three

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"Illyria, come pick me up," Michael moaned through the phone to Illyria. "Where are you Mikey?" She sighed, making a U-turn on the near abandoned road and heading closer to town. "I'm at the diner," he moaned again, and Illyria heard the distinct clinking of silverware and the low hum of dinner-time conversation in the background. "I'll only come if you buy me dinner," she said, on her way to the retro-monstrosity anyway. "O-kay," Michael hummed. A few minutes later Illyria pulled into a spare carpark right infront of one of the booth windows, coincidentally the same booth at which Michael was seated.

Illyria twisted the metal keys and heard the distinct sound of the engine turning off, the car's busy hum halting and leaving her in silence. She sighed and pulled the hood of her hoodie around her neck. It was a cold evening, the sun only now setting, and Illyria was slightly lonely after Tristyn abruptly left her in the clearing with the excuse that there was an issue with the border. Someone wanted to cross into the territory or something, she didn't know. She didn't ask for details. She shoved the car door open, and flopped out, surprisingly tired after that afternoon's Tracking Game. She thought of Lily with a fond grin as she slammed the door shut behind her and skipped towards the diner's saloon-like doors. Once inside she found the familiar scent of roast potatos, toasted sandwiches and coffee taunting her. She ignored the tempting scents as she made her way to the booth that Michael had claimed, sometimes being stopped by customers and employees of the diner alike. Most of the patrons were human, and recognised her from the years she spent manning the till, they waved hello, some nodded, and overall they weren't afraid of her; she was normal to them and she appreciated that. Eventually she reached the booth and plopped down, bouncing on the shiny vinyl and grabbing a menu. Michael just stared at her as she paged through the bent, laminated menu, doing it merely out of habit, she already knew exactly what she was going to order.

"You done?" Michael asked with a raised eyebrow. Illyria regarded him with a small smile and then a confused look. To put it bluntly, Michael looked like a mess. His grey tshirt was torn at the collar, his forearms scattered with inflamed red scratches, and his jeans covered in a fine coat of orange dust. Illyria raised her own eyebrow and nodded at his body, before glaring him in the face. He said nothing, just returned the glare, until their waitress interrupted with a much too cheerful greeting and a little notepad to write in their order. Michael caved in first, looking towards the waitress and smiling at her as though she amused him, Illyria found herself scoffing. Why now was Michael being such a douche?

"I'll have an espresso with the grilled chicken burger, and she'll-" he nodded towards Illyria, "- have the toasted cheese, ham and tomato sandwich with a caramel milkshake." Illyria noticed as the waitress' smile dropped slightly before she began to scribble down their order. She forced a smile at Michael before she turned to Illyria and nodded, "your order will be coming up soon, I'll just bring your drinks," and with that she scurried off. Illyria watched her go until she disappeared into the kitchen, before turning to Michael with an unimpressed glare on her face.

"What was that?" Illyria demanded, her back straightened out as she watched Michael's reaction. "What was what, Illyria?" He replied, shifting in his seat and tugging at his ripped collar, his eyes were flatter than normal, he seemed exhausted and unhappy. He seemed... different. "Why were you such a dick to her? She did nothing to you,"

Illyria leaned back against the booth, her legs now crossed on the seat beneath her. "She's just human Il, calm down, she's not very important." The waitress returned before Illyria could reply, placing their drinks on the table and then hurrying off back to the kitchen. "'Just human' Michael? Are you fucking kidding me? Since when did you become such an elitist asshole."

Illyria stirred her drink with the thick straw before taking a sip, her eyes still observing Michael as he attempted to reply. "Oh come on Il, it's true isn't it? We're much better than them," Michael sneered, pointing to a group of human's in a booth the next one over. "Michael, people are people. Just because we're slightly more animilistic doesn't mean that we're better. That's just bullshit and you know it." Michael sighed heavily and ran a hand through his brown curls. "I don't want to have this fight right now Illyria, let's not talk about this."

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