In which Reginald and Ardette bicker.
Close to the Conservatory .
Prompted by this exchange .
<Mree>: Bahahah these two and their cyclical conversation(s).
<Mree>: because while this is their first canon conversation... I bet this happens a lot.
<Reginald>: I like to think so too
<Reginald>: people on the outside looking in must think they hate each other
Reginald just... enjoys the company is all
Reginald And Ardette doesn't skate into me like some people.
Ardette is just waiting for him to make a business proposition so she can laugh in his face...
Reginald "I'm a cheat, but I'm not stupid, Miss Bombaerts."
Ardette "And bless your heart for it."
Reginald "Though I don't mind painting your walls again if you need it."
Ardette squiiiiiints, because there must be a catch here. "...I specify the time, date, location, and paint color."
Reginald "Fiiiine, sheesh, it's like you don't trust me or something."
Ardette "I'm a square, but I'm not stupid."
Reginald laughs, "Come on, Miss Bombaerts, have I ever tried to pull anything funny with you."
Ardette "Is that a rhetorical question?"
Reginald "Is it? I mean, if I have, I don't believe it would have been intentional."
<Alan>: can the banditettes call reginald reggie?
<Reginald>: They probably can, but he probably won't respond to it lol
<Reginald>: I don't think it's a nickname he'd be fond of
Bella rolls by "Ey regggiiiiiiie~"
"Oh no," Reginald mutters under his breath.
Ardette seems delighted by the change of subject. She arches a brow. "...'Reggie?'"
Reginald gives Ardette a stern look. "No. Don't even start."
Ardette gives him a sweet little nose-scrunch. "Don't worry. The day I'm that familiar with you, I'll drown myself."
Reginald tries to not lose too much of his composure, "The day I hear you say that name out of familiarity, I'll push you into the ocean myself." It's hard to tell how much of this is just him kidding around.
Ardette raises her eyebrows. "Then we're in agreement. Just don't make me sign anything."
Reginald seems to be checking his pockets for something, "Tch, that takes about three quarters of the fun out of it." He seems to find what he's looking for, a small pack of gum.
Ardette warily watches him rifle through his pockets. "And the other quarter?"
Reginald pops a piece of gum into his mouth before responding, "Just the satisfaction of knowing you'd let me push you into the ocean."
"..." Ardette nods solemnly. "Go to hell."
Reginald simply chuckles to himself.
Ardette winces. "Ugh, and close your mouth when you chew."
Reginald tries to minimize the noise, "Pardon me. At least I don't smoke. Dirty habit," he teases.
Ardette doesn't even blush. "Do what I do for a living and you'd need your vices, too. I don't want to hear it."
Reginald grins at her, "Oh, I don't know about that."
Ardette juts her chin out at him. "Exactly. You don't."
Reginald knows better than to tease her about her work. "Maybe, and besides, I do have vices, just not ones that mess with my mind or stain my teeth."
Ardette, only then, has the grace to look politely offended. "Are you implying that my teeth are stained?"
Reginald "I wouldn't know, when was the last time you smiled at me?"
Ardette nods in consent. "Alright. Take your point. You'll never find out."
Reginald "Not at this rate, hmm? I suppose I will have to get by somehow."
Ardette lifts her chin haughtily. "You'll survive. And for the record, my teeth are perfect."
"Of course they are." Reginald sounds surprisingly sincere, considering his usual tone of voice.
Ardette side-eyes him... and then snerks. "Good answer."
"As mentioned, cheat, but not stupid," Reginald repeats, offering her a piece of gum as well.
Ardette hesitates a moment, but takes a piece. "You're a surprisingly honest cheat."
Reginald shurgs slightly, "Well, technically the 'cheat' title isn't something I chose for myself either, but I make do with it."
Ardette lifts her chin in half a nod, peering at him. "...I'll respectfully withhold comment."
Reginald "That bad, hm?"
Ardette "I don't want you to steal your gum back."
Reginald laughs, "I wouldn't dare, even if it was insulting."
Ardette won't chew the gum in front of him, though. It feels too casual... and strangely less ladylike than the smoking. "That's noble of you."
"You're being very free with your compliments today. I'm not sure if you're being generous, or if I'm doing something right." Reginald clears his throat slightly, "But... uh, thank you."
Ardette looks up at him brightly. "Oh, I'm sorry, was that in the form of a compliment? I meant, that's unlike you." And then, as an afterthought, "You're welcome."
Reginald looks like he was going to say more, like he wants to say more, but he stays quiet, seeming to be deep in thought.
Ardette doesn't have to look at him to be able to tell. She turns the unwrapped stick of gum over in her hands. "You're doing it again."
"Mn? Doing what?" Oh, Reginald knew what she meant. "I just... didn't want to ruin this pleasant moment by saying something I'm not meant to."
Ardette stops at her studio's front entrance and plants her hands on her hips. "Try me," she says, with an eyebrow quirk that reads, I dare you, because she's much more comfortable with 'normal' than she is with 'pleasant.'
Reginald furrows his brows together, obviously a little conflicted. "Miss Bombaerts, I..." he pauses, again stuck in that wanting to say something, but not actually saying anything at all. "I... uh... just wanted to thank you for your time, as always..." Ugh, smooth, real smooth. "I should probably leave you be, I'm sure you have work to do."
Ardette nods slowly, looking suspicious and not bothering even the slightest to hide it. "I always do," she says flatly, trying to read his eyes behind his shades. "Goodbye, then." She looks him up and down, as though to make sure he'll stay where he is, and then goes inside, letting the tinny jingle of her door bell punctuate that thought.
Reginald curses to himself as soon as the door closes all the way, clearly frustrated, but unsure what to really do about it. He sincerely hopes that Ardette doesn't have cameras at her studio door or she'd be watching him pace back and forth for the next few moments, unsure if he was coming or going, before finally giving up and heading back home.