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Summer Nights


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July 23, 2019: Late O'Clock at night (morning?)


Janus Danger


There were many common rooms, and certainly one closer to the dorm room that Janus shared with Veronica but this one had the advantage of line of sight to the door of Kam's dorm room. Janus was bored. Frightfully bored any time that they weren't training at the Espadas dojo but finding out exactly what could encourage Kam - the most rule abiding person that Janus may have ever met - to break curfew. 


Janus was almost entirely certain that it was a girl at this point. They'd been back for less than a week for the late summer session and by Janus' count, this was the third time that the prince had snuck out. Really, it was a time honored Claremont tradition to sneak out and do a bit of vigilante work on the side... just not one that Janus thought Kam would take part in. They were pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. 


Janus stretched out on the couch, long legs dangling over the arm and absently scrolling through the phone while they waited. It wouldn't be long now. Janus bit back a yawn. Being tired through classes in the morning was absolutely worth it. When the window creaked open, Janus shifted to eye the Red Lynx from their position dangling upside down on the couch. "Welcome to the hallowed fraternity of Claremont rule breakers, your highness. So, who is she?"

Edited by alderwitch
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The young Dakanan froze in the window at Janus' words biting back a quiet curse.  "Janus, I hadn't expected you up this late, without entertainment."  he replied as he completed his entry.  He was wearing the form fitting suit of the Red Lynx, mask clipped to his belt,  weapons and tools strapped to his back.  "We're allowed the freedom of the campus even after curfew"  he pointed out defensively acutely avoiding answering their question or suggestion about a girl.  There was no use trying to lie to Dangers, maybe distract them but never lie.  Clearly he hadn't been out for a late night stroll, not the way he favored his left leg as he crossed to the couch.  He sunk tapped their leg to make room and once granted would sink into the cushions with a sigh as he he eased his weight from the injured leg.


"So to what do I owe the pleasure?"  Kam inquiered and wryly added, "Or should I say what do you want?"  he smirked to his friend.  Deflect distract, don't let the Danger focus on or control the conversation.  It really was like a fencing match, of course Kam was already worn down by the nights adventures and arguably was unarmed in this dual.  He hadn't a chance, not that he'd admit that now or ever.

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Janus rolled lazily upright, long legs stretched out in a deceptively casual pose. Kam had an advantage over most people in knowing not to underestimate the Danger. Janus got a lot of mileage over people not looking far past a pretty face. 


"Who says I don't have any entertainment?" Janus drawled, their accent thickening deliberately. Cutting their violet gaze over to Kam, it was clear exactly what Janus thought their entertainment for the evening was. Nothing quite like a bored Danger to make everyone else's life just that much harder. Janus gaze swung from Kam's face to his slight limp. Fortunately, Janus was not exactly the type to insist going to the school nurse over every little thing. After judging the injury as non-serious, Janus' attention swung back to Kam's face. 


"Misjudged a step and slipped off the roof, then? That's your story? It's terrible. If you're going to start breaking rules, you're going to have to learn to lie better. That's perhaps a half step up from 'my dog ate it'. The teachers will never buy it. Your sister would never buy it." Janus' gaze cut away artfully, taking great interest in their nails. "Fortunately for you, I may be willing to aid your slide into debauchery. I am fairly certain that my family legacy requires that I aid rule breaking in the efforts of... what's the phrase... 'getting some?' "


Janus was almost never crass, something Kam generally knew about his friend though Janus was banking on exhaustion and tension ensuring that Kam missed that he was being obviously baited. Janus already knew that it had to be something more than hormonal to coax Kam away from campus. Janus just wanted the ammunition to confirm it. 

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Kams eyes narrowed at the suggestion Janus had entertainment.  He'd been commenting on their gift for finding companionship of one sort or another, now he suspected HE was the entertainment which was much more concerning.  Carefully meeting clever Dangers gaze Kam shrugged noncommittally, "Loose flagstone perhaps."  he apparently had no intention of acknowledging that he'd been creeping in through the window like a thief in the night.  He was guarded and on the defensive already of course, not nearly the fool to buy into his friends line of questioning as harmless as it may seem.  Janus wanted something and they weren't asking directly that meant they knew it was something he'd not give freely. 


Of course at their suggestion of debauchery and worse still phrasing of his potential goals the careful observation of their words was abandoned and the young prince sputtered with a hint of genuine offense, "Debauch-, I nev-" he glared harshly at his colorful companion, "It is not like that, She's not like..."  he clapped his mouth shut realizing the well laid trap just a moment too late and turned arms firmly crossed to face studiously forward, his mein carefully controlled and forced in its approximation of cool disinterest.  He knew it would only buy but a little time but he needed what time he could earn to construct a more likely story, or time to let Janus construct one of their own, they were after all given to tales over truth more than even the average Danger.

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Unholy amusement lit Janus gaze and, like the warrior they were, Janus struck with lightning speed, "So it is a girl. Fascinating. But which girl?"


Kam's refusal to even look at Janus let alone reply was as amusing as it was clever. The best way to keep secrets was refusing to engage.  Unfortunately for Kam, not engaging with a Danger who was being deliberately bating was not the easiest task. 


Janus tapped one elegant finger to the bow of their lips. "One of the students here? Hmm... Possible but unlikely. There's a handful of whom might absolutely give you a wrenched knee during a bit of good natured wrestling but its unlikely that you wouldn't be still enjoying a bit of fussing over your well being. You certainly wouldn't need to be slipping into your dorm room like a thief in the night. Also, you lack a certain amount of duplicitous required to carry off a secret liaison while pretending ignorance in class during the day. Just not your style. Your twin doesn't know anything about what you've been up to which means you think she might not approve, or at least understand. Given your immediate swift defense, I can assume you've already developed a tendre so it isn't a question of the girl's unsuitable nature. You're not worried about your sister meeting the girl so perhaps... you're worried about the girl meeting your sister?"

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Jaw clenched Kam slit a sharp glance at Janus when they seized on his mistake, that being engaging when the Danger had first intercepted him of course.  Gaze fixed firmly ahead he let them continue their theorizing trying his damndest not to let slip anything further for the animated teen to further use against him.  


When janus finally fell silent Kam turned his head ever so slightly as he considered his reply with care, "There is zero chance of you letting this go isn't there?"  he sighed heavily and looked forward once more as he bought more time to come up with a lie or perhaps and artful truth.  "Have you considered that I merely value what little privacy my life allows?"  he finally settled upon which was not entirely false by any stretch and certainly was a reasonable reply.  It was also an attempt to move the subject away from where he had been and more importantly with who and onto the safer ground of the more abstract social contracts of friends and classmates.  His hope was of course that by neither confirming nor denying their claim they would have less to use against him.

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Janus made a rude noise before they laughed. "Phht, please spare me the burden of the crown speech. Not only am I more than familiar enough with exactly what comes of being the second born of a royal line, I have been a guest at your court often enough to know exactly how much you enjoy your life. You view your position as a responsibility to serve, as well you should. No, I imagine this mostly has to do with your sister's lack of discretion about her identity and thus, yours."


Janus arched one perfect rose tinted brow and added after a frankly dramatic pause, "Americans can be awfully touchy about monarchies. She doesn't know that you're a prince, I'd wager. Dreadfully awkward to bring that up after a certain point. It looks a little to close to deceit, I fear."

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"Rude."  Kam retorted but his face betrayed that Janus was not wrong.  He certainly did enjoy both the privilege and responsibility of his position and the second son of the reclusive royalty of the until recently hidden nation of Dakana was hardly one of constant observation.  Hence his ease with slipping out of the dorm and off campus.  The prince rolled his eyes at their dramatic declaration of his reasoning.  Far too close to home for his taste.


"I thought I lacked 'a certain amount of duplicitous' required for such?"  he replied imitating his companions voice, poorly, probably intentionally poorly.  He rolled his eyes and the defensive body posture and cranky rejoinder only showed they had deduced far more than he'd have liked.  He huffily crossed his arms, "Are you quite finished?"

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Janus heaved a long suffering sigh, fixing Kam with a look as their cavalier attitude dropped away.


"You do," Janus said, bluntly. "It bothers you unduly which is why I'm here to help. Not with the relationship troubles - mercy, no. I shan't be falling into the trap of offering advice save to say you really ought to talk to your twin. You'll feel better and honestly, she'll understand more than you are giving her credit for. You'll certainly feel better for having someone you feel comfortable talking to. You're tetchy because you've found yourself in a quandary that your moral compass is failing you on. That's when one talks to friends."


Janus stretched, finally breaking their too intent gaze. "As for me, I'll help you cover for your extra curricular activities as you are bad at it. Let me know what evenings that you need an alibi for and I shall endeavor to provide one."

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That insight cut deep and in more than one direction it seemed.  Kam slumped into the couch giving up on any pretense that he might keep the truth of his late night sojourns from Janus.  "While the sentiment is appreciated I'm not certain your alabi's won't be worse then the truth."  he teased lightly and shook his head and ran a hand over his eyes tiredly.  "As you've already mentioned Ajasoro does not share my acceptance of the need for secrecy regarding our identities."  he pointed out tacitly admitting that was in fact at issue, "She is so enamoured of the ideal of,"  he gestured loosely at the room to indicate the United States and Western culture overall.


He looked to Janus and shrugged, "What is it your uncle always said?  Timing is everything?"  he shrugged playing it off as of little concern a sure sign he was overthinking it, trying to plot and plan matters of the heart.  It would be adorable if it wasn't so sad.

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"My alibi's mean you won't get caught. You've never slipped on a flagstone in your life, Kam. I doubt you're going to start now," Janus drawled, relaxing back along the couch. Absently, Janus drew the dagger to twirl it between their fingers as they tried to find a way to get through to the well meaning prince. "Certainly, no. But she understands that it's important to you. That will be enough if you make it clear that 'tis important to you."


Janus shrugged, flipping the shining dagger hilt over blade in their off hand. "As for my uncle, believe me, he's the last person in the entire world to take love advice from. Trust me. I love the man but he is abysmal at managing anything deeper than the most shallow of dalliances. Stop overthinking everything, Kam. I know you hate it but really, sometimes you just have to go with your gut and your heart rather than that big brain."

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"It was a very slick flagstone."  he defended with a grin and small shrug as he pulled himself to his feet with a slight wince.  "I'll take it under advisement."  Kam agreed with a wry smile.  He looked down at Janus stretched out on the couch and shook his head, "I'm glad at least my plight can keep you entertained."  the prince rolled his eyes and headed for the door pausing for a long moment, "And thanks."  he ducked out before things got more awkward heading for his room to sleep for what remained of the night.

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