07.02.3013: Know What Love Is
Summary: Letha and Drake finally have "The Talk."
Date: 3 July 3013
Related: The Damn 'L' Word and Yeah, The Damn 'L' Word
Drake Letha 

Peyton Place, The Westend of Landing
Think 'The Bourbon Room' from 'Rock of Ages'…
July 2, 3013

Peyton Place isn't much when it comes to Westend clubs. It's small, it's underground, and it's mostly the scene of shows on their way up or down. One of the former was playing tonight, and they ended rather early, to their dismay. That has allowed Drake Danger to slip in after closing time, with a couple of barbacks and waitresses still cleaning up. The rocker has settled on stage with his acoustic guitar, he's playing a quiet, almost subdued tune, stopping every couple of bars to go back and try the section again, changing something here and there.

There isn't so much as a shouting match going on just outside the club, but more of enthusiastic debating. There is a couple minutes of back and forth between one of Peyton Place's bouncers and someone trying to be given access, and it seems like the latter has won this particular argument. Letha Vallas strides into the front room of the club, tucking her press badge back into the pocket of her duster coat as she goes. Her steps are determined, much of her inebriation worn off during the journey from the Blue Stallion in Phylon to here. Her aforementioned coat is buttoned up, allowing only flashes of the semi-translucent skirt offered with her strides. Her brilliant blue eyes alight on the stage as the guitar chords touch her ears, and she hesitates a moment.

Drake glances up once at the raised voices from outside, then shakes his head, looking back down to the strings of his guitar, "I wanna know what…" Yeah, there's someone in a very familiar dust-coat in the middle of the floor, and the chord… and his words trails into silence. A little bit of a smile touches one corner of his lip, and then it fades away, his pick pressed between middle and ring finger as he runs his hand back through his hair, "Hey Vallas." There's a complex melange of emotions behind the words, but at least his smile comes back just a touch.

Letha does not let herself forget that she is angry, despite looking upon the handsome guise and luxurious hair. She tightens her jaw a bit, squaring up her shoulders as she marches toward the stage. If others are looking her way, she doesn't seem to register that anyone but her and Drake exist in this little, shabby club. She does not immediately take those stairs up to the stage, but instead roots her feet just in front of the stage apron. "Hey," she says curtly, thumping her fists once against the sides of her thighs. "We need to talk," she says, trying to keep her voice steady. "We need to talk… tonight… and I need to know why."

Drake arches his eyebrows at the angry response, straightening up on the stool that is serving as his seat. And when she presses her fists to her hips, he just sort of nods to himself, blowing out a breath and letting the words roll over him immediately before he nods, "Why I didn't say it back. Yeah, we should talk." Standing up, he gathers up the stool, gesturing toward the wings of the stage, "Green room's back that way."

Letha blinks a bit at his own reply, but there is only a moment's falter to her angry facade at his words. She tightens up her jaw a bit, glancing over toward one of the barbacks that is trying to eavesdrop without looking obvious. The journalist inhales sharply as she climbs up the stairs to follow his direction. She casts a dubious glance around the stage before she falls into stride behind him. Her arms cross, her stance a bit defensive.

Drake certainly isn't calm here, rolling the pick over and over in his hands, but he's also not exploding back, almost seeming resigned. The stool is deposited off-stage, and then he pulls open the door to the green-room, walking through and pushing the door open behind him for her to enter, only then realizing that he probably should have held it open for her to step in first. Brilliant. His shoulders tighten, but after a momentary freeze, he steps through the doorway, bumping the door again to make sure it stays open long enough and then moving over to drop himself down onto one side of an overstuffed couch. His guitar is set down alongside the couch, leaving the rest of it, a couple of easy chairs, and two stools in front of a lighted mirror. Plenty of choices to be had.

There is, perhaps, a slight flash of Valen in the lack of chivalry from the musician, but she endures it as she grasps the bumped-open door, pulling it open to step inside the green room. Again, her eyes wander over its walls, taking it every inch she can in a short period of time before she decides to claim a stool. She picks it up, swinging it around to sit closer to him, and settles down on it with a slight nod of her chin. She hesitates a few moments before she clears her throat, asking a simple, "So, why?"

Drake scratches at the back of his neck, drawing his hair back from his face with both hands, "Uh… well…" He licks his lips, then lets out a long breath, releasing his hair and tucking his pick into a little pocket in his leather wrist-wrap. "Okay, so I froze. I mean… I've said it before, I mean, I've sung it. But that was just tryin' to get under a girl's skirt." He shifts uncomfortably on the couch, looking to where he's picking at the fabric of the couch's arm, "I didn't wanna do that with you."

"Of course not," Letha says, her voice sharp as she snaps at him. "I let you get under my skirt without even having to say it." There is a hint of her own self-deprecation in those words. "But, I said it, and you… faked it, Drake. You faked it." She crosses her arms firmly at her chest as she looks down at the ground. "And I thought I was cool with it… but, I'm not." She breathes out through her nose. "I don't want you to just think… I'm great."

Drake protests immediately, "That's not what I meant…" And then she goes on, and his shoulders tighten up even further, looking up at where she's perched on the stool, "I just… I mean… I didn't want to lie." He stops picking at the side of the couch, scowling just a bit, "C'mon, blondie, you wouldn't want me to have lied, would you?" There's a pause, and then he asks, "Wait, there just wasn't any way to win there, was there?"

"So you don't love me," Letha concludes firmly. It is enough to get her out of her stool with a sweep of her coat, flashing that knee-length skirt as it falls into place. "I'm gonna send someone from El-El around to pick up the rest of my stuff." She keeps her arms crossed at her chest as if it might help strengthen her resolve as she starts toward the door.

Drake bounces up out of the couch, reaching out to grab for her arm, "Wait, wait." He rolls his shoulders again, a pleading note entering his voice, "I dunno, alright." He tosses his hair back from his face, "I don't fuckin' know." A bit of anger touches his voice there, replacing the plea from before, "I haven't ever been in love before, damn it. How the fuck do I know if I love you, Letha? Hell, Cole said he didn't even know when he was in Love with his wives until way too late."

Letha stops at his series of waits, turning slightly toward him. Her brilliant blue eyes are bright with tears, her mouth held in a tight line that prevents any such girly reaction like trembles. She looks away abruptly as he professes his ignorance on this topic. She shakes her head a bit, reaching up with one hand to press the top of her pointer finger underneath her left eye. She sniffs a bit. "Am I suppose to give you some time? Is that what you're asking me?"

Drake moves around to step in front of Letha, his hand still on her arm, "I… hell, I don't know, Vallas." Once more, he submits to his nervous habit, running the fingers of his free hand back through his hair, "I like you a hell of a lot. You've got me all inspired, and I wanted you to move in with me. That's just not like me." He finally lets her arm go, "I don't know what the fuck's goin' on, Letha. I don't know if I need more time, or what." He hesitates, then makes the mistake of saying, "You seemed fine yesterday… why all this today?"

Tears collect at her lashes, and she does all she can to keep them from falling. Despite the fact he has tried to step in front of her, she turns away from him again as she refuses to look at him with her emotion on the verge. She is doing quite well actually… until he makes that mistake. She turns on him abruplty, arms dropping and hands gathering into little fists. "I wasn't fine yesterday!" She releases at him. "I haven't been fine for days, Drake. And yesterday was the Bonfire Festival, and I did all I can to try to be supportive… and cool… and casual."

Drake would normally wrap his arms around her to comfort her. In fact, he actually takes half a step toward, then sighs heavily and lets his hands drop to his sides again in a rustle of leather. "I mean I know you weren't fine about…" the rocker shakes his head, dropping that point and vacillating between stepping back again and standing his ground, but eventually settles on inactivity. "I'm sorry, ba — Letha. Just too much…" And then he stops again, shaking his head, "no. I got no excuses, or at least I ain't gonna give 'em to you. That'd be an insult and all."

Letha wipes the palm of her hands over her eyes, turning away from him once more before she releases a little, somewhat sobbing breath. She folds her lips together, focusing on the walls of the green room for a long moment. Then she shakes her head, sniffing again. "Look… Drake… " Her voice falters a bit as she looks down at her feet. She steadies herself, forcing a smile on her face. It is perhaps a smile that is taught to all performers. Smile, even when you're having a bad day. No one likes to see someone frowning on stage. She lifts her eyes to him. "Don't worry about it. You know… sounds like we just want different things."

Drake frowns at the false smile, starting to shake his head already. "No. No, Letha." He stops then, both hands extended just shy of grasping her upper arms. He heaves a sigh, reaching up to pull his hair back from his face, holding it there tight enough to pull his forehead tight, "I don't know what the hell you want at this point, Letha." There's no anger there, perhaps a bit of frustration, but mostly resignation. Shrugging his shoulders, he blows out another sign, and he finishes with, "I just know I wanna be with you."

Letha's tears continue to spill forth from those blue eyes, and her smile transforms into her best attempt to hold back any further sobs. She has to take a deep breath, standing tall now as she tries to steady herself against his words. She just stands there for a few moments, sweaty hands working against her coat uneasily. "Why?" She asks finally, her voice thick. "Why do you want to be with me?"

Drake can't help it any longer, and he reaches up to brush those falling tears off her cheeks, "'Cause I like hearin' your voice, and I like talkin' with you, and I like knowing what you think about what I'm doin' and writin', and I like seein' your pretty face, and I like readin' over your shoulder, and I like how you inspire me, and I like how inspired you are, and I like how just bein' near you makes me feel."

Letha sinks a bit at the touch to her cheeks, but it only causes more of those hot, salty tears to roll down her cheeks. She closes her eyes tightly even as she raises her hands to grasp at his forearms. She has to take a few more moments to gather herself before she asks almost desperately, "Don't you see that's why I want to be with you, too?" She shakes her head, averting her gaze from him.

Drake's fingers curl around her cheeks, then he draws his hands back, his hands drawing into fists before his forearms are grabbed. "So what you're sayin' is that that's what love is? All that?" A hint of a smile touches one corner of his lips, "How do you know, Letha? How did you know?"

"That's what it feels like to me," Letha says softly, followed by a weak sniffle. Then she looks up at him, offering him a weak laugh through the fall of her tears. She shakes her head a bit as she considers his questions. "I don't know if I can explain it, Drake… I can show you though."

Drake brings his hands back to her cheeks, the smile spreading just a little, "Yeah? I know you can show me." He hesitates just a moment, then leans forward to press a light kiss onto teach eyelid, the salt of her tears lingering on his lips for a moment. "But that doesn't mean I don't want you to show me." His thumbs brush over her cheeks gently, and his smile turns more than a little wry and self-deprecating, "I'm sorry, Letha. I guess I got… ya know, scared."

Letha trembles just a bit at his kisses, her eyes closed her eyes as she focuses on his words. She seems a bit resigned, feeling all her anger wick away. She nods her head a bit, though it is a meek gesture as if afraid that it might upset their closeness. "You don't think I'm not scared?" She half-whispers before she casts him a slight smile. "I don't want to be like Cole's wives. I don't want you to realize that you loved me after I'm already gone." She shakes her head. "But… I…" This is her turn to hesitate. She arches on her toes a bit to press a kiss to his lips.

Drake strokes the fingers of one hand back along the side of her head, brushing the golden locks back behind her ear, "And if you walk out that door, you'll be gone already…" And then she rises up to silence those words, and the fingers curl at the back of her neck, drawing that kiss a little harder against his mouth. For all the almost-desperate curl of fingers against the back of her neck, he doesn't press anything, both hands remaining above her shoulders. When he finally straightens up, his eyes remain closed, and he sings in a little whisper, "It looks like love has finally found me…"

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