Steaks were a fantastic idea even if they were served by a high schooler who seemed to have an eternal stick up his ass.
"So, you're French?" Marco asked, finally breaking the silence that had hovered over them since they left the apartment.
"Yeah, partially. My dad was German, or so I've been told." At Marco's puzzled expression, Jean explained, "I never met him. Died before I was born in a shipwreck."
"Oh, I'm sorry for bringing it up," Marco worried his bottom lip and Jean had to smile at the freckled man. Usually, he got annoyed whenever someone apologized for his father's death; it wasn't like they could have done anything about it, so why apologize for something that happened more than eighteen years ago? But Marco looked pretty adorab—what?
"It's fine," Jean assured him, slightly shaken by where his thoughts were leading him. "What about you?"
"Oh, both my parents are German. I moved down to the outskirts of Trost with my dad when I was six or so, after my parents' divorce."
"That must've sucked," Jean replied, grabbing his coke and taking a few sips.
Marco shrugged, "I was too young to understand what was happening and I've always been more of a daddy's boy."
"So, outskirts, huh? You a little farm boy then?"
"You could say that. My dad's got a ranch and we used to breed and train horses but now he's only taking care of a couple. I used to sneak off and go on midnight rides through the pastures."
"You don't look much like someone who'd enjoy taking the reigns and riding," Jean commented.
Marco blushed, taking Jean by surprise. The Trost raised German boy's freckles stood out more on his reddened skin and he was nibbling on his bottom lip again. Jean couldn't stop staring at the piece of abused pink flesh.
"Uh, well, I," Marco stuttered and there it was again. That thought. Cute.
Jean looked away when the waiter from before arrived with their meals.
"Here," the boy snipped, dropping the plates in front of them. He left without another word.
"So not getting a tip," Jean muttered, helping Marco trade plates. The kid had switched up their orders.
"Maybe he's just having a bad day and taking it out on us?" Marco suggested. "You've probably been a dick when you were in a bad mood or had a not so great day."
Jean rolled his eyes, grabbing the barbeque sauce provided on each table and drowning his steak, "I'm always a dick. Voted dickiest dick in the yearbook."
Marco laughed, "That I do not believe."
"Which part? Because it wasn't the official yearbook, obviously. The yearbook council put all the great ideas rejected under the 'not school appropriate' clause into a webpage thing. Director's cut of the yearbook."
"But you're so nice," Marco insisted.
Jean scoffed, "That's the first time I've ever heard that." Although, thinking on it, Jean realized that his dickish tendencies hadn't risen to the occasion since meeting Marco. Well. The other boy would be quickly disillusioned.
"No but it's true. I was so relieved that my roommate wasn't a total jerk."
Jean shrugged and worked on his steak. "What about you? Any high school superlatives?"
Again, Marco flushed red. He studiously cut his fish steak, taking great care in each saw of his knife.
Jean couldn't pass up the opportunity, "Oh? What was it? C'mon, I told you mine." Teasing was not something Jean did but he couldn't help himself.
"Yours wasn't embarrassing," Marco mumbled.
"Dude, we're going to be living together for the next two to four years. I'll learn all sorts of embarrassing things about you," Jean justified. "Besides, the picture they used for that stupid title was completely unflattering."
"Then I'll tell you if you show me that website," Marco compromised.
"Hell no. I told you about the title, now your turn."
"Jean," Marco whined. Jean felt a jolt where he most certainly should not be feeling jolts when another male whined his name, even if the pronunciation was like liquid and very close to accurate for someone without a French accent.
Jean cleared his throat and made sure his napkin was securely on his lap, "N-no."
Marco huffed and mumbled something that Jean couldn't understand.
"What? Speak up."
Heaving a tortured sigh, Marco grumbled, "Most innocent and the cutest baby."
Jean burst out laughing.
"Jean!" Marco complained. "It was horrible. I don't even know how they got a hold of one of my baby pictures or the one they used for the most innocent and then it was in the yearbook and I still don't get any slack."
"I really want to see those pictures," Jean chuckled.
"No way, not gonna happen. Ever," Marco replied adamantly.
They finished their meal talking about likes and dislikes as when they had communicated through the website, they only discussed living habits, saving the 'getting to know you' conversations for when they met in person. They didn't have all that much in common. For one, Marco liked to read and was studying to become a children's psychologist. Jean wasn't all that hyped about kids, they tended to be scared of him, and his textbooks were the only form of reading he did, and even that wasn't of his own volition. Jean was a city kid, not a fan of the outdoors, but ranch boy Marco loved spending time under the sun or stars. His tanned complexion was a testament to that.
Marco paid and, despite Jean's disbelief, tipped their pissy waiter, and the two left the restaurant to walk back to their apartment. They walked in a companionable silence, Jean taking in the surroundings. Trost was a quaint little city. Jean was from somewhat of a metropolis so the quietness of Trost was something new. He hadn't decided whether he liked it or not yet but he had plenty of time to think it over.
They were a block from the apartment building when Jean stopped in his tracks, squinting across the road.
"Jean?" Marco asked. "What's wrong."
"Nothing…I thought I…what the fuck?" Jean marched across the street and slid into an alley between two stores. "HEY!" he yelled.
He faintly realized Marco was chasing after him but red and rage were at the front of his mind right then.
"Hey, leave her alone!" Jean ordered, storming up to the trio. Two guys, a bit shorter than Jean but considerably buffer, were crowding around a really short, blond haired girl. It was clear their presence was not welcomed.
"Shit," one of them muttered before pushing the girl into the wall and taking off down the alley. Jean ran after them but they climbed over a fence and ran out of sight. Jean cursed and punched the chain-link fence before turning back around. Marco was tending to the girl and when they both noticed his return, the girl ran up to him.
"Thank you so much," she smiled up at him gratefully. She had big, crystalline blue eyes; the picture of innocence and it only infuriated Jean more.
"It's fine. Be more careful next time and call for help," Jean replied. "Can you get home on your own?"
The girl nodded, "I'll be fine. Thank, again. Could I get your name?"
"I'm Krista. Thank you so much, I've got to go now though. I hope I see you and Marco again."
The three exited the alley and Krista scurried off in the opposite direction Jean and Marco were headed. The two resumed their walk back to their apartment but Jean could tell Marco was itching to say something.
"What?" Jean snapped.
"And you said you weren't nice," Marco mocked. He had a smug little grin on his face that Jean couldn't get pissed at. "You're so not a dick."
Jean made a noncommittal grunt.
A/N: Heyyo! So I've also updated my other WIPS as an early present since I'm going to be without internet up until around Jan 2/3. So yeah, I'll reply to comments and such (if I get any, that is) when I get back. Happy holidays/new year. Hope yours turns out better than mine will.