Sentinel: Chapter 9
How did he have so many socks? Cato snatched another one up off the floor, one that didn’t match the other handful he’d picked up and actually wasn’t even his. He sighed and dropped it in the laundry basket with the rest of his dirty clothes and the few things that belonged to his brothers. Cato couldn’t remember when Cicero or Marcian had had the chance to be in his room to leave behind socks and a tiny t-shirt and the fish plush under the dresser that definitely wasn’t his. Cato bent and yanked it out and then tossed it in his chair. Marcian would figure out where he’d left it eventually. Maybe.
Cato was picking it back up when a knock at his door had him looking over his shoulder. Dad stood there, as usual having not waited for him to say it was okay to come in before just doing it. It annoyed him but he knew parents just did that. Mom had used to do it too when he was little.
“Are you...?” Dad stared at him and the half picked up mess of his room. “You’re not ready to go yet.”
Cato stared back. “To go?”
“Ignatius made arrangements for a day trip to one of Palaven’s more private beaches.” His shoulders sagged with a long, tired sigh. “I thought I had told you.”
Cato stared at him some more, nagging the talons of one hand. Dad hadn’t told him anything about a day trip, but the way he looked so tired and worn down, he didn’t want to say that. It wasn’t like Dad to forget things but he got lost in projects all the time just like he did too. And things were so different and hectic and it was okay to forget other things. Even if it hurt terribly to be one of those forgotten things. For a moment, Cato thought about coldly telling his dad that he didn’t want to go anywhere with him or the Sentinels or his brothers. But it was just for a moment and he knew it was wrong.
“I was just looking for my stuff and got distracted again.” He said instead. “I can be totally ready in a few minutes though. Do you need me to get ‘Ro and Marc’ ready too?”
Dad shook his head and gave a little smile. “No, I just got them sent down to the garage with the others.”
“Okay,” Cato said, relieved he didn’t have to scramble to get himself ready and then try to wrangle his sometimes feral brothers too. He knew he was likely to lose his temper with them and that would just ruin the day Dad had planned. “I’ll meet you guys down there soon.”
“Bring whatever you want to, I’d say we’ll be there well into the evening.”
“Okay,” He said again and turned to look for his backpack. He hadn’t heard Dad leave but when he turned around again, he was already gone.
Cato changed into shorts and a tank-top with one of his light sweaters over it just in case. He stuffed everything he’d thought he’d need in the backpack and headed down to the garage that housed the every-day cars and not the military ones. He doubted Dad would drive them to the beach in such a show of force as that. Sentinel Mavic was waiting for him when he got there, leaning on the backside of one of the cars and oddly enough dressed like Cato was.
“You’re gonna lose those.” He pointed to the small Sentinel’s sandals.
Mavic looked down at his feet and wiggled his toes. “Eh,” He shrugged. “They’re cheap so not a big deal if I do.”
Cato shrugged back at him, caught staring at the lines of orange going up Mavic’s legs. He hadn’t known his colony tattoos were on more than just his face. Most people didn’t do that and now Cato wondered if Dad would let him do it when he was older.
“My face is up here, kid.” The Sentinel teased him as he went around to open the rear door.
“Oh Spirits,” Cato trilled embarrassment and hurried to get in the backseat to Mavic’s laugh.
He climbed in beside him. “Gimme that look again in ten or somethin’ years and I’ll show you the rest of ‘em.”
“Wow.” He trilled again, blushing up to his fringe as he saw Eros already waiting inside the car.
“Good morning, Cato.” He said in a soft tone, his voice almost musical in nature but all the priests were like that. “Sentinel, you’re incorrigible.”
Mavic buckled in. “He knows I’m just pickin’ on him.” He laughed again. “Cato gives as good as he gets once he stops blushin’.”
Cato didn’t think he’d ever stop blushing. “I don’t think Sentinel Mavic is really a grown-up yet.”
“I’m probably not.” He chuckled and flashed a grin at both of them as the car started.
“Wait, where are my dad and brothers?”
“They went on ‘head in the other car with Ignatius.” Mavic told him. “The lil’ princes were chompin’ at the bit to get a move on.”
“Sounds like them.” Cato said, wiggling around in the seat until he was comfortable, one foot folded up beneath him. Now that he thought about it, of course there would be a second car, they couldn’t all fit in one. “They get so excited to do things, you know? Sometimes they’re just wild.”
“Your brothers are delightful children.” Eros said.
Cato shrugged. “Thank you?” He was never sure what he was supposed to say when people said stuff like that about his brothers or himself. “Sentinel? How long ‘til we get to the beach?”
Mavic scratched at one of his mandibles. “Crass said it would take ‘round an hour, hour and a half to get there.”
He flashed his own grin, nowhere near as boldly as the Sentinel’s, but bold for him. “Oh, so it’s Crass now?”
“Mavic,” Eros was smiling. “Are you blushing?”
Cato was sure that he was and he grinned wider. “Mavic has a crush on Crassus.” He told Eros, comfortable -as Mavic said- giving as good as he got back to the Sentinel.
“Well, he’s got a crush on me too so it works out.” The small turian shot back, glancing behind him at the glass divider of the car that hid Crassus from view.
Eros found himself laughing again at another of Mavic’s playful barbs directed at Cato. The boy was laughing too, his dark plating and skin tinted from his blush and getting progressively darker as the small Sentinel teased him. He’d not seen Cato behave so brightly or heard him laugh so much. In the few weeks he’d known the boy, he’d only witnessed introversion. Eros felt he was getting to see a glimpse of the real Cato thanks to his interaction with Mavic
Their reluctant Sentinel, as Ignatius called him when they were alone. Eros had expected someone given to morose moods or explicit aloofness or even firm stoicism like Crassus. He was beyond pleased that Mavic was none of those things and he’d have to talk to Ignatius about his unfair assessment. Mavic wasn’t the typical Sentinel with a decorated military background, he wasn’t battle-scarred and weary like Crassus, or as thoroughly trained as Ignatius but that didn’t make him lesser in any way. At his core, Eros sensed, he was the same as they were, he’d only chosen to walk a different path. And he made the children laugh. Eros liked him, and it seemed, so did their dispassionate Sentinel.
Eros cast his eyes to the partition that separated the front and back seats as Mavic did. He knew from experience it was sound-proofed. “You’ve only been with us a week, haven’t you?”
“Right ‘bout that long, yeah.” Mavic hummed.
“And yet you’ve already managed to make friends with both Cato and Crassus.” Eros said in his gentle way, just an observation searching for a reaction.
“Well yeah.” Mavic surprised him with a wide, boyish smile. “Us short folks gotta stick together, right Cato?”
The boy trilled a laugh. “The difference being that I’m still growing.”
“I assure you I’m jealous of that fact.”
Eros laughed with them, pleased with how Mavic handled the boy and so easily drew him out of his shell. However, now he had questions about how Mavic really dealt with their driver. Some people could be unnecessarily cruel to barefaced turians... “Cato, dear one, would you mind listening to your music or perhaps watching a vid on your omnitool so the Sentinel and I may talk? I’m afraid we’ve not had the chance before now.”
Cato glanced back and forth between them. “Oh, um sure.” He dug a pair of earbuds from his backpack. “Just give me a sec.”
“Sure thing, kid.” Mavic smiled.
Eros waited until the boy had put his earbuds in and he could faintly the music they played. Then he waited a moment more until Cato was bobbing his head along to whatever it was he listened to. He gave the small Sentinel across from him a soft smile. Mavic smiled back.
“Y’know my parents used to do the same thing to me when they wanted to talk.” He drawled. “Or they sent me outside to play.”
“It would be difficult to send him outside of a moving car.” Eros flicked his mandibles somewhat playfully.
“Yeah,” Mavic chuckled. “But anyway, you wanted him distracted, yeah?”
Eros lifted his shoulders in a small shrug. He liked that Mavic didn’t seem interested in beating around the bush. He had that in common with Ignatius. “As I told him, I’ve not had the chance to speak with you or even start to get to know you. As the resident Spirit Carer, I fear I’ve forgotten my duties.” In truth, his grief had been overwhelming but acceptance was beginning and it was time to focus on others besides himself.
“Er...” The Sentinel scratched at his jaw idly. “I haven’t had all that many talks with Spirit Carers or priests like you, y’know? Makes me a lil’ nervous. Not that I was avoidin’ you or somethin’, I’ve just been adjustin’ to here.”
He gave an understanding smile. There were so few Valluvian priests left, nervousness was to be expected. “You appear to have adjusted quite well.”
“I usually adapt pretty fast.” Mavic ran a hand over his fringe. “Even if I think Sentinel isn’t really me, y’know? The Primarch wants me to try so I’m tryin’.”
“Ignatius had told me you were in a university on the Citadel before you were reassigned here.”
He nodded. “I served my fifteen and then decided real enlistment wasn’t for me.”
“I did the same.” Eros told him. “Though it was only five years. An injury forced me out of the field.”
“Shit. What happened?” His mandibles flicked. “If you wanna tell me ‘bout it, I mean.”
He flapped a hand. It had been so long again now, scar tissue had formed, pain had dissipated and survivor’s guilt no longer kept him sleepless. “An infiltration op went south. The unit I was assigned to perished in the onslaught, I was hit with an incendiary and would have died too had a Blackwatch vessel not passed by and received my call for help.”
“Shit.” Mavic said again, his mandibles hanging. “I’m sorry that happened.”
Eros smiled wanly and dipped his head a little. “There are many parts of it that I’m sorry for as well. But were it not for those events, I would have not met Ignatius and later mated him.”
The small Sentinel snorted. “Y’know that almost makes it sound romantic.”
Eros chuckled. “It does.” He said. “The Spirits often allow such things to transpire. You might have not planned to be here but you are and it seems you’ve found your own romance.”
“Er,” His mandibles fluttered wildly as he looked at the partition again. “I dunno ‘bout that.”
Yeah, Mavic didn’t know about that at all. Crassus was all kinds of things he hadn’t expected when they met. Kind, smart, gentle without fail... But a romantic partner? He wasn’t sure if he wanted that with Crassus or anyone really.
“Oh,” Eros fluttered his violet painted mandibles. “I apologize, I took yours and Cato’s teasing on the matter somewhat seriously.”
“There’s a lil’ seriousness to it,” He excused, fiddling with the hem of his shorts. Crassus probably wasn’t a kiss-and-tell sort of person and he should respect that. “But me and the big guy are just gettin’ to know each other. He’s not... what his looks make you think he’s gonna be, y’know?”
Eros’ expression shifted between distasteful and shameful. “I’ll admit my gut impression of him wasn’t favorable either. Not many turian men are so solidly built, let’s say, but that aside I find Crassus to be genuine and intelligent.”
Mavic inclined his head a little, his mandibles spread in a grin at the first bit. “Your mate is built big but I reckon Crass is actually bigger. I’m used to big guys, y’know? I mean, c’mon, I’m not even six feet tall, big guys are kinda my only option.”
The priest’s laugh was warm and musical. “So then it wasn’t the size of him that put you off at first, was it?”
“Nah,” He shook his head, mandibles flicking low along his jaw a moment. Of course it hadn’t been Crassus’ size, it had been his lack of paint and the scars. “Same way I reckon it wasn’t for you. But when Crass smiles that cute lil’ smile of his and his eyes get all bright with it, I don’t much care that he’s barefaced. The toneless thing still gets me and it might for a bit, but I put my head on his chest and I can feel him purrin’. I reckon I could get used to that real fast.”
Eros gave him a soft, mysterious sort of smile and Mavic was caught by his snow-colored eyes. He was a man that saw more than he let on and saved it for later use. To help or harm, Mavic wasn’t sure but he’d always been good at reading people and instinct said the soft spoken Noverian was one of the few good ones.
“What?” Mavic chuckled a little nervously. That stare was intense.
“Does our gentle giant favor you as much as you do him?” Eros asked, his tones all whimsical and encouraging.
He felt the heat on his throat spread to his fluttering mandibles. “I hope so.”
Fandom: ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 | JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken | JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: Giorno Giovanna & Guido Mista
Characters: Bruno Buccellati, Narancia Ghirga, Leone Abbacchio, Trish Una, Jean Pierre Polnareff
Additional Tags: Bruno Buccellati is Spelled Bruno Bucciarati, During Canon, Time Skips, Canon Compliant, Team Bonding, Team as Family, Developing Friendships, Fluff, Fluff and Angst, Banter, Snakes, Healing, First Aid, Hurt/Comfort, Aftermath, Grief/Mourning, Background Relationships, Implied/Referenced Character Death
Series: Part 5 of PRISM, Part 5 of Write-tober 2020
Chapter 2 We Keep on Running (Ice) Summary:
The chaos of the fight against White Album has just wound down, giving Giorno time to process everything that has just happened. But with such a tight timeframe to get to the Boss, he can’t really justify relaxing enough to spend time understanding his feelings. Things keep on coming, and they don’t have time to stop running long enough to rest at the moment.
It’d been a long morning for the both of them. While Mista hadn’t been the one who’d driven through the early hours of the night, he’d been alert on watch, and he’d talked to Giorno to keep him from nodding off behind the wheel. Aside from that, Giorno knew how tiring it was to heal. His own arm was still healing, his sleeve torn where his flesh had been mangled. At least Mista wasn’t trying to wander around, the moment’s rest would give his wounds some time to finish closing up.
He glanced up to watch as the sunlight started to peek over the top of a building, illuminating Mista’s face in gentle golden light. His brow was sweaty, glittering in the sun. The blood on his skin shone gruesomely crimson in splattered patches that had yet to dry.
The sight unsettled him, making something in his stomach churn. The realization hit him, of just how concerned about Mista he was, and the strength of the feeling caught him off guard. Rationally, he knew Mista would be fine, as he’d just healed him personally. But he couldn’t seem to shake the feeling with logic alone.
With all that had happened in the last two days, it wouldn’t be helpful for him to get overly attached. It would be altogether too easy for Mista to die during their confrontation with the boss, however that went down, given Mista’s propensity for being a bullet sponge.
Despite knowing all of that, he couldn’t help but hope that Mista would survive. They’d been an effective team so far, and it’d been a pleasant surprise that Mista had saved him after his miscalculation in the canal. That display of dedication and loyalty, as undeserving of it as Giorno was, had saved his life.