25 Jan 2010 : Another Day, Another Dollar
Another Day, Another Dollar
Summary: Haven fails to leave Blue Earth again while various people bump into one another in the Diner.
Date: January 25th, 2010
Related Logs: None

Benny is behind the counter, rag in hand. She abandons her half hearted attempt at cleaning the formica when Vargas enters and gives her something to focus her attention on. The Foreigner. That's always enough to brighten her day, if only by a notch. The cloth gets tossed into a tub of soapy water and she crosses behind the counter closer to the door. "Evening." She offers, mustering up a pleasant smile. "Can I get you something to drink? Tea, water, coffee?" Of course they have other things to drink, but those are either the most popular or just the easiest to flow off her lips.

Having been scoping out a seat, the 'foreigner' is already roughly halfway there by the time Benny spots him and wanders on over. "Good evening," he returns with a crooked grin, and a touch of roughness in his heavily-accented English. "Coffee, por favor." He slides into the booth, sets his hat down atop the table, and scrapes his hand over his cheek a couple of times. Looks like it's been a long day, and possibly a sleepless night, judging by the dark circles beneath his eyes.

"Ooooooooooooooooo-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" That would be Dobson announcing himself to the entire room as he enters just behind Vargas. Slipping beyond, he heads on over towards the counter, sniffing his armpits on the way. For Benny, he has a friendly sneer and he offers, "Diddling the new guy in town already, Benny and the Jets? I have to hand it to you, you work fast." Hopping the counter, he reaches for an apron off of one of the hooks and starts securing it about his waist.

She doesn't even bother asking if he wants regular or decaf. Benny turns from the front counter to pull the red rimmed pot off it's warmer and fill one of the white enamel mugs. As the short order cook comes in the door and makes his presence known as only he can, there's a slight pause in her movements. As she's not facing Dobson at the time he might not see that twitch in her jaw as she clenches her teeth. Vargas might notice it, but the moment is so brief, it's easy to miss. She turns back to the room, her smile is as bright as ever, but now it's tinged with sarcasm for Dobson's benefit. "Try not to scare away the customers, Johnny." Benny slides the mug of coffee infront of Vargas and drags the sugar caddy closer. "Did you need cream?"

Vargas probably isn't oblivious to the little interplay going on between the pretty waitress and loudmouthed cook. He procures a cigarette while Benny's speaking to him, and crinkles a smile when he sees that slight stiffening in her shoulders. "I am not so easy to scare," he reassures her quietly, reaching for the sugar caddy at precisely the same moment as she does. Might be bad timing. Might be he planned it that way. His hand brushes her knuckles, then withdraws so he can light his cigarette. "No. Thank you." A pause, and then when she begins to withdraw, "Chiquita?"

Once his apron is secure, Johnny reaches for a hair net off the top shelf above the stove and pulls it on over his baseball cap. "Hahaha, I was just joking, pal. Just joshing ya… since you're new and all." He winks at Vargas and turns towards said stove, hefting a scraper and beginning to clean the stove. "Fair warning though, little Benny here, she gets sweet on new guys what come in town… ain't her fault, either." Clang clang, rattle rattle, scrape scrape. A layer of blackened grease and char comes off the grill.

Zzt. When Vargas touches her knuckles, Benny's skin transfers a little static shock to him like she's been walking around on thick carpet with furry slippers all day. "Sorry, sorry.." Benny mutters automatically to Vargas, quickly withdrawing her hand under the guise of grabbing him a menu. She slips it down in front of him, and snags him an ashtray while she's at it. 'Chiquita' makes her smile more genuine, even if her cheeks flush red at Dobson's play by play from the kitchen. "Shut your pie hole, Johnny." Gets shouted back over her shoulder. She assumes that Vargas has stopped her so he can order, so she drags out her pad and pen to be at the ready. "What can I getcha?"

Vargas is probably only understanding roughly sixty percent of the rapid fire banter going back and forth between the waitress and kitchen staff, anyway. Otherwise, he might point out that he's been around town for some time now. Then again, he might not. The little jab of electricity causes him to quickly withdraw his own hand, nearly knocking over the sugar caddy in the process. "Lo siento," is murmured softly, his smile quick but not disingenuous. "No, no. I will have just the coffee." His cigarette's tapped twice into the ashtray. "You should smile more. How much for a smile?" The grin grows broader.

"Touchy touchy, that time of the month again, Ben?" No. Dobson does not have a filter and even if he did, he's in his home habitat. As the grill comes clean and washes it down with a clean cloth, he gets a gleam in his eyes. It's time to cook, baby! Some oil is liberally squirted on the grill and with a twirl, he eyes the first order and slaps some burger meat down on the grill… it sizzles immediately. "I love the smell of grilled beef in the morning. YEEEEEE HAWWWWWW."

Outside, a green, genuine El Camino pulls up into the lot with a put-put-BANG and a backfire. It pauses in the lot, the crunch of gravel barely heard from outside. The passenger door opens, and a black haired woman exits the cab, waving a hand in front of her face to clear some smoke. It looks like Cheech and Chong gave her a ride to the Diner, except without the comic charm. Haven slams the door, waves the dynamic duo on their way, and heads for the door. Haven pauses just outside, visible through the glass should anyone notice, and lifts a long length of hair to give it a sniff, perhaps testing for contact high, or pot stench. There's a slight frown, and she stands there for a few beats, letting the outdoor breeze air her off a bit.

Vargas taunts a true smile out of Benny, not the one she just plasters on for customers. "Those are free." A pause. "You sound just like the Travel channel." Is said a bit mooney eyed as she looks to the man, but of course such reverie is broken quickly by returning to the here and now of the sleepy diner. "You just let me know when you need that warmed up, alright?" She tells Vargas before turning around to hide the lingering blush, using Dobson as a convenient distraction. "It's always that time of the month, when it comes to you." But some where, down deep after all this time, the banter has to be at least some what goodnatured, right? put-put-BANG. She knows that sound. "Haven's rollin' in."

Vargas's expression softens into a mingling of amused and bewildered when Benny mentions the travel channel. That probably didn't quite compute. But he chuckles anyway, and keeps his dark eyes on the girl as she turns around and starts back off again. He seems more intrigued than outright checking her out, though one never knows with those easy Spaniards. Really. "Is warm enough, chiquita. Your coffee here, it is always good." The car backfiring outside gets a glance out the window, and there his eyes remain with his cigarette just touching his lips. He shakes his head a little in clear amusement.

"Again?… Thought she'd have been long gone by now, lady like that don't belong in a place like Blue Earth," Dobson comments from his position by the grill, sliding his spatula under the cooking burger and flipping it (with a little air time) with practiced ease. "Then again, she's a Santos. Something ain't right with that family, mark my words."

Haven pauses out there for about thirty seconds in the breeze, waiting for her hair take on a less arrest worthy aroma. She shakes her head slightly, and glances up. Those familiar with the language might be able to catch the mouthed words, "Madre de dios."

The jingle-jangle of the bell over the door sounds as another patron exits the establishment. Haven takes the opportunity to step inside, just after briefly running a hand through her hair. It's possible the smell has worn off. No one will notice, right? The medic reaches up to twist her hair back into a bun, secures it with a pen stuck through her hair, then makes her way to the counter. Her dark eyes scan the occupants, to see if anyone might have noticed, and is still noticing her questionable arrival.

"According to you, nothing's right with any family in Blue Earth." Benny comments back to the cook with wry amusement. Cracking the brown paper wrap of a bundle of napkins, she slants a discrete look back to Vargas now that his attention is on the incoming Haven. So sue her, he's the most interesting thing around this backwater town ever since the fire hydrant busted on main street. Muddy streets and sopping laughing children don't hold much of a candle to someone who can be down right classified as 'exotic'. At least for poor ole Benny here. Wait. What was she doing? Oh right. She blinks and starts refilling a napkin holder. Maybe Dobson was right. Maybe Benny can't help it. "Haven." Benny greets, pleasant as punch. "What's your poison?" Probably a good thing she didn't word it like that to Vargas. Nope, nooooo question about the mode in which she arrived, though she is given a little quirked brow in question.

"Que pasa amigo?" Dobson fires off at Haven as she enters, looking over his shoulder with a beady eyed stare. He gives her a good up and down before returning to cooking the burger in front of him. "That's cos it's true. You can't tell me it ain't. You know something is fucked up with the families in this town… the Santos' most especially," a look shot to Haven, "No offense," and back to Benny, "They's about as fucked up as they come. I heard they dance around naked doing injun magic on nights of the full moon and stuff." Why yes, yes he is talking about Haven's family line like she isn't standing right there.

Haven catches Benny's eyes, and does a little shrug-and-eyeshift. She barely resists the urge to reach up and touch her hair to check it. "Benny." There's a grin that follows that greeting. It's somewhat sheepish, but just a touch. "Depends." Her voice drops a little, and she asides, "Dobson in a mood today, or will I get a grilled cheeseburger if I order a grilled cheeseburger?" She bellies up to the counter, and takes a seat one down from the dark haired rancher already perched there. She shoots a look just over Benny's shoulder, to the cook through the window, and fires back, "Nada mucho, cabron. And none taken. My cousin… second cousin. Third cousin, whatever he was was a putanen." She drops the ever so impolite word, then remembers there's actually someone in the room who's going to understand that. She specifically fights the urge to look at Vargas. "I don't dance around naked doing injun anything, thanks. Just so you know, my people are from Spain. Our family split a few generations back. If you want me to dance, you'll only get salsa."

"But will you do it naked, is the real question." Benny smiles and slides over a menu as if Haven actually needs it to order. The food here hasn't changed in how long? "Just make sure if you order a cheeseburger you pick through your fries and make sure nothing random was stuck in the grease with them." Ew. "What do you want to drink, hun?"

Vargas looks up briefly as Haven enters, dark eyes lingering upon the young woman for a few long seconds, whether or not she looks back at him. He seems amused. But when doesn't he?

"I'd pay cash money t'see that," Dobson says, pointing a finger Haven's way with a licentious grin on his face. "And I know that, the Spanish thing. Santos and all. I'm just sayin' folks talk. Injun magic. Maybe I'll ask Chief next time he's in." He snorts and slaps two slices of american cheese down on the burger he's been working on, letting it melt before mounting it on the toasted bun he's also prepped. "Surprised you ain't fat as a heifer the way you eat, Santos."

Haven shakes her head, with a faux-shocked look to the waitress. "Benny, so personal!" She pulls just a bit of a face at the mention of random fried things stuck in with the fries. And people wonder why she usually shows up here at night, when the other cook is on. "Tea. Maybe that orange ginger stuff if you still have it? And the cheeseburger, plain, with the fries. And a water, lemon, to be different. I took the day off, so no need to caffeinate too heavy." She finally glances down the counter to Vargas. Her dark eyes rest on the rancher for a moment, then she greets, "Buenas dias, chico." She glances over to Benny, smiles, then looks over the waitress' shoulder. "Surprised you don't leave a slick, as much grease as you cook with back there," she fires back to the short order cook.

Benny moves to fill a tall plastic cup with ice then adds tap water from a pitcher. Nothing fancy here, but an extra wedge of lemon is added just for flare. Just because they're plain here, doesn't mean you can't spice things up with an extra sliver of citrus! It gets set in front of Haven before Benny writes out the order and clips it to the line. "Order!" She calls, out of habit. Not that Dobson couldn't overhear it from his station. Then she starts working on that tea. "You took the day off? Anything to do with those boys you rolled up with?" How's that for personal. But when you don't own a TV, you live and die by gossip.

"Buenas dias," Rafael replies in kind, with a little dip of his chin. The melodic language rolls off his tongue effortlessly. He's not even bothering to hide his smile by now; it sketches soft creases at the corners of his eyes and around his mouth, and isn't banished even after he sips from his coffee.

"You friends with those Mexicans that dropped you off?" Dobson asks, presumably of Haven, as he finishes the order he was working on and deftly tosses another burger or two on the grill. "Cheeseburger in paradise, coming right up. Hold the special sauce." He chuckles then, laughing at his own joke like the classy fellow that he is.

"Gracias, amiga," Haven nods to Benny as the water is delivered. She squeezes the fruit juice into the water, then drags the glass over for a sip. "Yeah, my truck died." She doesn't explain how or where, but this is a reply of that time, only a couple weeks back, when her motorcycle died while she was trying to leave town. The gas station/garage down the way must be getting some business off of the only living Santo currently within the city limits. Well, the only Santo with blood pure enough to qualify. "Those boys," she smirks ever so faintly. "Those boys were passing through. I traded 'em a bag of cheetos for a ride." She glances over to Vargas to note the smile, and her head tips just a little as she does so. Some verbal response is resisted. Her dark eyes flick back to Benny. "You cut your hair, chica? There's something different today. I like it." She also, by the way, resists the urge to hurl any items on the counter at Dobson's head. "You're a gem among men, Cookie."

Benny lifts a hand to her hair in a self conscious gesture. "Uh. Yeah." She threads her fingers through what's left of it, which ain't much. If she didn't have some sort of bewbs, she'd look down right boyish. "There was an…incident. In the kitchen." With the strain in her voice, there's also a crackle of the radio, static obliterating the country song that's currently playing. As soon as it starts, it's already gone, just a hiccup from the local station, or some atmospheric interruption.

Vargas's cell phone happens to go off about then, a shrill tone that he probably hasn't changed because he doesn't know how. Grimacing slightly, he murmurs an apology to those seated nearby (Haven), and slides out of his seat to pace toward the door before flipping it open to answer it. "Hola?" can be easily discerned. And then the rest is in rapid-fire Spanish.

"I'm one of a kind and don't you forget it sugarbritches," Dobson calls from the kitchen, not looking over at Santos, but it's meant for the woman. "Glad we operate the grills on gas. The electric in this place has gone to shit." Making a face, he melts cheese on a burger, tosses it on a plate, scoops up some fries and slaps them down too, then places them in the pick up window before dinging the bell. "Hey, sugartits, order up."

"Don't sweat it, honey. It's beautiful. You're about the cutest thing in this town. Don't need all that hair distracting from your pretty smile." Haven jumps right in when Benny's voice changes with the strain. A woman's hair is very important. The latina's deep brown eyes flick to Dobson again. She watches him through the kitchen's service window. There's little question regarding just whom 'incident' refers to. She doesn't turn around to watch Vargas answer his phone, but she's probably listening in.

Sugartits. Ah, that never gets old. Benny rolls her eyes to the ceiling, then makes the quick jaunt over to the window to pick up the edibles and deliver them where they belong. The plate clatters on the counter a little too heavily as she becomes entranced by that string of Spanish, and Benny twitches an apologetic smile at Haven. "Thanks. Heaps." No doubt Benny's still getting used to feeling the breeze on the back of her neck. Ketchup is put within reach, as well as a napkin. "Anything else you need, sugar?"

Dobson snickers at Benny's reaction and goes about making up the next order. "Man, you people just gotta learn to lighten up a little. Look at where we live… middle of nowhere USA. Gotta stir things up or why bother." Flipping his burgers, he notes, "Gonna finish these up and then I'm taking some private time in the crapper, Bee."

Haven nods to Benny, "Anytime." She slides the plate over closer, smoothly taking it upon herself to place it, allowing Benny some stare time. It's the language. It's always beautiful. Haven understands! "I'm set." She takes a quick peruse through the burger's buns to be sure Dobson didn't slide anything off color into the toasted goodness. She pauses, fry halfway to her mouth, as Dobson mentions his private time. "He washes his hands, right?"

"Tu sabes que no puedes, tu sabes que no puedo. Elena, por favor, no, usted escucha.." The prattle continues in rapid Spanish, Rafael's back turned to most of the room now, and his shoulder pressed against the wall by the door. Anyone coming in is going to have to squeeze past to get through.

Benny beams as big a smile as possible to Haven. "Or so the sign hanging on the door from the Health department says he has to." She wisks herself off, on to doing more of her shiftly chores, though most of the tidying only gets done when she's bored. While Vargas is busy on the phone, she tops off his coffee cup. "I can man the grill a bit, if need be. Just. Find a better hiding spot for your magazines. Behind the toilet is a little obvious and I don't want to be squicked out when I mop again." She tells Dobson on a pass by the window.

Haven remains with her back to the door, one hand wrapped around her tea mug, the other with a fry. Her eyes drop to her plate when the rancher speaks into his phone, the words lyrical to ears who can't understand them. She physically resists the urge to turn around, instead straightening to pick up her burger and take a huge bite. Apparently, she's hungry enough that neither the questionable sanitation, or the magazine collection and 'private time' don't phase her. She's not bothered enough to stop eating, which says something about her in the very least. She takes a sip of tea, rolls her shoulders, and plows through her burger. Concentrate on the cow, Haven. Concentrate on the cow.

"Mmmhmmm. Knew you was a lesbian," is Dobson's return fire. Wiping at his forehead with the back of his hand, he finishes up the food he's working on now and serves it up at the window before hanging up his spatula and swinging back towards the rest rooms. "Don't y'all miss me while I'm gone, y'hear?" Big grin and then he disappears inside the bathroom.

There's a rough snort from Vargas, his other hand thrown up in the air in apparent frustration while the conversation continues at a somewhat higher volume. Might be he's trying to out-talk the person on the other end. "Esto no es negociable. Usted va escuchar lo que esta diciendo, y usted va esperar hasta que tenga tiempo para terminar la temporada. Si? Gracias." The last word is growled into the phone, which is flipped closed about as angrily as he can muster, and shoved back into his jacket. He heads on back to his chair after a moment or two to compose himself, fingers raked through his dark hair. He's shaking his head slowly as he settles in again, with a quick glance shot across to Haven. "Chiquita." He raps the bar with his knuckles twice, eyes on Benny now.

Benny scoops up the plates and delivers them to a quiet couple in the corner who seem unphased by the usual antics of the diner. Thankfully, Benny doesn't dignify the lesbian comment with a response. She then drops into a quiet loop of doing her work, but when Vargas raps his knuckles on the bar, Benny's head snaps up. Flickering him a bit of a smile, she drifts back over. "Time for your check?" She assumes with a little forlorn note to her voice. Gone so fast. Sigh.

Haven's attention flicks to Vargas, visibly, as he returns to the counter. She mms, but doesn't comment on the call. She pops the last bite of the burger into her mouth, and washes it down with the tea. "Tenga una noche buena."

Vargas is already reaching for his stetson by the time Benny wanders back over. He slides it onto his head, and starts digging in his pocket for change. "Si. Please." As if in apology for the rowdy phone conversation, he asides to Haven, "My sister in law, she is very.." He taps the side of his head a couple times, as if to say thick in the skull. "..sometimes."

Benny coffee is almost a laughable reason to write out a ticket, but Benny puts a total on the bottom of the little sheet and circles it, sliding it over for Vargas. She then drifts back off, because it's rather rude to hover when someone is doing the money dance.

"It's what siblings are for, by blood or marriage." Haven finishes up her fries. "I find a good crowbar to the front end of the family vehicle helps with that. Eso es verdad con mi hermano." She reaches for the water to drain half of the glass without taking a breath. She eats like a high school jock, but with more manners. At least she doesn't chomp or talk with her mouth full. "… I have less destructive ideas. That was just the first that came to mind." It's been a rough week.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License