Prelude To An Evening


Ava_icon.gif Nicolae_icon.gif

Summary: Ava and Nicolae prep for an evening out.

Date It Happened: November 26, 2008

Prelude To An Evening

A bungalow apartment somewhere in the crappy part of Los Angeles.

Ava's last customer was a would-be starlet with too much plastic in her chest, who shoved money at the gypsy in exchange for a juju bag that was promised to help her get a better shot at roles in auditions. If it gave her more confidance, so much the better, and now Ava has made sure they have grocery money, plus a little extra in case they want a bit of fun. So while she's waiting for Nicolae to come home, she starts getting read. Boots with crazy heels. Mini skirt. Top so tight and cut so low it puts her ribs into question. She starts glossing her lips, humming to herself.

The neverending pursuit of rent money has claimed a good bit of Nicolae's time recently, although he remains as oblivious to the strain as ever. In fact the only evidence he betrays of being aware of how busy he's been is his inability to quickly or concisely explain which of his part-time jobs he's just finished a shift for at any given moment. Somehow he always makes time for the necessities though. It helps that he's used to running on very little sleep. He ducks in through the front door and lets the weight of his back guide it closed, slumping back against it as he breathes out a sigh. It's frustration rather than weariness that has him in such a state. He gets paid under the table most of the time, his work a deniable expense. Occasionally that means his employers don't get around to paying him.

He growls his way to a semblance of composure and pushes off the door, strolling into the bedroom to lean in the doorway, making eye contact with Ava's reflection and offering up a weak smile. The story's pretty much telling itself with that look. An outside observer would conclude that the pair rarely communicate, given how often he sees fit to speak out loud.

"You look tired." She doesn't hide her disappointment, but she also doesn't nag him. Instead, she reaches for a tissue and starts wiping off the lipgloss she just applied. Going out without Nicolae is an excercise in stupidity. Not after the last time that cadre of rakshasas tried to kidnap her for sacrifice to their dark god. Stuff like that's always happening to her. "Rent's okay, and I've got grocery money taken care of. My last client as about two hours ago, and she all but dumped her wallet in my lap." Her heels make soft clicks on the floor, high enough to give her some inches and ennable her to actually come up a little past his shoulder, but only barely. A hand goes to his cheek. "Want me to make something?"

Nicolae clears his throat and shakes his head, striding into the room to pluck the tissue from Ava's fingers. "I'm not tired," he assures, offering up a taut smile. He wears his own disappointment, the apologetic pang that afflicts him as he watches her discard her plan for his benefit. "Tomorrow, he says. He can pay me tomorrow. We have enough." He turns his face toward her hand, brushing his nose across her fingertips, touching her skin with the barest pucker of his lips. "We can go out." He's long since made peace with the idea that something tends to go wrong with their outings. It's usually good exercise.

Ava's gloss smells like fruit, she tends to taste like raspberries. She shakes her head. "You're tired." she argues. "We can go another time. I could make you food, and we can just lay around. It'll be cool." Except she did get all dressed up. Mini skirt and halter top and everything. It's like an invitation to trouble. What could be more fun?

Nicolae has only ever admitted to being tired when bleeding was involved. Clearly he must not be in so bad a state, because in the process of appraising her current attire with a meaningful glance so as to make a point he gets distracted by the fit of the skirt and halter top, by the sheen of her lip gloss. He almost forgets to raise a skeptical eyebrow. Almost. "You're not dressed to cook." He smirks, slipping an arm around her waist and bumping his brow gently against hers. "You are definitely not dressed to lay around. And I am not tired." He'll argue that until -she- passes out from exhaustion.

"Wouldn't take long to get undressed." she points out slyly, but then concedes, "We could go out. I'm hungry, and I want to dance. I've got extra cash." And Nico can likely get them into any club he's bounced for.

"I know," Nicolae replies in a purr, his chest shaking with a silent chuckle. It really wouldn't. He raises his head and lets his hand fall away from her, so as to do something about his own deplorable state of readiness. He's grinning steadily as he steps back, watching her with a quiet shake of his head. He's lost count of the number of times he's had to persuade her to do what she had in mind in the first place. "I know just the place" he affirms with a nod, peeling off his stained t-shirt and tossing it into the hamper in the corner.

Ava makes a vague gesture to the back of their little bungalow apartment. It's crap, but they've lived in worse places. And it's theirs. "Go shower." she instructs, because he's kind of smelly. She has funny rules about that.

Nicolae stops in front of the mirror, giving her reflection a dull-eyed, indignant look. It's not that he has any reservations about being clean, so even he'd be at a loss to explain it, but nonetheless he moves to comply, shedding the rest of his clothes on the way to the bathroom. "I'll be quick," he assures. True to his word, he's soon under hot water and singing under his breath.

Ava smiles, and moves to re-apply her lipgloss, giving her hair a final do-over as she waits for him to finish. She stretches out on the bed on her stomach, and after an idle moment, reaches for her patchwork handbag, pulling out her tarot cards. They're wrapped in silk, and she carefully unfolds the material to look at the worn cards resting within.

"Does anybody know how the story really goes
Or do we all just hum along
Sell your soul and sign an autograph
Big bang baby, it's a crash, crash, crash …"
Humming has escalated to full-blown singing. Nicolae's playlist is firmly lodged in the past. Stone Temple Pilots remains the greatest band ever to draw breath. His shower lasts as long as the song, and he pauses in the middle of crossing the room and ruffling his hair with a towel to glance down at Ava on the bed. "Now who's tired?" he asks, with a teasing grin. He continues to watch her as he throws together a wardrobe for taking Ava dancing. "Are they telling you anything?"

"Not at the moment." Because she's distracted by Nicolae getting dressed. Really, watching him put on clothes is just as entertaining as getting him out of them. "Sometimes I just like to have my hands on them, though." She rifles through the cards absently, her legs bending and crossing booted feet at the ankles.

Nicolae has yet to acknowledge the fact that an income means being able to afford clothes that someone else hadn't already worn before he got them. Fortunately he has an unconscious knack for making hand-me-downs look presentable. "I feel that way about some things," he teases, reaching out his hand to help her up while he slides his feet into his boots. By now he's got a modest arsenal stashed upon his person, ready for what he considers the inevitable brush with the forces of darkness.

Ava repacks the cards and wraps them in their silk, tucking them away in a drawer. No readings tonight, just a discreet tuck of her ID and some cash under the band of her mini, along her hip. Then she rolls to her feet, unable to resist reaching up and running her hands through his hair. Rumpled is sexy. "So where's this perfect place you have in mind?"

Nicolae seems to anticipate Ava's intentions, bowing his head to make his hair easier to reach and grinning up at her with his head inclined, dark eyes glinting with mirth beneath the line of his brow. He slips an arm around her waist and leans down to taste her lip gloss with a kiss. This provokes the inevitable bout of temptation to just stay home and pursue more of the same, but he smiles as he draws back, nodding toward the door. "You like this place," he explains, calling to mind their last visit so she'll remember. "They played your song when you asked.

They've spent their share of nights at clubs, or parts of nights, anyway. "A lot of clubs do that." she says, laughing as she lets him lead her out. She shuts out the lights and he locks the door. "Because I'm pretty, and you have muscles."
Nicolae is content to concede Ava's point with a lazy wobble of his head and shoulders, a rather unconcerned shrug. He tends to be bad with names when he's tired, which of course he has adamantly insisted he is not. He leads the way in a silence that could be described as thoughtful or lazy depending on one's interpretation of his casually attentive air.

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