“What the hell is this?” Alcibiades asked, waving a piece of paper frantically, his face as red as the most patriotic Volstovic flag.
“Well, if you’d hold it still, my dear, I’ll tell you,” Caius said, mildly annoyed with his best friend’s antics and the fact that he had to jump in a much undignified manner to see the letter.
“It’s a fucking invitation to a fucking banquet that’s to be held to-fucking-morrow!” Alcibiades shouted, punctuating the last word with three sharp raps of the invitation on Caius’s head. “And what’s more, I found it in your fucking drawer!”
“Alcibiades, my dear,” Caius said, pouting a bit. “I wanted to surprise you.”
“Well, su-fucking-prise! And stop that!” another rap on his head, “You could have let me know about this. Not that I’m going, but, still—“
“Oh, my dear, you have to go! You absolutely cannot refuse an invitation from the Esar himself!” Caius said, perking up a bit about the possible scandal that could cause. “That’s his penmanship, you know. He wrote that out just for you! And he wrote a letter! He especially wants to see his favorite general. You simply cannot refuse!”
“I can and will. I’m not going.”
“Alcibiades, my dear, you sound like a petulant child. And anyway, you can’t refuse, you’ll break my heart. I’ve already got our outfits prepared!”
“Do? What?” Alcibiades made each word a question of its own, narrowing his eyes and straightening to his full, imposing height to tower over Caius. “Prepared. How?”
“Oh, do come see! We’ll be matching again!” Caius was not intimidated.
Alcibiades decided Caius was a bit too close to him. He knew Alcibiades too well and trusted him too much to be intimidated by such simple tricks. Except, maybe, growling, which Alcibiades hadn’t tried before.
He tried it then.
Caius just grinned back at him, pulling him down the hall, completely untroubled by the fact that his companion was not very happy and he was likely to be murdered violently during the night. His companion was not just ‘not very happy’. He was angry, very angry, in fact, that he was being forced to go to this dinner. Alcibiades sighed, thinking ‘bastion damn it all,’ and resigned himself to his fate. He was being dragged down the hall by a boy half his size and ten years younger than him to get ready for some bastion-damned dinner that he had no choice but to—“Greylace! What in bastion’s name did you do to my fucking shirt!” he shouted furiously, any thoughts of resignation driven from his mind by the color of the shirt Caius Greylace was holding. He was going to die, violently, decided Alcibiades.
“Oh, I only dyed it blue, my dear.”
“It was white!”
“Oh, I know. And now it’s blue. No need to be upset, my dear.”
“No need to—! My favorite—! Dyed—! It was supposed to be white! Now it’s Ke-Han-peacock-fucking-BLUE!” he sputtered indignantly.
“Blue looks better on blondes, my dear, trust me. Put it on.” Caius, unknowing of the danger to his life, offered the shirt in Alcibiades’s direction.
“Trust—! Put—!” Alcibiades was spluttering again and Caius was beginning to worry about the health and sanity of his friend. Not knowing whether he should place the shirt in Alcibiades’s hands or lay it on the bed, he dropped the shirt and hurried to the door, thinking that third option is always the safest option, and left Alcibiades to dress while he got himself ready.
Caius was finishing pinning his hair into place when his door was pushed open. Alcibiades stood in the door tugging at his hem and frowning at his shoelaces. “I look stupid,” he said.
“No you don’t, my dear. You look great.”
He grunted in response, tugged at his hem, ran a hand through his hair, scuffed his shoe, and muttered something about “batshit insane.” He looked so adorably nervous that Caius had to smile.
“Come now, my dear, you won’t be the only one wearing blue,” he said, spinning to better show off his blue robes. “Is that what you’re worried about?”
“He won’t like it,” Alcibiades said.
“No, he won’t. Nor will he like my robes.”
“That was the point?”
“Oh, yes,” Caius smiled a wicked smile, “That was exactly the point.”
“Well, then. The Esar’s a douchebag. He has this coming.”
The dinner went oddly well. The only remarks that were made on their outfits were a few people asking why in bastion’s name they were wearing Ke-Han blue to a banquet celebrating Volstov’s victory, to which Caius only responded “Blue just looks better on blondes” and Alcibiades always said “I just like to show a little solidarity” and nodded to Caius, who everybody would agree was just batshit insane and there was nothing to be done about it.
There was nothing to be done about it. Caius sighed, thinking about Alcibiades wearing the blue shirt to the banquet. The patchwork outfit was most certainly payback. He wondered vaguely as he put it on if Alcibiades would possibly be wearing anything that would match it. He liked to match. He glanced in the mirror and frowned, deciding that if he squinted just right it didn’t look too bad.
Caius walked into the kitchen, where Alcibiades was sitting, neat as you please, eating a sandwich in an outfit as terrible as his, except in the Ke-Han style. Caius started laughing, not bothering to hide behind his sleeve.
Apparently there was no limit to which Alcibiades would go for vengeance, but at least they matched.