(A child talking to themselves, but not really. The adults watching didn’t understand, but Malik did, Ryou wasn’t the only one who wasn’t alone in his own head. Malik’s Voice had left a hole that echoed as loudly as it had once answered.)
They hadn’t met.
Not for Ryou, at least.
Malik reached out with his senses. The magic was limited to the Ring, cold and metallic like water out of old piping. If he was under a spell, it was too seamless for him to detect. Malik didn’t even have the Rod.
Ryou’s eyes were bright green. Identical to another set he knew. Malik lowered himself to sit next to Ryou, slow and jerky. Held onto his knees with his hands.
“We’ve met. Once. A long time ago. You probably don’t remember me,” Malik said, then held out a hand for Ryou to shake, “I’m Malik Ishtar.”
His head tilted as he watched the other move. He seemed so stiff compared to most of the adults he saw. Maybe the other didn’t like children? Still, that never stopped him from trying to get a new friend.
He halted his dangling legs that were too short for the bench; he didn’t want to fidget around the newcomer.
“You do look familiar.” He admitted squinting his eyes as he glanced over his face trying to place a name with it. There was no use however, his short attention span caved and his own hand extended, easily being overwhelmed by Malik’s. “It’s nice to meet you Mr. Ishtar.” Ryou’s mouth opened as he smiled, one front tooth missing. “Please don’t think me rude… but how did you know my name, Sir?” He asked, keeping his manors intact.