1964-08-05 - Staying Over
Summary: Jay and Ninette try for a romantic evening and end up bonding over heartache instead.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jay ninette 

Jay calls Ninette the next afternoon after their botched hang out session at the apartment. Because he promised and because he feels terrible about bailing on her and leaving her with a drunk Lorna while he had a 'man chat' with Kaleb. "Hello, 'Nette. Ah'm sorry about yesterday. Ah didn't mean to leave y'alone for that long. Do you…want to try again?"

Ninette has been wondering about Jay, but not to the point where she's reconsidering liking him. Still, she's at least almost half convinced he's gay. That's okay! They could be friends! A gay friend. It's a pity he's so cute and sweet. But when she hears his voice on the other end of the line, she perks up, delighted. "Jay! Is everything all right? It seemed important." She's willing to give him that. Because it had better have been important. "I would like that."

There's a pregnant silence on Jay's end of the line when she asks if everything's all right. Lying doesn't sit well with Jay, but worrying her like that. Though. She's going to find out eventually, and unless he wants to do exactly what Kaleb did that pissed him off, he needs to say something. The debate takes a few moments, but it's noticable. "I want to be honest with you, so, no. No, everything is not all right. And it was important." Jay doesn't punch friends for no reason after all. "But Ah want to make it up to you."

Ninette pauses. She's not sure what to do with a man being honest with her. It throws the normally aloof woman for a loop, and she's got to think about this for a little bit. She should be honest back, of course. Maybe not introspectively so (I wonder sometimes if you're batting for the other team) or existentially so (but I'm pretty). But honest in and of the moment. "I'm glad it was important," she says tentatively. "And I'd very much like you to make it up to me, however you like."

Relieved when it sounds like Ninette isn't going to chew him a new asshole for bailing on her like that, it's no lipservice apology, or relief in Jay's tone as the young man breaths a sigh of relief and the light smile returns, audibly. "Good. Ah'm glad to hear it. What're you feelin' up for today? You feel like goin' out and makin' me the envy of every man somewhere, or would you like to stay in? Honestly, if we want t'not get interrupted, my place may not be the best bet. The guys all keep kinda unpredictable hours since Kale and Kel don't work."

"While I do like making you the envy of every man," Ninette says, "I was thinking…" Hmm. How obvious to be? It's one thing to tell Lorna to go for it, this is Ninette's life. "Would you like to come over?" she asks. Then, she decides to just go for it. Jay may be straight and just need things spelled out. "Maybe pack an overnight bag?" Pleasebestraightpleasebestraight.

An overnight—Oh. Oh! Jay takes a moment of pause while the hamster works around in his brain, trying to light up all of the bulbs. Bing! "Oh…" The sound soft and weighty. "Ah…could do that." Shy, Jay has no cool or ability to subterfuge his understanding. "Um. Would you like me t'bring anything by? Ah could bring dinner? How does that sound?"

"That sounds wonderful," Ninette says, and there's just a touch of relief in her voice. "Yes, bring by whatever you like. I'll just, ah, tidy up." Like her place isn't spotless anyway. More like take a bath and curl her hair and do her nails and. Look, because of trust issues, it's been awhile for her, too. Teasing with no follow-through makes for some blown back frustration. "Just come over when you're ready. I'll have the doorman let you in."

Jay plots out his own map in his mind. Bathe, trim his hair, make sure his feet and hands aren't a complete mess (because Momma says that's a mark of a gentleman and Momma's never met the Millers), pick out some clean clothes and pack a bag. Oh! Dinner. Yeah. Inhaling a deep breath, Jay smiles and ignores the flushing heat across his face. "Absolutely. Absolutely." A flutter of motion hovering behind him. "Ah know a place near yours to grab dinner from. Ah'll get a few things together an' head in that direction? If that's all raght by you? It's gonna take me a hot minute."

Ninette says with a trill of melodic laughter, "Of course it's all right with me. I will go clean up now so you won't think this place is a disaster." There's a throw pillow on the squeaky-clean floor. Quelle horrible! "Until then, Jay?" She still says 'jay' like 'zhay.' This whole 'j' business isn't in her vocabulary so much. Oh yes, must make sure legs are smooth, and lipstick is perfect. Her heart's beating so quickly she chides herself silently for being like a schoolgirl.

Jay smiles, audible in his voice when he hears that melodic, joyful sound. His response is softer, charmed sounding, "Yes. Ah'll see you soon. Bye." I mean, it makes sense, right? Ninette's gorgeous, sweet to him, /way/ insanely out of his class, white, and for whatever reason she's interested in him. Oh, and she's a mutant, and a /woman/. That's how that's supposed to go. And he likes her. All marks.

Jay nods to himself and quickly takes over the bathroom while he goes through his poor man's version of getting groomed up for a lady, scrubbing his fair skin until it turns pink with the effort and traveling in her direction, on foot. There's some serious hesitation, talking himself up before he steps out of the door without his overshirt on, wings bared to the world in one of his less faded deep brown tee shirts with the back cut out and a pair of dark jeans that look nicer than most he owns. Flip flops. Always flip flops. Jay's hair is still wet as he steps out, air-drying a little wild and natural.

He arrives outside Ninette's building about an hour and a half later with a bundle of wrapped food bags in one hand and rubbed just a little raw for all the stares he's endured on the way in (imagined or not, but likely not), waiting for the door man to let him in.

Jay taking over the bathroom is the very least he deserves after another morning where quietness has failed. His housemates are trying though. At least they fixed the headboard thumping. Meanwhile across town, Ninette bathes in scented bubbles, touches up her nails and toenails both to a pretty petal pink, and she spends more time on her hair than most people do getting ready altogether. And flawless yet subtle makeup. Maybe Jay is from a lower class that she is, and he can't drop thousands to buy her clothes and jewelry, but so what? She can afford those things and knows what she likes. He's kind, and those eyes… She squeals like a little girl in glee. Where no one can ever hear. Ever.

She doesn't dress up too much. It is just dinner at home after all. In fact, as she is ever malleable in fashion, she dresses down inasmuch as she can. She's in jeans (designer label and brand new) and a pink polo shirt with the top two buttons undone. She hesitates after the door man calls her to let him know he's let Mr. Guthrie in. Was this a wise choice? What if he didn't like her unless she was glamorous!

What if! What if Ninette didn't like him as much as she was leading on? What if he was reading her wrong? What if he couldn't, ahem, perform? He hasn't been with anyone since his girlfriend, and the entire concept still felt a little… …strange.

Jay thanks the man at the door quietly and makes his way to Ninette's door, knocking gently, not giving her much time to change if she's that nervous about it.

What if he learns she's experienced and doesn't want her? Ninette knows how that one will go. She'll freeze his double-standarded ass. She doesn't even identify as a feminist is the funny thing. Why lean on a whole movement to destroy what you can yourself? No! No, Jay isn't like that. Is he? She never exactly came out and said she's had lovers. She just assumed he'd have figured it out. But now that she's gotten to know Jay, she's not sure. He does need an awfully lot spelled out.

It's too late now, though. There's the knock at the door. She looks down at herself, silently bewails her life choices, then goes to answer the door looking like oh, it's Jay, how neat. "Hello," she says, twirling her curls with a fingertip. "Would you like to come in?" She looks like… well, a girl. Not an ice queen, not some lofty creature out of reach. Just a pretty girl in her devastatingly expensive penthouse.

Yes, well, Jay is male. They're a helpless lot, sometimes.

Jay frets in the hallway while he waits for Ninette to answer. A worried look still written all across his face for a moment and wings eked up larger than life behind him, like a couple of giant, silent, crimson bodyguards taking up each shoulder. He smiles quickly, trying to erase the anxiety on his face when the door opens up, a wrapped paper bag held in front of himself with both hands, a small, worn backback hanging over one shoulder. "Hai," Jay murmurs back, a little nervously. "Ah, yes please. Thank you." Stepping forward, his eyes flick visibly up and down, smile expanding gently. "Ah don't think Ah've ever seen you in pants before."

Ninette takes the bag, and she kisses Jay on the cheek. She closes the door behind her, giving the lock a little turn, just so. No need for anyone else to let themselves in and receive frostbite for their troubles. "Is it terrible?" she asks, looking down at herself The way the denim hugs her hips isn't terrible no, nor is the view it offers of her backside as she walks with the bag to the dining table. "I thought maybe I would dress less like I was going to a nightclub, since we're staying in. I'll change if you don't like it."

Oh lord, Jay, you've already said something wrong. He steps in, kissing Ninette's cheek sweetly in return, and promptly sticks his foot in his mouth. Eyes widening slightly, he senses that insecurity and quickly reaches a hand out. "Oh…no, no, no, Ninette." Backpeddal! Jay smiles, reassuringly and maybe just a little gently amused, drawing a step closer to her with a hand drawing to Ninette's elbow. "You look beautiful. It's nice to see you like this. Ah hope…that means yer feelin' a little more comfortable around me." Jay mentions with a sweet intonation, hopeful that that's the case. "Look at me. Do Ah seem like the kinda fellah who has /any/ business commentin' on what a drop-dead gorgeous lady like you puts on? Ah came over to spend time with you, not yer shoes."

Ninette looks up at Jay, and those money-green eyes are so hopeful. They've both got such a stunning color. "Yes," she says. "It means I feel comfortable. I want you to see me comfortable." Then she laughs as he says he came over to hang out with her, not her shoes. "Good, they're lousy at conversation." Just like that, Jay makes it better. Some men don't like their women looking comfortable. This? This is a nice change. Maybe she's just ended up with the wrong kinds of men. She looks Jay over, and she says, "I like the way you look." Not that she wouldn't dress Jay up like a doll the first chance she got, nor that she doesn't measure tuxes in her mind, but. There is an essential Jayness about the way he looks, and she likes it.

"Here, let's have something to eat." She takes the bag to the kitchen to see what there is to dish up. Whatever it is, she is positive she's got a wine that will go with it or, better than wine, mixed drinks. Her kitchen has a bar and that bar looks well stocked.

Jay flashes a sweet smile and dips his chin with an 'aw shucks' sort of feeling to it when he's informed that her shoes are poor conversation. A light shiver of amusement travels down his wings and he lifts his attention back up to Ninette over her comment on his attire. Ears heat up and a light coloring touches his fair skin. "Yer very kind, Miss Ninette." Again with that 'Miss' business. So cordial and sweet. If nothing else, his time with the Miller twins has made him realize what a different world some people live in. "Sure, let me help."

"Now, It's probably way off, an' Ah apologize fer that, but there's this place a few blocks away that's supposed t'be a pretty all right country French bistro, so I grabbed a few things. Ah hope they're at least…/sort/ of near recognizable…" Jay admits, a little anxiety over his choice. He tries so hard and it only works about half the time, so here's trying! Several little containers with stuffed mushrooms, a carton of onion soup, lamb lamb chops in rosemary sauce and pan roasted pork chops with glazed apples. There's also a crepe caramel in there, but Jay quickly closes that one up and sheepishly smiles at Ninette. "That's…dessert, actually."

Ninette serves up the meal on her own dishes. "This is perfect," she says. "It reminds me of home." She serves the dishes at the table, and as she putters, she says, "Best put that in the refrigerator," she says with a nod toward the crepe caramel. She picks out a nice red wine, and she takes Jay by the hand to lead him to the table. "This is a fine meal, Jay, very fortifying." Her brows lift just a little.

Once they're seated, she pours the wine and asks, "What should we drink to? To a night of respite from the troubles of the day? An ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on?"

Jay helps himself to the fridge as instructed, putting dessert away, a small flush of pleasure drawing across his cheeks when assured that he did a fine job. His knowledge on French food is absolutely skewed. Lead to the table, Jay walks around to pull Ninette's chair out for her, though he doesn't press it in for her once she's seated. The awkward mess that that can become. Taking a seat across the table, he doesn't seem to quite understand the significance of Ninette's word choice, though he knows that it's a little unusual. It takes him a moment of thought on the matter before moving on.

"Ah'm glad it all looks all right. Ah don't know anything about French food, really. The closest Ah come is my uncle Octave is from New Orleans and their whole family's real big eaters, so whenever they came up t'visit, it's like one long banquet." Jay explains with a mild curve of his lips, lifting his glass once poured, he lifts it out mildly for that toast. "Well, how about…to good company, companionship, an' pretendin' the world ain't so crazy for an evenin'?"

Ninette raises her glass and says, "To good company, companionship, and pretending the world isn't so crazy for an evening. Salut." She takes a sip, then sets it down and looks at the array of food as though she doesn't know where to start first. Finally, she chooses a few mushrooms to put on her plate. Given her size, she's a bit of a dainty eater, nibbling the delicacies. "Are things still crazy?" she asks. "Things have been so quiet with me, I'm not sure if I feel blessed or jealous."

Jay smiles softly when Ninette agrees and he nods, "Cheers." And sips, peering into the glass afterwards. "This is different from the other night." He knows its ifferent though he can't tell how. Don't worry Ninette. You can eat your fill and Jay will make up the difference. Polite, he lets the lady take her pick first, chatting while he waits. "Things were calmin' down Ah think, but this last bit…feels like a storm on the horizon. Lorna sorta told ya the cliffs notes, yeah?" He waits until she starts in and follows in Ninette's wake. Jay knows how to eat, though one wouldn't guess by it. Mutation is a hell of a thing

"We mostly talked about you two," Ninette admits. "But you told me about the school, and finding this Warren there, and Kaleb's family associated with the ones who did harm to him," Ninette says. "It feels like a storm to me, too. Unresolved, with those people still out there." She regards Jay solemnly. "If you need help stopping them, they are exactly the sort of people I would love to stop." She nibbles at her second mushroom, pleased to see Jay making up the difference. Tentatively, she says, "Even if the help you need is someone to help you forget about it all for awhile."

"Did harm to him," Jay repeats gently as he looks down at his food, chopping up a bit of pork into smaller bite sized pieces. "That's a mild way of putting it." Jay dedicates his attention to his plate though tremors play through his wings, aggitated and pulling tight toward his back, hugging the chairback to him. The offer to help stopping people draws his attention upward, the hardened aggitation melts back a bit and softens for her sake, though there's still something hardened in those normally soft green eyes. "Pretendin' the world isn't crazy for a little while is…important. Ya gotta take the good moments when you can, raght? Grab a little dinner or…spend four people's yearly salary on damned fingernails…" Jay pops his brows upward and shakes his head back down at his plate. "It's important."

Ninette grimaces, and she says, "I'm sorry. I don't know the details." She lays a hand on his across the table. "I can help you pretend the world isn't crazy. I might have been exaggerating when I said things have been so quiet, and I could use the distraction, too." She laughs then and goes back to picking at her dinner, enjoying the meal though with her birdlike appetite. "He adores her," she says. "Even I can see it. I hope that she can."

"He's confused by her, but appreciates that she hasn't run away, yet." Jay comments with a gentle tilt of his head. "Kaleb's not great at people, doesn't really like them, but as long as she's okay with that, everythin's okay." No venom in his tone, just honesty. And honestly, he's fond of his friend, but not delusional. "The details are really terrible. Not really dinner conversation," Jay smiles gently, apologetically to the dazzling woman across the table. "So, aside from battlin' werewolves, what've you been up to, though?"

"You don't see him through a woman's eyes," Ninette says, "but you aren't wrong." She nods knowingly. "Frankly, very few people I know like anyone. You're such an exception, and I think it's why I like you. I'm weary of cynicism." At the question, she says with an incidental shrug, "Oh, working at the clubs, designing a curriculum. I've never taught before, but I know how to tell people what to do. I've been considering the community center's finances. Just things."

"Ah can't much argue that," Jay smiles faintly, amused over Ninette's observation that he clearly can't understand a woman's perspective. "Cynicism is easy, especially in this town, Ah think. It's mighty kind of you to say. Ah'm flattered. The Center's a good place if yer lookin' for a way to help folks in Mutant Town. Not enough folks know about it, but it does good work fer the people who do. Ah stay there when Ah'm between places. Volunteer." Jay nods agreeably, chewing thoughtfully in between. "There's gonna have to be some rebuildin' on those parts that got burned an' ripped up lately, too…" The young man winces softly, having visited afterwards. "There's always so much to do."

"You need to find innovative ways to advertise," Ninette says. Then she amends, "We need to find innovative ways to advertise." She dispatches a lamb chop daintily, with neat little bites. "I'm going to donate some of my own funds to the rebuilding effort," Ninette says. "Along with my services to the center as a financier. I tried the kitchen, but I'm not suited to it." She smiles wryly as she adds, "I never thought I would ever have a conversation like this, being part of the mutants instead of hiding from them."

"Hey, they got lots of hands. Sometimes what you need is a wallet, an' that's just as important as anythin' else. Blue collar folk tend to ferget that sometimes." Jay smiles back across the table, taking large bites from his plate, but he's not a messy eater. Neat, but quick. With a family as large as his, you gotta eat quick or be left in the dust. "Ah remember you mentionin' you tried the kitchen. Ah gotta admit, picturin' that scene is pretty adorable, Ninette." Not depreciating her worth in the least, but Jay is enchanted by the little idea. His brows raise gently, tilting his head mildly to one side. "Really? Why'sat?"

Ninette's brow knits, though she laughs as she says, "It was terrible. My feet ached, and it was so messy. Most of my dresses are dry clean only. I thought that one was a lost cause." Oh, listen to her complain. Though her smile doesn't fade. "I don't think the people there liked me much because of how I was dressed, but I just spent the whole time thinking of how, because of a mutant healer, I wasn't going to die a horrible monster. That made it easier."

Amused over Ninette's complaints on her volunteering experience, Jay smiles silently, his eyes shining with warmth as he scrapes together lost bits of his meal lightly. His smile fades a little bit toward the end, wings lifting slightly, stretching themselves and resettling. "People ought not judge you the same they don't wanna be. The important part is that you were there. That's all that matters. It's important to try new things. To keep growin' an' supportin' the people around us." Jay murmurates gently, lifting his glass to his lips with a small smile toward Ninette. "Fer what it's worth, Ah'm real proud of you for doin' it."

"Thank you," Ninette says primly. "It was hard, and I still managed it." Recognition pleases Her Highness. She put her knife and fork down, and she offers Jay a funny, secret little smile. She pours a little more wine for them both. She takes a drink, then says, "This was lovely, thank you, Jay." With a glance toward the fridge, then to Jay, she asks, "I think I should like to wait a little while for dessert. It will be all right in there awhile won't it?"

Jay holds his glass still by the base while Ninette refills his glass, passing the woman a grateful looking smile at the gesture. She finishes her meal so he decides that he'll do the same, not tethering them to the table for the rest of the evening. "Oh, yeah, absolutely. It should be just fine in there for a while." Wiping his mouth off, the young man stands and reaches across the table to slowly take Ninette's plate as well as his own, offering to clean up, like a good guest. "Ah'm glad that you enjoyed it."

Ninette starts to stop Jay from cleaning up, but then she settles back and smiles at him. "Merci," she says. Curious. Let's just see how this plays out. Something about a man cleaning up after dinner is… pleasing. She gets to her feet, pouring the last of the wine into their glasses, and she brings Jay's over to him. Observing him cleaning up from closer up is even more intriguing. Of course as a hostess she is compelled to offer, "You don't need to take care of those." But, goodness, twist her arm.

Yes, yes. Jay is a domestic wiz. It's his real super power of any actual use, just ask his roommate. He has that earthy, grounded quality to him that seems naturally at home in any atmosphere where he's being put to use in some fashion, and even set upon in someone else's apartment, the young man seems just fine cleaning up and washing up. There's a gentle smile, good-natured, turned back to Ninette when she protests slightly. "It's not a problem," Jay promises as he rinses plates and starts scrubbing down. At least there isn't much to clean, so the process doesn't take very long as he tilts his head toward Ninette. "You're kind enough to host. It's the least Ah can do, really."

Ninette leans on the counter nearby, watching with an utterly charmed look about her. "I like to watch your hands," she says. "They're nice hands. Large." She olds up one of hers to compare. Tiny, of course, and an excuse to touch him that is so clever and not at all transparent. "I like a man that can make me feel petit." So, most of them? Never mind that. The important thing is she has to look up to look Jay in the eye and this is pleasing. "And it's still kind of you to offer."

Jay flicks water off of his fingers when Ninette comments on his hands. With an amused little twist of his smile, and utterly innocent, the young man turns and offers his hand palm out to size up against Ninette's. His hands aren't terrible broad, but his fingers ar long and dextrous. Musician's hands, so it's rather fortunate for him. "Thank you. Lots of work, Ah suppose. Ah got lucky and had long fingers so Ah never had to strain too much on the keys or the strings. Stubby fingers don't do well with playin'." Utterly innocent commentary though he doesn't seem to understand how it may be construed. Instead, Jay smiles brightly, chuckling softly in a whisper to Ninette. "Yer so tiny, Ah can't imagine anyone makin' you feel anything other than petite and fine."

Ninette's hand pressed to Jay's is slender and small, her neatly polished nails ending just before his last knuckles. "You say the nicest things," she says. She clasps his hand, twining their fingers. Oops, how did that happen. She tugs him toward the couch, hesitating though. How frank does she want to be about this? On one hand making out on the couch is more nice-girl of her. On the other hand, she did tell him to pack an overnight bag. She regards him for a moment. Sweet Jay. Sweet, innocent, not entirely intuitive Jay. "Do you want to see where you'll be sleeping tonight?"

Jay's brows lift slightly as Ninette's fingers slip that littlest bit and slips between his own. Surprised by the somewhat forward act, he twitches a mild smile and allows the grip to hold on for a while yet, though his wings shiver uncertainly. Pulled toward the couch, then stopped again to wonder just which direction to go. He looks a hint confused for a moment when Ninette halts and changes tactics. A slow hue of pink touching his neck, crawling over his jaw a little bit, another shiver of his wings whispers around him. Swallowing hard, his adam's apple bobbing. "Ah, sure. Ah mean, Ah assumed it was back that way…" Jay gestures gently down the direction he feels is most natural to stick a bedroom.

Sweet Jay. Ninette has never known a man this innocent. Usually she's fending them off with threats and frostbite. It's strange, this ability to be bold and not be jumped on. She glances at the wings, which do not lie, and she smiles. "Yes, it's right this way," she says, tugging at Jay's hand as she leads the way.

Her bedroom is the very model of what a fancy lady's bedroom might be. Ruffles and lace and fine things, all pastels and roses. A bed far too large for one lone tiny thing like Ninette, and it's got a canopy. The air carries a soft perfume that just makes it even more of a Fancy Lady's Room. "Come in," she tells him.

Not that Ninette isn't a gorgeous woman, completely worthy of a man trying to club her and drag her back to their cavehey, 60sbut Jay's recent trauma is pretty fresh in that arena, and the whole 'come to jesus' talk he's tried having with his dick lately isn't helping issues in the least. So, yes. Ninette gets to be the persuer for once in her life regarding the polite young man.

Jay follows behind her, a slight knot in his stomach, not sure if it's out of excitement or panic. Maybe both. Likely both. His palms are extremely smooth and soft, not a scar of callous on them like most men's and working class people. They rival Ninette's or any other fine lady types with how fair and lovely they are. How immasculating. His palms are also a little damp.

Stepping just past the threshold, the enormous bed that takes over the centerpiece of the room with the canopy and all gets a shocked sort of look, brows lofting upward to hide behind the swoop of his hair. "Wow…that's…the fanciest bed Ah've ever set eyes on."

Ninette has had situations come up lately where she's questioned her own straightness, and one takeaway from that has been an appreciation for nice, soft hands. Maybe this is why she's attracted to Jay, all the ways he's not like the more 'masculine' types she's known before. She might even find herself enjoying taking the lead. A girl could get used to it. She draws him closer to the bed. See, Jay? It doesn't bite. It's got a nice downy coverlet and firm, bouncy mattress. "It gets so lonely most nights," she says, "just me alone in this penthouse."

Hey, it never hurts to shake things up. Try something new and exciting. Right? /Right/?

Jay smiles gently, a touch tentative as he whiplashes his attention back around to Ninette after taking in the sights of a fancy lady's bedroom. In fact, this place is fancy enough to be a /boudoir/, straight up. His feet move, but the soft 'click-clack' of his flip flops is a little on the hesitant side while he's drawn closer toward the bed. Still not entirely certain what to make of the mammoth bit of furniture, but he certainly knew where this was going. His wings a perpetual whisper of gently shifting motion while he pointedly does not look toward Ninette for a few moments, gaze wandering everywhere but, nervously. "Ah'm sure it does. Ah've always been around other folks so most of my time was spent tryin' to find time alone. Now that Ah can be alone any time Ah want…heh, well, the shine's worn off that penny a little bit." Finally allowing his shy attention to fall on the petite woman once more, offering a small smile. Apologetic around the edges. Haltingly, Jay finds himself pouring words he didn't necessarily mean to say out in a whisper, "Ah'm sorry. Ah haven't spent the night with a lady in a while."

Ninette regards Jay for a long time, and finally she sighs, taking his hand in both of hers. "Come here," she says gently," and she draws him to sit on the edge of that big bed with her. "You don't have to sleep with me," she says. "I've never had a man come to my bedroom looking like he was being led to his own execution. At first I thought you were just shy, but you don't want to be here, and I've been pushing you."

Lead around to the edge of the bed gently, Jay settles down beside Ninette, his eyes all on her as they sit together, her hand still in his and pulled lightly to rest lightly on the top of one leg. His expression looks guilty for a moment, then smiles sadly, glancing down at their paired hands. "It ain't that Ah don't want to be here with you, Ninette." Jay's tone is soft and thoughtful, embarrassed. "It's just a little complicated." His thumb rubs gently over the back of her petite hand. So soft. For a moment the silence hangs heavily and it's not entirely sure if Jay's going to explain further when the young man takes a deep breath and braces himself, his smile remains, curving gently on his lips. "The last person Ah was with died. Ah loved her…very much." Wings shiver behind him with a whisper. "Ah don't want you to think that any of this is because of you."

"I've never been refused before," Ninette says. Jay may take that as he will. That it can't possibly be about her? History has taught her men want to be here, but she's never tried inviting one of the nice ones. "You should have said," she tells him. She doesn't quite meet his gaze, though her tone is kind. Firm, but kind. "I knew there was something wrong, but I kept telling myself he keeps saying yes. You don't have to."

Quickly swooping in to try to reassure Ninette, Jay lifts her hand, pressing his free limb over the back to cup it as he presses a kiss against her fingers. "Ninette, Ah'm not refusin' you. Ah'm just tellin' you that Ah'm afraid. Ah look afraid because Ah /am/ afraid. Ah kept sayin' yes because I wanted t'say yes."

Ninette's brows lift, and she looks at Jay, shaking her head. Mystified. "Your mutation isn't dangerous, is it?" she asks. "Is there any reason to be afraid? Because the only thing I'm afraid of is that you must think I'm trying too hard." She's not used to trying at all. She's used to taking her pick and fending off the rest. She shifts a little closer to him, trying on the idea that he might not be politely gay after all. "It's all right if you're not ready. I won't think less of you. In fact, that's rather sweet."

Jay exhales a breath of near laughter and shakes his head, looking actually sheepish as he exchanges looks to Ninette. "Mah mutation is…really disappointin', actually. Ah couldn't be dangerous if Ah wanted." That isn't entirely true, but he's convinced of it none the less.

"Ah'm afraid because…" Jay drifts a little, trying to find a way of explaining his trepidation with a lift of his gaze, sweeping it over the fancy, feminine room. "…because it still hurts." It sounds lame and Jay winces over it, giving Ninette an apologetic look. "Ah sound like a sissy. Ah'm sorry. It's been three months an' honestly, everthin' that's been goin' on since Ah got here hasn't done a whole lot to convince me everythin's okay."

Ninette shakes her head and says, "You sound like a man who's capable of love." She smiles softly, though there's a palpable sorrow in her eyes. "Three months isn't a long time to mourn." She squeezes his hand. "If your heart is still with her, then let it be with her." Ninette swallows, then says, "The world is always going to be dangerous. I can't remember what it was like to feel like everything is all right."

Jay's ears burn faintly but he swallows the feeling down, kissing Ninette's hand again, the limb is curled in against the center of his chest. "Mah heart's gotten all kinds of confused and torn up lately, Ninette. An' maybe things aren't ever gonna be all right again. Maybe that's just the nature of the beast." The young man shrugs gently, bowing his head over the paired hands he holds against his chest, thumb rubbing over her dainty knuckles. "But Ah like you. An' Ah don't want to do anythin' to hurt you." Honest. Too fucking honest for his own cock-blocking self.

Ninette bows her head when he kisses her hand. She can't look at him and/ maintain her composure. She needs that composure. She can't let him see what it's doing to her, the twisted echoes of another man, another time, 'I am capable of loving, my dear, just not you.' Or how she debased herself and begged. There can be no trace of this, not in her face, not in her voice. "Please," she says, "don't you know I'm made of ice? You cannot hurt me." She smiles, and she gives his hand a squeeze. The smile fades though, as she says, "We strive to make things as good as they can be, and sometimes, that's enough."

She rises to her feet again, and she tugs on Jay's hand. "Why don't we go out and see a movie? Then, if you want to stay, I have a guest room. If you don't, that's all right, too."

Jay is built out of emotions. He tries to pretend he isn't sometimes, but it's the truth of the matter. And like a living borometer of the emotional climate in a room, he seems to feel that withdrawal. That chill in the air around them. His chin tips upward when Ninette stands, leaning forward some in order to try to peer at her face. Gently, the young man smiles, eyes fixed on the fancy woman's face. "Oh, 'Nettie…" Jay says, breathlessly while he steals that presumptive nickname. His free hand lifts, a soft, pale hand tapping beneath her jaw, trying to draw her gaze up. He smiles, slowly, gaze full of wonder, his heart somehow lighter. "You are a lotta things…but ice ain't one of them."

Turning his head to look back at the fluffy beadspread, considering the fancy canopy. Tentatively, testing, Jay finds himself suggesting gently. "Maybe…Ah could still stay here? If, Ah mean, you don't mind?" He makes no promises as far as what they'd do or not do, but…well. Jay turns back to Ninette with a tentative arch of his brows, biting on the inside of his cheek. How's that for backwards?

Just what Ninette needs. A man she can't blow off with a few glib words. He calls her Nettie, and she smiles, ducking her head. Okay, she likes that. She likes that a lot. If anyone else calls her that, she will death glare them into the ground, but Jay calling her Nettie is nice. Her gaze is drawn up to his, and her smile fades, leaving those luminous green eyes haunted by the ghost of a girl left all alone in the world, too young to have known how to survive in it.

Nodding slowly, she says, "I'd like that." She swallows, and she cups his cheek in her small, soft palm. "I would really like that." Then she leans down to kiss him tenderly on the mouth. "Let's just not sleep alone tonight."

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