2019-10-02 - Dinner B&B Style


Hank invites Betty to dinner. Then pizza!

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: October 2nd, 2019
Location: Longhorn Steak House, NYC

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After having had breakfast with an after meal bout of bandaging, Hank watched as the Uber he ordered for the reporter carried her off again to work. A firm nod to himself, and then he takes his own Uber to check in at his hotel room, a decent one, but nothing too expensive - just a basic room at the Radisson.

He spends the next several hours working through a thoroughly lengthy backlog of emails, and papers to be graded from his students at the Institute. This keeps him busy until almost five PM!

Pausing for a break, he ambles to the restroom and splashes a bit of water on his eyes before heading out to the balcony and perching on the railing as he calls Betty.

What? He's only up about thirty floors, that's nothing to worry about! And the view is killer.

Betty Brant went about her day as per usual. The boss was fed, the news rolls out, leads are taken and some are killed off as nothing. Such is news. When five rolls around, the reporter/Girl Friday is on her way home back to Hell's Kitchen. Blinking, she glances at her side bag, feeling her phone vibrating and dancing about.

A brush of her finger and the call is accepted. Hank can hear people moving around her, background noise of horns and cars during the evening rushhour just gets started.

"Hello? Betty Brant speaking."

"Hello, Miss Brant, Hank McCoy here." Even over the phone his voice is deep, exactingly enunciated as if to compensate for bestial appearance with cultured manner. "I was making good on my threat to take you to dinner, if that's still on the table." A warm chuckle. "The offer, not the meal, presumably that would be on the table by default…well, unless it were a picnic."

Hearing the background noises he continues. "Of course you're driving at the moment, so I will be brief." You can hear the smile. "Would steak be acceptable fare? I admit to a fondness for the Longhorn Steakhouse near my hotel, if that sounds decent…meet there at six-thirty?"

He can hear the woman laughing, the sound melodic and genuine. "Overthinking things, hmm? Well, I guess with your brain that just comes with the territory. Oh, no, I'm not driving. I don't have a car, so I'm just walking home at the moment." Listening, she nods. "Longhorn Steakhouse? Wow, I haven't been to one of those in…huh, I don't think I've ever been to one of those. I do like steak, however. What's the dress code?" Beat. "Six-thirty sounds wonderful."

From his side of the conversation Betty can probably hear a steady breeze, not enough to be a bother, but noticeable all the same. She can definitely hear the smile behind his words. "Perhaps. Occupational hazard, though after slogging through my email and grading, my brains are approximately the consistency of tapioca pudding, chilled."

An 'aaah'. "Well, I heard the street noises." A chuckle. "Think of Outback Steakhouse, only halve the prices, and have essentially the exact same menu. I'm not poor, but I'm also not going to pay twice the money for the same meal. Also, the staff are friendly there." A shift to dangle from the balcony, rocking a bit as they talk…Betty'd probably have a fit if she knew. "So…six thirty, casual attire is the norm. I look forward to seeing you again."

"See you then. Oh, will the table be under your name and may I have the address?" Assuming she's given the answer, Betty will end the conversation and look at the time. A curse under her breath, her steps become a light jog as she rushes down to the underground and catches a train.

Six-thirty, on the dot, she waits in the lobby, another curse at herself for being late (as she was on time.) As he advised, her attire is casual - ratty denim, red pumps (because curse you, she missed them!), and a loose fabric top, sleeveless. Her hair is up in a messy due, strands draping and some fixed with runed beadwork. Her chest heaves lightly - perhaps she ran the rest of the way.

The information is provided of course, and Hank, dangling from the balcony by one foot puts the phone away before hopping back up and back to his room. It is an unfair advantage to have been calling from the hotel room, that's certain. He takes a hot shower, spends an obnoxious amount of time drying and grooming his blue-black fur, and then dresses for the meal date in khaki colored khakis, and a burnt-umber button down shirt with short sleeves, worn untucked, the shirt looks pretty comfortable. Sadly, he also needs must wear shoes due to dress code, but he's there already and waiting by the bar.

Hank grins when he sees the reporter arrive, and then tips as he rises and moves towards the lobby. "Hello, Betty." He greets.

Betty Brant smiles at the Beast, her face a bit pink from the rush of blood and lack of air her sprint induced on her. "Hank," she greets happily enough, her expression already passing into apologetic territory. "I'm so, so sorry I'm late. I hope I didn't keep you waiting for long." Reaching up, she brushes back any stray slips of bronze-gold, clearing her throat and steadying her breathing.

Hank shakes his head. "Pish and tosh, you're here in plenty of time, Betty. I was here barely ahead of you, so no apologies, agreed?" He smiles and moves towards the Hostess, offering the woman a smile. "Hello, Angelica, is my table ready yet?" The woman, who clearly knows Hank, smiles and nods. "Right this way, Doctor McCoy." She grabs a couple of menus, a warm smile to Betty as well, and then leads them into the place to a private booth tucked in one corner. Saturday night, the place is fairly busy.

Hank will hand Betty in, if she permits, then sit opposite her with a grin. "One point in this place's favor - the booths are -large-." He grins toothily.

Betty Brant breathes and eases, nodding her thanks and then following after Angelica. She, too, offers a smile for a smile. Following after, she feels the gentle press of hand before claiming her seat and setting her clutch aside. It was average size and not small what so ever. Thankfully, though, the bag wasn't huge, either.

Chuckling, she nods. "Well, that is good. I, well, am curious how much your life has changed since your mutantation. If that's too personal, I completely understand." She explains, a bit of shock in her eyes that the question even slipped out so freely.

They have a few minutes wait before a server comes by. Hank laughs softly at the question, and is not at all off put. "Oh, not at all, Betty. You can ask me anything you like, I'm not all that cursed with shyness."

A moment to ponder. "First off - I have always been a mutant, my body shape was always more in line with a great ape than homo-sapiens." He holds up one long arm, displaying the thick fore arms and large hands a moment. "The fur came later, and might not be there for much longer." He adds.

A smile. "Growing up as a mutant was not terribly awful, though kids got a bit mean in school once it became obvious that my shape was more than just cosmetic."

"I remember reading before that most instances of mutation happen during puberty. So, your own was something from birth?" She asks, not much unlike conducting an interview with him. However, her phone is no here to be seen, nor is her trusty notebook. It's just her, across from him, asking and leaning in to show her interest. She smiles then, "Children can be mean regardless. They find one thing and it's all over. I remember being picked on because of my brother."

The server appears about then, a positively stunningly energetic college girl with BRIGHT red hair, and green eyes, yeah, the Irish even flows into her nametag 'Ciara'. "Hello!" She fair to chirps. "I'm Ciara…and I'll be seein' to your needs tonight, folks." A brilliant grin. "So…Doctor McCoy, your usual blackberry tea?" Hank grins. "Yes, please, Ciara." Pronounced KEERuh. She smiles again and nods, then turns to Betty. "And for you, miss?" Once the drink order is placed she grins. "I'll be back with your drinks, and if you need a few after that I can come back for the order."

The girl fair to zooms off, a bus boy dropping off hot pumpernickel on a wooden serving platter, and a small container of whipped butter, along with two waters.

Hank waits until all that, then nods. "Oh yes, most mutants are from puberty, I had mine from birth." He sighs. "Well, they did have cause once I -did- hit puberty, I was always fairly athletic, but…my powers came into play then, and I got very strong, it was unfair."

"Strawberry lemonade, please. Thank you." Brant waits, too, waiting for the ceremony of ordering is over with for the time being. When bread arrives, she removes her arms from the table and reaches for a piece. Knife up, overly massive in side and handle, she starts buttering her hunk and taking a bite

"I'm not sure I'd call it unfair, but I can see why it would be considered as such. I'm sorry if that meant you couldn't participate as you once did. You seem rather gifted in a number of fields at least." A nibble, a swallow, she samples her water. "I'm not going to pretend that everything is fine now, but I'd rather ask you directly - how was growing up for you?"

Once Betty has her bread, Hank cuts off a hunk, and butters it, though he sets his aside a moment as he answers. "Growing up was pretty normal prior to my teen years, sure, 'Magilla Gorilla' isn't the most fun of nicknames, but…" A shrug. "…like you said, kids can be mean, I didn't let it get me down." Finally he takes a bite of his bread. "I was always fairly socially awkward, of course. I skipped a few grades, you see. And then I was recruited by what was to become the X-Men, and got a /real/ education."

The drinks are dropped off, and dinner order taken - Hank ordered an Onion Blossom appetizer, their potato soup, and a rib eye with all the fixins'.

"It wasn't easy, not really ever, a lot of stress in schooling, but my parents have always been very supportive and loving, Norton and Edna McCoy are good people. My moral compass, really."

"The X-men?" Betty questions now, pausing in her train of thought as she places her order as well. No appetizer for her, but a steak is on the menu, medium-rare with mashed spuds and veggies. Reaching out, she accepts her tart and sweet drink, giving it a stir with its straw before sipping.

"What are the X-men?" Beat, a smile. "I'm glad your parents were there for you. I have a great deal of love for my mom as well."

"A band of Mutant heroes, Betty. Their sponsor mentored me, helped me train my mind and body, we're a team." Hank looks thoughtful. "Did you hear about that thing with the Massachusetts Academy some years ago? We were heavily involved in bringing it down." Which memory is clearly not his fondest. "But yes, we do the 'superhero' thing." A grin. "After all, I have these amazing abilities, it seems only right I should use them to help people - especially those who can't help themselves, mm?"

"So, your team could help aid the mutants in Mutant Town? Or the ones still in the DZ? I mean, everyone loves a hero, especially thsoe they can relate to personally. You-you all would be such a great insperation to those like you, especially during troubling times." Another drink, a hunk of bread, she chews and watches over the man's face attentively.

"Well, several of us do things for those in need, Mutant Town, and yes…the DZ, things have been a little less cohesive than the early days, honestly. My last field op with the team was some few weeks ago, we were at an old hospital. More recently I've been working with SHIELD on a couple of different cases." He smiles. "You seem very interested in Mutants, not had many opportunities to talk with them? We're not all that uncommon, after all." Hank smiles then. "I'm not complaining, people fear the known far less than the unknown, I really am willing to talk to you about almost anything, Betty. Just can't violate any confidences, if that makes sense?"

"Of course it does, but it's been a bit of a slog to get anywhere, really. The press can be..scary, and with a mess of smear campaigns, I can see why. I'm interested in helping, and nothing sparks my rage like bigotry and persecution. Just…not right to pick on the little guy, even if said little guy is like you." A sad smile, she sips from her straw once more. Finishing off her bread, she eyes across to Hank's appetizers once they arrive a the table.

"I've only personally know a few mutants, sadly. I dated one a long time ago, I'm not sure if he was ever fully comfortable with who he was. He didn't hide it or anything, just…I don't now. Compound being a black man in the city along with being a mutant and a cop? Hard life." Resting back, she continues. "I got to meet Mr. Lehnsherr. He was…amazing, honestly. There was a power to him I've yet to explain, even to myself. Besides you? I think that's all I know. I'm not sure the other super beings I've come across would be considered homo-superior."

"It is not often an easy thing to be a mutant, people fear the 'other', and with the registration act and so on, we've bene hunted more than embraced." Hank grins. "That you're able to see past the differences to the people underneath is quite remarkable, Betty. Not all that many can, even with the repeal of the act my appearance is a source of fear for many, hostility for some, disgust for others. Even before I was furry that was true - less obviously a mutant is not the same as /not/ obviously a mutant, by any means."

The appetizer arrives, and there's plenty to share. The fried onion is HUGE, fanned out so you can pluck the battered and deep fried petals and there's even a dipping sauce.

"Ah, Mister Lensherr, at once the best and worst of us, still, there's no doubting his considerable power and charisma. He's one of the luckier ones, he can hid his mutant nature."

"He can, but he doesn't. He wears it, proudly, and I respect that about him. I wasn't sure if when I was researching about him how I'd feel, but as of late, I've seen the…lighter side of taking some things into one's own hands. Sometimes, the powers that be are just not enough." Eyeing the onion, she doesn't reach out for any of it, seeming content with bread at the time being.

"Really, it's not remarkable. At least it shouldn't be considered as such. It's how things should be." She smiles, biting at her slice and chewing politely. "May I ask - why did you invite me to dinner?"

"Yes, he's definitely no more shy about it than I am, I will confess we've never been close, however." Hank pauses, and then digs into the onion, he definitely leads an active life and needs the fuel! "Oh, the law is well and good, but there's a difference between the letter of it, and the spirit of it. I tend to lean more towards the latter than the former." After all, he's a vigilante superhero! Laws are a little grey for that lot.

"No, it shouldn't be, but it -is- far more often than otherwise."

And then at the question. "Well, I have very keen senses, Betty. I could tell you were frustrated, and a bit more than out of sorts…I know that congenial company is a strong remedy for those things. Further, I admire your work, and found your company diverting and enjoyable. So…why /not/ ask you to dinner?"

As was known by her writings alone, Betty herself was a fan of the odd vigilante. Offering the last hunk of bread, Brant will eat into it herself should the Beast refuse the offer. Then, she chuckles. "Oh, I see…you could sense I needed some company and invited me out?" She smirks, a dimple pressing into her cheek. It's a self-defeating smile, but one none the less.

"Well, thank you. I'm grateful for the company and I'm sure things will figure themselves out. Just…takes time, I guess."

"Well, that and I find you rather attractive." Hank admits though oddly he's not looking at Betty. "If you can forgive my being forward, of course. I don't mean to presume." He looks up then, and reaches across the table to grip one of Betty's, assuming she permits of course. "Betty, don't do that, I asked /in part/ because I could sense your need, there /is/ more than that, however."

Hank sighs very softly. "I am sometimes a bit awkward, sure, put me up in front of a full auditorium? No problem. Armed robbery? Piece of cake. Casual conversation and such? PRetty adept, but…talking to a pretty girl? Tongue tied."

"Well, that and I find you rather attractive." Hank admits though oddly he's not looking at Betty. "If you can forgive my being forward, of course. I don't mean to presume." He looks up then, and reaches across the table to grip one of Betty's hands, assuming she permits of course. "Betty, don't do that, I asked /in part/ because I could sense your need, there /is/ more than that, however."

Hank sighs very softly. "I am sometimes a bit awkward, sure, put me up in front of a full auditorium? No problem. Armed robbery? Piece of cake. Casual conversation and such? PRetty adept, but…talking to a pretty girl? Tongue tied."

Betty Brant glances from his hand, the massive size of it and how it practically swallows her own whole. She doesn't pull away, however, allowing her subdued gaze to settle on his features. She didn't miss his compliments, and at least she gives him a thankful shadow of a smile. Reaching over, her fingers inch closer to his face. It's then that she pulls a soft bit of frided only shell from a sweep of blue fur. Setting the crumb aside, she brushes at the fur and sets it right.

"I guess it's only fair to warn you that I'm a mess. Granted, you've seen part of that already."

"Oh, that's alright, I am too." Hank says with a smile that's just as quirky as his hand is large.

Encouraged by the fact she didn't pull back, he keeps the hand there, very very gentle despite the size of it, and is very still when that big of a crumb is picked away. "Thank you." He says, and then sits back moments before the server shows up with their food. Yeah, he definitely has some keen senses, it would seem. "Thank you, Ciara." He says to the girl as she drops the meal off. "Oh, sure thing Doc." She smiles to both of Hank and Betty, then skeedaddles.

"So…what does Betty Brant do for fun?" He asks.

"I guess everyone is in some way." Pulling back as their food arrives, she shifts in her seat and gets ready to cut at her steak. "Fun? I'm not sure I've done fun in awhile. It…use to be sleeping in and grabbing a coffee or something from a bakery. I couldn't honestly tell you what it is lately." It was a humbling thought, to be sure, not remembering what fun was.

"I guess 'fun' is being busy. I'm not sure what to do with myself when I have downtime." A slice, she checks the pink of her meal before taking a bite. "And you? Does your brain ever shut off?"

"People are…" And Hank just leaves it at that. People are what they are, who they are. Heartfelt. "I spend more time in the lab, than I do in my actual quarters, at least the Institute has a pool. My friends there will often barbecue, but everyone's so busy." A laugh. "Myself especially, fun for the sake of fun? Not a very commonly done thing. At all."

Hank digs into his steak with both excellent appetite, and just as excellent manners.

A laugh. "Oh heavens to Betsy, no. I can't think of a single moment when I wasn't thinking about something. Sometimes it is annoying, like when I want to get some sleep, for example." A deep basso rumble of a chuckle. "BUT…I /can/ focus."

"What did you like as a kid? Is there anything you'd like to do again you did back then?" Cutting slices, polite in her own way but more reserved in her appetite. That is, until she starts digging into the veg and spuds. Especially the stubs.

"I think I want to go back to Philly someday. Just…visit, y'know? Go to places I use to go to, diners and the like?" She eats and then continues. "Are you from New York?"

"Well, as a young kid I liked roller coasters, and building models, mostly of spaceships and the like." Yes, he was a nerd. "Flying a kite was fun too. I have always loved swimming and the beach, though."

He notes the Philly comment, and then smiles. "Me? No, not a New Yorker, I was born in Chicago, raised in Dundee, Illinois. I'm a mid-westerner, one of those /heathens/ who favors Pan pizza over thin."

"I wouldn't suggest any beaches around here. Jersey…maybe? But that's a hard maybe." She muses, taking her time with food and drink in turn. Then she giggles, leaning in, she stage whispers in his direction. "I love pan pizza. I happen to love bread." Obviously.

"No, not many nice beaches around here." Hank agrees readily and whole-heartedly. The giggle draws a laugh from the man, and a nod. "Well, then we're pizza-kindred-souls, Betty. I think we'll need to try some Lou Malnati's, I'll order it delivered." From Chicago? How would that work?

"Lou Malnati's?" She asks, taking the comment about ordering it in. There is confusion there, and a hint of blush. "This dinner isn't enough yet? I'm not against pizza, but…" Was he asking for another date already? More food is gone, and in time, the woman is half-finished with her dinner. Pausing, she washes it down with lemonade.

"Oh, forgive me, I meant for another time, they ship - packed in dried ice - anywhere in the US." Hank says with a hint of darknening to his fur. "Forgive me, I think I might have jumped ahead of things, that whole 'thinking' too fast thing." Hank fairly kicks himself under the table. "Sorry, Betty, I am enjoying the meal and the company, so when you mentioned that you liked pan, I naturally thought about ordering it…"

"Order it." She advises gently, her hand still resting under his own until she pulls it away. "Regardless of the reason, it'll be eaten and enjoyed, I'm sure." A smile, she finishes off her meal all together, taking the time to just settle into quiet, food, and the white noise of the steak house around them.

"Please, don't think I'm not thankful for tonight. I really am. You weren't wrong in your assumptions, I'm just not sure how to talk about them. I…type, write, interview, but this stuff? Well, I get tongue-tied, too."

"Well, I do work at a school. If nothing else I am sure the ravenous hordes there will be happy to assist." Hank's smile is wry. Hank nods then, and tucks in as well, the man's manners as exacting and precise as his elocution. He'a actually quite comfortable with the silence, it is companionable, not awkward. Which is nice.

"Well, Betty, the simple fact is that I am enjoying our meal, it is nice to just do something 'normal', sometimes I really have to wonder what that even means." A brief chuckle. "So, really, you needn't feel compelled to offer thanks for spending time with me."

He looks thoughtful about the tongue-tied thing. "We all have our areas of comfort. If you're willing I'll listen to whatever you wish to share. Sometimes just /speaking/ of things is an immense help."

"I understand that. I agree with it, too. I just think I've spoken too much already. Not to you personally, just, I'm not sure. Seems all I do lately is talk." Reaching back and brushing at the nape of her neck, she offers him a smile and pushes her empty plate aside to be picked up. Sipping her drink, she watches across the table toward the Beast. "I think some silence would be nice, honestly."

A warm laugh. "Betty, the offer is open. If you're ready to talk another time and just want to give me a call, feel free, if not, that's okay too." Hank nods and smiles, and the rest of the meal passes in companionable silence. At the last he rises, handing Betty out of the booth. "Thank you for a lovely evening, Betty Brant." And with that he'll order an Uber, and see her off before heading back to his hotel.

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