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Revision as of 22:53, 9 October 2019

Shorty Squad
Dramatis Personae

Taylor, Sarah, Vivian

2019-10-08


"If you need a place to sit, there's plenty of room at my table."

Location

Evolve Cafe


It's a slow Tuesday evening inside Evolve. There's a couple of people scattered around the tables, largely on phones or computers though one sleekly green-furred person tucked on the back couch is just trying hard to stifle their recurring laughter as they make their way through a copy of Wodehouse's Carry On, Jeeves.

With no line at the counter, Taylor is looking kind of bored. The very distinctive barista is seated on a stool behind the cash register, several of his tentacles wrapped around his midsection and several more hanging slack behind him, though one slender boneless limb coils around a bottle of Orangina that he intermittently sips from. His black tee shirt ('WHITE LIVES MATTER TOO MUCH', it reads in bold white capital letters across his broad chest) has had multiple holes messily slashed in it for his plethora of limbs; the actual black of the fabric looks pale against the even darker obsidian-black of his skin. He has his own phone in hand, flipping through it slowly as he rocks from side to side on the swivelling seat.

She steps in, and to the side so as not to block the doorway, even if there isn't much foot traffic anyway. The front portion of her brown hair is tied back in a ponytail, the rest loose to hang to her mid back. She's wearing a fleece jacket of royal blue, a pastel blue Maxi skirt that brushes just over sneakers of steel blue with gray trim.

Wow, this place is certainly loud. Not in sound, but color. It's like Rainbow Bright puked in here. Oh well, she was told it was the most affordable place, so maybe she can't complain too much.

After looking around for a few moments, she starts towards the main counter. Only a very brief glance to the menu, just to see if they have what she already knows she wants, because she always gets the same thing in every cafe, but mostly to calculate the cost of her lunch.

Speaking of loud, color-wise, but otherwise quiet, Sarah is one of the few occupying a table. The table is big enough for at least four; Sarah would look a bit lost, sitting by herself, by the majority of the tabletop is covered in an array of beat up sketchbooks, all open to reveal a variety of things: portraits in black in white, portraits in color, flowers, insects, cats, dogs, various scenes of New York. A plate, holding the crumby remains of a sandwich, is stacked with two empty cups nearby.

Possibly to Taylor's chagrin, a remix of Lizzo's "Juice" (rewritten to fit the antics of a goose) has been on loop on her head while she flips through her sketchbooks, cutting out certain pages here and there c a r e f u l l y with an x-acto knife. Said pages are then deposited into a rather plain two-pocket folder that is starting to fill up. Her hair, as pink as always, basically stands on end with how many times she's run her hands through it. She's currently dressed for the season, in short overalls that are pastel purple and covered in a pattern of black bats and shooting stars. Black tights with small rainbow skulls and purple combat boots finish the look.

Squinting down at the current page in front of her--a portrait of Michelle from Derry Girls that focuses mostly on her hair--there's a very dry and finished <<Nope.>> from the recesses of her brain. Time for a break. Sarah caps the knife and gathers up her dishware, heads to the front to both bring it back and wait in line.

"Yo." Taylor glances up with an automatic chipper smile, a quick upward jerk of his head in greeting. Several of his arms unfurl at once, their motion writhing and serpentine as he rearranges items -- caps his soda, sets it down, tucks his phone into his pocket. One arm, even longer than the others, uncoils itself from where it's been wrapped around his waist, stretching out -- then out, then out, then out, faaar longer than might have been guessed while the limb was spooled -- past Vivian to pluck the dishes from Sarah's hands and then stretch past both of them to drop the dishes off at the busing station. "Welcome to Evolve," he's adding, cheerfully enough through these contortions. "First time here? The banh mi is excellent."

Even before ordering, Vivian is fishing out her wallet to be ready to pay promptly. And even if she doesn't need to, she reflexively scoots aside a bit so that Taylor can have more room to get to Sarah. Even without being able to read her mind, it's obvious by her lofty browed expression that she finds Sarah...interesting. Not necessarily bad, however. Belatedly, she smiles a bit bashfully as she realizes she was kinda gawking.  Her attention goes back to Taylor, and returns a greeting of "Hiya.". Then at his suggestion, she blinks mix-matched eyes (left blue, right green). "Who did what?" Yup, definitely a newbie.

Even though Evolve has become one of her usual hangouts (she loves Montague's but she can't exactly chill where she works, on the clock or not) there is still a small, primal reaction of <<gyah>> when Taylor takes the dishes, a fast wave of guilt following it. Sarah flashes Vivi a cheerful smile, hoping to cover it. Hoping the reaction eventually /stops/, because how rude to Taylor.

"Banh mi is this super delicious sandwich with a ton of vegetables," she helpfully supplies, really without thinking, as she moves to looking over the menu. "I mean, everything is delicious here, but Taylor is right, the banh mi is just outta this world."

A slight nod to Sarah. "Thanks."  Against better judgement, she doesn't look back to the menu to decide. Again to Taylor: "What the hay…?  As long as it doesn't have pork in it. <<Yuck!>> Or nuts. And a bottle of juice, please." Assuming it's like most places, that has some sort of selection of bottled juice in the display cooler.

Taylor flicks the slim end of one arm toward Sarah in agreement. "Sandwich," he reaffirms. "Vietnamese. We got tofu or lemongrass beef, spicy or --" For a second he looks down (waaay down, given how tall he towers over both the others) at Vivian, the furrow of his brow brief enough to be easily missed. "-- not-spicy." He folds his two bony arms down on the counter, leaning his weight against them. There's a small easing to his smile when he looks over at Sarah. "What'chu working on tonight?"

A slight nod to Sarah. "Thanks."  Against better judgement, she doesn't look back to the menu to decide. Vivian turns her smile back to Taylor "What the hay…?  As long as it doesn't have pork in it. <<Yuck!>> Or nuts. And not spicy." Picky, picky! "And a bottle of juice, please." Assuming it's like most places, that has some sort of selection of bottled juice in the display cooler.

"Portfolio," Sarah answers, nose scrunching up. <<Ugh.>> "Or, you know. Trying? How am I suppose to know which are my 'best pieces'?" she asks, hands raising in air quotes. <<Just because I think it's my best doesn't mean some future boss down the line is gonna agree.>> "I'm close to just putting everything up on a wall and throwing suction-cup darts. Let fate do the work for me."

Taylor's mouth twitches up at the corner -- just a little! -- with Vivian's order. "Got it," he replies brightly, one arm sliding downward to punch quickly at the cash register. A second one pokes off in the direction of the pair of fridges at the wall by the end of the counter -- one of them is well-stocked with drinks, heavily slanted toward local! natural! organic! type brands. On the customers' side of the countertops, it's clear enough that they can pick their own beverages to bring to the register. "You gonna get yourself a drink or should I just take a wild guess at what you like?"

He pushes himself back upright, flicking a brief look over toward the table Sarah had occupied, little though he can actually make out her drawings from here. "I don't know, second opinions? I know there's people down at Chimaera who've done the whole Professional Artist thing, like, proper. Could probably give you some pointers. Bet if you ask Jax he'd give you pointers over cupcakes."

He's slipping off back to the kitchen without much of an actual farewell, leaving a short black-and-blue haired barista to finish the others' transactions as he disappears to prep food.

Vivian's choice of juice is "Whatever's cheapest." She gets her order to go, pays, and plops a couple $1s into the tip jar.  A few steps off to the side, to be out of the way so Sarah can make an order if she wants to, even though she just got done giving plates to Taylor.  As she waits for her food, she gives the place a more attentive study.

Sarah steps forward to order a banh mi herself ("Lemongrass beef, extra spicy please.") along with the biggest mango-lemonade possible, pays and tips with a smile. "If you need a place to sit, there's plenty of room at my table," she offers to Vivy while waiting for her order, gesturing toward the paper covered table. "Once I clean it off, at least."

Despite the fact that it's not busy, and there are plenty of vacant tables, she accepts the invitation. Obviously a little surprised, but pleasantly so. "Okay. Thanks." A little grin creeps up at Sarah's amendment. "No rush, I'm not in a hurry." Even though her order was to go, and she had gotten her sandwich all wrapped up and bagged.

Sarah smiles. "No problem." Once her food and drink arrive, she grabs a handful of napkins and leads Vivy to her table, plate and almost comically large cup also in hand. All is set down to start gathering things up; sketchbooks closed and put to the side in a ragged multicolored stack, loose pages pushed into the folder in no certain order before it too is stacked. Once the table can actually be seen again, she gestures with both hands as if to say, 'Ta-da!'

"This is your first time here, right?" she asks, flopping into her seat. "You should get some ice cream or a cupcake before you go. If the food here is amazing, the desserts are divine."

Vivian tags along with Sarah, and patiently waits for the table to be cleared off. She does, of course, look at the papers, admiring whatever images she can while they're being tucked away. She sets her bagged sandwich off to the side, and starts working on twisting off the cap of her juice.  "Yup." is the simple answer of her visiting status. Her nose scrunches up in obvious distaste at the mention of ice cream, but she hurriedly tries to make it seem more like it's because of the struggle with the juice lid ...because it actually is defeating her.

Sarah pulls her plate and cup closer before watching Vivy for a moment, a grin tugging at the corner of her mouth. After another moment, she holds a hand out. "Want some help with that?" she asks, not unkindly. "I'm the Official Jar Opener at my house."

"Thanks." Vivian holds out the bottle - which we'll say is apple juice, because it's not fancy tropical fruit, and therefore likely to be the cheapest. She makes a little scoffing chuckle. "I can barely open my childproof pill bottles."

"Oh, I know the trick to that!" Taking the bottle, Sarah puts all of her time kneading dough to good use. The lid, after a stubborn moment, twists open with a pop. "So, once you have the bottlecap off, you can put it in upside down. It'll still close the bottle and it'll be a lot easier to open next time," she explains, handing the bottle back. Once they're free, she holds both hands, petite like the rest of her, in the air. "Tiny hand hacks!"

Another half laugh, though not quite so offended. "Yeah, prescription ones. Tylenol and Advil lids from the store don't invert." She rolls her eyes to emphasize the inconvenience of the issue "I just put them in older prescription bottles, after the first time I open them, so I only need to do it once. That's my hack." She grins, triumphantly.

And she takes her juice back, too.

"Oh, yeah, I just end up getting the tiny bottles for those." Grabbing a napkin from the small stack of them beside her plate, Sarah uses it to pick up her sandwich after. There's an audible crunch of fresh vegetables when she takes a bite, her feet swinging happily under her chair as the different flavors meld together while she chews. She barely seems to notice how her eyes are suddenly watering from the spice, other than blinking to clear her vision. Once she can without being rude, she introduces herself. "I'm Sarah, by the way. Nice to meet you."

Her feet are probably dangling a bit, too, even though she's got a whole inch and a half more than Sara. "Eh…" she trails off, realizing she should not get into all the reasons for dealing with the inconvenience of bigger bottles. When Sarah takes a bite of her sandwich, Vivian takes a drink of her juice.  "I'm Vivian. Good to meet you, too. Do you come here a lot?"  Hopefully that doesn't sound like a pick up line. She just is sincerely curious.

She shrugs at the question. "When I'm not working and my roommates are being too loud." Sarah waves one hand loosely, gesturing to the cafe in general. "It's a good place. Good place to find food, and to just... be." Her eyes flick to the green-furred person sitting in the back. "Not a lot of places like that, unfortunately."

She nods, with a small sigh. "Yeah." She gives a glance out to the place in general, then looks back to Sarah as her smile returns. "What I think is the best thing, is limited windows. Most cafes have walls of windows." This is apparently not a favorable quality.

"It helps a lot of people feel comfortable." Sarah momentarily returns to her sandwich with another big bite. There is the slightest resemblance to a very colorful chipmunk as she eats. A colorful chipmunk with spice-induced tears flowing down her face. "Which is, like. The number one thing Evolve sets out to do, I think?" This is said around only a little bit of food. The next, once she swallows, is much clearer. "Not that I know for sure, I'm not the owner or anything, but it feels like it."

"Oh...yeah, I guess it does help hide us, too."  Yes, us...Vivian only looks human. "Too many windows are too bright in the summer, and too drafty in the winter. This is nice and insulated, I bet!" Who cares about the food, when you have amazing climate control?

"I haven't been here for the winter yet, so I wouldn't really know." The idea of winter, of snow and biting winds and numb fingers and toes, makes something inside of Sarah shiver. She's just about to take another bite of banh mi, hoping the extra-spicy will drive it away when her phone chimes. She puts the sandwich down, digs said phone from the bib pocket of her overalls after wiping her hands. Her face scrunches in annoyance as she reads whatever text she just received. With a heavy sigh, she starts packing her things into a purple canvas messenger bag that hangs on the back of her chair. "I'm sorry, I gotta go. One of my roommates is locked out of the apartment, and I'm the only one who can let him in."

She flashes Vivy a quick smile once everything is loaded up. "I hope you like your sandwich. Maybe I'll see you around again." Without waiting for a reply, or perhaps unable to, Sarah grabs the remains of her sandwich and drink to head to the counter for some to-go containers. Why let good food go to waste?

"Okay." She lifts her hand to give Sarah a wiggly fingered wave.