(2018-12-02) A Quick Shopping Trip
Misfit drops in at the Food4Less and finds an unwelcome face

There's only three shopping weekends before Christmas, and so lots of shoppers are starting to get a little antsy. Stores are busier, people are buying more, and Christmas Music is playing over PA systems. Even in grocery stores, extra help gets hired on this time of year. Which is why you can find John Henry at the end of checkout lane 8, wearing a yellow Food4Less shirt, bagging groceries and setting them into a basket. "Would you like help out with that, miss?" he asks the patron. She politely declines and so he smiles and wishes her a happy holidays and then moves on down to the next aisle that needs a bagger.

Tootsie Roll Lollipop stick hanging from her lips, a little bit of a skip in her step as there usually was. Missy had one of those little shopping baskets in hand that she was stuffing full of junk food and things that couldn't possibly be subsisted on forever…unless they could. With the cold weather she also added in a couple boxes of Swiss Miss and then headed to the checkouts. She came to Food4Less a few times since she'd been in town. At least once a week. She was familiar with the employees, recognizing faces - who should be there and who shouldn't.

A quick, casual sweep of the registers had her doing a double take. Then blinking…and then narrowing her eyes in suspicion. She had to be seeing things. She shook it off and headed casually towards the check out that John was helping. A friendly smile flashed to the cashier as she unceremoniously dumped the contents of the basket on to the belt and then quickly went about making it prettier. "There ya go!" Her hair was down, she wore a simple pair of jeans and a long sleeve black shirt that had a sparkling christmas tree on it and an oversized army jacket. And the glitter body lotion of course, for that extra bit of sparkle. Watching John out of the corner of her eye, posture ever so subtly tensed.

The customer before her having only one bag, needed no assistance out, so John didn't even offer, instead simply wishing them a happy holidays and sending them on their way. And then John looks at Misfit, blinks once, and smiles. "Good evening, miss. Would you prefer paper or plastic?" he asks, as the cashier starts sliding items down his direction.

Missy didn't trust it. No, not one bit. It was too weird in her mind. However, the smile remained on her features, not phased by the mildly annoyed look the cashier bore at the way she'd put things on the belt. "Plastic's fine I guess." Finally turning to face John fully, keeping her expression neutral (aside the smile of course!). "What makes one better than the other anyway?"

John nods and opens a plastic bag, starting to pile her selections in. Even if it's all junk food, he still is deliberate with his choices, packing them effeciantly in the bag. "Oh, I can't say one's better than the other, miss. Just different. The plastic bags do tend to be a little easier to store and carry, but the paper bags are certainly sturdier. As long as you recycle them both, the environmental impact isn't significantly different. So, I suppose it's really just personal preference," he explains. And by the time he's finished, she has two, neatly packed plastic bags, waiting at the end of the aisle for her to pay. "You have a happy holidays, now, ma'am," John says, and then turns to walk towards a different aisle.
Nope! He's not getting away that easily. Because if he is who she thinks he is, and Missy is very certain it is, she needs to ascertain exactly why he is here. "Sir, can you help me with my bags? I know there's only two but I'm a little banged up from an accident the other day and it's icy out there. I don't want to potentially fall or nothin'." Sincere. He couldn't turn her away. Could he? It would be bad customer service if he did…right? Missy wasn't sure, as she tossed some cash at the cashier and told them to keep the change. Moving to stand by her bags before the cashier could protest that this wasn't a bar and tips weren't something that happened here in the store.

John will stop, turn around and walk back with that same smile on his face as before. "Of course, miss. I'm sorry I didn't ask. It's my fault for assuming. Did you want to just pull your car up? Or did you want help out to your car?" he asks, his voice even and natural. Nope, he's treating her exactly like he would any other customer, through and through.

"Nothin to be sorry for, mister. If you could walk me out, I'd really appreciate it." She would take one bag and wait for him to take the other before making her way with him out of the store. She was keeping her pace a half step slower than she would normally walk and even though she hummed a bit, she didn't do any of the usual dancing bit she might. "Ain't seen ya in here before. New in town?"

Nodding and taking the other plastic bag, John moves to follow Misfit out. "Well, I just started working here for the holidays two weeks ago. So I've also never seen you here," he replies, still smiling. "How far out are you parked, miss?" he asks as they reach the parking lot.

She let them walk out a little farther before turning to face him. "I'm not." She said, tone flat, dropping the charade when there were no other customers for the moment. "What the hell are you doing here." Her voice low, eyes narrowed in suspicion again even as she moved to try and retrieve her other bag from him. These were important staple foods after all!

"Well, I told you, miss. I'm trying to earn a little extra money for the holidays," John answers, unable to quite act as surprised as he should be her sudden change of heart. When she reaches for the other bag, he offers it to her. "If you didn't need a carryout, why did you ask for one?" he asks. However, even though he offered the plastic bag, he won't release it right away. Instead, he'll hold on to it. Mostly because it will allow him to keep one of HER hands occupied, in case things get squirrely.

Missy was one of those fickle fiddles. She loved playing games, but only when they were her games. When her hand wraps around part of the handle and he doesn't release it, she frowns. "Why. Are. You. Here. In. Calaveras." She repeated, slowly, each word punctuated as those dark eyes stayed on him. She doesn't try fully taking the bag back yet. There's a subtle twitch in the hand that's holding the other bag - like she wants to reach for something and the only reason she didn't was the bag. She isn't going to ask him again, and he would likely know that.

Now neutral, John doesn't answer her question. Instead, he just holds the bag and waits, watching her carefully to see what she's going to do. If she's still impulsive, this could be bad. But, they were still in the foyer, so there wasn't a great deal of room to maneuver. Also, there were other people around, so she'd risk exposing herself if she did anything /too/ rash. It was cold and wet outside, meaning the entryway could be slippery. Misfit was in casual clothing, so she possibly wouldn't have the advantage of reliable grip on the soles of her shoes like he would. He was also still much taller, and most likely stronger than her. Without moving his eyes from her, his peripheral vision takes in his surroundings. He gives himself … 27 seconds. 35 seconds if she draws a weapon. But, otherwise, he just holds the bag and looks right at her.

He was infuriating. Some things never changed. There's too many people to draw a weapon. Not in this stupid town where somehow everyone still seemed to know everyone and some people were starting to recognize her even though she'd only been here about a month. His non answer feels like an answer all his own. One she didn't like. A scowl twists on her features as she attempts to yank the bag from him. She knows where he works now. She knows he is here now. "This isn't over. Just consider yourself lucky." Then, so long as he actually released the bag, she would turn on her heels and start walking off.

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