Part the Third
Amtiel woke up with what felt similar to the single hangover he had ever experienced. After a few moments he sat up and found himself on top of the covers of a large, downy bed with a deep navy comforter. The whole room was done in hues of blue from the cornflower carpet to the ceiling that had been painted to mimic a partially cloudy spring sky. He slid off the bed and walked to what he hoped was the bathroom. It had been done in a shell motif with blue and gold sponge-painted walls. He came to the clamshell-shaped sink and used it to splash his face with some water. Looking up at himself in the round mirror rimmed with small white conch shells and mother-of-pearl coating muscles he found he was not too worse for wear with a few stray hairs and a slight line or two beneath the eyes. By now, Amtiel had worked out that he was in Lumiale’s mansion, unless some other Guardian had a water fetish. As he dried himself off with one of the many navy face cloths, he was interrupted by a familiar voice, “Oh, you’re awake finally. Good, I was starting to get worried.”
Lumiale stood by the door with a relieved smile on his face and wearing a lighter robe than his official Guardian one. “This is your house, right? How long have I been out and how did I get here?” Amtiel asked as he sent the towel down a laundry chute.
“To answer your questions: yes, this is my mansion, you’ve been out for nearly five hours, and I carried you here.”
“You...?” Amtiel was disbelieving of the last statement at first, but it started to make sense as he thought about it. “I think I understand. Everyone only sees the soft and gentle side of water...”
“...And they forget the fact that water has the power to carve canyons, form beaches, bring the greatest mountains to their knees stone by stone, to mold the world as it pleases, even if it takes a million years and starts with a single drop. They only see the calm, placid surface while the true nature is fathoms deeper.”
Amtiel’s normal stoicism broke for a moment and he smiled. “Thank you for showing me the truth of what is ignored and forgotten.”
Lumiale smiled in return. “You are welcome. Now, feel free to stay the night and to dine with me. And tomorrow we can try to at least make a good second impression to match the first.”
The next day was bright and breezy, a prefect day of business, as Charlie set up shop in the park. He hummed to himself knowing full well that he would clean up today. A new shipment of makeup had arrived and Olivie was sure to buy at least half of it. Few things had boosted profits more than entered into a friendly business relationship with the Dream Guardian, and things were hopefully going to stay like that. However, he was distracted from predicting the day’s sales when someone whined, “CHARLIEEEEEE!”
He turned around and jumped back almost as quickly. Leaning, practically hunched, over the counter was a man with limply curled stringy blonde hair, unusually pale skin, and sagging violet eyes with slight bags under them. A ragged poet shirt hung off his shoulders and his black slacks were frayed at the bottom and wearing at the knees. “You have got to help me!” The man begged in a familiar yet oddly strained voice.
“O-Oli-sama?!?” He asked part in shock, part in curiosity.
“Yes, it’s me!” Olivie lunged forward and grabbed Charlie by his sleeveless jacket. “You have got to help me. I can’t take these headaches! They’re screwing with me. I mean, I couldn’t even make myself pretty this morning.” He almost sobbed.
Charlie gently pushed the Guardian back. “Oli-sama, I’m a merchant, not a doctor. But I’ll do what I can. So, why do you have these headaches?”
“It’s because of him.” Olivie made the last word at once drawn out and spat out. “It’s because of this new Guardian and his Sacrea that I have to go through with these wanging headaches.”
“Like an allergy?”
“Yes, it happens for the first week or two of a Guardian being in contact with his opposing element. Dream never had an opposite until now which is why this is happening to me.”
Charlie looked over the set of over-the-counter painkillers and antihistamines he had. “I’m sorry, but I got nothing for ‘Sacrea allergies’.”
“Well, you see Oli-sama, there is a very small demand for such a product with there only being nine, or now ten, Guardians in the whole Cosmos and...”
“I’m asking for a headache cure, not an economics lesson, Charlie.”
In all his time of knowing Olivie, Charlie had never seen him in such a hissy fit. Maybe dressing in drag for so long had finally pushed him to the point of having PMS. But that wouldn’t stop Charlie from still making some money. “How about some makeup to perk up your spirits?”
“Sure, I’ll try anything.” Olivie leaned on the counter as Charlie got to work.
“Have you tried the Royal Research Institute? They might have a solution.” Charlie suggested as he began with the foundation.
“Those people?” Olivie paused to purse his lips for lipstick application. “They have bugs up their asses.”
“I thought Julious-sama was the one with the bug up his ass?” He asked, as did the mascara.
“No, Jullie-sama has the stick up his ass.” He titled his head for the rouge. “There’s a difference.”
“Ah, OK then.” Charlie brought out his magnifying mirror. “So, what do we think?”
Olivie stared at his reflection, which stared right back at him. Every makeup mistake had been made and stood out glaringly. The foundation was cakey and flakey, his mascara was clumping, the rouge made him look like Raggedy Andy, and his lipstick extended too far into a clown-like form. Normally, this would have thrown Olivie into a hissy fit to end all hissy fits, but he was tired and had used up all his energy on his current fit. All he could manage was, “Remind me to give you some makeup tips later, Charlie,” before he slumped to a water fountain and began to wash himself off.
When he was properly cleansed he turned back and said, “Maybe I will go to the Institute.” before he slowly walked off. This left Charlie feeling bad for his friend, until he realized he had given his customer a free sample and they hadn’t bought anything, which left him feeling cheated.
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