Pidge was waiting up when Quinn got back. He was sat on the bed playing with the horseshoes, the window open, the stars’ light streaming in like a thousand tiny lanterns suspended in the mists. It wasn’t the first time he’d done this, stood there taut and staring into the distance.
“What’s going on with you and Lady Panassian?”
“Me and…oh,” Quinn paused mid-statement, his usual smirk dropping and his eyebrows shifting slightly downwards, “She’s our boss, Pidge.”
There was a quick swish as Pidge hurled a horseshoe. Reflexively, Quinn let the warmth of steel burn pulse through him as he pushed it and stopped its momentum, letting it fall to the floor. Almost simultaneously, Pidge crashed into him.
“Lord Ruler….Pidge, what are you doing? Is it zinc?”
Quinn switched on Copper to cover Pidge but he continued attempting to pin Quinn down. Even with Pewter, Pidge’s superior size and background on the streets meant it was an even match. Especially since Quinn wouldn’t take any serious damage, whereas steelpushed metal cut deep.
“What. Think. Of. Bella.” Pidge panted as he managed to pin Quinn’s arms down.
“Pidge stop…for the love of…”
It was at this point that Quinn learnt the sensation of being thrown out a window, with Pidge squarely on top of him. In the interest of not letting his friend take a faceful of bruises, Quinn let himself be knocked into the ground, burning Pewter to take the shake off the worst of the fall.
Pidge spoke with an unusual finality. Even when he’d told Quinn about his mother or when he’d decided to leave the underground he hadn’t seem so determined. As the ash settled, Quinn sighed.
“She’s…Nebellea. Don’t give me that look, I’ve literally never known anyone like her, so it’s hard for me to compare to anyone we’ve ever known. You know how there was that bitch at the pier who used to order us around until the Obligators beat her? She’s kind of like her. But then she’s also like Manny, she cares about what I want and gives me the time of day…”
Quinn trailed off as he gave Pidge, now silent, a funny look.
“She reminds me a lot of you too. She’s honest, but she doesn’t coddle. She teases without being mean. And she respects me even if she won’t admit it to anyone else. I’ve not known anyone like her Pidge…” Quinn trailed off, turning away to stare at the countryside, “And you know what I did to this fine lady who took me off the streets and fed, educated and clothed me? I was part of a cover up to kill someone she cared about. I encouraged us covering it up. You know how messed up that is?”
While he spoke, the mist began swirled around him, and if seeker was nearby they would have seen him flaring tin and pewter, making the now angry youth starkly aware of the world around him.
For a few moments, they were silent, until the mist began to return to it’s usual, sedentary state.
“Why does it matter?” Quinn looked over to Pidge, his hands shaking slightly.
“You bought her gifts. You tease her. I’m just worried,” he walked over to lean on Quinn’s shoulders, “I want to know you’re being smart. She’s a noble, you’re not. There’s boundaries.”
“Boundaries, what do you mean?” Quinn muttered.
“I mean…keep your wits about you, all three of them.” He locked Quinn’s head in his elbow and began to drive his knuckles into his head. Laughing, Quinn locked Pidge’s waist in his arms and pulled on the bag of horseshoes in his room, bringing them both crashing into the side of the building.
Pidge abruptly let go, “Fuck, I’m never gonna get used to that. I’m so grateful you’re the mistborn and not me. I can’t deal with the uncontrolled speed of it.”
There was a shrug from Quinn, as his smirk returned. “Serves you right for the nuggie…what was all this about anyway? Have you got a crush on the beauteous Lady Panassian?”
“No,” Pidge’s eyes became hard again, a sharpness to his stare that hinted at the tin Quinn could sense burning, “But the question is do you? She’s a fine lady, and more honest than anyone I know…let alone than anyone in this house deserves.”
Quinn opened his mouth, his hand half raised, and then shot into the sky, pushing off into the local countryside. Only by merit of his enhanced senses did he hear him mutter, “I won’t grace that with an answer.”
A while later, as Pidge prepared himself for bed, he burned out the rest of his Tin keeping an eye on Quinn.
I must have spent a third of my life watching out for him. I wonder if he knows what a pain he can be. A reliable pain in the rear, despite his good intentions.
He spotted Quinn vault over the wall, the lack of grace in his movements suggesting whatever metals he had were now used up. He looked thoughtful. Hopefully that meant he listened to what I said.
He climbed into bed, allowing himself a small smirk. It didn’t take a rioter to get someone to tell you what they wanted. Just a little push in the right direction, and apparently sometimes out the window.