2007-09-20: Candy Apple


Kory_icon.gif Matt_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif

Summary: Matt returns to the Lair, shopping for Molly. Randall finds the place and is surprised at the service. Kory puts the candy glaze on the Big Apple, one person at a time.

Date It Happened: September 20th, 2007

Candy Apple

The Secret Lair

Evening at The Secret Lair. The younger of the geeklings has already scurried home to mama. The teenage ones are now huddled in the back, arguing over who's hotter, Buffy or the chick from Tru Calling, or Mary Ann, or Jeannie.

Kory is taking advantage of the relative quiet to test some tunes. There's a tango with a techno beat playing softly over the speakers. Tito is sort of dancing along near the game section. She smiles, approvingly.

The front door jingles as Matt steps inside, possibly coming in from a long day at the station. His tie is knotted loosely at his throat, and his hair isn't as impeccably gelled as it would have been in the morning. The day has already taken its toll, and carried correct change. But at least it hasn't affected his affable expression, which he carries as he looks about the front area.

Kory's head is down, as she ponders mixing combinations for the song she has playing. Tito, however, spots the door opening and hurries forward. "Hey there, welcome back," he greets Matt, apparently having paid attention since Kory got a little surrounded the other night. "What can I get ya?"

Okay. Seriously, Randall? You need to watch where you're going. He is at first, heading into the comic shop shortly behind Matt, only he turns to peer at something going on outside for long enough for the door to close again, thudding against the back of his head. "Hey!" he exclaims, turning and pushing it open again, actually making it all the way inside this time.

"I thought I would surprise my little girl with something from the front desk," admits Matt as he moves closer to the front desk. The guy didn't even notice Randall thudding into the door. One could surmise that Matt is simply an oaf who just isn't aware of his surroundings, or the path that people take behind him. "She starts in a new school pretty soon. Have any pens or something?"

Kory glances up on hearing the thump of the door. "Yikes, are…are you okay?" she calls, as Randall makes his way in."

"I'll letcha talk to Kory. She's better with figuring out girl stuff than I am," Tito says, genuinely apologetic. "I'm sure we got somethin', but she'd know better." With that, he goes to break up the argument, as it's already starting to get loud. Someone decided to toss Anya's name into the mix.

Randall rubs the back of his head as he nods to Kory. "Yeah, I'm fine, it's not like it swung hard or anything." He turns to check the door, making sure that he didn't damage /it/ with his hard head. "Anyway, I—" Oh, wait, Matt's being passed over to her first? That's cool, he'll hang out and browse the shelves meanwhile.

Matt twists around as he sees who or what had collided with a door, apparently. When he sees that it is Randall, his lips quirk into an apologetic expression. "I'm sorry, I d-didn't hear you coming behind me," he says in a tone of admission.

Kory glances from Randall to Matt, as the exchange unfolds before her. She blinks, and smiles. Matt's polite; that's nice. But on to business, since Randall seems to be okay and there's no lawsuit in the offing, whew. "Well, looks like you're a regular now. Great. What'll it be today, Matt?" The arm is still in the sling, but she gets off her stool to walk around the front of the counter. There's a touch of a limp, but she's walking almost normally now.

Randall looks to Matt, shaking his head again. "No, you— that was my fault." He's about to return his attention to the latest releases, when he gets a better look at Kory and squints. "Speaking of getting hurt, though… Did you get the license plate number?"

Matt lets Kory answer the question of Randall's rather than make his request. His hands move to his sides, and he inclines his head slightly while waiting for the exchange to commence.

Kory actually giggles at Randall's question. "That's the first time anybody's put it that way," she explains. "I took a bit of a fall the other day, no big. More of a pain in the neck. But…not literally, I mean. Dislocated shoulder, sprained ankle, couple little nicks. Just enough to make my mother freak right the hell out if she knew." From which it can be surmised she does not. "I'm Kory. That's Tito." An indication of the guy who broke up the geek argument. "Anything you need, give a yell, okay?"

That… doesn't seem to reassure Randall much. "Yeah, uh, no big," he parrots back, running fingers through his hair. "Nice to meet you all." 'You all' including the regular who's dressed up like Vincent Vega, whatever his name is. "And yeah, I was mainly just checking if the latest Megatokyo made it in— it's out, but the distribution company botched something so it's all spotty. Web store's backed up for three, four weeks." Besides, patronizing local stores is good for the community.

Matt may never know the utter lack of updates known as Megatokyo, but he also doesn't seem to be bothered by it. He clears his throat as he looks over to Tito, then back to Kory once more. Well, he won't get any answers that way. So he then says, "And… when you get a chance, I need some tchotchkes for a little friend."

"Lemme check," Tito calls and heads for the manga section. "I think we had a few orders of that, and the owner usually orders a few extras in case other people want some." Kory looks relieved. She hasn't had a whole lot of time to look over inventory the past couple days for obvious reasons. She smiles apologetically at Randall. "If it turns out we don't have one, I can hunt around for a copy."

"Hey! Alexander! Get the man his pens already," Tito shouts as he looks.

Kory blushes. "I'm sorry — who wanted pens? Oh. You did? Tchotchkes?" She smiles. Word sounds funny with a west coast accent on it. "Sure, what'd you have in mind, then?"

Randall nods to Kory. "Yeah, that'd be cool. I /should/ branch out anyway, but… it's such a big field. Maybe if I'd gotten into it five years earlier…" He trails off, going back to browsing titles. That much, at least, is easy enough.

"Things for school," says Matt as he looks toward the hanging items behind the front counter. The WarHammer 40K box sets seem to puzzle him, seeing the exorbitant prices that match the games but he doesn't ask questions. He simply dismisses them as overpriced geek fare. "Pens to start. Erasers. Small tins… anything nice."

"The dead Piro days, the delays, the kvetching," Tito says, coming forward, empty handed. "Guess we gotta make some calls for ya, sorry. We're already sold out."

"Sure." Kory gestures to a glass case to the right of where she's standing. "Little watches? Pencil cases. Bookmarks. Little posters a person could tack inside her locker?"

To Randall, she grins wryly. "True, but at least you can catch up with Megatokyo on the website if you feel like an archive dive."

"There is that," Randall replies, mulling it over. "Some of this other stuff… years of back history, sometimes." He carries on thinking out loud with Tito, unless he looks like he urgently needs to be elsewhere. "What'd be great is if some of the— like Bebop, not that you'd want to go past season 2, but you could write more stories that fit somewhere in the middle? Basically what they did with the movie."

"Pencil case and pens might be a good start. She already has a watch…" Matt says as he takes mental inventory. His eyes flicker for a brief moment, and his lower lip tucks into his mouth. Finally he blinks and then looks back over to Kory. "No locker, as far as I know. But I'll take a pencil case and two pens."

"That'd be kind of cool. Interesting stuff happening to Piro and Largo that happened between the panels we see. Or Ping-chan, yeah," Tito agrees. Nice to have a customer who thinks outside the panels, rather than obsessively worrying what's on them.

"Pencil case, two pens, you got it." Kory slides open the case and picks a pencil case with the Leek Spin Girl from Bleach on it, and two pens, one with Pikachu charm dangling from it, the other with an Alphonse Elric charm dangling from it. "How 'bout these?" She remembers what she first recommended to Matt's little girl, it would appear. She glances over at Randall. "I *loved* the Bebop movie. I hated the end of the anime. With a passion."

Randall purses his lips. "There /is/ a lot of fanfic starting with 'Spike stood up'. If you go for that sort of thing. Little lower key, though… did they ever put out any manga for Witch Hunter Robin?" Yeah, that would be a little more topical for this 'verse.

The shop talk is lost on the Vincent Vega wardrobe raider, but Matt still puts on a congenial expression. "They look like winners to me," he admits as he reaches into his back pocket for his wallet. It isn't snapped open until he can get a total from the woman working the register.

"Y'know, I don't know. They yanked it so fast off Cartoon Network, I never got a chance to get into it," Kory admits to Randall. "Maybe I'll hit the web and search for some. Is it that good?"

Her attention returns to Matt. "Great. I'll get that bagged up for you. $6.82 with tax." The register ka-chings dutifully and cheerfully as she finishes ringing the transaction.

"It is." Randall steps past the end of the shelf, leaning back against a short patch of blank wall. "It's weird— it starts out with a 'monster of the week' feel, but then about halfway through the first season, bam, they launch into a big arc that runs all the way to the end. "You're right, though, there's a lot of things they don't keep on for long… I guess 'cause there's so much other material that they want to get to, before it gets too old."

Matt offers his credit card to the woman, smiling as he says, "I really appreciate your help, again. Once she gets these, I'm sure she'll be even more excited about starting fresh at a new school."

"That," Kory smirks, "Plus they go by what's getting the best ratings hit, and what's cheapest to put on the air. Phooey. All the networks do that with the best shows, y'know. Maybe that's why I do books. They don't usually get canceled right when it's getting good."

She reaches out for the card, swipes it, watches the machine finish the transaction. A deft hand plucks it from the printer, and she offers it for Matt to sign. "Oh, no problem. Anything to help. I'm glad she likes all the stuff you pick up here. Feel free to bring her by after school one day. I'll be sure the boys are all muzzled that afternoon."

Randall smirks at the mention of muzzles, and peers at a few more titles. "So does this live up to its reputation?" he asks, holding up a back issue of Utena. "I hear it gets a little ugly around the middle…

"Couldn't tell you," Kory admits. "I only just started working here full time. Owner had an emergency, so I'm not as well read on everything as I'd like to be. Tito?"

Tito shrugs. "You know me. I'm the game guy, not so much the manga guy."

But a voice from the area set aside for reading nasally suggests that it's fine through the middle, unless you're a wuss.

The temptation to bait the unseen speaker is irresistible. "Speaking from experience?" Without waiting for an answer, Randall picks up the issue and carries it over to the counter. "Well, I'll go ahead and try this— couldn't be any worse than twenty bucks for a first-edition Groo. What happened to the owner— they gonna be okay, you think?"

"Oh, she's doing great," Kory assures Randall. "It was the good kind of emergency. She got an opportunity to open up a branch office in Philly, and went for it." She glances at the issue long enough to spot the price, and begins ringing it up. "The other stuff — well, s'personal. A little break will probably do her good. But I'll tell her a new customer asked after her. She'll be delighted." Kory speaks with sincerity; she must know the owner fairly well. "This gonna be it, then, or did you want us to hunt down anything else?"

Randall fishes out a handful of ones and exchanges it for the bag. "No, I think this is good. I don't have /that/ much of a budget, but I don't have a ton of expenses either, so…" For sure. That T-shirt has to be at least five years old, though it's weathered pretty well, considering. "Thanks, I'll let you know how it is."

"Cool," Kory says, still quite sincere. "I tucked a card in the bag, so if you need us again, you can call ahead. Save yourself the legwork or the MetroCard. I'm Kory. You'll find me here most of the time, so you can just ask for me, or leave me a message. Glad you found the place. Feel free to stop in anytime."

That gets an arched brow, and a quick peek into the bag. "Oh, sure, thanks." Blinking, he sets it down on the counter and peers across. "So are you this personable with all the customers? I didn't think anyone actually did that, this side of the Mississippi. At best, go through the motions."

Kory pulls a face. "New York gets a horrible bad rap for being this cold, heartless city," she sighs. "But honestly, we're nice people. Besides, it's good business to make it easy for you to come back to us, isn't it?" She shrugs. "You wouldn't wanna come back if I was all cranky and grouchy, would you?"

Randall grins. "I wouldn't, but I'm not from here. Not originally. The way the stereotype goes" - okay, at least he acknowledges it as such - "if you aren't all cranky and grouchy, people think you're up to something."

"Okay, in a city this big, yeah, you're gonna get some cranky and grouchy people, but there's no law saying we've all gotta be hard to get along with. I save being pissed off for when people have genuinely earned it, y'know?" She winces slightly; the shrug was a bad idea. "Besides, the mundane world is mean enough to geeks like us, so that much more reason for us to be nice to one another."

Instinctively, Randall reaches out a hand toward Kory's shoulder, before remembering that that would probably do more harm than good. "Guess you're right. I'm just used to things being how they are… and it'll be a long time before I get rich enough to be 'eccentric'." So what is he now, then? "Anyway, I should get going, before foot traffic gets any worse than it is already. And thanks again." Picking up the bag in one hand, he waves with the other and heads toward the door, keeping a closer watch on it this time through.

Kory grins; she's heard people make that 'eccentric' remark before. It must be par for the course around here. "You're welcome. Take care, and hope to see you again!" She waves after him with the good hand.

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