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Just Desserts

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Informant patiently rocked on the heels of his feet. Uncontrollable mirth ran up and down his fingers as his grin appeared brighter than usual. The room was dark and gloomy as always, but such did nothing to hurt his mood. Oh, his wondrous mood of glee and amusement! Oh, how his entire being warmed at the thought of being able to do this event all day! It's official, today was his absolute favorite.

Ah yes, The blond blinked, pausing in his actions as he realized what his favorite sequence actually meant. The experiment is already almost done and over with… So this means he should carefully savor each time he beat Russell and his team of groupies to the ground.

They were hilariously low leveled upon the first battle. Ultra unprepared for a boss fight akin to him. Did Russell think his other half was a weakling? It would make sense, however, if the dreamer thought of himself as nothing but a mere rabbit on the streets. Oh no, but Informant was no helpless hare. In this case, he was the car. Impossible to avoid, and strong enough to knock someone down in one hit.

The faint surprise on Russell's face after the first loss was delicious enough to see. It was refreshing, different from the looks of indifference and facets of annoyance he was used to seeing on the other blond. There was a promise to come back, even if Russell didn't look his way. And he didn't disappoint the smiling informer!

Round two went as smooth as butter.

Russell was obviously stuck in finding a strategy to defeat a pure strategist, but Informant would provide no help. He merely waved the group off when they lost by a landslide (again), Tabasa limping and Kantera giving Informant a patient smile.

Informant swiftly responded to the Japanese man by raising a beer bottle with his own signature grin. Ah, they may not be fighting now...But there was no rule in harming the ones who narrowly deserved it.

Gardenia thankfully paused the situation by tossing the blond a friendly wave and smile, pushing the short Japanese adult out the room shortly after. Kantera's expression had morphed into one of both shame and disappointment as he was led away. It was very pleasant to watch. The cheerful girl was a smart cookie.

Unlike the medicine brute.

"Oh come on Russell...We both know you can do better than that." Informant told the retreating dreamer, his own shoes moving to his happy-feet. The informer was nearly dancing if he weren't routed to his spot.

It was worth seeing the millisecond of irritation pass through Russell's blank expression. He then gave Informant the cold shoulder, walking out of the room without looking back. The promise remained, and Informant decided he was having too much fun. It's not a bad thing, as it beats being cooped up in his shop all day.

The third defeat went by quickly, along with the forth; and then the fifth. Each battle was swift, and Informant observed yes, Russell was trying to find a moment of weakness and exploit it. A futile effort though. There are no weaknesses to be found.

By the eighth, it was obvious someone was praying for a miracle.

...The frustrated dreamer switched out different people, but even that proved useless. In fact, the only person Russell kept constant was Gardenia. Perhaps the girl kept him level-headed. Her positivity was contagious, even if you were nothing but an empty void. The birthday girl often gave a comment of 'good game!' and other friendly statements after each crushing defeat.

Informant favored her too. Not as much as Yumi, but the girl still remained in a positive light. ...No, it's not because she occasionally dropped meals outside his door. That's not it at all.

Anyways, she was a lighthouse to keep the insanity bearable. Gardenia didn't seem to get upset from each beating. She only got more and more determined, a fire much more different from Russell's.

It's almost hard to believe who's the dead person here.

Ah, would you look at the time! Round fifteen will begin in a couple of minutes. Informant could hear faint whispers of the Nameless town residents from down the hall. Russell was likely preparing himself for another repeating loss.

How many healing items have the dreamer brought this time? Perhaps he wised up enough to snatch a few new moves that it'll help him.

"Informant!"

The call nearly made him falter, and Informant turned heel to meet a sole warrior in the dark. Her bright colors clashed with the gloomy background of the past, one of the lost lights revealing herself to him.

Gardenia.

"...Ah. Gardenia." Informant took a moment to observe his surroundings. Once he made sure no one else was actively in the room, the dream informer's smile stretched. "What are you doing here by yourself? Let me guess, did dear old Russell put you up to this?" Adorable, but what was the point?

To his surprise, Gardenia shook her head. He rose an eyebrow when the girl tossed him a grin.

"Not that! Just, uh…" The girl shuffled around in her pockets. This movement didn't alarm Informant, as there was no possible way the young cook could take him alone. "I have something for you!" She chirped cheerfully. "I was gonna drop it off at your doorstep but…" Gardenia hummed as she took out a plate from her bag.

Informant blinked, a twinge of something unknown gripping him on the inside as he stared at the gift.

"You weren't there! Soo...I thought it was a good time to give this cake slice to you now!" The yellow plate held a fork and the delightful smell of vanilla. This cake looked absolutely wonderful; nothing Informant has had before.

The cake slice was a sunbathed yellow, and the icing was a creamy pearl. The frosting held many beads of candy decorating every corner in and outside the colorful moose in the middle. The top a topping of fresh peppermint, its swirl imprinting on the surrounding icing with rings of red.

Delightful, but alas…

"My apologies, Gardenia." Informant began, eyes averted. "...However, I cannot accept this. Not right now, anyway. ...Perhaps later?" He offered, and finally looked back to her. His smile somewhat froze at her rare expression.

The lonely video game console nearby seemed a lot more comforting than Gardenia's face of disappointment.

No. Do not fall for it. His mentality whispered in a rush. You can't give in to these foolish wants. She's not even aware! Didn't you make a vow? Although such a promise had long been broken by simply speaking with the girl and eating her food in the past. Now he was refusing to take one of her special dishes. All because of a menacing facade he wanted to keep up.

Her solemn blue eyes caused Informant to glance away again. His smile did not waver, and neither did his decision. As usual, his walls stayed high and strong; barriers held together by knowledge and awareness. He would not take a break during this important event.

"That's...Okay. I guess. I'll just make a new one." Gardenia told him with a semi-forced smile. Her aura radiated a taint of darkness which wasn't present before. She gave him a tiny wave before turning back and walking away. "Maybe, Russell would like this cake…"

The walls came crumbling down due to the sprout of a certain poisonous plant. Vines dug into each brick, shredding into the defense like paper. The poison ivy only needed a couple seconds and sunlight.

"I mean...He helped me decorate it, so he probably will want some!" The bright young cook was obviously mumbling this to herself, but the information seller heard her.

Before she made it out into the hall, Informant's fingers twitched.

"Wait!"

Gardenia looked back. Her eyes sparkled with friendly innocence. The cake slice remained in her hand, delicious as it was.

Informant could never pass up this opportunity. He'll gladly take what should've been Russell's. A familiar feeling of green essence ran through his very being. How lucky-Russell was a lucky boy. Despite his horrid luck, he still had a bunch of 'ghosts' to care for him.

And now one of them was willing to give him Informant's slice of cake. Too greedy, Russell was far too nasty to earn a right.

...And Informant was the same way.

"I changed my mind. ...I'll take the cake." Informant spoke confidently, holding his hand out. "Thank you for making this, Gardenia. I don't really deserve it." He was trying to be polite. He knew decency at least, unlike his other half. A couple sentences are good enough.

Gardenia only beamed, running back over to him and placing the dish in his hold. The cool material rested in his hands as he observed the dessert in front of him. He watched her as the smiling girl flipped out a fork and placed it on the side of the flat dish. "Here you go! I hope you like it." Gardenia's smiles were like sunshine reaching down below the shallow waters.

Informant had to direct his attention elsewhere to keep his own smile in place.

Wordlessly, the dream informer cut himself a piece with the fork. The section was big enough to take more than half the cake slice.

"I mean, I had a lot of fun making this!" Gardenia started to babble as she began leaving the room. Informant preferred his privacy, and it was good to know she respected this part of him. "It was the first time Russell wanted to help me make something to. When I told him one slice was for you, I think he smiled..." She trailed off as she turned the corner.

Ivy green eyes of travesty landed back on the cake he just ate from.

The dreamwalker's hands went to his throat as his insides suddenly felt like fire. He fell to his knees and wheezed as his health took a large dip. A seemingly innocent peppermint remained on the floor as Informant hacked and wheezed from the damage taken. His legs felt weak but his torso still felt like fire. Informant took a second to ignore the pain plaguing his being due to hearing faint footsteps.

Someone(?) had entered the room.

Not a second later, gunshots rang out.

The blond winced as he was hit, sliding a distance across the floor from the recoil. He only had a little bit of health left, and a weight fell on his shoulders as he realized the situation was dire. More footsteps joined in, and two others came into the room. He could feel multiple weapons directed at him, about to strike.

Informant managed to grin through it all, watching the group leader from the floor. A quick scan of the team viewed Gardenia was absent. "...Ah. Isn't that funny?" Informant rasped as his other half pointed a knife in front of his eyes. "To think you'd go so far...You must really want to play, right?" His tongue still registered poisonous components. "Hm?" The silver knife edged closer. "Oh yes. Well done." Informant smiled.

It took two seconds to kick Russell's feet from under him, and a second longer to throw him backward with a beer bottle slamming into the dreamer's mid-section. The murderer was lucky the zookeeper went out of his way to catch him.

Informant snorted as he dived out of the way from incoming licks of fire and ice. Another shot reached his shoulder, and the dreamwalker hissed into his arm. Nevertheless, he didn't go down. He jumped back to his feet, stumbling but grinning like a maniac.

"Yet not good enough." Informant chuckled as he performed healing magic on himself. It wouldn't heal all of the damage taken, but the smiling blond was confident to wipe the floor with them using less than half his health.

Ah. If Informant didn't know any better, he would've thought Russell looked horrified.

"...Now then." Informant stretched his fingers as both of his own weapons appeared in his hands. His smug grin only got wider with Kantera's worried frown and Cody's strained grimace. "How about we finally dance, hmm?" The dreamwalker didn't give them a chance to reply, jumping into battle as he internally noticed the familiar rush of glee come back into his core.

Russell tried to cheat his way to victory, and it was a good try. Too bad the underhanded dreamer never got far enough to notice his healing abilities.

And now...Informant grinned as he swung the beer bottle down right on his other half's head. It's punishment time.