A knock on the door.
" Wille? Are you busy?"
It was the Lyeha's voice.
" Fuck, are you serious?" he mumbled, pulling away.
" Are you going to answer her?" Nova asked, clearly irritated.
" Mood's already ruined, so yeah."
Nova made a small noise of frustration and flopped back down on the bed.
" I can't live like this," he said. " You have too many people interrupting all the time."
" You want me to throw some cold water on you?"
" Fuck offff."
William went to answer the door, buttoning his shirt and tucking it in.
" Hey. What's wrong, Lesa?" he asked, hovering in the doorframe so as to conceal where Nova was laying on his bed.
" I just... I feel like I did something bad," she asked, fidgeting. " I don't know what to do. I feel really bad. I want advice from someone..."
" Ahhh, I see," William said. " Did you get into a fight with Neda, maybe? Do you want to talk about it?"
Lesa looked away, biting her lip.
" It's not that we fought," she said hesitantly. " Um. Could I come in? It's awkward to stand in the hallway..."
William looked over his shoulder.
" Hey, are you decent?" he called out.
" Far more than you'll ever be!"
Lesa pressed her lips into a thin line.
" I was... interrupting something, wasn't I...?" she asked.
" It's fine, I'd like it if you came to talk to me when something's bothering you," William assured. " We really weren't doing much of anything. Come on, come tell me what's wrong."
She cast her eyes to the side.
William welcomed her in; she shuffled forward awkwardly, with her head bowed in shame.
" Ah, Lesa, is it just me, or have you gotten a bit taller?" he observed mildly, trying to lighten the mood a little.
She sat down awkwardly on the edge of the bed.
" Yeah... I guess I am... I didn't notice before... Not that it really matters, does it?"
Nova hit her back with his foot, not bothering to sit up.
" Quit being so down, you look like you've been at a funeral," he said, voice muffled by the pillow.
She curled up a little bit more.
" I'm just... I..."
William sat next to her.
" I..." She fiddled with the edge of her shirt, and then looked up, face burning.
" What was your first kiss like?"
This question took William very, very offguard.
He thought about it for a moment, and then tried to come up with a satisfactory answer.
" Well, I actually didn't know that that was supposed to be an important thing for a long time, so I've completely forgotten," he replied with a shrug.
There was a moment of silence. She looked back at where Nova was laying.
" W-what about you, Lyena?"
" It was horrible. I got rejected and spent the rest of the week crying. Next question."
" So it's all bad, huh," she said smally.
William smiled gamely at her, trying to think of a way to salvage the discussion into something mildly uplifting.
" Not always," he said. " Nova said he'd take you to do that thing you wanted to do, the duel thing."
Nova sat up.
" Not that I really want to," he said. " But you're useless if you don't get what you want, so it's fine."
" I am, aren't I..."
" Yes. Most everyone in our family is, though."
" That's still rude, Nova..." William chimed in.
" You're rude," Nova responded.
" When have I ever been rude? You're projecting. Be nicer to Lesa, Nova."
" I'm being nice! Aren't I being nice?"
" ... A little nice. I think. Maybe."
" Only a little? You should be more grateful," he groused.
" I- I am, I really am!" she quickly excused herself, harried. " I just! I'm most used to you being very cold and unapproachable so seeing you act nicer is weird to me, too!"
Nova pointed to her.
" You see, William? I have an image. You're ruining my image," he said.
" Weren't you the one who said the real thing is better?" William replied immediately.
" That's completely unrelated to my situation as Lyena."
" Oh? If you say so," William said, cheerful lilt in his voice.