*covers face* WHAT HAVE I DONE?
Hi, I'm back and I re-edited everything. Here I am thinking, WHAT THE FUCK WAS I DOING?! WHY I WRITE SO BAD? I can't believe I wrote all this, wtf sia... OTL
At the same times, I found myself going AWWW WHY SO FLUFFY?
Disclaimer: I don't own Maplestory. I kinda want to coz I'd change half of the things to the way they once were in 2000. But I can't so...
Warning: Fluff. FLUFF. LIKE ME. PANDA TYPE OF FLUFF. /sob
He was 10 years old when he got his beloved scarf, and met his first friend and love.
Aidan was bored. And cold. Very cold.
Boredom and being cold did not mix well with the ten-year old child.
It was autumn and very cold, making Aidan regret not bringing his jacket. Although it didn't snow in Edelstein, it got really, really cold and dark during the winter. Here he was, walking through the town without a care. He should be in school right now, but who really cared? Aidan didn't.
Of course, the albino knew that Elex would tell the headmaster, Mr. Fredi, who in turn would tell his mother (Aidan will just go home and apologize to her, she always lets him off the hook, something that worries him. A heart that soft would not last long in a world like this.). Besides, he already knew what they were teaching and it wasn't as if anyone would miss him. Aidan did not like his classmates.
Most of them were all younger than him (the more matured and older ones were working now, Elex was one of them, barely even pass his teens) and would make fun about his appearance or how he never played with them.
Sometimes, they would call him names or slip mean notes into his bag, but he found out that being fierce made them leave him alone. So that's how his bad temper and sarcasm was born, which resulted to the adults not liking him.
Only Aidan's mother really cared. She would shower him with hugs and kisses whenever he returned home covered in scratches and bruises from the fights ("Look at you! You're probably not even human! Do you really have a mother?" Aidan cut the boy off with a punch to the jaw and a knee in the stomach and the all-out brawl began) he got into. Afterwards however, she would have to go to the said students family or sometimes teachers (The sarcasm was too much for some of the few remaining grownups that haven't either fled Edelstein or 'mysteriously disappeared'.) and apologize on his behalf.
She was too kind, Aidan loved and hated it.
There was a time long ago on an early morning when his parents were not at work yet, Aidan had asked his mother why he looked so different. His mother had long brown hair and hazel eyes, while his father had black hair and blue eyes.
The albino didn't understand why he looked nothing like that. Other kids looked similar to their parents (if they still had any), so the remarks they said bothered him at times.
Much to his relief and confusion, she replied with a sweet smile and kissed his forehead. "Because you have a bright future, sweetie."
She giggled as his father came from behind, lifting Aidan up into his arms and gave a chaste kiss to his wife.
"Let's take a vacation to Florina Beach." Aidan's father had suggested, putting his son down and tickling him. "The three of us, no work, no Black Wings, no problems. Just us, the ocean and pretty ladies."
The young woman clicked her tongue and smacked the man lightly, making them all laugh.
That should have been a good memory, if it weren't for the night that followed.
After that small chat, Aidan left for school while the two stayed at home to prepare for another day of work. The ten-year old ran home happy, a test paper, (It was the end-of-year one, wasn't it?) which he scored full marks in a hand with hopes that his parents would be delighted. Entering the house however, all thought of that went to the drain when Aidan found his mother crying with a crumped letter in her hands.
The letter was from the Black Wings, informing that Aidan's father had been sent to the mines to work. No date was stated when he would come back, but the cold dread in his stomach was there, despite him not understanding.
Some parents would tell their offspring, explain what that simple, yet horribly heart-wrenching text on paper meant.
They would be confident that the child would be old enough to understand, feel sad for awhile and move on.
Aidan's mother, Rhinne bless her soul, was not one of those parents.
She could never break the news, without breaking her own heart first.
Therefor, the widow did the only thing she could do.
The albino (he had his father's eyes, no matter what color they were.) answered by kneeling down beside her, before silently wrapping his small arms around her.
"Da... Daddy's not going to be h-home...for a-awhile,"
Aidan didn't mention a word on how tight her grip was (Just like his father, lending silent support. Partly because they weren't normally the ones giving comfort) as he let his mother hug him and cry her heart out.
It felt like someone was twisting an invisible knife in his side when he heard his dear mother's broken sobs.
For the next few days, the white-haired boy rushed home to see if his dad had returned.
No such luck.
The days turned to weeks, but the albino eventually (How could he had missed the obvious? The town was much more unnervingly quiet and some came to his house to talk to his mother, bring food and Mesos. He remembered Fredi patting her back with a regretful look, before smiling at Aidan and asking him how was his day, like how a grandfather would to his grandchild) understood.
The Black Wings had taken away some of the adults from town, his father was one of the unfortunate ones.
Aidan also understood that it was a reason why some of the children did not like him. They were jealous that he still had a mom.
Walking pass Edelstein's airport, the child paused to stare at it in awe. The airport always made him wonder about the world outside Edelstein. He had dreams of becoming an explorer and traveling around the Maple World, but of course he would come back every once in awhile to see his mother.
The said woman used to tell him bedtime stories of a place in the clouds called Orbis with the floating island Chryse even higher above it. There was a land, far away from Edelstein named Leafre, where fluffy Halflings were friends with dragons along with a beautiful temple that held the Goddess of time, Rhinne.
He stared at it for a little longer, before quickly walking away when Bavan looked suspiciously at him. The Black Wings watchman was always seen with at least one type of food in his arms, he must be a disgrace to their organization.
One moment, everything was normal and peaceful. The townsfolk were happy, doing their usual routine and their specialty: Machinery. Everyone had a hand to that trade, from the elderly to the children, Aidan himself was rather good to it. The next, a group known as the Black Wings took over and turned Edelstein into a sad town.
They took over the law, blocked off the port to cut off outside contact, limited and stole supplies, bullied the residents into submission, banned harvesting Rue and building machines, people began to go missing.
At least they hadn't ordered a massacre. Yet.
To an outsider, Edelstein might look sunny with a sense tranquility, but everyone was very careful with interaction. Aidan heard of rumors about a Resistance, working on freeing the town from the Black Wings. But that was just a rumor, of course.
Aidan continued his walk, thoughts on what he should do when he was old enough to travel. Should he grow stronger and challenge the Black Wings or try and convince his mother into moving to another town, maybe Henesys?
As he mused, the albino failed to notice as he walked out of town and right into Edelstein Park. It was only when the clinking of pots lightly hitting the ground somewhere close, did he finally break free from his thoughts and look up.
Red eyes were as wide as dishes as Aidan stared at the monster that was barely a foot away before him. It was a Potted Sprout, a small flower bud with large blank eyes in a yellow pot and tiny legs. Both of them stared at one another fearfully.
Normally the albino would have laughed at the situation, but this was his first time being so close to a monster. A minute passed and the staring contest went on, waiting for the other to move.
It was another Potted Sprout bumped into the one that was locking eyes with Aidan, that broke the gaze. The ten-year old turned and ran, screaming at the top of his lungs while the plant monster made a soft squealing noise and did the same in the opposite direction.
As he ran, Aidan heard laughter coming from his right and instinctively turned. To his worst luck, he barely caught a glimpse of red, before his foot caught on a loose tile and he fell abruptly and hit the cold floor face first with a yelp. Somewhere, he heard a small gasp and quick footsteps coming closer.
"H-hey, you alright?"
Groaning, Aidan blinked away the stars and looked up to see a young boy with very long messy red hair and golden eyes (They reminded him of a friendly cat that hung around the neighborhood, the same one that Leonore, one of the watchmen, kicked when it followed the scent of her sandwich. Claudine took the poor stray away, much to his relief.) bright with worry.
"Yeah, I'm feeling fantastic." He knew that being sarcastic didn't give the best first-impression, but the kid asked a stupid question. Who in the right mind was alright when they fell?
"Really." The redhead merely crocked his head, his face half-buried in the thick scarf that matched his hair color. The sarcasm bounced off easily, wow. "So, what' cha doing on the ground?"
"I just decided to have a lovely meeting with it, got a problem?" Aidan deadpanned, resisting the urge to face-palm. His face hurt enough. Seriously, how stupid was this kid? Was it not that obvious that Aidan tripped?
"Huh." A grin crept on the weird boy's face as he shifted, pushing his scarf down slightly so that his voice wouldn't be muffled. "When's the wedding?"
Aidan could not help but feel his lips twitch upwards a bit. Maybe the kid wasn't as such as an idiot he seemed after all. "Next month, want an invitation?"
"No thank ya!" The redhead laughed quietly, before offering a hand to the albino. "But I've got one for you, 'cause I don't think laying there's comfy really."
Nodding in thanks, Aidan let the other pull him up before taking a good look at the stranger.
The boy had wild hair that went below his waist and long bangs; it looked like he didn't have a haircut in for years. He wore a black shirt a size too big with long sleeves (like a straitjacket from a book Aidan once read, he mused) that hid his hands, ragged blue pants and that fluffy scarf.
Out of all the articles, the scarf seemed to be the only thing that was not a Hand-me-down. Amber eyes twinkled brightly with playfulness, as a friendly grin was directed to the albino, making Aidan check if he was really the one receiving the smile. It was the first time Aidan had seen this boy, he would remember a face like that no doubt.
"Name's Luka, what's yours?" Luka's smile grew wider as he waited for an answer.
Aidan did a quick glance around to see if he was really the only person here. "Aidan. How old are you Luka?"
Ignoring the fact that it was rather impolite to pry, Aidan focused on concern that was stuck in his head ever since he encountered this kid. The red-head looked a little too young to be wondering around the park where monsters lived. The boy put a finger to his lips, looking up in thought before shrugging.
"Don't know, I think I'm 8!"Luka giggled and stepped onto a low stone wall beside them on the path. "Whadda 'bout you?"
"I'm 10." The white-haired child frowned at the other's English. At least he didn't ask about his unusual looks yet, although Luka himself didn't seem local.
"Do you live here?" Luka laughed and swayed dangerously on the skinny wall, which was steadily growing in height as he continued to balance and walk on.
"No silly! I live in Edelstein, not here in the park!"
"O-oh…." Aidan felt his face grow uncomfortably warm for not thinking before asking, watching the other walk ahead. In his defence, while that was somewhat illogical, he had heard stories of outcasts and hermits living out the safety of town, in the wilderness and for a child...
"But I've never seen you before." He finished, catching up with Luka and walking beside him. The white-haired child had to look up at the other since Luka was now at least a head higher.
"That because I don't leave Nana's house often." The red-head replied, eyes narrowed and a tongue poking out at the corner of his lips as he took a big step to avoid a part of the wall that was littered with cracks from age. "She doesn't like the outside; says its not safe because of the mean people with black caps."
The albino paused in his steps, letting the new info sink in. This 'Nana' person was probably Luka's grandmother or something, but Aidan still didn't understand why she would let such a young kid out. It was dangerous here for an eight-year old, even if the monsters here were weak. Did he sneak out? It was likely.
Reaching up, Aidan gently tugged the younger boy's scarf to get his attention. Luka blinked and looked down questioningly with a small smile.
"Why aren't you in school, Luka?" He bit his lip, before he could stop himself, asked something that would make most children of Edelstein tear up, "And where are your parents?"
However, this child's reaction was quite different from what he expected.
Instead of crying and brawling, which Aidan mentally scolded and braced himself for, Luka simply tilted his head and gave a confused look.
The red-head laughed softly and shook his head, answering the first question. "Don't have school, Nana teaches me at home. She's really good at it too!" Luka continued his rant about what Nana was currently teaching him(something about how Eos and Helios towers supported the town of toys and clockwork, Ludibrium, above Ludus Lake) and Aidan let him.
He was too busy trying absorb the red-head's words. Aidan felt anger bubble inside as he did. Does this mean that Luka did not remember about his parents? How could he just forget about the people who gave birth to him?!
Pausing in his chattering, Luka noticed that the albino's footfalls had stopped and threw a glance back. "Ya alright there, Aidan?"
The younger called out, about to turn around when the said other shot him a cold glare to his surprise. Luka wasn't sure if people regularly gave you a look of angered disgust when you asked about their wellbeing. Or did they? He really didn't know, it's been so long since he reacted with someone besides Nana.
"What the hell are you playing at?! Are you saying that you don't have parents!?" Aidan shouted at Luka, who stared at him wide-eyed. "How could you forget them like that? You brat!" The albino was about to continue, when he noticed the way how those amber eyes frozen over and hardened.
Slowly, the younger child walked over to Aidan and stared down at him. "I never did, Aidan" Luka started quietly, something in his tone that made Aidan resist a shiver as gold locked onto red.
Luka paused and his eyes soften with an emotion akin to sorrow, but not quite right. "I just...don't remember having anyone except for Nana. She's my neighbor and has been talking care of me ever since she found me in my house all alone. My parents were nowhere to be found and I've been there since Minerva knows when."
All the albino could do was stare (half from shocking new info and half from the uneasy cold of Luka's sudden solemnness.)
He didn't know anyone who couldn't remember their family. The Black Wings were cruel, but not enough to leave a too young child after stealing its loved ones to die. If they did, they would had taken the whole family, but that was really, really rare. (For convenience, they would say. Yes, why waste, but it was also because some of them were still human.) The anger he felt was suddenly gone, now replaced with guilt, pity and a hint of horror for the other.
Luka blinked a couple of times at Aidan's defensive stance as it lowered heavily, like a deflated ballon, before laughing with a hand over his mouth. He turned and began walking again, acting as if that serious exchange never happened.
"I'm sorry!" The words left Aidan's word before he could stop them, more kept pouring out. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to say all those things, I-I just thought…that you—"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down, Aidan! It ain't your fault." Luka cut him off with a easy smile that made the said boy's guilt worse. "I mean, you probably love your parents a lot to say that. It's really nice, they must love you." He added, smile and tone softening.
"I…I lost my father." This was the first-time Aidan admitted. There was never really a need for, since all the children already heard from the teachers. News in Edelstein spread like fire, from the smallest things like old man Surl fell down the stairs, to big ones such as another missing victim.
The red-head stopped in his walk and gave Aidan a sad smile over his shoulder. "I'm sorry to hear that, but look on the bright side, you still have a mother, no?"
"You're not making me feel any better, Luka." The white-haired boy muttered, earning a laugh. Luka sighed and grinned brightly, but dropped it when he noticed something about Aidan and stared. The latter blushed lightly at the intense gaze, was there something on his face?
"You're shivering, Aidan." Luka whispered and pout worriedly, which Aidan couldn't help but find kind of cute. Now that he mentioned it, it was still cold. The albino's mind had stopped registering that his body was still shaking from the chilly air after shouting at the other. Aidan just shrugged it off, trying to stop the shivers that racked his body. Luka probably thought that he was a huge wimpy and if that was true, there wasn't a need to give anymore prove.
"I'm fine—"He stated with a confident grin, but was interrupted by a certain red-head who hurried, abet wobblingly, over beside him, hands fumbling with his scarf.
"Here ya go!" Luka exclaimed, holding out his scarf. Aidan stared at it in confusion and surprise. Luka, who he had yelled at and pried personal information from, was offering his scarf? To him? If he was in the other's shoes, Aidan would have cared less about him. Just how naïve was this boy... but at the same time, Luka did not shout at him and had answered in a rather grown-up way. How was he doing that?
"Oi, my arm's getting tired y'know." The whine from the weird boy brought Aidan back from his thoughts.
The albino looked up and saw that the scarf was still being offered to him. Well, Aidan was taught to be polite and Luka was complaining about his arm so he took the long woolly cloth. It was the first-time Aidan ever held a scarf; he had never used one before, since his mother always made him use a thick jacket instead. So in other words...he was pretty much clueless on how to wear it.
Much to his embarrassment, Luka seemed to have picked that up and smiled. "Here, lemme help ya."
Red strands of hair tickled Aidan's face as Luka leaned over slightly to wrap the scarf over his neck. The red cloth was still warm and smelled faintly of lavender with a hint of dirt, but Aidan found the scent rather endearing. Secretly, he breathed in Luka's scent before blushing when he realized what a creeper he was acting. The albino quickly turned away, trying to hide his red face.
"T-thanks!" He half-shouted and instantly regretted it, afraid that he might had made Luka think that he was scolding him again.
"No prob— Eek!" Luka yelped as he lost balance, thanks to Aidan's sudden movement.
Everything was suddenly a blur to Aidan, but he somehow found himself with Luka in his arms. Thankfully, the red-head was much smaller compared to him; otherwise this would have ended pretty badly. Although, he noticed that Luka was too light or maybe it was just him, but it didn't matter. Aidan was too busy trying not to drop the other and the fluttering in his stomach did not help one bit. It came out from nowhere when they touched and got worse when Luka smiled warmly.
"Wow, I didn't think you were this strong. Thanks Aidan!" The red-head was actually really surprised when the said boy stepped forward and caught him. Luka was prepared to have a meeting with the cold floor like how Aidan did when they first met, so it was a big, but really nice surprise, however he was sure not to show too much of it. Despite the fact that Aidan's action touched him greatly (and literally), the now scarf-less boy was quite sure that the stare the albino gave him was unnecessary.
"Um, Aidan?" Luka asked softly, feeling a little bit creped out while Aidan hummed in replied, still staring. "…you can put me down now."
The white-haired boy blinked slowly, making a soft Oh and carefully placed Luka back on the ground again.
Feeling the awkward air around them, Aidan scratched the back of his head as he tried to think of a explanation that wouldn't make him sound weird, while Luka stared at the floor with a light shade of pink dusting his cheeks. Both of them glanced up, locking eyes for a second before quickly looking away.
A soft clank made them turn to see a crowd of those Potted Sprouts staring at them. Half of them wore something similar to a knowing look while the rest watched them with creepy wide eyes. ...It was actually quite a scary sight. Seriously, what would you do if a group of animated potted plants with feet watching you with blank eyes. Luka had nightmares of this for the rest of the year.
That aside, the two boys snapped out from their shock (why the hell were they even looking at us like that?) and voiced it in different ways.
"What are you staring at?!"
"W-w-what' cha looking at?"
Both of them asked (more like Aidan screamed, heh) the monsters, who quickly turned away, as if they hadn't been watching the whole exchange the whole time, and walked off.
The two shared a glance, only to turn away again and look at anything that wasn't each other. In the end, being the more mature one, Aidan cleared his throat first and while Luka sighed almost soundlessly.
"Sorry about that…"
"T-thanks for catching me!" They paused, locked gazes for the third time (which is really a rude thing, try not to do it. Especially at cats or Blackjack), before bursting into laughter. Aidan couldn't help but find the situation suddenly unusually hilarious, while Luka was really laughing at the sight of Aidan's face being as red as his own hair.
After some body-racking laughs, the two sighed happily together and began to walk back to town. They chatted about random subjects like what was their favorite cookie flavor and serious things like what was school like. Aidan managed to convince Luka to go to his house first, letting his mother attack the poor red-head with Mother-Hen mode.
The first thing that she did was lecture Aidan about skipping classes, before noticing the smaller boy hiding behind her son. In an instant, she cooed over poor Luka and frowned at his state of appearance All the albino could do was watch as his mother carried a protesting child upstairs to the bathroom, unable to do a thing even when the red-head mouthed the words Help Me to him.
Shrugging it off, he ignored Luka's screams of blood murder (Aidan you bastard) and water splashing as he went to lock the door, kicking off his shoes. Aidan paused at the hanger where jackets and hats were placed, looking down at Luka's scarf. He pursed his lip lightly before changing his mind and entering the kitchen. He would keep the scarf on longer, it won't kill anyone.
The albino then processed to hunt for cookies in the kitchen for awhile, blocking out the wails ("NO! ANYTHING BUT THE BUBBLES!"). When he was done (she hid the cookie-jar behind the fridge this time, Aidan was glad they were not kept in that metal container. He'd never be able to touch it.), he turned the TV on and flopped onto the sofa, hearing the door upstairs finally clicked open.
"I'm done~" He heard his mother announce in a sing-along tone, turning back to the bathroom to clean up. "Come' on out, Sweetie"
Reluctantly, a clean Luka timidly stepped out. His long hair now barely touched his shoulders, tied in a little ponytail with a rainbow-colored hairband. Luka wore some of Aidan's old clothes ("See? Aiddie's white hoodie fits you perfectly! You look so cuuute~!" Cue for cheek-pinching.) and looking really embarrassed.
Aidan's jaw dropped as he stared at the sight and burst into uncontrollable laughter seconds later. Luka made a soft whining sound, catching Aidan's mother's attention. The lady simply rolled her eyes and pick up the red-head, tickling him gently.
"Clam up young man, or you'll be next." She ordered sternly, which instantly shut Aidan up. He watched as the woman cooed over Luka for a bit longer, before heading downstairs over to the couch.
She placed the younger beside Aidan and squealed ("Oh My Gosh! Youtwolooksoadorabletogether!"– scarily, running out of the room. She returned with a camera and snapped some photos moments later, muttered something about future blackmail and cookies, before going to call Luka's care-taker, leaving the two alone in the living room.
"Hey." Aidan started, frowning when he got no response.
Luka was pouting and had his arms crossed, facing away from him. Sighing, the albino tried again. "Sorry for laughing at you, Luka."
He paused and added quietly "You look great."
He saw Luka twitched from the corner of his eye, "You've got a nice house." Aidan blinked at the happy tone in the other's voice which didn't match his posture.
"Yeah, thanks." The albino answered, unsure on what to say.
"…And I see that you've taken a liking to mah scarf." The said scarf-wearing boy blushed brightly, stammering an answer while Luka shrugged with a smile that made that weird fluttering feeling return.
"Nah, ya can keep it but better keep good care of it 'kay?" Luka warned sternly, suddenly reminding Aidan a lot of his mother. "Its mah favorite one go be nice to it" Aidan quickly agreed before turning back to the TV.
They augured briefly about which show to watch, Luka wanted the watch the cartoon of a boy living in a world where monsters ruled the towns (Yeah. That one. It sucks.) while the other wanted to check out the News (which was not much, considering how the Black Wings's efforts to cut Edelstein off from the world, but sometimes things still got through). In the end the red-head won, mainly for being a guest and his puppy-pout. After awhile, Aidan's mother walked back in quietly.
"Luka, your Miss Nanako's on her way…" She trailed off, silencing herself at the boys.
They had fallen asleep at some point, Luka was leaning against her son's shoulder while Aidan had an arm around the smaller boy. Fan-girling silently, she went and brought an extra blanket to lay on the two. Click, another picture for her future b- album.
The mother was glad that her son managed to make a friend. She didn't know how, but she was nevertheless happy that Aidan wouldn't be alone anymore. Sighing, she left the living room and into the kitchen, making herself some tea as she waited for Luka's caretaker to arrive.
Ten minutes later, Aidan's mother opened the door to a lady in her mid-fifties. The lady had graying hair and slight winkles, but acted with the same amount of energy as Luka, which explains a lot. After welcoming Nana in, the women took their time to coo over their adorable kids. This resulted in drinking tea and chatting about stuff for hours, before Luka's caretaker finally decided that they had overstayed and was time to leave.
Nana scooped up the sleeping red-head and thanked Aidan's mother repeatedly for taking care of her boy. The elderly lady explained that she has been working and taking more over-times to earn more to bring food on the table, which was why Luka's appearance was more of a wild child. Aidan's mother then gave the idea of letting her baby-sit Luka ('That cunning, cunning woman' was one of the things that Aidan would think of her for the rest of his life) whenever the other was busy, Nana gratefully agreed and with that, Luka spend almost everyday with Aidan onward.
They even managed to have Luka enrolled into the school, after a chat with Fredi. The headmaster seemed pleased to have another child under their wing and happily accepted.
As the days went by and the two boys bonded closer, the fluttering in his stomach grew worse and worse for Aidan. One day he questioned his mother, but only got loud giggles as she went to call Nana to squeal about something.
"Aidan darling, I want your honest answer for this: Is the reason behind the feeling...someone you know?" Her son frowned a little, watching his mother with cautious eyes and nodded.
She was barely suppressing her smile as she held the phone close. "Are you friends with this person?"
"Um, yeah." He muttered as she whispered some words to the phone. "But what does-"
"Is this someone Luka?"
Aidan blinked, flushed slightly and looked away. Hm, he never noticed that scratch on the table before, how interesting.
Unknowingly, he pouted at the warning tone and answered with a quiet- "Maybe."
His mother practically crackled with joy and turned back to the phone. After a promise to meet for lunch later, the albino's mother finally replied that it was called a crush.
This 'crush' continued for years as the two grew up, it never waned once. Even when Luka and Aidan had that big fight on where they should travel to when they grow up (The albino made a promise to wait for Luka and travel together. Someone had to make sure the idiot didn't get lost in the dungeons.) or the day when the red-head came to the other and announced that he had a crush on an older girl from another class named Belle. Aidan found out the hard way that jealously was NOT a fun emotion to have.
Fortunately, Belle only liked Luka as a friend, which caused the poor boy to sulk for a day or two before springing right back up. It always amused the albino that his friend could never really hold a grudge. It was one of the highlights that he loved about Luka.
The years passed, they grew up and joined the Resistance ("Well, looks like those rumors really are true, huh.") but the crush still stayed. Now, Aidan nineteen while Luka was seventeen, they both had double jobs. The now-turned Battle Mage was a part-time teacher along side with Elex, while Aidan sometimes worked as the town's Newspaper boy (He enjoyed throwing the papers at the Black Wings faces and speeding off out of sight, he hasn't been caught yet) whenever he was not fiddling with his robots.
Even now as Aidan watched Luka teleport around the Secret Plaza, he could still feel the fade fluttering along with his heart speeding up. But of course, the Mechanic never hinted anything about his hidden love for the other. He knew that love between two boys was wrong, or at least that's what a teacher who wasn't Elex said.
Besides, Aidan was afraid of the Battle Mage's reaction. He didn't want to risk their friendship they made over a stupid crush. He still kept the red scarf Luka gave him; it brought both comfort and pain. The comforting part was that the red-head accepted him as a friend, the painful part however was that Luka seemed to have forgotten that he was the one who gave the cloth in the first place. The Battle Mage never mention a thing about it, so Aidan assumed that he had really forgotten.
So imagine his surprise when the red-head one day teleported into his workshop with a softer smile in place of that normally bright one that Luka always wore. Aidan knew that the other was acting noticeably different around him nowadays. He had seen Luka being hanging out with Belle and Wendelline, the blush on the Mage probably meant it was some gossip about something, maybe Elex was sleep-walking around in his underwear again…
However, Aidan was very sure that he was seeing the same blush on Luka's face. Despite the absence of light (Aidan preferred to work with less brightness and noise, from both his machines and headphones) in the room, the Mech could see the blush fairly well. Unless of course, his eyesight was going bad. Whatever, the albino thought and wiped the sweat off his brow as he looked up from where he was upgrading his newest robot, Atlas.
"Need anything?" He asked sourly, they both knew that the Battle Mage could see through his nasty tone.
Luka kept his gaze on his boots, fidgeting before mumbling softly. Aidan froze and his red eyes widened, staring at the other. He had heard Luka perfectly clear, but decided to make sure.
"Sorry, could you repeat that?" The Mechanic placed his wench down and walked over to the obviously red-faced teen.
"I-I said, I see that you still like my scarf." Now Luka's face and ears were as red as his hair, while Aidan's face turned pink as well.
"Um yeah, that's because you never asked for it back…I can give it back if you want." But I wouldn't want cause it was a gift from you, Aidan mentally added as he shrugged, trying to act nonchalantly.
"N-no thanks! I'm fine, seeya!" The Battle mage managed to squeak, before fleeing. Aidan stared at where Luka once stood. Why was he acting nervous around him, Aidan wouldn't really bite him like how Black Jack would (although the same could not be said for other people). As he wondered what ruffled up his friend's feathers, a single thought hit him made him stop breathing for a moment.
Could it be that Luka...liked him as well?
No, it was impossible, Aidan shook his head harshly to force that thought away.
He had seen the red-head hang out with the girls and that Vita kid. There was no reason for Luka to have a crush on him.
The Mech was about to go back to his work when he heard whispering ("Come'on, have some backbone!" Was an example while "Move before I throw your ass in, I ain't kidding Lulu." was another much more fiercer one) from outside his workshop. Seconds later, a certain Battle Mage was being dragged and pushed in by Belle, Vita and Wendelline.
"Hey! Lu' has something to confess to you, Aidan!" Belle shouted with a wide grin, clinging onto her struggling friend's arm. Lu' was a nickname the Wild hunter made for Luka whenever she was teasing him, so this made the Mech suspicious and very wary.
Last time she wore that look, Brighton and Luka's battle uniform was dyed pink. The red-head got his revenge, of course. What kind of prank were they planning this time?
Although, Wendelline wasn't the type to join in, so maybe it was something important. "Go on Luka, we'll be outside." Vita meekly said while patting Luka's back, before the girls rushed out of the room. The albino shot his crush a questioning look, watching as the red-head stammered for an explanation.
"I-I…um, Aidan…eh" Aidan felt a bit of pity as the Battle mage's attempt for words failed, before Luka took a deep breath and half-shouted.
"Whatever. I like you too." Aidan turned away and picked up his wench, forcing the rising feeling of hope back down. To his delight, Luka continued.
"Really? N-no, wait, I meant I…like you as in like really, really like you." The red-head stared at his feet, face hotter than he had ever felt in his life as he waited for a reply.
"So you're saying that you love me?" A crash of the toolbox made Luka jump, before he nodded his head furiously.
"Well…I might just feel the same to you too." Aidan muttered softly, watching the other perk up at his words. "Really? Y-you ditto?" Excitement shone in those golden eyes as Luka grinned, before turning defensively.
"Hang 'bout, how do I know what you're not pulling my leg?" Aidan shot him a skeptical look and dropped his wench with a sigh. Luka gulped and took a full step-back as the Mech walked up to him, towering him. Despite the fact that Luka was a Mage who dived right into the heart of battle while Aidan just sat in a machine and clicked controls, the albino was always somehow taller and bigger than him. Fingers gently took Battle Mage's chin and made him look up at the Mechanic.
It's now or never, Aidan thought as he leaned in and whispered. "If I was joking, would I do this?" He pressed his lips against Luka's. He felt the red-head flinch, but didn't pull away. Instead, Luka began to kiss back shyly.
Immediately, the albino pulled away from shock. He...he actually kissed back. Luka kissed him!
However, the said red-head did not seem to share the same thought. Aidan blinked and panicked a little when Luka suddenly began to tear up suddenly. "I-I'm sorry! I did some...something w-wrong, didn't I?"
"Shit," Aidan mentally smashed his face into a wall as he quickly pulled Luka into a hug, before the Mage could flee. Rhinne, why didn't he think? Of course Luka would had been hurt, he freaking kissed him, Luka kissed back and Aidan abruptly pulled back! Idiot, the Mechanic inwardly screamed at himself.
"Shhh, it's not you, Luka." Aidan gulped, he had a gut feeling that the girls were listening in this. Belle was going to skin him, damn her stupid big sister complex. "I was just...really surprised. In a good way, of course!"
Sniffing slightly, the red-head looked up from under his bangs with watery eyes. Oh Minerva, now Aidan feels like a real ass. "R-really...?"
"Yes, really." He managed to keep the grumble from his tone, offering a hopeful smile. "But I'm happy that you did."
"Oh." The Mage mumbled, returning a small smile. "H-how long have ya been keeping this secret?"
"Ever since," Aidan leaned his forehead against Luka's, smiling wider. "You gave me your scarf"
Luka's bewildered look was wiped off when he suddenly grinned and yanked the other down. All this time, the girls outside were trying to contain their giggles as their plan worked. And that's the tale behind Aidan's scarf. The end.
- I believe that most of the children of Edelstein are orphans. They don't seem to have any families aside from Ulrika who only has Claudine as a sister but aside from that, the game does hints that some of the residents have been taken to the mine to work or as scientist. (Wonder who that unnamed skeleton npc in Gelimer's research lab was?)
- Thanks to Xenon, I shall now change my headcannon to fit the story. Aidan and Luka are younger than Xenon's friends (Claudine, Brighton, Belle and Elex) by a few years and the former used to play with them. However after Aidan's father got taken away, he stopped playing with them, choosing to go home instead with his mother. When Xenon was kidnapped and turned experiment, his friends panicked, worried and stressed. They soon joined the Resistance in hopes of freeing Edelstein and someday finding/taking revenge for Xenon.
Stress makes you look older, my failure of an explanation.
- Thinking on why only Wild-hunter AKA Belle was a NPC while Luka (BaM) and Aidan (Mech) weren't was because Luka was the so-called player and would be outside Edelstein (Big Bang comic, he was the one to do the Fake Snake prank on Checky) while Aidan seldom does his job, choosing to hideout in the headquarters instead.