You Tricked Me and I'm Disapproving


elaine_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title You Tricked Me and I'm Disapproving
Synopsis Ygraine surprises Elaine with an international video chat, and the opening of an opportunity
Date July 6, 2010

Ygraine's Apartment

A comparatively large and well-maintained apartment occupying one corner of its floor. Windows dominate two sides of the living room, illuminating it brightly throughout most days. A kitchenette occupies one corner of the lounge, while several doors offer exits.

Luxurious but slightly worn brown leather furniture is arranged around the television in the main room, with a small dining table and high-backed chairs diagonally opposite the kitchenette. Wall-mounted shelves and stand-alone cases take up a lot of space along the walls, almost wholly filled with books. A collection of full-size geographic, political, and historical atlases have been given pride of place - though academic texts on history, international relations, conflict theory and linguistics are also prominent, alongside a fair collection of DVDs. The one sizable decoration is a blown-up photograph of mist-shrouded Edinburgh castle at sunset, a black silhouette rising out of white and luminous gold.

Of the exits, one (with an extra lock, deadbolt, and a sturdy chain) leads out of the apartment; another to the bathroom; and the next to a small room that has been converted into a rather cramped home gym. A computer desk, filing cabinet, and a single bed take up most of the space in the next room, while the last is the master bedroom - dominated by a double bed (upon which sits a two foot tall cuddly penguin) and more bookshelves (these holding a jumble of magazines, art books, Neil Gaiman graphic novels, and a collection of science fiction and historical novels), with a clearly well-traveled laptop resting on the bed-side cabinet. Here, high-quality art-prints of dragons decorate the walls, while a small cabinet holds a collection of cycling trophies.

Scattered throughout are a variety of ornately-framed photographs of a striking, curvaceous brunette, the shots ranging in style from the candid to the artfully glamorous.

It's another sweltering, airless day, even the shade barely below body-temperature. Perhaps that's why a Briton opted not to venture outside, away from the delights of air conditioning, and instead sent a request for someone to come to her.

Fortunately, taxi drivers are quite willing to travel to the Financial District, and Le Rivage is easily located. Elaine is buzzed in through the front door, and directed up a couple of storeys to where Ygraine's flat occupies one of the corners of her floor. By the time that the young visitor has reached the right location, the extra tiers of security on apartment 309's entrance have been removed, and the door is swung wide, held open by the resident.

Clad in black denim cut-offs and a sleeveless top, with her hair tied back in its customary braid, Ygraine doesn't appear to be taking any chances of overheating even within the safety of her apartment. Smiling warmly, she gestures grandly for Elaine to come inside.

"Hi! And thank you. I hope that you'll find the trek across the city worthwhile…."

"It's nice to get out, actually." Elaine admits, moving to head inside. "Although it's a little weird seeing you like this and not all decked out for riding. I'm glad you're cooler, though, at least." As she slips inside, Elaine moves to take a look around. "Quinn warned me that I might really like it here… she said that there were lots of books."

Ygraine laughs, glancing down at herself. "This is a lot less hot than biking leathers", she says with a grin. Closing the door behind Elaine, flipping the latch and slipping a security chain into place she then follows the redhead into the living room.

"Yeah… I do seem to have acquired a few", the hostess concedes somewhat sheepishly. "Please. Make yourself comfortable. Would you like something to drink?"

Elaine does indeed seem quite pleased by the interior of the place. She moves to take a seat on the couch, still peering around. "Oh, yes, please… if you've got some water, that would be just fine." She offers a warm smile. "But Quinn was right. The books do make me enjoy the place. She was talking about how she needed to find some bookshelves for her place…"

Ygraine laughs happily, nodding warm agreement. "As far as I'm concerned, they're decorative - far more so than most other things. I love seeing a proper library. This… is enough to be going on with, but I'd love to have at least one wall of those gorgeous floor-to-ceiling shelving units that you see in old stately homes…"

As she talks, she moves to the fridge, taking out a large plastic bottle, from which she pours a pint of water. She sorts out a smaller glass of apple juice for herself, then pads through to set them down next to a gently-humming laptop resting atop the coffee table.

"Those are beautiful… one day, I'll have a library like that. All my books will look old, though, even if they aren't. Those pretty hard-cover ones they make these days for aesthetic purposes… that's what they'll be filled with." Elaine looks over at Ygraine. "I dunno if Magnes would laugh at me for that, but… I don't laugh at his comics, so…"

Ygraine laughs, shrugging amiably. "I can't pretend to understand what Magnes might laugh at", she says with a wry smile. "But I certainly agree on the aesthetic appeal of old books. I do love that look as well…."

Picking up her drink, she takes a sip then cocks her head. "So… would you like to know why I invited you over, or should I leave you guessing for a while longer?"

"I'm really bad with the guessing thing cause I'm usually pretty caught up in the excitement of whatever I'm doing to guess accurately. I'd be horrible on a gameshow." Elaine grins, glancing back over at Ygraine while she picks up her water. "So go ahead, tell me?"

Ygraine chuckles softly, quirking a smile and taking another sip before replying. "I would hazard a guess that you remember my offer to talk to my father…?" The Briton only makes Elaine wait a heart-beat before continuing. "Well, I've spoken to him… and he's very interested indeed in talking to you."

Elaine nods eagerly as Ygraine leads up to the surprise, and she almost looks ecstatic once Ygraine mentions she's already talked to her father. "Really?" It's one thing to theorize about being able to do something, it's another to have it actually be put into motion. "That's… Ygraine, thank you!"

Ygraine lets out a happy little giggle at Elaine's response. "Now… remember: he can't guarantee you anything at all. He's only got direct influence at his own university, and you'd have to sort out governmental hoops - things like visas - as well as the academic ones if you wanted to move there. However, if you're as promising as I've assured him you appear to be, he's quite willing to make contact with people over here, and see if he can find anyone with sufficient interest and available funds in their department to do something with you."

Elaine's managing to contain her excitement. "Magnes mentioned wanting to visit Scotland, actually." She kind of smirks at the idea of Magnes in Scotland and pushes away the thought of him causing a little damage to the landscape before she looks back at Ygraine. "I wouldn't mind anything, really… I'm not picky. Anything he can do would be amazing."

Ygraine blinks in surprise. "I… suspect that he might have difficulty getting a visa, after Shibuya", she says cautiously. "But I believe the intent is to have you try to secure a place here, isn't it?"

"Yeah, it is… but I'm just saying. If I needed to take a trip over there, Magnes was willing." Elaine laughs a bit. "Although keeping him here is a much better idea, anyways…" She trails off. "Well, yes. So.."

"So…." Ygraine agrees, then gestures to the laptop. "Care to meet him for a chat?", she asks impishly.

Taking a sip from her glass, Elaine glances at the laptop. "Yeah, that'd be great! … Is it weird I'm nervous?"

Ygraine giggles, shaking her head. "Not at all. It's quite normal. And part of the reason why I didn't warn you in advance. I hoped that springing it on you would give you less time to be scared. Since you're not expected to have put in a great deal of formal study as yet, it's not as if you needed time to study notes or the like."

Cocking her head, Ygraine smiles gently. "Shall we?"

Elaine frowns. "You're a sneak, Ygraine, and I'll probably thank you for it later, but right now this is my you-tricked-me-and-I'm-disapproving look." She looks towards the laptop, then nods slowly.

Ygraine laughs, but does manage to look momentarily contrite before she lifts the lid on the computer, and rattles a couple of messages into a messenger programme. In short order, a trans-Atlantic web chat is being opened up….

Elaine is trying her best to look calm, civilized, and scholarly. After all, if Ygraine's father is anything like Ygraine, she'll want to be presentable. Academics, and all. She peers towards the computer.

Fortunately, the man who appears on the screen - smartly-dressed, white-haired, and rather earnest-looking - appears to be genuinely interested in Elaine as well as her abilities, and is keen to confirm what appear to have been quite glowing reports from Ygraine.

Equally fortunately, a major part of what he wants to do is acquire direct experience of Elaine's linguistic talents - both her range of existing languages, and her capacity to analyse previously unencountered data….

And at those tasks, Elaine excels.

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