Logic would indicate that he nodded off at some point. When Russel cracked open his eyes the car stopped. He could see nothing but darkness through the windows, and as Amara turned the engine off silence settled over them. A little later he could only hear Amara’s breathing and occasional soft creaking of wood.
The neon highlights to her attire glowed faintly, allowing him to at least tell she was still in the driver’s seat beside him. No lights came on, inside or out and nothing interrupted the quiet.
“Where are we?” He felt silly whispering, but it seemed appropriate.
“Waiting.” Was the half-whispered response.
“We lose the bad guys?”
“That’s what I’m finding out.”
“By… waiting?” Russel assumed this made sense. The dark was complete enough that his sight adjusting didn’t reveal any more detail outside.
“If they know we’re here, we’ll be dead soon.”
“Oh.” The seat creaked as Russel settled into it. He told himself it was perhaps a good thing he had no hint of these apparent enemies she was running from.
The silence stretched on. How soon is is soon? It’s been ten minutes or more. Waiting just a little longer, he drew in a lungful of air.
“So did we lose them?”
Amara turned to look him in the eye.
“Almost definitely.” Still, she didn’t reach for the ignition. And she was still looking at him. Russ realized he was holding his breath.
He cleared his throat. Why is she staring? She’s really pretty, it’s very hard to think- “Then, why are we still waiting?”
“Huh?” She blinked. “Oh, I guess we can go now, huh?” Still she didn’t look away.
“Y-yeah.” Go where? Is she just going to drop me off on some corner? What even is all this? And she’s still-
“You need to be anywhere Russel? How would you feel about dinner? I feel like I owe you for almost running you over.”
“Uh, sure? But you saved my life.” Russ had no idea what to do. He’d never had anyone stare at him like she was doing. Am I bleeding? Is something stuck to my face? But she… she’s asking me out? I feel like that’s not a normal development to this kind of situation. Is there a normal response? She’s still looking. Man does she look nice. Weird, but cute. Why does she dress like a pop star when she-
“Still! What are you in the mood for?”
“Uh, curry sounds good?”
“Awesome. I know a great little place.”
Their destination settled to her satisfaction, Amara finally looked away as she started the car and pulled out. Russel watched as they moved out of the dark and onto the street, merging into traffic. He looked back but there was only the solid looking wall of an overpass. Well, wouldn’t be a very good hiding place if it was easy to spot.
When they stopped again, Russel could only describe the restaurant in front of him as small. It was one of those with a front hardly larger than the single door entry that extended back the length of the building around it. Before getting out, Ayame put hands to her shirt. Turned out with a number of cleverly placed snaps the whole thing came apart more than off, to reveal a plain black tube top underneath.
Russel knew he should look away, but could only stare in amazement. Amara didn’t even look at him as she reached back and under his seat, retrieving a black bag. A lump of fabric came out of the bag and went over her head, unrolling as a top, assymetric neckline from just under her left arm to just over her right shoulder with vertical neon highlights.
Finally Russel managed to turn away, and get out of the car. He tried to decide how to handle this as he walked around the car. When Amara climbed out he was struck by her height. Even with ridiculously thick soles to her boots she only came to his shoulder. Trying again, and failing to stare he reflexively offered his arm. Amara blinked before wrapping her own around it,, smiling up at him. As she pulled him into the restaurant Russel wondered if he should be taking pictures. Though it wasn’t the real Ayame Sunrise, his friends would flip. On entering, Amara waved to the lady at the counter as she took them straight to a table about halfway back on one side of the narrow aisle, sitting facing the door.
“Mind if I choose?”
“Huh?” Great Russel. Spacing on a celebrity dinner date. Sort of. “Oh, sure. Not allergic to anything, far as I know.”
“Good thing. I hadn’t even thought of that.”
Russel sat back to think while Amara ordered food. He noticed she had Ayame’s trademark black opera glove on now as well. It reached her bicep, completely covering the wooden limb. Wood is an understatement. Makes it sound like a peg leg. Whatever Amara had there was something else entirely.