Perhaps she was some sort of magical wizard. Or maybe she had some sort of magnetic charisma that was taking hold on him. Probably not. Crazily enough that magical wizard idea sounded much more reasonable. Either way, she'd gotten him out of his house, on an actual date, for the second time in one week. It was unheard of.
Did she want to give herself a high-five? Yes, yes she did and she probably would when she was home, in her room, and away from prying eyes. Kyouya all to herself on an outing in and of itself warranted a self-five. She had to put an exhausting amount of energy and attention into this relationship so she took joy and pride where she could. Which was usually the number of times she could get him to go out with her, even if he did mumble and grumble the entire time.
Dates with Kyouya were… not exactly traditional. Were they nice? Yeah, but… not great. Of course, she loved every second of them. Maybe other girls would think going on a date where you didn't say more than one word to each other was a bummer, but for Erika? She took it as a win. After all, just being with him was enough.
She wished they'd talk, or that he'd smile and do silly couple things, but that just wasn't who he was. She accepted that. Maybe she was the first girl to accept his cloudy attitude and sadistic streak but hey, she'd take what she could get. She'd been the silly one to fall in love with an angry downer, after all.
She smiled at the thought, taking a small spoonful of ice cream and happily chowing down. Yes, she'd gotten him out on another date and that's all she needed to focus on.
"What're you smiling about?" he grumbled, his lip curling as he looked at his own ice cream. He wasn't going to eat it, she knew all too well, but it looked better if they both had a dessert, and she wasn't eating alone while he watched her. That might look a tad suspicious.
She shrugged. "Nothing much." She took another bite. She'd told him time and time again when he'd ask why she was smiling, that she was smiling because of him. Usually that'd warrant a confused and possibly peeved 'Haah?' So she'd gotten used to saying "nothing" when he'd ask. He wouldn't press. He wasn't the type to press.
They were dipped back into their comfortable silence. With a grunt he tossed his ice cream cone into the trash next to the bench and crossed his arms, frowning deeply as he began to watch passersby. Erika could nearly hear his thoughts. He was thinking 'Why is she taking so long to eat? Hurry it up, will ya?' She'd gotten good at anticipating what snide things he was thinking. She was just grateful he didn't say them aloud anymore.
"You got new shoes."
Erika choked, coughing violently for a second in surprise as her eyes bugged and her head whipped over to stare at him. Was he kidding? It hadn't even been a question, more of a statement.
Now, for any normal couple, or for anyone passing on the street, those four little words wouldn't have meant a thing. It was a boy noticing what his girl was wearing. He'd probably compliment them, and then she'd be happy and they'd hold hands or something. It wasn't a big deal. For Kyouya? It was earth-shattering.
"I-What-I-Yeah… they are new," she stuttered. Had she gone out and gotten those new blue sneakers for this date? Yes. Had she ever thought he would notice? Hell no.
He was Kyouya. He didn't notice anything when it came to her unless she wasn't wearing her collar or was "misbehaving" and needed a "smack with a newspaper". She felt as if she had stumbled into a parallel universe. Half-expecting him to say he wanted to get married and have ten children, she continued to stare at him in bewilderment.
It was sad that having him notice her new shoes seemed so out of the ordinary she wondered if she was dreaming, but she was. She had to admit it felt rather silly, making such a big deal of it in her mind, but good god it felt weird to have him notice something like that. Weird but… nice.
She remembered the time he'd noticed her haircut. She'd been on cloud nine for at least a week. She'd been absolutely positive he'd only noticed it because it'd been so close to her face. He probably measured where the necklace hit on her neck with her hair and had noticed it'd changed. Having him notice her new shoes would probably go down in the books as a close second. Which was incredibly sad, but very, very true.
His eye twitched before he looked off into the distance, murmuring, "I like them."
"Eh?" she peeped.
"They suit you," he finished, clearing his throat in discomfort.
"Eeeh?" she breathed. He had to be kidding! She looked around at the pedestrians passing them. Had they just heard that? Had that been real? Had he actually complimented her? Someone else had to have heard that, right?
"What?" he snapped. He'd noticed her confusion, most likely.
"Oh, um, nothing it's just… thank you?" That had sounded so incredibly awkward that it wouldn't even fool him.
He narrowed his eyes, leaning toward her. "You tell me that in relationships you're supposed to compliment each other and notice changes, and then whenever I do it, you look off like a puppy who doesn't know why it's been scolded." A puppy that didn't know why it'd been scolded? Is that how he interpreted shock or confusion? "And your 'thank you' left something to be desired," he added, shoving to his feet from the bench and waving hand. "I tried. If you didn't like my compliment I'll make a note not to give one again."
That hadn't been what happened at all! Crap. She scrambled to her feet as he began to walk away, tossing her ice cream away and jogging after him. "Wait, nonono! I liked it! I really did! You did a good job!"
"Don't tell your master he did a good job."
She puffed out her cheeks. "You just took me by surprise!" she pouted. "I liked it. Thank you. There, is that better? It better be. You were the one who said it so out of the blue-" She was cut off as he set a hand on her head, patting twice and ruffling her hair.
"Fine, fine. What do you want me to say? Good dog?" He smirked down at her and she glowered up at him, her feelings of ill will not making it to her eyes.
No, she didn't want him to call her good dog. She wanted him to say he loved her and that he'd continue to compliment her forever. Hah! Just the thought seemed laughable. Good dog was something, she guessed. And honestly, she would take what she could get. "Fine," she pouted, crossing her arms, trying her best to convince herself that she didn't enjoy it when he patted her head.
"So needy," he sneered. "Good dog."