2007-09-20: I'm Not a Child

Starring:

Rudyard_icon.gif Daphne_icon.gif

Summary: Rudy and Daphne go out for dinner. Daphne's trying to get him to lighten up, but it's not working so wonderfully.

Date It Happened: 20 SEPTEMBER 2007

I'm Not a Child


Chinatown - Cherry Blossoms Restaurant

"I apologize that it's been awhile since our last.. date. I had a symposium in DC and was needed around the Smithsonian," Rudyard says to Daphne as the pair are tucked into a cozy corner table at the Cherry Blossoms restaurant. A glance is cast across at Daphne as he tries to not stumble across the word 'date'. It's such an official label for what seems to be going on between the pair. There hasn't been much of a date or such since the pair kissed, and saying such things aloud, well, it's not a common experience for him. Clearing his throat ever so slightly, he looks down at his menu. Even if he already knows that he's ordering the usual.

—-

Date! "It's okay, work calls," Daphne says, leaning forward on the table, elbows resting on it casually. She's a little more dressy today than she was for the Pizza Hut trip, because this actually is a date, rather than a 'get-to-know-you' thing. In any case, the khaki pants and polo top are a far cry from the jeans and t-shirt wardrobe she prefers.

She's about to tease him, but the thing is, she's… Not quite sure where that would go. She doesn't want to offend him or anything, and considering he's so… British… Smiling, she just looks down at her menu. She's a little nervous, actually, this being her first real date in quite a while, but Rudyard's adorable, so that makes up for it. Looking at her menu, she wonders aloud, "I wonder what they have vegetarian. Lots and lots of rice." Duh. As she's looking, she reaches next to her and pulls the Smithsonian Teddy from Rudy up onto the table so he can sit there and watch them.

—-

Rudyard looks a bit embarrassed about the bear. It was an odd impulse buy. You go away for a bit, you don't return empty handed, isn't that how it works? It just also struck him as something Daphne might like. "Over to the back, there is a vegetarian section. The spring rolls are quite tasty, so are the pot stickers they make. No meat." He sets his menu aside and looks past Daphne, before his gaze settles back on her, "Uhm.. I do know of a nice Italian restaurant that makes a fantastic eggplant parmesgan.. If you would like that next week." Yes, he's already thinking ahead a little for more dates. What the bloody hell is wrong with him? Oh right, he fancies a lady quite seriously.

—-

"Oh." She flips the menu over and looks through it. "So there is. But I'm thinking…" Maybe some vegetable stir-fry or something. Actually, the chicken looks delicious, but she couldn't go for that in good conscience, so she sticks with the back of the menu.

Arching her eyebrows when it becomes clear that Rudy's already planning their next outing, she sets the menu down. "We don't always have to… go out somewhere, you know. Maybe you can come by my place, and we can just get pizza and watch a movie or two. I like that sort of stuff." She does this for him - the formal fancy dinners - but a girl who spends most of her day with animals isn't the black-tie type. We can watch… I dunno. Patch Adams or something. Doctor Dolittle! With Eddie Murphy. Have you seen that?"

—-

If it's any consolotion.. the chicken was probably decapitated rather quickly and properly, minimizing the flapping about the body might have gone through. Which can happen with chickens. It's rather disturbing and fascinating to witness. At any rate.. "Sorry.. It was a suggestion," Rudyard says. "When it comes to.." Well. It's obvious he's the sort to simply go home at the end of the day and stay inside. So when it comes to doing things with other people, his mind immediately goes outward. "No.. I haven't seen Doctor Dolittle. That sounds rather entertaining, we can do that." He even offers a smile to show that he doesn't mind the suggestion. It's obviously something Daphne would enjoy doing, and that's fine by him.

—-

No, it's no consolation! That chicken had the answer to THE UNIVERSE, which is actually not 42. What was it? We'll never know. Alas. They do know things, though - to Daphne, killing an animal is kinda like killing a stranger randomly on the street. It's just rude, because they TALK BACK. She makes an exception for pizza, though. Bad, bad Daphne.

Rather. Entertaining.

Reaching into the little cube full of sugar packets, she locates a Sweet n' Low and launches it across the table at him. She'll teach him to lighten up yet!

—-

Making sure to keep his voice low as he converses with Daphne, Rudyard leans over slightly and asks, "Any further discussion of the futur—" Then that would be him cut off by the sweet n'low packet to the face. Blinking in somewhat stunned and baffled surprise, he sits upright and leans back properly against his seat. Clearly his expression reads, 'What the devil was that for?'

Then what does Rudyard do? Retaliates by giving Daphne a playful swat over the head with his menu.

—-

She must teach by doing. Sorry, Rudyard. It's for your own good! The serious topic of conversation might have given her pause before she threw the sugar packet, but it's too late to delve into that topic now. Also, it's far too late to say anything about that random twin, which Daphne's now decided was a figment of her imagination. A friend playing a joke. It was probably Laurel. She does still have that phone number, though, which she has not yet called for fear that she'll be embarrassed by the inevitable 'APRIL FOOLS!' in September prank. But enough about that.

Daphne does not expect Rudyard to hit her over the head with his menu.

Cue her own stunned silence as she tries to figure out what just happened. He was not supposed to break this easily! NAPKINS. Wadded up napkins make excellent projectiles, especially when your glass of water has been sitting on them, and they're slightly damp, and thusly heavier. Daphne throws hers at Rudy.

—-

Rudyard holds up his menu to fend off the incoming barrage of napkins that are thrust his way, "Cease fire! Dear God woman!" His tone sounds serious from behind the shield of his menu, but there's a faint grin of embarrassment cracking and ruining the facade. "Don't make me come over there to put an end to your shenanigans!" He casts a nervous glance beyond his shoulder to make sure they aren't attracting too much attention.. Adults don't act like this in public! Not putting too much further thought to the situation, he plucks up a napkin and returns fire.

—-

Oh, she apparently hasn't quite broken him just yet. Hah! Excellent. That means she's only just getting started!

When Daphne ducks, and Rudy's napkin flies over her shoulder and hits some other poor patron on the head, that's when their waitress returns and tells them that if they continue, they're going to have to leave the restaurant. Indeed, this is not the way adults are supposed to act!

"Sorry, sorry," Daphne replies, doing her best to look serious, despite the fact that she's just been told. Folding her hands on the table, she waits until the waitress walks away before she laughs. "Did you say 'shenanigans'?"

—-

Rudyard looks just incredibly embarrassed, as if he might spend the entirety of his life apologizing for this incident as the missile hits the unintended target. Appearing as if he might sink down into the floor, he glances across at Daphne. "Yes.. yes I did say that. Have you got a problem with it? Now behave yourself, you've gotten us told off." Then in a pretense to keep the woman in check, he scoots around closer to sit next to Daphne in the booth.

—-

Daphne feels worse about Rudy's reaction to the situation than she does about the other people - the waitress, the people sitting behind her - they're all people they'll never likely see again. The 'behave yourself' is really what hits her like cold water, causing her to look down at her hands folded on the table, both cowed and embarrassed. He's older than her, sure. He doesn't have to act like he's better than her, though. The comment just hit her the wrong way…

When he scoots closer, she scoots away. Scowling.

—-

The scooting away has Rudyard looking rather confused. What was it he said or did? "… Sorry… uh.. what's the matter?" he wasn't serious with the behave yourself.. Oh damn. He's coming across as an ass again isn't he? Clearing his throat, he scoots away and looks a little at a loss as to what to say or do next.

—-

"You've got… no idea…" she starts, still looking down at the table. It's not like she got into this too fast, right? Maybe first impressions really are everything, and she should have followed her instincts. Really, it was because of him that she got stung a million times - even if it really wasn't, that's how she remembers it. There've been good moments, like when they left the zoo last time, but times like these just… maker her wonder if she decided too fast. She can't change him. Should she even try? Is that even right? "Nothing, it's…" Fine. No. "I'm not a child, Rudyard," she says under her voice.

—-

"I'm sorry that I am such a berk and tend to bollocks things up." Rudyard looks genuinely apologetic, and honestly at a loss. Blinking hard, he looks at Daphne several times before moving back in so that he can keep his voice low. "I know that you aren't, and I .. sorry.. I did not mean to imply that you were. I thought I was joking, but apparently I shouldn't be attempting to joke without serious assistance and training, possibly not until I can get a degree in such a thing." There's a slight look of annoyance directed at himself before he leans in to try and get Daphne's attention, "I like you very much, I don't want to hurt you and if I have, it was in no way intentional."

—-

"Yeah," she says. It's not really an acceptance of the apology so much as indicating that she heard it. Still, she doesn't seem quite as tense as she was. She knows he's the complete opposite of a social butterfly, and she knew that when he kissed her. So now, as she sits here trying to figure out what even happened to bring them this close, she sighs.

It's not fair to ask him to be a little less proper around her. That's who he is, it's what he has as a security blanket. Everyone has one. So should she get up and walk out, leaving him confused and alone, or should she try to save this relationship before it's even really started?

Reaching over, she hesitates, then puts her hand on top of his. It's awkward, she holds it down on the table as if she's trying to prevent him from moving it. "I don't get you," she says, shaking her head.

—-

The gesture is a good one, because the idea of bolting does occur to Rudyard. Because he's now beating himself up mentally about being a moron, what makes him think he can be around other people. Even someone like Daphne who talks with animals and is very much like him in that respect. "I don't get myself these days.." He leans in to try and brave getting in a kiss against Daphne's cheek, "How shall I make this up to you? Since I'm such an incredible ass who keeps putting his foot in it?"

—-

She doesn't feel bad for being angry, but Daphne does wish that Rudyard would get it. It's more of the same. Maybe that's why she likes him, but he's almost too perfect. "You don't have to be a — See, like that. You don't have to do that all the time. If you want to make it up to me, just …" She hesitates, then, "Lighten up a little. Let yourself have a little fun sometimes. I swear, if it kills me, I'm gonna show you how." That's when the smile returns. Her grip loosens a little oh his hand. "Those people over there don't give a damn about you. In fact, in a couple hours, they won't even remember what you look like. Why not just worry about the people who do care about you?"

—-

"I.. well.." Rudyard looks at Daphne, then across the restaurant. He thought he was lightening up a little, but it's hard to break some very old habits and behaviors. "But I was having fun," he protests mildly as he moves in to put an arm around Daphne's shoulders. Where it rests for several quiet moments before.. his hand moves in to tickle the woman's side, "But if you insist on further spontaneity.. I think I can indulge you." Perhaps it's just his way of sounding proper, serious and such, even when he does something mildly ridiculous.

—-

But he was having fun? "You are so odd," she says. So which is it? Odd, or proper? PERHAPS BOTH! Fine. Fine, she'll allow it, because he seems to at least be trying, and it's stupid to fight in the middle of a restaurant, anyway, and besides, she likes Chinese food and she wants to eat while she's here. When he tickles her, Daphne tries to pretend she's still annoyed, but she giggles and shoves him. On the best of days, her temper is a little spotty, but he always seems to be able to win her over one way or another. "I'm going to have to introduce you to Urban Dictionary," she says.

—-

Rudyard is an odd one. He does not deny this at all, it would be like denying the sky is blue and clouds are white. At the shove and giggle, there's not much resistance against it, but he doesn't go flying from his chair. "Shall I scare up the waitress?" Of course this could mean chasing people from the kitchens with some small incentives.. like insects.. or other means. "Ooh, Urban Dictionary? Does Webster's publish it?"

—-

"Maybe I better start slow," she says, "Like introducing you to the Internet." Daphne's not all that great with technology. She couldn't make her computer work if it failed, and she can't program a VCR to save her life, but she knows what Urban Dictionary is, dammit. Though showing Rudyard the DARK SIDE of the Internet might be a bad idea. Anyway. "Sure, 'scare up' the waitress. Hopefully she doesn't spit in our food." Because she already had to tell them to shut up once. This can't be making her job any easier.

—-

Rudyard settles his arm around Daphne's shoulders comfortably and leans in against her. "Oh yes.. the internet.. I have heard of this marvel. I think I might have used it a little. I can't be too certain of course." Instead of getting up to go find the waitress, his head tilts slightly as he looks down at Daphne, just.. watching her. "I can't keep you out of my mind Miss Rousseau." About to lean in to give an impromptu kiss, he's forced to hold that thought as the waitress returns. Speak of the devil. An apologetic expression is given her way before he gives his order.. after that, he whispers in Daphne's ear, "Perhaps I should bribe her with a generous tip."

—-

Flipping the menu over again, Daphne hides a smile and finally works out what she wants, and gives her order, along with a "Sorry about earlier," just to compromise a little bit with Rudyard. If she's asking him not to be so stuffy, she can at least try to be a little more polite. As the waitress heads back to the kitchen - hopefully appeased by the apology - Daphne says in her best mockery of a British accent, "I don't think that will be necessary. Bollocks. Perhaps, Shenanigans."

—-

Rudyard chuckles in good humor at Daphne and rests his head against hers. For someone who professes to not be very tactile, he seems to enjoy the close company of this woman quite a bit. He doesn't bother to point out that the words were used incorrectly. No need to ruin the moment. "Shenanigans indeed.. I'm quite tempted to annoy the waitress and inform her we'll be needing our meal to go."

—-

Oh, she was just randomly using words that she's heard Rudyard use before. That's not taking into account the fact that when Natalie screwed up her accent, she also stuck a bunch of Australian slang in there that she never even heard before, but suddenly knows what all the words mean. It's weird. She's been able to curb the desire to speak this foreign koala language, though, for the most part. "Then we'd have our dinner and nowhere to eat it," she points out. "We could just take a seat on the sidewalk, but I think people would think we were bums or something."

—-

Another chuckle is heard from Rudyard as his head stays awfully close to Daphne's. "We can't have such a thing happen. Perish the mere thought." About to say something else, he stops himself from another impulsive action. Like saying they could take the meal back to his place, but that would be incredibly forward. Reigning himself in, he straightens back up, letting Daphne have her personal space back.

—-

Forward is okay! He could be forward! Ah, but after the incident earlier, that might not be such a great idea just yet, but eventually, when they know each other a little better…

But there is peace in the retaurant once again, where there are no thrown napkins or sugar packets, and no one's angry or about to kill them for acting childlike. Now that they're sitting next to each other instead of across from each other, she even seems a little more amicable. Maybe she feels badly about her reaction earlier, but everything seems okay now! And she's hoping… Hoping that maybe when they're at her house for pizza next week, he's a little less… You know.

British.

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