2007-05-28: Don't Be a Joiner


Mallory_icon.gif Ryan_icon.gif

Summary: Mallory needs a place to sit, Ryan's got the room.

Date It Happened: May 28, 2007

Don't Be a Joiner

Common Grounds

It's just afternoon in Manhattan, and the lunch crowd is in full swing at Common Grounds. Businessmen and students alike are getting a coffee and café sandwich fix at the same time. And sitting by himself at a table, Ryan is working on his own sandwich and iced coffee as he reads a stack of forms stamped with the NYU logo.

A pretty young blonde stands with a coffee in one hand and two sandwiches balanced in the other, looking rather lost as she discovers, to her dismay, that there are no empty tables. After looking as though she might give up hope, she approaches Ryan's table. "Excuse me! Hi. I was, ah, wondering… Would you mind if I sat down here with you? There's no place else to sit, and…" A blush creeps into her cheeks.

Ryan smiles at the girl, "Yeah, sure. Kinda crowded, isn't it?" He scoots over to make room for her.

"A bit," the girl admits. After setting her things, and herself, down, she extends a hand to the boy. "I'm Mallory."

Ryan shakes the offered hand. "Ryan. Nice to meet you." He shuffles his papers to set them aside for later. "You work around here? I think it's a kind of local crowd here."

"Work? Naw." Mallory shakes her head. "I study here, most of the time. I like the atmosphere! And you must not be from around here, then." She plunks a finger down on Ryan's paperwork. "Transferring?"

Ryan chuckles. "Yeah. It's not formal, but it's as good as a done deal. So, I'm filling out the aplications and medical info and all that crap. What's your major?"

"Tch. High school?" Duh. Mallory grins and unwraps her first sandwich. "I'm not ready for college yet. M'only sixteen."

Ryan rubs his forehead and smiles sheepishly. "OH, man….sorry about that. I thought you were older…" He shakes his head in amusement. "I guess the paperwork's starting to get to me."

"I'll take it as a compliment." Mallory giggles cutely and takes a small bite of her lunch. "So, what are /you/ majoring in?"

Ryan cracks his neck a bit, feeling a little uncomfortable now that he knows the girl's real age. "Ummm…I'm transfering into pre-med. Hopefully I'll have a summer internship to go along with it."

"Ooh. Gross anatomy, ho!" If the mention of the class used to weed out med students bothers Mallory, she sure doesn't show it. She's still got a healthy appetite for her chicken salad.

Ryan chuckles. "Yup. Become a doctor and play with dead people and body parts…." He smiles a bit and takes a drink of his coffee. "ANyways, I'm more into the genetics side of medicine."

"Genetics, huh?" That causes the girl's brows to hike upward. "What's got you interested in /that/?"

Ryan coughs a bit at the question. "Hmm? Oh, it just sort of…grabbed my attention. It's kinda hard explaining it…" He pushes the question aside for the moment and focuses on eating his turkey sandwich.

"Try?" Mallory gives Ryan her best sweet smile. She's genuinely interested, it would seem.

Ryan thinks for a bit, chewing his sandwich. "Well….I was an okay high school student. I got by okay on my basic smarts, but I really didn't have an idea what i wanted to do for a living. I went to college pretty much becasue that's what my dad expected of me. So, I bummed around Stanford for a couple years, trying to find what I wanted to do. And what would be acceptable. And then this fall, out of the blue, genetics just clicked with me when I took the class."

"That's cool," Mallory utters around a mouthful of food, nodding appreciatively. "I'm really into evolutionary theory. But shh! Don't tell anyone. I'm too blonde to be smart."

Ryan chuckles. "Yeah, I know the feeling. I was too jock to be smart, and I ended up wasting a lot of time and money trying to figure out who I am. All the popularity stuff in high school: the cliques, the dances…none of it really matters in the long run, you know?"

Mallory rolls her eyes. "Says you. I can ignore all that stuff, sure, but my life will be miserable if I do. If you can't beat them, join them."

Ryan smiles a bit. "Yeah, but just make sure you don't lose who you are by just being a joiner. You shouldn't be afraid to just be who you are and not worry about what others think. If they've got a problem, well, that's their problem, not yours."

"I know," Mallory chimes cheerfully. "You don't need to worry about me!" She pops the last of her first sandwich in her mouth and gathers up the second. "I should get going. It was nice talking to you! Thanks for letting me share your table!" The enthusiastic blonde hops to her feet and starts for the exit, lunch in tow.

Ryan nods and smiles. "Sure…see you around."

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