"Have a good day," she tells her customer with a smile, hands already reaching out to the customer behind to keep the line moving. She hears the door open and barely glances over as she warmly calls out a "Good afternoon."

The bread display hides the newcomer from her view. His soft steps as he makes his way forward so he can see her in her own environment, relaxed, calm, cool and collected, give him ample opportunity to do so. But her coworker filling the bins of produce in the same area sees. He notices the way this new man stares at her. He notes the soft smile on his lips as his arms cross and he gets comfortable in his spot to just look.

"Can I help you?" he asks, irritation building at the base of his skull for reasons he can't explain. The man, startled but unperturbed, turns to him and quickly sizes him up.

With a shake of his head, he tells him he's fine. Just waiting to ask the cashier a question once her line dies down. A skinny girl hangs back at the door, fire burning in her eyes and a sweetly wicked smile plays on her lips as she watches their exchange. Her wild, blonde and brown hair halos her head, but it's clear to the man working here that's she's not just a simple angel.

"I'm going to have to ask you to sit at the table then, or to please move. You're kind of blocking the entrance."

Before the customer can move, the cashier notices him and with surprise calls out, "Joey! What are you doing here?"

The newcomer, Joey, turns to the cashier in time to see her nimbly racing around the register. He turns back to the man working in front of him, and unabashedly cocks an eyebrow. A smirk rolls onto and off his lips before it can even register to the shorter man before him, but he leaves before he can say anything. The man is left wondering if he really saw anything, but is surprised even more when he sees the normally shy cashier almost jump up to wrap her arms around the tall man's neck and hug him. Joey wraps his arms around her waist and squeezes her just as tightly. He doesn't let go as she pulls back, hands held firmly against his broad shoulders as a questioning look morphs her once surprised happy face.

"Wait, what are you doing here?"

A glint of mirth shines in his eyes as he opens his mouth to respond, but the girl cuts him off before he can finish anything past his "I."

"And please don't say you just happened to be driving around the neighborhood."

He shrugs, one hand relaxing off her waist as he says, "What can I say? I was curious about where you work."

A bewildered yet bashful look passes over her, but then she catches sight of Him staring. His piercing gaze hurl unvoiced insults that she hopes are only in her imagination. Still, she comes down to earth again and remembers she is at work. She needs to be more prudent.

She pats Joey's shoulder and takes a step back. A deep breath helps her regain her composure as she squares her shoulders and minimizes her body now that she feels His gaze burning into her.

"Ok, but how did you know I work here? I've never even told her where I live, much less my place of employment."

The dual haired angel makes her appearance then, glaring at the man who dares rain on her dear friend's parade before a sweet innocent smile replaces it as she faces the cashier and lets out a playful, "He~ey!"

"Brie!" the cashier calls again, excitement filling her once more. She embraces the much smaller girl, easily encompassing all of her and not caring since this is her best friend. This girl always has her back. And even as she makes sure her friend keeps her back to Him, she defends her, daring him to say something, to do something. He bites his lip and looks down, realizing she's right. He has no reason to be acting like this. They were never anything. She was never anything- not to him at least. Even though he was everything to her.

He glances one last time at the cashier, keeping in mind that he was the one that always pushed her away, and for once pulled himself away. Joey takes this all in, wondering just what was going on, unknowing why Brie seemed to hate him so much, and why the unwelcoming worker seemed to dislike him so much.

Brie laughs, going back to the nonchalant fa├žade as she plays match maker for her friend, turning the tables for once now that she finally had the opportunity.

"So, I noticed that we haven't gone dancing with Joey here in a few weeks, so I figured he needed to buy some meat here for Laudie's barbecue tonight." The girl's smile fades a bit as her nose crinkles and her mouth twists in embarrassed resignation. Brie continues, quickly adding, "I know, I know. You can't go because of work. But, doesn't mean we couldn't come by to see you for a few, right?"

The girl squeezes Brie's hands appreciatively, and replies that absolutely. Heck, she's even slightly upset that they haven't come by to see her sooner. She then let's go of Brie's hands and grabs two of Joey's fingers, telling him she'd show him around.

"I mean, are you sure you don't need something else apart from the meat? You could use tortillas, or salsa. Or why not get an order of food here. Did I tell you we have a kitchen here too, so you can order already prepared hot foods!"

Joey's flutters with warmth; her excitement and smile always has that effect on her. He follows alongside, taking note of the items, but more keeping track of her face, watching as she switches from bashful friend to seasoned customer service worker. Her confidence soars when she knows what she's doing, and he was already falling hard. That added confidence does nothing to help him in his predicament. He doesn't think she likes him like that. Or maybe she does, but she doesn't like dating. She always seems to get awkward whenever he brings it up.

"Oh, by the way," she starts, stopping in front of the kitchen and waiving three people over.

"Joey, these are Aileen, Veronica, and Rafa." She turns to the people behind the counter then and tells them something in Spanish. The tall woman with her black hair tied in a bun smirks, and says something that has the young woman holding Joey's hand blushing, but she doesn't respond. Rafa glares at Joey, and stares daggers at the duo's interlocked fingers. She bites her lip, then tells him to come on. The man from earlier comes out from behind the fridge then, directly in front of the two. He stops for half a beat, then pushes on a button in front of him before disappearing a second later when he pushes another door open.

"Yanka," the girl says quietly then, leaning forward to the glass separating the store from another, more protected section. A woman with long red hair and big, doe-like eyes looks up from some paperwork then. Her red lipstick stained mouth goes from a tight lipped concentration to a gentle smile.

"Yes, Dessa?" she asks. Her words are colored by the way her closed mouth forms her words, and the guttural tone of her mother tongue. But the softness of her eyes as she looks at the young woman before her betrays the closeness of their bonds.

The girl, Dessa, takes a step to the side and pulls Joey a little closer. She wraps both hands around his left arm now, gently squeezing his still held two fingers in her grasp, and he squeezes back reassuringly with his right hand he places on top of hers.

She looks up at Joey and says, "This is my friend, Prohulyanka. She's really nice." She then turns to Prohulyanka and timidly asks, "Remember that person I was telling you about the other day? The one I've been going dancing with?"

"Ah! So you're my Divchata's Joey! She says lots of good things," Yanka tells him. Joey can only smile awkwardly as Dessa's face burns red yet again. He holds back a laugh, and a desire to kiss her then and there.

Yanka continues and says, "so what are you to little Iridessa? Just friend, or more?"

Dessa's eyes widen in shock. Her face goes white as the blood drains from her face, and as she sputters, at a loss for words. Brie doubles over laughing at her reaction.

Joey on the other hand, though blushing, looks at Dessa with hope and waits for her shock to subside. Someone in the office however broods, angrily waiting for a response.

"Well, right now we're just friends..." Joey finally murmurs.

Surprisingly, hearing that they're just friends actually stings a bit. And for once, Dessa's broken filter finally helps her when she responds, "Just friends?"

Her eyebrows scrunch together, and her putt bottom lip juts out just right as she waits for a reply.

"Unless you want to be more," Joey breathes out in relish.

Her dimples appear as her lips pull back into not so well restrained ecstatic smile. "You never asked before!"

Brie claps and loudly exclaims, "Boo! Just ask her already! 'Dessa, will you be my girlfriend?'"

Without another word, Joey piggybacks off of Brie's words and asks, "Will you?"


Yanka laughs, overjoyed to see Dessa finally being appreciated by someone who is actually kind and caring. Not someone who would use her, like Him. She gets up and heads to the "Office Depot" cupboard, as Dessa so endearingly calls it to get some more pens as all her pens seem to run out ink as of late. As she bends over, she hears a rustling of paper, and a dull thud. When she looks, the box full of trash bags lays open on the floor, and all the bags have scattered everywhere.

"Sorry, sorry. I'm so sorry," He says, coldness sharpening his words, making the bitter callousness of his words show his true meaning. Yanka shakes her head and says it's fine, heading over to pick up the bags.

"No, no. I'm sooo sorry," he repeats once more, mockery dropping in every syllable.

Yanka stops her actions and firmly states, "Feliks, that's enough. Stop it."

"Oh, I forget," Feliks, the worker from before, says as he rolls his eyes. "Dessa's defender is here. Can't say anything about her in front of you, right."

He looks up at the screen ahead of him and finishes picking up the bags. As he puts them away, he says, "Maybe you should tell your poor little misfit that she needs to stop being all lovey dovey with her new boyfriend, and start working again."

She glares at Feliks, then heads to the window to point Dessa to the register. But already, Dessa is running around the corner, apologies to the clients for having to wait so long flying from her lips as she reaches the register.

"So sorry," Feliks calls as he opens the door to leave, then loudly bangs it shut.

Yanka always said one day he would realize what he lost. He just never thought it would sting that much.