2007-03-23: Groveling Won't Go Amiss


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Summary: Lachlan tries to beg Cass' forgiveness after the events of Napkingate 2007

Date It Happened: March 23, 2007

Groveling Won't Go Amiss

Enlightenment Books

Though Enlightenment is normally closed on Sundays, Cass has opened it today. Many people in her same situation would brood and stay in bed to feel sorry for themselves. And, in fact, she did do that earlier, but then she decided to make herself busy. It's easier to keep her mind off of the last couple of days and their events if she forces herself to be cheerful and customer service oriented. The store is mostly empty, since most of the regulars know the store's regular hours. But, there are one or two people browsing and Cass is going through a book about time traveling and it's practical uses with one of them, giggling over an illustration of a man time traveling to Napoleon days. It's hard to tell that anything's wrong.

The same can't be said for Lachlan, who looks to be a bit of a mess. Still slightly hungover from his "emotional recovery" last night, he put on a pair of sunglasses, bought a flower, and went in search of Cass — or, rather, he went to her apartment, found her not there (he decided; the thought that she was completely ignoring and avoiding him didn't cross his mind) and /then/ went in search. Enlightenment Books isn't usually open on Sundays, but having flunked reading comprehension a few times, he doesn't know that. It's lucky for him that it /is/ open on this particular Sunday. He steps inside meekly, rose clutched in one hand and the leash attached to Bonnie held in the other. It doesn't look like he's changed clothes since last night, but this isn't unusual.

When the door opens, Cass automatically lifts her eyes from the silly picture to see who it is entering. A smile is already growing to greet a new customer, but it freezes on her face when she sees who it is that's entering. Quickly and pointedly, she turns back to her customer to continue their conversation. "You just have to be careful about disrupting time continuum. Sure, you can go back to JFK's assassination, just make sure you don't accidentally knock out Lee Harvey Oswald while you're watching. Or those guys on the lawn, if that's more your brand of conspiracy." Yes, just ignore the hungover Scot and maybe he'll get the idea and go away. It's lucky that the older gentleman she's talking to is the one holding the book because her hands are shaking. To hide that fact, she sticks them in her back pocket and continues to glue her eyes to the pages of this silly book.

Hints don't usually work on Lachlan, but this one is so blatant and cold that he'd have to be dead not to pick up on it. Still, he's a stubborn bugger, and with no Jack and no Jane to interfere, he's going to have his say. He starts moving for the counter in a notably timid fashion — were he a dog, he might be crawling along on his belly — and once he reaches it, he moves to the side of the customer currently speaking to Cass and slides the rose forward. "Hey," he greets quietly. "Brough' ye somethin'." Customers? What customers?

Oh, what Cass /would/ give for Jack and/or Jane to be here to play bouncer. The last thing she wants is another scene like the night before. Though there are very few customers in the store, she doesn't want them /all/ to know why she's ignoring this man. Even if she's /trying/ to ignore Lachlan it's like trying to ignore that pink elephant in the room. Her eyes are turned to the book, but she's watching him move closer in her peripheral vision. When Lachlan speaks, both customer and Cass finally look toward him. Her gaze flickers down to the flower now on the counter and then back up to Lachlan. "Thanks," she replies coldly before turning back to time traveling. She will not speak to him more than is necessary. All that calm and good feeling she had slowly built up throughout the day is quickly disappearing.

Hmm. Well. This is going just /splendidly/, isn't it? There are a few moments of awkward silence from Lachlan as he glances between Cass and her customer, half-expecting the latter to take the obvious hint and /go away/ — but no. Hrf. The Scotsman takes a deep breath and addresses the bookstore owner again in much the same tone: "Can I, uh, talk ta ye?" The "alone" part is implied.

The customer, though interested in time travel and JFK assassinations is not an idiot. He can tell that something is going on here and he certainly doesn't want to be in the middle of it. Taking his book, he rapidly makes his excuses to go read it and allow these two their moment alone.

Cass could kill her customer. She was counting on him to be her shield and excuse to not talk to Lachlan. But he flees and she can't just grab him and plant him next to her. Taking her hands out of her back pockets, she crosses her arms in front of her in the patented 'not happy' position. "What." Maybe if she stays here he won't make a huge scene in front of other people. Oh, who is she kidding? Turning around, she heads for a corner of the bookstore so she can hopefully avoid a scene.

This is Lachlan Deatley — scenes in public places are /what he does/. However, he does seem to be a bit quieter than usual this time around. Maybe he doesn't want a scene either. Then again, what he's about to do is something no Scotsman in the world should ever have to do in his life: admit he was in the wrong. He follows after Cass and, once they've come to a halt, he stands there silently for a moment and nervously rubs over his mouth and nose with one hand. Ergh, this is some seriously tough stuff. "Look, uh," he starts, looking everywhere but directly at the bookstore owner's face, "last nigh' — everythin'. Wha' I did ta ye an' … all o' tha' — it was stupid, a'righ'? Shouldna've treated ye like tha'. An' last nigh', I wasna gonna do it anymore, but … all tha' happened an' … 'm sorry."

Once in the corner, Cass turns around and leans against the wall for support. It's one of the few places not covered by shelves and she will take advantage of that fact. She forces herself to look directly at Lachlan now that they're here and she can't avoid him any longer. Pasted onto her face is a frown of epic proportions and she definitely looks like she would rather be anywhere else but here. "No. You shouldn't have." The apology is something, but that doesn't mean that she accepts it. "Fine. Now you've talked to me. I need to go back to my customers."

Not exactly the outcome for which Lachlan was hoping, and he's once again desperate not to let Cass leave. Swallowing hard, he steps a little to one side just to be /sure/ her path is blocked. There's still more he's got to say. "Dunna be like tha'," he almost whines. "'S no' … I wanna make it up ta ye. Can I make it up ta ye sometime?" Pleeeeeeeease?

It's a corner, so there are very limited ways for Cass to escape. Lachlan's side-step effectively makes it impossible for her to get away unless she forcibly pushes pat him. Which she doesn't want to do right now. "Make it up to me." Cass's voice is deadpan and she just glares at Lachlan. There's a pause and then she takes a deep breath, as if trying to keep herself from yelling. It works, but she can't keep her angry words from spilling out in a rushed hiss. "You slept with someone else, Lachlan. And then you lied to me about it and then made it seem like /I/ was being the crazy one. And /then/ you got /Jack/ to cover up for you. So then you come in here with you 'sorry I slept with someone else' rose and tell /me/ to not 'be like that'? What are you going to do try to make up for that? /How/ in the hell do you think you can?"

"Wh— I dinna get Jack ta …" Wait. Yeah, he did. Kinda. A little. Lachlan trails off with a sigh, quelling his righteous indignation (which isn't really so righteous). He seems to droop a bit, staring at the tips of his boots a moment in contemplation. Truthfully, he doesn't know how he could make it up to her. He's never actually /had/ to make it up to /anyone/. "Dunno," he mutters finally, "but I …" Another unfinished sentence. But what?

"But you /what/, Lachlan." Cass frowns and tosses her best penetrating glare at the drooping Scotsman. It's really angering her that she still cares about the fact that he looks so hurt. Tightening the grip that she has on her own arms, she reminds herself that he brought this on himself and grants no parlance.

Good question. Lachlan /knows/ the answer; /saying/ it is another matter entirely. He fidgets uncomfortably, hands stuffed into the pockets of his jacket. After several moments of breathing and thinking, he mutters, "I really like ye, Cass. 'S no' somethin' I wanna lose. 'M really sorry." His voice isn't very loud; the first bit might be difficult to pick up.

While Lachlan may know the answer to this question, Cass does not. It's open-ended and who knows what he may say there. Though Lachlan's answer is quiet, the store is also pretty silent and she's got good ears. It's muttering and somewhat heartfelt, but Cass is not really ready for it. "Yeah, well, you really like me until some easy high-kicking Rockette throws herself at you. And then it's Cass who." She shakes her head at Lachlan. "You may be sorry, but I just can't forgive you yet."

It's true that Lachlan struggles with self-control. It's very obvious, really. Still, he's making the effort (now), so at least he's capable of learning. There's not much else he can say either, so he nods a bit and simply steps out of Cass' way. She has customers to get back to.

To be honest, there really aren't the many customers to get back to. The time traveler has since left the store and the other two seem to be quite content to thumb through their books by themselves. But just standing there in that corner is starting to break her heart a little. And that will not do in front of the man that did it to her. As soon as he clears the path, Cass takes the opportunity to escape and goes straight for the safety of behind the counter.

Lachlan stays where he is a moment after Cass has retreated, watching her. He's soon heading off for the door, though. /He/ didn't come here to thumb through books about time travel or conspiracies, and he's not going to start now. The Scotsman departs as quietly as he arrived.

Unlike when Lachlan came in, Cass watches his departure with a distinct frown on her face. Once behind the desk, she settles into her chair. She puts her face in her hands for a few minutes to catch her breath and stop herself from shaking from both suppressed anger and sadness. Then, once she's gotten herself back in control, she picks her head back up again and goes back to pretending that nothing is wrong.

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