(2018-10-08) Better Is a Funny Word
After the events of Boys and Girls Can Be Friends, Solo wakes up and runs across Katherine, who is not happy.


Stone Bed and Breakfast - Kitchen

This space looks like it might have been recently updated. The countertops have been made of white quartz, and the backsplash is a bluish-purple tile. A large gas stove and double ovens sit off of an impressive island, where there is plenty of storage space for utensils and pots and pans. A few stools sit on one side of the island, and to the left there is a large dining table with cushion-topped wooden chairs.


Kate stands at the sink, hunched a bit as she does the dishes. The occasional sniffle can be heard as she takes out whatever mood she's in on the porcelain in the sink. A hand snakes out to tap on her phone, and music issues forth from the bluetooth speakers. She takes a deep breath, keeping on.
<FS3> Solo rolls Stealth: Great Success. (7 8 8 4 7 4 2).

Solo wasn't at breakfast, but left another pair of 20s for the following day, so apparently she intended to come back. Which she did, and headed off to sleep more after today's flying. She's up now, and makes it to the kitchen quietly, hoping to find leftovers or something to eat. And then the sniffle. She moves a little closer to lay her hand on Kate's back, when Kate isn't holding a dish. "Are you alright?"

She still jumps, but she doesn't scream or break anything. Kate wipes at her eyes, which are slightly puffy, as she nods at Solo. "I'm okay. Just a rough night." She takes a breath, managing a smile as she studies the other woman for a moment. "Are you hungry? I can get you some leftovers, there is lasagna in here." She opens the fridge, pulling out a shallow container, tilting it back and forth as she shows it to Solo. She cracks open the lid and moves to put it in the microwave.

Solo whispers, "Yes please. Or even just cold would be fine. I haven't eaten this well since I moved out of my parents' place. Never was much for cooking." She watches the other woman dealing with the food. "Please tell me what's wrong. Forget I'm a guest for a little while. I won't tell anyone.

"Pft, cold. It won't take long to heat." Kate sets the timer for six minutes and hits start. She glances at Solo and then back to the microwave before she sighs. "I grew up with a girl who…was perfect. Annoyingly so." She props her hands on her hips. "I made like I was trying to compete with her, but it was never much of a competition, she was always better." She shrugs and runs a hand over her face. "She made me seem so stupid tonight at the coffee shop, and I can't…I can't pretend like it doesn't bother me."

Solo draws her fingers through her hair to flip it back out of her eyes. They're much less puffy today, much less bloodshot. "Better is a funny word. What do you mean by it?" She watches Katherine a few more moments, as though it's awkward, like walking in on her in the bathroom.

Kate jumps when the machine beeps, and she turns to open the door, pulling out the container. She opens a drawer, pulls out a fork and hands it to Solo. "It's hot, be careful." She tilts her head to the side, gazing at the ceiling fan. "She always made me look pretty stupid. I used to fool myself into thinking that wasn't the case, but …I always knew. So better, able to upstage me? I'm not even sure how to describe it anymore."

Solo takes the fork. "Thanks." She thinks about it some more, letting the lasagna cool a bit, and savoring the scents of it. "Physically? Makes you feel clumsy and awkward? Mentally? Makes you feel dumb or ignorant? Emotionally… makes you feel like you should be as comfortable and at ease as she is? What?" Well, Solo's *trying* to be kind, anyway. But she's not had much practice at it.

"A mix of the three, honestly." Kate watches Solo sniff at the food, a slight smile curving her lips. "Did you just get in? Were you flying? How are things?" She might be trying to change the subject, or she's just curious.

Solo shakes her head. "Just had a short hop first thing in the morning. I came back and went back to bed at about 3. I figured I'd get up for dinner. Guess I slept longer than I expected." She takes a bite on her fork, blows on it to cool it, and eats it gingerly. The expression she gets is blissful, almost carnally so. Not quite an O face, but an afterglow face, maybe. "Things are going ok," she says simply. "Weather was nice enough at 280… uh. Twenty-eight thousand feet. Wet but calm on the ground. I got three hours of fight time." The blissed expression leaves her face only now, as she changes subjects. "So…what is it about this woman's life that you want and haven't got?"

"I don't want her life, honestly. I just want to feel like I can measure up." Kate leans against the counter, crossing her legs at the ankles. "Do you ever just wish that someone didn't completely intimidate you?" She gazes down at her hands, fidgeting with the hem of her shirt. "Well that's how I feel about Heather. She makes me look silly, and I'm too nice to snipe back at her the way I probably should."

Solo thinks about it, savoring each bite of the lasagna, now that it's cool enough. "Mmmm…" she says softly. "Lots of people intimidate me. I mean… you intimidate me. Seriously. I can barely cook, I have zero taste in decorating, I hate cleaning, and when I have cash I have other people do my laundry so I don't have to. Don't want children, I'm terrible at nurturing people… as a woman… in the traditional sense… I'm a complete failure. You make all those things look easy." Solo turns away and savors another bite. It elicits another "Mmm…" "I mean… it comes down to what you want, and what makes you happy. I'm arrogant enough to assume I could learn to do all this in twenty or thirty years… but I don't think I'd necessarily be happy doing it. Are you?"

Kate looks surprised to find out that she intimidates Solo, her lips pursing slightly. "Doing all of this, it's easy to learn it. I couldn't fly, or I'd be very bad at it, but I might be able to learn it. So we can kind of be failures together. I think she just … embarrassed me in front of this guy that I'm sort of dating on purpose. I want to punch her in the face. I'm not a violent person." She notes, gazing towards Solo. "I'm not happy here, between you and I. This wasn't the first thing I wanted out of life."

Solo listens, and takes a few more bites of lasagna, thinking. "I'm the wrong person to give advice about romance. Sounds like she wants a piece of this guy for herself, or would just take pleasure in you not landing him. Bitch. Do you think it'll make any difference to him?" She thinks about Kate's second comment and sighs gently. "I'm sorry. I assumed this was what you wanted. What was your first choice?"

"I was going to start my own business, I wanted to be a caterer." Kate responds, but then she bursts out laughing as she gazes at Solo. "I don't know, we used to steal each others boyfriends as a mean tactic, but it's been a while. She did seem to think he was good looking, but I'm going to trust that when she says she won't pull that shit — she won't." She quirks a brow, smiling at Solo. "Is it good?"

Solo looks sidelong at Kate. "If my mouth could have orgasms, we wouldn't be having this conversation, put it that way." She takes another couple of bites and closes her eyes, then takes a long breath, swallows, and says,"So… you and she go back to high school, I take it? Junior High maybe?"

"Since we were five." Kate says, pushing herself up to sit on the counter. "I think that I got excited and blew out the candles on her cake when she was five. I apologized a few dozen times, and she still says that I did it on purpose." She kicks her feet back and forth. "Now she's trying to tell me that she wants to put me on television. I think she's fucking with me."

Solo finishes the lasagna, and carefully scrapes every bit of the sauce out of the container. "Five. Birthday cake." She shakes her head. "Usually I don't make frenemies like that without sleeping with them. Geez. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I'd be suspicious that if she did put you on tv, she's setting you up, if she's that vindictive. Nothing quite like embarrassing yourself in front of thousands or millions of people. Do you want to be on TV?

"Hundreds. It's a local station." Kate responds, grinning at Solo. "I don't think I'd do well on television. I'm kind of an introverted extrovert. I'm friendly and welcoming when I need to be…like here in my business, but I think I'm the wrong kind of shy to do television."

Solo nods. "Unless it makes YouTube. Fucking Internet." She gets the last bit of sauce with a finger, and licks it off her fingertip. "I guess the question is, is it something you want to challenge yourself with…see if you can overcome…and that you're willing to risk public humiliation for, or if it's sincerely not something you're interested in. When you know the answer to that question, I guess you'll know what you want to do. So… why don't you cater from here?

"I do, kind of. I am open for breakfast and lunch, people stop by. I've thought of expanding, but …I'm already busy." Kate murmurs, not responding to the television talk, but it's obvious that she might be thinking about it. "Now you'll have me thinking about catering. I have to stop, I never have time as it is."

Solo ponders. "Could you hire some help? I mean… I would if I could, but I got debt up to here…" she gestures just under her nose. "I can do my own maintenance, but I'd really like to fly more and wrench less."

"I could, but I'd…" Kate frowns, pulling out a piece of paper. "I'd have to figure out how much I could pay them, how much supplies would cost. What I would fix, how I would offer it. I'd have to buy uniforms, trays and various other things. It's a lot more work than one might think."

Solo nods. "So's running a charter air service. All the bullshit that isn't flying. And advertising. Geez. If I had any brains, I'd change my uniform shirt to something low cut and do TV ads. If I had that kind of loose cash." She ponders some more. "Does the hotel do catering? I mean… maybe get your foot in the door and get word of mouth going working for someone else? I'm not trying to talk you out of running this place, because frankly doing the math, if we can come to a bulk deal, it's competitive to just stay here as to rent someplace.

Kate chuckles at Solo and she taps her chin as she considers. "I bet we could talk Heather into helping you out if you maybe did some deliveries for her." She shakes her head about the hotel. "They don't do catering, and they barely do a continental breakfast." She exhales slowly and rubs at her eyes. "I cried myself into being tired, I'm going to go rest and think on this. Maybe I can get some things started if I try hard enough."

You say, "Is Heather your frenemy?"

"Yes." Kate responds, shifting her eyes to Solo. "As much as I hate her, and sometimes I really do. I still want her to succeed. I don't know if that makes me a good person, or an idiot."

Solo nods. "Good person, probably. I'll think about it. Something for you to think about. 40 bucks a day comes to twelve hundred bucks a month. If we can cut down on like… clean sheets, cleaning the room and like that to once a week and get down to a thousand bucks a month or less… I can't beat that renting a trailer and eating Ramen. And I'd like to meet this Heather. But I don't promise I'll do business with her.

"I'll keep all of that in mind, we'll see what happens." Kate takes a few backwards steps towards the living room, leaving for her bed. "Rest well when you get there, Solo. Get some more lasagna if you're still hungry, and there are muffins in the box on the table!"

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