Cross-posted to AO3. I figured I might as well try to ease back into writing through something without substance.
Shifty's favourite colour was gold.
He had told Lifty this fact on one autumn afternoon, when the summer air was cooling around them. The two were sitting at a park bench under a vibrant, cloudless sky, and the sunset behind Shifty's head looked almost like a bright halo. It dyed everything around them in a warm glow, inviting them to relax after an adventurous day of thieving, but because of its brilliance, it was difficult for Lifty to see his brother's distant expression.
His gaze trailed down to the coin held between Shifty's fingers. It flashed gold in the light whenever it tilted, and although it was merely just a silver coin picked off the ground, Shifty treated it with much care. Lifty's retinas drank in every caress and stroke, eying how those nimble fingers danced over the ridges. A jealousy within Lifty bubbled, and his fingers dug deeper into the wood under them.
Shifty's eyes flickered up to Lifty's before he could conceal his visual turmoil. His brows furrowed slightly, pulling his face into a brief look of contemplation, and his fingers stilled their dance. His face smoothed out. With a tilt of his arm, Shifty flourished the coin and asked Lifty if he wanted it. The way Shifty spoke sounded rather aloof, smoothing out the rough edges of his voice, and he acted as though he did not just shock Lifty with a rare act of generosity.
Lifty held his breath and waited for any sign of Shifty having second thoughts, for him to withdraw his hand and proclaim, with a cackle, that he had not meant to relinquish the coin at all. But Shifty had left his hand outstretched, inviting Lifty to pluck the silver piece from his fingers and keep it. The coin seemed duller now that it was no longer in direct sunlight.
With the dipping sunset behind him, his brother seemed at ease, totally unperturbed by Lifty's suspicion. Moments passed, yet Lifty neither took the proffered coin or refused it. The distrust brewing in his eyes began to cloud it.
Shifty huffed, a light breath passing from his lips, and reached out towards Lifty's iron hold on the bench. With one hand he carefully pried Lifty away from the table, one digit at a time. Tingles buzzed through Lifty's fingers with every brush, but Lifty did not stop Shifty from slipping the coin into his palm. His fingers closed over it with a small amount of hesitation; by then, the warmth of Shifty's hands had withdrawn. When Lifty looked back, one corner of Shifty's mouth had turned upwards.
Satisfied with this acceptance, Shifty stood up from the bench and beckoned Lifty to follow him. Only when he turned his back did Lifty allow himself to smile.
He slipped the coin into his pocket. He quite liked silver.