Albel, Sophia, and Peppita sit down to have breakfast; it's amazing how such a simple thing can lead to such a realization and an unspoken goal.
A/N: Hello everyone! Thanks to any readers out there. Not much can be said about this chapter, except that this story will, most likely, end up going somewhere none of you can predict. :P I hope that you find this chapter as good as the last!
Sunlight poured into the room, which awoke Albel, whose head pounded slightly due to lack of sleep. Yet, he was use to being sleep deprived, ever since he started, with those nightmares. He pushed his slim body away from the warm bed and made his way to get up. Once up he dressed, thus, he no longer had that disheveled look about him. His normal attire was placed upon his body as he walked out of the door and into the lively hallway of the inn they had stayed at the night before.
He walked into the lobby of the inn, at which, he found only Sophia and Peppita up, the rest of his companions still slept. The two females happened to be in the small kitchen area of the inn, he watched silently from the opening, which led into the room, neither one took notice of him, at first. They just continued on with their conversation, "Peppita, you have to eat something for breakfast, or else you'll be too weak to fight!"
"Oh, but I don't want to! It's too early to eat anything; my tummy can't handle food at this time in the morning." Peppita whined to Sophia, the latter of which just sighed. All the while Albel smirked. Even though the two did annoy him, their antics always got to him, and plus, they annoyed him the least out of the bunch. "Hey Albel, you tell Sophia that I don't need to eat anything, after all, you almost always side with me on stuff like this!"
He was shocked, though he shouldn't have been; he had learned a long time ago that the little brat was stronger and more intelligent than at first glance, that and her stubborn attitude made him like her more than some of the others too. She must have easily spotted his presence. Yet, what was he to say, he wasn't the little brat's mother, so he couldn't force her to do anything, yet...Ever since she joined them on Moonbase, Sophia had instantly blended into the "mother" role for the younger female, thus, Peppita should listen to the older girl.
Though he thought about the scene in front of him, his response showed no such signs, "Bah, as if I care about such petty things, you little brat."
At that, Peppita's eyes scrunched up and her face, which was still filled with life, puffed out in anger, "You big meanie! You were suppose to take my side! Oh, why do you have to be so stubborn?"
Albel's eyes lit up in amusement and he let out a small chuckle, "The same can be said for you, Peppita-chan." He had said her name with a large amount of sarcasm, which had only caused her to get angrier.
"I don't like how you said that!" Her finger pointed at him as the fabric of her outfit flowed around her and the blonde colored hair, which she had up in pigtails, bounced slightly at the sudden movement.
All the while, Albel's eyes widened as he feigned innocence, "Don't like how I said what?"
"You do too know what!" It sounded as if Peppita wanted to talk some more, but the two of them were interrupted by the sound of Sophia's laughter.
Albel felt his eyes sharpen in anger as he glared viciously at Sophia, "You, girl, what are you laughing at?"
Sophia automatically stopped her laughter, yet the enjoyment had yet to leave her face, "It's just that, you two had just acted like an older brother and a younger sister, ya know, with the way you fought and all."
"No I don't know, and by the way, you act like the little brat's mother." Albel's voice had been crisp and cool as he said each word.
Surprise had made its way onto Sophia's face. "Really? In that case, Peppita, you have to eat some breakfast. I have some yummy cereal with marshmallows in it that I took from the Diplo."
"You brought cereal with marshmallows? Yippy!" the young girl let out a giggle as she took a place back at the table, for she had gotten up at some point in the argument with Albel, her face was a grin.
In a matter of minutes the room was silent as Peppita gobbled down her bowl of, more or less, sugar. All Albel managed to do was think as he nabbed an apple, which had lain in a bowl at the center of the table. At the moment, his thoughts found themselves focused on the young girl, who eagerly scooped spoonful after spoonful of man-made glucose into her system. How was it that she could be so positive about the world?
How was it that they could both be so positive? It was such a small thing, yet it eluded his mind. Was it what drew him to the two females? No, he knew the answer to that. The only reason the three were anywhere near each other was because of the simple fact that they were alienated from the rest of those maggots.
He alienated himself through his hard gestures and harsh words, the girl through her natural passive personality that only sparked when extremely provoked, and the little brat was the only child of the bunch, thus, she was left out of most things. An act that Albel wholly disagreed with, which was the most logical reason for why the young girl had thought he would side with her just moments before.
The child finished up her breakfast, and so, Albel had let himself be a spectator. He watched as the older female told the younger to wash up and get dressed into a cleaner outfit than the one she had on her body at the time. An argument was not met by these demands, the most likely conclusion being that the fourteen-year-old, now knew, that Albel would not be on her side. Thus, she just sighed, like a child who had lost a fight with her parents, and headed up the stairs to the bathroom.
It was the two of them now. Sophia began to clean up the table for, like most energetic children, Peppita had made a mess. Albel had then gotten up, his purpose was to throw away the eaten away apple, yet, he found a wash cloth thrown at him instead. "You clean up." The order had been given to him by Sophia, no harshness behind any of the words, but at the same time, no tone to suggest a tease.
He just looked bewildered; his eyes never left the wash cloth that was thrown at him by her. "I do all the cleaning around here and I'm tired of always being the one to make sure we don't leave too much of a mess wherever we go. Oh, and I always do the cooking too, so, I want to take a break today."
She turned to leave the kitchen; the sound of Peppita as she played in the bath could be heard clearly by the two. Albel clutched the rag tightly in his good hand; his eyes held only a hint of confusion, though mostly annoyance. "Why?" His voice wasn't cold like it usually was, just soft.
The question stopped Sophia in her tracks, large and doe shaped green eyes, covered only just by light chocolate colored hair looked at the side of Albel's face and body, "Why what?
"Why do you take care of that little brat as if she were your own child?" His crimson eyes slide to the side so he would be able to see the girl's reaction out of the side of his blood colored orbs. Her face was etched with a smile. It seemed as if she were able to read what Albel had truly meant behind the words and said.
"Because, I noticed that only I can heal you, in battle." That had been all she had said.
"Bah." Was the verbal response given as the swordsman took the wash cloth and placed it upon the table. Not another word had been spoken between the two as Sophia moved away from the entry way of the kitchen and toward the counter, where she began to make breakfast for the rest of their companions.
As Albel began to clean the table, not completely alert on the job, he let his mind wander. For, he thought more than he talked, this time he thought of the "conversation"-if such a short verbal encounter could be called that-and how it was the first time that one of their "conversations" had been about him.
In the times past, any talk between the two had always been about her. They would sit alone together, away from the others, and sometimes accompanied by Peppita, for, she seemed attached to Sophia. Those two would be the ones to talk, and he would listen, sometimes he added a typical blunt or rude comment, but, for the most part, would be quiet. He could not verbalize his emotions like the two females were able to, and it had been, at some point, through the times that they had met that his emotions for her had been created. The emotions had been created and he had become aware of them and he had tried to speak of them, yet, every time she had been dragged away by that blue haired maggot.
"Because, I noticed that only I can heal you, in battle." The words consumed Albel's mind. So, she had understood the hidden message in the question he had asked her. He had asked her, not why she took care of the brat, but why she took care of the things she did, namely, him. The answer had been one that he had not expected and made him wonder if she already knew of what he felt for her, yet, he highly doubted such a thing.
Annoyed at the circle like motion his thoughts had seemed to take, Albel through the wash cloth down in frustration, a small growl slipped from his lips as he walked out of the room, at which point, he threw away the apple core,and stomped up the stairs, after only seconds of no noise, the sound of his door as it was slammed shut was heard.
Sophia sighed, "Well, at least he cleaned up the table." She began to hum and a sad smile crept onto her features.
Then Peppita happily skipped down the stairway and into the kitchen and titled her head, as she asked, "What's got Mr. Meanie all upset?"
In a voice that could only be described as absentminded Sophia just replied with, "I don't know." Though, it was a lie.
"Oh! You do too know! I know you do! What is it with adults and keeping secrets?"
"Because, adults are more afraid of things than children are, and most of the time, the truth is much scarier than some lie." That was the last sentence Sophia was able to get out, for, the rest had woken up and were now seated around the table. A fake smile was plastered on her face as she placed the food she had just made onto the table and took a seat next to Fayt.
Sophia found her eyes trail over to the empty seat, at every inn they left a seat empty, just incase Albel decided to join them, though, he never did. "Are you okay?" The question, which had been asked by Fayt, drew her out of her train of thought.
"Yes, I'm fine." a statement that was called a lie.
Her eyes found their way to the empty seat once again before they moved in a downcast like fashion. Sad green eyes focused on the food that sat upon her plate, yet, they did not comprehend the image, instead, she saw the flashes of the multiple timesAlbel had tried to tell her what he felt.
"If only I were stronger...If only I didn't let the others use me so much, then...Then I wouldn't have let myself be dragged away from you..."
A/N: Well, there you have it, chapter one! I hope that none of the characters were OOC and I hope you like the way I view the Albel/Sophia relationship. Oh, and though it may not seem it, this story will get rather anguish-filled, most of my works end up that way for some reason. -.- Anyway, please tell me what you think in a review. Thanks. : )