You've just finished with Parfait's first "session" with Metro. The man is rather alien. You got no surface thoughts off him, as if he's in perfect control, wholly focused. Parfait took a liking to him, opening up rather quickly about dark thoughts she'd scarcely shared with you. How do you feel about that? Any jealousy?Metro explained this was merely an exploration, that he woul have no treatment suggestions until your next meeting. Just talking seems to have elped Parfait a little.
You're supposed to meet with Topps and Humphrey at Chefs. One of the Candies is tagging along for some reason. Who is it and do you know why? Are you worried that Ro hsn't been around much today?
You spot the happy young couple sharing some noodle bowl and laughing. Topps waves you two over. Parfait slips a hand into yours, "Thank you for this Jack. Such wonders I could never explain to the tribe."
I wasn't worried about Ro's distance until just recently... I had figured that perhaps the intimacy of the Candy party a few nights ago has sparked a need in him for some independence. Specifically when I spotted Tootsie Roll following us from not too far behind. I sense Ro on her mind — overwhelmingly so — and I suspect she's between a rather large rock named Starburst, and an exceptionally hard place named Ro.
Parfait's hand in mine pulls me back to the moment, and I look over to her with a smile as she thanks me. "Anything and everything for you, my love! I'm glad you're enjoying our travels!" I slowly walk over to the table where Topps and the young Humphrey are seated, and join them.
"Topps my dear," I say reaching for her hand to kiss it, "and Humphrey," I offer him my hand to shake, "Topps has said nothing but amazing things about you. It's been a long time since I've seen you last."
You all sit down, and VB comes by to your table, "Hey guys!" She does a double take. "Jack? Holy frak! When did you get here? Oh, Kiddo's out on a long haul, she'll be so pissed she missed you!"
Toot grabs a stool at the bar, but she's nearby.
I get comfortable, and am still holding Parfait's hand when VB comes over. "VB? Good gods, you look as wonderful as you ever have! We've been here a few days — we actually saw Kiddo on her way south. She seemed well! How have you been?"
I eye Toot out of the corner of my eye... Hmm...
After that, she answers your inquiries about her, "I'm great, a little bored without a good place to run, but great. Thanks for saving Rinnie, Jack. He told me all about it."
I know her mother was anxious to get home as well... I smile as she thanks me for saving Rinso, "think nothing of it... In an odd way, the universe has paid me back for my services that night." I look over to Parfait and smile, then shake my head as if I've just remembered something. "Oh, VB — this is my wife Parfait. Parfait, this is an old friend of mine, VB. She's Kiddo's..." I look to VB, "Girlfriend? Wife? Kiddo wasn't clear on that... She was quite clear you were together though."
Parfait draws back a second, then she returns the hug and replies warmly, "You are also pretty. I am glad to meet you."
Humphrey clears his throat, and VB hops up to take your order. What do you get for Parfait? What about your order?
After she leaves I turn back to Humphrey and Topps, "so what will you two be doing now that you're together again?"
Topps interrupts, "But I'm not sure. I mean, we grew up in the south. I wish we could go home." He looks at her, a little surprised at her statement. Its obvious they haven't talked this out.
Parfait says, "As long as you're together, it will all work out." She says it simply, like it will be true.
I smile at the young couple, and ask, "Humphrey, you're staying here for your family I take it?"
Topps isn't convinced. She gives this half smile of "yeah, that sounds nice... for you."
I turn back to Humphrey, "and given that your family is about to grow, do you think you'll be sharing the same place for long?"
"But I already have a place, Humphrey. Back at Salt." Topps says, in a compassionate tone, but sort of annoyed that he's being persistent about this. "You can come stay with me. Play at Ollie's, play for the radio."
Parfait becomes suddenly, intensely interested, "Play for the radio?!?!"
Topps turns with a smile, "Yeah. He could play live for the radio. He's great."
A little confused, Parfait says uncertainly, "I thought you were... it was a joke?"
I look to Parfait inquisitively, "joking about what, my love?" Then to Humphrey and Topps, "it is not our place to decide these things for you, and I'm certain whatever decision you come to will be for the best — but as a man who has spent a great deal of his life alone, the only council I can offer you is this: comfort and opportunity can be found just about anywhere, but the embrace of someone you love is difficult to find. Many things in life are temporary — be sure to hold on tightly to the few things that make your life better."
Topps breaks the sudden silence by saying softly, "We'll work it out." She puts her hand over Humphrey's, and all the suddenly, it's like his troubles evaporate. Humphrey smiles, a little bashful, but definitely touched by her... well, her touch.
VB brings everyone's food and refills glasses. What's the dinner conversation like, JAck?
OOC: reading Hump. Roll+Weird*. +1XP.
(Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 1, 3. Total: 7)
Dinner conversation is quite simple: I asked about what life has been like here, what Kiddo and VB and Rinso have been up to, then the topics move to our travels... Where I met Parfait... I didn't have a chance to answer before VB came over and rescued us with some more drinks.
Topps makes some jokes about Rinso and VB going at it all the time, like allll the time, but Hump laughs it off, nervously. Like Hump doesn't exactly want to talk about his "sister" VB having sex with anyone.
Parfait really, really likes this food. She's said so maybe six times.
Any plans after the meal, Jack?
... Wait, all the time? This is an interesting relationship Kiddo finds herself in. I recall the comment Zero made about Kiddo having her hands full, and not wanting to burden her. After the meal, I have two intentions: one, to speak with Tootsie Roll... I suspect she has been patiently waiting here to do just that. Two, I will speak with Butter. She never struck me as the kind of woman who was attracted to men in the past... I know I shouldn't pry, but now I feel inclined to do just that.
I smile as Parfait compliments the food for the sixth time since she's started eating it, and offer her the remainder of my food as a reward for her appetite returning. "Enjoy it my dear, I'm going to go see what Tootsie Roll is following us around for." I turn to Topps and Humphrey, realizing I could probably help young Humphrey as well as VB... I point at him as I stand up, as though I've just remembered something, "would you mind if I come calling on you later, Humphrey? I have a proposition for you that bears privacy."
Toot is sitting alone at the bar, its a bit early for a drink. She's been watching you in the mirror the whole time, her back to you. But she realizes she's been caught now. She swallows back a drink and turns around in her stool. "Hey Jack! How are you doing, you sexy beast?"
She waves for another drink from the bartender, "You know why Star made him off limits?"
I nod, "He is definitely good to us — a true friend. I would imagine Star made him off limits as a familial gesture... I've heard stories about the Candy Bars and their treatment of men in the past — perhaps she was trying to save him from becoming like Costco?" I look over to her and smile, "what do you think of Costco's arrangement with Whopper?"
(Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 5, 5. Total: 13)
Q1: What is Tootsie looking for in a man?
She changes the subject of that, like it's uncomfortable for her, "So, why wouldn't Star wanna share with her sisters? I mean... what if one of us could make him happy? I mean. Hrm, drek. I shouldn't be talking Candy drek to an outsider, much less a cock. Frak...."
She wants someone who'd ride and raid with her. Somebody to tell her stories and tell stories about her. Somebody handsome and famous like she wants to be. A partner in crime. It probably isn't Ro, but she thinks he might be.
I lean against the bar, and lower my voice, "consider the Candies that have come before you... I'm aware of very few Candy Bars who have taken long term partners. Kiddo's mother, Zero, being one of them. They are well known in their own rights, and being a Candy is something they're known for, but often times they're known for what they did outside the Candies..." I narrow my eyes, "does that make sense?"
She switches subjects on you, "Not to sound like a bitch, but what's the deal with your girl? She's... different."
I look her in the eyes, "she's given up everything to be here with me — and she did so without reservation, or misgivings, or even being asked. She saw the life we could have together as an opportunity, and something she wanted, so she took it. Why do you ask?" I shrug indifferently at that last bit — was odd then to think at how insistent Parfait was that we be together — and yet I cannot do anything but respect her for that devotion now.
Forgive the parlance...
In any case, I shrug in return to her comment, "Parfait is mind-sick, but the assistance she's receiving here is helping her cope." I smile as I look over to her, proud of her achievements with the session today. I only hope we can maintain this... At least so she can enjoy herself for a time.
I turn back to Toot and add, "you know... Ro and I are engaged to take care of a problem that's been plaguing the Salt flats for a while now — a raider between Cat and Oasis who wears the paint of a Wendy raider ... a man named Robin. I don't suppose you'd be interested in riding with us? I would imagine Ro could use the company... And it may be easy to convince Starburst a ride-along is merited if it's express purpose is protecting her brother."
OOC: Last question, What would Toot do to Parfait and I if she found out I was the son of a Wendy, and that Parfait once wore the paint?
Right here and now, she'd probably beat on Parfait to make sure she isn't a threat and leave her be. Tootsie Roll already considers her sort of pitiful, but sweet. Hard to get any glory from killing a non-combatant, even a Wendy. But you realize she's capable of accepting Parfait, if she had time, and the truth.