Magi is a team of talented dancers that gathers people from around the world. It was named after their performances which always seem to induce magic and their determination to show almost impossible moves. It all started when Ren Hakuyuu (Chinese, 44) tried to disengage the world from smartphone addiction. He had a few bad episodes ranging from complete solitude from family members to death because of radiation, and it all happened to his closest relatives. He took a walk one night while thinking of a solution, without a complete dismantling of smartphone usage in their lives, as that would benefit absolutely nobody. That time, he heard a drum and symbal sounds not far from where he stood, hence his eyes immediately caught a lion dance going on in front of him. He observed the crowd; They were interacting with their family, laughter and enjoyment, completely forgotten their electronic world for a while.
And that was enough to inspire Hakuyuu.
His team has been traveling around the world performing dance from all cultures. They have Rashid who taught the dancers on Indian and Persian dance, Hakuren and Hakuei on Eastern, Titus and Scheherazade on ancient Greek, and a few more. As a result of their diversity, they have a variety of choreography unique to their own group, and not to mention legendary. News spread on their extravagant and coordinated performance, earning them the title Magi.
Once again, Hakuyuu pinched the bridge of his nose. His migraine will settle in sooner or later, he can see it coming.
"Can you stop that?!"
"I'm sorry, but no."
These two, he silently thought, is gonna be the death of me.
"I swear, Judal, I will throw you like a rag if you keep that up."
Then came crashing sound.
"ASSHOLE!" yelled Judal.
A huge sigh came from Hakuyuu's mouth. No, ibuprofen won't suffice. He needed something stronger. Like Bourbon.
"Do you have any ideas on how to make them stop arguing mid-training?" asked Hakuyuu on Kouen one day.
"Well, I'd say separate them from that paired dance but that didn’t work before." Kouen sipped the sake in his cup, and poured some more. Hakuyuu let out a pained groan, slowly massaging his scalp that already has a pinch of headache seeping in. Thank God, there's not much people at the bar, or they would surely thought Hakuyuu was dying and Kouen a cold bastard who left him rotting on the counter.
"They always find a way to pick a fight with each other," said the blue-haired man. "How did Sinbad even throw Judal that high? It doesn’t make any sense!"
"What doesn’t make sense was how he got stuck there." Even Kouen shook his head in disbelief.
"He's light enough for you to lift him like a baby."
Kouen answered with an Oh?, while sipping another cup of sake. "How did it end up like this though?"
Hakuyuu studied his glass of Bourbon in silence, thinking back at how it all started.
The new recruits from East just arrived this evening. Hakuyuu went to greet them as soon as possible and let them meet up with Sindria, a veteran team in Magi, specializes in a choreography named Maharajan.
He can still remember the spark in between Judal and Sinbad, the first time they met. Worst thing was, Sinbad actually tried to flirt with Judal.
"Your eyes reminded me of the apple in Snow White," said Sinbad casually while on a handshake with Judal. Ja'far beside has grown frantic by his teammate's advance. Masrur and Sharrkan only stood beside him with amusement. Sinbad continued, "It's very beautiful but also poisonous."
Judal pulled his hand with arrogance. "If you can't handle the poison," he flipped his wavy hair, "then don't ogle, because you might be tempted to take a bite."
Hakuren and Alibaba who were watching at the side escaped a long Oooooohhh while covering their mouths, earning a soft smack from Morgiana later on. Don't egg them on, whispered her to them, as if they would listen.
"I'm not so sure about that." Sinbad folded his arms across his chest. "I've had enough poison from the past that I've grown immune to it." He smirked.
"Cocky, aren't you?" chuckled Judal as he drew closer to Sinbad, tiptoeing to get to his level. "Get your head off the clouds. You aren't as mighty as you think." Judal turned around in a flash, slapping Sinbad's cheek with his big braid, and he walked away with a little booty sway.
From the distance, Hakuren and Alibaba had already laughed their asses off, getting more and more pleased that someone put Sinbad back to his place; His ego was getting too big that nobody ever resisted him before. Meanwhile, Sinbad's face was already splashed with red, either from anger or embarassment, or both.
"Ja'far," called Sinbad all of a sudden, and Ja'far appeared behind him.
"Let's teach that son of a bitch a lesson," said Sinbad with determination on his golden eyes, later turned to Ja'far (it scared the other man to some extent). "Sindrian style."
Titus served as their choreographer that night, and as he set up the partners, he apparently didn’t get the memo; Hence, he paired up Sinbad with Judal during the middle and last bit of the song.
"Alright, everyone. Everything is according to what you learnt this evening. We take it slow to see our compatibility and coordination. If there's a problem, now is a good time to ask," pitched Titus before he played the song.
Judal raised his hand.
"Can you pair me up with someone less grabby?"
He earned a sharp glare from Sinbad. The purple-haired man later raised his hand.
Titus sighed before asking, "Yes, Sinbad, what do you want?"
"Can you change my partner? He's kind of a dick."
The others who were standing ready covered their mouth, concealing their laughter. Judal however, turned deep pink.
"Well, at least I have a dick."
"And I'm sure it's the one you have in your mouth."
Sharrkan and Kassim was already kneeling on the floor, laughing. The others were still covering their mouths, trying hard not to escape even a breath of giggle (but some failed entirely) because Judal's wrath afterwards can be catastrophic.
"We will see how this goes first! I will think on who to change your partners with, but for now, try…" Titus glanced at the two who were completely engulfed in a silent glaring fight. "… Just try not to kill each other for the moment." He pushed the button and the song played. Titus moved towards the front of the crowd, facing the same way as them.
"One, two, three, go!"
"Ah," said Kouen as he acknowledges the bad introduction they had. "And it exacerbated from there, correct?"
Hakuyuu nodded weakly. His mind increasingly clouded as he gulped down his third glass of Bourbon. "You know what…" He tried to focus on the glass he's holding but he can't. "I think I want them to be a fixed pair."
"Alright, Yuu." Kouen removed the glass from Hakuyuu's hand. "I think that's enough drinking for you tonight."
"They are…" slurred the dark-haired man, "… going to be gorgeous dancing together."
Kouen shook his head. "No, they are going to kill each other, and you are drunk."
"Listen to me, En!" Hakuyuu latched himself on Kouen sluggishly, and Kouen sighed. "Imagine this, Sinbad, the famous Persian dancer and Judal, the one who holds potential in his fan dance." He hiccuped and continued. "Dancing needs magic, En… There's gonna be magic if they dance together…"
"Oookay, I get you." The brunette tried to get rid of Hakuyuu's death grip, but it was proved futile. His arm clung onto his shoulder and the other one sling across his chest, like an overly attached monkey. Later, he sighed.
"Welp," he stood up and put Hakuyuu's arm behind his nape, his other hand supported the man at his waist. "Someone has to be sober," said him as he slapped down a few cash on the counter and dragged Hakuyuu towards their residence.
"Okay, you two," said Rashid. "I've heard more than enough complaints about your catfights during training." He stood in front of the pair, trying to intimidate the both of them, but sadly, it only worked on Sinbad.
"He started it first." Judal pointed at Sinbad with his lips, annoyed look splashed across while he's at it.
"No, I greeted you first. You started the fight," denied Sinbad, not relenting.
"Who the fuck greeted someone with a pick-up line?!"
"Apparently you haven't seen enough of the world yet!"
A loud clap from Rashid ringed in their ears and they stopped. At the side, Rashid let out an exhausted sigh. He hasn’t even started the special training for them and he's tired beyond his age already. "Judal, Sinbad, you both don't want to be here as much as me. So please, cooperate with me and let's get this over with."
Judal huffed, and Sinbad wiped his face with his palm, both sighed in sync. They agreed for once.
"Now, the first training is ball dance."
Two pairs of bewildered eyes caught Rashid.
"What? I'm sure you're more than capable to do that."
Judal shook his head. He faced Sinbad and put his hands on his hips. "Well? Come here quick, stupid."
Sinbad 'ugh'ed and stepped closer to Judal, hands on the air, confused on where he was allowed to put his hands on.
"What are you doing, idiot?"
"Don't want to touch your bony ribs and break it in the process."
Rashid left them with their banters and went to fetch his CD player with a speaker, only to go back and found Sinbad pulling both Judal's cheeks in frustration, and Judal poking Sinbad's nostrils and pushing him away as he groaned in pain.
"Oh good Lord," prayed Rashid silently, "please give me the strength to train these two…"
"Hey, Ja'far," called Pisti. Ja'far turned to his back and found the little blonde girl skipping to him. They then walked together towards their dormitory. "Have you seen Sin? He wasn’t in the rehearsal for the whole day."
"Oh," said Ja'far short. "He's in a special training until next weekend."
Ja'far shrugged. "Director's orders."
"Only him alone? Man, I envy him sometimes. Always getting the attention."
"Nah, he's with Judal." Ja'far snorted.
"Ah, then I feel sorry for him."
When the clock struck ten, Masrur and Sharrkan heard heavy footsteps heading towards their room. The door opened revealing Sinbad standing in a sleazy manner.
"Man, what did Rashid made you do, military course?" mocked Sharrkan, and Masrur only resumed his manga reading on his bed.
Sinbad, having no energy to reply to anyone anymore, simply dragged his feet inside and slammed his tired body on the bed, planted his face first on the pillow, in which later released a long muffled groan.
Ja'far then stepped into the room, dressed in only a towel as he just got back from a shower. "Do we have a zombie demanding our brain in here?"
Masrur and Sharrkan only signaled towards Sinbad, who was still groaning. Ja'far walked towards him and smacked his ribs.
"You okay, bruh?"
Sinbad tried his best to shake his head, a little strained when the pillow's position was on his face. His groan was still there.
"You want KFC?"
Another shake from his head.
The groan stopped. And Sinbad didn’t move.
Ja'far and Sharrkan were beginning to get worried if the man was dead suffocated by his pillow when Sinbad raised himself to a sitting position. "Do you know what Judal and I did today?!"
"He's alive," said Masrur flat, eyes still plastered on his manga. Meanwhile, Ja'far and Sharrkan took the positions next to Sinbad's bed. "What did you do?"
"We did a few rounds of ball dance, and then waltz, then suddenly B-boy, after that Indonesian…" Sinbad heaved a sigh. "I felt like I can never get out of that hell…"
"Oh yeah, with Judal there with you, I figured it'd be worse than hell," snickered Sharrkan.
"Actually Judal was okay."
To the surprise of the two, Sinbad uttered those words. "What?" said them both.
"Judal is 'okay'?"
"Did you hit your head somewhere, Sin?" asked Ja'far with a knowing look.
"No!" convinced Sinbad. "I spent some time with him, and he's actually a genius in dancing. He knew that my broad shoulders aren't suited for breakdancing, so he suggested some methods suitable for me."
Ja'far and Sharrkan only nodded at Sinbad's story.
"And during the ball dance, he also taught me the steps and how far my feet should go to not step on the female's foot. In turn, I also taught him some of waltz. It instantly became his favourite." Sinbad grinned at the image. "Silly boy. He was like a monkey jumping around."
Only Sinbad was laughing, but the other two were gawking at him, not believing the sudden change from just one training. Sharrkan went to put the hind of his palm at Sinbad's forehead, and it got smacked away.
"Nope, it's not fever," said Sharrkan confidently.
"I'm not ill," declared Sinbad, feeling a little insulted.
"How come we're not suspicious? Just yesterday, you were throwing that boy across the stage and he got stuck in one of the chair's hole!"
"And tonight you said he was okay!" Sharrkan even put up his two fingers in a quote-unquote move. "What did he do? Put you in a thrall?"
Sinbad only eyerolled at Sharrkan. "I am not in a thrall, and I am not sick. Judal is not bad, I like him, but his tongue will still hurt you inside out."
They both 'ahh'ed at that. Judal's mouth can be as sharp as a Caliph's sword, and the faint-hearted should not go anywhere near him.
A knock was heard at the door, and four heads turned towards the entrance. An hourglass figure stood there with wavy hair touching the floor, left unattended. "Sin," called the figure. Sinbad immediately went to it and followed the figure outside.
"Woah," said Sharrkan. Ja'far only looked at the tanned man, puzzled.
"Sin at the beck of his call…" He said in disbelief.
Now it struck Ja'far that Sinbad was really in a thrall, but not in a bad way.
"A monkey? Really?" said Judal as soon as Sinbad arrived behind him. He folded his arms across his chest, long strays of hair went inside the fold and tickled his skin.
Sinbad chuckled. "What? You really did look like that during waltz."
"Psssh please." Judal eyes rolled and he responded, "you were like a spider on a hot plate during that Korean dance."
Sinbad wished he could deny that, but that was a perfect metaphor of his situation. He gave out a shy smile. "Anyway, what brought you here?"
It only occurred to Judal to explain his presence here in Sinbad's dorm. "Um, did you by chance come across my hairband? It's black and uh…" He hesitated before continuing in a lower tone, "It's… from my mom."
Sinbad would be lying if he didn’t see the pink blush spreading across Judal's face, and it made his cuteness meter rose to a thousand. He found himself admiring Judal for a second. "I, uh, yeah, actually I did."
From the corner of his eyes, he saw Judal perked up, happy at his reply. It somehow made the warmth in his heart blossomed. He shoved his hand into his pocket and brought out a plain black hairband, later handing it to Judal's waiting hand. "Here."
Happy was an utter understatement to Judal's expression. He was beyond delighted to see his beloved hairband back into his posession. "Thank you!" said Judal with glee.
Just when Sinbad thought Judal couldn’t get any cuter, he managed to throw Sinbad into a blushing mess. He scratched the nape of his neck and muttered, "N-no problem."
After Judal left his dorm, Sinbad turned around to see Sharrkan, Ja'far and Masrur peeking from behind the door, all equipped with a judging stare. Sharrkan, especially, has a sly grin across his face.
"Someone's has a crrrrrrrrrrrush," said Sharrkan.
"S-shut up!" Sinbad stomped to his bed and grabbed his towel. "He's not my crush!"
"Uh huh," retorted Masrur.
"I--he--I didn’t--we-- AGH!" He later stormed into the bathroom, leaving his dormmates giggling.
"He's definitely fallen for him."
The rehearsal today had gone fine. Not great, but okay. For Hakuyuu though, he wanted them to be more than impressive, hence he demanded them to perfect their coordination some more, and to ask more from his choreographers. They can only sigh at his orders.
"Damn, Hakuyuu can't chill," said Judal, while drinking his water. They were on a break before continuing some more. Hakuryuu sat beside him, extending his hand at Judal and the man later handed him his bottle.
"Damn right, he is." Hakuryuu cannot deny that his brother is a perfectionist. Growing up in a Chinese household, getting less than B in exams are purely asking for punishment. He can't say that he hated it though. It made him a great dancer today, and Hakuryuu is grateful for it.
While they were resting at a corner, Judal's eyes caught something sexy.
Sinbad without his top. And to be added, he splashed his head with that bottled water of his.
Judal can't tear his eyes off that perfectly sculpted body enough to compete with a Greek God, and tanned tanned skin, dark violet hair latching onto said body which was now dripping wet with sweat and mineral water. It was like watching a commercial for summer at the beach, and Judal will be the first one to be ready for it.
"Judal?" Hakuryuu waved his palm in front of Judal's face but he wasn’t responding. "Yo, what's got you frozen?" He poked Judal's shoulder hard, and it managed to pull Judal back to reality.
"Ah, wha-- what?" said him as if he was put out of a trance. His eyes accidentally went back to Sinbad (or his body, but he'd never say that), and he saw a smirk placed on his partner's face, all the while looking straight at Judal.
Oh my God, that was on purpose.
Judal's mouth gaped open as he was struck speechless by Sinbad's arrogance. His left eye twitched, a sign of utter anger filling up his mind. He inhaled a huge amount of air, rolled his eyes and stood up, advancing towards Sinbad with a bottle in his hand.
"Sin," called him when he's beside Sinbad. The man turned to him, a little surprised that Judal was now here.
Without any warning, Judal stripped his T-shirt and splashed his head with water; He threw the shirt on Sinbad's face and shook the excess water dripping off his head. "What the--" said Sinbad startled before his golden orbs caught a lithe figure, too thin to be a man's, now decorated with droplets of water. Sinbad thought that was his highlight so he was ready to mock Judal for it but when he looked at Judal's face,
Sinbad's mouth forgot to close.
Cool and sharp crimson eyes looking at the distance, shaped jaw and high cheekbones moist, and pink lips apart. Judal combed his hair backwards with his fingers, revealing his undeniably good-looking features in front of Sinbad. It's absurd that someone so toxic can simultaneously be so beautiful. Judal glanced at Sinbad, his lips quirked up a smirk.
"You think you're the only who can act all hot and sexy?" addressed Judal. He sprinkled some water dripping from his fingers to Sinbad's face, startling him some more.
"Shit, you don't have to do that!" said Sinbad as he wiped his face. "Okay, you caught me." He raised both his palms, admitting defeat and shaking his head slowly. "Didn’t expect you to catch it so early though."
"It's not like I want to look at you." Judal gulped some water.
"Sure." Sinbad can't help but smile. When Judal's acting all tsundere on him, it was actually kind of adorable. "Ah, practice is about to start. I'm gonna go back to my spot."
Before Judal could stand up, Sinbad dumped the rest of his bottle's content on Judal's head, and later made a run for it across the hall.
And chaos ensued.
"We were planned to what?!" exclaimed Judal and Sinbad together in front of Scheherazade. She slightly leaned backwards, avoiding their voice from destroying her eardrums.
"Duet," said her again, as if the first time she said it, it flew over their heads. "You are going to duet during the middle part, after Alibaba and Morgiana's."
They looked at each other, confusions sprawled across their faces. "But why us?"
"Well." She scratched her head. "I don’t get it either but for some strange reason, Hakuyuu wants you two to be a fixed pair." Her small shoulders shrugged.
"But we barely get along with each other!"
"We don’t need you two to get all buddies for this," addressed Scheherazade, stern. "We need coherency and competence, two aspects which we can see from your training."
So that training did mean something.
"Okay, I need you two to go to Muu and Titus for your part. They are trying to come up with something, because believe me when I said Hakuyuu's orders are hurting all of us, and that means all of us." Her index finger pointed out a direction for them to go, and Judal and Sinbad immediately head to their choreographer's spot.
From afar, Muu seemed to be lifting Titus for a while, and then they talked about something but later, Muu put Titus back down, only for him to throw Titus back in the air, and catch him right before he landed.
Sinbad and Judal watched with their mouths agaped, suddenly were sceptical on whether they should agree to this sudden arrangement at all.
If Sinbad has to throw Judal that high, he will need a lifeboat, a life rope, and a life insurance at that. But according to experience, Sinbad had already thrown Judal somewhere, so there's that.
"Oh, you're here," called Muu as he can sense two figures slowly closing in towards them. He put down Titus, gently, and faced them both.
"So, the thing that you guys were practicing… Can't be…" Judal chuckled nervously.
"Yeah, that was for you two," said Titus cheerfully, as if he was not faltered by the throw at all.
They both gulped. "W-we are amateurs…?" declared Sinbad as he motioned between the two of them. Judal nodded vigorously. "We can't… throw people around, it's not right."
"Nah, the only one throwing people will be you Sin." With a wave of his hand, Titus shrugged off Sinbad's comment as he smiled at him. Dark clouds can be seen forming above Sinbad's head, casting an eerie air spelling doom. "As for you, Judal, you will need to prepare your body appropriately so he could throw and catch you properly."
His mind was drawn to a blank. Sure, throw his body like a rag doll. That will be one hell of a performance.
Hence, Sinbad and Judal was separated between Muu and Titus. They took an hour to learn their moves, and another hour to practice it together (Although no throwings allowed yet. They can't afford to find another Judal if he got injured or break his neck and die). They were both so nervous, they were sweating through their palms.
Other than the throw, the dance was considered mild. It was hand-holding for most parts, a bit of a spin and some hair grabs; Muu likes to use hair as an extension to limbs. Aside from the move-that-shall-not-be-named, they got most of the steps pretty fast. It was just a matter of a full training with the dangerous move involved, and actually doing it in rehearsal and lastly, the real performance.
"Man, my hands are killing me." Sinbad landed himself on the bed roughly. The bed squeaked as his weight came smashing down, earning Sharrkan's attention.
"What was your training?" He sneered. Sinbad only glanced at him from his lying position.
"Throwing Judal around."
Sharrkan laughed without a single clue. "No, seriously, what was your training?"
"Throwing Judal around," repeated Sinbad, this time stressing at the word 'throwing'.
Sinbad shook his head. Sharrkan stared at him with wide eyes, his mouth zipped. "Why would I lie to you?"
He's got a point there. Sharrkan put his fingers on his chin, thinking of what drove their instructors to choose Sinbad and Judal to do a highly risky move. "How's the throwing going then?"
"From what I see? Not good," said Sinbad, his body not moving an inch since the moment he crashed. "Judal was waving around too much whenever I throw him, and we even had to practice with Muu a couple of times before we did the real thing."
And it's still wasn’t enough.
Sinbad wished he could say those words, but he's immensely tired and spent, the words only came out as a very long sigh. All he wanted to do was sleep. Regain back all his strength that was used to throw Judal's petite body up in the air. This was one of the rare times he wished he was Masrur, so he could throw a hundred Judals up there.
Sharrkan planned to speak some more with Sinbad, but seeing him with closed eyes, accompanied with soft snore, he decided to let him be. Sinbad needed the rest.
"Ugh!" screamed them both in frustration. "Once again!"
Sinbad failed to catch Judal again, and at this rate, his butt was going to grow sore from all the landings on the mat; Layered or not, it's still not as thick as a mattress.
"Sinbad, Judal, I need you two to relax," cooed Titus. "We are training, of course mistakes happen."
"I'm frustrated because we're not going anywhere!" exclaimed Judal. "We've been stuck with this damned throw for three weeks now. If it's a person, I can tell it to go fuck itself, but it's not!"
Meanwhile, Sinbad stood silently at the side, but Muu can sense his anger fuming inside, and it's on par with Judal's. Their attempts on the throw have been sporadic in result; Sometimes they succeeded, other times, not so fun on Judal's part. Basically, it's all based on pure luck.
"Sinbad, Judal, it's not all about dance, okay?" adviced Muu.
"Huh?" The pair looked at Muu, unable to comprehend Muu's meaning.
"Have you ever thought of yourselves as one person?"
They were silenced. Yes, they danced before in training, but it was for their own selves. They slowly shook their heads.
"You see, if you consider yourselves as one person, you will know what the other half was thinking, what its next move will be, and where their trust was placed."
Sinbad and Judal looked at each other. Trust? That was a whole new level of relationship for them.
"Sinbad, when you throw Judal, he trusted you to catch him when he falls, and you need to be ready for it. Take responsibility on him. Judal is your wings, and you are the feet. You two cannot exist without the other."
"And for Judal," continued Titus, "Don't be scared. Sinbad will catch you. Your job is to fly; Show off, in your words! Just trust Sinbad, he will always be there waiting for you." Titus smiled.
They nodded their head, understanding a new meaning on the throw, and also feeling abashed as they were dancing solely for themselves before this.
"There's nothing wrong with dancing for yourself," said Muu, as if he can read their minds. "But in a duet, the audience will look at the both of you. They won't see you as two person, they only see you as one performance."
Sinbad looked at Judal, and Judal looked back. Confidence seeped back in them, and this time, they're more than ready to resume.
"Let's go," urged Sinbad, and Judal followed.
It took a couple more weekends for Judal and Sinbad to perfect their special move, and when they finally did it without exerting too much effort, they were beyond ecstatic. In fact, they even hugged each other so tight, it feels like they won't separate for life.
"I can't wait to see their faces when we show it to them later!" said Judal, throwing his arms up in the air as he stretched.
"Yeah, their eyes are gonna open so wide, it's gonna roll out of their socket!"
A set of laughter came from them again. They walked together towards Judal's dorm, because they usually hangout for an hour or so before Sinbad goes back to his room to sleep.
"Yo," greeted Sin as soon as he stepped into the dorm, revealing Hakuryuu, Kouen and Koumei playing cards in the middle of the room. Hakuryuu and Koumei held up his hand, greeting Sinbad back, but Kouen only replied with a glare before returning back to his game.
A pain in the ass as usual, thought Sinbad with a smile. He sat on Judal's bed casually, and waited for him.
"Didn’t think you'd still have the energy to have a date with Judal after practice," voiced Kouen, trying to provoke Sinbad.
"It's not a date, it's called hanging out and taking a breather." He rolled his eyes. Kouen will always try to start a fight whenever he comes to Judal's dorm (he really doesn’t know what's his problem), and he will try his best not to eat the bait. But Kouen's words can be very rude, so sometimes, just sometimes, he loses control.
"Kouen," called Judal from the door, appearing with a changed T-shirt and pants. He sighed. "Stop pissing off Sinbad whenever he's here."
Sinbad hated it when Judal sounded so calm and collected when he talked with Kouen, as if a mother talking to a child. Judal have this voice reserved especially for Kouen, and he have to admit he's kinda jealous.
"I did not," denied Kouen, his eyes looking straight at the cards and keeping a poker face.
"Then explain why Sinbad's face is so damn tight after I came back?"
Kouen answered with a silent resistance, and Koumei found his actions very cute. If one scrutinizes Kouen's face, just above the goatee, a very small pout was formed. He was like an abandoned puppy.
Without wasting anymore time, Judal head towards his locker and pulled out a big comb, and proceed to unbraid his hair. He sat down in front of Sinbad, his back facing him. His hand held out the comb at Sinbad's direction and said, "here."
The purple-haired man fetched the comb and began his process of untangling Judal's hair. It was almost a routine that they do this every weekend. Judal used to fuss about his hair getting a little too long for its own purpose and was thinking of cutting it, but Sinbad quickly offered to fix it for him, just as a trade for not cutting his long hair.
Sometimes Sinbad asked himself if he was an idiot.
As if his fatigue from the training wasn’t enough, he offered a labor task on combing another man's hair afterwards. Judal's hair is long, very long, like he's not even kidding. The hair could exceed Judal's 170cm height, and have enough leftovers for a bald man to make a wig. Other than being long, it's also very silky, despite the unruly floof at the top of his head. He probably had it in a braid long enough for it to form a wavy shape, making his appearance more beautiful.
He did not just said Judal is beautiful.
Sinbad also realized that Judal's hair was thick and pitch black, like an overgrown forest he can lose himself in. And it emanated a scent of flower and fruits. This was one of the reasons Sinbad enjoyed this activity.
"Don't fall in love with my hair now," said Judal smug. It's not like he can't see Sinbad's intense stare while his hands were busy combing. "One moment you're combing, the next moment you gonna start making out with it."
That managed to make Sinbad blush hard. "I do not!" refuted him. Not long after that, he finished grooming the hair and proudly lift it in the air, only to see it fall down like black waterfall, smooth and light. "Done."
"Alright," replied Judal, and he switched places with Sinbad. Now his hair in Judal's hand, unrestrained and loose. "Damn, how many times a day did you wash your hair?" His hands tried to pry open Sinbad's rough straight hair; It got stuck at some places which made him raised the question.
"As much as you?" Sinbad got to admit, he's not the best in hair care. If his occupation doesn’t require him to shave, he'd probably had a beard like a Viking by now (In which his friends doesn’t agree with because he would look like a pedobear). "It's probably hair types."
"Nah. Do you use conditioners often?"
Puzzled look from Sinbad answered a lot.
"Sinbad, my stupid boy, long hair needs conditioner after you wash it," explained Judal. "It's dry and it needs extra care. With great hair comes great responsibilities."
A loud snort came from Hakuryuu. Judal shot him a glare before continuing his combing.
"Men often neglect the duty of conditioning their hair because one: shampoo is enough, and two: it's cheaper." His hands did a quick work on Sinbad's purple hair, occasionally pulling out strands of hair stuck at the comb. "If you start using conditioner, you will see the difference. Believe me." As he recollected Sinbad's long hair and put it back together with his hairband, Judal took the time to inspect Sinbad's hind profile.
His neck looks strong, sinews and blood vessels showing off their shapes under that evenly tanned skin. Sideburns properly trimmed, but the left side of his bangs seemed a little shorter than the others (He's gonna ask Sinbad about that later). While he was busy studying Sinbad's neck and broad shoulders, Sinbad turned to look at him.
"Is it done?"
The sinews on his neck grew more apparent, and God his Adam's apple. Judal swallowed hard. If he has no self-control, he's afraid of what he might do to this beautiful piece of God's creation. "A-almost."
Thank goodness Sinbad faced back forward or he might see Judal's light blush.
Well, at least Sinbad didn’t. Judal can't say the same for the others in the room, judging from the snickers he's hearing.
"How's the practice going?" asked Hakuyuu one morning to Muu and Scheherazade. Both his coworkers scoffed loudly, rather impolite despite his title as their director.
"Hakuyuu…" growled Scheherazade under her tone. "If you're not my director, I would've long thought of quitting."
Abashed, Hakuyuu shot up a hand to scratch the base of his neck. "Sorry," whimpered him with an apologetic face.
"I sure hope so. Nobody else would humor your antics, from what I see," said the petite blonde, annoyance still nesting in her tone.
"But you do agree we need something more to that performance, right?"
As much as she wanted to disagree, what Hakuyuu said was true. The performance needed an umph, according to Hakuyuu's word. All other choreographers agreed they needed something more. Hence, they arranged Sinbad and Judal's part.
Scheherazade can only manage a sigh. It has been tiring on her part, taking control of the crowd's coordination and timing. Titus and Muu has been very helpful for creating the pair's dance, but Scheherazade pretty much directed the other people's dance on her own tiny shoulders. She's a great teacher, no doubt, but she can only take so much.
"We will do another rehearsal tomorrow morning at eleven," reported Scheherazade. "I expect you to be ready to be amazed."
Although currently Scheherazade was acting more like a leader than Hakuyuu, moreover when she addressed that in a commanding tone, it didn’t change the fact that she was still working under him. Hakuyuu smiled. Now Scheherazade exuded confidence, something that was expected from her, which was also one of the reasons she was recruited in the first place. "Alright, I will be ready."
It was a usual occurrence for Judal to practice the evening before a big rehearsal, just to make sure he won't be the blackhole tomorrow. Not many people knew about this side of Judal but Hakuryuu. It would be better if Hakuryuu was his partner for the dance, but it just had to be that Supreme Lord of Stupid.
Judal walked down to the studio, dressed as casually as he could; tracksuit and sleeveless red shirt. His long hair was formed into a big braid as usual. His hands pulled out his Samsung, calling Sinbad to practice with him. Deep inside, he was flooded with anticipation.
Working with Sinbad has been fun, it actually worried him. When the journey went so smooth, something tend to go wrong towards the end. And he can't say he's looking forward to it.
Before he walked into the studio, he saw a crowd of girls flocking a man like ants on sugar. He scrutinized the lone figure standing in the middle of it.
It was Sinbad.
Judal didn’t understand the soft thump in his heart that made him froze. He knew all along that Sinbad is popular with girls, then why was he standing here getting shocked over this simple fact? Judal made an eyeroll and walked into the studio, trying to brush it off as soon as he could.
He practiced his part without Sinbad. However, the studio felt so silent and lonely. Apparently he was used to a partner's presence, and when he was suddenly plunged back into his lonely self, he grew awkward to it. His steps stopped.
His timing was wrong. His sequence was wrong. Judal grew frustrated to it, he ended up kicking a plastic chair not far from where he stood.
What is wrong with him?
Judal is a genius in dancing, everybody can tell. He can't allow himself making simple mistakes like this or his reputation would go down. He heaved out a heavy sigh.
Was it Sinbad?
When Judal realized that Sinbad's fond smile wasn’t reserved only for him, he was disappointed. In fact, he was disappointed that he permitted himself to let Sinbad fill his heart. He shouldn’t have done that.
"Who's in here?"
That voice made Judal jolted in surprise. He didn’t need to turn around to see the purple hair adorning the handsome face peeking in the studio door. The mirrors in the room made his job a lot easier. "What do you want?" questioned him in a cold manner.
"Ah, I thought someone forgot to switch off the lights." Sinbad chuckled, but it fueled Judal's anger somehow. "Judal, are you okay? You look tense."
His face must be too tight for Sinbad to see it. He harrumphed. "It's rehearsal tomorrow and it's impossible for me not to stress about it."
Without invitation, Sinbad stepped into the studio, heading to Judal while at it. "Well then, let's train together?"
Sinbad's face was the last thing he wanted to see right now, but he tried to push that feeling aside, and acted professional. He nodded on Sinbad's request.
They moved in sync for the crowd dance they learnt, less enthusiasm from Judal. His will to dance had reduced to less than the size of a kitten. Five minutes passed, and it's time for their special move: the throw.
Alright, Judal, don't fuck it up, he reminded himself. He dashed towards Sinbad, his mind busy counting the steps he had fixed in the countless practices before. Centimeters before he reached in Sinbad's waiting arms, his mind accidentally flew back to where the hands had been; Maybe on a curvaceous lady's lower back, or some girls' juicy thighs, or maybe some women's front torso.
Judal felt disgusted.
He immediately stopped before Sinbad could reach him, and it puzzled Sinbad to the max.
Judal tried to stop his mind from overwhelming his sight with nonsensical imaginations, but the image he saw before he stepped into the studio was more than enough evidence. He shook his head.
"Judal? Are you okay?"
Ah, shit. Everything is wrong. He cursed himself for screwing things up, especially the evening before a big rehearsal. "I-I'm sorry." He croaked.
That managed to throw Sinbad into a state of confusion. "Judal, we trained for this. For more than a month." He urged Judal to try again with his hand. "Come on. Let's try again."
Judal took a deep breath and turned around, back to his starting position. However, the image didn’t go away, instead, it came back with a vengeance.
"Shit…" whispered Judal to himself. "Shit, stop. Not today." He angrily reminded himself, trying to surpress the jealousy nesting in his mind back to its core, and he dashed once again to Sinbad.
His last step was a few centimeters short, hence the throw was a little off. Sinbad sensed something was amiss but he only saw the disaster coming right before Judal jumped into the air.
Unable to control his body midair, Judal landed shoulder-first on the cold hard floor. He shrieked in pain.
Good job, Judal. He mocked himself. He sat at one of the chairs in the hall. The stage was occupied by the dancers for the big rehearsal, and every moment that passed was plain torture for the man. His shoulder was swollen, his muscles strained from the fall the evening before.
He can still hear Sinbad's scream when he fell on the floor yesterday. There were no bones broken, no dislocated shoulders whatsoever, but the pain can drive him to suicide. It was later pointed out that his muscles has been working so hard, it had started to fight with cramps, moreover the sudden crash had given the muscles an extra shock they didn’t need.
And now, he can barely lift his left arm. The sinew was completely weakened, and if left without a fabric sling supporting his arm, it will be dangling like grapes on its stem.
Once again, Judal congratulated himself for being the biggest blackhole he can ever be. The throw was supposed to be the highlight for the rehearsal, and now it was replaced with the previous lame choreography.
He had nobody else to blame but himself.
Unable to see the rehearsal going on without him, he stepped outside the hall. His disappointment grew with every second that passed. Slowly, he leaned against a wall as the dam in his eyes spilled.
The day passed by quietly, as silent as Judal's sobbing.
"He has been crying all day."
Koumei casted a glance full of sympathy towards Judal's sleeping figure. Moreover with Hakuryuu's statement, Koumei wished he could do more for his roommate other than feeling sorry. He can clearly see Judal's swollen eyes, albeit the closed eyelid. The shock must've been too painful for him.
"Has he eaten?" asked Koumei full of concern. Sadly, Hakuryuu shook his head. Judal had always been the tough kid who doesn’t like to eat, moreover when he's stressed. But in this state, not eating is not helping him.
Seeing how peaceful his sleeping face can make the person who woke him up feel as guilty as a traitor of Jesus. Koumei, however, took up the task to make sure he at least eats a bite of peach, or a gulp of water. As he shook Judal's shoulder, the man stirred for a while before opening his eyes revealing those flashy red orbs of his.
"Judal, eat something," said Koumei as softly as he could. Judal's state as of now was like a sensitive bird. One wrong step and he would fly away and never come back.
"'M not hungry," murmured him, but later his stomach told Koumei the truth as it growled, one that reached Koumei's keen ears.
"Come on. I got some fruits for you." Koumei put his hand on Judal's lower back. "Please, eat. For us at least?"
Judal wanted to deny, but Koumei was like the brother who always wants the best for him, and he couldn’t bring himself to say no. Lazily, he nodded. Koumei smiled.
"Okay. Stay here. I'll bring in some apples."
Judal's condition seemed to cause an uproar in the dance team. It spread out like a wildfire, and it worried Scheherazade and Titus; Both were of different reasons.
"This is gonna hurt the performance," thought Scheherazade alone.
"I wonder how this will affect his motivation," thought Titus.
The blonde twin went to ask Sinbad if he wanted to change partners, in which later Sinbad refused.
"I either do it with him or not do it at all," answered Sinbad stubbornly. Hearing that, Scheherazade was beyond furious.
"This performance is not all about you!" exclaimed her. "We all have worked hard for this! We are depending on you to catch the audience's attention, and you're saying you don't want to do it without Judal?!"
"I have trained with him for a month! I can't adjust it as easily as you said!" retorted Sinbad with the same level of anger.
"It's only throwing people! What's so hard about that?!"
"It's not about throwing!" His voice boomed, earning a few glances from passerby. "It's about coherency and competence! You yourself said it before we started! Don't you dare go back on your words!"
"How dare you talk back to me like that!" Scheherazade's hand was on the verge of slapping Sinbad before Titus caught it. His eyes fixed on Sinbad who was already in deep shade of red, seething with rage.
"Sinbad, may I talk with you for a minute?"
Titus' request didn’t seem too overbearing, and to Sinbad, anything was better than facing Scheherazade's anger. She left them alone, finding a place for her to wind down the emotions stirring in her mind.
"Even for you, that was a bit rude, Sinbad," said Titus stern, but calmer than the storm called Scheherazade just now. As Sinbad let himself think, and the anger died down by a bit, he admitted that he was a bit out of line.
"I'm sorry…" His face formed a frown. It felt like nothing ever went right after Judal's injury.
"It's alright. Everyone is stressed out right now." Titus gently pat Sinbad's back. "Have you visited Judal yet?"
Sinbad shook his head. Judal turned extremely introverted and fragile, it frightened him at some point. He was afraid to go near Judal because he didn’t recognize this side of him. He's scared that he might break him if he talked about the wrong thing, and Judal ended up avoiding him. And that was the last thing he wanted from Judal.
"I'm scared," confessed Sinbad, to the surprise of Titus.
All Sinbad can do was stare down at the floor. "It's as if he's a porcelain doll. His eyes no longer have that shine whenever he danced." He sighed. "I… Don't know how to approach him."
Titus almost pitied Sinbad for seeing his partner breaking down in front of his eyes. "Sinbad, right now Judal needs all the support he can get. His morale is rock bottom. You, as his partner, can lift it back up." He put his hand on Sinbad's shoulder. "Throw it back up, just like your training. He already put his trust in you many times before, I'm sure you can do it again."
Sinbad looked into Titus' eyes. It shone with nothing but good will. Sinbad was later convinced.
He was gonna give Judal a visit soon.
Judal was in no way a fully disabled person, so he hates it when Hakuryuu, Koumei and especially Kouen treated him as if he was on a wheelchair-level of disabled. To show his rebellion, he usually disappeared from the room to get some air without anyone escorting him around (In which he was lectured later by Kouen).
Today was no exception. He strolled back to his dormitory after taking a walk at the hills nearby. He needed the constant cardiovascular exercise so he won't be out of shape. As he headed towards his room, he heard a familiar voice talking with Kouen. Although, their conversation seemed to be heating up.
Sinbad was trying not to piss Kouen off (he still doesn’t know what's his problem, Lord have Mercy) when his eyes caught the svelte figure standing at the entrance. His fight with Kouen ended abruptly. "Judal," said him short.
Judal's intention was to head straight to bed, but seemed like Sinbad had another idea in mind. "What are you doing here, Sin?"
With Kouen ignored, Sinbad headed towards Judal who was standing at the entrance. "I, uh, just wanted to say hi," said him, embarassed.
Sinbad was busy finding words to form, and Judal's action of tilting his head in confusion didn’t help him at the least, instead he went down to a more blubbering mess.
He later took a deep breath, calmed himself down and rested his palms on Judal's shoulder (While making sure he didn’t hit any sensitive nerves that was still healing on Judal's injury).
"Judal," breathed Sinbad. "I need you."
Judal blinked. And he waited for Sinbad to say more.
But Sinbad was oblivious on where he needed to explain, so Judal needed to ask from him, since he was rendered unable to smack him square in the face.
"Keep going?" asked Judal. That's when Sinbad 'oh'ed and continued.
"I need you to dance with me."
The shorter man was struck speechless. "Sin," he started. "Maybe in a parallel world where I have wings to spread instead of just arms, I can comply with your request, but in this world, I will have to sacrifice an arm to do that."
Before Judal could enter his room, Sinbad barred his walk. "No, you don't have to have wings to fly." He softly settled his grab on Judal's uninjured hand. "I am the feet, and you are the wings. Without you, I'm nothing."
Judal let out a soft sigh, his eyes rolled slightly. "Are you seriously asking me to dance with an injured arm?"
"Do you trust me?"
He was again dumbfounded. "That's beside the point. I don't trust myself, Sin."
"But I do." Sinbad once again held Judal with both of his hands. "Believe me, you can fly. And when you fall, I'll be there for you. I promise."
Judal hated empty promises, but with Sinbad, he felt as if those were real talk. After a few minutes of hesitance, Judal deliberately nodded while muttering a silent 'okay'.
Sinbad's sincere grin healed Judal by a tinge.
Muu was slightly against the idea of making Judal train with his shoulder still sprained, but Titus and Sinbad insisted, with their knees on the ground, making it hard for Muu to deny them. He adjusted their throwing positions slightly so Judal's energy can be focused on jumping to the air using Sinbad's knee as a catapult, and Sinbad receiving Judal with his torso instead of catching his arms.
It was a very dangerous move, and Judal risked losing a limb for this. But because of his pride and also Sinbad's persuasion, Judal wanted to make it happen. They trained as hard as they can, but with Judal's needed rest being kept in mind.
It didn’t take long before it was the last day of training. Everybody involved in the performance was utterly nervous and puzzled; Does Judal and Sinbad's highlight still going on or it's canceled? It was later informed to them by Scheherazade that the pair's part was to remain mystery until performance day, which was tomorrow. Excitement and worry spread across the crowd, but they have faith in Judal and Sinbad.
The hall was pouring with people eager to watch Magi's newest performance. Some of them were even die-hard fans; They can easily be detected holding a banner with a neat handwriting spelling Magi. Hakuyuu, as the director, held the first microphone and gave a little speech before starting the show. As the lights grew dim, people settled down and chatters turned into murmurs.
The music grew loud, booming from the speakers but not to the point of deafening. One spotlight shone on the girl dancers on the stage, draped in white cloths and rows of gold bangles, and the music of sitar and bongos played in the background. The fans cheered. They knew the song. It was Maharajan!
As the music became faster, the audience clapped in rhythm of the music, and they sang along. Echoes of "Hey" bounced from the walls, making the show more and more lively. The dancers grew excited. Their steps became faster and faster, as if challenging the music.
From the audience seat, Hakuyuu looked back. All of the people were enjoying his performance, smartphones safely tucked in their pockets. He formed a fond smile. His original objective was never forgotten, and he has his team to thank for that.
Thank you, everyone.
After Maharajan ended, the audience was cheering so loud, Hakuyuu almost drew tears. He later stood up and walked to the stage, his microphone in hand.
Afterwards, he introduced an Eastern fan dance called Ruined Hometown, led by Kougyoku. The team positioned themselves as the spotlight switched off. When it was turned back on, the music started, and the dancers elegantly whipped open their fans.
The audience was silent with awe. The dance was graceful and neat, it felt like seeing a woman of nobility dancing with the tail of a male peacock. Kougyoku's eyes were especially soft, as if she was regaling a tale of a princess.
As the dance went on, the music grew intense, and the dancers' movement became more discreet. It was as if the story was thrusted into war. With Kougyoku's elaborate arms switching in between lady-like and warrior, the audience were enchanted to the point that it was total silence.
After a while, the dancers dropped one by one, as the music closing in to the end, until Kougyoku was the only one left. Her fan was put down, tears streaming down her face, and she stood up with pride. When she finally dropped, the audience cried together with her. And the music stopped.
Some people stood up from their seat, giving the performance a standing ovation. Muffled sniffling and sobbing can be heard from the audience, and Hakuyuu thought it was a job well done. He didn’t forget to go upstage once again, this time to introduce their newest performance, Valse di Fantastica, this time with new and old dancers infused. The crowd was cheering beyond control, anticipating the show.
This time, the music started out strong, and waves of dancers flooded into the stage. Without coordination, this dance was just a mess of Jumanji outbreak, but experienced performers such as Magi, the synced dance became a soothing thing to watch. At first it started with a little waltz, combining dancers from both Maharajan and Ruined Hometown, and a few additions. They all danced with perfect sync, it's almost like a work of copy and paste in Photoshop's After Effects.
When the music picked up, the dancers ran out and were replaced by another wave of dancers, this time made of mostly males holding a sword. They swung their sword in an orderly fashion, it's almost easy to forget that it's a lethal weapon. Emotions ranged from scared to concerned ran across the audience, but the dance was so organized, they were immediately put to rest.
As the sword dancers scampered out, two people were seen holding each other's hands; One with blonde head, the other bright red. The audience fell into a sense of domesticity as the two danced happily like a pair of children playing house. They both moved with a wide smile on their faces, and the audience can't help but feel happy for the both of them.
The music grew loud again, and this time the redhead was gone, leaving the blonde to lead a bunch of dancers with his martial arts move. It was as if the background dancers were a wave of special effects, as it gave the blonde ripples of his little kicks and punches, mincing a few mild shouts in their moves. He spun around and around, dancing madly with intense focus, and later they gave way to two dancers, one with dark violet hair and another one, long-braided black hair.
It's time, Judal thought. His hands busy searching for Sinbad's as they moved together like in practice. His injured hand was concealed under a fake black wing, and he has the make-up team to thank for that. The music was the same as ever, and so was his partner, but why…
Why does he feel a little warm? His part with Sinbad grew into something else, it's borderline sensual. His eyes can't help but be captivated by Sinbad's unwavering gaze at his red orbs. The world felt like it stopped spinning, and they were the only one mattered.
Judal's ears suddenly caught the music again. It's almost time for the big revelation. He distanced himself from Sinbad, and later, with full confidence, zoomed towards him and lunged himself into the air, inserting a little spin while at it.
Judal was always an ambitious man, especially when he had such a great partner to work with, there's no way he would settle for less.
He was the wings, and he's going to aim for the sky.
As he felt the descend, his eyes went back to Sinbad, who's already extending his arms to catch him.
I'll be there for you. I promise.
It was as if Judal was a fallen angel, and Sinbad a commoner who asked for an answer to his prayer.
Judal landed perfectly in Sinbad's hug with little Umpph, but they continued to dance with the music. To their relief, the beats were slowed down by that time, and they only need to do a little couple dance.
His heart was already racing from the throw and performance. He certainly didn’t need Sinbad's touch to increase it. However, it's the final performance now, and this will be the end. Judal tried to bear with it, his blushes be damned, and moved with all he had left in him.
The audience were extremely engrossed with their dancing, it brought their minds back to a fairy tale. It's not about princes and princesses, but a king with his queen.
And the note ended there, with Sinbad hugging Judal from behind, their eyes closed, and sweat shining from their faces. They breathed hard; Judal can actually sense every thump of Sinbad's racing heart. His back was practically leaning against his chest.
The audience was brought back to reality, and was actually a little disappointed that the fairytale ended there, and definitely wouldn’t mind to have them all played in a loop. They all stood up and clapped. The noise suddenly came crashing down on Judal. His nervousness kicked in and it went straight to his knees, giving it a shiver. As much as he hated being dependant on people, he scooted closer to Sinbad to support himself for a while longer.
Hakuyuu went back on the stage and called out all his dancers to give a bow to the audience. As they dispersed, he later summoned his choreographers and the staffs involved for the production. The clapping seemed like it would last forever.
It was truly a magical show.
"We did it!"
They both shouted as they got in the locker room. The smile on their faces were from pure happiness and adrenaline.
"Oh my God you even did a little spin!"
"Hell yeah I did!"
Words woven with chuckle. Smile in between breaths. Sweat mixed with makeups. They could be offered all the wealthiness in the world and would still choose this moment after a successful performance.
"How did it even occur to you?" asked Sinbad as he looked at Judal with eyes still caught in disbelief.
Judal's eyes formed two perfect crescents, smiling widely as he looked back at Sinbad. "I know you'll be there."
Love formed in mysterious ways. At this moment, they learnt that love does not appear just from crushes, affection and adoration. It comes from trust, faith and dependancy, just like the throw.
"Dude," screamed Ja'far as they saw the newly-formed couple walked to the courtyard that night. "That. Was. Awesome." The white-haired man was totally awestruck, he was acting like a rabid fanboy. "I mean, I still can't wrap my head around that move, like, oh my God, you guys deserve a trophy."
Sinbad laughed and Judal grinned. Everything happened in a flash, and they were just following the groove. Unbeknownst to Sinbad, he was holding Judal's hand long enough for Ja'far to cast a suspicious look.
"So." He cocked his eyebrow with a meaningful smile. "You guys are together now?"
"Uh," said them in sync, which later looked at their connected hands. Judal shrugged. "Ehhh, why not?"
Sinbad's face showed an expression of a totally offended person. "Why not?"
"What?" asked Judal, clueless.
"I feel so insulted!" He looked away, still can't believe Judal just said those words. "Need I remind you that I'm a lady-killer who now preferred to settle in a relationship with you??? And you said why not??"
"Stop nitpicking. All that matters now is you're my boyfriend!"
"Really? And how do you know that?"
"Because I love you!"
"And I love you too!"
"Good! Now let's get something to eat!"
The couple walked forward as they continue to chat casually with each other, inserting a few teases while they're at it. Behind them, Ja'far can only shake his head and sighed with a smile.
"Your eyes reminded me of the apple in Snow White," said Sinbad casually while on a handshake with Judal. "It's very beautiful but also poisonous."
"If you can't handle the poison," Judal flipped his wavy hair, "then don't ogle, because you might be tempted to take a bite."
Sometimes love can also occur from a failed pick-up line ;)