2008-08-18: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Time


Randall_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif

Summary: Relationship Fail #3 comes within measurable distance of its end.

Date It Happened: August 18, 2008

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Time

Au Naturale Market, Greenwich Village

With another work shift wound down - this month's gig involves the meat department at an A & P down the street - Randall is finally enjoying some personal time, leafing through the contents of the bookshelf in search of worthwhile finds. A short basket of vegetables is leaned up against the nearest patch of open wall… you tend to lose your appreciation for sausage after staring at it all day long. Even potato salad gets old in a hurry.

"…no, seriously, Iah," says the white-haired girl with the big electric blue eyes (that she swears aren't contacts), "I promise you are going to find shallots here. For cheap, even." Kory doesn't answer. She simply follows her hyperactive friend into the market, silently drifting toward the CDs. Good music to mix and mash is always her first priority, particularly since she spins on the internet at night now, too. After a moment, she calls, "Ocean, it wasn't shallots I wanted." She doesn't say what it was she wanted.

The mention of Ocean doesn't cause Randall to so much bat an eye - plenty names like that around here, there was a Savannah that came through just half an hour ago. The mention of Ocean in that particular voice is another matter. "Rutabagas are on aisle two," he murmurs automatically; he doesn't look up from his book, but his eyes do flicker sideways for a moment.

If Kory hears Randall, she gives no sign. And why is pretty obvious; she has earbuds in. Ocean must be talking to her on her bluetooth, from the other ear, despite the fact they're two feet from each other. Geeks. "Mangalores?" Kory says curiously, peering at one of the jewel cases. "Somebody named a band Mangalores?"

Randall does set the book down, now, and wanders over to look for himself. "That is pretty obscure. But in a good way, I can see Zorg heading up a music label…" By now, he's close enough to be seen as well as heard, and offers the pair a casual wave. Hi, Ocean, don't mind me.

Ocean has found the shallots, and has a double fistful as she approaches the music section. Only she stops. Cute guy digging on the Iah? That's not uncommon, but since her friend seems practically sleepwalking through life since July, she's willing to see if the attention of the opposite sex will succeed where she can't.

"No way," Kory says in a sort of dreamy, distant voice. "The harmony was off on that last track. I am very disapp—" and she cuts off, as the turn of her head brings her to see whose quip she was responding to. The CD falls from her fingers.

Several things happen in the next few seconds:

Randall, acting on instinct, steps forward and tries to grab the CD before it hits the ground. At the same time, so does Ocean. This does unpleasant things to their heads, and no good whatsoever for the CD, which clatters to the ground.

A second later, as the two straighten up and begin to mumble apologies, another shopper nearly runs into both of them in turn, instead veering over and knocking some oranges off of a display rack. The toddler sitting in the shopping cart thinks this is the funniest thing ever, pointing and giggling.

Kory watches the comedic byplay, and manages to stay out of it, by freezing where she is until her friend and her not-quite-ex have stood up again. She then crouches to retrieve the CD itself. Fortunately it is pretty much unscathed. "Um." A pause. "Randall, Ocean. Ocean, Randall."

Ocean narrows her blue eyes thoughtfully. "Wait, the Randall with the pancakes? That Randall?" She smiles brightly at him. "She's right. You are cute." Without waiting for a response, Ocean saunters deeper into the store, pausing only to chuck her cellphone over her shoulder at Kory. "Hold that for me." The better to give the DJ no option to call her back.

Randall returns Ocean's smile, if faintly, another instinctive thought attempting to rise to the surface before he smacks it back into place. "So, uh, how about the Yankees? I hear they're doing well and/or badly." The awkwardness is obvious enough, let's go ahead and hang a lampshade on it.

"Oh, well, they do that, yeah," Kory says quietly, eyes dropping to the CD in her hands. "How've you been?"

Randall shrugs. "Keeping busy. Work, study, the usual." Beat. "Not a lot of Chinese curse intruding, not like the… well, not like the last time we talked. What about you, besides the usual drama at the store?"

"Good," Kory says quietly, and then repeats the word with a bit more enthusiasm when he tells her life hasn't been interesting. Dull is safe. "Oh, started DJing on the 'net." She doesn't sleep; she's gotta do something. "Still got that nexus point in your living room or whatever?" The only other place besides the Lair or Enlightenment they could have this conversation, and they're standing in it. "It's not draining or anything?" That question sounds almost hopeful.

Randall shakes his head. "Things are shifting, but not completely yet— I get the sense that I need to finish taking advantage while I can." He rubs his chin, not at all certain how he feels about that. He wants to puruse his ideas as far as he can, but he doesn't want to be apart from Kory, but she doesn't… "Still got strange people showing up and attacking the apartment, or is that pattern broken now" He declines to acknowledge that anyone was ever attacking her.

"Well, I…I hope that all works out for you," Kory says, mustering a little genuine sincerity. It's important to him, so even if she doesn't grasp how what he says could be possible, she tries for his sake. "Um, no…not …not for a few weeks now. Third door is still there, even." Her lips quirk in a wry smile.

Has it only been that long? They've been out of touch for longer, before… first by accident, then when the whole Sylar thing in 9th Wonders spooked him off. It took Leslie happening to fix things, that time. "Well, that's good," Randall muses, glancing around— yup, Ocean's still leaving them alone, occupying herself with the Weekly World News instead. (HUMAN CHAMELEON LANDS VEGAS ACT!) "Might get some of your security deposit back after all."

"I don't think Hiro has the heart to pick on me for security after all that's happened," Kory says, one shoulder lifting in a shrug. Because, really, where was the would-be superhero when they needed him? Nowhere to be seen. Kory's trying to be hopeful that he's still alive, still all right, but hope isn't something she has a large supply of these days.

Randall shrugs and nods. And, not knowing him as well, assumes that he's busy saving the world somewhere else— not everything happens in New York, even if it feels that way sometimes. "Anyway, I'd better leave you two to finish your shopping. I'll call you if I figure anything out with that problem we were working on, all right?" Not that he has any idea what that would be. He could take a martial arts class, but what good is that against the type of trouble they're expecting?

"It can wait." Kory glances across the store. Ocean is now chatting up the coffee barista. "Maybe the best way to face the problem we were working on is the same way we faced the last problem we had to deal with?" She doesn't quite come right out and say 'I've missed you' in so many words, but it's written all over her face.

Randall clasps his hands behind his back. "…I don't know, Ocean doesn't really strike me as the 'slip a mickey into the beer bottle' type, y'know?" As long as no one's especially paying them any attention, he takes a step closer, reaching a hand out.

"No, she bounces on Ladies night, actually," Kory confirms. "She's tougher than she looks." And she looks like a Tolkien elf. "But you know what I meant…" She lifts her own hand toward his in return.

Randall nods, lacing his fingers with hers. It's good for as long as it lasts. "I need to get on the road before too long" - partly for the research, mostly because he does need to sleep - "but I'll call you Saturday, see if we can get something together?"

"That sounds…really good," Kory says, venturing a little hint of a smile. "It…it's a date," she says, voice quavering a little. Going out on a limb is not much a specialty with her.

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