(2018-12-31) Bold. Artistic. Choices.
Two in the morning, and Cash's car breaks down across the street from where Vyv happens to be standing. Huh. What are the odds of that? But it's a chance to get better acquainted. (probably nsfw)

This log is probably rated R, and may not be safe for work environments.

Smelter St and Route 10 Calaveras
Mon Dec 31, 2018 -- Mon Dec 31 04:47:24 2018

A convergence of a few streets here leaves the lights as a 5-way stop. Traffic coming from the west gets a better share as east traffic on Route 10 is mingled with traffic coming off of Birch Boulevard. That area to the north here seems a little nicer, were the boulevard heads into a more residential area of this part of town, Smelter St has signs indicating it as Smelter hanging from the poles to the north. A few more trendy areas can be seen up that way including the start of bike lanes along Smelter Street there. This is in direct opposition to south Smelter St, which is more industrial, including warehouses and industrial shops. Some closed down and converted, a few old industries remain down that way. To the west one can see the small arches of the Braxton Bridge, a gateway for motor tourists heading further west.

Exits: [B] 100 N Birch Blvd [BY] The Bone Yard

[N] 100 N Smelter St [S] 100 S Smelter St
[E] 100 W Route 10 [W] Braxton Bridge, Route 10

It's quiet around here, this time of night. Plays up the crossroads feeling that comes from— well, the actual crossroads, partly, but also the gradual but visible shift between the old industrial and the up-and-coming trendy commercial/residential mix. Now and then there's another car on the streets, but not many at nearly 2am. So the taxi stands out a bit, when it slides onto the road ahead. It drives quicker than cruising speed, making some distance, before it stops at the side of the road. The pause one would expect, were a passenger making payment and perhaps getting change, and then the rear pavement-side door opens, and a tallish, dark-haired man in a long camel coat over what at a glance is probably a brown suit unfolds from the car onto the sidewalk, closing the door behind him. The taxi wastes no time in heading off to find another fare, but the deposited passenger does pause to take in his surroundings a moment.

Cash likes driving at this hour of the night. It's quiet, the place is new, and his car purrs in a warm, pleasant way. He'd driven across the country in this car, it was his best friend - It was, in some ways, the only real piece of his life he'd managed to keep. Nevermind that he's speeding, there's no one out here to catch him, not right now. Besides, he's finally on the way home and it's been a long day, the speed keeps him awake. As he approaches the intersection, however, the rumble-purr of his 1958 Cadillac turns into a sharp thumping, then popping, and then whining. Wincing, Cash pulls over to the side of the road (just across the way from where Vyv has been dropped off), and parks. The engine continues to whine until it's sharply cut off.
Muttering under his breath, Cash opens his door and steps out into the night air. At least he's more put together tonight than he had been yesterday. No flannel pants this time. Mind, it's pretty difficult to not be coordinated in service uniform, but whatever. There's no mistaking that olive green fabric, nor the cut of this coat. Still muttering, he moves to the front of the car to open the hood, pulling a flashlight from his pocket and staring down into the engine with a disgruntled sigh. So far, he hasn't seemed to notice that he isn't alone.

It's hard not to notice that sound. Even if there were a lot of cars going by — and even if a 1958 Caddy weren't liable to stand out in this day and age regardless — thump-pop-whiiiiine is not the standard noise to be coming from a vehicle. And Vyv tends to avoid areas where it's a standard noise to come from people. Which might be part of why he stops to watch for a few moments more.
It's possibly the uniform that keeps his attention, because it's certainly not his mechanical affinity or a deep and abiding concern for the situation of his random fellow man. Everyone has a phone these days anyway, don't they? But one doesn't see people in full uniform at this time of night all that often, and… there's something somewhat familiar there, enough to keep him looking, puzzled, for a good few more seconds.
Enough to get him looking both ways, then padding across the street, to take a closer look. There's a soft exhale, something like a laugh, as he nears; and a few steps later, when he needn't raise his voice, "Ah. Captain Montgomery-Reagan, wasn't it?" The voice is probably familiar, given the accent. Today he DOES have a scarf, as well as that coat, and the leather gloves. Slightly more intending to be out in the air, perhaps. Still no hat.

Cash looks up from the engine of his car with a small affirmative noise as he's addressed. A moment later he recognizes the speaker and he nods. "Yes, that's me," He says, "Cash is still fine, though - Even if I'm in uniform." It's a uniform he's been wearing long enough to be comfortable in, and to have had tailored precisely - This isn't a new officer who has just gotten his new set of service. "Good to see you again. I'd step away from this but…" He nods down to the engine with a sigh, slipping one of his gloves off to reach into the mechanism and fiddle with something in there, "She's a fussy lady." Yes, he's talking about the damn car.

Vyv is probably judging the outfit just as hard tonight as yesterday. Different verdict, though; precise tailoring can cover a multitude of sins, and men in uniform are nigh-proverbially not sinning to begin with. Not in visual presentation, at least. He's clearly a devotee of good tailoring himself, clear even when the coat and trouser hems are the only immediate evidence. "Cash, then," he says, "Vyvyan Vydal, as I don't believe we got to that yesterday. Vyv is fine. Good to see you again, too."
He moves near enough to be fairly safe from any unexpected speeding cars that might come by, and where he can peer beneath the hood as well, if from safely out of range of any potential grease. "Mn. I see you have an engine," he says lightly. "Does she do this often?"

"We didn't, no." Cash confirms, "Nice to meet you properly, Vyv." Doesn't take the obvious joke about a more commonly assumed feminine name. Doesn't even seem to consider it. Though he does choke on a laugh at the quip about having an engine. "Yeah," He says, still smiling, "From time to time - More often in the cold. She's old, I can't blame her, and she puts up with a lot of my shit. Not quite as much as my bird," Nevermind that word having a VERY different meaning in the Commonwealth, "But still. She's earned my patience. I think her alternator is…" He cuts himself short, realizing that he's about to babble about nonsense Vyv almost definitely doesn't care about. "Would you be willing to do me a favor? It doesn't involve anything that might cause staining." He asks, moving something around in the engine.

Vyv doesn't seem to expect the joke… despite the likelihood that others without Cash's tact on the matter are probably not rare. All the same, he probably appreciates not being disappointed on that front. There's a tiny upward quirk at one corner of his lips at the half-stifled laugh, and he runs a hand idly along the curve of the car above the headlight, outside the realm of the hood itself. The barest quirk of a brow at mention of the shit his bird puts up with — presumably he doesn't mean the Commonwealth interpretation, but it might take a second to recall the reference to piloting from the night before.
"Quite old, it looks like. Fifties, sometime?" Not his specialist subject, no, and when it comes to the alternator… no, he probably doesn't particularly care, as such. The qualifier gets a near-silent breath of a laugh. "Promise?" he says, watching the man fiddle around. "Yes, all right. Probably. What do you need done?"

"Yeah, '58, well spotted." Cash says with a genuine smile that lights up his face. Shouldering his flashlight, he reaches into his pocket to get his keys. One small, silver key is seperated out from the eleven others on the ring and held up as he extends the keys to Vyv. "That'll open the glove compartment. There's a small toolbox in there and another box that has an alternator belt, it's labeled. If you could bring those here, I would be eternally grateful." He says, and then goes on to pull a shredded band of black vinyl from inside the engine, his focus shifting as he pulls pieces of the old belt out bit by bit.
The interior of the car is clean and well maintained. The glove compartment is where it ought to be in any sensible vehicle. The aforementioned objects are inside, as well as a black pistol case that is combination locked.

"Mm, all right," Vyv assents, taking the key ring; he's careful to keep the individual key separate, glancing at it as he moves toward the passenger door. "I don't think I've seen a locked glovebox in… rather a while," he remarks, and opens the door, settling into the seat there to do the unlocking and obtaining. There are a few good glances around the interior, as well — taking in the upholstery and the dash, the arrangement of things. For all that the mechanical workings are a less than engrossing mystery from his point of view, the design is another thing altogether, and the seat beside him and the curve of the steering wheel each get a light touch before he finishes the actual job, sliding back out and around the door with one mentioned object in each still-gloved hand. He's more careful of the little toolbox, which could quite easily betray him with left-over grease if he's unwary, but both get presented with some light ceremony as he reaches Cash again. "I think I've won your scavenger hunt. Is there a prize?"

The whole interior is leather, well loved and tended, still in that classic cherry red and ivory. This thing has rolled straight out of a recreation, lovingly tended. And that smell that seems to follow Cash wherever he goes, rich tobacco smoke and spiced cologne, lingers even here. "Required by law." Cash answers in regard to the glove box, "Or they won't let me carry my sidearm in the vehicle." He straightens up as Vvy returns, reaching again into his pocket, this time drawing out an olive green kerchief. There's a warm laugh as he wipes his bare hand clean.
"I've got some pocket change." He says with a crooked smile, "Or I could get you a drink sometime?" The box is taken first, in his still-gloved hand opened, though the wrench is taken in his bare hand. There's a bolt he turns to loosen then, leaning back toward the engine of the car. All of his motions are measured and calculated, neat and remarkably clean. Hard to tell whether this was beaten in by the Marines or his mother, but it was definitely one of the two.

"Ah, that makes sense," is the reply that came from within, half-muffled by the distance — that effect itself may explain why nothing else followed until the return. The reply then, though, comes with a little half-smile of its own, and a faint tilt of the head. "Mm, options. I think I might prefer the drink, all in all," Vyv says, watching Cash work. He's quiet several moments as that goes on, taking in the deft neatness with which it's all done with silent but definite approval. Appreciation, even; he likely doesn't know quite what's being done, but it certainly seems like he's seeing it done rather well. "I'm tempted to ask whether the locked glovebox would also let you carry alcohol, by law, but at that rate you might start wondering if I have a problem. Though to be fair, so far you did offer me both drinks, and one of them hasn't even happened yet."

"If I've managed to make a drink with me less appealing than a dollar-fifty in loose change, I would have been really disappointed in myself." Cash says on a laugh, reaching over to take the belt box. It's quick work from that point, feeding the belt and retightening the bolt. "It won't, sadly." He answers, placing the wrench back and then closing the toolbox with his gloved hand. Once more his hand is wiped clean with this kerchief. "I do have more of that wine back home, though." There's a smirk as he closes the hood of the car and leans his hip against it, turning to look at Vyv properly.

"As well you ought. Even a dollar-fifty in neatly rolled pennies has a somewhat specialised appeal. And it's unlikely to provide terribly much in the way of either conversation /or/ thirst-quenching," Vyv observes, and once freed of that second box, his gloved hands actually settle gently on that curve beside the hood again, and he leans in just a bit, properly watching what it is Cash is doing with that belt, this time. Or at least how his hands move when he does it.
He straightens, once it's done, with a shift of his weight that keeps him well out of the way of the imminently closing hood without actually moving any further away. Vyv's brows lift slightly at the last remark, and there's that little tilt of the head again, the half-smile coming with it as he says, "Do you. It /was/ quite nice. You probably ought to give me your recipe, really." The other half of the little smile lingers somewhere in there as he returns the attention, though it doesn't quite escape.

Say what you will about Cash, his manual dexterity is remarkable. That smirk stays in place, painting his expression with a raw confidence that borders on dark. Reaching once more into his pocket, he extracts a silver cigarette case and lighter. It's a flick of his wrist to tap out a cigarette and then light it. The tobacco is sweet smelling and rich, rather than the typical, acrid scent associated with this habit. "I do." He answers on exhale, pocketing his case and lighter once more. "No way you're getting that recipe, though, I'm afraid. Family secret." Punctuating with a nod toward the passenger side, "But who knows? Maybe you can decode it if you have more. Get in if you're game." He picks up the toolbox and empty belt box and walks around to the driver's side.

If the confidence could be considered a challenge, it's met. Vyv doesn't shy away from it, his own unfaltering. His gaze falls briefly on the case and lighter when they appear; he likely approves of those as well, though there's a touch of something else in it, and a subtly deeper breath taking in the scent of the smoke when it's freed. A light, chiding click of his tongue mees the claim of 'family secret' status for the recipe, but that invitation could /certainly/ be considered a challenge by some… and either way, it's one he's inclined to take.
"Given time and exposure I'm certain I can," he replies, the hint of that smile still lingering, and he moves toward the door again, reclaiming his recent seat. This time, he actually glances for a seatbelt, though not with any particular concern, and settles in more properly, closing the door behind him. "She allows smoking, does she?" he asks, glancing over when Cash sits down, "Special exemption for you, or guests as well?"

There are seatbelts. Retrofitted, but the car wouldn't be street-legal otherwise. "She does, if the tobacco is nice enough." Cash says with a grin, cracking his window a fraction of an inch. The cigarettes and lighter are retrieved again, and one drawn out to offer over to Vyv. "My family has grown this tobacco for nearing on 300 years, she'll accept that." Even looks inclined to light it for him, too. It's an old world habit, but he doesn't seem to doubt the behavior at all. "But you've still got my keys, darlin'." Oh that was going to happen at some point, surely. You can take the boy out of the South…

"Quite the growing season," Vyv says, accepting the cigarette, and there's no sign he'd have any objection to the lighting, either, though it does get somewhat interrupted by as sudden — and actually audible, if still quiet — laugh at that last remark. Startled, though with the way his hand moves to his pocket to find the keys in question, it's not fully clear if it's the wording or simply that he hadn't fully realised he'd put them there. "Well, she IS lovely; perhaps I subconsciously want to keep her," he says, and pauses just as it seems he was about to hand them over, "Or perhaps I ought to ransom them. Hm. I suppose I'll trade you for that light." He holds them where they can fairly easily be reclaimed from his hand — by the hand that wouldn't be dealing with the lighter.

That laugh inspires a smile from Cash that is truly pleased, warm and obviously just a little bit charmed. "Deal." There's a small bit of juggling that has to go into this exchange. Cash's own cigarette is held in his lips as he takes his keys back, and he's happy enough to flip open the lighter and light Vyv's cigarette in the same motion. Being able to isolation motion between his hands is an important skill, you've got to do a lot of that in the sky. "I can't blame you," Muffled by cigarette, punctuated by the metallic click of the lighter flipping closed, "She is my pride and joy." Lighter pocketed, the keys change which hand they're in, and Cash starts the car which rumble-purrs much more happily than before. He pulls away as he draws his cigarette from his mouth, exhaling toward the open window.
The smoke itself is rich and thick, velvety in mouthfeel and tasting of molasses and oak, with a berry-like finish and a mint topnote that buzzes in the roof of the mouth. It's heady, rich, and while smooth, the smoke is heavier than an average cigarette - It can take getting used to. Explains why all of Cash's things smell of tobacco, though - This smoke likes to stick around, floating silver-white in the streetlights that pass by as they pull down the road toward Cedar Pines.

Vyv cracks open his window as well, enough to reasonably direct the smoke outside, but not so much as he likely would if it were a /summer/ night out there. "Good job cheering her back up," he says as the engine purrs into proper life again, and he settles in to ride, and to smoke.
It may well be that the smoke takes a bit of getting used to, but he looks quietly pleased with it nonetheless; the feel and flavour are distinctly different from what one most often finds, and he cares about those sorts of details more than most are likely to. Professionally, in fact, if not a profession directly relevant to the tobacco. "Mn," he says after the third or fourth drag, "Clearly worth the time. Even considering how very long 300 years is in this part of the world. Has it got a name?"

"Yeah, she's a good ol' girl when you know how to treat her." Cash says, patting the steering wheel like the neck of an obedient horse. He's content to drive, admittedly a good ten miles per hour over the speed limit. Smoking and driving just go hand and hand for him, as well as quiet contemplation that is easy to fall into on a dark road in the early Winter. "Hm?" The sound draws him from his reverie, and he takes a deep breath before answering, "The varietal is Montgomery Brightleaf," A pause, "The plantation is based in a little town in Eastern North Carolina, Radley. My parents still own it and live there."

"Montgomery Brightleaf," Vyv echoes thoughtfully, "Good rhythm to that. Careful who you mention it to; sounds like something a local dispensary owner might quite prefer to, say, 'Bob Smith'. I've never been to North Carolina, but maybe I ought to someday… investigate the tobacco varieties of the ages. You said you ended up here by a transfer? Where from? And why here, specifically? Particularly good flying?" It's all rather casual, and a little bit flippant… though not so much that he might not genuinely be willing to entertain that last as a possibility. Maybe clear air and high land altitudes actually are notably good for it. There's no hurry to the talk; it's certainly not quite the silent reverie, but there's a kind of relaxation in it all the same, despite the various inquiries.

That inspires a warm chuckle. "They could adopt it for a couple of days," He says between drags, "Until my mother sent a C&D. It's been tradmarked for at least a century. It's a beautiful state, though - I would recommend going, especially in the Autumn. The mountains light up in the Autumn." His smile turns a little sad then, but he covers it with another drag of his cigarette. "Yes. Beaufort, South Carolina. I requested it. Not any better than anywhere else rural. I think that was all of them." Cash laughs a little as he pulls into his driveway, shutting the car off and reaching across Vyv to get into the glove compartment. The pistol case is taken up in his hand, but it's a casual thing, like someone would grab their briefcase when coming home from the office. He locks the door as he steps out. "In all seriousness, my mother used to bring us here every Winter. After my marriage fell apart I wanted to be anywhere but Carolina, so I'm here."

"I think you can name yourself Coca Cola if you like, so long as you don't try to do business under it," Vyv says, "…or expect anyone to take you seriously. All in all, safest to just make sure Bob never hears the name, I'd say." There's another faint smile, there, and he looks at the cigarette for a moment, turning his hand to view it from each angle as it moves, then takes another drag.
"Autumn, mm? I'll keep that in mind," he says, unbothered by being reached-across or what for, though he does lean slightly back out of the way. Once they've fully parked, he slips on out, stretching a little as he closes the door. There's the briefest of sidelong glances toward the house he exited the night before — which has one car more in its driveway than it did at the time, if Cash happened to be keeping track of these little details of his neighbourhood — but nothing more; if it were a person it would probably be feeling a definite coldness of shoulder. And Vyv has pleasanter things to think about, after all, though granted, the topic currently at hand might not be the pleasantest for Cash. "Well, Calaveras is at least not unbearably rural. And I suspect it does quite a reasonable job of failing to be Carolina, so that's promising for your aims." He saunters around the front of the car, in the general direction of the house, though it's aimed to end up falling in with his host along the way.

"Oh sure," Cash says, "But do most dispensary owners know the ins and outs of legal consideration?" A shrug, "My mother's a shark." With a soft laugh, Cash only briefly glances in the direction of the house Vyv left last night. Maybe he notices the other car, maybe not, either way he's not about to mention it. Once more holding his cigarette in his mouth, he unlocks the door to the house and steps inside, immediately pocketing his keys. The house smells of warm wine already, the slow cooker it's mulled in having been put on a timer.
"Good evening, Google." He says into the darkness of the house as he holds the door open for Vyv with his foot. "Good evening, Captain." Comes back the Google Home's voice, and the lights in the living room turn themselves on. Much of the house has been unpacked since last night, though there is still a box or two in the living room. Luckily, it seems he's added more seating, too.
"It certainly is nothing like Carolina, so it's fitting my bill nicely." A beat, "I've got an ashtray on the dining table, feel free to make yourself at home." There's a smile offered Vyv then that is just a touch unguarded, genuinely glad to have run into him again, and not just confident bravado.

"Probably not the ones that don't directly involve cannabis and the growth or sale thereof," Vyv allows, "And I'm quite sure few of them are regularly in any state to outswim a fierce tobacco shark." Both corners of his mouth twitch slightly, there, before the cigarette finds his lips again. This first exhale outside gets directed upward into the air, and he watches the smoke climb for a moment before his gaze returns to his companion, and he follows the man to the door.
The holding of the door with a foot gets a glance, and he might — might — consider taking that over, given he's only got one hand occupied and could easily get that down to none if he really wanted… but any such thought is passing, and instead he accepts the gesture, strolling past and inside. He stops a few steps inside, giving the place another assessing look. "You've been busy," he notes, "…and your robot butler seems reasonably well-trained. Do you always have wine mulling in the winter?" The invitation to make himself at home is, more or less, accepted as well; he moves toward the indicated ashtray to make use of it, glancing back over his shoulder at Cash in the wake of that smile. It's probably fair to say that it's returned, in his way; it's still a small and sideways smile, but it touches his eyes in a different way than the others that have — a bit of warmth, rather than amusement. It seems rather genuine as well.

"Yeah, I'm pretty particular when it comes to my space. I can't handle boxes everywhere." Cash says, slipping down the hall for a moment. A door opens, and there's the sound of buttons being pressed on something digital, a heavy whirring, a thunk, and a trilling ping. It's followed by the sound of a metal door opening, tapping metal on metal, and then a metal door shutting, followed by a spinning tumbler and two-ping chime. Cash returns a moment later, sidearm no longer in hand. "I do, yes. When I'm home, anyway - Or permitted to drink - Which isn't always true." He answers, moving into the kitchen to fetch two cups of this wine before returning to the table. His cigarette is put out in the aforementioned ashtray.
"So," He starts, "You sound like you're pretty far from where you grew up as well. Why did you choose Calaveras? Or did it choose you?" Punctuates with blowing over the surface of the still-hot wine. And let us all take a moment to appreciate just how much of a hot mess Cash must be - Inviting a man he met yesterday over at 2am for wine while he's still wearing the wedding band from a failed marriage? Come on, Cash. Come on.

Well, to be fair… the man he met yesterday did say yes to coming over at 2am for wine. Cash can't take all the blame there. On the other hand, Vyv decidedly lacks any wedding bands, failed or otherwise, so perhaps he could claim some high ground if he were so inclined. Or if he were thinking much about it at present.
He continues smoking while the sidearm's stowed, leaning lightly against the table and still considering the changes in the room as he listens to the sounds of the safe. Once his host puts out the cigarette, he takes one final drag before following suit, and finally getting around to removing his gloves, which go into a coat pocket, and beginning to unbutton the coat. "From where I started? Fairly far, yes," he confirms, "…and from where I was most recently, too. I'm a patissier," the Englishy accent does not carry over to when he speaks French words, apparently; those just sound French, "and I decided it was about time to open a shop of my own. So of course, 'where' is one of the bigger questions there. Calaveras… fit most of my needs."
He slides the coat off, and folds it neatly over the back of one of the chairs; the scarf joins it, also neatly, before he claims a chair of his own — the one next to his host's — and his promised drink. The rest of his outfit is visible, now; it, too, is precisely tailored. He's wearing a chocolate-brown three-piece suit with a dark teal pindot shirt, the top two buttons undone in lieu of a tie, and a peacock-feather patterned silk pocket square sprouts cheekily out of the jacket's breast pocket. The movement of picking up the cup reveals polished labradorite cufflinks and a slim, leather-banded watch at his wrist. A moment of silence, while he breathes in the scent of the wine, eyes closing. "Mm. And thank you." Cash gets the entire phrase, this time!

Someday they'll have to stop meeting like this. Today is not that day.
"Really? That…" Cash pauses, looking over Vyv as he removes his coat, "Actually, no, that suits you - And is delightful." Whether he's talking about the suit or the profession might be up for debate. Perhaps it's both. Either way, that warm, genuine smile has returned, lighting up his face in a way that makes him look five years younger.
"Of course," He says to the thanks then, though something catches his eye which cuts him short. "Oh those are lovely." Yes, he's actually just noticed the cufflinks. Who the hell pays attention to cufflinks? Cash, apparently.

Also Vyv, it's probably reasonable to bet. Certainly he looks rather pleased to have them appreciated; in contrast to smiles that don't quite reach the eyes, he essentially manages one that instead doesn't quite reach the lips. Tyra Banks would be proud. "Thank you," he says again, before testing a small sip of the wine; cool enough for that much, apparently, though not enough that he hurries directly into the next one, yet.
He glances sidelong at Cash, and inquires, "Is it terribly cliche to note you wear that well? Suits you rather better than the plaid flannel." There's definitely a touch of teasing on the second part, enough to suggest 'playful' rather than 'catty'. "…and yes, really. I'm quite good at it, too… you'll have to come try my wares, sometime. My shop's a few blocks from where your old lady threw her little fit."

That look, that small squint of Vyv's eyes that only hints at a smile is enough to make Cash swallow around a suddenly dry throat. There is the slightest sweep of color of the tops of his cheekbones as he pulls his gaze away from directly staring at Vyv. Sips at his wine as well, it's a convenient enough cover. Still really too hot for easy drinking, but he'll take the mild burn on his tongue. Might have gotten away with all of that, too, if it weren't for Vyv's next statement, which replenishes and darkens that blush to where is just too obvious to brush away with wine and a turn of his head.
"Cliche? Maybe, but not unwelcome." Cash says on a slightly nervous laugh, "The flannel was, honestly, because I didn't think I'd run into another living person while moving boxes at night. I was wrong, but it's certainly not what I typically choose to entertain in. I could feel my mother break a piece of china all the way in Carolina."

There's a sparkle of amusement in Vyv's eyes at the blush, the sidelong glance as he takes another tiny, careful sip of the hot wine suggesting it's a rather charmed variety, not mocking. It expands into a breath of a laugh at the remark about Cash's mother. "You'll have to make it up to her, somehow. I suppose a presentation of replacement china while properly dressed might be a start, as long as you suitably apologise and swear on the sugar bowl you shan't let it happen again."
He settles the mug on the table, wrapping both hands around it, and turns his head so that the sideways look is somewhat more direct, arching a brow. "What do you usually entertain in?" It's just a little too innocent, possibly intentionally so.

"She's disappointed in me anyway, I doubt swearing on the sugar bowl, or the gravy boat, is going to do too terribly much. She'll just have to continue clutching her pearls." Cash says with a small laugh and a shrug of one shoulder. It's enough of a deflection that he's able to get ahold of himself, the blush fading away with a deep breath and a deeper drink of wine.
That next question inspires a small smirk. "Depends," Cash answers, "Sometimes I'll entertain in uniform, it's functional and comfortable enough. When that's not suitable, though, I have a decent closet." Not the sort of answer that fake innocence was after surely, but it's enough to keep the smirk in place.

"Mm. Perhaps a demitasse?" Vyv suggests, watching that deeper drink; one finger gives the rim of his cup a light, idle tap.
The smirk develops a faint mirror at the answer to his question, and he lifts the cup to sip it again — a slightly larger one, this time, as the liquid gradually cools. Some of that heat is probably getting transferred to his hands; they both stay around it, holding it near enough to breathe in the scent again between sips. "Well, that at least seems safe enough for your family porcelain. Doesn't sound disappointing in the least." A slight tilt of his head, and he allows, "Of course, I suppose that might depend what precisely you keep in your closet. I find 'decent' can cover a wide and rather debatable range."

"Would that she would ever adopt the world's best coffee tradition." Cash says on a small, playful sigh. It's interrupted, however, by a laugh. "I see - You're doubting my closet choices. Alright…" Amused and still chuckling, Cash rises from his seat, wine still in hand. "I'll let you see my closet, and you can judge for yourself. Uniforms, clothing strictly for sleeping, and school paraphernalia don't count. Come on." Nods his head toward the hall and then just begins to lead the way. I suppose this was one way to move the drinking further into the house. It's not exactly the normal way, but it certainly is a way.
The stairs are down a small hallway, after two doors. One leads to a guest bathroom, the other to a small study that is only halfway unpacked, its most notable feature in the dark being a large, heavy gun safe. That explains the metal and the beeping. Both bedrooms reside upstairs, and upstairs is where most of the unpacking is still left to be done. The guest bedroom is a stack of boxes, though the bed is at least set up and made now. The master is larger than one might expect, with a king bed and even a small reading nook by the window complete with an ivory chaise and a bookshelf still waiting to be filled.

"Not /doubting/, merely allowing for— variance," Vyv says; there's still that bit of humour in his eyes that offsets the fact that it hasn't bled into the tone. If one couldn't see him — or wasn't the sort to pay attention to subtleties — the impression would absolutely suggest doubting, and perhaps an inclination to expect the world to disappoint him on this front. "No promises on what doesn't count, though. Well— perhaps if you've uniforms they don't let you tailor. I suppose that couldn't really be helped." But the one that certainly is gets another brief but appreciative glance as Cash stands.
He rises easily enough with the invitation, of course bringing his wine as well, and follows at a stroll, not too far behind; everything they pass by does get looked over along the way, catalogued, but at least there's no indication any of it's harshly judged. In fact, when they reach their destination, he drifts over to that reading area, one hand brushing across the back of the chaise as he glances out the window into the darkness, then at the bookshelf. "Books haven't shown themselves yet?" he asks, somehow making it imply approval of the nook, before he moves back toward Cash, and presumably the closet.

"Can't really tailor cammies." Cash says with a laugh, "Best we get is boot bands and… Well, frankly, they're functional but I wouldn't call 'em pretty." He shakes his head as Vyv asks about the books. "They're all over in boxes in the guest room. I'm filling this shelf last, it'll be full of specific titles and some overflow, but I've got to get it all organized first. I have… Well over 1,000 titles across multiple boxes, and it's not a task I've had time for yet."
Opening the door to the closet, he gives a playful gesture with his arm to set Vyv loose for his judgement. It's a walk in, large but not ridiculous. One side of the closet is almost entirely full of uniforms, two repetitions of the greens beyond the set he's wearing, short sleeved variants, various fatigues, and in the back two sets of crisp dress blues. It's the other side of the closet that is more interesting. Almost everything in there is designer, Tom Ford suits, Brunello Cucinelli sweaters and jackets, Ralph Lauren jeans, even a couple of statement Gucci pieces, and a set of Dior scarves from a collection three years ago. It's all from various years, some of it older than other pieces, but it's well chosen and well made. His palette favors blues, greys, and cream - Though a warm brown or russet orange isn't unheard of - And there's even a particularly bold suit in a purple, brushed silk that looks like it's saved for special occasions. Elsewise the closet has a two dressers, full of the aforementioned sleeping clothes and school paraphernalia. The latter makes more sense when it's all Annapolis. Tucked away in the very back, top shelf of the closet, though is an old letterman's jacket in blue and gold. Someone has a sense of sentimental value.

"You say that, but I'm sure if you were truly determined…" It's light, and this time the amusement does touch the sound of it, just barely.
Vyv nods to the answer about the books, an steps into the closet; the wine settles firmly into one hand, the fingers of the other brushing over various items as he passes them. Some are lightly drawn out to get a better look, others simply glanced at how they are. The uniform side actually gets examined first. "Which specific books?" he asks, "Particular author or genre or topic, or just a selection of favourites?" It's a touch distracted, but the interest is still genuine — just a bit split, right now. The fatigues get a soft 'tch' and a sidelong look back at Cash, with the ghost of an upward turn at the corner of his mouth, but the blues get a gentle touch and a genuinely approving look. Not that his host has much choice in them, granted, but presuming he can assume they're as well-treated as the current ensemble… well. He turns around entirely when he reaches the back, and has a sip of the wine, watching from there in the pause.

"A selection of favorites, mostly." Cash says, letting the ribbing about getting the task done lie. "I've got a couple of rare editions and signed copies that I like to keep just in my personal space, for example. Content to let Vyv investigate the closet, Cash leans his hip against the doorframe and sipping at his wine. The tch in regard to the fatigues just earns a shrug. "Would that I could change them - But they're utilities, not fashion statements." He says on a laugh. "But yeah, I got my degree in English Literature, so I have… Way too many books."

Well, he didn't promise, after all! The general approval of things is rather more serious than it counterpart, and it continues as Vyv investigates that other side of the closet. More variety, there, so it takes a bit longer — more things get a bit closer examination, drawn out far enough to catch details. The purple suit gets a raised brow, though in interest rather than disapproval. Worth seeing sometime, the expression says, even if it isn't mentioned aloud.
"I'm not sure one can have too many books, as long as there's room to keep them and one can still find what one wants when one wants it…" He releases the silk, and takes another sip as he moves onward; there's a hint of cataloguing, and certainly a sense of recognition with some of the pieces. "My degree's in arts culinaires et entrepreneuriat," he remarks, "…option patisserie. Rather fewer books involved, I suspect. And possibly less varied topics and literary style. I've no similarly good excuse for the ones that seem to have accumulated in my own moving boxes just now." One of those scarves gets briefly wrapped around his free hand, then replaced as neatly as he found it, as he makes his way back toward the door. "Which sport?" he asks, a small lift of his chin indicating the tucked-away letterman's jacket.

"You know, you would think that." Cash says on a laugh, "But I promise, there does come a 'too many' point. In fact, I don't even think all of these are actually mine. My mother packed a lot of this stuff, and I'm pretty sure she threw in a lot of titles she just didn't want to deal with in her house anymore." Shaking his head, he drains his cup before setting aside on the bedroom sideboard.
"Ah, yeah," He says with a nod as Vyv raises interest in the purple suit, "That was a gift, two years ago. Haven't actually gotten to wear it to anything - Anything formal enough I've been to has been Class A Blues mandatory." Does seem fond of it, though, even if it has gone unworn.
"Let me tell you, saving yourself the headache of book costs is worth being proud of." Cash chuckles, folding his arms as he watches Vyv's continued inspection. "Hm?" Cash glances in the direction indicated, "Oh. Lacrosse. I'm absolute shit at it, but it was good enough, I guess."

"Lacrosse? Hm," Vyv says, apparently slightly surprised by that. "Well, you can't have been that bad," he says, and with another glance toward the suit, "If you want an opportunity, I'm sure one will arise here soon enough. There was a charity ball earlier this year, for example… perhaps not quite the palette for that one, but come Spring, perhaps." A potentially dangerous question follows: "Who gave it to you, and what was the occasion?" If it turns out to be a question Cash might prefer a moment before answering, he at least gets it, as Vyv stops just before the doorway to meet his gaze and say, "You have my permission to lay claim to 'decent'. You /could/ cause more maternal crockery casualties if you put your mind to it, I'm sure, but I feel it all bodes well." There's the flicker of a smile, before it disappears behind the wine again.

"Yeah, lacrosse. I know, it's… Not exactly the sport people expect." Cash says with a small shrug, "I really wasn't great. All you have to do to earn letter is be on the varsity team, have field time in one regular season game, and keep your GPA in acceptable range. I was… Pretty trash, but in a town full of a bunch of other people that were also pretty bad at lacrosse, it worked out." There's a laugh then, and a warm smile. "Well, I am glad it's been found up to standard." He says as his grin goes slightly askew, "And it was a gift from…" He stops, glances over at the suit, "Eh, doesn't matter." Especially not when Vyv has decided to hide that smile again.
It's a fluid motion that follows, Cash raising his hand as Vyv pulls the cup away from his drink. Takes the cup in his own hand and steals away the wine - But in a moment of bravery, possibly fueled by that very same wine or just because he was sometimes a brave idiot, Cash leans toward Vyv in an attempt to steal the ghost of kiss from lips that keep being hidden behind wine.
Bold. Artistic. Choices.

Sometimes the best kind, aren't they?
It helps that it's so fluid, surely. Vyv likely wouldn't have fought for the cup in any case — surely that would only result in the rest of the wine going everywhere, and who would that help? — but it means he doesn't really have time to do what he probably would have. He gets as far as looking slightly startled and parting the lips in question in preparation for whatever sort of protest was likely to emerge, and then there's that kiss being stolen.
Both surprised and not, for that moment; it leaves him still for a heartbeat, perfectly balanced, neither leaning in nor drawing away. And then his head tilts and eyes half-close, his freed hand lightly catching the other man's jaw — index finger along it, thumb against the cheek, and the other fingers curled beneath the chin as he steals the kiss back, or another a bit less ghostly.

You know, sometimes they get you hit. Sometimes, though, they pay off brilliantly. This is the latter, and Cash smiles for a moment through that returned, and more intense, kiss. The pleasure of that smile converts into a purr in back of his throat, and Cash is entirely content to answer this kiss in equal measure, reaching around Vyv's waist with his free hand to press his palm against the small of the other man's back. Maybe it's the wine talking, but he's pretty convinced, in this moment, that Vyv has total control of all of the air in world. His heart pounds, easily felt along his neck and jaw, especially as he leans into Vyv's touch.
When finally he pulls his lips away he is breathless, drawing in deep breaths through his nose in an instinct long taught from diving training. The smile returns, but this time just a little bit shy, even as he doesn't move away, just hovers there in that space where it is positioning of his jaw alone that doesn't have their lips touching.

The light pressure of that hand results in a soft sound against Cash's lips, something that blends well with that purr of his, and Vyv lets it draw him further, closing most of what space remains between them. The kiss deepens, on one end or the other — perhaps both, though the detail there soon seems superfluous. It simply is. Vyv's fingertips brush downward, tracing that pulse along the side of the other man's throat, and then slide further back, settling against his neck and creeping into the hair at the nape. Light pressure there, as well, more inviting him into that kiss than demanding, and when the kiss does break, the hand lingers, fingertips shifting just short of ticklishly against the skin.
The breathlessness seems mutual, as is the inclination not to draw much farther away; Vyv doesn't open his eyes immediately, the lashes only beginning to lift after a couple more of those breaths. When he does, though, there's a smile of his own — small, still a bit crooked, but genuine. Maybe a touch of that shy quality is contagious, though it mixes oddly with something a little wickeder. A second of silence, and then the latter wins the balance; the pressure at the back of Cash's neck increases perceptibly, and Vyv kisses him again. Briefer, this time, but he doesn't draw back much when this one breaks either. The other side of the smile twitches upward a little, and he murmurs quite warmly, "You stole my wine." It doesn't really sound like a complaint.

This was pleasant and warm, and while it was certainly helped along by the wine, of itself this was a place Cash could stay quite comfortably. This was the sort of thing he really has never had any sort of time or opportunity for. The fact that it delights him is obvious in this smile, and in the small, surprised noise muffled against Vyv's lips as he kisses him again. It's the briefer, stolen, fiercer kiss that really steals Cash's breath away - Enough that he forgets to breathe entirely until the quip about the wine. "Yes," He says, breathless, pausing to catch some air again, "It kept being put terribly in the way."

Vyv gives a tiny, chiding click of the tongue, studying Cash's face from not quite enough distance for perfect focus — but as much as he's inclined to allow at the moment regardless. "I won that fair and square, you know," he repies, still in much the same tone, gaze settling briefly on the pilot's lips before finding his eyes. "I suppose you'll just have to find some way to make it up to me."
He doesn't steal another kiss, quite. Closes the distance enough that neither of them could hide that change in their breath if they wanted to, enough that it's easy to sense, or maybe just imagine, the warmth of proximity. A small shift of weight has a similar effect what other distance remains between them, just enough room left for the hand not at Cash's neck to settle against his chest. "…good problem-solving, though."

"It's a strong suit." Cash says, little more than a whisper, as Cash's brain is slowly turning off. Well, at least the higher functions of it - Especially the speech centers. His own gaze has settled firmly on Vyv's mouth, especially as the other man speaks, and he's continuing to have a difficult time remembering to breathe.
"What sort of repayment did you have in mind?" The question as breathless as the last. The hand still on Vyv's back curls, fingertips drawing circles across fabric covered skin, drifting by slow inches closer to Vyv's hip, and just a hair lower with each passing heartbeat.

"Well," Vyv muses, hand sliding slowly up Cash's chest until his fingertips pass the collar, gliding up along that point where throat turns to neck, where the pulse is clear beneath the skin, "I'm still not sold on that pocket change," and his hand shifts to run along the shoulder, down the man's arm, over his wrist, "so it seems as though that might be a problem… that needs solving." His fingers curl around the stolen cup, and gently but firmly steal it back; the contents are cool enough now that he can ease just slightly back and down what remains, attention still mostly on his companion. The gaze — and the rest of him — shifts away briefly as he stretches to set the now-empty glass on the nearest bit of the closet's upper shelf, just beside them, and then he melts back in, this time right up against him, the free hand moving to brush through Cash's hair. "Luckily, I hear that's a strong suit." And then he does kiss him again, this one a bit harder to classify as 'stolen', and less brief than the last. It tastes pleasantly, if unsurprisingly, of mulled wine. And if Vyv's spotted the logical inconsistency he's created in all this, he clearly isn't going to be the one to point it out.

You know, the logical inconsistency is glaringly obvious. Does Cash mention it? Nope. The minute Vyv takes that cup back, Cash is done for, absolutely entranced and doing no good at all in hiding it. Seems his charm and bravado only go so far - Eventually they melt away and leave behind a wonderstruck man who is easily led along by someone sharp, smart, and toeing the border of dangerous. He swallows around a suddenly dry throat as Vyv's hand cards through his hair.
This kiss lights a fire in the pit of his stomach, and it's returned with a sudden and sharp passion that leads to the pressure of teeth on Vyv's lower lip. Cash's hand curls firmly into the fabric of Vyv's shirt, pulling enough to let him have access to skin, and his fingertips start a soft, teasing journey along sensitive skin along the back of Vyv's hip. His other hand, now free of wine, moves to caress down the other man's side, firm and flustered - And there is a hard, sudden shiver that races down Cash's spine.

Vyv kisses hungrily, a quiet sound meeting that bite; something almost pained in it, but not of the sort that leads him to pull even the slightest bit away from it. That doesn't happen until he has to breathe more fully again, those light inhalations through his nose no longer fully cutting it. They force a trade to more delicate kisses, brushes of lips against lips, then against the edge Cash's jaw, or the turn of it, or the spot just below where it joins his neck. Warm breath across that skin, and a tangible tension through his shoulders at the travelling touch of the fingers beneath his clothing.
It's probably fair to guess the mulled wine isn't the only thing mirroring that fire in the stomach, really, and Vyv's hand slides down over Cash's chest again, this time finding the buttons of the uniform and undoing one, then another. Whatever destination might be most precisely in mind, there are definitely too many layers there for his taste just now. Another of those little kisses, this one moving higher again, and then it's his turn for a small nip, catching the earlobe that somehow happens to just be right there. Less flustered, perhaps, but the on the whole, the feelings seem fairly mutual.

Cash sighs audibly as Vyv's lips find his neck and his head intinctively tilts to let him have access to as much skin as possible. Not much that's available with his shirt collar, but that doesn't stop him. There are so many layers. Jacket, tie, shirt, undershirt - It's a lot of heavy, starched fabric - And it is all immensely in the way. Forever the curse of the charm of a man in uniform, it's great to look at, getting it off, however, is a challenge. Which is why when Vyv begins his attack on these jacket buttons, Cash's hand moves away from his side to work at and then remove the belt around his waist as well. This is swiftly followed by his shrugging out of his jacket, which is unceremoniously allowed to fall to the ground. Somewhere, in the very back of his mind, an old drill instructor's voice is screaming, and Cash is not listening.
Maybe he would have, though - All chances of that are dashed with that bite to his ear, however. It inspires a sudden gasp and a low sound that dares to edge into the realm of moaning, and that's where Cash's willpower dies. Despite the two of them being of a height, Cash wraps his arm around Vyv firmly and lifts, perfectly capable of picking him up and taking him out of this closet. Who the hell makes out in a closet, anyway? Well… Other than high schoolers playing Seven Minutes In Heaven, I guess. There's a perfectly functional, even nice, bed right here and Cash seems of a mind to actually make use of it.


For a long moment afterward he's content to just remain as they are, tangled, Vyv atop him, basking in this golden glow that still clings to his limbs. After a few minutes, however, Cash takes a deep breath. With a shift of his arms, he encourages Vyv's weight slightly to the side and then pulls them both up to lay more properly on the bed. It leaves him with his shoulder propped against the headboard and one arm still firmly around Vyv. Stretching, he fumbles one-handed through the drawer of a sidetable for a moment. A second later, though, he's lighting a cigarette. Cash pulls the first drag with a deep breath, and exhales on a pleased sigh before offering the cigarette to Vyv.

Vyv is easily encouraged in that movement, as if it were more or less expected. And it should be, perhaps, given they certainly couldn't stay that way forever. As much as there's no objection to the relocation, there's even less to the 'why', at least once that fact becomes clear and wipes away the brief look of curiosity as he finishes settling in. "Oh, yes please," he murmurs at the offer, and accepts, taking a drag himself. Though it's near silent, there's something of that pleased sigh lurking in his exhalation as well, at least, until it turns into a soft, sudden laugh. "Well," he murmurs, offering the cigarette back again, "You've much improved my evening, you know. Might even venture to say entire day. I may need to write your car a proper thank you note."

With the cigarette passed off, Cash reaches to the nightstand again to retrieve a small, crystal ashtray. Who the hell even buys expensive ashtrays anymore? Much less then keeps them in a drawer, and unceremoniously perches them on their stomach while sharing a postcoital smoke? "I'm sure she'll be well pleased by her due credit." Cash says on a soft laugh, taking the cigarette back and not speaking again until he has both ashed and exhaled. "This wasn't exactly my plan for the evening, but it is definitely a lot better than what I did have planned." He says, and the cigarette is passed back to establish an easy, unhurried pattern.

The odds might go down from the 'keeping them in a drawer' portion of things onward, but 'buys expensive ashtrays' is just one of those descriptive phrases that kind of sound like they could be Vyv-applicable, at least once one knows he (at the least sometimes) smokes. Like, for example, when the cigarette's passed back. "Dear '58 Cadillac," he says, gesturing with it like a 1930s writer dictating in a movie, gaze aimed vaguely toward the ceiling but focused somewhere into space, "May I commend you on your impeccable sense of timing and drama? Your style, of course, is obvious to all, but I can but thank you for exercising your other talents on my behalf…" That is, apparently, about enough of that, as the faint but still rather satisfied-looking smile is hidden behind actually taking that second smoke, and he looks to Cash again as he hands it over, one brow slightly lifting. "What had you had planned?"

This melodrama, though well earned, does inspire some light laughter from Cash. The kind that doesn't make much noise, but it does make his chest shake a touch, and his breath hitch as his lips purse. "Audrey," He offers almost suddenly, "Her name is Audrey." Not lingering on that topic, he takes the cigarette back and presses a kiss to Vyv's temple. "Drinking an entire pot of wine to myself and then likely passing out in a haze of cloves and alcohol." Cash answers before pulling a deep drag from their cigarette, offering it over again as he continue, "So a pretty standard Monday night, all told."

"Audrey," Vyv repeats as if tasting the name, with a considering tilt of the head. Between them, the bare downward tilt of his chin and 'Mm,' that follow a second or so later appear to signal approval, confirmed by the addition of, "Not bad." This is an acceptable name for a car! Or at least that car. The plans might be less acceptable, since they get a light tch, and as he accepts the pass again, a dryer, "Well, I'm certainly pleased to outpace that." He takes the drag and watches the smoke he exhales before allowing, with a small shift of position that one could, if inclined, take as a subtle bit of snuggling in, "Although I suppose it /is/ really very good wine."

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