2009-11-01: Straight Lines



Date: November 1, 2009


Claire and Hallis get noticed.

"Straight Lines"

Greenwich Village

The store is a small convenience store, simple and plain. The store title is even Convenience Store, even though a roughly a third of the letters aren't lit up. Currently there is no one in the store except for the clerk who appears to be not at all interested in the other two people in the store. He SHOULD be concerned about the state of this place, as the floor is dirty enough to cause one's shoes to stick slightly to it.

One of the two current patrons is a young blonde and close by her is an older man who does not seem pleased.

"No V8 in this place either. You'd think it was a national conspiracy against following the food pyramid," the Man in the Horn-Rimmed Glasses states in a dry tone. The bottle of carrot juice is given a critical eye for a few moments before putting it back in the refrigerated section with a sigh. Sandra's food was a lot better than most of the stuff they could get here, but like most things like Noah's life it is just another sacrifice that must be made.

"I don't know what you're complaining about," the blonde chirps between sips of her water bottle, playfully walking with her legs straight to give her pony tail just an extra 'oomph' to its sway as she moves with her hands shoved deeply into her jean pockets. "They have Yoohoo, ice cream, and Hostess Twinkies. Clearly, they're just biased against those passe' food pyramids." Claire stops at a display of very bizarre looking stress balls, extracts one of her hands, and then bends at the waist to lean in as she pokes at its neon-swirled surface with a sports-length manicured nail. Even as she pokes, she looks up at Noah with a too-innocent grin. "You gotta keep up, Dad. Get hip."

Greenwich Village, not the 'in' part of the city but it's home, for now. Little convenience stores dot almost every corner, this one no different from the one at the opposite end of the street. Tucked into an oversized shawl that's wrapped up around her small frame almost twice, Hallis pulls open the door to the establishment and steps inside. It's a welcome retreat from the outdoors, the smells and sounds of the city only making her hangover worse. After taking a quick look around, she pulls off her pair of oversized sunglasses and swings them by one arm in her tiny hand. She is wearing a pair of black tights, some expensive looking flats, and whatever is underneath the shawl. If you were to believe the tabloids, nothing, if you were to take a look… maybe a designer t-shirt.

The young woman makes a beeline for the coolers, standing next to Noah and fidgeting slightly as she waits for him to make his selection. She smells faintly of smoke, masked by expensive perfume.

If his daughter wasn't immune to every disease under the sun, the ex-Company Man would tell her not to touch that. Who KNOWS where it's been or who held it last. Hopefully not that guy at the register. Giving a small frown, he just tries to dig deeper into the fridge. They are just HIDING it from him, he knows it. "V8 is /timeless/. It's like… Pokemon. Those kids are still playing that. You know, that game with that Pukachew rat."

The older man continues to digas Hallis move up behind him. He pauses for a moment to give her a loooong look, clearly sizing her up before going back toward the fridge. He doesn't seem to be polite at the moment and let her go first… But hey, that V8 is going to be behind here somewhere, he just KNOWS it.

It's just as well that Randall is too distracted by a phone call in progress to pay much attention to the erstwhile cheerleader ahead of him - he's had enough women problems lately, the last thing he needs is to make HRG's hit list. As it is, he hangs out near the doorway, leaning sideways and pressing himself out of the way as Hallis slips past.

"No, those are all paperbacks," he says to whoever's on the other end. "I've been meaning to go through and separate out all the ones with water damage, raise the price on the others. I don't know what's in the other—" Then he holds the phone away from himself for a few seconds; those nearby might hear the doubly tinny clatter of pots and pans banging against one another. Well, that's one question answered.

"That's Pikachu," Claire corrects her father, straightening and pushing her hand back into her pocket. She shrugs one shoulder, although the motion is greatly diminish by the cream parka she wears with its fur-lined hood. Tilting her head as she turns to look at Noah, she offers him a close-lipped smirk and then laughs as she rolls up onto the balls of her frayed-edge plaid sneakers. "Imma get a Yoohoo. Should I just get a tea or something for you? I promise, it takes time for all of your teeth to rot from the sugar. Just once won't kill you."

A pair of blue eyes, rimmed with dark liner peer at Noah as he digs through the cooler, just before the sigh of frustration emits. Turning to peer at Claire, a small yet agitated smile pastes itself across her face. "I think tea would be great, since there's nothing in the fridge he seems to want." Then, Hallis reaches past the man still in the cooler and grabs a bottle of water. "Excuse me…" she mutters, ever polite, even the little people need to feel important, right? Then she glides toward the front of the store, grabbing a power bar and a pack of gum on her way.

Robin comes into the store, holding a piece of paper which is obviously a shopping list, as once inside the store he looks at it and then around. He starts to make his way further inside, the teen stops at each aisle, looking down to see what's there. Obviously his first time in the store.

The bell above the door jingles as someone else enters the small convenience store, on Robin's heels. She has a mesh shopping bag dangling from one hand, her purse from the other. A casual, disinterested glance sweeps the interior to make note of the other occupants before she ventures off towards the aisle holding the snackiest of snack foods. That requires stepping around the young man who seems so indecisive. "'Scuse me," she pardons herself, with a smile and faint southern twang. "You're kinda in the way, li'l man."

"While I'm sure you mean well, no need to speak for me. Unless the tea is gree-EEEEN!" Noah is startled as the older woman reaches past him, her hand going a little to close to the budge at the side of his hip for his liking. Thankfully, he is able to restrain his reflexive urge which may have drawn that much undesired attention. He pulls himself back out, looking toward the woman that is moving through. He gives her a firm stare, but he doubts it will have any holding power. The nerve of some people.

As the store starts to get progressively more crowded, Randall moves out of the doorway and over to one side, bringing the phone back to his ear once the racket subsides. "No, you're doing fine, really. Call me back if anything bigger goes down, okay?" Slipping it into his pocket afterward, he cranes his head to get a better look at the hubbub over at the drink aisle. What, did they mis-label six-packs as a nickel apiece or something?

Claire looks at the woman who pushes herself into the conversation she was having with her father, and then she looks back to her father with an apologetic smile. No reason to get stressed, right? Right. She points down the way with both fingers in an over casual sort of way, and then she offers explanation. "I'm… gonna just go get that tea." And escape the inherent awkwardness. Slipping past Noah and Hallis in the aisle by pressing herself close to the Combos and gum, she heads towards the selection of more natural and less 'body-polluting' beverages around the corner.

The clerk nearly falls from his stool as Hallis walks up, he'd been reading the articles (really) from one of the magazines kept behind the counter. "How much?" the young woman drawls, replacing the sunglasses on her face. She really wasn't in the mood, not with the headache and the residual dry heaves she'd been experiencing all day as a result of her 'night before'. "Do you have anything to pick me up back there?" Hallis says to the clerk, who just gives her a blank stare. "You know, vodka? Scotch? Something with more kick than a can of Red Bull?"

Robin looks up to the woman coming in behind him, and grins a bit, "Sorry." He steps back to let her pass, and then goes back to his search. He picks up a bag of chips on his way past a display, then a loaf of bread. He's passing close enough to hear Hallis' questions of the clerk, though, and comments, "Vodka and Scotch won't do much to pick you up." Just a random comment, just not quite able to keep his mouth shut really.

Lena returns the grin, the corners of her eyes crinkling at the younger teen. "Hey, no problem." She eases past Robin to reach the junky goodness in the aisle beyond him. Slim jims, a bag of Doritos, various types of candy bars, they all quickly find their way into the bag dangling from her wrist. But there's something vital missing. Her forehead rumples. "No Moon Pies, for real? Jesus…" Muttering at the horror of it, the young woman makes her way back to the counter where a line is forming behind Hallis. The blonde in the lead is eyeballed curiously. "Huh…"

"Thanks" is all Noah seems to say on the matter to his blonde daughter, sighing as he looks toward the line. Knowing that he'll pay for whatever he and Claire get, Noah moves toward the line as well, merely folding his arms as he waits. Now he remembers why he doesn't like shopping unless it's for guns. You don't get people pulling the reach around when you're shopping for lead spewwers.

Speaking of spewwers, the girl at the front is beginning to look a little green around the gills (so to speak). Quickly, Hallis waves her hand to the clerk and throws a small fist full of bills onto the counter. Then, her newly freed hand goes to clamp across her mouth, traveling downstairs for her own pick me up was so not a good idea. She scoops up the bottle of water as the power bar and pack of gum scatter on the floor. But she doesn't stop to pick them up, she is well on her way out the door, brushing against Randall as she goes… right into the trash can.

Failing to spot what was so interesting a minute ago, Randall contents himself with grabbing a bottle of orange juice. "Did they ever have moon pies this far north?" he asks, before straightening up again and looking around to figure out who was asking— oh, hang on, let's get out of Hallis's way first. He looks a little paler himself as the telltale noises echo back into the store proper.

A green tea by Arizona and the beoved chocolate milk that she is craving, the cheerleader steps up behind Noah. There's also an arm full of a few other sundries. Chewing gum. A couple of ham and cheese sandwiches. Fruit pies. Candy bars. Dinner for two a la Convenience Store. She flashes the spectacled patriarch a horribly devious grin as pulls up beside him. "I won't tell Mom if you—" won't. Claire's conspiracy confession fades out as she is suddenly distracted by a fleeing Hallis. She stands there, her nose crinkling. Puking in public. Really? Ew.

The Suited Man appears ready to say something in regards to proper diet with a small but sincere smile, but he finds himself distracted yet again by the other young blonde here. In a whisper that is likely loud enough to carry to those around the pair, the father informs his daughter of important information.

"This is why you need to go to private school. Public colleges are filled with these 'frat girls'. I heard some of them aren't even straight…" He pauses as he wonders if Sandra had that talk with Claire or if he was supposed to. Not able to remember for the time being, he just go for another important point. "…A students."

Robin blinks as he looks back to the running woman. He shrugs a little to himself, and goes further in. As the sounds of the puking outside he frowns a little, and glances up towards a radio the clerk has playing for ambient music, and a moment later the music is coming out louder, loud enough to cover the noise. Quickly he goes back to his shopping, looking to his list and stepping to get a carton of milk.

Speaking to total strangers is another southern mannerism exhibited by Lena. Before things get interesting, she chirps to any available listener, "Hey! I think that's like…Hallis Van Cortlandt! Oh my god, she shops *here*?" Apparently not, given the socialite's attempt at rapid departure. It's a sign that Lena is viewing her first Official Celebrity that she's willing to give up her place in line to trail after Hallis, all wide eyes and concern. "Um, hey, are you alright?" The question is followed by Lena dropping her bag of goodies and reaching out, one hand attempt to gather up Hallis hair and the other reaching for her shoulder.

Randall doesn't pay the radio volume much mind; with his back turned, it's easy enough to assume that the clerk turned it up. If anything, he's thankful for the distraction. "Who's that?" he asks, holding his nose with one hand and the OJ with the other as he peeks out the door. Along the way, he shoots the Bennets another quick glance, but having had his share of run-ins with the Haynesworth brand of morality lately, he stays out of that side of the conversation.

Fortunately for Hallis, there was nothing in her stomach to heave, and the result being just her leaning over the can shivering almost uncontrollably. Unfortunately, there are some flashes of a camera across the street. Tabloids tomorrow might read something along the line of a new 'friend' for the pitiable young celebutante. Gathering her wits, she flashes Lena a dry sort of smile and opens her water, taking a long pull. "Ugh… was that?" And she turns to where the flashes came from. "Great…"

The last thing Lena needs is to have her face plastered across the front of tabloids. She pats awkwardly at Hallis' hand until the young woman pulls herself together and goes for the water, then squints in the direction of the flashes. "You'll feel better in a minute, I promise. That's…uh. Cameras." This brilliant observation is followed immediately thereafter with an obscenity. Of the two choices available to her, gather up her purchases and head inside to pay or make a hasty getaway (with unpaid for items), the brunette goes for the latter. She sets off at a run down the sidewalk, as fast as her Converse sneakers will carry her.

Talk of private school earns Noah a glare from his adopted daughter as Claire expresses her displeasure with the notion. Private school? Not even. The appearance of camera's flashing, however, draw the bubbly collegiate's attention. Moreover, it prompts another, subtler reaction as she slowly slides that much further behind her father's taller form, entirely obscuring her from the line of fire of those flashes with the food stuff of evil protectively clutched against her chest. But then there's talk about… lesbian dating. "Dad!" she whispers harshly, darkly framed blue eyes wide and horrified. She can not believe he said that in here!

The sound of puking is a sound Mr. Bennet has heard before, but it is not something is particularly enjoys hearing. He turns away, merely looking to the line, only to notice the boy looking toward the radio and its effect. Regardless if the ex-Company Man makes the connection or not, he doesn't show it, merely hrmming to the increased radio volume before something ELSE distracts his attention.

The first flash makes Bennet ready to move in front of his daughter, but it seems that she is learning enough on her own. He looks toward the source of the photos, silently cursing his luck. He choose this place purposefully because it was out of the way and it still drew the attention. Maybe this is just karma or something.

Figuring that going after the cameramen would cause more trouble than it would solve, Noah merely continues through the line. Sighing, he speaks to Claire without looking at her, "What? It's perfectly natural to talk about Straight A students…" He looks to Randall with a passing glance. "No idea… I was hoping you'd know."

The flashes of the cameras outside draws Robin's attention again, specifically after one of the other comments. "She was famous?" He glances to others nearby, which has him spotting Claire, even as she tries to hide from the camera. Like probably many boys his age on first spotting a girl like her, stops a few moments, staring just a little too long. The volume falters as he's so distracted, but he quickly goes back to his shopping in some embarassment. With no more puking sounds outside, though, he doesn't bother boosting the signal again.

Randall shrugs. "I guess she's Paris's second cousin or something," he offers to Noah, heading back toward the counter to pay for his own drink— oh, and the pound cake looks good, he'll take one of those as well, misleading name notwithstanding. Hi, he adds, mouthing the word silently as he glances at Claire for a moment. Look, it's cool, dad, she's got guys paying attention to her! Sorta.

Hallis straightens herself up to her full height of 5'1" and turns to face the cameras across the street. She lifts her hand to wave at them once, giving them an obligatory smile and makes her way a few feet down. It is there she finds a sidewalk magazine stand and ducks behind it. She takes a few more pulls of her water before she wobbles a bit and then… she seems completely fine. Better than fine even, she is smiling in earnest and she almost skips back past the store.

As Claire notices that she's being noticed, the diminuitive blonde flashes a tiny pearl-flash smile at Robin for a second. She shrugs a little, clearly not entirely sure. "I'm horrible at spotting celebrities," she offers as her paltry excuse. "I always hated Where's Waldo books growing up, too." To the man who slides in behind her, there's another, slightly longer smile. Fingers turn briefly away from their hold on her soon-to-be-purchased purchases to curl a return greeting. Hi.

Noah begins to give the unhappy look. This woman is drawing attention to this place, there are men of mutliple ages looking at his daughter RIGHT NOW and he's stuck in a line waiting for food that doesn't taste nearly as good as his wife's pasta salad. "Let's keep the line moving," he states with his mostly calm tone. Of course, faint foot tapping and the faintest edge to his voice will be enough to let people know that is swiftly being pushed out from his Happy Place. …But considering this is Noah, this is not exactly a hard thing to do.

Robin smiles back to Claire, and says, "Hey." He makes a couple last-minute stops for things on his list, then moves to get in line as well, not too far behind Claire and Noah. Now close enough to say a little more, he adds to Claire, "I'm Robin."

Sensing that tension right away, Randall makes a point of studying the impulse-buy display a little more closely. No need to bust out the shotgun just yet, dad, everyone's being nice and casual around here. While he's at it, he peruses the tabloid headlines to see if the one who just ran off is in them. Nope, she managed to escape this week.

The blonde rears her head back for a moment as Robin approaches her with her father right there, stepping up behind Noah to set her items up onto the counter. Since Noah is — of course — going to pay for everything, it frees her up to look back at Robin again. Finally, she laughs and offers a friendly smile as she straightens her arms and shoves her fingers back into her pockets, hooking her thumbs over the edge. "Claire."

The stuff is being paid for and Noah readlly doesn't have a word to stay as the goods and money goes on. Nothing to be concerned about… Until Claire gives her actual name. In order to ensure that there is not another big scene to draw attention he does nothing but his his beloved daughter a stare of pure unamusement before turning back to the guy behind the desk and take the plastic bag of goodies. "Come on, 'Claire', it is time to get going," he offers in a firm voice, moving swiftly toward the door.

Robin smiles back to Claire, and nods, "Nice to meet you." There's not much time before Noah is pulling her off, so he doesn't say anything more than that. (Not that he really knew what more to say anyway.) He steps up then to pay for his stuff.

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