The Milkshake Brings all the

December 29, 2014: I could teach you, but I'd have to charge.

Empire State University

A bigtime college campus in the heart of NYC



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Mood Music:

It's Monday evening and Ronnie Hautzig is in her office, getting affaird in order. She's done two classes today — Homosocial Representations and Signifiers in Contemporary Irish Cinema, which is 300-level, and Film and TV Studies 101, which is exactly what it sounds like. Her office is a small, cluttered closet of a space, with a big poster for 'THERE WILL BE BLOOD' on the back wall. She's positioned it so that her desk faces the door, meaning that anyone walking in is going to see her typing at her laptop, eyes set on the screen.

The desk is overflowing with paperwork, and to either side of it, shelves are full of books and DVDs and photocopies and god knows what else. She's furiously catching up on some posting to the online course management system, which fell behind due to being out Eventiding. That's also why she looks like she hasn't slept in two days. Because she basically hasn't.

And to be honest, Barry Allen doesn't look much better. Though extremely durable and a quick heal, when he walks through the door he looks like all hell. A big purple bruise hangs out over his right eye, which is still a bit swollen. She won't be able to see, but his head has also been sewn shut. Ironically, in his hands are a pair of milkshakes. He gestures up to the poster, "I hope Daniel Day Lewis doesn't drink your milkshake." He holds out the ice cream towards Ronnie. "And I hope you never go bowling with him."

When Barry enters, it takes a second for Ronnie to put two and two together, with regard to 'a person has walked into the room.' "Wh— huh? Oh, hey— Oh! Hi! Barry!" Ronnie stops typing, putting her hands flat on the table. "What an… actual surprise! I mean, I was going to say 'What a surprise,' but it always sounds kind of sarcastic, I think so… yeah… um… what's up?"

Ronnie lets out a breath through her mouth with a too-tired grin. "I don't bowl much anyway," she says. "So I think I'm safe."

"Yeah," Barry says absently still looking at the poster. "You know? I don't really think that pastor did a lot of bowling either."

Barry turns back and looks at her as if he's forgotten the question and then shakes his head, "Oh, right. I just got done with a scene not far from here and figured I'd pick you up some ice cream. Didn't know if you'd be busy or not. I can split if you need to get back to stuff."

"Oh! No, no, it's fine, I mean, pull up a chair, if you want…" Ronnie has two chairs and there's barely room for them. "This semester's all weird because part of the campus got attacked by Swarm, you know, that… bee… guy… and it was a few months ago, but all the timetables are all screwed up. Christmas break is all weird, I mean, I'm still teaching optional make-up classes for the people still in town, and I'm plowing through all of these final projects but half of them still aren't even IN because the deadline got moved and you know what, I'm going to drink some milkshake now to shut myself up about this dumb boring stuff." So she does.

"You don't need to shut up," Barry says as he plops down in a silver chair like a sack of sawdust before taking a pull from his straw. "How's the side?" He's referring to the knife wound she received on their run they were supposed to take. By now Ronnie must realize why Barry was so confident he'd beat her.

"It's good, it's healing," Ronnie says, putting a hand on her side as if to quell a sudden pain at the mention. She's dressed how she normally is on campus: baggy, roly-poly sweaters, long bohemian skirts — like a California hippie trying to adapt to New York temperatures. "How's the… well, everything, I guess? You look like you're…" Ronnie looks at her walls. "I was gonna say 'running yourself ragged,' but. I mean. That'd just be awful."

"In my line of work, the puns are a pretty well saturated. You won't offend me. I have a sidekick for goodness sakes," Barry says with a chuckle. "A little bit of a problem a couple of days ago. But I'm working on it, and will hopefully catch a break soon."

"A /sidekick/?" Ronnie asks, raising her dark eyebrows. "I can't even /imagine/."

Kim doesn't quite explode into the room… but she definitely hits a pretty good 'barge'! She's lugging around a backpack, something she's doing more and more frequently as of late, huffing and gasping and swaying like she just ran a marathon on Jupiter. She's bent over at the waist, gulping for air, putting one hand up in front of her face like she's asking for a second… or, y'know… a minute. Maybe a minute and a half. She wheezes out, thunking her backpack down onto the floor… and it sounds like it's full of cinder blocks or something. "H..hey! Teach! I uhhh… lesson! Missed it!" She glowers and furrows her brow, resting her foot on top of her backpack. "It's… I… uhmmm… there was this… -thing-. That I had to do! Like… ummm… -stuff-. Y'know. Real serious… thiiiiings." She trails off as she finally notices Barry. Just sort of staring, eyes dull and a little baleful, like she's accusing him of ruining her day by daring to, you know, occupy space without notifying her ahead of time. "Oh! You've got uhhh… a guy here!" She glances to Ronnie, eyebrows perking up. "I don't recognize him from class! He's like… what? In one of your other claaaa… ohmygodhe'stotallyyourboyfriendandhe'shereandohmygoddddddd!!!" She points excitedly between teacher and friend. "You're TOTALLY HOOKING UP!!" She eyes Barry again, this time a little more thoroughly, head tilting skeptically, lips curling in a little frown. "Hmmmmmm….."

The idea that Barry might be in one of her classes is the sort of thing that people mistake all the time. Despite being 28, Babyface Allen looks like he's about 10 years young. As Kim goes into the boyfriend thing, Barry's face scrunches and he's shaking his head 'no no no' you've got the wrong idea and all that sort of thing, even giving the dismissive wave at the uncomfortable topic.

Ronnie's response is to look like someone just kicked her dog during a family dinner — just stunned silence, mouth hanging a bit open.

After a suitable pause: "Hi, Kim. Barry, this is Kim, one of my students. Kim, please stop… scanning Barry, or whatever you're doing." She puts her milkshake down and seems ready to reach for some Advil pre-emptively. "What's up?"

Kim looks totally innocently at Ronnie, shrugging her shoulders. "I… uhh… hey! I'm not scanning anything! Who said I had scanners? I'm not an alien or somethin'." She grumbles and downright -sulks- for a second, arms crossed over her chest. "I uh… yeah! Nothin' much really. Just, y'know, taking some time before I start a shift at work. Night time deliveries and all. I was checkin' out the nerds at the science building too, they uhh… had some stuff I was curious about! Totally legit science stuff." She nods solemnly, shifting around to perch on her backpack… it really does seem like it's pretty solid. "So! …What's up with you two?" She glances back and forth… but she's at least -kinda- taking Ronnie's request to heart. Her eyebrows only pop like… semi-suggestively.

"Nerds, huh?" Barry says with a chuckle as he scratches the back of his head. He looks up, giving Ronnie a knowing look. Barry's not sure he could do much in the way of arguing with the kid about who was and wasn't a nerd. Anyone with his appreciation of isotopes would probably qualify.

Ronnie laces her fingers together in front of her, elbows on her desk, and looks up at Kim from under a fringe of mostly-blonde hair. She bites her bottom lip gently, as if running through strategies in her mind. "Well, we're just hanging out and having milkshakes," Ronnie replies, evenly. "I was kind of hoping you were coming in to talk about your final paper for the semester, considering it's getting… pretty close to the deadline, and I haven't gotten it in yet…"

Kim blinks innocently. "It.. uhmmm… riiiiight! That paper is… definitely a thing. That I have been working on." She chews her lower lip, clearing her throat as she clasps her opposing elbows. "But… uh… -wheeeeen- is that deadline again? In the new year, right?" She clears her throat softly, "I just… umm… I've had some stuff come up! Busy time at work y'know." She glances over at Barry and grins brightly, "What? Some of my best friends are nerds! They've got like… the best science fiction action movies!"

Barry chuckles at Kim as he stands. It seems pretty clear to him that he's interrupting Ronnie while she works, and that could be a potentially bad thing if one of her bosses were to see. "Well, I should be going," he says politely before reaching back to grab his drink.

Ronnie gives Kim a quirk of one eyebrow. "The sixth of January. Which gives you… just over a week." She taps her fingers on the desktop as if to drum that point home. "And…" Ronnie gives a sympathetic look to Barry, "Kim, seriously, hit this one out of the park, because…" She lets the sentence trail off. "If you need help, I mean, I can't… I can certainly help… /mentor/ the process."

When Barry gets up, Ronnie transparently looks like she doesn't want him to leave. "Barry, uh, how about — if you're in the neighborhood tonight, maybe — we can continue the conversation…" Mid-sentence, Ronnie realizes Kim is, like, right there. "…over… dinner…"

Kim just smiiiiiiles. It's almost a huge smile. Like, there are too many teeth showing and she covers her mouth with her hands… and then clears her throat and puts on her best 'Pffft, I'm too cool for -feelings-' look. "Oh! Well, y'know, I mean like, I could go! I don't hafta discuss my stuff now! You can uhh… y'know… -talk-… about things!" She nods solemnly, swaying to her feet and lugging at her backpack with a low groan, muttering out. "God! This thing weighs a -ton-…"

Barry seems genuinely surprised. Between Iris, Felicity, and a host of other females he's talked to over the past few months, he's literally not been asked out, "On a date? You mean? Like a date?" His repetition probably comes from him trying to re-establish that he probably heard something different.

Now it's Ronnie's turn to look surprised, mostly because she's dealing with two people on two fronts — her professional responsibility to Kim, and her social(?) desires toward Barry. "I… okay, let's all take a second here, and." Ronnie puts her hands down flat.

"Kim, sit down, we're going to go over your thesis for the paper and if you don't have one, you're not leaving until we come up with one." Ronnie sounds firm, like she's a real grown-up adult and everything. "Barry — uh, yes. Yes. Like a date. Let's go on a date."

Kim doesn't groan out as she slumps back down, dropping her backpack with only mild huffing as she drops to her posture atop it again. "Whaaaat? 'Robocop is the sequel to Hackers' is a totally valid thesis! It makes sense! It -holds up-!!" She grumps and sighs and rolls her eyes as she tilts her head to glance at Barry with a big smile. "Oh, don't worry. I'll convince her it's a good thesis! Y'should get flowers. Girls dig flowers. And ice cream! Make sure you get ice cream after the dinner." She even gives him a winky-gun. Kim Traynor, love guru!

"Wait, like tonight?" Barry checks his watch. He suddenly forgets what time it is, and what day it is. As Kim recommends flowers, his eyes go wide a bit. Because now if he doesn't bring them he's a schlupp, and if he does and that's way overboard he's going to look like a total douchebag. "Well, I mean right. Yeah, you mean tonight, right?" he stammers.

"Okay, well, the final paper is supposed to be about the relationship between the works of a specific director and their national cinema, so we'll… work on that." Ronnie says that like she's getting ready to run a marathon. "Tonight? Yeah, let's — let's do tonight. We'll figure it out." Ronnie glances at Kim. Then back to Barry. "…via text." Pause. "You don't need to get flowers."

Kim glances back and forth between Ronnie and Barry… and shakes her head at the 'no flowers' remark. She mouths clearly 'Totally -flowers-!' And then clears her throat, hands clasping primly as she sighs. "Awww… but… like… who even directed Hackers? I don't even -know-!" She shakes her head and mutters out, "I mean really… this sounds like -way- more work than I thought this class was gonna be. I bought -popcorn- for the semester…"

"Oh, okay. I mean, like, yeah sure." Barry nods and moves for the door, still bewildered and not sure exactly what just happened. He forgot what it was like to be around whirlwind students who leave destruction in their hungover, jackie onassis sunglassedy wakes. Film students, I tell ya.

Ronnie watches Barry leave, and then leans down to take her phone out of her bag, while breathing out in a kind of exasperated sigh. While she does that, she answers Kim off-handedly, from memory: "Iain Softley."

Kim sighs melodramatically and gives a wave to Barry… like she -also- didn't see things turning out this way. Like they're bonding! Awww yeah. Then she blinks and looks back to Ronnie. "Huh? I thought you said he was Barry."

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