"In a few years none of this will mean anything because then I'm going to have to adult SO HARD."
<NYC> Montagues - SoHo
Montagues harkens back to the day when SoHo was filled to the brim with artists, with its mismatched furniture, all plush and decorated heavily with carved wood, but remains trendy enough to keep its newer patrons by making sure that furniture is clean, in good repair and inviting. The antique tables all have been reinforced to seem less creaky. The real draw of the cafe is the smell: fresh roasted coffee mingles with perfectly steeped teas. Spices from crisp pastries mingle with the tang of clotted cream but don't overwhelm too much the scent of chalk on the menu boards.
It's quite late, but like many other coffee shops, Montagues is doing fairly steady business off of the post-theatre crowds. Matt is just picking up his order from the counter. Or /trying/ to, at any rate. He looks dapper in a moss green short-sleeve button-down and light gray linen trousers, even if his face is pale and his posture weary. Perhaps that weariness is contributing to his failure to load two cups of tea, a bowl of soup, and a plate of assorted pastries into his arms, or at least to the fact that he is continuing to /try/ despite the clear and present danger of spilling tea and soup all over himself.
Lucien is looking -- not a /whole/ lot better, really. His blue-black hair is tousled and still sweat-damp, and aside from where there are a few faint traces of makeup still touching its edges he is also running on the too-pale side, though he at least stands up a bit straighter. He's dressed casual -- sneakers and jeans and a lightweight green seersucker button-down, though the cut of his clothes hang well enough on him to suggest they were tailored to fit. He is just slipping out from the bathroom, passing back by the counter en route to the table they have claimed for their own. Despite the shorter man's difficulties with the tea, he is being eminently unhelpful when he sees Matt's struggles. He pauses, leans against the counter, cocks his head to watch Matt's attempts to balance the food. Clucks his tongue lightly against his teeth. "How feeble you've grown already." He sounds /very/ forlorn about this, his softly accented voice just /brimful/ with woe. "Is the croissant too much a burden? I could take the croissant." He is not, it should be noted, taking the croissant.
Eve is mostly just sneaking out to meet friends. And possibly a BOY. Who didn't show. So now she's mostly occupied feeling awkward. So of course she goes back to the counter so she can stuff her face with nummies to soothe the embarrassment. When she sees a gentleman ready to fail a 'juggling check', she hurries forward arms poised to prop up the precarious items, her eyes wide, "Oh, you need help with that dude?" Matt is dude. Lucien is also dude. They are both rather pretty dudes. OH DEAR. Now she is flushed. OH THE FLUSHING. "Uh..." Such eloquence! Such grace! "Unless you're like... practicing or something?" She eyes Lucien's makeup, "For... juggling?" It's an artsy place. She can't discount any possibility.
"Oh, woe is me!" Matt heaves a dramatic /sigh./ "Forsaken in my hour of need. You might at least make a patronizing offer to take the /scone/. It's much heavier." The amateur histrionics fade when Eve approaches. "You are very kind! I could definitely use a hand, if you wouldn't mind." He passes her the plate of pastries and manages the rest on his own, leading them back to their table. "I'm Matt, by the by, and that heartless fiend there is my /brother/, Lucien."
"Quite kind of you. My brother struggles so with these tasks." Lucien -- still so helpful, see! -- picks up a few napkins to cart /this/ very heavy load to the table. /Then/ delicately lift the croissant off of Eve's pastry plate and take his seat. "Juggling. Hm. I /have/ fallen behind on my practice of that since my last show. I don't believe Matthieu has many skills in that department at all." His eyes narrow suspiciously on his brother. "Unless you've been hiding them from me?" He tips his head politely to Eve at the introduction. "Enchanté."
The girl offers a hand to accept the plate Matt passes her with the grace of someone who has waited tables, a smile on her face as she offers a hand to each of the young men in turn while carrying the plate,"Hello Matt, Hello Fiend- er Lucien." She blushes at the conversational miss-step. "Eve. Just Eve. It's three letters. I'm simple like that." The girl smiles and replies in spanish to Lucien,"Encantante, Señor."
Matt flashes the girl a dazzling smile. "Merci beaucoup. And it's a pleasure, Eve." He sits down, not /heavily/ exactly, but his relief at being off his feet is palpable. "Alas, I do not have any hidden juggling skills. I'm passably good at dropping things, though, and excellent at drinking tea." As if to /demonstrate/ his prowess, he picks up his teacup and takes a delicate sip. "Would you like a scone? Or brownie?"
Lucien's handshake is warm; it comes with a warm smile (more visible in his bright green eyes than in the only small uptick of his lips) and comes as well with a flutter of feeling too soft and subtle to be overtly attributable to anything in particular -- a very slight whisper of cheer, a very slight relaxation. "Passably good. He undersells himself," he confides, lifting one hand to settle it on the back of his brother's head, absently /jostle/ him (though perhaps not quite as absent as it seems; he does wait till after Matt is done sipping at his tea.) "His skills at accelerating the entropy in my vicinity are /without/ compare. You, on the other hand, seem quite artful at that balancing act. Perhaps juggling would be up your alley." To Matt, his touch comes with a quiet wash of feeling -- a gentle soothing warmth, buoying some of Matt's exhaustion, leveling out the edges of ache and nausea and stress before he drops his hand back to the table. "I do answer to Fiend as well, on occasion. How are you enjoying your evening, then, Just Eve?"
She's very charmed with the gentlemen alright! She's young, they're pretty, and for some reason, Lucien seems to have a particularly relaxing effect on her mood. She would normally be babbling at this point, but she... eases for lack of a better word. "I... I've never had a scone. Do you mind if I go get some tea first, though? I'm so used to cafecito and coffee. So it's good to be trying new things." There's the slightest hint of something in her physiology stirring and pushing back as the relaxation takes hold of her. Like brushing against a cobweb. Just the barest hint of resistance and then... poof. Gone. She is away, smiling, hips a-swish. It takes her just a moment to procure something green and strong before she returns, and then she points to a chair, "Do you mind if I sit? I'm... enjoying it a bit more now. I've kind of been... stood up. It's an embarrassing feeling. Juggling. Now that would be a skill to learn."
"Oh, by all means." Matt watches Eve go, lifting his head again for a sip. "Fiend," he says quietly, smiling at his brother and smiles over the brim of the cup. When Eve returns, he gestures expansively. "Do sit, s'il te plaît. Rather rude of whoever stood you up. I hope they feel just as embarrassed for it." He picks up a cookie from the plate and waves Eve to the scone. "Goes well with tea. Though, I happen think just about everything goes well with /some/ kind of tea or another."
"Oh, by all means." Far less expansive than his brother, Lucien simply tips his teacup just-so! towards the indicated chair in invitation. "Stood up? Terribly uncouth. Personally, I find tea a balm to soothe /any/ ills." His lips press together; he hides a chuckle behind his next sip. "-- he does mean /just/ about everything, too. Peeps-flavoured Oreos. 7-11 hotdogs. I would wager he could find a tea to pair with just about any trash. Scones are entry-level tea sommelier-ing." He plucks languidly at one twisted end of his croissant, watching its flakes shed but not actually /eating/ it. "If you do not /mind/ embarrassment overly, juggling is a delightful skill to learn. Quite silly. Especially in the learning of it. I must have bopped myself in the nose hundreds of times. It is good practice. Other lesser embarrassments pale."
She crosses one leg underneath herself as she sits in the chair, arranging her skirt JUST so. Two hands on the teacup after selecting a napkin to place on the table, a sip is taken. Her eyes widen, surprised. Another sip, and then she carefully picks up a scone to settle on her napkin. "I'm, sad to say, kinda used to it. I just try not to get my hopes up to much and remember that in a few years none of this will mean anything because then I'm going to have to adult SO HARD. I love parents, but noone's who they really are until they're free, you know?" Her free leg taps the air just above the floor, a hum building in the back of her throat. Energetic little thing. "I've been pretty well inured to embarrassment. So why not? Who knows when I'll need to be able to carry wine glasses and flaming chainsaws at the same time? You never kno- Wait. Tea with... hotdogs... and peeps. No. My abuela would be offended, I think." She reaches for the scone to take a small bite, and smiles. "Mmm. You know, this is the first time I've ever had tea. My family sells coffee and other things in, like, buttloads, so it's just kind of always easily available. 7-11 food offends my family's sensibilities. Don't get me wrong... Our hot bar isn't, like, fancy-eating, but it's fresh."
"Mm. I'm not sure, but I think...you're always becoming who you are. Free or no. And, ideally, family helps you become who you are." Matt doesn't bother covering his smile this time. "Oh no, not hot dogs and peeps /together./ At least I haven't /tried/ them together..." He looks up thoughtfully. "I certainly agree that 7-11 food is generally offensive, I just have a soft spot for trash. I'm also perfectly happy to eat actually decent food." His smile fades a touch. "Usually." Then he brightens up again. "So, your family runs a shop?"
"Constraints have their own way of testing your adaptability. Creativity. Who you need to become under limitations is no less /you/, just --" Lucien's hand turns upward, fingers spreading. "Different." His shudder is /quite/ exaggerated at Matt's pause. "Mes dieux I had no intention of giving you /ideas/. -- A shop? Is it a lovely shop with decent food? That has /actual/ ingredients in it, perhaps?"
"Ideally. Life is often not ideal. But... my family isn't standing in my way, either. Even if they don't 'get' me. There's genuine love. I dunno, I just... feel, probably like most teenagers, that I'm waiting still to be the person I'm supposed to be. Then again, maybe what I worry about is superficial." Eve nibbles on her scone for a bit to consider that. She also goggles for a moment at Matt. Just... staring,"Please tell me you're not serious. Hot dogs and peeps are an unholy union, sir." She uses her best 'crusader' voice. Then eve is nodding,"El Sabor de Cuba. It's in east Harlem, so you'd need to take the... what? The six from here, I think? Just a little bodega. Abuela runs the hot bar in the back. We make it. Out of ingredients. That take time in pots and pans and ovens and such to cook. We're very proud of the ropa vieja, but the fried plantains are pretty popular for something quick, and with summer coming up, dad will probably be making yuca con mojo, which is a treat."
Matt's smile is gentle. "Superficial doesn't mean unimportant. But, I've always felt like who I'm supposed to be is sort of a moving target. Even now, and I haven't been a teenager for a /while/." He sips his tea and takes a very small bite of his cookie. "I'm perfectly serious, but I am also open to good food made with ingredients in pots and pans and ovens. Maybe I'll drop by your bodega next time I'm in the area." He grins. "I'll make no mention of my unholy predilections, promise."
"I'm in theatre," Lucien replies glibly, "everything I concern myself with is superficial. But that makes it no less meaningful." He nibbles now at his croissant, casting a small -- very brief -- frown over at Matt. Watching the bite he takes of cookie, sipping at his own tea thoughtfully. "Perhaps if you stop by you can tell me what tea goes best with yuca con mojo. That /does/ sound like rather a treat. -- Would you consider me awfully rude," now he's asking Eve this, eyes just a touch wider with the questioning, "if I took my brother and left you to your tea? I thought I had a longer night in me but I'm starting to feel that if I don't get home soon I may fall asleep in my croissant."
A slight smile creases Eve's face. "I like that. That part about superficial things." She sits up and nods, though. "Just don't get within arm's reach of my abuela. She'll pinch your cheeks. I can tell just from looking at you two." As for departing,"Herbal teas are generally the mode for those who enjoy it. Anything that'll go well with sweet, nutty flavors. Anyway, we've established you're a fiend so you should... uh... crap, what's the vocab word? Abscond. You should abscond with your brother. Don't forget your croissant! Be safe out there. It's a crazy city."
"I consider myself forewarned about the cheek-pinching," Matt says solemnly, draining his tea and bussing everything except the plate for Eve's scone. "Anyway, it was good chatting with you, Eve. Now I must get this one home before he turns into a pumpkin." He sticks the cookie in his mouth to free his hands, but then immediately takes it back out so he can add. "If you get a chance to check out /Lost/ on Broadway, I promise he's a lot more lively on stage." He's coaxing Lucien to his feet, his powers reaching in and providing better support than his one somewhat dubious hand up. "Salut!"