"You're sort of a clueless little girl, aren't you?" The teasing mutter pushed past a smirk as he dug through his pocket, producing a couple quarters and folded bills, placing them on the counter. His orange tie, now worked loose from around his neck, hung untied about the collar of his shirt. It looked a bit sloppy, but as he wasn't at school, no one could tell him otherwise. "I should hope you never have to experience that, in any case. Be as smart as you are and don't accept anything you yourself didn't make." He turned away as if to leave, running his hand up her forehead and flattening her bangs against her hair as he passed her. "But to answer your question, I don't really care much for ice cream either way. I only noticed this place when I moved here over the summer." Aiden waited by the door for the blonde to catch up, again holding it open and permitting an autumn breeze to blow gently past them into the parlor. He waited for her to exit, to hear the clicking of her heels to turn to heavy clacks against the pavement, before letting the door swing shut and mumbling under his breath to himself. "The audacity of them to tell me it was jello, jello doesn't come in plastic cups. No thanks, I said, I'm all right, I said. I never should have brought it up, now she's going to be going on about couches and party hats, isn't she. . ." He glanced sideways at her, but she seemed unaware of whatever he was saying, almost reminding him of a daydreaming student.
She astounded him, a child in the guise of a woman just for this one night of the year. The two contrary characteristics were too much to wrap one's mind around; the childish character in lady's clothing was baffling. Again he found himself attempting to look past the black blouse and skirt, the violet lipstick. If he squinted, he could remember the short blonde with a little-girl face, conch-pink lips and round cheeks. This facade didn't suit her at all. It was alluring, undoubtedly, but she could not have found a better way to disguise herself so completely. Though wasn't that the point of Halloween, to dress up as someone else, to be freed of inhibitions thanks to anonymity? That's what she would say.
"Can't you lighten up for once?" was what she'd said, twisting light hair around a finger. Even as she asked, she grinned, eyes crinkling--green eyes, green eyes that were always so glad to see him that they stay'd forever crinkled in that #######.
"The whole thing is stupid, Claire. It's just another consumerist holiday, just like Valentine's. That's all." His hand rested on the back of his neck, glance darting to the sky, not looking at her. "I think you look fine as you are."
She wasn't upset--she never seemed to be--she only laughed. "Aiden, Aiden, Aiden. It never hurts to get out there, try something new. And tomorrow, things will be the same as they always are. Happy?"
Green eyes that never cried, eyes he saw sad only once.
He couldn't take it from another. He had tried so hard to stay distanced, to pretend. He couldn't allow Emiko to get to him like she had, it would never work, he'd seen it already. But now here they both were, ambling down sidewalk on Halloween of all nights, breaking every rule he had placed over himself since then. But somehow it didn't really matter much.
"What made you change your mind?" He allowed his eyes to wander, searching for telltale lights, crowds. "You said you weren't going to wear a costume. And by the look of it, I can guess how this black number put itself together. You've found yourself a little meddler, haven't you? I caught her cutting class that day you asked to practice during physical education. You haven't been alone in this, am I right? I wonder about the company you keep." He turned back to her with a grin he wasn't able to suppress, smiling in an almost got you sort of way. He turned his eyes back to the pavement, watching their feet carry them foreward. "This whole thing--I knew it from the start, but I thought that you were only fooling yourself and that you'd soon get over it. I never really thought you would actually like me. Silly, isn't it?"
He had tried so hard to stay distanced. But now here they both were.
"There." He stopped suddenly in front of another building, one girl at what looked like a ticket booth a few yards before a door that appeared to be spilling costumed people and flashing colors. "They seem to be having more fun than we are. Let's see if we can get in."