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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
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((Ben Fields continued from Sam's Town))

Shopping for the produce was always the awkward part of a grocery trip, as far as Ben was concerned. Lana didn't really like her greens, he didn't really like his greens, heck even Mom tried to discretely keep her portions of the fresh stuff vanishing. But health was one of the basics of any household, and thus it was one of Ben's top priorities. Even if he didn't really know which vegetables needed to be cooked versus being served raw. Ditto for the type of cooking. Boiled or mashed or stuck in a stew, Ben usually just did whatever and hoped it tasted passable. He was learning though, slowly. He'd managed a decent stir-fry sorta deal the last time he'd had some carrots and cabbage on the burner, and he was pretty proud about that.

Ben was at that time gingerly poking around a basket display of zucchini. He swore the damn things essentially just looked like cucumbers, trying to figure out the deal with the different name was his halfhearted struggle of the moment. This really was not worth the time; he could try to get fancy about his purchases at a time when he wasn't in danger of running out of fucks. He rolled his eyes, forced them up and away. That's how he saw the others.

Appraised the girl first because why not, looking at girls (in a non-creepy fashion) could brighten any moment. Ben didn't recognize her by name, she was one of those passing faces. Next was blondie. There was a recognizable face, Alvaro Vacanti, or however that last name was supposed to go. A pretty cool guy at school, and Lana's number one choice when they had the cash and time to eat out was the Vacanti cafe and 'that cool guy who teaches me how to play chess when I ask'. Essentially an ace dude in Ben's books, though their conversations in the past had hinted there was maybe some faulty wiring under the surface. Nothing quite Henry Spencer 'holy fuck what is this' level, but enough to stand out. To make him a target, unfortunately.

Hence the presence of the third person, who didn't really need or warrant any proper introduction. Okay, that wasn't fair. Darius wasn't that bad, some of his more 'nope' affiliations aside. In theory this wasn't what it looked like, but Ben's suspicions were perked all the same. Just a healthy bit of watchful concern prickling the hairs on the back of his neck. Warranted or not Ben quickly rationalized that this would be a chance to observe Darius in the wild, see if he was actually playing nice or not. What was that saying? Old habits died hard.

Not too long, he told himself, just a few couple minutes before he got back to his other business. He hunkered down, tucking his lithe form against the sturdy arm of his cart. Pretended he was silently vibing out to whatever generic shit was playing over the store radio while he kept his eyes casually scanning about with semi-regular glances at the cluster of dorks. He tried to keep tabs on the mood in case his presence at any point would be welcome.
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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Sadness Augmentation · Main Street