2007-03-24: Starbucks Karaoke


Steven_icon.gif Claudine_icon.gif

Summary: Impromptu Performance at the Local Starbucks

Date It Happened: March 24, 2007

Starbucks Karaoke

Downtown, NYC-Starbucks

Coming in for a bit of a study break on this fine Easter Sunday is a young Filipina woman that seems to have a few stitches on her cheeks and forehead. Looks like she got into a car accident or something, but at least she's over how she looks now, so that's always good. There's a black backpack slung over her shoulder as she heads into the line while perusing the various sweets. "Thank God it's Easter, I can have sugar again…” she muses to no one in particular.

Finally! The Barista understands the order and calls it out, allowing the woman to move and the young African-American teen to order in a smooth but mildly friendly voice, "Soy Vanilla Latte…" Struggling to shift the various books to reach his wallet, which is attached to a chain attached to his designer cargo shorts, He ends up dropping all the book much to the dismay of the other would-be customers in the line who all seem to issue a depressing groan. As the books fall, the hidden book is shown, its cover plastered with a DNA double-helix and title reading, "Activating Evolution". Steven embarrassed at his mistake kneels to gather his books.

Why is it that people have to carry that book around? Gah. She's not in the mood to try to bring someone into the Company at the moment, and so she just furrows her brow upon sight of the book. "You know that guy is a charlatan, right?" Claudine says matter of factly before ordering her venti vanilla latte'. Of course, she feels bad saying that considering she knows Mohinder, but she tries to hide it nonetheless, just waiting to gauge his reaction.

Steven looks up at the woman and flashes a bright smile as he continues to gather his books, "Really? Who?" Steven picks up the book and turns to the picture on the back, "This guy? Well, I'm not trying to get to know him and I really suck at science. So I just picked this up for a few bucks at the book exchange and decided to brush up on my genetics." Steven chuckles a bit nervously as he stands and pays the Barista.

"If you want genetics, get something that doesn’t cite discredited theories. He's a crackpot…” Claudine says once more, firmly and resolutely as even she knows that some of the stuff is whack, which kind of makes her angry considering it sort of makes it harder for people to believe in people with powers. She should know. Her attention then goes back to the barista and smiles warmly while paying and receiving her latte. "If you want a basic text on genetics, I recommend Introduction to Genetic Analysis, 5th edition or Vogt's Biochemistry 6th Ed." she says firmly and resolutely before heading over to where the lids are.

"I'll be sure to pick that up for some light reading." Steven says sarcastically tucking the book under all the rest like it was before. As she walks away, Steven gives her the once over and then follows the woman over, waiting for his drink to be ready, "However, like I said Science isn't one of my stronger subjects. Then again I go to a performing arts school so it's not like any one cares…." He adds with the same smile that seems to have been drawn on his face with a permanent marker.

"Well, it's not an excuse to learn disproven theories of evolution. Lamarckian evolution is the basis of Pokémon. It's basically 'I wish I could level up, when I hit 20, my offspring get +1 dex'. So yeah, that's my main beef with the book. Other than that, it's all right…” Claudine says with a shrug of her shoulders while she starts to stir in some cinnamon on the foam before stirring it in. And she's younger than him! She's more of a girl, than a woman…

With a quick dash of some artificial sweetener, Steven takes a sip of his drink, "Well, I'm glad I got your review of the book but I think I give it a quick look." He takes another sip and then notices her bag, "What school do you attend and where can I sign up for Science lessons?"

"Columbia…” Claudine says matter of factly as she runs her fingers through her hair. "I'm a biochem major there, and we had a seminar class on evolution last semester. Only reason why I know 'bout it…” smiling warmly in the end before extending her hand out to him. "I'm Claudine by the way, but most people call me 'Dine."

Steven puts his books down on a table near by, "Hi, I'm Steven" He politely shakes the girl's hand, "I attend the School of the Performing Arts, majoring in Music Appreciation. Nice to meet you and your strong views on evolution." He chuckles warmly.

"Hey…I figure if they still rely on old theories, then the creationists win…” Claudine replies with a toothy grin before heading on over to one of the tables, and she pulls out a green and grey textbook. "This is the book you want if you actually want to learn something factual…” she says while pulling out her Intro to Genetic Analysis text.

Steven chuckles and moves his books to the table. He takes another sip of his drink and takes a seat at the table, "Hmmm, I'll be sure to look for it." He then opens his Music Appreciation book and sits back calmly in his seat, "So, why Columbia?" he asks his smile turning into a grin.

"Ivy league schools offering young daughters of Filipino farmers a great education is kind of a big deal back home. That and I'm fully covered, and I wanted to see New York. It was either here or Stanford in the end, and I liked New York better…”Claudine admits ruefully while crossing her legs at the table to get a tad bit more comfortable. "What about you? Big music guy? Most music I do is karaoke…” she says with a giggle.

"Then you're already a step ahead than more sophomores at my school. There's a big difference between learning music and actually performing it." He laughs a little, "But my music /education/, started when I was a young boy playing drums on a couple of kitchen pots in my grandmother's lounge on Miami Beach." A brief image of sorrow crosses his face as he mentions his grandmother but it is quickly replaced by his smile once again.

"That's cute. Mine started with the piano, like all good little Asian girls. But I was really more into singing than anything else…” Claudine admits ruefully as she takes an occasional sip of her drink.

"Oh, really!" Steven, who had been attempting to study, closes his music book then leans back in his chair and crosses his arms defiantly, "Let's see what you got!" He motions towards her, beckoning her to perform.

Claudine blinks blankly for a few moments as she looks over to Steven and her cheeks flush a bright red. "Um…here? Now? Acapella?"

Steven looks around comically waving his hands in the air, "Umm…Yes, Now, Acapella!" He says to her, making a fist as if holding an imaginary microphone and puts it in front of her, motioning her to begin.

She quickly looks around at the various people and grumbles something under her breath while wrinkling her nose a bit. "Um…I…well.umm…I dont know what to sing…” she says, trying to make up an excuse. Claudine loves to sing, but being put on the spot, not so much.

Steven continues to push, "A brilliant geneticist such as yourself /can't/ be shy! There must be /some/ song in the pretty little head of yours! Just imagine you're in your shower singing into your shampoo bottle." He laughs as he watches her squirm.

So she catches the sarcasm and she wrinkles her nose a little while giving him a glare now. Mean glare here! "Okay…so I was a bitch bout the book, you dont have to call me out on it while being all passive aggressive…” Claudine grumbles.

Steven holds up his hands in mock defense, "Whoa, Whoa! I'm not trying to embarrass you." He leans closer and tries to fight off the mean glare with his own signature puppy dog "I'm soooo sawry" eyes, "I just thought that someone with so much passion for their field of research would have a great voice…" he says in a soft, sweet, "don't hate me" voice.

"Since when?" and with that she just gives him a rather confused look. "That makes no sense, why would those two things be correlated at all?" Claudine asks as she scratches the back of her head now. at least the mean glare is gone now. It's been replaced with the 'are you on crack?' look.

Steven leans back and now has his "matter-of-fact" face on, "All great musicians have passion. Even people who aren't professional singers can sound great as long as they have passion for what ever it is they're doing. You even been studying your RNA or DNA or nuclei or whatever and suddenly start humming a tune or started lip-syncing?" He raises a knowing eyebrow, "That’s just that build up in passion trying to let off some steam."

"Okay, so maybe I do that, but I listen to music while studying…” Claudine grumbles in admission as she brushes some loose strands of hair from her face. "But…um…I mean, I dont…just sing with all sorts of strangers around…I mean, anyplace that isnt a karaoke bar anyway…”

"Oh so you're materialistic?"

"How does that make me materialistic?!?" Okay, now she's really confused.

Steven motions to the other people in the cafe, "What makes this place any different from a karaoke bar? Some music and speakers? You're still singing to strangers. All you have is the comfort of a mic…which I am offering…" He flashes another bright smile and once again offers her the invisible microphone.

If she could be anywhere, it definitely wouldn’t be here. Claudine looks rather sheepish now as she sinks into her chair while shifty eyeing everyone in the bar. "I…uh…”

Claudine sighs and takes a deep breath as she looks on over to a few people seeming to setup. There is music here on occasion, so she gives Steven a big angry glare before easing on up to talk to those at the make shift stage…okay, so he's convinced her. while she's talking to them, of course, she points at him, and the people chuckle a bit, but they let her get situated.

She just looks out over the crowd while chewing on her bottom lip a bit nervously before wrinkling her nose. "Um…hi. So um…I'm going to be doing the first number. It's a song from where I grew up, and um…I hope you guys all like it…”

The guitarist then starts strumming gently as she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath as the melody starts to play. Soon, she starts to sing, her voice a soft mezzo soprano with an almost wispy like quality.

~I was kinda hesitant to tell you, should I let you know. I was never really like this before; need I say more. Or maybe I'm confused when you are near me. I don't know what to do or I should be. There's only one thing in my mind. That's you and me…I'm a little bit crazy. I'm a little bit of a fool. I'm a little bit lonely. I'm a little bit of all; Oh, I need a cure; Just a little bit of you and I will fall…~

Steven leans back in his seat and crosses his arms, bopping with the beat. Yeah he thought she might be able to sing but nothing like this. Suddenly he stands and steps up to the guitarist on the side and during a break in the music takes over, following Claudine's lead.

Soon enough, Claudine starts to lose herself in the moment, closing her eyes as she continues to sing softly. It's obvious she connects with the lyrics, but who is it to?

~I'm always on the run to see you, Would you allow me to? It wasn't my attention to hurt you. This feeling is true. Or maybe I'm confused when you are near me. I don't know what to do or I should be. There's only one thing in my mind. That's you and me…I'm a little bit crazy. I'm a little bit of a fool. I'm a little bit lonely. I'm a little bit of all; Oh, I need a cure; Just a little bit of you and I will fall…~

Steven continues playing, often glancing at the crowd and Claudine, but mostly Claudine.

And soon enough, she reaches the end of the song and takes a deep breath, before looking over to the crowd. "Um. Thanks.." Claudine says rather sheepishly before hopping off the make shift stage, trying to cover her face as she heads back to seat and she looks over to Steven, "There..Hope you're happy now…”

Nearly all of the patrons in the cafe give the "band" a standing ovation. Even the band members clap as Claudine and Steven take there seats. Steven goes back to his drink as if nothing at all had happened, "See…that wasn't so bad…"

Her cheeks burn a bright tinge of red as she gives a sheepish little smile to the patrons and the band as well, obviously not use to the attention before she looks over to Steven. "I…guess…” Claudine says softly while staring down at her cup before taking a sip of her now cold vanilla latte.

"You guess?" Steven motions to the patrons, now sitting but still whispering and gossiping over the performance. He takes another sip, "Oh how humble!" he says with a laugh, "No really, you were very good. Better than I thought…." He adds with a sly wink.

"You were hoping I'd make a total fool of myself, weren’t you…” Claudine says in an almost accusatory tone, but at least she chuckles in the end while smiling brightly towards the other patrons. She’s just not use to attention, and she tries to remove herself from the limelight usually.

"No, of course not!" He replies in mock anger and then softens suddenly and leans close giving the dog eyes again, "Do I look like I would do something like that?" he adds, finishing his drink.

She just looks him straight in the eyes and nods ever so slowly for dramatic effect. "Yes."

Steven leans back in his seat and laughs, "After such a short time together, it appears as though you know me all too well!" He claps his hands together as though he is "proud" of her.

As naive as she was when she first moved to the United States, Claudine's learned a few things and reading shady guys is one of those things that she's learned. SHADY! "Well, it was kind of obvious, so in the end I just thought I'd give you what you wanted…jerk." Claudine chuckles softly after calling him a jerk though. It was an affectionate jerk.

"Seems as though you fit right in here," He chuckles, "But either way….I got you to do it." He sticks a playful but childish tongue out at her.

"What is that suppose to mean?" Claudine asks while sticking her tongue out towards him in the end. She nods in the end, having to admit that she was goaded into it, "You are an ass…” Again, it's affectionate.

Steven nods knowingly, "Yes….I am an ass. But a charming ass all the same." He flashes another sly grin, "So, when are you tutoring me in Science?"

"Riiiight.." Claudine says with a slight roll of her eyes as she looks him over once more and then she almost chokes at the question. "Never, unless you pay…” That was deadpan this time. See, she can be a jerk back!

"Pay?" Steven seems taken aback, "I just set you for life. You'll be making all kinds of money now, thanks to me!" he exclaims jokingly.

"You did that how exactly? By goading me into singing while you thought I was going to make a complete fool of myself?" Claudine says with a healthy bit of skepticism while she crosses her arms across her chest. She's definitely giving him sassitude now.

Once again, that "matter-of-fact" face comes and Steven gets ready for another long explanation, as he motions around, "Some body in this cafe has to know some music mogul. And sure enough by your performance today, they are going to tell that music mogul and using his music mogul powers he going to find you and then you're going to make lots of money." he takes a breath after his long run-on sentence and then continues, "And you have me to thank for it." he add with another bright smile.

"Uh…” and she pauses a little while raising her brows a bit before finishing.”Huh. Cause of course everyone knows a music mogul, and I don’t think P. Diddy is having an open casting call for Making the Band One Million anytime soon.." Claudine says with a shake of her head before she looks at him with a wry grin. "Tuesday. And what do you need science tutoring for…you're in the performing arts?"

Steven shrugs slightly, "Why do you sing well?" he raises a questioning eyebrow with a grin, "You're a geneticist, right?"

"Nope. I'm just a fishie in college with an unhealthy fascination for molecular bio and biochemistry…” Claudine admits ruefully before she wrinkles her nose at the first question.

"Well, all I'm trying to do is expand my horizons…."

"Okay, well expanding horizons is always good…” Claudine says with a sage nod. "Just wanting to see whether or not it's also a way to get me to go out with you or not…”

Steven raises a questioning eyebrow, "What makes you think I would want to go out with you?" he says with a grin.

"Cause I'm cute and I'm smart and I can sing…” Claudine says with an impish giggle.

"All great qualities I admit, but what makes /you/ different," He says pointing at her, from all the other co-eds in New York?"

"Isn’t that a question you should be answering? You're the one asking me out…” Claudine quips back with a soft chuckle.

"I simply asked for a tutor, if that were to lead to a date…." he winks slyly

Claudine hrmms for a few moments and lets out a soft chuckle under her breath once more. "You want to know the difference between me and all the other girls? Only I can rock your world like no other." she says with an enigmatic little smile in the end.

This time Steven raises a curious eyebrow, "Oh, really." he says calmly and then eyes her curiously, "Well, perhaps if I had your number we could see who ends up getting shaken in the end…."

With that Claudine snickers a little as she knew a comment like that would get his attention. She proceeds to give him her number and nods, "There you go…”

Steven records the number in his phone and then notes that he has spent way more time here than he had intended, "It was a pleasure meeting you, Claudine but I must be getting to school. You have already robbed me of my study time and I just can't let you take anymore of my time." He gathers his books and his empty cup, "Well, at least until our /second/ date." he adds quickly.

Claudine laughs heartily as she nods and eases on up. "I better get going too. And a word of advice…only two kinds of people read that book…” pointing towards Activating Evolution. "Crackpots and 'special' people wanting to find out answers…” she says before heading towards the door.”Don’t want too many people to know you're in the second category, right? SO be careful…” She's just tossing it out there, but if he is evolved, she wouldn’t want him grabbed by the Company. At least until he proves to be dangerous enough for her to bring in.

Steven turns as if to ask her a question but instead just smiles, gives her another wink, and walks out.

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