DH AN: I have another oneshot turned story using the 31 Days Prompt "May the morning clouds refresh you at this distance, and may abundant rains comfort you forever!" Has hints of Post Jewelshipping. Please enjoy Coffee Shop Conversations.

Timeline & POV: After With This Ring; Marik 1st person POV

Coffee Shop Conversations

Chapter One: Who is This Man?

I sat on a bench, growing impatient as I was drenched by hard rain from the same clouds I caught sight of earlier. In hindsight, perhaps I should have left the bench and sought refuge in the quaint coffee shop across the street. I've been feeling the nagging initiative to go and get a beverage from the place which I walk by daily.

I don't usually stop on my daily trek. Something must have been on my mind. I tried to figure out what it was, but was interrupted in my musing as a man dressed in a crisply ironed white shirt and a bowtie, black slacks complementing the ensemble, not too different from the workplace attire of my daughter's fiancée, walked past me taking a seat to my right. I sort of tripped over the two words that were now my primary way of classifying Sheonel Yagasawi. It was pure luck that things turned out the way I wanted it…the engagement was one of the two things that had ever come out the way I desired; as well as one of the few not primarily for my benefit in the long run.

The new occupant on the bench beside me broke my concentration. "This rain's awful; why my wife always longed for a dance in this atrocity; I'll never know." The man clenched a fist, black hair drifting over his eyes.

"You speak of that as if it would be something fatal." I said softly. A harsh glare from the man told me that I should tread carefully on this thin ice. After years of reading faces, I had to wonder…was that the message I exuded to those who were caught in my harsh glare? It would make sense.

My musing was interrupted once more. "It was." I knew that tone of melancholy reminisce, for it had often been mine…when thinking of the one who began to save me, lead me from my solitude, and of all the odd things to remember, it was raining when that joyous time of my life began. I sighed, that melancholy tone lining it. The man looked at me as if he was reading my face. The man's eyes widened with an easily seen touch of realization. "You know…how it feels when the one you love asks you to dance in the rain…how breath-taking, how beautiful she looks when small droplets still linger in her hair…" None of the man's statements struck a chord with me, that is not saying that I cannot imagine how my Filiron would look within those beautiful images. But the next one struck a chord with me. The man desperately gripped my hand. "You know how it feels when you look at your daughter, caring only to see those traits she takes from your beloved rather than those she takes from you."

I started to shake, taking my hand away from this man's grip to clench my fist, knowing that there would indeed be nail impressions in my palms when I chose to release it. "Don't even attempt to say you have it worse than me in that regard. I have you out matched there…I've lived without my beloved for twenty three years…" I shook harder, a sob lining my voice. "Do you know how much twenty three years can change a man who was once content in solitude; one who thought he would never have to return to it after he had found his beloved; only to have her taken in one cruel twist of fate?" I was now sobbing uncontrollably as images of my beloved danced with ones of my daughter; a daughter I had learned to cherish more than anything else after my lust for power had ceased.

"I should have said nothing, I apologize for any pain I have caused you." His tone was so soft and polite…I had heard it before, but I could not place it anywhere. The waiter, as I had mentally dubbed him for his attire, ran his hand a tad nervously through his jet-black hair. "I really do apologize…I just found out this morning that my son is engaged…" He sighed. "I was very doubtful, but knew better than to laugh, as it would only start an argument. But honestly, if you knew how much of a nervous wreck that boy is…it's inconceivable that anyone would want to marry him."

I smirked, pulling out my dueling deck. "Tell me, have you ever dueled a nervous wreck? It is always very…amusingly aggravating." I laughed somewhat darkly, memories of a very specific nervous wreck going through my mind…the nervous wreck that was now my daughter's fiancée. "Why do you think your son a nervous wreck?" I asked the waiter cautiously.

The waiter almost returned my dark laughter. "Because he has always been a nervous wreck, and unsuccessful at proving otherwise. When he was young, he ran off to his uncle in Egypt. I don't think child labor laws were being enforced, or he found someone who cared not to heed them, because every month, his sister would receive a check with a hefty sum of money."

"How much did he send her?" I asked as I shook the rain out of my hair vainly, my interest piqued. A nervous wreck who went to Egypt and was paid monthly was far too much of a coincidence for my comfort.

"He was being paid about one-hundred dollars." The waiter replied.

My eyes went wide. That was the exact amount I gave Yagasawi for his kitchen expertise. Fortunately the waiter was oblivious to my realization, lost in his own thoughts. But I now had an idea of who this man was…the father of Sheonel Yagasawi.

I sighed as the rain lightened its assault on us. "We've kept each other out here for far too long." Looking at the coffee shop, I smiled faintly. "I could us a good cup of coffee; my recently engaged daughter has been shirking her morning duties recently. I haven't had a decent cup of coffee in two days…the knowledge of that makes me very irritable" I stood from the bench. "Why don't we go across to the coffee shop and continue our conversation there?" I suggested, my next sentence holding the tone that I was often caught using years ago, an icy one. "You look as if you could use one as well."

The waiter nodded in agreement, and I saw that the possibility of Sheonel Yagasawi being related to this man was entirely plausible. The waiter and the boy in question had the same boyish face, although the face of this man, like my own compared to my Mheralo's, had lost any innocence it once had.

We walked into the coffee shop, the aroma having the same effect on the both of us; taking us back to early mornings when our insatiable need for that first cup of coffee brought our beloved out of her warm place in bed, to our sides. The only reason I know we were of the same mind is that he and I both had a fond smile of reminisce on our face…and because I asked him afterwards. An Irish-looking barista came to the counter, greeting the waiter with the familiar accent and dialect, as well as confirming my hunch about him, and providing a foothold for discovering his true identity. "Good morrow, Mr. Yagasawi, what'll you and your friend be havin' today?"

"Black coffee." The waiter and I answered almost simultaneously. The barista pointed to a table for two.

"There's a table for you fine fellows over in the corner Top o' the morning to ye, Mr. Yagasawi, and your friend o'er there as well."

"And the rest o' the day to you." I responded to the barista before the elder Yagasawi could do so. The table was a wobbly one, and I took the first seat so that I could brace the table as my companion took his. "You 're pretty strong for being so scrawny, no offense."

"None taken." I said softly as I deftly laced my fingers together through years of practice, gently setting my elbows on the table, as the elder Yagasawi caught sight of my eyes.

"I've seen another with your eyes. She started frequenting my restaurant seven-or was it eight- years ago. My son was always so distracted by her…I was disgusted; my son being distracted by some girl."

It was eight years ago. I mused to myself with a silent laugh. I could play the employing father's part just as well…better actually. "My friend, I understand completely. The apple of my eye…my pride and joy…" I grimaced upon using two clichés in a row The best duelist I had…My mind added. "Distracted by a mere waiter, a waiter." I accented the last word of my sentence rather hotly.

Although my first test I gave the two of them produced the results I desired, those results were eventually turned against me. I started shaking as I kept unwanted memories at bay. It never seemed that I'd ever forgive myself for what I had done those many years ago. Those emotional wounds I inflicted upon myself…those would never fully heal.

The waiter broke my thoughts for a third time, though he was soft-spoken this time. "You…" The elder Yagasawi paused, starting to connect the theoretical dots. "You don't think that…?" By this time our coffee had been brought to us, and he was silenced as I calmly took a sip of mine.

I set the mug down gently on the rickety table. "You don't have to think about this." I murmured quietly. "We are the fathers of an engaged bride and groom."

DH: Sorry, this has turned into at least a two-shot. Do you like it. Please review.