Title: Boots
Fandom: Brave Nine
Characters/Pairings: Vermont, Lumen
Summary: And then there is the issue of Dwen's sudden modeling career.
Notes: For 100 Fandoms, 073 Silence

"I think Alche moved a few pieces around on us," Lumen said as he looked over the chessboard and frowned. Honestly, he'd not been in any sort of danger when they'd left off, had he?

"Probably," Vermont replied with a proud chuckle. That would be like her. "Shall we play anyway?"

It wasn't like they'd kept score in years, nor was either an incredibly high-level player. Chess was just part of how they conversed, even if the conversation was a silent one.

"We'll at least move on to the next game quickly." Lumen shrugged and sat. They'd taken to always leaving a game unfinished. It meant they'd be playing again.

Still, once they started, Vermont kept missing the most obvious of moves and it didn't take Lumen long to turn the game around.

Something had to be wrong. But everything outside had seemed lively, even if it wasn't a tournament day of any sort. The nearby markets had been bustling, Alche and Jan had greeted him when he'd arrived, however-

"I didn't see Dwen earlier."

"He's not here at the moment," Vermont replied, finally looking up from an overly-contemplated knight.

That was unusual. Lumen stared at Vermont to explain. There was a long moment of silence, during which Lumen assumed Vermont was deciding where to begin.

Honestly, if Dwen had gotten himself cursed again...

Lumen hoped it wasn't something that uncomfortable for everyone who wasn't Dwen.

"It might be better if I show you," Vermont finally said as he pushed back his chair. Watching, Lumen just raised an eyebrow. He didn't even reach, once Vermont's back was turned, to fix Vermont's last incredibly bad move.

Vermont was back a moment later, after fussing about on a shelf, with a thick pile of pages that he offered to Lumen.

He was not expecting pictures of Dwen. Dozens of pictures of Dwen in a variety of outfits and locations and...

"He's still wearing boots," Vermont said firmly from his chair, whenever he had sat back down, apparently absolutely aware of the picture that Lumen had paused to consider for a longer period of time. It was quite the picture. There was a lot to take in.

"I suppose he is."

"It was supposed to be a one-time thing," Vermont continued before gesturing towards the window and the bustling activity beyond. "But it's certainly brought some life to the area, so I sent him off for another round."

Lumen nodded. He'd noticed, after all. He just hadn't known why.

"He's still wearing boots," Vermont said again.

Lumen nodded again. He now certainly understood Vermont's distraction.

This was definitely worse than when Dwen had gotten himself cursed. That hadn't been permanent, after all.


"They let him keep the boots."

There was no point in going back to their game. Though they were probably both going to stay seated for a bit longer.

Lumen wasn't even sure whether they'd both won or both lost.




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