2009-12-08: Mixed-Up Memories


Ben_icon.jpg Julio_icon.jpg

Summary: A coffee shop visit turns to something more.

Date: December 8, 2009

Mixed-Up Memories

Rating: PG

NYC - Starbucks

Everywhere you go there's the green and white logo of Starbucks. Coffee, tea, iced drinks, and many specialty coffee drinks and pastries can be enjoyed here. Supporting WiFi and outlets to hook up your laptop, Starbucks is a great spot to relax or study.

It's very late in the evening. Starbucks is near closing time, and Ben is minding his business, doing the regular cleanup duties. He's behind the bar, cleaning the machines out, in all the little nooks and crannies. It doesn't mean he can't make coffee, it's just that he's getting ready.

It's been a long day for Julio. He'd been dealing with a couple remnants of the old family business that followed him all the way back to New York and it had been tiring. Especially when he'd been trying to decide if he wanted to go knock on Xavier's door again. Dressed in pants, a white tank-top, and a coat, Julio's made his way into Starbucks in hopes of getting a quick recharge before they close. He's just stepping into the door at the moment, pushing his hair from his eyes.

"Welcome to Starbucks, What can I get started for you?" Ben calls out with his head in a machine, vaccuuming out coffee beans. He reaches back to toss the pony tail to the side as he glances to the entrance and offers a smile before going back to his work. Of course, makeup covers his tattoo on his face. "I personally REALLY like the gingerbread latte and the caramel brulee latte."

Julio's attention snaps up quickly at that greeting. He thought he'd heard someone else for a moment. Shaking his head, Julio walks over to the counter. "Sure, let's try that," he says, just watching Ben for a moment. "The caramel brulee thing."

"No problem." Ben says with a laugh. The laughter is not very characteristic of the similar voice. He gets the milk pitcher and starts steaming it while the espresso pours into a pair of cups. He glances at Julio as if a memory were trying to awaken… but not. He shrugs it off.

Julio frowns a moment before shaking his head. "<Long day>," he mutters to himself in spanish absentmindedly. That laugh just didn't fit. When Ben looks up at him, Julio is a little confused. "Have we met before? Or have I come in here before?" he asks, trying to figure out if it is just his head playing tricks on him.

"Dude, I get so many customers here that it's not even funny." Ben grins brightly, as he pours the espresso into a cup and tops it with steamed milk and caramel. "And with the holidays, I KNOW it's been a long day." He nods. Yep, he understood that little bit.

The use of 'dude' seems enough to convince Julio his mind is just playing tricks on him. Yeah, he misses his friend but he didn't think it was bad enough to start thinking he was seeing him around the city. "Oh, sorry about that," he says, watching the drinks being prepared.

"Not a problem, Julio." Ben says with a nod as he tops it with whipped cream and caramel, placing it near the counter as he rings it up. Of course, his typing is odd. He's only got three fingers and a thumb.

Julio pauses. "Wait…what did you call me?" he asks. He didn't remember telling anyone his name in the past several days. Eyes are drawn to the typing hands and Rictor's eyes go wide. This brief moment of surprise causes a light rumble before Julio looks up to Ben for an answer.

Looking up, Ben tilts his head. "I… I don't remember." He says simply. He shrugs softly. At the rumble, he looks around. "Geez. Earthquakes up here, too. Must be bad for us to get them. "I must have said something. Maybe it just sounded like something else."

Julio blinks. "You called me Julio. That's my name…and I didn't tell you that until right now," he says. Ignoring the earthquake occurance, the seismic mutant runs his hand through his hair. "What's your name?"

"Oh, Ben. Ben Starr." He says with a bright nod, pointing to the sign over the bar, with the word manager next to it. "But how could I have called you Julio if I didn't know you were Julio?" Oh god, where's Kenta when he needs to talk to someone?

"Starr?" Julio asks, voice a bit quieter. This is too much to be a coincidence for him, "I don't know…some kind of mental block or something?" the young man shakes his head. "Where are you from?" he asks, looking at those hands of Ben's again.

"I'm from Vermont." Ben explains. "Yeah, I've got weird hands. I've always had them. But then, people for years have occasionally been born with more or less fingers." He says, feeling a little self-conscious.

"Vermont?" Julio asks, sucking in a breath through his teeth. "They're not weird…I just…know some people with hands just like yours," he explains.

"I haven't met anyone else like it." Ben says with a shrug. He continues his cleaning, wiping down the few pieces from before Julio. He shrugs slightly. "It's not so bad, though. Unless I'm trying to type. Then it's a little awkward.

Julio frowns, trying to figure something out. "I've only met two people. One's a pretty good friend of mine," he says, watching Ben. "How long have you been managing this place?"

"About six months or so. Managing here and going to school over there." Ben jerks a thumb towards the nearby college. "And yourself?" He says with a chuckle.

Julio glances at the college then back to Ben. It's too odd for him. "Well…I was in Paris for awhile until a friend of mine died and I came back to the states. I was mostly just driving around until I decided to come back here to see if my friends were around."

"Ah. I have no family and not many friends. At least, when I try to look them up,I can't find them anywhere." Ben says with a sigh. "Family's dead. But my friends are all gone or disappeared."

Julio blinks. "YOur friends disappeared? What do you mean?" he asks.

"I can't find them anywhere. Tabitha Guthrie. Maria DaCosta. Roberto Callasantos. Sam Smith. I can't find any of them." Ben says with a bit of a sigh.

Julio stares. "Are…you sure you got those names right?" he asks. "You don't mean…Sam Guthrie, Tabitha Smith, Roberto DaCosta, and Maria Callasantos, do you?" he contineus, leaving out the 'Julio Richter' his brain wanted to add in.

"No, that isn't it." Ben says, chuckling. "We grew up together. I'd never get their names wrong. We were one of the best teams out there. Gymnastics." He says with a grin.

Julio looks down. "No one with the last name Richter?" he asks.

"No. Yes. No." Ben says, mind waffling. "I… I can't remember." There's a bit of a glow coming from the eye that would have a tattoo, were it not covered with makeup. He mutters words in a language unknown to all but one or two people on earth. He stops. Breathes deeply. "I need to close the store."

Julio's attention is drawn to the glowing eye, an emotion he's unsure of rising in him. "Star?" he asks a bit hopefully. "Are you sure you've never seen me before. Julio Richter? Rictor?"

"I have to close. You need to leave the store." Ben says, firmly, as he goes to grab his bag from behind the counter. There's a quick clink from the bags. "My head hurts right now. I have to go home." He's lost all emotion, and is simply staring.

Julio tenses, not wanting to give up just yet. The clink draws a quick glance but the seismic mutant presses on. "What about the names Boom-Boom, Cannonball, Sunspot, and Feral?" he pauses. "or Shatterstar? They mean anything to you?"

"Last chance. Get out." Ben says, eye beginning to glow even brighter. He starts to unzip his bag. "Now." His hand reaches into the bag. He's not looking at the other man right now.

There's another rumble as Julio stands. Both his aversion to obeying auhority and not wanting to just give up on this keep him right where he stands. "What was your gymnastics team called, Star?" he asks. "Name have an X in it? And who was the Richter you knew?"

Pulling a pair of swords out of the bag with one hand, Ben holds them tightly. They seem to link together. The blades lengthen. "Leave. Now. I don't know what you're talking about. My name is Ben Starr. I am from Rutledge, Vermont. My parents are dead. My friends are missing. Leave." He says, moving to hold the door open. With his other hand, he pulls a cellphone out. "I will call the police."

Julio isn't sure what else to do. He doesn't want to leave but he doesn't want to deal with the police. All the informtion and now those all too familiar swords. Something occurs to him and he gives one more try. "What happened to your tattoo? Around your eye? Did you get it removed or just cover it up somehow?" he asks, making a leap before slowly starting towards the door.

"Just leave. Now isn't the time to try to figure this out. Whatever it is. Right now, I need sleep." Ben says softly as he lifts his apron and wipes it over his eye. Blackness covers the area around his eye. "Maybe another day, when I'm more able to deal with whatever this is."

Julio pauses at the sight of the blackness, lingering for a moment. Eventually he sighs. "Alright, Star…I'll go," he says. "Just…" he pauses, unsure of what to say but pretty convinced Ben is his long lost friend. "Ever since Mexico…that last night…I did miss you. Still do," he says. The seismic man offers a quick, sad look before hurrying out the door. No need to get stabbed…and he can always come back now.

"I wish I had a clue what you're talking about." Ben says, shaking his head and locking the door behind them both. There's only one person who knew anything about any of it, and he had very little idea. With that, he places the swords back in his bag and begins up the stairs nearby.

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