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Everyday Struggles

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‘I don’t think so, mate.’

Kaito furrowed his brow, staring at the hesitant blond Miqo’te in front of him with a little more intensity than he probably intended. He was well known for being patient to a fault, lenient even. But at this very moment, he felt like he was slowly starting to run out, tightening his lips into a thin line to prevent himself from saying things he knew would only unnecessarily strain the conversation even further.

He hadn’t actually been acquainted with F’ynn that long. He knew him as a not very favoured colleague of Miriam, a dearly favoured partner to many women, and a very capable engineer. Both of them being affiliated to Miriam had resulted in the occasional partnership for what must’ve been about a handful of missions, but so far that was it. Thus, being only a little less than strangers, he felt he hardly had any right to judge him for hesitating. But what he had already quickly come to understand, was that F’ynn held the gift of expertly tiptoeing around anything that remotely smelled of ‘responsibility’. Where one person would need only a little persuasion into the favour, he would more likely already need to be dragged forcefully. But as luck would have it, Kaito had never really been the forceful type.

For a split second his eyes glanced over at Miriam, who sat ever so quietly, blending in with the shadows of the tavern. Legs crossed, eye trained on the two of them as she carefully observed the conversation. As he met her gaze, he instantly understood counting on her interference was no option. Her entire being clearly communicating this was his problem to solve. She knew how to work F’ynn, now it was up to him to learn.

‘I think your expertise on this could really help a lot of people today. You’d be doing Gridania a great service.’

To this, F’ynn scrunched up his nose in disdain so dramatically Kaito earnestly wondered if Miqo’te had more facial muscles than Hyur. Selfless deeds were apparently not quite up the man’s alley. In all honesty, he had no clue how to deal with this type of personality. Even if he respected the fundamental difference in their values, he still had a hard time understanding. How could someone be so keen on self-preservation they'd so easily rejected those in need? He could never imagine himself willingly ignore a cry for help, no matter how small.

On the one hand though, he felt he could actually learn a lot from F’ynn. He’d often been scolded for saying “yes” to everyone and everything without giving it a second thought, usually resulting in him taking on more than he could handle. Watching someone say “no” so firmly seemed like an art on its own. On the other, he was brought up with the mantra one should never turn their back on a creature in need. So he couldn’t help but think F’ynn was being, well, plain rude.

‘And.. If you'd like, I’m sure we could ask for a small compensation.’

By now he could tell F’ynn was growing more and more uncomfortable. Politely waiting for Kaito to end the conversation, ready to bolt whenever given the opportunity. Apparently, money wasn’t the issue either. Effort was. And normally, if Kaito felt someone really didn’t want to, he would understand and try to solve the issue himself. But this was F’ynn, and from what he’d been told, F’ynn never wanted to. So for once, he would just have to.

A small, frustrated sigh escaped his lips as he subconsciously raised his hand to scratch the back of his head in thought, not noticing F’ynn was doing the exact same gesture.

This just might become a very long day.