2007-03-03: Miscommunication


Stefanie_icon.gif TC_icon.gif

Summary: T.C. goes looking for some herbal assistance with insomnia. Stefanie, obligingly, helps out.

Date It Happened: March 3rd, 2007


Au Naturale Market, Greenwich Village

The sun is high on a mild Winter's day, the season clinging to the last vestiges of life before Spring comes bouncing in. Surfaces are wet due to gradual melting and puddles abound. It's 4pm on this lovely Monday, and instead of enjoying it outside, Stefanie is inside her parents' market, taking her shift as the clerk. Business is slow at the moment, most people doing their organic shopping on the weekends, and patrons of her other services usually don't come by until the onset of the weekend. This gives Stefanie some precious reading time. Is it Algebra? English Lit? No. Judging from the cover and title of the book, it'd be in with genetics or biotechnology. Seem's like Stef is about a third of the way into 'Activating Evolution' by Dr. Chandra Suresh, and doesn't want to put it down.

The door opens, admitting a cool breeze from outside, along with a thin teenager wearing the rather d look of someone with too much work and too little sleep. He wipes his sneakers dry — or, dryer, anyway — just inside the door, and pauses to hitch his backpack up higher on his shoulders before glancing around the small store uncertainly. The tip of his tongue flicks out to wet his lips, and he squints from the bookshelf to the aisles, eyes narrowing to mere slits before, with a resigned sigh, he gives up the squinting and retrieves his glasses from his backpack instead. Ah. Much better.

Stefanie looks up and puts the book down, cover down. She smiles and looks over. "If you need anything and don't see it, just let me know."

"Huh? Oh — oh. Hi, miss." T.C. glances around the store once more before heading towards the counter. "I don't —" His hand gestures vaguely to the shelves. "Never been here before," he says sheepishly. "Friend at school suggested — I'm just looking for some tea," he explains. "Not sure where you keep — herbs."

Stefanie raises an eyebrow. Word does seem to be spreading, which means she needs to be more careful. "We have orange pekoe, black oolong and earl grey. We also carry the full line from Celestial Seasonings and Twinings. Any variety in particular you're looking for?"

T.C. looks mildly disappointed at this, his brows furrowing slightly. His head shakes. "Naw, that's — that's okay." His eyes fall the the book she put down with idle interest. His brows crease deeper, his tone growing somewhat more absent. "Been kind've — stressed — he suggested —" He breaks off with another shake of his head.

Stefanie giggles. "So you're looking for the Mexican variety." Wow.. someone more nervous about this then she is. "How much are you looking for? I strongly suggest just enough for 5 or so. If you're caught with anything more then that, you're in big trouble, and unfortunately I can't carry a satisfaction guarantee."

"Trouble?" T.C.'s eyes widen, eyebrows shooting up; he looks back up from the book to Stefanie. "I — I don't — want — /trouble/?" He looks quite flustered, and a touch bewildered. "I only — insomnia —" His lip catches between his teeth.

Stefanie nods slowly, a bit worried. It's been said that marijuana can bring on paranoia… She doesn't want that to happen to TC and have him flip out. Would be bad for both karma and business. "Alright." She says slowly. "I'll get you a half-bag, just to see if it helps. You do look like you need to relax, and this is the best way I can help." Either that or point him in the direction of a hooker, and that's just all sorts of wrong. "Do you have ten dollars on you?"

"Yes," T.C. replies uncertainly, pulling his wallet out and taking out two five dollar bills. He holds them out towards Stefanie. His eyes return to examining her book.

Stefanie waves off taking the money. "Hold onto it until I get back. Lemme see what Mama Kin do for you." She smiles and heads through a door in the back, taking about five minutes.

"Thanks, miss." T.C. still looks rather uncertain, but he waits by the counter. With the habit born of an inveterate bibliophile, he examines the book while he waits, eyebrows raising once he's identified it. Blink, blink.

Stefanie takes her time and makes her way back into the market proper. She looks around for any other patrons, and holds a baggy with a small amount of marijuana, about maybe 4 to 5 joints. She returns to the counter. "Do you need papers with those?" Those she sells legally, along with tobacco. Some purists like to roll their own cigarettes. She notices the book's moved, but acts like nothing's out of the ordinary. As far as she knows, the only people who know about her newfound abilities where the three at the bookstore.

"I just keep seeing this book over and over," T.C. comments idly, looking back from the counter to the girl. His eyes widen once more. He blinks at the bag in her hand, and takes a step back, reflexively, a bright blush flooding his cheeks. "Oh — oh, /gosh/. Oh — crap. I didn't — I didn't mean — I —" One hand lifts to cover his face, and he scrubs at his cheek before a nervous laugh escapes him. "I think I should start over," he says weakly. "I meant — uhm — I — herbs more along the line of — skullcap?" His hand drops, expression torn somewhere between amusement and mortification. It is leaning slightly towards the latter, though.

Stefanie chin drops… "Oh… my…" Good one, Stef. Time to come up with new safeguards. If this kid were some cop… Her face turns as red as her hair. "Damn, I'm so sorry." he should've said something.. No real tea is worth $10, and there's no tea from Mexico. "Here.." She says hurriedly with a nervous laugh. She leads him to the aisle with all the actual teas in it. "We've got quite a few. Skullcap, chamomile. Celestial still has their Sleepytime blend." She smiles. "I'll be right back.. just… lemme get rid of this real quick…" Book? What book? She runs to the back to toss the baggy out of sight and returns.

T.C.'s blush does not appear to want to fade; he covers his face again as she leads him towards the actual teas, mumbling a muffled apology into the palms of his hands. "Mmph," he says, when she returns. "I — man. Sorry. I didn't — I'm /really/ tired. And kind of — clueless. In case that wasn't — glaringly — obvious." He shakes his head again, picking some skullcap off the shelf. "Thanks, I — wow. I've never — uhm — done any — well! At least now I know where to —" Slowly, his blush begins to recede. Slowly.

Stefanie's eyes go wide.. "Um.. sure, if you ever.. just.." Gee, she should just flash him. "Can you just not mention this, though? Please?" She smiles sweetly. "I don't look very good in Rikers orange." She says with a blush, wondering if she may have to resort to that, however the young man doesn't *look* like the creepy old pervert type. She turns and heads back to the counter.

"I'm not!" T.C.'s hands lift in a vague gesture of surrender. "I wouldn't." He picks up some chamomile as well, and carries his herbs up to the counter. "So how much for — tea." Another slight blush. He sets the boxes down on the counter and fiddles with his wallet.

Stefanie smiles honestly. "Thanks. Don't worry about the tea. It's on the house due to the confusion." She takes the boxes and places them in the bag. "Hopefully you can get some sleep. We both need to be less jumpy."

T.C. laughs softly, and takes the bag. "Thanks — you sure? I mean it was my fault. I'm not very — words. They get lost on the way from my brain to my mouth." He doesn't put his wallet away just yet, still toying with it restlessly. "What do you think of the book? I've been — reading it."

Stefanie nods. "Definately sure. Don't sweat it." She's used to guys stammering in her vicinity, but they're usually freshman boys who can't seem to find where her face is. When the book is mentioned, she smiles. "I.. can't put it down! I went into this little bookstore last night and I just had to bring it home." She's certainly not going to mention *why*, but at least it'll move the conversation. "To think that humanity is on the verge of a mass evolution.. I mean, this stuff is the basis of all sorts of comic books and science fiction, but.. what if he's right?" She holds up the book, showing Chandra's picture on the back cover. "The guy is either an unparalleled genius or totally insane… And neither of those negate his theories. Einstein was nutters too."

T.C.'s head tilts, curious and thoughtful as she speaks. "Definitely interesting theories," he acknowledges carefully. "I mean, if it's /true/ that's pretty — crazy, eh? I've been reading comics obsessively since I was tiny. I mean." He loops the handles of the bag over one wrist, and his hands spread in a shrug. "Insanity, genius, fine line. The whole book could easily be dismissed as a bunch of pseudoscience psychobabble, but /man/. It's fascinating pseudoscience psychobabble to read, at least."

Stefanie nods. "Absolutely. Definately something to keep an open mind about. Well, take it easy, and try to get some sleep." She says as she retakes the seat of her stool.

T.C.'s smile quirks again, lopsided and sheepish. "Thanks for the tea." The hand with the bag looped around it lifts in a wave, and his head bows as he scuffs his way back to the exit.

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