Octavia Melody is still snickering. She and Vinyl Scratch are halfway through the parking lot between the movie theatre exit and their separate cars.
“Okay... I hate to admit it, but I had a blast...” Octavia gestures with both arms. “An absolute blast!”
Vinyl smirks. She adjusts her shades under starlight. Crickets perform meager symphonies from bushes flanking the street lamps and parking spaces all around.
“I mean... I have read alll of the memes regarding that feature, and Rotten Tomatoes certainly wasn't too kind. But...” Octavia shakes her head with an immutable grin. “...it really has to be seen to be believe! How relieved I was to know I wasn't the only person laughing in the theatre!” She winks at Vinyl. “I could have sworn I heard you give a chuckle or two?”
Vinyl shrugs. She charades “cat paws” before forming a tight “circle” with both sets of fingers.
“Snrkkkttt...!” Octavia covers her mouth as her face turns red. “No I do not wish to see the mythical 'cat anus' edit!” She doubles over, laughing.
Vinyl catches the teenager before she could fall over. Both enjoy a breathy wave of snickers.
As Octavia calms herself, she gazes peacefully at Vinyl in the moonlight. “Y'know... I must confess... I was truly hoping we could have done something... … ...a little more special for your birthday, Vinyl.”
Vinyl cocks her head aside with a curious expression.
“But...” Octavia weathers a long-winded sigh. “It just wouldn't be you to settle for something that isn't simple.” She gulps. “That's what I admire about you, Vinyl. You're such... a clean slate. You're selfless and reflective and... so... so very pure.” Her cheeks start to turn red. “That's why I've thought of the perfect, most deserving gift for you...”
A confused look crosses Vinyl's face. Suddenly, her shades reflect Octavia's pursed lips—drawing closer.
A deep intake of air: Vinyl leans back sharply. She immediately regrets doing so, wincing at the full arc of her flinch.
Octavia is left leaning forward, her kiss grazing nothing but night air. She blinks a few times, then gazes at Vinyl's body posture with legitimate surprise. It takes her breath away.
“Vinyl...?” She leans back, looking delicate. Fragile. Wounded.
Vinyl clenches her teeth. Her heart is beating a mile a minute. It summons the sweat from hidden pores all across her neck and shoulders.
Octavia clutches the air next to her face. “But of course,” she murmurs. “I see,” she breathes. Her eyes turn glossy, but they're accompanied by a peaceful smile. “... … ...it was too soon.”
To that, Vinyl can only wince harder. She holds it in. She holds it in...
“I... I was being too fast,” Octavia says. “I'm terribly sorry. You...” Her voice shakes a bit, but she steadies it with a beautiful expression. “You've been so... so wonderfully patient with me. All these days. Listening to my incessant prattle. Humoring my mood swings. I've been a zig-zagging Spitfire, but you remain my constant plateau.”
Vinyl's lips quiver. She stands in a slump, rubbing the back of her neck, trying to summon something—anything...
And that's when she feels Octavia's fingers clutching her other hand.
“It's okay, love...” Octavia sniffles. The gloss in her eyes are now twinkling stars, receding. “...I can wait.”
Vinyl finally summons a smile. It's a reflection of Octavia's. For that, she feels immeasurably guilty. She closes her eyes, thankful—as always—that the shades mask so much.