Platonic Pretzeling

Columbus Gardens - Chance and Quintin's Apartment


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Chance Harper Jenna Donovan

Chance isn't at all like his roommate. No extraordinary measures are taken beyond tidying the place up in preparation for Jenna's arrival. Magazines, mostly sports ones, law journals, a gaming one and the latest GQ are stacked neatly together and placed in the rack beneath the coffee table. No stray socks or t-shirts (or bras or panties for that matter) are lurking between the couch or arm chair cushions. The shoes are in the shoe rack by the front door, and coats are hung in the closet. His laptop is in the bedroom, out of the way, but the iPad is propped up on the kitchen counter with the step by step recipe for making soft pretzels.
There are no candles, no dimming of the lights. It's not meant to be a romantic date, but just an evening between friends. It's important to Chance to keep it that way because he's still not entirely sure how to handle things with Jenna beyond friendship. He likes her, but there are plenty of obstacles there, and not all of them have to do with his roommate. His iPod is docked, a random mix of show tunes streaming from the surround sound speakers. Not to impress Jenna, but because the sorcerer does enjoy musicals and show tunes, and a variety of other types of music.
All is in order, and he retires to the kitchen to start readying the ingredients for Jenna's next kitchen foray.

Jenna's been looking forward to a really quiet, relaxing movie night. No overabundance of happy/chipper/omgsquee emotions from her brother or BFF. Lots of good snack food. And an entire bag filled with movies.
Action. Comedy. Action-comedy. All things that are just fun movies to watch with friends.
As promised, she's picked up a lot of junkie stuff. All of his favorites. All of hers. Along with a few other things that she's got in her overnight bag, because she is planning on watching movies and crashing here.
Knocking at the door, she shifts her weight around to rebalance the bags so she doesn't drop any.

Chance doesn't have supernatural hearing to go with his supernatural talents, but he is keeping an ear out for Jenna's arrival. Despite the music, he hears the knock and makes his way to the door. He's dressed quite comfortably. A pair of faded blue jeans with a fitted t-shirt emblazoned with Columbia University and beneath it the Greek letters Delta Sigma Phi. He's comfortably bare foot, and swings the door open without checking the peep hole.
"Right on time," Chance greets Jenna with a smile. "Come on in."
"Let me help you with those," Chance is already reaching for the bags that look to be the heaviest to take them off her hands.

Once Chance has a few of the bags, a wild Jenna appears. Except she's not at all wild. She's actually calm and perky. Giving him a dazzling smile, she walks into the apartment and drops her overnight bag beside the door.
She's dressed pretty casually for her too. Wearing a red cut-out shoulder top, and a pair of simple black capris.
"Oh my god, you're a frat boy," she accuses with a giggle. "And here I thought Quintin was supposed to be saving us from those dastardly frat boy types."
The other bags are kept in her hands, so that she can carry them wherever he indicates. "Love the music. I don't think I would've pegged you as a Book of Mormon fan."

Jenna looks good, but she always does. She and Siobhan tend to have dressing well down to a science, and the empath is well dressed even dressed casually as she is.
"You're cute," Chance says, giving her a once over, because he wouldn't be Chance if he didn't look. The words, however, are quite casual and don't imply anything other than a friendly compliment.
"I am at that, ma'am, yes." Chance looks down at his shirt and grins, "But I belong to the right fraternity."
"You can leave the movies by the television. If those other bags are snacks … " Chance looks around and shrugs. "May as well put them out here, too. This will be where we land." Following his own words, he peeks into the bags he's holding and carries them right over to the coffee table.

Movies and snacks are set beside the television. Jenna stops and pilfers into one bag to pull out a simple black apron. "So," she starts casually, "What's the plan? A disastrous kitchen attempt then movies?" Grinning, she reaches back to tie her hair into a ponytail. If they're going to be working in the kitchen, it's just better if her mess of dark hair isn't winding up in the pretzels.
"I can see you as a frat boy."
"I don't mean one of those drunken idiot ones. The type that networks to gain potential jobs and the like though? I can see you doing that."

A grin is given to the apron, though Chance bites the inside of his cheek to avoid saying anything about domesticity. "That is one of the reasons that my father convinced me to pledge. That and the fact that I was a third generation legacy. I kind of thought that was cheating, but Grandfather submitted a referral anyway." Chance shrugs. He really isn't complaining about it. In the end, it was his choice and this is what he chose.
"I did my share of drunken frat boy antics my freshman year," Chance confesses. "I never got naked on camera, thank god, because there goes my law license before I even get it, but I was an idiot."
He motions for Jenna to follow him in the kitchen and once there, he starts the water for them to wash their hands, "You ready to make some pretzels?"

"Oh, so you're past that annoying part that makes Quin want to punch people?" Biting her lip, she giggles and then ties the apron on. It's domestic, she knows. It also keeps her clothing from getting completely ruined when she screws up royally.
"I think the Houses are a great idea, really. Tisch doesn't have one, but we're such a small group that we're really our own House anyhow at times."
Following him to the kitchen, she steps right up to the sink and washes her hands. "I can't say that I'm ready. But I'm willing to try!"

"Yes, I'm no longer one of those," Chance drawls. "I did limit my assholery to fraternity parties, however. I learned very quickly that women were not impressed by the same class acts in bars." Maybe his motivation was wrong, but it stopped him from getting into more trouble.
"It is good for the networking and that sense of camaraderie. Some of my frat brothers are good friends. Some are asshats." Chance hands her a drying towel and washes his hands. "Fortunately though, I am a more settled sort of fraternity boy, domesticated from the wilds. Despite the absence of your frat boy bodyguard, whom probably is not gambling as we speak, you are in no danger."

"I can't see Quin gambling," Jenna replies as she takes the towel and dries her hands. "Besides, he's likely busy with his friend."
There's an awkward pause before she shrugs and flashes Chance a smile. "He brought a girl with him." She's trying to accept it and not be upset. He did iterate that they're just friends, and he invited her because she needed time to get out of the city.
"I told him you'd invited me to the Ball, by the way."

"I can't either. Quin's -"
"He …did?" That's news to Chance. Outside of Jenna and Siobhan Chance didn't think that Quin knew any girls. As in knew them well enough to trust them and take them on a cross-country trip with him. Chance gives a low, quick, soft whistle. "I didn't know about that."
Quin, you and I need to have a talk, buddy.
The young sorcerer watches the empath, trying to read her emotions and how she feels about that. He knows Quin fairly well, and knows that the wolf probably took this girl, whomever she was, in a complete state of naive innocence, unaware of the sorts of things that can happen away from your comfort zone and in a place like Vegas. He'll have to watch Facebook and Twitter later; the football players will talk.
"Good. We really didn't get a chance to talk before he left. His flight was at some ungodly hour this morning." Chance wasn't trying to slip behind Quintin's back, but he did want a date to the Ball.

"He stopped by Eclairant during my break yesterday. To tell me that he was taking her." Jenna, the consummate actress, is doing her best not to show any emotion. She'd be lying if she said she wasn't bothered by it, but it was her decision to date. "He said she needed to get out of the city, and since the other guys were bringing their girlfriends…"
"I figured you wouldn't have a chance to tell him, so I mentioned that you'd asked so that you weren't entirely bored while you were there. He knows you likely wouldn't have tried to invite Siobhan."
"So, where do we start with these pretzels?"

"That was … considerate." Chance has to think before finishing the sentence because he's not sure what to make of it. It was considerate on some level, and probably better that Jenna didn't find out about it some other way, but it begs the question of why take this mystery girl at all when he could have simply asked Jenna?
Quin isn't the manipulative sort, so it's not a ruse to up the ante.
"I also wanted a friend there to talk to," Chance points out. "I could have asked anyone and not been bored."
"There's a thought. Could you imagine the stir that would have caused? Walking in with Siobhan Knight on my arm?" His uncle and cousins will be there, likely, and who knows how many of the Reynard clan and other stray sorcerers. He glances at Jenna with an impish grin, though he's not sure how much she actually knows about the politics of their world, or the significance of Siobhan's parents - and the two younger Knight witches. "I don't think your brother would have approved, though. Pretty sure he doesn't trust me around his girlfriend."
"I didn't think he trusted me around you, either." Chance winks. "The pretzels? We start at the beginning."

"I suppose it was." Jenna knows that Quintin wasn't doing it to be malicious, or manipulative. "He wanted to keep things honest and open. I respect that." Jenna's asked herself that same question though. Why didn't he invite her? She could have gotten her work rescheduled, and it's not as though she'd have missed much with classes that she couldn't make up.
"Well then I'm very glad to be going with you. It'll be a fun, friendly thing." Exactly like she told Siobhan it would be.
Biting her lip, she giggles. "Oh that would've caused so much tension. You two would look good together though." Beat. "Since Harper's going anyhow, you can bet that he'd probably have punched you if you invited Siobhan. Even if it was just as a friends thing."
"Why wouldn't he trust you around me?"

"I will endeavor to make certain that you have a delightful evening, milady." Chance affects a regal attitude and gives her a perfect gentleman's bow, though the formal language is rather contrasting with his Texas drawl.
"I think even my dad would be shocked if I did that, and he's obviously open minded about the whole thing." The seed has been planted though, and Chance may just have to ask Harper permission to borrow his girlfriend for some Dynasty function in the future. He suspects that Siobhan will like the challenge and tension it would cause.
"That's a bit extreme," Chance laughs, though he does get the feeling that Jenna's brother may be just a bit possessive. He shrugs, "Why wouldn't he trust me with his girlfriend?" The reasons would pretty much be the same, even if the objections are on slightly different grounds: Chance might be that guy, the one trying to get another notch on his belt and run away.

"I have every intention of having a delightful evening." The bow makes her giggle, and she'd swat at him but she's only just washed her hands.
"I think Harper sees you as competition. At least where Shiv's concerned. You guys share similar abilities and you can connect with her on a level that he can't." Jenna bites her lip. "Everyone's allowed their insecurities, and that's his." That, and Chance is a rather good looking man. It's no wonder her brother would be jealous.

"I've got the recipe and instructions here," Chance motions to the iPad. "I made our first batch of dough earlier because it needs to sit for a bit. However, just so your experience is complete, we're going to make a second batch. If we're still awake, we can make more later, or you can take it home with you."
He tilts his head and nods at her words. "I can respect his insecurity, but … you know I'm not that sort of guy, right? I don't poach on another guy's territory." Sure, Siobhan is hot and he'd have to blind or gay to not notice that, and she's a lot of fun, but Chance has firmly filed her away as 'off-limits' and put her in the friendzone.

"Oh perfect. Recipes and instructions are going to come in handy." Beat. "Are you sure you trust your iPad in the kitchen with me?" Jenna smiles at him, though there is a general nervousness to it. She's afraid to be working in the kitchen again.
"Of course I know that! You've got plenty of other options. I don't think you'd go for Shiv now that she's actually with Harper." Before? Well maybe. Does that stop him from liking Siobhan? Not really, but she doesn't think Chance is an asshole.
"I mean, you may be a frat boy, Chance, but I know you've got class."

Chance gives her a look. "I trust you. No pressure, no stress and I'll guide your hands if I have to." The boyish grin is locked in place, and he's truly not showing or projecting any fear.
"I suppose I do have other options," Chance agrees quietly, watching Jenna with a completely unreadable look. He cants his head, "You thought I would go for her before?"

"Quin said the same thing about the pasta disasta 2012." Jenna giggles, and then moves toward the ingredients. Glancing at the iPad, and to the ones setout on the counter, she goes to do what needs to be done to get the pretzels started.
"Duh! Of course I thought that! Every guy always goes for Siobhan. I swear we could walk into a club together, and I'm ignored completely." There's no self-esteem issues there, just a matter of factness.

"If you end up in a towel in my room this time, don't try to run out without getting dressed?" Chance teases. Oh, he knows that was an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation for Jenna, but he's not going to let her wallow in it, and he's not going to pretend as though it never happened. "Though it could start a trend of towel wearing so on the other hand …"
He smiles at her as she retrieves the ingredients and helps her with the measuring and adding to the mixing bowl.
Chance is quiet at her comment, if only because he's trying to find a response. He can't argue with that, because he can see Siobhan getting more of the attention. The witch has a presence and carries herself differently than Jenna does. It's not that Jenna isn't pretty, but she doesn't have Siobhan's particular attitude.
"Not every guy," Chance points out. He's referring to Quin, but doesn't know if Jenna will put two and two together. He'd mention the whole wingman bit that he did to Siobhan, but he's not certain Jenna will take it with the same upbeat humor as the witch.

"If I end up in a towel in your room again, I'm hoping it won't be due to a cooking mishap." Jenna stares straight ahead as she says it, and the feels horribly embarrassed. So she quickly adds, "I mean, I've got spare clothes this time, so I likely wouldn't be wandering out of the bathroom undressed."
It's funny, but she's not as nervous in the kitchen with Chance as she was with Quintin. Likely because she's not thinking that this is anything other than a friendly encounter.
"Okay, so the last thing we need is a bit of milk and water to bind all the dry stuff together? Then it's got to rise for an hour or two, right?" If it's worked out, they may be able to toss more pretzels into the oven after the first or second movie. If not, they'll either have a flop in a bowl, or expanding dough everywhere.
"No, you're right. Not every guy. Just the vast majority of them."

Her bold, flirtiness has Chance grinning broadly. He hardly thinks she's sincere, at least she's not implying or inviting anything. That makes it easy for him to cheekily respond, "If it's not a cooking mishap, you won't need the towel."
His smile is as innocent as they come at that point, "Yeah that's all that's left. Once we leave the dough, we'll put out the other. Rolling and making the pretzels should be fairly easy."

Jenna bites the inside of her cheek, then laughs. "Maybe if you're lucky," she quips. Again, she's not inviting anything, just having a bit of fun.
"I can't believe I've mixed something without anything landing on the floor!"
There is a first time for everything.

"If I'm lucky?" Chance asks. He waves a hand over his body from head to toe, "This is a prime bit of maleness here, little lady. I should say, if you're lucky." Punctuating his words, Chance strikes a body builder pose and gives a grunt for good measure.
When she says what she says, the sorcerer sneaks around behind her. Shifting his eyes and whistling innocent, he grabs a small bit of the sticky tacky dough and drops it on the floor. "Oops."

"If you're lucky. Just because you're hot, doesn't mean I'm going to drop my panties for you, Chance Harper." Jenna giggles at the pose and then winks at him.
She's relaxed. Likely more so than she's been in a while. Getting over the embarrassment of the towel, and chalking it up to one of those 'things' that gets to be a silly story in years to come, she finds she's actually enjoying herself.
"What are you…"
Squeaking, she waggles her finger at him. "So not fair. Cheater!"
Then Jenna does the only thing she can think of. She takes a teeny, tiny bit of the dough and tosses it at him.

"You require dinner, first, I guess?" The sorcerer teases.
The dough hitting him squarely in the center of the Greek letters has Chance rolling his shoulders.. He saunters over to her and gazes down at her, light twinkling in his eyes. "Do you really want to go there and open that door, little girl?"
"I'm warning you, I take no prisoners and it's no holds barred."

"At the very least," she teases back. "Maybe a reason to give up my clothes too." Sticking her tongue at him, she laughs. He looks silly with the dough hanging off his shirt. It's just sticky enough to hang there for a few seconds before it plops to the floor.
Scooping another bit of dough out of the bowl, she sticks her tongue out at him.
"You're on, cowboy."
The piece in her hand is stretched, then smooshed against his face with a playful giggle.

"That's it."
Chance pounces, attempting to grab her around the waist before she can make a safe getaway. As he does, he's already wiping the sticky dough from his face, and he kindly rubs it along the skin of her neck.

Squeaking and squealing, Jenna wrinkles her nose again. He did say everything goes. Pawing and batting at his arm as he rubs the dough over her skin, Jenna wrinkles her nose up a little more.
"Keep that stuff out of my hair," she squeaks, trying to run toward the living room. "You wouldn't dare make a mess of the rest the apartment, would you?" Indicating the batter free area, she steps toward the living room.

Chance could give pursuit and still manage to keep the house clean by cheating. Right off the top of his head, he can think of two spells that would be immediately useful in this instance, but he's not going to cheat. He waggles a finger playfully at Jenna, "That's the coward's way. Running for cover."
"I'm warning you, Donovan. This isn't over."
That said, Chance turns back to the bowl of fresh dough. He carries it to a safer spot, tossing a damp towel over it, and then beckons Jenna back with a crook of his finger. "We still have pretzels to make, little Magpie."

Jenna nibbles on her lower lip, then starts to giggle. "I'm just trying to keep from needing a shower again," she points out. She knows that it's the coward's way out. To dive behind the couch and hide.
"Bring it, cowboy." Sticking her tongue out at him, she smiles.
"You're going to have to show me what to do. I've never made a pretzel in my life."

"That's what I'm here for," Chance says. He grabs a few paper towels and picks the glob of dough up off the floor. A few more are dampened and handed to Jenna to wipe her throat where he globbed her. "I'll play nicely if you'll play nicely."
Tossing the floor glob in the trash, he washes his hands again and steps over to the counter.
"As soon as you're cleaned up, I'll show the magic of twisting the perfect pretzel."

"I solemnly swear that I'll play nice." Jenna wipes her throat with the damp paper towel, and then moves forward. Dabbing his face, she gets a little bit of dough off the side of his nose. "At least that was just playing and not a kitchen disaster."
Taking the damp, doughy paper towel to the trash, she goes back to the sink and washes her hands.
"I'm ready now. Show me the special, magic technique of yours."

"I'm holding you to that," Chance says. "But yes, at least it wasn't an accidental kitchen disaster. See, you can survive in the kitchen." He nudges her playfully.
"It's an age old technique used by pretzel makers every where," Chance intones with a smirk. "Today, I pass my knowledge onto you, Grasshopper."
Yes, the sorcerer is being rather silly, but it's a laid back relaxed time. Surprisingly enough, he is truly enjoying himself and feeling more relaxed than he usually does when 'hanging out' with a member of the fairer sex. Perhaps because there's no rush, there's not even a goal, of getting to the bedroom and between the sheets.
"First, you take a ball of dough," Chance breaks off a handful from the earlier dough and rolls it in his palm to make a ball.
Jenna rolls 1d100: 1d100(43)=43

"Is that all you're holding me to?" Jenna winks at him, and then glances at the kitchen. "Maybe the cooking gods are smiling down on me today. Are you sure you haven't cast a spell to keep the kitchen looking spotless after whirlwind Jenna gets done in it?"
She doesn't mind the silliness. It's what's helping keep her in good spirits. She told Chance what was going on with Quintin, and she's not even really thought about it since. She's not worried about it. She's not confused or hurt. She's actually just in the here and now, trying to learn to make pretzels.
Reaching past him, she takes a ball of dough about the same size as he does, and mimics the movement.

"Well, now, that all depends on how good you make your pretzels," Chance teases in return.
He watches her and then proceeds through the next few steps, rolling the ball into a long cigar wide strand, and ultimately shaping it into a pretzel which is placed neatly on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Yes, his grandmothers taught him well.

Jenna's pretzel doesn't turn out neatly or perfectly, but she doesn't seem to care that one of the loops is larger than the other, or that the tiny pieces at the end overlap in a funny manner. The point is that she did it on her own, and the kitchen isn't on fire or covered with food.
"This might be easier than pasta, if only because you did all the work beforehand."

"Well…" Chance creates another pretzel. "I did want to sit down and watch movies tonight. Didn't want to spend all night in the kitchen." He grins as she makes her second one. "Papi always ended up with the super lopsided pretzels. I mean, vastly deformed. Two teeny weeny loops and one gigantic one. He made one once that I swear had a kite tail on it. But, sometimes I think he was doing it just to make me and Abuelita laugh." There's a good deal of affection in his voice when he talks about his grandparents.
"You'll have to try a second round with the pasta, maybe stick with draining it?"

"So you did all the work beforehand out of selfishness," Jenna replies as she finishes her second pretzel. This one isn't as deformed as the first. It's still a bit lopsided, and turns out more like a geometric heart-shape than a pretzel, but she still doesn't care or try to correct it. "My grandparents don't cook. They've all got people who do that for them, and heaven forbid I be in the kitchen with the staff." Her mother's parents are old school money. Her father's parents weren't in the picture very much when she was growing up.
"Oh! I totally am doing that. I promised Quin that when he got home, I'd have a pot of pasta waiting for him even if it turned out absolutely horrible."

"Yes," Chance admits with no shame. "I'm a selfish spoiled rich kid, what can I say?" Amazingly enough, he really isn't, not compared to his Nash cousins.
"Grandfather and Grandmother don't cook either. That would be my father's father and his step-mother. I don't think that they've ever seen the inside of a kitchen." Or a hard day's work for that matter. "I'm not allowed to do anything at the Heartland Estate that they've got staff for. I got a stern talking to and sent to my room without supper for interfering with one of the maids when I was . .. maybe nine?" The poor woman spoke very little English, his uncle was reading her the riot act, and Chance only stepped in because he did speak fluent Spanish. It was the first of many wake up calls he got regarding his father's father's side of the family.
"Now, Nana isn't a great cook, but she does her bit in the kitchen. Abuelita though? She loves being in the kitchen. She can cook anything." It's always amazed him that Joshua isn't fat and bloated.
"Um … are you going to use my kitchen?" Chance feigns fear and chagrin at the thought.

"Hardly. You might be rich, but you're not spoiled." Jenna's seen the compassion he has. If he were a spoiled brat, he'd have left them hanging in the Undercity, and he didn't.
"My mother's never been much for being in the kitchen either, but daddy's pretty good in it. He likes to give the maid a night off and cook something simple." Homemade mac'n'cheese is his specialty. Though, when she attempts to duplicated it, it's generally more cheese than mac and it makes a huge mess.
"I'd love to meet your Abuelita. Maybe she can give me some kitchen confidence." Or tell her that she's a hopeless case.
"Well, I guess the plan was to do that. I promise I'll stay behind and clean up if I do. It just means coming over a little earlier than he'd be getting in."

"Neither are you," Chance remarks, honestly and sincerely. "You have some really expensive tastes and the man that marries you needs to be prepared to pay off credit card debt for life, but you're not spoiled."
"My father's good too. He does the same thing. Gives the cook off a couple times a week and cooks. I drop by and we talk and hang for a while. It's cool."
"They're here until August sometime, my grandparents. Maybe you could come bay sometime and meet them. They've already started asking to meet my friends. Since, you know, your name and Siobhan's name and Harper's name are all new names to them."
"Don't be surprised if Abuelita tries to set us up, though. She's got visions of great-grandchildren dancing in her head."
"I think there's a spell to disaster proof a kitchen. If I can't find one, maybe Shiv knows one."

"No he won't. I'm not above working," Jenna replies, tossing her ponytail over her shoulder with a laugh. "I don't expect the man I marry to go broke keeping me in expensive designer things." She doesn't mention that she's got a trust fund that will set her for life thanks to her maternal grandparents, because she doesn't think it needs to be said.
"I'd like that. I enjoyed talking with your father at the Shakespeare gala. I like that he's not at all similar to the sorcerers that Robert's always warning us away from." Not that Jenna would have any clue if she ever ran into a sorcerer and Siobhan wasn't right there with her.
"Well then we'll just have to be honest with your Abuelita. We're just friends, and even if we weren't we're both way to young to be thinking about children."
"I do know how to clean, you know."

"That's because he had a different upbringing," Chance explains. "He's illegitimate." It's not a secret within the Nash Dynasty, or even with the other Dynasties they associate with on a corporate level. "Really, I mean that in the legal sense of the term. Nana raised him until Grandfather felt it was time for him to learn sorcerer stuff." Chance knows that the reason that his father is in the position that he is and has the clout that he has is because Rhett is the favorite son.
He pauses a moment and then elaborates further. "It's one of those weird star crossed lovers thing. They couldn't get married, and politics wouldn't let Dad have the Nash name, but he's the favorite. I think it pisses my Uncles off something fierce too."
At her assertion of talking to his Abuelita, he laughs. "Spoken like a woman who has never tried to win an argument with a Cuban grandmother."
"I'm sure you do, but I'm just worried about protecting the kitchen." Chance slides a few steps away from her to avoid the swat that will inevitably come.

"Having a different upbringing isn't a bad thing. In fact, I bet that it made him much better suited to help his father with the business side of things." Jenna guesses that being born into money makes some people lazy and not want to work for a living. No matter what, she's going to pursue her acting career. Even if it means getting rejected a million times before she gets even a bit of recognition.
"I have a psychologist as a mother. I'm pretty good at arguing when I need to be."
Rolling her eyes, she takes the remaining bit of the dough and shapes it into two letters. 'C', and 'J'. One for each of them. No one said pretzels had to be the traditional shape.
"I haven't messed your kitchen up too badly!"

"I agree one hundred percent. My father is the way he is and I'm the way I am because of it. I can't imagine it any differently. If it were different, I wouldn't have met you and Shiv in the Undercity, because I really wouldn't have cared about some witch and her friend getting in over their pretty little heads."
Chance takes a moment to look around, "No, you're right. The kitchen is still standing." He grabs one of the cookie sheets and slides it in the oven. After setting the timer, her turns back to Jenna, "Want to get started on those movies?"

"You think I'm preeetty," Jenna sing-songs playfully, dancing away from him. The apron is removed and carefully set on the counter opposite the oven. "I still very much appreciate it. That was my first time down there, and she kept going on about vampires or worse, and I couldn't get the 'or worse' part out of my head."
They were making so much noise, they'd never have heard if an 'or worse' was coming up to them.
"Just make sure you bring the timer. I don't want these to burn!"

"Why yes, yes I do." Again there's no shame or embarrassment. Chance does think Jenna is very pretty, and he is attracted to her. He waggles his brows. "And you think I'm hot," the sorcerer reminds her.
"But she was right, though the vampires don't usually come to that area. I don't think. I mean, I'm not a vampire expert, so I wouldn't know if one walked up to me and shook my hand, unless there were fangs and blood."
"If you're not familiar, you do have to be careful in the Undercity." Chance pauses and looks at her seriously. "Would you do me a favor and promise me you won't go back there alone with only Shiv? I'll ask Siobhan the same the next time I talk to her, but I'd really feel better if I didn't have to worry about the pair of you wandering down there."

"Well you are."
Jenna's not afraid to admit that. She's told plenty of guys that they're hot. It doesn't have to mean anything unless they want it to.
"I don't think I've ever met a vampire. I really don't think I want to meet a vampire. I don't even want to think that they exist," she points out. She's accepting, but there's that whole weird vampire culture and all that she'd rather just avoid.
Jenna Donovan is no Twihard.
"I don't think I'll honestly be going back there again," she answers. "Except with you for that delivery or whatever it was Ansalem wanted me to do."
"But I promise. I don't want anyone to worry."

"From what I understand, if you did meet one? You wouldn't know it." Chance nudges Jenna toward the living area and heads to the couch. "They don't walk around with fangs out, saying 'I vant to suck your blood,' like in old campy movies. Most of them can pass for human really well." Rhett had a very frank talk with him about vampires when he learned Chance was venturing into the Undercity alone. He's never asked, but he knows his father is more familiar with the seedier, darker sides of the supe world because of things that happened after his mother died. It's not talked about, but it's there.
He doesn't mention their abilities to make you forget you met them, or that his father has a ring of protection against that, and that a similar ring is stored in a small safe in Chance's room. He doesn't wear it all the time, because he's not that paranoid and doesn't think he's venturing places where it might be needed. Not likely that a vampire is going to want to glamour or compel him in the middle of a daytime class or at the firm.
"Good," Chance nods. "You really don't need to go there." Shiv might, and that's why Chance makes a mental note to talk to the witch. She won't be as easy going as Jenna about it. Maybe he'll suggest it to Harper?
Shelving it for now, and focusing on his house guest, Chance begins rooting through one of the snack bags. "What are we watching tonight?"

"Well, that's fine for me. Actually, you know, I've wondered about that. If I could tell a vampire from a human based on their emotions or whether I could feel them." They may not run around with fangs out, chasing pretty little girls like they do in the movies, but they might feel different. "I guess I'd have to run into one to find out, and well, maybe I don't want to find out that badly."
Biting her lip, she gives him a playful shove. "How do you know if I don't need to go there? Maybe there's some mystical empath shop that can give me something to heighten or dampen my abilities."
"Scott Pilgrim, Suckerpunch, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Date Night. Which, contrary to the name, is not a chick flick. I promise."

"Sure you don't want to find one and find out?" Chance is joking. Mostly. He's curious, he'll admit, but not so much that he'll go looking for a vampire. If he meets one and he knows it, and he's wearing his ring, he thinks it might be worth noting. Possibly not worth repeating though. He thinks more of Buffy the Vampire Slayer than Anne Rice when he thinks Vampires.
"Why would you want to amplify?" Chance inquires. "Dampen I can see, but amplify?" He's thinking of the boat and her reaction to that. Would she really want to feel that sort of thing, or depression and anger, strongly and from strangers? He's genuinely curious to her reasoning.
Scoring a bag of peanut M&Ms, Chance flops back on the couch. "Pick one, Magpie. Surprise me."

"Well, I guess I'll find out if I ever run into one. Maybe their minds could be different." It's an interesting theory, though Jenna's not all that gung-ho to go find one and try it out.
"Harper's got telepathy. Our powers have always developed at the same time, and I'm not telepathic. I'd want to amplify just to see if that's what it is. Maybe. I don't know." Jenna moves toward the bag of movies, and tosses in Scott Pilgrim. It's a good starting movie, and she knows they're not going to get to watch all of them.
"You know, that nickname is really starting to grow on me."

"That is a little disconcerting." Thinking about Harper having telepathy. Thinking about Harper knowing what Chance is thinking, especially where his sister and his girlfriend are concerned. Chance is only human and male, and his base thoughts aren't always politically correct. "Is it weird, knowing that he knows what you're going to say before you say it?"
He settles comfortably on the couch, propping his feet on the coffee table. "Maybe they're developing differently now because you're developing differently? Growing up, you both lived at home and did the same things. Now, he's off at MIT and you're here, and you're not in the exact same place anymore."
Chance grins, "Yeah, I'll just hide my class ring if you're around so you don't run off with the shiny."

"Not really. I mean, he's my twin. He generally knows what I'm going to say before I say it anyhow. Now he just hears it before I say it instead." It doesn't bother Jenna in the least. They've always been close for siblings, so it's not like anything is really changed, except now she doesn't really have to go talk to her brother about what's bothering her.
"I thought about that. It's the first time we've lived apart. I mean, I don't care that he hears thoughts. I don't know what I'd do if I could hear people's thoughts. I think it would bother me."
"I mean, it'd probably really sting if I liked someone and could hear that he was thinking about another girl. Or you know if Shiv was planning a surprise for me and I figured it out before it came to fruition." Things like that might really bother her because she likes being surprised.
"A girl should never take a guy's class ring unless they were going steady. No matter how shiny it is."

"That must be kinda cool sometimes?" Chance asks. "Growing up with a twin?" There's a touch of envy there, the sorcerer having grown up an only child. There was a time, and a woman, when he thought his father might re-marry and he'd have a little brother, but it didn't happen.
"I think it'd be great at first, but it would get old really really fast." Chance chimes in, thoughtfully. "I certainly wouldn't want to know if a girl I was with was thinking about washing her hair, or making a grocery list or her ex-boyfriend."
"I am very glad to know my jewelry is safe."

"I guess so. It's like having a built in best friend, and having Shiv plop herself into our lives fifteen years ago, well we've all been together since." Hence why Jenna's feeling the third wheel lately. "Sometimes though, I think I'd like it better if it were just me."
"Chance Harper, do you honestly think that when a girl's with you she's thinking about washing her hair?" Rolling her eyes, she reaches over and pilfers a peanut M&M candy.
"Totally safe. I promise."

Chance gets that, even though Jenna doesn't say it. "It really is different then, weird to have them dating, then isn't it?" If they've all been friends for fifteen years, it is a shift in the group dynamic.
He wraps an arm around her shoulder. It's not flirtatious at all, but rather friendly and supportive. The sorcerer is not making a move. "Good thing you've got me. I will throw myself on that sword and be your escape plan."
"Maybe. I don't have such a huge ego that I think it's impossible."

"It's different," Jenna says quietly. She and Siobhan have always shared everything when it's come to guys, and she knows her bestie's not going to divulge where Harper's concerned. Not that she really wants to know what they're getting up to, but that's beside the point.
"Thanks, Chance. I really mean that. It's nice to have someone to talk to, and to, you know, just hang with."
"Any girl that would be thinking about washing her hair when she's with you isn't worth wasting time on anyhow."

"Anything I can do to help with distraction, I will do. Just let me know whenever you need to get away. You're always welcome."
At least she is on his watch. He doesn't know how Quin will feel about when he gets back from Vegas. Or even how Jenna will feel about when Quin gets back.

"You're doing it already. Just giving me some time away from the happy couple to figure things out in my own head." Jenna does love that her brother and Siobhan are happy. It's about time that they got together. But she needs to figure out, without other people's emotions invading her thoughts, where she's going to fit into it all.
"Oh, Siobhan brought it up the other day, and I should probably mention it now seeing as August is creeping up on us rather quickly…"
"Our parents own a house in the Hamptons and we usually head out there for August. Generally the entire summer, but I've got a job now, and mother's been busy."
"Anyway, we were wondering if you and Quin would like to come out for a week with us? I've already asked for a few days off." Which she will make up when she returns.

"Good. I'm glad I can help." Keeping his arm around her, Chance reaches across her to grab the bag of caramel corn he sees peeking out of one of the snack bags. He props it in his lap.
"What's their story anyway?" Chance asks curiously. "It has to be more than he went away to school, came home and they suddenly noticed one another?"
The invitation is a surprise, but not an unwelcome one. Especially since it sounds as if it's a joint invite from Jenna and Siobhan. "Yeah, sure. I'd love to …if your parents are okay with it?"

Jenna can't help it when she snuggles against him as they watch the movie. It's comfortable, and she's not ready anything into it except the friendly intention that it has. "Ooh, caramel corn!"
She considers a moment, then sighs. "Siobhan's had a thing for him since we were like twelve, and some jerk was making fun of her for having braces and breasts. Harper punched the guy, then told her she was pretty."
"I think Harper's liked her for just as long, or at least since high school, but their timing's always been off. He'd have a girlfriend, or she'd have a boyfriend, or one of them was just broken up and on the rebound. I know Harper was afraid he'd screw up my friendship with Shiv if he asked her out."
There's a smile on her face, and she tilts her head up to place a friendly kiss on his cheek. "We've got ten bedrooms. They won't mind at all. Besides, the only one likely to be there is daddy, and he never cares when we've got friends visiting."

"So … they're almost like the girl and boy next door high school sweethearts except they never managed to hook up before now," Chance sums up. It explains a lot about how the pair are toward one another and why he gets the very distinct feeling when Siobhan talks about Harper that there's no way any other guy could compete or turn her head.
"They'll be married in three years, tops," Chance wagers.
"In that case, I gladly accept your invitation." The buzzer sounds in the kitchen, and Chance gently nudges Jenna. "Hold that thought and save my place." In a feat of pure college boy dignity, he walks and leaps over the back of the couch instead of going around it.
The one tray is taken out of the oven, the second one put in. He manages to levitate two hot pretzels onto two stacked plates with a spell, and carries the plate back to the living room. It finds a spot on the coffee table and he settles back on the couch, holding out his arm for Jenna to curl back into his side if she wants.

"Yeah, almost."
Jenna giggles at the thought that her BFF and brother will be married, and grins. "I hope so, but my bet is once they're both done school. I'm pretty sure Dawna's already got the caterer contacted and is just waiting for a date."
Sighing as the buzzer sounds and she's got to move a little, she nods. "I'll pause the movie." She's just leaning forward when he leaps over the couch, and she stops to clap at the antics. Pressing pause, she grabs a container of cinnamon spread and opens it up.
When he returns, the spread is set on the table in front of her and she grins. "They smell delicious. I'd totes take the credit for them if I could."
Curling back against his side as the pretzels cool, she grins. "It'll be fun with you guys in the Hamptons. The only thing we don't have is a private tennis court, but we've got a membership at the club so that's not a problem."

"Wow, this has been a long time coming if her mother's been preparing for it," Chance chuckles. "That's sort of sweet, really."
"I will deny I ever said that if it's brought up."
Settling back on the couch, Chance dips his hand into the bag of caramel corn and tosses a piece in the air. He catches it with his mouth. "You play tennis?" Beat. "Better yet, are you any good at tennis or do you and Shiv just put on the cute little outfits and pose pretty with your rackets?"

"It's really sweet of her. Though I'm fairly certain Siobhan's had her wedding planned since she was six." Jenna giggles, and then tries to catch the piece of caramel corn. She misses and he catches it, which just makes her giggle again.
"I'm not good enough to go pro, but I can hold my own on a court. I do look good in those cute little outfits though. You're on for a game out in the Hamptons if you don't believe me."

"She seems pretty cool. Shiv's mother I mean. You know, for a witch." Chance winks and laughs as he says the last, not that he doubts Jenna wouldn't figure out he was kidding.
"You're on," Chances tosses another piece of caramel corn, aiming this one toward Jenna. He gives her shoulder a squeeze, "I find it hard to imagine that there's anything you don't look cute in."

"Dawna? She's pretty awesome, actually. She's like a second mother." Jenna knows he's kidding, because if he didn't think Shiv and her mom were awesome, he likely wouldn't have stayed at their table all night. Not even out of politeness.
Jenna pops open her mouth and catches the piece of popcorn with a little laugh.
"Oh, I don't know. I'm sure there's something out there that I'd look awful in. Maybe a puce, paisley leotard or something."Logfile from NYC - Jenna.

"Nope, I don't believe it," Chance argues. "Until I see you look awful in something, I won't believe that you actually do or can." He's being playfully flattering, but it's the truth really. He's only ever seen Jenna (and Siobhan) look good, even when casually dressed. He finds it hard to imagine anything different.

"That sounds like a challenge."
Jenna bites her lip, and giggles. "You're on, cowboy. If I can find something that I look awful in, you owe me something shiny." She may be playing up the Magpie thing, but she can't help it. She's got some atrocious clothing that she can put on, so she's positive she'll win.
"And if you think I still happen to look cute in it? Then I owe you something of your choosing."

"If that's how you choose to take it," Chance looks over at her long enough to give her a wink. "I'm up for the challenge. I'm up for any challenge."

"Alright. I'll totes find something that's absolutely appalling. Since I'm pretty sure I'm going to win…"
Jenna nudges him gently with her elbow, and then sneaks a bit of the caramel corn.
"You'd have to decide what you want if I do lose, and you'd have to promise to be completely honest and not say that I'm cute if I'm not."

"You realize that just because the outfit is appalling, it doesn't necessarily make you not cute, right?" Chance asks her. It is said that the clothes make the person, but he's seen some damn cute girls in some pretty hideous clothing.
"I think, that when I win … breakfast for a week. You don't have to cook it, but, you can provide me breakfast for a week." It's the equivalent of finding her something shiny that isn't a cheap, plastic painted trinket.

"Yes, I know that. But I guarantee you I can make myself incredibly hideous." She's taken theater makeup classes. She's taken theater dressing. She's positive that she can find something that will win her this challenge.
Jenna laughs and then shoves at him. "You're just afraid of me cooking for you." Beat. "In bed, or just stopping by each morning with breakfast?"

"Ooh…" Chance reflects on her question. "Now that you've mentioned it, I think I'll take breakfast in bed. I don't think I've ever had a pretty girl serve me breakfast in bed." Well, not when he hasn't slept with her the night before and woken up at her place.
He extends his hand for a shake, "Challenge accepted."

Taking his hand, she shakes it. Jenna's already thought of loop-holes in the challenge. She can provide him with breakfast. She never offered to deliver it herself.
Leaning forward after shaking his hand, she takes up both pretzel plates. One is set on each of their laps. Then she grabs the cinnamon spread and settles it between them. A very small piece of pretzel is broken off and dipped in the spread.
"I needed this tonight. Thanks for thinking of it."

"You're welcome." Chance follows her example with the pretzel. "I meant what I said, too. Any time you need to get away, the door is open." He can honestly say that he is having a good time tonight with Jenna, even without the promise of sexual gratification. Maybe because that's not a thought hovering there for him.
Of course that open door all depends on what happens when Quin returns, and what happened with the girl in Vegas. Not that Chance won't welcome Jenna, but if things are tense, she may not want to be around when Quin is here. Speaking of which, Chance is going to check Facebook before heading to bed tonight.

"So you keep saying. I doubt you want me dropping by at three in the morning on a weekend, when you've got a friend over," she points out lightly. Jenna knows who he is, and she's not going to let that bother her. It's not really her business, even if she does like him.
"Besides, I don't want to come over so often you get bored of me."

"I doubt you would drop by unannouced at three in the morning," Chance points out. That's just not Jenna's style. He rubs the back of his neck, "I can always put a tie on the door, though it might confuse Quin."
Chance shakes his head. "Again, doubtful."

Jenna blinks at him, then laughs. Breaking off another piece of pretzel, she dips it into the spread and offers it to him. "I might if they're getting busy in the room next door," she points out. Granted, it really isn't her style. She'd call first and ask to crash on their couch. Maybe invest in a roll-away bed to store here if she needs to.
"That's not another challenge is it?"

"No," Chance says without missing a beat, because that is a moment of awkwardness that he'd really like to avoid. "That is not another challenge." He breaks off another piece of the pretzel and chews it thoughtfully. "You've thanked me. Now I'm thanking you. For coming over tonight. I'm having a good time, when otherwise I probably would have fallen asleep in front of the tv with a beer." Yes, it does happen sometimes.

"Good, because I think I can only handle one challenge at a time." Jenna watches him eat the pretzel for a moment, and then reaches over to give his arm a friendly squeeze.
"I'm having a good time too, but I doubt you'd have been spending the night alone if you didn't want to be."

Chance shifts, leaning back against the couch and glancing over at her. "Contrary to what may be popular belief, I don't have company every night. Or even every week." Yes, he is something of a playboy, but it doesn't mean that he thinks his penis will shrivel up and die without use. If he meets a girl, and the mood is right, then great, but sometimes he does go home alone. Sometimes, he doesn't even go out looking for anything more than a few beers with his teammates or fraternity brothers.
"Besides, right now, I like this company better."

"I wasn't insinuating that you did have company every night," Jenna says quietly. "Just that you wouldn't be alone if you didn't want to be." Which is true. He could have stayed home alone tonight, and went out of his way to invite her for a nice relaxing evening of movies. "I happen to like this company too."

"Good because it would really suck if you didn't," Chance grins at her and winks. He leans in and presses a light kiss to her cheek.

Even though the kiss is light and friendly, it causes Jenna to blush. Biting her lip, she turns her head slowly and presses a light, gentle kiss to his cheek as well.
"It would really suck if I didn't."
Shifting her weight, she rests her head against his shoulder and pays attention to the movie for a bit. Scott Pilgrim, the main character, is currently fighting off Ramona's second evil ex-boyfriend on a set near Casa Loma in Toronto, Ontario.

Chance relaxes to watch the movie as well, loosely draping his arm around her shoulder. It's still friendly, and there's nothing suggestive or otherwise untoward about it. Halfway through the movie, he does catch himself playing with the ends of her hair and forces himself to stop, dropping his hand back to her shoulder.

Jenna doesn't mind that he's toying with her hair. It's actually a comforting thing. Shifting a little, she rest one hand on his chest. Just as she's getting really comfortable, she bolts upright.
"Chance! The second tray of pretzels!"
Hopping up, she rushes toward the kitchen to see if they've missed the timer and they burned.

Chance swears quite colorfully, and bolts off the couch after her, taking his couch hopping shortcut.
They haven't missed the timer because Chance never set it. The pretzels are also not burning because the sorcerer unwittingly turned the stove off after removing the first tray.
"Um …" Chance has no explanation for that oversight, even if it does save them from a smoking kitchen and burnt pretzels. "I'm pretty sure that there's a lesson to be learned here."

Biting her lip, Jenna laughs when she opens the oven and pulls out a tray of raw dough. Setting it atop the stove, she turns to him and then starts to giggle. She doesn't stop until she's found herself sitting on the floor, holding her side.
"Yes! I'm not the only klutz in the kitchen, cowboy. This could've been a disaster if you'd not turned the stove off."

"It's not that funny."
Chance tries his hardest to glare at her, but it's really hard, all things considered. She's been given quite the razzing for being a kitchen klutz and he's pretty much made his own mistake here tonight. He gives up glaring as her giggles and laughter slowly become contagious.
"Okay, I admit it. I screwed up." Chance has dropped to the floor beside her and nudges her with his elbow. "You can stop laughing now."

"It is!"
Jenna bites her lip, and then throws her arms around him when he joins her on the floor. "I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that makes mistakes in the kitchen." Beat. "It could've been worse, you could've burned them to a crisp."

When she throws her arms around him, Chance chuckles and smooths a hand over her back. "Everyone makes mistakes in the kitchen. You work at a restuarant. You should ask the chefs there." Beat. "I think we would have smelled them burning … eventually."
Chance lowers his voice and whispers in her ear, "What do I have to bribe you with to get you to keep this our secret?"

"No one makes as many as I do."
Jenna rests her head on his shoulder again, and sighs. "Something shiny," she teases him. After a moment, she shakes her head and smiles. "Nothing, honestly. I'll keep it our secret." To a point. She may tease him from time to time and no one will know what on earth she's talking about.

"I think you just lack confidence," Chance says, patting her back. "Which makes you more prone to kitchen disasters. I, on the other hand, got cocky and over confident."
"Good." Chance draws back a bit, and then pecks her lightly, and quickly square on the lips. "Thank you."

The quick kiss catches her by surprise, and Jenna just stares at him. After a few moments of silence, she clears her throat. "You're welcome," she murmurs quietly.
"Maybe I do. I'm confident on the stage, not so much in the kitchen."

When she goes silent, Chance thinks he might have just over stepped. It's on the tip of his tongue to apologize when she finally responds to him and he breathes a sigh of relief.
"Well, you have a step toward confident," Chance tells her. "This time, it wasn't you who messed up in the kitchen."
"I'd like to see you on stage sometime."

Chance has hardly screwed up. There's just plenty of thoughts taking up space in her head. Thoughts that she's not quite used to having. He may be breathing a sigh of relief, but her cheeks are tinged with just a bit of pink.
"I do have that tiny step toward confidence. It wasn't my mistake."
"The first show I'm cast in, chorus or not, you'll get tickets. I promise."

"No, it wasn't your mistake. It was the mistake of the cocky frat boy who got distracted by a pretty girl on his couch," Chance winks. He taps a finger to her nose.
Palming a hand down her back again, Chance drifts a hand over to tickle her side. "C'mon. Let's get up off the floor and get back to Scott Pilgrim."
"I'm holding you to that."

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