|Scene Title||Dinner Embarrassment|
|Synopsis||After finding Erasma wiped out in her dorm room, Scrivner brings her home to his flat so Vette can look after her. Conversation turns a bit awkward.|
It's a swank flat in the Chelsea Towers.
One evening, Rufus got an email from T.A.L., Erasma's AI computer. He rushed over to her dorm room in the university to find her and Dee unconscious after trying to directly interface with a robot brain. Dee he took to the hub and contacted Simone to check in on her. Erasma, on the other hand, he brought directly to the apartment that he shares with Vette so that her half-sister could check on her and help take care of her.
Rufus' apartment is located in the Chelsea Towers, and it is swank as Hell. The decor itself is completely sleek and modern, comprising leather upholstery for the furniture and clean, stark lines in contrasting colours of black and white. Steel appliances in the kitchen, a very large bathroom with a garden tub big enough for two people to lounge. The weekly maid service he's hired keeps the trash and the dirty laundry to a bare minimum, and it keeps the furniture dusted. Hell, the man's even got this mini fridge that is, in actuality, a wine cellar for his bottles of white and rose.
Rufus explained all of what happened to Vette, of course. Right now, at around … let's say… eight p.m. the next evening, after Erasma's had enough time to sleep and sleep and sleep, the man returns home. Keys jangle in his hand as he steps quickly inside, carrying a laptop bag over his shoulder, wearing his trench coat and business suit.
Vette has sort of…fussed over…Erasma. She threw covers over her, then decided she might be hot, and so took them off again, then decided no, she really needed them. Then she decided the girl needed aromatherapy while she slept, so she dug up all the scented candles she could find and lit them all around.
Erasma is still sleeping, if only becasue the girl has been sleep deprived before this. Its been ages since she got a full night sleep. She is currently blinking awake as she sniffs the air. "Vette…is the garden on fire?" she asks sleepily though she looks much better then she looked the other day.
Now that's something to walk home to. And knowing that his girl is so absent-minded, Rufus has the horrible, horrible thought that maybe his flat /is/ on fire. He sets down his laptop bag by the sofa, eyes widening, as he pulls off his trenchcoat and looks quickly around at all of those candles, making certain none of them have begun burning the furniture.
None of them have. She put them all on nonflammable surfaces and on plates. "Um. No. It's um—Aromatherapy," Vette explains. "Only I haven't read much on that so I couldn't decide whether the lavender, the vanilla, the orange, the rose, or the pine fresh would be better so I just um. Lit them all. How are you feeling?"
Erasma smiles softly. "Oh.. it smells nice kinda. " she says with a small grin before she waves. "Heya Scriv. Im starving. Got anything to eat? And yeah im fealing better, just um… I dont know what I needed to do. I guess just fix the parts of me the computer tried to delete. Im going to run some memory games later and make sure I didn't loose anything though."
"Good evening, Miss Menous," Rufus levelly replies, briefly resting a hand on the back of his couch as he leans over to take a look at Erasma for himself. "You're looking a great deal better, I daresay. Yvette, are you willing to cook for us tonight or shall I fix us some sandwiches?" No one wants to see Rufus try to cook. How he survived without Vette around… well… It's probably best not revisiting those memories.
"Sure, I'll cook." Vette's eyes flare a little wide at 'deleted'. "Oh—oh my. You and Dee both?" She stands up and starts scouting ingreedients. She takes out feta cheese, spinach, a flaky pie crust, dill, and an egg. From these disparate reagents she intends to produce a good meal.
Erasma shakes her head. "No no… I fought the security system. Dee is just tired cause she dumped a whole computer worth of information into her brain at once. She might be out a bit longer then me since it will take her a while to sort it all out." she says with a nod. "But yeah, it was weird. It hardly scratched me but it was trying real hard to erase my mind or absorb it into the computer."
Something Greek, hm? Rufus eyes the ingredients and apparently decides he approves, because he steps away from the kitchen to give the lady more room to work. "Where did you acquire this brain? Was this the same one that we recovered from that metallic monster on our little… ahh… outing down into the cave with all of those guards standing about?"
Vette starts pinching stems off the spinach as she listens with concern. She also salts a pot of boiling water, waiting to blanch the leaves. She says, "Did you get something interesting out of the risk?" She hopes so, considering Dee got overloaded and Erasma got—"For being nearly…Borged?"
Erasma shrugs. "No idea… need to see what Dee found when she wakes up. She was the one getting stuff. I was just the heavy." she says with a small smile before she nods at Scriv. "Yup. Really beautifull complex mind. The security system was very advanced. A real beaty of programing."
"I see." The man briefly scowls, contemplating that, before he returns back to take up his trench coat and hang it up in a tiny closet near to the front door. "Let's hope she wakes up soon and that the effort was indeed worth it. How did you come to find out about that particular location? I never did come to fully understand, nor did I find much of anything in the news related to it."
By now Vette has begun to blanch the spinach leaves, and now she's chopping the fresh dill. She doesn't use dried herbs unless she /has/ to, and given that Rufus has let her handle the shopping a lot more fresh things have hit the house. "Erasma, Rufus, do you two need a starter?"
Erasma nods as she rubs her stomach. "Yes please… and hmm well it was in the news. They had some weird thing burst through the ground. It was interesting." she says before she nods. "I am hoping it gets better though."
"I don't, particularly, but I would enjoy one," Rufus says. Now he's carrying his laptop bag out of sight, placing it just inside one of the other rooms in the flat. When he comes back, he tucks his hands into the pockets of his suit jacket, calling out, "I'd also like a side with that pie. Perhaps a salad? Or that as the starter. I'm not a very fussy man." He comes back to the front room and sinks down into an armchair, comfortably crossing his legs by resting an ankle over the opposite knee. "I brought Tal for you, by the way."
Vette takes out salad fixings and small salad bowls. She shreds up lettuce and chops up tomato and cucumbers, slices mushrooms and puts together a small platter with different variaties of dressing. This she brings to the table with little wooden salad bowls.
Erasma gives a bright smile. "Oh good. He must have been so worried about me." she says with a pout. "Im glad he didn't go. I dont know how he would have been able to handle it but I want to learn how to do that from now on."
"If artificial intelligence can worry, then I am quite certain he was worried about you," Rufus says, soon getting up again. "Can you stand, Miss Menous? Will you be able to sit at the table, or shall we make a picnic of it in the front room?" He's meandering over to the table himself, reaching for a wooden bowl.
Vette waits to see what Erasma says, sort of hovering about to see if she should set the bowls in the living room or take them in. "I'm sorry, I didn't think about serving you in there. Should I serve you there? You know, maybe I should. You shouldn't get up."
Erasma shakes her head. "No no.. I can stand im fine." she says with a nod as she demonstrates as so. "And wow.. I need to piss like a racehorse. But of course Tal can have emotions. He is programed to be just like a person."
Rufus stops short a moment, staring at Erasma like she just did something as uncouth as drop her shorts in his living room. He clears his throat and then gestures with his hand towards the hallway, pointing at a door. "At the very end of the hall, you'll find the loo. The lightswitch is on the right as you walk in." Then he gives Vette a look with arched eyebrows, a look that says 'holy crapola.'
Vette looks rather shocked herself. Blinku. Blinku. Blinku. Right. She puts out napkins and goes back to the pie, letting them work on the salad. She's not really fond of salad, even though she likes vegetarian meals. She starts crumbling the feta into the bowl.
Erasma nods and runs over to the bathroom, in there for a few before…the sound of washing hands and flushing at least and then she begins to walk out towards the two again. "Hmm thanks. ANd well yeah. Tal is pretty much a person."
"She's /your/ sister," Rufus says in a murmur to the lady, smirking. By the time Erasma returns, he's fixed himself a small salad and covered it in ranch dressing. Mmmmmm. Ranchtastic. He doesn't tuck in, however, because he'll wait for Erasma to get her own bowl sorted before noshing. "Well, he does seem to have rather a… strange sense of humour, yes. I've seen that much." And he smirks again.
Vette suddenly laughs. "You should have used a normal computer for your, er, Asian pursuits." Her eyes are twinkling. After all, if her computer were a person she'd be a whole heck of a lot more self-conscious if she were trying to download porn. She's now mixing the spinach, dill, and egg in, then she pours all of the stuff into the pie crust and pops it into the oven. There.
Erasma blushes again then she shrugs. "He likes it too. He just likes teasing me about it." she says softly before she smirks at it. "Tal is way way worse anyways." she says with a chuckle.
Some part of Rufus wants to cry out in pain. Please, gods, stop this madness. That'd be the British half of him. But then…. two girls talking about porn really isn't all /that/ bad, now is it? That has to be the Aesir half of him. As he stares at both Erasma and Vette with a rather pole-axed expression on his face, one fork stuck in his bowl, stabbing at a bite of as-of-yet-untasted salad, he decides, "I need a glass of wine."
Poor Rufus. Vette ducks her head for a moment. Is she laughing? She might be. "Red or white, dear? Erasma, wine? Don't get up, I'll be happy to pour it. I think I could stand to have a little myself."
Erasma grins. "Red wine please…." she says as she serves herself some of the salad and smirks at Rufus. "It fine though… we both like the asian girl websites…though I haven't the foggiest what HE would do with them. Oh by the way, I broke up with Wesley."
"No no no. White wine," Rufus states, without hesitation. Girls looking at girl porn, yes, he needs wine, holy freaking crap right now. "What sort of heathen drinks /red/ wine with a meal of feta cheese pie with spinach and a salad? No, far too rich." He leaves his bowl behind as he meanders up to his little mini-wine fridge cellar, opening it up and digging about. He pulls out a bottle of wine, then he steps over to take a corkscrew from a drawer. "Your tastebuds will thank me, ladies." Then he glances at Erasma, mentioning Wesley, and then he looks over at Vette. He's going to let Big Sis handle that topic.
"Oh? What a shame," Vette murmurs, though she doesn't sound like she thinks it is a shame at all. "Are you alright? Why did you break up with him?" She smiles as Rufus leaps to take over the wine effort, eyes twinkling. She's that kind of heathen, but only sometimes.
Erasma shrugs. "I dont know.. I like red wine. White wine feals all dry in your mouth." she says before she sighs. "I decided it wasn't working I mean… he wanted different things. And well he and I are very different. I just …well we decided to put it on hold for now."
He insists these little heathens drink the proper wine with their meal, apparently, because as Rufus easily twists the corkscrew in the cork and opens up this crisp, white wine, he pours it into three separate glasses. Yes, they are of the proper shape for serving white wine, and yes, there's a difference in shape between a red and white wine glass. He sets one by the stem down in front of Erasma, then holds out one to Vette. After a moment, he does say, "I did make his acquaintance, very briefly, and he was singing a song about how he wanted to do different women. Including /my/ sister. Quite frankly, Miss Menous, you can do worlds better."
"Was he /really/?" Vette asks, taking the glass. "Thank you, my dear." That's a good starter as far as she's concerned, a little nice wine. She finally sits down with them, because the pie has little more to do other than bake.
Erasma sighs as she shrugs. "Ok.. he is a hornball. But he kept it in his pants for me so he said. He cared for me and it hurt him that I broke up with him. He was willing to change for me. I just…I couldn't ask that of him. He isn't a smart man. He isn't my kind of clever. He thinks monogomy is a kind of tree. But well.. he tried. And I cut him loose."
Rufus crinkles his nose in clear distaste. "Miss Menous, you did do the right thing," he quietly says. "It is also my experience that most people cannot make changes that great and fundamental for someone else, nor should they. One should change because of one's own desire for self-improvement, not because your lover wishes it of you." And he gives Vette another look, one fairly pointed.
Vette sips at her wine and looks right back at Rufus, quirking an eyebrow. But she's certainly not getting into that here or now. She says instead, "I think he'll find someone a bit closer to his level, and you'll find someone a bit closer to yours, and everyone will be happy."
Erasma nods lightly. "But I am still going to be his freind." she says before she shoots Vette a mischivious and innocent sort of look. "And he is a phenomonal lover." she almost teases her half sister as she sips some of the wine. Hum de hum. No mind bleaching here.
Rufus snorts at that, sounding rather sceptical himself, but he does /not/ ask for details. "Fix yourself some salad, Miss Menous," he drily says. He pulls back his own bowl as he seats himself at the table and reaches for a napkin to spread over his lap. He takes a careful sip of his wine to taste it, savour it, then he has a deep gulp.
Vette just smirks for a second. "Careful," she chides. "Daddy could be listening /right now/, and he's not known for his cheerful demeanor. The kid could end up strapped to a mountain with unbreakable chains for the next 2 centuries." She waggles her finger.
Erasma gives a small wrinkle of her nose. "Eh, Daddy should be happy that SOMEBODY in his bloodline is getting a good lay." she says before a quick pause and then she adds. "Even more happy that two of us are." with a teasing wink at Vette and Rufus before she sips the wine. "Hmm… tasty."
La la la la! He's not saying ANYTHING. Rufus studies the colour of the wine in his glass, swirls it, then has a sniff and another sip. He just gives Vette a loooong, lingering look from the corners of his eyes. And he has another drink. When Erasma excuses herself to the loo again, he has a few bites of his salad at last. Hunnngry. Very quietly, once the door's closed, he chuckles, "We should invite her to dinner more often. She's more entertaining than the telly."
Vette giggles softly and nods her head. "I thought you were going to faint from shock a few times though, Ru." She winks at him and then sits back. The pie should be ready shortly, and in spite of his long, lingering looks she's nicely relaxed. "I was joking," she adds. "About Hephaestus."
That relieves him immediately. "Thank God," Rufus mutters. "I would /not/ want to face your father if he knew…" He clears his throat, looking juuust a touch uneasy. He has another swallow of wine, then he reaches for the bottle to refill his glass. "It was not so much shock," he explains slowly, "as it was the warring of two thoughts. One, that Miss Menous is your sister and that such a topic is not appropriate for a man to contemplate about a little sister figure. Two, the thought that Miss Menous is not /my/ sister, and …. well. Do not ask me to explain further."
Vette just /laughs/. She finds that hilarious, and her eyes are twinkling as she says, "No no, no explanation needed." She puts her head down and laughs some more. "Poor Rufus, surrounded by…hot…American…women…and their lack of inhibitions!"
"Oh yes," Rufus says with a roll of his eyes. "Poor me indeed." Then he smirks, a glitter in his own eyes. "How I suffer so." Then he has another sip of wine, going on, "Though in actuality, I am. When is dinner going to be ready? I'm /starving,/ Vette."
"Give it about 10 more minutes and we'll be ready to go. There's all that salad there you could nosh on in the meantime. Or I can go get you some feta slices with olive oil and a bit of bread if you'd prefer."
Erasma another flush and hand washing before she steps out and smiles. "So.. can I come out or are there things a foot?" she asks as she comes out and blinks. "Oh salsa? Got chips too? Had I known I would have brought some Mountain Dew… or Diesel. Ever had Diesel Mr Scrivner? It stains whatever cup you keep it in."
"That sounds a trifle more substantial than little bites of water here," Rufus says with a nod of his head. "If you wouldn't mind, please," he adds, remembering his manners. "I would appreciate it." But he does reach over to the bowl for a second helping of salad while he's at it. Nosh nosh nosh.
Vette laughs and says, "Chips and salsa don't go with spankanopita," she chides. But she cuts big, thick slices of feta on three plates, adds herbed olive oil and kalamata olives, and brings them all over with three bread sticks. The breadsticks aren't warm, but she brings them anyway.
Erasma gives a bright grin as she takes the breadstick and munches on it. "Mmm… I haven't eaten anything like this since the last time I visted grandpa….on mom's side of course." she says brightly before she closes her eyes and smiles. "So…HAS dad given any dating rules? I thought he was fine with whatever we did as long as it was against the titants and for tech."
Oh, she's back! Rufus glances up at Erasma and smiles at her, then leans back in his chair to give Vette plenty of room to set down his plate. "Thank you for the dinner, Vette," he says, as he reaches over for the wine bottle to top up the ladies' glasses. That about finishes off the bottle, and so he sets it to one side. Taking up knife and fork, he cuts off a slice of pie and takes a bite. "If your father has any rules, he certainly hasn't made them clear to /me./"
"Nor me," Vette says with a laugh. "I was just messing with you, Erasma." Now that she's served up the appetizer and the pie, she sets into eating for herself, starting with the feta cheese block rather than the pie itself. Feta is one of her big weaknesses.
Erasma starts in on the pie as well, and while she tries to be neat…well…Ras eats like a starved teenager. It looks like if she wanted to she could have polished off the whole pie by herself. "Mm.. your a really good cook Vette. You need to show me how to do that someday. I need to work on my housewife skills anyways." she says with a teasing smirk.
Rufus is considerably more reserved. He /chews/ his bites before swallowing. "It is good, oh yes," he says in quick agreement. He glances up at Erasma and smirks for a moment, then he continues eating his dinner and washing it down with sips of white wine.
"It's not that difficult. There's a book that tells you how to do it," Vette says with a laugh, even though she didn't use one tonight. "You just measure things out in the order they tell you to and don't skip any steps."
Erasma nods to them both. "I need to find these books. I wonder if they have them online." she says before she sighs. "But well yeah, back onto topic. Im going to avoid dating for a bit. Let Wes get his feet and then..go back to my previous dating arangment."
He's /just/ managed to finish his dinner when the cell phone at Rufus' hip starts beeping at him. He wipes off his lips with his napkin and sighs, faintly annoyed, when he picks it up and sees the number calling. "One of my colleagues," he mutters. "I must deal with this, please excuse me." Then he stands from the table and flips it open, holding it to his ear while he walks off through the apartment to one of the other rooms.
"Well of course they do," Vette says with a smile. "So your previous dating arrangement was not dating at all?" She asks Erasma, tilting her head to one side as she takes another bite of her food. She eats at a reasonable pace.
Erasma gives a small nod before she sighs and nods at Vette. "Yeah.. I mean I got con-tail from time to time when I wanted it but… well…never anything serious and mostly it was me being awkward and bad around people."
"I suggest challenging the man of your dreams to a motorcycle race and giving him your number, but only if he wins," Vette says, nodding sagely. "It seems to do the trick in a number of cases. Just make sure you don't get caught at it."
Erasma blinks lightly. "It would work really well.. I dont know how to ride a motercycle.. and please. Im not exactly the kind of girl who the man of my dreams would race for. He might let me win so I dont feel bad." She says sardonicly.
"That's why you do it with the helmet on. Then you give him a winning smile while he's sputtering that you're female /and/ give him the phone number, then drive off without saying a word." Vette pauses and looks at Erasma, then says, "Actually though, I used to be a lot like you. Especially when I met some of my cousins. Gorgeous, rich, glamorous, educated—and me just some kid fresh out of foster care who was washing poodles for a living. It'll get better. Now I'm pretty comfortable with who I am."
Erasma winces and sighs. "Yeah I know.. everyone in my band is beutifull. I havent even spoken to them in a while. I feel like.. like im the luggage. Im just.. me… I mean. Maybe its mom-in law just screwing with us. Or me more then you. Rufus is a good man. And if he is ever not a good man I will put my foot in his ass."
"There's nothing wrong with the way you look," Vette points out. "Not everybody wants a woman with godlike appearance. Not every Scion male has godlike appearance. There's other factors. Somewhere out there, there is a person who is going to delight in who you are, not what you are. And they're going to get pissed off if you start thinking of yourself by what you are."
Erasma gives a small blush as she glances down. "It would be nice to belive that..but im pretty sure that logic and statistics back me up on the whole going the inadvertant Artemis route." she says with a chuckle.
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