4907/A Quaint Place

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A Quaint Place
Date of Scene: 27 January 2021
Location: The Wick
Synopsis: The second of a first date sees Steve and Janet at a small, very old New York pub. Steve gets an assist from the crowd. Or maybe Janet did.
Cast of Characters: Steve Rogers, Janet van Dyne

Steve Rogers has posed:
Between Christmas and New Years, 2018

As advertised, the walk from Rockefeller Center to the place Steve takes Janet next is not too far. The day has been nice, warm enough with the sun that was out that some of the sidewalk ice had melted, though now the sun was setting there were spots beginning to refreeze. Steve's arm is there for Janet should she need it. And the way his hand drifts over from time to time to rest on hers upon his elbow, he seemed pleased to have it there.

The pair make their way just off the main thoroughfare onto a side street, where Steve takes her to the door of a pub called The Wick, where he opens the door for her. Inside, the pub has definite atmosphere all of its own. It has an air of age to it, the wood having that luster that only decades of wax and care and create. Christmas decorations are still up with New Years just a few days away, runs of holly and garlands across the ceiling, a Christmas tree on a corner of the bar.

However the thing that stands out about The Wick are the candles. Two gigantic falls of wax, created by decades of burning candles and letting their wax run down as it will. Creating two large columns of statuesque white wax, each with a small white candle perched on the top.

The scents of bar food are immediately noticeable, of a quality to make a stomach interested, especially after the exertion of skating.

Janet van Dyne has posed:
"Oh, this is -charming-," Janet murmurs thoughtfully. She squeezes her arms around Steve's bicep approvingly. "It looks like those candles have been around as long as you have." A teasing, playful grin's flashed up at Steve. Janet nods cordially to the hostess when she approaches the duo and lets Steve lead her to their table. Once she's settled into place Janet crosses her legs under the table and rests a napkin on her thighs.

The waiter appears quickly to offer appetizers and drinks; Janet declines the wine list so Steve can order from it, busying herself with settling into her seat. "How long -has- this place been around?" she inquires of Steve.

Steve Rogers has posed:
Steve looks around the place with a smile, though his eyes soon ending up back on Janet. "I'll have you know there are even a few things older than me," he tells her in a good-natured tone. "The hills. Trees. Candles," he says.

Steve walks Janet to the booth, his hand moving to rest on the small of her back, the hand just there, not guiding. He pulls out Janet's chair and sees her seated before taking his own seat near to her.

A glance over the wine list and Steve picks a beautiful red wine. He wants to tell her that Pepper gave him some suggestions as to what to choose, but not sharing that information was also one of her suggestions. "Longer than I," Steve tells her. "I'm not quite sure, 1890s probably?" he says.

The hostess smiles and says, "Very good. 1893. We're one of the oldest pubs continuously in existence in New York," she says. The woman does a brief doubletake as she recognizes the pair. It's a small enough place that she's hostess and waitress both. "I'll get your wine," she says, leaving them the menus.

"It's mostly bar food, but I was back in here a few months ago, and it was at least good bar food," Steve says. He looks around, the Christmas decorations and the giant candles going hand in hand to create the ambiance. "I don't know. It just felt like my kind of place. So, I hoped you might like it too," Steve says, those true blue eyes moving back to Janet's.

Janet van Dyne has posed:
"It's okay," Janet says, feigning a judicial sort of diffidence. "Atmosphere's nice." The wine comes over and Steve's given the chance to examine and sample it. Janet takes a sip from hers when it's poured, the glass balanced in her palm and stem cradled between two fingers. "Company's what really sells it though," she says, and flashes another teasing grin at him before taking a sip.

"Mmm. So." She sets the glass aside, rests her forearms on the table over one another. "What do you think of the Mansion so far? Do you think it's gonna get a little cramped with all of us living in there? It's almost as bad as boarding school. At least we have our own suites and bathrooms," she allows. "We don't have people wandering the halls in their bathrobes and caddies waiting for a shower stall to open up."

Steve Rogers has posed:
Janet's proclamation about the impact of the company on the pub's allure draws a nod of agreement from Steve, his eyes on Janet as he says, "Yes, yes it does."

He rests a hand over on her back, the touch somewhat idle-seeming as he examines the menu. Though it's the first time he's done something like that. "And here I was thinking how spacious the mansion is and how it feels like I might go days without encountering another soul even if I go wandering through it. Or, you know. Hiking," Steve says, looking up from the menu to flash her a small smile.

"It's admittedly more elbow room than the barracks were," he tells her. "I do like having everyone nearby though. I have a small place in Brooklyn. Where they first put me up after, you know, the Thaw," he says. "Which has its appeal too. But I hadn't realized until now that I've been used to having other people around for so long, during the war at least. I'm sure it's a bit more tedious for you though."

Janet van Dyne has posed:
"More cramped than my loft?" Janet laughs. "Yeah, like... a ton. Granted Tony's put us up in some really nice digs," she allows, and takes another sip of her wine. "It's spacious as all get out. I'm used to having a bit more space though. My staff's in the suites below mine, so I've got two floors I can sprawl out in."

Fingers run through her hair and she rests her elbow on the table to support her chin in palm, looking sideways at Steve with an inscrutable sort of examination. "I guess your old apartment wouldn't have been up for rent anymore," she infers. "Your place in Brooklyn, is it nice? Like the neighborhood?"

Steve Rogers has posed:
"If the quality of the people is the measure it is," Steve replies, looking back to Janet with a genial look that suggests that's probably his measure. It also probably suggests it might fall under other adjectives in Janet's vocabulary. Like perhaps 'quaint'.

"It's around the corner from where I grew up. There are still a lot of familiar places even if the names or details change. Amazing how it can feel so much like the same people after 75 years," he tells her. "Though not all the same."

He sets down his menu as if having chosen something for himself, and then takes a sip of the wine. "This is good," he comments, and just avoids adding a comment about thanking Pepper later. "Of course your place in the city isn't all that far away. You could still stay there and be on hand for the team," Steve says, his eyes held by Janet as they talk. The woman again having his full attention. "I wasn't sure you'd be around the Mansion as much as you are."

Janet van Dyne has posed:
"Well, y'know, something something team solidarity," Janet says, and makes a blah-blah motion with her hand. "Read that in a business dynamics book in school. Any team needs to have a regular presence, sort of a reliable roster. The more disruption there is, the less cohesive we are. So yeah, I mean I could be across town in under thirty minutes even if I have to take a car, but..." slender shoulders rise and fall, shrugging. "There's something to be said for us all, like, breaking bread together, you know?"

"Maybe it'll change if we find members. I know those Titans, they're all pretty close, but most of them got started really young, too. I'm pretty sure I'm the youngest of the Avengers. Most everyone else is in their thirties or forties by now. Aren't they?"

Steve Rogers has posed:
"With one or two far older," Steve says, his wry smile suggesting whose age exactly it is he's making fun of. "There are some benefits though. Discounts at the movie theater. Though they tend to stare at my driver's license suspiciously," Steve tells her, that smile growing a bit.

He leans back in his chair, his finger move against her back, brushing a few inches to either side and back again. "I do like some time away, in the apartment from time to time. But I have found some nice things about living with the team," he says, eyes focused on Janet before he looks away and down at his closed menu. "So, have you decide on something?" he asks. The waitress perhaps reads that body language and begins to make her way back over to them. "The chicken sandwich is good, especially if you like it a little spicy. The food these days is a lot spicier than it was in my day," he comments.

Janet van Dyne has posed:
"Chickens sandwich sounds just fine," Janet agrees, and hands her menu over to the waiter without bothering to look at it. Her attention's more preoccupied with the gentle attention Steve's nails pay to her shoulderblades. "I like spicy food. I used to hang out in Little Dominica a lot. Especially if I was fighting with Daddy. Not that he always noticed, he'd be elbow-deep in some project. My mom was half-Spanish, so with a little sun I can blend pretty well. Not that it helps, I'm a basic white bitch at heart," she grins. "But I spoke enough to get by, and I made some friends in the neighborhood. You'll have to come by there sometime with me," she offers. "Nothing's as authentic as finding someone's little old abuela hand-rolling corn-wrapped tamales."

Steve Rogers has posed:
"I'll have the same," Steve tells the waitress. She nods. "Two chicken sandwiches coming up," she says. She tops off their wine glasses and then departs back behind the bar to place their food order.

The bar itself is fairly busy, an evening between Christmas and New Years. There's a quiet murmur of voices, laced with occasional laughter or louder exuberance that give the place a warm, somewhat lively feel. The windows are frosting at the edges as the temperature drops, and the intermittent clouds overhead finally start to drop a few new white flakes on the city.

Within, Steve finally slips out of his leather jacket, wearing a sweater that does little to hide the man's impressively arranged bulk. His hand returns to where it was before, fingertips sliding just the smallest distances across Janet's back, along her spine.

Steve gives a wry grin at Janet's description of herself. "That's one thing about New York that I always loved. Seemed like one of the few places that you could walk a block or two and find yourself in a completely different part of the world," he says. "So where is your favorite place? You've traveled far more than me. If you didn't have other needs keeping you somewhere, where would be the perfect place?"

Janet van Dyne has posed:
"Oh, New York's where my heart is," Janet says with a smile. "Barcelona's nice. Marseilles. Really though, you can't go wrong anywhere you can throw a rock into the northern Mediterranean," she observes. "Had some /wild/ parties in Ibiza when I was in boarding school. We'd all tell our parents we were staying over at someone's house for the hols and then take a private plane up to the Canaries."

Janet's weight shifts while she refolds her legs and it ends up with her a bit closer to Steve's gentle warmth. "Lemme guess though, you're a Brooklyn boy for life," she teases him. "No plans to move out to like, Jericho or Ridgewood someday? Get a little farm for yourself outside of Albany? 'Cap's Organic Honey' has a nice ring to it," she observes, and gives him another mischievously impudent look.

Steve Rogers has posed:
Steve Rogers breaks out in soft laughter, looking down and giving a few nods of his head. "Tending bees would be a good retirement," he agrees with her, transparent blue eyes showing his warm amusement at the notion. "I don't know, I suppose I haven't put a lot of thought into where I might want to end up," he tells her as he looks thoughtful. "There's always been something else that needed doing. Too much to spend much time in worrying about days that weren't in the immediately future."

As Janet settles a little closer to him, Steve's focus seems to return to her. "Actually, I think I might enjoy some time in the woods," he tells her. "Somewhere near a lake with some fish in it. Nice in the summer, but brisk most of the year. Cut my own firewood, maybe a nice little wood stove."

He gives a soft laugh. "I probably described the opposite of your dream retirement home, haven't I?"

Janet van Dyne has posed:
"Hey, I don't -hate- the outdoors," Janet protests. "I lived in Switzerland. I can ski and snowboard. I just like having, y'know, chalets," she says with a wrinkle of her nose. "You know. You get done skiing, you go inside, someone takes your equipment off for you and then you sit in front of a giant fireplace or a hot tub. Ideally paired with good champagne, maybe a nice steak or some oysters?" she suggests.

"But as far as roughing it, no, I'm ... definitely a city girl," she says with a wrinkled nose, then bursts out with a merry, chiming little laugh.

Steve Rogers has posed:
Steve breaks out in a warm chuckle. "You do paint a rather appealing picture," he tells her. The waitress comes over, setting their plates down on the table, though it takes long moments for Steve to look away from Janet and back over to her. "Thank you," he says with a smile, though his eyes go back to Janet as soon as the woman has departed.

"I was just thinking how long it's been since I've been on a date," he tells her. "Somewhere around 73 years. Not sure I was the best at it back then," Steve comments before finally withdrawing his hand so he can move his napkin to his lap and start on his food. "How am I doing so far, Janet?"

Janet van Dyne has posed:
Janet eyes her patty, then lifts up the bun and carefully scrapes some of the excess mayonnaise off with the edge of a knife. Once it's to her satisfication she starts eating with small, ginger nibbles.

"Well the skating was a good call. A+," she compliments him. "Comfy, cute little restaurant, not bad choice at all. And you did all the things right, getting doors, chairs, wine." She beams approvingly. "I'd say you're holding your end up."

"Speaking of-- what was it like, dating back in the day?" she inquires. "I guess you weren't hurting much for company," she adds, and looks him up-and-down admiringly. "Lots of girls getting in line to get you to take them for a spin on the dance floor?"

Steve Rogers has posed:
Steve takes a bite of his sandwich, chewing it in a thoughtful-looking way as he considers the question. "I don't really remember it that way," he tells her. "Maybe later, after Doctor Erskin's experiment, I suppose. I think looking back maybe a few of the dancers in the show might have been... ah interested in dancing. Though I don't think I quite picked up on it at the time. And after that, well, there wasn't a lot of time for dates.

There were some, but Steve chooses not to go into too much detail. Avoiding the topic of the woman whom he would have been on them with.

"And before Erskin? My romantic life was decidedly... less than ideal," he tells her, gesturing with both hands as if to say, what can you do. "So you do know I'm not really the late night partying and... jet-setting type," he says, having to think to recall that particular phrase which he hadn't understood at first. Thinking it had something to do with pilots.

Janet van Dyne has posed:
"Mmm, the party lifestyle might be something you're going to have to learn to enjoy," Janet informs Steve, and grins wickedly at him before taking another small bite of her food. It's set aside and she reaches for some baby carrots, ignoring the ranch dip and eating them raw. "Don't worry. I won't take you on a booze cruise near Mazatlan. At least not right away," she promises him. "Models tend to party hard when they need to blow off some steam. This one time--?" She pauses, holding a hand in front of her mouth while chewing.

"This one time, this hedge fun douchebro invited a few of my friends on his yacht in Europe. Well he turned out to be a total asshat, so we, uh, commandeered his ship and sailed it to Kalamata. He was really unhappy, but I mean, what was he gonna do?" she says with a nonchalant shrug. "Complain to INTERPOL that a bunch of supermodels absconded with him and his yacht and drove him to the freaking Greek Isles?"

Steve Rogers has posed:
Steve Rogers lets out a soft chuckle as he listens. "Your prank stories are much more interesting to hear than mine," he tells her. "I don't know Janet," he says. "I think you know I wouldn't have asked you out tonight if I didn't... if I wasn't wanting to spend more time with you. I'm not sure how well I'd fit in with that. But if you'd want me to go to something like that," he says, making a gesture with his shoulders and hands. "I'd do my best for you," he tells her.

He finishes his sandwich, wiping his fingers on his napkin before just grazing a bit on the sides that accompanied it. A quarter of a dill pickle makes just the slightest crunch as he takes a bite of it. "I didn't have anywhere planned after this specifically. But I did ask JARVIS to make sure the rooftop pool was heated," Steve comments as he glances out at the night. The snow is falling, light flakes that drift about in flurries as the winds find their way through the maze of buildings that is New York.

Janet van Dyne has posed:
"Mm, that's... something we'll have to talk about later," Janet says. Her expression is a little dubious, wary but intrigued by the possibility of Steve joining the circle of her more 'active' lifestyle. "But I've got a feeling you'd get along pretty well with anyone, so I don't think that'll be a problem."

Her own meal is not quite finished but Janet seems ready to go as well. "A little evening swim sounds like just the thing. I've even got some bathing suits that I'm thinking of debuting in Miami in a couple months. I'm ready if you are," she says, and flashes another one of those model-ready grins at Steve before giving his bicep a squeeze with both hands.

Steve Rogers has posed:
Steve Rogers rises and pulls out some money he sets on the table for the bill and tip. He helps Janet into her coat if she lets him, and then walks with her over to the door, next to the window with the frosted edges and the view of the street which is just starting to get that clean layer of new white flakes on it.

The waitress walks over and says, "Captain America? Would you mind saying hello to the cook before you leave? He's such a huge fan and when I told him you were in here..."

Steve looks back to Janet as if to assure she's ok with him leaving her alone there for a few moments. "Sure, I'd be happy to," he tells her, walking off with the woman.

There's a table nearby. Two older gentlemen sitting at it, a glass of beer in front of each, and a pitcher that they are only halfway through. A twinkling strand of lights lines the window, and a wreath is hanging on the wall next to the window, near to the table.

"Pssst," one of the elderly men says as he looks at Janet. He has a small grin and relatively warm demeanor. The man gives a little motion for her to draw nearer. If she does, he gives a shake of his head. "No, closer," he tells her, motioning her nearer to the table still.

Janet van Dyne has posed:
Janet's eyebrows go up slightly at the preemptory summoning, but she obliges, stopping once she's within arm's reach. Like any good New Yorker, she's a little suspicious of overly-friendly patrons-- and as a celebrity, she's accustomed to being addressed in public by strangers.

Which doesn't always make it fun, but in the spirit of Christmas, she's at least willing to hear them out. "We're not really out signing anything today, just trying to have a quiet night out," she informs the two gentlemen.

Steve Rogers has posed:
The man who encouraged Janet to move over near to the table replies to Janet's comment with a nod. "Just stay there a moment," the tall, lanky white-haired man says. His eyeglasses catch the twinkling of the lights that line the nearby window.

Steve returns a few moments later. "Janet," he says, his tone making it a thank you that she didn't mind him leaving her for the short time. Steve glances between Janet and the two older men at the table, as if sensing they have been speaking.

The man with the glasses looks to Steve. Then at Janet. Then up at the ceiling overhead.

Steve gets a curious expression. The elderly man looks back down, to Steve again, sighs, and looks up at the ceiling one more time. Steve glances up and then breaks out in a soft grin, one that brings out faint dimples on his cheeks. He clears his throat and moves a little nearer to Janet. "There's a tradition," Steve says, glancing up meaningfully, at the decorations hung overhead. And the sprig of mistletoe that Janet is now standing directly beneath.

Steve reaches a hand out to Janet's arm, leaning in just slightly before pausing just for the moment to make sure she's receptive.

Janet van Dyne has posed:
If Steve was hoping for a chaste, polite kiss, Janet is going to leave him a little surprised. The second he starts to lean in she wraps both arms around his neck and fairly hauls herself up to meet his lips with hers, standing on the very tippy-point of one toe and with her other foot kicking up behind her.

It holds for *almost* long enough to get inappropriate before she finally breaks to come up for air. "Whew! How dare you grab me like that," Janet tells Steve with manufactured outrage. There's a blush on her cheeks and her eyes are big and dark, and she takes a few seconds to collect herself and put her clothes back into array. "Shall we?" she says, and with her head high heads towards the door.

She pauses near the hostess' station and hands her a business card. "Tell those two guys that drinks are on me tonight. Call my people tomorrow and we'll settle up, plus gratuity." She looks back at the two fellows and Steve, flashes them all a charming smile, and starts towards the door again.

Steve Rogers has posed:
As Steve starts to lean in towards Janet, but doing it rather slowly, the old man with the glasses turns to his friend and says, "Youth. It's wasted on the young." The other man laughs and pats the first man's shoulder. "You got that right, Stan."

Steve misses those comments though, as he finds himself with a very desirable woman pressed against him, their lips meeting in the kind of kiss that would steal his breath away. The kiss may last long as a public kiss is reckoned, but for Steve it not only feels longer, but it surely lives on well past the parting of their lips.

Steve clears his throat as Janet upbraids him for his conduct. "My apologies," he tells her, those true blue eyes too transparent in showing his warm reaction to her statement. "Gentlemen," he says towards Stan and friend with a nod, and then walks Janet to the door, and after her brief talk to the hostess, out into the night.