First Date

Cast: date: 'August 31, 2012'
place: 'Hawksmore Seven Dials'
participants: 'David, Mattie'
synopsis: 'David and Mattie have their first date.'
log: "The Regency is never empty, but at this time of night on a Friday, there's no line out the door like there is during the breakfast, lunch or dinner rush. Only about half of the booths are occupied as Mattie begins to untie the white apron she wears over her jeans and t-shirt. Shaking a lock of too-long bangs out of her eyes, she peers at the clock, which is three minutes away from freedom.\n\nClose enough. The apron gets pulled off and tossed in the laundry bin tucked in one corner of the area behind the counter, and she moves to the coffee pot and to-go cups to pour herself one for the road.\n\nDavid moves down the sidewalk on his way towards the cafe. He is out of his causal clothes and is wearing an outfit that is nice enough to be considered dressed up while still being casual. A button-up white dress shirt under his motorcycle jacket and a pair of jeans. As he arrives at the cafe, he pulls open the door and steps inside. He pauses at the threshold for a moment as he looks around, finally spotting Mattie before he heads over towards her with a slight smile on his lips. \"Hey Mattie.\" He offers the woman once he's close enough to be heard without disrupting the customers in the place.\n\nThe woman glances up from where she's stirring creamer and sugar into her brew. She looks up and tips her head, eyes narrowing on the bandage on David's head. \"Fuck, what happened to you?\" she says, before grimacing and glancing back over her shoulder to be sure her boss didn't hear.\n\n\"I mean, what can I get you?\" she adds a little louder before dropping her voice again, \"I imagine you can't tell me here anyway.\"\n\nAnother employee comes from the backroom to man the till. \"Got this. You're off.\"\n\nHer coffee cup grabbed, Mattie gives her nod of thanks and moves out from behind the counter.\nDavid laughs softly at her reaction to his wounds, a hand moving up to touch the bandage on his forehead. \"I just hit my head on a railing.\" Which is true, just the other details being left out. He looks up to the other employee as he comes up to the counter. \"I'm good.\" He says to the new arrival. \"I don't need anything.\" He returns his attention to Mattie as she moves around the counter again. \"I was wondering if you'd like to have dinner with me.\" He asks her as he watches her.\n\nShe's about to ask him what's up (what Other they need to go fight, really) when the second question has her floundering. The coffee lid is fidgeted with, adjusted and readjusted as she glances from his face to the cup to the door. All the confidence she has when on a mission — completely gone. Her cheeks flush a little, and she looks to the cup again, and her co-worker snickers.\n\nThat gets her moving. \"Outside,\" she tells David, and she strides to the door. If she's going to look like a stuttering school girl, it won't be with an audience of customers and coworkers.\n\nDavid bites his lower lip as he looks at her, waiting her response until he hears the sound of her co-worker snickering which grants them a quick glance before his glance returns to Mattie. He starts to speak again when she beats him to it. He follows her outside, holding the door open for her before he follows her outside. Once they're outside, he turns to face her again. \"Sorry. I didn't mean to spring that up on you in front of everyone.\"\n\nHer brows knit together and she studies the sidewalk intently once she's outside. \"It's okay. You just… surprised me.\"\n\nShe tips her head to one side and begins to walk that way, indicating he should follow. About thirty feet away from the cafe sits a homeless man on a bus bench, and it's to him that she gives the coffee cup. She turns back to David, eyes down, then notices his burnt hands.\n\n\"Did you burn your hands on the railing too?\" she asks softly, reaching for one, fingers lightly finding places that aren't burnt to pull it toward her so she can inspect it.\n\nDavid smiles as he moves to follow her, watching as she gives her coffee to the homeless man which causes his smile to grow even more. Once she turns back to him, he stops moving and looks at her. He starts to speak until the mention of his hands causes him to stop and look down at his hand, shaking his head. \"No. A run-in with Teresa Murdoch did that.\" He says before he looks up at her again. \"She's well in control of her gifts from the look of things.\" He says, his voice lowered in case anyone around them may be overhearing them.\n\n\"She did it deliberately?\" Mattie almost growls, shaking her head. \"Bitch.\"\n\nTalk of work has her less nervous it seems, but the elephant is still there on the sidewalk with them, so to speak. \"About dinner…\" she begins, letting go of his hand, though it seems a touch reluctant. She looks like she's going to say no, but then she looks up, shaking her hair from eyes so that she can look up into his face.\n\n\"Okay,\" she finally says, the smallest of smiles tipping one corner of her mouth upward. \"I break every other rule I've ever come across. Why not my own?\"\n\nDavid nods his head slightly at her question. \"Yeah. I was coming home from Headquarters and ran into her on the sidewalk. Got into a bit of a confrontation when she remembered me from the pawn shop. Managed to calm her down, but not soon enough.\" He says as he watches her examine his hands before letting them go. His eyes move to hers as she looks up. The answer she gives about dinner causes him to smile brightly. \"Yeah? That's great. I was hoping you said yes. I have reservations at Hawksmore Seven Dials. I hope you don't mind that place.\" He offers his hand to her.\n\n\"Maybe I'll have a chat with her in ghost form so she doesn't have a target,\" Mattie says, regarding Teresa. David's hand is accepted, and with the date a deal, she seems less nervous, somehow.\n\n\"I've never been. Do I need to change? I probably smell like bangers and mash,\" Mattie quips, glancing down at her clothes. She's clean, no food spots on her black t-shirt or dark jeans, at least. Her free hand reaches back to pull the requisite hair tie out, shaking out her long layers. \"If you're not embarrassed to be seen with me… I don't really have anything dressier. Shinier Doc Martens maybe.\" The ones she has on are a bit scuffed.\n\nDavid shakes his head and smiles as he takes a quick glance at their hands together as he leads the way to the restaurant. He gives her a quick once over as she asks about her outfit, shaking his head. \"No, you look great. You should be fine. If they say anything, I'll just use one of my shadow knives and stab them.\" He says in a joking manner, making a stabbing motion with his free hand. \"And you can just ghost in behind me.\" He offers a soft chuckle at that. The smile grows a bit a she lets her hair down and shakes her hair. \"You look really amazing.\" He says after a moment, his head nodding slightly to emphasize the statement.\n\nMattie snorts slightly at his comments, though the compliment earns another blush and glance away. “That might be the first time anyone’s offered to defend my honor using ‘shadow knives,’” she murmurs, reaching up to tuck a stray strand of hair behind one ear. “You earn points for creativity.”\n\nShe nods to the nearby tube station on the corner. “Tube, cab, walk?” she asks — like most Londonites, she doesn’t have her own vehicle.\n\nDavid offers a soft chuckle at her snort and blush. He raises an eyebrow slightly as he looks towards her as he continues to walk down the sidewalk with her. \"Really? I would have thought you would have a lot of people lining up to try to defend your honor.\" He says as he gives her hand a slight squeeze. \"Especially with shadow knives. They are the greatest weapons ever invented. Though they weren't really invented…\" He nods his head once at that. The comment about creativity points causes him to smile and blush slightly. He rubs the back of his neck with his free hand. \"Why don't we walk? It's not that far from here.\" He glances up at the sky for a moment before he looks back down at her. \"Thanks for taking a chance and having dinner with me.\"\n\nHer lips press into a straight line for a moment, but then she smiles more broadly. “Just don’t start singing ABBA, okay?”\n\nShe’s quiet for a few paces, though her fingers interlace with his and she seems to relax a little more. “Thank you,” she murmurs, glancing up at him through the fringe of red hair. “I know I’m not the easiest person to want to ask to take a chance on you on…” the sentence’s syntax gets away from her and Mattie laughs, shaking her head. “You know what I mean.” The words are punctuated with a shrug.\n\nDavid can't help but let out a laugh at that. \"Okay. I promise. No ABBA, but how about Wham! or Duran Duran?\" He asks, before he starts to hum 'Wake Me Up Before You Gogo', looking at her through the corner of his eye. As she falls silent, he rubs his thumb over the top of her hand. When she speaks up again, he turns his attention back to her, a smile slowly creeping back onto his lips. \"You don't have to thank me. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while, actually. I just finally got up the nerve to just come out and ask you out.\" He smiles as he thinks back at all the awkward moments that he's had in the past and the times he's almost asked her out on a date, but chickened out.\n\nAnother blush colors her cheeks. She’s a completely different girl than when she’s giving orders on a mission. “I’m hardly warm and accommodating. No MIss Congeniality winner, here. It’s just….” the words trail off and she shrugs again. “I usually don’t mix work and fun. It gets complicated.”\n\nMattie frowns, brows knitting together as she watches the sidewalk ahead. “It’s a rule I made a long time ago because of Tony and Noemi,” she begins. He may or may not recognize the first names of the Gonzalezes, a married pair of agents back in Los Angeles. He hasn’t heard their names from her lips, though. “My foster parents,” she adds, looking up at him to explain. “Both were operatives, but I could see it got really complicated at times. Tony didn’t want Noemi to keep going out on missions because he was worried about her, but she wanted to. I mean, it’s part of who she was, you know?”\n\nA few more steps go by before she adds, “It’s the only thing they ever fought about when I lived with them. Nothing else, not in the three years I lived there. So when I became an operative, I decided I wouldn’t do that. It’s hard enough without… without caring more.” She swallows, and peeks up at him again.\n\nDavid smiles slightly at her words about her not being warm and accommodating. \"I don't know about that. I see you as a warm person when you're not out on a mission. I see how you are when you're at the HQ.\" He says, squeezing her hand once more. He then falls silent as she tells him the story, his eyes looking at her as she speaks while they continue to move down the sidewalk.\n\nThe name she gives doesn't ring a bell, but then again, she hasn't ever told him about her parents before nor has anyone else. He listens intently, letting her say whatever she has to. He looks down at the sidewalk before he nods when she finishes. He stops and turns to her, looking at her. \"I can see how you would make a rule against it when you saw that growing up. You and I have been working together for some time. I know you can protect yourself and you'll always have me watching your back.\" He offers as he looks at her, the mention of 'caring more' causing a warm smile to form on his lips. \"I know what you mean. It's hard to care about someone when there is a chance that you may loose them, but it's also difficult to think about not having the chance to care that much about someone.\" It's his turn this time to peek over at her.\n\nHer brows furrow when he speaks the words she didn’t quite make out, and she nods, eyes still downcast before she suddenly stops in the middle of the sidewalk. This earns her a grumbled curse from the businessman striding along behind the two as he sidesteps to get around them.\n\nMattie takes David’s other hand, holding each of them down at his sides as she stands on tiptoes to kiss him softly. It doesn’t linger but it’s not quite a peck. Stepping back, she resumes walking. Cheeks flushed, she addresses the sidewalk again. “I was gonna be nervous all night if I didn’t just get that out of the way.”\n\nWhen Mattie stops, so does David, thinking that she's going to speak. When she takes his hand, he looks down at them for a moment until her lips meet his. His eyes slip closed as he returns the kiss. When the kiss is broken, he lingers where he was for a moment before he opens his eyes again and moves to follow her. He chuckles softly at his words, nodding his head once. \"That's okay. I was glad that you did. I was going to be nervous myself.\" He smiles again, his face turning a bit red. As they reach the restaurant, he pulls open the door and holding it open for her. He releases her hand so she can walk inside, following behind her. He moves next to her as he notifies the hostess of their reservation, wrapping an arm around her waist if she allows it.\n\n“There, now neither of us has to be nervous anymore,” Mattie says, leaning against him as he speaks to the waitress. She does seem more confident — at least she’s not staring at the ground anymore, at any rate.\n\nHer eyes flit around the restaurant. “Nice place.” Luckily she’s not the only one in a t-shirt and jeans, or she might try to disappear into the floorboards. And with Mattie, that’s a literal possibility.\n\nDavid nods his head once as he looks at her, as the hostess gathers the menus for them. He smiles happily as he feels her lean against him, enjoying that feeling. He follow the hostess towards their table, still keeping his arm around Mattie. He looks around the restaruant and nods. \"Yeah. It's a really nice place. Looks better than on the computer. Even better with the current company.\" He chuckles softly and then they reach the table where he removes his arm from around her to pull out a chair for her, letting her sit down before he pushes the chair in slightly then sits down across from her. When the waitress arrives to take their drink order, David suggests a bottle of wine, looking to Mattie to see if that's good with her or if she'd prefer something else.\n\nThe redhead gives a nod to the wine, asking for a glass of water as well, then opens the menu to read it. “It’ll be nice to have a meal not cooked by a fry cook. I usually just eat whatever’s quick at work and then Pot of Noodle at home.” Apparently, a gourmand she is not.\n“You’ve had a busy week,” she adds, gesturing to his burnt hands. “Sorry I didn’t convince her on our first go around.” The agent’s apparently still blaming herself for the failed attempt at helping Teresa.\n\nThe waitress heads off to get the drinks, leaving David and Mattie alone again. He looks at her more than the menu, which does get the occasional glance. He laughs softly at the mention of how she normally eats. \"Yeah, I usually go out somewhere and eat some fast food. It'll be nice to have an amazing meal.\" When she motions to his hands, his eyes move to them again and smiles. \"It's okay. It couldn't be helped. She believes that she knows what she's doing and that she doesn't need anyone's help. I really don't think we'll ever be getting to her. I think we'll just need to back off her and let her approach us when she's ready.\"\n\n“It’s weird,” Mattie begins, apparently choosing her dish and closing her menu. “I mean, she’s a grown woman and I guess that makes it different. I was fifteen, so having someone to help me — I mean, I didn’t literally jump at the chance since I was pretty horrified at everything in my life at the time, but I was thankful that someone had a clue what I was going through. That someone didn’t think I was crazy or wasn’t going to bring me to the nearest government research facility to get probed.”\n\nShe reaches for the salt shaker to fidget with, turning it loosely in her hands as she speaks. “So you think she’s in control? Not going to accidentally become a human bunsen burner at college?”\n\nDavid sighs softly as he nods for a moment before the bottle of wine arrives with two glasses along with her water. He smiles up to the waitress and gives her a thanks as she pours them both a glass, setting the bottle down in a bucket. Once the waitress is gone, he looks back to Mattie and lets out another sigh. \"Yeah, she's a grown woman who can make her own decisions, so I can't say anything about it.\" At her last question, he pauses to think for a moment, picking up the glass of wine. \"I think she can control her gifts, but I don't think she's in control. I think she can benefit greatly from our help, but she believes that she is able to control her powers and will be better off on her own.\"\n\n“She can’t go around burning people,” Mattie says irritably, picking up her glass to sip. “But I guess it defeats the purpose of dinner to talk about work, right?” Even if talking about work comes much more naturally to the American than talking about anything else.\n\n“I’ll try to stick to proper date subjects from here on in.” There’s a smile at her own expense. “Sorry that I’m really pretty awful at this, but … in case I forget to say it later, it’s nice. And thank you.”\n\n\"Yeah, she really can't go around burning people. Especially when that someone is me.\" He chuckles softly at that but is happy for the change of subject. Work really isn't a good dinner topic. \"It's okay.\" He says as he reaches over the table and places his hand on hers, offering a smile. \"You're welcome and thank you for saying yes.\" He gives her hand a squeeze as he looks at her. \"I can't think of anyone else I'd rather be here with. This really is a great night.\" Just when the mood is starting to feel right, the waitress arrives to take their food order. David sits back, picking up the menu again and taking a look at it over. \"Why don't you order first? I haven't decided yet.\"\n\nThis time, his words make her smile instead of flounder, and the waitress laughs a little when she’s realized she’s stepped into a first date. Mattie orders, the smallest steak they have and a side of chips. The waitress gets a headshake when she tries to upsize the meal.\n\nShe leans back, though leaves her hand in David’s while he orders, picking up her wine glass to take another, less dainty, swallow. Liquid courage. Though she might need something stronger.\n\nDavid can't help but chuckle at the waitress as she laughs, though he doesn't realize it's that obvious that they're on a first date. He smiles as Mattie orders then he orders a steak, rare and a side of mashed potatoes with brown gravy. When the waitress heads off to place the orders, David rubs the back of her hand with his thumb and smiles as he looks at her. He takes a long drink from his glass when she does. \"They always know when to enter to take an order, don't they?\" He asks with a soft chuckle. Though they've been working together for some time, he still tries to make small talk. \"So, what do you like when you get some downtime?\"\n\n“Downtime…” she repeats as if it’s a foreign concept, but she’s mostly joking. “Eh. I work at the cafe for extra money. Whatever’s left is usually reserved for sleep, food, maybe a quick pint at the pub. Work keeps me busy most of the time. As you know.”\n\nShe watches him, tipping her head to study his face. “So now you know my secret,” she teases. “I’m incredibly boring and don’t actually have a life. Want me to leave?”\n\nDavid chuckles at her as she repeats the word. \"Awww… you need to get out more.\" He says with a playful wink. He offers a smile as she studies his face, bringing her hand up to his lips and kisses the back of it softly. \"No. I don't want you to leave at all. I would like to actually spend as much time with you as I can.\" He says as he lowers her hand to the table and gives it a soft squeeze. \"In fact, if things go well tonight, I'd like to have a second date.\"\n\nWhen he kisses her hand, her cheeks flush again and Mattie rakes her lower lip with her front teeth. “You, unlike me,” she says, just a little breathlessly, “are rather good at this.”\n\nThe wine glass is picked up and about half of it is drained with a couple of healthy swallows. “I think that might be nice,” she finally replies, squeezing his hand in return.\n\n\"It must come naturally for me, I suppose.\" He says with a smile. \"I haven't been on any dates since…\" His voice trails off at the end, though it's a pretty good bet that she can figure out what he's speaking about. He bites his lower lip as he watches her, smiling at the squeeze of his hand. \"And if the second date goes well, hopefully many more…\" He smiles once more before the waitress arrives with their meal."
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