Just Man Up


felix4_icon.gif graeme_icon.gif remi_icon.gif

Scene Title Just Man Up
Synopsis Dinner: sushi, a lot of tempura, and embarrassment.
Date February 4, 2011

West Side Sushi

Located in the Upper West Side, West Side Sushi is a small sushi bar and restaurant that caters towards a medium income though manages a more upscale environment. The decor is tasteful and modern, vibrant in the tone of wooden floors, reflective glass bars, tricky lighting fixtures and artwork on the walls. A winding bar occupies one side of the building, the other devoted to private, comfortable tables with booths and armchairs. A decent range of Japanese cuisine is offered, from light meals to proper dinners, with a focus on sushi of varying prices. A full range of liquor is also available, including sake.

It has a trendy kind of vibe that implies temporary success and limited lifespan, but while it's in its prime, it's a nice place to go, with a casual if still sophisticated ambience with prices that aren't out of reach of the common man but quality that doesn't guarantee it will be overlooked by the wealthier patron.

It's a quiet evening out for Fel. This isn't so very far from where he lives in Harlem, not really. At the moment, he's alone in a booth, eating not sushi but some kind of chicken and crisp noodle dish. He's demolished most of it. His one dinner companion isn't another person, but a book - a worn paperback, The Big Sleep.

The door swings open, letting in two people. Graeme follows his companion's lead, and they are seated at one of the open tables, not that far actually from Felix. He offers Remi a slight smile, before leaning back to observe the rest of the restaurant, a habit that he's never quite been able to ditch since his days working as security in various establishments. Of everyone, his eyes linger momentarily on Felix, and on the other few people who are there by themselves, a quiet quirk of his eyebrows before he busies himself looking at the menu, looking for what might be the most food on one plate more than likely.

Fel looks up from his book, patiently. Not as if looking for someone, but with that habitual watchfulness. Never know what you might encounter here, even somewhere as safe and banal as a sushi restaurant. His hair's newly buzzed, shaven almost to the scalp on the sides, a little longer on top, that military haircut. He meets Graeme's gaze levelly, expressionless.

Graeme's eyebrows go ever-so-slightly up when Felix meets his gaze, but he turns back to his companion, offering a gentle smile and a bit of a laugh to her comment, all the while pointing at various things on the menu that sits on front of him. When a pot of tea arrives at their table, he carefully pours two cups, setting one in front of Remi, and picking up the second, blowing on it to cool it to a temperature he won't burn his tongue at. "Thank you for dinner," he says, before his gaze flicks back to Felix. The second look is a little more towards checking the other man out and a little less towards simple watchfulness and observation.

The Russian's dressed in a dark blue dress shirt over some kind of thermal and jeans, boots. There's a heavy overcoat hanging at the edge of the booth. Posture says cop or soldier or something like, that weird predatory poise even in repose, even if the haircut didn't. He's got lines around eyes and mouth, crows' feet begun in earnest.

Remi is craving some sashimi. Not a roll, not nigiri, no, she wants sashimi. Thus, Remi has dragged her newfound room mate out today, on the premise of eating sashimi and getting to know him better. Even if every moment is like reading the book of his life from his mind— very thoughtful guy with a very interesting mind to listen to. She could get used to hearing him, at least.

While Graeme is pouring their tea, Remi's mind is busy skimming the restaurant. A precautionary habit, really, one she's fallen into on the advice of Jules, her family's butler. Scan their minds when you first walk in, and you can save yourself a lot of trouble. So she is, briefly focusing on the thoughts of each person within the diner. Blue eyes pause briefly at Felix as she skims his mind, before turning her gaze back toward Graeme, smiling.

"No problem! I 'ad a craving I 'ad to feed, and you and I live together now, so we should get to know each other and such." She smiles across the table to the man, offering a weak salute.

Graeme fiddles a bit with his shirtcuffs, a plain but nice grey button-down shirt with a lighter grey cabled sweater over it, and he's warm, almost, in about half the layers anyone else in the restaurant is wearing. He didn't even bring a jacket out with him, despite the weather, despite the forecast,and despite Remi's query when they left. "Indeed," he says. A moment, and he pauses, gesturing the waiter over in order to order, and then proceeding to order two separate entrees, noodles, and rice. One thing Remi will learn sooner than later is that Graeme has an appetite. "Nice way to spend an evening."

Fel's thoughts are in Russian, clicking along with an occasional English word inserted seamlessly, the mishmash of a habitual polyglot. Watching Remi and Graeme, evaluating them as possible threats with an almost absentminded lack of real urgency, like a full-fed lion eyeing the gazelles out of habit rather than hunger. His thoughts roam - there's an image of a beautiful blonde man, bundled up out of all proportion to the cold, idle speculation there. And then he flicks back entirely into English, eyes down to the book, and what rolls through is the text, Chandler's layered prose. No expectation of someone coming, just the contemplation of the cold walk home and then the warmth of his own bed. A waiter swoops by and gets a request for another glass of water.

Remi smiles across the table to Graeme, sipping at her tea with a smile. When it comes her time to order, she's quick to ask for a sashimi platter— and a large one, to boot. Despite her petite stature, the girl eats a lot more than her size suggests. Graeme will learn that sooner or later, himself. No eating disorders for this tiny dancer, she's simply covered in lean but strong muscles. "Oui! I 'aven't eaten 'ere in a while." She chuckles softly.

The thoughts that echo through her brain in Russian inevitably draws her gaze back toward Felix, her brows raising slightly. A Russian! She loves Russians, because Russians usually love her, for simple fact of the matter that she was named a Prima Ballerina. She's one of the women who little Russian girls dreamed of being one day when they were grown.

She offers the speedster a faint smile and a wave, before turning back to Graeme with a pleasant look on her face.

Graeme takes a long sip of the tea he holds before putting it down, now observing Felix with more of a sideways look than anything else. There are a few feigned blinks, Graeme downplaying his alertness, and he rolls his shoulders. Even after having looked at things, having noticed no threats, nothing out of the ordinary, Graeme's a bit tense, in the unfamiliar situation, out to dinner in a place he simply doesn't know that well.

"It's a nice place," he says. The bit of a drawl is more predominant in his accent tonight, and he reaches up to run his fingers across his beard. There's a bit of a thought as to whether or not he should shave, hastily put aside in favour of another quick glance around.

Or little Russian boys, too. Fel meets her gaze, brows lifted, as if wondering if she knows him or of him. She won't be the first. There's a little flicker of ruefulness, wondering if she's going to be another of those who come up and ask him about his medal or the terrorists he's supposed to've killed, and darkly amused at the idea that most of the citizens who do have no idea of what he's actually done. And then there's an intrusive image of murky water closing over his face, so cold, so very cold. He shudders despite himself, and looks away, only to be caught by his reflection in the window. The lines aren't supposed to be there - when did he get middle-aged? And where are his glasses…..even though he doesn't need them anymore.

Graeme looks over, with a sympathetic bit of a smile for Felix, and a quick worry about whether or not he's blushing. Graeme is blushing, but only slightly, a tinge that isn't too noticeable against skin that's tanned from years spent in the New Mexico sun. There's a nod in response to one of his own thoughts, and he drops his hand back down to the table to turn around the teacup in front of him. It's a good thing to pretend to pay attention to.

Felix's smile is tentative, a funny, alien little thing. That's what you do when someone smiles at you, right? Isn't it? Not fake, not insincere, but it doesn't fit. His mouth is really too broad for his jaw as it is.

Graeme can be rather socially awkward at times, but that the man smiled back is a good thing. It has to be. He studies his tea, still smiling a bit but no longer at Felix, once more running a hand across the vague hint of a beard, pushing his hair back despite that his hair's in a nearly military short haircut as well and there's none of it to push out of his face. There's a vague hint of a twitch at the corner of his mouth, before he decides that no, it would be just too awkward if he actually starts a conversation.

Remi watches Graeme. Watches Felix. Watches both of them, really. Aww, cute! She can't help but smile slightly, before she waves to Felix with a faint grin. At the very least, she can make him feel better about his fame by speaking to him in his own tongue. Don't ask how he knows that she speaks Russian— she won't tell him that his thoughts are in Russian.

"«Hello! You are that Felix Ivanov fellow, yes? You look lonely. Perhaps you should join us!»" Her Russian isn't the best, and there is a definite French accent to it, but she can speak his native tongue, at least! "«I think my friend would like to talk, but he's a bit on the shy side.»"

It's an easier assumption that she knows of him, his local history, and guesses. He did grow up in Little Odessa, after all. He rises, bringing his glass of water with him, leaving his book. «I will, thank you,» he says, not commenting on his loneliness or not. His expression's mild now, a little uncertain still, as he pads over.

Graeme's glance darts between his roommate and the person that Remi just invited over, with an expression on his face that states clearly that he has no clue what they just said, and instead a slightly querulous expression towards Remi. What in the … He does manage to correctly assume that Remi invited Felix over, though only as Felix stands up, and ducks the fellow a nod. "Evening," he says, a bit of the drawl stretching the word out longer than one usually hears it in New York City.

Remi leans back in her seat, turning a faint grin over to Graeme, before looking back to Felix with a warm smile. "'Ello, Monsieur Ivanov! I 'ave 'eard much about you." She tilts her head to one side. A charming smile forms on her features, Remi sipping at her tea for a moment, gesturing for Felix to have a seat. "You are viewed as a 'ero! Very admirable, ze work you 'ave done." She pauses.

"But, I am sure you get zat all ze time. 'Ow are you doing, today?" She sure is talkative, trying to make him feel like he's not just a medal in her eyes, but a person. Sometimes, this ability can be a bit of a blessing when it comes to getting to know people. And getting on their good sides.

He blushes. His inner monologue is instantly a tumble of confusion - he never knows how to respond to that. There are images of bodies on the show, surrounded by blood. "I'm fine, thank you," His speech is accentless, save for a tinge of Brooklyn. "I …hope you can say the same?" He's embarassed, and trying to be gracious. "Hello," he says to Graeme, smile crooked.

Graeme chuckles a bit, and gestures slightly absently to the pot of tea. "Would you like some?" It's his best attempt at conversation, really, and it's an attempt at drawing the conversation away from whatever is embarassing Felix. "It's…" Good/lovely/nice what in the world am I doing … "nice." Graeme settles on a word, after a bit of a flurry of thought, fingers cradling his own cup.

Remi tilts her head to one side, smiling warmly over to Felix, dipping her head toward the man. "Oui, good, good!" She smiles between Graeme and Felix, her head tilting to one side. The smile remains, despite the gruesome thoughts that flash through Felix's mind. "Oui, I am well. Ah, goodness, where are my manners!" She smiles to Felix, reaching out one hand.

"I am Soleil Davignon, zough I prefer to go with Remi." A gesture is offered toward Graeme, the woman still smiling. She's good at smiling, no matter how awkward the situation. "Zis is my room mate, Graeme Cormac."

A flare of paranoia. Is this a trap, a joke, something….but no. Nothing there in either of their posture supports that, so he seats himself, a little gingerly. "I would, thank you. A pleasure to meet you. I'm Felix Ivanov, as you seem to know." Almost self-deprecating, not assuming they will know who he is. He takes her hand, shakes it firmly.

Graeme casts a glance to a nearby waiter, who soon returns with a third cup, setting it at the edge of the table, and Graeme reaches, pouring tea and passing it to Felix. He makes the movement look nearly effortless, overall, and then leans back slightly in his seat. "Well," he says, that slow drawl still evident in his speech. "Remi might have known who you were, but I'm new back in town, and I sure didn't. Th' pleasure is mine." He ducks a nod to the other man, with a bit of a smile.

Remi smiles faintly, shaking his hand. "Enchantée, Monsieur Ivanov." All smiles, all charm, that's Remi— especially in the presence of a local celebrity. No, the only motives that Remi has is to enjoy her sashimi in the company of two handsome men who are not spending every moment staring at some body part other than her face. As Graeme confesses that he doesn't know who Felix is, Remi simply smiles, opting to allow Felix explain for himself. She certainly doesn't know the man, only that he seems…troubled.

"I…." Oh, this is gonna be funny. "I'm part of FRONTLINE," he settles on, as a decent compromise that won't have him sounding like a chestpounding dickwad. "I was part of the FBI before and I was involved in the …incident with the Vanguard and the bridge a couple years ago." For two years it was.

That explains things adequately enough, Graeme decides, with a bit of a smile for the other man, a smile that then becomes even bigger when his food arrives at the table. The plate of sashimi is set down in front of Remi, and the chicken, some sort of tempura, rice, and noodles is set in front of Graeme, who picks up the pair of chopsticks and momentarily attacks his food with a vengeance. "Right," Graeme says, in between bites, recognition edging into his voice.

"We didn't always get much news, out in New Mexico." A pause. "Smaller town, couple hours outside Albuquerque. What news we got …" he chuckles, "I was never one to pay a great deal of attention to." He shrugs. "Local concerns were always a little more pressing."

Remi smiles warmly over to Felix, her head tilting to the side. "If we are getting introductions and ze like out of ze way, I am a ballet instructor and a choreographer over at American Ballet Theater." Only the most prominent ballet theater in America, as its name suggests. As her food arrives, her features brighten even more, and she falls silent as she sets to work at her food, apparently content to let the boys talk.

That makes him grin, despite himself. And with a conspiratorial air, Fel leans in towards Remi a little, and notes, "I did ballet when I was a very little boy in Russia. My mom hoped I'd be the next Nureyev, I think. It carries a lot of prestige there. But I eventually convinced her it'd be better if I took up fencing instead." He notes at Graeme. "New York tends to be insular. The locals are all convinced this is the center of the world."

"Lot of places are convinced it's the center of everything," Graeme says, speaking in between bites of food, and it seems like the man is trying very hard not to simply wolf down the mass of food that's been put in front of him. "I grew up here… sorta. But I went to college in New Mexico, and was offered a job coaching soccer… right out of college, and I never had a reason to come back, until now." He smiles, a bit, and picks up his tea.

"Things always seem more important wherever you currently are."

Remi raises her brows at Felix, before an even brighter smile appears on her features. A ballet boy! Oh, she likes this guy already. "Oui, it is very prestigious!" She dips her head toward him. "It 'as been a few years, but in 2006, I was named a Prima Ballerina for Bolshoi. I went by Soleil back zen." She chuckles. "I 'aven't danced zere in a while, though I think I may return soon, per'aps do a few performances, oui? I am still recovering from a few problems."

Not much is known publicly about why the dancer that Felix is meeting here in New York collapsed on stage, only that whatever it was had been debilitating, and had caused her to be unable to return to the stage.

"Why would you now? The place is still a wreck." Fel's tone is blunt, even as it's affectionate. Say the man who never left. "The Bolshoi," he says, fondly. "I haven't seen one of their performances in…twenty five years. Not since we defected."

The question gives Graeme pause, and he considers, though considering doesn't stop him from finishing the chicken and the rice both, setting the dishes aside, and beginning to thoughtfully eat the tempura. "New Mexico's … not the best place to be evo, these days," he says. Bigoted fucking rednecks, but that isn't said aloud. Graeme has the good sense to keep the profanity simply in his head. "I lost funding, had been coaching high school soccer … had a business trip here, and well, I don't have a reason to go back to New Mexico either. What's to say here being a wreck isn't better than there where I can't walk down the street without issue?"

Remi smiles warmly over to Felix, popping a piece of red tuna into her mouth and chewing it thoughtfully for a moment, before she washes it down with some tea. "Oui. Performances are still 'appening…zey 'ave left me a standing invitation to return whenever I wish, but— I'm not sure if I'm to ze point where I can perform zere again." She smiles. "Per'aps you should come to ze theater some time— I never mind small audiences there."

Hmm. She can still dance, but she can't dance at the Bolshoi? Somewhat odd, but. Blue eyes turn toward Graeme, the woman smiling faintly.

"I will," Felix assures her, gently. He nods at Graeme in sympathy. He's lucked out on that front - his ability's always been an asset. Enough so that he's tolerated….and now he belongs somewhere because of it. "You have a point. New York….it's rough. But it's a lot better than many places out there…."

"It's better," Graeme agrees. "There's a certain protection in the sheer population here." He laughs faintly, no actual edge of bitterness in it really. He's long since stopped being angry at the people who can't accept the Evolved. "Enough people around, and no one cares what it says on the registration card." He pauses to take a few more bites of food, eating at the pace of occasionally taking a bite now, rather than occasionally slipping a word in. "Back in New Mexico…" he shakes his head. "It was considered an unfair advantage." And then even Graeme has to grin a bit. "Not that I ever thought so."

Felix purses his lips, an odd, puckish expression. "I see," he says. "Is it prying to ask what you can do?" You show me yours, etc. He's only got his glass of water, no impulse for further dining, right now.

Graeme tilts his head to a side. "Endurance," he says, laughing a little. "Or so they tell me that most people can't just keep going." Both hands come up in a gesture of mock defeat, and Graeme leans back, smiling slightly. And internally desperately, desperately hoping he's not blushing.

Fel would do it for him. But he restrains himself by biting the inside of his cheek - it makes the muscles at the corner of his jaw bunch. Remi….well, the unfortunate Remi hears an unfortunate rhetorical question or two. Like just how far -can- Graeme keep going. "I can't imagine that one. I'm a speedster myself."

Graeme nods a few times, and to his own regret, he is blushing, eyes glancing over Felix's facial features once more with some degree of appreciation. He's blushing a little more than he was earlier, too. "It's useful enough, in it's way. I get … bored easily, though." He laughs, a bit of a suppressed laugh that turns into a snort and forces Graeme to put his chopsticks down for the moment. "And there was the time I didn't realise I'd broken several ribs. But other than that …" The gesture of mock defeat once more, and Graeme grins.

"That's fucking tough." He's envious, it's clear. "I'm fragile when wounded, it's annoying. Blood pressure quirks," Fel waves a hand matter of factly. Like that explains it all.

Remi quietly listens to the chatter about being Evolved, her brows raising a bit as she pops a piece of salmon into her mouth, chewing thoughtfully as she glances between the pair, a faint smirk on her face. They're horribly cute together. Maybe she'll get TWO gay friends out of this. "I— I'm an Evolved, too." She fidgets. FRONTLINE guy, so she'll stick with what she has on her card.

"Mine's nothing cool like both of yours, though. Zey call it…Consensual Tactical Telepathy? I can talk to people in zeir minds." She taps her forehead with the butt of her chopsticks. "But only when touching, and only when zey say I can." Or that's what her Registration card says.

Graeme nods, mostly to Felix, face in one of those hard-to-read expressions that takes significant effort as he considers his roommate's ability a moment. "Unless I manage to tire myself out, I don't need to sleep as much as most people, either," he says. "So, it gets boring. Especially what with curfew, martial law …" he shrugs, and offers Felix a faint smile. Maybe the smile will keep the other man from noticing that Graeme is still blushing, but the thought of blushing makes him blush just a bit more.

Telepathy. It makes Felix blink. He's not dismayed, but definitely a little cautious. "That's gotta be rough." And there's real sympathy there. That doesn't sound fun, it sounds vastly annoying. And then he notes the blush on Graeme's face, and Remi overhears puzzlement. Is he ashamed of being Evolved…..what's wrong?

"Time's made it easier, I suppose," Graeme says. His gaze lingers on Felix's features just a hair longer than might be appropriate, generally, but no one's said anything yet, which means he's not worrying about it too much. "I find enough what to do with my time. Running, biking, trying anything that I haven't done yet." He grins. "And sometimes, eating twice my weight in food a day." Another empty plate is carefully put to the side of the table.

"I have to do that, too," Fel sounds….not quite pleased. A little self-deprecating. "It's this crazy metabolism. I envy you. I wish I didn't have to sleep as much as I did." He likes the idea - needing less rest, less downtime. He needs a lot, after all.

Graeme nods a few times, understandingly, and tilts his head to one side in a shrug, one hand flipped palm up along with it. "It does catch up with me eventually. At first, every few months, I'd sleep for a few days straight. Not so much anymore, but." And it's clear from his tone of voice that Graeme didn't like missing even a few days of anything. "I envy you right back," he says. "I can't sleep more than two or three hours, most nights. Eventually I have a shortage of what to do." There are a few thoughts in Graeme's mind replacing what with who, but if they show on his face, it's as nothing more than a twitch of a smile.

Felix notes, drily, "I bet you read a lot. What do you do with that spare time? Learn things? Got a hobby?" He's teasing, but only a little. There's wavering uncertainty there, the mental equivalent of pounding a fist against the control panel on his gaydar, as it were. Am I reading this, or about to make a fool of myself?

There's a bit of a twinkle in Graeme's eyes as he chuckles, and that smile stays on his face, though now he's watching his tea more than anything else, with some uncertainty in his thoughts. Similar uncertainty to Felix, when it comes down to it. "If I can't be out, doing something, like running or the like," a pause, "I read a lot, yeah. I bought an ebook reader, before I came out here, because I couldn't justify the weight in books I wanted to take on the plane with me." The smile on Graeme's face is shy, somewhat, but definitely there.

"Has it been worth it?" Fel immediately wants to know, blue eyes bright. "I keep thinking about it, but….I haven't yet been ableto bring myself to. I have a talent for breaking gadgets." And Remi will hear a flash of amused pride - the first set of highly engineered and expensive armor they gave him, despite his urgings, he literally ran right off. Not built to deal with a speedster's demands.

Graeme nods, chewing on his lower lip some. "I think so," he says. "It beats audiobooks, which had been my other method of taking them with me." There's a bit of an acerbic tinge to Graeme's voice, suggesting that audiobooks were simply just too slow, not enough to hold his slightly ADHD attention span. He puts down the now empty teacup, with a sweeping glance at Felix, a bit of a look to his roommate, and a second, again perhaps longer than absolutely necessary look at Felix that does not just involve eye contact. "I did get a case for it," he admits. "I would hate to have it break after having spent money on it."

Felix nods. "I'd have to armor mine, I think," he says, wryly. He's long since given up any attempt at, oh, an ipod. "Oh, well. Paper readers will have to do for me for now…."

Graeme nods, and chuckles. "I just could not justify six suitcases full of books from New Mexico to here." He purses his lips in even thinking of how expensive that would be to ship, let alone to take on an airplane, and leans back, taking a few deep breaths, with hasty thoughts along the lines of what if I'm wrong… and offers Felix another shy grin, an expression that seems slightly out of place for Graeme.

To her credit, she's trying. She really is trying. But sadly, Remi…well, she just can't help it any more. She's spent the majority of her meal just smiling and letting the two banter. Suddenly, she offers a lyrical giggle, placing her hand over her mouth and closing her eyes. "Pardon!" She can't help but giggle, even as she apologizes in her native tongue. "Mon dieu. 'Ow 'Opeless! Just man up and exchange numbers!" She laughs softly, shaking her head.

Fel's expression immediately goes…nonplussed, and he blushes. His mind is a blank static of utter embarassment for now, as he peers at Remi, owl-eyed. He's first off the block with a stuttered, "I…I beg your pardon?"

Blessedly for once Graeme doesn't blush, well, no more than the constant bit of a blush since he'd first glanced at Felix, but he does look down at his hands, with a confused mutter. "Uh…" Graeme fumbles for words, and finds none. Wonder about his roommate's intentions has even allowed Graeme to distract himself from his more … embarrassing thoughts.

Remi is not forthcoming. Fel is favoring her with a milder version of that gimlet interrogator's stare. Touch telepathy, eh? Not that anyone with a working eyeball would have a problem telling what's up with these two. "Well?" he prompts her. Perhaps to spare embarrassment.

Remi is still giggling, even as the two men turn the startled looks toward her. She leaves them hanging for a moment, deliberately picking up a piece of white tuna and dipping it into her soy sauce, before popping it into her mouth and chewing it with a smile on her face. Sushi is delicious, with so many interesting flavors that are lost in the cooking process.

Washing it down with tea, she smiles. When she speaks, it's in a lower voice, so only the two men can hear her. "You two 'ave been smiling and blushing and making eyes at each other since we walked into ze restaurant." It is said matter of factly, the woman smiling a charming smile at her room mate and the FRONTLINE fellow. If she were normal, perhaps she wouldn't have picked up on this. Perhaps she would have, but wouldn't have said something.

But when you know something for a fact, it's hard to keep quiet. She makes a gesture as if to draw th two together, smiling. "Your eyes, both of you. Zey betray you." She smirks. "I am French. I know attraction when I see it."

And now, Graeme blushes. All pretense of saving face is lost, and for a long moment, his hands fly up to his face, as if covering the fact that he's blushing will lessen his embarrassment, with a bit of an abashed look to Felix as he lowers his hands, turning them up in a bit of a helpless shrug. "Hey, I know what to appreciate when I see it." His words take on yet another hint of a drawl, and it's quite possible that what he just said falls into compliment. Or maybe pick-up line.

"I suppose they do," says Felix, equally helpless. He's not angry at either, but a little dismayed. At himself, perhaps. "That's very flattering, really." And it is, the more he thinks about it. Me? Really? Without knowing who I am? As if fame were the only thing that might explain attraction to him.

Remi offers a warm smile to the pair, gesturing them together with a soft giggle. "Zere. Ze doorway is open." Feeling particularly good about herself, Remi leans back in her seat, returning to the task of finishing off her sashimi platter.

"I suppose in the future, it's sunglasses for me." Graeme laughs quietly, though it ripples through his chest and shoulders as well, genuine and unabashed amusement. On the bright side, Graeme muses, he lives with her. He'll have plenty of time to figure out how to embarrass her equally much, despite how childish a tactic that might be, and plenty of chance to do so. And on the brighter side, Graeme's gaze now lingers on Felix, sometimes on his eyes but equally often not, without quite so much of the worry about whether or not it's appropriate.

It never rains but it….pours? Not quite. Am I taken? No, not really, I….The Russian's thoughts are not clear. Apparently what passes for his lovelife is confusing. At least to Felix. "Yes, well," he says, embarrassed still.

"Yeah." Graeme voices quiet assent, picking up his glass of water as a distraction from the mild tension in the silence. At some level, he's utterly mortified at what Remi's said, and at the situation, but he's also from a place where men don't flirt with each other, with the stricter side of Southern manners ingrained in him. "I…uh…" It would seem that Remi's interference has simply enabled them to move from occasionally looking to quiet embarrassed thoughts and not that many words. Sheepishly, Graeme smiles at Felix.

Suddenly, Remi raises to her feet, smiling to the pair. A bill large enough to cover everyone's food and offer a large tip is slapped onto the table, and she smiles to the two. "Enjoy your dinner, boys. Get some sake, talk, get to know each other. My treat." A charming smile to the both of them; her meal is done, and she feels that it's a good time for her to get out of their hair.

As usual, she doesn't offer much room for argument. "See you at 'ome, Graeme." Then, she's sweeping off, out of the door.

Fel is also. Russia is intensely homophobic, and Little Odessa not much less so. He's startled perceptibly out of his little reverie and only barely manages to make his thanks to Remi before she's gone. "I don't know what to say either," he admits to Graeme. "Thank you?"

Graeme just watches Remi go, jaw having dropped several inches to gaping open, and in comic fashion, he uses his hand to push his jaw back to closed in time to respond to Felix. "You're welcome," he says, voice quiet, with yet another hasty, almost furtive glance about to see if there's anyone who might notice. A half nod in the direction of the door. "She can be … a bit direct, sometimes." Obvious point, in this conversation, but it's better than nothing.

It startles him into laughter. "So I see!" he says, grinning. "Is….does she usually do that, though?"

Graeme raises one eyebrow, tilting his head back to think. "I jus' finished moving in today, but from what I can tell …" he nods. "That, and sometimes I swear she responds to things I didn't think I said." He raises his hands a bit in that gesture of helplessness, and then bites his lip a bit, looking up towards the ceiling as he notices that he's blushing. Bright red.

Fel purses his lips. "I don't think she's a touch telepath," he says, bluntly. "Powers can change. And she read the both of us very clearly."

Embarrassment flushes on Graeme's face, obvious as day (or evening as the weather outside may be). He'd been thinking several things that he didn't want overheard earlier, that much is clear. "So she did, so she did." He can't help but grin at Felix, though, head tilted to one side in consideration of the other man.

How to handle this without being a complete jerk. That is a conundrum. "Not that we weren't obvious," he says, with a sigh. "….I guess she's right. Phone numbers?"

Graeme tilts his head a little further to one side, and takes out his cell phone, some touchscreen Android in a rubberized case, touches the screen a few times to open the add contact screen, and slides it over towards Felix. "I suppose we were, yes," he agrees, with a small quiver of uncertainty that's as hidden in his tone as he can make it.

He punches in his number with some trepidation, and rather finicky care. Unlisted, in the general run of things, of course.

Similar trepidation is in Graeme's smile, and there's a flush of heat behind his cheeks as he takes his phone back. "I'm bright red, aren't I." It's not particularly a question, but not quite a statement, either.

"You are," Fel's tone is gentle. His own blush has faded, leaving him his usual pale self.

Graeme raises a hand, rubbing his cheeks and forehead slightly until the color fades back to a more …reasonable level, and the slightly boyish chuckle is suppressed a little such that it's only a soft exhalation of air. "Yeah. I… blush easier than I'd admit if it hadn't just happened."

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