Word Count: 968.
Characters: Albedo, Badou.
Notes: The prompt given was- "Albedo makes a macaroni necklace. hilarity ensues."
'Beaded' appropriate definitions = --2-C. Obsolete. devotions; prayers. --7. the front sight of a rifle or gun. [also half inspired by this]
Despite what the nurses thought, he had never been one for crafts.
If you had to define it--and granted, defining things that had to do with Albedo often ended up the reverse, and often in tears--it'd be better to say he enjoyed paper, simple as that was. Writing, was almost a joy. Drawing almost always cheered him. And those dumb folding paper things taught him some kind of patience. Truth as it was, he still failed at each and every one of these activities. His handwriting was horrendous, his drawings could barely be recognizable as such, and the origami that one had strangely thought to teach him... Well. His paper airplanes sometimes flew.
And still, every shift that it was open, he found himself steered into the arts and crafts room. Grumbling, he would still sit, and attempt whatever project they tied him with that day. Surprisingly, his abject failures gave no rise to temper, and perhaps that was what gave the nurses their need. Their pint-size terror of a patient would sit quietly for an hour, mumbling in frustration to himself or another patient. And there was never any fights within that brief span. The multiple nurses assigned to watching him would breathe a combined sigh of relief, and slightly relax their solid guard, sharing a tired smile with the orderlies nearby. If they had their way, this would happen every day.
Crafts were soothing, more than music, to their savage beast, but if they only knew the song that did smooth in its endless torment. But that was neither here or there. This was cathartic, they told themselves, and prided themselves on a job well done. Sitting by himself and fighting with a piece of string, Albedo ignored them, keeping to his pattern of picturing their deaths playing out inside his mind. It was soothing, after all. He failed at stringing a piece of pasta again and cursed. A body slumped into the chair across from him. "...y'know, I don't think that's how you're supposed to do it."
Albedo's eyes raised fractionally from his task in hand, hate smoldering. The redhead across from him didn't seem to notice, and leaned his head on his chin, chewing a piece of gum obnoxiously. A piece of dried pasta cracked in Albedo's hand. "Oh?" He offered dangerously. "And what would you recommend?"
A beat. A sigh. "Not doing it, obviously. See if I'm going to get caught doing anything like that if it doesn't involve glitter. Just not worth it, man." Albedo blinked in restraint, wondering if possibly all redheads would always rub him the wrong way. It was certainly a habit so far. The stranger continued, like silence wasn't an option. "But seriously. Here." The man reached over and took the craft from Albedo without reserve, leaving the boy glaring. In the corner, the nurses shuffled restlessly like chickens watching a fox.
The man deftly threaded the string through two macaroni and handed it back, job done. "There. See. Easy." Albedo stared suspiciously at it, and then shifted his gaze up to the man who was looking off to the side, seemingly bored. Something in Albedo grew annoyed.
"Where'd you get the eye patch?"
Without missing a beat or moving, the man replied. "Where'd you get the height deficiency?"
Albedo raised an eyebrow and let out his breath in an irritated burst. His attention shifted downward as he tried to duplicate the technique. A solitary macaroni made it on after five tries. Albedo grinned. The man sighed. "You gonna just have plain shit on that?"
Albedo returned to his frown. "And?"
The man looked at him again, maintaining the bored expression. "You know. Liven it up. Paint some shit. Glitterify it. Add fucking beads like you're going to mardi gras."
The image of darkness and lights came to mind, laughter and color. Albedo's frown grew less petulant and more curious. "What's mardi gras?"
The man showed emotion at this, eyebrows raising in some kind of exaggerated shock. "What's mardi gras? Are you shitting me?" At Albedo's blank look, the man sighed loudly, shaking his head. "What are they teaching kids these days? What's mardi gras?.... Listen, kid--"
"Badou Nails. Nice to meet you, I'm sure, what the fuck ever, you wanna hear what I gotta say or not?"
Albedo was actually contemplating that very thing. Badou seemed to take his consideration as a yes. "Mardi gras is about beads, okay? Beads and dancing and booze and boobs and partying and se-- How old are you?"
Having decided to ignore him, Albedo was trying to force feed string to another poor piece of soon-to-be-broken pasta. Badou reached across the table and grabbed it. "Yo, listen to me. I'll telling you knowledge here."
Albedo looked at him calmly, something chilling in the expression. "Beads and dancing. I heard you."
The man seemed confused and settled back into his chair. "Right. You give them to the chicks you like there. Because they really want them." Badou grinned. "They compete so you give 'em yours."
None of this made sense. "Why would they want the beads?"
Badou leaned back in his chair again. "Wrong question. Right question: How do they compete?"
Albedo wondered when the shift was up.
"Seriously, kid, grab some curiosity. These chicks are competing for plastics beads. How are they competing? By flashing their jugs to the highest bidder." He grinned smugly like everything made sense.
Nothing made sense. Albedo frowned. "Why do they want the beads so much?"
"How old did you say you were?"
"The beads are magical," Badou deadpanned instantly. "Whoever you give them to loves you forever and you have a healthy relationship with no problems that is not a one night stand whatsoever." He seemed to think this over, nodded. "The end."