(2018-09-08) Don't tell Little Hamlet.
Luke and Abby meet up to eat Chinese food and check out an alleged binder of cats.
Players:
abby..luke..

Wok this Way

Upon entry there is a pay station where you pay in advance for the buffet and drink and dessert. Once paid, a walk with red carpet leads the way to the buffet counters, each covered with a splash guard and holding a vast array of food and desserts, including soft serve ice cream. Drinks are brought and refilled by the wait staff. A photograph mural of the Great Wall of China fringes the room in life size detail and red vinyl booths are available for the patrons, a red and gold shaded light hanging over each table.


Whether by fate or by pure coincidence, it turned out that Abby and Luke were neighbors, which made arranging this little outing absolutely painless. And since the buffet was not far from their respective homes and the weather was pleasant? They decided to walk this way together, arriving a little after six. Luke was dressed in a pair of nice-fitting, dark blue jeans and a clean cotton shirt, a fairly standard outfit for him. Though this evening, he also carried a leather satchel over one shoulder. They chit-chatted as they walked, Luke discussing something that happened at work the other day.
".. And now, somehow, I have a pig," he finishes his story with a sigh as he holds the door to the restaurant open, letting Abby go in ahead before he enters behind her. "So if you're in the market for a potbellied monster ontop of brand new kitten, please let me know. Seriously. I don't think my dog is very happy," he flashes her a dimpled grin.

It was really a surprise when she realized he was living just right over there. And probably included a dorky comment of 'I just thought you were visiting someone a lot'. The walk over to the restaurant has her listening to his story of the pig attentively. "Oh… well, I'll let you know if my life ever opens up enough to take care of a pig too," It's not sounding promising for the pig. "But I'm thinking probably not in the near future. Is it a small sort of a pig or one of those ones that gets big enough to ride? Because it might not fit in your house after awhile." She passes through the door and nods approvingly at the buffet line. "I love these even if… sometimes I wish the sneeze guards were just a little lower."

"The pig's still just a baby, but already fifty pounds! She's going to be huge in the immediate future. She's taken over Sarge's bed. Which means Sarge has taken over -my- bed, and I'm pretty sure if my dog was a woman? I'd be sleeping outside or something," Luke answers her, laughing as he looks around the restaurant. Her comment on the sneeze guards was met with a big grin. "Yeah, I hear you. My mom loves this place, I was taking her like twice a month. But she doesn't want to eat so much now, with the chemo and everything." The talk of his mother quiets his grin, but he stays in good spirits as they make their way up to the pay station and Luke fishes his wallet out of his jeans. He presents a credit card to the cashier, pointing a thumb between himself and Abby. "Two please," he says, and then looks to Abby with a furrowed brow. "I did mention this was my treat, right?" The question brings a sly grin. "Well, if I didn't before, I'm mentioning it now."

"Aren't there any hobby farms around here that might be interested in a tame pig?" Abby wonders as they make their way up to the pay station. "Is it house trained?" So many questions! When he gets to the part about how he now has to share his bed with the dog, she laughs and covers her mouth. "If you're not careful she's going to realize you guys have the better deal and take over /your/ bed and then you'll both be in Sarge's bed." Around now he begins fishing out his card and she opens her mouth to say something, narrows her eyes at him in assessment and then drops her shoulders. "Alright, your treat. But the next time we head somewhere, I'll pay." That sly grin of his prompts a little one of her own and she looks away to the tables, but not before glancing back just once when he's not looking.

"I've been making some calls. I should actually reach out to Holly, I bet she'd take the pig up to her ranch. But yeah, believe it or not? Uses a litter box," Luke utters a low chuckle at how absurd that probably sounds, giving his head a shake. "Had to make one out of a pretty big box though. I'm pretty sure my only saving grace at the moment is the pig can't get up the stairs to get to my bed," he smirks, accepting his card back from the cashier once the payment's been processed and shoving his wallet back into his pants. She gets a look when she mentions paying next time, a brow inching into a curious arch. "So, there's going to be a next time?" he grins, moving forward to grab a couple of trays, passing one to her. "Good. Then you can totally pay. Next time."

"I was going to ask about the box but then decided not to. I can't even imagine what cleaning that is like," Abby gives a little shudder as they're seen to their table. At which point whoever leads them there probably disappears back up front. She sheds off her charcoal grey peacoat and lets it hang over the back of the chair. The temperature has been starting to drop already now that summer is at its twilight, so while not strictly necessary now it might be later tonight! Otherwise she's dressed in a long, wool sweater tunic with some leggings and dark ballet style slippers.

"You mentioned your mom, how are her treatments going? My dad's about to start going through them, again." She keeps her attitude bright but there's certainly some forced optimism in there. "And yes, when there's a next time, I'll totally pay," She manages that with a bit more natural chipperness.

"You absolutely don't want to know," Luke says of the pig clean-up, shaking his head a touch. There's no coat for him to discard once they are shown their table in spite of the cooler weather, though he likely won't be able to forgo a coat for much longer. His head tilts slightly as her coat's slung over the chair back, and there's most definitely a glance down her form before he looks back up to her with a grin. "You look nice," he says sincerely, before the talk of his mother makes him scrunch up his nose and sigh. "She's doing okay. I'm sure we're going to pull through all this, it's just a few more weeks of this first round," he says, forcing his own optimism there. "I'm sorry to hear about your dad. It sucks, you know? Didn't think I'd have to deal with this until I was way, way older or something. I bet you feel the same way." He shrugs his shoulders, his smile softer in response to her chipper statement there at the end.

"So, what do you like to eat?" he looks over to the buffet line, "I'm an orange chicken guy myself. And fried rice. Like, endless amounts of fried rice."

"Thank you," she replies up to him with a smile, a little flush to her cheeks happening before she lifts her chin in the direction of the line. A silent indication for them to move along to where the grub is. "Cancer is so scary. I think the worst part about the chemo is how down they start to look, it's almost worse than the fear itself sometimes." When she finishes, her mouth briefly presses into a line and then she shakes her head. "I'm sorry, you probably don't want to talk about this now. It's really hard. If you need anything, let me know. Even if it's just to talk while you're waiting around to pick her up or something."

As they approach the line, she points over. "I like General Tso's chicken. Sometimes I buy a bottle of the sauce at the supermarket, but it never seems to come out right." Endless fried rice he says? "Um, yes. But with pork. Please don't tell your pig."

"Yeah. Mom's starting to lose her hair, I went with her the other day to get some scarves," Luke walks along with her to the line, his brow wrinkling at the conversation about their parents. Though her apology gets a quick shake of his head. "No, no. It's okay. Honestly? I don't have anybody to talk to about it, really. No siblings, and dad's gone, and other people act like they understand but if you haven't gone through it? You don't really -know-," he looks down at her, his smile softer, but still present. "So this? This is nice. Even if the situation -really- sucks. I'm sorry you're going through it, too."

He looks over to the buffet line, then back to Abby, eyes widening when she mentions the pork. "Oh, shit. Little Hamlet will be so pissed at me. I even cooked -bacon- this morning," he feigns looking horrified at himself, but it doesn't last long - he can't keep the act up, and soon he's laughing again. "I'll just tell her there's absolutely no relation between her and all the other pork I eat. I mean, I can't give up -bacon-. Or pork fried rice." And speaking of, he's already reaching for a plate, to pile a little mountain of rice ontop of it.

"Yeah, I get that. My mom is still around but I don't have any siblings. It's hard trying to convince her to let me help, but it's part of the reason I came back here instead of going to Denver or somewhere bigger." Abby tips her head to the side and fixes him with a rueful smile. "Have you thought about going to some support groups? There's one in town for family members. It can be really helpful, especially if you're going at it alone." She reaches over to give his forearm a little squeeze before reaching for a plate.

"Maybe she doesn't realize that you're eating pigs that she might know." She fixes him with a look of faux horror, then begins filling her plate with a random assortment of food from along the line. She's only able to keep up the facade for so long before she begins to laugh herself and then waves a hand to cool off her face. "I'm sorry. That poor pig, we're terrible people."

"A support group?" Luke purses his lips, ladling out another spoonful of rice, just before he feels Abby's hand upon his forearm. The touch takes him by surprise, but it's the pleasant sort, his eyes warming as he looks down to his arm and then back up to her. His smile is gentle, bringing out the dimple in his right cheek. "You'll have to let me know when the next meeting is. I hadn't really thought about it, but it might be good. Thank you," he says to her, putting the rice spoon down so he can head down the line, taking a little bit of everything and a lot bit of the orange chicken when he gets to it.

"It's probably for the best that she never find out, really. Her poor little piggy heart might not be able to take it! And I don't know how to cook a -whole- pig if she keels over," Luke can't help but snicker, his laughter turning deeper and more rumbly when she joins in as well. "We -are- terrible people," he agrees, nodding his head sagely. "But at least we can be terrible people together, right?"

"Yeah, they meet in one of the conference rooms at the library downtown. Everyone that goes has a different kind of story and sometimes the faces change, but it's nice to know there are other people out there. Sometimes you forget about it in all the struggling. It can be good even if you're just there to listen," Abby talks while paying serious attention to which foods to add to her plate. The idea of buffets is to load up and so she does, picking this and that and the other thing until they eventually make it to the end. "I'll let you know the next time I go."

The subject of the pig is much lighter and when he mentions roasting one, she laughs and ducks her head. "You've never been to one of those barbecues where they dig a huge pit and roast one on a spit? It's kind of cool. A little weird that they still have the head on there, but you sort of… learn not to look if you want to be able to eat later on."

"Yeah, let me know. I'll bring donuts or something," Luke says of the group, grabbing one last large spoonful of something that looks good before they make it out to the end of the line. There may be a lascivious glance thrown to the ice cream machine, but Luke manages to stay strong and avoid it for the time being, walking back with her over to their table as he laughs about the pig. "They did a pig roast when I was on orders to Guam, actually. It was seriously good. Some of the most delicious food I've ever had was on the island, actually." He sets his plate down, moving to scoot her chair out for her before she gets the opprotunity to sit, flashing her a broad grin. "You ever been? To Guam or anywhere?" he asks after she's settled, moving around the table to seat himself. The satchel he is carrying over his shoulder is finally set down on the floor.

"Guam? No, I can't say that I've ever been to Guam." There's a light note of incredulous laughter to her reply, and she puts the plate down on the table before taking up her seat across from him. "Not really, I've actually been incredibly sheltered but… only because I didn't have a lot of money to go anywhere other than school. And not even that, if we're being honest. A lot of my pay currently goes into paying other people." While the talk of loans dun dun dun isn't exactly thrilling or uplifting, she's accepted it. There's good humor about the situation before she shrugs and asks, "So did you travel a lot while you were in the service? You mentioned being in Afghanistan the other day, right? They're pretty far apart." Nearly 5,000 miles apart! A little bit of an understatement.

"Hey, it's more of a possibility than you ending up in Afghanistan," Luke points out with a chuckle, nodding his head in an understanding way when she talks about the loans. "I totally get it. That's part of why I joined the army to begin with, it was either commit a few years of my life or spend the next century paying off my student loans," he smirks, taking a mouthful of food and chewing as she questions him. He grins, swallowing his food and shrugging his shoulders. "Army sent me all over, at least for the first couple of years. I was stationed out in Texas, but I don't think I spent more than a handful of months there, and none of them together," he explains, "I volunteered for a lot of it. I liked doing the humanitarian stuff. You go out to some of these countries and their animals are covered in mange and everything else," he sighs, frowning a little. "It's terrible. But there's good work to be done, you know? I bet you get to do a lot of that. The kind of work that's rewarding."

"That's true, I don't imagine there are a lot of week long vacation packages for Afghanistan for your average tourist," Abby replies, beginning to poke through her food with a fork. The eating happens naturally throughout the conversation, pausing to do that between snippets of conversation. She smiles when he mentions the humanitarian stuff, "Yeah, I could see you enjoying that kind of work. How long were you in for? Most of the guys I knew only were in for a few years and as soon as their time was up, they were out." One elbow is propped onto the table, occasionally used to put a hand under her chin or reach for the glass of water. "My work is rewarding, though sometimes it feels kind of taxing. You save lives in the ER but you also deal with a lot of very strange and bizarre people that wander in off the streets. I was thinking of putting together some kind of community outreach program for kids."

"If it makes you feel any better, you're not missing much. It stinks over there. The only halfway decent part was the bazaars they had, it was like living in an Aladdin movie," Luke says of Afghanistan with a laugh, poking through his food as they talk. "I'm actually still in. Part-timer now, though. My last deployment was a little.. rough," he scrunches up his brow, looking down at his plate for a moment. He doesn't elaborate. "So I transferred into the reserves. It let me come back here, and I now I drive down to Colorado Springs once a month to do my weekend duty." His shoulders roll up as he looks back to her, brows lifting when she talks about bizarre people wandering off the streets. "I think the program would be a good idea. If you want some help with that, let me know? I'm always looking for ways to give back," he reaches for his water as he looks to her curiously. "What's the craziest case you've had out here so far?"

"Don't worry, I definitely wasn't planning any trips there. When I get the opportunity to travel out of this general region of the world, I'm thinking of going to… Hawaii or maybe Great Britain. Really far away from home but where I can kind of still figure things out without going into a full panic." Abby is concentrating on her plate, glancing up and holding a more steady gaze on him when he talks further on his service. "I'm sorry to hear that. About it being rough, that is." Her gaze goes back down to the plate before her eyebrows lift a little and she slyly asks, "Does that mean you still wear the uniform?" Perfectly innocent question before she pops a bite of broccoli into her mouth. Once she takes care of that time waster of a move, "I'll let you know what I come up with. It's in the baby stages. As for the the craziest case? Probably the kid who was tripping on LSD and ran around the neighborhood for like two hours before the finally caught him. When they got him to the hospital he was in awful shape. And he was still hallucinating."

"Definitely go to Hawaii if you can. Never been to England, so I can't comment there. But Hawaii's amazing, all sunshine and great beaches," Luke comments, waving his (thankfully empty) fork dismissively when she apologies. "Eh, it's ok. It's part of what I signed up for, yeah? Can't expect sunshine and rainbows all the time. But yes," he meets her sly gaze with a comical wag of his brows. "I still wear it. One weekend a month, two weeks a year. It is currently at the dry cleaners, though, don't pout too much," he snorts back a laugh, popping a piece of orange chicken in his mouth as she talks about the kid on LSD. His eyes grow a little wide. "Man, I bet that was wild," he says after he's swallowed, taking another gulp of his water after. "I never did anything crazy, but I had a couple friends in highschool who wanted to drop acid in an abandoned house down on Smelter? Wooo boy," he rolls his eyes. "Freakiest experience of my -life-, and I wasn't even the one who was tripping."

"I wasn't going to pout," Abby begins slowly, looking innocently up at the ceiling as if it's of great interest to her for a few moments. "It's not like you'd have it here at the restaurant anyway. We'd have to go back to your place for it." Her 'brows are still a little lifted, a devious glint to her eyes before she sips her water. "Besides, I'm sure you'll get it back from the dry cleaners eventually." There's an mmhmm for the story about the kid on LSD. "Yeah, his parents said he was a great student too. They were really shocked when they had to come in for him. Thankfully he was okay eventually, but I guess he got something in his system that wasn't the 'real' stuff, so he took an incredibly nasty trip." An expanded talk of drug use has her quietly admitting in a stage whisper, "One time… I smoked a cigarette." Take away this woman's medical license. Smoking.

Luke was chewing on another piece of orange chicken and nearly chokes at her devious suggestion, half laughing and half coughing as he swallows the bite hard. "I do get it back in a couple of days," he manages after, punctuating his words with a waggle of his brows and a devilish curve of his lips, but then he's laughing again as he rubs his knuckles into his sternum. "It's always the good students that end up going bad," he says after a moment, about the LSD kid. "Well, I guess not always. My two friends were C students at best, but they were stoners. I hung out with an odd, ecclectic group," he thinks on that, and then widens his eyes in feigned shock at her stage whisper. "One time?" he gasps, holding his open hand over his mouth. "I don't know if we can hang out again, Abby, you might influence me to do terrible things. Well, probably not -smoking- things, because I already do that. But clearly you are a bad influence," he jokes.

There's laughter and she hides her smile briefly behind the glass of water before replacing it on the table. "I guess you can't really just assume things about a person. Like whether or not they're going to try mind altering drugs." Abby pokes at a stubborn piece of food, hazarding a quick glance at him and taking in a sharp inhale of breath, "You mean you're smoking things on a regular basis? Tch, tch." She waggles her index finger at him. "Maybe you're the one who's the bad influence! Maybe I'm going to leave here tonight with uh… something, inhale-able." There's a little trail off at the end as she thinks on it before bursting into laughter.

"No no, I can't possibly badly influence you if you've already smoked a thing before!" Luke retorts, and then suddenly loses it at her inhale-able comment, his deep laughter nearly bringing tears to his eyes. It takes him awhile to calm down, though there was still some chuckling bubbling out around his next words: "Does it make you feel better knowing I prefer edibles?" And then there's that -grin- of his, all bright and dimply, shaking his head as he reaches for his water to chug a few mouthfuls and calm himself down.

There other people in this restaurant and they're slooooowly turning to look at them as they're laughing their asses off at the table. "Oh, I see. No, no, you're right. Once a person smokes something, even once, that's it. They are therefore one hundred percent corrupted for all of time and can't further be corrupted by anyone or anything," she breathes in deeply to steady herself before brushing some loose hair away from her eyes. "It depends…" She trails off ominously before picking up, "…what sort of things are you consuming your cannabis in? Some forms of shortening can be really bad for your health." Not the shortening!

Luke was -trying- to be more discreet, really, he was! At the very least, he managed to make his laughter a little quieter than before, though his shoulders were shaking with the effort. "No, not the shortening!" he clasps his hands over his heart as though her comments physically hurt him, looking at her with big eyes. "I thought anything was good for you in small quantities," he grins. "I mean, really, how bad could cannabis brownies really be for you? They are all natural -and- organic," he leans forward, planting his elbows on the table as he plys her with a hopeful look. "That's good, right, doc? Can't possibly go wrong with all natural organic pot brownies."

"All natural and organic? Well, nevermind then. They're probably better for you than a well balanced diet full of GMO ridden foods. I recommend eating dozens of them," Abby makes it through most of her statement in a very professional voice before she cracks again and starts to laugh. She meets his hopeful look with a sigh and wipes some moisture away from the corner of her eyes, "Oh boy… don't really do that though. You'd end up breaking into a grocery store at night to get snacks and find yourself in jail by the end. That would be sad, tragic even."

"Well, as long as the doctor agrees," Luke smirks at her, and then drowns another chuckle with a mouthful of water. "If I eat a dozen of them, I might end up in the -hospital-. When are you usually on shift, by the way?" his eyes are glimmering as he looks across the table at her. "You know, just in case. Wouldn't trust my health with any other doctor out there," he smirks.

"Oh, no. If you need your stomach pumped out, you do it on some other doctor's shift." Abby tells him very firmly, still catching her breath and schooling a bright smile into something a little more tame. She's pretty much drained her glass and the plate is more or less done. "I promise you there are plenty of competent people at the hospital that will be able to handle your pot brownie overdose as they try not to laugh at you." She fixes him with a look, before thumping her hand lightly on the table. "You haven't shown me a single cat this entire meal."

"Heartless," Luke playfully retorts, then snaps his fingers when she brings up the kittens. "Damn, I was hoping you'd forget so I'd have an excuse for next time," he smirks, chuckling as he bends to reach into his satchel. "You're in luck though. I promised a binder full of kittens, and a binder full of kittens is what you shall receive." And out from the satchel with a faint flourish comes… a Samsung galaxy tablet. Which is definitely not a binder.

There's a tap and swipe to the screen, and then Luke's getting up, coming around the table to plunk himself in the empty seat right beside her. "Well. A -tablet- full of kittens, actually, but we're technologically advanced at Paws and Claws," he grins, handing the thin tablet over to her. The tablet's been turned onto a picture of an adorably furry black kitten. "Swipe away. There's about twenty on here, I tried to narrow it down to the ones with good personalities. That's Shadow," he points a thumb to the kitten currently on screen. "She's a sweetheart, but has a bad habit of suckling on the tip of your nose."

When it becomes clear that Luke is coming around to her side of the table, Abby takes a second to push away anything that might be breakable. He hands her the tablet and she starts to hand it back to him, "No, I'm sorry. You promised there would be a binder." Okay, well not really. She quickly pulls it back and flashes him a crooked smile. "Just teasing you. You're cute though, I don't know why you'd think that you'd need an excuse for next time. And if you did, I could think of a few."

All that comes while she's busy swiping through the kittens. There's lots of awing for them. They're kittens. "Oh, are these a pair of siblings?" She asks, pointing at a pair of adolescent tabby cats that are wrapped together in the worlds coziest hug.

The joke catches him off guard, and he looks at her funny as she starts handing him the tablet back, only to laugh at her smile. "Phew, you scared me for a second there. I mean I don't give the Kitten Tablet to just ~anybody~!" he chuckles, his grin turning sheepish there at the end. "Well I /do/ have another excuse. After all, you owe me dinner now," he winks at her.

And then there's swiping, and awwing, and even Luke leans over to sigh at some of the more adorable ones. "Mmhm," he nods his head at her question, looking down at the tabby kitties. "I found those two, actually, not too long ago. The fires chase a lot of animals out of their homes, and I always look for the owners? But I don't think these two had any," he frowns. "They were pretty sick for a bit, but they are both doing great now. Completely inseperable though, if you try to take one away, they start crying for each other."

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have joked about something so sacred." Abby puts her hand over her heart in a show of deep apology. "That is a good excuse. We'll hit up all of the very classy restaurants here in Calaveras." She gives the buffet around them a little humorous side-eye before continuing her kitten search. She tips her chin up just enough to catch him out of the corner of eyes as he's leaning over, "Yeah, you aways hear stories of the fires pushing out people and animals." Tapping her index finger on the screen, she moves through the gallery to see if there's some more pictures of the two. "Can I meet them? I think a pair of siblings would be great. I'm out of the house a lot, especially at night for work. They could keep each other company. Plus, you know, I'm working on starting my crazy cat lady collection."

"You are forgiven. But only this time!" Luke says in a teasingly formal sort of way, chuckling as he looks about the chinese place. "Hey, I could've taken you on BOGO night," he flashes her another dimpled grin as he stays leaned towards her. There are a few more pictures of the kittens in the gallery, two of them individually, though most of the pictures are of them cuddled up to one another. He cants his head to look back at her, nodding at her question. "Yeah, definitely. I'm doing the afternoon shift tomorrow if you want to come down, I can put you in one of the rooms to play with them for awhile," he sits up a little straighter, uttering another rumbly chuckle. "They are pretty much your standard starter crazy cat lady set. You should pick up crochet, too, all the best cat ladies make little booties and hats for their cats. -Believe- me, I've seen it."

"I might take you to BOGO night. I told you, I've got loans to pay for the next forever and a half," Abby quips teasingly before handing the tablet back over to him. She has no shame, it's true. "Okay, I'll be over tomorrow afternoon to see these kittens. Though to be honest, I can't imagine meeting a pair of cute cats and not wanting to take them home. So I'll just bring a cat carrier with me when I show up." There's a snort of laughter when he suggests picking up crochet. "Good idea. I should learn how to use a sewing machine so that I can really make them some amazing cat outfits to wear around."

"If it helps, I like pizza. And pizza's always cheap," Luke replies to her quip, his lips curling into a bright grin. He retrieves the tablet back from her, tucking it under his arm given that his satchel's on the other side of the table. "Good," he says of the kittens, leaning back to look at her when she talks about cat carriers, pursing his lips and nodding his head approvingly. "Look at you, already prepared. I'm impressed," he says with a note of seriousness, "I've got a ton of toys that I got to help socialize them to people that you can have. And I can probably dig up a litter box too," he chuckles, the laughter growing a little deeper at the talk of cat outfits. "If you get really good at it, I can hook you up with at least twelve other women who would -love- some little sweater vests and booties for their babies," he grins, leaning back into the chair he's stolen.

But then there's a light sigh when he looks down at the time on the tablet, frowning to himself. "We should probably start walking back," he says, clearly reluctant to do so. "I've got an early morning before my shift starts." The frown fades when he looks back up to her, transforming into a soft smile. There's no laughter now. "I had a good time, Abby."

"Always prepared. That's me. I'm an overpacker too." Abby admits with a little laugh and then nods, "Thanks. I'd appreciate that." A cat outfit making business? "Oh, sure. If I ever get to the point where I've developed a back supply of tiny animal clothes, I'll let you know."

She's laughing again and leans forward to catch the tablet's time when he mentions that. "You're right, you should get some sleep if you're going to be up early. I lose track of time at night, I'm sort of an insomniac." Not wanting to delay him getting home, she begins pushing her chair back and reaching for her coat. There's been such a high volume of laughing tonight that the lack of it prompts her to look up at him while she's shrugging her arms into the sleeves. She catches that smile and offers him a slow one in return, "Yeah? I had a good time too. Next time we'll get you your pizza."

"I prefer late nights myself. I usually take the evening shifts at the clinic, I get way more done that way," Luke chuckles as he rises, moving back around the table to dump the tablet back into the satchel and tossing the strap over his shoulder while she gets her coat. And once he's ready, he's beaming a smile at her, coming to stand beside her so they can walk out of the restaurant together. Though, before they get fully out the door, Luke holds up his hand. "Whoa, wait just a second. We can't leave without our cookies!" he declares, stepping over to the bin by the dessert counter to fish two fortune cookies out of it. He holds them out to her with an outstretched hand, his eyes bright. "You first. Choose your destiny," he says in an overly dramatic voice.

And after she's picked, he walks them out of the restaurant, tearing open the plastic wrapper of the remaining cookie with his teeth and then breaking the cookie open as they walk along. "Huh. 'Small opprotunities are often the beginning of great enterprises,'" he reads off the little piece of paper, chuckling as he tucks it into his pocket. "I like that one."

"Some men dream of fortunes, others dream of cookies." Abby reads hers outloud after cracking it open and squints at the little slip of paper. "That's fitting somehow. Okay, lets get out of here." She tosses the wrapper into the garbage and pops the cookie into her mouth. Then they're departing from the restaurant, with her pulling the door open for him. But not without putting on a great show like the door is four thousand pounds and she might not ever get it open. After that display, there's the brisk walk home. At least it's now snowing yet! There's just the faintest hint of smoke in the air from the burning wildfires.

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