Title:The Properties of Snow
Fandom:Joker no Kuni no Alice
Pairing:Gray / Alice, Julius / Alice
Summary:Alice is cold, wet, and caught red-handed. There's more than one method of scolding.
. o . o . o . o . o . o .
Julius took one look at Alice's cold flushed face and mussed appearance and sighed. The wrench in his hand tapped out a disapproving cadence as he folded his arms in front of him.
"It's snowing outside."
"So I can see." He nodded towards her. "You're dripping."
"Drat." Alice took note of the smattering of melting snow still clinging to her hair and thin shawl. "I could have sworn I got most of it off earlier."
"You ought to take better precautions with these things." Julius told her.
She ducked her head at the admonishment and he narrowed his eyes slightly.
"Didn't you at least have the sense to take gloves or a scarf?"
"Well." Alice had the decency to look embarrassed. "I might have made a snowman..."
He sighed a second time.
"I was only out for a little bit." She told him plaintively before giving the surly Watchmaker a teasing smile. "Haven't you ever just had the urge to go out and play in the snow?"
"I believe I'll restrain the myself if it's all the same." Julius snorted softly. Arms falling to his sides, he stepped forward. Pulling a handkerchief out from his pocket, he dabbed gently at the water that was dripping from her hair to run in little rivulets along the side of her face. "Really. You truly are a troublesome creature."
"It's only a little snow, Julius."
He brushed his knuckles against her cheek, frowning.
"Yes, snow. Which means you're now half-frozen in addition to being wet." He told her matter-of-factly. "There's already one sickly idiot in this tower. We don't need you to catch a cold as well."
"Sorry." She mumbled.
"Don't be. Just remember to take more care next time."
The hand on her cheek stilled and Alice blinked in confusion as Julius's slight smile shifted to carefully controlled neutrality.
"Was there something you wanted to add, Skink?" Julius asked coolly, his eyes shifting to look over Alice's shoulder.
"Gray?" Alice echoed in surprise. She made to turn around to greet the other man, only to pause as Julius' hand kept her gently in place.
"No, I think you've covered it nicely, Watchmaker." Gray's boots were almost inaudible as he walked, crossing the room to slide into place behind Alice. His hand settled firmly on her shoulder. "Thank you for looking after Alice."
Julius gave an indistinct hum, watching Gray with an unreadable expression on his face.
"I suppose," he said after a long moment. "I'll leave the rest to you, then."
"Hey!" Alice scowled up at the pair of them, mildly offended. "I'm not a child who requires looking after."
"Do try not to stay in those wet clothes too long." Julius looked down his nose at the girl, his lips twitching with something that might have been laughter had he been just about anyone else. "It would be bothersome to interrupt my work schedule further simply because you got ill."
Patting Alice's cheek softly, Julius took a step back, relinquishing her to Gray's hold as she sputtered indignantly.
"I'll see to it." Gray gave the Watchmaker a nod as Julius brushed past them to return to his duties.
Alice continued to grumble as Gray's hand moved lightly to the small of her back, gently ushering her towards the Tower's living quarters.
"And?" She shot a sidelong glance towards Gray as they walked. "Are you going to scold me as well now?"
"I wasn't planning on it." He arched a brow at her, amusement glinting in his eyes. "I can if you were wanting-"
"I'll pass, thank you." She retorted primly, frowning as he chuckled.
Muttering softly to herself about the indignities of over-protective men, it took Alice a second to realize that they'd already passed her bedroom door.
"Um, Gray? My room's back that way." She said, glancing over her shoulder in confusion, before turning back to meet his eyes. "Where are we going?"
"My room." The hand at her back shifted. His palm flattening against the slightly damp fabric of her dress, he spread his fingers over the curve of her spine. Leaning forward until the lapels of his coat brushed up against her, Gray's lips curled into a smirk. "Just because I'm not planning to scold you it doesn't mean that you're out of trouble. I still have to make sure you get out of those wet clothes, remember?"