|Endings and Beginnings|
|Summary||In which Kade and Ciel send off 2046, and make some plans for 2047.|
It's the last hours of 2046. The press of activity and noise and neon that New York City always exists in seems turned up to another level on New Years Eve. The Vault is packed, like every other bar and club in the city. Kade and Ciel have visited a few already. The Pony in Mutant Town (because there's ALWAYS the Pony), and a cabaret in Greenwich Village where someone Kade knew from his day job was hosting a party. So Kade is already a little buzzed and eased into the evening as he navigates the line into the Vault with Ciel on his arm. He's dressed in his favored navy blue suit. A find from a consignment store that he's had tailored to fit right, with a black tie with little silver stars patterned on it knotted around his neck.
Ciel has dressed for the crowds, not for December weather. Her dress is sleeveless and silky in a shade of gold that makes her skin glow warm. She's clinging tight to Kade, grinning in the glow of alcohol and celebration. She turns to wonder up at his ear admist the din, "Drinks or dancing?"
Kade had radiated the subtle sheen of heat to keep away the chill of December throughout the night. Though his body temperature is back to normal now that they're inside the club. He still keeps plenty close to Ciel as they navigate the club, though, even if he's not needed as a space heater at this exact moment. "We've still got a little bit of 'Forty-Six left to burn. May I have this dance, Ms. Ciel Kane?" He puts just enough space between them to extend an arm theatrically.
"Not much," Ciel answers, grinning as she takes his hand with the flare of a twirl into his arms. She fits neatly, settling automatically into the familiar tuck of his embrace as her feet find the rhythm. "I don't know whether to say good riddance, or be a little sad."
Kade moves with Ciel into the sea of dancers on the floor, his arms moving around her, one carressing her bare shoulder while the other rests comfortably on her back. Tucking her in against him. "Why sad?" he asks, as he falls into rhythm with her.
"There were one or two things that didn't suck," Ciel points out. Her hand curves at the nape of his neck, fingers brushing idly at the warmth of his skin.
"Oh yeah? Like what?" Kade asks, a teasing smile pulling at his lips. His hands press into her as he turns her in time to the music. Throbbing, soulful bass with a mixture of English and Mandarin lyrics right now. A mix of popular 2046 music plays over the club's sound system, the songs blending into each other like as the night ticks down.
"Well," Ciel muses, drawing her smile wider as she spins out, then twists back into him. "We were intergalatic heroes," she says. "Killed the asshole who destroyed our lives."
"Mmm-hmm. I guess that was pretty cool." Kade's eyes light as she smiles. The slow song bleeds into a faster one, and he loosens his hold on her so he can do a quick pivot and twist. Showing off his moves. "And we kicked some Russian ganger assholes the hell out of our neighborhood." He says 'our neighborhood' now seemingly without thought. "That felt pretty good."
"Saved a group of kickass teenagers from a seriously dire fate," Ciel suggests, letting her hands slip inside the hang of his jacket to pull him close again.
Kade does a quick turn on his heel so he //twirls// back into Ciel's arms. Laughing and letting her lead as she pulls him in again. "Saw some beautiful, if //damn// strange, gardening. And learned way more about parallel universes than I ever wanted to know." He leans in, almost close enough to touch her lips to his. Before pulling back with a sly smile. "Anything else?"
"I'm thinking..." Ciel says, fixing her gaze on his with a smile to match as she sways toward him, closing the distance again.
Kade's eyes are light with amusement as they meet Ciel's, though he doesn't quite laugh. He keeps nose-to-nose with her through the song, but doesn't ///quite// kiss her. The DJ continues to wind through her medley of 2046 in review, running through a string of fast songs now. "Would another drink speed your thoughts along?" His Eyes blink briefly on, to check the time. "Maybe we'd better visit the bar, come to it. We're getting up on midnight, and I don't want to be dry when it hits. Whatever else this year was, it //definitely// left me wanting to send it out with a drink."
Ciel wrinkles her nose in answer, and she pulls back just enough to glance around the crowded club before leaning in to Kade again. "What would you think about getting out of here?" she asks. "It's crowded, and I kind of want to be able to hear you when the clock changes. We could get something bubbly and sneak somewhere with a view?"
"Can you get us up somewhere high?" Kade asks, with almost boyish eagerness. He nods. He is down with that. "I am //all// over that. Let's grab some drinks and book it to the skyline."
"Can I get us up somewhere high," Ciel echoes with a roll of her eyes. They're twinkling regardless as she plants a quick kiss on Kade's cheek and spins with him toward the bar. "How much time do we have? We could go watch the ball drop, if you want."
The bar is thick with people, but the bartenders are working double-time and it doesn't take Kade //too// long to get them a couple glasses of champagne. "That sounds like a New York cliche that any real resident of this city would mock me for wanting to see," he replies. Pause, and he grins. "I //would// kind of like to, though. Especially if we don't have to deal with being down in the crowd. I have a weakness for cliches on occassion, shocking though it may be." The look he gives her suggests he suspects she will //not// find it shocking. He checks the time again. Midnight is creeping up on them, but they've still got some of the clock to work with.
"Shocked as I am, I find it positively adorable," Ciel assures Kade. She takes a tiny, testing sip of her champagne, snuggling close with an arm around his waist, before she slips free to weave through the crowd. She doesn't dare cheat her way out of it here, south of Mutant Town, with so many people around, so it takes them a good few minutes to work free. Once outside, she waits until they can duck into an alley before opening a portal to the nearest rooftop, and from there it's a series of semi-familiar hops upward and northward, where the wind cuts sharper and the views are incredible.
Kade follows Ciel through the throng in the Vault, out into the cool night that's still December for a little bit longer. And then up and over as her portals take them. He keeps his drink steady in his left hand, while he right finds its way to rest on her back again. As they get away from the crowds, the air around him grows warmer to keep the cutting chill at bay. The cherry red glow of his hand, kept low and not-quite burning, is faint. Barely registering in the rush of neon of the city around them.
Eventually they settle on the balcony of an abandoned apartment, some penthouse with owners on foreign soil for the new year. Ciel sweeps plastic off patio furniture so they can huddle together on a small bench, kept warm by the aura of Kade's power. Somehow, she still has a measure of unspilt champagne, and she sets it carefully against her knee as she leans into him and peers down at the roaring crowd far below.
Kade weaves his arms tight around Ciel, craning his neck down to watch the Ball with a big, dorky grin splitting his face. They're high enough that the occasional air car speeds by //under// that pent house, windows open and the driver and passengers screaming their good-byes to 2046. But those sounds, and those of the crowd below them, are distant. "I'll always keep you warm," he murmurs into her ear. A promise he's made before, but seems to want to reaffirm now.
"I know," Ciel says, shifting in his arms to turn her face up to him. Her smile is slight in the Manhattan lights, a quiet thing gone thoughtful with too much alcohol. "You're pretty much stuck with me."
Kade turns away from the Ball, still aloft as 2046 lingers, to regard her face. So close to his, illuminated by the glow from his hand and the omnipresent lights of New York. Then he recites low, breath against her ear, "I keep thinking about last year. How I afraid you would slap my face if I asked you to dance with me. How I ran out of that party rather than trying to kiss you at midnight. I was afraid it'd be for the wrong reasons. That I'd fuck it up again."
"I spent half that party wishing you would," Ciel answers, turned into the warmth of his breath. Her fingers find his, twisting against the warmth of his skin. She lets a beat of silence pass before she murmurs, "I think I'm ending this year better than I started it. All told."
"I //know// I'm ending this year better than I started," Kade says firm. "So I'm not feeling any 'good riddance' for Forty-Six. As awful and weird as parts of it were. You make the terrible times so much easier to deal. I don't know how I'd have dealt with shit like Echo reappearing, or Nina almost getting taken away from me, or Mikhail...you've been my rock when I thought my world was being shaken off its axis. And the good times...they're about million times better with you. So I feel pretty good about where Forty-Seven's going to take me. To the future." He raises his champagne glass. "Whatever it looks like."
"Whatever it looks like," Ciel echoes in murmur, tilting her glass against his. She holds it there for a moment, watching him in the dimness with a look that teeters between hesitation and decision. Below, the roar of the crowd rises, a countdown fueled by thousands of voices, and it tips her into action. "Kade," she says, and the crowd chants "EIGHT". "Let's get married. Marry me."
"SEVEN!" Kade yells boisterously along with the crowd, "SI...!" But he never quite makes it to 'six.' His mouth hangs open, like all the breath just left him, and he turns to Ciel. "Oh my God..." It takes him a second to register what he just heard. Then, he spends another second babbling. "Oh honey. I should've...you deserve a room full of flowers. And a full-on stage-production of poetry. And...I wanted to give you a fairytale proposal out of the cheesiest romantic comedy in the damn world..." His breath catches. "But, yes. Of course. Yes. I want be with you forever. Yes."
"Yes?" Ciel echoes, as if checking Kade's answer before she allows herself the grin that's been lurking at the corner of her mouth. She turns, champagne forgotten as she crashes into him with a kiss more sloppy than passionate, overeager and alcohol-fueled and brilliantly happy. "Like really, yes?" she pauses to check, as somewhere behind them the crowd hits "ONE" and they miss the turn of the new year entirely.
"Hell yes..." The words come out muffled by Kade's lips and tongue against hers. He breaks briefly, to proclaim a loud and clear, "YES!" to the heavens.
"Oh, good," Ciel says, twisting away to bury her face in the curve of his shoulder for a moment. Her words as muffled as she admits, "Otherwise I was going to feel really stupid."
"You are smart, and fierce, and strong. And sexy as hell. You should //never// feel stupid. I, however, feel dumb as hell that you beat me to asking you." Kade kisses her again. Slower this time, less sloppy, savoring the taste of her against him. "Forty-Seven is going to be fucking //amazing//."
"Ask me real quick," Ciel suggests, laughing between kisses. "We can claim it was a tie."
"Ciel Kane." Kade breaks away from her, to get down on one knee. He clears his throat. And then recites, "'First there was nothing, not even a faint echo of a song. Loneliness was daily for me, until you came along. There was a gleam of stars in your eyes. I thought I'd never feel this way again. But you were the one to reach into my heart and find in me a friend. I could not ignore the magnetism hat I felt when you were near. And any problems plaguing my mind would suddenly disappear. It was the rebirth of my heart..." He gets through most of the poem before his voice cracks. He shakes his head. "I can do Tupac at the drop of a hat, and I always feel better with other people's words than me. But...I love you. That's the beginning and end. Will you marry me?"
Ciel's eyes go wide as Kade takes her at her word, and her smile widens toward giddy as she watches him settle onto a knee. She leans forward, extending a hand toward him. "I like your words better," she says, and then, "Yes. /Yes/. I've loved you forever, and I plan to love you even longer than that."
Kade takes her hand, standing and drawing her up with him, and pulling her back into an embrace that's still warmed by his mutation. "Whatever else my life is, I want you in it forever." He considers the balcony she's found, then considers her. "You figure we've got this place to ourselves. I want you so much right now. My fiance, Ciel Kane." He laughs like a damn school girl as he says it.
"The balcony?" Ciel settles into him, twining her arms around his waist beneath the fall of his jacket. "Or are you suggesting a little B&E, Caruthers?" She's grinning as she asks it, but her smile fades after a beat into something more serious as she looks up at him. "Kade," she says, quiet, and nothing more.
"I'm a boring, law-abiding citizen, Kane," Kade replies to Ciel, stretching back out on the patio furniture. "So, balcony. I'll keep you warm." There's still a giddiness in his eyes as he regards her, but his smile settles deeper as she goes serious. "Ciel..." Whatever else he has to say just melts into, "I love you."Ciel settles down with him, pressing against his warmth as her hands tug at his shirt to slide along the familiar stretch of skin. "I love you," she echoes in soft murmur, and then there's very little talking as they put Kade's abilities as a space heater to the test.