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Rating: 3-3-3

Word Count: None

Fandoms: All

Canons: Open/Oc's Welcome!

Bans: Howard the Duck,
RPF* Real Person Fiction; IE Apping an actual celebrity

Main Rule:Don't Be a Dick

OOC min age:18


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Thread Contributor: Quethadia NyxShe is brighter than the stars
Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
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Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

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#1
Queth was quite literally shaking in her boots- or her dress shoes as the case may be. No part of her had honestly expected Belle to agree, so the idea that she was here, waiting for the beautiful redhead to be ready to go- that alone was enough to have her staring blankly at the door. Was it rude to show up early? Was it creepy to wait at her door rather than knock?

The cyborg had been out of the dating pool for far too long. Carefully, she reached to the head of the blossoms she carried, straightening a petal with reverence. She was, despite her nerves, excited for this. Belle was the most beautiful woman she had ever met, in more than just a physical sense of the word. Her smile was warmer than most things Queth had known, and she carried the same fire in her eyes. Belle inspired a light inside of Queth that she hadn't known in sixty years.

And standing there like a statue was hardly going to inspire the same in Belle. Fighting a human lifetime of anxiety, Queth rolled her shoulders back, stepped forward and knocked lightly.

@kel
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#2
It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do..

The door opened at Queths touch, summoning the woman from above.

Black ballerina flats clicked gently on the small spiral staircase leading up to her bedroom; Belle had agonzied, fretted, changed her mind a dozen times, and in the end she’d settled on classic slim fitted black capri pants, topped by a white and black polka dot silk blouse, a sheer black scarf was tied jauntily around her neck. Her hair was pinned up, made to look messy, effortless, as though she hadn’t spent hours tweeking, teasing, curling and pinning each artful strand into place.

“Hello.” Belle tried not to blush, but felt heat creeping up her cheeks nonetheless, a short, skirted black trench coat lay next to her purse on a table that normally held baked goods next to the door.
@moon
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
8 Threads
Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

All Accounts Posts: 850
Points: 2,355.62€
#3
Seeing the redhead standing there, Queth thanked all the known gods that she hadn't gone full into the suit. That she had chucked her tie into the closet after fussing with it for twenty minutes. As it was, she still felt overdressed for the date, and she was wearing a blazer. It didn't get more formal casual than a blazer. Without even thinking she thrust the bouquet of flowers forward to Belle. "These are for you." She croaked, cheeks blazing with her embarrassment.

Glancing down, she brushed her hair back and took a deep breath. "Er. That is." She stuttered before breathing out and adopting the confidence she had practiced time and again. Literally. In a mirror. Word for word. "Hello. I'm very excited to spend time with you tonight." Giving a lopsided grin, she continued, even as her voice steadied with the repetition of the familiar words. "You look incredible, and though these flowers don't reflect even a fraction of your beauty, I hope you will like them."

Her death grip on them loosened as she offered the blossoms to the radiant woman. "I hope you are looking forward to tonight as much as I am." Queth offered shyly, waiting until Belle had dealt with the flowers before stepping back to open the door for the other woman. "I hope you don't mind, but we do have a bit of a drive before we reach our destination." Queth offered, gesturing towards where her three wheeled scorpion sat.

Which she may have chosen for it's sex appeal. Though she wouldn't be too surprised if Belle didn't appreciate it the same way Queth did. "Is it alright for me to put a spell on you to protect you from the wind?" She asked with a small grin.

@kel
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#4
It was...odd seeing the normally composed, coolly compantant Queth flustered; it was an effect she’d seen often enough as a teenager, but...you know with boys. It was odd from not just a woman but one she’d known so well for months.

Belle didn’t like it.

A tiny frown pulled at her ruby painted lips. The normal smug delight at one upping her romantic opponent was absent, Queth was her friend, before anything else she was...well Belle would have said ‘sister’ but that wasn’t right anymore was it?

Belle’s hands closed around the bouquet, trapping it before Queth let go, her fingers curling around Queths wrists delicately. Staring up into the elfish face she knew so well “Breath.” her expression was soft, caring with just a hint of worry around her eyes. “Remember, no matter what happens tonight. I will still be your friend.” the worry lightened into slight humor at the rest of Queths prepared speech, “Ah am.” she promised, fingers slipping down Queths living and mechanical wrists to take the blooms, dropping them into a clearly prepared vase, that just ‘happened’ to be sitting near by.

There was a seconds pause where Belle seemed to half be waiting for a motion, the moment passed and Belle shrugged into her coat, snagging her purse.

Only to pause as their transportation of the night registered. “Why we takin’ half a batmoblie?” she asked; because honestly she’d lived enough months in Gotham for THAT to be the first reference that came to mind!

@moon
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
8 Threads
Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

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#5
Would it be accurate to say that Queth was usually composed? Yes. That came from being nearly ninety. There simply weren't that many things that threw you for a loop anymore. But a beautiful woman, dressed up just to see you, and smiling at you like that? That was never something you got used to.

The frown on Belle's lips was frustrating for Queth. She didn't want to start this date off there. She was far too grateful when it melted into a smile. Yes! That was what she wanted. Queth was grinning like a total buffoon while Belle deposited the flowers. Enough so that when Belle pointedly looked at her coat, it took far too many beats for Queth to clue in.

That was enough to knock some sense back into her. After all, Chris hadn't coached her for nothing. Stepping forwards, Queth lifted the coat up. "Let me help you with that." She offered, holding it up to make it easier for Belle to put on.

Queth hesitated for only a moment before she took the excuse to stroke her hands along Belle's collar bone, using the excuse of making certain that it laid flat. Her fingers moved along just slowly enough for it to be obvious the action was intentional before her hands dropped to her side and she once again held the door open.

She did flush slightly at the comment, snapping her fingers immediately, the sharply edged black being replaced with a smoother dark blue, constellations laid across the paint in a pale glow that was just enough to suggest more. If Belle looked closely she would see the stars moving, lightening and darkening as clouds floated across the expanse.

But then, they were about to see a much more beautiful version of the image.

"I have no idea what you're talking about." Queth teased, before she offered Belle her hand to help her into the low seat, a small spell drifting on to the redhead to protect her hair and clothes from the wind, and herself from too much of the cold.

Despite her attempts at manners- Queth doubted that Belle actually wanted her to be a different person in order to be polite, so with a small chuckled, she vaulted over the vehicle, using a push off the hood to complete the flip she chose. With a grin she dropped backwards into her seat, fingers automatically shifting across buttons and levers before the motorcycle started with a purr.

@kel
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#6
No. If she wanted Queth to be completely different...than she wouldn’t have accepted her invitation; this was a trial, and if the warm little flutter that confused her body when Queth deliberately intentionally ran her hands down Belle’s shoulders was any indication...one that might just work out.

Magic or technology?” she asked curiously, taking a sedate route, sliding in beside her date. Her sleakly cat eye’d gaze sharpened with humor as Queth bounced into the now NOT quite such a Batmoblie lookalike. “

Belle didn’t want another person, she just needed the familiar framework to help her compensate for all the ...well differences! Plus it was ingrained in her that first dates had a rhythm, a respect that manners called out, when it was lacking...well then maybe that date wasn’t meant to be more than a quick good time.

“Do ah get ta ask where we are goin’? Or is this a mystery date?”

@moon
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
8 Threads
Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

All Accounts Posts: 850
Points: 2,355.62€
#7
It was hard to achieve the perfect balance for the evening. Queth did want to make certain Belle was comfortable, but she also didn't want to showcase someone that she wasn't. She had been so very many people in her lifetime, and she knew how poorly most of them fit. Queth had found only three lifestyles that suited her- military, criminal, and mechanic. And neither of the three encompassed all that was.

"Technological Magic." She replied with a wink, sparks lighting up both of her hands. Shaking away the lights, she started driving easily, a sort of dullness coming over one of her eyes as she split her mind into the vehicle.

"Well that depends." Queth murmured, content that the small enchantments of the space would carry the quiet words over. "Do you want it to be a mystery?" She smirked, turning smoothly into the darkened desert that was her borough. Quite deliberately, she laid an illusion spell above them to block out the stars until they arrived at their destination. She was so grateful that her portal wasn't far into the borough- she may have had to set up an alternate plan if it would take an hour to get there.

Now that she was confident that they were nearly there, and that the matrix was strong enough to support an immaterial connection...

Queth hummed a simple phrase of notes. "Glitch, I'd like you to meet Belle." She offered to thin air before a small bubble of light grew and danced around the redhead, considering her for a moment before settling. "Belle, meet Glitch. Glitch, Please take us from here." She offered, dropping her hands from the mechanisms, light returning to her eye as she turned to face her date.

"Now this..." She explained, gesturing at the vehicle that was steady despite the departure of a guiding hand. "This is magical technology." The vehicle chirped happily as Glitch offered his agreement.

@kel
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#8
Now Belle wasn’t a fool, or uneducated, heck she wasn’t even completely ignorant about magic!

But.

But that didn’t mean she was educated on it, at least not on the level she would have to be to grasp all the different ways and how's it could be used by all her friends who dabbled into it. Even her good friends.

“Hello Gitch.” Belle held up a hand to the wavering glob of lights, offering what seemed right to her, which was a handshake or at least touch.

“One enhances th’ other, an’ than enhancer is first?” She guessed; Belle was what you’d call a sensitive, she got tingles when magic was in the air; up until very recently she’d honestly thought that those warning shivers were just her imagination getting away from her.

Now she was slowly starting to focus on that extra sense (although she still felt oddly silly doing it) gazing up at the unchanging canopy. She didn’t KNOW there was something off there...but she kept feeling an odd itch.

Honestly Belle was just as happy being her own normal self, and leaving the magic and what not to her talented friends and family!

“Well considerin’ ya seem ta be trying to hard ta keep it one…” her lips quirked into a smirk, “Ah suppose i’ll let ya surprise me.”

@moon
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
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Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
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Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

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#9
Queth grinned brightly at the comment from her date, even as the little orb bobbed in acknowledgement before zipping into the console. "Exactly! My knowledge of cars means that I can use my magic to redesign the tech of it, And my use of technology is enhanced by the magic I work with."

It wasn't the Queth had never met anyone who understood- but the ones who did were usually other technomancers. People like her who used magic and technology in concert, often indistinguishable from the other. So it made her happy to know that Belle could comprehend what she was saying, even if the actual mechanics of it were unfamiliar to her.

She laughed at the reply. "I was just holding off in case you wanted it to be a mystery. It's real hard to take something back once it's been seen." Queth offered with a wink before making a small noise that was decidedly not in character for the manners she had spent hours memorizing. A noise that could very much be described as a growl. Queth leaned forward, hoping this time her words were more subtle. Perhaps subtle enough that her whisper wouldn't send Belle running. "Though trust me, I'm more than capable of surprising even without the magic."

It took only a few moments to cross over into her world, and then only a few minutes to backtrack the direction they came until they were in the middle of the desert with no one around.

Parking the scorpion manually, she decelerated carefully before the stop. She didn't want to hit Belle with any sudden jerks, there had to be some benefits to dating a professional driver after all. (Driver, smuggler, mechanic. Same Difference.)

Standing up, she had to hold back a groan at the relief she felt. She had chosen a topless vehicle for a reason- so that she could avoid hitting her head but so that Belle wouldn't feel dwarfed. None of that, however, made up for the lack of legroom. Walking around the motorcycle, Queth offered Belle a hand to help her out, even as she snapped her fingers and sent a flurry of spirits into action.

One of the big downsides of magic in Queth's universe was the toll it could take on the user. Summoning spirits, and binding them to herself, meant that she could effectively spread out the pain of magic use across a week, while still being able to offer the same experience to the incredible redhead.

So the flurry of spirits who had been thoroughly instructed on what to do, flipped open the seat the elf had been on moments previous before launching a basket and blanket into the air. The blanket quickly fluttered to the ground, laying itself perfectly flat- even as Queth's free hand shot out to grab the handle of the basket.

She was abusing her magic, being utterly over the top- and if it made Belle smile even slightly, it was absolutely worth it. Queth's voice was soft when she spoke, the lack of engine roar and spirit movement meaning that it was suddenly so quiet her words would seem loud in any ordinary location.

"The tradition may be dinner and a movie, but I thought it would be nice to spend some time in one of my favourite places instead. And this way I could make dinner myself." She explained easily, having not let go of Belle's hand yet and using it to help the woman sit down on the ground.

Queth set the basket down on the edge of the blanket before walking over and tapping the car to cover it in an invisibility spell.

A small roll of blood dripped from her nose as she tightened her muscles in order to not stagger.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. She bit down hard on her lip to hold back the small noise of pain that was fighting to find it's way out. Taking a deep, if shaky, breath, she held one hand up to stifle the flow of blood while the other one pulled a cloth out of her pocket to wipe her face clean. She had known this might happen. She hadn't overcast any of her spells, so physical damage was unlikely- but with how many spells she was maintaining, it wasn't surprising that the stress was bursting blood vessels.

She dropped the wind protection spell on Belle, though she left the one to keep her warm. On Queth? She dropped all of them. She was perfectly capable of acting warm even if she wasn't, and it would be better than passing out before her date even really started. In a moment she'd be dropping another spell too, so she'd be down to two, and that was relatively easy. Sniffling slightly, she made sure she was done with her nose bleed before she turned back to Belle, smile easy on her face.

"Sorry about that." Queth offered nonchalantly, shoving the cloth into her pocket before Belle could see the dark red soaked into it. "Sometimes spells get a bit tricky when you try to lay them on non living objects." She lied smoothly. She had done it professionally for more than a few years, so she was confident in her ability to ignore the way her fingers shook.

She walked over to her spot quickly before sitting down cross legged in what could be politely described as a flop. With a smirk at Belle, Queth held her hand up and twisted her fingers slightly, the illusion above her date dissipating so that Belle could see the same bright stars Queth did. Here, in this spot, where the horizons were empty as far as you could see, the vehicle totally gone from sight- and no noise to bother them- it seemed like it might just be them and the sky. "What do you think? Worth the drive?"

@kel
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#10
“Does it make it easier? Or harder havin’ all those options.” Belle asked with legitimate curiosity; she’d not really focused on the side of Queth’s job that was ‘mechanic’ fretting instead on the title of ‘smuggler’ and the dangers that went hand in hand with that part of her work.

Belle winked playfully at the taller woman; “Ah am real good at actin’ surprised. Why half the time i fool myself!” she knew she could come off as a touch flighty, and had used that ditzy act in the past with gleeful will.

Oh! Belle’s eyes went wide as Queth did indeed manage to surprise her; the low predatory almost sound was something she’d heard before (of course) but from Queth…

“Ah have no doubt on tha’.” she let her lids lower, peeking up through lashes in studied shy sultriness. The knee jerk reaction was actually a damn good sign, the fact she instinctively responded to the flirt like she would a man she was attracted to...well Belle had only a moment to process that fact when they were apparently at where Queth had taken such effort to deliver her in secret.

As she thought she was expected to, Belle’s attention was captured by the dance of glowing obs chasing around the physical objects of their...picnic?

Oh Dear. Had Queth cooked?

Now perhaps Belle was judging harshly, but she’d not really gotten the idea that her tall friend was exactly the best cook; resolutely Belle determined to put on her best manners no matter how the food turned out.

The fleeting thought was not enough to diminish the delight at the play being put on for her benefit, she knew magic came at a price, but Belle never expected that it was more than mental energy, something Queth had an abundance of. Surely there was magic that cost more, in pain and even blood, but that she would spend that sort of effort or energy on something as silly as a date…

No Belle wouldn’t have expected it. And she wouldn’t appreciate it. As beautiful as it was, it wasn’t worth Queth’s pain.

Alighting on the blanket, Belle shifted to sit genteelly, legs curled beside her, stomach sucked in, smiling at Queth made the not-batmobile vanish-

‘Sorry about that.’

The delighted smile froze into confused consern, “What happened?” she reached up, urging Queth to sit. She might not have caught the spots in the dark but Belle had been near-(she wouldn’t say ‘in’ because Belle had no business ‘in’ combat) with Queth and she’d hardly heard that tone of sudden exhaustion.

What she did not miss was the tremor in the fingers she gripped to bring Queth down beside her.

An unhappy little frown touched her lips at the distraction; but that Queth HAD spent so much effort made Belle look up, to take in what was being offered.

There would be a Talk Later, about this.

“Worth the drive.” She agreed, leaning back on her elbows to appreciate the view better. “But na so sure worth ya exhustin’ your self.”

@moon
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
8 Threads
Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

All Accounts Posts: 850
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#11
Queth hummed at the question. It wasn't one that had really occurred to her much- it was so natural for tech and magic to intertwine. She had lived a measly 21 years without magic. It was intrinsically tied to her very being. "I suppose I would have to have done it without magic to know. Even when I couldn't use the magic myself, I still had charms, and friends who could cast magic." She offered with a small shrug. "I don't know. All I know is that I wouldn't have any idea how to get by without either of them anymore."

Turning her attention to Belle, she quirked her head slightly. "How about you? Do you think magic makes your life easier or harder?"

Belle's reply to Queth's quip made her throw her head back with laughter. She was far out of the elf's league- Beautiful, Heart of Gold, Sense of humour, what was there not to fall for?

Sultry too based on her response to the noise Queth had produced. Her eyes darkened, breath catching in her throat as she met Belle's gaze. "Too bad." She managed finally, though her voice had dropped half an octave or more. "If you did, I would have to find a way to prove myself."

She didn't miss the look on Belle's face when she proclaimed that she had made dinner. So perhaps Queth would surprise her date despite Belle's ability to handle whatever was thrown her way. This lifetime, she had been a mature adult with her parents long enough that her mother had insisted on teaching her to cook. Especially being vegan, it was sometimes important to be able to provide yourself with food.

Being honest, when she recovered her memories, Queth had made herself one of her most prepared dishes from her first lifetime- and then spat it out. It may have been perfectly balanced for optimum nutrition, but that did not match with any sort of good flavour. She could easily understand why Belle would think that Queth's ability to cook was flawed. But Queth had practiced so many times that...

Well. She was grateful that the hand she didn't regularly use for knife wielding was the metal one. She may have tried to chop through her fingers a few times.

Queth melted slightly at Belle's concern, her cheeks going red immediately. "I-" She looked down with a soft smile. "Honestly, I am just so incredibly nervous right now." She mumbled with a rub at the back of her neck, not wanting to let go of Belle's hand despite her embarrassment. "I put a little more magic than I meant to into the spell, and it just kind of felt like getting shoved. I swear, it's nothing big."

She squeezed Belle's fingers. "Nothing more than jumping down a couple of stairs and misjudging your landing so it smarts a little for a moment." Queth brought the redheads lovely calloused digits up to press a kiss to them before letting go to open the basket. "But your presence is more than enough to steady me."

Activating a spell from one of her spirits instead of draining herself further, Queth laid an illusion out for a moment as she took the three tiered bento box out and arranged it carefully, along with a thermos of tea, a bottle of champagne, a bottle of sake, and a bowl of soy sauce. Never let it be said that Queth didn't come prepared. She lit a candle quickly, using a spark from her mechanical hand to do the job.

She scooped up a salmon and cream cheese rose with her chopsticks, holding her hand to block it from Belle's view as it came out of the area illusion. "Do you trust me?" She asked softly, not wanting to force anything on the other woman.

@kel In which Queth is a liar pants despite her author trying to tell her not to.
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#12
“Magic-” Belle hummed thoughtfully, “Well ah mean its a tool isn’t it? Ah don’t myself of course cast anythin’ besides that I learned to feed the dead. But some of the things I bought for the cafe use magic...an’ Chris’s toys are always sweet things.” She added just to be clear that she approved and appreciated her brothers hobby.

“But Ah don’t use it like you do-” she gestured to the beautiful dancing lights, “Ah can’t make anythin’ like this. Heck-” She smiled winningly, “I’m boring compared to you all. What ya can do is art, an’ ah respect that even knowing ah can never can do more than appreciate the beauty you bring in a my life.”

Belle felt her cheeks heat at the ‘threat’; oh dear she was playing with fire here wasn’t she?

“The magic is beautiful but-” Belle’s concern radiated out, “I’d rather spend hours just here talking than watch ya hurt your self for trying to hard.” the worry faded into another blush at the compliment, “Ya can always lean on me ya giant.” she quipped smiling up at Queth.

Trust her? Belle nodded “Of course.” her eyes slid closed, mouth parting in anticipation.

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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
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Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
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Moon

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#13
Queth smiled softly at the idea of Belle's brother. "Yeah, he introduced me to Jonah. Who is completely adorable. It's tech based but I'm planning on taking your brother matrix diving soon. He wanted to learn more about my world's tech and there's really no better way than to get- well I'd say into the meat of it except we'd be leaving the meat." Queth explained with a laugh, wondering if Belle would understand what she was saying. It wasn't always clear cut to everyone that 'meat' was flesh and that for all intents and purposes your mind was leaving your body behind.

Her smiled turned bashful at the compliment. "I mean, I didn't make them. Though if you appreciate them then I'm glad." She mumbled, cheeks flushing. She was happy that Belle was actually enjoying the show, but Queth wasn't good with compliments. "And you absolutely bring art and beauty into the world. If you can't see how incredible your desserts are on their own- well each time they make someone smile, you put that smile there. You brought that beauty into the world, even if it doesn't last."

Belle's concern did very little to calm Queth's blush. As awful as it may sound, she was quite certain the only reason her cheeks weren't burning red was because of her nose bleed lessening the pressure. Turning Belle's hand, Queth pressed a kiss to her palm as well. "Okay. I promise I won't overreach again. I can't promise I won't get hit by a spell like that again, but that's because even the simplest of magic can backfire spectacularly- it just almost never does." Queth hoped Belle could understand her syntax without it being spelled out. Obviously this promise was null and void if it was life or death.

She did take the reply literally for a moment, leaning against Belle to get a little closer for a moment.

Queth couldn't help the way her face stretched once more into an expression of happiness at Belle's trust. At this rate, Queth was going to go home with her face aching from the muscle strain- and she wouldn't regret it for a moment. Carefully feeding the piece of sushi to her date, she dropped the illusion spell with bated breath.

For all Queth knew, Belle might hate sushi, might hate the food she made- But frag Queth hoped not.

@kel
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#14
Belle’s pallet was more extensive than most gave her credit for; sure she was comfortable with the cooking she grew up with, and prepared that high fat, high sugar diet for her friends and family because quite simply: food was love. And you gave the best you had to those you loved the most, and in Belle’s case that was the foods she’d grown up cooking with her momma. Did she experiment into other varieties? Of course she did, she enjoyed cooking and Christian was the most common respiant of those experiments, she also delighted in TRYING new things. Belle was endlessly curious about...everything, and honestly believed that giving something a try never hurt anyone.

Belle’s curiosity meant that she had a decent advantage in conversations like these, where she SHOULD have been out of her depth, lacking in the shared linguistic cues and short cuts that came from growing up on Queths world. Except Belle read. She read every thing she’d gotten her hands on since she’d learned how to string a sentence together; from fantasy to high military fiction, to nonfiction physics journals, puzzling through the terms and using her time as a librarian and archivist to satisfy the deep hunger for knowledge that the circumstances of her birth had denied her in a formal setting.

What this meant was that Belle? Belle could actually hold her own on almost any topic at least peripherally, and delve deeply into some very obscure ones.

She didn’t mind that when people saw her; especially now that they first saw a woman who’s skills seemed centered into the domestic path, something of a clothes horse who adapted a 60’s look that only seemed to cement the impression that she was aping that lifestyle completely.

What most didn’t see where the wall to wall bookshelves, the paperbacks, hardbacks, science journals pilled next to her bed where she could fall asleep to visions of electrons or equally elves dancing to lull her imagination.

She actually wasn’t sure if any of her current friends knew that she’d spent her teenage years as a librarian, corresponding and taking night classes to become a historical restorationist. That for the last few years she’d been helping to catalogue and restore thousands of letters, papers, from across centuries.

All of which meant that in this case she was actually following Queth along quite well. She might not know the exact specifics that applied to HER version of the ‘matrix’ but she had enough references to have an IDEA or at least a few competing theories to match to once she got more information.

“Do ya use an external interface or does he gonna need an internal jack site?” she asked hoping she was on the right track.

Belle’s lips pulled into a smile, ducking her head at the return compliment; “That’s the whole point.” she responded quietly, “So many folk...they just need a moment, ya know? Just a moment of home an’ care, and ta feel like the world...well the world can wait. An’ it makes me happy ta beable ta do that.” That was what had lead her to feeding the restless dead, so far from home and… Belle shook her head. She wasn’t going to think of James. Not tonight.

Belle’s frown however deepened at Queths explanation; “Than..maybe don’t use any more magic, there’s no good reason to risk hurting yourself. An’ passin’ out or worse is not a good start or end ta a date.” Belle finished querulously, opening her arm to let Queth rest on her.

Now Belle loved salmon, it was in fact her favorite sashimi, combined with cream cheese..well that wasn’t perfect in her mind but the taste was darn good enough to earn a small noise of pleasure.

Blue eyes slitted open as she chewed, watching Queth watch her. It was adorable how worried she was, as though a bit of bad food-even that this was good!- would ruin anything. “Delicious.” Belle’s eyes crinkled as she swallowed. “Now Ah hope that’s not all. Or you’re gonna hear some very unlady like noises from mah tummy in an hour or so!”

@moon
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Moon

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#15
Queth had never been the book type. Oh, she liked them enough certainly, but she preferred to go out and do. She was only coming to really appreciate the quieter activities after she passed sixty...

Which, she supposed, meant that she had still been reading regularly for longer than Belle. If Queth knew about Belle's previous profession, she would be confident enough that Belle had probably read more, but then. Queth didn't know.

The elf twisted a hand into her hair and pulled it away from her neck. "Both are options, I have an internal jack, but I was planning on setting your brother up with a set of trodes- short for electrodes- which are an external interface. No permanent modifications. I could take you matrix diving sometime too if you'd like." Queth offered, even as she dropped her hair back over the beautifully carved metal jack at the base of her skull.

Belle's smile just further inspired Queth's own. She had made Belle smile. Mentally Queth was fist pumping in victory, though externally, she took that moment to reach out and brush a stray lock from Belle's face. "The world is a better, more beautiful place because of you. So don't think it makes you less just because you can't do it with magic" She offered softly, surprising herself with the tone of her voice. Queth was rarely one to be sappy- but Belle was worth poetry, so Queth had to try.

Queth was almost tempted to play up her exhaustion in order to get more cuddling- but she really didn't want Belle to worry unnecessarily. "It's like a knife, Belle. There's always the danger that you might cut yourself- but if you know what you're doing, if you're careful? You won't stop using a knife just because of a small chance." Shaking her head idly, it occurred to her that she might be blowing her chances by discussing this, but Queth didn't want Belle holding the wrong image. "It's part of who I am. It would be like asking you to keep one of your eyes closed, just in case you got sand in it."

Queth did pause to snag the end of her date's statement. "Though I will argue your statement. Passing out after a date can be quite enjoyable. Depending on why and where of course." She added with a wink.

She had been waiting with bated breath for belle to finish chewing. Queth was confident enough in herself to say that without embarrassment. The small almost sinful noise Belle made was more than enough to satisfy Queth- even if it was driving her imagination to decidedly not first date friendly locales.

She had to draw in a big breath to remind herself what she was doing, before chuckling slightly at Belle. She waved an arm, game show style, over the lovely arrangement of sushi. Even if thinking such was tooting her own horn. "This one is all veggie, the rest have cheese or fish or cheese and fish." She offered, pointing out the green layer that she had set closest to herself. Queth didn't even know if Belle was aware of Queth's dietary restrictions, but then, Queth hasn't explicitly told her at any point.

"Would you like anything to drink?" She offered awkwardly after a moment of fussing with the location of things.

@kel
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#16
There was a lot Queth likely didn’t know about Belle, not because the other women hid anything, but simply because she’d never asked. And Belle had the fortune to be someone who had come to know Queths past first hand, and she hoped done some small part to comfort and befriend the elf in her grief.

“Matrix drivin’ like VR?” Belle grinned at herself, “But I expect much much more advanced than i’d expect?” her eyes gleamed with humor, she had no problem making fun of her own ignorance in Queths world. Sure she could answer her email and was no slouch with word and Quickbooks but she was WELL aware that it was worlds away from even touching what Queth or her brother could do.

Belle’s head curved towards the light touch, a blush warming her cheeks, “Mah brother taught ya to flirt an’ lie charmingly like that?” she demurred, “Ah just don’t like seein’ folks sad. Nothing special in that.”

Huffing at Queths flip explanation “An’ if i’m workin a mandolin i use a cover so i don’t slice my fingertips from not payin enough attention.” she retorted, sliding from embarrassment to protectiveness between one blink and the next. “An’ na if ya didn't even get a kiss ta dream on!” she huffed almost wiggling in aggravation.

Belle allowed herself to be distracted by the food, and Queths presentation, softening at the naked hope in her date’s eyes. “Its beautiful darlin’.” she murmured unsure herself if she meant the food or the woman beside her.

“What ever you are havin.” she responded leaning forward to pop another bite of smokey eel into her mouth with a happy little sigh. “You learn on your own?” she asked curiously “Ta make all this?”

@alex
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

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Moon

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#17
Queth knew there was a lot she had yet to learn about Belle. She was also pretty sure that there was a lot for Belle to learn about Queth. Most people didn't know she had been studying to be a doctor before magic came back. Or that Queth had been a member of an elite squadron of the military. Hell- She was pretty certain Belle only had a vague idea of Queth's birth name.

But learning about each other was half the point of dating. Queth flashed her teeth at the reply, well and truly at home with the topic. "In a way yes. The thing that's really different however is sensation- Because in VR you can be just about anything and very few people choose a humanoid form." Pausing and blushing slightly, she tapped her commlink to project an image- Of a Corgi with bat wings that it flew with. "Nobody associates me with cute things so it maintains my anonymity." She offered, voice insistent and focused. Before giving Belle a small smile. "And it's pretty cute."

She held back any details about people's abilities to melt your brain from there- seeing as it wouldn't be an issue for someone using trodes. And Queth had more protection than anyone else she had ever met.

Her smile grew at Belle's reply. "I think he spent more time trying to temper my personality than instructing me in charm- and when on a date with someone like you- well. There's no need for lies when you are already so astounding." She offered quietly, her fingers lingering for a moment longer than necessary as Belle leaned towards them. For the space of a heartbeat, Queth forgot to breath. Yes, astounding may even be too simple a word to describe Belle.

Her lips moved to reply again before Queth's mind had finished appreciating the shape of Belle's mouth as it formed words. "When you're working with a mandolin- you could do a whole lot worse to yourself than hit your head. The absolute worst thing that could happen to me is I get knocked out. In life or death situations- I'll push it a little harder- but even a regular knife can do a lot more damage to you than my spells do to me."

Queth's smile turned vaguely predatory at the end statement, flashing her canines at Belle. "Are you offering?"

Her lungs gave up their death grip on her air at the remark from Belle- assuring Queth that the meal was good, making it another thing off her list of stressors. It also made it easier for her to quip in return. "I had to at least try and supply you with a match for your beauty." She offered easily, before her cheeks pinked and she waved her hand awkwardly. "That was terrible, let's pretend I never said it."

Queth was pouring tea for the two of them when Belle spoke again- Queth's smile becoming somewhat proud. "Yeah sort of. There are instructional guides in the matrix- but despite my ethnicity, my family's actually French- so I'm officially the only one Of us who knows how to make sushi now." Not that the others wanted to. It was a fish and cheese heavy endeavour and no one in her family ate meat.

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#18
Evening knowing it was only an image Belles hands still rose in an attempt to cuddle the adorable avatar “Oh!” Delight lit her face, “oh I always knew you were a softie.” Belle winked at Queth when it vanished again. The pleasure shifted into concern- “But ah love your personality.” If she thought about it she could guess Chris’s advice, but the gut reaction was to defend Queth, and clarify that she adored her as she was.

‘Are you offering.’

Belle flushed cold then hot, feeling her traitor skin betraying her brutally- “An If ah was?” She whispered, barely managing to squeak out the words past her ingrained prohibition on vocalizing such things.

Belle’s heart threatened to choke out the red head, beating so swiftly, anticipation and nerves clutched her chest tight. She had no idea what it was like to kiss a girl, but there was no revulsion, fear or squeamishness. Just the same butterfly’s she’d had years ago waiting for her first kiss ever, unsure of herself, of the outcome, of if she was even going to be kissed..

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