Word Count: 1413
Spoilers: Through Cocktails.
Summary: A chance meeting at the supermarket.
Note: This, uh, was actually very difficult to write because I was writing from Katy's POV. So I hope I didn't...screw up horrifically.
Katy glances up, tearing her gaze away from reading the calorie count on the back of a Campbell's tomato soup can. It's her weekly shopping trip. She's run out of granola and fat-free yogurt. She should also pick up another quart of milk. Her old one might have gone bad.
"Katy, right? The purse girl."
She can't place him at first. His face is leaner, less boyish, and his beard lends him a scruffiness that makes his teeth stand out when he smiles. He seems to have gotten in shape since the last time she saw him, on that stupid Booze Cruise with Jim. Roy, she remembers, and he proposed to his girlfriend, that mousy receptionist Pam. It was so sweet. She wishes things like that happened to her.
"Yeah. Hi. Roy," she says, trying not to be overeager.
"Hey, yeah. You're, uh, you're shopping here." Wow, his teeth really are nice.
"Oh, yeah. I live around the corner. Convenient and everything. And I ran out of granola." She gestures to the bag in her basket with a tilt of her head, feeling her cheeks flush like a teenager. He's really cute. She's always thought that. But now -- even more so.
Roy scratches the back of his head with one hand. "I'm pretty regular here too. Haven't seen you though. I mean, until now. You know. What's up?"
"Oh -- nothing. Still the purse girl." She laughs and it sounds too unrestrained to her. She cuts it off abruptly. "So how are you? Are you, uh, still at that paper company?"
He's quiet for a minute. Then: "Yeah. Still at Dunder-Mifflin."
"That's...good. I mean, with the boss and everything." She laughs again. "Um. How's Pam? You guys got married last year, right? How was the wedding?"
There's another pause. "Actually... We didn't. She, uh, we, uh, broke up. Before the wedding." She notices his fist clenching and unclenching at his side, and his face tightens. "But she's. She's still working at Dunder-Mifflin too. With Halpert."
Jim's name sounds short and mean coming from his lips. But despite herself, Katy's interests are perked. Roy is single and she hasn't heard about Jim since he dumped her. "How is Jim doing?" she asks.
Roy's lips go white as he presses them together, stiff, and there's tension in his shoulders. He makes a grunt in return. Maybe he doesn't want to hurt her feelings. Maybe Jim's dating someone else.
"So what've you got? Leading the bachelor life?" she changes the subject and tries to peer into his red shopping basket. A brief glance of its contents include several steaks, various Swanson's TV dinners, a box of Frosted Flakes, a six-pack of beer. Boy food. "You don't have any milk."
"Oh. Yeah. I mean, I didn't get any last time either. Um. I've been eating cereal dry." Roy's grin is sheepish. "Pam used to do the shopping and she always remembered the milk and stuff."
"Well." Katy strengthens her grip on her own basket and shoots him a look, challenging. "We should get you some then. And probably some green vegetables."
His grin grows broader. "Probably."
They get dinner together at Gabe's Diner after finishing their shopping. He carries her groceries for her, hefting the weight as if it's nothing. It makes her imagine what he was like in high school, though she's probably unwittingly cheered against him at some point. A handsome quarterback. Nice dimples. Sweet to girls and chivalrous. A flirt. Could win a fight.
He orders a hamburger -- medium rare -- with cheesy fries and a Coke. She orders a bowl of chicken noodle soup and a Caesar salad with ranch dressing. The lettuce leaves are limp. She never comes here because the salads aren't very good. She steals one of Roy's fries. He pushes the plate closer to her.
"I don't usually come here," he says, wiping ketchup from his mouth. "I usually go to Poor Richard's."
"They have good wings at Poor Richard's," she adds, feeling stupid. Well, it's true. And if there's a Steelers game on, they're only twenty-five cents.
His face brightens. "Yeah, they're so good! I mean, I went and visited my brother Kenny in Philly, but the wings there just weren't as good."
"Gabe's has the best burgers though." Katy eyes his. She doesn't like to eat heavily in the evening. It makes her feel fat. Still. She stirs her soup and watches the layer of oil glisten on top.
Roy nods and makes an affirmative noise through a mouthful. His eyes crinkle at the corners when he smiles. It's completely adorable. She bites her bottom lip. Well, why not? It's not like either of them are attached. But he seems upset about the Pam thing. Who wouldn't though? They were together for, like, forever, which was so romantic. Of course he's a little bit upset.
He offers to get them a milkshake, to share. Katy thinks about '50s soda fountains, bobby socks and poodle skirts. Handsome boys in letterman jackets with their hair combed back and movie star smiles. It makes her feel young and innocent.
She chooses mint chocolate chip. He tells her it's his favorite.
"So. I can, uh, bring this up for you if you'd like."
She can't tell if he's nervous or not because it's dark out, and the light's on at the other end of the street. But she thinks she hears him shuffle his feet and her housekey is pressed firmly into her palm.
"That'd be great," she says, and hopes her voice doesn't shake.
Roy takes off his shoes when they get into her apartment, neatly sliding them to stand by the door. She used to take hers off too, but all the boys she brought home didn't, and it just seemed too embarrassing to tell them that she didn't want them to track sand over her rug -- too much effort. She just vacuums three times a week now.
He stands in her living room in his threadbare socks and puts the bags of groceries by the couch.
"Oh, wait. I should have put them in the kitchen -- " He starts to grab the bags again.
"Hey, no, it's totally okay." She takes off her coat and hangs it up. "Do you want something to drink? A beer or something? Water? Juice?"
"Yeah. A beer would be great." He sits down, gingerly, on the edge of her couch. "Thanks."
She hands him a cold bottle of Guinness when she comes back, condensation clouding the glass. His fingers curl around it and he takes a sip.
"Nice place," Roy says, looking around. "Is that your family?" He nods towards the framed photograph on her wall above the television.
"Yeah." Katy turns towards it. She's sixteen in the picture. They were on vacation, the last one before her mom died. You can't see that she's sick, from the way she's smiling. Her sister Lily's hand is twined through Katy's, standing next to their father; they're the ones that look sick.
"Pam. She liked to put her art up on the walls." His eyes look sad. So the breakup wasn't mutual. "Good art and shit. She was good. At art."
Katy sits down next to him, puts a hand on his forearm. "Sorry. About Pam."
"Nah." He puts the Guinness on her coffee table. It's going to leave a ring. "It wasn't your fault." He frowns down at his hands and she thinks he's going to say something, but he doesn't.
"I'm sure it wasn't your fault either," she says.
He's silent. After a second he gives a brusque chuckle and rubs his palms against his thighs. He puts a hand over hers and his skin is damp. "Hey."
"Yeah?" She flips her hair over one shoulder.
"Do you wanna go out for dinner sometime? I mean -- besides tonight. Or maybe see a movie." He's licking his lips, seems a little nervous.
Katy glances at him, studies his expectant eyes through her dark lashes.
He smiles. "We can talk about high school -- remember the homecoming game senior year? We totally kicked your asses." He sounds like he did on the Booze Cruise, happy.
"You did not! It was close!" she protests.
Roy's hand is still over hers, and she doesn't move.
The next day she goes and buys a print for the wall.
She can't draw like Pam, but it's something.