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Rating: 3-3-3

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RPF* Real Person Fiction; IE Apping an actual celebrity

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Thread Contributor: Robert WasemStar spangled day
DC-TV-1

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#1
Safi was...nervous.

He was almost sure that there were no spies (beyond him) in Hub but there was no real way to be certain. And yet here he was taking a chance, doing something that was objectively just as suicidally stupid now as it had been when he’d gotten shit faced with Tony on the roof a few weeks ago.

So what had changed?

Maybe he was tired of living in fear, maybe he was exhausted from the doublethink. Maybe it was just that he couldn’t stand another day of watching Chris leave with soulful eyes thinking...he didn’t even know what he was thinking.

What he did know was that it was a friday morning- back home it was 3rd of July...god only knew what that meant to this unchanging world but for him and Chris it meant that they were on vacation for the long weekend. So when Chris started to head out-

“Hey-” Safi reached for his arm before he walked out the mansion door. “You busy today?”

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#2
Independence Day. Chris liked the holiday; it was bright and happy and people tended to let those qualities reflect our from them as well. Fireworks and freedom and that thrill of pops and bangs in the dim evening. But this year he hadn’t thought about watching the fireworks or barbecue or celebrating freedom. This year his focus has narrowed.

More time to work on his clockwork bots. People sized droids that would listen to him. That would fix things for him.

He hadn’t spent all that much time with Safi in weeks, both trying to respect the other man’s wishes, his need for space, his desire for someone else’s attention, and because it was just plain easier to avoid the man instead of facing what always ended up becoming an existential crisis. And avoiding meant that Christian kept out of the way, even if he checked up on Safi’s whereabouts more than was entirely necessary, not to spy, never for that, but to make sure that Safi was still there.

The hand on his arm was unexpected, and not well tolerated. Chris tensed, head tipping down just slightly, something angry shadowing his features for a moment, his body shifting with the training that Kai had been putting him through, and the hand that covered Safi’s wrist was strong and firm. Until Christian realized who it was that had grabbed him, blinking up at Safi for a moment, unkind thoughts of ‘I take it Tony is busy today’ and ‘I’m supposed to be ready whenever you want to see me but only when you’re interested?’ being roughly shoved aside by the image of the unfinished false skin that he was still trying to perfect. He just hadn’t been able to get the shade just right…

Always too light or too dark.

“I… Could be persuaded to put my projects on hold... Maybe….” The words were spoken carefully, guardedly, “Did you need help with something, Safi?”

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#3
The tension...it wasn’t unexpected, what was was the restrained violence in the hand closing around his wrist, surprised by the movement Safi simply let go, hands moving to his sides in a half palms up gesture of ‘easy’.

“No...just thought maybe if you weren’t busy we could...go out, have a meal...spend some time together.” Blue eyes that had sharpened warly at his reaction softed, “Kinda been missing each other the last few weeks.” And he knew why, it was time to do something about it.

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#4
None of the moves that Kai had taught Christian would injure his opponent. They would give him distance, space, they would put an attacker on their back, they would end a fight. And some would cause pain without injury. But Christian would never use any of them on Safi. Not one. The look on his face turned sheepish at Safi’s gesture, “Sorry.”

Missing each other. Chris snorted lightly at Safi’s words. Didn’t feel like Safi was really missing him all that much, really. But the offer to go out, that was completely unexpected. It sent Christian’s mind whirling, seeking for purchase. Why? Why now? What was Safi really saying here?? Chris was dressed to go out and about in Hub, a light gray suit with a soft purple dress shirt, impeccably clean and pressed, of course, if just a little bit looser on him in places than it had been just a few months ago. Offering a tentative smile to Safi, Christian nodded, “Yeah, we have. So… Sure. Go out, have dinner, sounds good. Here in Hub or back to Central?” He paused before offering, "It's karaoke night at Josie's."

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#5
Safi had made sure he had this time off and he’d hoped that Chris would as well, oh hee suspected that Belle had plans for the long weekend with her brother but for today...well he might have double checked with the voluptuous redhead that she’d be busy during the daylight hours.

“Hey-” Safi’s expression softened, “Shouldn’t have grabbed for you. Just wanted to make sure i caught you.” His hand twiched with the urge to reach for Chris again.

“Actually…” he smiled, “I was thinking we go off into another universe.” he offered, “There’s a moon-” he paused grinning, mischievously “Well if you trust me…” he trailed off. “I’d like to surprise you.”

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#6
Christian spent his birthdays always the same way. He hid himself away as much as he could during the day, and then at night he watched the fireworks. Oh sure, he’d do things with Belle, but he was just as inclined to lock himself up and dive into a project as he was anything else, though he pulled himself away to do things with his sister, of course.

And he’d do much the same for Safi. Blinking, Chris moved forward, just a step, closing some of the distance between them, “Don’t say that.” It wasn’t what he wanted, for Safi to think he couldn’t reach out like that… “You can always do that, Safi. I just…” he blushed slightly and shrugged, “I got out of the habit… Like you said, we’ve been missing each other lately.”

Another universe? With Safi? A moon? Chris blinked again, his posture relaxing entirely now, because of course he trusted Safi! “I trust you.” He always had. “As long as it’s not another universe that’s ending in a few hours… Because I’ve gotten my fill on those, you know?” He spoke the words lightly, referencing something that still gave him nightmares, but trying to make light of it, to make a joke. It only bothered you if you let it, right? Brown eyes settled onto Safi, and Chris nodded, offering him his hand, “Of course. I’m all yours.”

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#7
“I’d never put you in danger.” Ok that had come out far more seriously than Safi had intended, some of his own internal battle bleeding into the simple declaration. “I’m sorry.” He half frowned, “Both for getting out of the habit and -” he made a throwing away gesture over his shoulder implying his odd answer to chris’s joke.

Safi lead him out of the mansion, “Shouldn’t say things like that.” his eyes darkened, his voice lowering to a husky seductive whisper. “Could give a man ideas.” he chuckled tucking Chris’s hand into the crook of his arm.

The world he lead Chris to had a strange axial tilt that along with its rings and pockets of lowered or null gravity lead to a fantastic view from the clear bubble topped club he intended on taking Chris to dinner and perhaps to dance with.

When they stepped through the portal Safi paused letting Chris take in the sight before them.

[url]https://pre00.deviantart.net/0749/th/pre/f/2014/288/2/1/a_night_scene_of_saturn_by_qauz-d82y8ng.jpg[/url]
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#8
Safi’s too-serious statement gave Christian pause. Was Safi upset that Christian had called him? Asked him to come with him to the end of a world? “I’m sorry.” The words fell from Christian’s lips automatically. He shouldn’t have. He loved Safi, and you didn’t ask people you loved to come running into danger, right? Even if you knew they could handle it, even if you knew they’d be okay, even if that meant you wouldn’t be. It wasn’t like Christian would ever have left that hunk of rock without Safi. “It’s okay. Pretty sure that’s on both of us, Safi.” After all, he had buried himself in work on purpose, hadn’t he?

Chris followed Safi without hesitation; as much as Safi might not put Chris in danger, even if he did, Chris would follow along willingly and happily, follow Safi right into the jaws of a beast if Safi led him there.

Shouldn’t say things like… Chris blinked, surprised at the statement and Safi’s reaction. Safi didn’t...get like that… Not with him. Flushing, Chris broke eye contact slowly, fingers twitching against Safi’s arm as he took a moment to taking a deep breath, trying to will the heat away, even as he enjoyed it. Safi had said that to him, even if it went against what Safi had said before.

Through the portal, Christian looked around, and then looked around some more, head tilting back, his eyes locking on to the beautiful scene that played out over the horizon. It was… “Beautiful.” He breathed the word before glancing over at Safi. Beauty abounded in this place, but Christian was accustomed to being surrounded by it; the scenery and denizens of the plethora of worlds they could visit… Safi pulled Christian’s gaze easily, no matter where they were.

Still, this was a new place for Chris. A portal he hadn’t yet explored. And there was that little voice in his mind that asked if Safi had brought Tony here before. Or if Tony had brought Safi to this place… He tried to pay it as little attention as he could, though. Safi had brought him here today. That was what he focused on.

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#9
He was being reckless, doing things he’d long craved and had denied himself. He intentionally pushed away the voice that told him it was cruel to dangle this possibility in front of Chris. And yet...why? Why couldn’t he just give them both one night? One night to be who he wanted- to be WITH who he wanted with out worrying about the future-

The bubble domed club was an easy walk away yet Safi paused, turning to face Chris “Chris-“ his hand cupped the younger man’s cheek, “I don’t want to pretend tonight.” Oh look something like honesty, strange how this little man inspired it from him. “I don’t want to tap dance around how I feel-“ His thumb stroked over Chris’s cheekbone. “Can I? Just for tonight be selfish and not think about tomorrow? Treat you like I’ve wanted to for months?”

His eyes darkened with sorrow “or is it too cruel.”

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#10
It wasn’t only Safi who craved things they were denied. By himself or by others, Christian was very familiar with that desperate sort of want. To be accepted, to not worry about what someone might think of him, to use his magic where someone might see it. Christian yearned for all of these things, but he was denied. His desire to be with Safi, to be loved by the other man, was another such desire that Christian could not fulfill, and if asked, he’d claim to be alright with that. That friendship was enough. He’d be lying, but he’d force himself to be relaxed and calm, to smile and accept life the way it unfolded.

Tonight, though… Christian was nearly half convinced that Safi was taking him….out. It was just dinner. Just dinner. It had become a mantra in his mind, reminding him not to be excited, they’d shared many meals since they’d met. It was probably just an early birthday gift, dinner, have some fun, and then go back to Hub. His projects would be waiting, and Safi would go back to the things he had been doing. Nothing to be excited about.

The world Safi had brought him to was wondrous. The planet on the horizon with its moons, the stars… So many stars in the night sky… His admiration of the world they now stood on was cut short when Safi spoke his name, turning to look at the other man. Pretend? Chris blinked, “You never ha-” Chris trailed off, losing his words as Safi continued to speak. And hold his face. And… It was a lot. What Safi was saying… Yes, Safi had told Chris he loved him, and the magician believed the statement, but there were many kinds of love, and seeing as how Safi was sort of in a..relationship? With Tony Stark, well, Chris had figured it was a different sort of love the soldier felt for him. It would seem he was, perhaps, incorrect in that assumption.

Could he, for just tonight… Chris blinked, long and slow, at Safi’s question. Too cruel? He knew, he knew that it was going to hurt tomorrow. To wake up and know that it might as well had been a dream. But that was the thing: it was pretty much exactly like a dream. And he’d always be able to remember, to hold on to that memory. He was pretty sure he even could come up with spell that would make damn well sure he never forgot today. And tomorrow Chris could go spend the day with Belle and pretend that everything was great. He could do that. It would be worth it, to have this for just one night. “Sure, Safi. Let’s live like there’s no tomorrow.” There was a moment between his answer and the smile that Chris gave Safi, “C’mon, let’s have some fun. Besides, you promised me dinner so that for just once I won’t have to slave over the stove.” He spoke the statement with a playfulness that had been missing since even before Belle had returned from her second adventure as he reached to take Safi’s free hand and pull him toward...somewhere there were tables to sit at.

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#11
He wasn’t going to think about how bad of an idea this was he wasn’t going to look at tomorrow and all the days after that.

“Oh no-“ the wide mischievous grin pulled long disused muscles, tugging Chris by their joined hands Safi lead him to a wide ring marked by a glowing purple boundary. “That planets proximity-“ he waved to the visible rings in the distance- “‘makes odd gravity pockets-“ he stepped over the line tugging Chris with him, his short cropped hair didn’t hint at the significantly reduced gravity, but his jacket trying to escape did.

“Wanna play?” Safi’s eyes glowed with humor, “it’s almost like flying.” He bounced backwards lightly.

His reflexes were going to get him into trouble though; Safi over compensated, flipping backwards. “Woah!”

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#12
Dwelling on tomorrow would ruin tonight; Christian knew that if he didn’t just sink into the moment, into this evening, and instead worried about how he would feel tomorrow, he wouldn’t be able to enjoy himself, he wouldn’t be able to relax into this and give them both just this one night, even if he didn’t understand why it could only be one night. That was something to maybe find out later, though. Later, because he didn’t want to ruin tonight by asking something like that. Tomorrow, maybe. Later, definitely.

No? For the first time in weeks, Christian was well and truly hungry, eager to sit down at a table and order a meal. An hour ago, he’d have said he wasn’t hungry, but here, now with Safi, he was starving. Still, he didn’t pull back against Safi’s lead, turning to follow the other man instead. Looking over to the planet as Safi gestured at, Chris nodded as he listened to the explanation, such as it was.

He wasn’t entirely prepared for it when Safi flipped backwards, but instead of worry or stress, Christian let out an amused laugh and stepped over the purple line to join Safi. The magician moved with a sort of grace when he danced and when he practiced and learned with Kai, and that grace and training came in handy now as he moved, danced, and tumbled in the lower gravity. “This,” he told Safi with a grin, “Is amazing!”

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#13
Grinning boyishly, a sight that was at odds with the grey threading more thickly than a year ago through his beard, Safi laughed at himself planting his hands, coming into a easy handstand, walking around, to flipping, amusing himself and hopefully Chris with his antics.

“So-” Safi having gotten his low gravity feet landed infront of Chris. “Good Birthday surprise?”

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#14
Chris laughed. It had been so, so long since he had legitimately laughed, the sort that came from deep within, not your gut, but instead from your heart. When had he and Safi last just gone out to have fun? To enjoy themselves and just relax? Far too long.

It wasn’t flying, but Christian launched himself forward into a high flip with another playful laugh before he jumped and tumbled, landing easily on his feet. When Safi landed, Chris was grinning, brown eyes lit with joy, “Very good birthday surprise, Safi! This place is great!”

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#15
He was fucked.

Safi was happy, amused, perfectly willing to have a simply uncomplicated experience with Chris.

And then he looked into Chris’s dark shining eyes, eyes that he wanted to drown into, eyes that made him want to slide his hands into his perfected coiffed hair, brush his thumbs over the barely there stubble and lick the taste of that smile from his lips, eyes that made him want to do stupid things like get down on a knee.

So to succinctly put it. Safi was fucked.

“Ready for dinner?” self control was a wonderful thing, and as a reward for no succumbing to any of those particular self destructive urges, Safi only reached for Chris’s hand wrapping it around his elbow and leading him into the crystal domed restaurant.

Small insect like creatures fluttered around dressed as wait staff. One hovered near the entrance nodding it’s antenne at Safi’s name and leading the pair around the large dance floor. Perhaps taking his cue from Belle’s love of 60’s couture, the restaurant that Safi had chosen had a very distinct 50’s supper club vibe, complete with live orchestra and dance floor.

Smoothly he pulled out Chris’s chair for him, taking his own after a moment. “I ordered a set menu if you don’t mind.” Safi flashed a smile, “Honestly I figure after the view and the band, we could deal if the food was so so.”

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#16
It came down to this: there was no point in thinking about tomorrow, because tomorrow was going to be the worst day ever. So instead, Christian let himself have tonight. He laughed, genuinely happy, he played and acted for all the worlds in all the universes that today was the only day, that tomorrow would never happen. That this wasn’t going to come to an abrupt end.

He would pay for it all tomorrow. It wasn’t as though he didn’t know that, because he did. The price was probably going to be astronomical, but everything in his heart that was so filled to overflowing right now said it was worth it. Safi had said that he wanted to do what he wanted tonight, no pretending, and Christian had agreed, but there were still things. Things he couldn’t do, things he couldn’t say. He didn’t say the words that would make tomorrow unbearable. He didn’t do those things that would make Safi regret what he’d said.

When Safi took his hand and tucked it around his elbow again, so what if Chris leaned just a little bit toward the other man? So what if maybe he walked closer than he really needed to? No one here would know any better, would comment on it, and it was a small thing, such a small thing, that he hoped that Safi might not even notice.

The restaurant was gorgeous. Chris spent half a moment worrying that he wasn’t dressed appropriately, but Safi hadn’t seemed to mind. This place, though… Safi pulled out his chair, and Chris blinked and blushed before sitting down, head swiveling to take the whole place in, the ceiling to the orchestra.

Safi had ordered. For him. Christian could feel his stomach throwing a party even while he swallowed his heart back down into his chest. Safi had ordered his food for him. He quashed the tiny giggle before it fully formed, clearing his throat quietly even as he felt warmth creeping up his neck. Again. He didn’t blush nearly as much with Safi these days, even before he’d started working on his projects more and more. “That’s…” Chris toyed with his napkin as he smoothed it over his lap, “That sounds good.” He didn’t ask what the meal would be. It wasn’t even important. How it tasted wasn’t important at all. It could be a pile of salt and Christian would eat every last grain tonight.

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#17
‘Honestly he’d been more than a little worried about ordering for Chris; it could have been easily taken as dominating or controlling, which was why he had prefaced with his explanation. If Chris had vehemently objected than Safi would have called for a menu to be brought over- “Honestly I didn’t recognize most of the dishes.” he admitted sheepishly still trying to cover his ass incase Chris was upset. “After checking it was all edible and made for humans-” he half shrugged, “I made some guesses, and hoped they would turn out alright.”

Looking at his joyous expression Safi believed he’d somehow chosen correctly, even if he didn’t understand WHY Chris looked so pleased. “So. What have you been working on recently?” he asked curiously, opening up with small talk as their wine arrived. The light beverage held a fruitier more citrus tone than he was accustomed to, but he wasn’t very picky really.

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#18
Food was important. Food was fuel for life. When Belle made a casserole or a pie for him, to feed him, it was the same as saying I love you and I want you to be happy. It showed care and consideration, and when it was Belle, skill as well. Safi made food from time to time, but not like Christian did. Give him a stove or oven and a slow cooker and Chris made food that made sure you knew you were home, just like his sister would, if not always with quite the same skil. Even as Safi spoke about all the trouble he’d gone through to make sure dinner would be safe, Chris smiled, warm and joyous at the sentiment more than the actions or words. “I’m sure dinner will be delicious.” And if it wasn’t, then it would still be thoughtful and considerate and appreciated.

What had he been working on? “Oh, lots of things!” Chris grinned happily, “I made Jonah an arm, so he can fly and reach things, hold things. He’s thrilled about it.” His mind drifted back to the trays of false skin he had sitting in his workshop, but he didn’t mention those. Those weren't anywhere near done yet. “I’m almost done with one of my other projects, too. Magical compass.” It was also a pocket watch, and he still hadn’t figured out what to put in that little space at the bottom yet. Christian smiled, “How about you?” He asked the question easily, not realizing until after that whatever Safi had been up to, he had probably been doing with Tony, and that wasn't maybe the best thing to ask after. But the damage was done now. Instead of trying to back peddle, Christian reached for his glass of wine to try a sip. The wine was good, sweeter than Christian would have expected, but that wasn't a bad thing.

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#19
“Oh goodie now he can reach my ties as well as my shoe laces.” Safi comment with wry humor; he’d gotten used to the little bugger, Jonah had always been the one of Chris’s creations that Safi had not instantly gotten the Hibbie jerebies from. Even if in the last few months it seemed that relationship had cooled.

Everything had changed when Belle fell through the worlds, bringing Chris and Him along with her following with concerned devotion. Most of the changes for him he wouldn’t say where for the better.

IF they had been left alone, IF there was no Hub, than MAYBE, probably even, he’d never been trapped into this devils deal. And he and Chris would be roommates, coworkers, and maybe something alittle bit more. If she was anything less than the sweet hearted person she was Safi could have felt very bitter towards the redhead, she was unintentionally the biggest accidental block between them. Everytime they’d had a moment that could have been more before Hub, something happened to or around Belle.

And than Hub.

“Alright-“ Safi shrugged not even thinking about Tony, his mind on what connected him with the man at this table. “My old CO is making noises about getting me to ‘volunteer’ to become reactive. Cut down my hours at Lexcrop. Hub kinda has a way of eating everything doesn’t it.” He made an effort not to sound bitter, this wasn’t suppose to be a night for him to bitch after all.

“Oh ok.” Safi nodded to the first course being laid out as the lights dimmered further, “so this is suppose to be some seasonal salad?” He looked st the flying waiter who nodded his Antenne pointing to the item on the menu card laid out.

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#20
The laugh that Christian gave was real and heartfelt and it ached in a way that didn’t exactly hurt. He missed being able to laugh like this, to just relax and enjoy some time with Safi. “You’ll never have to worry about your tie being straight again, though. He loves fiddling with things with his arm. I even managed a little hand he can control, too, so he can grab ahold of things.” Christian’s eyes crinkled as he chuckled, “So you can throw things into the air for him to catch instead of on the floor.” Chris loved Jonah, the little roomba had been his friend when he'd had no one else and that affection that gratitude showed even now.

Safi wasn’t wrong. Everything was different now, and not all of it for the better. Chris felt that there were positive changes, though. He had better control over his magic now, which meant he wasn’t overflowing with it anymore, and thus wasn’t marking himself as a target for other mages or worse. Hub was marvellous, and for once in his life Christian didn’t have to hide what he could do. For the first time in forever, he wasn’t alone.

Christian didn’t see Hub as a barrier between him and Safi. It had introduced things into their lives that had, yes, obstructed any chance Chris might have had to gain Safi’s attention in the way he wanted it, but Christian had also come to terms with the fact that that just wasn’t happening. They’d had that conversation, and it hadn’t gone the way he had wanted.

Safi’s military boss wanted him to reenlist? Chris blinked, his voice falling to just above a whisper, “But you’re not, right? You’re staying..” Not with Chris, but here, with Tony, at Lexcorp, in his life.. Not going back to his homeland, not moving all that ways away. Eating everything? “It definitely keeps us busy.” Chris couldn’t help but to think of all the time apart they’d been spending lately. The thing was, while Chris still worked at Lexcorp and ate at Tiny’s bar and laughed and joked with his colleagues at work, he didn’t mind being in Hub so much. He didn’t really miss the social aspects of his life the way he might have thought he would just a few months or even weeks ago. It was strange.

The waiter brought out a salad for them, and Christian looked at it, curious about the ingredients. But his attention remained on the flying server until the creature flew away. That was an interesting race. Like insects, but they were obviously quite intelligent since they could understand Safi’s question. Very cool. The dimmed lights made the whole thing seem more intimate, making it easier to forget to be careful, to forget that Safi had an entanglement elsewhere. It was dangerous territory, but Christian didn’t even hesitate.

@kel
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