Title: Scenes Series
Pairing(s): Rafael + Valon + Amelda
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. Annie Hall is a film by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman. The Crying Game is a film by Neil Jordan. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: Amelda disappears when Valon forgets a very important date.
Status: 2 / 4
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/
Setup for this particular fic:
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Valon had already been to three bars but there was still no sign of his missing redhead. But Amelda wouldn’t have gone too far; he was predictable that way. Problem was, there were just so many bars and taverns and restaurants that it was hard to narrow down the possibilities, especially on this particular day.
… If Miruko were alive, he’d be 18 now. He’d be an adult. Amelda would be out celebrating with a cocktail or two, not drinking his liver to an early demise.
Valon sighed. He should’ve paid more attention to the calendar. It wasn’t like he’d forgotten, but the week had gone by fast and he’d thought it was Wednesday when it was already Thursday, and so he hadn’t thought anything of it when Amelda said he was going out for a while. It wasn’t until Rafael got home with dinner that he’d realized his mistake… and immediately headed out to try and rectify it.
He had a headache and it wasn’t going to go away anytime soon. But he wasn’t mad… well, not really. He understood. He knew what it was like to have his life shattered, to lose everything, even the only person who gave a damn whether he lived or died. And then to be manipulated… to have his loneliness, grief and anger twisted to serve Dartz’s needs…
Ah, damn it!
He’d been so busy feeling sorry for himself that he’d nearly collided with the car in front of him at the stoplight. But maybe karma was at work, because when he looked around to regain his bearings, he saw a sign for a newly opened bar he’d never been to before. There’d been a different restaurant / bar at the location previously that they’d been to once or twice, so the location was familiar at least. Was it possible Amelda was there? Valon didn’t see Amelda’s bike but maybe he’d parked elsewhere, or in a lot.
"Might as well take a Captain Cook," he muttered to himself as he took a right around the corner and parked along the curb a block away.
Valon sauntered in through the back entrance. The place looked decent enough but being a Thursday night, there weren’t many patrons, not that the redhead was trying to hide. Valon spotted Amelda almost instantly at the second seat at the bar. He was still in his work clothes: steampunk inspired military pants tightly fitted from the calf down, and a high collared, blousey white shirt with a little string tie around his throat. Dressed like that, with his maroon red hair grown out almost to his shoulders, he could easily shift from Annie Hall to Dil from The Crying Game, depending on what he wanted people to see. No wonder he’d already found himself an admirer…
There was a redfaced, balding man leaning against Amelda’s shoulder, encouraging him to down the rest of the orange-colored drink in his hand. And Amelda wasn’t doing anything to discourage it… In fact, he was laughing.
Forcing his fists open before he accidentally beat the tar out of someone, Valon quickly stepped up and pushed himself between the two.
"Fuck you, was ‘ere firsht," redfaced guy slurred at Valon.
The Aussie scowled. What, was he suggesting they take turns with him? He very deliberately turned his back on the man, then told Amelda, "Hey now, that’s enough," in as cheerful a voice as he could muster. It wasn’t convincing at all.
Amelda looked up and smiled, though his smile was as fake as the cheer in Valon’s voice. His face was flushed and his eyes a bit glazed over, but he was an old hat at the bar game. He didn’t look so drunk that the bartender would stop serving him, but Valon knew better. Amelda could literally drink and drink and drink, then simply pass out.
"You’d step out on us that easily?" Valon quietly raged at Amelda.
The redhead’s back stiffened slightly but he didn’t say anything. Instead, his admirer opted to butt in. "Shithead, don’t turn yer back on me!" the man growled after seeing Valon whispering in Amelda’s ear.
Valon glanced over his shoulder, sizing up his opponent. The man was probably about Amelda’s height, maybe an inch more, and at least 50 pounds heavier. That didn’t deter Valon any; he was used to taking down bigger opponents, and besides, the man was soft, probably a middle class wage slave emboldened by liquid courage. He wasn’t a fighter.
Valon sorely wanted to take the man down, but the bartender was already glaring in their direction, and he had promised both his partners that he’d use his fists only as a last resort after the last bar brawl he was in... So he just told the man, "Mind your own bizzo. This has nothing to do with you."
"What, this yer bitch or shomething?" the man sneered.
Eyes flashing, Valon turned around completely, straightened up to his full height and spat out, "He’s not a bitch and he sure as hell’s not leaving here with some flabby, pasty old fart like you!"
The man’s face turned even redder at the insult, but when the entirety of Valon’s statement began sinking in, he suddenly sobered up for a moment, his eyes widening. He leaned forward to get a better look at Amelda since Valon was standing in his way, squinting at the Adam’s apple just beneath the collar of the shirt, then began cursing up a storm, interlacing it with every vile epithet he could think of. The bartender quickly stepped in to try and diffuse things – given the area and clientele, it wasn’t good for business.
Valon ignored the guy and returned his attention to Amelda. "Well, coming or no?"
Seeing that the party was over, the redhead sighed, then slowly rose to his feet. He seemed stable enough at first, but after a few steps began listing to one side. Valon grabbed his arm with one hand, steadying him, then grabbed his phone with the other and began dialing for Rafael as they began making their way out the door.
The conversation was brief. Valon told the blonde he’d found their wayward boyfriend and since both his and Amelda’s bikes only comfortably seated one – and Amelda was in no state to ride two-up anyhow - could he please come pick them up? He gave Rafael the cross streets and the name of the bar, just in case, then hung up before leading Amelda to a concrete bench on the edge of the back parking lot.
"Sit down. You look like you’re going to puke," Valon said.
The taller man slowly sat down without protest.
They remained on the bench a few minutes, silently watching the cars pass by as the sky went from dusky lavender to faded gray, then Amelda suddenly whispered, "I wouldn’t have left… with that guy."
"Yet you accepted all those drinks? What’s a fellow supposed to think?"
Amelda swallowed, tasting bitterness from more than just the alcohol. He was struggling to make sure his sentences were coherent; he needed Valon to understand. "… wouldn’t do that to you," he insisted again, his voice still low and strained.
"I don’t even care about that!" Valon snapped. "What bothers me is you do this to yourself. And you keep doing it, over and over..."
The Aussie paused a moment, gauging Amelda’s reaction, making sure he was following along, then continued. "What would’ve happened if I hadn’t shown up? What if you’d gotten so wasted that you blacked out, and that guy decided to take you to his place to ‘sober up?’ What do you THINK would’ve happened once he got your pants off and discovered you weren’t a damsel in distress??"
Amelda flushed. "Don’t know…"
"You don’t know…" Valon repeated bitterly. "Do you even care?"
Amelda merely shrugged helplessly.
Valon took in a deep breath, fighting in vain to hold back his anger, but there was no stopping it. "If Miroku were here, you think he’d want to hear that?"
Amelda was normally pretty slow to anger, even more so when drunk. But upon hearing Valon’s words, he exploded. "Fuck you, you didn’t even ‘member! You don’t have the right…"
"I do, because if you’re not going to take care of yourself, then someone has to. And yeah, I lost track of the day. But I didn’t forget. I just… I thought today was Wednesday," Valon confessed. He swallowed hard, but kept his gaze steady, trying to convey sincerity in his words.
Amelda’s eyes narrowed a little as he tried to figure out if that was the truth, or just a convenient lie. But after a tense moment, he slumped a little and sighed. Valon may have had a lot of flaws - for example, a complete lack of tact, an inability to read a calendar… but there was one thing he wasn’t: a liar.
"So you felt obligated to come find me..." Amelda mumbled, sounding drained but much more coherent than before. The earlier burst of anger had sobered him up as fast as a slap to the face.
"Obligated? You don’t think I care? If I didn’t, would I be out here looking for you, you ass?"
Both the words and tone were harsh, but there was something comforting about such blunt honesty.
"Yeah, I fucked up," Valon admitted. "But I’m tired of having to drag your drunk ass home every time you get in one of your moods, which seems to be most of the time."
The brunette made a grumbling sound, then his voice softened, grew lower. "I’m not gonna tell you to get over it. I know you won’t – you can’t. You and Rafael both. But you have to stop punishing yourself like this. It won’t change anything. It won’t make things any better."
Amelda looked up at the sky for a moment, then shut his eyes. His head was starting to hurt. The sounds of cars, of gulls overhead, seemed too loud. "What am I supposed to do then?" he wondered out loud.
"Live. Just live, and do the best you can."
Amelda gave a short laugh. He didn’t know how else to react. Revenge had once been his one motivator, but when he’d lost that, he’d felt like he had lost his way too. The alcohol had helped hide that truth… or so he’d thought. Perhaps it hadn’t helped at all… "I wish it were so simple."
"Try, mate. That’s all I’m asking." Valon paused, then leaned forward a little and squinted. It looked like Rafael’s car was just coming around the corner. So he stood up, glanced back at Amelda, and said, "Look, I know come hell or high water, you’re gonna get blotto tonight. But just do it at home. I’ll drink with you."
"You will?" Valon was usually the sober one - Rafael didn’t count since it wasn’t by choice for him - so the offer was unexpected.
Valon smiled thinly and nodded.
Amelda sighed. He knew when to admit defeat, although… in this case, it wasn’t a loss either. He wasn’t ready to make any promises – he wasn’t even sure that he wanted to change – but Valon had asked him to just try, and he supposed that wasn’t too much to ask. Besides, he could use a drinking buddy for the night… well, another one, since it was a pretty good bet Rafael already had some vodka chilling in the fridge.
So he returned the nod, then slowly stood up as well. He was going to be sick as a dog tomorrow; that was unavoidable. But at least he wouldn’t be alone.
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April 4, 2011