Eleni could not help the chuckle that came when Aaliyah realized she was saying something, not that she minded too much that she had mentally drifted away. It wasn't important, really she had just been talking for the sake of talking, all that mattered to her was that she was there in person. She smiled brightly feeling the kiss, "Just a rather pathetic attempt at self-effacing humor, I promise, Hitler isn't something that drifts into my thoughts all that often if at all." She squeezed her companion gently, "I was just saying that all that vegetarian food and his artist's temperament probably made him a little crazy and that's why artists should never cook. Though perhaps we should just simply everything and say I shouldn't cook." she was rambling now and she knew it, no wonder she had gotten lost moments ago. "I was really just trying to find something to talk about so I'd stop worrying about tripping over my feet or saying something absurd."
Well, she had to correct herself on that one, "Er, more absurd than the things I'm already saying." her eyes focused on the ground in front of them as they walked towards the subway. She was feeling more than a little silly, but then she usually did, the fact that she was absolutely, madly in love with the woman at her side did nothing to help. "I don't ever remember knowing what to say to you, I remember nodding and staring at you a great deal when you returned to court." Adrasteia, which had been the name she was born with she never went with the Egyptian name her husband had given her as she couldn't actually pronounce it, had watched her husband's sister a great deal when they met again. She had wanted to speak to her so many times but she feared not knowing what to say and making a fool of herself when she did manage to think of something. When they did actually start talking it was only due to the terrible treatment Adra had experienced at the hands of her husband, but, all things considered, that had been alright. It had actually forced that attraction and unspoken connection out into the open, but that had been easier as she had been sobbing and barely speaking at all at the time.
"Ah," the idea of not knowing what to say was probably going to be a running theme in their relationship. They had the problems of their last relationship and now this present one to day to it. "I remember the way you used to blush and look away when I caught you staring. You always seemed afraid to look at me." It had been no secret she was a beautiful woman. Originally, she had thought Adra was afraid to look at her because she might be seen as challenging her. Though married to her brother, there was always the chance that Irisi wished the throne for herself and being the Egyptian versus a Grecian meant Irisi already had the upper hand should it come to court politics. Thankfully, she cared nothing for court politics, certainly not enough to hurt Adra in any way. "I suppose I should be glad you ever learned to talk." The stairs leading down into the subway station were slick with rain. Switching hands with the umbrella, she took a hold of the railing to keep from falling. She waited for Eleni to do the same. If she was worried about falling over her feet, she certainly needed to hold the rail in the rain.
"But if you want to practice, I don't mind you using my kitchen. It's not huge, but it is clean and generally well stocked." It was one of the few things she truly felt the need to spend money on, her kitchen. Other than the small word processor she kept hidden under her bed, the worst thing a person could steal from her would probably be the food processor. There were books of course, entire book cases of them in the living room, but if someone expected her home to be modern looking, they would be sadly disappointed. The soft rumble of the train coming down the track got her attention. "The train we need should be along in about five minutes." The one currently going by would be the one going the wrong direction. Obviously, she had ridden this particular line quite a few times. "I find the idea of vegetarian food has a place, but I'm not quite vegetarian. I find I like a good steak."
She followed Aaliyah's example as they went down the stairs and when they reached the bottom she looked around the place as if she was a tourist in Times Square, making it clear that she was new to subway travel. "I love you and respect your kitchen too much to do that, unless you're willing to teach me and keep me from torching the place." it might have been funny if she had not actually started a fire or two back in Greece. Her mother had tossed her out of the kitchen after that and warned her not to return upon pain of death, so far those had been orders she had no trouble following, and of course her host mother had been the type to do all the cooking and only really allowed Eleni to help when there were no stoves involved. But that reminded her of some strange movie she had watched before leaving Greece, the love scene had started where one of the characters was teaching the other how to cook something, it had been actually rather hot, right up until the point when they started using olive oil as some kind of lubricant, then it just got disgusting. Instead of focusing on the aspects that were arousing, she just pushed the whole scene out of her head, it was safer that way.
"I suppose you use the subway a lot then? I've never been on one before. The closest thing would be the Eurostar when my family holidayed in London, but that's probably a great deal different. I mean, you see all those movies and television shows that depict them as terrible places, especially that one movie, Final Destination 3 that ends with that terrible wreck." again, her mouth was running away with her. "Ah, sorry, I'm doing it again, aren't I?" she reached out and took her hand in hers again, "I don't mean to ramble, I'm just so happy to be here with you, and maybe I might be a little afraid that if I stop talking to you, you might disappear." and odd thing to be afraid of to be sure, but then all that time she spent in the dark had been in utter silence, and Irisi had not been there to calm her.
She had always needed Irisi to calm her, Adra had always been too dreamy and idealistic for real life and her lover had kept her on earth without trying to restrict her need for expression and her occasionally delicate personality. They had been a good match, she felt they still were though the reasons now were not so glaring and at least they would be free to love each other out in the open without fear of death. In public they might be stared at, even occasionally yelled at and insulted, but they did not have to live like Pharaoh's guard was always on the hunt for them. It might have killed a little of the excitement, but Eleni was perfectly content to lose that spark of the forbidden in favor of keeping her head.
Aaliyah listened to her speak and followed along with it without saying anything. It seemed easier to allow her to ramble on unobstructed. The touch of her hand made Aaliyah squeeze her fingers. "I'm not going to disappear, Adra," she put her face against her girlfriend's head. Odd to think she had a girlfriend now. This morning, she had left home single, saying goodbye to her bird and more than prepared to deal with the fact that everything happening at the museum had just been some strange fluke. Now this evening, she was leading her girlfriend home. "You're welcome to talk until you can't think of anything else to say." In a way, Eleni's constant talking was making her more real to Aaliyah as well. However, at the moment, she was listening for the sound of the train which would begin to herald its own approach with a rumbling sound. The acoustics in subway tunnels tended to make far away noises sound so much closer than they actually were. "I won't stop you." The subway station was the same as any number of other stations in the city. All the personality of a bathroom where someone had decided they needed to put in advertisements and graffiti.
"I take the subway everyday," she explained. "Out to work and back to home again at the end of the night." Then she looked in the direction of the tunnel. The train was starting to make its way down toward them. "Same train everyday." Essentially why she knew exactly when the train would come. "And here it is, as expected." Aaliyah used this station, it wasn't the one closest to her work, but it was quieter. There were fewer people. Not many liked to use it. Did she fear that she could be mugged while down there alone? Of course, she could have been mugged. But she didn't worry about it. Instead, she just considered it as something that could happen. The other thing was the fact that the turnstile at this place more often than not did not work, which meant not having to pay for the ride. She wasn't above paying for it, but why should she when she could get away with not having to? "Shall we?" The doors to the train opened, giving them a look at the interior.
The interior, as was to be expected, was not exactly the more thrilling place. It was vinyl seats set in metal and all too often covered in paint. Stepping onto the train, Aaliyah looked around to see who else was in their car. There was an older woman to one end, but otherwise, they appeared to be alone. Just as well. She didn't care for small talk at the moment. Finding a seat, she settled and looked at her companion. "Well, enjoy the ride. It's not great, but when it's new, I suppose it's rather fun."
As she sat down next to Aaliyah she glanced about the car as well, thinking that she had not been lacking when she had never been in the subway. It wasn't her sort of place at all, but as long as it got them to where they were going she did not care how run-down it looked or how badly it smelled. "Enjoy the ride?" she said as she rested her head on the older woman's shoulder and took one of her hands in hers. "Oh, yes, I will enjoy the ride." though if it was because it was something she had never done before or if she was just so happy to be pressed close against the woman she loved, was pretty clear in the way she cuddled up next to the other woman.
She began running her thumb over the back of her hand as she held it, her eyes focused on it in a seemingly childlike manner. Her hand was soft and smooth so Eleni continued to caress it, enjoying the feeling of her hand in hers. "So you go to work on the subway and I go to campus on the bus or Simbul picks me up. It seems all so ordinary considering what and who we had once been, doesn't it?" she hadn't meant to talk about Simbul or the fact that their relationship had ended before it began because she wasn't Irisi, though she had yet to know it. She did feel a little bad though, she was a sweet girl and deserved someone who could love her. These thoughts caused her to pull up that silver chain with necklace from under the neck of her dress, and once it was out she turned the silver Bastet statue up a little so she could get a better look at it.
She had never been very good with Egyptian gods, even when she had been forced to convert. Or rather publicly convert as she was sure that the Pharaoh could not have cared less about what she believed in or what she thought as long as she was submissive and only in his bed. A bed that she usually did her best to avoid at all costs, especially after she realized that she loved Irisi and could stand no one to touch her save that one woman. "I have been trying to not get my hopes up, but does this trip back to your place mean that you aren't going to send me back out tonight?" she looked up to her face, cheek still resting on her shoulder. "Not that it's a proposition, unless you want it to be. I should have wiggled my eyebrows seductively there, but I don't know if it would look like anything more than some strange facial tick." but she did like the idea of spending the night together, even platonically, she did not want Aaliyah away from her unless she absolutely had to be.
Having someone so close was unusual for her. Aaliyah tended toward prizing her personal space, probably because it made it harder for someone to slip their hands in her pockets and make off with what was hers. Of course, that was also why her bag was hung inside her coat and not outside of it. Make things a little harder for those who wished to do nefarious things with their lives. She was used to the subway, so the fact that she barely noticed the new gang tag done in black spray paint on one of the seats could easily be forgiven. Instead, she settled the shut umbrella on the floor, allowing it to come to rest against a pole in order to keep it from running away. Eleni, for all that she tried not to think hard on it, appeared to be somewhat childish at the moment. Perhaps because she was so used to dealing with those who tried desperately to keep their infatuation from the surface. Her current companion hardly seemed interested in such an artifice. It was kind of nice to know she was appreciated.
"Who is Simbul," not so much because she thought this person was a threat to her personally, but rather because it was the first name she had actually mentioned in connection with some kind of a friend. One generally tried to know the friends of those they cared about. Well, if she was truly honest, she did want to know who this person was because of some feeling of possessiveness; however misplaced it may have been. Or maybe not. The ordinariness of their current situation was something to be celebrated really. back then, part of their problem had been their position.
The interest in the information paled against the awareness of Eleni, her Adra, wearing the mark of Bastet again. It didn't bother her, but it certainly didn't please her. She was tired of gods. Tired of meddlesome higher powers. Tired of kings and princes and their ideas of things. She wanted her love, that and only that, nothing more, nothing less. "You don't have to go anywhere until you have to go somewhere," she would not make her leave. However, she also would not hinder her from doing so. Sometimes, you simply wanted to be away from the person you cared for. After so long away though, it seemed hardly likely either of them would wish to part any time soon. "I see no reason why this should be hurried. Though I do have to go to work tomorrow as well."
"Simbul is-" she had to stop herself from finishing that sentence. "She was my girlfriend." Eleni could admit that now, there wasn't to be anyone else but Aaliyah in her life from that point on, the Pakistani girl just didn't know it yet. It wasn't as if this could be considered cheating either, the relationship had been over for a while but the two did not want to admit it to each other. They were better friends than they were lovers, and only now that Irisi had returned to her did she fully realize why. "She's in med school and was one of the first people I met when I got here. A lovely girl really, but things were never going to work out between us because, well, because she wasn't you." it felt strange to be talking about her around Aaliyah, and she was sure that the older woman was less than thrilled, she would be too if she was talking about one of her exes. And she found herself breaking another of those first date rules, she was talking about an ex. Even if she had not been destined to be with Irisi, it would have been clear why she had such a hard time with relationships.
She let go of the necklace, letting it tuck itself back down into her dress, she was letting Simbul go completely. "Archie won't try to peck my face off if I decide that I must stay with you for a few hours, then?" not that she was really worried that the bird would not like her, birds were generally so passive anyway and she wouldn't do anything to try to annoy him into action. "I've got classes tomorrow, and as much as I'd like to skip them, if I skip too many they'll take away some of my funding. I'm not so brave as to withstand a call from my mother at two in the morning asking me in Greek as to why I feel I must break her heart, not again anyway." though what she would have done with herself while Aaliyah was at work she wasn't sure, so classes were actually a welcome distraction, at least for a few hours.
But that necklace around her neck was starting to bother her. It had been a gift from Simbul and it was depicting one of those gods she had once been forced to publicly worship. While the past was occasionally helpful, in this case it barely did more than make them worry about the future. She was going to put the past away. Letting go of her hand she got to her feet, undoing and removing the necklace she moved down the car to where the old woman was, fastening the necklace around one of the polls. "If you want it, you can keep it. Bastet will protect your home and your cats as long as you don't bother to upset her in any way. So don't fall in love or else she'll be as vengeful to you as she was to me." the old woman looked at her like she had lost her mind, which was probably pretty accurate if anyone had been observing her and Aaliyah over the past two days. She smiled at the woman then moved back to girlfriend, sitting down beside her. "I think she'll be happy looking over somebody else for once." she explained.
Well, that answered that. Not the answer she wanted, but perhaps the answer she needed. She didn't care to know that Eleni had a girlfriend, someone else, but it was good to know that things were essentially over between those two. Thinking back, she had to consider when the last time was she dated. It had been a long time ago now. Perhaps why this whole thing felt a little odd. Really, her name had been Kathleen and she played for the symphony. It had been before this job, was it even in this city? Had she been riding the subway back when she first met Kathleen standing under the awning of a pizzeria. No, it was the place before this. Back when she was in school herself. They met outside the pizzeria and the conversation had been about a book she had in her hand. What the title of the book was, she couldn't even remember. It didn't matter now. That was ages ago. A lifetime away. Another time, another place, where there was still no them.
"Then I suppose you shall go to class and I will go to work," it seemed to make the most sense. Aaliyah did prize things that made sense. If only because they were easier to understand and explain to others. "And no, Archie won't care one way or another." Eleni getting up surprised her. If only because it was unexpected. Then she went to a woman they didn't even know and offered her the necklace. Well, didn't even offer it to her, gave it to her before the woman had the first chance to protest. Then she came back and Aaliyah, Irisi, smiled for the boldness of the move. There were certainly parts of the past that needed to disappear into the mists of time. Forced worship of fickle gods and adherence to rules of behavior meant to keep one from happiness those were things they could easily and quickly give up. The woman was looking at them with wide eyes. Aaliyah only dipped her head to her before reaching down to pick up the umbrella. "Our stop is coming up."
Yes, she had been on this train quite a few times. It didn't even appear she had been paying attention to the call for stops. She picked up the umbrella, stood up, and took a hold of an overhead rail as the car came to a slow stop. "Shall we?"
She slid her hand into Aaliyah's, a little smile stuck on her lips from what she had done and how they were being stared at now, "Sure." she found herself looking at the old woman for a moment but her attention quickly turned back the woman who's had she was holding, walking out with her when the car stopped completely. "I guess I'm gonna have to start trying to learn the train schedule." which did not matter much to her as it meant that they would be seeing each other more often. And at least the rides back and forth would give her enough time to figure out how to deal with her desire to just pick back up where they had left off so many years ago. She knew it wasn't the right thing for this situation, they were different people and they were in different situations. And for a little while it would not be easy for them to even behave as a normal couple, they were still feeling things out.
And even though they were feeling things out she still fought with that desire to cling to Irisi and to make up for all that time they lost. It was the first time in a long time that she felt she was in perfect harmony with herself, part of her heart was no longer missing, the woman that had it was walking with her up the stairs and back into the rain. Had she been even more the odd duck she knew she was she would have been tempted to pull a Gene Kelly and start singing 'Singing in the Rain', she felt utterly light and happy and it was such a wonderful feeling that she prayed that it would never leave her. It was all wrapped up in Irisi being there with her and she would never let Irisi leave her again.
"It's not going to rain on us every day we are together isn't it?" she smiled as she thought back to her comment about there always being rain when she was with someone. It had been true so far as it had been raining the two days they had been together. Not that she was complaining, at least the rain would keep them indoors and hopefully close together.
Back up into the rain, a block to her apartment. "I should hope not," the rain was beautiful, but the constantly being wet part of things tended to make her somewhat grouchy. "It can't be good for anything. Everything needs sunshine sometimes." The earlier comment about it always raining when she was with someone came back to mind and maybe the whole reason had been to discourage her. Perhaps now that she had found this person, she would finally get some sunshine with her relationships. Or she could just continue to stock her house with tea, coffee, and bread and enjoy staying indoors. The apartment building wasn't precisely run down. However, it was fair to say it had seen better days. Her apartment was on the 7th floor, a rather long walk punctuated by the sound of rain on the building and them dripping water on the stairs.
Archimedes made his displeasure at her, once again, lateness as soon as she walked in the door, fanning his wings and speaking in his throaty voice. "And good evening to you as well, Archie," she smiled at the animal, tucking her keys back in her coat. "I'll take your coat and put it in the wash room with the umbrella. That way it doesn't drain all over the floor." She had wood floors, something unexpected, but quite pretty. But before she did anything of the kind, she went to Archie's cage and flipped the little latch that held it closed. The bird opened the door himself and hopped onto her fingers with a flutter of feathers. "I'm late, I am aware," she told the bird who hopped from her hand to her shoulder and proceeded to preen her hair. He was a large animal, fully the size of someones head even with his wings tucked in close. Done greeting Aaliyah, he fixed his eye on Eleni and started 'talking' again. "And my guest. Do manage to behave, yes?" He hopped from the woman's shoulder to a perch on the coffee table to get a better look. His perch, a carved branch, was settled among a stack of books three deep. Once again, he seemed to simply be watching, waiting for something to happen. "Your coat, if you don't mind?" She came back to Eleni who hadn't gotten out of her coat yet and held out her hands. Both coats and the umbrella would go into the tub for now. "Then I shall see what I have to make for dinner. I wasn't expecting company, but it should still go well." Now she was the one talking far too much. Her front door issued into an area that was partially living room, partially hallway. Then was the entrance to the kitchen. Beyond that, still shrouded in darkness as there were no lights on was the bedroom and the bathroom. The living room had a balcony at the other end, which was really the fire escape, but it was big enough for a balcony. Bookcases ran along the walls and hundreds of pictures of what looked like everyday places. A coffee-shop here, a bakery there, some industrial building. Archie's cage sat near the window to the balcony. There were two old couches, set to create a corner, allowing people to talk easily. But it was obvious the place rarely saw more than one occupant. It made sense. She had always been an intensely private person.