Brunch of Truth

Manhattan - The Diner

It's always been The Diner. The typical greasy spoon that never left the fifties. Plastic and vinyl light blue chairs and booth benches and white formica speckled tables compliment the black and white checkerboard floor and the fifties and sixties nostalgia that line the walls. There are vinyl records, a neon Coke sign, and a good old fashioned jukebox. Bar stools line the counter, and the specials are written in white block chalk and cursive letters on a black board that hangs behind the bar. Even the neon sign over the top of the building has that old style feel and look to it.

Open twenty-four hours, and offering breakfast all twenty-four of them, The Diner is a popular drop spot for teenagers and adults. After a movie, you can enjoy shakes and fries; in the morning it's the pick me up coffee and doughnut. The staff isn't required to dress for the theme, but the majority do it by choice.


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Quintin Bruning Jenna Donovan

He's delayed this long enough. Not only does this have to happen but also he misses her. It seems as if they've not really spoken much since the kitchen incident and he worries that he's ruined too much between them.

Her clothes were delivered to her door on Thursday to save embarrassment. He's not looking for anything but conversation. The day before he contacted her for plans. They both work on Saturday nights so brunch is the best option. Instead of somewhere fancy he goes to The Diner. He could use some chili cheese fries. They could be comfort food.

Paranoid as he always is, Quin has shown up extremely early and gotten a booth for them. Before him is none other than the chili cheese fries he craves so much, although the werewolf has barely touched them. He has too much on his mind.

It's true. Jenna's not spoken too much since the fiasco that was the fourth. Things turned out much better as the day wore on, but it was pretty tense there at the beginning, and she's been trying to work past it. Then there was the arrival of her clothing on Thursday, which just confused her more. She'd thought Quin might have delivered them himself, or waited until their next cooking lesson.
So the call from him is a surprise. When he invites her down to the Diner, she knows exactly where to go. It's not her typical venue, per se, but it's not far from the Tisch campus.
Jenna's not running late, but she's not exactly early either. Perfectly on time. Entering the Diner, she glances around looking for him.

He just sucks when it comes to women. That's all there is to that.

When Jenna walks in, he's leaning down on the table having a staring competition with the food before him. That doesn't mean that he isn't keeping watch for her. He hears the door, he sniffs her scent. Quin knows he's here. Time to man up.

He looks up to her and offers a smile. There's no reason to not smile. She looks good as always and he's missed speaking with her. No matter what happens he really wants to keep her in his life. A wave is given to her, signaling her over to join him.

Waving back, Jenna smiles. He actually came. Though it's silly for her to think that considering he invited her. It would be even more silly if he didn't show up.
"Quintin! I'm sorry if I'm late. There was a bit of traffic in Midtown and the driver had to take a different route than what I'd planned." There's a reason why she left early, and Saturday traffic was part of it. A lot of tourists hit the city in the summer.
"So, uhm, hi."

Of course he's here. He's always here. That's the promise he'll make to her if he hasn't already done so already. As she approaches he stands to greet her and even hugs her. He's learning. She'll feel that he's nervous but he's also just happy. She always makes him happy.

"Don't worry about it. I was up earlier than planned and had nothing to do so I thought I'd head over early." By over an hour. Quin will not sit until she does. He may not be good with women but he does know how to be polite.

"It's good to see you, Jenna. I know I wasn't overly interactive on the holiday. Thanks for meeting me."

It's easy enough to hug him back, and she can feel his nerves and happiness. She wants to question him about them, but then he starts to comment on how he was early and just came over.
"I really hope you've not been waiting too long." Biting her lip, she tucks the skirt of her dress under her and sits on the bench seat.
"You saved my life, Quin. I think that anyone who's willing to dive in after someone and help them back up on a boat deserves his rest."

The nerves linger but the more that she speaks, that she interacts, the calmer he gets. It's just nice to be around her. He can't really describe it, but he likely doesn't have to. He's not even remembered to this point that she might pick up on how he feels; that will come later likely.

Quin sits across from her, the warm smile remaining. "Oh, no. I'm sure that it wasn't anything that dramatic." He didn't save her life. He was trying to be protective again when he knows she might not need it. But he'll be protective all the same.

"And I wasn't tired because of that. Jenna, I'll always be around for you when you need me." He looks deep in her eyes as he says that. He clearly means it. His fries are cold at this point and he slides them out of the way. "I just didn't sleep at all the night before. It was just timing."

He hasn't forgotten that she was upset though. "How are you? I didn't want to seem like I was pestering you by checking up on you. But I just want to know."

"Quin, I could have drowned and you risked your own life jumping in after me." With all the boats there, there's a good possibility that someone would have tossed her a preserver sooner or later, or helped get her back up on the dock, but that's not the point. The point is Quintin risked himself to ensure she was safe.
Blushing deeply when he catches her eyes, she looks down at his fries. He's pushing them away, but it gives her a few seconds to get the redness out of her cheeks. "I'm sorry that you didn't sleep the night before. I can't imagine getting dragged out on a boat so early with Chance's cousin was much fun for you at all."
Another blush hits her cheeks. "I'm okay. I was just… really upset by the way Siobhan was being treated. It wasn't right of Jackass to treat her like that."
"Why would you think you're pestering me?"

The way she pitches it seems as if he really did do something heroic. He still doubts that. "I was just the first one there." That doesn't stop him from being proud with what he did. He was there for her. "I'd kind of always like to do that. No matter what." Pause. "Be the first to respond that is." Man, he sucks at speaking to women.

Quin almost hangs his head and actually looks down as well. "He's just a tool, Jenna. He's the type that probably gets off treating people like that. It's not even worth being angry at, because then you're acknowledging that he exists. I'd just like to forget about him." He can't help but smirk, though, and that's when he looks back to her. "Well, we'll see if I can. I think he might be sending me his medical bills." Yes, he's proud of that, too.

That smile never fades as he responds to her question. "Because. You're independent. You might not want me checking in on you like I have nothing better to do. That won't stop me, though." Respecting boundaries, that's what he's attempting to do. "And don't think I didn't have fun. I had a blast. Believe it or not."

"You responded quickly. I'm very glad for that." Jenna reaches out and grabs his hand. Giving it a grateful squeeze, she smiles at him. "Do you mean for me, or do you mean in general? I think you'd make a really good paramedic or doctor, you know."
Jackson is a tool. "He probably does. But that doesn't mean I was going to let him say those things about my friend." He's lucky all she did was yell at him, because she really wanted to punch him too.
"If he does send you a bill, let me know? I'll have our lawyer handle it, since he did try to drown me."
There's a surprised smile at the fact he's calling her independent. She doesn't consider herself to be independent, but it's a nice thought. "You had a lot of fun after your nap."

He can't help but place his other hand on top of hers when she touches him. He's far more relaxed than he had been before the Fourth. The hand doesn't linger but it is a sign of appreciation. "Social services." That's the first time he's spoken about it. "If I don't go straight to the NFL, I want to work with those who might not have been as fortunate as I was after I lost my family."

There's a moment when he almost laughs. "This is one of those times where I'm sure no one will want to sue me. Imagine the sympathy I'd get." It's a sad truth but he'll take it. Quin shakes his head. "I don't know. I was upset when he started going off on her. I was downright pissed when he even got close to you." He's not lying about how he felt, either.

She has a point. He did have fun. "Well, yeah. But I wanted to apologize that, well, that something came out about you in a very upsetting way. I guess I just don't feel comfortable knowing your secret without you knowing mine." He has to force this part out as he's already trying to run away from it. "I think that's what upset me the most. He got you to speak up because he is such an asshat."

"That's a great idea! Specializing in Children's services? I can see you doing that too." Jenna's eyes go wide as he mentions the NFL. "Are they scouting you, Quin?"
There's a blink, and then she recalls who he is. Biting her lip, she squeezes his hand again. "Well if he tries, just let me know. If he weren't Chance's cousin, I'd've likely pressed charges for assault." It would've never gone to court. There would have been a payout from the sorcerers, she's sure. Jenna doesn't need the money, or the embarrassment. Which is why she's willing to let it go and just let Jackass have to explain to his father that he was bested by a witch.
"I was going to tell you guys, but Siobhan's really the only one besides my brother that ever knew my secret and I just wasn't sure how everyone else would react…"

She's not openly dismissing him for his choices in life. It isn't that he honestly expected her to. "It isn't a glamorous life, but I can relate to them. I want to help people. Not everyone has someone stepping in for them like I did." He's genuinely concerned with the wellbeing of others. Though he quickly gets embarrassed by what she says. "I have been for a while. I just feel guilty. One because it would delay my work, and two because, well, because." He'll get to that in a second.

"I'll be sure to keep you in the loop." He will, too. He's been almost completely open with her, which is unusual for him. There are just some things that are difficult but he intends to speak with her about them. "If we see him again I might suggest you do that. I'm hoping that with everything that happened he'll get scolded by his family." For whatever reason.

His other hand moves atop hers again, this time to comfort her. Quin isn't judging. "I can understand that. Honestly, it's really hard for me to open up about things. Shiv figured it out and hasn't told you, and that isn't fair to you. I want to tell you, but I want you to promise you won't freak out, okay?" He considers for a moment. "I personally like you for all that you are. Every last bit of it."

"Quintin, not everything in life needs to be about glamour. I think it's great that you're taking a past experience of knowing what it's like to be in the system, and wanting to help others. I commend that." Jenna knows she's got lofty goals, but if she'd ever been in Quin's place, she'd have been absolutely lost. Her cheerful demeanor drained out of her.
"But you could still finish university first. They'd make you do that at least. So you'd still have your proper degree. When you were done on the field you could go right into it."
She's happy that he'll keep her in the loop though, because she wants to be there for him if Chance's cousin causes any issues. "I'm hoping so too."
He's getting serious, and Jenna looks concerned for a moment. That Siobhan knows something and didn't share it does make her a little upset, but she'll get over it. "Why would I freak out?"

Now she at least knows where his mind has been for the last little bit. "That's what I decided in the end, I think. That just because I might go into the NFL after next year, that doesn't mean that I can't do what I started out doing in the beginning, right? Well, other than the guilt factor, but you'll understand that soon."

Yes, Quin is getting serious. Enough so that Jackson is all but forgotten for a moment. Once again he looks deeply into her eyes. "I don't know if you saw why I always wear a shirt or not." The water wasn't nice to him but so many other things were going on that it could easily have been missed. "But that's why I think you might freak out. Not that I think you'd let something like that dictate how you think of me, but, well, you know."

He just has to come out and say it, he knows it. So after making sure, or assuming as much, that they're not being listened to Quin just up and comes out with it. "The reason I was tired is a part of it. Because of the full moon." Pause. "Jenna, I'm a wolf."

"I think that would be good for you. You're a very dedicated player," Jenna starts. When he tells her that there's a guilt factor, her brow furrows slightly. She's getting mixed emotions again, and can't tell if all of them are coming from him or not at this point.
"I don't think so? I was… pretty focused. I mean…"
Not for the first time she wishes she had Siobhan's abilities. At least to create a private zone. She can tell Quin's uncomfortable and that he's worried. Probably that someone might hear him. At least she can always fall back on 'we're rehearsing' if she absolutely needs to.
"Quintin…" Looking him straight in the eyes, she bites her lip. "You know who my best friend is, and who your roommate is. Why would you think I'd be freaked out?"

"It's pretty nasty. You'd know if you had seen it." He doesn't reach for his chest. For all that he wants to, he just doesn't. It's more important that he focus on being completely open and honest with Jenna. She deserves that much.

Her lack of overreaction actually calms him greatly. "Well, to be fair, it's more than a little different than that." He doesn't even try to think of all the ways. He focuses on her, and the fact that she's not running away screaming. "So I could bench press you with one hand without breaking a sweat if I wanted to, which is part of the reason I feel guilty going pro." He also hopes they never play on a full moon.

"The other reason is that once a month I turn into something that is just not me. I can't stop it and I can't be tamed, and I could hurt someone if I ever slipped up." That's the source of his worry. It feels better to Quin to speak it, but it's still a concern. "And that's why I was so worked up on Monday. The days leading up to it I get, well, very anxious. Almost primal."

The werewolf sighs. "I just feel it's fair that you know this. I was going to tell you anyway, but Wednesday made me realize I should tell you sooner as opposed to later. I don't want to hide things from you."

"Quin? You're talking about once a month. You know what? I'm not exactly little miss sunshine once a month myself." Granted, Jenna doesn't have to worry about potentially hurting anyone, but she's got a fairly good idea that he's not going to do it on purpose if he does do it.
"Listen to what you just said. If you wanted to. That means you shouldn't feel guilty at all about going pro." He's been very gentle with her and Shiv, so she's sure that if he was really worried about it in football, he could hold back a little.
"Oh… so.. okay." She nods at him, seeming confused a little. "Well I appreciate that you told me."

This is going almost too well. He has to take a break from the seriousness to laugh when she brings up her monthly issues. "Well, you /did/ compare it to a male form of that not all that long ago." He was paying attention. "It just means that I have to make sure I'm away from everyone that night. And I do." If he found out he ever hurt anyone he'd probably lose it.

Quin rubs at the back of his neck, something he always does when he's nervous or torn. "And there's the other things that go with it. It almost seems like a laundry list, but if you and I are seeing where things are going, I think it's fair that you know." Pause. "If we still are." Another pause. "Which I'm sorry if I've set that astray, but I'm not going anywhere."

He really needs to be better with women. "And I'm only saying this now because I've started to open up. I'll continue now but then likely bottle right back up." It's almost a curse. "I've wanted to kiss you for a long time, but I was raised to believe that a gentleman shouldn't act until a lady is ready. And admittedly I couldn't read any signs if they smacked me in the face." He's not joking. "So I don't regret what I've done, but I know I got a bit out of control. And that is what I'm really sorry about. I don't ever want you thinking that you can't be around me."

"I did, didn't I?" Jenna giggles at that, not stressing over the fact that he likely didn't mean to kiss her at all. He was just acting on instincts or whatever. "Well if you do, then I don't see what the problem is. I mean you take precautions and that's the best anyone can do, right?"
Other things that go with it. Seeing where things are going. Jenna's the one who feels a bit guilty now, and as much as she wants to keep it from him she really doesn't like lying. She asked Chance not to say anything, that she'd tell Quintin when she felt comfortable doing so.
"You wanted to kiss me? I mean, you weren't just saying that you didn't mean to kiss me?" Giving him a confused look, she realizes that they've not ordered anything and for the life of her she can't recall a time she's been in a restaurant and not ordered before talking.
"I kissed Chance."
"If you're being honest with me, it's only fair I'm honest with you too right? I mean, I'm still for taking things slow, but I don't think I'm ready for anything really serious just yet. I've only ever really dated gay guys, and you were like… my fourth or fifth real kiss, and I know I'm babbling. I tend to babble when I'm trying to process things. Please don't hate me?"

Please don't hate her? He's just admitted that he's a sharped clawed, ugly toothed monster once a month and she's worried about how he feels? Quin just stares at her for a moment before he grins. He just can't help it. "Jenna?" This is where the honesty comes. "I'm telling you this right now. I don't hate you. I like you, a lot, which is why I'm telling you things that keep me awake at night." Her mother would be proud, if only he spoke to her about any of his issues. "And I mean this right now. You have my word. No matter what, I will be here for you. If you decide that it's just as a friend a frat boy removal service? That's what it will be."

Of course, it would help him to know sooner as opposed to later, but he doesn't honestly care. It's just good to have the communication. "I've just been afraid to say anything because of, well, everything. We're all like a circle of friends, and things are said. I know that Shiv liked me, and I do love her, but I feel a strong bond to her. I don't know if it's because of the charm she made me or not, but I can't for the life of me see her as anything but the sister that I never had." Or a replacement for the one who was brutally killed.

Through all of this he's still smiling. Food be damned. "I figured something happened between you and Chance. I'm not worried about it. No matter what, you're not a conquest to him. I've seen those types and I know this isn't it. So I'm not worried." In the end it really is all about making sure Jenna doesn't feel as if she's not wanted. She is. "I just appreciate honesty, even if I was keeping something big from you. I'm horrible at speaking with girls and admitting to my feelings. I'm trying. It's just not easy and I never know if I'm reading anyone correctly."

Yes, he did just admit that he was the actual equivalent of a Hollywood monster. The difference is, he had no control over that. Jenna had plenty of control over whether or not she kissed Chance, and she still did it. Because she does find both of them attractive, and she does want to hang out with and date both of them, even though Chance has admitted that he's so not that type.
"But I don't want to hurt you, Quin."
Jenna gets up from the seat, standing beside the table for a moment. She's not going to run. She just slips in beside him. Mostly so she can give him a half hug.
"I'm beginning to think that you're way, way too good for me." Beat. "We are in a circle of friends, and no matter what else happens, we're friends Quintin. Even if we see where things go and it doesn't work out, we're friends. I don't want you to ever be afraid to tell me anything. No matter what. Because friends listen even if what they're hearing could hurt them."
She knows people hear things, and she's very grateful that Chance gave her the opportunity to tell Quin about the kiss.
"You had a perfectly valid reason for keeping that a secret. I know most people would freak out about it."

He doesn't even know how to respond to her, and before he can think of a good response she's sitting next to him. So he'll take full advantage of it. He wraps an arm around her. Oh, sure, he's happy to be close to her but there are no strong feelings of intense desire. It's not saying that he doesn't, but that uncontrollable side of him is sedated for now.

"Thank you, Jenna. Really. It means a lot." Being able to speak the truth and still keep Jenna around means the world to Quin. He'll even kiss her lightly on the top of the head to show as much.

"That's all I ask. I'm not saying it's date me or don't talk to me. I'm happy to have you around, no matter the outcome." Chance would have told Quin eventually. It does sound better coming from Jenna directly, explaining how she feels and the whole picture. "And thanks for being honest with me."

He hasn't told her about his bunk mate for the trip just yet. That might be a little too much openness for the time being. Especially as he can't read Kay, either. "And sorry I didn't pick a better place to eat. At the time I made the plans I really wanted the fries here."

Giving him a smile, she nods. "It means a lot to have you in my life too, Quintin." In whatever way it winds up being, she's glad that he retrieved the purse Harper bought her for her birthday, and that she recognized him at the club.
"I wasn't trying to be dishonest with you. I promise. I've just been trying to figure out how I feel." She's fairly certain Chance has got her marked as 'off limits' anyhow, due to the fact that she's not a fling-type of girl.
"I've been here before with friends from school. Let's get you some fresh fries, and I'll see what I want? Then we can walk it off before work."

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