(2018-10-12) Poetry Night at the Junction
Solo, Heather, Katherine, and Luke run into each other at Java Junction on poetry night. Hilarity ensues.


Java Junction

With copper light hangings, it leaves a rustic feel to the entire room. A long bar with a cash register below a sign that says Order Here boasts a display of pastries, bagels, croissants and other foods for breakfast. Sandwiches and soups and salads for lunch and dinner. On a chalk bard in colorful writing is a list of the different beverages offered as well as the prices. Numbers are given on the receipts so when called, patrons can get their order at the opposite end of the bar from the register.

Tables dot the room, wooden with simple center pieces and wooden chairs around them. Also built into one leg of each table is an electrical outlet for laptops or phone chargers. In one corner is a bean bag area with several magazines and a small book swap shelf.

While music plays softly from surround sound speakers, it is usually tuned into one of the two radio stations in the town. The country or rock, depending on what the barista selects at the time.


It's apparently Poetry Night at Java Junction. Tables have been cleared away from one of the corners of the room to create a mock stage area, where amateur 'artists' perform their acts of written artistry. Currently on stage? A 70 year old local man, stumbling through a poem about a kid who won't get off his lawn. He's on stanza five, and his wife has brought along a bongo drum that she beats at inappropriate times to ruin what little rhythm there is in the man's verses.

Luke sits at a table on the other end of the room, joined by Katherine. He's got a large, bowl-like cup of coffee in front of him, along with a piece of pumpkin coffee cake that's decorated in orange icing for Halloween. "How many verses do you think he's got left?" he asks Katherine, squinting in the direction of the old man. "I'm going with ten. You taking the over or the under?"

"I'm taking the over, he barely seems to be getting into the cadence of it yet." Katherine replies, her own large cup of coffee bolstered by an assortment of Halloween iced cookies. "The wife really got a good rhythm with those bongo's though." She shifts a bit, placing her feet on an empty chair nearby.

Addiction to a coffee house is like any other addiction. It happens fast, and you're back sniffing for more before you realize it. That's where Solo is, and how she finds herself back here once again. That it is also the town center is becoming obvious, and that's a place she probably needs to be. Although she really prefers someplace less well lit. And with more booze. She waves quietly at Katherine, who she knows, and the cute guy she's with. She pulls up a chair to listen… or more likely to ignore, since she draws out a bulletin from the FAA and begins reading it. Oddly, the bongo cadence fits it a lot better.

Heather is running late. She is actually here to see the poetry show - someone has duped her into thinking it would make a great cultural show for Friday nights. It only takes a few moments in the cafe for her to think it might work better as a comedy. But the next poet may be better. Grabbing a coffee, she finds a bit of wall to lean against, until she spots Dr Luke with her nemesis. A sly smile as she makes her way over. "Hey, you two. Not interrupting anything, am I?"

"I hope when I'm seventy, my wife's still willing to beat her drums for me while I perform terrible poetry," Luke remarks to Katherine with a dimpled grin. "Though, I guess realistically, she'll probably have to play cowbell while I belt out yet another round of 'Sweet Home Alabama'," he adds after, the thought making him chuckle as he reaches for his coffee. There's a glance towards the door as Solo comes through and waves to Katherine, before his attention floats to Heather when she comes in and heads straight for their table. "Nope, not interrupting at all. Have a seat," he waves his empty hand towards one of the chairs. "You almost missed this epic poem," he adds to Heather with a grin.

Katherine shifts her eyes to Luke, a smirk forming on her face. "That could be …nevermind." She pulls her mind from the gutter and takes a drink of her coffee, waving to Solo as she makes her way into the coffee house. She picks up a cookie, and is mid munch when Heather joins them. She pulls her feet from the chair and gestures to it with a cookie. After swallowing she quips. "We're just watching the best poem I've heard in a few months. Do you play the bongos Heather?"

Solo orders a quad-espresso mocha, rolls her eyes as she remembers to order it decaf. *sigh*. She doesn't get a cookie. As well as she's eating these days, if she adds cookies to the mix she won't fit in her pilot uniform. She looks over at "Heather" as the other woman's inadvertently introduced. 'The Heather,' she wonders.

"Everything needs more cowbell" Heather nods to Luke as she sits down on the offered seat. A curious look at Katherine with her question before a wry smile forms. "I've been known to get my hands on a pair every now and then. Probably not to your level though." A nod over at the poet. "Don't worry, he'll soon have a chance to recite it all again on television. I won't miss a word." Why does she sound sad at that thought? A sip on her coffee as she tries to relax for five minutes. "Contracts should be on their way in the morning, Doc. And, Katherine, I'll pop over with the broadcast team in the next couple of days. Okay?"

"That is the absolute truth," Luke nods sagely over in Heather's direction regarding more cowbell, chuckling as he brings his coffee up to take a long sip. He sets it back down afterward, canting his head to Heather. "Are you going to put the poets on television, too? I guess that wouldn't be the -worst- thing on TV. I'd probably turn it on. At least for a poem or two." He considers this as he pulls off a piece of his coffee cake to chew on, nodding over to Heather about the contracts. "Sounds good. Do you know her, Kate?" he points a thumb in Solo's direction, before he says directly to Solo, "You can come sit with us, if you want!"

The man seems to be slowing down. Indeed, he doesn't quite make it to nine verses before he peters out. His wife snaps her fingers energetically as he comes down off the stage, and most of the other onlookers look relieved. Except that relief is short lived… when his wife takes the stage.

Kate aims a frosty look at Heather and her lip curls for a moment as she considers sniping back, but for whatever reason she holds it back, drinking from her cup instead. "She's staying at the B&B." Kate murmurs to Luke before she waves towards Solo. "Yes, come join us." She leans in to murmur something to Luke, before she sits up straight, getting to her feet. "I'm going to get a refill, behave yourselves while I'm at the counter." She says, moving through the crowd, stopping twice to speak to people at other tables.

Solo looks over at Luke, spocks an eyebrow, then gathers up her papers and her coffee as it arrives, and heads over to the table with her landlord, the doctor, the news anchor… it sounds like a setup for a shaggy dog story. Still, she pulls up a chair, and when the poem finally finishes, she says, "Hi. I'm Solo. I'm… what she said."

Heather offers a 'what?' expression to Katherine's icy gaze before the other woman is off to the counter. The blonde pursing her lips in thought at the departure; she's obviously not good at this truce thing. And what is that feeling? Guilt? Heather doesn't like that so she'll get back to the conversation. "Yeah, a poet's corner show. Expression through art, rather than expression through angry tweets. We'll see how it goes. The local drama society has also got a place on the schedule. Is the woman about to prose a rebuttal? Hmm…poetry battles instead of rap battles. Could be onto something there." A smile for Solo…and a quirk at her name. "Interesting name. This place really loves its Star Wars references." She offers over her hand. "Heather McCormack. Old friend of Katherine's. Nice to meet you."

Luke's brows spike up, though as Katherine speaks quietly to him, he leans to murmur something back to her. And then she's off to the counter, leaving Luke to relax back into his chair and stretch out comfortably. He grins over to Heather, shaking his head a bit. "Featuring local artists would be a good bit. Not just poets, but maybe painters and actors and things of that nature?" he suggests, before he looks to Solo and smiles as she comes to sit. "Solo, huh?" he cants his head, giving her a quick once over before he offers, "I'm Luke. I'll save you the Star Wars references, if only because I used to get that shit all the time back in grade school."

Solo shakes Heather's hand. "It's short for Solveig. From old Norse. Now, I thought it was cool when I was eight, after seeing the movie, but that's another story." Heather makes clear who she is. "Ahh," Solo says. "I've heard a lot about you." She chuckles at Luke. "Yeah… I'll try to do the same thing."

Katherine comes back to the table, new cup of coffee in hand. She retakes her seat, crosses her legs and watches the bongo couple make their way from the stage. Whatever Luke whispered to her put a smile on her face at the very least. "How are you doing tonight, Solo? Out and about instead of running yourself ragged? I'm glad to see it." She takes a drink from her mug and then, as if she just remembered, she turns to nod to Heather. "I had a company come in to do some cleaning, professionally, so ..we'll see how things look on camera."

"And don't forget that Julian is a Sky Walker" Heather notes to the table. "I heard he doesn't use the 'Sky' part anymore though. Can you blame him." A half-smile for Solo. "Next you'll tell me you're a pilot." A nod for Luke. "Oh, there will definitely be art shows, and the drama society program, don't want to do everything in one show. Need to stretch it out over the schedule" she smirks before there is a Katherine talking to her. "Oh, okay, thanks for doing that" she seems a little taken aback. "Send me the invoice and I'll pay for it, okay?" A sip of her coffee as she nods to Solo. "You're from Norway? And you've heard a lot about me? All bad I bet" she smiles sweetly. "Don't believe everything you hear, always go to the primary sources."

Over on the poetry stage, the little old lady who looked so sweet and innocent was now on stage doing slam poetry. About sex. Using as many creative and interesting words that she could possibly come up with. Dirty old woman!

Luke glances over his shoulders, slightly wider-eyed when he catches one or two of the lines, and it's very clear that he's trying not to burst out laughing. His shoulders are shaking though, and he looks like he's in agony from holding the laughter in, his eyes far too bright all of a sudden. "Ohh, wow. -Wow-," he breathes out, reaching for his coffee to smother a chuckle into the black liquid, swallowing rather heavily. "Solveig is an interesting name," he says to Solo once he's calmed himself, though only just barely. He looks back over to Katherine, curious. "Are you going to be on TV too?" he asks her, pointing a thumb at Heather. "She sweet talked me into doing the vet show. But only for the good of the animals."

Kate is staring at the stage, mouth half open. She blinks every time the word cock is used, and unlike Luke, she can't hold the laughter in. She smothers it pretty decently with two hands, bending over as her shoulders shake. She turns her face toward Luke when he asks his question, nodding because she can't be trusted to speak right now.

Solo sips her coffee, listening to the little old lady. "You go, girl," she says quietly. She smiles wanly at Heather. "Actually I am a pilot. I run Aerostar Courier, out at the airport. And I'm from Minnesota. Little town you probably never heard of called Fulda. Farming community, basically." She shakes her head. "Skywalkers too. The wonders never cease. Don't suppose your station needs traffic overflights. Town's small enough you could probably handle them with drones, but I'm always up for selling hours on my planes."

Heather stares at the ribald woman on stage. "I think I've seen my future." She doesn't mind laughing either…and it's funny. "If it all works out, Katherine could even be the face of the station. But no pressure. We'll see how it goes. I'm thankful she said 'yes'." Another stare, this time for Solo. "You /are/ a pilot?" A pause. "Cool. I don't know Fulda, Minnesota, but I do know Fulda, Germany. I guess yours was named after that one. Sure, I could use drones, but drones have terrible voices and great faces for radio. I'd much rather an 'eye in the sky' kind of thing, if I can afford you." Out comes the business card for Solo. "Call me."

Luke's trying to be good - trying! - but Heather's comment on the little old lady being her 'future' breaks him. He leans forward against the table, managing to smother some of the laughter with his hands, but not all of it. The woman on stage powers through though - she doesn't even seem to mind the laughter! - and she continues on whilst erotically beating her drums. Actually, there's probably nothing erotic about the drum beating. Luke takes a deep breath to calm himself, looking close to tears as he finishes up his coffee cup, trying so very hard to focus on the conversation at his table. "A pilot, huh?" he manages to crack out. "That's pretty cool. Have you met Jo yet? Redhead, mechanic around here, she used to work on helicopters in the Army. She'd be a good person to know, I think, if you have your own plane," he shrugs, sharing a grin with Katherine. "Too bad Ethan and Abby aren't here, they'd get a kick out of this."

Blink blink blink. Katherine's laughter fades as Heather says she could be the face of the station. "What?" Is all that she says to that, glancing from Heather to Luke when he mentions their significant others. "I think Ethan would have uttered some swear words and been outside smoking by now." She smirks, taking a drink of her coffee. "Did Abby tell you, she's coming over for tea tomorrow." She watches at Heather snares another person for her television empire, how many of those cards does the woman own anyway?"

Solo takes the business card. "I will." She thinks about it. The town's small enough to cover in the hour of flying time the Pipistrel can give her, she figures. What to charge, what to charge… she mulls on that for a while. She glances at Luke. "Yeah, I'm A&P certified myself. I mostly do my own maintenance, but it could be fun to have a beer with her." She sips her coffee again, and stretches. "…if I can grow my business enough, I might be able to hire her. Do less wrenching, more flying."

"Do I know Abby?" Heather asks anyone. She may have forgotten the names of some of those she crushed in high school…and those she had no interest in whatsoever. Katherine's horror has her giggling a little before offering a, hopefully, consoling, "It's okay, Katherine. We'll just see how things go, okay? But, you're incredibly popular and well-loved around town, and there's no reason that can't be the same on television. Don't worry, we'll take it how it comes. No pressure. I want us to work together…willingly." A sympathetic sigh for Solo. "Yeah, business is harder than it looks." The three other business owners at the table will certainly know all about that. "Oh, Katherine, I went up to Kris's cabin to catch up on old times. She's doing well up there. So relaxing and quiet. I felt guilty at turning off my phone."

"She is?" Luke twists in his seat to turn towards Katherine, "Do not tell her I was talking the other day, please!" he laughs a little, holding up a hand imploringly, before he flashes a dimpled, mischevious grin towards Kate. "But you can definitely feel free to tell me if she talks about me. That's fair, right?" he reaches to grab another bite of his coffee cake, looking back to Solo as she talks about the plane, nodding his head a little. "That's really cool. I can't claim to know much about planes, though I did get to ride on some cool ones back when I was deployed," he says to Solo, before he glances to Heather and shrugs his shoulders. "I think you guys were in the same grade? Or about that. Probably. She's an ER doctor," he says regarding Abby, his smile broadening.

"You probably would. She went to school with us." Kate responds, propping her cheek on her palm as she regards Heather. "A grade ahead, I think. Maybe." She shrugs and attempts to not look flustered as a compliment comes out of Heather's mouth. "No pressure. Right. No. Pressure." She takes a deep breath, takes a drink, and gazes back at the dirty old lady who is currently rhyming about anal. How adorable. She glances back at Heather and quirks a brow. "I should get up there to see her." Aiming a sly look at Luke, she blinks a few times, innocently. "What are you gonna do for me? I mean, you haven't shared any gossip you got lately, have you?" She raises both brows and gives him THE LOOK.

Solo blushes a little at the poetry. "Geez, you have way more fun with that than I ever did," she mutters. She shrugs at Luke's comment about being deployed, and doesn't offer comment about that.

"I'll have to dig around in my memories for this Abby" Heather shrugs upon hearing she should know her. A glance between Luke and Katherine as they seem to have some wicked plotting about Abby. Then a roll of her eyes and a shake of her head. "Sheesh, are we in high school again? Just tell her you like her. Next you'll be asking Katherine to pass her a note that says 'Do you like so and so' and it'll have a 'yes' box and a 'no' box." She eyes the others. "Umm…I hear that's what it's like." An apologetic look to Solo. "Sorry you had to see this. Anyone in your life?" Heather turns her gaze to the departing poet - memorizing the words that rhyme with 'anal' she just learned. She will never look at a bongo in the same way again.

Luke returns Katherine's LOOK with one of his own, and he leans in to say something to her in a murmured voice before he pulls back with a laugh that deepens as he glances back over to Heather. "Hey now, hey. The note's already been passed, Heather, and she checked the yes box. But that doesn't mean I want Kate blabbering away about what I said," he winks over to Kate before he stands up, stretching a little. "I think I've had my fill of poetry night though. I'll be waiting for that contract, Heather. And Solo," he nods over to her. "It was very nice to meet you. Have a good night, you three."

Solo chuckles and claps for the poet. "Hey, she'll make great TV, right? I mean competing with YouTube and all that. Gives a place its own character." She shrugs. "No, not at the moment. Although Katherine's cat and I have been doing some heavy petting."

Kate tilts her head to the side, a slight smile on her face. "I liked high school for the most part." She says, glancing at Luke as he returns the LOOK. "I don't blabber about things, Luke. Geez." She protests, reaching out to swat him with her right hand. "However, after tea, I'll call you to tell you what was said. We have to make a pact though, I want gossip in return." She sticks her tongue out at Heather before she giggles in Solo's direction. "Blue is too cute, isn't she?"

Whatever Luke whispers makes Kate smile, a happy look on her face.

"Good night, Luke. Hope it works out with Abby" Heather smiles up at the doctor as he leaves. She has to laugh at Solo's petting joke. "Nice" she grins to the pilot. "How are you finding the B&B? I'm sure Katherine is an awesome landlord." A nod to the woman in question - the one with the poking tongue. "I liked high school too" Heather admits, and why wouldn't she? "Made a lot of good friends that are still with me today."

Luke laughs over to Kate as he picks up his jacket and throws it over him. "I'm not actually serious at least," he smiles to her, "Though I appreciate your commitment to gossip." He wags his brows at Kate comically before he takes off, waving to the group of them.

You say, "Stole it from an old TV show," Solo admits. "Let's see. Clean, comfortable bed, warm cat, good company, and food better than mom used to make… I'm just hoping I can keep affording it, 'cause I don't want to leave." She watches Luke go. "I spent a few years in the desert eating military food myself, and my own cooking's not much better.""
<Newbie> Dakota has disconnected.

Kate beams at Solo. "I'm glad that you're comfortable. You're the best tenant I've had in a while." She slants a look at Heather, grinning before she picks up her cup of coffee. "You should come over for dinner some night, Heather. I'm trying out some Fall recopies next week, it should be interesting at the very least."

"An invitation to dinner? Umm…sure…I'd love to" Heather manages to reply after recovering from the shock. Her food will probably be poisoned. "I'd like to catch up socially. No work discussions. Promise." A smile for Solo. "That joke is probably broadcast every week on my channel. How long do you plan on staying in town, Solo?"

Solo shrugs. "Well, I've moved my business here, and I'm working on getting my concealed carry permit transferred, so… I'm here for a while. Arizona was getting too complicated. And I grew up in Minnesota. I want snow damn it."

"You'll get snow here, in spades." Katherine says, setting money down on the table to cover a tip for the bussers. "I'm going to head home ladies, I've got some things to do before I find my bed." She aims a look at Heather, chuckling softly. "Don't worry, the food will be good, and maybe I can get Julian off the mountain, hmm?" She wiggles her fingers at both women as she makes her way to the door, slipping out.

"And you'll need a spade to get throw the snow" Heather adds with a laugh. "Take care, Katherine." The truce still hasn't resulted in hugs and air kisses yet, so she fingerwaves the other woman out. "It would be nice to see Julian again" she nods before considering Solo. "Might need a place to stay then if you're in for the long haul. What happened in Arizona? And you carry? Being a pilot is a dangerous life?"

Solo waves. "Sleep tight. Save some kitty for me." She leans back a little. "No, flying is safer than driving. It's having two million dollars worth of aircraft on the ground that tends to make me want a gun. And living in Arizona. That too. Good lord, the drug activity, human trafficking, illegal immigration, and every right wing crazy you can shake a stick at." She shrugs. "I carry. I'm carrying now. Does that bother you?"

Heather shakes her head. "Nope. You're free to carry if you think you need to. It's sad that we feel we have to, but that's not the fault of the weapon. Sounds like quite the crazy life over there. You were involved in all of that? Not committing, obviously, but you saw it all?" The investigative reporter is coming out. "You don't think the airport is secure?"

You say, "No, but I tend to live in the bad part of town, so it's all around me, normally. And so far, the only trespassers in my hangar have been raccoon." She shrugs. "I grew up on a farm. We had guns around, you know? We hunted, we shot at coyotes going after the chickens…went plinking on weekends. It was just never a big deal." She sips her coffee cup, then looks down at it, popping off the top to find it empty. "Mm. Maybe some country girl left in me yet, you know? And right now, I have a place to stay. I doubt I could afford to room with you, if that's what you were looking for.""
<FS3> Solo rolls Subterfuge: Failure. (1 1 3 3 6)

Heather laughs at that last statement. "I've only just met you, Solo, and I only have a one bedroom apartment. I wasn't planning on asking you to move in with me." A curious look at the other blonde before she drains the last of her coffee. All that personal history was nice to hear, but Heather isn't buying a lot of it. She has Solo's name, maybe worth looking her up. "Would you like another coffee? I wish this place would serve stronger stuff. I was born and raised here. Does that make me country? According to one of my reporters, this is a bumpkin town, so I guess it does."

Solo chuckles and looks around. "Well, it sounded like you were feeling me up to move in with you. I dunno. It's like that old joke, what do lesbians do on a first date… move in together." She shrugs, tips her head and her cup back to get the last drop of coffee. "Compared to where I grew up, this is the big city. But I've lived in bigger. Nah. It's a resort town. That's a different animal completely." She considers the cup a little longer. "Tomorrow's my day off, so if you want to go somewhere and get a drink, I'm game. Cheaper is better."

"Feeling you up? I never touched you" Heather smirks before tilting her head slightly while studying the pilot. "Do you think I'm a lesbian? What gave you that impression? The way I walk?" she teases before pulling out her phone to check on the time. "I have a meeting at 10 with marketing…" Yes, on a Saturday. "…but I can grab a drink, sure. There's Ethan's place - Katherine's boyfriend - but not sure on the hours. There /must/ be at least one more bar. This is a resort town, like you say, there should be one next to each Starbucks. And that's a lot."

Solo laughs. "I have no idea. The lesbians I've known haven't exactly worn signs, and in military circles everyone's hair is short." She glances involuntarily the direction that Luke and Katherine took off. "Oh. I thought she was with Luke." She shrugs. "I'm new in town. I don't know these things. I also don't own a car, so unless it's a nice walk, can I bum a ride?"

"Luke and Ethan went to school together, a couple of years ahead of Katherine and I. I'm sure you'll meet Ethan when he drops by at the B&B. He seems…grumpy…to me, and I'd hate to see Katherine get hurt." A pause before Heather adds, "That's my job. I'm kidding! Yeah, I can give you a lift." As a new poet starts a pro-Trump verse, Heather leads Solo out the door and into the street. "My car's down here." A nod northwards. "It sounded like Luke and Abby were an item, which may be tough for Kyrie to hear. I think she was fond of Luke herself. And…do you really want to hear all this? What did you do in the military?"

Solo shrugs. "Flew A-10s. Air Force. National Guard. It didn't end well." She follows along quietly, then adds, "yeah, actually I do. It helps me know who's who in this town… who to avoid, who has money for private flights to Denver or wherever…who the movers and shakers are…" she glances meaningfully at Heather.

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