(@Beforethefires) A Young, Sheltered Heart.
[ Melody headed down the street and fell over at the ground shaking. An explosion had occurred and she saw a young man crying nearby, in a police car. she rushed over and flashed her badge, getting in the car, hugging him close. ]
You can cry, it’s alright… I’ll keep you safe, okay?
[ She smiled down at him, happy her pocket watch had gotten her somewhere at the right time and at the right place for once. This was… Clive’s past self. She might as well care for him. ]
Can you tell me what happened, kiddo?
Clive didn’t know what to do, what he should have done—his parents…they’d gone, so quickly, before he could prevent it or do anything, and almost instantaneously after being held back from attempting to rescue his loved ones, he’d been put into this car and was praying that he hadn’t gotten into trouble.
Had it been his fault, and was that why he was in here? He couldn’t cease the tears that all streamed down his cheeks—it seemed as though his life were over with those closest to him burning in the dreaded fires and suffocating in the thick cloud of smoke.
When Melody entered the vehicle, now holding him close despite the fact that she didn’t even know him, he trembled and clung onto her, desperate for a source of comfort after the tragedy. How was he going to live after this? Would he go to an orphanage? From the stories he’d read, they were such awful and dreary places…! He didn’t want to end up there, and right now, he just wanted to see his parents again, but…
…That was impossible, now, and he realized that despite how much he didn’t want to accept it.
"M-M-Mum and D-Dad…th-th-they…" Clive was unable to complete his incoherent statement, his sobs distorting his words.
Nice going, Luke. You made it awkward. You just made this whole thing awkward without even trying. A + Job. Luke gave the younger boy a small sort of smile, (although it looked a bit forced,) giving his hat a small, gentlemanly sort of tip before taking a seat next to the other boy on the bench.
Wow, what now. Did you even think this plan through, Luke? Let me answer that for you: No. No you did not. What do you even think you’re doing right now? Honestly, Luke was completely lost at that moment. What was he even thinking? The other boy clearly wasn’t in a very talkative mood. Luke shouldn’t have assumed otherwise just because he seemed a tad familiar to him. Still, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he knew this boy from somewhere. Or perhaps he knew one of his relatives? Honestly, the younger boy could very well be Luke’s own cousin or something of the sort, but he was already pretty well acquainted with the majority of his family, so that couldn’t be it.
Luke let out a quiet “hmm” sort of sound, putting a pointer finger to his mouth as he often did while trying to solve the more difficult puzzles that the professor gave him. He hardly even noticed how soaked he was getting. Luke didn’t have time to worry about a little rain; there were much more pressing matters at hand. Kind of, anyway.
The boy opened his mouth to say something to the other child, turning a bit to face the boy next to him. “Um…” Luke trailed off for a moment, pausing to put forth some sort of attempt in actually planning what he was going to say.
“I hope I don’t come across as rude, or anything of the sort, but what are you doing out here all by yourself? I don’t mean any offence, of course, but you seem a bit young to be sitting over here all alone like this. Although I suppose I could say the same for myself, couldn’t I?”
Clive couldn’t help noticing the older’s predicament, though the brunet wasn’t exactly informed about what it was; perhaps he’d noticed how they appeared so similar despite supposedly not being related? He released a barely audible “hmm”, though Clive’s ears managed to catch it. This further perplexed the younger duckette, and he decided to wait for this older kid to inquire about whatever was on his mind.
What was he doing out here? Sitting on a bench, obviously, though his intention was to stick around this area and hope for some solution to the catastrophe of becoming lost. Should he really let this older kid know about his current situation though? He could offer some help, sure, but wouldn’t it cause some embarrassment for the younger?
A reluctant sigh escaped the younger brunet’s lips, followed by a sneeze that he’d muffled with his elbow. How he despised the rain; it brought snails, slimy and filthy creatures (in Clive’s opinion), and with the young duckette’s feeble immune system, he rather frequently managed to catch illnesses, especially in such cold weather.
Oh, well, at least he had an umbrella now, although he was beginning to feel weary, though he figured he could shrug it off for now. After all, he’d been procrastinating quite a bit on responding to the older duckette’s question, and it was a rather simple thing to answer. Might as well reveal the truth.
"No offense taken! Personally, I’m out here since I got lost…that’s a bit rare for me, since I’ve been living in London all my life. Mum and Dad are out solving a case, as usual, so I was left to myself…" Shoot! Now he was rambling. That was a dreadful habit of his… "O-oh, forgive me for prattling on like that! B-basically, I got lost…anyway, why’re you here, if you don’t mind my asking?"
He seriously hoped he hadn’t already ruined the relationship that could have been forged today.
It wasn’t too long of a walk to Gressenheller University, right? Luke had misplaced his umbrella sometime the week before, but a trip to see the professor at his office wouldn’t be anything his trusty blue cap couldn’t handle, right?
Thankfully, A step out the door proved the boy’s initial suspicion correct! It wasn’t raining too hard, after all. Luke would probably get a little wet on the way to see his mentor, but he wasn’t too worried about that or anything. As long as he dried off before his mother could scold him for leaving home without at least a raincoat, everything would work out just fine.
Luke decided to take a different path to Gressenheller than he normally would have. This way was a little longer, but it would be a little easier to avoid getting too soaked. Huh. He could probably turn his walk into some sort of puzzle for the professor or his father later on! That’d be pretty neat.
As always, Luke took a quick note of every person he passed, waving to a few people he recognized here and there. Honestly, Luke recognized practically everyone in the city, at this point. It was a big city, sure, but London had become more of a home than Misthallery was to him, at this point.
The boy raised his hand to wave at a lone boy who was sitting on a bench, and- oh. Wait.
Luke paused for a moment, blinking at the boy on the bench for a moment or two in confusion. That’s funny. He looked similar, that was for sure, but Luke was sure the two were strangers to each other. Well, he might as well fix that, right?
Taking a few steps closer and giving the boy a weak smile, Luke motioned to the empty spot next to him on the bench. “I don’t suppose you’d mind if I took a seat here?”
No, Luke, this isn’t how you start conversations. You are dumb. You’re also going to get soaked??? You are so dumb. I can’t even believe you.
Clive took notice of the boy waving to him with a hint of curiosity in his eyes; he had to admit, this boy actually shared a lot of his features, and he couldn’t help wondering how they’d managed to look so alike…could they possibly be related in some way?
But that was inconceivable; his parents had very few relatives, and Clive’s grandparents had passed away before he was even born. Of course, that wasn’t something that distraught him too badly; he’d never met his grandparents, so he hadn’t any reason to mourn, right? His parents would tell the young boy stories, but it wasn’t too much of a burden for his childish innocence.
…That was getting a bit beside the point, but now the other brunet was approaching him…! Pondering over why the boy would stop to chat with him—after all, this bench wasn’t beside an important spot in particular, and he appeared to be headed somewhere, and Clive couldn’t help feeling a bit distressed.
He wasn’t the best at initiating conversations, let alone being social, and therefore any event out in public could sometimes be…unsettling.
When the seemingly older of the two asks to take the seat beside him, the brunet meekly gulps, unsure of whether to refuse and possibly upset him, yet let him go about his business, or whether to simply cave in and permit him to take the seat beside him.
Taking a deep breath, Clive remembers to be polite as he makes his decision; it was advice that his parents were keen on teaching him.
"I don’t mind at all!" he assures, scooting over slightly to make room and patting the spot beside him, hoping that he wasn’t already making the boy feel uncomfortable…that seemed to be a talent of his.
The brunette today decided to go for a walk even if the fog was hitting the city but she didn’t mind that at all since she already got uses to this kind of weather.
As she was walking, without paying attention, a little child stumbled into the girl.
“O-oh! You shouldn’t apologize, I’m alright! Are you lost? May I help you in some way?”
"N-no, I’m not lost…I got a bit bored, so I decided to head outside…" He wasn’t making a very good first impression, was he? Making friends certainly wasn’t his forte.
"I’m terribly sorry about bumping into you! I’m just not used to all this fog…"
Why was it so foggy around here, anyway? The weather seemed to have remained the same ever since they’d first arrived.
Another rainy day in London, when his parents had decided to leave him home alone due to their occupations. It was a day off from school, so Clive was bored and lonely—as usual. He certainly despised this kind of weather—it only meant that he couldn’t do anything outside unless he wanted to get drenched.
Oh, well, it was better than staying inside with no signal on the telly and nothing to do other than re-read his collection of Sherlock Holmes novels.
Putting on a heavier jacket than he normally wore, he manages to discover an umbrella that had been hanging in their closet and grips it in his fist for the moment with a slight grin now curving onto his lips. He had just enough money to grab some hot chocolate from his favorite cafe, so at least that was something to look forward to!
Clive opens the door to the outdoors without a moment of hesitation, opening his umbrella now—for, if he did so inside, then it would bring bad luck, right? The duckette wasn’t exactly superstitious, but he liked to have an imagination and have his wits about him at the same time.
The pitter-patter of the rain became a melody in his mind as he trekked around on the sidewalk, looking from side to side rather frequently in search of that cafe he’d started to become a regular at. It was one of his favorite venues, and he adored being able to visit, especially when the dreary weather began to cloud his mood.
After a while, however, he seemed to have managed to get himself stranded, his nose and cheeks now rosy due to the chill outside, and a slight sneeze beginning to catch on. Clive certainly pleaded that it wasn’t a cold, otherwise his parents would get suspicious, and decides to seat himself on a bench, wondering where he’d lost his trail.
It was another foggy day in Inaba; Clive’s parents had decided to permit the young duckette to tag along, for once—there was a mystery around here that called for their attention, them being detectives, and the young brunet was giddy about hopefully assisting in the matter.
Even at a young age, Clive was an enthusiastic fan of puzzles or mysteries and adventures, and this certainly sounded like a rather intriguing puzzle.
Of course, when his parents left him alone in their room at the Amagi Inn, he got bored rather easily. Staring out the window for a moment, a slight pout on his face, he grabs his satchel with an eager smile and heads out the door, internally pleading that he wouldn’t get caught outside by his parents—he’d just have to be a bit more cautious.
Finally reaching the fresh air outside, his vision clouded with the thick fog engulfing the area, he manages to stumble into a girl due to his obscured vision.
"A-ah! I’m sorry, Miss, are you alright…?"