(2018-12-18) Late Night
One person drinks coffee when she should be sleeping. Tea has caffeine too though. >.>

It isn't too busy here at this time of night; most people come to get their coffee fix earlier in the day, so the evening crowd is a little sparser and more subdued. There's an older guy seated at a table by the window, dressed in a dark coat and drinking what looks like tea while checking something on his phone. Some sort of Christmas music is on repeat, and a couple of the baristas are wearing Santa hats as they putter about.

Katherine steps into the coffee shop, bundled up against the cold. She pulls the beanie from her head, stepping up to the counter. "I'll take the special and a bagel with cream cheese on the side, please." She hands over a debit card, stuffing the beanie into her coat pocket. She peeks around the shop, surprised to see someone else inside at this time of night. Her order is quickly put together and she takes a deep breath, approaching Sevin. "Mind some company?" She asks, making a brief gesture at the empty chair.

Sevin lifts his eyes from his phone, and hesitates a moment in consideration of the offer. Whatever he was doing, he looks to have been fairly absorbed, as it takes him a few seconds to adjust to the fact that someone's speaking to him. "Uh.. no. I don't mind." He's not one for eye contact, but does gesture at the free seat at his table with a little smile.

Katherine takes a seat, setting her plate down before she opens her coffee cup to add a little sugar. "I certainly won't interrupt you if you're busy with work. Please, continue with what you were doing. I'm just not used to seeing someone here this time of evening." She slowly spreads cream cheese on her toasted bagel, but then she suddenly remembers herself. "Uhm, Katherine Stone." She offers out a hand to shake his, but there is a butter knife in it. She swears quietly, sets down the knife and tries again. "Pleasure."

The bitter, roasty scent that wafts out when Katherine cracks the lid on her coffee cup warrants a slow, indulgent intake of breath from the swarthy fellow seated opposite. He switches his phone off and slips it into his coat pocket, easing back in his chair. "Not work," he replies a bit briskly, sipping his tea. Pale green gaze flitting over the leggy brunette when she offers him.. a knife? Laughing, he switches his cup to his left hand and clasps hers firmly. No shake. His fingers are still warm from the tea. "Sevin Khan. It's nice to meet you, Ms. Stone."

"The pleasure is mine, I'm sure." Katherine responds, picking up her butter knife to finish spreading across her bagel. "What brings you out to the coffee shop so late in the evening? Do you like the quiet and I've ruined it for you?" She sets aside her knife, picking up half of the bagel to take a bite. "If that's the case, I will apologize profusely a few times before I slink away." She settles into her seat, crossing her legs primly. Her phone buzzes audibly from her purse on the floor, but she ignores it for now.

"Sometimes too much introspection can be a bad thing," posits Sevin with a faint smile that's partly obscured beneath his scruffy, short beard. His eyes flick to the buzzing purse, then back to Katherine a beat later. "Tea." The phone buzzes again. "Brings me out here, that is. Do you need to get that?" He speaks with a fairly noticeable accent, though sounds like someone who's put some intentional work into trying to smooth it away slightly.

"Apologizing is a bad habit of mine, one I'm trying hard to kick. I'm sure you can see that I've been unsuccessful." Katherine's smile is brilliant and full, until the phone is mentioned. She leans down to pick it up, gazing at it before she silences the buzzing. "People text me a lot, but I'd rather talk to someone, so I answer when they call." She sets the slender pink phone back inside her purse. "This isn't a bad place to settle in to think though. I used to be a daily visitor, then I got back into being a homebody." Her brown eyes gaze at Sevin for a few moments before she takes another bite of her bagel.

The ritual with the phone is watched quietly, thoughtfully. Pink phone, pretty hairstyle. Little facts are collected absently while he sips his tea, and a brow comes up slightly when she mentions turning into a homebody. "Any particular reason why?" he wants to know, gaze resting on her face though not quite on her eyes as he blows on the tea.

"Home is safer. I can't get into trouble at home." Katherine replies almost immediately, but then she frowns, almost as if she didn't want to be quite so transparent. She takes a deep breath, places her bagel on the plate and pulls a napkin free to wipe her hands. "It's not exactly safe out in the streets right now, if you believe the news. Besides that, home is where I work, and I can hardly help one of my boarders if I'm out at a dance club somewhere. Right?" She picks up her coffee, sipping briefly from it.

Mention of the news causes Sevin to frown ever so slightly. "That's understandable," he offers after a moment. And then, "You run a hotel? Hostel perhaps?" His tea is sipped from again; it smells citrusy.

"I run a Bed and Breakfast." Katherine says, her eyes on her cup for a few moments before she glances up and nods at Sevin. "Sort of the..affordable option between the hooker hotel downtown, and the Winchester." Her cheeks flush and she stammers for a moment. "I m-mean the h-hourly hotel." She clears her throat and takes a longer drink of coffee.

Sevin doesn't even blink at the word hooker; it's pretty much taken in stride, along with that healthy gulp of hot tea. The blush, though, is regarded with a bit of a grin that he doesn't elaborate upon. "Must keep you on your toes," he comments in a low voice. "Runnning a business like that. Do you have any help?"

"I have two sisters.." Katherine begins, sighing before she catches sight of the grin. She looks down at her bagel, poking at it with a slender finger. "One is sixteen and pregnant, and completely uninterested in doing anything except sneaking out of the house. The other one is nineteen, and she's sick. It's on me to make it work." She finally glances back up to make brief eye contact, smiling. "I think I do a pretty good job with it, and I enjoy meeting new people."

Sevin's amusement melts into something a little softer around the edges, pale gaze on the finger poking at the bagel. And there it remains, even as Katherine looks up and tries to make eye contact. Cultural thing for him, maybe. "It sounds like you have your plate very full, Ms. Stone," he surmises after a time. A glance out the window as two police cars hurtle past to the tune of wailing sirens. "What about your parents?"

Katherine stops fidgeting with her food, folding her hands in her lap. "My plate isn't that full, after a while you get used to doing things. You form a schedule without really realizing that you're doing it." She is distracted by the police cars for a moment, her eyes following them for a moment before she gazes down at those clasped hands. "They died two years ago. It's the reason I eventually opened my house up to strangers." She makes eye contact again, making a visible effort to appear unbothered, picking up her cup to drink from it.

"I'm sorry for your loss." He does, this time, make eye contact. There's a little tic in his jaw before he glances away again, back to the window. "Routine. Yes. I understand. But routines can wear us down, too." His tone is low, quiet. No hint of condescension.

"Routine is why I'm here tonight. I could have made coffee at home, sat around in a robe and sweats." Katherine responds, her voice quiet as well. "Instead I put on jeans, a nice sweater. Came out in the cold and walked down here. I needed to get out of my house for a little bit. Feeling a bit boxed in." She turns her cup with her fingers, tapping them gently against the sides. "Thanks. I'm told it gets easier, but nobody ever said how long it would take."

The last of his tea finished, Sevin tips the cup toward him with a briefly disappointed look on his face before setting it down with a soft -clink- on the tabletop. He glances absently at the sweater in question; his gaze lingers on her slender shoulder. Safe enough. "I can understand that," he admits, fiddling with the tag attached to the teabag, dangling over one side of his cup. "You might want to keep an eye on the weather. I hear there might be a storm rolling in tonight."

Katherine watches as Sevin doesn't make eye contact and it prompts a soft sigh. "I've lived here all my life. Walked these streets through big and little snows, I kind of enjoy it." She takes another drink of her coffee, setting it aside before she speaks again, her voice carefully casual. "Are you sure that I'm not bothering you?"

"Bothering me?" He blinks once, slowly, and seems to refocus on Katherine with some effort. Like his mind was entirely elsewhere for a moment. "No." Callused fingers fiddle with the tag a moment more, then release it with a low noise in his throat. "It's been a strange night. I apologise if I.." He waves his hand, as if that's a good enough descriptor to complete his sentence.

"No apologies needed." Katherine says, moving to get to her feet. In her haste she knocks over her purse and several things spill from it, making her grunt softly. "Shit." She kneels next to the bag, gathering up a chance purse, several pieces of paper, her phone and a bottle of pills. "I hope that your strange night gets better." She says, covering her embarrassment by talking. "Really though, you don't need to apologize, it can become a bad habit after all." Everything settled where it should be she stands at her full height, moving to grab her coat. "I should…" She vaguely gestures to the door, frowning briefly at her almost untouched bagel. "It was really nice to meet you."

Sevin watches all of this without any immediate reaction. Confusion perhaps in those unusually pale eyes, his brows furrowed and lines that used to be fine, but have grown into deeper grooves in his season of life, etched onto his forehead as he frowns at her. It's only when she starts to her feet that he decides to intervene: "Sit." Yes, that's right. There's a slight edge to his voice, as if he were not a stranger to delivering orders and expecting them to be followed. "Unless you really do need to go. In which case, I'll walk you home." It's not safe out there these days.

Katherine blinks at the order, but she sinks back into the chair almost automatically, glancing around to see if anyone else just heard or saw that. Seems the coast is clear. "I don't have to go anywhere, but.." She looks hesitant for a moment before she just seems to slump a bit, words coming freely now. "You seem distracted, and possibly a little bothered by my presence. You said that you weren't, but.." She looks embarrassed, automatically reaching out to pick up the bagel and take a bite. She simply watches him while she chews, considering if any other words need to be said.

Sevin does look her in the eye now. Quite intently, which may or may not be discomfiting to her. He's an odd juxtaposition of calm and intense, put together and scruffy. "I'm not bothered. By your presence." The words are enunciated slowly, carefully. As if he doesn't want to chance his accent mangling things. "Am I bothering you?" A brow lifts expectantly.

Katherine doesn't flinch away from the intense look, instead she takes another bite from her bagel, giving her a few more moments to decide how to respond. "You don't bother me." She considers leaving it at that, taking another bite, finishing half of her bagel. "You do make me a little nervous. I think that /something/ is bothering you, and I am interrupting your thoughts about it. So perhaps bothered is the wrong word. Maybe I'm distracting you." She eyes the other half of her bagel, but leaves it where it is for now.

He makes her nervous? Chances are, she's not the first person to tell him that. His empty cup is nudged away with his fingertips, and he leans back for a moment to dig in his pants pocket for his wallet. "Strange day. Like I said. Get you another drink while I'm up?" He eases to his feet slowly, eyes still on Katherine as he lingers a moment for her reply.

She nudges her nearly empty cup towards Sevin, nodding slowly. "I think I could do with another coffee. I take it black, please?" Katherine aims a smile at him, meeting his gaze for a brief moment before she decides to pick up the other half of her bagel. "Thank you, I appreciate it." She takes a bite, watching him move to the counter to refresh their drinks.

Sevin winks - a gesture that manages not to shift his solemn expression one whit - and collects both cups before moving off to the counter. He has a very slight limp that may or may not be noticeable, and has a habit of slouching slightly. Low words exchanged with the barista, cups slid onto the counter, a folded bill shortly after. He doesn't wait for them to be handed to him, but instead ambles back for his seat; they'll be delivered to the table when they're ready.

Her eyes narrow at the wink, but her mouth is full and she wouldn't have commented on it even if it wasn't. Katherine crosses her legs when he walks off, her eyes don't miss much, and she pays attention, noting the slight limp. When he returns, she sets down the second half of the bagel and smiles. "Thank you for getting me more coffee, I'm hoping that the warmth will sustain me when I have to walk home. I really should have thought ahead, hmm?"

"Not a problem." Maybe he noticed the narrowed eyes, or maybe he didn't. Maybe he isn't bothered by it; no indication's given, one way or the other, when Sevin resettles in his chair and rifles fingers absently through his beard scruff. "How far away is your bed and breakfast?"

"It's a fifteen to twenty minute walk up the hill to Oak Ridge." Katherine says, gesturing vaguely in a direction. "Sometimes I tromp through yards and take the back way, that can cut off five minutes depending on the weather." She grins, pushing her bagel away from her. "You don't have to walk me home, it's cold enough outside that I would feel bad if you did. Especially at this time of night." She raises her chin, looking over Sevin's shoulder as she watches the barista prepare the cups.

"Sounds like a bit of a hike. Especially in the cold and dark." He pauses as the drinks are delivered in to go cups, eyes flickering toward the departing barista and then back to the brunette seated across from him. "My truck's just outside, and I'm headed your way in either case." He doesn't go so far as to insist, despite his earlier commanding tone of voice.

"You live in Oak Ridge?" Katherine asks, pulling her coffee toward her so she can spoon in some sugar. "I've never really been afraid of the dark." She adds, sipping at the hot liquid to see if it's sweet enough. "What is it that you do?" She relaxes back against her chair, letting her arm dangle over the back of it.

Sevin smiles slightly. "Up on Birch. Yes." He's not much of a conversationalist, but he seems to be trying. His own tea is left unsweetened, and blown on carefully before he takes a sip. "I teach up at UCC. Not as adventurous as running a bed and breakfast, I'm afraid, but it pays the bills."

"Some people don't like adventure." Kate says, a wry smile forming on her lips. She wraps both hands around her cup, fingers tapping and fidgeting to a beat she hears in her head. "I might disagree on your job being less adventurous. Dealing with teenagers and twenty year olds has to come with some adventure. Likely not the fun kind." She chuffs out a soft laugh before she adds. "It must, if you live up on Birch."

"Mm, a different sort of adventure, I imagine. And I don't have too many teenagers in my classes. I haven't taught undergrad in a few years now, though I occasionally have to fill in for someone." He pauses a moment as if to think, and then adds, "Thank you for keeping me company tonight. I think I can become quite a hermit if given the opportunity. It was nice speaking with you."

"You're very lucky. I deal with two teenagers on a daily basis, and I'm often tempted to just pull my hair out." Katherine bites down on the inside of her bottom lip, her cheeks getting pink. "You're welcome. I know what it's like to be a hermit, I call it a homebody because it's a little better?" She lets her eyes dart around the shop for a moment before she sucks in a breath. "You could always come up for dinner. I serve to anyone who stops by, I always cook too much."

Sevin takes a moment to reply. Maybe he's distracted by that blush, again. Maybe by the way she bites her lip, or looks around as if she's worried she's being watched. He does reply though after what looks like some back and forth in his head: "I would love to." He doesn't quite smile, but there's a warmth in his eyes that's suggestive of it. "You're sure you don't need a ride, Ms. Stone?"

Kate glances outside, watching the snow start to fall. "I probably should accept, but I think I'll be fine walking." Her gaze slides from the window to settle on Sevin, and for a few moments she just watches him. Realizing that staring could be considered rude, she gets to her feet, pulling her coat on. "This coffee will keep me warm on the way home, thank you again for that." Her beanie is pulled over her buns, and fur lined gloves follow. "I hope you do stop by. I also hope it's not on a day where I cook something you won't like." She looks amused for a moment, bending down to pick up her purse. "Have a good evening." She stands there for a moment, looking down at where she was sitting as if she might be forgetting something.

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