#SpoilerAlert It ends in a kiss

July 08, 2018:

In which it ends in a kiss.

Gramercy Park


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

With a rare for her afternoon off, Stephanie had called Drake and an improtu date at Gramercy Park was planned. Stephanie made sure her tablet and extra portable charger were both full battery, and that she had secured a few of her favorite cookie types from a troop office on the way. She was only a few minute late, a text being send to inform him and then another when she arrived.

The picnic lunch was calming, pleasant, no stress. So much so that when they leaned back on the tree under which they had been sitting into order to watch something from Steph's Netflix account, she had lasted a full ten minutes before sinking down against his shoulder, fast asleep.

She doesn't drool, but she does snort very faintly, eyelids fluttering. For a full hour and a half, Stephanie was asleep against the shoulder of a young man under a tree in the park.

When she woke it was with a little start, like she was just blinking her eyes back open after a long blink.
[Public] Frank Castle says, "Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full."
Drake Riley had thoroughly enjoyed it. It was much more low-key than their first date, but the fact that they were on a second date was more than enough to keep him in good spirits. And while she seemed a little… off, perhaps, he continued to make every effort to make her happy and comfortable. This while also no doubt sneaking in flirts.

When she fell asleep, Drake simply tilted his head to cuddle hers. He didn't budge beyond that, hoping to not disturb or disrupt her. He doesn't care what's on.

When she startles awake, his head quickly lifts. "Oh, hey, you up?"

It takes Stephanie a moment to sort out where she is and what had happened. She pulls her legs beneath her, cheeks dusting as she works to shake off sleep.

"Yeah.. Sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't mean… I guess I was.. Sorry. I'm sorry. What happened?"
Drake Riley tilts into her a little, brushing his shoulder against hers. "It's perfectly fine!," he assures. "You looked reeeaally cute." His smile turns teasing and playful. "And I warned ya we'd look all romantic'n snuggly if we went with the Netflix angle!"

Told she looked cute, Stephanie blushes crimson and she turns her face away to tuck a lock of hair behind an ear.

"Yes, you did," she remarks, eyes trailing over what's left of the picnic, and the surroundings, marveling at the peace in the area.
Drake Riley tilts his head then to nudge against hers while she seems distracted. "I didn't mind," he notes, voice a little quieter. "You feel any better? Any more rested?" He isn't sure how long they'd been like this. He wasn't exactly keeping track.

Drawing herself back at the nudge, Stephanie settles her gaze on Drake. Her eyes are a little hazy still from sleep but clearing at the heartbeats pass.

"A little, yes. I'm sorry again. I didn't mean to fall asleep," she says again, eyes starting to fall away.
"Staahhp," drones Drake. "It's fine! I tol'ja I wouldn't mind being a pillow."

His left hand lifts to gently tap beneath her chin. "If you're still sleepy, you can go right back to it. I might doze off, too, though." Beat. "But then the tabloids. The /tabloids/. They'd say we're 'sleeping together'." His eyes widen and he feigns shock, head turning slightly away. "Won't someone, anyone, think of the children."

He taps her chin and she lifts her gaze back to him, cheeks dusting pick once more. And then he mentions tabloids and children and them sleeping together in the most ridiculous of ways and Stephanie can't suppress the giggles. Her hand comes up to cover her mouth, fngertips resting on the end of her nose which wrinkles from the expression.

"OHmugod, you're so weird," she says full of fondness and warmth.
"But that's why you like me," Drake chimes. His gaze rests on hers for a moment more, flicking down towards the hand at her nose. They lift to her eyes again. There's a certain nervous pause from the teen.

And then, he leans forward. His head tilts. He aims a soft, tentative kiss for her lips!

Stephanie's eyes close at Drake's chime. Her cheeks blushed warm, and the smile growing. her hand falls toward her lap. An inhale is taken, and her eyes open just as lips press softly against her own.

First kiss was a sloppy shock of relief between batlings on a rooftop after a heated battle. The next 'first kiss' a rush of something more adult taken too fast for a human, not fast enough for a superhuman. Another, the answer to a challenge. Still another a shock and a surprise. This 'first kiss' was sweet and soft and tentative. It asks for nothing but the hope of not wanting to demand more than she was willing to give in the moment.

Stephanie's eyes fluttered for a moment before falling closed. She focused on that shy budding hope, worried adn wary of where this goes and where it ends and what the path leading there would bring. Her kiss is every bit as tentative and nervous.

The only thing certain about this kiss from Drake was that he was terrified he'd be rebuffed or ruin things. It was born of impulse and an inability to deny that increasingly cute, sweet look on her face. It's the culmination of budding feelings. Was it too soon? Too unexpected? So many doubts!

She's kissing back.

Drake lets the kiss linger a few moments more, leaning into it. His gaze lids over, his right hand lifting to gently frame her face.

Needing to inhale, Stephanie breaks the kiss but shifts to rest her forehead to his, not breaking the contact. Eyes still closed, she inhales a shakey breath.

"I'm complicated," she reminds, because while he's a mutant, she's a vigilante. The last try at dating in and out of the mask was a mess. People were hurt, literally physically hurt.
"So am I," Drake whispers back. His head shifts slightly for no other reason than to lightly brush his nose to hers. It's a small, but affectionate gesture. "And anything you ever wanna tell me…" His eyes open at last - to halves.

The small things can make a world of difference. Stephanie smiles at the small simple gesture, finding the affection to be a soothing balm to her nerves. he offers and she opens her eyes, just in time to look into hers. The smile shifts into something pained, something he'd be familiar with. There's a secret there she can't or won't or is afraid to share.

"…I can't," she whispers, trying to pull away again.
Drake Riley lets her withdraw, but he doesn't shrink back. His hand moves from her face to her shoulder, though, as if to steady her. "It's okay. I won't-.. I mean, I'm not gonna interrogate you. But I wanna try this." He glances down briefly, then back to her. "This.. 'us' thing."

He really does, doesn't he? Stephanie's brow pull together as she looks back to Drake. Can he see how the idea scares her? And yet having someone there, someone to ease the stress of the day, of the nights… She starts shaking her head, brows pulling up now.

"…." Her lips part, not sure if it wants to say I can't or I'm complicated or I'm scared or I want to too.
Drake Riley looks slowly increasingly crestfallen the longer she remains silent. The hand at her shoulder gives a gentle squeeze before sliding down from her frame to rest at his side again. She's either too scared, or.. /something/. He doesn't know. He can't know. In a quieter voice, he submits, "It's okay. You've got a lot going on. I'll at least be your friend, whenever y'need one."

It's like a knife, and Stephanie curls up a bit.

"I'm sorry," she whispers, because a friend sounds so wonderful, but this will hang in the air in front of them, make things harder. She wants to be friends. The comfort she found made her want more, but there's so much that feels like it gets in the way.

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