Characters/Pairing: Roger and Watari with references to L.
Warnings: Drug use and some language. Some possible OOC moments, though there's a reason for that.
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Ohba and Obata.
Word Count: 2,433
“When was the last time you checked in on him,” Roger said, leaning back against the cushion of the green couch. He was becoming so relaxed he actually stretched out his legs and crossed his ankles.
“This morning,” Quillish said from the small kitchenette in the side room. “He said he was about to visit the Louvre. Seemed in kind of a rush actually.”
Roger adjusted his glasses to hide his eye roll. Even with his friend in the other room, it seemed uncouth to do so out in the open.
“Pardon me for saying, but did you believe him?” Roger said, keeping his tone as even as he could manage and avoid a not so good natured chuckle.
The kettle whistled on the stovetop. The tea would finally be ready, though Quillish had a quirk of wanting to create the perfect tea spread instead of simply serving it. Roger looked down at his watch again. 6:45, past the point of being fashionably late with high service though he kept his mouth shut.
“Liam is 21 after all, it is really not my place to say anything if he were,” Quillish said.
Roger shot a glance and a cocked eyebrow in his friend’s direction, knowing full well he could not see it from his position.
Referring to L by his given name was a forbidden practice they had managed to train themselves out of the more in-demand, or rather notorious, he became as a detective. Roger had worked in intelligence, he knew how to tell lies with a straight face and even pulse. He never liked the scenario, however. It was paying deference to a scheming, manipulative little brat he never trusted as far as he could throw him.
In the end he was doing it for Quillish and ultimately the children of Wammy’s House, but Quillish’s occasional switch in address when the two of them were completely alone was jarring, borderline offensive. It was like the old bastard was doing it to get him going, or show some superiority.
Roger could hear plates clinking on the metal tray. Hopefully he would eat soon, though he should have been appreciating a rare moment with Quillish. He was usually off on some duty for L somewhere and seemed to be too good to make time for his old battalion mate.
“No, he instructed me to stay out of his affairs this weekend unless he had need of my services,” Quillish said. “I believe this is the first real holiday he has had in, what is it…three years?”
“He turned 18 in Amsterdam, did he not,” Roger practically huffed.
“Yes, yes, I know exactly what you are going to say,” Quillish said. The tone of his voice gradually grew louder.
Roger looked back to see him walking out of the side room with a silver tray. A steaming silver teapot sat in the center almost grandly with a few covered dishes that should have contained some scones and watercress sandwiches. He didn’t have the appetite for much more and the last thing he wanted to see was anything foreign or experimental.
Quillish put the tray on the mahogany coffee table, removing the silver covers to reveal the plump sandwiches and glazed currant scones he had expected. Roger leaned in to smell any odors from the pot. Quillish said anyway he had found an old blend he wanted to try and Roger grudgingly agreed. It was good to mix up the routine on occasion, good for the mind or something like that.
He expected something aromatic, though the pungent odor that met his nose made his brows furrow and jaw slightly drop. He looked up at Quillish, who laid out the cups with a poker face, though a small smirk snuck from the corners of his bushy moustache.
He couldn’t believe what he smelled, though the odor was unmistakable.
“Do you remember that little parlor outside Marrakesh, the one we stopped at after a week of desert maneuvers,” Quillish said.
Roger managed to pull himself from his amazement to recall what he was talking about.
“Yes, 1957 if I’m not mistaken,” Roger said. “But what the bloody hell is in there?”
“I remember we saw the dancers outside, most breathtaking Arabic girls I had ever seen,” Quillish said. He poured a cup, the brownish-green liquid accompanied by the stronger odor made it obvious what he was serving. “The censers all around, it just beckoned us to enter this little hut.”
“Where did you get that,” Roger said, nearly incredulous though slowly understanding what his friend was getting at. “I do hope you did not buy it from some hooligan off the street.”
“Oh Heavens no,” Quillish said, sliding the cup to Roger and pouring his own. “This is pure, the highest quality grown and processed by a small cooperative of farmers in the Turkish countryside.”
His pointed look suggested he was almost offended by the insinuation. Quillish Wammy had contacts in all avenues of government and commerce, Roger did feel somewhat silly to not have taken that into account.
He stared into the liquid, seeing small, brownish green flakes lingering on top but not enough to be obnoxious. By sight alone, Quillish knew how to prepare this, the fact this particular tea was sitting in front of him now steaming hot and ready to be drank was a little much to understand. He sipped it a few times back in his Army days, perhaps more than a few times. He could afford to then; he was young and off-duty he had little responsibilities save for getting tipsy, wooing women, and not doing anything to embarrass his uniform.
That was over 40 years ago. He was much more responsible now; a headmaster needing to make an example and put the fear of God into a house full of scheming brats.
“Is this really a wise idea,” Quillish?” he said.
Quillish shrugged, stirring the contents of his cup with a spoon.
“It’s Friday evening, Roger,” Quillish said. “Liam is in Paris and insists on not looking at any cases or receiving non-emergency calls for the next two days. I know I will not be on my computer or phone for the next several hours. Mrs. Rowan is on duty tonight, any emergencies arise at the orphanage you were simply indisposed.”
He was right, neither of them had any duties that absolutely needed performing. He looked down at the cup again. Perhaps a little indiscretion was healthy, a small break from maintaining order and rules. He could already smell his younger days beckoning him.
He looked up at Quillish again, seeing a polite smile in his direction and a gleam in his eye over the top of his glasses.
Roger sighed, lifting his glass, the steam from the contents was already making him relaxed; a placebo effect likely, or this tea was that strong…or it had been that long since he had a cup in front of him.
“To old times,” he said, raising the cup.
“To old times, my good man,” Quillish said with a smile.
Roger put the cup to his lips and sipped. The bitterness assaulted his tongue for a moment though the sweetness gradually permeated. Quillish had indeed made this well. He swallowed, looking at Quillish and seeing him take long, happy sips.
Roger sipped a few more times, wondering how long it would take for the effects to kick in. It had been a long time, but perhaps his constitution had improved since then.
A small feeling of relaxation crept in. He leaned back and sighed.
“It has been a while,” Quillish said. “It used to take you half a cup before you eased up like this.”
Roger took another long sip.
“We’re not kids anymore, friend,” Roger said. “We’re not made like we used to be.”
“I’ll drink to that, old man,” Quillish said. He took a long gulp and gave a happy smile. Perhaps the tea was working quicker on him.
Roger took another gulp. He enjoyed being this relaxed. It was the effect of the drug, of course; he had to remind himself of that. It was nice not to feel tense, not to care all that much about a group of brats tearing up the building or how the roofers were coming next week to fix some leaks.
Quillish picked up a scone from the tray, examining it with a smile, and taking a large bite.
“Go easy on those,” Roger said, another sip giving him a stiff smile. “I know how you would get after a few cups.”
“Oh no, that was with those little almond biscuits,” Quillish said, taking another bite.
“Oh yes, I remember those, the ones shaped like little moons and covered in honey,” Roger said. One of those sounded really good about now.
“Those would be the ones, warm little creations, wrapped right in front of us,” Quillish looked at his scone almost in longing. “Oh dear I would not want to say that in front of this delicious thing.”
Roger didn’t want to laugh, but he did anyway. He put his cup out and Quillish poured him more tea.
“I told you this would be fun,” Quillish said, pouring himself another full cup.
Roger blew on his tea, taking a few cautious sips around the hot temperature.
“You have interesting ideas on fun, Quillish Wammy,” Roger said. “Is this what happens when your regular companion is in his 20’s.”
“Are you suggesting I cannot make fun on my own,” Quillish said with a laugh that sounded like a restrained cackle. “You would be surprised, Liam has learned a thing or two from me.”
“Do I even want to know what you mean by that,” Roger said, a chuckle escaping him. “You don’t have little tea parties like this with him, do you?”
Roger picked up a watercress sandwich from the tray and bit into it almost voraciously.
“A little hungry are we,” Quillish said, taking his own bite into the scone.
Roger smiled around the rim of his teacup.
“Merely complimenting the sheer deliciousness of these sandwiches,” Roger said. “Perhaps I would have to be tipsy to enjoy your cooking.”
“I can’t disagree with that statement,” Quillish said, taking another long gulp and chuckling.
“You didn’t answer my question,” Roger said. He took another sip, realizing he was getting too caught in the moment and had to watch himself.
“Oh right right, do I serve the special tea to Liam? The answer is a resounding no,” Quillish said., leaning back in his chair. “He has no desire for…well…items of this particular nature.”
“So what else do you have to watch him on,” Roger said, grabbing another small sandwich and taking a large bite.
Quillish shrugged, looking like he was trying to form words that were not coming to him.
“I just don’t,” Quillish said, taking off his glasses for a moment and rubbing the bridge of his nose. “He creates his own responsibilities, I’m simply along for the ride as it were. His affairs are really none of my business until I make it my business.”
“Oh that’s no fair,” Roger said, taking another sip and realizing his cup was near empty. “I can’t get a little gossip out of you, old man?”
“Gossip is for the simple and the bored,” Quillish said, practically inhaling the rest of his scone. “Which one are you.”
Roger guffawed at the statement.
“I really couldn’t tell you that right now,” he said. “I’m feeling a little one and the other.”
“You swing in every direction?” Quillish said.
“Perhaps, I’m adaptable,” Roger said, leaning his head against the cushion.
Quillish stared at him a second, his eyes clearly red. His serious expression then twisted into a stupid smile and a series if giggles.
“What the bloody hell is wrong with you, other than the obvious,” Roger said with his own giggle.
“Nothing,” Quillish said with a straight face before bursting out into laughter. “Are we swinging both ways now?”
“More the one way than the other way,” Roger said with a sigh, wondering why the hell Quillish was laughing so hard. The realization flew through his foggy mind and he gave his friend a glare.
“Arsehole,” Roger said, producing more cackles from Quillish. It was rather funny, he couldn’t help but laugh along.
“You are too much fun,” Quillish said, wiping a few tears with his sleeve before putting his glasses back on.
“You need to be cut off,” Roger said, eying the teapot. No, he had to follow his own advice. He was this tipsy after two cups, he didn’t want to think what would happen on a third.
“Speak for yourself, I see that little gleam in your eye,” Quillish said, reaching over and grabbing a sandwich. “You seem to be enjoying this.”
Roger put his head back.
“I owe you some smart words,” Roger said. “I’ll pay them soon but not right now.”
“Not a bother, you’re credit’s bad anyhow,” Quillish said.
“Oh pooh pooh to you,” Roger said, giggling a little with how the words sounded. “You are clearly more clever.”
“No you are more clever than I, why do you think you have such an important job.”
“Because I’m easy.”
Quillish laughed harder, putting his face in the crook of his neck. Roger rolled his eyes but also couldn’t help but laugh.
“Filthy minded cretin,” Roger said.
“Did you say my name?”
Both burst out into laughter. Roger put his face in his hands; it wasn’t funny, he knew it wasn’t, but just thinking on that made it funnier.
Quillish gave his shoulder a good-natured pat.
“My my, I do think both of us have had quite enough,” he said.
“You’re the one who’s a lightweight,” Roger said, sitting up straight. “Let’s clear this away before you start drooling.”
Roger picked up the teapot, feeling only a small amount of liquid inside. Quillish must have only made a small amount.
“I do have a pot of Earl Grey warm on the stove,” Quillish said. “Perhaps we should move onto that before both of us get too silly.”
Roger nodded. He started to rise, feeling dizzy for a moment and stopping for a moment before coming to a slow stand. He managed to ignore more laughter from his friend.
“Do you require any assistance?” Quillish said between chuckles.
“I believe I can manage on my own,” he said with a grin, turning toward the kitchen area.
He gave his old friend one more look before going in.
The things this bastard dragged him into.