Real Love—A Blunt Object

by taitofan

Rated PG-13 for yaoi

Disclaimer: If I owned Star Ocean 3, the four optional characters would have been mandatory, Adray would be optional, Melt and Lezard would be sweet sweet lovers, and the other Surferio Kids would have done way more. As you can see, I don't own it.

Author's notes: Now, I usually don't go for this couple, because I'm, if it wasn't painfully obvious, very much dedicated to the thought of Melt and Lezard being soulmates. But it gave me an excuse to try out a couple I don't have a lot of experience with, and I admit writing this did indeed make me like it more. This isn't as shippy as the other chapters, but rest assured you'll get your fluff fix when I get around to writing the last chapter pairing Roger with another Surferio kid. For now, please enjoy!

10_whores prompt: 04. a blunt object

Flames do nothing but make me laugh, although I'll listen to any CC you have. Please read, review, and enjoy! Finished 08-17-09

There were some days when Roger found himself not minding Lucien and his gang. Some days he longed for the friendship they once had but lost somewhere along he way as they got older. Some days he got very close to asking them to go have fun with his gang, no dares or contests in sight. And then some days…

Some days he just wanted to hit Lezard upside the head with a large, heavy, blunt object and try to knock some sense into his head.

It was always the same thing that stopped Roger from going through with his plans of friendship—Lezard always had to ruin it somehow. He'd say something to Lucien, or he'd insult Melt or Dribe, or he'd just be himself. He was arrogant by nature, and he thought that being smart gave him the right to treat everyone else as his puppets. The Menodix boy didn't buy that for a second though; after all, Melt was just as smart, and he didn't act like that. No, it was definitely just a Lezard thing… And Roger was sick of it.

…And being the impulsive young boy he was, one day after a snide comment—something about having jelly where his brain should be—Roger did something that only someone who was pushed to the breaking point would do… He picked up a big rock and chucked it at Lezard's head.

"Roger! I think you killed him!"

"Wow, that shut him up… Why didn't I think of that?"

"No! Lezard's dead!"

While Dribe and Vellion panicked, Lucien became jealous that he'd never thought of knocking his little brother out, and Roger just stood gaping and disbelieving of what he'd just done, Melt took it upon himself to check on his rival's condition.

"…He's fine." The hubbub suddenly ceased at the calm words, allowing him to continue. "He will have a nasty bump on his forehead for a few days, but he will be all right otherwise."

"You sure?" Melt gave Lucien a look that said 'Don't be stupid,' causing the older boy to shrug. "Just askin'…"

"Lucien, you should bring him home and put him in bed. He'll have a horrible headache once he awakens. Roger, help him carry Lezard. You owe him that much at least." Roger knew better than to disagree. Melt wouldn't take no for an answer once he got an idea into his head, and besides, he was right. Just because he'd wanted to knock Lezard out didn't mean he'd ever really planned to…

"Fine fine, I'm goin'. Come on Lucien, let's get this over with…" As the leaders-slash-rivals carried the passed out boy down the docks, Dribe turned to Melt and sighed.

"Are you surprised that happened?" Melt shook his head, a glimmer of amusement in his bright yellow eyes.

"Not at all. Now, let us get Vellion home before he hyperventilates…"

If Roger hadn't known better, he'd think Lucien was clumsy, what with all the times he "accidentally" slipped and dropped Lezard. Roger could only be glad Lucien only had his feet. He hadn't realized the older boy held so much pent up frustration towards his brother…

"Are ya tryin' to kill him?" Lucien snorted as he pushed the door open to their house and they headed towards the brothers' bedroom.

"I ain't the one who threw a rock at him, am I?" Touché. "'Sides, you try having yer little brother constantly tellin' ya what an idiot yah are and not get a little revenge when ya can. Or havin' to hear him sayin' really dumb things about bein' better than everyone. Melt's smarter than he is…" Roger cocked an eyebrow at the last part, which had been muttered quietly…but not quietly enough.

"You think Melt is smart? I thought ya hated Melt? I thought ya hated all of us?" Lucien's faced flushed an interesting shade of red at the questions, and he mumbled something in response. "Whaddyah say? I didn't understand a thing ya said…"

"No, I don't hate you," Lucien said a bit louder, not sounding the least bit pleased. "'Specially not Melt…but I'll kill ya if you tell him that!" Roger bit the insides of his cheeks to keep from grinning. Yeah right, he was telling Melt the second he left! They got to the bedroom and put Lezard on his small bed, Roger turned to leave, and— "Not so fast ya goofball. You're gonna tell him anyway, aren't ya?"

"Um…no, of course not. What gave ya that idea?" The innocent act had never worked on his rival though, and it never would. Knowing that he had no choice, he sighed and nodded his head.

"Well, I ain't givin' ya the chance then. I'm gonna go tell him myself, and you're gonna stay here with Lezard. Got it?" Roger opened his mouth to protest. Loudly. He didn't want to stay with Lezard! Lezard really was to blame for everything if even Lucien didn't really hate them. He'd rather throw another rock at his head then—

"Hey, wait, come back!" Lucien only laughed as he ran out of the house, leaving Roger alone with the most arrogant, stuck-up boy he'd ever met. Great… With a sigh, he flopped onto Lucien's bed and settled down to wait for Lezard to wake up.

Lezard didn't typically dream—or at least, he never remembered them when he woke up. But now he found himself in a dream full of dancing rocks in robes and heels attacking Surferio. He knew it must be a dream, because it was just far too silly to ever actually happen. Not even that story Roger told about the universe being a giant game for another race was quite as farfetched.

In his odd dream, the rocks tapped their way across the docks, rolling over everyone in their way. Countless humanoids tried to stop them, only to end up flat as pancakes. His dream self watched apathetically as nameless people met their end to glittery red high heels. Oh yes, it was very, very strange…

Then someone who he actually recognized appeared. The goofball… Didn't that figure? He always had liked playing hero. He waved his axe around, yelling at the rocks to leave their village alone with that horrid dialect he shared with Lucien, but obviously, his demands went unfulfilled. The rocks kept coming, but the boy wouldn't move. Lezard grew more and more anxious as the rocks came closer and closer and closer and


"What?" Lezard had sat up as he screamed and woke up, and he spun around to see the Menodix boy lying on his brother's bed, staring at him curiously. Of course, moving so quickly hadn't been such a good idea in retrospect. His vision blurred and everything started to go black as he fell back on the pillows.

With the sight of Lezard passed out yet again, Roger could only sigh and wonder where in the world Lucien was so he could go back home.

"Don't you… Don't you think you…? Lucien! Calm down a moment." The incessant hands and lips on his flesh ceased at his commanding tone. "That is better. Now… Do you not think that it is highly inappropriate to engage in such activities while your brother is incapacitated?" Lucien took a few moments to decipher the fancy speech through his teenage-hormone ridden brain before he answered.

"I finally told ya I like ya, and ya wanna stop? No way! Lezard'll be fine. …'Sides, you're really sexy when you talk all smart, ya know that?" Melt sighed but didn't stop Lucien when he went back to that lovebite he'd been working on before. Good thing he never showed his neck in public…

Twenty minutes later, Lezard's eyes fluttered open, and seeing as he hadn't dreamed of killer rocks, he was able to sit up carefully and not strain himself. His head was still aching, but at least his vision had cleared… And it had cleared enough to see that Roger had obviously gotten bored and was reading one of his books.

"Just what do you think you're doing?" Roger didn't look up as he flipped though the book titled "101 Select Dinners."

"Waitin' for Lucien to get back so I can leave. Can ya make any of these?" Lezard frowned, wondering which inane part of that he should tackle first.

"I hardly need a baby sitter. It's just a bump…I'll live." Roger didn't move though. "Whatever… And yes, I can. I can make anything in there if I have the ingredients. …And why are you here anyway? Where's Lucien? Why did that excitable fool leave my assailant alone with me?" Roger finally looked up, and he made a grand spectacle of rolling his eyes towards the heavens and sighing deeply.

"Man Lezard, ya really are a drama queen. Ya just said it was only a little bump. Why would I of stayed if I wanted to hit ya again?" Now Lezard stayed silent, causing Roger to groan and flop back on the bed. "Look, Lucien went to talk to Melt, okay? He told me to stay here while he was gone. Now why can't ya just be nice for once in your life? Jeez…"

"I see…" Lezard said, effectively ignoring the last question. "If that's the case, Lucien won't be back for a while. He tends to moan the Silent One's name out in the middle of the night after all. I can only imagine what he's doing… Though I still can't believe he left me here with you." Roger decided to play Lezard's game and just ignore the last part.

"I know, he told me. …Well, about the likin' Melt thing. Didn't know he liked him that much though." Lezard frowned at that. Roger could only imagine that he was being glared at through those thick glasses too.

"He told you? Why would he tell you? When did he tell you?" Roger rolled his eyes dramatically again, enjoying it when Lezard's frown deepened.

"Yes, because he doesn't hate me, and when we were draggin' your body back here. Anymore questions?" Lezard didn't answer. Roger wasn't sure why—maybe because he never expected Lucien to tell his rival anything? Maybe because this proved that "rival" did not equal "enemy," and Lezard didn't like that? Who knew? He doubted he'd ever understand how the other boy's mind worked.

Roger honestly considered leaving at that point. Lezard wasn't talking to him, he was obviously fine, and Lucien would get over it anyway. Why should he stay when Lezard very clearly didn't want him there? But as the other boy suddenly groaned and clutched his head, all of those thought left his mind.

"H-hey! Ya sure you're alright? Yah aren't gonna go passin' out on me again are ya?" Even through the throbbing in his head, Lezard was able to sneer at Roger.

"Would it kill you to pronounce your words correctly?" Roger had no idea what he was talking about and could only stare back until Lezard sighed and let the sneer drop. "Oh, just forget it. I told you I'm fine. Just…just go home you little goofball. Leave me alone."

Though Roger normally would have taken that opportunity in a flash, there was something in Lezard's voice that made him hesitate. He sounded almost…lonely. The egotistical, manipulative alchemist-in-training got lonely? He'd never considered that before. He'd always assumed Lezard and Lucien kept each other company, but even looking around the room he wondered why he'd ever thought it. Lezard had books about alchemy and cooking, while Lucien's were all journals about his adventures. One half of the room was covered in flasks and stones, while the other had weapons and armor. They liked different things, acted differently, dressed differently, talked differently… They were brothers, but they certainly weren't twins. And if Lucien wasn't a truly close companion…

"Ya don't really have any friends." It wasn't a question, and Lezard didn't respond. "Lucien and you aren't close, ya don't treat Vellion like a friend, and ya won't even try to be friends with me and my crew. Yanno, if you were nicer, I bet Melt'd be your friend, since ya have so much in common and all. I mean, I remember when we were little and were all friends. It seems like a long time ago though… I actually thought you were kinda cool back then."

Lezard glanced up, and Roger could tell that he was trying his best to hide his curiosity. It didn't work very well.

"…You did?" Why? went unspoken, but implied. Of all the things Lezard thought he was, cool wasn't exactly one of them. Intelligent, ingenious, and an alchemic god perhaps, but not cool. That was something that was more fit for his brother or…or Roger.

"For the same reason I think Melt is cool. Cause you're both really smart! The rest of us aren't, but you two could always answer any question in the world between the two of ya it seemed." He paused and shrugged then, realizing that they probably had very different opinions of what constituted being cool. "But Melt didn't let it go to his head, and he has friends, unlike you. Even your own brother likes Melt more!"

Despite the fact that Roger had merely been trying to get through to Lezard that he drove people away while his rival didn't, the Menodix boy was hardly known for his eloquence. Therefore, not even Lezard could be blamed when his sneer came back in full force. He glared at the other boy with all his might, doing his best to ignore the painful throbbing still coursing through his head.

"All right. I get it, okay? Melt's perfect and better than me in every way. I'm just a jerk that no one in the world likes who deserves getting rocks thrown at his head. Fine. You made your point. Now leave me alone." Roger didn't say anything at first. What could he? That wasn't what he meant at all! Melt had his faults as well, and if Lezard would just treat people nicer, he'd have just as many friends too!

"Lezard, that's not what I—"

"I said go!" The younger boy shouted, not giving Roger a chance to make him even more miserable than he already was. He was done, and Roger took the hint. With a sigh, he got up from Lucien's bed and headed for the door. Without another word, he was gone and Lezard was once again alone.

As always.

"Stupid, stupid goofball," he growled, too tired and his head hurting too badly to do anything more. He curled up on his bed and closed his eyes, wishing everything would just go away.

The next day, the Real Man Contest that was supposed to take place the previous day was back on. …Supposedly. No one really looked up to having a contest though. As soon as Roger's crew had arrived at the designated area, Melt went straight over to Lucien and dragged him off from the others, just out of hearing range. Whatever he was telling the older boy, he didn't look all that happy.

Dribe and Vellion were too amazed at the unexpected behavior to even worry about the contest. That left two, Roger and Lezard, the latter of whom wouldn't even look at the former. Roger wasn't exactly surprised, but he certainly wasn't happy. If Lezard had just given him a chance to explain…

"I… I wonder what they're talkin' about," Roger finally said, breaking the uncomfortable silence. While part of him expected to be ignored, the other part, the part that realized Lezard could never turn down the chance to berate someone, wasn't surprised when he got a scoff as a reply.

"In case you were too blind to notice, not even that collar of his can hide your friend's bruises. I'm sure he's telling my excitable brother just how much pain he will feel if he ever goes overboard like that again." Roger hadn't even noticed to tell the truth, but looking down the docks after the pair, he did see a patch of purple creeping up his neck. The very thought about what one of his best friends must have been doing with his rival to get the bruises was enough to make him flush.

"I-I see… I guess Lucien's confession went well then." Lezard shrugged, appearing not to care to anyone who didn't know him well enough. He and Roger had lived in the same town all their lives though, and while they weren't close by any means, the Menodix boy could still tell that he wasn't as bored with the conversation as he wanted to make Roger believe. Roger wondered if he'd take any excuse just to have company after what he'd learned the night before. After that, he was positive that Lezard was lonely and just refused to show it. He had to wonder why Lezard had let himself show even a bit of his vulnerability to him, of all people…

He didn't like the fact he hadn't gotten much sleep thinking about it so much, but he came up with a few theories at least.

"…Yes, he seemed far too happy with himself when he finally returned home for it not to have." There was something in Lezard's tone that even Roger, while not the most perceptive being in Surferio, could not ignore. Something that told him Lucien hadn't cared too much about his brother's well-being once he'd gotten home. Even worse, he knew Lucien wasn't all to blame; he himself was responsible for at least part of that not-completely-concealed sadness. How many years had it been now since they'd all split into rival crews and Lezard started acting this way? Probably far too long. Lezard had always been near someone when they were small, and even if Roger was positive he'd deny it these day, it was impossible that the cat humanoid didn't still crave that attention.

Roger, if nothing else, had a wonderful imagination. He tried to envision what Lezard would be like when they were adults if he continued to deny himself friendship…or if no one would offer it. The results weren't pretty. Lezard was an alchemic genius, and he already spent far too much wasted effort on traps and devious plans during the Real Man contests. If allowed to grow up alone and bitter, just what would he be capable of doing then…?

"I ain't gonna let that happen!" Lezard looked at the other boy as if he'd sprouted a few extra limbs, which was highly appropriate considering he had no way of knowing everything that had just gone through Roger's head. Realizing that he'd said that aloud, Roger laughed nervously. "I mean… Well, never mind. Look, I'm sorry I said that stuff last night. I just meant that you could have lot of friends too, if ya weren't such a jerk."

Lezard sighed, not feeling up to putting up with Roger's…Roger-ness that morning. Wasn't it bad enough that he'd barely gotten any sleep that night between Lucien's babbling on about Melt and his own inability to stop thinking about the goofball in front of him? He certainly didn't need to be reminded that no one liked him yet again. Unfortunately for him, Roger wasn't finished.

"Wouldn't ya like to all be friends again? I know my crew would like it. If ya'd just quit calling us stupid all the time, it could work." Roger didn't know why Lezard acted the way he did, and he had a feeling that he never would. But right then, all he cared about was that the younger boy at least attempt to be civil…not that it mattered at this point. No matter how he answered, Roger had decided they would be friends again. He wasn't going to look back in ten years when Lezard was some evil genius taking over the planet, kicking himself because he knew it wouldn't be happening if he'd done something.

…Besides, the night before he'd also spent time remembering that bespectacled little boy who liked making cookies. The same boy who would hang off his big brother's arm because he was too shy to let go unless Melt coaxed him out in that language the two of them were the only ones smart enough to understand. He'd decided he missed that boy.

"…Hmm." The noncommittal noise wasn't what Roger wanted to hear, but he kept quiet as Lezard thought. He assumed it was a creative way to call him an idiot, but… "I…suppose that would be acceptable."

Roger had instinctively opened his mouth to reply with 'why not?' but he caught himself in time. Had Lezard really just said yes? That easily?

"Really? Ya mean it?" Lezard did his best not to flush as the other boy grabbed his hands, laughing happily, but he couldn't help a twinge of pink on his cheeks.

"H-hey! C-calm down you goofball!" Lezard's embarrassed words didn't stop Roger though. He was far too excited at the thought of having all his friends back again to care about the insult. With the theories he'd come up with, he half wondered how insulting Lezard really meant it to be those days anyway.

"You'll see Lezard," the Menodix boy promised, squeezing the hands in his in an oddly gentle manner. "This'll be way better than it has been the last few years. We'll all be friends again. It'll be even better than in your dreams!"

"What do you mean, you fool?" Lezard grumbled, trying to yank his hands back. He didn't succeed. Roger was capable of wielding an axe twice his weight after all.

"I heard ya callin' my name yesterday before ya passed out again. I figured you were dreamin' that we were friends…" He paused a moment before a wide grin settled on his face. "Unless you were havin' dreams of me like Lucien does of Melt."

Lezard sputtered, losing the battle to keep his face its normal color. Why did he agree to this again…?

"Hey, it's okay, I know I'm just too irresistible." Before Lezard could retort, Roger leaned in close and pressed a chaste kiss to the other boy's cheek. He laughed as he pulled back, not seeing an inch of Lezard's face that wasn't bright red. "Ya know Lezard, if ya ever feel lonely, just come to me and we'll work something out, okay? I really like it better when you're happy." The young alchemist was too stunned to do anything as Roger finally let go of his hands and ran off to the others, no doubt to tell them the news.

Lezard knew he should be angry, but he couldn't find the energy to do it right then. Sure, Roger was a goofball and always would be…but maybe if this was a sign of things to come, it wouldn't be so bad as long as Roger was his goofball.

…And he stayed away from rocks.