There was a brief silence following the Siren's question, but a short sigh broke that, followed up with an answer. "Just a bit, I suppose".
That was a gross understatement. Being that the clouds above had changed to a calm light-gray overcast, from the lightning crackling black with howling winds that they were when Mako had originally arrived at their usual meet spot on the shoreline.
It had taken a good 10 or so minutes of scratching behind the noodle shark's ears, but Sonata had finally managed to quell the beast that was Mako's temper, all the while keeping her generally perky smile that seemed to always adorn the siren's face. "I'm happy to have been able to help" Sonata said back, "Though I have to admit it would be much harder, if your little sister had not mentioned her 'secret methods' to me a while back".
"Half sister" Mako corrected, "And I still don't know how you managed to get Fishcake to tell you all that".
"Oh I have my ways" Sonata said with a giggle, still playing with the sweet spot behind Mako's ears. "But to be honest, what really got her to tell me is that she really cares about you Mako, just like I do. You worry me sometimes." Her tone had shifted from reassuring to slight worry midway through that one.
Mako slowly raised one of his thick eye brows to the last part. "Speaking of which, not that I'm complaining, but I still don't understand why you would worry so much about me being 'happy'. It just seems counter-productive to your dietary needs to want to give joy to others, especially someone like me."
He wasn't wrong; it was a known fact that Equestria's siren species had a diet dependency on negative emotions such as anger, similar to if not just like how Changelings feed on the emotion of love. But this only made this particular siren's behaviour stand out more. Mako originally expected her to be aggressive or looking to incite conflict, but instead Sonata was quite friendly and bubbly (if not a little dittzy as well) towards both him and even little Fishcake.
This train of thought was shortly interrupted with a replay, "Well... the reason that I want to see you happy, is because you also make me happy".
Turning his head to face the blue Siren, Mako thought he might have heard that wrong. "I... make you happy?" He said with a touch of confusion. "Yes" Sonata said back, "Yes you do, you are the first person I've met in a very long time who has actually been friendly to me. Aside from my own two 'sisters'... you, and now your half sister, have been the only ones who have been remotely friendly towards me. Most just run in fear or chase me off because of what I am, calling me a 'monster'."
There was pain behind that last part of Sonata's answer, a pain that Mako was all too familiar with, for he too had been deemed a "monster" by those outside of his family. Being able to command creatures like Scylla and Krakens, and also having the weather tied to your emotional state doesn't help with that in the least.
"That is why I want you to be happy Mako" Sonata said, "And it's why I see you as... well... as someone I can truly trust and whom I enjoy being around. I love the time we spend together, and I really, really like you Mako." She ended her statement by giving Mako a small hug from behind.
Mako didn't know what to say for a moment. Here he was, having someone open their heart and admit their feelings for him, and all he could do was sit there with a look of surprise on his face.
After a few moments of mental processing, Mako pieced together his own thoughts. Of anyone outside his direct family, Sonata was perhaps one of the only ones who treated him like a normal person. His appearance and the chaotic nature of his powers didn't dissuade her from becoming his friend, even after the awkward misunderstanding they both had when they first met several weeks back. Even bigger than that, Sonata has even seen him at his 'worst', and instead of running in fear or screaming that he was a "monster" she instead tries to help him. All of which only further proved the Siren's earlier admission of her feelings for him. With all this in mind, Mako had at last come to a decision.
"I like you too."
Sonata's ears shot up upon hearing what Mako had just said, and her eyes widened slightly as she leaned up from the hug she had just given.
"Yes... very much so."
With a small smile on his face, Mako turned his body to better face Sonata, and returned her earlier hug.
Going back to his previous sitting position, Mako felt his heart rise a bit higher than usual, a tiny feeling of happiness making itself present within the ocean of gloom. Meanwhile Sonata's smile had only grown bigger out of bliss, overjoyed that the target of her affection also felt the same way about her.
"So, do you have any plans for tomorrow?" asked Sonata. "Think we could get together again in the afternoon?"
"Sorry, I promised Fishcake I'd help her with some of her homework after she got back from school tomorrow afternoon. But I suppose we can meet up for a bit during the evening after I've helped make dinner with my family. Perhaps around 7 or so if that's alright with you." Mako replied back.
"Of course it is." Sonata said as she reached out to start scratching behind Mako's ears again. "I'll meet you at the pier near your house, sound good?"
"Sounds like a plan." confirmed the Draconequus.
Quickly finding the sweet spot that caused Mako's ear to twitch and blush a little, Sonata giggle before saying, "I'll be looking forward to it cuddlefish". To this, Mako could only scrunch his muzzle.