Disclaimer: I don't own Havemercy or any of the characters therein.

Geez! I know I normally tend to fall all over myself for a 'background' couple (and my mind considers Rook and Thom background to Royston and Hal), but these two are quickly turning into a new obsession.

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BLUE

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When he caught a glimpse of his own reflection in a storefront window, Rook realized that the blue streaks in his hair were fading.

"Well, fuck."

Colored hair like his was odd and rare, even in fashion capitols, and in Eklesaris – beautiful, but rigid and traditional – he imagined that all of his hair would be gray before he found someone to put the streaks back in.

It kind of pissed him off. The blue streaks were his trademark among the men of the Corps, showing how daring and independent he was. They made him look untamable.

Even Have had liked them – she mocked them and insulted Rook's intelligence for getting them and this, he knew, was how she showed love.

But no one had asked why he had gotten them in the first place (odd, with how nosy Thom was).

The streaks themselves were actually Thom's fault, though the 'Versity boy didn't know it.

In the upper-echelon of hoity-toity ladies of the court, whenever a family member such as a father or a son died they pulled their hair back and pulled on black veils. Rook wasn't one for grand displays of emotion (or taking his social cues from rich old biddies). But he had just lost Hilary, the only person he had, the only person he cared about, and Rook was no stranger to loss, but losing Hilary….

He needed to mourn or he would go nuts, holding all of his grief and guilt in. So he had started pulling his hair back in braids and found a guy in Miranda – a limp-wristed cindy, foppish and fashionable – to dye black streaks into his hair.

Unfortunately, the liquid dye was dark, navy and black almost identical in the pots.

Rook had been pissed, less vicious than he was now but every bit as volatile, and the dandy had tried to remove the streaks but had only lightened them to a regular blue.

And the blue had stayed, refusing to wash out. Rook didn't like it but there was nothing he could do, so he embraced the blue, making it a trademark. As far as he was concerned, the significance was still there even if the act itself had gone to hell.

But maybe it was okay if the streaks were fading now. He was no longer mourning because his brother was alive, different but with him all the same. And Thom was a pretty okay brother.

Later that night, Thom nervously pointed out the fading color in his golden hair.

Rook just grinned and said, "Yep."