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Dinner Date
Topic Started: Jan 26 2012, 06:51 PM (2,761 Views)
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Mr. Danya
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((Ryan Banks Pregame Start))

One o’clock: lunchtime. Ryan was sat alone at the counter, an appetising plate of gammon and fries in front of him. The time meant that there were a lot of other customers, but for the most part the rest of them had filled up the booths, leaving him sat there by himself. He didn’t mind it at all.

Ryan had a ritual of coming to the Around The Clock Diner for lunch on a Saturday, his routine all but recognised by the staff after keeping it up for so long. He wasn’t on a name basis with them, there was no reason to be, but he barely even had to say his order anymore these days. The food was affordable here and, more to the point, it tasted better than it was priced as far as Ryan was concerned, whilst the portion sizes satisfied the growling hunger his morning runs always gave him.

The food hadn’t lost its oven fresh warmth as he bit into it, the first bite always the best. He began demolishing the pile of fries, glancing around the diner in the midst of chewing and his mind began to wander as it always did. A constant rambling accented the room as the other customers talked amongst their groups whilst Ryan sat alone. None of the faces he recognised, but that was hardly unusual: it was a popular place, so there were always new customers crossing through. Even if there were any other regulars, however, Ryan wasn't the type to take note of them anyway, too focused in enjoying his own meal every time.

As his thoughts deepened, his eating slowed. There was only half a year left of high school, and he still hadn’t been offered anything for college. It was a thought that often hit him lately, especially after the winter term ended, and one that he came back to in a quiet moment like this a lot. He knew that he would have to talk to his coach about it again, regardless of whatever priorities he may have had that weren't Ryan. The thought that they might exist hadn't even crossed the young man's mind.

His fork interrupted him, hitting the bare crockery with a loud clink. The empty plate confirmed that he’d already eaten the entire serving without even realising, but his stomach still growled underneath the bar for more. He waved at the attendant behind the bar, silently getting his attention. “Another gammon and fries.” he stated simply to the man who couldn’t be much older than him. Whoever it was, they hadn't started working here until recently. “Please.”
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"Hehe, alright. I'm telling you though, the moment she begins to talk, your mind WILL be blown. Anyway, I'll let you get back to work... Do vstrechi!."

With his phonecall at an end, Brian leant back into his couch and relaxed as he resumed watching TV.

Ever since he first started attending school, Saturday had always been Brian's favourite day of the week. He couldn't think of a better way to start the day than to sleep in for most of the morning, only to then sit back down in front of the TV for the next hour or so the moment he finally woke up. By now it had almost become a standard routine for Brian to get up, walk into the living room and watch his favourite programs before getting on with whatever business he had planned for that day. Provided he even had anything planned to do in the first place. But usually, after an active week of football soccer and track practice, Brian loved nothing more than to spend most of Saturday just chilling back and taking a break from a week's worth of hard work.

The apartment which Brian and his dad had lived in for the past few years was fairly small, at least in comparison to some of the houses his friends lived in. It had all the basic necessities of course, such as a reasonably spacious living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and two small bedrooms. But that was pretty much about it, unless you counted the small balcony that overlooked the scenery, and seeing as they lived on the fifth floor that was a pretty decent view. Currently, his father was still fast asleep after having been awake all night on paramedic duty. Whilst Brian sometimes wished that he could spend more time with his dad, seeing as the only times when they were usually both awake was when his dad was just about to head off to work, at the same time this meant that Brian had quickly gotten used to looking after himself most of the time. On weekdays, he'd get up, shower, help himself to some breakfast and head to school all by himself.

Speaking of breakfast, his stomach was beginning to grumble. Still dressed in nothing but a t-shirt and boxer shorts, Brian made his way towards the kitchen to fetch himself some cereal. However, as he opened the fridge, he made a horrifying discovery that shocked him to his very core...

Dear god... We're out of milk!

Dang. And from the looks of it, there wasn't anything else that could serve as an appropriate breakfast... Or lunch, seeing as it was nearly one in the afternoon, but still. The fact remained that he was hungry as hell, and there was nothing good to eat.

Alright. Seems as though I have two options... Either I go buy some milk and cereal from the local grocery store, OR I could go grab a bite to eat at a diner or something.

After giving it a few seconds thought, Brian decided on the latter when he remembered how good the burgers were at that cool diner just down the street. With a destination in mind, Brian had a quick shower and wasted no time in getting changed into his usual attire. Blue jeans, red shirt, and his kickass black leather jacket.

"Hey Dad, I'm just gonna head out and grab a bite to eat. Is that cool with you?" he asked as he passed his father's bedroom. He assumed that the unintelligible grumble that came as a reply was something along the lines of yes.

With his wallet in hand and food on his mind, Brian left his apartment and quickly made his way down the street. If memory served him correctly, the Around the Clock Diner wasn't particularly far away from where he lived. Hardly ten minutes has passed from the moment he left his home that he arrived at the front door to the 1950's-esque eatery, the sweet aroma of of good cooking washing away any niggling thoughts that he should have just gotten some milk and cereal instead. He always loved the retro feel of the place, with the oldschool dukebox and retro style furniture. And whenever he was wearing his leather jacket and blue jeans, he almost felt like he was some cool 1950's greaser thirsty for a shake after a busy day of illegal car chases, or whatever greasers used to do in their spare time. That said, the fact that he was also Russian made this fantasy kind of difficult, what with the cold war and everything.

In any case, Brian quickly sat down at the nearby counter and caught the cute waitresses' attention.

"Hey! I'd like a, um... A cheeseburger and fries please. With a diet coke."

The waitress noted the order down and walked off, leaving Brian to his thoughts. As he sat there, it came to Brian's attention that there was the off chance someone he knew was nearby. After all, this was a pretty popular location amongst the population of Aurora High. Heck, some of his best dates took place in this very restaurant. so the possibility of bumping into one of his fellow classmates here was surprisingly high.

And, sure enough, all he had to do was turn his head a little to the left to find none other than fellow track & field enthusiast and teammate Ryan Banks sitting just a few seats away from him.

"Ryan? Hey man, fancy seeing you here! How's it going?"
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Ryan had been looking absently across the counter through the kitchen’s window when Brian arrived, failing to notice another customer entering the busy restaurant until he called out for him across the ambient din. “Oh, hey Brian.” he said back, smiling when he saw who it was. “I'm good, just getting some lunch.” he said, tacking a small shrug on as he did so. Since they were both on the track team, Ryan had seen Brian plenty of times at practice and the two got on okay. Brian was an easy enough guy to talk to and he was a good runner too, so he made for a good race out on the track. Outside of that, however, Ryan really didn't know him all that well.

“What are you having?” Ryan asked, a fan of pretty much everything on the menu, as he moved down the bar to sit next to Brian. Whilst he may have liked eating alone at the diner, the solitude whilst eating being a lovely atmosphere to him, he decided that talking to Brian would probably make for a fun change of pace. He’d talked to the regulars at practice plenty of times, but he was always far more focused on training than he was on making friends. Talking to Brian here might let him get to know his fellow team mate outside the track a little better; it could be interesting.
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"Cool, cool..." Brian replied as Ryan got up from his seat and moved down the bar to sit beside him.

It wasn't often that Brian got a chance to just sit down and chat with Ryan. After all, the only time when the two of them ever really got the opportunity to talk was when they were in the changing room before and after track & field lessons, and even then Ryan was usually more interested in keeping to himself than he was in engaging in conversation. Not that Brian could really blame him, seeing as most guys his age weren't as cool with chatting to other guys whilst changing clothes as he was. That said, on the track the two of them had something of a friendly rivalry going on, the two of them always giving it their all to outdo the other and prove which of them was the fastest on their team.

Still, the fact remained that outside of track & field, the two of them barely knew each other. Ryan was always something of an introvert. Not exactly a loner, but not the kind of person who was keen on being "Mr popular" either. Brian however was the complete opposite, always enjoying the spotlight and hanging out amongst a large group of friends. Despite his quiet nature though, out of all his teammates Ryan had always been the one who Brian had wanted to know better the most, if anything because he knew so little about him compared to his more extroverted teammates.

That and... Well, he also happened to find Ryan kinda attractive. No matter how much Brian tried to keep himself focused on the game, whenever they were running he could never keep his mind off the fact that Ryan happened to encompass a lot of physical qualities which Brian personally had a thing for. Sexy glasses? Check. Chiseled jaw? Check. Toned body? DOUBLE check.

That said, as far as Brian knew, Ryan was straight as an arrow. Ever since he once accidentally hit on some guy who turned out to be completely 100% straight, Brian always made an effort to NEVER hit on a guy unless he was completely certain that they were into dudes as well. And whilst he had no reason to believe that there wasn't the off-chance that Ryan was into other guys too, he didn't want to take that risk and potentially ruin a perfectly good friendship. Besides, just because he thought Ryan was kinda hot didn't mean he was obliged to chat him up or anything, right? He wasn't THAT kind of bisexual after all, despite what some of his more gossipy classmates said about him. So what if Ryan was cute or not, he'd still be interested in knowing him better anyway.

Although the fact that he WAS cute did help. Kinda.

"Oh, nothing special. Just a burger and fries. I kinda missed out on breakfast this morning, so I'm making up for it by having a big lunch."

At that moment, the waitress returned with his can of coke. "Oh, thanks." he said as he opened it and took a swig, relishing the ice cold energy drink.

"Ahh... I know some people prefer coffee in the morning, but I've always preferred an ice cold can of Coke myself. I mean, they both contain caffein, right? So what difference does it really make?"

He took another swig before placing it back on the counter.

"So, what about you? Have you ordered anything too, or are you just here for the drinks?"
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Ryan nodded politely as Brian answered his question. “Cool.” He replied, then reverted to saying nothing. Ryan couldn’t really remember the last time he’d missed breakfast: after a morning run he was always starving, and even then he usually had a small snack before he went out on his feet. But that was just the lifestyle he chose.

The waitress brought over Brian’s drink, him thanking her in an off handed way and slurping it down. He’d neglected to order his own drink with his lunch because he simply wasn't thirsty when he’d walked in, but now that Brian was debating the caffeine complexity of a can of soda versus a warm cuppa joe, he found that his own mouth was drying up.

“You’re making me thirsty now.” he said, his matter of fact tone hiding his attempt at humor. He waved for a waitress, but they were all too occupied to see his silent beckoning. He frowned, if only slightly, before turning his attention back to his team mate. He was more than familiar with his face, featuring those bushy eyebrows and that trimmed beard which had been so painstakingly managed, but this was the first time he’d really had a chance to look at it. His hand unconsciously brushed over his own bare chin, never having any capability for facial hair, as he eyed Brian with new found interest. His thick jacket gave him a rugged look that Ryan had never seen on the track before. His hand lingered on his chin.

Brian’s question brought him out of his thought tracks, snapping him back to reality with a surprised look on his face. As he realized what he was asked, the waitress appeared and answered for him, putting his second plate of food down on the bar before him. He thanked her automatically, mind still coming out of his own head, before remembering as she walked away that he was thirsty. He called after her, but the young woman had already gone on to serve other hungry customers by the time he had turned around.

He turned back to Brian and shrugged with a small smile, accepting defeat. “Just lunch.” He said as he gestured to the plate of food, though his hand didn’t move towards his fork. He was watching Brian again, his expression frozen with concentration. There was no rush to start eating yet.
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"You're making me thirsty now."

Brian couldn't help but chuckle when Ryan made that comment, even though he wasn't entirely sure whether or not he meant for it to be a joke. Ryan always had a tendency to speak in such a way that it was difficult to tell whenever he was making a joke from when he was being dead serious, although in this case Brian was fairly certain that he meant for that to be funny. And even if he wasn't, that didn't stop Brian from chuckling anyway, did it?

In any case, at this moment in time Brian was more interested in what Ryan had ordered. And sure enough, before the other boy could answer the question himself, the waitress placed a dish down on the counter in front of him before moving on to serve other customers. The Russian student couldn't help but raise his eyebrow as he looked over the delicious looking gammon and fries meal, and before long he quickly found himself feeling somewhat envious of his friend's choice of meal. He never really tried gammon at the Around the Clock Diner before, but judging from the smell alone he was beginning to regret having never done so before.

"Nice choice. Darn, I'm starting to wish I got that instead of the burger and fries I just ordered..."

Another thing that Brian had began to notice during his conversation with Ryan was that the other boy seemed to be having a difficult time getting the waitresses' attention. Brian assumed that he was trying to ask for another drink, seeing as he couldn't really see what else he could possibly want, but from the looks of things he didn't seem to be having much luck.

Naturally, Brian felt the need to step in and lend a hand.

"Oh, uh, excuse me..." he said to a passing waiter, quickly catching the young man's attention. "Hey. I think my friend here would like to order a drink..."

He quickly turned his attention back to Ryan, a satisfied grin appearing on his face as the waiter asked the other boy what drink he'd like.

Heh. You just can't help yourself, can you?
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Ryan gave yet another shrug as Brian complimented him on his choice of food, displaying his indifference towards Brian’s opinion on the matter. He still had a smile on his face whilst he shrugged, however, as small as it usually was.

It was at that moment that Brian, putting in barely any of the effort that Ryan had moments earlier, caught the attention of the nearby waiter. It quickly became clear that it was for Ryan's sake, to his surprise. He felt a little awkward, his thin smile turning around to just as thin a frown, for letting Brian grab the attention of a nearby waiter for him, as if he couldn't do it himself. Any embarrassment, however, only made its way out through the slightest shifting in his seat, to most looking like the simplest adjustment of his ass.
“Oh, yeah.” Ryan said, just barely looking up at the man as he spoke. “Just a coke.” Without even looking to see the waiter’s nod, Ryan stopped paying attention to him and took a fry off his plate with his fingers.

He wanted to say something to Brian about what had just happened, but at the same time he knew that it wasn’t necessary. It was hardly worth getting worked up about, so he adjusted his glasses with his clean, rough hand that had not made a habit of stealing chips off his plate instead.

“Anyway,” He changed the topic. “how’s stuff for you?” It was just small talk, but that was the sort of talk that suited Ryan. Whether or not he was really interested in what Brian was up to, he wasn’t all that sure, but he was getting to know his fellow track team members. If anything else, Brian hadn’t done enough to put him off so far, so he might as well have kept on going and see what he might find out whilst his meal kept on shrinking as his cutlery went untouched.
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Whilst Ryan was finally able to order the drink her wanted, the fact that he didn't make it obvious whether or not he appreciated Brian's help made the Russian boy feel slightly uneasy. Did he inadvertently make Ryan feel weaker by succeeding where the other boy had failed? Had he made Ryan feel uncomfortable by essentially ordering his drink for him? Or was Ryan thankful but didn't see the need to make a big fuss about it, and Brian was simply over-thinking things and getting paranoid?

For now, he assumed the latter was the case.

In any case, Ryan decided to change the subject, asking Brian how things had been as he helped himself to a chip. For the most part, Brian couldn't really think of much to talk about, seeing as the day for him had barely even began. Well, there was one thing that did immediately leap to mind, but Brian was pretty sure that Ryan wouldn't be the least bit interested in it. When it really came down to it though, Brian didn't exactly plan on doing much that day other than lounge around and MAYBE hang out with some of his friends if anyone was available that night.

Well, technically, you already ARE hanging out with one of your friends. Even if this is probably the first time you and said friend have ever spoken to each other outside of school...

Brian shrugged. "Eh, I'm feeling alright, I suppose. I did originally plan on hanging out with Ruby later, but it turns out she has to look after her dad's store all day. So now I'm kinda stuck with nothing to do with myself..."

At that moment, the cute waitress from before returned with the hamburger and fries he ordered earlier.

"Ah, spasiba! Thank you..." he said, eagerly helping himself to a couple of chips before turning his attention back to Ryan.

"...Anyway, what about you?"
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Ryan leaned into his hand as Brian talked, propping his elbow up on the counter. The pile of french fries continued to dwindle down off of his plate and into his stomach as he listened to what Brian got up to in their spare time, nodding automatically as he talked about his plans for the rest of the day, or rather lack of them. Ryan suspected that if the positions were reversed then he’d probably be more bothered by it than Brian seemed to be, but then he pretty much always had a plan for his days.

Brian’s order appeared just as he was finishing his answer, brought over by the same waitress who had brought Brian his coke over earlier; Ryan’s coke had yet to arrive. Ryan eyed the inviting hamburger for a moment, his stomach almost growling again despite the meal and a half he had just eaten, before he turned back to Brian, who asked the same question back after finishing a mouthful of his own food.

“I was going to walk my dog after this.” He stated, scratching his chin whilst looking off to the side. “Then have another run this afternoon, probably.” He shrugged. It was just a regular weekend for him, so there was only so much he could answer his question with. He might drop by the bookstore on his way back, and there was studying to do that evening, but aside from that he really didn’t have anything planned. For Ryan, however, that simple schedule suited him just fine.

“Who’s Ruby?” Ryan asked after cutting a few slices of gammon off the steak, remembering Brian mentioning her. If Brian had talked about her at track, then he hadn’t been paying enough attention at the time to remember who she was. She was probably his girlfriend though he decided, glancing around the diner again out of idle curiosity. Ryan remembered that there had been mention of Brian dating sometime or another; whether it was idle gossip in the locker room or from the man himself, however, he could not put his finger on.
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Admittedly, Brian was a little confused at first when Ryan asked him who Ruby was. After all, he always assumed that most if not all of his classmates had at least heard of her, especially the ones who Brian regularly hung out with.

But then it struck Brian that, outside of track and field, he never really saw Ryan all that much around school. He was always the kind of person who mainly kept to themselves rather than go out of harm's way to get to know the names of all their classmates, whereas Brian was the kind of guy who wouldn't rest until he knew every little inconsequential fact about everyone in his year. So it really shouldn't have come as that big a surprise that Ryan wouldn't be as aware of his fellow students as he was.

Still, the fact remained that Brian now found himself explaining who Ruby was to one of his fellow classmates. Which, with the exception of new students, was something he very rarely did.

"Oh, she's just a friend of mine. We've known each other since... I dunno, Sixth Grade? Pretty cool girl. A bit snarky at times, but otherwise I think you'd probably like her..."

Brian sighed to himself as he picked up another chip, quickly munching it down before continuing.

"...We, uh, kinda used to date. Well, that is, until we broke up around a year ago. We still hang out with each other and stuff though. Hell, if anything, we probably get along much better as friends then we ever did as an item."

He chuckled lightly as he finished his sentence, despite the fact that deep down talking about his former relationship with Ruby was bringing up some rather uncomfortable memories. As much as he had tried to move on and date other women (And, to a certain extent, other men), to this day a small part of him still regretted the fact that their relationship had to end, especially in such an awkward fashion. Despite the fact that he knew fine well that a romantic relationship between them was more-or-less impossible for reasons that were out of his control, he still couldn't deny the fact that he still had lingering feelings for his first ex-girlfriend.

In an attempt to change the subject, Brian picked up his hamburger and decided to take his conversation with Ryan back a few steps.

"But yeah, that sounds like a pretty healthy way to spend the afternoon. Got to keep in shape for track 'n' field, right? I probably ought to go for a good run later myself..."

As Brian munched down on his burger, another thought struck him, which he was quick to voice once he swallowed his bite.

"Actually, come to think of it, that sounds like a damn good idea. Its not as if I have anything better to do today, right?"
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Ryan watched Brian out of the corner of his eye as he gave his response, working through the last of his food whilst he did so. He unconsciously nodded in acknowledgment as Brian confirmed his guess about Ruby being his beaux, even if it was in the past sense, as he finished the last slice of meat. The fact that he had been right provoked the slightest frown when he realised it. He wasn’t really sure why. He shrugged it off at the same time as Brian shrugged off his break up with Ruby. Brian chuckled as he worked on his hamburger, so Ryan felt no obligation to say any more.

Whilst he watched him eat, Ryan thought back on to what he had seen of his team mate around school. Ryan rarely paid attention to anything around school however, so the memories were rather vague and all that resulted was a blank look on his face as he concentrated. He realised that Brian had started talking again whilst he had been zoned out, eyes looking through Brian rather than at him. The smallest gap formed between his lips as he let out a wordless grunt of surprise, processing what had been said to him whilst he was busy trying to remember a faceless girl.

“Got to keep in shape so I can go pro.” he replied reactively, failing to answer Brian’s question at all as his brain only responded to the words ‘track ‘n’ field’. His eyebrow crept up his forehead ever so slightly, the closest thing to a look of confusion Ryan could muster, as he stated the obvious to Brian; there was no chance he’d ever become anything else after all. Ryan hadn’t really spoken to anyone, even the rest of the track team, about his intentions to become a professional athlete, but for Ryan it was as simple as the sky being blue.

“Sorry, I spaced out.” He said after only a moment’s pause, trying to refocus himself on the conversation as he processed Brian's words again. “Yeah, couldn’t hurt.” He gave that small smile again as he fully realised that Brian had brought up his favourite topic. “Where do you go running?”
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Brian pondered for a moment as Ryan asked him where he usually went for a good run. Admittedly, outside of track and field, Brian didn't do nearly as much running activities as he really should be. He usually got most of his exercise done during the weekdays, whilst during the weekend he would take the opportunity to chill back and relax. He always assumed that to be the norm when it came to anything, whether its about sports or science, but from the sound of things Ryan was the kind of guy who took ever opportunity thrown at him to practice nonstop. It actually made Brian feel a little lazy just thinking about it.

...Well, lazier anyway.

"Well, other than the school training field, whenever I feel like going for a run its usually at centennial park. Do a couple of laps around the jogging trail, you know?"

It was at this point that Brian realised something: For the most part, he was the one leading the conversation. Whilst he would usually go on at length whenever it was his turn to speak, Ryan was more inclined to saying a handful of well-chosen words and get straight to the point rather than fuss about. Not that there was anything wrong with that per se. Its just that, being the kind of guy who loved to talk about themselves for hours on end, Brian didn't want to end up overwhelming the conversation. He needed to find something to ask about which Ryan would actually feel like talking about at length.

And as it happened, Brian think he knew what to talk about when Ryan replied to his earlier question.

"So... You're thinking of going pro, huh?" he asked, shortly before taking another bite out of his burger.
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He ran around the park? Ryan used that route occasionally: it was a decent enough route for the purpose it served, but Ryan preferred a changing environment to looping, since you saw more that way. He got to wondering if the two had ever ran past each other before and he just hasn’t given it much thought; it didn’t seem likely that they could have gone the whole time and never bumped into each other, but if they had then he couldn’t put a finger on it.

Ryan didn't devote a lot of thought to his team mates, he realised. It might have bothered some people but Ryan dismissed that thought with a shrug. Brian wasn’t bringing up that he knew anything about him already anyway, so it wouldn't have been just him even if it had bothered him. He was just a guy who kept to himself, plain and simply put, and not being familiar with the rest of the team was going to happen.

But he was still enjoying the conversation.

Brian’s question brought out Ryan's smile, practically dragging the corners of his mouth up into a sly smirk. “I was thinking of going pro when I was thirteen. I’m going pro now.” His hand crept up under his chin again, rubbing it as he flashed Brian the confident smile. “As soon as the colleges get to me with a scholarship, I’ll be set.” His face didn’t falter with anxiety with the statement, it all being a matter of when rather than if as far as Ryan was concerned.

Ryan watched Brian continue with his hamburger, his smile shrinking and his thoughts turning back to his stomach which still wasn't quite satisfied. He looked around for a waitress, eyes narrowing at Brian whilst he tried to get service again.
“HEY!” he shouted when a waiter was finally looking in his direction, turning more than one head with his call for service. Waving them over, he put in an order for a half plate of fries then nodded them his thanks as they walked away to the kitchen, puzzled and annoyed by the familiar customer’s sudden impatience. Ryan looked back at Brian.

“Are you planning on going pro too?”
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[ *  *  *  * ]
Brian continued to munch down on his meal as Ryan spoke, quickly reducing the 1/4 beefburger by half it's size within a matter of minutes.

The Russian boy couldn't help but be somewhat impressed when Ryan mentioned that he'd wanted to go pro since he was at least thirteen. After all, back when Brian was thirteen his thoughts were too preoccupied thinking about Ruby for him to ever consider what to do with himself in the future. Heck, even now Brian hardly had any real idea what he was going to do with himself in the next couple of years. Brian was the kind of person who was always more concerned with what's currently going on than he was with what could potentially happen in the future. If given the choice to eat a delicious sandwich now or save it for later, Brian would happily gulp it down without a second thought, only to then regret it later when he starts to get hungry again.

Ryan on the other hand struck Brian as the complete opposite. Whilst he hadn't said much about the subject, Brian could tell that he obviously had a very good idea what he wanted to do with his life. Ryan had a definite goal. Something to strive towards, to give reason for all the years of education he had to endure to make it this far. Brian on the other hand didn't seem to have much planned beyond the next couple of weeks or so.

Which was why he didn't answer immediately when Ryan asked him whether or not he was planning on going pro too.

It wasn't as if the thought never occurred to Brian beforehand. After all, running and soccer were two of the few things in life which Brian put a decent amount of effort into, to the point where he could confidently claim to be quite skilled at the subjects in question. Well, okay, he also happened to be a damn good bowler but as far as he knew you couldn't make a proper career out of bowling.

When it really came down to it, why WASN'T he seriously considering going pro? Running happened to be one of his best talents, so why shouldn't he utilize it in the same way Ryan was? Just thinking about it was actually making Brian feel kind of jealous for all the wasted times he could have been honing his skills. Guess I'm definitely going for a run now...

"Hmm... Yeah. Yeah, I guess so." was the answer he eventually gave, shortly before he finished his burger.

"Tell the truth, I never really gave it that much thought before. Now you mention it though, yeah, why not? Not like I'm better at doing anything else, right?"

He brought the can of coke up to his lips to have another sip, only to then realise that there wasn't any left. Damn, I've finished this meal quickly...

"I, uh... Don't suppose you've got any good advice for people who also want to go pro, do you?"
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For Ryan, going pro had been an easy choice to make, but a goal that he’d been working towards for the better part of five years now, ever since the day he’d realised just what a passion he had for running. It was something that he’d been working at hard for the significant part of his life, and even though he’d never felt the need to say it, he was proud of the progress he’d made towards it.

So Brian’s response irked him. Ryan could get that not everyone had the same drive as he did, he’d had years to learn that, but Brian had said it like it was something you could just jump on, like you didn’t have to want it for all your life to get it. He wasn’t prepared to offer advice on how to skirt into it at the last minute, but Brian’s request did not fall on deaf ears.

He had to think on it: the first few thoughts weren’t exactly helpful, and Ryan was never one to say something he wasn’t satisfied with. “I’ve been working at it for five years, you could start there.” He finally said, turning back to Brian with a look of mixed emotion on his face. He didn’t want to call Brian out on the way he had talked about Ryan’s dream, mostly because he knew that wasn’t what he was actually talking about, but at the same time he really did. It was frustrating.

He breathed out, nostrils venting. It wasn’t worth making a deal out of it, it really wasn’t. He glanced aside once more.

“I guess it’s not too late to talk to the coach about it though.” He said, again pausing to catch his words. Brian was a pretty good runner, in his opinion, and if nothing else the coach would probably be the better person to talk to, even if he was slow to get back to Ryan with news about scholarships.

It seemed like there was still something else to say, but whatever that was the words were lost to him. He wasn’t looking at Brian again, once more opting to watch the clutter in the kitchen behind the bar, when the waiter appeared once more with his half plate of fries. Looking down at the plate of chips before him, he turned back to his Russian teammate and pushed the plate between them.

Help yourself.
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