"What if I chase you?" Ellie asked, head cocked curiously to the side. "Would you let me win?"
But then they were talking about something else, and Miah's exaggerated yelp made her giggle, rub her fingers where they'd pinched a moment earlier. "Funny," she told him, swirling the liquid in her cup. "Ha. Ha."
It had taken Ellie a very long time to get used to people again, once she'd entered the safehouses. New York had never been an easy city to live in alone, even when it wasn't full of dead cannibals. Years spent surviving by herself, turned inward and semi-psychotic, had made it understandably hard to remember and respond to social cues once they'd become relevant again. Her first few weeks at the Public Library, surrounded by other survivors, had been difficult in a special way; even now, Ellie sometimes had trouble knowing what to do or say. Her best method was to stay honest in all things, which was why now -- faced with Miah only inches away, his breath warm and sweet-alcohol-smelling -- she stood still, smiling up at him.
The smile was happy, because Ellie was, though there was bewildered, blissful light in her eye. Why was he looking at her that way? Maybe there was something on his mind. Am I saying these things out loud? She couldn't tell. She wasn't sure how much time had passed, simply looking back at him.
"You... Are very close to me," she murmured at last, quite observantly. "Hi."