1. The lights are low in Karen's apartment, save for a few tall candles dripping the beginnings of melted wax down their sides. The table is set, and food prepared. She doesn't sit, not yet. She's waiting for his arrival, pacing back and forth, making last minute adjustments. Everything should be perfect for her dinner with Mr. Aoki.

II. They talk about many things. The conversation shifts from Kamui, to the weather, to the last attack, to his wife and daughter, and even when the topic is not a happy one, the chatter is nice. He tells her that the food is wonderful, and she smiles because she made it all herself.

iii. Dinner is finished, and she's postponed clearing the table, letting the candles melt while things have moved to a different stage. Pieces of his suit and her dress line the floor and they've lost themselves in each other's skin. Only in the heat of the moment can she bring herself to call him by his given name, and she notices it brings a smile to his face. She wonders if this is what it's like when he is with his wife, and for a brief moment a surge of guilt washes over her, but if he's willing to share himself, then she couldn't ask for anything more.

IV. The first thing she notices upon his arrival is that he is wearing a very nice suit. She giggles inwardly, noting just how typical it is of him to dress up more than usual for such an occasion. She herself is wearing one of her normal dresses, but she doesn't own anything fancier, unless you count the things she's wearing under it.

5. When the time comes, she opens the door and silently ushers him in. A moment later they are both seated at the table, and she shoots him a smile as she fills his glass with champagne.

iv. Unfortunate timing in the past has given him glimpses of some of her more interesting attire, but she had thought this one would be new to him. The look on his face when she removes her dress is enough to confirm that she had been right. He doesn't have a chance to say anything before she reaches a hand to his cheek and pulls him into a deep kiss. How long she has been wanting and waiting to do that, and she never had the nerve until now.

7. Sighing and shaking her head, she cleans the remaining food from her plate and puts away his, which never had food on it to begin with. She shouldn't do these things, she tells herself; living in fantasy is never good for one's mind. Blowing out the candles, she turns the lights back up to their full brightness, and suddenly it's just her apartment and just dinner and she is only by herself.

But as she sips at the second, untouched glass of champagne, she smiles. She can smile because she knows he would have come if she had asked, at least for dinner, and that's why she never asked him in the first place.