Starbucks was warm and smelled like coffee. There was nothing surprising in that. But personally she had never liked the place. In the past, she had grudgingly bought coffee there so as to use their speedy WiFi or read book during the more lazy times.
He had made her sit at the far end of the room, near the window while he got coffee for the two of them. She had protested and asked to pay for it, but he had just given her a stone cold look so she found herself curling up in a corner of the booth.
She shivered as the warmth got to her cold body and remembered her tenth grade Biology teacher tell the class, why we shivered when cold. It was the body's reflex to attain homeostasis- 'the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements', she remembered the memorised definition and smiled at the newly recalled fact.
So engrossed in thought was she as she examined her stone cold hands, that she was slightly startled to see Benedict staring at her, two coffee cups on the table- one in front of him, the other near her.
She straightened a little but not too much. She was still preserving her own body heat. She wrapped her fingers around the coffee cup, accustoming her fingers to the hot cup. However, she swiftly let go. There was too much difference in the temperatures. So she curled back into the seat, staring at his dark maroon designer tie.
"Here." He said and handed her his black blazer. She took it because she didn't want to deny him and it looked comfortable.
"It will get wet." She said with a low voice, anyway.
"I don't care."
"I do. You'll feel uncomfortable afterwards; and I don't think I'm repaying you. I just think you are putting me more in debt." She stood her ground. She didn't care if she sounded ungrateful but this was not right, and she would speak up. She always did, anyway.
Much to her relief, his blank face broke into a smile. "I really don't care. I was heading back home anyways."
"Home? You have a home around here?" She asked, feeling as if there was something wrong in what he said.
"Oh I meant, my hotel." He corrected himself as he proceeded to take a sip of his coffee.
"It's sad you have to call a hotel, home." She said. Realising her words, she added. "Sorry, I just tend to be blunt at times. I don't mean to hurt your feelings." He smiled even more.
"I appreciate that." He said slowly. Then after a pause, he added, "Mind telling me your name?"
"(Y/n). (Y/n) (L/n)." she replied with a smile.
"You look like a/n (Y/n)." He said with a smile as he sipped his coffee.
"How does anyone look like a (Y/n)?" She asked with a laugh as she picked up her coffee cup and took a sip. It wasn't half bad.
"They tell you their name and you look at them at it strikes you how much the name goes with the face. That's why there are no ugly names." He said, his voice baritone.
"You have a way with words, Mr. Cumberbatch." (Y/n) replied with a smile.
"You know, I'm glad I actually stopped by because you apparently didn't attract attention and you are an interesting person." He said.
"Well, there was literally no one around, so... yeah, and also, I was too much into my own life to actually bring any attention to yours. I'm sorry." The (e/c) eyed girl said as she drank her coffee.
"Don't be. Do you like the coffee?" He asked as finished his. She smiled.
"To be honest, I prefer tea. But the coffee is not half bad." she replied.
"You could've asked for tea. They have tea here." Benedict said with a frown.
"Correction, Mr. Holmes. They have tea bags here." Nysa stated, before cringing at herself as she hid her face in a palm. She pulled it away dramatically, stretching her facial muscles to achieve a comical effect.
"You could say that." Benedict said, chuckling.
"Anyways... I guess I should get going. Although, if you would tell me how I could actually repay you, I would feel way better." Nysa said as she got up and handed him his blazer back.
"Keep it." He said as he got up himself and shifted out of the booth.
"Seriously. I will not. You'll never see it again if I take it with me."
"If you are talking about us meeting-"
"I'm talking about my clumsiness and forgetful attitude. I'll either forget it somewhere or end up lighting it on fire."
"Well, you are not leaving this place like that." He said and he cheeks dusted pink slightly.
She looked down at herself and looked back up at him. "Sorry?"
"There's a restroom... over.. there." He said as he searched for a sign in the dim lit cafe. "Take a look at yourself in the mirror."
"Fine." Nysa made her way to the restroom he had gestured towards. She walked in, switching on the lights and took a look in the mirror after closing the door behind her.
"Okay..." she muttered awkwardly to herself. Her clothes were drenched and she was as good as naked. She stared at her own eyes, wondering what her options were. She could either succumb to Benedict's offer and take the expensive suit, end up losing or destroying it and paying a debt for the rest of her life. Or she could boost her self confidence to the level where it became narcissism or feminism (the way one saw it) and walk home shamelessly.
Decisively, she walked out and faced Benedict. He was sitting down and looking outside at the drizzling rain. It hadn't stopped yet.
"I think I'm just fine," she stated, staunchly. Her chin was tilted slightly so it was up as she stood in a confident manner.
"You must be kidding me."
"I'm not. Men walk shirtless and it's just fine. Men watch porn and have sex- it's just fine. Women are not ashamed of being naked, and everyone starts judging. Well, guess what? I'm going home, like this. I don't care. I'm pretty sure everyone knows what a female body looks like. Those who have a problem, might as well suck it up." She said staunchly. Benedict smiled helplessly- amused.
"Can I at least escort you?" He asked as the two started making their way out, having thrown their trash in the bin.
"Depends. Why do you want to escort me home?" She countered him with a smirk.
"Well-" he paused. Then with a slight smile, he continued, "I'd like to spend some more time with you." he spoke, slowly.
"Very well then," she replied with a grin, quite amused.