Pretty Boys
Participants Rene and Rich
Scene Title Pretty Boys
Synopsis Rene goes back to the Salem shops and finds Rich, another familiar face.
Date March 11, 2010

The Grind Stone

Salem Center's sole coffee shop, the Grind Stone does quite well for itself.
People flock to it at all hours of the day, seeking both caffeine and company.
The floor is covered with tiles of an alternating white and deep green; wooden
chairs with green seats huddle around polished oak tables, and a few booths of
similar design line the walls. Large windows, kept spotlessly clean, allow
patrons to look out upon Salem Center - and attract many passersby with enticing
glimpses of the food and beverages within. A handful of potted plants add yet
more green to the atmosphere, contrasting with white-painted walls - though the
walls themselves are a little dingy, marked by the years. The air is redolent
with the scent of coffee, and conversations fill the room at all times.
Waiters bustle about the room, attending their customers, for this is not a
simple coffee shop - it is the core of Salem Center's social life, and pulls in
more than enough business to afford its customers a few luxuries.

Salem Center had carried a good vibe in Rene's life before he left; when he came back, it was one of the first places that he came to, and for good reason. Later on, it turned out to be where he would greet Sunset and Jackson. So this time, he has come to the coffee shop with a new warmth in his heart for the place. The young man has been here only ten minutes or so, finding a booth along the wall where he can sit with a large cup of coffee. The plants he had helped days ago are still green, and hopefully this time the patrons will remember to take care of them. His head is turned to study the leaves of one of them, which is sitting up beside his seat. His hair is pulled back into a messy knot, and his coat lies across the bench next to him, with the rowan cane whose knob of blue stone peeks out from under the table. His clothes are not as fine as they had been when he came around- jeans, boots, a black shirt that runs taut over a still new frame.

It's a quiet day, and Rene has an expression of brooding, but at least he is making an effort to be around people again- in a proper sense.

The door opens, allowing in a cool blast of air to hit those unfortunate enough not to be far enough away from the door. The majority of these unfortunate souls are still in the process of finding a table. Yep, a place known for hot beverages being crowded in the early part of March. Kooky. And as things go, one figure just barely avoided the cool blast as his knitcapped and coated form follows a waiter over to one of the more recent vacated spots. The table next to Rene's. A notebook smacks down on the table as it is dropped there, the chair's back soon graced with the thrift store style long coat hooking around it And soon the seat is occupied by one Rich Malone. The cap remains on however as he looks to the waiter, disregarding the menu. "Coffee, black. An' tha banana nut."

When Rene peers up over the edge of his coffee, his eyes settle quietly on the man across from him at the next table. A few moments pass wherein he parses the other man's presence, something niggling at his brain. There is little that has changed with Rich, but not so much for Rene. He's virtually in a total disguise. And there's a bit of similarity between them now, to boot- the whole rock band thing, almost. After a short mulling over, Rene puts his cup to the table, flattening his lips together before speaking up.

"Malone." Not a question, he is sure after a bit. The hair is longer and he looks older, but Rich isn't so different a couple of years later.

At the mention of his last name without an accompanying 'Ohmigod' or high pitched squeal, Rich's head turns to the direction of the greeting, looking over Rene. There is another pause as he looks the lighter haired male over, "Rene?" That IS a question. He's been busy what with the touring, recording, teaching, and greeting friends back from the dead.

The cant of the other's head is familiar enough too, when he narrows both eyes and allows a small smile. "I would have thought you one to leave. Hello, Rich." Rene's voice is deeper, too. When he talks for a length it is evident. It's like someone hit him with the Grownup Mallet. "I didn't die or anything, I swear. Just left."

"Why'd I leave?" Rich replies, hand resting on the notebook lying on the table he is seated at. "Ain' no point orderin' if I'm just gonna leave 'fore it gets 'ere." He turns the chair slightly, allowing for a more comfortable discussion as he looks to Rene. "So what'cha been doin' since I saw ya last?"

"I meant school. By now you must be finished? Surely." Rene adds that as a bit of a tease, attempting to fall into a conversation that he hasn't had for ages. Rich, of all people. "Globetrotting." This has become his very default answer by now, and it seems to encompass an answer as well as being vague enough that most people just accept it for what it is.

"Ah, yeah. Been done wit' tha student thin'." Rich answers, "Been busy my'self. When Oz died, had tha album, went tourin', then finished school, tourin' an' recordin' las' summer, teachin' now while recordin' and now that Oz's came back ta life, should be recordin' an' recruitin' come summer." This is likely the lengthiest statment Rich has made all day,

Rene would feel lucky if he knew! Totally. "Teaching? Music lessons or something like that?" The blond picks up the coat and cane from beside him so he can move closer, putting his things on the other side of him. "I feel like I should know your music by now, but where I was there was not really room for finding a copy of the next big thing. I hope you'll bear with me." Rene smiles, quite sheepishly. He does have some faces, like this one, where anyone that knew him can see the tiny guy peek out from behind the bigger cardboard cutout. He grew, yes, but he'll always be Rene.

"Nah yer' good. Tha' first album was a tribute thin' fer Oz an' bein' we didn' get offered recordin' deals til after he got stabbed, half tha stuff on it was makin' do wit' what demo an' practice tapes we had stocked up on. Ain' gonna know how good thin's are til after tha whole buzz dies down, ya know?" Rich gives reply, pausing to give a nod of thanks to the waiter as he sets a steaming cup of coffee and an abnormally large banana nut muffin in front of the rocker, "An I teach music an' drama at tha school. Still got Jax fer a roomie thou' when I'm at tha school." He reaches for the mug, "They ain' move me up ta tha staff rooms yet 'cause o' tha part time type o' teachin'."

That muffin looks pretty good. Rene watches the waiter for that moment before answering. "Kind of like a graduate professor that you see in universities? That's useful. I hope it's not awkward." He doesn't specify, but he has the feeling that teaching your peers can get …sticky sometimes. He lifts his cup to sip at it. "But I do hope otherwise it is exactly what you need. I returned not too long ago, have been skulking about for opportunities to reveal myself. My shop is back, too. So if you ever need flowers for a cute date-" He grins.

The cup lowers after a sip is taken. "More like it's a private school an' no one gives a shit 'bout who teaches tha electives so they can get away with givin' them ta high school grads ta teach." Rich replies, "An' yeah it gets awkward as fuck." He looks curiously to Rene, "Reveal yerself fer what?"

"As being…not…dead?" Rene hesitates here, his hand absently going to run a palm over the rowan cane. "It took me two days to show up here-" He nods to the coffee shop. "-while Sunset and Jackson were having coffee. I knew they frequented things, but I was almost too scared to try my luck."

"Well if ya were known ta be dead. Walkin' inta tha middle o' a place ya used ta frequent works." Rich suggests, "'s what Oz did ta show he was back. On tha news within tha day."

"I hope nobody actually thought I was dead. Well. No, I can think of one person that may have claimed that kind of thing." Rene ponders over this. A certain blue gelatin man. "Still trying to figure out some folks. But as it stands I only really need to find the people that cared, to tell them."

"'bout how many ya got left ta tell then?" Rich asks, tilting the cup towards his lips for another sip.

"Not many. A good deal of people have long left the city. I am working with what I have got left. Are there many students that I still know?" Rene questions, taking a gulp of coffee in the pause before Rich answers it.

"Ya already covered Jax." Rich answers, lowering the mug, "Ya knew Canvas, right?"

"Ah. Yes. Peripherally, for the most part. She is Jackson's friend, so I had been around her." Rene pauses again, lifting a hand to draw hair not in the knot behind his ear. His slim eyebrows meet in consideration. "I thought she would be finished as well. Perhaps everyone …looked older when I was smaller."

Rich gives a slight grimace to Rene's assumption, "Yeah she's one o' tha students still. Thou' she's makin' sure ta remind me she's graduatin' in a couple o' months. Also got ta 'member I'm older 'n 'em."

It takes a few moments for Rene to respond with a chuckle. "What? Hot for teacher?" He didn't mean THAT awkward. "Watch your step, Malone. Teenage girls, you know how it is, right?" Bahaha.

"Yeah I kind o' got that," Rich mutters, pulling off a piece of muffin, "Kind o' weird when one o' yer students is an ex ya' know?" The light brown fluffy substance in his hand is popped into his mouth, condemning the poor muffin piece to the tearing agony of being chewed up.

"At least it sounds like you don't have any fangirls- they'd be all over you, wouldn't they?" Rene gives a compliment while he's at it, not finding much into it. He also seems to find talking like this a bit awkward after a bit, as he pulls up his coat and cane with one hand while holding his coffee in the other, standing up and sidling over to where Rich is sitting. When he stand for the few seconds, the changes are even clearer. Not such a wimp anymore! So proud. "I'm glad that you're doing well- I have a question though- One usually can't glean things from Jackson offhand, I know that very well. He acts happy even if he's not- and he said he was doing good, but I'm curious if he meant it or not. Is he doing alright?"

"I didn't say there weren't." Rich points out, picking at the muffin, "But fer tha most part they behave cause I'm still a fuckin' teacher. Thou' I'm gettin' lots o' practice tryin' not ta see thin's I shouldn't" His eyes adjust to look to the now closer seated Rene, "Jax seems ta be doin' good. Stops by my 'partment when he's in tha city from time ta time. An' I ain' seein' any o' tha bad type o' stuff at night when I'm near 'im."

"I must sound silly, worrying about him so soon after getting back. I can't help it." Rene folds his things over his lap, settling there now that Rich hasn't reacted badly to his coming over closer. "But I know how he is, so I guess it's natural. Maybe it is just me. Being nervous about being back." Sounds like Rene needs to just say this so that he can say he did- it has little to do at all with Rich, but it is liable to be therapeutic for Rene.

"Nah it ain' just you." Rich assures, breaking off yet another piece of muffin, "Roommate. Get glimpses o' thin's botherin' him that most don't. But I ain' been seein' 'em recently."

"Good. Though if that changes, I hope you let me know?" If Rene is going to have friends whose number he can count on his hands, he is going to make it count and look out for them from the start. He is thankful that Sunset seems to have settled in with Warren- it makes the task simpler.

Rich nods, cracking a small smile, "If things go ta 'ell wit' 'im an' I find out, I'll let'cha know. Once more muffin is consumed. It is a big muffin. He can go at it all day.

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