June 02, 2018:

Rami sets up a second date with Simon.

The Met, Rami's Apartment


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

OOC: Poses inside the Met lost due to computer issues.

With the Metropolitan museum closing, the pair depart, getting shuffled out by security after spending too long flirting, teasing, and talking just about enough about themselves to make them seem like real people without giving away anything secret. Starting down the stairs, Simon glances aside, "So. Late dinner, or dessert? Just in case, I snacked before we went in…" he checks his watch, then chuckles, "Three hours ago. Wow."

Parambir is all smiles as they are shown out onto the grand, stone steps outside of the museum. She gives the security guard a polite smile before she catches Simon by his forearm, tugging him in close against her as they start down to the quiet, nighttime street below. She tilts her head as they walk down together. "You snacked just in case?" Her words are laced with laughter, and a broad smile pulls at her full lips. "Always prepared, aren't you?" Then she considers his actual offer, tucking a wayward lock of brown hair. "Dessert."

"I always wanted to be an Eagle Scout." But, apparently, he wasn't. Simon's amusement bubbles up to his lips along with her laughter, and he shrugs broadly, curling his arm in to help bring her close, "I didn't know how long we'd be in there, and if there'd be time for dinner after." There's a pause, and he flashes a grin, "Do you have a dessert place in mind, or is more 'trust the not-a-native-either' time?" His laughter bubbles up again, clearly teasing her.

"An Eagle Scout?" Rami alights on the street level, and glances casually left and right. She takes no step in either direction, instead she looses her arm from his to turn to face him. "Did you not think I could occupy us both in a museum for three hours? You underestimate me; we've barely made a dent." Then she arches a brow at him. "I hope you have an idea or two. I usually enjoy dessert in, not out."

"You know, you graduate from Weblos to Boy Scouts to Eagle Scouts." Simon starts toward the nearest crosswalk, but then stops as she turns toward him, turning about to return the favor. There's a moment when he is about to protest, but then she's continuing on, and his brows lift sharply for a moment before his smile spreads wide from within his ginger beard, "For a second, I thought that was an invitation. But yeah, there are a couple of good ice cream places around here, a kosher dessert place, a French bakery, and an Italian restaurant that does desserts."

"A… Weblos?" Then she shakes her head, just laughing to herself. "I'm aware of 'Boy Scouts,' but I have no bloody idea what a Weblos is." The moment of protest does have her smiling once more and she arches up a single dark brow at him again. "Oh, I was offering an invitation, but you can take me to an appropriately benign dessert place instead." With barely a pause, she continues on. "No ice cream. Something Italian would be nice."

At that, Simon is just going to let the Weblos go. Instead, he nods sharply, gesturing across the street, "Take-out? Trattoria Vittorio has great desserts, and since you're not interested in ice cream, there's nothing to melt." He offers out his left hand and arm again, half-turned toward the east, ready to lead the way. Apparently, he is now in a hurry, despite three hours of ambling around a museum. It's almost like he has incentive to move quickly.

"Lead the way," Parambir slips her hand down to gather his own with hers, finger twining with his. His eagerness has her smiling warmly, and she bites lightly at her narrower lower lip while she continues to smile. She just keeps stride with him as they cross along the sidewalk and crosswalks, letting him lead her.

The clasping of her hand at his turns Simon's smile to her directly, even as he starts forward. He has enough awareness about him to avoid a pair of too narrow men talking too quiet and too fast, clearly on something, "You've had Italian dessert before, yeah? Or are you just going to pick something that either sounds interesting or that you heard in The Godfather?" Yes, more teasing from the ginger totally-not-a-spy.

"I've had Italian desserts before." The Sikh woman arches her brow slightly as another smile warms her features. She strides easily with him, and her eyes barely follow the two, fast-talking men as they walk past. "From Italy." Then the totally-not-a-spy squeezes his fingers lightly as they cross the street toward the next corner.

"I'm just check — " And then she has to one-up him, and Simon laughs easily, lightly. "Fine, fine, your turn to show off." The trattoria isn't far, somehow managing a small, homey atmosphere despite only being a couple of blocks from Central Park. "Work or pleasure? And if it was work, please tell me you at least got to take a little time for sightseeing. That's the one thing that most everywhere else has going for it over the US — at least the one that we'll admit to — there's just so damned much history everywhere else, history that's celebrated, not covered up or destroyed."

Rami follows along at his eager pace, her smile an ever constant as they cross the street to the trattoria. She tilts her head, dark hair falling across her forehead lightly. "Work and pleasure… taken there for work, but I had quite a bit of fun while I was there." When she wasn't tracking Brit through Florence, of course. She tilts her head as she steps up into the restaurant with him, looking across the room with a trained glance of her eyes and then she's back to Simon. "You do not think your country celebrates its history?"

Rami follows along at his eager pace, her smile an ever constant as they cross the street to the trattoria. She tilts her head, dark hair falling across her forehead lightly. "Work and pleasure… taken there for work, but I had quite a bit of fun while I was there." When she wasn't tracking Brit through Florence, of course. She tilts her head as she steps up into the restaurant with him, looking across the room with a trained glance of her eyes and then she's back to Simon. "You do not think your country celebrates its history?"

Nodding his acceptance of her description, Simon settles into line behind another couple, his fingers squeezing hers lightly then releasing so that he can touch his hand to the small of her back, allowing them to take up less room in the little entry. The question causes him to shrug a little helplessly, "I think the United States celebrates parts of its history, but that we pretty much ignore anything that isn't an awesome military victory." Gesturing up ahead to the waiter taking the order from the couple ahead of them, "They have a couple of light cakes, a heavy caramel one, and of course, cannolis. I like the lemon cake, but it's all good."

The tall woman slows just enough to let Simon come up behind her as they wait behind the other couple. She smiles warmly when it is their turn to order, and she slides a glance toward Simon before she looks back to the waiter. "A slice of lemon cake and two sfogliatella, please." Then she looks back to Simon with a light curve of her red lips. "But that is common of a young nation like yours, Simon… the war victories are the easiest ones to celebrate. In time, other victories will be celebrated." Her voice has a light, almost aged sound to it as memories flood into one another.

"And is that just for you," Simon teases Rami, then upnods to the waiter, "plus two limoncellos." His free hand comes up with a folded bill tucked between the fingers, passed off to the waiter without any fuss. Looking back to Rami, he grins, "If you don't want one of those, I'll drink them both. And yeah, there's plenty of victories to celebrate. It's the bad stuff that we've forgotten." Something about her tone causes the spy to tilt his head slightly to one side, curiosity flickering behind his gaze for a moment.

Rami catches herself after a heartbeat, and she's back to her warm, fully smile. She shakes her head lightly at the lemoncellos, and she laughs. "I won't let you drink alone, Simon." Then she curls a had up behind her head, gracing her fingers under her dark hair and along the back of her neck. She tilts her head into her hand lightly. "What bad stuff, then?"

The waiter comes back with a brown bag, for which Simon offers out a couple of bills more openly, "Keep the change." And then he's guiding Rami back toward the door, the bag in his right hand, "The same shit as anywhere. Colonists killing natives, slavery, everyone hating anyone whose family got here after theirs… all the perfect second-date topics." He stops at the curb, "So are do we get a car, or are we walking?"

The Sikh woman tucks a lock of hair behind her ear as he guides her out, glancing back just once over her shoulder. Then her focus is rapt once more on Simon, and it does not slide even as they step out on the curb. She smiles up at him with a warmth in her brown eyes. She squeezes his fingers lightly and then lightly shakes her head. "I'm just a few blocks from here, so let's walk." She gives his hand a tug, starting to guide him toward her apartment.

Simon's eyes follow the hair being teased about, and he nods as she takes his hand once more and leads the way, "A few blocks away, and you never made it to the Met. I think that your mom's keeping you too busy with blind dates. Or your work keeps you too busy working on communications." His grin spreads wide, "One or the other has to break at some point, so you can actually enjoy living in New York while you're here."

"I have been very busy since I arrived in New York City, yes." Her voice is warm, soft, and just slightly tired. It has been a very long few weeks — hunting down the Carters, the troubles in SHIELD, and her own side work. She crosses the street with his fingers twisted with hers, and they near her building. It is a nondescript structure of brown and white, and its construction has been recently updated thanks to the ever-expanding gentrification of the area. She steps up the three short steps to her door, and taps her fob to the panel; the door buzzes and she pulls it open while stepping inside, handing the door back to Simon so he can enter the modest lobby that is mostly mailboxes and an elevator at the back. It's quiet and empty at this hour, and Rami crosses for the elevator with just a glance behind her toward Simon.

Simon catches the door as she pulls it open, holding it for her. He glances around briefly, but his attention is quickly drawn back to the Sikh woman, catching that glance back and answering with a smile as he follows her into the elevator, doing his best not to watch her push the button for her floor even as his training screams at him to gather all the information possible. "What other amazing New York landmarks and experiences have you missed out on?"

Rami rests against the elevator wall, hands on the rail behind her. She looks up at him with a tilt of her head and the curve of her smile softens a bit into a simple red curve. "My guess is everything… I've not really ventured very far. Are you already planning some follow-ups?" Then the elevator dings on her floor — the fifth floor — and she steps out to guide him down the short hallway to her unit. She draws out her keys — a surprisingly unadorned keyring — and unlocks her door to let him into her comfortable, but sparse living arrangements. She holds the door open for him so she can close and secure it.

After Rami has made her floor selection, Simon steps close, shifting a little aside so that he isn't exactly looming, but definitely close enough that his toes just cross hers. "Well, I think it's my turn next." His voice lowers just a touch with the nearness… and then the elevator dings to its destination and he steps back, shepherding her to her own door, "And I just wanted to know if there was anything in particular that should be on the list." Following her into her apartment, he glances around briefly, taking in what's visible from the entry, and then evidently dismissing it — even as part of his brain continues to process what he saw. Hefting up the little brown bag, he inquires, "Where should I take this?"

"Surprise me," Parambir murmurs to him at the offer of finding the next location for their date. Then she is looking to the brown bag he hefts up, and she laughs. She nods him to the sofa — a plain, nondescript piece of furniture that goes with all the rest of her rather nondescript furniture. She steps to the kitchen to get a pair of forks and some paper towels, leaving him to look around her rather sparse apartment. There's family photos, at the centerpiece of her photographs is a smiling picture of Rami, a man that must be her father, and a much older woman that must be her grandmother; her father and grandmother are both wearing turbans of vibrant blue, whereas Rami is wearing a scarf of the same shade about her throat. All three look blissfully happy in a joyful moment captured by the camera.

There are two bedrooms attached to this main room — one is open and leads to a simple bedroom, while the other is closed with a heavy door and keypad. A sign that says 'None Of Your Fucking Business' is hanging on it.

Simon undoubtedly spotted the suspicious keypad and sign, but he instead follows her nod to the living room. There's a moment's pause, and then he sets the bag down on a side-table so that he can pull off his shoes and leave them by the door. The bag is gathered up again, and he makes his way into the living room proper, setting down on the couch and extricating the pastries, the cake, and the two small paper cups with their plastic caps filled with potent, chilled lemon liqueur, "I get the feeling that not a whole lot surprises you, Rami." There's a pause, and then he chuckles, "Besides me being white. But I'll do my best." Despite a studied nonchalance, he notes, "You're close to your father and… his mother… then?"

She slips out of her flats, tucking them aside by the door as she passes. She carries with her a pair of forks and the napkins, and curls up on the couch with her legs tucked under her. She sets down the utensils on the coffee table, and then starts to look over the gathered sweets and liqueur. She glances up toward him at his assumption, and it incites another laugh from her. "I have enjoyed the surprises so far." She smiles as she glances toward her photos, where she assumes Simon has gathered that information. "Yes. Very close. We have a strong connection." Very strong. Genetically strong…

The pastries are spun out in front of her on the table, and the cake drawn in close to Simon. The limoncello, however, gets primacy, and he pops the tops off them and nods, "I'll try to keep the surprises good." Gathering up one cup, he offers the other out to her, "Glad to hear it. I think family's sort of the heart of what it means to be a person." There's something a little wistful in the statement, but he clears it up with a shrug, "It's a nice place you've got here, Rami. I have to admit that mine isn't usually this clean." Actually, it's usually quite neat, because clutter is a liability if he has to disappear.

The woman starts to smile once more — a smile that is starting to be the kind Simon incites. It's warm and soft, and brings softness to her eyes. She takes the offered drink in her fingers, sipping at it as she glances back toward her family photos. Her smile goes a little wry. "Well, my family is Indian… that should speak enough to that if you know anything about Indian families." She laughs lightly before she glances around at the apartment. "I don't like clutter, or useless trinkets. It needs to serve a purpose." She clears her throat, and finally glances toward the keypad door, and she tries to keep a casual note to her voice. "My roommate likes her privacy, as I'm sure you've noticed." She takes another sip of the lemony drink, smiling at its flavor. "You like lemon, don't you?"

Simon laughs easily, curling his left arm on the back of the sofa so that he can half-turn toward her. He takes a sip of his own liqueur, lets the chill liquid sit on his tongue a moment, and then swallows, his chuckles returning as the drink cools his throat, "Yeah, I pretty much think that about covers everything as far as family is concerned." The glance to the door draws his brows up, and he looks around the living room again, "Good thing she's not a slob. I was wondering if I was in the wrong consulting business, you being able to afford a two-bedroom this close to the Park." The comment on his tastes make him look down at his chosen cake, and he laughs, shrugging a little helplessly, "It's an Old Word taste. I don't know, I like citrus. A guy like me, I'm supposed to like bourbon or whiskey, but give me a margarita any time."

The Sikh is turned toward Simon on the couch, legs folded up beneath her, and a warm smile spread across her red lips. Her elbow rests on the couch, fingers twisted into her dark hair to brace her head. Her smile redoubles at his laughter. She bypasses further comment about her 'room mate,' and instead focuses on Simon. The lies are easier there, more believable. "Lemons come from India, you know… the region of Assam. A hybrid of the bitter orange and citron. I prefer the citron over lemon… far more fragrant." Her smile widens a bit more before she takes another sip from her lemoncello. She presses her lips together a bit, tasting the residue of the sweet, chilled lemon. She then leans forward, setting down the cup beside her pastries that have, for now, gone untouched.

Simon chuckles readily at Rami's history lesson, offering up the Hindi word for the citron. "The fragrance is great. The flavor… solid, but I like lemon and lime better." He shrugs a little helplessly, "What can I say, I'm a barbarous American." He finishes off his own limoncello, setting down the cup, and then reaches out to touch Rami's hand. His fingers just touch the back a moment, and then he leans forward slowly, aiming to give her time to protest before he gathers up her lips in a slow kiss.

"Quite barbarous." Rami's words are breathed before he claims that kiss. Her eyes flutter shut as she leans in closer into the kiss. Her fingers slip out of her own hair to curl around the collar of his shirt, slipping back behind his head through his ginger hair. She slides closer still until she is pressed up against his side, curled against him. Her full lips part after a heartbeat, tasting his mouth with a soft grace of her tongue. Then she is leaning back slightly, her nose brushing across his.

The murmured words cause Simon's lips to curl against Rami's in a smile, but he soon sinks into the kiss instead, his body opening to welcome her close against his side. The man's left hand takes the place of her hand in brushing back the locks of her hair, and his eyes close in the caress against his scalp. The touch of her tongue to his lips draws him after her when she retreats, but the brush of her nose stills him, the fingers of his right hand just touching the curve of her hip. The chuckle returns, and he shrugs a little helplessly, "Maybe you don't have enough barbarians in your life?" Amusement threads through his murmured words, for all that they are husky in his throat.

Morning comes. Her dreams are thick with memories colliding into memories, meshing and twisting together. In a moment of absolute clarity, she stands before a battlefield as the sun crests over the horizon, turning the monochrome of night into the bleak high-definition of day. She can feel the chill of a long night rescind as the skies warm with the sun. She closes her eyes, and then wakes.

In those first moments of waking, Parambir Ghai is lost to the memories of all the other bearers before her. New memories from her father and grandmother flood her synapses, and she can feel the soft yield of the naan dough between her old, arthritic fingers while her grandmother speaks to her father. Memories of the conversation braid together into coherence as she hears and speaks both sides of their words. Chiran is worried about Parambir's safety in New York City; he doesn't think that these Carters are the ones she should be trusting. What if they decide her loyalties are too torn, and that is she is a risk? He could call in a tip to MI-6. Ellora refutes these ideas outright, shaming him for not recognizing the absolute confidence that Rami has in her loyalties. But what of this Simon Green?

"Simon," Rami groans, pressing the heel of her hand into her eye socket, placing pressure there. Fragments of the night before cut into the flooding memories from Ellora and Chiran. She can't seem to piece everything together logically as she still feels the scrapes of dough cling to her fingers, and the way her fingers trace the lines of her beard. No. Not hers. His. She groans softly again, and starts to pull away from him, reaching for the side of the bed where she can slide onto her feet.

To manage deep cover, it's possible to be a deep sleeper, but you absolutely have to wake up quickly and fully when you do. It's not the groan that wakes Simon up, but the pull away from his enfolding arm. His hand grasps lightly at her hip, providing some resistance, and then his fingers loose, his eyes fluttering to buy himself time to put his own memories together. His process is a great deal easier: 'am I working under the cover name she mentioned?' With an affirmative answer to his own question, blue eyes open slowly, and he murmurs, "Rami? Good morning." The self-satisfied smile that settles onto his lips can be heard easily in his voice. He too slides to the edge of the bed, but just to put his feet on the floor and reach out for her hips with gentle, calloused hands.

Rami. My name is Rami. She feels the words building in her throat, but it battles with her own instincts. She can't start her mantra now, not with a lover in her bed. This has happened before — waking beside someone who isn't part of her morning routines. But it has been a long time. She breathes out her nose as he touches her, and she reaches down to touch his wrist with a brush of her fingers. "Morning," she manages, her voice sounding a bit thick — almost as if she's hungover. She withdraws again, getting to her feet and stepping forward with half-lidded eyes. A thin cotton robe is taken habitually from its hook, and she is walking toward the opened bathroom door attached to the bedroom. She needs to get inside. The naan is almost done. She can hear the crickets in the garden and the lazy way the spray of water passes over the plants relaxes her as she worries about her daughter. My name is Rami.

Simon's smile fades as she pulls away again, his head tilting slightly to one side in question. He doesn't hold on, however, letting his hands drop to his bare knees. Watching the woman grab the robe and walk out of the room, he grimaces a little, but doesn't protest. Instead, he crosses the room, gathering up his boxer-briefs and pulling them on. "You okay?" There are so many additions he could make to that question, so many qualifiers or details. But instead he starts to find his scattered clothes. It won't be his first walk of shame.

There's no reply at first. Parambir has shut the door and turned to face the mirror. The robe is dropped to her feet, and she instead leans onto her palms braced on the counter. She stares into her reflection, breathing slow and meditative breaths. Her brown eyes hold her own gaze. "You are Parambir Kaur Ghai, born the 26th of May," she says in a low, soft voice, the Punjabi flowing from her with practiced ease. "Your mother is Oya, your father is Chiron. You are the Bearer of the Blessing. You hold the memories of all that came before you. You are Parambir Kaur Ghai." She repeats this twice more, letting the words flow through her. When she finally looks away from her reflection, she finds steadiness in her stance. It is a good start. She turns on the sink, letting the water flow over the skin of her hands. Her hands. She looks at the familiar lines of her palms, the small scar from a knife on her right thumb. She remembers Simon, remember his words, and finally she responds: "I'm alright." She pulls on the robe, drawing it around her before belting it closed in a loose knot. She opens the door. "I just… needed a moment. I wasn't feeling myself…"

The low flow of Punjabi from the bathroom is below the threshold of Simon's ability to make out words, but he can hear that she is speaking. He has his pants and undershirt on by the time Rami is done with her mantra, and has settled onto the side of the bed with his shirt beside him and shoes before him, pulling on his second sock. When he looks up, it's with a touch of surprise, "Good. I mean, that you're alright. The pastries not sit well, or…?" unspoken is the 'was it the other things that happened last night.'

The sight of him getting dressed floods her with uncertain emotions. She clears her throat, tucking a bit of hair behind her ear and looking down a bit at her bare feet. She then steps forward, mind racing with uncertainty. A gut instinct wants her to tell him, but then she steps back from it. She's lost her nerve. She instead slowly lowers down to sit beside him on the bed. Her fingers touch his wrist gently, stopping him from continuing to dress. "Nothing like that. The pastries were delicious, and I have zero complaints about last night. Mornings are just… difficult for me. I do not often dream well, and I'm not always sure if I'm awake or asleep when I first wake up. I should have warned you. I'm sorry." Lies based in truth, that's what they teach you. This was as much truth as she could give him.

Simon pauses himself at her uncertainty, but when she loses her nerve, he reads it — wrong — and starts to pull his sock on again. The touch to his hand stops him, and he looks up from the foot drawn up on his other knee, studying her features as she tells him the near-lies… or near-truths, as it may be. His brows lift, an open expression, and he listens with something approaching intensity, soaking the information in. A little smile spreads across his lips, and he nods, "Glad it's just bad dreams, and not regrets." The sock half-dangling off his foot is more than a little ridiculous, and he pulls it off, leaving him in his bare feet as well, "Sorry you wake up hard. I'm okay with some surprises now and then," his grin spreads wider, "Although I usually prefer beautiful women beating me to the punch and taking me to bed than people waking up hard."

When he pulls back off his sock, the slight tension she had been holding onto melts away. She slides her hand along his wrist up to his shoulder, and she turns him toward her slightly with pressure on his collarbone. She presses a soft kiss to his lips, lingering for a heartbeat before she sinks back. Her smile is warm as she looks up at him. "You'll just have to accept both as our reality… a beautiful woman taking you to bed and then her waking up hard the next morning." She bites softly at her smaller lower lip. "Still good for breakfast?"

The hand sliding up his arm sends a shiver up his spine, and Simon purses his lips against hers, smiling under the kiss. "I'll see if I can manage." The question, however, causes him to nod, and he straightens up, rising to his feet and offering his hands down to her, "Do you know a good place?" His blue eyes sparkle with mischief, "Or do you want something a little closer for breakfast? Are you trying to test my stamina?"

Relief passes through her as he offers his hands down to her. She captures them with her own and pulls herself up to her feet. "I know a place." Then she steps in closer and presses another soft kiss to his lips. She speaks against that gentle press of her mouth to his. "We have lots of time to test your stamina." She grins slyly before she gives his hands a squeeze. "I will need just about fifteen minutes, if that's alright?" She starts to step away, squeezing his hands as she backs up a couple steps.

Hauling her up to her feet, Simon drops his hands down to the small of her back, dipping his head the relatively short distance toward hers, meeting the kiss midway. "Good, because I was going to be a bit blue…" As she starts to step back, one hand rises up to cup her cheek, turning her head into another slow dance of lips and just a hint of tongue. And then he drops his hands, letting her retreat, "I think about fifteen minutes would be a good idea. I don't know any places around here where you showing up like that wouldn't cause a scene." He settles down onto the edge of the bed again, reaching down for his socks once more.

When he turns her back for a second kiss, it almost changes her plans for the morning. Almost. She needs these fifteen minutes. The mantra before the mirror was just the start; there is more to do. She squeezes his hand once before she turns back toward the bathroom and its attached closet, tugging a bit of hair behind her ear. She smiles over her shoulder to him before she shuts the door behind her, leaving him in her bedroom. She quietly presses her back into the door, closing her eyes. She then pushes off the door, stepping forward to turn off the light and send her into darkness. She slips down onto her knees before the cabinet, opening it to remove what could easily be confused for typical bathroom decor. Operating on blind memory, she lights the candles, and the incense, and kneels on the soft carpet before the sink. She starts to breathe deeply, meditatively, and begins her morning prayers.

Simon assumes that Rami is washing up, putting on her face, and getting dressed. The actual ritual would be far more interesting. Without thinking, he glances around her sparse bedroom, taking in the few decorations as he pulls on his socks and his shirt, leaving it unbuttoned over his undershirt for now. He checks his pockets, making sure he still has his wallet, keys, and phone, then wanders out of the bedroom into the hall. Part of him wants to listen and the door to the bathroom, and he does for a heartbeat, pausing there between two steps, but all he smells is the incense, which could easily be confused for 'typical female bathroom scents.' Padding down the hallway, he hesitates longer at the door with the clearly-added-on keypad. Fifteen minutes, she said…

Simon ducks down, kneeling for a moment as he studies the keypad without touching it. Caution wars with curiosity, and for the moment, caution wins out. Instead, he pulls out his phone, keys in a double-code to open the hidden SHIELD functionality, and then takes a picture of the keypad. Standing up, a repeat of the second code hides the picture behind a layer of encryption, leaving him with an apparently default Sphone. He makes his way into the kitchen next, looking around to spot the materiel for making coffee. After fifteen minutes, there are two cups of coffee cooling from near-boiling, with the grounds in the trash and the filter-cup washed and in the drying rack.

Rami rocks back to sit on her heels. She reconnects with her own spirit, her own memories, and becomes the dominant presence in her own mind. The smell and feel of the naan passes, and she can no longer hear the sounds of Southall muddled behind her humming father and the whooshing spray of the hose over the garden boxes. She brushes her hands back through her hair, pinning the locks against the back of her neck as she breathes out a meditative breath. She leans forward, murmuring a thankful prayer to Guru Nanak before she blows out the candles and snuffs the incense. She blindly tucks away the ritual items, and slowly stands to turn back on the light. She foregoes much of her other preparations for the morning, brushing her long hair into a tidy braid, splashing a bit of water on her face, and cleansing away yesterday's make-up. She leaves her lips bare save for a bit of balm.

When she finally rejoins Simon in the kitchen, she's dressed in dark denim, a tunic-cut shirt, and a light bomber-style jacket. Her sandals show off the red paint on her toes. She smiles toward him and the cups of coffee, stepping forward to gather up a cup. "Already getting comfortable in my kitchen?"

Apparently, Simon waited for her to choose her cup, because he collects one a moment later, taking a sip and then setting it down once more, "I figured the caffeine would make up for any invasion of privacy." He starts in on his shirt buttons next, "I think I'm feeling a little shabby," one hand gestures to her attire, "easy breezy cover-girl and all that." Tucking in his shirt, he reaches for the coffee cup again, "You want some time to check your email and stuff, or is Sunday safe and we can head for breakfast?"

"Safe Sunday?" Rami sips at her coffee, smiling at him over the rim of the simple Target-bought mug. Then she sets it down, and steps around the counter so she can help him with his shirt, fixing his collar with a wry smile on her lips. "I was thinking more… scruffy… than shabby." She graces the pads of her fingers across either side of his jaw, playing with the wiry hairs of his beard. Then she drops her hand to his, collecting it between her fingers. "Breakfast. It's Safe Sunday." By her tone, she's chosen to adopt his choice title as its official name and she starts to lead him toward the door.

"Scruffy." Simon chuckles a little ruefully, although the teasing at his beard draws some of the ruefulness from his smile. Squeezing her fingers, he nods, "Safe Sunday. Safe from work, hopefully." He holds back a heartbeat to take another sip of the coffee, dragging his feet a little so that he can stretch out to set the mug back down on the counter. Only then does he hurry his steps to catch up with her and get his shoes from the door on so that they can depart. "So, what's this great place you know in the area?"

Rami is amused by his lingering with his coffee cup, and it gives her time to wrap an airy blue scarf around her neck. It is the same scarf she's wearing in the picture with her grandmother and father — the center of her world. She grabs up her own wallet, keys, and a tote bag; she him out the door so she can lock up. She glances over her shoulder to him with a wry smile at her lips. "Do you remember breakfast in the Punjab?" She locks the door and then tucks the keys and wallet into her bag. "There's a little restaurant down the street that serves dosa and stuffed paratha. Your American breakfasts are too sweet. They make my teeth hurt." She hesitates just a heartbeat before she offers her hand out to him.

Simon's shoes are tied and he's back up again, stepping out the door as she ushers him out of the apartment, "You found a place that does good dosa?" There's both surprise and pleasure in the question, "Don't get me wrong, I love an old-fashioned donut, and it's hard to beat a short stack of pancakes, but the flavor mix is definitely… flatter… in American breakfasts. Not as rich." The hesitation gives him time for his own moment of hesitation, so when she reaches out, he threads his fingers in with hers and gives a little squeeze. "Did your mother give you that scarf? Or your grandmother? It looks very nice on you."

"No. Yashminder found a place that does good dosa and then shared the address." Rami laughs outright at that. "He's my fixer." Then she ducks her head a bit at the squeeze he gives her hand, and it relaxes her smile a bit more. She half-leads, half-follows as she guides him through her apartment building toward the elevator. She touches the scarf as he mentions it, and then smiles up at him. "Grandmother. It's from her own collection… apparently her father brought it back from France. Its my favorite."

"Ahhh. I see how it is. He shares with his hot tips with his hot cousin, not his ginger friend." Simon chuckles, watching her reminisce about the scarf. "Good reason for it to be your favorite." As the elevator dings open, he steps inside, reaching back for the 'L' button, then turns to plant his backside on the back wall. As the doors begin to slide closed without any indication that they will have company, he gives a little tug at her hand, aiming to draw her into him so that he can indulge in a long, slow kiss aimed to last the length of the elevator ride — and probably a little longer.

Rami just smiles wryly at his complaint. "Yashminder only serves one master." Not that Yash would like to hear her say that. She steps into the elevator after him, and she turns slightly to look at the elevator panel until she spots the lit button. She turns back toward him to speak only to be tugged forward. The Sikh melts into the kiss, becoming a soft weight against his body as she indulges in each turn of the kiss. It isn't a terribly long ride, and the doors stay open for several long seconds before she hears the sound of them shutting. She pulls back out of the kiss to catch the opened door, stopping them, and then she smiles to Simon. "Troublemaker." Then she steps on out, pulling him along through the lobby toward the street. Its bright and active with the usual Sunday business. She acts as guide now, pulling him along toward the little restaurant called The Purple Pomegranate.

Simon grins in the wake of the kiss, the smile growing wider and even more crooked at her charge, "Yes'm," he confirms. For a guy who seems at first glance like he would be an alpha-dog, the ginger agent plays an able follow, taking turns as soon as she even starts to indicate them. "You're good at this, by the way. The 'comfortable together' thing. It makes me think that you've had a lot of offers for second dates. You just haven't taken them up on it." The name draws a lift of his brows, and he chuckles, "If that isn't a double entendre, I'm going to be real disappointed."

Parambir looks to him as he starts to compliment her, and a bit of a blush warms her dark cheeks. She shakes her head slightly. "You make it easy, Simon. I'll give you that. I have enjoyed our time together, and that makes it easy." She squeezes his hand gently before she releases him, stepping inside with a small smirk. "You're going to be disappointed. Indians do not believe in double entendre." Then she brightens for the young, dark-skinned woman at the hostess podium. The two instantly launch into comfortable Punjabi. Rami is obviously regarded as the older of the two in this conversation, as the younger woman remains respectful in her jubilance at seeing Rami. After their exchange, the younger woman's gaze settles on Simon and she starts to grin almost slyly. She switches to English.

"I see you're bringing your work home, Rami." She collects two menus and starts to lead the two back through the lovely restaurant. It looks like it has seen its own gentrification to match the neighborhood, but the sounds coming from the kitchen suggest that it still has a family staff and the squabbles are real. The woman sets the menus down on a table for two, and the table has a view of the street. Rami slips onto a chair and smiles toward Simon once the girl moves on.

Simon returns Rami's smile, although he follows after her with two raised fingers, ready to 'correct' her assertion that Indians don't believe in double entendres, only to find himself facing two women instead of one. He quickly drops his hand to his side again, flashing a smile back into place. His eyes flicker back and forth as the Punjabi exchange takes place, but it isn't until Rami is addressed in English that he responds, in his not-quite-a-native-but-very-much-fluent Punjabi, "I'm really not much of work. I try to make things easy." Still, it's said with a smile as he follows the women through the restaurant, moving to pull out Rami's chair and tuck it under her again as he notes, still in Punjabi, "It's a lovely restaurant." Only then does he come around to his own chair and settle in, switching back to English, "As I was going to say… I call B.S. on Indians not believing in double entendres. I've seen the temples and read the Book."

Rami picks up her menu, but doesn't really look at it. It's for show. She knows what she will order, and so does the waiter who approaches their table. The man is all smiles for Rami, and a bit more suspicious toward Simon. He does bear a pot of tea and two cups though, setting them both down at the center of the table. "Parambir, good to see you. I see you brought a breakfast companion with you." He smiles and nods to Simon before he looks back to Rami. The Sikh nods gently, smiling toward him. "Simon, this is Ra. He's a friend of Yashminder's." Because everything comes back to Yashminder. Ra nods to Simon, exchanges greetings, and then notes that Simon is in Rami's capable hands before he departs.

Rami pours the tea out into the two cups; its light in color and fragrant. "You can always get coffee if you prefer," she promises him. She arches a brow, smiling after a moment. "And what book is the Book, then?"

Her companion, on the other hand, has to actually look over the menu. He glances over it, then look up to be introduced to Ra. He responds in Punjabi, either out of courtesy or trying to impress. "Good morning. Any friend of Rami and Yashminder's is a friend of mine." And then the man is gone, and Simon gathers up the cup of tea, "This will do fine, Rami." Her question, of course, causes him to laugh, leaning forward a little and responding quietly, "The Sutra, of course. What other Indian book do gora," Hindi this time, 'outsiders,' "know about?"

Parambir sips at her tea, fingertips holding the iron cup at its rim. She smiles at him through the lazy gray silk of the steam. She slips into Punjabi, perhaps testing him as she keeps to a light, purposeful conversation. "That's what all outsiders like to know about… the Sutra. Do you think that all India girls giggle over the book and memorize its wisdom to later impress lovers?" She sips at her tea again, narrowing her eyes now. "We do have other important things to do than wonder how anyone could possibly bend that way." She sets down her tea cup between her hands, smiling warmly at him.

Simon gives the menu another look, then sets it aside to pick up his teacup, "I don't need to know about it. And no," his eyes twinkle as he repeats her words back to her, "I think most Indian girls have more important things to do than wonder how anyone could possibly bend that way." He takes a sip, then sets his cup down again, "Besides, it's the simpler ways that I like the best. No strained muscles." His Punjabi holds up pretty well. Every now and then he has to search for a word for a heartbeat, adding tiny little pauses to his words, but generally it is smooth and easy, "But it's just the book that I think of when someone mentions Indians and double entendres in the same breath."

"Mmhmm," Rami muses with amusement. "I'll keep your simple ways in mind." Then she takes another sip of the tea. Then Ra returns for their order — or Simon's order to be more precise. He already knows what Rami will have. The woman leans back in her chair, fingers still curled around her tea cup as she lets Simon order.

Simon's hands spread in a tiny little helpless shruglette in response to her words, "I'm willing to have my mind changed." Looking up to Ra as the waiter returns, he offers a smile, "The eggplant and cheese dosa with lamb keema, please." He takes another sip of his tea as Ra departs, then turns his attention back to Rami, "Are you convinced yet that I'm not just parroting lines Yashminder gave me to impress you? Not that I wouldn't mind impressing you, of course."

The order makes her smile with amused satisfaction. The white boy knows how to appreciate food. She nods to Ra. "Usual, though I'll take the potato cake, too." Then she hands Ra her menu before she looks back to Simon, leaning forward on her elbows with the tea cup between her. "I never thought you were parroting lines that Yashminder gave you. He's not very good at that." Then she starts to laugh. "Though I would be interested to hear what he did tell you about me before our first date." She sips at her tea again, brow arched slightly.

"Oh good. At least I've gotten past… what was that old movie… the guy with the long nose?" Simon chuckles easily, "Or maybe it's just that he never made it that far to begin with." He stays leaned forward at the little table despite his voice not being covered by the hush anymore, "He said that you were attractive, smart, kind, and very, very busy. He understated on every point, didn't he?" Only waiting a moment, he adds, "He also added that he was running out of candidates he thought were good enough. I'm not sure how I feel about being the bottom of the barrel, but I'm glad he scraped it."

"Roxanne? The one about Cyrano de Bergerac?" She's slipped back into English. While she talks, she traces her fingertip lazily around the rim of her cup. She looks up after a moment, brows arched when he gives Yashminder's assessment of her life. The mention of barrels has her laughing lightly, and she shakes her head. "It's just because you're a white boy. If you were Indian, I'm sure you would have been a far sooner choice." But, the question would then be if she would have written him off because he was Indian. Simon has a bit of rebellion about him. "I think he was right about being very, very busy. I'm not sure how long Safe Sunday will stick." She gives him an honest and apologetic smile then. "But I'll do my best."

"Yes!" Simon points with two fingers again, "That's the one." The movement of her finger draws his eyes, and he only tries to keep his eyes from drifting past her raised hands to the neckline of her shirt for a moment. After giving in, his gaze flicks back up to her eyes, "Yes, but would you have been annoyed enough by all the other people you've been set up with to find me amusing?" He makes a soothing little gesture, "If you can make it through breakfast, I won't hold it against you." His grin flashes back to life, "And if you can, I'll just make you make it up to me."

Parambir arches a brow as her smile curves a little higher at the drifting of his eyes. Then she tilts her head, curling her fingers along the back of her neck as she smiles at him through the fall of her brown hair. "I don't know. And we will never know." She takes another sip of her tea, still smiling at him. "The point is that I find you amusing now." She takes a sip of her tea once more. "I'm sure we can make it through breakfast. My phone is neatly stowed away in my bag, and I haven't even looked at it."

Simon shrugs a little apologetically, although the crooked grin on his lips takes some of the actual apology out of the gesture. "Well, I'm glad that you find me amusing, Rami Ghai." Holding up a finger, he adds, "Now." He glances down at the bag, "So noted." There's a moment's pause, and then he settles in easily, still leaning forward to shrink the distance between them, "So what were the worst mistakes some of the other first dates made? The funny ones, at least."

Rami collects the pot, pouring another cup of tea. It gives her time to think about those worst mistakes he wants to know about, and she smiles up at him after a heartbeat. Then she takes a sip from the cup. "Well, there was this one who had to take a business call just after a really fun ferris wheel ride…" Then she starts to grin teasingly before she shakes her head. "My first date in the states was with a young up-and-comer at one of those start-ups. He was looking for a traditional wife to look after his home while he was away. Making that clear the first date was probably for the best, but the argument of progressive female roles was quite entertaining in retrospect."

"Hey!" Simon protests, then shakes his head, "It was a text." Still, he nods, beckoning her to go on as he sips at his tea. The description causes him to wince, "Ouch. I'd like to think that he found himself a dominatrix to teach him some respect, but I'm betting he found someone to keep house — or he's still looking." Giving a little shrug, he adds, "You've got to give America that one, at least. Except for some real idiots, we're good with strong women. Some of the women I work with…" he shakes his head, chuckling, "Strong doesn't even start. No chance for sexist pricks there."

"Oh, I do believe he's engaged now." Rami takes a sip from her tea, and she doesn't sound at all perturbed by this news. Then she looks up in time to see Ra approaching with their plates, and she leans back a bit to make space for the two plates to be delivered. Her own meal looks similar to Simon's, but it has lots of greens and oranges compared to his meats. She does not pick up the utensils on the table, but instead poises her fingers to pinch the bottom of one part of the dosa so it holds in its ingredients. She looks up at him while she works. "To be fair, it has not always been the other person's mistake. I've played my own parts." She laughs ruefully. "There was this one… he took me out dancing instead of to a restaurant; we had drinks and were having a great time. The club was perfect, and I felt so relaxed. But then… work. I had only meant to step away for a few minutes, but I never… came back." She winces openly at that, and then finally takes a bite of her dosa.

Simon leans back reluctantly when the food arrives, gathering his own dosa up with practiced ease, "You? Do something wrong?" He laughs easily, "Well, at least I've been forewarned now." His eyebrows lift slightly at her story, "Oh? Well, I would generally blame that on work, but never coming back?" Curiosity, and perhaps even a bit of concern, filters into his expression, "Why not go back, Rami? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad, but I'm curious, too."

She tears off a bit of dosa, dragging it through some of the sauce on her plate. She tucks the food in her mouth, eating slowly as she looks across the table at him. Her throat tightens just a moment at his question, and memories of the night at the club filter through her. She couldn't go back. She was bloodied and just beat a SHIELD agent to shit, and stole supposedly-crucial data for her government. She shrugs her shoulders a bit, looking down. "Circumstances." She shakes her head. "My call didn't go as expected, and I needed to report back to my boss. I guess I…" She rubs at her forehead. "We all make shitty choices… that was one of mine." She smiles a bit, though it doesn't alight her eyes. She looks rather shamefaced about it. And something else… a guilt that doesn't quite fit with the story. She shakes her head, interrupting herself with a sip of tea. "I made my apologies, but I didn't make an attempts for a second date… and then Yashminder told me about you."

There are enough vagaries and evasions in the story — even unprompted — that Simon's suspicion and interest are both piqued. He eats as he listens, his eyes flickering to the door for a moment as a trio of apparent friends come in and are seated, but his attention shifts back to Rami easily. "Now you're putting a whole lot of pressure on me." A grin blossoms on his features, "Now I have to be worth skipping a second date with the club-man." Lowering the dosa, he reaches across the table with his left hand, aiming to squeeze her right forearm, "You don't have to be embarrassed by a bad choice." There's a pause, and he lowers his voice a little, even as the teasing lifts within it, "Unless it was putting your bare butt on a bathroom counter — those things are filthy."

Rami blushes abruptly at the mere idea of her bare butt on a countertop, and she laughs away her discomfort. She turns her hand to squeeze his forearm in turn. "Right, well… that didn't happen." Then she smiles ruefully as she takes another few bites of dosa, and then she smiles back up at him. The nerves and guilt melts away, and she's back to her normal self. "You're doing very well so far, if you need the encouragement. But I don't think you're the type to actually needle for compliments."

The blush causes Simon to laugh readily, fingers tightening on her forearm in a reassuring little squeeze before he leans back, digging into breakfast once more. He chews and swallows, then flashes a grin as he looses her hand to gather up his teacup in his left hand, "No, I tend to have enough self-confidence without the positive reinforcement." He sounds amused, "Not that it isn't welcome. I'm pretty sure everyone likes compliments." At least, everyone in Simon's world.

"Self-confidence is attractive, as long as it isn't too much self-confidence. Then it becomes less attractive." The Sikh woman finishes her dosa after a few more bites, save for a corner that she uses to mop up her plate to gather every last drop of the smear of egg whites, the soft yolk, and the chutney. Then she smiles up at him with a warmth in her brown eyes. "I like you, Simon. I hope I have been clear about that. You should know though… what happened with Dev at the dance club… could happen again. My work is really not kind to my social life. I will always apologize when my work interrupts us though. I just hope that you won't grow weary of those apologies."

"Right, no one likes an arrogant prat." Simon's teeth flash in the middle of his grin, "That's why I try not to be one. Occasionally my ego needs a little puncturing to make sure it doesn't get too big." He sets down the last of his own dosa, the last bite or two, and sucks off the ends of his fingers before he slowly sets his hands down, "I get it. And I pretty much like you too, Rami, even if I've spent like, eight or nine hours of time in your company — awake." He spreads his hands in another helpless shrug, "But like you saw, my own work butts in too. So I get it. We'll see if a relationship works with both of our schedules. If it does, great, if it doesn't… we've both seen how that goes, yeah?"

"I'll keep some needles on hand." Rami sips the last bits of her tea. She palms the cup between her hands, letting it roll along her skin and tickle her palms. She looks up at him when he offers those truths, and she smiles a bit ruefully. "Then at least we can make a promise not to drag it out too long if it isn't working out for either of us. If our work gets in the way of this… well… it sounds like we have already made promises to ourselves that our work is the most important thing to us right now." The truth is delivered brutally, but… having everything on the table is important. She gives him a small smile over the rim of her empty cup.

Simon salutes with his teacup at the needle comment, then sets it down without drinking, sighing faintly. He nods his understanding, then winces a little at the brutal truth that's laid out there before them. "Yeah. Sounds crazy, I know. But you know that too." He shrugs a little, looking down to gather up the last little bite of dosa, hefting it in his right hand before he looks up to meet her eyes again, "I'd say if work gets in the way too much, because we both know it's going to get in the way some, yeah? But I promise."

Rami starts to smile. She reaches out, fingers gracing along the back of his hand. Her eyes hold his as she caresses his freckled skin. "And we will talk about it if it gets to that point. I promise. I just do not want to start this with false realities." Even if there are already lies between them — all half-truths and omissions. She squeezes his hand now, and then she looks up toward Ra with a nod. She withdraws her hand from his so she can pull her wallet out of her bag. "What time is your flag football game today?" She looks up at him once she has pulled out a few bills of American currency.

Looking down to the caressing fingers, Simon smiles more easily, nodding as he looks back up to her dark eyes, "Yes. We'll talk about it before anything happens." When she reaches down for her bag, however, he waggles a finger, "Ah-ah-ah. You got room, I get board." He pulls out his wallet as well, lifting his brows to see if she's going to contest the point, "And it's at three. We've got time for… well, a lot of things."

When Simon lays down the split responsibility of resources, Rami narrows her eyes in just a brief threat of contest. But then she tucks the bills into the wallet and closes it before dropping it back into the bag. Then she gestures a bit as she lets Simon pay for their bill. Then a warm smile spreads back across her lips. "Come on, then." She begins to unhook her bag from her chair, and then she starts to stand. She winks to Ra as he squares up Simon's payment, and then the Sikh waits for him to join her.

Simon doesn't use plastic. He pays cash, and offers a significant tip built right into the first payment, "Keep the change, Ra." He pushes himself up, then stands and slips his wallet away again, offering out his left hand and lifting his eyebrow in far-too-innocent question, "Oh? Do we have somewhere to be, Rami?"

Without hesitation this time, Rami takes his offered hand. Her fingers slip through his until they form a little knot together. Then she starts to lead him back through the restaurant to the door. She winks to the hostess that is already preparing to sit another group of folks, and then she looks back to Simon. "I thought I'd let you walk me back to my place, and then we can decide from there."

Threading his way through the restaurant after Rami, Simon gives a nod to Ra and the hostess alike, "Sounds good to me. I'm always up to escort a pretty lady home. Makes me feel like a knight in shining armor." There's a great deal of amusement and laughter behind the words, but also, hidden beneath even that, a little self-flagellation. He knows that he's done things he shouldn't be proud of. Waiting until they're well out of the Purple Pomegranate, he adds, "And if you feel the need to peel me out of that armor, you're welcome to it. I'll even help."

"Mmhmm, I thought it might." Rami is all amusement as she steps out onto the sidewalk with him. She starts back toward her apartment building with their hands twined together. She keeps close to him as they walk, shoulders almost touching. She tilts her head slightly to him at the suggestion, and she starts to laugh softly once more. "Good. I'm glad we are both on the same page on how to spend our time until three." She just looks amused as they cross the street toward her block.

Simon presses his lips together to try and smother a grin. He's… only partially successful. "So… when you were growing up, did you giggle over the book and memorize its wisdom to later impress lovers?" He only waits a heartbeat before adding, "I took a few peeks myself. I'm pretty sure I don't bend some of those ways, but I've always hoped to meet a girl who did."

Rami's eyes widen at that, and then she's laughing brightly. She shakes her head, tucking a bit of forelock back behind her ear. Her eyes meet his easily as they get closer to her building. "I suppose you will just have to wait and find out." She slips her hand free of his so she can dig out her keys and they can make the journey back up to her apartment.

Shaking his head and laughing, Simon catches open the door to the apartment building, holding it for Rami, and his smile spreads wide, matching the laughter on his lips and the dancing amusement behind his blue eyes. "There's no shame in it. I wouldn't have admitted it myself if there was." Beat pause, "Well, I probably still would, but…"

"You don't have to convince me that there's no shame in it." Rami steps in, heading for the elevator with her American Knight in shining armor in tow. She doesn't hesitate any longer, pulling him along with her until she has them both secured in the elevator. The doors slide shut, and she pulls him in close for the same slow kiss he had claimed from her when they were coming down the elevator.

"Okay," Simon adds cheerfully as he's drawn into the elevator. His steps actually carry him into her, his free hand dropping down to plan the heel on her hip and press her back into the railing at the rear of the elevator. His head twists into the kiss, lips opening and tongue flickering over her lips as his thumb presses into the point of her pelvis, rolling slowly up and around the nodule of bone. When the elevator dings to its destination, he does not let up immediately, his mouth moving over hers and his fingers tightening around hers — and onto her hip. Finally, he straightens up and steps back far enough to free his hand from hers and clasp the closing elevator doors. "…but you were the one who was being so coy about whether you knew it…" His voice is a great deal huskier after that kiss.

Rami gasps softly when he pushes her back, her body arching into him as her arms curl around his shoulders. She meets each twist and tease of their lips and tongue, and she presses into his hand with a forward roll of her hips. She chases after him when he steps back enough to grasp for the door, and then she pulls him back into another kiss even while she murmurs her reply against his warm mouth, "I'll be less coy next time." Then she is pushing him out of the elevator and toward her apartment door.

Simon stops with a hand on the door, the elevator dinging in protest as it tries to shut and stops once, twice, a third time during that second kiss. And then Simon is breathing again, and he backpedals quickly, the door closing behind Rami's heels as he turns about, his left hand settling at the small of her back. "Good. I like the direct approach."

Some time later, Rami's body stretches out across his, feeling his heart thump against her chest. She looks down at him through the heavy fall of her lashes, fingers sliding off from his shoulders to curl along his beard, scratching at the wiry red hair gently.

Simon makes a low, pleased sort of rumbling sound in his chest, transmitted tactilely as much as aurally, a sound which only increases as she scratches at his beard. One eye cracks open first, and then the other, meeting her darker gaze, and he smiles slowly, "That feels nice…" the toes of one foot lift up to nudge at the bottom of one of hers.

The rumbling through his chest has her laughing huskily against his skin. "Like a big jungle cat." She leans up slightly to look down into his gaze once more, and she smiles wryly to him. "Hm, Bagha?" She just called him tiger in Punjabi, and is quite amused by it. She continues her deep scratching along his beard, drawing her fingers up along his jawline. She tilts her head. "Have we tested our stamina enough?" Those words are murmured down to him before she rests her forehead against his.

Simon has to search for the meaning of the word for a moment, 'Tiger' not being a common every-day word for a spy in the Punjab, but when he comes up with it, he laughs again, once more low and throaty. His head rolls back to enjoy the scratching at his jaw some more, but when she leans close, he lifts it once more, touching his forehead to hers, "For now. I still need to be able to play football this afternoon. It wouldn't do my rep any good to come to the game in a wheelchair with a broken pelvis."

"Mmm, yes. Your American Football." Rami smiles down at him and then she strokes her fingers along his jaw gently. "I should let you go home then. So you can shower, and dress, and not have temptation presented to you at each turn." She leans down to him closer again and kisses his lips with a slow, affectionate kiss. "Tell me when and where I should be this afternoon and I'll come cheer you on."

"I like the temptation," Simon lets himself be silenced by the kiss, smiling as he parts his lips just a touch to nip at her lush upper lip. Letting his head drop back down to the carpet, he responds, "I probably shouldn't show up in the same clothes from yesterday though. Some of them saw me then. And we play over on Randall's Island, Field 71. Three o'clock." There's a beat pause as a grin spreads wide across his bearded features, "You do have a cheerleader's uniform, don't you?"

"I know you do. I'm quite observant." Parambir touches his cheek softly with a grace of her fingertips, enjoying their closeness. Her nose brushes along his in a soft, deeply affectionate moment before she draws herself back. The spreading grin and its accompanying words causes her to laugh in response, and she resumes scratching deeply at his beard. "I'm sorry to disappoint, but cheerleaders are more of an American thing, Bagha." She leans down to kiss his cheek, and then she starts to draw herself back up.

The laughter warms Simon's chest, as do the affectionate gestures, "Just another thing we've got to export to the world then." His hands shift down to her ribs, and he helps lift her out of the decadent recline upon him. "Well, then you'll have to just be extra loud cheering me on." Once she's free, he hauls himself up into a seated position on the carpet, rolling his shoulders a little and glancing back as if to check for rug-burn.

"Hmph." Rami presses her fingertips against his cheek. Then she draws herself onto her feet, brushing her fingers across his jaw gently before she steps past him to fetch her robe off the hook on the bedroom door. Still, that supposed roommate door looks untouched, room unoccupied. She slips her arms through the robe, tying it about her waist. Then she glances over her shoulder to him. "Randall's Island, Field 71. Three o'clock. I'll be there."

Simon watches her walk away, his head tilted to one side as he clearly enjoys the view, and then he pushes himself to his feet and moves over to start gathering up his clothes and pulling them on. "I'm glad you're able to make it, Rami. Happy to have you there." There's something a little wary in his voice, despite the warmth still settled into his chest, "But if something comes up, it's not a big deal. I know you've probably got your own things going on on a Sunday."

Rami hears the wariness in his voice, and she turns toward him fully as she adjusts the collar of her robe. She smiles gently to him, stepping forward to touch his hand gently with her fingertips. "I'll text you if something comes up. I promise." She curls her fingers around his hand, squeezing lightly. "Now… go… before I decide to keep you occupied for another hour or so." She squeezes his hand again before she releases him.

Straightening up as Rami pads back to his side, Simon pulls on his undershirt and buckles his belt, then willingly gives up his hand to her fingers, "Thanks." His fingers squeeze, and then he scoops up his shirt, slinging it around his shoulders and pulling it on as his eyes narrow, "Now there is temptation." Still, he leans in, one hand reaching up to touch her cheek and draw her in for a slow, light kiss. Straightening up again, he steps back, "See you this afternoon, Rami." He hesitates a moment longer, 'thanks' feeling like too little, and anything more like too much. Instead, he just grins a little crookedly, purses his lips a moment, and then turns to depart.

Rami offers a crooked smile in return to the not-a-spy. She enjoys the soft kiss, leaning into it gently before she slips back a step. She can see that lingering, the way he's not sure what to say as he departs. She bites her slim lower lip, smiling at him as she follows after him to the door. She opens it, catching the door to see him out with a tilt of her head. She looks up at him. "See you later, Tiger." She waits for him to leave, and shut the door behind him. She breathes out a sigh as she rests against the door, closing her eyes.

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