2007-05-18: Phantom Of The Friggin' Opera


Ramon_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif

With Appearances By: Karoliina Hanson as Christine and Desmond Cusick as Raoul (off-screen)

Summary: Ramon and Desiree finally go on their date and prove that they're not exactly … urbane, but they still remember how to have a darn good date.

Date It Happened: May 18th, 2007

Phantom of the Friggin' Opera

The Gomez Residence, Queens, New York

When Ramon Gomez sets out to do something, he sets out to do it /right/. So he told Dezi to put on something really nice. As he is picking her up from his own /house/, he showers and changes at his no-account brother's house instead of his own. He comes to the door and rings…well he rings his own doorbell. He's holding a single red rose in his hand, the bud folded tightly around the promise of hope and spring to follow. He's shaved, even. The man cleans up pretty good.

Following directions, Desiree has dressed up appropriate for this evening — which is to say, she's wearing a slightly classier dress than usual, a silky dress with a halter-style neck and a long, flowing skirt. She's tamed her hair into something vaguely resembling an elegant twist - the most impressive part is the fact that her curls are gone, straightened out. It changes her appearance considerably, lends her a more graceful and refined air (ha, ha).

… In stark contrast, she's sitting on the kitchen counter, swinging her bare feet and making a cat's cradle with a clump of rainbow string. When the doorbell rings, the pattern falls apart, she hits her head on the cupboard behind her-- "Jesus!" --and scrambles onto the floor, all in a matter of two seconds. She slips a shoe on and hops on one foot to the door while trying to get the other one on. Thumpthumpthudmumble— the door swings open. "Hi-iii!" Desiree looks a little winded. "Aw," her expression melts. Flower! She reaches out to accept it, but realizes her hand is still tangled in string. She flicks it off to the side awkwardly, sheepish, and tries again. "You shouldn't have," she drawls.

Ramon offers Dezi his elbow, giving a faint smile at her protest and the string. As is typical, he doesn't address it…he's just going to quietly let it go. There's an actual car waiting outside. It's an SUV which actually belongs to one of his many, many family members in the city. He opens the door for her, then offers a hand up to the seat. "You look beautiful," he rumbles.

Desiree hesitates, just for a moment, before she slips an arm around Ramon's - obviously, she's not used to this kind of thing. She's already tipping her head up and peeking outside before they start toward the vehicle. Her date is given a somewhat silly, modest smile as he "helps" her into the SUV. "You too," she replies. …yes, she just implied Ramon was beautiful, let's move along. She clears her throat and sniffs delicately at the rose, even though the petals are closed. "So where we goin'?"

"We're going to the theater," Ramon says. "The real theater," he amends. Mostly he goes to the movies if he's going to a theater, but that's not the type he means. "The Phantom of the Opera is playing tonight." Granted they have to leave an hour and a half earlier than curtain time just to navigate the god-awful traffic, but Ramon couldn't see bringing his date in the back of some scuzzy cab.

Ramon's date would have been just as happy in the back of a scuzzy cab or a bumpy train as a nice SUV, but she smiles. She does appreciate the effort! "Oh," she responds with a little bob of her head, raising her eyebrows. "That's … Broadway, right?" Desiree fiddles with the rose, giving it a half-twirl and then changing directions. Wash, rinse, repeat. "I ain't never seen a real show like that."

"I've never been to one either," Ramon confesses. "So we'll do it for the first time together." Now…Ramon drives like a maniac, but for Dezi he doesn't swear and curse and scream at the other drivers in Spanish. He still weaves in and out like he thinks the other cars are some sort of maze that he merely has to navigate. A yellow light, in Ramon's world, means speed up.

Desiree peeks out the window, watching the scenery of Queens go by as if it's interesting. Ramon is more interesting, but she doesn't want to distract him from his /very extreme driving/. She lurches in her seat a few times and holds onto the door, but just smiles - I'm okay! Continue narrowly avoiding running over small animals! - sidelong at Ramon afterward every time such a thing happens. Eventually: "Is it real 'spensive? I heard it's real ex-pensive to go to the theater."

Ramon just shrugs at that one. "Probably. Lucky for me my uncle's cousin's best friend works over there and got us a discount." He nods sagely. He tries real hard for class and chivalry, and the proper response might well have been some sort of 'don't you worry about it' or 'anything for you,' but Ramon is just too honest and the truth pops right out of his mouth.

"Oh," Desiree answers, again, with another bob of her head, naturally. "That's good. I wouldn' want you to spend too much, bein' as you can't afford it," she adds, upbeat and casual as can be, thanks to Ramon's uncle's cousin's best friend. They're both honest. And both, apparently, blunt.

That makes Ramon grimace and he gives her a faint frown-scowl. She's stepping on his pride with that one. His answer to that is an enlightening, "Nnnnnnnngh," sort of a sound. But, determined to show her a good time, he doesn't make an issue out of it. Still, his driving goes up another 5 mph in response.

Broadway, New York

Which means, all told, they make it to Broadway in about half the normal time. Once parked, he comes around to open the door for Dezi and offer her a hand down.

Desiree straightens against the seat like she's being taken on a high-speed rollercoaster ride at first, but shuts up, just pressing her burgundy-painted lips together thinly and watching through the window wide-eyed as Broadway approaches. By the time they stop and Ramon is being all gentlemanly, she's smiling - granted, it's a rather… okay, scratch that, /exceptionally/ goofy smile/. There's a good-natured glitter in her eyes as she steps out with a *click* of her high heels, looping her arm around his with an overly dramatic flourish. "Why thank you kind siiiir," she says, tipping her head up in faux snootiness and continuing in a more distinctly Southern Belle accent than her normal drawl, "Shall we go to the op'rah house?"

Ramon lets out a chuckle. "Yes," he says. He again offers her his arm. Then he sweeps her in, offering the tickets to the ticket guy and getting them in. These are neither the best seats in the house nor the obviously cheap nosebleed seats. It's a pretty good mixture; the sort of average seats. But they are seats at Broadway just the same, and they aren't bad. The story unfolds, of course, as the story does, and there is a program to go right along with.

Desiree walks almost all the way through the theatre looking haughtily around like a woman of culture and trying her very best not stare googly-eyed at the fancy interior of the building and the nice clothes some of the patrons wear. She drops the silly act right about the time they sit down - which means she bursts into a fit of laughter into the program she got. She does, however, stop before the show does. As the story unfolds, she's engrossed - though it's with a consistently bewildered expression, her head frequently tipping to this side and that like an intrigued dog. She asks Ramon a lot of whispered questions about the plot, and at one point says, too loud for the people behind them who 'shhh!' adamantly for the third time: "I wish I had one of them fancy sticks with binoculars on top."

Ramon gets a look of chagrin on his face. "I didn't think of them." He glowers over his shoulder. 'Shh' yourself, his look says, but he whispers answers to Dezi's questions, as best as he understands them. Which means she gets answers like, "Well he's gonna have to pop a cap in the guy's ass to get Christine back," and other such cultured statements.

"Oh, I can see fine, I just think they're funny. I would take 'em everywhere, and maybe spy on Mrs. Sanchez two doors down from y'all when she's puttin' her laundry out on the line. Been tryin' to find out for weeks if it's ladybugs or cartoon cats on her und—" But woeful Christine is on the brink of suicide and the people behind Desiree and Ramon 'SHHHH!' again. Dezi roooolls her eyes and holds her hands up. "Okay, okay, sheesh," slinks down, and watches the performance — with a better understanding thanks to Ramon's explanations.

Ramon picks up his own program and has a momentary chortle into it. Finally he reaches over and begins to play with Dezi's hair, sproinging out a curl and then letting it sproing back again. He just picks one that won't undo her whole hairdo. He could watch the whole thing in silence, but he's not going to be the one to silence his date.

Gradually, like a beast that resists being tamed, Desiree's hair gains a curl here and there despite being straightened into compliance - Ramon just makes it worse, but she doesn't seem to mind. She just sort of /almost/ blushes a few times.

This is what Ramon does to stay awake through this production. His daughter almost painted it in a light that made him think there would be some explosions or really good swords battles, but there's none of the former and little of the latter. But he won't embarrass his date by snoring. When it's all over, he says, "C'mon. Lets go get a bite to eat." He stands and offers his hand again. And then a bit of mischief strikes him. Deadpan, he turns to the couple behind them. "You two really ought to work on your manners, you know? I could hardly enjoy the show for all that hissing you were doing."

A wave of relief seems to wash over Desiree when the show finally ends. She was almost about to start snoring herself in-between squirming by the end. "Good, I'm _staaarving_," she confesses to Ramon as she stands up and takes his arm again. Though it's a more casual loop this time, the second he decides to be mischievous, she falls right into the role of the prissy theatre-goer she took on before. The normally friendly woman has the sense of humour of a schoolgirl, apparently, because she puts on a show — stiffening, she fans a hand to her chest and looks down her nose at the couple. Her affected Belle accent has been replaced by a theatrical Italian one… which ought to be familiar, given the production they just watched. "Honestly, children, there's such a thing as being POLITE!" She swings her arm through Ramon's more firmly and tries to rush out of the aisle with him in a faux huff. "Get my doggeh, bring my doggeh. Bye bye!"

Ramon chortles a laugh as he takes her back to the SUV. He says, "There. We showed them." He drives a few blocks over at a more leisurely pace, to where there is this sandwhich cafe with a live band playing. He seems not at all concerned that its a business casual sort of place and he's leading them both in there in casual way. His vast network did not extend to discount meals at expensive restaurants, so he had to come down the chain a bit, but it's a happening spot. It's called Leroy's.

… Maybe these two shouldn't take each other anywhere. Maybe Desiree doesn't care! Laughing with a big ol' grin on her face in the SUV, she says, "Mm/hmmm/ we did." Her grin doesn't disappear the entire drive over to 'Leroy's', nor does it fade as she plops into a seat inside. "So what'd you think of the show?" she asks with barely contained amusement, her arms back, high above her head, as she messes with her hair in some fashion.

Ramon considers it. "It wasn't bad," he says at last, slowly. "What about you?" Far more important in his opinion is whether or not she liked it. He orders a sandwich and a cold beer, and the waitress just sort of looks them both over like they're nuts. He folds his hands on the table, paying attention to Dezi and not the girl.

Biting her lip, Desiree considers the counter-question just as long, her eyes peeking ceilingwards in thought as she continues to attack her hair (the clip must be stuck). In the interim, she politely orders the same thing as Ramon but with the addition of pickles. "… I liked the costumes," she answers at last, in conjunction with her dark hair, wavy by this time, spilling out of its not-quite-immaculate-but-fancier-than-usual knot - to which she looks relieved. "And the dancin'."

Ramon just laughs suddenly. "I should have gone for something less fancy, I think. I don't think either one of us truly goes in for that stuff." He sounds almost relieved. "I didn't think a baseball game or something would be romantic enough. I suppose I could have just asked you what you wanted to do, but that seemed lame. So I went with the traditional route."

"Oh, no, I'm glad we went," Desiree tells Ramon, smiling, her eyebrows raised high in reassurance. "It's like, a new experience, y'know? Now I can say I've been to Broadway to see Phantom of the Friggin' Opera." She slot ins in a succinct 'so there' nod. "I don't really understand baseball but I get real into it anyway and I like the food stands." Ramon's got him a classy one, here.

"What are your favorite things to do?" Ramon's lips twitch. But he accepts Dezi how she is; he certainly couldn't give a rat's crap about class to begin with. Still, he doesn't want to take her to a whole string of things that she likes for the food stands or costumes.

It's a simple question, but it gives Desiree pause. She hasn't made a habit of going /out/ anywhere for quite a long time, and trying to think of everything she likes on the spot-well, suffice to say, it eats some braincells. "I like, uhm. … Music," she says with a smile, shooting a look to the side with a vague hand gesture toward the live band. "This kind. I mean. Not so much with the… with the opera, but I'll try anythin' once. I dunno. I ain't picky. I'm not used to goin' anywhere anymore. I just like to have fun. Tonight was fun even with the people screamin' like they got their pants on too tight."

Ramon smiles. Hey, he got the music part right. The beer and sammiches come, and he tears into the beer before he worries with the food. "You've got simple pleasures. I think that's a good thing." That's as introspective as he gets though.

Desiree doesn't mind the "simple pleasures" observation at all, because she /is/ easily amused. "I think most good things in life're simple," she notes with a shrug as she hones in on the sandwich first instead of the beer. Which means, this woman in the fancy dress is about to be talking with her mouthful in five, four, three, two, one… "I mean, at the core, or whatever. Y'know? People make things to comp-licated."

Ramon nods his head slowly. "Think maybe you're right," he replies. He hardly touches his food, but doesn't seem to care about Dezi's table manners either. Then again he's probably seen it before. He reaches over, briefly, to try to take her hand across the table.

Desiree is midway through crunching on a lone pickle when Ramon happens to be all cute with the taking of her (other) hand across the table. When he does so, she touches the top of his hand with her thumb. "So … this is what a date's like, huh? For old people who don't much remember how it goes, I think we're doin' okay."

"I think the point's pretty much to have fun, "Ramon affirms quietly. "Anything else is…overcomplication." He reaches over and beeps her nose, a purely whimsical gesture that seems out of place with his too-serious eyes and craggy face. But it doesn't seem calculated either. He just felt like doing it.

"Well. Then. We win!" Desiree announces with a silly little smile of triumph, which concludes with a scrunching of her nose when it's… it's… beeped? The Uncharacteristic Act of Cuteness (UAC) from Ramon only throws her for a tiny loop. She just looks at him with bright eyes and a crooked smile that she doesn't quite realize is there. Suddenly — that is to say, mere seconds later and with no warning whatsoever — Dezi leans across in a hurry, half-standing and bumping and jostling the table, to kiss Ramon on the lips. It's a fast, somewhat awkward *smack* - which doesn't seem calculated either. She just felt like doing it.

Ramon is startled. For a moment he looks a lot like Dezi just smacked him on the back of the head with a board. He stares at her, dark eyes glittering without revealing what he's thinking. Then he just stands up and takes her hand. Right in front of God, the band, and everyone, he is going to return that kiss. But his isn't awkward. It's…well. He can summon up fire for more than violence, it seems, because he's pulling quite a bit out now.

At first, Desiree is watching Ramon as one may watch a crazed animal without knowing what move it's going to make next - what is that expression, for one, and why is he standing up, for two? However, the woman goes with the flow, standing up and—

—she may not watch a lot of movies, or see a lot of plays on Broadway, but she's /pretty sure/ this is a cinematic moment. Christine and Raoul, eat your hearts out. Let's just say she has other uses for her flair, too, because she returns the reprise with a good deal of enthusiasm. Surprised enthusiasm, but vigor nonetheless. "… Yeah, we definitely win," she says breathlessly afterward, 'cause over-complication is for losers.

"So much better than the whole fiddle-with-the-keys thing," Ramon rumbles. He tucks an arm around her waist and hugs her, then says, "C'mon. Lets blow this joint." After snogging in front of everyone he's ready to just pay the bill (which he does, in cash) and jet, before someone reacts or something.

Instead of responding with 'you can fiddle with my keys any time', Desiree - as she hops along with Ramon (quite literally, she's trying to jaunt in her high heels) - just takes a drink of previously untouched beer on her way past the table. "Are you sur— h'okay!"

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