Sep. 6th, 2010

Date Night

Sep. 6th, 2010 06:00 am
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He walked her to her flat in Lambeth, which was going to be a considerable hike from the flat he shared with Travis near Regents Park. They walked up the small flight of steps to the door, Nicholas leaning casually against the stone front of the old house as Janine fished her keys from her modest-sized purse.

“We should definitely do this again, some time,” Nicholas said, trying to sound like Hugh Grant, and mentally kicking himself for sounding like an idiot, instead. At least when Hugh Grant sounds like an idiot, he’s still charming.

Janine smiled at him as she found her keys. “Yeah,” she agreed. She easily unlocked the door and held it open slightly. “You have my number.”

Without really thinking, which is the way one is supposed to go about these sorts of things, Nicholas leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips, thanking God that it was dark, and she couldn’t see his face turning red. He tried to contain his surprised gasp when Janine responded, opening her mouth slightly and kissing him back.

“Want to come inside?” she asked quietly.

“Uhm...” Idiot. That was not the right word. It wasn’t even a word. “I mean, sure.”

She just laughed and opened the door, inviting him to follow inside. The apartment was full of cardboard boxes, half-packed and stacked randomly. “Sorry about the state of it,” she said.

“Moving out or moving in?” Nicholas asked, doing his best to avoid bumping into any of it.

“Out,” Janine said, leading Nicholas by the hand to the front room. “Well, Denise is, anyway.”

“And she’s left you trying to figure out the rent situation?” Nicholas asked. He was too busy looking at the huge amount of stuff to notice how close she’d moved to him.

“I’ll manage.” She slid up next to him, putting her arms round his waist. The sudden contact caused Nicholas to jump sharply. He could see where this was going, and wasn’t quite sure he’d wanted it to go there just yet.

At least she hadn’t tried to offer him coffee, first.

“I – no, I can’t,” he said awkwardly. Though he did find himself mildly surprised that the actual contact part wasn’t actually bothering him. “I’m sorry.”

Janine pulled away. “Right,” she said. She sounded disappointed, and a little embarrassed.

“No, it’s me,” Nicholas assured. “I don’t like to rush in to these things.”

“No, I get it,” she said.

Nicholas sighed. He couldn’t win either way. “I did enjoy tonight,” he said. “And I do plan on calling you again.”

Not sure what else to do, he started to see himself out. After a few moments, Janine followed him toward the door.

“You just don’t like to rush these things,” she repeated back, still not sounding entirely convinced.

Nicholas just smile. “Yeah, it’s... complicated,” he said. “Travis and Dave know I’m like this – but don’t talk to them. They just make things up. Especially Travis. Just forget I said anything. I should go.”

She smiled at him as she opened the door. “Probably,” she agreed.

“Yeah.” He stepped out of the flat and started walking down the exposed stairwell to the street below, looking up over his shoulder just as the door shut. For a moment, he contemplated going back up there and trying to end the night on a bit of a smoother note, but past experience told him that it only ever just made things worse.

Leave, and phone the next evening. Things always had a way of working themselves out, so long as he followed the routine.

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Police Chief Inspector Nicholas Angel

September 2013

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