2007-08-26: A Taste of Trust


Claire_icon.gif Zach_icon.gif


Date It Happened: August 26, 2007

A Taste of Trust

NYC — Small Random Theatre — Midtown

"Just meet me. No experiments. I promise."

Those were the last words of Zach on the phone to his best friend. Which is why, well, he's leaning back against the wall right now. He's got his arms crossed over his chest and his head is resting back against it. His bangs are drooping across his face and he doesn't seem to be too worried about anything else. Especially, well, since somebody's a little late. Waiting, still.

She has a really good reason for being late. It has a lot to do with the fact that she nearly didn't come to their arranged meeting all.

Eventually, however, Claire arrives at the theatre where her best friend is supposedly waiting for her. With a messenger bag slung protectively over her shoulder and held across her stomach, the blonde in her olive green long-sleeved tee and black cargo pants carefully approaches the front door. Her forehead is crinkled above wary blue eyes that flit from side to side, up and down… looking for anything that might possibly be considered 'amiss'.

Zach is around the side. Figuring that, well, she probably went to the front, he comes around the corner and spots her. "Claire!" Though, there's a hushed loud-whisper to his voice. His eyes are a little narrowed, as if he's doing this whole sneaky thing. Which, well, is what he's doing. He's even got a black hoodie on to accentuate the occasion. "The show already started. Come on." And he's ducking back around the corner… where there's a fire escape. A fire escape that he starts climbing up. If Claire decides she wants to follow, she may notice that there's a cracked window up above. Near the fire escape!

At the sound of her name, Claire quickly twists her head. And then there's a mild confusion. Her face clearly reads: 'Show? What show?' However, there's no time to actually ask the question because Zach is already off like a shot and climbing a fire escape. While processing, she walks after him. Even as she sets her hands and feet to following after him, her voice can be heard sharply whispering back. "Zach! What are you doing?"

"Will you just come on?" Zach is clambering up the fire escape and moving back once he gets on the platform. There's even some reaching down to offer her a hand to assist in getting her up onto the platform with him. "I figured you might could use a little R&R. You sounded like you had a rough time when we talked. So I set this up." He smiles a little, shrugging in all of the platonic ways he can. "I know the owner." It helps when there's a professor that has a movie-showing hobby.

Climbing up the fire escape with her bag heavily weighing against her back as she goes, Claire pauses for a moment as Zach reaches his hand out to her. When it's just the two of them, it's harder to not be suspicious. However, that hesitation passes, and she does take it. Once she's firmly on the platform, she pulls her messenger bag right back in front of her and hugs it to her stomach once more. The explanation only causes her to draw her head back, a tiny, surprised, and confused smile playing on her lips. "…Really?"

"Hey. What are Best Buddies for, right?" He lifts the window the rest of the way and holds it up for the Claire to climb herself in. He's just trying to give her a chance to clamber into the window first, so that he can climb in after her. The window is pulled down after them, since the room is all about the fact that there's only two seats and a table. A viewing window is right there, which gives a perfect view of the screen. Nice angle and everything. "Hope you like Buster Keaton." Pay no attention to the small table that has popcorn on it. Two mediums. Since, y'know, BFF.

Claire watches Zach open the window and then stares at him for a moment. Her misgivings, again, are apparent, but pushed aside after a moment. It'll be okay, she tells herself. Sending her bag through the window first without ever letting it go, Claire deftly slides through the opening and lands back on her feet. The table is noticed, but not really processed. Instead, she takes a few steps back, settles her bag in place in front of her, and looks to her viewing companion. "You did this for me?"

"Well. Yeah." Zach smirks a bit and slides around Claire (the room's kind of cozy) and reaches out to pull her chair back a bit. "Madam." He even goes into some fake bowing thing, as if he's trying to be a maitre'd or something close of that. He's not, exactly, good at all of this craziness… this acting. This is why he's a film major and not an acting major. "I swear, the chair's not gonna' bite."

There's a small laugh at that, but Claire obediently moves to the chair indicated. With a sheepish smile, she settles into it and puts her bag on her lap. A hand moves to nervously tuck a strand of blonde behind her ear, but her gaze follows Zach carefully. "It's not the chair I'm worried about."

Zach is busy with the whole trying to keep Claire comfortable thing. He's not quite sure what's happening to her, in her head, but he's going to play this platonic role as long as he has to. He swings his chair around so that he can sit in it, Fonz-Style. "Hey. According to the masses, I think girls are icky." He leans over to give her a little shoulder nudge and then he's reaching for popcorn. "So you've got nothing to worry about except whether or not this popcorn is going to go straight to your hips."

Biting her lower lip, Claire reaches out to claim her own popcorn. Taking one of the kernels between her fingers, she opts to look at it for a moment, rather than eat it. Then, tilting her head and twisting it to an angle, she looks back to him. The smile's gone, and in its place is a frown that oh-so-perfectly matches her furrowed brow. The blonde takes a deep breath. "If you were to pick one thing that just you and me should ever know, what would it be?"

Zach can tell that there's secrets going on. Or something serious. She's not even eating her popcorn. His eyes are narrowing, unable to really be joking at a time like this. "Um." He shrugs a little bit, not really sure of what to say. "I'm not… I don't really have many secrets. I could say something about the history of liking boy bands, but everyone has that vice." Okay, just a little smart remark. He can't help it. He's Zach. "Seriously? I think it would be how… I've never really been with a girl. Or anyone." Zach's a virgin?! SNAP.

There's a laugh at that, Claire dropping her head for a second before tossing that kernel of popcorn in his direction. "Are you kidding me? You're telling me that you've got a killer major in a rocking town, and you haven't gotten any action?" Then there's a look of surprise on her face, and a hand comes up defensively. "And if you're just saying that as a joke then, really, you don't need to share." And… back we go to observing the life of popcorn in its natural habitat.

Zach's face goes into serious mode now too. "No, I'm serious. I don't… this whole sex thing? Too much pressure, you know. So much to figure out in my life to be worried about who I'm doing." Zach just looks down at the floor in front of him, not really worried about the whole movie that's playing right about now. "Or what I'm doing. But…" He can look back up at her and peers at her. "This does stay between us, right? I don't need the entire city laughing at me…"

"Entirely between us," Claire says, voice growing very quiet as she looks back up and at him with the flicker of a smile, the sound nearly lost in comparison to the Keaton glory that's playing. She picks up another kernel of popcorn, only to throw it back into the bucket. Repeat idle gesture. Finally, she starts shaking her head, until finally the gesture is something decided. The popcorn is quietly set down with a more committed frown, Claire starting to push herself to her feet. "I'm sorry. …I really shouldn't have come."

"Which is exactly why you should be here." Zach shrugs a little bit, not really looking at Claire or the movie. He's still a bit weirded out by just giving out some of the secrets of his life. But, well, that's the way the cookie crumbles. "You can go… if you want. I was just trying to help." Zach sighs and doesn't really seem to be too broken up about it. "Buster's not for everyone… heh."

What Zach says makes her pause. What if it's not a trick? What if it's really him, and she just hurt his feelings? She slowly starts to sit back in her seat. "It's… It's not Buster," she manages at last, trying to push another small, half-hearted smile onto her lips. She rests an arm on the table, the other still resting on her bag. That free hand, however, stretches out to try to take hold of Zach's arm. "It's me. I mean, this is really sweet. It really is. And I didn't even say 'thank you'."

"Claire. We're friends. You don't have to say thank you." Zach smiles and looks at the hand on his arm. "And you don't have to tell me what's wrong. Or what's going on. Any of that. It's not going to change the fact that we're freaks. Both of us. We may be different kinds of freaks, but that's what we are." He sighs, shaking his head. "I wasn't looking for this night to be something special. I just wanted you to know that you can count on me." Pause. "For anything."

The blonde peers in Zach's direction, as if somehow she'd be able to see past his skin to the motivations and thoughts lurking beneath. Man, how amazing would it be if she were a telepath instead? But she's not. Which means that she has to make a decision based on what she sees and hears alone. It's a very tough choice.

Ever so carefully, Claire draws her hand back and starts to pull off her bag to set it on the floor. Once she's quietly set it there, she tosses her hair back behind her shoulders and leans back into the chair that he had pulled for her and reclaims her popcorn. A popcorn kernel is again lifted, inspected with very little subtlety in the film-light. And then? Then she pushes it into her mouth. When it melts there, a tiny, inward smile starts to grow on her lips and she settles a little deeper into her chair.

Trust tastes like butter and salt.

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