Like Brother, Like Sister


nalani_icon.gif rami_icon.gif

Scene Title Like Brother Like Sister
Synopsis Rami and Nalani catch up for a seemingly monthly dinner where he's set up on a blind date, she tries to prod for dates for the pair to visit London and family and they affectionately annoy each other as only brother and sister can.
Date December 16, 2008

Orchid Lounge

The Orchid Lounge, owned by the mother of Senator Nathan Petrelli, is an Asian-inspired martini bar lit by candlelight and the soft glow of wall sconces spaced evenly throughout the room. Although there aren't any employees at the door to check for identification, it's unusual to find anyone in the college-aged crowd at the Lounge, which caters to young professionals with plenty of extra money to burn. During the day, the plush burgundy drapes affixed to the windows are used to filter out the sounds of traffic and at night are drawn back to allow passersby a glimpse inside.

Seating is simple: clusters of rectangular tables fashioned from white marble, each with two leather benches parallel to the longest sides. Silk pillows in varying shades of red, brown, yellow and orange lend a splash of colour to the Lounge, vivid against the pale walls and black-painted cement floor. On one wall is a giant mirror with an intricately carved frame that reflects almost everything in the room and makes the space appear twice as large as it really is. Clearly, the proprietor of this establishment wanted to get her money's worth - real estate in this part of town isn't cheap!

It feels like it's been ages since Rami had a chance to catch up with his sister, when in reality it's only been a few weeks. But her life is busy and his is busy -and- secretive, so it's fairly common for them to go as long as a month without seeing each other.

He's arrived early as usual, and is sipping a glass of wine and perusing the menu.

Nalani arrives with entourage and late as always. Can't be on time when there's a thousand and one little details to deal with. Coat checked, assistants dealt with and hangers on dispensed with, Nalani sways her way across the lounge in the direction of her brother, her dark mane tossed back with a flip of her hair which elicits a few glances from those in the know. 'Rami. I hope I haven't kept you too long. Something came up" Her English lilt tempered by years spent in the city.

"Akhti," Rami stands and moves towards her to kiss her on each cheek. "You look wonderful, but then you've looked wonderful since you were twelve years old and your crooked baby teeth fell out. You've been well? I saw the new issue. It looks stunning. I can't believe you're able to get that quality out of a cheaper printer." The ex-CIA agent's pride in his sister is obvious. He pulls out her chair for her.

"It's the quality of paper and the ink. Proof that not everything need be expensive to get quality" Rami's cheek is kissed as her hands slide to her thighs and pluck at the dress to lift it up enough so that she can sit. "So good that at least when we're both busy, you still read the emails Akhy. I'm very well. Circulation is up a few copies and the new line will be unveiled soon. If you have a new girlfriend I can have a selection sent to you place for you to give her. Sit Akhy. Sit. This isn't your job. your job is to entertain me while I'm not besieged and your not besieged and enjoy a good meal" Nalani leans back against the leather seats, an elbow supporting her jawline that's placed against the back of her palm.

Rami chuckles and squeezes her shoulder fondly before he seats himself. They cut a rather dashing pair, though the looks his way are mostly of jealousy. "Now my sweet sister, don't you think you'd be the first to know if I was seeing anyone?" He passes over the wine list to her. Truth be told, he hasn't had a girlfriend in a number of years. Women can't take the secrecy and don't have the bond that the two of them have to compensate.

"Hence i said new, as in between now, and a few weeks ago. It's not like I have someone trailing you, though, there is a very beautiful woman in the editing department that I've a mind to set you up on a blind date with" Impeccably manicured nails on the end of slender fingers take the wine list, carefully cracking open the leather bound folder and perusing the list. "Or there's Andrea down in accounting, she strikes me as someone more to your possible liking" as the attendant for their table comes around, Nalani leans in his direction, the french tipped nail tapping on the bottle that she wanted.

"Oh, my dear. Don't you remember Tina? The seamstress you set me up with…three years ago?" Rami shakes his head and peruses the appetizers. "What did she say about me again…?" He sets down the menu and looks up as he thinks. "Charming. A gentleman. Evaded even the simplest questions? Disappeared during dates?" He lifts up his wine and sips.

"And very hard to get a hold of. That she'd have married you if she could have pinned you down. She's married now herself I think. Found some male model ot settle down with who I would swear is more elusive than you are, though admittedly, talks about his job much more than I do" Nalani chooses to lean forward now, elbows on the table, fingers interlaced and supporting her chin. "Akhy, my Akhy, tell me at least that you might meet with the Accountant? She's not looking for anything serious. That I promise"

"Marriage…" Rami makes a sound. "Oh my dear. I fear I'm never going to have a serious relationship with a woman unless she has the same security clearance as me. But all -right-, to keep you happy, I will take this woman out to a lovely dinner." He lifts his glass in a cheers to her before drinking. "Now, what are you looking at having? I've got my eye on the…pasta, I think. Cannelloni?"

"I'm thinking the sea bass and good, because your both set to meet here, next Tuesday at Eight" A bit a Machiavellian grin on her face. She already knew he'd say yes. "So, I assume that your not heading back to London for Christmas, it's just you and I again, or are you off to parts unknown and leaving me to my own devices and serving turkey down at the church?"

Rami eyes her. "Oh my. My sister the strategist. I should have known. So. What did you tell her about me then?" The waiter comes and he puts in the order for appetizer and entree. After he's gone, he returns his attention to his sister. "I told you I don't travel anymore." There's the typical caginess to his tone. "So I will be in town. Should I make reservations somewhere, or would you rather suffer my dreadful attempts at mash?"

"There's always" A fake gasp comes from Nalani's lips the menu closed and carefully laid to the side. "Vacation Rami. I had thought perhaps you might have decided to take a few days off or even a week. I had contemplated giving you a gift of a plane ticket to the middle east, your choice. So that you and possibly I, could brush up on our Arabic. But I see now it's a good thing that I didn't. So, your place and I shall suffer my palate to your cooking. If I can endure that, then I can endure nearly anything" The corners of her mouth turn up, just a hint of a smile to denote that she's teasing him unduly.

Rami twitches. "Now Nal, dearest. If we're going anywhere, we'll go to an extravagantly luxurious resort in the Emirates, but nowhere else." And he's had enough use of his Arabic, but he can't tell her that. Their appetizers arrive and he adds dressing to his salad in a fastidious way. "So. What is this accountant woman like, anyhow?"

"There's an opening in Dubai i'm being courted to attend. Some hotel opening. I haven't decided, if I do, will you come with me? Job permitting. Be a quick jaunt there back" Her own salad comes and she lightly dresses it with the house dressing. She wields her fork like a weapon, gracefully, taking small bites and even then, very little. Image thing. "Petite, dark haired, tanned, she's impeccably dressed and not flashy. She's down right homey when you look at her, but I've seen her out of the department and she's quite… sophisticated. She enjoys not being in the limelight. Movies. Dinners. Fast cars"

Rami laughs. "Oh Nal. Are you selling me as the Arabic James Bond again? Women are terribly disappointed when you do that." He takes a drink from his wine and then takes a few bites of the salad. "For one, I haven't got the gadgets." He does however, have the badass firearm skills. Not something that comes up on a date though. Unless it's a date gone horribly wrong.

"Your the brother of Nalani Hollingwood Akhy, your automatically desirable and wanted. One date will not kill you and you can disavow her of any of the heaps of praise that I have lauded you" She gestures to him with her fork before spearing another piece of baby greens.

"As far as Dubai goes…" Rami picks up the bottle of wine and refills both their glasses. "I'll have to see, all right? Work." He doesn't elaborate. Can't elaborate. "So. Are you having that extravagant bash for New Years again?"

"Yes yes, I was just letting you know so that if work doesn't occupy you, you can come and yes. Always, without a hitch. Same place, as always. I managed I think to convince quite a few big names to come so I am just gleefully imagining how much money that I'll rake in for the various charities this year" Nalani reaches for her red wine to wash down her salad after she puts her fork down. "Shall i reserve a spot for you, just in case?"

"Yes of course," says Rami. "And what about you, hm? Any man catch your attention for more than five minutes?" He finishes the salad and pushes the plate away. The dutiful waiter whisks it out of sight almost as soon as he finishes.

"No one, nowhere near serious" Of course the tabloids and weeklies speculate that whoever is on her arm for this and that event is whom she's currently seeing. Nalani swirls her glass around before taking another long sip of her wine. "It's only fair I allow you to return the favor Rami. You can set me up with someone if you like. I'll be a good spot and see who my big brother would deem suitable enough for his little sister"

"My dear, dear akhti. Who could possibly be good enough for you?" There's a deeply fond look in Rami's eyes as he raises his glass in a toast. Just in time for their entrees to arrive. "Have you spoken to mum recently? She adores that piece of yours that what's her name…Eva-something wore to a premiere in London. She recognized it right away."

"I called her three days ago, and she told me that. I had a piece similar to it made for her for Christmas. She and father are doing well. They were hoping we might come out. Maybe I'll skip out there right before and see them. Bring them the gifts. Or we could fly them out here, That would be easier. I'm sure I can convince them" Her wine glass put down, salad cleared as well.

"I don't want mum and dad coming here, Nal. It's not safe." That's Rami's 'big brother' tone. "I can't take the time to go there quite yet, but I hope to be able to get some time the end of January. If you go over the holidays, give them my love. I've a gift in the mail, but these things are so slow at Christmas."

"I have ways of getting things to them Rami. Flying it over on the plane, don't have to worry about delays of snow" There's a wrinkle of her brows, well, as much as they can wrinkle, they're botox'd and that they move at all is indication that it's time to visit the plastic surgeon again. "Fine, if you go in January, let me know, I'll fly us both there Rami. I can't say that I don't like it and I have to wonder half the time why you have such an erratic schedule"

"I have no more of an erratic schedule than you, sister." Rami neatly dabs his lips with the cloth napkin. "I've had dinner plans canceled on me plenty if you've got a deadline for something or other." He smiles, but it's not with the same warmth as earlier. Not that he's feeling any less warm towards her. He just always gets like this when the subject of his work comes up.

'yes yes, you have, as equal in amount as you have and we need not sling arrows and I shall leave that subject alone" Her nostrils flare and she easily finishes off her glass of wine as the main course is brought. Nalani order a glass of white to go with her sea bass. "I Haven't got your gift yet, did you have any desires for Christmas? Anything you need but can't get?"

"Oh, do I really need to give you clues, Nalani? You're so good at buying things." Rami means in general. He takes neat, fastidious bites of his pasta and immediately swabs up any sauce that goes anywhere but his mouth.

"I'd rather get you something that you need Rami. You know this. You know this very well. Lets find a subject that would end up with us affectionately lurching to each others throats?" Brother and sister has similar habits. Neat eaters the both of them, her cloth napkin getting as much use with judicious applications of wine between each few mouthfuls.

"What I need…" There's something ominous to the way Rami begins that. But then he flashes a grin. "…is something to hang above the fireplace in my apartment. It's very bare. It's begging for something, and you do have such good taste."

"What you need is a good woman with your security clearance to take care of you when you drag yourself home Rami" But he's given her an inkling, and she's already running through a few possibilities in her mind. "I'll go get a portraiture done, of me, upon a pedestal so that every woman know who she has to compete with" It's a wicked wicked grin and Nalani wriggles her fingers in the direction of another table and presumably someone that she knows.

"The thing about that is, I wouldn't put it past you," Rami's tone is amused and he says that in a good-natured way. "Don't you still have all your framed covers lining the hallway?"

'I do. It's a matter of my ego really that I don't take the oldest ones down. Why, is this your subtle way of saying please sister dearest, might you part with one for your brother dearest" Faux doe eyes are made across the table at him, even as she's finishing off her sea bass and asparagus.

"I'll leave the shrines to mum," says Rami with a knowing little grin as he bites into his pasta.

December 16th: Pride
December 16th: Or Bury Your Head
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