At first glance, this run-down efficiency seems barely lived in. The door opens onto a nearly empty living room, painted institutional white and containing only a lime-green couch with fuzzy yellow pillows and an oak coffee table. It is reasonably spacious, and is obviously intended to be the main room of the flat. The current light fixture is a hanging industrial fluorescent, which gives the room a slightly unhealthy, antiseptic feeling, unmitigated by the ancient blinds covering the windows. The left wall from the door shows signs of a mural in progress, though the faint pencil lines leave the intended design still unclear.
To the right upon entering is a small kitchenette, with barely enough space to stand between the stove and refrigerator on one side and the sink on the other. A boom-box style radio relaxes on the counter, broadcasting soothing celtic music. Just above the sink is what little cabinet space can be had. There is a small dining table and chairs right outside the kitchenette, defining an eating space.
Just past the kitchenette, still on the right, is the bathroom, then both bedrooms. Between them is a small coat closet, empty except for a surely breeding collection of wire hangers. The door to the closet is perpetually ajar, as it doesn't seem to want to latch properly.
In another era, she might have been considered terribly attractive. As it is, she sits just on the prettier side of average. At about 5'6", the girl looks to be carrying around a hundred and sixty pounds, giving her a rather full, hourglass figure unusual for a girl in her mid-teens. She has quite a pretty face; it's a bit plump and tawny freckles are scattered across her nose and cheeks, but otherwise her complexion is unblemished, and her features are well balanced. Full lips frame almost-straight teeth, often revealed in a cheerful grin, and large, almond-shaped eyes, the irises a warm, gold-flecked shade of brown and the lashes thick and dark, peer out brightly through wire-rimmed glasses. Her mass of unruly black curls falls untamed to the middle of her back, stray strands frequently dangling before her face. It looks as though she might be wearing an almost imperceptible bit of makeup, perhaps a light dusting of gold eyeshadow and some sort of very pale peach lipstick; the only thing resembling jewelry, though, is a silvery key hanging about her neck on a dog-tag sort of chain.
Her style of dress is equally unlikely to get her on the cover of Cosmopolitan, but it wouldn't be out of place in the average high school. She's clad in a deep green tanktop of some stretchy, slightly shiny fabric, which clings to her curves, the v-neckline scooping low enough to display quite a bit of cleavage. The shirt does absolutely nothing to disguise her bustiness, in fact playing it up for a change. The hem is tucked into a threadbare pair of baggy dark blue jeans, cinched tightly around her surprisingly small waist by what appears to be a seatbelt -- the buckle even reads "GM". The frayed hems pool around the ankles of her decrepit black Docs, laced with sparkly silver laces which have also seen better days. Atop all this is a huge and ancient black leather motorcycle jacket, the cuffs of which constantly fall down over her hands. Slung over her shoulder is a bulging canvas backpack, probably military surplus, dotted with patches and pins in various colours and states of repair.
At a little under six feet tall and wiry, Matt is trim the way a cross-country runner would be. His hair is white-blonde and short, gelled spiky. His eyes, the blue-grey of rainwater, stand out from his pale skin, the most striking part of his countenance. His hands are firm and workman-like, with scars on the knuckles from a few rows in his recent past, a motif that is echoed, for different reasons on his back. Starting at the nape of his neck, a maze of wire-thin scars trails onto his back, cris-crossing it like a road map. For the most part, they're hidden by his clothes.
Matt is dressed comfortably for the weather in a t-shirt and his ubiquitous jacket, covered in embroidered patches from British punk bands like the Sex Pistols and the Stigmasochists. Right now he's unshaven and unkempt, looking very much like he hasn't slept in a while.
Matt is, uncharacteristically, home. More accurately, he is asleep. One arm thrown over his eyes to block what little light seeps through the blinds, he is sprawled on the bed, dark sheets covering the lower half of his body.
Bernie comes in quietly, subdued. She's been quiet all week, since the aftermath of the battle for the caern. It's the first day she's been back to work; the wounds would have been difficult to explain. She called in and claimed flu. Now they're almost healed, and what isn't is hidden by her usual clothing. It passes, and they put her on the early shift for the week so as not to strain her supposedly recuperating immune system unduly. She closes the door softly behind her, setting down her bag, shedding jacket and boots as she glances around, padding into the kitchen to grab a Guinness from atop the fridge, then into the bedroom. Matt's presence isn't quite expected, and she pauses in the doorway, watching him sleep.
Matt's hair is soft and unspiked, though it is twisted into quite a rat's nest. On his abdomen, just above the sheet, three starry puckers of scar tissue fade slowly, still angry pink compared to his pale skin. He's done less work on the Fianna safehouse in the past week, recovering. Nonetheless, some amount of wanderlust have kept him out of the flat, roaming the city and the mountains around it.
Bernie slips in, wandering softly to her side of the bed, and setting the bottle down in order to take off her top and jeans before sliding into the bed herself. She pulls the sheet over her legs, but doesn't lie down, pulling them up indian style and just watching again for a bit. The way his chest moves with each breath. Eventually, she reaches out to toy with a bit of the unusually spikeless hair, and then, gingerly, to touch the edge of one of the nearly healed wounds.
Matt stirs a little, and his stomach quivers at her touch. His arm shifts away from his eyes, falling onto the bed. his mouth opens slightly, and he sighs--beer and aromatic cigarettes. Slowly his eyebrows raise, and his eyes open a crack. "Mmnhn. Books. Hi." He smiles, and slides over to lie next to her.
Bernie smiles a little, somewhat crookedly, and unfolds her legs, slipping down properly horizontal to ease in against Matt's side. "...hi. Di'n' mean t' wake you up," she murmurs, wrapping an arm across his waist. "You slept in?" Obviously.
"Whot's th' bird lime?" He asks, pulling her into a comfortable embrace. "Got in 'bout free." His skin is warm, and he slips and arm under her head, curling it around to play with her curls.
Bernie shifts, resting her head against his shoulder, and curling in familiarly. "'s 'bout three, 'gain. PM, not AM. Had th' early shift." She's quiet for a few moments before asking, "...where'd you go?"
Matt lifts his head a little off the pillow. "Sabhailte, mostly. Lendin' a German ta get th' place straight. Patrollin'. Doan't want anybody out molestin' pizza drivers." He gives her a squeeze and a kiss on th e forehead. "Gettin' my head. Silver in the gut'd make anybody fink."
Bernie smiles a little again at the remark and kiss, but it fades with the last comment. "...yeah..." she agrees softly, and bites her bottom lip. "...and Max an' Nevada..." She's quiet a second, arm tightening against him. "Talked t' Kaz. After th' Gathering."
Matt just breathes for a minute. "Yeah. 'ad a stella fer 'em. Coupla times. Whot'd Ears say?"
Bernie's jaw tightens a little, and she doesn't reply immediately. "...not a whole lot," she answers, then, very quiet. "I didn't... Don't know what t' say. Or do. I don't know. Y'know? I hate... not knowing. I tried putting myself in that place to figure out what I'd want someone t' do, and." She trails off, with a helpless little shrug, and swallows. After just enough pause that it almost seems safe to respond, she speaks again, nearly a whisper. "...Matt?"
Matt holds her quietly for a while. He shifts his arm, and trails a finger down her jaw. His voice is horse. "Yeah?"
"I, um." Bernie stops, taking a slow, measured breath, and wets her lips before trying again, still very quiet, and a little ill at ease. "I love you. I just. Wanted you to know." Because it's never been said.
Matt doesn't respond for a long time, Just holding her and breathing. "I love you, too, Books." He looks her in the eye, grinning a little tentatively. "An' a good fing, too. Oi'd 'ave been quite put out if it was joost me; sure an' you livin' 'ere fer th' free rent an' Guinness."
Bernie giggles a little, the sort of startled little laugh that's just this side of crying. "Hey. I help with th' bills. Though, y'know, th' beer's a nice perk..." She relaxes a little, some of the tension leaving her body, and sighs.
Matt shifts and kisses her, slowly. "Hey, serious, roight? I love you. Since I metcha. Not joos any bird Oi ride ta San Francisco. An Oi been finkin'...about fings, an'... well, if you want to..."
Bernie returns the kiss, reluctant to let it break, and holds on. She's been scared by the recent events, that much is perfectly clear, as much as she might wish it weren't. "'f I want to?" she asks, tilting her head to look at him. She may be good at translating Mattspeak, but apparently the sentence completion algorithm is coming up blank.
Matt blushes, "Yeah, y'know...we could...um." A sheepish look comes across his face as he struggles for words. "ah...Oi'm not so worried about my reputation as a Philodox anymore. Might take a round in the head next time, and my rep can go bugger itself."
Bernie blushes as well, catching on. "Oh. =Oh.=" She ducks her head slightly, but snuggles in a little tighter, thinking it all over. "...what would they actually do to us? If they found out?" she murmurs, tempted, if worried.
Matt frowns a little, smiling. "Who's They? Ears? Alicia?" He chuckles a little. "Make popcorn an' rude remarks, mos' likely." He brushes his free hand across her cheek, rubbing her lip with his thumb. "Hey, we doan't hafta. No hurries here, Oi like where we are, too. But since we're on about finks we want ta have said 'n' done before they 'ave a wake fer us...." he trails off with a little shrug.
Bernie grins a little. "...I was thinkin' more people like Big 'n' Scary," she clarifies, "...I mean. Not him obviously, seein' as he's gone off an' all..." She doesn't seem too enthusiastic about protesting, though, and kisses his thumb, glancing away and blushing a bit again. "But. Yeah, that's... that's on my list too. Of things I'd, y'know, ideally like t'do b'fore... I can't. So. I mean, maybe not right NOW..."
Matt laughs, tears forming in the corners of his eyes. "Ha! Well, Oi wasn't suggestin' this exack moment." He glances down in the direction of his feet. "Oi might need a few moments of encouragement first."
Bernie grins mischievously, and flicks a glance in the same direction. "'m pretty sure I could handle that part," she remarks, "...I mean, I don't think it's a serious obst'cle or anythin'. ...but yeah, there's time... I mean, prolly." There are still Wyrm creatures about, after all. Never know.
Matt hmphs. "It's seemed serious enough fer you in th' past..." And this is as good a reason as any to tickle her.
Bernie curls up, writhing as she tries to avoid the tickling, and starting to giggle again. "Eee, no no no no Matt!" she squeaks, making badly aimed attempts to catch his hands. "Not fair!"
Matt laughs, wrestling her to the bed. As suspected, he's neither a boxer or briefs man. "Ah, too true. Fairness absent entirely! Guess you'll just have to kiss me into submission, then."
Bernie pouts, managing to get pinned. "Meanie," she accuses, "...fine then, I s'pose it's a sacrifice I'll jus' hafta make. Cruel, cruel fate..." She arches upward to make good on the decision, catching his mouth with her own.