2007-10-05: The Light Fantastic

Starring:

Joule_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif

Summary: Lee and Joule paint the town red on their first date.

Date It Happened: October 5, 2007

The Light Fantastic


Location: From Brooklyn to all over lower Manhattan

Lee attends on Joule's place at the appointed hour. His clothes are more colorful - dark-faded reddish-maroon shirt, California-print skinny tie, shined-up faux-gator shoes — but it's clear that how he normally dresses for work is his idea of dressing up. It might make Joule feel less special, or show the degree to which Lee thinks his students are. He brings a small spray of flowers, calls them "hokey, but traditional - but I repeat myself" and offers them to Joule with an antique gallantness. His crummy Volvo waits below, though at least the seat's been cleaned out of all the detritus of a month of hard-as-he-can-run teaching.

They're gonna be an odd match at the club, but Joule won't mind. She, on the other hand, has gone for the leather jacket, the black bustiere with lovingly skirled bright yellow and red piping in flame designs, and the tiny black leather skirt with red satin underneath. Thigh high black stockings go from the skirt to the heels — the heels are red pumps with yellow piping around the edges. "Flowers," she says, looking down at Lee. "You didn't tell me you were a time traveler." She puts most of them in a small vase, but plucks two - one for his buttonhole, and one she plaits into her hair. "Charming, really," she adds, in case that came across a little harsh.

Lee says, "No, it's a myth that people were ever as nice as me." with a sly half-smirk, but he accepts both the flower and the compliment with grace, putting his large hand on her small shoulder. "You look phenomenal. There be none of Beauty's daughters with a magic like thee; and like music on the waters is thy sweet voice to me. In addition, the bustier is rocking." See, most charmers would leave the Byron until the /end/ of the date, but Lee's confident and smooth enough he knows that kind of thing is just the start of the night. "Let's roll. I have tickets for the Pancakes for Penguins show." A band so popular nobody's ever heard of it!

"Pancakes—" Joule begins to repeat, trailing off to a laugh. "Sounds …interesting," she decides. There isn't enough in the tone to indicate if she genuinely means interesting or is using it as a euphemism for 'if this show sucks, no sex for you, no matter how natty your outfit is'. "Let's be off, then." She doesn't bother with the tour of the apartment. Not now, at any rate. She tucks her key into a little valley in her cleavage, and takes his arm. "Time to knocks some people dead, hm?"

Lee replies, on the stairs down, "If we're not being chased by those guys from Law & Order by the end of the night, I'll eat my tie." The band is more than adequate - Lee's instinct for obscurity has been matched by several ultra-enthusiastic local music blogs saying 'you must see P4P' and there's actually a line outside. Lee and Joule are indeed regarded with a few double-takes, he's so tall, she's, well, not short, but certainly a lot shorter, and their difference in dress is marked. But Lee phoned ahead, they are able to get their tickets, skip the line, and get inside before it gets too packed. "A drink first while the warm-up act comes on?" he asks her, leaning over so he can hear what she's saying.

Joule crosses one long leg over the other in the Volvo, unmindful that that two inch span of bare thigh shows when she does it. She raises a brow in appraisal of the little club. She narrows her eyes speculatively at the line, scoping the crowd. But, once they're inside, the dubious expression melts, replaced by tentative approval. "Mm, yes. If they've got the bollocks to make me a Combustible Edison, that'd be fab," she replies, voice pitched above the music and noise.

Lee calls out, "Barkeep, Combustible Edison /for the girl/…" as if this was a vitally important distinction, he half-smiles at Joule, "… and scotch on the rocks for myself." The drinks are brought at the normal exhorbitant club prices. The club is small, weirdly-shaped, the stage clearly an after-thought and perhaps requiring a pool table to be moved somewhere, but the patrons all clearly want to be there and the energy level is high. "How was your week? Make any progress on your quixotic quest?"

For the girl, eh? Joule half lids her eyes at him at that turn of phrase, then decides he meant it as a compliment. When the drink arrives, actually on fire as ordered, she turns a brilliant smile on the bartender. "Brilliant!" she tells him, and plucks a fiver out of — only God knows where — to stick in the snifter for tips. She smacks the shot on the bartop, blows it out, slams it, and then sets the upended glass down. "Week wasn't anything special. Took some photos of some really incredible wedding cakes for a bakery website. And some of your student, which he wants me to drop off at your place when I've developed them. But no more porn spammer interviews, at least. Yours? Found a song to bastardize for our video, have you?"

Lee says, "Student? Oh, right, you met Cam. What did he want his pictures taken for?" Lee's more delicate a drinker, but he's not quick enough to insist that he pay. "You snuck that in there." he says, indicating the tip glass. "You're quick with your hands. I haven't picked out a song yet - narrowed it down to a small list, but I was thinking maybe for our B side we could cover 'I'm Just A Bill', did you ever get to see Schoolhouse Rock in India?"

"He didn't," Joule explains. "I saw him on a bench eating burgers and I thought he'd make a good subject. I was right. I always am about my craft." She smiles sidelong at him. "Bloody regs in this country; it's so rare to find somebody willing to make a proper fire drink," she assures him; all the assurance his ego's going to get on that score.
"Mm, yes. Mum was a teacher. Saw that when I was very small. We could easily work that one as a B-side. But what're we bringin' your lot for our A-Game?"

Lee counts on his fingers: "'Life Is A Highway' becomes 'Follow the Symbols', 'Word Up' becomes 'Represent', or if we wanted to go a completely different direction, 'Such Great Heights' becomes 'What This Means'. We might be looking at an EP by the time this is all done!" He grins at her, "You have a lot of confidence in your skill, that's /very/ attractive to me." He finishes off his drink. "I have to admit, I haven't been dancing in a long time, so I don't have that same confidence…"

"You've been thinking," Joule says, eyes widening at all the tracks he's suggesting. "I know all those but the last ones, but sure. We can do it. Hell, half those old has-been acts would be delighted to get the spotlight again." She has the good grace to smile politely at his compliment. "One should have confidence one's put good hard work into." As he finishes his drink, she takes it as a cue to get up and get to the dance floor. "Pft. Dancing's as natural as breathing. Certain things your body knows how to do at the instinctive level. C'mon. Let's knock the rust off."

Lee says, "Let's." And Pancakes for Penguins comes on the stage around then, and they're a hard-driving, highly danceable pop band, Lee definitely knows his stuff - and one thing is absolutely clear from the very first step. Lee can dance. Lee can /really really/ dance. Not only does he know all the moves, he, with Joule, executes them perfectly, precisely, he never misses a step, he never misses a beat, and when he gets up the nerve, during a particularly swift-moving song, to get his hands on her, her dancing is elevated by his skill, the touch of his long fingers on her waist, shoulders, hip, even thigh (!) moves her, turns her, she feels her feet hit the floor right as the downbeat drops, when she turns her head it is with a swell in the guitar, and when she turns it back, Lee is there and the keyboards are zooming along. There are usually one or two 'alpha' couples whose dance moves are given space, attention and adulation by others in a club, and there's no question that Lee and Joule are rapidly becoming one.
Joule is very surprised; pleasantly so. He moves like he and the music have an intimate relationship. She's no professional. Unpolished, she is, but she dances from her heart, and with all the energy in her body. She seems to crackle with some unseen electricity, particularly when he's touching her. Her gaze smolders on his when their eyes meet. She smiles, enjoying the exhilarating motion, and takes it as her due when the crowd clears a space for them.

Lee gets closer to her as he gets more confident in his dancing, until even on the fast songs, she is always in contact with him, and even when it's not necessary, it's skin-to-skin, hand-to-hand, hand-to-shoulder, even once he caresses her face, and it's not spastic, it's smooth as satin. He sweats with the exertion, the scent of his aftershave mingling with it and the smoke of the bar. As the band takes its intermission, Lee gathers Joule into one arm, low, wrapping around her waist, large palm flat againt that bustier, long fingers almost tickling her belly, as he cheers. "Whew!" he says. "Wow, you're good." He thinks it's her?!

"I am good," Joule agrees. "But you're a bloody ringer!" The accusation is not angry; it's delighted. "You're teaching civics and not dance? You could give Bob Fosse and Alvin Ailey a run for their money." She reaches up to rest her wrist on his shoulder. Her own perfume is rising off her skin from the perspiration as well — something brisk and bracing, crisp, with a tang like the sea. "And this is you out of practice, yet? Impressive. " She twirls away from him, but keeps her fingers linked to his at the fingertips. She orders a bottled water this time. The buzz is fine, but the dancing is better, and for that, she needs to stay hydrated.

Lee also gets one of those vitamin-infused waters that triples the price, but one must keep up standards. He keeps touching her, he doesn't want that to stop, the circuit between them hums with energy even if they're not out there sweating. "I don't know, maybe I'm inspired or something." he joshes, flirtatiously, but to a degree, he's as mystified as she is pleased by how well things are going, he loses himself momentarily in his own thoughts before being drawn back out by her eyes. "Fosse, Ailey, sheesh." he concludes. "I just went to all kinds of clubs when I was younger, to get out of the house."

"And picked up every move you laid eyes on, it'd appear," Joule declares, tipping her bottle against his before tossing her head back and taking a long, healthy series of swallows. He gets to watch her hair pool at her shoulders, and the motion of her throat as she drinks. "You should get out of the house more often," she tells him, licking her lips. "You wear the sweat well. Or the inspiration. Whatever it is. I like it." She seems disinclined to get his hands off her. They make a circuit, somehow.

Lee can't wait when she licks her lips - their first kiss is happening right here and right now, not in some chaste apartment front door where he has just used the very best poetry known to man, not in some controlled environment where he or she knows exactly what will or might happen next, but in a smoky club where the kiss is slippery with sweat, sweet with water, and cool-mouthed while all around is a sweltering press of bodies. It's not a /long/ kiss, but there's no question her eyes are not the only ones smouldering when it's over. It's just long enough to shift their bodies into higher gear, just open-mouthed enough to taste, just passionate enough to reveal the ache. "Thanks." he says. "Let's do more." Kissing, or dancing? Must be dancing. The band is coming back.

She's surprised when he moves in, quickly, to kiss her. But Joule doesn't back down from a challenge. The water bottle is placed on the bar, hard and quick. She reaches up to link wrists around his neck, and she tiptoes into the kiss. No, not a long kiss, but an intense one. She licks her lips again when it's over. One last swig of water, and she's off a step behind him, laughing as the band resumes playing. Dancing it is. One leads to the other. Another circuit.

Lee is now more relaxed, more confident, he smiles, he laughs with delight at how she moves with him, he so easily syncs with her that it's like they possess only one body, at times he moves with her cues, at other times, she seems to have no choice but to turn when his hand presses against her waist, to step in when he steps in, molding her body to his with his arm against her back, then to step back when he steps back, joined only by entangled, gripping fingers. They're the center of attention by the end, and not because he's complaining or making a nasty comment about someone that people think is funny - it's because he's doing something talented, putting himself out there on a limb, allowing himself to want something. And as the final chords ring out on the final curtain call, he /almost/ forgets to applaud, gulping for breath, tight up against Joule, looking down at her eyes.

Joule lives up to her name — a unit of energy — urged on by Lee's own energy. She can't help but be caught up in his delight. He's enjoying himself. The music's fun. The band's having a good time. The crowd is having a good time. By the time the applause thunders across the floor, Joule's practically forgotten them, forgotten everything but the quixotic man holding her. She looks a little stunned, happily.

Lee remembers, finally, to applaud and cheer for Pancakes for Penguins, and he does. "Phenomenal. You're quick with more than your hands." he laughs, as they move from the dance floor, feet still a little faster than casual walking, like he just can't quite stop or slow down.
"I had a wild, reckless youth," Joule quips. "And I'm still having it. I was beginning to wonder if there was anyplace in New York that could keep up with me. And anyone."

Lee jokes, "I'm a little scared you're nominating me for that." Well, maybe it's not fully a joke. Even after basically conquering the club and her moving body like a sure-footed beast, he still has a bit of performance anxiety in his expressive, green eyes, whether it be sexual or not - likely a mixture. "Anything else wild and reckless in store for the night? I know some places that stay open late…"

"Scared?" Joule purrs at him. Yes. Like Catwoman. "Haven't you figured me out yet?" she asks, gazing up at him through her lashes. "I burn off energy any way I can so I don't hurt anyone." She glances around, only seeming to remember now that the crowd's breaking up. "I'm in no hurry to sleep. And you made a good choice. Lead on."

Lee says, "Ah, but you see, I'm a delicate youth." If the rest of the crowd could hear that they would yell back 'yeah right' like a crowd at a British pantomime shouting 'hello Buttons'. "How about a bit of jazz? Lower key, cheaper drinks, a bite to eat if you're hungry for food." He unconsciously puts in that 'for food' in there, betraying his own hunger for more of her. "We can still get in at Smoke, thats about five blocks over." he says.

Joule smirks at him. "Pull the other," she tells him in a voice pitched just for him, despite the crowd noise, "It's got bells on. If you were delicate, you'd have run screaming from the mad crowd of crazy teens. You took them as a challenge. You want to make them into something. No task for a delicate man." She nods at his suggestion of jazz, cheaper drinks, and food. "Oh, I'm starving," she agrees. "Let's walk. No point moving your car, and it's a nice enough night, innit?"

Lee says, "It is a perfect night in every conceivable way. Pour wine and dance if manhood still have pride, bring roses if the rose be yet in bloom." He stops at the merch table to get a CD, though. "Do you want one?" he asks, after discreetly eyeing his checkbook balance and deciding he's within the bounds of sanity. "A souvenir, maybe?" Oh, that's a softball pitch to her, and after it leaves his mouth, he knows it is, and grins.

Joule would've downloaded them off the net, but since he's offering, "Sure, doubt I'll find this lot on iTunes." He's made the purchase and they're turning to leave — but she spots a T-shirt. "Be right back." Another fast kiss, a blink's worth of time, and she returns to purchase two of the shirts — one in Tall Date size, one in manic photographer size. "Okay. Now we can go." She hands him the bag.

Lee is still blinking from the kiss - they are still hitting him like hammers - as they emerge into the night air. They stash their stuff in his car, and walk together through the cool autumn breeze that pushes away the smells of the city.

"You needn't keep up with the poetry," Joule assures him, steps brisk as they make for the new club. "Are you always this eclectic, or are you just puttin' on for me?"

Lee turns and walks backwards in front of her. The sidewalk takes a big dip and he doesn't miss a step. "I won't pretend I don't want to impress you. That's the poetry." he quips with that smooth half-smile, before adding seriously: "… but I love all sorts of music, dip into anything that catches my eye. I even have some country albums, and a pal who plays country fiddle. You got anything that doesn't tickle your fancy?"

"Gangsta rap," Joule replies at once. "Lame. All that rage. All that drama encouraging the divide between races. I'm not even bloody American, but people make assumptions just based on what they hear and how I look. Fuck 'em."

Lee says, spreading his jacket out a little, hands in his pockets, still walking backwards, "I do prefer lighter hip hop. What have I missed not living in India, that's what I want to know."

"Bollypop," Joule replies, "But I'm from /England/, mate," she reminds him, amping her native accent a little. "I was in India for all of a year. Though the Bollywood isn't bad. It does take some time growing on you because their videos? Bizarre. No other way to put it." She has to be more careful with her steps on those high heels.

Lee comes back around to her side, puts a steadying hand on the back of her waist, yes, to steady her, that's why. "I wasn't sure of the timeline." he admits: "And what did I miss from England?"

"A lot of stuff that just plain doesn't make it over here," Joule says, a little smugly. "The Bad Pennies. They just released their Grey Album." She chuckles. "Cover versions of songs from the Black Album and the White Album. Not as clever as they want to come off, but tolerable."

Lee says, "I think I heard of that." Of course, when you read obscure music blogs, you end up reading all kinds of things. "I'd love to hear if you've got a copy. Ah, right up here." No line, this late at night, and the music's very sedate. Just like a NYC jazz club is supposed to be in the movies, or on TV.

"I might on the computer, yeah," Joule shrugs. "Biscuit, Chips and Fish is much better, though. They have this punk-reggae thing going. Two great tastes you didn't think would sound great together." She glances around the club approvingly. "I like."

Lee says, "It can get pricey if a big act is here, but late at night there's nothing better. What's your top priority, food, drink, or more dance?" He slides his hand up under her hair gently.

Joule tilts her head back into his touch. "I could go for a bite, but I think I'd rather dance first. Work up the appitite a little." Well, for food, anyway; seems there's a lot of that going around.

Lee says, "The floor it is." This floor is much more sparsely populated, the slow-dance lets them naturally slide close to each other. They dance on air. Lee misses no steps here, no beats, as before, they unify so tightly it is difficult to say where his push on her waist ends and where her dipping into his arms begins. The vocalist is cool-voiced, lets the microphone carry her volume without being breathy, the drummer and bassist competently moving the dancers along. His lips are almost touching her ear: "You are definitely raising my standards." It's a knowing pun, but he adds: "For dancing partners."

"You say that like it's a surprise," Joule chuckles. "You're finding us a club where we can tango next time." Yep; that'd imply this date a success and she's already decided the second one can be counted on. "And you are good for my mood. I haven't danced like this in ages. I've missed it."

Lee chuckles gently right back at her: "Oh god, I barely remember the class I took." He took a dance class. Of course he did. Because that is adorable. "But your wish is my command." The song ends, a smattering of applause, the next begins, a bit more upbeat. He's got the swing moves down as well.

Swing?! Joule looks startled for a second. She sways on the floor watching him, watching one or two of the other dancers, then throws caution to the wind and does her best to keep up. For lack of know-how, she makes up with reckless enthusiasm.

Lee catches her around the waist and guides her through it. "Kick three times here. Left right left. Ready….go." Left, right, left. Not even slightly unbalanced, with his arms around her. He laughs with delight at her enthusiasm, it's infectious, too. The song ends and he dips her waaaay down towards the floor with his long arm uncoiling as the drummer rat-a-tat-tats out the last few chords.

Joule does get into it, shrieking with delight as he drops her into that final dip. "Ooo!" She slings back up into his arms. "I love new experiences." She does pull him off the floor, now, though. Appetite worked up. "What's good here, then? On the menu, I mean." The rest has already been proven good; the music, the company, the atmosphere.

Lee says, "Typical American stuff. Think high-end bar food. Maybe split some ribs? Or something lighter since it's so late?" He escorts her to a table with almost a bit of pride that things are going so well, for her smile as well as his.

"Not ribs, not this late, no," Joule shakes her head and holds up a hand, bracelets jingling. Even with this outfit, all the bracelets. "Chicken fingers, or a salad, maybe, yeah. Or maybe just drinks and we can have breakfast somewhere. I think I need an omelette, or some pancakes."

Lee says, "Is it that late?" It is. It's completely that late. "Wow. Yes. Drinks it is, and I think there's a diner up the road? Pancakes sound excellent to me. Maple syrup as a chaser for whiskey. That's a night on the town."

"Best way to wind down a beautiful night," Joule agrees, finishing her drink. Whatever it was. She asked the bartender to surprise her. "Let's get out of here, then head down to the seaport to watch the sun rise, what say?"

Lee says, "I can't remember the last time I've seen a sunrise. I really can't wait." He downs his whiskey in record time, like that will make the sun come up faster - she gets something a bit fruitier and girlier than perhaps she would normally order.

Joule actually takes the lead this time. On the way south, still on foot, she finds them a little hole in the wall diner with a big picture window. "This's the place that movie took place in. The lottery love affair with the cop and the waitress," she explains. "Loved that story. And the food's really good here too. Coffee that doesn't taste like mud. Pie that's like heaven sliced to one serving at a time." The coffee she orders, the pie she doesn't. Pancakes, eggs, a double order of bacon, one of sausage, and a chicken cutlet, fried. Does the girl have hollow legs? She eats it all like a dainty English lady, though, and is efficient about it. She is finishing up her last swallow of coffee "Yes, I drink coffee!" just as Lee sops up the last of his eggs from his plate with his toast.

Lee is accustomed to diner food, even late-night diner food, the life of the bohemian he wears well, and his stomach doesn't even make any nasty noises as they make their way back to his car. The old Volvo wouldn't be stolen if he left his keys on the roof, but it gets them down through the pale pre-dawn streets to the seaport, where steveodores and teamsters pile off buses and out of subway terminals to start their day at the union hall, and over in the rusty, half-abandoned section, Lee pulls the Volvo up to the top of an aging cargo ramp, overlooking a stubby dock. A ship, anchored far out, glistens in the sun that has not yet reached the horizon yet. He sits on the hood, offers her a hand up.

Joule hops nimbly onto the hood and settles beside Lee, unmindful of how short her skirt is and how unladylike it is to be doing so. In fact, she kicks the heels off and sets them beside her. She leans her head on his shoulder, energy finally reaching the decline side. "This was fun."

Lee agrees: "If I saw this scene in a movie or on TV, I'd make fun of it. How shmaltzy, I'd say. How cliche." he joshes. "He hasn't seen the sun come up in a while, how obvious a metaphor is that?" He turns his head to grin at her, face to face. "I had a wonderful time too."

"Oh, I'm sorry the sunrise is so cheesy," Joule snipes, but playfully. "'you rather hop back in your rattletrap, here, then, and drive out to the beach so we could watch the sunrise with the waves crashing in? That better?"

Lee shoots right back, just as playfully: "Have to save something for the sequel, don't we? Because I /very/ much want there to be a sequel. And maybe more."

"Good," Joule tells him, pointedly. "That saves me getting all stalkery, you agreeing."

Lee says, "Sun's coming up." His eyes are lidding. He's leaning in. For all the joshing around, he really does want to kiss her when sunlight breaks, at the exact right moment.

"So it is." She ponders leaving him hanging, for complaining of their moment being cheesy. But, well, it has been a fun night. And he is terribly charming; particularly when he's not trying so hard. So she does reward him with a very gentle, tender kiss. Uncharacteristic for how wild she's been most of the night. But maybe she's letting him know there's more to her than attitude.

Lee responds in kind, a tiny bit more aggressive, he lifts a hand to cup her face, long fingers burying in her frizzy hair, he's wanted to touch it all night, that's clear. The sun breaks. The music swells (someone's car driving by on the thruway beneath their ramp with the window rolled down?) He lets it be a tender moment. "You can stalk me if you want." he points out.

Joule returns the kiss. If you asked her later, she'd deny the toes curled. But curl they do. Who the hell listens to John Tesh at six in the morning? "Good answer," she whispers against his lips. She settles against him, in no hurry to move, even though the sun has risen. If he has work this morning, he may well be late.

The next morning, at Joule's Apartment…

In the (admittedly late) morning, Lee leans over Joule's sink, looks at himself in the mirror of the tiny-tiny bathroom area, like he can't quite make himself out. He looks at his unshaven face, tilts it this way, then that. Did last night really happen? Did this morning really happen? You can't slough off the neglect of your body that fast. Nobody can. Where are all the aches and pains? The soreness of exertion? Forget this morning, how was he able to pick up dancing again so quickly when he hasn't been dancing since he left Los Angeles? That's not a metaphor for anything, he in fact, in reality, in this grounded world where all is real and nothing is imaginary, had not danced since Los Angeles, and last night he was the star of the dance floor with Joule. Why was this easy? Why did it go well? He glances out of the tiny bathroom space into the apartment where she scattered his clothes to the four winds, suddenly unsure, uncertain, unable to accept the good luck. Was it her? He liked her, sure, wanted her, definitely, maybe even felt for her in the cautious way of someone who knows they're on the rebound, but did she inspire him that much? His eyes sought her out as if trying to find whether that could possibly be. Uncertainty remained on his face.

Joule is still asleep, a rumpled tangle of hair and blankets. She's not sore from the exertion either, but that's because of her natural gift. That electricity that keeps her going; that kept them going well until the sun was up. A faintly smirky smile is on that bit of her face not obscured by her hair. She turns to wrap an arm around Lee, finds him not beside her, and blows the hair out of her eyes. Blearily, she cracks her eyelids open to see if she can spot him.

Lee is coming out of the bathroom. "A claw-foot tub?" he asks, sliding back into bed with her, and her arms. "That is awesome on a hundred levels. Our retro-50s shower stall with frosted glass cannot measure up."

"I picked this place," Joule murmurs huskily, "Because it charmed me. You know how I am about things that charm me." Impulsive, obviously. One date, and they've already wound up in bed. "Glad it meets with your approval." She nestles against his chest, savoring the warmth of his skin.

Lee replies, "Likewise." even though that doesn't quite make sense. "Wow, so. I hope you didn't have plans for this morning, because I think they might have gone out your window with my sock. That is my sock out on the escape, isn't it?"

Joule levers up onto one arm, and uses the free one to brush the rest of her hair out of her face. "So it is. How'd you manage that?" She glances over the edge of the bed at the rumpled shirt, and smirks faintly. It's missing buttons. "Clearly, we were a little enthusiastic," she declares, approvingly, and returns to lie on her back and gaze sidelong at him.

Lee puts his arm around her as she rolls to her back, cradling against her as she just did against him, except with his head next to her ear instead of on her chest. "Me? I think if you look closely you will see teeth marks on that sock." he whispers. "As for enthusiasm, I at least, plead inspiration. I don't have a lot of other excuses."

"Who needs excuses?" Joule asks him, trailing lazy patterns of no design on his chest with her forefinger. Her bracelets chime softly. "Inspiration is lovely." She tilts her head to brush a kiss across his forehead. "Cutting loose now and again is good for you."

Lee replies, "You'll get no argument from me, not the tiniest bit. I can't claim it's my normal style…" he trails off. "Seriously, that is not false modesty, I know it sounds insane given what we just did, but. It's the case. It's not at all my speed. I am one of those slow people who can't keep up with girls like you, you remember, you complained about them. But god, it was incredible." He lids his eyes at the kiss on his forehead, observes her through his lashes, and says, faux-coquettishly. "I'm guessing that you will pick up when I call you for a second date?"

"Weren't you paying attention?" Joule asks, nuzzling into his hair before turning to slide bonelessly out of bed. "I told you. On the next date, you're taking me someplace we can tango." She plucks a blue satin robe off a peg on her closet door, and smooths herself into it. "I'm starved, what about you?"

Lee seems surprised to say: "Yeah, I am. Didn't we eat breakfast like…" He looks at a clock. They were asleep…er…in bed that long? Where did the time go? "Tango-ing. I see. Stepping it up a notch. Sex /on the dancefloor/ instead of the morning after."

"No, you're thinking Lambada. Tango is just foreplay on the dancefloor," Joule lifts one shoulder and glances at him over it. "Small but significant difference." She makes her way into the kitchen, and inspects the old FrigidAire. Yes. It's really that old. It groans as she has to put her weight into yanking it open.

Lee rummages for his boxers. "Lambada. Mmf. I draw the line. Tango it is. I appreciate the challenge." He pulls the boxers on, eyes the button-ripped shirt, leaves it for now. He pads his way over and peers over her shoulder. "I'm going to jump in the shower?" he queries. "Hot water working?" Sure, but the improvised shower /head/ is only going to be at about Lee's chest level.

"I said the place charmed me," Joule points out. "It's not a complete dump. You should have hot water with no problem if you don't dawdle." The refrigerator is full of mostly those spendy girly protein bars. Not terribly inviting. But there are eggs, and milk, and bread. "Hm. French toast work for you, then, hmm?"

Lee's mouth drops open a bit, he gathers it up. She can cook too?! "Very much so." he says. "If you let me make the dinner before our tango."

"Brilliant," Joule tells him. "I think I've got some proper maple syrup left, even. On with you." She begins to bustle about, bowl, spoon, spatula, griddle. She moves with casual surety; not like a night of dancing and other activities really bothered her so much. The bracelets tinkle merrily with her movements.

Lee showers, does not dawdle, as suggested, and pops out as promised. He gathers up his clothes and arranges them on his body into a semblance of civilization, though with bare feet. "I do have to get back home at some point, I have lesson plans to get done before Monday's Weekly Audit of Lee's Terrible Mistakes." he says. "Not that I am eager to rush out…"

The whole apartment is fragrant of vanilla and cinnamon by the time Lee emerges. The cozy little table has been laid out, and some very potent coffee is brewing on the counter. "Well, you do have a normal person job, yes," she recalls, cheerfully smug about that difference between them. "And who said you were, hmm?" She smiles through her hair at him, because it keeps drifting back over one eye. "C'mon, brekkies." She even put a couple eggs, sunny side up on the plate with the toast.

Lee brushes her hair out of her face with one graceful hand, again, more to touch her face and her hair than to move it, says, "Thanks." and gratefully tucks in. "So what abnormal things do you have planned today?"

"I hadn't really given it any thought," Joule admits, seeming surprised by the question. "Probably go through a few proofs, have a long hot bath, catch up on a few guilty pleasure TV shows. Check my messages." She settles into a seat and cuts into her second breakfst like it personally offended her. "Freelance - set your own schedule."

Lee says, "Cool. Had any more nibbles? I…did not mean that as a pun. No, I did not. It just came right out of my mouth when I opened it like it had been waiting to be said."

Joule snorts at him, daintily. There's some skill to that. "Naturally," she drawls, sarcasm as thick as the butter and maple spread on the toast in front of her. "And no, not really. But I'm figuring on trying paparazzi if things get desperate, and counting on my incredible personality to keep the celebrities from whinging at me."

Lee says, mock-archly, "I'd like to think that I'm narcicisstic enough to be a decent simulation of a celebrity, and I certainly wouldn't whinge at you. Of course we did get a little closer than most papparazzi are permitted."

"We'll see what the media thinks of you after our video, hmm?" Joule muses, getting up to refill their coffee mugs. She takes hers plain; or at least, right this minute she does. "Narcissism is only cute in microdoses, y'know."

Lee laughs, "Can't argue with that," he says casually, like it's not quite a serious concern. "Normally it's a problem for talented, beautiful women, which makes me wonder how /you/ avoid it."

Joule makes him wait before she answers, taking a slow sip of coffee. "Dear god, man, I appreciate the compliment, but I think we're past the point of needing flattery to get the ice broken." She flings a braceleted arm in the general direction of the bed. "Think we pretty well shattered it, hmm?" She does appreciate it, though; there's a warmth in her eyes despite the scoffing.

Lee cackles. Yes, he cackles. "You had better get used to it, because I like complimenting people I am close to. I haven't done much of it until just a few weeks ago, and I am making up for lost time."

Joule raises both brows in frank curiosity. "Are you, now? And what was it you did before you heaped effusive praise on women who call you daft?" She puts an intentional bit of allure on that last word, knowing he enjoys hearing her say it.

Lee thinks it over as he chews on French toast. "Not much." he says lightly, but then admits, in all honesty: "It's been a pretty tough year for me, Joule. A lot of big changes. Not all good, but…yeah, some pretty good."

"Ah." Joule nods, taking another sip of coffee before answering him, again. "I know that feeling, yeah. Well…" She lifts the mug like it holds champagne. "Here's to the next year being everything the last one wasn't, then, hmm?"

Lee clinks his mug with hers. "And more. So speaking of…./daft/…" He tries to be alluring with it too. It's not the right word for him to be alluring with. Really. "…you never told me your kooky plan."

Joule looks at Lee blankly for a moment, before the question parses. "Oh — my father, he had a colleague he'd meant to work with," Joule tells him. "An idea he'd had that he thought he'd found a kindred scholar to share it with. I've got most of his notes and discs. If I can settle down long enough to sort through them all, maybe I can find that Dr. Suresh, and hand them over." She sighs, softly; for a moment, she's a girl who misses her daddy. But only for a moment.

Lee is sensitive enough to put his hand on hers just for that little moment - he was paying attention, see? - but then he stops, and weariness creeps into his voice despite his best efforts: "Suresh. The guy that wrote 'Activating Evolution'?"

Joule looks up at his touch, and a faint smile begins on her lips. But it is fleeting, chased away by that tone in his voice. "Yah, Chandra Suresh. Met him in England. Bit under fire then, he was." She tilts her head slightly, and gestures at him with the hand he'd touched earlier. "Out with it, then. Whatever you have to say."

Lee says, "It's not exactly a great breakfast story. Let's just say I have some experience in the area and it didn't end up exactly happily. It was pretty annoying. It still /is/ pretty annoying to me on a lot of levels. I…" He stops himself. "My own issues aside, I think it's pretty cool that you're willing to push through with that on your father's behalf."

Joule seems satisfied with this; that he didn't automatically poke holes in her idea. "Well, we had some rocky years. We were only just starting to get close again when …" She stares into the coffee cup. "So I feel like it'd be the least I could do. Fulfilling his last wish and all."

Lee is not dumb enough to step on that. He even rises, moves over to her side of the table and kisses her affectionately and respectfully on the forehead. "Let me know if I can help." he murmurs.

The gesture is appreciated. She reaches to briefly clasp his fingers when he gets close enough to kiss her. "We'll see. I was smart in school, but nowhere near their caliber. Plus, not as though I run in a circle he'd give the time of day to." But her expression remains determined, despite the uncertainty.

Lee says, encouragingly, "You just want to deliver it to him, see what he thinks. You don't have to grasp every last decimal place."

"That's true," Joule agrees, getting up to pick up the dishes. "I'll give it some thought. Some things I shouldn't do impulsively." She pours the last of the coffee for Lee; he'll need it to stay awake through his day, and she can nap if inclined. "For now, though, I think I'll enjoy my lovely post-sunrise until you absolutely must be heading out."

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