Sometimes They Come Back


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Scene Title Sometimes They Come Back
Synopsis Yana's ghosts are all too real, and there are some things that even she cannot escape.
Date May 20

Spring Gala Event

The banquet hall is set both large and almost Victorian in styling for the gala, with the finest of foods spread across several tables along the wall. The theme is springtime, yet the only people with any real color are the women and their fancy dresses. The band, all dressed in their tuxes in the center stage of the room is playing along to the beat of their conductor, playing 'It Might As Well Be Spring'. People of various high class businesses mingle amidst themselves, drinking their champagne, laughing their laughter, and discussing their business ventures to see who makes the most and who is the most powerful. All in all, the fancy party looks like quite a good time, except, it is missing one of it's yearly cornerstones. The Puika clan.

Well, missing the patriarch of all people. Mrs. Puika and the siblings are of course at their little private table, having a discussion amonst themselves, a worried mother looking across the room at a woman, standing in a beautiful white evening dress, with dark hair, sparkling diamonds hanging from her ears, and a contemplative look in her eyes. She mistakes it for sadness. Her child, Elvira.. must be reflecting on things that have happened in the past. Of course, this couldn't be further from the truth, she is simply bored.. Bored like she is every year.

Yana stands, fiddling with the flute of her champagne, idly staring at the people dancing across the way. Her hair swept to the side in front of one shoulder, her dark eyes sparkling softly. All in all a lovely vision, but still..

The band plays, keeping up appearances even if this years gathering of the clans is starting off to be anything but. A feeling on the crowd, like the sheep gathered in the glen, skitterish on the off chance that there's a wolf somewhere. Or skitterish at the lack of the wolf, Mister Puika being elsewhere; not a good thing, in the collective mind of the blue bloods gathered.

The colorful women and their daper men, here and there twirling about with the careful, measured pace of the dance, the same steps as last year, and of the year before that, on back as far as the oldest money can remember. The way it always has been. Holding to the old ways. But not everyone in the room is part of that same step. How does the old children's song go? 'One of these things is not like the other…'

Moriarti stands at the opposite end of the room, near the band. Black tuxedo immaculate, tails hanging to the backs of his knees in the old style, champagne flute in one hand, lifted just so to his lips. The practiced look of the casual disinterest. It's almost frightening to him how easily it all comes back. Equally frightening that he managed to work his way into this year's spring ball. He does not normally return an old life, but being assigned back to New York City has stirred something within this man. Stirred up those old memories, and lead him to the spring ball once more.

"Father, just what are you up to?" Yana mutters to herself quietly, which would be the subject of her solitary and contemplation at the present time. She folds her arms across her stomach, an index finger tap-tap-tapping her glass as she seems a little restless. Like she should be pacing. But such things would be viewed ill if done in public, and there is no way she is going to look foolish in front of anyone. Her father might not be present, but the rules still apply.

There are plenty of handsome, available men available at this event, befitting of the young women that are brought to these events to match up with the daughters of the higher ups. Yana had been that girl many years ago, and she is youthful still, but she has gone cold. The fires of her heart died with Gregori's last raspy breath, even if she was the stroke that caused it. She sweeps her hand from the top of her hair all the way down the length of it, and brings the flute to her lips, taking a simple sip. She has positioned herself in a place to where she will not likely be bothered, like she has done years before.

Where blue eyes scanned across the room, those many years before, now grey eyes watch the careful step step twirl of the dance, of debutantes and courtiers keeping up appearances under the watch eye of their chaperones, while their parents work to arrange their futures. Moriarti's glance ignores the circling dancers; complete disinterest as opposed to the trained, I'm-interested-but-god-forbid-I-show-it of the blue bloods, staring down their noses at everything.

The thought brings a twitch of a smile to his lips, as those old memories surface once more; he was one of those types, just a few years prior. And here he stands, sipping champagne, faking it where it came so easily before. But then his attention slides across someone whom he dared not hope to find, even if it'd be no surprise that she'd be here.

That first glance, and those memories come rushing back to him, the memories and the pain of those last months, enough to briefly bring a grimace to his schooled features; but a blink of the eye, and his facade is once more as still as the fountain in the garden.

A whisper of "…Elvira…" as he remains where he stands, hiding behind the flute of bubbly in his hand. Watching and waiting with a coldness in the pit of his stomach that he hasn't felt in all of his years. Waiting to see if she merely waits for someone, that someone whose arm she rests upon. A flick of the eyes towards her hand, but too far away to see with clarity what he searches for.

She is without escort. As per instructions of her father. Otherwise, she might have a man, quite reminiscent of her late husband upon her arm. A paid actor in a suit, worth his coin to be handsome and attentive. But not for this function. Yana is finding her father's requests to be increasingly strange, what does he hope to accomplish in placing her in these situations? She appears as available as any of the other women standing about. In fact, a few young bucks approach her, asking for a dance. The woman is very gracious in declining them, a beautiful smile, a light shake of her head along with a proper explanation as to why. The truth of the matter is that none of them are like him. It is quite sad really, that she compares people to the very man she ended years ago. But she would tell you that is a defense that has made her strong.

If he had known that she was responsible for the end of his last dance, would he still be sneaking his way into the ball and holding his breath at the thought that she found another? Entirely possible. But the truth to his departure remains a mystery, leaving him to believe that nature simply had it out for him. Of course, there's also a reason that he's yet to go camping this time around. As he watches the young men move away with the look of rejection on their faces, the situation seems to improve.

He waits and watches, draining the champagne flute of its contents, as the potential suitors are turned away. As if using that time to marshal himself to the task he's set; not something he's done before. Finally, he steps from the corner of the podium the orchestra rests upon. Slipping his way through the crowd; just another rich suitor in an expensive suit. A careful nod of his head and a non-committal smile when he catches someone's eye; but his own focused only on her.

"Excuse me…" he murmurs as he steps up to Yana to draw her attention. One arm folded behind, at the small of his back, the other extended outwards, palm upwards as he bows forwards ever so slightly; the pose of someone looking to pay their respects to the family, a look that Moriarti remembers seeing Yana receive so often in the past.

She doesn't even have to look at him for the ice to be thrown in his direction initially. The moment his voice reaches her ears, there is a look on her face that he cannot really see, she is sure of it. It is the type of look you get when you get tired of the same thing happening time after time, and just when you're fed up, it happens again. She expects to turn to see some bright eyed, hopeful, young 20 some year old blinking and grinning at her like some prize stud. Oh cruel fate, the suffering of being her.

By the time she starts to turn around to face him, she has replaced the look with a smile that is both pleasant and even welcoming. Though as her eyes make contact with him, she finds herself to be mistaken in her initial assumption. Just the smallest hit of surprise in the form of a twitch of her eyebrow. His gesture, the bow is something that most do not do. Sure they are proper, but they don't bow to a lady. Rather they keep their heads high, like some prize rooster.

This, here and now is something she can appreciate, so she entertains the idea of indulging him with a bit of her attention. "Well, hello. It's nice to see at least someone here knows how to flatter a lady within two words." Those eyes of hers soften as she puts on her face, "You weren't perhaps sent here by my father were you? No one really greets that way unless they are associated."

Once she turns towards him, only then does Moriarti's gaze lift up from the focus on the floor. It is only once she actually speaks to him that his attention rests upon her face. Still bowed slightly at the waist, that one hand outstretched. Definately not strutting about like the cock of the walk, this one.

Yana has put her face on, and Moriarti is glad that his can remain so smooth. That first look, that smile, is enough to bring a stop to his heart, like a cold hand reaching into his chest and grasping the muscle, holding it tight. A moment that passes quickly enough, with nary a hint of it across his features. A little older, yes, but still the same face that he remembers; more than enough reason to risk it all for this chance, to gamble on a bluff.

"No, Miss Puika, I was not…" he says, deliberately using her maiden name to gauge her reaction. "…I was in fact hoping to pay my respects…" he adds as he straightens from the bow. Proud and straight shouldered, but not carrying himself with the same overconfidence of the younger men in the room. The stance of a man who knows his place, and his worth.

His hand is extended once more towards Yana, again the palm up and inviting. "…but as your father has not graced the ball with his presence, I thought that I could pay my respects to his beautiful daughter, instead."

"I haven't been Puika in almost a decade now." she corrects him, with no amount of cruelty in her her voice. "Blite, actually." The thought initiates a small action that probably even Yana does not realize that she makes. It is subtle, but able to be caught. Subconsciously, her thumb bends and rubs across the upper base of her ring finger. It is void of a ring, though it is marked from the years of being there with a band of indentation. "I lost Gregori some time ago. Illness, not divorce." she smiles to him, feeling the need to specify, seeing as how divorce is rather common these days. But she hides her feelings on the matter, placing them behind smooth grace and proper conversation etiquette.

So far, the man has not put her off of he patience like she expected. Quite the opposite in fact. And the further flattery is met with a knowing smirk that tugs the corner of her mouth. It is that of a experienced woman recognizing the come on of a man, rather than a young silly girl, blushing under the sentiment. The latter of which she actually has never been.

A hand raises, fingers almost flowing into his hand with a gentle precision, resting at the center of his palm, "Now I'm certain that my father sent you. Mister…?" It is a bit of a jest, if not a compliment to his character.

"My condolences for your loss, Misses Blite…" this stranger replies at the correction, grey eye noting her reaction, but missing the brush of her thumb where a ring once rests. A brief tightening of the skin around his eyes, the rest of his reaction masked behind the gentleman's facade; ten years. My, how time does fly when you're walking in someone else's shoes.

As Yana's fingertips come to rest across his palm, long fingers cup around her hand. Instinct taking over as the second hand comes up to cup the first, lifting the back of Yana's hand upwards as Moriarti bows down towards it in a gesture he hasn't made in a long time.

"Moriarti. Thomas Moriarti. And it would be rude of me to correct you, madame…" he says at her insistence that he was sent by her father. But that correction does not come, as instead he bows down over her cupped hand, brushing his lips across the back of her hand, in the old style.

In his old style…

Everything is well and good, Yana responding with a tingle of interest into the man's general identity with the small chance of adding him to her circle of associates. That is until his second hand rises to take her offered. There has only been one person to kiss her hand this way, and while the stead of his touch isn't the same, the method is. It is the place, the time, the event, and something about this very moment that is starting to feel like deja vu. It all comes back to her in an instant. She has remember the event countless times, but she has never relived it until now.

There is almost a reaction within her chest, to her it is uncomfortable, almost painful in it's familiar-unfamiliarity. Physically her heart, long since grown cold and desolate, skips a beat as Gregori's ghost revisits her. Her eyes go distant for a split second, but in that split second, the original scene plays like a dream.

"Enchante'e de vous rencontrer, Dr. Blite." She lets the French roll off of her tongue so easily. The sparkling eyes of a young 19 year old Elvira Puika gaze upon the tall man kissing her hand in with the passion of a proper man, other than just an expected gesture. She received him with true emotion in her eyes, the girl radiant, strong, intelligent and full of hopes. This is the man she was expected to meet. Instructed to treat him with the utmost respect and grace. She was at this time unaware that it was a plot at matchmaking. Or so she allowed her parents to think. Yana was smarter than that.

As she greeted him, the girl took her attention away from him for a split second to glance over at her mother and father at the table, watching the pair of them and leaning into each other to whisper. They are talking about her, and him. This confirms her suspicious and makes the girl almost roll her eyes with a smile. "I've been expecting you, I believe. My father has spoken quite highly of your accomplishments and contributions."

"I would hope so…" Gregori replies as he straightens from the bow, his hands drawing away from Elvira's as the welcome is ended. Another man who knew the proper way of things, even as the twenty-first century dawned; his tanned hands cupping her own just long enough for her hand to be offered to his lips, then his touch sliding away. The hands of the neurosurgeon, delicate enough to work on someone's mind, yet still strong in their own right.

"…considering how much I bring into the hospital." he finishes the statement with a chuckle. Not the fake, canned laughter drifting about the room from the other tables. Then again, it's that laundry list of accomplishments that has earned him the invitation to this gathering, and the chance to meet the daughter of one of the most influential men in New York City. So the statement and the chuckle are both delivered with an air of assuredness.

His eyes… Those intense eyes of his are something that she finds herself drawn to. They have so much depth for her, with so much to learn which fascinates her all the more. Her young mind seeking to soak up every shred of knowledge she can learn. Initially she had intended to meet the man her father had arranged, and then politely excuse herself to join her siblings. The girl has thus far been stubborn when it came to suitors. Sure, she desired to fall in love at some point, but not now. She has so many things she wants to do first, so many things she needs to accomplish. To be tied down with so much as a steady relationship now, would put a damper on things.

She tells herself to depart, her brain doing everything it can to command her mouth to speak the words, and for her legs to move, but she doesn't. She can't bring herself to do it, this man interests her at least a little, and besides that, he can provide a shield from the other young hopefuls looking to score at least a dance. "Well, if you would allow me the honor of your company, I would rather enjoy playing the part of your date for the evening. My father would be furious if I allowed some other girl to snatch away your attention."

Eyes with a touch of history, a tease of mystery behind them. Eyes that seem to be older than the rest of him, this barely-30 neurosurgeon with the ways of the Old World about him. Tuxedo tailored to his moderately athletic build, cut in the Victorian style, speaking to his wealth. Her father having already spoken to his skill.

As Yana's interest is pique and she obliges him with her attention, a smile crosses Gregori's features. A genuine smile, reaching all the way to those eyes of his; not the overeager, over-expectant smile of the other suitors she's already brushed off this evening, but the smile of a man who is enjoying how his evening is playing out.

"It would be my honor to be your escort for this evening." he replies, sweeping himself into an elegant bow at the waist, an arm in front of his waist and the other behind. He straightens, offering his arm out to her. "I do believe your father would be furious with me if I allowed that to happen, as there's no other girl whose beauty even compares to yours, Miss Puika."

Prying eyes upon the pair of them. Not only those of her family, with siblings watching like hawks, the other 4 Puika children playing their protective role as this new figure captures the attentions of their middle sister. It is behavior that is out of the ordinary for her, as it seems to go beyond an arranged meeting with her father. On top of that, the parents watching the scene unfold brings a tickle of embarrassment in her stomach. Or perhaps it is Gregori that is causing that.

Either way, she is devising plans to cut down on the number of people watching them. By moving to the dance floor, or scooting off to be alone with him as to continue the conversation. The rules of sophistication dictate the latter to be a little improper on her part to suggest, so she gives him the reigns, taking his queue to slip her arm within his, to stand beside him. A position that she had no idea would be performed again at a ceremony of binding as they walked down the isle.

"Any other man who would say something like that to me, I would accuse of being a philanderer. But somehow, it doesn't seem like a line when you say it." She drifts to his side so easily, a practiced gesture for her to be so graceful, but her joining him seems quite natural. She even feels comfortable enough to lay her free hand against the top of his arm. "I approve, Dr. Blite. I'd like to get to know you a bit better. Though I should warn you, it is my inborn gift to look into a person and see the weakness within. What might I see if I were to look into you? My guess is I would come up lacking. Which would make you too good to be true at that point." The girl isn't one of the silly girls, looking to marry into money. She has fire, and is secure enough to stroke the ego of a man she barely knows.

As if by reading her mind, Gregori begins to move once Yana's arm has looped through his own. Not out onto the balcony overlooking the well-tended garden, but towards the dance floor. He does not lead her to dance, but instead on a companionable stroll throughout the crowd. Some might take it as the hunter showing off his prize, but Gregori barely glances at those about him, beyond ensuring that he doesn't lead her into a collision course. Instead his attention remains on her as they move about in a mingling fashion.

Far harder for the hawks to keep the pair in their sights, if the pair is in motion.

"That would be because it's the simple truth, Miss Puika." comes the reply, with the ring of earnestness in his rich tones. He continues to lead her through the crowd, pausing now and again near enough to a gathered group of conversationalists to give the appearance of meeting and greeting with the other guests. Until they start to circle around once more towards her family's tables.

He chuckles politely as she strokes at his ego, favoring her with a wry smile. "It would be, wouldn't it? But I am just a man, like any other. We have our weaknesses, as much as we try to deny or conceal them. I think I would enjoy letting you get to know me, for I would be interested to see exactly what you find when you look within me."

Impressive. Dancing would have put them stationary, and given people a set place to watch them. However, strolling through the crowd of swirling couples keeps them on the move, makes the difficult to track. Yana can see the strategy of his action. It isn't something that she would have thought of herself, but she picks up on the little details of things very easily like that. So she doesn't have to question him. He is clever, and craftier than the average. Her logic is waning to the fluttering of her heart. Slowly but surely, the act of entertaining him becomes less of a chore, and more of a pleasure for her.

Yana finds herself starting to notice things about him that were inconsequential to her before. With him or anyone else: his height, the way his voice makes her feel when its vibrations meet her ears, his nice smell, the controlled way in which he leads her, and the image of those eyes, burned into the front of her mind, without her ever looking at him. "I'm flattered… Gregori." The sound of his name leaving her lips; slipping from the formal referring to him as his last name, and a step into the personal. "And I can honestly tell you that it is something that I do not feel very often. //Truely feel." Her eyes sweep to the side, looking to the people in their fancy clothes, drinking their expensive champagne and looking down their noses at each other. "This lifestyle forces me to to play nice with people I would scarcely give the time of day to. Much of my demeanor is a crafted illusion, I find it refreshing that I can feel something real for a change."//

As they begin to come back around towards her family's table, the eyes settling upon them once more, Yana makes eye contact with her father, who reads her approval like a book, the man seeming pleased, lifting his glass to Gregori with an approving smile of his own. Like a trained pack, the Puika siblings all stand down at the old man's blessing, going about their own business in the party.

Still outside of earshot of everyone else, Yana turns to look up at him, "I am quite confident that I wouldn't have to. I get the feeling that what I see is just what I get. And this will mark the first time that I have taken anything for face value." It is beyond her explanation, but she is enchanted by him. The girl forgetting to remind herself of all of her plans and goals before letting herself feel for another.

As the pair of them move through the crowd, and Yana starts to let herself feel the doctor at her side, she can feel that slight tensing of muscle under her hand on his arm. Starting as they circle back around, and continuing as their approach the table where the Puika clan patriarch sits and waits. As charming as Gregori can be, it still rides on this moment. "The truth once more, Miss Puika.." he replies, still formal, having yet received her blessing to call her something more familiar.

"…spoken because it is the simple truth, and not just to further my own interests…" the reply continues, with a glance towards that same crowd of suits, dresses, and upturned noses. Of course, the tense waiting for her father's reaction gives the lie away, but he did say that it wasn't just for his own interest.

As the silent exchange crosses from daughter to father, the tension flows from Gregori's body with the lifting of Mister Puika's glass from the table. The patriarch receives a gracious dip of the head from the doctor, a bow inappropriate with Yana at his arm. Those enigmatic eyes noting the dispersal of the pack into the party itself, before Yana's words marshall his attention. "Now you are the one flattering me, Miss." he replies, with a smile and a dip of his head; no blush touches across lightly bronzed skin, but from his demeanor it looks like it should. Approval from both Yana and her father obtained, now he resumes the stroll through the party.

Instead of circling the room, however, she is lead towards the empty balcony. "As much as I enjoy the party, at times it can be a bit…. oppressive…" is his murmured explanation as he detaches from her arm, stepping forward to push the balcony door open and bow with a sweeping gesture outwards to the spring air, "…after you."

Yana. A name that was designated to her by her father when she was very young. She didn't mind that her first name was Elvira, but the fact that Mikhail Puika gave her such a pretty sounding nickname made it stick. A short version of her middle name. As she is now, it is a name that she is referred to by certain people. Important and significant individuals in her life, meaning family. Her friends don't even get to refer to her by that name. In later years, when she changes into the woman she is present day, such sentiments have no meaning for her anymore. So anyone can call her Yana, she doesn't feel anything one way or the other about it. But for now… "Please, call me Yana." she insists with a smile.

He makes her feel… well.. at all, really. A feat that does not come easy in the world of Yana. So driven and focused, brushing aside affairs of the heart, but still actually yearning to feel them. It's like magic, and her mother can see it plain as day. The woman nearly brought to tears at the sight of budding love, knowing in her heart that the flower it will produce will be the rarest and most mythical kind.

She continues to follow his lead, sweeping past a few individuals toward the large glass doors of the balcony. He preempted the process of her mind, a step ahead of her. One of many things she would learn from him in how to be. "I couldn't agree more. And besides, I could use a bit of fresh air." The doors opening sends a warm breeze to rush against her, lightly blowing her soft hair, and the flowing white spring dress. She dips her head courteously, "Thank you." slipping past him, leaving the path of her sweet scent in her wake.

"Of course… Yana…" Gregori says as she sweeps past him, taking the time to drink in her perfume, to roll her name around on his tongue once he is given permission to use it. His use of her nickname a rich vibrato against her ears as it rolls from his lips. As she passes, he turns to follow, polished wingtips clicking on the marble tiled balcony, the low noise of the ball cut off as the glass door closes behind him.

He moves to stand beside her, resting his hands on the polished stone railing, simply _being_ for a moment, drinking in the refreshing breeze, and her presence at his side. "Your father tells me you have designs on being a doctor?" he asks, polite smalltalk resuming once he has paused a moment to consider things.

The air feels nice upon her skin, a comfortable atmosphere as the louder sounds of the party die away. She brings herself closer to the balcony and the beauty that lies beyond it, placing one arm upon the railing, and the other crossed over the first, wrist upon wrist. She is able to think once again, about the future and the things she desires to do. Except, rather than trying to figure how to avoid getting caught up in something, she contemplates how to fit it into the scheme instead.

Her ability to mentally multi-task coming into play as she filters through these thoughts while listening to him at the same time. She adopts a look that she will see a thousand times before, a very soft squint of her eyes as they grow a bit distant. Like she is examining an image of her mind right in front of her face. "Mm. Yes. Not medical." she smiles, "Much to my father's slight displeasure. The man likes results however, and cannot deny something once he is shown them. My mother was ill, with meningitis. A viral form. She took a turn for the worse and I.." Used her power to fix the problem, "Well, I saw the underlying problem. With my eyes." she turns her face to look upon him, "I wasn't really jesting about looking into people. I am able to see weaknesses.. sickness in other people and identify it. I was able to devise a.. vaccine for my mother to cure her sickness. Since then, my father hasn't so much blinked at the idea of me becoming a virologist. It is quite an accomplishment, and I have received awards for my findings."

As Yana comes to lean against the railing at his side, Gregori remains standing straight, hands upon the length of stone, like a ship captain of old standing on deck; except without the rolling and tumbling beneath their feet. A slight nod of the head as she tapdances around her ability; the revelation that there are those walking among the generation that will become Evolved is still a few years off.

"Still, acclaim and awards before you've finished graduate school is nothing to scoff at, as your father was sure to inform me." Gregori says in response after she explains her talent. Hands leaving the railing to clasp behind his back, turning slightly towards her, "It sounds to me as if you are the cusp of a meteoric rise in the medical profession, Yana…" he says, tilting his head to the side slightly as he regards her, a gesture of his own that would be repeated often over the next few years. "…where ever would you find the time to accompany me to the premiere of this year's season of the New York City Opera?"

A slight smile of his own turns the corner of his mouth upwards, a hint of confidence peeking through his otherwise gentlemanly expression, a slight glint in those mysterious eyes.

It is true, her talents are quite accomplished for her age, thanks to her power. Non-Evolved would call it cheating probably, while others would consider it an edge. She is doing great good by discovering these vaccines, and releasing them into the world. She would have the potential to do great and wonderful things in the medical world in the future. But.. she is made into who she becomes by everything she will be learning from Gregori. They aren't bad tactic; good information to know. But without the emotions to back them, they can make someone like her a soulless monster. Teacher surpassing the student, destroying the master as to keep his teachings unspread.. however you want to look at it, Gregori still too her heart with him when… Well.. it hasn't happened yet.

"I'd have to agree with you, Gregori. I plan to do great things." the woman rises to her erect height, turning to face the man with a warm smile upon her face. "Though I do have my whole life ahead of me. There.. is room for many other things. It's just a matter of figuring out how to fit you— them" the first time she has really ever let something like that slip, "into it."

Her bright eyes raise and she meets his and returns his smile, both cool and beautiful at his jesting suggestion. Without speaking, she takes that last step, a leap of faith so to speak which brings her to stand a half of a foot away from him, so that she has to look up to see his face, her tongue moistens her lips lightly before she replies, "I'll make the time.."

That hinted smile remains at Yana's quick correction. Cruder folk might make a quip at her almost-Freudian slip, but then again, cruder folk wouldn't have gotten past the front door of the hotel, let alone out to the balcony and standing before her. "That does sound like an excellent challenge, then…" a pause, brow lifting ever so slightly, the smile broadening just a touch. "…finding ways to fit…" another pause as the smile grows further "…these other things into your……. tightly-packed schedule."

Alright, so a little bit of crude humor seems to be allowed, sa long as it is delivered with a touch of an English accent.

Gregori takes the leap as well as Yana turns to him and closes the gap. Right hand lifting to rest on her side, above the curve of her hip in the elegant white dress. Left hand raising to her chin, tilting her lips upwards as his bends downwards slightly. "I would hope so… those tickets are so awfully overpriced…" he murmurs, just before stealing the first kiss of many in their short relationship.

She isn't quite the pretentious woman that she grows up to be. She is refined, and quite sophisticated, but at the touch of crude humor, she doesn't flip the script. It makes her blush to be honest. The things which entail such thoughts are enough to make her blush. This is not something Yana does. But he brings it out within her, without her so much as realizing it. "I'm sure we'll figure it out." she comments. //We'll figure it out. Which is an indication that he can say with no amount of arrogance that he has her. //

She feels the warmth of his hand touch down against her side, resting just against the soft texture of her dress, while the skin behind it trembles with delight, her face lifting at the guidance of her chin upwards as her hands rise, laying closely upon his chest, eating up what little distance they have left between them. She barely has time to smile before his lips touch here, causing a bit of a spark as she settles into the very first kiss, her eyes closing softly.

Just as her eyes start to lid, with her hand within Moriarti's palm, Yana snaps back to attention, her eyes giving a blink as a second thump clammers within her chest. Her hand tenses within the hold of his, and Yana looks.. confused? Shocked. The cold woman searches the man's eyes, staring deep within whatever soul he has to reveal. Her body starts to tingle all over, as if her heart had restarted and is now forcing blood through her veins(metaphorically of course). "Do I.. know you?" she asks unsure if she wants to hear a yes or a no. No.. she decides herself. It's impossible. "I'm sorry, Mr. Moriarti. It's just.. for a second.." she hesitates, looking into his eyes again, searching. "I'm not used to many men treating me right." Right meaning how she desires, which is how Gregori treated her. The little things, gestures and touches that made it personal and sweet.

Moriarti is still bowed over Yana's hand as she takes a detour down memory lane, eyes lowered as he pays his respects to the daughter in the absence of her father. As she speaks, he straightens once more, hands releasing her own, like a handler releasing a dove to flight. Those grey eyes are most definately not Gregori's, resting in a face much older than Gregori's ever reached.

"I'm sorry…" Moriarti replies as he takes a step back, schooling himself to remaining in the role of the former Company man and current Federal agent, the one with no place to be at such a function, "..Misses Blite, if I scared you.." Definately not the cultured, touched-with-British-flavor tones of Gregori. A touch of a deeply buried New Jersey accent, perhaps. To his credit, he doesn't catch on saying her name. He even bows at the waist, arms straight at his sides.

"I only wished to pay my respects. THere are those of us that still admire your father's work…" he says. Which is partially true, for a hastily constructed lie.

"No, it's alright.." Yana admits. Is it? She isn't sure.. She.. can't think She can't quite arrange her thoughts properly. For the first time in many years. Yes, he is right, he scared her. And Yana does not really know much fear. She cannot afford to falter, not now, not after all of this time. "Please, call me Yana.." she speaks, like an echo through time. Spoken perhaps the exact same way she said it before.

Once she convinces herself that he is not a ghost, or the man she knew, Yana regains herself, painting the proper face over her slight stumble. And now she looks at him critically. She is searching for flaws, looking for things she can nitpick from him and decide that he isn't worthy of her time. Something to use against him to turn him away, which… she is hard pressed to find. So she'll settle with the easiest route. He isn't Gregori.

"I'll be sure to give him your regards." she says, her mind preparing to excuse herself from him from him, but then.. "Mr. Moriarti, as it stands, I am without accompaniment as per a request. Though nothing was spoken about finding an escort at the event. Would you perhaps stick around and play the part? You'd be doing me a great service by getting most of these men off of my back."

Moriarti straightens, completing the withdrawal from Yana's space, a few small steps back as decorum dictates. The man standing before her, for his adherence to the old fashioned ways, is definately not Gregori. From the dusting of stubble darkening his paler-skinned face, to the suit clad over his much-taller form; well-cut, but probably still off the rack.

That shadowed jawline tightens briefly as Moriarti is bidden to call her Yana. Of course, he has no clue that she's given that name less meaning in the intervening years. But a blink, and that tightening is missed, flowing smoothly into a shake of his head, "No, Misses Blite, that wouldn't be proper.." he offers in explanation of the denial. In the back of his mind, he still isn't sure what he is doing here, treading onto his own past in ways that he never has before, dreading up old ghosts for himself.

And then where he closes a window, opportunity nudges open the door. The invitation is offered, and he can't bring himself to deny her; her never could the last time around, either. Her offer is accepted with a slight bow at the waist, "I would be honored, Misses Blite…" he manages, grey eyes focusing on her feet as he dips, unsure of what might be revealed there otherwise.

No? He said no to that request? He told her no.. period? Beginning of sentence, 'no'. This is not something Yana is used to hearing, not since Gregori. It just meant that she had to work just a little harder to get what she wanted out of him. And when he says it now, a type of darkness washes over Yana that threatens to break her mask and make her look venomous. But she keeps her composure well and doesn't quite snap out of character. Though rather than just simply let him have his way, she makes her correction, "Dr. Blite is fine then." the woman smiles graciously. As it is legally her name now. She carries his old title and his old name, if that isn't eerie enough.

Now as to why she isn't quite ready to let him depart her company, that is simple. The man is a mystery to her, a puzzle that she wishes to try to piece together and figure out how she can use it to her vantage. He reprieves himself a little as he accepts and bows, "Excellent then." And without so much of him offering, she moves to his side and she lays her hand upon his arm, the woman joining him. "So what is it you do, Mr. Moriarti?"

"Of course, Doctor Blite…" Moriarti murmurs as he straightens. Just a simple Federal Agent, crashing a party that this time, he has no right to be at. With no clue at how close he may have just came to having history repeated for him once more. Her change from Misses to Doctor does bring a twitch to his eye; to the casual observer, nothing more than a blink.

She isn't willing to let him go, and he's having problems getting his feet to carry him away. A reversal of roles, even if the players are unaware of it. As Yana slips around to settle her hand upon his arm, Moriarti glances downwards to his forearm, and her polished nails against the black of the tuxedo jacket. The panicked glance of a mysterious man suddenly in over his head, or a wistful glance towards something he'd never think to see again. With her placement settled, this enigmatic stranger pivots slightly, a sidestep to put himself in the place that Yana just occupied, back to the wall. He can do 'escort,' he has in at least two pasts.

Her question is not answered immediately, as he sidesteps and repositions the pairing, taking the momentary reprieve of movement to make a quick decision as to how far to go with this. "…I work with the Government." is the casual answer, given as he makes a cursory scan of the room. It wouldn't do to have another Puika pop up without a bit of warning.

The Government.. The answer he gives strikes a chilling chord up her spine. It isn't emotion.. not the kind that he made her feel the before. No, her current enemy is 'The Government'. The reason she released a deadly virus into the populous, one that infects solely non-Evolved individuals and can be carried by Evolved. Hrm.. she debates it.. What part of the government does he work for? Does it really matter? Could she spin the roulette wheel, sending him out of this party with the virus to either take hold, or possibly hang in his system harmlessly to spread to others? The Government would certainly stand and take notice if one of their one brought it right to their front door.

But no.. without knowing much about him, Yana can't do it. He could work as a trash man for all she knows. Unlikely, but it could be something like that. And so, Mr. Moriarti, formerly Gregori Blite escapes a second infection from the very woman that sealed his last breath the first time… for now. "That's interesting," she smiles, "I myself work along those lines." Yes.. The Government is in fact still her boss, "I work as a virologist for The Commonwealth Institute. Department of Evolved Affairs." He is an agent, and she is a lab tech. Looks like fate will not allow him to escape her very easily at all in this life as well.

Her siblings are about their own doings throughout the party, not paying much mind to the two of them as the move to another location. Though Yana's mother is watching them with a shred of hope in her eyes perhaps. The woman alone at her table, and has always been a fount of so much emotion and understanding. "Do you perhaps enjoy the Opera, Mr. Moriarti?" Yana asks.

This time it is Moriarti's turn to follow Yana's lead; still keeping to the part of associate, not one to lead around Mister Puika's daughter. Just an escort, a relatively hansome man to stand at her side, a warm body to keep the rest of the wolves at bay. Blissfully unaware of how close he's coming this evening to another untimely end, as he still tries to figure out how to play this out.

As she reveals a hint of what she's been up to these past few years, the twitch of his brow in response is noticable. In the back of his mind, he starts wondering if Fate is having a good laugh at him this evening, while the front of it continues the conversation. "Department of Evolved Affairs?" he questions with a murmur, continuing in a stronger tone, "…what a coincidence, I've just transferred in from their San Diego office.." as he decides to reveal a bit more in return.

As he is led through the party, he happens to catch a glance of Yana's mother, watching her daughter intent, and he silently thanks Moriarti's experience with the Company and the friendly poker game in allowing him to keep a neutral expression as his attention slides past his former mother-in-law. Apparently that silent thanks drew his attention inwards, as it is a moment before he processes Yana's next question.

"The Opera?" her questions is repeated, another stalling tactic. Thomas, in his life prior to Gregori's insinuation of it, had never been exposed to the things of high society; but that was the past, and fate seems to be dealing him an interesting hand, "…I haven't had the chance to take one in for quite awhile now.." he answers truthfully.

"Really?" Yana intones with great interest. Now she is getting somewhere. He works in her department, which is rather convenient. "Then.. if anyone asks tell them you are here on my behalf." she almost side whispers to him, while the woman leads on. She is wearing a white dress, same as before, but it is significantly more elegant and expensive than the last. The style maturing from girl to woman. But what did she mean by that. "For you see, with my father absent, I'm am in charge of the guest list. And now that I think about it, Mr. Moriarti, I seem to have forgotten to list your name. I'm not the type of woman to make mistakes, so this is a pretty big deal, and awfully careless of me. You will have to forgive me." Sarcasm, wit, and delivered so fluidly. Closely pointing out that he does not belong, and she knows it, her attention to detail.. all of it. Oh, Gregori Blite, you were a fantastic teacher.

"For this.. shameful, underlaying mistake of mine, I will simply have to make it up to you. I have season tickets, and rather than pay a service, your presence would be far more enjoyable than someone who is paid to pretend. Or.. certain other people that have weaseled their way into my life." Yana's brow twitches at the mention of that, thinking of someone. First she picks out his bluff, and then she lays out her hand in the form of an ultimatum.

Perhaps Thomas was a better poker player before Gregori joined in. As his bluff is called, he keeps in step with Yana as she leads, and jabs at his story and situation with the pin. Only the eyes betray the realization that he's been played, grey depths going a little steely, the skin at the corners tightening. Indeed, he is learning just how well she took to his teachings, even after he'd shuffled onto the next life. He does have the grace to let his features slip into something close to embarassment; eyes casting down slightly, a dip of his chin; as he murmurs in response to her 'request' for forgiveness. "I think I can do that…" while he regains his 'footing' in this game.

As Yana lays her cards down on the table, Moriarti realizes that he doesn't have the cards he'd need to beat her. Or rather, to escape with an intact hide; Mister Puika was known to run in lofty circles when it came to the Company, even before it ran afoul of the government, and pissing off his daughter may not be the best way to get established in New York City. Not that he'd really be able to say no to her anyway, as much as the sane part of his consciousness screams to kick over the proverbial poker table and break for the door.

"I don't really see any other way to repay your…" generousity? kindness? devious deflation of a poorly crafted lie? He's off-balance enough where he skips right past any descriptor, and tries to salvage with an "It would be my honor…" and a slight dip of head and shoulders in towards her.

She initially did not start playing games with Gregori until she slipped him that welcome home kiss, infusing his body with the deadly virus. Sure, there were several actually chess matches between the two of them, as well as subtle womanly manipulation in order to bend the arrogant man to her whim. A flash of skin, or purposefully making causing a loose strap of her night gown to fall from her shoulder, making it look entirely on accident, which initiates assistance from the male counterpart, which means he will brush her skin, in which she will then interject what it is she wants. A new diamond ring, some fancy dress.. something. These are the type of games that were played throughout their union, until she got serious.

And now, she is the type to play secret games, ones that she makes up the rules to, and is the only player, whereas everyone else is just a pawn.. or possibly a more powerful piece on the board. But still, all a part of the game. And probably has no idea the piece he'll play in Yana's most recent games. But already, the strategies are being sketched behind her eyes. She is left to smile at her success, making it look just like she is simply happy he accepted. "Excellent, I'll ensure you have my address before we leave here today. I believe we can be rather helpful to each other Mr. Moriarti. Getting ahead in the Government is probably just as better with an accomplice just the same as the Institute."

With no hope of bowing gracefully out of this 'repayment,' Moriarti dips his head once more towards Yana. "Of course, Doctor…" he replies, unaware of how deep he's waded into it. And he hasn't even fully unpacked from his cross-country move. Where she is plotting how to best use him for the downfall of the government, Moriarti's mind scrambles to try to forsee where exactly this exchange is taking him, and where he wants it to go. Wait, accomplice? The wording catches his attention, but that much he manages to hide.

"Do you happen to know when the next show is opening?" he inquires, circling around the accomplice comment for the moment. "I hadn't planned on getting the chance to partake.." entirely true comment "…so I haven't looked at what the season schedule is out here."

"It hasn't started just yet. Not the one I am talking about." She tells him, possibly building up tension as to if she might say a certain thing, "The premiere I speak of starts in a few months. I never miss it." And she does. Perhaps that had been what he was trying to fish from her, knowing what he knows. It is perhaps a subtle memory of her late husband, one of the little things that keeps him alive somewhere within her, even if he is in face alive and kicking right in front of her now. In another shell, that is. "We'll just have to settle for the in-between for now, until then." Oh, she has done it again. Inserted him in where he had not ventured on his own. Of course, he could always tell her no like earlier. But if telling her no got him this the first time…

"Perhaps we'll discuss the remaining performances this season over dinner? Gentleman's choice?" A dark brow raises as she looks at him, expectantly. In truth, it seems like she is giving him the option, that he could decline simply with his prerogative. But that brow.. It is cocked like a gun, pointed at him and ready to fire a look of disappointment in him should he make the 'wrong choice'.

Not that the schedule has changed in almost three decades, just the shows and the orchestra. Of course, she would pick that as the one to prod him into. As she sets the timeframe, Moriarti tenses briefly, muscles of his forearm tensing under her fingers, like Gregori's did, so many years before, awaiting that reaction from her father. Of course, without knowing that he knows, that reaction could be taken as to her offer for 'in-between.'

Several lifetimes of experiences with women have given him ample knowledge of that look, and of the unseen consequences. Saying no would be the smart thing to do, to beg out of this course of action before it goes too far, and dreads up old pains; or reveals new secrets.

"Gentleman's choice.." Moriarti repeats with a nod of his head, "…you'll have to provide me with your number as well, then, so we can arrange it once the gentleman has made his choice.." he agrees. A few years ago, Gregori could rattle off several choice restaurants, but Moriarti doesn't have his bank account. And there was that whole thing with the bomb, and continued martial law.

The brow is disengaged, and a pleased smile tugs at the corners of her mouth. "Perfect, I'll make sure you get the right information." It is too bad Christopher is not here, he would have already had it provided for him. Her business cards are in her purse, which has been check at the coat station. "Mr. Moriarti, I have to thank you. Your arrival and acceptance of my company made this anniversary worth enduring." The anniversary of their first meeting of course. Turning to look at the balcony doors in which history was made years ago, Yana seems a bit emotional for a second, "It's almost like he is here with me, in spirit, guiding me to—" It is then that she catches herself, realizing that what she was going to say are not the words of a woman of pure rationality and logic. And if she were to allow those emotions to creep back in, well.. weakness follows with that, as far as she is concerned. "I'm being silly.." she looks back to him, "I'll just say.. Thank you."

Another dip of his head, as would be proper of someone of Moriarti's lowered station in life from the last time he stood in this ballroom. Following her look towards the balcony, the meaning of her words becomes clear. Another tensing of that arm under her hand, but that could be read as Moriarti reacting to her almost emotional reaction. He does, however, take the opportunity to disengage her hand from his arm, taking a step back. The better to keep himself from doing something most un-Moriarti-like.

"I'm glad I could help…" he replies, a short, terse response. Again, something fitting for the man Moriarti, an a good enough shield to his true reactions. A spirit guiding her towards this… He bows again at the waist, and as he straightens he has withdrew a silver case from an inner pocket of the jacket, along with a pen.

The case is opened, and a card of his own removed. The card is flipped and placed against the back of the case, flat in his palm, allowing him the surface necessary for the scribbling of another set of numbers on the back of the card. "…my card, and that's my personal information on the back…" he says, offering it up. A cursory glance is enough to confirm the details he provided previously: Thomas Moriarti, Field Agent, Department of Evolved Affairs, San Diego office. It looks like he hasn't been in town long enough to have new cards printed with local contact information.

"You can forward me your information at your leisure, and I'll let you know what my choice is…" he says once the card is handed off, bowing once more. "Doctor Blite. It's been a rather… interesting… evening. I can honestly say that I look forward to another…" he says, speaking nothing but the truth once more. And with that, he is departing as a gentleman should, with a wish for her health, and his head held high, leaving the Puika clan to think of it what they will.

And silently, he's offering up a short prayer to his luck; he snuck in hoping to sneak a glance, and here he is, arranging dinner…

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