2007-09-30: Cocoa Never Fails


Claire_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif

Summary: Claire and Eric finally meet up again… This time on the campus of NYU.

Date It Happened: September 30th, 2007

Cocoa Never Fails

Outside the Fine Arts Building — NYU

Winter approaches on swift wings. Huddled up on a bench outside the Fine Arts building with knees touching and feet spread apart, Claire is waiting with some semblance of patience with a cup of cocoa cupped in her hands. Blessed chocolate, yes. Her puffy bright grey vest keeps out most of the cold, and allows the sleeves and collar of black turtleneck sweater to be prominently seen. Black cargo pants over black boots, and she at least somewhat looks like she belongs here… even if she doesn't. Blonde hair pulled back by means of a shiny, flat, wide and black plastic headband, it at least mostly keeps her hair out of her face whenever the chilly afternoon wind cuts down between the buildings.

The door to the building swings open and a figure emerges from the depths of the building. The figure would be one mildly familiar to Claire, though the thoughtful look on Eric Walker's face isn't even close to the bewildered one she saw on him last time. The black tailored slacks and the dark red dress shirt are a far distance from the jeans and t-shirt he wore last as well. Over it all is a long black and well cut trenchcoat to keep off the cold. Glancing around a moment he just shakes his head at the coldness of the day and frowns in thought. Well a bit of a walk would do him good, warm him up. So he starts down the stairs, though as he passes Claire sitting there his steps slow and he blinks a moment. She's…familiar somehow she is.

Another sip from her chocolate staves off the effects of another chill blast that shakes off a few leaves from a nearby tree. She's distracted by one's motion for a moment, until it finally hits the ground a few feet away. It's a spot that Eric passes on his way past, and it makes it hard to miss that he's looking at her.

In the way of the young and suspicious, Claire looks back without really thinking much of it. But then there's something familiar in his face, too. Her lower lids lift, the young woman affecting a mild squint as she ponders. Finally, she places it. That's the dude. From the store. With the two different last names. …Is he stalking her? Does he go here? He looks like he's walking past, at least. A stalker wouldn't be so bold as to go right in front of her, right? After a careful consideration of the possibilities, Claire offers a smile. It's best to let people know that you're paying attention, just in case they're trying to pull a fast one. Testing you. "Your sister like the shoes?"

He was trying his best to figure out just /how/ to ask her where he remembered her from without sounding like some creepy old guy trying to hit on her. There is an obvious air of relief to Eric's smile when she tosses that question towards him, therefor opening the conversation up herself without him having to do much. "…I knew I remembered you from somewhere," He says cheerfully, looking much less like a stalker. He isn't looking nervous, or like he was cought. "Yes she did actually, I'm going to have to thank both you and your mom for all the help…" He pauses for a moment as he dredges his mind for the right memory.

"…Claire? Right?" He asks after a moments thought as he smiles towards her. He's almost /sure/ thats the right name, but it never hurts to make sure

"Right." Still sitting, it makes for a long look up over her cup. Claire smiles and shrugs. "And yours was Eric Question Mark, right?" A small jab about the two last names, yeah. But she's entitled. C'mon. You expect that out of women sometimes. They get married. But guys? Yeah. Not really so much. Letting it go as quickly as she brought it up, the teenager marches on with the conversation. "Don't worry about paying us back. I'm sure Mom will happy just to know that the help was actually helpful. Do you go here?"

Glancing back over his shoulder at the building he smirks slightly before glancing back towards Claire. "Eric Question Mark, thats a good way to put it. Lancaster by birth, Walker by choice." He grins. "…I can explain if you want." He asks before he laughs slightly as he nods. "Oh yeah…though not for too much longer. About to graduate, and…good. You two really were a help, I was entirely lost."

"Guys usually fashion overload. It's just the way of life. And you don't have to explain." Even though Eric looks much more pulled together today. That's something. Claire tilts her head, momentarily allowing her gaze to track someone as they pass by before reaffixing her eyes on Lancaster by Birth, Walker by Choice. "But graduate, huh? In what?" Then she takes another sip of her drink.

"I definitely fashion overload," Eric replies with a slight smirk twisting up his lips before he slides his hands into the pocket of his trenchcoat. Yes. He looks more put together, less tired, less worried. Either he really is all those things, or he hides it all really well. A slight shrug before he chuckles. "Business," He replies with amusement dancing across his eyes. "Though that's a formality really." A slight shrug. "And IT, computer repair and programing. I have a minor in that." He fixes her then with his own curious and intelligent gaze. "And just what are you doing here anyway, a bit young for collage, eh?" He says with a slight teasing tone to his voice.

"I guess you wouldn't believe that I just look really young for my age, right?" It's a half-hearted smile that goes with Claire's rebuttal, she's not really attempting to convince the elder student that she is. "I'm waiting for a friend to get out of class. We were supposed to go catch a movie." Then, to dispel any 'omg what' moments about a college kid and a high schooler, she quickly tacks on an addendum. "He's a film major. He wanted company for some boring class critique assignment. I guess I drew the short straw." And, despite her diminutive stature, that was not a short joke, so don't even go there. "I might next year, though. I dunno. I haven't talked to my parents about colleges yet."

Eric just laughs and shakes his head. "Close, but no," He says with a cheerful smile towards her. He doesn't though get the OMG CRADLE ROBBING look on his face though, he just slightly shrugs his shoulders for a moment. "Well sometimes friends are like that, they just need a bit of company," he replies thoughtfully. Hrmmm. Film Majors. Does he know any? He has no clue if he does or not. "Hopefully the movie isn't all that bad…and I like this place…of course I'm biased, I've lived here my whole life."

Taking another opportunity to crack another quick joke, Claire rolls her eyes in amusement, one leg sliding out a little as she shifts on the bench. "On campus? Man, your parents must have been really dedicated alum."

"In New York, not…" Eric graces the younger student with a rueful little smirk. "Imp." He calls her before he leans against the railing going up the edges of the stair to the door. "…and I think my mom would have gone /insane/ if they forced her to live on campus. One things I would never call her is a dedicated alum."

Imp. That jab back entirely amuses her. Claire sips from her steaming cup again, the grin entirely visible over its white lid, all too pleased with herself. "The city's pretty cool," she manages once she's swallowed. "Never really runs low on the excitement factor. So." Blonde eyebrows arch. "Why the secret agent super spy routine?"

Eric can't really help but to grin back towards her. At the question though he pauses a moment in thought before he gives her an almost sheepish look. "The last name? Nothing so interesting as being a secret agent. My dad owns one of the largest companies in New York, so Lancaster is recognized lots of places. I didn't much like that, so I changed the name."

"I can understand that, a little." She can understand that a lot, actually, if not for different significantly different reasons. Claire chuckles softly at that, gaze momentarily dropping to her coffee cup while she gets herself off of that not-so-happy little thought. When she lifts her eyes again, her smile isn't quite as brilliant. "But you know, they're… they're my parents, you know? I'd feel bad not telling people we were related." …Even when she does, sometimes. But she still feels bad about it!

"Oh I know," Eric smiles slightly and shakes his his. "And if anyone asks I tell…but…I got a bit tired of just being given everything on a silver platter so people could curry favor with my parents," He gives her a slightly amused look. "Go ahead, say your crazy to give up an easy ride like that…everyone else thought so." He sounds and looks so cheerful about it, it seems like he made peace with it all at least. "So there you have it, no big conspiracy about it."

Claire's forehead crinkles in thought, blonde head tilting as she affects a small frown of seriousness. "It's not crazy. But you can't deny your parents for forever. It… really never gets you anywhere, you know? We all have to come from somewhere.

"Deny them?" Eric just laughs softly and shakes his head. "Oh god, I couldn't deny them for more than five minutes at a time. I see them every week; I work for my father. They know why I did it and at least my father understands." He smirks. "Besides, after the latest rash of magazine articles on me I don't think its much of a secret anymore."

Horrified at her misunderstanding, Claire's blue eyes open wide. Let the back-peddling begin! Her head shakes, and her voice is a pitch higher than it was just a moment ago. "Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't mean…" Except she did, didn't she? "I didn't…" What? Resigning herself to the fact that she seems to be smack dab in the middle of a faux pas, her cheeks grow a little flushed. "I'm sorry," she repeats as a loose conclusion to her ramblings.

Eric blinks a moment at the sudden stuttering and back-peddling. Wow. What in the world brought that one. Its a curious gaze that he fixes her with as she mutters and stumbles over the words. Not quite sure what to make of her stuttering he just shakes his head. "Its alright!" He says with an easy smile towards her, brushing away any insult or faux pas like it was never even there. "Its an odd situation is all, easy to misunderstand."

Claire takes the dismissal of her faux pas with a grateful flash of pearly white teeth, finally prying one of her hands off of her cup to brush a errant strand of blonde hair out of her face before sweeping a pile of curls behind her shoulder. "But c'mon. Really. It's not nice? Even once in a while?"

"…well…" Eric pretends to think about it before he smirks slightly. "Every once in awhile it is nice to be able to threaten to buy a restaurant or something if I don't get good service." He says in a mock whisper, as if he's confiding to her some deep dark secret of his. However his eyes are laughing though as he shakes his head. "I'd rather I don't have to stand on my father's name, but sometimes it does make things a little easier.

"Makes sense," Claire allows, smile beaming back at the joke. That's probably not a joke. She doesn't know! Lancaster is a name that's only passingly familiar to her. Biting her lower lip, the Bennet girl glances at the empty bit of bench beside her and then looks up at Eric, only to tilt her head towards the space indicatively. "Do… do you wanna sit down? Or do you have somewhere to be?" Friends are good, right? Sandra said they were! Never mind that he's probably like four or five years older than her. "I completely understand if you gotta get going."

Well he's done it one more than one occasion, so no its not entirely a joke at least. Eric pauses a moment at the offer though. Well…he does have a little bit, and Claire isn't all that bad for company. A little young, but she's amusing to talk to and cute. However…he does have a business meeting and he needs to go cook. A slight frown before he sighs. "Honestly I'd love to, Claire, but I have a business meeting to get to and I can't be too late. If you are around campus, though, I'm sure I'll see you around again!"

"Not a problem," Claire shoots back, trying to keep her sheepishness at bay as her offer gets shot down, but only partially hiding the blush that creeps into her cheeks. She should have known better. College kid who KNOWS she's a kid. Of course, he doesn't want to make it look like he's actually hanging out with her. Dang it, stupid, stupid, STUPID. "I'm sure we will! Have fun! It was really nice to see you again." And with that, the blonde waits for the niceties of rejection to be over before she can check her cell phone to see where the heck Zach is, and then get back to her cocoa. Cocoa, you never fail me.

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