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Lost: Buffalo

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You still can’t get around this big-ass house.

It’s been years since you first stepped inside, but the place is as much of a mystery now as it was then.

(“Maybe I should use my Seer powers to see if I ever figure this house out.”

“Maybe I should use my Riser powers to float you around it.”

“Hmmm… That seems better than my idea.”

“Better for you.”

“Hey!”)

The walls are all so similar, and you’re pretty sure you just passed the same employee for the third time. Usually you would ask for help, but today was Stubborn Day, the day you decide to be Stubborn and do everything yourself, caring and loving husband be damned.

(“They’re here to help, you know. As am I.”

“I know, but that doesn’t change the fact that I want to do it myself.”

“At the detriment to yourself and others?”

“Yes!”)

Another round trip where you’re sure you chose a different turn. Maybe you should use those powers. At least you’d be in the damn living room already.

“There you are!”

Ah. Him.

“Lost again?”

You can see the amusement in his eyes, no matter how hard he tries to hide it. You try to suppress the small smile threatening to break out on your face. He might not be able to see it behind your mask, but it’s the principle, damnit.

“I could be of some help, if you’d like.”

In fairness to him, he’s trying his hardest to keep the smirk off his face. Stupidprettysmartbeautifulhandsomeannoying January.

“That won’t be necessary January,” you say, trying to keep your voice neutral. “I know exactly where I’m going.”

“Oh?” He can’t quite manage to keep the humour from his voice. “Well then, lead the way?” He gives you a small smile. Damnit.

“That I shall.” You turn on your heel, head high, shoulders back. At least you didn’t tell him where you were intending on going. Maybe you can just pretend that wherever this little trip leads you was exactly where you wanted to go.

“So, where are we off to?”

Damn him.

“Oh, well. You know…”

“Hm?”

“I, uh… I want to… Uh…”

“Yes?”

“The, uh…”

“The?”

“Living… room?”

“The living room?”

“Yes. The living room.”

“Oh.”

“… What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Hm?”

“’Oh’. What’s that supposed to mean.”

“Oh. Well, you see, I’m just impressed.”

“Impressed by what?”

“Impressed that you are integrating such exercise into your daily routine.”

“… Wh-”

“As that is the only explanation I can come up with for walking in the complete opposite direction to the living room. A smart idea, I must say. Adding a few hundred steps to every journey. Maybe I should try it.”

You sigh, long and hard.

“Must you be so smug, January.”

“Me? Smug?” He places a hand over his heart, mock-hurt radiating off of him. You have it in your mind to knock the monocle off his face. “I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.”

“Of course you don’t”

“Not I.”

You sigh again, lips twitching upwards. He really is too much.

“Darling.”

“Yes?” His eyes sparkle ever so slightly. All these years and he still loves it when you call him that.

“If you were to go to the living room, what route would you take?”

“You’re asking me?” He looks ready to gloat, the beautiful bastard.

“Just for curiosity’s sake, of course.” Wouldn’t want his head to inflate. God knows it’s big enough already.

“Of course.” He smiles indulgently. His eyes flicker shut and he twists the handle of his glasses, as if deep in thought (like he doesn’t have the layout of the place memorised by heart. Show-off).

“Well, first of all, I would go in the complete opposite direction.” Demonstrating, he swivels in place. “I would then go straight forward, and take the first left.” Each direction is punctuated by a swing of his glasses. “Now, straight until you get to a little crossroad, then right and you’ll pass a nice display of red and white camellias. Continue forward until you pass the primroses, then right until you see the pink camellias. After that, straight forward, left at the yellow tulips, continue forward and you should, finally, come to a lovely display of red carnations beside a door. That,“ - he swivels back to face you - “is the living room.”

At some point in that little lecture the “I” changed to “You”, but you can’t bring yourself to point it out. His smile is so bright you get the impression that the names of those flowers should mean something.

“That seems like a rather roundabout way of getting there.”

“Well, you asked which way I’d go, not which way was the shortest.”

The way his smile turns slightly sheepish confirms to you that, Yes, maybe those flowers do mean something and, Yes, maybe you will scour the library tonight looking for a book on the topic.

“Well then,” you reach your hand out to him, “lead the way?”

The gentle warmth of his hand in yours is answer enough.