Tyton saw Swick nearly drop the beer glass he was about to fill. Leaving the customer to Jocelyn, he ran to the end of the bar, following him as he walked to his usual place. He ignored the guests sitting between them, his eyes never leaving him.
“Where’s Kyle?” he demanded.
If the alien was here, looking as if nothing had happened yesterday, then he must have imagined all kinds of things. Tyton studied the man in silence as he kept walking towards his seat. It was free. He remembered not seeing either of them around the arena either. That must be it. Tyton looked up and went over the people there with questioning look. Indeed, it was his shift, but he couldn’t see him anywhere.
“Where is he?” Swick repeated his question. His fingers tightened into fists and there was something desperate in his eyes. “What happened?”
The fight was two days ago. Why hadn’t he checked him over yet? Or the woman? Didn’t they know he ended up in hospital? Tyton had gone back after he’d finished the reports. He hadn’t asked the doctors, but the man had still messaged him when the operation ended. Probably because he’d seen him accompany Kyle while he was waiting for the cocktail of meds to start working. He’d ignored it, but in the end imagining him waking up alone in a sterile room reminded him his own ordeal and he went and picked him up.
If anything, he was a curiosity, a mysterious mix of honesty and trickery. He recognized every time Kyle lied to him, but he never sensed malicious intent behind it and it puzzled his mind, making him think what if scenarios of chances when they’d meet and there would be no dishonesty between them. Maybe, he mused this thought a lot, it wasn’t about the human lying to him at all. It was no secret in the man’s eyes nor in his mind. They both knew it, they both played this up and he… accepted it. Kyle lied only because he accepted it. So the true mystery wasn’t about the act itself at all, but how did a simple human manage to make him look him in the eyes, nod with him and let himself be played up like a puppet he was. So technically, he hadn’t lied to him at all.
Kyle’s shirt looked torn, when he helped him pull it back on, but the groggy man didn’t seem to notice it, with soaked blood and everything. He probably hadn’t even realized it was Tyton, who offered him his side to lean on when they slowly made their way through night time quiet halls, man’s shoes tangling from his hands as they seemed too tedious to put on, or when Tyton had to use his own code to let them in. He had hesitated, when he saw him land on the bed as he was. He thought of leaving immediately, but instead he’d stalled, left the note doctor had given him about check-up on his table and then standing by the door, watching him dozing off from the after effects of the drugs. He’d gone back to his bedside, pulled his half-sleep and obliging body up, stripped him from his dirty shirt. Then he’d covered him up with the blanket and left, satisfied.
“Don’t you know? You’re his best friend!” Tyton said arrogantly, but he felt irked by the lack of interest Swick was showing regarding his friend. Swick launched forward, but stopped midair and pulled back, raising his hands. Tyton sat down on his chair. “Which news do you want first? If he is alive or if you can keep running the bar?”
“Are you playing games with me?” Swick flamed up so fast he figured the two could have easily been twins if they bore the same genes. Or perhaps he’d spent too much time with the convict and he was rubbing off. “Tell me!”
He wondered how they would react to the fact that the man had lost. According to the rules which stated – who puts their back down first. Why had they wordlessly extended their fight into competition of who could take down more myrroth anyway? The image of him sliding down the wall with the blood trail painting the metal behind him sent shiver through his stomach.
“It was a tie.” he said. “Can I have the water tonight, I have to get back.”
Swick served him quick and left, quietly watching him as he sipped it. He did look worried, now that he had time to watch him closer. He seemed agitated, ready to walk over any moment and ask for more details, but instead he served other customers and kept staring at him. Jocelyn wasn’t much better. The woman ping-bonged to her husband and whispered with him while her eyes never left his face. Meanwhile, she made sure Dakota was busy taking drinks to the tables or going to clean up the ones that were left empty to keep her far away from his clutches.
They needn’t bother. He didn’t feel like dealing with her tonight. After about ten minutes he had enough taking this weird atmosphere.
“He is your friend, not mine,” he pinched out after calling Swick over to pay, “you want to know what happened, search him out yourself!”
Actually, he’d expected him to be here. He’d expected it to be the same as before – Kyle standing on the edge, dragging in a deep annoyed breath before serving him his usual. It had seemed a good plan to continue coming here as if everything was as it had been. He’d got used to being his special customer so fast, he’d neglected the places his friends hanged around. So what if he was annoying? He liked how all the man’s attention was on him until he went. He’d imagined walking in, seeing Kyle walk awkward with the wound under his purple shirt and heavier vest, them never speaking of the fight again, pretending it was all alright.
But this? This was ridiculous. When usually he liked to sit here, watch the customers and enjoyed the mood, then now it was lacking in every aspect of the experience. It had to be the constant glaring from Swick and Jocelyn, he decided, they were too chaotic. The calming one was missing. He’d ruined it and this time he had nobody else to blame but himself.
He stepped out of the bar and joined the constant flow of late time visitors to the bar district. He didn’t feel like visiting any other. Nor was he actually working like he’d told Swick, but maybe work was what he needed right now to satisfy the itch in his chest. He wanted to see him, make sure he really was fine, but first time in his life, he didn’t have the guts.