A/N: ...This fic makes a hell of a lot more sense if you've read these RP threads: first meeting (sort-of), REAL first meeting + Chloe joins up with the Knights, (classic/cliche-but-cute) Mistletoe Thread, Absolute Honesty Thread which leads to The Date. It sells the idea of Flynn/Chloe, and also explains...uh, why it's possible. TY RP-verses. Though I suppose due to those 'Tales of the World' games, just about ANY sort of 'Tales Of' crossover is at least slightly plausible. Still, I gotta say, supposing Senel
This fic came to be because we all know that Flynn probably can't/won't really fully commit to anyone without his BFF's approval. :] But of course, Yuri just takes it as another perfect opportunity to gleefully and unrepentantly troll his childhood friend...for the most part, anyway.
Totally written for its_game_time btw. btw. ♥ And yes, part of this was also somewhat inspired the first episode of the BBC Sherlock. :3
[Yuri, Flynn. ‘Date Night’]
“…Care to enlighten me as to why you’re taking me out on a date, Commandant?”
Flynn leveled a flat glare at his best friend, though there was more resignation than anger behind it. “It’s not a date,” he sighed with the weary air of someone who had seen something objectionable coming for a considerable amount of time, and whose expectations have finally been met. “I brought you along because I want a second opinion on this place.”
“Lucky for you,” Yuri chuckled, utterly unruffled by either the glare or his best friend’s mildly disapproving tone of voice. “Because as I’m sure you remember, I’m definitely not a cheap date. Which raises the question of why you’d pick me to accompany you on your little night on the town. I’d think someone as noble and important as everyone’s favourite Commandant could have his pick of dinner partners any day of the week.”
That last line had, of course, been one of Yuri’s usual attempts to get Flynn going, but this time the blonde Knight didn’t flush or stammer or react in any way, other than to smile a calm, fond smile and play it totally straight. “You’re my best friend, Yuri. There’s no one I would rather spend time with.” His eyes dropped back to the menu spread open on the table in front of him, but his words were still obviously for the dark-haired swordsman. “Besides, everyone else said that you and Miss Judith are the best cooks they know, and I couldn’t ask her here without risking…a certain sort of misunderstanding.”
“Here” happened to be Madame Abelena’s, a snug, homely little restaurant just on the edge of the Merchant’s Quarter. Yuri took another leisurely look around, grey eyes skimming over the arching doorways with braids of garlic hanging beside them, the cheery red-and-white checked tablecloths, the warmly-flickering candles lighting each table, and the rustic-looking pictures on the walls.
And, of course, there was the quiet, decidedly intimate atmosphere of the place. At least, a desire to capture that “close” sort of feeling was the only reason Yuri could see for the proprietors’ choice of tables so small, you couldn’t help bumping the other person’s knees with your own every time you moved your legs. Yuri didn’t usually give half a damn, much less a whole one, about what other people thought of him, but if had been anyone other than Flynn sitting across from him, he might’ve been just the slightest bit apprehensive that they might be getting the wrong idea. Since it was Flynn, he knew he had nothing to worry about; his best friend didn’t even seem to notice when they knocked knees, though that was only to be expected, really. Countless cold nights on the streets spent huddled together for warmth had left them with little concept of personal space, at least as far as the other was concerned. They were comfortable with each other, or maybe familiar was a more fitting term in this case…so much so that people couldn’t help but notice.
Even random-strangers-type people, like their waitress for the evening.
She was a fairly young-looking thing, probably in her late teens, pretty in an unremarkable sort of way, with an easy smile that made the corners of her eyes crinkle. She’d approached from behind Yuri, so when she finally reached their table and saw his face instead of his long, dark hair, she did a visible double-take (which Yuri caught and Flynn missed entirely, still too busy studying the menu to notice much of anything else). Her dark eyes went wide for a second, then a slow, knowing smile spread across her face as she looked back and forth between them.
“Buonasera, I am Ansa, and I will be your server today!” she chirped with just a hint of some unplaceable accent, whipping out a notepad and pen to take down their order. “So, what for will it be for la bella coppia—the handsome couple?”
It was all Yuri could do not to roll his eyes. This wasn’t the first time they’d gotten this sort of thing while they were out together, and somehow he doubted it’d be the last either. Still, as a rule, it was generally more fun to take it and run with it--both because he knew it annoyed Flynn to give people the wrong idea about them (especially now that he was the Commandant, and thus fairly well-known), and also because he knew that it was in no way true. He knew full well that Flynn loved him like a brother, and Yuri felt exactly the same. It was a very deep, emotional, fiery sort of love, but there were still lines there that he had never been even slightly tempted to cross; loving someone wasn’t the same as being in love with someone. Even someone as emotionally-challenged as Yuri knew that much, and could tell the difference. They were devoted to each other--intensely so--just not in that way.
Flynn was blinking up at the girl with slight confusion, but Yuri cut in before he could say anything. “The spaghetti and meatballs sounds pretty good, and so does the fresh-squeezed lemonade. How about for you, oh heartthrob with the steely gaze?”
That odd use of that moniker earned him a slight, perplexed frown from the Commandant. “Yuri, what—” His words broke off with a soft grunt and a slight wince as their knees knocked together again; for a few distracted seconds, the blonde Knight rubbed at his abused kneecap under the table before suddenly seeming to remember that their waitress was still waiting for his order. “Ah! My apologies, Miss. I’d like the tagliatelle, please, and just water is fine for me.”
“More of this free bread would be great, too,” Yuri chimed in, breaking the last piece in half to share with Flynn, who gave him a mildly reproving look for his boldness.
“Molto buona! I will tell them to go easy on the garlic,” Ansa stated as she scribbled their orders down with a flourish. “And now, for the bill, are you together, or…”
“Oh, together,” Yuri grinned with a suggestive waggle of his eyebrows. He wasn’t about to miss the chance to make Flynn pay for dragging him here without any real explanation, in as many ways as possible. “Definitely together.”
Ansa had to literally muffle a squeal at that, causing Flynn to turn another curious glance up at her. “Un momento, I will get for you more candles!,” the waitress said with a giggle and playful wink at Yuri as she swept off towards the kitchens. “It will be more romantic that way, you see!”
Yuri couldn’t help but chuckle at that, more than a little amused by how incredibly far off the girl was. Not that he’d been helping matters any.
Flynn, on the other hand, suddenly sat bolt upright. For a moment he could only gape at the girl’s retreating back, all the things she and Yuri had said finally falling into place with terrible coherence. “No, he—Yuri!—he’s not my date!” he finally managed to call after Ansa, the look in his eyes a little desperate.
Sensing a moment of uncharacteristic weakness, Yuri went for the kill; the lead-in Flynn had given him there simply too perfect to pass up. Smirking openly, he quirked an eyebrow, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning back in his chair, the perfect picture of roguish skepticism. “Oh, I’m not, huh? Riiiiight. Well then, just to set the record straight…who asked me here?”
“I did, but—”
“And this place is pretty romantic.”
“I suppose so, but—”
“And it looks like all the other customers are couples.”
“And it’s just you and me alone, right?”
“And who’s paying for everything?”
“I am, but that’s—”
“That’s not really sounding any different from a date, that’s what it is.” Yuri leaned back from the table even more, making a show of feigning a sudden and intense wariness. “Should I fear for my virtue?”
Flynn gave a decidedly undignified snort into his water glass. “Like you have any.”
“Hey now, irresistible charisma and unbeatable skill with a sword are totally virtues. Not to mention my humbleness and overwhelming sense of modesty.”
“You’re just proving my point, Yuri,” Flynn sighed, but he couldn’t hide the smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
“Of course. Always being there to back your best friend up is a virtue, too, isn’t it?”
Ansa took that moment to reappear with their meal (and the extra candles, which made Flynn flush a deep shade of red, much to Yuri’s inward glee), and they lapsed into a comfortable, companionable silence for a while, both focused on enjoying the food. Yuri was more than a fair hand when it came to cooking most things, including spaghetti, and he was used to finding his own dishes far better than anything bought in a restaurant or pub, though he always ate it anyway since he wasn’t particularly picky; but the spaghetti with meatballs Ansa set in front of him was like nothing he’d ever tasted. ‘Surprisingly good’ didn’t even begin to cover it, and when he helped himself to some of Flynn’s tagliatelle in its rich meat sauce, it measured up to the same high standard as Yuri’s meal. Not that Flynn would really be able to appreciate that.
Yuri twirled his fork absently, gathering up more pasta as he panned an absent glance around the room again. So, Flynn had a date. It was something of an odd concept, especially since Flynn had always seemed so oblivious to women and their various attempts to catch his interest (not that Yuri himself had been much better, really). Whoever she was, she must really be something, to make his best friend sit up and take notice of her like this.
…Whoever she was, he hoped it wasn’t Sodia.
Wow. That’s…actually a pretty scary idea, Yuri thought to himself as he stabbed at a meatball with perhaps the tiniest trace of discontent. Sodia had never been even the least bit shy about how much she disliked Yuri; he didn’t doubt that she’d do everything she could to get between them if she ever managed to get any kind of real, personal claim on Flynn. They’d see even less of each other than they did now, and she’d probably find some way to ruin their friendship for good by talking about Yuri behind his back and accusing him of things he’d never done, aaaaaand she’d probably end up suffocating Flynn in his sleep one night in some whacked-out attempt to “save him” from something or other. Or worse, she’d get over her previous guilt, lose that stupid half-assed attitude, grow a pair, and make another batshit-crazy attempt on Yuri’s life at the worst possible moment. He’d either have to let her get away with it again, or kill her instead and run the risk of Flynn not understanding why he’d done it…and/or not believing her capable of such a thing. Regardless of the fact that she’d already done it once before, not that Yuri’d ever actually mentioned it to the Commandant, much to Sodia’s lasting chagrin. That chagrin was actually large part of why he hadn’t told Flynn--not telling was an entirely different and clearly much worse punishment than telling would’ve been, a fixed but constant knife-blade between her ribs rather than a simple and swift coupe de grace. This way, she’d feel a pang of guilt every time she looked at either Yuri or Flynn, a subtle reminder that she had to be better than she was, that she had to work to be worthy of Flynn, something Yuri had all but told her she had no real hope of ever doing…
…Oh, sweet holy hell. He really, really hoped it wasn’t Sodia.
Somehow, though, he didn’t think that it was.
Without lifting his head, Yuri studied the blonde Knight sitting across from him, watching him discreetly cut his pasta before forking up each neat, carefully-selected mouthful. The dark-haired swordsman snorted. Yeah, right. Flynn was the same as ever: utterly oblivious to the romantic intentions of the women surrounding him. There wasn’t much of a chance that he’d noticed Sodia’s feelings…whatever they were, beyond homicidal fits of rage, overzealous loyalty, and thoroughly out-of-place possessiveness. No, it had to be someone else, someone new…
“So,” Yuri half-drawled as he reached for his glass of lemonade, “who’s the lucky lady?”
Flynn choked on his own drink, and only narrowly avoided dousing the whole table with a mouthful of water. Oblivious to rules and manners as always, Yuri rested an elbow on the table and cupped his chin in his hand, watching with calm, open amusement as his best friend coughed into his napkin. A second later he serenely passed his glass of lemonade across the table to the still-sputtering Flynn, who seized it in an instant and gulped a good third of it down straight away.
By the time Flynn finally set down the (now-empty) glass, Yuri’s smirk was bordering on insufferable. “Well, can’t deny it now,” he said with more than a hint of laughter in his tone. “You’ve got a date.”
Flynn shot him a flat glare, his voice still slightly hoarse when he spoke. “If I say yes, will you drop it already?”
“Do you really even have to ask?”
Flynn sighed, briefly turning his eyes heavenwards. “Not really.”
“Yeah, you’d think you’d know better than that by now.”
Flynn gave a soft snort at that, but already one corner of his mouth was pulling upwards just slightly. It was nice to know that Yuri cared, after all, even if it wasn’t really his business…although since they were family, maybe it kind-of was; Flynn wasn’t entirely sure on that point, since it wasn’t something they’d ever encountered before. But either way, he’d end up telling Yuri everything, so he supposed it didn’t really matter much.
In fact, he might as well do that right now and get it over with. Yuri would be (hopefully) less smug about it all that way.
So for the next half-hour, Flynn explained everything: how he’d met her, how she’d followed his lead and proven her worth already even before being sworn in as a Knight; how they agreed on so many things, how she’d been so pleased and excited at the chance to join the Knights, how much she reminded him of himself at a just slightly younger age; how he’d finally worked up the courage to ask her to dinner, how she’d eagerly accepted; how precise and perfect her approach to the paperwork had been, and how fantastically well she’d done during her combat assessment, cleanly and easily taking down every opponent and hardly breaking a sweat in the process. “I almost wanted to put her to the test myself then and there, but that wouldn’t have been fair. She’d more than earned a chance to stand in the spotlight for a day, and I had neither the right nor the desire to take that away from her.”
By now Flynn was smiling--beaming, really--and Yuri couldn’t help but do the same, though more cautiously so. He liked seeing his best friend this happy, but he had yet to decide for himself if this “Chloe Valens” was worthy of standing by Flynn’s side, fulfilling a role that he himself still held for the moment, for lack of a better candidate to take his place.
Clearly the best way to find out would be to meet her for himself…and at a time when she wouldn’t be expecting it.
Yuri covered the return of his smirk with a heaping forkful of the rich, cakelike dessert Ansa had just dropped off for them. With a hum of appreciation for the smooth, creamy taste, Yuri decided then and there that he might just have to talk his way into working a few shifts here at Madame Abelena’s--specifically next Saturday night, just to be difficult and give Flynn a hard time. Well, and to make sure that Ansa didn’t get huffy about Flynn “cheating” on him and decide to take matters into her own hands by treating Flynn’s date badly. And if Yuri had the chance to learn how to make this incredible ‘tiramisu’ dessert for himself, all the better.
Who knew, maybe love was the secret ingredient to that recipe, too.
Flynn’s decidedly wary-sounding voice broke into the dark-haired swordsman’s thoughts, and the look Yuri found on the blonde’s face more than matched that tone.
“Hmm?” he blinked, eyes wide but not quite guileless. “Something the matter, Flynn?”
Flynn wasn’t fooled by that false innocence for a second, though he couldn’t seem to decide whether to just sigh once again and let it go or scowl and press his best friend in earnest. “Yuri, what are you planning?”
“Nothing,” Yuri said, smiling and letting his eyes fall closed in blissful satisfaction as he took another bite of rich, delicious cake. “Nothing at all.”
Yuri, Flynn. It is love alone that gives worth to all things.