|Sample Platter - Thread Example - Cassidy Johnson & Brian Dalton (original)
||[09 Feb 2011|05:47pm]
ME: It's Christmastime, there's no need to be afraid... If she had been drinking, already, and not just coming in to obtain a drink for herself, Cassidy would have sporfled something hot and laced with coffee all over the Promising Young Athlete who held the door open for her with a disarmingly friendly smile and the Denim Skirt With Tights And Uggs (In this weather? Really?) who jealously pushed passed both of them before she could come in. Ah, Red Hook Starbucks. Bustling with frantic swears of unpreparedness, the deafening clicks of fingers against keyboards, the constant hiss of the latte machine, and the underlying waft of 1980s bleeding heart musicians out of the speakers. In other words, the sounds of the season. Unlike what she assumed had to be literally every other one of her fellow students, Cass had the time to absorb this soundtrack, enjoy it. While everyone else whined and pissed and moaned and scrambled to prepare for their last academic hurrahs before disappearing for winter break, all that remained to be crossed off her to-do list was a final paper for Art & Internet, tomorrow.
Tomorrow, late afternoon. So the idea of jumping on that, tonight, seemed ridiculous. Equally as ridiculous was Chris's insistance on turning off his cellphone after the third time she called him, whining about how she needed someone to kill time with at Starbucks. Didn't he realize what an inconvenience that was? Cass hated going on adventures without at least one partner-in-crime in tow. What if she ran into someone she hated? Who would save her from the awkward conversation? No one, if she had to go stag.
But, obviously, in the end, the need for a gingerbread latte won out. The line nearly smooshed against the door she had come through, but as soon as she was inside and unwrapping the six-foot scarf obscuring her face, she heard someone call her name. Guy Who Looked Like Legolas waved to her, when she looked up, from behind the counter.
"Gingerbread, right?" he called, nudging another cashier out of the way to snag a venti cup and gesturing for her to meet him at the pick-up counter.
"Thanks, Ian!" she called back, skipping through the crowd and planting herself in front of the counter, hands folded under her chin while she waited for her on-the-house drink. Which was delivered to her in due haste for naught but the price of a hair-ruffle. She had almost turned her back when someone else pulled her attention back.
New-ish Girl With Pink Streaks Whose Name, she seemed to recall, Might Be Something Gender-Neutral handed her a paper bag. "Peppermint brownie," she informed Cass with a grin not too dissimilar from the one she'd gotten at the door from Ugg & Skirt's boyfriend. "You were so excited about them on Tuesday."
Cass gave her a hearty, "Fuck, yeah!" with a subdued fist-pump, blew her a kiss, and set off to do battle for a table.
...Which were all inconveniently very full. Even her stupidly uncomfortable armchair in the corner had someone's fat ass in it. Ugh. If a seat wasn't taken by a body, it was holding up piles of purses and coats and legs. All of them. ...Except the bathroom table. Sure, the table itself had a pile of equipment on it, but the seats were vacant. Both of them. "Hmm." Fortunately, and she confirmed as much when scanning the line she'd bypassed, she recognized that equipment. Who else brought a joystick into a coffee shop? No one that she knew and that was saying something. So, without a second thought, she set her drink and snack down and began the arduous task of removing her multiple layers of cold-combatting gear in order to sit comfortably.
sailed: The even more absurd part of the whole thing was that the joystick was as big as the laptop, and between the two of them, the tiny table-built-for-two had about two spare inches of space, behind the laptop screen, for anything else that needed a place to rest. But that was what the deep window ledge was for. Drinks, pencils, and propped open books all fit there, and it came with the added bonus that any too-hot drink passed to you by the baristas wouldn't be too hot for long, after sitting next to the freezing glass. Of course, it had the opposite effect in the summer. The effect of totally destroying the ice balance in any glass of iced tea you dared bring near your seat.
Just as the effect of the warm coffee shop was having a less than ideal effect on Brian. It should have been relaxing him right into doing what he came to do, but instead, it calmed him just enough that he started to feel guilty for turning off the sound on his phone and shunning the losers who needed him. Well, they weren't losers. Most of them. Most of them were just overwhelmed, frightened freshmen who hadn't gotten the proper prerequisites in their high school algebra classes, and yet, mysteriously, had been passed straight into trigonometry, and were just completely lost and in over their heads. People who didn't have time to be fighting with uncooperative equations, when they also had more thought-consuming things to do, like write the first papers they'd ever written with a length requirement of more than two pages.
Suffice to say that Brian was less than impressed with your typical public high school education, but rather than look down on anyone for it, he just felt bad. Bad enough that, by the time he was out of the line, a drink identical to Cass's in hand, his phone was out, and his head bowed, skimming through texts while he made his way back to the table. Cass sort of faded into the background of all the other random bodies milling about, and he didn't notice she was actually sitting right across from him until he flipped his phone shut and reached for the power switch on his computer. Oh. He thought he recognized her, too, but the people he had talked to once or twice, here, all kind of blurred together. "Hey," he greeted her, because it would be rude not to. "You can sit there, I know it's really shitty in here, but you're not gonna have room for your books."
ME: Cass followed her tablemate with a smile, as he approached. For as big as his computer was, she actually planned to be not surprised when he never noticed her, at all. She was tiny, after all. The whole screen probably blocked her, even if she sat up straight. Which she didn't. As soon as her gloves were off and tucked away in the pockets of her overcoat, she scrunched up in her chair, knees into her chest and latte pressed to her lips. She hated window seats, convenient ledges or not. If she wanted to freeze in the winter or gain an uneven sunburn in the summer, she'd just sit on the patio.
"Hey, Ryu," she responded, cheerily, when he did acknowledge her. Pleasant surprise. "Sorry I commandeered your foot chair," she added, even though she wasn't terribly. It seemed like the friendly thing to say and Cass was nothing if not good with friendly responses. To everyone. ...To a fault. Which was really why she needed Chris to come be her buffer, lest she accidentally allow herself to get caught talking to someone unpleasant, in a moment of weakness. But, for the most part, it served her well. (Clearly. Who else, in the room, had been called to the front of the line for free drinks?)
Anyway. She liked Street Fighter Kid and his stringy scene hair, hidden under the hood of his black, Hot Topic zip-up. The whole package was just great. Greater than Legolas, almost, who she knew for a fact wore his hair half-up on purpose but wouldn't recognize a d20 die if it bit him on the ass. Faux nerds were so disappointing. Street Fighter Kid always seemed like the real thing.
"I'm not studying," she assured him, reluctantly setting the latte on the window ledge in favour of digging into her brownie. (From Devyn, who'd been kind enough to write her cell number on the underside of the paper bag...) "Just nomming and hanging out, 'til my friend calls me back." And, since they were such good friends, "What'd you get to drink?" she asked. Like she might know him well enough to guess. Cinnamon Dolce, maybe.
sailed: "Actually," Brian said, and now he remembered this girl, solely because he could recall not correcting her, the first time she said it. "I've never played Ryu. If you're going to do that, call me Vega." The first time, he had been mid-game, and attempting to say anything at all to her, or even listen with more than a sixteenth of his brain, would have been extremely ill-advised. Of course, the internet had cut out almost directly after she approached him, killing his game anyway.
He didn't have anything at all to call this girl, but he did remember that she was chatty. Maybe this was a sign, he thought, as he punched in his password, and the computer booted up the rest of the way. A sign that he should not get completely absorbed in anything and should, in fact, respond to these texts. With this girl sitting there, if she continued to talk to him, he couldn't blatantly ignore her. And he couldn't converse and play at the same time. It would never work. Answering some stupid texts and talk...that, he could do. Until this girl left, it looked like that was what he had to do. He bent the screen down just enough that he could actually see her, over the top of it. "Gingerbread," he replied, since she asked, not knowing they were drink twins. "Who says 'nomming'?"
ME: Besides the girls (particularly Chun-Li and Cammy) and Ryu, though, Cass couldn't recall any other Street Fighter characters. Did she ever know any of them? Probably not. She much preferred Mortal Kombat, if not just for the uppercut function...the only (simple) combo she ever learned on a game system. Everything else invovled button mashing, Street Fighter definitely included, despite the fact that she'd only ever encountered it in arcades, where she had to use a joystick instead of a controller. Joystick mashing? Yeah, something like that.
As much as she hated being corrected, especially once she had saddled someone with a name she knew had to fit them, she appreciated that his passion was great enough that he felt the need to set her right. "Vega," she repeated, after him. Her love for him blossomed by the second.
"Gingerbread? Drink twins!" she sing-songed in a way that would have made her mom proud, apparently still playing Parrot. Excited, mind Parrot, but on repeat-mode, nonetheless. "Me, too!" she continued, like he wouldn't have picked that up. "I like it better at the Borders cafes, though. I've been trying to talk Ian into telling his manager that they need little gingerbread guys to stick in the whipped cream, too, but I might be the only person who thinks it's a good idea." She popped a chunk of candy cane-coated brownie into her mouth, but didn't bother to swallow before going on. "I say nom. The whole internet says nom! I'm practically writing an essay on it."
sailed: Brian could see some sort of creepy adoration thing happening to the girl's face. He wasn't sure what was going on with that, and really hoped her loud exclamations were not some previously unseen method of hitting on him. That would make this conversation veer out of entertaining territory, and straight into wildly annoying, really fast.
As it stood, it was kind of entertaining, because the girl was clearly a nutbag. He probably should have assumed this about her, previously, but he couldn't remember doing so. He began stabbing at the screen on his phone, deleting the texts he could quickly weed out as unimportant. AKA, texts from people he actually knew. They could write him again, later, when he was done with all the little freaked out freshmen. Some of their messages needed deleting, too. The ones that weren't making any specific request of him. The ones that just wanted to whine, and had for some reason decided his status as their tutor meant they could complain to him. "It's not really the whole internet. It's people who think they're being cute, or people who think using it is ironic. What kind of an essay is that, anyway?"
ME: Anyone else might have taken the use of the phone, in the middle of their conversation, as a sign to shut up and sign off. Of course, anyone else wouldn't have sat down at someone else's table and procede to start a conversation with them, calling them by the name of their favourite video game character. Cass consumed her brownie like it was popcorn, staring patiently at Vega while he finished up whatever important business he had on his phone. Or, she gathered, gave up trying to temporarily ignore her, maybe alienate her off. She - inexplicably - took it for granted that most people should know how difficult to scare off she happened to be.
"I'm doing it ironically," she announced, although it happened to be one of those things that she had begun using ironically but accidentally let slip into her natural vocabulary. Like "roffle", "double-ewe tee eff", and "biffles". But she had an excuse for it. "One of my boyfriends is a hipster. Irony's kind of contagious, sometimes." She traded out the last half of her dessert for the coffee, hoping to save it before the ice window chilled it to the bone. "It's for Art & Internet. With Coonley?" Just in case he was familiar with the class. If he wasn't? He ought to be. "I'm covering the art of the meme. Like LOLcats, Rage Guy, Scene Wolf...that kinda stuff."