2007-10-17: Sweet Somethings


Kory_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif

Summary: After Kory finishes her second job, she and Randall unwind at a local Pancake House.

Date It Happened: October 17, 2007

Sweet Somethings

Location - The Original Pancake House, somewhere in Manhattan

It was a dark and laser-stormy night. After a pleasant few hours of clubbing, and a brief yelling match over a stolen cab - for it is in New York that our story takes place - Randall finally stretches his arms over his head, then points down the block. "Is that the place there?" He's sticking to his usual T-shirt and jeans, though the T-shirt is several shades darker than usual, able to pass for black in crowded areas.

"That's it," Kory agrees. "Hope you're hungry. They don't kid around when it comes to pancakes." Kory's relaxed and comfortable, now. She seemed a touch preoccupied and skittish at the earlier point of the evening, but dancing and music wore that edge off her. Now she's just a teense dreamy-eyed. "I'm very impressed. Very few people can keep up with me, particularly when I'm spinning a J-Pop mix."

"Mmm, don't give me too much credit," replies Randall, "I didn't really know what I was doing half the time." But, being who he is, he didn't let self-consciousness get in the way like a lot of people might. "And yeah, I'm worn out, so pancakes sound pretty good about now," he adds, pushing the door open and squinting at the brighter light.

Kory waves brightly at the staff, and they wave back. Apparently she's known here as a regular. It's late; so there's no wait, and the tired hostess tells them they can just sit anywhere. Kory picks someplace nonsmoking, and tucks herself into a horseshoe shaped booth in the back, big enough for six. "Here we are."

Randall slides into the other side and settles in, looking around. "Here we are," he echoes. "So— do they actually fill up this much space, or is it just to keep from getting crowded? And another thing— how come Japanese takes twice as long to say anything when you're talking, but you can say twice as much in it when you're singing? 'cause I've seen some subtitles before, and I swear it's like they're rattling off a speech or something."

"If it weren't four in the morning," Kory assures Randall, tilting her head aside with an apologetic look as she swallows a yawn, "We'd have an hour wait. They can fill up this booth and every other one, honest." She blinks at him, and then laughs as he asks about Japanese. "Maybe the language is lyrical and better given to being set to music than spoken? I'm sure they probably think something similar about English."

"You're probably right." Randall reaches for a napkin, wiping his eyes, then peers at the menu. "Speaking of," he eventually muses, "the Mandarin crepes sound interesting… And yeah, the word choices sound really strange in translation, probably because the rhymes and stuff get broken up. That probably works both ways, too— someone once said the course of English literature was defined by it hardly having any rhymes. Probably overstating the case, but I can see their point."

"Grammar structure varies language to language," Kory agrees, resting her chin on her laced fingers. "It all sounds weird to anyone who doesn't speak it natively, I'm sure. I'm actually gonna do some nerdcore digging and see if anyone besides Voltaire has Klingon rap. That would go over really good for the weekend that Star Trek movie comes out."

Randall purses his lips. "If you can't find that, I'd dig through Eminem's stuff, see if you can make something there fit. That one photo where Spock's got Kirk shoved up against a wall, with a hand around his throat? Has 'pissed-off white guy' written all over it. Never mind the five hundred 'Sulu and Chekov Go to Orion IV' mash-ups that'll be coming out."

"Oooh, that's a really good idea," Kory agrees. "I'll give you credit of course. Maybe the Beastie Boys have something that'll work too. Their sampling's always a little kooky. Intergalactic, at the minimum." She just orders a cup of tea and tells the waitress she'll nibble off the crepes with Randall's indulgence.

Of course he's going to indulge. Duh. Scooting over closer for the occasion: "I forget, was it Men in Black that was out when they first released that one? I'm pretty sure it was tied in with something or other." By now, he's had a chance to collect more of his thoughts, not to mention mop his brow with some more napkins.

"You know, I can't remember. It really annoyed me at the time, how overplayed it was. I didn't develop a proper appreciation for it until a good bit later." Kory gives it a moment's consideration, then shrugs and tosses a hand in faux-defeat. "I'll look it up when I start working on the mix. So — does this mean you'll be coming back next week?" For all that she's tired, the question is asked with genuine enthusiasm.

Randall hmms, leaning back into the seat. "I think so, yeah. It's tough keeping up— but it's worth it. Beats TV dinners and a TV. Probably have to ask for some more hours next week, though, that might get a little tight…"

"Pfft," Kory scoffs, mildly. "I'll leave tickets for you at the door. I always get a pass or two, and I usually give them to my brother and his friends. So holding back one for you is no problem. " She sugars the tea liberally when it arrives, stirs it vigorously, counter-clockwise, and sips at it delicately.

With a smile, he rests his chin in his hands, then blinks and reaches for his coffee (it got set down on the other side of the napkin holder). "Well, thanks. I'll return the favor if I ever get in a position where I can." Working a string of odd jobs makes that a dicey proposition.

"Oh, don't worry about it," Kory tells him. "Rare enough I have any friends willing to stay up this late with me. I'm up this late every night. Though I'm not always up dancing this late every night." The crepes arrive, and Kory closes her eyes to enjoy the aroma, before watching Randall for his reaction to the first bite.

"Well, it suits you, the way th—" But whatever he was going to say next is lost for the moment, as he peers at the fork. "Huh. What do they put in this, again? I only skimmed it. I recognize the oranges."

"Eggwhite, buttermilk, flour — you know, the usual," Kory assures Randall. "I've actually never tried this. I always go for the Dutch, and then have breakfast for the next three days." She breaks off a bit herself, and has a bite. "Mm. Nice. What d'you think?"

"Good, but weird. But good." Like everything else in his life. "I saw the Dutch, but this one time some of us came across an actual cherry tree in season… it was great, but it pretty much spoiled us for anything but."

"I have no patience for fruit with pits," Kory confesses. "It's a quirk. So I stick to grapes and Sunkist oranges." She has another bite. "This isn't bad, though. Nice trying something different." Suddenly seized with a curiosity, she asks, without segue, "So, what are you doing jobwise these days?" She's heard him talk of work but always kinda vaguely. "You'll be in New York a while, I hope?"

Randall nods. "I'm planning to— I was right, though, the office stuff dried up. Day ahead of schedule, even. Went back to this one second-hand clothing shop for now… Actually I should check with this one bookstore, see if they've got an opening, only I'd have to slap myself to keep from staring at the merchandise."

Kory chuckles. "I know that problem. Lee about had a fit when he helped me move. Fully eighty percent of my apartment is books and bookshelves. Which store? It wouldn't be Enlightenment, would it?"

"It would," he answers, in between rounds of breakfast. "I didn't know you knew about it, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised, huh? I think it gets a lot of good word of mouth." And how. "What type of books you mostly go in for?"

"It's right up the street from the Lair," Kory replies with a shrug. "I explored the neighborhood ages ago, but I didn't actually set foot in there until a few months ago." She has a bite of orangey pancake goodness, chews, and swallows, mulling Randall's question over. "I guess I go through cycles. Right now, I'm enjoying Urban fantasies."

Randall blinks. "What're urban fantasies? I know medieval ones, but the only other type that comes to mind is… well, housewives reading romance novels, I assume /that/ isn't it."

"Romances?" Kory pulls a face. "No, definitely not. And Urban fantasies are…well, they're if the type of stuff that happens in medieval fantasies were happening in the present. Sword and sorcery in the middle of modern day New York. The fae walking everywhere because the subways are full of cold iron. That kind of thing."

"Huh." Randall scratches his head, mulling that one over. "Might be able to get some club events out of that one, actually. There are people who play out stuff like that in the parks anyway, right?"

"Oh, you mean LARPers?" Kory asks. "Mm-hmm, they do. I haven't gotten into any, but it'd be an interesting thing to try spinning off, yeah. Good idea. At the least, it'd make for interesting stuff on the screens, and costuming for the people dancing."

Randall looks impish. "Not to mention an excuse to get you to put on some fake whiskers and a pair of cat ears. Think that might work for you." Well, at least he's not hawking sexy nurse outfits at a Halloween costume shop…

"The catgirl thing?" Kory blushes faintly. "Me? I don't know, maybe…" She has another sip of tea, the better to avoid thinking about it.

"…well, it's just a guess," Randall adds in, deciding not to press the issue too hard. It is, after all, just a whim. "One good thing about New York, you don't have to wander thirty, forty miles out to find people who like the same things you do."

"True," Kory agrees, brightening. She sets the teacup down, the blushy moment having passed. "I think I found the Lair my first foray into Manhattan proper. Originally," she explains, "I'm from White Plains. And that's not nearly as cool."

Randall shrugs. "Well, it's cool enough that I've heard of it, at least. I'm from Davis, California, which is mostly famous for the first guys to own Pac-Man. Well, there's a state college there too, but I don't think it counts as famous if mostly just the students know about it."

"I guess not," Kory admits. "I don't think I'd ever heard of it before. But owning Pac-Man is not that huge a claim to fame." The waitress comes and freshens up her teacup. One cup of tea seems to have taken that dreamy, drowsy edge off her and she no longer looks tired. "So do you just sort of criss-cross the country, following your whims, or was New York a planned destination?"

"No, I came this way on purpose— I was looking for someplace crowded, but unfamiliar." The crepes continue to be attended to, but more slowly now. This topic is serious business for Randall. "Anywhere in-state failed the 'unfamiliar' part, and Chicago… well, rumor has it the old machine's still going out there, you know? Too big a risk."

"Really?" She's not sure what he means by the big machine, and Kory hasn't much to contribute in return. "I haven't left the state. I should probably do something about that sometime, though. What's this about a risky machine, now?" She has another nibble of crepe.

Randall reaches for the plate at the same time, resulting in an awkward hovering moment. "Party machine. Dead people voting. Mayor Daley was around for… what, twenty years or so? And now his son's been mayor for something like another twenty. I mean, they claim to be on the right side of things, but I think if you dig into it, they're seriously only in it for themselves."

"Ew. Politics." Kory wrinkles her nose. "I have to agree. I don't understand how anybody can do it. It's all so dirty and underhanded. How can anybody …heh…sleep at night doing the things these guys do?"

"I think the blackjack and hookers probably help a lot," he responds, deadpan. "No, seriously, I think most of them start out meaning well, but their ethics basically wind up being the frogs in a slow-boiling pot. You start out rolling a few logs, cutting a few corners, and it just keeps getting easier to take the next step."

"Well, more power to them, I guess," Kory says, with a shake of the head. "I couldn't do it. I'm way too firmly entrenched in the idea of helping people, but not compromising what makes me ..y'know, me…doing it. So you came here, to get away from the politics? Or was there more?"

Randall shakes his head. "I came here for here," he sorta-explains, "dodging the politics was mostly just the one place. Of course they have politics here too, but it's more the run-of-the-mill stuff." As far as he knows, anyway. "But the place itself, all the people… exactly what I needed."

"Is it lonely in Davis, California, then? Dull? Some combination of the two?" Kory reaches up and brushes a wisp of hair out of her face. "They have politics everywhere, yeah, but New York isn't so bad, compared with other places, I suppose." She tilts her head at him, curiously.

"No, it wasn't either of those. It's a nice enough area, just… like I said, too familiar for me. Maybe New York will wind up the same way, but not for several years at least— I'm still too new to take much of anything for granted." Absently, Randall fishes out his cell phone and sets it down on the table, ignoring the last remnants of breakfast for now.

"Well, I enjoy your company," Kory tells Randall, almost shyly. "So hopefully you don't get bored of the city right away." Her gaze follows his motion. "Oh — is it getting late? Am I keeping you from something?" Her expression wavers between crestfallen and apologetic before she schools her face into polite inquiry.

Randall blinks once. "Hmm? No, just— thinking." How do you tell a girl you like that you think you can see things that most people can't? "I wouldn't stay up all night if I actually had to do anything the day after— I've tried it before, it was awful."

Were she gifted with telepathy, Kory would have an answer to that question; but such is not the case, so she chuckles in response to what's gone said. "I can get by on very little sleep, myself. Drives my brother up the wall, because he's a shambling mess if he gets less than eight, most nights. I always laugh at that slogan: 'we get more done before 6 am than most people do all day' because it suits me to a T."

Randall goes back to resting his chin in his hands again, elbows on the table. Way to keep him interested, Kory, basically telling him you're full of stamina. "I guess I'm somewhere in between, then. I /can/ get things done the next day, as long as it's at my own pace… when I /have/ to get things done when someone else says so? That's when it all goes downhill."

"Most people are like that, I think," Kory says, with mock-gravity. "I was pretty much a pariah in college, because I could do my homework, then go out and party, and then make it for a 9 AM class without batting an eye. They hated me." She sticks out her lower lip playfully, but if Randall is perceptive, he'll notice her eyes hold perhaps a tiny ember of pain from that memory, still.

"They should! That's terrib—" He does notice, but only after having said that. Whoops. At least the awkward pause suggests that he knows what he just stepped in. "…anyway, yeah, I can see how that would get to people after a while. Did I ask what you majored in?"

"Double major," Kory tells him. "Psych and theater. I know, I know — what an odd combination. It made sense at the time. I thought it'd help me understand people better. Sometimes I think I was right…sometimes I think I still have a lot to learn."

Randall leans back into the booth, reaching for the coffee. That's starting to become more important, now. "I was doing history, but what do you actually do with that, you know? I'm not enough of a writer…" A glance is spared for the front entrance. "Speaking of understanding people, what /are/ you doing after you get out of here? Another shift at the Lair, something else?"

"History always depresses me; there's so little we learn from it, isn't there?" Kory asks, rhetorically. "I don't have to be at the Lair until five tonight. I'm closing, and then probably helping Lee out with a project after hours. Why d'you ask?" Is she really that innocent? Or perhaps she's just taking the moments as they come; one at a time.

Randall looks impish. And unfazed by the rundown of his old subject of study, seeing as he wandered away from it himself. "Well, I was just thinking, if we've both got another twelve hours or so to kill…" Fill in the blank as you see fit.

"I've got nowhere especial to be," Kory tells him with a small smile. "Though I will want to change out of these heels if you have more bopping around the city in mind." She quirks a brow at him, quizzically, uncertainly.

A quick glance downward, as if he could see the heels through the surface of the table. No, Randall doesn't suffer from that particular delusion; it's just an instinctual response. "Didn't have anything specific in mind, but I'm sure we can come up with something."

Kory blinks, and hides a smile behind her hand as he glances toward her feet. "It's just that usually I'm behind the turntables, spinning, rather than dancing. So the shoes aren't usually for more than display. Plus, my normal shoes are a lot flatter." But the subject is quickly dismissed. "Have you done the touristy thing, already? The Cloisters, the Museum Mile, the Circle Line?"

Randall nods. And— "A little of it, yeah. I've probably missed a lot of it, but I did drop in on this one museum back in the spring when they were doing a big general promotion. Sense of grand scale, if nothing else."

"Well, you pick something. I'd have local bias, and that's a terrible trait in a local host," Kory gives Randall a faint smile. "Plus, I'm weird. My idea of a good time is a walking tour of the best bookstores between the Lair and 59th Street."

"I think we'd better save that for the third date," Randall offers, picking the phone back up and fishing for his wallet instead. Tight job situation or not, he'll chip in for the tip at bare minimum. "But why are you saying 'weird' like it's a bad thing? It's probably the only way this'll ever work out."

Kory's eyes widen at Randall, before her lips curl back into a smile. Either she wasn't entirely convinced this was a date, or it just makes her happy to hear him say it. "Well, outside the Lair, 'weird' usually is sort of a bad thing. But if it works for you, that's a relief." The 'be yourself' thing can be such a chore when 'yourself' is far enough off the beaten path.

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