The room was quiet, warm, and filled with the aroma of coffee and blueberry scones. Musicians tinkered around on the stage, fiddling idly with their instruments, and no one seemed to mind. Little groups of people huddled themselves around their respective tables, casually chattering, grateful that they have a place to socialise.

Outside, cool rain tumbled its way through the muggy air.

They sat in the back, in a shadowed corner by the edge of the stage.

"…So I said to the man, I said: 'fear not the probabilities, embrace the possibilities, because the future is wrought with them, and if you look upon the future from a positive perspective, you will feel the vibrations of knowing—knowing that you do not have high hopes for yourself, and therefore will be more able to reach your goals. It is a higher level of consciousness…" Pete tilted his beret dramatically and sipped his 'Caramel Macchiato'. Mocha eyed him lustily.

"Oh, Buddha-Boy, he who has reached the higher plane of imagination!" She flourished her long fingers and let them trail along his forearm. Bobby and Max exchanged confused looks.

"Riiiiight…" Bobby scoffed, "'Vibrations'. I assume these be 'Good Vibrations', du-ude, yeah?"

Pete Jr. scowled at him disapprovingly. At his side, Max chuckled lightly and tore a piece from his raspberry scone.

"I mean… those are the vibrations that really, like, count, right?" He continued sarcastically, "And they, like, move along the 'instant karma' with their waaaaaves…"

Mocha Girl frowned, having had listened to Bobby's comments for the last hour was grating on her nerves. She leaned forward on her elbow, "Look, fuzz-head," she snapped, "The B-Dog knows what he speaks through divine consciousness, unlike you, who talks out of blindness and the confusion of clouded energy."

Bobby shifted his tinted glasses on the bridge of his nose and cleared his throat, "You know, my little bongo-babe, why don't you explain to me exactly what you mean by that…you're kinda starting to hurt my delicate feelings, here, brah," he said confrontationally. He was getting tired of sitting on the sidelines. Beside him, Max was laughing nervously and nudging him gently to stop, but he ignored him. The poet was silent for a moment, but then a wide, impish grin spread across her full, red lips.

"Oh, you want me to read you?" She said mysteriously, "I'll have you know, that I'm one of the best readers around, 'brah'." She closed here eyes and tilted her head back in concentration, positioning her hands in a Buddha-like stance. Bobby looked at Max, who simply shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. When he turned back to the girl, she was leaning forward on the table and stirring her coffee with a long spoon.

"Okay, non-believer," she started slowly and casually, "From what I see in your energy, you…hide yourself from the people around you. This is most probably due to some traumatic experience from your childhood. You deny yourself, and try to drown yourself in your pot and drugs so that you don't have to face your divine identity. This probably has something to with your closeted ho—"

"Whoa! Jesus, Bobby! Watch—crap!"
Bobby had somehow managed to get a lukewarm cup of coffee from across the table into PJ's lap, and the large teen flailed his arms in a panic. "'Scuse me, my little mocha latte…I need to go discover the facilities." He left, leaving a little trail of puddles after him.

Max, Bobby, and Mocha Girl sat at the table; tension was thick in the air. Bobby pointed at the entrance.

"Smoke?" He said. It wasn't a question, and she sensed this. She scooted out of her seat, and the two walked out of the front door.

Max sat alone at the table, his face twisted in confusion. With a sigh, he decided to get another latte.

"How do you know those things? Who told you to say that?" Bobby bared his teeth.

They stood underneath the shallow shelter of the building. Two feet from them, drops of rain fell heavily against the slick concrete. Mocha Girl snickered and crossed her arms.

"I told you I was accurate," she grinned. The short-haired boy frowned.

"That…is…bullshit," he spat. Then his face changed…the anger dissolved into sadness, and he leaned back against the wall. He was silent for a moment, thinking. "Did…someone talk to you? Call you? A man or a woman?" He felt panic rush into his brain.

Mocha Girl laughed melodically and shook her head. "Wow," she said, "You are as dense as they come…" She stood at his side and touched his shoulder comfortingly. "I read you…I can see energies. I might sound kinda crazy, but it's not actually that uncommon. It's like seeing your emotions in colours." She squinted her eyes at him, "Like, right now, you're energy is kinda crazy and dark…you're scared…you feel threatened…and you're confused."

"Hell yes, I'm confused!" Bobby ran his gloved fingers across his scalp in frustration, "You know things about me no one was ever supposed to know, and you say it's because…you're psychic?"

She snorted. "I'm not 'psychic'," she said with a wave of her hand, "I'm just…more 'in touch' with people's emotions…it's a gift and a curse."

It was Bobby's turn to snort. "How could something like that be a 'curse'?"

"I meet head-cases like you."

"Ah. Ha."

Silence.

"So…" He started slowly, pinching the bridge of his nose as if his head hurt, "Let's just say you can, like, 'read me'," he looked at her, his brow furrowed and his eyes hidden behind his shades, "Finish what you were saying back inside."

She shifted her stance, putting her hand on her hip. "You mean right before you dumped coffee on my Buddha-Boy?"

"Duh."

She bit her bottom lip. "You know, I only really said those things to mess with you, because you were bringing down the karmic levels with your obnoxiousness…"

"Finish."

She nodded.

"Like I said before, you have insecurity issues, probably due to some past…something, so you try to make up for it by acting the weirdo…the clown." she leaned back against the wall, which was cold and damp from the moisture. "You hide yourself from the people around you, you have problems reaching out and trusting people. You obviously have repressed feelings for Max, and—"

"Stop."

"Huh?"

Bobby felt dizzy and nauseous. He slid down the wall and crouched on the ground, his hands covering his head. He felt like he could cry. Or throw up.

"You okay, Bob-boy?" Mocha Girl knelt down and laid a hand on his back, rubbing her light fingers in circles around his spine.

"I believe you…" He whispered, "I never told anyone about that before… Ever…"

She looked at him, and felt a wave of guilt wash over her. "Look, kid," she said, "You gotta get these things sorted out."

He lifted his face, staring out at the blank wall before them. "How could you tell…about that?" He said quietly.

"Your energy…it was reaching out to him, even if your body wasn't. I could actually tell before I knew your names, when you guys were just sitting inside." She laughed. "It was pretty funny, actually…you trying to flirt with me. Kind of pathetic."

Bobby emitted a coughing laugh, and she could tell that he was crying.

"Yeah…well, I was just trying…to…huh…I don't even know. I guess I was just trying to get attention…y'know…" His voice trailed off. "Sorry 'bout that."

"Don't worry about it, compadre. It wasn't too painfully irritating."

They sat like this, crouched down in the alcove in front of 'The Bean' coffee shop, the rain drizzling around them, encompassing the streets, the buildings. There were no more words exchanged, and half an hour later, Max and PJ emerged from the café, Bobby wiped his face and assumed a behaviour of extreme animation, and they went their separate ways.


"I should be being paid for this," Mocha Girl crossed her legs and settled back into the smooth, soft material of her couch. Across from her, sitting on a padded footstool, Bobby twiddled with his fingers and grinned weakly.

"Heh. You're asking a college kid about money," he said jokingly, "Obviously, you're not as all-knowing as you claim to be."

"I never claimed anything."

He shut up.

"Want some tea?" She got up and went over to the small kitchen area, "Might help you relax and get in touch with your inner you."

"Uh, sure. Inner me…like, my stomach?"

The dark-haired girl ignored him and set out two mugs while a pot of water simmered behind her. She returned to her spot on the couch, spreading her arms across the backboard casually. There was an awkward silence; Bobby stared at the patterned rug, his mind wandering.

"Uhm…do you want to start, much? Time is precious to me." She leaned forward. He jumped, snapping back into reality.

"Oh! Yeah, sorry. Spacing out, there…" He cleared his throat, "So, I guess I should start at the beginning, right? Yeah, so—"

"Glasses."

"What?"

"Off," she indicated at his shades, and he felt himself tense up.

"Uhhh…Is that really necessary…?"

"Hey, you're lucky I'm doing this for you. I'm taking time out of my life, my meditation time, my yoga time, my writing time…"

"Okay, okay! Jeez louise…" He slipped off the glasses and set them on the coffee table before him. He blinked, his eyes adjusting to the dim light of the apartment. He swallowed and began again:

"So, when I was in high school, it was, like, my senior year, and I kinda got into trouble for various things and got sent to see the school shrink, Mrs. Anderson. I really didn't want to go…you know, I thought she was going to try and get into my head and play weird mind games, but…she was actually pretty cool. She…she actually helped me a lot with my problems. And she kept everything, you know…under wraps. Nothing left that room, which was awesome. I told her a lot. About my problems at school, at home, with my parents, and drugs, and…I told her about my…'gay-ness', and she didn't, like, freak. I never told her 'zactly who I liked, and she never asked, which…yeah. That was fine.

"Anyway, after all that, she ended up getting sick and she had to, like, quit. It was awful. I was totally lost without this woman. So, 'the man' (uh, that's Prince Mazu-u-ur) ended up putting this other chick in, and I was supposed to go to her instead, but…man, I-I don't know, she, like, found my files, or something…because, the first time I went in to see her, she…like, was going on about my 'sins' and how my soul can still be saved. She totally freaked me out, and I got the hell outta there. Scared the shit outta me. Jesus. She was, like, telling me that if I went to church and found the right girl…it was, just…argh! ANYWAY, I skipped. I went home. Now, my dad, he usually worked until, like, 6:00, right? His car was parked out front, and it was only 4:00. It was really weird. So I went inside…and…uh…"

His voice trembled and broke.

"Uhm…so, he was inside waiting for me. He caught me when I was trying to sneak upstairs to my room to get my stuff, 'cuz I was gonna…I dunno, hide somewhere, and he just…grabbed me and started yelling at me. It was fucking insane. He was throwing me all over the place and b-beating the s-shit outta m-me…a-and…fuck."

He covered his face with his hands, trying to catch his breath and hold back the tears that filled his eyes. Mocha Girl stared at him, her arms crossed as if she were cold. The tea-kettle screamed.

"Take a moment, take a break. I'll get the tea," she went and switched off the bright-red, electric eye. The scream wobbled and died down. She poured the steaming liquid into two dark-green mugs, brought them out, and set them on the table. Bobby rubbed his round forehead, trying to compose himself. He wiped his nose on the sleeve of his light-green t-shirt and grinned weakly at the girl.

"Sorry. I've never told anyone about this before…" He chuckled, trying to lighten the mood, but it wasn't working very well, "It's kinda hard to…I dunno…say, I guess."

Mocha Girl sipped her tea, her legs were crossed on the seat of the couch. "It's the first step towards emotional and spiritual cleansing," she said bluntly, "Get it out of your system."

He nodded.

"So…" He continued, "I eventually got away, and I bunked at PJ's place. I just told him some crap about painting my room, or something. Then we graduated and came here. Yeah…so…" He paused for a moment, picking at the edge of his pants absentmindedly, "Uh…that's about it. Hey…" He looked up, "If you can read people, you can read Max, right?"

"No."

"Great! Then you can tell me if he's cool with…wait, what?"

"I said 'no'."

"But…why? Does he have, like, a magical force-field that makes it so you can't…like, see through it…an' stuff?"

"Oh, Bobby, Bobby, Bobby…" Mocha Girl stirred her tea with the tip of her finger, "I'm not going to make it that easy…this is something you guys need to work out for yourselves, got it? No shortcuts."

Bobby pouted and gulped his tea.

"Hey," she said.

"What?"

She shrugged her shoulders coyly. "I'm sorry about all that stuff that happened to you," she said sympathetically.

The orange-haired boy reddened slightly. "Meh, it's fine. It's done." He waved his hand dismissingly. He was silent for a moment. "I'm sorry you had to listen to my whining," he chuckled. He reached for his glasses. "I owe you one. Or two. I think it really helped…y'know…getting it off my chest. It's kinda been sitting there for a while…"

"Stagnating."

"Ri-ight, yeah. That."

"If you ever need to talk again," she said, getting up from the couch and leading him to the door, "feel free to call me. Well, within reason. No late night calls, or anything."

"Roger, ma'am."

"Don't call me 'ma'am'."

"…Right. Sorry."

She closed the front door behind him. Outside, the sun was shining brightly and the foliage on the ground below the apartment glowed with life.

He put his glasses back on and the world got a little bit darker.


*Authour's Note*

A longer chapter, which is good, right? A longer chapter filled with angst and totally fabricated back-story garbage. But it's fun, right?

None of the movies ever really delved into Bobby's character, so I was kinda free to wreak havoc. I could pretty much do anything I wanted...well, within reason. I tried to restrain myself.

This chapter, well, like the second half of it, I thought was a little less in character...it bothers me. Mocha Girl (yes, I didn't even try to make up some random name for her, so I refer to her simple as "Mocha Girl". Any problems with that?) is okay, I guess, but Bobby! He's such a comedic character, most of the time...well, I guess he has to have some sort of a balance. Meh. He'll liven up in the next chapter...

*Random Notes*

-Coffee: I know nothing about coffee, I don't drink it or anything, so anything coffee-related was pulled outta my ass. And the online Starbucks menu.

-"Reading": I know someone who can do this...kids can usually do it pretty easily, but it's rarer for adults to be able to do it. It does happen, though, and I thought it would be an interesting, hippie-esque addition to Mocha Girl's character (even though it is totally uncannon. Wow, I'm taking a LOT of liberties. I feel guilty.) It was also a REALLY CONVENIENT PLOT DEVICE, most importantly. Yep. Most people refer to it as "aura-reading". I can see them, too, if I try. It's kind of hard, but with practise, it gets easier. Pretty much anyone can do it, with confidence and instruction.