Fandom: Mobile Suit Gundam 00
Characters: Lyle Dylandy, Anew Returner
Word Count: 736, 865, 1154
Note: Three drabbles of stuff that should have sort of happened but were never logged. Well, drabble #1 and #3 act as substitute for logs, #2 is just random.
03/03 - Birthday
It was his birthday and even though he hadn’t particularly looked forward to it, things were getting better by the minute. He had received several birthday wishes through the network, something he wasn’t used to in the first place and hadn’t expected at all celebrating his birthday here. Especially since it was also his brother’s birthday, and he almost expected him to steal all the attention again, like he always used to do. Still, things had been great so far, and they were planning a little party for later in the evening, so that was just another thing to look forward to.
He had just finished the daily exercise routine with Neil when someone knocked on his door, the dog perking up from his curled up position on his pillow. Curious, Lyle stood up and moved to the door, opening it and smiling in surprise when Anew stood before him.
He had seen her message on the network just a little while ago so finding her in front of his room was more than surprising, although he couldn’t say he minded.
“Happy birthday again, Lyle,” she replied with smile that almost seemed shy. He noticed a moment later that she was holding something behind her back but didn’t ask about it just yet, figuring that she would give to him sooner or later if she intended to do so.
“And thanks again. But how did you know?” He stepped back to let her come in although she hesitated for a minute before complying, following as he sat down on the bed and made room for her as well, although she didn’t sit down.
“I read about it on the network. People were talking about it, keeping the posts secret from you.”
Oh. Right. He could have figured that out on his own, considering he screened entries from his brother before.
“So you plotted out things with people behind my back?” he asked with a smile, shifting a little on the bed when she remained standing. It was tempting to reach out and—he didn’t go there, shaking that thought off quickly since it wouldn’t be right.
“It’s not like that!” she said quickly, almost a little offended before settling again and shaking her head, smiling back. “I haven’t been plotting. Well… maybe just a little.”
He raised an eyebrow at that, amused and intrigued. “Really. What were you plotting, then?”
She said nothing for a minute to let him guess, shuffling the thing in her hand before she finally held it out to him, a small envelope with something inside.
“I offered to help with party preparations, that’s all.”
He looked at the envelope before taking it and opening it carefully. Inside was a piece of paper with what must have been Anew’s handwriting. He smiled again, finding it cute how neat and clean her handwriting was.
“A coupon… for a conversation?”
He laughed a little, somehow not exactly sure what it meant.
“Please don’t laugh! It’s… genuine,” she protested before shifting a little and glancing away. “In the case that you ever need to talk about something and can’t share it with anyone else. I would be glad to listen to you.”
He fell silent at that, looking up at Anew and studying her briefly, before he spoke again, this time, gently.
“I’ll make use of this coupon for sure. Though I might save it for later, since it’s precious.”
She nodded, and he stood up again, standing close to her for a few moments—almost too close. “Thanks again. I really mean it,” he whispered into her ear before she pulled back and moved to the door quickly, stopping only when she had her hand on the doorknob, and looking back briefly.
He looked at her expectantly when she uttered his name, folding the coupon and planning to put it under his pillow.
There was a moment of silence between the two and Anew just… looked at him, while he looked back at her.
“It’s… nothing,” she said eventually, smiling a little again and turning to leave, not giving Lyle a chance to say anything in return when she closed the door quickly and disappeared, leaving him alone with his present.
“Well... that was special,” he chuckled to himself, holding the coupon in his hand and deciding that he definitely like this year’s birthday more than the past, well, fifteen birthdays.
“You’re here for a midnight snack, too?”
Anew turned her head to see Lyle walking into the kitchen, a glass of water still in her hand and a small smile forming on her lips when she remembered what had apparently happened here before.
“Are you not banned from this place? I should tell Allelujah that you sneak in here at night.”
He laughed a little but waved it off, motioning at the little dog next to his legs before crouching down to pick him up and hold him in his arms.
“Neil’s hungry so I had to get something to eat for him. There’s still some meat left, right? He won’t go to sleep if he doesn’t get anything to eat, so…”
He walked towards her and placed his free hand on the wall next to her, leaning over to glance at the shelf just behind her. “Hmm.”
Backing away was no option with the way she was trapped and she didn’t exactly feel uncomfortable, just a little… how to say it? Awkward? And the water, it might spill, if he came any closer…
“Hm?” He moved back slightly at that, the dog hanging onto his arm and nearly slipping off before he pulled away from the wall and held him properly.
Anew decided not to say anything. After all, she might just be interpreting too much into these little things Lyle did sometimes. Just like now, he was probably… just doing this without any ulterior motive.
“It’s… nothing. I think there is still something over here,” she said eventually, smiling and turning around to reach for a piece of meat they kept in the other shelf while putting down the glass. “I hope it’s still fresh.” Picking out the piece she had meant, she turned back around, holding it out.
Lyle took it but not without somehow brushing his gloved fingers against hers and she gave him a look, somehow really not sure anymore if he was doing these things intentionally or not.
“Thanks,” he said after a moment, giving her a smile and a wink, to which she could only smile despite finding it… somehow inappropriate.
“It’s for your dog, not you, remember,” she teased a little and he chuckled, Neil looking back and forth between them before letting out a little whine.
“Right.. I’ll feed him now and go to bed. You should do that, too.”
He set the dog down on the table (although Allelujah would probably yell at him for that) and put the meat in front of him, petting him when the puppy began to eat happily although his ears remained perked to listen for anything else going on.
“You really take good care of him,” Anew said softly when she watched the pair, Lyle continuing to pet his dog while he ate. “Did you have a pet before?”
He shook his head slightly, glancing down at his puppy and scratching him behind the ears when he noticed the little twitch, as if he understood the question and wanted to know as well. “No, not really. I went to a boarding school when I was young and they didn’t allow pets. I wasn’t the type to take care of things anyway, that was more my brother’s job…”
She noticed how he trailed off slightly at that, wondering a little about him and his brother. She had met him here, talked to him a few times, but he was still as much of a riddle to her as Lyle was. “I see… But I think you’re doing a very good job right now,” she answered reassuringly, giving him another smile when he merely looked uncertain.
“Thanks, I guess,” he said sheepishly, not completely used to being in that kind of position. There was something about Anew he couldn’t describe when he looked at her, the kind of protective feeling that he didn’t feel with many other people coming up whenever she smiled. Something he had felt with Amy before, and maybe vaguely felt with Mileina, but Anew was different, older, a woman rather than a child.
Neil snorted when he was done with his meat, licking at the table for a while and trying to sniff out more food before giving up and sitting down, tail beating against the wooden surface slowly.
“I guess it’s time to go then, huh,” Lyle said when he looked back down at his dog, rubbing his palm over his head and feeling him lick at it.
Anew chuckled softly at that before nodding. “Good night, Lyle. Good night, Neil. Sleep well.” For a moment, she considered petting the dog, but then she wondered if Lyle would expect a gesture like that, too, and so she decided not to do any of it and merely waved a little before leaving the kitchen to go back to her room.
“She’s really something, isn’t she,” Lyle hummed when he picked up his dog again, earning a whine that could have meant anything ranging from ‘I totally agree’ to ‘I want to sleep now’. Deciding that it was probably the latter, he tapped his puppy’s nose before leaving the kitchen as well—this time, leaving it unharmed.
03/14 - Puppy Time
Neither being Elle’s ‘vassal’ nor being a member of Celestial Being was a lot of work on days like these, and so Lyle was sitting in the living room doing absolutely nothing, aside from watching Neil chase around a rolled up sock he had snatched from somewhere earlier. The good thing about this? Anew was coming around to keep him some company. He—still really wanted to talk more to her, more so because of the letter he had found in his box on Valentine’s Day—but they had somehow never found the time to be alone in the past weeks. Soon, though, she would have her Upper Level access, and then he could at least take her up there to show her around, and maybe they would be living there by then, too.
The barking of his dog made him snap out of his thoughts, and he saw the girl in question coming into the living room, wearing the usual smile and waving briefly at him.
“Sorry it took longer than expected. I met with Miss Sumeragi outside my room, so...”
“Did she try to talk you into more parties?”
She chuckled and shook her head, looking down in slight surprise when something tugged on her pant leg. “Oh, hello.” She smiled down at the puppy that had come running over to her, standing up on his hind legs to put his paws on her, whining to be picked up.
“I think he wants you to carry him,” Lyle noted in amusement, and Anew moved to sit down and pet him tentatively, Neil barking happily at the treatment.
“I have never held a dog before... do you really think it’s okay?” She looked uncertain but began to smile when Neil attempted to climb onto her knee, whining again when he didn’t quite manage.
“You’ll do fine. He won’t mind if you don’t hold him properly, he settles on his own, anyway,” he reassured her when he saw Neil starting more attempts, eager to be held.
Anew hesitated for a second before deciding to give it a try, reaching out to lift the puppy up before looking at Lyle. “What... do I do now?” She tried to take him into her arms but the dog was wriggling around and his tail was wagging that she—wasn’t sure how to handle him, not wanting to hurt the dog accidentally.
“Don’t be nervous about it. Just...” He paused, smiling and getting up from where he was sitting before moving to crouch down beside her, putting his hands on her arms to guide them. “Here, just hold him and pull him close. He won’t wriggle free if you just keep your grip firm. He needs that.”
Nodding at the instructions, Anew moved to hold the dog, Neil settling in after a moment of shifting around and starting to lick at her face when he was in the right position.
“Ah...” she laughed a little, the tongue tickling her and feeling strange—a tiny little disgusting, but not really. Lyle smiled and reached around to pet his dog and scratch behind his ears, still crouching behind Anew for now.
“See, it’s easy. I had no idea how to handle a dog before I got him and it still works out. Animals are smarter than us in a lot of ways, so I guess they just train us if we don’t know what to do.”
“Has he trained you a lot, then?” she asked when the dog finally stopped licking her and tried to burrow into her clothes instead, tickling her again.
“Probably,” he replied while faking a sigh of resignation. Feeling his legs becoming slightly sore from crouching like that, he moved to get up again, hand brushing Anew’s shoulder in the process and making her glance up at him. Although unintentional, he had hoped for that reaction when he realized where his hand had been, and he found himself looking back at her, smiling when their eyes met.
It was another one of those silent moments where they would just look at each other and... not need anything else. Eventually, he held out his hand to help her up as well, and Anew took it carefully while trying to keep Neil close, the puppy hanging onto her arm on his own accord to make it easier for her.
“He really seems to like you,” Lyle murmured after they settled on the old couch, ignoring the creaking sounds and reminding himself that they were soon going to have real furniture, comfortable couches and real beds. As soon as Anew had access...
“I’m glad,” she replied almost absently when she turned her attention back to the dog, petting him and becoming more natural in her movements, slowly getting used to handling a pet.
He watched her adjust and moved to sit a little closer, his arm resting on the back of the couch while he shifted slightly to the side to face her. Anew Returner. Still a mystery to him in many ways—he realized he didn’t even know anything about her past, but even then he enjoyed talking to her, just like he was starting to appreciate everyone else here despite the fact that many people weren’t even from the same world as him.
“I bet you would be a great mother,” he said eventually, surprising his companion with the sudden, seemingly random statement.
“What are you saying? Why would you think that...?”
But he kept watching her, just... seeing something in her that he wasn’t sure how to describe. The way she handled Neil, somehow...
“You’re a fast learner, that’s why,” he answered casually when he moved to lean back against the couch and tilted his head back, glancing up at the ceiling. “The dog’s trained you in a matter of minutes. It’s probably the same with kids. They train you, too, and the faster you learn, the better parent you are.”
She seemed mystified by his words when he glanced back at her at the silence he received. Anew tilted her head slightly as if thinking it over, and Neil began to doze off with his face buried near her elbow, the image looking absolutely adorable.
“I... wouldn’t know about that,” she replied slowly, after thinking about it. “But thank you... I guess?” She smiled, and he shrugged, smiling back slightly, not even sure why he brought it up in the first place.
Neil began to snore slightly and they both looked at the dog, laughing quietly at how easily he seemed to fall asleep. As Anew continued to hold him, Lyle continued to watch her, wondering if they would ever get to know each other more or if they would just always avoid talking about themselves. If nothing else, they could spend this time together until they returned to their world...even if there were already several reasons why he was hoping to stay here for a long time.