Duero sat down and quietly sipped his coffee, waiting for the group to land in Tarak. If no outside factors affected the ship, they would arrive in two hours. Suddenly, Hibiki ran into the cafeteria, holding a phone in his hand and covering one ear with the other, "It's for you! Take it before the damn woman screams some more!"
Confused, Duero got up slowly and proceeded to walk to Hibiki. However, the disgruntled youth assumed that if he waited any longer, he would go deaf and flung to phone at Duero. Duero managed to catch it phone after fumbling with it for a while. He placed the phone next to his ear, "He-"
"Duero!" a shrill female voice cried from the other line and Duero cringed. No wonder why Hibiki was now scampering off in fear.
"Where were you? I was waiting for you to call me! I was so worried! I was scared that something happened to you and..." the voice fell into heaps of sobs.
"Huh? Who are you?" Duero blinked in confusion.
"It's me! Don't you remember me?" the voice wailed in a high-pitched voice.
"Who?" Duero still did not recognize the voice.
"Oh. Uh, what did you want again?"
"Why didn't you call me?" the voice cried in the strident voice again.
"Why should I have?"
"Because I asked you to call me! Don't you remember?"
Duero scrutinized his face, vaguely remembering Jura screaming something to Hibiki before jumping onto him. "Uh... I guess."
"Do you or do you not?" Jura demanded.
"I suppose I do."
"Then why the hell didn't you call?"
"Was there any need for me to call? Did something happen?"
"No! But I missed you so much!"
"Of course! If something happens to you..." Jura started bawling again, "T-then what man's child would I bear?"
Duero raised an eyebrow, half in confusion and half in amusement. "The child of someone whom you love?"
Jura snorted, "Don't be so naïve. Anyways, when are you coming back?"
"I can't say." He could, but assumed that it would probably save him some trouble if he didn't answer her.
"Well, come back as soon as you can because...because... I can't wait to be the first person in Majare to have a man's child!"
"Uh huh..." Now Duero was slightly disturbed and scared at the notion.
"What? No, it's nobody!" Jura suddenly shouted.
"Huh? What?" Duero blinked.
"No, no, it's not him."
"Who?" Duero asked.
"I told you; it's not him! Leggo of it! Hey, it's mine!"
Now Duero was thoroughly confused. Was Jura a schizophrenic? Or was she having delusions due to heavy drug use?
"Um... H-hello? Duero?" Another voice spoke.
"And who are you?"
"Y-you don't recognize my voice?"
Duero sighed exasperatedly. What was it with females and their guessing games? "No. Now, will you kindly tell me your name or do I have to guess all seventy members aboard the Nirvana?"
"Oh, no, no, no! I'm Parfet."
"Okay. And what do you want?"
Duero rolled his eyes. Now he realized why Hibiki was so rude towards Dita. Women were very aggravating. "If there's no problem, may I hang up?"
"Uh, wait, Duero! Um... Well..."
"Er..." Duero suddenly had the urge to roll his eyes in exasperation. "Well, um... I just wanted to make sure you're okay."
"I'm fine," he stated curtly.
"Good. And um, have you been eating properly?"
"The food aboard the ship is fine."
"Oh, okay... Um... Have you been getting enough sleep?"
Now Duero did roll his eyes. "Yes, I'm fine. Now, I have duties to attend to." Actually, he didn't, but it wasn't as if Parfet had anything important to say.
"Oh, okay. I won't bother you."
Duero sighed in relief as he hung up. However, a few minutes later, the phone started ringing again. Groaning, Duero picked it up, "Hello?"
"Hi. Um, Duero?"
Duero rolled his eyes. Great, another person aboard the Nirvana was calling him. "Yes. What's the matter?"
"I was just calling to...make sure you're okay."
"I am. Thank you for your concern," Duero said while grimacing from boredom and proceeded to hang up again.
Duero put the phone next to his ear again, "What?"
"Good." Duero was about to hang up when another voice broke out.
"Wait! Gimme the phone!" there were a few sound effects before someone said anything, "Hello? Duero?"
Duero groaned, "What now, Jura?"
"You remember my voice!" she screamed shrilly. Duero winced and pulled the phone away from his ear.
"Well, you were talking ten minutes ago..."
"I just wanted to tell you – in case I forgot to last time – to call me! Call me, call me, call me!"
"You did tell me – multiple times, if my memory serves me correct. And yes, I will call you."
"Call me every single hour!"
"Isn't that request slightly outlandish-"
"Just call me!"
"Call me in an hour!"
"But I'm about to sleep-"
"Call me, dammit!"
Duero winced again, "Very well."
"Good and... Hey! Gimme the phone back-"
Duero pulled the phone away from his sensitive earlobe again, wondering who was fighting for the phone this time. He could hear most of what was going on, some of which were sound effects, some phrases like, "My phone! Give it back!" and "No! I'm talking to him! You talked too long!" However, most of the sound he heard was profanity definitely not fit for a child – which was why he was surprised as to who got the phone in the end after a short catfight.
"Duero? Hey, it's Paiway."
Duero raised an eyebrow in shock, "Paiway? You...won a catfight with Jura?"
"Yup! She forfeited after I dented a nail," she started sniggering and he could almost see her mischievous grin.
"You really shouldn't fight with people like that," Duero rationally reprimanded.
"Aw, don't be so strict and boring! What's life without a little fun and excitement?"
Duero frowned and scholarly countered, "I would hardly consider a possibility of death as fun."
Paiway snorted, "Yeah right. Catfights never hurt anybody."
"You would be surprised. One out of every ten females are injured yearly because of catfights. Usually, the damage is temporary, but in rarer cases, there have been symptoms of..."
"I get the idea!" Paiway huffed, "Don't get so medical and techy with me."
"But you're a nurse. I would assume that you understand how dangerous simple actions are. I would also assume that you understand the risk of gas gangrene from skin injuries due to infections..."
Paiway childishly shrieked, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you!"
Duero rolled his eyes, "If you're still holding the phone, you most probably can."
He sighed, "If you do not wish to listen anymore, hanging up the phone is a good option." There was a pause, possibly from thought, and the line went dead. Sighing in relief, Duero proceeded to enjoy his coffee when the phone started ringing again. Groaning in exasperation, Duero turned the ringing to silent and was able to relish in his peace for the next three hours. Once he arrived at the Tarak embassy, the phones calls went there. And, of course, he could never disconnect the embassy phone, in case something of utmost importance occurred. But he could follow Paiway's example and scream over the voices.