Disclaimer: I pity the fool!...who thinks I own DNAngel. (Mr. T reference? Anyone? Anyone?)
It was nice, Dark decided, to pour her coffee on the Fridays she stopped by the café. Not that he looked out for her, but she liked window seats that took in the city and just enough of the sky to keep it all in perspective. He couldn't decide whether she was a high school kid or a college student, and, to an extent, the ambiguity suited her. Something about her eyes made her seem stuck in transit from here to there; he figured it had to do with the ways they could light up at the mention of a name and simmer closed in an instant.
Nothing much, just a regular customer who blew by to a rhythm he'd gotten used to. She'd tap broken beats against the table, lose the world to a book, and then raise her gaze to give him a smile floating between polite and wary whenever he brought her order.
It was pouring, and he laughed to himself at the way she strained her eyes to see out the window and past the summer shower. From the look of things, she was more of a spots of sun and airy breezes type girl. He bet she looked awful in the rain.
After a few minutes contemplating her empty coffee cup, she pushed herself off her chair, sleeves of her too-big denim jacket creeping up her knuckles. Braving the rain on her own, it seemed. So Dark did the right thing and bumped into her on the way out. She apologized, and he extended an arm to her with an umbrella hanging off the end. Deer-in-headlights really looked good scrawled all over her face, he decided.
"I-I'm fine, really," she stuttered. When the offending appendage refused to retract itself she pulled some hair behind her ear and added, "Besides, you need it don't you?"
"I drive—and you," he paused, bending forward to peer into the parking lot, "to the best of my knowledge—walk." When she continued to stare more at the inanimate object in his hand then at him, he threw in a "Believe me, I'll be fine" and flung it into her hands.
"Thanks," she replied uncertainly and held the umbrella lightly, just by the fingertips, as she walked out. "Bring it back!" he yelled after her. She paused with a slight nod and the traces of upturned lips. For some reason, he felt strangely satisfied when he saw it balloon into a canopy of red above her through the plates of glass on the door. She angled its metal rod against the crook of her neck and blinked at the rain as she strode out of sight. Dark smiled, doing his best to swallow it away when he saw Satoshi roll his eyes in his general direction.
She mixed up her routine and brought the umbrella back the next day.
"You know, you could've hung on to it for a while. It's not like I was going to die without it," he teased.
That earned him a glare. Ouch. He'd hate to see her full-on angry. "I know that, I just hate having things that aren't mine lying around."
He tossed her a grin as he leaned it behind the counter. "Do you live around here?"
She tilted her head to the side at that. "Yeah. Well, sorta—" Dark silently cursed her phone as she flipped it open and scanned the screen. "Sorry, I've got to go. Thanks for the umbrella!"
She was out the door before he could shoot back a reply, so he mumbled an empty "Yeah, see ya," and watched her dance shadows on the ground as she ran across the street.
She fell in again next Friday—elbows on the table, legs crossed behind a leg of her chair, surrounded in a box of blue and skyscrapers—and froze for an instant before waving a hello when she met his eyes from across the room. He should have just waved back, but he found himself drifting past her table with a "Hello, stranger," in reply. She stopped him with a strident "Hey!" and then he was sitting across from her trying to convince himself that striking up conversations with almost strangers lay somewhere in the fine print of his job description.
Yes, she was a college student. No, he didn't always live around here. She did have a sister, an identical twin, in fact—no soap opera material, though. He worked here because he liked seeing new faces. She was majoring in communication and journalism because she wanted to do something meaningful with her life. Trying to change the world? No, just what she could.
"Oh, wow—" and then her laughter fragmented the rest.
"What's so funny?"
"It's just," and now she had a hand over her eyes, "here I am telling you my life's story, and I don't even know your name!"
Dark fiddled with the napkin dispenser. It needed to be fixed—but, oh, wow, she was right. "That makes two of us," he offered, and accompanied that very pathetic statement with a very pathetic cough. But thankfully she was already sweeping it away with a shake of her head, dipping in and out of the daylight spilling down her shoulders. "I'm Dark," he added, almost as an afterthought.
"Riku," she said, reaching across the table to give his hand a mock shake.
Ah, and that was definitely Satoshi giving him a look that promised not only death but pay cuts. "Hey—"
"Oh, God, I'm sorry, you probably have work— "
"Nah, don't worry about it. I don't mind. But since I kinda enjoy my job, how about we continue this sometime else? Say Saturday, at the park down the road?" Wait did he just—
"Are you asking me out?"
Functionally, yes. Yes, he was. He'd definitely crossed over into the twilight zone, or at least wandered into the category of freak. "Um…Do you want to be asked out? I mean, if you already have a boyfriend…you know…" Of course she had a life: friends, hang outs, love interests…yeah. He should probably add idiot to the list at this point.
"Yes, and no," she beamed back. "As in yes to the first and so on and so forth. And no, I am not an eighty year old woman." She looked good happy, to say the least.
"Afternoon work for you?"
"Great!" Could he be any louder? Satoshi would definitely be hanging his carcass from the ceiling if he did. "See you there!" Which was a very idiotic thing for him to say, given that he worked there and she hadn't finished her coffee. For her part, she did her best to stifle her laughter every time she caught him looking her way before she slipped out into the sidewalk.
That night, as they started to close up, Satoshi didn't bother making eye contact when he spoke, focusing instead on wiping down the counter. "Not that it's any of my business, but I hear it's good to be on more than a first name basis with a girl before you ask her out."
Dark shrugged half-heartedly, ignoring the challenge. Why waste the effort? His mind was still lingering over an image of Riku trapped between two shafts of sunlight, laughing.
A/N: Kinda cliché, I know, but waiter!Dark makes me happy. I was going for more of a sunlight through a window feel, but if it was more ultraviolet radiation melting skin, I humbly apologize.