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Every day is great at your Junes; NANAKO F-FETCH ME SOME S-SAUSAGES (Open!)
Topic Started: May 9 2015, 04:08 AM (3,321 Views)
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((Lily Caldwell continued from Don't Call it a Comeback))

Lily liked the cafe. It was nice, they made decent cake and she'd never gotten a case of food poisoning from it. All the plus signs. Plus, Alvaro worked there and that was also nice, as long as it wasn't one of those times where she just needed to recharge. If it was, she'd probably risk the food poisoning at Cheryl's. But she'd spent the last weekend by herself, tinkering with this robot kit she'd found online, so she was all charged up.

She pushed the door open, in time to hear the last part of a conversation. Alvaro was there, working. He usually was. Alvaro was pretty cool. Sometimes they played chess. Though Lily didn't know enough to tell if he was good at it. She was pretty sure she wasn't. She'd tried reading up on it and hadn't understood a lot of the maneuvers.

She recognised the other girl, too. Adelaide. They'd never really spoken. Lily might have seen her at a party once or twice. Pretty. Kind of cold. That was about the extent of Lily's knowledge.

She didn't want to interrupt, so she approached quietly and stood in line. She fiddled a little with her bag strap while she peered at the menu absently, trying to give the impression that she wasn't in a hurry. It was true enough, and she wouldn't want to ruin a conversation.

Ooh, cheesecake.
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Alvaro seemed in a rush. Maybe he wanted to keep talking with Adelaide. Lily couldn't blame him for that. She seemed pretty terse, too. Yeah, Lily had definitely interrupted a conversation or something. Maybe about sports? She knew Alvaro liked soccer and she was sure Adelaide did something sporty... was it soccer, as well? Or maybe they were just engaged in small talk.

Either way, maybe she should have waited a few minutes before entering the cafe. No helping it now.

“Hello. I didn't mean to interrupt the conversation, sorry.” She gave it a moment's more thought before saying, “Could I get a piece of strawberry cheesecake, please? When you're not busy?”

She gave a small, slightly sheepish smile at both of them as she rummaged around in her bag for her wallet.

“What were you talking about? Anything interesting?” She could get them back on topic, at least until someone else wandered in, and then slip away to a table.
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Ugh, parents and their pressuring. Worst. Pressure to continue a family business had to be bad. Although at least Alvaro seemed to like the cafe. That probably dulled the edge. (Lily tried to imagine the idea of succeeding her family's jobs, but supervising miners or dentistry weren't exactly family businesses.

Lily stepped aside to make room for Adelaide to leave. Not that she really needed to, but it was instinct. She didn't go and sit down yet. Since Adelaide had left the conversation—seemed like Alvaro being in a rush was a mistaken assumption—she figured, hey, might as well make conversation. At least until Alvaro needed to get back to work. She saw Adelaide take out a science textbook, out of the corner of her eye.

Peering at the book reminded her of something she'd meant to bring up. She turned back to Alvaro, back to fiddling around with her bag strap absently.

“By the way, sorry, before I forget... I found some good second-hand chess books. Admittedly, I can't ever remember the combinations the moves are meant to go in. Interesting stuff, though! But wanted to ask if maybe you'd want to borrow them? I didn't bring them here—didn't want to clutter up the cafe—but if you were interested...? There were some chess jokes included in one, too. But I didn't really get a lot of them.”

Lily finished that last sentence with a shrug. Her gaze drifted a little, as it tended to do during most conversations—it wasn't Alvaro's fault, she just liked seeing what was happening around the room, that's all—and she peered briefly at Adelaide again. She didn't look happy. Was she stuck? Maybe Lily could try and help, but maybe Adelaide wouldn't want help. Like how Lily didn't like people trying to help her carry things. She could lift things fine, darn it. And in any case, running off mid-conversation would be what was commonly referred to as 'an asshole move.'
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Lily took the plate of cake with a little smile. “Oh, thank you. Looks delicious.” When did cake ever look bad?

She tried, for a moment, to remember what she'd been saying. Chess books? Chess. Chess jokes that made no sense. Something along those lines.

Alvaro looked happy about the chess books. Who wasn't pleased about books, though? Books were great. Like tiny treasure maps for knowledge.

“Anyway, we should play again when there's a chance. See how the stuff from the books work. It's kinda hard to tell from just reading it. If you're fine with that, I mean.”

She started shifting the plate of cheesecake in her hands as she spoke. As she shifted the plate around, Adelaide approached them for forks. Lily stayed quiet as Adelaide spoke, mostly playing around the plate and gazing out the window.
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Alvaro didn't really seem to be replying to much. Most of his words over the last few minutes had been 'just a minute.' He was busy. Maybe Lily was bothering him. He was at work, after all. That wasn't the best place to talk, especially when he was running back and forth with cake and forks and all that.

Maybe she should ask again later. It didn't seem like a good time.

Lily watched him run off to lay forks out before realising that Adelaide was talking to her.

She was stuck on her science homework, then. Lily could help with that. Better science or math than the subjects that relied more on interpretation. Science was either right or wrong, even if there was some debate over particular theories.

Lily waved the wallet away. “Don't be silly, I don't need payment for homework help. Although I appreciate the offer, of course, but... I mean, I'm not refusing to help, I... yes. Homework. I will help. But I'll pay for my own cake. Yes. Thank you.”

She fumbled over her words a little, but she would blame that on confusion. Most people just asked for homework notes, they didn't usually try to buy her knowledge with cake.

Lily started fiddling with her bag strap again and added, “Although if there's time afterward I might ask you some questions about other work. I'm behind in a couple of classes. But that's not obligatory.”
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Lily smiled slightly at Adelaide. “I'll try not to keep you waiting.” Once Adelaide was gone, she turned back to Alvaro.

What had she and Alvaro been talking about? She couldn't remember where she'd been at. The books? No. The... chess games? It had been chess-related. But it was best if she saved that for later. For when he wasn't working. Maybe at school or something.

“I, well... I've probably taken up enough of your time? I don't want to distract from your work or anything.”

Lily shifted on her feet briefly, peering up at Alvaro.

She didn't want to say it straight out, but she really did want to sit down. If only so she could start eating the cheesecake.
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Lily kept shifting from foot to foot while she tried to figure out how to end this conversation politely—or at least move it to the table—without coming off as impatient. Even though she was, because she'd been holding this cheesecake for what felt like hours and it was looking more delicious by the second.

“Ah, right. Chess books. I'll bring them to school next time, I don't want to clutter up your restaurant. We can try and figure out how some of the strategies work.”

Stay polite. Make everyone happy. Get this conversation moving in the direction of a table.

“I need to help Adelaide with some schoolwork, and I shouldn't keep her waiting. If you're not busy, you can always sit down with us. Maybe help out with some of the homework struggles, if you wanted to. If she's alright with that.” She rocked a little on her feet as she waited for his response.

Nailed it.
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“Okay, fair enough. Until later, then.”

Lily retreated to the table, where Adelaide made room for her. She dropped into the seat and put the cheesecake on the table in front of her, reaching for a fork.

“Worksheet's fine. What're you having trouble with?”

As she asked, she stuck her fork into the cheesecake and took a bite. She chewed for a moment, nose wrinkled thoughtfully. Then her face brightened a little.

“...Good cake.”

That bite was so worth the wait.
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“Hmm...” Lily stuck another piece of cake into her mouth and left the fork sticking out as she looked at the worksheet. If it had been covered in class she'd likely missed it, but the work was familiar. ...Yeah, this was covered in one of the textbooks, Lily had gone over it during one of her sick days.

She only glanced up long enough to see Jasper walk in, and she lifted one hand to wave at him briefly, but the worksheet still had most of her attention. Besides, speaking to Jasper would start a conversation she could not easily get out of.

She pulled the fork out of her mouth once she was done waving and stuck it back in the cake, before rummaging with one hand through her bag for her pencil case and chemistry notebook.

“Yeah, I have the formulas written down in my notes somewhere. I'll show you the notes, maybe you'll get it if it's written down more clearly. If not, I can try and walk you through it.”

Lily flipped open her book and looked through the pages until she found the notes she'd made a couple of weeks back. Her notes were immaculate, done at home, with three different pen colours so she could find what she needed quickly. She had notes like it for every subject, as well as the bigger, messier notepad that she wrote her initial notes within class in. 5-7 pm was the time allocated for revision and rewriting her notes for easier reference. She pushed the book towards Adelaide.

“If you don't mind me asking, do you often have trouble with chemistry?” She retrieved her fork, with a new bit of cake on the end, and ate as she waited for the answer.
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The corner's of Lily's mouth twitched upwards a little at the defensive tone in Adelaide's voice. “Makes sense. Group work can be frustrating.” When Lily got lumped with someone who didn't want to work, more often than not she would just do the whole thing herself while they did whatever.

“You're too kind, but actually teaching a class would drive me nuts,” Lily said, ducking her head a little. “I write down rough notes in class, go over them after class and highlight anything that didn't make sense or needs clarification. Then I either ask people I study with or research it myself. When I miss class, I either borrow notes or hire a tutor if I'm really far behind. There's a couple of kids who tutor at Cochise. Then once everything's clarified I spent time writing out the notes as clearly as possible so I don't forget. It's not hard. It just takes a lot of time.”

It was lucky that Adelaide needed the chemistry notes. They were among her better ones. Math and the sciences were so much easier to keep notes on than, say, English. All the 'it could be argued that' stuff was harder to write clear notes on.

Lily swung her feet back and forth slightly as she prodded the cheesecake with her fork, idly admiring Adelaide's physique out of the corner of her eye. Very solid. Lily was a little jealous. She'd kill to have a physical build that wasn't all weeds.

“I'm usually in the library for an hour after school. Two hours on Friday unless something else is happening. It's a good time to catch up, if you're ever stuck on anything else. Not obligatory, of course, but just in case.”
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"Well, offer stands if you're ever interested."

Lily dug her fork back into her cake. It was disappearing too fast.

"If you have them on you, could I briefly borrow last week's Spanish notes? I'm behind." Lily wrinkled her nose as she asked. She didn't like falling behind in Spanish. The Luz family was partially Spanish, she should know how to speak it. Lily waved the blunt end of her fork at the notes. "I won't need them long, won't be copying them out like that here."

She heard some light stuttering from behind her and turned her head slightly to Alvaro and Jasper's conversation. He looked uncomfortable. Maybe Jasper was pushing a conversation for too long.
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“Thank you,” Lily said, as Adelaide handed her the notes, before glancing back at Alvaro again. “I don't know. ...Maybe he's sick? If it's regular, his uncle would know, wouldn't he?” Maybe if Lily got up and asked the uncle who ran the desk...

Then the door opened, and a cold wind blew through the cafe. If only in Lily's mind. The devil had arrived. The devil in dreadlocks. The dreaded-in-multiple-senses ex-girlfriend.

Joy of joys.

She pressed her hand to her forehead, slightly wide eyes a giveaway to the fact that she was internally screaming, before she moved the hand to cover her mouth for a moment—trying to fight away any obvious annoyance or, god forbid, fear. Then she put her hands back on the table and pretended like she was focusing on the notes.

Adelaide's notes were well-written and tidy. Lily retrieved her notebook—the one she wrote her initial notes in for all subjects, which was significantly messier—and started copying down the Spanish notes.

“...Hi. ...Good,” Lily said tersely, not looking up at Caedyn. Well. Things were previously good.
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Alvaro seemed to have headed to the back, so he hopefully had whatever was making him shake handled. But that left Caedyn.

Caedyn had gone quiet, and had not moved to take the plates. She was also wearing an expression like Christmas had come early.

Oh, wait. She knew that expression. That was Caedyn's shipping expression. Jesus Christ. Not that Lily cared much—whatever Caedyn wanted to think was her own business, and even if she chose to chatter about it... well, the people who took Caedyn seriously could probably be counted on one hand. Didn't mean it wouldn't be awkward, though.

Lily tried to think of something to say that would fix everything. That would make Caedyn leave, and make the note-taking go well, and just... fix things.

“Hrrugh,” she grunted.

Well done.

Her eyebrows scrunched together for a moment in frustration before she followed it up with, “I'm going to... go and pay for the thing. The cake. Yes. I'll be back.”

At which point she briefly abandoned Adelaide to the mercy of the devil in dreadlocks by sliding out of her seat and slipping past Caedyn—a maneuver perfected by years of avoiding her big brother at opportune times, and hurrying over to the desk where Alvaro's uncle worked.

Sorry, Adelaide.
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Running had not helped. Maybe Lily should have paid for Adelaide's cake while she was over there. No other way to make up for this ridiculousness. Ignoring the situation had made it worse, so Lily quickly paid for her cake and walked back. She could hear the voices carrying.

Goal: separate the two before it broke out into a proper fight.

Lily reached over and grabbed both plates, before trying to stand between the two. Not that she could block their view of each other, given that Caedyn was a literal giant, but she could try.

“I'll take the plates. And Caedyn—“ Lily glared up at Caedyn. “I was also busy. I'm sorry, but I have no time to talk.”

Translation: Fuck off before I smash this plate over your head.
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Lily would have corrected Caedyn, but hell if she was going to reopen that conversation the moment that Caedyn had set her gaze on someone else. Besides, defensiveness would only make Caedyn more sure of herself, if that were possible.

Lily rubbed her forehead with her free hand. Wow, was she frazzled. She was going to go home and hide in a corner for weeks after this. And here she'd thought she was recharged, but there was regular social activity and then there was... well, there was Caedyn.

She was still holding the plates. She stared at them for a moment, like she couldn't quite remember how they'd ended up in her hand, before looking back at Adelaide.

“I... I think I'll go, once you're done with the notes? I have a headache.”

She may have said that last sentence slightly louder than necessary, although the difference was barely noticeable.
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