TAZ Nanowrimo: 11/07
Taako loves his magic boy very much. Angus can never, ever know this.
Except, that is, when he needs to hear it.
General rule of thumb: Taako despises crowds. Fuckin’ hates ‘em. They’re good and dandy when he’s lifted above, spotlight trained on his face and all eyes pinned to his, soaking up every flirtatious wink and every uproarious joke. But being in the middle of them and pressed against all these people shuffling to get on the train, stuffed tight with hundreds of bodies like blades of grass curled and crinkled together in a fist - ugh. No. Hard pass from Taako. Every accidental nudge from passerby and cheerful whoops, excuse me! makes him want to curl into his own jacket and fuckin’ expire.
The smoke thick and heavy in the air doesn’t help either. Taako’s got one end of his shawl pinned around his mouth, sweeping from his shoulder up to where he’s pinned the delicate fabric against his ear with the feather earring Kravitz gave him. The shawl doesn’t filter much of the smoke, but by Istus it’s something, and Taako will take whatever he can get.
A few years after the Day of Story and Song, Merle doesn’t bother affecting disinterest - he’s failed enough wisdom saves under the influence of his own Zone of Truth that pretending to dislike Angus is an endeavor doomed to fail from the start. He doesn’t ruffle Angus’s hair, because splinters, but he does give the boy a hearty pat on the shoulder and a piece of fatherly advice that makes Angus’s face contort into a truly spectacular combination of hilarity and revulsion.
Behind them, Magnus hefts the last of Angus’s luggage onto the train. It’s an easy task for the hulk of a man, since Angus doesn’t take much on trips. (A bad habit left over from childhood, Taako guesses, though Angus is taking more with him to school now than the stuff he took with him to the Bureau. Which doesn’t say much, ‘cause Ango arrived on the moon with, like, a couple pairs of clothes, an iron, some books, a spare pair of lenses. Now he’s got an entire suitcase stuffed with trinkets and good-luck gifts and three folders full of letters from his family that’s he’s carefully preserved over the years, and gods damn it, Taako is proud of him.)
Taako watches in vague amusement as Magnus unzips Angus’s bags surreptitiously, shuffling Angus off toward Taako while Merle slips yet another bag of sweets into his luggage for Angus to find later. Gods, he loves these idiots, he really does, but they’re dumb as a bag of fuckin’ rocks. Who do they think they’re fooling - the world’s greatest detective? Who’s he supposed to suspect is dropping scones in his bag, the fuckin’ Candlenights bunny?
“Well, this is about it, sir,” says Angus. One of the other kids’ bags falls and takes Merle down with a sound whack. Merle curses it out as Magnus replaces it hastily, looking fervently around himself.
“Sure is, D’jango,” Taako says without straightening from his post lounging against a nearby column, because his wisdom modifier is enough at level fuckin’ sixteen that he can save against Zones of Truth, thanks very much. “You excited?”
“Very much so!” Angus says. He adjusts his spectacles a little nervously.
Magnus and Merle have scooted away from the luggage compartment, which is now more or less in shambles.
Merle’s patting Magnus’s shoulder as he wipes a tear from his scarred face. Overly sentimental shithouse.