With a relaxed sigh, Chip plopped himself down on a nearby bench, the flashmob and many drinks having taken a lot out of him. A smile graced his face as he looked out into the crowd of party goers. Now, Chip wasn’t one for ‘helping people’ and instead would prefer to just rob them, but he had to admit that this entire situation (with the exception of Gill making a deal with the Wish Doctor) made him feel warm and fuzzy inside. And on top of that, he is getting a new ship and gold to go with it.
Across the way he saw Jay conversing with Julian and Abigail, likely discussing the changes that would be brought to the town with Julian now in charge. Chip observed the chaos, noticing that Gillion didn’t seem to be around.
“Greetings, Chip!” exclaimed a voice from behind him, causing said man to jump in his seat. He whipped around, brushing his brown hair out of his eyes and let out a lighthearted scoff. He fully turned around so he could talk to the triton face to face. Now able to see Gill, he could see the various small roses that were placed in his hair and one larger one stuck behind one of his fringed ears.
“Hey, Gill, enjoying the party?” the man grinned and nodded enthusiastically.
“This is all very different from how it is back in the ocean, but nevertheless, I have found myself enjoying it greatly,” he paused, glancing out at the groups of dancers, a thoughtful look gracing his face, “Dancing feels quite different on land than it does in water. It feels… lighter in the water. But I think I may enjoy it more on land, although, I can’t quite compare the two as I haven’t danced with a partner as of yet.” Chip found himself entranced by Gillion’s soft gaze. In a moment of weakness (which he would later deny - albeit playfully), the pirate found himself doing something he never imagined he would.
“Do you- uh, you wanna dance? With me?” Chip cleared his throat as he stuttered over his words. Man, this was awkward, but as he glanced back up at his partner in crime that fuzzy feeling invaded his chest yet again.
Gillion’s face lit up immediately after Chip’s question, and he turned back to face the man, his grin blinding.
“Really, I guess.” Chip sighed, cracking his back as he stood up. Gillion flapped his hands, his excitement getting the better of him. Chip couldn’t help his smile or the passing thought that Gill was cute when he wasn’t jumping into weird magic houses and fighting bugs in the woods (to be fair, he was still kinda cute there- but we have no time to unpack that right now). Clearing his throat and dismissing those thinkings from his head, he stood beside Gill. “So, how do you wanna do this? Like, just dance next to each other or something?”
“Actually, I was thinking what you may call ‘slow dancing’, that is something that two people do, yes?” Chip could feel his face heating up just slightly. He let out a surprised laugh and shook his head. Eh, screw it.
“Sure, why not,” Chip rolled his shoulders, “So uh, who leads?”
“Well, I was thinking you. You are taller than me, after all,” Gillion grabbed Chip’s hand, leading him out onto the dance floor. Chip let himself be dragged along, trying his best not to focus on the feeling of his friend’s vaguely scaly (and admittedly damp) hand.
The music that was playing was far too fast for any sort of slow dancing, obviously meant for a more energetic type of style, but that obviously wasn’t going to deter the headstrong triton. Once he got his mind set on something, there was little anyone could do to convince him otherwise. Once he had brought Chip to an area he deemed perfect for dancing, he turned back and faced him with his signature smile. Chip felt his ears grow warm. He hated what that smile did to him (not really, but he has an act he needs to keep up). This lighting really brought out the green of Gill’s hair, the yellow lights reflecting softly off it and making a pretty chartreuse color. Not to mention the way the flowers framed his face, making him look so much prettier than he should be allowed. Chip felt the other man moving his hands around, which broke him out of his stupor.
“Guh- what are you doing?” Gillion stopped and looked up.
“You’re leading, and you weren’t listening to what I was saying so I assumed you were confused! I am moving one of your hands to my waist, and the other hand goes in my hand,” and he did just that, “I didn’t think this would be something that tripped you up dear Chip!” Chip sputtered.
“I wasn’t- I wasn’t confused! I just got distracted! Whatever,” he rolled his eyes and instinctively tightened his grip on Gill’s waist. Chip felt him go rigid under his grip for a second and went to move his hand away, but Gillion quickly grabbed it and placed it back on his waist. He then moved his left hand to Chip’s shoulder and gripped his other hand gently in his own blue one. They were silent for a moment, just avoiding eye contact with each other as they stood in place.
“You are leading, Chip,” Gillion stated, his voice far softer than it normally was. Chip nodded in response.
“Right! Uh, right,” he began swaying them softly to the upbeat music the gnome band was playing. Laughs and cheers, genuine ones - very unlike the ones from before - filled the air around them, and despite all of the noise and ruckus around them, they both only found themselves focusing on each other. That warm feeling from earlier returned yet again, and Chip felt as if his heart was going to jump out of his chest. He’s not an idiot, despite what others may think. He knows he’s been feeling some things toward his friend, but with everything that happened with the guards on the last island, the gunpowder and loss of his ship, and then this crazy town, he hasn’t really had the time to sit down and unravel all of these feelings. Man, this was not the time to be having this crisis.
“Chip?” Ah, there he goes zoning out again. He brought his attention back to the moment and back to Gillion in front of him.
“Do you ever feel weird?” the very Gillion-ness of that statement caused a chuckle to escape Chip’s throat. Clearing his throat for what felt like the 100th time that night, he focused back on the question.
“What do you mean weird? That’s a pretty general statement man.”
“I mean,” he pouted, looking as if he was having a very difficult time trying to find the right words, “I feel as if those lemurs from the sea are having a fight in my chest. It feels very warm and… weird.” Chip made a face.
“What? Are you okay? ‘Cause that sounds pretty painful and if you need to-”
“No!” Gillion interrupted, slowing their dancing further, “No,” he began again, his voice lighter, “it’s not bad, it’s simply odd. I am also not quite against the feeling, but I am confused by it. And…”
“I have begun to notice the feeling starts when I am in the presence of you.” Chip stared down at him, feeling as if his brain decided to fail right then and there.
“I, um, Gillion, I don’t, uh…” he trailed off. At this point they were just standing together, but still had their hands on each other. Chip, definitely not sure how to approach this conversation, avoided eye contact. Cowardly? Maybe so, but Chip didn’t even want to think about the fact that Gill may have feelings for him as well and desperately didn’t want to get his hopes up. He must be confused, that’s it, or maybe that freaking magic man did something weird to him other than the crescent tattoo that resides on his wrist.
“Chip…” Gill shifted his weight from one foot to the other, “Could you look at me? Please?” Gods, he really couldn’t say no to Gill, could he? He turned his head back down towards him, and before he could react, he felt lips tenderly press against his own. Before he could return or pull away himself, the lips were gone and he was staring at the wide, blue eyes of Gillion Tidestrider. Flustered, he began to backpedal, “Oh, I am sorry Chip! I shouldn’t have done that, I should have asked first. I apologize deeply and sincerely, and whatever I may do to get you to forgive me I will do-”
“Wait, holdup, Gill, chill-”
“I could possibly try and convince the builders to make your ship bigger or-”
“I would prefer not to steal as that isn’t fair to the people but I could potentially-”
“Gill! Please! Hold on!” Chip exclaimed, his face very red partly because his brain began to catch up to everything that just occurred and partly because he hated when the other man got like this. Gillion quickly shut his mouth, his face flushing a darker blue.
“I’m sorry Chip.” Chip sighed, shaking his head.
“Don’t-don’t apologize, okay? You’re fine I,” he hesitated, quickly licking his lips nervously, “I-I didn’t mind that. I, uh…”
“Really?” Gill asked, eyes wide.
“Yeah, really man.”
“So… may I do it again?” Chip laughed in shock, his embarrassment being overtaken by how endearing Gillion was.
“Yeah, sure-” not even waiting for the pirate to finish his sentence, the triton reached his head up and locked lips with his friend. This kiss lasted longer than the other and, while still feeling quite awkward for the two men, now that they were both on the same page they moved together comfortably.
Chip eventually pulled back, just enough for the two of them to see each other's faces. Unsure of what to say, he instead began to sway the two of them back and forth yet again, the music from before having softened and slowed as it got later into the evening. Gillion moved with him, a smile gracing his face. He pulled the large rose from behind his ear and placed it behind Chip’s. After a moment, he leaned his head forward, wavering for just a moment before leaning his forehead against Chip’s neck and shoulder. In response, Chip placed his chin on the top of Gill’s head.
Neither of them spoke, instead feeling everything else around them fade away to the background. They had much to talk about, but that could wait until the next morning. For now, all that mattered was this one dance.