“Are you sure you’re up for this?”
“Yes, Chaka,” Pell said, studying his face in the mirror. He rarely bothered to cover his markings, but the effect was usually worth it. Somehow, no one ever recognized him without the black lines. “It’s been two months. I can handle a patrol through the marketplace.”
“I’d still feel better if one of the other officers went instead,” Chaka said, meeting Pell’s eyes in the mirror. “They need the experience.”
“And I need the exercise.” He did not say that they’d had experience; this wasn’t the first time since the revolution they’d heard rumors of Baroque Works members within Alubarna. It was just the first time Pell had volunteered to blend with the crowds while the royal family was outside the palace. With at least three pairs of Frontier agents still unaccounted for along with the remaining Millions and Billions, some paranoia was warranted.
Giving his reflection a satisfied nod, Pell turned around. “How do I look?”
Chaka stared at him for a second, taking in the pants, jacket, and makeup before giving an aggravated sigh. “Unrecognizable.”
“Good. And I don’t know why you’re grumbling so much.” He wrapped his arms around Chaka’s waist, pushing onto his toes to kiss the taller man’s jaw. “After all, you’re the one touring Yuba with Vivi-sama, with barely healed stab wounds I might add, while I’m here under Dr. Ooh’s watchful eyes.” He dropped another kiss at the corner of Chaka’s mouth. “I’ll be worried.”
“You’ll be careful.” It wasn’t a question.
“Swear on my grave.”
Chaka shot him a dark look but turned towards the door. “I’ll let Igaram-san know we’re ready then.”
“Chaka?” Pell gave him a bright smile when he turned. “You might want to wipe the kiss marks off your face first.”