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Dinner at Maddens (IC)

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Saturday May 14th, 6:55pm

Etain had been early, but than she was always early. She liked to take a look at places before she ate there, this place was not very bad. The inside decorations were nice and they had a couple of TVs running some sports games though they were not so loud that they interupted anybody talking. The tables and the booths were all made of hardwood with some cushioning on the seats as was most of the restuarant's furnishings with the exception of the shiny steel salad bar she noted to avoid. Outside she sat herself on a nice concrete bench with a book in hand. She had switched to a lighter outfit forgoing any petticoats which she decided with the warming weather she'd probably just have to put away altogether. Still she was completely covered with a long skirt with a blouse with elbow lengh sleeves, and a black shawl. She had kept her hair down forgoing any of her more elaborate hair pieces for one of her a small straw hat leading her to wear one of her more simple outfits. This did not stop some people from stopping to look as they passed by but it didn't bother her. She wasn't waiting for them after all.

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Eve swore wordlessly as she guided her car into a parking space outside of Madden's, the restaurant she had agreed to meet Etain. While she wasn't late,if anything she was one time, she was a fair bit later than she wanted to be and so as she stepped from the vehicle's butterfly doors she almost didn't notice her classmate sitting on the bench.

Etain was cute, Eve admitted when she noticed the oddly attired girl. For her own part Eve was dressed up rather sensibly, if a little dressier than usual. In addition to her ever present choker,the Martel heiress was wearing a short sleeved white jacket over a v-necked black shirt and black leather pants. The overall look was a distinct contrast to Etain, sleek and modern to the other girls antiquated fashion.

Eve approached quietly with her usual grace and economy of motion and faint smile on her face. When she got within a few feet she stopped, clasped her hands behind her back and sent a probing thought, --Umm, hi.--

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Etain looked up from her book and gave Eve a glowing smile as she bent a page and slid it into her purse. Reaching into the purse she located a brass pocket watch. She smiled at the watch than back at Eve before standing,

"Right on the time, good evening Eve, it is good to see you."

Which was strange, since she saw her the previous day technically, but than again the tournament did put a bit more time before than and now with the three days in three seconds clause. She walked over and gave the girl a kiss on the cheek before pulling one of the hands she had hidden from behind her back.

"I asked when I got here, and they have saved us a booth so that we may sit now. Shall we go?"

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The telepath's smile widened slightly at the light contact on her cheek. As Etain took her hand Eve returned the gesture, placing a tender kiss on the cheek of her dark-haired friend. --It's nice to see you as well, Etain.-- she murmured, her face flushing slightly. --And I must say, you look lovely. I simply adore the vintage look; it's not something I can pull off but on you it's perfect.--

As Eve spoke with Etain, mind-to-mind, she was also signing with her free hand. It wasn't perfect, some signs require two hands, but there are ways around it. --Let's find our booth.--

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Etain maintained the smile as Eve returned the kiss and they walked into the restuarant. She was a bit curious about the strange symbols her hands were making, but did not feel the need to question it immediately, instead she focused more on the conversation as they were shown to their booth by the host.

"No, no, I am sure you would look very nice in some of my outfits. Though I may have to hem it a bit around the middle as you are much smaller there."

The man led them to a corner booth just against the wall that seperated that particular area from the one with the bar. It was a fully wooden one, with a hanging tiffany lamp set above it. Before asking for drink orders,

"I would like a cup of tea."

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Eve stopped signing for a moment and pretended to look over the menu. --This is where I ask you to engage in a little subterfuge on my behalf. Not many speaking people know sign language and I do not want to reveal my telepathic nature.-- A sense of frustration translated across the telepathic link, --I will understand if you don't wish to, I am effectively asking you to lie on my behalf..--

Setting the menu down, the young Martel deliberately signed at Etain, --But if you will do this for me, I will have tea also.--

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Etain smiled quietly, sign language, was that was the gestures were. She knew gestures were used in magic, she hadn't of known that it was also used for language. Though it made a little bit of sense for those who could not speak. She smiled before looking up at the waiter,

"She would also like tea as well."

The waiter nodded as he wrote down the order and went away. Etain smile didn't waver,

"Here is not school, so I know that there are some different rules for example."

Slipping her hand into an unseen pocket, she pulled out a deck of cards which she slipped out of a pack and started to shuffle,

"I do not like to live as if my skill does not exist, so when I use it I have been asked to use some props. It makes people more comfortable I have been told."

She spread the cards over the table they showed them in card order with normal numbers, she flipped them over in a wave that showed there backs than flipped them over again and all the numbers were replaced with roman numerals.

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Eve gave a little hum of surprise, a surge of delight passing through the mental link. --I can't live as though my gift doesn't exist,-- the telepath said after a moment. Her green eyes were fixed on the cards for several heartbeats, before looking up into Etain's. --But I can make an effort to hide it from others. Nobody likes a telepath, even those of us that follow the rules? We're viewed with suspicion. Nobody likes the idea that their mind isn't the private sanctum they think it is.--

--Makes things difficult,-- the white haired teen whispered in Etain's mind. --Both as a hero and.. on a personal level.--

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She smiled as she picked up the cards and sweep them into there pack in one fluent motion before she picked the napkin off the table.

"I can understand, I have a similiar problem."

She began rolling up the end of the napkin,

"The reason why my skill works so well is that to most it is almost inconceivable that the senses which they so dearly depend on."

Holding up the napkin, she revealed a quick rolled up paper rose which she held up as she produced a lighter from her sleeve,

"May very well,"

She lit the napkin on fire and as it went up the white paper rose was replaced with a white rose with a green stem that had just looked like it was cut from the vine,

"Be lying to them."

Reaching across the table she moved slowly as to make sure her movements were non threatening as she leaned forward, and tucked the rose and a little bit of Eves hair behind the telepath's ear.

"But then, it is all simply a matter of trust. You seem trustworthy enough to not take words in the same way you are required to give them."

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--Thank you,-- Eve thought, reaching up to brush the petals of the rose as he cheeks darkened. --For the rose and... feeling I am trustworthy. I must be honest with you, sometimes I am sorely tempted to do what I feel is right, but what I know in my heart is not. I have the power to reach into someone's mind and make them behave in the way that is proper. But that would make me a tyrant, and no better than those I strive against.--

--I owe it to my friends, my family, and the people who trust in us to never slip down the path of a tyrant.-- The young Martel smiled at Etain. --Now tell me about your gift, please. I trust this rose will stay a rose for some time, I would hate to think the sweetest gift I was ever given had turned back into a napkin.--

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She smiled lightly,

"It is similiar to yours I suppose. I can make people sense warmth, cold, pain, anything I have sensed except amplified to whatever degree I choose, from the lightest touch, to where it may no longer be bearable. Also, I can make them sense nothing, see nothing, feel nothing, make them unable to move because they think they should not be able too, and there are few who can resist this even if they were to realize what is happening."

She folded her hands on the table before reaching over and touching the rose,

"However, the school very reasonably does not trust me, so they have put a binding on me that makes it so people have to be close for it to work. So, the rose as pretty as it is, will be a napkin once you leave my side tonight, though I have recently expanded upon the binding so there is a good bit more room for you to move at that side if you wish the rose to stay for longer."

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The young socialite laughed and flashed a smile at her dinner companion. --And so the plot reveals itself!-- Eve said, threads of amusement and good-natured ribbing accompanying her thoughts. --The rose is a hook, a chain, a binding... an incentive to remain by your side!--

The young Martel reached across the table and took one of Etain's hands in her own and gave it a gentle squeeze. The faux serious expression she had on her face, neatly overlaid and intermingled with one that reflected amusement, softened and her aspect became tender. --It would have worked if it needed to, but it doesn't. I find your company delightful, Etain, and so I will linger. I warn you though, if another Claremonter should happen upon us it might set tongues to wagging, and it would certainly make your boyfriend uncomfortable.--

When the waiter arrived with their tea, Eve disengaged her hand from Etain's and it retreated to her side of the table, the telepaths cheeks flushing with color.

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Etain's expression didn't give anything away, though she did look up for a few seconds while she thought and put a fist to her hand before she smiled again,

"You know, I do believe you are the very first person to make an honest proposal that they might want my company in such a way."

She set one gloved hand on the table as she pushed some hair behind her ear,

"I do greatly enjoy your company, and if such things were to happen I would not ever try to do anything to force it. Of course, I would not at all mind any such practices with you though we may want to hold off until after the meal, I have heard it is quite rude to do such things in public."

Picking up the menu, she smiled as she started to skim,

"Now, I have never been here before, do you have any sugestions?"

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--A moment,-- Eve replied, her visage and mental tone at once becoming quite serious and losing all trace of tender amusement. --Do you know what you're saying?-- she asked delicately, some of the gentleness returning to the mental link. --I'm not sure if you're teasing me, and I trust you wouldn't be that cruel, but I want to make sure there is no misunderstanding.-- Eve sighed, and brushed a hand through her hair, delaying.

--This doesn't normally come up over dinner but... Etain, I'm gay. I've been "out,"-- the telepath made little air quotes with her fingers, --for about six years now.--

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She looked up from her menu and looked at Eve with a quiet nod,

"Yes, I know what that means."

Skimming through the list, she put it down,

"I do not have a preference myself but here people seem to have a strange implication that a girl and boy is the most acceptable example. Does not really deter me though, I like whoever I choose as I think and feel whatever I choose, and I like you. You are very kind, very pretty, and the only person who has spent any time actually speaking with me who has had the courage to actually ask."

She paused for a second, before looking at her seriously,

"However, I do not think I can promise my time since I do not know how long that is. My time here is, something determined by something outside of my control, that choice being taken from me was the price I paid to come here."

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--Umm,-- murmured Eve as she rubbed the tip of her nose, blushing at the compliments. Somehow, she noted with some chagrin, Etain had managed to throw her off balance. What had been intended as playful (and admittedly somewhat flirtatious) banter managed to move in an unexpected direction. It wasn't an unwelcome direction, she reflected, especially when she considered her lack of success; a lack that had as much to do with her slavish dedication to her schoolwork as an absence of assertiveness.

--You don't have to promise anything, Etain,-- Eve finally said after a period of silence. --Promising things at this point would be foolish at best as neither of us knows what the future may bring. Well, aside from dinner, which I will play it safe by having a grilled chicken salad. --

Besides, the telepath thought to herself, it'd be easier on my stomach. It's already full of butterflies.

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She let out a light laugh, not a mocking one, just something like a giggle,

"You are very cute when you blush, it gives you a lot of color."

Picking up her menu, she kept a light tone as she smiled,

"But yes, promises can be made later if they are needed. Though, the chicken salad sounds good, though I think I will get some chili and cheese on the fried potatoe sticks."

When the waiter came around with their tea, she gave him both of their orders before starting in on her cups which she added two sugars and some cream before stirring quietly,

"So how are you and your friends been doing? I believe that you are with the school team yes, they must be pretty interesting."

The team called Young Freedom seemed to have mostly older students, only one of which she had met previously however briefly. It made her a bit curious about her own friends, she had never had to work with them in a fight herself, but they seemed they could support themselves well to make a have decent team. At the very least, Morgan was very good at drawing attention and John was very knowledgable on military tactics. Victoria, well she had not seen the teleporter in a fight as of yet, but she was very strong so she doubted that any regular villian would stand much of a chance.

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Eve smiled at the illusionist, inclining her head at the compliment as a gesture of thanks. --That is kind of you to say, Etain,-- Eve replied, some color returning to her cheeks. --And yes, I am on one of the school teams, Young Freedom to be precise.-- she confirmed. The telepath took a small sip of her tea, found it a little too hot for her lips, and set it aside to cool. Her green eyes focused on the cup for a moment as she collected her thoughts.

--Sort of, at least.-- she said after a moment. --There was the fiasco at prom, Breakdown was expelled and Phalanx, well it was a hard time for a lot of people, what with Eddie almost killing a bunch of us. And Psyche, Alex, got a little busy after she revealed her identity so that also thinned the roster. I was only supposed to be a temporary replacement for Psyche but eventually I got invited to stick around. I suppose it is useful having someone around that can find people and secrets that want to remain hidden.-- Eve shrugged at that, flashing a grin at Etain.

--But you also asked how they're doing. Outwardly they're doing well enough, though I've noticed that something is bothering Edge, and Wander has some worries. What is bothering them I do not know; I respect the privacy of others. They know where to find me if they want to talk. How about you?-- Eve asked, raising a snowy white eyebrow at her dinner date. --How have you settled in? And what of your friends?--

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Etain smiled quietly thinking of who she was talking about. She had heard of them, but she only really met one of them so far. Wander she believed,

"My friends are doing very well though I do not think you may know many of them. I do not really see them that much outside of school because I am often busy, but I often see Morgan during the times I visit Parkhurst."

Well it was less visit more stay over for the weekends, Parkhurst interested her greatly as the spirits managed to scrub away most of the stain left by the Nihil during the recent reconstruction.

"Marcus has been a bit more more hard to access as of late, but I see him occasionally as he likes to consult with me as he is interested in learning Latin. I have not seen much of Victoria, though I know she is well because she is dating Morgan currently and John who is much newer to the school seems to have a little trouble trusting people."

She thought about the newer boy for a few seconds,

"I think you may of seen John around actually, you said you help out with the athletics, he spends a lot of time exercising around the campus."

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--It's certainly possible that I've seen him,-- Eve offered, taking another sip of her tea. --But I don't know him personally, so he's probably not one of the students I help teach. Same as with the others, chances are I have seen them around campus but I never really dealt with them.--

The telepath settled back against her seat, watching Etain with half-lidded green eyes, and a faint smile on her lips. She liked listening to the other girl talk, the tone and infliction that she used when referring to her friends really indicated to Eve that she cared. "Which is good," the gymnast thought to herself. "I can't abide those whose thought does not match word or deed."

--Would you tell me more about yourself?-- Eve inquired delicately, raising an eyebrow. --What you can, at least. You indicated earlier that some things are to remain close to your chest, which is well. We all have secrets.--

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Etain had to think about it for a few seconds, which caused her to tap her fingers a little bit as she put some creme and sugar in her own tea. Reaching into her purse almost absently she produced a little plastic pack containing a napkin, and three plastic utensils that she tore open quietly before fishing out a spoon that she proceeded to use to stir the tea.

"I am not sure there is very much to tell. I like the school, I had not been to a school before, I had lessons, but not any with other..."

She paused for a second, remembering how that using the H word made people uncomfortable,

"Students, and I like some of the things here, like the books I have found, they are all very interesting. Though the floor manager has suggested that there may be too many in my dorm."

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The telepath stifled her laughter, or attempted to, and it ended up sounding more like a giggle. --My sister used to have the same opinion of my reading habits. I could never read just one book at a time, so I always had half a dozen or more scattered about my room, the library and the den.-- Eve flashed a wide grin at her dinner date, --Isabel has the patience of a saint.--

Taking a drink of her tea, Eve raised an eyebrow at the packet of plasticware Etain had produced in silent question. It was strange behavior to be sure, but Eve wasn't going to make any judgment. She may have a germ phobia or some strange allergy, the telepath thought to herself recalling a friend of hers that had a grass allergy of all things.

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"Yes, I do the same,"

She stirred a little more before picking up the cup and taking a sip testing the heat.

"To go to the school, I had to read a lot before I could start. I read a lot at the same time too, I am currently going through five books, though only two are for school as I have to do the readings for the summer."

Pausing she blew on her tea and took another sip,

"Though most is not for school at all, I find a lot of texts I read for outside of school, mostly very old things like old plays or other texts in Latin. It helped me to rest my eyes on something familiar when I had to learn something that was not."

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--I can understand that, looking for something familiar amid all the new.--

That was the way it was with her, moving from private tutors to an actual school and classroom setting. Eve didn't have tutors all her life, just for the seven years leading up to her enrollment at Claremont. To compensate for her lack of familiarity with a traditional school setting, Eve threw herself into exercise, the physical exertion allowing her to deal with the sudden anxiety of so many new faces and minds.

As she relayed all this to Etain, she reflected on the changes within herself over the past year. She still kept up her rigorous regime of exercise, of course, but it wasn't because she was anxious about the setting and more to do with wanting to be in top physical condition for her teammates. Along the same vein, she wasn't as insular as she used to be, nor was she so reluctant to have the powers that she did.

--I believe it's your turn to ask the questions,-- Eve said with a smile, looking over the edge of her cup.

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Etain thought about this for a few seconds and started to tap her fingers quietly as she took another sip of tea. What should she ask? Really what could she ask, the level of appropriateness varied from home and here but she had learned most the worlds herself. Letting out a breath she looked at Eve for a few seconds than asked,

"What are your thoughts on magic?"

That was well worded she thought, do you believe in magic was a common question but belief really had very little to do with it. Magic was there whether one ignored it or not.

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