"What was the first thing you ever stole?" [Mild Edgar/Locke.]
by Mina Lightstar
"What was the first thing you ever stole?"
Locke didn't know why it was the last question he'd expected to be asked. Perhaps because he didn't enjoy being labeled a thief, perhaps because he hadn't thought Edgar would wonder about such a thing, or perhaps because it had been so long since he'd given the event any thought.
Of course, it was also possible that his friend was purposefully baiting him. Sometimes Edgar Roni Figaro desperately needed a distraction from his paperwork, and more often than not, distractions were something Locke was able to provide.
With deliberate slowness, Locke closed the book he'd been reading and set it in his lap. Drumming his fingers on its surface, he asked, "Why do you ask?"
Edgar, brushing the underside of his chin with the feather of his quill, replied, "I'm curious. I've never had such a good friend involved in the plundering trade."
Locke bristled. "I prefer the term 'treasure-hunting,' if you please."
Edgar shrugged, amused. "Semantics."
"I insist there's a difference."
"Yes." Locke stood, setting his book on the chair he'd occupied, and made his way over to the young King's desk. "One implies that the treasure I acquire was obviously there for the taking. Your definition implies that the valuables are clearly in the possession of someone else, and that I am taking what isn't mine. Like so," he added, leaning over and plucking Edgar's quill from his fingers.
Edgar swatted at him. "So your first stolen valuable was someone's quill, then?"
"As a matter of fact, yes. Your quill." And with that, Locke pocketed the writing tool and gave Edgar a mischievous smile.
"I need that." Edgar reached for him.
Locke stepped back just out of reach. "Success in thievery requires that you avoid being caught, you know."
"I thought you weren't a thief?" Edgar asked wryly.
Locke gave his friend a deadpan stare. "You seem to think I am."
Edgar made of show of looking thoroughly exasperated, rolling his eyes and making a helpless throwing gesture with his hands. "Oh, fine, what is the first thing you've ever 'found,' then?"
In return, Locke made a demonstration of brightening considerably. "Well, since you asked, the very first treasure I ever found was a Green Beret."
"What did you do with it? Sold it?"
Locke shook his head, thinking of the trunk back in Kohlingen that contained it. "No, I still have it. Sentimental value, you see."
Edgar blinked at him. "I've never seen it."
"Of course not; I don't carry it with me." Locke made a vague gesture. "It's someplace safe. Maybe one day you'll get to hold it."
"How exciting." Edgar's tone was dry, but he said the words with a smile. "...Could I have my quill back?"
"I suppose. But tell me, what have you ever stolen?"
Edgar gave him a puzzled look. "Me? I stole cookies from the kitchens when I was a child."
Locke rolled his eyes. "Oh, that doesn't count. I stole a pie from Mama's windowsill when I was six."
"Well then," Edgar concluded with a smile, "I've never stolen anything. Honestly, Locke," he went on, "I don't even accept my merchants' wares for free."
Locke considered that, taking out the quill to return. "You're right, of course. You've simply never had cause to steal anything -- aside from treats."
His friend stood up, giving him an odd look. "Should I steal something, then?"
Locke laughed and held out the promised quill. "Maybe you should. It would be something new to try."
Instead of taking the quill, Edgar stepped forward, closing the distance between them. Locke blinked, wondering what his friend was up to, and then his eyes rounded when Edgar dipped to drop a firm, closed-mouth kiss on his lips. Before he could do anything, Edgar withdrew, snatching the quill back as he went.
"There," the King of Figaro pronounced. "I've stolen a kiss."
Even after Edgar was sitting down again, eyes on his paperwork, Locke still hadn't moved. He stared dumbly and listened to the scratching of the quill, certain Edgar had stolen his wits, too.