1964-08-07 - The First Date, Again
Summary: Charles and Moira have their first date in a long while.
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Theme Song: None
xavier moira 

Charles Xavier, Professor of the Xavier Institute, published scholar, and dare we say genius… is nervous. He hides it pretty well, of course, so that no one would really notice that he's nervous. But there's only a few people that could see that he's nervous, waiting at the very upscale restaurant for his date to arrive.

Of course, the complication is that the woman he's meeting is one of the few people that can see right through him. But he waits patiently, as he was a bit early, of course, dressed in a very fashionable black suit, red tie, white shirt… shoes freshly polished, hair coiffed just perfectly. But he's still a bit nervous.

Just on time, so Charles' must have been a bit early, Moira MacTaggert steps through the front door of the restaurant and traces pale eyes about, looking for her company for the night. Date? Was it a date? Very probably, which makes her smile. She's still leaning against that crutch — something that will probably be with her forever from the way she walks with it — but she's actually bothered to dress up tonight. An elegant green wrap dress that emphasizes what few curves she has rather nicely. Her dark hair is swept up and off of her slender throat and she has just a touch more make up on.

Smooth as the crutch can allow, she makes her way to his side, a shy sort of odd smile on her lips. She's still not sure how to approach this all. "… Charles. You made it early."

Charles rises, ever the gentleman, and pulls out a chair for Moira, "Well, I may have overestimated how long it would take to get here." He smiles towards Moira, "You look enchanting, as always." Once Moira takes the chair, he'll slide it in, and then sit down across from her, "I… I'm sorry, I suppose I…" He ahems, and blushes a bit, giving Moira a bit of a look that's a mixture of wry amusement and apology.

Then he clears his throat, obviously a bit confused about where to be himself, as he smiles, "Moira, it's just… I… hmm." Normally he doesn't have a problem finding the words, but for some reason he's always having a bit of a problem when he's looking at those brilliant eyes.

A gentle kiss is given to his cheek a greeting that is both tender and trying to be a bit in control. They couldn't be ridiculous teenagers, after all. They were both more wise and mature. Moira then draws back enough to sink down into the chair across from him, setting her crutch aside, and it would now look like nothing had changed at all. She might be older, a touch more tired around the eyes, but it's the same smile as before.

"It…it is good to see you, Charles. And it's fine. It's been… too long. Maybe I should have called. No. I know… I should have. But life gets… overwhelming." She admits with the smallest of shrugs, a slightly bittersweet smile pulling at her burgundy lips.

Charles looks a bit wry at that, "I definitely can understand that, Moira. And it's alright. I mean, it's not anything like that. Especially with the whole business with the government and such." He reaches across the table, leaning forward a bit as his hands rest in the center of the table, "It's so good to see you again, Moira. It really is."

He pauses, and looks at Moira with some concern, "What happened? It seems like it was… drastic." He looks worried, and curious, though he doesn't do what would be the most obvious temptation, which is his powers. First, it's a radical violation of privacy. Second… even if it wasn't, it was Moira. And he'd never do that to her.

Oh, and she'd probably kick his ass. That's the third reason.

As his hands rest in the center of the table, she reaches one small palm out to stretch over top of his. Moira wants the contact, she's missed that contact, and she trusts him enough not to take advantage of it. Even if touching like that means thoughts could spill over so easily, she knows he won't. So, she touches him for the sheer enjoyment of contact with someone she's missed that deeply. She's even painted her nails for tonight, a deep ruddy red, glossy in the candlelight from their table.

"…I… can't say it's really pleasant dinner conversation. The very short of it is that Joe and I fought rather… violently, and he tossed me down the stairs. Shattered my hip and thigh bone. Just… an unlucky fall, really." Moira states flatly, not quite able to meet his eyes as she tries to tell the story as light and short as possible.

Charles is normally unflappable. He doesn't really /have/ a dark side, or so everyone would claim. Those that are closest to him: Jean, Moira, Erik… they're well aware of just how tightly he keeps a rein on his id because, well, a powerful telepath giving in to human rage would be a terrible thing. Of course, that was before Korea, and fighting in that war…

Which is how, he barely maintains control as he looks at Moira, eyes widening, "Moira…" He clamps down his rage, but it's probably best for Joe that he's not in a place that Charles can reach out to him, and let's leave it at that as his anger isn't what she wants or needs. Instead, he gives her a comforting look, "I'm sorry." And he means that.

The woman's fingertips clutch across his, that pretty much being the reaction she expected, and now she's just trying to help him clamp it down. She exhales slowly, half coaching him with her own breath, her pale eyes tightly pulled upon his. "Charles… Breathe. It's fine. It's passed… the war… it hurt everyone. People are people. It's done now." She reassures him gently, shaking her head towards the apology, "You have nothing to be sorry for."

Charles smiles a little wanly, "Intellectually, I know you're right. Emotionally… well." He sighs and clutches her hand in his, watching you as he tilts his head, "Wait. You're comforting me?" He smiles more genuinely at that, "Moira, you… I don't know that I've met anyone quite like you."

"I've had a year and change to deal with it. You just found out and are taking it about as well as I expected you to…" Which is not all that well, says the slightly sideways smile she's giving him, "So…yes. I'm comforting you. And it's alright. These things happen, they are a part of life. I'm just glad I can *walk*…" From the way she limps now, it was probably a long road of therapy to even get there.

Charles smiles, "Point. It is a part of life, or as a childhood friend said, 'Why do we fall? So we learn to pick ourselves up.'" He squeezes her hand lightly in his, "I know it's obvious, but I can't help stating that I'm glad you're back here. I guess the worries with the Company aren't as intense, now?" Because, honestly, if they were, he probably wouldn't care at this point.

A slight shrug comes from her sledner shoulders and she sits back in the chair, getting a bit more comfortable, but she allows her fingertips to linger within his grasp for the moment. She will until drinks come, at least. Maybe he ordered for them already? "They haven't contacted me since I moved back to New York. I told them I'd still be on call as a consultant but… after the injury, they seem to see me as less… Useful than before. And that's fine for me. I'd rather not get involved in all of it again."

Charles nods, "I am in complete agreement on that. I'd… rather you have the freedom to come by. Quite often." He smiles a little, and adds, as an afterthought, "I've been practicing my cooking, by the way. Actually been attempting to get sushi to be popular at the school. Some of the students like it, but others… well, not so much?"

"Sushi. You… are cooking sushi. You know the fish is supposed to be raw, Charles?" Moira teases him with a bit of a wink, her grin widenin again. The unomfortable conversations of earlier quickly disappearing away to a more relaxed time. Finally, the waiter is there and Moira looks up to him before gazing over to Charles. "Whatever you think. My tastes have not much changed…" That isn't exactly meant to be a test, but she is curious what he would get for them.

Charles smiles, "Not /all/ the fish is raw, sometimes you have it cooked, or smoked." He then smiles, and orders dinner. Which, actually, is what they had the last time they had dinner together… which was years ago. But Charles remembers the details flawlessly. The benefits of an eidetic memory and all that, as he looks back towards Moira with a smile, "Neither have mine. Expanded a bit, perhaps, but still mostly the same."

An appetizer of antipasto, she has the parmesean sole and he the steak, they agree to share bites so they can taste everything. Lightly dressed salad. A bottle of a good pinot noir. Moira looks suitably impressed as he remembers all of that, the details just coming back to her now. She tilts her head in affirmation that he's done well, a hint of a blush creeping up her cheeks. "…that sounds lovely. And you have been learning to cook sushi. Impressive. I… will have to get up north of the city more."

Charles laughs softly, "Not just sushi, but all sorts of things. The nice thing about the school, is that I have a captive audience for my culinary adventures." He smiles and eagerly shares everything with Moira, enjoying the evening as he makes small talk throughout, but focuses on the cooking experiments, "I have a deal that we order pizzas from Harry's if it's a bad experience. But so far it's successful more often than not."

"A captive audience. Those poor students…" Moira teases him lightly, but she's content to make the small talk as well. It's easier than the misery of the last few years, the worry she felt, everything else she's done. This is light and relaxing, like nothing has changed. She takes a long sip of her wine, letting it relax her even more, going to her head and flushing her cheeks. "…and you haven't met a lady in all this time, Charles? I thought you'd be married by now…"

Charles smiles a bit, "Well, I've met a few ladies now and again, but nothing permanent. It's… well, it's hard to meet someone who understands." He gets a bit of a sheepish look, "And don't get me started about the girls at the school, I find their attention a bit flattering and yet disturbing at the same time." The lecture hall in Raiders of the Lost Ark? That's Charles' life in a nutshell, which is only worse when you're a telepath…

A slight wince and a laugh comes at that, Moira picking at her fish between bits of conversation, but it's clear all her attention is on him. "Teenage girls can get over zealous, I imagine. And you are…handsome, still. Even after all this time. So… I cannot blame them. But, I'm sorry it's been a lonely road. You're a good man, Charles… You deserve that bit of happiness too." She reaches her hand out again, to his leg this time, giving his knee a gentle squeeze.

Charles mmms, and blinks a bit at the squeeze on his knee. Then he smiles over at Moira, "I think… we deserve some happiness, Moira. All I can think is… we've danced around things, and delayed things because, well, we felt we had to. And I'm not doubting the need of it then, but in retrospect." His eyes look at Moira's, and he says, "I would have found another way. That wouldn't have you leave in the first place."

Those words hurt, as sweet as they are, there is the sting too. The misery of the years between, everything she's been through. Could she have escaped it all? Moira looks down to the table for a moment, but her hand lingers against his knee, not pulling back, just silently considering it all. "But…those weren't the decisions we made. It wasn't about us. It was about protecting the students…" She murmurs softly.

Charles sighs, "I know. It isn't a regret. Well, I suppose it is, I don't regret doing it. I regret the necessity of it." He looks at her, "I regret that I lost years of you in my life. I can't get those years back, but… I can make the most of the years we have left." A bit of a smile, "If you would allow that, Moira."

A slightly nervous, sweet, but uncertain laugh escapes her lips, "You… you just met me again. I just moved here. God, Charles… my husband isn't even six months dead. What…are you asking me? To come back and teach? Move in? Just for another date?" Moira inquires, genuinely a bit overwhelmed by it all. Not protesting, and she hasn't said no… But, ever the scientist, she needs more clarity.

Charles blushes a bit at the mention of the dead husband, and ahems, "I… well, come back and teach, if you could, that would be delightful but I wouldn't presume. Move in, well, maybe eventually… but another date, certainly?" He smiles, "I've missed you Moira. No matter how much everything has changed, how I feel is still the same."

"I've missed you too. For what it's worth. It… was never really the same after. But the students are worth it. They always will be." And, really, that is probably how they bonded the most — over just how much they both cared about the students. "I'd love to come teach but… we'll have to see how busy it is at Columbia. I have Joe's pension but that's not enough to cover living in this area. So… we'll start with another date and go from there."

Charles nods, "Sounds perfectly reasonable, Moira, something more casual?" He smiles, "If you want, I'll see how Julie is doing with your car, and you can pick that up at Harry's?" He tilts his head, "Though, I'm open to whatever you'd like to do. If you wanted to come up to the school for an evening? Perhaps a Friday, when you didn't have classwork the next day?"

"I'll call Julie and see if she can have something mocked up by Friday, then I'll come up for the evening… MIght even be able to spend the night, as things go. That sounds lovely…" Moira offers to him, trying not to be too forward, but also leave the options open. Her smile has comfortably returned, no longer tempered by the practicalities of life.

Charles blinks at the mention of spending the night, and says, "That'd be great! I mean, ah, there's plenty of space, it's the mansion after all…" He covers himself a bit there, but it doesn't take a telepath to know where his mind might have leapt to at first. And he blushes a bit.

A deeper, slightly more amused, but also gentle smirk crosses her soft mouth, "We shall see how the evening goes, Charles. But… for tonight…" THe last bits of food and wine have both been finished over the long, casual conversation, "I fear I should get back. I do have to be up in the morning, getting ready for the semester's start. But… thank you for having me. Truly. I… I was worried you'd be angry, after all these years." Angry men had been a baseline existence of Moira for a bit too long. It seems just a part of her reality now.

Charles smiles a bit, and nods, "I… don't think it's possible for me to be angry with you, Moira." After settling the bill, he rises to his feet, getting the chair for Moira as he remains ever the gentleman. He then offers the lady his arm, tilting his head, "And I definitely understand the call of early mornings…"

Her shoulders slightly release some of that tension she had been carrying as he says he couldn't be angry with her. It's reassuring to hear, at least. Moira lets out a slow breath and accepts his help out of the chair, leaning over to grab her cane with now expert motions. She keeps her other arm in his. "I know… those students need you, now more than ever. Things are just getting more dangerous. So… you get home safe, and I shall see you in a few days, yes?"

Charles smiles, "Perfect, Moira. And yes, I shall be perfectly safe. Julie worked on customizing my car herself. I'm probably safer in that than I would be if I were driving a tank. And much less conspicuous."

"Excellentthen… I shall see you then." And Moira lets him walk her outside where she pauses for a quiet, gentle, but lingering proper kiss. A longer one than the shocked thing last evening. One where she reminds herself of why this was so good, that life can be happy. It's a kiss they both need. Then she's off in a cab, back towards Columbia, just the scent of her perfume left in the air.

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