Friday, April 6, 2018

Page 1664

((TZKS 5th Anniversary -- Page 13 of 24))
“Then I don’t need to explain,” said Leo. “Eri is up there with the best of ‘em, man. Or the worst, I guess. However you wanna look at it.”

“Okay, but that doesn’t mean it’s truly impossible to convince him. Why don’t you tell me a little about him? Maybe I can help you find a solution.”

Leo blinked dully. “You... you would really try to help me like that?”

“Of course! What do you think I’ve been doing?”

“...I think you’ve been trying to keep me preoccupied while your reaper works on something,” said Leo.

Roman kept his face perfectly still for a moment. Then he feigned confusion. “What? Why would you think that?”

“Just a feeling. Call it paranoia, if ya like.”

“Maybe I will,” said Roman. “I’ve been enjoying our game quite a bit. It’s been ages since I was able to sit down and play cards with someone like this.”

“Mm. Got any fives?”

“SHIT!” He slapped his three fives down on the table. “Didn’t I just ask you for fives?! You’re not cheating, are you?!”

“Nah, bruh. Pulled it from the deck just now. I swear.”


Leo took the cards with a faint smile and set them aside with his own five, completing the collection and scoring a point for himself. “You seem a little stressed, big cat. It’s just a game, y’know.”

“Easy to say that when you’re winning. Do you have any jacks?”

“Go fish.”

Roman grumbled as he grabbed the topmost card off the deck. It was the ace of spades.

“You one of them super competitive types?” said Leo.

“Maybe. That a problem?”

“Nah, just--I mean, if it means that much to you, I can just let you win.”

“No, don’t do that! That’d be even worse than losing!”

“Ya sure? It really doesn’t make much difference to me, man. And at the end of the day, don’t you think friendship is more important?”

“This is how you build friendship. Through healthy competition.”

“You really believe that?”

“You don’t?”

“Oh, I dunno, man. I always kinda thought that peace and love was the way to go, y’know? Whenever possible, I mean.”

Roman held back a laugh. “Peace and love? Isn’t that a little vague?”

“Vague? Nah, man. E’erybody knows what peace and love means. Having care and compassion for your fellow humans. Not getting all up in their business. Unless, y’know, you have to.”

“Sure, but in my experience, ‘love’ can be rather aggressive and even rude. Doesn’t necessarily jive with the notion of ‘peace,’ ya feel me?” Crap, he was starting to pick up some of this weirdo’s speaking habits. Roman had always had something of a natural gift for acquiring accents and the like. Usually, it was helpful, but he wasn’t appreciating it very much, at the moment.

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