2007-08-19: The Hot Kind


Mariska_icon.gif Stan_icon.gif

With Cameos by:

Manuel_icon.gif Ophelia_icon.gif

Summary: Stan follows Mariska into the Common Grounds (after previous scene yet to be posted) and eye-opening conversation ensues.

Date It Happened: 19 August 2007

The Hot Kind

Midtown, NYC - Common Grounds

Currently, Manny's seated at one of the coffee shop tables. Ophelia, who seems to be one of the employees, just finished off her shift with a new fresh barista at work. As Manny gets to her feet, however, Ophelia gives him one of those playful socks to the shoulder. The ones that really hurt if you know what you're doing. "I don't know, Manners, why don't you tell me?" She states, folding her arms over her chest.

The little chime on the door announces the arrival of another caffeine-fiend and thus Mariska's entrance is made. Wow. Someone's not in a very good mood. Just in case the dark expression scrawled onto her face wasn't enough of a clue, she's also muttering under her breath in some Slavic language and, let's face it, they make everyone sound like they're spitting and cranky. She bellies up under the 'Order Here' sign and drawls in a profoundly un-American accent: "I have tea, please."

Stan comes sidling in, and if it's possible for a bald-shaven black man in a dapper suit can come in without being noticed, he hits about as close to the mark as can be. He comes in a few seconds after Mariska, on someone else's chime, and is looking at some of the mugs on display when she's ordering.

Manuel snorts at the nickname, shaking his head and starting to make his way out of the coffee shop, rubbing his arm, "Hey, watch it…" He wasn't too worried about the shot, but Ophelia certainly caught him in a good spot. He gets out of the way of the entering duo, holding the door open for Ophelia, "Shall we?"

"I thought as much." Ophelia smirked, moving for the door and outwards, avoiding the few customers that just entered. "At least you still know how to be /somewhat/ of a gentleman." She retorts just before exiting the coffee shop.

The barista behind the counter just sort of stands there and waits for Mariska to follow up her order with some kind of clarification because walking into a coffee shop and ordering 'tea' gets you about as far as just ordering 'coffee'. Meanwhile, Mariska's fishing around in her blue jean pockets in search of money. She's got some, right? Front? No. Back? No. Front again? With a little huff, the barista intones, "What kind?" and it jars Mariska from her pocket scavenger hunt enough that she looks up and replies, "The hot kind?" No. Really. "Black. Hot. Tea."

Stan takes his time to come /right the hell up/ behind Mariska, as quietly as possible, so he's standing right there when he says, with sinister gallantness. "She'll have the Premium Mightyleaf black. I'll have a press of Jamaican Blue Mountain." He passes over a folded bill around Mariska's side and smiles at her. "Impulse purchase?" he says. Those white teeth.

Manuel smirks and closes the door behind him as he heads out of the coffee shop behind Ophelia, replying, "Mm, now if only I had a lady." Manny winks and laughs, tucking his hands into his pockets.

If the intention behind the smooth, silent moves is to startle the already bewildered Mariska then, mission accomplished! There's a sudden jerk in her movements as Stan goes for the violation of personal space maneuver while simultaneously coming to her monetary rescue. She at least seems to have the presence of mind enough to be polite, and she offers the man a proper, "Thank you." before adding the slightly unnecessary detail: "I must have left wallet at home."

Stan says, "And where's home for you? Sit." He indicates the coffee bar - just as with Aileen, a combination of public enough to be 'safe', but awkward enough to keep her away from her 'A' game, and there's just a tiny hint that this is not a /request/. He sits. His coffee is brought in his French press with a little cup, her tea in a mug with a steeping device.

Mariska, now obligated by a debt of Premium Mightyleaf brew, follows Stan's instructions with a structured grace. "Moscow," she says. Home sweet soviet home. Now the accent is placeable. The messenger bag that had been slung over her shoulder now rests in her lap and occupies both of her hands for a second or two until her tea arrives. She makes a careful and concerned production with the steeping spoon, stirring oh so slowly while she speaks. "But, I stay in hotel here." And, then? The return volley: "Where is home for you?"

Stan says, "I grew up in Ballmer. That's Bal Ti More for anyone who doesn't live there. My family's in Phoenix. But I live in Brooklyn and take the train in to the city. My name's Stan Crosetti. Italian, by my father's side."

Mariska sums it up with, "American." Well, duh. She's a sharp one, apparently. Nothing gets past her. "Pleasure to meet you, Stan Crossetti." She then mynahs back another line she'd heard earlier in the evening, "You know Felix Ivanov?" The steeping spoon is laid aside on the saucer and she lifts the teacup to her lips, pale green eyes utterly zoned in on Stan's face.

Stan says, "I do….you know his girlfriend? Follow her from her work to her home like I did? What's /your/ name?" He pushes down the plunger slow and deliberate on his coffee press and pours himself a black, black cup, which he drinks with incongruous delicacy.

"Nyet," replies Mariska, nose wrinkled but otherwise calm, teacup poised between both hands, elbows bent and propped on the tabletop. "And I do not think that was… girlfriend," she notes, one corner of her mouth quirked just a hint more than the other. And, just when you think she's about to avoid the name game again, she tosses out, "Dmitryeva. Misha Dmitryeva."

Stan says, just joshing around, "Misha, now that's short for something, isn't it? What they call a diminutive. Like Stan is short for Stanley in my case. So Misha, you just happened to be walking down the street and happened to hear a conversation that was of interest to you about Special Agent Felix Ivanov, assigned to the organized crime unit, specializing in the Organitsaya, and whose whereabouts have been unknown for the past forty-eight hours. What is it you know about Felix?"

Oh ho! Lookit the big worldly-wise melon on Stanley! That's a lot of information for Misha to process at one time but it becomes quickly apparent that the man's boggled her little brain and she needs to take a moment to let it stop rattling around in her skull before she can muster up a reply. This calls for some tea. Insert prolonged sip here. She even closes her eyes for a moment before fluttering them back open as she replies almost entirely in her native tongue: "The Felix Ivanov that I knew was politsiya…" Something something something. "…Petersburg…" Something something. "…bastard…" Something something something. "…unfinished business."

Stan says, almost apologetically, "You'll have to go slower, in English, or we can take this down to One Federal Plaza where I have a translator who can work it all out for us. Yes, he's still police. Wouldn't call him natural born, but he's police." Work /that/ out!

Mariska purses her lips somewhat. It's time for mommy to put the teacup down. She obliges Stan with a slower, almost over-enunciated version in English: "I met him in Saint Petersburg. He's a bit of a bastard but I'm willing to overlook that because he and I have some very important unfinished business." She punctuates her translation with a smug little smile and then goes back to her very tasty tea.

Stan says, pleasantly, "What sort of unfinished business? Maybe I can help you out."

Of course. This was the next possible topic of conversation to be broached. Misha's come prepared. She takes a moment to fish around in her tote and, unlike her previously failed expedition for money in her pockets, she comes up with something in hand. A photograph, worn around the edges and creased in one corner; it looks to be a few years old and apparently it doesn't live in an album. She slides the picture across the bartop over to Stan so that he might be able to get a better look. It's a candid portrait of a young woman and a little girl. The young woman is clearly Misha, albeit younger than she is now and obviously in a much better mood. The little girl she's holding on to looks to be about four or five years old and has her mother's dark hair… and her father's big, blue eyes. "That is our daughter. She is missing, too." Dun dun DUN!

Stan looks over the picture. "Hm." he says, and then he pours some more coffee for himself, as he thinks over this development. Don't play poker with him. Ever. "You know, this picture might just have come with your wallet. How do I know what you're telling me is true?"

"You don't," comes her once-again-with-the-obvious reply. She is pretty keen on snatching that picture back with a quickness, however. Misha can't help but let her gaze linger on it for a moment too long before she tucks it safely back in to the depths of the bag from which it came. "But, I am not model and you are not stupid government agent, so how about you tell me what is really going on?"

Stan laughs cheerily like he doesn't take the question seriously at all, and with a smile, he says, "That's what I'm trying to find out. You're here looking for Felix. He's just dropped off the planet. Maybe he saw you coming. Maybe he doesn't want to help you." He is good at drawing people out, very good.

Mariska finishes up the dregs of her tea with a hard gulp and delivers a surprisingly stoic, "Then maybe he is more of a bastard than I thought." Yeah, you know? That's probably true anyways. She stands up from her seat and reshoulders her messenger bag, all the while keeping her eyes on Stan. He's a sneaky one, this guy, and she seems determined to keep him in her sights at all times. "You help me," she says, making a statement and not asking a question. "I help you." She then reaches over and grabs a napkin from a dispenser, fishes up a pen from the outer pocket of her bag, and writes down: DISCOUNT INN. ROOM 304. "If I find him before you do, I let you know."

Stan says, "Make a copy of that picture. Maybe I'll get lucky and someone will know it." He fishes out a business card. Looks legit enough. FBI. "Meet a lot of people in my work."

Mariska tucks the man's business card away on her way out of the coffee shop, looking back over her shoulder as she hip-bumps the door to make her leave. For all the deception to be had in appearances, she's punctuating her departure with a forthright stare. It's a hard look, but an honest one. And then she's gone.

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