Shinra had just seemed so excited when Celty had agreed to go on a date with him that she didn't have the heart to tell him that she had no idea what one did while on a date. On top of that, she had no clue where they would go, since it wasn't exactly an everyday occurrence that an unlicensed doctor and a headless dullahan went out in public together.

[He was so happy about it], she typed into her PDA, showing the screen to Izaya before taking it back and typing again. [I didn't want to ruin it by asking what we were supposed to do. Do you know what people do when on a date?]

He shrugged, leaning up against the wall in the alley they were in. "I don't know. Usually that mushy-gushy stuff that makes me puke. My best advice is to just wing it."

Izaya could imagine the confused look she would've had as she paused for a minute. [Wing it?]

"Improvise," he clarified. "Make it up as you go along. Now, the one thing I wanna add is—"


With a smirk and a salute, Izaya skipped off and said, "Gotta bounce," while cackling like a madman. Not even a second later, a vending machine cut through the air and landed right where the info broker had been standing. Celty 'sighed,' straddling her bike again and speeding off toward Shinra's apartment with a hell of a lot of questions that needed to be answered.

. . .

I should just ask him what exactly we're supposed to do and where we're supposed to go, Celty thought, pacing back and forth outside the apartment door. If she'd actually had a mouth, she would've been gnawing on her fingernails, but instead compromised and drummed them on the visor of her helmet. After a few minutes of that, she steeled herself and tried to get her confidence back. I'll just go in there and ask. There's no harm in that, right?

But when she unlocked and opened the door, she came face-to-helmet with Shinra, who looked startled and flustered. "I-I'm sorry, Celty. I heard footsteps outside the door and just wanted to see if it was you or not."

[It's okay], she typed, adding, [I understand. And, about our date…]

"You don't want to cancel, do you? I completely understand if you want to; lots of girls have rejected me before. It's nothing new," he rambled, biting his bottom lip nervously.

Quickly, Celty typed out, [No, no, that's not it at all. I just had to make sure you knew that I have no idea whatsoever of what happens on a date. I'm kind of… new at this.]

Relief washed across Shinra's face as he let out the breath he hadn't known he'd been holding. "Oh, that's it? Well, a date is when two people decide to go out for the night and spend time together. Sometimes they go to the movies, or go have dinner, or just go out for a stroll. There are fancy dates, casual dates, and sometimes dates in-between. Most of the time, if the date goes really well, the two people decide to go on another one. If it goes unimaginably well, they might have—Celty, are you taking notes?"

The dullahan was, indeed, scribbling down a shorthand version of what Shinra was rattling off on a pad of paper she'd found on the foyer table. Shinra sighed and just shook his head in disbelief, making Celty lift her helmet from the pad and cock it to the side in confusion.

"Don't worry about any taking any notes. Just make it up as you go along."

Him, too? Maybe improvisation was the secret to a successful date.

[Well, where are we going to go?]

Crap. He hadn't thought of that.

. . .

Meanwhile, on the streets of Ikebukuro, street signs and vending machines alike were being hurled at a laughing Izaya. With ease, he dodged every throw gracefully, succeeding in only pissing Shizuo off even more than his mere presence already had. "You need to work on your aim, Shizu-chan!" he teased, smirking cockily.

"I'll freaking kill you!" Shizuo bellowed, relocating another vending machine to a spot about one inch to Izaya's left.

. . .

The next day, when Celty had returned for the evening and was busy pondering what to wear for her date with Shinra, she found a note that her roommate had left for her. Taking her helmet off and setting it down, she picked up the note and read it to herself.


Meet me in front of the apartment building at nine-thirty.


Well, at least she knew where it was going to be. Now all she needed to do was find something to wear and figure out a plan of what to do. Since Shinra had told her not to take notes, she assumed he knew what they were to be doing and that it wouldn't be awkward at all.

. . .

It was awkward. So very, very, very awkward. There they were, sitting in Shinra's car at a drive-in movie, neither saying nor typing anything to each other. At least until Shinra cleared his throat and said, "You look pretty tonight."

Celty typed, [You look nice, too.]

So, they were doing compliments? She was fairly good at that. Just the other day she'd called Izaya a no-good, calculating shyster and he'd beamed and thanked her. Telling the truth seemed to be a good way of complimenting someone, so she decided to play along and just tell Shinra what she really thought about him.

[I like the way your hair looks tonight.] There. Honesty.

Shinra blushed and replied, "Thanks. You have beautiful…" He paused, searching for the right term. "…optic sensors."

If Celty had had eyebrows, one would've been raised. She literally had nothing to say to that.

Unperturbed by her lack of response, Shinra continued. "And your, uh, fingers seem to be, um, in shape. Yeah…"

If for nothing else, Celty wanted a head at that moment just so she could execute a proper facepalm. Really, fingers? But she supposed it was rather difficult to compliment someone without facial features, so she brushed it off.

But Shinra kept right on going, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. "And I swear, you have the loveliest set of b—kneecaps I've ever seen," he finished with a nervous laugh, barely catching himself there and narrowly avoiding a myriad of punches to the gut.

At that point, Celty was busy cracking the hell up inside and could barely keep her fingers steady as she hammered out, [Don't try too hard, Shinra. You'll hurt yourself. :)] while Shinra was busy complimenting her collarbones.

. . .

Once they'd gotten back to the apartment, Celty and Shinra had opposite opinions of the success of the date. Shinra considered it a failure, as he'd stuttered a lot and really failed at being any sort of suave or charming. On the other hand, Celty considered it a success, since they'd gone an entire evening without a single phone call from Izaya, not one vending machine was thrown anywhere near them, and they both made it back in one piece.

"That was terrible, Celty," Shinra apologized, sinking into the couch dejectedly. "I'll completely understand if you never want to go out with me again."

[Terrible? Not at all!] she typed out, adding several smiley faces to the end. [In fact, I'd like to go out with you again next Friday night.]

That immediately brightened his spirits. "Really?" he asked, eyes shining and hopeful.

[Of course. Just try to take the time until then to come up with different compliments. I know my ankles are nice and all, but really. Goodnight. :D]

Author's Note: I love this series, I really do, but it's damn hard to write for. If I ever write a fic for it again, it'll be a miracle.

But these two. SO MUCH LOVE.