2007-04-14: Yente Inc


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Phase one of Cass' Great Pimping Scheme: Go to a bar, flag down the first guy who comes near, engage him in conversation. Make sure to steer the conversation humorously. Drink.

The guy happens to be Oliver, the conversation is about bookshelves and how clumsy Cass is, and Alyssa's imagination is the thing to get the phone numbers rolling. Stay tuned for Phase Two: the date.

April 14th, 2007

Yente, Inc.

Oldcastle Pub

Though drinking on a Monday night is not something that most people recommend, Cass has been having a bad two days and needs to distraction. Of course, coming to the scene of where she and Lachlan were headed when cars exploded might have been a bad idea, she's decided to suck it up and come to the one good English pub that she knows. Plus, it gives her the excuse to come back and study the scene of the crime just in case she needs to remember things about it later. Plus, after her talks with Alyssa, she's decided that the girl needs to get out and have some fun. And what's more fun than drinking? Very little! (My, is Lachlan rubbing off on her?) Pushing through the doors, the woman limps slightly to the bar and immediately sinks into a seat. "God. Maybe I should just suck it up and have a cane for the two or three days this is going to hurt this badly. But it makes me feel like I'm old or something. What do you want to drink?"

Most of the time, when Alyssa's going out it's to observe or to bother other people, not to actually, you know, just hang. So it's with some caution that she follows after her boss, pulling a jean jacket straighter around herself and observing the other woman's limp with not quite sympathetic interest. Trailing a couple of steps behind Cass, she doesn't immediately sit but shoves her hands in her pockets and glances about the pub, "You should definitely get a cane," she answers somewhat distractedly, still looking around, "Because everyone knows how sexy they are. Plus, easy bludgeoning. And if you're as awesome as I know you are, you'll invest in a sword-cane and then let me take it off your hands when you feel you're walking like yourself again." With a bit of a sly smile, the employee slides into a seat next to her boss finally and taps a finger on the bar, "Arr, hm.. I actually don't usually, well…" Yes, she's rather ignorant.

"Two pints of what you've got on tap," Cass orders from the bar tender, taking Alyssa's reluctance as her cue to do so. The only painkiller that she's on is a couple of advil awhile ago, so alcohol should be fine. "A sword cane, huh?" This is something Cass is actually considering. Because a sword cane would be ridiculously amazing. "Now that's a great idea. I could wave it around menacingly and berate the young whipper-snappers. Yes. I think I like it. Though, I'd have to justify why I'd buy myself a sword cane for only a couple of days." By now the bartender has shoved two pints in front of the two girls and she smiles her thanks at him. Holding up her glass, she tilts it toward her employee. "Cheers!"

Alyssa is full of these sorts of great ideas, if only people could keep up with her when she tried to share them. But a grin is definitely given for Cass' obvious approval. "I thought I covered that with the whole 'gifting it to your totally awesome employee' thing. It's not like it'll even leave the store long, so, hey, still get to borrow it for customer service problems." The pint shows up and at first Alyssa sort of eyes it as though she isn't sure if it's safe. Then, after a second and the encouragement that is the toast, she wraps a hand around the glass and raises it as well, "Pip pip!" Putting glass to lips, she sips modestly. As the drink is lowered and the after-taste just setting in, Alyssa pulls a nose-wrinkled shudder of a reaction that she attempts to hide a second after realizing it happened.

Last time Oliver was here at the Oldcastle Pub, he was with Eliana and a gaggle of giggling girls graciously guzzling good glasses of whatever they fancied (because there are no 'G' words that can describe booze generally). Now he's returned to the pub for just some good old-fashioned fun. Leaving behind a bunch of his Bohemian buddies in a booth, he wanders up to the bar with a grin on his face and slumps against it almost right next to Alyssa. He doesn't spot her or Cass, however, as his attention is fixed on the bartender. "Can I get a couple glasses of red wine and two beers?" he requests a little breathlessly, obviously fresh from some terribly amusing joke. Dressed in a long-sleeved, collared tan shirt with tasteful cream paisleys, brown corduroys, and his usual wireframe glasses, he doesn't look like the usual sort of person that this pub sees.

Cass takes a sip a little longer than Alyssa's, obviously used to the taste. She doesn't make a face at the very least. "Then it looks like it's settled. I need to buy myself a sword cane. Where would I get one of those? I doubt costume shops would have real ones. And I'm so not going half assed on this. Maybe I should get a cape, too." Obviously enjoying the image of herself in a cape with a sword cane, she takes another drink of her beer. And her eyes land on Oliver, right behind Alyssa. It takes her a moment, but she remembers her from that night she accidentally knocked a man unconscious. He was nice to her and seemed to be quite an upstanding gentleman. Hm. Cogs and wheels turn in her brain. HM. Her eyes flicker between Alyssa and Oliver and suddenly she is beaming. "Hey! I remember you!" she calls out to Oliver to get his attention. Whether /he/ remembers /her/ or not doesn't matter at the moment.

Alyssa's reaction is one of someone who will probably never get used to the taste because the taste is what makes her not drink usually in the first place. Also, she thinks Oliver could have gone with Pan-Galatic Gargleblasters and been excused the beginning 'P' for the sake of reference. But she doesn't know Oliver, so this will probably not come up in conversation. Unless, of course, he comes up behind her and gets her boss' attention while Alyssa is waxing on like "Oh, there's online places for stuff like that. In fact, I get a catalog every so often with movie replica weapons and I believe there's a section in the back specifically for sword canes," and such like that. Catching the way Cass looks back at her, Alyssa first sits up a little straighter and then glances curiously to her side. There she finds a man in a tan shirt. If you want to get clothes specific, you'll note that Aly, herself, is wearing a maroon sleeveless under the aforementioned jean jacket, whose pocket features a flashy "Vote Marley!" pin. Her jeans are shockingly clean and normal. Oh, but she's wearing shoes she scribbled on herself. Just don't look at her shoes.

Leaning jauntily with one arm on the bar, Oliver's attention is nabbed when Cass addresses him, and he blinks at her a moment or two before his grin grows. "Oh, hey, I remember you too! Cass, wasn't it?" It's not often that Oliver forgets a face, or a name, especially when those faces and names are somehow connected to someone he knows — Eliana, in this case. "Wow, small world, huh? How's it been?" His eyes go to Alyssa with an interested, bright gaze, sizing her up and — "Hey, nice shoes!" He sounds like he means it.

Grinning, Cass raises up her glass when the man remembers her. "Check and mate. That's me. Oliver, right?" It's hard for her to forget Oliver's name, either, as she knows Eliana. And remembered him being her cousin. "It /is/ isn't it? It's been…more of the same." She smiles. As more of the same is exploding things and gunfights. But, then, Oliver doesn't have to know that. Then, as if she forgot, she starts. "Oh! Geez, I'm sorry. Oliver, this is Alyssa. She's one of my employees. Alyssa, this is Oliver. Hey, why don't you stay and let me get your next round. It's the least I can do for you being so nice to me the other night."

Fine. Or look at the shoes. Luckily, there is little shame for Alyssa, as she is the one who decided that this was a good thing to wear to a pub in the first place. As the others exchange the pleasantries of returning acquaintances, she not-so-discreetly studies this Oliver until his own study of her brings the comment on her apparel. "I should hope so," she replies for the compliment, "Or I'd have to be very annoyed at myself for ruining them." Her gaze goes to her boss when the late-seeming introductions are given and then back to Oliver for, "Hey, that's right. I'm Alyssa. Employee comma one of. Nice to meet'cha so long as the boss approves. We're here for her, after all, to drown in the sorrow which is a life without a sword-cane. You don't have one either. She's right. I think you should drink with us as well."

"They're not ruined," retorts Oliver, still grinning. "I think you improved them. Nothing better than the artistic expression of self." He extends his hand to Alyssa in offer of a handshake. "Definitely a pleasure, Alyssa." When he's offered the option of staying and drinking, he glances over his shoulder at the booth he left and purses his lips thoughtfully. /Hmm/. As he considers, Oliver taps out something upbeat on the top of the bar with one hand — and then his decision is made just as the bartender returns with the wines and beers. He takes them up, balancing them all in a quartet in both hands. "Let me just deliver these and I'll be right back with you." And with that and a small tip of his head, he's set off toward the booth of Bohemians.

"Oh no, we're not here just for me," Cass replies to Alyssa. "We're just here and it happens to be in part because I don't have a cool sword cane." Letting the two have their own conversation, she smiles at Oliver and nods as if he has certainly made the right choice. "Great! We'll be right here." Forgoing the usual, 'he's really nice' or 'cute, huh?' she allows Alyssa to make her own conclusions about the man. After all, the best part about being a matchmaker is doing it behind the scenes. And even if this is just setting Alyssa up for flirtation, well, that's good too!

There was hand-shaking when Oliver offered, Alyssa's typical fast handshake of avoidance, which didn't quite fit with the way she was smiling over the shoes and her artistic modifications. Since Cass has reassured Oliver that they won't book it while he's not looking, she keeps quiet at his leaving and takes ahold of her glass again. Better to get these yucky-face inducing sips out of the way while the guy is not around. Lowering the glass for a second time, Alyssa recovers from her reaction and looks to her boss, "So. Shouting that you know someone in a bar. Classy. Was it a very memorable meeting?" Her fingers tap at the bar, unconsciously a rendition of what Oliver had previously been doing.

Back at the booth, Oliver sets down the drinks, passing them out to one and all save for one glass of wine, which remains with him. He speaks to his party in a low voice, grinning now and again and gesturing with one hand expressively. It's not a lengthy conversation by any means, but it's certainly long enough to allow a little discussion between the two ladies back at the bar. Whatever it is he's saying, his group seems amenable to it and the only girl present even reaches out to give him a playful punch in the gut, which causes him to hunch a bit good-naturedly. Then, with a wave, he turns and starts back toward Alyssa and Cass, still carrying his glass of wine. He's soon settling onto the stool beside Alyssa, resting his elbows on the wood. "Sorry about that," he chuckles. "They're cool, though, they understand." He indicates the people he's just left with a wave of his hand.

Laughing, Cass takes another drink of her beer and just grins at Alyssa. "Shouting? There was no shouting. It was merely a loud hello. I. Yeah. He's a cousin of….someone I know. Plus, he helped out when I tripped and fell on someone. Didn't a chance to properly thank him. Also, I'm friendly." Wiggling her eyebrows, she settles back into her drink and nods at Oliver when he comes back to join them. "Excellent. Didn't mean to drag you away from your friends, though! We don't have to keep you long."

"That was possibly the vaguest story I've ever heard," Alyssa complains good-naturedly as they are once again joined by the man-presence. She takes the time to raise her own eyebrows at her boss' ones wiggling before turning to their guest. "I'm sure they do," she notes, "They understand all the way to the bottoms of their new glasses. /Then/ you'll be hearing your name called again, mmmhm." Making jokes on a total stranger's friends may not be the best etiquette, but Alyssa seems hardly to notice. "And we won't, either. About keeping you. I'm terribly bad at that and am constantly losing things under the couch or behind the bookshelf. So unless you feel like staring at the back of a wooden board for a couple years until my landlord asks me what the hell is going on and why won't I bother to dust a little bit before I kill myself despite that he knows that beyond a sudden and unexplained bout of allergies that wouldn't be possible then…" Oops. Alyssa's face has gone blank and slightly befuddled. She's completely lost track of what she was saying. As soon as she's trailed off, she shrugs and concludes, "So there."

"Nah, don't worry about it. They're entertaining enough without me there," Oliver laughs at Cass' reassurance. "They can talk amongst themselves just fine." And speaking of talking amongst oneself, Alyssa goes off on her aimless tangent, and the Bohemian watches and listens to her with eyebrows up, eyes widened a little. When she trails off and doesn't seem to finish the meandering thought, he grins again, thoroughly amused. "You don't have to worry about losing me behind a bookshelf; I may be small, but I'm not exactly quiet all the time either. Besides, my cat would probably call 911 if I didn't show up at home after a couple days."

Cass gives Alyssa a good-natured smile. "Sorry. Didn't mean for it to be. He was at a bar that I was at and we learned that we both knew Eliana - not sure if you know her - she's been in the store a couple times. Then I stood up, tripped and fell and toppled someone over. That's how we met. And I wanted to thank him properly." This is said while Oliver is still here, so he can make his own interjections. However, Alyssa has her own story to talk about and Cass listens to it, amusement clear on her face. Especially when she trails off. "Bested by Alyssa." Laughing, she nods at Oliver. "Also, since she works in a bookstore, hopefully she checks her bookshelves every once in awhile."

"Checking /your/ bookshelves and checking /my/ bookshelves are entirely different things," the writer proposes matter-of-factly, having obviously recovered from the sad lonely death of her previous rant. "I grant the situation to your cat, however, good sir, as the things are darling and I'd wish my own would do the same for me but seeing as she's not with me it would be especially difficult to organize." She pulls her lower lip up thoughtfully for a moment, imagining some wild situation or another. But then she's going for the drink again, despite their new company. Her facial expressions have calmed down considerably since the first time and she even takes a couple more sips before saying, "By the way, boss, I'm totally impressed by the way you managed to, as it sounds, just stand up and go over. I totally met you in one such circumstance." For Oliver's benefit, Alyssa tilts her head and then even leans in towards him, "She spilled on this monster of a figure. He actually /picked her up/. I have a picture on my phone." She dips a hand towards her pocket momentarily as if to prove this but aborts the motion halfway.

But Oliver has no interjections to make, as Cass seems to have explanations under control. He takes the opportunity of lull in conversation on his end to take a sip from his glass, and he doesn't make any faces even! Then again, wine's his sort of thing. "Oh, you work in a bookstore?" His interest is renewed at this, and then he grins even more as Alyssa speaks again. "And you've got a cat." Both characteristics that he finds admirable. Then, there's the relay of Cass' earlier accident and the actor's eyes go wide as they snap over to the bookseller. "Oh really?" Down he glances when Alyssa goes for her phone, and the grin only grows when she stops. "I'd love to see it."

Cass blushes a little. Her klutziness is not exactly something she's /proud/ of. To others it might be endearing, but to her it's embarrassing. How else does one react to having their ultimate weakness be gravity? "They're not /my/ bookshelves. They're the /store's/ bookshelves. Technically." But, since she owns the store they actually they /are/ technically hers. "I. Oh God. That guy. I don't think I spilled anything for a good two days for fear of retribution. He was there that night!" She gasps, remembering, pointing at Oliver. "He was that guy! Who yelled at me! When I tripped onto his friend!" And then, she gives Alyssa a murderous glare, which is mostly faked. "You have a /picture/? Don't you dare!"

There's a brief hesitance but then the pocket is once again searched and a phone produced. "Sorry, boss," Alyssa fake-grieves, "But it's only polite for the guest and all that." Flipping open the blue device, she presses the center button to call up the menu. A couple of clicks to either side and then 'ok' and she twists the screen to face Oliver. There it is: Mr. Hendrickson with both hands on either side of Cass as he lifts her straight up off the ground. The picture's somewhat farther away and lacks some quality, being on a camera, but not too much. Technology's come a far away. The figures are, at least, identifiable. "Lurch is some kind of crazy. We were considering he was an anti-hero or something like that. Just for the element of surprise since he /looks/ just like a villain. You said you saw him again?"

If Oliver had any doubts about Cass' claim of Hendrickson's presence that night, it's wiped away completely when he gets an eyeful of that picture. /Whoa/. It's not the best quality, but it's clear enough for him — that's a face he wouldn't ever forget. He lets out a low whistle and lifts his glass again. "He looks like an even bigger prick there than he did when I met him," he remarks dryly before stealing another sip of his wine and setting the glass down once again. "Definitely a villainous sort. I wonder if he doesn't follow Cass around and /wait/ for her to spill things, if that's the case. Pretty suspicious that he was there both times, mm?" He likes a bit of intrigue — real or imagined — just as much as the next person.

Cass rolls her eyes when Alyssa brings out photographic proof of that quite terrifying moment. It was an /accident/ and then her feet weren't touching the ground. "Crazy is /right/. Yeah. It was his friend or something I ran into. He wasn't too happy about it, but then he just walked off. He came into the store once before you worked, there, Alyssa. Nearly scared the pants off of me and Lee. All he did was buy some books and leave. Maybe he's bi-polar." Glancing at Oliver, she raises an eyebrow and grins. Then, she looks over her shoulder and over Alyssa's shoulder - trying to make it obvious that she's checking to see if Hendrickson is in the room. Picking up her beer, she holds it up for both of her companions to see and then spills some on the counter. Wincing, she quickly looks around for Lurch to suddenly appear and pick her up.

"Totally suspicious," Alyssa leaps to agree with an enthusiasm lighting up her face, "And altogether intriguing," She chews on her lip to consider the information presented by Cass, the two entirely differently played situations, but the exaggerated looking motions are distracting. Alyssa is caught up in glancing over her own shoulder and she nearly misses turning back in time to see Cass lose some beer. As soon as the liquid hits counter, however, Alyssa jerks in her seat so she's backwards and can survey the entire bar with all of its dark mysterious corners. When nothing seems to present itself, she twists again, glancing towards the bathrooms. She puts a hand on Oliver's shoulder even in order to look more carefully on his other side and below his seat. After another long beat occurs she deflates. "Well… anti-climatic if ever I was disappointed in a plot twist. If this really /were/ a TV show, then he would have totally appeared. And then done something completely unrelated. Just to be here. So we could all comically cringe and be astonished. Dammit, I'm cringing anyway." And she does.

Oooh, a /test/ for the theory. Oliver's clearly enjoying himself and even joins Alyssa in the search for the elusive Mr. Hendrickson. When she puts a hand on his shoulder for support, he definitely does not wince, cringe, or flinch away and instead steels himself to take the little added weight whilst simultaneously and enthusiastically mimicking her investigative peering. He checks under her stool, around the other side of her shoulders, and when all is said and done with no Lurch in sight, he sighs. "Even still, you might want to throw a little of that— " he nods at the puddle of beer "— over your left shoulder b— " He's suddenly looking past Alyssa and Cass at a corner on the other side of the room. His eyes go wide, his expression blanches slightly, and his jaw drops just a little. "Oh my God." Years of seasoned acting, don't fail him now!

"Hmph." Cass is even a little disappointed that there isn't the large imposing figure of Mr. Hendrickson rushing through the doorway to look down on her and then crush her like a little bug. But, perhaps that will be for another time. "Anti-climatic is ri—" She stops mid sentence when Oliver tries his little prank of pointing behind her as if Lurch /is/ standing right behind her. His acting is quite good and the store owner freezes for a moment, expecting a large hand to clasp over her mouth and drag her off to be dealt with accordingly. It's only a moment and her rational brain catches up with the overriding panic of the possibility and gives Oliver a wry smile. "That was a good one. I believed you for a second there." She doesn't look over her shoulder to confirm her suspicions, either.

Everything seems to be settling back into mundane drinking when Alyssa shoots a confused look for Oliver. It isn't quite for the way he cut himself off, because she's done that herself a-plenty, but the jaw dropping she notices out of the corner of her eye and, well, people don't just do that for kicks. "Oh my God?" she hisses in return, slapping her palms on the bar and leaning /further/ towards Oliver and his odd behavior. Does he— he doesn't /really/ mean… Omg, he /does/. Staring somewhere over the man's shoulder, she imagines she can see Lurch forming out of the very shadows of the bar, his expression just as dark as the evil from which he was wrought. His breath chills the room, his feet make the floor shudder in despair with every ominous step that puts him closer to an unsuspecting, unprotected Cass whose only crime was to waste a little alcohol. 'Who /dares/ disturb my slumber?!' Lurch rumbles as he puts out a hand the size of a bowling ball (and just as dangerous) in order to— wait, what good one? Spinning to eye her boss, Alyssa notes that smile. And the notable way there is /not/ a looming figure of DOOOOOM over her shoulder. O.. oh. … "Oliver! For shame! You really had me going! Dammit, now I want to go bowling."

For someone like Cass — logical, scientific — the illusion would likely not hold the same sort of sway as it would over someone like Alyssa, whose imagination is apparently as active as a three-year-old after five espressos and six Hershey's bars. Oliver grins when Cass outs him, but it's Alyssa's reaction that he's /really/ lapping up. It's only when the other woman picks up on the joke that he starts to laugh. It's a boisterous and mirthful sound, but it's soon dying off as quickly as it came. "You bought into the magic," he intones with an air of mysticism that is not all pomp. After taking another drink from his glass, he grins again. "Yeah? Well, maybe I can make it up to you and take you bowling sometime." Sure, why not?

Alyssa's reaction really is quite priceless and Cass watches it happily, trying not to laugh outright at the spinning and the terrified glances around the bar. However, as soon as the gig is up, she lets out the laughter she was holding back, grinning at Alyssa. The bowling is a bit of a strange tangent, but she keeps it in stride. "Bowling?" Laughing, she shakes her head. "No no. Doctors orders for me. I'm supposed to keep off this leg. And tossing round, heavy objects down a lane does not pass the test. Both Doctor Applebaum and Lachlan would kill me. In fact, Lach'll probably kill me for drinking without him already. You two go and have fun."

Alyssa has been used. But for some good amusement, so at least there's that… but still, there's some kind of frame of mind to uphold here for principle and Alyssa honorably does so by giving an overly dignified sniff and throwing her head to the side. If she had her hair down, it surely would've gone over her shoulder haughtily. What a loss that it's not. "Oh, so you're a magician, huh? I'm going to require some proof of authenticity in order to fully absolve you of having not only given me a shock but built my hopes up and then crushed them so mightily with your falsehood." A pause. She relaxes her shoulders a little and then juts out her lower lip in consideration, "I suppose bowling would work to, eh."

Another laugh from Oliver. "Nah, I'm actually more of a musician-slash-actor-slash-artist-slash-sandwich guy down at Noodle Heaven," he informs Alyssa, "but y'know, all artists have their own brand of magic. We're all masters of illusion." And then he shoots a sympathetic frown Cass' way. "You sure? That's too bad. But hey, you get better, y'know? You'll want both your legs to run away from Lurch, right?" The grin's back, followed by a knowing wink. Then he's turned his attention on Alyssa again. "I gotta get back to my group over there, and I wouldn't dream of depriving Cass here of somebody to walk her home — especially when she's hurt — but tell you what— " he's digging around in his pockets and soon withdraws a notepad and stub-pencil and jots down a number: "— this … is my number." He rips off the paper and slides it over the bar toward Alyssa, giving another wink — and this one's definitely flirtatious, nothing like the one he gave Cass. "And if you don't think that's too forward of me, you can give me yours and I'll give you a call sometime, or you can give me a call. We'll make a night of it."

Cass gives Alyssa a bit of a good natured push. It's very light and most likely won't even move the woman when she seems to be upset over her honor. Something to get her mind off of that. For the most part, she keeps quiet during the exchange about bowling - she did bow out of that meet up and has nothing to input about it. She does smile back at Oliver's line about depriving her of her walking company and gives a nod of her head. "It was good seeing you again, Oliver." The flirtatious wink that he gives Alyssa barely makes it hard for her to keep the smile from turning into something more proud, but she keeps it buttoned. Aha. Success. At least halfway.

"I like the way you talk about artists," Alyssa admits with a soft dip of her head; a large contrast from her previous attempts at being offended. She flashes Cass a quick but sad smile for her decline on the effort but as she's already given her opinion on her boss' latest tragedy, she keeps her mouth shut for the time being. Besides, there's suddenly Oliver talking again and the writer rushes to pay attention, if only because she's liable to start drifting after such a bout like DOOM-Lurch. Heh, DOOM. "Tell me, hm?" She echoes but there's no need as he's now writing and she watches him do so until there's a paper coming towards her. Oh. His number. Oh. He's /winking/. Oh, what strange timing this is… Alyssa pauses midway through giving an inquisitive glance over her shoulder to Cass and, instead, offers Oliver's an obliging smile. "A girl can't say 'no' to bowling," she professes. She pulls from her jacket pocket a permanent marker and yanks off the cap. Oliver's arm is given a pensive look before she switches tracks and writes thickly out on one of the bar's napkins.

As soon as the ink's on the napkin, Oliver takes it, glances over the number, and then grins again. "Well, just my luck then." He tucks away the napkin neatly along with his pad and pencil, then takes up his glass and rises to his feet. "Pleasure seeing you again, Cass, and definitely a pleasure meeting you, Alyssa. I'll catch you later." And then he's off, heading back to his table. It seems a bit cruel to have found a date while Eliana is floundering, but he's only human.

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