Yeah, don't sound so disappointed upon knowing that I'm still alive. What matters is that I'm back to shove some TyHil down your throat, forcibly.

This is a series of one-shots based on random prompts from 'Mayblade 2023'. Enjoy!

Day 3: Pets

The only 'get well soon' presents Hilary got were stinky socks. Don't ask her where they came from, she would just wake up and have a panda or a bear themed socks by her pillow. Waking up to the eye stinging, foul smell of those socks was almost a routine, until she had enough of it.

She was a monster, a cold hearted villain, an unnatural alien to not be affected by the face her little beagle made when she banned him from cuddles.

She shook her head to push away the uncontrollable urge to go free the vulnerable creature from his punishment, tug him in her arms and cuddle him for life as she drifted off in her cozy warm quilts.

She should have done so, because freeing a dog as jumpy as Squeak was not what a miserable creature with a cold does. As the Sunday morning woke her up, she found another red sports shoe that must have been here to reconcile with its soul mate that made had quarreled with it and got abducted by her dog last week.

That's it. That's enough.

"Squeak!" She jumped out of the bed, with her feet entangling in the warm quilt, biting her tongue off as her chin collided with the floor.

Curling up in a ball with a runny nose and red puffy eyes, she waited for the pain to subside, just when she sensed her dog sniffing and circling her.

"Gotcha!" Her tongue was burning, with tears rolling down her face, but that didn't stop her from strangling a squeaking Squeak in her tight grasp.

Though one look from the big watery eyes of the dog made her grip a little lose, giving him the chance to dart away and hide in a safe spot. As soon as she got up and ran after him, her toe stubbed into the edge of her bed.

Her freezing Sunday morning couldn't be better with two injuries and a bitter cold, so she laid on her bed with her runny nose, staring at the ceiling until she jolted up and ran to see a pile of the socks Squeak stole, with a finally complete pair of sports shoes.

"Assuming all these belong to one person..." she poked the pile with a stick, another item of Squeak's collection, "...since they are all cartoon themed and weird, if Squeak has brought more than a dozen pair of socks and only two shoes, it means that..."

The stick dropped from her hands as she sneezed. Shivering and wrapping a thick blanket around herself, she opened her apartment door and peaked in the chilling corridor.

"It's been days..." She recalls again, staring at the door just next to hers.

She felt Squeak slide past her as he ran happily towards the next apartment, sneaked into the already open door and sadly trotted back to her empty handed, if dogs could actually be empty handed.

She didn't let the poor dog enter as she shut the door at once, slamming her back against it as she covered her red face behind her palms.

Peaking at the stinky pile from the gaps between her fingers, she bit her inner cheeks as her toes curled up.

For the past one week, ever since she caught a cold, Squeak had been stealing their neighbor's socks to give her. When she thought that Squeak was finally over with embarrassing her in front of that guy, he had to pull this act off.

She gasped as she caught the sight of those red sports shoes. Pointing at one, she muttered, ignoring Squeak's constant barking from behind the door,

"This one has been here for a week, and this other one has arrived today..."

That's when things got crazy, since for all those times she had spotted her neighbor, be it when she was leaving for her University or coming back home, all the times their eyes would lock and they would look away, blushing awkwardly,

"He would wear the exact same shoes. Every. Single. Day." Hilary trembled, "If one of them has been here since a week," she gasped as she flung the door open, "then what has he been wearing since then?!"

She had now lost count of how many times she had embarrassed herself in front of him, for he was just walking away from her apartment, with Squeak snuggling into his arms.

They both stared at each other awkwardly, before the guy hurried away to his apartment.

She had made a fool of herself many times, and she was going to do that today as well until she caught a glimpse of his bare feet from under his big warm pajamas, and she couldn't hold back anymore.

"Hey," Hilary squeaked, and she was surprised of how she had been seeing her next door neighbor almost everyday for a whole year, and yet never initiated a conversation, "...your feet are bare."

And she thought she would break her hierarchy of embarrassing herself in front of him.

He turned back, blinking innocently as he gazed at her and then at his feet. She thought he'd never answer until he sneezed loudly and startled squeak who leaped out of his arms and ran to her.

Wiping his nose off with his sleeve made Hilary want to lecture him about manners and hygiene, but with her runny nose, she was not one to speak.

"So, uh," he scratched his nape as he gulped nervously, "Can I have them back? Or are you gonna need them?"

"Need them?" She snorted, "hope you didn't mistake me for a homeless, you know, I live in an apartment, like you. There's no way in hell I'd ever borrow socks. That too cartoon themed once that clearly stink."

She thought she messed up again as his expressions turned sour, but was relieved when he grinned nervously, "Your dog sneaked in my apartment a week back and stole a shoe, he kept returning and I didn't stop him 'cause..." He sneezed thrice and never continued.

"Because...?" Hilary initiated.

"Well," he turned back and started walking away, "I, uh, needed a reason to talk to you."

"And when were you gonna talk to me regarding this?" She asked instinctively.

"I kinda have a wardrobe full of clothes," he chuckled, "doesn't matter if all the socks and my only shoes are gone."

Hilary made a mental note to always initiate talks with people who were like this Mr. I-don't-know-how-to-approach-women.

"So, you gonna have them back now," Hilary giggled, "or do you want me to teach you laundry."

To her surprise, he turned around with the speed of light and shouted, "Yes, please!"

Hope you all liked it! If you did, then don't forget to review and follow for more one-shots like this!