He's Just a Boy

Vana'diel date: 880/3/13
Viewpoint: Nightingale
Place: Lower Jeuno, Merry Minstrel Meadhouse
Posted on 01 Jun 2012 16:31

Cheers and whistles. Nightingale smiled. This was his environment, this was his home. When he was the focus of every eye, being cheered on by complete strangers, he could forget everything else in his life. He could forget the pain and the sadness and the constant lack of gil, the long days spent practicing for just these evenings. Evenings when he could step up and be proud of himself. He bowed one last time and stepped down. His time in the spotlight had ended for now. It would come again, and soon he hoped. Lately, he had been performing more and more, as per Master Peridaut's orders. His singing must be improving, then.
But now, the rest of the night would be his. Master Peridaut wasn't here tonight, he had been felled by a nasty spring flue. Nightingale supposed he must be getting old, to be felled by a spring flu this early in the year. One wouldn't normally expect such things until several months later, when the spring truly arrived to this northern city. The most northern one of the major cities, the city-state of the Grand Duchy of Jeuno. This was Nightingale's home, had been ever since he was a mere five years old. That's when he had been apprenticed to Master Peridaut, and the two had made their journey to Jeuno. Nightingale couldn't even remember his real parents. Master Peridaut was all the family he had, if you didn't count the several friends he had made in this city. As a bard's apprentice, he had the opportunity to meet all kinds of people.
Nightingale bought himself a mug of mead, and weaved his way through the crowd, trying to find a place to sit at. He didn't feel like leaving the place yet, and he might get further tips from some people who had liked his performance if he stayed around. He had just about given up trying to find a place to sit when a voice called out to him.
"Boy. You can sit here."
Nightingale turned to the person who had said it, a smile ready on his face. "Thank you!" He sat down, and observed his companion. He was a dark-haired hume in maybe his mid twenties. Obviously at least somewhat wealthy, as his clothes were cut a bit better than what your average worker wore. Nightingale had a keen eye for such details, he had been taught early on the differences to notice possibly well-paying customers.
"I quite enjoyed your singing tonight. Do you do that often here?" The hume eyed him curiously.
"Every now and then. I and Master Peridaut mostly perform in various locations around Jeuno and the surrounding villages," Nightingale answered politely. Always advertise yourself, that was another one that came as a second nature to him.
"I see. It must be just bad luck then, not seeing you perform earlier. I frequent several places around Jeuno, although spend most my evenings in private parties." Private parties? Nightingale thought questioningly. He wondered if this man was a hanger-on, then, scurrying about after wealthier acquaintances, trying to seem favorable in their eyes. His clothes weren't well cut enough for him to be a truly wealthy individual. Or perhaps he was lying?
"Not unlucky anymore, it appears. Since you were here tonight." Nightingale offered the man his sweetest smile. It never hurt to at least appear to be taken in by the stories. The hume stopped, his mug half-way to his lips, and looked at him. Before Nightingale had the time to more than feel a little confused over it, he continued his action. What had that been about?
The hume lowered his mug and placed it on the table. "I'm Alfons, by the way. Nice to meet you."
Nightingale nodded and continued smiling sweetly. "Nightingale, in case you missed it." Alfons nodded distractedly and leaned against the table, looking at him.
"Say, Nightingale. You're done with singing for tonight?"
"Yes, I'm done. See? Others need to take their turn, too." He nodded towards the bard who had taken up to performing just a moment ago. The customers needed to be kept entertained, and it was too rough for just one bard to keep at it all day and night.
"In that case, would you want to go somewhere more private? There might be something in it for you." Nightingale turned to looked at Alfons, suddenly confused. What was that about? But when he saw the look in the hume's eyes he suddenly understood. The realization went straight down to his groin. He could distantly feel himself making a surprised gasp and his cheeks growing warm.
"Ah…" He'd heard such a thing might happen some time. Once, when the subject had come up with his friends, they had been surprised to hear that no one had approached him yet. The general consensus had been that it was because he was constantly watched over by the hawk-like form of Master Peridaut. He hadn't really known what to think of it back at that time. But now… His eyes locked with the other man's. "Yes. Yes, I think we could do that."

Category: With White Wings

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