Alois was absentmindedly playing with his dish as you walked in. Hearing your footsteps, he looked up excitedly and smiled brightly. "Good morning (Name)! How was your sleep?"
"It was comfortable and pleasant, thank you," you said softly.
"So, you want to do something really fun today?" Alois asked with a new enthusiasm.
Turning your head to side slightly, you answered back, "'Really fun'? What do you have planned for us, Alois?" you asked with a grin.
If you were grinning, then he was practically beaming with excitement and giddiness. "I thought that you would like to do something... a little less normal for aristocrats."
You pondered this, and you felt really excited. Alois was going to do something adventurous with you, you just knew it! "What is it? Please tell me Alois!" you begged.
"Well my lovely (Name), I just so happened to have rented us a huge sailing boat, and I thought we could go sailing for the day on Tempine Lake," Alois explained, holding his breath for your answer.
Your eyes widened considerably. He... got a boat?? To sail?? Oh, my... "Alois! Thank you! Oh, my thank you! I haven't been able to be on a boat for months! Oh this is so perfect! Alois, thank you!"
His heart beat faster at your thanks, and even more when you gave him a hug. Fixing his shirt, he looked down as to not reveal his small blush on his pale face. Hanna seemed to notice it, though, and smiled softly. She turned and left before Alois could see, just in case she ruined the moment. You were eating happily right next to Alois, oblivious to the fact that the blond was very nervous. The two of you chatted about the plans of today. Alois filled you in on how large the lake was and the planned lunch and, possibly, dinner to be held on the ship. You asked about swimming, and he assured you that there would be time for that. At one point you tentatively asked him if you could wear something a bit out of the norm for aristocrats.
He tilted his head to the side, a questioning look lingering on his face. "I'm sure you could. It'll be just us. But, how 'out of the norm' is this outfit?"
Blushing from embarrassment, you answered slowly. "Well, I don't exactly have a need or want to wear a dress on a boat. It's a lot more fun when you can run around and appreciate the surroundings and not have to worry about your dress. I was... Well... I have some of my brother's old clothes I usually wear around the docks when I go with my father. It's a bit unbecoming for our, or rather, your status, but it's much less restricting."
As much as Alois would enjoy seeing you in a lovely dress, it would be better to let you show your true colors as much as possible, right? He nodded in agreement, assuring you that your clothing would be fine, and promised to wear something a little less aristocratic as well for your sake.
You thanked him kindly and went to your room to change for the afternoon, no longer worrying about acceptable dresses. To your pleasant surprise, no one came in to help you with your clothes. Smiling from excitement, you changed into some dark brown colored slacks that you rolled up a considerable amount, and a white shirt that your brother used to own. You made sure to wear underclothing, as it was white and you were going to be around water. You laced some tan shoes on your feet, not bother with socks. You would most likely take the shoes off eventually, anyway. Scurrying down the stairs, you waited in the entrance hall. You hoped that your clothes weren't a too big of a shock, but you felt like the butler would be more judgmental than Alois.
Hearing steps behind you, you looked up to see Alois in a little less dressy outfit than he had on before. He sported a paper boy's brown hat, a white shirt a little like your own, and blue shorts. He still had on the knee-high socks he usually wore, but less nice shoes. You wondered where he got such clothes, but decided against such a critical question.
You spoke first and chuckled, "You look like you belong at the docks, after all!"
He smiled back, "I was going to say the same to you."
"The people running the boat sure will be surprised when the two of us show up dressed like this!" you mused.
Alois waved his hand and led you outside. "I'm sure they won't bother us too much about it. It's just a captain and another worker that will be with us. Oh, and Claude, of course."
You shuddered a bit, but had the feeling he wouldn't be too noticeable today. It was simply a day to enjoy yourselves.
The ride to the lake wasn't too long, but it definitely wasn't short. The sun had worked its way up the sky a bit more, and the air was warm. There weren't many clouds, but the ones that were in the sky were puffy and pretty. When you and Alois finally arrived at the lake, it was a beautiful, sparkling blue. The sun made it looked like sparks sat on top of the water, and you were even more eager to climb aboard the boat. The boat wasn't a large like the one your father owned, but it certainly was not a small fishing boat. It was something in between, so the boat was low enough to really appreciate the water, but long enough so that it was rather large. You had to climb up a plank to get to the deck, but it was only about a three step walk. On the boat were a sail and a small upper deck where the captain could see the water in front of him. There was no doubt a motor for a back-up if the wind decided to die down.
You leaned happily on the railing, smiling at the water beneath you and taking in the sight of the lake. Most of the land around it was flat with small hills and a bit of forest that covered the shore. From your spot on the boat, you could barely see a small part of a cove that would most likely lead to a port city for the lake. You could make out docks and other ships from your position, so it must be a very large lake. Only two or three ships were roaming the part of the lake that you would be exploring today.
"Do you like it?" Alois asked behind you.
You turned, smiling widely, "It's amazing! It's beautiful! It's not the sea, but it might be better!"
Alois grinned at that. "I'm glad your eager! What do you want to do first?"
"Let's just see where the winds take us!"
Indeed, the winds were certainly guiding you today. There were many places that the boat reached that were lovely. Around one corner, a small rocky waterfall was revealed, and you and Alois had a pleasant time being around it, swimming a little in the pools beneath the falls. Alois seemed very eager to listen to what you told him about the water. You described feelings and signals that the ocean would give off, and that's how you could know if the waves would be choppy or a storm was brewing.
"Can you tell those things in a lake?" he asked.
"I'm not sure. It could be the same principal, but a lake can tell you other things. The two are so different that you can get two completely different stories from each!" you laughed.
Alois smiled at you. The two of you were currently sun bathing on the deck of the ship, watching the clouds go by and having a small lunch of sandwiches that Claude had the courtesy of whipping up for you.
After getting a little too hot, the boat made its way into the port town that was just across the water. It was indeed full of docked boats and little shops. You showed Alois around, pointing out things that you can find in any typical dock. Describing the ways that you can tell were sailors had been, you pointed to certain things on ships or picked out words and phrases that were passed between men. Alois seemed completely absorbed and enchanted with the water place. Or it was just you, but you seemed to think he had taken a liking to the dock world as well. The two of you browsed in some of the shops and returned back to the boat a little while later.
In a small cove, the two of you found a small sandy shore that you swam around again. It was getting later in the day, and soon the sky was bursting with the colors of sunset. The pink of the clouds and the aqua of the darkening sky seemed unnatural, but beautifully so. Deciding that the day was well spent, the two of you returned to the boat and back to the docks where you got on the vessel. Currently, you were standing at the front of the boat, leaning on the wooden railing. Footsteps clunked on the wooden deck behind you, and you glanced back to see Alois. His hair was glowing faintly in the retreating light, his eyes' blue color rivaled the aqua sky.
"(Name), how did you like today?"
You smiled widely, your eyes sparkled with happiness. "I loved it. Thank you, Alois! It was an amazing day!"
He grinned back, leaning against the rail next to you. "I'm glad. You know, (Name).... I, uh, I'm glad that you had a good time today. You're not like a lot of people I've met, so I'm glad to have met you..."
You watched him carefully. What was he getting at?
"But, (Name), I... I just wanted to say that I, um... I really like you," he stuttured out.
Your eyes went a little wide and you turned toward him. He was looking up toward the sky, a big blush on his face. Smiling goofily, you stared ahead at the water and said, "I do too, Alois. Thanks for everything."
You could hear him sigh, and you resisted the urge to giggle. You blushed a little when you felt one of his arms around your shoulders. "Thank you, (Name). It means a lot knowing that someone can actually like me back in this world..."
"You're welcome, Alois."
And this was the way it happened. The desperation of the boy seeming vast, like an abyss. That is, until someone gave him a chance. The vastness suddenly went away, and the trouble facing him seemed less like the end of him...