2007-05-26: Meeting Over Coffee


Desmond_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif


Desmond and McAlister run into each other. Literally. Coffee is spilled, a Gucci suit is ruined, and an autograph is given.

Date It Happened: May 26th, 2007

Meeting Over Coffee

Midtown West

9 AM: Midtown. That means delivery trucks growling through the city streets, taxis running suits late for work in the direction of Wall Street, and the fragrances of restaurants cooking a dozen ethnic breakfasts. The sidewalks are heavy with foot traffic, the streets not jammed, but busy enough.

In the theatre district, down the Great Wide Way, comes one young lady who eyes the bright sky through sunglasses, giving every impression of a baleful stare. Light. Bad. Burning /hate ball/ up there in the sky. A bag is slung over her shoulder, a packet tucked under that same arm - a tyvek mailer obviously containing paperwork of some sort. She's got coffee in her other hand, drinking liberally as she moves, with purpose, along Theatre Row.

It's rather unusual to see Desmond Cusick up and about at this time of day. Sometimes he doesn't get to /sleep/ until 9:00AM, let alone walk around New York. Today is different, however; he actually had to be at the theatre to greet the upholsterers. That was at eight. Now, an hour later, the actor is just stepping out of Le Petit Theatre. In his hand is a cup of half-finished coffee, and on his face is a pair of Ray-Ban, blue-tinted wraparound sunglasses. The rest of him is clad in an expensive khaki Gucci suit over an open-collared white shirt. Just because it's God-early in the morning doesn't mean he has to dress like a bum. As soon as he's out of his theatre, Desmond digs into his pocket to pull out a cell phone and dials a number, heading on down the crowded sidewalk without much care. He's not really paying attention to where he's going, but he manages to avoid bumping into people by sheer luck, or perhaps some strange sixth sense that every native New Yorker possesses. Whatever the case, luck can only take him so far; he may or may not be heading on a collision course with McAlister.

Given that the rather unassuming woman is heading for the theatre? It's a definite possibility. It becomes a firm /reality/ when, mid drink, that coffee cup meets Theatre Owner chest, and presents the interestingly warm and moist situation of coffee. Going everywhere. Admittedly, mostly on her.

She's not a native. She's from Jersey. The epithets are no less colorful, however, and only start off speculating about his canine ancestry, and in three sentences have ranged from there to comments about needing glasses and how much of a bodily orifice he is.

There's a rather impressive rhythm to it. "Christ - " She shakes out her hand, sending coffee splattering on the sidewalk. "And that was my last five, too, you ass."

MMm. New York.

The DJ is not the only one who was carrying coffee, though, and Desmond's isn't so kind as to spill all over /her/ either. Nope. It's a good thing his was lukewarm after having spent an hour out in the world, otherwise he'd have burns in addition to the large brown stain that has now spread over his shirt and jacket. He stands in stunned silence, arms half-lifted, mouth parted in a shocked and grave displeasure. When McAlister dares to begin insulting him, the actor's indignation grows still further. "/Excuse me/?" he huffs, pocketing the cell again in order to free up a hand and pull his wet shirt off his skin. "This is a /Gucci suit/!" And it is /much/ more important than her last five.

Ali moves to swat him with the tyvek and paperwork - it's not substantial, but, hell, she's got a temper. And it flares. Her free hand - having tossd the battered paper cup aside - is mirroring his gesture with her battered sweats. "Yeah, well it just goes to show that you can't buy taste, huh?" Another attempted swat, and she moves to go past him. The theatre's /right there/, and it's obvious what her destination is. "Suits. Christ."

Fwuh! Splutter!

First he's bumped into and one of his suits is ruined; /now/ he's being /assaulted/ by a woman with a tyvek. This only feeds Desmond's initial shock and now he is well and truly incensed. He brings an arm up reflexively to protect himself from the attack, though it's really not much of one to begin with. "Wh— ! /Hey/!" What did he ever do to deserve this? /Nothing/. Nothing at /all/. The second swing really takes the cake, and when Ali moves to get past him, Desmond reaches out to snag her by the arm. "/Hey/. Not so fast. I think you owe me something." Like an apology, maybe?

She's snagged, and yanks - she's not the strongest; it's not likely that first yank does much - temper certainly flared. That rich, unusual voice of hers managing a dangerous edge worthy of a USA special, "I don't /owe you/ anything. I don't even know who you- " And then she gets a good look at his face, and trails off for just long enough for it to be noticible. Then? She's right back into it. "Let go - I've got work to do."

If Desmond spent any time listening to the radio, he would probably recognize that voice. Unfortunately, any music he /does/ listen to is either on satellite radio or an iPod. Technology kills the radio star.

That brief hesitation is enough for something to click in the actor's head, however. If this is a fan, someone who recognizes him, he's going to be seriously damaging his reputation if he acts like a complete ass (kinda like what he's doing now, really). He calms considerably and obediently relinquishes his hold on Ali. "Then let me at least give you an apology," he utters in a much less aggravated tone. "I should have been paying more attention. I'm sorry." He starts digging around in his pocket again, this time for his wallet. "I'll pay for that coffee."

His calm deflates her temper pretty darned quick - but it leaves her with a vague surliness that's probably more of a wish to be justified than a real emotion. Makes her growl, a bit, though, "No. Forget it. Seriously." She reaches up to rub at her arm - it means letting go of the sweatshirt, though. "It's just coffee, right?" There's something self-conscious in how she looks down at that mailer, though - hey, look, the name: Desmond Cusick, La Petite Theatre. Big handwritten /print/ letters. Hard to miss, if you're paying attention, but she does her best to cover that up. "The cleaners on fifth and A is pretty good - they can.. uh. Probably get that out." She nods at his suit.

Desmond isn't paying attention. It's just by chance that he happens to spot his name — in the process of looking down at his wallet, it catches his eye. Both eyebrows go up when he spies it, and now things start to make a little more sense. Oh-ho-ho. /Ho-ho/. He closes the billfold again, looking to Ali's face with a faint smirk. "I know a cleaner who can work miracles. I'll be fine." A nod is given toward the theatre he just left. "Heading that way? It's not open yet." That thing about being an ass? It's back.

Ali nods, "Yeah. My - uh. Look. My boss asked me to bring this by - " She offers it to him. The mailer, anyway - and, yes, she looks decidedly uncomfortable. "WNYU. It's something about advertising." And yes, she has the good grace to wince. "Don't ask me - I just work the night shift, right?"

Desmond's face lights up with recognition as he accepts the mailer, tossing aside his coffee cup without a care. He's careful to keep it away from his stained clothes as he examines it a moment, then tucks it under one arm. "Thank you." Then, the smile is back with a little more force, and he extends a hand toward Ali genially. "What was your name again?"

You know, sometimes you can /see/ what goes through someone's mind in a brief instant - and it's obvious that there's a moment of debate, a second before this woman actually decides to, with some resignation, give up a name. Reaching out and shaking that hand, she offers, "Alyssa McAlister. Ali. I.. saw your Sweeny Todd. It was fantastic." That's offered at a murmer. "Uh. I should probably offer to pay for the cleaning, right?"

GAME: McAlister has rolled I'M NICE HONEST! and got a result of SUPERB.

The returned handshake is firm and solid, but certainly not overly so. It doesn't last too long and is accompanied by unwavering eye-contact and that same smile. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Ali. It's always nice to meet a fan." Even if she's, well, not one. At least not the screaming fangirl sort. It's hard to explain, but something about this woman just inspires a sense of well-being and camaraderie — which is a bit odd for Desmond, since he generally likes to keep a distance between himself and members of Joe Public. He releases her hand again, waving off the offer to pay for the dry-cleaning. "No, really, it's fine. Have you had breakfast?"

Ali seems mildly startled - "Dinner." It's a friendly correction, coming with a lopsided smile. "I work the night shift, you know? But.. uh. No." She looks down at herself, then up to the broadway star, "Look. I'm - really sorry about the suit, okay?" Oooh. that's grudging, but it tumbles out. "You're not going to hold it against the station?"

That smile breaks into an amused grin. "Dinner, then." Desmond shakes his head. "Why would I hold it against the station? It was a simple accident, and I am not really a vindictive sort." No, he is. He really is. But not in this case. He really doesn't feel the need to raise a stink about it. Honest mistake and all that. "I was just on my way to get something to eat. You can join me, if you like."

She grins, wide and warm. "Yeah? I could do for a hot dog or something - " Apparently, she remains mildly startled - screaming fangirl? no. But definitely, she's flattered by the invitation, the coffee stain (and wet) forgotten as she hooks a thumb in her belt loop. "You sure you're not … you know, busy?"

"Too busy to have breakfast? I hope not." Desmond partially turns to set off down the sidewalk again, jerking his head slightly to indicate that Ali should follow. "I think there's a hot dog vendor just down the way — and look, we even match!" The last is added with a joking grin, referencing (of course) the coffee stains that they both now wear.

Hey, she's not one to not keep up. "Heh. Yeah, but you're setting trends in the fashion industry. I just look like I murdered a bag of Columbian. When are you opening? I've… kinda been watching it for a while."

Another grin from Desmond, accompanied by a low chuckle. He can just picture it: Desmond Cusick opens a new fashion line, called the Cusick Coffee Line. "The numbers indicate sometime within the next month, hopefully. I'm not rushing it, though. It would likely be sooner if I weren't busy with the Phantom production at the Majesty." But it pays the bills and is one of his favorite roles, so he's not complaining.

"Yeah.. I .. saw that too." Ali grins, wryly, looking down at her boots as she tags along. "If it weren't for Broadway, I'd have money, you know? I promise not to let it slip - what are ya planning on opening with? Cross my heart - no airtime."

"How ironic. If it weren't for Broadway, I /wouldn't/ have money." Desmond gives a small wink. Funny how life works that way, eh? He's been keeping very hush-hush as to what show will be opening the theatre, but it's oddly easy to talk to Ali, and it's slipping out before he even notices what he's doing: "Wicked. The cast has been rehearsing for some time now — in another theatre, obviously. They only just this week were able to use the stage in Le Petit Theatre."

Ali's grin widens. "Yeah? There goes another week's salary - but I can't wait. Are you on the stage, or are ya just producing?" Her interest seems very genuine, curious. "I keep meaning to read that book, but haven't yet. Everyone tells me I'm missing something."

Hot dog vendors don't generally make a bundle at such early hours of the day, but the vendor on the corner of the block still has a customer when Desmond and Ali approach. It allows for a brief pause in walking. "I'm just producing for now. I would like to see how the audience receives the renovations and the like before I take part in a production there. And honestly, I found the book to be extremely long-winded and dull, but don't tell anyone. They would say I'm biased toward the stageplay."

The previous customer moves off with his breakfastdinner, and Desmond indicates that Ali should move on ahead and order first. "I might arrange for a complimentary ticket, if you'd really like to attend. I suppose I owe that much to the station."

"One, all the way? And yeah, that means relish." Ali reaches up to run her hand (a little sticky from oversweet coffee) through her hair. "If you're advertising, I can't - I mean, don't get me wrong, I wish I could, but - rules of the station. How it goes.. the DJ's can't take perks. Means we throw out endorsements or something." She picks the nearby trash can and leans on it, pulling her bag around to start rummaging through it. "If you /really/ feel like you owe something though.." She gives him big eyes. A doe would be jealous, if the grin under it weren't blatanly knowing. "I have this playbill, and a pen.."

"Ah, the evils of advertising." Desmond nods a little, frowning somewhat regretfully — but it quickly becomes a smirk again at the addendum. Ah, the old autograph thing. "I would be delighted. I just hope I don't see it on eBay in the future. I'll be able to recognize it from the coffee stains, you know." He glances at the vendor as he waits expectantly for said pen and playbill. "Just mustard."

She does pull it out (after digging past a few receipts and.. a paddleball? Alright..) - its tattered. Folded. Obviously read and reread (a playbill!) to the point that the spine's starting to come apart. Turning it to the right page.. the one with the bios? There's already one signature. 'Liina's got her autograph going across her mugshot and over the blurb about her history so far. It, and the pen, are offered over - but she's still pawing after her wallet, from the look of it. "Thanks. If it helps, i'll do my best to squeal like a teenager and bounce, but I'm wearing a sports bra. It wouldn't be much of a show." Wry, still.

There's no need for the wallet, though. Desmond has his out and is already passing over a twenty to pay for both hot dogs. As the vendor procures the change, the actor takes both playbill and pen and grins when he spots the other signature already present. "Ah, so you've already met Karoliina," he notes with amusement as he puts down his own John Hancock:

Pleasure running into you.
Desmond Cusick'

"I only require bouncing for fan photos." This, of course, is a joke, and quite an obvious one. He hands back the adorned playbill, then accepts his change from the vendor with a small nod.

Ali takes it, grateful - tucking the playbill away before she gets the dog. "Thanks - for this, and the .. ya know." She grins, still - "Yeah, I met her last night. She was tormenting some poor kid at starbucks just before my shift." A shake of her head, a bit of hot dog, and she speaks around it - "Good thing I don't have a camera. You know, you're nicer than the Post says."

Oosh. Desmond's smile becomes just a little dry. "The Post tends to be a bit overly criticizing. If they catch you on a bad day, you're branded a jerk for life." But he's not bitter. Really. Taking his hot dog, he again offers the vendor a grateful nod and smile, then glances about the area. "I should probably get home and change. It really was a pleasure to meet you, Ali. Hopefully I'll see you again, if not around then in about a month, when we open."

"Sure! I'll talk you up tonight - Post isn't the only one that can get an opinion out." The woman chuckles. "I mean, the only listeners I have are latenight guards and transit workers, but it's something, right?" Ali stands - "Good meeting you - and thanks. For taking the time and all. I appreciate it."

"No trouble at all! Thank /you/ for putting out some nicer comments about me." With that and another grin and wink, Desmond turns and sets off on his way once again. Despite a suit that may or may not be ruined, his day has gotten significantly better. How odd.

McAlister just scarfs that hot dog, and with a yawn, slings the bag and moves on, out into the day's foot traffic - vaguely in the direction of Times Square. She does give the actor's retreating back a grin, though, a shake of her head - "Who'd have thought.." That to herself, likely lost in the day's noise.

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