"Oh, right. It's in my workshop, c'mon!" Before Luca could register, Louise sprinted down the hallway and right through another bigass door, not even caring if he got lost, or worse, if the cat found him.
Really, what could it be that got her so excited?
Fortunately, he had a good sense of direction, so he wouldn't get lost in the mansion that was, without exaggeration, about three times bigger than his own house.
he also knew the way.
Louise's workshop was one of the few things he knew the way blindfolded, that, and the bathrooms
and let's not forget the kitchen.
After a lot of doors and hallways, he finally stepped outside the house, the smell of cut fresh grass overwhelming him, and his sight focused on a not-as-fancy-as-the-mansion-but-still-fancy building a few meters away from where he was standing.
Or, to be more accurate
Louise's late father workshop.
And he was nothing more than the man that changed Luca's life when he was only ten years old and got involved in that explosion. To the date, Luca still didn't know if he was grateful or if he hated the man for that.
Walking towards the glassed building, and finally sliding the door open, Louise polishing up her nails was the first thing he saw.
Perking his head to see who came although she knew full well who it was she flashed one of her remarkable smirks. "Took you long enough, Elliot."
"Luca." How many times did he have to say it? "Your house is like a crappy excuse for a maze, not my fault."
Louise stored the lime in her bag she never left the damn bag alone, and Luca could not help but wonder what was inside that was so important stood up and walked to a mess of copper, wires, nails, valves and gears that fit perfectly together. "I need your help with this."
"And what exactly is this?" He asked, pointing to the machine.
"That's the thing
I don't know." She admitted "It's one of my father's projects, but it doesn't seem to work, nor I know what it does
"You're kidding, right?" He slapped his face into his forehead for a notable facepalm an habit he had to force himself to do with the left hand, or else, by now his face would be pretty much screwed up. "You're building something and you don't know what it is?! What if it's a fucking bomb?!"
"It's not!" Speaking of habits, Louise's favorite was stomping her foot. "My father wouldn't made something that awfull."
"Yeah, right." Approaching the machine, he started to analyze it by naked eye; it was a small machine, copper cloaked with hints of gold, featured with a lot of cogs and springs, displaying their own beautiful grace; And, for a strange touch, a little wooden plank but what really took him by the eye was the unusual shape of it. Not rounded or rectangular. Nor even a trapeze. Whatever shape it was, it was not known to Luca. Of course, he could simply ask for the blueprint, but he knew better than anyone that Lue wouldn't give him that. It belonged to his father, meaning, not something for someone else to touch. "Are you sure you built this right
"Of course I did!" As usual, the girl stomped her foot, indignant."I distinctly followed the instructions! No way it's wrong!"
In an act of defense, Luca raised his hands. If she got mad
he'd be the one to suffer. "Okay, okay! Got it, it's really this way!" Walking around the machine, his curious glare penetrating every nook and cranny available, Luca came up with something. "Hey
Do you have ink or something around here?"
"Ink? Yeah, I do, but what" Her face immediately transformed to one of pure shock "HEY! YOU ARE NOT GOING TO PAINT IT!"
Shit. Too.Much.Noise. "It's not that, stupid!" Seriously, she should act like a lady, but acted more like a barbarian. "There's something like a container inside
I want to test a theory." Seeing as Lue didn't move an inch, he repeated, a little louder this time. "C'mon Lue, go get me the fucking ink!"
This made her snap out of it, find the goddamn ink and hand it over to Luca, which in turn poured it to a fine tube, the ink travelling as the tube split up in four ways, two in each side, and into a container inside.
"Let's see if this works
" Luca grabbed the handle, turned it down, stepped back just for safety measures, only to see
Damn. He was sure it was supposed to fill in the container. Oh well, trial and error.
"It's not working!" Lue exclaimed, as Luca fought back the urge to not answer back 'Thank you captain obvious' or something of the sort. "You didn't ruined it, did you!? I swear Luca, if you damage my father's work, I'm going to kill HEY! Don't ignore me!"
In the middle of her rambling, the boy approached the machine to give it another go; this time though, he opened a lid on top and searched the insides, looking for a way to empty the 'container'. What he found instead made him grin. And of course, he just had to turn to Louise and grin in a really smug way. "Hey, smartass
You're missing a gear here. No wonder it doesn't work!"
"What, really?!" Wow, this was a little embarrassing "But I was sure I assembled all the parts before
I checked twice
"I bet it the furrball stole it
" He muttered, more disgusted than anything. Honest, he couldn't find himself to like the damned cat. Fortunately, Louise went to fetch something, so he rid himself of a smack upside the head. When she returned, Louise handed him all kind of gears and cogs, and Luca, of course, knowing clockwork all too well, the first one he choose was a perfect fit.
By the second time, he turned down the damn handle and, finally, had some response. A noise of cogs working together, in conjunction with a lot of steam, filled the workshop and didn't let them see anything till the sound of carving wood was heard and the smoke settled down.
The machine, it was
graving something. The ink was a good choice, as it filled the contents.
Once it was done, the two curious teens headed over to the final piece of work.
a graving?" Lue asked, feeling genuinely perplexed. There wasn't anything like that in the original plans.
"I think so
" The boy answered, giving it a closer inspection. "But
what is this?"
In fact, that wasn't a normal graving.
PROUD ODD 5 19 2 8
?" The girl read out loud, more and more confused by each passing moment. "Father
What is this
Luca eyed the girl, deciding to forget the talk-with-the-dead stuff. "If you don't know
neither do I." Seeing as she was kind of disappointed, he made a really strange noise successfully directing her attention to him "Hey! Listen! It's working now! It's useless but
It's done! One invention less!"
The idea of that cheered her up. "That's right!"Smiling, she turned to the genius curly mess of dark brown hair. "I knew you could do it, Elliot!" If one thing was certain it was this. What Louise couldn't fix, Luca usually did the trick. True, it was a little annoying sometimes, but at least the projects got done, and that was Louise's main objective. To finish whatever the projects from his late father's notebook held. But, before he could brag about it, she had a thing in mind. "As for your reward
a game of chess, what does it sounds?"
The smug grin reappeared in Luca's face. "It sounds to me that you want your ass kicked and you're looking for an excuse to do so."
Moving to a reserved corner of the workshop, both sat opposite to each other on a very fancy chair, divided by an also very fancy chess board. First starting the game, and waiting for his partner to make the move, Luca eyed the board. Setting aside the antique feeling it gave, one simple glare to the sturdy looks and the well craft pieces of the set could tell any person that, in fact, it was made by a very good and expensive wood.
Just the best for the Hawkins, one could tell.
But Luca could tell it was something from Louise's father, not that he'd asked, but the slightly worn off edges of the pieces gave him the answer: Something not near to perfection wasn't allowed at the Hawkins mansion.
Luca himself wasn't allowed there either, and the only reason he could come it's because of Louise's own stubbornness
But everybody can see her family's not very fond of Luca.
Why should they? After all, Luca's the very definition of rebelliousness, and that's not someone you would want your promising daughter near with.
Bad influences and worse, a great way to lower one's reputation.
Luca was a Medii, but was treated like a Pauper just for being different.
It didn't matter his location, his status, his father's influences, his studies.
Nothing of that mattered in Dâmaris, if you had a prosthetic arm.
If you're physically or mentally different
He really had to stop thinking about that stuff when he was trying to have fun.
The game had continued while he was absorbed in his thoughts, of course, he can think, talk and play at the same time, but
he really wasn't into it; and that's why it only got his attention when the girl was taking way too long to make her move.
His trademark grin appeared when he noticed the pieces display; and watching carefully as Louise's reached her delicate fingers to grab a piece, the boy just couldn't help himself.
"Don't move that." Luca warned, changing his gaze from the board to Louise's face. "You'll lose."
By prior experiences, Louise knew that when Luca said that, he was right. So she moved her fingers to the tower.
"Don't." It was all that took for her to change her fingers directory to the bishop. "That one also." And again, to another piece "Nops, that one"
"Whatever!" Frustrated, she violently took a piece and sank it on the table "Here!"
Figures she had to do it her way.
After only two more moves, her king was trapped. He'd already said 'check' and was only waiting for Louise to walk to the death wall.
Finally, she made the fatal move.
"I told you
" Bored, Luca took the piece of nicely carved wood and placed it on the table, knocking the king. "Check-mate."
"Wha How?!" Louise slammed the palm of her hands into the table, knocking down some of the pieces. "You cheated!"
Now that, that was an insult. "I did not! I even warned you!"
"I KNOW THAT!" Letting the frustration take the best of her, in one swift move, the table flipped and all the pieces decided that flying was fun, and some of them even thought of Luca as a target, whom only had time to cover his face with his right arm. The thing sure was useful as a shield. "FREAKING CHEESS! IF ONLY THAT STUPID BISHOP WASN'T IN THE WAY I SHOULD HAVE WON! STUPID QUEEN! IDIOTIC TOWER! BURN IN THE FIRE! I HATE THIS GAME!! I FUCKING HATE IT!"
" Usually, Louise didn't scream or cuss, but when she did
by rule it was the closest possible to Luca's functional ear.
"Sometimes, I really wish I was deaf
" Was all he could mutter before Louise stormed off to the other side of the workshop. Honest, it truly amazed him how a Hawkins could have such a nasty temper. Other thing that amazed the boy was how he hadn't felt tired yet.
Scratch that, the game made him sleepy, now that he was thinking about it; so he just stretched himself on the chair and let out the loudest yawn possible.
Luca had to sleep more.
And, in that moment, the workshop had the most suggestive hammock ever.
"Don't tell me you're already sleepy!" Okay, so now that the whining fit was over, Louise was back to her know it all attitude.
"If someone had let me sleep in peace, I wouldn't be!" He retorted. He was tired as fuck, and the way he was forced to wake up
normal he would be a little cranky.
"OH NO!" The sudden outburst made Luca jump in the chair, followed by a very confused glare to his best friend, which was looking to the wall clock with an alarmed expression. "I'm going to be late for my piano lessons!"
Music to Luca's ear. "Great, close the door. I swear, if the fucking furrball appears it's gonna turn into a duster!" Getting up, he started to walk to the hammock "I'm gonna take a nap."
It was normal for him to sleep anywhere, and she couldn't be arsed with that right now. "Got it." Getting her purse, Louise hastened to the door, opened it and marched her way out, closing the door in a not so lady like manner.
"FINALLY, PEACE AND QUIET!" He exclaimed, falling into the hammock.
He was so damn tired
Putting himself in a comfortable way, he closed his eyes, and in a matter of minutes... he was out like a light.
When his eyes finally cracked open, it was already afternoon end.
Luca had to go home not that he was much keen to be with his family, by the contrary, he stayed away from them much as possible but the thing is
he had to work tonight.
And that was the only motivation for him to go back to the simple two story house. Contrary to Louise's, it was
well, every house in the Medii part seems like a shed comparing with the Hawkins residence, so that's not the best way to describe it; But it had its charm, that's enough.
Picking up the keys and entering the house, the first thing he noticed was the silence.
Probably his mom was in the kitchen and dad was reading something.
As for his older sister
If there wasn't any kind of musical noise in the house then
Antonia must be fucking with his fiancé
he just had to pass the hall, climb the stairs and he'd be in the confinity of his room.
"Where were you?" A raspy and older masculine voice asked. Dad's voice.
"Louise's." Luca answered, not even stopping to look in the man's face. Still, he could hear a 'Good', right before go up the stairs and into his room.
He just had to make time till it was safe for him to leave.
Minutes passed by, and Luca heard his mom calling him for diner. Right, he'd forgotten about that he skipped dinner so often that his internal clock didn't make him feel hungry.
Descending to the first floor, the smell of potato and meat filled his senses. Okay, so he didn't have the perfect family, but at least his mom was a great cook.
.to tell the truth, his mother is a fine lady, the asshole in the house is his father. About his sister
well, sibling rivalry is normal. But Luca didn't have to like her only because she is his sister.
Sitting at the table, he started to eat, leaving out the entire graceful act that he'd been taught. What for? He already was the black sheep; nothing he could do would change that fact, so why bother?
Amidst the dinner, they seemed to remember his existence, and started a futile attempt to socialize with him.
The usual. Where he'd been, what he'd been doing and with who.
If it was with Louise or someone of higher rank, it was okay, after all, cultivating relations based on interest is fine to do!
If they ever found out about his other self and the people he dealt with
well. He shouldn't care about that, so why did he still thought about it?
But quickly the focus detoured from him.
And changed to a conversation that wasn't, by far, interesting, so he zoned out. Maybe he shouldn't have done that, still, he did. And when Luca got back to his senses, a very heated argument between his parents was now taking place on the table.
Something about money
or carrots, by the way he was attentive to the discussion
Luca didn't quite get the reasons beneath each fight they had probably there weren't any. It just
By each passing minute, the discussion got more and more heated, so Luca excused himself from the table and turned to the safety of his room.
The only good thing about the fights back at home is the fact that Luca turned invisible; he could do practically anything now that no one would notice.
But, just for safe measuring, Luca waited a few minutes, which ended in almost one hour.
The house was now in silence, a dreadful silence, if compared to an hour prior.
That's why he didn't like it here.
Not that he'd stay here long tonight. Grabbing his messenger bag, he stuffed some items inside, and walked to his window. He could use the door, but this way was more exciting.
Okay, so that was a lie, if he used the door he'd be dead on busted, so the window was the safest way out.
Very quietly, he opened the big window, hanged himself on the porch, closed it with his free left hand, and started climbing down, very carefully. Thankfully, he had some irregular wall, so he had where to put his feet.
Landing on the ground, he looked around and, seeing as he was safe, meaning, not being followed
It was Show Time.
One last look just to make sure that no one was there
and Luca sprinted to the park, involved in the early night darkness.
Louise was now in Luca's backyard, standing underneath his best friend room's window.
After her piano class, she just had to investigate the mysterious code that his father machine left, and, after following a very good lead, she found something very interesting;
That's what she was doing there.
Way off her curfew time.
It was dark as a crow, the only light from the street lamps; but the information she had was worth the risk.
As shouting would be noisy, she opted for the ancient tactic of throwing little stones to his window.
That didn't work.
?" Louise's blue orbs never left the window, her eyebrows knitted together in a questioning mode and her mouth in a pout "I swear, I can't understand how he can sleep this much."
She stood there for a few moments, pondering if really was asleep or just ignoring her.
But, seeing as Luca never wanted to stay home, she opted for the 'asleep' option, before turning on her heels and go back home, hopefully without getting caught out this late at night.