2019-08-16 - Chock-O-Licious


Strange and Raven get to know each other over cake (and other food)

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Aug 16 06:56:34 2019
Location: RP Room 4

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Theme Song



Strange asked Raven to meet him at a modest diner. Just a simple, old fashioned place, the kind of Mom and Poppery that would've inspired what would become Denny's or Shoney's or the like. Clean tables, check patterns, vintage posters on the wall. A genuine jukebox playing fifties music. Milkshakes and cheeseburgers and apple pie.

He's dressed informally (for him), which is to say he's wearing a long-sleeved silk button-down, a swimmingly dark blue that verges on purple, along with a cream colored tie and a pair of slacks. He's trim and neat in the way a particular sort of man can be, very conscious of his appearance and presentation. When Raven arrives, he gets up from his seat and gestures for her to sit across from him.

"While I most certainly enjoy being in your company again," he says with a smile, regarding the pretty face of the goth-edged girl with that assessing eye, "our purpose here is beyond the merely social. To open your potential, I need a key and the simplest key is that which you already possess: your empathy, your supernatural senses. So today we're going to take the measure of them. Think of it like pressing a key into a piece of wet clay, learning its dimensions and finding those little nooks and crannies that make it work in the lock for which it is made," he smiles.


Rachel arrives at the diner shortly after Doctor Strange does, having spent a decent amount of time trying to decide what to wear. She settled on a thin, breathable long-sleeved and slightly high-necked stretchy black shirt beneath a grey plaid overall-jumpsuit of sorts, with straps that go over her shoulders, a tied belt at her waist, and culottes at the bottom, the hem of them coming just below her knee. (http://i.imgur.com/bILaMA3.png) A pair of rounded toe oxford boot-heels with some cutouts below the ankle strap. (http://i.imgur.com/8skhtvS.jpg) Her pitch-black, glossy hair is piled on top of her head in a messy-but-chic top knot (http://i.imgur.com/73mt7oT.png) and her makeup is very lightly applied. Gloss, instead of lipstick (name: Virgin's Tears), light blush on the apples of her cheeks, a small-winged cat eye, and lashes that are probably false but look quite natural and attractive.

When she sees him, she smiles and gives a little wave, moving to sit in the seat across from him as he indicates, and she places her messenger bag on the seat next to her. She settles in and crosses her legs beneath the table, the scent of her perfume — something spicy and elegant, but also young and feminine — noticeable as she shifts around, displacing air around her.

She's barely had time to get settled when he immediately dives into the business of the meeting. She nods her head and tries not to feel too disappointed that they couldn't take a minute to greet one another and just…talk. But, he's right and she wants to learn! So, she listens as he gives her an analogy that's easy to understand. "Yes, but how do we do that?" she asks, folding her hands on her lap beneath the table. Her eyes keep straying to the menu, her grumbling tummy wanting her to pick it up and pore over it, to find delicious things to eat. She, however, returns her attention to the good Doctor with a nice smile. As nice as she can manage, of course. Which is to say, she's still a little awkward, having these shields up as she must, in public.


Doctor Strange smiles, "We'll get to that, in due time," he says. "I don't want this to be stressful or overwhelming. And I don't want you to associate meeting me with…taking tests or being measured, all of the time," he says. "For us to work together, we're going to need to establish a rapport and that requires spending time together. So I'm afraid you're just going to have to humor my hanging out with you now and then to build up our connection. I hope that won't be too much of a burden," he says with a hint of a smile at the corner of his mouth.

He raises a finger to let the waitress know he's ready, "Patty melt, fries, side salad. Thousand Island dressing. Iced tea with a lemon wedge. I'll take a wedge of your," he peers at the menu for a moment, reminding himself, "Choc-o-Licious Fudge Smacker cake? With a bit of ice cream, if you please," he says, gesturing for Raven to order for herself.


Rachel is pleasantly surprised when he brushes aside the thing he just mentioned, opting to spend a little getting-to-know-you time with her, instead. She laughs and sits back in her seat. "And, here, I thought we were going to be nosing the grindstone, as it were," she says with another little exhalation of mirth. "No, I'm very happy to hang out with you and build a relationship… Er, connection. Rapport? Or…" she stammers, floundering a bit with trying to find the right wording, her cheeks pinking a bit more noticeably. "Ah, what you said. No burden, at all," she says, finally, nodding her head decisively.

Then, the waitress is there and Rachel quickly pulls up the menu to examine it while he orders. When he's done, Rachel says, "Actually, that sounds…really, really good. Except, I would like a Sprite with no ice, and yourrrr," she says checking the dessert section quickly, "…Mocha Mocha Java Cheesecake with a big glass of whole milk." She puts the menu back in place and smiles brightly. Gosh, she is starving! And, this food sounds very tasty. "I haven't been here, before. If I were on my own, I'd order so much food that you'd be shocked. But, I don't want to startle you so early in our relationship. Er, connection. You know what I mean," she says, laughing nervously at the end of what started out being quite a strong, confident bit of conversation!


Doctor Strange smiles with easy confidence, "You may call it what you like. There has to be something between us, is what I'm saying. The shape of that connection we will find out together, over time. I am sure we will spend our time at the grindstone, showered in sparks, with the light of creation shining in our eyes. For the moment, though, we will content ourselves with patty melts and confections. And one another's company, of course," he says.

"You won't startle me. I do not spook easily, as they say. You may eat as much as you like. I was rather voracious myself, once upon a time, although the years have put a cost to overindulgence that I rarely wish to pay. I can live a bit vicariously through you, though, so gorge yourself to your heart's content, you will hear no reprimands from my side of the table," he smiles, regarding her intensely. It is simply part of who he is, this sorceror, the weight of his presence is always there to Raven's senses, as if the eye he wore at his throat, invisible now but still so very much there, were constantly trained upon her. It was a fearful thing to have the attention of Stephen Strange, although some might find it exhilirating.


Rachel shrinks a little, inwardly, as he tells her to choose the term. She isn't sure what to call it, and she's made that pretty clear. Nothing sounds right, really. So, she keeps her mouth shut about it, for now. She chews on the inside of her cheek and smiles slightly to his composed confidence. She's not sure what it is, but he seems a little more formally spoken, today, than he did the last time she met him. It's making her feel a bit more nervous, questioning her reading of the situation, of her own motives. So, she tries to take a step back until he loosens his collar or gives her an indication that she wasn't imagining things.

She waves a dismissing hand and shakes her head, "No, I've already ordered. It's enough to sate my hunger for now. I'm happy with that." Besides, in case he insists on paying, she doesn't want to leave him with a hefty bill — whether or not he has ample funds with which to pay for it…is beside the point. She chews on the inside of her cheek, again. Something she does an awful lot around him, something she isn't used to doing around anyone who isn't one of her teachers. Maybe that's it. When he's overly formal, she kind of gets the vibe that he wants to keep her at arm's length, as her teachers did. Only, of course, he's far more accessible and warmer than they ever were. So, why is she feeling so nervous? "I don't know why I'm all nervous and anxious. I'm sorry if it's coming across like I'm out of it," she offers, clearing her throat and looking uncomfortable. Why had she dressed up? This isn't a date. She inwardly berates herself. What's wrong with her?!


Doctor Strange isn't precisely empathic, but he can tell that, perhaps, he isn't conveying himself well. Part of him is shocked by that, simply because he's very eloquent and has the degrees necessary to express that fact. But part of who he's become has included a greater self-awareness and self-examination. And he realizes that, for all he was trying to make her feel comfortable, that maybe he was doing just that: trying. Trying is not the same as being. Only being is being. He could hear that, in the Ancient One's accented voice, a sense-memory lingering in his ears.

He closes his eyes and takes a long, deep breath. And he lets go of himself and he lets go of trying to impress the girl (because he had been trying to impress her, he could admit it to himself now, that Sorcerer Supreme or no, he was still vulnerable to a pretty girl with a wide smile. More than vulnerable. Susceptible. Drawn to. He could beat his wings and try to fight it and remain objective. Or he could just be and let himself be and let things fall as they will fall.

When he opens his eyes, his smile widens and he reaches out, patting her hand again, "I did not mean to make you feel nervous or anxious. I suppose it's been so long since I've been casual with someone, I don't properly remember how to do it. Maybe you can teach me how? I promise to pay extra close attention," he says.

"Maybe if I tell you a little bit about myself? I'm a magician, but I used to be a doctor. You could probably find that on Google. I grew up in Connecticutt, just south of Hartford. I used to drive really fast cars, but then I wrecked one and now I generally prefer to walk. Or teleport," he says with a light chuckle. "I've never been married and used to disdain the concept itself as archaic, but I'm kind of thinking differently as I get older. Being an epic titan of solitude and self-reliance becomes less romantic when you just want someone to watch a movie with. Ah, see, now I've gone from pompous to depressing."




Type "+thelp" for help.


Rachel is politely keeping her empathic distance from Doctor Strange, so as to preserve his privacy, but she can tell he's taking a moment to himself to center and reflect. She's not sure what brought it on, but she's the first to admit that she often takes unexpected moments of similar nature to deal with whatever's going on with her. She casts no stones and bears no judgment. She simply listens to the soft oldies music filtering through the little speakers, examining the marbled pattern on the air-conditioned-cooled surface of the table between them.

Her quiet reverie — a prolonged moment of mindfulness that soothes her nerves — is broken when he reaches out to warmly grasp her hand. She looks up with those lavender irises, so close to the colors people are used to seeing from others' eyes but just outside of the norm that they stand out all the more. Those eyes trace minute saccades over Stephen's face as subconsciously she takes in microdetails about his expression, the way his features look as he speaks, the way his voice sounds, and a hundred other things, as part of truly /seeing/ him. She listens quietly, waiting for him to be done before she replies.

Lightly squeezing his hand in a reassuring fashion, she smiles softly. "Stephen," her voice is full of warmth and understanding. "I didn't mean to inspire any concern in you. You are…./so/ impressive. You're clearly well-educated, raised by parents who were also likely well-educated, and you've probably never spent much time around someone like me, not for any real length of time. I'm a half-breed who spends most of her time trying to shove down the darkest part of me, something I never chose but also something I can't get rid of. I was raised oddly, my mother is a flake, my father is…well. I didn't have friends. I've never … Well, I've never gotten very close to anyone else. So, if your story is depressing, I don't want to go into detail about mine. Unless it would make you feel better by comparison," she says with a little grin.

"Of course, I'll help you in any way I can. The things you mean to help me learn and hone…that's something I couldn't safely or reliably do on my own. I didn't even know about some of the stuff you told me, so I already owe you more than I can repay. The least I can do is be here, be the stand-in for your socializing, if that's what you want. I mean, I can't imagine someone like me could be that interesting to you, but I'll try," she smiles.


Doctor Strange lets his fingers linger against hers. His pulse might uptick just a bit, a hint, although it's hard to prove. There's no denying the simple pleasure of her company that radiates off of him.

"I'm sure you'll inspire me in many ways, beyond concern," he says. "I know something of your background. I did my due diligence, as they say, before I approached you. Enough to know that you've suffered, for being different for who you are. For the blood in your veins," he says, shaking his head. "But I don't think your story is depressing. Your story is perseverence. Your story is finding light in the darkness. Even if your particular light might have a few extra shadows of its own," he says.

"I can assure you, you have my full attention. I am very interested in you. You're not a stand-in for anything or anyone," he says.

He sits back as the first of their food arrives, drinks clinking and taking a moment to draw on his tea through a bendy straw. "I am glad that I could illuminate some of the difficulties you face. I have taken the liberty of, for the moment, dispelling a few of your hangers-on. But they'll return. Which is why it's paramount that you learn to see and get rid of them for yourself," he says. "But not until we've stuffed our faces, at least."


Rachel does absolutely nothing to discourage this physical contact, letting it be for as long as comfortability allows, her fingers even twining with his briefly. Especially as he talks about the struggles she's had to face… These are things she's never been able to talk about with anyone, let alone have anyone understand the difficulties she deals with on an everyday basis… The loneliness of having to keep herself closed off from others…and, craving connection so badly she can almost taste it. Yes, her fingers do link with his as he mentions these things.

She blushes lightly as he further goes on to assure her she's not boring, and in fact, is very interesting and engaging in his opinion. She feels her heart hammer hard when he says he's very interested in her, but she forces it to be calm. Calmer, anyway. "Ah," she exhales, laughing shyly, "I don't see how that can be, but I'll take that compliment. Thank you, Stephen." She pauses, "I'm..very interested in you, too. I don't know if I'm allowed to be, but…I feel very drawn to you. I have since I first met you," she shares rather plainly. If she's to be turned down, then so be it. But, faint heart never won the Sorcerer Supreme. Or, however that saying goes.

Then, before much more can be said, the food arrives and, oh, how Rachel's eyes light up. This is something she's comfortable doing — enjoying food. Her body is starving almost all the time due to her half-demonic biology. There are some demons that are big and beefy, some that are little and impish, and almost any size and shape imaginable… It seems that Rachel's innate type would be the sickly emaciated, with long bony limbs and skeletal features. So, she has to eat and eat and eat some more, to keep what little weight she can on her frame. The fact that she truly loves to eat is a bonus. She digs in almost immediately, but isn't gobbling it down like some sort of cartoon… She eats at a normal pace, but pretty ravenously, all the same. She'd let it go too long between snacks, because she was nervous about the lunch meeting. A mistake she's now remedying with real verve! "MMmmmm," Rachel replies, her eyes rolling closed as she nods her head to his remark about stuffing faces. She swallows a big bite and dabs at her mouth with her napkin before asking for clarity, "What exactly do they do to me? Will I notice changes, once I can keep them away from me?"


Stephen isn't afraid to hold hands with Raven, his fingers nestling with hears easily enough. Perhaps he should be more circumspect or consider the power imbalance between them or a dozen other reasons he should not do what he feels like he wants. But he has learned, in his journey, that he cannot hold himself back on the imagined opinions of others. Especially others who do not know the truth of the situation. He likes holding hands with her, so he does, tracing a finger along the contour of her palm.

"Your demonic heritage probably affects your metabolism. Maintaining a demonic presence on the earthly plane takes energy. It's probably why you have such strong appetites," he says.

"The attraction is very…mutual. I approached you with the intent of merely warning you, perhaps giving you a simple talisman to ward them off. But I…wanted to get to know you. I liked you. And yes, you're gorgeous to look at, you probably know that already," he says, flushing a little. "I don't mean to overreach my grasp," he says.

"The entities you've attracted so far aren't much threat. But they're like krill, waiting for a bigger demon to come along and scoop them up. And you're liable to be swallowed up in the process."


Rachel is afraid to hold hands with Stephen, but her slender fingers with their perfectly manicured nails…are staying in touch with his hand; a big, shy smile earned with the tickling of her palm. She does draw hers away, with slight reluctance, as the food arrives. But, she needs both hands to eat. Because she's just that kind of eater. Especially with something as messy as a patty melt! She stops the waitress before she fully leaves and requests a large, chocolate malted milkshake, too.

Then, to Stephen, she grins crookedly and nods, "How did you know? I've always had to eat pretty voraciously and often to keep weight on me. People worry that I'm malnourished, but I assure you, I eat a lot, and frequently. I admit that I did skip my elevensies, but I was a little…nervous," she grins again, tucking a stray wisp of hair behind her ear. "I didn't know that my attraction was shared, exactly. I mean, I thought I caught a hint of it, but… Well, let's just say I'm very relieved to hear you confirm my hopes," she murmurs.

He thinks she's gorgeous? Wow! Just.. She commits that memory to her internal memory palace, so she can revisit it as often as she likes, later on. Then, shocked, she shakes her head, her eyes wide. "No way are you overreaching! Are you kidding me? Have you looked at yourself in the mirror recently? You're…" she pauses and laughs. "You're not overreaching, believe me. I thought maybe /I/ was, because…well, I'm not as refined and studious or elegant… Like you," she dips her chin and laughs nervously, again.

She pauses in her eating of fries, a big bunch of them in the side of her cheek. "Oh, that doesn't sound fun. I just wondered if I'd notice a change in my abilities, without the leeches following me around. It's cool, though, that I won't get swallowed up by a bigger demon! Definitely don't want that. No," she shakes her head vigorously, so that her messy bun on top kinda wobbles a little.


Doctor Strange smiles, "You give yourself too little credit. Most of what passes as refinement and studiousness is just pretension. I find you delightfully unpretentious. Honestly, many of my encounters with others are colored deeply by my status. I rarely get people just being…real with me. And you have been so, in my encounters. Sometimes uncomfortable, yes, or a little nervous. I was nervous, too, but I'm very good at hiding it. Years of practice," he says.

"Your abilities shouldn't be affected. It's possible they could get a little stronger, if they're feeding at all on your energy. Most likely it would only manifest as maybe greater energy, endurance with your powers, that sort of thing."

He takes a healthy bite of his patty melt, disregarding the compliments to his own appearance. He didn't see anything special in his looks. It was always his mind that got him everywhere. "I just…I'm a bit older than you, after all, and I wouldn't want you to feel like I was…creepy? Is that the right word? Ugh. Between the magic and the flirting with women have my age, I am definitely creepy, I think.


Rachel laughs and shakes her head, "No, trust me, I'm not giving myself too little credit. The only reason I know there are fancy rules governing upperclass dining, for example, is because I watch an inordinate amount of television," she grins lopsidedly. "I was raised being pretty poor, to be honest, sometimes watched by my mother, but usually sleeping at the temple where I was trained by meditation masters. As they were ascetics, well…they didn't have much in the way of physical wealth. That's why I went a little crazy when I went out into the world and learned about stuff I was missing out on. I'm really sheltered in a lot of ways, so….you'd be my first, so to speak, in more ways than one," she shares. She means relationship-wise, magical mentor-wise, and other, more innocent things than she's accidentally alluding to, and she doesn't realize it, either. It's that whole 'sheltered' thing.

She nods her head to the comment about perhaps being afforded a bit more endurance or something along those lines. "Well, I didn't expect to suddenly become twice as powerful, but it doesn't hurt to ask, in case it can help inform me of when something's hinky. Y'know? Though, with being taught, I'm sure you'll show me how to know for sure what's going on with that particular problem." Then, she's quiet while she munches on down on her food, devouring half of her patty melt, all of her fries, and finishing off her Sprite just as the milkshake arrives. She receives it with another expression of delight, that look one gets when looking at a delicious meal that's exactly what they want, and they're just about to eat it.

She smiles and shakes her head, "You're not creepy, at all. You're handsome and a gentleman. And, I feel a spark, a connection with you that I've never felt with another person. Truth be told, I went on my very first date a while ago, with a guy who's younger than me. I know he likes me, a great deal more than I feel for him, and I… Well, he asked me to crash the ESU homecoming dance with him. I really wanted to go, because you know I never had any fun experiences like that… And, he promised me it would just be a date, no expectations. He was very good and nice and sweet, and didn't pressure me or anything. But, I don't…feel that same spark with him. So, I'm afraid I'm going to make him very sad, and I really don't want to, but there's no way around it, I don't think," she sighs.

"I can't help how I feel any more than he can. Nor can you help how you feel. I'm attracted to you. I want to…be around you, get to know you, spend time with you…get closer. But, I can understand if my lack of experience with this kinda thing makes you feel hesitant. Especially when coupled with my age, our mentor/apprentice situation, and my everything else." She smiles softly, chewing on her milkshake's straw. It's true, she won't blame him if he decides, at any point, that it's not what he wants. It doesn't mean she wouldn't be sad or disappointed. Just like Robbie. She sighs, inwardly, thinking about that, again.


Doctor Strange frowns just a bit, "There's nothing wrong with being poor. Or sheltered," he sighs. "This world is often an awful place. I think it's instinct to try and protect those we care about from it. And I've known a few ascetics in my time. Even took up the practice myself for a time, although it didn't take. Spiritual mastery aside, I enjoy the material world a little too much. Garden of fleshly delights and all that," he says, meeting her eyes rather directly.

"As long as you're comfortable with the differences between us, that's all that matters to me. I've never exactly suited the world's idea of who or what I should be. Well, I did, once upon a time, but I've learned, in some ways, that wasn't really me. Just my idea of what I could be. Perhaps even my parents' idea. I tried so very hard to please them, to own everything, to be…adored. Feared. Revered. They say all surgeons get a god complex. I can't speak for all, but I certainly did. Ironic, that giving up my pretentions of grandeur lead me to becoming far, far more powerful than I'd ever imagined.

"I am sorry for the boy. I can't blame him for pursuing you. But I also can't bemoan his fate too much, if I'm to be the beneficiary," he says with a hint of a smile. "He is young and resilient. I am sure he will endure. But it is kind that you don't want to hurt him."


Rachel listens with interest to his words, as he shares more of his past with her. While it doesn't surprise her to learn he's studied with ascetics and practiced asceticism, it's still fascinating to contemplate. She wonders if his experience was anything like hers. And, she's in mid-thought about that when Stephen levels her with that smoldering gaze. She blushes and her jaw drops a little, but in a good way. She fans herself with a menu, blinking a little and grinning through the shyness.

"Allow me to assure you, this time. I am not concerned by our age difference, at least as far as it concerns you being older than me. I do worry that I'm so inexperienced that it'll be a burden to you, an onus that you will come to resent. But, it's so early that I don't want to extrapolate or peer too far into the future. Putting the cart before the horse and all those old sayings," she says with a quirky smile. Little does she know you actually /can/ peer into the future! She finishes off her milkshake and the last half of her patty melt while you talk, and she listens to you speak with great interest, her wide lavender eyes trained on you.

"If your parents aren't proud of you, I don't know what to say. You're a doctor, a surgeon, at that…and you're a powerful sorcerer who can summon a banana-mango-pineapple smoothie by rubbing a little teapot in the right spot! If that's not impressive and pride-inducing, I just can't even," she holds her hands up, shaking her head and grinning.

Then, on the subject of Robbie, she exhales and nods, "It's a bad situation. I'm trying to be decent, and be as kind as I can be without hurting him, but… I just don't see a way around it. He's a good person, he works hard, he doesn't complain. I really like him. He's a wonderful friend. But, I just don't…feel that way…for him. I want him to be happy, and I want to help him, but I know if I tried to help him, his sense of pride would be offended. Like, he works hard to take care of himself and his little brother, who's paraplegic. I have money and I want to give him some, or give him a place to stay that's free, or something. /Something/. But, I can't even offer it to him because it'd be insulting, I think. So, here I am, stuck with having to dash his hopes… And, even worse, I've found someone I'm interested in pretty quickly." She sighs dejectedly and looks down at the Mocha Mocha Java Cheesecake laid in front of her, along with the cold glass of milk. "I'm almost sad enough I can't eat this," she says poutily. "Almost."


Doctor Strange smiles, "You're no burden, but, even if you were, I have broad shoulders and can carry more than you might think. I'm a rather good judge of what I want and the worth of it. And what I want, if I may be permitted to be a little crude in my metaphors, is you, Rachel," he says.

"My parents were very proud of me. I don't blame them. But I knew what they wanted. They wanted a doctor, they wanted a man of science. An Ivy League man. I was all that. But I wonder what I might have been, left to my own devices. I suppose I could look. I could follow the strings of fate easily enough, see other lives that might've been mine. But that seems…a dangerous habit. The kind of thing you could lose yourself in."

"Your friendship alone is quite a gift. If he can't see that, I can't imagine he would have appreciated something more," he adds. "Young men can be prideful. He may well be hurt. But you don't have to be in a relationship with him to be kind to him, to help him, to be his friend. Hopefully he can see that."

He looks at the cheesecake and smiles, "You'd best eat it quickly, or I'll steal it for myself."


At the comment about his shoulders, Rachel can't help but admire the literal, physical veracity of his statement in effect, the way those shoulders fill out the dark blue-purple shirt. She lets her gaze travel back to her face as she bites her lower lip and blushes at the 'crude' metaphor, smiling archly. "Only if I can admit that I want you, too, without coming off as creepy," she replies, chewing on her knuckle a little. "I mean, I'm the one who started texting you multiple times a day after you gave me a way to contact you. I was trying to hint to you about how I felt, but I didn't want to come on too strong. I didn't want to ruin the offer you'd put forward to me, because that's very important to me. It's just that I'm so drawn to you, and I wanted to know if you felt something similar. So, I sent you my outfits of the day, and found a reason to remind you to eat something good, and to go to sleep at a reasonable time…" she lifts her shoulders and grins shyly. "Maybe that's way more forward than most people, but I've always loved that in the k-dramas I watch. It shows a level of interest in a person beyond the usual, but isn't, like, too pressure-y?" she struggles to find the right words.

"You speak of them in the past tense, so I take it they're no longer with us. I…don't have the best of examples of parents, but as long as they loved you and didn't seek to exploit you for their own gains, I'd say that's a win. You made them happy and now you can live life for you and those you care about," she smiles, placing her foot next to his and lightly tapping at it once, as an awkward gesture of affection. Not quite at the level of footsie, but at least somewhat adjacent!

Her brows lifting, she blinks a bit blankly before she says, "Wow. You can follow strands of Fate and see what could be/could have been? That's wild. I can imagine it's very dangerous and I don't want you to do that for us. Because, if it's bad, I don't want to know. Not yet," she's looking a little nervous. "I really hope it's not like in Buffy, where if she and Angel are together, bad shit happens, and he turns evil and she's all… Well, let's just put it this way, Joss Whedon doesn't like happy romance," she shakes her head. "I don't want him writing my romance."

She smiles warmly and nods, "You're right, of course. I just…don't want to lose him as a friend. It will ultimately be his choice, of course. So, what I want doesn't really matter. If it's too hard for him to be around me, then I'll have to be accepting and understanding, because that's what a good friend would do. We'll see. I feel a little more responsibility to tell him, now, because I'm definitely interested in someone else. Before, I sort of said, 'Well, maybe, if we're friends for a while, I'll eventually come to feel something for him.' Tried to keep my mind open to it. But, that's not going to happen, now. And, if I'm honest, it was just an easy excuse for me to not have to break it to him so soon," she sighs, again. "But, you're right. And, hopefully, he will see it, eventually."

When Stephen playfully threatens to steal her Mocha Mocha Java Cheesecake, she gasps in faux-indignation! Her jaw dropped, her eyes wide, her brows raised, she picks up her fork and holds it like she's got an idea. "Sooooo, it's /Cake Wars/, is it, Mr. Chock-o-Licious Fudge Smacker?" she asks, arching a brow and grinning wickedly. "I warn you. I am a champion cake warrior, and just because you're hella handsome doesn't mean I'll take it easy on you!" she assumes a faux-martial arts pose while holding her fork.


Strange does, indeed, receive his Chock-O-Licious Fudge Smacker, a massive multi-layered tier cake with four different kinds of chocolate, somewhere between German chocolate cake and lava cake. With a dollop of ice cream, "I much prefer love to war," he says simply and, with a deft use of knife and fork, he cuts his cake and hers both in twain, shifting portions so that each has half. "There. Now there's no need for us to fight," he says.

"To be honest, you texting me, talking to me, all of that has given me something I haven't had in years. My position and my power has made it difficult for me to be…real with people? Is that a fair way to put it? There's always so much at stake. It's difficult to make friends when most of the people you know you only meet when there's a cosmic catastrophe on the horizon. Not much small talk when the fabric of space and time is starting to unravel between your fingers," he says. With most people, that would be an exaggeration, but it's quite literal in his case.

"I'm afraid I've never seen Buffy. The show, anyway. I saw the movie when I was in college. I think," he admits. "I didn't have a great deal of time for popular culture. Not in a snobby way. Well, maybe it did used to be in a snobby way. But just in teh sense of…I was always studying. Always busy."

He leaves the subject of the boy in question alone. Ultimately, she'd have to figure out how to deal with the problem, one way or another. "Just let me know if he becomes problematic in some way. I don't want you being harassed," he says, with a certain amount of finality as the two of them start to settle into their mutual desserts.


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