Flyers And Flirtations


anders_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif

Scene Title Flyers and Flirtations
Synopsis The exchange of the former goes much better than the latter for one party advertiser when he meets a cute but sleepy Ferry(wo)man.
Date March 6, 2010

Summer Meadows

The low brickwork walls flanking the entrance to this subdivision pronounce it to be 'S MMER ME DOWS', black metal letters pitted by age and each tilted slightly askew by decades of weather and neglect. The rest of the subdivision echoes this theme — pavement cracked, its lines worn and faded nearly into obscurity; small lawns littered with autumn leaves and dying grass, shrubbery poorly pruned or not trimmed back at all, such flowers as there are in most cases long since grown wild. The buildings are a mix of townhouses, duplexes, and quartered apartments, most of them with paint peeling at the edges, a few boarded over and sporting jagged holes where the windows weren't quite protected enough. Feral dogs slink at the back of the streets; their feline counterparts are less commonly seen, usually visible as no more than a streak of motion disappearing into the bushes or someone's cracked-open garage door. This isn't a neighborhood where people are seen lounging on their porches as the sun sinks low in the sky; to stay out as darkness gathers is to risk unwanted attention, and the consequences thereof.

Whoever said watching the sun rise was a wonderful thing certainly was more of a morning person than Melissa. She was up a large chunk of the night, and woken up early by a German Shepherd puppy demanding to go for a walk. So it's a slightly blurry-eyed, black-bundled Melissa who is moving down the sidewalk in Summer Meadow, trailing after said puppy as he hunts around for the perfect spot…and everything that smells remotely interesting along the way. Which means there are a lot of stops. "C'mon Jerry Lee…It's freakin' cold out here. Hurry up," she mutters.

Early morning is not Anders Stuart's best time of day either. It's actually the end of his work day, however. He's trudging home from the night shift at Joe's QuickStop. The Summer Meadows resident yawns, rubbing his eyes with one hand while his other holds a stack of flyers, photocopied on the convenience store's dime, so to speak. He pauses at a telephone pole, pulling out a stapler from his leather jacket and holding one of the flyers against the wooden pole, kachunks the flyer into place.

The pole is apparently a popular place for leaving truly important messages, as the puppy comes to sniff at it, and then promptly lifts its leg to mark the pole as his territory. Stu manages to get his converse-clad feet out of the way just in time.

"D'ya train him to come pee on people or is that just a bonus?" he says amiably enough to the sleepy-looking punk girl chasing after the pup.

Melissa seems to only spot the man when he speaks, and she looks at him blankly for a moment, then down to Jerry. She shrugs a little, tugging the puppy closer to her. "Stand near a pole or fire hydrant, and dogs will do what dogs will do." She yawns, then looks a little apologetic. "Sorry though. We're still in training."

"S'okay," Anders says with a broad, tilted grin on his scruffy face. Green eyes take in the girl for a moment, before he separates a few flyers from the stack in his hand, holding them out for her. "There's gonna be a big party under the Queensboro bridge, if you wanna come. Should be a blast, if you an' any of your friends wanna come. Just make sure they're all as smokin' as you are." He's smooth, no?

"But seriously, I've seen you around the Meadows, but I don't think we've met. I think once you yelled at me for leaving wet clothes in the dryer in the washing room for two hours, though." He grins again, then offers a hand — his covered by gloves, because it's cold outside. "I'm Anders. Or Stu. I'll answer to anything you call me." There's a wink at that.

Melissa takes the flyer while studying him with a faint frown. "Yeah, I heard about the party…And dude. Smokin' hot? Are you really tryin' to hit on me just after my dog pissed on your shoe? Besides that, there should be a law about hittin' on people before noon. It's just…wrong." She glances the flyer over, absently offering her other hand, the one holding the leash, out to shake his. "And wasn't me who yelled at you. Sorry. I'm Mel." She glances up, brow arching. "Anything?"

"Well, some of us haven't been to bed yet… so it's still late for us!" Stu says with that off-kilter grin. He then reaches down to pet the puppy, scratching behind its ears and then shoving the hand in his pocket.

"Nice to meet you, Mel. Short for Melinda? Melonie? Melody? Mellicifent? And good to know you haven't yelled at me before. Or at least that you don't remember it. You should always remember your first time, am I right?" At the anything, he gives a smirk. "As long as you don't call me late for dinner, isn't that the way that old tired joke goes?"

While Melissa would rather be in bed, Jerry is all sorts of happy to be receiving pleasant attention. His tail wags madly, then he shamelessly flops over into the snow, presenting his belly. RUB ME NOW! Melissa does a bit more blank staring for a moment. "Oh my god. You are way too fucking chipper for this time of day. I don't care if you have been up all night. I only got to bed…" She pulls her phone out of her pocket, checking the time with a soft groan. "Two hours ago," she says with something near a whimper.

Anders pulls his face into a mock pout, but he reaches down to rub the dog's belly. Who can resist a puppy belly? "Sorry. I have to drink coffee all night or I'll end up falling asleep while cleaning the slurpee machine or something, you know? By the way — I'm a really good person to know. Free slurpees. Not that you really want them in this fucking cold weather. But believe me, I can be mellllloooow." He winks at that, innuendo as to why. "Whatever the mood calls for, right? Why so late to bed, Sleeping Beauty? Come on, I'll walk with you so you can get back to bed," he says, nodding toward the direction she seemed to be heading in.

There is more staring. Clearly Melissa doesn't get how, even with coffee, he can be flirting with her. The silence stretches out a good thirty seconds. "Okay, coffee or not, you've gotta be deranged or something. I mean, you're cute, sure, but let it go. Really. I already plan to go to the party, but I've got a strict diet goin' for guys. And I just added a new item to my list; Does Not Flirt Before Noon."

"Got a pen? I'll take notes," he says, turning over the stack of flyers and pretending to write the information on the blank side of the flourescent green paper. "But I get it, I get it. I'll tone it down a notch, all right? Look, it's like, barely fucking sunrise and there's fucking weird shit going on in this city right now, and yeah, I know, I could be dangerous but I think we've established I'm not cool enough to be a sociopath, right? So I'd rather walk with you and have a chance of being rejected in the future than never see you again because some crazy dude did a vanishing act on you, Mel. And you owe me for bitching me out for leaving my soggy boxer briefs in the dryer, right?" Even though they established that wasn't her.

Melissa eyes him for a moment. "I didn't yell at you. I've got a dryer in my house. Why would I need to use anyone else's?" she points out. But she also urges Jerry to his feet, and resumes walking. "I'm not gonna disappear though. I've got my vicious attack dog with me," she says dryly. Because, for the moment, Jerry is clearly not a vicious anything. Unless you're a rogue flea. "Besides, I said I'm goin' to the party, remember?"

"Fine," says the man, looking dejected, but it can't last long. That off-kilter grin is back in place and he just walks along beside her. She's still talking to him while walking, so obviously he's not banned from walking near her. "Great. It's gonna be awesome." Yes, he sounds like a teenager, but his type always does — perpetually stuck in the party days of high school, perhaps. "You can invite anyone. I mean, obviously. It's a flyer party, so it's not like, exclusive."

Melissa glances at him, brow arching. "And if I invited some guy that I was gonna spend the whole night makin' out with?"

Anders raises his hands in a helpless gesture. "Your prerogative, Mel. You're invited no matter what. I don't expect you to be my date." There's an arching of his brow and he adds, "I'd say 'yet' but it's not noon." He grins, and glances at his wrist as if to check the time, though there is no watch on the wrist.

Melissa's lips twitch a bit. "You don't even know me. For all you know, I'm a serial killer who lures guys in with my looks then kills them for thrills or money or something."

He cautiously takes a few steps away, then grins. "Oh, but what a way to die!" He's out of hitting range. "Look, it's not like we're total strangers. I've seen you around and all, so you probably have seen me, right? I cleaned out the rain gutters and put up Christmas lights on the main building. Don't I get any good guy points for that?" He strides along, stopping now and then to put up a flyer, handy stapler in one pocket and a tape roll in the other.

"Sorry, I wasn't around during Christmas. Didn't get here until February," Melissa says, shaking her head. "And never said that I'd be a serial killer who kills guys after sleeping with them. Besides, good guy points? Maybe I like bad guys."

"Ah, well, welcome to the neighborhood. How d'you like it?" Anders says, nodding as they turn the corner toward the main buildings of the apartment complex and the townhomes that make up the subdivision. "It's better'n Staten, which is where I was at before I decided to blow that popsicle stand. Just in time, too, from what I hear. Government's taking over." He gives a shake of his head. "It sucked and all but it was home. And I had just completed my wall mosaic of beer cans making up Dogs Playing Poker. Such a waste."

Melissa stops for a moment to stare, before she resumes walking. "You…built a mosaic of beer cans," she says dryly, mentally marking him off the list of guys who will ever have a chance with her. It violates item B on her list! "How old did you say you were?"

"Age is nothing but a construct," he says, perhaps showing he's a bit smarter than he acts. "I'm kidding, O Melancholy One. Crack a smile, will ya?" he says, reaching out to push her shoulder lightly with his gloved hand. "I'm 26 going on twelve, apparently. I will have you know I was never a frat boy." He never went to college, so it's hard to manage. He seems content to walk with her as far as she'll let him. He pauses to tape a flyer on light pole.

Melissa takes a stumbling step to the side before she regains her balance. "Hey, I'm tons of fun. And now? I'm going back to bed. Good luck with the flyer thing," she says, stopping and giving him a pointed look.

"All right. See you Tuesday, then, Melancholy," Anders says cheerfully enough, despite being rejected. After all, he most likely gets rejected all the time, with that act! He reaches down to pet Jerry Lee and then gives Melissa a salute. "Sleep well." He begins to trudge in the other direction, turning the corner they just came from and disappearing from sight.

"Melancholy my ass," Melissa mutters as she continues on towards her house. "Don't expect me to be nice before noon, a cup of coffee, and nicotine," she adds before yawning and slipping into her house.

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