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Things were much different here. It wasn’t her comfort zone but being with Soren here was what counted. She wondered how he dated over here, or how she should if things were much different. It didn’t sound too different if it was just chatting and flirting. She hoped she wouldn’t mess it up when they went on a date. She felt something inside of her that made her want to be closer to him but didn’t have a step by step as to how. They got to the shop and she thought pizza was good idea. Aether nodded [b “I’m not completely oblivious…well maybe but at least not about pizza.” ] She lightly laughed and figured out what she wanted this time around.
It was a pretty silly thing to think. She sighed and shook her head, [b “That sounds crazy. I just sometimes wonder why things are the way they are.” ] She glanced outside, getting lost in her mind for awhile before trying to start up a conversation. [b “Lasers…is it like that sword you had? I don’t really know how to defend myself against guns.” ] She frowned, wondering if there even was a way. She’d rather be somewhere with swords as weapons because she could defend herself against that.
Aether’s head turned when she saw someone approaching at the corner of her eye and she was talking to Soren. His friend? She met eyes with the girl. She was pretty. She raised a brow and gave this confused look. Moved fast? [b “Hi…” ] Aether quietly said and watched her whisper in Soren’s ear. Were they close…? [b “You can talk if you want…” ] Aether mumbled and she stepped away, blowing a kiss. Definitely not just friends. She turned her head and listened to Soren and stared back at him [b “Just a friend…right.” ] Definitely wasn’t going to bug him about what she whispered even if it was out of pure curiosity.
As the pizza came in, she decided to speak out, [b “You know, I still don’t know you very much. Do you have a lot of friends?” ] Aether figured if she wanted to know what’s up and Soren won’t talk, she would wait for the chance to speak to that girl and ask her. If she could break away from Soren for a minute. If not…oh well. At least the pizza looked good, she took a bite but she kept on wondering. Wondering if he was with someone before this, or if he still was. She didn't see anything wrong if he had, but the other...
He could hear them argue and it was making him laugh so much. Soren couldn't help but watch the two AI's act as if they weren't even AI's. Even he felt like his AI was much more special than a normal AI. He laughed and then he saw Aether staring at him. It made him feel a little self conscious. What was she looking at?
He told her it was okay, but when she said she wouldn't, he just nodded his head. He couldn't wait to take her on a date though. All he really wanted was to be able to get to know her more even though she kind of had to start from scratch. He hoped that at least she would remember the fun dates they already had. He knew that here some people didn't really date. All they really did was have one night stands.
[b [#F78F18 "Me? I don't really. But we'll have a lot of fun"]] he told her. He didn't really go on one night stands, but he did go on dates a few times if he was really bored and wanted company. WHen they were ready to leave, Soren drove them to the pizza shop, explaining to Aether what pizza was if she didn't already know. [b [#F78F18 "Oh really? Well okay I hope you like pizza"]] he walked into the restaurant and then he took a seat across from her.
When he looked around, he could see robots taking people's orders and others just having fun. Soren looked through the menu and called the robot waiter over. He placed his order and then he heard Aether's question. [b [#F78F18 "Me? I mean....sometimes I feel that...but we're here. I can tell that we are. Are you thinking that this place is fake?"]] he wondered, remembering a time when he was sitting on swing as a kid. He shook his head and then he nodded.
[b [#F78F18 "Yeah, we use guns here. They're mostly laser weapons, but if provoked you have to defend yourself"]] he told her, seeing a woman stop by their table.
"There you are Soren. I've been looking for you. What happened to..." she cut off when she saw Aether and then she had a smirk on her face. "You move fast Soren" she leaned into his ear and whispered something as Soren's eyes just glanced off. [b [#F78F18 "I'm having dinner right now with a friend. I'll call you"]] he told the blonde woman with blue eyes. She waved and stepped away from their table, blowing a kiss to Soren.
[b [#F78F18 "She's just a friend. Um...who likes me"]] he told Aether.
It gave her a good laugh to hear their AI’s arguing about getting married. Her AI was glaring at her from being called a kid. ‘Why do you think you are!’ He squeaked of arguing that she was the same age as him.
Staring was rude, she shouldn’t be doing that. She didn’t know that could so easily make him blush though. [b [#00cca3 “It’s okay, I won’t.” ]] She explained what she thought a date was. She knew it varied between people in her world. She’s run into a few who wanted to jump into kissing and wanting more. She had to assume stay the night meant that they were doing the deed. [b [#00cca3 “Do you?” ]] She raised a brow. Aether gently smiled after, [b [#00cca3 “Mmm…It should be fun.” ]]
Although, she didn’t think she was much fun talking to considering she didn’t know the stuff he knew. Futuristic…She looked down herself and figured she could just wear what she wore last time. She hesitated but took his hand went outside with him. She still would look around curiously and followed Soren inside. [b [#00cca3 “I know what pizza is. I don’t always stay in fantasy worlds.” ]] Pizza did sound good for now. She opened up the menu and stared down at it. She heard patter, she glanced outside and saw it had started to rain. She saw people sheltering themselves and for a second she zoned out, remembering jumping in puddles and holding someone’s hand-a small hand. Probably something she did when she was young.
She saw the same robots that were policing around too. They were speaking to others, and displaying some image to them, like they were looking for someone. She rested her cheek on the palm of her hand and looked back at Soren. [b [#00cca3 “Do you ever feel like…this isn’t real? That we’re not really here.” ]] That was crazy… She shook her head, [b [#00cca3 “Never mind, it’s silly.” ]] She decided to go with ham and pineapple topping, and watched Soren again.
[b [#00cca3 “You know I’ve tried going to future worlds before, and some AI is always crazy enough to put a gun in my hand and then I end up friendly fire and having to restart a whole mission. Do you use guns?” ] She asked, not sure where to direct a conversation.
Soren was always lonely and he only had his AI. He never really felt the need to have anything else because the more he grew, the more he felt like he was the only one moving forward, everything else seemed the same here. Whenever he came back, he learned a lot, but Avalon stayed the same.
[b [#F78F18 "My AI does also. She always helps me"]] he smiled and then his AI would argue back with hers 'Who'd want to marry a little kid like you!' she would squeak and then the two would continue to argue. Soren would laugh and then he heard Aether saying she wouldn't watch him. He didn't mind it if she was watching him. [b [#F78F18 "You can if you want....I just have to get used to it"]] he told her and then he listened to what she would call dating.
It sounded like in her worlds they just went straight into their relationship. Some people did that here too. [b [#F78F18 "They do that sometimes in Avalon. A lot of people usually just go to the clubs and stay with the person for a night"]] he told her and then he shook his head. [b [#F78F18 "I don't know much too, but I think it's a lot of talking and having fun together"]] he spoke.
Soren helped the AI's put the cupcakes away and then he nodded to the plan. [b [#F78F18 "You can wear whatever want as long as it's futuristic. We'll just go eat at a restaurant"]] he told her, soon getting up and offering her his hand.
Once they were outside and on his bike, Soren drove them to a small shop on the corner. It had pizza, breadsticks, salads, and dessert. He stepped inside and took a seat with her as he looked through the menu. [b [#F78F18 "They have these pies called pizzas here. You just have to pick the toppings you want and they'll make it"]]
Her AI did raise her… She most definitely loved him and he had helped her out through some really tough times. Was that what a parent did? [b “I guess they kind of are. Mine does too. He always tries to do the best he can.”] Her AI awed at her comment, but then was against the whole ‘marrying’ thing. How dare she! Her AI scoffed at his AI and squeaked back at her ‘Who says I would ever ask!’ Aether laughed, loving hearing their conversation. She really liked personal AI’s. They weren’t like normal AI’s.
Soren was licking frosting and he was blushing-but why. Aether titled her head [b “How is it embarrassing? Oh… Okay I won’t watch you.” ] She turned her head but wouild occasionally glance back anyway. He didn’t? So that must have meant they didn’t go on planned dates. [b “Ohh, okay.” ] She nodded. Then he asked. Her cheeks warmed [b “Well, we don’t really have the term ‘dating.’ It’s more like the guy tries to woo a girl or other way around, and if they plan to go out, it’s either a chat or…they just do the deed. But I…I think a date is mostly talking? I really don’t know…” ] She awkwardly laughed.
She stuffed her mouth and tasted amazing and sighed. He was right. [b “Okay.” ] She pouted, deciding not to touch any more of it.
[b “City? Dinner? Walk? Okay, we can do that. What’s a light show?” ] She frowned, and wondered if they could even see the stars in a place with so much lighting. [b “When we come back maybe we can play some games?” ] She suggested. She wanted to do as much as possible while she was with him because who knew what would happen. They’ve separated before and she felt this feeling that she shouldn’t be wasting time with him. [b "What place should we go for dinner? Is it fancy or I can wear whatever?" ]
He thought about how his AI was motherly towards him, maybe hers was the same way? He smiled a little. [b [#F78F18 "Not really like that, but it's kind of like they are our parents. At least my AI took really good care of me"]] he rubbed his AI's head and then she transformed to help make some of the cupcakes. He heard her AI and then he laughed. His AI squeaked too. 'I will never marry that guy!' she shook her head and Soren ended up laughing.
He ate a few cupcakes, licking the frosting and then he he could see Aether watching him. He glanced away unsure why she kept watching, but he felt embarrassed. Then she asked why and Soren couldn't really answer. [b [#F78F18 "I...uhhh....it's embarrassing. When you watch me...I guess. It makes me nervous"]] he admitted, not really sure what he was thinking, but just said how he felt.
[b [#F78F18 "I've never really been on dates that were planned before. I think it's where you just spend time with someone you like, doing something you both like to do. To get to know each other more and talk more"]] he rubbed his head and nodded. [b [#F78F18 "What do you think a date is?"]] he asked, wondering what she did in her world.
He finished making the cupcakes and then they set them aside for now. Tomorrow they'd make their advertisement video and try to open up the shop. [b [#F78F18 "Don't eat them all. We need to sell some to pay for all the ingredients we bought"]] he told her, seeing her eyes move down. Where was she looking?
[b [#F78F18 "How about we go to the city? We can eat dinner and walk around at night? There's tons of lights and cool views to see. There's a light show at the center of downtown...we can even watch the stars outside? Or if you want to stay here, I have games or we can even take a short trip somewhere?"]]
She never had thought about it that way, but Aether cracked into a giggle, [b “My AI as a dad? He definitely isn’t. Would that mean our AI’s would have to be married?” ] She pressed her finger against her lip and wondered about it. Her AI squeaked off at them saying ‘I am not an old man or married. I can not be tied down.’ He crossed his arms, and soon enough he changed shape to help them making cupcakes. Aether couldn’t help but release little giggles now and then at her AI’s response.
Aether was staring a little too much when he was liking that cupcake, not anything vulgar but she noticed his cheeks warming. How come? [b “Your blushing…how come?” ] She blurt out without thinking much of what she just asked. Sometimes she really needed to learn how to keep her mouth shut. She turned her head and tried to be quiet but they started talking again and he told her about going on a date and…she wanted to. She wanted to go on a date with him. But…she didn’t know if she would be any good at it.
[b “I…I don’t…I’m not really good with dates and, I don’t know what you expect from dates. Well yea, I’m not… So, on dates you just talk?” ] She asked to be sure, because ‘dates’ worked differently where she normally stayed and it was either talking or jumping into being touchy.
Lovey dovey… [b “Oh, that sounds nice.” ] She nodded and Soren gave her a cupcake. She took a bite and it stated so good! She was in heaven. [b “Mm.” ] She ate it all up and end up getting cream on her lips. [b “Okay, we can do that tomorrow.” ] She tried to use her tongue to lick up the frosting off her lip and moaned at the taste [b “It’s so good. I think I might eat hem before we sell them.” ] Ah, she couldn't believe of all the things she had to remember now was doing 'reserach. SHe stared down at Soren for a second and blushed and glanced off. [b "So! What should we do now? We can take a break and do something else." ]
He told her she was the closest thing that he could call a family because she really was. She was the only real friend he had, someone that wasn't an AI, someone that didn't repeat the same thing after a few days, that didn't just form a superficial bond with him. He liked her. [b [#F78F18 "We can be a small family. Even pretend our AI's are mom and dad if we wanted to"]] he thought about it and felt like his AI really did take care of him all this time.
He could see her glancing off a little and then he decided to help make some different kinds of cupcakes. They each had recipes and decided to try it out. He ate some cupcakes when they finished and then he looked over at the frosting, taking a lick. He noticed her looking and then he blushed a little and glanced away. Maybe he was doing it weirdly?
He Told her he was just like her and he could see that she was getting a little embarrassed. HE asked her if she wanted to go on a date with him, and when she said it sounded fun, he smiled. [b [#F78F18 "Why wouldn't you be the best date? I already have so much fun talking to you because you're real. You're not an AI"]] he told her.
[b [#F78F18 "I don't think so. People just go out, be all lovey dovey, maybe admit to their crushes, spend time with one another. Just things like that. I mean they dress up formally sometimes"]] he told her and scratched his head thinking. He finished decorating a red velvet and gave it to her to try. His AI worked on the cinnamon one and he took a bite to taste it. [b [#F78F18 "These are tasting pretty good. If you think they are, we can showcase them in the video tomorrow"]]
Closest thing to a family. She tried to stop herself from smiling but she couldn't. It gave her a bit of hope, that maybe she'd know what it would be like. [b "Yea... Us, and our AI's, we can be each other's family." ] She glance off, smiling but trying not to smile, and putting her hands behind her back. They made cupcakes together and they looked really good.
[b "Of course it's a good thing." ] Aether grinned. SHe got that nice picture of him and wanted to use it. [b "Yea there is... It is. I'm not sure what to call it." ] She saw him licking more frosting and she felt so attracted to him. Why was he so attractive. Did everyone think he was attractive too?
He must have had Valentine's day before, so he must have celebrated it with someone. [b "Oh...really, how come?" ] She raised a brow, [b "Like me? Oh...Um..." ] She blushed just a bit and nodded [b "Yea, yea, we can...go on a date. That sounds fun. I'm sorry if I'm not the best date though," ] She half awkwardly laughed. It was so hard to be around boys sometimes. Why could she not be better than this?
[b "But...what do people do on Valentine's day? Is there some special thing? Like Halloween? Where you dress up?" ] She hadn't had a single clue about it. She needed to do some research on this for sure. Research... Hmm.... Research. Her eyes widened and she stiff for a second as she remembered an old thought of 'researching how the male...looked,' and pictures came along with it. Oh god. She shuddered for a second and shook it off.
He knew that the past few Valentine's Days were kind of lonely. HE would usually just head to the bar and get comfort from whoever wanted to be with him that day. He felt alone and he knew he didn't have anyone but his AI, but that didn't stop him from finding happiness. Aether was the closest thing to family that he had. [b [#F78F18 "You're the closest thing to a family I have too"]] he smiled and then he stayed in the kitchen with her, working to make a batch of each cupcakes.
His AI was working to make the batter and her AI was making frosting. Soren would smile, seeing all of them working hard together to make this new shop a great one. He took a bite of the cupcake and when she said he wasn't normal, he didn't know if that was a good thing or bad thing. [b [#F78F18 "Is it good that I'm not normal?"]] he wondered and then he thought about what they could call the place. [b [#F78F18 "Well there's Aether's sweets remember? Or Queen of Tarts. I like Sweet knight, but then it's all about me...."]] he thought and then he tried to think more as he licked some frosting.
[b [#F78F18 "I mean I'm fine with sweet Knight if that's what you really want?"]] he suggested and then he shook his head. [b [#F78F18 "I don't really spend Valentine's with anyone. I mean....I'm just like you. Maybe we can spend it together if you want. I.....I mean....we can go on a date even if you're okay with that?"]]
Aether sighed, thinking about how lonely she would feel on a day like that. It hurt watching other families celebrate while she didn’t have one. How she longed for what it felt like to grow up with one. [b [#00cca3 “Loved ones…I wonder what’s like that. Although, you’re the closest I have to something real,”]] She gently smiled. She wanted to get all of those stuff in her head. Instead, she thought about making red velvet cupcakes. That sounded like it would fit. Aether nodded, [b [#00cca3 “It’ll look amazing!”]]
She loved her AI, sure he did some silly things but she knew that a part of it was because it always made her happy when she was young. [i I do love my AI. ] She patted his AI, [b [#00cca3 “I bet your amazing.” ]] She saw him taking more bites of the cupcake and got a shot off him. Aether grinned and nodded. [b [#00cca3 “It does! Yes you do. I don’t think you’re normal…” ]] She shrugged and both of there AI’s turned human. Aether got up and helped make the batch of cupcakes. They finished it up and they smelled warm and good.
Call them? She tilted her head, and wasn’t sure about it. [b [#00cca3 “Sweet Knight? You know but with a K. Or…. Q&K Cups, or Q&K cupcakes, or hmm…” ]] She pressed her finger against her lip and tried to think of something, [b [#00cca3 “I don’t know… I’m not even sure what I came up with is even good.” ]] She sighed, coming up with it was so hard.
She then leaned forward, [b [#00cca3 “We’ll figure it out but… since you’ve had Valentines day before, what did you do on those days? Do you have loved ones you spend time with?”]]
He knew that the day wasn't really celebrated by him at all. He's never really had a significant other last for more than two months. He never really felt committed because he knew his relationships were more superficial and to keep the loneliness at bay. He thought about her question and shook his head [b [#F78F18 "Not really. It doesn't have to be. Just a day to spend with loved ones also"]] he told her, smiling at the thought of maybe progressing their relationship if he took her on a date.
[b [#F78F18 "Red velvet sounds really good. Okay, let's make like four or five cupcakes and then we can display them"]] he suggested and then he saw her AI taking some notes. HE always thought her AI was a goofball. His was a little more serious with a motherly figure. [b [#F78F18 "Ya she can record and move around our cafe so she gets good shots"]] he suggested and then he smiled.
Soren took a few more bites of the cupcakes and saw her taking a picture. [b [#F78F18 "Me on a poster? That doesn't sound good. Do I really look good? I think I'm just normal. If anything you'd make a great poster"]] he told her, looking at his AI that turned into a woman in a maid outfit. He smiled and then soon enough all of them were making batches of cupcakes to test out and try until they had their four.
[b [#F78F18 "Oooh, these look really good. His AI was working on frosting and then Soren pulled out the ones that finished baking. [b [#F78F18 "So what did you want to call our shop then Aether?"]] he knew she wanted it to be about the two of them, so he'd at least let her take a pick.
[b "A day for couples, got it." ] She rested her cheek in her hand. Who'd ever thought they have a day just for couples. That all sounded nice but also depressing if you didn't have anyone-like a family. [b "Does it always have to be romantic love?" ] She looked back him and then thought about decorating it red, with hearts. It would look so good. [b "Maybe we can even use red velvet! ] Her eyes lit up. She end up doing something weird-licking his cheek.
She did not want to talk about it or ever be reminded of what she just did then. She was such an embarrassment. [b "Sounds like a plan." ] She wasn't so sure about calling it something with her name on it. [b "But... we should call it something that includes the both of us." ] She sighed. She definitely was camera shy.
She took her AI and turned him into a tablet and opened up a note pad, [b "So we should probably write down what we're going to stay, right? Oh! That's a good idea. Is your Ai good at recording?" ] She glanced back at his AI. She liked his AI, she was pretty cute besides when she bit her when she was young.
Aether nodded [b "Mmm, okay we'll make more cupcakes." ] She caught him taking more bites of the cupcake. [b "Those are good aren't they?" ] She took a seat and liked how he smiled. She rested her head against the table and got an idea. She took her tablet and took a picture of him and smiled to herself. [b "I think you should be on a poster. You look really god, and I bet it'll attract people to come in." ] She liked that idea. Her AI turned back into a bunny.
[b "Hey," ] She looked back at her AI, [b "Do you think you can help us make cupcakes? ]
He squeaked proudly and shifted into a human guy that looked proper with a cook's hat. Aether laughed and smiled [b "Don't burn them." ]
He heard her say she remembered she did, but that didn't necessarily mean that she still liked him right now. She could go off her memories, but she could also still hate him. He didn't think too much of it. He wanted her to kiss him for real though.
Soren helped heal her up in the machine, seeing her cuts and bruises go away. He helped her decorate the cupcakes and when he tasted them, they were delicious. They were their first batch, and yet they tasted amazing. He felt really lucky that they did a good job. [b [#F78F18 "Valentine's day? It's a day where couples pretty much focus on them. They go on dates, have dinner, and just do something special for the person they care for. It's all about love basically"]] he told her and then he suggested some themed cupcakes.
[b [#F78F18 "Ya we'll decorate it all red and full of hearts. I'm sure it'll sell too. We'll make a few batches in the morning and then when we run out, we'll be done for the day"]] he suggested and then he felt her lick his cheek. He heard her laugh and then he wasn't sure what was so funny. Nothing? He shrugged and let it go before thinking about how to do the advertising.
[b [#F78F18 "Well the shop is going to be called Aether's sweets. It should feature Aether, but I'll help too. We can both be in it"]] he told her, thinking about how they could record this.
[b [#F78F18 "We can talk about our cupcakes, how it's made from scratch and what our cafe is about? We'll even show the shop. We can have my AI shoot it and follow us around"]] he told her, knowing they had to make a few cupcakes and showcase it first. [b [#F78F18 "We can make more cupcakes and then make a video so we can show them all. Then we can also think of what to say"]] he suggested, taking another bite of the cupcake and smiling. It was delicious.
[b "I do remember that I liked you... Yea. I know, and I'm sorry." ] She sighed, deciding she crossed the line and felt pretty embarrassed by it. What was she thinkin.
The robot's stomach was pretty scary. She was glad to be out and be doing cupcakes instead. Although, she wasn't sore, so that was definitely the upside of it. She was able to make some pretty cupcakes and they tasted pretty good too. Her eyebrow rose, [b "What's Valentine's day?" ] Confetti and cinnamon sounded good. [b "Ohh, sounds pretty. Yea, we can do that. Confetti with heart candy." ] She didn't get the 'heart' thing but it probably had to do with Valentine's day.
She did not know waht came over her but she ended up leaking it off. Oh god. She wanted to die. He was red and she wanted to go and hide. He awkwardly laughed and she turned her head. She definitely want to run off. "Nothing!" She quickly shouted. She cleared her voice and nodded, [b "Alright. We can make a video." ]
Aether's eyes widened [b "We're still sticking with my name? I don't know.. I' don't know if I can be in front of a camera." ] She lightly laughed, [b "I'm not really with being recorded. Can't you be in it with me? It's our shop." ] She wanted this place to be theirs, not hers. She wanted something like this to stand, so that she could always come back and visit. That made her wonder... [b "Soren, are you good at filming? We should definitely show our cupcakes." ] She nodded, thinking those were the most important. She really did want people to come and see them enjoy what they made together. She never had a shop before.
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