“C’mon, why the hell is he taking so long?” You muttered to yourself, blowing air from your blown-up cheeks. You’d agreed to go out with Alfred as he needed an honest opinion on some new clothes he wanted.
As you rather liked men’s clothes, the foureyes figured you were a perfect choice. Also if something didn’t suit him, you were blunt enough to tell him.
“Hey that guy looks cute, should we talk to him?” You glanced up when you saw a couple of girls hovering in your vicinity.
You sighed, ruffling your short hair. It wasn’t your fault people saw you as a boy, you supposed. You dressed in men’s clothes and acted like one. Though you didn’t really care anymore as you used to, now you’d found people who weren’t weirded out by you and your habits.
“Yo dude! Never fear as the hero is here!” Alfred jumped in front of you, striking a silly pose. You stared at him for a moment then burst out laughing. “Not cool dude...” he muttered, pouting at you.
“Sorry Alfie! Couldn’t help it!” You told him as you grinned at him. “Whatever! Let’s go!” He cried, grabbing your arm and pulling you purposefully in a direction.
You chatted with him about trivial things, smiling and laughing a lot. It was only when you saw people muttering and pointing at the two of you that you realised what you must look like to others.
Suddenly feeling uncomfortable with the situation, you let go of his arm, stuffing your hands in your pockets. He blinked and looked at you curiously as he felt the warmth on his arm disappear, feeling a bit sad.
“Something wrong?” He asked, trying to sound casual. You shook your head, keeping your eyes on your feet. He shrugged, but didn’t want to push you. “It’s in here.”
You swung your feet as you waited for the loudmouth to emerge in his new outfit. The plush seat you were sitting on was quite bouncy and you giggled, poking and flattening the velvety material between your fingers.
“Alfred? You ready yet?” You called, watching the red curtain for some sign of movement. “Not yet.” Came his reply. “Geez, you get dressed like a girl!” You retorted, standing up when the curtain twitched.
The curtain slid back, the metal rings clinking against the rail. “Well?” Alfred asked, doing a slow turn for you. You looked at him awkwardly, scratching your cheek.
“You look like.... a dork.” You said, raising your eyebrow at him. He sighed, feeling defeated. “Wait here, I’ll get you some stuff.” With that you skipped out of the changing rooms and to the men’s section.
A dark blue T-shirt here, some black jeans there, you managed to snag a woolly jumper as well. “Alfred? Here, try these.” You said, handing them to him through the curtain.
Having to wait again, you took your seat and played with the hems of your large shirt. “And now?” Alfred appeared out of the stall, holding out his arms and cocking his head.
“Much better! Even if I do say so myself.” You grinned, feeling satisfied with your choice. Alfred, tugged at the shirt. “Err, if I don’t mind me asking, how did you know my size?”
You shrugged and smiled at him. “Just a gut feeling.” He returned your smile with appreciation. “Well, I’m getting these. You can go on ahead to the counter, I’ll see you there.”
Nodding, you walked off in the direction of the cashier’s desk, having to pass through the woman’s section of the shop. As you strode past a rail, stuffed to the brim with frilly skirts and dresses you paused, one of your hands trailing along the soft material.
You examined your skin next to the pastel colour of the dress and sighed, biting your lip. “Just as I thought... It doesn’t suit me after all...” You muttered, a wave of depression settling over your head.
Even if you were a tomboy, perhaps it would feel nice to have at least someone not immediately assume you were a boy. You wore boyish clothes because they were more comfortable and you acted differently because you felt it was more fun not having to abide by unspoken rules set by up-tight princesses.
“You okay?” You felt a warm hand on your shoulder, glancing up to see Alfred, his worried gaze aimed at the moisture in clouding your vision.
Nodding halfheartedly, you rubbed your eyes, the rough fabric of your sleeves grazing your skin. He sighed seeing your bravado, getting the clothes you picked out for him and buying them quickly.
The large plastic bag in one hand, the other holding onto your wrist, he tugged you in seemingly a random direction. “Al-Alfred? Where are we going?” You said, having trouble trying to keep up with his long strides.
“You’ll see.” He muttered, loosening his grip on your wrist and interlacing your fingers together. A blush crept up onto your cheeks and when you looked at him, you saw the tips of his ears burning.
Several looks followed you on the street, but when you tried to let go of his hand, he didn’t let you. Your legs starting to feel tired, you bumped into his back when he stopped in front of a shop. “Wanna get one?” He asked, gesturing at the shop display.
Curiously you scanned the place through the window. It seemed to be an..... ice-cream parlour? “Sure, I guess.” The radiant grin he threw at you, made you smile at him unconsciously.
“Heya, I’ll have a milkshake deluxe with chocolate please.” You blinked at him. Milkshake? The man behind the counter nodded and started preparing. “And for you?”
“Err, yes! I-I’ll have (f/f), please.” The man chuckled and set about making the two. Though when you were about to reach for your wallet, Alfred shook his head. “I’ll get it, don’t worry.”
The two of you walked out of the shop, each with a milkshake topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce in hand. Alfred pulled you down on a bench outside, sitting cross-legged.
You slurped some of the cold mixture through the straw, blushing when the taste hit your mouth. “Alfred! This is good!” You said, smiling happily and drinking some more. “Thought so.” He replied, happily watching you.
“It’s as I thought.” He murmured softly, his soft bespectacled gaze soft as he looked at you. “You look much better when you smile.”
“Eh?” You turned to him, your expression quizzical. “You look your best just as you are you know. I mean, I like you the way you are, you don’t have to wear different clothes or anything. You look cute no matter what you wear.”
As he spoke, his face grew redder and he sunk into the collar of his jacket. “No what I meant was... I mean I saw you looking sad so I wanted to-... no.” He looked you straight in the eye. “You don’t have to change for me.... That’s all I wanted to say.”
You chuckled. “Geez, Alfie, why so serious?” You teased, ruffling his hair up. He growled at you, mussing your own hair up.
“Hey!” You grabbed him tightly, bringing your mouth to his ear. He blushed and smiled, nodding.