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The Thing About Flowers

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Renly leans up against the tourney seats, watching his squire with an easy smile as he approached. "Loras!" Sweat makes Loras Tyrell's hairline damp, and his eyes are bright and filled with adrenaline...from the fight of course. Not from anything else. Anyway, it drives Renly crazy, but he swallows and gains control. Loras approaches.

"Milord." he bows.

"You fought well." he says, and he notes how the younger man swells slightly with pride.

"Thank you very much, milord."

"I was wondering what you planned on wearing to the banquet tonight?" Renly blurts, then feels stupid. Way to be subtle. And smooth. Why is he so nervous around him, anyway?

Loras furrows his eyebrows. "Nothing." he says shortly.

"We'll make quite a pair then, because I'll dress to match." Renly’s eyes twinkle.

Loras snorts slightly and shakes his head. "Don't you ever get...tired of putting on clothes, milord?"

"I think he was talking about taking them off," a soft teasing voice murmurs in Loras' ear. He blushes bright red and shoves his little sister Margaery, though not hard enough to hurt her.

"What? I can't congratulate my big brother on his undefeated streak?" she says, smirking, before turning. "Milord, I hope you're well." she curtsies prettily and Renly smiles at her.

"Very, and yourself?" he says back.

"Also well, thank you. I'm very proud of Loras--we all are!" she pinches his cheek, which makes him hiss. Margaery laughs and curtsies again. "I'll take my leave. Good day, milord, Loras."

"Good day, Lady Margaery." Renly says warmly at her retreating figure.

Margaery Tyrell is pretty; anyone would have to be blind not to see. She has a delicate face with large eyes and confident eyebrows, along with the classic Tyrell family thick honey-blonde curls. And Renly is not blind. Maybe other men would fantasize about, shall we say, 'getting with her', but not him. It seems...weird. First of all she's six years younger than him at thirteen; secondly she's Loras' baby sister. Practically like family.

Family. Loras is family. They're like brothers, not just a lord and his squire... And sometimes, tiny naughty thoughts would creep into Renly's mind and whisper in his ear, you're even closer than that. You want to be closer than that... you want him.

"Milord." Loras prompts, making him jump with wide guilty eyes. He lowers his voice. "Renly. Are you all right?"

"What? Yeah, of course I am. Why wouldn't I be? I've never been better!" he rambles on, not meeting his eyes.

"...you talk fast when you're nervous." Loras chuckles. Renly gives a small smile. It's true; and seven hells, he'd die before he told the boy what he was thinking of. Because...well, he thought of it a lot.

"Walk with me, then." Renly says, smooth again, against his better judgement. "Away from prying eyes, yeah?"

"As milord wishes." Loras inclines his head slightly and falls into step next to him. They start to walk away from the crowds.

"I liked it better when you called me by my first name." Renly muses. "Titles are so stuffy, you know--and we're friends...right?"

"I think of us as that, Renly." Loras says shyly, not meeting his eyes. A pretty blush--prettier than Margaery's, he has to admit--dusts his cheeks.

"Good." he brushes his shoulder against his. "So do I. Now really, what are you going to wear tonight? It's an important occasion, to congratulate you on your success!"

"I told you." he says quietly.

"Loras, we both know you can't wear nothing."

"A flower is only as good as its petals." the younger man says wisely, solemnly. He quirks an eyebrow. "Don't you think so?"

Renly can't help but smirk: the Tyrell sigil is the flowers from High Garden. Instead he says, "Are you saying people are only as good as the clothes they wear? Because I do like my clothes, Loras, but I pray to the gods that they're not the only reason why you like me."

Loras laughs. "They're not. And I'm not saying that. I'm just saying they don't matter. At all."

He looks intrigued. "Are you still talking about me now?"

Loras shakes his head, his hazel eyes intense. "You can't eat a flower--"

"Mm, some would beg to differ."

"Hush, no one in their right minds eats flowers, Renly. And a flower can't keep you warm..."

"A flower can't knock you from a horse either." Renly says quietly. He doesn’t break eye contact. "A flower can't kill a man in a tourney."

Loras opens his mouth and closes it before he finds his voice again. He looks mad. "You're being stupid."

"I'd rather be a stupid man with my flowers, then a stupid man with a horse and stick." he shoots back.

"You're jealous of my winnings." Loras says incredulously. "Renly, I'm your squire. But I want to be a knight--I didn't ask for my gift with fighting, I practiced, I--"

"Loras!" Renly cuts him off, bemused. Or amused. Or both. "I'm not jealous of your fighting--I'm proud of you for that. I just--" he sighs. "I don't want you to get hurt. I don't like to see you hurt."