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     Mutually Beneficial (Tess)

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    Benjamin Watson

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    OOC : Tiffany

    PostSubject: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sun Apr 01 2018, 01:54

    Early December, 2040

    Snow hadn't fallen on Merrywind yet, but Ben could practically smell it on the chilly December air. It bit sharply at his nose as he approached the posh restaurant they'd decided to meet at. He wasn't particularly fond of the idea of an intimate setting, so he'd insisted on lunch, having already crafted a good number of excuses to leave should the need arise.

    As he entered, a man at the host stand greeted him with a well crafted 'customer service smile'. It was appalling.

    "Table for two, window view. Nothing intimate, if you know what's good for you." Ben knew he had the power to unnerve the best of strangers when he wanted to, and he used that to his advantage now. While this whole charade was at the behest of their families, he wanted there to be no mixed messages. This was not a romantic meal.

    He was sat immediately, and saw the man's hands shake slightly as he placed menus in front of Ben's place and the seat across from him. His gaze drifted out the window as words were spoken, something about specials and a waiter and all that. In truth, Ben wasn't listening. His mind had drifted back to the last time he'd seen the Holmes girl.  

    "I had heard things about you and it seems all are true."

    What other things could she have heard about him? Apparently not half of what he'd caught wind of himself, if she'd accepted his invitation. A server came and went without Ben really noticing, he was caught up in his own mind.


    Last edited by Benjamin Watson on Sun Apr 08 2018, 01:52; edited 1 time in total
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    Tess Holmes

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sun Apr 01 2018, 02:05



    Today Tess had a date. It was an odd phrase, but recently it was becoming the norm thanks to Rhian. Since the dating ended in September, her father had gotten wind that she was interested boys and now he took over her brother's task and set one for himself. If she was perfectly honest she had no idea why she had agreed with her father without any complaints. Usually a tear inducing argument would end up with her reluctantly accepting but this time around, she figured it could be legitimately worse.

    Scott for example. She shuddered at the thought and held the peacoat around her tighter. That boy had not left her alone since their last date and she had forced Mycroft to lie on her behalf to just get him off of her. The Watson family was a perfectly good excuse. She could not simply commit without properly giving all families a chance, and who would deny the Watson family and their soul heir a chance?

    'This will be very interesting' Tess thought amusedly.

    As she entered the restaurant, she allowed the greeter to remove her coat and she slid her hands down her dress to make sure everything was in order. This was not an overly romantic setting which suited her just fine. If she spent even an hour with him her father would be pleased.


    'Father must always be pleased' she thought. So as she looked like a porcelain doll with a bright lipstick and full makeup happening, she found herself being led to the table that the Watson heir had taken over.

    "Hello" she greeted softly waiting for the waiter to pull out her chair so she could properly take her seat. She noted that Ben did not get up, and she forced herself not to take offense to it. If she had to be here an hour with someone that was known to be a bit insufferable, she would not give him any ammo. But as he ignored her, she rolled her eyes, put a napkin on her lap and crossed her legs waiting for him to come to the present.

    "Black coffee please, milk on the side if you'd be so kind." she asked sweetly to the waiter who looked oddly spooked. She turned to see that he had been staring out the window and she ordered the same for his behalf.

    Waiting patiently, she grabbed a piece of bread that was brought to the table and ate quietly. If he was quiet, she could wait, the bread was more than enough.
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    Benjamin Watson

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sun Apr 01 2018, 02:32

    Not atypical, Ben's mind had wandered off into lands of it's own by the time he was called back to the present. He was brought out of his thoughts when a cup of coffee was set in front of him with more than the customary sound. As he looked over, he saw their waiter for the first time, and of course Holmes.

    "Oh, hello." His voice was what could pass for pleasant, though not overly so. Seeing her sitting across from him, clearly having been there for some time, Ben sat up a bit straighter. If Connor were here, he'd smack him upside the head.

    Actually, if Connor even knew Ben was out with a girl, let alone this girl, he'd probably die of shock on the spot. The thought had Ben's mouth twitching ever so slightly. He tucked that image away for later amusement as his eyes flitted over the girl in front of him. She was the image of 'perfect', and he hated it. Back straight, makeup just so, every hair in it's place. If he looked under the table, he'd bet five Galleons that her legs were crossed at the ankles, just so. An exact replica of those Pureblood texts on how to behave in these kinds of situations.

    It made him want to leave on the spot.

    But he'd been getting more pressure from his parents lately. The only Watson in his generation and all that. Familial duties were hard to shake, no matter how hard Ben tried. His father had reached out to him last week in a bid to get 'just one' meeting from him. Ben was going to say no. But then he'd seen the name and figured....one lunch with Holmes may just get them off his back for a while. And really, she wasn't the worse thing out there.

    He picked up the coffee as it was, black, and took a sip. Think. Conversation. "So...how is..." You know this. It came up last time. "Healing? Classes, I mean."
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    Tess Holmes

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sun Apr 01 2018, 02:42



    It seemed that it would be a long funk of him shutting down than the usual she once saw at Hogwarts. She remembered briefly in her fifth year how he would sometimes sit under trees and just stare off. A long time ago she found herself intrigued to see what was going on in that mind of his. She admired his mind; she had heard stories of how cruel and brilliant he was and he wanted to see it. Still, she would not push.

    So this time she took time to really take him in. His hair was surprisingly kept together; it was not slicked back like he should have had it, but it was neither wild like she'd seen in the lab. It was tame and in fact, as she took a slight sniff, she noted that the potions smell was thankfully off of him. Looking at him in the profile view, she noticed just how pensive he looked. His eyes unfocused.

    Shaking her head she thanked the waiter as her coffee came alongside his. So as he snapped out of it, she gently prepped her coffee with far more sugar than appropriate and half milk. It was atrocious for Brit standards, but she was French so she figured that it didn't matter. She took a long sip and looked at him from her lashes as he awkwardly greeted her.

    Small talk. How atrocious and somewhat disappointing of him. He was playing nice and not at all like she had met before. Still, she played along with whatever he wanted.

    "Healing is fine...it's the first year so there's nothing interesting to note at the moment. How are your burns?"

    She knew it was somewhat direct and not at all polite, but she genuinely wondered if her salve was a success or not.

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    Benjamin Watson

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Wed Apr 04 2018, 22:57

    Ben's eyes tracked her hands as they moved over her tea. Sugar, milk. While that was definitely more than needed, he was used to it. He would swear that Connor was drinking some sort of sweetened milk by the time he got his just right, a habit that had thrown Ben off when he'd first noticed it. On occasion he'd tested it out, but never could get past the cloying sweetness that made his teeth ache.

    Eyes moving up to Holmes at her question, Ben's eyes narrowed. And here he was trying to play nice. Trying to at least get through this lunch as quickly and painlessly as possible. When he quickly surveyed their area and found no one close enough to hear, he returned his focus on the girl in front of him.

    His elbows rested on the table in front of him as he leaned forward, lowering his voice in case of passersby. "They're just fine."

    If he were being honest, Ben had been trying his damnedest to forget about that day. For one reason or another, there hadn't been any other incidents like it, and he was hoping to chock it up to a freak spout of magic. It was known to happen. Thinking back on the last few minutes of their encounter, his gaze drifted down to her hands again, the memory of a strange smell.

    "It was probably nothing, actually."

    He cut off quickly as their waiter returned for their order. Choosing a lightly seasoned salmon, Ben almost welcomed the interruption. While his hands hadn't felt any excess heat as of late, he couldn't say the same for his face.

    Maybe he was coming down with a fever.
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    Tess Holmes

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Wed Apr 04 2018, 23:29



    Tess lifted her brow amused at how a simple question could change his whole demeanor. Her lip twitched slightly at the thought. This was a horrible date by normal standards, but for her, it was more than entertaining. She couldn't help but be intrigued, thinking that this could be a memorable date. Forget small talk, this was interesting.

    "They're just fine."

    A noise of content came forward noting that her salves actually worked.

    "I'm relieved"

    So as flustered as he seemed (his complexion was surprisingly paler than hers), it was clear that the ball was in her court. Lifting her cup, her smile widened as the waiter came. Her eyes dimmed as she played polite once the orders were taken.

    "It was probably nothing, actually."

    "Hm...perhaps you are fairly normal..orit's something far more interesting."

    The tone was nonchalant, especially as the food came along. Coq au vin, a classic French dish and something she was happy about. Humming softly she took a spoonful and relished that while the lunch was far out of the norm, the food was splendid.

    "Nonetheless, I'm cutting right to the chase...I'm not fond of small talk, or false niceties. I respect your time and I hope you respect mine. Now how about we talk like normal human beings rather than porcelain dolls?"

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    Benjamin Watson

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Thu Apr 05 2018, 00:08

    A small part of Ben was defensive at the smug tone Holmes had at hearing her methods had been successful. Yes, she wasn't an incompetent first year. Bravo. His mood was not lightened at her next comment.

    He knew better than anyone that he was not normal. If he was, he'd have been married off to some trophy wife, already learning his father's business alongside him, poised to take it over when the time came. That was what was "expected". No...Ben was not normal! And most of the time he relished in that uniqueness, welcomed it and wrapped it around himself like a cloak. But he would never admit this...

    Seeing the burns on that table had thrown him. He'd had dreams of fire more nights than not since then, and they were not always pleasant. They were why he hadn't shared the details with Connor, even when the other man had poked and prodded at his healing burns the next day, re-bandaging them. Welcoming the lull in conversation, he was happy when the food came. It gave them something to do instead of talking about that day anymore.

    Raising the fork to his mouth, he stopped short at the girl's sudden frankness. His nose wrinkled at the comparison to dolls as he finished the bite, thinking.

    Setting down his fork, he leaned back a tad to study the girl in front of him. After a minute or so, he came out of his silence with decision written on his face. "Fine. You don't want to be here, neither do I." He wanted to leave it at that, but her words floated through his mind as he continued to eat between conversation.

    "My parents expect me to field potential mates, as I assume your parents do. I have absolutely no interest in doing so, but being here today presented a...reprieve from their nagging." There. If she wanted honesty she could have it, in spades.
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    Tess Holmes

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Thu Apr 05 2018, 00:18



    When she had cut to the chase a part of her thought that he would simply leave her sitting her. And if she was perfectly honest that would have been so boring. Life was typical for many and in a world full of rules and regulations she had broken sacred ones a long time ago. It was fun to do so. From Rhian being her best friend, to her nearly being 18 and yet no mention of a suitor. She was atypical and had no shame in showing it. So when he sat there and brooded for a moment, she simply sat up straighter and sipped her coffee. She had said her peace and now it was him to make the decision.

    Looking up from her lashes she waited for what seemed a while. Slowly her amusement ceased as the silence loomed over them. The food itself was no longer as appealing as she once thought. The stand off was clearly him measuring her up. Did she honestly think she was some weak-willed doll? Her lip twitched, and that soon morphed into a genuine grin.

    Slowly her ice melted around her at his frankness. She could be frank if only for an hour that their lunch was scheduled for. This could be a bit higher ranked than the others for he was not busy mauling her, or putting her down but rather he was showing her his cards. Fine. She would do the same.

    "I..like you have no interest in marriage. It's bad enough that we have unpleasant expectations to do. My father promised me he would not have me date anymore for at least three months if I did this lunch. And you" her eyes trailed from the top of his head to what she could see of his torso. "are not the most unpleasant date I've had" a Cheshire grin grew in amusement of calling it a date.

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    Benjamin Watson

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Thu Apr 05 2018, 00:35

    She was smiling. Why is she smiling? There was absolutely nothing amusing about their required attendance at this sham of a date. He could be any number of places, spending his time productively, instead of taking time to eat and....chat. Even if they'd shaken off the false bravado.

    And what was with that look she kept giving him, with her head dipped down? Between the ridiculous length of her lashes impeding his ability to read her, and those grins, he felt his shoulders tensing with a great feeling of distrust. She was a mere slip of a thing, but he knew better than to underestimate someone with a wand.

    Besides...she had been a Slytherin, like him.

    "That's a lie." The words were out of his mouth before he knew he was thinking them exactly. But now that they were out, he agreed with them wholeheartedly. Pushing his plate away, half finished, his attention moved back out the window, his voice lowering.

    "I'm rude, uncaring, and have no regard for the feelings of others." It was almost one word, the way that sentence flowed out of his mouth. Ben had heard it enough from a young age for the consonants and vowels to morph into one elongated sound in his mind. "As a whole..." His keen eyes shot back to lock with hers, "Unpleasant."

    Years had gone by and he was still astounded that Connor put up with him some days.
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    Tess Holmes

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Thu Apr 05 2018, 00:46



    'The shifting of his eyes is rather curious. He's confused...good' Sitting primly she had long forgotten about her chicken and instead sipped her coffee. Interesting things did lessen her appetite and he was definitely interesting. 'He is not a play thing' a voice eerily like Rhian chastised her in her head.

    When this all started she expected him to be incredibly pompous. She had heard rumors of how arrogant he could be and now he easily look down at people in social situations. So now, as he somewhat slouched against his chair and she sat primly in her own, she briefly wondered what the other people around them thought. She lifted her brow even more intrigued as he pushed his salmon away.

    This definitely won't do. Grabbing her napkin, she pushed the plate back to his direction signaling him that he should eat. It was unseemly to simply let her eat with him simply pouting. What would society say?

    But as he went off listing his most hideous of characteristics, a warm yet small smile rose on her face. He was all sort of destructive, rude and yet...fun. She found herself leaning forward as she put her cup down.

    "I actually like you Watson" she said softly, allowing her hair to cover her profile as she leaned closer. "You might be all those things, but I would categorize this as an enlightened date. I know what little you expect and I too appreciate the frankness of it all"

    When the waiter came with two wine glasses and a bottle, she found herself leaning back and returning to the role of a proper lady. She wondered where the wine selection had come from, but simply seeing the label she knew that her father was probably watching. A wave of nausea hit her and she casually looked around, allowing her napkin fall allowing her time to retrieve it and have a proper look around.

    The waiter thankfully explained that this was sent via floo and that they were private as...as teenagers could possibly be. Her shoulders were a bit tense as she realized this. As they were left alone, she took him in.

    "Am I that unpleasant to you Watson? Did I live to your low expectations?"

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    Benjamin Watson

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Fri Apr 06 2018, 23:55

    One eyebrow raised in obvious confusion as Ben watched his plate moved back towards him. It reminded him of Connor. But, unlike the early days of the other boy's habit of forcing Ben to eat, he simply picked up his fork and took another bite. If questioned, he would say it was due to her obvious concern for their appearance out in public. It had absolutely nothing to do with that strange look on her face.

    Taking a sip of coffee to wash it down, he almost spit the out across the table at her comment. Is she insane? That was it. She actually was insane. Somehow, his parents had discovered a Pureblood witch with some sort of mental disorder. One that would see his clearly flawed attributes as attractive. She was even moving closer to him.

    His face, if not his entire body, showed Ben's complete lack of understanding in the situation. While his mind was turning over her words, she seemed to drop something or other on the ground. As she moved to retrieve it, Ben took the given moment to regroup.

    Rubbing at his forehead, his fingers stopped. Low expectations. Really, he'd had none at all. They'd run into one another twice since Hogwarts. While neither made the top 10 worst interactions on Ben's very long list - alright, not even the top 50 - he wouldn't have imagined Holmes would actually enjoy spending time with him.

    It was absurd.

    She was clearly taking him in, as it were, and Ben wasn't quite sure if he was fond of being on this side of that gesture. "I will admit to having no expectations of you whatsoever, Holmes." If she wanted to utilize their titles as a civil gesture, then he could follow. "Although..." his forefinger brushed over his lip in absent thought. "I can say that I've had worse encounters."
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    Tess Holmes

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 00:19

    Throughout her actions she could feel how socially inept it was. It was fascinating to see someone so crippled try to socialize such as he. Once upon a time she knew she was the same, but as soon as she found out that she could fake it in society, she strived to please everyone. Rhian was the one that typically allowed her to say things and even shut her down when she went "odd" on her.

    But seeing him just eat like a petulant child as she took him in, it was endearing if not just humorous. So as he then commented:
    "Although..." his forefinger brushed over his lip in absent thought. "I can say that I've had worse encounters."

    She found herself giggling at his tone and how confused he was. To her, it was one of her most enjoyable dates. He despised her and she was just poking the beast. But it was so Slytherin of her to just looking for trouble.

    "I'll take that as a compliment then" a small smile rose from her face. "I hate to be forward, but would you find this company to be one that can be repeated? " she slipped her hair back behind her ear as a tick of hers.

    And she wasn't. She was a defective princess; she knew enough to know that no Pureblood male wanted someone that actually had opinions that differed from their own. That was unheard of.
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    Benjamin Watson

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 01:07

    First the smiling, and the leaning. And now some silly sound that was almost like a laugh, though it was nauseating enough to make his stomach dance in weird ways.

    'Forward' was the only word he could pin to the girl before him, though he couldn't object to it on principle. Ben himself hated the whole mess of stilted conversations, veiled meanings, and entire meetings that were never really about what they were really about. That was his parent's world. One he wished to have no part in.

    But as soon as he felt on board with Holmes's words, he was easily thrown off again. Was she...?

    And Connor had talked about that hair thing she was doing. How females would often play with their features, to draw attention and attract positive affection and compliments (and she'd just talked about the latter.) While his roommate wasn't the brightest man around, he definitely knew the opposite sex better than Ben did. Was it possible that she was suggesting...

    He coughed lightly before addressing her. "While I may not be as repulsive as your previous encounters with my gender," he would have to be blind to misunderstand her shock. Clearly she'd had different experiences on dates such as this, for Ben's company to stand out. "I must admit that I am not at all interested in any...romantic entanglements." The last words came out in a mix of disgust and complete bafflement.

    A couple brushed past them as they were headed to leave and he was briefly brought out of the small bubble he'd settled them into in his mind. "I...um, thank you for the thought, however."
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    Tess Holmes

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 01:16



    When she had asked him if he wanted to see her again it was by no means anything other than interest for another conversation. By no means would it be for romance. So as she found herself having him respond, her face flashed from amusement, to confusion, to disgust.

    "Oh no, ew no" she found herself childishly saying before guffawing over the clear misunderstanding. "I should should have been clearer I do not mean to reach out for a romantic entanglement. I learned years ago I'm not meant for such frivolous things."

    She waved her hand as if dismissing the idea. Taking her coffee cup she allowed herself to think and actually properly plan everything out. Looking over at him she figured how harmless he could be in the grand scheme of things.

    Silence loomed over them before a small noise of amusement rose. This would be the best way to get him to listen. Getting up, she opened her purse to pull out more than enough galleons to pay for the meal for them both before leaning down.

    "First of all I am not delicate so don't ever gently let me down, I'm a big girl. Secondly, we need to talk, not here. Too many people." especially as some were clearing their tables and coming closer. "If interested come meet me in Mistwick at six." handing him a business card of Rhian's work, she found herself simply walking away not bothering to even contemplate eating her meal.

    Slipping on her glasses she found herself walking out and apparating to her apartment to change for the evening. She would not wear her actual formal clothes, but rather something more comfortable.

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    Benjamin Watson

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 01:53

    Initially startled by her clear distaste at the idea, Ben felt his shoulders relaxing. He hadn't even known he'd been holding himself so tense at the mere idea of this slip of a girl wanting to be romantic. No one, not one person ever, had said as much to him, and the idea was far from welcome. Not to mention simply...messy.

    Thank Merlin, he thought.

    He reached for the glass of wine that had been brought to them and barely took a drink before the girl was raising from her seat. Expecting her to excuse herself to the bathroom or something, he watched her throw Galleons on the table. While he knew other wizards of their stature would be appalled at the act, Ben saw it for what it was. Rebellion. His mouth tweaked with the hint of a smile.

    There was a hint of anger in her words, one that had not been there before, but was very clearly under control. Even her eyes were flashing with it, and Ben found he couldn't look away as he took the card from her hand. This was going to be...interesting.

    He wiped at his mouth with the cloth napkin before setting it over his plate. Honestly, he didn't care a bit who paid for meals, as it was all insignificant amounts to both of them. It wasn't until after he left the restaurant that he looked down at the card. He knew the place, of course. Connor had mentioned it enough. Probably why she knows it as well.

    It was early still, so he went back to the flat for the hours in between. If she'd been okay with his lack of coat and tie earlier, he saw no reason to change to see her again. He Disapparted from the flat just in time to reach the bar.

    Six on the dot, as he walked through the door.
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    Tess Holmes

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 02:17



    If she was honest, the moment that she left she apparated to her flat and got a panic attack at the gall that she found in herself. She had never been so showy before with her emotions from anger, to annoyance, and to amusement. But it seemed this was far more than she anticipated. For a brief instance she thought about bothering Rhian about this, that is until she remembered that the midterms were coming and she did not want to interrupt her testing.

    So instead, she curled up on her couch, and replayed the lunch all over again. He was so not interested in her in any way and in turn, his thorny demeanor made him all but the perfect candidate in her ridiculous scheme. All she needed to do was to simply get him interesting in the idea.

    "He has to find it intriguing. Who wouldn't?" Because he understood the plight like her, he was not like a goldfish just swimming along the beaten path to their new owner. She would never be one of those.

    So as five came, she found herself changing into who she really was. She removed most of her makeup, instead keeping her eyeliner. There was no need for a bright lip for she was not going to play anything coquettish. Instead she slipped into her black tight leggings, a long t-shirt that was once her old quidditch uniform and a jacket on top. If she was going to be honest and lay her cards on the line, she was going to be the less appealing as possible for if he could take her at her worst there was no need to continue.

    By the time six rolled around she had taken a pina colada already and waited patiently for him. As the clock struck 6 exactly he came in. She hid her smirk behind the straw of her second cocktail and waved him over.

    "I'm surprised you showed" she said curiously. "And didn't change, don't I feel underdressed"

    The atmosphere was calmer and the dim room was the best way to go. Rhian wasn't there to monitor her and no one here cared about anything so long as the bill was paid.


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    Benjamin Watson

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 02:45

    Ben's eyes flicked over the dimly lit barroom, searching for his...date? This was far from what had been expected of them earlier, so he wasn't even sure what this was. Or why she'd asked him here. He'd almost decided she was late, and to find a table for them, when he caught sight of her in the back.

    Without the face paint, and all the trimmings, she looked like a different person. Definitely closer to the one he'd met in the potions lab months ago. The one who'd gotten unnaturally close, with soft skin and gentle words...

    Ben shook his head before it ran away with him. In no time, he was sitting across from her, giving his order or scotch to the woman who came over to them.

    Her comment didn't make sense. "Why would I change? Is that something girls do, wear more than one thing a day when it's not necessary?" Ben wouldn't have the first idea what girls normally did.

    "Besides," he looked down at his button up and slacks, "what's wrong with what I've got on?" Truthfully, he didn't own much else in terms of clothes he would wear in public. There were days he would roam the flat in his pajamas, but that was about the extent of his wardrobe variety. Oh, and dress robes of course. Hardly the place for that, he told himself.

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    Tess Holmes

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 03:04



    Watson said nothing he sat down in front of her and she found herself amused. Was it the rum in her veins? Perhaps, but this was a much more relaxing mood. So as he mumbled on and on about changing his attire she laughed. It was a more relaxing one, laid back as she took him in. He was so prim and proper, and yet still amazingly thorny.

    "Well I don't know if all girls do that. But after wearing a tight dress, and heels, I'd rather just wear on a regular night." she tugged her Slytherin shirt as a sign.

    But seeing him just casually leaning with his scotch made him want her wish that this was how it had all started. Would it be too awful to ask for an outing such as this?

    "There's absolutely nothing wrong. You just look so push" she laughed softly before waving her hand signaling it was not meant to insult or criticize him. She wanted him to be in a good state.

    Taking a larger sip she wondered how she should start. 'Wait patiently for him to finish his drink' she thought. So she did and it was a weird comfortable silence. Once he was done she hummed softly before starting.

    "Now...as I was initially saying before delicately being let down, I think that it would be good for us to both benefit from this outing. I like you, you...tolerate me. Why not make this a usual thing for us to simply pretend to be....together?" Looking up from her lashes she waited for him to probably overthink this.

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    Benjamin Watson

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    Potioneer In Training

    OOC : Tiffany

    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 03:35

    All Ben could do was nod at Holmes's assessment of her earlier attire. It had been exactly what was expected of a Pureblood young lady. And boring as hell. If Ben had been honestly, he'd admit that it reminded him of his mother. Everything planned perfectly, no loose end. Just as the girl across from him had said: porcelain dolls.

    But now she was....something else entirely. While Ben had never been a fan of the game, he'd been required to attend. At least if he wanted to not have his ear talked off for the next week by Connor, relaying every play. Even when he did attend, the next week was full of excitement from the Hufflepuff. Looking at Holmes's jersey, he could almost remember a scrawny dark-haired girl on their team. Interesting.

    They lapsed into silence for a while, and Ben took the time to relax with his drink. Alcohol was usually his roommate's vice. But he could appreciate it, especially when it was quality. Sipping the drink he'd been brought, it wasn't half bad.

    He was pulled back to the present, having been watching the snow fall outside the window, his relaxed state was immediately thrown out said window at the idea of 'benefit'. That was something his parents usually thought of.

    And there she goes again with the 'like' stuff. Really! This girl needed to have her head examined. Ben only accepted that Connor enjoyed him on the whole because he'd worn him down through years of....well, actually he still wasn't sure how the other man put up with him sometimes.

    "How, exactly, would this facade be beneficial to us?" he asked skeptically. His knee jerk reaction had been a definitive 'Hell No', but after he'd thought a moment...he wanted to understand a bit more.
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    Tess Holmes

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    Healer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 03:44



    Tess rolled her eyes as he looked at her defensively. Of course she would have to spell it out for him. Finishing her cocktail she signaled the bar man who kept a stern eye on her for another. She knew that the barman found her to be a priss, but he took care of her if Rhian wasn't around to do so. It was charming if not embarrassing. Especially once he came over to hand the drink and to give the dirty eye to Watson much to her amusement.

    "It's obvious" she began a she moved the pepper and salt in front of the pair."If you return to your parents and tell them the 'date'" she air quoted it for his benefit "they will hound you repeatedly until another girl with unrealistic expectations for your meeting to take my place." she moved the salt away only to grab the sugar in place beside the pepper. "This cycle will continue over and over again until you wear down and simply accept your fate. But I have another plan"

    Moving the spices aside she grabbed the hand he rested on the table and slipped her fingers with him.

    "Don't run" she teased before continuing. "I need some heat to come off my arse because I want some time before I'm stuck with a misogynistic husband and you don't want a clingy trophy wife right? So let's simply make a business transaction. You pretend to court me, and we let ourselves buy some time before we agree to amicably split" she briefly squeezed his hand before leaving them intertwined on the table. "What do you think?"

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    Benjamin Watson

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    Potioneer In Training

    OOC : Tiffany

    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 04:30

    Ben's brow furrowed at the look the bartender sent him. He was going to ask for another drink, but thought differently after that, his hands occupying themselves with his empty tumbler glass. It was probably best if he kept his wits about him, given the strangeness coming from across the table.

    It was silly, but he appreciated the air motions. The girl was being very familiar with her words, with the way she was talking, he wanted to be sure they were on the same page. He watched her push around the condiments with a bit of a smirk on his lips.

    She wasn't wrong on how his parents would act. But it didn't mean he had to like her description of the outcome. He'd like to think he could fend them off forever, like he had the last couple years. His mother's letters were coming more frequent, however, and he could read between the lines. His time was running short. Ben was beginning to see the up side of them continuing this...

    He jumped as her hand grabbed his, the contact completely foreign to him. His hand froze in her grasp as well as his eyes on hers, confusion writ on his face. She told him not to run, yet that was all he wanted to do.

    Her words of heat were nothing compared to the heat creeping up his collar at the contact. And honestly, he was worried at her touching his hands, given what had prompted her to do so the last time. Nothing else had happened, but he could almost imagine her jumping back from him, her hands burnt. But his eyes couldn't look away from where her fingers brushed his, listening to her proposition.

    "That," his voice was gravelly after the drink, "sounds reasonable." If they could pull this off, it would give them what neither of them had otherwise.

    Time.

    "What do we need to do then?"
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    Tess Holmes

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    Healer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 04:46



    Merlin was her always so jumpy? She let her fingers simply rest over his, not bothering to move away, but giving him the option to move if he needed to. If this were to go her way they would have to get used to one another. The years of propriety were long gone in terms of social expectations. If you weren't snogging, holding hands and clearly showing you were an item, then you weren't truly courting. She ignored the shudder that passed through her body. This was all worth it so long as it bought her the time. She wanted to finish school, and get a job and maybe then she wouldn't be so trapped.

    So once he finally spoke about and commented in the simple logistics behind it she smiled softly. Good. He got it. She tried to keep her excitement down so she signaled the gruff barman to bring Ben his drink. She needed to make it clear that she was not playing around, and what's a good business without proper drinks?

    "Now if you are thinking about turning back, then don't even dare agree now. I need someone committed to get out of the hellhole we're assigned. If you can't do that for me then I suggest that you keep this conversation quiet."

    It was clear that there was a mild threat about him actually keeping quiet. But she wanted to lay the plan out maybe entice him to properly agree.

    "But if you're in, it's simple. You, my socially inept friend need to act like you actually like me." she smirked. "You can come and visit my flat, or I can go to yours. We go out, we have friends spend time together. Act like normal people do. When our parents ask what is the deal with all of this, we simply say there's something there but that we want to be sure before committing. Our families are already talking about business...so the idea of you even thinking about putting a ring on my finger will surely calm them down."

    One long sip before asking.

    "So...do you think you can tolerate some touching from me?" she lifted her brow in amusement, even more so when the bartender handed the scotch to the table before rushing from their area making it private once more.

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    Benjamin Watson

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    OOC : Tiffany

    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 23:23

    If Ben was the type to thank people, he would have ingratiated himself to the girl across from him. That second drink was very much needed, and he shot it back as soon as it arrived in front of him, trying to understand what she was going on about with such a threatening tone all of a sudden.

    His nose wrinkled at the slight against him more than the taste of the liquor. No, he was not the best person when it came to social interactions, but really. Connor was the only one he allowed to talk to him in such a manner, and if Ben got back at him with a random ingredient in his coffee here and there no one was the wiser.

    Everything she was saying sounded...tolerable to Ben. That is, until she mentioned putting a ring on her finger. His face went blank as he struggled to swallow, feeling like the stupid child he never was. It was one thing, to constantly be nagged about marriage and family. Another entirely to have a girl sitting across from him, discussing even the idea that someone else would have about them getting married some day. It was enough to make him wish for another drink, even though the two were already loosening his bones.

    Touch. He looked back down at their still joined hands. While she wasn't grasping his like before, not relaxing into it, he could feel every dip and curve of her smaller frame within his. There was a strange...awareness, that came with the contact.

    "I think I can do that."

    New ideas flitted through his thoughts, now that the Holmes brought them up. He didn't normally have any occasions where another person would be expected, but as it so happened, "Do you know about the horrendous Christmas party Connor wants to have?"
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    Tess Holmes

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    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sat Apr 07 2018, 23:42



    Tess smiled amused at the way he pounded the drink down. She only did that when something risky was about to happen and well...okay he had a reason. But she didn’t bite unless promoted to. He was adorable and so she waited for his proper decision.

    There wouldn’t be any promises of marriage and that was fine with her. This was a fake safety net that they both needed and would thrive within it. And when it was time to take a step back they would.

    What did bring some curiosity was that when she has given him an out to let go of her hand he didn’t. So she casually ran her fingers over his to make it more of a norm. She didn’t want him to flinch in public when they properly were out. And if he flinched now, it was even more amusing to her. Any and all boundaries seemed nonexistent to her especially if it affected her actual life.

    So as he mentioned the party she looked at him curiously and smiled. “Are you inviting me to go? Or are you scheming?”
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    Benjamin Watson

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    Potioneer In Training

    OOC : Tiffany

    PostSubject: Re: Mutually Beneficial (Tess)   Sun Apr 08 2018, 00:06

    And now she was doing some silly little play thing with her fingers. What was with this girl and the...touching? Maybe they were all like this. Memory of Connor the previous month was good enough confirmation for Ben. Mental. The lot of them.

    His brow furrowed at her question. He'd already agreed to this mockery. Did she have to continue with the obviousness of the ruse?

    "I'm saying," his voice was more steady than it had been most of the night, "that it would be an ideal opportunity to test this idea of yours out." At least that way he could get practice before they had to be before people who mattered more.
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