“Elgar, Elgar, Elgar.” She rolled the name back and forth on her tongue, as if trying to smooth out some long-forgotten memory from it. Then, inexplicably, she smiled. “Heh. No, I’m not a big fan of cotton candy, unfortunately.”
“Lucky him,” Finn laughed as he gave her a little push before preemptively jumping out of reach. “But poor Robin.” His eyes grew more serious then, and he slowed his pace a little. He kept several secrets from Zipper: the spark, the orb, his determination to find his mother… but there was one secret he simply had to get off his chest.
“I-" He started. He was determined to tell her, yet it had been far easier to make that decision than to actually do it. "I rather like Molly,” he admitted. “But you already know that. You knew from the start. That's how I know there’s something brewing between you and Robin. No need to keep it bottled up. It’ll drive you mad if you do. I know it does.” His light eyes found hers. “You’re the only person I’ve-”
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” she interrupted, and though her tone kept even, Finn could sense that slightest little quiver behind the annoyed confidence that always came naturally to her. The slight slowing of her pace was telling: she wanted his ear for this. “I’m not sure why I’m doing it.”
The wind picked up around them, sharing Finn’s curiosity at what could only be interpreted as a confession. “I think it’s supposed to be like that.” He closed the distance between them as they marched further and further along the beach. The Landing was but a speck in the distance now amid vast stretches of sand and sea. For a while they moved along in silence as Finn mulled over her words in his head. Then he stopped again, as if struck by some divine epiphany. “Not everything has a reason. I know you like to think it does but, sometimes, things just happen.”
They’d wandered far enough now and his legs were starting to hurt. His attention shifted to the earth and the ever shifting sands, inviting him to sit down. He obliged and drew his knees up to his chest. She followed his lead for once - but only the halting. Fiona Zippomaria O’Connor refused to lay her delicate butt onto the sands below. Instead, she stood in front of him, staring down at him.
“Nonsense, there’s always a reason.” she insisted. She may not have noticed, but she was starting to pace a little. “Attraction does not exist in a vacuum.”
There it was again. Her need to lecture, to make profound statements with pretty words. Some time ago it had been an effective tactic, back when slack-jawed little Finn still looked up to her and her immense vocabulary. Now, he recognized her one liners for what they were: attempts to shut down any retort. But he sensed something else in her too, apart from the animosity between her and the elements. Was it doubt? Fear perhaps? At the very least she didn’t seem as certain as usual.
“There’s always a reason? You sound like a follower,” he huffed, before lowering his gaze to the dust again. “It doesn’t really matter, does it?” He spoke softly as he doodled a figure in the sand. “If we know the reason, then that's the end of that, and if we don’t
know the reason, there might as well be no reason at all.” He set his chin in the cup of his hands and stared out into the horizon, wondering if she too felt that ache in her heart. “So what about Robin d’you like?” he asked unabashedly.
She moved. “Can you keep a secret?”
Part of him wished he could tell her just how many he kept and that if he possessed any talents at all, keeping secrets was certainly among them. But he knew that saying such a thing would amount to even more scrutiny over the minutiae of his life, and so he simply nodded in return. “I won’t tell anyone. I swear.”