2046-02-14 I Like You A Lot

From X-Factor

I Like You A Lot
Date Posted 2016/02/13
Location Kade's Apartment - Montague Apartments - Brooklyn
Participants Ciel, Kade
Summary Naughty pics, keys, and other Valentine's Day shenanigans.
Ciciel.jpg KdKade1.jpg
This two-bedroom apartment is much like hundreds of others in Brooklyn. Hardwood floors, white walls, and appliances that are reasonably up-to-date, if nothing fancy. The view is terrible - balcony looking out into the alley of a neighboring apartment building - and it's smack in the middle of the complex without any extra features. But it's clean and the building is quiet, within walking distance of some decent restaurants and not horribly far from the nearest train stop. Most of the furniture looks like it was hastily acquired at IKEA or at a rummage sale, but there are pictures of family and friends on the wall that give it some feeling of home. A large holo-display and home sound system has been set up, to take advantage of the deep library of digital and disk selections the occupant of this place has.

It is a winter evening. The weather is cold and flurrying.

It is Valentine's Day, and Ciel is sitting at home with her ice cream. Not out of any particular sadness, mind. She's just really craving ice cream. She has a plan - literally, a post-it with a list of times, several alarms programmed into her Eyes, and a folder full of photographs taken earlier - but whether she has the guts to enact it remains to be seen. The first alarm goes off early in the evening, and Ciel blinks it away. It snoozes for several minutes, then triggers again. It is at about this point that her roommate gets entirely exasperated with her, which is why the first message finally comes (10 minutes late - it triggers a quick review of her post-it and some rescheduling).

{From Ciel to Kade} Hey. You at work?

{From Kade to Ciel} Hey baby

{From Kade to Ciel} yeah. Probably not off for another half hour

{From Kade to Ciel} the bar is jumping tonight. I guess some people want alcohol. at least the tips are good

The next comm is an image file. A pair of long legs in fishnets and shiny red heels, crossed at the ankles. And then, shortly after:

{From Ciel to Kade} Too bad.

{From Kade to Ciel} o why hello there

{From Kade to Ciel}  :)

{From Kade to Ciel} Please tell me you can come walk me home. Wearing those.

{From Ciel to Kade} I'll think about it.

After that Ciel keeps to a strict schedule. There is a bare shoulder and a tumble of dark waves. A stretch of thigh and the visible strap of a garter. A flash of cleavage with a hint of red lace.

{From Kade to Ciel} !

{From Kade to Ciel} !!

{From Kade to Ciel} !!!

Eventually they stop, probably so Kade can do his job well. He's surely focused by this point. Ciel appears five minutes before the end of his shift, sliding up to the bar and folding herself onto a stool to tap for the bartender's attention. She is considerably more clothed at present than her pictures might suggest, but she's wearing a dress, black and to her knees, and sure enough, fishnets peek beneath.

When they stop, Ciel receives several '???' and one 'boobs plz'. So Kade unproductive enough to do /that/. He's wrapping up at the bar when she arrives at the Potato Club, dressed in the white shirt, black slacks, and cartoon potato bowtie and vest that is his uniform here. He's handing holographic drink queue off to a blonde woman in similar attire when he spots here. Grinning, and looking her up and down. The fishnets are noted. They make his grin widen.

Ciel's cheeks grow a bit pink for the widening of his smile, but she pairs it with a smirk as she leans into the bar. "Hey, handsome!" she calls. "What time are you off?"

"As soon as I can get my ass out of here," Kade says, fishing around in the mini-fridge behind the bar before strolling around it. He's retrieved a single red rose, kept cool so it wouldn't wilt. He goes to kiss her first, though, before giving it to her. It's long and earnest and there's a lot of tongue involved.

Ciel is clearly surprised, both by the rose, which earns a smile both flustered and pleased, and by the earnestness of his kiss. After the first flutter of surprise, she twists on her stool to tug him closer with a finger hooked into his tie. She's grinning when she pulls back just slightly, and she lifts her thumb to brush it against the line of his jaw. "Hi," she murmurs.

"Hi," Kade replies. He adds to the blonde who's now working the bar, without taking his eyes off Ciel. "Thanks for closing, Tess. Much appreciated." Ciel is offered the rose. "Sorry about this. When the club reopened after the blizzard I asked for, like, every weekend showcase forever. I didn't realize I was booking myself for V-Day. At least we've got, like, an hour-ish of official Valentine's funday left."

"Oh, yeah, that's good," Ciel says, loosing his tie to smooth her hands against the front of his shirt before she reaches to take the rose. Her eyes are bright as she lifts it for a sniff, then says, "Cause I'm definitely heading home as soon as it ticks over to the fifteenth."

Kade's grin quirks as he fiddles with his bowtie. It's possible one of the reasons he enjoys neck accessories so much is to give her something to play with. "I can do speedy." He chuckles, offering her his arm and an escort out of the comedy club. "Walk to my front door instead of the balcony, when we get back to my place. There's something out there I want to show you." He tries to be smooth and coy about it, but he sounds a little nervous.

"Shit," Ciel says, her own smile twisting lopsided as she recognizes, "I walked right into that one, didn't I?" She slips free of the stool, taking Kade's arm with a warm squeeze and an upward glance at him at her side. "Yeah?" she says, surprised. "Okay."

"Vroom, vroom," Kade says to Ciel with a wink. He's probably joking. Probably. Once they're free of the club and out on the street, Kade's arm shifts down to loop around Ciel's waist. "Seriously. I'll do better by you on the next major holiday." And, though he tries to be light, this does seem to bother him. "I wanted to do this up right. Like, top of the Empire State Building cinematic stuff, or something."

"What, really?" Ciel settles against Kade's side, moving with long strides, but no particular hurry. She looks up at him, watching his profile curiously. She pauses for a beat, then teases, "You know, I can make that happen, if you really want."

"Nah, we'll save it for another night. I managed enough competence to buy some chocolate, at least, and it's in the fridge back Brooklyn way. Besides..." Kade's happy to stroll leisurely next to her, his eyes slanting over to her. "I feel like that red lace would be kind of cold out here, and I would like an upclose view of that." Pause. "You've still got in on under that dress, right?" So eager.

"I considered chocolate," Ciel tells Kade with a gust of amusement. It's cold enough out that the tip of her nose is growing red, and her pace might be quickening slightly. "But Lexie talked me into something else." She gives him a sidelong look, her lips curving upward in a sly smile, and does not answer.

"Remind me to send my thank-yous to Miss Lexie Brady," Kade says. He gets a little warmer as they walk. Creating a little heater aura around himself. "For that, and for letting some of her mom's blondies out of your kitchen. You better be careful. I'm going to get spoiled."

Ciel laughs at that, and she leans into him just slightly, shamelessly sidling up to his warmth. "Oh, I'm glad you appreciated those, because I had to /fight/ her for them." Uh huh. Her tone goes a little wistful when she says, "Sam Sikorski's baking is almost enough reason to room with her daughter."

Kade's pace remains quick, even if his particular set of skills keep the worst of the winter's chill at bay. He /is/ looking forward to getting her back to his place. "Worth the occasional threat of murder? Well, they /were/ good. I take it she's over being pissed off at you, since you're still alive and she's advising you to take /wonderful/ pictures."

Ciel smirks, glancing at him again before she casts her gaze upward through the drifting snow, squinting toward the tall buildings overhead. "She's over it," she agrees, and then checks, "You want a shortcut? I mean, don't get me wrong, I /can/ walk to the train and your apartment in heels, but..."

"You read my mind," Kade says with a wink, when Ciel mentions a shortcut. He will follow where she leads. "At least I made good money tonight. Probably more than I did all week at the stupid mall. If I could pull this every night, I'd just stick to bartending. But when the club's dead or the crowd's in a lousy mood, it's barely even worth coming in."

"Good," Ciel says, to one or the other. She glances at him, and she turns into him to hook her finger in his tie again to tug him down for a remarkably thorough kiss in the middle of the sidewalk, where they block traffic enough that several people make irritated noise at them and one yells something about a room. And then she looses him, grinning, and flashes open a portal just in front of them, the lack of sparkles her only concession to subtlety. It's cold on Manhattan's rooftops, but Ciel's lived her long enough that she's plotted a number of paths from here to there, so they spend mere seconds on each, and Kade helps keep the chill at bay. And then she's close enough to drop them down around a corner from Kade's front door, tucked into a side alley.

Kade laughs, the sound muffled warmly in his throat as he's pulled in for that kiss. He gives the poor people they've annoyed a little finger-waggling wave, and then skips into the portals over Ciel. He's old hat at using her doors to cut a quicker path, even if this /very/ far away from anything they ever did on a mission back in the day, and he trusts her to put them exactly where they need to be. "You spoil me," he says, leaning in to kiss her again. Quick this time. Before leading her, more conventionally, to the front of his building, into the doors, and to the elevator. The hand that's not around his waist fumbles in the pocket of his slacks. Like he's looking for something.

"Gotta give you a reason to keep me around," Ciel teases. She flexes her fingers against the cold, breathing out a shiver of relief as they step into the heated building. She gives him a quick glance, curious for an expected-- something.

"I got several saved in my Eye's photo drive now, in case I ever forget," Kade says. The elevator ride up doesn't take long, even with his apartment smack in the middle of the tall building, and he navigates his way to his door in short order. Once there, he stops, dropping his arm from her waist. His other palm draws...a key out of his pocket. It's got a little red ribbon tied around it, in an attempt at a bow that wasn't entirely successful. "It's to the door. It's for you." A pause, before he goes on, more nervous about this than he'd like to show, "I know you don't actually /need/ it to get in and out. I just have to leave the blinds on a window open to give you line-of-sight. I seemed like something you should have. Like, I really like having you over here, and you can come and go anytime you want. Is what this is about."

For a moment, Ciel looks confused as she steps back, giving him room, but the expression quickly fades behind a smile that starts small and spreads with rapid speed into something that lights her eyes with a giddy happiness. She takes a step forward to take the key from him. Her fingers linger, brushing against his as she holds his gaze. She breaks it only to turn to test her new key in his lock with a twist. "Look at that," she breathes. "It works."

"Damn well better. Cost me a whole dollar to copy it at one of Brooklyn's finest hardware stores. Come on." There's a grin, that almost shy expression he occasionally gets with her, at the reaction to the key. Then Kade steps inside, letting her close the door behind them. He gets the lights to his place up, and his sound system on, in short order. "Give me Mix Number Five-Two-Nine," he orders his stereo system. Which promptly starts playing softer Motown. There's a lot of that, though it'll eventually wind its way into some 10s and 20s pop, and more modern R&B. "Something to drink? There is what I think should be an acceptable bottle of wine in the fridge, but I've got other stuff in the liquor cabinet, too, if you want."

"Either one's fine," Ciel answers over her shoulder, distracted as she shrugs out of her coat and leaves it draped over a bit of furniture. Her key is still tucked into the curl of her palm when she turns to find him again. Her dress is simple black, the sort of thing one could wear to church or a funeral or possibly, with some really flashy jewelry, a cocktail party. She's lacking any of that, but she's clearly spent time on the neat waves of her hair and the smokiness of her eyes and the red slash of her lips.

Kade puts his coat and Potato Club vest away, but he leaves the little bowtie around his neck. He retrieves the wine and a couple of glasses, which are set on the long bar between the kitchen and living room that serves as his table. A chocolate cheesecake follows, along with a couple of forks. To top it off, he gets two little boxes of raisins out of his cupboard. Winking at Ciel as he tosses one to her.

Ciel breaks into laughter at that, reaching up to snatch the box out of the air as she crosses to the kitchen, leaning into the bar. "Gosh," she says, setting her raisins on the counter so she can exchange it for a fork. "You really kind of planned a whole thing here." She sounds both surprised and pleased as she hovers her fork over the cheesecake, watching him.

"Yeah, I went to a grocery store all by myself," Kade says wryly. Her laughter makes his smile turn up several watts, and he grabs himself a stool at his pseudo-table near her once he's poured a couple glasses of wine. "I haven't done Valentine's Day in a fair few years. I know it's dumb and exists solely to sell cheesy greeting cards, but I still wanted to do something. Like...having you in my life has definitely been an upgrade. I hope I show it sometimes."

Ciel pivots slightly to face Kade, and she nudges at his leg with her foot as she says, "I'm serious. I didn't really expect-- I mean." She twists the key between her fingers, hesitating over her words. "This is really, really sweet, Kade. All of it. Thank you."

Kade nudges her foot back with his, resting his elbow on his kind of table, regarding her. "I sometimes think you don't expect enough out of me," he says. Kind of teasingly, but kind of not. "I think I'm just barely meeting the standard boyfriend requirement with this here. But I'm glad you like it. I just wish we could've made a whole night of it. Maybe we can do breakfast tomorrow. I got a later shift at the mall, so I can hang some in the morning."

Ciel gives this statement perhaps more consideration than it deserves. She reaches for her wine glass, watching him over the lift of it before she settles it on the counter again. "It's been kind of a long time since I've done the-- um. The actual /girlfriend/ thing. I kind of feel like I'm making it up as I go."

"You seem like you're doing OK to me," Kade says, sipping on his wine as he watches her. "I'm making it up more than I usually do, truth be told. I always..." He snorts, letting out a rueful litle laugh. "I was never bad at the dating thing. It's kind of like acting, in a way. You kind of put on a version of yourself you think the other person's going to like. It's only after you get serious people get to really see you. Which isn't always what they want. With this..." He hesitates, not like he doesn't know what he wants to say, but like he doesn't know exactly how to put it. " know me better than probably anyone outside my family, that I still see regular. So I can't front with you."

"Kind of backwards, yeah?" Ciel answers, grinning suddenly before her expression sobers slightly, and she leans in to take advantage of that cheesecake. After a bite she says, "I don't know. I spent a lot of time trying to be someone I wasn't. It's exhausting. And I didn't like myself very much." She looks up, catching his gaze. "I like that I don't have to do that shit with you. I'm pretty sure you've seen me at some of the worst points in my life." Like, you know, when they threw her parents into jail. Or possibly that one time she spent an X-Factor meet and greet in inappropriate makeup and a constant scowl directed at Jean-Paul. Or the first mission she led where things went according to plan until they didn't and more than one person came back with new scars.

"Backwards. Yeah. In a good way, though. I mean, if you're still willing to make time with me, I can't be /that/ bad." Kade laughs, but there's an underlying seriousness to it. He spent a lot of years cycling through a succession short-term girlfriends during his time at X-Force. On top of his short-term marriage and aborted engagement. He digs into his cheesecake, taking a few bites, eyes still resting on her. "I never did understand that. Why you /wouldn't/ like yourself. You're even harder on you than you are on anybody else." Said a little wryly. She's not exactly /easy/ on everyone else. "'re a hell of a long way from perfect, Ciel Kane, but you always seemed OK to me."

"And if /that/ isn't what you want to hear on Valentine's Day, I don't know what is," Ciel answers, dry around a bite of cheesecake.

"I like you a lot," Kade proclaims warmly, leaning forward to kiss her. Like he needs to emphasize it. It's a simple statement, but his tone tries to make it all-encompassing. As well as he knows her, he /really/ likes her.

Ciel's hand curves against the plane of Kade's cheek, warm and familiar as she meets his kiss. Her eyes are bright with humor when she pulls away just enough to check, "even with all these imperfections?"

"Hell yeah. They go with mine," Kade replies with a warm laugh. "We're matchy!" He leans in to kiss her again, short but warm. And then again. And again. He may have lost interest in his dessert.

"Ug," Ciel answers between kisses. "I /hate/ matchy couples." Despite her words, she seems awfully interested in /this/ one. At some point she slips free of the bar stool to press closer, although she does pause for another swallow of wine somewhere in there. It's a very long time before she thinks to murmur against the corner of his mouth, "Hey Kade?"

"Yeah?" Kade has also slipped off his bar stool by this point, so he can just make out with her while leaning against the counter. Far easier. He breaks from kissing her, but only barely, staying close enough that he can balance his forehead against hers.

Ciel's hand rests at his shoulder, and her fingers curl hard into the fabric of his shirt. "I like you a lot, too," she tells him, her smile a fast flicker in the thin distance between them. "Kind of scarily a lot. Actually."

"Scarily. Yeah. That's a good way of putting it." Kade breathes this soft, his own fingers playing with the shoulders of her dress. Looking for the fastest way to get it off of her. There's a beat where it seems like he might add something else. But he doesn't. He just kisses her again.

Ciel grins in answer, and she pauses with her palms pressed flat against his shoulders and a firmer pull-back. She leverages just enough room to twist, offering him easy access to the long zipper that runs down her back. One hand sweeps up to lift her hair out of his way as she turns a glance at him over her shoulder. Her lipstick is a little smeared at this point, but it does little to mar the smirking curve of her smile.

Kade untucks and begins unbuttoning his shirt. From the bottom up. He'll leave the tie for her to play with as she will. He finds the zipper on the back of her dress without too much fumbling, pulling it down with as much speed as he can get away with. He wants to see if she's still got that lace number on underneath it.

Ciel most certainly does. Red lace gives way to red and black satin. He uncovers the bra first, but she's swift to shrug the dress off to reveal matching panties garter belt with elastics that stretch down to catch at the tops of her thigh-high fishnets. Her dress pools at her feet as she executes a slow spin to face him.

Kade takes a step back, to get the full view of Ciel in her little red and black number with the stockings. He gets a little flushed. At least he's dark enough where it isn't obvious. If he was a pale ginger, his ears would be bright red. "Yeah, this is even better than I was picturing," he breathes.

Ciel's smirk broadens a little, and she lifts a hand, crooking a finger at him in silent invitation, brows cocked upward.

"You mind if I, umm..." Kade's Eyes blink on. He wants to take her picture. Before she takes that off.

"I can put it on /again/, you know," Ciel says, and for a very brief moment she hesitates. But then she shakes her head and plants a hand on her hip, cocking it just so in pose.

Kade laughs. And clicks his Eye. Then, he takes the little device out and puts it on the counter. "Come on," he says, beckoning her down the hall to his bedroom. He's almost casual about it now. She knows it pretty well by this point.

Ciel scowls in answer to his laugh, but it's good natured and gives way to a smile as she chases after him, her steps quick until she catches him just inside the bedroom door and loops her arms around him from behind, walking with him toward the bed. "I feel," she tells him, pressing her smile against the back of his shoulder, "like this is a pretty great Valentine's Day."

"Yeah?" Kade smiles. Just soaking up the feeling of her holding him like that for a beat. "Good. I think most any night you crsah here is pretty great." Then he finishing stripping down, to take her to bed properly. It's the 15th by this point, so they technically missed Valentine's Day sex, but he doesn't seem too fussed about that.

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