an emergency

“What are those, exactly?” I look up from the cart a moment, trying to figure out what he’s talking about. We’ve wandered to the mall. The twins are in need of more clothes, warmer stuff still. I’ve already gotten them their mid-season jackets but that is just one thing, before too long they’ll need proper boots and winter coats and such other simple things. Of course I am more than aware I don’t have to worry about scarves since their friend has already taken care of that. I don’t mind, it is one less little thing I have to think about.

Finally I notice what he is looking at, the small, little red box against the wall. The fire alarm. I chuckle softly, shaking my head as I take a step closer to study it a moment. I never notice those anymore myself, I am so used to assuming they are there. “They’re in case of an emergency. Say there’s a fire that breaks out somewhere, well someone pulls on this and an alarm rings. I don’t know that it does more than ring the alarm though I think some places have these things linked directly to the fire station and so when it rings, they’re told and they come and take care of the issue.”

His gaze is blank for a few moments before he nods slowly, as if somehow that makes all the sense in the world. “Short version, someone sees a fire, someone pulls it down, it makes loud noises and people know there’s danger.”

There he finally nods though he still doesn’t look completely clear on what I just told him. I roll my eyes and tug him away from the red box in question and towards the clothing end of the store. I don’t much like stepping into big stores, I can never find my way around but in the matter of what I was needing for them just this time, I thought it would just be simplest.

Finally in the clothing section, I manage to get my mind wrapped around Agni’s own to remind him to not wander too far because I don’t want to have to chase him around the whole store. They’ve been somewhat livelier since yesterday though it seems to almost be a tentative sort of lively but it’s there.

I know that with Agni, Mira never would open up to me about whatever happened that caused them to skip out on the shared meal and movie, to be as morose as they could ever be but Mira alone can often be tempted, at least when he does feel like talking. I motion towards a rack of coats, the heavier, winter kind and he looks at them after a moment.

“You want to tell me what happened last Wednesday?” He stiffens briefly, fingers hovering over the coat he was looking at. He drops his gaze, stares at his feet then looks up to me. There’s fear in his eyes and I’m tempted to step closer, to let him know that he has nothing to worry about but I stand my ground. I can’t coddle him and his brother forever though I’m tempted to.

“I’d finished doing what I could for the plants in the garden and Ophé, that’s his dog, she was out with me and just standing by me as if she was waiting for something. So I played a bit with her, showed her a few small water tricks. I didn’t expect anyone to come out to get me, at least, not Cyrille. But he did. He saw me with the water and I guess he froze. We spent the night since it was too late for buses but we left as early as we could, we left a note.” His voices dies out, it had already been whisper soft but now it was softer yet. He looks completely miserable.

I still stay quiet, letting him go on and continue with whatever it is he’s saying. If Cyrille knows, then I suppose we can’t really change that though I could muck with his memories. I don’t really see the need, though. He sighs, looks to his feet again before his gaze is back to mine. “He didn’t show at the library Thursday or Friday, he didn’t call over the weekend and we felt as though we couldn’t really call either, it wouldn’t have been right. But he came in yesterday and we worked and after that he sat down with us on the stairs and we just sort of talked.”

He shrugs now and falls quiet. Moments later, there comes Agni with a few different shirts in hand. I suppose I can get those for him too. They still don’t have that much choice as far as clothes are concerned, in their wardrobe. “Talked about?”

I do prod gently this time and he shrugs, uncomfortable with the subject. He shoots his brother a look that very clearly screams ‘help me out here’ and Agni simply blinks at him for a moment.

“About Wednesday.” He mumbles the words almost inaudibly and Agni’s gaze clears a little. He frowns and sighs, running a hand through his short hair.

“He told us that he wasn’t sure what to think but that he cherished our friendship too much to end it because of that so we talk a little more about it every day, at least that’s the plan and that was yesterday.” He shrugs, a half-hearted smile to his lips. I suppose they expect me to be mad at them or to yell at them but I don’t see why I would. They faced an issue and managed to get it worked out by themselves, it’s a good step.

“Just be careful. I understand that he’s willing to learn more about the two of you to understand things better but there’s no need to give him too much information too soon, okay?” I get nods from both of them and I shake my head with a wry note.

“Put those in the basket.” Agni drops the shirts he’d been carrying in the basket and I look them over briefly. Looks almost like he got two of everything, just in somewhat varying colours. It’s sweet in a way, the way they do still somewhat wear the same stuff. I guess he picked for the two of them.

“Now, I did take you two here for the winter clothes and while I know that a lot of stuff out here might be interesting, can we at least get coat and boots done and out of the way before you two decide to disappear between the rows off to who knows where?” That seems to do the job, Mira sticks his tongue out before going back to the rack he’d been looking at and Agni rolls his eyes before moving to an adjoining rack.

I’m just looking out for these boys, I don’t want them to be unprepared for the world out there so even if I have to leave them be while they suffer a little to learn from their mistake, I know I have to. Watching them suffer is not pleasant, I’m not a cruel man and if I ever seem like I might be, it’s not because I want to. They need to learn to make their own decision and suffer through their own mistakes, else they’ll never learn about the ways of life as it should be.

I hate shopping in malls, the places are always huge and you could almost get lost. Several times I had to reach out to their minds to get them to come back my way, I lost track of them altogether. This is why I prefer smaller stores but the smaller stores wouldn’t have had these coats in time for them to be worn when the season went cold.

The ride home is quiet and I suppose I don’t blame them. I could have taken them this weekend but the stores are usually quieter in the evenings on weekdays. I’ll even play momma bear to the end, I’ll help them bring their bags up and I’ll stop for a quick bite of takeout on the way so they don’t have to worry about preparing a meal for themselves.

I’m not cruel, really. I’m just trying to teach them the ways of life.

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