"Really Alfred, I don't think this is necessary..." you whined as Alfred dragged you along behind him.
"Nonsense!" Alfred replied, forcing you to sit down on a chair. "You play a lot of dating games, right?"
You cut in before the American could continue with his reasoning, "Those are just done online. They're completely fake and fictional."
"Exactly my point!" Alfred exclaimed. "It's about time you go on a real date with a real person."
A small frown made its way onto your lips. How did things get like this? Well, one day, you were just talking with Alfred about a dating game you just recently found and you were completely hooked on it! You continued to talk about the dating game until Alfred had cut you short. He decided that playing an actual real dating game with real people would be much more fun and amusing, so he set this whole thing up. You honestly didn't plan on participating, but the American had dragged you onto the poorly set up stage that he quickly made.
"...Fine," you let out a defeated sigh.
"Great!" Alfred beamed, taking one small step back. He then made a sweeping a motion with his hands. "Go ahead and choose a curtain!"
In front of you were five curtains. All of them were of different colours: white, black, red, blue, and yellow, and behind every single one of them was some guy that Alfred had managed to convince to play along. You stared at each of the curtains long and hard. At some point, Alfred started humming the Jeopardy theme, much to your annoyance.
A few more minutes passed by and Alfred continued to hum the theme. "Oh can you please stop?!" you finally barked at the blond, and he did. "...Thank you!"
After much internal debate, you finally made your choice and pointed to the red curtain. Alfred directed his gaze to where your finger was pointing and he grinned widely; you could have sworn you saw a bit of mischievousness as well but quickly dismissed it.
"And your lucky guy is..." the American paused for dramatic effect as the red curtain fell down to the ground, revealing a short, slim man with black hair. Your eyes widened instantly when you recognized that face.
"...K-Kiku?" you managed to choke out his name.
"[Name]?" Kiku asked, the disbelief in his voice matching yours.
An awkward silence hung in the air, but Alfred was completely oblivious to it. It wasn't like he was ever good at reading the atmosphere. He merely grabbed your hand, helping you stand up and led you towards the Japanese man. Kiku stood up from his seat as well just as you and Alfred stopped a few feet away from him.
"Alright! So your date's going to be on Saturday and Kiku here's going to pick you up at 5:30!" Alfred explained. "So that gives [Name] here two days to get a supreme makeover and get everything she needs."
"Just two days?!"
"It's alright [Name]," Kiku reassured you, flashing a smile. "It's not like you need it anyways."
This prompted you to blush and look down shyly at your feet. Alfred laughed as he led you back outside and offered to walk you back home.
Two days seemed to pass by rather quickly, and you were in your room, giving yourself one final look-over at the mirror. You wore a strapless [f/c] dress that flowed freely around your knees. A black, semi-shear shawl was draped over your shoulders and you wore matching black dress shoes.
"You look beautiful," your friend complimented you.
"Thanks. It's all because of you really," you replied, flashing a gentle smile towards her.
The moment that you had arrived back at home two days ago, you immediately called your best female friend and explained your situation. She was more than willing to help you; she was the one that helped pick out your outfit, and she was the one to help you with your subtle makeup.
"It's almost time...Do you want to wait downstairs?" your friend asked you.
You nodded; you were so nervous that words refused to leave your lips. So, you walked down the stairs a bit shakily as you felt butterflies start to form in the pit of your stomach. You plopped down on the couch and waited anxiously for the doorbell to ring.
"Relax, you'll do fine," your friend tried to calm your nerves.
"What if I mess up?" you asked as your started fiddling with your thumbs, "I mean, I've always liked Kiku and...what if I go and do something utterly stupid and embarrassing?"
Your companion shot you a sympathetic smile as you tried to get your fast-paced breathing back to normal. "It's your first date, right? Just pretend it's like those countless dating games you're always playing."
"But those are just games! It's okay to get a bad ending in there, because it's a game and you could always restart," you tried to explain in exasperation. "Real life is different! Once you get the bad ending, that's it!"
Your friend merely chuckled at your mini-rant and placed a hand on your shoulder, "Like I said, just relax. I'm sure you'll get the perfect ending."
"I hope," you sighed.
At that moment, you heard the doorbell ring. You stiffened upon hearing the sound and looking at the time. You were so stiff and out of it that your friend had to shake you a couple of times to bring you back to reality.
"Right...let's do this," you mumbled to yourself as you lifted yourself up from the couch and started heading towards the door. You took one final, deep breath before grabbing hold of the knob and turning it.
"H-Hello Kiku," you stuttered out a greeting upon laying your eyes on the man.
He was wearing a simple and classic tux and held a bouquet of red roses in his hands. He held them out towards you. "For you..." he mumbled out.
Kiku couldn't help but admire how beautiful you looked right now—well, he always thought you were beautiful (he never said it out loud though), but right now you were just strikingly gorgeous that it left him almost speechless.
"Th-Thanks," you smiled as you accepted the bouquet with shaky hands.
You closed the door behind you, but not before catching your friend wish you luck. Kiku held out his hand for you, and you shyly took it. The male led you to his car and opened the passenger's door for you before making his way towards the wheel.
"So where would you like to go?" Kiku asked. "I was thinking about either visiting an art museum or going to a really popular star gazing place, but I wanted you to choose."
"Why not do both?" you suggested, "it is still rather early and the stars aren't out yet, so let's visit the art gallery first and then go star gazing later."
"Alright," Kiku replied as he started driving to the direction of the art gallery.
The entire ride was awkward. The both of you tried to start small conversations to try and get rid of the discomfort, but the conversations were always held short and just made the atmosphere more awkward than it already was. In just a few minutes—it felt more like hours—the two of you finally made it to the art gallery. Both you and Kiku exited and the car and started heading towards the entrance. Once you entered, you were left almost breathless at the wonderful paintings that decorated the walls and the beautiful sculptures spread evenly in the building.
"These are so beautiful," you said, completely awed. "I wish I could do stuff like these."
"I'm sure you would once you get enough practice," Kiku replied.
Most of your date was just full of light chatter and laughs with the Japanese man. The atmosphere became less uncomfortable and tense after spending much more time with each other. At some point in time, the two of you had started to hold hands. The two of you were walking to another exhibit in gallery and you had nearly tripped on your own feet. Luckily for you, Kiku was there to grab hold of your hand before you face planted on the floor.
"Th-thanks," you thanked the man as a slight tint of red made its way to your cheeks.
"No problem," Kiku replied, never letting go of your hand, but you didn't mind at all.
After visiting all of the exhibits in the art gallery, the two of you decided to start heading towards the spot that Kiku had in mind, but not before grabbing something to eat. You said that you weren't all that hungry—you were far too nervous to eat—so in the end, both you and Kiku ordered some ice cream. He had paid for you, and you thanked him for yet another time during the date.
"It's no problem really," Kiku smiled shyly at you, "Anything for you after all."
"This is definitely starting to look like I'm on the path for the 'Perfect Ending'," you thought happily to yourself as a cute smile graced your lips.
"Shall we be going now?" Kiku asked you once the two of you had finished eating. He stood up and offered his hand to help you up.
You gladly accepted it and nodded, "Yes. That would be nice."
The Japanese man drove the two of you to a field where you could gaze at the stars. It was a fairly empty place, but there were a few couples here and there. The sky was now dark and the stars started to show up one by one. Kiku grabbed hold of your hand and led you to a more secluded area in the field. You tilted your head upwards and stared at the sky.
"They're so beautiful," you marvelled at the sight.
Kiku spared you a side glance and blushed upon seeing your stunning smile and captivating eyes. He lightly bit his lip and finally managed to gain enough confidence to reply, "Though their beauty cannot match yours."
Your eyes widened slightly upon hearing that compliment and you turned your head to face the Japanese man. This time, it was he who looked up at the sky as he tried to avoid your gaze.
"Thank you..." you managed to mumble out once you had found your voice again.
A comfortable silence hung in the air, though it felt as though the two of you had something important to say. It was just that both you and Kiku were far too shy, and it seemed like you were waiting for the other to make the first move.
"Listen, [Name]..." Kiku started, "there's something that I want to tell you."
"Yes? What is it?" you asked as you looked at Kiku.
Your breath hitched in your throat upon seeing Kiku's eyes. They held so much...emotion and passion, and they were directed to you and only you. The butterflies that you felt in your stomach throughout the entire date seemed to increase and heat rose to your cheeks.
"I..." the Japanese man started but started to trail off. He took your hand in his and intertwined your fingers. Then, with his free hand, Kiku caressed your cheek and whispered, "I love you."
You were stunned silent upon hearing his confession. Your expression held disbelief, but it mostly held joy. You let out a shaky breath and placed your hand atop Kiku's hand that was caressing your cheek, and you smiled at him lovingly.
"I love you too," you whispered back. Even though there were no other people nearby, you whispered those words that you've always wanted to say to the man in front of you, so that it was only he who could hear it.
Kiku smiled back and stopped caressing your cheek and let go of your hand. He wrapped his arms around your waist and pulled you close to him. You rested your head upon his chest where you could hear his fast-paced heartbeat that matched yours. It was a comforting sound, and the warmth you felt from him was soothing as well.
So there you two stood, embracing under the night sky while enjoying the other's peaceful company. This was far better than the perfect ending you were expecting.