Okay, this has been done for a while, so I'm not sure why I didn't put it up. I think I wanted to rewrite it but couldn't come up with anything. So, I went through, proofread it, wrapped it up and here it is. Not very detailed, but that's not really necessary at this point. It's later on when it'll be a bigger part.
FINALLY! Some HyuRoi for you, Uke! I hope you enjoy, and I'll do my best to get on!
Outside of their discussion about the reasons for the library's existence, Roy thought that Maes could never be wrong. Kari had said that the townsfolk were simple and they could never compare to what he'd been born into, but it was something he hadn't been able to believe. Maes, though simple, was very smart. He had the observations of a grown man, the sparkle of intellect behind citrus eyes and the glow of a young kid who already was focused on everything and more to give himself a bright future. But Kari always said that they were better... so why... did his future look so bleak?
He frowned a little into the bottle of tasteless fluid, willing himself to continue on instead of throwing it away. That voice deep inside refused to allow it to leave his hand, even if it wasn't necessarily what his tastes wanted. The most important thing was to continue to thrive, even if he had to live on the other, lesser beings to do so. He was happy, very happy, actually. The outdoors weren't so bothersome after that application and the clouds were overcast. In fact, he felt a lot cooler than he probably should have. It wasn't a real complaint, just an observation, the way Havoc's shirt was over his shoulder, and Maes was flopped back on the grass trying to cool off with soft pants (he supposed) after their little game with the flying disk. The concept of the game eluded him, but Maes promised to show him when he gained his second wind.
"Man, I want some lemonade..." The 'eldest' of the three whined, rolling over to face his companion who'd remained still for most of the picnic. "What's that stuff like, anyway, Roy?"
Roy paused, shaking his head a little. "It's not all that great. Not very fresh."
"You're a picky eater anyway. You didn't eat any of that stuff we brought."
"I'm just not hungry..."
"It's okay. You've just gotta get used to mom's cooking. Ain't great, but you'll like it soon enough."
The young boy grinned slowly, nodding more to himself than to his friend. Maes hadn't known him for long at all and he still tried his hardest to make him feel better. It had nothing to do with the cooking. These looked tasty enough, it was just that home was so close, and he couldn't go back without facing Kari and telling her that he'd failed to do what she told him to do. Failure wasn't an option for anyone that she allowed into her regime, he would be no exception. "It's okay. I'll eat tonight."
Maes's expression had fallen a few notches when it became obvious he hadn't managed to pick up his friend's mood even the tiniest bit. It was like a Maes thing to make everyone smile, even if it only helped hide their sadness for a second because when they smiled once, they couldn't help but do it again and all their troubles just melted away. Roy was so strange, hearing so many bad things and getting so many bad reactions from his mother made him probably feel a lot more lonely than he needed to be, so it was his job to make that kid laugh. He couldn't stand failing at something so necessary. "What's wrong?"
Jean raised a brow, leaning in with a toothpick coming from his mouth, chewing on the end in slight curiosity. "Yeah, you're a real downer."
Roy puffed out, turning away from the two of them, still clinging desperately to his bottle. "I don't think it matters! I don't have to be happy all the time, do I? I mean, I am, I just... Shut up!"
Maes grinned, scooting over to catch the pale boy's expression. It was clear he was flustered, a blush on those otherwise too pale cheeks that made him want to show him off to grammy just to get pinched to leave some permanent color in them, but he couldn't help but note the struggle to hide the smile that wanted to get through so much that it looked like Roy was actually in pain. "Aw, come on, Roooy! Smile! It'll feel good! Your face muscles need the exermacise."
The stubborn boy strained to stick out his tongue, trying to avoid looking at Maes and that goofy face that would undoubtedly greet him the moment he focused on it. "I - I don't wanna!"
Maes never surrendered so easily. Roy may not have known him for long, but that was no excuse for the boy forgetting what he did know. He saw it in his mother and many did say that he took after her personality-wise a lot. He'd make him laugh again, no questions asked. "Maybe you got a tickle spot!"
Roy squirmed away before any harm could be done, finishing the final dregs of 'juice' left in his bottle and standing up to brace himself for whatever silly Maes could throw at him. The grin on his face, however, refused to fade away, much to the boy's dismay. Maes knew him far too well for being his friend for what he assumed to be so little time. He was grateful to him, but no one was supposed to know him so well. "You're so annoying!"
"But you love me!"
"Then why ya grinnin'?"
Jean had decided to stay out of it, chewing absentmindedly on his toothpick while the two played their little game. None of his business, really, and a nice little nap would be great. It was clear that with this new kid in the picture, he'd be competeing for attention from friends and family, like the little brat needed it, but he wouldn't fight too hard on it. He would have liked it himself, surely, but he wasn't going to fight the annoying new kid that everyone probably found adorable. Stupid, really...
The sun was starting to set when they finally started back, the shorter dark-haired boy panting softly beside his glasses-wearing friend, fingers trembling as he grasped his crimson pendant tightly. He wasn't cold... and he hadn't done any straining activities. The sun setting was actually soothing, but he felt so sapped. How long had that blood been sitting earlier before he'd taken a sip? It was so cold, and hardly what he wanted. Tasteless, unnecessary. He scowled at the squirrel that scurried by, nearly tempted to follow it. Maybe it was stupid for him not to follow after his sister when he had the chance.
A hand took his carefully, dragging his mind out of the deep pit it had begun to dig for him. "Roy...? Are you okay? You look really sick."
Roy shook his head fiercely, letting his hand fall away from his pendant. "I'm fine. Come on, Maes. I'm just real hungry."
"That's bad. You shouldn't be hungry for mom's food. You must really be sick."
"I haven't eaten in a while... I'm just feeling a little weird."
"Yeah, that's right... you didn't eat at all today. That's not right! You should eat something else too! That was mean of ma. I'm really surprised. She's usually so concerned about Jean not eating all that great cause he's kinda picky."
The shorter boy curled his fingers, holding firmly onto his friend's hand. "Maes, we really need to hurry up."
Hughes frowned, but nodded, agreeing to do so, tugging on his companion's arm in a rush to get him home and something good to eat.
"Feeling faint, you say?" John asked, looking up from his newspaper as Maes rushed in, leaving Roy in his bed to rest until supper was done. "Maybe he played outside for too long. It did get a little warm." He set it down carefully, glancing towards the kitchen where his wife was working to finish up supper for her family and their guest, a bottle of the very familiar red juice sitting next to the bowl of mashed potatoes on the counter. He gave Maes a little shove towards the room where the clanks of glassware floated from. "Go set the table for your mother. I'll look in on your friend."
"You'll make sure he's okay...?"
"I promise. I've got some candy to boost his sugar."
Maes didn't really understand it, but it wasn't his place to, so he smiled and nodded eagerly, running in to help his mother with dinner. John knew he'd rather be helpful in other ways, but there were just somethings that he didn't need to be a part of. He turned and quickly made his way to his bedroom, grabbing hold of his pocket knife on the high shelf and went right next door to his son's room, watching the youth on the bed growl and moan to himself, crimson stone glowing dimly in the darkness of the room. "So, when was the last time you fed, Roy?"
The boy sat up quickly, glaring intensely in his direction. "Go away! Don't you dare speak to me like that!"
The hunter brandished the knife with a small smirk, stepping towards the dark-haired boy after the door had been shut. "You're under my roof, boy, so just remember that. I don't have to help you. I'm just doing it because of Maes. Cooperate. You don't want to hurt him, right?"
"Maes...?" No, no! Of course not. Hurting Maes was the last thing he wanted to do. Maes had been so much in such a short time, he'd never want to hurt him, but that was why there was such the rush home. He didn't care for the woman, and though he was thankful to this man for giving him a place to stay, he didn't really care for him either. "No, I won't hurt him. What do you want? Are you like her, too?!"
"No, nothing like that. I wanted to offer you something." He dug the cool metal deep into his forearm, near his wrist, being very careful not to do irreperable damage, watching the blood pool around the small blade. "You need this to survive; this blood to survive. I won't let you go near Maes, and if my wife sees bite marks, she'll absolutely go insane. Take it."
Roy flopped over on his side. "I don't... I don't need anything from you. Kari said never to listen to the likes of you. I can smell it all over you... you were there, you slaughtered my kinsmen. Why should I care for anything you have to say? My sister's gone on without me..."
"Fine then. You don't have that family anymore, which, in my opinion is the best thing to happen to you and you don't really care for my opinion, so do it for Maes. He was really worried about you."
"He was. So take it... for him?"
The stubborn youth sat up, watching the drips fall to the floor in slight interest. He'd noticed the way his heart beat, how each little pulsate of his heart made that warm substance of life flow, but never before had he thought it would look so good. He shivered, hugging his knees. "I'm not like Archer."
John gave a small smile, crossing the distance and sat beside him, offering the bleeding wrist to those slightly parted lips. "Don't worry. You're a really good boy, but you'll die without proper nourishment. You've got a new life, at least live it."
Roy stood after testing the bath water, wrapped in a towel, watching the other climb in the tub without invitation. "What are you doing?"
Maes blinked, stretching out to put his glasses on the counter. "What? I thought we could take a bath together. We're both boys, why not? Besides, it saves on the water and we can wash each other's backs! Aren't I brilliant?"
The little Mustang, however, was hardly amused. He'd only taken a bath with someone three times. Once with each of his parents and one time with Kari, and he didn't intend on sharing this smaller tub with Maes. He had no reason to be shy, of course. He knew there was nothing different from like his family, but it was Maes. It just seemed so weird to be bathing with him. Sleeping with him was fine; they were both wearing clothes. It was inappropriate, wasn't it? Grown-ups did that kind of stuff... "I'll wait."
"It'll be cold by then and mom won't let you start another one!"
These rules were getting to be real stupid! He grumbled to himself for a bit before finally surrendering and folded the towel back up and placed it beside Maes' glasses. It really didn't make sense why Maes even wanted to be there. At supper he seemed so happy to see that he was okay. Apparently something about sugar seemed to make people sick if they didn't eat enough in the day, so that was their excuse for when he wasn't feeling well. He had to admit, that Hunter did have a good idea. It proved to work very well, and he had that stupid man to give him whatever he wanted. "Maes, do I seem different to you?"
The other boy blinked, looking up from the cloth in his hand and the bar of soap he was reaching for. "You're kinda smart, I guess, but not really. Did Dad say something to you?"
"No, no. He said... I was a good boy. I was just wondering. I don't want you to go away like everyone else, so... before I get attached I want to know!" He dropped his hands in the water, scratching at the bottom of the tub out of curiosity. He already knew his friend that protected him would not be happy listening to this conversation, but he could handle himself, if Maes saw it necessary to abandon him.
He'd be worthless then. We could always use the place to hide...
And that was very true. Even if they did prove to be nothing but a family of hunters out to get rid of him, then he'd just put them in their place. The only one he wouldn't dare to hurt, even if he had said that he didn't want him around anymore, was Maes. The one who called himself Death never gave a reason why he formed such an easy attachment with both him and Maes, after being dominated and used to gain control over this measly human town.
Why had he accepted this warm, comforting group of people without question? How long ago had it been since there was warmth in their old home? ... Pride no longer played a factor. There was no more Clan to be proud of. No one really said what had happened after everyone split up. No one had come to contact him, and he knew for certain that Kari hadn't tried to call back those who might have survived the massacre.
"You're really weird, I won't argue there, but that's what makes you a good friend! You've always got something smart to say, so I know I can count on you for homework when school starts again, and you're so curious that I just dunno what to teach you next! It's like having a little brother. I feel kinda bad. Seems like you didn't get much to play with. Anyway, I don't care about that, I like having someone sleep over all the time! You're not leavin' 'cause of mom and dad, are you?"
Roy scooted closer, taking the cloth from his friend and wrapped the soap in it. "I'm not leaving. I like it here. I want you to teach me some more things. Can we play some more tomorrow?"
The youngest Hughes turned so his friend could get his back. "Of course. Now come on. Mom likes to peek."