I'm finally here with the latest chapter and I hope you all enjoy it! Hopefully I still have some readers out there who remembers this story and thank you all for that! I also want to thank Erendyce for helping me with this chapter! She's been asking me for an update since springtime xD
Unfortunately I don't own Final Fantasy or its characters ):
Chapter 5. Breaking and Entering
Breaking into the castle a second time was simpler than Luneth had imagined. Maybe it was because he had already done it once before, or because there were no party this night; everyone seemed to be asleep. Or it was because he didn't really have to go inside. He just had to find out which window belonged to the obnoxious knight. After reading and examining the map thoroughly he came to the conclusion that Ingus' room must be located on the second floor. That's where most of the King's most important men stayed.
It was now as dark as it could get outside, apart from the stars and the thin crescent moon. That was about all he needed to compensate for his imperfect night vision. Luneth didn't want to risk getting caught for something as stupid as using his flash light.
By using a stone as a weight at the end of his rope, Luneth managed to throw it over a railing from a balcony. The rope was long and by lowering the rock towards the ground he ended up with both ends of the rope in his hands. Tying them into a knot he could start climbing the castle wall. It Luneth climbed the castle walls everyday but he did seem to handle it without much trouble, probably thanks to all the tree climbing he did in his younger days. He could still enjoy the good view that the trees provided and hear the wind rustling through the leaves.
As he reached the balcony he carefully made his way over the railing before pulling up the rope and putting it back in his bag.
"Right, now I just have to find his room," Luneth thought to himself, panting from the effort after escalating the wall.
The room that the balcony belonged to was dark and Luneth couldn't see a thing through the window no matter how much he looked. The moon was not that much of a help. The lack of light made him realize that if he was going to find Ingus, or the knight as Luneth preferred to call him, it had to be in one of those rooms that still had lights on. Not too far to the left was the closest lit up room and he decided to go there first. Unfortunately the veranda didn't reach that far so he had to climb sideways on the wall for a short distance. Of course he did find that rather frightening considering he would probably break more than just a few bones if he fell.
"I'm so glad Nina can't see me now," was the thought that came to his mind the second he accidentally looked down.
At last he reached the targeted window. Letting out a heavy sigh of relief he quietly leaned on the outer windowsill and peaked through the glass. Luneth could barely believe his luck when he spotted the blonde boy inside the room. What were the odds that the first room he was to look into would be his? It had to be destiny, right? The silver haired thief on the other hand was not relieved that he had found the knight he was looking for. No, he was just relieved because he didn't have to do more of that dangerous climbing, or so he thought.
The window to Ingus' room was slightly open, apparently he liked the cold, nightly breeze before going to bed. Speaking of going to bed, Luneth's eyes widened in shock as they noticed how the knight started to take off his armor, revealing a well trained abs that you don't normally see on a fifteen year old. As he was about to pull the shirt off over his head, there was an unexpected interruption.
"H-Hey! Don't do that!" There was a loud crash followed quickly by a hard thud as the young intruder crashed through the half opened window and fell in a pathetic heap on the stone floor. The blush on his face was too red to hide and he could feel a pair of surprised ocean blue eyes staring at him.
"Huh…?" was all the knight could say through his open mouth.
Luneth, still on the floor, tried his best to get up into a sitting position while looking away in an attempt to hide his reddening cheeks. It felt like his face was burning from embarrassment.
A firm knock on the door interrupted the awkward silence. "Are you alright in there, Ingus?" came the voice of a fellow knight.
Ingus snapped out of his shock and turned his head towards the door and a feeling of relief hit him when his eyes confirmed that the door was indeed locked. "Yes, it was just…a bird. It flew into the window."
"I see. Well good night then."
"Good night." Ingus waited until the fading footsteps of the soldier was gone before kneeling down in front of the "bird". "So," he started with a grin. "What is it I should not do?"
With his face buried in his arms, still doing his best to hide the flush, Luneth's words only came out as a quiet mumble.
"Excuse me, but I could not quite hear you."
Luneth could literally hear the smirk upon the knight's lips as he said that.
"I said," the silver haired intruder repeated with a louder, but not steadier, voice. "Don't take off your clothes." He never lifted his face from its secure hideout within his arms.
This did not turn out the way Luneth had in mind. Instead of yelling at the knight for attempting to rat him out to the king about the stolen treasure, it turned into a very awkward and embarrassing situation for Luneth.
"I should sleep with my clothes on?" the question came out very mockingly.
Luneth had completely lost control over this situation but he couldn't give up now. He had come this far, he had to face him.
While taking a deep breath he stood up, as he took a few steps back he started to point accusingly at the knight before him. "You think I want the image of your body burned into my eyes?"
"Considering your way of entry-"
"My way of entry was to prevent it!" Luneth interrupted him.
"Very well," Ingus still had a smirk on his face. "What are you doing here then? Except trying to get a glimpse of me-"
"I said, that's not it!" The silver haired argued. "I came here to yell at you for telling the King about me being a thief!" And now he was yelling so his purpose of the trip got fulfilled after all.
"And why would I have told him that?" Ingus smirk was now gone and instead he stared at Luneth with wide, surprised eyes.
"Because," Luneth's voice was now fierce with anger, for this was the part he was the most mad about. "You ditched me at the café to run off and tell him as soon as you had figured out I still had the treasure."
The knight just stared.
"But you know what, it's hidden! Hidden where you or anyone else never will find it!" His face was full of determination; the treasure would never get back to the king. Not as long as Luneth was kicking and breathing.
It took the blonde knight a few seconds to comprehend what just happened; when it sunk into his brain, he couldn't really help but burst out laughing. It was a laugh that lasted for about two minutes and even then the knight seemed to have trouble stopping.
Now it was Luneth's turn to just stare. At first he couldn't believe his eyes and ears as the blonde started laughing, quite like a maniac, but as it proved to be true he had to accept it. That didn't ease his shock though.
"What's so funny?" he asked suspiciously when the knight seemed composed enough to talk again. "Is there something on my face?"
"Uhm, no." Ingus tried his best to hold back another giggle. "Just, you thought I told the king."
"Well, you did, didn't you?"
Ingus took a few steps closer to Luneth, who took a step back. "I told you when you first stole it that you needed it more than the King." Another step closer.
There was something in those blue eyes that prevented Luneth from backing.
The knight continued. "And I still believe so," a final step and he was close enough to place his hand on the thief's shoulder, while gazing into his eyes. "I have not told the King anything. Please sit down and I will explain why I had to leave in such a hurry."
Being in a state of shock, Luneth did as he was told and took a seat on the bed. Ingus leaned against the wall with his eyes calmly resting upon his guest and started to explain how he had forgotten about a royal meeting. He had been addressed to escort the King and his Princess to a noble dinner at one a 'clock so when the town's bell revealed that it was noon he had to hurry. If not, he would have a lot to explain, and that might have led to a mentioning of a certain silver haired thief.
"Refia was right after all, I had nothing to worry about." He stated to himself after hearing the story. Suddenly it hit him that all this made him look really stupid and he quickly got a little embarrassed and avoided the gaze of the knight. "I'm sorry." Luneth apologized, he had been raised that it was the right thing to do when jumping to the wrong conclusions and causing trouble.
"It is alright," Ingus assured him and went to sit on the bed next to Luneth. "I quite like your company."
Luneth didn't know what to say. He had already confirmed to himself that this knight could say some really strange things but he still didn't know how to respond to it.
"Maybe because we are both orphans…" Ingus thought aloud.
"Maybe." Luneth agreed but there was some feeling in his stomach that he couldn't quite categorize but he knew it had nothing to do with being an orphan.
They stayed silent for awhile, enjoying the sound of the night and the company of one another. None of them were sure why they felt so at ease with each other but they didn't care, not now anyway. As Luneth was quite the impatient person he couldn't hold his mouth shut for too long, making him the first to break the silence.
"So, how come you're so kind to me?"
"Huh?" Ingus moved in surprise at the unexpected sound of voice. Even though he knew Luneth was there, he wasn't used to having company in his room. "Kind? I'm kind to everyone." He stated without much though while looking at his silver haired guest with a gentle smile.
"Oh," He didn't know why but a feeling of disappointment hit him. "You're one of the King's men after all."
"I am pretty sure I would be kind even if I was not a soldier." He still had that soft smile that could pretty much melt any heart. Including Luneth's but he couldn't accept anything like that. "But," Ingus continued talking, but slow, like he was thinking. "I do not let anyone get away with a piece of the King's treasure."
"Really?" He sounded a little more hopeful than he intended.
"You do not have to sound so happy about it," Ingus joked as he aimed a soft punch on Luneth's shoulder. "I will not let you do it again, if that's what you think. It would cause suspicion."
"I wasn't thinking of doing it again!" The silver haired retorted as he rubbed the place where Ingus's fist had hit him. Not because it hurt but because of the warmth the feeling of the other man's physical presence.
"You expect me to believe that?" His face had doubt written all over it but the smirk on his lips revealed the fact that he was joking. Not that Luneth took any notice of that as he got ready to defend himself of the accusation. But Ingus continued to talk, leaving no room for Luneth's words. "I am sure you intended to help yourself to some more of the treasure after you finished yelling at me."
Luneth was slightly offended. Did this almighty knight really think he was just some simple thief, with nothing but gold and jewels in his mind? He wasn't going to listen to anything like that.
"Believe whatever you want. I'm outta here!" With that said, he skipped off the bed and headed for the direction of the window he had first come from.
He didn't make it that far though. Ingus had quickly got up himself and managed to, once again in this story, grab Luneth's wrist. "Please, stay." He uttered with a steady but soft voice.
Luneth turned his head only to see something almost pleading in Ingus's eyes. How could he leave someone like that and how could he stay mad? He still gave it a try, wouldn't want that knight to think he was the type of person you could convince of anything as long as you had a pair of puppy eyes.
"What if I don't wanna?" He asked with a rebellious voice.
"Then, I cannot force you." Was Ingus' simple reply as he let go of his hold of Luneth, who quickly folded his arms to avoid any further touching.
"That's it?" Luneth was surprised over the blonde's lack of will. Wasn't he a knight who would do anything to win battles, whether they be at war or in a fight over who get's the girl?
"What?" It wasn't always easy to figure out what was going on inside the mind of that silver haired boy.
"Nothin', I just thought…never mind." He stayed quiet for a few seconds, mulling over if he should stay or not. If he were to admit it to himself he really wanted to stay, but he was also a stubborn person who didn't want to give in to those puppy eyes. "I'll stay." He eventually decided, and went back to sit on the bed.
"I'm glad." Ingus has a pleased smile as he took a seat on a chair placed next to the bed, where he also had a desk.
They stayed like that for a while, quietly enjoying each other's company without knowing what they both found so interesting about one and other. Ingus was carefully studying the boy in front of him, his outlines, his facial expression and how his breathing made him move slightly.
Luneth on the other hand was too embarrassed to look at the other boy, he wasn't sure why but as he thought he could feel the other man's eyes on him, that could be the reason. Instead he concentrated on how the room was decorated and hoped it would give him a clue about what this person was like. There was a sweet scent in the room, maybe it was the scent of Ingus.
Luneth wasn't sure how long they stayed that way and as he wasn't one to keep quiet for too long, he was the one who eventually broke the silence. They started to feel more comfortable with each other and talked about a lot of things, their pasts, dreams, friends and even some hardships they'd been through. The conversation lasted until they both suddenly fell asleep. Ingus had moved from his spot on the chair to join Luneth on the bed, which was good for him or he would've woken up with a hurt and stiff back. Instead he woke up feeling Luneth's breath like a soft wind in his face, the sun was shining in through the window and the birds outside where singing like usual. Even if they were both sleeping in the wrong way on the bed, without pillow or blanket it was still a good morning, or so Ingus thought.
He sat up slowly and carefully, not wanting to wake the other, considering they had stayed up late and judging from the clock on the wall it was only 7am. He stole another glance at the boy next to him before getting out of bed quietly and moved to sit on his chair where he could read a book while waiting for the other to wake up. Ingus had the day off today, so no one would really take notice if he showed up for breakfast or not.
It was only an hour later that Luneth started to shift in bed and notice that something was off: it wasn't his bed! His eyes opened immediately and he sat up with a confused expression, which earned a good laugh from Ingus. Luneth turned his attention to the owner of the laugh and asked with a tired but surprised voice.
"Where am I?" Panic seemed to have hit him as he frantically looked around the room, causing that already messed up ponytail of his to sway rapidly in the process.
This did not put an end to Ingus' laugh, although he did his best to maintain his composure and therefore he answered Luneth with only a snicker. "My room in. In the castle." Before Luneth could reply he continued. "Do you not remember how you came crashing in through my window?"
Luneth had a brain, yes he really did, although it was one that did not function too well in the mornings. That's why it took him about half a minute to fully comprehend what Ingus had told him.
"I do remember that!" And as he remembered he also recalled the reason for why he had come here in the first place. "Jerk!" One of the bed's pillows hit Ingus in the face.
"I believe that was not something I deserved." With his, ever-lasting smirk Ingus threw the pillow back at him.
With two pillows in hand Luneth was about to declare war but something stopped him. It was the loud growling sound of his own hungry stomach that prevented him from any further actions. This was also when he realized, despite his still sleepy brain, that he had to get home. Not only because his family would notice his absences but also because there was no way he could get a hold of breakfast in the castle without anyone wondering what he was doing there. And questions like that could lead to more sensitive questions and eventually reveal his thieving nature.
It seemed that Ingus had understood the thoughts that been building up inside that silvery clad head as he stood up from his seat and spoke. "Let's get you out of here." It seemed the knight was catching on to the more…less formal way of speaking.
"Yeah…" Luneth could only agree. He got up from the bed and made a faint attempt to fix and straighten up his ponytail before moving towards the window.
Ingus cleared his throat. "What are you doing?"
"I'm going home?" He replied like it was the most obvious thing in the world, he considered Ingus' question pretty stupid as they had just suggested it.
"Not that way." The knight had to hold back a chuckle not to laugh at how naïve this thief could be. "It is too bright outside, letting guards see your inelegant figure slipping the walls would not be a good idea."
Although Luneth knew that the knight had a point he ignored that, and retorted to the remark about him being inelegant. "Oh, you're just jealous because I'm more limber than you!"
Ingus didn't even see the point of replying to such a comment, instead he motioned Luneth to follow him through the door. He was planning on showing him out through a back door of the castle. As Ingus had been growing up in the castle he knew almost every inch of it. Even though he didn't seem like it now, he had been a very adventurous boy when he was little. Almost like Luneth was now.
"Are you sure no one will spot me?" Luneth asked as they cautiously went down the hallway.
"Most of the men are having breakfast now." Came Ingus' short explanation, as he slowed down to peek around a corner, before proceeding with Luneth close behind.
Everything seemed to be going really well and Ingus felt more and more relieved for every step closer to the exit they got. Not that he wanted to part from Luneth, no, he didn't want that. Though he didn't want to admit that, and therefore he was focusing on getting Luneth out without any trouble. They were to enter the last corridor, the one that held the door leading out to the garden behind the castle. If no one were outside it wouldn't be so hard to sneak out between the bushes. Although this was when something interrupted their ongoing escape.
Ingus, like many times before, peeked around the corner before walking ahead, but never had he thought that a guard would walk in through the garden door in just that second.
Quick as a cat, Ingus pulled his head back and looked at Luneth with an expression that revealed the situation they were in. Luneth gave a nod as a sign of understanding and knowing to be quiet. Panic seized them both, as there was no way out with the guards steps getting louder for every step closer he took. Neither of them knew what to do but they did know that time was running out.
Ingus was praying to the Gods that the guard would just walk on and not even bother to look to the side where Ingus and his friend were hiding. Luneth was shutting his eyes tight, thinking that if he couldn't see the guard, then the guard couldn't see him.
But neither of these techniques seemed to do any good because when the guard rounded the corner his eyes landed right at the two boys. But all the guard did was chuckle as he gave Ingus an understanding nod, followed by a wink before leaving the two alone as he continued down the corridor.
And why is that, you may wonder? Well, let's just say Ingus wasn't one to believe that the Gods would bother with such a petty pray, not when the world suffered greater problems. Therefore Ingus had come up with a plan B.
It was merely a second before the guard was about to see them that Ingus realized that he had no other choice. His hand had instantly moved to Luneth's head and pulled the green bandana away along with the string used to tie his hair into a pony tail, making his silver hair fall like a velvet curtain around his face and shoulders. At this moment Luneth had opened his eyes, surprised by the sudden movements with his hair, and he was staring at Ingus who stood right in front of him. The latter was leaning closer and closer, with one hand on the wall behind Luneth for support, until their lips were only millimeters away. Luneth found himself in a state of shock, he could feel his body heating up in embarrassment and the blood rushing to his head causing his cheeks to flush in a light shade of pink.
This was when the guard, the cause of the whole awkward situation, came around the corner to make it all worse. Because it was in that second that Ingus pushed his lips right on to Luneth's. And he kept them there until the guard was out of sight and the road was clear. He might even have kept them there a little longer just for fun, if it wasn't for Luneth pushing him a away with a angry and confused look upon his otherwise cheerful face.
"What the hell are you doing?!" Luneth hissed, knowing he didn't want to draw attention to the two of them.
Ingus just had his natural look on his face as he replied. "I had no choice. I had to make him think I had brought in a girl. Your silver hair was really helpful." He put on a smirk for that last part.
Luneth did not find it that amusing though. "A girl?!" Hearing that somehow made him even angrier than the sudden kiss. And he didn't know why. It was really frustrating. "You… Just. Leave me alone!" His purple eyes shot one last fierce glance before he dashed off towards the door leading to the garden. He just didn't know how to handle frustrating situations. Before he rushed out of the door he thought he could hear steps behind him and the voice of Ingus but he ignored it. Instead he took up speed as he reached the garden.
Ingus had been in a short state of shock from Luneth's outburst. He couldn't understand why he got that angry all of sudden. Sure, the kiss might have been too much, but like he explained they didn't have much of a choice. Yes, he explained, so why, why on earth did he get so mad? He had run after him, of course, but it had been too late. When Ingus had reached the door all he had seen was something shimmering silver disappearing into a hedge, which was surrounding the castle.
He sighed and closed the door. With his hand reaching for the handle he noticed that he was still holding on to the green bandana. "I will have to return this." He spoke quietly to himself.
And that's the end of this chapter! I hope I will have the next one ready for you all soon! :)
In the meantime, why not check out some other FFIII stories in the community Final Fantasy III Fables? ;D