(2018-11-18) A Night At Maude's
Various souls meet at Maude's

Katya was sitting at one of the tables in the Diner. There was a chocolate shake (yes even in this cold weather!) and a burger and fries that she was working her way through. She was in jeans and a thick flannel shirt with brown work boots. One of her rare evenings off and she seemed to be enjoying herself. There was an older rock song playing on the jukebox and her foot was tapping lightly along with the beat. Her hair was left down, kind of half hiding her face as she munched on her fries.

Uma is a noobie to town. So, what does any self-respecting noobie do, other than stop calling themselves noobie, but go and visit the town hotspots? Maude's qualifies as a hotspot. It's a small town. The blonde woman dressed in boots, jeans (tucked into the boots), a sweater, and beanie atop her head. The latter is pulled off as she walks inside, shaking her hair loose into a bigger mess. A smile for the person at the counter. "Hey, could I have a cheeseburger, fries, and a caramel thickshake. As thick as you can make it, thanks." A glance around for a table before she chooses the one next to Katya, sighing as she sits down. It's been a long day.

Katya was still pretty new in town herself, having only been here for 6 months or so. But she was sure she'd seen everyone at least once that came to Maude's on the regular. Uma, she had not seen before. Electric blue eyes peeked out from the mass of brown hair to eye the woman curiously. "The shakes are the best." She offered up a bit of a smile, lifting her own shake to the woman. "New to Maude's?"

"I hope so" Uma smiles in reply about the shakes, running fingers through her hair to try and get it back into shape. She decides to put the beanie back on instead. A nod to Katya's question. "New to Maude's. New to town" she smiles. "Mind if I join you?" A quick glance around to see if it looks like anyone is coming to sit with Katya before she sneaks over to the other table and offers her hand. "Doctor Uma Campbell. I just opened a practice up in Cedar Pines. Actually, I don't practice anymore, I have a license. Little 'doctor practice' joke there." A sigh at how stupid she must sound. "I'll take it back." At least they have striking blue eyes in common.

"Sure, why not." Katya shrugged. Her accent was an odd mix of southern and Russian. Up close now, Uma would be able to tell the blue of Katya's eyes couldn't possibly be natural. Unless maybe she had some very unique eye condition? An easy smile as they shook hands. "Nice to meetcha. Katya. I'm not a doctor." She did give Uma a laugh at the bad doctor joke and popped another fry into her mouth. "I'm a bartender at the Alibi, over in Ash. I'll keep you in mind if I need a doc though."

"Please do" Uma smiles about another patient. "Katya? That is a lovely name. Unfortunately, my mother was on one of her hippy trips when it came to name me. As a bartender, you must know all the exciting places to go. Like this Alibi place? And where is 'Ash'?" The doctor will do her best not to stare into the other woman's eyes, though they are very noticeable…which is probably the intention. Her food arrives and she offers a smile of thanks to the staff before swirling her straw in the shake to check for thickness. It passes that test at least.

"Thank you, my parents are Russian, so it's a little omage to their home." She mused. "And I think some great grandmother on my dad's side's name?" Another shrug as she sipped her shake. She gives a small run down of where the Ash Woods neighborhood is, "Alibi is great, there's a mechanical bull! Not that I've been on it - but I like watching other people ride it." She grinned a bit. "How does it taste?"

"A mechanical bull?" That makes Uma laugh, though it is happy rather than mocking. "Oh, man, I am definitely in the country now." She sucks on her straw…and sucks again…and again. Finally, she manages to get some into her mouth to taste. "It's nice" she nods. "I'm a bit of a thickshake snob. If I can suck it up in one suck, then it's not a thickshake." She screws up her nose. "Did that sound kinky, it wasn't meant to. Anyway, when does Alibi really kick off? I take it this is your day off?"

Katya chuckled softly as she watched Uma work on her shake. "I getcha. I usually end up using a spoon at first most of the time Give it time to…melt a bit so to speak." She nodded. "And yeah, I ride the real thing. So I don't get on the fake one, but it's great. Definitely something that should be tried at least once - fake or real." A smirk. "It's fine, I've heard worse. And Friday/Saturday nights are our best. But we've got a good bunch of regulars."

"You ride real bulls? At Alibi? Wow, that sounds like a heck of a place" Uma is impressed. She starts on her burger, doing her best to not make a mess, but failing. A dab of sauce from her lips before she speaks again. "Are you a local? I guess they teach bull riding here…or something. I can see myself getting thrown and breaking limbs. Would you trust a doctor with a broken arm?" A shake of her head. "No spoon for me. That's close to sacrilege!" she teases.

"Oh! No. Hell no. Not at Alibi itself." She laughed. "I ride them in the Rodeos." She shook her head. " Not a local, really. Not yet at least. I've been here about 6 months. But I came up from Texas." She explained. "I got into it down here. Only done it once or twice up here. But it's a helluva time." A bright smile offered. "Sure, why not? Everyone breaks bones right? Even doctors. And maybe, but I'm impatient when it comes to my chocolate."

"As a medical professional, I really should point out that you should keep chocolate consumption to a minimum. As a human being, I should point out to myself to not be such a miserable old grump" Uma smiles in return. "You're a rodeo rider? That's…pretty awesome. And you should definitely have a doctor on call. Do you compete or just show? I do have a business card somewhere if that is not too forward." She rummages around in her pockets until finding one and frowning at it. "Need to update the number if I can remember it…" A pen is produced from another pocket before she scribbles on the card.

The pair of them sharing a table, both of them with (separate) burger and fries, and the wonderous delights of (separate) shakes. Uma passes the card over.

"I don't hardcore compete for a living or anything, obviously. Just now and again. Definitely plan to compete during the next one or two that come up." She nodded. "Not forward at all. I haven't been to a doctor since I've been up here." Another smile before taking a bite of burger before taking the card and looking it over. "Sweet. I'll keep it in mind." She nodded, pocketing the card in her flannel shirt. "So, how long ya been a doctor for?"

The door opens and Katherine Stone walks in, head down as she texts on her phone. She obviously isn't paying attention, so it should be no surprise to anyone that she bumps bodily into a young man who is walking out. Neither of them fall but there is a lot of apologies, a few chuckles and then she shoves her phone into a pocket, walking toward the counter. She sets her purse down and picks up a menu, looking down at it with a slight frown on her face. She glances around to see how busy it is, looking thoughtful.

"Fully licensed and unleashed into the wild? About four years. It takes a long time to become a doctor. If I wanted to be a brain surgeon, I'd still be at school" Uma smirks. "Only worked in the civilian world a couple of years. Army before that. You shouldn't leave it too long before getting a check-up. And that was the only nagging I will do…for at least five minutes. When will the next competition season start?" A glance up at Katherine's arrival and the threat of collision, but it seems to be avoided without injury. Uma sucks hard on her straw once more. The shake flowing more freely now. "Lots of sport around here that doesn't involve bulls?"

"Army huh? Bet that was something. I thought about that, going into the military - but then I ended up in Texas instead." She chuckled. Katya looked towards Katherine with electric blue eyes - clearly not a natural color when seen up close. Watching her a moment, "Can't go wrong with a burger and shake." She offered up. The diner not too crowded tonight so it was easy to see Katya was talking to Kate. Looking back to Uma, "Uhm, maybe? I'm honestly not that into sports. So I'm the wrong person to ask. I'm sure the university has sports stuff going on."

Katherine smiles up at the server, glancing toward Katya for a moment before she gestures in that direction. "I'll have what she recommends, burger and shake." She decides, setting down the menu. "Strawberry, please." She takes a seat, setting her stuff down on the chair beside her. "Can I also have a glass of water too, please?"

"It was…something" Uma admits softly about her life in the Army. "I guess living in Texas is a lot like being in the military anyway." Uma's blue eyes are natural, looking over at Katherine as Katya talks to her. "Why don't you join us? No need to be alone." The blonde doctor happy to make new patients…um…friends. A nod to the sport question. "I really only watch the wrestling. Not the college stuff, the proper stuff. WWE kind of thing." Yes, it is a sport! "But sport brings injuries. Gosh…I'm sounding like a ghoul."

"Maybe. Hot as hell. Not much to do." She mused and nodded to Kate. "Good choice! Yeah, come sit with us." She agreed, pushing a hand through her hair. "Wrestling huh? Wouldn't have pegged you for WWE, but sure. Hey, nothing wrong with wanting your job to continue being useful right?" She laughed.

Katherine gets to her feet, setting down money for her order and pointing to the other table. She walks over, settling down with a smile. "Hey, you two are talking about wrestling?" She laughs softly and shakes her head. "I used to watch that stuff when I was feeling the urge to punch someone in the nose. Now it's just all flashy and dramatic." She clears her throat, pink spots rising on her cheeks. "Oops, sorry. I'm Kate Stone, pleasure to meet both of you."

"It's always been flashy and dramatic" Uma grins, "One of the reasons I love it. Who knows what is coming next? Besides, I'd rather a flashy soap opera than the one I have to live. Nice to meet you, Kate. I'm Doctor Uma Campbell, but please call me Uma. Or 'Soup'. I get that one a lot. Are you new to town as well?" A smile for Katya. "I'm supposed to be trying to make my profession extinct. I doubt it will ever happen though. You can always rely on people to hurt themselves." A little frown at that.

"I've watched GLOW…that's about it. On Netflix? Pretty interesting, but beyond that…well when I wanted to punch someone, I just punched them. " She laughed. "Katya. Good to meet ya." She nodded to Kate. "You own the B&B in town right? I think I met one of your boarders the other day." She took another bite of burger, nodding to Uma. "Mmhm." Swallowing. "Yeah. You'd think people would learn eventually, but we don't."

Kate nods to Katya, and her food arrives shortly after. "You should come up sometime for dinner, I cook a big spread, usually.." She gestures to the burger and shake and grins impishly. "I didn't cook tonight though, I am cheating, I hope you won't tell anyone." She takes a big bite of the burger, her eyes closing as she lets out a groan. "This is so good, why don't I make burgers more often?" She sets it down and drinks her milkshake.

"If you go around punching people, I guess that keeps me in employment too" Uma smirks to Katya. "If they still had a thing like GLOW, I would be there in a shot. Umm…watching…not competing." Time for another bite of burger. "Owning a B&B must get busy. This is tourist season, right? Business is booming?" she asks Katherine. The three of them sharing a table and each, trivia note, having a separate flavor of shake.

"But competing would be pretty fun I'll bet." She grinned, thinking it over. "I'd love to see you compete…or ride the mechanical bull! You should come to Alibi sometime and try it." She mused. Looking to Katherine, she was curious to the answer about the B&B. Then her phone went off and she sighed, checking. "Ah, I gotta run." She tossed a couple bills down. "Was nice meetin' you girls. I'm sure I'll see ya around." Another smile flashed and then she started to head out.

"It's the start of tourist season, yes. I'm getting busy, but it's nothing I haven't handled for the past few years." Katherine murmurs, picking up her shake to take a drink. "So when did you get into town, or am I absolutely brain dead and you've been around without me meeting you?" She picks apart her burger into bitable pieces, shifting her gaze to Uma.

Elliot makes his way into the diner and looks around for a seat. Finding an open one, he heads in that direction, adjusting his leather messenger bag over his shoulder, which seems to be brimming with papers and probably a laptop somewhere in there. He sets it down next to him and first tugs over the menu to decide what to eat.

"Not brain dead I assure you. I only arrived in town a week or so ago. Still unpacking. Will still be unpacking in a year I suspect. I started a practice up in Cedar Pines. Can I be really forward and give you a card?" Uma smiles to Katherine before a wave to Katya as she leaves. "I will definitely come round and ride the bull. Nice to meet you." Looking back to Katherine she sighs, "I think I just signed up for a broken arm. At least." Spotting Elliot reading the menu, she calls out some advice to him. "We've all decided the burgers and shakes are pretty good." A curious look for Katherine. "I seem to have caught the local habit of talking to strangers. Is everyone so friendly around here? Not complaining. It's rather refreshing."

"I'd love a card, my doctor actually retired this spring and have been mucking around for a new one." Katherine smiles at Uma, lowering her voice to add. "A female doctor too, talking about some things to a man is beyond weird." She sits back, taking another drink of her shake when Elliot walks in, her eyes follow him to the table. "You know, you invited me over here, I think it's only fair we invite him too. Especially if he gets a burger and a shake." She tilts her head slightly. "People in town are generally polite, tourists are not, and after a month or two, you'll quickly recognize the difference between a townie and a tourist."

Elliot glances up from the menu when Uma calls out her opinion, chuckling a little and says, "Well with that kind of endorsement, I'm going to have to get one, I think." He glances back to the menu and then sets it aside, his decision having been made. Though the mention of the friendliness of strangers earns another smile from the professor, "There are a lot of friendly folk in Calaveras. That's part of it's charm."

"Why don't you come over and join us, if we're all being friendly." Katherine turns, beckoning Elliot with a grin on her face. "I am not sure about the doctor, but I won't hit you or anything. She's been watching GLOW. I might have to look it up when I get home, so I can see what this punching or wrestling thing is all about." She scoots a bit, making room for Elliot as if everything is all decided.

"Alright," Elliot says when it is suggested that he come over and join them. He gathers up his bag, which he thankfully hasn't spread the contents of everywhere yet and makes his way over to settle down near Uma and Katherine. "So much violence!" Yet, he doesn't seem to actually be terribly afraid of random acts of wrestling.

Katherine holds out a hand to Elliott, a bright smile on her face. "Welcome to the wrestling table, I'm Kate Stone, it's a pleasure to meet you." She says, pulling her shake closer to her to take a drink. "Did you bring work with you for dinner? That's not good, you'll mess up your digestion if you work while you eat." She teases, picking up a piece of burger to nibble at it.

There's a momentary pause when Kate gives her name and offers her hand. He takes her hand and gives it a friendly shake and says, "Elliot Bell, nice to meet you, Ms. Stone." He then glances over at his bag and says, "I bring work with me everywhere. I don't have a TA this semester, so all the things I gave my students to do, I have to grade. I have no one to blame but myself."

"I think my timing in moving here has been quite fortuitous. Everyone's doctor seems to have just retired or retiring" Uma notes as she pulls out some business cards. A quick scribble to correct the phone number and she hands one over to Katherine. And Elliott since he is now within range. "I was talking to a police officer the other day, his daughter was sick, and he recommended that I don't go out after dark. Not alone at least." She looks at the other two for some comment before she remembers to introduce herself to Elliott. "Doctor Uma Campbell" she introduces, nodding to the card she just handed over. "Please, call me Uma. No TA? Does that mean the students won't have a lot of work to do this semester then?" A tease in her tone.

Katherine shakes Elliot's hand, but her mood has taken a bit of a downturn. She sits back, picking her burger into smaller pieces. "You should be okay in a few days, right? Break coming up?" She asks, her tone slightly cooler. She turns to gaze at Uma, smiling in her direction. "There are only a few doctors practicing in the city, most people don't want to go to the hospital unless there is an emergency, so you just happened to come at just the right time." She picks up her shake, drinking from it. "What do you teach, Mister Bell?"

"And you, Doctor Campbell," Elliot says to Uma as well when she introduces herself. He says, "I suppose it's always a little more dangerous anywhere after dark just by virtue of it being dark, and that crime is more likely to be committed under cover of darkness, so I suppose that's sound enough advice anywhere. Unfortunately, even Calaveras isn't crime free." Then he chuckles and says, "Unfortunately, no. It just means that I have more work than usual." He notes the downturn in Katherine's mood but doesn't comment on it, instead pausing to order himself a cheeseburger and a strawberry shake. "Psychology," he says to Katherine, "At UCC."

Elliott might not be interested in Katherine's sudden change but a doctor needs to be. "Everything okay, Kate?" she asks in a warm, concerned tone. She can't help it. It's what she does. Though, fearing she is also being nosey, she nods to Elliot's comments about life after dark. "I totally agree. I'm not a big fan of the night." Probably not the thing to say before he reveals he teaches psychology. Uma attacks her shake to avoid eye contact for a moment.

"I don't mind the night, but one certainly has to be more careful in it." Katherine blinks at Uma, and her cheeks get pink. "I uhm, recognized his last name somewhere." She aims an apologetic smile at Elliot. "I apologize, it just startled me is all." Her smile is a little warmer, picking up a piece of her burger as she notes. "You ordered the same shake as me, strawberry is the best, isn't it?" She takes a bite of her food, politely chews and swallows before she adds, "I imagine Psychology is quite entertaining and complicated."

There are times when Elliot is a psychologist, and there are times where he can turn it off, and while he does find Uma's statement interesting, he doesn't probe into it in the middle of the diner where they're having dinner. Instead, he just nods to her, and then glances back toward Katherine, saying, "My sister. Angela. I believe that you and she were going to be at a charity event. She asked me to go with her but I had a previous commitment with a colleague from the university." He then smiles and says, "I am a fan of both strawberry and chocolate, and sometimes I get them combined, but I was feeling strawberry tonight. It can be, complicated, but it's always interesting."

"No need to apologise, Kate. I should apologise for sticking my nose in and thinking I was in my consulting room." Being such a newcomer to town, Uma has no idea the importance of a name like Bell. Particularly in regard to Katherine's downturn. But it still seems like a good idea to move onto different subjects…like shake flavors. "No way, caramel is the way to go. Strawberry flavor doesn't even taste like strawberries." No picking apart her burger, Uma tries to stuff the whole thing into her mouth and bite off a chunk. It's not pretty. "And chocolate is sooooo common."

"It's probably good you didn't attend." Katherine mutters, sighing as she gazes toward Uma. Her words bring a smile to Kate's face, if it isn't genuine, it might be hard to tell. "I haven't tried caramel, but the root beer floats here are really good. I try to make them at home and it never tastes quite the same." She sucks shake through her straw, shaking her head back and forth. "It might not taste like strawberries a lot, but it tastes good." She laughs, pushing her burger aside. "Common isn't /bad/ , is it Uma?"

"Chocolate with salted caramel is good, too," Elliot concedes to Uma, "But they do mix real strawberries into their shakes here." He then looks over toward Katherine and says, "My mother's insisted on so many of them over the years. The animals sounded interesting, but aside from that…" he trails off and shrugs his shoulders. Then he chuckles and seconds Kate, "It's common because it's good and people like it."

"I hope common isn't bad, or I'd be in a lot of trouble" Uma laughs. "Except in the context of chocolate" she adds with a wave of her hand and an artificial snootiness to her tone. A dramatic gasp in Katherine's direction. "You haven't tried caramel? Oh…no, no, no, this will not do. It is time to broaden your horizon, Ms Stone I would offer mine but…I'm selfish when it comes to shakes" she teases. "So I will get you another one." A nod to Elliott. "Salted caramel has its appeal for sure. Need something to balance out the chocolate. Hmm…I have the distinct impression I am coming across as a deranged chocolate hater. Animals? It was an animal charity? Shame I missed that."

"Oh good, I needed to put on five pounds." Katherine blows air into her cheeks as she stares at Uma, but it doesn't last long before she's laughing. She glances at Elliot and then back to Uma. "Can't I have a chocolate with salted caramel?" She pats her stomach and settles back in her seat. "The animals looked really nice last night, but I didn't really get a close look. I hope that a lot of money was raised, it was for a very good cause."

"There were animals from the Denver Zoo there, I think," Elliot says to Uma, but he wasn't there so he's really not terribly certain. He smiles when his shake arrives along with his burger and thanks the server, picking up one of his fries and eating it while the other two talk.

"If there were Denver then I probably saw them there" Uma laughs, "But I am sure it was a good cause." A playful pout at Katherine. "Fine. Salted caramel and…choc…cho…" She makes a teasing play at trying to say the word before, "That other thing." A wink to the pair before she gets up to order Katherine a half-decent shake.

"I have no idea how I'm going to drink that." Katherine quietly remarks to Elliot, watching Uma approach the counter. "Do you have any interesting students?" She asks, turning to watch Elliot munch on his French fries. "Or if you don't want to talk about work, you can tell me more about your family. They seem rather fascinating." She pushes her strawberry shake, only half finished, aside.

Elliot chuckles as he follows Katherine's gaze after Uma and then shrugs his shoulders, picking up another one of his fries. When she asks about his students he says, "I have a couple who stand out as particularly perceptive and bright, but fortunately there are some of those every semester. They help make it easier to keep teaching." Though when his family is mentioned he says, "I've got an older sister, Angela, and a younger brother, Austin, and my family runs Bell Industries, which means lots of charity functions and dressing up in suits and smiling for the pictures." He shrugs, "They're family, you know? My mother has upped her crusade to get me married and giving her grandbabies now that I finished my Ph.D., to carry on the Bell legacy and all of that. It's fantastic. I'd rather talk about work." He grins.

Uma returns, thickshake in her hands…and it is thick. "Here you are" she smiles to Kate, placing it in front of her. "You're welcome. You don't want your strawberry one? Hmm…if it will up your spirits, for tonight only, you can have both. Doctor's orders. In this weather, all we have to do is walk to our cars to burn it all off." She sits back at her seat to resume eating her burger and fries. Uma missed most of the family conversation and since Elliott doesn't seem too keen about it, she will happily talk about work instead. "I went to UCC. In Denver."

"I've met your sister, Angela." Katherine says, her expression unreadable until she leans in to murmur quietly to Elliot. "You have my sympathy." There is a slightly devious twinkle to her eyes, even as her lips tug into a slight grin. She turns when Uma returns, gazing at the milkshake with a dubious squint. "I don't think it will up my spirits so much as give me a stomach ache. I think I'll just sip at this one until I walk home to burn off some of this sugar." She takes a drink, nodding her approval of the taste as she aims a thumbs up at the pair.

Elliot does chuckle a little at Katherine's comment about Angela and he says, "She enjoys picking on me as though it were kind of a calling from on high. Between her and Austin, who doesn't so much pick on me, but has all kinds of opinions on what I ought to do.." He shrugs his shoulders. It's clear he still loves his siblings even if they have some family conflict from time to time. "Did you?" he asks Uma when she mentions UCC in Denver. "I have only been out to that campus a couple of times for some lecture series."

"You didn't get your degree there?" Uma asks Elliot. "Where did you study?" A smile at the thumbs up. "I don't want to bloat you into pain, Kate. Drink what you can. I have some siblings too. One of them is /way/ younger than me. I think she was quite the surprise to my parents. This is what happens when you go on anniversaries to Paris."

Kate continues to suck on her milkshake, one eye squinting closed as she sucks in a pained breath. "Ugh." She puts her head in her hands, closing her eyes for a moment. "Brain freeze." She blinks open her eyes and glances between the pair. "Siblings can be wonderful, and then they can be the devil, there is very little space in between."

Elliot chuckles just a little bit and seems about to answer when his phone starts to buzz and he holds up a finger and looks apologetic. He moves off then to take the call, stepping outside and leaving the other two to talk.

"I guess I'm lucky, my family are far away" Uma smirks. "Not that I don't love them dearly." Another hard suck on her shake and a contented moan afterwards. "Still yummy." A wave and a nod to Elliot as he departs for his phone call. "Sometimes I think phones will be the fall of civilisation. Sometimes I remember how useful they are. Big family, Kate?"

Katherine turns to gaze at Uma, nodding briefly. "Two sisters now, there used to be seven of us." She turns toward the counter, waving for a server. "Can I get a cup to go for this one?" She points to the chocolate and salted caramel. "I should get home, make sure I check on my goat, it's going to snow more, or so I hear!" She's babbling, the bright smile on her face a little over bright. "I'll call you, very soon, maybe set up my first appointment? I really need to get that taken care of." She spoons the shake into the cup when it comes, too thick to pour. "It was so very nice to meet you, can you tell Elliot I said the same?"

Uma puts two and seven together and closes her eyes at her stupidity. Foot meet mouth. "Sure, Kate, I look forward to it" she smiles. "I'll let him know." And then everyone is gone and she's alone with her dinner, glancing nervously at the dark night outside.

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