A/N: Sometimes I try to do nice things for characters I like. Anyway, it would've been blasphemous of me to write a birthday fic for only half my OTP while neglecting the other. Since Elliot's birthday kind of, ah, nearly slipped by me, consider this whipped up last-minute (why is that always the story with me, goodness…).
I BARELY MISSED PUBLISHING THIS ON THE CORRECT DATE BY TWO MINUTES OH MY GOD I HATE MYSELF SO MUCH.
Ahem. Anywho, please enjoy -bows-
It was the end of his piano lessons for the day, so little Elliot Nightray sat on the stone steps just outside the building where his teacher lived. His mother always told him to wait inside, but Elliot was restless and most days he wondered around because he knew his mother was not the most punctual woman in the world. Usually he had about thirty minutes to himself before she actually arrived to pick him up. Waiting with his teacher was just trouble, since Oswald was a busy man and had another lesson with another kid just minutes after Elliot's.
Elliot had seen another boy his age a few times, but he never talked to him. He always seemed to be around the building, so Elliot just presumed the other boy lived there. He sure didn't look it, though. It was a wealthy neighborhood and the boy was always dressed in clothes to large for him, and had hair that was far too long and unkempt that bird's might as well use it for a nest.
As Elliot kicked down small rocks down the steps, he glanced up at some movement down below him. He blinked in surprise when he realized it was the boy he was just thinking about. Elliot stared at him in bewilderment as the messy boy moved around in a small lot that was between the two buildings. Last year the empty, decrepit lot had been made into a beautiful garden, with a small fountain right in the center of it and trees around most of the perimeter, although most were still growing and not very tall yet.
What was in in full, mature abundance however, were the many colorful blooms swaying in the summer breeze. Bright petals made even more radiant in the sunlight waved around the hunched figure of the small boy squatting in the garden, his back to Elliot. He seemed to be at work at something.
Normally, Elliot would try not to venture too far, but the other boy was making him curious. His mother might come by early since it was his birthday, and she said there would be his birthday party right after his lessons. Still… Figuring there was still time yet before his mother came, Elliot hopped down the steps and made his way to the lot.
The closer he got, the more Elliot was able to make out what the messy-haired boy was doing. He was among the flowers, his hands working with a line of them, weaving them together. He blinked in surprise as the boy plucked off another flower, saying a quiet, "Excuse me," as he did so. He then proceeded to add the flower to the chain.
Raising his brows, he stood right behind the boy. "Did you just apologize to the flower?" he asked in wonder.
The boy gasped, staggering before he righted himself. He glanced up at Elliot, and the blond-haired boy could just make out the dark, abysmal eyes that peered at him. "Ah… It's you."
Elliot regarded the other cautiously. "Did you know me?"
"Sort of?" said the boy. He had recovered enough and shrugged his shoulders before returning to his task. "My uncle gives you piano lessons. I see you sometimes, and my uncle talks about you."
"Oswald is your uncle?" Elliot was shocked. He didn't see the resemblance much at all. Although Oswald did have dark hair like this boy, it was no where near as long and tangled.
The boy shifted to where some purple flowers where. "Yeah, both our names are Baskerville. I'm Leo, by the way," he added off-handedly.
Elliot pouted a little. "I didn't ask for your name."
"It's polite to say your name to someone you meet. Didn't your mommy teach you that?" Leo returned, still not facing Elliot.
Leo waited patiently, even slowing his movements. "Okay…"
Finally, Elliot sighed, crouching down among the flowers as well. "I'm Elliot Nightray," he said in a grumble.
Leo nodded approvingly, and the blond could've sworn he saw a hint of a smile grace the other's lips. "Nice to meet you, Elliot Nightray."
"Hmph…" Elliot shuffled a bit closer, looking at the practiced movements of Leo's fingers as he continued to weaved flowers with each other. "What are you doing?"
"I'm making something."
"I know that, I'm not stupid!" shouted Elliot in frustration.
Leo didn't even flinch. "I'm making a flower crown."
Maybe Elliot already knew that, but it didn't stop him from raising his brows and asking, "Isn't that girly?"
"Nope." Leo plucked another flower, murmuring another polite apology. It was so weird. Like the boy didn't act his age, and he looked around seven like Elliot.
"Why do you keep apologizing like that?" he questioned, rubbing against the huge, bristly center of one sunflower.
Leo stopped then, seeming to consider, like he never thought of it before. "Dunno. Flowers are living too, right? That's what my mama says. So I feel bad, like I'm hurting them," he explained, looking down at the chain in his hands. Once more, he continued weaving. "So I feel like I gotta ask permission. But I'm making them for something nice, so I hope they understand."
"Eh?" What…a weird boy. Elliot never thought about flowers like that. He did know they were living - his sister had told him that - so he supposed Leo's reasoning did make sense… It was still a little peculiar though, and he watched Leo apologize to the next flower he plucked. "You're kinda weird…"
"Thank you," Leo replied, somewhat cheerfully like it was a compliment he had never gotten before.
Weird indeed. But Elliot wasn't moving away from him. Instead, he watched as Leo weaved the ends together to make something more crown-like. It still looked rather thin though, but then Leo was getting large flowers like the sunflowers to decorate it. Elliot considered asking Leo how he learned how to make flower crowns, but he didn't want to look too interested in something so girly. Maybe he could say it was for Vanessa or something….
"Is playing the piano hard?" Leo asked conversationally. "Uncle plays really well, so I like to visit a lot. I never tried a song before, but I pressed on the keys a few times."
"Can't you just ask him to teach you?"
Leo laughed. "I'd rather learn myself."
Of course it's going to be hard then! There was a word his older brother used once, something he'd definitely call Leo right then. What was it….? Oh, right… "That's kinda pretentus."
Leo grinned, turning to Elliot. "You mean pretentious?"
Heat crawled up Elliot's face. "No, I mean pretentus!"
"You made that up. That's not even a real word."
"How do you know!? Are you a human encyclopedia!?"
"I think you meant dictionary with that one," Leo pointed out nonchalantly. He was smoothing out the petals now, and he seemed to be ignoring the shouting fuss Elliot was making. He interrupted by asking, "Can you play for me one day?"
The question was so sudden and off-topic that Elliot twitched, mouth still wide-open in mid-rant before his jaw slackened a bit. "What?"
Leo shrugged, fiddling with the crown a bit. "You could come over sometime. When I visit by Uncle Oswald, you can come, too. It wouldn't be a lesson. You can just play. I want to hear it."
Elliot couldn't tell if this was another opportunity for Leo to make fun of him. "…Why? Why not ask your uncle to play for you?"
"'Cos I want to hear you, Elliot Nightray."
The use of his full name made Elliot flush again for some odd reason. It must be the sun. It felt like he was sweating under his collar as well. Using his full name like that…Leo really did sound like some adult rather than a seven-year-old.
There was a car honk right behind them, interrupting the two boys. Elliot glanced back to see his mother parked right there on the curb, her eyes wide.
"Elliot, what are you doing outside!?" she shrieked in appall.
Quickly standing up to dust himself off, he shouted back, "I was playing, Mom, I'm sorry!"
She still seemed displeased, but looked willing to forgive him. "Well, come on in the car then."
Elliot nodded, feeling dejected somehow. He took a glance back at Leo, who was still sitting with the flowers. Now that Elliot looked, there were stray petals tangled in his hair. It made him want to laugh.
Leo held out the crown to Elliot. "Here."
Blue eyes blinked in surprise. "What's this?" Elliot asked, looking down at the weaved blooms.
"It's a flower crown, stupid. We went over this," snapped Leo with a shake of his head.
"I-I'm not stupid!" Elliot stomped his foot down. "What do I need a flower crown for anyway!? I'm not some girl!"
Leo looked slightly embarrassed at that, shrinking back for the first time. "It's…it's your birthday though, right? So…it's a present," he explained quietly.
Elliot's angered expression melted away. How…how had Leo known that? Did that mean…all that time, even before Elliot saw him earlier… Leo had been sitting here in the summer sun, carefully putting this together for him? Elliot looked down at the flowers, at each open bloom beaming up at him in colors of yellow, light-purple, white and pink….a delicate pattern of fragile beauty. It…it really was nice…
His mother honked again. "Elliot, hurry up!" she called. "Before the ie cream melts!"
"C-coming…," he replied. He looked back at Leo. With a fierce blush, he put the crown on, for all the world feeling incredibly stupid, but still not truly wanting to take it off. "Um…thanks…"
When Elliot put the crown on, Leo grinned hugely, obviously pleased as punch. "You're welcome!" He got up and took a few steps away without even wiping himself off. "Well, happy birthday, Elliot Nightray."
Elliot nodded, shuffling awkwardly before making his way back to his mother's car finally. She already had the door open for him, but he was barely crawling inside when she asked, "Was that a friend of yours?"
"Mm," Elliot said neutrally. "His name is Leo. Oswald's, um, nephew."
His mother turned to look at him, giggling. "Did he make that for you? You look adorable."
"Mom!" he yelled in embarrassment. He had half the mind to tear the crown off, but Leo was still in view. He gazed after the raven-haired boy with a feeling he couldn't quite name (even if he could, he might say it wrong).
"Why don't you invite him over? He can come to your party if you want." His mother followed his gaze over to where Leo was starting to go up the steps.
Elliot's eyes widened, feeling himself perk up. "Can I!?"
"Of course. But you better hurry and catch him. We have to make sure whoever is watching him right now knows too."
"Okay!" Elliot was already out of the car and running back towards the weird raven-haired boy with pretty eyes like flowers, holding onto his crown to make sure it didn't fly away.
Ending A/N: I'm capable of making fluff still, yesssssss -shot- Comments/reviews/critiques? Happy birthday to Elliot!