|Alice Kennedy (rosemary_thyme) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-04-01 08:58:00
|Entry tags:||tyr, uke mochi|
are you classified as human?
Who: Alice and Gus
What: Gus comes over for dinner!
Where: Alice’s apartment
When: Early evening, March 31st
It was only happening about once a week, but Alice found herself enjoying it all the same. After Alice got over the initial shock of Gus moving into the same exact apartment building as herself and BB, Alice began offering the younger man--and how weird was it to consider him a man and not a boy anymore--some decent food.
She saw how he ate otherwise, which kind of turned her stomach, and she wasn’t unfamiliar with the bad eating habits she kept in college either. Plus, working at the bakery all day and coming home to sit alone in her apartment was becoming old fast, so Alice enjoyed the company when Britt or Rafael weren’t around. It also just felt stupidly normal to have Gus around again. Despite moving clear across the country, Alice was feeling more and more like she was home.
With work growing increasingly more hectic and sleep becoming something not easily caught, Alice was finding her stress levels raising and her need for comfort and companionship increasing and she found herself smiling when Gus responded to a text she sent a few days beforehand giving the day and time he’d be around for dinner.
Having picked up the supplies needed beforehand, she was already completing the finishing touches to some flan she made when she got home and was now chopping lettuce when Gus’s familiar, repetitive knock sounded at her door. “It’s unlocked!”
It wasn’t as if he was doing anything wrong, he just...hadn’t told BB that he’d been occasionally hanging out with Alice. Besides, BB was always so wrapped up in trying to chase the next lead that she’d probably never in her wildest dreams consider it possible that Gus would take a liking to Alice.
A friendly liking, that is to say. It had happened slowly over the course of the month. She’d make too much for dinner, and he’d mosey on over to have a bite to eat with her. It broke the monotony of his weeks--go to school, do homework, hit the gym, go home, try and decide how to tell his father that BB still wasn’t interested in talking to him… Wasn’t there supposed to be more to life by now?
Gus was never quite sure these days. When he entered Alice’s apartment, the door clicking shut behind him was a sound of pure relief. He was away from reading Aristotle’s musings about the mysterious fifth element. “Hey, uh, Alice?” Gus made his way to the kitchen, their common meeting ground for these friendly dinners. “How are you doing? I think I’m on time. Maybe?” His smile was reserved, despite feeling comfortable around the plucky, kind-of-maybe-cute redhead. With his hands shoved in his pockets, he peered over the kitchen island at Alice’s culinary endeavors. “So, do you want me to help?”
Alice brightened when Gus walked in the room and offered him a warm smile. “You can stir the taco meat on the stove!” it sizzled behind her, smelling flavorful due to the spices she had added and beckoning to be eaten. Alice had also placed out different bowls with other contents that could be added to their tacos. Avocado, tomato, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and now the lettuce. It was all coming together and having been submerged in the scent of it all for the past hour made Alice’s stomach growl loudly which caused her to laugh. “I’m really hungry, as you can tell. How were classes today? How many more weeks do you have until summer break?”
He nodded in apparent agreement with his assigned task and maneuvered around Alice to reach the stove, turning the browning meat with a spatula that had been set within reaching range. The audible growl of Alice’s empty stomach provoked a low chuckle out of him, and with the way everything smelled so good, he couldn’t poke fun at her for it.
“Yeah, I’m starving, too. Like. An abyss has opened up in my stomach.” The sizzle of the hamburger meat seemed to agree with his statement. In response to Alice’s inquiries, he shrugged. “Not bad. But like. Getting back from break has sucked. It’s lame.” He glanced at the bowls of taco additions, counting them in his head. The lettuce made six, but it’d still work for the conversation idea he’d just come up with as he waited impatiently for the meat to finishing cooking. “I...I read about a fifth element tonight. Like. Aristotle figured there had to be more than four. So. He made up a fifth one. It’s called aether.”
Alice looked at him with a raised brow, her hands busy at putting the chopped lettuce into its designated bowl. “And what’s aether? I know, like, nothing about any of that,” Alice admitted with a frown. Her one older sister was heavily into this type of stuff but that interest skipped over Alice. Books and baking was about all she was good at.
Abandoning the bowls of add ons, Alice stepped beside Gus, a comfortable closeness between them, and began placing the hard shelled tortillas onto a place for the microwave.
“It's like. The stuff that makes the stars and moon. And the planets. Basically, it's his idea of the Big Bang.” Highly aware of Alice's proximity to him, Gus trained his focus more heavily on the hamburger meat. As a result, these would likely be the most cooked tacos either of them had eaten in awhile.
“He also thought we were made out of four elements. Like. All of mankind. Weird, right?” Eager to share his recently learned knowledge with Alice--was he trying to impress her or something?--Gus let himself babble. It kept his focus on ancient Greek philosophy and tacos, rather than how good Alice smelled. In comparison to the dinner she had made for them, that is.
“I heard once, and I don’t know if it was a scientist or an author, that we’re all made of star stuff. Like, whatever dust particles or whatever is in the universe also makes its way into us,” Alice offered as she put the taco shells into the microwave and set them to heat up. She turned back to Gus and crossed her arms loosely over her torso and smiled softly. This was typical of their dinners, sharing random facts that they had learned--Gus more than Alice, as he was introduced to new information daily with class. Alice found she really enjoyed it; it always left a smile on her face and left her a little amazed. After all this time--she hadn’t saw Gus since high school when he was just a kid--it felt like she was being introduced to an entirely new person. “I kind of like that idea, that we all have a little bit of each other in us, as well as the stars in the sky. It seems, I don’t know, sort of comforting.”
“Yeah. Like. It's kinda crazy but cool at the same time. But I don't like the fifth element idea. It's too campy. What the hell is aether, anyway?” He frowned at the thought of an imaginary element somehow existing without anyone's knowledge. Turning down the heat on the stove top with his right hand, Gus gave the taco meat a few more good stirs around the pan, wielding the spatula in his left hand. “So. I think this is good. I mean. It's cooked good enough.” Gus looked to Alice for help, almost sheepishly. His statement had nearly been a question; he wasn't completely helpless in the kitchen, but he was by no means a grand chef. That would probably never happen. Yet when Alice let him help with dinner, he felt like he was picking up more cooking tips, and thus improving his meager culinary skills.
Alice looked at the meat and gave a nod. As if on cue, the microwave dinged and she smiled. “Yeah, let’s start eating--the taco meat is perfectly done!” Retrieving the taco shells, she placed it on her island along with the other odds and ends of the tacos. “We can just cover the meat while we’re eating so it doesn’t get cold. Do you mind sitting on the couch? Work’s been kind of exhausting lately and I’d love to just watch a movie, but we can talk too! Guest’s choice.”
“Uh, yeah, sure. That sounds great.” His grin was a little lopsided, but one couldn't blame the guy for at least trying. “I...wouldn’t mind watching something. Kinda been a long week for me, too.” Gus switched the stove off and moved out of the way to prepare his plate. He'd spent several years at home as the only child still in school, and often had his pick of the kitchen. It admittedly took a great deal of self control to not add too many tacos to his plate, nor pile on the toppings.
“My mom used to call me a black hole,” he said with a touch of humor. “At dinner time, I mean. But I'm not. I’m...aether, or whatever.” Dark brown eyes warm with a rare sense of congeniality, Gus nodded towards Alice's fridge. “Do you have anything to drink?”
Alice returned his smile and gave a nod. “I got Dr. Pepper, you said you liked that, right? Otherwise I just have the standard--milk, water, La Croix. What would you like?” But she moved away from the kitchen, going to the living room and placing her plate with the taco on it onto her coffee table. Hands free, she walked back toward Gus, ready to be the ever helpful host. “I have a six pack of beer, too. Brit brought some over one day, said it was worth trying out. It tastes like root beer, I guess, but I don’t really like it.”
“Yeah, I'm cool with Dr. Pepper. But if BB is vouching for alcoholic root beer, I'll try that instead. You know. So I can tell her if she's wrong or not about it being good.” He was casual about his statement, but truly, Gus wasn't going to pass up a chance to be one step ahead of his sister. It hardly mattered if it was something as silly as beverage preference.
Making his way to the living room, Gus situated himself on one end of the couch, long legs stretched out, askew of the coffee table. Politely, he waited for Alice to return before he started eating, ignoring his grumbling stomach as best he could. “Wanna watch a movie? It'd be better than the evening news,” he called over his shoulder.
“Yes, that sounds excellent,” Alice replied, carrying a glass of water for herself and an alcoholic root beer for Gus. “You pick, I’m down for whatever. Mainly interested in stuffing this food into my face right now.” She grinned as she sat down on the couch at the opposite end of Gus. “Let me know if you need anything else, okay? Otherwise help yourself to seconds or thirds.” She picked up the plate and leaned back into the seat, kicking her socked feet up on top of the coffee table.
Grabbing the tv remote off the end table snug against the couch, Gus flicked the on switch and scrolled through the channel listings. A bite of taco was nearly spat out when he noticed a movie playing on a popular network station--as if by fate, it was titled The Fifth Element. Without hesitation, he selected it and placed the remote back on its home base. Immediately, the tv screen was filled with a horde of ugly, beastly looking alien creatures that grunted and wielded large space guns.
“Looks like I found Aristotle's nightmare,” he said dryly, looking over at Alice to see if she would be happy with his choice. “Wonder if this is what he meant by aether.” They usually sat at the table or the counter when dining, and now their almost-close proximity to one another was unavoidably distracting. As if his thoughts were audible, Gus quickly busied himself opening the root beer bottle, letting the mild alcohol content of it quiet his mind.
“Oh my gosh,” Alice said with a mouthful of her food. She quickly covered her mouth, still speaking nonetheless. “I haven’t seen this in years. What a coincidence, huh?” She turned to Gus, her eyes sparkling with excitement. She’d be lying if she said these silly little dinners weren’t quickly becoming a highlight of her week and his goofy happiness seemed to rub off on her. “Perfect choice, Gus. Perfect choice.”
Every bit of Alice's face lit up when she was happy. It was like magic or something, because right on time with her pretty smile, her eyes would light up, and there'd be a brief glow around her. Like what was happening right now .
Was he staring too much? Probably, but Gus returned Alice's grin all the same. “Just luck, I guess. Has Bruce Willis ever had hair?” Smooth. Real smooth. Down went another big swig of the root beer, compliments of BB. Maybe he'd thank her later.
Right now, he had to focus on eating his second taco. That, and an attempt at subtly moving closer to Alice. Maybe in a minute. Maybe ten minutes. There was still food to eat, after all.
“I don’t know, I’m not a huge Bruce Willis fan, but he is great in this, at least from what I can remember.” She finished her taco and hopped up from her seat, oblivious to Gus inching closer. “I’m going to grab another one!”
“So the one thing I remember in this movie is the multipass bit,” Alice called from the kitchen as she made up her next taco, “and that awesome song by the, what was she, blue chick? And then doesn’t she get shot?” She was smiling even from there, looking back at Gus’s messy hair, she added another taco to her plate, just in case he wanted another in the future he wouldn’t have to get up.
“Yeah, something to do with the priest guy, right? And like. The end of the world.” Gus fiddled with the now empty root beer bottle as he waited for Alice, turning slightly on the couch to try and catch a glimpse of her in the kitchen. He wondered briefly if he shouldn’t offer to help clean up before he left. Surely that’d make an even better impression on the cheerful redhead.
“The stones are like. Inside of her. It’s so weird, because how is that possible? But yeah, yeah, she does that song and a bunch of those alien monsters kick it. It’s great.” His favorite part of the scene Alice mentioned was just how functional and organized the battle between the fifth element and Gary Oldman’s alien army was...sure, it was hammy sci-fi war. Yet it served a purpose other than looking really cool, which he couldn’t say for a lot of battle scenes in the movies he’d watched over the years.
“I think my favorite part, honestly, was just the song,” Alice admitted, returning to her seat and placing her plate of tacos onto the coffee table. “I just think it sounds so pretty and I’m sure a lot of mechanical work was put in for her to sound like that and all, but I still wish I could sing like that.” She sat down on the couch, closer to Gus than before, and leaned forward to grab her plate. “I grabbed a second taco for you if you’d like it. You sort of devoured your plate there, so I figured you were hungry.” She smiled, hoping he wasn’t offended, and lifted the plate a little in offering.
“You'd have to almost be an alien to do that, though,” he said with a half-grin. “I don't think we missed that part. Yet. You're in luck.” Surprised at how close she sat, Gus watched wide-eyed when Alice reached for her plate, noting the line of her shoulders, and how her hair fell just so . Why had he finished his entire drink already? He swallowed hard and tried to pretend he couldn't almost feel the warmth emanating from Alice.
“Uh, sorry. I just. I couldn't help myself. You're too good of a cook. Thanks.”
Inwardly, he also thanked whatever fifth element did or did not exist. The taco gave him something to focus on other than Alice, and kept his hands busy and away from the temptation of touching her.
This movie was going to feel extra long, but at least he was watching it with Alice.