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The Usual

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Anzu has heard of this place before, but no amount of imagining could’ve actually prepared her for the real thing:

The first thing that reaches her besides the smell of the mixture of spices in the air is the soft chime the door makes when she and Adonis walk in, her hand involuntarily squeezing his as she darts her eyes around the little coffee shop, examining and recognizing the details she remembered from his talks and fitting them to the actual establishment. Cute is the word Adonis had used to describe the place before, and while it works, Anzu can’t help but think that maybe cozy would do just as fine, what with the nice and clean wooden floors and the warm glow of fairy lights hung over the ceiling. She doesn’t even realize how long she’s just standing at the entrance, admiring the homely decorations and the intricate desserts protected behind glass until Adonis gently taps her shoulder with his free hand.

“Anzu.” He calls her out of her daydream, firm but soft. “We’re in the way.”

“Oh--Oh!” Anzu immediately steps to the side to allow in a sheepish couple of customers that were crammed behind her, her cheeks pink with embarrassment. After a quick apology and fumbling to find a place in line, she turns to Adonis with a laugh. “Sorry about how I froze, I was really surprised. This place is just a lot prettier than I imagined.”

The compliment brings a small smile to Adonis’s lips.

“That’s why I like it. I’m relieved you do too.” 

“Do Rei-san and the others like it too?”

To her surprise, Adonis shakes his head.

“It’s not… a place for Undead, really.” He explains, gesturing towards the pretty and cream-colored walls to make his point. “I see this as more of a place for me.”

Anybody could make the mistake to think of this as selfish, but Anzu knows better, and nods her understanding. It’s not that Adonis tries to hide these things from his friends, really-- it’s more like he needs to reserve it for his own sake; a place to think about nobody but himself. Somewhere to forget about any type of work, hunger and to let his guard down to enjoy a rosier time, if only for a bit. She finds herself smiling gently as they get closer to the cashier, and squeezes his hand to catch his attention.

“Any recommendations? We’re almost up.”

“The parfait.” Adonis says, without thinking. “It’s the best I’ve had. The fruit is always fresh and they always make up in some way if they don’t have the usual ingredients.”

His subtle hints of enthusiasm pull a chuckle out of Anzu; she easily gives in to the suggestion and takes it upon her to order when it’s their turn. When they get their order in, Adonis insists for Anzu to pick their table since it’s her first time around the shop-- he seems not-so-secretly relieved and even a little thankful when she chooses a place near the windows overlooking the streets; not only is it more private and comfortable for them both, but it’s also prime time for dog-walking in this side of the neighborhood. It seems they both agree that the only thing that can make a nice dessert on a sunday even better is the sight of a small poodle in a sweater, after all.

Once they settle down to admire the lovely and sunny day outside, Anzu takes a moment to privately steal a glance at the rarely distracted Adonis; he’d usually see through her and gently chide her for staring, but she guesses the coffee shop is to blame for his current relaxed state. It’s usually hard enough to process that the unbelievably handsome boy across her is now her boyfriend, and especially with how little time has passed since they agreed on this compromise, but today definitely takes the cake. Not only is he more noticeable now that he’s out of his stuffy school uniform, but the way his entire face softens when he sees something he likes makes him look downright unreal.     

Anzu could’ve honestly stared for hours, but the sharp Adonis couldn’t be oblivious forever. He glances her way, startling her into an embarrassed chuckle.

“Is there something in my face?” He asks. This only makes Anzu chuckle even more.

“No, no. Your face is great--” She blurts it out so suddenly she makes herself laugh even more. “Sorry, what am I saying-- you looked dreamy just now, is all. I was just thinking how lucky I am.”

It takes just that for Adonis’s usual stone face to crack with a dark blush that spreads from ear to ear. While it should probably be his job to shower his partner in compliments and he’s said this kind of thing himself before dating, Anzu’s growing experience and ease to talk to and direct beautiful boys on a daily basis have made her bluntness a force to be reckoned with. He faces her with seriousness.

“It’s--backwards.” He tells her, firmly. “You’re one of a kind, Anzu. I’m the lucky one.”

She tilts her head.

“What do you mean?”

“Exactly what I’m saying.” Adonis explains, “Stronger than stone even when you look so fragile. Beloved by all who know you… yet you’re here with me, who could easily break you if I’m not paying attention. You’re the dream-like one. That’s how you make me feel, and why I love you so.”

Though his words are rather serious-- a little intense and unexpected for the kind of relaxed setting they’re in, even--Anzu finds it in her to smile in the midst of blushing even harder than Adonis was just a few moments ago. The ‘I love you’s never stop feeling so special, despite how easily he can say them.   

Truth be told, Adonis is right about one thing: Most of the boys at Yumenosaki aren’t exactly shy or subtle when it comes to expressing their interest in the one female producer at the idol course, but it never was something Anzu was able to take very seriously. It was always easy to notice and ignore. Most of them just seemed to make their flirting and advances as part of their image in their respective units--like a caricature of their true intentions-- but her admiration and eventual affection on Adonis had managed to creep up on her on his sincerity and the fact that he never seemed to try anything, despite his seriousness and obliviousness to his own strength. She looks for his hand, resting on the table, and interlaces her fingers to his in yet another display of boldness to match his.

“We’re both lucky, then.” She assures. “And I trust you. I feel safe around you, so even if I ever break, I know you’d help put me back together.”

She makes everything seem so...simple, so solvable. Adonis finds himself able to return the smile, his fingers almost shyly but surely squeezing back at hers.

“...You’re right, as always.”    

“Um…!”

The sound of a third voice breaking into their little moment makes them both look up to find a red-faced teenager holding up a tray with two identical and adorable parfaits on top. The girl offers an apologetic smile as she holds out the first plate.

“Sorry for intruding, but your order is here…!”

Anzu is somehow even redder at being caught in the midst of such a romantic moment, while Adonis just seems glad to see his food so fast. She nervously pull their hands away to allow the girl to set the plates down, muttering a small apology for being in the way. When both desserts are in front of them, the girl offers a steadier smile at Adonis, in particular.

“This is your usual, right?”

He gives a single nod, to which the waitress giggles and redirects her smile at Anzu.

“We were wondering back in the kitchen when he’d bring his girlfriend over to try it! It’s very nice to finally meet you.”

Anzu is barely laughing out her thanks politely, though her face burns the brightest yet.

By the time the waitress finally leaves them alone, the date resumes on the pace they’d set since they made it to the coffee shop; slow but sure. Thankfully, tasting and fawning over the parfait helps to move things along; it’s even better than Adonis could’ve ever described. 

(Something tells Anzu that the kitchen staff might’ve made them even better for their sake, and she feels as grateful as she does embarrassed.)