Alrighty then! I put this one at the bottom ‘cause it’ll take up the most space. And, yes indeed-y I have one or two that I can put up here with just a couple o’ minor spoilers for how her romance is going to go.
I hope you enjoy!
If there’s one thing you’ve learned from dating Yolanda Waltz, or ‘Nickelport’s shining starlet’ as she seems to be referred to more often than her actual name, it’s how to blink through camera flashes. Honestly, you have no idea how the press got hold of your dinner date. The two of you just scheduled it on a whim! You’re a reporter on heroes and villains, and not even you have intel that works that fast.
Still, you have to remember to keep that stunned expression from your face and force a smile- elsewise you’d end up on some trashy magazine cover with some kind of insulting title. ‘Princess and the Pauper! Yolanda Waltz’s new girlfriend has no idea how to handle media attention.’ But a bit more snappy and less wordy.
Of course, Yolanda takes it all in stride- an easy, elegant smile as she wraps her arm through your’s.
You can only imagine how it must look- her, professionally done up with hair dripping with gems and pearls, a dress specifically made to fit her and her alone next to you, with whatever you could throw together and look decent. Oh, wait, there’s two things you’ve learned about by dating Yolanda Waltz. How to deal with camera flashes… And the burn of self-conscious embarrassment.
Still, her black-clad bodyguards keep the paparazzi at a distance, folding themselves into a human flesh-and-sunglasses-wall in front of the sliding glass doors of the kind of restaurant you could only dream of peeking through the window.
You feel a squeeze on your arm, and glance up at Yolanda’s face, that practiced grin falling away into an ever so slight, closed-mouth upturn of a smile. “Are you alright?”
“Of course.” You return the pressure, placing a hand over hers. A waiter dressed more expensively than you comes up to take your name.
“Ah- Miss Waltz, here for your reservation, I presume?” The waiter goes unheard, or ignored, by Yolanda. Who’s slight-smile degrades even more into a worried pursing of the lips. She detaches herself from you for the briefest of moments, tucking a small strand of hair behind your ear as she silently traces the side of your cheek.
“Wait a moment, dear.” She, with some reluctance, pulls her lingering touch away and strides confidently towards the waiter. She whispers something you can’t hear and the waiter’s face briefly scrunches in on itself. After a few more whispered exchanges he turns briskly on his heels and walks away. Yolanda gestures for you to stay there, and only smiles in response to your quirked eyebrow and confused look.
You stand there for what feels like half an hour, rocking back and forth on unsteady heels and, once or twice, having to explain that no, you don’t work here. In your free time you take a moment to ponder the necessity of such a large chandelier as dangles precariously over the dining patrons heads. All it takes is one hero coming crashing through the ceiling and the entire place would be caked in fake diamond glass. Dangerous, ostentatious decorations at their finest.
After your morbid journey down hypothetical lane, you feel a light tap on your shoulder- you expect to find Yolanda but instead come face to face with a waiter that you’d almost mistake to be the same one as the man Yolanda left with. No, but his eyes are a slightly different color… Other than that… it’s almost creepy.
“Right this way, Ma’am.” No. No actually, it is creepy.
You trail this waiter-doppleganger through the rows of tables, a maze of glass panels set up to split up the different sections of dining into an elaborate, Romanesque structure. You’re dizzy by the time he stops, and almost crash into the waiter’s back. Stepping away quickly, and doing your best to not look like you almost headbutt his suit, you glance past the waiter to… a door?
“Somehow I thought I’d be eating at a table, guess you do things a little differently here, huh?” He doesn’t laugh. Doesn’t even so much as crack a politely pitying smile while making awkward eye-contact with the furthest wall possible from you. Instead he just opens the door and gestures inside.
The space inside itself is relatively plain, painted a dull eggshell and without any decapitating possibilities via precarious chandelier, but you can almost immediately see where Yolanda would have liked it. The side wall is entirely glass, opening up to a view of the Nickelport inner-city skyline with all its uneven buildings clawing towards the dark night sky. You step a little closer to the window-wall. You’ve grown used to the view from Yolanda’s office by now, that familiar city skyline, and somehow… it’s become a little comforting. Something familiar.
As familiar as the feeling of hands slipping around your waist, and a kiss pressed to the skin just behind your ear. “I hope you don’t mind the change of reservation,” Yolanda purrs quietly, “But it seemed to me as if you might’ve preferred something with a bit more… privacy.”
“Not at all.” It’s easy to turn around in her loose grip, and return the kiss with a quick peck on the lips, “Can’t say I’ll miss being blinded every three seconds.”
You wonder if you’ve said something wrong, as her smile falters for the briefest of moments. A moment made even more fleeting by the cleared-throat arrival of another nearly identical waiter- you’re seriously considering the possibility of a duplication powered waiter- who pulls out one of the chairs at the only table in the small room. Guided by Yolanda’s hand, you take your seat at the table, just barely being able to settle in before the waiter immediately prattles off in a list of wines so long you’re almost tempted to applaud his memorization skills by the time he finishes.
“Now, then,” With a bright flourish he produces a pen and notepad, turning to you with a plastic smile, “What may I get you to drink, Ma’am?” A list so long that you… didn’t hear any of it.
“I… uh…” Shit. What were the options? No, there’s no way you could ask him to repeat all that. With a helpless look you turn to Yolanda, who- with all the grace of a broadway actress- redirects the waiters attention and quickly repeats one of the many fancier-sounding reds that you can only assume the waiter actually did mention.
Feeling suitably misplaced in this socialite lime-light, you bury yourself in the two-page selection of appetizers, the back of your neck still burning with embarrassment. You carefully peek over your shield at Yolanda, who- even just flipping through the pages of a menu- manages to look graceful. Sophisticated. Belonging in this environment, even if you do not.
You get about halfway through the second page of appetizers- no, sorry, hors d’oeuvres- when a sudden sigh draws your attention once more to your otherwise silent dinner companion. Yolanda quietly folds her menu closed and sets it aside, fingers locked beneath her chin as she cradles her head in them. Staring right at you with half-lidded, calculating dark eyes.
“What is it?”
She draws a long breath, shoulders rising ever so slightly as she turns her gaze away from you. “This… was a mistake, wasn’t it?”
Well, something just sucker-punched your gut. You blink, hard, too hard to be a normal blink, carefully and slowly folding your menu and setting it aside. You clear your throat, then clear it again, training your voice away from a stutter. “I-Is that so?” And… you failed. Like most things tonight- you failed.
You should’ve expected this. Should’ve expected that some unknown reporter who has no more to her name than a dingy apartment and a broken down car wouldn’t have any chance with someone as famous as Yolanda Waltz. What are you even doing here? You look at the table, covered in a pristine white cloth, then to the plates with their intricately flowering designs, anywhere but the woman across from you. “I should… go, then.”
You stand, and almost immediately a manicured hand wraps around your wrist, Yolanda’s other palm cups your chin as she lifts your head to face her, eyes wide and surprised. “Oh, no, no! I don’t mean you, I-” She shakes her head, a rueful smile on her face, “I’m so sorry, you would think that someone such as myself would have chosen better words.”
“You don’t-?” She cuts you off with a mere shake of the head.
“Not at all.” The small smile comes a little easier now, a little happier, “I meant that this,” She gestures to the room around you, “Was a misstep- on my part. I should’ve scheduled something less…”
“Ostentatious? With less doppelgangers?”
“Have you seen the waitstaff?”
Yolanda considers this… and eventually nods. But the expression of realization is quickly replaced with one of concern. “Why would you ever believe that I meant you?”
You weigh the possibility of not answering her, but there’s that honeyed coaxing in her voice, urging you to tell her everything, that calm confidence that reminds you to trust her. And, eventually, you end up admitting to your concerns. “I guess it’s just… farfetched. The idea that I would ever end up with someone like… you.” You step away, Yolanda’s fingers regretfully lingering until you’re out of arm’s reach, and gesture to her in full, “Nickelport’s shining starlet. I mean,” You laugh, a little harshly, “I’m a reporter. I don’t date the stars, I just take photos of them and then write trashy articles about their personal lives.” Mostly other things but… you still do that, as well.
Yolanda says nothing for a long while, just stares at you with her lips pressed into a thin line- an expression you’ve come to associate with deep thought on her part. Eventually, she straightens her shoulders, smoothing down her skirt as she takes careful steps forward, “Do you know why I originally thought to invite you to such an… ‘ostentatious’ outing?” her lips curl into a smile around your word.
You shrug. Yolanda reaches you and once more takes your hands in hers, “It was because I wanted to impress you- the very same way you’ve impressed me, over and over.” She squeezes your palms.
“You were trying to impress me?” You repeat slowly, “You felt the need to impress me?”
She nods, head tilting ever so slightly, “Truth be told I feared I was falling behind… and I’m not one to be outdone so easily, my dear.”
“But that’s-” Ridiculous, impossible, and several other words come to mind- yet they all remain blocked behind a single finger pressed to your lips.
“Which is exactly what I felt when you explained your own doubts.” She taps your lips lightly, before a frown twists her face, “I realize my lifestyle can be… intimidating, and I also realize I’ve done nothing to alleviate the situation… However, I promise that from now on I shall strive for more… private, personal activities.” Her gazes follows a quick sweep of the room, “Preferably in a more comfortable environment.”
“You really don’t have to do that.” You assure her, “It just… takes some getting used to is all.”
Yolanda shrugs, “Perhaps it is not necessary and yet it is what I wish to do.” She smiles, “Well- I suppose that’s not entirely true. If you were to express that you wanted something such as all this then I would be happy to oblige… For what I truly wish to do is to be able to make you smile, my dear.” The back of her fingers graze against your cheeks, “And if that means sneaking off to some back alley hot dog stand then I would be more than happy to do so.”
“Well, I do know this great hole-in-the-wall place for hot dogs,” You grin, “But that depends on whether or not you’re really ready to slum it.”
Yolanda laughs, a high, airy sound like clinking glass, “Even if it meant eating in a back alley on the Rusty Side, I’ll go if I’m with you.”
Your grin turns a little roguish, “Oh, I’m definitely holding you to that.”
Yolanda’s laughter peters off, “Just… let’s not go anywhere where we’ll end up getting stabbed and robbed, alright?”
You laugh and pat her arm, “Don’t worry, I’ll be there to protect you.”
“Well, then I suppose I have something to hold you to, as well.”
… One of these days I’ll write a romantic scene in which nothing goes wrong.