1963-08-15 - Two Fellas Lost in Macy's
Summary: Piotr and Nova get lost in Macy's looking for ties and shoes. Nova makes a bad financial decision Piotr makes a smarter one.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
nova piotr 


His few days of walking around New York City in old shoes in the middle of summer have taken their toll; yesterday, while crossing the Brooklyn Bridge for the second time, because it seemed like a good idea, Sam's soles finally cracked and gave way. It made walking the rest of the way back to the school rather unpleasant, and to make matters worse, they were his only pair. Sam really thought they would last a little longer than a few days; they survived summers in the Arizona desert, you'd think New York would be easier to deal with; apparently not. And so, Sam finds himself in the first place he could think of to get a new pair.

There's no Macy's in Carefree, so Sam hasn't ever been to one. Actually, he's never been to such a large store in all his life. Sheltered, poor kid. It's a little overwhelming, and as he browses through the departments, he finally starts to realize how out of his depth he is. For one, finding the mens shoe department is a task unto itself. For two, why is everything so damned expensive? And thirdly, isn't there a snack bar or something in here? A guy could get lost for days and die of hunger. At long last, he gives up trying to navigate on his own, and approaches one of the sales desks to ask for directions, but the clerk behind the counter is working on something, and seems to be stuck in his own little world, because he doesn't even glance upward when the boy clears his throat as a means of getting his attention.

*

He isn't waiting at the counter very long before another man approaches, and despite his rather massive size, he looks just as hopelessly lost as Sam. Piotr feels entirely out of place in such a nice store, dressed as casually as he is, but that is why he has come. He has no nice clothes and so, logically, it occurred to him that he should purchase some. He waits behind Sam, his hands tucked into his pockets as he unconsciously tries to make himself look less physically imposing. And waits. And waits.

From behind Sam comes Piotr's voice, a hushed rumble carrying a thick Russian accent. "…I do not think he sees us."

*

Sam actually physically jumps when Piotr speaks, from the surprise of hearing such a voice behind him. He turns, and can't help but stare for a moment. Wow huge. "I.. don't think anyone could not notice you, man," he says after a moment, a bit of a smile coming to his lips as the startledness fades. "I'm easy to miss, I get that, but.." He trails off, making kind of a shrugging gesture while motioning to the much larger man's frame. "You as lost as I am? I came in here for shoes, but it's starting to feel like I'll find the.. what's the thing at the centre of the labyrinth? Giant bull thing? Whatever it's called, first."

*

The initial reaction causes Piotr to wince and take a small step back. However, when it becomes clear that Sam was merely surprised and doesn't seem to be responding poorly to his accent, the big man visibly relaxes, a broad smile coming to his face. "Minotaur," he supplies helpfully, nodding once. "Incredibly lost. I am looking for a tie, but I can only find the expensive ones," he says, making a bit of a face.

*

Fortunately, Sam was raised by a family that took rather a broader view of humanity as a whole, and didn't worry so much about things like race. Considering his own family was a mix in more ways than one, Piotr being obviously Russian really doesn't phase Sam in the slightest. "Yeah, that's the thing," he says when Piotr accurately identifies the creature for whose name had eluded him.

"Ties, hey? I think I saw some back.." he looks around, trying to get his bearings. Usually his sense of direction is pretty good, but in this maze of a department store, it's proving quite useless. Almost as much as this clerk, who may have looked up and saw that the two who were planning to bother him seem to have distracted each other with their own conversation, and has gone back to doing whatever he was doing before. Tallying receipts, or some such. "Yeah, I have no idea. We could be waiting here all day I guess, or we could just keep searching. I wouldn't mind some company, and sets of eyes are better than one, right?"

*

"Right. Next time, I will have to bring safari guide," Piotr says in a low, amused voice, already shifting to abandon the wait at the counter. Even if he and Sam stay lost, at least there will be company, right? It seems like a much better idea, and besides, he already knows from his sister's stop at the store that some of the clerks will not be as accepting of his accent as this young man has been.

After a moment, Piotr remembers his manners and extends a hand towards him, still smiling. "Oh. I am Piotr, by the way."

*

"Sam," Sam says, accepting the handshake, even though he's just a little bit afraid that his own hand will be crushed like a pop can. "Good to meet you, Pete," he says with a smile. Yes, not everyone in New York is as friendly, even to the whitest, most homespun small-town American like Sam; he'll take a friend where he can get it, regardless of nationality. We're all human, right? Well, mostly. Some more than others

Sam steps along with Piotr, keeping his eyes out for cheap ties. "No offence, but you're huge," he offers after the pair have moved on from the counter. Captain Obvious. "A tie is one thing, but how hard must it be to find a suit to go with it?" His rather limited world experience is pretty obvious in how bluntly he asks the question, not really considering that, despite his saying 'no offence', it might not be the most polite topic of conversation, or one that Piotr is comfortable with. But it's equally obvious that he means well. Sam's not a tall man by any stretch, so a fellow like Piotr is bound to spark some curiosity.

*

Never fear — Piotr's grip is very carefully measured and, after a warm shake, Sam's hand is released in one piece. "Sam," he echoes, commiting the name and face to memory. "It is good to meet you, too."

One benefit to being so tall is that Piotr can see over most of the racks and dividers in the department store. Sam's observation about his size earns a laugh and the Russian simply nods, loosely clasping his hands behind his own back as they walk. "It would be very hard," he agrees, not seeming to have taken any offense. "But I cannot afford one, so it is moot point, fortunately." A pause, and he shrugs. "Or, not fortunate, but… eh. You understand."

*

"Oh yeah, I understand," Sam says. "I can't even afford the shoes I need, but.. well, it's buy new ones or go barefoot. And from what I've seen of New York sidewalks, that's not a great option." He'd laugh, but for the truth of it. Sam's usefulness in finding things around here likely pales in comparison to the ability to see over everything, but he's doing his best. "It's not really much better on the other side of the coin," he says idly, "A lot of places only carry clothes in my size for kids. You don't get much luck unless you fall into what the world considers normal, I suppose." The sentiment works on so many levels, but Sam really didn't think about that when he said it. "So what brings you to New York? I'm guessing, and you know, stop me if I'm wrong, but you're not from here originally?"

*

"'Normal' is very silly concept," Piotr grumbles, his expression very much sympathetic. Two sides of the same problem. As annoying as it was, it was at least nice to have someone who could understand that particular struggle, for a change. "You are not as small as all that. The standards in this country can be very confusing."

He pauses, craning his neck, and gestures for Sam to follow him. Piotr is pretty sure he just spotted the shoes. "Ha! You are not wrong," he chuckles. "I moved here a couple of years ago. There are… fewer opportunities at home."

*

Sam certainly isn't going to argue when Piotr motions for a direction change. The man could see over tall buildings, he assumes. "You're right about that. No matter who or what you are, there's always going to be some way you don't fit, feels like," he says in agreement. "There are just so many ways to exclude other humans, based on some pretty random criteria. Next thing you know, they'll be making all the tall people sit at the back of the bus, and all us short people won't even get a seat," he muses. Hey, shoes!

*

Piotr doesn't lose his smile at Sam's joke, but his expression does soften just a bit around the eyes after Sam's attention has turned to the shoes. "I am sure it will be fine," he says wryly, trailing along behind. "Eventually. Things have way of working out." Out of curiosity, he leans over to check the price on a pair of shoes, and his face blanches. "…I am thinking perhaps this is richer store than I thought."

*

Sam has a similar reaction when he sees the price tag. "No kidding, what are these, made of gold?" He picks up a pair, weighing it in his hand. "Nope." Sam grimaces, glancing from the new shoe to his old busted one. If it rains, he's going to get wet feet. He lets out a bit of sigh, and checks the size. "It's not like I was planning to eat this month," he mutters. "Shoes should be free. Until they start making pavement you can walk barefoot on." He sits down, rather unceremoniously on the floor, and kicks his old shoes off to try the new pair on. If he's going to spend a month's budget on footwear, it better damn well fit properly. After a moment he gets both shoes on his feet, laces them quickly, and stands up. Instantly, his face lightens. "Well that's like walking on a cloud," he says, rather suddenly cheerful.

*

"Very expensive cloud," Piotr says unhappily, loosely folding his arms across his chest and frowning in thought. He is beginning to fear that the reason he couldn't find cheaper ties is because there are no cheaper ties. "What good are nice shoes if you are too hungry to appreciate them?"

*

"It'll be fine," Sam says, though he doesn't sound so sure. He'll have to cut back a bit to make up for the expense, but he won't starve. "What good is food that you can't get to because you can't walk across the lot to the cafeteria?" Let it never be believed that Sam is a smart shopper; he reluctantly gets the shoes off, and puts his old ones back on. "Ok, ties," he says. "Maybe we can find a clearance rack or something." Does Macy's even have clearance racks? Sam doesn't recall seeing one. Maybe on another floor? This place is dizzying.

*

Piotr does not look entirely convinced by Sam's reassurances, but it isn't his decision to make. Sam is a grown man, he… thinks. He's virtually certain of it.

"I may try smaller store," Piotr says in a thoughtful tone, rubbing self-consciously at the back of his neck. "It seems simpler." And less likely to devour every last dime he has. "But I am glad we were able to find you shoes, at the very least."

*

If nothing else, this is another thing Sam can cross off his list of things to do while in New York: 'Pay too much for something at a fancy store'. He'll have to add that to the list first, because it definitely isn't something his mom would have put on there. But hey, it's a life experience. "Do they have smaller stores here? I mean, that aren't even more expensive?" Plenty of small stores on 5th Avenue, Sam is given to understand, but they're not exactly intended for shopping on a budget. "These better last the rest of my life. I wonder if they come with a warranty."

*

"Not in this part of town, I do not think," Piotr replies with a slight furrow to his brow, his arms returning to their place loosely crossed over his chest. His fingers drum a beat against his bicep as he thinks. "I do not often shop in this part of the city, so I did not realize it was so costly. Perhaps further out?"

*

"Maybe? I'm not really all that familiar with the city, I hate to say. Only been here a week or so. I was expecting my shoes to last longer than I did, but I guess I should be glad they went first?" He smirks, and gets the shoes back into their box. Despite his better judgement, he's going to buy them, so he tucks the box under his arm. "Thanks for helping me find these, by the way. I'd have been setting up camp, otherwise."

*

Piotr nods once to Sam, offering him another broad smile. "Happy to help. I will go and see if I can find more affordable store, I think," he muses, casting an almost wary glance around as he says it. The last thing he needs is a salesperson to overhear him. "I hope the shoes last longer than your old ones."

*

"I'm sure they will. For this price, they'd better," Sam says. "Best of luck, Pete," Sam offers, extending his free hand toward the larger man again. "I'm sure you'll find something that works for you," he says with a smile.

*

With a laugh, Piotr steps forward and reaches out to clasp Sam's hand for another (equally measured) shake. "Spasiba — thank you, Sam," he says, quickly correcting himself. "I suppose I can always learn to sew." With a helpless shrug, he turns to begin making his way towards the exit, or… where he thinks the exit is, at least. Blasted labyrinth.

*

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