Title: Apathy and Empathy (Chapter 1)
Rating: PG- 13
Disclaimer: I don't own anything except for an attitude problem, a crate of beer and a bloody awesome cat.
Summary: Set some time after the Webster's find out about Kevin's affair. Sophie and Sian haven't met yet, and ''the fall'' hasn't happened. (Yet?)
A/N: Please let me know if you enjoy this chapter, and if I should continue. Feedback would be appreciated, even if it's constructive criticism :)
Christ, how many bloody tins of beans does one shop need? Sophie's been going through the monotonous and utterly boring task of stacking shalves for the past half hour. Busying herself with ensuring that all the labels are facing exactly forward (Apparently, according to Dev, it 'encourages the customer to buy the products.') She thinks it's a load of rubbish, really. Can't remember being in a supermarket and thinking ''Oh, I'd have bought that if only the tin had been arranged differently on the shelf.''
Still, it gives her something to do aside from allowing her thoughts to drift back to her messed-up home life, or the fact that she's dropped out of college and was quite possibly going to end up being a shop-girl for the rest of her life. (Much to her mum's utter horror.) Finally finishes stacking the tins of beans and moves on to her own personal favourite: Bottles of ketchup! (Why the hell do the bottles ALWAYS have to be so bloody sticky?) Wipes her hand on her t-shirt and sighs to herself.
It's not that she doesn't like working here. Although, Dev can be a complete muppet sometimes and has more irrational mood swings than anyone Sophie has met before in her life. But Sunita has become something of a friend to Sophie. Always has an air of empathy about her that the brunette finds rather comforting, and on several occasions has made Sophie's time at work almost bearable. Enjoyable, even. It's certainly got Sophie through some difficult times since she first started working at the shop just over a week ago.
She hears the door open, plasters her trademark fake smile across her face (Customers don't want to buy things from someone who looks miserable, Dev keeps telling her) as she turns to see who just walked in. Observes a strikingly beautiful girl about her own age, with blonde hair and perfectly blue eyes, storm into the shop quickly followed by a sheepish-looking boy who has the worst haircut Sophie has ever seen in her life. (No, REALLY.)
''Because, Ryan..'' The blonde yells in the boy's direction. ''She was blatantly flirting with you right infront of my face. And you just stood there and let her! Actually, no. You encouraged her!''
Great, Sophie thinks to herself. A full on domestic is just what I need at work. Glances up to the couple again as the guy grabs a can of soup off the shelf, lightly tugging at the blonde's arm desperately.
''Look, come to mine for lunch. I'll make us soup, I've got some bread in for us to have with it.'' Sophie almost laughs out loud, thinks How romantic to herself as the blonde turns round, glares at him angrily. ''Oh, come on, you know I'm not interested in her! You're much fitter than she is anyway.'' The guy adds.
This seems to anger the blonde even more, and Sophie finds herself forgetting about those bloody ketchup bottles and instead watches the couple out of the corner of her eye. (Well, it's not like she has anything more interesting to do with her time, is it?)
''Oh, you think she's fit, do ya? And don't think you can buy me off with a tin of bloody soup for lunch either!'' The blonde yells back at him, causing Sophie to smile to herself. The guy is clearly an absolute idiot and, from what Sophie has seen in the past few seconds, the blonde is blatantly way out of his league. And not just in the personality department either...
Sophie goes back to placing the ketchup on the shelf, shuddering every time her hand comes into contact with a sticky patch on the bottle. (Seriously, can't the people who pack them in the factory wipe them or something?) Pretends not to be listening to their conversation.
The guy (Ryan, apparently) makes his way over to the till, looks at Sophie expectantly as she tries not to roll her eyes. Shoves the box of ketchup onto the floor and walks over to the till, quickly ringing up the soup and handing it back to him.
''Anything else?'' Sophie asks him, trying to fake a smile. (Sophie isn't sure why, but sometimes she simply instantly dislikes someone. Right now is one of those occasions.)
''Want some coke or anything, Sian?'' Ryans turns back round to his girlfriend, who is currently rooting through the frozen ready-meals, with a hopeful expression on his face.
''No, soup is fine.'' Sophie grins again, noticing the sarcastic tone in the blonde's voice. She doesn't blame her really. The idea of eating some mingin' soup from a tin with a guy who seemed to have gotten his hair cut by a blind person didn't really appeal to Sophie either.
Ryan nods, hands Sophie a fiver and waits expectantly for his change. Grunts as she hands it back to him and turns back round to Sian.
''You coming or what?'' He asks her, hovering uncertainly in the doorway. Eugh, tell him to bog off, Sophie thinks.
Sian sighs dramatically, turning to look at him with an exasperated look on her face.
''Well, I need to find something for me tea aswell, don't I? My dad's just gonna order in another pizza and I'm gonna end up the size of a house if I'm not careful!''
''Aw, you look fine to me, babe.'' Ryan says with a sleazy grin, striding over and wrapping his arm around Sian's waist. Much to Sophie's dismay, Sian's scowl vanishes and she giggles slightly, seemingly conceeding defeat.
''Look I'll go and heat this up for us, yeah? Meet back at mine?'' Ryan pleadingly asks.
''Alright, just don't make me late for college this time.'' Sian replies, slapping him playfully on the arm. Ryan grins as though he's just won the lottery, scampers out of the shop like an untrained puppy.
Sian glances at Sophie then, rolls her eyes slightly as she brings one of the frozen ready-meals up to the till. (Probably even more unhealthy than a pizza, Sophie muses to herself as she scans it. Not that the blonde needs to watch her weight, she notices. Sophie would kill for a figure like hers.)
''Men, eh?'' Sian says to Sophie as she rolls her eyes once more. ''Can't live with them...''
''Can't get away with murdering them..'' Sophie finishes, putting the meal in a bag and flashing Sian a smile which only broadens when Sian laughs loudly and nods in agreement.
''Yeah, you've got that right. Dunno why we bother with them most of the time.'' The blonde replies as she hands over exactly the correct change. (Why can't more people bother to do that?)
''Urr, I know, right? My boyfriend Lee can be proper annoying sometimes. Although he's a footballer, so I guess it's in their genes to be annoying. Probably something to do with lack of braincells.'' Sophie isn't lying. God, that boy really is annoying. She's not sure why she's even with him actually, other than the fact that she's mildly flattered by his attention, and her sister Rosie says they're ''Like, totally adorable together.''
''Hold on, Lee as in the guy who goes to Weatherfield college?'' Sian asks curiously, continuing after she sees Sophie nod. ''Spikey hair, plays football for our county? Threw up all over the place at Ryan's party last week?'' She adds with a laugh.
''Yeah, that's the one.'' Sophie replies, frowning in confusion for a few moments before her brain finally clicks. ''Ohhh! Ryan as in...'' Sophie trails off, gesturing towards the shop door in the same direction as the blonde's boyfriend had walked off in.
''Yeah, they're like best mates. Took Ryan ages to clean up that sick, too! He even tried to get me to do it!'' Sophie laughs. Sian definitely doesn't seem like the type of girl who would agree to clean up sick at some spotty teenage boy's party. ''And you're...Sophie, isn't it?'' The blonde asks.
''Yeah, how'd you...?''
''Lee talks about you all the time. It's quite sweet, actually. Well, for a lad, anyway.''
''Oh right. We've only been going out a few weeks, so...'' Sophie trails off, shrugging slightly.
''Was wondering why we hadn't met you yet. Me and Ryan were starting to think you didn't exist!'' Sian picks up her bag, taking a few steps towards the door before turning round slightly. ''You going to Lee's party next week?''
''Eugh, yeah, I think so.'' Sophie had been trying to find an excuse not to go ever since Lee had told her about it a few days ago. Would rather spend time alone in her room than go to some tragic party where everyone feels the need to get totally splattered and embarrass themselves. ''Hopefully he won't throw up this time.'' She adds, half frowning, half laughing.
''Me and Ryan are going too.'' The blonde states. ''So, I'll probably see you there then. Bye!''
Sophie watches the blonde as she leaves the shop, finds herself slightly jealous. God, if I was that stunning, I'd definitely have to set up a fan club for myself. I'd print t-shirts with my face on and everything. Glances down at her frumpy, stained workclothes and thinks that she'll definitely have to make more of an effort for Lee's party.