corbin_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif

Scene Title Cheesecake
Synopsis … is what Daphne says she wants, but she ends up with a bit more at the end of a capricious evening with Hokuto's Star.
Date February 6, 2010

Corbin's Apartment

After a late night working, Daphne wakes with a start from a nightmare. She sits up, staring into the gray light of her apartment, as if to make sure she is alone. It wasn't the same quality of nightmare that she's had now a few times with the Nightmare Man or whatever he's called — just yet another garden variety bad dream. She's had too many lately, ever since the night she woke with a bleeding Hiro up on a scaffolding beam, high above the city. This one is already fading with the light of the day, but she's left feeling sad and alone once the fear passes.

Capone, Diego's dog she's watching, notices her discontent and trots over, jumping up on the bed to give her a lick. She laughs, but it's more human company she needs right now. Reaching, she finds her cell phone on the bedside table, scrolling through the numbers until she finds Corbin's. She pushes "Send" and waits for the pick up.

"Want to meet me for dinner? You can pick this time," she says, with no preface once he answers on the other side.

It's a surprise.

A sudden phone call that doesn't even get a proper answer, cause she speaks right over him. Or at least she talks a little faster than most people would, when he's barely gotten a word out. But this time, Corbin knows how she can get from one place to another as fast as she does… He looks down at the desk in front of him, his work at home. He could throw a coat on, go down to the car and find a nearby restraunt… or…

"Do you like take out?" He asks, smiling a bit as he begins to get up from the desk, pacing while he talks. "I'm at my apartment in the middle of some work, but— if I get to pick, I can order some take out and have it delievered." Isn't that a little too soon to invite to his place? Perhaps… There's a moment's pause, as he looks around and remembers how much of a cluttered mess his apartment is… "Or if you'd rather not, I know a place across the street we could go to. One of those Japanese Steak Houses."

There's a pause — and given how quick she is to respond usually, she must really be thinking hard. "Stop it," she can be heard whispering to someone — the dog, but he can't see that, as it licks her down comforter. "Sorry, not you. Sure. Take out is fine. What's your address? I'll be there at…" Daphne glances at the alarm clock, its neon green letters stating it's only 1:15 in the afternoon. "Six sound okay?"

Six? Oh, was it only the afternoon? Corbin glances at his desk clock, having lost track of time while going through some things that… really seem like they're hardly important when his best friend is in a coma. And at the same time… they make for a good distraction. "Six should be good. I'll have something delievered and ready around then, so it isn't cold and you don't have to wait." …And so he can clean up his apartment some. A foot nudges some clothes he's left laying on the floor.

"Great. See you then." The connection is cut, and Daphne reaches to pet her house guest for a few minutes before shaking her head. She's not sure this is a good idea, but like her "work," you never get anything good without taking a few risks. "Let me shower and then we can go for a you-know-what," she tells the dog, whose ears perk up as she apparently is now talking to him and not the the piece of plastic.

Some five hours later, Daphne arrives at the address he gave her. She's not dressed up; jeans and boots and a sweater beneath coat and hat and scarf. Her cheeks are rosy from the cold outside, and she wears nothing but a bit of eye liner and lipstick. In one hand she has a bottle of wine — she may lack manners but she knows better to show up to dinner empty handed.

A few moments after she knocks, the door opens. Corbin doesn't appear to have dressed up too much, deciding to done more comfortable clothing… and house slippers. Fashionable house slippers! They look like soft pale leather, even. "Hey, come on in," he gestures. "They just delievered a minute ago, so good timing," he says, motioning her into his apartment. In many ways, it's very much a bachelor pad. Miss-matched furnature all in dark colors, a rug that's completely out of place on the floor, a table that's been cleaned off— at least he took the time to remove most of his things. The desk is a little cluttered, with two computers on either end. A desktop and monitor on one side, an open laptop on the other running a screensaver of space flying by.

The table has a few packages of Thai food, by the looks of the packages, and he moves toward his kitchen to dig out some plates.

Daphne takes a cautious step inside, before apparently deciding that it's safe, and moving at a more normal speed. She pulls off her coat, hat and scarf, revealing a red sweater beneath. She moves toward the sofa, setting her things on the arm. "It smells good," she says, a touch awkwardly, as if to fill the space. "So how are things? Any change in the whole … dream situation?" she gestures vaguely, as if the hand motion will help fill in her lack of words. Her dark eyes move around the apartment, taking in the details that might tell her more about him and what he does and just what sort of person he is behind the goofy Hawaiian shirts and pale eyes.

"It's not over yet," Corbin says, voice softening as he pulls some plates down, his mind seeming to wander for a moment. But at least he doesn't end up dropping it as he reaches to grab silverwear to carry over, and some napkins. All of it is sat down on the table. "I helped recruit someone else a few nights ago. Pulled right out of my dream and dropped into a room of mirrors… I hope it will end soon." As soon as his hands are empty, he checks his phone and then puts it back down. No text message updates, so no change.

"Have you been dragged into it anymore?"

She shakes her head. "Only when you're involved," she says with a slight smirk, apparently blaming him though she's not angry about it — at least at the moment. "Had a bad dream last night, but it was just the normal sort. Well, this morning. I slept past noon." That will probably inadvertently alert him that she called him in the wake of the bad dream, but she reaches for some pad thai and scoops it onto her plate. "I'm sorry if I made you feel bad about it the other day. I mean — even if you did pull me into that school room dream, I can't blame you… if it's going to take as many people as you can find to fight him and help your friend, then I would probably do the same thing. I just … I've never had a friend close enough that I'd worry that much about." Her cheeks color a little, and her eyes are on the serving, though when she's done scooping onto one plate, she begins scooping onto the other.

Pointed eyebrows raise for a moment as she makes some apologies and confessions, and piles food on to plates for them both. Corbin actually walks away again, toward the kitchen, giving her some time for her cheeks to recover, "Hokuto's probably the best friend I've had in a long time, but… we're not as close as we used to be. We used to work together. Now I only see her a few times every month or so…" Of course now he sees her a little more often in his dreams, and when he visits her in the hospital room he had to take her to.

Rummaging around in the kitchen, runs some water, rinsing the dust out of rarely used wine glasses, before toweling them off as he walks back in to join her. "But you are right— she's going to need all the help she can get right now. I'm glad you forgive me for dragging you into it," he finishes, with a smile.

With a crooked smile, Daphne gives a backwards shrug, head moving toward shoulder rather than the other way around. "I guess it's why I decided you were… worth giving a chance. I mean… you're willing to do all this for a friend, you can't be a bad friend to have in my corner." She begins dishing out some of the ginger chicken on to each plate. "I didn't know what we were eating… Hope that's all right," she adds with a nod to the bottle of wine, a pinot grigio. "Anyway… I'm sorry if I've been a pain in the ass. But I should warn you, it's probably my hallmark trait." She finally flashes a real grin.

"You haven't been that bad," Corbin says, taking the wine bottle and dragging it back to the kitchen again to open it over the sink. And good thing, too, cause it bubbles over for a moment, and he wipes it down with another towel. "I'm sure you found me quite bothersome too, dragging you out of perfectly good sleep and stuffing you into a nightmare where you had to run across town before I fell off the bridge." Cause now— now he knows how she got there so fast. As he gets back over, he pours them both small portions, before finally sitting down so he can eat. "I think you'll be a good friend to have around too." Already saved his ass once, whether she's a pain in it or not.

"Yeah. It was cold that night. Pest." Daphne actually grins and shakes her head. "It's okay. It was good to be able to help someone. The last time…" she frowns, picking up her glass of wine and taking a sip. She hasn't told anyone what happened to her the first time she was in one of the Oneiromancer's dreams. "The last time, someone tried to help me and I hurt him — on accident!" she adds the last two words in a hurry, so that he doesn't think she attacked someone out of spite or rage. "So maybe it's karma. Do you believe in karma?"

"Sometimes," Corbin says, but his expression seems to go serious for a moment before he pauses to start on his Thai food. A few bites down, he looks back up at her. If he really believed in karma, how much good does he still need to do to make up for all the false stories he wrote in the past? "I think everyone has things they need to make up for, though." Himself included. "But if we jump off a bridge, we won't really get the chance to." This time he reaches for the wine glass and holds it out toward her, as if waiting for the light ping of contact with hers.

"I don't think he cares about karma… or maybe he does, and thinks it's his job to make it happen," Daphne says, meaning the Nightmare Man. She brings her glass into contact with his, smiling at the tink that the controlled collision makes. "What are we toasting, Friday?" she says softly, looking up at him finally, her dark eyes on his light.

"To jumping less life threatening bridges," Corbin says, though there's something in his smile that shows he's really speaking in a metaphorical sense. Where the bridge he's taking about may represent the chance she's taking on him. And maybe the chance he's taking on her, at the same time. "I have a play station," he adds with a silly gesture toward the television. "If you want to challange me to a game." Course with her speed, she can like button smash faster than a turbo controller…

"Cheers," she agrees, then takes a sip from her glass. Eyes following his gesture to the television, she picks up her fork and begins to eat. "Yeah? What does winner get?" she says, looking amused. What is it with grown men and their video games? "I haven't played a video game in a long time. You'd probably kick my ass." Even if she has super fast fingers, you have to know which buttons to push.

"I'll let you get the hang of it before we start playing, but I got a couple fighting games. Too bad I don't have any racing games," Corbin admits, vaguely wishing he had a Wii for Mario Cart. Which seems more childish then the manly swords and pointy things games, but racing seems more like something she'd like… Considering how much she must run. "And if you win, I'll go down to the store and buy you some cheesecake." But no, he's not saying what he wants…

"Fighting's okay, if it's a game. I don't like to fight in real life," she says thoughtfully. "And okay, but it has to be real cheesecake, none of that crappy no bake stuff or anything made with tofu. And it's okay if you don't have racing games… I'd get all competitive and then cranky face if I lost. Fighting I could lose at, because I don't know how in real life either. Most of the time I don't have to know, you know? Just run away if things get scary." Too bad that's her motto for relationships, too.

"Running away is okay, sometimes. Lord knows I'm not much of a fighter. I'd probably break my fist on someone than actually take them down," Corbin explains, and even makes a bit of a fist as he describes that. Despite his training, fighting was never what he was hired for. Guns he can handle, sometimes, fistacuffs, not so much. "But I think it's better to have something to run toward than run away from."

"I do both," she says, perhaps a little defensively. But, she does help clear the mess of food, packing up the food to put back in his refrigerator and helping carry empty plates to the kitchen. A few moments later, he instructs her on the basics of the controls in Soul Calibur III. After a few rounds of practice, she proves herself to be none too skilled in video gaming, despite her flying fingers, as they just throw her into circles, her character jabbing at the wrong spot on the screen one second before leaping in the air and flipping around to fight another imaginary foe.

Soon enough, she gets the hang of it — to a point, but she squeals and swears when she makes mistakes, cheeks flushing with the adrenaline of the fantasy fight. The round that counts is a close one, neck and neck until Daphne's character finally comes out on top.

It's funny in some ways, watching someone learn a new game, making Corbin smile the whole time as he avoids the same frustrations and instead tries to cheer her on. He doesn't outright seem to let her win, but sometimes he blocks when he probably shouldn't have, and backed away when he should have gone closer, tried to strike high while she struck low.

The game is his, and if he has any time to play, he should know most the cheater moves. They don't seem to happen. But he doesn't stand there and get pummeled, either, keeping it close, until he finally gets knocked down. "Guess that means I can't ask for a victory kiss now." In some ways, he's like a teenager, despite being in his thirties.

"No victory kiss for you," Daphne says, though she sets the controllers down after hopping up and down happily for a moment. "Will you take a loser's kiss instead?" She asks, turning from the game where she wasn't sure of the right moves to him, where she's even less sure, and chewing the corner of her lip a little nervously. "And then you can get my cheesecake," she teases, but her eyes are solemn as they search his.

"Well in that case, I'm not too much of a loser," Corbin jokes, laughing a bit to himself as he puts the controller down and reaches out to touch her face in his fingers. Unlike before, when she darted in, pecked and darted away, he tries to get there first, starting the kiss on his own. And not on the cheek, either. It doesn't last long, cause when he pulls back, briefly scratching at her chin with his beard, and starting to release her with his hands, "And now for the cheesecake. The real kind."

Daphne seems to be holding her breath, eyes closing, only exhaling after the kiss is over. It might be the stillest she's ever been in his presence, though she does kiss back, her lips soft and warm against his. She slides her small hand into his, and smiles when it's through. "How about I walk with you?" she offers. She's not going to give up the cheesecake, though. It's a must.

The smaller hand gets a warm squeeze, somewhat sweaty from all the adrenaline of video game playing. Corbin didn't want to lose by too much, but he likes the way she smiled when she won, too. And he likes cheesecake. "I think I'd like that. You'll just have to keep up with me." It's said with a smile, as he stands up.

‘Cause he can't keep up with her.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License