"Haha. No, I promise I'll hold back." She grinned. Maria pulled her crossed leg as close to her as she could as he passed, both for his ease and to make sure he didn't bump into it. When Koast took a piece of the popcorn she spoke again. "Good, eh? Not as good as the stuff back home, it's got that fake butter stuff on it, but it's alright, and better than some of the other kinds I've had." She shrugged losely.

"It's especially frustrating with it being right after Christmas. I sent presents back to my family -- you know, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, leaves me a bit short-changed. I wish I could have had some more warning, atleast to prep my finances."

Maria had been more than generous, but that was because she was doing so well in the city. It would've been wiser to just send regular gifts, not over the top presents, especially to the children, but she wanted as much to share as to prove to everyone that she was doing well in her new life, and that she could take care of herself. It seemed like a wasted, and innapropriate gesture now.

"Must be kismet then." She said and tucked a stray piece of hair behind her ear. "You don't have anywhere to stay?" Maria was already beginning to regret having touched that subject. Oh, don't be so conservative, no one is going to say anything, he can sleep on the couch... "I have an apartment, right near by, if you need somewhere, until you get settled, well.. I've got a couch atleast." The actress smiled. "I can't really vouch for it's comfort. I've never slept on it, but it's a pull-out, and I would guess it would be better than the street, or having to pay for an inn."

Christian morals, be a good neighbor. "So, you're welcome to stay with me."

It was then that the frustration at the kernal got to her. "Oh.. for the love of.." She looked up at him and smiled with a slight blush. "Ever get a popcorn kernal stuck in your teeth?" She giggled a bit. "It's totally stuck." She opened her mouth a bit, it was obvious she was trying to work at it with her tongue, which wasn't the most ladylike thing. One of her brows raised slightly as she concentrated. "Screw it." She sighed and looked at him. "I'll get it later, when I brush my teeth or something."

"So, what do you say, sleep on my couch?"

--Maria Grace

Koast nodded sympathetically. �Yeah, I know the feeling about money. It always seems that you never have what you need.� Christmas? When was that? Spending most of your time traveling does not quite lend to keeping track of the days. I think this is the first Christmas I have ever forgotten�

Koast�s reverie was interrupted by the most unusual thing he had heard in a long time.

"So, you're welcome to stay with me."

Koast felt himself choking back a little on a lump in his throat. Now of course it was quite a legitimate offer, they had been friends for a good time before he had to leave, and he did need a place to stay. And she is quite right about it being better than any Inn I would find� However, this was still a woman offering him a room. One that in all likelihood was single, as no guy that he could think of would allow his significant other to let a guy like him stay. And the fact she was decently attractive� Wait, what was that one? Oh yeah, she was decently shy and conservative. That must have been it.

Well, I have no reason to not accept, although it will be very weird, but hell, why not. I need a place to stay.

�Well, I guess that your pull out couch will be acceptable for tonight. This really is strange, like that kidwit thing you were talking about.� Koast laughed to himself a little, �I arrive in D.C. for the first time ever and run into you.� He downed another handful of the popcorn, eager to spit out another thing to change the subject for the time being. �Yeah I have gotten some kernels in my teeth pretty good before. Only brushing has really been able to get them out for me.�


"Isn't that the truth? Money." She shook her head. "Someday, I'm going to be rich, and I won't have to worry about it." Maria smiled.

"Oh, it'll be acceptable, eh? I'm not coercing you King Koast." She replied jokingly. "It isn't that bad. It's a comfortable couch atleast. I usually lay on it to read and it hasn't attacked me yet." The Christian girl laughed a bit.

"Kidwit?" She laughed and put her hand on her stomach. "Kismet." The actress continued laughing. "It's like fate. Things that are predestined and meant to happen." She bit her lip and tried to stop laughing. A deep, but content, sigh fell from her lips as she looked at him. "Kis - met." She repeated. "I have an advantage, I just read an article about serendipity and other kinds of fate."

Maria smiled and then looked up at the screen as he spoke of the kernal. "Yeah. I'll get it out eventually. Stupid popcorn." She let the silence befall them for a few minutes, maybe all the way up to fifteen or twenty as she watched the silent film play out the melodrama on screen. Music played in the background as words appeared on screen to push the topic.

"Thanks." She said, not looking at him, but continuing to watch the movie. "I haven't laughed in a while."

--Maria Grace

�Ahh, well, I uh� Koast stammered a bit, �I didn�t mean it that way.� He grumbled to her King Koast commenting, sticking his tongue out at her as he grumbled. His groans soon become mewlings as he started to recede into the theatre chair.

�Kidwit kismet potato potahto.� He mumbled, hoping that attention was adequately drawn away from his most likely blushing face. �Yes. You do have an advantage there. Meh.�

Koast looked up and watched the screen, absorbing the images before him. The flickering silver danced before him, looking just as precious as the metal. He didn�t really see much of what the images contained. He never really did. It wasn�t about the movie to him anyway. Feeling the images, the emotions and feelings wash towards him, the tide of events lifting him and pulling him out with it. It was a journey of sights, the music punctuating the activities as his greedy eyes absorbed every moment.

And then it also was always about the company. The movies were alright the first time he watched them by himself, however all the subsequent viewings were stale without the right company. I really have missed Maria haven�t I?

He looked over after she broke the silence, somewhat taken aback by the statement. �It is always good to laugh, good for the heart.� He wanted to ask why though, why she hadn�t laughed in a while. However this was not the place. Well, not unless she decided it was the place. Always seems to work that way at least�


Now the only members of the audience, the picture show flickered without regard to the couple as they quietly bantered in the seats below. Greta Garbo's passionate performance climaxed in the tiger hunt sequence. The rage of the lover and the catostophic ends to temptation.

As the film began to wrap up and the duo found themselves in the story once more, the beautifully familiar profile of Garbo washed the screen. Her gray, white, and black hair perfect, despite the crescendo of the story.

Very suddenly, and clearly, Great Garbo looked into the theater poised, still, and coldly quiet. She stared, unblinking at the two with no expression or motion.

The film flickered, skipped some frames before the picture proceeded once more as if nothing happened.

--Laveaux 22:21, 12 December 2005 (CST)

Maria nodded silently, obviously not wanting to delve into any personal conversations. Atleast, not yet. They had just started talking again, she didn't feel comfortable really saying much about it. That, and, well, it was one hell of a mood killer, especially when they were just chatting and watching a movie. Serious talk was best saved for serious situations.

The Catholic girl continued to watch the movie, unwaiveringly as the tiger presented itself before the Prince and threatened to eat him. He pulled his gun, nothing happened. As always, her heart raced a bit, thinking of him being unable to pull the trigger. But, of course, as she already knew, Greta's husband had fiddled with it. She was fixated until the screen flickered and cut ahead. "Hmm. That was weird." She commented dryly. "You know.. pay to see a movie and things like that happen." Maria sighed.

Quietly she allowed the rest of the movie to finish. There wasn't much more beyond the climax anyhow, as it was in many films. Looking over to Koast she smiled. "Ready to head out of here?" The credits started listing down the screen. "My place isn't too far, easy walk. If I can do it in heels, you'll be fine." She stood up and fixed her skirt, brushing a popcorn piece off of her lap. Picking up her jacket she tossed it over her arm and picked up her purse as well before heading out into the aisle.

It took just a few minutes before they reached the front door. Setting her purse down she slipped on her warm coat. The winter air was harsh, not as bad as in New England, but it was something needing to get used to, especially after being in a heated theatre for a good while. Buttoning the jacket, she picked up her purse and slid on some gloves. "Alright." Maria nodded. "Let's get on then." She stepped out into the air and watched her breath plume out infront of her.

"So what have you been doing for work?" She asked curiously as they walked along.

--Maria Grace

Koast sat watching the movie, absorbing the flow only for it to be broken abruptly by the skip in the movie. He could feel himself nearly growling at the thought of it for a moment, just a moment however, and then his irritation began to fade. He looked over to Maria and nodded. �Yeah, it is really annoying when stuff like that happens. You would think they would make sure it wouldn�t, seeing as how they are paid for this.�

The movie ended and Koast almost felt himself give out a sigh. Probably one of those contented sighs he thought to himself, reviewing pleasantly his company for the first time in too long of a time.

He looked over at Maria�s question. �Why certainly my dear.� He said with a little bit of a laugh. He looked down after her comment and sized up her heals, �Those don�t look that big at all. Whining about nothing.� Koast gave her a wink as he followed behind her, attempting to steel himself for the weather outside. I don�t like the cold. I don�t like the cold. I don�t like the bloody cold!

Weather back in California was never quite as cold as this� Koast often thought of his home back there. He had always missed his life, his place in the world, back there. It always seemed that he belonged there, no matter where he traveled it seemed that the only place he was ever accepted was back in California. He looked over at Maria briefly and looked forward again, the hint of a smile on his face, easily written off to a good mood. Koast felt almost in a state of shock on his luck, to randomly find the one person he had felt accepted with, and didn�t care how much of a sore thumb he was.

He looked up at her question and shrugged briefly. �I pretty much have been doing any job that is willing to take someone quickly. I have ended up doing a lot of retail work, customer service, that stuff. Not really stuff I enjoy, but it pays the bills and gives me a bank account.�

Koast yawned briefly, randomly scratching his chin as he looked over to Maria. �What about you? A lot must have happened since I left.�


"Yeah, I'd like to see you try walking in heels." She commented.

"Well, that sort of work should be pretty easy to find in a place like DC, that's for sure. I bet you'll have lots of luck. Out early tomorrow and you'll be all set finding something." She nodded. "But, if you don't like it, then I'm sure you could find plenty of other things to do, too. There's a lot here in the city, a lot more than in rural Massachusetts, and I can't account for California, but there is plenty enough here, and I bet there is something you could find to thrive in. It's just a matter of finding your niche."

Maria seemed quite sure of this idea, of everyone having a place, really. But, in this sense, that he could atleast find a job that he enjoyed.

"Me?" The brunetted looked over to him as if weighing her words. "Not really." She shrugged. "Like I said, moved down here for work. Before that I was living in Boston for a bit. That was amazing. It's one thing to go into the hub for a day of sightseeing, but another to live there. DC is the same. I think I'm still somewhat in awe of being here. Big pond for such a little fish." She said and laughed lightly, but there was a melancholy about her, hanging in the air, in her voice.

The Catholic had been hurt, and scarred, and it showed in her eyes, in a darkness that had settled into them that hadn't been there before, somehow replacing the bright and sunny countenance she had had when he first met her. Like so many emotional wounds it was difficult to place, but there was something there. She continued on as if it didn't exist and smiled. "There are a lot of oppertinuties here though. I'm hoping to stumble into one. I think I'll be going out tomorrow on the job hunt too. Hopefully we'll both be lucky." Pointing to a street on the right she broke into their conversation: "Down this way." She took the right and continued walking, her heels clicking on the concrete.

Koast had known she had been dating someone her senior year, she had talked about him often enough. They were the it couple that year. Voted into the superlatives as the best couple, and always seen holding hands. Her parents and his parents, both, were hoping for a proposal. Maria was, too. Anthony Guidano. Good Italian stock, or atleast that's what her father said. "It's not much of an apartment, but it's good enough for a single person. There are some other places available nearby, I've seen them in the paper. You could find one for pretty short money."

--Maria Grace

�Yeah, you never know. I may be able to find a niche.� Koast said, speaking the words but not really believing them. Koast doubted at times there was a niche for him out here. Almost doubted if there was a niche for him anywhere. But that wasn�t really the reason he hadn�t been searching for a niche. He couldn�t quite place it, but he never had wanted to find something for him, he never wanted to find something with any permanency. The thought of any degree of permanency scared him. Badly. So much so that he let out a visible shudder. �Gah, sorry, I am not quite used to the colder weather yet.� He said with a shy smile, hoping he didn�t sound too fake.

Koast was somewhat derailed from his own thoughts by the tail of Maria�s comment. It seemed somewhat� off, from what he could remember, but he just couldn�t place it. �Well, for having spent some time out here and still being in one piece, I think that this little fish has done quite well for herself. I definitely think that is something to be proud of.�

Koast smiled at her, attempting to encourage the more positive upswing she was taking. He couldn�t place it, but it seemed that something quite serious had been lurking in the background, he couldn�t place what it was, but it didn�t quite seem to be the right time for that. Everything seemed somewhat tenuous to him at the moment, and it didn�t quite strike him that it would be safe waters just yet. He made himself look thoughtful at her comment, �Yeah, I would imagine in a larger city like this there has to be opportunities. And I doubt you will need to stumble into anything.� Koast chuckled briefly, more to himself than anyone, �It is always comforting to know that you aren�t the only one on the hunt. I do hope that we both find something. It definitely gives one something to fill the days with.�

Koast nodded a bit, remembering how most of his apartments in the past had barely qualified as studio, and at least one was only a 50 square foot attic.

And to think, I never knew before then I was claustrophobic�

�I think that your apartment is going to be just fine. I think it is going to be quite fine.� He said, keeping himself from laughing.


"You'd think after that time up in Mass that you would be plenty used to the cold weather." She said jokingly, not realizing there was anything deeper to the involuntary shiver. "That's what you get for travelling away from it to warmer locations. To me, DC is pratically balmy." Maria laughed.

"Let's hope so, here we are." She said as they approached a simple brownstone building of three stories. Six steps lead up to the front door, to which Maria pulled out a set of keys from her purse to unlock. Once inside they were met with a warmed hallway. Quietly she shut the door behind them and turned the lock once again. "Be quiet, I think everyone else is in bed already..." She whispered and then stepped up the stairs. Almost with movie clarity one of the steps creaked. Maria bit her lip and did her best not to laugh considering the irony of just having said to be quiet.

As they reached the second floor landing the young woman moved over to a door upon which the number two hung. Her keys found their way to the second lock and they were soon inside. "Make sure you lock it behind you." Maria flicked on a light on the wall and illuminated the simple entry room.

The telltale couch, patterned in green fabrics with a embroidered overlayer of pink flowers, was common enough in it's design and indeed looked comfortable to sit on. A radio sat on the other side of the room on a table with a record player aside it. Maria had a good collection of music which took up several rows on a bookcase. Above the records were books as well, many of which had been given to her over the years. "Welcome to my home." She turned around and smiled, a backdrop of the green painted walls behind her.

"The kitchen is over there." The Catholic pointed to the right where an open doorway lead into a cabinetted room. "And the bathroom is right down there." She nudged her head further down the hall where a slightly adjar door rested. "And, if you need me, my bedroom is right there." A fully open door lead from the living room into her own room, but he couldn't see inside thanks to still standing by the door as well as the fact that there was no light on inside the room.

"Are you hungry or anything? I could make something, or a drink maybe?" She asked, ever the proper hostess.

--Maria Grace

Koast smiled at Maria and tuck his tongue out at her, playing up her assumption as she didn�t seem to notice his true shudder. �Of course I went to warmer locations. Warmer is better. And you have always been crazy with your temperatures anyway.� Koast grinned at her playfully, all the while attempting to stave off actually succumbing to the cold.

Koast nodded at her and made sure to slow himself down, as boards had a nasty habit of creaking. Proof of point in the matter, was when Maria set off the board herself. Koast made sure not to say anything, it would be better that way. It would be much better if he just gave her the smuggest look he could muster. It will be much better this way, heh

Koast nodded, not quite wanting to speak until he was inside the apartment, as it allowed him to rub it in just that much more effectively. Koast made sure to move into the apartment and lock the door with exaggerated slowness, grinning at Maria the entire time.

Koast appraised the apartment before him, especially the couch, with a critical eye. The green on pink clashed with the d�cor, the veneer with the fascia argued with the� Oopse, guess I didn�t know as many of those fancy terms as I thought� �The couch definitely looks comfortable, if only a little�� Koast turned around to see Maria almost� pose it seemed against the wall. He could only stand there and blink initially. �You look like something right out of a movie�� He had to rub his eyes for a moment to make sure he was actually seeing what he thought.

He followed her with his eyes as she pointed out the rest of the intricacies to her apartment, and the strangest thought occurred to him. Didn�t she� wait yeah, didn�t she used to have a boyfriend? Koast looked around again, and noted the significant lack of any male influence upon her apartment. It was far too clean for one thing, and far too� colorful. Hmm, wonder what happened to them. Oh well, now doesn�t strike me as a good time.

Koast looked up at the offer. �Umm, sure. What do you have?�


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