"Hey, Frederick," I smile as I walk up to the counter in my favourite cafe.
"It's Fred," corrects the boy I'm addressing. He's my best human friend, and he's so used to me coming here that he's started to expect it.
"I know," I grin. "I just like to mess with you."
"I like it when you mess with me," he raises his eyebrows suggestively, with his own grin.
I gasp dramatically. "Well, I have never heard such a cheesy yet wrong statement in all my life." I suddenly realise that we must be making Alec feel really uncomfortable. "Oh, this is Alec. He's moved into the empty room."
"Well then it's not empty any more is it?" Fred laughs before introducing himself. "Hi, I'm Fred. Nice to meet you, Alec," he offers a hand shake which Alec accepts.
"Nice... to meet you too," Alec says as if it's different from what his usual response would be.
"Right, Cathy-the-coffee-girl, I know what you're having." Fred says to me before turning to Alec. "What do you want? You can have tea, coffee, or anything from that extensively long list," he points upwards to the large menu.
Alec thinks for a second, and then decides, "I'll have what she's having."
Fred smiles at the movie quote, and then I suddenly have an idea to clear up any possible uncertainties that may have arisen for Alec. "How's your boyfriend?" I ask Fred.
He paused for a second, shooting a glance at Alec, then says. "I don't know. I'll call you later."
"You do that," I nod in understanding as he slides two cups of latte across the counter.
I lead Alec to the table I like near the window and push a hand through my hair to move it out of my face as we sit down.
I smile. "My mum told me you should never start a conversation with 'so'. She said it makes people jump to conclusions."
"It does, actually," Alec says thoughtfully. "It's happened to me millions of times."
"Because you keep starting with 'so'?"
"No, because they started with 'so'."
We grin. There's silence for a few seconds and then, as if the conversation we just had never took place, I, without intending to, say, "So..."
Alec just looks at me and I giggle.