2008-02-19: Destiny's Diner


Hiro_icon.gif Joule_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif Sophie_icon.gif

Summary: Sometimes you wanna go where DESTINY knows your name.

Date It Happened: 19th February, 2009

Destiny's Diner

Lucky Joe's Diner, New York City

Thankfully, Joe's a pretty nice guy, all around.

One of his booths, you see, has been occupied for a while - by an Ali, in fact. The blonde has managed to cover about half the table in paper, too - no mean feat. A book, thick and aging, with that tiny, precise print of older presses, takes up the majority of the left side; the legal pad at her hand and a loose sheaf of other legal sheets, most filled with writing that may be more precise than that which one might expect from the hipster bohemian sort that she is, take up the rest.

A /waffle/ sits dangerously close, drowned in artificial maple goodness and half-eaten. And ignored. This may be a crime in this city.

Before too long, the door rattles open and Hiro makes his way into the diner. It certainly is nice to see it up and running even after a robbery attempt thwarted by a teleporter and a mysterious, masked hero. It would even bring a knowing little smile to his face if he weren't already occupied by an extremely depressed look, shoulders slumped as he barely even looks at the other clientele and slips into a booth not far from Ali. When time comes to order, he only asks for some apple juice.

Joule stalks into the diner, hair wind-tousled, expression resigned and displeased. But the fact that it smells really good in here helps. She raises a brow, and unabashedly looks around to see what everybody else is eating. She doesn't wait for someone to show her a booth. She flops bonelessly into the booth immediately between Ali and Hiro. "Losing my touch. Or maybe just my bloomin' mind," she sighs to herself.

One thing that isn't likely immediately noticible, mostly due to blonde hair being in the way? Headphones. This would probably explain the rhythmic tapping on the table. Or. Well, more on the book, Ali humming along quite happily as she writes. Engrossed.

When the lyrics kick in? Well, she's quiet enough, but hey, it's got heart. And humor. Good mood, thy name is radio chick with a couple hours before work.

"… code monkey like fritos! … code monkey like tab and mountain dew…"

That voice definately sounds familiar to Hiro and it causes him to lift his head slightly, looking into the next booth where he spots Joule. Hmmm, no. he doesn't recognize her. The one with the headphones though, yes. But rather than rush over to say hello, he sinks back into his seat and waits for his order to arrive.

"…code monkey very simple man…big warm fuzzy secret heart…" Joule spent time in a band. She's dated techies. Jonathan Coulton is not unknown to her. It takes a second for her to realize she's singing along with somebody else singing it. Blink. Blink blink. Blink. "Oh, bloody hell. I'm going to be earwormed all night now." She drags her hands through her hair in a gesture of abject frustration. "Can any bloody thing else go wrong today?! Huh?!"

Listening to Ali, when /she's/ not paying attention? This may be a bad thing. Oh, yes. But hey - she's /into/ that song. "Code monkey like /yoou./"

Pay too much attention? That's.. a really. Really interesting song. It carries with it the same bopping happiness that's causing the DJ to sing it in the first place. Bubbly. Perhaps more infectious than it should be.

But hey. She's writing. And the second verse doesn't seem to be slowing her down much.

For all the annoyance at himself Hiro is feeling, the singing from Ali seems to strike a particular chord with him. Part of him wants to just sit here and drown his sorrows with non-alcoholic fruit beverages, but that part is being drowned out by something that says 'Go to Singing Lady'. So he does just that.

Rising out of the booth, he moves towards McAlister and leans forward slightly - trying to get in her line of vision considering she's wearing headphones and all that, "Hello."

The frustrated complaint from Joule causes him to turn his head slightly, perhaps even looking a little apologetic on Ali's behalf. But then, that is how he is sometimes.

Joule seems to have caught the attention of a waitress with her frustrated outburst. And that seems to have helped. "What've you got, then, that has an absolutely, positively, completely suicidally obscene amount of chocolate in it?" she asks as the woman steps up and greets her. "And if it's got alcohol? Even better."

The waitress gives Joule a minute to peruse the menu after saying "I've got just the thing." Which gives Joule a moment to realize the spiky-haired young man is looking at her. "H'lo," she says, with a small, brief wave.

It works. I mean, it /startles/ her, but it works. And Ali grins up at the fellow, reaching up to take out headphones (tinny guitar can be heard for some distance - she listens /loud/) - "Oh! Hey!" She waves at the seat across from her - "Sorry - I wasn't payin' any attention. You know how it is." Oddly enough, she offers an earphone.

"Coulton's like my geek vice. I keep thinking I'm /not/ one, then he drops another single and I get all fangirl. It's just pathetic, you know?"

Hiro offers Joule a look that can only be described as somewhat confused. He tilts his head, as though trying to place her before he realizes he cannot and he just lifts his hand to give her a wave, smiling as best he can. Every smile always seems forced, however, as something is clearly on his mind.

To Ali, Hiro leans in slightly to listen to the music coming from the offered headphone and nods his head, "Coul … ton. I think I heard him on your radio station."

"Oh, oh, ohhhhhh yeah." Joule looks very pleased at the big frothy drink the waitress just brought her. It's something that looks like a very thick chocolate milkshake in a big sundae stemmed glass with chocolate syrup drizzled artistically along the inside. And there's a generous dollop of whipped cream on top. "That's the stuff. You just earned a big tip, girlfriend." She has a sip and closes her eyes appreciatively, Hiro and his puzzled expression forgotten along with the lyrics to Code Monkey.

"Yup - I try to give him a little…" Ali breaks off to watch that bit of chocolate death go by. "… temptation.." She clears her throat, looks up at Hiro. "I am /so/ coming back here for one of those after the show." She waves at the seat across from her, that distinctive alto warm and welcoming. "There's room, ya know?"

Heck, she's already clearing a spot among the paper, stacking loose sheets to the side. "I'm getting a little tired of reading this stuff anyway. it's a good excuse to take a break." Nope. She hasn't seen Joule yet - but she /is/ unintentionally making the booth seat not.. precisely.. er. comfortable. Not with that much motion.

When Joule appears to be lost in her chocolate shake, Hiro takes that as a sign to turn his attention fully to Ali - sitting down in the booth when she suggests it. His apple juice arrives shortly after which he puts to one side for the moment, not sipping it. He's got problems, sure, but he doesn't mention them just yet.

"How have you been?"

Joule, however, after a sip of that chocolate drink, which does have a lovely significant amount of alcohol in it, recognizes that voice, and the cadence. Or thinks she does. She looks up, and grins. "Ali? Oi! Ali!" She raises a hand in a wave.

"I. You know? Better than I've been in a whi-" And then there's yelling, and Ali's glancing back, blinking, and bawling out - "If you can eat that and not get fat? You suck." Just saying, you know? But she grins, waves back. Points to spot next to Hiro. Then, she grins back to the bespectacled fellow - "Do you have like - some sort of bad habit of making people think? Because, I swear to God, the last few days are your fault."

Hiro looks a little worried when Ali blames him for the last few days, not really sure of what might have happened in those last few days and uncertain if he wants to be blamed for them. He obligingly makes room for Joule, still looking a little unnerved, "I am … sorry?"

Joule grins, wickedly. "That's the long and the short of it, yeah. Wait'll you see what I'm actually having for dinner," she teases the other woman. And taking up the invite, she picks up her frothy chocolate deliciousness and settles into the bouth beside Hiro. "Hi. All right, mate? Name's Joule. Whatcha sorry about, then, hmm?" Long sip of chocolicious drink. The waitress brings her a plate of stuffed mushrooms. "Cheers." They're given time to cool while she puts a hurting on that drink.

"Stop that. You shouldn't be." Ali chides, but it's in good humor - and she gets /more/ papers out of the way. "I listened. Took me a little to figure things out, but I listened. And there's nothin' wrong with /that/." She adds - "Mind you, I have a .. probably nine year old in my apartment right now, and this is a really new experience. Advice welcome - I haven't been nine in a while."

The papers are.. notes. About. Saints? Yup. Just lists, short phrases, lines drawn from one name to another. "And you /really/ suck. Joule, Hiro. See, I said it right. Hiro, Joule."

"Hello, Joule," Hiro says with a polite smile, turning slightly in the booth so he can offer her his best attempt at a seated bow. A nine year old in Ali's apartment? Hiro is pretty sure he didn't mention anything about going out and adopting but people take what they want from most of the stuff he says, "Um … comic books? Video games?"

"I do," Joule agrees. "The bend right out'f a river if I were so inclined. Too bad there's no bloody body around to appreciate that talent." Slurp. Sulky slurp. Slurp. "Where'd you get a nine year old? You weren't pregnant the other night." Oh, isn't that cute, he's bowing! "Hiro, charmed."

"So the valentine's thing didn't go over well?" Ali winces, at that, but keeps her smile. "I found her. By accident - she was stealing stuff for a guy out of Hell's Kitchen." Yes, she seems perfectly serious. "Modern day Fagin. Looked just like one of the Three Stooges, too - the bald one." She snorts. "So now I'm on the couch, at least until I sort out what the heck I just got myself into." She adds, asiding to Hiro - ".. you're gonna laugh. Uh. Which ones? Erin and I aren't 'xactly 'video game and comic' people. It's sort of sad, really."

Joule's euphemism flies so far over Hiro's head it could deliver astronauts to the International Space Station, causing him to blink a little dimly at her before the subject switches to video games and comic books - both of which make sense to Hiro.

"I could help you find some? I know a place the sells many different kinds."

"Still haven't heard from him. I think I'm dumped," Joule says, and clearly it's the alcohol and the coldness of her drink that are keeping her from having a completely unseemly outburst and bawl-slobbering all over Hiro's shoulder. "He's off the face of the earth, he is. And not a call, not a text, nothing." She decides Hiro's suggestion is interesting. "What d'you play? You're not a DDR sort, are you?"

Ali bows out of /that/, grinning - and taking that moment where that question hangs in the air to stuff papers in that book, and set it next to her on the booth's bench. Gives the table a little more room, anyway. And there's a /waffle/. Which.. she noshes on. Listening.

"Umm … Final Fantasy?" Hiro suggests, a look of excitement suddenly crossing his face, "Oh! Rockman!" He holds out a hand to imitate Mega Man, pretending to fire balls of energy out of his fist, "Pow pow."

Awww, he's cute. He's like a little kid. "I know Final Fantasy. That's the one with the lovely graphics." Now she's started on the mushrooms, and is putting them away rapidly. The drink is half gone. "Lovely, it is."

Ali mutters - eying those mushrooms with a good-natured, though baleful look. ".. you know, You should at least feel a /little/ guilty." Thus spake the woman with a waffle, as she waves her fork at Joule. "This much. A bit." And. Though interested? Final Fantasy, Rockman? Nope. Not a /glimmer/ of recognition. Poor thing.

"Super Mario?" Hiro suggests, trying to come up with a title that Ali might recognize since he doesn't like people being left out.

"Don't do guilt. Wasted emotion. Life's too bloody short, luv," is Joule's rejoinder to that. "And over food, which we need to, y'know live? No thank you." She smiles sideways at Hiro. "Little Italian plumbers who save princesses from dinosaurs in pipes, right?" She offers Ali a mushroom. "C'mon. Just one."

"Oh. Yeah. That had the turtles?" Ali takes it. "You're just bribing me. It worked, but that doesn't change anything." She snorts - and then grins at the two sitting across from her, in turn. "So. Are you two at least feeling /somewhat/ better? Like thunderclouds in here."

Hiro nods his head, whether it is in regards to Super Mario or feeling better is anyone's guess. Sadly, he doesn't quite feel up to explaining why he is down in the dumps. How do you tell (as far as you know) regular people that you just lost an important part of a formula that could give people super powers despite being specifically told not to lose it. You don't.

"Alcohol, my something something necessity," Joule sing-songs. In Canada, the Barenaked Ladies are wincing and they don't know why. "It doesn't matter. Daft hipster boys are a dime a dozen. So are terribly hot brainiac boys. A little retail therapy and I'll be right as rain." The waitress delivers a quesadilla, with extra cheese and sour cream just as Joule pops the last mushroom. "Count on it."

"Fair enough." Ali grins, and leans back. "Sometimes it's the little things that matter, you know? Could be I'm just a hopeless optimist these days, but it works out. Always works out - sometimes it needs a little help sure - " That comes with a wink for Hiro - "Waffles. Waffles are great for that." She adds, to Joule -"And mom always told me, if they're that stupid, you're better off without 'em. It applies."

Hiro finally gets the general tone of the conversation and looks into the glass that is now only half-full of apple juice. He doesn't really have anything to contribute and so he stays that way, taking a sip and turning to look out the window at the street.

"Smart mum you 'ave," Joule agrees through a mouthful of cheese and beef. "I'm gonna try not to dwell on it because angst doesn't look good on me." She has another sip of chocolate drink. "So — what 'as you down?" she asks, nudging Hiro with an elbow.

Ali blinks, and, though she flashes Hiro a grin, and is certainly /listening/, she abruptly rummages in a jeans pocket.

"I lost something I wasn't supposed to lose," Hiro says quietly, finishing off a little more of the apple juice, "And now there will be big trouble. I have to find it again."

"Tried backtracking your steps?" Joule asks, unaware of just how significant the thing is Hiro lost. "Gone everywhere you were before you realized it was lost?"

Keys. And Ali's key ring is filled with more key rings than keys, honestly - ranging from the Rocky Horror "Lips" to what looks like that stupid sanrio frog. As she speaks, she starts working one of the smaller dangly, fiddly bits off of it. "Bigger than a breadbox?" It's warm and wry, but she goes on - "Checked yesterday's pants?"

"It was stolen," Hiro admits, still looking quite downcast and emptying the glass, "They tricked me."

"Who tricked you?" Joule asks, genuinely sympathetic, and annoyed on behalf of the little Japanese guy. "And do you know where to find them? I'd be happy to help you get it back." She pats her camera bag as if it were a trusty sidearm.

Ali nods, agreeing - holding out the dangly thing to Hiro (a St. Christopher medal, pewter and cheap - ) - "Seriously - between the two of us," the smile she acquires is /very/ wry, "I bet we could convince 'em to give it back - you called the cops?"

"It isn't like that," Hiro answers, getting a little uncomfortable, "I don't know where she is … I just know that she stole it. My father told me to keep it safe and I was not able." He looks at the medal curiously, leaning forward and adjusting his glasses.

"She?" Joule raises a brow. "Really?" She pats Hiro on the shoulder. "Can you take something of hers, then? Offer her a trade? Her thing for your thing?" She has a shrewd look on her face; the alcohol hasn't dulled her edge.

Ali waggles the medal - it's clearly meant for Hiro to take. She supplies, quietly (Joule's got better questions, right now) - "St. Christopher. Patron of travelers and the lost - so I was hoping I'd run into you." It's a bit defensive.

Hiro reaches out to take the medal, looking at it curiously before offering Ali his best grateful smile, trying to bow while sitting down again. To Joule, he shrugs his shoulders a little bit, "I do not know where to find her."

"She got a name, at least? Anything?" Joule's trying, here, but the little guy isn't giving her much to go on. "Have you tried looking her up on the internet? Everybody vanity Googles!"

Hiro opens his mouth to say something before his phone rings and, apologizing profusely, he retrieves it from his pocket - almost every call he has gotten lately has been life-or-death important so he can't afford to let it ring. Even if that would be the polite thing. He chatters away into the phone for a moment, eventually culminating with the address of the diner they're presently in. Apparently he's invited a fourth. At one point, he mentions powers of all things.

Joule's brows go up as Hiro mentions powers. She glances quizzically from Ali to Hiro and back again. Things have gotten interesting.

After hanging up the phone, Hiro returns it to his pocket and immediately looks more than a little mortified, "Oh … "

Joule was mildly surprised rather than startled. "A lead on your missing item?" she asks, shrewdly.

McAlister keeps her mouth firmly shut. All things considered? This is likely the wisest thing she's done all day.

Hiro shakes his head in response to Joule's question, "No … just a friend who needs some help with … things."

"Ah. OF course." Joule falls quiet. "Good thing about this city. People look out for each other. The city has an undeserved reputation for being unfriendly, but I haven't found that to be the case."

"Things - " The group is settled at a booth, Ali on one side, Hiro and Joule on the other. "Right." She glances at Joule. "Oh, we get rude. But we're nice about it." There's a sudden grin, there. "You should hear me yelling at some of the drivers around here."

Hiro remains quiet for the moment, breathing a sigh of relief over his mention of 'powers' going (at least he thinks) unnoticed.

Joule noticed, but Hiro's a nervous wreck already, and there's nothing to be gained by agitating him further. The curiosity can always be satisfied after he gets his whatchamajiggy back.

Sophie pushes open the door, her phone still in hand, and being shoved into a pocket. There's a quick scan of the room, easily finding Hiro where he sits, then blinking in recognition of, it seems, his company.

Ali checks her watch again - "So who's your friend? I'm curious, I admit." The DJ grins - her back's to the door. The new entry isn't exactly noticed, not yet. "Everybody keeps telling me it's not healthy, but - hey. I still have all my parts, you know?"

Joule could make another vulgar remark about cats and curiosity here, but she refrains, mainly because she spots a familiar face. "Sophie! Oi, Sophie! Over here, luv!" She raises an arm, and then grabs the last bite of that immense quesadilla. What has she got, hollow legs? "You can take my spot, luv. I'm gonna go home and sleep this off. And see if I can get that nice girl at the Lair to give me Lee's sister's number. I've a feeling he's hiding out at her place, waiting out this craziness." She seems calmer now, somehow. "Pleasure meeting you, Hiro. Ali has my number. If I can be of help finding your lost doodad, give me a call, all right?"

"Here she is now," Hiro says, lifting a hand to wave to Sophie before he gestures for her to come over and sit down - looking up as Joule herself takes off. He nods his head, "Thank you."

Sophie moves on over, then says, "Well, guess this is interesting." with a touch of humor, "I think I know everyone at the table." she glances to Hiro, adding sincerely, "Thanks for seeing me."

Joule ruffles Ali's hair, and claps Sophie on her still-covered-by-a-coat shoulder. "You lot take care, and don't be strangers." She walks out, feeling a good bit more optimistic than she came in. Apparently the chocolate and the good company did well for her where other methods failed.

McAlister looks up, quirks a brow - and nods. "Hiya, Sophie." She ducks the ruffling - muttering something impolite - .. but stays in the conversation instead of bawling curses after Joulie, no matter how tempting that is. "Do I need to scoot? I mean, if you two have stuff to talk about - " It's an earnest offer, at the very least.

"N … no, I don't think so," Hiro says with a shake of his head. It isn't exactly something he can explain, but Hiro would prefer to have Ali nearby for the time being. Strange. To Sophie, he smiles in as comforting a fashion he can muster and nods, "That's okay. How are you?"

Sophie takes a seat. She offers Ali a nod, then she says, "I.. well, the best way to put this is.. I need a way to practice."

"I offered." Ali's blunt, at that, but not unfriendly. Her gaze tracks to Hiro. "Yeah, I know." She pats the pile of paperwork next to her in the booth. "Call it academic interest, huh?" She grins. "Yeah, me, academic. Go ahead and laugh, if ya want."

Hiro cannot help but smile at the mention of academic interest, tilting his head to one side and looking at the papers. He even cranes his neck a little to get a better look at them, nodding to Sophie when she speaks.

"Not so easy, no. But it is all about concentration … "

Sophie nods as she murmurs, "Well, and.." she keeps her voice quiet as she settles at one of the sides or another, "And.. someone to practice with. What I need, I can't really work on by myself."
The papers are.. well. Lists. Mostly Catholic saints, a few nods to greek myth, even a few entries from the Vedas, for someone who'd recognize the names. The one thing each entry has in common? Well. What history said they did, of course.

Ali watches Hiro - "So how do you know?" She waves a hand at Sophie. "How come you can help her?"

For once, something doesn't completely pass Hiro by. He knows what Ali is talking about and he looks at her over the top of his glasses, his expression quite serious, "Because I can do something special, too."

An example. He always has to give an example. He concentrates, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment. A long moment. Unfortunately for Hiro, his self-confidence is suffering. To the other two who are sitting there, he just appears to be moving at great speed when he rearranges some of the cutlery and spice shakers on the table before coming back to 'regular time'.

"I'll help you, Sophie," Hiro offers, "If I can."

Ali nods.. and - after the initial amazement fades.. "Damn." - well. She takes it in remarkably good stride. ".. maybe you can. … and I like you." She takes a breath, and speaks /very/ firmly, if quietly. "But you hurt her, Hiro? And I don't care how fast you are, I'll show you what regret is."

She looks to Sophie, then - "If.. you know, I can help - with you or your friend? Just call me, huh?" And she moves to stand.
Sophie nods as she says, "I guess it depends. I don't know what happened. I might.. maybe if I can get anyone who knows, I can find out. I won't know if that's something I can do, yet."

Hiro blinks a little at Ali, shaking his head, "I won't hurt her … I … I don't want to hurt anyone."

He stumbles a great deal on his words, perhaps a little intimidated by the words coupled with the standing up. He adjusts his glasses, glancing back towards Sophie, "We can … try to find out. There might be more to it besides just sharing memories."

"I know. But." Ali sighs, gathering that paperwork, that book. "Look. Just. I trust you, alright? But that doesn't change the fact that a lot of people I know are gettin' used by a lot of /other/ people who think they're doin' the right thing." She's definitely got /blunt/ down. "You are the one that suggested I start payin' attention - doin' the right thing, right?" She flashes a sudden grin at Hiro. "I just am. It's sort of an easy habit to get into. And I'm worried about her." She looks to Sophie.

"So. Like I said - you call me if you need me. Kay?"

Hiro blinks a little at Ali, shaking his head, "I won't hurt her … I … I don't want to hurt anyone."

He stumbles a great deal on his words, perhaps a little intimidated by the words coupled with the standing up. He adjusts his glasses, glancing back towards Sophie, "We can … try to find out. There might be more to it besides just sharing memories."

"I know. But." Ali sighs, gathering that paperwork, that book. "Look. Just. I trust you, alright? But that doesn't change the fact that a lot of people I know are gettin' used by a lot of /other/ people who think they're doin' the right thing." She's definitely got /blunt/ down. "You are the one that suggested I start payin' attention - doin' the right thing, right?" She flashes a sudden grin at Hiro. "I just am. It's sort of an easy habit to get into. And I'm worried about her." She looks to Sophie.

"So. Like I said - you call me if you need me. Kay?"

Sophie looks at Ali, then she smiles, 'That's kind of nice, that you're worried. I..' she sighs, 'I'll do what I can to be safe, but I also want to help this girl. I don't want her getting hurt because I'm too worried about ME getting hurt. And, if for once what I can do can actually help? I want to try it. Maybe live up to his name.' she grins over at Hiro, 'Tht'd really be something. Worth a lot. But yes, I will call if I need you.' to Ali. She looks at Hiro, "Where and when should we do this?'

Hiro blinks owlishly at Ali, not quite sure why she's leaving but maybe a little too afraid to actually ask that she stay. He says nothing to her, instead speaking to Sophie.

"I do not know … " He's not sure how this whole 'Powers Mentor' thing workss, "Where and when is suitable?"

Hiro blinks owlishly at Ali, not quite sure why she's leaving but maybe a little too afraid to actually ask that she stay. He says nothing to her, instead speaking to Sophie.

"I do not know … " He's not sure how this whole 'Powers Mentor' thing works, "Where and when is suitable?"

Ali sighs. "I.. gotta get to work. You guys be careful, huh?" And she heads for the door - "She's got my number, Hiro, if you want it."

Sophie chuckles, 'That would be the problem. I don't really know. I mean.. I'm just starting with this." she hmms, 'Privacy, I guess. I would love to have someone else there, who isn't involved. I mean.. if I'm doing it, someone else is having it done to them, it'd be good to have a third party, to keep watch or something."

Hiro smiles to Ali as she leaves, watching her go before turning his attention fully back to Sophie, "I think I may know just the person. She can be trusted. She will help. She is learning to use her power as well."

Sophie takes a breath, looking relieved. "Good. I mean, trusted is good, so that if something seems to be going wrong, at least I can be moved away or something. If she knows not to touch my skin."

"I will organize a time for us all to meet," Hiro says with a nod, "You have my number … can you give me Miss Ali's number so that I can invite her too? So you have somebody you know well there with you?"

Sophie nods as she pulls out her phone, and says, "I would like that, if possible, for her and for you. Some of them will likely take three people to really test. I know I can..mmm.. take a copy from one person, and give it to another. I call it a copy because, well, the other person, far as I know, doesn't lose it."

Hiro nods once again, listening intently, "Very interesting. Very useful, too."

Sophie says, "I.. I hope so." softly. "I hope I can learn to turn it off, but I also hope I can find a way to make it work to help people."

Hiro smiles, his first genuine smile that is unhindered by depression, at Sophie's words. He pats her on the shoulder in a friendly fashion, "I am glad to hear that."

After a pause, he reaches for the menu and opens it before her, "Do you like waffles?"

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