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Dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo You Have The Time... To Listen To Me Whine?; open once cicada joins
Topic Started: Mar 30 2018, 06:56 PM (310 Views)
Yugikun
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Lunch with Joanne.

That was... pretty novel.

((Jonathan Meyers: Pregame Start))

Like, maybe not in the ‘wow, hey, this is something that’s literally never happened before’ sort of way, but it was still a fairly new experience, at least for Jonathan. Maybe it was more normal for Joanne (it probably was, she had like, a million friends as far as he could tell so she probably tended to go out a lot) but to be honest? This was probably the first time anyone had actually invited Jonathan out to a place like this. Like, yeah, he’d gone with Jiji to a couple of rallies and yeah, he’d hung out at people's houses before but this was new. Nobody had ever asked him out before. Jonathan had never been told to meet up at a place so that he and someone else could hang out.

Essentially, Jonathan had never been on a date.

And although this wasn’t a date (or at the very least, not like a romantic one or anything) he couldn’t help but think as if this was something he needed to take seriously. As if Joanne was going to talk to Jonathan about some super important matters.

As if this was a date.

But even if this was something far less casual than he was expecting he could take that, he supposed. Joanne was a friend. Pretty big one as- wait, big as in important, not big as in- wait no he was bringing up the implication which meant he was really thinking of the implication and that was- no lets just continue on and forget you were thinking about that because Joanne was cool and Joanne was fun and Joanne was honestly one of the most caring people Jonathan had ever met. Like, yeah maybe what she said to him tended to hurt a bit but he knew that it was because she cared. She wanted to see him get new friends and finally be a properly functioning human being and because he was him she sorta had to use force in order to do that. She had to tell him he was going wrong so that he would know that he was, so that he could fix that.

And yeah, he was grateful for that.

And yeah, he cared about Joanne.

And he supposed in the case that this date was a lot less platonic than he thought it would be that he could manage.

So he walked down the footpath until he reached the Blue House Cafe and Diner. He opened the door to see the stage, the tables inside. He saw the girl, at the table, looking down as she flicked through her menu.

And he walked. Forward. Sat down in the chair opposite her.

“Hey.”
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Cicada Days
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((Joanne Coleman continued))

"I’ve been WAITING for." Joanne checked her phone with a pompous ass movement, like that brick happened to be some expensive ‘I’m compensating for the size of my dick’ watch.

"Literally... Fifteen seconds." Alright, low key, Jon was damn good at getting to things on time. He was on his 'I’m a cute af puppy look into my dark and dour eyes' routine like he was so sorry for being literally infinitely late, and it was working somehow. All sodium-enriched grump aside. Joanne rated Jon ten out of ten on the metaphorical placard. He won a gold star for earnest efforts to be a good friend.

Joanne was holed up in a spic and span type of booth in a well lit corner of Blue House, infinite source of the delish. Her recommendations were mostly the vegan options on the menu- sometimes the chefs in the back would make questionable decisions when trying to burn up the meat.

"So like what’s up with? Jiji running you amok and all that?" Her tone teasing. Like no way she’d actually diss her prime-cut dude, the boy wonder himself Jonathan Meyers, when he actually had pretty killer taste in friends. Example number one, Joanne was nothing if probably not an honest and down to earth ass girl. He'd picked her out, made the right call in doing so.

... At least, she could pretend she believed that.

"I’m alright, before you ask. Working on my splits is still kinda low key killing me softly inside everyday but shit, gotta do what I gotta do." In reference to her dance classes. Her other direct reference to her dance classes being: ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. Anyways. Joanne had both the menus on her side of the table, leather bound print type fancy fonts downloaded off some template site for fifty dollars ninety-nine, corporate deal kinda shit. And... slide, and one of the menus skittered across the table Jon’s way. Thanks and you're welcome for the assist, hun.
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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Yugikun
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"Sooorrrrryyyyyyyy," he said, as he sat down. He wasn't really. The whole thing Joanne did where she acted offended whenever he arrived (with different lines depending on whether he was early, late, or exactly on time) Jonathan was pretty sure was a joke so it was hard to really be sorry. Not in like, a rude way or anything, just that it was hard to apologize for a wrongdoing if there wasn't actually any wrongdoing here. Maybe it could turn out that it actually was an wrongdoing and that being slightly late or slightly early brought back incredibly traumatic memories for Joanne but he'd… apologize then if that was the case. He was pretty sure (he hoped) that it wasn't actually a problem, so…

Yeahhhhhhhhh.

"Stuff is… fine," he said, trying to smile as he gave a response to Joanne's question. "Jiji's… trying to get me into a thing where I try and help save a tree, so if that's your definition of whipping me, then…"

He paused. Scratched his head.

Joanne… sorta stole the question he was going to ask from him.
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'Sooorrrrryyyyyyyy,' which Joanne silently mimed with her lips pried apart into a sarcastic grimace as she bobbed her head violently from side to side. 'Flattery was the sincerest form of complement', buzzer noise WRONG. It was the most insincere form of mockery, more like.

Joanne had to imagine Jonathan was thinking some roundabout confusions about whether she was legitimately aggravated with him or not. Goddamn what a cute boy (platonic-like). Joanne dropped the act and shook her head with a stupid little smile. See, how it works: you only keep up the joke as long as it's actually funny and well-meaning for and some people didn't really get that
ahem, ahem, ahem, ahem, ahem
but whatever, some people didn't have the whole empathy game on point, y'know?

Jonathan was not one of those folks. He... struggled, but his heart was very much in the right place. Right there, under his ribs and exponentially growing three times its size by the day. Joanne's seal of approval.

"I mean," Joanne offered him a thumbs up... and not for long, she had to get her fingers back to working the menu-flipping magic (let not a page go unturned, let not a dish go untried).

"Then what? You'll be doing it." Not a question. A statement. 100% Grade A words that were intended and said in such a manner, via unconsciously selected tonal choices that were firm but gentle. "Also you'll be letting me pay this time." A statement, likewise, firm but gentle, not so likewise because fuck you (yes, you) Joanne did not let her urges of generosity be flubbed.
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Yugikun
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"I, uh, have money, but okay."

He tapped his hand on his pant leg, on the wallet beneath where Joanne could see. He guessed all that hassle about wondering how much this place would charge was all for nothing? He... probably should've expected this, to be honest. Joanne was the type of person who refused to take no for an answer and when that was combined with a friendly output that meant that Jonathan (and other people like Jonathan, probably) sorta got taken on the ride of the charity train, unable to get off or get anything for yourself because the train/the people running it seriously couldn't help being a nice person. It wasn't as if it wasn't appreciated or anything, but… she seriously hoped Joanne was loaded, or something. He seriously hoped this didn't put sweat on Joanne's back, or anything.

Oh well. He supposed that meant he could go buy an album after this date was over?

Probably.

Just had to make sure not to tell Joanne, otherwise then he'd seriously have no use for his money.

...Not to be rude, or anything.

He looked down at the menu. Tried to see what there was that he'd like. It'd take a while to go through everything, but…

Eh. May as well keep the conversation going.

"Have you been here before?"
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Cicada Days
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"Well you said it yourself. Okay." Joanne was gonna lay down some basic logic here, show off her causality A-game. "You've got free cash now so invest into, say, a game." A unique tendency of the Joanne-des Mountains (the longest ever) was that her pauses were purposely truncated. A comma, a period, would only ever last like some infinitesimal amount of time. Joanne prided herself on barging through conversations like she was trying to race Phelps in the water or BP to a spot of ocean not yet touched by spilled oil.

"I mean, that one game just came out. Into The Breach. I've wanted to try it for a hot minute now."

Joanne finished checking the menu by the time Jonathan started, and let the pages of the menu flap shut with a final plastic-y noise. She had been born ready for this moment, to be honest, but she'd let the epic meal plans in her brain simmer so Jonathan could get a word in edgewise, and his feet back on the ground (probably. She tried not to be too much to handle but the emphasis was always on the word tried).

"Yep. I wouldn't call it a favorite place-" even if it was a spot she raved about with 'all the stars' out of five, "but it's a classic and a staple and other nouns, you get me? I can recommend most of page two and half of page five, and then other assorted dishes..."

She drifted a bit into a meandering ramble, somewhat on purpose so she could calibrate the mood between them to her general love of her own voice.

"The chowders go hard, pretty much. Perfect thickness and consistency, that shit will get stuck in your teeth low key. Crack some saltines over that 'ish and it's game over man."
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Yugikun
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"That's the new game by the FTL people, right?"

So… here's a fun way to broadcast how socially capable you are to everyone who happens to be in the immediate vicinity: ask someone a question you already know the answer to. Of course, it wasn't as if anyone else would know that Jonathan already knew the answer but still, to him it still felt as if he was picking the dumbest possible question when he asked that because yes, he knew that Into The Breach was the new game by the FTL people. In fact, that was essentially the only thing he'd heard about the game. He'd heard that the game was vaguely good (maybe he'd check out NL's LP, see what it was like) but… really that was the only other thing he knew. Into the Breach — other than the fact that it was the new game by the FTL people — was not something that Jonathan knew much about.



Well, he knew enough to know that Into The Breach was only available digitally and the money in his wallet wasn't something he could use to buy a game, but eh, he didn't feel like being an ass. In fact, whole reason he was going on his little date with Joanne was so he could learn the intricacies of not being an ass.

Money said that it wouldn't help, but eh, he could give himself points for trying. He looked down at the menu. Quickly confirmed that there were milkshakes available here, and then tried to see which of the main dishes he wouldn't feel guilty making Joanne pay for.
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Cicada Days
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"Yeah! Honestly between, you and me," and Joanne really leaned into the whole 'lean forward at person you're talking to, to pretend you're being confidential with them' routine up to the point where she talked even louder and more attention-getting. Because fuck expectations, in a consensual way. ".. I never even played FTL in the first place. I just can't ignore the Twitter raving this time around, I guess."

Joanne peeped Jonathan's hyper scrutinizing of his menu. Just a quick scan of his face and she was decently confident she had his mark, like... She knew what she was working with. Confidence was warranted in this case, right?

"Whatever you want, man."

"And also, if you need to use my card to order something just ask. You know how I charge. I'll help you out, you help me out." As in, carry her ass through stuff she couldn't beat on her own. There was a difference between being an enthusiastic gamer and a good one, and Joanne proved that with her spams-button-combos ass.

Anyways, she was already eyeing the waiters nearby up. Their waiter somewhere in the mix, the dude with the fluffy crew cut. She wasn't trying to actively muscle Jonathan's pick or anything, hell no, she was just checking out the shoulder game. She bet waiter dude- Jones, according to name tag- had a tattoo. Like, couldn't hate on a girl for appreciating epic masculinity like that, right?

So just to make sure, "Take your time. We've got... not all day, but close." Conversations always moved at a fast pace when Joanne was involved, so she liked to pride herself.
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Yugikun
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"Huh. Okay."

Jonathan didn't even really know whether he should be surprised at that or not. Like, yeah, there was a sense of 'wait what, really?' in that given that like, everyone had played FTL at some point (it was sorta the biggest game of 2013 for some reason, it was one of those games that everyone who did Humble Bundle got at some point) but he supposed it wasn't all that surprising given that from what he understood Joanne was more the casual type of gamer? Like, not as if she only played stuff on her phone (not that he'd judge her for that) but talking with her told him she was more into having fun with other people than doing stuff the way he did it?

Like, again, not as if he was judging her for that. Doing things her way was cool and maybe better than the way he did things.

Not as if he would be able to do things her way, but he wasn't going to think about that. This was supposed to be a fun little date. Nothing really more than that.

Well. Nothing really more than that unless Joanne wanted it to be that way.

He saw what he wanted on the menu. Looked at Joanne and nodded.

"I'm… gonna take the cheeseburger thingo."

This… was actually the first time he'd been to a cafe/restaurant with someone who wasn't a foster family member.

Huh.
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Cicada Days
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Kind of vague, but Joanne knew precisely what Jonathan was talking about because she happened to have eyes. Two of them somewhere on the general 'front' direction of her face. Some of her favorite sensory organs, really.

Said sensory organs made eye contact with Jones (low key, swoon) and they both smiled at the same time. Not physically smiled, but smiled with the softening of their eyes, and that was actually the important smile if you really thought about it. It was the smile that said the shit you didn't want to say out loud.

Not like Joanne was forgetting Jonathan or anything, but her mind was just momentarily elsewhere. Direction of her thoughts followed the direction of her eyes, that whole flow of energy.

"Hey there! May I take your order?"

"Yeah hun, long as you bring it back at some point." Jones snorted a bit.

"Part of my job description actually. Whole bit about you giving us money is we have to give something back at some point."

"Would be an interesting business model."

"For short-term gain maybe. Bright side of theft, technically you don't have to pay attention to corporate regulations."

"Way you put that makes me think either... economist, or lawyer?" And Jones brightened up some at that, nodding firmly.

"Yep! Economics, junior down in UGA." Joanne tutted a smile.

"Whoa, awesome. Taking a break this semester?"

"My schedule this sem gives me a four day weekend, so I drive back home to help out sometimes. My dad is one of the proprietors in this cafe."

"Oh shit, no way. Tell your folks I love their... psh, their everything really."

"Wouldn't be the first time I've passed that message on." And yes, Jones hit the fistbump perfectly when Joanne offered it.

"Honestly, can I set you up like an automated reminder or something? Just tell your Dad, from Joanne Coleman, your food is the absolute best ever? Like once a week, just phone him or something-?"

And they both chuckled at that, and talked through their chuckling. Smoothly, precisely, each somehow finding expert swerves through the traffic jam of conversation. One way streets, highway mergers, U-turns, they were drawn into a two minute conversation: two minutes of snarking GHHS cafeteria food, the hardest classes each of them were taking that semester, each of them rushing out the responses but without a single beat of awkwardness or turbulence. And eventually Jones had to remind Joanne to actually order, so he could go ahead and get their food on the way.

And he was gone, walking to the kitchens. Joanne immediately without skipping or pausing turned back to Jonathan, smiling a bit sheepishly.

"Sorry. I wanted to segue you into the conversation at some point but I guess we were both talking too fast? I didn't mean to sideline you like that, I swear." She extended her hand meekly at him, halfway across the table. Palpable apology. "You know how I get, talking up the storm of the century every time I open my mouth!"
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Yugikun
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The order was, uh, being taken. Joanne was talking up her usual storm to the waiter and… did people normally start conversations with the waiter? Maybe Jonathan was just sorta clueless about these things since, y'know, he'd never talked to a waiter before but he didn't feel as if that was a thing people tended to actually do? Like, yeah, maybe he'd been too absorbed in his book or his game (had he ever played a game while waiting for food at a restaurant before? Seemed like something he'd probably done at thirteen) to listen in to what his other foster parents were doing at cafes but he'd never remembered the conversations typically going for that long. Like, he could have been wrong but the fact that it was Joanne trying to prove it sorta gave credence to his side of the scenario. Joanne was… sort of an anomaly, if that wasn't rude to say or anything.

...Honestly, he wasn't even sure where this conversation was even going. He could try to join in, but….

Probably best he didn't. They seemed to be having fun with one another and he didn't want to make things awkward by trying to insert himself so the best bet was to stay out. Try and find his own fun while he waited. He took his phone out, entered in the passcode (0001 because like Von Karma, he was number one and he was pretty sure he was careful enough to not get his phone stolen anyway), began to check all the sites he'd left for half an hour, and-

Oh.

Right.

This was where he'd last left off on Facebook.

He scrolled, looked down the… hundreds of comments his classmates had left, and just…

Kinda stared for a second until Joanne started speaking to him personally. He looked up. Nodded as Joanne apologized.

"Yeah, I'm aware." At least Joanne knew about her status as the social Bigfoot Jonathan just couldn't understand. At least she still cared enough to try and bring him into the conversation anyway.

He looked down at his phone again. Brought his head back up.

"By the way, you see that fuckin' argument about the president elections a while ago?" He asked. "I've been trying to look through it all, and uh…"

He scratched his head.

"It's something, let me tell you."
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Joanne continued to sincerely, sheepishly smile an apology. Nod it too. She liked to make these things full body, showed you really cared when you burned the requisite calories.

Hell. That Facebook mess.

Who the hell even had extended conversations on Facebook anymore? Didn't these Baby Boomers know Twitter was the golden standard for the sniper heavy battlefield that was shitty internet drama? ... It was like, Joanne had been out with the twins that night. She'd only seen most of the GHHS pileup the morning after, waking up to hella pancakes and hella more Twitter fingers turned trigger fingers.

Really? Fuck everyone else, she'd just felt sorry for poor Nathan. She was still planning on giving him the biggest hug when she saw him next- GHHS was a big ass school almost as big as her own donk- and her body would be all kinds of kinetic missile-type shit. Not without his consent, of course.

"You'd be surprised at how many people just stopped talking about it. Like everyone managed to shock themselves into silence... can you imagine? How impossibly bad it had to be for that to even happen?" Joanne emphatically crushed one cheek under a free hand, her mouth slightly exaggerated and large as she wore her incredulous look like a cartoon.

"It's something shit, let me tell you. Don't even get me started on Carter. What. The hell, was he even trying to pull?"
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Yugikun
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"Probably just like, his usual shit."

Basically the same sorta stuff he'd always heard come out of Wyatt's mouth. Basically the same sorta stuff Jonathan saw around this school on a daily basis. Like, really. Jonathan hadn't really gotten to the point in the Facebook log where Wyatt did the stuff that Joanne was probably talking about, but if you gave him ten bucks to bet with he'd make the guess that it was probably just the same alt-right 'hey you guys we actually believe Canon is a good president hahahaahahahahahahahahhaa get slayed cucks' stuff that like, half the fuckos in his grade actually seemed to believe in. Wasn't as if it really bothered Jonathan — not as if he really brought himself into the same circles as those people — but he could not wait until 2020 where the obvious Democrat victory would drag all those people back into their swamps. Internet would seriously, seriously become a better place when that happened.

"Like, really, I don't see why people keep even trying to argue against him," he said. "He's so wrapped up in that alt-right hype slash bullshit that he'll come out of any conversation believing that he's won regardless of what's said or who he's arguing against."

He looked at the counter. Seriously resisted the urge to lean his chair back.

"Honestly, looking at it now he's not the only person who came out of that whole debate looking shitty," he said, scrolling down on his phone, slightly, before sighing.

"Like, really, if the people in that conversation are supposed to be representative of my cohort, I'm sorta glad that I don't have any friends."
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Joanne nodded in a silent sympathy-type as Jon paused. Leaned back, checked his phone, particular process about him.

She nodded for many reasons, most of them empathetic to an honest dude- sour notes aside- taking the wrinkle-inducing burden of existential stress onto his frown. Joanne was a different cut of person, sure. More inclined to punch out a tool of the patriarchy than glare disapprovingly at it, sure, but just between the two of them she completely understood the exhaustion. It was never ending with these sorts of people. And this quiet moment in between was when her mind could start to cloud over a bit. Storm clouds...

"Like, really, if the people in that conversation are supposed to be representative of my cohort..
Joanne contemplated her glass among the two Jones slipped in between their threads of conversation.
I'm sorta glad that I don't have any friends."

She grabbed the glass and drunk a deep chug's worth, unconsciously. She stared at Jon carefully over the edge of her glass, her eyes suddenly focused onto his. Like she was about to say something and mean it.

"You gotta be exaggerating," she said plainly as glass hit the table and not the coaster. "First off you do have friends, or you know. What are the two of us, exactly." That last sentence was one of the ones that should have been a question where her voice was too seriously monotone to shape the question mark right. All the gravitas of the big screen without the requisite professional acting gig.
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