5111/A Dinner Date

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A Dinner Date
Date of Scene: 10 February 2021
Location: The Strait Lace Steakhouse - Hellfire Club
Synopsis: Danny and Lydia have an arranged date that neither of them really wanted, but in the end they found they had more in common than they thought and ended up becoming friends.
Cast of Characters: Lydia Dietrich, Danny Rand

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Somehow she did it. Somehow Lydia's mother managed to get a date with one of New York's most eligible bachelors for her, in a never ending quest to find her a good husband to marry, settle down, and pop out grandkids. Her father (a rather high profile lawyer) used some of his contacts at the insistence of his wife. He has just as much trouble telling that woman 'no' as Lydia does.

Lydia is dressed very nicely. She's wearing a nice red off the shoulder dress, a shade of which that compliments the softly glowing green mist that constantly surrounds her, and her thick and curly brown hair has somehow managed to have been tamed enough to be pinned back neatly.

So here she is in the lobby of the Strait Lace Steakhouse, nervously waiting for Danny Rand to show up. She's nervous for a whole host of reasons. Danny is *incredibly* rich. She's an obvious mutant. And, most importantly, she's *gay*. Her mother doesn't know. How can she tell her mother that this date didn't work out without coming out to her? She'll have to think of something.

Danny Rand has posed:
If he's honest with himself, Danny has no idea how this happened. First day back from an overseas trip to Hong Kong, finished up a meeting, then found out an associate of his who did him a solid in getting his company back had a favor to ask. He's not opposed to dates with beautiful ladies, but this is certainly the most unusual way he's had one set up.

He's dressed up well himself, sharp suit, nice tie and, hey, he even remembered to wear shoes today so luck's with him. He arrives a few minutes after, enters the lobby as well. It takes but a moment before he figures out the lady in red is probably his date. He puts on his best charming smile and heads over, "You must be Lydia."

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia turns at the voice and sees Danny. She gives him a nervous smile and laughs lamely, "I must be. You must be Danny." Of course he is. His face was plastered all over the news a while back about his struggle in regaining control of his company. There's no mistaking him. She holds out a hand, palm down as you're supposed to do, "It's a pleasure to meet you." She hesitates for a moment. "Don't mind the mist. It's just harmless ectoplasm."

The matire d' spies that Danny had finally arrived and swishes over to the couple. "Ah, good evening! Welcome to the Strait Lace! Your table is ready, right this way!" Making sure he's got their attention, he swishes his way through the dining room until he comes to a secluded table, nice and private in the corner of the room. The lighting here is low and romantic and there's a couple of candles set at the table, which he promptly lights.

Lydia looks horrified at the arrangement. "Oh G*d!" she groans under her breath. "Mom, no."

Danny Rand has posed:
"That's what the news calls me," Danny says. "Well, that and 'loon', but folks can be a bit judgemental here so I give them a pass." He takes the hand and kisses it like he's seen done in the movies, his own hand probably a contrast to her's as it's rough and his knuckles tell he's been in quite a few fights.

"Ectoplasm?" Danny says, expression turning distinctly confused as if he's trying to figure out if there's a joke here he's missing. The matire d' forstalls any further questioning, though, "Oh, great, thanks. I haven't been here before, but have heard good things." And he moves to pull out her chair for her, missing her mostly internal dialog.

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
When Danny's touches Lydia's mist, the sensation is cool and tingly, like if somebody had rubbed a bit of menthol oil on the skin. When he lets go, traces of the stuff follow him and quickly evaporate, the feeling along with it.

Lydia nods her thanks, sitting down in the offered chair, and once Danny is in his, the Maitre D' hands them both a menu. If you can call it that. It's a simple sheet of legal sized card stock that only gives you a few options. Choice of cut, and toppings. The wine menu is much more extensive, however, offering a variety of high class wines suitable for the most snobbiest of wine snobs.

Lydia bobs her head at the question Danny had asked before they sat. "Ectoplasm. I'm a mutant," she explains. "It's just... something that happens." She winces. This is the place where her 'dates' usually get aborted. Sure they still have a nice dinner, but she can tell when the men her mother hooks her up with loses interest in her.

Danny Rand has posed:
He makes sure she's seated before he takes his own chair. Another quizzical expression forms on his face when he sees how tiny the menu is. "I think I'm going to need a while to look this over," he says to the Maitre D' deadpan as he can make it, though a bit of a roguish grin tugs at the corner's of his mouth. And seeing the wine list's size, he leans over the table just enough to speak so he's unheard by anyone else, "I think I can guess on their priority. Maybe they wanted to be a wine bar first or something, but that fell through?"

She then explains the ectoplasm, and he nods. It takes Every. Ounce. Of. His. Being. not to blurt out 'What are your powers', but he manages to keep that foot out of his mouth for once. "That's interesting," he says instead, voice sounding genuine. "Though, probably a hard thing in high society, right?"

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia stifles a giggle at Danny's comment about being a wine bar. Composing herself she leans forwards and whispers back, "They take their alcohol *very* seriously." She looks at the wine list and shakes her head. "I never got the hang of which wines are good and which aren't," she says a little bit louder. "Are you any better at this."

She looks up and can immediately read from Danny's expression what his unspoken question is. "Observe," she says, holding up a hand, palm up. A portion of the mist condenses and starts forming into a shape, until a small little cow sits in the palm of her hand. It's exquisitely detailed and even flicks its tail at invisible flies. She drops her hand and the cow just *puffs* back into mist. "Neat, hunh?"

To Danny's spoken question she nods. "It does. My mother stopped taking me to events when I was a teenage after this happened." She sighs morosely, "I think she was ashamed of me, but eventually she got over it." She waves a hand dismissively. "I feel lucky, though. I hated those things anyway. I try to live more humbly now. Trying to be an English teacher instead of something more high profile."

Danny Rand has posed:
"I am not," Danny replies. "Friend of mine owns a bar. It's a bit lower class than this. If I'm honest, this isn't really my style for the most part." He absently rubs at the side of his neck, "The pairing wines with foods, and which cheese goes with what. I have a suspecion that it all tastes the same, most people just make it up to look classy."

He watches the bovine creation a few moments. After she makes it vanish, he nods, replying "It is. I don't think I've seen a similar ability," he admits, though he does leave off the fact that usually those abilities are aimed at his face more often than not.

"Nothing wrong with a humble life," Danny says. "If things weren't quite how they are now for me, I'd probably seek one too. Lived humbly for quite a long time," he admits. "There's a peace to it. Also a couple of whole religions that speak highly of that sort of thing."

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia grins when Danny admits that he's not one of those wine snobs. She leans forward conspiratorially, "I've always wanted to choose wine this way." She sets the wine list down flat on the table, closes her eyes, and hovers a finger over the list. She hums quietly to herself as she swirls her finger around, up and down the list and then plants it firmly on the sheet of paper.

Opening her eyes she looks at her selection and looks up at the Maitre D'. "We'll have this one." The Maitre D' is doing a very good job of hiding his emotions. "Very well," he says, and swishes his way back to the kitchen.

When Danny approves of her humble life, she seems to relax a bit and give him a genuine grin. Oh, she likes him, already. He shares the same taste in wine, likes to live humbly, and isn't put off by her mutation. If she wasn't gay, she'd actually be tempted to seriously date this man.

At the mention of religion, she blurts out, "I'm Jewish." She blinks, her cheeks turning colors, not meaning to be quite that up front about it. "I mean. Yeah. Heh. I'm going to assume you're not. Usually mom tries to pair me with a good Jewish boy, but I think the size of your bank account overshadows that." She winces, again. Didn't mean to be quite so forward with that.

Danny Rand has posed:
"Hm," Danny says "I'm sure last year was a good year for wine," he jokes. "And I think you made a new friend," he says, noting the Maitre D'. "He seems nice, doesn't he?" he adds, light sarcasm tinting the words. "If it helps, I'll pretend that it pairs well with my steak. Which of the two on the menu are you getting?" he says, tossing the too-small menu back on the table.

Admittedly, he's taken slightly off kilter by the sudden change of subject. "Apparently it does. I'm definitely not Jewish," He says. "Parents didn't take me to church when I was a kid. And later in life I find myself more in tune with asian religions." In-Tune with, in this case means he has punched a lot of Chinese demons. "Are you looking for a good, Jewish boy?" he wonders.

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia looks over the menu. "I think I'm going to have the ribeye, topped with mushrooms and blu cheese," she answers after musing over the selections. "I'm sure that whatever wine they've got it all pairs well with the steak. I can't imagine a place like this wouldn't do that."

And then Danny asks the question. She blushes furiously, and she holds up the menu to hide her embarrassment. Peeking over it she says, "I'm... uh.. it doesn't really matter what religion they are, as long as they can accept mine. I'd do the same thing with them." There. She managed to skirt the 'boy' part of the question. She's not quite ready to admit that she's gay quite yet.

Danny Rand has posed:
"That's probably true," Danny says. "It'll probably bring out the wine's oaky flavor, and let you really taste the chocolate texture. That sounds totally classy, right?" He eyes the card again, "I'll have a T-Bone I guess. It, too, will match the wine perfectly."

He does catch the blush, and something about the answer tickles the back of his brain for reason's he's unsure of now. It's probably nothing. "Some people take religion very seriously," He notes. "It is a big part of what shapes a lot of people. But I do think to a degree you have to accept other people for who they are, right? And, as I said, religion is a big part of that." He pauses, then says "All that to say, basically, I agree with your philosophy."

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
G*d, she's really liking Danny. Almost makes her wish she was straight. Almost. "I mean. I *do* take my religion seriously. I'm Kosher and all that. I go to temple when I can, and my Rabbi is pretty much my therapist. I just..." she waves a hand in the air trying to gather her thoughts. "I just think that love and attraction transcend religion, and that if you really like another person, then it doesn't matter what they believe. You can accept them for who they are."

The Maitre D' swishes back to their table with an ornate silver wine cooler, with their chosen bottle of wine. He pulls it out and shows the label to Lydia, "I hope this is to your liking?" He can barely contain the condescension in his voice. Lydia nods to him and says in a friendly tone, "Yes, that's exactly what I wanted." The Maitre D' nods, sets out two wine glasses, uncorks the wine and proceeds to fill the glasses the correct amount of wine. He, then, takes their dinner order and disappears back into the kitchen again.

"I think he likes me," she says smoothly with a coy smile.

Danny Rand has posed:
"Oh he definitely does. I bet he's hidden his number on the wine label somewhere and will wait for you to call him." Danny actually does look at the wine, then shakes his head, "Yeah, still all greek to me."

"The acceptance part is the hard one. It's also the core tenat in a lot of religions. The one you're suppose to work the hardest to. And you have to work hard as it can be very difficult." He shrugs, cutting himself off before he dives into a whole talk about being zen, accepting others, walking your own path and a dozen other things monks have shoved in his head. "The other side of the coin is when you can't accept others, or even yourself, because the religion dictates it. I have a friend, devout Catholic, often fights his own inner demons because what he feels is right doesn't always line up with what they say is right. I think he beats himself up a lot about it." He pauses, then does explain, "Not physically, like, interally."

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia nods. "Yeah. I... I know something about that." She sighs, and leans back in her chair. "I... look. I should be honest here. I like you. I really do, and I think we could become good friends. But..." here she is, coming out to yet another boy that her mother has set her up with. "I'm gay."

Her eyes lower to the table, downcast. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to deceive you. My parents don't know." Her eyes turn back upward to meet Danny's. "Please don't tell them. Mom absolutely *freaked out* when my mutation manifested. She spent over a year trying to cure me. I can't imagine what it'd be like when she finds out that I'm gay."

Danny Rand has posed:
Click. Lightbulb! That's what he had picked up on. "Well, that's a lot of honesty," he replies, though sounds more amused than hurt so that's a good sign. "And it isn't the 'It's not you its me' so I'm calling it good."

Danny leans back in his chair after a moment of quietness. "You're in a rough spot, then. I can see why you wouldn't tell me. Kind of the one-two punch of high society. Mutant and gay. Might as well be a supervillain to them." He shakes his head, "I won't tell her, and I know how hard it is to have secrets and to hide a part of yourself from the world." He slides his card out on the table to her, "Hey, here. Number to my phone. In case you need a friend in the future. Someone who knows a thing or two about acceptance and all that."

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia blushes furiously when Danny gives her his number. "Oh! I ...." she's rendered momentarily speachless. "Thank you!" She pulls out her little clutch purse and puts the card in it. She rummages around for a bit and finally pulls out a paper napkin and a pen. She writes her own name on it and her phone number and slides it over to Danny. "So you know who's calling. Or if you ever need..." her head goes blank for a second. "I don't know. If you ever need somebody to edit your memoirs. Or teach you Hebrew. Because I can do that."

She leans back in her chair, and visibly relaxes. "Thank you for being so understanding. I think this is the first time that I've had one of these days where I didn't feel it was a complete waste of time."

Having said that the Maitre D' comes out with their dinner, and the conversation halts while they eat their dinner. The steak is excellent, and the wine is... wine. It's good, but to the pair's unrefined palate they wouldn't be able to tell good wine from great wine. The rest of the night goes smoothly, with the pair easing into random chatter and small talk, and when the night comes to and end, they part, having found themselves some new friends.