A/N: I'm kind of embarrassed about the way this chapter has turned out… I think I went a little overboard with all the melodrama ^_^||| But I didn't want to make you guys wait any longer! So, here goes nothing!
The people in the room were so tense that the emotion almost had a physical presence.
All eyes were locked on the small frame of the Noblesse who was seated stiff as a rock on his highchair. His face was hidden by the shadow created by his hair. So no one could really see his expression. But there was no need for that since his bearing spoke volumes about the state of his mind. Slight, imperceptible shudders, which would have gone unnoticed if not for their enhanced visions, shook his small body every now and then.
Frankenstein's heart went out to his poor, bewildered master. He berated himself for the umpteenth time for allowing such an uncouth incident to occur to his master.
M-21, Tao and Takeo stood still in the same spot they'd been for the past hour or so. They stayed plastered to the wall, trying their best to remain as inconspicuous as possible. They could feel Frankenstein's aura fluctuating dangerously. Faint wisps of purple flames kept materializing and then disappearing as their owner tried to control his raising anger. Their instincts were telling them to flee the place but they were worried about the Noblesse. They had no idea as to what caused the normally serene Noblesse to become so perturbed. So they fought back their instincts and stayed quietly.
At last the unbearable silence was broken when Rai looked up from where he'd been staring at the floor for what seemed like forever to the four other people in the room with him. He turned around to face Frankenstein and mouthed one word with such a genuinely confused expression on his innocent face that it stole away Frankenstein's breath.
"Why?" Rai asked, sounding terribly lost.
"M-master…" Frankenstein choked out the word around the lump that had formed in his throat.
'I shouldn't have left my master alone.'
He had no excuse for his lapse in performing his duty. He didn't want to give any excuse and seek forgiveness for this unpardonable behavior.
'I deserve any punish-'
An impressive blush creeping on to his master's face, who looked like he was re-living a very embarrassing incident put an end to his self-loathing thoughts and made him realize that his master was not asking him to explain his misbehavior. He watched, feeling helpless, as the deep flush on his master's face kept steadily darkening with every second that passed. It strengthened his resolve. This incident had occurred because of his negligence, but he wouldn't let his master be traumatized by it.
"Why did they act so… differently today?" Rai mumbled out his question self-consciously. He didn't know how else he could word it. He would have called their behavior 'rude' if not for the undeniable warmth he'd felt back then. He knew that the children did it with good intentions.
'But why would they do something like _that_ with a good intention?'
He was left terribly and confused embarrassed by their actions.
"Master, what they did is a display of affection." Frankenstein said, justifying their actions despite his personal vendetta against it.
Rai's expression, if possible, became even more confused.
'It's a display of affection?'
How are invading his private space, squeezing him, caressing their lips against his face in an intrusive manner in various places and in short making him terribly ill at ease, a way of showing their affection to him? Especially Shin Woo…
'How could making a buzzing sound while placing his lips against my bare skin be considered a show of affection?!'
Rai's face became a few degrees hotter as he recalled that. He could still feel the tingle in that spot on his abdomen where Shin Woo had placed his lips.
Frankenstein could read very clearly the thoughts running inside his master's head. It was to be expected after all, since his master knows next to nothing about human practices. Looking at it from his point of view this did seem like a bizarre method to show someone their affection.
"Affection between two adults is generally expressed by exchanging hugs and kisses. But when an adult wants to express their affection to a child, they do so by cuddling and kissing the child in question. Children crave attention and body warmth, so they like it when the adults hold them close to their bodies. It makes them feel cherished and happy." Frankenstein explained in detail to his master.
Like mist disappearing upon sunrise, confusion cleared from Rai's face when Frankenstein finished explaining. But it was replaced by a look of apprehension as the information sunk in completely.
'Doesn't that mean that there'd be a repeat of this incident every time the _children_ visit me?!'
Frankenstein, upon noticing the change in his master's expression and accurately guessing the reason, tried adding a few more details to reassure his master that he wouldn't have to go through such an ordeal ever again.
"But some children are very particular about who should hold them. So I'll just tell them that-" Frankenstein stopped speaking abruptly when he realized what exactly he was saying. He had, however unintentionally, implied that his master was being picky.
Rai was surprised by what Frankenstein had almost said. He knew that his servant hadn't meant that as an insult to his person. But what Frankenstein had said accidentally made him realize that he was indeed being unreasonable. The suddenness of their actions had flustered him but if he were to be honest with himself, he really did feel cherished by the children. Even though their method was unorthodox and he wasn't really a child, they did succeed in making him happy. The realization brought another impressive blush to his face, but this time, a beautiful simile also blossomed along with it.
Frankenstein stopped feeling sorry for his unintentional slight when he noticed the pleased expression on his master's face and naturally, an answering smile appeared on his face. He felt embarrassed for thinking that his master would reject a show of affection, however uncouth, from the children.
'Looks like I'm the one in need of more learning.'
But he'd never tire of learning about his unchanging master who manages to surprise him even after so many centuries.
Meanwhile the three enhanced humans remained quietly in the background, completely forgotten by the other two individuals. By now they were used to all the strange happenings in this house. So they weren't as befuddled as they would have been a while ago by the odd conversation between the Noblesse and the master of the house.
Response to reviews:
Yuu: No worries! You're not alone! ;)
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Guest: I'm so sorry for the delay in updating! But I'm very lazy… you'll just have to put up with me ^_^||| and thanks a lot for your continued support ^_^
Airhead: ::blush:: Thanks! I'll consider your request…but it's not gonna happen anytime soon though. I hope you like this chapter too. ^_^
Mioki: And thank you for the sweet review! ^_^
Silvermist: ROFL! Your ideas are so funny! You should consider writing fanfics too! Or do you already have an account but simply too lazy to login?