|lucas_apollo (lucas_apollo) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-10-17 09:52:00
|Entry tags:||apollo, uke mochi|
Pumpkin Spice Everything
Who: Alice and Lucas
What: Vacations and Cupcakes and Dinner, ohh my!
Where: The apartment lobby, Alice’s Apartment
When: Wednesday, September 12, 2017
Alice had just delivered a collection of apple cinnamon muffins with a cream cheese center to Stephan, much to his delight, to offer to people as they came home from their grueling day of work. For Alice, it was a day off that was meant to test out different recipes in preparation for autumn. The upcoming season seemed to create an uptick in visitors for the bakery as well as requests for autumnal treats. Spices, apples, pumpkins and gourds were quickly becoming the standard demand and Alice knew it was time to hurry up with such supplies.
Usually, she’d drop food off to all of her friends as well but today it was only Rafe who received a wrapped muffin outside of his door. Isobel worked at the bakery and had an endless supplies of treats to try, she still wasn’t speaking to Gus, and BB… that hurt too much. As she moved away from the entrance and paused at the elevator as it came down from the top floor, she frowned at the thought of her friend. She missed speaking to Brittany but the hurt was still too strongly present.
When the doors opened, Lucas nearly bumped right into her, lost in his own thoughts. “Ohh!” he exclaimed, catching her by the arms to prevent a collision. “Sorry! I was a million miles away…” he said with a chuckle. He’d taken a week’s vacation this week and spent much of it outside in the quickly cooling autumn air, going for walks, stopping at a different place every day for coffee or lunch and then making complicated dinner recipes he’d always wanted to try. The plan for his week off was to have no plans at all, and so far it was working.
Alice’s slim hands grasped his arms as well and quickly she was smiling, and just as quickly she was blushing and letting go of his arms. “Hey! No need to be sorry, it was my fault too. We’re both daydreamers.” Her smile turned shy and for a moment, she forgot her troubles. “This is the week you’re on vacation, right? How come you’re here?”
Lucas grinned widely and smoothly stepped out of her personal space. “I slept in,” he admitted, though looked completely unabashed about it. “I’m having more of a stay-cation,” he said, “I realized I hadn’t seen much of LA besides the hospital since I moved here, so I’m spending the week masquerading as a tourist.” He chuckled and showed off the tacky Hawaiian shirt he was wearing over khaki shorts.
“I see,” Alice replied with a laugh, but her smile was kind. “It’s good to play tourist! I’m kind of jealous. Maybe I’ll take a self imposed staycation myself before the busy season starts.” The statement triggered something that caused Alice to look surprised then sorrowful. “I just delivered cupcakes to Stephan, I’m sorry I didn’t grab some for you. I have one or two at the apartment though, would you like one? I’m testing them out for autumn.”
“Hey, don’t worry about it,” he chuckled, “you weren’t expecting to see me today. But I won’t say ‘no’ to one of your new creations,” he added with a grin. “Only if I’m not imposing...I was heading out for breakfast, but I can’t think of any better way to start the day than with one of your treats!” He turned to hit the button behind him to call back the elevator.
“Definitely not imposing, I’m happy to feed you,” Alice replied, immediately blushing as she inched closer to the elevator. It hadn’t gone far and returned to the first floor quickly to open its doors to the couple. “Oh! And you need to meet Molly! I didn’t even tell you, things have been so crazy. Isobel took me to that weird cat exhibition that was last month, like comic con for cats? I adopted a cat there!”
Lucas’s brows rose in surprise, “you did? That’s great!” he said as followed her inside the elevator. “I heard about that convention from Nish...she went too, and brought Bear with her. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a cat convention,” he chuckled. “I’m picturing a huge room full of people and cats, but I’m sure there’s much more to it than that.” The doors opened and he gestured for Alice to go ahead of him, and then followed her down the hall to her door.
“It basically is just that,” Alice explained as she dug out her keys. “I never knew such a thing existed either and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Some people are a little too obsessed with cats. But I suppose whatever makes people happy. Molly certainly is making me happy.”
Facing the door as she tried to unlock it, her expression was hidden by the brief frown that passed over. Had she been talking to Gus and BB still, she would’ve been happy, but their lack of presence in her life had certainly done a number on her.
“I’m sure Molly is happy to have a home,” he replied with a smile, though something in her tone gave him pause, causing him to pay far closer attention to her now hidden expression.
Pulling her attention elsewhere, she pointed at the apartment nextdoor as she opened her own apartment door. “Oh, have you met my new neighbor yet? I haven’t, but she posted on the messaging board. Alex, I think.”
Lucas shook his head, “no, I haven’t seen anyone new in a while, but I’m sure we’ll see her around,” he said. “I think I have a neighbour on my floor, but it’s just a rumour to me. I’ve never seen them,” he said with a shrug and a little grin.
Alice smiled over her shoulder as she pushed her door open and held it open with the toe of her foot as she pulled the key free, calling for her kitten who made a chirping reply from the living room before prancing forward, only to pause upon seeing Lucas. Lucas smiled down at the little grey furball.
“Molly, meet Lucas. Lucas, meet Molly,” Alice announced with a smile. The kitten only took a seat on the floor and continued to observe. “She’s still figuring people out, I think. It took her awhile to get used to me, but even when Isobel visits it seems to startle her. Here, let me show you what snacks I have. You can pick what you’d like to eat.” Lucas smiled and crouched in front of the kitten, offering his hand for her to sniff.
She moved toward the kitchen where a cupcake stand awaited. While Rafael was living with her, the cupcake stand would be regularly stocked but quickly diminished between the two of them. Now it wasn’t gobbled up as quickly and it seemed almost lonely sitting atop the island.
He followed her in and shrugged, “I’d be happy with anything you decide to feed me,” he said casually, though was hoping for the cupcakes she’d mentioned to lure him to her apartment. “My food choices have been all over the map this week, so anything goes.”
“Here, the less pretty topping of these muffins remain,” Alice offered, reaching for the cupcake display and pulling free one of the apple cinnamon cupcakes. “It has a cinnamon cream topping and then the cream cheese center. Would you like a plate?” She smiled at Lucas and realized not only how comfortable she felt, but that Lucas was there--in her apartment--which was entirely new.
His eyes lit up when she described the cupcake now in his hand, and he sniffed it appreciatively. “Mmmm...I wonder what it is about the coming of fall that makes everyone crave spice...is it simply clever marketing and centuries of families baking apple and pumpkin pies? Or is it something about the weather growing colder that causes it?” He shrugged, as if the answer was unimportant, and bit into the cupcake, humming with pleasure.
“I’ve never showed you my place before, I’m sorry. Here, have a napkin and I’ll give you my whole tour of not much at all.”
“I would love to see your place,” he said, “though feel free to steer me away from anything you don’t want me to see.”
Alice offered Lucas a napkin and smiled, leaving the kitchen behind and urging him to follow. “I do think it’s all that baking that happened. The apple and pumpkin are in season and the spices pair so well with it. Plus it just seems warmer, you know? Spicy things in cooler months and all that. Although out here it’s definitely not seasonal weather. Not that DC held much of a difference. It was a humid swamp well into October but then we’d start to get more seasonal temperatures.”
They moved through the kitchen and into the little dining area with the great table, big enough to fit a family which seemed silly since it was only Alice. But the table served a purpose, as was evident by the camera and stand, as well as a collection of plates and cloth napkins sitting at the end of the table. With the large windows overlooking the ocean behind the table, it was a picturesque view, suitable for photography. “I do all my pictures for the blog here. Well, here or at the bakery.”
“This is great,” he said happily, once he’d swallowed his bite of cupcake. “I’ve seen those photos; you’re a real photographer, and an excellent baker,” he praised. “How do you set up a shot? They look so natural, but I’m sure it takes quite a lot of planning and preparation to get it just right. It must be just as much work as baking!” He could bake, and he could take a decent photo on his smartphone, but both of those things were nothing to the absolute wizardry of someone who does those things for a living and gets the perfect shot and the perfect baked good every time.
Alice turned a bright smile to him, pleased by his excitement and interest in it all. “Well, it depends on what I’ve made, I guess. I like having the white background of the table...and then I use the colorful plates I have. Whatever sort of compliments the coloring of the thing I made.” She moved around the table and began to motion with her hands. “I try to sit it either dead center so I can take a picture from above looking straight down, and I use that white board to reflect the daylight on that side where it would normally be in shadow. Or, I’ll sit it a little closer to the edge--right here--so then I can get some of the ocean in the background in the picture.” She stepped back and pointed to a bookshelf that stood along the base of a window with a long herb garden on top of it. “That’s a lot of my knick-knacks that I’ll use for props. Ornaments or toys or whatever. I usually end up taking a ton of pictures of the same thing before I settle on something though.”
He popped the last bite of his muffin into his mouth while she spoke, watching everything she showed him with interest. “This is great,” he said with a smile, wiping his fingers off on the napkin she’d given him. “Do you ever do outdoor shots? Like, a picnic setup or other nature spots? You could use the beach in the summer and local parks in the spring,” he suggested, catching a little of her enthusiasm and running with it. He slowly became aware of a warm glow somewhere inside him, making him smile until he had to consciously dial it back before he started grinning like an idiot. Just being here with her, talking, sharing her passions for food and photography and art, made him happier than he could remember being in a long while.
Alice was fully grinning at this point and bounced on her feet slightly at the prospect of further shots. “Oh, a picnic would be so nice! I actually got a red and white blanket recently. I need to find a picnic basket, don’t you think? That’d be so perfect.” She looked around, her hands moving about as she spoke, but they came to a pause as she looked at Lucas, her smile calming and turning sweet. “Maybe we can do it together one of these days, you know, go have a picnic and you could help me with pictures--I mean, if you’d like. I could make enough snacks for two and pay you by food.”
Lucas couldn’t help the wide smile that broke out on his face at the idea. “I’d like that,” he said, “and you don’t have to ‘pay’ me, I’d love to help. Although I won’t say no to a few baked perks,” he added with a wink.
He paused then, hesitating before finally saying it. “So...since you fed me cupcakes...it’s only fair if I feed you dinner,” he said, trying hard not to look nervous about it. “I was going to try another new restaurant tonight, if you’re feeling adventurous…”
Color crept onto the apples of Alice’s cheeks as she smiled and found her hands fidgeting with the edge of her shirt. “That sounds like it’d be nice. If, you know, it’d be ok if I changed first and everything?”
He smiled, “Absolutely. I’ll get changed myself,” he said, looking down at his ridiculous ‘tourist’ clothes with a chuckle. “I’ll meet you downstairs in an hour.”