07.13.3013: Love at First Bump? (Part 3)
Summary: After their first meet, Nimara finds the courage to lay out the law for Michael — and she says something he doesn't expect.
Date: 13 July 2013
Related: Love at First Bump? (Part 2)
Nimara Michael 

Berazine Coffee House (not gridded)
A large, square room with tall ceilings that do nothing but amplify the noise. Steel tables can sit two to four people at best. The walls are gray with paintings that aren't the pretty pictures the non-artist appreciates, but more of formless shapes and color-splashes of the more professional type. This type of place sells ancient old types of tea, like chai, and more modern ones that glow day-glow pink. Music from local Valen artists play over a sound system.
13 July 3013

[ooc: Something that Mike is going to try out, scene music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV-c7eQ0HAc This songs fits the situation best.]

Nimara asked him to meet her in the Vale and provided an address to something like a coffee shop. The drinks were hot — some old fashioned, like teas — while others were more modern drinks. They sold sweets and sandwiches, but the servers were all robotics for the most part, instead of humans. Music played lowly, and most local things and the room was muddled with its gray walls and dark paintings that were more smudges of color than representations of life. The place was a little busy for lunch, but nothing compared to the morning rush.

Nimara had found a table on the side. It gave her room to watch the door but also to handle her hot drink. She sipped it slowly. Her normally bright eyes were swollen from sleepiness. The last time she saw him, she had opened her mouth when she didn't have to. "Meet me for lunch," is all she had to say, but she didn't. She turned her left arm, hit a panel and brought up a display of the comm Ivy had sent. She read it again, and then once more, before her foot started to tap. She sighed. "Senators are so much easier," she said to herself.

Michael had been in the middle of training, a spar with three of the younger boys, when the comm came through. He instantly showered, changed, and made his way from Volkan to the Vale. He's concerned… with how the other night went, her words ring in his head as do his mother's. 'Do what it takes Michael, it's clear to your mother and it should be clear to you.' she had said to him. Michael makes his way into the coffee shop of sorts and lets his eyes scan the crowd. He's holding a small spray of irises, actually muted colors of violets and dark blues. His own clothing is his dappled leathers, recently cleaned.

Nimara's chocolate brown eyes turn to see him enter, looking fresh. He had a way of looking handsome more than she was used to; perhaps she was used to wrinkled old men or alcoholics. He brought flowers, not a full bouquet of roses to overwhelm her, but a small collection of irises. There, she smiled, but her shoulders didn't untense. She'll let him find her, her hair done up halfway but with the hairclip still shining in her black tresses. And when he found her and approached her, her voice came out softly, yet firm all at the same time. "Thank you. Please sit… and I have a lot to say, so I just need you to sit there and don't say anything. I—I have to explain something, about me."

Michael finds her, and then nods. He sits down, accustomed to orders from females. He smiles at her, just an 'I'm happy to see you smile.' He nods to her, to let her know that he is all ears.

He said nothing. Damn. Nimara was used to arguments, used to people -not- listening to her. But he just watched her with those eyes and now, she was on center-stage with a spotlight. 'Take a chance,' Ivy said. "You asked me the other day what I was thinking. We had that… magical day together that it didn't occur to me what was happening until I left. Then I panicked." Her eyes lower and she looks at her cybernetic. "Michael, I don't want to hurt you. I really don't, but I feel like that's all I'm going to do. I feel like you're looking for something that I can't provide. Commitment, love, companionship. I've never given these to someone, because I don't know how." She lifts her eyes again, staring at him in a way that shows her fear. "I don't -get- like this with men. I have casual flings, relationships doomed to end. I am not marriage material, and I see that look in your eyes, and I see this sweet man who wants the greatest romance and I'm going to fail you. And what's crazy is that we don't -really- know each other, and I'm spouting all this, because I'm afraid that… this could be something that I'm just too scared to do." She sighs. "You said casual. But I don't think you can do casual. I think you're an all or nothing man. This is me; I'm good moving about a room, manipulating people, flirting, one-night-standing, but this? I don't want to fail you, but…" 'Take a chance,' Ivy had said. "If you're willing to be patient with me and slow things down, I'd like to try."

Michael sits and listens, and for a moment it sounds just like what he'd been hoping wasn't the case… then that last part and he blinks. "You are right, I usually am an all or nothing man… at least, that's how I was because of the zoning I've lost. I needed someone there, I needed to know that there was one person in all the system that was safe." he pauses, licking his lips and considering her. "Nimara, the other night was intense… and I've never done that before, ever. We kissed more in just a few hours than I'd kissed in my life, and it was amazing to me. I didn't want to stop, it was like a drug to me." he takes a breath, "Casual, yes… for one thing, I am still in love with someone. I have feelings for others that I'm getting over and dealing with. As for the great romance, do you know what the greatest romance really is?" he shifts in his seat and looks into her eyes, "People assume it's sweet and cute, and there's nothing but happy moments… they are wrong, all of them. A true romance is nothing to do with the romantic moments two share. We had a romantic moment, and we'll have others as time goes on, but the greatest romance two can have is the sharing of all life with each other, the good and the bad. It isn't about the end of the journey, especially for me, it's about the journey itself, and if this doesn't scare you, I want you to travel with me. Where our journey leads, we'll find out in time." Michael sighs softly and reaches out a hand to hers, which ever is closest to him as it doesn't matter him really, and gives her a gentle squeeze. "I am here, because I want to be here… and I'll go at your pace, so long as that pace isn't us breaking up… because I'd like for us to be together."

They were others, as she had expected. Perhaps it reminded her that she was not special, or there was something to him. Would he be faithful? Would she care if he wasn't? When he reaches for her hand, she reaches over to squeeze it. "But here's where I think you're confused," she says, "because you say you want these things with me, but you don't know me beyond the surface. You can't -know- if you want those things." She squeezes his hand again. "And you admit there are others your heart still feels for, that those feelings aren't forgotten." She smiles to him, a soft small one. "And perhaps you would prefer them over me. And that's okay," she says with a softened voice. "I don't know if I want to take this journey with anyone, but I do know what drowning in loneliness feels like. That, I don't want." Her eyes raise to him. "You cannot yet say you want to take this journey with me, because we haven't even stepped in sync yet. This is what I mean by slowing down. Let me -learn- you, Michael, and let yourself learn me. You've been heartbroken and you set your expectations high. I will fail by default if you hold me to them." Her eyes wonder his face. "So please don't. Let's just… learn for a while and see what comes of it. Can you do that?"

Michael takes a breath and looks at her, "Yes, there are others my heart has fallen for… but I am not pursuing them for a reason, and not simply because they don't feel we could be." he shakes his head, "You asked for more than just, we'll see how it goes, and I am prepared for what may come… I've nearly died twice, been tossed around like a rag doll twice, and had my heart broken thrice. I can handle some quirk you think might be a deal breaker. Honestly, unless you moonlight as a serial killer, most of the small things you do will only prove to be amusing and adorable to me as time goes on." he nods slightly, "I don't hold expectations for us, for you… as you say and are right about, we don't know each other well. Lets learn eachother, and if we don't walk in sync for the first month, does that mean we're doomed? I don't think so, I think it means we're a perfectly normal couple." he puts his other hand on top of hers, "Nimara, will you agree to date me? Will you be my girlfriend, and agree to take this at your pace? I'll even agree to discuss terms, if your senator side feels the need." his smile shows, earnest.

For a while, the woman remains quiet, watching him. As eloquent as she, he manages to cause the loquacious woman into silence. What would this all mean, in the end? This was not her world, and she was on a line of a choice: take the risk, or find the comfort in the things she knows? Her breathing heightens as she watches him, both of his hands over hers. Her voice cracks when she speaks, "I—I'm a senator, not a lawyer." She says, beginning to smile her playful grin. "I don't need terms, but…" The hand she had given him was the organic one, and then she takes a moment to look at her mechanical one. "Tell me why me. Tell me for what reason you want me to walk with you. Stare at me in the face, and you tell me -why- me, and if you're honest, then I'll say yes."

Michael smiles softly at her quip about not being a lawyer. He then drops the smile and looks into her eyes, silent for a long long time. He just looks at her, there is a swirl if information that passes through his eyes in the form of lights that resemble moths fluttering infront of a flame. When he speaks, his tone is solid and unwavering, "You baffle me, to my core… you've shaken my thoughts, and for once I feel like I'm on solid ground." his gaze doesn't look away, but the singular please does find it's way to his eyes before the flickering lights shoo it away.

'Take a chance,' Ivy had said. In that moment, the woman's eyes soften with a realization — there's nothing he can honestly say that would give her the total comfort she's looking for. It was about risks and he was willing to take it. "My only term," she says then, "is that you talk to me and I will talk to you. I will be honest with you, to the point that it will hurt. If you say you love me one day, and I don't love you, I will tell you. And you have to be okay with that." Her metallic hand rests over his and she slowly smiles. "I will tell you when I'm scared." She pauses. "I'm scared," she says, "but yes. I will not be your trophy to show around. I will be your friend and whatever there is to come."

Michael smiles, a kind and gentle smile. "If I tell you I love some day, regardless of where your heart is, know that I mean it… and don't allow me to make you feel pressured to feel anything. Even if we're at different emotional states, when ever we happen to arrive to them, I don't want you to think you have to catch up, and I won't feel like I have to. Agreed?" he looks at her, "Well, it will be difficult to not want to flaunt to the worlds… but you are not a trophy or a prize of some kind. We will become the greatest of friends, who happen to kiss, hold hands, share most everything, and date exclusively… if exclusive is okay with you?" a small look of questioning in his eyes, something he might be afraid of her not agreeing to. "I am comfortable with honesty, hard and possibly painful honesty… and if you still want this. Kiss me." which requires her to either lean far over the table, or move to his side.

Something he said brought a smile to her face, one large enough so show a white smile, instead of her normal thin-lipped ones. He took the pressure away and her shoulders visibly settled. "There's no one else," she says, "and my parents never taught me to share." She doesn't hesitate to lift then, to lean over the table in a flash and her right hand goes to his cheek, resting when she presses her lips to his mouth, her eyes closing as she presses their mouths together firmly. It wasn't like the first ones — light, uncommitted and without grand excitement — but a deeper one, the qualities of a first kiss.

Michael had smirked at the sharing comment, until her lips meet his and there is something different about the kiss… something he finds better, and sweeter, and more intoxicating that all the others. His own lips return the kiss, with more than what he'd given before… there's a sense of passion to this kiss, a sense of depth and intensity. He almost wills that it lasts, and for him it feels like his heart forgot to beat twice.

Nimara's lips move sweetly over his, a long, slow moment as she tastes him, instead of flirting with him with her mouth. But it can't last — leaning over a table and in public proves awkward for her — and she slowly withdraws to find herself in her seat. When his eyes open, her faces shows nothing but redness, a smile and a little bit of embarrassed laughter afterwards. "It seems you'll have a story to share with your knight," she says softly.

[From here, Michael and Nimara engage in regular conversation about other things that do not pertain to the relationship. Soon after, they part ways, Nimara smiling a bit more than she ever expected to.]

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