|Catarina (catdevigri) wrote in kinkfest,|
@ 2008-11-28 09:10:00
|Entry tags:||a: catdevigri, f: suikoden iii|
Tell Me Tonight, Suikoden III (Hugo/Lilly)
Title: Tell Me Tonight
Prompt: Hugo/Lilly - masquerade ball - "You are dense. Why do you think I invited you to begin with?"
Word count: 1,890
Summary: Hugo attends an Independence Day ball in Tinto at the invitation of Lilly Pendragon.
Hugo was practically overwhelmed by the colors, scents, and sound of the masquerade ball. Tinto's tall stone buildings reminded him of Zexen, but whereas Zexen had struck him as a staid and quiet land (as well as a cruelly antagonistic one), Tinto was wildly lively and full of movement. On the journey to the capital, he had seen dirt-stained men singing work songs as the lugged carts of rare ore out of the mines. In this city, the streets rang with the chatter of bartering merchants, playing children, and smiths swinging their hammers to work that very same ore. He was no stranger to crowds and action, but this was...well, it was very different.
The young Karayan stood gaping in the doorway. The size of the band, the elaborate costumes, even the smells- punch, alcohol, those tiny party sandwiches, and a myriad of perfumes and colognes- what a heavenly smell!
"There you are!" exclaimed Lilly Pendragon. She clasped her gloved hands in a somewhat overwrought expression of joy, then let them fall to hold up the hem of her long dress while she scurried over to her shellshocked guest. The scholarly-looking man she left standing alone appeared not to feel awkward over this sudden desertion, but almost pleased. Long, loose hair swinging behind her and all in white and purple, Lilly did not look anymore dainty for being dressed like a snowflake. Her dress reminded him of an ornate Chishan papercraft, but she was a bundle of energy as intent on carrying out her personal business as ever. She linked her right arm with his left and placed her left hand lightly on his shoulder, leaning her face in close to his. "You look wonderful," she sighed.
"The only thing I've ever worn that was more uncomfortable than this was that starchy Romeo costume." Hugo sighed as well, but his signified not romantic enjoyment of the situation, but rather his reluctant resignation. The neatly wrapped package of clothes from Tinto had arrived along with his invitation. At his mother's urging, he had tried them on and when he saw they fit too large he was ready to wipe his brow with relief and wear something else, but Lucia had had other ideas. One trip to Budehuc later, the pale outfit had been tailored into submission. Now that he was here, Hugo could see that the overall color scheme of his costume matched Lilly's.
"This is a good look for you," the pushy girl assured him. "Oh, that's right. Now that I've made sure you could find me, we should put our masks on."
It was true that most of the guests were wearing glittering masks that covered the upper half of their faces, but he hadn't been sent a mask. "That guy you were with wasn't wearing one. And you didn't send me a mask with my outfit," he noted.
"Marlowe can't see without his glasses and he can't keep them on with the mask," Lilly explained. "And your mask wasn't ready yet at the time I sent out your clothes, but I have it for you now." The two masks hung over her arm. "Here you are," she passed one over to Hugo.
Silver glitter rubbed off on his hand as he took the mask. It was mostly white and silver, but with some purple to match his outfit. "The moon.." he realized and looked to see Lilly's. Yellow, orange, and purple with curving rays- "The sun, huh?" Just like a pair of dolls, they had been made into a matching set.
"Wonderful!" Lilly exclaimed. "They're just as good as I expected. Come along," she said, pulling Hugo after her, "I want to introduce you to my father."
President Gustav, wrinkled and squinting, but clearly a working man with those muscles of his, sat off to the side unmasked. A pair of Harmonian clerics stood alongside him. The woman stood quietly, adjusting a rose-colored mask that seemed rather incongruous with her blue and white robes, while the man talked on and on, gesticulating wildly. Gustav was not nearly as agitated as his guest. He merely grunted or nodded from time to time as the Harmonian spoke. However, when he caught sight of his daughter, he suddenly seemed to light up. "Why, Lilly, you look beautiful!" he rose and approached them.
"L-Lilly, who's that?" the blond Harmonian man spoke nervously. He looked Hugo over, as though he was someone he should recognize, but as they had never met before, he could not place the Karayan.
"Father, Lucas, this is Hugo of Karaya," Lilly announced proudly. She squeezed Hugo's arm and he squirmed anxiously. Was he supposed to say something?
"Ah, so I finally meet the new Flame Champion!" Gustav beamed. "I've heard plenty of good things about you, young man. I hope you enjoy your visit to my country." He leaned down to look Hugo in the eye through the holes in the moon mask and as he continued, his strong, protective side showing through. "Treat my darling Lilly right because if you hurt her you're going to have to answer to me," he threatened softly, but as he stepped back, he was all smiles once more.
Lilly giggled. "Oh, Father!"
"Uh," Hugo gulped, "Does this mean that you...like me?"
The young woman fixed him with a deadpan stare. "You are dense. Why do you think I invited you to begin with?"
Hugo didn't have an answer to that question- he hadn't even really thought about it that far, but calling him dense... "Who says I'm dense?!"
"Plenty of people," Lilly shot back, "Don't you remember that girl, Belle? She liked you too! Ugh, and how more painfully obvious do you need to be? She turned into a blushing pile of mush every time she talked to you."
"Ask Thomas, ask Caesar, ask anyone!" Lilly shouted. The only thing that kept this from becoming too disruptive was the proximity of the band, which drowned their squabble out over the larger area of the hall.
Gustav sighed nostalgically and settled back into his chair. "Ah, that reminds me of the old days..." The Harmonians snickered slightly, watching the argument storm on for a few moments before resuming their politicking concerning forming a Tinto-Harmonia alliance against Zexen.
Hugo felt himself going red in the face with these accusations. "Oh, I give up!" he groaned in exasperation. It was nearly impossible to win an argument with Lilly, and after all, he hadn't come here for a fight.
"You can't just weasel your way out of this like that!" Lilly insisted, stomping her foot on the tile.
"Let's dance," Hugo smiled, cooling his temper. He took Lilly's hand and spun her along into the crowd, twirling her out and then back in close to him.
As their faces came close again, her look of surprise faded into one of happiness. "Well, you can weasel your way out like that," she winked.
Hugo certainly did enjoy the dancing. He didn't know the expected steps to any dances of Tinto, but dancing had always been a part of life in his home. "You're just making this up as you go!" Lilly laughed, tossing back her head.
"You've got me there!" he agreed, kicking up his feet raucously. A woman in a light yellow gown narrowly dodged being bumped by the exuberant pair. She glared at them and Lilly stuck out her tongue in response, leading to another outburst of youthful laughter.
Lilly was quickly getting the swing of moving in time with Hugo's swift shakes and steps. "I think this is more fun than the original!" she whooped.
"Glad to hear it! But I'm all out of moves if they start playing something slow," he admitted breathlessly.
"That'll be our punch break," she declared. She spun around, bumped a masked man, who might've been Reed, with her arm, didn't apologize, and dipped in to give Hugo a swift kiss on the cheek. He nearly tripped in surprise and Lilly grabbed his arm to steady him. "You're much more fun at a party than Chris," she smirked, no doubt thinking of some past catastrophe.
"I would think so," Hugo replied, "I think it's hard for her to really let go."
"Oh, here comes the slowdown. Time for a waltz, huh?" Lilly looked at the smooth, slow hand movements of the band's leader and conductor. "Let's have a drink."
The punch was bright red and probably the sort of thing that left hideous stains. Hugo clenched his cup securely for fear of the uproar he would cause if he spilled any on his hostess. The taste wasn't exactly what he had expected.
Lilly giggled between sips. "Oh no, they spiked the punch!"
Hugo raised an eyebrow curiously, though the look was largely obscured by his mask. "That's what I thought the alcohol was for- so guests who wanted to could get drunk without spiking the punch."
Lilly took only one more dainty sip, choosing instead to down the rest of her glass in one swig. "It's more fun this way," she tittered.
"Whatever you say," Hugo shrugged and focused on finishing his drink.
"There'll be fireworks soon. Fancy Falenan ones, not Dunan-style military flare. Today's is Tinto's independence day," Lilly mused. She slid her gloved finger around the rim of the empty cup. She looked content.
"That's Chishan wine," Hugo noted, pointing out some well-aged bottles on the table. "And is the band leader Harmonian?"
"The whole band's Harmonian, but Father's been paying to keep them out her for various events for the whole month. Of course, if they don't get out national anthem down quick, they'll be out the door even faster than they came in."
"Everything is really ornate and international," Hugo nodded thoughtfully. Was the Grasslands too isolationist?
"The beer's local," Lilly laughed. The labels ("Tigermouth Draft Ale," "Miner's Choice," etc.) backed up her joking remark.
"If they're at all as fine as the local company," he looked into her eyes, "they must be in really high, uh, demand," he nearly fumbled his line.
His awkward delivery only made his words more charming in Lilly's eyes. His follow up smile was plain and only slightly embarrassed.
A swift swishing sound outside was followed by a loud crack that broke through all the conversation and music. "The fire works," Lilly reminded him, taking his hand and towing him along to the balcony. The black sky was filled by a flash of colored light- red and orange like a poppy. The buildings below were outlined by the warm glow, then disappeared again into the night as the firework faded into shining fragments that fell like rain toward the ground, turning gray and hard to see as they were extinguished.
"I'd like to make fireworks," Lilly said. She reached out her slim fingers toward Hugo's hand and he accepted her grasp.
"But...even though they're beautiful, they fade so fast. And you only get to see them once in a while."
"Oh, well, I want to make something that will last much longer than fireworks too."
"Lilly, it's not always easy for me to understand what you're getting at, but," Hugo paused and correctly his serious expression, exchanging it for a toothy grin, "I'm having a lot of fun with you."
"You better be!" she told him.