2007-02-06: Life The Universe And Coffee


Danny_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif Hailien_icon.gif

Summary: Coffee house banter at its finest

Date It Happened: February 6th, 2007

Life, The Universe, and Coffee

Common Grounds coffee shop, New York

It's a bright and shiny day in New York City, the sun beating down on the pavement outside the coffee shop. Inside, it's pleasantly cool, and a fairly brisk trade is being done. People seated around the various tables, a soft, background chatter of a dozen conversations going on at once, and everyone seems pretty happy and relaxed.

Danny is lucky, by the look of it. Although tables were filling up fast, he's snagged himself a corner, and is sat reading the paper, half a mug of cappuccino steaming away in front of him. He, too, seems to be in a good mood, doing the crossword, by the looks of it.

Once again, Common Grounds was Desiree's destination of choice. She doesn't know many places in NYC, after all, and they have good coffee; what's more, she might happen to see that girl she scared off the other night so that she can apologize again. Thus, the dark-haired woman is already set up in the coffee shop, huddled away at one of the tables opposite the corner Danny chose. Beside her is a cup of coffee, no longer steaming as it once was, and in her hand is a paperback mystery novel. There's a fluorescent green sticker on the cover that says '1/2 Price!'. Whatever she's reading seems to vex her a little - one finger wrapped around a strand of tight-knit curls, she tugs on it, jangling her earrings. Scoffing (almost snorting) at the fiction, she decides to jam a napkin in as a bookmark, and swipes her cup from the table as well as the book before standing.

Once again, appearing pretty much through the door, notebook -not- in hand, is Hailien. She may have lived in NYC for her whole life, but Common Grounds is like a second home to her, for some odd reason, so the fifteen-year-old-who-should-be-in-school, is instead inhabiting a chair somewhere between Desiree and Danny. Her hands are wrapped around a mug of something dark and that smells vaguely chocolately- she's just watching the crowds, for now.

Danny looks up at the snorting scoff, noting the book in Desiree's hands, he gives a bit of a smile. He couldn't read those things, any more. It was like action movies- ruined for him by his job. The man does, however, note Hailien. And his expression drops, it probably wasn't any of his business… but. The man raises one eyebrow, and says, quite clearly. "Shouldn't you be in school?" Not in any kind of mocking or nasty tone, but, instead, quite neutral. Curious, perhaps.

"Can you just top this off a little with some hot cocoa?" Desiree asks pleasantly of the barista on duty as she saunters up to the counter. When she's met with a 'no, you'll have to order it separately', her thin shoulders shrink down. "Well alright then." She looks down into her half-full cup (she's an optimist! … although her expression is one of droopy puppy dog eyes at the moment), concedes, and wanders away from the counter. Instead of returning to her former spot, she drops into a couch at random, closer to the others in the cafe. Again, she tries to read, but a moment later she just snorts again. "Stupid fake thriller," she mumbles under her breath, more pouty over the whole thing than a cheap book really warrants.

Hailien peers over at Danny. "Technically, yes." She says, her voice quiet as she downs the rest of her caffeine. "Technically, however, no one has even realized I'm gone, yet." There's a wry hint of amusement, but she does check the time- "But I should have to be going now, as I do wish to get back before they realize I have gone."

Danny gives the girl a very long look, and just shakes his head. What /was/ it with kids these days? No respect! He tuts, "You do that." And gives a look over at the woman and her novel. There is a wry smile on his features, then, and he just shakes his head. He wasn't one for reading books all that often. And Desiree's reaction to the thriller reaffirmed that decision in his mind, as he turns his attention back to his newspaper, and it's crossword. Sucking the end of his pen as he tries to work out a particularly tough one.

Finally giving up on the book, Desiree thumps it onto the couch beside her indignantly and eyes it as if it's going to jump up and retaliate against her. But that's all the anthropomorphizing she gives the novel for today. Wrapping her hands fully about her cup, she lifts it up to her face, sips, and looks around the coffee shop. The woman's eyes are widened, glittering with a very bored sort of curiosity toward the others around her: she watches Hailien leave, blinks at a man ordering a croissant and a drink she can't even pronounce, regards Danny doing his crossword. Her idle attention is mostly on the puzzle - she's close enough that she can make out the letters, if she squints. "You lookin' for fourteen across?"

Danny looks up, nodding slightly. "Yeah, yeah I am." He replies, "Never was any good at these things, you know? Don't know why I bother with 'em at all, honestly." He flashes a brief smile, eyeing the poor, abused novel. "Given up on your book there, eh? I can't blame you. Most of 'em wouldn't know the reality if it walked up and bit them, heh." He turns the newspaper a bit, so that she can get a clearer view of the puzzle. "Got any ideas, though? I'm stumped."

Desiree rolls her eyes knowingly, glancing to the book beside her. When the paper is brought into better view, she squints again and points around her cup. "'Endocrine cell group: islet of blank? … I think it's 'Langerhans'. Yeah," she offers, punctuated by a sip of lukewarm coffee. "L-A-N-G-E-R… hans. I ain't normally no good at those silly things either, but I got a eye for the medical questions." There's another quick sip of coffee and then the Southerner pipes up again. "Yeah, I picked up that book for somethin' cheap and interesting to read, but it's just so…" Desiree shakes her head swiftly. "It's got this police fella in it can see the future. What kinda mystery's that, right?"

Danny chuckles, nodding his head slowly. Well. He didn't have a clue what that was, but, it fit. So he scrawls it in slowly, a smirk on his features. "Yeah. Well, truth is, most police work isn't really that interesting at all. Hard to write an exciting book about the truth of the matter, y'know? So, either you wind up with these super-wizard cops who solve it all overnight, or you got to throw in a gimmick like that. Sounds pretty bad to me, though."

"Yeah, it's pretty … crackers," Desiree decides, but it's quiet; for a second, she looks pensive as she eyes the confounded book sidelong. "So are you a cop?" she asks all of a sudden, chipper. "I ask 'cause most people think police work is exciting work, cops and robbers. Only people who work at somethin' talk like that about their jobs. They got the insight."

Danny hesitates for a moment, and then shrugs, "Uh. Well. Yeah, I am, kinda. Don't do so much of the regular work these days. I'm in the Special Weapons and Tactics division. So I deal with a lot of the more, uh, high risk situations. But, yes, I guess that's right. Before I started doing the job I didn't think much about the way things really work. But I've been doing the job… a good long while now."

Dezi's defined eyebrows shoot way up into her forehead when Danny gives the title of his job. It's just… an impressive title. "I didn't know that was like— a real division. Sounds like it's from the movies," she says; the woman smiles with amusement then, one hand leaving her cup to thumb at her novel. "Or one of these books. Anyhow, it sounds dangerous. 'Specially bein' in New York and all. This place's somethin' else. Really somethin' else."

Danny laughs slightly, shaking his head, "No, we do exist. Uh, you might be more familiar with the term SWAT team. It's not that dangerous, really. I mean, it can be, but, we've got most situations down to procedure, these days. So long as nobody messes up, we generally pull through pretty good. We know what we're doing, after all. 'course… sometimes mistakes /are/ made, but, it doesn't happen as often as people think. Heck, most of the time, we don't even need to fire a single round."

"Oh yeah, yeah," Desiree says, bobbing her head in understanding. "Well. Y'all are doin' good work. 'Specially if no one gets hurt most of the time." She taps her cup with one shorn, hot pink fingernail thoughtfully, watching the tap-tap-tap before regarding Danny again. "You like what you do?" Idle chatter between strangers though it is, she seems sincerely interested.

Danny nods solemnly, no longer smiling, he's quite serious about his work. "Yes." He says simply. "I like it, I feel like I get to help New York. Save innocent lives, and every day, when I go home, I know that… I've made the world a little bit safer." He chuckles, "Listen to me, talking like that. It ain't like in the movies, but, I don't know what I'd do if I weren't a cop. It's… what I've always wanted to be."

Desiree, her observant hazel eyes focused evenly on Danny, nods more slowly as he gives his answer. "That's real valiant," she says sincerely. It's not flattery. It's just how she sees it. She glances down and picks at her fluffy collar (of the sweater-like jacket she still wears, even though she's been inside for awhile now), a hint of sullenness passing her features. But it passes, so when she gives the reason, she's chipper again, just like that. "I had a job like that once, savin' lives. Not the same way you do. I was a paramedic though. For a few years."

Danny looks a little surprised at that, "Really?" He asks. "Wow. Now that's something I could never do. I can't remember facts'n figures to save my life, let alone someone elses." The comment on his own valor… that is just completely ignored. Move on, nothing to talk about there, nothing at all! "So… what do you do now, if you don't mind me asking?"

Desiree shrugs a little, avoiding eye contact for a few seconds. Modest? Yes. She's also a little uncomfortable about her past career, it would seem. "Oh, this 'n' that," she answers with a slightly self-deprecating smile. "Right now I'm a midwife. …Sometimes. Sometimes I make cupcakes. And candy. You know, little artistic like ones?… funny, like." She takes a drink of coffee, only to find that her cup is empty.

Danny nods slowly, "Really? Wow. Well. At least you are doing what you love, I guess. That's the real important thing. Finding something that'll make you happy. Like I told my brothers. Don't matter what you wind up doing, so long as you can be happy doing it. Heh. If more people'd think that way, I reckon the world would be a much happier place."

"Yeah… I guess so," Desiree says at first, sounding a wee bit unconvinced. "I mean, you're right--" she tacks on hurriedly, her brow furrowing at the notion that she may somehow seem like she's disagreeing with her unenthusiastic words. "Don't get me wrong, I like what I do, but it wasn't-- but I like too many things. No one can do everythin', you know? I just gotta wonder, is there one thing someone's good at? One big thing they're meant to do in their life? Then what happens if you don't go through with it?" The woman breaks into a silly smile and laughs all of a sudden, rolling her eyes at herself as she leans ahead to deposit her cup on a coffee table. "Listen to /me/ now, goin' on like some I-don't-know-what and I don't even know your name. I'm Desiree, Desiree Ma— uh, Russo. Desiree Russo."

Danny chuckles, shaking his head, "Don't worry about it." He says, "I think we all get a bit… carried away about that kind of thing sometimes. I'm Danny, Danny Flint. It's night to meet you, Desiree." He drinks down the last of his coffee, before depositing it, too, on the table, and leaning back. "They way I figure it, life's… too short to think about that kind of thing. What's the point in getting all upset about what you should be doing? The only thing you should be doing, really, is what you wanna be doing. Know what I mean?" He adds, after a moments thought. "It's… only when things move to stop you doing that, that's when you might want to start worrying…"

Desiree observes the man for a moment or two, considering. Spell broken, she sits back against the couch with a *flump* and gives Danny a comically wide-eyed, brows-raised, helpless expression and throws her hands up in the air. "Well it's good to meet you, Danny Flint, but that ain't no help at all!" she scolds in good-humour, smiling all the while. "Hell. You're lucky, that's what you are."

Danny grins, and nods, "Don't I know it." He says, "And I say thanks every day." He winks, apparently quite amused by the womans reaction. He shrugs slightly, "Still. It's true. Tell you what, my brother, he's a chef in this nice little italian place. If you think it might be cooking you are into, I can talk to him, see if he can set you up with a proper cooking job, if you like? He sure seems to go through assistants at a fair rate. I'm sure he's got an opening."

Desiree smiles thankfully at Danny. "That's real kind of you, but what I cook ain't normally even worth paper money. Bakin' cupcakes is one thing, that's all well and fine, but anythin' else and well— I just try. Besides, I got other avenues of employment. I'm just a visitor here in this big city, I'm deliverin' my friend's baby," she gestures in a random direction. "Over at Mount Sinai? Yeah. I'm okay."

Danny chuckles slightly, and nods. "Sure. Sure." He says, nodding, "Well. You enjoy your stay, it's a great city. You can find pretty much anything here, if you look hard enough. Take some time and take it in, you know? Never know. You might find something worth staying for after all."
"Oh, I don't know about that," Desiree says with a one-sided smile that is, nevertheless, bright. "I'll try to take some time for sight-seein' though, after my friend has her baby and I'm done takin' care of her. What do you think's worth bein' a tourist over?"

Danny hesitates for a moment, seeming to ponder the question carefully. "Hrm. Let's see. Empire State Building is a good one. And the Statue of Liberty of course. Really good view from up there. Other than that, well. We got a lot of museums around, those are usually worth a visit or two, if you are into that kind of thing. Central Park, as well. You know, that's a real good place to go and just… unwind a bit. Huge place, bigger than people think. Heh. Those are the big ones, though. Definitely worth seeing before you head back."

Desiree listens intently, making a mental list in her head, no doubt. "Thanks," she tells Danny, and again, she sounds very sincere. There's a pause. "…I'ma get so lost. I might need to join one of them tour groups, get guided around like a stray puppydog. Anyhow, I should get goin'. Thanks for the chat." The woman pushes up from her spot on the couch and almost forgets to grab her book; she snatches it as a second thought, holding it up with a silly grin and roll of her eyes. "Good luck savin' people, and have a nice rest-of-the-day!"

Danny nods, smiling, "Good luck!" He says, "No shame in a tour group, either. Shouldn't be too hard to pick one up. And I'm sure I'll do just fine." He gives a friendly nod and a little wave as Desiree makes her exit, and waves someone over to get him a second coffee. After all, he still had a good half of this crossword to finish… and it was going to take him a heck of a lot longer without someone to give him a hand.

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