1963-11-22 - Broken Book
Summary: Lorna literally runs into Jess at a bookstore
Related: None
Theme Song: None
lorna drew 


It's a chilly, clear afternoon in the East Village, and to escape a particularly cold uptick of wind, Jessica Drew has retreated to the safety of a book shop. Only now that she's a good ten minutes into browsing the shelves has she come to a terrible realization:

She has no money. She is in a book shop and she has no money. This is the worst.

So it is with a somewhat resigned expression on her face that the brunette pages through a rather weighty tome, her hair still in a state of disarray from the wind outside. She's not used to long hair yet. Sue her.

*

Lorna was enjoying the weather, and the small break between classes. On her arm, was a bag of clothes recently purchased. The other? A stack of books. She grinned as she paged through the book on magnetic fields she'd picked up, her head tilting to the side as she read the captions on a diagram. Another book beneath that read, 'The Polish Language, Basic Primer', and yet another book covered the history of Poland. Clearly, the girl was on a mission for study.

So distracted was she, that she walked straight into the other brunette between the stacks. She fell back with an 'oof', books flying from her arms as she landed on her backside.

*

It's too bad a distracted, 5'3" brunette doesn't qualify as 'imminent danger.' Otherwise, Jessica might have had some warning before she's walked into, and she lets out a startled squawk at the impact.

She also doesn't think so much as she just… reacts, both hands darting out fast (maybe a little too fast?) to try and catch Lorna before the other young woman can finish falling down. The books, though, they're all on their own.

Whether she's managed the catch or not, Jessica's words are the same: "Shhhhhhoot. Are you okay?"

*

Lorna blinks, braced for impact and… not? Her books of course were scattered on the ground, but she was caught well before the impact with the floor. She gaped, blinking up at the young woman that had caught her. "Sorry! Er.. yeah, I'm okay. Uhm.." She bit her lower lip, and made to disentangle herself from the nimble woman.

"And uh.. er.. thanks. For catching me." She offered a hesitant smile, her cheeks flushed in sheepishness.

*

Oh, right. Once Jessica's sure Lorna's steady, she immediately takes her hands back and flashes a smile. Nothing to see here, situation normal! "It's fine. No harm, no foul, right?" she asks brightly, already dropping into a crouch to start gathering up the books. She hums thoughtfully, offering them back up to Lorna. "Poland, huh?"

*

Lorna laughed faintly, and bent to collect her things as well. "Yeah, Uh.. so just found out that my family is from there. Figured I'd so some research and surprise them." She smiled and shrugged, pushing her hair back from her features.

"Sorry for bumping into you, it was my fault. Totally need to watch where I'm going and not keep my nose in a book." She laughed again, color high on her cheeks.

*

"Always nice to know where you came from," Jessica says warmly, an odd smile on her face as she scoops up the last book — the one she'd been flipping through herself — and rises back to her feet.

The apology gets a quick, dismissive wave of a hand from Jessica. "No, no, seriously, it's fine! You were reading, so I can't even be mad. Principle of the thing."

*

Another small smile flashes over her lips, "Yeah, it really is. Just a bit overwhelming too. Got a /lot/ of reading to do. It's totally interesting, but on top of class work it's a major pain too.. You know?" She arched a brow, straightening.

"I've never had anyone be so chill with my bumping into them, granted I tend to bump into people only when I'm reading.." She bit her lower lip and laughed again.

"Pretty pathetic, I know."

*

Jessica laughs nervously, glancing towards the front door. "I haven't had classes in… a while. But I remember. Just, you know, do your best to prioritize," she smiles, shrugging a shoulder at her. "You should have a holiday break coming up soon, right? Exams are an imminent kind of thing, but family's not going anywhere. You have time." She assumes, anyway.

"Oh, pff. It's not pathetic. Do you know how many closed doors I've walked into because I was busy reading?" Jessica laughs, looking down at the book in her hands. "I've broken more pairs of glasses than… oh. Oh dear." She makes a face, lifting the book to inspect where the pages have begun to separate from the spine. "…nuts."

*

Lorna laughed faintly, and a grimace pulled at the corners of her lips. "Ah family is a bit complicated.." She bit her lower lip, glancing down at her books as she rearranged them in her grip.

"But yeah break soon, I dunno if I exactly /want/ to go home, but I kinda sorta would likely get into more trouble if I didn't go." She rolled her eyes and then noted the rip in the binding.

"Oh man, that blows!" She looked around, hoping no one had noticed the little spill or the split in the book.

*

Surely the book was damaged before Jessica dropped it, right? So she should not feel the least bit guilty about gingerly closing it and returning it to the shelf from whence it came, like it never happened. Nope. No guilt whatsoever.

This is gonna gnaw at her all day.

"Family! Complicated! Boy oh boy, do I hear that," Jessica says a little too brightly, shoving her hands into the pockets of her coat. Everything is fine! "I mean, at least you can visit, right? Even if it's awkward. I'd love to go see mine, but…" She makes a face. "No can do."

*

A wrinkle of her nose follows and Lorna rubs the bridge of her nose, glancing around to keep an eye out for employees that might note the book's state or something. She says nothing in regards to the other woman's act of putting it away. "Yes, I can.. I mean.." She exhaled, "But again, it's totally complicated. Kinda.. awkward too." She shrugged.

"Why can't you go home?" She asked, her voice soft.

*

From the look on Jessica's face, it seems like she genuinely didn't expect Lorna to ask. She blinks twice, straightening slightly. "Hm? Oh. Er." Well. The truth is absolutely not an option. Noone would believe it, anyway. "It's… complicated," she says instead, with a wince. "Sorry for the non-answer. Trust me, though, you really don't wanna know."

*

Lorna's eyebrows crinkle at that, and she pursed her lips together in thought. "If it helps any, I just found out that I was adopted and I've invited my birth-dad to my adopted family's Thanksgiving dinner? How's that for complicated, hmm?" She grinned sheepishly, and wiggled her eyebrows as if that might tempt an answer out of the other young woman.

"Especially since I have a feeling there's going to be some disagreements about .. politics and stuff. At the very least.." She bit her lower lip, and shifted her grip on the books in her arms.

"So yeah, I get complicated.."

*

"That does sound pretty complicated," Jessica muses with a wry, sympathetic smile. "I hope it goes okay. But even if it doesn't, it's just one night of awkward, right?" she says with a cheerful smile. "Your folks not getting along doesn't mean you have to cut off ties with anybody, it might just be… you know. Awkward. But nobody's ever died of awkward." If anybody would have by now, it's Peter Parker.

Er. Jessica Drew.

She casts a look back at the damaged book, bouncing anxiously on her toes. "…okay, that's gonna drive me crazy," she mutters, rolling her eyes at herself. "I need to run home for a couple dollars so I can come buy that thing."

*

A small laugh escaped her again, possibly a hint nervous as Lorna she mentions it being a day of awkward. "I dunno, no, no one has died of awkward. Still, I'm all kinds of worried." She sighed, watching as the woman looked around and then back at the damaged book.

At the mention of money though, Lorna is rolling her eyes and reaching for it. "Oh c'mon. I'll get it. I bumped into you and likely helped in damaging it. So, yeah let me get it. You wanted the book anyways?" She arched a brow, a smile on her lips. "I can afford one more book."

*

And the one book not related to Poland that has now joined Lorna's stack? A very large tome on human genetics.

"Are you sure?" Jessica asks with a grimace, holding up her hands. "You really don't have to, it wasn't… at least let me pay you back for it?" she asks helplessly, raising her eyebrows at her.

*

A shrug, "If you want to, sure. I won't say no. I am a college kid and all—full ride or not." She grinned, a flash of teeth as she started toward the cashier's.

Finally she glanced down at the title and whistled, "Genetics? And here I thought I was doing light reading with Electro-magnetics, magnetic fields and other assorted things." She laughed and glanced back at the other woman.

"I'm Lorna by the way."

*

"Jessica." After a pause, she makes a bit of a face. "'Jess' is fine. I should change it," she grumbles to herself, folding her arms across her chest. Ugh. "…but, uh. Nice to meet you."

Jessica does her best to ignore the look from the clerk when the notice the damage to the book. "I've always liked science, but I guess genetics are kind of a… a recent interest? And since I'm not in classes right now I thought, why not do some self-study? It's something to do."

*

Lorna flashes a smile at the look from the clerk, not offering so much as a complaint about the state of the book and pays full price. A few moments of digging into her purse and she finds the necessary cash to pay for the pile of books, before turning to hand the heavy tome off to Jess. "Well it's nice to meet you Jess." A beaming smile again.

"It's hard to find girls that like science. I'm thinking about going to geology, not sure. Still trying to figure things out. I just started at the Frost Institute, so I have time." She shrugs and pushes her hair from her face, settling the bag of her books on her arm.

"You should totally try auditing some classes to keep up, that's what I did this summer when I thought I wasn't going to get in for the fall. I got a /lot/ of rejection letters." She makes a face, huffing a breath. "But I lucked out and everything worked out. Still totally worth it to sit in where you can."

*

Jessica looks rather sheepish when she accepts the book from Lorna. "Thanks. I'll pay you back for it somehow," she promises, hugging the tome to her chest with both arms. First step: a job, probably. Oh god.

Jess turns to start moving slowly towards the door, keeping an eye on Lorna to see if she's coming along. "Science does seem like a bit of a guy-thing, doesn't it? Noone was ever particularly… encouraging, I guess, to the girls in my science classes," she murmurs thoughtfully, her brow furrowing as if she's only realizing this now. Huh. Weird.

*

A hand wave, "Eh, no rush. I don't really need spending money, but I've got it. Worked all summer to save up for classes and then got a free ride!" She grinned toothily, and followed along after Jess with a near skip in her step.

"But yeah, it's totally a guy thing. Like I think there's like two other girls in my class. And the Frost Institute is all over that gender equality and like.. equality entirely for everyone.. And it's just like.. Woah. I mean, back in high school none of my teachers really thought I was serious about science." She made a face.

"Pretty sure even my mom thought I was chasing after some boy or something. And it's not like I want to be a nurse either.. which is science, but like everyone expects girls to be nurses.. It's totally different to say that I'm interested in how rocks and things work."

*

"To be fair, they are rocks," Jessica notes with an amused smile. "I mean, how interesting could they possibly be? They just sit there. Bein'… rocks."

She speeds up to ensure she reaches the door first, but only so that she can open it and holds it for Lorna. Like a true gentleman. Right. "It's cool that you found a school like that, though. And scholarships. Or… grants?" All Lorna said was 'free ride,' so it could be either. "As long as the classes are good, too."

*

Another one of Lorna's infectious grins follows as Jess opens up the door for her. "Man, don't even get me started on how cool rocks and things can be. Like there's so much going on, in say, iron. It's one of the most common elements and covers most of the earth. And there are rocks that glow in the dark, are radio-active, and so much more." She shrugged, a roll of her shoulders.

As Jess gets the door, Lorna offers a cheery 'thanks!'. "Well, it was a merit grant and scholarship program. I'm honestly unsure how much was which. But I know everything's covered. The merit comittee approved me and man was that nerve wrecking. A whole mess of people interviewing me and asking what I could do for the school." She made a face, sticking out her tongue.

"But I guess they liked me well enough, cause I'm still going there!"

*

"'What you can do for the school.' Yikes, no pressure there," Jessica says with a laugh, following Lorna back out of the shop. That chilly wind is still there and it's enough to get her to hurriedly button up her coat, hunching her shoulders to try and keep her ears warm.

Stupid November. Was it always this cold in November?

"I'm sure you'll do great," Jessica says easily, keeping her arms wrapped around her book. "I better get this home before it blows away, though. If you wanted to, I could treat you to lunch or something tomorrow?" she suggests, nodding down the street. "I'm staying at the Baxter Building with — " …wait. " — some friends. So you could always find me there?"

*

The chilly wind as Lorna burrowing into her coat a mite more than before and she glances briefly at Jess, noting how the girl bent against the cold. "Yeah, it was kinda nerve wracking. But as far as tomorrow? Sure! Why not!" She shifted her grip on her books.

"I'll swing by. I've got my own car, so that shouldn't be too big a deal. I normally eat on campus, 'cause the food is free and it's totally the /best/," Her voice drops and she leans in close. "They'll make basically whatever you want. The joys of a private school." She winks and leans back.

"But I can totally go for food off campus too. I can swing by the Baxter Building. Lunch it shall be!"

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