Back at the HQ, Toby and Memis sat in the infirmary, waiting for the nurse to arrive.
Roy was sitting in a nearby chair, Famfay on his shoulders
“So…” Toby folded his hands. “Do you think I’m injured or why did you wanna come to the infirmary with me?”
“Mh? Well…” Roy crossed his arms. “Probably not, but better safe than sorry.”
“Ahh… But you could’ve gone home instead of coming with me.”
“Ehh…” Roy cleared his throat. “Didn’t think of that.”
Toby smiled softly. “You’re very kind, Roy.”
“A’ight, just a little check-up, right?” Darcian Griffith joined the two, putting on a pair of sterile gloves. “Oh– ” He turned to Roy and grinned. “Good day, Roy. Didn’t expect to see you here!”
“Hmpf.” Roy rolled his eyes.
Toby tilted his head. “Are you two friends?”
“Friends?!” Darcian chuckled. “No, Roy was my good-for-nothing student a few years ago. He couldn’t even stitch up a simple flesh wound, could you?”
“I’d literally just begun working in the infirmary…” Roy scoffed. “You were just bullying me.”
“Sure, sure, sure. Whatever.” Darcian turned back to Toby and smiled. “So, are you in any pain, my boy?”
“Uhm..” Toby blinked. “I-I’m fine. Just – my right arm hurts a bit…”
“Okay, then take off your jacket and I’ll take a lookie lookie.”
Darcian examined Toby thoroughly, checking for possible injuries or bruises.
Roy watched him intensely, as if he was judging his work. The truth was that he was just worried about Toby.
“A’ight, you’re good. Now onto your dog.” Darcian turned to check on Memis as Toby put his uniform jacket back on.
Roy’s mouth tightened into a thin line as he looked away. “Sorry for staring,” he mumbled.
“Ahh…” Toby laughed quietly. Roy’s awkwardness was kind of endearing. “Don’t worry. I didn't even notice.”
“Okay, the dog is fine too.” Darcian pulled off his gloves. “You’re free to leave. Hope I don’t see you here again any time soon!”
“Good.” Roy stood up. “Come, Toby…”
“Coming!” Toby helped Memis down from the examination table and followed Roy outside.
They didn’t say a thing to one another for a solid minute while walking through the hallway.
“Well – ” Toby was the first to break the silence. “That was quite the eventful first day of patrol, right?”
Roy covered his mouth with his hand and chuckled. “Yes… Yes, it was. Well… I’m glad it all ended well. And that you’re unharmed.”
Toby’s mind was racing. The things that Scorpio had said… About the end of the world… It was worrying, not knowing how much truth there was to his words.
He also felt like he should be much, much more worried than he actually was.
But the only thing on his mind was Roy.
He felt so safe by his side. Despite everything that had happened before – it felt like nothing had changed between them. They were still the best of friends. Roy was worried about him in a way nobody else had ever worried for him.
Toby liked him. He really did.
And he had to tell him.
“Roy – ” Toby stopped moving and looked up. “I need to tell you something…”
“Mh?” Roy turned to him. “What is it?”
Toby’s heart began to pound so intensely he could feel it in his throat. “I – Roy, I’ve meant to tell you for some time now, I…” He fidgeted with his fingers. “The thing is – I’ve really enjoyed the time we’ve spent together… Whether it’s been eating fast food, or at the arcade, or now together as apprentices…”
“... Well, so did I.”
“Y-Yeah right?” Toby chuckled nervously. “B-But I-I really can’t deny it any longer… I can’t deny my feelings anymore, I – ” Toby felt like he was going to choke. He took a deep breath and shook his head, his nervousness was making him sweat.
Roy furrowed his brow, confused at what Toby was trying to get at.
“I – I –” Toby groaned. “God, I really like you, okay?!” He gasped for air as if he’d just resurfaced from under water. “I really, really like you! More than… Just as… A friend.”
His voice got quieter as he witnessed Roy’s reaction.
His icy blue eyes had widened, his mouth stood open and his face was flushed red. It even looked like he’d stopped breathing.
Famfay’s ears had perked up too.
“Ah – I’m –”
Toby covered his mouth with both hands, his face now as red as a tomato. “Oh my god, I – I’m so sorry – Oh no, oh no, what have I done – Gah – ” He wiped his forehead and straightened his back. “F-Forget I said anything!! I will – I will go now–”
“H-Huh-” Roy blinked, no longer frozen in shock. “Wait!!”
As Toby had turned around to quickly run away, Roy grabbed him by the arm before he could go a great distance. “We have to talk about this, Toby.”
“Weeehhh…” Toby whimpered and sobbed. “I’m so sorry… I’ve ruined everything…”
“Nonsense – You haven’t ruined anything!!”
“Meeeh…. How can you be so sure?”
“...” Roy let go of Tobys arm, stuttering in response. “B-Because I… I feel the same way about you…”
Toby slowly turned around again. “... Really??”
Roy nodded. “I was… Trying to ignore it. To forget about it. Because – I never thought that… Someone like you could like someone like me…”
“Oh… Oh my god…” Toby let out an exhausted laughter. “I actually thought the same thing about you…”
“Ah…” Roy swallowed nervously. “It appears that we are both fools.”
“I guess so…” Toby smiled gently.
Both became silent again now. Despite the initial relief, an awkward feeling had settled in again.
“... Now what?” Roy asked.
“Huh – ” Toby looked up at him. “I – I dunno – I thought you might know.”
“...” Roy pondered for a second, then nodded to himself. “Take me out on a date.”
“Ah – A date?”
Roy nodded. “We should see if… this works, right? So, take me on a date. A real one. Think of something nice we could do.”
“Oh – Okay.” Toby nodded, looking eager. “I will!”
“How about… Tomorrow evening? At six?”
“Sure, let’s do it!”
“And…” Roy fixated Toby with an intense stare. “No sweat pants. Just this once.”
“Ah… Of course! No sweat pants.”
“Good.” Roy smiled lightly. “See you tomorrow.” He waved at him and headed off.
Toby was sure his legs would fold under him at any second. Had he just been dreaming? There was no way a gorgeous guy like Roy actually liked him back.
What a day.
Toby rubbed his cheeks to try and reduce the redness, then he also made his way home.