Who: Parry and Orb What: Everything's just fine. Of course it is. When: Sunday afternoon (June 3rd); This Is Why It's Good When You Don't Lose A Complete Log In Your Email For Three Weeks Before Posting It, Dammit. Where: The Dancing Goat Coffee House, Anaheim Rating: Innocent/In Public Status: Complete
Parry's dreams had hardly ceased, but if Orb's visit had convinced him of one thing, it was that he couldn't remain cooped up forever. For one thing, he didn't have enough food; for another, he'd long since run out of coffee. His phone had run out of space for unanswered messages, both of text and voice variety, and he was going to have to spend quite a lot of time sweet-talking Lilah to get her to forgive him the lapse, as well.
He'd taken a lot of time, carefully preparing for his first venture out and about in weeks; before hitting the grocery store, therefore, it was time to get coffee, and maybe some brunch as well. He just wasn't expecting to see Orb at the Dancing Goat.
He probably really wasn't expecting to see Orb flirting at the Dancing Goat. She was sitting in a chair laughing and stirring her coffee around as a gentlemen who Parry had presumably seen there before was saying, "And you're definitely the girl from the other night. The one who was out with her friends trying to find love. Did you?"
"Love and a moose and all sorts of other things," Orb told him, and honestly she couldn't remember half the things at least, but there had been donuts and espresso and a lot of sprinkles. And she'd made friends with a man named Coulson who liked sprinkles even more than she did! It had been a great night, for all that she didn't remember anywhere near as much as she would have liked to. "But, I mean, no. We didn't find everything. Definitely love, though. I think it was in the sprinkles."
First, Parry tried not to glare. It wasn't the man's fault that Orb was flirting with him; it wasn't his fault that Parry was in a spectacularly less-than-equitable mood, either. It was petty and evil of him to wish that the man's coffee would turn salted, his milk curdle – but he wished it anyway, for a heartbeat, before sighing, tearing his gaze away, and realizing it was in fact finally his turn to order. Good. That meant he had something to focus on other than Orb, for at least a few moments.
When he looked back, Orb had the table to herself. The gentleman had been standing, anyway; now he had walked away, and Orb had a post-it with a phone number on it that she was folding up and putting in her wallet. She wasn't about to go out on any dates, but she liked being able to call people just to hang out. Or go look for moose in love or play duck duck goose in parking lots in the middle of the night or something.
If he'd been looking for a date wouldn't he have asked for her number, instead?
Anyway, the latte was good.
Or maybe his latte really had curdled, Parry thought, musing on it, and –
Well, he would readily justify that he knew her already, that the coffee shop was quite crowded, and that his pastry would be very messy to eat without the use of a table, and all of those were true and none of them had much to do with why he wanted to join Orb at her table.
He didn't bother to say anything before seating himself, of course.
She didn't wait even half a beat to say "Hi," and didn't appear to have a problem with him just deciding to sit there. Largely because she didn't, really. It was a public table! Plenty of random people sat at tables with her all the time, she wasn't going to argue when someone who wasn't a stranger sat there instead.
"Bonjour," he answered, sounding cheerful. To some extent, of course, he was cheerful: he had coffee, and it was good coffee, none of that Starbucks merde, and he had breakfast, and it was going to be delicious, for they had a pastry-chef who had trained in France, as was proper. "And how has your weekend been, my friend?"
"Oh, it was kind of amazing," Orb chirped. "I went to go get some donuts, apparently? I don't remember why, but I was craving donuts and bought twelve and only ate half of one. So I was offering them to other people in the store, and these people came in. One of them liked sprinkles even more than me, I think -- anyway, me and two other people who were just in the shop ended up going on a scavenger hunt with the people who came in. It was really fun and I think I even remember all of their names. Totally found some of them online, too."
Definitely amazing, in Orb's book. New friends, scavenger hunts, sprinkles.
"It is terribly difficult," Parry told her dryly, "to imagine someone liking sprinkles more than you, mon amie." He broke the croissant open, leaving crumbs skittering across the wrapper, and took a single neat bite before reaching for his coffee. Swallow. "A scavenging hunt, hmm?"
"Yes. For love, and moose, and paperclips and dumbells and things." That had been what someone said, right? Orb was sure of it. They found all sorts of wonderful things, too! And people, and experiences. She would definitely be doing it again, maybe slightly more sober. "It was quite fun. The kind of spur of the moment fun I wish happened more often."
Parry stared, and – once again – slid into French. "Vous avez regardé à l'orignal?"
He, like his tone, was baffled.
Orb nodded, a grin forming and catching around her coffee as she took a sip. "Mm. Oua," she continued, as she set it back down on the table, "but we didn't actually find one. I haven't really seen any around here. Actually, I don't think I've seen a moose since I left London. Not that we had any in London, but, you know. Canada."
"So –" With an effort, he recollected his thoughts. "You did not find it, then. Your hunt was incomplete."
"Right, although there may have been a stuffed one, I can't actually remember." Orb shrugged.
"Did you have someone taking photographic proof of your discoveries?" Eyebrows raised, Parry – remembered he was there for brunch, and continued eating.
"It was not me, but I think Espresso Dude had a camera phone."
"– Espresso Dude?" He snorted a laugh, managing not to choke on the crumbs of his croissant. "Perhaps you will leave me wishing I had been there, to see these things."
Orb laughed yet again, and leaned a little closer, grinning. "Yes, I think you should be wishing that. You should do random crazy things more. You're kind of a giant rich brat stick in the mud type of guy."
She was at least confident in that assessment of him, and would be until he had another weird series of dreams that resulted in her thinking he was a madman, instead.
Rolling his eyes, he focused on his coffee, externally. Internally? Well, he was of mixed mind – at least she no longer appeared to be convinced he was mad, for all that he was not entirely convinced he was not. "Are you planning to make appointments for me, without telling me, that I should do such things?"
"How can it possibly be random with an appointment?" Orb rolled her eyes, and -- flicked at his nose a little. "You don't seem to understand the meaning of the word. Fait au hasard?"
"Perhaps I expect," as he flicked a crumb of croissant at her, "that you shall decide, ahh, it is Tuesday, therefore it is time for me to insist Parry do something odd."
"No, more like I'll roll a set of dice every day and when they get to the right number, which of course I will have a third party pick and therefore not actually be able to know in advance, that's when I make you do something odd."
"If I do not know what days you insist upon in advance, they still appear random to me," he pointed out solemnly. "Is it, in truth, so necessary for these times to be random to you, as well?"
"I did say they would be." Orb rolled her eyes at him. "So why should I get to cheat?"
She took a long swig of latte.
"To enforce the idea that I will establish a habit of random behaviour, of course." Parry grinned, and then was saddened to realize his croissant was long since gone. "True randomness calls for the chance that it is daily, or more than once a day, and also that it might be months upon months before such behaviour comes again -- and I think you do not wish to be so patient."
Orb laughed, and spun her hair around a finger thoughtfully. "Well, I don't think your behavior is really my job to dictate or police."
"Do you not wish for me to be more playful?" he pouted.
"No, I totally do. But it's not like it's something I'm going to make you do."
"I do not think you could force me," Parry mused, and sipped at his own coffee. "And, of course, if you tell me what my randomness is to be, it is far less random, non?"
Orb's latte was almost gone. She glared at it.
"Are you still under-caffeinated, ma chérie?"
"Mm. No. I think I'm hungry."
"Then perhaps you should find yourself a luncheon," Parry murmured, smiling, and drank his coffee again, and mused that it was astonishingly easy, at times, to pretend that he was perfectly fine, and did not have any memories one would not expect him to have.
"Unless it's actually breakfast. I can't honestly recall if I ate this morning." Again, Orb shrugged. It hadn't really seemed important at the time.
"That would work, even if it's like, one or something and that means it has to be lunch technically -- oh, whatever. How's the food here?"
"... this is a café," Parry pointed out gently. "While the pastries are very good, it is not much for a meal meant to sustain you through the day."
"Grocery store, then." Orb started to stand, grabbing her bag.
"Are you inviting me?"
Orb hesitated, looking at him.
Had she been? Not really. But he'd been acting so weird recently, maybe he didn't want to be alone --
"Sounds like you're inviting yourself," she shot back, giving him a grin.
"It has been some time since I have picked up fresh groceries," Parry allowed, and smiled a little, picking up his coffee and clearing the wrapper from his croissant.
"Okay, well, you're driving."
Since they were in his neighborhood, and Orb didn't have a car, that seemed fair.
"As you wish." Parry chuckled, and held the door for her.