'd test that theory."

"It sounds like utter nonsense." Darres scoffs, suppressing the part of his mind that wants to sigh with relief at the certainty that he can't answer Yujinn's question, since he doesn't know his birth-date.

"Perhaps you're right." Yujinn appears disappointed for a few seconds, as if Darres has just spoilt one of his favorite illusions. Darres concentrates on locating the right chapter. "But then again, perhaps you're wrong. Still, I guess it'd make things rather boring if I could predict every single thing you'd do or say, wouldn't it? Where'd be the fun in that?"

Darres would like to reply that he finds little 'fun' in his exchanges with Yujinn currently, and that in spite of not knowing his zodiacal sign, Yujinn seems quite apt at foreseeing his words or actions. The idea that those might be the answers Yujinn is waiting for causes him to limit his response to a non-commital 'hm-hm', which Yujinn may interpret any way he wants.

"Well, it's rather late, and I have a lesson to prepare for tomorrow. Good night, Darres." Yujinn stretches as he rises, reminding Darres of a kyawl for a brief, fleeting moment: lean and lazily dangerous. "Don't forget to wake up Jill on your way out." Yujinn chuckles.

"Yes," Darres replies, slightly dazed, deciding that he should head to bed soon, too.

OWARI