Note: This was written for the Zexal Flash Bingo challenge, for the prompt "IV/Rio"
Kamishiro Rio was in line for coffee, and Thomas didn't know what to do about it.
He'd been planning on getting a desperately needed caffeine fix, and had already begun to worm his way into the line, when she'd turned her head slightly and their eyes had met for an instant. Now he had a choice to make. He couldn't simply ignore her - not without feeling like a coward. He wasn't sure he could bring himself to address her, either. What would he say? "Hello, Miss Kamishiro. How have things been since you left your other dimension? Incidentally, I don't think I ever apologized to you properly for setting you on fire." No, starting a conversation was an impossibility. But he had to do something.
At the last minute, he cut to the front of the line to stop her from reaching for her purse.
"I'll pay for yours," he said. She gave him a glare, which made him feel like he was on more solid footing. He added, "Please."
Somewhat to his surprise, she relented. "All right. It's not like I don't know you can afford it."
He paid for her hot chocolate and his caramel mocha, and they carried their drinks to a little outside table. The coffee shop was crowded enough that they could sit across from each other and pretend it was only being polite.
"I'm surprised to run into you here, IV," she said after they'd sipped in silence for a minute or two. "Or should I call you Thomas?"
He shrugged. "Either one. IV is still my stage name. I can't get rid of it now."
She smiled a tiny bit. "I think I know what you mean. The... others still call me Merag. I can't break them of the habit, so I've given up trying."
"Is that what I should call you?" he asked. "I know your friends call you Rio, but I'm not your friend, am I?"
"No," she said, giving him a measuring look. "But you're not my enemy, either, I don't think."
"No, I'm not your enemy," he said. He laughed softly. "There are too many names for things aren't there?"
"You're right," she said. "Like these stupid coffees. Who decided that a small coffee needed to be called 'tall', anyway?"
"My point exactly," he said. "I don't know what to call you. I don't know what to call myself. I don't even know what to call the damned coffee. I'm really in a mess, don't you think?"
She smiled. "Well, I guess I'm in the same boat. Then again, I've never much like fitting myself into a mold. Maybe we don't need names. Maybe we'll invent something new."
He smiled a little, relaxing. "Maybe we will."