Memories Old And New


cassandra_icon.gif elaine_icon.gif

Scene Title Memories Old and New
Synopsis Cassandra goes on her first date ever. Elaine's there too.
Date March 30, 2018

Elaine's Apartment, Cresting Waves Apartments

Elaine had told Cassandra to meet her at the entrance to the Cresting Wave apartments. She appears from the elevators, making her way over to escort her up to her apartment. “Hope you didn’t have trouble with any of the security, I let them know I was having a guest just in case. I probably don’t have to and they probably get tired of me calling, but I consider it a courtesy. Saves them the trouble of having to call and make sure someone has proper clearance.”

Elaine makes her way into the elevator, waiting for Cassie to follow her. “I know this isn’t going to be the ideal date but I think you’ll be surprised and enjoy yourself. And I promise taking you to my apartment is completely innocent, and I am a woman of my word.”

After the phone call on Wednesday and a couple of days of work, the thing that kept Cassandra going after all that time - aside from black coffee that you could nearly stand a spoon up in - was the thought that Friday night she and Elaine were going to have a date. A real live date. It was one of those big moments in a woman’s life that, in her case, was delayed by a little thing called the Civil War, but the thought of better late than never did cross her mind.

After getting off work a little before eight, Cassandra rushed home in the rain to change out of her work clothes, take a shower, and get into something cute for her date. It was nice, dressing up for someone, and she hoped that it looked nice. A simple dress, the skirt hanging to a little below mid-thigh with a ruffled petticoat-looking thing, tan, with little straps that crossed in the back covered her body. A black long-sleeved jacket, open over her chest, covering her arms, along with some boots that went to just to just below the knee. Her messenger bag was slung over her shoulder because what girl would go anywhere without a bag these days?

“Security was fine. I had my badge and credentials, and since I wasn’t coming to do any sort of investigations, your call got me in fairly quickly. Thanks.” She follows behind Elaine to the elevator, stepping into the comfortable, quiet car, the paper bag she carries along with her crinkling softly as she stands against the back right corner, smiling, as Elaine does whatever it is she does to get the elevator moving. “It’s okay. I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself. With the weather as it is out there” A flash of lightning followed by a peal of thunder echoes through the lobby. “I think it might be a good idea to stay in and see what you have planned.”

Elaine herself was wearing a comfortable long white skirt that touched her ankles where she wore a pair of simple ankle-high boots with no heel, and a simple deep blue peasant-style shirt. Dressy, but very comfortable seemed to be the look she was going for. With a push of a button the elevator’s off to Elaine’s floor which it reaches after a few moments.

“Well, the weather might not be perfect for what I have planned but I hope you like it.” She leads the way down the hall until she reaches her door, opening it and stepping aside to let Cassie enter first.

The apartment came fully furnished, so things are sleek and modern with whites and blacks as a color scheme. Elaine has dressed it up a bit with a multi-colored throw blanket on the white couch and a few colorful paintings on the walls. Everything in the apartment seems state-of-the-art, typical for every apartment in Cresting Waves, but there are touches here and there where Elaine has made it home. Art pieces, mostly.

The rumor that was being bandied about the SESA offices were that the Cresting Wave was a sterile place, with just enough room for people to live and work and not much else. The windows were there for aesthetics, to make it look real while the people inside lived, drone-like in their hive. They don’t talk to Louis in evidence anymore about that. Those theories are nutty, and besides, even after the wednesday phone call, there was word of a kitchen with /two/ ovens, so his theory of pills for breakfast and lunch was totally discounted.

The elevator ride is quiet and smooth, without a bump. It’s hard to even tell that they’re moving - the doors close and then, a few moments later, they open on a totally different floor, like magic. Beats taking the stairs any day.

Cassie waits, patiently, as the door is unlocked using some kind of biometric plus a magnetic card for extra security, the locks on the door opening with a hiss. “It’s like being in a space ship, almost.” She says, joking, as she steps through the door into the ultra-modern apartment. She steps into Elaine’s world quietly, her boots clicking on the tile in front of the door before she wipes her feet on the mat, removes her boots (revealing cute socks with little ducks on them) and steps into the room proper. “This is…wonderful, Elaine.” She takes a moment to look around the place, slipping the bag from her shoulder, the paper bag set down next to it wherever she’s given permission to put it - probably on the end of a couch. Glancing to the other woman, she moves carefully through the apartment to the window, gazing out over the lower bay, lights twinkling on the water from the boats heading through the passage to the port. “You can say a lot of things about a place….but the view is worth the price of admission.”

“The view is probably my favorite part of this place. I like to sit in that chair over there,” here, Elaine gestures to a chair facing the window, “and watch everything down there. It’s also great for reading.” She nods as she opens a nearby coat closet and slips the shoes into it to keep the front looking neat.

“Alright, next comes the surprise and the main activity of the night,” she says excitedly, moving towards the kitchen and to the dining room. On the dining room table is an assortment of ice cream flavors, whipped cream (it looks to be freshly made), hot fudge, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and other various toppings including crushed candy bars. There’s more than enough for two of them, probably enough for a whole group of people. At the end of the bar are several different bottles of alcohol and mixers.

“So bowls are here, you can pick out what you want and then I have different cocktails that are supposed to go with ice cream sundaes, but there is also the option of an alcoholic or regular milkshake or float. I know it’s not ice cream weather but I managed to find a guy who sold it to me for cheap, toppings included. I couldn’t find anywhere that had spray whipped cream so I just made some myself. Doesn’t get all melty like the canned stuff either. This was kind of a fun challenge to put together especially with such a short turnaround.”

“I could imagine a cold morning, watching the snowfall over the bay, wrapped in a robe to stay warm.” Cassie approaches the window and crosses her arms around herself, miming a cup of coffee in her hands as she stands there, imagining. The click of the closet door shutting breaks her reverie and she turns, duckie socks
sliding quietly over the floor as she follows.

Time for the big reveal. She follows behind Elaine quietly, leaning over to peer around the redhead through the kitchen and into the dining room to see what the nights entertainment would be. “It's not laundry, is it?” She teases before she gasps, her eyes going wide at the bounty of sweets laid out precisely on the dining room table. “It's like an ice cream shop!” Impulsively, she leans over to give Elaine a one-armed hug, squeaking with excitement before she takes a step or two into the room proper, looking over everything.

There's such an assortment of treats that Cassandra doesn't really know where to begin. The ice cream - an impossible treat to find in the safe zone - is in the varieties of chocolate, dark chocolate, and what looks like vanilla, each in a small plastic container, each hand made somewhere with real milk, cream, and eggs. Sprinkles, candy bars, and even whipped cream? “You really went all out, didn't you?” She turns to face Elaine, her hands behind her back, leaning on one of the chairs. “I admit, you're doing a great job of making the first date pretty impressive. I was expecting simple, but this is just….wow. A good memory to have.” She takes up one of the bowls and offers it to Elaine, an impish smile appearing for a second. “You make mine and I make yours?”

“Everyone deserves an amazing first date so I wanted to amaze. This wouldn’t be quite as impressive if it was before the war but I think this makes it more memorable, the effort makes it important,” Elaine laughs a little. “So I hope you enjoy this memory.” But as Cassie makes the suggestion, she grins broadly.

“Alright,” she says as she takes the bowl. “Just holler if there’s something you don’t want on it.” And with that said, she proceeds to make the sundae. Vanilla ice cream, a little hot fudge, multi-colored sprinkles, a dollop of whipped cream, and a cherry. “I had to pull a few strings to get some of these, but I think it was worth it to see your face.”

There’s no walnuts, so putting something into Cassandra's sundae that she wouldn't like is kind of slim. She watches as her sundae is built and, close behind, starts making one for Elaine. “Same goes for you. Since you made the spread, I doubt there’s something here you don't like.” Two scoops - one chocolate, one vanilla - are added to the bowl with a generous squirt of hot fudge followed by a dollop of whipped cream. Chunks of salted caramel goes on next, along with two sticks of of a Kit Kat candy bar sticking up like little flags. A smaller spot of whipped cream is put on top along with a cherry and a few more artful scatters of sprinkles to make the thing look exactly like something you might see in a magazine.

“This is amazing, Elaine. I just wish I had a camera to record it.” The booze at the end is ignored for now - there will be plenty of time for a drink later.

“That looks beautiful… and delicious. Well designed, Cassie.” Elaine giggles, offering forth the sundae to swap. “But we’ve got something better than a camera. Keep your spoon afterwards, I’m pretty sure there aren’t really any exciting memories attached to it, nothing strong anyway, and I’ll bet this would make a strong impression upon it.”

She grins. “If I had thought about it I would have found something better for you to keep.”

Cassie, as she has now been dubbed, blushes cutely as the sundaes are exchanged, holding it carefully in both hands as she peers about the kitchen. “I've got an advanced degree in sundae construction. Very prestigious. I'm known for it in London, Paris, and Tokyo.” She nods solemnly before breaking into giggles, walking over to stand next to Elaine.

“So are we eating here across the table, or on the couch, or what?”

“Oh, I had no idea I was entertaining such a prestigious guest or I would have worn my business attire,” Elaine says. “I hope my humble and simple sundae holds up to your very high standards.” She glances at the table. “Let’s do the couch, there’s barely room at the table with all these ingredients.” With that, she leads the way over towards the couch.

They could not squeeze in easily, that's for sure. Maybe Elaine, if she sat on Cassie's lap, and even then, there wouldn't be enough room to do more than just look at each other. The couch is the best choice and, after taking a moment to put ice cream in the freezer and whipped cream in the fridge, Cassie makes her way over to the couch you suggested with her sundae and lowers herself down into the corner that gives the best view of the rest of the apartment and the redhead who thoughnof such a special memory.

Lifting the spoon, silvery gleaming in the apartment’s light with a nice spoonful of ice cream on top, Cassie proposes a toast, of sorts. “To new friends, new memories, and a wonderful first date.” She takes a bite, swooning a little as she lets the flavor fill her senses. “Oh wow…” she murmurs. “I haven't tasted something like this since before the war….” She licks her spoon off, looking over to Elaine. “I can't imagine what strings you had to pull to find this. Do you know where a chef buried some bodies or something?”

Settling in on the couch, Elaine takes a spoonful of her ice cream with a bit of a grin. “To new friends, new memories, and a wonderful first date,” she echoes before diving into the bite of ice cream. “Ice cream’s hard to find, yeah, but if you know where to find it, you can get ahold of it.” She laughs.

“As far as where I found it… there’s a guy who’s partial to this one Japanese restaurant, but he can’t get in all the time because Yamagato Park gets closed to the public. So I’ll occasionally pick some up and go deliver it to him… and he happens to run a store. Little corner store, but he’s known for doing special orders, he knows some farms for fresh eggs and milk, he’s got a guy who salvages canned goods from intact groceries around New York, things like that. He’s got connections. So he gives me first pick on some of his stuff in exchange for the food. The ice cream was a hard sell though, he didn’t quite want to give it up. I convinced him though… bringing him some mochi next time I drop by.”

“Well…I don't know where to find it. That's not to say I couldn't, but….”. Cassandra takes another bite of ice cream, nodding. “I just haven’t taken the time to, I guess. But that’s smart. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement, I understand. I did the same thing all the time at home with the lady next door. She'd make pies, I'd mow her lawn.” Another memory from the wilds of Louisiana.

“I know there’s a guy who comes in weekly to the market with his load of eggs, milk, and meat, but he sells out almost within the hour of showing up, so getting something from him is a little bit of a crap shoot.” She leans over and actually takes a spoonful of Elaine’s ice cream, her nose wrinkling as she commits the brazen theft in broad…um…evening light. “I’ll have to get your guys’ number or address or something. Just to have more options for food.”

They eat in silence for a few moments, Cassandra looking the other woman over with a smile, pulling her legs beneath her to sit kind of side-saddle on the couch, until finally she asks. “So, how was your day?” Simple, safe conversation to start with.

Elaine sticks her tongue out as her ice cream is stolen, then leans in closer to scoop a spoonful of Cassie’s, making sure to get some of the fudge. “Yeah, I can get you his address, I’m always willing to help him get more customers. Not too many, or he’ll sell out real fast, but I like to let people know if there’s something they’re craving they can go look there.”

She eats the spoonful of ice cream she stole from Cassie, then digs in to her own. “My day? Uneventful, which is how I like it. I helped translate some pamphlets for those that come by for a tour of the Fellowship Center. We’ve got pamphlets for a dozen different languages if tourists come in. You’d be amazed how many tourists come to the Safe Zone, even with still-being-constructed, a lack of electricity, and spotty cell service… and tourists need pamphlets.”

Sharing ice cream. It’s a cute thing to do, which is why she did it, and Elaine is sitting close enough so it can be done easily. The couch is comfortable, conforming to Cassandra’s form rather nicely and she’s very careful about not dripping chocolate or anything that might soak into the fabric. It’s not her couch, after all, so she wants to be sure she’s invited back for a second or third date.

I’ll be sure to not hit him up too terribly often. SESA has a pantry that we can pull from now and again, when things get a little tight, but finding things like olive oil, bananas…peaches, even?” She lets out a long sigh, reclining a little on the couch, one leg going out to push against Elaine’s leg lightly, toes curling a little in her sock. “God, when peaches come into season, I’m going to make you /so/ many pies…”

“Oh, that sounds amazing. Peach pie? You can come use my oven anytime… regular or steam.” Elaine laughs, her leg pushing back just slightly as she takes another bite. “You’re definitely from the South. I mean, I’m lucky I’ve got Scottish ancestors because as a New Yorker I don’t have any major special food other than pizza. I never grew up with peach pie. I grew up with corner stand hot dogs. What else do you make?”

It’s a rather involved process, made a lot easier with canned peaches, but when done with fresh ones, it kind of elevates the whole dish and is just that much more amazing. Throw in a scratch-made crust with all the bad stuff in it, plus the potential of vanilla ice cream to boot? You’ve got something to write home about. “I hope I can live up to the anticipation.” Cassandra scrapes her bowl a little, setting the whole thing on the floor next to the couch where it won’t get knocked over, the spoon actually tucked into the pocket of her jacket to be taken home for the memories involved or to replay a little later.

“I’ve got a recipe book at home that I’ve been working on.” Just things she enjoys, written long-hand on notebook paper in a three ring binder that lives in her kitchen. “Lots of cajun cooking with some other things sprinkled in, here and there. Comfort food, some italian stuff like shrimp parm….impossible now, thanks to trying to find fresh herbs in the middle of the winter, but maybe closer to the summer. Some mexican stuff, and lots of desserts. Italian Creme Cake, tarts, creme brulee, bengets…. I could bring it by sometime and show you a few things?”

Another bite of her ice cream, and Elaine nods. “I feel like there is a lot of food in our future. Maybe we can find a recipe or several that we can cook together? Everything from appetizers to a main course to dessert. Could be a fun activity. Maybe even the shopping could be fun. Hunting down all the ingredients… fresh herbs are a problem but there’s always dried. Not quite the same but it still works.”

She looks over to Cassie again. “But I won’t turn down if you came over with a basket of goodies.” She pauses. “Maybe when it’s warmer we can do a picnic?”

There's a little part of Cassandra’s brain that keeps warning her, that if she ends up seeing Elaine often, she'll gain 20 pounds and a few inches in circumference at least. Fat, but happy. And that's a risk she might be willing to take. “It's just a topic everyone has an opinion on. You can go into the middle of a country where you don't speak the language and sit down at a table with someone’s mother, and eventually they'll wonder if you like the cooking. And in the time of food shortages, thinking of food is one of those things to pass the time.” Cassandra nods her head, though. “A picnic when it gets warmer, though. That sounds like a good idea for a date. Even if it's just on the roof of a building somewhere, it sounds like it could be a lot of fun.” She gives Elaine a playful smile. “You have good ideas, cher.”

Still, she doesn't want Elaine to think she's a one trick pony. Cassandra gets to her feet after a moment and takes the bowls and Elaine's spoon to the kitchen, placing them in the dishwasher after a bit of fumbling to figure out how to open it, and the on back by way of the front door, where she left her bag. “I thought you'd like to do something other than eat.” She withdraws a small rectangular wooden box that rattles quietly as she places it carefully on the table. A quick slide of the top reveals a row of seven red rectangular blocks,, stacked on top of each other, with multiple white spots revealed. “Have you ever played dominoes?”

“Should be a cooking show on about how to make the most of what groceries you can actually get from the corner stores.” Elaine grins. “But a date on a roof sounds like a good idea. Stars out and everything.” She watches as Cassandra takes their dishes and then watches again as she brings out the blocks.

“No, I haven’t. Will you teach me?”

There’s a grin like one might get when a little fish enters a big pond. “Oh, honey, of course I will.” The box is upended, the dominoes put face-down and ‘shuffled’ with two hands, the bakelite plastic rattling against itself and the table, the little metal balls mounted in the center clicking against the tabletop. “Dominoes is a game of adding up. Whoever gets the highest score at the end, wins. Simple right?” She takes five dominoes and flips over one in a clear spot on the table. “The way you ‘score’ is to build off of this domino and add up the ends. Match the spots and voila, you earn points. If you can’t play a domino, you draw one from the boneyard. Whoever has the most at the end of the game, when no dominoes are left, wins.” An extremely simple game, best with friends over drinks.

The two play for a little while, the clicking of dominoes filling the apartment, as well as a few stories from Cassandra about watching her Mama Marie, her uncles, and other people around playing on the front porch in the evenings, lit by a citronella candle and a lantern for light, the sound of the bayou in the background. “I really had a unique childhood…” she finally says with a grin. “One of the advantages, I guess, growing up where I did.”

“My childhood wasn’t terribly exciting like yours. Typical New York, both parents worked, no siblings, just kind of went like that until I got the chance to visit Scotland on a school trip,” Elaine explains, looking back over. “Scotland was the first real chance I had to explore anything aside from New York and it had so much history. I was a bit of a history nerd at the time.”

She gestures towards Cassie. “Probably why I find your ability so fascinating.”

“Well…” Cassie says softly. “Do you have anything Scottish and Historical around? We’ll see if I can pull anything off that and give you a bit of a taste of what I can do. I’ll need to have a drink first, though.” She giggles. “A lubricated mind tends to pick up the images a little easier, but I can do without if you’d prefer.”

“I might have something, but I don’t know how old it is. I came across an auction a few years back, pretty sure it was illegal and they were hawking stolen goods, but they were some pretty authentic goods. I got a silver celtic cross that I put on a chain. The chain’s new, the silver is a bit tarnished so I’m not sure the age of it, but I’m pretty sure it should at least give you some kind of image of Scotland.”

Elaine seems a little lackluster for a moment. “I wish I had something from my trip to Scotland, when I brought home all kinds of souvenirs. I lost everything though, with that bomb. Just me, Inger, a bookbag and a few notebooks.”

“Well then. Perhaps if we really hit it off, a trip to scotland will be in the cards once Britain comes to its senses or, at least, a little bit of exploring and some well-placed letters heading across the sea. “Could you please send something for our class to share from Scotland? Something old, like a spoon or a button, to show how people lived?”” One can almost see the letter, written in a childish hand, going to a small parish outside Edinburgh asking for assistance with show and tell. She lets out a soft sigh and a nod. “It’s up to you. Inger wouldn’t work, since the cat probably wouldn’t hold still long enough for me to try, and even if I did, it’d be a lot of mice, sleeping, and lounging in the sun.” She reaches out to rest a hand on Elaine’s knee. “It’s okay. Really.” There’s a smile from the brunette as she leans back. “I’ve got to save some tricks for the second date, assuming we don’t go right to bathing.” She’s teasing playfully, her fingers drumming lightly on the back of the couch.

“Inger would have some interesting memories. I wonder if we could track down her original owners that way,” Elaine laughs at the prospect. “Not that it would matter. But that’d still be interesting to see.” She chuckles. “Careful, I do want to go back to Scotland again. It’s the only place other than New York that has really felt like home… and I really value making someplace a home after having lost my home multiple times.”

She then turns slightly red. “I think we’ll save the bathing for a few more dates. But you’re welcome to go peek and see what you’re in for, eventually,” she teases in turn.

“There are very few places in the US that have that kind of history built up. Lots of people think that a hundred years ago is a really long time ago, but then you go to Europe and visit a church built 700 years before the US was even settled. I love having those mind blowing moments.” The thought of going to Scotland briefly crosses Cassie’s mind, a thoughtful expression appearing and a idea taking shape before it’s tucked away for later use. “I guess it's why I fell into loving history, too. Being able to see it makes it a lot more real. Mama Marie was right about me being a seer - I just see in the opposite direction that most others.”

“Even Louisiana, where I'm from, wasn't really anything until the 1600’s. My ancestors didn't even arrive until around the 1750’s.” She waves that off, though. “My dad was really into genealogy, and he'd sit me down at the table and go over family trees and census records for hours, trying to find out which second cousin married into what family.” she explains after a moment, trailing off with a soft smile, a light brush of fingertips over Elaine’s shoulder, a slight nod following as the pair sit in silence, each watching the other, the storm outside the window seething against the glass, flurries of rain streaming down the glass as they sit.

Finally, giving another smile, her hand slipping down to touch Elaine’s, Cassandra speaks. “Promises promises….” comes the tease as she slips off the couch to kneel on the floor, the dominoes rattling as she carefully sorts them and puts them back into their plain wooden box. And then, with a smile, she stands and takes a few steps, glancing to the hall as she walks backward. “Is if this way? I can't pass up seeing a spaceship’s bathroom.” Her hands cross behind her back, the woman shrugging off her jacket and hanging it on the corner of a nearby chair to be claimed later.

“Have you ever been into the Yamagato Fellowship Center? The artifacts we have in there are old, some dating back to the Jomon era of Japan. That’s around 1000 B.C.E. so quite early on. I’m hoping I can get my boss to let you touch one, perhaps in exchange for a few of my colleagues being there to watch.” Elaine grins at the idea. “You’d really shine in that situation. Who knows what we’d see and how far back we can stretch your ability.”

She sighs. “I wish I had family trees. All I can do is piece back together what I know from memory. I don’t even know if I still have any relatives in Scotland, my mother never mentioned anyone but she was always really quiet about family. I think some shit went down that she just never wanted to talk about.” A moment later, she grins, washing aside the somber mood.

“Right that way,” she gestures behind her. “You’ll see it. Can’t miss the tub.” Inside, the bathroom is more than luxurious. A six-foot-long tub with room for at least two people, a rainfall shower head for the shower, and a toilet enclosed in its own little glass cubicle complete with smart glass that can be used to control the functions of the house. To sum it all up: it’s fancy.

Cassandra pauses on her trek to the bathroom, turning and shaking her head in the negative. ‘Never had a reason to go but, now that we’re seeing each other I could probably make an afternoon of it. I’m more than willing, of course, but they need to know that one of the requirements of my ability is to actually handle the item with bare hands. I’m powerless with gloves on, for instance. Winter is the post-cog’s natural enemy in this case.” She giggles. “I’d be more than willing to have an audience. The location that I generally work in is around ten to twelve feet square, so if you have a conference room or a workroom, that would probably be perfect in that case.”

The family tree stuff is rough. Cassandra leans against the wall of the hallway, turning as you walk past. “Family trees always start with the memories of the family, and every little bit helps. There might be some records somewhere. I mean, I know the US Census, managed to get most of their records digitized before the war started. My dad was kind of going crazy about having access to all these records before everything went belly up. You never know - a dusty library and some time and we’ll see what we can come up with.” Somber mood avoided, Cassandra smiles and follows Elaine to the bathroom.

Leaning in, she lets out a low whistle, looking over the marble and chrome decorations, the enclosed shower, the massive, massive tub. She pads over and peers down into it, then over at Elaine. “This isn’t a tub - it’s a pond. It must take an hour to fill it up, but I bet…” She raps the side with a clonk of her knuckles against iron. “Cast iron. Once it gets hot, it stays hot.” She turns to sit on the edge of the tub, leaning there. “Now that you’ve shown me the bathroom, fed me ice cream after a long day, and played a game or two of dominoes, is there anything you’d like to do now? This first date has gone quite nicely.”

“We’ll have to see what they’ll let you touch, then. Artifacts can be delicate, but I’m sure there’s something they wouldn’t mind. Your ability would be a priceless gift to historians and others who may want to know about the past.” She taps her chin. “Maybe we can do some digging. Maybe that’s another date idea. Dusty tombs in old libraries.”

She laughs, turning to face Cassandra fully. “I feel like I should be a gentlewoman and let you go on your way, but I think I enjoy your company far too much. Maybe more chatter on the couch, a kiss goodnight, and then I let you on your way?”

Cassandra holds out her hands, palms up, for Elaine to take. “I’m very careful with my hands. Gentle. You held them already once before, remember?” Stepping forward, she stops just outside the edge of the other woman’s personal space, her hands held out.

“I think that chatter on the couch and a kiss or two goodnight would be a wonderful end to an altogether pleasant evening.” Cassandra’s mouth turns up in a small smile, quirking cutely, dimples appearing for just a second when she does. “Shall we?”

Elaine accepts Cassandra’s hands, taking them gently within her own. She leans in, dangerously close before swaying away, moving to tug the other woman back towards the couch. “I don’t want to keep you too late, after all, I want there to be plenty of time for you to get safely home and I wouldn’t want you leaving too tired.” She guides them both to the couch, seating herself while still holding Cassie’s hands. “I’m glad you’ve enjoyed yourself thus far.”

“I’m a simple girl. With simple needs.” Cassandra has said that several times through the evening already, and it seems that it’s the case here. She’s easily led from the palatial bathroom, through the hall, back to the couch where their drinks and the box of dominoes sit, lowering herself to the couch opposite Elaine, squeezing the other woman’s hands lightly. “I’d like to think you enjoyed my company as well. It’s not every day that I get treated so kindly, get given ice cream, or have the potential to look back in history for a multinational corporation.”

“You’re so thoughtful.” Cassie giggles softly, scooting closer to the other woman. “I need to be an adult and leave after the kiss, but the irresponsible side of me wants to stay overnight, sleep on the couch and watch bad movies until dawn.”

“Of course I enjoyed your company. Doing this is nice,” Elaine says, keeping her hands in Cassie’s. “It’s a chance for me to relax for once, let loose. Makes me feel like myself to do things like this once in a while.” A squeeze of her hands and a bit of a laugh. “You’re right, spending the night and watching bad movies sounds like a dream. But I’ll be responsible just this once. There will be future times where we will be spending all night watching movies and laughing together.”

“That’s the difference between an adult and a child. Adults know when it’s right to adult and be responsible, because there are things to do in the morning.” Cassandra sighs melodramatically, giving Elaine’s hands a light squeeze, leaning close for just a moment before smiling. “Since our night is quickly drawing to a close, will you be a gentlewoman after our kisses on the couch and fetch me my jacket while I get my boots out of the closet and get them on? Then we’d have the lovely moment at the door that takes a good twenty minutes just to say goodbye, according to the books I’ve read.” What she doesn’t mention is the farewell kiss that often happens at that doorside ending, but since it already has been mentioned she doesn’t emphasize it.

Elaine chuckles lightly. “You sound like you have this all mapped out in your head.” She leans in close. “And what if I do something unexpected? What if I were to, say…” She trails off, then grins. “Looks like you won’t know, because I’m not going to tell you if I have some surprise planned. I could be bluffing, but you’ll never know.” She releases one of Cassie’s hands to reach up and touch her hair gingerly.

“But of course I’ll get your coat for you and stand by you at the door.”

Cassie blushes faintly, her eyes closing as she moves her head slightly against Elaine’s hand, exhaling through her nose before she nods. “I might have made some educated guesses….sprinkled with a little bit of want, sure.” Her eyes open after a moment, her hand coming up to rest against the one on the side of her head. “I had a reading with a seer the other day. What she saw wasn’t important now, but what she said at the end….There are so many choices. When faced with your future - what do you do?” She squeezes Elaine’s other hand, leaning close, lips almost touching. “I choose to face my future, with all the surprises and wonders that await me.” There’s the barest of touches of lips before she leans back. “Surprise or no. I spend my life looking back. Time to look forward to something.”

Elaine’s hand slides gently into Cassandra’s hair, fingertips brushing scalp in a soothing way. “When faced with your future - what do you do?” She echoes the question as if pondering it herself. “There’s plenty to look forward to, Cassie. That’s a good answer.” And with Cassie’s little retreat, Elaine pursues, bridging the distance between them. She uses her hand in her hair as leverage and pulls Cassie in for a kiss.

If asked, afterwards, what she was thinking about during this kiss, Cassandra’s answer would be blank. Unknown. All rational thought went out her ears and fell on the carpet somewhere in between the couch and the table. And now, leaning on the arm of the couch, Cassandra’s left hand comes up to rest on Elaine’s shoulder, brushing lightly, as she leans up into the gentlest of kisses. A soft breath escapes from her nose, her lips moving gently against the other woman’s, stroking Elaine’s skin gently, like one might pet a cat until, after a moment, her head tilts down, the kiss broken.

“Oh my….” she whispers softly, blue eyes glancing up to Elaine’s brown ones. “I think we may have to do that again for…research purposes.”

Elaine’s fingertips rub lightly at Cassandra’s scalp, also the way one might pet a cat, as she keeps her hand where its at. The other sort of snakes its way around Cassie’s waist a bit to pull her close—more points of contact. She laughs lightly at the other woman’s words, looking down at her. “Liked that, did you? I suppose another could be arranged.”

And with that, Elaine leans forward again, kissing Cassie, this time a touch firmer to give a little bit of a different sensation. Science, after all!

For a moment or two, Cassandra considers what book to follow. Should she be the strong heroine that pushes back and demands satisfaction and equality, or the meek heroine that acquiesces and submits to her insistent lover? Or should she take the third and more unknown path, and do what it is she desires?

Cassandra’s body, beneath Elaine’s touch, is firm and curvy in all the right places, the hand at her lower back holding her close. She pushes up slightly, the foot on the floor now coming up to be on the couch, alongside Elaine, as she leans into the kiss proper, the hand on Elaine’s shoulder coming up to brush through those flame-red locks, her eyes closing as she savors the sensation of the kiss that she knew she wanted, but didn’t know how badly.

Elaine lets the kiss linger for a while, content to let Cassandra experience what she could within the bounds of the kiss. She pulls back, ever so slowly, just enough to rest her forehead against Cassie’s—close, but not too close. “Was science to your liking?” She can’t hide a grin as she looks over at the other woman. “I quite enjoyed it.”

Cassie lets out another breath - one she didn’t realize she was holding, and smiles, resting her forehead against Elaine’s. “If science were this exciting in high school, I think I would have done a lot better than I did.” She nods with a blush, biting her lower lip. “I think I enjoyed it just as much as you did, Elaine.” For a moment she thinks about leaning in for another kiss, blushes, and then does it, tilting her chin just so to capture the other woman’s lips against hers.

That kiss is held for a few moments, the pair enjoying the closeness, the sensation of another woman’s lips on theirs. Finally, with a soft giggle, she pulls back a little, her hands moving to cup Elaine’s face. “I trust you’ll be discreet? You don’t seem to be the kind of girl to kiss and tell…not after our first date.” She’s teasing here most definitely.

“Who am I going to tell? My friends are scattered to the four winds, some alive, some dead. I don’t even know who I’d invite to my…” Elaine trails off on that thought, although she’s still clearly thinking about it. “Anyway, the bottom line is your secret is safe with me, I’ve no one to tell.” She leans in, stealing a brief kiss before pulling away. “All these kisses, and here I was thinking I’d only just steal a nice romantic one at the door.”

Cassandra’s hands move lightly over Elaine's shoulders and arms - gentle touches barely registering over the other woman’s skin. She nods. “You have one friend here, at least. One you can call if you want to talk. Seeing each other doesn't mean we can't be girlfriends…” she trails off, giggling. “Not like that but….maybe someday.” Someday soon?

“It's not stealing if I give them to you.” Cassandra smiles and delicately disentangles herself from the other woman, slipping out to stand, offering the other woman a hand. “That said…as much as I'd love to continue this for the next…..long while, Mama Marie always said that I should leave them wanting more. Although this is probably not what she meant.

“I… might be calling you next week. For no particular reason,” Elaine says, clearly sounding like there’s a particular reason, but she doesn’t elaborate. “But you’re right. We’re friends on top of everything else so we should also be friends.” She runs her fingers up through Cassandra’s hair before the woman untangles herself. Accepting the hand, she stands and grins slightly. “Well, you get your shoes on and I’ll get your coat and we can stand at the door for twenty minutes, then.”

Pulling Elaine to her feet, Cassandra leans in for another light kiss before backing away again, snagging her jacket off the chair where she left it, pulling it on and then making her way to the closet where her boots were deposited. A quick wiggle of the handle has her snatching her boots from within while not seeing the stuff that normally gets hidden in the hall closet. In the event of a guest, stuff often gets put into the hall closet ‘to be dealt with later.’ She’s trying to maintain the illusion that Elaine has her life all put together in a neat little bow.

She takes a seat on the little bench by the door, her duckie socks disappearing into the boots as she gets them seated properly, buckling the sides so they get nice and waterproof before standing, her back to the door.

“And now we find our princess at the front door of the castle, the beautiful queen about to send her off into the world with her blessings and a kiss.” Or two. Or more. Cassandra steps closer to Elaine, her hands resting on the other woman’s hips, getting inside the other woman’s personal space just a little bit. “I had a very nice time tonight, Elaine.”

Settling in at the door, Elaine grins. She slides her own arms around Cassandra, drawing her in close as she looks down at the shorter woman. “Ah, well you certainly have my blessings. I’ll have to bestow my kiss…” She slides one hand up into Cassie’s hair again, fingers tracing through it. “I had a plan, you know. I was going to wait until you were talking and then I was going to lean in and kiss you, mid-sentence, in a romantic fashion. And then I realized I wasn’t that coordinated, so I’m just going to kiss you now.”

And so she does. With a light grip on Cassie’s hair, she leans in for another kiss, this one tender and sweet and not at all forceful.

There’s a full-body shiver at the hand going through her hair, Elaine’s fingernails scratching gently against Cassandra’s scalp as she takes a handful. It was totally unexpected - the closest thing she could quantify that feeling to was one of those scalp tingler things that could be gotten for two bucks off of Amazon before the war. Still, it’s not a /bad/ sensation in the least, and the younger woman presses against the older one as the kiss is shared. She actually puts her arms around Elaine’s back, squeezing her in a hug as they kiss.

“I’d say…” Cassie whispers after the kiss is broken. “That you keep that one in your quiver for the next date. It’ll take practice to lean in and kiss me without bonking foreheads or smashing noses. If I see it coming, I’ll just hold still to avoid that problem. And we could always practice….” she trails off, seeing if Elaine will take the cue.

“Well, maybe I’ll practice that dramatic kiss on you sometime later. Maybe something with a dip and you can swoon afterwards,” Elaine grins. “But you’re right. We need lots of practice with the kissing to make sure we get it right. And I do so want to get it right, don’t you?” She’s still grinning as she leans in for another kiss, this one it should be easy to see coming.

The kiss is another tender one, sweet and almost innocent, but it still lingers much longer than an ‘innocent’ kiss might. Her fingers slide through Cassie’s hair again, nails against scalp, massaging there gently as she kisses before slowly pulling back. “You know, at this rate you’re never going to make it out that door.”
“I know, I know.” Cassandra lets out a soft sigh, resting her head against Elaine’s forehead, arms curled around the other woman loosely. “I would love to stay but this /is/ our first date, and even though you don’t have very many people to tell, I still think we need to hit the second date and that giant bathtub before I stay for the night. As far as the kissing goes?” She leans in and actually nibbles at the other woman’s lips. “It is something we’ll need to practice.”

Another quick kiss, just to tempt fate, and Elaine nods, keeping the closeness between the two for the moment. “I think you’re right. We’ll go by-the-book for this one, see how things go afterwards. But we’ll definitely get to the tub eventually.” She leans in close, nipping lightly at Cassie’s lower lip. “Plenty of kissing practice, now that you know that’s a thing you want. I’ll get you addicted.” She reaches to brush a strand of hair away from Cassandra’s face. “Plenty of practice.” She repeats.

“I have a pretty high tolerance for such things…” Cassandra says softly, biting her lower lip once Elaine’s done nibbling. “And I do practice things until I get it right.” She rests her hand against Elaine’s for a moment, blushing faintly, taking a step back towards the door, drawing Elaine along with her, her back to the heavy wooden door now. One foot comes up, the sole resting against the door itself as her hands move to cradle Elaine’s face, leaning in to kiss her, tilting her head slightly so she can get a nice angle with no noses grinding into each other. She’s already learning. Little biting kisses, over lips and cheeks, one to the tip of Elaine’s nose, and then back down again. “You’ll call, won’t you?” she whispers. “To talk?”

“Well, as long as you have the aim to get things right,” Elaine teases, moving closer to the door, still teasing and stealing kisses along the way. “Of course I’ll call. I love talking to you, if you hadn’t noticed.” A final kiss. “I’ll call.”

She had noticed. After that final kiss the door is opened and Cassandra steps back into the hall, her bag clasped lightly between both hands in front of her, rocking slightly on the overly padded carpet in the hall. “I love talking to you too. You make me feel comfortable, and that’s a big deal in this time and place.”

Reaching out to take elaine’s chin in her hand, Cassandra leans forward and gently gives the woman a soft kiss, letting it linger for a moment before withdrawing, her fingertips stroking over the skin of her neck and shoulder as she takes a step back. “Talk to you soon, Elaine.” She turns and gives a smile and a small wave. “Goodbye.”

And she starts down the hall, pausing at the elevator to give another wave and a smile before heading down to the city below.

As Cassandra heads out down to the elevator, Elaine leans, head resting against the doorframe as she watches her go. She sighs, faintly, one of contentment, waiting until long after Cassie’s down the elevator before she turns and heads back inside her apartment, the door swinging shut behind her.

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