Mind Your Manners


anna_icon.gif evan_icon.gif keagan_icon.gif yana_icon.gif

Scene Title Mind Your Manners
Synopsis Keagan's attempt to install a little refinement in Anna is intercepted by his aunt, and by someone who knows Anna's past transgressions. Things are left unsaid, but sure to stir at a later time.
Date December 29, 2010

A swanky restaurant on the Upper West Side

A grand idea has entered Keagan's mind. Beware! The fourteen-year old has been pondering his dilemma. He knows that he can't hide Anna from Yana forever, but he also knows that his aunt won't find her very…suitable for him. Only one thing to do! He arranged it yesterday, and this fine Wednesday morning, he got up early. He got dressed, showered, and…put on a suit? Meeting Anna at mid-morning, Keagan took her shopping for a new dress. Not just any dress. A real dress that is wearable to fancy occassions. Where did he get the money? That's going to remain his secret.

However, there is more to be done! They are outside one of the rather nice restaurants of the Upper West Side, and the boy eagerly speaks with his date. "Okay," he says, "Now, do you remember which fork you start with?" he asks, quizzing her on a recent unloading of proper etiquette rules. Hazards of living with a rich family. You have to go to those kinds of things ever so often, and worse, you have to listen to your grandfather scold you when you do it wrong.

Looking absolutely fabulous, but also kind of confused, Anna is looking at Keagan. Her dress is black, and looks good enough for all sorts of formal occasions. Slightly revealing a bit of the teen's back, it nonetheless leaves most of her body covered. She's got a minor case of goosebumps - one of the disadvantages of fancy dresses in the winter cold - but otherwise seems to be doing okay.

"Uhh.." Anna thinks, she hasn't been to any kind of 'fancy' restaurant since the bomb, and never to one fancy enough for the specific fork to matter. "The small one, right?" She tries, picking a fork at random because she couldn't honestly remember. "Or was it the one with the long prongs…?" She sighs, "I appreciate the effort, Keagan… but shouldn't we be going to something cheaper, like a Macdees or a Kay Eff Cee?"

For Keagan to think that this behavior would escape Yana's attention should be unlikely. But since he did this while she was at work, it was probably a good bet that she wouldn't see him. However.. Keagan is often watched by the observant attendant that is employed to take care of him. Yana and Christopher share much information between each other, so you can bet where she heard it from. "Follow him." was the order given, and as soon as their location was assessed, Yana took a lunch break.

Since she is always dressed perfectly for work, the pencil skirt and blouse that she wears is more than befitting of the restaurant in question. Keagan probably didn't expect to see her walk in, but she does. She is greeted at the door, and her coat is taken and checked. A few moments later, the woman is having a conversation with the host.

Still outside the restaurant, Keagan didn't notice his aunt walk in. He's still prepping Anna. "Don't worry, it'll be fun. It's whichever fork is on the outside, just remember it that way. Work from the outside in. Napkin goes in the lap. Dab, don't wipe." he stands back, and looks back to the entrance just a moment too late to see Yana step inside. "Just remember, we're proper, so you can't jump on me and kiss me all the time, as much as that's fun. We're a proper gentleman and lady!" The boy reaches out to take Anna's hand gently, and gives it a gentlemanly kiss. "If all else fails, don't worry, the biggest rule of etiquette: No matter what goes wrong, pretend everything is fine. Nobody stops to watch you like in the movies, that's considered rude. So even if you mess it up, they won't say anything. They'll just go about their business as if you did everything perfectly."

"I still don't understand why you're going through all this effort… but I'll try." Anna responds to Keagan as her hand is taken and kissed. She turns to look at the restaurant and takes a slight gulp of air. "Okay, I think I'm ready." She says, and waits for Keagan to lead her inside. She's not used to wearing heels, by the looks of it, but apparently can manage herself on those well enough. "What kind of lunch do they serve here.. I'm going to bet it isn't fried chicken with french fries."

As upscale as the place is, it's drawing quite the crowd today. Some people can afford to throw that kind of money around; others can't, but are doing it anyway, whether to impress someone or just to keep their minds off the uglier parts of the city. And then there's Evan, who's tagging along with some engineering firm's end-of-the-year party, because they can afford it and his department at the university has some ties with them. It's nice to catch a break for once.

Dressed in a nondescript dark gray vest and slacks, Evan is lounging near one corner of the group, more interested in crowd-watching than listening to the board of directors pat each other on the back. The 'gentleman and lady' catch his attention for a brief moment; the pencil skirt, a longer one, and he waves vaguely to Yana in recognition. "Long time no see. They treating you well on the outside?"

She was informed that he would be here, and after giving a short description of a young boy, Keagan and his date are pointed out to the woman, as there aren't a lot of children that come alone to this establishment. Yana looks in the direction indicated, and eyes the boy with his date incredulously. She isn't the type to outright snap at a situation, but Yana is known to offer a harsh opinion when she does become involved. One of her many intimidating qualities.

She decides to introduce herself into their little session, and starts to step after the two children, descending upon them like a bird of prey, until her course is interrupted by the greeting from a nearby table. Yana pauses and looks up with a raised brow. It takes her a second once her eyes fall upon Evan, but the woman quickly adjusts to the unforeseen alteration. "Mr. Langford." Yana smiles as benevolent as can, "It's been years." By this time, Keagan can probably hear her and know that she is here. "How marvelous to see you after so long. I take your presence here this afternoon as a sign that you have been doing rather well?"

Keagan grins, though inwardly, Anna's lack of enthusiasm worries him a little. "I just thought it'd be fun, just to dress up and do something exotic. Just pretend we're a prince and princess in an exotic land with an evil wizard ready to put a spell on us." Maybe that's a little much. "If you really end up not liking it, I'll never bring it up again, fair?" he asks. He holds his arm out for her to take before strolling toward the door.

The othertimes pickpocket's poise is possibly a little too formal for lunch at a restaurant, but good luck telling him that. This is an adventure, and the two of them might as well be royalty in his own fantasy world. The adventure is cut short quickly, however. The two hadn't hardly passed the host before he hears his aunt's voice. He suddenly becomes a little tense, this wasn't planned for. He doesn't dare turn around, though, just keep walking, and maybe her table won't be close to theirs. That's his only hope. "I'm not sure what they serve here, actually," he admits. "But there's bound to be chicken in some form." Undoubtedly in small portions.

"It's just… I've never been to any restaurant like this…" Anna says softly, "My parents had that planned for my twelfth birthday, but… they didn't live to see that day…" She sighs softly before putting up a smile again. "And after that, I didn't expect to get another chance, and I just… don't feel prepared, if you get what I mean.."

When her boyfriend suddenly tenses, Anna notices. ".. is there a problem, Keagan?" She whispers to him softly, though she doesn't press. She smiles politely, glancing around in the hope to see what's causing Keagan to tensen up. Not that she knows Yana, so finding the source would be… more than a little hard, to say the least.

The interruption of Yana's beeline probably couldn't have worked out better for the lovebirds if they'd planned it. Evan knows Yana, knows Anna - attempted arson is the sort of thing that sticks in one's memory - but having never seen Keagan before, he doesn't put the pieces together, doesn't even realize that he's interrupting something on Yana's end.

"More or less," he replies, a sidelong glance indicating the rest of his extended party. "Hopefully it'll keep up well into the new year." Or not, he thinks to himself; someone may just be using up their budget, to avoid the appearance that it could afford to be permanent trimmed down.

Dr. Blite views this little interruption with a small degree of annoyance. Not only has she probably lost the element of surprise, but she is successfully distracted from her attack. Yana however does not let the inner thoughts become known. She has to act as if she doesn't even realize Keagan is there for the moment, and keep her attention on Evan. She'll have to think of plan B at this point, which is already halfway completed in her mind.

"I see." she smiles and graciously gives a greeting nod to the rest of his party. "Likewise for me as well. I'm hoping that New Years fairs better than Christmas this year. Though I have my nephew to fall back on, so I imagine it will." part of plan B.

Keagan gets to the table, and pulls out the chair for Anna. "Um, I dunno," he says. "It's probably nothing." He pastes a smile on his face again, though it seems to be with a little less color. "Did I ever tell you my parents used to own a restaurant?" he asks. "Not like this, though. Just a little mexican place in Midtown." Self-explanatory what happened to them. "Best sanchos ever. I'm sorry that it's me giving you the fine dinner and not them, but I'm glad to get to do this for you, still. The most beautiful girl in the world deserves a beautiful dress and a reason to wear it." He takes his seat across from Anna and picks up his menu with a smile, peeking at her over the top of it. He sends up a quick emergency silent prayer. God, please don't let Aunt Yana be mean to Anna.

"Ah.." Anna responds to Keagan, "So I guess my parents died the same day yours did…" She says softly. Then she changes the subject, "You're not bad looking yourself, Keagan, but I guess the flattery is nice enough." She chuckles softly. She reads the menu herself, and sighs softly as she can't tell what any of it is. So she tries to gracefully push the responsibility of making the choice on to her boyfriend, "Why don't you recommend me something nice, Keagan?" A pause before she continues with a whisper, "I can't make any sense of the menu…"

"Ah, I didn't realize you had family here." Evan turns slightly, resting a casual arm across the back of his chair. "Is that what brings you here today?" He follows Yana's gaze, but her plan is working so far: he overlooks the teenage couple once again, figuring instead that the rest of her party is held up in traffic, or else that she's just here on her own.

"Some." Yana nods, lightly pressing her lips together, "We lost my nephew's father in tragedy in Midtown, and I've sorta taken him in. He stays with me over at Dorchester. It's a pretty difficult time for the family, but we're trying to stick together." She isn't so much as lying, as she is decorating the truth to seem oblivious to Keagan's presence. "But actually, I am on my lunch break. I work at the SLC, I'm a virologist assisting under Elijah Ruslan, believe it or not." Yet another alumni of Columbia University, who was rather content to moon over Yana back then. "I figured I deserevd to treat myself to something nice, maybe take a break from the lab for a bit." She sweeps her eyes out at the restaurant, 'noticing' Keagan. "Oh! Well heavens, there is my nephew now!" she elates in surprise, "And he has a friend with him, of all the pleasant surprises. Mr. Langford, I'll have to introduce you."

Keagan nods to Anna's assessment of how his parents died. Not a pleasant day for anyone in the city, but least of all for children like Keagan and Anna. The boy glances down at the menu again, and back to Anna. "Okay, I'll bite the bullet," he accepts the challenge. The french name of the restaurant sounded so good at the time, too. The waiter arrives at their table, asking their drinks before the question of their food comes up. "Monsieur, Mademoiselle?"

Keagan takes an uncertain breath in, looks at Anna with a slight blush, and then attempts. "Could we please have the Spaghetti Avec…noix?" he asks. It's the only thing he sees that looks like he can identify by the title, and doesn't include some form of meat. He seems distracted as he speaks, trying to overhear Yana's conversation at the same time. "Excellent, Monsieur," the waiter answers, taking the menu from the teens before his exit.

"So…" Keagan says nervously, knowing that his time is short. "I think my aunt may have tracked us here," he confesses. Her ruse doesn't fool him. Any coincidence this inconvenient is undoubtedly orchestrated. "Please don't hate me if she's mean," he adds, leaning in with a whisper so that Yana won't overhear. That's always a good clause to throw into an introductory statement. He will surely have some other questions to answer afterward, but there's no time to prepare her now. And…action!

Anna just smiles politely at the waiter, nodding her agreement with Keagan's choice. When Keagan lets it be know his aunt had tracked them here, many thoughts race through her mind, and it's probably good she doesn't speak them out loud, as they are rife with expletives. She whispers back, "Your family isn't you, of course I won't." She smiles then and follows Keagan's gaze. It's a polite one, and she tries to make it look genuine, and mostly succeeds.

The mention of the Suresh Center sends a chill down Evan's back— he isn't sure just what they really get up to in there, but he doesn't trust it, doesn't trust the government arm backing them either. He tries to keep it out of his facial expression, with less success than Yana had earlier. "I— think I can spare a few minutes," he says, this time following her gaze toward… those two? Oh dear, this is liable either very well or very badly, depending on who one asks.

The project that Yana is working on with the Suresh Center is nothing in comparison to her private research. Yana fits right in with the uneasiness that Evan is filled with. His fear is a little warrented after all. But Yana doesn't catch it, she is focused on the boy and his date, wanting desperately to insert herself into the situation and find out just what is going on. A girl getting Keagan to wear a suit? Something must be foul here, and she plans to uncover it. "Excellent." she smiles, awaiting Evan for a moment, before starting to make her way over to the pair.

"Keagan, dear. How strange to find you here on your own." She of course expects him to remember his manners of what is supposed to be done when a lady approaches the table. At that last work, Yana's eyes shift accusingly to Anna, yet she maintains her smiles, "..Almost." her tone dictating that she insists that introductions are made, and made soon.

"Aunt Yana! Hi!" Keagan responds with a rehearsed false excitement of his own, standing to his feet out of politeness. We're all a bunch of actors here, aren't we? "This is Anna James," he says, introducing the girl, and keeping one hand anchored to the table for security. "Anna, this is Yana, my aunt. And…" and he has no idea who this man is with his aunt, giving the adults the opportunity to offer their own introductions, something to take the attention off of who he is and the lovely young lady with him.

Remembering at least basic formality from better days, Anna smiles politely, "How nice to meet you, miss Puika." She then glances to Evan, her mind going fuck once she recognizes him. But there's no reason to hide that she knows him, "Keagan, meet Evan Langford." She says, indicating the man, then glancing back to her boyfriend, "Mister Langford, this is Keagan Puika." Her smile remains polite, "What a coincidence for us all to meet here, don't you think?"

The little black dress is new, but Anna's cordial tone of voice is all too familiar: it means she's trying to make up her mind which of your ribs to stick a verbal knife between. Or maybe a physical one; there are plenty of those around. Once again, Evan's lips press tightly together - obvious to anyone directly paying attention to him, but easy enough for anyone else to overlook amidst the general hubbub - and then he nods, offer Keagan a hand. "Pleased to meet you. It is, I suppose— your aunt and I met at Columbia a few years back. You should come back and visit more often," he adds for Yana's benefit.

Anna could very well have just made strike one, and it would probably be Keagan's fault. Her maiden name is Puika, but it sounds as if Keagan didn't fill her on on what Yana's married name is. "Blite, actually." Yana corrects her, "I was married until a few years ago." Just a little factoid of information for now. There is that moment, an excruciating span of time to where those who know Yana are left to wonder if the woman will open up and devour Anna's soul for that innocent mistake. "But it is wonderful to meet such a wonderful young lady. I'm happy to see that Keagan's circle of friends is commendable." See, she isn't normally mean, unless she has a reason to be. Unfortunately, normally she finds a reason not to be at times. "And yes, it is pretty coincidental. I decided to take lunch out today."

"Oh!" Yana blinks with surprise, "You're already acquainted?" Yana looks from Anna to Evan, most likely scrutinizing just what their relationship might be. Praytell, is it scandalous? Please give her a reason to have a lower opinion of this girl. That's all she needs. "Yes, Mr. Langford and I go back in college. He just happened to be dining here, and saw me when I came in."

A point in favor! Or so Keagan thinks. The connection with somebody reputable has to be a good thing, right? "Oh, cool," Keagan answers, lowering his guard a little. He takes Evan's hand and shakes it firmly, his smile continuing and becoming a bit more relaxed. He doesn't know the history between Anna and Evan. In Keagan's eyes, Anna can do no wrong. "It's good to meet you, Mr. Langford," he says warmly. He, of course, isn't trying to perpetuate the conversation. If Yana contently goes about with her lunch, he would volunteer for the church choir for a month. Well…at least a week.

"My apologies, miss Blite." Anna says warmly, though there is the slightest hint of unease, and she extends a gloved hand towards Yana. "Mister Langford and I met during one of my more… troubled moments. I'm afraid the death of my parents hit me hard, and caused me to enter some situations that - in retrospect - were rather regretful." She grants Evan a smile, "It won't happen again though, I'm quite sure of that."

And then the waiter appears with Anna and Keagan's food. "My apologies, miss Blite, mister Langford, but I would hate to let this wonderful spaghetti grow cold, so if you could excuse us, we would like to return to our lunch." A warm smile at Keagan, "A lunch Keagan was kind enough to offer. He's such a gentleman. I'm sure he got that from his family."

Evan doesn't buy it for a second. Even if Anna honestly means it— to turn around this soon from the attitude she displayed just over a month ago? She could just as easily snap back to her old ways, or worse, on short notice. Best not to hand her any ammunition. He's not at all certain how the attempted brush-off will play out, remaining quiet for the moment and giving Yana first opportunity to react.

"Oh?" Yana looks back and forth between Anna and Evan with piqued interest as their connection is explained, while she accepts Anna's hand in hers. For a moment, Yana's right eye reflects green like that of a feline as she regards Anna. Possibly some strange trick of light in here. When she is simply activating an aspect of her power. Anna is checked for any major or minor viruses that she may possess in her system. This is nothing she doesn't ordinary for her, she does it to everyone. Mostly to see if she can pick up something new, but in this case, she is checked to make sure there is nothing Keagan could pick up from her. Nothing viral anyway. "Oh, I see. Well, I am sorry for your loss, and I am glad you have such a positive attitude towards repenting for whatever it was that was done. An admirable trait." Yana smiles.

As Anna speaks up for them to continue their date in peace, Yana finds that she cannot argue with the girl's request, as it isn't unreasonable, and she is a bit of an intruder at the moment. So touche to her. "Well, I don't want to keep you. I should be getting seated and get lunch started myself. I do need to be getting back to the lab, soon." she looks to Evan for a second, "Evan, would you care for a drink? Perhaps the opportunity to catch up, and leave these two to their afternoon?" A reasonable bowing out for the woman, always graceful as she can be. "Keagan, I do hope you enjoy yourself, I'll see you at home later on tonight."

Keagan's discomfort returns as Anna gives a slight lift of the skirt on her history with Evan. Maybe this isn't a good thing after all. "Okay," he answers, sitting back down at the spaghetti. "I'll see you tonight." He looks back at Anna with a sheepish smile. As much as he'd like to give her a great big kiss for how masterfully she got rid of his aunt, for the moment he'll settle for playing footsie.

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