As much as Ruby wanted to see Regan get at least one strike in before they all had to leave, admittedly deep down she never actually believed that her friend would be able to pull one off. After all, so far Regan had proven to be the most inexperienced bowler out of all of them, and the fact that she had yet to even pull off a spare had greatly lowered Ruby's expectations.
Which was why she was VERY pleasantly surprised when Regan managed to knock down all the pins on her next (and last) turn. Whilst for the briefest moment Ruby wasn't entirely sure whether or not Regan had really gotten a lucky strike, her lips quickly formed a smile as she stood up and applauded her friend, whistling loudly as Regan casually sauntered back with a cocky grin on her face. After having such a bad run of luck for the past couple of turns, it was nice to see that her friend had at least one decent turn, even if they were all only playing for fun. Well, everyone but Brian anyway, not that he could really help himself.
Ruby's applause slowly grinded to a halt as Regan returned to her seat, the blonde-haired girl sitting back on her own seat as Regan began to speak to her. "How about that? Pretty awesome, huh?"
Ruby grinned back, her expression nearly as cocky as Regan's. "Not bad. Told you you'd get better at this game..." she said, reaching into one of her hoodie's pockets and retrieving a packet of gum with one piece left. "Here, it's not exactly a golden trophy, but you deserve it more than I do."
As she handed Regan her last stick of gum, Ruby turned her head to see how her competitive boyfriend was coping with the fact that all his friends managed to score a strike during their last go except him. Unsurprisingly, his expression could be best described as a forced smile that barely hid the fact that he's sulking on the inside. Whilst she was a little annoyed that he couldn't be as relaxed as the rest of them where, especially considering how lackadaisical he is about damn near everything else in life apart from sports, by this point Ruby had come to expect this kind of reaction. It wasn't as if Brian didn't appreciate how much this meant to Regan or anything like that. It's just that it was very easy for Brian to get jealous of other people if they were more successful at bowling than him, even if they had previously been on a losing streak and he was way ahead of everyone else.
Still, it was times like this that Ruby felt that Brian needed a little reminder that they were all her to have fun, so she leaned over and gave the Russian boy a quick playful peck on the cheek. "Look on the bright side, at least YOU'RE still in the lead, Mr Three-Strikes-In-A-Row."
Brian paused for a moment, quickly glanced at the scoreboard and chuckled lightly to himself. "Heh, guess you're right. Not like it really matters though or anything, right?" he said, a more genuine smile forming on his lips as he turned to face Ruby.
"True. Way I see it, as long as we all have a good time, it doesn't really matter if any of us has a decent score in the end." Ruby replied, hoping that Brian would get the hint.
"Yeah, same here..." replied Brian, who was about to say something else when Owen came along and handed him his drink.
"AH, spasiba! Thank you..." he said joyfully before gulping half the drink down within a matter of seconds.
After that, everyone else took their respective turns in quick succession. Owen and Mallory's were fairly average, not that Ruby and Brian didn't cheer them on nevertheless. Darren was then next, scoring a decent spare before heading back to his seat. Then finally it was Ruby's turn, and the last turn before they all had to head off. After a stick start wherein she missed all but one of the pins, on her second go she made up for it as she struck all the pins down, ending the game on a reasonably triumphant spare.
With roughly fifteen or so minutes to spare before they had to be at the concert hall, everyone got their shoes back and made their way through the exit, finishing off whatever drinks or snacks they still had with them. Being the only person who definitely knew where the hall they were supposed to be at was, Ruby led the others as they all walked down the street as a group, with Brian walking right beside her with his arm draped around her shoulder. Overall, it was a very pleasant mood as the seven friends made their way down the street, telling jokes and generally enjoying each other's company.
But out of everyone, the one who was probably enjoying himself the most was Brian. After all, despite a couple of blips near the end, he just had a really great game of bowling with his best friends. He didn't even care about whether or not the band they were going to see were actually going to turn out to be any good, as long as he got to hang out with his friends he honestly didn't give a damn. Heck, even Shiro seemed to be enjoying himself, and out of everyone he was worrying about him the most.
Still, there was also one other thing that brightened up Brian's day...
"So, um, Ruby..."
"After the concert, are we still going to... Well, you know."
"Huh? OH, right. Yeah, of course we are."
"Oh, okay, cool..... You sure? I mean, if you still don't want to, don't be afraid to say-"
"Brian, it's okay, really. Believe it or not, I'm actually really looking forward to it."
"Yeah. Besides, I've been putting it off for way too long anyway."
"Oh, okay... It's just, well, I don't want to feel like i've been too pushy or anything you know? I mean, if you're still not ready or anything, then I'm happy to..."
At that point, Ruby suddenly stopped, causing Brian to raise an eyebrow in confusion. Then, before he could say a single word of protest, she placed a single hand behind his head and pulled him into a kiss. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was enough to stop Brian from rambling any further.
Once she pulled back, Ruby smiled warmly as her eye's locked into Brian's. "Does that answer your question?"
Brian didn't reply. Instead, he just nodded silently with a happy smile on his face before the two of them continued on their way. Whilst he didn't say anything, on the inside Brian was practically dancing with joy. YES! This is going to be the best night EVER!
He hardly even noticed the fact that at that exact same moment, Ruby was nervously biting her lip.
((Brian Zhdanovich continued elsewhere...))
((Ruby Forrester continued in A week or so later...