Their fourth tea date lasted for more than three hours. Despite plenty of awkward moments, they never really ran out of things to talk about, and neither of them really wanted the
dates tea dates to end.
It was getting rather ridiculous, enough to drive a guy crazy.
All the time they spent together, sure, it felt like they were dating. To an outside observer, they could easily be mistaken for a couple. But they could also be mistaken as really good friends, considering they never even held hands. Henry knew they should probably Talk About It, but whatever, when a moment presented itself (and there had been several possible moments), he always chickened out.
Then again, Audrey never brought it up either, meaning she was just as chicken as he was or she wasn’t interested. But if she wasn’t interested, their first get together wouldn’t have turned into a five hour Buffy marathon, right? She wouldn’t have walked with him back to his apartment after every time they hang out, just so they could finish their conversations (even though they never quite managed to). And the outdoor My Fair Lady thing, well… it definitely had felt like dating then.
So when the sky outside began to darken and they realized a) they’d been at the tea place since two and it was past five and b) rain had been forecasted for this evening and c) neither of them had thought to bring a coat or an umbrella, they figured it was time to go.
“In the spirit of fairness,” Henry said as they got up, “I’ll walk you back today.”
“Oh, you don’t have to do that, you live so much closer than I do! And of course today of all days, I decided to walk instead of drive.” She rolled her eyes, a relatively new habit she blamed on Lily.
“No, I insist,” he said, straightening his back to his full height and putting on a gallant, prim and proper tone that made Audrey giggle, which was hands down one of the cutest things in his world. “I have to make sure you don’t melt if it starts to rain.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Are you calling me a mean green witch who likes to terrorize dogs and young girls over a pair of shoes?”
“Well, you did freak Bridget out the first time you were over.”
“I freaked her out? I don’t think so. She jumped on me.”
“Well, you didn’t have to make such a high-pitched noise.”
Audrey shoved him, but she was smiling. Then, it started pouring on their heads.
One moment he was grinning stupidly at her, and the next they were soaking wet. So they started running, Audrey leading the way. Somehow their hands got caught together and she was half dragging him through the forming puddles and the sheets of water falling on their heads. It never even occurred to Henry to just turn around and go home.
They were only a few blocks away from her house when they slowed to a fast walk, because they were soaked though anyway. But they kept their hands intertwined. Now it really really really felt like dating.
Well, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, and he didn’t have time to wonder where the hell that came from when he found himself pulling them to a stop, then there was a breathtaking moment where she turned to face him and something in her eyes said finally and they were kissing, really kissing, in the rain. Just the two of them. No directors, camera people, makeup artists, or characters.
When they pulled away, Henry couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.
“I’ve been trying to think of the right thing to say for the last month. For like, the whole time I’ve known you, actually. But all I could really think right now was how much I wanted to do that.”
She laughed a little. “Maybe it’s a Pavlovian thing. You know, rain.” She made a small gesture to the rain falling around them, her small movements magnified by their incredibly wonderfully close proximity. He was so caught up in just looking at her that he hardly had time to catch her joke and start laughing before she grinned, shook her head, and said. “That wasn’t right. Let me rephrase that.” And she pulled him down and kissed him again.
It felt perfect and good, and part of him (most of him) never wanted to stop. But he was almost glad when they did, because she smiled and said, “I like you.”
He grinned with his whole face, and replied, “I like you too,” even though liking didn’t seem to sum up the way his whole body was filled with pure elation. If it was anything like helium, he’d float straight off the ground. Then he glanced up, and stated the obvious. “It’s raining.”
“This is true.” She grabbed his hand and laced their fingers together. “Come on. Let’s get inside. That’s what people do when it rains.”
“Yup.” And they took off into the downpour.