Who: Ben, Fitz and Kyrie What: Dinner Party When: Afternoon, Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Where: Fitz and Kyrie's place Rating: Low Status: Complete
Ben walked down the street, hands in pockets as he hummed to himself. It wasn’t a long distance from his apartment to the address that Fitz had given him, he had done the walk yesterday to make sure he knew the way so wouldn’t get lost when the time came because showing up late for dinner was not good manners and it wasn’t like he could call up to say he was running late or was lost.
Double checking the address he walked up to the door, before he knocked on the door he smoothed his white shirt down and checked his slacks he took a deep breath before knocking on the wooden surface. In his hand he held a small bunch of wildflowers that he had picked earlier that day, hopefully his hosts would like them.
Fitz was busy in the kitchen, not that he should be answering the door anyhow. “Key, can you get it… I think our guest is here.” He sad as he washed some spinach in the sink.
Clean shaven now, and with pants that fit, his clothing options were limited so he wore the nicer of his t-shirts. He’d been cooking for a bit, nervous that Ben would like it. A honey balsamic chicken with a spinach and tomato salad. He’d gotten some red wine to have with dinner as well. In six years he’d only ever cooked for Kyrie, so if it sucked, well they’d just have a laugh and she’d pick up something premade from the market. But, this time he was cooking for Ben. Fitz could count on less than both hands the amount of people who knew who he was. The Dr. Doolittle had been such an easy choice to reveal. He already knew. Granted, he didn’t know what Fitz did or who he worked with, but he’d… become special in a short time. From running away from him to running toward him.
He just hoped the night went well, and he got along with Kyrie.
Kyrie padded out of her room toward the front door. Why she was nervous she wasn’t sure, but she could say that it wasn’t the bad kind of nerves. She was thrilled for Fitz,so happy he had found someone else to talk to and be himself around. Smoothing the front of her clothes, just a basic outfit considering there wasn’t much as far as elegant items on the island, she reached the door and pulled it open.
Leaning backward to get a good look at Ben she smiled warmly and beckoned him inside. “Hello, you must be Ben.” When the other man was inside she closed the door with a hurry and locked it up.
She doubted anyone would be too suspicious as to why a man was coming to her apartment though she had never met Ben and so maybe it was odd. But she did her best not to think about it.
“Please make yourself at home. Dinner will be soon.” Her palm waved to the apartment, the living room which fed into the kitchen.
Ben smiled at the brunette lady as she opened the door and greeted him, “I am.” He said as he stepped into house when beckoned, not wanting to stand too long outside because who knew who could be listening.
When they were inside and the door was closed. “Bonjour Mademoiselle. Comment allez vous?” Hello Miss. How are you? He asked, it was good to be able to talk in French to someone and have them understand what he was saying. Plus the fact Fitz had no idea what they were saying was going to be amusing too.
Ben kicked his shoes off beside the door and walked further into the apartment, smiling when he saw Fitz in the kitchen. “Hello minou.”
The house was strategically decorated. They’d been there long enough to have acquired personal effects, and almost all of them were designed to block a camera (only a few not having a true purpose other than decoration, though even then they helped make sure that the others weren’t just there to block a camera). On the mantel by the TV there were a few framed pictures that they’d brought with them. Both their parents had pictures, and there was one picture of an army unit and another of a soldier in their dress blues.
Fitz gave a wave from the kitchen as he finished cutting the tomatoes for the salad. “Less than five minutes.” He said, plating the salad. “Would you like something to drink?”
The tongue she was used to warmed her, “Oui!” Came the reply. It was funny how small things like that meant so much - having something in common with someone else like a language or a friend - and she felt a sense of pride. Kyrie had been taught to speak many languages but French was a close second to American English.
Following Ben into the kitchen Kyrie did her best to stay out from underfoot. The table had been preset in anticipation, things in their home cleaned and moved around to further add to their discretion.
To Ben, Kyrie turned to address softly, the French leaving her lips like silk,"Etes-vous ici depuis longtemps?" Have you been here long? In the crook of the counter where it met the sink she slid up to sit on the flat space in effort to be part of the conversation better. Petite, she knew competing for eye level could be a challenge. “Around the island, I mean,” was added on to her question, switching to English fluidly.
Ben had spoken French more back at home than he did English but moving to the US for work, English became his default though it did nothing for his accent which was still strong and he still talked slowly and pronounced full words so others could understand him. At least here he didn’t have to worry about that.
He smiled over the kitchen counter at Fitz. “I won’t say no to a drink. And these are for you.” Seeing that the chef’s hands were still busy he placed the flowers down on the counter nearby, out of the way but still visible to the other man.
Turning his attention back to Kyrie he switched to English, it was rude to continue speaking French in front of Fitz. “About six months now.”
As he turned and opened a cupboard he shot a smile at Kyrie at the delivery of the flowers. “Thank you.” Fitz said, getting a tall glass and putting some water in the base. “They’re lovely.” He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gotten flowers- probably because there hadn’t ever been a last time. “Here.” He placed the glass on the counter. “For the flowers… they’ll make a nice centerpiece.”
He then went to open a bottle of wine and poured three glasses. “Ben teaches at the facility.” Fitz informed Kyrie as he passed her a glass with just a small bit of wine, knowing he’d already told her but it flowed well with the conversation. “And does yoga in the park.” He smirked at Ben as he passed him a glass as well.
She was excited about being able to communicate in French - Ben’s accent was a bit different but it was all the same to her.
The flowers brought were a nice gesture. She offered Fitz a look of approval silently coupled with a smile, endeared.
“We have been here — about six years? Does that sound right?” She inquired of Fitz, turning to look back over at Ben. Fingers went around the glass of wine and she listened, nodding. “What do you teach?” Yoga was interesting, she liked it.
The flowers weren't really all that fancy, just some of what he could find as he walked around the island that morning but they did make a cute little bouquet, at least they made both Fitz and Kyrie smile.
Taking the glass of wine from Fitz he gave it a quick sniff before sipping at it, he wasn't a big wine drinker so couldn't say he knew a lot about it but this wasn't too bad at all. He listened and watched as the two friends talked to each other, already seeing the close bond between them.
“Français, three days a week.” Came his reply to the question of what he was teaching at the Facility. “Children or adults, if anyone wants to learn I'll teach them. I also do yoga lessons in the park, but I am not a trained teacher, just someone who's done it for many years.” Another sip of wine. “That's how I met Fitz.” Ben's mouth spread into a wide smile.
“Yea… unofficially.” He smirked as the timer went off. “Okay, all of you.” He waved a hand at them as he placed his glass down. “Out of the kitchen, go take a seat at the table. Dinner will be out shortly.”
Once they were gone, he pulled the chicken from the oven and plated it for each of them. He added a light drizzle of Italian dressing to the salad and nodded. Taking up two of the plates first, he laid one down before each of them. It wasn’t the largest amount of food, but he tried to make it look nice. Fitz then got his own plate and glass and sat down, looking between them he smiled. “Hope you two didn’t share anything too embarrassing.” He chuckled, wanting them to get along.
With interest she listened. Teaching another language to anyone who wanted to learn was a good thing, she hoped his classes were full of life. Something to look forward to, at least. And a yoga class, too. An endearing look was offered to Fitz, his life had become so exciting with this new addition.
And a laugh would come as they were ushered out. Sliding down from the counter her glass would be plucked gently up and carried with her toward the table. Drinking was rare for her, she wouldn’t need much more to be alright for the remainder of the evening so she was taking it slow.
Folding her legs beneath herself to add a bit of height Kyrie smiled at Ben, “I’m very glad you are here. Please treat him right, he is very special.” The words were said low but without harshness. Fitz meant a lot to her.
When the plates came she sat back and waited until everyone else began to eat before following suit. “Mm, so good!”
Ben didn’t think of himself as much of a teacher but his years of sitting around observatories had taught him patience and it was coming in handy when attempting to teach others, he had a new-found respect for all his teachers and professors in the past, there was always one or two people who just couldn’t get it and were vocal about it.
He sat at the table, waiting for Fitz to serve the food, an eyebrow raised a bit at the comment of ‘treat him right’, they barely knew one another, was this really happening? What kind of things had Fitz told his friend about them, was there even a ‘them’? All the questions started swirling around in his head, overthinking and over complicating everything.
Once everyone was seated Ben picked up his knife and fork and started cutting up the chicken into little pieces. Bringing a bite up to his mouth he started to slowly chew on it, enjoying the flavors and textures and the fact that someone else had cooked it. “Very good!” He added, agreeing with Kyrie about Fitz’s cooking.
For Fitz it was important that the two people not associated with the faction who knew who he really was knew each other. If something happened to him, he wanted them to be able to talk with each other. Those who knew who he was in the faction knew of Kyrie of course, but he’s kept those parts of his life separate, so she didn’t know of them.
Besides, Key needed practice socializing with people and Ben smelled like good people.
Fitz smiles softly at the compliments. The chicken was drier than he’d have preferred, but the honey balsamic marinade had come out perfect. “Thanks. It’s probably the nicest thing I know how to make.” His mental cookbook was filled more with military style meals.
She had meant the comment in a friendly way - to treat someone with kindness and respect, the things anyone would deserve, and also to keep the secret of what Fitz really was the way that it was - and gave no more acknowledgement to it. While she didn’t have good social cues at times there was no implication that anything more between the two men was picked up on or assumed was going on between them.
The quip about the food from Fitz was amusing, the corners of her eyes creased with it but she held back the laugh. Instead she took another bite, waited until her mouth was empty and then her attention once more went to Ben.
“So, Ben, would it be alright if I asked you a few questions about yourself?” The question was cautious - some people didn’t want to tell others who they were, and in kind she knew she would have to admit to things in her life that might otherwise have remained dormant and in the past, but she really did want to get to know Ben.
Compared to many meals he had others cook for him in the past the chicken was really quite nice and he was enjoying the salad as well. He was also kind of glad that it was a nice protein rich meal and not full of pasta or other carb, but Ben did suspect that as Fitz was definitely not flabby that their diets were probably pretty similar.
“It’s delicious Fitz, but I can give you some cooking lessons if you want.” After all Ben’s mother was a chef and one hell of a cook who had taught him quite a few hints and tips and lots of recipes.
He turned his attention away from Fitz to Kyrie, covering his mouth for a moment as he chewed and swallowed his mouthful before he answered. “Soit mon invité.” Be my guest. Ben just hoped they weren’t too personal like how many people he had slept with or when did he lose his virginity.
“I’d like that.” Fitz said with a smirk. “Kyrie might as well. I’m sure she gets tired of SOS when rations start running low.” Sometimes carb loading was good, especially when he needed a slow release of energy. Typically he did a high carb, high protein breakfast, which would get him through most of the running he did during the day.
Fitz turned to Kyrie, curious as to what questions she had in mind.
Her eyes wandered to Fitz. She smiled at the comment, cheeks flushed with color. “You know I don’t mind at all what you make,” came the reply. They were lucky to have good food at all some days. Though she did wish, too, that there were times they had other things but that was impossible there.
Gaze crept back to Ben and she nodded, “What interests you? What did you do before you came here?” The inquiries would never be private ones as Ben might suspect, she was far too polite to pry like that.
Food on her plate was pronged with her fork as she waited for the replies.
Ben put his knife and fork down as he began to talk, he’d get back to eating after he answered the questions. “I was a Volcanologist - a scientist who studies volcanoes, my last posting was in Hawaii observing the Kīlauea volcano during its extended eruption that lasted for months.” He wasn’t sure if they had even heard of the volcano or the eruptions that went on for months and lots of houses were lost from lava flows, that kind of news might not make it to the island. “I usually went from observatory to observatory, wherever I was asked to go. But there was something different on my last blood test, men in suits showed up at my door, told me to pack my bags and here I am.”
“My interests? Other than yoga and meditation I like to read, nearly any genre but I do like mysteries and crime stories. I also love musical theater but there’s none available on the island unless I can get adaptations on DVD.”
With interest she listened, awed by his tale. That was not the answer she had expected - it was much more, much better. A smile came easily as he talked and her eyes widened when he mentioned the volcano eruption. “That sounds interesting and dangerous.” Never had she been to Hawaii but that had been a place she’d daydreamed about once in a while back in Colorado.
The part about the men in suits showing up at his door had her smile fading. At least nobody had publicized that ordeal like hers had been. “Very impressive.” For what it was worth there were a lot of fascinating people on the island.
“Reading is good. I’m glad you like to read. The DVD’s here can be limited.” She watched whatever Fitz could get his paws on but otherwise she did a lot of reading, herself.
“Dangerous was seeing Mount Etna erupting over in Italy. Kīlauea is more… liquid, it flows like a river of molten rock. Etna is more explosive, a classic volcano.” Ben could talk for hours about volcanoes and all the technical things but he didn’t want to bore his hosts so he was keeping it simple and not going on for too long. “I’ve got a lot of photos on my laptop if either of you are ever interested in seeing my volcanic adventures.” Maybe he could find a projector and have like a slide night like his Grandpa used to have of their travel photos if Fitz and Kyrie were interested.
He took a sip from his glass of wine as Kyrie talked, he also glanced over at Fitz who was busy eating. “If someone doesn’t like reading there’s something wrong with them, they offer so much more knowledge than TV ever could. I do miss just sitting and watching a movie but I’m finding other things to do with my time, gardening and exploring now the weather is much nicer.” But he grew up near the Great Lakes, even a Pacific Northwest winter was nothing in comparison.
“It’s really good to find hobbies here. Life can get monotonous sometimes.” Fitz commented. Kyrie and Ben had jobs, which helped give order to things, break up the days, make things seem not so… bleak. Fitz tried with his rounds, but knowing that in reality he could just not and no one would be able to force him… it sometimes made him feel aimless.
At some point in the tale about volcanoes her elbow had come to rest upon the flat of the table next to her plate, chin sank into her palm and she listened with fascination much akin to a child hearing a story. “I would be honored to see your pictures. I’ve never seen a volcano before.” Outside of books or photos anyway.
Her eyes slid to Fitz as he spoke. She smiled and nodded in agreement, head lifting from her hand. Gaze moving back to Ben that smile was carried over.
“If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?” She had an idea that the answer would include a volcano considering his passion, but she was curious regardless.
To have two people actively listening to him talking about his past and showing interest was different for Ben, most people that he met outside of his regular circles lost interest after about the first five minutes or just pretended they were as not to hurt his feelings. “Are you sure? There’s thousands of photos on my hard drives. I don’t want to bore you.” Especially since a lot of the photos were of landscapes or frame-by-frame of ash clouds and lava explosions, not exactly the most exciting subject. “It would be my pleasure to show you. I wonder if there is such a thing as a projector somewhere on this island?” He pondered.
He really was enjoying this dinner, even though he seemed to be doing most of the talking. “I was thinking of going near the shores, seeing if I can find anything interesting in the geology of this island. Not as exciting as volcanoes but I’ll take what I can get.” Ben added, agreeing that things got monotonous without hobbies. Under the table one of Ben’s feet moved, nudging at Fitz’s when he found it.
“Anywhere? If I didn’t have to worry about money, I’d say Iceland. Volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, hot springs and the Aurora Borealis.” He had visited, once, and it was a very expensive place to live but he did love the natural beauty of the island. “What about you?” Ben asked, the question directed towards both of them.
“To be honest, a slide show would be a nice change. Something new.” Fitz agreed. He felt the foot under the table and smiled, gently nudging back, giving Ben a knowing look.
He’d traveled when he served, and in his security gig, but he never got a chance to do anything. “I’d love to go somewhere and actually be a tourist. Doesn’t matter where. Maybe England or Germany. I don’t know.”
Thousands of photos. It wasn’t like she had anything else to do but this time she was fascinated. Kyrie nodded, “I’m absolutely sure. I want to see all of them.” Every single photo was probably more interesting than she had ever experienced. She would live through Ben and his travels. And learning in the process was welcomed.
“I’ve heard the rumor that dolphins can be seen from the shores,” she admitted. Her eyes lowered to her plate and she studied it for a moment before looking up again.
“Maybe more of the United States But I’d love to see Europe.” She’d travelled but she wasn’t keen on divulging the information.
Ben smiled wider. “I’ll see what I can find a projector to hire, it shows up the pictures much better than just seeing them on the laptop.” Plus trying to have 3 people looking at a 15 inch screen would be a bit of a squeeze. “Then we can organize a day.” His foot rested alongside Fitz’s, returning that smile to the man sitting nearby.
“Even if they’re not I can try to call them up, I’m sure someone would be around at this time of year.” He hadn’t tried it with any of the aquatic mammals, yet, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. Ben had a feeling that Kyrie didn’t get a lot of excitement in her life.
“Europe is full of history, I’m sure that both of you would love it.” Not that he had seen a lot of Europe, mainly around the Mediterranean but he had a few days in Spain and France. Though if Kyrie and Fitz had lived here for six years who knew if they’d ever actually get off the island.
“Maybe one day.” He smiled at Kyrie as he reached out and gently squeezed her arm. He had to have hope. Realistically Fitz was sure he’d die on the island. But he had to have hope that at least Kyrie would get out.
Nearly leaping up in her seat with excitement she abated the urge to clap. Biting at her lip to suppress that feeling she settled back into her seat. “That sounds good.”
If there were dolphins she would be glad to know them. Assuming Ben talked to animals was gleaned from the conversation considering his interest in Fitz. She did her best not to pry on the ID’s as she didn’t like that when it came to her.
At that squeeze at her arm she glanced over at her friend and smiled. “Maybe.”
“I will explore during the week and see if I can find any. They might not be dolphins though, there might only be porpoises or whales this far north at this time of year.” Though he was sure that any kind of aquatic mammal would please the younger lady, seeing the clear look of excitement on Kyrie’s face was worth it.
“That offer is open to you too, mon amie.” Ben said, winking at Fitz and nudging his foot as well. He obviously had no objection to Ben taking his ‘sister’ out creature spotting, maybe he’d come along in one of his feline forms, time would tell.
“I think around the lighthouse might be the best place, there’s quite a nice view from there.” And it faced out towards the open ocean instead of back towards the mainland which gave the whales and dolphins more room to frolic and play.
“The lighthouse would be nice. But we’d have to be careful. Much of the area up there is off limits.” Fitz informed Ben. Granted it was more inside that was off limits, many guards tended to keep people away from the area in general. “But it could be fun to see some sea creatures.” He smiled. Placing a fork down as he’d finished what was on his plate, he folded his hands before him. “And clearly Key would love it.” He smirked at her while he enjoyed the continued footsie under the table. “So, Key, while we give poor Ben a chance to finish some of his meal. I forgot to tell you, that guard… you shouldn’t be having issues with him as much anymore. Apparently, there are some critters on the island… if they see him around you… they’re going to cause him a bit of a problem.” He looked to Ben with a thankful nod. He felt his hands tied a lot when it came to protecting Kyrie. He was glad to have support.
What a wonderful idea that had spawned from the chat, being able to see sea creatures. Maybe she would just go to the beach and stand in the tide for a moment and hope something nice would appear in the distance. “I’d like that, thank you.” Honestly she would. It was very kind of Ben to offer, to search for any and bring them close enough to see without leaving the water.
The lighthouse was a place she had never been to in all of the time she spent there. Without a word of protest she looked at Fitz and then over at Ben, smiling. And then her gaze snapped back to her friend upon mention of the guard.
“Really?” Relief washed over her. She bit back a laugh but the amusement was present on her expression anyway. “Thank you. Both of you.” Gaze wandered back to Ben. She wished she could do more to help but her own power wasn’t useful.
This was what making friends was about, wasn’t it? Helping one another and trying to cheer each other up when the other was feeling a bit low. It was the least Ben could do for her, if it wasn’t for Kyrie’s presence on the island Fitz wouldn’t be here and he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet him.
He chuckled softly as Fitz told his friend to Kyrie to stop asking questions so he could eat. Ben had already started again on what was left of his chicken and salad, it was just as tasty as before but a tad cooler and he ate it pretty quickly.
With a smile he looked over at both of his hosts. “It is my pleasure, animals hate assholes as much as humans do. And the way he treated Fitz here...” Ben reached over and rested a hand on Fitz’s arm for a second. “He deserves whatever he gets.”
“It was worth it.” Fitz chuckled. “When you’re basically stalking someone, you deserve all shit to rain down on you. Or piss in his case. I’d do it again.” He was thankful he’d not have to worry as much- though he still would. But he’d get thrown as many times as needed to get even petty justice for Kyrie.
Once all the plates were empty, Fitz stood up and gathered the empty dishes. “How about we move to the living room. I have a surprise.” It wasn’t much, but he’d managed to dig up a little something special for the evening.
Her eyebrows lifted. “What happened?” Concern met her features and she was unable to help it. She didn’t like when things happened to Fitz when he was out being a cat. But she never asked questions, never protested. Making herself smile she looked at Ben.
At the mention of a surprise her eyebrows arched and she became more genuine in expression. “Really? What is it?”
Moving from her seat with grace, Kyrie made her way to the living area.
Ben looked over at Fitz for confirmation that it was okay for him to give Kyrie the basics of what had happened. She didn’t need to know the whole thing though. “He had Fitz ginger form by the scruff and wasn’t too gentle with him.” Another glance. “I came across them just as Fitz hit the ground and took him home with me to make sure he wasn’t injured. Then I found out the truth.”
A surprise? This really was turning into a pleasant evening - good company, good food and now something to wrap up the whole night in a big bow. At least he knew a few things that it wasn’t, he and Fitz had gone there a few nights beforehand and he didn’t want to admit that he was already wondering if it would happen again, and when.
Getting up Ben followed both his hosts into the living area, curious.
Fitz moved into the kitchen and put on a kettle to warm up some water as he cleaned the dishes and put them into the washer. “That form’s name is Oliver.” Fitz said from the other room. “Kyrie named him after the movie.” It didn’t take long for the water to boil and soon Fitz came into the living room with a small tray. Three hot cocoas with marshmallows and a small plate of chocolate chip cookies. All of which he’d managed to procure.
“But I was fine.” Fitz assured Kyrie as he handed her a mug. “Landed on my feet.”
Her eyes widened at the tale. Her head snapped over to Fitz, eyes sweeping him to check for damage. She knew it was silly and that he was fine but the worry was unable to be helped. The story had the pit of her stomach twisting into knots.
Before too long they were on the couch and accepting what Fitz had bright. She took delight in the cocoa. Accepting the cup carefully she leaned backward against the couch cushions.
“Thank you, Fitz. I’m glad you’re okay.”
Oliver. Ben could remember that pretty easily, he’d have to find out the other two but that wouldn’t be too hard.
Cocoa with marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies? This really was a treat and he took a mug from the tray and took one of the cookies as well. “Thank you.” He said, taking a bite of the cookie and humming in approval, he really did miss the small things like this and it was nice to be enjoying it with others.
He sat back in the armchair and took a sip of the hot cocoa. “And thank you both for having me over for dinner… and cocoa.” It was a nice way to wrap up the evening.