Five companions made their way through the capital of Astaria, walking toward the center of the town where most of the shops were. It was mid day and the group was out to do a little shopping.
“...I’m hungry.” Cooro announced, his eyes wide with innocence.
Husky gave him a dirty look. “Shut up, you’re always hungry.” He grumbled in response.
Your lip twitched at the normalcy of this situation before turning to give Cooro an sheepish smile. “He’s got a point, you know.”
Cooro’s eyes widened and turned glossy, promising an onslaught of tears. “(Your name), you want me to shut up?!”
You sweat dropped. “N-no! No! That’s not what I meant Cooro! Really!” You waved your hands around animatedly in a state of panic. “I just meant-“
“Yeah, she wants you to shut up, so do it.” Husky dead-panned.
You gave him a blank look before mushroom sighing and slowing your gait to match Nana and Senri’s. “Nana, I just joined your merry band and already I feel like I’m going insane; I don’t know how you put up with it! I mean, it’s only been about a week for me but you....”
Nana sighed exasperatedly. “It’s tough, (Your name), it really is but at least you’re here so now there’s another girl to talk to!” She smiled cutely at you and you returned it happily.
“Thanks, Nana, I like that there’s another girl, too! Back when I was on my own, I didn’t really get to interact with a lot of girls, you know? So... this is nice.” You smiled serenely while staring at the dusty road beneath you, wondering back to when you had first met with the four +Anima. You had happened upon Husky being netted by a couple of boys and, once realizing that it wasn’t a fish, gone out of your way to get the boys off of him. After your rather futile attempts to aid the poor fish-boy, Senri showed up and scared the two boys off and nearly gave you a heart attack in the process.
You, yourself weren’t a +Anima, but you held no prejudices toward them. They were still people after all, what was the big deal if they had some different abilities?
“Hey, Senri, what’s your favorite flower?” Husky and Nana gave you a strange glance while Cooro continued to hum cheerfully ahead of you. Senri looked at you for a moment before fixing his eyes on the ground, placing an index finger to his chin thoughtfully in a slightly chibi-fashion. After a moment you sweat dropped and chuckled sheepishly. All he needed now were little question marks floating above his head... ‘I guess that was kinda a stupid question to ask Senri, of all people.’
“Right, well I’m leaving. You guys go off and do your own shopping. We’ll meet back here just before dusk, since it’s past noon already.” Husky offered before walking off —no doubt in search of gems.
“Okay, well I’m going to find a used clothing store!” Nana announced. “Wanna come (Your name)?”
You looked at Nana, then looked around the streets and shops and back to Nana. “No, that’s alright. I haven’t really had a chance to look around town yet, and I was hoping to explore a bit, sorry.” You offered her an apologetic smile.
“Oh, okay. I’ll see you later, then!” Nana replied, walking in the direction of the nearest clothing store.
“Okay! Cooro, Senr-“ You turned around to face the two boys, only to find one of them missing. “...Okay... just Cooro then! Where are you off to?” Senri must have walked off while you were talking to Nana.
Cooro grinned widely at you, eyes bright and lively.
“I can show you around a little! And I can show you all the best places to get food!~” He suggested cheerfully. How could anyone stand to say no to that face?
You tilted your head to the side and smiled, your eyes sliding shut, missing how Cooro’s eyes softened slightly at your expression.
“Okay! Come on!” He grabbed your hand and darted off in the opposite direction Nana had gone, pulling you in tow behind him. The sudden action had caught you off guard, causing your eyes to fly open as you let out a yell of indignation.
Cooro bounced about in front of you all the while pointing out ‘this shop’ and ‘that stand’, his hand still grasping your own. You were very grateful he wasn’t facing you or he surely would have noticed the very light blush that stained your cheeks from the contact.
A few hours later, Cooro had released you hand and the two of you were merely walking down a side road, one with fewer shops, but still quite full of people. Oddly enough, though, Cooro was silent and the look that adorned his features looked almost nostalgic. Just as you were preparing to ask him if something were the matter, he spoke.
“(Your name)?” He looked at you from the side, casting an... almost weary glance in your direction.
“What... what do you think of +Anima?” He sent you another side glance.
“+Anima?” You echoed.
“Mm.” He nodded his confirmation. You stopped walking and he did as well.
“Well... they’re... people. I don’t particularly think of them —of you guys- as really that different from me. I mean,” You took his hand and placed it against your own, “..look.”
His hand was slightly bigger than yours, and it was rougher, likely from his adventures and travels. He stared down at your hands with what appeared to be a slight frown tugging at the corner of his mouth.
“(Your name)...” You looked up to his face and his eyes met yours in an almost pleading manner. His fingers curled around your own and he tugged you once again behind him, pulling you into a secluded street. “(Your name), you look.” Wings erupted from his back and feathers climbed down his arms from his elbows, his eyes never left your face as you watched in child-like fascination. “I’m.... we’re different.”
You gazed at him, confusion apparent on your face. “Of course we’re different... everybody’s different.”
Cooro sighed and placed his hands on his hips, a cute pout stationing itself on his features.
“That’s not what I mean-“
“I know,” You interrupted, “but why does it matter?”
He stared back at you miserably, “I don’t know.”
‘He didn’t know?’ Of course he knew; he liked you. And he was afraid someone else —someone more... human would steal your heart away. Someone who could make you happy. Someone who was the same as you. Someone that wasn’t him.
Despite his saddened expression, you smiled at him and took his hand once more.
“We... aren’t that far apart, you know?” You placed his hand on you chest where your heart was and then placed one of your own hands on his. Cooro’s eyes widened at the rhythmic beating he felt and he knew you felt, under his fingertips. “We're more alike than you seem to think, Cooro.”
A wide grin grew quickly made it’s way across his face as he closed his eyes cutely. He opened his mouth to speak-
“COORO?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO POOR (YOUR NAME)?!” Nana’s voice rang clearly through the street as she stood at the end, Senri and Husky behind her, both wide-eyed, their mouths agape at the sight of Coodo’s hand on your chest.
You jumped back from him quickly, trying desperately to suppress your growing blush.
“Ah! Hey! You guys are back! Yay!~” Typical Cooro, acting like nothing out of the ordinary had just taken place.
The four of you sweat dropped at the innocent smile and bright attitude that was Cooro. You weren’t positive, but you thought you heard Senri mutter a “Not so innocent....?” right before Husky whacked Cooro on the head with his Cooro-Punishing-Stick.
“OWWWWW!! HUSKY! WAH!!~”