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Rating: 3-3-3

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Thread Contributor: Christian VerglasSugar Rush
DC-DCTVU-1

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#41
Yeah, it sounded fun till you considered that this was Chris and he wasn’t sure that particular combination was ever going to be in the cards for him. (Haha. In the cards. Get it?)

Bouncing again. Chris laughed quietly, grinning, ”Well, and I’m happy. You’ve no idea how happy I am tonight. It’s been a great night for me, Safi.” Seriously great. Ribs healed, new magic tutor, and a Safi hug. GREAT NIGHT.

Magic wasn’t free, no, but at the same time, Chris had begun to understand the sort of payment it required.

”Na, just annoying enough to be interesting.”

Chris blinked and blushed lightly, his smile sincere and touched and… God, but he liked Safi. He really, really did. ”I’m really glad you think so…” The wink just about did him in though. He stumbled for the first time in over a week, and this time it was definitely not because of his ribs and he couldn’t even blame it on his ribs because he’d just told Safi he’d been healed! Damn it! ”Sorry.”

”Well, I have my bodyguard with me, so I’m not afraid.”

Chris moved to slide into the car, still grinning, and trying not to consider the statement that Safi had made about being friends. (He was going to hate that word very quickly, he was sure of it…)

”I did not eat. I have chicken and dumplings at home… Or we could eat out, or grab take out…” Did Chris know Safi’s address? Well, yeah, because he’d spent hours shamefully staring at the man’s facebook page in the privacy of his apartment… But he hadn’t actually given the uber driver the address. He’d given his own, figuring that he’d pay for wherever Safi wanted to go.. Or they could hang out for a bit, though Chris wasn’t entirely sure how to ask that. And look! He was saved from it by being able to instead direct them to either his place or somewhere to get food! ”It’s up to you.”
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#42
“Hey easy…” one long boned hand wrapped around Chris’s elbow catching him from face planting. “Tired?” Safi gave the perfect excuse if Chris wanted. “Let's get in ok?” He shook off the need for an apology, keeping his hand hovering till they were both safely seated.

Safi barked out a laugh at the ‘my bodyguard’ comment, “Hey, all part of the service.” Did he wink again, yes yes did, giving Chris a taste of the charming, easily flirtatious man he was outside of work.

“Which do you prefer?” Dumplings? Safi was ambivalent about the choice but he wasn't going to get into ANOTHER fight about culinary choices. “There is a great little Korean place the next building over from mine.” And damn if those seafood pancakes didn't sound appealing at the moment.

Stretching out as much as he could in the small car he rolled his neck and shoulders to loosen them. “You have work this weekend or free? They do karaoke too.”
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#43
Stupid stupid stupid.

And like the fool he was (though not the Fool, or maybe, because opportunity and pleasure, after all..) he leaned into the grip that Safi had on him, just a bit, taking comfort from it. But he wasn’t going to lie, even to safe face, even if Safi gave him a way to excuse the stupid stumble. ”No, it’s not that.”

He hadn’t actually meant to use the possessive phrasing… He coughed quietly at the wink, blushed just a bit darker, and then asked back playfully, ”Well, now you’re going to have to tell me what all comes with this service…” He hadn’t even been drinking tonight! What was wrong with him??

Dumplings were totally a southern thing. It was a saucy, delicious concoction that Chris enjoyed from time to time, but… ”Ooh. Korean? Tell Jeffrey where it is then… We’re gonna stop for food, Jeffrey. Safi will give you the address.” He grinned, ”How’s their kimchi? Any good?” Yeah, he liked his southern comfort foods… But Chris loved living in a city where you could order food from so many other cultures and countries, too.

Chris slumped into his seat with a sigh and a groan. ”Free, thank goodness. We so deserve our weekends, Safi…” With a blink, he looked over, ”The Korean place, you mean? Huh. It’s been forever since I’ve done karaoke.”
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#44
Was he flirting? Safi wasn't completely sure, hell if he was though Safi was going to go with it even if it wasn't going to lead anywhere, the game had its own rewards for him. He enjoyed banter, “Oh I provide full personal service.” Did he lower his voice into a husky innuendo. Yes, yes he did.

“I'm not an expert on kimchi but seemed good to me.” Safi gave the address to the Uber driver. “You an expert on Korean food?” He wondered if he stumbled on a favorite by accident.

“Hey karaoke is fun! Especially with someone you're comfortable getting drunk with.”
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#45
Oh yes, Christian was flirting. Very, very much so. He didn’t, however, expect Safi to really flirt back. Friends didn’t do that… Did they? Could friends flirt? Chris was pretty sure that wasn’t really something people did, especially two guys. But honestly? He’d take it, because it made him feel lighter for the moment, and it was nicer to pretend than to sit here and mope.

Full personal service?!

Oh sweet Jesus. Chris blushed, again. It was one of those pleasant blushes, though, because really… Who wouldn’t blush at the assortment of images that Safi just put in his head?? No one, that’s who! Chris gave a cough that sounded almost more like a choked whimper, and then gave Safi a shy smile, but he wasn’t able to think of even a single thing to respond to that with… Well except for ‘yes please’ but that wasn’t even near appropriate, was it? Was that appropriate? He blushed just a touch harder, and gave a quiet giggle.

”Well, In my experience kimchi is like fried rice for Chinese food. If a place makes good kimchi, then they probably get at least a few other things right. If I go to a Chinese place, I order the fried rice and it tells you about the place. Or a reuben at a pub. Tells you about the quality of the food, and the care put into it.” Chris shrugged, ”Not an expert. Thai food is more my speed, but I do like it. And it’s been awhile since I’ve been out for Korean, so it’s a treat for me.”

Comfortable getting drunk with. Wow. Wow. Chris grinned at Safi, ”Well yeah, it’s fun. Just been awhile since I’ve done it, you know?”
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#46
Safi honestly couldn't tell anymore if the blushes were a good thing or a bad one; if they indicated interest or simple embarrassment or something in between.

Regardless he wouldn't press like he might have before tonight’s revelations that. Chris ‘didn't do that’.

The little whimper could have been ‘oh yes please.’ Or ‘I'm a little scared.’ Which he didn't want.

“I'll take your word for it.” Safi smiled lightly, “You are very opinionated about food.” He quipped honestly. “All I know is that I love the little seafood pancakes.”

Safi lived close to work intentionally, the neighborhood better than he really should have to be frugal, but he wanted someplace he could have his daughter stay and be proud of.

“How is your sister doing?” He asked since it had been brought up.
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#47
Face flushed, just enough, ears tinged pink… Chris smiled. It felt good, to just take a moment and revel in how easy it seemed. Yes, he was blushing, but he was smiling, as much with his eyes as he was his lips.

Whimper and giggles or not, Chris was relaxed in the car. Safi backed off, though, and Chris managed to murmur, ”You really don’t believe in playing fair at all.” Yeah… Chris didn’t do the meaningless one night stands, he never really would. But that didn’t mean it was easy, especially when Safi was saying things like he had said!

Still, he didn’t shift away or tense up. He shrugged, ”Aren’t most people? I mean, we all have our preferences. Some people,” he grinned teasingly at Safi, ”Don’t even like pie. So yeah, I think we’re at least a little opinionated about food.” There were no hurt feelings or judgement, just an easy playfulness. ”Seafood pancakes? I’ll have to try them.” That sounded interesting. And hey, if he got some and didn’t like them, Safi liked them! ”Worst case scenario is more for you, right?”

Chris lived not far from work, but not too close. He had no real family to worry about - Belle, but she lived in Gotham; Chris could live in the worst area of Central and it would still be peaceful relative to her home. So Chris lived in a decent place, in a decent neighborhood, but nowhere especially nice. Still, he was happy with his situation.

”Belle? She’s good. Like I said, she found her…” Chris heaved just a small sigh, ”Soulmate? Maybe. I dunno… He’s nice. He loves her, like… Dedicated love, you know? It’s like… Something from a fairytale.” You know, if Prince Charming were a ghost. ”She’s happy, which is what’s important.”
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#48
“If you are playing fair you aren't playing to win.” He murmured back, shadows from the street lights flickering over his expression, hiding the hints of repressed desire.

“That is the kind of worst case I can live with.” Continuing the joke, “I mean her wound but that's...nice.” Was he a touch wistful? Maybe. Safi had once thought he'd had that. Been happy with Rachel thought she'd been content with him.

He's learned otherwise unfortunately.

“How long she known the guy? Any wedding bells?” Was he interested? Kinda? In a small talk sort of way.
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#49
”I wasn’t aware it was a win/lose sort of deal.” Christian wasn’t really staring, he was looking, watching, but they were talking. Still, his eyes were perhaps just a touch coy as he watched the other man.

Yeah, Safi definitely didn’t play fair. Still, Safi’s acceptance that he could have any of the pancakes that Chris didn’t want if he ordered them earned him a quiet smile. ”That’s what I was thinking, yeah. Alternatively, the other worst case scenario is that we end up in a fork fight over who gets the last one.” His smile turned into a light hearted grin.

Speaking of Belle was good. She was happy, so… ”Well, the first few days were the worst with the wound you know? I know you know…” Because Safi had showed Chris his scars, and Chris turned introspective for just a moment, just a fleeting moment of somber seriousness, but he shook himself out of it. ”Yeah, it’s nice. I’m really happy for her.” but there was just a touch of yearning in his tone, too. He didn’t exactly envy Belle her happiness, her fairy tale, but he wanted that for himself, too. Was that so terrible, though? Really? To want your own happily ever after? But not everyone could have that. He was happy for Belle. Really, honestly happy.

”Oh, I don’t actually know the answer to that one. But I know he intends to marry her. And I fully expect that she’ll accept.” He lay his head back against the seat, ”Okay. Okay.” he sighed, ”So maybe the tarot thing isn’t entirely wrong. Do you believe in that stuff, Safi? That drawing some cards can show you your past, present and future? That it can tell you what your deepest desire is?”
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#50
“Everything in life is about winning or losing, just only sometimes matters less if you lose.” But than if he was anything other then goal oriented no holds barred personality Safi wouldn't have gotten into his old unit.

“Trust me you don't want to get into a cutlery battle with me-” he pointed a finger at chris in playful menace “I cheat.”

The tarot question was..complex.
“Only from the standpoint that trying to interpret them will give you insight on yourself. The magic aspect..” safi shifted uncomfortably, “I know magic exists, and I cannot condemn any man for using the talents he was born with; but there is a strict prohibition on magic in judaism. Kabbalah is the only exception and that is done by holy men and women.” Safi wanted to explain, he knew now how...careful Chris could and would be, “It is the opinion of most Rabbis that magic is too close to the powers of God and we should not step into his place for man is corruptible as He is not.” Safi smiled at Chris a touch ruefully. “But that's my upbringing and religion. Not yours. I cannot speak for anyone but myself. But making toys even if you do ‘create life’ doesn't seem wrong.”

Safi took a breath, letting it out slowly. “So long answer is that yes, of course if a mage pulled the cards they could show my future but I would not want it. And if I played with them myself I'd only expect to see a reflection of my own subconscious in the reading.”
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#51
Well, that was a unique way of viewing the world… Everything was win or lose. Chris couldn’t imagine really, honestly seeing the world like that. For Chris there was always shades of gray, things that weren’t a competition. Sure, he was ambitious, and he was a go-getter, an over achiever. Christian was known to go well above and beyond the call of duty when it came to work, and even when it came to his hobby, he poured every single cell of himself into a project. For him, that went well beyond win or lose.

Safi claimed to cheat at cutlery battles, and Chris laughed and nodded, ”I do not hold a single shadow of doubt about that. Like I said before, you don’t believe in fighting fair.” he chuckled, ”Good thing I don’t mind, hm?” The guy even cheated at dancing, with surprise kissing and suddenly showing skin and… He swallowed back the memory and all of the thoughts that dredged up. No, did not need to be doing that right here, right now.

Instead, he focused on listening to what Safi had to say about magic and his religion and… Magic was forbidden? Oh… No wonder Safi didn’t trust magic users! They went against his beliefs, the dogma he followed… When Safi smiled to him, Chris returned the gesture, not the happy grins that he often wore, but instead a smaller but relieved smile. Safi wasn’t going to tell him that he was some sort of abomination or something. ”I don’t know that I could help but to do it, Safi… I’ve never set out to make something with anything specific in mind… I learned to make the figures, the automatons, when I was a kid; it’s an old sort of toy, really. I was terrified when the first one… Well, I was twelve, so of course I was afraid, you know? I’ve never thought to myself, ‘I’m going to make this one like this’ or ‘I want this one to do this’ or anything. They just… Are. That’s not me, not entirely, you know? I think, maybe that’s God. I didn’t learn this, or seek it out, it’s just always been there.” He took in a deep breath, hoping that Safi would understand, ”You don’t think I’m… Bad? For what I do? Even though your religion says I’m doing something against the rules?”

He smiled, and surprisingly, Chris still wasn’t tense. No, he had begun to trust in Safi. Just a little bit, and only tentatively, but it was more than Chris gave most people, and while the small man was fully aware of what he was doing, he also didn’t see the point in worrying about it. Safi was nice, he was safe. He had protected him when he hadn’t needed to. That meant a lot. ”I drew the cards… The past one… I don’t like it, but I can’t really say it’s not accurate at all. The present one, well, it’s not so bad. The future I’m not sure about, but it doesn’t sound horrible. The Temperance card… Temperance doesn’t sound bad, you know? I can live with that. But I drew another one, and she said it was what I wish for…” He made a small sound, ”Whatever. Maybe I’m just trying to read too much into it.”
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#52
“That does make us rather compatible, doesn't it.” He replied habit making it a very suggestive little purr.

Chris poured out his insecurities, listening carefully Safi only nodded here and there as needed to keep him talking.

“I'm faithful. But not a fanatic.” There was a thin line at times, one he needed to constantly remind himself of.

“Unless you intend harm or cause harm…” he shrugged with a sigh. “I can't judge you based on my faith.” It helped that Chris was so inoffensive that he didn't trip Safi’s institutional paranoia.

“So what did she say the cards meant?” Safi asked as they pulled up to the restaurant.
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#53
Compatible. Chris knew that Safi didn’t mean it like… That… But still, he couldn’t help it, he flushed, and averted his eyes just a little bit, the smile he gave just as shy as the rest of his actions, but genuine, “I guess it does.” He didn’t look away for long, though, glancing back up once he had spoken.

Religion could be a really tricky thing. Some people followed the rules their religion and sects and leadership gave them, never questioning any of it, never wondering how much of it was political or economic. Chris had never been fanatical like that. Raised Baptist, he understood a whole lot about what sort of politics could go on within a church, and he had withdrawn from that. He wasn’t one to believe something just because someone said he should. He had read the bible, and taken from it the lessons he believed in, leaving most of the rest of his religion at the wayside. “I have my own beliefs, but my pastor would tell me I’m no Baptist.” he scoffed, “And maybe I’m not. I dunno anymore. But I have my beliefs, and my personal faith.”

Intend or cause harm. “Everything I make dies, Safi. Is that harm? I don’t...think...they hurt. They just sort of fade away…” Chris went quiet, contemplating that for himself. It bothered him, that he didn’t really understand why his creations didn’t last. Jonah did, though. “Except Jonah. He’s lasted longer than any of the others. I don’t know why, but I’m glad.” When Safi claimed that he couldn’t judge him based on his faith, Chris blinked, looking over, “What do you mean?”

What did she say the cards… Oh. Chris heaved a sigh. “She said to google their meanings. And I started to do that. I had no idea that a card had a different meaning if it’s upside down than right side up. The first card I drew was upside down. The first one meant vulnerability and foolish generosity.” He shrugged, “The second meant opportunity and beginnings and pleasure.” He shrugged a little bit, “I haven’t gotten to Temperance and Lovers yet? But Temperance sounds nice, at least. That’s the future one.” Chris looked down at his phone, tapping at it, and the driver grinned and thanked him as he moved to climb out of the car. “So you have me looking forward to kimchi.”
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#54
Faith was..it was a large part of his life and one he struggled with since leaving Israel to not make it part of his assumptions when dealing with people.

But it was hard, considering he'd lived most of his life were even if you argued with your neighbors about specific doctrine you still went to the same synagogue at the end of the day, Everyone kept Kosher, it was not simpler but more...expected.

“I mean that just because my Rababi says it's wrong doesn't mean I can tell you it is. For you. Jews don't try and covert or press our beliefs on others-” Safi shrugged. “Who am I to judge your soul?”

Was he doing harm? Safi couldn't judge but- “is it harm to bring a child into the world not knowing that it will be happy or live well? That is in Gods hands. All we can do is give the best we can.”

He wasn't going to touch the ‘foolishness’ comment with a ten foot pole. But- “Pleasure and opportunities sounds promising.” He smirked, getting out of the car.

“Temperate lovers?” Yes. That matched with his thinking, a calm unsexualized romance was clearly what he wished for.

And Safi would respect that.

Damn it.

“Well you have to tell me if it matches up.” The kimchi. Safi talked with the host, delighted to find a private karaoke room available, normally they were for larger parties..but hell it was the weekend.

“Sound good to you? They'll deliver in the food.”
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#55
To Christian, there was a huge, huge difference between religion and faith. Faith was equal to having belief, that knowledge deep in you that there was something. Religion was dogma, the practice of a social group agreeing that their beliefs were the right ones, and Chris wasn’t entirely sold on the fact that that was...real. Or necessary.

When Safi spoke about his beliefs, and how he had no right to judge another person, that it wasn’t part of how his religion operated, Christian graced him with a large smile, “Well, I can respect that.” It was nice to hear that Safi wasn’t going to judge him. Or try to convert him, because honestly, that was sort of vain, wasn’t it? It was self righteous of any person to say that their belief system was superior to another’s.

Considering Safi’s question, Chris shrugged, “I don’t know. I’m not sure others would look at them and see children, Safi.” In fact he knew that wouldn’t be the most likely case. More than once he’d been asked about weaponizing Jonah, after all, and he didn’t want that for his little friend, though the fact that Jonah had no defenses did scare him just a little bit. “I try to make sure they are happy while they’re here…”

“Yeah, you say that.” Chris sighed and shrugged, moving to climb out of the vehicles, “Except that I’m not entirely sure it’s accurate.”

Temperate lovers? Chris made a face, “Um, no?” he made a small sound of amusement, “Two different cards. My future - Temperance. And what I wish for? The Lovers. But for real, who doesn’t want to find our perfect lover, you know?” He sighed, this time sounding a bit more frustrated, “Not all of us get the fairy tale, though, no matter how much we want it.” He nearly growled at that, though, and then tried to shrug it off.

“Oh, well, yeah. It’s my favorite Korean dish, so I will.” He let Safi speak with the host, standing just slightly behind the larger man and making sure, as Safi stepped into the private room, to motion that the check? Yeah, he’d be paying. Safi had seriously covered enough over the last few weeks that Chris could treat him to a night out. Happily, even! “Sounds great, Safi.” He was a little bit surprised at the idea of a private room to do karaoke in; people usually gathered together for those sorts of things, didn’t they? Drunken singing on a stage in front of a bar full of strangers? But he wasn’t going to complain about not being able to humiliate himself in public. He’d much rather do his indignity done in private.
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#56
“Well honestly I can't think of anything else we create, besides livestock. And that seems less right.” He already knew enough to be secure in his assumption that Chris wouldn't take well to having his creations compared to the family cow.

“Well..that's a personal thing too. If it's not fun for you. Than don't do it.” There was an odd vehemence to his tone, he wanted to be clear without forcing the subject that he wouldn't press, that he got it.

“It's hard. To find that perfect person who gets all your ‘weird’ and loves you for them.” Once he thought he'd found it.

He missed the small interaction when Chris pressed to pay; funny he'd not normally be so casual about someone at his back...but Chris was someone he really even with his paranoia mind picture hurting him.

“Do you speak any other languages?” He asked curiously, settling on one of the leather couches lining the walls of the small soundproof room. The food menu lay next to five huge binders of music selections.

“Want to know why I really love this place?” His eyes gleamed with humor, a touch of the panel set in the arm had the couch he'd claimed warming, a foot rest popping out. Safi reclined with a relaxed little moan, shucking his jacket, holster blending in with the dark button down he untucked to get comfortable. “Better than home sometimes.” He grinned stretching out, his shirt riding up to expose a thin strip of abdominals.
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#57
“Yeah, okay, you have a point.” Chris pulled a face at the idea of comparing Jonah to cattle. Yeah, no, that wasn’t even close. Child was much closer. Jonah was a person. All of them were, just not for as long.

The vehemence was downright surprising. Chris blinked at Safi’s words, surprise and hurt showing on his face before he quietly schooled himself back to calm. Just.. Wow. “Yeah, why would someone like me want seek out opportunities or pleasure.” Bitterness colored each word, and even as he finished speaking, carefully calm and mellow, Christian’s teeth ground together. He wasn’t sure if it were the whole bisexual thing, or if Safi just saw Chris as inferior. Either way, it was hurtful!

The snort Chris gave at Safi’s words about finding someone who understood and loved you anyway was met with a self deprecating snort. “Hard for most people. Impossible for others. You hit a certain level of strange, Safi, and you begin to realize that there isn’t someone like that out there. You’re alone and adrift in a world that honestly couldn’t care less about it.” He shrugged, the movement sharp and pointed, “Doesn’t make you yearn any less for the happily ever after. Doesn’t mean you don’t find yourself wondering if this person or that person could be different. It just means you get good at dealing with disappointment and learn to keep your hopes nice and low. And after a while it’s… Almost tolerable.”

He was relieved when they entered the restaurant, because yeah, awkward horrible topics were awkward and horrible. He made sure the host knew who to give the check to, and for Chris that was that. Safi not knowing meant that the man would order what he actually wanted and Chris knew precisely how much money he had in the bank. It was plenty; he was careful with his money, and he hadn’t needed to buy supplies for his extracurriculars for awhile.

Languages? “I know enough Spanish to get by, and enough Chinese to deal with clients from there? I mean, I know a little of a few others, but nothing really fluent?” He shrugged slightly, looking almost apologetic before he crossed to the couches. He didn’t flop onto it, but rather settled into the corner, feet planted firmly on the floor as he reached to take a menu to look at.

“Oh, they never let us put our feet on the furniture growing up. It’s…” he shrugged, “At home, I just kick off my shoes and curl up on the chair.” Or sat on the stool at this workbench and worked, but that was different. Safi’s ease here earned him a blink, and then a blush as Chris noticed the smaller details. The gun, the way Safi sat with his shirt untucked and showing… He wasn’t thinking of that. Wasn’t looking. Nope; he focused on the menu carefully, willing his blush to just go away, and then idly wondered if that was something he could do with magic. See now that could be a useful thing! He’d have to ask Ms. Zatara about it. Because blushing was just embarrassing. The only concession to comfort that Chris gave was to remove his suit jacket, settling it over the back of the couch he sat on. “Nothing is better than home,” he murmured, shaking his head slightly, eyes still carefully reading the menu, “You have no idea how good it was to finally have my own space.”
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DC-TV-1

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#58
Oh for the love of!

Safi resisted the urge to scrub at his face that wasn't what he'd SAID! “I said that it should be fun for everyone.” He growled. “Not that you would not want to.” Do what ever!

That was all he was trying to say! Just being supportive!

He didn't have a good response to the pessimistic view of his chances at romance, it wasn't as if he had the best luck there himself.

“I was wondering because they have a few language options.” Safi explained, sidestepping responding directly to his romantic tirade.

“I got used to living with people.” Safi commented, “At home, than the army…” than his family..this was the first time in his life he was sleeping in a room alone and he found himself lonely.

“You want a pancake thing too?” He asked wiggling the iPad they could place their order on.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#59
It’s…” Chris sighed, “No, you didn’t say. I’m sorry. People make a lot of assumptions about me, and it’s just the fact that…. I’m not used to people just not making assumptions? And now I just made one about you, and…. I sort of hate that I just did that.” Chris gave Safi a shy, apologetic smile, “I try not to do that. Don’t always succeed, but I like to think that I do better more often than I don’t.” It was easier, right now, to be a bit more open with Safi…. The man honestly didn’t seem to judge. “I’d love to go on an adventure, have fun, find pleasure and opportunity…. But I’m…”

The pause was lengthy, “I get tired of doing everything by myself.” Chris punctuated the statement with a shrug, “Just because I’m used to it doesn’t mean I like it.”

Languages. “Reading is easier than speaking. I can read Spanish a hell of a lot better than I can speak it.”

When Safi admitted that he was used to living with other people, Chris nodded, then gave the other man an amused look, “I think we have had some very different experiences living with other people, Safi. I grew up in a group home. It’s a relief to have my own space, somewhere where I’m…” Safe. “But yeah, it gets awful quiet, you know? Jonah makes noise and moves around, though, so it’s not so bad.” But it was still very lonely.

He grinned, “We’re both getting them, right? And if I don't like them, all the more for you?”
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DC-TV-1

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#60
“Always has to start like that doesn't it?” Safi pagged through the food menu, clicking his selections before passing it to Chris. “Alone.” Every adventure started with one step.

Safi chuckled to himself as he mentally repeated the world ‘adventure’; by most accounts he had lived his life full of them.

“Besides-” his sock clad foot nudged over to press against Chris’s “you get into enough trouble. Adventure seems to find you.” His eyes crinkled with humor at the attempted joke. “But if you want to go somewhere exciting-” he leaned back again. “I'll come with.”

Group home? Safi had an idea of what that might be. “I grew up in my grandfather's home, aunts, uncles, whole family took up most of the block. Than into barracks and unit housing.” Safi chuckled. “You'd think I'd be dying for privacy.”
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