Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Raveled

Conversations: Intimate (IC)

Recommended Posts

April 23rd, 2011

6:34 PM

Jessica Parker sat at her table at Backstage, stirring her drink slowly while her mind raced ahead of her. She barely paid attention to surroundings, but to be fair Backstage was a fairly typical restaurant/bar for the neighborhood; a wide open, vaguely industrial floor surrounding a goodly-sized stage. Wrought-iron stairs lead to a wrought-iron balcony over-looking the whole thing, where two separate bars running down either wall served all sorts of alcoholic beverages.

The appeal of such a place was supposed to be the dinner theater performed on the central stage, but Jessica had specifically requested a table for two as far away from the action as possible. She wasn't here to listen to a story. She felt the need to do some serious talking with her boyfriend.

Share this post


Link to post

Blake slowly opened the Backstage doors, already looking for his girlfriend. His eyes darted about the room, and he spotted her in the back of the restaurant. His tennis shoes squeaked against the floor at a moderate tempo as he made his way towards her table with a purpose. It had been a while since they had been on a proper date, considering their last meeting was a coincidental one involving Deep Ones, but when she called him, he had a feeling she wasn't calling to ask him to a movie. His heart beat a little faster, and he tried to steady it. In the back of his mind, Blake thought he had done something wrong. He took a deep breath, and smiled a little at her as he took a seat next to her.

His kiss on her cheek was gentle and quick, and he put his hands on the table, ready to talk. "Are you alright, honey?"

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica was so deep in thought that she didn't notice Blake enter the restaurant until he was standing at the table, leaning over her. She started at the kiss, an involuntary motion, and tried to compensate by smiling widely at him when he sat down. Her hands sought his out and squeezed them tightly. "Hey, Blake. I'm... I dunno. I've been thinking about things lately and sometimes it seems like my head's going to explode because of it." She smiled again, this time looking tired but more natural. "Have you ever had one of those days? When so much is going on that you don't know how you can survive it all?"

Share this post


Link to post

Blake held her hands and squeezed them back. "I do, Jessica. Tell me what's bothering you." He looked into her eyes, and gave her a gentle smile. "You know I'll always listen if you need someone." His eyes flickered to the table, and he inwardly sighed with relief at her statement; at least it wasn't something he did. His eyes returned to hers, and he smiled warmly at her. "I love you."

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica looked down at her drink, still holding onto Blake's hands. She felt a sudden apprehension at what she was about to say, but she had tried to dance around the issue with Mara and Tom and it hadn't gone so well, so she wanted to try and get talking about it right away. "Around Christmas," she began, "when you got depowered. Did you ever just think about staying that way? Not going back to being a hero?" Her eyes flickered up to Blake's and then back down, as Jessica felt her stomach churning in anxiety.

Share this post


Link to post

"Not for one moment." he said, his voice becoming serious. "After I knew I lost my powers, I made every effort to get them back. Not by the same methods, mind you..." He looked up at her with a grin. "But I found some good magical tomes and learned magic the hard way. By studying! God help me, I actually had to study for something. You were on my mind the whole time, Jessica. I couldn't give up being a hero. Not just for the crime-fighting, although that gave me a satisfaction and courage I couldn't find anywhere else. I kept going because I wanted to keep fighting crime with you, Jessica. I love you." He raised one of her hands and kissed it.

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica looked up at Blake finally, her expression serious. "But what if I wasn't a hero?" Her fingers intertwined with Blake's as she locked gazes with him. "What if I retired from being a hero? If I hung up the armor and was just a normal person, living my own private life? What would happen then, Blake?"

Share this post


Link to post

Blake blinked and hesitated a moment. The thought had crossed his mind on several occasions, but it was one he had never given any attention to. He looked deep into her eyes, and spoke resolutely. "Jessica, if you decided to hang up your armor, I'd be with you one hundred percent. Admittedly, I would miss our excursions slash villain-fighting dates." He couldn't hide a grin, and it broke out on his face. "But you know I'd support whatever you decide, Jess. You know I love you." Blake scooted his chair closer to her and gave her a sweet kiss on the cheek. "So, uh...what brought up this thought, anyway?"

Share this post


Link to post

She'd told this story before, but it didn't get any easier. "Remember all those portals opening up a week ago? I ended up falling through one and going back in time. I... I saw my grandfather, Blake. Back when he was the first Ironclad." She shifted uncomfortably in her seat, glancing away from her boyfriend. "And... and he was fighting people. He was killing them."

Share this post


Link to post

Blake sat for a moment, his eyes turned down. If she was paying attention, she would have noticed Blake's hands flinch a little, away from her. "Jessica." he said, looking back up at her. "Your grandfather fought in Vietnam, right? I can't condone war, the concept of it, that is...but he was fighting for his country, Jessica. I know you wouldn't kill people, and even though you inherited his legacy, you don't have to think of it as tarnished. Is every soldier a cold-blooded murderer? They fight, but they fight to defend their country. I've never been very politically inclined myself, but I'm glad there are people out there who defend us."

Share this post


Link to post

"But..." Jessica fell silent again, her mouth opening and closing a few times before she was able to speak again. "I know a soldier is just supposed to follow orders, but is this really the legacy that I want to be a part of? Do I want to keep spreading the name and fortune of a killer." She squeezed Blake's hand hard enough to turn her knuckles white. "I just don't know what to do. Usually my options are so clear, but right now there doesn't seem like a simple answer."

Share this post


Link to post

Blake removed her hands from his, and before she could protest, he scooted his chair next to hers. His arm wrapped around her shoulder and held her close. "One thing you can't do is blame yourself. You didn't know that your grandfather fought in a war, and there's no way you could have. I do have one possible solution for you, Jessica." His hands moved back to hers and held them gently. "Now I've always known you were the smart one. Sure, I can do magic, but you're a certifiable genius. Why not reinvent yourself, so to speak? Make a new suit, assume a new identity. If being the granddaughter of a soldier will bother you so much, building a new suit shouldn't be a challenge, especially for someone with as much technical skill as you do." Blake kissed her cheek hard, and smiled. "And I'll be happy with whatever you choose, because you were still with me when I changed from Kid Cthulhu to Warlock."

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica leaned into Blake's hug, staring at the still-deserted stage as he spoke. She closed her eyes, and when he kissed her she swallowed past a sudden lump in her throat. "So is it the magic that let's yo see a third option?" She gave him a peck on the lips and a tiny shove, encouraging him to go back to the other side of the table.

When she opened her eyes they were bright with tears and she wiped them with her napkin. "You know, I talked to Tom Walker about all of this, over at L.A.I.R. He said that I needed a vacation. Well, actually what he said is that we need a vacation. Like, together."

Share this post


Link to post

Blake nodded, sitting at the other side of the table. His eyebrows raised, and a hint of a smile could be seen on his face. "Jessica, that sounds like a great idea. I think we both need time away from Freedom City, and our respective jobs." His mind flashed back to how busy he had been not weeks before, and he realized he was long overdue for a vacation. "I've got other contacts that can keep Freedom safe from magical threats. It's not like I'm the only wizard around here, just the only one who advertises." he said with a wink. "Where would you want to go?"

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica was surprised at Blake's enthusiasm for the idea, but once she started giving it serious thought she realized it wasn't too bad. "Mm, I don't know. I never really considered a vacation. I mean, I had school all the time, and then heroing and the Lab and... and... wow." She sat back and stared into space for a long minute. "Maybe Europe? There's some beautiful old buildings out there, and a lot of museums to visit. Or we could rent a car and just drive from city to city, seeing what there is to see." The more she thought of the idea, the more it appealed to her. "Yeah, we could have a lot of fun. And I think there's fewer metahumans and whatnot in Europe, so maybe we can just have a nice, relaxing vacation."

Share this post


Link to post

Blake grabbed her hands and squeezed them. "Europe would be absolutely perfect this time of year. When would we go?" His eyes were full of joy, and a bright youthful smile lit up his face. It would be perfect for the two of them, as a couple. "I'll have to take off, but I imagine Nick and the other mystics will be able to hold off any major supernatural threats for a few days. Where in Europe would you want to go? I've always wanted to check out the London art scene."

Share this post


Link to post

"I don't really know Europe all that well," Jessica said slowly. "I've never traveled much outside of Freedom City, actually." She bit her lip and squirmed in her seat, overtaken by a sudden, perverse idea. "Maybe we can go over there without a plan? Just rent a car and drive." She squeezed his hands across the table. "We could spend a couple of weeks, going where we want. Doing what we want, just for a little while." She smiled at him. "I'd be a great birthday present, hon."

Share this post


Link to post

Blake thought about it for a moment, and his face lit up like a Christmas tree. He looked straight into her eyes, and winked at her. "We'll find the true America, I reckon." He moved her hand up to his lips and kissed it lovingly. "That sounds like a great idea, babe. We'll take your Explorer...my motorcycle would not be so comfortable. I imagine your helmet could keep bugs out of your teeth- but. Let's just take your car." He swiped back his hair, which was almost growing shaggy, and smiled widely at her. "When shall we take our fanciful journey, my love?"

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica smiled, showing her teeth. "Such a spontaneous man," she said. "Just ready to take off at any time. I hope you don't act this way around all the technopathic super-geniuses." She sat back and pulled her hands free of his, folding them in her lap and playing with the ring on her finger. "All of America, huh? Well, how about the beginning of June? That's right around my birthday, and I can't think of a better time to take a vacation. And I definitely can't think of someone I want to spend it with more than you."

Share this post


Link to post

Blake smiled back, and scooted his chair closer. "Well, Europe doesn't sound that bad either. I've never been out of the country in my life." He faltered for a moment, looking down, and briefly played with the sleeves of his jacket. "I've- I've also never flown on an airplane before. I know that sounds dumb- I mean, everyone's been on an airplane. It just never came up in my life. My parents could never afford to go anywhere special." He straightened up, his expression serious. "It'd mean a lot if we could go to Europe, baby."

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica opened her mouth to reply, just as the server slide next to their table. The young woman cleared her throat and picked up the menu sitting in front of her. "Um, I think I'm going to have the chicken a la king. And an iced tea to drink." She handed the menu back and flashed a smile at Blake. Before he could order though, his phone began vibrating, telling him he had a message. When he glanced down he saw it was, surprisingly, for Jessica! Food's only 3 stars, but it's quiet. Order what you want, I'm paying.

Share this post


Link to post

Blake, in spite of himself, grinned a little and looked up at her for a moment. He handed his menu to the waiter before closing his phone and pocketing it. "Uh, raspberry lemonade and steak burger please. Medium well." The waiter smiled and ran back to the kitchen.

"Thanks, love. You're a sweetheart." He sat next to her, and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. It was something taking her out on dates, but it was something else to be close to her. Blake graced her cheek with his lips, giving her a sweet kiss.

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica turned her head at the last moment, brushing her lips against Blake's. She smiled at the moment and leaned against him, patting his knee. "I'm glad we got a chance to talk," she said, her voice suddenly quiet. "Life has been really confusing lately, you know? It's nice that I can rely on you, Blake. You're always there for me."

Share this post


Link to post

Blake kissed the top of her head and put a loving arm around her waist. "You know I never mind being there for you, Jessica. You've always been there for me when I was down or having issues. I know before...I wasn't really a good boyfriend. I didn't even call you when I had my busy months and I barely had time to sleep. I'm glad you still love me even after all of that." He sat up, and started to play with her hair, and stroked it gently. "I still feel like an asshole. This trip will really be good for us. I know for a fact that I need a break from my job, and it'll be great to just...get away."

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica grinned slyly. "I think we can put that down as community service," she said. "Making sure someone with a lightning gun gets enough sleep and isn't so cranky that he sets a barrista on fire." Her smile faded swiftly into a frown. "That being said, if you do get the urge to, say, redirect a poltergeist to a coffee shop, I've got a couple of contenders. Can you believe they won't refund a latte that they made with decaf instead of good coffee? I mean seriously, I don't care if --" Jessica snapped her mouth shut, shaking her head firmly. "No. Only good thoughts tonight." She leaned away from Blake so they could turn and face each other without bumping noses. "So what's been keeping you so busy? I haven't heard f any mass zombie risings since Halloween, so I'm guessing that you succeeded in whatever it was."

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×