Netto caught sight of Laika inside a restaurant/bar he frequented whenever Netto found him in Sharro outside of his military base. Laika slowly stirred a straw around inside an orange colored drink as he gazed at nothing in particular. Netto grinned and walked inside, sitting next to Laika at his table and waiting for the older boy to stop spacing out. When Laika finally noted his existence he jumped and scooted away, "Netto! What… what are you doing here?" he asked.
Netto grinned, "Came in for a small mission and thought I'd say hi. How are you?" he asked.
Laika shrugged, "I'm fine."
Netto grinned, "I'm surprised I didn't find you on base."
Laika shrugged again, "Well I don't have to spend all my time there you know."
"But you do," Netto pointed out.
Laika frowned but didn't reply. "Where's Rockman?"
"With Searchman at your dorm. He told me where you were," Netto explained.
"Oh," Laika said and continued to stir his drink slowly.
"What's that?" Netto asked.
Laika looked at the drink, "Nothing really," he said.
"Can I try?" Netto asked him.
Laika's answer was automatic, "No," he said.
"Why?" Netto asked.
"Why are you asking so many questions?" Laika retorted.
Netto stuck his tongue out at him, "You're not in a very good mood are you?" he asked.
Laika sighed, "Look, I had a bad day, okay?" he snapped.
Netto held up his hands, "Fine, fine, jeez Laika," he muttered.
"Private Laika!" a voice barked.
Laika stood up, "Yes sir?" he asked.
"May I talk to you for a minute?" he asked.
Laika sighed, "All right," he said out loud. Then he looked at Netto, "I'll be right back, don't touch anything," he instructed and left the table.
Netto looked just to make sure Laika wasn't watching him then he scooted his chair over a little and took the drink. He slurped half of it through a straw before he actually tasted it. He coughed and backed away from it but not being an experienced drinker by any means he felt the effects almost immediately.
Laika came back from talking to his superior to see Netto slumped on the table and half of his vodka gone. "You drank half a glass of vodka in one gulp?" he asked the younger boy.
"Laika…" Netto choked out, "How old… are you?"
"I'm 15 years old!" Laika snapped. "And that doesn't matter. This bar serves any drink to any solider," he explained. "Especially on… bad days." He glanced at Netto again, "Umm… are you all right?"
A fine blush creeped over Netto's cheeks, "Yesh…" he said slowly.
Laika resisted the urge to face palm, "Oh god…" he muttered. "Netto… have you ever had any alcoholic beverage before?"
Netto fixed him with an angry glare, "Lesh see, no," he snapped.
"How old are you?" Laika asked.
"I…" Netto blinked trying to remember, "I turned thirteen last month…" he muttered.
Laika sighed, "Of course you did," he replied.
Netto groaned, "Ugh… what wash that?" he asked.
"Vodka…" Laika muttered. "I had no intention of drinking the whole thing, probably not even as much as you did. You… wow…"
Netto groaned and tried to stand up but Laika was forced to catch him as he swayed dangerously. Quickly he maneuvered the boy onto his back and got him out of the restaurant before anything else could happen. The blast of harsh Sharro air seemed to wake Netto up a little bit, but not much. "Netto?" Laika asked again.
Netto giggled in Laika's ear, "That wash funny…" he murmured.
"What was?" Laika asked.
"What I did in there," Netto replied.
"Downing half a glass of one of the most potent alcoholic drinks in the world. Oh yeah, I'm screaming with laughter," Laika said sarcastically.
Netto laughed, "Awww… you're alwaysh so uptight, Lai-ka…" he said.
"You are so drunk," Laika replied.
Netto shrugged, "Sho?" He swallowed to make his speech clearer, "Laika, seriously, you act way too much like an adult. Buying alcoholic drinks and never smiling, do you even remember what it's like to be a kid?"
Laika frowned, "What is that supposed to mean?"
"It means you need to relax!" Netto cheered.
Laika eyed him, "I'm supposed to relax when my best friend gets himself drunk when he's 13?" he asked.
"It wash an accident," Netto murmured.
"I told you not to touch anything," Laika replied coolly.
"If you would have jush told me what it was!" Netto snapped back.
Laika sighed, "Rockman is going to kill me, you know that right?"
Netto giggled, "He'sh already freaking out…"
"Hm?" Laika asked.
"The link," Netto said. "We can hear each other's thoughts, didn't you know that?"
"No, I didn't," Laika replied as they trudged through the snow.
"Yeah, yeah," Netto said. "Anywaysh, I can't hear Rockman too clearly and I think he's worried."
"You think?" Laika asked.
Netto shrugged carelessly and giggled, "Yeah," he said.
"Netto…" Laika sighed. "You are never allowed to get drunk again."
Netto sighed, "Okay," he muttered.
Laika set him down on the ground where he swayed a little before standing up on his own. "Wow…" Netto muttered.
"I'm amazed you haven't passed out yet," Laika replied.
"Ish too cold," Netto admitted. "Where are we?"
"We are at my office," Laika replied.
"Offish?" Netto answered. "Why the hell would you…" he started.
"Because since I'm a junior solider I get desk work a lot," Laika replied.
Netto shrugged and they went inside. Laika's office was small with a desk, a computer and a small couch that Netto suspected that had been slept on many a night when Laika didn't make it home. "You live like Enzan…" he muttered.
Laika eyed him, "This is Enzan's life, not mine."
Netto laughed, "Oh, Laika doeshn't like the deskwork," he teased.
Laika looked irritated, "No, I don't," he replied.
Netto shrugged carelessly, "So you don't like deshkwork, but you're here anyways." He eyed his friend, "what did you do?" he asked.
Laika sighed and rubbed his forehead, "You wouldn't understand."
"Try me," Netto said with a frown.
"I disobeyed direct orders from a superior to shoot because there was a civilian navi in the way, and because of that, the navi we were after got away," Laika said quickly.
Netto grinned and fell into Laika's arms in a careless manner so that Laika was forced to hold up Netto's weight. Netto looked up at Laika with happy eyes and said, "I remember a time when you would have shot like that on command. You're a much better pershon now, Laika…"
"Netto…" Laika said in a stunned voice, then looked irritated. "It's your fault you know."
Netto giggled, "Yeah… I know."
Laika raised an eyebrow, "You are going to be so crabby tomorrow," he murmured.
Netto laughed and pushed himself away from Laika. "Sho?" he asked. "Now is now, tomorrow is tomorrow, what does it matter?"
Laika gazed at Netto with a mixture of admiration and concern in his eyes. Netto was so mature, yet so childish at the same time. "You're still drunk you know," he pointed out.
"Yeah, I know," Netto replied. "But part of that ish your fault!" he sing songed.
"It is not!" Laika said indignantly.
"Ish toooo!" Netto replied.
Laika felt his temper rise slightly, "Netto, don't even try and argue with me right now."
Netto giggled again and flopped on the couch. "You're no fun to argue with anyways," he said. "You alwaysh win."
Laika walked over to where Netto was laying down and picked up his upper body and sat down, letting Netto's head lie in his lap. "Is that so?" he asked.
Netto eyes were now half closed, "Yeah," he replied in a dreamy voice. "And even thought you're always so cool and calm on the outside I know you're really afraid sometimes."
Laika gave a start, "Really now?"
Netto nodded, "Sometimes… I envy you Laika."
Laika was taken aback, "Why?"
"Becaush…" Netto said looking at Laika with a dead serious expression. "You always know what to do, no matter what. And even if the consequences upset you, you do it anywaysh. I can't make decisions like that, and I depend on Rockman to help me. One day that might get me into trouble."
Laika smiled at Netto, "Don't worry, if that happens I'll be there to yell at you."
Netto gave Laika a goofy grin, "I'll hold you to that."
Laika patted Netto on the head, "I know. Now go to sleep, before you pass out."
Netto nodded and closed his eyes. Laika sat there for a long while thinking about what Netto had said. Even though Netto had admitted to envying him the truth was he envied the brunette much, much more. He sighed and watched as the blush slowly disappeared from Netto's cheeks and toyed with the idea of getting away before Netto woke up. However he was far to comfortable with Netto's head in his lap at the moment and merely was content with watching Netto sleep the night away.