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Not to mention that no part of the friendship, ever, had made sense from the beginning. She'd just started talking to him while they both happened to be at the gym that one time and... Why? Seriously, just why?
Was he worrying about this too much? Probably. They were just friends, weren't they? People could mean that when they said it. Theo was utterly oblivious to most romantic things ever, not often having been the subject of them, but something about the words seemed to only add to his anxiety. Most people just brushed him aside because he was either quiet or someone pushed his buttons and he threw a mean punch. Those were the two sides of the coin that most people heard of him. Supposedly, some people even thought he was dangerously violent? Which wasn't true... He was just very defensive and protective. Was that really such a crime?
Something, something, manners, something... and he was standing at her door taking in a deep breath that puffed out as a sigh, unable to resist the urge to reach up and scratch his head uncertainly, nervously, before he finally knocked.
"It's uh... Theo..." Hopefully somewhat obviously..? Why did he say that? "I hope I'm not too early or anything..." Gods, okay, just shut up and...
Try to act normal? What was normal? He wasn't cut for these sort of things. Yeah, he did some charity events for the shelter, but those were all more t-shirt and jeans affairs than they were this black tie level.
Did he look okay? Did the mask match? Mum had helped him figure everything out, basically, and he trusted her, but...
Why was he so nervous?
In high school, Lalita skipped prom to visit a Planetarium in Manhattan. She didn't like being prodded into finding someone who either took pity on her or became a last choice. The girl would rather walk on broken glass than to feel like a total reject around a shallow student population. So imagine how frightening it was to ask Theo to the Masquerade Ball - knowing that it sounded more like a date the longer she tried to explain it in simpler terms. It was two people enjoying the same activities for a certain amount of time. No harm in that, right? To mention 'as friends' kept the stress off of complicating the situation. Shock figured by the end of the night, the glamour would wear off and she'd turn back into a strange acquaintance. Secretly, she was excited that he accepted her awkward invitation. Her gaze faltered at the thought of stepping out of the apartment with an elegant outfit.
The witch spent a week to prepare for the event. It was confusing because she was putting in a lot of effort to look her best. Even finding a dress that made her not want to rip it off was a miracle. Jackson wouldn't let her wear a pumpkin over her head as a mask because it wasn't appropriate for the occasion. Thora even joked that she would need stilts to reach Theo, which made Shock slide face first into a pillow in defeat. Then another realization hit her like a sack of bricks -- she couldn't slow dance! While swing dance was a type of ballroom dancing, it didn't require close contact with a partner and the main difference of the music being upbeat. Maybe her companion was just as clueless in that department. Nothing was truly certain, so tonight was going to be a surprising one. Gliding down the stairs, Lalita balanced herself into those tricky two inch heels.
A knock on the door made her heart flutter as she gripped her necklace to fend off those pesky butterflies. The petite brunette closed her eyes, then caught her breath before reaching for the handle. In the midst of opening it, Shock froze at the sight of her supposed date. A few seconds passed until she remembered what she was going to communicate. "You're looking quite dashing this evening, and on time as well." she said with slight humor to break the ice. Crossing onto his side, her fingers turned the key in the lock of her apartment. "I felt safer knowing that you were coming with me. These people who have a lot of money think they can treat people however they want and that's just not my scene, you know?" not quite sure how he would take her confession. "I'm sure you have better things to do tonight, so I hope taking me isn't too much trouble." recalling what she said about finding someone else to go with if he was busy. Hopefully he wasn't regretting his decision.
Thankfully, she saved him by finally speaking, breaking up a bit of the odd ball of... Well, he didn't even know what to call it, but it'd made it hard to try to think of anything to say, much less actually force it out of his mouth. "And you look... beautiful..." The smile that came to his lips finally was a bit awkward, but nonetheless genuine.
And his words only really hit him fully in the face until after he'd said them, but... He was just severally overreacting and nervous, that was all. It'd be fine. Friends could compliment each other. It just... didn't deal with all of the inexplicable butterflies in his stomach.
"Yeah, I'm not much for the high scene, either," he admitted, reaching up to rub at the back of his neck. "Oh- No, no, really... It's... It's no trouble!" This was a whole different level of tripping over himself that made him internally grimace. Instead, he pushed another slight, awkward smile to his lips. The last thing he wanted her to think was that he'd just taken her offer to save her some face or something like that...
"I'm... afraid I'm not that great of a dance partner, but..." He gave a small shrug of his shoulders and pressed his hands into his pockets for a moment just to give them something to do and resist the urge to do something else even more awkward with them. "I do appreciate the offer." Finally, something he got out in one, steady sentence, and softly, even! He relaxed somewhat visibly with that steadiness and offered out a hand to her, "Your chariot awaits?" That was always a safe joke, right?
All Lalita has ever known was backhanded compliments, snarky remarks, and cutting insults thrown in her direction from strangers. Responding to such comments became second nature, but now she was out of her element with being called beautiful. The brunette wasn't used to being stared at in a way that made her feel like an actual woman. It was different yet exhilarating that she wasn't just boxed into a predictable persona. Still taken aback by his gentlemanly nature, Lalita softly let her lips curve when her mind connected his meaningful message as the truth. Usually the witch would casually brush it off -- only this time she didn't want to.... was that so wrong?
Gripping the chain of her purse to fend off nerves, she calmly listened to Theo again. Even though they were on the same page about the overly lavished event, Shock still wanted to spend time with him despite being out of her comfort zone. His awkward, yet adorakable replies further eased her perspective on the situation. "Don't worry, I'll keep you on your toes in other imaginative ways." unable to hold back a playful smile. "No matter what happens... we'll make the best of it." a promise she was able to keep for sure. The young woman wanted him to have fun and not worry so much about trying to fit into a snobby crowd.
His entertaining transition caused her to blush as she gently grabbed his hand. "Careful, your invitation might include piggy back rides in the near future." scrunching her nose teasingly before gracefully entering the vehicle. Those glamorous heels were going to make her feet ache and she didn't need tarot cards to predict that outcome. Why did beauty require so much pain? At least her efforts weren't completely wasted. Patiently waiting for him to enter the driver's side, she fastened her safety belt then allowed herself to get comfortable in her seat.
It wasn't until they got further down the street that Shock gained enough confidence to liven the suspenseful silence. "So what sort of music do you like to listen to?" motioning toward the radio to change through the stations. As her fingers got tired, a song randomly dominated the static noise. Horrified by the lyrics, she gingerly combed her fingers through her hair and reclined near the window. "Jin jja?!" she muttered in Korean, which meant really in English.
But that feeling of acceptance, like he didn't really have to explain himself or stumble over all of his attempted words, no matter that he still did... Oh, how much had changed in such a short time, right? It wasn't that long ago that they were just two odd strangers that happened to cross paths at the gym, and he probably wouldn't have thought anything more of it if she hadn't stepped up and started the conversation herself.
Even a smirk came to his lips at her tease. "You say that like it's a bad thing!" It'd certainly be an interesting turn of events, wouldn't it? Ditching this high society, black tie affair for piggyback rides around the city honestly didn't sound like that bad of an idea at all.
It was getting back into the car that made him puff through another small, slightly nervous breath. They were actually going to a dance... Theo... hadn't been to one of those...
Ever? He actually had to think hard about it. He'd skipped the ones in high school... No, no... He really couldn't remember ever actually going to a dance. Ever.
And he very nearly missed her question entirely because of how hard he was trying to remember even just one he might have gone to. "Oh, uhmm..." Good question, actually... What did he listen to..?
"I guess a... variety, of sorts..? I'm not particularly drawn to one genre over another, I guess..." And before he could elaborate (or try to and probably fail miserably, if he were being honest with himself) the radio had to go and be totally embarrassing.
He was sure he flushed red in the face almost quicker than the song had come on and flashed a hand quickly out to the audio controls, flipping the station back to its static-filled predecessor just to avoid... Yeah. That.
"I... I think there's some CDs in the middle console here, if you wanna look through them and see if anything catches your eye." His teeth worked away at the inside of his lip as he dared to cast an awkward glance over at her and offer an equally awkward half-smile that flitted away as quickly as it had come.
That was not supposed to happen. Oh, gods.