Author's note: Nolan North came back into my radar lately and coincidentally, so did Resonance of Fate. Those call for a story, yeah? Ooh, I love RoF!

Royal Outing

"Those look very becoming on you."

Zephyr recognized the deep teasing voice coming up from behind him. He didn't bother to answer as he frowned at his image in the table mirror. He must've sat here for a good indecisive half hour already.

Vashyron sidled next to the glasses counter Zephyr had pasted himself at. "I'm serious, y'know." He smiled in camaraderie. The rare combination of Lily's Boutique and Zephyr inside it gave Vashyron an irresistible opening to prod at the boy.

With a pair of dark green glasses sliding to the end of his nose, Zephyr glanced up at the standing Vashyron's face hanging above his head. "As serious as a clown in a circus."

"Thank you." Vashyron inclined his head as though Zephyr paid him a compliment.

Shopping wasn't Zephyr's favorite pastime. In fact, he did it so infrequently that it couldn't be labeled a pastime. He didn't feel the urge to buy a new pair of pants or a snazzy shirt every other week just because Lily's Boutique got in a new shipment. He'd take frayed, broken-in jeans over stiff and immaculately stitched perfection any day.

"Did Leanne send you down here too for eyewear?" Zephyr grumbled. He tilted his chin up at his image. This set wasn't bad.

"No, in fact. I volunteered myself to come here to fetch a pair. And you." Vashyron idly spun the glasses cabinet Zephyr occupied himself with.

They were invited to a flower-themed party this evening, orchestrated by none other than Jean Paulet at his expansive mansion. When Vashyron had dropped the news at the base, Leanne squealed and hugged him. Naturally, she looked forward to this bash.

The hitch -there just had to be one- was that everyone who attended was required to don glasses. Prescription or not, glasses were the equivalent to invitation cards. No card, no admittance.

Zephyr groaned as he switched his green glasses for a funky pair with lightning bolts emblazoned on the rims. "Why does finding good glasses take forever?"

Vashyron leaned on the counter, nodding over his shoulder at the flirty red-haired clerk who passed behind him with a wave. "You tell me."

"Leanne is excited, huh?" Something told him that putting in effort for tonight's attire was a must. Or that could've been Vashyron's fashion influence. He was always put together for formal affairs.

Loud laughter filled the air, as if Vashyron heard a side-splitting joke. "There's no way she won't be there." Vashyron calmed himself, then in an encouraging tone added, "Don't worry so much about finding the perfect one. Looks only carry so far."

"What do you mean?"

The sneaky glint in Vashyron's eyes upon talking about Leanne brightened. Over Zephyr's shoulder, Vashyron slipped on and off a couple frames and surveyed himself in the same mirror, not saying anything. Zephyr stared in growing impatience at Vashyron's reflection, the man changing glasses without answering Zephyr's inquiry.

Vashyron finally broke his gaze from the mirror and looked at Zephyr. "I'm saying the glasses you just had are perfect and let's go." He grinned at his reflection once more and decisively palmed the striking tangerine set he tried on.

The green plastic of Zephyr's previous pair lay on the glass-topped counter. He raised an unconvinced brow at it. "Seriously?"

"As solemn as a shot clown."

"You're disturbed." Zephyr slid off his chair and took the recommended spectacles. He beelined for the cashier, leaving his friend to his own devices.

"You won't be sorry!" Vashyron called after him. When he laughed again, Zephyr had no clue what it meant.

Author's note: Oh, Zephyr is such a dear. Chapter 2 on the way.